Quick Check-In: Heading Up To Boston

Short post about my recent absence and upcoming events.

I haven’t posted in a while and I wanted to check back in here.

It’s been a pretty stressful few weeks. I’m in the process of planning a big running trip (which has been one of my many recent stressors), but I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it much.

I’m technically in taper mode for the Marine Corps Marathon but it hasn’t been going great. Legs have been stiff from overtraining, and none of my runs for the past couple weeks have left me feeling confident. Hopefully more rest will do me some good.

I decided to take a mini mental health vacation and head to Boston tomorrow (Friday) night. No real plans except relaxing and eating good, maybe running along the Charles River and checking out the finish line / part of the course of the Boston Marathon.

Sometimes when life starts feeling overwhelming taking a step back from it can be the best thing for you.

I’ll try to post again before the MCM on the 22nd, and I’ll definitely post a race recap afterwards.

Thanks for reading!

PS: I have so much respect for people who manage to continue posting regularly despite life taking its occasional downturns. When I get stressed the last thing I want to do is something optional that requires brain power like writing does, but hopefully it’s a skill I can develop.

Running Summary: Week Of 9/11/17 – 9/17/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: This week I officially registered for and was accepted into the Boston Marathon! As for training, I planned to cut back on mileage but I wound up putting in more miles than I wanted to.

  • Monday: 8 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 12.2 with track intervals | 4 easy miles | Tennis
  • Wednesday: 10 easy miles
  • Thursday: 13 miles with a few at Marathon Pace to NYC | 2.6 | 2.5 | 2.4
  • Friday: Easy 8
  • Saturday: Easy 13 | Easy 2
  • Sunday: Easy 10

Weekly Totals: 88 miles. 3,199 ft of elevation gain

Favorite Workout(s): Tuesday’s track workout

On Tuesday I had my first track workout in a while (Strava info). This was also the first track work I’ve done for months where the temperature was fairly mild. It’s crazy how much of a difference the cooler weather made.

My heart rate was able to recover much quicker than in the past on sweltering hot days, which led to being able to keep my pace up on the intervals. My intervals / times were:

  • 8x800m ~2:48
  • 4x400m ~1:18
  • 4x200m ~0:37
  • 1×1 mile ~5:40

Each rep had a recovery jog of half the previous rep’s distance between them (besides the final 1 mile rep). Normally I check my heart rate between reps to see what it recovers to, and for these intervals I found it getting to about 10 bpm lower than it usually gets.

Biggest Issues: I spent all day Saturday in NYC, and the new cable I brought to charge my phone with my portable battery wound up being a dud and not working. The only way I was able to keep my phone juiced was to go to two different Apple stores to plug it into the cables they used to charge the products on display… That was a stressful experience. I did a couple other runs and long walks that day but couldn’t track any of them because of my phone being in a constant state of low battery.

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Lessons learned: Test everything before relying on it.

Next Week: Lower the mileage a little more and but have a good long run. 5 weeks till the Marine Corps Marathon!

Running Summary: Week Of 9/4/17 – 9/10/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: I was in Los Angeles for half of this week. I set a new weekly mileage record, topping 100 miles for the first time, and a new weekly elevation gain PR.

  • Monday: 4 easy miles | 4.5 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 17.8 trail + road miles
  • Wednesday: 1 easy mile | 18 trail + road miles
  • Thursday: 7.6 easy miles
  • Friday: 10.1 mile workout | 5 easy miles
  • Saturday: 20.3 miles
  • Sunday: 13.2 miles

Weekly Totals: 101.8 miles. 5,883 ft of elevation gain

Favorite Workout(s): My Wednesday long run

On Wednesday I took a train to Hollywood, and did a trail run up and around Griffith park (Strava info). The views were phenomenal and fortunately it was a more frequently trafficked trail system so I didn’t get really lost (like I did the previous day).

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Biggest Issues: On Tuesday’s trail run I got dangerously lost.

Lessons learned: Bringing an emergency little flask of water (I have a 7oz one I used) on runs that may be longer than planned is a good safety precaution to take.

Next Week: Lower the mileage and get back to more speed work

Running Summary: Week Of 8/28/17 – 9/3/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: Most of this week I’ve been in Los Angeles, just in time for a little heatwave.

  • Monday: 12.5 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 6 easy morning miles (before flight)
  • Wednesday: 13.4 progressive miles
  • Thursday: 12 easy miles
  • Friday: 5.3 easy miles
  • Saturday: 10 easy miles
  • Sunday: 16.6 mile long run

Weekly Totals: 76.2 miles. 3,340 ft elevation gain

Favorite Workout(s): My Wednesday and Sunday runs.

Wednesday was my first run in Cali, and I had a great progressive run to the beach (Strave info). I felt fast, and timed it well so I caught the sun setting:

LA Sunset Beach

Sunday’s run was the long run (Strava info), and while the heat was exhausting, I climbed a mountain and enjoyed taking in the sights.

