Tag Archives: lsd

Good Estimation

As I geared up to leav the house for my run this morning, my wife asked, “how far are you going to run?”. I thought about it and said, “somewhere between ten and twenty-four miles.”.

Looking back this seems like quite an odd statement for anyone to be able to make. My back has a slight kink in it currently after I fainted jumping out of bed on Friday morning (see the lovely black eye photo inserted below), but other than that I felt okay.  

 I ran twenty-two miles last Sunday but didn’t want to just run the same route and add a mile – that would be boring. So, I conjured up a new route that had me going out along a route I did a few weeks ago (8.5 miles), coming back in on the route I did last week (11 miles)… And the unknown bit in the middle joining the up would make up the difference. 

Turns out that my estimating skills are pretty darned good. Went I reached my driveway I’d clocked 24.3 miles. Nice. 

Running through Evansburg State Park, Skippack township, Perkiomen Trail, back through Evansburg State Park and then towards home. Very scenic. 

Everything feels fine although the last couple of miles consisted of a little more plodding that I would have liked. 

Now I’m doing this sort of distance in a training run where do I stop? Do I keep just adding 10% each week and see where it takes me? It is starting to chew up a lot of time on a Sunday morning…

Any way, now to each as much of anything I like. Need to reload with calories starting with the family bag of Twizzlers that I bought yesterday on the off chance I’d need them today. 🙂


Feb Recap and Long Run

With temps right around the freezing point this morning it was a perfect day for a long slow distance (LSD) run. 

I knew I wanted to go long today and ate some extra food the previous day, although I might advise against Chicken Vindaloo in retrospect. 

After a light breakfast I hit the trails with a steady slow pace. 

I’ve recently switched some of the apps that I use as my company health plan no longer requires heart rate tracking to be reported to get bonus points. Therefore, I now do everything through the mapmyrun app. Tracking my shoes, my route, my heart rate and controlling my music, with a reasonable Apple Watch interface too. It is a pretty solid system. (Note that I have the paid version and that I also pay an annual fee for the service). 

I planned to run around 11 miles and extracted that this would get me approximately to a water/toilet block on the Perkiomen trail. I was about 0.2 miles off in my estimate; not bad. 

I’m also glad that I chose that particular location as a turning point as … Well… Vindaloo. 

There were quite a lot of runners put on the Perk trail but the other trails connecting to and through Evansburg State Park were all empty. I guess people are avoiding hill training! The next big local race is the Broad Street run and that is pretty well flat. 

I managed to complete the run with a slight negative split and an 8:36 pace. Not too far off pace really but not as fast as last weeks nineteen miler. 

Still, 22 miles in the bag and I feel fine so that’s not to be sniffed at!

I did a quick check of my running totals for February and found that I hit the 145 miles in a month mark. Also, not too shabby. This makes 241 for the year so far. 

I don’t have a distance goal for his year but instead just want to enjoy running. The marathon training at the end of last year made me start to count the miles too closely, wishing them away almost. 

Keep ‘Em Moving

Today was looooong run day in my marathon training and I reached the zenith of the plan with the most miles in the week and the longest weekend run. 

As I commented yesterday, the training is to get you used to running on tired legs and this was certainly achieved. 

It was quite windy but the temps were around 46F. This felt cold for the first four miles on the Perkiomen River Trail but was okay after that. 

My legs were tired and tight for the first eight miles of the run and then, all of a sudden, they freed up. Until then the run had been a real drag; at two miles I felt like I’d never be able to finish. 

Once I reached the turn around point deep in the heart of Green Lane Park, PA, I felt elated. That last mile (mile 10-11) had all been uphill but it was good to turn around and run down it. 

I also stopped at this point to empty stones out of my shoes. After this I was positively bouncing back down the hill. 

My pace to the halfway point had been 8:30 on the nail. Supposedly a minute slower than race pace for these loooooong runs. 

With about five miles to go the batteries in my Bluetooth headphones went out (I didn’t charge then the night before; my fault) but then I got to listen to the sounds of the trail, which was nice. 

I saw quite a few people around when I started out but after mile eight the number of people thinned out. 

I tried to up my pace for the last few miles. To reduce your average time by a second after doing twenty miles requires you run 20 seconds faster for that next mile. Quite a feat at this stage. However, I pulled it off. 

By the time I finished all 22 miles my average pace was at 8:18. Result. 

My legs aren’t too tired and I’ve just filled up with a monster burrito from Q’doba. 

I dropped three pounds while out on the run and ate one clif bar and eight shot blocks. I drank 3/4 of a bottle of water and the route included one thousand feet of climbing. 

  The route was beautiful (as ever) and I cleared a lot of branches from the trail as I ran. 
  My splits were good and clearly show the negative split that I was trying to keep up. 
Now to recover. 🙂

Thanks for the comments of support yesterday; much appreciated. 

