(2-)Weekly Summary – 81 and 89 miles – We’re back! My first two weeks of daily running for my 2018 Spring Season have been a bit of a whirlwind! Only 83 and 89 miles of running but that was interspersed with an awful lot of family time, several thousand miles of air travel, and fitting in a lot of runs in the dark, in airports, on treadmills, and even a race on New Years Eve in Spain. I’ve done a couple of light quicker sessions, but mostly it’s just been about staying healthy and getting in mileage, strides, and some PT work. Things should settle down as we’re moving to Quito on Monday where we’ll be settled down for the first half of 2018. Much more to come!

Lunes, 25 de Diciembre, 2017 – 11am: Easy run with Mariana in Granada. Legs and form and feet felt very good. Pace was easy and run was lovely with a quick 1km or so through the city and then a nice smooth dirt path along the river. Out/back 4km and stopped to do strides on the way back (4x) and then 200m in 36. Total run 8km++ in 39’.

XT: 9x single leg squats (each leg, supported), 2 sets of 15x heel drops.

PM: Off, lots of walking around GRX and a nice family christmas dinner

Martes, 26 de Diciembre, 2017 – 7am: Early run before travel day back to Madrid. Managed to go from asleep to out the door in 12 minutes thanks to some rungum. Ran down to the river again and out/back on the dirt path there. Very nice, but very much still night-time. Not a hint of dawn on the whole run. No sats but definitely running quicker by the end. Legs and feet felt good. Short ethio, no exercises/strides due to time. Total run 6km+ in 28’.

Miercoles, 27 de Diciembre, 2017 – 11am: Made it to torre and first nice longer run on the dirt trails here. Started with Alex and Mariana and ran the first 1K in 5’51 and then solo for the rest. Ran down the big hill and then left along the canal path all the way to the end where it hits a road which is almost exactly 10km. Turned around and came back the same way. Brutal 2km uphill coming back into town. No strides, just finished at the house. Total run 20km in 1h29.

5:20p: Easy 10km out/back w/ strides (6x). Just beat the dark. Total run 10km in 46’.

Jueves, 28 de Diciembre, 2017 -12pm: Easy run out/back on the torre route. Felt decent most of the time. Last big uphill is killer coming back from the canal. Finished with 5x strides on road. Total run 17km in 1h18.

5:20pm: Short turn around for the double but got it done before it got dark. Ran down to the dam and back and finished around town with strides on the road (4x). Total run 10km+ in 48’.

Viernes, 29 de Diciembre, 2017 – 11:15am: Easy run out/back on torre route. So hilly here. Felt really tired out the door but better as the run went on. Finished with 6x strides on the road. Total run 17km in 1h19.

PM: OFF – busy day with family stuff in the city.

Sabado, 30 de Diciembre, 2017 – Sparknotes: 17km + 5x150m quick.

11:40am: Ran solo out/back on torre route. Felt decent enough and so finished up at strides road and did drills and then 5x150m (by garmin, so more or less). First one easy in 27.x, then 25.2, 24.5, 23.9, 23.7. Ran in tracer flats to see how those would feel before tomorrow. Felt pretty good but foot was a bit sore after so I’ll go with cliftons. Total run 18km in 1h22.

PM: OFF – busy day prepping for big party tonight.

Domingo, 31 de Diciembre, 2017 – Sparknotes: San Silvestre 10K, 52nd, 31’43 (3’10/km).

12:45p: Easy shakeout solo out/back to the dirt hill and back. Felt good and kept it short and easy with race tonight. Total run 6km in 26’.

7:05p: Made it to the start line a bit late and headed out to warm up about 45’ before the gun. Ran 21’, starting with Mariana and finishing solo quicker. Drizzle and contained to a stretch of road that was about 2’ out/back to warm-up. This is a big race! Shit is locked down!

Really had no idea at all what to expect with this race. I told Jon I wouldn’t be surprised to run anywhere from 31’30 to 34’xx. And that was the truth. I’ve felt pretty bad on a lot of runs lately and have just felt really out of shape, not sharp, not fast, etc. Really no faster running to speak of other than strides since CIM on 12/3 which was 4 weeks ago today, so who knows what that would bring.

