Thursday, January 31, 2008

Saying goodbye to an old friend....or pair of friends, actually

Today's 6 mile recovery run marked my last run in my copper and black colored Nimbus 8s. At exactly 500 miles, they are being retired to the everyday shoe category (in fact, I wore them to work today to get them used to their new role). It's kind of like putting a retired racehorse out to pasture. This pair of shoes had a good run (pun intended). Here's a quick breakdown of their accomplishments (from what I remember):
  • In April of 2007, they carried me to my current 10K PR.
  • In May of 2007, they carried me to my current marathon PR.
  • In June of 2007, they carried me to my first every victory (in a 4 mile race....against 6 other people).
  • In July of 2007, they carried me through the heat at the Missoula Marathon. It wasn't a PR, but is was a course record for me. It was also the inaugural race, so that's not really saying anything, but still. They were there.
  • After that, they were retired from racing and put into regular rotation on my daily training runs. For much of that time, they served as my designated long run shoe, and all parts of them that were once white are now forever dirt-stained as a result of running miles and miles of gravel roads.

Along with all the sweat, dirt, blood, funky smells and myriad of bacteria in them, they are also full of memories. These good ole copper Nimbuses (Nimbusi??) will not soon be forgotten. If they were already copper, I'd get them bronzed (yes, that is a horribly lame joke....sorry). RIRP (Rest In Running Peace), Nimbus 8s.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Back in the saddle

After coming down with a two day bout of the flu last week, I managed to bounce back this week and lay down a solid week and a new weekly mileage high. Also, Mother Nature finally relented somewhat and I was finally able to head outdoors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This, after 10 days and 1,102 laps on the indoor track. If I never see that damn track again, it'll be too soon (and it looks like I have a date with it tomorrow, based on the weather forecast). Anyhow, here's how week 4 of my training plan went:

Monday - 6 miles recovery. I was supposed to run a double that included another 4 miles in the afternoon, but I was still feeling the effects of the flu and the morning 6 miler pretty much rendered me useless for the rest of the day (unless you can find something useful about being planted in the recliner and watching a Dirty Jobs marathon on Discovery).

Tuesday - 10 miles w/ 10x100m strides. Finally, I feel like I can actually run again.

Wednesday - 14 miles. One of the harder medium-long workouts in awhile. Probably due to the fact that I ran Tuesday's 10 in the late afternoon and then turned around and did the 14 early the next morning, so I totaled 24 miles in a 14 hour period.

Thursday - 6 miles recovery.

Friday - 12 miles. Back outside!! The miles go by so much faster when you're not thinking of them in 11.5 lap chunks.

Saturday - 6 miles recovery in the morning and 4 more in the afternoon. Making up for missing the four on Monday. It was actually borderline warm outside.

Sunday - 19 miles. The wind was blowing approximately 20 mph with higher gusts, but I wasn't about to wait around until 1 PM for the gym to open so I could run 218.5 laps around that damn track, so I braved the elements and it ended up working out pretty well. I ran three loops around town, which only left me running into the wind without any buildings for shelter for approximately 4 miles total. Those 4 miles sucked ass, but the other 15 went great, so it was worthwhile.

Total - 77 miles. A new weekly high, but not for long (knock on wood).

I also dropped 2.2 pounds (maybe the flu helped with that?, I didn't puke, but I also didn't feel much like eating). At 204.6, I'm now down 6.5 pounds for the year and flirting with the 190's. And, even now, I feel like my easy pace has gotten easier. Not sure if that's due to my increased mileage over the last few months or the lost weight, but I'll take it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An unexpected (and unwanted) cutback week

Well, I shoulda known that things were going a little too smoothly. I don't get sick too often, but lately I've noticed this phenomenon where, when I do get sick, it always happens on a weekend or when I'm off of work for some other reason. Last weekend was a four-dayer for me (it was my regular Friday off plus Monday off for MLK Day) and, of course, I got sick. Being sick in the first place sucks, but this one really sucked because I was just down for a day with the bug right after Christmas, so this is twice in a month, which is really odd for me. And, this time the bug hit me a little harder than last time. So, here's how the week went:

Monday - 6 miles recovery and basketball at lunch time. Little did I know that this would be my last run outside for.....well, I still don't know how long.
Tuesday - 10 miles with 4 at tempo pace. This workout was harder than it needed to be. It was freakin cold and windy, so I did it on the indoor track. If you're a runner, you know that it's easier to hold a fast pace if you don't have to do much turning. When you're on an 11.5 laps/mile track, you are seemingly constantly turning, which makes the pacing that much more difficult. Add to that a bunch of walkers who don' t get the concept of "walkers inside lane, runners outside lane" and who like to walk three abreast across the track while they talk about how to get more fiber in their diet (or some similar old person talk), and the pace becomes harder yet. Nothing quite like trying to run 6:45 miles when you have to slow to a walk or stop altogether every couple of laps to avoid a collision. Okay, I'll stop bitching now.
Wednesday - 14 miles easy. Indoor track again.
Thursday - 6 miles recovery. Indoor track again.
Friday - 12 miles easy and core workout. Indoors yet again.
Saturday - 6 miles recovery and core workout. Indoors yet again. Right after my workout I start feeling a little bit not right.
Sunday - I lay around all morning trying to convince myself that I don't feel like crap. I finally go to the gym in the afternoon to attempt a 16 miler and, after 4 miserable miles, finally accept that I'm probably sick. Damn it.
Total - 58 miles (12 fewer than planned)

So, I was also sick on Monday and then finally better on Tuesday (which is, of course, the day I had to go back to work....I should've taken a sick day out of spite).

