Monday, March 10, 2014

Half assed winter training and a trip to the UK

At the foot of the London Bridge

I have been long absent from writing about my running. The winter really crushed my spirits. So, catching up, I went to London after Christmas and the New Year to see my friend and protege, Johan. I met Johan while I worked in Jersey City at the now defunct Runner's High Newport. Johan wanted to be a runner, in short, I told him to learn long distance training theory. He has run very well, and quite a bit. It seems he probably has run now 6 or 7 marathons in under 3yrs. He holds a marathon best of 3:02, and I am fairly sure he will soon get under the magical 3:00:00 mark. It was good to spend some time with my friend in his adopted home. London is huuuuge, we spent a lot of time in the tubes, but it was cool to be in a different place for a short while. After this trip, the winter reeeally felt like winter.
So here are a handful of photos from the trip, and as you continue on, I'll fill you in a bit about my "training" through this winter.
The Regents Canal, where Johan and I put in some miles on several runs. Interesting, but not as nice as the D&R Canal Path

Johan and I along the Thames by Tower 4:45pm. It is just a bit sad how early it gets dark there. We stayed in good spirits, but alcohol surely was a factor.

Some art that I saw while in London. I like old dirty cars.

The display of flourescent tubes produced some interesting shadows on the adjacent wall. I found that more interesting than the "art exhibit".

Soviet Propaganda

In front of the British Imperial War Museum. This shell could be fired roughly 15-16miles as I recall.

Maybe the other beers were better, this one I thought was uninspiring. But the English Breakfast was very tasty, sadly I was too hungry to remember to photograph it before I attacked it like a starving wolf. Overall, this was a nice place to take in a meal.

Trafalgar Square, fancy huh?
The tubes, weird little walkway over this line. The tubes are a maze.

A street in Camden Town, near Johan's apt. The ground was wet the entire 6 days that I was there.

So,winter, yeah, we all had to deal with it.  I can't quite figure it all out, but being in your 30's is a lot different than teens or 20's.  Darkness, cold, ugh. This winter really got me down. Too many days came and went where I just couldn't motivate myself to get out the door for a run before or after work. Between my work schedule and constant half-injured state, rolling my left ankle on broken pavement by the Army Reserve base near Kilmer Rd, I skipped indoor racing this year. It feels a bit weird, and I want a time trial prior to the Miles for Music 20k on 3/23. My training calendar looks a bit like a piece of swiss cheese. Not proud of myself for this. But as I write this, I've run 6 days in a row and feeling a lot better about it.

Since the Club National XC Championship in December, I figured I could take a week off, and get rolling with training for the Boston Marathon. Despite what I would call fairly inconsistent training, I have done a long run every weekend.
Week 0-14 in Richmond Park (outside of London, UK).
Week 1- 16
Week 2- 16.5
Week 3- 17.6
Week 4- 21
Week 5- 19
Week 6- 19
Week 7- 22.2
Week 8 -21
Week 9- 20.06
Week 10-18.35
Thinking back, I know that I've put in more volume and it led to success. I still have some time, and being that my overall weekly volume has been about 75% of the ideal. I just don't want to be kicking myself later thinking, I should have added 15mins to some of these long runs. The good news is, I've maintained fitness and probably have my self more ready for a marathon than I might think.  I have had a tendency to finish these runs at or just udner marathon goal pace, and not tearing myself up too badly in the process. The intervals workouts I have done are faster than those that I did in 2010 or 2012, that has to be a good sign.
My goal is likely to need adjusting, which is incredibly frustrating, 2:29:59 might have to wait a while longer still. Perhaps, 2:30:59-2:31:59 is possible. All in all, I want to feel like I'm competing and battle it out with other high quality marathoners from Hopkinton to Boylston St. I want another duel to the finish with someone like the one I had in 2010.