Monday, December 30, 2019

Boston Training 2020, week 2. The time when December was brown.

Week two was no problem. Basically as unexciting as one could wish for.

I had a couple treadmill runs, which will continue to be a trend as long as I continue to work until well after dark.

In the theme of discontinuing my habit of leaving speedwork until the last moment, I did 6x400 at 7:48 early in the week. Hey, gotta start somewhere!

I did manage to hit the actual road twice, in the first time in a very long time. Luckily, one of the outdoor days was my "long" run, which (at 8 miles) was not terribly long. However, it should be noted that it was my longest run in a training cycle since September 12th (again with the "you have to (re) start somewhere!)
Currently, the snow levels are almost non existent. The roads are in great shape.
(this will come to an end, there is a foot of snow in the forecast. barf.)

Brown December evening
We did a great hike of Webster, Jackson and Pierce on Boxing Day. The weather was just outstanding (30, no wind, just amazing.) We cruised around the loop in exactly 5 hours. The next day, this caused me to feel like I had run a half marathon. (totally counting this as downhill work!! Not really. But I'm sure it counts for something.)

Well this is nice!!!!
Anyway. That's it from week 2. Pretty standard stuff. Low mileage still, low intensity. I plan to add a reasonable number of miles on this week, not that I have had a month or so of consistent running.

Total miles: 22.4
(plus 9 hiking miles) Long run: 8
Coldest Day: Not cold enough to mention, or remember. A few days when it was legit 40. 
Snow: Nope
Random: I'm really delighted in the sub-culture of Vizsla owners. We all get "it." If you have ever found your dog on top of your car, or refrigerator, you get it too. Plus, you really never knew how much "help" you DID NOT have, until you have a a little Vizsla helping you with EVERYTHING. I love her. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Boston Training 2020: Week one. The time I wrote a boring recap.

Week one was uneventful.

I ran 21 total miles, a "long" run of 7, and a few short (400) repeats. Everything was done on the treadmill this week, because I was working until well after dark.

Things, in general, felt fine. My treadmill has been having some technical challenges. The incline has become uncalibrated (I'm not sure if that is what it is called, but you get the idea.) I have not been fretting about it, but I have been amused to find myself running up a quite steep incline when it is set at zero. Oh well, hopefully I'll be able to make it out onto the roads pretty soon.

It has been two years since I have not attempted a mid winter marathon, and hence, the first December where I am not well into training. We will see how fit I feel come April (I certainly imagine that 18 weeks can get the job done.) After the summer fiasco, my first goal is to simply stay healthy. My second goal is to Qualify for 2021.

Total miles: 21
Long run: 7
Coldest Day: Cold, one day with a high of 12 which was terrible but short lived
Snow: The first "real" storm of the year, on Tuesday, with about 3-4 inches
Random: I often think back to my early days of running and remember feeling so impressed and proud of myself for hitting milestones- first 5 miler, first 10k, first 13.1!! I kind of miss that, one really looses sight of how impressive just running a few miles is, when one has been doing it for a while.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Beginning the countdown to Boston 2020

I'm about 90% sure that next Monday is the day that we begin the 18 week countdown to Boston. 

For the past 6 weeks since MCM, I have in no way, shape, or form been training hard (or at all.) This is the first time in two years that I do not have plans for a mid winter marathon, and hence, my training has not begun yet. 

Yes, skipping a mid winter race means leaving all my eggs in one basket for a 2021 BQ in Boston. This is not my favorite approach, but after having a fall race I really didn't feel it was wise to begin training again in November. Especially after being legitimately injured for the better part of the summer. 

I have run just a bit in the last few weeks and (other than being remarkably out of shape) things feel good. This last training cycle for MCM was 90% pure crap. Hopefully, this time around is better. Every training cycle tends to have its own challenges, and I'm sure this one will be no different! However, hopefully I don't have/make the same issues/mistakes twice. 

I'm going to be cautious during the first several weeks, and not ramp up my mileage too quickly. It's easy to want to begin training with a "bang" and I'm sure that would be an idiot move after basically sitting around eating cake since October.

While winter training can be tedious because of lack of daylight, snow covered roads, and frigid weather I have historically found it to be more pleasant than summer training. I do NOT miss the heat, humidity, or the need to drink 200 gallons of water just to survive (and then to feel as thought I a going to float away, or barf.) 

An obvious thing that should keep me from having unexpected ailments... We don't hike NEARLY as much in the winter (we will probably hike twice, to be honest.) So, not only are weekends free and open for long runs, but I don't run the risk of smashing my foot and shin to bits while blazing up and down massive mountains. (I suppose this is a blessing. but I miss hiking at the moment so it is also a curse.)

Reflecting back to my Boston training last year, I went into that race very fit and ready to go. I wasn't 100% on board with my physical or mental training prior to Hyannis in February, but developed a strong base and was able to really crank up the training after that. A setback (with my back) a couple weeks before was of no impact, because I had done the important work. 

So, thoughts for the upcoming training cycle. 

-Keep a closer eye on my back/hip pain that tends to flare up in snow shoveling season

-Stick with what has worked for Boston in the past. (which, in a nutshell is basically "work.") But to be specific, the combo of speedwork/downhill repeats/and long runs at slight up-tempo have worked. I tend to keep my long run pace juuuust under 9:00 miles. My race pace is like, 8:15 I believe, so I easily could set off on a long run closer to 9:30's. However, I have found that upping the pace just a touch allows me to run fewer miles each week. 

That's where I'm at at the moment. I'll report back in next week at the start of week one.