Monday, February 25, 2008

Week of 2/18

Last week was 58.9 miles in 7 runs.

M: 5 easy
T: 9.8 with 40 minutes @ 6:00 pace - hard
W: 5.7 easy
T: 9.75 with 12 x 1/5 mile cutdowns - moderate
F: 5 easy
S: 10.5 with 4x(5min @ 10k, 3min jog, 3min @ 10k, 2 min jog) - moderately hard
S: 13 @ 7:30 - moderately easy

It's been pretty busy here lately. I think someone has been sick in our house pretty much every week since Christmas. This weekend it was our son and he was up all night on Saturday with a nasty cold. There's just not enough sleeping going on in our house.

Some decent running this week. Tuesday was hard. I rarely take tempo runs much up past 30 or 35 minutes, so 40 minutes was pushing it pretty good. The cut downs on Thursday weren't physically very hard, but I'm struggling mentally to get the feel for the difference between 5:00, 5:10 and 5:20 pace.

I've decided on a first early season test - there's a good 5k in 3 weeks. The Adrenaline 5k is a kickoff to the spring season here and gets a great, fast crowd. I've never run it before, but I will give it a shot this year and see how things are progressing. Any locals going to be there? Seebo?

I'll have to be lucky (and fast) there to crack the top 20, so it should be fun. I've been doing more fast paced work this spring than I ever have, but I don't really have a good feel where my 5k fitness is. This should be a good data point.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Easy, hard,easy

Mon: 5 easy, just recovering from the Sunday long run
Tue: Hard. 10 miles with 40:00 at 6:00 pace in the middle. That was pretty hard. I usually only do tempos out to 30 minutes, so the last 10 were a struggle.
Wed: 6ish easy

I'm sensing a pattern here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week of 2/11

This week was 57.4 miles in 7 runs.

M: 45 minutes easy
T: 2x3mi @ 6:00 pace
W: 50 minutes easy
T: 40 minutes easy
F: 16x400 75-79
S: 55 minutes easy
S: 16+ miles avg just under 7 pace

Friday was an interesting new workout. I am working with a coach this season, so I'm getting to experience a whole new range of workouts. This is probably good for me since I have a tendency to fall into a workout rut.

Friday night was 16x400, 200 jog after every rep, plus another 200 jog after every 4th. Got that? Seebo talks about how he learns something every time he goes to the track. Do you want to know what I learned? I need this guy to come with me!

Btw - parents with young kids - CTW has finally started putting videos up online - - we really enjoy Sesame in our house, so it's been a lot of fun. They have a bunch on there that you don't see anymore, including old-school Super Grover, Grover as the waiter, etc. It's a blast to see all the old segments. Did I ever tell you we were only allowed to watch PBS growing up in my house? :) I'm still looking for the episode where Stan steals the 'Golden An" and puts it in his Tan Van.

The Friday 400 reps are supposed to be done at 5k pace, so it's not a killer oxygen debt workout. I averaged 78 and got them all between 75 and 79 so I was happy. It was a nice solid workout.

Sunday was a good long run - 16 miles in 1:52 - mostly trail (down the Wissahickon to West River Drive and back). Took the first 2 to warmup, then in the low 7s to the turnaround, then down through the 6s, last 5 miles all 6:20s/6:30s. Felt good, although still a little sore from Friday's workout. Ended up averaging just under 7 pace for the total. The rain held out and it wasn't too cold.

I'm happy with that week and feeling pretty good after 2 weeks back on the workout horse.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Perplexing. And I cheated.

One of the things that I have always found very perplexing is that I consistently get great workouts on the days I least want to run. Yesterday I had a sore throat, not enough sleep, a runny nose, a whiny ass. You get the picture. I had really wanted to run outside, but an ice storm prevented that.

So I cued up Invincible (now there's a movie for a Philly runner) and got down to work. 9.5 miles with 2 x 3 miles @ 6:00 pace with a 2 minute jog in between. I know that the treadmill is easier than running outside, what with that moving belt and no wind resistance and all, but it went down pretty well all things considered. HR steady in the low 160s during the reps.

Even with the incline at 1.0, I know that would have been harder on the track. But some days you just have to take what you can get, so I will.

I did have a fan setup to try to keep me from becoming a complete sweat-slime boy, but it did not work. And the wind resistance was minimal. I'm gonna need more fans.

