Sunday, April 8, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 17

The finish line is in sight. Well, not quite literally. But the training plan is about done; a part of me is waxing nostalgic and sad to see it come to and end, and can't wait to start doing all over god willing again one day. Another part of me is relieved and happy, and enjoying some much needed down time from running.

Not that all the running has ceased. Keeping a good bit of the intensity up, but dropping the overall volume. Had a solid, challenging midweek workout, some more hill, and one last longish run.

Met up for breakfast with eight or ten of the fellow Wilmington area runners headed to Boston. We are all excited, hashing out plan, sharing dreams and goals. Once again it is so cool to be doing this together, and to feel part of a small community representing the area. We'll be getting on planes in a couple of days...

Trying as always to remain humble, grounded. Thankful, and grateful. The excitement builds daily within in me. Like a slow, long lasting natural high. I am so looking forward to just being on the actual course, in the actual race- apart from any sort of time goals etc. Its almost hard to fathom after all this time and anticipation it's less than 10 days away

I feel like I have done the work. Not perfectly, but to the best of my ability at all the given times. We all second guess as runners-but I trust the process as much as I trusted it several months ago. Win or lose so to speak, I am determined to finish the deal.

Week # 17 (4/2/18-4/8/18)

Total miles 37.0

Monday:  6 miles. Mostly on the Farm. Easier pace, then 10 x 100m striders at 3-5k pace. Legs felt snappy. Run time- 48:01 (8:00 pace)

Tuesday:  Rest/ recovery

Wednesday:  7.61 miles.  Carolina Beach State Park, to and back. About 2 miles of hills at moderate pace Yellow Blaze and Sugarloaf trails. Felt alright, was warm evening ran shirtless which I enjoyed. Run time- 1:02:09 (8:10 pace)

Thursday:  11.3 miles. WO2. 3 + (3 x 2T, w/ 2 mi jog recovery) + 2. Used Snows Cut bridge loop that we used last Saturday for T running. Pushed pace pretty hard, was a good challenging run. Felt a little off in the miles before. But sort of went away or ran through. Was windy too. Full mile T splits: 6:24, 6:20, 6:29.  Run time- 1:20:29 (7:07 pace)

Friday:  Rest/ recovery

Saturday:  12.12 miles. WO1 5 + 3M + T + 2.  Roads, north end and back and CB neighborhoods. Was humid and about 65-70 early morning started in the dark, and some wind. First M miles felt great, then had to grind some, but wanted it all to be easy, and caught myself thinking about how mot people fret near the actual race about the effort needed to hit M pace (and the attendant how in the hell could I possibly run this for 26 miles?!). Chalked it up, and carried forth. Ran T mile hard, but in control. Splits- 6:37, 6:52, 6:44, 6:10. Run time- 1:30 (7:26 pace)

Friday, April 6, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 16

I'm getting behind and lazy with my blog posts. Troubling reminder of how in my past I had a penchant for not finishing thing that I started, and/or shying away from work. But been trying to stick to a brief passage I read a bit ago from Saint John of the Cross, about suffering, working, and silence being important, to drive out all the "nonsense" in our hearts and minds. I'm badly paraphrasing or attempting to articulate, so I'll stop.

Into taper mode, bringing miles down, though trying not to use that as an excuse to shy away from work. Feel like I've done what I've set out and wanted to do; now it's more a matter of trusting in all that, and erring on the side of rest, and reductions in volume. But of course we all second guess.

And getting more hills in. Something I probably should have been more diligent with earlier in the training. Good WO w. Colin, Rob, and Beth Ann on Saturday. Good talks too about pacing, and the hill etc. Even Colin and Rob somewhat disagreed on their impact on pace and performance.

Of course by now I've read about as much as I can possibly read about pacing, strategy etc. Like I've said to a few people, I'm going to hit go on my watch at the Start line and just run. A bit of an over simplification, but you get the drift.

