Weekly Summary – 85 miles in 11 runs. A great week in this strange coda of my season. With only 3 weeks between Project Carbon X and Vermont City Marathon, this was basically the only week of “meat” I had planned (with a week of recovery and a week of taper on either side). And, somehow, everything went super well. No fireworks workouts, but just solid work and good runs. The body is an amazing thing! Now, it’s race week — again! — and time to rest, recover, and get to the starting line ready to roll.

One more thing – for all my local Greater-Boston readers – if you’re an athlete looking for an exceptional sports-massage therapist who specializes in runners and injury prevention and recovery, go visit Sam Peck at SoarBody Theraputics in Davis Square (Somerville). He was crucial to helping me recover from my injury during the fall and I’m looking forward to working w/ him again to keep me healthy now that I’m back in town!

Don’t forget, you can follow me day to day on Instagram and Twitter (@TylerCAndrews) and my daily training log on Strava. Oh and hey if you’re reading this and don’t know about STRIVE, you should probably check ’em out. I lead groups through the mountains of Peru on a  journey of running, service learning, and adventure. If you’re interested, join us this summer, when we’ll once again have programs for High School and College students, and even 10-day trips for adults and families.

Lunes, 13 de Mayo, 2019 – Sparknotes: On treadmill – 15km fartlek 48’48 (3’15 avg) w/ 1K @ 3’00 (3’05-2’56), 1K @ 3’32. Great!

09:30am: Slept well and headed out a bit later after a lazy morning. Started at the gym and did easy 4.5km, mostly on the fields, legs felt pretty good. Worked out in the gym on treadmill for control, heat, and softer surface.

Goal was to do fartlek w/ 1K on, 1K off for as much as an hour. I did this workout back in early March and did 17km (9x on reps @ 3’04 avg), so that was kind of my baseline. Rec Ks should be in the 3’30s.

Started out slow around 3’10 and brought the pace down fairly quickly so first rep was 3’05 and then gradually accellerated through the first few reps, 3’02, 3’01 and then held most right around 2’59-3’00 as that felt pretty good. This was much quicker than I’d run in that March workout, so I was pleased to be running so many 2’59.x and after 5 reps decided I would cap things at 15km, as this whole little coda of training is all about doing less and feeling good.

Last two reps worked a bit more and hit 2’58.4 and then 2’56.0 — this last one was very tough as the last 400m was 69.x and felt very hard.

Overall it was 15km in 48’48 (3’15 avg), the avg on rep was 3’00.2 and the avg off was 3’32.4. This is a great sign that things are coming together well for a good race on May 26!

Finished w/ easy 1.5km outside. Total run 22.5km.

1 km 3’04.8 (3’04.8)
2 km 6’36.9 (3’32.1)
3 km 9’38.8 (3’01.9)
4 km 13’10.9 (3’32.1)
5 km 16’11.8 (3’00.9)
6 km 19’44.1 (3’32.3)
7 km 22’43.8 (2’59.7)
8 km 26’15.9 (3’32.1)
9 km 29’15.8 (2’59.9)
10 km 32’48.2 (3’32.4)
11 km 35’47.9 (2’59.7)
12 km 39’20.0 (3’32.1)
13 km 42’18.4 (2’58.4)
14 km 45’52.2 (3’33.8)
15 km 48’48.2 (2’56.0)

XT: Heel drops, toes

15:15: Easy run out/back towards Sci Museum. Very windy and cool, upper 40s. Felt decent. Got to the track 5km+ at 4’25 or so and did drills and 4x strides in 1’22. Finished easy home. Total run 6km+ in 25’30.

XT: Heel drops, toes

Martes, 14 de Mayo, 2019 – 09:30: Lazy morning and felt kinda crappy. Filthy weather outside, low 40s and rain. Waited for the rain to stop but picked up again after a few km. Ran sci museum loop to the track and felt bad. Stopped and did drills and 4x strides which felt better than expected in 1’21 and then jogged to Trader Joe’s to finish. Planned to do a bit more but felt tired and so awful out that cut it. Only real workout between PX and VCM is tomorrow, so I’d rather be conservative today. Total run 10.5km in 46’.

XT: Heel drops, toes

PM: OFF, planned. No run, just caught up on work, etc.

Miercoles, 15 de Mayo, 2019 – Sparknotes: 26km fartlek in 1’26’14 (3’18 avg) w/ 6K, 5K, 4K, 3K, 2K, 1K @ 3’10-15, 1K rec @ 3’38 w/ Eric Ashe.

06:45am: Woke up early around 04:30 for the only really substantial workout of this weird little coda-block of training. Planned to meet Eric Ashe at Harvard and start around 07:30. Had black coffee, nuun w/ 2x caffeine tabs, and NV bar before leaving at 06:45.

Jogged 3km easy to Harvard stadium, used the bathroom and changed into carbon rockets for the workout. Weather was very good, low 50s with light wind at the start. Did drills and a couple light strides.

