Summary Dec 5-11

Monday Dec 5, 6 Miles, 449′ 47m56s

Overslept the 4:30 wakeup call which meant leaving the house at 6:17 on a compressed schedule. Generally the legs felt okay but lacked any sort of snappiness as has been the norm since the Fallback 50K right before Thanksgiving. Fortunately my hip seems to have recovered better, and is substantially less sore.

Tues Dec 6, Warmup 1.5 Miles 59′ 12m, Workout –6.7 Mile, 174′ Tempo, 45m13s 

Pre-dawn solo Tempo Tuesday. Avg HR was 167 throughout the workout, and the first 3 miles felt exceptionally grueling, add to that a very dejecting 6:52 split for mile 3 made me rethink the idea of tempo runs in the cold-pre-dawn hours without a training partner around to push me. Final 3.7 miles felt better, but didn’t provide much more in the way of snappy splits despite the elevated HR effort. Afterwards my hip flared up a bit an felt tight for the remainder of the day — back to fire-hydrants and foam rolling. .49 Mile cool down 

Wed Dec 7, 8 Miles 745′ 59m59s

Forecast called for snow, so rather than doing pre-dawn battle with the snow-plow man I chose to sleep in and hit my run after work. Naturally no snow was on the ground when I got up, but conditions after work were ideal, so I can’t really complain. First two (downhill) miles out my front door were recklessly quick — especially relative to the “8 miles EZ” written in my plan for the day. Legs felt confidently snappy making for a very enjoyable outing

Thurs Dec 8, 7 Miles 338′ 51m

Negatives workout with JP. JP has been espousing his regular negative split workouts running from 8-830 pace down to a final all-out mile, so I finally got myself together and joined him for a 7 mile version. Mentally the need to consistently best your previous mile makes for an interesting workout from a pacing/effort calculation point of view, and the constant acceleration facilitates a sort of fatigue that for now feels more than a little unique. Splits were 8:29, 7:55, 7:27, 7:06, 6:54, 6:40, and 6:19.

1 Mile cool down (9m9s 39′) followed by 5 Mile Social run (44m43s 337′)

Fri Dec 9, 2.3 Miles, 259′ 19m56s 

Easy neighborhood shakeout. Generally fatigued throughout the day and wanted to take the chance to recover a bit before Saturday’s inevitable sufferfest.

Sat Dec 10, Warmup — 2.3 Miles, 180′ 18m3s, Workout — 13.1 Miles 1h27m33s

Typical Chatham loop Saturday course with Jay and Jeff. With Jay and I just starting our training blocks, and Jeff in between a PR and planning his next races no one was checking their watches until we hit mile five or six. Surprisingly we were only a few seconds faster than our agreed upon pace of “45-ish” although I still can’t seem to wrap my head around how much easier tempo runs seem to get after the first few miles. We finished the workout alternating 400m pace line pulls dropping the group down to a 5:59 final mile, and according to my watch, the last 10th got to 5:47 pace.

Sun Dec 11, 11 Miles 1578′ 1h52m1s Allamuchy TH>Overlook>White>Waving Willy>SBX>Cement Mixer>TH with Pack and Eric

Woke up feeling pretty stiff/fatigued from Saturday’s effort as well as ravenously hungry, with some disconcerted swelling in my necks lymph nodes. Overall effort was pretty relaxed on the mountain, and considering the vert over the course I’m actually quite pleased that low 10’s are possible with an avg HR of 135. Great day to get out with some friends and hit up some always stellar trails.

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Eric at the Overlook
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Pack’s first Allamuchy Ramble
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Mmm, Mate

 

Gunks Fat-Ass Fallback 50K

The Shawangunk ridge, known as Kittatinny Mountain (or Kittatinny Ridge) in New Jersey, and Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania is the continuation of the long easternmost ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Gunks as they are locally known extend from the NY/NJ border to the Catskill mountains, and are arguably best known as a climbing destination.

