Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Heavy Legs,Heavy Heart

I only managed two runs last week a 12 miler on Wednesday followed by a 4 miler on Sunday....Sunday was meant to be a long run but at just over 3.25 miles in I knew the proverbial goose was cooked and made it 4 miles and stuck a fork in it.

As is my won't Mondays and Fridays are no go due to work,Tuesday was day three of the 95 degree temps and aside from sore legs from Sundays half marathon the quality of air was thick...walking two blocks from the trolley to my front door at 4.30pm was an effort so I prudently called a  no mas on a run.

Wed was a shake out run w/ the lingering effects of Sundays Oddessey Half Marathon still in my legs,however a 1.39.20/8.17 mile pace seemed to shake off the last of the crap in my legs.....sadly my head and heart failed to get the memo!

Thurs I was reeling from the blahs so much so that upon arriving home I just said "feck it" and decamped on the futon,having missed Tuesdays  run a 5 day/65mpw was shot so why sweat it now?

Sat got blown out b4 I even had a chance,as is my won't on the weekends I set the alarm for 8am and aim to be "upwardly mobile" by 9.30am so I can quaff a morning cuppa and chow down on a Cliff Bar b4 stretching and heading out the body said fuck dat noise and slept till 11.30am!!!

Sun I had every intention to run a 15 miler but by mile 3.25 my legs weren't having it and thus ended a 2 day/16 mile week.

Between the hangover from Oddessey,the heatwave I also had to contend w/ another Erica anniversary,Friday being her b'day and also 31 years since we got engaged in a restaurant in Greenwich on her 21st b,day.
You'd think after all these years I'd be over it by now but awoken from that "Erica Dream" on Monday morning the tone for my week was set,no wonder I suffered intestinal issues Friday evening and Saturday lunch time as my stomach tends to give out on me and has been doing so for the past 29 years.

I hope following Sundays U2 show and I get done bawling my eyes out after Bono sings "W/ Or W/out You" I can put the "ghosts of first loves/wife" behind least till the next Erica anniversary comes along and wakes me from a sound sleep.....

Sunday, June 11, 2017

One Step Forward...& Two Steps Back......

W/C 6.5
Monday 6.5 Rest Day
Tuesday 6.6 12 miles: 1.36.58 8.05 mile pace 1332 Calories burned
Wednesday 6.7 12 miles:1.34.33 7.53 mile pace 1357 Calories burned
Thursday 6.8 10 miles:1.21.32 8.09 mile pace 1112 Calories burned
Friday 6.9 Rest Day
Saturday 6.10 6 miles:51.27 8.35 mile pace 678 Calories burned
Sunday 6.11: Half Marathon 1.50.18 8.25 mile pace 1432 Calories burned
5 day/54mpw*
*1/2 marathon plus mile warm up......too feckin knackered for mile cool down.......

So,Iced Tea glass half full a five day training week complete w/ back to back to back days Tue thro Thur which is the blueprint moving forward
Glass half empty,slowest ever half marathon by some 14 minutes..........
I'm not the type to "gloss over" the bad days at the office.....or conveniently get too busy to post a blog so I will get to the "nuts and bolts of this mornings......monumental fuck up in due course.

As for the week leading upto today,Wednesday's 1.34.33/7.53 12 miler gave me optimism that my pre race aim of a 1.30 half marathon was doable....a week after I struggled like hell to log a 13 miler,as stated by yours truly "a week is a long time in running" sadly as it turned out this morning a few days in running can also be a LONG time......
I knew I was in for a  LONG race day when I arrived at Memorial Hall in Fairmont Park at 6.30am for a 7am start and inexplicably involuntarily lost my morning Earl Grey Tea,I know I'm prone to pre race nerves{I have said in the past 41 years "I'd be nervous if I wasn't nervous"} pre race but it's been a while since I've thrown up....then again it's almost 11 years since I last ran a half marathon.
Perhaps foolishly I believed a 1.30 half marathon was there for the taking,given only five weeks ago at Broad St I ran a 1.18.18 10 miler I might have done  better to aim for a 1.42 finish but for reasons best known to myself I felt a 1.30 was doable and thus my undoing was sealed.

