Wednesday, March 28, 2007

1:16:55 :: 13 miles

Wow. I don't know what to say. I'm starting to feel some serious paranoia about the times I'm recording. I don't trust my watch, even though simple math tells me it's accurate. These are the good old days.

On the schedule was 3x2miles in 11:10, 11:00, 10:50 with one mile recovery in 6:20, followed by one fast, controlled mile in 5:00-5:15.

Light rain just starting at 4:15, 44F with a SSE wind at 15mph. Wind didn't affect me except for about 150m with and against it during each 1200m loop. Three miles to warm up in 20:09, feeling good. Have had some calf trigger points acting up since Sunday, so I warmed up well and carefully. Stripped off the jacket and pants at 2.5 and immediately felt fast.

Feeling very easy through the first two mile rep in 11:08 (5:37|155 - 5:31|158), followed by an easier mile (6:12|147). This one was frighteningly easy. Legs and lungs were very good.

Rep number two found me feeling a bit clunky and slow for the first half and a touch over the edge for the second half totalling 10:53 for the two miles (5:34|157 - 5:19|164). Recovery mile in 6:19(153). Misjudged pace badly on the second half trying to pull down to 5:30. Breathing for the first was good, for the second it was more like a tempo run. Legs felt great for the rep.

Rep three felt as good as rep one, and I actually hit even pace only a few seconds fast at 10:46 (5:22|161 - 5:24|161). Recovery passed in 6:19(153). Breathing was comfortable all the way through, and legs felt very strong. A steady rain was pouring down by now.

The final mile was very interesting. Very tough breathing with deep oxygen debt starting at the half, at its worst at three-quarters, and maintained through the finish in 5:05 (2:33 - 2:32 | 165avg | 169max). Legs were absolutely eating up the pavement! I felt no stress or strain of any kind below the waist. I've experienced the feeling of 'not being able to go fast enough' to get the lactic acid burn in my legs (being more aerobically fit than speed fit), but this was that feeling in spades. I was totally and completely limited by oxygen debt. Recovered in a walk to 120 in 1:05, to 110 in 1:23.

Very good workout, albeit with a couple of misteps. Running in the fog and rain the last few days has been like heaven. Pouring rain and 55F is absolutely my element, so even though it has not quite been that warm yet, I'm not surprised to feel really good in these conditions. What I am surprised about is an apparent drop in my comfort zone to paces that were unthinkable to me as recently as a month ago. Scary good stuff.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

31:00 :: 4 miles + 45 min Bike

Easy bike and run today. Having some problems with the left calf since Sunday, burning and general soreness on the lateral soleus/peroneal area. No pain at all while running, so it's well under control right now. There are some significant trigger points in there that need to loosen up, though. Treating with light massage and some heat a few times a day.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

1:12:35 :: 11 miles

Hills. Or at least as hilly a hill as I can find in the glacier-flattened Red River Valley--a highway overpass. I was able to find about a gradual 300+ meter hill with another 50m or so of flat/slightly downhill at the end. The GPS had it at .23 consistently, so it was somewhere between 370 (.23) and 385 (.24) meters. The goal was 6-8 reps at 5:25 pace, just a bit faster than current MP.

Three-plus miles to warm up in about 21 minutes, then seven times the hill. The first four went off without incident, feeling strong, hips forward, with a good straight leg out the back--feeling powerful. Then the last three were gradually more challenging, with the form breaking up a bit, and the lactate burn and high vents starting after 150-200 meters, rather than after 250-300m.

73(152) | 72(154) | 72(157) | 72(158) | 71(159) | 71(159) | 71(160)

Recoveries were just a jog back down, taking about 1:40, or 7:00 pace. Finished with 5.5+ miles easy.

Legs felt good, but I can tell they were used a bit differently today, which may result in some soreness. I'll try to keep active today at work, and maybe get a massage in later. Fun workout!

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

1:08:17 :: 10 mile

Recovery run. Very easy running, right at 135 average heart rate for the whole run. No fatigue, no soreness, just an easy comfortable jog. This definitely has me feeling better about yesterday's run, which, rather than being too 'hard', ended up being a bit on the conservative side according to the previous numbers and today's feeling of ease. I took my heart rate going down by tens to check the recovery, just out of curiousity more than anything: 120(:18) | 110(:25) | 100(:35) | 90(:58) I leveled off around 87 and stopped paying attention.