While arguably find-able on the internet there is a fast-growing fat-ass running community led by Mike Cat Skill* (This is not Mike’s actual surname).Those of us lucky enough to know Mike are aware that he spends countless hours doing trail work, runs and scrambles like a certified boss, and then in his spare time comes up with courses in his backyard to satisfy whatever distance he’s currently dreaming of, then posts them online and persuades people to run them on the same day.

On Nov 19, Mike laid the groundwork for the Fallback 50K, a nearly perfect (distance-wise) point to point run through the Gunks that hit all of the iconic landmarks, several scrambles, and a fair mix of single track and carriage road. Our group of 9 managed to stay together for the entire day, hitting 31 miles with 4488′ of gain several scrambling routes, one minor medical emergency (that we came upon, not within our group) in a casual 6h41m. Here are the photos

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Len braves the early morning cold
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Scott getting ready
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Jayson Stretches off the drive
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Can’t begin without coffee

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Scott finishes our first scramble
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Seems like a reasonable place to hang
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Guiseppe has the reverse
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Mike was grinning the whole day as he admired his handiwork
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Happy James
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Laura Drops the downhill
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Final Crossing

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Summary Nov 7 -13

Monday Nov 7, 8 Miles, 830′ 1h3m

Teeing off from home before the work/travel day starts.. Still definitely feeling some funk in my legs from Saturday’s effort with Eric, but occasionally it’s nice to have the extra resistance to work against

Tuesday Nov 8, 4 Miles 29m4s–Treadmill

Unwilling to go out and explore pre-dawn in Sacramento before starting the workday, so I relegated myself to Heart-Rate based treadmill sessions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that below 7:00 pace I was still under 150BPM, which definitely bodes well for overall fitness/racing plans for next year (although I can’t say I truly trust the treadmill as a facsimile for real-life)

Wednesday Nov 9, 4 Miles, 30′ 29m1s

The hotel I was staying at has a nearly perfect mile-loop straight out the front door, so I found myself doing basically a MAF test.. teeing off at 5:24AM while suffering from some weird jet-lag sleeping issues. Again, pleasantly surprised that during a stressful week I was able to maintain a pretty peppy pace without going above 150BPM

Thursday Nov 10, 5 Miles, 367′ 42m40s

Broken Shin with Mikey and Smitty, generally taking it pretty relaxed, but negative splitting throughout. Great to get off of the plane and immediately into running shorts

Friday Nov 11, 1.5 Miles 151′ 12m14s

Jogging shakeout type thing

Saturday Nov 11, 15 Miles 522′ 1h53m

Generally a tempo run with Schooley’s Mountain thrown in the middle just for fun. Zack had wanted to do 15 hard on the rail-trail as his last prep run for JFK, but I couldn’t help but make sure we hit the overlook in Schooley’s. According to my watch, only 2 miles on the rail trail were over 7:00 (one at 7 even, one 7:01) so all-in-all a pretty solid outing

Sunday Nov 12, 13 Miles, 4908′ 2h41m

Last weekend Eric and I ran 4x Tammany, and upon getting home I realized that I’d done 4 loops of the mountain only a few times before, once in 2014, Once in 2012, and of course the time he and I hit five loops in 2015. We had agreed that our 3:1x last Saturday was decidedly sub-maximal, but when I found splits in my logbook indicating a 2:46 total moving time I was tempted to call bullshit on myself, knowing that I lacked a GPS, or particularly disciplined timing during those years, but I did some digging and found that I had written out splits for the ascent/descent of each lap, including an 18:43/18:59 first lap! Judging from the blog post it seems that I did take some time to take pictures on the top of the mountain, so I assumed that the logbook indicates moving time without effectively compensating for stoppages, but regardless was indicative of a rather aggressive effort against which I felt increasingly compelled to compare. the results are as follows:

Lap 1 — 19:53/20:05 (39:58 Lap) vs 18:43/18:59 (37:42 Lap)

