Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October Summary

So October is over.

A solid month of rebuilding, leaving me in a good position to start some real training in November. Got the OK from the physio and doctor to run my spring marathon and made very good progress recovering from my achilles problems. By far my best month since May.

October Totals:
-- No races, no (big) hills, no speedwork
-- Ran 134 miles (same as JUN/JUL/AUG/SEP combined)
-- No biking or swimming
-- No pool running - Woohoo!
-- 29 days of running - highest of any month ever
-- 1086 Running Miles for 2007
-- Back up to mid 30's weekly mileage
-- Longest run now up to 9 miles (pain free!)
-- Started to do some tempo work in the high 6's/low 7's
-- Tons of stretching, calf exercises and ice

November Goals
-- A race, finally! 10k on 11/11
----- hoping for an uneventful 7:00 pace (43:30)
-- weekly mileage to mid 40's
-- run pretty much every day (1 day off every 4 weeks)
-- 170 total for the month
-- Long run up to 14 miles
-- Longer tempos (2x3miles, 2x20mins)
-- Start Friday race pace workouts
-- Marathon training program starts 11/19

Tempo Time

First real post injury tempo run this morning. All I've done so far had been some progressively faster running vs any real steady pace tempo runs. Today I was feeling good so decided I'd go try to do 2x2miles at about 7:15 pace. Picked a long straight road that climbs about 100' over 2 miles. It's not steep, but it's enough to effect pace so I planned on 7:20-7:25 up and 7:05-7:10 back down, with a 1/2 mile recovery in between.

Warmed up for 1/2 mile and then eased into the first half mile and quickly found 7:15 pace. Went a little quicker than planned going up and did the 2 miles at 7:11 (halves at 7:17, 7:08, 7:11, and 7:09 pace). Decided my goal had been too easy so planned to come back down at under 7:00 pace.

First half was fast at 6:42 but then I steadied down and ran a 6:56 pace half. Kept the pressure on for the last mile and ran it at 6:47. Overall pace for the downhill 2 was 6:49. Average for the 4 miles was spot on 7:00. Very happy with that and it was the first fast run I've done where there was absolutely zero pain in my achilles.

This all tells me that a 7:15 pace 10k in 10 days should be well within my grasp. Including warmups, recovery and cooldown the average pace today was 7:21 for about 10k. I'll probably aim for 7:00 pace and see how far I get before the wheels fall off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Garmin must be obeyed

Today on my run, my Garmin GPS did not work! I must have left it on in my sportsbag and it refused to turn on despite repeated threats and abuse. Now this might seem like a non-issue but I have used this every single time I've run for the last 18 months and it really is the one in charge here. Today I had no idea how fast I was running, where I was going, or what time it was. To be honest, if I'd been on my own I may never have made it back alive.

Fortunately my inner GPS tells me I ran very far, very fast and all at a low heartrate, so that is what I will put in my running log.

Hopefully a few hours on the charger will bring it back to life.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Easy 4

Nice'n'easy 4 this morning at 8:15 pace. No after effects from yesterday's 9 miler. Easy 5 tomorrow and then a tempo on Wednesday (gonna try 2x2 miles at 7:15 pace and see how that is).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Up to 9 miles

Just ran a very solid 9 miler and it felt great.

Eased into things the first 1/2 mile (8:15 pace) and then ran the next 3 at a steady 7:30-7:40 pace. Then the route went uphill with a climb of 200' over the next 2 miles so I slowed it down to 8:30 pace. The last 1/2 mile climbing I sped up to 7:40 and then kept the effort up as I started going down the other side. Flew down the hill at under 6 minute pace. Eased up as things flattened out down to low 7's. Then jogged the 2 1/2 miles home in the 7:30s. Overall 9.04 miles at 7:44 pace.

It felt so good to push that final climb and then fly down that hill. When things are clicking there really is no feeling quite like running flat out.