I don't remember ever feeling this level of fitness, even in college. While I don't think I could take out my track PRs yet, I know for certain that the base those PRs were run on pales in comparison to what I have in my legs now. Cool.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

1:45:35 :: 17 miles

Long run with fast finish. I'm a little bit disappointed with today's run, as it didn't match up very well with the goal in terms of the paces. After a couple of down days, yesterday's effort, and yesterday's poorer than normal recovery, I didn't have high expectations for this run. I was advised I might be pushing the limits of my ability to recover, so the workout that I initially planned to do like this:

10 miles steady (145 avgHR), 7 miles at current MP (152-154 avgHR)

Turned into this:

10 miles comfortable (~6:30), 3 miles at 5:55, 4 miles at 5:46 if feeling good.

Not a huge change, just taking a bit of stress off the beginning and providing the option of adding some stress at the end if everything goes well up to that point.

I hit the first ten miles in 1:05:44. With a first mile of 7:09, the rest averaged to 6:31 (6:27-6:33), with the avgHR at 139 (138-141). This part of the run had an edge of effort to it, none in the legs, some in the brain, most of it in the lungs, which hit me around mile seven. Overall it was comfortable, as it should have been.

Starting into the final seven miles, I felt better very quickly. My legs immediately rose to the occasion and seemed eager to drop the pace. The respiratory effort increased slightly, but smoothed out somewhat over the first few miles. The pace was a bit faster than 5:55, but I was trying to hit it right, and came close. 5:49(152) | 5:54(152) | 5:51(152)

Then I screwed up. Mile thirteen felt a bit tougher, but compared to the last time I did this workout, I was in good shape. Heart rate for the previous few stayed at the low end of my MP range (152-154), so I figured things were going well enough to do the 5:46s. I hit the first one too fast, tried to slow down, then hit the second too fast, tried to slow down, noticed I was not slowing down about halfway through, and decided to say screw it, stopped worrying about the pace and tried to maintain the effort to the finish. I failed at that, too. 5:41(159) | 5:40(160) | 5:39 (161) | 5:27(162)

Last year I would have been excited about this, but today I was mortified. Running faster than necessary doesn't make you faster, faster. It's simply excess. Excess effort, excess fatigue, etc. My biggest concern is that it could lead to excess recovery, which means giving away time, giving away quality workouts while you wait for the body to adapt and recover.

I was somewhat relieved to see that I recovered to 120HR in :57, five seconds faster than the previous time I did this workout, and to 110 in 1:38, twenty-eight seconds faster than before. Additionally, the hardest part of the run today was holding back. It was night and day compared to last time when I could really feel the weight of fatigue as the run progressed, and I fought through several of the late, faster paced miles. Today I was fighting my legs, trying to stop them running away from me. The final two miles today were probably the best in terms of feeling comfortable, powerful, and controlled, and I don't think it's a coincidence that they were the only two miles in the whole run that I just let go on, forgot the watch, and tried to key in on what felt right.

We'll see how quickly I recover from today's effort. Hopefully I didn't overcook myself. Several hours after the run, I feel like going for another one. Another good sign. Have a good weekend, all. Cheers!

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Friday, March 23, 2007

1:15:04 :: 12 miles (incl. 7 @ 5:40)

Marathon pace minus ten seconds today, based on a heart rate of 158. The workout set up much the same as the last time I did it. About 32F with a 5mph wind, so slightly cooler but less windy. I stuck with some light pants rather than shorts, as the pace wasn't quite hot enough to keep me from freezing this morning.

Due to yesterday's tweaks, I warmed up on the bike, got in a good stretch, and ran 2.5 miles on the warmup, just to be cautious. It seems to have helped, as I don't have any problems nearly two hours following the run.

The seven miles went down like so:

5:28(156) | 5:45(157) | 5:40(157) | 5:44(158) | 5:40(158) | 5:41(158) | 5:39(158)

The first mile I was trying to get to my 156-158 mark, and it took a while to get there. The pace didn't seem that quick at all, and was very comfortable. Miles two and three I was paying for it though. My shins, thighs, and butt got a little bit of lactate burn going, and it took the better part of the next three miles for it to go away. Once that cleared off, the legs felt good, but the breathing was a bit more labored than usual. It was very similar to the experience I have being caught between 'effort levels', where if I add or drop a few beats per minute, the breathing settles down and the overall feeling is smoother. Recovery was 52 seconds to 120, and 1:08 to 110, a good bit longer than before. Two and a half mile cooldown on the treadmill.

