Monday, January 15, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 5

Big week, biggest mileage so far with 81 miles, as I near the completion of the first third of my 18 week Boston training plan. Time tends to fly a little when one gets into the teeth of such an endeavor. Fortunately the weather was better, as temperatures actually were quite mild a few days-I even ran in a tank top and was cognizant of humidity levels Thursday. What a contrast for sure

Physically I feel pretty good; still some tightness, or stiffness in my right knee at times, especially coming off harder workouts like on Friday. Also one of my toes on a right foot sore; feels like an ingrown nail, or perhaps a blister behind the nail. Did have to wear two pairs of socks on some of the real cold days, which may have contributed to.

Focusing more on being grateful for being involved in the 2018 Boston journey, and each attendant run, and subsequent mile. It can be a real grind-any marathon or ultra training is-and taking a few moments either before, or during the runs themselves helps keep me grounded and appreciative to be in the position that I am in. Repeating often the phrase "each mile" within runs, and giving thanks for each mile completed.

Staying connected with my friends locally who are training not only for Boston, but other marathons as well, and people I follow via social media. We all can inspire each other, especially to get through the tougher days, run, and weeks.

Had a conversation Saturday at lunch with a non-running friend about why I do all of this. Found it tough on some levels to articulate my thoughts without sounding half crazed, or like some self-made martyr. But its ok, we both laughed about it.

Speaking of food, been eating eating eating. Love it!  Trying to avoid sugar and processed food, though fell off that wagon some this weekend celebrating my Dad's 74th birthday. Also, been consuming 2 or 3 gels most runs. Figure it also helps keep my overall caloric intake up, plus it helps to have something to look forward to in the runs. Loving the vanilla, and salted caramel flavors!

Week #5 (1/8/18- 1/14/18)

81.1 miles total

Monday:  17 miles. WO#2. 8  + 5 x 1k I pace (jog recover rest of mile) + 800m, 400m + 3. Ran of roads at night Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Solid workout, worked hard and felt pretty good. First 8 miles ran steady pace, down into low-mid 7s. Tried to run the 1000s in 3:45 or less (6:00 pace), and averaged low 3:40s. 2:54 800m, 1:24 400m. Good workout to be able to get the legs to turnover fast after all the miles already run in the workout.  Run time: 2:06:52 (7:27 pace)

Tuesday:  10 miles. CB + Carolina Beach State Park. Ran 5-6 hill repeats on yellow blaze trail hill and sugar loaf. Harder pace up hill. Need to start incorporating more regularly- hills. Felt okay coming off harder Monday. Took roads after dark on the roads pretty easy. Did as much as I could in state park/ trails before darkness. Run time- 1:24:26 (8:26 pace)

Wednesday: 12.59 miles. CBSP + CB roads after dark. Easier, flowing pace. Liked hearing the sound of the ocean as I approached running onto the North End and back, used as motivation to get more miles in. The sound and the fury. Felt blessed to be out there, and more able to meet the challenge of so many miles. Adjusting to needing to put down 10+ miles most runs in order to hit weekly targets on "singles". Thought back to Running with the Buffaloes and the mentality of Goucher and the XC runners. Using as motivation going forward. Run time- 1:48:19 (8:36 pace)

Thursday: 18.04 miles. WO#1. 8 + 2 x 2T, 2 min jog recovery + 3 + 2T + 1. Amended WO a bit to be more like one form 2 weeks ago that I changed to meet Colin and Justin in CBSP. Wanted to get the mileage in before the threshold miles. Ran first 8 miles steady pace in 7s. T miles 6:16, 6:32, 6:23. Then 6:13, 6:29. Felt good about the workout, worked hard on T miles. Last 2 I pretended that Thomas, Ryan, Paul were running a 2 mile time trial with me. Pleased able to hit paces I did on feel after the accumulated mileage (started last 2T at 15 miles in). Nice running in a tank-top, almost debated going shirtless. Temps well into the 60s in late afternoon. Humid. Run time- 2:10:45 (7:15 pace)

