Monday, March 19, 2018

Getting Down To Brass Tacks Time.....

As the saying goes "we're at the business end of things" my final week b4 Sundays 2018 race debut a half marathon at the Love Run here in Philly.
I did throw in a 17 miler on Sat Mar 10th,the significance of that was last September when I ran the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Philly I didn't manage to get upto 17 miles till after the half, this time I'm ahead of that curve
While my focus has been on Sun Mar 25th and said Love Run 1/2 marathon I have been looking at two bigger pictures,the reintroduction of the 8 mile Tempo Run this week went a long ways towards both but I'm not ready to divulge what the second bigger picture is.....just yet,the big picture is obviously July's San Francisco marathon.

Thur Mar 15th
Easy 12 miles,following Sundays epic long run over 17 miles{2.11.59 off of 7.46 mile pace} I backed off of a 13 mile recovery run Sunday due to a double header of 7 aside football that nite,subsequently on Monday my legs were still suitable trashed to not go for a run......sometimes at my age I feel it's not so much what I do on my rest days as it's what I don't do and giving myself a complete recovery day felt prudent
I hedged my bets Tuesday as a third Nor'easter was predicted for Philly....thankfully we got off scott free and while Wednesday was an option I opted to catch the second half of Barcelona vs Chelski game,no excuses Thursday out for a 12 miler.
W/ the clocks going forward last Sunday I knew I'd finish this run in daylight,even at 6.40pm.....a far cry from my late December/early January runs that were shrouded in abject darkness by 4.50pm.
Psychologically that makes a huge difference and while Spring isn't "official" till Tue Mar 20th and lets face it March tends to be a bear of a month at the best of times we're not out of the woods or the grip of "Old Man Winter" just yet but his grip is loosening.

Sat Mar 17th
8 mile tempo,I'd been "threatening" to reintroduce the 8 mile tempo run around the Art Museum Loop along Kelly & West River drives for a few weeks now,better late than never period but it will also help transition into the almost two year hiatus from Intervals on the track that I hope come mid April will along w/ the tempo run become a weekly staple.
Due to an 8.15am Spurs game and post match podcast it was mid afternoon b4 I ventured over to the Art Museum Loop by which time the temps had gone up considerably from when I left home at 7am to hit the bar for the Spurs game, I kept my gloves on just because I have poor circulation in my fingers but did roll my sleeves up a tad b4 beginning the counterclockwise from Lloyd Hall up Kelly Dr,over Falls Bridge,down W.River Dr and finishing in front of the Art Museum steps route.
Having last done a 8 mile tempo run in early Dec post marathon I wasn't sure what to expect of myself or how realistic 7 min miles/56.00 was....but given I hope to clock 7 min miles Sunday albeit over 13 miles not 8 there was no better time like now to throw caution to the wind and have at it.......
6.17 6.56 7.06 7.03 7.18 7.30 7.16 6.55 =56.21 off of 7.03 mile pace.....
Chuffed is as good as any adjective to describe my reaction post run,sure I came up a tad short but what would I have gained aimed for 7.15 mile pace and a 58.15 time?
Bummed about he 7.30 split on mile mile 6  but that gives me something to work on the next several weeks

Sun Mar 18th
13 mile recovery run,w/ another 7 aside footie game on my slate Sunday evening going longer seemed to fly in the face of conventional wisdom so a nice easy recovery run out and back along Kelly Dr to the 6.5 mark at technically I'm in taper mode a week out from my race.
Along those lines this coming week will be once again dictated by the weather......another  Nor'easter/Coastal Storm is predicted for Tuesday which if it hits could bollocks up my Tue/Wed/Thur easy 12/8mile tempo/12 mile recovery plans so we'll have to sit tight and see what the weather brings ....or doesn't bring.

