Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mar 31

I wanted to get some miles in this week, and it ended up being a shopping trip, since the second key of my bike lock broke - how can metal snap in half so easily? Must be my superhuman strength. Temps were good. On the way back, with 2 pounds of chocolate, a bike lock, and a bottle of shampoo, among other random things, my right knee started feeling the extra weight, and it was fortunate that I finished okay. I iced afterwards (after cooking, which meant a few hours of standing first). I also noticed that the downhill to t was kind of rough on the knees too. Downhill puts 3-6x body weight force on your legs. I never noticed how much more it hurt to run down that hill. I think I went faster once on the tow path, since I didn't have to worry about braking. I kind of want to take an aspirin, but I read this fantastic article: http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Breaking_It_Down__Physiology__Running_and_Recovery.htm. Aspirin can inhibit proper muscle repair and adaptation. I also think I warmed up during the downhill. My legs were reluctant to move much, and I got only 4 hours of sleep last night. That probably had a lot to do with it.

Splits> 8:45 t (est), 4:03 p, 3:57 h, 4:10 b, 6:57 w, 5:01 1 (now with shampoo, bike lock, 2 toothbrushes), 4:51 b+ (now with 5 bars of chocolate, tank top), 4:22 h, 4:06 p, 4:13 t, 9:17 2. Total: 59:47ish, estimated. That's the time for the 7.5ish miles.

Cumulative mileage: 213.7 + 5.3 (track) + 7.5 = 226.5. This is the end of the third month, and the 90th day of the year. I've run an average of 2.52 miles per day. At this rate, I can do just under 900 miles this year. Maybe I can get that up to 1000.

Monday, March 30, 2009

5eeK Justice 5K Race Planning

I should be thesis planning/writing, but...

The 5K is 5 days away. I already have my workouts for this week lined up. Today was Ulty practice, and Wednesday will be the same. Tomorrow, I hope to do 7.5 to get a new bike lock. It's kind of a necessity. Thursday, I'll just do strength, and I'll have an extra running-free day on Friday.

To beat my PB of 20:40 (it actually might've been 21:40 - it was at regionals, but it wasn't a big enough event to post results online.). Well, to beat 20:40, I'd need to run a 6:40 pace. To beat 21:40, I'd need to run a 6:59 pace. Based on the linear regression of my best runs since January, my predicted PR for a 5K at my current level with ideal temps of 40ish degrees would be a 6:25 pace, leading to a finish time of 19:47. Yikes!!! That's unheard of. I probably can't do quite that well because of the 41/61 temps and humidity left over from the previous two days' rain. We're racing at 9am. Oh man, a 6:25 pace is how I ran a MILE on Jan 10th. I have to keep that up for 3.1 miles! I have to go out hard and keep it that way the whole time. I don't know much about what 6:25 feels like, besides not far behind mile pace. Putting on the Garmin and having to watch it may slow me down, and it's not 100% accurate, especially with all of the turning. Luckily, there's not too much turning on this course. It also adds extra weight. Maybe I should just go all out and hope that I'm close to 6:25.

So to prepare... 1) stretch to stay loose. 2) sleep !!! - this may be a secret weapon. most of my runs have been done on non-ideal sleep, so if i do sleep, i may be able to open up a can of unrealized potential. 3) maybe on Wednesday go out and try a 400 or two at 6:25 pace. That means about 1:37 per mile... yeah, not far from how I go out on the mile. Hmm... GETTING PUMPED!!!

GEAR GUIDE: Running Logs

I think I've extolled the benefits of keeping logs elsewhere in this blog, but not in a formal Gear Guide setting. So I'll talk a little bit about overall benefits of keeping a log, and then I'll describe how I've organized my own Runner's World Log.

Things you can track:
Workout Type
Running Course
Temps & Clothing
Time of Day
Workout Time & Splits
Pre-run and During-run Fuel
Sleep / Mood
Weight, HR

Tracking these will help you:
1) Monitor progress - you can see how your times for a particular course drop
2) Look for patterns - what kind of training level makes you more injury prone? Are you in danger of increasing training by too much too quickly?
3) Explain trends - maybe it's because of increasing temps, and not lack of effort, that you're going slower.
4) Discover what works - maybe you're a tee shirt as long as it's above freezing type of person. maybe you shouldn't eat chocolate right before a run. maybe long runs are better in the morning than in the afternoon.

Column 1: Day/Date. This is a 52 week journal.
Column 2: Distance, in miles. If I do body weight strength, I put an "S" instead of a number of miles. If I do cross training, I put an "X". If it's an ultimate frisbee practice, I put a "U". If it was a rest day, I put a black rectangle.
Column 3: Time. If it's a run, I do the time. If it's strength, I put the time in parenthesis. If it's Ulty, I don't put the time, since only a certain percentage of the time would be running. If it's a random sport that is stop-and-go, I don't put the time. If it's an endurance sport, like a cardio machine or swimming, I'll put the time in parenthesis.
Column 4: Course. I write the course and the splits.
Column 5: Comments. Here, I'll write the temps, my clothing, the injury report, where and how much I felt like stopping (haha, kind of funny that it deserves a spot in my list of common forms of comments. Usually just applies to track workouts, though.), sleep, time of day, weather, fuel, pretty much the stuff on the above list, as long as it's remarkable.
Bottom: Mileage Totals. You sum your weekly total. Then, you add it to your year to date total. That results in a new year to date total.
Extra: I also track which running podcast episodes I've listened to.

