Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Week of 06/16/2014: Race Week!

As with most people's training plans, a lot of hope goes into race week.  Most people try to visualize success, what crossing the finish line will be like, etc.  Not too many people think of the various scenarios through which they might DNF, and that is precisely what I did on Saturday.

(Link to Race Report Coming)

Monday 06/16/2014

Scheduled:  REST

Tuesday 06/17/2014

Scheduled:  5 Mile Recovery Run
I missed my morning run so instead I ran four miles on the treadmill.  I did some intervals, mostly just alternating between easy and insanely easy, though I did throw in 4 x 400 m at HMP just to remind my legs that there is a race coming up.

One of the pre-marathon taper jitters that I have heard other people complain about is the feeling like they have suddenly gotten fat - They feel bloated and sluggish.  I definitely experienced this in the first mile or so tonight, until I got into the groove and apparently began thinking about something else.

Wednesday 06/18/2014

Scheduled: REST

Thursday 06/19/2014

Scheduled:  5 Mile Recovery Run
Skipped, Rested.

Friday 06/20/2014

Scheduled: REST/TRAVEL
I traveled with the family, we stayed downtown at Holiday Inn & Suites.  Fortunately we were checked in and settled prior to the 5k, which closed up some of the streets.  We made it over to the convention center (DECC) and had a wonderful time at the expo and the spaghetti feed.  Back at the hotel we swam with the kids in the pool for a bit before heading back to the room for the night.  I was head down by 10PM.

Saturday 06/21/2014

I did not sleep all that well before the race.  I had three devices with alarms set to wake me, though I hardly would have needed them.  I woke up to use the bathroom at 12:45 and 2:50, and when the first alarm went off at 5:45, I was up like a shot.

(Link to Race Report Coming)

After I was back and cleaned up, I took the family to the Duluth grill for some burgers.  We took the kids swimming in the hotel pool ( I spent some time soaking in the hot tub and swapping stories with some runners from the Fargo area).  Later on for dinner we had some Sammy's pizza in our room.  I didn't think that I would still be hungry after the mid afternoon burger feast, but I still wolfed down probably the biggest hunk of anyone.

All in all I was a little sore but the discomfort was manageable.  I think my pride was the biggest casualty of all.

Sunday 06/22/2014

Scheduled: REST
I was in bed by 10:30 PM and I did not stir again until I needed to use the bathroom 8 hours later.  Then I went back to bed and slept another 3 hours for good measure.  Miraculously, the children never stirred until after 9AM.  We had breakfast at the hotel and used the pool again for a bit before checking out.

Before leaving Duluth we walked around the now mostly vacant canal park and had lunch at Grandma's.  During our walk my wife took lots of pictures of us and the kids.  Even though my disposition was OK, I was still a little too morose to muster up much of a smile for pictures.  Post marathon blues are a real thing, and post DNF blues are another animal entirely.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Week of 06/09/2014: The Madness Deepens

It felt like I skipped a whole lot this week (I did) but in reality I only missed 5 of my 27 scheduled miles for the week.  All in all things are going OK, sore areas are starting to feel better, and I'm starting to think that I just might survive this thing.

Monday 06/09/2014

Scheduled:  REST

Tuesday 06/10/2014

Scheduled: 6 Mile Recovery Run

Wednesday 06/11/2014

Scheduled: 8 Mile Recovery Run

Thursday 06/12/2014

Scheduled: 5 Miles Spd, 5 x 100M striders
Instead ran an 8 mile recovery run.

Friday 06/13/2014

Scheduled: REST

Saturday 06/14/2014

Scheduled: 8 Mile Recovery Run
Lots of rain all day today.  I managed to sneak this run in during a window of time in the early evening where not a single drop fell.  No sooner than I was in the house than the floodgates re-opened and it was coming down cats and dogs again.

Sunday 06/15/2014

Scheduled: REST
Ran an easy 6 miles.  It was a beautiful partly cloudy day.  Felt great.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Week of 06/02/2014: In the midst of life, we are in Taper

OK, it is official; something broke inside my head.  I have lost enthusiasm for writing these posts, and I have reduced enthusiasm for getting up early in the morning to run.  If I hadn't gotten my Saturday long run in in the evening, I might have skipped that too.  I'm almost to the starting line, just trying to hang on.

My right knee and plantar fascia are still bothering me.  They aren't painful, just bothersome.  They make me wonder what the late stages of the race are going to be like.  I am in full blown taper madness right now.  Anxieties be damned, I am going to run this thing.

Monday 06/02/2014

Scheduled:  5 Mile Recovery Run

Tuesday 06/03/2014

Scheduled: 8 Miles Vo2 Max, 5x400m @ 5k
Instead ran a 6 mile recovery run.  54ยบ, Clear.  Felt great during & afterward.

