Pick it up Tony!

A high school pal, Tony K. posted a pick on Facebook of his "easy" running day back on Feb 16. Ever since than, I've been looking for a good opportunity to run some speed work on the dreadmill just to see if I could crush it. (His picture shows a display of 8.01 miles in 58:27 or a pace of 7:18 a mile.)

Yeah - call me competitive.... I know, totally one sided here as I'm sure Tony could care less what I'm running.

Funny how these one sided rivalries seem to exist in running. I have many one sided rivalries that keep me motivated. I have also heard many stories from some of my running buddies about other runners who they wish to beat in runs that just seem to edge them out in races. However that runner who they are trying to beat has no idea that someone is trying to beat them.

Another example from me is Helen - you can visit her blog - Live Life. Be Passionate.- on the links to the side. She crushed me at Afton last year (20 min) and blew me away (1 hr) at Lean Horse. She has no idea who I am, yet I'm going for her. In fact, she recently posted her goals for the 2010 Afton Trail run is a sub 4:30. I told my running coach, I'm going for a sub 4:29.

Funny, really when it comes down to it, for me, it is a matter of testing my limits and seeing how much I can push myself. Other runners provide me with a "measuring stick" of sorts. For example, with Helen, it is a matter of where I compare to her after each race. Do I seem to be falling behind? Or improving?

So Tony, pick it up. Post your picture. I'll be gunning for it.

Monday - easy 40 minutes - 5.15 miles

Tuesday - 10X3 min @ 6:44 pace, with 2 min easy - 7.5 miles (with warm-up and cool down)

Wednesday - 25 min E,30 min R,30 min T,5 min E - E =8:15, R=7:13, T=6:44 - total 12 miles (yeah Tony - I ran 25 minutes prior to the picture above AND I continued to do the 6:44 pace for the additional 4 minutes)

Thursday - a planned (and needed) day off.

Upcoming - Friday - 3 hrs with the last 60 minutes at R pace.

YTD - 338.15 miles


Yuck - more snow!

I know this picture is blurry, but you'll get an idea of how the roads were on Saturday morning.
I arrived at 6:40 for the 6:45 am departure time. From our running group postings, I thought we would have a nice small group at 6:45 for the first 7 miles before meeting with the Capital Striders' group at 8 am for the remaining 7 or 8 miles. Well at 6:44, I was the only one in the parking lot, and the world's greatest minivan pulled up next to my VUE.
John hops out of the van ready to go and says "It's just us till 8 - everyone else bailed (because of the weather)." Yuck - the day before we had received another 3-4 inches of the powered stuff - and this was really made the roads more of a sand like consistency.
We tried to imagine running on the beach for about 3 seconds, than realized if we were running on the beach we wouldn't be wearing stocking caps, mittens, and 10lbs of other running clothes.
I'm ready for this to be over! Bring on the 90 degree heat instead of the snow!!!
A quick review in the week that was:
My ankle seems to be healing fine and I'm pretty much back to normal running. I went a little hard this week, likely in response to being mad about missing the race last week.
Wednesday - TEMPO run - 7.5 miles - 30 minutes at 6:50 - 7 min mile pace with 3 miles of warm up and cool down. Yes, outside on the ice.
Thursday - 8 miles on the treadmill just under an hour.
Friday - 7 miles easy
Saturday - 2:15 about 15 miles. See pic above for explanation about slower pace.
Sunday - 8 miles in 59 minutes - Outside on semi hilly modified Drake half marathon course. The roads were much better......
YTD - 313.5
I know I have posted much about nutrition lately - basically, I get hungry and start eating so fast that I forget to take a picture.


The Run that wasn't....

Even with the ankle, I was determined to run.

My body had other thoughts though. Even with RICE, my ankle was only about 50% on Friday Afternoon. I decided to bag the race, call it quites before it even started.

Although the right decision, this was one I did not like to make, especially this race! PsychoWyco will always be a special race for me. About three years ago, John asked me if I wanted to do a trail race, something a little different than the road marathons that I had become so familiar.

Why not? Getting out on a trail seemed like a good challenge. I wasn't going to have to worry about speed so much - just finish. It was a novelty that I had wanted to try, and running a trail race in February wouldn't mess up my spring and fall marathon plan.

