Sunday, June 29, 2008

6/29/08


While on vacation we broke down and bought a hybrid. This one's half jeep, half leopard
Photo by Kiera

6/29/08
Training: 19 miles, 2h16m, 7:12 pace
Sleep: 7h, 8/10
Legs: 5/10
Temperature: 85 degrees by the end

Started the morning by running four miles by myself at 5:30 before heading back to the house to meet some friends who wanted to run at 6am. It was already 81 degrees with some humidity when I started, and it was clear after about a half mile that it would be a long day.

I had figured that stacking a 16 miler and yesterday's evaluation run before today's long run would make things a bit difficult, and the legs let me know they didn't approve of the schedule shift. The heat and dead legs made the decision to run it in with the gang as they finished their 15 miles was an easy one, so I called it at 19 miles. It felt a bit like Twin Cities for the last two miles, but it certainly could have been worse. I'm looking at starting these 20 milers at 4:30, as the sun is just too high and too hot at 8am now.

Here's how the week went down. I was in Carlsbad on vacation from Monday through Thursday-
Mo: 12 miles, 6:48 pace
Tu: 9 miles, 6:36 pace
We: 12 miles, 6:47 pace
Th: 9 miles, 6:59 pace
Fr: 16 miles, 6:50 pace
Sa: 12 miles w/4 miles at 6:02, 6:11, 6:15, 6:14
Su: 19 miles at 7:12 pace
Total: 89 miles in 7 sessions

A bit of a screwy week with no doubles and all the hard stuff at the end. The paces really came down this week compared to the last two, and I'm wondering whether the cooler temperatures on vacation contributed. I'll guarantee you tomorrow is slow.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

6/28/08

6/28/08
Training: 12 miles, 1h22m, 6:48 pace, w/4 mile evaluation
Sleep: 7.5h, 8/10
Legs: 7/10 A little residual fatigue from yesterday's miles
Temperature: 80 (back to the grind)

3.5 mile mile warm-up, then-
Mile 1: 6:02 (150HR)
Mile 2: 6:11 (151HR)
Mile 3: 6:15 (151HR)
Mile 4: 6:14 (151HR)
45 seconds to 120HR

I'll compare today to the same run below on June 10:

72 degrees, 3 mile warm-up, then-
Mile 1: 6:15 (148HR)
Mile 2: 6:25 (151HR)
Mile 3: 6:28 (151HR)
Mile 4: 6:34 (150HR)
51 seconds to 120HR

According to Mystery Coach's Review, I should keep an eye on the following on these evaluations: "First look for a very small drop off at the heart rate even if the average pace does not change. 6:25, 6:25, 6:25, 6:25 at the same HR would be a positive sign that the steady state pathways are developing. A second sign would be the HR returning to 120 (or what ever HR you pick as your recovery point) more quickly. The least important at this stage is running the evals faster, stability and recovery are the most important."

I was happy to see the pace level out for miles three and four today, and it did feel like I was reaching an equilibrium as I started the second lap of the fourth mile instead of feeling like I needed to slow down to keep from drifting above 150BPM. As a matter of fact, it seemed like the heart rate started to drift down towards 148 when I wasn't watching it on the last mile.

Instead of starting the evaluation after a minute of standing still, as I did on June 10, I went into it straightaway from my warm up jog. Otherwise, conditions were the same save for a difference in temperature. I was a little surprised it still took 45 seconds to get back to a 120HR after the four miles, but with temperatures in the 80's I think a bit of cardiac drift might have played a role.

Friday, June 27, 2008

6/27/08

6/27/08
Training: 16 miles, 1h49m, 6:50 pace
Sleep: 6.5h, 6/10 Did not want to get up early again
Legs: 7/10
Temperature: 70 degrees (Nice!)
First early wake up call since Sunday so I was dragging when I got out of bed. Legs and motivation wavered severely between miles 12 and 13, but instead of cutting it at 14 I swerved left and ran the last two planned miles.

6/26/08
Training: 9 miles, 1h03m, 6:59 pace
Legs: 6/10
Temperature: 68 and perfect
Last vacation run and I seemed to run out of steam a little during the second half.

