Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Training Log 5/20 - 5/26

Much better overall week. Zero pain and very little tightness. (Well, for me, anyway.) More importantly, I felt comfortable running, which was a big boost both physically and mentally. Things are definitely coming around...well, until I got to Pineland...

Onto the numbers...

5/20, Sunday: 5 - 40:05, Highland Green. Felt oddly sluggish, perhaps the body didn't like taking the previous day off.

5/21, Monday: 10.5 - 1:30:20, Topsham ATV Trails + 3x Mt. Ararat. Great to be back out on some trails I hadn't seen in months. Miles clicked away pretty easily. I knew based on the loop I was on that I would need to add a bit to get the 10 miles I wanted, so I decided that I might as well run a couple laps of Mt. Ararat. Tough choice, but I'm glad I added that challenge at the end of the run. Good stuff.

5/22, Tuesday: 5.5 - 45:59, TMR TNR @ Twin Brook. My first TNR since January 3. That's way too long. Aside from Tom pushing the pace the whole way, it was great to be back in with the team. My legs were a bit draggy from the bay before, so I was glad the sprint lines never materialized.

5/23, Wednesday: Off

5/24, Thursday: 5 - 37:54, Highland Green. Proving that I have no idea how to train, this run turned into a lame progression run. I thought it wouldn't hurt to do something a little up tempo, but not too hard as to blow myself out for Saturday's race. I felt great, but running only moderately faster probably didn't really do anything.

5/25, Friday: 5 - 42:30, Homeplace. Another "classic" from our house that I hadn't done in months. Just a mellow trail run on a humid day.

5/26, Saturday: 8 total. Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival 10k - 49:51, 41/302. This race couldn't have gone any worse. It was embarrassing. Basically, I went out at a pace that was perfect, if I'm in shape.  I know my fitness is poor, but I wanted to see how much I could push. Basically, it started to hurt at about 2 miles, and I just gave up. I pathetically jogged the rest of way while the entire field passed me. I wanted to drop because I was embarrassed to run through the finishing chute and be seen by so many people. I didn't drop, but it was tempting. I'm not upset about the time or place. I'm upset about the effort. I didn't give any. Utterly disappointing. If the time and place we're the same but I'd given 100%, I'd be fine with it. Not sure what happened aside from another bad racing experience at Pineland, which is sad because the event is awesome. Let us never speak of it again.

Total: 39
Trail: 29
Road: 10

Aside from the disaster at Pineland, it was a good building week. I'm definitely on my way to being a runner again. And, it was entirely by accident that the trail mileage dramatically outpaced the road mileage. But, I'm certainly not complaining. Looking to continue to build.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Training Log 5/13 - 5/19

Fairly lackluster week. Yes, I'm grateful to be running at all. (Thanks, Jamie!!!) However, the miles aren't coming easily. At my best, I've felt ok, but mostly I've felt off and sluggish. My fitness is just poor. It should be after taking 4 months off, and rationally, I understand it. But, while I'm running, it's frustrating. I am hoping it will turn around soon.

Onto the numbers...

5/13, Sunday: 5 - 39:48, Highland Green. I came very, very close to a zero here, but after the impressive performances of my Trail Monster Running teammates at the Peak 50 & 100 and the Massanutten 100, I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't get out. So, following dinner and as the sun was setting I shot out for an easy five. Due to the light situation, I ran the loop in reverse, which I never do, to get the dirt road out of the way first and to take advantage of the street lights on the way home. As it turned out, I had just enough light on the final trail section back towards my house to be able to navigate it without issue. Good mental boost to get this run in.

5/14, Monday: 6 - 50:52, Pineland Farms. Circumstances were such that I needed to watch the kiddo in the morning for a short stint, but then D would be able to handle her regular Monday duties. I headed over to Pineland to drop her off with D, and they went to Story Time, while I snuck out for a run. It was a soggy, misty, humid day down on the farm, and my feet were drenched as soon as I started the first field. I decided to run the 10k course...you know, just in case. It wasn't exactly an auspicious test run, as my legs felt heavier and heavier with each step. It felt as if I was shuffling the whole way. Pineland and I just don't get along.

