Sunday, January 27, 2019

Boston Training 2019: Week 7 of 18, Jan 21 - 27, 2019

OK, we're into the middle "trimester" of Boston Training and the heavy lifting is getting started.   Similar pattern to last week in week 7.   Here's the plan, from the Hansons.

We started the week I moved Monday's 4 easy miles indoors on a treadmill at work.   7 below zero didn't seem like a fun idea.

Tuesday was the first really big mess up of the training cycle.   Due to weather, I put off the scheduled intervals to the evening.   And then I ate dinner.   Then I went out and man, what a joke.   The weather was still cold.   The legs were dead after a long day at work.   The stomach was too loaded.   I did a half mile or so and packed it in.   Bad idea.

So, instead of the off day on Wednesday, I got back on the treadmill for 5 miles.   Not great but I ran.

Thursday's tempo run happened after an overnight snow.   I was out early but managed to find a loop in a nearby neighborhood.   5 solid miles at an 8:56/mile pace, better than the 9:08 target.   Hansons say you are not supposed to beat the pace, rather learn the pace.  So, I'm still learning.

Friday's easy run was back on the treadmill for four.   I got outside on Saturday for 6.3 easy miles in very cold temps of about 12F.

My long run on Sunday was complicated by some family commitments but I got it in around sunset in 8F temps.   Layer up.  And it went well, ten solid miles at 9:33/mile, ahead of the 9:53 target pace. 

But, man, it was cold.   And from the looks of next week, it won't get any warmer. 



Sunday, January 20, 2019

Boston Training 2019: Week 6 of 18, Jan 14 - 20, 2019

Now, training really starts.

I've known all along Week 6 was the big step up in the Hanson's program.  This is when the specific structure of their program (three hard days, three easy days, each with specifics) kicks in.   The plan looked like this.

I've been wondering since I decided on this in November what intervals, temp work and the paced long run would feel like...not to mention running six days in a row.

And I found out.

Here's how the week went:

Monday's 4 mile easy was OK, even at 8F.   The streets were remarkably clear after the weekend's snow.  10:54/mile pace

How to do Tuesday's intervals on slushy streets?   On my drive home from work on Monday, I scouted a nearby neighborhood and found a loop I could use for the 400m repeats.   On Tuesday, I ran there with a one mile-ish warm up, then used my Garmin to measure the intervals.   And 12 I did.   They were supposed to be at 2:03. 

The last two on very icy streets.   I was pleased, even though it was a tough workout.  I sense I'm going to learn a lot with the progression of Tuesday intervals. 

Thursday's tempo run is a continuous run at my target marathon pace (9:08/mile).   After, again, a one-ish mile warm up, off I went.   This one was tough.   It just took some grit to keep going at a 9:08 pace.   I eventually got it done, with an aggregate average of 9:07/mile.   Again, this sequence of Tuesday/Thursday will prove challenging I'm guessing. 

Friday--- Nice to go to an easy 4 mile run at 10:37.  And it felt easy.

Saturday-- Another monster snow storm hit early Saturday morning with heavy snow and 30mph winds.   I chose to run the required 8 miles on a treadmill at work.   Wasn't easy...I don't like the treadmill at all.   But I got 8 miles in.   Ugh. 

Sunday held the first Hanson's approach to a long run.   In all my previous running schedules, the "long run" is simply that...go run long with little concern about pace.   Not in this program.   It's a focus on a harder pace but not marathon pace.   This is odd for me.   Temps were right around 10F and the streets were icy but I decided to go outside, rather than mess with the treadmill.   The run went OK but I could not keep the specified 9:53 pace.   The aggregate ended up being 10:24/mile.   I did run continuously, not using my usual 7/1 run/walk as I do on the "easy" runs.   So, I'll take it. 

So, off we go...this will be the pattern now until the second week of April.   What a way to spend an Indiana winter, eh??


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Boston Training 2019: Week 5 of 18, Jan 7 - 13, 2019

Week 5's reality illustrated two key potential disruptions of any training plan-- illness and weather.  

Week 5 is the final week in the program of "just running" was laid out like this.

Looked straightforward.   Ha.