Mar 29

Yesterday (Sat): Day 1 of Roll Call. 3x1-hr games in mud pits and miniature ponds. It was on nice polo fields, though. Temps were cool, although super misty. We went 2-1. We could've gone 3-0 if we had subbed and called plays to win vs. get in practice, I think. I had been concerned about being able to cut at all (my usual position) because even during the warmup run, I had to hold my left upper hip because it hurt. I almost asked to handle, but it ended up working out okay. The pain actually permanently went away during the course of play. The wonders of exercise.

Today: I had a lot of schoolwork to do, but I really wanted to get in a run, since I only did 10 so far this week, and this was the last day of the running week. I procrastinated a lot, going between reading Paradise Lost, sleeping, doing nothing. I thought about doing a junk shopping trip run, even though it was going to eat away time I should have spent on homework. I also thought about going to the gym, too, since my left arch feels very unsupported, maybe from all of the running in cleats yesterday. I also wanted to do a track workout because it's been a while, and I need to prep for Saturday's 5K. Eventually, though, I procrastinated so much that I ended up having no choice time-wise except to do the track workout.

It was warm (relatively) and humid, so even before running, the heavy organic cotton tee came off. The sun was out, and the track had puddles from all the rain. I wonder why they don't fill in the serious potholes in lane 1. Isn't it a hazard or disadvantage or something? I had an episode of Phedip on my Shuffle. I thought about calling it a day after the 200's. I kept going, though, and pushed through the desire to take a break after the first 400. I did stop after the 800, though, not for any legit bathroom reason. I was just so out of breath. I finished the 5.25 miles in 38:19. At that 7:14 pace, I could run a 22:24 5K. Saturday's likely going to be humid and warm, too. I wonder how much the fact that it's a 5K rather than 5.25 miles will increase the pace. I was sure to stretch afterwards, and I also stretched during my extended water/bathroom break. I put the tee back on after the break.

I went to NCC today b/c KS was performing. I think I'm going to go there from now. With less than half a semester left... why didn't I try it years ago?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mar 27

A bit of catch up to do, except there isn't much to catch up on. Today is Friday. Monday's 10 was finishable and felt decent afterwards, and that night, it was a good kind of pain as I lay in bed w/ my legs propped up, letting my body recover, heal, and adapt. The next morning, though, it hurt to walk because of the left hip thing, and my banged right knee wasn't great either. I took Tuesday off. Wednesday, I would've taken off again, but it was okay enough to do strength at night. Somehow, exercise sometimes helps stuff heal, so it was good to try. I did 40 minutes. Thursday I took off b/c I couldn't do stuff w/ all the the classes and commitments anyways, but my body was only about 80%, too.

So today, before the DC tourney, I wanted to do something, since I've only logged 1 run for the week and 1 strength. It would've been a nice track day, except it was already nearing 4:30 after my naps, and varsity likely had the track. Plus, I'm only about 90% now. I did the Stairmaster instead, for 30 minutes. This time, I got one with a working HRM. Here are the stats:

168 bmp, 10 min, level 13
174 bmp, 15 min, level 14
180 bpm, 20 min, level 14
186 min, 25 min, level 15
186 min, 30 min, level 15.

327Cal, 4.98mi (whatever that means... I can't even run 5 mi in 30 min, so I don't know what that's about.)

I was stepping-out-of-the-shower sweaty afterwards. That's what gyms do. Running outside is so much better - you get a free fan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mar 23

(Yesterday/Sunday: 40 min strength, including 3 min plank not too hard, tired at first and almost wanted to quit after entering the gym and again after first set of crunches but stuck with it)

I just wanted to get in some miles today and was thinking about an LR, since at 4:30 the track was likely taken by varsity, and I was in no mood for an all-out tempo again, since I was satisfied with the PR from the other day and don't want to have to see a slower performance. I kept procrastinating, though, for fueling and prepping reasons, which I guess are legit, and there weren't 2 hours left before dinner to get in a 14, so I decided to just do whatever I could before 6:30. It was "feels like" 34 degrees, with sunset at 7:15. I wore Pton sweatpants and a cotton tee comfortably.

I ended up doing about 10.46, which I'll qualify as a long run, since it's over 10. I need these longer runs b/c at Philly, my body kind of ran out of gas at about 7, since I had been so used to only doing staple runs at the time. It's good for my body to get accustomed to still having to go beyond the 7. It was 10.46 according to my calculations of 1.15*2 (campus to tow path) + 1.57*4 (tow path to bridge) + 0.95*2 (bridge to walmart).

