Fall Season Training Week 4 of 10 plus a day

29 08 2017

Last week, I found myself once again battling tendon overuse trouble in the right ankle area.  I did all the running I had planned but ditched both weights days in order to do some rope stretches with the Active Isolated Stretch DVD from Phil and Jim Wharton which has rehabbed ankles, calves and Achilles troubles for me many times in the past.  Between the extra rest and flexibility that substitution bestowed and going back to wearing my Hokas, I was able to give a pretty decent effort for this past Sunday’s 11.5 mile Fort to Base race.


Fort 2 Base, which goes from Fort Sheridan – the Army base – to Great Lakes Naval Station is one that I’ve been eyeing for years but have not run yet because of the heat we usually have in August.  I was always afraid to venture “10 Nautical Miles” as they call it (which is just about 11.5 miles of running) in potentially extreme temperatures and sun.  But after having survived the full marathon in blistering 86 degree heat with full sun at high altitude last October, I decided no race is ever gonna kill me so I might as well finally do this one.  And was it ever awesome!


First of all it was a cool and overcast day, more fall-like than summer, and then even started to rain after I finished running and was heading back to the shuttles.  So the weather couldn’t have been better.  My new nutrition strategy of eating Nabisco sugar wafer cookies instead of gels and other sticky stuff worked perfectly.  (BTW, sugar wafers in a baggie hold up much better in a sports bra than all that other stuff does.  LOL)

Mile 10The scenery was gorgeous every step of the way, and seeing all soldiers and sailors gave me such a patriotic glow inside.  Pretty much everything about it infused me with energy and I ended up running faster (13:37 pace) than I have ever done in a race over 10 miles.  Around the 9 mile mark as I was getting tired, I fell in with the 13:30/mile pace group and they kept me going at a point when I would have ordinarily given myself permission to slack off.  It was a wonderful event that I would love to do again someday.

F2B Stats

Being one of the slowbees, my usual late arrival at the after party meant the pizza had all been eaten by the faster people and their families, so I can’t comment on that. But I did get a chance to eat some Mashed Potato Chocolate Cupcakes from the Wisconsin Spudmobile, and they were surprisingly tasty.  There was also a Navy band rocking out some impressive rhythm and blues as well as a big Army truck with soldiers posing for pictures with runners and children.  For an non-alcohol party, it was lots of fun.


So that was the highlight of my week.  I am now back to continued prehab/rehab of these old raggedy tendons which must yet propel me through two half marathons in the next 6 weeks.  And I’m sure they will, as long as I stay true to the massive amounts of stretching that needs to be done and keep my runs to three a week with strength-training and low impact cardio in between.

And that’s it for now.  See ya next week…


Fall Season Training Weeks 2 and 3 of 10

23 08 2017

OK, so I know I said I would check in weekly in order to make myself accountable to the legions of people clamoring to read my every word (insert laugh emoji here) regarding my commitment to follow a well-rounded training plan for fall running season.  Because I tend to overdo the parts I like and conveniently run out of time for the less fun stuff in any training regimen, I really do need someone looking over my shoulder and going “hey! what about that?  when ya gonna do it? huh?”  And that’s you!  Thanks for the help.

This is how things went over the last couple of weeks (workdays are shaded in grey):
Fall Weeks 2 and 3 Summary
Obviously, I failed to do all the stretching I had pledged to do.  I am fairly consistent with the 12 minute morning yoga, stretch or yoga/stretch combo videos.  I don’t really like the pre-run drills but I’m doing the dumb things about half the time.  It’s the post-workout stuff that I am struggling with.  A lot of the time I’m starving, thirsty or exhausted and the rest of the time I have something else to do right away so I postpone them until later, and then they don’t happen at all.  I will try to do better!  Especially since I’m having some twinges in my right ankle tendons and that is a direct result of inflexibility in the rest of the posterior kinetic chain.  In fact, yesterday I skipped a non-running cardio workout in favor of doing 40:00 of Active Isolated Stretching with the Phil and Jim Wharton DVD.

My favorite recent run was the 10 Mile Speed Play Run from the PEAR program that I use.  It is part of the 80/20 Running plan they have and consists of a typical 10 mile Long Run but has little quarter mile speed bursts all through it.  When it’s hot, humid and sunny out, it takes a lot out of you to do these but I felt like it made me a better runner.

August 10 miler

The PEAR Program cut out on me at 9.3 miles but Garmin captured it all.

