Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 1st-7th Training

Monday: 8.1 miles (6:46); 6.3 miles (7:08)

Tuesday: 9.8 miles with 3.91 tempo run in 20:57 (5:13, 5:19, 5:24, 5:01). Originally planned to run a four mile progression, starting from 5:25ish and working down to lower 5:00s by the end.  I got out quick and rather than the play and slow-down/speed-up game, I decided to keep it a straight tempo at 5:15ish. First mile was surprisingly easy, second mile was into the wind and after turning around, it got rough.  Almost stopped at three miles, but decided to at least make it back to the stop sign. With how easy the first mile felt, I thought I'd run pretty quickly on the way back with the tailwind.  It was insanely hot (temp in low/mid 80s with d.p. in the low 70s), so I think that was an issue.  And since I went from smooth to dying so quickly, it shows my specific fitness is pretty poor.  But hey, I was at least happy to finish my first tempo run in a very long time; Skipped 2nd run.  Pouring rain. 

Wednesday: 8.1 miles (7:03); 9.9 miles (6:37)

Thursday: 9 miles (6:43); 6.1 miles with 4xhill blasts (7:11). About hard a panic attack when I thought I was done with the first sprint and realized the grass was higher than my normal "finish line". Eventually I found out and made a leaf my new finish line.  After the first hill sprint debacle, I averaged 10.91 on the last three.

Friday: 8.5 miles with 8x.30 mile "hill" with jogdown recovery. Ran this sucker at 4:30am to avoid the lunchtime heat. Even though it was 72 and 72, it was much more tolerable.  I wanted a moderate stimulus since I'm transitioning into faster stuff now, so this fit the bill.  Overall, it was a good session and I averaged 4:47 pace on the hills, which climbed 45 feet in the .30 miles.  I was able to recovery really well in between and the sixth felt as easy as the first, even though I was running much faster by then (only ran 5:10 pace on the first).  Ran the last one pretty hard in 4:29 pace and got wobbly quads the last 100 feet or so; 4.6 miles (7:10); 5.4 miles (7:21).Wanted some volume today, so had to run a triple to do it.

Saturday: 9.1 miles (7:10ish); Skipped second run. Had a really bad headache

Sunday: 20.2 miles with 16.03 miles moderate at 5:39 pace.  Ran four loops and then a small extension.  Four laps were 22:42 (5:48, 5:52, 5:47, 5:15), 22:02 (5:37, 5:38, 5:41, 5:06), 22:09 (5:36, 5:40, 5:43, 5:10), 22:13 (5:38, 5:44, 5:43, 5:08) and then .33 at the end at 4:42 pace. First lap was super easy, second was really smooth.  On the third, I wanted to save some for the fourth, so I backed off a little bit on the hilly portion and on the last one, my legs started getting pretty achy. Weather was pretty decent at 70+65 and cloudy and I didn't even need a water break.  My GPS doesn't like this loop and after tracing my route, it came out to be 16.25 miles. After this season, my legs were super achy the rest of the day; 3.1 miles (7:23)

Week Total: 108.2 miles.  This would have been close to 120 with all of my planned runs.  Tuesday was ugly and nasty but I was happy to bounce back Friday and Sunday. I feel like my fitness is slowly climbing back and I'm going to start jumping in some low-key races to ease back into things.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 25th-31st Training

Monday: 3 miles (7:24); 5.5 miles (7:16)

Tuesday: 7.5 miles (7:00ish); 4.8 miles (7:09)

Wednesday: 8.9 miles (6:42); 6 miles (7:16)

Thursday: 5.4 miles (7:03); 10.6 miles (6:45)

Friday: 10.2 miles with bombed workout. Goal was to run 10x2:00 on/off at sub 5:00 on the fast part. Legs didn't want to work at all, so I didn't force them to.  Was running over 5:20 pace and about halfway through my fifth, I decided to just run slowly the rest of the way back.  I figure my legs/body still aren't 100% from last week's virus.  The only good thing is that I wasn't breathing hard or anything on the "fast" part.  My legs just went on strike; Skipped second run. Had a lot of stuff to do and since my legs weren't feeling it today, I didn't feel guilty skipping this one.

Saturday: 9.6 miles (6:38); Skipped second run. Pouring rain all evening and my parents were in town.

Sunday: 20 miles with 10x90s on/off (6:06). Plan was to run until St. Blaise (13.5ish) at around 6:25 average and then run the fast portion around 5:20 and the slow at 6:20ish.  Was 6:18 at the start of the fartlek and even though most of them were into a headwind, I averaged 5:14 on the faster part and 5:52 on the slower part.  Felt really strong and feel like my old man strength is coming back.

