Sunday, August 20, 2017

Love that dirty water

It struck me this week that fast runs take a little out of you.  Must take awhile to get used to dialing it up.  One thing was for sure this week I slept 8 - 10 hours a night most of the week.  The fact that I continue to conk out before 8:30pm during the week seems laughable.  No matter, one certainly can't complain about sleeping well.

We put in a small garden this year and the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are blowing my tiny mind.  The cucumbers are huge and crisp.  I cut some up with onions today and soaked them in milk and vinegar (with a touch of sweetener and salt) and put them in the fridge.  Delicious.  Maybe I can kick away a tad of the junk calories.  We ate this stuff continually growing up...not sure how I became a slacker.  I put in two tomato plants as the wife is not a fan.  I'm going to have my hands full keeping up with the crop.

So because I'm out Harvey Glancing it as of late the total miles mean little to me.  Hard one day and then two easier days if required.  I ran pretty hard yesterday and was pleasantly surprised I had the jimmy legs this morning.  Glad to report a solid ten was put in, though I was a bit knackered the final 3 miles.  I ran a new route which is a couple more miles on a busier road than I like, but when you go to the biggest dance of the year you dance with the one who brung yah.  Ahhhhh...the 10 miler.  The workhorse distance run for all age and sizes.  Inside you feel like this....get off me...I did stuff today.  Solid as Sears.

8/14 = Off
8/15 = Off
8/16 = 6.0 w/ 3.0 in 19:32 (6:31)
8/17 = 6.0 (9:22) w/ 8 x 20/40s
8/18 = 3.0 (10:26)
8/19 = 7.0 w/ 4.0 in 26:40 (6:40) + 8 x 15/30s
8/20 = 10 (8:56)
Total = 32.0

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tomato sandwiches

It has often been said, "You can't be all things to all people."  In running, I believe this, but am again coming to the conclusion the sport to me is more about enjoyment.  The enjoyment factor is spread out over many realms.  At the present time it does not appear to make sense to focus on one part of my running.  Well...sometimes it really does matter and then 4 days later it does not.  I continue to want to work hard and race well, but the investment seems to yield so little.  I mean if this were times past, who would scroll down a few hundred names to see I ran a blazing 6:30 per mile for an 8k?  How many people are scanning race results to see how the results of the 55-59 age group?  I don't even care about those results, why would anyone else.

This Saturday at 12:01am I had the opportunity to run with a couple handfuls of people for Angela's 90k event.  Made up of 2 loops of 45k each primarily on the Ice Age trail I could not resist.  Plus burritos at the 45k.  This is 2.5 miles from my house.  I bummed one of Angela's headlamps and off I went to enjoy the night moving through the woods.  As planned I stopped at 45k, had an awesome breakfast and then went home.  It was a very good time with some solid people.

Now I knew going in that this will compromise any real faster training for Al's Run, but who cares?  I'm going to simply do what I do and let things unwind the way they do.  Honestly...still having the ability to run is a blast so I might as well enjoy all it offers.

7/31 = 7.2 (10:15) road
8/1  = Off
8/2  = 6.3 (9:33) road
8/3  = 7.5 (10:08) trail, Men. Park w/ Dewey and Tim
8/4  = 5.5 w/ 5 k in 20:08.6, road
8/5  = 7.5 (9:36) road
8/6  = 8.0 (9:30) road
Total = 42.0

8/7  = 4.5 w/ 2.2 @ 6:18 pace, T-mill
8/8  = 5.5 (10:06) road
8/9  = Off
8/10 = 7.6 (10:25) trail, Men. Park w/ Dewey and Tim
8/11 = Off
8/12 = 28.0, Ice Age trail w/ the gang at 12:01am
8/13 = 5.4 (10:24) road
Total = 51.0

Friday, August 4, 2017


That was my 5k time off the watch today.  I was going to do mile repeats and decided let me see how I feel at the 1 mile split which was 6:33.  I felt in control so I just notched it up a hair and was able to hit my fastest 5k tempo for 2017.  That is an average of 6:29 per mile and I'm happy with that.  I wasn't wiped out or anything so I'll take it.  I am off work today, so I had a couple hours to wake up.

Six weeks to Al's.  The 5k today is really about the same effort as the 10k trial from Saturday.  If you punch the 42:09 in it says I am capable of a 20:12 which is real accurate.  So am I progressing?  Punch in 20:09 and I think it forecasted a 33:09 for the 8k.  That is still 99 seconds to shave off in 6 weeks.  I have to get faster...that's what my brain is telling me.  There is no breakaway speed.  I can't summon the hidden gear any longer.  Bootsy from Parliament has left the building.  The funk is gone.

I could ask 6 people how to best get where I want to be and I'd get similar responses in my opinion.  The best answer may be get to 165 pounds (172 today), run fewer miles, and race myself to a potential mini peak.  Finally if I punch in 31:30 for an 8k it says I should be capable of a 19:08 5k.  Somehow this makes it look even more possible.  Again these are efforts on my own and not under race conditions.  I'd love to think I could bring the mail.  The two things that absolutely killed me there last year was the heat and not having the ability to remotely handle a decent pace more than a couple miles.  I just did not see that former abilities off basic training had just vanished.'s real.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Garden Party

Was on the road much of the week so I switched to evening runs through Thursday.  I really can't gauge how I will feel that well any longer.  Driving a 1,000 miles in 4 days stiffened me up a bit.  However, I can feel beat and run well, or feel decent and run fatigued.  Bottom line is the regular runs are at a whatever I got pace and when I think I need to speed up I work through it.

