Current Training Status: not blogging... running.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

MMC # 3 - Struggles and Gains

Posts will be sparse. I am officially in a very inactive mode. Things may pick up from here, but it will be a very slow increase. My foot is getting time off, and there are other things to focus on. With the intensity of my summer season, there has to be a period of rest and recovery. Things may pick up with the snowshoe season ahead. I won an entry into a snowshoe race this summer, and may squirrel away some money for snowshoes. The only goal racing ahead is the Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving morning in Monson, and the final EORC Grand Prix race, the Hannukah Road Race in Longmeadow. Trying to bang out a decent half marathon today on the course above sealed the verdict, I'm no longer coasting from the high level of fitness I built up in the summer.
Election Night, last Tuesday, I went for my only run before today's Half Marathon. Once the polls had closed, I headed out into the night and up to the Mt. Tom Range. Four miles up to Whiting Peak and back for 8, and roughly 900' of climbing. The access road that goes halfway up was almost completely washed out by the heavy rains this summer. Between that and the mile long trail to the Summit, my foot was pretty beat up. I didn't run again all week, and felt this was the best choice. So the past week of training consists of that hill run and the 5 mile race on Sunday.
I'm not completly inactive. Loading trucks at FedEx is very demanding, and I continue to count this as a workout. At school, I have to park a half-mile from classes and can take an extended stroll for some movement after siting on my butt doing schoolwork. So today I was able to run a course PR at the Monson Memorial Classic. It could have been a PR for the distance if I was in better condition for that.
Being out of practice in my race preparation and spooked by my sore foot, I ran into some trouble late in the race. My splits in the first 7 miles were between 7:10 and 7:40 over steeply rolling terrain. Here I discovered an empty pocket where I expected my electrolytes to be. After picking up the pace on the steepest downhill of the course, I not only missed my electrolytes at the next water stop, but my plastic cup split in several places while I tried to drink it. This happened earlier too. I kept up a good pace into the final downhill 5k, but dehydration began to take it's toll.
This has happened before, and I recognized the signs. First, while I was working real hard, I felt dry. I wasn't sweating nearly as much as I should have been, and my mouth of course was pretty dry. Into the tenth mile, my legs just became rigid. I could not move fast, and staying upright was becoming a challenge. I was really confused, dizzy and feeling deeply tired. Hard to keep my eyes open, tired and wobbly. Luckily, there was one more unmanned water table at about 11.5 miles. I staggered over to it and drank a couple cups with difficulty. This didn't completely revive me, but allowed me to get to the finish with more stability though I was 'foaming' at the mouth according to some reports. In the last two miles my pace drifted below 9:30 per mile. I probably lost over 4 minutes, but did manage a third consecutive course record for myself.
I'm very glad I chose to run today, despite all of that. My foot is a little sore, but obviously much better for the 5 day break. A big benefit to taking a long run today, was the mental space. I miss the time by myslelf at a steady pace, carrying myslef into the distance. For much of the run, I began to make progress on an assignment for school. While following the course markings, I was reminded of a Geometric Dimensioning symbol used on blueprints, Maximum Material Condition has the same acronym as the race, MMC. The course that applies to is my Metrology course, metrology being the science of measure. The Monson Memorial ClassicI is a certified race course, measured with an incredibly rigorous procedure which follows the same logic as a metrology system which keeps tools and parts in a shop accurate. Taking this appreciation of running and following the use of metrology systems by a specific manufacturing situation, I'll have a decent final paper for this class. This is the type of thing that keeps me running.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Still In The Game

Few posts lately, because I have not been running. Bimbler's Bluff ended for me after only 12 miles, due to the sore right foot. In the doctor's office later that week, my dissapointment at finishing 'only 12 miles' on a sore foot was something I kept to myself. Despite the pain and having to limp the last of those 12 miles, the DNF didn't bother me at all once I'd made the decision. I felt incredibly stupid for having actually believed I could finish this race with my foot as it had been. Recapping, after dropping a huge box of dry ice and chocolate bound for Macy's on my foot, I ran 10+ miles at Mt. Tom with Jay. Boy was my foot sore. I took the rest of the week off until Monroe Trail Race, which went very very well. The race photos were just recently posted at ...

Despite my foot's complaints, I felt I needed to do that Reservoir Tour, turned Reservoir Wander that I posted about. Running on the trails was a problem, so I took to roads. I'd take to roads again for 20 miles the following weekend, and boy was my foot hurting by then! This was a week out from Bimbler's. The foot didn't hurt much at the reservoir, days before the race when I ran on it.
This should have signalled that there was no way I could endure 31 miles on rocky hiking trails. Well, I took the week off after Bimblers, for the most part. I still was on my feet several hours a day at work, and to get in a multi-hour workout I biked 40 miles on Halloween. This did give my foot a chance to heal. On Sunday, yesterday, I ran the 5 mile Dan Barry Memorial Race in Hatfield, to score in my running club's Grand Prix series. My foot was a little sore, but truly a minor problem. I ran a PR and was probably only 5 places out of my potential-un-injured best. My son took a few pictures ...

My plan is to run twice this week. Up to 10 road miles on Tuesday, and up to 8 miles on Thursday at the Reservoir with possible trails. At any point I can throw down some long bikerides, that 40 miles on the bike was a good workout. It really hit my quads hard, but was a good Idea as crosstraining.
This should have me well prepared for the Monson Memorial Classic, on Sunday. That is a road Half-Marathon with tons of hills. I've listed my possible runs as 'up-to's to emphasize that I won't run my foot into further injury. My residual fitness should be just fine for a PR at Monson on Sunday, if I only run once between now and then. I am capable of restraint. For instance, on Saturday, before the 5 mile race, my son and I hiked Mt. Tom (hardly running at all) for a great batch of foliage shots ...