Wednesday 06/04/2014

Scheduled:  6 Mile Recovery Run

Thursday 06/05/2014

Scheduled: 4 Miles Spd, 6 x 100M striders
Instead ran a 6 mile recovery run.

Friday 06/06/2014

Scheduled: REST

Saturday 06/07/2014

Scheduled: 12 Mile Long Run
Ran it.  I would have thought with the reduced mileage and the rest days that this run would have come easier, but by the end I could really feel it in my knee.  Again, not pain, just some discomfort.  The kind that makes you wonder what will happen at twice the distance.

Sunday 06/08/2014

Scheduled: REST

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Week of 05/26/2014: End of Training, Taper begins

Grandma's is less than three weeks away and I am a little concerned that my longest run for it will be last week's 18 miler.  At this point I need to concede that I have skipped enough of my training mileage that the race outcome is going to be affected, hopefully just in the ease of which I finish, not by my goal time or whether I finish at all.  A side by side comparison tells me that I do have more hay in the barn this time around than I did for Twin Cities in 2012; hopefully I will enjoy at least a better (if not optimal) experience than I did in that race.

I think that like my plantar fascia, the knee issues that I am encountering due to my iliotibial band is something that I will be able to manage.  Taper starts next week; though since I gutted the heaviest part of my training schedule I don't feel like I am tapering down from much.  And after the race I have allotted myself three weeks of recovery before training for Twin Cities begins in earnest. So really, aside from a couple remaining mid distance runs and the race itself, I have a fairly easy six week window that I am entering.  

The time now is to enjoy the anticipation of the race experience and to forget about any pangs of guilt over skipped mileage.  My feet and my knee are more than enough to worry about without having to try to sooth my conscience as well.

Monday 05/26/2014

Scheduled:  8 Mile Recovery Run
I rescheduled my skipped 20 mile long run from Saturday to today.  I got through the first five miles with no issues, though by then my hat was soaked and the sweat was coming off the bill in steady drips.  I practiced my on the go nutrition with gels (1 per hour) and overall felt pretty good.

Around mile seven that pesky knee twinge started up again;  I tried varying my stride and doing knee rises but it did not go away.  The sensation was more one of discomfort than pain, though I could easily imagine the later stages of the run, when everything starts locking up under the best of circumstances, that the knee might squeal to a halt like a rusty gate hinge, and leave me broken down on the side of the road.

The ten mile mark is at an intersection two miles from my house, so I knew that I would have the option to either turn right and continue with my run for the full distance, or turn left and cut the run off at twelve miles.  By ten miles there really wasn't any change either way, and in the end I decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and opted for the safety valve.  The good news is that the rest of my body (feet, ankles, etc.) handled the distance quite well.  The knee itself was only a discomfort, never a pain (though it did tighten up after the run when I had rested for a while).

Tuesday 05/27/2014

Scheduled: 7 Miles GA, 7x400m @ 5k
Time constraints again forced me to cut my Tuesday workout way back; furthermore I decided to do another simple run on the treadmill at a very easy pace to see how the knee responded.  I could feel the twinge of discomfort the entire time though it never really became painful.  So for the moment things seem manageable as long as I do not over-do it.

Wednesday 05/28/2014

Scheduled:  10 Miles MLR
Continued discomfort on the outside of my right knee.  Turned off my alarm in the morning and gave it a test drive to the bathroom and back.  I laid back in bed and did some additional reading and research on Iliotibial band syndrome, followed by some of the stretching exercises that I learned.

Thursday 05/29/2014

Scheduled: 5 Miles Spd, 6 x 100M striders
Skipped my miles again today, rested and stretched.
I'm really getting sick of writing that in my reports.

Friday 05/30/2014

Scheduled: REST
I stuck to my guns today and took my rest.  Not only of my body, but also ensuring that I got proper sleep.

Saturday 05/31/2014

Scheduled: 18 Mile Long Run
Thunderstorms and torrential downpours kept me indoors today so I ran a reduced workout on the treadmill.  I ran two 5 mile sets of intervals, the first run at recovery pace with 400m intervals run at HMP and the second run at HMP with 400m intervals run at 5k pace.

My right knee twinged during the speed intervals the first couple of miles, and then things got better.  But the twinge came back, along with general sloppiness of form, when I started succumbing to fatigue in the back half of the second set.

What I learned from this workout is that
1) the rest and massage seems to have made the overall running experience better,

2) No matter how you look at it, the back half of Grandma's is going to be a wild ride, and

3)  If today's HMP was my GMP, I would need to reconsider my goals.  As it is I think that my GMP is still do-able.

Sunday 06/01/2014

Scheduled: REST
I was tempted to get out there and make up some of my missed weekly mileage today on my planned rest day.  The rain helped convince me to go back to sleep; the treadmill never even crossed my mind.