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Monday, February 29, 2016

Belleville 10K Week: 2/22/16 - 2/28/16

Mon. (2/22):
6mi. -(p.m.) - a Kenyon Crossroads (HLT) loop.  Still feeling pretty tired so I took it easy.

Tue. (2/23):
11mi.- (p.m.) ran down to Grills Sanctuary and over to Grills Preserve to scope out Jeff's new and mysterious X-Files, "stick structure" atop Big Hill.  The kids that built/are building are doing a great job with it.  So fun to be a kid and build forts and structures with saws, hammer, and nails.  I miss doing that. Although I was still kind of tired with leg fatigue, I did notice it is getting better.  Still, a bit faded towards the end of this run.  Chilly but fun in the snow flurries.

Wed. (2/24):
7mi. (a.m.) - with the race looming on Saturday and my overall general malaise recently, I decided to skip a workout and just run primarily darkened Westerly streets down to the Westerly Yacht Club and back to the high school.  Did 8 strides (front and back stretches on the track) at the end.  I was definitely over dressed for this one.

3mi.+ (p.m.) - set out for an easy 7-8 miles but after about 2 miles I turned around.  The way I feel right now (just worn out, rubber legs with zero oomph), I figured it was best to call it quits. Ended up being a pathetic 5K.  Looks like a day of rest on the horizon (hate those!)

Thu. (2/25):
me....pretty much
0 - no running, no exercise, no fun.  I did manage to sneak in about 60 minutes of "yoga" -- only one pose (corpse pose, a.k.a. shavasanna/savasanna) For one hour straight, no other movement. Just lying on my bed. Napping and resting.  It was pretty epic.

Fri. (2/26):
5mi. - (p.m.) - easy and short mix of roads and trails from home.  Wet mud and flooded trails but felt good physically to get out and felt great mentally to realize that a day off is not the end of the world and my legs felt much better.

Sat. (2/27):
11mi. - (a.m.) Belleville Pond 10K Trail Race.  Results here. Finished 5th overall on a pretty fun (dry!) course.  Saw a lot of "new" people at this race which bodes well for the series and is indeed exciting to see. Try to give detailed write-up soon.

Sun. (2/28):
17mi. (a.m.) - warm and sunny long run from home.  Ran a rolling course with a tiny bit of trails in Hopkinton Grills Preserve (the red-headed step child of the three Grills properties) before heading up Burdickville, along Buckeye Brook Road, and looping back around to home.  Kept the pace hones (6:50ish) but didn't push it.  Felt surprisingly good for the day after the race.   Felt good to be finished though.

TOTAL: 60 miles
YTD: 586 miles

Notables:
* had fun at the race on Saturday.  I ran better than I thought I would and hurt a little less than I expected.  Maybe I should've run harder?  Nah, that wasn't really feasible.  Plus, the odd aches and soreness in strange places (outer ankle and shin) that usually don't occur reminds me that trail races are tough in a different sort of way.

* a recovery week sort of I guess.  I was feeling so beaten down that I skipped Wednesday's workout and didn't get a really hard long run in (workout-wise) so I guess I have to rely on the effort on Saturday and move forward from there.

*looking to get back after it next week but once again, Wednesday may have to be tempered as I have another race (Oceans Run 1/2 Marathon) on Saturday.  As such, I'm not sure how the week will actually play out. No rest for the wicked.

Monday, February 22, 2016

School Vacation Week: 2/15/16 - 2/21/16

Mon. (2/15):
8mi. (a.m.)  - Standard loop on local side streets of downtown Ashaway.  Sore blisters busting open on toes.  Ouch.

Tue. (2/16):
11mi. (a.m.) - Ran from Weekapaug. Pretty windy (20SE) but I really was enjoying the run and couldn't stop given the warm temps (50s).  Had plans on running a double but was feeling good and really enjoying the warm temperatures so I just kept going with it.  Some hamstring tightness.

Wed. (2/17)
13mi. (a.m.) - from Chariho and did a mix of roads with a little CHS track.  I was supposed to run a sneakily difficult 3T, 3T, 2T block but knew right away after the first three and into the second block, that there was just no way.  Settled for 3T, 2T, 1T and still struggled mightily.  Tired.

6mi. (p.m.) - enjoyable and relaxing run from my parents on mostly trails of Carolina North.  Discovered a single track spur that connected Essex Hill to a back field and connector to another main gravel/fire road.  Nice addition to the mix. Felt pretty good and really enjoyed the woods. Getting sick of roads.

Thu. (2/18):
6+mi. (a.m.) - a recovery 10K mix of roads and trails from home.  A bunch of standing water and flooded trails made it muddy, slushy, and wet.  I really enjoy being off the roads and not giving a crap about proper pace.  Just running for time and wandering in the woods is definitely the way to do it.

