Boston Training Log (Dec - Apr 2015)

Monday, Dec 1:
Easy run + 4 ST (60min, 11.7k) - This run felt great. Even the strides at the end. Still able to run the footpaths at this point (no snow). (890s)

Tuesday, Dec 2:
Easy run w/2k tempo finish (50min, 10.4k) - This run was the opposite yesterday. For starters, I got less than 5 hours of sleep thanks to #1 waking up twice during the night. I took Carter since his days running with me are number once winter really hits, but it only marginally helped the overall feel. It was very cold and windy and I was only out there just to get it done. I started to fall into a bit of a rhythm after 5k or so, but the 2k tempo at the end was tough. Obviously getting little sleep didn't help, but the gnarly headwind made things really tough going. It'll come. (Solomon X-Tour, not sure about these shoes, heavy & stiff)

Wednesday, Dec 3:
Easy run + 5 x 12sec hill sprints (53min, 9.8k) - Felt okay. Not sure how much I like running in the dark though. Feel like I need some light for my soul/body. The hill sprints were pretty tough as my legs are a bit stiff these days. Hopefully with some sleep and a few more days they'll adapt. (SXT)

Thursday, Dec 4:
Short interval run (46min, 9.7k) 7 x 1min hard w/2min jog - This were harder than I expected, but it felt good to get the legs moving again. Today was the first day I felt like I was actually training for something. I intended to run the intervals at 1500m pace (3:25ish km), but it didn't really happen. Cold morning and some general stiffness made things difficult. Doesn't really matter because it felt hard and that was the point. (K5)

Saturday, Dec 6:
Easy run + 6 x 12sec hill sprints (80min, 14k) - Ran with the Saturday morning crew from the store. The pace was exceedingly slow but I felt like being social and catching up. Did the hill sprints at the church. Best part of the run. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
- 56 km run
- 289 minutes
~ 4 km hard

Sunday, Dec 7:
Long run w/10min fast finish (125min, 23.5k) - Big group today at the boathouse. Hit the trails along the river, possum ridge, and through the gun range. Had I known that was the route we were running I would've chosen better shoes. The pace was a bit slow and there were a few too many stops, but it was a beautiful, clear, crisp morning and it's early days so I'm not too fussed. The fast finish (4:01, 4:01) was a bit faster than I had anticipated but I just followed my legs. My form wasn't pretty. (LR3)

Monday, Dec 8:
Easy run + 8 x 20sec surges (53min, 10.6k) - Ran with Carter today through Preservation Park. Surges were a nice touch. Feet hurt from yesterday. (SXT)

*Strength training (45min): cleans, single-leg squats, split squats, pull ups, v-ups, bench press

Tuesday, Dec 9:
Tempo intervals (52min, 10.4k) 1 x 5min, 2 x 8min fast tempo w/1-2min rest - Did the Tuesday tempo run from the store tonight with a very large group. Felt good to pick up the pace for some longer intervals, but I'm not a huge fan of not getting home and settled until close to 7:30. We'll see how many of these I make this winter. It would be much better if there weren't so much stopping and waiting. I meant to do the tempo portions of the run just under marathon pace but I had at least a few km at or under 4min pace, which is closer to half-marathon pace. Not a big deal at this point really. (1400s)

Thursday, Dec 11:
Easy run + 8 x 16sec hill sprints (58min, 11k) - It was nasty out there this morning. Strong headwind blowing wet snow in my grill for the first half and well below freezing. Did the hill sprints on the hill by Centennial High and each time I got to the top and walked back down I got blasted by the wind and snow again. The repeats were tough and I wasn't moving as fast as I would've liked, but I got them done. Decent workout overall. (SXT)

Friday, Dec 12:
Short interval run (69min, 14.5k) 6 x 2min hard w/2min jog - This was a tough workout for me. I didn't sleep well last night and it's been a long week, so perhaps general fatigue was an issue. I was also running along the Garmin vortex along Speed River, so I think I was probably running the intervals faster than my watch read and faster than I needed to be. My form seemed to hold up, but my breathing was pretty labored and I couldn't wait for that 2 minutes to be up each time. In addition, it ended up being a pretty long session overall. I was kind of after this sort of effort however, because I'm solo with the chillens tomorrow so I might not run, and I'm going to the Bills v Packers game on Sunday, so it was good to get in a nice punisher if I'm going to miss the next two days. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
- 70 km run
- 357 minutes
~ 45 minutes hard

Monday, Dec 15:
Long run w/10min moderate finish (128min, 25.5k) - Today was a bit rough after a weekend in Buffalo, and I'm borderline sick (cold). Nothing special, but I got it done. I was feeling okay towards the end so I picked it up a bit. (SXT)

Tuesday, Dec 16:
Easy run w/ 7 x 20sec + 1 x 40sec surges (54min, 11k) - My calves were pretty sore and tight from yesterday, but other than that today's run felt good. Yet again, the surges were a nice little stimulus package. I think I might start extending them at time at the end. So next time I'll do 2 x 40sec after 6 x 20sec, or something like that. (890s)

Thursday, Dec 18:
Easy run w/ 3k @ ~MP (69min, 14k) - Cold and a bit windy this morning. I was trying to hit MP with a decent headwind and it was a real struggle. Not a great workout. (SXT)

Friday, Dec 19:
Short interval run (60min, 13k) 5 x 3min hard w/3min jog - This was a tough workout for me. I was trying to do the intervals at 3k pace, but it was tough. I was breathing hard and battling the wind (yet again) on occasion depending on the direction I was heading. I gave myself the out of only doing 4 x 3min, but chose to tough out the last one so that's a good sign. These types of workouts were tough for me over the summer as well, but they didn't seem this tough. Decent session overall with some gut check moments. Necessary. (1400s)

