Tough Few Weeks…

It has been a rough couple of weeks. To start, it wasn’t all bad, but as a whole, I have struggled to be consistent, I’ve been sluggish, and some circumstances beyond my control have prevented me from moving forward. But I am not going to let these things slow me down and stop me from pursuing my goal. One step at a time…

On Friday, May 19, after a pretty solid week of training, I went out for my weekly workout. 10×1:00F(1:00R). The workout went really well, actually. I was gaining confidence leading into my race on June 4. I thought I could go mid 17’s and continue hitting my goals for the summer. But, crossing a road on my cool down, a car hit me, driving on the wrong side of the road. I saw a flash of color in my peripheral vision and must have tried to stop or jump back, but I wasn’t quite quick enough. The car hit my left hip and whatever backward movement I was able to make allowed me to spin down the side of the car hitting my elbows and forearms rather than going over the top of the car. Nothing seemed broken, and when I looked up after realizing what had just happened, the driver yelled at me to get out of the road and drove off, no indication of regret for hitting me or driving down the wrong side of the road. A kind woman who was sitting on the curb asked if I was okay. I jogged the 1.5 miles home before my adrenaline dropped and shock set in.

I was lucky, I could have been hurt much worse. But I came away with some soreness and very tender bruises rather than broken bones, a concussion, or worse.

This split second has set me back. One decision by me (to cross the road right there) and by the driver (to break the law and ultimately hit me). I’ve been nervous to run that direction ever since. I had to take a few days off to recover (mentally and physically). It’s been slow to build back.

But I will not let this beat me.

This isn’t my typical Week(s) in Review. If you want to see what I’ve been able to cobble together the past few weeks check my Strava here.

Onward to June. We continue forward. Below is my June training schedule. This may change slightly with mileage but overall should stay the same. Race on June 4 is still up in the air…

 

June_training_b

Week in Review, April 17-23, 2017

Growing up in the South, sometimes I felt like I didn’t fit in super well. I’ve always been into music, art, literature, things not exactly promoted in my football crazed town. I played sports growing up, just not the one’s people cared about. Then I started running. Immediately, I knew I had found my sport and my people. There is no better community than the running community, in my mind. And there is no better place to witness this race day. Whether it be cross-country, road, trail, or track, the running community gets pumped for race day and there is a never ending swell of encouragement! I love it, and it has been one of the biggest things I’ve missed since getting lazy. I ended that streak this weekend, and the community welcomed me back with open arms. It was exactly what I needed to keep the motivation high!

Overall this ended up being a pretty successful week for two reasons: I ran faster than expected in the race on Saturday (Recap coming!), and I had a great long run on Sunday. This is more progress toward the ultimate goal of being back in race shape and competing once again. I won’t go into detail about the race here, but following up a solid effort there with a long run the next day is a milestone for me. Not only for the cumulative effort over 2 days but I had a calf strain mid-week that I was able to work through and still complete the race and  long run. I did take Friday off to nurse the calf, but that was all it took. I’m pleased with the mileage, the race, and the long run. Not a bad week of running.

Anecdotes:

Nothing exciting to report this week, except that I saw a Chicken family on my long run yesterday. One rooster, one hen, and two chicks. Perhaps they were out for a Sunday stroll beneath the Metro-Rail, or (unfortunately the more likely scenario) they were escaping certain death on a rotisserie. Let’s go with the Sunday stroll.

Runs:

  • Monday– 6 miles
  • Tuesday– 9 miles
  • Wednesday– 6 miles
  • Thursday– 7 miles
  • Friday– Off-rest/nurse strained calf
  • Saturday– FICPA 1040k 5k Race, 2nd overall, 18:10
  • Sunday– 12 miles (3 w/the Girl+ 9 OMO)
  • Total Miles– 50 miles

For more details, check out my Strava.

-B

 

 

Week in Review, April 10-16, 2017

Another solid week of running! This is when I start getting really excited about training. I have (mostly) gotten over the initial difficulty of getting back into shape, have started to feel good in my daily running, and am starting to pick up steam in mileage. Still no structured workouts or anything faster than training pace except for some strides. But I’m getting pumped!

The pain in my Achilles has completely subsided, so issue averted, but I did rub a blister on my left Achilles on Tuesday. A rain storm popped up, soaked me in the matter of 2 minutes and over the final 2 miles of my run, I rubbed a spot completely raw. By the weekend, it had started to feel good again, no pain, and I think it is on the heal now.

Anecdotes: I ran my longest run in two years this week. 10 miles. In the past, this would have been no accomplishment, but when you are building, 10 miles can be a milestone. This next weekend (April 22) I will run my first race of any kind in two years. Nothing exciting, just a local 5k, but it will be nice to get back out and compete. I’m not expecting anything spectacular, but a baseline on which to build the rest of my summer training.

Runs:

  • Monday– 6 miles
  • Tuesday– 6 miles on TM
  • Wednesday– 6 miles
  • Thursday– 6 miles (2 w/the Girl)
  • Friday– 6 miles
  • Saturday– AM:2 miles w/the Girl; PM:4 miles
  • Sunday– 10 miles (7 OMO + 3 w/the Girl)
  • Total Miles– 46 miles

For more details, check out my Strava.

-B

Week in Review, March 27-April 2, 2017

This week was both a success and failure for me. I ran a solid long run, longest I’ve done in quite a while, but I also got lazy for a few days and did not hit my weekly mileage. Consistency has been my problem since 2013 or so. If I’m going to get back out there and race, I’ve got to fix this issue. that is what the coming weeks are for.