5/15, Tuesday: Off

5/16, Wednesday: 5 - 39:13, Highland Green. I was hopeful that a day off would have a restorative effect, but it was not the case. Another so so run around the neighborhood.

5/17, Thursday: 9 - 1:25:15, Cathance River. It was great to be back out on these trails again, and this was definitely the most technical run I've done this year. Spiritually, this was a fantastic run, as it was great to feel like a trail runner again. My form is coming around, and I'm becoming more and more comfortable with each run on the trails. Physically, however, I still felt a bit off. I kept it nice and easy, but 90 minutes felt more like 3 hours. I was still feeling the effects later in the day. In many ways, it felt great to have the "long run/hard effort" feeling, but it was tough to reconcile that feeling after only 9 miles.

5/18, Friday: 5 - 40:04, Highland Green. I felt better than I thought I would after Thursday's run, so I'm taking that as a good sign. I do need to start mixing it up a bit, though, as I don't want to fall into the trap of racing myself on this loop. Since I run it so frequently, I know all the splits, and it's easy to get caught up in comparing it to other runs. Perhaps I'll just leave the watch at home. *gasp*

5/19, Saturday: Off. I was at an event for work all day and into the evening, so a run never materialized.

Total: 30
Trail: 15
Road: 15

I'm glad the trail running is feeling more comfortable, so I could at least get a 50/50 between surfaces this week. (Although, Highland Green has over a mile of dirt road and about a half mile of trail, so it's not a pure road run.) Right now, even though I'm just in a base building phase, it would be nice to feel a bit more fluid. I'm just out of sync. With that in mind, I'm going to jump into the Pineland Farms 10k on Saturday. It's a race, and I'm certain I'll be disappointed with the result. But, I can't help myself. At the very least, it will give me a barometer of how out of shape I actually am. At best, maybe some faster running will be the spark I need to jump start this training. Long term, I'm hopeful for something big in the Fall, but I want to be certain I can have a full and focused training cycle. Right now, I'm not certain that it's going to happen.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Training Log 5/6 - 5/12

Originally, I was hoping to keep the momentum rolling this week, but I was prepared to have to take a step back week. And, the body put on a hearty "Whoa, big fella!", so this week was certainly less than even the planned step back. I'm definitely erring on the side of caution, but that seems prudent.

Onto the numbers...

5/6, Sunday: 6 - 51:00, Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park. My legs were tight and sore from Saturday's run, and the rest of me was less than chipper after the previous night's festivities, which may have included Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale, venison, Marshall Wharf Phil Brown ale, bratwurst, Stone 15th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA, more bratwurst, Oxbow Freestyle #4...oh, I did have a salad. Needless to say, I felt terrible. I did manage to take all the signposts. Big group for this one, and a great way to close out the weekend.

5/7, Monday: 4.25 - 38:04, Heath Loop. Probably should have taken the day off. Legs were tight and heavy. Sluggish run all around. Beautiful day around the Heath, though. I scared up a mother duck and her chicks, which were hunkered down alongside the trail. Didn't see them until they were scattering and squawking in all directions. Also of note, my trail running is crap. I clearly need more practice with the new gait on technical terrain. I was a bit of a mess.

5/8, Tuesday: Off

5/9, Wednesday: 5 - 39:39, Highland Green. Felt terrible. No energy and my calves were killing me. Reduced to a shuffle by the end. Developed a large knot in my left calf, which had me icing afternoon and night.

5/10, Thursday: Off. Calf definitely a concern much icing and stretching.

5/11, Friday: Off. More of the same

5/12, Saturday: 3 - 23:11, Patriot Commons. Calf felt markedly better in the morning and throughout the day, so I decided to go for a little test jog when D got home from work. Aside from being a touch hungry, things felt pretty good. Legs had a bit of spring in them, and both calves felt fine. If anything, the right was a touch tighter, which makes sense since I haven't been paying as much attention to it. Good sign.

