Tag Archives: Moses Cone

Training Log: 6 weeks until LA

I was able to get in 3 workouts over the past 7 days and thought I’d walk you through each one in detail for this week’s entry. Enjoy!

Workout #1: Long Run on Alter-G (Monday)

The plan was to run 18-19 miles on the Alter-G in Richmond with the last 10 miles or so progressively faster if my ankle was feeling good. I started at 92% of my body weight and then added 1-2% every 2 miles to where I was running the last 9 miles at 100% of my body weight.

I ended up getting in 18.25 miles with the last 10 miles in 56:55. Other than getting two pretty nasty blisters I felt good. I began the final 10 miles at 6:00 and worked it down little by little to 5:10 by the end. Overall, I was pleased with the run and excited to get in nearly 20 miles with no pain.

P.S. The following morning my quads were super SORE! Welcome back to training they said.

Workout #2: Treadmill Progression Run (Wednesday)

The goal for this moderate workout was to run 35 minutes on the normal treadmill and then hop on the Alter-G and run a 30 minute progression run at 94% body weight starting at 5:45 pace and working down to 5:05 pace by the end.

After getting in 5 miles on the treadmill I hopped on the Alter-G and began the progression run. Like I said last week, even 6% less body weight feels amazing and I ended up getting in 6 miles in 32 minutes (5:20 average) with the last 10 minutes at 5:00 pace. Despite the reduction in weight I was happy that I was able get this workout in after the 18 mile long run 2 days before. Baby steps forward!

Workout #3: 1K repeats at Bass Lake (Saturday)

K workout on Bass Lake. (photo credit Tim Meigs)

K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

After the progression run on Wednesday my ankle was slightly sore so I opted to forgo my scheduled morning 10 mile run and instead did a light spin in its place just to be safe.

I’m in a weird place now recovery-wise as I know my stress fracture has nearly healed but I still notice sensations of pain radiating through my ankle at times. I have read that “phantom” pains are common but with this being my first stress fracture I am finding it difficult to distinguish real and phantom pains. Based on what I’ve read the phantom pains are either the result of calcification in that area or a mental fear that I could re-injure myself again. I certainly hope it’s one of those 2 things and not re-injury.

On one hand, I want to be careful not to take any steps backwards with only 6 weeks to go until the OTM but I also need to be running outside and taking risks.

With all of this racing through my head I was both excited and apprehensive for my 11x1k workout on Saturday morning at Moses Cone. I was pumped to be back in the park working out but really nervous I was going to get 5 reps in and have to stop due to pain.

In the end, I ran all 11 reps and while I certainly felt some pain and awkwardness during the run it was intermittent and didn’t get worse as the workout progressed. Pace-wise I was slower on every rep that Pete had hoped but I don’t think either one of us was overly concerned with that.

Initially, Pete had suggested I try to run 3:12-15 per kilometer or aerobic threshold effort (roughly what I could run for an hour). Once I began, I fell into running 3:20-24 and stayed there the entire workout.

I’m well aware that 3:20 for a 1,000 meter repeat is NOT impressive but I don’t care one bit. Talk to me in 6 weeks. You’ll see a different animal, I promise you that. Gotta start somewhere.

Thanks for reading!

K's on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

Here is my last week of training (12/27-1/2):

Sunday: AM: 5 miles   PM: 5 miles

Monday: AM: 18.25 miles Alter-G 92%-100% (last 10 miles 56:55)

Tuesday: AM: 7.5 miles    PM: 4.25 miles

Wednesday: AM: 11 miles (w/30 min in 32:00)

Thursday: AM: 70 minute spin   PM: 7 miles

Friday: AM: 13 miles Alter-G 94%   PM: walk

Saturday: AM: 13 miles (11xk workout)  PM: 6 miles Alter-G 88%

Total: 90 miles, 10 runs, 7 outside, 3 Alter-G runs, 1 spin session

 

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My last week of training (12/13-12/19)

I spent much of today traveling so I will keep this week’s entry short and sweet. I increased my mileage on the Alter-G to 60 miles for the week and got the weight up to 85%. I did some moderate portions during a few of the runs with no pain to my foot and ankle. Things are moving along nicely and within the next week I will begin workouts in full force.

