Saturday, December 18, 2010

Squishy soft

Googled the web for a picture of "squishy soft" and all I get is stuffed animals. Not quite what I had in mind with that title.

Got 3 miles worth of trails on this mornings 10 mile shake out run. Hadn't even planned on running on the trails, just a last minute decision when I ran through Stones River Battlefield. This was the second run this week in the snow. This one was 1,000 times more enjoyable than the other. Sure wish I'd brought the camera.

Still working on lots of different stuff at the battlefield. The most interesting thing for me was all of the different running surfaces. The main road was resurfaced in some of the rougher sections. At least one of the asphalt trails was resurfaced with asphalt with smaller rocks and not as much tar? Really made the surface springing, almost like a track.

Couple of the paths have been surfaced with just a gravel bed and a layer of finer gravel on top, packed and rolled. That's one of my favorite surfaces. Almost similar to a packed dirt or a cinder path. Only down side to these surfaces is the length. They are all just short pathways to monuments or earthen works.

The only trail of any substance is about a mile and a half long. They put wood mulch on it after the tornado for about a third of the distance with the rest of it primarily single track through the woods. That was the most fun part of this mornings run. Just enough snow to cover the path, so I could see the deer tracks. The single track through the woods has just enough tree roots and limestone outcroppings to keep you dancing over or zigging or zagging around. Fun stuff.

Eleven weeks out from the marathon. Last weekends long run was the first run this week in the snow. We had only planned on running 14 to 16 miles, but ended up with 17 miles on the day. It was a progression run broken up into 3, 30 minute segments after a couple miles of warmup. Brutal wind all morning, made the 29 degrees seem frigid when it was in our face, but almost warm when it was at our backs. The fast master warmed up with me and BQ1 and then did his own 20 miles worth of marathon workouts. BQ1 hung with me until the last 30 minutes worth of marathon pace work. That really helped. Really surprised my splits came in on target, given the wind and the hills on the course. Tough day. Waited for BQ1 to catch back up with me for the final 3 or 4 mile slog back to the car. That's when the snow started. The wind was blowing so hard that the snow was coming in sideways.

Wednesday's workout was hill repeats and yesterdays workout was 45 minutes worth of steady state. Did it at marathon pace. Wasn't that tough of a workout, other than a another day of battling the wind. Down week for mileage at 65 miles. Next week is going to be a bruiser. 20-22 miles for tomorrows long run and then an extra quality day. Mileage will be back up into the 70's.

Let the running streak end on Tuesday, at 40 days. That was the morning after the snow and ice. Just didn't want to risk falling on the ice. I packed my bag to run on the treadmill, but decided against that. I hate running on treadmills.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Seeing how much of a difference it makes to have some rest and recovery. First off the rest. Big difference between my normal 7 or so hours of sleep and one extra hour. Wow. That's one of the reasons I like to run on my own at least twice a week. Sleeping in that extra hour or so. The other reason for the saturday solo run is to try and soak up a little bit of sunshine. Another big plus, is to be able to run my pace either nice and slow the whole time or whatever I feel like.

On the recovery side, I hadn't really thought about the extra hours a morning versus afternoon workout would yield. Sleeping in and then running in the afternoon, almost gives 36 hours worth of recovery from the previous days workout. Then on the flip side is the next morning workout is done within 12 hours, so almost the same as a double. Doubt very seriously I'll be getting any doubles. I could see the benefit to shake out a hard morning workout with a double in the evening, but the odds of that actually happening are slim to none.

This week is going to be a down week, mileage wise. Only looking for mid 60's or so. Progression run tomorrow instead of the typical long run. These workouts always seem tough for me, especially at this point in the cycle. Still 12 weeks, so lots more improvement in fitness to come. Plus, hope to some of the fellas out to pull me along and keep me company. Sure makes the miles go by quicker.

The running streak is still intact. Think its 33 days or so. Next few days may be tough with the threat of snow and some cold weather. Sure don't want to get out and try and run on any ice. Snow, no problem just slow down and enjoy the day. Ice, I'll wait until it melts or worst case skip the day or run on the dreadmill. Rather skip a day than jump on the dreadmill.

Think I'm going to take Jeff's advice and just stick in the 70's mileage wise. Could get into the 80's, but doubt that little bump is what's going to make or break my next marathon effort. Biggest thing is getting the miles in without getting hurt and getting most of the quality stuff done.

The minute on/off workout this week was a little tougher than it should have been. Guess I went out a tad to quick for the first set of 5, the next set was a little tougher and the last set were really work. Actually was kinda fun, I started out with the Wich brothers. They did their workout and I did mine. Just about every time I'd catch them, the minute was up and time to recover.

On the other hand the hill workout on Wednesday actually wasn't that bad. Looking back at some of the runs we did last year in the cold/rain, it was actually almost pleasant running in the mid 30's. Almost like a heat wave in comparison to the 15 degree run with the fast master this same week. What a difference 10 degrees can make. Especially if the wind is involved. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Monster mile week for me, 75 miles. Mid 70's again next week and then cycle down a week in the mid 60's. Training has been going really well. Other than the fact that I can't read a training schedule. Last weeks long run ended up being 19 miles with 2 miles worth of fast finish. Hadn't planned on the 19 miles, really only wanted 18 miles. But, in order to get my miles, I started earlier than everyone else and ran the route they were running. It was a 14 mile loop, instead of the 11 mile loop. No big deal, that's why I like running out in the country from that point a couple of different loops of varying lengths and lots of hills. Nothing like Percy Warner Park, but hilly none the less.

Way to earlier in the schedule to be doing the fast finish stuff. The Fastwich decided to pick it up coming off the last hill of the day and I went with him. Actually felt good to click into marathon pace. Did decide to only do 2 miles worth and then slog the last 2 miles home. Still, great feeling for that first long run to have enough energy for some fast finish. Those workouts really helped on my last marathon.

Guess I'm just feeling really strong right now with the increase in miles. Watching the workouts that the Fast Master is doing in his prep, almost has me feeling unprepared. Probably why I got sucked into doing a couple of miles of fast finish.

Running streak is still going, but I'm willing to let it end at any time. The coming week will be a real test with some of the lows predicted to be in the low teens. Ten degrees is about the lowest I'm comfortable running. Only downside to taking a day off is going to be trying to get the miles where they need to be.

Watched the Rudolph Run go by twice in front of our vantage point at BB Kings. (great live music) Interesting to watch the different foot strikes and running styles among the front runners. What was really baffling was how much the bare foot runners foot slapped the ground. He was up towards the front and running about a 6:20 or 6:30 pace. The way he ran almost reminded me of the Fred Flintstone character. Hard to believe he was going at that pace. Not that its quick or anything, that's the pace I ran last weekend at the Boro Dash.