Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Week in Running

It was a step-back week for me. The weather was crap and I wasn't feeling great. Little things hurt me, like my hamstring, the ever-present Achilles and a new friend, a sore knee. These kind of dings are to be expected. Training for a marathon is hard work. The body is liable to rebel at some point. What's key, I think, is listening to these signals to ease up. It's easier said than done. I was lucky this week because the weather sucked, giving me an excuse to cut back on mileage. The week ended on a high note when I ran two loops of the park at sub 7 pace. It wasn't too difficult. That kind of hard, fast hilly run gives me confidence for Boston, but also hope that I can figure out a pathway to 3. I've bided my time for a while when it comes to the sub-3 marathon, and I think it's time I figure out how to do a new push. Fitness-wise, I feel great now. I'm only about 152 pounds, and I feel fast when I run. The frustrating part of my quest to run a sub-3 marathon is I know I have the ability and the toughness, but I'm held back by my body not digging the hard work. That's led me to figuring out a balancing act of how much is too much. I think I'm figuring it out. The Boston should be a warm up to giving a serious shot at it this fall, probably in Philly. Is it possible? All I know is if I felt the way I did today, when I did 6:50 miles in the park, I can do it.

The Injury Paradox

The hardest part of being a runner is knowing when to ease off running. The entire activity is geared in the exact opposite direction. It's about denying discomfort, pushing through pain. That can lead to problems. Runners are, as one would expect, rather single-minded when it comes to injuries, which makes them even worse. A Runner's World survey found 2/3 of runners suffered an injury in the past year. That's remarkable. What other voluntary activity can claim such an attrition rate? That means most runners look to avoid injuries like the plague. I'm no different. I've been beset by some problem or other for the past few years. It's frustrating. I've come to the conclusion that the Achilles problem I"ve had for the past 18 months isn't going anywhere. But I've adjusted my training enough to keep major difficulties at bay. At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to, I think, figuring out your weaknesses, working to eliminate them but also simply taking them into consideration. I feel like I've gotten to a place where I can deal with my injuries. I'm ready to start running fast again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week in Running

This week marked two months until the Boston Marathon. I wanted to get in a solid week after getting derailed last week. I think I did that. For me, there are three key runs to complete, the rest is gravy. 1) speed: I got in a pretty solid six miles at tempo pace. 2) medium-long run: took care of that with a 10 miler mid-week. 3) long: my highlight of the week with 20 miles at a 7:30 pace, a great run if dangerously close to being too fast. The week's training was rounded out with a nice Vibrams recovery and a 5.75-mile Riverside run at aerobic pace. This leaves me pretty much right on schedule, with two 20-milers already down. My big focus remains recovery. The Achilles isn't too happy, so I need to ease up a bit this week before resuming hard training.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Week in Running

For the most part, it was a week to forget. I came down with some kind of illness on Tuesday that threw me for a loop. Then a friend came to town on Thursday. I'm happy with how the week ended, with a very solid weekend, including a nice long run that was done in tough conditions. At this point, I'm pretty hopeful for Boston.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week in Running

The training is ramping up. Boston is 10 weeks away. Spring marathons are always tough because the winter just isn't a great time for training. We've been lucky in New York to avoid much in the way of snow, which can easily screw up training. This week was a success, overall. I had an extra off day again, just because of other plans in the evening. The four running days I had were pretty solid, particularly yesterday's long run. It was the first 20-miler of training and done in Central Park. The 7:35 pace is pretty fast for that distance and terrain. Hopefully it means I'm in shape, not that I'm overdoing it. The Achilles is holding up alright, sore after hard workouts but better after I give it some rest. At this point, I'm pretty happy to run four or five times a week. It means the runs should all have a purpose, rather than just getting in the miles.