That brought the week to a close at about 30 miles, which was good for my step back week (I'm taking things a little easy every 4-5 weeks). Next week I build up again, with a long on Sunday over 10 miles and a total around 39 miles for the week.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feeling Good

Just had a great run. 5 mile tempo with a nice 2.5 m stretch averaging 7:15. I'm finding that 7:10-7:20 is a pace that I'm settling down at for the quicker days. I felt that I could have kept the 7:15 pace for much longer so a 10k at that pace (45 mins) in a couple weeks does not seem unreasonable (at least from a fitness persepective, who knows what my achilles will think of it).

Cruel Timing

It's a little ironic that the US agent for the Lonodn marathon sold out of places the same week that I got the OK from my doc to run the race. Not being able to get an entry to the race kinda puts the dampers on my plans to run.......

I'm 7th on the waitlist, and have no idea if that is gonna work or not so I am now looking for creative (yet still mostly legal) ways to get entry. So far, my attempts at being Irish and entering thru the official Irish travel agency are unsuccessful. They will let me know if they have any spaces left in December. I think I'm gonna go ahead and sort out flights, make refundable hotel reservation and hope for the best! worse case is that I'll need to bandit the race with a photocopied race number. I suspect that I will be able to buy an entry from someone who is injured or just opportunistically looking to make a quick buck.

Of course, this could be a sign that I'm not really recovered and I should be taking it easy. Or it could be a sign that I'm an idiot and should have booked a place 3 months ago.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cor Blimey, he's going to London!

Managed to fake out both my physio and my doctor enough that I got the official OK to run London! Doc was very happy with the progress and said I should be fine to run. Need to keep going with the calf exercises (eventually building up to about 60lbs), general leg strengthening, stretching and icing. Keep on building the miles gradually (just add 1 mile to the long run per week), don't rush to add hills or speedwork and ease off if things feel like they are getting strained. I don't need to continue with physio since I'm now doing all the exercises at home anyway.

So now I get to build out the full running schedule. First steps back will be a 10k on November 11th. I'm not planning on running all out but will be using it to get some assessment of my current fitness level under race conditions.

Then there is the CIM relay early December. That is 6 weeeks out and I need to extend my long mileage from 7 miles. So that won't be a fast 13 miles, since that will be about my max range at that stage. But I'm comfortable that I can run that at a non-embarassing pace.

Then there is London in April. Assuming I can still get a place I will be booking up race, hotel and flights today.

Looks like I'm back!

70 minutes to go

Doctor appointment in just over an hour. Still a little sore from Monday's physio, and last night's thankfully easier top up session. I did finally manage to run yesterday evening but it took me a good half mile to unseize things. My attempt to run Tuesday morning had to be aborted when I couldn't even get to the end of the block. I really need to strengthen my glutes over the next few months!

It's been six weeks since the last Dr. visit. Back then I was running every 3-4 days and it was far from pain free. Now it's every day and usually painless. Definitely feeling stronger and all the exercises seem much easier, despite adding weights.

Hopefully his examination will show how great everything looks and he'll give London a thumbs up! Stay tuned.......

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm sitting here at work thinking "Ouch!". My physio last night decided that the achilles was progressing so well it was time to add in a bunch of extra exercises. Given the fact that I run all the time I always kinda think that a few stretches, lunges and the like aren't going to do me any real damage. I was fine this morning, and went out for an easy 4 miler, but I have to say now that those 5 minutes of lunges yesterday evening now have me limping like I ran a marathon. People keep asking me if I'm injured.

I will need to ask her to go easy on me tomorrow night or my visit to the Doc on Thursdsay morning may end up with me being hospitalised.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One More Solid Week

Finished the week with a 7 miler this morning. Did the first flat 2.5 miles around 7:30-7:40 and then the next hilly 4.5 miles at 8:20 ish. Overall 8:02 pace - Felt good, but it's definitely near the limit of what I should be running right now. With a 5 on Friday and about 6 yesterday that made the weekly total just over 34 miles. I've built the miles up steadily from less than 10 back in the middle of September. A little easier next week and then 4 weeks of building up into the low 40's.