Right now, I am 8 weeks out from the Olympic Trials and things will need to do everything within my power to get fit. Pete has already warned me that the next 4 to 6 weeks will be HARSH. We will not be reckless but we will be very aggressive with the intensity and frequency of my workouts.

In a perfect world, I’d be 12-16 weeks out from the OT and able to slowly ramp back into intensity and volume, but that is simply not the hand I have been dealt. In athletics as in life, you must do the best with what you’re given.

I will be doing a 2×3 mile workout this week on the treadmill and tossing in a greater number of outside runs. I suspect that in 2 weeks time the Alter-G will become a complementary training tool as normal outside runs will take over the bulk of my training.

My only wish over the next 2 months is to remain HEALTHY and POSITIVE each day in my running. The fitness will take care of itself.

Last but not least, I learned last week that a family at HCSA just had a litter of lab puppies that need new homes, so I went by the house to check them out. Esther, for those that don’t know, has DESPERATELY wanted a dog for the last few years. I’m not joking when I say that at least 2-3 times a week I either get sent a link to Pet Finder or a picture of her doing some activity with the neighborhood dog Lucy. She’s got it bad.

With this in mind, I met Tess (the runt of the litter) and am now considering bringing her home. Check out this picture of one of her brothers (I couldn’t get a picture of Tess; too camera shy):

I have no words.

I have no words.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/13-12/19):

Sunday: AM: 2 hrs spin (hard every 8th minute)   PM: 50 min aqua jog

Monday: AM: 10 miles at 83% Alter-G   PM: walk

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles at 84% Alter-G   PM: 55 min aqua jog

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles  at 85% Alter-G   PM: 20 min OUTSIDE jog

Thursday: AM: 80 min aqua jog    PM: 7 miles at 84% Alter-G

Friday: AM: 11 miles  at 84% Alter-G w/35 minutes at 5:40 pace

Saturday: AM: 9 miles OUTSIDE in Asheville

Total: 60 miles Alter-G, 6 runs, 3 aqua jog sessions, 1 spin session

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Alter-G reigniting the FIRE

Getting injured is never fun and although my current injury has probably come at the most inopportune time possible with the Olympic Trials fast approaching, I have found myself strangely calm throughout the entire recovery process.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had the odd moment of intense anger, sadness, and frustration, but I have mostly been plodding along just getting my cross training done. Perhaps this even-keeled attitude is due to being a bit more mature in my running, but I think I also think I’ve been trying to stay out of my head this time around.

Yes, prior to this injury my goal board in the ZAP dining room said “Top 15 at Olympic Trials Marathon” and while that may not be possible anymore I think there is always another goal to set and pursue. I will not make a new one until I see what I am able to do over the next 9 weeks.

Sure, there have been many moments of doubt in this whole process. I wouldn’t say I have been wallowing in self pity because that is usually not my style but instead, I have gotten in all my cross training while trying to turn my brain off. I think it is nearly impossible to be fully dialed into each and every minute of aqua jogging.

Deep down I wish I could but I can’t. I ALWAYS get the work in and do every surge, tempo, hands out, holding breath action that I am told and hope that I am helping my fitness. I hear from Pete and others about how some of the greats like Todd Williams and Steve Spence would aboslutley murder themselves in the pool and come out FITTER than before but I think we only hear about the best sessions they did during injury. This is much like when guys post workout information; it is usually a kick-ass workout and not the norm.

Sure, I have had some awesome cross training days where I was completely dialed in and got after each and every interval during a 100 minute pool workout, but more often than not I get in the pool, do my work in silence, and get out 2 hours later. Did I work hard? Of course, but was it overly impressive? I don’t know.

