Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back to Blighty

VERY excited. Running into work in the am, few hours wrapping stuff up and then the girls pick me up and we're off to the airport and our trip to England! Just finished packing and you'll be glad to know I managed to take up one (small) suitcase exclusively with my running gear. Two pairs of shoes, long sleeves, shorts, tights (got to cover all the bases as the weather is so unpredictable in England!)

Most exciting part of the trip though will be Monday when Lisa and I leave the kids with Mum and Dad and head to Paris for a couple of days!

Three runs to catch up on since Sunday. Monday I decided to have a lie in and run at lunch time which rarely works out and so it proved again! I was meant to run for 45 minutes but 4 miles in my stomach was cramping so badly I had to limp back to the office to 'relieve it'.

Tuesday saw a double with a shake out am 5 miles 'Miners Run' with a stellar crew.Steve and I started our own book club with me handing off a Coe and Ovett book in return for Steve Scott 'The Miler' which I am looking forward to getting into next week! Then after work I headed into Mcalpine knowing I wanted to do something hard but not sure what. On the fly I did 9 miles including 5 miles 'tempo' which ended up feeling much harder work than it should have.

Legs felt tired again this morning when I did 8 miles including 8 * strides. Not sure why I feel tired, I should be pretty fresh having not trained much lately! Oh well!

Until the next time when I provide a catch up from England!.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Recovery miles

Sunday was a nice and easy 5.75 miles @ 6:45 pace. I like these type days as I can pretty much decide when I want to do it when I like, in this case I decided to run home from Walmart via Mcalpine once we'd done our weekly shop!

Short week ahead here in Charlotte. Working through Thursday lunch time before the family picks me up from the office and we head out to the airport!!

Back in the saddle

So the workout ended up going fairly well. It was a cold, crisp morning as I headed down to Old Bell at 7.15. I did some stretching and jogging on the spot to try and keep warm and then Mike turned up a couple of minutes later. Jordan wasn't going to show- he had had a late night waiting up for the result of Meagan's 10k which saw her crush a sub 35 and automatic qualification for the NCAA Div II champs which will be held in Charlotte of all places in May- so we headed off on our two mile warm up to the lake. Mike had marked out a two mile loop around the back end of the XC course and when we reached the course it was obvious that a race was going to be held that morning. Luckily that didn't end up going off until 8:30 by which time we were done.

After a few strides we got straight into it. The original goal of the workout was to run 4 * 2 miles at around 5:30 to 5:40 pace. It's always difficult to slot right into the correct pace on these type workouts and sure enough a glance at the Garmin after a couple of minutes showed that we were running a little fast at about 5:20 pace. Reined it in a little for the rest of that interval and hit the two mile mark in 11:02. A quick 90 second jog/walk back to the starting point and we headed out for the second interval. Was on pace now and hit this one in 11:04. About a mile into the third one I could feel myself starting to strain a little so decided that discretion would be the better part of valour and that the third one would suffice for now. I finished this off in 11:11, said thanks and bye to Mike and headed back on the warm down home. My lower legs were feeling pretty sore at this point so I'm glad I didn't try and force a 4th interval. We had run a little faster than intended and when we looked on the 'gmap' later the Garmin had measured a little long too so all in all I was pretty satisfied with the workout and the effort.

Coach Tim was impressed with the effort. We've decided for now that for the next few weeks I'll just do my own stuff and then look at how things are going in a month or so, see what things need working on and take it from there, rather than launching into another 'training plan' right now. Makes sense with the trip to Europe coming up and at the moment I'm just enjoying being able to train again without having to worry about mileage and workout goals each week. Certainly by the time the second GP race rolls around in 4 weeks I would hope to be back in sub 16 shape, we'll see...

Friday, March 26, 2010

So far so good

Well the calf continues to cooperate and I was able to gradually add some mileage each day this week until today which I took completely off as I am hitting a workout in Mcalpine in the am with Mike B and Jordan.

It didn't look promising on Monday when I was still very sore from Saturday's efforts and I spent a pretty painful 4 miles not 100% sure that the calf was going to hold out. Tuesday was more encouraging as I headed out early and ran 6 miles, meeting up with the 'Miners' for half of it. Steve told me about his new blog which should prove to be a good read as Steve's passion for running is awesome!

Wednesday it was back to the Dowd am runs and 7 pleasant miles with the gang and more of the same on Thursday but this time 8 miles and this time with Aaron and Jay laying down their usual end of run hammer as they head towards Boston. That woke up the legs and lungs a little and the positive reaction from my calf started me thinking about the next few weeks- mileage goals, workouts, etc.

Which brings me to tomorrow and 4*2 miles on the trails. If that goes pretty well I might start feeling I'm back in the saddle....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shamrock Tempo

Well in the end I decided to run the race in my trainers and do it as a tempo effort. I saw Caitlin and Meagan on the start line and they were looking to run around 5:40s so I just headed out with them and kept them company. As the leaders headed off into the distance I honestly didn't care. Had I laced up the flats and tried to hang with them it would only have got messy later on in the race and I'd have beaten myself up to run somewhere around 21:30 probably. As it was I was able to produce a solid, controlled effort in 22:38 and hopefully help out Caitlin and Meagan.

