Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dec 30

FIT:
6.6 mi in 56:44. An 8:36 pace. At 5pm, after sleeping for 12 hrs (on top of a week of sleeping in). First 2 loops no biggie. Tired for the last. Concentrated on short strides w/ no overstriding. Rt thigh pushed to pain for last 100m when I sped up. Wore cotton tee in 52 deg. iPod - good to have a nice run long enough to get lost in again. Rt butt right under bone hurts. Splits> 26:38 r2, 10:50 h2, 8:00 r3, 11:14 h4. Decent slowdown. Cdn't do 7.5 w/o stops in the last 2+ mi a month ago, so finishing 6.6 w/o stops is a recent record, I guess.

FUEL:
Hydrated a lot today, and felt fine drink and fuel-wise during the run. Used to not get hungry til mile 11, anyway, and the 7 mi chills not until... mile 7. Had a lot to eat for breakfast, prob b/c I woke up at 1:40pm. Salmon, cereal, milk, dry roasted peanuts, tangerine.

FIT:
Day b/f> 40 min strength. 200 crunches, 15 tridips, 30 pushups, 1:00 side planks, 2x2 min plank, 35 supermans, 40/45/40 leg lifts/clam, 3x35 quad dips, 35 calves, 2x60s 6in. Musclers were stiffer that day (dec 29). Inner thigh still hurts.

Oh yeah, today, my inner thighs felt better. Not 100%, but noticeably better. Sleep prob helps.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dec 28

FIT:
Loop> 2.2 mi in 17:35. Splits: 7:30 r, 10:04 h. Effort 7/10, so no biggie. Would've done another, but decided not to, since not bad, but not 100%. 8:00/mi exactly. Great... hold that for 11 more 2.2 mi laps. Afterwards, since I hadn't pushed hard, I decided to work on form. Earlier that morn, I started to read Run for Life. It's a book all about form, it seems. Most books just tell you about drills on a high level, and even the better books merely tell you what muscle it works. This book tells you more. High knees, for ex, are good b/c otherwise, ppl use their hip flexors very rarely in normal life. Butt kicks are key b/c that position reduces the moment of inertia (in my own words), making less effort necessary to pull the leg back out to the front. I also did vert arm drills, since reducing cross-body movement reduces the lateral movement that is both wasteful and injury-inducing. So I did 2x30s of those three, plus 30s ea of lat and vert hop-over-lines. I think it'd be even better if I did them barefoot next time, to hone the proprioception that is deadened by the wearing of shoes. I think I'll even try barefoot running. It definitely sounds good. It should eliminate heel strikes. I think I don't do that much anyways, but we'll see how much of a difference it makes. I'm more scared of splinters in the grass than rubbing my feet raw on asphalt. We'll see. I think my arm swing is good, at least when I'm not tired. I know I've had bad arm swing previously, though, so I think it depends on fatigue. Keeping a palms-up light fist turns your elbow inwards automatically, though, so I'll try to focus on that and maybe even hold something in my hands (to mimic the $40 e3's hand grips). Experimenting is fun (we'll see if my feet agree after the barefoot attempt).

Injury report: This morn when I woke up, my inner left thigh was hurting. Strange b/c usually, it's the right. So I rolled b/f running and played Wii to warm up and felt ok enough to run. During the run, didn't really notice, though a couple times, my rt knee didn't track perfectly. Minimal issues, though.

