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Paying The Iron Price

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Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:54 pm

Dave-O's latest blog post where he reflected on having taken for granted PRs coming as a natural and given outcome coming off of a training cycle got me thinking about my own past few years of ups and downs with running.  Those were indeed the good old days when PR after PR would fall seemingly by just showing up.  No more.  Gotta really work just to get back to where I was not all that long ago.   So with Dave's encouragement to kick off a new blog as I re-tool for a Fall marathon season, here I go...

Some background and more recent history first.

Started running in 2008 and went through the fun progression of first marathon (3:50), BQing in the 2nd one (3:20), getting down to 3:09 in the 3rd one and then setting my sights on sub 3:00 and......geez, that's where I've been marathon wise since October 2009!   And its not for a lack of trying.  I think I've completed 15 marathons in total, with maybe 5 of those all out attempts at sub 3:00.  Meanwhile, all the other distances like 5K and 10K and 10 mile had a good steady progression of times being lowered.  

When I've stayed healthy, I've been able to put in some really good marathon training cycles under Dave-O's guidance and had the payoff come in three successive lowering of my half marathon PRs....1:25, 1:24, 1:22.   But my marathon history of trying to get a time to reflect all that training has been 3:09, 3:09 and lots of "other" including some DNFs and ultimately microfracture knee surgery this February.  Ugh.  Weird that my marathon specific training has produced solid half times I'm happy with while never once delivering me a 26.2 time that I thought reflected where I was fitness wise.  Like a lot of people who struggle with the distance, I feel cursed at the marathon.  I've had some bad luck with marathon day weather.  I've run some stupidly paced races as well.  And ultimately I got hurt playing soccer (more of the being stupid theme) and blew that knee fully out in Tucson to head myself into surgery.  Maybe just walk away from the marathon and have more fun with the other distances?    Nah, I'm going to continue to run at that brick wall a little more...

So now with surgery on my left knee having kicked off personal Running Boom I in 2008, I'm trying to use surgery to my right knee this year as the new kickoff to Running Boom II here in 2013.   I'm back to running pain free and now just dealing with the loss of fitness from all that forced downtime this Spring and shortened mileage.  I ran 16 miles yesterday in the mid 80s heat and humidity.  While the pace (8:10) was nothing special and the run was soggy and boring, I now realize today that I'm not sore or beat up at all which is a very good sign that its coming around again.  No knee swelling, no other soreness.   Ah, progress, slow but sweet!

Here's the deal - I do not have a BQ for Boston 2014.   I really wish I just crossed one off in the Fall of 2013 when I was still relatively healthy but I didn't.  So I need to go get one.   My plan is to run the Erie Marathon on September 15th just for the purpose of getting a BQ.   Right now, that's a 3:25 for me so I would do it as a very long run but not at any super aggressive pace.  When I get myself in shape, that should just be relatively easy long run pace.  I'd only be hoping to just make the standard and preserve my marathon racing for later in the Fall.  This is a big gamble because I don't actually know when BAA is going to open the window for registration.  Its quite possible the registration process will open right at the beginning of September.  If it does, its at least possible that Boston 2014 would be filled before I ran Erie.   Also, by running only a little under the 3:25 instead of shooting for a -5 or -10 or whatever, I wouldn't be registering until all of the -20/-10/-5 spots were filled.  Last year, that would have been no problem and registration remained open well into mid October for anyone with a BQ time.  But after the events of Boston 2013, there's massive interest in running Boston 2014 and even a BQ time at Erie might not get me in.  If that does happen, so be it.   Not the end of the world if I don't get to run Boston in April.  I don't want to rush things and go find an earlier race - I'm just going to take my chances with that date and an Erie time that hopefully squeaks in and see what happens.

My original plan was then to run Chicago on October 13th and indeed I'm registered and I've got my Corral A confirmation and can picture in my mind standing next to Schuey in there that day ready to go.  But my family wants me to run Marine Corps a bit later in the month (October 27) so now MCM has become my Fall goal race.   Do I go to Chicago anyway to run with Schuey for some of the miles?   Hmm...maybe get work to send me out there at just the right time so I can do that?   Hmmm.    Anyway, Goal A at this early point for MCM would be setting a marathon PR below my current 3:09.  Maybe if things started to really come together during August/September, I might revisit and think about sub 3:00 again.  But I don't have a race result or even a key workout in well over a year that points to that so for now sub3 is not really on my brain, just returning to regular distance running.  