Splits: 8:52 b (estimated b/c I forgot to push button after I stopped and considered going home due to left hip issues), 3:55 p, 4:01 h, 4:11 b, 4:41 x, 2:50 w, 2:52 x, 4:44 b, 4:15 h, 4:02 p, 4:04 t (slowed down on the way back from walmart, now turn around and go back to b), 3:57 p, 3:52 h, 4:04 b (really picked it up after the turnaround, faster even than 1st time), 4:02 h, 3:49 p, 3:52 t (even faster!!!), 9:24 2 (uphill and a strong headwind). Total time: 1:21:38.

According to my super handy predicted PR pace graph, the pace of 7:48 is just a bit slower than what my PR pace would be. Sounds about right. I had intended to take it kind of slowly and over time decided to pick it up because I was already out and might as well make it a quality run. Plus, my left hip is okay enough to run on but bothersome. Plus, right before t, there was a metal ring on the ground. I must've stepped on one end with one foot and then gotten my right foot caught on the opposite end, because suddenly, I found myself smack on the ground. It was kind of surprising. My right knee took a hit, and my right side was covered in dirt, but the effect of it on the running was nearly negligible. I may need to ice it later, but nothing permanent, I think. Last time something like this happened was after a BM pyramid, as I was running back up to campus. I didn't clear a chain that fenced off the road when I tried to leap over it, and my arms somehow broke the fall, with my face nearly hitting the ground. I was fortunate to not have broken teeth. I had a big black welt on my left shin for a long time afterwards, and my arms were sore from the force of breaking the fall (thank goodness for pushups) for a day or two.

Cumulative mileage: 184 + 6.2 (recovery post 16) + 5.5 (track) + 7.5 (wm tempo) + 10.5 = 213.7.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mar 21

It was so hard to get out the door, and I couldn't decide between a Wm tempo vs. a 14. I need to do a LR some time soon b/c I'll be out of town next weekend at a tournament, and 3 weeks is a long lag. I wouldn't have time, though, b/c of a CW shift. I ended up doing the Wm b/c of the time constraint, so maybe MTW I'll do the LR. I can't do it F b/c it'd put me at high risk for injury at the tournament and impact tourney performance.

The run itself was good, and it's amazing how tiredness melts away once you get started. My left glute/hip/back hurt a bit, nothing serious, but bothersome. It's okay now, though, and everything feels mostly good. Tempos are tough, like go, go, go the whole way. Not as painful as a track workout, but it requires persistence.

Splits> 8:44 t, 3:42 p, 3:46 h, 3:59 b, 4:22 x, 2:37 wm, 2:41 x, 4:31 b, 3:46 h, 3:44 p, 3:49 t, 8:46 2. I'm pleasantly surprised about how I kept it up fairly well on the 2nd half. Total time: 54:41. Time at the b: 20:13. Turnaround time: 27:12. 2nd half split: 27: 29. Not bad. I think it's a PR on the course. Temps were good (45ish), but the cotton shirt retained all of the sweat, so it felt hotter than it actually was.

In fueling news, I thought I'd have to give up desserts for a while and just savor dark chocolate bars to get my fix. That wouldn't have been too bad. But tonight, I remembered an old delicious favorite, which also happens to be an even better solution: dessert sandwiches. Toasted Protein Bread + Almond Butter + 9 Chocolate Chips = party. It's so good and good for you, it's ridiculous. Everything you like about desserts in supercharged form. You get 15g of protein + good whole grains + healthy fat + fiber + vitamins and minerals + bit of cocoa. It doesn't get any better than this. I haven't tried it since sophomore year, I think, since we haven't had almond butter in a while. It works w/ PB, too, but AB's really good.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mar 20

Just had to run. Haven't run since Monday's recovery run. Track workouts are probably the best of all the types of workouts. It increases turnover, raises VO2 Max, burns excess fat, and is still a decent distance (5ish for a BM Pyramid). It had been a week and a half since the last one, and even that one was only half. Sad story - the cookies and muffins that I mentioned two days ago have taken their toll. Blaaaah. It's okay. I'll just have to work it off.

As for the run itself, most things have healed up during my three days off of running. Knees generally feel fine, and the top of the foot just has a big knot where the bruise is, which is tolerable compared to me hardly being able to handle the simple act of wearing sneakers. The time off was good, even if the cookies and goldfish weren't. The temps were chilly in shorts and a tee and perfect for running. It seemed more difficult to breathe, maybe b/c of all the dust and dirt I breathed in during my two days tearing down houses in Philly. When the team blew our noses at the end of the day, the result was black stuff. Not a good sign. Worth it, though. God has given me this body to serve others.

And back to the run again, I wanted to quit after the first 200's, if you can imagine that. I just felt out of shape, even with PRing the mile a week ago. I thought it was the cookies. I kept at it, though, eager to finish so that I'd be on time for chapel watch. That gave me incentives to take no water breaks. I didn't even do an 800 warmup, since time would be tight. I pulled through, though, by God's hand, and finished the 5.5 miles in 37:32. Hey... if I added an 1200 in let's say 5.5 minutes, that'd be about a 44 minute 10K.