6/25/08
Training: 12 miles, 1h20m, 6:47 pace
Legs: 7/10 (Surprising after trudging around Legoland the day before)
Quite hilly route but felt good by the end

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Carlsbad, California is a paradise for runners with one small caveat: You must bring along a love for (or a tolerance of) hills. Lots and lots of hills. On a few occasions I passed mile markers for the Carlsbad marathon and thought about Phil, who for some reason picked this difficult terrain for his first marathon. Running up the coastline was a joy, and I couldn't help but notice how many grey-haired surfers I saw getting in and out of their cars parked alongside the beach. I told Kiera that by the time I turn 40 I want to learn to surf, which I imagine offers the same meditative qualities I dig about running without all the stress on the joints. I would hazard to guess that a shark biting down on my leg would offer some joint stress, but hopefully that's something I can avoid. I did get into the waves to do a bit of boogie-boarding, but keeping a five-year-old and a three-year-old from drowning themselves seemed to be more of a man to man defensive job than a zone, so after awhile I paddled in to help Kiera.

For any blogger-musician types (Crowther and his love for soft-rock comes to mind), Buffalo Brothers Guitars is by far and away the most amazing guitar store I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Back in Tucson it seems that the monsoon season is upon us, which means a break from the heat at the expense of more humidity. The shoes were sopping wet today after ten miles or so, but the temperature was great so I can't complain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Legoland, Carslbad California


Who has time to blog while defending the galaxy from evil? Certainly not Mike or Finn.
Photo by Kiera of course

Su: 11 miles w/4x100 accelerations
Mo: 12 miles at 6:48 pace
Tu: 9 miles at 6:36 pace

Nice and cool here, now back to the vacation.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

6/21/08

6/21/08
Training: 21 miles, 2h32m, 7:18 pace
Sleep: 7.5h, 7/10 Catching up but still tired
Legs: 7/10 at the end, probably 4/10 for the first 40 minutes
Temperature: 84 by the end

Nearly fell asleep on the couch while watching the TIVO'd NCAA track and field championships last evening, so I crawled into bed at 8:30 in order to be ready for the 3:45am alarm this morning. The body seemed a bit in shock at the early wake up, and the first six miles on the road found me dragging a bit. I was a bit worried about sticking it out for 20 miles at this point, but having my friend Scott join me after my first nine miles gave me hope. We ran a few different hilly loops on road and trail, one in Sabino Canyon and then a trip down and around the upper section of Gut Check Alley. I definitely felt better for the second half of the run, but we certainly didn't push the pace at all.

I'm trying to stay relaxed about the paces of these early long runs, as there's certainly plenty of time to improve before the New York marathon in November. This week's long slog felt better than last week, which is a trend I hope to see continue. I still think I'm moving along fast enough to build endurance, which is the main goal for these first ten weeks.

The family heads off to Carlsbad, California tomorrow for our first family vacation since before Finn was born. Sticking to the miles will be a challenge for sure, but the welcome cooler temps should give me inspiration. I doubt I'll get a weekly wrap-up in tomorrow, so here's how the first six days of the week have gone (my training weeks end on Sunday)

Mo: 12, 6
Tu: 10 slightly uptempo
We: 16, 6
Th: 10 very easy
Fr: 10 at 6:36 pace
Sa: 21
Total miles: 91 in 8 sessions

I should be able to get in an easy run tomorrow before we hit the road, but it sure feels good to have the long run out of the way. Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 20, 2008

6/20/08

6/20/08
Training: 10 miles, 1h06m, 6:36 pace
Sleep: 5h 2/10
Legs: 7/10
Temp: 84 degrees

I set myself for a tough run today by driving two hours to a concert last evening. Multiple accidents and construction on the highway back got us home to Tucson a bit past 12:30, so prying myself out of bed just before 6 was painful. Since it's a bit early in the build for Mystery Coach's famous back to back workouts, instead we're doing a more relaxed up-tempo run followed by the long run the next day. My pace window is 6:36-6:42 per mile, and while the first two miles seemed interminable the rest of the run went much better than I thought it would. Once again I was a bit fast through the first 5, but a 1.5 mile uphill put me back on schedule with about three miles to go. I could really feel the heat from miles 8 to 10, but for whatever reason the legs really played along today and did their job without complaint.