Lap 2 — 20:43/19:14 (39:57 Lap) vs 21:48/20:42 (42:30 Lap)

Lap 3 — 21:26/19:43 (41:09 Lap) vs 22:43/20:10 (42:53 Lap)

Lap 4 — 21:21/18:43 (40:04 Lap) vs 23:35/19:33 (43:08 Lap)

What interests me more than the ~5 mins I shaved off the elapsed time is the consistency of today’s laps. The total margin of 1:12 between fastest and slowest is pretty stellar over a ~40 min loop, but having 1,2, and 4 being within 7s of each other is totally wild!

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Always choose the window seat.
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Limber Up
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Always Familiar
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Aftermath of Tam-Fest

 

Summary Oct 31 – Nov 6

Oct 31, 8 Miles, 764′ 1h2m

Standard out-the-front-door loop before starting the workday. I’ve been readjusting my schedule lately to further embrace my inherent morning-person-ness, and that includes trying to be out my front door prior to 6am. Unfortunately this also means that the majority of my runs are in complete darkness until the clocks turn. While I enjoy the solitude and quietness of the pre-dawn sessions, having the sun fail to rise before my return is definitely less-than ideal.. next week should be way cooler on that front.

Nov 1, 8 Miles, 846′ 1h1m

Modified version of my out-the-door 8 miler to cut out some of the flat and add ~100′ of vert to kickoff the annual Highlands Hashers King of the Mountains competition a.k.a. VertVember a.k.a. HurtVember.

Nov 2, 8 Miles, 804′ 1h3m

Decidedly less spunky legs this morning, most likely the result of a few longer-than-standard office days with interspersed desk-dweller XT exercises.

Nov 3, 12.7 Miles, 1335′ 1h46m

Split this up as multiple efforts on Strava to avoid the 10 min BS session in the parking lot before heading out with the HH guys, but basically it was 2x Hillcrest + 1x Hillcrest taking the most direct route from the lot to the top of the hill. Descending on the first effort also included one of the more rad sunsets I’ve seen from the top of the hill in quite sometime making me more than a little bummed that I had left my camera back at the house.

Nov 4, 3.6 Miles 755′ 35m

Low-energy, low leg-pop repeats of the hill leading up to my house. Remarkably low heart-rate considering the general lethargy as well as the not totally embarrassing pace.

Nov 5, 13.4 Miles, 5,016′ 3h19m

4x Tammany with Eric. One of the main upsides of the HurtVember competition is the likelihood that one of my buddies will come out for a totally absurd adventure such as running up Tammany until you get either bored, tired, or run out of daylight. We were decidedly unambitious about pace, but averaging <50mins for a lap is nothing to scoff at.. (my logbook indicates a March 2012 4xTammany in 2:45, which I now feel compelled to try to best..)

Summary: 57.6 Miles, 10,223′ 9h25m

Overall a pretty good week considering that I’m ambitiously training for nothing at the moment. I had been flirting with pacing at Philadelphia, but previous social commitments have eliminated that as a possibility, so I’m back to the drawing board for this months adventure… I’m sure something cool will come up

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Gearing up at the #tonkamotel
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Tammany sure is nice in Autumn
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Allamuchy never gets old

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Summary, Aug 29 – Sept 4

Monday Aug 29, 6 Miles, 404′ 53:57

Exhausted post-work grind on a usual neighborhood loop. Sunday’s Marathon Pace Tempo really did a number on my system, leaving me basically useless for the remainder of the day,  and even running easy on Monday it was still obvious that my body hadn’t had the proper time to sort itself back out.

Tuesday Aug 30, 6.1 Miles, 459′ 48:37

Feeling a lot more spry today. May have been the early morning start (as they’re usually my best efforts) or more likely the increased recovery. Added an extra 10th of pure running to make it back to a meeting on time (rather than walking it in as a cool-down).

