Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31

It's often said that the numbers don't lie, but do they? Tonight's run is a great example of the numbers lying. On paper it looks no different that any other run I've done over the past 2 weeks but it certainly felt better.

I've really made a concerted effort over the last few outings to start off really slow and keep my HR below 130 bpm in the early going. I was successful at this for about a half mile and felt pretty good. My form felt smooth and as I hit the first mile mark I was surprised to see that it was a lot slower than it felt at 10:49. Whatever.

Miles 2 and 3 also felt good but again were slower than they felt. This is what I enjoy about not seeing the constant pace feedback though. If I had my pace displayed real time I would probably stress out that I was slow but seeing it only at every mile split doesn't bother me one bit. Besides I felt good and was enjoying my me time. What more can you ask for?

It was a rather nice night out even with temps still hovering around 90 and there were quite a few others out running, biking and walking. I just wish more people would wear lights and/or reflective clothing. With the daylight almost completely gone by 7ish I don't think people realize just how invisible they are.

With the sun now gone it began to cool off a few degrees and I began to feel even faster. While my splits were somewhat faster during miles 4 and 5, it wasn't by a lot but I really thought I was flying. Everything felt great as I cruised right along; what more could you want?

I closed out the run with what felt like my best mile in a long time and I look forward to many more as training progresses. This also finished up March with 125.9 miles so I'm happily starting a new streak of 100+ miles in a month. With April come the addition of some speedwork and a couple of 5Ks. I'm excited to get to run fast and it will be a nice change of pace.

March total - 125.9 miles

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29

I have to be honest, I was dreading today's 16 miler. Long runs can be tough enough when you're conditioned for them but building back up makes them all the more difficult. Throw in  the heat, it went from 63F to 89F over the course of the 3+ hours I was out there, and you have the makings of a brutal run.

Don't get me wrong, I embrace the suck because I know it will make me a stronger runner and there is no substitute for tough miles. It is far better to get them out of the way during training than it is to have them sneak up on you in a race. Been there, done that, don't want it to happen again (although it probably will).

All things considered, today's run felt better than last week's 14 which felt better than the previous week's 12. Granted I was much slower but that was the plan; it's all about endurance now with speed coming later. I still have 5+ months to get faster.

The first 8 miles could not have gone any better as I had very little trouble keeping my HR down below 130 bpm for the first 6 and in the low 130s for the next 2 without ever going above 137. Well except for the time some jackass who was too busy on his phone crossed the fog line as he approached me

This especially pissed me off since I had been doing so well. I was on a stretch of nearly 2 miles running along a field where the evaporation of the irrigation not only increased the temperature but increased the humidity level quite noticeably as well. Thanks douche for harshing on my mellow and knocking me out of a great zone.

Just after mile 8 I decided to take a brief rest stop and walk for a bit. It was starting to heat up and I figured it would be wise to take a rest before I needed one. This seemed to help and I was able to chug along pretty steadily until I started to heat up at mile 11. Again, I didn't need to stop but why push it. It was now in the high 80s so why overdo it when I'm not heat adapted just yet.

These 2 breaks did wonders since it wasn't until I approached the 13 mile mark that the run really became a challenge to keep my HR down. Instead of fighting it I took walk breaks as needed including a refreshing stop to soak down my shirt at my favorite watering hole as I came up to mile 14.

Talk about cooling off. While the water was on the warm side, it felt icy cold when it put it on my heated up torso. Boy did it feel good but between the heat and the breeze it was dry before I knew it.

Even with this cool down the run was starting to wear me down and as I passed 14.5 miles it was a matter of just gutting it out and walking if I had to. Still I was satisfied with the way the run went and I was done soon enough. Hard, yes but the hard is what makes it great.

Once at home I got in a short stretch to cool down and was then treated to bacon and power coffee (bulletproof coffee without the fancy, expensive ingredients). This was followed by a short nap.

Tomorrow will be a short core workout before 6 miles on Tuesday. Now to chill for the rest of the day.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28

Another Saturday, another car show which meant a shorter run this afternoon, pushing my LR to tomorrow. I'm ok with this since it was still an increase over last week and it put me over 100 miles for the month. Let the new streak begin.