Other than that, there is not a whole lot of noteworthy stuff to report.  My right ankle is trying to bother me but I’m pre-habbing it.  My right shoulder went wonky for about a week after I threw the ball in the back yard for the dog about a dozen times too many, but it’s coming back to normal slowly.  I’m not stretching enough, but promise once again to do better.  I’m eating too much, and will try to do better but can’t make any promises.  And life goes on.

See ya next week!

Fall Season Training Week 1 of 10

7 08 2017

Or to be Star Trekkie about it, I should be dictating:  “Athlete’s Log Star Date 2017.5996”  since today we are 219/365 into 2017.  I guess.  Honestly I don’t know how they come up with those star dates.  Gene Roddenberry had an answer for it that had to do with shifts in time, speed and warp so I don’t know how it would work on Earth.


Fall Week 1 SummaryI got through the first week of training relatively well.  Unlike the running world who put Saturday and Sunday at the end of a week, my weeks always start on Sunday.  I did Andrew Kastor’s 400 meter repeats workout from PEAR that day before I went to work. I copied my pace from GarminConnect under the description of the run below.  There was a very long warm up and cool down so the overall pace was not terribly impressive but I really pushed it during the 400s which did take me out of my comfort zone like it was supposed to.

4x400s on July 30

Monday, I did Cathe Friedrich’s Supercuts DVD which is a metabolic workout and contains cardio/weights segments in rapid succession with little rest in between.  It got my heart rate way up there in the 160s just like running intervals would but did not require any pounding on the pavement because of the swift movements with 8 lb. weights incorporating upper and lower body at the same time.  And I had quite the DOMS in my legs and butt for a couple of days.  So that was good.

Tuesday brought a 50:00 tempo run from the Matt Fitzgerald 80/20 plan on my PEAR app.  I got a very late start because I had to clean the house first, so it was already 2:00 pm and hot when I set out.  The peak portion of the run was supposed to put my heart rate in Zone 3 (preferably by speed) but I ended up going slower to keep it from climbing into Zone 4 because of the temps having boosted it quite a bit.  So it was not effective speed training but I got it done.  I used a 2:30/0:30 Run/Walk because of weather conditions as well.


And I did employ the grueling foam roll torture device afterwards. It hurt like hell which I guess means it was good for me and I need it.

Wednesday, I tried to do the Jordan Metzl Iron Strength DVD despite the comedy of errors that represents my life some days.  I got a late start because of crappy sleep thanks to my younger dog who decided to start barking at 4:30 a.m.  Then I lounged in bed longer than I should have after that trying unsuccessfully to get back to sleep.  Following that, my computer gave me fits and I wasn’t able to queue up the workout until I fooled with restarting and running diagnostics for 20 minutes.  Then the dogs got on the yoga mat with me during my morning stretch.  Then they wanted out.  Then they wanted back in.  Then I ran out of time because I had to go to work.  So I only got 20 minutes of that workout done because of two happy knuckleheads who had other plans for me.


Along came Thursday and another run before work.  Requisite stretching and drills complete, I did 45:00 Short Intervals —  or as I nicknamed them “Walk, Jog, Haul Ass” Intervals  —  comprised of a minute in heart rate Zone 5 (which is basically impossible for me to reach in a mere 60 seconds) followed by a two minute recovery jog during which I would walk the first minute and then jog the second.  It was a very effective workout because I really did haul ass like the Devil was chasing me until I thought my heart would burst, and that felt good.


On Friday I finally got the Jordan Metzl DVD done almost in its entirety.  By the time he got to the 3 minutes of planks at the end I was spent and gave up.  I know, I know!  I said I’d do planks.  But I didn’t.  I was too worn out from burpees, mountain climbers and all the other draconian feats he put me through.  I’ll do them next time.  I swear.

UntitledSaturday brought more dog-inspired delays and I finally set out on the week’s long run at almost 9 am when it was already 70, sunny and pretty much windless.   I managed 8.5 slow sweaty miles (carrying not one but two 16 ounce water bottles) and then called it quits.  Ideally I’d like to have done another mile but I just didn’t have it in me.

Afterwards, I should have done a 15:00 foam roll masochism fest but I didn’t have time.  Our dishwasher had died the night before and I needed to head to the Home Depot to get another one.  Then there was lunch at Chili’s with a beer (just one though), and after that a nap.  So I only rate my performance 9/10 for last week’s effort.  I really will try to do better this week.  I’ll do all the stretching and I won’t skip any planks that come up.

Really.  I mean that.