Anyway, the overall run was a mixed bag. I was encouraged to see the pace drop by a few seconds per mile at the same heart rate, but the heart rate recovery was about 50% longer than the previous effort. Two out of the last three days have been kind of 'blah', and my overall mileage has dropped by ten miles a week or so. I've been a little bit down in the dumps about some non-running things in the past couple of weeks (my job, my job, and my job--in that order), which I think might be affecting me in general by increasing stress levels, etc. Hopefully I can get that under control shortly and get myself back on track. Good run today.

Click the MP-10 label below to compare with the previous workout.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

1:06:30 :: 10 miles

Supposed to do some speed today, but my left calf is bothering a bit, so I just did a good warmup, stretched, and did some miles. Everything felt good enough to try some speed after four or five miles, but I fought the temptation and stuck with the plan.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

1:00:45 :: 9 miles + speed

Much better today. 2x600, 2x200 with about two miles running between each 600 and the set of 200s. Everything felt smooth again today, and the pace was better. Legs seemed to have a lot more snap.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

41:16 :: 6 miles + speed

Blech. Didn't feel good today. Did 2x300, 1x600, 2x200, all around 4:55 pace. Stride felt really smooth, but the snap was not there at all.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

1:05:40 :: 10 miles

Evaluation run. Conditions were poor, traction was excellent. 30F with a 25mph wind gusting to 35mph. Ran the loop again, which exposed me to the NW wind for a full third of a mile stretch on each go around. According to the watch, I lost 6 to 8 seconds on each stretch into the wind, and would gain back only 3 or 4 seconds with the wind. For whatever reason, the wind never seemed to be at my back. The pace was all over the place. With each loop being .72 miles, the miles alternated being predominantly into the wind or with the wind. There was a four second difference between each set as you can see in the breakdown.

Three mile warmup in 20:32, then 5:48(157), 5:44(158), 5:42(161), 5:38(163). The 5:38 felt the best of the four, and the 5:42 felt the most uncomfortable. The first mile, the 5:48, I made the mistake of trying to relax into the wind and maintain effort rahter than pace, which immediately chewed up eight seconds that I never got back.

Recovery was the bright point of the day, coming down from a high of 164 to 120 in 1:02, and to 110 in 1:19. Three miles to cooldown on the treadmill in 22-ish.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Sunday, March 18, 2007

1:15:06 :: 10 miles

Easy recovery run on the treadmill. Wind and rain, so I elected to stay inside and use the treadmill in our new radon-free basement. Felt good compared to last week's slower recovery run.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Saturday, March 17, 2007

2:15:00 :: 21.1 miles

Very good run. Temp was 15F with *no* wind, and roads were pretty clear. A day like today actually makes me feel bad for guys like Mike who have days like this in March. Goal was to maintain 145 heart rate for 2:15. Goal accomplished, as I averaged exactly 145 for the run, with individual miles ranging from 141 to 151, but mostly 144-146. Paces ranged from 6:10 to 6:30, mostly 6:20-6:25.

I should have known how good this run would go based on how sleepy tired I was walking out the door. While I wasn't dreading the effort, I was certainly ambivalent about starting it. Following the first mile in 7:07, my legs were up to speed and my heart was banging out a steady 145, going through the first five in 31:46. The HR started creeping up at this point, so I feathered back a bit and settled into 145 again at 6:25 pace until mile 17, where that pace started registering 146. I decided to just maintain effort through the finish rather than try to slow a lot to maintain the HR, and ended with the last four miles in 6:24(147), 6:16(147), 6:16(150), 6:11(151). I felt like I was maintaining pace, though the numbers don't reflect that at all. Anyway, the overall run felt ridiculously easy, like an absolute jog. I haven't had many 20+ mile runs I can say that about, at any pace.

