Sunday, December 27, 2015

Another week, and it was successful, and I have no complaints. Here are the days-

M -
T  10 (Q workout)
W 6
Th -
F- 20
S -
Su 13

Total of 49 miles for the week, and my goal was 48.

Tuesday was my only Q workout of the week; supposed to be 10 minutes easy, 4 x 2miles at Tempo pace (for me, 7:30-8 min/mile) with a 2 minute rest interval. I was supposed to do 30 minutes of easy running after the intervals, but I had to cut it short due to darkness. It went pretty well, although I slowed a bit when I ran out of sunlight. Next time I'll either wear a headlamp or do it on a treadmill.

I was really pleased with how the workout went, though. Last week's intervals were slower, but they felt harder. Of course, they were longer. But there were only two of them...

Wednesday run was a night through the woods with DJ. Lots of fun, although I was tired for the run on Tuesday.

Friday was a long run- didn't need to be, and I think I probably should have toned it down a bit, and run easy on Thursday and Saturday, but a long run in the woods on my own was kind of like a Christmas present to myself. And it was a beautiful day to be out.

Sunday was a nice easy run with a couple of friends at Island lake. Brought me back to last winter trudging through inches of snow or through the freezing cold. Ah, those were the days!

This week upcoming should be interesting. 54 miles, and two Q workouts, first involving half and quarter miles, totaling 10 miles, and the second almost exactly like this week's Q workout. I'm a bit nervous about them, but we'll see how they go...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Falling off the wagon before officially starting.

So, I did this thing five years ago, where I ran using the Jack Daniels' training program (yes, it's a real program designed by an excellent exercise physiologist). Every week completed I took a shot of Jack Daniel's Whiskey and did my best to blog about the week.

Being a lightweight, it got harder and harder to be interesting, or even coherent, as the training progressed. But I persevered.

This time, trying the same program, I ran off the rails the first week. Oh, the training went fine, but when I sat down last Sunday to do my shot and write in this blog I didn't have any energy for either. So I scrapped the idea and went to sleep.

Today, however, I'm trying to make up for lost time. Shot done, and nursing the second. Let's see how coherent I can be.

I have this theory; training is great for the body, and getting strong and dealing with stress are but two of the many wonderful physiological benefits I get from running. But the biggest thing that training does for me is making me comfortable with a whole new level of suck.

So as I run, and things get tough, I think to myself: "Well self, this isn't so bad. I could get used to this. And if this is the new normal, than regular life is really pretty blissful, when all is said and done."

And suddenly that which was rough becomes normal, and my mind takes a shift towards being tougher than it was before.

So I did this run last Wednesday that was run three miles hard, then take a three minute break, than run another three miles hard. After that, run easy for about an hour.

The running hard was rough. The break felt nice, but the three minutes went by about as quickly as when kissing a new found love. The next three miles of fast was an exercise in forcing my body to endure, then an hour of easy running which- even though slow- still felt awfully rough.

But I got a little bit better at dealing with the Suck. And today's long run- a double loop of the bike trail at Pontiac Rec didn't seem so bad. 20 miles, but it was okay. And the company helped a lot.

So that was the big realization of the week, even though it's pretty self evident. Embrace the difficulty, and later difficulties won't seem as bad.

And hopefully next week I'll be tougher than I am today.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Woodstock 100K

So I finished the race, sat down, and had a cookie.

It was soft, maybe a little warm from the sun and oh-my-god yummy. Every bite was another slice of perfection. I remember  closing my eyes and thinking of how this moment encapsulated one of the key joys of running- the stopping, and pure simple indulgence of a well earned treat at the end of a long, difficult slog.

One of my friends asked "are you okay?' while I was eating the cookie, and I replied with something like "I'm just enjoying the cookie." When I think I should have said: "I'm just enjoying the hell out of this cookie." because I was. And I think in that moment each of the 18 hours I spent out on the trail was rewarded but the simple bliss of a single cookie, of sitting down and resting, of the contentment of finishing another race and not taking it for granted.

And that is one of the many reasons I run.

It was a good race, with only a fraction of the pain I experienced doing the 100 mile in 2013. The weather was even better, and I ran with good company for the entire time. My feet hurt, but that was the only real discomfort. I stopped being able to drink the water out on the course (similar to the Hungerford issue last year) about 30 miles in for whatever reason, so I drank sprite instead. No biggie.

