Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Days 43 & 44 - Semi-Beat

Sun. - ~25 min. Ran without the watch, pulled it in easy because I was feeling pretty awful.
Mon. - 52 min. Late, cold, rainy, cloudy. Not a bad ran, though. Floated. However, I can feel a few uneasy twinges in the knees and feet.

Long run tomorrow? I may post-pone it. My legs are sore for the first time in quite awhile. I don't want to push a long run if I am not going to get the best workout from it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Days 41 & 42

Fri. - Day off, recovering from long run.
Sat. - 1:11:44 - Out and back course. Out almost all downhill, and, yes, the way back uphill. A little soreness on the inside of my knee.

Week Six Total - 364 minutes (6 hrs., 4 min.) in 6 sessions - not bad!

On Thursday, I will be leaving for Berlin. This, of course, is going to make everything a bit more uncertain for the next several weeks. I doubt I'll be able to run every day this coming week, nor should I. But, because it keeps me sane and motivated, I'll give a very tentative plan:

Week Seven Plan: 45/60/120/40/30/30/75 - 400 minutes

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 40 - It's Been a Long, Long, Long Time

Thurs. - 2:03:48!

So, back in June 2005, I was at my thus-far peak lifetime mileage of around 55 mpw. (I was training for HS cross country at the time.) I ran my long run of about 2 hours that week, then ended up busting my knee up walking my dog, then getting an ITB injury, and then ended up taking a month off which culminated in my first cross country race of the season, which went miserably. I quit.

Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 6:05 p.m., I laced up for my redemption. I got it last night. Not only did I run my longest run in 4 years--I ran longer than I have ever, period.

I ran on a rough gravel trail that lead out into the otherwise untamed boreal forests of the far-north of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I had to outsprint a hungry black-fly or six, saw a fox that saw me and then scampered away, and saw more deer than I thought feasible. Every single one had a tendency to stand dumbfounded in the middle of the trail ("What the deuce is that hairless thing with those short-shorts running at me?!?" I imagine each one thinking) until galloping off. A couple of blackbears have been spotted hanging out in residential areas around here, so I was on the lookout for those, too. (Didn't see any, fortunately or unfortunately.)

The unevenness of the trail really beat up on my legs and ankles, though I imagine it was a fair trade-off with what asphalt/concrete would have done. I also like imagining that I'm building some good ankle strength and agility. There was a huge, steep hill smack-dab in the middle of my run--that's probably where a minute or two got added onto the eventual positive split. That, and I noticed on my way back that there was a very gradual slope leading out, which meant, obviously, that I was running up it on the way back.

I was exceptionally drained after the run. Not in the fast/hard run sense--it was throughout my body, as though each cell had been sucked dry. I went to bed really early. It's morning now, and I feel excellent--the run is almost entirely out of my legs. I was prepared to take a day off, but I almost want to head out the door right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 39

Weds. - 41:30, steady. Felt pretty good. Another tinge in the plantar fascia which I am going to keep an eye on.

Day 38 - Yes, indeed.

Tues. - 59:32, negative split, felt truly amazing. As I turned around at the half-way point, I suddenly realized I had been going downhill for quite sometime. As I slogged back up the gradual but weirdly long incline, I lost some spirit--but then it evened out, the weather had cooled, I took of my shirt and just glided. Great feeling.

A more negative note on diet: it really needs a shake-up. I have a body that sticks a chosen weight and aesthetic make-up and will stay there regardless of how many or few calories I eat and no matter how much or how little I exercise. Right now, at 5'11'', I weigh 155 lbs. I don't weigh myself often but, except for a miserable three month period, my body has been this weight essentially since I quit running. (During that three month period I rapidly ballooned to 170.) When I was training and racing seriously (how long ago that was...), I weighed in at 140-145.

Now, I'm not that concerned with my actual weight in terms of numbers--that can be composed in all sorts of ways, some healthy and some unhealthy. But I also know that 15 lbs. of weight can make a HUGE difference in weight times. And I know that my eating habits are miserable. Like last night: I ate a footlong roast beef sub from Quiznos and went on my run. I decided not to eat after, and was fine until right before bed. Suddenly, the old stomach roars and I end up eating a boal of Honey Nut Cheerios, a popsicle, and half a bag of Doritoes. That, and I have this strange addiction to/dependency on energy drinks and (diet) cola. This is as much of a goal for me, now, as upping my training volume: losing 10-15 lbs, and eating more nutritiously overall.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Days 36 & 37 - Hrmph.

Sun. - 38 min. Felt really good so I went a bit long. May not have been a great idea. (The whole way back was alllllll uphill.)
Mon. - 31 min. I wanted to go an hour and said to myself "I'll run an hour if it kills me." However, my plantar fascia was bothering me, and then my hip acted up, too. Gof igure. Brought it in after one loop.

This morning I walked about 35 minutes to meet my grandfather for coffee. Sat around for an hour or so and then walked back. It's really humid and pretty hot for this part of the country. Was taxing enough to write down here. I think I'll try for an hour tonight and then move the long run to Thursday.

