Sunday, February 28, 2016

C&O Canal Towpath Run - "Ice Ahoy!"

If you've read my prior posts, you know I have a long term goal of running the entire length of the C&O towpath canal, which runs from DC to Cumberland, MD.  The weather lately has been really cold with a lot of snow and ice....which has kept me off the path.

I'm really happy to get back on the towpath, I really do love the path (although you could call it a "fare weather friend").  The temps have been warm for a while, and was almost 50 degrees today when I ran it.  HOWEVER, at one point when the path turned and was on the north side of a hill it was covered by ice all the way across and solid.  So, the last few miles of my run were a little sketchy with quick feet drills and having to slow way down.

This week I started at Shepherdstown and Lock 34 (mile marker 72.3).  My first time in Shepherdstown, the small seemed quite nice.  I've noticed that as I find new places to start my run I end up in these "out of the way" places I would not get to see otherwise.  Many times it feels like these were once more important towns when the river was the main way to get around....and they've stayed the way they were when the interstates took over the main traffic.

Today's run covered mile markers 69-76 (14 mile out and back run)

Total miles covered so far:  17-76 (59 of 185).  126 miles to go!

During my run I passed a few Locks and a small aqueduct, all pretty cool.    I also ended up at the north end of the Antietam battlefield.  There were also some placards and markers on my run where the North or South crossed the river and/or had a battle.

Pics below of a few things I saw:

It's supposed to get cold again this week...and with the ice issues today, I may take a few more weeks off before heading back to the towpath.....

Happy trails Everyone.

Training Log - Week Ending 2/28/16

Training  log for week ending Feb 28th....week 10 of my 20 week  Spring training plan ending with a 10k in mid-May. 

I've signed up for 5k in two weeks (March 12) - so I did some 5k pace work during my "fast day", and my long run this week was 13.5 miles....back on the C&O canal (separate post).

The weather let up a little bit this week, with temps hitting 60's on Sunday....making for a nice break from the recent cold.  And longer days mean I can run before work and NOT need a head lamp...yay me!

Not feeling very strong this week...opposite of last week.  I'm working more hours and think I might have overdone it some last week when I was feeling good.

Total miles:  43

Daily Detail:

Monday:  4 miles easy on work treadmill.  Cold and rainy outside.  dynamic warmup and cool down.  Legs feeling HEAVY from yesterday's long run.

Tuesday:  4 miles easy on treadmill + 4 strides.  Supposed to be 5  miles, but legs are still feeling pretty tired so I cut the run short.  Core work, dynamic warm up and hip mobility.

Wednesday:  Plan says 10 miles with 5 miles of tempo pace in the middle.  With a 5k coming in two weeks I'm getting a little insecure about having enough work at 5k pace.  So, I did 3 miles at tempo pace (6:40), then 5 x 2:00 @ 6:00 (5k pace) instead on the treadmill.
Thursday:   off

Friday:  8 miles easy on the W&OD in Herndon.  Temps in mid 20's before work, but I had sunlight and a clean trail, no snow or water.   who could ask for more?  about 7;50 pace...

Saturday:  3 miles easy around the hood + 4 hill sprints.  Legs feelin heavy....damn it.  core work.

Sunday:  13.5 on C&O canal.  I really enjoy the canal, and haven't been on it for a month or so because of snow and ice.  This week I covered miles from market 69 to 76 - which would be 14 miles if the markers are correct.  I'm going with the mileage on my watch based on how I was feeling and how the pace felt.  I didn't really have it today.  My pace was around 7:30 overall...partly because I had to quick step it thru some long ice patches that were pretty solid and covered the entire trail for 100 yards at a time.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Traiining Log - Week Ending February 21, 2016

Austin Here I Come!

If you've been reading this blog, you know I live in DC and it's been cold AF lately.  Last week I did all of my runs on a treadmill because snow and ice made me too nervous to run on the roads.  I will admit I'm a little more "skiddish" than others when it comes to ice....I know other runners in my area have found a way to get out on the roads and paths to run.  But, not me....

So, it was a nice change this week when I took a business trip to Austin, TX (with some guilty feelings about leaving my wife and kids back in DC in an ice storm).