Saturday, Dec 20:
Easy run + 6 x 20sec steep hill sprints (95min, 16.8k) - Pretty slow run with the group from the store this morning. Finished with sprints up Cork Street. (LR3)

Weekly Totals:
- 80 km run
- 406 minutes
~ 41 minutes hard

Sunday, Dec 21:
Progressive Long Run (151min, 28k) - Ran with the boathouse group this morning. Lots of stop and go and yo-yo running through trails. Geoff, Allan, Art, Tom, and I started picking it up after 16k or so, but nothing too taxing. There were a few km towards the end that were pretty fast, but nothing closer than 10sec per km over MP. I would have been better off just doing the last 4km at MP or under like I had planned. Group think. (K5)

Monday, Dec 22:
Recovery run (45min, 8.5k) - Basic recovery run today. (890s)

Tuesday, Dec 23:
Fartlek run 10 x 1min Hard (83min, 15.7k) - Ran down to the store today to do the tempo route with the group. I mixed in some short intervals with basically full recovery to spice it up. The intervals felt tougher than I thought they should at this point, but they got done. (890s)

Thursday Christmas:
Easy run + 8 x 20sec hill sprints (60min, 11.8k) - Wasn't really into the run today, but it was nice to get out the house for a bit. Glad I did the hill sprints at the end as they gave me a little physical and psychological boost. (890s)

Friday, Dec 26:
Long interval run (78min, ~16k) 
5 x mile @ Threshold (3:53-3:58) w/90sec walk + 4 x 200 w/200 jog
-Even though it was virtually a perfect winter day out for a run (near zero, no wind), I decided to use the treadmill at the Y for this workout instead. It was a combo of needing to do something different than one of my usual routes from home, and wanting to watch the ManU v Newcastle footy on the tube. The treadmill offered an answer to both of these needs, plus the workout I was doing lent itself to a treadmill session. Overall, the workout was a success and a confidence booster, and easily the toughest workout I've done since October. Of course, it's easier to perform on the treadmill than outside along the roads and trails, but it does closely compare to doing this workout on the track. The 4 x 200 at the end was a nice little added dose of speed on tired legs. Thanks Daniels. (LR3) 

Saturday, Dec 27:
Easy run (53min, 10.8k) - Preservation Park with Carter. (North Face)

Weekly Totals:
- 91 km run
- 470 minutes
- 14 or 15 km hard

Sunday, Dec 28:
Long run w/4k @ MP (150min, 27.8k) - The boathouse group was whittled down to Tom, Allan, and me before we even hit halfway. Went north this time out past Guelph Lake. Pretty consistent headwind the first half, which made things more annoying than overly tough. Did the MP from 17k - 21k. I think I was under MP but my watch crapped out for a bit. It felt tougher than it should have. (new Pegasus 31, great shoe, minor rub on front of left ankle)

Monday, Dec 29:
Recovery run (53min, 10.5k) - Felt tired today. Preservation Park with Carter. (SXT)

Tuesday, Dec 30:
Short interval run (70min, 14k) 6 x 3min hard w/2min jog on treadmill @ 1% - I had every intention of doing this run outside this morning, but it was very cold, so I opted for a treadmill session. I did the hard intervals at 3:35km, which is a little slower than I would typically outside. I feel like you get to a certain speed on the treadmill that feels a lot faster than it would outside, and for me it seems to be anything under about 3:50km. Anyhow, these sessions are supposed to be a perceived effort that feels like something you could sustain for about 10min, and today that felt like 3:35km on a treadmill. These hard effort intervals continue to be tough workouts for me, but I continue to just barely finish the last interval, so they must be working. It just dawned on me that when I did this type of workout a couple weeks ago I did a 3min jog, so today's workout was a bigger stimulus change than I thought. (1400s)

Wednesday, Dec 31:
Medium long run w/3k moderate finish (91min, 18k) - Last run of the year and a streak of seven days in a row of running to finish off 2014. I didn't plan it this way. It just sort of happened, and in fact, I saw Art as I was running along the river this morning and it was his comment about today being the last run of the year that made me realize it myself. Very cold today with some flurries, and a decent day overall to finish things off. I felt tired, but tomorrow is a much needed day off. I finished this seven day stretch logging 108k, which is very close to the total km I knocked off during a seven day stretch that ended last Wed. Nice to know I can bang out these higher mileage weeks. (Pegasus 31)

Friday, Jan 2:
Cruise interval run (67min, 15k) 3 x 10min tempo (3:54-3:58) w/2min jog - Tough run for me today. Probably has something to do with all the food and drinking over the holidays, and the fact I've had some big weeks lately and five weeks in a row without a step back week (next week). This was also the first longer interval session I've had in this block, so I'm sure they'll get easier as I progress. I was breathing pretty hard the last five minutes of the third interval, which had a little to do with the obligatory headwind I was battling. (LR3)

Saturday, Jan 3:
Easy easy run + 8 x 20sec hill sprints (81min, 13.7k) - Slow going with the store group run this morning. Oddly, when we were actually running we were moving at a decent clip (4:50ish), but as usual there were periods of extended standing around. I didn't have much in the tank for the hill sprints, but I got 'em done. (P31)

Weekly Totals:
- 99km run
- 512 minutes
- 67 minutes hard

Sunday, Jan 4 (Step Back Week):
Long run w/MP (100min, ~21k) 3 x 4k MP w/5min jog on treadmill - Very slick and nasty conditions this morning when I woke up, so I hit the treadmill. I saw at least one olympian (Gillis) doing the same thing. Cardio wise the pace felt smooth, but my right leg was acting up again getting all stiff and wobbly. My calf felt worked over at the end as well. Not really sure what to do about this problem. Hoping it's a neuromuscular fatigue thing and I can simply train through it, but I have my doubts. When my leg does start acting up like this running becomes much harder and then my breathing gets labored. Not good. (K5)

