Hitting the dusty trail…

I think my training schedule is going to get in the of making running fun.  The trail run we did on Sunday was really enjoyable for a number of reasons; it brought back memories of woods running when I was a kid, of my glory days of stalking my friends and strangers in the woods for the purposes of shooting them with paintballs, of running back with a flag or trailing a flag runner to defend them.   Good times, goooood times.

getting lost, huddling naked for warmth, wolves”

But… I’m training for my first half marathon in April with a second one in May.   By random chance my training finishes the week before my first half.  Timing is purely coincidental.   We’re at the point where short runs are still taking an hour and the long runs are upwards of 2.5 hours.   So fitting in trail runs without impacting that schedule or over-training is going to be tricky.

Not to mention I’m going to be training for a stupid full marathon over the summer months which run from hot to OMFG hot around these here parts.   The marathon training though is a necessity as we’re more than likely barring injury or death going to do an Ultra in October.

Not sure how much time that’s going to leave for trail running between now and then.

Gear wise I’m still loving my UD Jurek FKT vest.   Barring tailoring a custom vest myself it’s about as close as I’m going to get to what’s right for me at the moment of the available options.   I need something possible lighter with just a single water bottle pouch on the back for the shorter runs where I don’t need a bladder’s worth of water.

I like my Amphipod belt but it can be distracting as with a water bottle it tends to slip down and I have to hitch it back up, a vest would resolve that.    Or possibly craft myself something like a Nathan Peak, one of the type that holds the bottle at a slant at the back.

After getting thornbit in our second outing I’m going to have to consider wearing tights when going back out.   I was wearing some calf compression sleeves for that purpose but the thorns nailed me above those.  Enough that wearing pants is annoying.

It was enjoyable talking about getting lost, huddling naked for warmth, wolves and the like even while passing and getting passed by other wanderers.   Lack of experience with the area,  on top of the issue of trails aren’t copiously marked did have us running at almost random rather than the route we’d picked out but honestly if you’re running you’re running so if it’s the right route or not  all that matters is you’re out there.

And that’s the biggest thing to running and notrunning is that you get out and do it.


But its a training day…

One of my main goals with notrunning is that if it’s a training day then I run.  No excuses.

And measurements are pretty important to guys.”

Obviously life can get in the way of this, things do happen.  But for me in the last 8 months or so, I’ve only broken this rule twice.  Once due to injury, an ankle pain was bad enough I pushed one training day off till the next schedule.  And the other I’d had major dental surgery that morning and had to work a 40 hour day immediately after getting out of surgery for the closing of an M&A where we bought TiVo.

But for me and honestly I imagine for most people letting a day slide makes the next time easier.  And the next easier.   It’s much like dieting.  You have a bite of cake.  So the second bite is easier and before you know it you’re 2000 calories up and the next day you weigh yourself and you’re up 2lbs so obviously the dieting isn’t working so why bother.

One of the big benefits to me is the numbers game.  I export all my numbers to SmashRun.com.  It makes it super easy to see my real world improvement from week to week and month to month.   I can see my average pace times go down over time.  I can see my PR’s keep getting pushed down by new ones.  So numbers and data are all there for the measuring. And measurements are pretty important to guys.

I think that for me that kind of carrot on my treadmill is a big incentive to keep putting on my shoes and heading out.   And that obvious very visible improvement justifies making sure that every training day, I get out and run.

Even if like today, I end up doing a 15k training session that ends in me doing my first trail race and run immediately after it.  So it was a 19K day for me, one quarter of which was getting off the paved road and running over rocks and dirt and up and down stupidly steep inclines for the first time since my paintball glory days back in the 80’s and 90’s.

Running Benefits with Friends

One of the side effects of training primarily with someone behind you in level is you run at their pace.  Even when they’re good about pushing their limits your own improvement is slowed down.

You push a lot more with a partner than when you do it solo.”

So why would you do this you ask?  Why sabotage my training?  They can just run at their pace until they get to my level, I’ll find someone my level to run with.

The reasons are A: don’t be selfish.  Unless you have a terminal disease that limits how much time you have left to exist then don’t be selfish.   If you do have a terminal disease then my sympathies and I hope you make the best of the time you have left as much as possible.

And B:  You push a lot more with a partner than when you do it solo.  This is true of a lot of things but running especially.

Way back in the day in my 20’s I used to run with a friend of mine, same one that recently ran the Sweetheart 5K and 10K with me.   When it was 110 out and we were driving to the running path we would always pass a Braum’s.  Think Baskin Robbins or Hagen Daz only better and cheaper.   One or the other of us would also go, “You know we could just go have ice cream.”   And the other of us would think about it and then go “No we should go running.”

Case in point my current running buddy started about 3 months ago but only the last couple of months has been really able to focus on it.  In 3 months time she’s caught up to me with my 8 months.

Yesterday was sprints day, 10min warmup, sprint 4 min, recovery 90 seconds repeat 4.    We did that and then did a 10min recovery run back to the cars.  I like to go for a ‘look good for the finish line’ sprint after most runs and kick it up.

She not only kept up but she won the kick sprint.   I was hitting 5:30 pace, 190 steps per minute and I could barely catch up (she got a 3 step head start on me) and then I couldn’t pass or in the end stay up with her.

So by running with me, she’s always been pushing herself harder than she would alone.  When I’m in Z2 she’s in Z3, when I’m Z3, she’s Z4.  And that extra effort has paid off and she’s now in my speed range and not very far off my endurance range.

And vice versa.  There are times I go out early and run a quick (for me) mile or two to help get my HR to the right zone to match hers.  And as a result there have been times I’ve had to really push myself to stay up with her on longer runs.  Times I’d of dropped to a walk if I’d of been by myself.

So there you go.  Reasons to add a slower partner to your training schedule.  Yes it might retard your improvement for a few months but in the end you’ll both be far better for it.

No Solo Mio

Set a new PR today for a 10k of 1 hour, 14 minutes, 54 seconds.   Some folks are rolling their eyes at at that I’m sure.   But try putting a backpack of 70lbs on your back and 25lb ankle weights on each ankle and let’s see where we stack up against each other.  🙂   That’s roughly the difference in weight between myself and the average male distance runner.

she was eaten by zombies twice”

This was the 10K Z4 training run of the Garmin level I HR based half marathon training.  Week 8 or 9 I think.    Tomorrow is a Z2 hour run.

I have issues with Z4’s.   I can’t sustain it for long much less 6 miles, I’m pretty much a Z3 racer/runner when I push it.    My heart is more like a semi truck than a Porsche.  It takes time to ramp up and the gas pedal only goes down so far to reach the top end.   Bu

I was running with a girl, technically a woman but women younger than me by more than 10 years are girls in my mind.   This was her first 10k run in several years and 2 kids ago.  She’s doing so much better than me.   From nothing to 10k in 2 months to reach a pace it took me 6 months to reach.    She’s a Porsche.   She runs sustained at a heart rate that would quite literally kill me.

Granted she was eaten by zombies twice when the random zombie chases of Zombie Run kicked in and she couldn’t kick in the 20% faster pace necessary to escape.  The zombie chases are brutal if you’re already near the top of your distance sustained pace.

So in the event of a real zombie apocalypse it’s good to know I don’t have to outrun the fast zombies I just have to out run her.