Friday: 9.53 miles. Easy pace, mostly run on the CBSP trails. Got caught in some heavy showers in the morning, was kind of cold and wet for a point in the run. Was about 60-65, but only had t-shirt on which got soaked along w/ shorts and baseball cap. But sun came out later in run and felt good. Right knee pretty stiff in beginning of run; almost had to will it to move. Legs fairly beat up from Thursday, but did loosen up on trails  Run time- 1:26:58 (9:08 pace)

Saturday:  14 miles. Early morning, roads of CB North End, down into KB area middle of island. 9 + 6 x 150 I/O striders + 3M + 1. Was going to run hills in CBSP but decided to change up and get more miles in on the roads. Got it into my head to hit 80 miles on the week, but then goofed by one on the math. Need to also get back to doing striders more. Decided to throw in the 3 at M pace near end of run. Felt pretty good doing. Again thinking about Running with the Buffaloes and the high weekly mileage thru singles. Pushing/ motivating myself to get the extra mile(s) ends of run to add to the weekly tally, and add marginal fitness gains. Run time- 1:50:06 (7:52 pace).

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Boston Marathon Traing week# 4

Cold, cold, cold. Snow and ice-what a week?  Crazy winter weather here in coastal North Carolina. But despite the challenging elements, week #4 was a success. Over 77 miles, on 6 days (runs). Couple days of ancillary work too, and my right knee only bothers me on occasion.

Less than a 100 days until Boston- loved seeing the picture posts from the BAA this week on Facebook and Instagram. Also inspired and in awe of all the running people are doing in much, much colder climates than here. Been brutal all over the US it seems.

Have actually become accustomed to dressing in many layers, wearing long pants. Making sure to cover most any areas of exposed skin. Wearing a hoo rag around my neck, and even pulling it up over my face on Sunday morning's frigid adventure run.

So onward goes the journey-trying to constantly remind myself to take it one workout, one run, and sometimes one mile at a time. Have come up with my own little mantra of each mile, which I hashtag in my mind as #eachmile. Is especially helpful on the more difficult parts of run; whether I be struggling mentally at the time, or physically, especially in the midst of threshold or marathon pace miles.

Very blessed and grateful to be on the road to Boston. Had a little moment of prayer and thanks Sunday after the last run of the week was complete, and I was back inside my warm home. Wonderful to be able to share with others. Here's to another fantastic week, and surmounting the obstacles when they come our way.

Week#4 (1/1/18- 1/7/18)

77.4 miles total

Monday: 10 miles. Ran loops in Carolina Beach State Park to alleviate some exposure to the wind and cold. Easy to moderate pace, almost all off road. Good way to start 2018. Run time: 1:18:41 (7:52 pace)

Tuesday: 17.85 miles. WO2. Amended a bit from Jack Daniels plan due to meeting Justin and Colin. Ended up 2E + 7T + 8.85E. Wore long tights like pants that Amie got me for Xmas (love em) w/ shorts over top. Felt fairly decent on T miles. Splits: 6:38, 6:28, 6:37, 6:45, 6:25, 6:52, 6:44. Variations some due to slight up/ down on CBSP roads + wind. Trails w Colin & Justin easy pace thru park, then 1.5 roads back home.  Run time: 2:21:21 (7:55 pace)

Wednesday:  9.22 miles. Roads Carolina Beach + trails in state park. Easy pace, legs not too bad or beat up from Tuesday. Good sign. Run time: 1:21:33 (8:51 pace)

Thursday:  11 miles. Snow adventure run!  Got about 1-2 inches on top of ice Wed eve. Roads very slick. Trails beautiful. Nice crunchy snowpack; ice on trees looked so pristine and virgin. Bundled up and ran easy pace.  Run time: 1:49:15 (9:55 pace)

