The last two weeks of training have been a struggle. I managed to pick up a cold a couple of days before the race, which is still annoyingly lingering about as I write this. I hate making excuses, but to be honest the way I have felt in these last few weeks has been nowhere near my normal self. As, during the race and in hard sessions, I have just felt like I have nothing extra to give when the going gets really tough. It is frustrating in the fact that I would have liked to open up the season with a race where I felt strong and to some extent felt controlled. But, on the other hand if this can be the only illness I pick up this season then I suppose that it is a good time to have it. As there are still six weeks before nationals and if things improve this week then hopefully I can have a good race at the pre-nationals next weekend. Anyway with being ill and generally feeling a bit run-down we have decided to ease the mileage off slightly this week and next week plan to take things down another notch before the race. After the pre-nationals, I will hopefully be refreshed enough to then have three solid weeks at 105-110 miles, before easing off for regionals, then taking it down again for the main goal of the season - the nationals. Next week is also going to be exciting as after the pre-nationals, during fall break, Jennifer is flying out for a week to visit. Oh and before I list my training, yesterday we did our long run in the forest because the bridge would be closed today due to the Portland marathon. We were obviously not the only ones to do this and as we rolled down Lief on our last mile recent European 5k and 10k gold medalist Mo Farah cruised past us, along with American distance prodigy Galen Rupp. Then one minute later to cap it off Alberto Salazar, American marathon legend, jogged past and I'm not going to lie, I got a little excited.
Monday September 27th
7:05 AM: 37:30 (5mi) - Ran really easy around campus with Cosby, Geiger and Craig. Just did long campus loops and kept the run on the grass to help my Achilles. No problems and ran without tape for the first time.
15:18 PM: 83:02 (12mi) - Easy run with team in the forest as my class was cancelled. Achilles tweaked a couple of times on the uneven surface but no real problems.
Tuesday September 28th
9:11 AM: 34:51 (5.0mi, 6:58/mi) - Easy solo run on Lombard loop. No problems with the Achilles, legs a little heavy.
15:18 PM: 21:21 w/u (inc lactate flush 3.11mi), 9 x 810m loop at Fernhill (6.9mi total), 20:00 c/d (2.5mi). Reps were 2:25, 2:18, 2:17, 2:15, 2:17, 2:18, 2:18, 2:18, 2:18. Was Tough workout and had to drop back to Christmas and Lars for the second to last one as Dunbar, Joash and Alf were starting to drop me. Nice to be back running hard with the front guys again and had no problems with the achilles.
Wednesday September 29th
7:11 AM: 90:00 (13.5mi) - Ran with Joash to the forest and back, ran pretty hard and my legs were tired from the session yesterday. Used the mile markers on Lief to gage the pace and we got down to close to 6min mileing for a few miles, so a bit quicker than the easy run planned.
Thursday September 30th
9:03 AM: 48:33 (7.0mi, 6:56/mi) - Solo run on Lombard and the streets near campus. Felt nice and controlled although woke up with a sore throat.
14:59PM: 63:00 (9mi) - Easy run with the team to Pier Park, did a few loops then ran back to school. Was only planning on going 7mi but felt nice and controlled.
Friday October 1st
11:40AM: 63:00 plus strides (9.5mi total)
Went a little further than I would usually do the day before a race. Cosby, Craig and I went down and did a shortened version of the shannigans loop. Not sure if I should do this much before a race, but with the race being not overly important, it wasn't worth easing down too much. Woke up with a sore throat and a headache, hope it is just dehydration not a cold.
Saturday October 2nd
5:55 AM: 17:00 (2mi shakeout)
8:36 AM: 22:39 w/u inc lactate (3.15mi), Race 8k (5mi), 32:00 c/d (4mi). I ran 24:17 after dying in the last 3k. The only splits I remember are the 3 mile which was 14:30ish and 5k which was just under 15mins. Apparently we went through the first mile in around 4:40, so in reflection I probably went off to hard and the cold I had picked up just killed me later in the race. The course was odd for xc, a mixture of road, woodchip trails and grass. There was a couple of hills in it, but these were on the road and where I usually do well on the hills, I struggled to find any sort of power. After setting off in the lead group, I re-established myself with two other Portland runners in the chasing pack. At about four miles Christmas and Cosby pushed on and I just couldn't go with it and fell off the back of the pack and struggled the rest of the way in. Not the best of races to start my American career but I'm hoping that I wont feel as bad as this in a race again this season. Was going to do an easy run in the evening but my cold got much worse after the race and I felt like doing nothing other than going to bed.
Sunday October 3rd
8:56 AM: 2:13:06 (20mi) - Usual Sunday loop and then added on a mile and a bit at the end. Aiden Irish took the role of leader after about four miles and brutally pushed the pace and to be honest I was hanging on for most of it. I woke up feeling pretty awful due to the cold and having a bad nights sleep because some of the lads in the house had some people over and the music was pretty loud. But the main thing is that I got it done and hopefully this cold will subside soon.
