Saturday, January 31, 2009

18 Mile Long Run

In the back of my mind, I had hoped to run this one at about 8 min / mile excepting a nasty stretch of roadway called Flamingo Drive at mile 16 which is about a 1/2 - 3/4 mile stretch of uphill nastiness. So how did I do against such goals:

I actually finished at a 7:52 min / mile pace including the nasty hill and even considering the sheets of ice that have encased the sidewalks of Halifax, Nova Scotia. To be truthfull, I ran about 90% of the run on the roads which are in much better shape, but there was about 10% of the run in which running on the aforementioned sidewalks was unavoidable. I felt strong out there today, in fact, I spent much of the time reigning myself in as opposed to trying to keep up to pace. A final aspect of the run that I was especially pleased with was my recovery from the hill climb. My final mile, just after the climb, was actually the fastest split I had today at 7:26 min / mile.

For a while, I was beginning to doubt the supposed benefits of base training that I had heard about as I had  been feeling sluggish in recent days. I must say that this past week, however, has renewed my faith in a period of long and slow runs. 

Friday Recovery Run

I woke up Friday morning and was exhausted - mentally and physically. I thus made an executive decision to sit one out. Better to arrive at the start line healthy and 90%, than injured. At least that is what I am telling myself now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday Thursday Training

I didn't post yesterday... not that I was a complete slacker. Last night I went for a spin class. The first time out last week I thought I was going to die, this time, however, things felt much better. It was if my body was now adjusted to a new sort of punishment.

Speaking of punishment, I did some intervals this morning... though not the ones I had originally set out in my plan. I had set out to do Yasso 800s, but for some reason, didn't feel like it this morning. So here is what I did do:

1 mile warm up
.5 mile @ 6:00 min / mile
.25 mile @ 9:12 min / mile
1 mile @ 6:19 min / mile
.25 mile @ 9:12 min / mile
1 mile @ 6:19 min / mile
.50 mile @ 9:12 min / mile
1 mile @ 6:19 min / mile
.50 mile @ 9:12 min / mile

I would like to be a little quicker at this point, but considering I was training last night, I will take it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recovery Run

Today's intended run: 6 miles at a recovery pace with 6 x 100 m strides thrown in.

Reality: Felt sluggish and a little stiff this morning. With this in mind, I cut it down to 5 miles at a recovery pace. Better to sense one's body than to injure oneself at this point. At least that is what I am saying for now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tempo #1 - almost according to plan

I had set out to run 9 miles today. A 2 mile warmup, followed by a 5 mile tempo run at 6:50 min / mile, followed by a 2 mile cool down. It almost went according to plan... the particulars follow here:

2 miles warm up, 5 miles at 6:54 min / mile, 2 miles cool down. The excuse I am making for myself for not hitting 6:50 on the tempo part of my run is that it was -18 degrees celsius when I ran, as well as, 4:30 am. That said, I am reasonably happy with th effort as it was my first tempo run of the year and my first serious run in terms of getting ready for Boston.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time to Get Serious

Since my last race on October 12th, I have focused on base miles.... running at a pace to enhance my aerobic capacity with little or no concern to speed-work or hills in preparation for Boston. All that changes this week.

Here's what this week's tentative (I reserve the right to change things) schedule looks like:

Monday: 9 miles, 2 mile warm up, 5 miles @ 6:50 min / mile, 2 mile cool down
Tuesday: Recovery + speed 6 mi with 6 x 100 m strides
Wednesday: 40 - 50 min Spin Class
Thursday: Yasso 800's --> 10 x 800 meter repeats with 400 meter rest intervals (2 mile warm up, 2 mile cool down).
Friday: 5 mile recovery run.
Saturday: 18 mile long run

I will try to report how I actually do against this plan --> weather and sloth can always alter the best of intentions.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Run - A Tough One

In a recent post the guy I will be running Boston with, Keith, referred to my use of the word partners, in terms of our running, as squishy. With that in mind, I will refer to the guy I run with, Gary, as a colleague as opposed to a partner.

Gary, my running colleague, took me on a long run Saturday on a route he has found/created. It was my first good strong long run (17 miles) as I train for Boston and I kind of just followed Gary's lead and let him take me where he saw fit. The route was sadistic in nature with a couple of extremely large hills. Tough enough that one would think it was Gary and not myself who is training for Boston. For this I am eternally grateful. While I was cursing him during the run - in particular the last 4 miles or so, I know that such a run will pay great dividends come race day.

The rest of my week wasn't bad either:

I ran a nice easy 9 miles on Monday.

I ran 8 miles on Wednesday and in anticipation of increasing the speed in my workouts in coming weeks, threw in a half dozen accelerations of 30 each in which I got up to a 5:55 per mile pace. The rest of the run was completed at an easy pace.

On Friday, I ran 7 miles and, as I am gradually increasing my pace, threw in 4 miles at about a 7:30 min / mile pace. Slower than I want to be, however, I feel that it is prudent to gradually ramp up my tempo to the 6:30 to 6:50 range. That said, seeing that my virtual colleague is already sticking in some 6:30 stuff is a little disconcerting. I just have to remember to stick to the plan... my plan.

Finally, yesterday I ran a nice recovery run of 5 miles at about 8:40 min / mile pace - nice and slow to work out any kinks Gary may have created on his sadistic route. Feel great today, so hopefully it is all working its way into shape.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Running In Winter

This is, in essence, my first time running through Winter. Last year, I attempted to do so, however, ran into a pesky IT Band problem that stifled my ability to get out. So I have definitely discovered a few things in my limited Winter exposure thus far:

1. Reduce expectations. I have really noticed that my pace has suffered running on slushy roads and snow covered trails. The loss of traction, and therefore pace, has been much greater than I had anticipated. Which leads to.....

2. Run by time as opposed to distance. My running "partner" Keith has turned me on to this. The effort expended in running in conditions that are not ideal from a traction standpoint means that the amount of distance covered is going to be less than usual, however, the effort over a given time frame will be more than normal. Keeping this in mind, it makes sense to run for time. Winter is definitely not the time to focus on speed.

3. Get proper footwear. See earlier post about trail shoes.

4. Just enjoy running for the sake of running. The current weather conditions have me running to just keep an nice easy pace (think base training) and I find it refreshing to be just out there enjoying running for the sake of running again. At some point I will have to think about tempo and interval runs as I prepare for Boston, however, I think that will be a lot later than I had originally intended - which may not be a bad thing.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Year in Review - 2009 in With a Bang

Here are the totals for the year:

Total Runs: 194
Miles Run: 1493
Hours Run: 197

All in all, not bad considering I was injured for the first three months of the year and didn't run the volumes I would have liked.

As for races, I raced in 5 different events and established a PR each time out. This is not quite as good as it seems, however, as 3 of the races represented the first time I raced the distance and, therefore, had no choice but to PR. That said, I felt pretty good about most of the races, and while I didn't run as fast as I would have liked in all of them, I didn't have an unmitigated disaster either.

2008 also represented the first time I started to run with someone else. My running partner Gary and I typically run our long run together each week and I must say that I enjoy the company on these longer treks. I had always thought I would hate running with someone else - that running time was my personal time, however, the opposite is true. The opportunity to swap running stories and approaches has been refreshing.

For 2009, I don't really have any focus right now - outside of training for Boston. I think I will establish some thoughts around other races to run after Boston as right now it seems silly to think beyond it.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Halifax Weather