Friday: 18.08 miles. WO1. 2E + 8M + 1T + 2M + 1E + 2M + 2E. Good workout, especially considering long pants, layers, and having to slow for ice/snow patches on the road. Almost fell bad once, had a bit of a seeing God moment. Though did not fully deter me from perhaps not making the best running choices for safety sake. First few miles felt sluggish, legs no pop. Plus mentally was already bagging it, making excuses. But recovered mentally, and the body followed after several miles in. Also choosing to just run on the main road helped, as was for most part available to avoid ice. Run itself was a hard grind at times; took a lot of effort. But pleased with overall results. Splits: 7:13, 7:07, 7:07, 7:16, 7:42 (slipped, almost fell bad), 7:01, 7:03, 6:56, 6:45, 7:07, 6:51.....  6:48, 6:48 Put head down and went on last 2 miles, did not check watch except for split beep. Checked watched more early on, and kept thinking I should be running faster per effort. So didn't look at as much  latter miles-and was faster. But also surface change to avoid ice. First few miles was hitting road patches every other block, or so it seemed-that had to slow down on. Roads to KB, back to CB to north end and back, then KB and back again on Lake Park. Run time: 2:14:49 (7:28 pace)

Saturday: Rest/ Recovery

Sunday:  11.31 miles. CBSP to Dow Chemical plant, Dow-Hamlet Road way back. Freezing cold, wind chill 5. Bundled up. Fun run though w/ Colin, Justin, Dan, English Rob, Rob R. Trails and some bush wacking. Forgot to watch start after a stop, so run probably 1/2 mile longer. Ran around bay area never had been, low tide and ice. Hadn't seen old plant ruins in many years, plus was snow covered. Wish we would have had a camera for a picture. Hands so cold before Dow road and run back, couldn't tie open show. Came back last 2-3 miles w. Rob R. Nice chat about marathon plan, he's doing Wrightsville Beach, and wants to improve on 3:16 December at Kiawah. Into wind, and in shade was brutal-couldn't feel our faces, and my hoo rag on neck/face had become too frozen to wear anymore on face. Took awhile to warm up once home. Legs good, some tightness, slight pain in right knee, especially when bush wacking.  Run time: 1:57:01 (pace 10:21).

Monday, January 1, 2018

Boston Marathon Training- Week#3

Knock on wood, but my right knee has been feeling better the past few days. Now the big concern is the bitter cold weather. Very cold for coastal North Carolina, with wind chills in the teens at times. I'm not a big fan of running in this type of weather, though I do have plenty of experience going back to my years of upbringing in Pennsylvania. But I never marathon trained then, and most of the running I would have done in winter weather was at an easier pace, and more than likely under ten miles a run.

But such are the challenges when training, for any distance or race. Things come up, and we as runners handle them the best we can. Plus I think it sharpens the focus of taking each run one at a time.

Had a good week from a training perspective, including a real hard threshold based workout. Achieved weekly mileage target range I was shooting for. Also got to work for two days at the inaugural Carolina Beach State Park half marathon- grateful for the work, and time spent with fellow runners. Also spent several hours New Years Eve at a party with several friends training for either Boston, or other marathons and half marathons this coming spring. Always great to talk shop; we can all learn from each other.

Got 2 days of circuit training in: planks/ core + leg work. Need to continue to up. Also got TRX ropes from Amie for upper body work.

As mentioned, the weather will certainly make week #4 upcoming a bit more difficult. But here's a look back first at week #3.

Week#3 (12/25-12/31)

75.1 miles total

Monday:  11.62 miles. Early morning Xmas run in Richmond. First two easy with my Dad to/ thru Deep Run Park. Mix of the dirt single track trails, and asphalt in park and surrounding roads. Had Jingle Bells song in my head half the run. Ran several hills near the end of run at a brisker pace.  Windy and cold. Run time: 1:43:46 (8:56 pace)

Tuesday: 17 miles. WO2. 5E + 4T + 3T + 2T + T + 1 w/ 4 min, 3min, 2min jog recovery. Shallotte- Copas Road, front side of town loop. Quality run, first 5 miles brought pace down into 7:20/ 7:30s range on feel, then ran first T mile in 6:29 w/o looking at watch. Decided to run remainder of T miles on feel, only checking watch at mile marks, and to keep track of recovery. Held pace in mid 6s range throughout. Full T miles: 6:27, 6:35, 6:23, 6:38...  6:25, 6:34 ... 6:24... 6:34. Legs though were pretty well trashed by end, and I questioned whether I ran too hard. But was very pleased able to hold paces that I did, so went with it.  Run time- 1:59:34 (7:02 pace).