Strength training: cleans, split squats, ice-skater hops, pull ups, dips

Tuesday, Jan 6:
Easy run (50min, 10k) - Skipped the run yesterday because the weather was nasty, I felt tired, and this is a down week so no harm done really. Plus, my calf was very tight even after stretching and foam rolling Sunday. Calf was also a bit tight today. I've dealt with this before and I don't like where it's heading. Rough going out on the trails today in the snow and ice. Very chopping and uneven, and probably not great for my calf. (SXT)

Wednesday, Jan 7:
Easy run treadmill (52min, 10k) - Tight calf, floppy leg...not happy (P31)

Friday, Jan 9:
Easy run (49min, 10k) - Fair amount of snow and ice out there today. Had to high-knee-it through a 2ft high snow drift near Centennial High. Oh, and there was a gnarly headwind coming home. Despite all this my legs felt peppy and I maintained a good pace. (SXT)

Saturday, Jan 10:
Easy run + 8 ST (55min, 11k) - Cold and windy today. Legs felt good and strides felt great. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
- 62 km run
- 306 minutes
- 12 km hard

Sunday, Jan 11:
Long hard run (132min, 28k) 3 x 5k @ MP effort w/1k jog recovery
Interval 1: 4:10, 4:12, 4:17 (UH), 4:07, 4:14
Interval 2: 4:19, 4:19, 4:17, 4:16, 4:12
Interval 3: 4:15, 4:15, 4:15, 4:09 (DH), 4:08
-This was a helluva hard workout for me, which is why I need to do more of them. The weather was favorable, but there were some slick snow spots, especially during the second interval along the country roads out by the "hacienda." My breathing was labored and my stride was okay, but my right leg did act up a bit. My calves were also shot. (P31) 

Monday, Jan 12:
Recovery run (52min, 10k) - Fresh snow this morning. Peaceful. (SXT)

Strength training: cleans, split squats, calf raises, dips, pull ups

Tuesday, Jan 13:
Medium-long run (95min, 19k) - Ran all over town. (P31)

Wednesday, Jan 14:
Easy run + 8 ST (72min, 14k) - Tried to move along at a little quicker pace today (4:50ish). That might be a bit too fast for an easy run, but I'm sure it's below my aerobic threshold. I felt tired during the strides. First time they haven't felt good in a while. The Pegasus are also starting to hurt the top of my right foot, which could be a problem. Really don't want to have to buy yet another pair of basic training shoes. (P31)

Saturday, Jan 17:
Steady Long run (163min, 34k) - Thursday was an off day and Friday was a rough day due to #2 being a awake for a healthy chunk of the previous night. After the checking the weather forecast and yearning for a quality long run, I switched my long run to today. I went out with the intention of running steady for a very long time. This ended up being one of the best runs I've had a in very long time. I thought I'd probably settle in around 5min km, however I was feeling strong (2 days rest) right from the start, so I just went with it. I ended up averaging 4:48km for the run and I went on on route I've only done one other time, so it was a nice mental boost as well. (P31...don't think these shoes are going to cut it)

Weekly Totals:
- 105 km run
- 514 minutes
- 15k hard(ish) *marathon pace

Sunday, Jan 18:
Recovery run (73min, 13k) - Boathouse crew today. Conditions weren't great. (890s)

Monday, Jan 19:
Easy run + 8 x 20sec surges (48min, 10k) - Didn't have much time this morning before Karen had to leave for her surgery rotation. Icy, sketchy conditions, but I felt pretty good. It had been a while since my last surge session. Better than strides. (P31)

Tuesday, Jan 20:
Interval run (65min, ~14k) 5 x 1k @ 10k pace 3:50, 3:47, 3:45, 3:48, 3:48 w/3min jog - Birthday run this morning. Nailed it for the most part. Chilly morning, but virtually no wind and watching the sunrise to the east was a nice treat on relatively quiet country roads. I hadn't done this type of workout for a couple weeks, so it was not only a confidence booster, but a nice and much needed change of pace (pun intended). (LR3) 

Wednesday, Jan 21:
Threshold run (68min, 15k) 5k easy + 5k @ HMP (3:59, 3:57, 3:57, 3:59, 3:58) + 5k easy
-I gave into pain, discomfort, and self-doubt after 4k of threshold. Instead of accepting the pain I psyched myself out and lost control of my breathing and starting focusing on my right leg going wonky, and then my entire form went south. I stopped and gathered myself for about 10sec and decided I needed to finish the workout. I finished pretty strong, but I need to work on the coming side of suffering in the coming months. That was the longest sustained threshold effort I've had since Oct/Nov so I'm not too worried. (K5)

Thursday, Jan 22:
Medium-long run (100min, 20k) - Nice and steady. (new 890s)

Saturday, Jan 24:
Easy run + 8 ST (51min, 10k) - Felt good. Race tomorrow. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
- 82 km run
- 405 minutes
- 10 km hard

