Thursday, May 26, 2011


Tuesday's workout was an epic fail.  It was scheduled to be an hour and ten with 2.5 minute 10K pace tempos. From the moment I woke up that day I knew it was going to be rough.  I could barely stay awake all morning and was generally just really tired.  My legs had felt pretty spent during Monday's workout so that and the tiredness combined was not making me feel too good about the run.

As soon as I started I knew that it was going to be hard.  My legs were still tired and just wouldn't turn over without a conscious effort.  Even the easy warm-up over the first couple of miles were a lot of work.  When I finally got to the temp parts I was already spent and had to really concentrate on trying to keep a good pace.  I suffered through this for awhile and finally decided to ditch the last tempo and just fill out the remaining time with easy running.  But even then I kept finding myself struggling and got a to a point where I just gave up and walked for a couple of minutes.

Looking back at my splits I did actually manage to get close to my expected pace until the last couple of miles, but it was way too much work.  I shouldn't be struggling with this kind of workout at this point in my training.  I don't know why I was so tired all day, maybe it was a cold or something so I could chalk it up to that, but not being able to finish a workout strong really sucks and doesn't help with building my confidence for the upcoming relay. Luckily yesterday's run was better so I am going to just have to chalk up Tuesday's as a fluke and move past it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Triples and Trails

Saturday was a long day, running-wise.  I woke up early, checked my Rapture-O-meter©, saw that I was still stuck on Earth (so close!) so I figured I would get to running.  This was to be a three run day so I had planned on going to check out the Walpole Town Forest 5K trail race.  I arrived early so I did some running through the woods and around the high school to kill some time.  Soon enough I was joined by Michael, Matt, David, Speedy, Mei-Ling from the club.  Actually, of the eight runners that day six of us were GNRC members.  To say that this "race" was laid back is a big understatement.  We go the directions from the director, lined up on the track and then a "OK, go ahead" as a start.  Since I had two more runs to do that day I took it nice and slow and ran the course with Matt; basically I was just enjoying being out in the woods for a change.  We broke out of the trees for the last time and rounded the track for our final lap.  I crossed the finish in sixth place with a time just slightly faster than a moving glacier.  Other than finding a tick that had managed to burrow into my ass cheek, it was a fun time.

Second run was another hour at moderate pace.  Absolutely nothing to report on that.  Same bat-route, same bat-pace.

Finally the time for the last run has arrived.  Surprisingly the weather was quite good all day.  So good, in fact, that I actually put on sunscreen to avoid getting burned.  As I started up my street me legs were just tired.  They were none to happy to be called into action again and they spent the next 15 minutes quietly complaining.  Too bad for them the run got pushed up to marathon pace soon enough.  Once I stepped up the tempo though, I found it was a lot easier to keep going.  Thirty minutes at MP and I was feeling fine.  During the 15 minute cool down I kept finding that my pace was creeping faster and faster without even realizing it.  Clearly, I had energy left in me.

What I took away from the runs on Saturday was that even when I was tired I was able to set a good pace and keep on pushing.  This is a good sign that maybe I am prepared for the relay in three weeks.  Of course I also finally realized that this relay is going to be absolutely brutal and I should expect to really feel it.  So there's that side of it too.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I had a dream the other night; I showed up to run the Virginia Beach Half-Marathon.  I knew that is what it was because I told myself that, otherwise everything about the place was completely wrong.  It's one of those weird things about dreams that the setting was completely different from the actual reality and yet it didn't matter.  There was a beach in the dream but that is the only similarity between real life and what I was seeing.

As I approached the registration area it quickly became obvious that things were going off the rails.  They had difficulty finding my registration in the computer (seriously, what race has computers at the registration?) and it took awhile to work it out. Finally I found out that I was in wave 0 (remember, it's a dream here) which was obviously the first wave to start.  As she told me this I could hear the gun go off and the race had started.  So I asked if I could just run in a later wave but she was not too thrilled with this idea.  Basically it was a no. Off I slunk back to wherever I had come from; pissed off and disappointed.