I know it's hard for some people to believe, especially those in the Northeast that were dealing with snow today, but it was almost too hot to run at 5:15 with the mercury still above 90. This is both the curse and blessing that comes with living and training in Arizona. We have some brutally hot months that make for some difficult runs but come the cooler fall weather we are primed for PRs. I'm hoping this pays dividends for me in September when I make a BQ attempt in what should be a much cooler Illinois.

It was a long day with the truck but at least I had shade so after a short nap, some ENERGYbits (check out the sidebar ==>) and a decent warm up, I was off for 6 miles. Like I said, it was still on the warm side so I was already resigned to the fact that I was in for some slow miles. Just have to keep remembering that right now it ain't about speed. That is still a week away.

Feeling pretty good I may have been a tad overzealous so my HR came up pretty quick and had to scale back somewhat. Regardless my pace seemed pretty good and I was quite happy turning a 10:37 in mile 1 although I was noticing I was starting to get hot and needed to cut my pace a little more. At least there was a bit of a crosswind.

Miles 2 through 5 were much slower however (10:57-11:17-11:14-11:12) but at least they were consistent. Also, aside from the occasional lapse in concentration, I was able to keep the HR in check and would only get the momentary buzz from the Garmin. I need to be careful because I really was playing it too close by staying at 135-137 bpm throughout. The run closed out with a 10:39 final mile but that is mainly due to an elevation loss of 20 feet over the last half mile or so.

All and all I was happy with the run as it's another building block on the road to BQ. With 16 miles on the schedule for tomorrow and more warm weather, I will be another early morning. I just have to suck it up and accept the fact that if I want this, I won't be able to sleep in on the weekends anymore. I can't have it both ways.

Week ending March 28th - 31.8 miles 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26

Tonight's run was basically a repeat of last night save for losing my mace which was actually the reason I only did 3 miles instead of the scheduled 6; I was hoping to find it on the side of the road. It was a nice though but it looks like I'll be buying another can.

The run itself was nothing special and as long as I stayed in the now I was fine but the moment my mind started to wander, I got that familiar buzz on my wrist to send me back to reality.

The run was over before I knew it. In a way I wished I had taken my Run-Bright LED lights (yes those in the sidebar ===>) because I was feeling a little faster as the run progressed but the sun was falling fast over the horizon. However, I was also glad I didn't because my legs were starting to feel a little heavy. I really need to start getting to bed earlier.

Well that was that and tomorrow is a rest day. The schedule calls for 8 on Saturday but I may not get it in since I'm bringing the Tow Truck to a car show which runs all day. It is local though so I may sneak away for 2 hours before it gets rocking and get the miles in. We shall see.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25

Nothing really too exciting with tonight's run. It was just an easy 2.9 miles with HR under control for the most part and a bit of a wind on a mis-80s evening. There was also the added bonus of getting out and back while the sun was still out which was enjoyable. The only downside was that I lost my can of mace. It will be just my luck now that I'll actually need it now.

My only complaint about the run itself was that I wasn't as focused as I needed to be. This caused a couple of HR spikes up into the 140's and also led to my pacing to be uneven. Other than that it was more miles in the books with 6 more on the schedule for tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24

Nothing beats the feeling of a good run. Ever since last Tuesday's debacle I've put together a streak of good runs and tonight's 6 miles was no different. I'm really loving the fact that it's getting dark later, especially when I get out of work on time too.

Once again it was home early, get a good warm up in and hit the road while the sun was still out. Taking it slow is doing wonders for keeping the HR down and since I'm not seeing my pace but every mile, it's not stressing me out and making for a pleasant run.  In hindsight, I almost feel like I lost 2 weeks of quality miles by not taking pace off my Garmin sooner. Live and learn.

The first 3+ miles were pretty good with the HR staying in the 133-135 range for the most part as I plodded right along. It was a warm day but as the last remnants of daylight disappeared, it seemed to get a few degrees cooler and I began to notice my pace felt quicker while my HR stayed well under control.

