Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Boston Marathon 2019, week 7, the bad back edition

I feel like this update is so late, that I should just tie this week's recap into it.
But that would be cheating.

Last week began well enough. I ran a few recovery miles on Monday and things felt fine. Better than the week before, actually.

Overall, the whole week was spent in better energy. Part of this may have had something to do with needing to bail on my only hard workout of the week. I had planned some long endurance/speed miles (3x2 mile reps) on Wednesday. At 10 days out from a potential marathon a workout like this can be a risk, but so can the weather at this time of year. If a blizzard was looming to cancel the race event, or it it was shaping up to be 70 degrees, this workout would have been well timed (and the biggest challenge of an otherwise easy week.)

Alas. At lunch on Wednesday I did something AMAZING and HEROIC and really, really tweaked my back. I basically had to cash in my chips and call it a day- which meant that I was really hurt. It sucked.
(and "amazing and heroic" means "picking up a dog toy" so, there's that...)

How my crap back made me feel
Thursday was slightly better. Eric and I took Ellie on her first hike up Mt Tirem, and it was such fun!
Adventure dog!
Ellie was a real trooper in the snow, and it was a really nice Valentine's Day evening.

I basically felt recovered on Friday and did a few sucky treadmill miles. The treadmill feels like shit to me at this time. I don't know if it is me, or the treadmill, but I hate it.

I ran a kickass 11 on Saturday in the most sloppy and damp conditions. I was an absolutely sopping wreck by the time I reached the pub, but I got the job done. And it was a really excellent pre-taper run.
Sloppy world
Because I finally pulled the trigger.

Because why not
And the weather looks amazing, as usual. WTF.

Oh, and I feel like I need to include the traditional Saturday group photo to prove we were all there! And to show how much Ellie is growing (a lot, she has doubled in size!)
She is also extremely popular. She made countless new friends this weekend, and is really very good in public for such a young dog.

So, what do I anticipate at Hyannis except for rain?
This has been a very reasonable training cycle. Not quite as perfect, or intense as last year. Taking that into account, I imagine that I will be able to finish successfully, but most likely slower than last year.
Honestly, if I get to the 13.1 and I feel like a bucket of assholes I'm going to bail and come up with a plan B. I have no intention of running 26.2 shitbag miles, thanks.
The rain doesn't bother me, I seem to have had a bit of practice in similar conditions!
So yeah. I'm just going to run along and see what happens. I have rarely found that there are any surprises, or "unexpected" PR's on marathon day. I know I am not fit enough for any kind of PR, but I do believe I am in condition to BQ. Who knows, it's always a crap shoot!

Mileage: 26.5 
Long run: 11.1
Beer at pub: A flight of double, pink pils, picea and cyborg sour (which I don't really love)
Coldest day: There were a few- it was never super warm. Sunday was pretty chilly- I think the day started at 6 degrees and got to like, 19. 
Snow days: Wednesday due to 10 overnight inches, 3 inches of grossness on Friday, 2 more on Sunday. And more to come. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Boston Marathon Training Week 6, 2019: The good, the bad, and the ugly edition

This past week had a variety of fun winter issues.

Believe it of not, it was actually 50 god damn degrees early in the week. It was like a frickin Christmas miracle!!

I took Monday off since I had run 20 miles on Sunday. I was happy not to be sore, but I was generally dragging a little. I was just mega-mega blah, and it was both annoying and a bit ridiculous.

I perked up a bit on Tuesday, and enjoyed a really pleasant easy run.  (despite the messy, wet, puddly roads) It was quite dark by the end, and I was glad to have my high visibility LED vest.

Don't tell me you can't see me
Wednesday was meant to be speed work day but (ANNOYINGLY) I had to postpone it until the next day. A horse managed to stomp on  right foot, and my little toe was basically garbage. It really was a shame... (not really a big deal, but I certainly had one stupid, sore toe.)

So there we were on Thursday. Speed work day. I was feeling like JUNK (basically a theme!) and the workout was garbage. But I got it done. 5x1 mile at 7:36 and it was bullshit. (I believe this was the BAD part of the week, as my title leads us to believe.)

Friday, I intended to have a creative and entertaining treadmill workout. But I was 100% gross and blah and running sucked, and my foot hurt, and my treadmill was bring a psychopath (like, the incline is broken and needs recalibration. and can basically suck it.) So I did nothing fun and slogged around like a giant, hairy, mess of a walrus. DOOM. (THIS was the UGLY part of the week)

Saturday was long run day, and it was super cold (well, it magically made it to 23) and SUPER WINDY (like, 40 MPH) I planned to run 18 miles and I automatically assumed it was going to be a gigantic suckfest of death, like all my running in THE HISTORY OF EVER.


But it was fine. Quite good actually. Much better than last week, and a huge bit better than the previous two days. Mysterious.