5+mi. (p.m.) - from Horseshoe Falls in Shannock.  Ran a road loop for 5.8 miles to get to 12 for the day.  Felt pretty good for this one.  The beers and laughs afterwards felt even better.

Fri. (2/19):
8+mi. - (a.m.)  - a little over eight mile (8.2) as a planned run number 1 for the day.  Felt pretty tired and bagged the second run.  Good pace overall.

Sat. (2/20):
17mi. (a.m.) - another Q run with Jonny, and another "failed" workout for the week.  The Plan: 3-4E + 6M + 1T +5M + 2-3E. I knew right away on the rolling warm up along Burdickville Road that I was in trouble.  I wanted to quit during the first M block.  Quads just got heavier and heavier and I was just having to work way too hard.  Thankfully, I latched on to Jonny, The Tireless One, and he pulled me along for much of it.  Instead of the 1T nut buster, we did 1E then back to the second block of M.  Unfortunately, as I watched Jonny just keep pulling away from me on Switch Road, I knew I was finished.  I stopped my watch after 3 miles of M and had to get my shit together (bent over, hands on knees, gasping, blowing snot).  Thankfully, Jonny was content to just run the rest at easy pace back to his house atop the hill.  Bonk city!! Ugh--very humbling and frustrating. Haven't felt that poorly in a long time.  Worn out.

Sun. (2/21):
6+mi. (a.m.) - recovery run on pretty beat up legs.  Took it slow and easy on mainly roads with tiny bit of soft trails and cemetery grass.  Amazingly effective way to loosen up and start getting back the legs. (6.8 miles total). Gets me to 82 for the week.

TOTAL: 82 miles
YTD: 526 miles


Notables:
*sort of a disappointing week in terms of the workouts -- I was unable to handle them both.  Saturday's debacle was a true ball buster as I haven't felt that awful in a long time.  I was bonking, heavy legged, and physically uncomfortable, so much so that I "quit" the workout/run.  Hope it is just one of those things.  If I find the time this week, I may look back at last year's marathon training and compare the two years thus far (weekly mileage, types of workouts, any workout failures, etc.)

* it's good to be on vacation from school as it allows for more running.  I enjoyed the doubles although I did get worn down eventually.

* with two "peak" weeks of 80-82 miles, time to cut back down a bit.  This is perfect timing as I have back to back races coming up : Belleville 10K (trail) and the following Saturday is the Oceans Run 1/2 marathon (on new course in Westerly).  It'll be interesting to see how I feel before, during, and after both of those.  The real test will be the road 1/2.  Hoping to run well there.  With Belleville, I hope to run well there too but it is on trails and will be a bitch so I'm hoping to just not get injured or die.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week of 2/8/16 - 2/14/16

Mon. (2/8):
8mi. (a.m.) - another snow day from school (YUCK!) but absolutely perfect conditions for the YakTrax. Haven't worn them in a long time.  Surprising that the rubber, although cracked/dry rotted in a few places has yet to break (jinx).  I just meandered from home on mainly roads and a few trail sections.  The woods were super enjoyable. Didn't feel too tired from previous day's 19 miler.

Tue. (2/9):
7mi. (p.m.) - a standard base run from home.  Pretty slushy and sloppy on the roads. Multiple splashes from passing cars but, hey, it is February after all and at least I got to wear shorts.

Wed. (2/10)
7+mi. (p.m.) - slacker Wednesday.  Couldn't get my lazy ass out of bed at 0400.  After my second snooze session, my wife rolled over, elbowed me in the ribs and groaned "Looks like 'Workout Thursday' for you, Mr. Champion".  Thanks for busting my balls, lady.

Thu. (2/11)
13mi. (a.m.) - on the treadmill at the Y.  As Jeff pointed out, being inside vs outside sucks and I could have/should have been outside but at this point I really want to dial in my marathon pace.  2E+10M+1E. That is super easy to do on 1% incline on a treadmill -- set it and forget it.  At first the ol' legs were mighty sluggish--to the point where I considered just backing off and running 6-7 miles at regular base pace and skipping the MP session.  But after 4 miles of MP I loosened up and, although tired, settled into a groove.  After 10 miles at MP, I felt like I could've "easily" gone another 6-8 without too much of a problem.

5+mi. (p.m.) - falling temperatures and NW wind made this second run of the day pretty chilly.  Felt surprisingly good though for this easy one. Here comes the cold!