I got to share stories and encourage people on and I found the the night is not half so difficult when there's good conversation. And the stars were lovely.

But there's a bit of sadness, too; a very real sense that I may never enjoy a cookie quite so much as I have already, that my 2015 Woodstock cookie experience is as good as it gets. Which is kind of a scary thing.

But I digress. It was a great run, and an excellent way to end the run, and I am content. Though I do hold out hope for an even better cookie experience, some day.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Labor Day 30K

Running easy sounds like a contradiction in terms, sometimes. Racing easy sounds impossible.

But it's exactly what I did during the labor day 30K this year; it's one of my favorite races, and I met up with some friends and ran with them through the race. Walked the hills, relaxed and kept an easy feel to it. Chatted, came up with a few plans for Woodstock next week, and tried to put my mind in neutral and just let the miles roll by.

Strangely enough, that's exactly what happened. I saw the mile markers, but didn't let myself think about them. I focused on my breathing, my stride, and on not on any pain I was feeling or how hot or humid it was or really anything much. And it felt pretty good.

My ribs ached quite a bit when going from walking to running, though. And I"m getting some plantar fasciitis. Both of these worry me for Woodstock. Hopefully between Aleve and stubbornness I'll be able to get across the finish line.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week in review

Thoughts for the week-

Weight training makes hills a lot easier. 
Plantar fasciitis bites. 
It's best to go into a race with a plan. Even if it isn't an important race. Even if it's a bad plan.

The hills of highland rec are fun. It's a technical course, and never really seems to let up. And I've spent a lot of time in my own head there, thinking in everything from work gripes to the banality of evil. 

It's scary when it's hard to tell the difference. But I console myself that it's just the run getting in the way of clear thinking. Otherwise the introspection would tread dangerous ground. 

In any case, I've finished the first of three races, on the first of three consecutive weekends, at a distance of one third my next race. No, that wasn't planned. But it's kind of a beautiful pattern. And no, the third race isn't exactly a perfect multiple of three of the second. It's pretty close, though. More on that later, I hope. 

My biggest concern is that this plantar fasciitis doesn't get worse. So far, the lacrosse ball and  kenisotaping seems to be helping. Crossing fingers that more aggressive treatment won't be needed, and I'll be able to do my races. 

After my 16 at highland. I wanted 20, but wanted to TLC my heel more.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Week in review

I've had some really good weeks of running of late; 50-60 miles where I felt good, ran with great people, endured some tough weather without a problem. Bizzards that dumped 18" of snow, negative temps (-30 with wind chill), and that sort of thing.

This week, however, was not so great. What I discovered is that giving blood when trying to train hard for a marathon is a bad idea for me. I had a good weekend, took monday off. Gave blood on tuesday, and ran hard on wednesday. (13 miles, with half mile pick-ups and rest intervals x5). Thursday, at work, after finishing with a patient I kind of lost my balance, and have been feeling kind of off ever since.

It's not a great place to be. But I imagine it will pass with time. Still, I haven't run since wednesday, which means pretty much a wasted week. On the other hand, since I'm not really on any training plan besides "run more miles, some of them faster" and don't really have any time goals, I figure I'm okay.

I am kind of worried about the rather large amount of bone that seems to be growing on the back of my heel just lateral to my achilles tendon. But hopefully it'll go away...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

18 weeks to bayshore; I'm at roughly 25 miles per week running and three hours of mixed cross training- yoga, bike trainer and the like. If it were all running, it would be not unlike having 40 miles per week base, which isn't all that bad.

So, what changes am I going to make starting Monday? Not yet set in stone, but here are a few I'm playing with:

keeping track of food eaten, breaking down servings of grains, fruits, veggies, meats and the like.
being more organized about my training; catch as catch can is all well and good outside of training cycles, but I want to know what I can do when I'm really trying.
Getting to the gym to try longer runs. It's impossible to do them at tempo outside right now, and it may be something I can accomplish on a treadmill.

I'll have to see if I can make it work...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Well, the year in running is taking shape. So far, I've signed up for

3/29 Ann Arbor Half
4/25 Let's Move Half
5/23 Bayshore Full
9/5 Labor Day 30K

~20 weeks to Bayshore. No real goals but to finish, and hopefully have a fun time. Quasi goals of a negative split, and maybe to run the final 10K faster than the first.

Time to start putting together a plan. I'm thinking it'll be based on hours of cardio, weight training 3 days/week, yoga 3 days/week.

We'll see how it goes...