Monday, August 14, 2017

Sing This W/ Me This Is Sixty......

If the previous week had been  me going Billy Bragg and going "Back To Basics" then last week was me going  ''Billy Big Bollocks" and laying down a blueprint for the weeks to come as I managed five twelve milers between Tuesday and Sunday.
Granted it was a tad easier to do when I wasn't getting up at "silly o clock" (5.25am) during the week and putting in a full day at work then coming home to log 12 milers.....that task will be this coming week,but having laid the blueprint for that last week in theory that task should be easier he typed on Monday........

So here's the play by play of last week
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 12 miles
I blew off Monday when I awoke to the sound of rain.....now b4 someone goes all Rachel Reiley on me and says "that was a proper bottle job by The Shamrock Warrior"  let me state for the record the previous Wednesday I logged a 6 miler in the rain,granted I had little to no leeway w/ my schedule that week so  I had to make do but given I now had a whole week and upon consulting the local weather discovered no rain in the forecast till possibly Saturday I felt why run in the rain when I don't have to? I suspect there will be plenty of runs between now and Nov 12th where I won't have that luxury.....but isn't that why God created Waterproof running clothes afterall!!!
Up by 8am and stretched and out by 9.15am it felt odd to be out running this early as most of if not all my midweek runs are doing around 5pm,I could get used to the cooler temps and less traffic both pedestrian and motorist
1.37.51 off an 8.09 mile average,not too shabby given prior to the viral infection and post Garmin era my  pervious 12 milers were:1.34.33-1.36.58-1.39.10-1.39.19-1.39.20
Something to build on over the coming days

Wednesday:12 miles
A slightly later start given it was 9am b4 I finally answered the call of my alarm and not the 8am I was able to  galvanize myself for the whole week.
That 10.20am start meant the temps were a littler warmer and while not quite the "Dog Days" that August can be it was still warm enough to work up a decent sweat out there.
1.44.32 off of 8.43 mile pace,my slowest time to date BUT unlike in May,June and my lone run in July when the going got tough I didn't buckle which told me my head and heart were now truly "in the game" I pride myself on being a tough SOB where my running is concerned and not the type to run up the white flag at the first sign of trouble,sadly that version of me had gone AWOL in May & June but looks to be back now in August as I approach the "business end" of my season.

Thursday:12 miles
1.40.45 off of 8.24 pace,again not earth shattering and were the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon this weekend I'd be fucked frankly....but since I still have five weeks to  hone my skills I could be less hard on myself,frankly back to back to back 12 milers given my near six weeks of inactivity was quite a coup I felt and again while not feeling great I never contemplated stopping so that in of its self felt like a moral victory.....and there haven't been too meny of them since Broad St and some of my initial 12 and 13 miles in May prior to the Oddesey Half Marathon where the wheel came off in spectacular fashion,that old adage "you learn nothing from a defeat" is in my opinion bollocks,you can learn a lot if you're honest w/ yourself and what I learnt the hard way on June 11th was basing expections on former times was my downfall......I won't be that cavilier again any time soon

Friday:12 miler
The time honoured " the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak" saying  came home to roost today,at the 2 mile mark I had a "uhoh" moment from the knees down....at mile 4 I had another "uhoh" moment,only this time from the knees up and yet somehow I continued to dig deep mentally and physically over the remaining 8 miles to log a 1.43.27 time off of 8.37 pace
Maybe four in a row was too big an ask? although the tell tale sign of yellow urine in the afternoon after I crashed out on my futon for three hours indicated dehydration and a need to drink more water during the day.
I am proud of the fact I hunkered down and kept going when bailing seemed so much easier,I kept telling myself "one more mile" and w/ 2.5 miles to go began breaking it down into half mile incruments,whatever it took to get home and finish.
A well earnt rest day was coming.

Saturday: Rest Day

Sunday:12 miles
W/ four 12 milers under my belt and a much needed rest day I now had the option of going "long" on Sunday and trying to log 15 miles,sadly I didn't have the option of being able to run mid morning due to my Philly Spurs/Broad & Hotspur comitments and thanks in no small part to the fact Septa can't run a #34 trolley schedule if their lives depended on it it was 1.30pm when I got home and 1.45pm b4 I was on the road to run in the height of the afternoon sun.
It would've been all too easy to go for 12 miles knowing I had  four under my belt already so I chanced my arm and set out to run 15.....
Sadly that bravardo somewhat blew up in my face by the time I reached mile 11 and having kept my mile splits below 9 mins  up until then mile 11 thro 12 ballooned up to 10 plus although in fairness I had already decided to call it quits at mile 12 anyway which may've slowed me even more.
1.42.00 off 8.30 pace and unfortunately a 3 mile "walk of shame" home however I had logged a 5day/60mpw so I couldn't be too hard on myself.....I suspect there are plenty of others who will do that for me,however the fact remains I've gone from zero to sixty miles in two weeks (36/60) so fuck them!!!

