Catching Up

Hard to find the time to update this consistently, but figured I would start with the last two days of workouts to get back in the swing of things.

Wednesday – 3 x 1 mile at Shen Track.  Met Jenn and did a 3 mile warmup and a couple of strides on the track.  Plan was to hit 610, 600, 550 – well within what my normal times would be.  First one in 610, legs felt a little heavy but otherwise not bad.  Second in 6:16, and third in 6:19.  Overall was unhappy with the workout, mostly because there is no solid explanation of why they were getting slower.  Did a 3 mile cooldown with Jenn and off to work.  10 miles total.

Thursday – Was originally planning on going out in the morning, but lack of sleep and issues with my Plantar kept me inside.  After work decided to do 8 miles in the neighborhood on the hills to try and shake everything out.  Did the run in my new Saucony Breakthru 2’s, which feel like a slightly heavier version of my race flats.  Felt pretty good afterward (albeit a little dehydrated).  8 miles total.

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Wild Weekend

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The last week of training was to culminate in my first race of the season, a 1 mile sprint in Binghamton, NY.  This race was tied to a St. Patrick’s day parade, but more on that later.  The week started off just like the week before, post vacation doldrums keeping me from getting out of bed.  Oversleeping on Monday led to an 8 mile solo tempo run on the hills to reinforce the need to get out of bed in the morning.  The rest of the week went alright, still didn’t feel great, but managed to get up every day.

The week of training

Monday – 8 mile tempo in the hills (punishment run)

Tuesday – 6 miles in AM with Wendi in Saratoga, Lift with Adam at store, Yoga at Y

Wednesday – 4.5 miles easy with Jessy (overslept again)

Thursday – AM 4.5 miles with MacKnight in the neighborhood, PM workout at Saratoga Track

Friday – 8 miles with Jessy through Torrey Pines

Saturday – mile race

Sunday –  11 mile shakeout with the Distance Project

Race Report

Starting races is not my strong point.  It almost always goes far too fast, and sucking gas from whatever point my ability meets what I attempted to do.  Did a very short warmup, maybe a mile total, some strides and stretches, and lined up.  Being in an elite heat, I though it might be interesting to see how long I could hold on if I attempted to stay with the pack.  600 meters was the definitive answer.  The first 400 clocked in at 62 seconds, which made sense as I was with most of the pack, at least in sight.  About 200 meters later the course started to climb, and the city being set up for a parade turned into a zoo like atmosphere.  People were throwing things in the road and charging at the runners.  The 1:00 start allowed everybody plenty of time for the masses to get really drunk.  The last 1000 was kind of a blackout, all I cared about was not finishing last.  I kicked each section as hard as I could, finished in 5:38 (grrrr).  Post sprint tradition of getting sick a couple of times, and watched Jessy push in for second in the female elite heat.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is on the way

Just realized I have written next to nothing in the month of February.  Pretty fitting given that since the small plumbing nightmare I have done next to nothing at the house.  Started speed work again this month, and have been keeping with the yoga and lifting, so all in all workouts have gone pretty well.

I was able to run in shorts again while in Florida, which was quite welcome as we had like a whole 3 days of real winter this year in New York.  Also decided officially that I will try to hit my Boston time this fall at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA.  For the spring I will try to continue to work speed and middle-distance, starting to ramp up in May.

This weekend was a pretty good success for workouts, back to back 12 mile runs.  Did 12 through Ballston Lake with Jenn on Saturday morning.  Did a new route going in the opposite direction from normal.  On Sunday ran 12 miles with Jamie on the Zim Smith, with 2 sets of 3-2-1 pickups in the middle.  After, being the awesome guy that I am, I biked 8 miles along with him so he didn’t have to do any of the 20 on his own.

Hopefully tomorrow will be the start of a very normal week

What a couple of weeks

I know it’s been a few days, but it feels like I haven’t had five minutes to sit down let alone update the page.  No progress has been made at the house, so that part is easy.  Clifton Park came and dug up the main shut off in the yard and at some point I assume will call and tell me I am ok to schedule an appointment with a plumber to install a new main shut off inside.  Until then, stuck in neutral.

