Saturday, February 28, 2009

This week is training...

131 miles this week. Felt great, feel great.

Had an absolutely glorious - clean, smart, quick and fluid - 18 miler this morning. I went out for a 13 miler, then decided to shoot for 15-17 after 4-5 miles, then found myself weaving in out of the streets of Great Falls, lost in time, lost in the moment and ended up putting in about 18. Thanks be to Deane for a delightful conversation for the middle 40 minutes or so of the run. Always great to have a free, wonderful conversation with Papa New Guin. Nothing better really. Accidentally, shot 1 mile over my mileage cap this week, but that's ok. No worries. This week's mileage:

SU: 20 (13+7, easy)
M: 13 (5+8, easy)
T: 20 (13+7)
W: 19 (11+8)
TH: 19 (10+9)
F: 22 (11+11, easy)
SA: 18, steady

Friday, February 27, 2009

TGIF and stuff

EEEEEE-Z 11 miler this morning. It was kind of cool, 5 below zero, most likely. My fingies were a bit cold by the end of it. The weather was perfect... in other words, there was no wind. That is the only component of the weather that can be irksome on occasion. Give me rain, snow, sleet, 25 below zero, 110 above, meteorites, cats and dogs from above... but please, oh please, oh mighty atmosphere overhead - keep the wind.

Anyways, it was nice. Peaceful. An honest easy pace. This afternoon I will head up Giffen Coulee for my afternoon match run (on Fridays, I do easy AM/PM match runs - I run the same distance in the AM and the PM, there is no real training secret behind it, it has just become my Friday routine to prepare for my high mileage Saturdays).

Game on.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Update...

Wow, it is amazing how quickly your physical shape can come around. Two week ago I struggled to walk around my apartment, wincing in pain with each step. Last week was a high mileage week, but still a bit painful. This week... on the up and up. I am hopeful, positive and conscious of what I am capable of and when I need to back off slightly. So far this week... (*) denotes key work out.

SU: 20 (13+7, easy)
M: 13 (5+8, easy)
T: 20 (13 steady*+7 easy)
W: 19 (11 easy+8 tempo*)
TH 19 (10 easy+9 moderato)

I have been loosy goosy the last couple of days. Feeling great. Thanks be to the Lord for the present. Peace.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Blues

Not feeling so hot today - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, et al (all of those llys associated with living). Anyways, such is life. Big running weekend. 42+ miles. Most of those miles were fairly easy. Kick back running day today - a bit lower mileage and really, really easy - to recoup my strength for the remaining week ahead. Time to work. Peace.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last Week's Mileage

Good week of training. Key work outs of the week are noted with an asterisk.

SU - 18 (10+8, easy)
M - 20 (12+8, easy)
T - 9* (tempo)
W - 21 (13+8, easy)
TH - 16 (12*steady+4 easy)
F - 21 (10+11, easy)
SA - 22 (13+9, easy)

127 total. Have a glorious Sunday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"50 Don't Back Down"

The title of this post is a line from one of my favorite 50 Cent songs that I know longer listen to, but repeatedly gets stuck in my head and has become a mantra during my hard runs.

I need to speak to yesterday's 12 miler... In a word, incredible.

What a clean, free and wonderful pace. I cruised in the last 6 miles of it and added a strong kick in the last mile. I was conscious of my stride the entire time and let it take me smoothly and cleanly. It was the kind of pace I would love (and think I could) to run a fairly flat 50 miler at. Just the sort of smoothness needed for 50 miles. Ah, it was great. The Lord was with me during the run, granting my consciousness, awareness and peace. Good stuff.

Jogged an easy 4 after work, then went home.

Easy and snowy 10 miler this morning before work. It was beautiful - huge, meaty snowflakes. Off to work. God bless.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last Week's Mileage

71 last week. First week less than 120 this year and second shortest week in well over a year (69 mile recovery week back in Oct. after the Le Grizz 50). This week is really shaping up to be a defining running week. I rediscovered my stride and added some improvements to it - it is more fluid, a bit more narrow with a bit larger range of motion. Knees are great... fully recovered. So far...

SU: 18 (10+8 easies)
M: 20 (12+8 easies)
T: 9*(hard tempo)
W: 21 (13+ 8 easies)
TH: 12... (moderate w/a kick)

Yayyyyyyyy. God bless. Peace.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Freedom's Road

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh... the Lord has been giving me peace and control over myself in the last week. Jesus said, before He left this earth, "I am leaving you a gift, peace of mind and heart...The Holy Spirit." We ought to be on Freedom Road, the one-way street of righteous living. Jesus gave it to us - we are foolish to reject it.