I hit two “workouts” this week (in the broadest sense of workouts): 6x strides on the end of a run and a long run of 8 miles. Like Landry eluded to in his post (here) I also need to get into the gym and start doing core. For those new to running, gym and core work are critically important to running well/fast. They both help strengthen and stabilize your entire middle region, and strength work to your legs can actually help balance the muscles that are not typically used (or not much) in everyday running, which can help when you are tired.

Anecdotes:

I saw two cars get pulled over this week while running. One was very obviously running a red light in front of a cop and then tried to stop but basically just ended up in the intersection. The other, I’m unsure of what they did, but it’s always enjoyable for me to see someone get a ticket in Miami.

One cat call this week, nothing spectacular, just a WHOOP when I ran by. Always nice to be appreciated.

Runs

  • Monday– Lazy, no run.
  • Tuesday– 5 miles w/ 6x:20(:40)
  • Wednesday– 6 miles
  • Thursday-4 miles
  • Friday– Lazy, no run.
  • Saturday- 6 miles
  • Sunday– 8 miles (LR)

Total Miles: 29

For more details check out my Strava.

-B

April 2017-A glimpse

Like Landry, I’m going to post my training schedule each month so that you can see what I’m doing. This is merely a blueprint, so if you want details check out the weekly training reviews or Strava. My goal with this is to be transparent so that anyone who reads this will know what I’m doing day to day and if I miss a day or skip a workout can call me out. So, here’s April:

2017_April_Training_B

You’ll notice that Landry and I use the same format. This is by design for ease, and we both like spreadsheets, so we utilize a calendar template on Excel.

The month of April is all about building mileage and getting back into the routine of running. You can see that I’m building somewhat quickly. This isn’t necessarily advised for everyone, especially beginners. Anyone who does not have much experience with running or training really needs to build slowly and progressively, like a 5%-10% incrase in mileage each week. So, if you are running 20 miles/week currently, only add 2 miles or so the next week. This seems super slow, and it is, but it is designed to keep you from getting hurt. I have 15 years of running experience, so I am capable fo building a bit faster.

The key is knowing yourself. Be cautious in the build, but you know what you are capable of better than anyone else.

Look out for the weekly review!

B

Abbr/Definitions:

GS: general strength-usually some light gym work or body weight exercises

Core: abdominal and back exercises to facilitate good form and balance.

The Beginning

The Beginning

I began running when I was 13 in order to get in shape for soccer. I was playing for a local travel team and was trying out for the JV high school team at the time and wanted to be in shape for the spring season. Also, my older brother ran cross-country, and I needed a ride home. I started off like most people: slow. We trained at a local college, Berry College, on the trails and hills, and I couldn’t have begun my running career in a more beautiful place (seriously, go run at Berry if you’re ever in NW Georgia!). My first race was hot, rolling hills, and painful. I finished in a defeated 23:03 for 5k…but I was hooked. I improved to a modest 19:50 over the season, but I found a sport I loved.

highschool_xc_2005

Following my sophomore cross-country season, I realized that I needed to dedicate myself fully to running if I was going to be fast, so I quit soccer and put my emphasis completely on running. I broke 5 minutes in the 1600m that spring (4:52, I think) but it was over the summer that I saw big improvements. A post-track 5k road race brought a nearly 30 second PR (17:45), and I was able to consistently train in preparation for the fall.

Over the next 2 years I improved my 5k PR from 17:45 to 16:32 and my track PRs from 4:52 to 4:38 (1600m) and 10:29 to 10:06 (3200m)That fall (2004), I improved my 5k PR from 17:45 to 16:49, and in spring track my 1600 PR from 4:52 to 4:42 and 3200 PR from 10:29 to 10:15. I concluded my Senior track season with a Region Championship (1600m) and qualification for the State Track Championships (1600m). It also led to the first big accomplishment of my running career, a college athletic scholarship!

College

I started at Berry College in the Fall of 2006 and luckily performed well enough to join the top 7 (scoring) runners on the team. Training through a few minor injuries in the fall, I was able to qualify as a part of the team for the NAIA National Cross-Country Championships in Louisville, KY. Improvement continued through the spring with small PRs in the every event from 1500m to the 10,000m.

I quite school after my freshman year to live and work in Africa for several months. During that time, I think I ran twice. Maybe 3 times. One involved a psychiatric patient, but that story is for another time. Anyway, it was an incredible journey that took me to Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

I eventually returned to the US and running in Spring 2012. In preparation for rejoining the team at Berry in the fall, I built my mileage back up and ran some low key track and road races. A breakthrough came that summer with a big 10k PR at the Peachtree Road Race (33:48). With a solid fall of training and racing I was able to qualify as an individual for the NAIA National Cross Country Championship (Kenosha, WI this time) and for the NAIA Track Championships in the spring (marathon-my first!).

track_berry

Over the course of my last few years of college, I was able to PR in everything from the 1500 to the marathon ending up where I am today record wise. Here are my current PRs as of today:

1500: 4:09; 5000/5k: 15:52; 10,000/10k:33:20; Half-Marathon: 1:13:20; Marathon: 2:37:07

Today

So, as it stands, my last race was the Publix Georgia Marathon in 2012 (well, race I trained for). This blog is my pursuit of that training again. As a formerly decent runner, I put pretty high expectations on myself. I want to get mileage up into the 80’s-90’s on a weekly basis, and I want to PR at everything 5k and up. But, as the namesake for this site says, my ultimate goal is singular: sub-2:30:00 for the Marathon. Let’s get to it.

“The Trial of Miles. Miles of Trials.” (Once a Runner)