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Systems Go

I’m halfway through this training cycle and feeling good. Though I’ve had some nagging soreness in the left rectus femoris, I haven’t had any injuries. I’ve completed all but one of the SOS workouts, even when I was sure I wasn’t up for it. The Garmin training calendar looks pretty nice in February, without a missed day and all the runs, workouts and goals lined up. I know all too well how quickly it can all go south but, for now, all systems are go for a strong day in Boston.

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The Hills

After a strong speed workout last night, I’m feeling good about this year’s race. I’m in a much better position on January 25 than I was last year. At this point in 2016 training, the stress of a lenghty training program had almost caught up with me. I was less than a week away from the first in a series of calf strains. Those injuries limited my training time in February and March. And, the decreased training increased my finish time in Boston. I’m sore today, but I should be. All in all, the change in my training program is going to be a huge benefit for this year’s race.

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SOS x 3

I have three Something of Substance (SOS) workouts this week. That’s a Hanson’s Marathon Method construct, consisting of speed or strength runs, tempo runs and long runs. In week three of Boston training, I have all three. Tonight is speed work at the Cretzmeyer Track. Thursday will be a tempo run: eight miles, six of which will be at 7:57/mi. Sunday will be a long run of ten miles at 8:40/mi.

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First Workout

I got the first speed workout in last night at the Cretzmeyer Track. In drizzle, then light snow, then drizzle again, I had a productive 9-miler.

The plan was 1.5 mi warmup @ 9:41 + 12x ([400m @ 7:21] + [400m recov @ 10:21]) + 1.5 mi cooldown @ 9:41. I made all but the first speed interval and went 8:54/mi for the workout.

As usual, I started dreading the run around 2:00 pm. 12 intervals seems like a huge deal. And, the weather, though warm, was less than optimal. But, I’ve been through this before. Deep down, I knew the workout wouldn’t be as hard as it looks on paper. Sure enough, I ran the first part of the first interval at faster than the planned pace. That’s how I like it – a need to slow down rather than speed it up.

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Rest Day Three

It’s the final rest day at the top of the Boston ’17 training program. I’m jonesing to get a run in. I do feel like the rest has benefitted my legs. The soreness is gone, though the usual stiffness in the morning remains. I’m sure that’s age as much as anything else! The rest of the week, starting tomorrow, will be low easy miles – 26 miles total. Next week has a single “Something of Substance” run: a 9-mile speed workout on Tuesday. Those SOS runs are a Hanson’s hallmark. The following week, everything kicks into high gear with a speed workout, tempo run and a long run. Right now, I feel fresh and ready.

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Resting, Day Two

This will be the second rest day at the start of the Boston ’17 training. My HRV score reflected the rest, jumping to 57 from 52. It’s amazing how a single rest day can have such a positive impact. I still have a little stiffness in the lower back and high quads (in the rectus femoris area), but am definitely feeling more rested. This few days should start me off on a great track for the rest of the program.

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Tough Day

Newton, MA

Subtle signs of a tough day at the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Here’s a photo from last year’s Boston Marathon. At first glance, my step-mom said, “Wow, that’s a good picture.” I thought so, too, when I first looked at it. I look engaged in the race, if a little wiped out. There’s action around me, with other runners. At first blush, it does look to be a pretty good picture.

But, runners will notice those things that bring it crashing down. Yes, there are other runners around me. See those bib numbers? I’m being passed on my right by a guy whose bib number is 9,000 higher than mine. He started at least 20 minutes behind me. And, he appears to be walking. Behind me and to my left – a woman whose bib number is almost 11,000 higher.

Yes, it was a tough day in Boston. All the better reason to make it back for 2017.

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Easy Monday

I went easy on Monday, in 38° temps. Shorts, long sleeves, hat, and gloves kept me perfectly warm. I’ve been going easy nearly every day. It’s all base-building for another week. No major aches or pains, though my knees are pretty stiff in the first quarter-mile, or so. And, I used the Runkeeper app, again. Each time I use it, I find another little surprise that shows just how well designed it is. Slowly, it’s moving me away from the original plan to use the Garmin for running.