When I woke up all I could think was "What the hell was that all about"?  We've recently been discussing the legs and breakdown of the relay coming up in June so maybe that's what triggered it.  Or maybe all the training I've been doing is messing with my head and stressing me out.  Or it could just be a dream.  After all, sometimes dreams are just dreams.  Either way, they're always fun if not a tad bizarre.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back on track. For now

Wednesday my leg was sore.  No big deal, happens all the time.

Thursday my leg was still sore.  Annoying, but that's what you get, right?

Friday my leg was sore.  Too bad.  I've got 5 miles to do and dammit, I'm going to do it.  Even if it's at 4AM.

Friday, after the run, my leg was really painful.  Uh oh, now I did it.  Way to listen to my body.  I swear I never learn.  Throughout the day it continued to feel like someone had whacked the back of my leg with a pool cue.  Fortunately I had opted to run in the morning so I brought some ice packs with me to work and began icing the area throughout the day.

Looking over my schedule for the weekend I saw that I had a split run on Saturday of 3 hours total and 4 or 5 miles on Sunday.  Total mileage would be around 26-28 miles.  I hemmed and hawed, and delayed and fretted.  Finally, I conceded; those runs just weren't happening. Luckily (if you want to call it that) I was pretty sure that it was my Achilles that was the problem.  Which means...

I could still go biking!

Don't really need an Achilles for that!  And so I did.  Two days of biking and soaking in the warm spring-ish air.  Good times.  Meanwhile the ibuprofen and ice regiment continued unabated.

Today I went out for an easy 40 minute run.  First ten minutes, no pain.  20 minutes, no pain.  30, no pain.  A whole run with no pain or soreness!  Woo hoo!  Back to training!

We did it

I went and did it.  So did Jen.  And amazingly others are going to do it as well.

We signed up for the Warrior Dash.  It bills itself as a "mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme run from Hell".  So naturally I was attracted to it.  A 3.02 mile run through the mud with obstacles such as a fire pit, walls, mud slides, barbed wire, and some sort of scrap yard.  Sounds fun right?

But how exactly does one train for such an event?  Well, they recommend the following regiment:

  1. Day one: run as far as you can. Go home.
  2. Day two: do the same thing.
  3. Find the dirtiest pond in your neighborhood and snorkel in it - in your slippers, without goggles.
  4. Practice your climbing and crawling skills at your local jungle gym. Ignore the small children and parental glares.
  5. Do not shower or shave for weeks in order to obtain a true Warrior look.
particularly like number 4 and plan on doing it at every convenience.

Ultimately I was attracted to the event because it just seems completely over the top.  With all of the training I am putting into the relay right now it will be nice just to do something that is totally silly and I can ignore any compulsion to try and get a great time or PR.  After all, what exactly would a good time be in this case?  This will be one of those rare events that I can look forward to getting out there, running hard, working my ass off, have a ton of fun, and get totally filthy.  Kind of reminds me of being a kid again.

Oh, and they have beer at the end too!

And helmets!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Weight is a subject I have been taking much more seriously these days now that I have decided to elevate my game,  so to speak. Until now it was always secondary; I'd train for a race, lose a few pounds, be happy with it. But I never consciously focused on it.

With the current training cycle though, I have made weight loss as much a priority as my running. After all, less weight equals faster times. Seems like a no brainer. Recently I've begun to see numbers on the scale I haven't seen in a very long time. Pretty happy about that.

But it's not with out side effects. Suddenly, none of my pants fit. I look like the after picture of a weight loss commercial with my pants hanging way out in front of me. So it's time for some new pants. Easy, right? Sort of.

I'm not 18 anymore. But clothing manufactures seem to believe that anyone with my waist size are both teenagers and have very skinny legs. Neither applies to me. Trying on jeans I felt like the Hulk ready to rip out of them. And I'm a runner! I'd hate to see what a cyclist has to go through with their freakishly large muscles.

But I guess it could be worse. If the biggest problem right now is that my pants are too big, well, then things are going pretty good.