Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 17: Hitting the ground... cycling

Monday: 15 mile ride easy. Trying to get back into exercise on the right... wheel? Okay, I'll stop.

Tuesday: 26 miles steady to Topsfield collecting a disc I lost over the weekend. Strangers contacted me and hid it well so I could collect it. Nice!

Wednesday: 43 miles / 2:23 and change, with Sharon weaving to Topsfield and back. Felt good for the first 30 or so and struggled thereafter. Sunburned but satisfied. Off to a good week!

Thursday: 1.6 miles easy shaking the legs out. Good stretch after.

Friday: 6.7 miles / 59 minutes on trails at Ward. It was warm but I felt good after half a mile of shuffling!

Saturday: 6am: 62-63 miles @ 20.1 mph with the breakaway crew. It was cool to do a real group ride for maybe only the 5th time in my life. Hung tough (read: drafted like a banshee) the last 10 miles as the pace picked up. Pulled a few times but mostly just hung onto the wheel in front of me. There was a bit of a sprint finish toward the end which I had no part of. A few maniac drivers on the road but I guess that's just how it is. It's probably stressful for some people trying to get to work and having 16 or so cyclists to get past. Good ride all around!

Week 16: The lost week

No need to itemize this week as I was completely inundated by DC trip duties Monday-Friday. My cousin Colin arrived Friday night and we celebrated his birthday over the weekend. Highlights include 4 rounds of disc golf, a trip to Mohegan Sun, and lots of good food. Starting anew in week 17.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week 15: Steady as she goes..

Monday: Run with Alex... calling it 5 miles. My GPS had 5.6 and Alex had 4.8 but it was all on trails in the winding and technical Ward Reservation. This was my first time there since surgery and it was soo very good to be back. I'm very unfit, so this was a moderate-to-hard effort for me. Meanwhile Alex is very fit, but coming off of a couple wins this weekend and needed a nice shake-out. I imagine this will be the kind of run we do together for quite some time. Goal is to run 7 miles at some point this week. I also want to run or bike 5 days total. I would also like to see a mile sub-7... we'll see if I can find a nice long downhill somewhere :)

Tuesday: 5.3 miles. Solo run at Ward on the same loop as yesterday. Love that place! Ran a bit slower than yesterday in the 88 degree heat and also probably because I wasn't chasing Alex prancing through the woods ahead of me. I used the downhill coming back to the car and continued past it to get a quicker mile and ended up well sub-7 with a 6:35 dropping 35 feet. My stride felt the best it has yet! Knee feeling almost completely normal!

Wednesday: 6 miles in Ward. Really nice weather for international running day but in terms of energy I felt like garbage. No pop in the legs. This is probably a result of running 3 days consecutively for the first time since maybe October! Tomorrow off for sure. Absorb the work!

Thursday: 4.8 miles roads during coaching.  Couldn't help but run in perfect conditions.  3.4 MI tempo for my 54 yo runner at 7:40 pace. She was pumped! So was I. Tomorrow a jog is not likely with 8th grade promotion. We'll see.

Friday: Off, as expected!

Saturday: 3 miles easy / 21 minutes

Sunday: Off, preparing for DC Trip

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 14 - Picking up the slack

Monday: 4.3 miles easy with the HSers at running club. Nice day out. A touch humid but I'd rather ease into the summer weather rather than have it hit all at once. Oh, it's supposed to be 90 on Wednesday? ...Nevermind.

Tuesday: 4 total / 2 miles easy to NAMS to coach a workout in 16 minutes. After coaching I jogged back down the hill in 15 minutes or a hair under. Last mile 7:03 - fastest one yet! Feeling more and more comfortable running quicker. Iced after. I need to be better about continuing my PT. Hitting the bike tomorrow given the heat.

Wednesday: 50 minutes on the bike. Felt good!

Thursday: Off - Job interview consumed all free time. It went well!

Friday: Off - Ran up to the superintendent's office. It went well!

Saturday: Off - Lazy! Drove to Burlington. It was hot. Hung at the beach. Camped at North Beach. Shared a fire with some people from VA. Very fun times.

Sunday: Off - ish. Ran around a bit early on at the marathon but nothing noteworthy. Headed home before the storm hit. Oppressively hot day for a long race!!