My training plan is a bit of a hodge podge of things I've used in the past from Dave, some of the Hanson's New Method plan and some from Pfitz as well.  Truth is, there's not much to my actual plan other than a couple of key principles right now:  no doubles yet, one day fully off each week, elliptical instead of running if my knee acts up and multiple double digit runs each week.  As I get through July following those principles and assuming the knee is still fine, I think you'll see the return of doubles and speed work documented here.  For now, I'm just trying to get my weekly mileage back over the 50+ range each week and yet keep the workload light enough that I'm not ramping up too quickly.

Happy to answer any questions about particular runs or workouts that I do as I typically don't post too much detail about them.  More often, I post random stuff about my life, work, family, music, sports, TV, books etc.  Here's the current snapshot on those:

Book: reading two at the same time right now.  Bad Monkey by Carl Haissen and The Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hossenni.  Both excellent but so different from one another.

TV: I think I've got one episode left to finish the series Firely.  Eh.  I was told I would love it because I loved BSG.  In my mind, its not nearly as good.   I have not watched any of Homeland Season 2 but that's not a treadmill show for me because I watch it with Jennifer.   Dexter and Breaking Bad are treadmill shows for me and I haven't watched any of this season of Dexter yet so that will probably be what I watch after this last Firely and I guess I should watch the Firely movie "Serenity".  I need another new series to start on for those treadmill hours.

Family: Cassidy just finished 6th grade and goes to Middle School in the Fall.  She's awesome.  Spending her Summer doing clarinet camp, soccer camp, goofing around with her friends and going to the pool.  Life of a 12 year old is generally pretty sweet.  But....her super closest friend is Gillian and unfortunately Gillian's family is moving to Pittsburgh at the end of this month.  This is a big deal drama as these 2 have basically been sisters-close since they were 4.  All kinds of plans being made to keep them in close contact even though they will be in different cities soon.   In fact, I'll be doing some mid cycle race up in Pittsburgh just to have a reason to take her up there for a visit.   During the first two months that they are actually living in different cities, I think there are 4 total visits between them scheduled.

Sports:  Won't be long until fantasy football draft prep starts.  For now, my Red Sox are overachieving a bit and looking good.  

Work:  Um, still working.  Travel was pretty crazy February-May because of a big deal we closed but now its just the normal day to day grind.  Actually, I probably won't talk about work all that much here.  Too boring a topic!

So, that's it.  The official kickoff to my Fall Marathon blog.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:17 pm

Wow - great minds think alike as I was going to send you a PM to see if Erie was still in the works.  Currently, my plan is to run the half (whilst you are running the full) as a solid training run or fast finish or maybe even as a 20, and then be your cheerleader for the latter miles of your race.   Not sure what your travel and/or hotel and/or family plans are, but if you are coming by yourself, let me know as you can stay at my summer home here with me (and most likely my dog and maybe hubby if he is in town).  I am roughly 1.5 hrs from Presque Isle, so pretty close and obviously, I would do all the driving.  I also don't know to where you plan on flying or if you would drive.  Erie is a rather small airport, and although I know you can fly there, it is probably not that easy these days and it wasn't even easy in the past.  Cleveland is only 110 miles from Erie and Buffalo is about the same.  Both airports are easily navigated, and obviously, if you fly to Cleveland, you have a ride to Erie and back (on me).  (I also only live 15 min from the airport in Cleveland and have plenty of room there as well).  As things come together, just send me a PM and let me know your thoughts and we will make sure to line things up.  Any you never know, I might try for a better BQ time in Erie if all the stars align (as I am guaranteed a Boston entry already, but I figure they will always take faster times as they do most years before they assign corrals.)