Sunday, Jan 25:
Long run w/8k race (126min, 26k)
Robbie Burns 8K: 31:06 (eh)
#2 assassinated sleep last night and as a result I got maybe 4 hours sleep. Unfortunately, I've dealt with that reality multiple times in the past, and performed ok the following morning, but I was wrecked this morning. And, I wasn't really into this race to begin with. I had a decent first 4k (sub 3:50km avg), but then my leg started acting up a bit. When this happens I totally lose focus, my stride efficiency falters, and my breathing picks up. Instead of sucking it up and battling, I gave up a bit today. My last 4k were abysmal due to a couple walking/stretching bouts, but they were all under 4min km. I should've thought about this race a little more coming in and had a definitive time goal. In the back of my mind going in I was already telling myself I could just turn it into a nice threshold if I felt like it and that's exactly what I did. I should've been gunning for sub-30:40. (LR3/890s)  

Monday, Jan 26:
Easy run (50min, 9.5k) - had to do this one on the treadmill. (P31)

Tuesday, Jan 27:
Hills/threshold run (78min, ~15k) - This was a Dave Brooks killer treadmill workout in which you do 4min @ 10% comfortable + 4min @ 10% comfortably hard + 3min @ 0% tempo(ish) + 3min VO2 max(ish) with a 2min walk X 3. This workout kicked my ass just enough and hill strength is exactly what I need to work on heading into Boston. I plan do this or a similar workout at least three more times before a Boston taper. (K4)

Wednesday, Jan 28:
Easy run (70min, 14k) - Plan and simple along the river. Felt a little fatigued. (P31)

Friday, Jan 30:
Easy run + 8 ST (73min, 14.4k) -22C with the windchill out today. Snow on the side roads and sidewalks. Classic mid-winter run. Felt good though. Strides were nice. (SXT)

Saturday, Jan 31:
MP medium-long run (95min, 21k treadmill) 16k @ ~MP - I needed this quality run today after letting myself down last Sunday. I had a few wobbly moments with the leg, but overall I was solid throughout. My breathing was in control the whole time and felt like a 4:3 and 3:3 (steps out and in) rate every time I checked in. I varied the slope from 1% to 3% throughout, and kept the pace between 4:08-4:14 per km. I finished the last half-mile around 4min km. Would've liked to do this outside but I wasn't sure what the roads would be like out in the country. (LR3)

Weekly Totals:
- 100 km run
- 492 minutes
- 135 minutes hard (68min @ MP)

Sunday, Feb 1 - Step Back Week:
Long run (128min, 23k) - Lots of stopping today with the boathouse crew, but when we were actually running we kept a good pace. Got some trail action in as well. (890s)

Monday, Feb 2:
Recovery run (40min, ~8k) - Lots of snow last night. Two hours of driveway shoveling, and a treadmill run for me. (K5)

Tuesday, Feb 3:
Easy run + 6 ST (54min, 10.3k) - Got outside today at least. Some fatigue. (890s)

Wednesday, Fed 4:
Tempo run (57min, 12k) 2 x 15min @ HMP/15k effort - Had to use the treadmill again today. Fairly certain the speed was miscalibrated as 4min km pace felt real fast. (1400s)

Thursday, Feb 5:
Strength training: cleans, single-leg squats, ice-skater hops, pull ups, bench 

Friday, Feb 6:
Easy run (50min, 9.8k) - Got out early this morning. Fresh dusting of snow and slick conditions in areas. Extremely cold heading into the wind. Got it done. (SXT)

Saturday, Feb 7:
Long run (189min, 37k) - I had to do my long run today because mom is on call Sunday. So, it was a modified step back week. Ran with Tanya and Robin, which was great. We some good conversation and virtually no stopping. The conditions were a little rough with snow, slush, and wet feet, but on the upside there was barely any wind. I was pretty tired about 21k in, but found a second wind after a gel at 27k. Finished pretty strong. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
-100 km run
-518 minutes
-30 minutes hard (~6% of weekly mileage)

Sunday, Feb 8:
Recovery run + 8 x 45sec surges (50min, 10k) - Christina gave me the idea of mixing in some longer surges the day after a long run to get the legs used to some high turnover when fatigued. I like it. It's also a good way to turn what could be a slow recovery slog into a recovery run with some pep. (P31, I'm done with these shoes)

Monday, Feb 9:
Easy run (60min, 12k) - treadmill (K5)

Tuesday, Feb 10:
Easy run + 8 x 20sec surges (73min, 15k) - It was only like -5C and sunny today, and with very little wind. Nice to get out. Felt peppy. Looking to do a long MP run tomorrow. (890s)

Wednesday, Feb 11:
MP Long run (111min, 26k) 20k @ MP w/last 3k sub MP - Nailed this workout. Although it wasn't without a bit of trepidation. After 5k I was thinking, "this is pretty tough." After 8k or so, I was thinking, "there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to do this." Then I intentionally shifted my thinking, focused a bit more on my breathing, and embraced the suffer. Rather than thinking about getting to the end (never a good approach), I focused on banging out each kilometer like a metronome and being efficient. I had multiple km splits in the middle of the run at 4:09-4:10, including four in a row at 4:09, and two in row at exactly 4:08:83 according the old Garmin. Sometime around 12k into the MP effort I just knew I had this workout in the bag. I'd say at least 10 of the 20 splits were below the 4:10 per km splits I'm targeting at this point for Boston (2:55:48), and my last 3k were in the 4:06-4:07 range. This was easily the most marathon specific workout I've ever done outside of a race (ATB 30k), so I'm happy with the effort, especially coming on my 6th day in a row of running, which included a 37km effort on Saturday. That said, this workout was by no means easy. It kicked my arse, and tested my mettle for sure, but I think it was the perfect amount of stimulus and encouragement I needed with 10 weeks still to go of training. (K4)

Thursday, Feb 12:
Recovery run (50min, ~10k) - Holy shit was it cold out there this morning. At least -23C with the windchill, and it was persistent and strong out of the north. Heading into the wind at the beginning may have been the coldest I've ever been in my life. I was yelling about how cold I was because I didn't know what else to do. 120km over the last seven days. (890s) 