Overview: Well, the week started off well and ended pretty pathetically from a training perspective. This has been a bit of a pattern. I have insanity week at school with finals, multiple graduations, a ceremony or two and then prepping for the DC trip I'm leading. Next week I'll be touring DC Monday-Thursday and then our final in-service day on Friday before summer vacation begins. So... t-minus 2 weeks until summer and "real" training can begin in earnest!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week 13 - Working out the kinks

Monday - jogged for 10 minutes and did my PT from the dg course at Devens. Eventually played a solid 18 holes. The Devens course is built on an old military training course which is has technical footing and is pretty hilly. Hiking around seems to be generally good for the body right now.

Tuesday - 5 miles moderate from the train station at Ballardvale. Took me 44 minutes. Single-track has always slowed me down by about 40 seconds/mi but given that I'm running extra carefully I think it's slowing me by a solid minute. Have to remind myself that the body doesn't care about distance traveled so much as it does time spent running. This is the longest run I've done by 8 or 10 minutes. The aerobic side of things is definitely coming along. Meanwhile the R hamstring has some strengthening to do. No PT today.

Wednesday - drove to Cherry Hill, NJ after work. Got there around 1am. Stiff from the ride.

Thursday - Brother-in-law graduated from Rutger's Law so the day was consumed by family stuff. Saw this coming.

Friday - 3 mile jog before travel to the Jersey shore.

Saturday - 4 mile jog with Greg on the shore. Nice and flat area. Good tailwind... on the way out, at least. Felt good.

Sunday - Return from the shore. 8 hours in the car and prepped for a big week at school. No run >.<

Overall: Not a great week from just about any perspective. 3 runs and feeling good on those, however. Gotta pick it back up for next week, despite the hectic nature of end of year activities.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Week 12 - Recovery Conclusion

I'm entering the final week of the standard healing time forecast for the operation I had done. By no means does that imply I am positioned to return to full activity, but it's encouraging to have gone through the recovery process and seen steady improvement from week-to-week thus far. I have a long way to go before I return to racing, but I'm positioned to run more regularly while I continue my exercises for strengthening the VMO.

Monday: 2.8 miles easy with a few high schoolers at running club. Felt good to jog after a couple days off.

Tuesday: 4 miles moderate solo following "Dan's loop". Getting the HR down to near normal levels while running (171 avg) which is a good sign. The first few runs were reading very high despite the efforts feeling easy to moderate.

Wednesday: Taking the day off. Hitting up the Sox game with Lauren and our friends Brad and Cass. The forecast couldn't be better, and Porcello is pitching!

Thursday: 4.3 miles on the trails and a few roads around Ballardvale. The cooler temps definitely made running more comfortable.

Friday: 60 minutes on the spin bike at the YMCA. HR avg 150. Felt good! Fatigued the last 10 minutes or so. Felt like real aerobic work without aggravating the knee at all. Progress!

Saturday: Walked around Amesbury with dad shooting some disc golf. Played my best game of the season (69) for the Pines. Lauren and my dad tied (lauren got an 18 pt handicap since she can't drive as far)

Sunday: Off. Worked a table at the Alex Fresce meet at NAHS. Gave away 300 flyers for the running camp Amanda and I put together. Evening bash with the Italian in-laws in southern MA.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Recovery #11 - Things are going well

Monday - 25 minutes on the spin bike at the YMCA followed by PT and some basic core exercises. I did some leg press for only the second time and this attempt went far better than the first which was about 3 weeks ago. For the press I focused on high reps (20) and I didn't go through the full range of motion so as to target the VMO... that dinky little muscle I need to strengthen. Feeling good, Tuesday, as I write this. Planning a jog for Tuesday, probably at a slower pace to see how that feels. Onward!

Tuesday - 2.6 mi trail run in the Vale reservation by the old apartment. I planned to hit the track, but every mondo track in NE was occupied by high school teams and after my 3rd attempt I went with the next best thing. The trails were nice and clear and the ground was springy and soft. Felt great! Stopped a few times to take in the scenery.

Wednesday - off. PT and ice.

Thursday - 2.75 mi run with my friend, Troy, from work. Very flat, smooth road. Took it nice and easy... like 10 minute pace. Hit the gym with Alex in the evening for the day 2 lift (back and bicep).