One other thing I thought was a good sign was I didn't take any gatorade today, just a few ounces of sweet tea five minutes before stepping out the door. It really seems like avoiding the insulin surge by heading out the door on an empty stomach has paid off. There is a huge difference between glycogen usage at 6:25 pace and 5:35 pace I'm sure, but being able to get through a 21 miler at this pace without taking on any fuel has to be a sign of fuel efficiency, right?

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Friday, March 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by esondag.

I got a sweet beardsicle going that day, too.

Another 'Conditions' Run

Another 'Conditions' Run
Originally uploaded by esondag.

Going through the archives, and I realized I talk about posting a lot more pictures than I ever do...

Here is one from a 20-miler in January some time. I think it was slightly above zero Fahrenheit, so it was at least bearable.

1:00:27 :: 10 miles (with 8@5:55)

Seven inches of snow yesterday and -9F this morning (but only -5F when I started the workout! JOY!), so pardon me for a moment while I express myself with a stream of expletives...

Never mind. I'm over it. The workout went well enough, although I was a little bit disappointed in the pace. It started out well enough, but quickly snapped back to the reality that my current marathon pace is around 5:55, not 5:45. Felt good today, notwithstanding my mental state, which is utterly filled with frustration, anger, and a dash of rage. If Mother Nature was a real person, I'd be in a holding cell right now waiting for a lawyer and my psych consult. The NCAA has nothing on me as far as March Madness is concerned right now.

The workout: two mile warmup in 13:12, then eight miles at current MP, based AGAIN on heart rate (152-154) because the roads and the temps were less than ideal.

5:46(151) | 5:50(153) | 5:58(151) | 5:56(152) | 5:58(153) | 5:58(153) | 5:55(153) | 5:51(154)

Breathing was a bit more labored than I would expect at this pace, due to the facemask, but otherwise felt really strong. Recovery to 120 HR in 37 seconds, and to 110 in 54 seconds. Felt like I could have gone twice the distance at this pace without a lot of extra effort. Good day in spite of the conditions.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

I give up

I give up
Originally uploaded by esondag.

Do I look happy?

Do I look happy?
Originally uploaded by esondag.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

53:27 :: 8 miles + speed

Best speed session so far. All four segments felt strong and controlled, but most importantly, smooth. No clunkyness in the stride, felt like I could shift gears if I wanted to (but didn't). All segments were at 4:40-4:45 pace. Did a full half mile, a quarter, and 2x200+ meters. The running between segments was done around 6:40 pace. Good run. Legs felt fresh and strong, although I am sleepy tired today.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

1:06:18 :: 10 miles + speed

Easy running with speed. Breezy and 30F. Calves feeling better today, overall still feeling a bit of fatigue, although the legs seem responsive. Had the best speed reps today of all that I have done so far. Except for the .45mi, er, make that .40mi at the start. Shut it down early because the lactate was boiling over. Just didn't feel good. Started off feeling good through 300m or so in 4:40 pace, then gradually deteriorated to 4:50 pace over the next 200. Realized I needed to stop short of my normal .45 at .35, and stopped at .40. Clear as mud.

Anyway, the 400 was very different. Felt smooth, strong, relaxed, and much more like I was striding rather than sprinting, which is how the 400 usually feels. Ended up in 68-69. Went into it thinking I would see a 73-74 based on the way I felt on the ~650.

The 2x200+ was more of the same, with the second feeling better than first. Strong and relaxed, each at 4:35 pace.

The miles in between reps were around 6:40 pace, 140-143 HR. Workout felt good overall. The speedy stuff seemed to wake me up from the sense of fatigue I seem to have going on since the recovery run on Sunday. Most likely that is from the back to back runs, but I have noticed in the past that I generally feel like crap after a serious recovery run, and that ten was seriously slow.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

38:07 :: 5.55 miles | 48:16 :: 7.5 miles

Run, interrupted. Run was interrupted by work, so I ended up running once at 4:30am and again at 9:00am. The first was on the treadmill. Feeling kind of lethargic, and my calves were being a bit weird, so I decided I was going to take a day off of the 'speed' schedule and try to recover the calves a bit. I would compare the feeling to the way your throat scratches right before you get a cold. Not sore or painful, just a sense of something on the verge. Anyway, I felt tired in the legs and body.