Workouts have been meh.  I have run a whole lot, but the intensity doesn’t feel like it is where it should be.  I feel like I might be getting run down, but it’s also entirely possible that I’m doing a little too much.  This week I cut two of my double workouts out in an effort to preserve a little bit of sleep.  The biggest thing lacking discipline in all of my training right now is not even in the training at all, but rather the recovery.  Hardly a night exists that I am able to sleep more than 6 hours, and my diet has been rough to say the least.

Always room for improvement I guess

Workouts

Tuesday

rare rest day from the run.  Saving my energy for lifting and yoga

PM1 – Deadlifts as always

PM2 – Yoga at the YMCA

Wednesday

(AM) Ran 5 miles with Jessy and Heidi.  did some 1 minute pickups for Heidi’s workout.  Nice morning out.

(PM) 3600M progression with the distance project, idea being to turn up the speed a little bit each 12oo.  Pace group did great

Thursday

(AM) 6 miles through country knolls with KQ.  Nice to see her again, had been a while.

(PM) 3600M progression with the distance project, idea being to turn up the speed a little bit each 12oo.  Pace group did great.

Friday

8 x 200 at Shen track, looking to hold 39 seconds.  First two were off, 39’s the rest of the way.  5 miles total with warmup and cooldown.

Saturday

Ran 13 miles with Jen around Ballston Lake.  She always makes the best courses, we hardly ever do one twice.

Sunday

Ran 10ish miles with the distance project.  Started with the usual group I pace, but continued on with one of the newer girls in the group as she was really struggling with an IT band issue.  Went through the tech park and wound around Saratoga Lake a bit before heading back to the store.

Monday

Ran 6 miles easy with Jessy through Ballston Lake.  Always a pleasure

Tuesday

Ran 6 miles easy with Wendi through Saratoga, nice workout.

PM1 – Lifting at Fleet Feet Albany

PM2 – Yoga at Clifton Park YMCA

Wednesday

4 x 1200 with distance project.  Night 1 of the 2 workout groups.  Paced Brigid on her’s at about 7:45 pace, with the last one being the exception.  Last 400 of the workout for her clocked 96 seconds.

Thursday

4 x 1200 with distance project.  Paced the 7:30 to 8:00 group.  They are rock stars, all worked extremely hard and did really well.

Friday

6 x 3 minute bursts with 2 minute recovery.  Started out a little on the easy end as usual (7 minute ish pace) and worked down to about 5:45.  Rolled my ankle on the fifth, felt great.  8 Miles total

Saturday

12 miles easy through Ballston Lake with Jen.  Nice Saturday morning long run.

Failure and Fear

After a strange weekend, it seemed kind of like the right time to reflect a little bit on this.  Workouts this week have been strange.  The distance project workouts are not my own, which occupies a couple of days a week.  I have no problem with this as it is more or less what I signed up for.  Having to do them Wednesday and Thursday does add an element I wasn’t expecting as it takes some additional time away from my own goals, but again I signed up for it.  The trouble lies in the foundation I’m trying to lay for myself and how the two interrelate.

The nights I assist are purely in support of others, which I love.  They are however not at the levels I need to train, so the are simply in addition to what I need to do.  This week my goal was to keep everything moderately easy with a race on Friday night.  Mission accomplished as far as all the workouts went.  I spent half the week sick, which should have been indication that I need to take a rest, especially with a race on Friday.

That would be conventional wisdom anyway.  Not this guy, I was gonna stay on track regardless of the consequences.  And consequences there were.

After talking to Mark prior to the meet Friday, my plan of 600/1500 was scratched in favor of 3000/1500.  I didn’t totally feel great about the 3k as I had done no speed work to get ready for that distance, but trusted the logic behind doing it.  3k was the first event and 1500 was the last event, leaving 2-3 hours between each race (not optimal).