PM 4 Miles, 312′ 31:59

Kittatinny State Park with Steve, Stat and Zack from the Salt Shakers group. Tried to keep things as non-aggressive as possible due to the moderate amount of funk still hanging out in my legs This led to the group slowly pulling away from me during the last mile as I tried to keep my HR under 150.

Wednesday Aug 31, 1.5 Miles 138’14:21

Early morning Shakeout — Legs have been feeling crappy all week, combined with actually having to commute into the office led to a particularly short day.

Thursday Sept 1, 8 Miles 768′ 1h7m

Ascending HR run, still trying to stay under 155 (151 avg HR). Utilized the downhills for HR recovery which kept the average pretty low, but the final climb into my apartment is so steep that without actually hammering the last 1/2 mile it will inevitably sink the average pace for the day.

PM 10 Miles, 734′ 1h19m

Double BSL with Mark then Dave. Last few miles felt unusually good, and was one of the fleeting moments where I entered the space wherein time stops, and nothing matters but the rhythm of your breath, feet and heart.

Friday Sept 2, 1.5 Miles, 148′ 13:50

Another light shakeout.

Saturday Sept 3, 18.2 Miles, 1480′ 2h34m

Scouting run with Steve and Zach through Allamuchy and Kittatinny. First time I’ve ever run my usual Allamuchy trails in reverse as we were scouting to determine the viability of a course I’ve dreamt up. Overall the legs felt good, and even found the opportunity to slide back into the flow state for the final 5 or 6 miles, which is unusual.. typically if I get there once a week that’s a great week, but this week I’ve found myself entirely lost within my run twice, and frankly couldn’t be happier about it.

1.8 Miles — cool down 16:52

Drop the bottle, lose the shirt, kick-start the ultra-shuffle.

Sunday Sept 4, 10 Miles 302′ 1h35m

Total jog/slogfest. Nothing particular was bad, but absolutely nothing in my body was feeling good either. Lack of sleep and general malaise.

 

Totals:67.6 Miles, 4787’9h36m

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Have truck, will chill
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Steve and Zack Apres
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El Nido is all set for the runbum life
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Who’s got some Heady Topper!?
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Allamuchy Obligatory

Bear Mountain 2016

…The woods are lovely dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

These days it often seems like a trite cliche to quote Robert Frost, especially with regards to anything outdoors.. I think we can all wax poetic about the different ways we believe we have taken the road less traveled, or how the only thing we know about life is that it goes on… but today as I recapitulate my recent experience on the ECSNY 50 Mile course I intend to keep my Frost quoting to the extremely literal, as I did indeed have promises to keep, and upon waking at the very least, many miles to go before i slept.

This calendar year I had run 749 miles prior to toeing the line. The last time I ran this race (2014) I had run 1031.1 miles leading up to it…. in my first two attempts I had covered 1200+ miles in the same time frame …. in none of these experiences did I truly feel prepared. How the hell am I supposed to get my ass across this finish line on 62% of the mileage… and 5 lbs overweight?

The reasons for my “light” training load (which informs my not being at “fighting weight”) can easily be summed up by quoting Lennon… and telling you all that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. And by life, I mean work. Since I’m on the road towards cliche, I figure I ought to steer into the skid.

Keeping all of this in mind I had decided for the first time ever to run an extremely “reasonable” race… which loosely translates to actually running my own race, and not giving a damn about the place. I would only worry about how I felt, and a semi-arbitrary time goal. You see my training partner Eric had mentioned on multiple occasions that he wanted to beat 9 hours in this race.. and he was obviously trained for it. I had done the math, and figured that 9 hrs was pretty damn close to my course average (having run an 8:20, a 9:03 and a 9:35) and that I could probably pace Eric across the line in 9 hours if given significant motivation (see: pride, promises). This would still require a really solid effort, and a much more tactical day than I’m used to delivering. (and also be my best shot at breaking 9 as well)IMG_1851.JPG

With that, I had told Eric that come hell or high water, I would get him across the line in 9 hours or fewer, and that all he would need to worry about was keeping my skinny butt right in his cross-hairs. I did the math, wrote out the requisite splits, sharpie’d them onto my water bottle, and got to the start of the race.