Saturday, Feb 14:
Easy run + 8 x 20sec surges (80min, 16k) - Fresh snow this morning made for some squishy, slushy conditions. Comparatively speaking it wasn't too cold. Sleep did not go well the night before, which left me feeling a bit sluggish. (SXT)

Weekly Totals:
-89 km run
-424 minutes
-roughly 89 minutes hard (~21% weekly mileage)

Sunday, Feb 15:
Mile repeats (~93min, ~20k) 6 x mile w/1min rests (6:18, 6:15, 6:15, 6:15, 6:11, 6:11) +    4 x 200/200 jog + 4 x 400/400 - Something like -39C with the windchill today, so this was a treadmill workout. Saw three olympians in there today as well. I nailed this workout. In complete control and smooth the whole time. Hadn't done mile repeats in over a month, so I was worried this session might kick my arse considering the shorts rests. Not so. In fact, I even picked it up the last two intervals. That's two kickass key workouts in a row. Rounding into form. (LR3)

Monday, Feb 16:
Medium-long run (120min, 24k) - Damn cold out there today, but once I warmed up a bit it was really a beautiful day to be out running along quiet country roads. There was definitely some fatigue in the body (rough sleep past two days) and the legs from yesterday, but I just chugged along at a rhythmic 5min km the whole time. Good having these back-to-back days that add up to at least marathon distance. (890s)

Tuesday, Feb 17:
Easy run + 8 ST (63min, 12k) - Basic taking care of business today. (old 890s)

Wednesday, Feb 18:
Short interval run (75min, 16k) 8 x 2min hard w/2min jog - I hadn't done this type of workout in a while, and I felt it was time. Turned into blizzard like conditions right about when I started my intervals. It got slick and dangerous real quick. Lots of traffic. Just kind of a pain to be doing this type of workout. I had the idea of doing 10 x 2min in my mind, but between the traffic, road conditions, and fatigue I was feeling I shut it down after eight. Still a decent workout of basically 8 x 600m heading into Sunday's Fridgee 8-miler. (K5)

Thursday, Feb 19:
Easy treadmill run (52min, 10k) - Too cold out there today to head outside. (K4)
*Strength: cleans and pull ups (bad idea three days before a race)

Saturday, Feb 21:
Easy treadmill run + 8 ST (47min, 9.3k) - Pre-race routine on the treadmill. Legs, hips, and lower back are a bit sore from the cleans on Thurs. Lots of snow today. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
-91 km run
-450 minutes
-17 km hard (~19% hard)

Sunday, Feb 22:
Re-Fridgee-Eighter 8-Mile race (50:08, 7th overall, 1st 35-39) (138min, ~30k total) - This ended up being a pretty good race. The course was challenging and the road conditions, although not nearly as bad as they could've been, were slick and slushy at times. We had to go up a particularly steep incline two times, which apparently strapped me of something the second time around because my following two kilometers were brutally slow (4:05, 4:07). Overall, I was happy with my ability to push through this low patch and finish strong. I was really hurting both physically and mentally from 8-10k. It helped that I had zeroed in on a guy up ahead of me that I had been slowly but surely reeling in from about 7k. I think I passed him somewhere between 9-10k and I could tell he was determined to stick on me. Everything came back to me around 10k. My stride felt better. My breathing felt better. I was more relaxed. And, both mentally and physically I just knew I had what it took to finish strong, so I turned it on just a bit. I could feel the dude was trying to match me, but we started passing a lot of the slower 8K runners, so it was hard to know exactly where he was. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of a full head turn, and frankly I wasn't really concerned about beating him, so I chose to just keep it strong and steady. Honestly, I kind of thought he was toast since most people aren't killing it training for a marathon (hence they lack speed endurance), and people don't usually come back to you once you pass them. Especially, if you have picked up the pace since overtaking them. The last kilometer(ish) I really just focused on running as fast and smooth as I could. I stopped thinking about dude, and I wasn't thinking about time. I guess I might've been in the moment. If I had been conscious of my time I might've realized I had a shot at sub-50min, and if I had known dude was creeping up on me I most certainly would've put the hammer down. As we neared and rounded the last corner (maybe 150 meters from the finish) I heard a few different people shouting words of encouragement to "Nick," so I knew he was closer than I thought. I picked up the pace to the usual "finish strong" pace, but by this time he was in full-on race mode. At maybe 40 meters, I could both feel and hear him. I kicked it up a notch and went into end of race "sprint" mode. We legged it out and the dismal crowd got into it, but my efforts were too little, too late and he clipped my at the line by a half-step. I was happy with my race as whole, so I wasn't too fussed. However, I expected him to come up and say something about a good race, or maybe even thank me for dragging his arse home the last 3k to a decent finish, but he never did. Which, kind of pisses me off now and makes me wish I had really just drilled it the last 3k (I had the energy) and left him in the slush. After the race, Phil and I changed shoes and socks and did a 13k cool down because we're training for a damn marathon, and when you're training for damn marathon you do crazy shit like running for an hour or two after you race. (1400s, 890s) 

Monday, Feb 23:
Easy treadmill run + 8 x 15sec hills @ 10% (50min, ~9.5k) - I hadn't done any hills reps in quite a while so I figure it's time to get back to those for a bit. I ran them roughly at 3k-5k pace with full recovery. I felt some definite fatigue from yesterday. (LR3)
*Strength: cleans (couldn't resist)

Tuesday, Feb 24:
Moderate treadmill run (80min, 16k w/last 6k moderate) - Things felt pretty good today. (K5)

Wednesday, Feb 25:
Easy run (50min, 10k) - I'M INJURED! Went out for a run today and my left calf hurt immediately. If I'm honest it's been present since Sunday. However, yesterday on the treadmill it wasn't really bothering me. It feels like the same injury I did to my right calf two years ago just before the Ottawa Marathon. Calf strain? Shit. P.T. tomorrow. (890s)

Thursday, Feb 26:
Elliptical (40min), Bike (40min) - Left calf strain (soleus). Ordered to take 5 days off running minimum to give it the best chance to heal. Not good.