In spite of the controlled run and wearing my trainers, the legs still felt pretty beat up afterwards, so it was definitely a good job I didn't race. After all, having run just two or three times the previous month I wouldn't normally be jumping into a workout so soon!

Sunday I just headed out on those sore legs to try and flush them out a bit. 3.25 miles at 7:20 pace was about all they could handle. I'm writing this at lunch time on Monday having put off today's run until after work. My legs still feel sore but definitely better than yesterday so hopefully today's run will be a little more enjoyable. Hopefully this week will just be a matter of taking it day by day with the legs feeling progressively better and by the weekend I can start feeling like a runner again.

I'm starting to really look forward to our trip to England in a couple of weeks which will be very relaxing and also an opportunity to do some nice training. Lisa and I are also heading to Paris for a couple of days leaving the kids with my parents so that will be great!

The rest of the weekend was spent chasing round various birthday parties and watching some of the basketball. I also found a great new website from which I was able to watch a perfect live streaming of the Man U Liverpool game. A crucial victory and Chelsea slipping up at Blackburn made for a nice Sunday!

Finally, got to give a shout out to fellow Charlotte runner and blogger Jordan Kinley. After overcoming his own injury issues the last few weeks he was still able to lace up at the 4 miler to come 3rd and then head straight up to the Tobacco Road Marathon and run a 2:27 marathon despite not feeling great. I also found out the he only ran the 4 miler because he had read my post about the need to run to get the bonus points for the Grand Prix! I should have kept that quiet!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hopefully out of the woods?

So this week I had a couple more sessions with Duffy and his devices and even managed two pain free runs. Wednesday I ran just over 3 miles and today just over 4. I think as long as I am careful with the calf for the next few days I should be back on track soon.

Speaking of being careful, tomorrow sees the start of the RFYL Grand Prix Series. Having come 3rd, 2nd, 2nd from 2006-8 I was unable to complete the Series last year so one of my goals for this year is to go out and try and win it.

So not the best start on the cards tomorrow! but here's the deal. You get to drop your two worst races so tomorrow's will get thrown out anyway. The kicker? Unless you complete ALL the races, you miss out on a 250 point bonus which will probably put you out of the running right away. So my plan is to run the race just so I can record a time. Something about this doesn't quite feel right but we'll see how it goes. I certainly don't want to try and hang with the fast guys and blow my calf out again! At the same time I have never entered a race that I haven't intended to race my heart out at.

Moving on to other sports, currently enjoying the NCAA Tournie. My Charlotte Running Club bracket is a bomb site but my bracket in the comp that I've paid to enter is still currently holding up. Worryingly for my poor wife, when I first arrived in Charlotte, College sport meant nothing to me. Each year however I seem to be taking more and more of an interest!

Back home it was a good day for Man U with Arsenal getting drawn against Barcelona and probable defeat, with Utd getting Bayern and then a French team in the semis if we get through. Sunday sees us taking on the Scousers at Old Trafford in a HUGE game.

Well time to take the dog out and try and decide how I want to run this thing tomorrow!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

More positive

So I have been in a better mood the past couple of days. I'm still not running but I have hit that stage of the recovery process when you start getting used to the fact that you can't run and you start focussing on recovering properly and looking longer term. This is in sharp contrast to the mood you are in in the first few days of being injured when all you can think about is how much fitness you are losing and wanting desperately to be back out there again!

Another reason for my more positive mood is that I eventually gave in and went to see Dr Duffy yesterday and he gave me a really good going over with the 'scraper', lazer and blood pulsing machine before taping me up with 'kineso' tape. Two more appointments with him next week and I should be in the clear. In the mean time I have been biking in the gym and with the family out of town this weekend (boo) I should have time to cycle and swim both days.

With no family around this weekend will surely decide whether I will ever become a fan of college basketball. I can't see it as I don't think I will ever be able to 'love' a sport where if you are losing in the last minute the only way to try and come back is to deliberately foul the opposition.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Only blog when I'm winning

Apologies for the lack of updates lately. Usual story, pick up an injury, get pissed off, definitely not want to write about running (the lack thereof), retreat into non blog updating shell....

Anyway, here I am a day after the Corporate Cup Half Marathon which was originally my goal race of this block sitting here icing my calf wondering whether I'll be healthy to start the Grand Prix off in a couple of weeks.

It all started the Wednesday after my 5k. During my early morning run I felt a familiar little tweak in my left calf and was concerned all day leading up to my evening workout. Sure enough, halfway through my workout I had to pull the plug and since then it's been very litle running and plenty of biking,massage, icing and stretching. It actually doesn't seem too serious. These 'strains' typically hit me once a year and last two or three weeks so hopefully that is this year's out of the way and I can get fit again soon!

It was very frustrating to have to pull out yesterday as I'm in pretty good shape and had been looking forward to duking it out with eventual winner Jay Holder. Congrats to him, he's going to run an awesome Boston next month! As for me I'm just hoping this will be but a temporary blip in what will be a successful 2010!