Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Need to Cancel

100 miles seemed to be an easy accomplishment in the past.  Before January, I had hit 100 miles for each month (except one) for something like 3 years.  The injuries I did get were small enough to keep running through them.  That was until this January of course.  Even though I ran 2 full marathons and a half marathon in January, because of my IT injury, I only totaled about 75 miles.  Lots of rest between the races and then no running after.

In March, I slowly began to run again after therapy and now in April, I am doing long(er) runs and on Saturday, I passed 100 miles for April.  It is good to be (mostly) back.

On Saturday, I had planned on running with Amy on her long run as she prepares for the Madison Marathon in late May.  I was going to run whatever distance she wanted to up to 20 and hopefully be able to keep up with her and not crash at the end.  We planned on running early and going to the same trail I ran on last weekend because she had not run on it yet.  Having plans for a run make it a ton harder to cancel which helped this time.

Friday night caused me some worry as the forecast called for rain all morning and into the afternoon.  I had already checked the schedule for the Pettit Center but they were not opening for runners until 9:00.  I woke up in the middle of the night to rain already but we had already planned to run in the rain so we were not cancelling.  I woke up again a little after 4 and the rain had stopped but the radar showed more on the way.  I picker Amy up at 5:30 and we headed to the trail starting a little after 6:00.  We go lucky for 6 miles and had no rain.  Then a little started, then a lot came down.  We chose to only go 15 since the rain was coming and at the half way point, a full 7 1/2 miles from the car, the rain was coming down hard.  We laughed about it and turned back toward the car, into the wind, and into some tiny, stinging hail.  We must have run in the pouring rain for about 2 miles before it let up some.  As much as it was cold and wet, we actually were having some fun talking and enjoying the scenery.

The rain stopped for the final 3 miles or so and we finished feeling pretty good at an average pace of under 9:00/mile.  It was a good run!

It is now turning to the month of May and the spring marathon season.  While I am not planning a spring marathon, I am planning on a half marathon in early June and lots of other fun running events in June.  As long as I keep icing my knee and doing my rolling, I hope things continue to look up for my running.  And I hope things are looking up for your running too.

Keep on Running!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not Just the Easy Run or the Long Run

Since my injury earlier this year, I have not done any really hard runs.  I have done a lot of easy 5 milers and I have done a few longer runs, 8, 11, 15.  But I have been neglecting the harder run, the track workout, the tempo run, the fartlek, the hills.  I decided to finally stop that.  If I am going to get back to the level I was before (and hopefully further), I need to get in those speed workout too.

Monday, I did a pseudo tempo run.  I started with 3 easy miles then decided to pick it up and tempo it back in.  My final 2 miles were 7:24 & 7:26.  They were hard and I felt out of shape doing them, but I did it and it was good.

Today I decided to hit the hills.  About 2 miles from my work, there is a really nice hill to run repeats on.  I have run them many times.  So I decided to go and run 4 repeats.  I kept getting faster as I continued on.  It was difficult and I am sure they were not as fast as I had done them before.  But the part that was encouraging was when I was done doing my cool down back to work.  It felt easy and fast.  I need to keep remembering that these hard workouts really do help.

I think I was avoiding them for a few weeks because I thought that running harder may make my IT sore.  Good News, did not happen.

I have another long run planned for this weekend with a friend.  Not sure if we are going only 15 or all the way to 20.  Either way it should be fun.

Keep on Running!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Meeting the Ragnars

Last night, my Ragnar Relay team had a short little meeting.  I was a true meeting for me since I only knew 1 member of the team.  So I met Scott, Rob, and Paul.  I already knew Brian so the only member of the team missing was Tricia.  As you can see, we are a 6 member team so we qualify as an "ultra" team.  Most teams have 12 members.

What is a Ragnar Relay?  Ragnar is a running relay race.  There are a whole bunch of them all over the country but the one I am going to be doing starts in Madison, WI, runs through Milwaukee, WI, and the culminates in Chicago, IL.  The race is about 200 miles long so we will be running through the night.  The race is broken into 36 different "legs" of various distances.  Normally with a team of 12, each runner will run 3 different legs with a long time in between.  With an Ultra Team, each runner does 6 different legs.  Out team has chosen to run 2 legs per time.

Our meeting was not much about Ragnar.  We did get to discussing 'business' after awhile, but it was more about getting to know the new guys, cracking jokes, and having a couple "dollar burgers" at the bar.  Eventually we talked about who would be running which legs.  Turns out I have been given the anchor legs.  I hope I run like I have an anchor around my waist.  I will be running about 36 miles over the roughly 30 hours we will be out there.  As much as I like to run as fast as I can, and I will do my best, our team is not about competing.  We will be out there just having fun and being crazy.  It sounds like most of the team runs pretty close to the same pace so that is good.

Only about 6 weeks until the race so the excitement is building.