Did about 2 miles of warmup on the track to get adjusted to the surface and the turns.  With the start being about 45 minutes late, it was hard to gauge when to actually do any warm up or strides.  The race started pretty good, first lap was a little quick, fortunately I had 18 more to get adjusted.  Settled in to a pack with 3-4 other runners and tried letting them do most of the work.  After about 1200 it became clear that the pack I was with had slowed and I probably waited a bit too long to work up.  It made it incredibly easy to hit a negative split on the second 1500, finishing 11:22.  This was pretty close to my best 2 mile time (it actually might be slightly better)

After the 3k, the rest of the night was filled with mistakes.  I went to do a bit of a cool down with one of the ARE guys and noticed the outside of my right foot was blistered to hell and killing me.  Decided to get off the track and toyed with scratching the 1500 all together.  After the foot felt a little better, did about a 2 mile cool down with a couple guys.  Pretty much decided then that the 1500 was not going to happen.  Sat for a few and started to get changed and for reasons I can’t explain, I changed my mind again.

Lined up for the 1500 second heat, and noticed something remarkably off.  I had been lined up with 14 high school girls.  While confusing and ultimately odd, it still didn’t strike me to be careful as I had spent the last hour + doing mostly sitting.  Started out in what felt like a good pace, but was still pretty tight from not moving.  Checked the first 400 at 66 seconds, which was not close to where it should have been.  Got a little nervous and felt some cramping in my calf and hamstring, but nothing unbearable.  The nerves took my breathing off, which caused more cramping.  After another 200 I dropped.  Still not feeling great about this as I had never dropped out of a race before, but I was terrified I may reinjure the leg I spent most of the summer down for.

Lessons learned, hopefully it will be the last time ever as it was horrifying.

Workouts

Wednesday – 6 x 800M repeats with the distance project.  All did a fantastic job, it was clear that it was the hardest some of these guys had pushed for that distance and was rewarding to see them finish. About 5 miles total with warmup and cooldown.

Thursday – 6 x 800M repeats with the distance project (take 2).  Same as last night, was able to go a little quicker tonight with the group I was assigned.  All did great.  About 5 miles total with warmup and cooldown.

Friday – (AM) did 5 miles on the treadmill with Renee at the Y.  Wanted to do something easy to just keep my legs mobile, I tend to lock up when I don’t get a morning run in.

(PM) Union track meet.  5 miles of warmup/cooldown

3000 – 11:22

1500 – DNF (GRRR)

Saturday – 8 miles with Jessy and Jenn around Ballston Lake.  Felt awful from Friday night, hips were tight and would not open up.  Battle of attrition I guess

Sunday – 8 miles with the distance project through global foundries.  Was planning on doing a bit more, but still was a little sore from Friday.

Monday – 8+ miles with Diane through country knolls.  Felt back to normal at last, pace opened up a little bit more than I’m used to but it actually felt really good.

The Walking Dead

None related to the television show, illness has spread through my house and I was finally a casualty of it.  Kristen found herself sick, passed it on to me, started feeling better, got sick again, which then passed it back to me.  This cycle seems to happen at least once annually, and it is not all that pleasant.  It would figure to happen the week I am trying to run a Friday night track meet and still fit all of these workouts in.

The house projects are at the moment status quo until I get this main water line fixed.  The decision on whether to do it myself or call the plumber has been plaguing me, but I think I will call to have it done.  Once this is complete I will be able to continue moving along downstairs and ultimately work my way upstairs.

On to the workouts of the week

Sunday –

8 miles easy mentoring the distance project group.  Everybody did pretty well, even with the hills and pickups that we asked them to do in the middle.  The tech park in Malta is the perfect for doing any workout, it has hill sections and is pretty secluded.  If you can master the paths in there, you can do well in any race.

Monday –

Sick day.  was planning on doing 10 easy in Clifton Park with a large group but the plague in my house sat me out.  Thought about maybe going out later as I did feel better as the day went on, but decided with a Friday night race I would not chance it.

Tuesday –

Workout 1 – 6 miles easy in Saratoga with Wendi.  The cold weather made it easy to keep everything at the right effort.

Workout 2 – Lift with Adam.  Deadlifts and Squats (Tuesday night tradition at this point).  Always feel a rewarding soreness after.  Afterward was given some advice for the meet Friday night, nothing he hasn’t told me before but good to hear no less.