Saturdays successful tempo run endorsed my belief that a 1.30 1/2 marathon off of 7 min mile pace is doable and not a pipe dream all I ask of the Running Gods between now and Sunday is decent weather,no illness/injury worries and ZERO cock ups w/ pre race check in,bag check and mile markers.......NOT that much to ask is it?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mirror Mirror

Back to back three day/40mpw w/ 12,12 and 16 milers,sadly an unforgiving weekend a temperamental laptop put the kybosh on a post last such issues this weekend

Tue Feb 27th
12 Miles Two things of note on an otherwise run of the mill 12 mile run,50 degrees so shorts and short sleeves again{shades not an option given it's 6.20pm when I'm done and there's only a glimmer of daylight}
Since this would be my final run in Feb{Spurs game on Wed,very little trumps a Spurs game!} it brought my monthly total mileage to 128,not too shabby,I began the month at 10 milers and worked my way up to 16s w/ 12 my mid week run du jour

Sat Mar 3rd
12 Miles I had to hedge my bets on Thursday it looked like it was about to piss down and I wasn't willing to risk getting caught in the rain period,muchless potentially jeopardize getting sick so close to the Love Run,last Saturday on my 16 mile run between 7.5 & 9.5 miles it rained but at 50 degrees it was something I could work around,although getting out of my soaked running gear and into a hot shower was paramount once inside the front door followed by a steaming mug of hot Cider.
Friday was a doozie weather wise,rain that turned to snow complete w/ strong winds,that said ever the Boy Scout I set my alarm for 6.30am,looked out the window said "fuck it,let's have the bastard!!" and promptly dressed,stretched and out the door just gone 7am.
33 degrees but not too uncomfortable,windy but sunny,however w/ slush underfoot not to mention tree branches strewn throughout the out and back to Columbia bridge it felt more important to look where I was treading....not look cool doing it,nowt cool about a runner on the side of the sidewalk bemoaning a tangle w/ fallen timber
The biggest challenge seemed to be avoiding falling snow and ice off the tree branches that hadn't'd take a lot to damage my bonce but even so I wasn't wishing it upon myself
W/ a slightly later Spurs kick off..or a Sunday game I needn't have been up and at it so early but a 10am kick off dictated a 7am run...that said something tres satisfying returning home at 8.35am knowing the run is in the books!

Sun Mar 4th
16 Miles Having "gone long" last Saturday over 16 I saw no reason not to do so again this weekend
Ironically out the door around 8.35am.....24 hours after finishing yesterdays run,I'm clearly motivated not just for the Love Run 1/2 marathon in three weeks time but for the season,my entries to the Hot Chocolate 15k on Apr 7th and the Indy Mini Marathon May 5th are already taken care of and providing a return flight from Indy to Philly that afternoon can be booked I'll have at it w/ the Broad St Run the next morning,it's all part of the #roadtoredemption mind set as July's San Francisco marathon is very much my target race for the season.
Completed the loop in a respectable 2.03.40.....six seconds down on Saturdays  time....however last Saturday I wasn't required to circumnavigate not one but two downed trees on West River Drive which clearly slowed me,I was tempted to hurdle the second one but couldn't be sure what I was landing on once over it so caution won over valor today!
My splits were:7.20-6.51-7.52-7.47-7.45-7.42-7.46-7.54-7.42-7.35-7.27-7.39-7.48-8.16-8.10-8.06 for 7.44 mile pace....a second down on last week!!

As I transition in March and Spring it's time to reintroduce the weekly 8 mile Tempo run into my weekly rotation,hopefully this coming Thursday the mindset for the Love Run is 7 min mile pace for a stab at 1.30.....after that at Hot Choc 15k,Indy Mini Marathon,Broad St Run and Odyssey Half I want 6.30 mile pace heading into San Francisco,come mid May I expect weekly trips to the track for interval work plus the tempo run and frankly if I'm already at 16 miles at the start of March and eyeballin' a 17 miler Saturday it won't be too long b4 Sunday 20 milers are the norm,the sting from Novembers Philly Marathon debacle/cock up has fired me up and I aint quittin' till I level the score...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pump Up The Volume

So it's been a few weeks since my last post,fear not the Pale Kenyan has been diligently loggin' some miles...just not enough time to post them
So last time out I'd just gotten my feet wet w/ 10 milers and as of this weekend I'm back up to 13 milers,the two things I'll say in my non blogged runs are the evenings have gotten lighter later which means we're moving out of the arse end of Winter{hooray!!} and the Schuylkill footpath now extends south of the South St bridge
I think it was my Sat Feb 3rd 10 miler I discovered this fact.....sadly as is more often my won't I was running sans Garmin so I was unable to take advantage of this new found wrinkle in my training...however the following morning I made sure to take my Garmin w/me so I could recalibrate my routes.
Basically if I up and back from South St bridge to the Conrail bridge out and back it adds half a mile to my runs so now an 8 miler is upto the Art Museum, a 9 miler to Lloyd Hall and essentially taking half a mile off all my previously calibrated runs
Which brings us to this week.....