Bod report: My butt's bigger, I think. Could be the 2lbs I gained in the past 3 days. Cd be bio factors, or cd be the holiday feasting. But it's sore, too, so prob at least it's partially from new muscle. Maybe it's from the squats I did via Wii the other day, or that the more normal (if you can count a couple 4-5milers as normal, since it's still a far cry from the daily 6-8's or the 16ers) running is kicking in, or the extra resistance from a brief shot of double elastic bands triggered hypertrophy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dec 26

FIT:
2xloop> 4.4 mi in 36:38 = 8:20/mi ave. That's slow, but it was on wet grass. Splits> 8:01 r, 10:34 h (18:36), 7:41 r, 10:20 h (18:01). So a good bit faster on the 2nd loop (well, 8:11 pace vs. 8:27) - warmup effect. It was a chilly start in a t-shirt (42 degrees), but I warmed up within half a mile and went in sportsbra. By the last half, even the sports bra was too hot... kept that on, though. No iPod, just enjoying running outside, after being stuck on the treadmill for the past 4 months, due to the normal workday making sunlight a stranger to me and the lack of flat, grassy places to run where I live. Plus, I can listen to my injuries better this way.

The day before, strength: 250 crunches/side, 2:00 plank, 90s 6in, 40/45 leg lifts, 15 tridips, 30/30 slow/fast pushups, 2x35 quad dips, 40 pillows, 25-30 doubled resistance bands. The bands had 2x the resistance, so I could pull them only for a shorter distance. It was a diff color, too, so it might've been stronger to begin with. It perhaps strained my muscles and strings (haha, I like that better than ligaments and tendons), esp my rt lower knee. I shd've just said, ok, it's clearly not doing so well, so stop, but I did the exercise through the pain- bad idea. Almost no benefit from the measly 20 or so reps, but it could damage me for future runs. So next time, it's not worth it!

So this all caused me to be pained up in the left knee that night and some the next morning. I was desperate for a run, since I wanted to accomplish something today and take advantage of the flat grass that I'll have for another week+. Thank the Lord, the run went okay. I was tired after the 2nd loop, but felt injury-free enough to go again. It helps to think instead of "one more loop after I finish this first one," to think "I'm going to do 3 more loops after this". It makes just 1 more loop seem less intimidating, and you take it easy mentally (even though not necessarily physically, although it ends up feeling better physically).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Festival of Lights Xmas Eve Run

FIT/FUN:
Just as the last light was creeping away, I hit the road w/ my sis and dad (on bikes) for an Xmas Eve run. I had taken 2 days completely off to let my inner thigh heal (hasn't really, and my butt's still sore), but I fear losing fitness. So after eating a block of curry tofu (so full afterwards), I put on my Brooks Nightlife 1/2 zip (and my bright glove/mitts). I shed my gloves after 1/4 a mile. It was only 54 degrees but windy. About 1/2 a mile in, I took off the 1/2 zip but left it around my neck and let it hang the rest of the way. It was absolutely brilliant and glowing, even moreso in the almost darkness. It's almost unrreal looking. Such a good purchase. Anyway, the lights were pretty to see on the houses, except I mostly didn't noticed b/c I was concentrating on finding level grass to run on. It was nice temps - would be better if I hadn't overdressed. A tee and shorts would've been perfect. It was 2.2 mi (same as the normal loop in length, although a slightly different path through neighborhood rather than the main road) in 16:29. Ave 7:30/mi pace.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dec 21

FIT:
Yesterday:
45 min Strength (including PT) - billy bands, elastic band, and mat. 45/45 leg lifts, PT - only abductor strong - flexor/extensor/adductor lots weaker, left knee crinkles @ pillow (30 reps), 2x40 quad dips, 40 slow pushups, 3 min plank, 200 crunches/side, 140 fly crunches, left achilles bad last night and today during band PT, rt butt sore, everything rolled on foam roller smoothly, tho.