The second run was very different--outside, in 40F temps with a firm breeze to keep me honest. After the first mile in 6:50, I slipped into the 6:20s for the rest of the run, and finished with just under half a mile in 2:45, about 5:45 pace, feeling comfortable and fluid. Felt much more energetic on this run. What a difference a couple of hours made.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

50:32 :: 8 miles (4 @ 5:41 pace)

Evaluation run. Traction and weather were good, 28F with a north wind at 6mph. Ran the same 1200m loop as before. The moon was just coming up as I started, in kind of an orange-yellow hue, with just the right amount of haze in the air to give it a soft, mysterious glow. Waning just less than half-full, it made for the perfect 'man in the moon' photo. I wished I had my camera.

Three mile warmup in 20:46, then four in 5:42(157), 5:42(161), 5:40(162), 5:41(163). Recovered to 120HR in 1:06, and 110HR in 1:28. Finished with one mile cooldown in 7:00.

The two evals I have done so far have been in strong contrast. The weather for the first was awful (-9F, 15mph wind), but the effort felt a lot stronger and generally better compared to today. Today I could tell I was fatigued during the warmup, and it really showed up during mile three and through the finish. Mile three and four really felt like a tempo run, especially in the breathing. I have to say, though, that the legs felt strong and willing all the way through the run. The tired feeling is definitely in the mind and body, but my legs seem willing to do whatever I put them up to.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

1:13:48 :: 10 miles

Recovery run. Super easy. Out against the wind in 7:25 pace, and back with the wind in 7:15 or so.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

1:40:36 :: 16 miles | 30:12 :: 4 miles

When I was talking to God around mile 14, he told me, "Nice work. We'll talk again in a couple of weeks."

Wow. I will be happy to have a few more runs like this on my legs before Fargo. Good lord. I would put this run right up against this 22 miler from last year, no question. The big difference is, that 22 miler took me three days or so to recover from, and I can tell you right now, I'll bounce back from this run in one, without sore legs, cramping, etc. After the 22, I could barely walk and my calves were seizing up so badly, I couldn't even take a nap in the afternoon several hours after finishing. Not the case at all today. Pretty cool. On a side note, the 22 miler was done 68 days before Twin Cities Marathon, which I didn't run due to injury. Today is day 69 before Fargo. Neat.

Anyway, on to the workout. 10 miles in just under 6:30 pace average, right at 143-145 HR. I tried to keep it at 6:35, but just naturally slipped into a better rhythm around 6:30, and since I was hitting the right heart rate range, I went with it. Fairly tired overall, which probably had more to do with being restless on Thursday night than yesterday's workout. The legs handled the pace easily, but my brain seemed to be urging me to go back to sleep. 10 miles in 1:05:16.

Here is the breakdown of the MP miles:

5:52(158) | 5:53(159) | 5:53(159) | 5:52(159) | 5:51(160) | 5:49(162)

Starting the MP miles turned out to be a nice change for the first two. The faster pace seemed to wake up my brain and the effort felt better than the 6:30s for about 2.5 miles. The real work started shortly after that, and quickly turned into the workout I expected. Mile three was a sharp contrast, mile four was the toughest, and included working through a side stitch, miles five and six felt somewhat better, but with heavier breathing than the rest. While I wasn't anxious to keep going, I felt like I could have made 2-3 more miles before an uncontrollable fade. The legs were on autopilot, and the real effort was in maintaining focus. I was shooting for 5:55 pace, but again, 5:52 is about where I felt comfortable, and slowing down three seconds per mile is a bit too fine to govern. The last two miles I tried to key in on staying strong and maintaining to the finish while my form started to slip. The 5:49 was not intentional, and based on how happy I was to be finishing this workout, I'm just happy I controlled myself so it didn't turn into a 5:39. Heart rate recovered to 120 in 1:02, and to 110 in 2:06.

I thought of a good name for these Mystery Coach signature back-to-back runs. The first is the Fatigue UNderlayment run. These are great--the effort is strong, controlled, and relaxed. FUN. The next day is the Fatigue Underlayment Conversion Run. Figure out the acronym for that one yourselves. If you've run a marathon before, finishing one of these runs reminds you of something in the mile 20-22 range. If you've never run a marathon before, you hope you never feel like you did during one of these runs during the race, even though you realize that you will, and it will be an order of magnitude more painful.