Here's the progress/plan.....

If all goes well I'll be back to my pre-injury training levels by mid December, which should be good enough for an April marathon. I'm going to be a little undertrained for the half marathon on December 2nd, but that's OK since the goal of that is to just get an accurate assessment of my fitness level and check that everything is still working properly under race conditions.

Doctor this Thursday - Let's hope he doesn't have any different ideas about my plans!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seems OK

No real after effects from yesterday's somewhat spirited run. Physio was fine last night, exercises are getting much easier, so we are adding more weights. An easy 4 miler this morning and no lingering problems. So it looks like things are OK. Easy 4-5 tomorrow and Saturday and then I'll try another 7 on Sunday. That will be 17 days running in a row, with only 2 days off in a whole month.

I'm now officially getting excited for London!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

That's Gonna Cost Me...

After a couple of very easy days (3 Monday, 4 Tuesday) I was feeling nice and relaxed this morning. Didn't appear to be any lingering effects from running 7 on Sunday.

Set off on a 5 miler at a comfortable 8:20, then just gradually picked things up. Ran out over Foothill into the hills and felt very comfortable running about 7:45. Crested a small hill at 2 miles and kept the effort up on the other side. Had a solid mile or so, running around 7:30.

Then about 1.5 miles from home picked things up again. Did a 7:15 pace half mile, then a 7:00 and then a 6:30. Overall 5 miles at 7:37 pace with a solid progression from 8:20 down to 6:30 (final pace was just under 6:00). Fitness wise it was great and I really enjoyed the workout, I'm definitely feeling much stronger than I was a month ago.

Injury wise I'm not so sure - that was a little faster, OK a lot faster, than I had planned. I'll do a bunch of icing/stretching today and see what this does.

Off to see the physio tonight - I'm sure he'll tell me I'm an idiot.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

30+ Mile Week

Did a 7 miler today. Last time I ran more than 6 was on September 10th, when I was a little too enthusiastic coming back. I took the next 5 days off with achilles pain. I'm thinking that this time it is different. I've run the last 10 days, and 21 of the last 23.

32.4 for the week (biggest week since May) runs around 3,4,5,4,4,4,7. Next week should be a little higher at 34 miles, still trying to keep things easy except for Wednesday and Friday where I will go a little quicker (7:30ish vs 8ish). Will do a 7 miler as a long run again next week.

Week of 10/22 the plan is to go 5 miles everyday, with a long of 8 on Sunday, getting back up into the high 30's mileage wise. Thursday of that week is a trip back to the doctor.

Assuming it's all good news I'll roll into November just breaking into the 40's. Three solid weeks in the low 40's should get me ready to start training for London. I'll have 21 weeks if I start on November 19th. I'm liking the 7 days/week, I may keep that during the marathon training instead of skipping Mondays.

I definitely have my fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

100th Post!

A milestone has been reached - This is post #100 on the world's least interesting blog.

Some statistics from the blog.....

Went live Feb 1st 2007, with 11 pageviews (and most of them were me)
3,561 page views since then (average 14/day, 96/week)
Biggest week was 174 pageloads
Biggest day was last Tuesday at 74 pageloads

Interestingly I have not earned any money. Now this is surprising, since I thought that having a blog somehow magically generated revenue. Obviously Google have something else going on. I will need to look into that

Friday, October 12, 2007

Unscheduled tempo run

Yesterday was an unscheduled tempo. Things just felt good and I found myself getting quicker. Did 4.5 overall with the last 3 at about 7:15-7:30 pace. Definitely going to go slow today, probably an easy 5 sometime after work. Another easy 4 or so on Saturday and then I'm planning a new long of 6-7 on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quick Update

5 mile tempo run this morning - started at 8, down to low 7s. Managed to dodge the rain. Steady 4 miles yesterday at about 7:40 pace. An easy 3 at 8 minute pace on Monday. Physio Monday night and again tonight - making good progress, things are getting stronger and I've added some weights to the calf raises. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Second Solid Week

A "long" run today of 5.5 at an easy 8:10 pace. Closed out the week at 23 miles, 6 days running. My second 6 day week in a row. Things feel very good - I'm really happy with my progress, and for the first time since June I think I'm over the problems. I'm planning a full 7 day week in the high 20's this week, then it's off to China so we'll see whether I can run there or not.

