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Days of the Phoenix

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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:43 pm

Nah, no madness yet.  Just a little playful banter for now...  And the grumpiness of overreaching that always comes with a peak.  Since I don't have a critically important time goal, bad weather wouldn't be the end of the world.  I've already accomplished what I wanted from this training cycle - being able to run 2hr, and enjoy it, at a decent clip, on any given day.

Assuming the marathon + recovery go well, I did find a 50k (seems short, more like 29-30mi) nearby on Veteran's Day.  Small (200 runners), 3 loops of 9.8mi each, 2 aid stations per loop, all trail/mostly non-technical single track.  And cheap entry.  Yes, I'm putting it out there now, just because.

---

I can just imagine one of us crashing through the window and down 9 floors when we decide to get hammered and play Twister one night.  Also, everyone knows my flexibility is notoriously bad, so it wouldn't be much contest.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:15 am

I'm going to call today's run a success, because it was a training run, and not a race.  Had it been a race, it would've been a repeat of Boston 2012.  Yeah, it was rough.

Had a bebopping first 2.5mi to meet our very own Chris McKee at Gravelly Point.  By that point, I was already dripping sweat from the humidity, but it was still "cool" (75 with a dewpoint of 71).  We cruised for another very easy 2.5mi before bumping it up to what should have been an 8:35 pace, which we'd hold for the next 12.5mi.  Well, we sort of kept that pace, but it was more like 8:20 average, and we quickly came upon Custis Trail, which is 4mi of nonstop rolling hills.  The fact that I haven't done this sort of distance in a while definitely showed, as I let the early good feelings take over and rolled with a faster-than-planned pace.  Chris was feeling like doing the full 16mi (the loop) may be too long, so he turned back 6mi in to his run.  I don't blame him.  

Mile 10 brought a new trail, this one slightly downhill with water every few miles.  I was behind on water, and it was starting to show.  Filled up at miles 10, 12, and 14...  Which turned out to be the last water stop on the trail.  I had to sneak into a grocery store bathroom for more at mile 15.5, since I was already out again.  Around this point, the easy miles were done, and a gutcheck was in order.  Now 78 degrees and feeling like 85, running directly into the sun with a slight tailwind, and no more water...  Yep.  I knew my miles were numbered.  

At mile 17.5, I dropped to a 8:10 pace, which again was kind of faster than that (just barely), but with coordination starting to disappear and strength zapped, I knew things were not going to end well.  My stomach shut down for water, so I was just dumping a little on my head every mile to get some respite from the heat, but it hardly worked.  

Mile 20 brought the do-or-die choice of risking my next week to "complete" this workout.  I decided to throw in the towel and finish with a 1.4mi jog back to the apt.  

21.4mi total, just over 3hr.  I'm okay with it.  The legs were there 100%, but the body just wasn't cooperating with heat.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:35 am

Very easy hour this morning.  After yesterday, it was pretty important that today was just about shaking out the legs and putting in a maintenance run.  Same for tomorrow.  But man, I wish that the weather for today could've been yesterday's...  Barely 70, breezy...  

Tuesday will be 15mi with 2x 5mi @ MP, Thursday a Hal Higdon tempo, next Sunday 20mi w/ 10mi @ MP.  Let's hope this week goes well.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:28 pm

Nice job, Mike.  You will survive this week no worries.  Seems like you guys have settled in nicely.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Dave P on Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:54 pm

Thank God, at least here in the Northeast, we're getting a break from the humidity this week.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:17 am

Mom - Fingers crossed.  Have to admit that Saturday was still a little bit of a confidence zap, even with the ability to reason through it.  

Dave - We've got less heat this week, but it's still wet.  Lots of rain, too.  Next week looks GLORIOUS.  Low dew points, low temps in the 50s, highs in the 70s...

---

7.85mi this morning.  Body is still tired.  Was able to put in the miles no problem, but it's obvious that I'm still recovering from Saturday.  Makes sense. 