Keep on Running!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally to 200

It took awhile but I finally made it to 200 miles for the year.  Of course the injury and over 10 weeks of no running were to blame, but I am getting back to it.  I think I will even get over 100 miles for April.  Usually I am around 500 miles by this time of year.  I have no ambitions of "catching up" though.  That may have been part of the problem, too many miles.

I passed 200 on my long run this weekend.  Paul and I ran a 15 miler Saturday morning.  Paul had just completed to Whideby Island Marathon last weekend but wanted to do another long run this weekend.  So since he was a bit tired from that one, he didn't mind running a little slower in case there was a problem with my knee/IT Band.  We took a slightly hilly course but it is a nice trail.  Turns out I was able make it the whole 15 miles without pain.

I did start to lose it a bit after 13.  Seems my endurance was lost a bit over my break.  Paul and I did finish with a pace just under 9:00 so that isn't too bad.  I may get in an even longer run next weekend but that depends on how far a friend of mine wants to go.

Things are looking up for a few late spring races I want to do now that I can go the distance without pain.

Keep on Running!!! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Biggest Week So Far

At least it is my biggest week since I took off from running. I got in just over 28 miles with 5 total runs in. Some good, some not so good.

Tuesday started with a very poor run with Mike after work. I felt very tired and very slow. I think Mike was a bit annoyed by my slowness but kept it in check ... at least for then.

Wednesday was a pretty cool run. I ran with my daughter and we planned 3 miles. After 1 mile, she told me she was feeling really good. After 2 miles, the same. After 2.5, i looked at our pace and did some quick calculations in my head and we picked it up some. Her PR for 5K is 26:41 so I decided to take her that extra 0.1 miles to see what she could do. She had only been running about 4 or 5 times so far this spring and we ended up finishing the 5K in 26:16, a would be PR for her. Wow, wish I could do 5 runs and then crank out a PR!!! She was a bit upset when she learned that she really couldn't call it her PR since it wasn't in a race. She got over it quickly and vowed to break it in a race really soon. I am so proud of her.

This morning I was able to go on my "long" run. I wanted to get in 10 miles, 3 more that my recent longest run. Amy, a friend of mine who lives close, and I planned to run and we headed out on a trail near where we both live. She needed to get in 18 as she is training for a spring marathon but was able to do the beginning part of her run with me. About 6 miles in, we notices we were going pretty slow, must have been all the chatting we were doing. We picked up the pace which felt pretty good. After we got back to her house, she headed back out for more miles and I headed back to my house. I ended up getting in just over 11 miles (so much for only 10) and again, no pain.

I hope you all have a blessed Easter.

Keep on Running!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Run - Ice - Roll - Repeat

I have kept up pretty good on my icing after runs as well as my rolling almost every night. The rolling is getting easier. My IT band is not a tender when I roll on it as well as the quads, hammies, and calves. I think my arms are getting stronger too since I have to hold my body in some interesting positions to roll properly.

Saturday I ran 7 miles with no pain. I went to the Trailbreaker Marathon close to my home to cheer on a few of my friends before they set out on the marathon. I found my friend Dana who was running the half marathon as a training run and we ended up running 6 miles before the half together. It was an easy pace, especially for him, but it was nice to go that far. So far so good on the IT front.

We finished about a half hour before the half marathon started so I was able to see Paul and wish him well. I could not find Amy but ended up seeing her about 200 meters into the race. About a half hour later, I was able to get on a bike I brought and I rode the course to find my friends. It is a mostly out and back course so I would be able to see them on the trail easily. First I found Dana who was running easy. Then I found Paul and then Amy both running well. I continued on and saw Chris who was running the full marathon on his way back. He was running very well. Then I saw Robin who was taking it easy on the course.

After biking ahead for awhile, I turned around and tried to find everyone again though I had gone up the trail pretty far. Suddenly I saw a train on the track that parallel the path about 20 meter off. I knew the tracks crossed the course with just over 2 miles to go so I knew there would be trouble. Turns out Paul was stopped for 6 minutes and Amy for a couple minutes bu they train. Chris got off lucky by a minute or 2. So there was a large bunch of runners stuck including the top 2 runners in the full marathon. I know I would be totally pissed if I was stopped by a train, especially if I had a good time going. After looking at the results of the half, it looks like the train was about 7 to 8 minutes long. There is a gap that big in the results. Let's hope the race director gets that fixed for next year. Every year I ran this event, there was not a train, so maybe this was an unscheduled or off schedule train.

I did find Chris on my way back when he had about a half mile to go. He was feeling good and I cheered him on to the finish. He finished in 4th place overall in 3:18. Another friend of mine, Gerry, finished in 5th overall. I didn't even know he was running. Unfortunately I was unable to stick around to see Brandi finish. I hope she did well. I saw her time but do not know if she was happy with it or not.

Today was a whole different story with my run. After work, I went 5 miles with Mike and felt like I was totally out of shape. I could barely keep a 9:20 pace and felt crappy. This shall pass (I hope).

Keep on Running!!!