Wednesday:  7.43 miles. Shallotte-Brierwood+ next neighborhood. Easy pace, legs really beat up from Tuesday, was almost hard to run the first mile or so. Quads and calves real sore.  Run time- 1:06:24 (8:57 pace)

Thursday:  Rest/ recovery

Friday:  11.36 miles. Shallotte- 2x extended Brierwood loop. Ran real early, 6am. Very cold, some light ice too. Wind chill below 20. Gradual progression type run, down to 7:05- 7:20 range last 5 to 6 miles. Legs felt much better though, fairly recovered from Tues. Run time- 1:27:27 (7:41 pace)

Saturday:  18.36 miles. WO2. 2.36 miles CB State Park after race (looking for lost? runner). 16 miles roads CB-Kure Beach with Amie. Did her WO, 2E + 12M + 2E. Marathon miles around 8:00. Good steady run, but was mentally and physically struggling some. Out at CB State Park mostly standing since 5:30am at race. Ran at 1pm. Wind was a bit of a pain going towards KB. Glad that we did Sat afternoon instead of Sunday morning. My WO2 called for 18 miles steady, so worked out well running w/ Amie. Run time-2:14:15 (8:16 pace)

Sunday:  9.4 miles. CB + CB State park trails, offroad campground loop 2xs. Ran w. Amie again. Easy pace. Had on long pants due to cold. Temps in low-mid 30s with wind chills around 20. Just wanted to get miles in to hit 75 on week. Not the most fun of runs. Run time 1:33:34 (9:57 pace)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Bostom Marathon Training- Week#2

On to week#2, and the only small concern I have of now is some nagging discomfort, stiffness in my right knee. Perhaps a touch of tendonitis. Though I have had on and off again (fortunately mostly off) issues with my right knee the past several years, usually manifesting during a marathon or ultra-marathon training cycle.

Have also run the most miles in two consecutive weeks that I have since somewhere in the fall of 2016 leading up to the Richmond marathon. Perhaps at the far end of the range of an increase in mileage, coupled with the intensity of the two workouts per week. Increased from the mid 50s range to 70 mpw.

But it has also spurred me to get back into doing some basic leg strengthening exercises, and stretching. Also starting back up with the core work, which I took about a month break from due to some upper back pain. Brought on ironically my lifting free weights and doing push-ups to strengthen upper body,. Amie suggests starting to use TRX bands which she has and can teach me.

In general, I have learned that it's dang near impossible to marathon train without some attendant aches and pains along the way. Like all of us, I knock on a gigantic piece of proverbial wood that the running gods keep me relatively healthy. Knowing full well that I've got to put in the time on preventative measures. Laziness will not suffice here.

Overall happy to be where I am in the early stages of the endeavor. Had a nice chat with Brenda about her Boston training, she is using one of the BAA plans on their website. Picked up my Boston running socks from her and like. Wore on Friday's WO.

As always it's a run at a time, and a week at a time. Merry Christmas all, may we find peace and joy this holiday, on and off the roads.

Week#2  (12/18- 12/24)

72.4 miles total.

Monday:  10+ miles in Shallotte, Copas Road loop. Tried to stay almost exclusively on the grass and dirt next to the asphalt. Kind of a pain to do in some spots, since Copas road being repaired. But want to take advantage of soft surfaces during daylight runs while I can. Legs felt ok. Run time- 1:23:49 (8:15 pace)

Tuesday: 15 miles. Q2 workout. 5 + 5 x 1000m I, w/2 min jog + 6 x 400m R, w/400m jog + 1.5. Tough workout, ran the first five miles (well down into the 7s)  a bit quicker to get the legs going, and run a little out of them before the fast sections. Ran the 1000m repeats at about hi 5s, was aiming for sub 6:00. Grinded out, but handled okay. 400s were only 5:30s-5:40s. I say only, since on fresh legs could be turning quarters in 1:15-1:20 range (5:00- 5:20 pace). But much different running 400s after 10+ miles that has included 5,000m at close to race pace, then running off say 3-4 miles easy. Overall- pleased with effort and results. Took a lot of concentration. Used roads near Dad's house, made up about a 1.5 mile loop used for workout. Temps in 40s, bit of a wind.   Run time- 1:54:12 (7:37 pace).