As I cruised right along nearing the 4 mile mark, I remember distinctly thinking that everything felt like it was clicking. My HR was in the sweet spot, my form felt right and my stride seemed like it was lengthening a bit. Talk about a positive mental boost and when I got to mile 4, my watch confirmed that the run was going well with a noticeable increase in pace. I would later see it was a :25 second improvement over mile 3. This is good.

Rolling through miles 5 and 6, I continued to feel great but couldn't help but wonder in the back of my mind when it was going to end. Fortunately my fears were laid to rest as everything stayed in tune right to the end and another successful run was in the books. Maybe there is something to this don't think just run thing.

Let's just hope tomorrow night's 3 goes just as well.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22

I so did not want to get out of bed this morning and don't think I would have if it wasn't for our cat Cassidy climbing on me and headbutting me every time I hit snooze. I did get up a little later than I would have liked but oh well.

Knowing that I struggled toward the end of last Saturday's 12 miles as well as a high HR throughout, I made it a point to keep it slow for today's 14.

The plan worked to a T as the first 6 miles were all well below MHR of 137 bpm with the average mile ranging in the 129-131 range with only momentary jumps to 138/139 on a couple occasions when I lost focus. In fact, through these early miles I actually had to speed up many times to keep my HR from going too low and was a good problem to have. Things were going so well that I considered tacking on an extra 2 miles to the run.

Things did get a bit slower from miles 7 to just about mile 12 but I was still able to maintain an average HR of 135 bpm. I no longer had to worry that I was getting too low as my focus began to shift not going too fast. I could definitely feel more effort was needed after mile 9 but I still felt pretty strong, albeit slow. This also made the decision to stick with the originally planned 14 an easy one.

As I approached the 12 mile mark, I could begin to feel some additional stress as it soon became a struggle to keep the HR down. This time I bit the bullet and decided it would be wiser to walk than to fight my body for almost 2 miles. So for the next .25 or so I walked and was glad I did because once I got moving again, I was still slow but not to where it was tough to keep running. For the next mile I was able to plod along rather nicely at 135/136 but with about 200 yards to go things got rough again as I closed out the run. Good thing I didn't add the extra 2; I would have been screwed.

Overall I'm happy with the run as it's all about logging good miles at this point. The goal is to build endurance and then get fast. No need to beat my body up so early in the cycle.

Tomorrow will be a recovery day with only a short core workout when I get home. Then it will be back on the road on Tuesday. Now it's time to eat some bacon that Christine is cooking up before I hit the shower and we venture out to get groceries for the week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21

The plan for today was to be up early and out the door as the sun came up to get in 7 miles before Christine and I had to had off to the car show. Needless to say that didn't happen and any run was going to have to wait until later.

With plan B being an easy 3, I almost missed out on this as well as I would up taking an unplanned nap after we got home. After being woken by one of our cats, Cam, I got dressed, warmed up and hit the road.

The day had warmed up pretty well and it was still in the mid-80s at 5. The idea was to take it easy and build on Thursday's run but from the get go, 3 miles just didn't seem like it was going to cut it. This internal debate actually caused me to loose focus and momentarily resulted in a buzz from the Garmin that my HR hit 138. I really needed to focus.

For the next mile or so I went back and forth about how far to go. I thought maybe I could do 4 but that just didn't seem far enough either and wasn't doing it for me. 7 seemed like a good idea since it was the original plan but it was warm, I hadn't hydrated for it and had no water. Also, I didn't want to log too many miles late in the day with 14 on the schedule tomorrow.

So now the toss-up was between 5 and 6 and as I debated the pros and cons, I finally settled on making it a 5 miler. In the end it was the right choice too. Once I made the decision I was able to settle into the run a bit better although I crossed the 137 mark more than I would have liked as I worked on the 3rd mile. Still I never got above 137 bpm for anything more tha a few seconds so I deem this a small victory.

The run closed out with another 2 good miles and I'm glad I only did 5. The heat was starting to get noticeable and I could feel the onset of dehydration. I also noticed on these last miles that I could tell when my HR was at the 137 mark almost instinctively which is a good sign.

It will be an early evening tonight with 14 planned for tomorrow and another warm day forecasted. Want to get out before the mercury gets too high.