Mon Feb 12th
10 Miles W/ several 10 milers under my belt I felt it was time to bump up to 12s,the only fly in the ointment so to speak was this run came 12 hours after my first soccer game in 25 years......
Early on I was gung ho about making this a 12 miler but by the time I hit Kelly Drive at mile 4.5 bravado took a back seat to common sense
While delighted I had the chutzpah to want to run I felt it was prudent to channel my inner Dirty Harry......"a man's got to know his limitations" so 10 it was w/ the promise of "another day"  to follow come Thursday

Thur Feb 15th
10 Miles Settled for 10 again but knew the weekend was ripe for a 12 miler,if not two
Biggest take away from this run times two A how warm it was,mid Feb and a balmy 54 degrees,any time in Feb I ditch the thermal hat and gloves and roll my sleeves up is a good day
Unlike several of the masses I saw out there during my 10 miles I didn't ditch my jacket or running tights, a couple of nice days in mid Feb does not a Spring make
B Beginning at 4.25pm I was delighted to still have the last vestige of daylight over the West Philly as I returned home around 5.55pm
It's only a matter of time b4 I return to runs that start and end in daylight.....even if and when I bump up my midweek runs to 12 miles

Sat Feb 17th
13 Miles SO this was meant to be a 12 miler till I went all "Billy Big Bollocks" on myself and ran a 13 miler.......
Out the door by 9.25am I was loving the sunshine and lack of killer wind as I reached South St bridge at mile 2,even at an early hour there were numerous fellow runners out there gettin' their miles in
Sans Garmin I figured I just had to make the turn at 1.5 along Kelly Dr which comes in just b4 the Columbia bridge,the only problem was I guess my mind was  somewhere else as I was the other side of the bridge when it dawned on me"oh shit I should have turned back there".....
At this point several options were available to me but having felt  last week I had the measure of 10s  I thought why not push the envelope and see if 13 was was

Sun Feb 18th
13 Miles Seemed counter productive having gotten upto 13 miles albeit by accident yesterday to dip back to 12 so 7.30am I was out the door in ironically warmer temps than two hours later yesterday...
W/ trusty Garmin on my wrist I not only got an "eyeball" on where the 6 mile turnaround is for future reference I also was able to see what my splits were
7.22 7.18 8.07 7.52 7.56 7.54 7.56 7.55 7.58 7.55 7.58 7.55 7.54
Pretty fuckin' consistent,would love mile 3 back as my non sub 8 min mile,average pace 7.51 per mile for a 1.42.01 time

W/ five weeks to go till the Love Run Half Marathon I'm happy w/ where I'm at,were the race next Sunday I'm confident I could grind out a 1.40  off of 8 min miles.....since I have five weeks of training my hopes of a sub 1.30 time off of 7 min miles are realistic

Moving forward this week I'm hopeful of a 5 day training week,12s Tue,Wed,Thur and 13s on the weekend.../although w/ a 7am Spurs game and a 8.20pm Philly Spurs 7 a side kick off Sunday might be a stretch.....ah feck it 14 miles on Saturday for a 4 day/50mpw......

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Back Upto Double Digits

Another week in the books,three runs.....could and should've been on McDuff.....

Wed Jan 24th
8 Miles
I could've had 8s both Tuesday and Wednesday but for "Postman Pratt" on Monday.....
So I arrive home around 5.30pm,too late for a run but what I figured would happen,shock,horror probe mail delivered.....this was a shock since last week mail was arriving gone 6.30pm!!!!
Tuesday morning at 5am as I was leaving for work I find the time honoured "we tried to deliver" bullshit card through my door.......fuckin' seriously you had to have attempted delivery gone 5.30pm when I returned home and found mail sitting inside the door but god forbid you ring a fuckin' doorbell!!!!
The upshot of this ....and NOT for the first time is yours truly having to schlep to the "boonies" to collect my mail and getting home gone 5pm,I need a good 15 mins to change and stretch so Tuesday was shot,pity it was a mild evening
No such worries on Wednesday,home by 4.25pm changed,stretched and out the door by 4.45pm for an easy 8 miler
If last weekends 8s had seen me "huff and puff" a tad I had no such issues on Wednesday,more a result of running after I'd been upwardly mobile for the best part of 12 hours and not tackling a run of any distance not long after waking up
Back to back 8s would've been nice but I felt Wednesdays smooth outing meant I could bump back up to 10s next time out....