Week Total: 91.5 miles. Hopefully this was the last low week for a while.  Now that my sickness is gone and I have a few races picked out, hopefully things will eventually return to normal. I'm taking a patient approach to things and hope to be training hard and consistently in another month and pretty fit by the start of November.  I'll get my blood tested again this week to make sure my hemoglobin is still climbing and that my iron levels are ok (last time, hemoglobin climbed but iron dropped).

Before my summer of crap, I was hoping to be pretty fit and run well at the New Haven 20k, which was this past weekend.  It's kind of a weird race because no one really peaks for it and the people who have an October marathon are probably entering the race with heavier training legs than someone with a later or no marathon planned.  If someone is 1-2% off their game, they go from fighting for a top three spot to struggling to finish in the top 10. It is my kind of course and the weather conditions would have benefited me but I was sleeping in my bed when the race started.

My son also turned one on Thursday and we had his party on Saturday.  He's turning into a good-looking chap.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 18th-24th Training


Monday: 9 miles (6:46); 6.3 miles (7:15)

Tuesday: 7.4 miles (6:44); 6.2 miles (7:10)

Wednesday: 8.9 miles with 5x1/4 mile hill. Freaking hot.  Temp were approaching 90 and the dew point was a very balmy 78.  I even had a random car stop and offer me for a while and some old lady on a bike said I needed to take it easy.  Plan was 8 hills with jogdown recovery, hopefully starting at 80ish and working down to 75ish by the end. Ran 81, 81, 82, 84, 83.  It felt easy but yet I couldn't breathe and my legs were crapping out.  I was dying badly enough to call it a workout.  This was my first hill workout like this in a couple of years.  I hate hills; 8.4 miles (7:05)

Thursday: 7 miles (6:51); 9.1 miles (6:42)

Friday: No Running. Felt like crap at lunch and bummed around when I got home.  Low-grade fever and chills.

Saturday: No running.  Kind of a bummer because I was planning on doing a 5k that had some decent money. I was hoping to run but my fever came back after I got done mowing the lawn.

Sunday: No running. I was hoping to run by today but I was still dragging butt.

Week Total:  62.3 miles. Bad week but what can you do?  My Running Ahead log goes back to 2010 and four out of the five years around this weekend, I've been sick.  And in 2009, I ran a race in early September coming off a sickness, so late August is turning into my Kryptonite.  Normally my wife and I rarely, if ever, talk about running but she pointed out that I went from taking naps, being a bum and running a lot to getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night, adding in working full-time again while being exposed to over 700 kids and still running a lot. What could I expect? But I'm still in that training limbo period right now, so it's not a big deal. On a good note, my hemoglobin is still climbing.  It was 12.7 about six weeks ago and now it's 14.6.  My baseline is 16.0ish, so I should be back to my normal levels at the end of September.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 11th-17th Training

Monday: 9 miles (6:53); 6.1 miles (7:23)

Tuesday: 7.6 miles (6:40); 6 miles (7:10) with 4xhill blasts at 11.02 avg.

Wednesday: 10.1 miles with a bombed workout. Plan was 6-8x3:00 on/1:00 off at 5:10 pace.  Got a little cocky and thought I could run 5:10 into the first three, which was a strong headwind. On those three, I went from tired to dying and ran 5:08, 5:14, 5:21 pace.  After the turnaround, I ran 5:08 with the tailwind but I was struggling.  And since I shouldn't be dying so early in this type of workout, I decided to jog it in the rest of the way.  After Saturday and Sunday, I thought I was starting to come around some but maybe I got too greedy and needed a little more recovery; 7.7 miles (7:07)

Thursday: 9 miles (6:49);5.4 miles (7:02)

Friday: 7.5 miles (6:58); Skipped run. I was going to do a little fartlek on my 10.6 mile course, but I didn't get home from work until 6:30 and since I felt like crap on my lunch run, I called it a day.  Mentally draining week.

Saturday: 10.6 miles (6:39); 5.7 miles (7:07) with 4xhill blasts at 10.80 average. 