Wednesday: 10.7 miles. Similar run as Monday, route and staying off road. Legs beat up some from Tuesday, which was to be expected. Mileage day. Run time- 1:31:59 (8:35 pace).

Thursday: Rest/ Recovery day

Friday: 18 miles. Q1 workout. 3 + 3T + 9.5 + 2T+ .5. First 3 miles roads to North End, 8+ pace. T miles 6:27, 6:16, 6:26 roads North End to CB state park. Felt pretty good, a little concentration lapse 3rd mile as pace fell to 6:40. Met Colin and Justin F ran trails CBSP, good chunk of 1/2 marathon course. Good discussions about marathon race day fueling, pre race nutrition. Justin may run 1st marathon WB in March, hopes to BQ. Average a little under 9 mins/ mile. Then 2T on roads out of park back into Carolina Beach town. Put down a 6:17 on full timed T mile, was pleased with. Ran it hard, stayed real focused. Cloudy, some lighter rain, about 50-55. Another good WO. Run time- 2:22:59 (7:56 pace)

Saturday: 11 miles. In Richmond. First 4.5 w/Dad about 11 mins/ mile. To and around macadam trails Deep Run Park. Some hills. Last 6+ mostly on dirt, leaf covered single track trails in park. Pretty run. Legs not too after Friday, also drove 4.5 hours. Run time- 1:47:21 (9:45 pace)

Sunday: 7.5 miles. Richmond, sisters neighborhood again + Deep Run Park mostly macadam trails. 4.75 miles w/Dad about 11 mins/ mile pace. Then did about 7 hill repeats average length 250-300m, fairly steep grade. Pace in the 7:00 range, pushed fairly hard. Colder temps low 40s (60-65 degrees Saturday, but windy). Run time- 1:14:41 (9:54 pace).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Boston Marathon Training. Week# 1

Last week began the 18 week journey towards Beantown. It is still hasn't fully sunk in. Was having a conversation to that effect with Colin, and he said it didn't fully sink in for him until 5 minutes before the gun went off there, or something to that effect. And I'm rapidly turning into a Boston Marathon junkie now. Today I got two pair of socks delivered that say Boston Strong 26.2. Plus I am enjoying connecting with not only runners that I know locally who are training for this marathon, but athletes across the country, and all over the globe via social media. Bottom line: I am so very grateful to be a new member of this community, and blessed to be embarking on the journey. Soaking as much of it up as I can, and taking it one run at a time. Or trying to.

Plus, my last marathon was my BQ race at Richmond, VA November 12, 2016.  Spent most of 2017 running and training for shorter races, mostly 5ks. Lowered my PR to 17:40. So I have not trained for a long race in over a year. Suffice it to say I have the itch, tempered with the memory of how hard it can be.

Following one of the Jack Daniel's marathon training plans contained in the Third Edition of Daniels' Running Formula. 18 weeks w/ 2 quality runs per week, mileage range 71-85 mpw.

Week #1   (12/11-12/17)

66.1 miles total

Monday:  8+ miles easier pace, 6 on trails in Carolina Beach State Park. 5 x 150m In/ Out striders @ 5k pace. 1st day of The Plan!  Run time- 1:12:06 (8:43 pace)

Tuesday:  17 miles. Q2 workout. 8E + 2 x 4T w/ 4 mins rest + 1E.  This was hard, struggled holding threshold pace especially last 2 miles, but was running into a 10-15 mph head wind. First 8 miles trails CBSP, then roads to North End of Pleasure Island & back.  T miles 6:46, 6:39, 6:55, 6:46. 4 minutes complete rest (something new for me, I usually slow jog).Then  6:51, 6:40, 7:03, 7:01. Really had to push hard latter parts of each T set. Also not accustomed to running so many miles (8), then getting into the workout. One of the necessary adjustments I will need to make.  Run time- 2:11:25 (7:44 pace)