Total: 18.25
Trail: 4.25
Road: 14

As I said, definitely more of a step back week than I had anticipated, but I think it was a wise choice. Hopefully, it will pay off in the long run. My lack of skills/comfort on the technical terrain was a bit unsettling. I plan to both boost the mileage back up and add in more technical trails this week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Training Log 4/29 - 5/5

In short, it's all good news on the training front. The calves are getting better day by day. I had my "last" appointment with Dr. Jamie on Wednesday, and he gave me the green light to get after it. It was good to talk running and racing rather than adhesion and inflammation. I've come out on the other side a total convert. I was a bit skeptical when I first started treatment, but he really rebuilt me. I'm very thankful. On top of that, with my gait change, I'm beginning to feel as if this injury was actually a positive event. I'm going to be stronger (and, hopefully faster) going forward. Like I said, it's all good news.

Onto the numbers...

4/29, Sunday: 5 - 38:45, Weldon Farm Road. After my 10k "race" on Saturday, I was anxious to see how I would feel. Happy to report that I felt great. A little tight in the calves, but other than that, no ill effects from the day before. I even had a little snap in my step and opened it up a touch in the final mile. Good stuff.

4/30, Monday: Off

5/1, Tuesday: 10.25 - 1:22:06, Simpson's Point via Brunswick Town Commons. I wanted to up the distance, but didn't want anything too hilly. This route, which is a 50/50 mix of road and trails, in addition to being a classic from Bowdoin College (or pieces of it, anyway), fit the bill perfectly. Looking back at my training logs, I last did this route in September '11 in around 1:20ish with a notation that I was looking for something "slightly up tempo." With that in mind, I was pleased to average 8:00's pretty comfortably throughout. Although, I was pretty uncomfortable at times as it was raining and very windy. Not the best day to be out on the roads, but the view oceanside at Simpson's Point is always worth it. Drew a lot of confidence from this run.

5/2, Wednesday: 5 - 39:00, Highland Green. Little sluggish, but that wasn't a surprise.

5/3, Thursday: Off

5/4, Friday: 5 - 36:58, Highland Green. Unintentional progression run. Chased a dump truck on the dirt road and just decided I wasn't going to let him go. Once I turned back onto the powerlines to head home, I was feeling good, so I decided to see what was there. Last three miles were 7:21, 7:01 and 6:38. Nothing blazing, but certainly good to open it up. Calves felt great, and it was interesting to focus on the new gait at faster speeds. Definitely a lot of work to do.

5/5, Saturday: 11.25 - 1:37:27, Around the Mountain Loop, Acadia National Park. Headed to MDI on Friday evening for a weekend of camping, running and shenanigans to celebrate Jamie and Kate's pending nuptials. After an evening at Geddy's and more festivities around the lantern light at the campground, things were a bit foggy both in the weather and in my head, when we started out from Jordan Pond House. I love this loop, but I was a bit nervous that I was biting off more than I could chew. It would be my longest run since returning from injury—my previous being on Tuesday—and it's hilly. Really hilly. After rolling for three miles, you do basically nothing but climb for the next 4 miles...then you have to come back down. Plus, I'm a competitive idiot, so I decided to sprint at each of the signposts. I was toast by about 6 miles. The last mile to the top, I just tried to keep Jamie from dropping me too badly. On the way down, he flew away, and I ran with Randy hoping he could pick me up if I fell over. We regrouped with a couple miles to go, and Mindy kept telling me I was doing great, even though I may have whined otherwise a number of times. Overall, I held up OK. No pain or bodily issues, which is key, but I'm clearly out of shape. But, I'll take it. Great run with friends. I was really glad to call it at 11.25, as Jamie and Zak tacked on 4 more miles at a rapid pace. Heh heh.

Snowman and Squirrel in the mist.


(Photos stolen from Jamie.)

Totals: 36.5
Trail: 16.25
Road: 20.25

Possibly an aggressive jump up this week, so I'm going to be cautious this week. The goal right now is just to build a solid base. I feel like injecting a bit of speed and upping the difficulty is going to pay dividends moving forward. Very happy to be over the injury hump and moving forward pain free. Look out...