Sunday, January 29, 2012

Working my way back

Since my last post I took 10 days off with no running and then this past week resumed my running. I got in 3 runs over the last 6 days, so I am on my way back.

I did accomplish partly what I wanted to do with the time off, I worked on core and stretching. I also was able to focus my energy on my transition at work and on supporting the robotics mentoring. So my overload is feeling a little lighter and my body is feeling better. I finish up the job transition this week and it will be nice to be able to work only one job soon. The mentoring will continue for the next 3 weeks but I think we can get the work done just meeting 3 days a week. Meanwhile I will continue with the stretching and core work and mapping out my training with an eye towards Chippewa, Afton and then Superior.

I had hoped during my 10 days off to figure out ways to cross train beyond just core, strength and stretching and I have come up with a few ideas that hopefully I will execute on this week. One idea is to power walk on a treadmill at say 6 to 10% incline. I mentally can't run on one so maybe I can walk. I also can ride the exercise bike or XC ski machine or simply get in a few power walks outside (it's probably my ego that prevents this more than anything else that and I love to run). My wife is also working to convince me go to her body sculpting session at Jazzercise. Not quite there yet (yes, it might be the ego again)

My runs this week were my normal easing back into running. On Wednesday, I ran 3 miles, Saturday 6 and today 9. I was a little sore after Saturdays run but it was a good kind of sore. No calf or back pain on any of the runs so the core stuff and stretching must be helping.

For this week, I will try to get in 4 days of running with a longer run of say 3 hours on the weekend. I haven't completely ruled out Zumbro but I am not sure I can get into shape for an easy (meaning slow) 50 mile event as its now just 11 weeks away.

I plan to take it one week at a time and see how things go as my goal for this year is to return to Superior in shape and healthy and to finish out the 50 miler.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Facing Reality

What is my reality, it's the realization that I was heading down the path that some say might indicate that I am suffering from training insanity. Why training insanity, well based on this definition: "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results" that is indeed my current training path. What's going on that causes me to say this, well.

I want to have a healthy successful running year in 2012 and finish 2 or 3 50 mile events, a couple of 50ks and maybe a marathon or two. What I have done to ensure success? I went out for a few runs, did no cross training, core (stability) or flexibility. So what's going on? I am extremely tight and have struggled on my last 2 attempts for longer runs. I went into them feeling a bit beat up, my calf was tight which took miles to loosen up which led to my lower back tightening up. Which led me to say, what the @#X@ is going on and what am I doing?

So since I believe in the saying, "a goal without a plan and action is nothing but a daydream". I obviously need a new plan that I take action off of.

I should mention a few other reality issues. I am switching jobs, same company just a new role with a new boss, so I am winding down my old job and getting started with my new one during January. Plus I am volunteering at AVHS for their robotics program, it's just an extra few (think up to 8 hours) out of my week. I have also noticed that when I do have a run that feels good, it seems to leave me drained on my next run with tired legs and low energy so either it's age catching up with poor training or something else going on.

My current thinking is that Zumbro will be out and so will Chippewa if I can't get into a balanced training program that includes core, flexibility and runs that serve a purpose. If I proceed without making changes and insist on beating myself up, I will end up injured, hobbled or will burn out.

So what's all of this mean, well here is the new basic plan

  • Monday - Core & stretching
  • Tuesday - Run - 3 to 5 miles
  • Wednesday - Core plus stretching if recovered then maybe Run - 3 to 5 miles
  • Thursday - Run 4 to 7 miles
  • Friday - Core & Stretching
  • Saturday - Run - 5 to 10 miles
  • Sunday - Run 10 to 20 miles 
I know for some you might think I should be more specific but if I simply get started on core and flexibility and make it my routine, that would be huge for me and might be just enough to help me turn the corner on what is holding me back.

So I will work on stretching and core starting tomorrow and then see if I can follow this schedule for two weeks. If I need to adjust the time of day when I run or stretch or work on core, then I will need to do that. If I am successful (schedule adherence with decent results), then I will talk about my other goals for the year and who knows maybe Zumbro and/or Chippewa will still happen, if not, then I need to say no to my daydream and  focus on something else for this year.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 races

I would like to say that I have given a lot of thought to the races I am going to do this year and how each one connects together to accomplish something significant but alas, my goal is simply to run a few races, staying healthy and to enjoy myself.

Zumbro 50 - about 60% there mentally, about 10% physically, good thing ultras are mind over body.
Chippewa 50k - Signed up, just need to get to the start line
Afton 50k - That's the plan but I did enjoy volunteering last year
Turtle Trot Triathlon - An annual tradition
Superior 50 - I need to finish it
Surf the Murph 50k or 50 - depends on the other races
Rails to Trails Marathon - fun running the 1/2 last year
Tecumseh Trail Marathon - this might be the year to click off Indiana

A couple of other races might pop up depending on our vacation and college plans and if I can stay healthy but between Chippewa and Afton and Superior we will be focusing on our baby girls high school graduation and getting her off to college. So no additional running plans will be made until everything has been figured out and all of the dates become clear. We also hope to do a few local 5k to 1/2 marathons too.

Not to get ahead of myself but I did have a few thoughts for 2013:

Run my 13th Grandmas
Runs 13 marathons or ultras
Maybe even toe the line at a 100 mile event

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

100 day training plan to a 50 mile event

Well, I just looked at my upcoming race calendar and saw that as of Thursday I will have 100 days to figure out my training schedule and then officially start my training for a 50 mile spring event.