Almost missed dropping stuff off as they were carrying people’s bags to the cars already and I (and Mariana) were still in warmups. Luckily they hadn’t grabbed mine yet and I scrambled to get out of warmups and get my bag to the car. Quite chilly at this point as it was a bit windy and drizzling and only in the 40s and I was just in a singlet as I’d been warm from the warmup.

Had time to do drills, a few strides but the start area is going up a huge hill, so didn’t do too much fast running. Had to be on the line about 5 minutes before the gun, got a spot in row 2 which I probably didn’t need.

I was honestly worried about getting trampled at the start as there were a ton of guys going very hard off the line. I had to run quite hard in the first few seconds to get out of the chaos, but quickly settled in and was amazed by how far back I was. I seriously was probably in like 300th place at the top of the big hill and coming into the first km around 3’20. There were dudes in costumes running in front of me still at this point, but it had felt pretty decent even with the big hill, so I was hoping I’d be able to move up.

At that point, I just focused on effort and form and tried to stay smooth and even. I was moving up consistently for the next few km and the race seemed to go by very quickly. The effort felt very comfy and I was running 3’00-05 for the most part as this bit was downhill. I passed Mariana’s family around 4km and felt very good and gave a thumbs up. My watch split way fast on the 5th km but they had markers every K so I didn’t freak out and came in right around 15’30.

After that, I tried to continue pushing and just focused on moving from one group of guys to the next. I was out faster than I’d expected but I also knew that the last 2km would be brutal and slow as there’s a long sometimes steep uphill to the finish after 8k. I was just passing and passing people and generally having a pretty good time. I split about 24’45 at 8km and then began the tough finish. The streets were narrow in this section and lined with people which was cool and I actively didn’t look at my splits for this part but just focused on hanging with the guys around me and working my way up. There was one dude with an olympic rings tattoo on his leg who I was with around 9km and dropped me by a bit but as we came through the last winding last 500m and turned into the stadium to finish, I could see him up in front of me. I surprised myself with a pretty decent top-end gear and passed him in the last 50m probably to finish in 31’43.

Overall, this was better than I expected to do given how crappy I’ve been feeling running-wise in the last month. It’s 10km at about goal MP on a hilly course in beat-up old trainers. Could be a worse place to start off.

Waited for Mariana who finished in 42’ and then jogged back to her Aunt’s house about 5.5km for the NYE party. Lovely way to wrap up the year.

Total run 21km.

Lunes, 1 de Enero, 2018 – 12p: Happy New Year! First easy run of the year with Mariana from the house over the hill and back. Stopped at the little hillock for a quick second and then back. Very slow as Mariana was doot doot from the race last night. Felt pretty decent myself, not very sore. Total run 6km- in 31’.

7pm: Easy run solo around Torre as it was dark out. Nice long nap and wasn’t feel great but glad to get out after an easy morning and a long walk mid-day with the fam. Ran around the town and then across the highway and loop around that side of the town. Finished listening to Mogul which was pretty sad and combined with the night and a lazy day left me feeling pretty low. Finished with 5x strides on the road which felt pretty good actually. GPS said I was running slow overall – not sure if it was off or if my perceived effort was off due to the darkness. Total run 11.5km in 56’.

XT: Heel drops (15x)

Martes, 2 de Enero, 2018 – 11:20a: Longer single with busy afternoon. Shot for 2 hours. Felt decent out the door, no breakfast, just coffee. Ran all the way to the end of the trail (10k) and then found another dirt road that went uphill towards an abandoned house, ended up cutting back down the other side of the hill and hitting the same trail at about the 7km out mark, but was at just about an hour so turned around there. Felt pretty good overall. Energy level was good and form and legs felt good. Felt long but longest run by 30 minutes in quite a while. Plus lots of doubling back, etc. Finished with 4x strides. Total run 26km+ in 2h00.

XT: Heel drops (15x)

Miercoles, 3 de Enero, 2018 – 4:20am: Woke up very early at 4am, about 4+ hrs of sleep, to get in a run before long travel day home. Ran around Torre pueblo up the hill and then 2 big loops around the town side. Felt pretty decent given how brutally early it was. Totally night-time, but no cars out which was nice. Finished with 4x strides which felt good except my glasses bounce all over the place and I can’t really see. Total run 12km+ in 56’.

