Sunday, December 16, 2007

Slow Burn

I've been a bit of a slacker lately when it comes to updating this blog but not so much on the running front. Since you last heard from me I've managed another 50+ mile week and 2 long runs with Andrew on our favorite Boyden Lake route. I took this picture today at the end of the 20 miler before he had a chance to melt off and feast on my little treats. We both agreed that the pre-blizzard weather today was 'pleasant' despite a temperature of -12C (10F). This may be a little incomprehensible to some readers from warmer climes but after dealing with colder temperatures made worse by constant wind, today's slightly warmer day with almost no wind felt near balmy! The 5 layers of clothes and warm head/hand gear also helped!!

The past week was my last pre-training buildup before beginning the 18 week program that takes me to Boston. My wife has noted that she can't tell the difference between my 'not' training and 'actually' training routines. Andrew suggests accepting this as a compliment but I wonder what would happen if I actually took complete time off instead of just cutting back. My terminal 'not' training week went like this: 18 mile long run, rest day, 8 mi, 6 mi, 9 mi, 5 mi and 7 mile for a total of 53. This included one run on the treadmill at a 9:00 pace making Coach2 happy with an average pace for the week of about 8:30.

Today's pre-blizzard run was another 17 mile loop of Boyden plus a 3 mile filler at the end to give the desired even number. We started a bit early at 6am US time so I could make it home before the predicted weather hit. As a result, it was still dark for the 1st 4-5 miles with the surroundings in the quiet back-country roads slowly became more and more visible. We had a very relaxing, enjoyable run with a more usual flow of conversation and laughter this week compared with last week's Silent Sunday. Besides the usual 'bad' jokes, I had lectures on the value of money and how the banking system works and more opinions of the values of slow consistent training, all very entertaining and interesting (really!). My knee has been a non-issue lately, which is great, but the sore hamstrings continue to bother me and slow my pace. Self massage on the run helps but I really need to do some more post-run stretching and introduce my fingers to my toes once in awhile. I liken the feeling to a slow burning sensation that you can almost ignore as it builds to a certain level and never goes away until I stop. I can put up with it and manage the extra miles but it would be nice to run without the discomfort. However I survived and before we knew it, our little run was done, it was only 9am (US), the snow was just starting to stick. We then savored a nice cup of hot coffee and tasty treats. Mmmm! What a great way to start a day and end another week of 'not' training.

Tomorrow marks the start of the Boston plan. It will be either a complete rest day if I go with Pfitzinger or will be 1 hour of very easy recovery running if I go with the Andrew plan.

Stay tuned and have a great week!


Andrew said...

Good run today Mike! Boy those treats were good.

Grellan said...

Eventhough i'm closer to the north pole I will never see snow like that on my runs. In fact I don't expect to see much snow at all. On the other hand I wouldn't mind seeing some of those treats Andrew so eloquently described (got my stomach rumbling).

I appear to be on a similiar path to you - training wise. Some 50+ miles per week before staring on a 24 week training programme for a marathon here in Cork in June (hope it's a BQ this time)

DawnB said...

good luck with your training. How the heck are you runing in conditions like that. What are you using shoes wise. Let me know I was planning on making the treadmill my friend this winter, but if I can run on ice and snow I might not have to :)

Thomas said...

You could have fooled me too. I thought you were training already.

Mark Bell said...

18 weeks, huh. Thanks for the reminder.

Garry said...

Turtle cake! That's insane. If I had someone bring me cake I would never miss a long run either.