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Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:27 pm

I guess this one's been a real long time coming, eh?

I recently realized that since Fall 2011, I haven't had a solid training cycle.  Every time I've tried to get something going, I've either gotten injured or burned out.  And I think that's had a pretty big effect on my motivation to come back to the sport.  

Then, my brother finished his first marathon (Grandma's).  A couple hours ago, actually.  In 3:23:37.  After I watched his final time get posted, I turned to Aileen and said, "Yep, I think it's time to start training again."  Which makes it sound like a competitive thing, but really, watching my brother click off the last 10 miles of the race was inspiring.  He ran it perfectly, with a very slight negative split, a small slump from miles 16-19, and a strong finish.  

So, yeah, I'm inspired.  And I think now, finally, ready to start the long haul back to running.  

It's going to be slow.  It's going to be long.  It's going to be boring.  But it's time to listen to what my body's been saying for the past year and a half and just take it easy.  Build that base, however long it takes, and then, maybe then, start chasing that one last marathoning milestone I've yet to achieve: a sub-3.  

But for now, it'd be nice to just run.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  dot520 on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:28 pm

Sounds like a great plan and I hope you do stick with it.  I've had a lousy couple of years myself with just plain old lackluster training.  No, it's not competitive, but motivation no matter where it comes from can be good.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:18 pm

I'm gonna do what I can to be patient, Dot.  I definitely tried to push through some shin stuff recently - was worried it was a stress fracture, now somewhat convinced it's muscular, as it moved at one point - and didn't stick to the whole "slow and steady" plan.  Oops.

Been cycling like a monster since early May, racking up quite a few weeks over 200mi, and one over 300mi.  So, at least the legs and fitness are there to help me get started.

I ran for the first time in 4 weeks yesterday.  Just a small loop around the new neighborhood - 2.13mi.  Slow, easy, and pleasant.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  nkrichards on Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:29 pm

I've also been in a bit of a slump for the last couple years.  Didn't make it to the starting line of my intended marathons.  I'd been pretty much doing the same old thing with a slight increase in mileage and it didn't seem to be working for me any more...so I made an appointment with a trainer.  We initially just developed a well rounded core/strength workout that targeted my weak spots and I did that over the winter with a bit of running to maintain base fitness.  I met with her a few weeks ago and she tweaked my training plan...not as many changes as I expected but enough so that I can really feel the difference.  I'm happy to say that as I'm increasing my mileage and officially started marathon training last week and I feel great!

Hope you can find the thing that motivates you to return to running.  Good luck!
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:19 pm

I'm excited Mike and I hope you stick with it.  Picking a goal race (like CIM or Tucson) will help as well.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:05 pm

Slow, long and boring. Hey, Mike's taking a page from my playbook!

Kidding aside, good luck with this. I know you've been doing a lot of cycling lately, so that ought to help you aerobically. Do the work -- and importantly, don't overdo it -- and you can reach that goal.

Michele's right: CIM would be a good choice as a goal run.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  ounce on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:58 pm

@Mark B wrote:Slow, long and boring. Hey, Mike's taking a page from my playbook!

Kidding aside, good luck with this. I know you've been doing a lot of cycling lately, so that ought to help you aerobically. Do the work -- and importantly, don't overdo it -- and you can reach that goal.

Michele's right: CIM would be a good choice as a goal run.

Jeez, Mark took my line.  Except I'm the poster boy for long and slow.  I'll let Mark be boring.  After all, my signature line says "Running for mediocrity since 2003."

Slow does work pretty well for not getting hurt, though.  Don't get hurt or you'll have to answer to Dot.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mark B on Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:13 am

@ounce wrote:
@Mark B wrote:Slow, long and boring. Hey, Mike's taking a page from my playbook!

Kidding aside, good luck with this. I know you've been doing a lot of cycling lately, so that ought to help you aerobically. Do the work -- and importantly, don't overdo it -- and you can reach that goal.

Michele's right: CIM would be a good choice as a goal run.

