Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taking a Break and Paris Mountain Road training

After a skipped long run last weekend while at Kiawah Island - my return to running has gone well. I did get in a 6 miler and a 9 miler while I was there - the first in the 2pm heat and the other in the 7am heat/humidity. Both ended with a dip in the cooler swimming pool at the house. The little break (no 20 miler as scheduled)must have helped because I did my planned speedwork the day after I returned (and the day after my 9 miler) and I met my prescribed times. Quite shocking to me actually. 6 x 800's at 3:34 after a 2mi warmup. That was Thursday and I followed that up with some smaller hills Friday for 4 more miles. Saturday was grass day (call it more hill-work). Today I had 13 on the schedule. Since it was one of my shorter "long" runs, I decided to do some more hill training for the Blue Ridge Relay coming up in 3 short weeks (and the RiverBound Trail Half the following weekend).
Why do I need to train for that/those? Take a look at the Blue Ridge Relay elevation charts:
Leg 12

Leg 24

Leg 36 (Final Leg into downtown Asheville)
Those are my 3 legs. Not nearly as bad as last year. Have a couple more miles this year, but last year had Serious hills. More elevation climb than anyone else in the relay (aside from possible the Mtn Goat Leg runner).
2009 - Leg 11
2009 - Leg 23

2009 - Leg 35, yes it was that bad. 

I ran over Paris Mountain last year (25min up the steep/Furman side, 38min down the backside to CVS) after running ~6 miles, but that didn't seem to do a whole lot to prepare me. As I am slower this year, I need more. I decided to run from CVS at Altamont/State Park Road up the ~3.5 miles to the top of Paris Mtn, go down the ~2.5 mile backside to Old Buncombe, towards Furman University. Then turn around and go back to CVS. 12 miles total. Walked in spots on the first climb (are there really 20% grades?), but made decent time and peaked in 39 minutes. Steep back down in 17 minutes. I had to walk plenty going back up the toughest section, but I was fine with only taking 30 minutes for that part. More (mostly) downhill to finish in 33 minutes for a grand total of 2 hours even! ~750 ft of climb and ~750 of descent each way, give or take.
Feel pretty good about it. Legs need more strength for those hills - so I can actually Run up them), but maybe that will come with time. 31 miles last week. 12 x 400's this week plus an 18 mile long run over Labor Day Weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Speedwork and sweat rate

So my scheduled speedwork for Tuesday was 2 miles warmup, 2x1200m, 4x800m all with 2min rest intervals. Weather is still ridiculous - around 74 and extremely humid.

Sweat Rate: I read in Runner's World after my long run Sunday that every pound you lose is worth 16oz of fluid that you should be replacing. With Sunday's intake and 3 pounds lost - I was missing 48oz over those 3 hours. I should have taken 128oz of fluid in. That's roughly a 20oz bottle every half hour. Wow.

Anyway - speedwork Tuesday. So hot. 2 miles wore me out. 1st 1200m was on my target time of 5:25. after my RI of 2 minutes - I started running and after a quarter of a lap, gave up. Flat out gave up. Knew I had nothing to give, or at least not enough to pull out of me. I did my required distance. my 4x800's at 3:33 turned into 4x800m at 4:00. Pitiful. Last year I could do 8x800's at 3:23 (it was 50° and I had more mileage base working for me).
Can only hope I will get stronger with more mileage, cooler temps. Signing up tomorrow for the River Bound Half Marathon. That course took a lot out of me on the 15k there, but it is a good course and I get to see people I enjoy. I hope to do slightly better (but I'm not holding my breath - I'll enjoy it no matter how I feel).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Long Run