Goal was 6K, 5K, 4K, 3K, 2K, 1K, starting a bit slower than marathon pace/effort and hopefully accelerating a bit as the reps got shorter. I didn’t have a great sense of where my marathon fitness was or what it would feel like to run quicker for longer than I have in a while, but figured starting at 3’20 and going from there was probably a good place to start.

My GPS seemed to struggle a bit today (and I can see it on the map afterward) and so I took the first km out way too hard and was grateful Eric said we were running like 5’00 mile pace as it definitely felt faster than 5’20 pace but the watch was reading in the 3’30s. Stupid watches.

Anyway, we settled down and ran that interval very well 3’19 down to 3’11 for 19’29 (3’15 avg).

As Eric commented I was really “locked into my ultra pace” on the recovery km and was comfortable recovering around 3’30-35 but slowed it down to keep us together.

Next rep was fairly similar w/ 5K in 16’10 from 3’18 down to 3’10.

Took a gel after this rep, so at around 12km, and then tucked in behind Eric for the first 2.5km or so of the 4km rep as it was getting a bit windy and I’d led up to that point. Pushed the last 1500m or so of that rep into the wind and up hill and came through in 12’57.

On the 3K rep, I tried to really push and ran the first km well in 3’08 but then slowed a bit running 3’13 and then (think the GPS was fucked here) 3’20 (Eric’s watch had us at 3K way before mine did).

On the next rec km I realized that the fart I had to fart was not a fart and would be ugly, so I stopped real quick at a port a potty next to the bridge. Eric didn’t stop, so I ran the last 2 reps by myself, 6’26 (into a strong wind at this point) for 2K, a 3’28 rec km, and then the last km only had at 3’18 but again I think that was a GPS issue w/ the tunnel as there’s no way I was running that slowly.

Total was 26km at 3’18/km avg. This is very solid given where I am right now. I’ve run this workout much quicker when I’ve done a lot of work at HMP and MP, but for now, I’ll take it. This was all I needed in terms of confidence that I’m ready for Vermont in 10 days. Now, it’s just about getting to the start line feeling as good as possible and going for title number 4!

NB: Didn’t notice it until I’d stopped at the end but I forgot to put vasoline on this morning and really paid for it in the chafing department. So painful that I could barely jog back to the Harvard track and grab my stuff and then had to walk to the T to get home. Really brutal. Some of the worst ever. Oof.

Other than that, it was a delightful morning.

Total run 31km.

Full splits
1 km 3’19.0 (3’19.0)
2 km 6’36.0 (3’17.0)
3 km 9’51.0 (3’15.0)
4 km 13’02.0 (3’11.0)
5 km 16’13.0 (3’11.0)
6 km 19’29.0 (3’16.0) (19’29.0)
7 km 23’15.0 (3’46.0)
8 km 26’28.0 (3’13.0)
9 km 29’43.0 (3’15.0)
10 km 33’01.0 (3’18.0)
11 km 36’15.0 (3’14.0)
12 km 39’25.0 (3’10.0) (16’10.0)
13 km 43’07.0 (3’42.0)
14 km 46’21.0 (3’14.0)
15 km 49’37.0 (3’16.0)
16 km 52’50.0 (3’13.0)
17 km 56’04.0 (3’14.0) (12’57.0)
18 km 59’37.0 (3’33.0)
19 km 1’02’45.0 (3’08.0)
20 km 1’05’58.0 (3’13.0)
21 km 1’09’18.0 (3’20.0) (9’41.0)
22 km 1’13’02.0 (3’44.0)
23 m 1’16’15.0 (3’13.0)
24 km 1’19’28.0 (3’13.0) (6’26.0)
25 km 1’22’56.0 (3’28.0)
26 km 1’26’14.0 (3’18.0) (3’18.0)

XT: Heel drops, toes

14:30: Ran earlier to try to stay on the early schedule here. Chafing was so bad that I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to run, but got myself out the door and moving and was all right. Ran down to fields but there were kids hitting golf balls (??), so did some BFTLs (barefoot turf-laps) instead. Stopped at 5km in 22’ and did drills and then 4x very light diagonal strides (all still barefoot) and then jogged another 2 laps to round up. Actually felt pretty good and nice to run barefoot again since it’s a bit warmer. Total run 6km+ in 26’.

XT: Heel drops, toes.

Jueves, 16 de Mayo, 2019 – 08:30: Slept very well and long last night. Got up and out the door as I had to be at SoarBody for an appt w/ Sam Peck at 10am. Jogged down to the fields and did about 4.5km on the grass finishing at the track. Legs were a bit sore, mostly calves probably from too much BF yesterday. Did drills and 4x strides in 1’23.

After, ran down Mass Ave to Soarbody. Wore a lot of layers and much warmer today so HR got very high despite only running like 4’30-40. Finished there and was extremely sweaty. Total run 12km+ in 55’30.

