Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year End. Looking Forward.

Well, 2013 is behind me and with that I leave the down year (running-wise) as it was, in the rearview and look forward now to 2014.  Back to basics and then some…  I honestly stopped keeping track of miles and runs from June onward. I never stopped running, but I didn't continue to train seriously, and I did stop racing for the most part.  I’ve gone back to just getting runs in and building back up to get some consistent miles and a base together.  I joined a ‘gym’ on Nov 1 after doing some decent runs w/ Darin Brown towards the end of Aug/Sept and into October when he was training for the WMM Half, but consistency just wasn’t there.  I wasn’t running even half my normal mileage and with the new family and house projects, etc. life just got in the way of doing any sort of serious training.  That, and the fact that running just was not comfortable for me with my feet issues…scratch that… it wasn’t just that it wasn’t comfortable, but rather it was downright painful most of the time.   I decided to bag the rest of the year’s racing after Cranmore and just focus on getting healthy and getting consistent again.  I hopped in the WMM Half just because it was here in town and I wanted to support the club.  I tweaked my back 2 days before the race and could barely walk or jog without pain, let alone run.  I still scraped together a 3rd place finish, so that was a bit of a boost… but the competitive racing was going to take a back seat until 2014. 

The ‘Mill’ at King Pine and Purity Springs Resort has been the scene of the crime since then.  There is a small (very small) room with 2 treadmills (one good one and one not so good one), 2 bike-type-thingies, and 2 other machines that I think are referred to as ‘ellipticals’ but I’m not sure.  I don’t touch ‘em.  I head down (actually up, then down) the 4 miles to the end of East Madison Rd. to the Mill after work and hop on the ‘mill’ for 60-75 minutes +.  I’ve then been lightly lifting and then hopping in the pool and hot tub after (if the time allows and if there is no one else there).  Typically I am the only one in the place during this time.  Occasionally near or on the weekend, there will be someone else in the pool, but most of the time I’m the only one around, which is a good thing.  I am a terrible swimmer, so I’d prefer it to just be me in there.  After the run, I usually do 10 lengths (or 5 laps I think) of the pool and then hop in the hot tub and stretch before showering and hitting the road.  It’s been a savior for me, especially in the bad weather.  I’d prefer to run on the treadmill (as much as I hate it) rather than in the dark with a headlamp, in the freezing cold, and on icy/dangerous roads around here.  I can run my miles in a t-shirt and shorts and it’s felt good getting back into the swing of things for sure.  For about $1 per day, you can’t beat it.  I’m getting quality runs in, in the winter months for a change.  Snowshoeing is good (and fun) but it really does not set me up for the racing season as much as road and treadmill running does.  I still plan on doing the occasional snowshoe and long snowshoe run on the weekends (and obviously racing) but during the week, I’ll be doing most of my miles on the ‘mill or even roads if time/daylight/weather allows.

The last couple of months looked like this…nothing crazy, but better than zeros… Towards the end of December I had some hamstring tendonitis flare up, but I’m taking care of it and backing off a little with some lighter/shorter runs the past few days...

December Miles: 246.4

Dec 31 – 5 miles (mill) easy – 40:00. Should be taking a week off…may just go very easy this week to calm down this tendonitis.  Good news was that for 4.5 miles it was completely fine.  Then started to bother me enough where I quit at 5 so I didn’t over do it. Ran next to Downtown Darin Brown as he banged repeat miles on the ‘good’ treadmill. I ran on the old man treadmill.
Dec 30 -  1.5 miles (snowshoes) - 18:30 – Madison, NH. Hamstring very sore so this was a day off for me.  Definitely tendonitis….not the end of the world.  Just a reaction to the miles out of nowhere this month.  I'm not very concerned about it and should hopefully be able to quickly get past it.
Dec 29 – 10 miles (snowmobile trails) – w/ Kahtoola Micro Spikes.  Conway, NH w/ Kirsch, Tilton, Bazanchuk, Holmes, and Callahan.  Hamstring very sore for first 6.6 and then added on last 3.4 with Baz and it loosened up a bit.  1:36:14.
Dec 28 -  8 miles (mill) – 60:00.  Hamstring very sore. Barely got through this one.  Went longer than I should have.
Dec 27 – 12 miles (mill) – 1:24:30
Dec 26 – 6 miles (snowshoes) up Stacey Mountain (1:14:30) in the snowstorm.
Dec 25 – off (6 hours of travel + 1 year old + family + getting home after midnight = 0)
Dec 24 -  12 miles (mill) easy 90:00.
Dec 23 – 12 miles (mill) 1:24:20.
Dec 22 – off (Tabby’s first birthday party...lots of planning and family hooplah. Run took a backseat).
Dec 21 – 12 miles (mill) easy 90:00.
Dec 20 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Dec 19 – 10 miles (mill) easy. 75:00.
Dec 18 – 10 miles (mill) 68:00 + pool.
Dec 17 – 10 miles (mill) easy. 75:00.
Dec 16 – 2 miles (snowshoe) – Madison. Cutting fresh tracks in the backyard.  35:00 (with headlamp).
Dec 15 – 13.8 miles (snowshoe) w/ Kevin Tilton.  Bear Notch Rd. 1200 + ft of climbing. 2:38:00
Dec 14 – 9 miles (mill) 60:00 + pool + hot tub / stretching.
Dec 13 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Dec 12 – 8.7 miles (mill) 60:00.
Dec 11 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Dec 10 – 10 miles (mill) 69:25 + pool + hot tub / stretching.
Dec 09 – 8.4 miles (mill) 60:00.
Dec 08 – 13.3 miles (Chocorua Lake Rd - Tamworth, NH) w/ Darin Brown, Nick, and Alex.
Dec 07 - 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting  + pool + hot tub /stretching.
Dec 06 – off.
Dec 05 – 8 miles (mill).
Dec 04 – 8.5 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Dec 03 – 5.1 miles (mountain/trail/road) – Madison. w/ Darin Brown. Bald Ledge.
Dec 02 – 10.5 miles (roads) w/ Darin Brown. Madison. Lake Bang.
Dec 01 – 8.6 miles (mill) 60:00 + pool.

