Archive for January 2016

10 treadmill miles for 10th day of 2016 run streak – plus 0.5 miles to cool down after

I’ll start off with a quick congratulations to everyone who ran at the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend this year. I am still standing by my decision to find a way to make that happen again for me next January.

So today I spent most of the afternoon patching drywall and repainting…the pups were pretty destructive when we first got them…

This meant spending a lot of time kneeling on the floor and crouched over and my legs and back were not happy once it was time to run after supper.

But I knew I had to try to get a bit of a longer run in if I wanted to start rebuilding my endurance – so I popped a movie up and got started.

And I was ready to call it after a half hour but the movie was getting good so I kept going and in the end I had to make myself stop at the 10 mile mark (still close to an hour to go on the movie dammit). I hit 10 miles in 1:29:47 – not too shabby.

I then took my shoes off and walked for 10 minutes at 3 mph to stretch out the legs and feet a bit.

I am feeling pretty damned good now. The run streak is still working and I am still feeling motivated and have increased energy. If I keep being smart with when to throw in the 1 mile rest days I should be able to sustain this for quite a while!

Not sure what my run will be tomorrow – will have to wait and see how the legs are tomorrow night.


4 miles for day 7 of 2016 run streak – puts me at just under 34 miles in. Off to a good start.

Seven days into 2016 and I am seven days into the run streak (technically eight since I ran on Dec 31st…) and I am 33.98 miles into it. Considering I ran a grand total of 36.6 through December 2015 – I would say I am off to a pretty good start.

Current daily average is sitting at 4.85 miles which I am happy with – by late spring I would like to be back up to pulling off the occasional 50 mile week though.

Overall I am feeling pretty good. My legs are tired but right now I am letting how they feel dictate how fast I am running and that seems to be preventing injury or burn out – and all things considered the speed isn’t too awful. I still have a lot of work to do there but I am still capable of good bursts so I am feeling pretty positive I will get that back.

So far the runs have broken down to about 2/3rds of the miles on the treadmill and the other 1/3rd was done outside. As I ramp up longer runs outside I suspect this should get closer to half and half.

Even though I am tired I do feel more energized overall so I am feeling pretty good about this run streak experiment at this point. It is still early stages but I am motivated and that is a nice change of pace compared to a good chunk of last year.

I’ve seen a slight improvement in my weight as well as I kick my metabolism back up (and watch what I am eating better) – there is still a fair bit of work to do there as well an improvement is an improvement.

Tomorrow should be a 1 mile rest day and then some decent outside mileage outside over the weekend. The weather is supposed to get quite cold again though so I might be spending more time with my dear friend the treadmill for a while!

My initial thoughts for 2016 – run streak and a shot at Goofy Challenge 2017?

So I have been thinking for a while about what my goals and plans for 2016 should be. While I did have some great events, overall my running did not go very well in 2015. My mileage and speed are way down and the weight I previously lost is coming too far back – not good things.

I had indicated at the start of last year that I wanted to back off a bit because I felt I was putting too much time into the running and maybe falling down in other areas – family, hobbies, etc.

But the way I backed off wasn’t the way I would have wanted it to happen. There were some legitimate illness and injuries that had an impact but a big part of the issue was a loss of motivation and energy. Running used to be a habit but that fell off – meaning that I used to run out of habit even if I was tired or not motivated and I have lost that.

So that is the first thing I need to fix this year and to do that I am going to run streak.

Now I have tried run streaking before and it did not go well. But I did it differently during that attempt than what I plan to do it this time. When I did it before, I did it including double run days – I would do my normal 5 days a week training plan but would also add in a couple mile morning run every day before work – giving me up to 10 runs in a week. I did not adapt to the change in the sleep cycle well and I maybe lasted 9 or 10 days before I fell apart on a 2 mile run.

So I won’t do it that way this time. Instead I will ramp up to doing the 5 days a week run schedule and will do a single mile on the rest days. I am hoping this will get me to the point where, even if I am tired or unmotivated, I will run no matter what.

How long a streak though? It is a leap year and I love the idea of run streaking the whole 366 days. Granted I also ran Dec 31st so it would be 367 days. That is a bit of a daunting task considering how little I have been running, so I will start with setting the first goal as run streaking January. Once that is achieved I will break it down to run streak each month until the year is done.