I was so dreading the run and kept procrastinating. I was tired. During the run, I'd close my eyes as much as I can to mimic sleeping. My arms felt tired from pumping, but my legs didn't feel tired until the end of the last 200. Afterward, though, I felt energetic. Aaah, the power of sports.

// 3/21 update:
I just realized that going at the 5.5-mi pace of 6:49/mi, I could finish a 5K in 21:09!!! And that's with running the extra 2.4 miles. My 5K PR was 20:40, unless I remembered wrong and it was actually 21:40. Either way, I think it means that I could beat that. I didn't think I'd ever be back to HS shape mid-distance-wise. 5eeK Justice run, here I come!

I used to think it was crazy that a 5K was chosen as the HS distance b/c (at least according to one teammate) it's right on the border between what you can sprint and what you can't. Now, I see a 5K as something you more or less sprint. Pain all the way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mar 18

Yesterday: 9pm 45 min strength. kinda tired. spent all day watching friday night lights.

Today (Wed): 50 lap swim (lap = 50m) = 1.55 miles, alternating btwn free, breast, and back. I had to keep my knees kind of bent/tense during the breaststroke b/c my knees were kind of out of whack from the 16 on Sunday. On the backstroke, I had to keep my ankle kind of bent, too, b/c of the tendon/ligament/whatever issue there caused by the too-tight laces on the mile on Friday. Bent = suboptimal, but I didn't want to have to cut a swim short.
150m splits > 11:01, 11:13, 11:50, 11:52, 12:03, 6:24 > total: 1:04:24.

I wonder what percent of my calories from the past 3 days or so have been from either Whole Grain Goldfish, Chocolate Chip Walnut Muffins, and supposedly Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. Probably a lot.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mar 16

I think I know what "recovery run" means now. I took a rest day yesterday for my body to reset after the 16 on Saturday and wanted to do a shopping run today. I didn't make it a few steps before the bruise caused by the mile race's too-tight laces brought me to a halt. I tried relacing a few different ways to ease up on that pressure point, but it's kind of in an unavoidable spot, and undoing a level of laces didn't feel right, so I ended up just loosely tying it like I did for the 16, and it was okay. Aside from the bruise issue, my knees also had issues, forcing me to have to pause and readjust about 5 times before I ever did a half mile. Finally, things seemed to be going okay, thank the Lord. I was probably really slow the first mile, but I didn't get a time on it because with all of the stopping and starting, I missed some button pushes.

It ended up being a good day to run/shop, though, b/c at Wholefoods, they had a Nutrition Festival, complete with free samples and a goodie bag of samples of powders, supplements, and bars. They may be good to mix into whatever sports drinks I concoct for summer long runs. Oh, the summer. I'm afraid already. Today was a nice 55ish, and the Nike track shirt and basketball shorts were good, if a bit brisk at first.

Splits: 9:30 t (totally estimated), 4:21 p, 4:04 h (you can see me picking up some speed now as I feel better), 4:08 b (est. 22:05 here), 2:40 wf (est 26:45 here), 5:04 b (did the extra bit here), 4:33 h, 4:08 p, 4:06 t (was using fairly hard effort here, with pack and all, felt like this recovery run was needed to get my body back into running mode and cash in the gains from the 16), 9:13 2. Total: 51:53 (est) over 6.2 miles.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mar 14

I set out to do 14.2 but felt decent and was already way out there on the tow path so I did 16.2. I stopped at the half-way overpass to swallow some Expresso Love Gu and wash it down with a bit of water. I used 20oz in the "feels like 44"ish heat. It was a good temp for running. I got the 7-mile chills again at about mile 7. I got a sweet 8.5 hours of sleep last night after a week with many 3-5 hour-ish nights. I had tied my left laces waaaay too tight for the mile yesterday, so it hurt to just wear my sneakers today, but when I kept the laces on that shoe loose today, it felt okay. I usually keep laces tight because my dad told me in middle school that it would be more energy-efficient for your feet to not move around much, and it may prevent ankle-turning injuries, too, if there's a snugger fit. Who knows how much good it does. I think I should keep them a bit looser than I have been doing it, though, especially when I'm running on ground that I know is pretty hole-free.

Listened to Steve Runner's profile of Eric Liddell and the podcast on Sheehan's Personal Bests today. Both excellent. Eric's my hero. Check out his story on wiki or something. The following paragraph I just yanked from http://www.virginmedia.com/sport/galleries/great-sporting-scots.php?ssid=11 doesn't do the story justice, but just to give you a crumb of the cake you should eat...