Total Weekly Mileage - 106.5mi - Looking back on the week there are probably a few things I will do differently when it comes to the bigger races. I will only do 6 or 7 miles the day before the race and only a double of two seven milers, two days prior to the event. I think I didn't allow my body enough time to recover after the workout and running hard on Wednesday didn't do my body any favours. This combined with the cold I think may have been the reasons why I didn't feel great during the race. On the plus side, another week of solid mileage completed and the achilles is feeling much better.
Here is a link to the a video of the race filmed by another team,Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational,
alternatively a better video can be seen on our website in the right hand corner of the page cross country section.
Monday October 4th
8:28 AM: 63:05 (10mi, 6:19/mi) - Ran solo looping around Lombard and the streets around campus. Was going to split the run today as I woke up still feeling bad, but once I got into the run things felt not too bad. And also I didn't fancy the thought of running again later if I felt like I did in the past few days.
Tuesday October 5th
15:25 PM: 21:28 w/u (3mi),800 lactate then 12 x 1min hard, 1 min steady 27:40 (5.25mi total), 29:00 c/d (3.75mi). Ran at Fernhill, was meant to do 15 x 1min but just felt awful, the minute on was just below race pace and the min off was between 5:30-6:00/mi. I think the cold is still affecting me when I push things, because as soon as the going got tough I couldn't stick it out. Did a longer cool down as the others finished off the session.
Wednesday October 6th
9:42 AM: 88:19 (14mi, 6:19/mi) - Ran solo on the slough loop then did a loop to Columbia Park and back to school. Felt pretty good and was surprised to see that I was ticking along at a decent pace. Cold starting to go now and felt better while I was running.
Thursday October 7th
9:11 AM: 32:04 (5.0mi, 6:25/mi) - Solo run on Lombard loop, felt pretty good and tried to keep under 6:30/mi.
15:30 PM: 70:00 (10mi) - Easy run in the forest with the team, Charlie Mc was pushing the pace, which only Dunbar and Joash followed. The rest of us sat in and listened to Cosby first announce that usually by this time of year he is injured and on every corner tell everyone "This is where Scott snapped his leg". Hopefully, everyone can stay injury free now, as we have a chance!
Friday October 8th
15:20 PM: 22:50 w/u (3mi), 800 lactate flush, 1mi controlled (6 min jog rec), 8 x 2mins hard, 2mins easy (6 min jog rec), 1mi hard (9.14mi total), 17:21 c/d (2.06mi). Hardest session I have ever done, did both miles in 4:35 which is about the equivalent of 4:31/2 as the dirt track we used was 25m long. The first mile felt pretty controlled and we kept a good group of us together. We then jogged down to the park where we did the 2mins on, 2 mins off on the thick grass at Fort Vancouver. I felt Ok for the first 4 or 5 where we were averaging 4:40/mi pace, but as soon as Dunbar, Alf and Joash put the hammer down a bit I struggled. But I managed to keep at around 4:40/mi pace and despite Coach Marcus' attempts at trying to make us all 'pack up', Cosby, Lars and I all sat off the pace slightly and somehow managed to complete them. By the time it got round to the last mile on the track it seemed like we had been running forever. I thought the mile wouldn't be so tough as I could sit in behind a few of the guys and get pulled round. I couldn't have been more wrong, Dunbar, Joash and Alf tore off with others in pursuit and I dint have the speed or the desire to run at such speeds! I managed to pass a few who fell back and running solo did the same time as the first mile, the front boys did an easy 4:15ish!
Saturday October 9th
9:00 AM: 91 mins (13mi) - Easy run in the forest due to the fact that we cant get over the bridge to run here tomorrow because of the marathon. It had been raining all morning so the trails were pretty muddy but Bassett kept a nice pace and didn't follow Cosby and Olberding when they saw Silvey and William.C ahead on the trail and tried to impose senior superiority in catching and passing the pair. The last four miles were on the main trail, Lief, and Cosby enjoyed saying "morning fellas" to every group of the girls xc we passed, he didnt get much response! I was a little disappointed that he didnt say "morning ladies" when we passed Mo, Galen and Salazar, maybe he was as starstruck as I was. Then again they thought that Mo Farah was Meb, silly Americans.
16:37 PM: 35 mins (5mi) - Run with Olberding to Columbia Park, did a couple of loops then back to school. Legs felt better than they did this morning after a good nap.
Sunday October 10th
9:00 AM: 76 mins (10.75mi) - Easy run with Scott, Cosby and Craig on the Slough loop. Kept things really easy in the rain, which apparently will know continue for the rest of the year. Portland marathon had started by the time we went out and the leaders had just passed the 19 mile mark outside school, what an awful day to run a marathon - 26.2 miles of heavy rain. Cosby fulfilled the role of educator for the Brits today in pointing out the various pieces of wildlife to be seen on the run, lovely stuff.
16:16 PM: 41:36(6.25mi)
Total Weekly Mileage - 100 miles - A week of less quantity and more quality. I am glad that I got through the session on Friday and even though I was not feeling 100 per cent, at least I got the workout in the bank. Will now try to run an easier week before pre-nationals and fingers crossed will feel stronger during the race because of it. Below is a video of the pre-nationals last year and we are going with the belief that we can win it this year!