Week ending March 21st - 26.2 miles

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19

All I can say is that it's about damn time! Granted tonight's 6 miles was still on the slow side but this was the quality run I've been struggling to have.

Things just lined up perfectly tonight. I go out of work on time, traffic was light and was in the door 15-20 minutes earlier than normal. Motivated to get as much sunlight as possible, I didn't futz around like normal, I got dressed, warmed up and was out the door when I am normally just getting in.

When I first got out, it didn't take long for my HR to get up into the 120s and it wasn't much more before I hit the 130s. All I could think was here we go again as I backed off the pace a bit.

Now on prior runs I would have seen this and while I would have made the attempt to slow down I'd also see my pace slow ant want to keep it up. Two completely opposite things. Tonight however with the pace no longer on the screen, I know I was going slow but had no idea how slow and frankly I didn't care. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

As I approached the first mile marker I kept waiting for the buzz but it never occurred. And then it happened as I got near the 1.25 mile mark; that dreaded buzz. Shit! I thought to myself as I looked down only to see "Heart rate too low" on the screen as my anguish turned to joy. I couldn't help but smile as I sped up and continued along.

I would occasionally look down to see where I was as I kept waiting for the buzz which still didn't happen as I passed mile 2 and then mile 3. By now I was looking at the Garmin less and only would when I felt like I was getting too high or low. When I did look I was usually right which means I was getting more attuned to my body as the run progressed.

It wasn't until mile 4 that I got the "Heart rate too high" buzz and that was only momentary. Same thing at mile 5; just another quick blip up to 138 bpm before it immediately dropped back to 136. This was the last time I got this high and closed out the run with another steady mile.

With a rest day on the schedule for tomorrow, I will finish up the week with 7 miles on Saturday followed by 14 on Sunday. Normally the LR would be on Saturday but with another car show to take the company 58 Chevy Tow Truck too, I just won't have the time. That's ok though, miles are miles and it will be a nice change.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 18

Don't think, just run is my new mantra. I've been getting so worked up since I started training that runs haven't been as enjoyable as they should be. Sure I get those fleeting moments but nothing that lasts too long.

Tonight started out much the same as every other run for the last few weeks, maybe worse as I actually spiked my HR while I was warming up. Once I got out it was already starting to elevate even though it was on the cooler side and drizzling. It wasn't long before it spiked again and eventually had to walk a couple of times to get it down.

It was on the second walk break that I realized that I forgot to change my watch setting  to remove my pace and only display HR on my main screen. I came to the conclusion last night that the only way to stop worrying about pace was to not know how fast, or slow, I am running. Ignorance is bliss after all.

And then something interesting happened as I chugged along; I felt more relaxed. Suddenly my anxiety was gone as was the need to constantly check my Garmin to monitor my pace. It was like a weight had been lifted off me. Ok maybe it wasn't that pronounced but I felt freer and it really did seem like I was more in the now.

So I just began to cruise along and since my watch wasn't buzzing me I just went with it an ran and breathed and didn't think. Suddenly I felt that buzz and thought "oh great" as I looked down only to see that I was getting a low heart rate warning. Hmmm, did I really get below 130 bpm I wondered.

For the next tenth or so I stayed at a steady pace, at least I think it was, but as my HR continued to fall to 123 bpm I decided to go with it and speed up. In retrospect this wasn't probably the best thing to do but it felt great to let it rip for a half mile and my heart cooperated for a a couple minutes as I motored up the road. Soon though I was brought back to earth by the buzzing of my Garmin as my extreme enthusiasm sent the HR to 146 and left me to cruise for the last half mile home.

Not a bad run given the rocky start and maybe it's the run that will help me get back to basics. We shall see with 6 miles on the schedule for tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17

The best thing I can say about tonight's 6 miles is that it is done.

I know better than to hit the road without getting in a warmup first but in my haste to get out in the last vestiges of daylight, as soon as I got home I did a quick change and was out the door. If you've been reading this blog the last couple months, you know this is a recipe for a quick HR spike so it's no surprise that within the first quarter mile I was at 143 bpm which set the tone for the rest of the run. This also dashed any hopes that deeper breathing was going to help.