"Eric Henry Liddell was immortalised in the Oscar winning movie ‘Chariots of Fire’. During the 1924 Paris Olympics, committed Christian Eric Liddell refused to race on Sunday and was forced to withdraw from the 100 metres, his best event. Instead, Liddell raced in the 400 metres and little was expected of him. As Liddell went to the starting blocks for the race, an American masseur slipped a piece of paper in his hand with a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30, "Those who honour me I will honour." Liddell ran with that piece of paper in his hand and not only won the race but broke the existing world record with a time of 47.6 seconds."

Listen to the podcast at steverunner.com to get a fuller picture of this great man.

Splits: 9:29 t, 12:42 b (forgot to push the splits - 22:12 at this point), 7:42 w (29:54 at this point), 15:35 d (45:30 at this point), 12:41 g (58:11 at this point), 9:33 o (1:04:45 at the turnaround), 9:26 g, 28:22 w (forgot to hit it at the d - 1:45:34 here), 2:55 x, 5:03 b (1:53:33 at this point), 4:26 h, 4:10 p, 4:10 t, 9:47 wright. Total: 2:16:08. Slower than when I ran it w/ AB and J, but that's okay. I just wanted to get the run in, since it's been two weeks since the last LR (which was the 16.2 with them).

I saw a strange squirrel-like thing with goose poop or something in its mouth today. It was so weird, so I tried to take a picture with the phone's camera. Then, it started running away, and it jumped into the water!!! ** not a squirrel**. I tried to track it in the water but failed. A couple came along and asked what I was looking at, and I described the above (I left out the poop part), and they said it must've been a muskrat. I'm looking at google images right now, and the one I saw seemed a lot skinnier and squirrel-like, but w/e. On the way back, no real lead legs like last time, although that last hill was very arduous.

I did a bit of stretching and iced my knees afterwards. I also downed an orange, a turkey sandwich, milk, and raw cake (made up entirely of raisins, walnuts, and I don't know what else). Sooo good. My knees will probably be a bit testy in the next 40 hours once the feel-good chemicals wear off.

Cumulative mileage: 163.3 + 3.5 (track) + 1 (fc) + 16.2 = 184. Don't you love how the LR's just shoot up the count?

Mar 14

Yesterday (Thur): Stadium ulty. Funny story... not really funny, but a story. We were doing there and back races of only about 25 yards where you touch the line. The 11 of us were split into 3 heats to group similar speeds. In the first couple, Bock and Vicki were ahead in heat 1, and at one point, I came in last in the heat, so I got bumped down to heat 2. I don't like to lose when I know I or my team has the potential or should win. So I kicked hard and won heat 2 by a lot. I got bumped back up to heat 1. And there, I finished first for the rest of it. I don't know whether it's just that I have more endurance, or whether being in heat 2 brought out the fight in me. If it's the latter, maybe I can use those feelings for the next time I want to be fast.

Today: FC 3 - I slept 2.5 hours spread over 3 or so naps the previous night. At the psych experiment today, it looked like the dots I track were spazzing out because the computer had issues, but it seemed like it just as likely could have been my eyes. I was in no condition to be doing that reaction time and eye focus task, but I managed to pull of $21 in 45 minutes. Oh yeah, the buildup for the mile: I got myself pumped up the previous night by listening to Steve Runner's podcast on The Mile twice. Every time I thought about having to run it, my stomach would turn. It made it hard to sleep, because I'd really want that precious nap time, and then I would think "mile" and then I would feel nauseous. I could feel slight soreness the races yesterday. My arms were also tired out, which was kind of strange. It was either ridiculously delayed-OMS, or the sprints or something took more out of the arms than I realized. My knees were also giving me issuse today, but I knew they'd be able to hold for a mile. I was pumped. Finally, after forcing myself out of a quick rest in the bed, I gathered the gear for the fc. I went with spandex - first time in public - since I wanted every advantage. The temps were pretty much ideally brisk. Happened to see LD coming through the grass and said hello. After an 800 warmup and dynamic stretching, we got on the line. I kept wanting to put it off a bit rather than jump right into it, because I knew that the next 6 minutes would be painful. The first lap went by quickly and easily, with 1:28 for the 400+the 12 or 18 or whatever that little distance is. The second lap, I was slower, and I thought, "ok, today's probably not the day," and I came in at 1:32. There was so much that I'd have to recover in the last two to stand a chance. It seemed unlikely. The third lap is usually painful, but today, it wasn't, since I had taken the seecond slowly. I kept thinking, "alright, I can keep holding this," and I finished at 1:32. In the last lap, I felt incredibly good with lots of kick in me. It was strange, since I'm usually dead by then. I wasn't breathing death-hard like last time, but hard. I finished strong but with still more left in the tank at 1:26. It was a total of 5:59, perhaps minus around a second because I had trouble locating the watch button. Just barely made it, oh man. I was so surprised to see it. I wonder what I could do with more sleep and no workouts in the preceeding days. My next goal is sub-5:50. Seems kind of crazy to imagine a 5:4x time, but then again, anything with a 5 in it once seemed like a crazy goal. I'm pretty sure it can happen by June. I'm serious, each BM pyramid I do, I shave off 5s or more. I'll reach the asymtope at some point, but for now, bring on the pyramids! Oh yeah, hot weather is coming - boo. That'll put a dent in all of it, but we'll pull through. In 2 months, I shaved 28s. I have another 2.5 months before graduation. The steeper part of the improvement curve is at least partially gone. Weather's coming. Maybe I can get 15 more seconds off before graduation? We'll do 10 first and then talk more after that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mar 11

Yesterday (Tue): 45 min strength. All the exercises are easier now, especially the outer leg raises, which suddenly shot up to 45 instead of the 20-25 I used to stop at. With pushups, I eeked out 2 sets of 40 w/ pretty much no pauses. The third set was just 25. This was post-CW at 11pm.