Tomorrow is the long run, so I'm hoping to get to to bed early for a pre-dawn start.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

6/19/08

6/19/08
Training: 10 miles, 1h13m, 7:22 pace
Sleep: 6h, 6/10 Early morning
Legs: 7/10 Felt pretty good considering yesterday
Temperature: 80 degrees. Left at 4:45am, which helped

6/18/08
Training: pm., 6 miles easy with the gang, but damned if it wasn't over 100 degrees. Found and utilized the "aggressive motorist hotline" after nearly getting squished by some turd in a PT Cruiser. Yes, I guess having to drive that car is almost punishment enough.

Really forced the "easy" today by finding some trails and different roads. I know yesterday's double taxed me, and I've also been running enough to know I won't really feel it until tomorrow so I was extra cautious.

Kiera and I get a sorely needed night out this evening, which will involve four hours of driving and an outdoor (sadly since it will be 90 degrees) Death Cab for Cutie concert in Mesa, AZ. After the drive home late tonight I'm guessing tomorrow's run will come far too early.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

6/18/08

6/18/08
Training: 16 miles, 1h54m, 7:08 pace
Sleep: 7.5h, 8/10 A bit groggy
Legs: 4/10 Not bouncing back as quickly as I'd like
Temperature: 85 degrees

Instead of complaining about the heat I'm just going to post it along with the rest of the training. I shifted my schedule around a bit this week in order to get my long run in on Saturday instead of Sunday, which meant my shorter long run was on the docket for this morning. I felt a bit tired and uninspired as I stared out from the driveway at 5:30, but I muddled through and finished feeling better than I did on Sunday. The legs were heavy, which I blame partly on adjusting to the higher volume of training and partly to yesterday's activities.

Tuesdays are "big water" days, which means two hours or so at the huge covered pool in town. It has a "beach entry", so little guy Finn can wade in as much or as little as he likes, while Haiden swims all over the place and talks to all the babies she sees. I spend my time pulling my legs through waist-deep water while chasing both kids or dragging them through a small lazy river water-feature, and by the end of it I'm pretty much spent. This time we tackled the zoo afterwards, which was fine until we were chased by an overprotective bird in the aviary. I love my summer weekends.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

6/17/08

6/17/08
Training: 10 miles, 1h08m, 6:48 pace
Sleep: 6h, 6/10
Legs: 5/10

6/16/08
Training: am., 12 miles, 1h25m, 7:08 pace
Heart Rate: 42
Sleep: 7h, 8/10
Legs: 7/10

Training: pm., 6 miles (5 slow on treadmill, 1 on stairs)

"Why not?"
My wife has good reason to run from the house screaming when these words leave my mouth. This time it was replacing the hard drive on my laptop, which seemed like a fairly simple task after reading some online tutorials. By all accounts it would save me about $200 and only take an hour or so. Removal and replacement went fine until it came time to reinstall my old data from what was supposed to be my archived back up. No go. If you think I beat myself up about my running, you should be a fly on the wall when one of these projects goes awry. By midnight, when I finally got to bed, I had removed and installed the hard drive(s) a total of three times. This is a long way of saying I'm still not getting enough sleep.

While I might be worthless for running advice, feel free to email me if you need help with a new Macbook hard drive. Speaking of running, things are going fairly well as I get used to the increased miles. The stair climbing for one mile at the gym worked me fairly hard after running five miles on the treadmill, and while Kiera didn't seem to enjoy me declaring myself "sweatiest guy at the gym", I enjoyed my hollow victory. The legs felt a bit dead for today's 10 miles, so I was glad for Mystery Coach's conservative pace guidelines of 6:48-6:54 per mile. It was in the low 80's by the time I got out there, and I felt like I was broiling after about 5 miles. These hot runs remind me of how I felt during the Twin Cities marathon last October. As soon as I get back to the house I'm grabbing a glass of water and jumping straight into the cold shower, which seems to get the heat out of my body fairly quickly.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