Fri Jan 26th
10 Miles
I figured Thursday was shot for a run thro work and wasn't disappointed by that guess....however I had scheduled Friday off and figured why not period but w/ the threat of rain in the forecast for Sunday it would be prudent to make the proverbial hay while the sun shone today
A rare Friday run to begin w/ muchless mid morning but I was happy to be out there period,sunny enough for shades but mild enough for typical January weather!!!
Only a month removed from my last 10 miler on Boxing Day the step up in mileage didn't phase me and while it was an unspectacular run it was at the very least  solid,I'll settle for solid right now

Sat Jan 27th
10 Miles
Out the door just gone 9am as I had a 12.30pm Spurs kick off to factor in, more of the same from Friday solid if unspectacular and even though I went w/out the Garmin as is my won't I'd hazard a guess it was a 1.20/1.25 time so give or take 8 min mile pace
Could've gone w/ a lighter base layer under my training top but hedged my bets w/ the conditions,working up a good sweat in Jan never hurts....and hurts less than under dressing and freezing out there period muchless running along the river
So at three weeks in I'd say I'm 2/3rds of the way back,speed is lacking but will come,strength and stamina are both there

So I'm back to 10 milers and in double digits again,this bodes well moving forward,also three runs not two.....if work ever settles the fuck back down I could forsee a return to 4 runs a week sooner rather than later......of course "old man winter" will still have some say over the next 8 weeks but fingers crossed a pair of 10 milers during the week and the potential for back to back 10s next weekend would have me back upto 40mpw.......easy tiger.....someone will mistake you for a real runner......

Sunday, January 21, 2018

{Re}Building The {Im}Perfect Beast

So it feels like a while since I last blogged,quick recap going into the final week of the year I needed 5 x10 milers to round out a 1,000m season,notched back to back 10s Christmas Day & Boxing Day and promptly didn't run for two whole weeks due to temps never getting above freezing!!!!

How cold was it? last Tuesday when I logged my first run in two weeks as I crossed the South St bridge that links to the Schuylkill foot path and eventually the Schuylkill  trail I saw first hand that said Schuylkill River was frozen solid........yeah it was that cold for two weeks!!!!
My other takeaway from my first evening run in a while was at 5.08pm it was still daylight a small victory but none the less a valid one post Marathon training in late November by 4.50pm it was dusk so we're getting there little by little

The following evening I notched a second 6 miler,given my two weeks of in activity I felt it was prudent to ease my way back into things,6 miles felt comfortable and had I've gotten out again on Thursday I would have nudged it upto 8 miles w/ a view to making the weekend 10 milers.....cue "old man winter" sending another arctic blast that stuck a fork in that notion!
I did however hit the trifecta on Wednesday of an idiot runner,an idiot pedestrian and a idiot driver over my six mile jaunt so I guess things were returning to normal afterall......

While the weather improved this past week my workload was brutal,I finished the week 58 mins shy of a 50 hour week,glass half empty too late to go out and run each evening when I did finally get home,glass half full w/a couple of races coming up in March & April paying for them just got a lot easier!!!

Cue the weekend,not since Dec 23rd/24th have I been able to get out the door to run but yesterday lunchtime I was able to log an easy 8 miler and enjoy some quote/unquote warm weather training which I must say felt nice
Despite a 11am kick off today for a Spurs game I was up by 7am stretched,and out the door by 8am for a second 8 miler in reasonable conditions for January period muchless 8am

I'm 9 weeks out from the season opener a half marathon on March 25th at the Love Run so it's important to continue to up my mileage,fingers crossed this will be a less brutal work week and a few more midweek 8 milers would set me up for back to back 10s next weekend,anytime I get into single digits for training I know it's serious but b4 I can tackle a half marathon I need to get my baseline miles back to 10 milers b4 slowly tweaking it upto 12s and 14s

Sunday, December 24, 2017

All I Want For Christmas Is For The Universe To Stop Fuckin' W/ Me*

* Actually there are a few things I'd prefer but this would be a start........