My leg's are coming around. I feel great. Yesterday, I put in a 10 miler at a moderate pace in the morn and then a super easy 8 miler in the afternoon. This morning I ran a really easy 12 miler. By easy, I mean easy. It has to be this way. If I am going to get into better shape there is no way I can do otherwise. It is 8-8:30 pace on my easy runs from here on out, no matter how fast my work outs get. My body needs that recovery pace. What's more, I am at peace with that slower pace, finding joy in the slow, smooth and fluid feel of the easy breezy runs. They are fun now. Lately, I have been focusing a lot more on running form - my stride, turnover, knee height, ankle flexion and fluidity - while training. In doing so, I have become conscious of a few inefficiencies and a certain stiffness in my stride. Good stuff. I have been running looser and more freely, stretching better and eating more. Love it. Peace.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Divine Healing

EEEEEEEEEEEEE-Z 15 miler this morning in the country. A beautiful run. Since my knee issue I have been running all of my stuff out in the country on gravel and snow. I drove out to Tracy today, parked and run up through Centerville, then deep into the country before heading back. It was snowing the entire time with no wind! It was gorgeous - big, meaty snowflakes. I took really clean, slow, and full strides today. 

My knee is healing so much more quickly than I could have hoped for. I am taking my runs honestly and keeping it at one a day. 20-24 hour recovery between runs has paid dividends. What's more, I am experiencing divine healing. My heart is healing. Peace with life, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is real. It has been so long since I have calmed myself enough to know in my heart of hearts that this is true. I have been reading peacefully, enjoying my down times and taking on daily tasks with vigor. The mundane is seeming wonderful again and the moments of the day are presenting themselves, again, as a sweet, sweet gift from God to be used to their fullest - not seen as dreadful, boring and doldrumatic. Life is good. Ba-ba-ba-ba-balance is being restored to my life. Praise be to the Lord. Thank you God. 

Enjoy this day of love. Peace.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Active Recovery

SU: 18
M: 18
T: 0
W: 3.5 (run/walk)
TH: 5
F: 11

One thing is for sure, my mind, body and soul need at least a couple of miles a day. This is especially critical as I recover from my current knee affliction, without completely losing my shape. This is true active recovery... a lot of rest, daily knee bracing, stretching and really slow, short runs (one a day at most). I took it really easy today on the 11 miler. A great benefit of the day was the new layer of snow - made for an extra spongy, padded surface on the already forgiving gravel of the country. My knee is getting better. The last couple of days of rest and recovery runs solidified my original thought that my current affliction is "runner's knee" and is the result of over-training. The cure? As said in a previous blog, significantly less and slower mileage.

This has been a great learning week for me. I am at peace with the world around me. Running has taken a back-seat for the meantime and there isn't much I can about it, aside from accepting that fact and embracing a whole wonderful gross of new facts - more time to read, increased energy at work, more time for other hobbies, socializing and activities. Doubtless, I am still in love with the movement, the sport, the mileage and the discipline of running - and am obviously still training -, but balance is being restored to my life. 

Mind, body, soul, the name of this blog, has taken on new meaning this week, and is moving towards the path of equal play-time by the three essences. Heretofore, the blog should have been entitled, "Life: Body, with a Hint of Mind and a Dash of Soul". Change-time. Game-time. Balance born out of necessity is coming. 

Sometimes it takes a punch in the gut by a best friend to know that domestic violence is real (reminding us that we are not exempt from man's awful capacity for a physical lashing). In the same way, sometimes it takes an inescapable truth, in my present case, a bum knee, for us to realize that we have no choice but to embrace and re-engage with the ideals we so avidly proclaim. Alright, so the analogy is weak. Actually, it is not an analogy at all, the two statements have no similarities - metaphorical or otherwise. Truthfully, I thought I had a nice and slightly funny analogy to share. Crap. A wasted line. Oh well. I should be off. God bless. May all ya' all find balance in your life, putting everything in its place.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Not-so-long Run

Put in a 2.5 mile run/walk this morning. My knee is feeling a bit more loose and my mobility is improving. One thing has become abundantly clear to me over the last 24 hours; proper recovery a la significantly lower mileage and less intensity is going to be the name of the game for the rest of the month. It is high time I am true to myself and honest with my body, no worries, no regrets... just a change. I want to feel good both while I am running and while I am resting and that can only happen through honest running. That is the only way I can say it; honest runnning.

You ultra-runners out there know what I am talking about... without question, pain is a part of training and assuredly a part of racing, but as we learn more about our physical limits (and possibilities) we learn to listen to our aches, pains, twangs and "oh craps!" in a different way. There is a point where pains must be dealt with - they move in our mind (and in reality) from growing pains to imminent injuries. Unfortunately, the line between training pains and injuries can be ambiguous and often an area of grey fills the expanse between the two categories. What's more, we strong-willed, never-say-never, no-pain, no gain, OCD runners (ascetics?) are often able to wish away our pains, mentally disguising them or dismissing the often torturous feelings altogether.

