Thursday, October 29, 2009

Missed workouts & Charlotte Jeopardy

Been a while, so I'll get to the point. Training took a downturn - and I am hopeful it is nothing serious. After the soreness after my Oct 18th run, I was cautious. Movced my runs around while I was in Philadelphia for much of the week (rested Tues, tempo on Wed, speedwork on Fri). Came close (3 secs/lap off) to my speedwork times and the tempo run was good. Long run was supposed to be 20 last Sunday and finally had a good run. Fresh legs, energy, my mood was good and I was thinking about my upcoming races. After 10 miles or so, felt fine, eventually started getting a little of the usual feelings when you are running for 2+ hours. No problem. All of a sudden, after 15 miles, some pain in my left knee (outer left side). Decided to walk a bit, then the soreness form the week before showed up and I knew that I would not run anymore that day. Walked the next 1/2 mile and ended up with 16 for the day. Not sure where the knee pain came from - but still has me worried. Again, rested Tues and did no speedwork/tempo run this week at all. Instead, ran 5mi Wednesday (after ~4 hours of sleep) and 4 more Thursday - the knee seemed ok, although my legs never had that good feeling -a nagging hamstring, sore toe, weird things to make me not enjoy it too much. But the Spinx Run Fest Half Marathon is Saturday and I am Not going to go after my PR (under 1:47:00) - goal to is get thru it and be able to run Richmond in 2 weeks. Charlotte isn't off the table, but it is in jeopardy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another unsatisfying long run.

Sunday morning's run was 18 miles, and again - it wasn't great. I hit my expected splits every mile, had no pain/soreness to deal with, and my last mile was by far my fastest, but it still wasn't great. Legs felt heavy as I began and never had the "spring" in them that I am looking for. Ran hills every other mile, but only thru 12 miles and had no issues with them. The temps were cool - 40 degrees at the start, but it got very windy the last 8 miles or so.
Am I expecting too much? That this should be getting easy ? (at least easier?!). OK - maybe I shouldn't have my hopes that high. I'm starting to think ahead to the 50k...and it seems impossible. Running another 13 miles (a half-marathon?!) after what I had just run? Come on...seriously? I still think this will get's just got to!
20 miler next weekend. Hope I feel better. My throat started not feeling great last night, plus I am traveling this week to PA, and I woke up this morning with some soreness in my lower left leg. Just a bit of a strain, but why did it wait almost a full day to become sore? I am planning on working out while I'm up in PA, so we'll see how that goes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Post-Charlotte plan

My brain is currently trying to convince the rest of me that it will be possible for me to run the Charlotte Marathon on Dec 12th, and then 4 weeks later, run my first ULTRA! The Salem Lake Frosty 50k.
I told you how much I enjoyed the course when I ran the 30k last month...well, that would be an ideal course for my first one. There actually aren't many that are appealing to me - one who does not like heat, but may actually consider one of the SC ultra series events (Buncombe 34, Chattooga 50k, Lynch's Woods 50k or the FATS 40/50).
Yes - my training is going well, and I could use Charlotte as a training run (while still hopefully having a PR and breaking 4 hours!), but I did not recuperate well from either NYC or the Windermere Marathon's. I did too much too soon afterwards (the following weekend both times). I'm samrter now, in better shape, and obviously deluded.
More soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

lost post. Long run. Chicago.

Wrote for a good 30 minutes solid on my run today and lost it.
(recovered it, here it is:
Last weekend I ran for 3 hrs and 15 minutes on trails. A 30K race the weekend before that that was on the comfortable side. 17.7 the weekend before that. This would be my fourth week in a row at more than 30 miles (assuming I ran 16+ miles today) - my 4 week highest total Ever. I was thinking this 15-16 miler would be relatively easy, I could even get a little bit of a workout by adding some hills into it. With the Chicago Marathon going on today - had a little motivation going as well. Was I overconfident?? You bet!

With the Charlotte Marathon being a somewhat hilly course, I added my hill loop into the first 5 laps and decided that was enough of hills for a while. My pace was fine, but little nagging things made me worry a little bit - and that wasn't enjoyable. My left heel had been bothering me at times the last few days. The 30 minutes on the stationary bike Friday made my knee a little sore in one spot that afternoon. 8 or 9 miles in or so - my left quad has some soreness...that went away mostly. I decided ahead of time that the planned 15 miler wasn't enough, because I missed that one cool down mile earlier this week and I wanted to hit 30, so I was going to add in another mile today. Not knowing exactly how much I was adding (distance wise) for the hill loop, I ended up adding it in one more time on my last lap - my fastest of the day. My pacing was good for the whole run, but it just wasn't that good of a run, you know? Ended up doing 16.8 (May not be exactly right - my mileage for that hill loop may still be off), but I did hit over 30 for the week!