Good luck with the rest of the summer training!  I'm with you on slowly rebuilding mileage and getting it all back on track.  Enjoy it and your time with Cassidy.  Middle school can be quite the challenge, but we all survive it and the next thing you know she will be a sophomore in college Laughing
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Hey Chris - It looks like you have a good plan set worth.  I also think that it is more important to get back into form first before trying to tackle the sub 3 again.  My fingers are crossed for you to get into next year's Boston.  Good luck with your training cycle and I am excited to follow along.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Kenny B. on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:45 am

It's nice to see you come back and do what you can do best.  Run!  Certainly you have a solid plan thought out and based on what I know about you, you will put your best foot forward to make it happen!  Not easy, but doable!  Wishing you the best journey back.

PS: 16 miles at 8:10 is not to shabby as you build back your fitness.  Don't poo poo it away!
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:20 pm

Yes, Michele, Erie is happening!   I'll be going up there with my buddy Scott (Gillian's Dad) so won't need to take you up on your kind offer of staying at your Summer place.  The plan as it stands now for that weekend is this.   I coach a soccer game in DC area that Saturday morning for Cassidy and then the two of us fly to Pittsburgh.  I leave Cassidy in Pittsburgh to hang out with her buddy Gillian and Gillian's Mom and then Scott and I drive from Pittsburgh to Erie Saturday PM and stay in Erie at a hotel Saturday night.  Race on Sunday and then back to Pittsburgh and a flight with Cassidy back to DC.   If you are coming from your Summer place to pick up your packet Saturday, we should carbo load together at a dinner.   Or we just meet up raceday morning.  I can even get your number etc. for you if you don't want to come in to Erie before Sunday.   How fun that you'll be out there for the half.  Hmm, given how fast you are, I might be pacing off of you for the first 13.1!   

Today was 7 miles on the treadmill downstairs at work during lunch.  6 miles at 7mph (8:34 pace) and then 1 mile at 8.9mph (6:44 pace).  Probably not super smart to end an easy recovery run with a quicker MP-type mile but I do that a lot to just wake up the legs towards the end.  A pretty routine practice of mine when using the mill.  I used to mess around with doing a lot of "easy" running on the mill at 8mph (7:30 pace) and 7.5 mph (8:00 pace) and found that 7:30 pace in particular starts to turn every run into a GA run and it wasn't fitting the bill of truly easy mileage which is what I'm looking for on days like today.  8:34 is better for me as that "fix it and forget it" zone out pace and then I sort of wake up at the end with a faster finish.  That's the routine and pretty easy.

Tonight is USA Men's Soccer Gold Cup opening match.   This is a bit of a "B Team" tournament for them but the coach has brought back Donovan after his sabbatical and Stuart Holden is playing again after almost 2 years of injuries.  Those two looked amazing in a friendly match the other night and I think and hope they could be starters for the 'A Team' in Brazil in 2014 for the World Cup.  I want to see both of them play the whole game tonight.  If Klinsmann starts Beckerman over Holden, I'm going to throw something at the TV.   Here's the lineup I would play for Brazil in 2014:

Structured as a 4-4-2 formation but would apply equally as a 4-2-3-1

Howard in goal (Guzan as backup)

Beasley at left back, Omar Gonzalez in the center back position and.....here's where I get crazy.....Jermaine Jones slides back to become a central defender.  No more midfield for him.  Besler, who is a central defender slides over to play right defense for the US which looks like a problem area right now.   Beasley-Jones-Gonzalez-Besler?!   Man, that's SOLID!   Fabian Johnson and Cameron as backups or alternatives.

Midfield is Bradley and Holden in the center.  I'm not 100% sold on Zusi but let's put him at right midfield and then have Clint Dempsey slide back from forward to play left midfield.

Then you've got Jozy and Donovan playing forward with Jozy sort of up top and Donvan dropped back a bit linking to the midfield.  Hercules and/or Shea coming off the bench as needed.

Love that lineup!   Anyway, for tonight, I'll end up staying up to 1:30am to watch the US hopefully roll over an outclassed Belize team.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:33 pm

Excellent plan, Chris.  Not sure if I'll join you for dinner or not the night before the race, but that will depend on where you are staying in Erie.  The main drag (Peach St) is where most of the hotels I know are, but there is also a pretty nice downtown.  Both are 45 min to 1 hr for me, but if I coordinate it with packet pick up, that might work out.  I'm most likely doing a MP run that day (most likely 16-18 miles), so my 8:35 pace is definitely too slow for you.  However, you may want to start out there.  I'll be there for the finish (hopefully on the course for other miles as it is a loop, but that will depend on whether I go back to Cleveland from Erie or here).
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:23 am

MCM!