My first trip to Austin, and it's a great place!  Even better, my hotel is right on the river where they have a running path on both sides with bridges every so often that cross over.  Literally at the back door to the hotel.  Perfect!   What an active place, many runners in both directions at all times, including what I think are high school teams; rowers in the river, and a lot of nice people just enjoying the scenery.   I got in nice runs on Monday thru Wednesday, while on my trip.

Then, when I got back to DC the weather turned much nicer than it had been.  I was able to get out on the paths again...and the temps were in the 50's for the weekend.  Nice!

This is week 9 of my 20 week plan to a 10k in mid-May.  This week's plan is the same as last week, but my mileage is slightly higher as I did a little better job following the plan.

Total Miles this week:  41
Big effort this week:  13.1 in 1:33 - under control the whole time, but feeling it pretty good afterward

Daily run details: 

Monday - 2 miles on the trail in Austin.  The plan was 3 miles, but it was a long travel day with delays due to weather.  So, I didn't get out until 8p, and really just wanted to move my legs some.  Dynamic stretching before and after.  Legs feel a little dead from 13.1 the prior day.

Tuesday - 5.4 miles + 4 strides.  Plan was 5 miles, but I got a little turned around on the Austin trail....but no worries, it was a great run.  Dynamic stretching, hip mobility. 

Wednesday - 9 miles with miles 4-7 at tempo (6:40 pace) on Austin trails. I had a hard time keeping my pace for the tempo portion of the run.  I've been working long hours on the trip and not getting the sleep I need.  Still...I got to run!  And it felt great.  Dynamic warm-up and cool down.  Travel back to DC with a VERY late arrival.

Thursday - Off...super tired....trying my best to rest up from extra work hours and traveling.

Friday - 8 miles on W&OD path in Herndon.  Felt good to be outside, and back in my home town.  This run lasted 1:02, and I never really felt like it was a long run.  This is new to me, I think my fitness is getting better, which kind of snuck up on me.  8 miles at 7:50 pace really felt like an easy run.  That would NOT have been the case last year.

Saturday - 3.2  miles easy around my neighborhood + 4 strides.  Dirt paths around my house still have a lot of snow, so on the roads I go....Dynamic stretching, upper body strength, core work.

Sunday - 13.1 miles on W&OD in Leesburg.  Total time: 1:33:10...feel good about this effort, and I was well under control the whole time - confirms my 1:34:30 time last week on the treadmill.  I'm thinkin I could probably get below 1:30 in a race later this year with a little more training, tapering, etc. Dynamic stretches before and after + ITB rehab routine + single leg dead lifts.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Training Log - Week Ending February 14

Happy Valentine's Everyone!

Holy shit - it was cold as hell this week in DC.  Today, it "felt like" 1 degree F (-17 C, which sounds even colder). 

Watching the Olympic trials in LA (where I'm from), didn't help me feel much better about moving away.  Man, they were fun to watch.  I'm excited about Rupp possibly doing the marathon....I'm desperately hoping the doping rumors are not true.  I used to race bikes, and I was one of the last one's still with I feel like I'm easily duped.  Anyway....I'm still on Rupp's side....hoping he can come thru in Beijing.

All my running this week was on a treadmill, partly because it was so cold running before work in the dark, but also because I was concerned about not seeing ice and falling on my ass.  I always feel like I'm cheating myself on the treadmill, like my paces won't carry over to the road, even if I have it set at 1% incline......dunno if it's true, just how I feel.

My planned long run this week was 13 miles, my longest yet.  So, of course I ran 13.1 so I can say "I ran a half", even if was just by myself on the "mill".  Completed it in 1:34:30...7:13 pace.  Feel good about that.

Miles were back up this week......which is also about the farthest I've gone.

Total miles:  38
Long run:  13.1 (yay me!)
Weight:  Hovering around 140 - 141 - so still about where I want to be (I'm 5' 10").  I might try to drop a couple lbs. when I start racing mid next month, but we'll see if I'm willing to sacrifice to do it.