And Tuscaloosa - in a run like that, once I really start sweating I have a hard time keeping the HR monitor in place. So I can't really imagine wearing one in a race unless it was cold enough that I wasn't going to sweat much.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Week of 2/4. Hungry, hungry.

First week back with mixed pace running. 58.5 miles in 7 runs.

M: 5.2 ez
T: Tempo 8.25 with 5 at 6:12 pace
W: 7 ez
T: 8+ with 10x300 with 500 jog (56-59 seconds)
F: 4.6 ez
S: 9.5 mi with 8x3 minutes at 10K, 2 minute jog
S: 14.5 progression, started very easy, worked down to the high 6's, avg 7:20s

I like to post a week summary since it gives me a good look back at the structure of a week. Overall I feel good. Some achies always accompany the return of faster running for me and this week was no different. My hamstrings were sore, but are improving, now both quads are a little sore.

Plus since we weren't all quite back on track in my house after the stomach bug and sleep is still all disturbed, we decided, hey - let's get a cold too! Throat is a little sore. Pbbbt.

For some reason, either the running, or the cold temps outside, or the cold in my head I've been really hungry the past 2 days. 2 helpings of dinner. Hungry, hungry.

Uninterrupted sleep has also been a rare commodity at our house lately. First it was the stomach bug, then our son (who is a late, and on again-off again) teether is getting new teeth and good for a few wake-up calls a night. Now our daughter seems to be afflicted by nightmares about paintbrush distribution and other travails of the craft table. Tired, tired.

Last night, 45 minutes easy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday workout

Back on the dirt track. Saturday's workout was hard - 8x3:00 at 10K pace with 2:00 jog. Not killer, just maybe 8/10 hard.

I could have certainly done more reps, and never was at risk of going anaerobic. 1-3 were hard and I struggled with finding the pace a bit, 4-6 felt pretty easy and 7 and 8 I felt like I was losing some zip in my legs. I did this one on the track just so I could be sure I was being honest about effort level. I was aiming for 5:30 pace and hit the half mile at 2:43-2:46 for all of them.

9.5 miles total. w/u 16 min, c/d 20 min. Paces are from the Garmin, so figure +/- 2%, but they look roughly accurate with the split I eyeballed at 880 yards. All reps 3 min, recoveries 2 min.

1 - 5:26 pace HR 170 avg / 183 max
2 - 5:20 pace HR 172/180
3 - 5:28 pace HR 172/181
4 - 5:28 pace HR 172/180
5 - 5:30 pace HR 172/179
6 - 5:33 pace HR 170-179
7 - 5:33 pace HR 171-180
8 - 5:32 pace HR 171-178

Saturday night my wife and I had a rare babysitter and had a good dinner out at an Italian place we can walk to. Very nice!

Friday, February 8, 2008


After all that Rocky-style hullabaloo about running through mud and spitting cinders everywhere I did Thursday's track work on a track that was constructed post-Roger Bannister. Actually, it was pretty nice. Modern surface, 400m and all that.

Speaking of which, here in the US, we have such a curious marriage in running (and swimming I guess) of metric and standard. We do 300 meter or 800 meter repeats, but we are constantly computing the minutes/mile in our heads. When we run a 5000, we never take K splits. 1600m? 1 mile? 3.1? 26.2?

Anyway, if you don't like the numbers (and you know who you are), you can stop reading now.

Easy 3-5K pace workout last night: Windy. Split times ranged 56-59, HR consistent across them all. Just tried to be smooth and comfortable at that pace. This is the first time I've ever done any race pace reps this early in the year. But the intervals were short and the recoveries long, so it was really about efficiency.

w/u - 17:30, 1.9 mi, HR avg 121
1 - 0:59 HR (154/166)
R - 2:56 HR (139/167)
2 - 0:56 (158/173)
R - 3:00 (142/174)
3 - 0:57 (161/175)
R - 2:58 (143/176)
4 - 0:57 (162/177)
R - 3:02 (143/178)
5 - 0:58 (161/176)
R - 3:08 (142/178)
6 - 0:57 (158/176)
R - 3:02 (142/176)
7 - 0:59 (161/175)
R - 3:08 (142/176)
8 - 0:57 (163/177)
R - 3:04 (143/178)
9 - 0:58 (162/177)
R - 3:02 (144/178)
10 - 0:58 (163/178)
c/d 15 minutes, 1.5 miles

Wednesday was 7 easy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Track

Joseph asked in the comments when go time was. Oh yeah, that was last night.