Long, Slow, Hilly Distance Run

This morning I awoke at five and felt like in could run the world. In my head I knew that I should do a longer run to make up for the bike ride I did Sunday in place of my LSD run.

Having hit the hay early last night and feeling super-charged when the alarm went off, it only took me ten minutes to get dressed and out the door.

My legs weren’t quite as compliant as my mind, however, and were refusing to move with any sort of bounce or lightness. My glutes and hammies were still tight after the long ride and weren’t going to let me move quickly today.

I headed off down the street and immediately chose the more challenging hilly route figuring that I was already moving slowly so I might as well make it count!

The morning was beautiful and cool at 70F with little humidity. There was also very little traffic at that time in the morning and the roads were pretty well empty.

At mile three I felt fabulous still and didn’t want to start heading home. I had water with me and some clif shot blocks, plus time to spare, so I turned off towards Evansburg State Park and some of my favourite trails.

The last time I ran out this way there was snow on the ground. I took a couple of cut throughs that used to be roads but have long since been closed off and have become overgrown. Having read recent articles about ticks and Lyme’s disease I found myself trying to avoid any long grass as I ran, and I tried to stay towards the center if the trail. I made a mental note to check my legs once I got home.

Once I reached the main road I decided to continue the adventure rather than head home and took another back road to an abandoned quarry. This led past an old abandoned bridge, and then runs parallel with a lovely part of Skippack Creek, then on to a very long and steep ascent through some overgrown woods up another old closed-off road. I’d only run this route once before and had taken some wrong turns so I quickly checked my GPS to make sure I was headed the correct way (which I was).

To finish off the run I tried a ‘short-cut’ from a busy road that leads up a very steep slope to a cut through to the local middle school. This reduced the amount of time I was on a busier road and had me heading back towards home.

All in all it was a wonderful run and such a great way to start the day.

Was I fast? No. In fact I was pretty darn slow with a pace around 8:54 for the 10.3 miles run. The route was particularly hilly though with a gain around 680 ft, so that’s nothing to be sniffed at around these parts.

Am I happy with that? Yes, today I think I am.

Here’s the map of Evansburg State Park.


Tour d’Omlette

This will be the third weekend in a row where I have traded in my long run for a bike ride.

This week it was to ride with the Egg-Salted Yolks on my bike team for our annual Tour d’Omlette in which we ride from the ‘burbs of Philly to the Famous 4th Street Deli for the largest meals you could ever possibly imagine, and then ride back home, somewhat slower.

This is the one ride of the year where the majority of the team get together, including some that rarely make it out for the weekly rides. It is also a time for egg-based puns galore. 🙂

It is the only ride where you will go out on your bike for sixty miles and come back weighing about the same as when you left!

I hadn’t ridden more than 26 miles this year so pulling a 60 miler out of the bag was a bit if a challenge but we took it at a reasonable pace. It was great to catch up with old friends whom I haven’t seen this year because I swapped out my weekly ride for a long slow Sunday run.

The main difference between long runs and a long bike ride for me is that I have never let out an involuntary whoop while running. That does tend to happen once I am zooming down the trail on my bike. I’ve missed this feeling. I’ve missed my friends. Now I have a quandary; to continue my solo Sunday runs or get back with the bike team.

Popsicle Chin and Eighteen Long Miles

Back in the US and running on snow covered back streets. It was a cold 25F actual with a feel in the single digits when I went out this morning. The cold wind froze my chin. Is there a point that it is too cold for your chin? I just massaged it and then dug out my neck warmer and put it back on (I had it stowed inside my jacket; just in case).

Part of my route today was along a road that has a “bridge out” which always reminds me of the classic movie “Smokey and the Bandit”. It has actually been replaced but they haven’t put up the guard rails yet so they haven’t officially opened it to traffic. This road was completely unplowed (unploughed?) and the snow was mid-calf to knee height for a quarter of a mile. By the end of it I was stumbling along, but I kept a sort of running pace. Very high knees seemed to be the key!

Eighteen miles is a long way and today I gave in and plugged in headphones at a ridiculously low volume level so I could hear some podcasts while I ran (The Bugle, WTF!, BBC News Quiz). Whenever cars were near, I couldn’t hear the podcasts, that’s how quiet I had them set.

I was definitely plodding along today, whether that is because of all the travel, the bumped up workout on Friday, too much partying last week… I’m not sure. Suffice to say that I ran around the actual speed that the program suggests I should run. I did eighteen miles in 2:43:31 with two brief stops to cross roads and adjust neck gaiter. That is a 9:04 pace. To be honest there were some places where I just had to shuffle along because the ice was so thick and I could not go around it. In general the roads were okay, but there were some problems and they were mainly on hills, so that made them more treacherous.

Since getting home I’ve had an uncontrollable urge for a milky coffee (large cup of milk, boiled in microwave, then add instant coffee; yum) and it is helping to make me feel warmer from the inside.