Perhaps I'm fatigued some overall physically, mentally, spiritually. Which is to be expected. But the butterflies are slowly starting to build in anticipation. We are counting the days... I've got my passport for the expo, app loaded on the phone ....

Week # 16 (3/26/18- 4/1/18)

Total Miles:  52.6

Monday:  Rest/ recovery

Tuesday:  12 miles. WO2. 2 + (4 x 2T, 2 min jog recovery) + 2. Roads of Carolina Beach. Was a bitch of a workout that I had to really grind through; but in the end was exactly what I needed. Running when thing weren't 100% and clicking, having to gut it out under less than ideal conditions. Held up, barely. But I did, almost racing the last 2 miles in about 12:26. Pretending again that Thomas, Paul, Ryan, Amie and Porter were running with me. Thanks guys!  Avg @ 6:15- 6:25 per mile.  Run time- 1:24:26  (7:01 pace)

Wednesday:  7.87 miles. CB + Carolina Beach State Park. 3 miles easier pace of hills in Yellow Blaze and Sugar Loaf trails. Legs beat up from Tuesday. Run time- 1:08:47 (8:44 pace)

Thursday:  9 miles. 6 x snows cut bridge and fairly moderate pace + 6 x 150 I/O striders. Ran in the early morning in the dark. Decent running felt ok, took bridges at a fairly hard effort. More hills ma. Run time - 1:07:48 (7:32 pace)

Friday:  Rest/ recovery

Saturday:  16.06 miles. About 10 trails CBSP, then 3 x 10 minutes in 6:00s on bridge loop w/ Colin, Rob, Beth Ann. Wound down the paces on all 3 clocked a 6:17 mile during last one chasing Rob and Colin back across the bridge. Good overall run and companionship. Took trail easy. Bit colder out too, temps 40s w/ some wind.  Run time- 2:20:44 (8:46 pace)

Sunday:  7.73 miles. CBSP. 2 miles of hills at easy pace. Legs ok, but noticed more discomfort again in left foot. Run time- 1:10:09 (9:04 pace).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 15

And the magic starts to seep in at times... quietly, unsuspecting, in the middle of a run. Perhaps I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The dark night of the soul is close to reaching its end. Who knows?  

The mileage is dropping, the word taper is beginning to be whispered on the lips of those involved in the pursuit.

Felt like my legs had enough in them to do 2 workouts this week after all; as originally I had planned not to coming off the WB marathon. But it was also my birthday, and I have gotten into the habit the last few years of performing a solid run in the dark, wee hours of such a festive day. Which fell midweek, on a Wednesday this week. Good timing...?

Capped it off Saturday feeling real good, itchy good, scary good, doing M pace miles down in Shallotte. Maybe there's something in the water there?

Ah it's healthy to be full of such heady questions. Makes life a little more worth living, don't you think?

Week # 15 (3/19/18- 3/25/18)

Total Miles:  67.2

Monday: Rest/ recovery

Tuesday:  9 miles. Recovery run from the marathon, legs felt half decent. Trails in Carolina Beach State park and finished on the roads. Easy pace. Run time- 1:22:34 (9:10 pace)

Wednesday: 12 miles. WO2. 3 + (3 x 1T w/ 1 min jog recovery) + (3 x 1k w/2 min jog recovery) + (3 x 400m, w/ 400m jog recovery).  Legs a big sluggish, but able to hit close to top speeds in all phases though definitely worked for it. Early morning in dark in CB, birthday morning. T miles @ 6:20. I low 6s pace. 400s in 1:20s.  Run time- 1:28:22 (7:21 pace)

Thursday:  9.15 miles. Felt ok, another early morning run but was much colder out. Wore long pants. Roads + got some off road in on state park roads and by marina. Getting miles in. Run time- 1:20:11 (8:46 pace)

Friday:  9.06 miles. Another early morning run getting miles in. Felt ok. Added 8 x 150 I/O striders. Colder out again. Long pants.  Run time- 1:12:56 (8:03 pace)

