Friday, October 29, 2010

Low Key week

Well, this week was pretty low key. I can't remember what I did early in the week (perhaps nothing). I ran Wed and Friday - four miles each day. I did not record times, pace, etc. O.k., who am I kidding? Of course I recorded that stuff - it's saved to my Garmin.

Wed was a soggy run. Met Dave in the A.M. It was warm and just sprinkling so we decided to go. All was good until about a mile into the run - it started pouring and the wind starting whipping. We planned on five, but Dave suggested cutting it down to four - sounded like a good plan to me.

I am starting to go a little stir crazy so I am going to ramp it up a little bit next week. I am going to pick some of my favorite Crossfit workouts and put them on the schedule. I am also going to come up with an offseason plan. This Ad Hoc stuff is just not working for me.

I plan to get a mountain bike ride in one day of this weekend. I just need to get one ride in to break the ice.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick run

Ran a mile with daughter. Trying to teach her pacing. We finished in about 15 min. She could do so much better- next time. I went a mile alone after that. Finished in 7:29. I too, Can do better.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Haven't been doing much

I managed three workouts last week, run on Sunday, Crossfit workout on Monday and Tabata bike (16 rounds) on Thursday.

I started this week off with a workout I made up myself - 10 leg presses, 10 lat pulls, 50 situps for four rounds. In retrospect, 50 situps each round was probably a bit much, but I made it through.

I have been unbelievably busy at work - I know, I know - I am sounding like a broken record. It's a good thing considering how many people are out of work. Actually, if things keep going the way they are we might be putting somebody back to work.

This is where crossfit is going to save me - In about another week I am going to try to get more regular with the workouts - still letting my body heal. Some days I still feel pretty beat up, but some of the cricks, and aches, and strange pains are starting to go away.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back at it

I couldn't stand being idle anymore, but the week off did me good. I ran five miles on Sunday - easy run.

Monday I did the Xfit endurance WOD - Heavy Tosh (10x 4 each leg Pistols, 24 double unders and 9 pullups). I never did pistols before and now I know why - they are hard. I used a door frame to help me with the movement - really felt these and had trouble getting up on the last two rounds.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I feel like a slacker

This is the first time since May of last year that I have gone multilple days without a workout. I am forcing myself to take a week off - not hard due to work pressures (October 15th is just as busy as April 15th). Mentally it's tough though - every day I think should I do some pushups, situps, lift, spin, etc. etc. I keep reminding myself that this is a planned week off and to get those thoughts out of my head.

Next week will see some action, just not sure what yet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Maybe I'm not made for marathons

Or maybe I should have gone with my gut and DNS. I've been feeling under the weather, but not at death's door. I think it is better that I did the event rather than bag it and wonder how I would have done. Now there is nothing to guess about.

Needless to say, it was not the result that I was looking for. I had a feeling when I ran on Friday and really did not feel loose or fluid or strong that the result would be something like it turned out. I, however, still wanted to see what I was capable of so I did it anyway.

The start was very crowded. We got up as far as we could but there was still a ton of people in front of us. The gun went off and it was a minute and a half before we crossed the start line. It was so thick with people, you just had to go with the pace of the pack until it opened up. The first mile was done in 10 minutes. I did not want to waste any energy so I did not aggessively try to find the holes and run through them - just eased my through as the holes opened up - it did thin out quite a bit after the first mile when the half split off.

My average pace was slowly starting to come down to where I wanted it. Due to how I was feeling I dropped the idea of beating 4 hours; however, I felt right around four was still doable. I got my average pace down to :9:09 at one point - probably around 7 miles, then it started to gradually go up. I never got to that point that I love in a long run. The point where you just feel fluid and that you can run forever. I felt it during a couple of my training runs, but it never happened in this marathon.

I got to the halfway point at 2:05. My thinking was that there was a lot of flat from this point to the finish - most of the hills were on the front end. Maybe my legs would find that rhythm and at least get me an even split - it would still be my best marathon. It never happened. I was cognizant of my hydration, fuel and salt intake. I never felt drained.

Mile 18 is where it all came crashing down. My right calf cramped. It was not terribly bad so I tried to stretch it out. I figured stretch it out good and then run some more. As I was stretching it it cramped again, bad! You know how it feels when your calf rolls up into a ball - yeah, that kind of bad. At this point I decided that walking was a better idea then stretching so I walked until it did not feel like I was going to cramp any more. I started running and the left calf cramped up - what the 4%#@!!

From here on out it was walk/run. There were a couple of good stretched where I did not have to walk too much, but I could not go hard at all. I kept looking at my HR - more for curiousity than any thing else - I could not get it over 130 - I mean I could have, but then the cramps came on.

I was very frustrated. I had energy. I was not bonked. Some of the people around me looked like the walking dead - they obviously hit the wall and hard. I asked one guy if he was cramping and he said no, he was just hurting. I'm thinking, man, I wish I was you because I can run through most pain - just not a balled up calf muscle. I saw one woman who kept stopping to stretch. Then she would get going again. I remember her because we ran most of the marathon at the same relative pace (plus she was cute). She was hurting bad - she was in real physical pain plus I could tell she ran out of gas, but she kept on going. Man, I was impressed! I eventually passed her for good (it was cat and mouse for a while), but she had guts!

The thought of whether I picked the wrong shoes crept into my head. Then I remembered Hyannis. That was run in my other shoes and I got into trouble earlier there and the pain was even worse - both sides of my legs cramped, at least this time only the backs were cramping.

