Monday, October 25, 2010

WEEK 42: 13 miles and Groton Forest Trail run

Monday: rest
Tuesday:  30 min Elliptical, 1 mile TM run (just cuz), tiny bit of core
Wednesday:  20 min elliptical, 2 mi TM, core, some upper
Thursday :10 min elliptical, 3 miles TM
Friday: 3 miles roads (5K route baker-optical)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: GROTON TOWN FOREST 3.4 Mi Trail Race

Pretty low key week.  I probably needed it.  Greg, Boj, and I ended up going to the Groton Town Forest trail races.  They ran the 9.5 miler and I wimped out and did the 3.4 miler - best decision I've made in awhile!  I was pretty tired from a restless night of dog-sitting and snoozed in the car until noon while the boys warmed up.  At 12:30 the 9.5 mile race takes off and then the JV race 10 minutes later.  It was a really fun course.  Lots of steep, short hills- but you always get a breather at the top- steep downhills, but also short- not the entire side of the mountain like Monroe- and a twisty-turny single track in between. I went out pretty hard, felt good (except for that "GI issue" I get sometimes), and got a good 30 minute workout out of it.  Even got a t-shirt and gloves for my effort.  I can't express how thankful I am I didn't run the 9.5 miler.  Maybe I am learning something... I ran back to the car to get the camera and got back in time to see Greg and Boj finish (still using up the film on the disposable).  By then it was cold and rainy and I'm sure they were glad they didn't have to wait for me to finish the longer race too!

This week- get back into the gym and get some high intensity workouts in without disturbing all my aches and pains- got one in this morning already.  I think my focus is to lose a little weight (a plate of pumpkin whoopie pies made by my officemate is creeping up behind me as I type) and work on the shorter races (I'll grow out of that "gotta go to the bathroom right now" urge in the middle of hard efforts right?).  As of right now we aren't racing Hairy Gorilla next weekend.  I might do the local trail race in Madame Sherri Forest (7 miler or 5k) with Glen and Greg might go run in Putney with the boys.  Either way, it's a process, and I love it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

WEEK 41: 28 miles and Baystate HM

Monday off; Cold Whirlpool for my aching feet!
Tuesday AM: lift/core; AM2: 3 mile roads; still kinda beat up, but seems like it'll all pass by sunday! Fingers crossed!
Wednesday AM: random strength/core;  AM2: 5 miles road - (Baker -Eastern-bikepath-water-eastern-optical-baker) Good route. No ITband pain- just a hint of it here and there. 
Thursday 7 mi roads - wesport to fosgate and back. Just need to rest a couple days I think.
Friday off, rest my aching feet!
Saturday off
BAYSTATE HALF MARATHON: 1:58 official time- 1:56 my watch because I stopped it when I waited on the bridge to see if I could see Greg in the marathon

Well, not exactly a good week of miles or a good race, but not all is lost.  I admit I was still very beat up from the trail race and only ran Baystate because I had registered weeks ago.  At 4:30AM (not early enough) I drove to Lowell, MA with Greg, Justin, and George and it was fun to hear them talk pre-race strategy.  I felt good running around while getting our numbers and shirts (cool shirts) and thought maybe I'd have a better day than I expected.  Even as the race started I felt good.
The first two miles were too slow- 8:30's.  So I picked it up a bit once the crowds thinned out.  Next two miles were 7:43/7:47 and I thought I might have something going for a good 10-miler.  Then the IT Band started to hurt.  I was surprised because I ran 7 on thursday without it hurting at all.  It wasn't terrible, so I pushed through for a couple more miles right around 8 min pace and still thought I could piece something together. Then there's a part of the course where the road is off camber and I could no longer keep the IT Band manageable.  I think if the road had been tilted in the other direction it would have healed me completely! Anyway, I decided not to get upset and to just run and enjoy the beautiful weather- it was too late to drop out.  I thought I still had time to see Greg on the bridge where the half and full marathons pass each other running in the opposite direction, but I had slowed to much.  That bummed me out a little.  I stopped and waited for 2 minutes just to be sure. Then decided I better get going so I beat him to the finish!  I continued to take my time and at 10 miles thought maybe i'd try to pick it up and at least finish strong.  My aches and pains didn't want to hear about it- by then my feet had joined the ITband party- apparently they were enjoying the beautiful weather too!  So I conceded and made my way to the finish...slowly.  Too bad because my fitness felt good- not even sure I sweat much or got my heart rate up.  Overall, I liked the course and could picture myself running much better there.  Oh well, I'm over it. 

I finished, got my bag, and got to the top of the stadium where you could see over the last bit of the course.  I watched Greg motor in and even yelled loud enough for him to hear me!  I got a couple pictures (almost forgot because I was so excited) but used a disposable camera because I didn't want to leave my good one in the bag check, so it'll be awhile before I use that film up and send them off to be developed.  Anyway, he had a great race - finshed a strong 2:34 (that's my man!) and, more surprisingly to many, liked it!  That made my day and at least I got a run in and a cool shirt. 

I'm pretty banged up, but not knocked out.  It's part of the process, and I still love it.....

Monday, October 11, 2010

WEEK 40: 35 Miles and Monroe-Dunbar Trail Race

AM: Strength + elliptical; AM2: 5 mi TM/45 min, speed and hill play...good workout

AM: Strength + elliptical; AM2: 5 mi TM/45 min, more speed than hill play...good workout #2

Spin + 2 miles TM + core and some strength (hip/pulldowns)

4 miles ashuelot Road loop + 4x hill sprints; feel pretty good, IT band still lingering, log 5 miles

Pisgah run with Griffin, keep passing LilyPond Trail! North Ponds over to Baker-hubbard...IT Band got bad with downhill- uh oh. Might be a problem Sunday, but it was a beautiful day! Log 7 miles.



