Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Mr. Murphy and his Law" - Training W/E October 4th

Sunday - 13.5 - Trail run/Long Run. Hit the Bay Circuit for some trail training since I have committed to running the Stone Cat Marathon. Another humid day, sort of weird to have to deal with humidity this close to October, but I dealt with it. Still feel somewhat off because of the sickness this week, but I got the mileage in. Felt spent by the end of the run. Also had my first trail run in with unsavory individuals using the shade to conduct dastardly deeds, I threw in a surge to make sure I got as far away from whatever they were doing. I also had to re-route because of flooding on the trail - WHAT ELSE IS NEW! 13.5 in 2:12 (9:45 pace). Not bad, but felt logy at the end of the run, probably not a great pace to attempt to run at Stone Cat, then again, I am obviously not 100% right now, and the conditions sucked.


Monday - None - Partly due to feeling like trash from being sick. Rest Day after going longer yesterday.


Tuesday - None - Sinuses are hurting and I have all sorts of congestion. I guess I am not out of the woods just yet!


Wednesday - 8.2 miles - Trying to remain honest with the training plan and include a second longer run of over an hour, I switched what could have only been 5 miles, to 8 miles. It doesn't sound like much, but with the darkness coming sooner, and getting home from work later the last couple of weeks, AND having energy sopped because of this sinus stuff, I was glad I got more mileage down.


I tried running conservatively and wanted to stay close to a certain pace window comparable to what I'd like to run for Cape Cod. In retrospect, I averaged 8:57 for the run, which is great (places me with a surplus of 1:36 after 8 miles), but it also didn't feel as effortless as I had hoped. It is a quandary I haven't been able to figure out, that is, how running slow and controlled can actually feel sort of uncomfortable.


The day after I feel no soreness or strain, so it must have been fairly effortless on my legs, and the discomfort is most likely due to respiratory issues from being sick.

Thursday - Work happened today. Not making excuses, but ahhhhhhh... Let's just leave it at that!

Friday - 'Old Reliable' 3.3 miles. Got home at a reasonable hour (while the sun was still shining!) and just went out and run the 3.3 out and back that I really like because it is very quiet and pastoral. Put a watch on it, but just ran easy, turns out that was 8:04 pace. Good all around!

Saturday - Long Run, Trails - 20+ miles. It is so hard to simply slap a tag on this one run because there were so many good elements to it, yet, as I sit here and type I still feel soreness and pain in my knee. Amid the soreness, I am so glad I ran this morning because I had a chance to hook up with the Breakheart Trail Runner himself, Dan, and with a true Iron Woman, Brenda. Speaking of which, I guess I shouldn't be surprised on group runs anymore when we start running and start the banter to pass the time, and someone throws out something like "Oh, yeah, I did an Ironman Triathlon this year, it was like my fifth". Honestly, though, when you decided to spend your early hours on Saturday meeting friends to run for a couple hours or more on trails you are bound to meet other endurance addicts that have taken on many challenges in many different places.

At this point in my training schedule I wasn't sure I'd be up for as much as 20 to 22 miles, as I was a little concerned about recovery and making sure I properly taper before Cape Cod, then again, Cape Cod is three weeks away, and this is a trail run, so the benefits or an extended run all on trails had far too many positives, especially with my lingering doubts about how I'd be able to handle Stone Cat.

The morning began with a distinct chill in the air, perfect with the foliage. Met up with Dan, and then Brenda followed. We started out in Willowdale and headed along my patented 5.5 mile Willowdale loop o' trail fun - complete with mud, water crossings and great views of the changing colors. Where I anticipated a little water we found about 150 yards of trail covered - a little more than expected! But in true trail running fashion we made our way through the water and soldiered on (is there really any other way?). Adding a couple other out and back spurs on the loop we managed to get about 6.5 miles. Restocked with fluid for the next excursion we headed along the Bay Circuit trail that cuts across Willowdale North to South. This loop was a tad shorter, but got us up over 10+ miles. Back to cars to patch up and analyze wounds, and refuel for another loop through Willowdale. The final jaunt through Willowdale took us back over the previous Bay Circuit loop, but this time we added more of the Stone Cat course over to the Doyon School. As we followed the trail along the north side of Willowdale I found the running to be a little more technical, amplified by the onset of a little "trail runners knee" in my left leg.

I pushed through the discomfort, taking a couple moments to walking and hydrate, and we arrived back at the fishing bridge after nearly 4 hours and. We added on a little distance along the Ipswich River on the Bradley Palmer State Park side, making sure it was truly 20 miles.

I gained a lot of confidence over this run, and thoroughly enjoyed spending the time with Dan and Brenda. It just goes to show that there is some hope for the human race. Where three people who have very briefly met, or haven't ever met at all, and can come together and spend time chatting and enjoying each other's company while focusing on a similar goal. There were no uncomfortable facades that often are present in the workplace or most other areas of life. We arrived to run, no strings attached.

Weekly Miles - 46

Mr. Murphy and his law showed up this week. My left knee is really sore. I suspect it was simply from running over the uneven terrain at Willowdale Saturday and turning my knee a few too many times, but either way I am forced to simply rest the knee. Sitting here typing three days after the run Saturday, I have felt a marked improvement in my knee. It is still a little tender to the touch, but I can flex it and put weight on it without pain, so I don't believe it is damaged.

Also, if worst comes to worst, I have three weeks until Cape Cod, and I have to rest it for a couple weeks and ramp up to the marathon in that final week instead of the solid taper that is scheduled, I am fine with that, too. Yes, I am a little worried about Stone Cat, but Saturday was sort of paradoxical because though I felt the pain in my knee over the course of the run, if it were the actual Marathon I would have found a way to get to the finish line, no matter what.

Until next week...

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