Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter rolls On

Cold trail run in the Carolina Beach State Park

Been staying consistent with running throughout January, despite dealing with a head and sinus cold the past week and a half. Mileage is right where I would like it to be: 4 weeks averaging about 40 miles per week, and transitioning up to closer to 50 miles per week as we move into February. Also, and perhaps most important is that I am running relatively pain free. Some slight discomfort at times (especially when its damp or colder) in my left Achilles, and/ or bottom of right foot. But for the most part it is all systems a go. Which is such a relief not only physically, but mentally in my overall approach to and appreciation for the nuances of the every day run. And hopefully a lesson learned, for a second time. Do not keep running on worn out shoes, not matter how much I like the feel of them.

2 staples of the past month of running have been the Sunday long run, and the harder midweek 10 mile run. Did 14 miles last time out, and plan to progress up the next 3 long runs to 15, 16, 17 miles. Feel like it's an aspect of my running that I have neglected somewhat in the past. Or was only making it a regular part of training plan when targeting and working towards specific longer distance races, like the 30 mile ultra I completed last September. Now I am doing more so for the inherent benefits of such runs; the increase in capillary development and oxygen transport efficiency, and what I have learned of late, the utilization of fast twitch muscles which occurs late in long runs over say 1:30- 2:00.

Last week I gutted out my 10 miler in the midst of the worst of the cold symptoms I was experiencing. Was pleasantly surprised by the effort I was able to put forth, though it totally wiped me out afterwards. Finished the road loop on the island in 1:12:23, which included several miles fighting with a persistent head wind.

Yesterday I completed the course in the fastest time yet, 1:10:44 which equates to a 7:04/ mile pace. Held back a bit the first few miles, in order to kind of experiment to see if by doing I would have another gear or two available later in the run. Which I was happy to find out was the case (was also coming off a decent effort the night before running a hill circuit twice in the CB State Park, but didn't want to wait until the day after to run the 10 miler per the weather forecast). Instead of running miles 5 through 10 in the low 7 minutes/ mile range per usual, I was able to crank out those miles in the 6:45- 6:50 range, except for mile 7 which was into the teeth of a decent northerly breeze.

Saturday mornings been meeting up with some of the Cape Fear Flyers kids I coach, as well as a few parents and fellow coaches. Last Saturday was freezing cold (see picture above) with temperatures around 30 degrees, combined with 20 mph winds. I don't even want to know what the wind chill was.

Staying true to and sticking with the ancillary work. Have added in weightless squats and calve raises to the myrtle routine after runs. Diligently attacking my core work, and some push-ups and free weights. Perhaps it's just my imagination, but certain times in runs I can tangibly feel some benefits especially in the mid section of my body as I move forward. It's as if it's being held together a little more tighter, or there is less wasted motion or deviation from the plain of propulsion my body is running forward in. Anyhow... I'll take it.

Happy Winter Running all-