Friday, Feb 27:
Strength: cleans, lunges, bench, pull ups

Saturday, Feb 28:
Bike (20) - Elliptical (40) - Bike (20) - Cant stand it.

Weekly Totals:
- 66 km run
- 478 minutes (including bike, elliptical)
- 50 minutes hard (~10%)

Sunday, March 1:
Elliptical (60min), Bike (20min)

Monday, Mar 2:
Strength: cleans, lunges, bench press, pull ups

Tuesday, Mar 3:
Elliptical (80min)

Wednesday, Mar 4:
Easy treadmill + 5 ST (52min, ~10k) - First time running in six days. Felt good. (890s)

Thursday, Mar 5:
VO2 max treadmill run (90min, 18.7k) 6 x 4min @ ~5k pace (3:38km) w/3 jog - This workout felt great. Happy to be running again. The workout was hard, but not overly taxing. (LR3)

Friday, Mar 6:
M.A.F. heart rate run (73min, 13.7k) - Think I might try and run my easy runs and recovery runs at MAF (141 BPM). I figure it couldn't hurt, but it was definitely tough going that slow heading into the wind. Lots of kms in the 5:20s. I hoping with a six week focus it might help improve my max aerobic function heading into Boston. (P31, they didn't hurt)

Saturday, Mar 7:
Took the day off due to a SRTFC track meet in Toronto. I start a seven day block tomorrow.

Weekly Totals:
- 42 km run
- 375 total minutes
- 24 minutes hard

Sunday, Mar 8:
Hard long run (135min, 29k, 19k MP) 5k E + 7k ~MP + 1k E + 6k MP + 2k E + 6k MP + 2k E
-Well, I went for it today and got me arse handed to me. I intended to hit 23k at MP, but I just didn't have it in me. My heart rate was through the roof (mid/high 160s) and the wind was an ass kicker. At the end of the day I got in a long, hard workout, but I think even trying a session like this, especially coming off an injury, was foolhardily. I'm happy I managed 19 tough kilometers (gut check), but I probably would've been better off doing a long progression run with 5-6k at MP at the end. You live and learn. As it is, based on my heart rate I think this ended up being more like long threshold reps, which is a bit much. (890s)

Monday, Mar 9: 
Easy treadmill run + 6 x 30sec ST (50min, ~10k) - Felt pretty good today despite yesterday's hard effort disaster. I kept the heart rate under 141 BPM. I liked the extra 10sec on the strides as just a bit of a push, but short enough to keep them pure speed. (P31) 

Tuesday, Mar 10:
Easy run w/ MP finish (60min, 12k, last 3k MP) - Did the first 9k at MAF. MP felt tougher than I would've liked, although my last two km were a bit under (4:08, 4:06). I'm starting to second guess my fitness and my training right here at the critical stage. I guess this is where a trusted coach would come in handy. (890s)

Wednesday, Mar 11:
Threshold run (106min, 22.2k, 12k T) 3 x 4k w/3min jog (rep avg: 3:51, 3:56, 3:57) - This was an ass kicker workout today. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and the first time I've worn shorts this year, but still only about 5C. Spring is coming. There was a sneaky tough wind, which made portions of the run rough. I hit it hard on that first rep, but felt okay for the most part. I was glad it was over though. I felt much more in control during the second rep, but the last 2k were into the wind and uphill. I was really struggling early on during the third rep, but I battled through and felt pretty good through a hilly second around 2.5k. With about half-a-km to go I was really lactic and my arms started tingling. I had form pretty well I think, and just to add insult to injury the last 150m were up a nice little incline. I was cooked for sure and I'm sure I was near max heart rate by that point, but I got it done. This was a good gut check and a good confidence booster. I still had 3k to go home and that was a struggle. LR3

Thursday, Mar 12:
Easy run at MAF (80min, 16k) - Basic stuff. Felt pretty good today. Sunny. (890s)

Saturday, Mar 14:
Progressive Long run + 3 x 300m hard w/ jog backs (170min, ~35k) - I mapped out a new route that I wish I had been running all along for this one. Lots of rolling hills on mostly quiet roads southwest of our house. Foggy, misty and warm(ish) out, which made it seem like I was running through a cloud. I intended to the first half 20% over MP (5min km) and the second half 10% over MP (4:35min km), but after the first few km I was in the 4:40s/low 4:50s for the first half, and I brought it down mostly 4:20s/low 4:30s for the second half. The last 3k included some rollers so I was pretty beat by the end. The 3 x 300m after a walk break at the end were brutal. The first one was real tough. Glad I did them though. (LR3)

Weekly Totals:
- 124 km run
- 591 minutes
- 35 km hard (~28%)

Sunday, Mar 15:
Recovery treadmill run (50min, ~10k) - Solo with the girls now for two weeks and this week is March break, so unfortunately that means more treadmill than I'd like. Don't really mind it for recovery or easy easy runs, but it's not good timing in terms of building strength for Boston. And, after yesterday's run that only had ~550ft of elevation gain and ~550ft of loss my quads are shot for some reason, which doesn't bode well for a Boston course that has ~700ft of gain and ~1200ft of loss. That said, I'm not positive how accurate my Garmin is in this area, because the amount of climbing I did yesterday felt more than I remember from Boston. I need to get stronger. That's all I know. (890s)

