CHM Training update: T-7 weeks – Can you say, “Thankful”?

Wow, the days are passing SO quickly now – under 50 days until the Chevron Houston Marathon, one day less until the ABB 5K (the other half of my Houston Double challenge). After several days laying off…nearly two weeks in fact…allowing my body to heal up and recover from all the dumb things I have done to it, this week I cautiously began running again. Even though my training plan has been adjusted to reflect the time off, I’m still taking it slow and easy, keeping my new goals in mind, focusing on how I feel more than what I “should” be doing; here’s how it went:

Sunday 11-24: Long run – 120-130 min @ 9:18/mi, 13-14 mi // 1:22:41, 6.2 miles One thing I wanted to explore was running on a more forgiving surface than the roads, so I did some research and hooked up with a new running club, the Houston Area Trail Runners. They are a fairly new local group of trail/ultra runners, and every weekend that they are not traveling to an event, they run the bike trails in Memorial Park. I met them at the trailhead at 6am on a blustery 40 degree morning, made a few introductions and we were off! I’m not anywhere near the pace this group keeps; but they adjusted, stopped a few times to let me and my “pacer” catch up, and generally made me feel like a welcome part of the group – all “wins” in my book! I trotted along, as you can tell, and by the end I knew I had done a good workout – and it didn’t hurt…hallelujah!

Monday 11-25: Rest day //  Rest  This was my “acid test” for the state of my recovery – what did I feel like at work the next day? Well, I felt fine! We had a hectic day, owing to the short week, but other than nearly freezing to death inside the building – there aren’t any exterior walls up yet, so it’s essentially a big wind tunnel – I did not experience any ill effects.

Tuesday 11-26: Maintenance – 55-60 min @ 9:18/mi, 6 mi  //  Rest I had intended to run the jogging path along Buffalo Bayou, that passes only two blocks from my current jobsite, but the winter weather had some different ideas; the wind was whistling along the bayou, carrying a chill factor in the low 20’s, and since discretion is the better part of valor, I decided to defer.

Wednesday 11-27: Cross training  //  Rest I had my hands full, between picking up my paycheck, getting to the bank to get it cashed, and making a plunge into the madness that is a grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving; not just one store, but two, since the first was stripped clean of many of my key ingredients for the weekend (I was only doing this errand once in the week, darn it!)

Thursday 11-28: Maintenance – 55-60 min @ 9:18/mi, 6 mi //  30:05, 3.04 miles Happy Thanksgiving! We don’t do the turkey thing, preferring to save that for Christmas; my menu was honey-glazed grilled ham with pineapple slices, buttered corn and bread stuffing – OK, I don’t eat the healthiest stuff in the world, but I make up for it by making everything from scratch, using only fresh ingredients. I am not afraid of salt, butter, fat, meat, etc – in moderation, and not processed foods…it was good enough for my grandma, and she lived into her 90’s, so it’s good enough for me! We ate this for dinner, so in the afternoon I took advantage of a break in the weather and got some easy miles around the neighborhood…turned off the pace and time alerts on Nike+, ran my route by feel, and I loved every step! I also signed up for the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak,  and today was Day One! You can follow along on twitter, look for the hashtag #RWRunStreak.

Friday 11-29: Maintenance – 55-60 min @ 9:18/mi, 6 mi //  29:51, 3.09 miles  Since Thursday went so well, and I had the day off (my job gives us both days for the holiday with pay – how sweet is that?) I headed out on the same route, and today I felt a little stronger, a little faster…and took almost 30 seconds off my pace with no real perceived increase in effort!

Saturday 11-30: Cross training  //  Trail running, 1:14:42, 5.8 miles Back with the HATR’s (what a goofy name for a running club 🙂 ) to log a little longer run than the previous couple of days. Again, they adjusted to me, made sure I wasn’t left behind, and encouraged me to talk with them while we ran – build that lung capacity, why don’t we!

Total for this week: 4 runs, 18.2 miles, 0 XT (This will be changing soon, I swear!)

Total for November: 10 runs, 58.2 miles

All in all, for my first week back I am satisfied with my progress. Tomorrow I will making an attempt at an actual “long run”, as my road running club (now I have to distinguish between them, #runnerprobs) is hosting a supported event:  the “Tour de Hershey”, named for the county park on the west side of Houston where many of our members live and train regularly. We will have water stations and people on bikes for support, with marked courses for 3, 12, or 18 miles – a little something for everyone! I plan on trying 12 miles, my longest run in nearly a month, and then joining them afterwards for food, drink, and good times. It’s an open event, too, so I invited the trail guys to come – SOMEONE needs to make an effort to bridge the gap between the “roadies” and the “mudbugs” – names I have heard people in each group use referring to the other. I just don’t see the point in creating divisions; our sport is great BECAUSE of the wide variety it contains, not in spite of it – don’t you agree?

Roads, trails, or some of each – which way do you roll?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


    • Nick

      It was awesome! There will be two more this year – the “Longest Run” – a 21 miler; and the Resolution Run, on New Year’s Day…I am totally looking forward to them!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Nick

    I totally agree! It takes some driving for me to reach the trails, as well, but the variety is worth the effort.
    The run went off very well this morning; too bad none of the trails guys made it, but the result is not as important as the effort, correct?

  2. runningcoastietocoastie

    Reading this makes me miss running. Good luck on your runs.

    On a different note, interesting you don’t do Turkey on Thanksgiving but save it for Christmas. We do Turkey on both days, we just can’t get enough.

    • Nick

      My family has Hispanic roots, so Thanksgiving was never a holiday we “celebrated” when I was a child. (My dad and my aunt both married Anglos, and the tradition crept in eventually.) But Christmas transcends many cultures, so of course my grandma took full advantage, with a few additions – you have really missed something if you never had homemade tamales with cranberry sauce 🙂

      Hope you get back to running when the time is right, appreciate you stopping by!

  3. rundmach

    Good luck tomorrow with your long run!
    I’m currently a roadie, haha, but I’ve been wanting to try trail running for quite some time – just not as accessible to me (I don’t have a car). I also haven’t really heard much about the divide so I’m glad it hasn’t hit me yet. A runner is a runner is a runner. 🙂

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