On Monday evening, I noticed some drainage in my throat.   I ran early Tuesday but felt worse through the day.   Wednesday and Thursday, I hardly got out of bed, the cold and flu bug was so severe.   Friday, I went back to work and managed an afternoon run.    By the weekend I was close to normal again.

And, then a big snowstorm blew in overnight Friday!   23 consecutive hours of snow, dumping about 8" of heavy, wet snow on us, our first significant snow of the season.   I knew Boston Training would include some snow/cold running but have been lucky so far.   That's done.

So, the actual runs for the week looked like this:

Monday:  Off
Tuesday:  5.3 miles @ 10:47...the head cold was coming on
Wednesday:  scheduled rest day but I was sick anyway
Thursday:  curled up in training run
Friday:  Rare weekday afternoon run, 5.3 miles @ 10:37
Saturday:  Run on 3" of snow covered paths, 8.1 miles @ 11:19
Sunday:   Run on slick roads, 6.1 miles @ 11:11

I chose to add Thursday's scheduled 4 mile run to Saturday's scheduled 4 mile run and do a single 8 mile run, to get the miles for the week done.   Not sure what the Hansons would say about this but I did it. 

The slower-than-specified paces on Saturday and Sunday ( targeted at 11:00/mile) were due to the sloppy, snowy footing.   I'm not too concerned about this in the days after a snow storm but non-dry pavement will make intervals and tempo runs a lot more difficult next week.   We'll learn as we go here.

Did I mention it was snowing on Saturday??   Here's what the ice looked like on my face after the 8 miles.  

This was a typical view of Saturday's run...every bit as grey and snowy as this looked.

Next week, the serious training starts.   Intervals, tempo runs, long runs, six days of running.   Hang on.



Sunday, January 06, 2019

Boston Training 2019: Week 4 of 18, Dec 31 to Jan 6

Moving through the holidays, Week 4 of Hansons Training just dials up the training a little more with one more running day and a tad more distance.   Here's the actual program for distance and pace:

Week 4 Plan

Of course, the Hansons didn't now I violated their protocol already by running The HUFF 50K ( race report ) on December 29, which meant I was ostensibly on "recovery" all this week.   In fact, after a marathon, I normally don't run until Thursday of the following week.    But, hey, it was New Year's week.

So, here's what I actually did this week, with distance and pace:

Monday:  Off
Tuesday:  9:00am, New Year's Day run with our local running club...5.2 at 10:22
                 4:00pm, another NY Day run with local running store...4.2 at 9:52
Wednesday:   Off
Thursday:   Off
Friday:  3.1 early miles at 10:29
Saturday:  5.1 hilly miles  at Happy Hollow Park, at 11:19, then
                 2.7 miles at 11:23 with grandson in training
Sunday:   4.1 miles at 10:31, late in the afternoon

I should add...I'm trying to figure out how to fit in hill work for the prep for Boston.   Absolutely everything I read and every Boston runner I've ever talked to said the hills there will chew you up...the early downhills and the more famous late hills.   I live in the to do hills?   We have a local park with hills and I did 5 miles on Saturday morning really chewed me up and spit me out.   I need to do further serious work there.

Week Five awaits, the final "easy" week in the program.   And no more major'll be straight up training through the end of March. 



Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year In Review

Total Miles: 1,402. 

2018 was an odd year, running wise.   I came off late 2017 having finally qualified for the Boston Marathon yet took my first ever DNF in the year's final event, the HUFF 50K.    Where would the year go?

I resolved to just run some events I enjoyed, plus some ultras.   With Boston in the bag, I could just enjoy myself, right??

Didn't quite work that way.

My weekly mileage chart for the year was consistently inconsistent.   This isn't very good at all.

The monthly totals were more consistent, except the injury-influences in February and March.   But the monthly totals were still too low, contributing to the weak annual miles. 

In January, I got my toenails worked on.   That got in the way more than I had dreamed.    While on a planned 17 mile run while on a February vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, my left foot got so painful, I had to walk the final 3 miles.

Plantar Fasciitis.

Yep, the dreaded PF, which I'd heard about in so many others, arrived in my very own left foot.    I took a full five weeks off from running.   Man, was that disorienting...haven't been off that long since I started this era of running in 2004.  By late March, I gingerly started running again.   I took a shot at running at an old favorite race of mine, running half of the Sam Costa Half Marathon.    It was OK.   A couple weeks later, I ran a real HM at the Carmel Marathon weekend and it was ok, not great, but ok.  