We took off in the first wave, and quickly settled into the middle of the front pack of runners, neither wanting to be too aggressive, nor give up too much time in the first several miles until things began to sort themselves out. Upon coming through AS1 we were roughly 6 mins ahead of pace, which is a good buffer to earn early, but unfortunately my sharpie had already failed me and begun to rub off… we’d be flying by mental math for the remaining 46 miles.

Having run hundreds, if not thousands of miles together, Eric an I quickly fell into old routines. I would set the pace, Eric would settle in a few feet behind, and we would talk about whatever came to mind… resulting in a sort of free-form roaming conversational jazz experiment, and by the time the sun was truly up we had settled in with some like-minded individuals, and started to put in “the work.” Our game plan was simple… don’t lose any time (relative to 9:00 splits) through the first 20, then try to drive hard on the fire-roads leading us into 40, and hopefully this just might get us across the line in time to get Eric a PR.

By the time we landed ourselves on the Long Path we had fallen into a solid rhythm: Power-hike the climbs, and keep it cool everywhere else. Both of us had gotten ourselves into trouble on this part of the course, running too hard on the rocky trails and blowing up by the time we got to fire-roads in the 20’s… we would NOT let this happen. Today we execute.We did, we made it to the 20 mile marker in good spirits, and worked the fire-roads hard enough to continue to bank time, the plan was working.

As we started to drive ourselves into Anthony Wayne my energy was beginning to wane while Eric’s was only increasing. I tried to keep on top of my calories while keeping a leash on Eric who had begun to smell blood, and hum the Jaws theme every time we came across a struggling 50 miler.. be calm my friend, the gloves won’t come off until mile 40, let them all come back to us.

Having run portions of the course several times this winter, I was elated to recognize and make the final descents into A. Wayne, and in an attempt to boost my own morale began whooping, hollering, and screaming nonsense about feeling like dynamite, and referring to Eric as a 150LB tank in my best Burgess Meredith voice. We had 14 minutes in the bank, spirits were high, and Steve was about to join us for the final pull back to the finish line. Life.Is.Good.

We pulled into Anthony Wayne, refilled some bottles, grabbed Steve, and immediately began clawing our way to the finish line. Unfortunately the road out of A. Wayne is deceptively uphill, and while I had come into the aid station like a lion, I was destined to go out like a lamb, and begin fighting my only really bad low-point in the race.

Roughly 200 yards into the woods it had become obvious that my pace was wavering, I was losing control… all of my caution could be for naught, I was going to melt down… or was I? The real key of fighting the bonk is obvious, you must actually fight the bonk. In my experience, sugar related energy declines come in waves, and each one is just a little more powerful than the one that preceded it… I had eaten at the aid station, and nothing had kicked in yet, so it was time to choke down another gel, swig some water, and try my best to lose as little time as possible while I waited to spring back… I’ve power-hiked through a bonk before, and Steve had seen first-hand what a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella can do for me, things would be okay, it’s just a sugar low, it’s just a sugar low….

Eric had taken off (with my blessing) to crush his goals, Shirtless-Wonder was pulling away, but I still had my legs, and Steve would be my guide for the rest of the day. We power-hiked, we ran, we bounded down hills.

It took what seemed like months to make it to the formidable Timp Pass, and then suddenly the reality of my 9hr time goal was within reach. It’s less than 3 miles to the finish, and I have 25 minutes to get there… this is actually going to happen. Steve an I opened up our strides, and began to really embrace the recklessness that only runners who can truly smell the barn would know. I crossed the line in 8:56:26, 13 minutes behind Eric. I had kept my promise.

