Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Failed Titles for this Blog Include...

Three weeks of Training Runs
How to train for a Marathon 9 minutes at a time
Why Titling Bloops is the hardest thing to do
You should click me, I'm Awesome
Insert interesting title here!

You get the picture.  Would you have clicked this post if I had used the first title, well maybe.

I'm still here...still running...well training...but I've been busy.  It's been several weeks since I last blogged, I haven't even been commenting as much as I like, lurking - yes, commenting - no.  Oh well, mostly it comes down to being busy at work and home, and trying to fit in umpiring.  I'll just try to catch up a bit since the St. Patrick's Day blog.

Way back at the very middle of March I took a break apparently.  Surrounding (and including) the Shamrock run in Portland, I ran 5 total times.  And leading up to the start of my training plan I decided I needed extra rest.  I remember calling my running buddy and canning my Sunday long run.  I don't think either of us was disappointed by this turn of events, especially since I tend to be the one guy that never backs out of a run.  Besides the next day was the start of training for the SF marathon.  HA!  Monday is a rest day.  So I ended with 4 consecutive rest days (though I did umpire baseball on Saturday if that even gets close to counting).  Tuesday March 27 was the first official run of our 18 week training plan, an easy 3.

Easy is all in the eye of the beholder I guess.  My running buddy and I were both transitioning back to the early AM run.  I groggily crawled out of bed (a theme of the morning runs) at 4:30, to allow time for bodily adjustments, then met him at 5:15 for our easy three.  And it was, a jaunty 3.2 in 28 minutes, definitely not going to be setting any records with that pace, but considering the time of day, and the overall sluggishness of the body, it was acceptable.  The plan for the rest of the week was to try to maintain this level of running and hope that once the sleep cycle caught up with the running we would get faster.  So we ran out the rest of the week (3-5-3-5-10) with almost all those runs at the insane hour of too early in the morning.

The nice thing about the plan (Hal Higdon Intermediate 2) is the flexibility to run each run how you want, at least the way I read it, so most of the runs are 'easy'.  Though, not to lose sight of it, I still like to grab some speedwork where possible.  So last week, after the first two meandering runs (3 and 5) I decided to push the tempo a bit for Thursday's three.  Which, I did, sporadically.  Run hard, slow and recalibrate the brain that I actually wanted to push hard, run hard, slow to recalibrate, repeat for 3.1 miles.  In the end I decided that the mostly hardish run was about what a Fartlek would be and just called it that, especially as the overall pace was 8m/m, a 30-45 second improvement over the rest of the easy runs.  Again the weekend featured two early AM runs of 5 (almost, since I forgot the route) and 11 miles.

That brings us to the present(ish).  After our easy three yesterday, we agreed that today would be the hard day for this week and we would do the 'damn hill' as part of the run.  For a couple of guys training for SF we realize the need to get hill work in, but we still don't like doing it.  We settled into an easy pace this morning cruising through the first 4 miles including down the hill.  As we came back upon the hill, the mood and determination change just enough as we both start plodding back up the hill, in an exercise to finish it off.  We still have a long way to go, I think we need to get to point where not only are we tackling the thing multiple times a week, but multiple times a run.  But for this morning it was a good workout, with an easy mile back to the house for a cool down
In the beginning I was wondering how my friend was going to handle the brunt of the training plan, especially the three days in a row, two days on the weekend thing, but it turns out it has been really good for both of us and he has responded well to training (I started working on the three days in a row part almost immediately after basketball season ended).  So far we have had a lot of good runs, and are taking it nice and easy as we creep along through the plan.

I have the pleasure of running two races in May.  The first is a little race up in Spokane you may have heard of it, Bloomsday, there might be a Loop meet up there (at least that's what I am told).  The second a much more widely known race from the town of Sunnyside, WA to the town of Prosser, WA, a breezy 13.1 miles, known as the Sage Rat Run.  Be jealous, I get a blueberry filled donut at the end of that one!  I might try to sneak in a 10k and a 5k in April, but I haven't completely decided on those yet.

I suppose that I will call it for now, before I start rambling on, or continue rambling rather.  Hope that everyone is having great training runs and as always have fun out there!