Friday - off. Stayed late to wrap up the week and then straight over to the Spring concert at school. It's good to "rest"!

Saturday - Took a long walk with mom and lifted in the evening. PT after.

Sunday - off. Another good day but no activity to report, unfortunately! Back at it on Monday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Recovery Week #10

Monday: Very, very tired from the weekend. Napped when I got home. Did my standard PT stuff at night.

Tuesday: .25 mi walking warm-up. 1.5 mile jog at 8:20 pace. .25 mi cool-down. Longest jaunt yet! Then, weights! Tried some new stuff... seated snatch, seated forward press, standing front and back, lateral and forward extensions, shoulder extensions, and some other stuff I don't know the name of. My back muscles are pretty weak at this point so I kept the weight light and just focused on form.

Wednesday: Nada.

Thursday: standard PT. Knee was inexplicably sore. Guessing it was the lack of activity yesterday causing it to stiffen up. Plenty of icing.

Friday: 2 mile jog followed by PT. Ice.

Saturday: devens disc golf and PT. Ice.

Sunday: 3 mile run in 24:00. Felt good! I'll be keeping it there and no farther for the time being. My VMO (medial quad muscle above the knee) is still atrophied and needs to be the focus for now. 3 mile runs every other day or so should be long enough to give me a sense of how I'm progressing but short enough not to cause a set-back.  Day 1 lift (chest and tricep) in the evening with Alex. Ice.

Week-in-review:

Well, I ran a whopping total of 6.5 miles this week. That's a pretty big leap and I need to continue being cautious as I enter week #11. PT continues to cause some soreness and irritation, particularly where the major incision was. I'm told by the surgeon this is normal and if PT wasn't making me sore that I wouldn't be doing it right. I should probably be spending more time on the bike than I have been, particularly before I do my PT. I've been told I'm ready to do some leg press on the sled at the gym as that should help me target the VMO so I'll be starting that up on Monday. In the meantime, I need to get on top of my diet in a real way as I'm at my lifetime heaviest and that can't be good for running. I eat healthy, but I generally eat like I'm running 60 MPW and obviously that hasn't been the case for the past 6 months. I want to be running lean by the summer. Time to buckle down!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Entering Week #9.

Saturday: Put new tires on the road bike and took it outside for the first time this year. Rode 9 miles nice and easy. It was beautiful out!

Sunday: Played a round of disc golf with my dad. We estimated the course at a tad over 2 miles with a lot of vert (for a 2m walk). I used trekking poles for the downhills. Knee feels great.

Monday: Spent the day in Boston working on my sunburn and probably walked about 4 miles. Evening lift with Alex. Hit 175# on the bench but only made 1 rep. Guess I know my max bench now! Did a few sets of 5 at 155# which is where I'll need to stay for a little while. Knee feeling very good.

Tuesday: I ran one whole mile on the track in 8:20 or so. It felt good!

Wednesday: Standard PT exercises but otherwise took the day off.

Thursday: I ran one whole mile on the track in 7:30 or so. It felt good, again. Lifted with Alex in the evening. New stuff... seated cable rows, lat pull downs, straight arm cable pulls, hammer curls, straight bar curls,

Friday: Drove to Acadia. Knee gets stiff sitting in a driving position. Set up camp, did a small hike by the water. Amazing crew up there for the weekend. Very rare to gather ~15 friends from the college days in one place, especially northern Maine!

Saturday: 5 mile hike in Acadia. Used terkking poles which we very helpful for the downhill. Knee felt excellent.

Sunday: Return trip from Acadia had the knee feeling a bit stiff but I wanted to do something so Alex and I played a round of 18 holes at the Pines up in Amesbury.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Jogging in week 8

On Thursday I hit the track for a little test run. I walked half a mile to warm-up and then I alternated walking and slowly jogging every 100m for 1 mile. It was awesome. I was grinning ear-to-ear basically the entire time.

The knee felt very good. The middle quad muscle (rectus femoris) is tight. I think it's due to shortening as I haven't been able to adequately stretch my right quad for 2 months.
Friday will be a day off and back at it on Saturday morning!

Total distance 1.5m / running distance .5m