Monday, August 28, 2017

Going Out In Style

Another 5day/65mpw in the books as the magic numbers are reduced to 3/12 for the Half Marathon/Marathon.

Monday: Rest Day

In what potentially was the last of the "dog days" of August I was able to grind out a 1.41.23 12 miler off of 8.27 mile pace.
It was like running in a Sauna out there on Tuesday to the point where my end game was just to get the distance in,w/ one of my two Rest Days already taken sitting out a run "because it was hot,humid and hazy" was not an option if I wanted a second week of 65s on my resume.
Hopefully the Thunder & Lightning that followed my run five hours later signaled the end of the heat and least for August.

The difference in conditions was easily noticable but the fact I had to grind my way through 12 miles in 1.41.23 on Tuesday but came out on Wednesday and clocked 1.42.52 off of 7.54 for 13 miles confirms the heat not being an issue and lends its self to the fact after weeks of 36,60 & 65 miles I'm beginning to get the measure of my distances......shame I'll be moving up again next week but in order for  a Revolution there has to be Evolution first and I feel I'm continuing to evolve.....ask several people who know me they'll confirm I always Revolt w/out fail........#haters

Since I plan to continue  up the mileage ladder the next 9 weeks or so tonite was billed as my final 12  miler untill late October when I {hopefully} begin my taper,where as my Season's Best for 13 miles continues to fall each time out my SB over 12 has remained untroubled at 1.34.33 since June 7th,could I trouble it tonite on my Summer finale?????
Cop That In The Bollocks For Starters!!!! 1.31.33 off of 7.38 mile pace,three whole minutes shaved off my time
The other "highlight" from this run,around a mile and a quarter into the run "Cuz" comes running up to me waving a Cigarette "yo my man,got a light"???? DUDE I'm running do I look like I smoke for fuck sake?????what do you think I do at the turnaround point on these runs,whip out a Marlboro and exault the joys of "flavour country" b4 returning to my runs?.......If God hates Ugly he must detest Dumb!!!

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday:13 miles
Now you're just taking the piss!! on May 31st post Broad St but pre Oddessey Half Marathon I logged 1.58.01 off of 9.08 mile pace for 13 miles,this morning.......1.38.39 off of 7.36 mile pace.
Of the meny "pearls of wisdom" my former coach GP installed in me between 07-09 was the time honoured:somedays you need to forget about the watch/clock and just run off of feel
Today was one of those days other than the almost obligotory 1 mile and 2 mile splits that I usually check to gauge tempo,rhythm early on I think my last look at the watch was at the turnaround as I continued this tear of sub 8 min mile pace this week.

Another 6.30am 15 miler as my schedule wouldn't allow otherwise but to be honest I'm loving how cool things are when I run at this hour plus it's good prep for my three upcoming races which are probably 7/7.30am starts.
Another run where I kind of forgot about the Garmin and just focused on feel,at the turnaround at 7.5 miles I clocked 60.49 so around 2.01/2.02 pace....however having gone 2.00.42 last week and having had a banner week this week minus Tuesday when I was forced to run tactically I figured why not go for it?
1.58.43 off of 7.37 mile pace to not only round out a second week of 65 milers but also send me into next weeks proposed 70mpw{13-14-13-15-15} w/ my confidence still rising.

I said honestly two weeks ago off my 60mpw that had the Rock & Roll Half Marathon been the following week I'd have been fucked,now off of two 65mpws I feel much better about my chances of a half decent time,lets not get carried away a week ago I was having to dig deep mentally and physically over 12 & 13 milers and this coming week I'm ramping it up a little but hopefully next weekend I'll look back on a 70mpw as no biggie

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hangin' Tough,Diggin' Deep

I'm happy to sit here and report that I did complete a 5 day/65mpw but it was far from easy......but then again as I always say if Marathons were easy everyone would be running them!
Here's a play by play of the week that was.