My all-day job cancelled on me (still billable!), so I guess it's nap time and chores today.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:13 am

Always nice when you get to bill a job and get a day off at the same time.  The weather should be great this week - enjoy!
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:01 am

Got some new shorts in the mail yesterday.  Pearl Izumi "Fly" something-or-rather.  Got a small, since I'm still a 29-ish waist, but man, my legs still have some bulk leftover from cycling days.  They're a nice short - more "stuff" than I'm used to.

15mi w/ 2x 5mi @ "MP" today.  Quotes for MP because the first interval was nearly dead on (7:21 average - 7:3x first mile) and the 2nd was, well, fast.  7:03 average with the last 2mi under 7:00 pace.  What can I say, after the first couple miles sucking - I really didn't think I'd finish this workout - something clicked and I was able to zip along to finish the run.

Decided to check out Roosevelt Island as per Chris's suggestion.  Pretty neat, albeit short, loop with a blend of single-track, fireroad, and elevated walkways over a swamp.  Very little with regards to technical terrain, and just two very short lumps to get over per loop.  The bathroom, on the other hand, leaves something to be wanted.  Apparently it was serviced just 8 days ago, but we're already 100% out of TP, folks.  People were using leaves, as evidenced in the nearly-full groover.  I was more creative, as I didn't want to risk whatever derm ailment leaves may cause.  We'll leave it at that.  

Definitely have that post-run warm fuzz going on right now, and I'd love to take a nap.  Unfortunately, I'm dumb and took two jobs for today.  Maybe this afternoon...
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  ounce on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:19 pm

Nice efforts and would you think the first 2 miles could be your legs loosening up and clearing any crap out of your fibers?

I'm sure the honchos at work are pleased with your utilization rate.  Approval

Here on Saturday, it might be high 60's in the morning.  The first since May, I believe.  We haven't hit 100 degrees all year and it's doubtful we will at this point.  We still have a couple of weeks before we're past our peak for hurricane season.  Once we get on a cycle of cool or cold fronts, all of the hurricanes entering the Gulf of Mexico will be pushed through Georgia and Virginia.

You're kind of close to Virginia.  Hmmm.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:42 pm

Definitely was the body waking up, Oz.  I could just feel the gunk in my legs, as I haven't done any uptempo work since last Wednesday, and I had that long run still hanging around in there.

I definitely saved both companies I work with by taking those jobs today, so that was good for brownie points.

Yes, I'm quite close to VA.  Some might even say I live here.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Sometimes, running sucks, and everything hurts, and I'm ready to throw in the towel.  Today is one of those times.

After my run yesterday, I had a weird spell at the metro (I pretty much got home, showered, slammed a bowl of granola, and left for work) where my heart started racing and I felt very warm and light-headed.  It lasted about 20min, but went away for the rest of the day.  I proceeded to go to bed at 7:30pm last night.  Okay, body, got it: tired.

This morning, similar thing happened, but less severe.  Suddenly felt warm, weak, and pulse quickened.  I had a full day of work, so I was a little freaked out, but again, it went away.  

By the time I got home, I was feeling a bit bonky and very tired...  But there was running to be done.  Any other week, I would've just scrapped the day, but this is my peak and, well, I couldn't not go.  Ugh, talk about a slog.  There were moments that felt somewhat like pleasant running, but 95% of it was achy, sore, tired, shuffling.  

6.5mi.  A thorough stretch is in order.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  mul21 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:09 pm

Take a day off and drink a bunch of Gatorade.  Don't be an idiot!
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Chris M on Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:01 pm

Yikes on the dizzy-like spell.  That sounds like some heat stroke symptoms.  Seriously take it easy.  Great seeing you the other day - sorry I could slog through the whole thing with you but it would have ended even uglier for me.   Get cooled off and well again and we'll go back out for a run soon.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:45 am

Jim - You'd think I'd be reasonable, wouldn't you?

Chris - That's what I thought.  I researched some symptoms and think it may have been some heat-related residual from Saturday's run.  Especially since it took a 25min shower with just the cold tap + half hour of sitting under the fan with the AC down to 68F to cool off.  Aileen was in a sweatshirt and had a blanket around her while I was in shorts and still warm.  Hm.