Props to my wife, who is starting her own back-to-back run today. I opened the door following my run and was greeted by the wafting odeur of freshly baked chocolate chip scones. I swear I heard a chorus of angels and a nice little four-piece string symphony in the background as well. Probably just in my head, though. The scones were amazing. Thanks, honey!

Sweet relief...recovery run tomorrow. Have a good weekend everyone!


Four miles really easy in the afternoon. Sunny and 37F, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to run in shorts again. Spring is, near. I was also able to get a leg massage and a solid nap in this afternoon, which should be great for recovery.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Friday, March 09, 2007

1:01:39 :: 10 miles (incl. 7 @ 5:46)

Moderate run. Finally! Shorts and a long sleeve! Thirty-six degrees with a 14mph SW wind is plenty warm after getting comfortable in -15 temps for a month. I forgot how good it feels to run outside without tights, jackets, facemasks, gloves, etc. Interestingly, this morning's weather will likely be very close to starting conditions for Fargo.

Two miles in 14:04 to warm up, then seven miles at 156-158 heart rate, which should be equivalent to current marathon pace minus ten seconds. I stayed on my 1200 meter loop, mostly north-south, which reduced the wind to the point where it didn't help or hurt the effort.

5:48(153) | 5:45(157) | 5:50(157) | 5:44(157) | 5:45(158) | 5:44(158) | 5:45(158)

I felt a small change in my breathing rhythm around the end of mile five, but otherwise the workout felt as consistent as it looks (not sure what was up with mile 3--probably a GPS thing). Just a steady effort, no difficulty at any point, feeling very similar to the 10 milers I was doing around 6:10-6:15 pace a couple of months ago. Felt very energized at the end, not tired at all. Heart rate recovered to 120 in 36 seconds, and to 110 in 59 seconds. One mile cooldown on the treadmill.

Good workout. It ended up a few seconds faster per mile than I expected, probably due to dropping a couple of pounds of clothing. I think that gives me a more accurate picture of my current racing fitness though, as I wouldn't be racing in all of my winter gear. Mentally, this was a nice result. Man, dragging all that extra crap around in -20 temps just makes you feel slow, no matter what fitness you might have. It was nice to finally get half-naked and run around in circles kinda fast for a while.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

1:04:23 :: 10 miles + speed

A little bit faster on the speed and the running in between today. Twenty-two degrees with a 20+ mph south wind, so I did a two mile, mostly east-west loop to try to minimize my exposure. It worked pretty well, though parts of the faster runs were done with the wind, affecting the times by a second or two.

Two and a half miles to warm up in 16:51, then I did a full 800 in 2:23, feeling smooth until about 600, when my lower legs started to feel the 'locking up' sensation. That went away quickly, which was good. Recovery took around five minutes. Two more miles in 13:07, then 400 in 1:10. Felt smooth for the first half, and then the lock-up happened again. Recovered much more quickly from this one, maybe two minutes, and ran two miles in 13:11. Two times 200+ to finish, :41 and :38, around 4:40 pace, with one minute between. Both were relatively smooth, no problems with the shins. Recovered very quickly from these, and finished with 2.3 miles in 15:15.

Each day, the same effort gets a touch faster, and today I felt much more comfortable dropping in to a 6:35-6:40 pace after the pick-ups than I have since I started adding them to my runs. Good run.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

1:12:06 :: 10.25 miles + hills

Easy running with three hard hills, all on the treadmill. Did 2+ miles outside before giving up and having to come inside due to slick conditions from fresh snow atop black ice. Did .45, .35, .25 mile hills at 12%, 12%, 15% incline respectively with two miles easy between each. Really quite difficult. Focused on quick turnover with good form.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

1:14:13 :: 11 miles w/speed

Two mile warmup, then three 'speed' sessions with two miles easy running between.

.45 miles in 2:14 (4:55 pace) felt good, relaxed
.25 miles in 1:13 (4:52 pace) clunky, found rhythm late
2x.13 miles in :38, :36 both felt controlled, relaxed

Two miles after each of the first two sessions around 6:50 pace, finished with about four miles just under 7:00 pace. Legs felt a little bit heavy through each of the intervals, though today's effort felt better than last week's. Good run.