Sunday: 16.9 miles with 12 miles medium at 5:44 average. I was thinking about one of three goals for this one. The hardest would be to run the first two loops at the same speed or faster than my run on the course 2.5 weeks ago and then add a third loop even faster.  Number two was to beat my overall average from 2.5 weeks ago, which was 5:41.  The last and the one I ended up choosing was to run my last two laps as fast or faster than last time and add the stimulus of an initial loop a little slower than the others. When training is unpredictable or you are unsure of your abilities, it's always good to choose something attainable.  Loops were 23:03, 22:31 and 22:02 with an extra .24 miles at 4:49 pace at the end.  Last time was 22:51 and 22:03.  Close call on the last because I didn't remember what my last times were. Happy with this because it felt easier than last time and the MI was over 15 degrees higher.  And to totally dissect everything, I also think this was long.  My route is basically four straight sections with three left 90 degree turns. The map shows I ran 10-15 ft. more to the left than I did, which ended up majorly cutting all of the turns. After I traced the roads, it came out to 12.21 miles. If that's true, I ran over six seconds a mile faster; 5.1 miles (7:26)

Week Total: 106.6 miles. Terrible initial workout but happy with yesterday. It was also the first full week of school which is a new stress my body has to get used to.  I'm getting a lot less sleep as I'm waking up a couple of hours earlier than I'm used to and my body is thrown out of it's rhythm. I also can't do my "morning" runs until 11:00am, so I'm running in much warmer weather. Hopefully this next week will be better.  I feel like things are slowly improving and hopefully by early October, I'll be in sub 65 half-marathon shape.  Maybe it's wishful thinking because I'm so slow now but the heat slows you down a lot and hopefully by then my hemoglobin will be out of the gutter and back at my baseline.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 4th-10th Training

Monday: 9 miles (6:42); 6.3 miles (7:43)

Tuesday: 10.1 miles with 8.5 mile medium progression. Goal was three miles each at 6:20, 5:55, 5:30.  I did this two weeks ago but since it was sunny and mid 140s, I thought it would be a little tougher.  Ended up going 18:31 (6:08, 6:15, 6:08), 17:40 (5:54, 5:50, 5:56) and 13:55 (5:31, 5:35, 2:49).  First section was insanely easy, which I had on this out-and-back route because it means a headwind on the way back. Shortly before the turnaround, a couple of dogs came out barking.  Now, I've spent the last six years battling the dogs on this route and feel like I finally established myself as the alpha on the road.  But these were a couple of new dogs on the black and haven't learned yet.  I gave them some confidence and kept on slowly running away and after a few seconds, I went turned around and went kamikaze on them and came out with a TKO victory.  After the turnaround, I noticed the not so nice headwind, which made things difficult, especially up the gradual uphills.  Last section was tough from the get-go and I was hurting and dying on the hills after two miles.  I called it at 2.5, because my legs were crapping out and I figured I got enough stimulus on the run; Skipped second run. Felt like crap the rest of the day...stomach pains, nauseous, etc.

Wednesday: 8 miles (6:41); 9.1 miles (6:50). 33 years old.  32 was a terrible running year, hopefully 33 will be better.

Thursday: 9.4 miles (6:50ish); 8.1 miles (7:17).  Ran on the treadmill since it was storming outside.  First time in a few years and I absolutely hate them.

Friday: 8 miles (7:12). Same effort and route as two days ago but much slower.  Legs were wobbly with no tension and I was struggling the entire way.  I blame the stupid treadmill; 7.7 miles (7:11)

Saturday: 10.2 miles with 3.91 miles of 1:00 on/90s off. Ran to the main road and back, which gave me 10 "fast" sections and nine slow ones, with the addition of one second on a 10th. Averaged 6:01 pace for the whole thing and 4:44 pace on the fast ones.  Normally, I'd run 20x1:00 on/off at a much faster pace but being it was my first structured speed workout in five months and really hot, I'll take it.  I was happy my legs felt fast for once...not speed wise but they felt ready to work; Skipped run. It was storming again and I didn't to mess with that treadmill again.

Sunday: 20 miles (6:24). Swampiest run of the year and it was the first long run this year where I was slinging sweat out of my shoes with every stride.  Was going to do my normal route but when I started the second loop, it looked like there were rain clouds covering the entire back section.  Since I didn't have future meteorologist, Tyler McCandless with me, I decided they looked enough like rain clouds to me, so I turned around and did the Boomer Route again.  The good thing about that route is that when you're running easily and are fresh, you really open up on the downhills and aren't tired enough to struggle on the uphills.  But the bad thing about it is that it will kick your butt the second time (or if you run fast).  I struggled on the hills, as expected but felt really good besides that.  And at the end of the run, I didn't have my normal post-long run fatigue; 3.1 miles (7:31)

Week Total: 109 miles.  Not a bad week with a couple of skipped runs.  I'm still way-way out of shape but am slowly returning.  I may try to ramp it up a little more this week.