I still think I have a good marathon in me so I won't give up on the distance yet, but I am not going to chase it forever.

Time to recover, take some time off, and decide what next season is going to look like.

Take care - I may not be posting for a while.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not feeling it

This has been a crap week of tapering. Sunday - knees ached. Mon & Tue - back was sore. Wed - felt o.k., but missed workout due to dinner meeting in Branford. Thursday and today - feel like I have a cold - could be allergies due to the rain (the only thing I never got treated for was mold). I don't feel bad enough to skip the event plus I have really been looking forward to it, but this is not the best I have ever felt going into an event.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Did Helen a couple of minutes ago @ 70%. I ran easy on the treadmill for two minutes (distance function not working - needs new batteries), 21 KB swings w/35 # kettlebell and then instead of pull-ups I did lat pulls - 11:34. I have no way of assisting myself with the pullups so the lat pulls seemed like a logical substitute.

Today I feel so-so. Back is bothering me - the location that it's bothering me in tells me that it's stress!

Tapering is a mental head game

Sunday was a day off. I felt like crap! My joints were swollen and I felt tired and run down and my legs felt heavy. How could this be? Saturday was an easy day and my last heavy workout day was the Tuesday before.

Monday I woke up feeling much better. Joints were back to normal and my legs felt lighter - more spring to them - still not feeling at my best, but much better than Sunday.

Did my five sets of three squats with 125 pounds - very good form (if I do say so myself).

Tuesday - Feel o.k., not great but o.k. It is raining and dreary out which always effects me so I would not expect to feel 100%.

Helen is on tap for tonight - will do it after I drop Alicia off at Gymnastics.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Five mile easy run

Workout was 45 minutes at 70%. That sounds right about marathon pace to me. I did a five mile loop from home at 6:45 a.m. - Love to get the runs in early whenever possible. Ran with a friend which made it even more pleasurable - the five miles was over before we even knew it.

Finished the run in 43:15 which equates to 8:39 pace avg HR 141. Considering how comfortable this felt and the fact that I am still tapering (last night was a pretty hard workout, short but hard) I am rethinking where I might line up at the marathon. If there was a 3:55 pace group, that is where I would be, but the next pace group after four hours is 3:50. That equates to about 8:45 pace. This is where I think I am going to line up.

I love the Garmin. I can't believe I did not get one of these a long time ago. Mr. gadget, of course, had to one up me on this. He got the 310. I noticed one other difference other than it being waterproof, the battery lasting longer and it costing $175 more - it's a little smaller as well. Still bigger than the typical HR monitor though so I am still not sure I would swim with it.

The only thing that bugged me about the Garmin is that the HR display was so damn small - I could not see my HR at all while running and had to rely on monitoring my breathing and keeping a conversation going to determine my effort. I have since learned how to customize the screens so I can see what I need to. I have the running screen customized to show me time, heart rate, average pace and distance. There is a lap screen on there as well and although I am going to try to keep my splits, I will not use this screen during the marathon. There is one other screen I can toggle to and I could not think of any other real useful combinations so I set it up the same as the running screen, but instead of average pace I have the time of day showing. I figure it is best to show up at the start line on time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Got my Garmin

I finally broke down and got a Garmin GPS/HR monitor. It's quite the tool - been playing with it all night. It actually seems easier to use than the Polar and I am sure it is way more accurate.

I got the 305 - main differences between the 305 and 310 is that the 310 is water proof up to 50 meters and the battery lasts longer. The 305 is merely water resistent (no swimming). After taking a look at it, plus I've seen them at races, I was fairly sure I would not be swimming with it anyway. Anyway, the price difference was close to $200.00 so I think I made the wise decision.

I will use it on my run tomorrow and determine if it is going to be helpful in the marathon or a distraction. I'm already leaning on using it, but need a little experience with it before concluding that its the right thing to do.

My sister's house is somewhere around the 12 mile marker of the new course. I'm going to stash half my nutrition at the end of her driveway and pick it up on the way by. I plan to run light - one water bottle and powergels in the loops on my race number belt. There's plenty of water, I just like to carry water so that I don't have to stop at the more congested water stops - I also refill when I run out as there is a couple of spots where the stations seem pretty spread out.

Oh yeah and I did a workout tonight too. 21 situps, run 200m, 18 situps, run 200m down to 3 situps run 200m. Due to all of the rain I did not think the track would be a suitable place for this workout so I did it on the treadmill - 8:48. I don't have access to my log right now, but I think this is a decent time for me.

Thursday and thoughts

Thursday was ride 5k, rest 3 minutes times two. Did this on the trainer and since my computer does not work off the back wheel did ride 9 minutes, rest 3 minutes times two.

After viewing Max's video (I notice I was not in it - bad interview?), I started to reflect back on Lake Placid again. I realize that you can only have one first Ironman so replicating this experience will be impossible; however, I feel the need to do an Ironman in 2011 and to get back to LP in 2012.

I reviewed the photo gallery of me at the race - damn, I looked good! The one photo on the bike with the water in the background was breathtaking.

The marathon is barely a week away and I am looking forward to it. I feel more ready than ever and this is mainly due to having completed an Ironman and to the Crossfit training. I admit to throwing some LSD in there for the marathon, but I have held mostly to the crossfit endurance ideals - quality over quantity. I know this is what is making me both physically and mentally strong!

I plan to take a break after the marathon. Probably one week totally off and then some unstructured, low intensity workouts. I will work in off-season strength training about a month after the marathon and get back to training in earnest around December 1st.