Today: 1/2 BM workout (a rest b/f the 400s), to prime my legs for Friday's FC, where I will try to break 6min for the mile. The conditions won't be ideal, since I have stadium ulty the day b/f, and I'm low on sleep this week, but you work with what you have. I overdressed again (a bad habit oas of late), with the UA long sleeve tee and shorts. I did the 3.5 mi (which includes a 0.5 warmup) in 20:56 + however long the warmup took. It would be excellent news 5K-wise if I hadn't stopped and still accomplished that, but I stopped. My 5K PR from about 4.3 years ago was 20:40. I felt pretty good today joint-wise before the run. The best I've felt in a while. Then, I took a nap and after the nap and right before the run, something in my lower back/hip on the right side hurt. It didn't inhibit running, though, and felt fine after the run.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FIT: 10-Week Report

Here's a sweet graph showing my mileage so far.

Week 1: I was at home and coming off of a month-long break from any physical activity (poor choice).
Week 2: Reading period, where everything was due by Dean's Date.
Week 5: PEF Retreat. Decided here to train for the marathon.

Track: I try to do one a week, and I succeed most of the time. Proof of improvement: went from a 6:27 mile in week 2 to a 6:04 in week 9. My BM Pyramids are getting more stop-free and faster.
Staple: Since in the past month or so I've started to feel overtraining issues in my left ball of the foot and my knees, I've seen the need to get the most out of each mile, so I've shifted to doing these as tempo runs rather than shopping trips with packs that obscure performance anyways. I also have seen the benefits of track and enjoyed pushing my limits in LR's more, so staple runs have decreased in frequency over time.
Long Runs: It's hard to say too much about this b/c they're infrequent, but it's about every other week, which is probably better than weekly, because of injury risks.
Total: It's dipped since the overtraining injuries started to emerge, but with Spring Break next week meaning not much to do and my ambitions, I hope to step it back up in week 11.

Since I do non-running workouts as well, I also wanted to include that for the analysis. How to weight it is tricky, but I was conservative here. 2 miles is equivalent to the intensity of a 40-min strength session, or an ultimate practice. When you take that into consideration, the drop in the later weeks isn't as big of a deal.

X (cross-training): This can stand for snowboarding, basketball, stairmaster, or ultimate.
Strength: I do body weight strength about weekly, which is good, since from past experience, it seemed like I lose strength if I don't maintain it weekly.

Here are trends for my times in measured routes. These don't give a complete picture, since there were confounding factors that influenced each time. I will address some of them.

Wholefoods: I carry back varying amounts in my pack, so think much of these results.
Walmart: The latter two are non-pack tempo runs.
BM Pyramid: I stopped in some and not in others. The big 44 was my first non-stop of the year. The last one had 1 stop. I also did slightly varied amounts of jog distance.
Mile: It's hard to see the 28s difference, but it's there, and I'm proud.

Finally, here is a graph that may help predict paces in races (includes week 11 data). The trend line only considers my best times for each distance. It's hard to pick a type of trend line, since we don't know what part of the log function these data points would be on, for example. Linear has a higher r^2 value, but it does seem to miss some of the curvey effect. In theory, with a good line, any points above that line should designate distances where I can PR next. At some point at around 20 miles, there should be a sudden increase in slope (a positive second differential) because of the hitting-the-wall effect when glycogen stores in the muscles are depleted. I've yet to feel that, but I'm kind of interested in seeing what it's like. I talk about my lead legs sometimes at the end of long runs where I've extended my limits, but this is probably something 7x crazier feeling. I'll tell you when I get there.

Tempo: Runs where I'm not wearing a pack and am just going for time.
Shopping: I'm not really going for time. I'm shopping and carrying stuff home in a pack. You can see that shopping w/ a pack generally makes me slower.
BM: If it's half, it's 4x100, 3x200, 2x400, 1x800. If it's full, I go back down. After each rep, I jog the same distance (exceptions: after the 800, I just do a 400 jog, and after the 4th 400, I just do a 200 jog). You can see that a constant speed is better than the sprint/jog technique, since my BM average paces are far slower than the line would predict.


If only I cared this much about my thesis... haha.