Saturday:  18 miles. WO1. 3 + 6M + 1T + 6M + 3. Shallotte roads. Good solid WO. Legs had some nice flow and pop in them. Was even slowing myself a little at times. Perfect weather too. Cloudy 40s and little wind. Splits: 7:50, 7:12, 7:15, 6:52, 6:43, 6:45, 6:46, 6:47, 6:30, 6:33, 6:38, 6:28, 6:43, 6:42, 6:36, 7:40, 7:39.  Run time- 2:04:37 (6:55 pace)

Sunday:  10 miles. Mostly off sides of roads in Shallotte on Copas Rd loop. Legs not too beat up from yesterday. Some left foot pain again (started this week).

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 14

I feel like I'm passing thru the dark night of the soul. The period Christian mystics endured when God seemed the farthest away, and remaining pious was most difficult. But like them I cling to the notion that its always darkest just before dawn, and keep disciplined in executing my runs one at a time, and one mile at a time.

Marathon training will break you down. In fact its a big reason when many plans are designed the way they are. They push the runner to the edge of their pyshiological thresholds, and then seem to demand just a little more. But get thru it, and new vistas sunny and clear stretch out before us.

So my legs endure it, and feel beat up. Now its my right foot that hurts on top, and also around the ankle areas which may be a touch of plantar fasciitis. Passed the one month marker on Thursday. Four weeks to go; its the final push.

Had the awesome pleasure of assisting a runner BQ yesterday while I was pacing at the Wrightsville Beach marathon. Helped (or tried) to help a few other runners along the way as well. Saw the gamut of emotions experienced by the daunting distance etched on so many faces. Got a little warm again, which hindered many a race.

Brought the mileage down into the 60s, and took 2 days off. Shifting the focus to quality, and getting to the start line as healthy as can be. Inspired by so many too, to run and race to my utmost capacity come April 16th. I'm ready to put it on the line, like so many did yesterday.

Week # 14 (3/12/18-3/18/18)

Total miles:  65.7

Monday:  Rest/ recovery

Tuesday:  14 mile. WO2. 6 +  (5 x 1000m, 2 min jog recovery) +  (4 x 400m, 400m jog recovery) + 2. Pretty solid workout considering some general fatigue in legs coming of the mileage last 2 week and 10k race last Saturday. Ran on dirt road on Farm. 1000m averaged in the 3:35- 4:40 range, with a fastest of 3:33 per Strava. 400s in the mid 1:20s, with a fastest of 1:19 (Strava). Run time- 1:15:18 (8:05 pace)

Wednesday:  10.4 miles. Ran a bunch on Magnolia Road on the Farm to get some distance in. Had to really get straight mentally just to get out, and get some decent mileage in. Looped into KB area and back and felt better once again, after the repeated segments on the dirt road. Searched for the magic, and found some there again. Easier miles. Run time- 1:26:41 (8:34 pace)

Thursday:  10.29 miles. Hill blasts in the Carolina Beach State Park, yellow blaze and sugar loaf trails/ hills. Again had to motivate myself to get out, and then to run the hills. Legs beat up and somewhat fatigued, but took hills fairly hard. DST helped all week as it now stays light for almost the entire runs when I go out about 5:45pm after work. Run time- 1:21:14 (7:54 pace)

Friday:  Rest/ recovery

Saturday:  26.38 miles. Pacing 3:40 at WB Marathon. Top of right foot pretty sore at the start, but got a little better as run went on. Ran with Billy Block first 14+ miles until he fell off. Good talks about all the marathons he's done including NYC and Boston. And training etc. Ate several gels and drank some water at the stops. Ran with Clay from about 15-23 mile marker until he fell off. Tired at end but could have kept running many more mile. Run time- 3:39:36 (8:19 pace)

Sunday:  5 miles. Easy to Farm and back. Legs not too beat up. Top of foot sore but maneagable. Run time- 47+ (9:32 pace)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 13

Set a new 10k PR Saturday at the Cardinal Strut 10k of 37:06, which placed me 3rd overall, and top Masters. Stoked about the effort and the result, as it came during another eighty plus mile week, and after running eight miles beforehand.