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Biggest Issues: It was way hotter than I expected, and while climbing the mountain my water supply got dangerously low.

Lesson: Don’t be stupid on hot days when in a new area, make sure you have enough water!

Next Week: Miles. Lots and lots of miles.

Running Summary: Week Of 8/21/17 – 8/27/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: This past week started off strong but had a disappointing finish.

  • Monday: 10 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 12 (hot) miles. Some 800 and 400 track intervals
  • Wednesday: 8 easy miles
  • Thursday: 12 mile fartlek, then 3 easy miles later that evening.
  • Friday: 8.6 trail miles
  • Saturday: 21 miles, half on trails.
  • Sunday: 6 recovery miles

Weekly Totals: 81.4 miles. 4,587 ft elevation gain

Favorite Workout: My Thursday and Friday runs.

Thursday I had a fartlek run (strava info), rotating between 2 minutes of fast running and 2 minutes of easy running for the first part. I finished the run with 3 fast miles, with 0.5 miles of recover between each one. My times for those fast miles were 5:35, 5:45, 5:40, and I was very happy with those miles especially because I had just run 8 miles of fartlek right before them.

Friday (strava info) I ran around a state park and got lost, and it was a blast. I talked a little about in this post.

Biggest Issues: Saturday’s long run was pretty good. My knees were really sore after it but I was able to finish without issue. The problem was, that night I wound up eating a ton of junk food. I used the calories I burned from the long run to convince myself it was ok, but I went way overboard (for the day I went over 5,000 calories including a carton of ice cream…). I also was up late that night because of the Mayweather – McGregor fight, which led to more eating. But, excuses excuses. I messed up.

On Sunday I was feeling sluggish and could only manage 6 recovery miles. So my eating mistake on Saturday cost me a decent run and left me feeling lousy all Sunday. I’ll probably take it very easy today (Monday) also.

Lesson: Having cheat days and overeating occasionally is not a big deal but going overboard can potentially cost you a couple workouts. So even when giving in to temptation, be careful.

Next Week: I’ll be in Los Angeles most of next week, so I’ll hopefully get a ton of mileage in with new scenery.

Running Lost In The Woods

Trail running and getting lost in the woods

Does it count as getting lost if you did it on purpose?

There’s this state forest I go to sometimes when I just want to run around in nature (edit: I recorded some video of my adventure if you want to check out the terrain). It has tons of different trails, and every time I go I try to follow one but always wind up losing it, and wind up somewhere I didn’t intend to (fortunately I always carry my phone with me and manage to find the path / somewhere familiar).

I treat these runs like an opportunity to leave my running comfort zone. There’s a whole different feeling to a run when you aren’t entirely sure where you are or where you’re going. The subtle feeling of panic that sets in adds a level of excitement. It’s a controlled panic mind you, I’m certainly not advocating for people putting themselves in dangerous situations. But going somewhere new on a run is a surefire way to spice up your running routine.

Ramapo Lake

Today I got a little extra lost, but it turned out fine of course. I knew I was never in any real trouble. I got about 8.5 miles of mountain and trail running in, explored some new areas of the forest, and just wanted to share with you all as I sit here at Starbucks hydrating and recovering.

Starbucks and Blogging

Is there anything you do to occasionally change up your routine? Ever go off down new roads or to new cities or parks to explore? Let me know!

 

Being Optimistic Before A Run

Why you should go into each run with an optimistic mindset

Ever have a run planned where you’re dreading getting out the door?

That you know is going to suck.

That your muscles will not be happy that you’re doing..

 

I thought my easy run yesterday was going to be rough.

The previous day (Tuesday) I put in 12 miles with some track intervals, and then at night played tennis for almost 2 hours. Oh, and it also hit 90 degrees and was humid. Needless to say, I was pretty beat up by the time I got to bed.

So I was not looking forward to my scheduled easy Wednesday run.

 

Finally Wednesday afternoon comes, time for the dreaded run.

I lace up the shoes and get out the door, and after a little while I start wondering where the pain I was expecting is. Where’s the stiffness? Where are the random aches all over my legs? Why are these hills so easy to climb?

I felt great. I felt fast. I finished my easy 8 miles with a quick one to close it out. As much as I wanted to keep pushing, I thought it best to still leave it as an easy day, there will be other runs to push hard, and that wasn’t the purpose of this run.

 

Maybe I just got a really good night of rest, maybe I hydrated perfectly, or maybe that late night mac and cheese dinner was just the antidote I needed to recover from the post-workout day aches.

I have no idea why I felt so good.

What I learned from this, and what I hope to remember in the future, is you never know when any given day can be your day to feel good and feel fast. I’ve definitely been guilty plenty of times of going into a run expecting the worst. Expecting my body to rebel.

But that defeated mindset is pointless.

Sure, you really might be sore, and the run really might be uncomfortable and painful. It’s totally possible your run will suck and you’ll have to tough it out to get through it.

Or

You could feel amazing and rejuvenated, and have the ultimate pick-me-up; a good run.

 

Only one way to find out.