Workout 3 – Yoga at the YMCA.  This has been a new addition this month, and while I feel that I have much to do and to learn, I also feel great benefit from what I have been able to do so far.  The stretching for an hour alone is help with some of my inherent flexibility issues.

Hoping the rest of the week improves on the health front and workouts progress as normal.

The Best Laid Plans

 

What a week.  It often feels like Monday through Friday move at light speed into the weekend, with barely a moment to sit and reflect.  With the new workout schedule there is not much time for housework other than Monday nights after work, and I have more or less promised Kristen that we would keep Friday night as a “date night”.  The rest of the week has been left to mostly dreaming and planning, and this week the dreaming and planning has led to needing to do more dreaming and planning.  Explanation will follow below.

Monday

Workout – 8 miles easy on the perimeter of the neighborhood with Jessy.  The hills make it kind of a mini-workout, but it felt really good.  It was nice to be back to such a familiar route, as this used to be the only course that I would run (for fear of getting lost).

Project – Now that the fireplace side of the basement is complete, and the 3 main walls are done, it is time to get the last wall finished.  The water meter and stairs have both caused the largest trouble with this.  I figured that some of the woodworking skills could help in building a cabinet around the meter and boxing the pipe in.  The stairs I conclude would look best by being sanded down and refinished.

Mini rant upcoming, I am not entirely sure when you have a beautiful wood grain stair with a bullnose routed in why you would paint over it.  There is nothing appealing about this and it is now 50 years later causing a lot of work.  More on that later.

Tuesday

Workout 1 – Ran 6 miles with Wendi through Saratoga on our old course.  I paced her for the scheduled pickup in this middle, which she did great on.  Another great Starbucks run.

Workout 2 – Lifted at the store with Adam.  the trend continues of shorter and more concentrated workouts with a lot of emphasis on form improvement.  I have very much enjoyed this change.

Workout 3 – Yoga at the Clifton Park YMCA.  Weather turned this into a solo effort tonight, and it feels less intimidating each time.  I am starting to feel the benefit in my hips already as the soreness is going away.

Wednesday

Workout 1 – Cancelled 8 mile run due to illness.  Not sure what, but when you feel nauseous at 0400 and it doesn’t improve after 20 minutes or so, bed is the best option.

Workout 2 – Mentored the distance project for mile repeats in the Rockrose neighborhood.  Paced Wendi, Brigid, and newcomer Monika for 3 of these.  They all did fantastic, total workout was about 4.5 miles.  Talked to Mark about adding a mile to the warmup as the temperatures make me nervous when they are this low.

Bonus housework – With my plan to refinish the wood on the stairs, I needed to do a couple housekeeping items.  When owning a 50 year old house, it is always a good idea to check materials when making a change.  Lead based paint was used often in the 60’s, and given that I had no idea when the stairs actually got painted, it felt right to test for lead just in case.  With the test, Red means Lead.  Looks like I will be dreaming some more.

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Thursday

Workout 1 – Ran (mostly) 3 miles with Wendi from Starbucks on Broadway.  The sidewalks were a solid sheet of ice, forcing us to stop and walk a couple of blocks within the course.  Not a bad shakeout, and always nice to be able to get coffee in the morning.

Workout 2 – Mentored the distance project for mile repeats again in the same neighborhood.  Worked pacing Jamie and Rachel for the 3 and 4 they needed to do.  This was challenging as the pace they needed was not far off of my marathon pace, so it was a little more work than normal, but they did great.  Total workout was just under 7 miles.

Bonus house work – Work schedule allowed me to polyurethane a small shelf that I have wanted to finish for some time.  First coat done, can probably sand and finish tomorrow.

Friday

Workout 1 – Met Jessy for a semi workout on Hills Rd.  Both of us were pretty exhausted this morning, but managed to get 3 repeats in.  My legs were spent from the mile repeats the last couple of days.  5.5 miles total for the day

Project – Managed to get the shelf sanded and a finish coat of polyurethane applied.  The shine and protection look great.  Should be ready to hang tomorrow.

