Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week in review

75 miles on nine runs (two doubles). Long run (18), two workouts. Good week! Day off tomorrow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tempo success!

This morning I headed out at the reasonably earthly hour of 6:30 for some tempo action at McMullen Creek Greenway. I had emailed all the great and good of the Charlotte running community to advertize the workout but only my trusty training partner Steve had responded to the call. We did a two mile warm up and caught up on recent events before changing into our flats, doing some strides and getting straight into it.

I was pretty excited about doing this workout as though I had run at McMullen on various occasions I couldn't recall ever actually doing a workout there and it was going to be a nice change from McAlpine! Also, in spite of the workout on Tuesday and a sub 7 minute average 18 mile run on Thursday my legs were actually feeling okay!

We headed out on the trails 5 miles out and back and nailed it. I ran 56:58 (57:17 once I had added on the 0.07 miles at the end to make 10 miles on my Garmin!) and Steve hit 57:24, over a minute faster than when he last did this workout in October. A quick warm down and some strides in the parking lot and it was back to the house to watch Man U beat Wigan 4-0, England beat France 17-9 and help Lisa get the house ready for Emily's 8th birthday party that is just about to start as I write this!

Very satisfied with the workout and with only 6 miles needed tomorrow and a 'down week' next week I am looking forward to getting some freshness back into the legs before next week's 5k. The last 4 weeks were the key weeks of the current schedule (65,65,70,75 with some tough workouts) and I've come through it seemingly unscathed. On Tuesday I have a 'fun' workout planned of 1 mile on the track as fast as possible followed by full recovery and as fast an 800m as possible. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pushing through

After my latest workout last night (12 600s with 1:30 recoveries) I sent a note to Coach telling him how the workout went. I had got the workout done and was pretty pleased with it considering the tiredness in my legs at the moment but was concerned that I hadn’t met the prescribed goal paces towards the end and indeed after 9 of the repeats had considered pulling the plug and not completing the workout. This was the response I got….

“You're in that spot of training where leaps and bounds are made... but not realized for a few weeks. Thanks for finishing the workout, there's a method to the madness and unless just a stupid move, pushing through is the way to go”

This made me feel a lot better and justified my decision to finish off the workout despite not feeling my best. I know there are definitely times when it is much wiser to stop doing a workout than carrying on but this wasn’t one of them as there was no risk of me aggravating an injury or anything like that. When I’m hurting with 800m to go in next week’s 5k I can draw on how I finished off this workout for inspiration to push through to the end of the race as fast as possible. It’s almost as much a mental thing as physical…..

Also, here's to hoping that I am indeed in that spot of training where leaps and bounds are made! Next up? 18 miles tomorrow (getting my long run out of the way before the weekend) and 10 mile tempo on Saturday with Steve before a hard earned cutback week next week

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week in review

72 miles on 8 runs including 2 workouts and a long run. Good week, legs are tired but trusting the schedule to get me to the start line of Richmond feeling fresh and ready to roll!

Getting it done

So after yesterday's workout my legs were sore all day, you know, that 'empty' feeling when you can't imagine ever running again! 16 miles were looming this morning and I wasn't all that positive! Especially seeing as I was going to be running solo and starting before 5am as I had promised Lisa I would be back home before the kids got up at 7.

With that in mind, I hit the sack at 9.45 (yes, on a Saturday night- this is what my life has become!) to get a few hours sleep in and hope that a few more hours rest would get my legs into some sort of shape for the run.

Well after a pretty slow start my legs eventually came round and I got it done, albeit with not one mile under 7 minutes! I checked out the 5k course I am now definitely going to run in a couple of weeks and got home in time to be there when the kids woke up. My legs are tired but this was the first time I have hit over 70 miles in a week since Richmond training last year. And no rest for the wicked yet- 75 on the schedule this week before cutting back again the week after- I'm sure I'll be looking forward to that by the end of this week!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hard day at the office!

This morning I completed one of the toughest workouts I've done in a long time. Tough mainly as my legs weren't firing from the get go and I could tell it was going to be a long day! Luckily I had great company in Aaron, Spada and Falcone and the weather was beautiful so I was able to get it done. As I sit here a few hours later though my legs feel trashed. Tomorrow's planned 16 miles which I need to get started by 5am could be very interesting! Hopefully I will be doing a loop that incorporates a preview of a 5k course that I am now planning to race a week on Saturday.

I got home to find that good friends and fellow Charlotte Running Club members John Compton, Billy Shue and Alice Rogers had won their respective Half and Full races at Myrtle and Allen Strickland had nailed his qualifier for NYC. Awesome!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cheesy Disney pics

The girls liked our 'Pirates' themed room!

Hollywood Studios

The Mainwarings meet Buzz and Woody

Sunday at the pool

The girls at Chef Mickey's

Valentine's Day at Magic Kingdom

Valentine's Dinner at Cinderella's Castle


Last night at Planet Hollywood

Post Disney Update

Got back from Florida on Wednesday evening after a fantastic trip! The kids had a blast of course and it was nice to get away from the office for a few days. All my running went to plan too and I was able to get it all done while the kids were asleep so it didn’t interfere with our vacation at all! With all the miles I was able to get in (47.5 in the 5 days we were there) and all the walking around the parks during the day I was able to maintain my weight while I was there too, in spite of the mountains of food consumed. We were on the Meal Plan there so I took full advantage of what was on offer. Let’s just say my glycogen levels were nicely topped up while I was there!

