Thursday, September 29, 2011

F&!*#@^ your legs! Just F&!*#@^ em!

Mon 9/19 (7.9mi, 55min, 7:02/min) After a mediocre 18 miles on Saturday I took Sunday off as usual and went for a hard Bridle Trails loop Monday. My training plan called for an easy day but I was feeling good after a day off and the weather was warm but slightly cooler than the last few weeks. I pushed the pace from the start and didn't feel like I was really running that well. I was definitely pushing myself and at the point of trying to hang on and keep from slowing down. Running the loop CCW changes the climbs around so that I don't have any for the first half and then have a short hard climb and a short moderate climb just after passing the halfway point. I felt pretty good going up the climbs and found a good piece of motivation from a podcast that I regularly listen to called Marathon Talk.

Each week on Marathon Talk the British hosts have a common set of segments covering what they've been up to, running news, rant/raves and upcoming marathons among other things. One of the regular segments is a comedy bit read by a great English soap actor called Tony Audenshaw. The bit is called "Tony's Trials" and it's a usually Tony talking about things happening in his life that tie into running. This particular podcast had to do with motivation and Tony was explaining to a friend that no matter if you run relatively hard or at your limit, your legs will still hurt afterward. This led to Tony's common refrain / amusing tagline of the segment: "So just F&!*#@^ your legs! Just F&!*#@^ em!" with the profanity beeped out. It was funny but at the same time made me think about my legs. It inspired me to ignore my legs and continue pushing myself. I kept the pace up and kept ignoring my legs to finished with mile splits of 6:34 and 6:06 stopping my watch with a new PR of 55:34. This was 1:45 faster than my best time for a full Bridle Trail loop and almost 4 minutes better than my previous best CCW loop. Breaking 55 min is next on the list if the trails stay dry.

Tue 9/20 (6.8mi, 58min, 8:36/mi) After Monday's beating I headed out to Viewpoint park for the first time in quite a while. I ran 4 loops around the trails. In the middle of the 3rd loop I felt a sharp pain in my right foot near the attachment points of 3rd and 4th toes. It was so bad that I had to stop dead in my tracks and wait a few seconds for the pain to go away. It lasted about 30 seconds and it was very out of place for me (and a tad scary.) My right heel was also hurting, probably from pushing it too hard on Monday in the Trail Gloves. I absolutely love those shoes but they offer just about zero protection against even smaller rocks. I took it easy and trotted back to work.

Thu 9/22 (8.3mi, 1h 9m, 8:19/mi) My heel was still sore so I skipped my run on Wednesday and just went to the gym instead to spend some quality time with the Kettle bells. Thursday I ran a full loop around the Bridle Trails but added a little detour in the middle of the lap to follow the route that the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival follows. I want to run one of the events in the race coming up this January but I don't know which one. The 10 mile was fun last year but doing a 2 or 6 person 50K would be fun as well.

Sat 9/24 (13.5mi, 1h 50m, 8:10/mi) I took Friday as a complete rest day and had a weekend non-long run scheduled for Saturday. I had to finish in under 2 hours so I set off to run a few local hills. I went up the Tunnel trail, out around Ray Nash and then onto Whitmore/78th. I practiced power-walking up the steep side of 70th and then headed down 40th toward Wollochet. From there I looped around 24th to come around the other side of 70th with a quick half loop of the park before heading straight back home with 10 minutes to spare.

This caps off a relatively lighter week of 36.5 miles. I planned to run fewer miles week this week because:

a) It's good to throw in a recovery week once in a while and
b) I was on call for work so I had to be reachable by phone and be relatively close to a computer so couldn't just go for a long run after work.

Mileage will pick back up next week with my last long run (21+ mi) on 10/2 before the Pt Defiance 50K on 10/15.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A big week

9/12 (5.5mi, 36min, 6:33/mi) In my list of standard routes that I track my PRs on is the "Redmond Streets Loop" that I haven't run in almost a year. I only had one entry in my PR list for running it CCW so I gave it a try. I came in at 36:04 which beat the previous PR by 12 seconds but I feel like I could beat it by another minute on a good day. I think it was the first time running this route where all of my splits started with a "6". I was impressed by this given the mile+ hill early in the route.

9/13 (3mi, 23min, 7:54/mi) Run #1: I ran 3 miles on the treadmill at lunch before lifting weights. 2.5 of them were in my socks before one of the employees came over and told me that I had to put my shoes on for safety reasons. He said that there was a risk that the treadmill could grab my socks and pull me down. It'll never happen but I stopped and put my shoes back on for the last half mile rather than argue.

9/13 (15.3mi, 1h 59m, 7:48/mi) Run #2: I didn't get my long run in last weekend so I made it up on a Tuesday. I ran down to Redmond from work and East through Marymoor park over to the East Lake Sammamish trail. I'd never been on this trail and had no trouble finding it. I did have to climb over/around a couple of construction fences to get there however. I ran South on a trail that goes between the road and the lakefront houses until I hit the 7.75mi point. I turned around and came back at a slightly higher pace. I felt pretty good and kept up with my nutrition. Somehow I made one 22oz bottle of water last the entire run.

9/14 (6.4mi, 55min, 8:35/mi) I ran an easy run around part of the Bridle Trails. My right heel was a little sore. I guess my Merrell Trail Glove shoes (which I just love) aren't quite padded enough for 15+ miles on hard dirt and pavement. Either that or my feet still haven't toughened up after 500 miles in those shoes.

