Sunday, April 25, 2010

moving forward

After last week's failed attempt to clear my posterior tibial tendonopathy, I decided to jump back on the horse and just go.

Monday - 6.1 mile fartlek on Blackstrap Hill.
Tuesday - 5.6 mile easy run at TMR TNR @ TB
Wednesday - 6.1 mile easy at Back Cove
Thursday - 6.2 mile tempo (3.5 mi @ 6:45 pace) at Back Cove.
Friday - off
Saturday - 5.3 mile run on Charles R. trail with son Sam
Sunday - 12.3 mile Blackstrap Hill loop.
Total 41.6 miles

I did have the HR monitor for some runs this week and my HR seems to be about where I was in July last year, which puts me 3 months ahead of schedule. Not sure I believe this. My fartlek felt good. My tempo run at Back cove seemed harder than it should have for that pace. My short run on the Charles River felt great. My 12 mile Blackstrap run this morning was mentally tough despite my running very slowly. I'm doing Mother's Day 5K to assess my 5K fitness. I don't think that will translate to Pineland 25K very well though.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

tough week

(my route as tracked by my HTC eris using MyTracks)

I should be writing about the 50 miles I ran this week, including two days of doubles. But I'm not. I only ran 14.3 miles. I took Mon-Wed off following Sunday's bike ride, which immediately aggravated my left foot (medial part of the arch). Each day I considered going to the pool and pool running but I just couldn't do it. I just don't care enough to go run in a pool. Obviously I didn't bike. No rowing erg either, as that involves pushing with my feet. And no double poling on my roller skis. Coulda done that without aggravating anything but I just couldn't get motivated. I mostly worked and when I thought about running wondered how long I should give the foot before running again.

I tested the waters with a nice run around Back Cove on Thursday. It's amazing how light and springy the legs feel when 1) you haven't run in 4 days, 2) you are only running 3.5 miles, and 3) the course is pancake flat. I felt a very, very slight soreness after the run when I'd push the clutch (damn these manual shift cars!). It seems that pushing with the forefoot/toes aggravates the pain (hence the bike). I took Friday off just to give it another day.

I tested the waters again with a short run at Pineland Saturday morning. This was a real test because it involves running up hill which is more stress on the forefeet. And it was a real test because I had to keep up with the Joneses, I mean Scott Ellis and David Roberts, who were running at slightly slower than my 25K race pace. Luckily I new I was stopping short, so it was fun to move a bit faster on the SMR. Following the race, I mean training run, the foot felt good, even when pushing on the clutch (I had ealier learned to slide my foot up and push more with my whole foot).

Last night Cacky and I caught the Cowboy Junkies concert at The Strand Theater in Rockland. I thought I would run the hilly roads in Hope (where Cacky's parents live) but I couldn't spend time in Camden area without running the state park so this morning I did my final test of the waters.

I parked on the Lincolnville side of the multi-use trail (a graded dirt road closed to auto traffic that runs through the park) and ran up the road and to the Bald Mountain trail to the peak. This was a 900+ foot climb in a little less than two miles. I descended back down and ran toward Cameron Mountain for a short bit before turning around and heading back downhill to the car. Total distance was 5 miles. My Garmin 305 battery was dead (somehow I left it on after Pineland and I managed to track my ride from Pineland to home and then to Hope!). But I used the gps on my HTC eris to track my run which it did beautifully. Somehow, I forgot that I was carrying it or else I would have snapped a beautiful early morning photo of Penobscot Bay, because the view from atop Bald Mountain is a money shot. I guess I went into O2 debt on the run up.

More importantly, the run up Bald Mountain put significant stress on my left forefoot, and it seems no worse for the wear. Amazing. I would have thought after Sunday's bike ride that I'd need to stay off the foot for 2-3 weeks. This week I'm going to try to ramp my running back up to 35-40 miles and see how it feels. I need to get some 40+ mile weeks in for Pineland and Mt. Washington.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Racing the Rivah 10 miler


Sadly, this isn't me. It's the race winner, Kevin Tilton. Doesn't he remind you of a Jesus Christ Lizard? The beautiful photo was taken by Scott Mason.

Saturday, seven trail monsters raced the Merrimack River 10 miler in Andover MA. The race and trail were old school, the way races should be. Registration and awards/raffle are in a hotel parking lot. The race is a 5 mile out and back along The Rivah. The first three miles are very flat, with the small exception of a small rise up to a bridge then drop back down to the river. The next two miles are a series of short climbs and drops, some are very, very steep. At the five mile mark there is an aid station and then the course turns around and returns the same path. Old School. The beauty of the out and back is you get to see who's in front and who's right behind you. The out and back also made the back interesting because the wicked steep and fast descents were now clogged with runners (mostly) walking up. The final three flat and fast miles were clog free.

My race went about as well as expected considering this was my 2nd 10 mile run since last October. The first was last week at Pineland. I finished 23.34% (14 minutes) behind the winner, Kevin Tilton, who smoked the course in 59:05. Interestingly I finished 23.64% behind Tilton at Mt. Washington, so maybe this suggests I'm in the same shape as I was last June. This is the positive spin on my race time. But if we compare 10K road times, my (only) 10K time last year was just 17.36% behind Tilton's Lone Gull 10K time. Either I gained a lot of fitness between Mt. Washington and my 10K (which was late October) or I suck running hills or Tilton is a hill monster. Or some combination of the three.

On the injury front, the pain in the posterior tibialis tendonopathy that I had in late Fall 2007 seems to have recrudesced. I first felt this familiar soreness following the TNR @ TB. I have an "accessory navicular" which can mean several things. Mine is actually a sesamoid bone in my posterior tibialis tendon. Regardless, supposedly the soreness is related to this. I took an unplanned rest day Wednesday and ran Thursday-Saturday with very little soreness (it doesn't hurt to run at all). Today (Sunday) was my planned cross-training day so I went out for a short (1 hour) bike ride. I wore my bike shoes even though I don't have clipless pedals, thinking a stiffer sole would be good for my foot. Wrong. My foot is far more sore from biking 1 hour than racing hard for 1:13. So much for cross training to reduce injury.

This is me but I'm not running on water like JC. Thanks again to Scott Mason for the photos. Check out his site.