We drove down Friday and I got the day off to a good start by heading to the track before we left and nailing a good 10*600 workout. It was cold and I wore tights for the entire workout. A week later and it’s t shirt and shorts weather here! The drive down took a good 9 or 10 hours. Lisa insists on driving everywhere we go and I have given up on trying to persuade her otherwise so I was just shacked up in the passenger seat all the way down there. We went in the Scion to save gas costs and legroom is at a premium- by the end of the drive my glutes were so tight! I got up Saturday morning to run and check out the local paths and routes for the rest of the stay and my legs were not cooperating at all, this run felt truly horrible, but I got it done and for the rest of the trip my legs were fine.

We went to Hollywood Studios on Saturday and Sunday I got my 15 mile long run in. I ventured out of the resort we were staying at (Caribbean Beach) and found excellent running conditions up the road at the Boardwalk resort and this was where I ended up doing most of my runs while I was there. This day was our day we weren’t going to be heading to the parks so we just hung around the resort and luckily it was warm enough to spend the whole afternoon swimming and sliding at the pool.

Monday was just an easy run followed by the highlight of the trip- a day at Magic Kingdom followed by dinner at Cinderella’s Castle. Tuesday called originally for 12 400s on the track so I had found a good 0.25 mile stretch of the Boardwalk where I was able to replicate this on the road- traffic and, as it turned out, pedestrian free. The workout went well and set me up for a final day in the parks that we spent at Epcot. Wednesday was an easy run before we hit the road. Once we got back to Charlotte and we’d unpacked and put the kids to bed I headed out for a shake out run to hopefully prevent a recurrence of the awful run I had had on the Saturday. It worked as Thursday’s Dowd run went well. Today I’m heading out at lunch time with a work colleague for some very easy miles- tomorrow another workout with the horses looms…..

I am also excited for a few of my friends competing in the Half and Full at Myrtle Beach tomorrow. The forecast is great and on a notoriously flat course some good times should be on offer!

I will post some pictures of our trip later....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pre Disney Update

This time tomorrow we’ll be cruising southwards down 95 towards Mickey and Friends so I thought I’d update this thing before we left. I’m taking the computer down there but it’s very unlikely I’ll be on it much!

So this week has been three ‘easy’ runs and a tough but successful Tempo workout on Tuesday. Tomorrow I’m getting up early to bash out some intervals on the track before we leave, leaving me with a Saturday recovery run and 15 miles to do on Sunday down in Disney World. The legs appear to be coming round at last….

Really looking forward to my vacation, will be nice to get away from it all and relax for a few days, not that there’ll be much relaxation! Each morning will start the same with me sneaking out of our resort room before dawn and getting my miles in before the kids get up. We’re staying at a resort that has a 1.5 mile ‘jogging path’ around the lake apparently, so that will no doubt be familiar territory by the time next Wednesday comes around and we have to leave! A quick breakfast in the room and then off to the parks for the day. We’re going to hit Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Lisa has booked all our restaurant reservations so we are all set- Valentine’s night we have snagged a table at Cinderella’s castle in Magic Kingdom so we can ‘dine with the princesses’. The girls are going to go nuts....

I’ll be back next Wednesday so this might not updated again until then

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week in review

65 miles, 7 runs in 5 days of running including 2 workouts and a long run

A solid week, probably my best for a while, hoping to keep the momentum going over the next couple of weeks in spite of the vacation we are having at Disney World which will straddle the end of this week and the start of next

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Running with the horses

After 24 hours of non stop rain there was just a faint drizzle in the air as I headed out the door for yesterday's second workout of the week. The original plan to run this at Mcalpine had been thwarted by the rain that had left the greenway in a muddy mess, so it was off to the (in)famous Lansdowne loop to get it done. The workout on tap was 8 miles AT Tempo followed by a jog to PDS track and straight into a mile, 400m jog and finishing off with a final 1k effort.

It was going to be a tough workout but luckily the recruiting email I had sent out earlier in the week had attracted the attention of a few of the faster runners in the area. Previous Charlotte Marathon winner Steve Spada, 7th Place Master at last year's National XC Champs, Rocky Falcone and last week's 1st and 3rd place finishers at Winter Flight, John Compton and Ben Hovis were all present and ready to get to work.

The 8 mile tempo went well. We were all together through 5 miles, chatting away, ensuring that the pace was kept honest but relaxed. Ben, John, Rocky and I created a slight gap on the third and final lap and then at the 7 mile mark Ben and John made a bit of a move, stringing out the pack a little further. I hung tough on the final hill though and pulled back alongside the pacesetters. We went past the 8 mile mark in 46:03 with Rocky and Steve just behind. Their days were done, Ben, John and I were only just getting started.

The three of us jogged to PDS track and launched straight into the mile. I took it out, trying to get straight on the 5:10 pace the workout called for. Ben quickly had had enough of that and took over as we came through the 400m mark, inspired by the cheers of his wife and 2 time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Megan who was doing her own run around the track. John meanwhile was jogging about ten yards behind us. Through the 800 in 2:35 and on pace, down the back straight John glided past me as if I wasn't there and set off in pursuit of Ben. He went on to run 5:05 with Ben a couple of steps behind and myself closing in 5:10.

Ben and John jogged back off to the Lansdowne loop to finish off their workouts with another 4 mile tempo and I jogged around the track once in an attempt to get ready for one last kilometer push. Rocky was at the track now and helped me out on my last lap. I ran 3:11 which wasn't as fast as planned but on the whole I was pleased with the workout. I jogged back down Sardis with Rocky, 16 miles and a solid workout in the bank. Watch out for John and Ben at the Myrtle Beach Half in two weeks time!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ramping it up

Have run 42 miles in three days since last post! Miners Run/16 400s workout double on Tuesday, 5 easy yesterday, 15 long run into work/6 mile easy after work double today. No run now until a workout with some Horses on Saturday am!