12/19- The beat goes on. Easy 7.5 in 56:15 (7:30 pace). I was a little behind pace but didn't care until Jordan showed up in the last 1.5 miles. I did have a little bit of quad soreness during cool down but still pretty strong overall. Hit 2,050 on the year. The weather will be rainy for the rest of the week so if I am to take a shot at the 5K, it must be after Christmas. If I can go long as planned on 12/31, I may hit 2,100. Took 2 pills in the morning, 1 in the afternoon and I'll take 1 more before bed. We'll see how that goes. I may stabilize at this dosage.
12/20- Very enjoyable and comfortable 8 miler in 59:56 (7:29 pace). I honestly do not try to hit 7:30 pace on the nose every time. It just happens that way and it's a very comfortable effort as well. I can envision myself holding that pace through Mile 22 at least. If I can hold it all the way to the finish, I will cross the line in 3:16 and change. 3:16 huh? Man, I like that number. I've been hammered for my training by the 3:20 group on RWOL but they are clueless about how it feels to have freedom from adrenal fatigue in my sight and the improvement that comes with it.
I get a better grade than yesterday despite the same pace because I felt better during the run.
12/21- First signs of wear and tear today. A bit of soreness in the shins and calf muscles but I still did pretty well in the workout. Trak Shak 5 in 37:54 (7:35 pace). There were numerous stops because I'm extra cautious in the dark so the effort was likely equal to about a 7:45. Weather was good but the crowd was sparse probably because many of the regulars are already on holiday. I've got one more day to go myself and hope I can do well on my tempo.
12/22- Tempo was a failure. I knew I could not do it after I took my last pill in the afternoon. I bumped it up to 4.5 and it was a bad call. I am trending down, not up. I have got to be smarter than this. One thing that I did do that was a good call was not forcing it when I wasn't feeling it. I've got plenty of mileage on the year already and it won't hurt even if I don't do much for the next 4 days. I should have 2 chances to do at least a junk run. The workout was cut short to 4 miles in a time of 30:39 (7:40 pace). First half was a respectable 15:05, 2nd half was 15:34. If I had kept going, my pace would have gone over 8 by Mile 6. 1/2 mile warm and cool.
12/23- Travel day and a planned rest. Back down to 4 pills and it was way too much. I would have been horrible in a workout.
12/24- Moderate effort on the trail. Finished 5 miles in 36:58 (7:23 pace). 1st half- 18:15, 2nd half-18:43. The 2nd half was slightly uphill though. Started off well then faded to the 7:30s in Mile 4 and worked pretty hard to hold it in Mile 5. A tempo or race would have sucked but for an easy run, this gets the job done. It is an improvement over 2 days ago. I only took 1.5 pills this morning and will take only 2 more for the rest of the day. I may try to cut it to 3 tomorrow and see what happens.
12/25- No running on Christmas day. Just 31 miles in the last 7 days. YTD now stands at 2,073 so I still have a chance at 2,100.
12/26- Naked 2 mile junk run on very hilly terrain. Felt okay and put forth little-no effort. I was successful in getting down to 3 pills yesterday so I am now down 66% since receiving prayer at the LIFE retreat on 12/10. I believe that God is able to set me free but whether or not I will see it in early 2012 is another question. Just last year there was a 6 week period in which I felt best on no pills. 1 month later, I was far worse off than I had been before. That was not the first time it has happened that way. I don't know what to make of this. Only a medical report will confirm that I am free. Pray for me in this area of doubt. YTD is 2075.
12/27- Back in Birmingham. Not a good day but that was not a total shock after being off my routine for 4 days. I felt pretty good in the morning but after taking pill #2, I was immediately much worse. I struggled the rest of the day at work and did not expect much in the workout today. Finished 5 miles in 40:12 (8:02 pace) indoors on a cold and windy day. First half was around 19:45. Second half was 20:27. Mile 5 felt much like Mile 25 in a marathon but the pace never went above 8:18 and managed a slight pick up at the end. I have reached 2,080 on the year (40 MPW) and expect to finish near 2,110. I will take only another 1/2 pill tonight and go down to 2 by tomorrow. 3 pills leave me way too sluggish. Let's hope that 2 will not push me to the opposite side of the spectrum.
12/28- Trak Shak loop in the dark. The watch malfunctioned again so I had to go at it completely naked. I am not pleased at all with the Garmin 110. I only took 1 pill this morning and will take just 1 before bed. I felt MUCH better than yesterday. My grade is based solely on how I felt during the run and it rates as "good" but not quite "great." My only shot at the 5K time trial is tomorrow but I will probably bail because I'm too unstable. I may do a fast finish easy run and I've got to break the monotony of uninspiring 5 mile workouts.
12/29- Blah. Planned workout was a fast finish 7-8 miler. I came through 5 in 38:48 (7:46 pace) with a mild fade (19:15-19:33) then had nothing left. I managed only a 7:38 6th mile then hung it up. 2 factors were holding me back. I may be able to quit the pills at least for now but the dosage is still too high. The bad news is that I may be sick. This feels like a low grade sinus infection but at least it's contained to my head. I may go to the doctor tomorrow. This may put a damper on my planned long run on New Year's Eve but I have 4 weeks to set things right after that. As for the grade, I get a "C" on the easy 5 and an "F" on the tempo. YTD: 2,091. Need to do the long run to hit 2,100 but at least I'm over 40 MPW.
12/30- Feel worse today and went to the doctor. Paid a $35 copay, waited a full hour and paid another $35 for pills. As expected, the diagnosis is an upper respiratory infection. Doc thinks it's viral but gave me antibiotics anyway and told me to hold off on them for a couple of days. I will wait one day only. Today was a planned rest day anyway but barring a miracle recovery, I'm out for tomorrow's long run. No chance to make it up later in the year so I'll have to take an "F." I'm glad that I clinched early. This "bonus week", which started out so great will end up being my 4th lowest GPA of the year. Today, I have zero energy/ zero appetite and it's not due to chemical imbalances. Has this infection affected my chemistry? I'll know soon.
12/31- 1 Mile run at Vestavia on a beautiful day. I wish I was able to enjoy more of it. I did better than expected and finished with a time of 6:51 with a negative split (3:30-3:21) on no pills. That's goal half pace. Still, when the planned workout was 22 miles and I only finished 1, there is only 1 grade that is appropriate.
That's a wrap on a "pretty good" year for me. It ended much the same as it started, with a respiratory infection but the good outweighed the bad for the 50 weeks in between. The final numbers are in and my odometer reads 2,092 miles with an average weekly GPA of 3.03. Both are PRs. I'm neither high nor low heading into the New Year.
Distance=50.0/ GPA= 22/11= 2.00