Fri. (2/12):
8mi. - (p.m.) - new shoes (Brooks PureFlow 4) that are hideous. Feel great though.  Love the "foot feel" of them but holy shit who thought "I know, lets make them look like this"? They have a weird semi-translucent, plastic blue stripe overlaid atop neon yellow/green uppers. Strange. Felt pretty good after the double from previous day.  Good pace. No aches or pains.

Sat. (2/13):
19mi. (a.m.) - an impromptu (sort of) long run.  Headed out with the intention of beating the arctic cold descending upon us.  At the time the temperature was in the mid-teens. I felt great and with no required marathon pace work or temp pace blocks required for this run, I just decided to keep rolling. Ended up running low 7:00 pace and with no fuel and no fluid, it simply turned into a time-on-feet session and glycogen practice. Felt great.  Quickly showered up and changed so I could settle in and watch the Olympic Marathon Trials on TV. You can find the general recap I wrote here. Big thanks, to Garvin for snapping some photos and sharing them with me.  I'm SUPER happy for Amy Cragg---I love her and I'm really glad she redeemed her 4th place finish at the last trials in 2012 in Houston.

Sun. (2/14);
5+mi. (a.m.) - an easy jaunt to my in-laws' house.  Just wanted to sort of shake out things and see what it felt like.  I was actually overdressed and sweat a lot.  The only painful aspect was the exposed area around my eyes and freezing eyelashes/eyebrows.

7mi. (p.m.) - garbage miles on the TM in the afternoon.  Legs felt a bit tired.  Funny how, walking out of the Y after showering, the outside conditions were quite tolerable (11 degrees, no wind) -- should have just run outside again, you wimp! Terrible blisters on pinkie toes due to my use of double wool socks for the previous two runs.

TOTAL: 80 miles
YTD: 444 miles


Notables:
* good mileage week and I'm glad I was able to "withstand" the cold.  The spontaneous, unplanned LR on Saturday was a pleasant surprise too -- felt like I was running slow (7:30 - 7:45) but was actually low 7:00s on a rolling course.

*despite my ever-tightening and diminutive hamstrings, I'm feeling pretty good right now.

*I need to contact Kathy Robbins (TriMom) and use/redeem my TriMom bucks for free entry into Oceans 1/2 marathon in March.  Another perfect time (calendar-wise) for me to see where I'm at in terms of fitness.  Barring weather & wind, I would love to crush a 1/2 PR there.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekly Training 2/1/16 - 2/7/16

Mon. (2/1):
8mi.  -(p.m.)- good loop of mixed road and trails. Both of the Hopkinton Land Trust properties near home. Really cut up by briars on shins and calves.  Awesome. Zero strides (but I know I need to drop them in on 2 runs per week outside of workout days).

Tue. (2/2):
8mi. - (p.m.)- felt pretty good for another road loop.  Good pace. Felt smooth.  Zero strides for this one too.

Wed. (2/3):
14mi. (a.m.) - pre-0500 start from WHS.  First time doing track work after an extended "warm up".  Plan called for 8E+6x1K (@I pace) + 4 x 400 (R) + 2E.  I only managed 7 on the easy warm up and could only manage 4 of the 6 1000m intervals.  A good workout nonetheless.  The 1K chunks were very consistent (3:21-3:22 each) and the 400s were hard and all over (73/75/77/75).  On the last two 400s I felt so tired, stiff legged etc. (felt like I was running on a pair of stilts!). Good way to start off hump day! I love Workout Wednesday!

4+mi. - (p.m.) - from my parents to a loop in much of the backside of Richmond Country Club. Pretty raw and soggy (soft cart paths!) but felt good to get out and turn over my legs.

Thu. (2/4):
8mi. - normal roads from home. Even though run went well, I just felt like it was a total grind.

Fri. (2/5):
8mi. - (a.m.) - snow day from school so, with it snowing heavily w/ freezing rain and slush, I did an easy hour on the treadmill.  Boring as hell.  Cross trained later by shoveling and then getting deep in the game at an Umphrey's Mcgee show in Providence that night.

Sat. (2/6):
8+mi. - (p.m.) - woke up on the floor of a hotel room at 0630 to find the Belleville 10K was cancelled (thankfully!). Exhausted and working off almost three hours of sleep, I ran in the early afternoon.  Despite feeling like dog shit, I still managed to keep a solid base pace (low 7:00) for the run. It was actually pretty nice out, despite the huge snow bombs (falling from trees overhead) smashing off my head, neck, and shoulders for much of the run.