First workout of the year was on tap - really the first workout since September since I've been battling these nagging injuries since then. Plan was for 30 minutes at 80%.

I dug out my flats - again the first time since the PDR. I love my flats (T4s) and have seriously considered running in them all the time. But that's probably just some crazy Letsrun talk.

I normally do all my tempo runs and track workouts at "my track". This is an old-skool abandoned 440 yard track that used to be the HS track for the town next door. Then, some years ago they built a new building and sold the old one off to 'Sunrise Living' or something like that. I think they still use the field for JV football practice or something like that since I'll sometimes see benches there, but the thing I like most about it is that it is usually deserted.

This is probably also because it is not lit. (Note to people who use unlit tracks - always jog one lap slowly to make sure no one left any benches, or oh, say, a rake on the track.)

It is ostensibly cinder, but over the years the traffic has slowly ground most of the cinders just into the dirt. Lanes? Markings? Ha! This time of year the track is pretty rutted from people using it while it's freezing and unfreezing, so when you're running it's all rolling divots and trying to stay in the middle of lane 1.

So it's not the fastest track in the world, but it is open and I can run to it. So I'll take it.

My plan was 5 miles at 6:15-6:30 pace - I ended up doing 5 at 6:12 pace (6:08,6:12,6:17,6:15,6:08).

Miles 1 and 2 were all elbows and knees and whoa crap what's going on, in mile 3 I forgot how to breathe (oh wait, you can use your stomach???), but by 4 and 5 I started to remember how to run like that and started getting faster at the same effort level. Last mile was nice and smooth and the easiest of the bunch.

My heart rate was higher than I thought it would be - 178 avg/182 max, so I was a little over my 80% target, but overall, it just felt moderately hard and no soreness or anything after, so I'm happy with that for a first real workout of the year.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Long Runday

Got out for a nice even-paced long run late on Sunday afternoon - 17 miles even in just a couple seconds over 2 hours (7:05 pace) in the squelchy, squelchy mud at the Wissahickon.

It was really kind of a gut-check (no pun intended!) run - I'm still getting over some of the effects of the stomach bug and since the kids are off their game, we haven't been getting a ton of sleep. After about an hour I really just wanted to mail it in. But I hung in there and got my first 2 hour run since before I was hurt, which is a nice feeling.

I was feeling it a little bit in the hamstrings after a while, but I've been viewing this as a good development. No pain at all in the lower legs, which is even better.

Then I get home and found out that my daughter was sick again. This started last Tuesday night! I will not be surprised if I get home from work today and find that the CDC has wrapped my house in the same giant plastic tent that they used in ET.

I saw an awesome bumper sticker in the parking lot before I went out for this run -- on a small, 2 door Kia, a giant yellow and black bumper sticker that said "YEAH, IT"S GOT A HEMI!". That made me laugh

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Running in the Time of Cholera

Ok, so maybe it wasn't cholera. Or maybe it was. Whatever it was, it took our house by storm, incapacitating denizens large and small. For maybe 36 hours our house was just a biohazard zone, filled with piles of laundry (dirty? clean?), toys awaiting disinfectant, and half used rolls of paper towels.

Fortunately for us, the gods of the intestines were kind enough to spare me until late Thursday when my wife finally began to emerge from her comatose state. Then I went down.

By today though, everything seems to be looking up.

Thursday: No running. Shaking, chills, yes. Running, no.
Friday: 6 easy once everyone had gone to bed.
Sat: 8 easy at 7:30 pace at the Wissahickon with some really light fartlek thrown in, 5x30-45 seconds around 5K pace. HR avg 144 / max 176.

The legs are feeling great. I am continuing with the new stretching program and feel like I am more flexible already, even though I know that is not really possible. I am focusing on making sure I am pulling with my hamstrings while I'm running. I know that you are not really supposed to mentally try to alter your stride, but having been in a bad state for a while I think that keeping this in my mind (and trying to pull the ground under me) is needed for a little bit while I continue to work on flexibility. Hopefully in a few weeks it will just be habit and I can put the conscious thought of what my legs are doing out of my mind.

No pain in the shins or calves. A little bit of soreness here and there in my hamstrings. I think they are just responding to the stretching and being awoken from a long winter slumber. Plus they are cranky about having to do some work for a change. That's a good thing.