Today:
4 mi in 30:40... 7:40 ave pace. Rolled and stretched pre-run, to get out the stiffness leftover from the 5.3. Achilles bugging me today @ work, too, so esp worked left calf. Did 1.5 mi @ 8:30 to warm up, 0.5 @ 8:00, 0.5 @ 7:30, and 1.5 @ 7:00. It was good practice for the 5K, where I'd have to hold a bit sub 7:00 for 3. I felt pretty good bod-wise, besides ball of rt foot poundy in last mi. According to Running Well, the left achilles prob that started the night of the 5.3er was prob either caused by 1) tight calves, and/or 2) high heel cup. My left calf is in fact super sore (both are sore and have been for weeks and weeks, but the left one especially since the 5.3er. The Progrid I wore for the 5.3er does have a high heel cup, too. It had caused my achilles to bleed into my shoes when I wore non-soccer socks with it before. So today, I chose the Evolution 3's (which is getting up there in miles) with the Stability insoles. Those insoles have caused blistering on my left arch. Haven't had blisters in a long, long time. New thoughts on the Stability insoles... it's reasonable for it to have a big hump where the arch should be, but the big hump (which is centered, I guess mainly for cushioning?) extends too far back towards the heel pad of the foot, so it doesn't line up w/ the arch. Eh well. For now, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. It's decent enough to run in for the 9+ miles so far, and just as it's good to change up surfaces, and, by extension, shoes, maybe it doesn't hurt to change up insoles, too, so long as it's not totally unsuitable for your pronation type.

Okay... to keep you from falling asleep...

FUN:
After the run, I did my usual ice bath (the outdoor pool). Air temp: 37 degrees. My body was HOT. It was really cool to see steam radiating from my body. My head emitted clouds of steam, while my hands had a smaller layer of steam dancing over it. It was pretty neat to watch, well worth getting yourself really hot indoors so that when you go outside, you can play.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

RECIPE: Scrambled Tofu


Mmmmmmm...
Every couple months or so, I get tired of the food options I have in my fridge, and I get unable to think of what I do crave. It's a nasty feeling. I had it today. Then, I remembered the tofu in my cabinet and remembered scrambled tofu I had in 2D. I hadn't had curry in a while - the last time was prob early Nov, when I ate it for like 7 meals straight.

Ingredients:
1 block silken tofu
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup curry powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cumin
2 stalks green onion
3/2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp white vinegar

Directions:
1. Start frying chopped up green onion, EVOO, and spices.
2. Add cut up tofu.
3. Stir until it breaks up.
4. Add vinegar and soy sauce.

Optional: add Sweet Potato bites to make it more filling and chewy.

Delicious - the vinegar gives it a savory kick.

Dec 19 - p

FIT:
5.3 mi in 43:34 (8:13 pace... somehow gotta keep that up for a marathon... long way to go). Wore new Brooks Nightlife 1/2 zip w/ white UA underneath and Pearl Izumi mitts (likely a Gear Guide in the next couple months with more details. For now, I'll just say that I felt a lot safer during the run wearing these, knowing that it was much more likely that I'd be seen. Not to mention all the user-friendly features I'll go into in the future.

Since it was chilly, I could comfortably go at what felt like a fast pace - not that fast, it looks like, but probably ok when you factor in the amount of wet grass I ran on. I estimate a 60/20/20 ratio of grass/rubbertrack/asphalt. The track was harder than I remembered from the summer. The grass was super nice and squishy and felt the best to run on. When my knee (outer lower rt) wasn't doing so well, stepping off the track and into the grass would help. On the way there, no issues. On the way back, though (at a/b my usual 5k point time-wise), my knee would start nagging, but since there was a defined finish point (unlike the treadmill), I pressed on. The grass would help.

I was breathing hard from the start, but I was tired on the way back, and pushing through that was good for me, b/c it wasn't straining my injuries too much, just making my muscles and respiratory system adapt. I ate a Kashi Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookie before the run without negative impacts.

Splits> 14:28 rubbertrack, 6:52 church, 7:10 rubbertrack, 15:02 parkinglot. I was slower on the way back, but it's not quite as bad as it seemes b/c of the downhill out and uphill back.

Knee was a bit achey after, but did best to stretch some barefoot in the p-lot (b/c my feet were hot - left wet footprints wherever I stepped b/c of the sweat - didn't expect that).