If you like the analysis you see here and want me to send you the excel template that I made to create all of these, let me know, and I can send it to you!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mar 9

Midterm week - reason to run less b/c I should be studying more, also reason to run more b/c stress relief is needed all the more and b/c it's a nice way to get out of studying for a while.

Yesterday (Sunday), I wanted to do a second track day in a row b/c the previous day was just so awesome, but I ended up studying instead and figured that it may be better to do a strength session at night instead. I ended up doing thesis instead of doing that 11pm strength session, though. Two points for studying.

Today, I thought I might do a track workout in the morning, but I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep, and my muscles were all tired, so I knew that I wouldn't perform well anyways. So I napped 1.5 hours and felt tons better, like new, afterwards. After my 3 hr class, I fueled up on Goldfish and a Sugar Cookie (not the best fuel, I know, but works well enough as an energy provider, even if it is disproportionately high in fat). Since my body probably has limited miles b/c of overtraining risks, I have to make the workouts I choose count. This means track, tempo, and the occasional long run. So I did a tempo 7.5 to Wm today, no pack, no shopping, so that it's a true representation of where I am. It was "feels like 44" and too hot in my EnduraFit Philly tech shirt and the Pton sweatpants, so I tucked the shirt into my sports bra and just bore with the heat.

Splits: 8:38 t, 3:47 p, 3:46 h, 4 b (20:12), 4:27 x, 2:37 w (27:17), 2:46 x, 4:32 b, 4:03 h, 3:53 p, 3:55 t, 9:29 2 (55:57). The splits aren't even, but that wasn't my goal. I kind of wanted to make suer I was pushing it on the way out to test my limits, and it turned out that I pushed too much, since I was slower on the way back. I just checked, and 56 is faster than the last two times I did Wm, which were 1:00:12 and 58ish (with bulky but light pack and shopping + 0.4mi extra). Yay for progress! That pace would make a 46min 10K.

Something weird happened. When I tied my right laces at t on the way back, it felt like a bunch of blood rushed to my legs when I bent over, and from that point on, my legs were kind of tingly and almost semi-numb. It might've been a boon in that it kind of dulled any pain in the knees that may or may not have been there, and it was more likely a bane b/c my legs kind of ran out of gas, and not being able to really feel them made that final hill arduous. Oh well, I'm happy with how I kept pushing and didn't stop at least.

Cumulative mileage: 145.8 + 4.2 (1/2 wf) + 5.8 (track) + 7.5 = 163.3.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mar 7

Timing for the Mens' Ivy League Championships Swim Meet.

After the meet, I switched from flip-flops to sandals and did a BM Pyramid. The temp was around 70!!! Dude, it was too snowy to even run just a few days ago!!! I stopped right before the 800 for a bathroom break and water, although I would've probably stopped anyway b/c it was getting tough. I did the 5 3/4 mi in 38:39 + however long the 800 warmup took. The way down with the 200's, I could really feel my calves' limits getting pushed. Also, when doing the final 100's, my weaknesses were very clear, as was the fact that I'd have to rely on God's strength to get through. I prayed "To You be the glory, the power, and the honor, forever and ever, Amen." I can't do it on my own. It's all him. And then afterwards, I sang Beautiful Savior while stretching. I even cried, too, probably an odd sight, because the words apply to other areas of my life too, particularly with the first verse.


All my days I will sing this song of gladness
Give my praise to the fountain of delights
For in my helplessness, you heard my cry
And waves of mercy poured down on my life

Beautiful Savior, wonderful counselor
Clothed in majesty, Lord of history
You're the way, the truth and the life
Star of the mornin, glorious in holiness
You're the risen one, heaven's champion
And you reign, you reign over all

I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer
I will sing of the lamb that never fails
Of sins forgiven, of conscience cleared
Of death defeated and life without end

Beautiful, beautiful Savior
Wonderful counselor, beautiful risen one

I long to be where the praise is never ending
Yearn to Dwell where the glory never fades
Where countless worshipers sing one song
And the voices of the nations
Sing worthy, worthy
Worthy beautiful, beautiful one
Jesus you are worthy, beautiful, beautiful one
Jesus you're worthy, beautiful, beautiful one
You are worthy, beautiful, risen one