The only cure? or remedy? Perhaps change? is experience. Experience, if disseminated with great discernment and care will inform us of what really is too much (injurous) and what is simply a fact of training at high volume/intensity mileage (growing pains). That is where I am. Experience has taught me what aches and pains I ought to take more seriously than others and experience has taught me how to take care of those problems as to expedite the recovery process. Call it maturation, call it growth. Whatever you call it, it is real to me and I am at peace with this lesson. My body wants rest? I will give it rest and be peaceful in that rest. The Lord is in it. Peace.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

[A] snap back to reality...

About this time last year, I started up my mileage build-up for Spring/Summer races. Since the build-up last year, I have run nearly 6000 miles (averaging 18 miles a day, everyday). About this time, this year (in a word, now), my body is telling me that it is time to rest. The daily twanginess and nightly cramping of my left knee has hit critical mass. I worked through my runner's knee at the start of the new year and thought myself free and clear and ready to run hard... but alas! I cannot pretend away the pain any longer, the pain is back and the only sure remedy is rest. It is nothing serious - I have been down this road many times before. It is an over-use injury. The solution? less use. 

Admittedly, I am a stubborn, immature, overzealous runner. These are all descriptors that I am working to curve. The problem lies in my head and heart and had firmly manifested itself in my passion for running. NO LONGER will I punish my running life - it is unfair to the sport and disruptive to the rest of my life - by training hastily. Undoubtedly, I have matured significantly in the last year in my approach to running, adding structure to my training. The problem? No rest... and too many deviations from that structure:

- Taking easy runs at a dishonest, moderate pace.
- Running on tired legs for about 7 months, thinking that that was a good training practice (maybe for how to deal with pain, but not for increasing fitness).
- 2 runs a day, everyday.

All of this being said, in retrospect I wouldn't have changed a thing. I have learned so much about myself -  my virtues, my vices, my limits, my abilities. All of the running over the last several years has helped me to appreciate the distances that my body is able to cover and when I come back to training this Spring I will still have that training with me. I am a new person. 

No serious changes in my Spring training plan, but there is going to be a bit of a break between now and then (the end of February, early March) - my original plan was to maintain my mileage load through the winter. Silly! Ridiculous! My body needs a rest. My lifestyle needs a change. I need to prove to myself that I can live without running running my  life. Balance must be restored! I have been out of balance for several years, to be sure, and I am wise enough to know that moments of perfect homeostasis possess the smaller part of the fleeting nanosecond; that true peace, balance and life exists only with my Lord and Savior (one glad morning when this life is o'er). But... I do believe that God is constantly pushing us, leading us, counseling us, on how to live the most balanced, harmonious life possible on Earth. We rise! Grow! Rise Higher! Never look back, always look up... loving and learning, growing and caring.

I have much to learn and feel ever so young this day. The closer we come to Divine Truth the younger, more immature, sillier we become in that humbling moment of exposure. This is my moment, this is my humbling moment of complete and total exposure. So much to learn... 

The world this afternoon was not the world that I woke up to this morning. Everything looks and feels different. The world feels new, not necessarily in a new toy on Christmas day sort of way, but rather there appears to be more texture on this planetary orb. Truthfully, it is a move from looking at myself towards looking at others. Worrying less about myself and thinking more about others.

It is off to the day. Snap back to reality.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Last Week's Mileage

140 strong miles last week. I almost cut it a mile short on Saturday to stay under the 140 mark - my mileage max. until April (a self-imposed limit to keep my mileage under control and my body injury free).

I was feeling it this morning on my easy 10sy, but a great running week nonetheless.

Over the weekend...

SA - 19 moderate AM, 7 moderate PM
SU - 10 easy AM, 8 steady PM

Now... time to recover with a fairly easy running week - a bit lower mileage with significantly less intensity. Peace.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Shenanigans

This morning:

10-11 mile solid-state, super steady, super cleansy.

I clipped this morning. After 5 minutes of scooting along I was hitting a beautiful, quick and clean stride this morning. My cadence and pace felt very comfortable for the entire run. I didn't push the pace (the previous two days were work out days), but I can't honestly say I took it easy either. It felt right - 6:30 or faster pace.

A Poem

It was fun, this morning's run.
Fun was the run, before the sun.

Dark and quiet, the city sits idle.
Hours before its people rise vital,

to go to work, toil and struggle,
and fight against lethargies bungle.

Doubtless, this peace, this movement, this feeling, this glorious, glorious, cadence i'm reeling,
is personal, real, spiritual and true - I pray to God that these people find you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Recovery

Great day yesterday - both running and at work.

Running update:

Wednesday: 15 tempo in the AM + 8 in the PM
Today: 9 moderate in the AM + 9 in the PM


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So far this week...

Sunday: 10 + 8 (easy sneezy)
Monday: 10 + 8 (easy breezy)
Tuesday: 10 (tempo) + 7 (moderately easy)
Wednesday: Long run morning... Easy run afternoon...


Sunday, February 1, 2009