Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trying To Stay Consistent

It's been a struggle for me to stay consistent the last few weeks.  I thought I was getting back pretty well after being away, then the weather and stomach flu got the best of me.  I have had a few good runs though, last Wednesday with Mark and Boj was one.  It was a big snow day, no school, work was dead as a doornail, so I wondered if Boj was planning to go out for another epic snow romp.  We headed out about 1:00 down the rail trail towards Swanzey.  There was about a foot of new snow, and it was tough no matter if you were on the 'packed' or blazzing your own path, but it felt pretty good on the way out.  We made it to Matthews Road, and headed up the never more aptly named Death Hill.  Someone crazier than us had already been there, and there was the a 'path' broken.  Mark ran the whole thing, Boj had done a long run the day before and decided to power hike it.  I felt good at the start, and tried to keep Mark in sight.  Balance was a major issue with the footing, and I was expending a lot of energy just trying to stay upright.  About 1/3-1/2 way I started power walking, and it was much easier to keep my balance while post holing along the trail. It was tough, but I made it.    It was fun on the way down, except when you would punch thru the ice crust about 8" below the surface.  Then it was back on the trail.  By this time my energy had been seriously depleted, and keeping up with those guys was a struggle.  Once we finally made it to the road, it was so solid after being on the snow that my legs felt like I had been on a trampoline or kids bouncy room for a few hours.  I made it back to Brewbakers, and had an inch of solid ice all around the top of my shoes, under the top of the tongue.  I was wiped out.
Friday was the regular 5 mile FART run, and I added about 6 on earlier.  Mark made it this week, although I don't think he is planning to drop his BAA team affiliation for FART.
Sunday I just wasn't able to get into running on the slush/muck/ice.  I made it about 5 miles in Greenfield, and I was working so hard for what I was doing, that I decided to bag it. It was supposed to be a 20, and I was pretty bummed about not making it.  I was able to take Monday morning off, and the conditions were considerably better.  In fact, by about 9:00 there were barely any cars on the road, and almost no ice, so it was really ideal considering what we've had.  I don't know why, but I decided to run with headphones for the first time in about 3 years or so.  It definitely made the time go faster.  I was planning to take it a little easy for the first 16 miles or so, then pick it up to about marathon pace (7:15) for the last few miles.  I stayed with the plan, and kept the first 15 miles to about 8:10, then dropped it down to 7:30. At 17 I twisted my ankle something fierce, and had to stop for a second. It was ok, and I didn't want it to tighten up too bad, so I kept going.  my last 3 miles were at 7:25,7:25 and 7:09.  Felt really good to be done, and good to finish strong.
Wednesday was back with the Keenyans, and the plan called for 6 x 800.  My ankle was still a bit stiff and slightly swollen, but I gave it a go. Brad has turned into a good Wednesday partner for me, our paces are about the same.  He did the first 3 with me, then he did some 4's and 2's. I was able to keep all but the last to just under 3:00.  The plan had called for 2:52, but with the 20 on Monday, my ankle and winter weather gear, I felt fine with that.  Armadillos was a lot of fun as usual.
Friday I am shooting to do a 6 mile tempo run at about 7:00 before FART.  That will bring my week up to about 42 mi, with my long run still to go.