50 days, 100 miles is the goal

Days: 1/50

Mileage: 4/100

The last couple of years, my little brother (in Oklahoma) and me (in New England) have been participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak (#RWRunStreak), in that, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we’ve headed out and ran at least one mile each day. Last year, we stretched it to two miles/day, and that felt kinda right.

Well, I was doin’ some cypherin’ this morning, and it hit me that New Year’s Day is exactly 50 days from today. And, I’m more than a little behind on my run goal for the year (not having rescoped goals when I tweaked my ankle at the Vermont City Marathon Relay), so the idea that, if I add 100 miles by the end of the calendar year, I’ll still be looking pretty good – end up at about 550 miles for the year – not quite the 600 I’d hoped*, but close enough that 3 months of spotty running means it’s a doable goal for the next year.

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Anyway, today was an AMAZING run day. Started with the scout troop dressing downtown Mystic with flags for Veterans’ Day; boxed up food for town social services at church, and got to take the dog for a stroll in the sunshine with my lovely wife.

Brunch: Cider Donut Toad-in-a-donut-hole.

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Yes, that is a cider donut, split down the middle, and an egg fried in each donut-hole. I’ve been doing this for a couple years with stale donuts from the cider mill down the way, and I’m still not sure if I like it. But, I do know there’s a there-there, even if it’s retiring to sell food at the county fair once I figure out how to make this delicious.

Oh, and I knocked off a beautiful four miler after an after-brunch nap:

I should do a “review”, but one of the things that’s been transformational for me has been going back to a Suunto watch – the heart rate band display has been a GREAT way for me to keep easy runs easy, so I don’t break myself.

* Consolation is that I should easily clear my bike and swim goals…

Home Stretch

Big year since the last post way back in May. The short version is that I’m finally starting to feel whatever my “normal” is supposed to be. Ran the Tarzan Brown race again this year, and pretty comfortably finished the 5.5 miles under 50 minutes. I was a little discouraged about that, until I went back into Strava and found out that, even when I was feeling “strong”, my previous best was 47 minutes. Granted, that’s 30 seconds/mile faster, but I’m also carrying about 25 more pounds than I was for that race.

So, I’m fat, but the legs are back.

Lovely wife and I went for a possible last ride yesterday. Temperatures were in the 40’s, but the ride was awesome when we were in the sun and out of the wind.

But, boy – the wind. I set two strava PRs and matched another best effort, because winter was coming down from Canada with a vengeance.

Main goal of the ride was to get out to the Stonington Farmers’ Market in the Velvet Mill. We hadn’t been together for a couple months, so it was good to get back there. Picked up a beautiful ciabatta, shrimp and amazing scallops, and cheese curds.

The ride home was pretty non-eventful. We stayed off Rt 1 and mostly stayed in the woods and hills to stay out of the wind. Coffee stop, and home to toasted bread and cheese. Amazing.

Oh, and this was supper:

Haze Grey and What do I weigh?

We’d been having a decent bout of spring in New England, largely because I spent a big chunk of the last two weeks on travel. So, of course, it’s got to be nice here. So nice, in fact, that the wife and kids put fans in the windows, and the leaves came out.

Today? Not so much. Friday? Beautiful. This morning? Grey. Not even the grey of a TV tuned to an unused channel, but the grey of limbo. Even the new leaves seemed subdued. You can thank Troop 76, because we’re camping this weekend, and our motto is “Troop 76 percent chance of rain”, with the records to back that up.

I had crap to do first thing in the morning, and didn’t get out to ride until about lunch, at which time the grey and misty morning had turned into grey and drizzly if not actually rainy. But, I saddled up the Cannondale, thinking that maybe it was raining because I’d been a New England bike apostate by riding in the basement in front of Zwift all winter, instead of doing my penance in March and April on the salt bike, bundled up against the cold and slush.

I’d like to say transcendence set in during the ride. But I can’t – the ride was cold and wet; the cars sent up spray, and I can’t even pretend to have “early season fitness”; this ride was fueled by guilt and what few dad watts I’ve got left (I think that teenage children may actually drain dad watts).

Neither can i say I was sad to ride today. There was value in the cold rain, and reality in the painful joy of hot water on cold flesh. I still can ride, I still love where I ride, and maybe not all things good are joyful.

The tale of the scale hasn’t been good. I haven’t gained weight; neither have I lost any. Fitness seems to be coming back, which is good. I don’t think I’m going to die at the Vermont City Marathon relay in three weeks.

And the campout is awesome. The frogs are louder than the scouts; and letting boys self-organize occasionally yields amazing stuff – like the campstove donuts that were embellished with the addition of girl scout cookies and marshmallows. 6 hours of laughter brings light to absolutely any day. Though I do hope that the sun comes out tomorrow.

So, it turns out the world exists before 6AM

I did something unusual for me this morning – I got my butt out of bed and went for a ride. River Road, as always, was spectacular.

River view, overcast, docks

The ride itself was only kinda meh – not feeling strong, but I think this may have been the Cannondale’s first outing this year. Not a huge ride, but the victory was 100% getting out of the door.