Speaking of a good run, check out this girl's blog. She's only been training seriously again for about five months, after a several year break. Most impressive.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

1:19:25 :: 12 miles (incl. 4@5:42)

Evaluation run. Traction conditions were good, however weather was marginal. I was expecting 10F with a ten mile per hour wind, but instead got -9F and a 10mph wind, requiring a facemask and typical cold weather gear. Other than the facemask and an extra pair of gloves, the weight and restriction of my gear doesn't change until about 30 degrees, so at least that will be consistent from week to week for a while. The loop course was just under 1200m, and worked out to give me two loops where I was against the wind twice, and two loops with the wind twice, which produced about a two second difference that can be seen in the breakdown.

On to the workout. Three miles to warm up in 20:39, then four miles in 5:43(158), 5:41(161), 5:44(162), 5:40(164). The stretches against the wind created a bit of increased ventilation, which required about 400m out of the wind to recover the normal, relaxed breathing pattern. Overall, the run felt very strong, controlled, and relaxed. Twice the distance would have been a challenge, and three times the distance would have been a race effort. I think. =)

Recovery was good. Walking normally, 120 was reached in 1:00, 110 in 1:22, and 105 in 1:49. The heart rate then leveled out around 105-107.

Finished jogging back to the house then added 4.5 miles on the mill at 7:00 pace. Felt really smooth during the cooldown, and very energetic. Not at all like I just ran hard for 23 minutes. Excellent run.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

1:13:48 :: 10 miles

Recovery run. Probably one of the top five most enjoyable runs I've done in nearly 20 years of running. Sun was shining, temps in the teens, breezy but not too windy, and some good tunes playing on the shuffle. The paved trails were 90 percent clear, so I didn't even have to fight with traffic today. Legs felt great all the way, and the heart rate rarely went above 135. Just a great run.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Saturday, March 03, 2007

2:05:17 :: 18.63 miles (30k)

Long run. Just a happy accident that I ended up with exactly 30k. It made me feel better about stopping before an even mile ticked off. 2:05 at 145 heart rate was on the schedule today. Given the conditions outside--five above zero with a 15 mile an hour wind and over a foot of ice and snow in the last two days cleared off roads and sidewalks to widely varying degrees--running to a specific effort/heart rate level was just the ticket to keep me from competing against the watch. It turned out pretty well. After the first couple of miles, I was able to maintain a 145-148 average heart rate, and the pace was decent, anyway.

I felt really good through about 1:25, before having a spell of tired legs. That lifted after about four miles, and the last two plus miles felt really good. I'd say over the workouts of the last two days, everything played out a bit on the conservative side, which is fine. Definitely a confidence builder compared to the past couple of weeks where a 7:00 pace run on the treadmill was sometimes a challenge.

I also have the long run out of the way for tomorrow, so my wife can get hers in without having to wait around for me to finish in order to enjoy what's left of the weekend.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend...cheers!
Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Friday, March 02, 2007

1:11:04 ::11 miles

Marathon pace workout on treadmill. Two mile warmup (13:54), then seven miles at current MP (based on heart rate of 151-156) in 6:02, 6:03, 6:03, 6:05, 6:09, 6:10, 6:11. Adjusted the speed to keep HR around 155, which got tougher as the run went on. HR went as high as 159 for a short period, which was also around the time when I was feeling the best (mile 5 and 6). Seemed like the lower end, 151-153 was less comfortable than the 155-157 range. My form seemed to fall apart and breathing was a bit heavier. Interesting.

Good run. I can see this is going to take some concentration, but the effort was reasonable enough to do for quite a while. But, if this is what marathon pace feels like for the first twenty before it gets tough, I have a lot of work to do.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury

Thursday, March 01, 2007

55:15 :: 8 miles

Easy run on the mill with speed and hills. Did 15 minutes at 7:00 pace, then .45mi at 6:00 pace and 7% incline, about 2:45. Although not technically 'speed', it definitely built some power. Did another at 30 minutes in 2:51, then .25mi at 10% incline in 1:30, which was the toughest of the three. Again, focused on powerful toe-off, hips forward, and relaxation.

Legs felt slightly heavy this morning, and there is a significant workload the next two days, so I did 8 instead of 10.

Run Two | Weather | Supplemental | Nutrition | Sleep | Injury