Needless to say, over the next 5.75 miles I struggled with HR, pace and consistency; I just could not find that happy medium and it frustrated the hell out of me. I know I should be thankful that I'm healthy and can run and need to just enjoy the run or I'm going to drive myself bat-shit crazy over the next 6 months.

But what's done is done. The best thing about running is that there's always the next run with the promise of something great. We all search for that run where something, or everything, just clicks and the only way to fall into it it to get out there again and again and again. It might be like trying to chase a rainbow to find that pot of gold at the end but we runners aren't the most rational group of people either.

Also, as I thought about it, I feel like I run best the more I run. For this reason I'm seriously considering doing an easy 3 tomorrow night instead of doing an abs workout. The sooner I get over this the less of a whiny bitch I'll be so we shall see.

Until the next time.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15

"Breathe, breathe in the air"

Over the last week I've been frustrated with my running. Pre-marathon I was pretty happy with where I was pace-wise while managing to keep my HR under 137 bpm. However, since I started up again after a 2 week recovery period, I am nowhere near where I was and it's quite aggravating.  Additionally, my PF flared up quite a bit after yesterday's run which is another reason for my grumpiness.

Just like every other run this week I made sure to get a good warm-up in and strarted off on the slow side to prevent any HR spike at the get go. Since I wanted to watch the LA Marathon before I hit the road I got a late start  and the temps were in the mid-70s when I finally got out and I knew this could cause some overheating if I wasn't careful.

The first mile, like all others, went pretty well at 10:15 as my HR came up gradually but quickly. Pre-26.2, if I had warmed up properly and started off easy it took over a mile for me to get my HR up and even then, I would be able to coast along in the mid-9s at 133-136 bpm without any issues. Now, I'm hitting the 137 mark within the first .75 miles and have to back off even further.

As the next few miles went by I was resigned to the fact that it was going to be another slow slog especially with a fairly stiff breeze coming out of the southwest which would slow me down even more.

Suddenly, as I was working past the 5 mile mark it hit me; I wasn't breathing! Ok, I wasn't holding my breath or anything like that, it was just that my breathing was shallow. I'm not sure what caused this eureka moment, it was possibly a deep inhale that dropped my HR suddenly, but there it was; just breathe.

Early on as I began with the Maffetone Method, I made the observation that I could somewhat regulate my HR with breathing deeply but somewhere along the line I forgot all about this; aerobic training equals maximizing oxygen consumption. Duh! How could I have forgotten something so simple.

So I began taking big deep breaths as well as exhaling with force to clear the CO2 from my system and my HR immediately dropped as my pace quickened. Things even got better as I made the final turn toward home onto a slight decline and with the wind at my back. Could I really be pulling mid-9s? Indeed I was and as I crossed passed 6 miles I gave a little extra kick for the last .1 just to remind my legs what it is like to go fast.

There you have it, another 6.1 miles on the road to BQ.

In other related news, I have officially made the leap and have signed up for Last Chance BQ.2 - Chicagoland in September. It's time to put my money where my mouth is and make the commitment. After weighing all the factors, cost played a big role but wasn't the deciding factor. Ventura could have been done for less but Chicagoland will be much cooler and is set up for a better chance at a BQ. This gives me less than 6 months to get my act together. While the real meat of training will be in the extreme desert heat during the summer months, this will be a major benefit in the cooler climate of Illinois come September.

Now I just need to get over this damn PF.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 14

With 12 miles on the schedule, a warm day forecasted and some errands to run it was an early morning today with a 5 am wake-up call. Since I wanted to finish up by 9, the plan was to be on the road as the sun was coming up and amazingly I was.

Knowing this was going to be a big jump from last week's 8 miler and my first time into double digits in a month, I decided it would be best to take it slow and let the HR catch up.

This plan worked pretty well for the first 5 miles with only a few momentary jumps over 137 bpm but over the next 2, the signs were there that this wasn't going to continue for much longer as the spikes got more frequent as my pace got slower. While this was a bit discouraging, I still felt much better than the previous week especially mentally. BBW had nothing on me today.