Off a 6.28 opening mile I worked my way upto 14th.......and then dramatically slid backwards through the field over the following 12 miles,it's been a while since I've ran that "boneheaded" a race.....I hope it's a while b4 I run another.
6.52 for mile 2 in keeping w/ the 1.30/7 min mile pace,even at 7am it was already hot and humid and pouring water over my head was the order of the day,19th at mile 3 w/ a 6.36 mile as we exited Fairmont Park and onto West River Dr.
27.20 at mile 4 thanks to a 7.24 mile,I have to say I'm only recanting my mile splits via my Garmin as during the race I was too focused on each mile ahead of me.
Up and over Strawberry Mansion bridge,sadly out on the bridge and asphalt and not the wood of the sidewalk,I could have used the "give" the wood would have given my legs.

8.09/35.29 at mile 5 I was already in "no mans land" and to add further insult to injury the 1.35 mile pacer went by me,the 1.30 pacer had gone by me b4 Strawberry Mansion bridge....and the old adage that"once the toothpaste is out of the tube you can't put it back in" was coming home to rule the roost.
8.23/43.52 at mile 6 en route to a halfway split of 48.41.....a potential 1.37 which was already slower than my previous pw {personal worst} over 13.1 the now infamous East London Half Marathon  of 1985 1.36.29.....but frankly at this point I would have willingly taken it as the first wave of "do you want to drop out?" washed over a 41 year career I have only DNF'd {did not finish} once and that was tactical as I had a race the following day but I knew as I made the turn onto Kelly Drive a long morning was about to get longer.......

7.49/51.01 at mile 7 b4 a 8.45/59.46 at mile 8.....and then I stopped.......
Remarkably I got through the whole Broad St 10 w/out stopping but it wasn't as hot and humid May 7th as it was this morning.
My options were:throw myself at the mercy of a First Aid motorized stretcher and beg for a ride back to the finish,deviate off Kelly Dr and walk over Strawberry Mansion bridge to get to Fairmount Park w/out having to run to and over Falls bridge,claim I thought it was a Duathlon and swim across the Schuykill river......OR suck it up,put on my big boy running pants and get the fuck on w/ it......#thelatter

9.43/69.29 at mile 9,maybe crossing Falls bridge and getting on W.River Dr would inspire me to dig deep and make my way to Fairmount Park.....or not!!!!!
Despite a 9.13 mile that had me at 1.18.42 at mile 10 which was close to the 1.18.18 I'd ran at BSR I stopped to walk again,however I was hell bent on making this the last stop...which might explain the 12.11 split for mile 11/ 1.30.53....a time I had foolishly believed would be close to my finishing time.

8.48/1.39.01 at mile 12 as the slow painful grind uphill into Fairmont Park sapped the final life out of my already tired legs off W.River Dr,on a good day I would have relished the challenge but today I was too  knackered to curse the feckin ejit who designed to course!!!!
1.48.07 at mile 13 off a 9.06 mile as the  finish was now just ahead and despite having "left it all out there" I found a final vestige of a kick to cross the line in 1.50.18......I couldn't even brake!!

Post mortem yes the heat was a bitch....but guess what? the Philly Rock & Roll Half Marathon is in September when the potential for heat and humidity are high so I won't use that as a crutch.
At the end of the day I allowed my ego to run amok{maybe my ego should have ran this half marathon today??!!!} w/ hindsight{a wonderful thing no????!!!} 1.30 for the Philly R&R 1/2 would have been a more realistic target off my 1.18.18 BSR,and along those lines 1.42 today was more realistic....which given the heat would've made this mornings 1.50.18 an easier pill to swallow......

What's done is done,leaving me w/ sleepless nights and not my opponents....but count me out at your own peril,the F in Kevin F Forde is actually for Francis but right now...and for the next 14 weeks till Sept 17th it's gonna stand for have been put on notice.....