Some pain has cropped up now in my left Achilles- noticed during the middle of the week. Though good news is that my right Achilles and top of right foot seem to be alright. Talking to Mike, a fellow Boston runner, who's having some tendon trouble behind is one knee- anyhow again the realization is that we are a little dinged and banged up at this point in the training cycle.

And a bit exhausted, physically and mentally. Struggled to find the motivation to get out several nights this week, and to get the mileage in that I knew I wanted to hit for the week. Went back to the farm and "Magnolia Road" one of those nights, which again really seemed to help. Maybe there's a little magic there in that couple of a tenths of a mile of dirt road. Whatever it is, I'll take it.

Felt pleased and pretty good with my other hard workout, which was marathon pace and threshold miles that I did Tuesday evening. Sort of pieced together the two prescribed workouts this week in lieu of the race Saturday.

Reading up a little more too on the race, race weekend logistics etc. And of course all the social media posts. Big news this week was wave and corral assignments, and bib numbers. I landed in wave 1, corral 7- about where others had told me I would. Cutoff for wave 1 was 3:09 and change.

So five weeks out and I'll likely start to bring the weekly mileage down a bit. Pacing the WB marathon this upcoming Saturday, so will do one workout probably Tuesday (haven't looked at weeks WOs yet), and adjust around the race. Plan way back when I started in December was to try and get the bulk of the heavy lifting done by the WB pacing, and have been fortunate enough to pretty much succeed in doing so.

Onto the next week...

Week # 13 (3/5/18- 3/11/18)

Total miles:  81.2

Monday:  8.05 miles. Easy, recovery miles felt ok from Sunday. Mostly in Carolina Beach State Park trails. Run time- 1:08:06 (8:28 pace)

Tuesday:  13.41 miles. WO2. Sort of a hybrid of the listed workout, but pretty much stuck to the premise of alternating some marathon paced miles with threshold miles. Went pretty hard from the get-go. Felt good especially coming off the hilly 20 miler Sunday in Umstead. Pushed last mile about as hard as I could. Splits: 7:50, 6:59, 6:45, 6:42, 6:31, 6:40, 6:46, 6:25, 6:43, 6:46, 6:46, 6:07, recovery in low 9s. Run time- 1:34:24 (7:02 pace)

Wednesday:  9.85 miles. Farm, magnolia road. Extended run then after dark into Kure Beach and back. Felt a wave of calmness kind of wash over me, as I was able to get some more miles in than I thought I'd be able to when I first headed out. Debated taking off too. Run time- 1:28:42 (9:00 pace).

Thursday:  13.22 miles. Hill blasts/ repeats in CBSP then ran roads to North end and back. Took hills fairly hard, responded pretty well. Again searched for and found a little nighttime magic to get the miles in, and stay on task. Can tell though that the grind taking its toll, and a part of me is looking forward to all of it being done. But another part wants to keep going and going. Dancing on the knife blade. More cognizant of left Achilles pain on roads last several miles. Run time- 1:46:35 (8:04 pace).

Friday:  6 miles. Easy to Farm and back, some roads off Ocean Blvd. Thoughts about the race Saturday and getting miles in over the weekend. Run time- 51:43 (8:26 pace)

Saturday:  16.36 miles. 8 miles on roads from Holly Tree Elem school and back. Beasly and Kelly Road. Very enjoyable run running streets / neighborhoods had never run before. Beautiful morning too. Ran past Neva's old house. Hi 7s pace average. Then Cardinal Strut 10k. Spits: 6:16, 6:05, 5:54, 5:48, 6:01, 5:54, 5:30 (pace). Wound pace down and able to rock the PR. Lot of lactic acid after 5:47 mile. Some wind but alternated head/ tail. Cool down 2 miles with Rob, Harrison (2nd place), and Mike. Nice time, chats. Stoked about race.

