Sunday, February 15, 2009

Battling a bug / Training weeks 2/2-2/8 and 2/9-2/15

The week of 2/2-2/18, when I was supposed to run 75 miles, was basically a total loss. On Tuesday morning I woke up feeling the onset of what I thought was a cold. No problem, I thought. I've run through many, many colds and I'll run through this one. Wrong! It was no cold. It was some nasty virus with an awful upper-respiratory component. I knew things were going badly when on Wednesday it took me 1:04 to run 8 miles--8 miles I was trying to run at 7:30 pace.

So by Thursday, even though I continued running through awful fatigue, respiratory distress, total weakness and nasty body ache--all of which signaled System Failure--I more or less threw in the towel and chalked up the week as a total loss. I ended with a paltry 51 miles and no speed-work or tempo running.


Now for the week of 2/9-2/15, which ended today. My objective was 80 miles as I continue gradually increasing my mileage with a plan of going north of 100 miles for the first time this season sometime in the next 4-5 weeks barring any unforeseen set-backs. My plan is built around the Lt. JC Stone 50K on March 21 in Pittsburgh and the Mohican Trail 100-Mile Run the weekend of June 20-21.

Anyway, this week started kind of rough as I was still battling the after-effects of this nasty virus--namely diminished respiratory capacity, weakness and fatigue. Fortunately, I started feeling better as the week progressed. It went like this:

AM: 5.5 miles easy. Still feeling rough.

AM: 8.7 miles easy. Very cold with a hard rain. Really missed my treadmill as I got home soaking wet and cold.

AM: 9.4-mile outdoor track workout
This was my first track workout of the season. I could tell in my times and in how I felt that this virus was still plaguing me. I ran 3x1600 in 6:02, 5:58 and 6:02. That is VERY slow for me. I've never run 1600s that slow. I think I can cut 15-20 seconds off those times next week. We'll see. I'd like to be going south of 5:40 by mid-April.

AM: 8.5 miles easy
No power, speed or strength in my legs. Just dead. I remember thinking as I was climbing the Washington Street hill that I felt as though all the energy in my body had been sucked out of me.

AM: 9.05-mile tempo run1
My legs felt a little sore and tired but I still managed a decent tempo run--my first since October. I averaged about 6:40 pace for 5 of the 9 miles and felt pretty good when I finished.
PM: 6.5 miles during lunchtime down MLK Blvd. and back. I saw a dead dog--very sad.
Total miles for day: 15.55

AM: 14.03 miles with the Southeast Running Club in South Chagrin Reservation
I ran the first 7 miles with Tim C., Tom A. and John K. and then finished up with Tim C. The trails were awful--very icy and the worst part was that some of the icy spots were covered with snow, making them virtually invisible. Toward the end I fell hard on some snow-covered ice that was at least 2 or 3 inches thick. I think Tim thought he'd have to call 911 because I fell hard. I remember thinking when I got up seeing stars and feeling pain in my back that I would be feeling this tomorrow.
PM: 4.14 miles around the neighborhood at about 7:00 pace
Total miles for day: 18.17

AM: 15.1 miles in Solon with the Southeast Running Club
All I needed to get to 80 miles for the week was 15 miles for the day. I'd have liked to get in a 20 miler but I didn't want my weekly mileage to increase too much, too soon, plus Anne and Noah were sick and I needed to get home. I dropped the hammer on Liberty Road and ran miles 7 and 8 or my run at 6:08 and 6:09, blowing past Steve H. only to get beaten to the water stop by one of the cross country kids.

Total miles for week: 80.92
Total miles for month: 152.6
Total miles for year: 424.69

Unfortunately, Noah is really sick. My primary focus this week will be on helping take care of him. If I can get in 85 miles for the week with speed-work, a tempo run and maybe a 20-miler, I will be very happy.

I learned last May when Noah was born that as a dad I have to take running day by day. I can't plan. All I can do is my best. All I can do is adjust. Family has to come first. As far as how well-prepared I am for the Lt. JC Stone 50K and Mohican 100, we'll just have to see what happens between now and then. This might just be an off year for me.

Onward and upward!


  1. Good week, especially with the lingering effects of whatever bug you caught. I've been trying to fight something off for a while, but it's fighting back hard. I hope it doesn't turn out to be what you had.

  2. Sorry to hear about your son, and the fact that you've been sick too. The winters in northern Ohio can be brutal. Take it a bit easy until it warms up.