Monday, August 4, 2014

July 28th-August 3rd Training

Monday: 8.7 miles (7:11); 6.3 miles (7:07); Weights

Tuesday: 8.7 miles (6:51); 7 miles (7:03)

Wednesday: 6 miles (7:40); 9.2 miles (7:19)

Thursday: 11.2 miles medium with 8 miles at 5:41 pace. Did two hillyish loops and was hoping to work from 6:00-5:45 pace on the first and 5:45-5:30 on the second.  Ran the the two loops in 22:51 and 22:03 with an extra 38 seconds after the end to finish up at eight miles.  Felt really good and smooth and this isn't much slower than my first medium route on this route last year.  Hopefully I'm coming around some; 4.1 miles (7:36); Weights

Friday: 8.2 miles (7:03); 6.8 miles (7:18)

Saturday: 9.5 miles (7:13); 5.9 miles (7:28). Was going to knock out some hill blasts but when I tried strides, it felt like someone was hitting me in the groin with a baseball bat whenever my left foot pushed off, so that was enough incentive to not run them. I convinced myself it was a hernia.

Sunday: 11.6 miles (7:38). Plan was 20 with some surges thrown in towards the end but I started feeling feverish and run down, so I turned around a little over 10.5 miles in and shuffled back home. My potential hernia was absolutely killing me as well, so I went to urgent care and it turned out to not be a hernia but a bacterial infection (and low grade fever was one of the symptoms of it). The doctor told me no running for a few days and gave me some antibiotics, so we will see how I feel.  I spent the rest of the day hamming it up and whining/lounging around.

Week Total: 103.2 miles. One of these days, I'll have no interruptions.  I got some more blood tests on Tuesday to see if my hemoglobin has risen any but I haven't seen anything yet.  Hopefully it has because I feel better running wise.  I also ran on grass some this week to get less pounding.  I absolutely hate running on grass.

It's back to work, 5am wake-ups and the real world this week. Party time is over.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 21st-27th Training

Monday: 9 miles (6:48); 6.3 miles (7:06); Weights

Tuesday: 8 miles (6:42); 7.4 miles (7:15) with 4xhill blasts (11.10 average)

Wednesday: 11.4 miles with 9 mile medium progression. Goal was to last longer than two weeks ago, where I died a miserable death.  Same goal of three mile segments in 19:00, 17:45 and 16:30.  Ran 18:46 (6:15, 6:11, 6:20), 17:38 (5:56, 5:52, 5:50) and 16:22 (5:27, 5:27, 5:28).  First section was easy, even with some rollers.  Second wasn't that bad and I was happy with the third.  I had to push some the last 1/4 mile to make sure I broke 5:40 because I was 5:35ish at that point.  But overall, I'm pleased because I ran an extra mile, felt stronger and ran faster.  And the misery index was over 15 degrees hotter.; 6.8 miles (7:18); Weights

Thursday: 9.4 miles (6:49); 6.1 miles (7:08)

Friday: 10.6 miles (6:47); 3.4 miles with strides (7:20); massage

Saturday: 11 miles with 4 mile race in 22:15.  Since I have a double this weekend, I wanted to win as easily as possible.  I took the lead from the beginning and the high schoolers weren't very fiesty.  Had about 10 seconds at the mile in 5:30, which was nice and easy.  Ran 5:25 the second mile, which increased the lead some more, so I relaxed and ran 5:41, 5:39 the last two to win by about 20 seconds; 3.7 miles (7:19)

Sunday: 9 miles with 10k in 34:10.  Jumped on a last minute triathlon relay since a group needed a runner and I'm a pushover. Sad part was the course was about a minute short.  Got there at 6:15am and didn't run until about 4.5 hours later, which was already over 90 degrees with a dew point in the 70s.  Course was very hot and hilly and after a 5:09 opening mile, I decided to just keep it steady and I was still really struggling.  I poured water on my head at every station and it was ice cold on my head but hot by the time it reached my butt. I was planning on running again in the evening but I was so drained from the heat.

Week Total: 102.1 miles. This would have been much higher with a Sunday long run but oh well.  I was happy to nail my progression and I'm feeling much better day-to-day.  Got my blood test results from 2.5 weeks ago and my hemoglobin dropped into the 12s and my hematocrit dropped to 37 (normally I'm a 16/48 guy). The hematologist didn't say much, so I spent an hour researching every thing on my blood test and am 90% sure I have hemolytic anemia, hopefully as a result of the pounding of running.  It makes sense because I put on some weight, took several weeks off and jumped right into pounding on the concrete in shoes that were too beat up.  I went to my work clinic today and got them to do a haptoglobin test, direct Coombs test, peripheral blood smear and to rerun my CBC, thyroid and iron panel.  The hematologist makes over $300 G's but I had to do the work on Google. Go figure.