Jeez, Mark took my line.  Except I'm the poster boy for long and slow.  I'll let Mark be boring.  After all, my signature line says "Running for mediocrity since 2003."

Slow does work pretty well for not getting hurt, though.  Don't get hurt or you'll have to answer to Dot.

Maybe it's time to change it to "Rationalizing bacon since 2013." pig
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  ounce on Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:15 am

Or maybe, "Running with a squeal since 2013"
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:24 pm

Michele & Mark - Well, the goal is to be ready to pace Aileen by CIM.  She's told me I can NOT race it, since I promised to pace her for the last 10-16mi.  So, I hope to be in good enough shape to possibly make it a 20 (I'd do the extra miles on my own before joining up with her).  I'm looking to spring for a goal race.

---

Another short, slow run today.  We're talking 2.7mi @ 9:41 pace.  Aileen doubled that and ran it a negative split.  Show off.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:26 pm

More "progress."  First run with an average pace over 10min/mi, but right now, it's all about just putting in some miles.  2.5mi, to be exact.  An enjoyable run, though, as it was with a good friend from my interpreting program.  We were a team for our "mock interpreting" class the last semester, and became quite close in the process.  So it was nice to see her and catch up a bit.  

No more running until Friday.  Bike rides tomorrow + Thurs, gym Thurs.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mark B on Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:54 pm

Oho, you've talked Aileen into the marathon? This is her first, isn't it?

Aileen: I strongly suggest you get a leash for Mike on race day. If he starts pulling too far ahead, give that leach a pull. Choke collar optional, though that'd really be more appropriate for Bay to Breakers. Wink
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:23 am

Mark - Believe it or not, it was HER idea!  She had started to train for LA with her brother a few years back, but was lazy in training and got injured on an accidentally-long run.  Since her half marathon last year, she's been talking about a full.  Go figure.  

---

53mi with lots of climbing on the bike last night.  Felt pretty strong, won most of the climbs, and the sprint.  Must be the extra rest this weekend, since I didn't ride at all Saturday or Sunday.  A little over 3hr total.  In-N-Out for dinner after.  Yum.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:34 pm

Last couple days...

Wednesday - rest day, but with a full day of work running around Sacramento county, I'm not sure I could've fit something in anyway.

Thursday - 1mi warm-up at the gym on the treadmill, a pretty bleh weights session, and a killer ride (36mi) at night.  Got a last minute job request that threw my gym plans out of whack, so I was hungry by the time I showed up, which I think led to my lackluster performance as the glycogen ran low.  Recovered well enough to put in some good work on the ride, take 2nd in a sprint, and make it home in one piece.

Friday - 2.5mi easy run.  It was already in the high 80s at 10am.  Glad I'm escaping this heat wave to go backpacking in the high country next week.  Pace was actually in the high 8's today, still felt very easy.  

---

WS100 is tomorrow.  Gonna be headed up to Auburn for dinner, blackberry foraging, and to watch the finish.  I'm guessing ~16-17hr for the winner, given the predicted 100 degree weather.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:15 pm

Watching the finis of Western States should be fun...Those guys gotta be tough running that race and even tougher to do it in 100 degree weather!!
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:53 am

Well, I'm already bad at keeping this thing up to date. 

Actually, it's more a function of being in the woods for 3 days, then not having a computer until Saturday night.

Starting with last week, Aileen and I did go up to see the finish of WS100.  Always an inspiring thing to see, and I still plan on running it, one day.  

Sunday was more or less lazy, with me packing and getting ready for the big trip...

---

My brother and I backpacked from Devil's Postpile to Lembert Dome on the John Muir Trail last week.  First time I've seen him since Christmas, and possibly the only time he'll be home for up to 3 years.  So, it was a pretty important trip, despite how much I dislike being out of contact for that long. 

