Sunday, February 26, 2012

A New Plan

This running thing definitely keeps me busy and thinking. The past 2 weeks (maybe longer I tend to be obsessive about these things and lose track of time) I've been working on a new plan. I read a lot and as you may imagine some of that is about running. As with anything else I take in all the 'advice' and keep what makes sense to me and put the rest aside. Some I throw out but most I keep tucked away on the chance that it just doesn't make sense in my current mindset but might later on. But I'm digressing... surprise surprise.

I've started on a plan of tracking weekly mileage. I know that I must do the long runs if I'm going to survive the races I've entered but there are weeks when the long run is tricky because of my schedule. So I've opted for tracking weekly mileage and with some advance planning I can make up for lack of long run by adding the missed miles to my weekday runs. I'm also back to taking Mon and Fri off from running and going back to running back to back Sat and Sun whenever possible.

I looked at what I had been doing recently and settled on 25 miles to start. I also switched my view of the week. I was used to putting Sat and Sun at the beginning (ala Phillyfit) but switched that. This works better with my way of thinking which is that the week starts on Monday.

So this week, which began Feb 20 looked like this:

5, 3, 5, 0, 0, 8, 3.5 = 24.5

I only managed 3.5 and ran on Monday anyway because a) it was a holiday and b) I had been slacking prior to this. I'm working in 4 week cycles so the next three look like this:

0, 2, 4, 2, 0, 11, 6 = 25 (same total as week 1)
0, 2, 4, 2, 0, 13, 6 = 27 (10% increase over weeks 1 and 2)
0, 3, 7, 3, 0, 0, 0 = 13  (Half of week 3, and the weekend off)
The next 4 week cycle will start with week 3's total for two weeks then increase by 10% followed by 1/2 again. And so on. Stay tuned.

Ultimately I'd like to keep my long run mileage up and going up. Instead of "starting over" after every race. My goal race in 2012 is the Philly Half. I have other races planned but I'm going to treat them as training runs and keep up my mileage for those weeks. Somewhere I plan to work in a week off from running. Probably every 3 months. I'll talk about that more later when I have it figured out.
Today's run was 3.5 miles on the Rocky Run trail in Middletown Twp by the Wawa dairy. My ankle didn't like it, but I did! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

The JHNWR is located in Tinicum on wetlands just west of the Philadlephia Airport. For all the time I lived in this area I've only ever been there once and that was very briefly. The refuge has several miles of trails running between the vistor center at Lindbergh Boulevard and Route 420 in Prospect Park. Today I parked at the visitor center (which was closed for the President's Day holiday) but there is also parking off route 420.

The path leading just away from the visitor center is pavement but it changes quickly to alternating dirt and gravel. It is pretty much flat. The paths are well marked; a yellow dot means you are heading toward 420 and a blue triangle means you are heading toward the visitor center. I wanted to do 5 miles today so I followed yellow dots for 2.5 miles and then followed blue triangle back. I was able to take a slightly different route back.

I saw a ton of birds but except for the ducks, I'm not sure what they all were. I imiagine this trail looks different in each season. Being so close to my home, I think this will become a good one to work into my mix of weekday or Sunday runs. Saturdays are reserved for Phillyfit :). This location is probably too far for most Fitters but I hope to entice a few of them to meet me there sometime.

Today's run was a bit rough. I completed just over 5 miles in 1:02 and change. 5 minutes slower than the 5 miles I did with John T from Pawlings Road last Wednesday. Consistency is obviously a key; I haven't run since Wednesday. I just haven't been feeling great. I really should get out anyway. IF you are following this blog with any regularity you are probably tired of hearing me say that. I'M tired of hearing me say that. I know consistency is important but I still find ways to make too many excuses. Some day I'll learn it for good.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Some runs are better than others

And today's was one of the others.

Snow began falling overnight. When I left for the meeting spot all the grass, trees and shrubs were covered as was my car but the streets and sidewalks were just wet. I cleared off my car and headed to Valley Forge to meet the trail running group; Pete, Renee, Tom, John C, Jeff and Amy. Pete, Tom and Renee had gone out at 7 to run Mt Joy and Mt Misery and met the rest of us at Washington's Headquarters at 8 a.m. Pete described the run and off we went.

We entered the Chapel Trail from the opposite end of a few weeks ago. About a quarter mile in I panicked. Honestly a wave of panic/fear about keeping up and being able to finish is not that uncommon for me especially with the trail group but it usually just washes over me and I plod on. Today I couldn't shake it and found msyelf having difficulty breathing. I waved the others on and turned back to my car.

Being the awesome folks that they are they came back to make sure I was ok. I was too embarrased to tell them I panicked. Just explained that I was having trouble breathing and that I'd see them next week. By the time I got to my car I had gathered my wits about me and decided to go over to Betzwood and run the River Trail alone. Well not really alone there were several dog walkers, many runners and even a few hardy bikers.

Biking that trail today was tough. It was very muddy. I had my Yak Trax on because of the snow. I wasn't sure what to expect on the trail. It was mistake. The snow was heavy and wet and the combination of that and the mud kept clumping up. I had to stop often to clean them out because the build up was causing my gait to change.

The snow changed to mostly rain and it got very cold. I forgot my sunglasses so the ride home was difficult. The sun reflecting off the snow hurt my eyes.

I finished my 7 miles but it was ugly. Now it's time to move on to better runs on another day.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hydration Fail

Today I went running on the trails above Forbidden Drive with 7 other folks. I am really liking the trail running. It's a different experience. Just trying not to face-plant keeps things interesting. The time goes so quickly.

Today though I did a lousy job of hydrating. We were out for over an hour and a half and I came home with water left. And I failed to take any electrolyte pills. I've been paying the price with a major league headacahe most of the afternoon. It's a painful lesson but one I'll not soon forget.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Slower but better

Comparing my splits from yesterday and today I found that my overall pace was slower tonight but I did get faster with each mile. That's a good thing and I wish I could do it more often. Something to work on.

2 days in a row now. Will try to get farther than 33 days this time.

That's all for today.