Friday, April 23, 2010

Easy Boston Long Run...Not Quite

Boston Marathon was this past Monday and i arrived home Tuesday after a week away from home and good buddy Liam. Training up to the marathon had been pretty solid although in the last two weeks I had grown a bit stale since I hadnt had a downweek since september and still havent missed a day since 1/11/2010. While running has been going well Boston was never the goal but only an excuse to get in long runs and something I had committed to as a long run so at the very least i knew i would have to be in somewhat decent shape to make it thru. The plan was to just run this as a typical long run and possibly negative split the last half. The days/week after the race would be the down week and recovery I think my body needs since I've been feeling run down.

Wednesday was a travel day but I still managed to get in 10miles at a steady clip around a pond and some nice running paths that Mcgrane showed Vonny, Evans and I which was a welcome change from the Charles River path. Thursday and Friday were double days that had me at 11miles and 10miles while both Saturday and Sunday were an easy 40min jaunt. During this time I was unable to turn down drinks with my fellow reps and friends which led to very little sleep for the three days leading to Monday.

Monday morning I woke up and felt actually pretty good for sleeping about 90min total due to Todd Williams and Mark Coogan rehashing their glory days and reverting to 25yr old kids...which was pretty entertaining. Starbucks yogurt, some gross blue gatordade and a couple granola bars for breakfast and I was still feeling good but just ready to start the long run and get rolling.

Got to the start with Johnny Sipple and got my MiCoach all ready to roll and boom....we were off. Long story short I started off at an easy pace I've been running for months but as per the usual in Boston the downhills started to be noticeable pretty early. It would have hurt to run slower so i just kept running the same easy pace but was worried I was going to trash my quads and miss more than a week of my downtime. I stopped at 11m to take a leak and again at 19m when i ran into Emily Carano and chatted with her for about a minute then I was on my way again. By this point I felt that I had enough of a workout and just wanted to be done but still had another 45min to finish. At this point my quads were getting pretty rocked so I went into damage control and just shuffled in. For a run that was supposed to be easy as hell this did not feel good!

1)7:10 2)6:58 3(6:58) 4)6:53 5)7:08 6)7:00 7)7:02 8)7:04 9)6:58 10)7:04 11)7:05 12)7:00 13)7:03 14)7:05 15)7:10 16)6:58 17)7:09 18)7:13 19)7:03 20)7:28 21)7:39 22)7:20 23)7:27 24)7:22 25)7:36 26)7:31 .2)1:36

Tuesday and Wednesday were both 10min jogs that were not very good as my quads were drilled. Everything else is fine though. Thursday I went 2.5miles and was into an actual running motion but still have some lingering soreness. I would say I'll be close to 100% by end of the week. I'm just still amazed I had no pain, soreness and almost did a double the day I did my 21miler at Argonne.

So it goes...more updates to follow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dog Parkin

The last few days I have been getting up super early to run but then take Liam to Horner Park so he can party, hump dogs and run around crazy for an hour or so in the hopes that will make him content and more chilled out during the day. Not so much. I think he's building up his stamina now and getting a tolerance.

For some reason the Youtube link i placed yesterday was taken down so I'll try and fine another one. One record I have been totally mystified by has been the Smith Westerns. They are from Chicago, i've seen them be blown off the stage, they get endless amounts of hype and to be honest, their record sounds like dogshit. I have also been listening to the Dandy Warhols older stuff of late and for some reason i thought of their song "not if you were the last junkie on earth" when reading that Sookie aka Anna Paquin is bisexual. Vampire Bill better be watching his back now he's got double the worry.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

thawed out

After waiting since November to get out to Argonne last week marked the first time out there in almost 8mths. Those not familiar with it should know its 9.8m of rolling hills and crushed limestone. The goal was 2+ loops and to do it as a Boston simulator. The regular loop features the first 2m of some climbing then mostly some longer downhills from 3-6 then some climbing from 7-9. The plan was to just chill out, log the time and do one regular loop with the downs then reverse directions and do the long climbing.