XT: Heel drops (15x)

6:15pm: Made it home safe and sound! Very smooth travels from MAD-FRA-IAD. Really nice flight from Frankfurt to DC on Lufthansa in business class on the 747. Got to be in the upper deck cabin for the first time which was very cool and the seats and service were awesome. Drank a lot of champagne and had two great meals. Got a few hours of sleep as well for which I was grateful after the 12-4am night.

Ran from home down to the turf field and about 5km on the fields. Chilly around 20F but not too windy. Running about 4’00-20/km on the grass which felt comfy (GPS wasn’t on, so read short) and then jogged back home and stopped to grab pizza. Finished with ethio at home. Total run 7km- in 29’.

XT: Heel drops (15x) on the plane and a lot of walking around FRA airport.

Jueves, 4 de Enero, 2018 – 9am: Slept for 11 hours last night and had a minor SNAFU to deal with this morning as the USDA office where we had to certify RP’s forms was closed due to bad weather. Mariana ended up having to drive to Harrisburg, PA instead. Yikes. Glad we got that sorted out though.

Ran on the treadmill as the weather was terrible (30mph winds and temps in the teens) and most of my warm-weather gear was packed. Watched the documentary “Icarus” about the Russian doping scandal and ran for two hours. Started out around 7’30/M and worked down to around 6’00/M gradually. Total run 29km in 2h00.

XT: Heel drops, step ups (15x)

4pm: Ran in Crystal City Shops because I still didn’t have clothes to run outside and I didn’t feel like any more treadmill time. It’s about 1.5km each way, so did 3 big loops and then finished with 5x “strides” in a nice long hallway. Felt good though. Total run 10km+ in 45’.

Viernes, 5 de Enero, 2018 – Sparknotes: On Treadmill: 3x5K @ 16’25, 16’15, 16’07 w/ 1’ jog.

10:45am: Busy morning so didn’t run until later. Ran light workout on treadmill as I wanted to get some faster running in and big ice storm outside (and I still don’t have warm enough clothes). Did 3km warmup with strides and 200m in 37.x. Goal was to do 15-20km continuous from maybe 3’20->3’10ish. Ended up doing 3x5K with <1’ rec between each as I found myself getting really hot and my HR getting really high after 12-13 minutes of each rep. Only running 3’20 -> 3’12 or so which felt pretty hard. Had the machine set at 1.5% which I think is what I’ve used in the past to mimic effort for outside running. Felt worse than I expected but maybe some of that was just that it was quite warm in the gym. Splits were: 16’25/16’15/16’07. I might have been able to do one more but I didn’t want to push it today. Total run 18km+.

PM: OFF – thought I’d have time to do a run but basically started loading the car, driving to good will, loading the car again, packing, etc. as soon as I finished running. Totally underestimated how long all this would take and didn’t go to bed until 12:30am and was basically straight out until that point. 4am wake up call and 8 hours of driving tomorrow!

Sabado, 6 de Enero, 2018 – AM: OFF – left at 5:20am to arrive around 1:30pm in Concord. Very smooth trip if a bit tired from getting up at 4a w/ 12:30a bed time. Drove all the way like a champ. Only stopped twice. Saw at least 4 pretty serious car accidents, one of which involved a rolled over and charred vehicle. Jesus.

Unpacked in Concord and then did a short run on the treadmill before heading to Brookline to drop off the Uhaul and then have dinner with the folks (Anna’s Taqueria!) before an early night.

4:15pm: Got in a quick run after unpacking at the parents’ place. On the treadmill and felt surprisingly decent. Didn’t have much time so did 20 minutes starting around 7’30/M and increasing pace every 1’ to 12mph (5’00/M) max, all at 1.5% incline. Last 10’ were 11mph avg as I was at 10mph at the 10’ mark. Stupid machine didn’t display total distance but must have been well over 5km in 20’.

Domingo, 7 de Enero, 2018 – 12p: Ran at Logan Airport as we had serious travel delays (our 9:20a flight left just before 2pm). Found a nice long stretch of hallway over by terminal E that was pretty open so mostly just ran there back and forth. Ethio at the gate. Had a bunch of extra time at the gate so could have run more – oh well. Total run 5km+ in 23’.

7pm: Ran late in CCS as we were busy with final packing/moving stuff, dealing with the last few craigslist folks, etc. Ran 5 laps from 12’08, 11’04, 10’52, 10’38, 10’22 and then tacked on a bit and did 6x strides. Felt pretty good and those laps are quite quick for that route. Total run 14km+ in 62’.