As I mentioned, Mother Nature is up to her dirty whorish tricks again. I've now run on the indoor track for 10 straight days. I think the windchill bottomed out at -25 this weekend and it was -10 without any wind when I came to work this morning. If this keeps up much longer, I'm going to forget how to run in a straight line.....when the weather does improve, I'll just end up running in little circles in the street outside my house. If I were training for a marathon that took place on an 11.5 laps/mile track, I'd be golden, but as it is, I'd really prefer to get back outside.

Monday, January 14, 2008

2 down, 16 to go

I'm two weeks into my Pfitz plan for Colorado and still feeling fine, which is good because I really haven't done much yet and my mileage has actually been lower these first couple of weeks than it was during my last month or so of basebuilding. Anyhow, here's what I did:

Monday - 6 miles recovery + basketball
Tuesday - 8 miles general aerobic with 10x100m strides
Wednesday - 13 miles easy + basketball
Thursday - 6 miles recovery
Friday - 11 miles easy
Saturday - 6 miles recovery + cried in my beer while the Seahawks were dismantled by the Packers
Sunday - 18 miles
Total - 68 miles

On the good side, I felt good for the most part and it seems like my body is adjusting to basketball (i.e., I can walk normally after I play, rather than shuffling around the office like an old man). On the bad side, I didn't do a single core workout and I gained 0.4 pounds. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but when you burn approximately 10,000 calories during the week and still gain weight, that just doesn't seem quite right, especially when I ate the same way I did the week before and I lost 3.5 pounds then. I'll just tell myself that I added some muscle or something.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Week one in the books

The first week of 2008 was also the first week of my Pfitz 18/93 training plan for the Colorado Marathon on May 4th. I gotta tell ya, after a few months of just plugging along with mostly easy-paced runs and focusing on putting in miles, it felt good to actually cut loose and run a couple of times this week. Here's how it went down:

Monday - 6 miles recovery and core workout
Tuesday - 8 miles with 10x100m strides
Wednesday - 12 miles and core workout; This run gave me trouble for some reason. Ended up at about 8:36 pace, which should be easy for me, but it wasn't.
Thursday - 6 miles recovery
Friday - 10 miles; Best run I've had in a long, long time. I did it at 7:44 pace and was holding back to keep it from being any faster. Amazing what a difference a couple of days can make.
Saturday - 6 miles recovery and core workout
Sunday - 17 miles; This one started out feeling like Friday's run and because of that I ended up going out too fast and was feeling it by the end. My goal was to run this in the 8:20-8:30 min/mile range but ended up with an 8:12 avg. with the early miles hovering around 8:00.
Total - 65 miles

I also dropped 3.5 pounds this week, so so far so good on that resolution.

And, the Seahawks won on Saturday, which means I can look forward to another cardio workout while watching their next playoff game this Saturday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back to the grindstone

You would have thought that since I was off of work for 12 days, I would have had more time to post here, but obviously you'd be wrong. It's not that I didn't have time, I just spent it doing more productive watching TV. So here's a recap of how my 2007 running year ended.

Things were going great last week and I was hoping to log 76 miles, a new weekly high for me. But, then, it all came crashing down on Wednesday (the day after Christmas). My stomach felt a little off when I woke up, but I figured it'd pass eventually. By 2 PM, it didn't feel any better, so I decided that I might as well just go running to see if I could power through it. Word of advice here: DO NOT try to run 14 miles when you don't feel good. I didn't puke, but I spent the next hour plus wishing I could so that maybe I could feel better. I ran 4 miles from my house before it finally got through my thick skull that what I was doing was stupid. Problem was, I was 4 miles from home and really had no choice but to run back. It was too cold to walk and I definitely wasn't going to hitch a ride, so I slogged the 4 miles back to finish the worst 8 mile run of my life. I then collapsed into the recliner and moved as little as possible the rest of the day.

I felt better on Thursday and was able to push through 12 miles (at the indoor track so that I could stop whenever I wanted). It wasn't the greatest feeling 12 miles of my life, but I ran it fairly fast, which seemed odd....I felt worse when I tried to slow down than when I picked it up. My Friday run was uneventful and I got tougher-than-usual 20 miles in on Saturday to finish with 70 for the week. The Saturday run also marked my 42nd day in a row of running, by far a new record for me. The streak ended on Sunday (voluntarily) as I rested up before launching into a Pfitz 18/70+ plan for Colorado on Monday. My first Pfitz run on Monday (a six miler) put me right at 300 miles for December, my first ever 300 mile month. I finished 2007 with 2905 miles, a cool 605 more than my stated goal of 2300 (apparently I'm not very good at projecting mileage).

So, it's January again, it's colder than crap, I'm officially training for a marathon and the Seahawks are in the playoffs.....does it get any better? Wait a sec, I'm also back at work, so yes, it does.