Mea Culpa time first,sorry for the lack of blogging of late......this stems from a lack of actual running!!!
Did notch a 10 miler on Tue Dec 5th....blink and you'd have missed it
Throw in two midweek Spurs games,some late afternoons at work,a bit of fatigue,brass monkeys cold{snow three times in seven days between Dec 9th & 15th} and a need for new running shoes and there you have two weeks off the books

Tue Dec 19th
10 Miles: I had hoped to get things back on schedule on Monday...and would have IF Postman Pratt had done his job properly on Saturday and rang my doorbell while I was home,instead he shoves the old "we tried to deliver" card thro the mailbox and forced me over to the local Sorting Office to collect a book and dvd I'd ordered from Amazon Monday after work,it was gone 5pm when I got home so I stuck  the proverbial fork in it....what's one more day yeah?
Tuesday saw me break in the new running shoes after logging 350 miles on the last pair,it was also the maiden run w/ my new Nike long sleeve Yellow Spurs training shirt,warm enough to use as an outer layer to be visible in dead of Winter and thin enough to use as a base layer when it'll freeze the bollocks off a brass Monkey during said winter
Felt good to be out running again.

Wed Dec 20th
10 Miles: Swooped bandana for thermal hat and gloves today,maybe not that cold but way milder than yesterday{case in point Tue I ran w/ my sleeves rolled up,today sleeves down,gloves on!!} and w/ miles 3 through 8 along the Schuylkill River I wasn't about to play "fast and loose" w/ conditions period,muchless w/ my pisspoor blood circulation.
Highlight of the run just after mile 6 I was cognizant of footsteps behind me and then heavy breathing on my left hand wanna do this dance??? my conditioning level maybe in pre season level but my you want it,you're gonna earn it level is right up there in mid season form as I pushed the pace a little and dropped my would be overtaker,as Patti Dillon famously said"make em spit blood if they want to pass you".....

Thur Dec 21st
10 Miles: It's been a while since I've logged back to back to back runs period,muchless in midweek but if I needed to prove/underline my desire to get things back on schedule hopefully this went a ways to  doing so.
Highlight of the run,observing the crescent moon over W.Philly on the other side of the Schuylkill River as I made my way to the five mile make along Kelly Drive,while a fully paid up member of the "Loneliness Of The Long Distant Runner" society it was kind of reassuring to think someone was watching over me in the pitch black dark of the early evening

Sunday Dec 24th
10 Miles: So in yet another classic example of work screwing my running schedule w/ their uncanny ability to and I quote fuck up a Teddy Bears Picnic Saturdays proposed Tempo run and Sundays Track intervals got obliterated thanks to an 11 hour work day the time I got home just gone 6pm  I wasn't heading back out to go grocery shopping that took precedence Saturday morning thus putting the kybosh on the Tempo run....
Sunday my choices were: 8 Mile Tempo Run,5x1000m repeats,10 miler or saying BOLLOCKS.......I opted for the 10 miler!
A rare Sunday run,I think the last was my Tempo Run on Dec 3rd,it was nice to run in the daylight again even if it was a tad brisk at 8.40am.
If Accu Weather are to be believed{I don't believe in Santa,Cupid or the Easter Bunny so why the fuck would I believe in the Weather peeps!!}from Wednesday onwards it won't get above freezing so today,tomorrow,and Tuesday are going to be positively "balmy" compared to what's in the forecast...

A 4 day/40mpw....not too shabby it puts me at 950 miles for the year....SO the hope for the final week of the year is a minimum of 5 days at 10 miles or 4 days at 10 miles and a Tempo Run/Track Intervals on the weekend for 54 mpw either or gives me 1000/1004 miles for the a year of small victories what's one more?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

As You Were/Pretending To See The Future

I've never been one to sit on my laurels when things have gone to script so when things turn to shite aka the Philly Marathon the mindset is just the same,get out there and get after it.......