6/15/08

6/15/08
Training: 21.5 miles, 2h34m, 7:12 pace
Sleep: 7.5h, 8/10 About as good as it gets
Legs: 5/10 Quite ready to be done by the end

For the week of 6/9-6/15:
Mo: 10, 5
Tu: 10 w/4 mile evaluation at 150HR
We: 10, 6
Th: 10
Fr: 10 at 6:36 pace
Sa: 10
Su: 21.5
Total: 92 miles in 9 sessions

Not a bad stretch for my first week back to marathon conditioning. The long run today got tough towards the end, but luckily I had a good group of guys to run most of it with, which kept things interesting. Even though I started just past 5:30, it was still creeping into the high 80's by the time we finished. It seemed like the central governor kicked in at about 18 miles, where I had the sudden urge to find the next patch of shade and just stand still for a minute or two. Since I still had Jason along at this point (the rest had already called it a day), I kept at it instead. After all, we had chocolate chunk scones waiting for us at home. Fathers' Day and Finn's birthday celebrations followed. Big fun.


The fork is just a blur. His dad looked much the same a few hours earlier with the scones
Photo by Kiera...I think

Saturday, June 14, 2008

6/14/08

6/14/08
Training: 10 miles, 1h06m, 6:36 pace
Sleep: 7h, 7/10 Still catching up
Legs: 8/10

Old, bad habits die hard. I caught myself adding up the miles for the week as I sat on the couch after putting the kids down for the evening. I was trying to decide whether or not to squeeze in a late evening run, and I'm embarrassed to say that trying to figure out if it would get me to 100 miles this week figured into the equation. By the time I figured out I wouldn't make it to 100 with or without the run I way lying down on the couch instead of sitting, so instead of running I took a snooze for half an hour. Obviously I needed rest more than another run.

This morning another bad habit reared its head as I headed out for Mystery Coach's first pace-based workout of the build. Ten miles in 66-67 minutes were the orders, along with a caution to not push the pace down. The legs felt quite good, and at five miles I found myself running about ten seconds per mile too fast. I backed off enough for the second half by finding some hills, so by the end I probably ended up running the first half at 6:26 and the second half at 6:46. Not optimal, but at least I caught myself and corrected it as best I could. The legs and breathing felt good enough today that I'm guessing I would have run all ten miles at 6:25 pace without any guidance, but that would probably really put the hurt on me for the long run tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

6/13/08

6/13/08
Training: 10 miles, 1h22m, 8:10 pace, Easy run with my pal Jeff
Sleep: 7h, 7/10
Legs: 8/10 No complaints

Mystery Coach sent along the first general marathon training schedule for New York in November, and I like the looks of it. This is week one of ten for conditioning, so I'll be focused on digging into longer runs two days another week plus a medium-long run, all at very aerobic paces. Other days alternate between an evaluation trial every two weeks, easy shorter days, or 10 mile runs at moderate paces. All in all it seems pretty similar to Arthur Lydiard's original marathon conditioning schedules, which have worked fairly well for me in the past. I'll also add strides and some drills one or two days a week. I'm not going to state what the mileage will be, as for the first four weeks or so I'd rather not get too focused on hitting a target at the expense of recovering properly. This build is less about big deposits and more about the power of compounded interest, so I'm willing to leave a little more on the table early in hopes of having more at the end of the training cycle (when I'll need it most).

In addition to the primary runs, I'm still hoping to consistently do 3-4 supplementary runs of 4-6 miles, either at the gym on the treadmill or outside if conditions allow it (we have a few days of 107-109 degree highs in the forecast for the weekend). While I'm at the gym I'm sure I'll make an idiot of myself by jumping up and down on boxes and doing some core work on those giant kickballs.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

6/12/08



6/12/08
Training: 10 miles, 1h09m, 6:55 pace
Resting HR: 42
Sleep: 6.6h, 6/10 Getting tired again
Legs: 7/10

6/11/08
Training: am., 10 miles, 1h12m, 7:10 pace
Training: pm., 6.2 miles easy (96 degrees though so easy is relative)
Resting HR: 42
Sleep: 5.5h, 6/10 Need a bit more
Legs: 6/10

-------------------------------

I'm trying hard not to be like Roger in the panel above, though the ligaments and tendons are fighting me a little bit on plyometrics. I'm still feeling a bit sore behind the knees and up into the hamstrings from my first go-around with single-leg box jumps, even though the box was only two little step-aerobic blocks high. That's like jumping on and off a book of matches, so I'm a bit surprised.

