Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Little Bout with Food Poisoning

Hello, all (ok. . . hello, both). This entry comes a little later than usual because I had work and then a little Bible discussion afterward. As a fairly spiritual guy who finds no joy in ritual, rite, or hierarchy, this kind of group is about as close I can get to "worship" or any kind of worthwhile religious expression. I don't want to turn this into some kind of weird preach-post (especially since I found the best way to make someone WICKED uncomfortable is to invoke Jesus) but I'll say that since I was Confirmed, group spirituality has been sorely lacking in my life. The group in particular is the Inter-Varsity Christian Athletes, and it was interesting to sit there and listen to peers talk about their own relationships with the Trinity. Anyway, enough of the (probably extremely awkward) digression.

Here's my log:

Monday- AM- 5 easy, River Loop from the house + a mile on Nickerson w/James and Eric, 36:15. PM- Wandered downtown via Comm Ave with a big group, ran along the waterfront for a while, then came back up via Boylston St. We added on a few minutes indoors to call it 10- 70min tot. It was a little warm out and I got kinda tired/hungry/thirsty after 50min or so.

Turesday- AM- Slept in. PM- 13 miles moderate/hard/progressive. Hit 6:15s or so by 25min, (which I know because we hit a 5:45ish B-Line Res lap then) then really started cranking around 30 min. Peter, Eric, and I got down to about 5:20-5:30 pace the last 30-40min then added on a few minutes indoors til we got to 78 min (we wanted to be sure we ran 13mi). Core/Strength after. Felt good- fast run but not a hard effort at all.

Wednesday- AM- Overslept, missed the morning group. Ran the River Loop solo in 28:11.
PM- River West really easy with Petah and Ken, ran about 65min and called it 9. Also had about 2.5 hours of walking today due to various errands, felt pretty tired.

Thursday- AM- Warmup Loop shakeout with James, 19:56- kind of surprised it was that fast, we were jogging along pretty contentedly.
PM- Franklin Park for what Bruce promised to be "pretty substantial workout." 3 up, then 4x2k- 6:15 (two laps up Bear Cage), 7:36 (starting at the bottom of Glen Rd, up Bear Cage, back the way we came- Bruce said it was maybe a shade under 1.5 but darn close) then 6:13 (opening 2k- passed the mile in ~4:59), then Double Bear Cage Loop again (6:11). We had 4min jog between each. It was a great workout because Eric, Peter, and I ran in a group the whole way, each sharing the load and running smooth. Eric said he was grateful for the help- I'm just glad that I was able to help him push without feeling like I was pressing too hard myself. It's been hard to not just hammer everything with him, but now I feel like I'm fit enough to do so without sacrificing my own conditioning).

Friday- AM- River Loop from the house with Petah, 28:15. Ate some bad yogurt for breakfast and spent the next few hours too dizzy to get up and too nauseous to leave the bathroom. After a few hours I think I kicked whatever it was, so the evening run wasn't awful. PM- 9 easy- slums to the Mass Ave Bridge and an indoor add-on. Felt weak and thirsty but I didn't vomit, so I'm chalking this up in the Win Column. Strength routine after, hit it pretty hard.

Saturday- AM- Pouring rain run, took it nice and easy, ran with Eric and Peter for ~9mi or so- 62min. 4x100 strides on the track in my milers after, then a 200 relaxed for funsies- 28.1, very smooth. The scary thing is that I'm probably in close to PR shape from 800m-10mi right now. Looking forward to the next few races. PM- 41min easy, some with a group, nearly all with Eric.

Sunday- AM- Another Franklin Park workout- 3 up, 4xmile (4:58, 4:50, 4:57, 4:56) with 4min rest. Bruce instructed us to run at a moderate effort- no faster than 8k type intensity. He gave us plenty of rest because at this point in the season, there's little point in training through the races. We did the opening mile for reps 1 and 3 and the opening mile backwards for reps 2 and 4. After running 4:50 for the 2nd one, Petah and I decided to slow down and chill out, which helped Polgar and James stick with us. Good group workout- left hamstring a little sore, but the workout was still pretty easy. 3 miles down.

Tot- 97.

I have a slight suspicion that I might have shot myself in the foot for New England's (in that running the same time will take more mental effort). I'll probably take a day off tomorrow or Tuesday and focus on feeling fresh for New Englands. I've averaged 89 mi/week since June 1st- the fitness is there. What I do in the next few weeks is only going to get me race-sharp.

I'm pleased with the way the week went, except for that little bit on Friday. Had I not had work this afternoon, I would have perhaps done a little shakeout and cracked 100 for the week. Volume, though, is secondary at this point. I'm just enjoying life- hopefully you're all doing the same!


  1. if u want to peak mid/end november, how would u ut back mileage properly if uve been doing around 60 right now? thx

  2. Well, it depends on a few things- 1) "peak" is more a mental state than a physical state. I'm not cutting back my miles to "peak," I'm shifting the focus of my training a little bit- 90+ takes a little bit of sting out of my legs. That's not always a bad thing, but now I'm at the point in my season where I want that little bit of freshness. For me, I can feel fresh and snappy at 80 miles a week.

    If you're at the point where 60/wk doesn't really feel like it's taking anything out of you, then I'd say there's no real reason to cut back until the week before your race. Again, the "peak" will come less from anything physical you do and more from your mental attitude of "I'm ready to go, I'm looking forward to this, I can't wait to race" (as opposed to the attitude of "oh my God, this is a big race, I'm scared"). If you're relatively new to 60+ a week and your legs are semi-tired, now would be a good time to cut miles back to about 50 and maybe even take a day off.

    "Peaking" is one of those things that is extremely unique to everyone, though. It's tricky to nail. I have a teammate who really excels and feels great when he takes the day before a race off. I prefer to double the day before a race but have 2-3 days of no quality whatsoever before a competition. Some people do their best off getting SHARP- doing everything shorter and faster (like cutting an 8mi easy run at 7:30 pace to a 5mi easy run at 7min pace, or cutting 8x800 at 2:40 to 8x400 at 70). Others like to be FRESH- like slowing down even more on an easy run, or maybe taking more rest between intervals than you usually would.

    Ultimately, you have to play around with it a litle. Some people taper and run terrible because they have so much nervous energy. Generally, if you've felt good in races up this point, I wouldn't change what you're doing too much. If you've felt tired and uncompetitive, take it easy for a few days and maybe cut back mileage 5-10 a week (if you average 8 a day, maybe just cut one day down to 3- that's 5mi right there).

    Feel free to email me if you want something more specific/have more to add.

  3. It's cool you mentioned IV. It's big on my campus, and we have an athlete's Bible Study and Athletes in Action group started now. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. And, if you can't speak your mind on a blog where can you?

  4. thx... my problem is i dropped a lotta mileage tho. i did 60 all thru august but my last 5 wks look like this:

    43 (b/c i took a day of instead of doing my long run )

    i droped my miles too much n now im picking it back up... so shoudl i do 60 mpw thru october then drop to 50 early november then 40?

  5. No one can tell you exactly how many miles to run and when. Total volume isn't particularly important. If you can run 50 a week comfortably, then do it. The operative word is comfortably, though.

    I can't tell you if you'll run your best race off 42 miles or 67 miles or 53.6 miles- no one can. Run your workouts appropriately, don't go too long on your long run, and get in a solid 30-60min run on your easy days- whatever it is at the end of the week, it is. Messing with the volume a little just isn't going to have all that much of an effect on your fitness.