Looking at the miles by month, it isn't really different, just lumped together a bit more

Then, the test (or perhaps the stupidity) was the Glacial Esker 40 mile race in late April.   A trail ultra.  The second longest single run I've ever done.   I was pleased to have done it, indeed.  But it took a deeper toll in recovery than I anticipated.   I did come back in time, though, to enjoy one of the finest marathon experiences I've ever had at the Sandhills Marathon in early June. 

I messed up training in summer...the Run Less, Run Faster didn't work at all. That was really a bad move.   At least I got it corrected.   But the low mileage really got in the way of having any good marathons during the fall.  In particular, my performance at the Monumental in early November was disappointing. 

So, looking back to the start of this era of running in 2004, the annual totals are not so hot for the last three years.

Another major issue for the year was the sad but necessary end of the Circular Logic Marathon.   In 2012, wanting to give back to the sport I enjoy,  I started this early spring marathon on a one-mile loop in a local city park.  Amazingly, it grew and attracted a small but enthusiastic following.   The 2018 race went wonderfully.   But changes in the local park leadership, the construction of a new municipal swimming pool and the fatigue of the three of us who really led the effort made us decide to end the race on a high note.   It was a good, seven year "run" (pun totally intended) for this event.   I was glad to give back to running.   Yet, I'll miss it.

That's it for 2018.   Hoping for better in 2019.   But it's up to me to persevere.



Race Report: The HUFF 50K Trail Race 2018

ORN:  50K, 6:46:46, 13:06/mile, R/W 3/1.    90th of 156 finishers, 3rd of 6 in M65-69 AG

Quick Summary:    Just a very enjoyable day in the Indiana woods on runnable trails on a very mild, December day.   Enjoyed this race to the hilt.   

The Gory Details:

The HUFF 50K is a year-end mainstay of the midwest trail running circuit.  It's been around for over 30 years, the last 8 in it's current location at Chain O Lakes State Park near Albion, Indiana, not far from Fort Wayne.   I've run it many times.

I first participated on December 16, 2004, running a single 10 mile loop just seven months after the start of this era of running.  Until that day, I had never run trails at all.  I'd never run farther than 8 miles before that day.   So, it's funny to read now my race report of that day.  Dan Quayle, where are you now??  But, it was a big deal at the time.  

I've written about all prior HUFFs since the organizers had to move the race to its current location at Chain O' Lakes State Park.  Weather conditions in late December in Indiana give each year its own character . 

2011:  The Deep Water Year. ( 7:33:44) The most philosophical I've ever been on my blog.  The lessons of that wet, cold, muddy day still hold, remarkably.  link  The 2011 race and the "aura" surrounding it has grown over the years.   When I meet anyone who also ran that day there is an instant bond.   

2012:  A very runnable race day: (6:26:45)   link

2013: Another nice HUFF race with more snow pack, but I ran in shorts anyway: (6:32:01)  link

2014:  A good day and a 50K PR at the time (6:19:28) link  

2015:   The most runnable of the series, leading to my current PR of 5:59:51 link

2016:  Seven inches of fresh powder made it a day of slipping and sliding.   Amazingly, I won my AG. (7:23:12)  link

2017:  The coldest and harshest weather of the race series.   My head was not in it either, so I dropped out after one lap.   link 

Having done poorly last year in bitterly cold temperatures, I wanted to complete the full 50K this year. I drove to nearby Columbia City, Indiana the day before the race and hunkered down at Super 8, eating in my room and trying to then sleep.  

I left the motel at 5:30am, scoring a primo parking spot before 6am.   With an 8:15am gun, I had time to eat some oatmeal, nap a bit and stay warm in the car.

The view from my car, pre-start

With the sun still not fully risen, we got started sorta on time, which is a de facto tradition at this race.  The weather was between 29 and 31F all day long with cloudy skies and negligible wind.   Importantly to this trail race, there was no snow on the ground, had been little rain,   A very wonderful, runnable trail race day.