W/ 12 milers logged I hope this coming week to tweak things to 12/13/12/13/15 for a 65mpw,I believe w/ a pair of 13 milers under me the "leap" to 15 miles next Sunday morning( Philly Spurs kick off is at 11am and even w/ a 10.15-10.30 meeting pre game I can probably get up at 6/6.30am easy to say now!!!)should be easier.....at least in theory anyway!!!!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Running Free,Running Naked........

Now that I have your attention allow me to explain the lack of activity on the road/sidewalk and blog the past several weeks.
So I got sick after the Odyssey Half Marathon and picked up a Viral infection which screwed me for running,I also began to feel fatigued and after a few days of just not having the "get up and go" to get up and run I began to fear the worst and wonder if my Anemia had returned w/ a vengeance.
Eventually I scheduled a doctors appointment,under went a number of test including checking my right leg for blood clots due to the Varicose Veins that are quite pronounced on that calf.......all tests came back negative, a script for the Viral Infection  and the all clear to resume training.......cept now I was in the midst of my Orlando & Nashville road trips,and while I did pack my running gear for Orlando it just didn't happen,a lot of late nites and too fackin early mornings,the week of Harrison and Nashville I knew said cloth had been cut way too thin so I made up my mind the day after my return from Nashville it was the time honoured "shit or bust" w/ only seven weeks till the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon and sixteen till the Philly Marathon.

I recall "back in the day" when Cher was a spokesperson for Ballys Health Club and in one of her commercials she said"there are a hundred excuses not to go to the gym,but at the end of the day that's all they are,excuses",I'd blown through all the excuses between July 8th my last abortive run that I never blogged and now Aug 1st, it was time to knuckle down.
And w/ that upon my return home from work I got out of my work clothes,into my running gear and out the door,no Garmin{hence the running naked quote....in case you were wondering what I meant!!!!!} this was NOT the run to be pissballing around w/ mile splits,pace or even how many calories I was burning off{sidebar I give a rats arse about the latter but it's a stat the Garmin throws up} this was a run to see if I'd gotten over my heavy breathing and heavy legs that had lead me to taking a "time out".

The game plan was an easy 5 miler Tuesday......and if that went well 6 miler Wednesday,7 miler Thursday,8 miler Saturday,10 miler Sunday.....but if I continued to encounter the issues that scuppered my runs in June & July I was well and truly bollocksed since the Anemia issue had been taken off the table and if I was still struggling now what???
Again early into the run my breathing felt laboured but thankfully my legs held up over 5 miles,the aborted 8 miler on July 8th saw me crap out at mile 4 so if this was a small victory it was none the less "one in the win column" and I could move forward.
Wednesdays 6 miler was more of the same,again my breathing felt laboured early on into the run but my legs bought into the "feet don't fail me now mantra" and another rung back up Jacob's Ladder had been climbed.

A funny thing thing happened on Thursday's run again I felt I was breathing heavy at the start of the run but somewhere along the Schuylkill footpath after the 2 mile mark I stopped noticing it,it reminded me of my formative years as a runner when I'd get a stitch,the more I thought about it the more it bothered me,if I stopped thinking about it it would eventually go away,ditto for the quote unquote "breathing issues"is it possible I created an issue out of nothing? oh trust me the Viral Infection was real,the nasty lime green/yellow shite I hacked off my lungs was real but maybe I imagined something w/ my breathing that wasn't really an issue,till now I've been blessed w/ good breathing while running,trust me I've had the misfortune to have"professional heavy breathers" behind me in race,I recall a 8 mile loop race in Scranton where the guy behind me sounded like he was making an obscene phone call his breathing was so heavy!!!!

Thursday marked the first.....but DEFINITELY not the last"it's a fuckin red light jerk off" at the junction of Woodlands Walk and University Avenue,between now and my last scheduled training run on Nov 12th I would bank on several more,I know I'm cute but that does not mean I wish to adorn the hood of someones car as a hood ornament!!!!
Felt good to be up early{8am} on Saturday and out the door by 9.15am to run,unlike during the week when I'd nixed my knee strenghtening exercises as I was eager to reestablish a routine I made sure they were done along w/ my achilles stretches,I don't need either of those issues derailing me now I'm back training
Sunday saw me back in double figure at 10 miles for the first time in a while,it felt good....but lets not get carried away,w/ six week to go I still need to get proficient over 13 miles to make a fair fist of the half marathon and then 15 weeks to get up to 26.2 shape but if this was about seeing if my body was on the same page as my spirit then yes this was a triumph.

A 5 day/36 mile week,fingers crossed this coming week I take advantage of a week off work to watch Worlds and clean "Chez Alfie" and also get out in the mid mornings to take care of some 12 milers.....and who knows maybe a 15 miler Saturday......watch this space!!!