Tag Archives: training

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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93 miles for the week! (12/20-12/26)

We are now less than 7 weeks to go until the Olympic Trials and I had another solid week of training. I ran 93 miles for the week with 43 miles on the Alter-G and 50 miles outside. Each run has felt better and better and I am truly excited for the next few weeks.

It’s hard to believe that a week ago I ran for 62 minutes in Asheville and felt absolutely TERRIBLE. I would liken it to a baby giraffe first learning how to walk: awkward, ungainly, and really any other word that means the opposite of smooth.

On Tuesday, I did a mini-workout at ZAP before heading to Richmond to spend Christmas with Esther’s family. The workout was 2×3 miles with one 3 mile piece on the normal treadmill and one 3 mile piece on the Alter-G. Pete wanted to get in some slightly faster running at full weight and then hit the Alter-G for the second rep to be cautious. Here’s how it went:

2×3 mile treadmill workout:

*1st 3 mile piece on normal treadmill: 5:42, 5:39, 5:35
*4 minutes rest
*2nd 3 mile piece on Alter-G at 92%: 5:15, 5:10, 5:07

Overall, it was a good session and I felt stronger as the workout wore on. I do have one takeaway: 8% less body weight feels AMAZING. After getting off the normal treadmill I was shocked with the ease I was able to run the 2nd rep. Regardless of the reduced weight I was happy with the effort and to feel that familiar workout ‘burn’ again.

In-Law game strong.

In-Law game strong.

After the workout I hopped in my car and made the trip to Richmond to spend the Christmas holiday with the Erb clan. It was a full house with her parents, 2 sisters, and various friends popping in and out but also very relaxing. Esther’s 6 month old niece Rae and 3 year old nephew Lee were in town as well which was great. Esther and I got in daily naps, lots of great meals, and a few nice runs with current Boulder resident and Richmond Native Guy Alton!

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

I will spend the next 10 days in Blowing Rock and then I’m off to Tallahassee, FL for the final 4.5 weeks leading into the marathon trials. Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/20-12/26):

Sunday: AM: 3.5 miles (Asheville)    PM: 12 miles Alter-G 87%

Monday: AM: 8 miles    PM: 3 miles

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (2×3 mile workout, treadmill and Alter G 90%)

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles Alter-G 90% (Richmond)   PM: 4 miles

Thursday: AM: 6 miles Alter G 90%   PM: 9.5 miles

Friday: AM: 7 miles    PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 10 miles   PM: 45 min spin

Total: 93 miles (43 Alter G, 50 outside), 12 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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My last week of training (11/29-12/5)

Last week was another step forward for my stress fracture. I ran on the Alter G 4 times during the week between 65-75%  of my body weight. And with the club soccer season at a lull momentarily, my weekday evenings have been much more open which has allowed me to get in a few more cross training sessions later in the day.

I swam, biked, aqua jogged, Alter-G’d, and even got in a short run on a normal treadmill. This variety made the week fly by and I become more encouraged with each day that I was getting ever closer to stepping back on dry land at full body weight.

Over the weekend, I made the trip to Columbus, OH with Jody and Kiki to watch the Columbus Crew and the Portland Timbers battle for the MLS Cup! It was a fun day and I’m glad I was able to make the trip. We left Boone at 7:45 am and pulled back into town at 2 am! It was a long day but certainly worth it!

20151206_161627

20151206_161923

Also, Esther and I received a short video from our wedding photographer, Brigid. In addition to taking lots of great pictures she was, unbeknownst to us, filming as well! The video is 108 seconds long and truly captures how joyful a day it was.  I must admit that it got me choked up the first few times I watched it. Thanks so, so much Brigid! What a day!

Here is my last week of training (11/19-12/5):

Sunday: AM: 1hr 35 min aqua jog  PM: walk

Monday: AM: 35 min bike+ 35 min Alter G @65%  PM: 75 min aqua jog

Tuesday: AM: 35 min bike   PM: 1hr 30 min aqua jog/spin

Wednesday: AM: 30 min bike+45 min Alter G+20 min bike  PM: walk

Thursday: AM: 35 min Alter G   PM: 1hr 30 min bike (spin class in Boone)

Friday: AM: 1hr 50min aqua jog   PM: 40 min bike

Saturday: AM: 30 min bike+15 min treadmill+45 min Alter G @70%

Total: 23 miles run, 4 Alter G runs, 5 spin/bike sessions, 3 pool 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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