Two days off and then a slow one …

Ran six miles up in Maine.  Cold and beautiful.  My hamstring was still pretty tight … I’ve been stretching a bit and hope to just run some easy miles this week, stretch, do some yoga, and get a message.  All things I need to do more regularly if I hope to get back into any semblance of racing shape.

Turkey Trot was a hamstring failure …

Ran the annual turkey trot in Clinton, MA on Thursday.  My wife and son joined in the fun.  However, my fun ended just after mile one.

Things started off well, but I immediately sensed that something was up with my hamstring.  I let the usual masses go out way too fast and then started picking people off.  At the half mile mark I was in 30th place.  I went through the mile in 6:15 and felt really good.  My wind was much better then in the 5k I had run a month earlier and I was moving up in the field.  By the time I reached the top of the first big hill after mile 1 I was in 21st place and closing on a pack of 8-10 runners (I usually finish 9th-11th in this race) and was feeling good.  But, just as I started to make a move to close the gap I felt my hamstring knot up and I backed off real fast.  I could not keep on racing and jogged home at 7:45 pace.  I think I finished in 22:05 but I did not pay attention to the time (update – race site says 22:02 and 36th place – uggh).

Took yesterday off and will take today off as well, just to rest the hamstring up.  Obviously more stretching is needed and I am going to have to start doing some yoga.  I think my body can handle 60-70 miles a week but only if I put in the stretching that is needed.  Probably for the best that I get this stretching wake up call.

So, my mileage will drop back into the 40s this week because of this injury.  We shall see if I can edge it back up next week.

Slowly increasing the mileage …

Last week, I ran 64 miles.  I have been able to increase my mileage about 10 percent each of the last five weeks.  Now, I just need to keep it in the 60s.   No easy feat for this 47 year old, but if I want to compete at a higher level I need to put in more mileage.

I have been increasing the speed of some of my longer workouts … leaving my heart rate monitor in Maine has helped in that regard; I have not been as wedded to my HR as usual.  So, I managed to throw in a three mile spurt at 7:15 pace during a ten mile run and have run most of my moderate runs right about 8 minute pace.  I am still keeping the slower runs at about 8:20-8:30 pace.

I have found that my longer runs are still a struggle.  I just can’t seem to get my legs loosen up.  I have taken to doing some leg lifts at the end of runs in hopes of fixing that problem.  It seems to be helping a bit.  As usual, more stretching and attention to the things that are not running are what seems to be needed.

I am on pace for another mid 60s week even with a race on Thursday.  My goal is to break 20:00 for the 5k.  I have done this race in under 20 before, but that was about four years ago.  Last year I ran 20:53 or something like that.  It is not an easy course … a couple of killer hills.

At least I don’t have to travel and suffer the choice of being felt up by TSA people or being iradiated.  I am thankful for that!

Recovering …

My legs are still pretty sore and stiff from the 14 miler on Monday, so I ran 7 miles easy on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I am trying to stretch more but I have a ways to go.  A 60 mile week appears to be in the cards this week.  My goal and plan is to keep at 60 miles a week for the next few months if I can.

Today is another easy 7 miler with an interval workout on the MIT track on Friday.  I think 8 x 400 again; I want to keep doing the 400s for a couple more weeks, just to get back into the swing of doing track work again.  I might have some company on Friday … Dave of my running group said he might join in.  That would be nice.

I bought Once a Runner by Robert Parker last night on the recommendation of a few of the people in my running group.  I have Once Again to Carthage (the sequel) but could never get into it.  Perhaps reading the first one, which is supposed to be great will be the way to go.

Beautiful day here in Boston.

Long run Monday …

I have not been putting in many long runs as of late. Hell, I can’t recall the last time I did anything over 12 (I think it was just before Boston in early April).  I figure, though, that I need to get back to the higher mileage and more speed work to get myself competitive in shorter races like 5ks and 10ks.  I need to bulk up with some longer runs – runs over 12.  Today was a start; not a great start, but a start.