---

Nothing weird today yet, knock on wood.  A mediocre tempo in the books.

For all the whining and aching they do, my legs are at least holding together and allowing me to run, so that's a good sign.  On the other hand, they aren't letting me go very fast, and my stomach has not held up well the last week.

After a 20min warm-up, I eased into a GA effort level and found that my pace matched - ~7:45.  So far, so good.  5min later, dropped to MP effort, though my pace was reluctant to pick up.  After a couple minutes, I was on pace...  But this wasn't feeling very easy at all.  HMP was next, which felt pretty blah but at least I was able to hit it.  Then 1hr threshold pace, which sucked.  I hit a red light at the end of that interval, and the abrupt stop nearly made me lose my stomach.  Ugh.  Last 5min were hard, borderline-comfortably, against a huge headwind, chasing a guy on a bike.  I nearly caught him.  Ended with 5min of MP just to keep a little speed in the legs before my cooldown...  Which was extended by a mile, because apparently they closed the sidewalk that goes around/through the Pentagon...?  So I shuffled around the Pentagon, looking for another path, trying not to bitch too much, and rolled in with 8.8mi instead of the 7.75mi planned.  Oh well.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:15 am

At least I'm recovering efficiently.  

Day off running + all-day job yesterday.  The latter was pretty low-key.  Aileen bought Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, Mac 'n' Cheese, and Oreos for our appetizer, dinner, and dessert.  And we all know how junk food works as rocket fuel for me.  Seriously.  

Woke up today feeling refreshed and ready to run.  Didn't have any weird dreams last night, which is probably the first time since we've been here that's happened.  

Had a little more for breakfast, as I'm trying to start getting race-ready with my nutrition plan and schedule, as the race will start at 9am eastern time and I'm only getting to Minnesota the day before.

10mi that went like a breeze, just clicking them off one by one, watching my pace hone in on 8:00 and stay there for the latter half of the run.  I think this is my first run here that's been 100% under 70 degrees, and the cloud cover made it even more pleasant.

Ready for 20 tomorrow.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:51 pm

Running is a weird thing.  Or maybe I'm just weird about running.  I'd guess the latter.

Semi-interesting day yesterday (parts of which contribute to today's run)...  Apparently we have ghosts, or something, as a neighbor called in to complain that there were "rolling noises coming from our floor all night long."  Uh, we were asleep by 9:30, but okay.  Which on its own is a sort of "whatever" thing, since we were asleep, but Aileen forgot to break down a cardboard box before tossing it in the recycling dumpster and - ready for it? - someone actually went in, peeled the mailing label off of it to show that it came from our unit, and took it to the front desk.  ...Seriously?  For some reason, these two events combined to make me very stressed out, feeling kind of alienated in my own apartment, etc.  Like I said, maybe I'm just the weird one.

Aileen's God-family came through town mid-afternoon (they live in NY state) to stop for lunch and visit for a few hours.  We went to an "Italian" place.  I ordered the arugula and prosciutto pizza, which was absolutely covered in arugula and so salty/bitter it was nearly unpalatable.  Which made me kind of queasy for the remainder of the day.

Why this matters is that the uncalled for stress and bleh lunch lead to a pretty uneasy stomach this morning, which made breakfast hard to eat and gave me reason to worry about today's run.  

But, running is weird.  

I decided to run the first 10mi today at whatever pace felt good and easy, just to take some of the pressure off.  In order of importance, I wanted to 1) get 20mi done, 2) run the last 10mi @ 7:25 (ideally 7:20) pace, and 3) run the first 10 @ 8:34 pace.  Started out quite a bit slower than that, but at least the miles were pleasant, and by the end of mile 3, I was on target.  From mile 4-10, the route was a gradual uphill, averaging .9%, but with some rollers here and there.  A nice blend of terrain and scenery.  