Oh yeah!!! This was the first time with the Stability insoles. Considering how well this run went, I'd say definitely not wosrse than the Arch Support version, and cheaper, too, now that I found a place with better prices (runningwarehouse.com - free shipping on top of good prices!).

Walking 15 blocks afterward aided recovery, I think. My butt wd've been hurting... my knees too, but it felt good to walk.

Dec 18 - p


FIT:

I miss the good old days of narrative posts. You get so much more out of them. It's like reliving the run. Now that I have internet, I think I may go back to the daily reports, vs. the log-style I was forced to use w/o internet.

Yesterday's run... eh. 3.2 mi in 27:17. I went on the treadmill @ 2 degrees (b/c Running Well suggested that this mimics the difficulty of running with normal wind resistance and erratic terrain better... good book, btw). I went at a 8:30 pace, but I still didn't last more than 3.2 mi. So sad.

Another Running Well trick I tried was focusing on not "sitting in the bucket" (tilting the pelvis forward). I think I probably do this a lot. When I used to pass Spelman @ the beginning of my runs back on campus, I'd look at my reflection in the glass doors to see what I look like. I lean forward a lot, very noticeably. Looks intense, but not good form. And to lean for 16 miles is kinda crazy - maybe in sprints (and even then, it should just be the beginning). The tilt can signify a tight IT band or overactive hamstrings (not sure what that means... I think my hammys are overly shortened, and I guess that's the same thing as overactive, b/c it's stuck in a contracted position).

As I said, the run didn't last. I tried the more hip swing trick (my own trick - don't try it at home w/o consulting someone who actually knows stuff), but it didn't seem to help much. My ankle wasn't doing great either. I was thirsty b/c of much salt today. Sucked on a Margarita Shot Blok while I ran - got sickeningly sweet/tiring, and I would've spit it out if I had somewhere to do it while continuing to run.

Wore 1225's - 3rd time overall, 2nd time w/ arches. Btw, bought new arches - same company Sof Sol, but this time, the Stability version vs. the Arch support version. Didn't know Stab existed, ow wd've tried that first. Body got tired quickly muscularly. Had longer days @ work and less sleep this week, which probably contributed. You need fresh muscles to absorb the impact, so it's better to be fresh.

Didn't foam roll for the first time in 5 days. Too sore afterwards (probably thinking "then you shd especially roll!) but I didn't want to endure that. Legs sore the next day too - hasn't been sore in a long time - maybe the 2 degrees did it.

Craving an oily, omega-3-filled farm-raised salmon right now. So good. But it's 2:39am and not happening. Also in nutrition news, I've been drinking less water lately b/c my Nalgene is now used for defrosting my car and isn't around. When it's sitting there on my kitchen counter, it reminds me to drink more, and b/c it's so big (vs. a mug), I chug a lot at a time - like a mugful, and not think anything of it.


FAITH:

I'm afraid that my butt won't ever get better. Am I constantly re-tearing w/e's wrong and making it scar up again? These days, it's no longer my joints that are the limiting factor but the muscle or w/e. My runs end b/f they even start.

2 Cor 12 > " 7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

So hard. He pleaded for it to be taken away, but God had other plans.

Luke 18 > 1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

That's about getting justice, though, if not on earth then in heaven. I guess with fully functional bodies it's the same thing, though - if not on earth then in heaven.

I feel like the penguin who wished for wings to work.

Monday, December 14, 2009

GEAR GUIDE: Foam Roller


Got it 4 days ago and have been using it every day since. I don't know whether it gets less painful b/c you're becoming more flexible, or if you're just getting used to the feeling.

This thing is versatile - you can work your 1) shins, 2) quads, 3) calves, 4) hamstrings, 5) upper butt, 6) inside thigh, 7) IT band, 8) upper front thigh, 9) back. You can add pressure by putting one leg over the other to double the weight. You can point your toes different ways to hit different sides of the muscles.

