Weekly Mileage: 8

It has been another week of traveling around the Southeast with my #1 travel buddy Esther. After leaving Orlando on Wednesday we headed to my hometown of Charleston, SC to spend some time with my parents for Thanksgiving. Usually Thanksgiving is a fairly large gathering at our house but this year my Dad was fresh off of a hip replacement operation so Turkey Day was a more low key affair.

On Thursday morning, Esther and I accompanied my mom to the Charleston Turkey Day race in downtown Charleston. Having not raced in several years my Mom decided to come out of retirement for this years edition after getting some expert coaching from my new bride.

For the past 5 weeks leading into the race Esther gave my mom several workouts with the goal of running just over 8 minute pace for the 5k. She ended up running 25:45 (8:17 pace) and finished 3rd in her age group! Esther and I were very proud of her and although I wasn’t racing it was nice to have an Atkins in the mix!


1 year to the day I proposed to Esther we were back in Charleston at the same spot!
1 year to the day I proposed to Esther we were back in Charleston at the same spot!

From a training perspective it was also a very encouraging week. Last Sunday in Florida I ran for 7 MINUTES on the hotel treadmill. Two days later I was at it again clocking in 10 minutes in Clermont. Two later it was 13 minutes in Charleston. Then 15 minutes the day we traveled back to Blowing Rock.

My ankle and foot are still sore but I can feel the fracture has been healing. These short runs have not been 100% pain free but they are important in my road back to health. It’s unrealistic to expect my first steps on dry land to be painless but I do expect the pain to gradually dissipate as I work back to health. It’s certainly a tough line to walk but I know my body well and am up to the task.

I will not be running outside much over the coming weeks and will take full advantage of the Alter-G treadmill at ZAP. The plan will be to run every other day on the Alter-G somewhere between 65-75% of my total body weight for up to an hour. The G is great resource as it will allow me to run for longer periods of time than I would be able to outside. Even though I ran a bit last week, I was still cylcing, swimming, or aqua jogging everyday. These arduous (boring) cross training sessions will continue all the way up to the Olympic Trials as I try to squeeze in as much fitness as possible before February 13.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (11/22-11/28):

Sunday: AM: 35 min spin+35 min elliptical+7 min RUN!  PM: 40 min elliptical

Monday: AM: 90 minute aqua jog/swim   PM: walk

Tuesday: AM: 70 minute aqua jog+10 minute RUN!

Wednesday: AM: 60 min elliptical   PM: 45 min lap swim

Thursday: AM: 13 minute RUN!   PM: ATE TOO MUCH!

Friday: AM: 1hr 45 min spin   PM: walk

Saturday: AM: 15 minute run    PM: 35 minute Alter G @65-70%

Total: 4 runs, 2 spin sessions, 3 elliptical sessions, 2 swim sessions


Back with the crew in G-Vegas

Coming off of my two week transition period I was finally going to make the trip down to Greenville, SC and Furman University to meet up with the ZAP crew who had been there for almost 2 weeks. ZAP is lucky enough to spend 5 weeks at Furman each winter due to a beyond generous donation by Chris Borch. We are put up in the beautiful Vinings apartment complex, eat our meals in the university’s dining hall, and have access to the student fitness center’s gym and pool. Personally, I always enjoy spending time in the cafeteria as it brings back memories of many great hours I wasted just talking with my teammates and friends while at High Point. It is fun to observe everyone interact in the strange ecosystem that is a college campus…and the unlimited food doesn’t hurt either.

My week of training was laid back from an intensity standpoint as this would be my first “real” week of mileage after the break. I did several 10 to 14 mile runs around the campus golf course and the adjacent Swamp Rabbit bike path. On Wednesday I did some post run strides for the first time in over 3 weeks and surprisingly they didn’t feel terrible. Usually after an extended break, running fast again is a real shock to the body as it has become accustomed to only jogging slowly! Next to the Furman track they have a very nice 400m grass field which was perfect for my strides.

After our 7.4 mile hill climb up Caesar's Head.
After our 7.4 mile hill climb up the head of Caesar.

On Friday I had my first real workout back. Joe, Cameron, Kevin, Moen, and I were slated to run the 7.4 mile Caesar’s Head climb. Located about a half hour from campus, Caesar’s Head is a nasty tough climb that I had done 2 years prior. Starting at about 1,000 feet of elevation and finishing at over 3,000 feet, the climb is not for the faint of heart! The memory of that climb was not positive (it hurt and I got my butt kicked, terrible combo) so despite Pete instructing me to approach the climb simply as a “harder run,” I was nervous! In 2012 I was recovering from a plantar facial tear and I completed the climb in 50:11. This time I ran it in 47:43 and felt fairly comfortable the entire way. Kevin took off early and had a great run, finishing in 47 flat. Considering this was my first effort of the spring and I tend not to be a stellar climber, I was very pleased with it.

Following the climb, we jogged to a flatter section of the road and did 8×30 second accelerations with full rest. I was feeling very good about myself through the first 4 or 5, but on the last 3 I was left in the dust. Pete wanted us to change gears every 10 seconds and through 20 seconds I was hanging tough but the last gear change was too much for my legs to take! It frustrated me but I know that chasing down my teammates, who are all well credentialed themselves, is good for me. Next week I will be back to over 100 miles for the week as I dive headfirst into the coming season.

 Here is my last week of training (3/2-3/8):

Sunday: AM: 17 miles   PM: 30 minute walk

Monday: AM: 8.5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 9.5 miles    PM: 45 minutes aqua jog with George

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles (8x120m on grass post run)

Thursday: AM: 12 miles (6x120m on grass post run)   PM: 30 minute elliptical

Friday: AM: 5.5  miles    PM: 13 miles (Caesar’s Head climb plus 8×30 seconds accelerations)

Saturday: 8.5 miles

Total: 88 miles, 8 runs, 2 light cross training sessions

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