7/24 PM = 6.0 w/ 3 x 1 mile on T-mill w/ 2:00 jog (6:35, 31, 27) felt easy
7/25 PM = 8.0 (8:41) roads
7/26 PM = 6.2 w/ 4 miles of fartlek, tired
7/27 PM = 7.6 (10:24) Men. Park w/ Dewey/Tim, trail/road
7/28 AM = 5.2 (10:24) roads
7/29 AM = 9.5 w/ 6.3 @ 6:47 pace, roads
7/30 AM = 7.5 (10:05) Minooka w/ Clem/Andrea, mostly trail
Total = 50.0

Saturday, July 29, 2017

10210 is too intense

Can you will yourself to a specific race time?  What's the governor or crowbar in some cases?  It seems we pick certain times based more on feeling or wishful thinking.  For those who have ran for years this formula may be accurate.  I know I've been guilty of thinking certain times were achievable, stated them, and then just completely failed.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Just so it's not habitual.  We do need to be honest with ourselves and at the same time set the bar high.  The one thing that always puzzled me about people racing the marathon was the standard, "What do you think I can run a marathon in?"  Then the obligatory other info that follows.  How could one honestly know?  To me the marathon is one of the easier distances to predict your finish time.  After 3-4 months of steady training you should know exactly what you are capable of.  The whole idea of training to me is finding out exactly what pace I should be able to run over the entire distance.  If you don't know that's a problem.

I wish I could write that the 31:30 goal I set for the 8k at Al's Run on 9/16 was well thought out, but it was not.  I never really train for Al's, it's always on the way to another event.  It is a team event for me, so there is a little bit more motivation to perform well.  Also in my tiny mind as the largest race in WI, it also serves as the yearly pecking order.  The run starts at 10:30am and some years gets flat out hot.  I have a good sense of how to run the race.  If you get out too fast that first net downhill mile and then try and maintain close to the same pace in the second net uphill mile you will pay for it.  For me this is a race you have to make it up in the last half of the run.  With a few thousand runners there are plenty of people to flat out race over the final couple miles.

In training you see markers along the way that identify fitness and trajectory.  In many cases I have ignored basic training principles because they don't apply to me.  Well...we shall see the next 7 weeks if I obey basic recovery principles, or if throwing a few extra miles here and there is more important.  The past couple years I have had to cut weight.  I run big for a 5' 11" and am really happy if I ever get to 172.  It pains me to not eat whatever I want and I'm terrible at it.  If one truly can gain 2 seconds a mile, then the drop from 174 to 165 would mean 18 seconds a mile!  If that is true then the 6:47 I averaged for 6.3 miles today (GPS) means roughly 6:30 pace at 165.  Factor in the drop to 4.97 miles, additional training, a taper, and the race factor then 6:20 pace almost seems certain.  Can I will myself to do it?  There are three items in play here.  Run the workouts, put the fork down, and don't try and do too much.  I feel good about the first one, am challenged by the second, and believe I can be reasonable with the third one.

I will go to counting calories starting Monday.  That's what works for me.  Numbers...a friend that will never leave you.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

He's a sort of athletic Beatle

After five weeks of pounding away I grew tired.  I am still somewhat enthusiastic about getting out, but the grand mileage experiment has halted for now.  Consecutive weeks of 70, 73.3, 77.0, 80.2, and 83.0 in the heat of the summer (with extra gear on often) tuckered me out.  Regardless, it gives me a good base to work on my next phase of whatever it is I want to do.  Which if I'm honest at this point is dial it down for Al's Run (8k) and see if I can possibly sniff 6:20 miles.  That's not a has come to that...and that is the HIGH end goal.  Last years debacle produced a 34:32 which was a disaster after the 31:55 in 2015.  The 6:20 goal gets me in around 31:30.  I pretty much know what training I'm going to do...I just get tired of reading about all the limitations I have to consider.  I'm guilty of probably working harder than I should and not resting enough, but it pains me to think 3 x 1 mile workouts, or 6 or 7 halves is going to lay waste to me.  With 8 weeks away I am partially unwilling to follow a two easy day and one hard day regiment.  I just took a couple easier weeks of 47.0 and 51.5 miles so I'm coming in a bit fresher.

After Al's Run it will be 9 weeks to the JFK 50 mile.  During Al's run training I'm not going to attempt to keep up with the long runs.  I can't do all that any longer.  I might get near 2 hours a couple times, but that is it.  I'd prefer to stay down by 1:30 for distance runs, or I won't be able to get adequate speed efforts under my belt.  After Al's (September 16th) I will immediately bat out a longer effort of 4 hours.  Then the Glacial Trail 50k is October 8th and I'll probably run 5:30 there.  Then at the very end of October I'll sneak in my last long run.  I have not filled in the rest of the voids.  Let me see how Al's goes.  I plan on running hard at JFK so I'll try and lather together the speed I hopefully have accomplished around a thin shell of over distance runs. 

If anyone has training theories/ideas please present them here.  All four of you that read this.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Riding the clutch

The past week I can't help notice that folks jog by me looking as if they felt like getting a few miles in.  They have all the appropriate gear on.  Not super lean and mean, but they are getting in some aerobic work on a regular basis.  Problem is I am running and it perplexes me.  The Nova SS days with a 396 are forever gone.  I have the straight 250.

I banged out 11 today at a moderate effort and it yielded 8:51 pace.  The days I could stand on my head and spit nickels and run a couple minutes...heck one minute a mile faster have been hidden forever.  Jammed in some place I'll never reach, tighter than a thumb up a pigs nose.  I guess part of the reason I run ultras is piling up miles is useful if you want to quasi compete at 50 miles.  I know I can only expect modest times and that's okay.  At least I feel like I'm doing the homework.

Also, I never had 396 like wheels...ever.  But the comparison is real.  All in a perfectly legal and binding sense.