Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Week 6 - Training on a Pergo Floor - NOT!

Well I had some good runs this week. I started out on Monday with a 4 mile run around town on a cold wintery morning. It was about 10 degrees and it actually felt warmer because the wind did not seem as bad.

On Wednesday I ran for about 50 minutes but given the conditions I suspect it was only about 5 ½ miles. The roads in town were slick and I never felt like I could get any momentum while running.

Friday at work I watched it snow all day and could not resist the temptation to cross country ski instead of run when I got home. Cross country skiing is definitely harder to do than run, so I did not feel like I was sacrificing any conditioning. I was supposed to run 5 miles so I figured if I skied for an hour or so I would be good. I skied for 60 minutes around town and quickly remembered that cutting tracks in while skiing is hard work. After making my first loops which took about 40 minutes, I went back and skied over the whole thing again in about 20 minutes. It was quite exhausting but a nice break from running.

My son Taylor had arranged for a TeamPR group run on Saturday morning so I got up early to find that it had snowed even more. There was probably about 3-4 inches of fresh soft powder on the ground. We drove to the park and met Brian Musick and his brother Jeff there waiting for us.

Brian, Tronk, Jeff, Taylor (pre-run)

After some preliminaries, Brian suggested we run the trails. I reluctantly agreed so we left the Lily Pond parking lot and ran the upper trail around the ridge heading towards the Log Cabin. We were not on the trail long before we realized that the trails were in poor shape. We ran trails for about a mile before we bailed and got onto the roads. I had planned on running 14 miles today and I knew I was not going to do it on trails in these conditions.

Road around Lake Newport

We continued on our path around Lake Glacier and followed the roads around the perimeter of the park all the way to Shields Road. When running around Lake Newport we saw Katherine Bosley running with a few other ladies. Ms. Bosley was a local news personality that achieved notoriety on the internet by having some pictures of her posted. That’s a whole different story.

Brian and I ran together for about 9-10 miles of the 13 today and Taylor and Jeff were out in front of us. We were going to sprint up in front of them but we didn’t want to give the two youngsters a complex or anything. So we just held back, ran our pace, stopped to stretch a few times and enjoyed the winter wonderland of Mill Creek Park. This park is always beautiful but with fresh white powder on it, it gets even better

Lanterman's Mill -Awesome!

Tronk running with the Boys!

When we reached the Lily Pond parking lot, Brian’s GPS showed we had covered 12.5 miles. We decided a trip around the Lily Pond may make it 13 total so we ran through the ankle deep snow. Once we got back to the parking lot, we did an extra little loop and made it 13.0. We ran for 2 hours and 18 minutes. Not a blistering pace, but good time on our feet in some very slippery conditions.

On Sunday I had planned on running 4 miles easy but my brother called with a special request. Pergo floor installation! Needless to say I worked for 10 hours on Sunday putting in a floor and could barely stand erect when I finished. I wanted to run when I got home at 8:00, but I was totally exhausted. I actually thought I was getting sick, as I started with chills and sweats. I took 3 Ibuprofen and went to bed. Good news is I woke up fine, but may back down some next week because this is the point in winter when I get sick every year. I am going to allow myself some flexibility in my training next week and be prepared to run the Mill Creek half marathon next weekend. Tronk - King of the Winter Wonderland!

Total Mile Run = 22 ½
Total Mile X/C ski = 5
Long Run 13 miles
Weight = 198 and holding!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Week 5 When Is Spring?

Well the week of February 11 through the 17 proved to be challenging for my running schedule due to the weather, family obligations and work. I was slated to run 30 miles this week. It did not turn out that way.

I started out running on Monday and ran probably 2 ½ of the coldest miles I have run in a long time. It was 4 degrees and with the wind chill it was -10 degrees. I was supposed to do 4 miles, but as my face chapped I decided to cut it short. It is these constant reminders of why I have never done a spring marathon that drive me crazy. I want to run, but getting motivated to run in the dark in freezing cold weather just sucks!

Wednesday came and it was still cold but I was real determined to run. I ran around town and cruised an easy cold 4 miles in 32 minutes. Some days my lungs don’t seem to mind the cold and other days it seems I pay the price. Today I got in a good run. I can’t help but think how good it will feel when I can get back to running in shorts and cut off t-shirts.