Assuming I don't change my mind and simply volunteer at Zumbro which is an interesting thought too. Of course regardless of a spring 50, I am committed to Chippewa which simply means I need to be 50k shape in 114 days, a bit easier but no gimme as I don't like running this time of year. One thing that I finally figured out this winter is that I don't like snow, yes I hate snow. This winter has been ideal almost no snow and very warm temperatures for us. Because of this, I have found that I enjoy my runs in darkness and  don't have issues on cold days but it is snow that saps all of my motivation.

Ok, back to my 100 day training program, first I checked out a post from when I first thought about training for a 50 mile event, that plan ramped up over 21 weeks, so that would be 147 days, so I needed to chop off a few days from that plan. With that in mind, here is the modified plan:

Week Ending Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 01-08 x - x 2 x 12 14 28
2 01-15 x 2 x 2 x 4 6 14
3 01-22 x 2 x 2 x 14 14 32
4 01-29 x 2 x 2 x 14 16 34
5 02-05 x 2 x 2 x 16 16 36
6 02-12 x 2 x 2 x 4 6 14
7 02-19 x 2 x 2 x 16 18 38
8 02-26 x 2 x 2 x 18 18 40
9 03-04 x 2 x 2 x 18 20 42
10 03-11 x 2 x 2 x 4 6 14
11 03-18 x 2 x 2 x 20 20 44
12 03-25 x 2 x 2 x 20 22 46
13 04-01 x 2 x 2 x 22 22 48
14 04-08 x 2 x 2 x 4 6 14
Race 04-14 x 2 x 2 1 50 - 55

Easy Run Off or X Train Long Run

Week 1 looks doable the remaining weeks look a bit problematic as I would need to allocate more time than I would like on both weekend days. Hear is another plan that I had:

Week Ending Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 01-08 - - - 6 3 13 7 29
2 01-15 - 5 3 6 - 9 13 36
3 01-22 - 5 3 6 - 10 15 39
4 01-29 - 5 3 6 - 13 17 44
5 02-05 - 5 3 6 - 10 19 43
6 02-12 - 5 3 6 - 13 21 48
7 02-19 - 5 3 6 - 10 13 37
8 02-26 - 5 3 6 - 13 23 50
9 03-04 - 5 3 6 - 10 13 37
10 03-11 - 5 3 6 - 13 25 52
11 03-18 - 5 3 6 - 10 13 37
12 03-25 - 5 3 6 - 13 27 54
13 04-01 - 5 3 6 - 13 31 58
14 04-08 - 5 3 6 - 17 10 41
Race 04-14 - 4 3 2 - 50 - 59

A bit more to my liking, one thing that I don't see are any recovery weekend days. I might want to adjust that and give myself at least one or two. In case your curious, Plan 1 comes in at 469 miles (33.5 miles/week) and Plan 2 comes in at 612 miles (43.7 miles/week).

Another comes from the ULTRAMarathon training site and is from their Mountain Masochist 50 plan:

Week Ending Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 01-08 rest 7 4x 6 rest 7 pace 16 ~44
2 01-15 rest 7 4x 6 rest 7 pace 18 ~46
3 01-22 rest 8 5x 7 rest 8 pace 20 ~50
4 01-29 rest 8 4x 6 rest 3 hour 4 hour ~60
5 02-05 rest 8 4x 6 rest 3 hour 4 hour ~60
6 02-12 rest 8 4x 6 rest 2 hour 1 hour ~40
7 02-19 rest 8 4x 6 rest 3 hour 4 hour ~60
8 02-26 rest 8 4x 6 rest 3 hour 4 hour ~60
9 03-04 rest 8 4x 6 rest 5 hour 4 hour ~75
10 03-11 rest 8 4x 6 rest 5 hour 4 hour ~75
11 03-18 rest 8 4x 6 rest 10K 1 ½ hour ~35
12 03-25 rest 8 3x 6 rest 2 hour 2 hour ~50
13 04-01 rest 8 3x 6 rest 1 hour 2 hour ~30
14 04-08 rest 3 6 3 3 3 1 hour ~24
Race 04-14 rest rest rest rest rest 50 rest 50

One minor issue is if I estimate my pace and add up my mileage for the 1 to 5 hour runs, guess what I don't come close to their mileage estimates. So this plan I think would require a bit more modification or I will need to get a lot faster in the next 14 weeks. Well that ain't gonna happen. Maybe by summers end, but not by April fools day.

I did look through one more plan (Can Lake 50 Training info) which modified the Galloway marathon program but decided it was not worth adding in as I would need to find the right Galloway marathon plan and then adapt it, it basically added back to back long runs in the last few weeks before the 50. They did have a few words of wisdom worth noting:

The 50-Mile training plan should include the following: 
  • Do your long runs on terrain similar to the race -- pick routes that include some big hills 
  • Go longer and slower on the long runs 
  • Walk uphills, run downhills,and run/walk on flat terrain 
  • Use back-to-back runs (e.g.,on weekends) to get used to covering longer distances 
  • Take training breaks when needed to all for adequate recovery and reduce the risk of injury 
  • Practice with the same hydration system, drinks, and snacks that you expect to use in the race. 
Keep in mind that the most important part of running hilly terrain is to train your legs for the downhills. Review the course description and pay attention to the leg profiles. Use this information to plan your training runs. 

So now my choice is clear, within the next few days, choose one of these plans or ad hoc one or change my  focus to Chippewa in the spring and Superior in the fall. I love these kind of decisions.


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