Also, love the GOT reference...
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Dave-O on Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:50 am

I think your mindset is spot on. For now, don't worry about workouts or paces or goal times. Health and rebuilding your aerobic base is what matters.  Give your body to rebuild its muscular strength and endurance.  Be patient my friend. 

On a different note, my fantasy team could really use Clay Buchholz back.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:50 pm

Haven't run yet today.   Missed the early AM one because of staying up too late to watch US Soccer.  Then lunch slot didn't happen because of work.  So, has to be done tonight.  I've said it a million times that running first thing in the morning is the best way for me to cross off daily runs and stick to the schedule.  Easy to say, sometimes hard for me to do but I'm doing it tomorrow!  I'll finally finish the Firefly series tonight during my run.   Nothing too elaborate planned.  Just like Dave said, steadily building back up my health and endurance with hour long easy runs.   They are coming along easier now as I get back into the habit.

Michele, we are staying at the Sheraton Bayfront Hotel in Erie.  Not sure where that is relative to where you would be coming from. 

US blew away Belieze in soccer last night 6-1.  Kilnsmann did make me mad by starting Beckerman over Holden again at center midfield.   Everyone looked good last night, Beckerman included.  But Holden played the whole 2nd half and all indications are he's healthy again and I think he should be playing for the "A Team" once World Cup qualifying starts again in September.  And of course Donovan too.  He was the best guy on the field for 90 minutes last night.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:21 pm

Oooo, you will like that hotel -right on the lake in the downtown area that I mentioned. Makes Erie look like the big time as the marina is beautiful.  They have really done a nice job.  It is about an hour from me, but doable.  No worries, we will talk long before then.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Jim Lentz on Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:48 pm

Did you get the run in Chris?
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:47 pm

@Jim Lentz wrote:Did you get the run in Chris?

 Done. Exactly the same today as yesterday but just earlier in the day.  7 miles on the mill.  6 miles at 8:34 pace and turning it up at the end for a little less than 1 at 6:44.  I put my hands on the bars that measure HR a couple of times during it and saw 115.  Yikes.  That's a bit embarrassing if accurate and saying that I'm not working at all.   I'll wear my actual Garmin strap on some runs coming up to check on my current HR at various paces.  I always register low and with a low max as well but 115 is a bit extreme on the low end even for me 4 miles into a run.  Tomorrow is a run with a buddy before work.  We'll probably go 8 although we are starting early enough that I might try and talk him into 10 while we are out there.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:30 pm

@Chris M wrote:
@Jim Lentz wrote:Did you get the run in Chris?

 Done. Exactly the same today as yesterday but just earlier in the day.  7 miles on the mill.  6 miles at 8:34 pace and turning it up at the end for a little less than 1 at 6:44.  I put my hands on the bars that measure HR a couple of times during it and saw 115.  Yikes.  That's a bit embarrassing if accurate and saying that I'm not working at all.   I'll wear my actual Garmin strap on some runs coming up to check on my current HR at various paces.  I always register low and with a low max as well but 115 is a bit extreme on the low end even for me 4 miles into a run.  Tomorrow is a run with a buddy before work.  We'll probably go 8 although we are starting early enough that I might try and talk him into 10 while we are out there.

I bought a new treadmill this year, and it has those HR bars and they always seem low. Of course, then I say I'm going to wear my garmin chest strap and check it, and never remember to do so.

Good job getting it done...
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:27 pm

@Michael Enright wrote:
@Chris M wrote:
@Jim Lentz wrote:Did you get the run in Chris?

 Done. Exactly the same today as yesterday but just earlier in the day.  7 miles on the mill.  6 miles at 8:34 pace and turning it up at the end for a little less than 1 at 6:44.  I put my hands on the bars that measure HR a couple of times during it and saw 115.  Yikes.  That's a bit embarrassing if accurate and saying that I'm not working at all.   I'll wear my actual Garmin strap on some runs coming up to check on my current HR at various paces.  I always register low and with a low max as well but 115 is a bit extreme on the low end even for me 4 miles into a run.  Tomorrow is a run with a buddy before work.  We'll probably go 8 although we are starting early enough that I might try and talk him into 10 while we are out there.