Monroe 10.5 mile Trail Race; Holy crap that was a hard 1:58:30!   Log 11 miles

Miles: 35

Good week until I got my ass kicked at the trail race, but I digress.  I think the light strength sessions in the early AM followed by a run a little later (after a class or meeting) early in the week were really good for my body.  I felt strong and flexible and my usual morning sore/stiffness didn't exist.  I would have had a 40 mile week if I had run with Donna in Pisgah on Friday- but she had to cancel because of a meeting.  I went out on my own and had to cut it short because of my IT Band anyway.  That was the biggest worry going into  the trail race, downhills especially seem to fire it up.

So, the Monroe -Dunbar Trail Race.  Greg and I headed out on a beautiful, chilly Sunday morning to Monroe.  Very pretty drive, but very winding and soon I was car sick.  No, it wasn't Greg's driving- well, not until he was annoyed we couldn't find the race and then was driving like a crazy person.  We did get there in time and got warmed up...well he did- apparently I took too long getting my shoes tied! haha

What a beautiful morning!  At 10am we were off and Greg had warned me that after we run along the river the trail goes uphill and I would probably have to hike.  sweet.  He was right- I hiked for a LONG TIME!  I tried not to lose my cool and ran when I could.  Finally we came out to a fire road and I felt pretty good- the car ride nausea had worn off.  The course turned onto another single-track and I felt my IT Band a little bit on this downhill.  "Luckily" another uphill came and my IT Band stopped hurting.  I passed a couple people on this climb and thought I was doing well until I realized we were still going up.  Holy cow I was tired.  I "hiked" a couple more times and obviously wasn't the only one hurting as a guy who passed me while I tied my shoe asked "when do we start going down?"  No idea, dude.  I thought it was never going to end- everytime I looked ahead of me the people were above me somehow!  I didn't look at my watch much but remember thinking at 1:15 that Greg was probably done and I just got up the hill!  Pretty close. 

The trail finally started to go'd think that'd be good news, but it was bitter-sweet.  This was some serious downhill stuff.  I tried to bomb down as fast as I could- a couple people got out of my way- more scared I'd fall into them than awed by my graceful descent.  At least I was covering some ground now. 

I was on my own for a bit and started to worry I was not on course, but a woman I had passed on the uphill came up behind me and I let her pass so I could follow someone.  I stayed with her for awhile.  We got to the first creek crossing and I didn't stop at the water station because I didn't want to lose her!  We got across- that was fun by the way- and there were rolling hills to follow.  At another major descent she pulled away and I was babying my right IT Band unsuccessfully as my left foot was hurting.  This is where I started to get frustrated just a tad.  Every little hill was like a kick in the chest and I really just wanted to be done. Another creek crossing reminded me that this was "FUN"!  FINALLY, I got across the road and to the last little bit of the course that is through huge tall pine trees (Greg will fill in what type exactly).  Time 1:58:30, felt like 4 hours and damn I was thirsty!  Greg won overall (yay!).

We ate meatball subs, drank cokes, and sat in the sun.  That was a really hard course.  I wasn't expecting it to be harder than Pisgah, but because the downhills are so terrifying and the uphill so long and brutal it really was for me.  At Pisgah I only walked a little on the ridge.  Crazy.  It was fun though and maybe by next fall I''ll consider doing it again. Not bad for my fourth trail race.

This week I have to treat these nagging injuries i.e. Right IT Band, Left mid-foot sprain.  I don't think they will be as cooperative on 13.1 miles of flat road.  I know that sounds strange, but in the trails I'm thinking more about where to put my foot and how to avoid that tree rather than how much I'm hurting; on the road I can feel everything and mull it over. Today, my legs feel good!  But my feet, oh yah, right foot heel spur too, are making me walk as though I am sore.  Just got out of a cold whirlpool and will go from there.  I will take today off from activity as I am already at the office and have a pile of stuff to do, but I would like to repeat the lifting/running scheme of early last week tomorrow and wednesday.  I am looking forward to Baystate- more as support for Greg and to hang with the Keenyans who are running the full.  My goal is still sub 1:50, but if I feel strong and am not hurting I won't rule out something closer to 1:45.  It's a process...and I love it!

A stop at Hogback Mtn on the way home after the race....I guess I was kinda zonked!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

WEEK 39:18 miles

circuit madness + 3 miles; whoa fitness is way down or just tired from the hike yesterday. Going to pretend its the latter for now. Still dealing with ITband, feet feel ok.

6miles TM (speed/hill play) + a little sore, kind of a struggle with LBP, but ITBand didn't hurt- probably because I didn't run long enough.


TM 3miles...this week sucks.


Pisgah run with Griffin; 6 miles

Not much to summarize!  A migraine hit midweek and didn't release it's grips until saturday.  Then I spent Saturday in what I call a "migraine hangover", where I spend the day in a daze, hoping it's really gone, and scared it's going to come back, so not much getting done that day either.  Sunday I had planned a long run, but really just got out into the crisp fall morning in beautiful Pisgah with my favorite wolf and ran around a bit.  It just felt great not to have a headache, puts things into perspective and makes me appreciate being able to run as much as I do.  I had forgotten about my It Band, but unfortunately was reminded about 3 miles into the run.  Oh well, at least now I feel like I have the energy to get after that and take care of it. 

I feel like I have made all the gains I am going to make this year.   Got 12 minutes off my half marathon and my 5k under 8 min/mile pace so I am happy.  Can't seem to get into a groove this fall so I am going to just go with it and enjoy the beautiful fall running.  Greg and I have some cool trail races planned and the goal for me at Baystate is sub 1:50.  I will start my work for next season, mainly dropping some pounds and finding sneakers I love (trail and road).  It's a process and I love it....