Daily running log:

  • Monday:  3 miles easy on treadmill...about 8:00 pace.  Dynamic stretching before and after, hip mobility work.  
  • Tuesday: 5 miles easy on treadmill...about 8:00 pace again + 4 strides.  Dynamic stretching, core work.
  • Wednesday: 9 miles on treadmill @ 1% incline, with mile 4 - 7 @ tempo pace.  Miles 1-3 @ 8:00 pace, Mile 4-7 @ 6:35-6:40 pace, Mile 8-9 @ 7:45 pace.  This one hurt a little, but it felt good to work hard.  My longest "tempo" run ever...the 4 miles took about 26 minutes.  Upper body strength work, dynamic warm-up and cool down.  Single leg squats.  My ITB didn't "feel right", so I skipped doing Single Leg Deadlifts.
  • Thursday:  Off - dynamic stretching and hip mobility.
  • Friday: 7.6 miles on treadmill.  I planned 8 miles, but at one hour the treadmill stopped, so I stopped.  Dynamic warm up and cool down.  Hip mobility stuff.
  •  Saturday: 3 miles easy around the house was the plan...CANCELLED because it was super cold and icy outside and I had Valentine's plans with my beautiful wife!
  • Sunday:  13.1 - my first "half"....if count the treadmill..  Time: 1:34:30 (7:13 pace).  I'm happy, so far I've been able to keep my 7:15 pace as my long runs have progressed from 8 to 13 miles.  ITB rehab, upper body strength, stretching...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Training Log - Week Ending - 2/7/16

Week 7 of my 20 week plan to get to a 10k in mid-May (with a couple 5k's and an 8k along the way).  Goal time for the 10k is about 39:00...which will probably change after I do the 5ks....

This week is a reduced volume coach, Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running, likes to put in a lower volume week every 6-8 weeks to allow for some recovery and adaptation, can't hurt for injury prevention either!

Still a lot of snow on the trails and paved running paths in the area, so this week has been on the treadmill and roads around my house.  The roads around my house include more "rolling hills" than my normal that's probably a good change, I just have to be vigilant about vehicle traffic on the narrow country roads.

I FINALLY got to do some 10k pace work.    Last year, when I was using "my own home brewed" plan, I would have put A LOT more of this pace earlier in my training and more often.  AND, last year I got hurt and burned out.  It has taken a lot of patience for me to avoid doing the faster paces.....

After the 10k work on Wednesday, which was on a treadmill at 1% incline, I  will feeling tired but pretty good.  However, during my next run on Friday, my left hamstring didn't feel "right".  I'm not hurt, and I didn't have to alter my stride, but I immediately slowed down and took it easy the last couple of miles on Friday, and really easy again on my short Saturday run.  By time my long run on Sunday came around, which included 4 miles at "steady state" pace, the feeling of my hamstring not being "right" wasn't gone 100%, but definitely better than Friday.  I plan to keep my upcoming Monday and Tuesday runs VERY easy to ensure I continue to recover.
This year I'm doing "tempo" and "steady state" paces with longer long runs and higher overall mileage.  I feel like my overall "fitness" is better.  Last year, it was either "easy" pace or all out intervals, which I think left a gap in my fitness and lead to injury.

The extra work before and after the runs I think is helping as well.  I can't do a direct comparison to last year, but I'm running MORE miles with LESS stiffness and soreness.  The proof will be when I see my race times....

Total mileage:  28

Daily details below:

Monday - off.  Still sore from 12 miler yesterday.  Dynamic stretching / foam rolling.

Tuesday - 3 miles @ 8:00 pace + 4 strides on treadmill.  Core work.  Dynamic warm-up and cool down.

Wednesday - 7 miles with 6 x 2:00 at 10k pace with 2:00 jog recovery in the middle- all on the treadmill @ 1% incline.  My first run at this pace since last October when I hurt my ITB.  At first it felt too fast,  but then by the fourth rep of so I "got into a rhythm" and felt pretty good.  I'm happy to be FINALLY doing some faster work.  Dynamic stretching before and after + ITB Rehab routine + Single Leg Deadlifts + Upper body strength + lotsa foam roller and dynamic stretching after.

Thursday - off.  Foam rolling, dynamic stretching.

Friday - 5 miles @ 7:55 pace on W&OD trail.  Dynamic stretching before and after.

Saturday - 3 miles @ 8:15 and skipped the planned strides to help my hamstring "calm down".  Hip flexibility and dynamic stretching + core work + upper body strength

Sunday - 10 miles - Miles 1@ 8:00 pace; Mi 2-5 @ 7:30; Mi 6-9 @ 6:50; Mi 10 @ 8:00.  Hip mobility, dynamic stretching, foam rolling.

Back to higher mileage (low 40's) next week.