October, 2017

I slid through October with moderate results, squeaking in 100.2 miles to increase my streak of 100+ mile months to 3. Summer 2014 was the last time I had accomplished that so that says something about my recent quesi-consistency (or maybe more about my overall lack of consistency).

September-October are my favorite months to run, I think. Summer breaks and we start having cooler mornings but still have some daylight. It’s just more comfortable for running. Also reminds me of cross-country, my true running love. I first started “running” running my freshman year of high school and while I stunk, we had a great coach who preached inclusion and teamwork so I never got overly discouraged. I hit a growth spurt a couple years later and got a little better and even though I’ve never been great, I am still running many years later. Anyhow, autumn just smells of running to me.

I did get in my first snow run of the season. After work one evening, there was some build-up of snow on the trees but the ground was clear so run through an odd scene where the tree canopy over the trail was white up high but a lot of the lower vegetation green was still showing. Didn’t have a camera with so I did not get a photo of it.

I started out the month registering for the Bjorklund Half Marathon in June, 2018. This is run at the same time as Grandma’s Marathon.This will mark my 4 year in a row that I’ll run it.I ran the full in 2012 but ran neither in 2013 because I injured myself on my last long run of the training cycle. I had planned on doing the full and was in pretty good shape.

Plan for November is to keep sneaking in some miles–going to have to suck it up and run in the dark. I have started to occasionally look at treadmills because it would simplify the logistics so much. Could get my shorter runs in that way without too much tedium.


September, 2017

As predicted, my September training was much spottier than in August. My wife (teacher) and children went back to school so my schedule lost a lot of flexibility. And due to he tilt of the planet, we lost a lot of daylight–by the end of the month, my morning runs end before sunrise which helps decrease my motivation.

But I still got in over a hundred miles, first back-to-back 100-mile months in a few years. That explains my mediocre performances as of late.

I did start to include some of this

in my runs to prepare for a time-trial. Mostly semi-structured, on the trails, not-quite-intervals but not fartleks sessions.

One thing I learned, after running slow, easy, and basically pain-free in August, is that even a small amount of speed/hills, brought back some of the nagging aches and pains. Achilles, calves, and hamstring all whispering “ouch”. I still have some ability to shuffle faster but body doesn’t rebound nearly as fast as 20 years ago.

And as far as my faster shuffling, I had the opportunity to visit my old college track and get in the time trial I was training for.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. My last mile TT was a few years ago and I ran about 6:00. I was fearing that I would be quite a bit slower. But after going out the typical too fast, I squeaked by with a slight sub-6:00 mile. I did use the hidden mile start line so I ran a full 1609 meters.

Considering the amount speed work I have not done the last decade, I am only moderately disappointed in my performance. But it also leaves me with some mild optimism–the first 809 meters were in 2:54 so, with some specific training, I think a 5:45 is a reasonable goal. Still clinging to the idea that I could train to do a sub 5:30 in a race.

But unless I am going to join a gym with an indoor track (no plans to do so), that will probably have to wait until spring as soon the footing and temperature won’t make running fast on the tundra very practical or safe.

The nagging aches are reminding me that I need to do more strength work. That has been something I know I should be doing but have neglected.

Moving forward, I still think I’m running some half this fall even if I have not registered for run. I have been knocking off my weekly long runs of 13.1+ so the distance is not a problem. But mostly bunkering in and planning on doing a lot of LSD in the near term.