Tuesday, August 26, 2008

International Incident

I've been a little quiet lately about my plans and the excellent adventure that has come my way but it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I'm now on the Emerald Island of Ireland for the week and this is the first picture that I took! I'm here for the week for a work conference of all things (not a vacation) but I'll be sure to find time to enjoy myself.

I'm still a bit jet lagged and pressed for time right now but we had time to tour around the country and all the many narrow backroads. I've got a ton of pictures that I'd like to share but right now there's only time for a short post.
But the biggest news of all is that I got to meet Thomas and we even went for a nice run! Thomas took time off work and drove all the way up to Galway where I'm at so we could meet in person and have a Guinness together. We instantly got along and of course he recognized me in my 'famous' shorts. Our run was about an hour long as we cruised along the waterfront dodging all the tourists and traffic. Of course we never stopped talking the whole way, it was just like running with Andrew but without the jokes! After the run we went out to a nice restaurant and found a pub that served the properly poured Guinness. I hear they used to serve it to new mothers just after they gave birth (but no more). It was a great evening and a real pleasure to finally meet the famous Thomas.
That all I have time for now. Gotta go! Have a great week!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Slacking off

Not deliberately but many things have been conspiring against me over the past week and have resulted in a less than stellar week. When I'm following a 'plan' I can be pretty anal about trying to follow it right to the letter but sometimes reason does win over plain bullheadedness. So here's how it went down...

Aug 17 - Sunday
Training: 20 miles (8:25 pace) Home alone, felt like I was holding back. Followed by a 5 hr drive up north 7/10
Health: legs were a bit sore after on long drive to Bathurst but ice packs helped 7/10
Stretching: iced only

Aug 18 - Monday
Training: 0 miles (rest day)
Health: ok, feeling good, but stressful day 7/10
Stretching: nada!

Aug 19 - Tues
Training: 6.5 miles in the drizzle and felt like crap both physically and mentally; canned the 4 mile double (8:13 pace) 5/10
Health: no particular issues but... 6/10
Stretching: iced

Aug 20 - Weds
Training: 9.5 miles instead of planned 15 but too busy at work. Run went much better today but the hams tighted up at the end (8:18 pace) 7/10
Health: good but hams sore 7/10
Stretching: iced (keep forgetting to stretch at night)

Aug 21 - Thur
Training: 6 miles easy, nothing special about run (8:17 pace) 7/10
Health: good 7/10
Stretching: dip in pond and iced & stretched later

Aug 22 - Fri
Training: 8 miles instead of planned 13 (8:15 pace) after work on a very warm 30C day 7/10
Health: good 7/10
Stretching: nice dip in pond and iced later

Aug 23 - Sat
Training: 7 miles (8:47 pace) with 8x100 strides that were barely pickups 7/10
Health: good 6/10
Stretching: dip in pond and iced & stretched later

So... I managed 57 miles for the week despite cutting a couple of the runs short but the work and other stresses lately have just made me cut back a little. I don't think the break will hurt much in the long term but it's still not a way to build for PEI. I'm hoping/planning to turn things around in the next few weeks but you never know what kind of curves that life will throw your way.

That's it for now. Have a great week, I know that I will (one way or another) !!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Not for the faint of heart

I'm 'famous' in my little town and many people that don't know me personally just call me 'The Runner'. At least they don't call it jogging! Anyway, a nice writeup in the local paper which has been doing a series lately on different athletes in various sports.
Sorry folks (Marc in particular) but I just couldn't help doing this... It's been 6 days and is still very tender to touch but at least my shoes have a good sized toe box and it hasn't slowed down my running at all.

Ouch, it's hard to focus with that awful picture staring at me. Let me know if it's too gross and needs to be removed from your view.

I had a great little 6 mile run this morning in the fog and then pouring rain between the semis and finals of the Olympic 100 meter race. Mr Lightning Bolt's 9.69 was simply mind boggling and he eased up for the last 20 meters! He's just 'sick' or from another planet!

Aug 16 - Sat
Training: 6 miles easy easy which felt terrific (8:25 pace) 7/10
Health: legs a little tight and sore but the easy run made it all better 7/10
Stretching: stretched and iced

Total of 64 miles for the week in 8hr 55min and 6 runs. Kept to the plan except for dropping one short 4 mile recovery run on Tues. It's going along nicely but definitely 'Not for the faint of heart'. Have a great week all!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pleasantly tired?

Not exactly, how about exhausted and barely able to sit up straight? That's how I felt today after the workout of the week (11 miles with 6@1/2 marathon pace) but it's good to put it behind me.