Friday night my wife and I traveled to Oberlin College to watch my daughter run the mile on an indoor track. As much as I hate running outside, I think an indoor track might be worse. Sure it is dry, warm and smooth, but it is also hard to breathe, dry, warm and smooth. It is just not my style of running. On the way to Oberlin, we stopped and picked up my cousin Brian (Kyrsti’s godfather) in Brooklyn, Ohio and he went with us. After the meet we ate at Max and Erma’s and then traveled home. Needless to say I missed my scheduled 5 mile run on this day.

Saturday morning Kyrsti and I got up early and traveled to Mill Creek to get in my long run. We had plans to meet a group of people there and were surprised to see Jim Harris, his wife Beth, his son Eric and the Maheu family (Lenny, Kellie and Audrey). After we decided the route to run, we were off. It was real cold starting off (about 10 degrees). There are areas in the park that seem colder. When you run into low lying areas with heavy tree coverage, it seems like it may be 10-15 degrees colder.

Kyrsti was planning on running 50 minutes. I had planned to my long run so I decided I would do a loop with her and then go for another loop after dropping her off at the car (we drove separately so she could go home). We started out as a whole group but after a few minutes we were in two groups. Jim, Audrey, Kyrsti, Eric and I were in the front group with the others following behind us. We traveled alongside Cohasset and made our way to Big Bear. The climb warmed us all up and by the time we reached the top I was wiping sweat from my forehead.

When we reached the Mill, Jim decided he was going to turn around and run back to Beth, Kellie, and Lenny. His son Eric turned around with him. They were planning on getting in 8-10 miles. Kyrsti, Audrey and I continued on our way around the park. We ran East Cohasset Drive and found it snow covered and difficult to run on. We enjoyed each others company and talked about college, track, cross country and anything else. When we reached the Green Bridge at the end of Lake Glacier, Audrey said she was going to go around. Kyrsti and I split from her and we ran back to the Lily Pond.

Kyrsti ran for about 55 minutes and she seemed happy with that. I changed my tops and put some dry stuff on. I was in a full sweat now. I ate a Hammer Gel and drank some Succeed before heading out on the second half of my run. The second half was completely unplanned. I knew that I did not want to run East Cohasset again because the footing was really bad. I exited the Lily Pond parking lot and decided I was going to run up towards Bears Den cabin. I hadn’t run to the top of this in a while and thought it would be enjoyable.

I made my way up the steady climb and just found myself running on various roads throughout the park to make my run a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes. I estimate that I ran about 15 miles and was quite happy with this run. I did see other runners out on the course and was happy to run along with 3 guys for a short while.

My week ended on Sunday and instead of running I was at a swim meet at Y.S.U. for the entire day. I left at 6:45 a.m. and returned home at 8:00 p.m. (so much for a day off). Instead of running I chose to do some stretching and get prepared for the upcoming week. All in all it wasn’t a bad week, but it is so hard to get in the runs with the weather as a deterrent.

Totals for the week:
190 minutes of running
21 ½ miles
Long run 15 miles (2 hrs. 15 minutes)
Weight 198

Monday, February 11, 2008

Week 4 - Oh the Weather!

Well week four started out great. I got in a hard 5 mile run in Mill Creek on Tuesday afternoon after work and prior to swim practice. It was a warm 50 degree day with a light drizzle. I ran the roads and purposely picked a course that would allow me to run some tough hills hard. I finished in 42 minutes and was quite exhausted.

On Wednesday I chose to run a 5 mile course around McDonald in the morning. I didn’t have to be at work until 12:00, so I got my run in with some stretching when I got home. It was a little colder (38 degrees) with a light drizzle but I got to run in shorts again in February.

Friday night Pam and I picked up my parents and we drove to Slippery Rock University to watch Kyrsti run the 800 on the indoor track. She wasn’t happy with her time but we were there to support her for her effort. Then we all went and ate at Eat and Park at Grove City.

On Saturday morning I traveled over to Mill Creek for my long run. I was scheduled to run 14 miles but did not really feel like running that long. I told myself I would maybe do 9 today and 9 tomorrow. After fussing around in the Lily Pond parking lot deciding what I was going to wear, I decided on shorts and a light rain jacket. It was a steady rain and about 40 degrees when I started. After about 5 minutes into the run, as I was heading up Bear’s Den, I told myself I dressed appropriately. I added this extra loop to increase the mileage but stay within the park and the course I have been running all along. I climbed the long hills steadily and actually felt myself gritting my teeth running somewhat hard up these hills. As I turned around and started coming back down the hill, I said to myself that I will be running 14 miles today. No excuses, no exceptions. I got back to the three way intersection and got back to my usual course. Along Lake Cohasset I enjoyed the ducks practicing take-offs and landings.