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday:12 miles
Any questions about my committment to "the cause" were hopefully answered today as I stuck both fingers up to the fact Accu Weather were predicting a 60% chance of rain between 5pm and 6pm as I kicked off the week w/ a 1.38.29 12 miler off of 8.13 mile pace
Ever the Boy Scout I was prepared for the fact it was widely predicted there would be rain so I swopped bandanna for baseball cap,shades for regular glasses and sleeveless for short sleeves.
For the opening 3.5-4 miles this looked to have been an error on my part as I was sweating buckets under grey and overcast skies and humidity.....and then the heavens opened to the point I removed my glasses as seeing out of them was near impossible.

Wednesday :13 miles
Kinda churlish to talk about a "season's best" over 13 miles but having begun the season w/ a 1.58 plus for 13 miles and then lowered that to 1.53.07 on June 4th the bar was in fairness set somewhat low that said Wednesdays 1.48.03 off of 8.18 mile pace was at least a step in the right direction.
If Tuesdays 12 miler had seen me go off too quick and go into survival mode I at least got my pacing right from the get go to log a 13 miler,only my third of this cycle but in order to go after 15 milers I need to get comfortable over 13 miles first......

Thursday:12 miles
Hot and humid,granted it's not the typical "Dog Days" that August can and have thrown up but throw in that last week my 12 milers more or less came from 9.15am starts this week I was getting up at 5.25am,putting in a full day at work where I'm on my feet  most of if not all day  b4 coming home around 4.30pm/4.45pm and going right back out to run.
Early on I felt I was having to dig deep and be mentally tough as well as physically,where was this mental and physical toughness in May,June and my lone run in July?
The further out along Kelly Dr I went the further back I was gonna have to walk home if I "bonked", I took each mile one at a time willing myself to the next mile marker and somehow reached the finishline in front of my appartment in 1.43.33 off of 8.37,the fact I finished was a moral victory.

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday:13 miles
Aided by the fact I was able to sleep till 8 am b4 heading out around 9.20am may go a ways to explaining my 1.47.26 off of 8.16 mile pace
I never thought for a split second I was going to "crush" these 12 & 13 milers but untill such a time I feel comfortable w/ them I will have to hold off on upping them to 15 milers,if I can go from 60mpw to 65mpw this week and again next week.....yeah,yeah yeah"if my Aunt had balls she'd be my Uncle" then at this point I feel upping my weekly mileage to 70mpw will be prudent b4 I tackle 75mpw,eventually 15 milers will be my "bread & butter" runs w/ the Sunday long run going,16,18,20 as I look to raise my weekly mpw to 76,78 and 80 b4 eventualy working my taper down the scale and while "big trees grow from little acorns" I have to feel comfortable at 12 & 13 miles b4 15 miles becomes my "distance du jour".......

Sunday:15 miles
Stop the goddamn presses!!! 15 miler in 2.00.42 off of 8.02 pace!!!!
Off of yesterdays 1.47.26 I figured 2.06 was respectable today if not w/in my reach,was it the fact I got up at 6am and was out the door by 6.30am when conditions were a delightful 68/69 degrees that I came close to going sub 2.00 right off the bat?
Was it my Kenyan running vest that inspired a Rift Valley/Maasai Warrior performance? fucked if I know but the fact is I felt I crushed this run
Cooler conditions for sure were a help,I could see me getting up at 6am again on the weekends to get my run/runs in to accomodate my Philly Spurs/Broad & Hotspur commitments
My mile splits were:7.47-7.41-8.39-8.07-8.16-8.11-8.09-8.07-8.02-8.00-7.58-7.53-8.03-8.04-7.44
Where as most of the week on the second half of my runs I've felt I've gone into "survival mode" today as the numbers back up I went into"fuck it I'm having some of this" mode
Vintage Shamrock Warrior"? prehaps too soon to tell,maybe the planets joined up in a "perfect storm" and I got lucky or maybe after grinding it out all week and grittin' my teeth and diggin' deep I got rewarded either way I am looking forward to the coming week,and more importantly next Sunday,as I type my Kenyan running vest is soaking in the bathroom sink but trust me I will be throwing it on at 6.30am next Sunday in the hope of more of the same........

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 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 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 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 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 this space!!!