Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Official

I guess I am officially on a break from training. I really didn't plan it this way but since the bruiser, the running has not been quite what I planned.

I thought I was gearing up for a fun and fast fall but the knee injury, other commitments, my lack of drive and maybe pure laziness has severely eroded my fall training.

It was disappointing to see I only got in 8 miles last week and in leu of a long run this last weekend, I ended up shingling my roof and putting up plastic for my daughter. Not that these weren't important and needed but I really felt I should have been able to squeeze a run in there somewhere too.

My dreams and desires have not changed but my gumption has gone on holiday. SO, my battle plan is to run when I feel like it, rest a bit, get some things done that have been pushed to the way side for one reason or another, and gear up for some long winter runs.

I left work early yesterday for a meeting with the surgeon (yes, there are more surgeries coming ....almost done though) on the way home I planned on stopping at Backbay for a run but instead opted for a run at Twin brooks.

The run was short, it felt slow and laboring but when I looked at the pace I realized why I was so overall, not really a bad run.


2.75 miles @24:46 9:01 pace

1.5 mile cooldown

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tricks Of The Mind And Body run
Thursday.....abort planned run run
Saturday.....abort planned run
No injuries...

See a trend here? I am not sure what is going on but I haven't really been burning up the trails since my last race in September. Oh, I have had some really good runs but only occasional rather than consistent.

I actually have not felt like going. Perhaps I need a rest or maybe it is the fact that I don't have a race planned. It could be the cooler temps but I usually love fall running. I shouldn't have to force myself out the door, if I do there has got to be something wrong.

The thing that makes this so weird is that Sunday I woke and just did not feel like running. Now, I hadn't run all week other than Tuesday at Thorncrag (and I felt good and had a great run there) so I should be biting at the bit to get out there and run. I mulled around a bit and just decided to suit up and go even if it was only for a few miles.

The first mile kind of sucked but once I warmed up, I started really enjoying the run. I decided to bushwhack a bit and try to find a trail to connect my pit loop to the town forest trail. Things were going well until I came across a private property sign so I didn't accomplish my task.

I did however explore some new trails that will give me more variety and longer distances with my normal pit loop. It was a perfect run, with perfect temps and I seriously enjoyed myself.

I was so glad I kicked my butt out the door this morning and in the end wished I had more time to explore further. I felt great after the first mile and kept the same energy through the whole run.

I think my body was trying to trick me into not running so it could be lazy and not have to do it's job. My mind apparently fell for it as it conjured up all kinds of excuses to skip the run. In the end they were both quite happy and content because of the run.

Sunday October 17

8.62 miles @1:27:58 (1:22:58 running) 10:53 pace
11:09 (bushwhacking)
10:22 (bushwhacking)
11:30 (bushwhacking)

Later in the day 2.9 mile cooldown walk

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thorncrag.......OK, It's Hilly!

Today Val met me at Thorncrag as she graciously offered her guidance in negotiating the trails. I really didn't know what to expect as she and Jamie ran it the other day and his easy run was about 10:20 mile pace while she described it as a pretty tough run for her. This meant probably 12 minute pace for me if I push it.

Val warned me that there were some pretty good hills at this place and she wasn't kidding.... within a measly 5 or 10 steps, we hit this good size hill. About half way up I wished I had warmed up a bit first because breathing was now a luxury....3/4 of the way up I was wondering why Val wanted to kill me and my legs were screaming stop!

Once we crested Val quietly mentioned that the other two major hills coming up were worse. OK if she wanted to convince me to go home, this would do it. Lucky for me we hit some pretty level and down hill spots after the first hill and I was able to stabilize a bit.

We stopped for a few seconds to admire Whale rock, which was really cool and it does look like a whale. Then we hit the second and largest of the hills. I decided this was a hill for me to walk mostly because my body was kicking me in the butt for running the first hill. I walked about 3/4 of this hill then enjoyed a pretty long downhill recoupe after.

The third hill I again decided walking would be smart. A little after half way though, I was feeling pretty good and went back to running. The rest of the run breezed by and suddenly we were done. I wish I had more time because at this point I was feeling really good and well warmed up. I think the first big hill would have been a lot easier the second time well as the other two hills.

Last year Jamie clocked this run as 4.4 miles and this year at 4.1 miles. My old 301 garmen really struggles in the woods and notariously shows large gaps and short distances. Mine read 3.61 but I called the run 4.1 as I think Jamie's is much more acurate.

Considering I did some walking, my running pace was pretty quick for this terrain. Overall I was quite satisfied with this run. I am looking forward to giving this trail a second try, perhaps do a double loop and running the whole thing. There is no doubt that this trail offers a great workout.

I would like to measure this course a bit better....if this does turn out to be 4.4 miles, then I am surely even happier with this run!