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Zero To Fifty

Ok,so lets get the analytics out of the way first,the week in numbers:
WC 5.29
Mon 12 miles 1.39.10 8.16 mile pace 1343 calories burned
Tue rest day
Wed 13 miles 1.58.01 9.08 pace 1457 calories burned
Thur rest day
Fri rest day
Sat 12 miles 1.39.19 9.08 pace 1335 calories burned
Sun 13 miles 1.53.07 8.42 pace 1448 calories burned

So a 4 day/50mpw not too shabby given 5 weeks ago I wasn't even running and 4 weeks ago I ran 10 miles at the Broad St Run.
Yes I had hoped to make this my first 5day/65mpw but frankly the trashing my legs took during Wednesdays initial 13 miler had me back tracking in double quick fashion.....however upon reflection it was prehaps a tad overly ambitious on my part,each week{more or less} I have upped my weekly runs,1 run 4 weeks ago,2 runs the following week,sadly the next week my tally was 1 due to a mish mash of events inside  my time frame,however last week I managed three runs so,w/ hindsight maybe 4 was the way to go this in order to have my{cheese}cake and eat it next week to up my mpw to 60 and incorporate my race I will have to run 6 days but I will be able to go 50/60mpw in back to back weeks b4 hopefully settling into a 9 week patern of 5 day/65mpw from mid June to mid August b4 tweaking things  for the marathon in November.

Mon 12 miles
Taking full advantage of Memorial Day I got a run in on Monday,given my work loads Mondays and Fridays are hard to get home b4 5pm and what w/ 15/20 mins of stretching getting out the door at 5.20pm to run 10,12,14 miles is a tough making the proverbial hay while the sun shone I threw in a 12 this week mid morning.
Overcast grey conditions suited me as I was coming off an aborted 12 miler on Sunday,prehaps back to back to back 12s were too ambitious but at least I now had three consecutive days under my belt as sooner rather than later that will have to be the norm.

Wed 13 miles
They say "a week in politics is a long time" so is a few days in running,w/ 4 12 milers and 2 11.5 milers under my belt I thought adding an extra mile wouldn't be a big ask.........wrong!!!!
Granted being up since 5.25am and "slinging skids" all day hadn't helped any but that's gonna be the deal moving forward so it's pointless using that as a I'll blame the 79 degree weather!!!
I knew b4 I made the turn at 6.5 miles in the shadow of Strawberry Mansion bridge I was gonna have to "dig deep" both mentally and physically over the inbound 6.5 miles to get home and  w/ next to no knee lift or leg turnover  on the run home I was briefly tempted to call it quits at mile 12........but thought better of it and gritted my teeth and ground out the final mile,pretty it was not,gutsy it was and somedays in running and in life you'll take gutsy over pretty.

Sat 12 miles
Somewhat habbit forming,my third Saturday run in a row,methinks the boy want to run afterall!!!!
Another mid morning run out and back along Kelly Dr under grey skies and often intermitting showers,which at least kept the temps cool,not that time was the issue but compared to Monday I was 9 seconds slower overall and a second per mile off,that said knowing I would be coming back w/in 24 hours to tackle another 13 miler it was maybe prudent to keep something in the tank for Sunday?

Sun 13 miles
Boo frickin ya!!!
Almost 5 mins faster than Wednesday w/ a considerable reduction in pace 9.08 vs 8.42,granted I wasn't dealing w/ 79 deg temps or been up since 5.25am....however  I had the luxury of a rest day b4 Weds run unlike back to back 12 and 13 milers.
Thanks to fancy gizmo on my wrist I can look back at my mile splits today:7.49 7.46 8.33 8.17 8.26 8.26 8.36 8.49 9.09 9.14 9.18 9.28 9.17,there's work to be do done.....there's also 25 weeks till the Philly Marathon so,I feel if nothing else I have time on my side.

Job well done this week but no time to rest on my laurals,6 miler on tap tomorrow to set up a potential 60 mile week,hopefully an easy run tomorrow b4 the potential of back to back 12s followed by a 10 will sit well w/ my legs.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Yeah......So......That Happened.....