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Coming out of Anthony Wayne with Eric in tow (Photo: Steve Pack)
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Grind up Timp (Photo: Steve Pack)
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Almost on top (Photo: Steve Pack)
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Bromance for the end (Photo: Steve Pack)

Home

In my increasingly hectic life I’ve lately been longing for a truer sense of home. Not in the basic roof-over-my-head variety, but rather something more consistent, somehow more meaningful. This desire for home is why we fill our spaces with tchotchkes, hang pictures, and painstakingly debate which shade of taupe really represents us when choosing a couch. As much as I enjoy my living space, the joys brought on by accruing more stuff are ephemeral. To me, home (for the last several years at least) and its sense of belonging has always been intertwined with motion.

In the fall of 2011 I began running around Allamuchy with Gene’s guidance. The short 12 minute drive from my house made it an obvious choice for daily small adventures, as well as time crunched weekend outings. As years have passed I’ve logged hundreds, if not thousands of miles in the park. I’ve summited the overlook countless times, and waxed poetic of a special downhill section of single-track behind the lake. Despite all of this the park has for some reason always been mistakenly classified in my mind as a compromise outing… It’s the place I go when I don’t have the time or resources to travel further, yet every time I return I’m amazed by the variety of terrain, and total joyfulness associated with running its trails.

This morning as I laced up my flats I could feel the stress slowly leaving my body, from the snappy (15m) ascent to the overlook, and long descent to the creek crossings, the wrinkles in my forehead began to relax, and as each footfall gained purchase in the soft earth, I could only think of the ideal state in Lieh-Tzu. It is not a state of withdrawal, but a state of heightened perceptiveness and responsiveness in an undifferentiated world. My mind concentrated and my body relaxed, bones and flesh fused completely, I drifted with the wind East or West, like a leaf from a tree or a dry husk, and never knew whether it was the wind that rode me or I that rode the wind. This feels like home.

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Last fall on a post-race recovery hike

Consistency

(Note: This post originally appears at highlandshashers.com as a guest post)

As we all know, the holiday season has all but passed by again, and with that comes the inevitable social gatherings, be it family, friends, co-workers, or any combination therein, eventually someone always brings up running. Typically it’s an inquiry for advice regarding a New Years Resolution; how to start running, how to keep going, what shoes to wear, and being that we live in a northern state, there is always a question about whether or not my lungs burn in the cold (they don’t, they never have, yours don’t either, HTFU). While all of these questions are benign, their intention never seems to be… In the context of the holiday party, what people are actually asking for is not advice, it’s a panacea. And just like at some point in your life someone has to tell you that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, I must inform you that when it comes to running, there is no panacea, there is only consistency, and discipline.

This of course goes against our common cultural logic where every article written about running includes 10 tips to your next PR, but as we all know, those articles are written to sell magazines, not improve times. Actual improvement is incremental, sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not, and sometimes it involves getting slower while your body prepares itself for the next leap. Naturally improvement requires workouts, it requires long-runs, and myriad unsexy excercises designed to keep our  bodies balanced and healthy, and these are typically the topics I am asked about by my aspiring friends. What they tend to not want to hear is always the most important part, which is that all workouts aside, one must wake up the next morning, lace up your flats, and step outside your front door, and start running.

In our instant-gratification, 3-day fix-oriented culture, nothing seems less sexy than actual dedication, but if your goals include human-powered distance or speed, this is the actual panacea: Run, preferably a lot, sometimes fast, sometimes long. Understandably, it isn’t sexy to discuss the day-in-day-out monotony of rising early every morning so that you can slowly wear the rubber off of your running shoes. In actuality, it’s damn near boring, but it is indeed the secret, as unprofound as it is. The uninitiated will not understand the discipline required to run great distances, nor should they! This understanding is instead honed mile by mile over the course of days, weeks, and months. This knowledge is earned by ice-crusted facial hair, blisters, countless miles lit by dimming headlamps, blackened toenails, unmentionable chafing, and ineffable degrees of discomfort endured while pursuing goals that many will never begin to understand.