I felt pretty good at mile 10, but still eased into the first mile, as I had just finished a pretty decent climb as my watch clicked.  The next 4mi were eastbound on the Custis Trail, which locals will know is pretty steep rollers for its entirety.  I haven't done much downhill running this training cycle, but it didn't take too long for the legs to really loosen up so I could bomb the descents just to power up the climbs.  With a net downhill, my splits were in the 7:1x range for those 4 miles, which I figured would rise back up to 7:2x when the trail flattened out.  ...Apparently I felt really good, because I averaged just over 7:10 for the remaining 6 miles (though the last one, with a fair bit of climbing, was definitely a "gutting it out" mile).

20mi total, 7:56 ave moving pace.  
First 10mi, 8:43 ave pace.
Last 10mi, 7:14 ave pace.  

Feeling very good about today's run and what it means for my training to date.  I'm also pretty relieved to be starting my taper now, as my body and mind both need some rest.  

Three weeks to go!
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Jim Lentz on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:50 am

There are some weird people in apartments/condos. 

Great job on the run!
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  ounce on Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:25 am

Yes, Mike, that was a nice run.  Just kick back and relax a bit.

And some of those people in your apt complex remind me of Miss Almira Gulch from The Wizard of Oz.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:46 am

In hindsight, I guess I've always been really lucky with neighbors.  And landlords/property managers, for that matter.  Hmm.  

Legs felt surprisingly good this morning, though I definitely woke up tired and am glad to have taken the day off work.  5mi recovery run, slow and steady, in near-fall weather.  Just a wee bit cooler and we'll be there.  Missing the clouds, though, to be honest.  Rain and thunderstorms are kind of neat.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mark B on Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:07 pm

Simple solution to your neighbor problem: Start running barefoot. Their heads will implode. Problem solved!
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:32 pm

Mark - That may work...  But we're NOT ALLOWED TO BE BAREFOOT IN THE BUILDING.  Not sure where I'd store my temporary shoes once I got outside.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Jim Lentz on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:35 am

VFFs?
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  nkrichards on Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:02 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Mark - That may work...  But we're NOT ALLOWED TO BE BAREFOOT IN THE BUILDING.  Not sure where I'd store my temporary shoes once I got outside.


I wonder how long your shoes would sit on the steps before someone walked off with them?
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:36 pm

Jim - Fundamentally against them.  Waste of money for what little they really are.  Same goes with "minimalist" shoes.  Why am I paying $120?  For the technology?  No thanks.  Though, imagining this situation, I have to wonder what they'd do.  I'm sure people already hate my super-short shorts I just got.  

Nancy - I doubt the issue would be theft, to be honest.  Arlington is, after all, rated the #3 place to live in the whole country, according to some recent thing.  I have no idea why, but it is.  The issue would be someone bringing them to the front desk and complaining, I'm sure.

---

Some days, being "on call" means you're never called.  Such was the case today.  So, I sat in a cubicle and chatted with a fellow California ex-pat, finished reading Ender's Game, and thought about my career options.  I may start looking into staff positions starting in January.  

I also learned that eating homemade bean/veggie soup for lunch and then running after work is a not-so-good idea.  Not necessarily for the reasons you'd think, but actually due to heartburn.  Dunno what that's about, but I'd guess the tomato paste?  I also had pasta with tomato sauce.  Gotta rethink my lunches.

Still, this didn't hinder my tempo run too much.  20min warm-up, feeling pretty gross/full/blarg, then 30min broken into 6x 5min segments.  All paces were quicker than expected, but I ran it by feel instead of the watch, so I guess that's a pleasant surprise.  The MP effort was closer to BQ pace (7:0x), LT in the 6:40s, "hard" in the 6:20s.  Felt strong but not smooth, but hey, I've never felt smooth on an after-work run.  10min cool down.

7.7mi total.
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Re: Days of the Phoenix

Post  Mark B on Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:44 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Mark - That may work...  But we're NOT ALLOWED TO BE BAREFOOT IN THE BUILDING.  Not sure where I'd store my temporary shoes once I got outside.

Are you kidding me? Even in bed?

I agree. VFFs. That'll look even freakier than naked (gasp!) feet.
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