The run started out OK with the legs feeling half way fresh for the first time all week and the weather was great with our first warm sunny day in what feels like weeks. After a 1 mile warmup and stretch, followed by another 1 mile warmup it was time to get going but first I made a stop in the shade to catch my breath and gather myself. The effect of last weekends race and long run seem to still be in my legs as I could only manage an average pace of 7:21 over the 6 miles of rolling hills. I nearly stopped the workout at mile 5 when the pace dipped below 7:30 but decided to gut out what I could with visions of the final hilly miles of PEI in my brain. Finished the run with a 3 mile death march in what felt like a baking sun (but Arizona Mike would find it cool at 24C/75F). Post run and for the rest of the afternoon was mostly a whole body tiredness but things perked up at supper with beer, wine, cheese and pasta. Feeling much better now and some cold dessert might be in order soon.

Aug 14 - Thurs
Training: 5 miles easy easy which was a relief (8:27 pace) 6/10
Health: tired and sore legs; toe sore but not affecting runs 6/10
Stretching: stretched and iced

Aug 15 - Fri
Training: 11 miles with 6 miles in 43:30 (7:21pace) 6/10
Health: ok but completely wiped after run, toe still tender 6/10
Stretching: iced & stretched later

So, still chugging away but with an excellent adventure approaching. Details to come soon...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tennis Toe?

I won't say that Andrew didn't warn me not to do it but he did. As we cruised in the final miles of our long run on Sunday I let slip that instead of laying quietly on the couch after the run I'd be participating in a tennis tournament!! "You're doing what? " he asked. Long story short, I played in the afternoon and stubbed my big toe making a quick stop on the court. It immediately hurt and started to turn dark and now looks like it might turn black and fall off. Duh! (Sorry, no picture, it's too gross)

We had a nice long group run on Sunday with a group of 4 for the 1st 7 miles and then 3 for the next 12. Andrew and I finished off the last 2 miles together. The question was asked as to how many Boyden group runs we've done so I went back though my log. Since Nov. 2005 we've done 52 Sunday runs including 22 of over 20 miles and a total of 2570 runner miles.

Aug 10 - Sunday
Training: 21 miles (8:24 pace) Boyden run #52 with Andrew, Jon and Ozzoe 7/10
Health: legs were a bit sore at 1st; hurt big toe playing tennis later in day 6/10
Stretching: iced & stretched

Aug 11 - Monday
Training: 0 miles (rest day)
Health: ok, sore toe but ok to walk & bike 7/10
Stretching: stretched!

Aug 12 - Tues
Training: 6 miles in pouring rain(8:27 pace) 7/10
Health: toe good to run but looking ugly 6/10
Stretching: dip in pond and iced & stretched later

Aug 13 - Weds
Training: 14 miles (8:26 pace) 7/10
Health: good, toe better 7/10
Stretching: dip in pond and iced & stretched later

Just putting in the miles as best I can. See you later!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

It was a good day

Oh, oh! The competition looks very fast today and flaunting country colors too!
That was pretty well the only time I saw him again until the finish. Mr Judson Cake was going for the course record of 25:13 and just missed it by a dozen seconds or so, all alone in the lead with nobody in sight. Well what would you expect from a 2:23 marathoner? Amazing!
About 9 minutes later this sorry runner strolled across the line in a respectable (for him) time of 34:14. My time for this race last year was 34:53 so I'm taking this as a victory. Going into it I had no specific time goal but was hoping to just run hard and show up somewhere below 35 minutes.The race itself went well despite being a bundle of nerves beforehand with the extreme lack of racing in my recent log. After signing in one hour before the start in Calais, Maine(due to security requirements) I then drove back across the border and parked to avoid lineup problems after the race. The 1 mile walk back served as an initial warm up but I then got into race clothes (including my brand new never worn Mizunos) and did a perfunctory jog, stretch, jog and a few lazy strides before it was time to line up.

I settled in several rows back behind my running friends Jon and Ozzie who I know to be faster than me. Sure enough after the start they slowly pulled away and were out of sight by the 1/2 mile with all the twists and turns on the route which crosses into Canada at mile 0.75, runs along the river up to the Milltown border before coming back into the US at mile 2.75. Our race numbers and pre-clearance served as our passports today and the border guards simply watched as we flew/trotted/jogged by (I think I was in the middle trotting group). So without friends to run with I tried the next best thing, the lead woman who I just happened to know. And she even said hello and wanted to talk! "Sorry", I gasped, "No talking!" The other guy trying to keep up with her laughed and that was the end of our conversation as we rolled along for the first mile in 6:20. She then slowly pulled away with the other guy in tow finishing about 1 minute ahead of me.