While this lack of shortcuts is a deterrent to many, those of us who choose these pursuits should not shy away from the challenge, but rather embrace it. Camus imagined Sisyphus smiling, claiming that the struggle itself is enough to claim a mans heart. And while it may not always make for good dinner conversation, I think he’s right. Learn to love the work, because if your goals are as ambitious as they should be, then you already know, it never gets any easier, only faster.

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The author benefitting from countless trials of miles

 

Summary Nov 9-14

Monday Nov 9, 4 Miles, 492′ 34m16s

Lazily paced run throughout my apartment complex. I’ve been trying to gain more vert through more dynamic routes within the complex, especially for <5 mile runs.

Tues Nov 10, 6.9 Miles, 659′ 53m33s

Early start to avoid the worst of the bad weather forecast. Felt good all morning, and finished the run feeling like I could have kept this pace up all day. This also marks my first continuous climb from the highway to the top of the apartment complex…

Wed Nov 11, 5.4 Miles, 1030′ 48m48s

1.8 mile warmup followed by 5x main complex hill repeat (~.2 miles 142′) at maximum effort. Cooled down with a couple miles of jogging. Intervals felt unusually crappy, and only got worse from the get-go. On the upside, I managed to top my previous incline PR according to Strava, but would have preferred a bit more pep in the legs.

Thurs Nov 12, 13.1 Miles, 1247′ 1h48m

Modified Broken Shin with Mark including an ascent up Hillcrest. Legs felt generally fine, but my quads were unhappy with the prolonged climbing — burning a lot more than I would have anticipated. Also dealt with some gnarly heartburn, which was easily fixed through some Tums, but none-the-less annoying. Decided to wind down the final mile of the normal 5 mile section to the 6:50 range.

Fri Nov 13, 1.5 Miles, 167′ 12m52s

Easy midday jog, Trying to take my easy days particularly easy leading into taper.

Sat Nov 14, 13.3 Miles, 623′, 1h33m

Ungodly early start with Jay, Jeff, and Kevin. Overall a little tired with a relatively unsettled stomach, but my legs felt consistent and competent throughout the day. AVG pace of 6:58 with HR steady at 141BPM leaves me feeling confident for Philly, which I anticipate to have similar weather conditions.

Sun Nov 15, 1.5 Miles 151′ 12m4s

Easy Shakeout, let the tapering begin

Totals: 46 Miles, 4370′ 6h2m

Confidence boosting final training week before my 7 day taper going into Philly. At this point, I just want to get through the taper and back to my normal routine of big mileage in inspiring places. I’m finally feeling confident enough in my legs to submit them to more serious ultra-training kind of abuse, something I’ve been gun-shy about for over a year, and as much as I’m looking forward to the marathon itself, I’m more excited to jump into my next block.

Summary Oct 26 – November 8

Monday Oct 26 5 Miles, 282′ 39m45s

Easy effort midday Shakeout type jog. Unfortunately a bit of lingering GI issues caused me to walk in the final uphill mile rather than risk some pants-around-the-ankles time so close to home.

Tuesday Oct 27 9.7 Miles 341′ 1h3m33s

1.7 Miles easy (7:30ish pace) followed by 8 Miles at 6:17 pace with Jay. I foolishly wore split shorts and a lightweight shell, which wasn’t the most ideal clothing combination, but otherwise an uneventful tempo. It’s been good to really start to wind things out in recent weeks, discovering gears I wasn’t sure I had.

PM 1 Mile 7m49s

Easy shakeout after doing some core-work at the gym

Wed Oct 28, 8 Miles, 869′ 1h5m25s

Pretty sluggish jog before work. Weather was supposed to be getting progressively worse throughout the day forcing me to head out with the head-torch first thing in the morning. Legs felt surprisingly okay, if a little bit tired.