Sunday:  14.3 miles. CB + mostly CBSP trails. Easy paced. Last 4+ w/ Amie, Sawyer, and Danner. Noticed left Achilles more. Saturday it did not bother me. Wanted to top out mileage over 80 mpw again, and did. Run time- 2:11:26 (9:10 pace).

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 12

The previous week's injuries were runnable this week, and am left with just some dull pain at times on the top of my right foot. Continue to ice and monitor.

Pretty good week overall- a bit of a step down in mileage to the mid to high 70s. Which is a testament to the volume and training that I am doing that such a high number would be a step back or cut back. But as I get within 6 weeks of the Big Day, I'm thinking I should be less focused on mileage totals, and more focused on staying healthy and sharp, and putting myself in the best possible position to get there in one piece

Had a great workout during the week, which reinforced the idea that I can go sub3. Perhaps not at this specific race in Boston; but I know I have what it takes to do it somewhere, sometime.

Great run up at Umstead with some members and friends in the Wilmington Road Runners. Invaluable firsthand advice about Boston, and some excellent hill work spread out over the course of a 20 mile run.

Best thought while running this week- sometimes we have to run tens, hundreds, thousands of miles to get to the magic. Or don't leave until the miracle happens. Hmm, sounded better a few days ago!  Oh well, run on my friends.

On to week 13, and the final third of the training plan.

Week # 12 (2/26/18- 3/4/18)

Total miles= 76.7

Monday: Rest/ recovery. First day off in 15 days.

Tuesday: 9.49 miles. Easier paced miles in Carolina Beach State park and last few after dark on roads. 2+ miles back and forth on hills by Yellow blaze and Sugarloaf. Run time- 1:30:29 (8:29 pace)

Wednesday: 15 miles. WO2. 3 + 8M + 3T + 1.  Roads mostly to Fort Fisher and back in dark and some rain. Really pushed hard and steady, and felt good about the results. Getting more comfortable at the 6:40s pace. Hammered last mile to see what I had in the tank. All splits: 7:44, 7:03, 6:59, 6:42, 6:42, 6:40, 6:33, 6:45, 6:30, 6:39, 6:39, 6:34, 6:09, 8:05, 8:09. Tweaked parameters of WO a bit. Run time 1:43:49 (6:55 pace)

Thursday: 8.72 miles. CBSP til dark + CB roads. 2 miles of easy running on hill. Overall felt ok from the WO. Run time- 1:17:10 (8:51 pace)

Friday: 9 miles. CBSP + CB. Blasted 10 x yellow blaze hill. Felt pretty good, tough bursts of running. Run time- 1:15:53 (8:25 pace)

Saturday: 14.46 miles. Almost all off road, and mainly in CBSP. Very enjoyable run, as the miles just seemed to float on by. Hence the magic coming. One of those days when I felt like all the hard work was coming together into some transcendent bliss. I'll take it, no matter how transitory it may prove to be. Goal was to run for 2 hours, mix things up a bit. Run time- 2:00:04 (8:18 pace)

Sunday: 20 miles. Umstead. Ran with Brenda, Leslie, Kiera mostly. Colin, Heather, Rhonda. Brian, and Patrick. Awesome group run from hotel and back. 17 miles off road, and plenty of tough, challenging hills. Great Boston training run, and conversations about training and the race itself. Run time- 2:49:09 (8:26 pace)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Boston Marathon Training Week # 11

Injury struck, but knock on wood have been able to run through. Though I have had moments of high anxiety, doubts, self pity. My Achilles as of now is fine; its the top of my right foot that is causing me such consternation. Dull pain along the top middle, sort of extending out at times along the individual toe muscle bones and tendons, accompanied by some light swelling. Icing, taking turmeric supplements, and started eating some fruits like blackberries to aid in the reduction of the inflammation.

But I run on, and rack up the miles. Another week over eighty, with two solid workouts thrown in, on seven total runs. No rest days again. Part of my 34 days in the valley planned stretch of high intensity training. No idea why/ where I came up with the name from. But I like it.