4:10am - alarm goes off and I slowly get out of bed, get into my running clothes and meander downstairs to toast a bagel. Add some butter and grape jelly and eat while I catch up on the computer.
4:45am - out the door and drive 10 minutes to my spot, Oak Grove Lake, 0.85 miles around. It's dark, hazy, 74° and 97% humidity and I am alone. No music and not a soul out except for the paper delivery guy I see often. Quick stretching of the legs.
5:00am - Hit start on my Ironman watch and start off trying to do 8:00min/lap as indicated by my chosen FIRST 3 day a week marathon training plan. After one lap, back by my car, I hit 7:45 and toss aside my shirt. It will do me no good today. I grab my handheld water bottle, walk for 20 seconds, and continue on. 3rd lap I finally get close enough to my goal and try to hold that pace - taking in water each lap as I walk some. (I plan and walk every lap). I count my laps upward and spend the time out there thinking about my pace, past races, friends who ran the Laurel Valley 34 miler yesterday. So much time to just be. Hear the geese/ducks in the water and the muffled early traffic on I-85 nearby. I had divided the 21 laps into 7 lap segments. After the 1st segment, switched to Gatorade for my drink as I also needed to refill my 20oz bottle. That 2 minute break got me right on my planned pace. Next lap - Gu. Pace was consistent and feeling fine. Decided not to wear my heart rate monitor, but felt it was in the low 140's (low 160's seems to be my max) based on my effort. 2nd segment, saw a few more people out, mostly walkers and an older gentleman on a bike. I always say hello as I see many of them week in and week out, going back years. Pace stayed constant as I considered the Blue Ridge Relay and the following week's decision: the Salem Lake 30k or the River Bound Trail Half Marathon. 20 is on the schedule for that weekend, but I finally decided I would have more fun at the 1/2 and could get the rest of my mileage in some other time that weekend.
Lap 9, get that familiar "twinge" in my right, then my left hamstring, that lasts 2 seconds then disappears for the duration of the run.
Lap 10 - just about halfway, but still going to count up. It's easier for me to keep track and even though I have plenty of time to do the math in my head if I do lose count, I'd rather not put forth the effort.
Lap 12 - time to refill my water bottle again, drink another 1/3rd of my 20oz Gatorade (Lime) and I am still on pace.
Lap 15 - can tell it's going to get a little more difficult as I get closer to finishing. Not looking forward to what's coming. Take another Gu (still vanilla, but a Hammer sample from another race).
Lap 19 - feel a rock in my shoe, slowly get down to the ground to get it out and find nothing. Feels better once I get going, but may have tied my laces a bit too tight. Did not use vaseline as I typically would do on my long runs, and now wonder if that was a mistake. Pace fades a bit with that 30 second break, but am Exactly on my desired pace. Need one more refill of the water bottle as I finish off the Gatorade.
Lap 20 - thighs heavy. Feet want to shuffle along and are getting sore after about 2 hours and 34 minutes on my feet. Decide I am about done. Feet seem more sore than they should be - especially where my "bone bruise" was/is. Stop caring about my intended pace and walk/run the whole lap. 10:30min lap.
Lap 21 - the last one. Body is spent. Shorts have been beyond soaked for hours. Shoes too. Sweat on my body has flakes of dirt intermixed with it. Another walk/run episode and call it quits at 2:55 and 21 laps complete. Sun is trying to peek out from around the clouds. It's always good to finish before the sun really shows itself.
Looking back at the last 2 summers of training logs, "normal" temps for my early morning runs were 66°, 68° and an occasional 70°.  This year - they have ALL been at least 73°. Hope the punishment rewards me somewhere down the line!
After 2-Gu's, a 20oz Gatorade, 60oz of water - I had lost 3 pounds. Think I may have to have some more Ben & Jerry's this afternoon.
3 hours later (after carrying my daughter around the grocery store on our weekely trip), I feel all right. Legs slightly tired, and I am sleepy, but feel like I'll be back on track for my speedwork Tuesday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Playing catch-up

Sadly - my running blog has taken a back seat to life lately. Ok - maybe that's not so sad, that is just what it is right now. I have been running, it's just been slower, hotter and harder than it has been. I'm hoping my body remembers soon enough for the Blue Ridge Relay coming up Sept 17-18th. I have been going thru a little race withdrawal with some friends doing triathlons (Kathrin and Kristen) and the Paris Mountain 7k trail race going on this morning that I passed up. Part of me would have liked to see how I'd fare compared to last year, but another part of me doesn't want to see it. I also have a planned 18 miler tomorrow morning. My 17 miler didn't quite happen, but I ran 14 miles along the lakefront in Milwaukee. I missed going out with the Milwaukee marathon training group as I missed the Lake Park entrance on the opposite side of the road that I was running on when I was expecting it to be on the lake side. Oh well - they were very welcoming via email and I saw many large groups heading back there as I was finishing up. Certainly would have helped to have run in a group. Milwaukee is a very bike/run friendly town, the Oak Leaf Trail is one of many well used avenues. The old RR line is well shaded and maintained and I saw many people during my 6 miler on Thursday morning. So many access points as it goes thru the city.
My legs have still been quite weak/heavy, but I did have one good run this week. After only meeting my planned time on 2 of the 3x1600m intervals on Tuesday (and some hills on Wednesday), my tempo run Friday was good. Legs had some kick and only on my recovery laps did they feel weak. Our BRR2 is only 5 weeks away, so I hope to keep logging the miles and get stronger. Still wearing the orthotics, even though I am 98% healthy. Maybe I'll try a run without them next week.
Our BRR@ team has a new member - Kelly (KB in previous post). Our shirt design is complete:

Kudos to Alex for once again creating a great design using our usual Calvin, a new slogan for
BRR2: Electric Bugaloo.
We are slowly getting organized...more on this in the coming weeks!
11 more weeks to Marine Corps Marathon. Right now I'd say about a 4:15-4:20 finish.
Front & Back of T-Shirt

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

quick update

Cut my long run short last weekend to 8 miles. After 4.5 hours driving, a concert and getting in bed (sofa) at 1:45am - the 6:30am wake up was too early and my legs just didn't have it. My two speedworkl sessions have been fine though and getting in my tempo runs too.
Off to Milwaukee today for 5 when I get back!