The next hilly mile came back in 6:57 as I was passed momentarily by leading lady #2. This was the 1st and only time since the starting rush that I had been chick'd or guy'd so I stuck with her and started my heavy breathing routine. Within a mile, she'd had enough of all my gasping and fell back out of earshot for the remainder of the race. The next mile came in at 6:57 followed by one long tough hilly mile in 7:09 where I worked hard on my breathing and effort. A few times my effort got ahead of what air I could suck in and I found myself almost hyperventilating until I got the effort and counting steps and breaths back under control. The final mile of the race is mostly downhill with a flat finishing straight of about 500m. The Garmin clocked this mile as 6:30 but there was another 20 seconds before I hit the finish line and stopped my watch. Glad that's over but it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, maybe even a little bit fun. What's next Mike?

Here is the elevation profile in green and speed in blue. Nice hill eh?

And there are a whole bunch of race pictures here which were taken by my friend and local coach Verne. Verne has helped me with my running over the years and has always been there with lots of guidance and encouragement, especially with my 1st marathon in 1998.

Aug 8 - Fri
Training: 6 miles with about 8x100m strides to wake up the legs (8:24 pace) 7/10
Health: legs ok but mentally tired lately 6/10
Stretching: icing and stretching

Aug 9 - Sat
Training: 5 mile race in 34:14; short w/up & cool down and long walk to and from; placed in 2nd age group (6:46 pace) 8/10
Health: legs good and feeling much better 7/10
Stretching: icing and stretching planned!

That made for a total of 57 miles for the week. It should'a been 60 but I cut out a few miles for the race in a mini-taper of sorts and it was worth it. I'm happy with how things are going, the hams especially are much better lately and there are very few other aches or pains. Big run planned in the morning with Andrew and the gang which should make short work of me. Have a nice week!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Just the Facts

For whatever reason it's been hard to spit out my running activities lately. Maybe it's getting back in the work groove, or maybe it's the miles talking but the spark seems to be missing to say much more than just the facts for now. The 'training' can be wearing at times.

Aug 3 - Sunday
Training: 17 miles (8:20 pace) perfect weather and company with Andrew who missed his calling as a stand-up comic 7/10
Health: legs were tired and asking to walk on all the hills 6/10
Stretching: iced & stretched later on

Aug 4 - Monday
Training: 0 miles (rest day) and a day off work too for the NB holiday
Health: ok as far as I can remember 7/10
Stretching: stretched!

Aug 5 - Tues
Training: 10 miles with 5@1/2 mar effort at 7:22 pace (7:46 overall). Felt like crap for this run and the wind, rain and hills didn't help. Better pace at the end but barely. 7/10
Health: legs hard to get going with any speed but no issues with specific areas 6/10
Stretching: dip in pond and iced & stretched later

Aug 6 - Weds
Training: 11 miles easy after work at good effort and felt good but cut run short due to lack of time and a nice salmon supper on the table (8:10 pace) 8/10
Health: legs feeling decent with nice dip in pond after run 7/10
Stretching: iced and stretched!

Aug 7 - Thur
Training: 5 miles easy so-called recovery run after work (8:07 pace) 7/10
Health: legs heavy and stiff 6/10
Stretching: icing and stretching planned!

I'm planning to run the Calais 5 mile race this weekend which will be my 1st race in quite a while, since Boston in fact. I'm a little afraid of what kind of numbers I'll be able to post but hope to at least put in a strong effort. To help with that I might just take another easy day on Friday to give myself half a chance to run decently. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Week-end review

I was contemplating whether to remove articles of clothing before diving in but didn't want to scare off some of our more sensitive viewers of this blog.

This was the end of a nice so-called recovery week with a total of 61 miles in 6 runs. The reason the total is high is because my 'week' goes from Sunday to Sat and included a long run 20 miler. The real Pfitz schedule goes from Monday to Sunday and only has a 14 mile on tap for tomorrow which would add up to just 55. Despite that I'll still run 17 since Andrew and I are doing the Boyden Lake loop in the morning so the total goes back up to 58. Whatever, still a goodly amount of mileage for me...

July 31 - Thur
Training: 12 miles at easy pace after work but a struggle to get done (8:20 pace) 6/10
Health: heavy legs but no aches or pains; general tired feeling 6/10
Stretching: iced and stretched!

Aug 1 - Fri
Training: 6 miles easy after work. Lazy again delaying 10 miler to Sat (8:14 pace) 6/10
Health: legs sore and tight with nice dip in pond after run 6/10
Stretching: iced and stretched!

Aug 2 - Sat
Training: 10 miles easy in fog/mist/light rain and feeling much better (8:22 pace) 7/10
Health: legs good with nice dip in pond after run 8/10
Stretching: icing & stretching planned for evening!

So far so good. This recovery week was a little 'off' with a general tired feeling and sore legs despite 'reduced' effort and mileage but I feel like things are coming around as I'm getting used to Pfitzinger training schedule again. There are now 11 weeks to go and I think I'm ready to start some real work now that my legs/hams have improved somewhat with little soreness and pain later in the longer runs. Instead they just get tired but I'll be working on that too. Have a nice week!