Orange hat. IT IS A THING.
I got a weird gross blister though.

Yuck. It looked grosser in real life. 
And I was happy to see Lee, Eric and Ellie at the pub!

Ellie can't even handle it....

Just gives up.....
Sunday was downhill rep day, and (AGAIN) It was an extremely good workout.
3 massive downhills completed at a sub 7 pace (thank the lord for downhills...) So yes, this (and the long run) were the GOOD days of the week.
(and also, the days continue to get longer.....)

5:00 is no longer pitch black dark
I'm pleased that the week ended on a good note. definitely an uptick from mid week.

Guess what? I'm still not so sure about running Hyannis. I may actually be fit enough, but I'm not going to sign up until the 10 day forecast comes along. I can't handle 70 (or 50) degree weather and don't want to waste my cash.

If I do race, I'll begin to taper on Thursday of this week.
If I don't race, I will continue to train as normal, but will shorten my long runs to 10 and then 13 for the next two weeks, and I don't want to overtrain prior to Boston. I'm so dainty.

Mileage: 45.7
Long run: 18.1
Beer at pub: A mix of triple cream and double cream, and a taste of pickle gose which is a weird as it sounds
Coldest day: High temp of 23 Saturday, but 53 on Tuesday which was really nice
Snow days: None from school (two weeks in a row! two hour delay on Friday because ice) Some random flakes, some ice, some slime. Nothing plowable. 


Monday, February 4, 2019

Boston Marathon Training 2019: Week 5, Mid Winter Classic edition

So yes, it was the week where we all get excited for the Mid Winter Classic.

It also felt VERY MUCH like Mid Winter.

We experienced several very cold days. Basically it went from cold.......




And we also got a foot of snow. Jesus.

I hit the road last Monday for some easy miles, prior to the polar vortex and snowmagedon moving in.
Honestly, the roads were basically shit. It's nice that we are getting more daylight hours at this point, but as long as the roads stay this garbage I can't do much for speedwork on them, especially after work when it is dusky.

It was pretty though.

Pretty stupid.....
Plan A was to run some mile reps on Wednesday and then do some indoor downhill work on Thursday. (it's almost cheating to do indoor downhills indoors, but when it's 5 below, and dark, and ice you do what you gotta do.) It ended up not mattering anyway. I was 100% exhausted garbage on Wednesday, and even after extending my pre speedwork warmup to try to wake the legs, they would not wake. I bailed, and said fuck it.

I managed the workout successfully the following day, with 5 reps at 7:36 (of course.)
I did not get the downhill reps in which is a shame.

Thankfully, Sunday/Race day was warmer. Since Hyannis is still on the table, I felt compelled to run 20 to keep it a viable option. Eric dropped me off, and I ran a carbon copy last year's route to the race start. Around back bay, down Commercial St, over the Casco Bay Bridge, and up 77. It was cold to start, about 14 degrees, but as I ran the final couple miles the sun felt surprisingly warm.

I felt good about my timing, and I arrived just in the nick of time to get my number from Eric and Ellie, and to scoot to the start. .....which was then delayed by 10 minutes.....
One side of my brain doesn't mind this at all. Things happen. No big deal.

The other side of my brain FROZE SOLID because so did my body. I was already hot and sweaty, and standing in the 28 degree shade put me into a world of hurt. One might think that a 14 minute break in between 10 mile efforts would make things easier, but in this case it did NOT.

The first few miles of the race were most unpleasant. I was extremely cold. My hands and butt felt completely frozen. Not really fun. I think the following photo shows me with a pretty unimpressed expression.

I am in the orange hat looking pissed 
Around mile 3 I did warm up, but also decided that I really wasn't feeling that it was "my day." Last year, I felt extremely capable of pushing the pace. I actually felt like I was giving a solid "race" effort. I decided to pull it back and rein it in. I slowed to what felt like a much more casual long run pace than I have been managing lately. I mulled over my slump and thought it could be nutrition related, so I had a couple Humas. More likely, it was due to a pretty major lack of morning hydration, and a pretty major lack of sleep. One I can control (water) the other, I can not!
Thankfully, once I pulled the pace back I felt much more positive about the whole situation.
(and here's the weird thing, my pace actually hardly changed. Go figure. Maybe it was just giving myself permission to chill that made the difference? Who knows.)

I ended up finishing in 1:21:23, an 8:09 pace (which is certainly a MP pace effort.) My first 10 clocked in at an 8:39 pace, I believe, which brought the overall 20 to an 8:22 pace.

I was very happy to see Eric and Ellie, and many friends at the finish! Ellie was extremely popular, and all the socializing really wore her out.