Tuesday was kind of feeling sorry for myself. Didn't want to have to do 17 miles after work, in the dark, on a sore foot. A run that would include 8 x 1000m. But I did it, one step at a time, Thought about what Zatopek would do, as I finished reading a biography on him. And how he would say something to the effect of, as long as I my legs can keep moving, I keep running. No excuses.

Though I fret and worry that it is something more serious like a dreaded stress fracture, which people unbeknownst, run through all the time. Until the finally cant. And as Amie suggested wisely, don't Google it. And I said, self diagnosis is a fool's errand. Though by the end of the week, I am more optimistic. Just got play whatever cards I am dealt right?

Felt real good, and real encouraged after Saturday's 13 miles at M pace. Able to consistently run in the mid 6:40s. Could have gone a few more I think too. Hit 16 miles in the run/ workout at 1:51 and change- did the math, and realized I would have needed to run 10.2 miles in 1:09 to break 3. I'm going to keep chasing this dream-man do I want it.

So that helps motivate me to keep the hammer down. Train like you stole it is becoming a mantra of mine.

Warm temps almost the whole week. Humidity too. Shucked tank top during both Tues/ at WOs

Week # 11 (2/19/18-2/25/18)

Total miles: 83.4

Monday: 9 miles. 1.5- 2 miles normal pace hills CBSP Yellow blaze, sugarloaf trails. Roads rest of way. 6 x 150 I/O strides.  Some soreness top of foot, Achilles ok. Run time- 1:15 (8:21 pace)

Tuesday: 17 miles. WO2. 8 + (8 x 1,000m, w/ 2 min jog recovery) + 2.5. See above for mental outlook going into. Fretted too about where to get the first 8 miles. Did some on farm, kept going back and forth on dirt road, hitting yellow gate at one end. Lifted my spirits. Set up 1,000m course new neighborhoods off Ocean Blvd. Went one way, then back 4xs. Felt pretty strong, trying to run 3:45 (6:00 pace). Strava had fasted at 3:28. Looks like I negative split them too. Achilles held up; some top of foot pain. So exhausted latter stages, I forgot how many miles supposed to do, or miscalculated how many left per having total off. Also on c/d couldn't quite figure out where I was, lost track of if had crossed over Ocean. Kinda cool in a perverse way. Run time- 2:10:35 (7:39 pace)

Wednesday: 8.3 miles. Easy in CBSP and a few on the roads. Felt ok. Run time- 1:14:50 (9:01 pace)

Thursday: 10.02 miles. CBSP hills, 10 x yellow blaze hill front and back sides. Ran fairly hard, legs going to jelly near top of hills. Finished on roads and boardwalk. Felt almost high mentally/ spiritually last few miles in the dark closer to ocean. Good vibe. Run time- 1:25:14 (8:30 pace)

Friday: 11.15 miles. Early morning run again so can have 24+ hour rest before Saturday WO. River road loop. Decent run but legs felt pretty beat up from the hills the night before. Warm, foggy morning. Steady pace. Getting mileage in run. Run time- 1:30:03 (8:04 pace)

Saturday: 18 miles. WO1. 3 + 13M + 2. W/U on farm, then took rout down into KB, back thru back roads, Snows Cut bridge 2x, some of North End. Solid workout. Got caught in some tropical like downpours early, started a little past 6am. M splits: 6:43, 6:45, 6:42, 6:45, 6:45, 6:43, 6:44, 6:49, 6:44, 6:40, 6:36, 6:43, 6:40. Putting myself in position, or sub3 in the crosshairs as I posted on my IG page. Also posted pics of KB pier on the Boston Training FB page.  Run time- 2:07:08 (7:04 pace)

Sunday: 9.92 miles. CBSP w/ Colin, Josh, Justin F. Easier trail miles, good times. Talking about all of our upcoming marathons. They eventually did 20. Legs felt alright after Saturday. Run time- 1:28:11 (8:53 pace)