Inevitably though the run changed not too long after I crossed the 7 mile mark. This wasn't completely unexpected so I knew I was just going to have to press on. After all, you need to push past your first wind to find your second. So as my legs got heavier, my HR got higher and my pace got slower.

Just as Rome wasn't built in a day and an aerobic base isn't going to be built in one run so I resigned myself to just plodding along for the last 5 and I sorta did. Unfortunately by the time I hit the 11 mile mark my HR no longer wanted to come down unless I slowed down to super slow trot. This didn't do my ego any good but at least I was able to get my HR back down. With a 12:05 final mile and .1 left in the run, I let my legs stretch out a bit; HR be damned.

So that was that. The PF was a little cranky but now 10 hours later, it feels pretty good. Tomorrow is a scheduled 6 and with another warm day forecasted, it will be an early alarm once again.

Week ending March 14th - 27 miles

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 12

Variety is the spice of life and it also spices up a run as well. Since I had the day off from work I was able to get out in the daylight and decided that today's 5 miles would be off-road. That's the great thing about living where I do; having horse trails, green space and the creek to run on allows me to change things on my usual routes.

Once again it was still slow going but for the first 2+ miles I was able to keep my HR down, with only an occasional blip up to 138 bpm, so I was encouraged that this was going to be a descent run.

But alas, it was not meant to be. Just as I was cruising along around the 2.25 mile mark, my HR suddenly spiked and for nearly the next 3 miles it was a struggle to keep it down no matter how slow I ran. I know when this happens I really need to just bite the bullet and walk but I just can't bring myself to it. Maybe it too much ego or maybe just stubbornness but I don't want to walk if I don't have too. It's probably that I equate walking with quitting; who knows.

At least tonight's run felt like quality miles so that's a positive takeaway. Tomorrow is a rest day then I'll out early on Saturday for 12.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March 10

The best runs are quality over quantity. Tonight's 5 miler does not fall into that category.

It started off well enough but that ended about 0.3 miles in when my HR spiked and fought with me to stay down. Despite my best efforts  it was a struggle to stay under 137 bpm so by the time I hit the one and a half mile mark I threw in the towel and checked out. If my heart was not going to cooperate I let my brain check out as I continued slogging along.

Call them junk miles if you want but right now it's getting them in that matters most. I need to build back up and while the run may not have been great, I still felt pretty strong. I can feel it coming back and it will only be a matter of time before I regain whatever I lost in 2 weeks.

Tomorrow will be another core night followed by 5 on Thursday and now that I think about it, tonight's run wasn't all that bad. Sometimes it's ok to run with no agenda; just can't make a habit of it.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8

It's really interesting how perception is reality.

Take yesterday's run and today's run; today I felt much better about it after I was done. The interesting thing is that both were around the same average mile but today I felt much better about the outcome on the strength of 2 strong miles out of the gate.  What's even more interesting was that the 2 "hard" miles yesterday were faster than the same intervals today.

It all comes down to perception. Yesterday I let BBW get in my head whereas today I just stayed in the now and didn't allow my brain to go off track. It's all about winning the mental game.

So like I said, the first 2 miles were quick and I felt really strong. This seems to be the trend ever since I switched my long day to Saturday that Sunday is the day I feel the bast and my HR stays down, allowing for a little more speed. I'm sure there is a physiological explanation for this but frankly I'm just happy to have it happen.

The real surprise today was that my HR wanted to go up on what is the downhill portion of the run. I think it had something to do with the fact that I stayed on the dirt and had to spend more time focusing on my footfall thanks to the knuckleheads who like to ride in the mud after the rain which tears things up. At least the uneven surface is good for working all those foot and ankle muscles which is why I choose to run on off-road.

As usual I was greated by a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs from Christine who also got in 30 minutes of walking on the dreadmill. We'll make a runner out of her yet but this is a start.

Tomorrow is a core day with 4 miles on the schedule for Tuesday, so until then.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 7

Today's run was scheduled to be 10 miles but  wound up being 8 instead. I could use the excuse that 10 was a bit too ambitious after a layoff, that it got warm fast which I didn't anticipate, the 2 miles into a headwind sapped me, I was pressed for time or even that I went out without having coffee but the bottom line is that BBW won this day.