I did say last June that while NOT "hanging up my running shoes" I was taking some time off/down time from Running BUT at some point I would return........"guess who's back!!!!!"
Yep,yours truly has returned to the frey,w/ a vengeance?.....too early to say,w/ a purpose.....fuck yeah!

Sadly in life as in running Time/the clock is my mortal enemy so I'm about a month behind w/ this update,glass half empty you're spared a BLRR {boring long race report} from Broad St,glass half full I plan to sit down each weekend to review the "week that was" in my quest to "scale the mountain" as I aim to turn back the hands of time and attempt a fall marathon here in Philly in November just days after I turn 54.
Why now you ask? why not! when I crossed the finish line in Athens in 2005 I did say it was my last marathon...for now,NOT eternity and after the best part of 11 months off to resume my running on the track would probably be foolish and ill advised,so rather than sit out a second season why not revisit my road running career that I opted to step away from in 06?

After a 12 year hiatus I ran Broad St again this year....and rekindled my love of running, in order to be a near fixture on the podium at Masters Nationals Indoor & Outdoor the past 10 seasons I had to commit almost 100% to "the cause" running 5 days a week often clocking 50/70 mile weeks week in,week out in all conditions often putting " the run" b4 everything......hence why I backed off last year.
I went  off and  followed other avenues,began to write my life story,undertook Improv theater,became fully involved w/ the Philadelphia Spurs supporters group,flew to London in April to catch two final games at White Hart Lane and made plans to hit Orlando,New Jersey and Nashvile next month when Spurs some to America for another pre season previous years when Spurs have come stateside I have been 100% focused on Outdoor Nationals and unable to attend so this year felt like time to redress the balance.

Broad St was a "last minute" decision" via Philly Spurs as three of us ran to raise money for CHOP{Childrens Hospital Of Philadelphia} and while criminally under trained I managed to complete the whole 10 miles w/out stopping...albeit in my slowest ever time for 10 miles 78.18{my 10 mile debut in Aug 84 was 69 mins.....I was also 21 not 53!!!!!} and during the race I reconnected w/ what it is about running that has to quote Metallica's  "Wherever I May Roam" to the game you stay a slave  has been a mindset for over 40 years now.
Yes I had grown weary of the week in,week out grind,always putting the run first,not taking  proper vacations to allow myself trips to Nationals etc but putting aside the near manical drive and desire to put myself in the top three of those races I reconnected w/ the sheer love of testing myself against myself and following the finish of Broad St the wheel were turning again.

In order to run my 15th marathon and first in 12 years will take a ton of blood,sweat and tears on my part....a sacrifice I'm willing to commit to 100%,to that end I have printed off the interwebs a series of knee strengthening exercises to hopefully prolong my career,my right knee has been questionable at best the past few years but as long as I'm willing to do the stretches for 15/20 mins b4 each run I hope I can squeeze out another season{for now}.
To that end I also bought knee sleeves to protect said knees....I also broke down and bought a Garmin given I can now afford one....and it's already paid for it's self!
I've lived in my present home for 5 years,been a West Philly resident for coming up on 11 years and between my resumption of running in 01 till 06 in Port Richmond always "eyeballed" my out and back routes,like I said a Garmin was a luxury I couldn't afford and frankly buying a measuring wheel from  Home Depot and  measuring my routes felt like a "Bellend" move so like I said I eyeballed my routes.......
I have subsequently discovered that what I thought was a 4 mile run is infact 5 mile,what I thought was 6 miles is 8 miles,8 miles is 10 miles and soforth......SO the 5 10 mile runs I'd done since Broad St were actually 12 miler.....which helps w/ the Oddessey Half Marathon coming up next Sunday!!!!

I have signed up for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in September,the Rocky Run in November and the Philly Marathon the following week,I always knew I'd be back running,it was a matter of when and not if.
From here on in the plan is to post weekly updates each Sunday of the week that a wise man once told me:the run isn't over till the blog's written................