This week is about getting back my mileage tolerance as the build begins, so I'm trying to work in three doubles on alternating days as well as keeping a two hour long run and a session or two at 12 miles or more. I figure the paces will be slow for a few weeks while I acclimate to both the heat and volume (78 degrees for the morning run yesterday). So far, so good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6/10/2008 - The Mystery Coach review

Mike might be disappointed with this first evaluation run but has a very typical pattern and he is not as far down the rabbit hole as he thinks.

First a few explanations about the evaluation run, the HR level that I use is in a general range of 5-10 beats slower that you would find running at marathon pace. Why? Somewhere in that range is your maximum steady state. While the pace of the evaluation run has some value, it is the ability to maintain a pace at a consistent heart rate that is important at this stage. If we look at Mike's first eval you'll see 6:15 then a 10 second drop, then a 3 second drop, then a 6 second drop. Mike is having a hard time maintaining stability at a given heart rate, his system wants to still cheat by using inefficient pathways. The next ten weeks will have Mike staying away from those inefficient pathways (which can be fully redeveloped in about 7 weeks with the introduction of speed work).

What should you be looking for in eval runs during the base phase? First look for a very small drop off at the heart rate even if the average pace does not change. 6:25, 6:25, 6:25, 6:25 at the same HR would be a positive sign that the steady state pathways are developing. A second sign would be the HR returning to 120 (or what ever HR you pick as your recovery point) more quickly. The least important at this stage is running the evals faster, stability and recovery are the most important.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6/10/08

6/10/08
Training: 10-ish miles, 1h10m, 4 mile evaluation in 6:15(148HR), 6:25(151), 6:28(151), 6:34(150). Recovery to 120 in :51, 72 degrees, 5:45 am.
Resting HR: 44
Sleep: 6h, 6/10
Legs: 8/10 Surprisingly good after stair climbing, box jumps and other weight nonsense at the gym yesterday

First go-around with what will probably become a semi-regular occurrence: Mystery Coach's 4 mile evaluation at an average 150HR.

72 degrees, 3 mile warm-up, then-
Mile 1: 6:15 (148HR)
Mile 2: 6:25 (151HR)
Mile 3: 6:28 (151HR)
Mile 4: 6:34 (150HR)

Ahhh, life at the bottom of the graph. I think the faster first mile was due to a cold start, as I wrestled with the lap functions on the heart rate monitor while standing still for a minute or two. It took at good 300 meters to get the heart rate up, and as a result I ran the first 400 at 1:30 or so before settling in.

The last mile at 6:34 was a little depressing, but Mystery Coach warned me to continue even if the paces slowed. The legs felt fine, as it was only the ego that ended up bruised today. I'm keeping a good attitude about it though, as the only way out from the bottom is up.

Monday, June 09, 2008

6/8/08, 6/9/08

6/9/08
Training: am, 10 miles, 1h09m, 6:58 pace, w/8x300 jog, 100 accelerate-sprint plus 4x100drills on the backstretch

late am., 5 miles at the gym (1 on steps, 4 on treadmill)
Sleep: 6h, 6/10
Legs: 7/10, not too bad

6/8/08
Training: 9-ish miles, 1h04m, Easy with Scott and Joel
Sleep: 5.5h, 5/10
Legs: 6/10 Dehydrated from the night before and ran too late in the morning

For the week of 6/2-6/8:
Mo: 9
Tu: 9
We: 10
Th: 9 (fast)
Fr: 9
Sa: 17
Su: 9
Total: 72 miles in 7 sessions