The morning greeted us with 37degrees and a light wind and i was a bit worried i was undressed with short tights and a 1/2 zip but after the first loop i was burning up as the day got progressively nicer. Accompanying me on this run were old EIU teammates Andy Derks and John Sipple. The first mile is long by about 20-30sec but below are the splits:

8:02, 7:10, 7:06, 7:27(had to run on traintracks due to flooding), 6:47, 6:53, 7:03, 6:48, 6:48, 3:51, 3:57, 6:54, 6:51, 6:54, 6:45, 7:00(climb), 7:19(train tracks), 6:42, 6:35, 6:53(long) and 2:47 add on to hit 20m.

We ended up running 68/66 with a nice negative split despite hitting the wind and having the reverse direction being more difficult than the regular way. The best part of the run was there was no pain, no struggling and i felt full of run and could have kept going. The next day I was able to run normally and was completely recovered so these are all great signs. I'm still running thru Boston in trainers and a going to treat the run just like the above long run since the goal is to run fast this summer, not run a mediocre time in Boston. I just know despite being in good shape I'm not ready for the beating the course can dole out to you if you arent 100% prepared and to be honest I'm dead sick of having 6mths of running then 2mths of recovery. Breaking this cycle is something i need to do to keep running fun and positive.

Directly after the run I attended yet another college roommates wedding. I'm the last one not married off. It will probably stay this was as long as i keep bringing my ex-girlfriend to these and ignore the hot asian wedding party across the hall but making good decisions that relate to myself has never been my strongpoint. Do as i say....not as i do.

It was great seeing those cats for the first time in way too long and I'm sure we bored the hell out of everyone around us our decades old stories...good lord I'm getting old.

As for jams I'm seeing Miles Kurosky tomorrow night which should be fullfilling since i missed his old band bealuh when they toured Chicago in 2004 and broke up at the Abbey Pub.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

shamrock truffle shuffle

Shamrock came and went and to no surprise the near 70degree weather we had was broken by low 30's, snow, wind and rain. So it go's.

I managed to get a nice little spot in the elite tent and even had the low bib of # 12. A cruel joke but funny non the less. We hung out here before embarking on a 3m warmup which actually felt like a quick training run...of course those guys ran under 24:30 so that should give you the level that i was jogging around with. To the start and I was astounded by all the adidas adizero product seen on the other competitors. How do i have to beg and plead to get this stuff placed in stores then manage to see probably over half the elite(no, not real elites...other schmo's like me as well) field wearing this?

The 1st mile was passed in 5:30 and I was so far back it was insane. I thought i would be top 50 or so but I was closer to 300th at this point. Very humbling and a tad embarrassing. I kept on running in what felt like an easy tempo but i knew i couldnt go much faster and the next mile passed in 5:35 so I started to think that maybe I would run 27:30 which would have exceeded my goal by about 45seconds. After the duece we turned into the wind a few times and had a few tiny uphills that got us to the 3m in 16:46(5:40) so i was gradually starting to slow up but still passing people in droves. 4m was reached in 5:38( 22:26) and at this point I was just running to finish it up. Its still an odd feeling to try to dig down then have all the thoughts come into your head that you are running 3:30 slower than what you used to....being passed by kids wearing scottie pippen jerseys....whats the point? The last 600m were pretty rough as you go uphill into the teeth of a 20mph wind then have 300m to the finish. The final "kick" wasnt much more than a strider but I picked off a few people and almost caught Sara the mighty have fallen. The last mile was covered in 5:38 which gave me the grad total of 28:05 for the 5miles. I guess I'm pleased since that was my five fastest miles since 2004(tear rolls down my face) and I still have not done much other than so minor fartleks and easy running. Until I'm down under 27:00 I wont consider myself being competitve or even close to being successful in this half assed comeback though.

The rest of the day was spent drinking whiskey, eating breakfast quesadillas, drinking pbr's and eating burgers. Classy. Oh yeah....there was also an incident with a roller derby girl that may or may not make it into a future installment of the blog. I'm still trying to suss out what happened.

I leave you with this:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

still trucking....

It's been waaaaaay too long since my last post but I doubt anyone really missed me. It has been a crazy and hectic last few months and will continue to escalate until the end of May, the 28th to be precise. Many work functions, lots of running and a lot of resting and preparing have been going on.