I bought a new treadmill this year, and it has those HR bars and they always seem low. Of course, then I say I'm going to wear my garmin chest strap and check it, and never remember to do so.

Good job getting it done...
Yeah, of course I forgot the HR strap today after saying that yesterday...

Today was 8 miles in the pouring rain.  Since it was still decently warm (low 70s) the rain wasn't that bad.  Nothing like a miserable winter rain but it was still coming down pretty hard throughout.  7:54 pace.  Over the weekend, I'll do two longish runs and my plan is to have the total equal 30 miles.  First up is tomorrow late afternoon evening and I expect it to be somewhere between 15-18.  Whatever is left to get to 30 total for the weekend, I'll then do on Sunday.   Again, all easy running.  Knee feels great and I'm getting back into the habit and routine of knocking out these runs.  Helps right now that there are basically no workouts I'm doing.  But speed will be very easy to re-introduce once I've got my fitness fully back to doing 50-80 miles each week easy.  At least that's my theory I'm operating on right now!
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:13 pm

Today was 18.  Not a good run.  Went real slow at 8:25 pace but even with that, the heat and humidity really got to us.  Stopped a couple of times to buy Gatorade and try and keep taking in fluids but by the end, I had stopped sweating and was pretty obviously dehydrated.  Had it not been an out and back, I would have actually cut this one short around 15.  Seems like no harm done but ugh, running in the afternoon (necessary because of schedule issues) in 85 degree temps and crazy high humidity was NOT FUN.  Makes me think I'll do tomorrow's on the mill.   Just watched the US v Cuba on tape delay.  Kind of a shaky 1st half from the US and NONE of the defenders who started tonight deserve consideration for the varsity USA team but the US regrouped well in the 2nd half and dominated in a 4-1 win.  I had no idea that their next game is in BALTIMORE?!?!   Time for me to go see about getting tickets right now...
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  dot520 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:25 am

I'm a morning runner and the thought of running in the afternoon heat and humidity makes me cringe.  It takes so much more out of you!  Did you see the FB post by Hal that stated that an HR monitor is a toy with useless information?  Yeah, well, I usually wear my own HR on the treadmill because the hand held usually gives me some strange numbers.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:51 pm

Another hot one today so I kept it on the mill at home.  Blah run.  12 miles in total to make it 30 miles for the weekend.  That's the only good thing, the mileage total.  The pace was slow and I didn't feel very strong physically or mentally.  This weekend is one of those where I feel how far off I am from my fitness of years past.   On the other hand, I feel 100% leg (and significantly knee) wise so its really just a bit of heat exhaustion and not anything more serious like a leg injury.  Getting in the miles will/should/better pay off eventually down the line.  I just need to stick to the idea of forgetting about the pace and just keep knocking out the miles.   Finally finished the TV series Firefly (Ok, not great) and then watched the season premiere of this season of Dexter (interesting to see where that goes in this its final ever season).  Cassidy is at a sleepover tonight so we got to go out to dinner with some friends who had their boys off at a Summer camp.  Nice to actually have an all adult meal sometimes.  Because of going out, it feels like a Friday or Saturday night but ugh its Sunday so back to work tomorrow.  My sort of plan is to run on the mill before work.  Maybe 7.  But I want to bounce back to feeling good after zapping myself in the heat on Saturday so if that alarm goes off tomorrow and I'm feeling crappy, tomorrow may become an evening run.  We'll see.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  mul21 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:00 pm

That seems like a lot of miles for  back to back days on the weekend during a build up.  Any rhyme or reason or just a time factor thing?
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:09 am

@mul21 wrote:That seems like a lot of miles for  back to back days on the weekend during a build up.  Any rhyme or reason or just a time factor thing?