You also get a nice arm workout, and I often end my working of a spot by collapsing and just lying there for a sec.

$20 seems pricey for a piece of styrofoam, but that's less than the cost of a single massage session, and you can do it whenever. This brand also includes a well-made DVD, although you can find plenty of similar videos online, I'm sure.

Dec 14

FIT:
Dec 10> 60 min Strength (including PT) - 2x2min plank, 1 min side planks, 60s 6in, 2x15 tridips, 35 pushups, 30 superman, bands, 3x30 quaddips (record), no wt 50 pillows.
Butt x-sore but ow legs doing good! Yay quad dips.

Dec 11> First time w/ the roller (gear guide to come). Great. Lower back, quads, shins, butt had the most pain.

Dec 12> Treadmill - 3.6 mi in 27:00. 8:12 @ 1 mi, 8:00 @ 2mi, 7:03 @ 3 mi, 0:38 @ 3.1 mi (23:53), 3:06 @ 3.6 mi. Pretty good besides rt knee, which only felt 75% stable. Held 6:15ish pace for maybe 0.75 mi at the end of the run. Clicking away fine til rt knee cdn't handle safely. 2pm. 3's. Treadmill trembles sub 7:00. 7:30 ave pace.

Dec 13> 65 min Strength - bands, mat, billy (including PT). Rt butt sometimes hurts today. 2:30/2:00 planks, 40 fast pushups, 2x15 tridips, billy arms, superman, 200 crunches, 50/45/50 leg lifts and clam, 60s 6in.

Dec 14> Treadmill - 3.2 mi in 24:32. 7:48 1 mi, 7:45 1 mi, 7:30 1 mi, 1:28 0.2 mi. Pumped up @ start watching Sing Off. Rt butt still x-sore, but no notice during run. Speed up helps rt knee tracks some - maybe also speeds up injury, tho? 1225's, ice bath post, as always. 7:40/mi ave.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dec 9 - probable PR... 21:37 5K

FIT:
Dec 2> 3.1 mi in 21:22* (that's the time once I was up to speed, so I actually went a bit of dist free of time). Treadmill> 7:30 for 1/2 mi, 7:00 1 mi, 6:30 1/2 mi, 7:00 1/2 mi, 6:30 1/4 mi, 6:15 1/4 mi. Post less sleep week, then 1.5 hr nap. Able to go fast (7:30) from start, bod felt almost 100% today (knees minor kinks). Did hip swings in case when I remembered to. 3's. POSSIBLE PR! Rt quad tight post, rt knee unstable too. Iced in pool. 9pm. Rt hamstring very tight.

Dec 3> Tennis w/ MS and relaxed throwing frisbee. HR up w/ the tennis. Post stretches & bit of leg PT. Inner knees not 100% when running after balls.

Dec 4> 1.5 mi on treadmill @ 1 degree> 8:30-6:45/mi. Slow run stopped by lower outer rt knee pain. Then, tried walking (lev 4.0) on treadmill at 12 degrees (the max). Cdn't walk 100% smoothly, either, and felt like I was risking exacerbating the injury. Then, 30 min strength. Rt flexor band impossible. 25/40 leg lifts, 35 superman, 200 crunches, 2 min plank, 1 min side planks, 40 pushups, 20 tridips, 30 pillows w/ wts midleg.

Dec 6-7, hurting in lower outer rt knee

Dec 9> LEGIT PR... 3.1 mi in 21:37, w/ rolling start. Treadmill> 7:30 for 0.5, 7:15 for 0.5, 7:00 for 1, 6:40 for 0.5, 6:30 for 0.5... 6:58/mi ave. Getting closer to my 6:45 goal pace. Post week of less sleep again. Rt knee tiniest off but ok. Tired in last mi and eased off pace in last 0.3 mi but turned it on again for finish. Iced post. 3's. PF some sore & inner rt quad bit tight post, feeling knotty. haha....