Work wise i survived my first re-org that smacked the running unit which left me a bit worried about my own job but you just have to take it as it comes. In this industry it seems sooner or later you will be on the bad side of the desk before moving on....hopefully mine will come much later. Being without a direct boss and tech rep has been challenging as previously they were just such an immense help that nothing ever really fell thru the cracks. At the moment i'm still plate juggling/spinning.

Running wise things have been going stellar. Still grinding away and have increased from the usual 55-60 to 65-75 miles a week. Most runs are just logging time but twice a week I get in a fartlek. The core of these has been 6x2min on 1min off and this has become easy and I should probably do more and add time but its in the comfort zone at the moment. Today I met Kris Hartner of Naperville Running Co. I had to leave the city at 530am but we got out the door for 4x3min on 90sec off and 4x1min on 1min off and he was giving it. I should have known I was in for it when he walked out the door wearing the adios.

Long runs have been all pretty good minus the one i did down at EIU but that was due to coming off the bird flue/plague and dead legs than anything else. This past Sunday I ran with Derek Holland and Greg Costello and logged 2:13:30 which was 12min longer than anything I've done this season. The good news is the next day i puttered 6miles pretty easy then the day after that I was full on and recovered. That means the legs are standing up to the strain.

Jams wise I saw "we were promised jetpacks..." last week and have bought tickets to a number of other shows including: Miles Kurosky, Thom Yorke's solo project, Frightened Rabbit, 2 Door Cinema Club and will be getting passes to see Jonsi as well as the Jacob Dylan show in which he is backed by Neko Case who is brilliant.

Oh yes, I did make it to New Orleans to run the 1/2 and it went well. The goal going in was 1:16:30 and I was nearly there till cratering the last 1.5m and finished in 1:17:02. I ran the entire race solo until i was passed by Rick Wilhelm but thats no big deal. Those were my first 13 sub 6min miles since 2006 so I will gladly take them. Stories and pics to possibly follow.

In a Bit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

still going.

Ok, so i have failed my faithful readers by not updating these as much as i should have.

This will be a short one since i have spent the entire last 2 days online and need to close the laptop for a split reprieve. Still staying the course and havent missed a day since the 23rd driving home from Mnpls. My workouts have pretty much stopped since i have been babying my hamstring on the ice due to aggravating it from slipping around. Fear not, this is not a big deal and I am 90% which is about as good as i can ask for at this point. The mileage has been steady around 50-60 a week.

Last week i took it up a bit and knocked off 65miles and actually felt really solid doing it. Saturday was 1:56 with the first hour being run with JJ, Costello and Kafel who are far out of my league. It was steady and just a bit faster than comfortable but i managed the same pace as i turned around to come home solo.

Today i did my first uptempo effort in 2-3 weeks and it was primarily a rust buster as i plan on hitting the indoor track later this week or early next week. At 630am I shuffled out the door and 54min later i finished 6x2min on 1 min off that was surprisingly easy and led me to think it wasnt worth it. At this point i would rather be a tad undertrained than pushing the envelope everyday.

Some big changes have been the adding of a double a couple times a week, actually wanting to run early in the AM to have the rest of the day free and just continually feeling really good on my runs.

New jams of note would be the A.A. Bondy record "when the devils loose". I also saw the Cribbs with Johnny Marr and that was a blinder. Good jams all around.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

strange days indeed...

Last week topped out at 61miles for the week which is the highest ive hit since probably last fall/winter. It was a bit easier since it was kind of like an xmas break since store owners were on vacation or slammed with other brands begging to get in the doors. I of course receive samples late each time, cant make appts in advance and scramble around like a headless chicken chasing the deadline but ive come to accept being pissed off, frustrated and stressed out for 2-3 weeks and being done with it. Does it sound like I'm complaining...not really, maybe venting.

Anyhow I started tinkering around with MiCoach and its legit. Sometimes i do not like getting feedback like on days when its freezing, snowy and the HR and GPS tells you exactly how slow you are going. I did manage one workout during this time which consisted of finding a stretch of road on a one-way that was somewhat clear. I ended up doing 10x80 on 80 off so it was pretty much a 400m workout on the roads in 23 layers of clothes. The other great run i did was my saturday long run where i got in 1:50min which was about 16miles. This was totally easy and its startling how different it is running without 20lbs than it was last year.

At the moment I'm craving some mac and cheese so i leave you with The Dirty Mac. Long live Winston O'Boogie.