------------------------------------

Mike in hell: I joined Kiera's gym on a month-to-month membership to get some doubles in over the summer, and today I finally went. After a mile of climbing on those endless-stair things I jumped on a treadmill for four miles. "The View" was on the TV in front of me, complete with closed captioning. The first five minutes of the program was dedicated to descriptions of what the excessive heat and humidity in New York does to each hosts' hair and how they courageously deal with it.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Run a Race with my Club

I filmed and edited this, which might have been more fun than running the race. My pal Jason won, while Shaun took second and Shane took third.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

6/7/08

6/7/08
Training: 17-ish miles, 2h,0m
Sleep: 6h, 6/10 Stayed up late playing with new music toys
Legs: 5/10, Big step backwards today, sore and stiff

Tough two hours out there today. I changed my long run route to bring me through Gut-Check Alley (four miles of generally uphill running) at about an hour instead of 1h30m in hopes of being fresher during the second half, but it just didn't work out that way. Temperatures were in the 80's by 7, which is when I was about half-way there, and I think part of my problem today was due to me not being acclimated to the heat again. I had the strange desire to stop a few times between 1h30m and 2h, which I'm taking as a cue that the brain is beginning to sense a cut in the glucose supply.

I'd sure like to feel better during these longer runs, and I'm fairly confident it will come in time. I'm hoping Mystery Coach will add a 90 minute run mid-week after these three sedate weeks are up, as I think it might hasten my adaptation to longer runs sooner. Going heavy on the water today.

I've been digging this thread on the Lydiard Foundation website. Some good info focusing on how to examine a marathon program once you hit a plateau.

Friday, June 06, 2008

6/6/08

6/6/08
Training: 9-ish miles, 1h04m
Sleep: 8h, 9/10 Woke up and turned off the alarm to get more rest
Legs: 7/10, Not as good as yesterday but still fine

Woke up with the kids today, which blows any chance of getting a resting heart rate. I was happy to get out for the run, but no so thrilled about heading off to the gallery for the day afterwards. Haiden and Finn have taken to singing this song after getting up, which doesn't help my motivation-



Why must they mock me? The trumpet just adds insult to injury. I have no trumpet, but my guitars sit and home and collect dust while I'm here at work.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

6/5/08

6/5/08
Training: 9 miles, 59m, 6:37 pace
Resting HR: 44
Sleep: 6h, 6/10 (wow, I guess I just don't sleep)
Legs: 8/10, Still coasting

I cheated and broke out the Garmin to measure how the last few weeks have been treating me. I was happy to see a decent pace for what seemed like an easy run, but I have a feeling I subconsciously sped up the second half as I knew I'd check the results at the end of the run. Heading out with a plain watch or no watch at all has been liberating these past few weeks, and I think I'll stick with it and just run by time for recovery days in the future.

The other day I wrote, "It's been a bit of a blow to the ego to put bigger miles and workouts aside, but it's part of an effort by me to really focus on optimal training this cycle instead of always pushing for maximum training," to which Ewen commented,"Is that optimal training during the build for NYC, or in the cycle before the build? I'm just wondering if you see optimal training as meaning less emphasis on weekly/monthly mileage totals and more on the quality of certain sessions?"

The short answer is that I want to push for optimum recovery and rejuvenation now so that I can get more out of the (hopefully) optimum training to come. Mystery Coach has consistently produced detailed schedules which are divided into Arthur Lydiard's classic categories of base conditioning, strength and transition, speed development and neuromuscular recruitment, race pace development and sharpening/maintenance, and I consistently throw a monkey-wrench into the works by plopping club races in throughout the schedule.

In short, I dig too deep at the wrong times and probably too often, and this goes a long ways towards undoing the good I've done myself by training consistently. Running a freaking marathon for training only four minutes off my personal best just five weeks out from my target marathon is probably my finest example of this. So Ewen, you're right about me focusing on the quality of certain sessions, but I think for me it's a matter of not pounding these sessions too hard or replacing them with races where I go full-bore. A decent workout should allow for recovery and super-compensation afterwards, but too hard a session (or too many races) in the middle of a medium to high volume training cycle seems to put me in the hole rather than build me up.

