Matt’s January Training blog


I took a few days off hoping my leg would feel better.  I haven’t needed any pain meds the past couple days and didn’t take any before this workout.

First lap into the warm up I felt a pinpoint pain in my outer lower right leg.  I took it easy and finished the 10 minute warm up.  It was bearable and not super painful, but noticeable.  I did drills and some strides and then started into my 5:45 paced tempo miles.

Lap one I could feel it and by the end of lap two in 2:49 I knew I needed to stop.  The pain steadily increased as I waited for the Alleve to kick in.

Pretty devastated with the thought that I may have a stress fracture.  I’ve already had an MRI and x-rays on my back to confirm I have no nerve/disc issues.  I’ve also seen a neurologist and she confirmed I have no nerve damage in my legs.  She thought stress fracture.  I didn’t believe it at first but after today I’m thinking it’s a real possibility. Sucks.  I don’t even feel like I’ve been training much so none of this really makes sense.

Talked with the doctor again (1/27) and am trying to get in for an MRI on my leg this week to confirm the stress fracture.  If it’s not a fracture, there is still a chance of racing RR100 this weekend.  If it’s broken then this will simply not be my year for racing Rocky.  So it goes.  Looking forward.


Back to work, despite the unknown ailment threatening my big upcoming race.  I took a couple Alleve this afternoon about 30 minutes before the MP workout, ran a 10 minute warm up, and was off.

12 mile MP (aiming for 6:04 pace):  5:59, 5:59, 5:58, 6:01, 6:02, 6:02, 5:58, 6:01, 5:58, 5:59, 6:00, 5:59 – 1:12.01 total.

14 minute cool down.  Felt smooth and under control throughout.  No knee pain either.  My lower right leg issues didn’t flare up at all during the run.

After the past two days off, dealing with serious pain in my right leg and going to the doctors, having an x-ray, MRI, and neurology appointment, all with negative results (no problems), I decided to say “screw it”.  I still plan on racing so long as it’s possible and if I’m going to be racing I need to be staying sharp and in shape.  I haven’t been feeling any pain so long as I take Ibuprofen or Alleve so I went for it today and I’m glad I did.  I feel strong and ready to go so long as I stick with the meds.

I didn’t run on 1/20 or 1/21 but I did manage to get through yoga on Monday and did pushups and pull ups both days.  10 pull ups are coming pretty easily now.  I’m not going to start up any serious core work until after RR100 because I don’t want to chance anything being sore at this point from starting something new.  But I’ll get to work soon after the big race.


Almost two hours on the trails out at Cougar with the Balanced Athlete group run.  We stopped quite a bit but we had a fun time.  Probably only did around 8 miles total.

My right leg had some weird pains today.  Woke up in the middle of the night with aching pain in lower leg, not specific spot.  Hurt all morning but I was fine to run on it.  However, if I moved into particular positions, I would get shooting pains.  For instance, if I crouched down into a frogger squat position, I’d fall over.  Eventually took ibuprofen and the pain has gone away.  Very strange.

10 pull ups and 5 prison cell pushups.


60 minutes with Mike Miller around Discovery park from the 7Hills store.  Enjoyable run, comfortable pace, and some good hills.  Left calf still a little sore from the workout but not debilitating.

10 pull ups and 5 prison cell pushups.


Tempo day at the track; hoping for better things than Wednesday.  Aimed for doing 1.5 mile intervals to work on riding at the aerobic threshold longer.  Aimed for 8:36 (5:44 pace). Did 3×1.5 mile.  I was hoping for 4 but today wasn’t the day.  My legs felt fresh and that they’re recovering nicely from Saturday’s race.  However, my breathing wasn’t keeping up well.  Maybe I shouldn’t have bumped it up a level last week?  I’m sticking with it for now and hope that as I get further from the 50k I’ll gain in strength, feeling awesome two weeks from now lining up for RR100.

8:33, 8:35, 8:33.  200m jog rest (maybe 1 minute).  Stayed pretty consistent throughout.  10 minute warm up and 10 minute cool down.  Left calf tightened up last repeat.

Also did yoga tonight along with 10 pull ups and 5 prison cell push ups.


A little treadmill night tonight.  35 minutes total, only covered 4 miles but I did about 10 minutes at max incline and could barely do 12 minute miles.  I did some at a little under 7 minute pace but did a little walking on the front and back end.  I’m loving listening to music and I need to get my mp3 player ready for RR100.

Also, did 10 pull ups and 5 prison cell pushups.


Track workout day after more than a week without one.  These days are always a little scary because of the time away and because these days usually come after races so I have to find out how well I’ve recovered.

10 minute warm up followed by a few drills.  Aim was 20 minute tempo at new VDOT (62), which has me at 5:44 pace.  Felt fine after the warm up, nice weather, not raining, high 40’s.  Went 5:42, 5:41, 5:42, 2:50 plus a little extra distance to finish up the time.

Strangely, my left knee, which didn’t bother me at all during the race felt a little aggravated on the third mile.  However, it was different than how it’d been in the past in that the pain would come in short bursts due to specific strides.  It would go away for 20 seconds or so and then I’d feel another short burst of discomfort.  I focused on staying upright with pelvis forward, standing tall and not pushing the pace too much.  I was able to finish up fine but I did decide to forego the 4x200m at repeat pace I had been planning.  I felt fine for the 10 minute cool down and there has been no pain since so I’m hoping it’s not anything to worry about.  Always tough to deal with these sorts of things so close to a big race though.