It was raining harder now and the sky was bright blue with white clouds. It was real strange. I started to run up Big Bear and thought twice after I was half way up. I stopped running and power walked the rest of the way. I stretched my legs and decided this would be the last time I walked today. I got to the top and proceeded to run for the next hour and a half to complete the 14 miles. I ran pick-ups for the rest of the run, but based more on how I felt at the time as opposed to "by the watch pick-ups". It rained, the sun shined, and at times I thought I underdressed and at other times felt I had overdressed.

My last mile from the log cabin to the car was 8:40. The previous week was 9:00 and felt much more difficult. I feel like I am getting stronger and running these hills certainly are a big part of that.

On Sunday I was supposed to run 4 miles but given the weather I bowed out. The winds were blowing so hard that I decided to do some stretching indoors and recuperate for another long week of running. I think I know now why I have never done a marathon in the spring. The weather is so difficult to train in.

Total Miles for the week = 24
Long run = 14 miles
Average Pace per mile 8:00-8:40
Weight = 198
Interesting facts: During the long run I tried “power beans”. They look and taste like jelly beans but are supposed to pack a punch of energy. I also had 1 hammer gel and 1 power fuel. It all sat well and I had no problems with cramping or dehydration. I once again drank a bottle of water on my way to the run and fueled along the way with Succeed. I may start trying to take a salt tablet, as my face was completely covered in the white grit after my long run.

I have another cold week ahead of me, but hopefully Saturday will be decent for my long run.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Week 3 - Ah the Schedule!

Well week 3 was a little difficult for me. My schedule for the week was hard due to traveling to Morgantown, WVA on Saturday for my daughter’s indoor track meet and having an all day Divisional Swim Meet in Canton on Sunday. I had to make some changes to my running schedule which resulted in fewer miles that I would have liked.

Monday the 28th was a cold day and I went out in the morning for a run before work. I ran for a quick 26 minutes (3 ½ miles) in 14 degree weather with heavy hands concentrating on speed and tempo. It was a good run and I was quite satisfied after I finished. My second run was on Wednesday in McDonald and I ran an easy 36 minutes and completed 4 miles.

I initially had planned on running my long run on Saturday the 2nd but given the fact I was going to Morgantown on Saturday, I decided to head to Mill Creek on Friday after work and get my long run in then. I got to the park about 3:15 and starting running at about 3:30. I left the Lily Pond parking lot and ran the roads around the entire circumference of the park. I stayed on all the major roads and made my way from the Lily Pond to Cohasset Drive, up Big Bear to the Mill, around Lake Newport to Shields Road, and back to the Mill. From there I ran down towards the Silver Bridge but made a right and ran down East Cohasset Drive which is a closed road that acts as a hike/bike trail. From there I went up along Lake Glacier and climbed the hills to Volney Rogers baseball fields. I was getting tired from the climbs but I had broken this run down into sections in my mind and I think this helped. I new exactly where I wanted to be and was confident I would complete this run strong. When I got near Volney, my legs were hurting and so were my lungs. It also had started to sleet a little bit. I was running in shorts and my legs were starting to get cold from the sleet and the wind. I had about a mile and a half to go so I decided to pick it up and take a split on my last mile to check my pace.

As I headed to the Lily Pond from the Log Cabin it really started to come down. The sleet was more like frozen rain and it was sticking to me everywhere. I tucked my head and pressed on. I felt good. I got back to the Lily Pond in 1 hr. 59 min. My last mile pace was 8:40. I was happy to be done and to know I ran 8:40 for my last mile of 13 miles. I dried myself off and put the heater on high for the ride home.

Saturday I traveled to the track meet and really felt like I needed a run when I got home. I was motivated watching all the college runners on the track. After a short nap, I changed my clothes and got in a 4 mile run in McDonald. My legs were tired in the beginning, but after 10 minutes or so I felt myself picking up the pace. This was my last run for the week. Sunday I was at a swim meet from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and returned home to about 12 people at my house for a Super Bowl party. I ate and enjoyed myself.

Total miles for the week were 25 (212 minutes of running)
Body weight 198
Long Day = 13 miles
Training Pace = 8:00-8:40
Interesting notes: On my long run, I consumed 2 Hammer-gels (1 every 45 minutes or so) and drank Succeed in my 26 oz. bottle. Everything sat right where it should and I had no problems with cramping. Next week the long run is scheduled for Saturday…… it will be 14 miles and I am still mapping it out.
Stay Tuned………………..