The run started off good enough but I started to feel it around mile 3 and knew I was in for a battle. Nothing major and no niggles I was just that I lost some stamina with the layoff. While I know this is temporary, it still surprises how much a layoff of 2 weeks can cause that much of a loss with 10 miles being an easy day only a few weeks ago. All I can do is chalk it up as another learning experience.

In hindsight I would have to say that I approached today's run with a bit of hubris. Even with the knowledge that the runs this week felt harder than they should have, I looked at today as just another easy 10 miles. The next mistake was not being fully hydrated and not bringing water along. Since I was out before sunrise and I was chilly, I did not factor in that it was going to get warm fast.

Worst of all was that I let BBW into my head. He hasn't been around for a while but I let him talk me into cutting it short. I actually felt like I had another 2 miles in me as the run was coming to its conclusion but some of that could have been that feeling I always have as I approach the home stretch.

What is done is done and while I entertained the thought of getting in a couple 3 miles tonight, I know that is probably a recipe for an overtraining disaster with an early 5 miler on the schedule for tomorrow.

Now in case anyone noticed, or cared, there was no post after the 3 miles on Thursday. The fact is that it was such a bland run that it really didn't warrant a post. Plus I was tired and just wanted to get to bed early, so there.

Well that concludes another week on the road to BQ. Next well will be a few more miles added to the week as I look for the endurance I lost. This running game is a funny thing and you'll never know all that you don't know.

Week ending March 7th - 19 miles

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3

I don't know why but I was looking forward to running all day today. It my be that I'm  feeling rejuvinated after a couple of weeks of or that I feel really good but I'm not going to argue.

The plan for tonight was for another easy 3 miles but I really wanted to do more. It's just so nice to feel good right from the start but I need to hold back and build up again so I just need to stick to the plan; there are many miles ahead and I don't have to get them in all at once.

It's so nice that the days are getting longer and the first mile was in the last remaining twilight on a cool evening; perfect for a run. Since I'm trying to keep the HR below 132 bpm for this first week I really had to focust on going slow because any time my mind started to wander my Garmin buzzed me to get back in the now.

The first 2 miles went by easy enough but soon after I could tell that it was taking a little more effort even though my pace was slowing to keep the HR down. It's tough to wrap your head around feeling it only 2 + miles in after all the mile I had logged over the last year and I can't believe that a 2 week layoff did this. I hope it come back just as fast.

So it's one more run done as I get back into the swing. Tomorrow will be a short core workout with another easy 3 on Thursday. I'm sure I'll be looking forward to that one too; maybe I'll do runch.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1

As the song goes, I'm back in the saddle again. The last 2 weeks have flown by and while I could get used to just chillaxing after work and sleeping in on weekends, that isn't going to get me to Boston in 2016.

The first run back after a layoff is always interesting with so many questions going through your mind; did I lose fitness, how will it feel, will anything hurt, will I remember how to run but once you get back out there everything hopefully falls back into place.

Well, I'm happy to report that everything went just fine on today's 5 miler.

After a decent warm-up I hit the road under sunny, mid-60 skies and felt great right off the bat. Form was right and not a niggle to be had although there was a couple HR spikes in the first half mile or so.

The plan was to keep the HR down in the 132 bpm range so I was a bit slower than I would have liked but speed was not the order of the day. Today's run, as well as the rest of this week, is to get back in the swing of things; taking it slow and easy. With the goal race 6+ months away I have plenty of time to focus on speed. Right now it's about reinforcing my aerobic base.

All in all it was a pretty nondescript run that went as expected except for the last mile and a half or so. After plodding along for 3+ miles I began to notice that I was feeling a little stronger and a little faster with my stride lengthening a bit. Now this shouldn't have been much of a surprise since I was on a flat to declining part of the route but I was also dealing with a 6-10 mph headwind to even things out. I'll take these small victories whenever I can.

If felt good to get out there again and was greeted by Christine with a wonderful breakfast of bacon and eggs when I got back. She's too good to me.

Tomorrow will be a non-run day but I'll get in a short core session. Need to ease back into things and give myself ample time to recover. Except for weekends there will be no back to back run days for a couple months.

And that is that.