Saturday

Workout – Beautiful morning for a run.  30 degrees, freezing rain, roads iced over, a perfect time to connect with nature.  Ran 13 miles with Jenn around the perimeter of Ballston Lake.  The conditions really did suck, but after a few minutes it didn’t feel quite as bad.  It feels like in weather like this that the suck comes in waves, gets bad for a few minutes and then settles down for a while.  The trails were really iced over, the roads were alright when you could run in the car tracks.  Glad I did it, glad to catch up with Jenn, glad it is over.

Rainy Days and Sundays

I know it’s Monday’s, but it felt fitting today.  Running from the park in a monsoon (a freezing one at that) was neither easy or comfortable, but about 10 people showed up and I did sign up to help out.  It was good to see that many people come to the workout.  After I got home, quickly got warm and fell asleep.  I really didn’t plan to finish the work I was doing yesterday so I had nothing planned to do today.  Mostly putted around here and there, nothing big or worthwhile to talk about.

Workout – Ran 6.5 miles through Saratoga with the FFDP group.  Stuck with Wendi, Rachel, Carrie, and Kevin for most of the run.  It was pouring from the start until well after the finish.  Pretty easy miles today, happy to be getting the extra recovery miles.

Project – Nothing noteworthy, bought a shadow box frame to place over the electric panel.  The challenge is to find something to put in the shadow box now.  Also stained a shelf and did some cabinet work.  I think I will try to finish the last couple of items in the basement this week, which should beat my timeline by well over a month.

First week over 50 miles since Christmas, and two weeks until an indoor track meet.  Getting very nervous, this is going be an extremely humbling experience.

Working for the Weekend

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It’s amazing how fast the week goes when you pretty much go from workout to work to workout almost every day.  I decided last night to just go to redbox and rent Kristen and I.  It was nice to just hang out a little bit, as we really don’t get to see each other all that much during the week.

Workout’s

Friday – Met with Jessy and did 10 x 3 minute pickups through Ballston Lake.  We ended up getting 10 total miles in, and the pickups went as designed with each one being progressively faster.  We went up the Sweet Rd Hill, which I thought would break me on the particular pickup it was on, but for some reason added confidence.  Felt great, good workout.

Saturday – Met with Jenn and did 13 miles again through Ballston Lake.  She was nice enough to design a new route for us, and it was pretty good.  No huge climbs or drops, even managed to get on the bike path a bit (I can’t remember the last time I was able to run on the path in January).  Another great workout.

The Project

As shown above, my weekend assignment was to deal with the pile of humanity in terms of wires.  Monday I started with my thoughts of building a small wooden cabinet to hide the wires away, with a hinged cover for easy access.  After a Saturday full of cutting, staining, and trimming, the wirebox has been completed.

A Week of Treading Water

 

For the first time in 3 days there is actually time to write a post, even that is an understatement.  Monday started out very positive, even getting a little bit of house work done.  Since that point, it has been wake up – work out – work – work out – bed.  Not to complain, because it has mostly been enjoyable, but a couple times I had no idea what day it was.

Tuesday

Workout # 1 – 4 mile treadmill run at the Y.  Was not mentally prepared to run in 3 degree weather yet.  Met with Wendi and did our normal Starbucks visit after.

Workout # 2 – Lift with Adam at Fleet Feet.  Tough as usual

Workout  # 3 – Yoga with Renee at the Y.  Did not feel at all ridiculous this time, and actually felt better post lifting.

Wednesday

Workout  # 1 – 3 mile run with Jessy from Fitness Artist.  It was cold as was expected, nice to catch up as it has been tough getting together

Workout # 2 – Did 4 hill repeats mentoring the distance project.  3 people showed up so I tried to do at least 1 with each person.  They did great.  It seems to be fairly common that newer runners don’t completely know what they are capable of. 6 miles total.

Thursday –

Workout – Met with the Distance Project to mentor the second workout.  Much larger turnout tonight, with marathoners doing 6 reps and half marathoners doing 4.  Was able to get 5 total in, working with each group, again trying to spend some time with everybody.  Group tonight did phenomenal as well.  6miles total.

It has been made pretty clear from this week that I need to be very on top of my schedule.  With the two mentoring sessions giving me some easier miles, I also need to make certain I can get my workouts in when I schedule them.  Tuesday really should have been 6-8 miles.