That 36mi stretch took a whopping 2 days (6 and 9 hours, respectively), so we made day 3 a day-hike to Cloud's Rest from Tenaya Lake.  I messed my Achilles up pretty good on day 2, but decided that having a once-in-a-lifetime experience with my brother was worth a few more days of recovery.  It didn't hurt too much on day 3, especially the 2nd half of the hike, so that's good.

Drove home to see my parents for the 4th and pick up Aileen's dog to bring up north.  The 4th was pretty uneventful, just hung out with my neighbor and family for the most part.  

Did a good weights workout on Friday and headed back to Sac Town on Saturday.  Aileen's dog was either terrified (he's scared of everyone but her) or asleep for the majority of the drive.  By the end of it, though, he was at least looking at me.  Despite me getting a flat about 100mi from Sac.  Gonna be a long warming up period with him.

Short short run yesterday (2.2mi) with Aileen before she took off for the rest of her 5-miler.  Body felt pretty wonky from the backpacking, but by the end it seems like most of the kinks were out.  The Achilles feels good, but the whole ankle is a bit stiff.  Will definitely be keeping an eye on it.

Back to reality today.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Dave-O on Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:39 pm

Be patient for the first 6-8 weeks.  You're fit from cycling, so I don't think it will take too long to get your running legs back.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:37 am

That's the plan, Dave.  I'll probably be boringly patient for the next 4-5 months.  I want to get this thing right.

Ran another short/easy on Monday.  Achilles let me know that it was time to take a day off running, so yesterday was a short ride to/from the gym, a weights session, and an evening ride.  Ugh.  Let's talk about Sacramento summers for a minute.  I know, we don't have the humidity that many of you have, but when it's still tipping 100 at 5pm...  So, 3hr in the heat, which left me massively dehydrated today, despite going through 5 bottles on the ride and 2 after.  

On non-exercise news, I got an unexpectedly high-paying job offer yesterday.  Right before I left on the ride, too.  Which is probably why I didn't call animal control when some idiot's dog bit me at the beginning of my ride.  No real damage done, other than a big hole in my favorite socks and a decent scratch on my knee.  I think my severe reprimand and long string of profanities made its point, though, so it didn't seem worth having the thing put down.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:31 am

So good news and bad news.  Hope you take the job Very Happy , and you might want to rethink the dog thing especially if the dog might be a hazard to others.  My biggest fear riding around here is loose dogs.  I had a friend who was bitten pretty good, and I know that if I was attacked, I would probably never get on the bike again.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  nkrichards on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:33 pm

Glad to hear you survived your confrontation by a dog with only minor injuries.

Just heard that a loose dog ran out in front of an experienced biker near here last week.  He hit the dog and went end over end and broke 4 ribs.  He's scheduled to lead a multi-day bike tour in Montana next week.  He's still hoping to be able to go but is waiting for a second set of x-rays and a release from his doctor.

I've been bitten a couple times while running but they were pretty minor bites.  I think it would be much scarier to be attacked while riding.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:57 pm

I know, I know, I also thought about the possible repercussions to other riders/runners.  The person walking it was a young teenage girl, though, so I'm hoping my reaction was enough for her parents (also nearby) to rethink ever letting that dog stay on a long leash again.  

The bites are pretty minor.  Because I kept pedaling, he wasn't able to get a good hold of anything except my sock.  

---

Unplanned short/slow run today.  My only job of the day got cancelled last minute (life of an interpreter...) so I was around when Aileen got home from work.  Decided to join her for 2 of her 4 miles.  

---

Michelle, I did take the job.  It'll be steady work (~10-20hr/week, depending on scheduling) and my (paid) internship I've had this summer will be continuing at 10-20hr/week.  Probably won't be full-time in the traditional sense, but most people consider 20hr/week "full-time" for interpreters.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:56 am

I don't know how you guys all do it.  Not only train while holding a full-time life, but also keep up with the community?  Ugh, I'm woefully out of practice.

