Sunday, January 21, 2007

Plan of attack

Well, I'm glad this past week is finally over. The weather has been awful, brutal, miserable, blustery and cold (take your pick) but it is winter and that's to be expected. Running-wise the week was OK with a total of 62 miles but nothing with any speed/tempo except on the treadmill. Despite having had a recnet cutback week it seemed that I was tired and slow on most of the runs. Is it OK if I blame it on the icy snow covered roads?

Thurs - tired before the run, in fact it was tough even going up and down stairs at work. However, once past the 1st mile, I was able to complete the 95 minute run with 11 miles covered. Sloppy roads but warmer temp around -4C and light winds.

Friday - tired and sore from the slipping and sliding on Thurs and decided to can the scheduled 2hr run with an easy 5 mile loop. It's been awhile since I've had to call off a workout but you need to be able to take a break on occasion and save your energy for another day. It was an interesting run with conditions going from light rain, then sleet, then ice pellets and driving snow and wind by the end. Good thing it was a shortened run!

Sat - easy 1 hour run was the plan and I was feeling much better this morning. After cleaning off the 2-4cm of snow in our driveway it was off for a quick loop around town. The yaktraks again came in very handy on the icy roads as I meandered around. Ran across another runner, which is highly unusual in our little town and detoured to say hello. Turned out to be a visitor from Boston and we had an nice chat before veering off in different directions to finish our runs. Total of 10 miles in 84 min with temp of -5C and medium winds to make it interesting.

Sunday - today was the 'coup de gras' as far as tough runs so far this year. I met Andrew and Jonathan out at Boyden Lake in near ridiculous conditions of -15C with very strong NW winds for windchill of -25C (-15F). These are marginal conditions where there is risk of frostbite with prolonged exposure (duh). We organized our vehicles so that one van was at the halfway point with drinks and snacks stashed away and the others at our usual start and this turned out to be a saving grace later on. Jonathan has not been running much lately so Andrew and I met early for a quick 3 mile warmup to test our clothing in the conditions. By the time we got back Jon was just arriving and after a quick stop we were off with the wind strategically behind us.

Note - wearing 3 layers on top with a goretex jacket, running pants and goretex pants, balaclava, neck protector, fleece toque and gloves

The 1st 7 miles were reasonable with a slight cross or following wind. With our faces exposed the conversation was varied and understandable but once we hit the vans and geared up for the northern passage things changed very quickly. Balaclavas on, faces covered and all conversation was now muffled or completely unintelligable. As we came to a junction in the road with a choice of going north with the vans 9 miles away or going right with only 4 miles to go we made a vain attempt to start north into a driving headwind. This lasted all of about 100yds before the mutual decision was made to hightail it on a more direct route. The swirling gale still slowed our progress to a near halt on occasion but the cover of the wooded areas made this a much better choice. Another quick stop (with a coffee break even) Andrew and I then finished off the 20 miles by retracing our route back to my van at the Farmers Union. Oh boy, it was nice to stop and was that chocolate brownie EVER GOOD!

Meanwhile, I've also been busy coming up with a plan for the final 12 weeks to go for Boston. It's a mixture of what has worked in the past and a bit more consistency in the long runs and time on my feet week in and week out. Here goes:

Good running and stay healthy out there!


Andrew said...

I like your schedule with all the MP running. Looks like our long runs are going to get speedier!

Good to be finished today's run. The wind was cold!

DawnB said...

I can't believe you did that run in so many layers!! Nice job!!

Michael said...

I really like your Boston Marathon plan, I could've used some downhill sessions when training for the CIM.

Congratulations on getting out on the run today, great work!

Anonymous said...

Boston is on April 16. Just wanted to make sure you're there!

Love2Run said...

Marathon Monday, it's permanently ingrained in the memory core. I will be there no matter what day it is!

Jamie Anderson said...

Nice job! I'm sure you'll do great at Boston. Glad that wind wasn't down my way today, but it sure was yesterday.

Go Bears!

Thomas said...

After running all those 20 milers, and some of them in truly awful conditions, you will be better prepared than ever for Boston.

Looking at your plan, there are a lot of miles at MP. You didn't use to do that, did you?

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

"...I was tired and slow on most of the runs. Is it OK if I blame it on the icy snow covered roads?"

After 11 weekly 20+ milers in a row, you can balme it on what ever you want!

Looking forward to hosting you for week #12.

Mark Bell said...

it's impressive one can run weekly back to back 20-milers, effective? for some yes, and if it works for you great!

Olga said...

The plan is such a great thing, and looks very smart and solid!

DawnB said...

Thanks Mike for the info on the garmin I debated between the two for a very long time it was hard to decide. I found the 305 on 100.00 less than most so I treated myself.

Phil said...

Mike ... your back to back 20+ milers have been awesome. With this incredible base and your new training program, you should be ready for Boston.

Mike said...

Nice looking program Mike, with a nice emphasis on the longer runs. The increasing amount of time at MP towards the end is, dare I say, a little Lydiardesque. In other words, I like it!

Consistency is always the key to any program, and slopping through 60+ miles in the weather you've had coupled with all the 20 milers shows you have this in spades this time around.

D said...

I wonder - if I follow your magical plan - can I run it at your pace? Hmmm. Wouldn't it be nice. Great plan.