4.1 miles @ 47:35 (11:37 pace)


Monday, October 11, 2010

OK...I Stopped Whining, So You can Start Reading Again

The weekend was totally different than I planned it a month ago. My goal was to work on some speed after the Bruiser , put down a decent speedy run at the Craig Cup 5k then finish the weekend with an eight mile mountain run at the Epic.

Funny how things turn out and the best laid plans metamorphose into something totally different. It all started with the knee injury at the Bruiser. That slowed me down as I didn't really run for two and a half weeks.

When I did get some runs in, it was disgraceful (as far as 5k racing goes) Then my daughter had the cute one and I ended up working on our vehicle Saturday morning. This did give me the opportunity to get a nice 3 miler in at Pineland on my way home.....which by the way went really well.

Sunday, my son Kev was home and we opted for a run at Bradbury (east side) and to my surprise, even after the workout on Saturday, this run was great! All it took to curb the whining was two great runs and back to back at that!

Pineland (east side)
3 miles@26:49 (8:57 pace) then .75 easy cooldown
8:39 (7:31 kick)

Bradbury (east side)
7.5 miles @1:13:33 (9:49 pace)
8:49 (6:01 kick)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Wanted It To Feel Easy.....But It Didn't

My plan last night was to stop on my way home from work and run a race pace type 5k at Pineland. I suspected I would feel a bit tired but at the same time thought it would feel somewhat easy in comparison to technical trail running.

I was prepared for comfortably hard effort with hopefully a respectable pace. It seemed with the rest I've had in the last couple weeks that I would be happy with the results. I figured starting out more quickly rather than warming into the projected effort would bother me some at the beginning but that I would settle in during the first mile.

As it turned out, I didn't feel that good at all. I felt slow, tired, out of breath and disapointed. it didn't help that my heart rate monitor didn't work because I use that info to see where I am acually at compared to how I feel. Judging by percieved effort, I accomplished race pace......yet my time was so slow and disapointing that I was embarrassed for myself.

At about 2 miles, I decided I was going to stop at 2.5 and then run a cooldown. I pushed into a simi kick near the 2.5 mark, stopped running which only lasted about 10 seconds before I mentally kicked myself in the butt and decided to finish what I started......hey, it was only 3 miles, what was I thinking.

At three miles (on the garmin) I switched gears, gave it everything I had and put down a pretty good kick. Once finished, I was glad that I didn't stop at 2.5 miles and even though my time for this run was terribly slow, it would give me a platform to start on and improve.

When I ran my fastest times (back in 2002-2003) I rarely ran at any pace other than race pace. All my runs were essensually a race and I only ran 3-4 times a week at 2.5--5 miles each averaging 12-15 miles a week at most. There was no such thing as a long slow run in my training and every run ended with an all out kick.

I did a 5:45 mile (in training at track)1 mile race PR 6:18, my 5k PR was 20:18(6:33p), 10k PR was 44:06(7:07p) 1/2 marathon 1:37:26(7:27p)... Perhaps to get back down to that speed I have to revert back to my earlier training.

I know it sounds like I am saying I want to get back into road racing but that is not it at all, I just want to enjoy running faster, like I used to. I guess I will have all winter to figure out what I want for spring.

5k race pace run

3.1 miles........3.81 miles.....estimated miles 3.3 @30:54


2 mile cooldown

I guess what this run proves is that training long slow distance creates slow times...

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Amazing How Fast Life Can Change.

In the last three weeks I haven't compiled more than 20 miles running, which is less than I usually average in one week. So, I must have had plenty of free time right?

No...I had none. I swear there is a minute sucker hanging around just waiting to scoff up every minute I tend to free up. Just like a vacuum cleaner with an endless reservoir.

Three weeks ago I ran only three miles and they were painful ones, the next week I managed 6.5 miles and though I wish I could blame it on the injury, there were many other factors that interfered and I rationalized the running interruption with thoughts of giving my knee more recoup time.

Last week I finally got in a couple good but short runs but was held back from a banner running week by an exciting event. My daughter had her baby Thursday morning and our whole world changed as we became dog baby sitters and anxious grandparents spending as much time as we could with the cutest little girl (and her parents)

This week I plan on getting back on track and coming up with some type of running plan for the fall. For some reason I am thinking a lot about running a 5k......sure I will not be very fast as I have not trained speed all year, but I can't seem to stop thinking about it.

Problem is, I will surely be disappointed with my time and wish I hadn't run it. I thought perhaps after the last three weeks, this would be a perfect time to hit some intervals. I did just that Sunday at Twin Brooks with my daughter's pup and we had a great time sprinting various distances between his need to stop and mark his territory.

I got in about 2 miles of sprinting and honestly it felt great. I suspect I will try to get in some shorter faster runs this week and see how it feels.

The one thing I noticed about twin Brooks (as I haven't been there in quite a while to run) is that it feels more like a carriage trail and seemed relatively easy compared to Bradbury or even Pineland.

Sunday 2 miles (approximately)
intervals of about 400 meters (give or take 100 meters)
time? who knows
Pace? who knows
Fun? bet!