The week ended pretty well, training wise.  Did a weights session Thursday morning followed by a race ride that evening.  I didn't do amazingly well, though I did have the first sprint wrapped up until I got complacent and sat up 20m from the line.  I was passed by less than half a wheel on the line.  Oops.  

Friday, rested.  

Saturday was a 3.7mi run with Aileen.  Basically a 2.7mi loop with a .5mi out-and-back on the only trail nearby.  At one point Aileen made a joke about how I was the "bulky cyclist" we saw on TV (TdF) that morning and had tried to breakaway and been caught, so of course I had to actually try at that point.  Really dropped the hammer, opened up the stride, and ooooooh it feels good.  Very smooth running @ tempo, 10k, 5k pace.  Only for a minute, though.

Yesterday was the first weekend ride I've done in a while.  Drove up to the start as opposed to riding there (we've both decided I get very cranky if I do a ride over 3-4hr, and it's a compromise I've had to make [actually, it's not all that bad] as part of this whole living together thing) and had Aileen meet me after her 7-miler for coffee.  

---

We have a dog.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet, but yeah, we got a dog.  It's Aileen's dog that's been living with her parents its whole life, so basically living with her other than the last 2 years.  It has anxiety issues (terrified of everyone but her) and has never lived indoors before.  That said, it seems like we've got it pretty well potty trained, it doesn't mark indoors, and it's starting to bark less and less when we leave.  And yeah, he's kind of cute, too.  There's a picture of us cuddling on Facebook, for those who want embarrassing blackmail material.

We're also coming to grips with being working adults.  I keep a relatively small circle of friends, one of whom had her moving away party yesterday, two others are currently in Brazil and will be for a month... so it's slim pickin's for me lately.  Which is fine; I don't mind being a lone wolf.  Aileen, on the other hand, doesn't know many people up here and is used to a very social environment.  It's weighing on her a bit.  Fortunately(???) her parents made a last minute decision to come up next weekend, so that should help.  

---

It felt like Sunday when I woke up today.  It's Monday.  Yep, that's the kind of morning we're having so far.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:22 am

Easy 4mi yesterday morning.  Felt good.  Ran with my partner/team interpreter for the last semester of the program and her dog.  Nice to catch up on life.  Made the silly mistake of wearing my trail shoes (thinking that Miner's Ravine TRAIL was actually dirt), but mostly able to find a dirt path next to the pavement.  I love those shoes.

---

Last minute morning job ruins my gym plans today, but that's fine.  Tuesday night hill ride tonight.  Glad it's only going to touch 90 today - last week it was 98 at the start of that ride.  Bonus hills and miles for the TdF stage today.  Great.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:27 am

Doozy of a ride last night.  The usual route is ~27mi, plus the commute to/from (total ~25mi), so to add 7mi and almost a thousand more feet of climbing was definitely significant.  Fortunately, the temps at the start were a balmy mid-80s.  I had told myself I'd hold something back for the steepest climb of the route (Beatty) and the added climb (Serrano), but when I found myself out front on the first hill, it wasn't like I could slow down...  Was challenged by one guy - I think he was new - and let him do his kick, burn out, and passed him easily.  By the top, there were just 3 of us in the small regroup.  The good: we're the usual 3.  The bad: they're getting faster every week, and I seem to be getting slower.  They're bigger guys, with decades more experience than me, and one used to race in Europe for 6 years.  

Long story short, I got dropped by them after the added 7mi, but picked them up just before the regroup towards the end of the ride.  After that, half of our remaining group split off to head home, and I was quickly off the back of our small remaining group, legs decidedly finished for the day with another 15mi to go before home.  The ride home was not pleasant.

All in all, some 58.2mi, 3500' climbing, all in about 3hr20min.  

Not sure what's on the docket today, given work schedule and weird breaks.  Supposed to be studying for a certification test in 12 days, so that might interfere with something.
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing

Post  John Kilpatrick on Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Riding hills is intimidating to me - I live below the fall line in Georgia and it is essentially flat barring a few small rollers.  3500' is brutal.  How's the dog?

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