Monday, Mar 16:
MAF treadmill run + 7 x 20sec hill sprints @ 10% (69min, ~14k) - I felt great today. I had about 25min of running at 3%, and when I brought it down to 0% I was doing 7:35 miles (felt faster than this leg speed wise) at my MAF heart rate (146, age + 5 BPM). My pace at MAF was consistent to the end too, which is a good sign. Hope to get outside tomorrow. (K5)

Tuesday, Mar 17:
VO2 max treadmill repeats (77min, ~16k) 6 x 4:30 @ 5k w/3min jog - I bumped each rep up by 30 seconds from the last time I did this workout. I hit my groove after the second repeat. My heart rate got up to 170bpm a couple times, but I'd say I was mostly working at about 168bpm a couple minutes into each repetition. I think is the last "true" VO2 max workout I'll do leading into Boston. Nice to finish this aspect of my training strong. (1400s) 

Wednesday, Mar 18:
MAF run (95min, 18.4k) - Got outside today on a beautiful day, but still hovering around freezing. Hilly route all the way out Laird Road. Ran the downhills hard(ish). Felt great to get outside after three treadmills in row in nice weather. (P31, love these shoes now)

Thursday, Mar 19:
MAF treadmill + 8 x 30sec ST (50min, ~10k) - Basic stuff. (890s)

Friday, Mar 20:
Threshold run 2 x 7k w/4min jog (96min, 21.4k) - My last significant true threshold run before Boston. Slightly hilly route and sunny and relatively warm outside (~8C). I'm glad I got a tougher workout in in the heat considering Boston could be warmer. Salt dump. Overall, I felt pretty good during this workout. The very end of my first interval got hilly so it cooked me a bit. My right leg was all wonky from about 4k on during the first interval. I felt pretty good during the second interval (it was a ever so slightly slower), and probably could've kept that pace up for a while longer. The hills really seem to be kicking my ass lately, so that has me slightly concerned. (K5)
First interval: 3:59, 4, 3:57, 3:53, 3:57, 3:55, 3:57
Second interval: 3:55, 3:59, 4:03, 3:58, 4:03, 3:58, 3:57

Weekly Totals:
- 90 km run (125km sat.-fri.)
- 435 minutes
- 83 minutes hard (19%)

Sunday, Mar 22:
MAF treadmill run (50min, 10k) - Had to do the treadmill again today since it's just me and the girls. Felt good. (NB 1500s, new shoes)

Monday, Mar 23:
Marathon simulator run (151min, 34k) 6k easy, 20k just over MP, 5k sub-MP, 3k easy
-This workout is what everything has been leading up to, and I pretty much nailed it. I came out it with confidence in my fitness and ability to deliver a valiant effort on race day. I meant to run the entire 25k at +5sec per km over MP, but pretty much right from the start I was feeling good so I went with for the most part. I had several km at or below MP and a few times I intentionally backed it down to stay above MP. That isn't to say this was a cruise effort. I hit some rough patches, which is good, and I intentionally mapped out an undulating route to trash the legs a bit. I also made sure I hit a hilly section around the 26k mark to somewhat mimic Boston, although it comes a bit later in the race and it's tough to truly mimic how demoralizing those Newton Hills can be on tired legs. In all, the Garmin read 475ft of elevation gain and loss, which is a pretty solid effort. I really felt good 20k into the MP portion cruising along a dirt section of Forestell Road, and I naturally brought the pace down close to 4min km. I paid for it a couple km later when I hit pavement again, but I dug down an kept the turnover going somewhat. The last 7km were 4:10, 4:09, 4:06, 4:05, 4:08, 4:10, and 4:04. In total, for the 25km MP portion of the workout I was just 17 seconds over my goal marathon pace. Stoked about that, and it gives me confidence that I can out very easy (4:15 pace) in Boston and potentially save some precious energy while still being able to hit my target time. (1500s, loved them)

Tuesday, Mar 24:
Easy easy recovery run (54min, 10.4k) - Wasn't too sore today, but I was tired. Got to run along Speed River for the first time in a long time. That was nice. (P31)

Wednesday, Mar 25:
Medium-long run (100min, 20k) - Felt like my heart rate was up a bit today. (P31)

Thursday, Mar 26:
Easy run + 8 x 30sec surges (49min, 10k) - Surges were a nice touch today. (890s)

Friday, Mar 27:
Tempo run (71min, 16k) 5k easy, 10k sub-MP, 1k easy - This was a good run for the most part. Until I hit some nasty headwinds 7k into tempo. My right leg was acting up. I've noticed that if I stop for just a second it usually rights itself after that. If I try and battle through it it seems to sort flop around and smack the pavement and really throw off my efficiency and breathing. I need to get at the root of the problem at some point, but not until after Boston. I'm just hoping that if/when it becomes an issue on race day I can stop at an aid station real quick and that will be that. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
- 100 km run
- 475 minutes
- 35 km hard (35%) 

Sunday, Mar 29:
MAF treadmill run (50min, ~10k) - Last solo day with the girls. I would've liked for this to be a little longer and outside, but it just couldn't happen today. Last long long run tomorrow. Still haven't decided how I'm going to mix it up. Might attack the hills while going steady for the rest. We'll see. It's snowing outside right now and tomorrow looks kinda miserable and windy. Yay. (890s)