All I know is that I can look back and my training log and see that I have approached each day as a professional and punched my time card. This isn’t glamorous or exciting 90% of the time but the accumulation of work is still very exciting and does motivate me to get back out there the next day.

As I’ve begun to slowly wean myself away from the pool and more towards the Alter G a funny thing has happened; my fire to compete again has been growing…quickly. Two months ago, I tossed aside that notion because tormenting myself with the thought that full training was so far away would have wrecked me. Instead, I took those early weeks day by day, as cliche as it sounds. But over the past 2 weeks I have begun to run at least an hour each day with a few faster miles tossed in.

My motivation to return has been flooding my body and mind as I’m pounding away on the treadmill.  So far, these runs have been around 80% of my body weight and I have gotten down to 5:30 pace a little bit. Nothing crazy but it has truly been so much fun. Here’s what a normal morning has been like for me on the G:

I wake up at 7 and eat breakfast with Esther. When she heads out the door to Moses Cone, I drive to ZAP and usually say goodbye to Tyler and Griff as they leave for their runs and I get to briefly hear about how marathon training has just begun and I hate them for a brief moment (I’m just jealous).

I get on the G after negotiating my start time with Colley the previous night through texts as he is injured too. The first 30 minutes go by slowly as I listen to either Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, the Men is Blazers, or any number of NPR programs.

Then after about 40 minutes I have worked the pace down to 6:30 per mile and see I have 2o minutes to go so I switch to Pandora and start getting really excited that my foot doesn’t hurt. This is where the FUN begins. The following super-positive thoughts take over my mind:

“So I’m running 5:40 pace at 82% of my body weight at 1% incline and I feel great. I mean goal marathon pace is ONLY 5:10 pace. That’s only 30 seconds per mile less than I’m going right now. And I’ve got 9 weeks to go. I’m going to be so fit!”

(That new Justin Bieber song “What Do You Mean”  comes on and I increase the incline to 2%)

“Picture this: mile 20 in LA. You realize you’ve just run miles 18 and 19 faster than any the entire day and you are absolutely ready to rip the head off the last 10k. Let’s go to a place we’ve never been before .”

(My hands go in the air and I act like I’m celebrating crossing the finish line in LA and seeing a fast time. I sing along to the next song loudly even though Colley is in the next room waiting for me to be finished. I know he doesn’t care because he’s been injured since Falmouth and completely knows where I’m at right now. He gets it.)

Then I get off. Griff and Tyler come back and tell me they closed their long run in 5 minute pace over hills. I sigh internally knowing I have a long way to go. But hey I got to run an hour, who cares it was on a treadmill! Steps are steps. Miles are miles. Who knew a treadmill could do so much for me?!

Thanks for reading.

Here is my last week of training (12/6-12/12):

Sunday: AM: 20 min spin+ 4 miles Alter G @75%   PM: MLS Cup

Monday: AM: 8 miles Alter G @75%   PM: 1 hour aqua jog

Tuesday: AM: 9.5 miles Alter G @80%  PM: 70 min swim

Wednesday: AM: 9 miles Alter G @80%  PM: 50 min spin

Thursday: AM: 1hr 40min spin high rotation   PM: walk

Friday: AM: 9.5 miles Alter G @81% (6×90 seconds)  PM: 55 min aqua jog

Saturday: AM: 11 mile Alter G @75%

Total: 51 miles Alter G miles, 3 spin sessions, 3 aqua jog sessions

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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!

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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

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Orlando Photo Extravaganza

It has been a whirlwind the last 10 days and so instead of typing out all of my activities I thought it would be better to post pictures of Esther’s and my trip to Florida. Originally, I was slated to race the inaugural Run Nona 15k in Orlando but my stress fracture changed those plans. Esther was still on board to run the race as well so we decided to make the trip and then spend a few days in Florida relaxing and recovering….well relaxing as much as two athletes can. Enjoy!