My brother, who I guilt tripped into running, ran his first half marathon in England today, and finished right on pace at 1:56 - Seems like he paced things really well. He is right on track for his sub 4 effort at London in April.

At his point I'm pretty sure I will be able to run London, just not sure how fast.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Faster Than Planned (yes, again)

Got home late, only had 23 minutes to run before Liz had to go out. Decided to run to the track (1/2 mile), 8 laps (2 miles) and run back - 3 miles total and only 23 minutes, so under 8 minute pace.

Easy up to the track at 8:11. Then ran 2 laps at 7:26, then 2 at 7:11, then 2 at 6:56 and then 2 at 6:59. 2 miles on the track in 14:16! AT 7:08 pace that's just under my old half marathon pace. An easy 1/2 mile home and I was there in 22 something for a total of 2.98 miles at 7:25 pace.

Now, that's the second run in a row where I have gone faster than my "run slow all October" goal. Eventually my training schedule will be tempos on Wednesday, speed/pace runs on Friday, long runs on Sunday, and easy every other day - so at least I'm on that plan. But for now I am going to have to try to keep things under control a little more or I'll end up reinjuring myself.

However, it felt great today and I don't think I've done any damage.

Day Off - Slacker

Didn't run yesterday. Meetings all day from early 'til late, and then dinner. Didn't feel like running at 10pm (after eating/drinking too much).

This morning I woke with absolutely zero aches/pains in ankles, knees etc. That's a first for a long time.

Will run after work today, probably an easy 4.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wednesday Willpower

Got up early today around 5 and did a couple hours work, then went for a run just after 7. It was relatively chilly out (about 50), and was the first time I've felt cold starting to run for ages so I set off pretty quickly. After a quarter mile I noticed I was running faster than I have been (about 7:40). However, it felt easy and my ankles/knees and other various failing body parts all felt great so I kept going at that effort. Ended up running 4 miles at 7:34, with a few stretches as quick as 7:15. Heartrate stayed low, average was only 151. This was my fastest run since May.

Now I know I said just yesterday that I was going to keep it slow all the way thru October, but it really didn't feel fast and my ankle felt perfect the whole run. I think I am going to allow myself to do this type of run on Wednesdays, which is going to be my tempo workout day once I get back to real training.

Monday, October 1, 2007

First few mainland runs

Ran 3 today and 3 yesterday. Both seemed very easy after the heat/humidity of Hawaii. Pace was faster (7:54 and 8:06) and heartrate was down (150 and 140 - the 140 seems very low). I think the 7 in a row has kicked things back into gear. I think that if I have a solid, steady October I'm going to be in a good place to try and pick things up in November.

September Summary

So September is over. It brought me a new doctor, a new plan and a new beginning. Progress is slow, but at least I am finally making progress VS the up & downs of the last few months.

September Totals:
-- No races
-- Ran just under 70 miles (same as JUN/JUL/AUG combined)
-- No biking or swimming
-- No pool running - Woohoo!
-- 17 days of running, including a 11 of last 13
-- 952 Running Miles for 2007

October Goals
-- do my stretching and exercises every day
-- go to physio therapy twice a week
-- go see Dr. Runner at the end of the month
-- run almost every day
-- run short (maybe get the long run up to 7 miles)
-- run slow (most runs at 8:15-8:30, fast runs around 8:00)
-- get up to about 30 mpw