On track for this year’s mileage; now to focus on losing weight.

Spring Sprung

Time for a quarterly update from frosty New England – it’s April, and there were daffodils under the snow we got this week. And it was 50 degrees after the snow stopped.

I’m excited – I think I’m turning a corner with consistiency again – great months in the Strava Log since the new year. No pains, no nags. Really embraced it. I’m ahead on my annual goals for the bike AND the run, which is nice, and with a push in the pool for a week, I could get caught up.

Weight is still an issue, but it’s almost a year since it moved up again, so I’ve got that going for me.

My intentions for the next two months are to keep consistiency of the working out going; get through spring break, and then start tackling nutrition head on with the summer.

Kelley’s Pace in Old Mystic Village starts their Thursday fun runs again tonight; can’t wait to  be back in the swing.

So, I really, really like Zwift

Dunno why. Maybe it’s the combination of technology, maybe it’s the low overhead for a workout. It boils down to:

    put on shorts
    grab water
    walk down stairs
    put on shoes
    ride
    Finish ride
    Check Strava
    Take off shoes
    Walk upstairs
    Shower
    Beers

When the bike’s loud, I oil the chain. About once a week, I check the tires. Easy.

Now, if I can do it enough to get some fitness, I’ll be happy.

Fell off a little bit

So, technically I finished the RW Run Streak. But I’ve failed on the 100 days goal. Not really spectacularly failed; just kind of faded out.

I’m not necessarily upset – looking at Strava and just kind of feeling my body, I’m still in better shape than I was over the summer. I also didn’t put on any weight over the holidays.

There’s a whole bunch of “buts” – the weather has been unseasonably cold (like below freezing for about 10 days); I finally got serious about screwing around with my 3d Printer, so I’ve been up late and distracted, had some personal drama.

But, I’ve pretty much got the 3d printer running now, the weather has returned to New England seasonal, and I have my Zwift setup dialed in.

So, let’s try this again. But easier. Goal is to be on track with running, biking, and swimming mileage for the year by the time Paris-Roubaix rolls around. I’m not going to try to streak because I’d like to up the intensity of each training effort, so the critical measure is going to be the mileage targets on Strava.

Anyway, hope y’all are having a good new year.

Think I’m gonna make it (Run)

#RWRunStreak, the Runner’s World Run Streak, is in full effect. I’m feeling strong, have only had one 10 PM run, and much like my experience last year, I’m finding that, strangely, running EVERY day instead of every other (or worse) actually makes me feel less sore than alternating. I’m sure it means that I’m actually getting stronger, or if I’m setting up for injury later.

Regardless, you can track my progress towards the end of year goal here:

I’m iffy on the bike and swim goals; if I cross the line heading stronger, I’ll link to them, too.

Loving the second week of streak

Yesterday and today were pretty amazing runs. Beautiful running weather – 40’s and mostly windless. Last night was kind of an interesting situation, though. Busy day at work, so I was initially going to do the run after I walked the dog with Mrs. Jank. But, I got home with some time to spare before we sat down for supper. #2 son was cooking, and it was going a little slow, so I popped out the door for one lap of the neighborhood (~1.5 miles); ate a light-ish supper, and then walked the dog and ran another lap for another 2.7 miles on the day. Legs felt good.

Today was AWESOME. The Nike+ app suggested I do 5x400m repeats, so, sure! That meets the intent (2 miles on my feet each workout, at least 1 “running” – actually exceeds the intent in my set of rules for this year, which was going to give me the “cheat” of only having to sweat for 1 minute out of the two miles). Rather than do them on the track, took advantage of the GPS and did them on the trail alongside Narragansett Bay by the office.

And, I’m pretty pleased with the result. Nike+ says I did about 7:10 average for the 5×400 intervals; even though I walked the breaks from interval 2 on, Strava says I did 2.5 miles at under 11:00/mile overall. Not gonna qualify for Boston any time soon, but I’m really starting to feel stronger.

Today was also the second day in the pool this week. I had a pretty rough swim on Saturday; decent swim Monday afternoon, but today was another “meh” day. Regardless, I gutted out 1 KM. Form didn’t feel bad; I think it was mostly light breakfast + intervals + no lunch yet.

Tomorrow and Friday are big meeting days at work. I’m going to try running before work. I don’t usually have good luck with that, but if I don’t, I’m probably not going to get it done. So – wish me luck!

Week of Streak

So, I’m a week into my second run at the Runner’s World Run Streak, and I’m completely loving it.

Tonight – late leaving the office (Story of my life), but had a transcendent run. Yesterday was an almost cheating long run – it was

    long – 6.7 miles, pretty reasonable
    slow – Walked the first and last miles; Galloway’d the rest
    distance – Having run marathons, it’s tough to remember how amazing it is the first time one runs for a mile; or three; or five, or for an hour…

Tonight, I thought I would bang out the 2.4 miles I needed to keep pace with 500 miles for the year. But, when I got to the turnaround, I realized that the legs felt good, and extended for another .3 miles for the evening.

Chunked out 1200m in the pool after the run. More LSD; felt great to be swimming until the close with fewer and fewer folks in the pool.