Happy family!!!!
So overall, I would say this was a good day. I'm happy with having 10 MP miles at the end of a workout. I was pleased to feel well at the finish, and not to feel too sore or stiff. I'm not feeling 100% on point like last year, but am certainly more sharp than in some previous seasons.

And I STILL have not decided about Hyannis. I managed to do this 20, so it is now a more real possibility. If I had those extra 5 minutes in hand from aging up, I would feel pretty certain of success. (thanks for NOTHING BAA!!! Haha.) Who knows. I still have the notion of waiting for the 10 day forecast and making sure it isn't going to be 60 degrees, and then making up my mind! (and FYI: 60 is bad. It needs to be chilly!)

Mileage: 41.2
Long run: 20.1
Beer at pub: A mix of triple cream and double cream (Can't stop, won't stop)
Coldest day: FFS SO COLD. Negative one million Thursday through Saturday. 
Snow days: None from school (miracle) Close to a foot of snow on Tuesday night. Some random other non plowable little shit. 


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Boston Marathon 2019: Week 4 of training (where I complain about winter)

Let's see. Week 4 of training. What happened... (I actually have no recollection, so I shall refer back to Strava.) Please feel free to follow me here. I'm brutally honest on Strave (and in real time!) about how the old workouts are progressing. So if this lame old blog isn't doing it for you (and it's crap, so it should not be!) follow me there.

So, going back to the 21st, I ran 5x1200 at a 7:36 pace. Arbitrarily, 7:36 has been deemed as the "speed work" speed this year, regardless of distance.

I had a couple mid week treadmill runs. The weather this winter has been disgusting, bizarre shit. As we all know, we had our first serious storm on October 27th, and the weather has been garbage ever since. (I have lucked out on a few of my long runs. Decent enough weather. But other than those workouts, NO bueno.) So anyway, if it is raining 3 inches (which it did) or a million degrees below zero (or like, 6 but whatever) and the roads are covered with DEATH (always) I'm just done. Nope. I can't take it!

I had a VERY rare workday last Friday which had be wrapping things up at 2:00. It was 34 degrees, and only moderately windy and weird. I got the fuck out and got 18 in.

Lee, Eric and Ellie met me at the pub (and Ellie met Winston, the bar dog!!) And then Linda (my mom) made us tacos at home, which were excellent.

Ellie loves this nonsense 
I was glad that I chose Friday for my long run, because Saturday was god damn freezing. We made poor Ellie go for a 0.2 mile walk, mostly to let her sniff around for ducks.

Ellie likes this less
I snagged my first round of downhill repeats on Sunday in slime city. It was 29, and all kinds of snowy and I was fairly convinced that I was going to take a spill. Somehow, I did not.

UGH Winter. I'm just done.
Yes, I prefer winter running to summer running for sure. But the wild fluctuations between -5 and 48, between snow and down pouring rain, and the fact that (to this point) 100% of the snowstorms have ended up being ice is beginning to piss me off. Not to mention that our power has gone off basically every time winter has looked at us crosseyed this season. ANNOYING.

At least the sun is starting to come up at like, 10AM.... (ok, ok it's not that bad. but close!)

But really winter. Go away. 
Mid winter classic is coming up on Feb 3rd.
I still have no idea if I want to run Hyannis, or if I am even remotely fit. What the fuck, 2019 training cycle?? Why do I have no gauge of where I am at? Maybe I'll wait and see the 10 day forecast, and then decide! (brilliant!)
I'd love to just crack out my 2020 BQ ASAP, so that I can go back to being a lazy slack ass. That's a fairly good motivator, when you are me. :-)

Mileage: 44.4
Long run: 18.2
Beer at pub: A mix of triple cream and double cream (AGAIN) 
Coldest day: Good question. Saturday was really cold. 
Snow days: None from school (miracle) 3" of rain. Bullshit. Also, some random snow at some point but not that much. 


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Boston Marathon 2019: Week 3 of training (in which I actually ran)

Week 3 was certainly better than week 2.
I felt better, managed to fit in speed work AND a long run.

And got a puppy, and proceeded to never, ever sleep again!

Ellen Charlotte Bradlowski

I ran 6x800 on Monday, at 7:36

I did some pretty basic, boring mid week stuff. A little up/down tempo stuff on the treadmill. (Which I was pretty much stuck on since I worked late every day....)

The forecast looked ominous.....

I did a really solid 16 to the pub on Saturday. It was chilly (upper teens) but the roads were dry and it was just fine.
We also introduced little Ellie to our Pub!!

Puppies and pub runs!!
So at this point, certainly well on track for Boston. Not so sure I can say the same about Hyannis but I have neither signed up, nor completely ruled it out. #undecided

Mileage: 39
Long run: 16
Beer at pub: A mix of triple cream and double cream, current favorite 
Coldest day: I think Monday was a high of 11, so not great....
Snow days: None from school (miracle) Gross Sunday storm.