Despite the temperatures I still managed to sweat off quite a lot of weight during the run. My pre-run weight was 152 and post-run was 147. I did drink one bottle of water while u was out there, but clearly not enough to offset what I sweated off!

Yum. I think I’m going to have a second cup of that.

In general, I don’t feel too bad after the run. A little weak at the edges and very grateful to have access to a bathroom, but that was all really. My knee was clicking as I climbed the stairs but doesn’t seem to have any issues. Next week will be a challenge as it has my first 20 mile run. Hopefully the roads and trails will be clear of snow by then and I’ll be able to do some of those miles actually on proper trails.

Marathon Training Week 2: LSD 12 Miler

Well it was certainly slower than my last half-marathon race but still faster than the pace my training plan has targeted for me. 12 miles @ 8:41 pace. Not too bad. I found some pretty extra miles in the Skippack area today. Running by farms and lakes, and people that have to clean out their horses stables. All very idyllic.

Mapmyrun was bad again today. This time I had deleted the app, cleared the GPS cache and other location data, re-installed, then connected to my heartrate monitor. For the first four miles it wasn’t reading any distance at all. Then part way through it sprung into life. The GPS points are all a long way off though. I may have to concede and switch to an old backup iPhone for running. Boo.

Nike+ worked as solidly as ever. You’ve got to love a solution that robust.

My shoes are definitely wearing in a weird way again but not quite as quickly. I was trying to change my gait today to straighten my footfall but I don’t think it helped much.

The temps have plummeted to 24F actual with a feel of 18F, and when the wind blew it really did feel 18F. My chin froze after about mile four so I had to massage it every so often to bring some sensation back to it.

I took at water bottle with me and had two small drinks, plus I consumed two clif shot blocks at about mile eight.

It was a beautiful morning though and I saw a lovely red fox part way through. A lovely end to the second week of the training plan. Twenty-seven miles weekly total, forty-eight overall and nothing bad yet.

I wouldn’t want to miss out on running for anything!

Oh Yeah: My Revenge on the Elements

Contrary to my normal behaviour I actually managed to get out later in the day on Sunday and squeeze in a nice Long Slow Distance run of 11.8 miles. Lots of hills. Lots of snow, ice and slush. Mainly courteous drivers and now feeling a whole lot better. 1900 ft of gain and 8:23 pace which includes stopping to take photos as my phone didn’t pause the run.

I was miserable that I couldn’t get out this morning and that’s why I forced myself out this afternoon. I guess that just means that I am addicted to the endorphins and serotonin from running. Oh well, there are worse things I could be addicted to.

I took a couple of pictures of some icicles while I was out there for my daughter.


I also took a panorama of where I’d come from and where I was headed.


Time Travel For Runners

I thought I’d post a quickie about the advantages I found from the recent European trip and time zone changes.

When I’m in the US I generally get up at 5am so that I can get out and run before my wife has to do her morning run. This takes a bit of getting used to and is harder in the winter months, but works out well. Then, when you travel to Ireland on vacation where they are 5 hours ahead of us, if you get up at a more lazy 8 am (as you are on holiday after all!) this essentially makes the time difference between the two locations as just 2 hours. This is far more manageable and means that you have hardly any adjustment at all.

Then you get the real advantage… When you return back to the US your body will easily fall into the 5 am wake up as it feels like that is a lay in. This last week has been super easy to get up and out because of this.

I just wanted to illustrate that with a little planning you can sometimes use time zone changes to your advantage while you are travelling. It doesn’t always have to be about suffering and trying to catch up with your sleep.

Do remember that travelling on a plane does rob you of a lot of water due to the dry air on board the plane. So you’ll have to hydrate more over the first three or four days, but that’s never a bad thing to have to do.

Yesterday I ran my long slow distance run for the week and managed to clock a twelve and a half miler with a reasonable pace of 8:33 which is right where I want it to be for those types of runs. The course was an old favourite of mine that has quite a lot of hills (3139 ft of climbing) and runs through part of the lovely Evansburg State Park. Unfortunately it was too dark to take in much more than the potholes immediately in front of you but I still like running through there and listening to the sounds of the river and wildlife.

I’ve Got Chills They’re Multiplying

Wow the weather has taken a cold turn. Brr. 25F actual with a feel of 20F. Yowzer!

Long, slow distance run today and the cold got into my bones at about mile 4.5. I had to put my gloves back on as my fingers froze. They can barely move to type this piece currently. My Clif ShotBlocks were very hard to chew too.

A good time though with a 10 mile pace of 8:31 and a negative split on the run too boot.

I’m finding the new shoes feel a little odd as my feet adjust back to having support in the right places. Calves are very achy so I’ll do some massager work later.

I knocked my elbow on the caterpillar tread of an earthmover today (bridge repairs) and those things hurt. I always imagined they were rubber but I guess not.

I need to defrost in a shower now and have something to eat.