Well, fast forward a few years later and if I had to choose between a marathon and trail run, trail runs win hands down.

For me, it is about running on those 4 foot wide bridle trials, those single track mountain bike trails, the challenge of the different terrain, all those ups and downs, and basically; the beauty of the run.

Here is what I missed:

miles of running smiles!Reminding yourself that "it's all just training for Ice Age" (John and I started saying this about two years ago - since we actually signed up for the Ice Age this year, we'll have to come up with a new race to train for...."
Missed out on running with this Living Running Legend:
FYI - I emailed Kurt to let him know I could not run due to the bum wheel and it being the size of a grapefruit on Friday - Kurt's response was "That sucks. I’ve been trying to get mine to swell up like that all week."

Oh yeah, and I what did I miss the most - getting this muddy!!

Friday - 2/12 - attempted to swim, but ankle was causing too much pain and had to to quite after 400 meters.

Saturday 2/13 - my ankle was still swollen, so I did the elliptical and some spinning. The ankle was pain free as long as I only moved it up and down and not side to side.

Sunday - 2/14 - the swelling went way down, I hopped on the treadmill for 7.5 miles and all was good. No ankle pain.

Monday 2/15 - 10 miles, easy treadmill.

Tuesday 2/16 - 7.5 miles, hills

Ankle is about at 90%-95% with little swelling. Definitely not a 100%, but making progress to full recovery.

YTD miles: 268 miles


Seriously - ankle sprain??

I'm getting ready for the Psycho Race this weekend. This was a planned light week for me. I've done pretty well this week. I've cut back on the amount of running I'm doing to let my body heal, more so than I have in the past and I've been eating right - For example, here is what I had for supper on Tuesday night....

Grilled sliced chicken breast apple sandwich with a side salad. I had about 3 oz of sliced chicken breast, two pieces of whole wheat bread, 1/2 apple - sliced, and about a tablespoon of natural organic apple butter. The side salad was 3 cups organic spring leaf mix with almonds and a clementine orange with 2 tablespoons of Newman's Own Sesame Ginger Salad . This was filling and satisfying....

In prep for the race, I've contacted my coach and nutritionist, and have a solid plan for both the run and fuel intake needs. My running plan consists of running the inclines, flats, and downhills - walk the steep uphills. My running coach recommends I push it a bit on the second loop and try to run it all. I told him, this is tough race, but I'll plan to give it a shot. My nutrition plan consists of 16-32 oz of water along with 40-60 grams of carbs per hour.

The planned week of running was Sunday - off, Monday - easy 5, Tuesday - speed work (8 X 2 min on, 1 min rest with warm-up and cool down, Wednesday - easy 5, Thursday - off, Friday 20 min with strides, Saturday - 20 mile race.

Everything was going to plan until yesterday's (Wednesday's) easy run. I went outside and although icy, the ice had nothing to do with it, I hit some uneven pavement and took a spill. Second fall within a week. All seemed well so I got up, walked off the pain, and carried on my 5 mile easy Wednesday run. Although falling down is not something that occurs regularly, it does occasionally happen, so I really didn't think twice about it.

Here is what my view was from my work computer earlier today....

Yes, an ice pack taped to elevated ankle. This ankle is sore. My "ankle bone" is about the size of a small grapefruit or large orange. I've contacted my PT to get some quick solutions to stop the swelling and he recommends RICE. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Yikes, in the almost 8 years of running, I've never had this amount of swelling for a sprained ankle.

Hopefully, the swelling will go down, and I'll be able to take some ibuprofen to minimize the swelling/pain on the run this Saturday!!

2/7 - off

2/8 - 5.15 miles

2/9 - 5 miles with warm-up/cool-down and 8X2 with 1 min rest at 6:40 pace)

2/10 - easy 5 miles

2/11 - planned and now ankle sprain day off.....

YTD - 243 miles...


Turning a bad run into a good run

Do you want to know what running looks like at 5 am in the morning in the winter in Iowa?

Here you go!