I'm leaving for Germany next Thursday, and god only knows how that will affect my training. I'm sure the next year--and especially the next month or so--will consist of a ton of finding oneself and whatnot. I'll also be pretty damn busy with five hours of language classes per day, five days per week. But I think running will lack any sort of boredom aspect for a good long while. What better and cheaper way is there to explore Berlin?

So, I'm going to get in next week's long run on Wednesday (morning, preferably), and so am trying to hit this week;s earlier as well. We'll see how I feel tonight. I need to stop getting out the door at 10 p.m. I'm beat by then. But it's also too damn hot and humid during the main daylight hours for a pleasant run.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Days 32 - 35: Ramblin' On

So, this week ended up way off from where I wanted it to be. However, I supply as my excuse the fact that I was moving out of my apartment, out of Ann Arbor, and back to my northerly hometown for 10 days before heading out to Germany. (P.s., holy shit am I pumped.)

Weds. - 48:27, steady.
Thurs. - 30 min., steady/strong.
Fri. - Off - packing, saying tear-filled good-byes, and so on.
Sat. - 1:16:07 on poor nutrition and very little sleep after a 10 hour drive - felt like shit.

Week 5: 215 minutes (3 hrs., 35 min.)

Goal for Week 6: 30/60/40/60/30/40/90 - 330 min. (5 hrs., 50 min.)

It looks like a big jump, but I think I'll be able to handle it so long as I keep the 3 longer runs at an easy, manageable pace. Hell, most of this bump is just adding in running in the two days per week I've been missing it up to now. There are also a lot of trails around here, which will minimize the pounding. I've toyed around with a few long-range schedules here and there, but have mainly been using the "Beginner's Marathon" guide in Arthur Lydiard's Running to the Top.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Days 29 - 31 - Knocking on Wood is Recommended

So, I seem to have been cursed by saying I would not be taking any days off this week. I started out the week, in fact, with two days off. Oh well. The 60 min. run I took yesterday felt great, and I held an 8:30-8:40 pace for about 7 miles. I feel like the rest may actually have contributed to a real step-up in fitness. (Super-compensation and whatnot.)

Sun. - Off, groin was in pain all day.
Mon. - Went to a barbecue that ended up lasting until about 11 at night, so passed on the run.
Tues. - 7.00 miles, 1:01:01 (8:43/mile) - really good-feeling run.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Days 26 - 28

Thurs. - Ankle recovered remarkably fast. 30 min., easy.
Fri. - 50 min., lots of hills in the woods.
Sat. - 1:30:01, 10.11 miles (8:54/mi.). Several long, gradual hills that made the pace rather uneven. Felt great, although after I woke up from a nap, I almost decided not to go. 

Week 4 - 0/30/60/0/30/50/90 = 260 min. (4 hrs., 20 min.)

The goal for next week is to avoid the accidental 2-days-off-per-week I've fallen into. This coming week is my last in Ann Arbor, and my second to last in America! I'm feeling a bit sad, but I want to explore as much of the city on foot as I can with the time I have left. I want to bring myself up to at least 5 to 6 hours of running this week, approaching my ultimate base goal of around 9 hours per week:

30/40/60/40/60/40/100 = 370 min. (6 hrs., 10 min.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Days 22-25 - Dammit.

Sun. - Off, traveling.
Mon. - 30 min., easy.
Tues. - 60:10, easy. (Followed by over an hour of walking)
Weds. - Off...walked another hour or so in the morning (friends visiting), which I think put me over the edge. The front of my ankle/shin (where the two come together) is swollen and in pain. Going to give it a day or two. I'm pretty depressed/pissed about this; but what can a person do?

The week is shaping up to be a loss, overall. Hopefully it's just one week, and not four or five or eight. Sigh.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Days 18-21 - Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Weds. - 70 min., steady. Felt great.
Thurs. - 30 min., easy.
Fri. - Off (travelling/family obligations)
Sat. - 10k race in 47:50 (7:43/mi.) + warmup

The race was on Mackinac Island, for the Lilac Festival. There were no lilacs in bloom, and the weather was pretty chilly--which was great for running. I didn't hammer it down, and basically felt an aerobic limit. My goal was to run the race in under 50 minutes, which I did, in a convincing fashion. I think it's a good place to be at at the end of my third week of training, and after four years of a sedentary pack-a-day lifestyle.

This time suggests a couple of things. First of all, my VDOT number falls right around 42 (down from a peak of 57 in 2005). This translates to a marathon time of about 3:40. I have faith in my ability to run a 3:10:59 or better by the end of October (which would qualify me for Boston).

Week 3: ~250 min. (4 hrs., 10 min.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Day 17 - Awesome Run

30:19, steady. Ran while my girlfriend biked next to me. Did the same route of my very first run since the lay off; went a decent bit farther in the same amount of time, though. I felt great the whole way. Long run tomorrow and no-pressure 10k race on Saturday.

Days 15 and 16

Sunday - Off, felt worn-down.
Monday - Watch battery died after about a minute of running, so I went out and ran in the woods without paying attention to time. It felt pretty good. Really hilly course. I think I ran for between 40 and 50 minutes.