Came home and watched the online coverage of the Chicago Marathon. No World Record as thought possible for the males, but a 10 yr. Event record was broken by 3 seconds! Very exciting. Was glued at the computer for ~2 hours (watched the females finish too - Deena didn't quite stick around, but it was a tight race until the last mile).

Not repeating it right now.
The gist of it: Ran 17+ miles each of the last 3 weekends expecting this 15-16 to be easy. Was never fun, maybe due to adding hills into the first 5 laps. One thing or another nagged on and off - my pace was fine but just not a good, satisfying run.
Still hit over 30 miles for the week - that's 4 in a row. I've Never done that before and my most mileage ever in a 4 week span.
Also - Watched the Chicago Marathon online coverage today - exciting to see the course record set by 3 seconds! Too bad Deena faded the last half - I've always liked her. Maybe I'll be up there next year.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Moon shadows & ultras

So Thursday morning I ran my usual morning tempo run out at Oak Grove. Was very pleasant running under a very bright moon that cast my shadow as I ran at 6 in the morning. The run was wonderful to -was not too difficult or even uncomfortable for my 5 miles at a 7:50 pace. Only thing wrong was I ran 1 lap short on my cool down, so 6.5 miles total instead of 7.7.
Had some slight heel discomfort the last day or two, so skipped yoga and instead did 40 minutes of cardio (10 min elliptical & 30 minutes stationary bike) and some ab work before and after. Doing my long run Sunday, so hoping it will not interfere.
Been seriously looking for an ultramarathon to do next year. Having recently finished Ultramarathon Man and now reading one of the Marathon and Beyond publications - I really want to. So many good sites out there on training and recommendations (Umstead, JFK50 to name two). My friend Tom (from work) is a much faster/better runner than I am and is also interested. That is further enticing us...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Trails - Long run!

Doing the 30k last weekend on trails made me want more, so I headed out to Paris Mountain this morning for a long run. I was scheduled for 20 miles, but after browsing an old Runner's World magazine, I remembered about running for time, not distance for long runs. This takes into account terrain/hills, etc, so my new goal was to run for 3 hours. After going thru different routes, I finally settled on the following: Starting at the Upper parking lot, I'd run Brissy Ridge to Kanuga, do the North Lake Loop to Pipsissewa and return back on Brissy Ridge (the way I came). Then down Sulphur Springs, taking Mountain Creek to the office/lake, turn around, Mountain Creek back Up Sulphur Springs to the upper parking lot. Nope - not done - then do the North Lake loop again! I have that at about 18.1 miles, so close enough to the 20 I was needing.
Started at about 8am when the park officially opened and headed down Brissy Ridge. It's pretty gentle thru here and a couple of very nice spots to look out over the northeastern side of Greenville. Fog had it mostly covered this early though. The 2 mile long Kanuga trail makes it a little tough in spots, but there are some downhills to keep you moving. The North Lake is just plain nice! Nothing strenuous and the sun started to come out in places - the lake was beautiful!! Only went around to get on Pipsissewa to take me back to Brissy. Only a mile, but seems longer. Got back to my car after the 1st 6 miles in 56 minutes and refilled my water bottle, took my 1st (of 2) Gu. Time to head Down Sulphur Springs. Decided to do this section only once because it would be too dangerous with tired legs - it's steep and fast! 9 minutes to the bottom and then somewhat flat all the way to the office/lake. I have old times for some sections of the mountain - I'll have to look them up.
Cutting this one short, but will finish the post soon!
(October 7)
I'm back.
The flatter section back to the start of SS was fine, but I knew the test would be once I started climbing back up. Sure enough - I walked. Quite a bit - heart rate increased to what had to have been its max (seemed ridiculously high). I eventually started running at the top and pushed to get back to my car. It was a 2hr 10min run at that point, so I knew I was going to be longer than 3 hrs as I refueled and headed back out to do the North Lake Loop. Still ran out of gas and ran that 6 miles 8 minutes slower than the first time. Still - a 3 hour and 15 minute run for me, my longest training run (and only ran longer in my 3 marathons!). I was beat afterwards, but luckily took no falls. I did leave my water bottle at the upper parking lot though - not sure where else it could have gotten to, but I haven't seen it since. Guess I'll go get a new one at Fleet Feet this week.