Archive for March, 2008

Adjusting …

The last two days have been rather uneventful. Instead of a long run on Sunday, I had to adjust and put in a 9 miler with 3 miles at faster than MP. That went very well with miles 5, 6 and 7 at 6:47, 6:42, and 6:36. The last half mile of that effort was an effort but I feel good that everything (calf, hamstrings, and other muscles) felt good.

My adjusted plan is a long run on Tuesday. That will be my last long run before Boston. From here on out just some strides and one more run with a decent effort attached to it.

I keep on stretching and things feel better. I can’t say I am supremely confident in my fitness, but I feel like I can put in a decent race.

Sat. – 5.3/46:06/138 HR Avg
Sun. – 8.9/1:08:38/150 HR Avg


Two easy days …

Not too much to say here. Thursday and Friday were as follows:

Th. 7.2 miles/1:00:31/8:27 pace/AVG Hr 147
Fri. 8.7 miles/1:14:10/8:36 pace/AVG Hr 145

My HR seems elevated during the run and I don’t know why. Am I tired? I do know the Garmin tells me for the first mile and a half that my HR is in the 165-170 range and I know that is wrong, but then it settles in and seems to stay, for the most part around 145. That seems too high since about a month ago my HR was in the low 140s for an 8:15 mile. I can’t figure it out.

I am still stretching and the hamstrings feel much better. I hope to put in a long run on Sunday (the last one before Boston) and some harder runs next week – perhaps a short race next weekend if I can squeeze it in.

Making progress …

This morning’s run was excellent. My hamstrings felt much better and I ran the last two miles at MP, just to see how things held up. They held up really well. I expected the pace to be around 7:30 because I felt really easy and smooth so I was pleasantly surprised when the times for those two miles came in at 7:16 and 7:10. Talk about boosting my confidence – this was a great day. I need to keep on with the stretching regime, but everything looks solid now for Boston. I will continue to get weekly massages until Boston because I think those have helped a lot.

I’ve been reading a new blog that someone mentioned to me – Glastonbury Running. He too is running Boston and seems to be in very good shape; I am not in that league yet, but you never know what the years will bring.

7.3 miles in 58:18 with 2 at MP.

Finally, my legs feel better …

Yep, today I felt better. My hamstrings felt better; my legs didn’t feel shot; and my HR was right where it usually is. Maybe I’ve turned the corner. I certainly feel that way. All the stretching and massage have helped. I just have to keep that up for the next four weeks (well, I guess and beyond if I really want to improve and avoid injury) and maybe Boston will be a fast race for me.

Today’s run was another easy one – 6 miles in 51:00 with HR at 141. I really felt a whole lot better and could tell right from the get go that this would be a much better run than yesterday’s. So, I feel like another long run this weekend and a race the weekend of April 5 will set me up well for a good Boston.

I am keeping the faith.

Easy and long …

Easter Sunday brought a crisp clear day; it did not begin with a run but with the Easter Egg hunt. When that was over, I headed out the door for a 14 miler. I didn’t go longer because I am trying to make sure I don’t rush the hamstrings with more than they can handle. Saturday’s run felt good – a 9 miler. So I just upped the mileage a bit and did a nice slow easy run.

The terrain is much hillier out in Lancaster, MA so some of the miles were 8:50s and some were 8:00, but overall I ran 14.4 in 2:03:16 – an 8:31 pace; and, everything felt fine.

Today, my legs felt a bit sluggish. I ran an easy 5 miles in 42:24 with a 140 HR. I didn’t feel great but my hamstrings are feeling better. I feel as if my legs are tired all the time. I need to get through these next two weeks and then finish with a taper. With any luck my legs will feel better and I can run a decent time at Boston.

For those of you who have any interest in checking out how my running has gone in 2008, I have finally put up a spreadsheet in the log tab. It looks like a lot of days off – but is what has happened what with feeling sick for a week, recovering from skiing, and this recent hamstring issue.

Anyway, all the details are there.

Wicked tight … but stretching has helped

My massage therapist ranked me on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being stiff as a board and 1 as loose as jello. I was an 8 or 9. Ouch.

Despite this insight into my slacker stretching, I have made a concerted effort to stretch and things are getting better. I ran 5 on Thursday and then 5 again on Friday. Both days my HR has been more elevated then I would like.  I have also been very careful the last two days about running slow to give the hamstrings time to heal – if that is possible to run and to heal at the same time.

I had another massage on Friday afternoon and that seems to have helped quite a bit.  The massage, coupled with my extensive stretching (at least extensive for me) and some ultrasound, have my hamstrings feeling much better. They are not perfect, but the are getting better and I am feeling pretty good about being able to run Boston at or near 100%.  You will notice that I now speak of both my hamstrings.  I have come to the conclusion that even though my left hamstring did not knot up, it was very tight and I had been unable to extend that leg fully during runs.  I think I compensated by putting more stress on the right leg.  Thus, the left leg issues led to the right leg problem.  One thing cascading into another.   Lesson – stretch everything more.

This morning I ran 9 miles at 8:15 pace and the last three were right at 8:00 pace. They felt easy and my hamstrings much better; not perfect, but still much, much better. I hope to run 12-15 tomorrow at a slow pace and then continue with moderate running into Thursday when I will try to run 5 miles at MP during a 10 mile run. If that goes well, then I think I will aim for a short race the weekend of April 5.

Then … Boston!

Massage, ultrasound, stretching and rest …

Well, after three days off, one massage (another scheduled for today) and other therapeutic measures, I finally ran again today.  The hamstring felt okay and held up for five miles at 8:30 pace.

I don’t quite know what to make of my conditioning.  During the run yesterday, my HR was slightly higher than I would have expected for 8:30 pace.  Usually it would have been 136-138 but it was in the 143 range.  This has been happening lately on easy runs – my HR higher than I would expect.  I am hoping that todays run will find it to have settled in at a lower level.  Does this mean I am fatigued or just not in the kind of shape I think I am in?  I don’t feel as fast as I did 2 years ago, but the New Bedford half time tells me that is not true. 

Maybe age is creeping up on me.  Two days after Boston I turn 45.  I want to be able to continue my improvement so that I can run 2:50 when I am fifty, but I don’t know if kind of time will be possible on 50-60 miles per week.  As I’ve said before, running over 70 miles a week seems to be a breaking down point for me; can I do that kind of mileage?  I think I need to try to but I am going to have to just be more careful about how I do it and that I stretch and work on my core conditioning.  The running takes up a lot of time, I don’t know where I will find anymore time to go and spend another half an hour lifting. At least I am healthy and have gotten myself into a place where that kind of time does not seem completely out of sight.  

Another relaxed run today, a massage, some stretching and then an slight increase in mileage this week.  I plan on bumping my last long run to the middle of next week and then work on my taper.  I need to look back at Pfitzinger’s guide to see how to work the taper.  I think I used his ideas for Cape Cod 2006 and I felt very good on race day then.  

March 2008
« Jan   Apr »

What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach