Monday, December 14, 2009

2 down, lots more to come...

Two weeks down and feeling good. A little tightness in the right ankle from twisting it a few months back, but that still only bothers after a run and not during. I’ve had a few really good trailish runs, mostly through trails and some road running lately. Going through the local park over here it’s all downhill until it’s very, very much not. It’s about 2 miles to the mouth of the first trail that leads into the park system. You hit the first left and ‘that’s when the fun starts. My goal for the first two weeks was not to stop running until the first set of stairs, next week will be until the second.

Being all downhill for the first 2 miles is a great way to start the run, but of course with only one way in and out, what goes down, must come up. It’s a great course because you get a good hard faast pace to start off with then a good steady swift trail course to really concentrate on and pace yourself. Then you have the climb back out of there to really work the legs. The last two hundred yards climb about 40 feet through a soft switchback and pops you out at the trailhead and parking lot. I’m pretty positive that nothing glamourous has ever come running UP out that exit. It usually sounds something closer to Tom Waits wresting with a treadmill while trying to blow out birthday candles.

Nevertheless I head into that course knowing that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and all the other crap that goes along with that line of thinking. This last weekend I headed in after a pretty hard spin class and run the day before. I was looking for a good tired run to work on running through the tiredness and coming out the other end. First 3 miles I was really not buying it, then at around 3.5 I felt the legs give a bit and I picked it up with a really good pace. It was only 7 miles, but the hills were pretty constant and I didn’t walk or take it easy on the day. Knowing the run was the only workout for the day. Plus, week two, I didn’t feel like I needed to kill it out there and risk injury.

Came in with an ave. of 7:40. In the details of the run the ave. might seem a bit off. The first two miles being downhill I ran at about 5:55. It’s hard to run controlled at that speed, so that’s what I was working on, turnover, control. My heart rate was smooth and calm, about 75% perceived effort. Then the hills hit and of course I just concentrated on light and steady, no extreme burst of energy, again control. Then the long climb out back up to 80th, about 2.5 miles, steady effort, ave. 8:15. Trying to keep plus or minus 15 sec. on 8:00 minute miles. Still at about 80% perceived effort (PE). Then the last mile back to the house, all rollers up and down, I really wanted a good hard effort, so I ran at about 90% PE until I was a block from the house. I ave. about 7:00 minutes per mile on the last and felt really good, controlled.

I’ve been doing a crap load of leg work at the gym, mostly for the bike, but also for added benefit for hill work on runs.

So for the most part I got 2 really good weeks or training started and feel good about weight, fitness and cardio. Weight is the thing that I use as a short guide on something, not sure what. Anything over 130 and I feel too heavy, anything below 124 and I feel too weak. I know it has nothing to do with weight, but still, that’s my metric. So my goal fighting weight is 125.5. I’m starting off this year at 127, in comparison I started last at 133 and the year before at 131.

All this just means that I feel light and ready to start jumping into the buzz saw that training can be. I’ve also really studied and looked over old running logs and calendars to see what worked and what didn’t and to see if there were any patterns that I could just make into routines. For the most part I’m just happy the the first 2 weeks have gone so well.

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