Monday 10 Miles
My legs may have recovered from the pounding the marathon put on them but judging from the edge this first post "we can't organize a piss up in a Brewery or a bunk up in a Brothel" run exhibited there was, and still will be some residual anger towards the event,but as John Lydon sang in "Rise" anger is an energy and boy was  I energetic......
It felt good to be out there running again anger or not and while I didn't bother to wear my Garmin since I know where the  five mile mark is nor did I need to time the run I figured on 10 min mile pace for a comfortable 1.30.....I left at 4.50pm and got back by 6.20pm....more like 8 min mile pace for wonder my calves were screaming a tad......

Thursday 10 Miles
Wednesdays proposed run got 86ed at the last minute but I wasn't allowing myself to slide into bad habits and made sure to get out and get after it on Thursday.
Given it's more or less dusk by 5pm now I once again opted for one of my several Yellow Spurs shirts over a long sleeve running shirt given it was mild enough not to require a that end as we enter December and Winter I bought a long sleeve Yellow Spurs training shirt recently,I refuse to not run because it's dark....nor do I want to hear the "I didn't see you" excuse that's almost contractually obligated during Dec,Jan,Feb

Saturday 10 Miles
Spurs kick off at worries,up at 6am and out the door by 7am to "handle my business" b4 8.20am
W/ a 7am start I did go w/ my thermal hat and gloves which felt prudent,the trade off for brisk am running is daylight so old fateful my Blue Spurs training jacket got an airing.
Felt good to run in daylight again,something that will be in short supply the next few months unless it's the weekend or day off from week during the week

Sunday 8 Mile Tempo Run
B4 I lost out on a track season for 2018 I had opted to reintroduce the 8 mile tempo run into my weekly rotation,the logistics are a bit of a ball buster for a 54 min run it took two and a half hours from when I left home 8am till my return 10.30am but that has as much to do w/ Sunday service on mass transit and NOT a reason to  not have it in the rotation.
My baseline was 7 min mile pace over 8 miles for a target time of 56 mins,my splits were:6.12 6.46 6.36 6.49 7.09 7.06 7.06 6.59 for 54.43.4 off 6.50 mile pace
If I thought not starting till 8.45am would not require gloves I erred and after mile 1 balled my fists up and pulled my jacket sleeves down to cover them but by mile three they were ok and by mile 4 I was able to roll my sleeves up a tad.
So fingers crossed on Friday when I scheduled a day off from work I can get over to the Art Museum Loop  and have at it again  between Lloyd Hall counter clockwise up Kelly Dr,down W.River Dr and finish at the foot of the steps of the Art Museum and beat 54.43

W/ the dust now settled on the marathon debacle I've been able to tentatively rewrite my 2018 season,heavy on half marathons the tentative schedule looks like this:
Jan 21st Fred Lebow Half*
Mar 18th United Airlines Half
Mar 25th Love Run Half
May 5th Indianapolis Mini Marathon Half
May 20th Airbnb Brooklyn Half
June 3rd Oddessey Half Marathon
July 29th San Francisco Marathon
Sept 16th Philly Rock & Roll Half Marathon
Oct 8th Portland Marathon or Half
Nov 10th Rocky Run 5k & 10M....equals a half marathon

The Fred Lebow half is tentative because mid January who the fuck knows what the weather is doing,to that end I could run indoors at The Armory on Jan 11th over 3,000m and or Jan 25th over 5,000m,however I would need to see a dramatic improvement in my pace on the tempo runs and also reintroduce weekly interval workouts which I have penciled in for Dec 16th and 23rd.
As much as I wanted to consider the LA Marathon on Mar 18th finances or a lack thereof have ruled that out,since I didn't think I'd be worrying about another marathon after Nov 19th I didn't make any fiscal plans and now that I have opted to tackle another marathon that requires entry fees,airfare,accommodation and w/ a family trip to "the auld country" Ireland NOT mid July I can't swing LA hence why San Fran is on the schedule,w/ Portland as my fall back
The Portland half is linked by the MLS Schedule,IF the Portland Timbers have a home game the weekend of October 7th/8th I can kill two birds w/ one stone IF I can't swing San Fran from a $
standpoint then it's the Portland marathon irregardless of a home game or not

This is ALL  subject to change but for now it's the blue print I'm working from