Wednesday, December 21, 2011

13.8 miles today, feeling like garbage. HR was high, speed was low, legs were tired, but my knee held out fine.

Another long run tomorrow, but at a HR of just 145 bpm or so.


How much for a 3,200 square foot Victorian home dating from 1910 in Detroit, you ask?

97 Delaware St, Detroit, MI 48202
Try $7,900.  That's about how much my last tri-bike cost.

Today's song, by M83:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good News and Hopefully Minor Bad News

Starting with the good news, I am feeling stronger than ever on long runs. I used to begin feeling a bit of fatigue about an hour into a run, but now that's more like 1:30 into a run. 14-15 miles isn't too tough. That bodes well for future marathon success, as I've always had pretty extreme positive splits (yeah, yeah, I know other factors are involved...ahem*pacing*ahem). Hopefully by the time I run another marathon I can feel strong through 20 mile training runs. I'm also feeling strong running several days in a row, and the "dead legs" feeling is only there the day after a fast run or really long run. So muscular endurance or whatever it may be called seems improved.

The other good news is I have all but forgotten about my Achilles tendinitis. It's been completely unnoticeable, except this weekend when I banged my heel while an Ikea bed for the guest bedroom. It'll always be in my mind, but the injury seems behind me.

The bad news is that I had to cut short a long run this weekend because my knee really hurt. I was about 14 miles into a 16-18 mile run when the pain became too much to keep running, and I had to walk it on home. Now, I'm pretty sure this pain is just muscular. The pain doesn't come from the joint itself, but from my quad just above the knee. Perhaps its from too much volume/intensity/hills over the past few days. Maybe 4 long runs in 8 days, none of which were particularly easy, was too much. Maybe I didn't allow enough recovery after Friday's 1:30 jot along hilly Magnolia. Even on a snowshoe Sunday I was really happy to be done because my knee was aching on the descent home.

The good news, however, is that today's easy test jog went fine. I made it 40 minutes with only a little odd feeling in the knee. Tomorrow I will try an hour easy in the AM and another hour easy in the PM without ever getting too far from home in case the pain returns.

A takeaway is to keep an eye on my intensity. I did too many runs at a steady pace and not enough easy running.


Snowshoe photos:
Tebowing on St. Mary's Glacier

Ozzy loved the glacier. He ran back and forth and back and forth the whole way up.

The lake at the base of the glacier. 

2011 in music:
Great albums: (in no particular order)
Yuck by Yuck
Bon Iver by Bon Iver
Wild Flag by Wild Flag
Father, Song, Holy Ghost by Girls

Honorable mention:
James Blake by James Blake

More time needed because I bought it yesterday:
Days by Real Estate

There were also several albums that received loads of critical acclaim that I'm not thrilled with (see, Tune Yards, Fleet Foxes), albums by bands that previously released amazing records but this year only released okay albums (here's looking at you Radiohead, Panda Bear), albums that I want to buy and expect to be really solid but haven't heard in full yet (burning ears for King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, The Black Keys), and finally albums by new bands that have gotten great reviews but have previously slipped under my radar (por ejemplo, Wye Oak, Civil Wars).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

65 miles is a lot

This week I've been wearing my Garmin every run to get an accurate count of my typical weekly mileage. It's not that the actual number of miles I run is all that important, but I want to make a push for a big week next week and counting my miles this week will give me some basis for comparison.

Saturday I managed 16.5 miles in about 1:55, averaging 7:10/mile at 155 bpm. (Side note: I'm curious to see how much faster that'll be once the snow/ice on the path melts.) That run thrashed my legs enough that Sunday became a 4.5 mile jog (~8:00/mile). Monday was just an easy/steady aerobic run: 10.5 miles at 7:30/mile (hovering around 145 bpm). Today I planned on some harder running, but my legs still aren't fully recovered from Saturday.  Instead, today becomes an off day where I just go for an evening walk.

Halfway through a decent week, and I'm only at 31.5 miles.  65 miles will be a reasonable weekly mileage, but it sure feels like a lot of running. I think my legs will require a steady build-up to higher mileage, or I need to keep my long runs to 145-150 bpm, max. At any rate, my build up to high mileage weeks will be slow. I might hit 80 next week as a one week high mileage experiment keeping the effort low.

While I haven't trained with much structure over the past few months, I plan on reading Jack Daniel's Running Formula (for the second or third time) over the next two weeks to begin planning my training a little more formally. I've also got Lore of Running, but that book is so intimidating that I've barely peaked through its pages.

I was reading Running Times the other day and noticed that the 2012 US Snowshoe National Championship takes place in Frisco in February. The qualification standards look pretty lax, so maybe I'll jump in a race and see if I can hit the standard. Hmm...

Tebow!?!? Two weeks ago I became a fan. This week didn't disappoint, either. I'm afraid Brady, et al. will be too much this coming Sunday.

The best thing about the end of the year are all the "Best Album" lists. I'm mentally planning my own list, but right now only a few artists come to mind. In the meantime, here's a new-to-me track that I really like:

For some reason, all the records I've bought lately are instrumental. First Explosions in the Sky, then Godspeed! You Black Emporer, and recently Mogwai. Is "good background music" a compliment?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tempo Run

1.5 mile warm-up, 3.5 miles tempo (165-170 bpm, or somewhere around marathon pace I'd guess), 1 mile easy, 3 miles tempo, 1 mile easy, almost entirely on a slick, 1inch thick hard pressed sheet of snow.

miles 1-5 slightly downhill
mile 1 - 7:12 at 141 bpm
mile 2 - 5:49 at 157 bpm
mile 3 - 6:01 at 165 bpm
mile 4 - 6:12 at 165 bpm
mile 5 - 6:05 at 169 bpm

back uphill
mile 6 - 8:15 (jog)
mile 7 - 6:43 at 164 bpm
mile 8 - 6:35 at 168 bpm
mile 9 - 6:45 at 170 bpm
mile 10 - 8:29 (jog)

those uphill miles were a killer with no traction. i just tried to keep my feet turning over as fast as possible.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Running update: All is going well. I continue to work on running consistently, doing one or two 1:30+ runs per week, and adding a bit of faster running when I feel the urge. I spend a lot of time running 7:00-7:30/mile, which is pretty easy, and for the moment very little time running anything near race pace. Maybe I'll try a treadmill speed workout tomorrow, though, and do some efforts building from 6:00/mile until it gets hard (an optimistic 5:30/mile).

I'm considering a June marathon as my next "A" race, and then using my fitness from the marathon to try an ultra just for fun (to the extent that 6+ hours of running can be considered fun).

Snowshoes: First, thanks to Ralph and Pat for the early Christmas gift. The Front Range got smothered with snow this weekend, so Stacey and I took our shoes and headed as far into the mountains as we felt our vehicle was capable of safely traveling (read: not all that far).  Snowshoeing was pretty fun, and I hope to add it to my winter cross training routine.

(Stacey: You look high in this picture, like you're a snowboarder or something.)

Too much snow is coming down to see very far.

Ozzy: Hey guys, hurry up.

Football: Michigan is into a BCS game! That's a long climb from the Rich-Rod era.

Muzak: After listening to this Girl talk song, here's my new getting ready to run song:

That's the gratuitous length live version, and I'm shocked that so many Germans were going crazy for this song in 1995.