9/15 (6.5mi, 55min, 8:33/mi) I took it easy and went down to Grass Lawn Park for nearly 4 miles of barefoot running around the track. It would have been a little more enjoyable if it weren't peak soccer season with 3 separate kids practices happening at the same time on the small field. Kids were spilling out onto the track at regular intervals. Add to this a group of adults (who sounded either Russian or Serbian) waiting to use the field who decided to stand around on the track while they warmed up causing me to have to weave around/through them for about 15 laps. Ugh.

9/16 (3mi, 26min, 8:40/mi) One more day of easy treadmill running at the gym before hitting the Kettlebells and other misc. weights.

9/17 (18.1mi, 2h 25m, 8:35/mi) I managed to get my long run on the proper day this week. I ran in the morning just as the rain was easing up. I did a few loops around different parts of Gig Harbor before heading with 18 in the bag. I didn't feel particularly good on the run despite nailing my nutrition and hydration. I fueled with 400 Kcal of CarboPro in my Nathan's Bladder along with taking a gel every 30 min. I'm not that happy with the pace but given how I felt in the morning and the mild stress that comes with doing long runs leading up to an event, I shouldn't be disappointed.

Also, I'm just shy of 58 miles for the week, which I realized is my highest (non racing) weekly mileage total ever. I thought I'd done at least 60 in the past, but not according to my spreadsheet. My highest ever was the week of the Helen Klein 50 mile race back in 2002. I managed 65.5 miles that week including finishing the race.

The calm before the storm

9/6 (7.9mi, 58min, 7:22/mi) I headed out for a full loop of the Bridle Trails as fast as I could. I would have beat my PR, but instead I fell just over a minute short due to yet another Gingerbread man. I didn't stop my watch during the break so I'll still count the time as my 2nd fastest. I felt good and picked the hard pace right back up after my urgent pit stop.

9/7 (6mi, 44min, 7:27/mi) Run #1: At lunch I ran on the treadmill at the gym before lifting weights. I started with an 8:00/mi pace and sped up 0.1mph every half mile and then really picked it up the last half mile. Not too bad for a treadmill run.

9/7 (12.0mi, 1h 30m, 7:32/mi) Run #2: After work I headed down to the Sammamish River Trail. I ran the first half at just under 8:00/mi pace before turning around at the 6 mile mark and heading back with mile splits in the low 7's and even one in the 6's. Felt good.

9/8 (6.45mi, 59min, 9:07/mi)
An easy run in the bridle trails on tired legs after the previous day's 18 mile total.

9/9 (5mi, 39min, 7:49/mi) I ran on the treadmill with socks on (no shoes) before lifting weights. It felt pretty good as long as I kept the incline on the treadmill at 1.0% or higher.

9/11 (5.6mi, 51min, 9:10/mi) I ran easy after getting the kids to bed. I didn't feel very good at the start but felt better as the run went on. Easy Sunday night run before starting a big week of running.

Picking up the totals and a disappointing kids race

8/29 (7.9mi, 57min, 7:12/mi) After recovering over the weekend with a big fat 0 miles I attacked the Bridle Trails, running just under 57 min for a full loop. This would have been a PR for me except that I had to stop twice for the Gingerbread Man and stopped my watch each time. Other than that it was a great run.

8/30 (4mi, 31min, 7:42/mi) I went to the gym at lunch for some Kettlebell swinging and plyometrics. I managed a 4mi run on the dreadmill as a warmup. Nothing special.

8/31 (7.9mi, 59min, 7:32/mi) I went for another hard run around the Bridle Trails but my legs just didn't have any pop after my session in the gym on Tuesday. Great weather and great mindset made for a very enjoyable run.

9/1 (5.0mi, 39min, 7:46/mi) Run #1: 5 easy miles on the treadmill before hitting the weight room.

9/1 (10.2mi, 1h 18m, 7:41/mi) Run #2: After work I ran a long loop around the local Redmond/Kirkland area with a couple of decent hills. I wound around the West and South perimeters of the Bridle Trails as well. I thought that I was going to bonk at some point on the run due to my efforts at lunch but I never did. I felt surprisingly good the entire run.

9/2 (6.4mi, 55min, 8:40/mi) It had been a while since I'd last done some barefoot running so I headed down to Grass Lawn Park for 3.5 miles around the track sans shoes. It felt pretty good to take a relatively slow pace.

9/3 (0.25mi, 3min, 12:00/mi) I headed over to Uptown Gig Harbor for a kids race with my daughter. Unfortunately the race was poorly organized. Despite having 3 age categories for the kids dash, the kids in the 2-4 and 5-7 groups only ran a tenth of a mile. My daughter wanted to run the longer route with the 8-10 year olds which turned out to be a paltry quarter mile. We finished dead last but the kids did have 3.5 - 5.5 years on her despite the fact that she was just as tall as the 8-10 year old girls and even a couple of the boys. The upside was that there was plenty of cheering, a bouncy castle, face painting, and balloon animals. Next year we'll have to pass on the kids race and just run the 2 mile walk or the 5KM event. She was disappointed that the race was so short.

9/4 (8.4mi, 1h 7m, 8:04/mi) The family was heading over to my wife's cousin's beach house on Fox Island so I took off 25 min ahead of them on foot and met them there. It was a nice run despite the heat and the two long hills on the way over. It felt great to be out running on such a nice day. As soon as I arrived I took off my shoes, shirt and watch and jumped into the very cold water of the Puget Sound. The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying good food, family, and playing in / on the water with the kids. The paddle boat was in near-constant use.

I managed a 50 mile week for the first time in about a year. I feel pretty good. My Piriformis pain is slowly calming down (but far from gone) due to the exercises that I got from my PT which focus on strengthening my hips and pelvic floor muscles.