Thurs Oct 29, 13.3 Miles, 1068′ 1h52m

Exploring Hillcrest with Mark. We’ve been running the same couple of routes out of the 400 Morris lot for years now, and I’m amazed that none of us have been going up this incredible incline. One of the better road-views in the area, and a pretty progressively challenging incline.

Fri Oct 30, 4.4 Miles. 436′ 36m55s

Trying not to leave my apartment complex for shorter runs created a pretty clumsy route. Overall my legs were feeling okay, just trying to save some pep for the inevitable weekend grind.

Saturday Oct 31, 16 Miles, 1283′ 1h57m

Started for an early 4 miles out of Chester before meeting up with Jay and Jeff for an additional 12. Jay’s routing was typically ignorant of the y axis on the elevation chart, with most of the gain coming in the last 5 miles. I left the run knowing I had it in me to run substantially harder, even with the weeks’ accumulated volume showing up in my legs (and Jay pulling on my shirt anytime I picked things up to 7:0x)

PM 2 Miles 223′ 16m304

Evening shakeout to finalize the days quota.

Sunday Nov 1 10.2 Miles, 1063′ 1h21m

Easy morning 10 miler. Again just trying to get to my 70 MPW quota. Nothing particularly substantial about the outing, rise and grind.

Monday Nov 2, 4 Miles, 29m49s

Morning treadmill run after spending the night in Atlanta. Had to fly into town for an early morning kickoff meeting, and hadn’t had time to scout the lay of the land for a proper road-run… plus the late sunrise and rain had me a little more gun-shy.

Tuesday Nov 2, 4 Miles, 230′ 31m45s

Definitively uncreative route-building, but none-the-less it was nice to actually get some proper-outside time after spending the entirety of Monday inside conference rooms

Wed Nov 3, 9.1 Miles, 371′ 1h

Short warmup followed by 6 miles at 6:07 pace with Jay. We had planned to do a longer Marathon-Pace run later in the week, so it seemed prudent to crank the speed up, and the distance down a little for this weeks speed sesh.

Thurs, Nov 4, 10.1 Miles, 830′ 1h25m

Usual Broken-Shin loop with the Highlands guys. Did the first round by myself before meeting up with the guys for round two. Ran with Mikey most of the evening, chewing the fat about running and the technology sector.

Fri, Nov 5, 2.4 Miles, 233′ 21m1s

Easy lunch-time jog, trying to shake the cobwebs off before Saturday’s MP run.

Sat, Nov 6, 15.4 Miles, 751′ 1h45m

Couple of miles of warmup pace followed by a half marathon at anticipated marathon pace (6:40). Admittedly I failed to properly hydrate before the run resulting in a genuine suffer-fest which started before the actual workout portion. I managed to hit my splits as planned, but it required digging a lot further into the pain cave than I would have liked, making me wonder what this workout would have been like had I fueled properly. Either way, it was a confidence booster going into Philly, both knowing that I could hit my splits in the midst of a long couple weeks, and that I’m still familiar with, and willing to go into the proverbial pain cave.

Sun Nov 7, 6 Miles, 558′ 46m

Easy jog around town. Ran into Jay and Jeff part-way through and stopped to chew the fat for a while.

Totals: Oct 26-Nov 1, 70 Miles, 5745’9h0m. Nov 2-7, 51.2 Miles, 2972’6h19m

Overall a really productive couple of weeks. I’m gaining a lot of confidence in my leg speed going into the Phila marathon, but admittedly still intimidated by the concise nature of a marathon, and still unsure about what I can really do on a flat course. From here on out it’s basically taper time, although I doubt I’ll really cut any mileage in the upcoming week, especially since my legs have really been responding to the uptick as of late. As much as I’ve been enjoying the precision of training for a race like this, I really can’t wait to get back to my normal routines, especially as I’m beginning to sense that my legs are well prepared for some more reckless training ideas.