Wednesday: 13.1 miles. CBSP trails w/ Colin, 4 miles w/ Justin. Ran the 1/2 marathon course for the race 12/30. Cold, windy afternoon. Easier pace, hi 8s. Good conversations about training & Boston. Nice to have good friends who have run before, and are going again. Convinced me (as of now) to go for sub3 hours there. Colin's goal sub 2:50.  Legs a bit beat up from Tuesday, but held up ok. Run time 1:58 (8:58 pace)

Thursday:  Rest/ recovery

Friday:  5 miles. In Shallotte 5 mile loop in Brierwood community from Dad's house. Easy pace. 5 x 150 I/O striders sub 5k pace.  Run time- 44:27 (8:53 pace)

Saturday:  18 miles Q1 workout. 5 + 6M + 1T + 5M + 1E.  Roads in Shallotte. Solid workout very encouraging, but don't want to get ahead of the game nor jinx myself (I can be a superstitious bleep). Average pace was 7:01 for the 12 miles. 7:18, 7:07, 7:08, 7:10, 6:55, 6:57, 6:43 (T), 7:03, 6:58, 6:53 7:07, 6:50.  Ideal weather, 32 and sunny, no wind start of run. Run time: 2:14:11 (7:27 pace)

Sunday:  4.6 miles. Shallotte roads (tried to mainly stay in the grass of yards), Dad's neighborhood. Easy, recovery miles. Leg heavy, some discomfort right knee. Overall ok.  Run time 44:01 (9:35 pace).

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

why I run?

Why? Love I think is at the root of any answer I can possibly begin to articulate. And here language may ultimately fail as the medium of conveyance from the inner to the outer world. Suffice it to say, on the open roads and trails is where I'm meant to be. God winks as he lovingly watches me fulfill perhaps the most urgent task he asks of all of us-that is to nurture and accept ourselves. For in doing so, we are more apt to extend kindness and empathy to those in our fold.

At times I'm afforded lightning fast glimpses behind the veil-the Oneness hiding in plain sight in the temporal world is hinted at. Her riddles may ride the cool breezes on a summer day, or stretch themselves in pinks and purples across the late afternoon winter sky.

why I run?  Ultimately I think that is a question who's answer will never be fully defined. And I'm ok with that. For each run is a renewal of faith, and a testament to the belief in all that is good throughout the kingdom we trod on through, one step at a time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fall season complete. Onto Boston

Wrapped up my fall running season with a 17:48 5k at the Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. Finished in 5th place overall out of close to 2,000 runners. Was actually the first time in my running career that I had participated in a race on Turkey day.

Felt good about the results- splits were 5:55, 5:40, 5:45 on a pancake flat course with not too many turns. Went out fast (too fast) the first 400 meters or so, but was hard not to being near the front of such a large, and competitive field. Checked my watch and was running a 5:25 pace-dialed it back and settled in then while watching the race play out ahead of me. Counted runners as I approached the mile mark, and was sitting in 15th place.  (Note: 43 runners finished sub20)

Picked off a few runners just past the bridge that connects the two islands, then steadily reeled in a small pack of runners during the second mile, most of which is a straight shot along Lumina Avenue, the main drag in the town of Wrightsville Beach. Wind was at our backs, which helped aid a fast 2nd mile. Overall the weather was fairly ideal with temperatures in the low to mid 40s, though there was a persistent wind in the 10-15 mph range. When not running, it felt chilly out.

Passed the last two runners I would pass just as we went back across another bridge spanning the open channel waters, and held onto 5th place the remainder of the race. Finished with a fairly strong kick, as my garmin registered the last .11 miles of the race at a 4:44 pace.

Pleased with the fall-for the most part followed again a Jack Daniel's 5k training plan, and averaged in the 50s for weekly mileage. Hi-lights include winning the Hunger Run 5k in 17:58- my 7th road racing win of my adult career.

Next up-Boston. And an 18 week training plan starting on December 11th. Here's to new running goals and adventures my friends!

Run on-