I started out at 4:50 AM for an easy long run of 18 miles from work. I know "easy" and "18 miles" probably don't go together, but it is much better than racing 18 miles. I had quite the week of speed work, so running long a day earlier cut out one day of a easy recovery run. Basically, it was a sucky 18 mile run that turned into a sucky 20 mile run.
Huh? How do you plan to run 18, have it be a not so good run, and then end up with 20? Let me try to explain....
Today was just one of those days where my running was, at best, out of sync. I believe, like many sports, running is mental. When I was out running my planned 18 miles, it was not going well. I wasn't running as hard/fast as I wanted and I wasn't hitting my timing marks/miles like I wanted.
At mile 16.75, I attempted to jump from a street to a bike trail. Too bad the street decided to play a joke on me. It put a patch of ice right where I pushed off for the jump. After a few seconds of assessing that all my bones were still attached and together, I got up and brushed the light snow off. No rips on the clothes - I seemed to be okay. Too bad the bus full of kids saw me take the spill - I'm sure they thought it was funny and likely a short video will show up on YouTube in the near future.
Okay, the run was now officially "not a good run". I was going to head back to work and call it day for running. Than I thought 18 miles is good, but 20 is a solid long run. By running just two more miles, I can get a 20 mile run completed, something I haven't done since August. Okay, how bad could 2 more miles really be? In today's case, it wasn't any worse than the first 18. If it going to be bad anyway, at least, mentally, 20 miles is a huge accomplishment.
I finished at 20.2 miles at 2 hrs and 50 minutes without stopping my watch (I guess I had about 5-8 minutes of stop time due to traffic, water, etc.)
I'll take it for an easy long run. First 20 mile run back from injury - yeah for me!
2/3 - Progression run 20,20,20 min at Easy (8:20), Race (7:01), and Threshold (6:38) - 9.25 miles with warm-up and cool down
2/4 - 7.5 miles - easy
2/5 - 20 miles - easy long run
YTD - 227.85


two in one day

Today's workout called for a split workout. In the AM, I hit some speed work with 4 X 5 min with 3 min recovery. The 5 min speed work was done at the following paces: 6:45, 6;45, 6:40, and 6:35. Total with warm up and cool down was 6 miles. In the PM, I did an easy recovery 32 minute run - 4 miles even. Total miles for the day - 10.

With the two workouts today, nutrition was a top of mind. Planning out meals through today was important as I now see I need to plan my proper fuel for my body throughout the day. I give myself a good rating for the day - it would have been better if those work meetings didn't get in the way!

I started out the day with a bowl of oatmeal and a two egg white omelet with bell peppers . I was busy in meetings today, so a quick mini bagel with natural PB was my mid morning snack. I hit my morning run around 11 am and grabbed a clif bar for recovery. I had a smart ones cheese and chicken enchilada along with spinach and fat free dressing and yogurt for lunch. My afternoon snack was an apple with PB. I then hit my afternoon 30 min run around 5 pm, and ate a hamburger and salad for supper. With all the running, I wanted to make sure I was getting enough protein. So for my after supper snack, I made a chocolate shake with this and ice cubs. This chocolate shake always hit the spot for me.

2/1 - 6.55 miles

2/2 - 6 miles speed work and 4 miles easy (split) - 10 miles total

YTD - 191.10


I'm a put it on the list and cross it off kind of a guy

Recently, my wife posted a list on the side of the fridge. It simply stated "To Do in 2010". Some of items were doable, others I consider a stretch goal to get done. These are items like "Clean upstairs closet" which I'm sure through the mountains of old clothes and an assortment of items likely lead to pine trees and then Narnia at some point.

I must say, the list gives me direction and clarity. If something is on a list, I attack it. I like the sense of crossing things off my list. This is why I like planned running. It is my list of daily dose of running to get me to my longer goals. What do I have to do today to get to my running goal?

Don't get this confused that running becomes a daily task for me, it isn't, it is a great escape - a self induced running high like no other. However, knowing I got in a run for the day allows me to cross at least one item on my DTL (Daily Task List).

January was a great month for me. After coming back from injury, I was able to cross off runs on my calender basically exactly as planned. Here is my printed customized plan (Thanks to Zach at summitrunnercoach.com) and my handwritten notes.

1/27 - 10 miles (inside)

1/28 - 5.05 miles

1/29 - 5 miles

1/30 - 16 miles

1/31 - 6.65 miles

YTD - 174.55