November Miles: 186.5

Nov 30 – 8.5 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 29 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 28 – 5 miles (roads) w/ Dave Quintal – N.Andover, MA after Thanksgiving dinner.
Nov 27 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 26 – 8 miles (Potter Rd.) w/ Darin Brown.
Nov 25 – 6 miles (trails) w/ Darin Brown.
Nov 24 – 0 - sick as hell.
Nov 23 – 0 - sick as hell.
Nov 22 – 0 - sick as hell.
Nov 21 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00) + pool.
Nov 20 – 10.5 miles (roads) w/ Darin Brown.  Lake Bang.  1:21:29.
Nov 19 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting + hot tub /stretching.
Nov 18 – 10.2 miles (trails) w/ Darin Brown – Madison/Freedom. 1:11:05. First 10 in 69:55. Muddy and slow in spots.
Nov 17 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 16 – off.
Nov 15 – 8.1 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 14 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting  + pool + hot tub /stretching.
Nov 13 – 7.6 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 12 – 9.3 miles (trails) 1:28:30 w/ Ben Nephew, Amy Lane, Josh Katzman @ inov-8 conference in MA.
Nov 11 – 8.8 miles (mill) 60:00 + light lifting  + pool + hot tub /stretching.
Nov 10 – off (travel back from NY all day).
Nov 09 – 9 miles (mill in hotel – NY) 60:00.
Nov 08 – 16.8 miles (roads) – 1:58:30 – E. Fishkill, NY. 2549 feet of climbing.
Nov 07 – 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 06 – 7.1 miles (trails/mountain) w/ Darin Brown – Madison, NH. B&M Ledge/Whitton Ledge.
Nov 05 - 8 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting.
Nov 04 – off.
Nov 03 - 7.6 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting  + pool + hot tub /stretching.
Nov 02 – off.
Nov 01 – 7.5 miles (mill) 60:00 + lifting  + pool + hot tub /stretching.

As far as goals for 2014… well I think the number one goal is to get healthy and stay healthy in conjunction with getting fit and staying fit. Those seem obvious and logical, but I haven’t been healthy and fit since 2011.  I think I had a small window in 2012 during the summer where I was in good shape for climbing, but that was about it.  I’d like to get back to basics and hit the snow, roads, trails, and mountains with a focus on some ‘goal’ races for a change.  I have never really set a ‘goal’ race before with maybe the exception of one time (Baystate in 2010).  That may have been my best race ever.  I actually ‘trained’ for that race.  I got a schedule from Dave Dunham and focused on that race.  I did training and workouts specifically for the marathon.  Instead of the usual racing/running all year with no real focus.  I usually just run, then race whatever, whenever and don’t do any specific work.  This year, I’d like to do what probably most people do, and set some specific goal races throughout the calendar year and do workouts and training specifically for those events, while shoehorning in the usual races in between.  What races those are, are still to be determined, but honestly I’d love to be able to run a quick 10K this year, do well if not PR at Mt. Washington in June, run one or two quick 5ks (either on the track or road), etc.  Getting 1 PR in a common distance (or at Mt. Wash) would be a huge win for me.  Other than those goal races, I want to help my team win races when I can and toe the line with my mates again.  I’d also like to run the Mountain Series again, maybe some Seacoast races, GPs, and whatever else I can fit into the schedule (depending on conflicts, etc).

One thing I’d like to also do is run AND FINISH another marathon that I train for.  I’ve trained for one  marathon and it paid off. I’ve run and finished 9 marathons (Boston x3 / Baystate x3 / Cape Cod / Manchester / Lithia Loop) + 4 Ultras (50ks, all 4 of which I’ve at least gotten to and past the marathon split), so technically have covered the distance 13 times in races.  I’ve dropped out of 2 marathons and 1 ultra (but the ultra I did so after the marathon split).  The two marathons I dropped from was one Boston, which I went through half in 1:11:04 and dropped at 15, and one trail marathon in August of this year, where I dropped at 20 with cramping).   My last actual marathon finish was Boston in 2012 where the weather was really hot and I ran 10 miles and jogged the last 16.  So I’d like to focus possibly on a fall marathon like Manchester.  Time is not as important to me as finishing a road marathon strong and feeling accomplished at the distance again.

That is the high level look at what I want to do this coming year as far as racing goes.  Happy New Year to everyone out there (if anyone still remembers this blog)...It's been a while since I posted on here, but I'd like to keep this updated now that I feel like a runner again...