Back at it after a couple days off.  My knees healed remarkably quickly and I likely could have run yesterday had it not been for a full day of nursing school and yoga.

Ran today with Julie at Discovery Park.  She was pretty sore and tired from doing stairs a couple days ago so we went slowly which was fine by me.  My left calf was still really tight but otherwise I felt energetic and loose.  We ran two loops, one large loop down along the beach and another smaller loop, totaling 68 minutes.

Despite my blogpost last month Quality over Quantity, I am enjoying getting out there more frequently.  Plus, I want to get some more time on my feet prior to RR100 believing that this will help strengthen and stabilize my joints for the long race.  Aerobically I feel very fit right now.  I still plan on hitting the track twice a week for the next couple weeks leading up to the race but I’ll hopefully be getting out for trail runs more frequently than I’ve been thus far.


Bridle Trails 50k over in Kirkland.  Windstorm and mudfest of a race.  1st place, 3:45.51.  Knees held up and I actually wasn’t too sore afterward.  Read the race report here.

Finish photo after completing the 50k race in the dark.  Glad to be finished!

Finish photo after completing the 50k race in the dark. Glad to be finished!


65 minutes with Julie at a comfortable pace around Discovery Park.  Did one loop with the big up and down followed by a shorter inner loop with less hills.  Feeling good and strong.


More treadmill running, and I’m loving it.  Always hated the idea of treadmill running but somehow this week, I’ve had a good time going downstairs to the gym and rocking out.  I even wore headphones for the first time on a run!  I found myself ramping up the pace on faster songs and even cranked the treadmill up to 4:50 pace.  I thought about maxing it out but sub-5 pace on that thing was kind of scary.  Ran for an hour and did over 8 miles.  First 7 were faster, sub-7 pace, and I finished with a nice slow last 12 minutes or so.  Running breakthroughs, maybe I am getting back into running enough to be doing more easy days.  But maybe that also means more treadmills and headphones.  I’m running and in good shape so I’m rolling with it!


Muddy, wet day at the track for another tempo workout.  Got out early for us, around 9:00am.  6xmile with 200m jog rest.  Bumped it up a VDOT to 62 and 5:44 pace.  I decided this after going through the first one easily in 5:42 and considering the pace from my TLT this past weekend.

5:42, 5:42, 5:41, 5:41, 5:42, 5:42.  Breathing was right on for tempo, not totally winded but right at the border.  Legs were tired by the end and my left calf was a little sore.  Left knee was fine though.  Hoping for good things this weekend.

Sporting my new 7Hills singlet that I'll be wearing for the 50k this weekend.

Sporting my new 7Hills singlet that I’ll be wearing for the 50k this weekend.

Julie finishing up her 5xmile workout on the dirt track.

Julie finishing up her 5xmile workout on the dirt track.

Another little treadmill day. Felt good to get on there and move a little, even though it was only a few miles. Watched the BCS preview and the time flew by.

30 minutes on the treadmill including a walk to start and to finish. I thought it’d be good to move a little rather than only do speed. Plus, once I got on there, I realized it’s a different type of running than running on the roads. Maybe it’ll be good for me?

TLT at GL track and Woodland Park.  I was a little nervous based on how tired I felt on

Thursday; plus, my knee had been a little achy.  Perfect day, 40 degrees, sunny, and no wind.

10 minute warm up.  3 mile tempo on the track in 17:08 (5:47, 5:42, 5:39).  I then went straight into an hour easy run around Woodland Park.  I purposefully included as many hills as I could and tried to stay off the pavement.  After the hour I headed back to the track and went right into another 3 mile tempo in 17:06 (5:48, 5:39, 5:39) and then straight into a 15 minute cool down.

I felt fresh and strong.  My knee only ached briefly on the cool down.

I made a rookie mistake though by forgetting to bring my watch.  I actually carried my cell phone the entire time.  I also tried out a Jurek Ultimate Direction waist belt which carried a couple gels and the phone.  I checked my phone every mile on the tempo, getting it in and out of the pocket while running 5:40 pace.  The belt was surprisingly good to work with and didn’t bounce at all.


Tempo at GL dirt track.  44 degrees, cloudy, some wind.  Thought my legs still felt fresh but in the first mile of the workout I could tell today would be tougher than normal.

Was aiming for 3×2 mile with 400m jog rest.  Ended up doing 2x2mile instead.  11:34 (5:46, 5:48), 11:35 (5:48, 5:47).  After the second one I went into my rest lap and started feeling my left knee slightly.  Decided to call the workout then and after 5 minutes of easy jogging and some noticeable discomfort in the knee I stopped it for the day.

My legs were noticeably more tired today than normal and my breathing was labored.  While I am past the worst stage of my sinus infection I picked up Christmas eve, I felt more aerobically weak today than during the interval workout a couple days ago.


First run of the year was ~70 minutes easy with some people down at Seven Hills Running Shop.  We met there at 11am and then ran over to Discovery Park running trails I’d never run there along with some running on the beach.  Fun group and good people.  Good way to start off the year.

Starting the year off right with a group trail run at Discovery Park.

Starting the year off right with a group trail run at Discovery Park.

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