 It's a bit of an experiment.  So far in this cycle, I'm not doing doubles.  By limiting my weekday runs to an hour or so, I've been doing a lot of 7 and 8s during the week.  But I do want to run multiple double digit runs each week as well so I've been going back to back of at least 10 Saturday/Sunday.  Because of having so much more time on weekends, I've always done something similar although this weekend of 30 when the overall weekly mileage is not all that high is a bit extreme.  Tentative plan for next weekend is 10 Saturday morning and then my first 20 of 2013 on Sunday morning.  So 30 again but hopefully not having the same heat issues as I will do both in the early early AM.

I seem to have recovered fine from the bonk-ish run on Saturday evening.  Today was 7 miles on the mill at work before coming upstairs.  6 miles at 8:34 pace and then 1 at 6:44.  And as sometimes happens when I'm training decently, the 6:44 mile feels the best of them.  Just an utterly routine run which is a good thing at this point.  I still haven't really contemplated doing anything in the way of sub MP speedwork.  I still feel like I want a better base under me and just to generally feel better about my fitness before cracking off mile repeats or 800s.  I'm not even sure I'm mentally/physically ready for sub MP tempo miles right now.  At some point fairly soon, I'll break the seal on all of that and start doing weekly tempos along with some kind of additional speed workout.  To the extent my training plan has a structure it is different phases:

Phase I (now) - back to 6-7 days of running.  Elliptical substitution if any injury questions.  No doubles.  Two 10+ mile runs a week.  Easy paces.

Phase II (soon but not yet) - stick with 6-7 days of running.  Maybe 1-2 doubles.  Each week has one tempo, one other speedworkout and one 15+ miler.

Phase III (crunch time - start at beach week of August 18) - Every day.  Doubles 2-3 times a week.  Stick with one tempo, one other speedworkout and mileage of 80+ mpw

I'm sort of making this up on the fly but that's a rough idea of how I see things.  I have the Erie Marathon September 15th and need a 3:25 BQ there (7:49 pace).  So since that is just supposed to be a long run BQ and the real target is MCM October 27 with a significantly faster pace, I'd like to get to where my long runs are comfortably under the Erie BQ pace by August.  That's certainly true of where I was 2011-2012.  Typical long runs in that timeframe would be anywhere from 7:10-7:40 or so.  So working backwards, I'd like to see some decently long runs towards the end of August be in that mid 7-range without me having to think about it or force it.  If I can return to that, the BQ should be doable and more importantly that will convince me I'm on track for MCM.

Something I have not really thought about yet is other races.  Kevin sent me a message yesterday asking about Army 10 miler and there's another 10 miler earlier in October.  I have to think about those and decide what I want to do.  Hard to do right now because I'm currently in a "just run easy" mindset but eventually I will want to race a bit and see where I am.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Dave-O on Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:17 am

Stop worrying about paces on runs for now.  Give yourself at least through July before you start caring about paces.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:13 am

Tuesday and Wednesday were both indoors at the gym downstairs before coming up to work.  So I haven't been outside for a run since Saturday evening which has probably been good as its pretty bad heat and humidity out there this week.  I am going to run with Scott tomorrow outside and Sunday AM I'm still thinking of trying my first 20 of the year (real slow).

Tuesday was 7 at 8:34 with no speed up at the end or anything like that.  Just an hour of easy running and done.

Last night I watched the US beat Costa Rica in the Gold Cup.  Sunday is the Quarterfinals of the tournament and the US is playing in Baltimore so of course I'm going.  Scott's family, my brothers family and us so 11 tickets.  My parents are on vacation hiking in Alaska or that would have been at least 1-2 more if they were around.  Should be awesome.   I saw the "A" team play Germany in a friendly match earlier this Summer at RFK in DC and now this "B" team (but with some "A" guys too) is in a real tournament.  Hard to measure which is better.  Seeing Bradley/Dempsey/Jozy etc. but it is just a friendly versus seeing guys like Brek Shea/Goodson/Torres but the game is meaningful.  I think the fact that some "A" level guys like Donovan/Beasley/Holden are playing in this Gold Cup tips it towards me liking the upcoming match more than the glorified scrimmage one earlier this Summer.   Should be fun!

