Monday, August 31, 2009

Here come the Days of the Big Hammers

I've had weeks of 74, 77 and 72 miles the last 3 with a few big strength workouts. Yesterday I did 18.5 miles with 3 x 2 miles at MP (although they came out a bit faster) around the fields at Ipswich River Park. The last 2 mile interval was in 12:19.5 but I split it 6:14, 6:06 and was getting stronger as the workout went along. I'm getting that indestructible feeling I get when marathon training starts to really roll.

I feel the last 3 weeks I've made huge strides in strength and endurance. After working more on the speed end of the spectrum for the first half of the summer and running a decent 5k (17:22) and 4 mi (22:53), not to mention my big 5 mile showdown with Thunder, I took 2 weeks down not really on purpose before getting serious about marathon training with these last 3 weeks. In hindsight it was a perfect combination. I think it takes 3 weeks of something to make a difference and I'm feeling the difference now. And I think the 2 down weeks in late-July and early-August, one of which was a vacation week, were perfectly timed to let some little niggles heal and let my legs recharge. I love it when the training starts to come together. I feel like I could run through a brick wall right now, the fall-like weather probably helps.

Right now I think I'll actually get this sub 17 thing this year. I have a couple target races picked out for early November, after a quick recovery from Baystate on Oct 18th. But it would not shock me if it happened before then...I'm going to leave myself open to the possibility of a breakthrough between now and then. The funny thing is even though I'm allegedly training for Baystate I spend a lot more time thinking about the 5k than the marathon.

The 5k and then some rinky-dink podunk marathon in Tennessee in November that I'm not even signed up for. We'll see.

Keep running my friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Always running from time

Did workout tonight with people. I met Mark H., Mike C., and Marc C. (no relation) at the RMHS track for 4 x 1600. Damn good times. I need to do that more. We did the first one hellaciously too fast but settled in after that. Onward we go.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

No sleep 'til...Baystate

Yesterday afternoon we returned from a lovely if somewhat exhausting family vacation to Cape Neddick, Maine with Gina's whole family. We rented a big old house right on the ocean in the York Cliffs section of Cape Neddick--ocean front property with a short walk to a small private beach. I did a lot of swimming, boogie boarding, kayaking (including one possibly ill-advised 3+ mile open ocean trip in moderate offshore winds to Nubble Light and back with my brother-in-law), building sand castles, carrying small people, walking miles and miles in flip-flops, pushing strollers, going up and down stairs, loading and unloading, cleaning up and, oh yeah, eating and drinking. And very little running.

I counted yesterday and realized there are exactly 10 weeks until Baystate, for which I registered right before we left. Given that I have more than 2000 miles in the bank for the first 7 months of this year and have run my fastest 5k since 2004 this summer, it was probably not a bad time to take a recovery week before I put on my monastic training robes and disappear from polite society for the next 8-10 weeks.

But now it's really time to get crackin', starting with a 15 miler this morning that felt a lot longer than that. Here we go.