10 minutes pre-race, ready to go
Lap One was fun.  The pack was intact and the footing was wonderful, neither too hard nor too soft.   I chose to particularly work on my downhill running technique, knowing I'll need that full well at Boston in April.    It was just enjoyable.    The only fly in the ointment was a persistent "rock in the sock".   Somehow, three times, I managed to flip a pebble which got not inside my shoe but inside my sock.   Had to stop, take off my shoe AND sock, clean it out, reload, all in the woods.   

I finished lap one at 3:14 and headed back out to do the course again.

Lap Two at HUFF is always different from Lap One...the relay runners are largely done, the one lap folks are done, the full 50K field is spread out.   This year was the same.  

And I enjoyed it immensely. I simply ran and got into my own world, alone in the woods.   I had a good friend from work who I knew was having a tough day as I ran and many thoughts went his way.   

Around Mile 23, I was tiring but I knew a secret weapon awaited at the Rally Camp aid station.   They are famous for having fresh hamburgers and I remembered their miraculous powers.   I ran into the station, looked for the warming table, where a lady assisted by slathering ketchup all over a half-burger.   Yum...down it went, washed down with a cup of CocaCola.   Man, was that good.   I suddenly felt wonderful...the proteins, sugars and caffiene combined to pick me up for the final seven miles.   

The view in the woods looked like this almost all day.   

What I saw all day...a carpet of leaves

I simply ran and got into my own world, alone in the woods.   I had a good friend
from work who was having a tough day, as I ran and many thoughts went his way.

At finish line, with RD Mitch Harper

 I finally got into the final mile or so of the course and it was great to pop out of the woods and run the half mile or so to the finish line.   I felt fine and it never gets old to finish a marathon or ultra.   Fortuitously, as I concluded, Mitch Harper, the long-time race director was there and I could thank him and get my photo with him and my belt buckle.  

So, there it was, a nice run to conclude 2018's running.   It was marathon/ultra finish #85, which astounds me.    

Thanks for reading.   And persevere.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Boston Training 2019: Week 3 of 18, Dec 24-30

Week Three of Hansons training, heading to Boston.  And I took the biggest liberty I'll take with Hanson's plan.

Here was the plan for the week:

Hanson's Plan for Week 3

The weather was amazingly mild this week...I ran on Christmas Day and on December 27 in shorts.  Amazing.   4 miles on each day, at paces better than called for.   I'm wondering if I'm doing them too quickly.   By the same token, I'm not yet fully into the full teeth of the program, where I'll really need to back off and give the legs a break. 

I did two runs during the week, 4.3 miles @ 9:32 on Christmas Day and another 4.1 miles on a rainy Thursday @ 9:38/mile.   Then I really crashed the plan by running a 50K trail race on Saturday.   No way that's on Hanson's plan but I like this race so much and have run it now 8 years in a row.   So, crashola. 

The day after the 50K, I ran with my grandson for 3 miles at a 12 minute pace.  Legs were a little stiff but zero pain.   

So, week 3 is in the books.   And no races, only training now until late March. 



Sunday, December 23, 2018

Boston Training 2019: Week 2 of 18, Dec 17-23

So we move now into Week Two.   Not much different from Week One, really, except five running days, not four.    The plan from the Hanson's looked like this:

I only made one switch from the plan, running Wednesday and taking Thursday off, since I had a 7am meeting at work on Thursday. 

My actual runs/pace were:

Tuesday:  3.2 miles @ 10:13
Wednesday:  3.2 miles @ 10:25
Friday: 3.1 miles @ 9:59
Saturday:  3.1 hill miles at Happy Hollow Park @ 11:12; then 3.2 miles with my grandson
Sunday:  4.3 miles @ 9:29

I was pleased.  And I full well know this is the easy part of the training program.   Our weather has been unusually mild as well...I ran in shorts on Friday, for example. 

A challenge for me, as we approach Christmas, is ignoring the Onslaught Of Carbs.   Cookies, cakes, nuts and snacks are everywhere.   Candy doesn't do too much to me but breads, cheeses, crackers...yeow, those do me in. 

Week Three holds a 50K trail race...defintely NOT in the Hanson's plan.   But I'm going to do it, keeping up a streak at this race which I truly enjoy.


Previous Posts

Training Overview
Week One