My outfit for the ZAP Holiday Party at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock. Arguably some of the best money I've ever spent.

My outfit for the ZAP Holiday Party at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock. Arguably some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

Esther winning the Run Nona 15k on Saturday evening!

Esther winning the Run Nona 15k on Saturday evening!

Dylan Hassett, Nicole DeMecurio, and Esther post-race. Dylan was 2nd, Nicole was 3rd and both run for Greenville Track Club Elite in SC.

Dylan Hassett, Nicole DeMecurio, and Esther post-race. Dylan was 2nd, Nicole was 3rd and both run for Greenville Track Club Elite in SC.

Track Shack in Orlando. was the main sponsor of the 15k. Elite Athlete Coordinator Chris Hughes did an incredible job of taking care of everyone.

Track Shack in Orlando was the main sponsor of the 15k. Elite Athlete Coordinator Chris Hughes did an incredible job of taking care of everyone.

Esther and I took a visit to the Track Shack store and she got in a quick run with Joanie and Galloway.

Esther and I took a visit to the Track Shack store and she got in a quick run with Joanie and Galloway.

Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center. 24 lanes plus a section for diving. Not a bad place to cross train!

Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center. 24 lanes plus a section for diving. Not a bad place to cross train!

Esther kept this cross training session fun. Her kick board skills were quite entertaining.

Esther kept this cross training session fun. Her kick board skills were quite entertaining.

We took a tour of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. It was incredibly beautiful! (HPU watch out!)

We took a tour of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. It was incredibly beautiful! (HPU watch out!)

National Training Center in Clermont, FL. Another beautiful place to get in a workout.

National Training Center in Clermont, FL. Another beautiful place to get in a workout.

National Training Center track in Clermont, FL.

National Training Center track in Clermont, FL. Thanks to Christie Snellgrove for giving us a tour!

Here is my last week of training (11/9-11/15):

Sunday: AM: 90 min aqua jog   PM: travel to NYC

Monday: AM: 90 min elliptical  PM: NYAC All Sports Dinner

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 45 min aqua jog/swim   PM: travel back to NC

Wednesday: AM: 90 min aqua jog/swim   PM: 50 min spin

Thursday: AM: 80 min aqua jog/swim   PM: 35 min spin

Friday: AM: 25 min underwater treadmill run   PM: 75 min swim in FL

Saturday: AM: 1hr 30min spin + 20 min elliptical

Total: 0 miles run, 6 pool sessions, 2 elliptical sessions, 2 spin sessions

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Swim lanes and soccer games

I had a very eventful week on several fronts. From a cross training perspective I was able to swim without a pull buoy and even hopped on a spin bike for a few sessions without pain. Although cycling doesn’t seem like much it was a positive development as it does put a bit more pressure on my stress fracture than swimming and to feel zero pain means it’s healing!

Also, I changed my locale for a few days to Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock as the heater on the Boone Wellness Center pool had broken. It was a nice change of scenery as I attempt to constantly keeps things fresh! Check out a few pictures of my pool sessions Esther snapped during the week:

Fish status.

Fish status (with belt).

 

Circles for dayzzz at Chetola Resort.

Circles for dayzzz at Chetola Resort.

From a coaching standpoint last weekend was the season ending Autumn Blast tournament hosted by CVYSA in Hickory, NC. In all, 9 HCSA teams competed in their various age groups, including my U12 boys and U14 girls teams. Both of my teams have been developing and learning a lot over the course of the Fall season and this tournament is always a great way to cap off the season against some teams from other parts of the Southeast that we may not normally play against during the regular season.

The weekend was very successful for both teams. On Saturday my boys won 8-1 and 6-4 while my girls won 4-0 and 8-1 which secured a spot in the semi-finals for both. On Sunday, both teams won their respective semi-final matches and so it was on the championship games. Unfortunately, both teams were unable to pull out victories and both of my teams ended up as Runners-Up for the weekend.