As far as an emphasis on miles goes, I can say with some confidence that relatively high mileage seems to agree with me. In hindsight, I think the higher mileage I started running in the summer of 2005 is really starting to pay dividends now, almost three years later, and I hope to continue with it. With that being said, I think if I want to continue on this path, or if I want to increase my weekly mileage during my base conditioning for the NYC marathon, it will be necessary for me to run easier and slower on my recovery days. Dropping the Garmin on these days will hopefully help with this, and doing my second runs indoors on a treadmill instead of in 100 degree temperatures outside after work.

This is my own theory here, but I think larger framed runners such as myself possibly get more bang for their buck from miles than smaller, more lithe-framed runners. At 6'2" and 168 pounds, I think I get more rattled by eccentric muscle contractions than many, and I feel running more miles more often builds up resistance to this. The fifth 20 mile run hurts the legs much less than the first one, and by the tenth one it starts to seem reasonable to run another 6.2 miles. Arthur's books go on and on about this "hardening" during the conditioning phase.

I think all runners have the innate ability to tune into their bodies, though putting the ego aside long enough to listen can be a challenge. When it comes to my own training, it's much more often that I hear the legs say "you ran that too fast" than "you ran too far". If I start hearing both lines at once I'll hopefully be smart enough recognize it. If not Mystery Coach will surely have another axiom ready for me to write on the blackboard 50 times.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

6/4/08, 6/3/08

6/4/08
Training: 10-ish miles, 1h09m
Sleep: 6h, 6/10 Another short night after a long day, so a bit groggy
Legs: 8/10

6/3/08
Training: 9-ish miles, 1h04m
Resting HR: 44
Sleep: 6.5h, 7/10
Legs: 8/10, No complaints, took the long cut for another mile

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Our houseguest left yesterday, so this morning I was back to running early. Since we don't have a proper guest room, the coffee maker gurgling and me putzing around at 4:45 in the morning probably isn't the best way to treat our house-guests, which has meant late runs in warmer temperatures for the last few days.

Today I hit what's become my favorite 10 miler, complete with fire roads, rocky trails, and tight dirt switchbacks as well as a fair amount of pavement. There was a blueish-purple film hanging in front of the Catalina mountains that faded as the sun rose, and everything just flowed once I left our subdivision and dove onto the dirt. Cue the song, DJ.

Skinny Love - Bon Iver

This Bon Iver band drives Kiera crazy with the falsetto, but I'm digging it. No one else was out on that back road this morning to complain about the loud shouts of "My My My".

I'm feeling good.

Monday, June 02, 2008

6/2/08

6/2/08
Training: 9-ish miles, 6x100 jog, 100 drills, 100 jog, 100 sprint/accelerate.
Resting HR: 40 (lying in bed so a little lower)
Sleep: 7.5h, 9/10
Legs: 8/10, Felt very good and even better after some drills (butt kicks, high knees and some skipping). Note to self, be prepared to get dirty looks from others on the track when you pass them while skipping
Post Run: 9/10

I felt really good today. I made the decision to not race this weekend as a first step towards not over-racing during my build for November. Why ruin three easy weeks of getting ready to train by topping it off with a brutal 5K in 100 degree temperatures (the race is at 6pm).

I actually ran 1/2 mile barefoot after the drills, but managed to lodge something in my forefoot after about 10 steps. Still digging it out this evening.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

6/1/08

6/1/08
Training: 8-ish miles, 58m, piles and piles of hills
Resting HR: 44
Sleep: 6.5h, 6/10
Legs: 6/10, general fatigue from a longer run yesterday, dragged a little on the uphills
Post Run: 7/10

Mo: 8
Tu: 9
We: 6
Th: 10
Fr: 8
Sa: 17
Su: 8
Total: 66 in 7 sessions

All in all a decent down week, and if I can manage to lay off like this for seven more days the body will hopefully be receptive to the idea of starting a marathon build. Looking back through the log shows me that these three weeks (2 down, 1 to go) are probably the easiest I've taken things since I started trying to follow Lydiard's training back in the summer of 2005. It's been a bit of a blow to the ego to put bigger miles and workouts aside, but it's part of an effort by me to really focus on optimal training this cycle instead of always pushing for maximum training.

Feel free to remind me of this later on when you catch me slipping back into old habits.