That should make take care of getting back in the habit of running all the time, but how do I get myself back into running long distances? I did pull off 50+ miles in the 12 Hour Lemming Loop back in early October but that was more about experience and shear pig-headedness than about any sort of conditioning really. As I think about it, about the only thing that has made me truly commit to training has been the Goofy Challenge and the Dopey Challenge. So I am going to lay it out there that I am going to train to do the Goofy Challenge in January 2017. I don’t know yet if I can make that work financially but I am going to mentally commit to it – I have done 5 and want to do a 6th. That means everything I do through 2016 is going to be as part of a training plan for January 2017. Usually a marathon training plan comes in around 18 weeks but I am giving myself 50+ weeks so I will need to have several milestone races / runs along the way that will break the period down into more manageable chunks.

I don’t have that fully worked out yet but I have a few races running through my mind:

  1. Hypothermic Half marathon on Feb 21st – this one probably won’t work as we are vacation until the 20th and I don’t know if I would be able to hit package pickup or not. I will be investigating further.
  2. WPS Half marathon on May 1st – this race is where I hold my half PR (1:46:00 – 2014) but was about 10 minutes slower in 2015 due to illness. I will be looking for redemption on this race – maybe not a PR but back to sub 1:50 would be the goal) This means lots of speed work through March and April.
  3. Spruce Woods Ultra marathon event – the weekend after the WPS Half marathon – they trail marathon, 50k, 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile options all with decently generous time limits – so maybe, just maybe I might do something that will scare the hell out me here…
  4. Fargo Marathon – May 21st – just a bit of a drive away from Winnipeg but it is a flat course and the weather seems to average better than the Manitoba Marathon a month later which is a positive for someone coming off of several months of winter running. This one gives me a better shot at getting back to the low 4 hour range, possibly even PR or finally breaking below 4 hours.
  5. Manitoba Marathon – June 19 – If I have been training well and consistently at this point then hammering out a new full marathon PR would be the goal (currently 4:09:44 in 2014) – my marathon PR is for this race but my history with the weather on this one is not great (I have a tendency to get spanked by the heat or drenched).
  6. Treherne Marathon – Sept 11 – I haven’t done this one before and it is only a bit of a drive from home. It is done mostly on back country unpaved roads and I have, up to this point, ruled out doing this race because I keep getting an image of it raining and making the roads a mess. But this one may help me stay motivated through the summer.
  7. Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon – not sure the date yet but is usually a couple weeks after Treherne Marathon. This can be a good race to show off summer conditioning as we head into the fall.
  8. Lemming Loop – Sept 30 / Oct 1 – I have done the 12 hour event 2 years in a row and I am thinking of doing the unthinkable and moving up to the 24 hour event.
  9. WFPS Half Marathon – October 16 – only a couple weeks after the 12 or 24 hour Lemming Loop and I could be exhausted for this race. But I have done this one several years in a row and it is a tradition at this point.
  10. Wine and Dine Half Marathon – my wife and I thought about doing this one for our 10th anniversary last year but it didn’t work out. So maybe this year as a couple’s trip?

So I don’t know what I will do for sure but those are the races I am currently pondering.

One other major motivation idea I am looking at is tracking my yearly mileage as the miles I would need to get to Disney World from my house. Google Maps lists this as 1928.75 miles – I did 1971 in 2014 so it is possible. I will call this personal mission the “Run to the Goofy Challenge”. The bonus with this challenge is that if I start seeing myself getting close to that number later in the year it might drive me to go further – maybe beat the 1971 to have my highest mileage year ever or maybe even beat 2000 or 2016 miles?

To ensure I hit any of these milestones I will definitely need to tackle the sleep and weight issues I have been having but I have done it before and can do it again.

Basically I will need to break things down into more manageable chunks with sub goals to achieve and celebrate along the way. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like yet but I know I will have the ramp the mileage up slowly as I try to rebuild – so January won’t be 200 miles but maybe closer to the 130-150 range, but by the end of the year I should be hitting 200 mile months at least a few times.

A slow, strong, steady progression is key here.

Lots of work to do – but I will make sure to blog about it more frequently to help keep me honest and motivated.

Cheers to strong 2016!