Sun. (2/7):
19mi. - (a.m.) - perfect running weather on this weird Daniels' long run. 8E+3T+8E.  Wasn't that hard really but I did fade a bit over the last 3-4 miles.  Ran in flat (boring) Charlestown in an attempt to avoid most traffic and overhanging tree branches and falling snow/ice. Good overall pace (6:42)

TOTAL:77+mi
YTD: 364 miles


Notables:
*decent mileage week with another 2Q run sandwich (although Sunday's was a strange prescribed workout). Both workouts this week were different in that they forced me into an hour of easy running before the work began.  Kind of nice because it was something a little different from the norm.

*glad Belleville was canceled as I may very well have perished on the snowy trails there.  Hopefully conditions will be a bit better in late February for the rescheduled event.

*another week down and the Puddin abides. Feeling pretty decent (with a long way to go until April)
Not from Lupos but you get the idea...

*Umphrey's!! Saw several people with Bose headphones/sound blockers on at the show.  I wondered
what the hell they were doing.  Apparently, UM offers a special called "Headphones and Snowcones" by which you rent the gear and get the show wireless directly from the soundboard to the headphones.  Might sound great but doesn't that defeat the purpose of LIVE music?  If you want to hear the soundboard mix, wait and buy/stream it later on at home.  Very strange.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekly Training: 1/25/16 - 1/31/16

Mon. (1/25)
8mi. (p.m.) - nice to run in shorts for a change.  I enjoyed the fading light on this normal route around town but had ever increasing calf tightness (left) that, towards the end began bordering on pain.  Stretched and iced a little and then, mistakenly took two Advil PM (all we had in the house).  That stuff never works on me (the sleeping aid) but WOW! I crashed on the couch at 1800 and slept for 2 hours before moving up to bed and sleeping nine more hours straight until the alarm the next morning at 0445. Drug-induced rest si the best!  The calf is a bit worrisome as I don't recall this sensation (tearing? ripping? charlie horse?) before.

Tue. (1/26):
0mi.- very difficult for me to take the day off (first zero of 2016) but the pain is still there.  So strange.

Wed. (1/27):
0mi. - feeling much better but some soreness and stiffness linger.  With the nice weather (sunny, 41 degrees, melting snow) it nearly killed me to take a zero but at the behest of my wife, I took another day of rest and recover.  Painful not to run.

Thu. (1/28):
9mi - (p.m.) - with my calf feeling better (no pain/tearing sensation), I knew today would be my "test foray" back into running.  Luckily, the calf thing was nothing major (only a mild strain?).  I felt good and normal after the first couple of miles so I just decided to roll with it.  At first I thought I should really be going slowly and taking it very easy.  But I felt good and decided that, if it hurts at all enough to force me to run slowly and hobble around, then I shouldn't really be running anyway....if it feels fine, then go with it do want you want.  I enjoyed this run immensely with a nice pace in the very low 7:00s.

Fri. (1/29):
10mi. - (p.m.) - super fun run on both sides of Carolina (North & South).  Aimless wandering.  It was great transitioning constantly from super soft and wet mud & puddles, to frozen snow and ice, to dry pine needles/soft trails and back.  Really enjoyed this one.

Sat. (1/30):
18mi. (a.m.) - late morning start for a solo marathon workout. 4E+8M+1T+3M+2E.  The first 12 miles were "easy" and fine.  The 1T was taxing but hit my mark (5:51). However, the first mile of the 3M block was AWFUL! I realized when I got home that, although I hit my MP goal for the mile, it was on rolling (upward) inclines into the wind.  The grade adjusted pace was actually mid 5:50s -- no wonder it felt so hard.  I had to stop several times on the 2E return home to keep stretching (calves and IT band).  Good workout.

Sun. (1/31):
3mi. (a.m.) - had plans for a double shakeout but felt terrible (tightness and IT band pain) on this short trail shakeout.  I never got the second run of the day in as I made my final (failed) attempt at striper fishing in kayaks with my father in the Narrow River for winter holdovers.

TOTAL:48 miles
YTD:286 miles

Notables:
* clearly a low mileage week with the two zeroes but I managed to make it at least respectable and maintain fitness (hopefully).  Thankfully, the calf was nothing major and I can get back after it. I'm very mildly disappointed as this was supposed to be my first full, 1.0 (peak mileage) week of the Daniels Plan (I'm shooting for 80ish miles per week).

*January is over.  A respectable mileage total for the month with several quality marathon workouts.  Bring on February.

*January is over and I've failed at one of my yearly goals already.  I did not catch a single fish in the month so my goal of a different species caught each month in 2016 is over.  Oh well.  Only got out 3 times so, with the "nice" weather for the most part, I've nobody to blame but myself.  I did get to see a bald eagle on Sunday -- almost 1 year to the day since I saw my first ever baldie last year (1/21/15).

*I've been stretching out calves and IT band. I hope the outer knee twinges are simply tightness and inflammation that will ebb with stretching and vitamin I.