XT: Very deep massage work w/ Sam Peck at SoarBody. A lot of tightness in calves and left side ITB/Hamstring/Quad. Really good work to loosen everything up. Much better after.

XT2: Heel drops, toes.

PM: OFF, planned, walked back from SoarBody via T.

Viernes, 17 de Mayo, 2019 – AM: OFF, planned.

15:00: Ran a bit later to try to dodge the rain but didn’t help. It was at least a bit warm, maybe 60F and no wind. Calves still felt pretty worked from massage yesterday and too many BFTLs on Wednesday PM, so cut this run much shorter. Planned to do an hour, but no point in pushing at this point, just want to feel good. Might take 1 more rec day to let calves feel 100%.

Anyway, easy out/back to BU bridge and then to the track, drills, 4x strides very relaxed in 1’20. Legs and energy felt great, calves were just very sore. Jogged lap around campus to round up to 7km total.

XT: Toes, heel drops.

Sabado, 18 de Mayo, 2019 – 08:00: Finally getting on the earlier schedule here! Woke up naturally a bit after 06:00 and headed out a few minutes before 08:00.

Lovely morning, in the 50s but warming quickly as the sun came up. Ran down to the fields and did about 4km on the grass feeling good and then over to the syd labs loop. Stopped and did drills and then 2x strides and then 3 sets of 2x200m in different shoes, cliftons (37.1, 36.2), rockets (36.2, 35.4), X (35.4, 34.2). Xs definitely felt the best and will race in these.

Jogged over to track in these shoes and planned to do 4x 500m w/ 300m float, accelerating the last 100m, 200m, 300m of the last 3x.

Was much quicker than planned, first rep run even was 1’31, 300m rec in 69, next rep was 72.x/14.x for 1’28.8, 67 rec, last one was 55.x/30.x for 1’26.9. Called it there as I was way too fast and didn’t want to push given that the calves were still coming back and a light workout tomorrow. Lovely!

Finished with easy 2 laps in lane 8 — ran shirtless! Total run 10km+ in 38’30.

XT: Heel drops, toes.

13:00: Ran early to stick w/ the earlier schedule and get in some training in the mid-day sun. Ran down to the fields and did 3 big laps, all good, and then to the track, about 3.5km. Stopped and did drills and then 4x strides in 1’18 (!) feeling good and smooth. Easy jog after that down mass ave and back. Total run 6km+ in 25’.

XT: Heel drops, toes.

Domingo, 19 de Mayo, 2019 – Sparknotes: 15km hilly prog in 47’09, w/ 17’03 (UP), 15’56 (down), 16’07 (flat). Good!

08:00: Jogged to Central, took the T to Alewife, and then jogged over to the start of Long Lakes via bike path. Goal today was to do the last moderate workout before VCM in 1 week. Wanted to get in some running on slightly hillier terrain to just get used to it and see how my legs responded. LL was a good bet as it’s gently rolling and I could tack on a loop up No-Hill (Hutchinson Rd) which is a long and hard climb (70m in about 1.7km). This is about twice as long and as high as the two major climbs in VCM, so I figured it’d be nice to make that hill feel small.

Did drills and 2x strides only and then got right into it. Temp was 61-63F according to the bank across the street and cloudy, a bit humid, honestly felt quite cool though.

Started out super relaxed (3’26) and then just let myself settle into the pace (3’18 uphill second km) and then around 2.2km turned off LL and up the big hill. Didn’t look at my splits at all here but just focused on effort and good mechanics. I had mapped out a loop at the top of the hill but missed the turn and so lost track of the distance and went about halfway down the other side. This ended up being nice as I really got 1 big up, 1 small down, 1 small up, 1 big down.

Very nice to get back to the top of no-hill and realize that all the hardest running was done, just as it is in VT at the top of that 25km hill. Cruised down in 2’58/3’01 feeling smooth and then was back on LL around 8km.

At that point, I was on familiar territory and tried to just keep pace consistent. I was already running fairly quickly (for my old ultra-hobby-jogger legs at least), 3’10s or so, and so figured I’d just maintain this and maybe pick it up if I felt good in the last few km.

Very consistent, 3’09-13 for these few km. Tried to pick it up a bit w/ 3km to go as I thought I could run 48’xx but didn’t have the gear/want to dig at all, so just cruised in. Last 2km read slower as I came back to the start and had to hairpin, but probably all about the same.

Finished 49’08 for 15km (3’17 avg). This is really good running w/ the slow start (17’02 first 5K) and big hills. Feel very confident that I can run around 3’15/km at VCM on a similar weather day to today which would be 2h17. Only one way to find out!

Cooled down 1km very easy ~4’20, no problem leg wise, not even that tired. Stopped and stretched and headed home.

Total run 20.5km in 73’.

XT: Toes.

14:00: Easy run on the fields. 4 big laps and then to the track. Legs felt fine, no leftovers from the morning. Running 4’09 pace and holding back. Drills and 4x strides in 1’20 and then home. Total run 5km+ in 20’30.

XT: Heel drops, toes.