It was a 14.3 mile run that was none too pleasant at points.  I ran about 2:04:00 and suffered mightily through a couple of 8:50s for miles 9 and 10 (for the most part, I kept things at a sedate 8:30 pace).  I guess there are always those sections of runs (at 47) that just seem to suck. While I was trying to lift my lead legs, I thought to myself, “I really need to stretch more.”  Not the first time that thought has crossed my mind!  My hamstrings and hips were tight.  Lifting my legs at points during this run was way too difficult.   I felt like an old man, despite my new mantra that “old” is only in your head.  If you say you are young, you are!

Anyway, it is nice to have a long run done at the beginning of the week.  It really makes the 60 mpw target doable when you’ve already logged 20% of that total by Monday.

I think some of my struggles today stem from the fact that I ran at a pretty good clip for 9 miles yesterday.  I just don’t recover so quickly from that kind of pace.  I need to keep that in mind for the future.

I will also, at times, comment on music, food, politics, sports, whatever.  In that regard, the new LCD Soundsystem album, “This is Happening” is really very good.  I loved “Sound of Silver” but this may be even better.  Check it out.

If you are in Boston, you might want to check out Ben Folds at the Orpheum on Wednesday.

Sunday running …

Sunday is usually the day that people put in their long runs (I’ve switched my long run day to Monday, but sort of miss the camaraderie of the long Sunday run).  It certainly looked like it today.   I saw many people out their appearing to put in distance.  I often, however, don’t really think that people are running as far as they seem to be running.  When I see people running with those drink belts, it makes me think that they are putting in a 20 miler.  But, I look at them again and there is no way from their form or appearance that they are running so long.  Do people really need to drink gatorade for a five or six or even ten mile run?  I never drink on runs under 14 miles.  I’ve never really felt the urge (unless it is a particularly hot day during the summer).  So, what gives with the running belts and drinking gatorade for runs obviously under 10 miles?  Has the gatorade/marathon marketing machine convinced everyone to hydrate on even short runs?  Kinda silly.

Anyway, put in 8.8 miles at just under 8:00 minute pace.  I left my heart rate monitor at our summer home, so I can’t say what the heart rate was.  I do, however, think that I need to do some higher heart rate running.  My guess is that I was in the 143-147 range today.  Felt good and worked on being more of a forefoot striker.

Ended up with 59 miles for the week.  Not bad.  I feel pretty good.

It’s been a while …

Hmm … Has it really been nearly two years since my last post?  Hard to believe; visions of blogging grandeur fell by the wayside.

Well, I am still running and have had some ups and downs.  Ran Boston 2010 on not nearly enough training.  I was hoping, based on my lame training, to luck into a sub 3:31 and qualify for the next two years.  I was on pace but choked the last two miles.  I ended up at 3:32:03 and promised myself “No more Bostons.”  I really hate that race.  Too many people and the course just beats me up.

An upside from my lame training though, was that on the one 20+ mile run I did manage before Boston, I hooked up with a group of runners on the Charles River bike paths at about mile 18 of that run and now I run with them about once a week.  It is nice to have some company and conversation.  We call ourselves the Boston River Rats.  A good group of people and we have about 20 who will run the Hyannis Half Marathon.

I am trying to push myself to run faster and race more often this year.  I have set a goal of one race a month … since I don’t plan on doing a marathon anytime soon, I need some goal to keep my going.  My next race is a Thanksgiving Day 5k.  I run it every year and have managed to win my age group every year.  Let’s see if this year holds true to form.

With that in mind, I’ve started to do some intervals on the track to get myself into a little better short racing shape.  In my first race (my one in October) in a while, I ran a 5k two weeks ago – not particularly fast (20:22) – and would like to run under 20:00 at this Thanksgiving race.  There are some guys in my age group running mid 18:00s and I’d like to be competitive with them.  The only way to get to that level is to race more and do some interval work on the track (and keep the mileage up).  Can my body handle it?

I have found that racing and track work do take a pretty good toll on my body.  My achilles was, and still is, sore after this most recent 5k and after yesterday’s track work (8 x 400 at 87, 86, 87, 86, 85, 85, 86, 85 – the goal going in was to run 90s so I was happy with how that went).  As usual, I am not stretching enough.  Gotta get better with that.   But, maybe the more frequent racing and track work will force my body to adapt and get stronger.  I hope that is how it works out.

Today was an easy 7.2 in 1:02:28.  Achilles sore and body stiff from yesterday … crawled along my route but by the end the Achiles was feeling a bit looser.


August 2016
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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

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