Monday, Mar 30:
Long long run (162min, 34k) - Well, it was in fact windy and miserable today. Easily one of the worst days weather wise I've had all year on a run of any length or significance. But, I toughed it out and I gotta believe I'm better because of it. The wind was downright nasty at times (50km gusts) and always present. I also got a nice mixture of rain, snow, sleet, and even ice pellets for a little while. It was kind of ridiculous, but...I toughed it out. I had to stop a couple times to deal with glove changes, which meant getting into my backpack and fiddling around with frozen nubs for fingers, and that threw off my overall average pace (4:47). But, at the times I was running most my km splits were in the 4:20s to low 4:40s range, which was exactly the right stimulus for this particular run. No need to go too hard and those paces felt pretty comfortable until the end. I powered up and down a fair number of hills on this run as well, just trying to give the legs one last pounding and strength building opportunity. In all, I gained around 515ft of elevation. Overall, I was pretty happy with this run since I was not very pumped about doing it this morning. Last long long run before Boston, and it was a decent one to end on. Probably do 24km max next weekend. (P31)

Tuesday, Mar 31:
Recovery run (40min, ~8k) - My left achilles tendon was tender, stiff, and sore today. I went for an easy recovery anyway just to see how things shaped up. It didn't get any better and I took it real slow and easy. I'm writing this on Friday, but at the time I was having a mini-freak out about tendonitis or some other type of injury. (890s)

Wednesday, April 1:
-Took the day off today to let the tendon recuperate a bit.

Thursday, April 2:
Short threshold interval run (61min, 13k) 6 x 2min T - My tendon felt completely normal today so I went out for a run. I was prepared to take another day off if it was at all tender today, but things felt good. I after 25 minutes or so I mixed in some 6 x 2min T repeats to test how it reacted to some leg turnover. Responded well. (P31)

Friday, April 3:
Tempo run (86min, 20k) 1k MP, 2k HMP, 4k subMP, 1k MP, 3k sub-MP, 2k HMP, 1k subMP
-So, in all I ran a 14k tempo run with a couple 2k sessions approaching threshold. The middle 8k were meant to be at MP, but I was felling great today just wearing shorts and a shirt (no tights, no base layer, no Buff, no gloves), so I went with it. This was probably my best "hard" effort of my entire road2boston training block. I ran in complete control and was really cruising at paces near MP. This was my last long tempo-type run and it was a great confidence booster heading into Boston. At this point the hay is in the barn and it's all about maintenance and a couple more shorter quality sessions these final two weeks. (1500s)
Splits: 4:12, 3:57, 3:57, 4:06, 4:07, 4:06, 4:05, 4:14, 4:06, 4:09, 4:08, 3:59, 3:54, 4:05 

Saturday, April 4:
Long run (130min, 24.5k) - Met Brandon, Art, and Stephen at the boathouse for a run this morning. We did the "hacienda" route in a reverse order from the route I've done every other time I've run it. There was a long stop break to talk to another group of runners, which added at least five minutes. Other than that we puttered along at a pretty easy pace. Was nice to be able to talk with some folks a bit during a run for a change. That said, this was also a nice reminder why I branched off and started running on my own mostly (to get better). Brandon and I picked it up a bit towards then end. (P31)

Weekly Totals:
- 110 km run
- 529 minutes
- 17k hard (15%) + ~20k moderate   

Sunday, April 5:
Easy run (50min, 10k) - Basic stuff. (890s)

Tuesday, April 7:
Easy run (52min, 10.5k) - Number 1 got me sick. Sore throat, fatigue, and general achiness. There are worse times to get sick I suppose. I was supposed to do 8 x 2min today but I decided against it considering how I'm feeling. (890s)

Wednesday, April 8:
Easy treadmill run (60min, ~12k) - Felt even worse today and the weather is cold, rainy, nasty so I loaded up on Advil and waited until the afternoon and was feeling slightly better to do an easy treadmill run. (K4)

Thursday, April 9:
MP treadmill run (70min, 15k) 2 x 5k @ MP - I felt better today but I was hacking up phlegm all morning. I almost did this workout outside, but it was still a bit chilly and windy and I don't want to give this bug any more reason to stick around any longer than it has to. Considering how I've been feeling this run went okay. My breathing was fine and the effort level felt about right. Obviously, I would've much rather done this workout outside since it's going to be my last extended effort at MP, but I'm not going to fret over it. (1500s)

Saturday, April 11:
Easy run (85min, 17k) - Ran with many of the Boston crew today from the store. It was a good little jaunt. Feeling pretty good. (890s)

Weekly Totals:
- 64 km run
- 317 minutes
- 10k MP (16%)

Sunday, April 12:
Short threshold interval run (52min, 11.2k) 8 x 2min T w/90sec jog - I actually ran with Carter today along the crushed gravel footpaths near our house. Sun was out and it was "warm" (15C) comparatively speaking. It's been a LONG winter of no running for Bubs and he was a tired puppy towards the end. He did get to cool off in the creek though. So, I'm still dealing with a little bit of lingering sickness. It's affecting my breathing a bit and has sapped me of full energy. I needed to get my legs moving a bit. I didn't do anything faster than MP last week. Not even strides. The workout felt a little harder than I would've liked, but I did get into more a groove after the fifth one or so. Needed this workout. (1400)

Tuesday, April 14:
Marathon prep workout (50min, ~11k) 2k sub-MP + 5 x 400m + 2k T - I ran every portion of this workout faster than designed, but I don't care. First time on the track since last summer and it felt good. (K5, 1500s)

Wednesday, April 15:
Easy run (41min, 8k) - Soaked up the sun and practiced sweating a bit. (P31)

Thursday, April 16:

Easy run + MP + 6 ST (53min, ~10k) - All systems check. Strides felt good. (890s)

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