Mar 6

Wed (two days ago), a/b 40 min basketball. I did not want to do another strength session. It would've been like the third in 7 days, so I suggested bball instead.
Thur: Get-a-Grip hanging challenge at Dillon. I should've wiped down the bar before I did it, since it was greasy from peoples' hands. Kind of gross when you think about it. Also, I used a step stool to get up to reduce swinging that would've happened if I had jumped. Except because I didn't jump, I used a grip where my thumbs were on the same side as my fingers. I just asked ex-gymnast LG about the best grip, and she said palms facing, thumbs obviously opposed. I did palms away, thumbs inside. What an idiot. I got like 1:30ish. I had gotten 1:40 a couple days earlier when I practiced for fun.
Fri: Ran to Wm (but not back)> 9:21 t, 4:04 p, 3:57 h, 4:08 b (21:31 at this point), 4:37 x, 2:37 w (28:46 at this point). I was wearing the empty Diablo pack and felt really slow, perhaps because this is the first time I've run in about a week. Dude, I did the same distance 6s faster on the 16.2 mile run, and this ended up only being 3.75!!! I can't believe I lost that much so quickly! I would've run back, except I picked up a 2.1lb carton of whole grain Goldfish and 18x4 oz bottles of bubbles. I ran for 5:32 with all of that, but my knees, which are already testy, couldn't bear the extra weight with each step, so I hoped for the Tiger shuttle. And I saw one just as I was leaving the store, driving on the far side of the parking lot. I ran after it and the lady stopped. It was kind of dramatic. Her shuttle was empty, and she was happy to see me b/c it turns out that she had seen me going out earlier in the morning and said that she was proud of me for running all the way out there, haha. It was nice. So I got a ride back to the Dinky - we picked up about 4 other people along the way (none were students - all townies I think), so people do actually ride it. Distance probably about 4.2mi total. Guess what's exciting... my lap recall function still works even after you reset the chrono!!! I had reset the watch because I was going to time prayer time and then thought I lost the data when I was going to record just now, but it recalled anyways!!! The run was at about 7:45 am, b/c I woke up at 6:45ish from heat/bathroom/hunger or something and couldn't go back to sleep, and I had wanted to get something for KS later in the day anyways, so I just moved up the workout. Later at 3pm, we had ulty at Broadmead to work on the 2-3-2.

Walking to WCC w/ JG, BA, AM, LD, JW. Bubbles, poems, squirrel, talking, bathtub, trees.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mar 3

Yesterday: The day before, I took a much-needed recovery day from Saturday's 16.2. My left knee had limp-serious issues. Ice and sleep helped, though. Monday, a noon 40-min strength made all my joints feel decent again. It's strange how a workout can make soreness or even joint issues go away. I'm guessing it's the increased blood flow that helps carry away all the bad stuff. I did a 2.5 min plank with minimal effort, and 6 inches are becoming easier. That night at Dillon Ulty, I was able to run and do all of the injury-prevention exercises okay (ironically, I think the i-p e's do me more harm than good b/c I always feel like I'm on the brink of overtraining injuries). We ended up having a long mini-scrimmage time, which was rigorous and satisfying. Afterwards, we did sprints - 4x40 suicide. About/at least 4 people beat me. That's a lot. It makes me happy b/c it means our team is fast, I have heroes to look up to, and a high bar to reach. It's also like grrr b/c I don't like to lose. It's good to be humbled and to keep it real, though. Props to the Bockinator, Nina, and Vick.

Today: I ended up napping during my usual post-class/pre-2D workout window, so it looked like it was going to be another rest day, which wouldn't have been terrible, considering the left foot stress-fractury thing is still a bit troublesome. Today wouldn't have worked out for a track or WF run anyways because of the foot of snow we got Saturday night. But then I remembered the extended hours at Dillon and decided to go after KS. I hadn't done a machine since perhaps freshman year. I did the stairmaster. It was SO SATISFYING. It's like, why didn't I do this more. I've been only counting daylight hours and giving up on days like Thursdays where class eats all the daylight hours. Nothing is sore or tired after 40 min. My lower ankles... the kankle ligament/tendon/string/whatever is tight, though. The Stairsmaster was perfect for me b/c lately, I've been like completely unable to do squat-related or lunge-related exercises. Must be some kind of muscle imbalance from all the the LSD's. So I needed to rebuild some of that. Seems like stairs would be good for that. Speaking of stairs, stairs are a great workout, but going downstairs, your legs have to absorb 7x your body weight (while running is like 3x). That's a whole lot. So a machine is a lot better than actual stairs. You get all the benefits with little risk. Holla. So for today's workout, I built up to level 9 in the first 4 min, 11 in the first 7, went up to 12 at about 13, wenet up to 13 at 10, went up to 14 at 35, and 15 at 37.5, for a total of 40 minutes. Sweat fell like rain.

Monday, March 2, 2009

FAITH: A Glimpse Beyond

A wonderful thought that has been bringing me joy this morning: one day, there will be a great reunion of all my brothers and sisters, both present and from ages past. There will be a joyous celebration of Christ's work in redeeming us. We will truly see and know Christ and one another for the first time. There will be nasty truths about our former lives, but there will be glory in Christ's victory over sin and his faithfulness in spite of our rebellion. You'll know and love your brothers and sisters more fully and purely than ever before. Think about those who you don't get along with now, that you may feel anger or bitterness towards. They'll be there, too. We're all weak and fallen and stumbling our way through the process of sanctification. That future reality should transform and heal the brokenness of those relationships today. And then there's Christ himself, the one we've been waiting for *tears are welling up now*, the one who's been there behind the scenes the whole time, leading us as we grope through the darkness (often unbeknown to us). The ultimate source of all that is good and beautiful, who makes the most wonderful things and people on the earth seem like garbage. Live in light of that. Live for that.