This morning I was struggling to get up out of bed and motivate to getting here to the office/gym to get going.  Just dragging.  Not sure why but the prospect of running right off didn't appeal so I made a game-time decision to start on the elliptical.  I think that woke me up just fine because after 30 minutes on that, I switched back over to the treadmill and felt just fine from there on out.  I'm just tired.  Not sore or running injured - normal tired.  Anyway, with the elliptical warmup, I did 8:00/7:30/6:44 for 3 miles and then took a walking break to fiddle with my iPod for a bit.  Finished with .5 miles with .25 at 6:44 and the final .25 at 6:26.  All good and the faster pace was actually kind of refreshing to return to, however briefly.  Felt smooth.  Funny how I felt so lethargic and unmotivated when the alarm went off but by the end of the run, I felt pretty damn good and strong.  I'll forget but that's something to remember for other times that I'm not wanting to drag myself out there to start a run.  Ended up being 30 mins elliptical and 3.5 running on the mill so roughly equivalent to the normal 60 min runs I do.  If I kept a running log or recorded my runs in any way (I don't and never have) I'd probably equate it to 7 miles of running.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:22 am

Thursday - hey, I finally made it back outside for a run after Monday-Wednesday on the mill.  Met up with Scott early AM to take him through a "MP" run.  He's targeting a 3:30 which is 8:00 pace.  We started early enough that it was "only" 82 and humid out there.  It will be well over 90 today later.  So nasty and muggy.  Just hazy classic DC humid air.  Yuck.  Scott handled it well.  7:48 for 8 miles.  We sped up after the turnaround and we were notching it down through miles 6-8 in particular and he was fine and looks to be on track for his own Erie run in mid September.   I'm going to run with him again tomorrow morning and without meaning to as a plan, this will be a week where I do 7 days of running.  I feel fine and there's no speedwork in there so I think that's a good call.  All singles.  Will probably end up being around 65 or so miles depending on how far I go Saturday.
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Chris M on Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:18 am

Friday - 8 at 8:11 pace outside with Scott.  Scott's last run with me as a Virginia resident.  He and his family (including Gillian, Cassidy's best friend) sold their house in Vienna and it got packed up today.  Scott and his wife will move up to Pittsburgh tonight and Gillian will stay with us for a long weekend.  We'll still see them often as some visits involving them coming down here and us going up there are planned and we have a vacation to Europe together booked for next Summer already.  But its a bit sad and the end of an era having such close friends move out of town.   Today's run was uneventful otherwise except ugh its hot and humid out there.  I think it will hit 97 today.  Low to mid 80s and super humid when we went and that's already beyond the limit of where I'm comfortable.   Even at the slow pace, its just not fun being out there in that kind of sauna.  But...significantly....I was a morning runner this week.  5 pre-work runs!  Yea Me! Have I EVER done that in a work week?  Geez, I want to say yes but I suspect I never have.  It is 100% the best way to go for me because once the work day starts, my schedule is not truly my own and getting in something at lunch is dicey as is doing anything in the evening.  Plus its just so much nicer mentally NOT having a run hanging over my head the rest of the day.  I wish I would remember all of this for future weeks and just get up early and do it.  

Here's the sort of plan for the weekend running.  Tomorrow I'm going to drive down to DC and leave my car at National Airport.  I'll then take the Metro back out towards where I live and run home from the Metro station.  I'm not really sure quite how far that is.  8 miles?  Then on Sunday, the plan is to run one-way from my house to National Airport in DC.  I've done that before.  I think its a little over 19 miles one way and I'll do a little bit past the car to make it 20 assuming I'm still upright by then.  Sunday afternoon will then be USA vs El Salvador in Soccer at Raven's Stadium in Baltimore.  Should be a blast.  4pm game on national TV (FOX) so look for me in about the 4th row at midfield!
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:13 am

I hope that the heat and humidity breaks for you shortly.  A cool front is coming through sometime today to knock our 90s back down to the lower 80s.  Hopefully it is coming your way.  Sounds like a great plan for your 20 miler on Sunday.  The approach gives you a point to point run instead of the normal loop or out and back that long runs tend to be.

Have fun at the game...it should be a blast!!
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Re: Paying The Iron Price

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:20 am

Don't wear blue on Sunday.

I, too, like your point-to-point plans. I've thought from time to time of doing something similar and running the 18 or so miles home from work, but have never quite gotten that plan together.

Morning is definitely the time to run during the work week. It helps to be a lousy sleeper anyway...
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