Although many, many tears were shed on both teams, the final games didn’t put a damper on a very solid weekend. Both teams made big strides forward and it was an exciting and educational experience for all involved (players, parents, and coach). GO HCSA!

HCSA U12 Boys Navy

HCSA U12 Boys Navy

 

HCSA U14 Girls

HCSA U14 Girls

Lastly, Thursday November 5th marked 100 days until the Olympic Trials Marathon in LA. The race organizers sent all qualifiers a card to take a picture with and post on Twitter. Since both Esther and I are qualified we took our picture together. Enjoy!

Thursday makred 100 days out from OTM.

Thursday marked 100 days out from the OTM.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (11/1-11/7):

Sunday: OFF (travel back from IN)

Monday: AM: 1hr 45min swim/jog

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 45min swim/jog

Wednesday: AM: 2hrs swim/jog  PM: 30 min spin

Thursday: AM: 1hr 40 min spin  PM: walk

Friday: AM: 1hr 35 min aqua jog

Saturday: AM: 1 hr spin  PM: soccer tournament all day!

Total: 0 miles run, 4 swim sessions, 3 spin sessions

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My last week of training (10/25-10/31)

I will be very brief this week as I have been busy spending time coaching and getting in my lengthy cross training workouts. As I mentioned last week I have been using the Boone Wellness Center for my pool sessions which have consisted of a combination of aqua jogging and swimming. This is slightly different than past injuries as I usually spent most of my time either using the elliptical or just aqua jogging. Right now my foot is not quite ready for the elliptical and I don’t feel like the aqua jogging always gets my heart rate as high as I’d like. I’ve found that adding in a swimming component to the aqua jogging has made the sessions more challenging but also kept me more engaged and not as BORED!

Essentially, the goal of cross training is to attempt to get your heart rate as high as possible to simulate what outside running does for you aerobically. There are certainly many ancillary benefits of spending time in the pool such as blood flow to the injured area without the pounding of the road while also keeping other muscles in use and strong, but aerobic maintenance is the number one reason to cross train!

There may be runners out there who say they LOVE to aqua jog or swim but I’m not one of them. It is a boring and tedious activity that is only tolerable if you constantly remind yourself that the time spent in the pool will make the return to running much easier. Luckily, Esther bought me a waterproof iPod Shuffle and that has been super helpful in keeping me motivated and focused on the task at hand.

To be honest, there are days that I am amazed to look at my watch and see that I’ve just spent nearly two hours splashing around in the deep end of a community pool. Non-runners may think the same is true about a 2 hour run but I’d take an outdoor run in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains over a pool session any day!

So what exactly have I been doing in the pool? Well, I thought it’d be cool to share some of the workouts Pete has had me doing since I found out I had a stress fracture. Enjoy!

Sample workout 1: Lap swim to pool run…12 lengths medium / harder / all out x 4 cycles then 30 sec sprints x 15 (each with final 5-6 sec holding breath) – do 6 sets of this !!

Sample workout 2: Pool run – 15:00 warm – 20/20 power sprints x 15 – then 2:00 rest after #15 / then 90 sec snowball intervals x 9 (each w 30 seconds rest between and each with final 8-10 sec hands out of water holding breath) – then 2:00 after #9, before – 45/15 x 10 – 2:00 rest then 30:00 lap swim with intervals of choosing

Thanks for reading! Check back next week for more exciting tales from the deep end!

Here is my last week of training (10/19-10/24):

Sunday: AM: 1 hr 45 min aqua jog/swimming combo

Monday: AM: 1 hr 30 min aqua jog/swim

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 30 min aqua jog/swim

Wednesday: AM: 1hr 40 min aqua jog/swimming  PM: 30 min bike

Thursday: AM: 1 hr 30 min aqua jog/swim

Friday: AM: 1 hr 30 min all aqua jog  PM: travel to Fort Wayne, IN

Saturday: AM: 1hr 20 min aqua jog/swim

Total: 0 miles, 7 pool sessions, 1 bike session

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