Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dec 28

A long stint without running... 5 days.  Disney and Universal were fun, but towards the end of the first day, my right outer arch started having some major pain with each step.  Strange, that simple [but plentious] walking caused it.  We went to three parks in 1 day on the first day and walked a tonnnnn.  It might've been the shoes I chose - the Progrid, without arches.  I thought going around without arch supports would help to strengthen my feet, but maybe a bad decision.  It was pretty bad, and I was concerned about whether I had ruined my Houston shot.

It didn't get any better over the next three days.  But with so long without running, I had to try to run.  It worked okay.  Some pain/stiffness/vibrations from what seems to be a loose strand of something in my foot.  But it was manageable.  15.5 in 2:09:22, 8:21 ave.  Just under MP.  Wore Kinvaras, shades, a visor, and my Boston tech tee.  Gloves for the first mile, since it was in the 40s.  Would've preferred shoes w/ arch supports, but I left those in Gvl, since I didn't think I'd have any issues.  No water, no fuel.  No water was fine, since it was cold, but I did get just a wee bit glycogen-deprived in the brain the last couple miles, but it wasn't bad or anything. 

Definitely slowed down a I went.  I went out fast b/c it was cold and I was excited to run and make up for lost training time.  Splits> 18:01, 18:07, 17:55, 18:32, 18:41, 19:01.

Foot... just the normal pain, I guess.  Quads finally got worked.  They don't get worked much walking, but the calves do. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dec 22

Back home today.  Did 3 loops... seemed daunting at first, b/c I was tired from lots of work in the past couple of days, plus travel.  It was too soon after dinner, though, and my tummy was very uncomfortable.  Very uncomfortable, even after the one hour mark.  Oh well.

Did a fartlek b/c it's been a while since my last speed session.  More than 3 weeks ago.  It's been tough, between recovering from my first 20, then the hip injury, and travel and work.  I rather enjoy track workouts, but for some reason, fartleks seem harder to me.  Maybe because there's no real metric for how hard you're going.  With the track, you have target paces or well-defined distances.  On the treadmill, you either manage the speed of the machine, or you fly off or quit.  With fartleks, it's hard to say if you're pushing hard enough, or not hard enough.  And at the end, there's not as much of a sense of accomplishment, b/c it wasn't very measureable.

It was alright, though.  It's good to mix up workouts.  I did a mile warmup, then about 4.7 miles worth of 2:20ish on, 3:20ish off.  6.6 (really 6.675, I think, but let's be conservative) in 52:29, 7:57 ave.  Better than I thought.  But I guess when you take into account the speedy parts, it's about right.

My hip was strained a bit by the workout.  I'd like to get another one in tomorrow morning, but that may not happen.  We're headed out to Orlando.  So that means I'll probably have to postpone this week's 16er as well.  It'll be okay.  It takes a while to recover from the 20 anyways.  I had 2 days of total rest, and I felt pretty good today.

Wore Kinvaras and my XC singlet, plus oxysox.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dec 19

My 2nd 20!  20.1 in 2:56:51, 8:48 ave.  Napped, woke to run.  Still recovering from lack of sleep last week and on the flights, but I felt okay.  Kept eating this morning.  Dunno if it's stress/sadness, or if I was subconsciously prepping for the 20.  Would've slept longer, but with sunset at 5:15, had to get going.

Wore a singlet and arm warmers... only had the arm warmers and lite gloves in the first mile.  Also carried water on my Nike belt... 12oz.  Didn't drink it all.  Stashed it about 2 miles into the run, so that I wouldn't have to pound with it the whole way.  Ate 2/3 a gel about halfway in.  Didn't really need anything beyond that.  Efficient, I guess.  Only needed about 6 oz of water b/c it ws cold.  Oxysox. 

- Outer right knee was nagging for the first 3 miles.  Had to stop and stretch it out, b/c it would be terrible to continue irritating it for 20 miles.  Stretching seemed to help make it go away, thankfully.  Making up for a missed 20 would be tough.
- Wanted to stop after 5 miles for some reason... don't remember what was wrong, but I kept going, somehow.
- The run got much easier after the halfway point and I felt like I just sped it up from there.  Strange.
- Rolled my inner left ankle pretty hard 2 hrs into the run.  Tough to keep running on it for a couple of miles, then it got better. 

Splits> 8:23 b, 29:21 lap, 29:12 lap, 29:54 lap, 29:27 lap, 28:56 lap, 13:32 minilap, 8:06 car.

Took it easy at the beginning, which helped me finish so trong.  Plus, I think I'm gaining endurance.  Probably couldn't run something speedy right now in a 5k, but I've had to focus on keeping myself healthy enough for the long runs.  Speedwork is risky.  No racing for the same reason.  Looking to the long term.

Good run, though.  Glad I somehow got over the 3 potential show-stoppers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec 16 - p

3rd run in BA.  This time, outside!  I had scouted it out walking around yesterday, when I was walking around to take in some of the sights and find a place to have dinner.  The ecological preserve had just closed when I got there, but I still got to run on the dirt path alongside it, and it was a nice run.  I felt like I wasn't going very fast for the first 3+ miles, maybe b/c of the grass, maybe b/c my body is exhausted from a lack of sleep and stressful workdays.  But once I got to the pavement in the last half mile, I turned it on.

The weather was surprisingly cool for summer... still warm but not at all uncomfy.  I went out in my singlet, plus the Shadow Pak (very handy) holding a credit card and cash.  After dinner, I found Freddo, and ice creamy place where I got the light chocolate trifecta (3 toppings - I picked almonds, what looked like choc nibs but were probably chocolate covered cake crumbs or somethng, and berries).  A nice way to end a run. 

4.3 in 36:06, 8:24 ave.  Not bad, I guess.  I felt slow and heavy-legged.  Dunno if it's the marathon training making me slow, or all the food I've been having.  My splits are kind of meaningless.  I just took them to help me later trace my route on mapmyrun.com, by marking my times (from which I can guess distance) at various monuments.  But I meandered a bit.  I'm glad I finally got to take in a bit of the city on fast foot, though. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dec 14

Run 2 in Buenos Aires (unfortunately, on a treadmill and not in the nature preserve... but at least I can see the tops of the trees in the nature preserve from the 14th floor gym).  But still cool.  It's a nice gym, with a big screen TV an a water cooler.  The equipment works well... 2 treadmills with built-in fans, plus an elliptical and something else - probably a bike?  The equipment was even better than the ones by the Philadlphia airport... same model and everything, I think, but in good condition here.

Blah... tired.  Falling more and more behind on sleep.  Blah.

Today, we didn't linger for a 2.5 hour dinner like before... only about an hour plus a little, so I had an hour and a half to get ready for a run. 

10k in 52:31 on the usual 1 degree treadmill, 8:27/mi.  Hmm...  felt difficult for the first 40 minutes b/c my food was still digesting.  I thought I had finished my meal 30 min before... but I guess I usuall need about an hour after a big meal to run comfortably, so I guess the 40 minutes after I started was reasonable.  I guess all the blood flow diverted to my tummy and the abs needed to keep everything in place made the running feel  like it was harder.  I started feeling much better after the 40 minutes... much better.

K splits> 5:20, 5:19, 5:19, 5:19, 5:19 (26:39 5k), 5:19, 5:19, 5:16 (42:35... as you may guess), 5:09, 4:47.

Last time, my heart felt clogged/ I felt out of shape... probably more the lack of running than the food I ate.  I really didn't eat that badly... just 2 not that lean steaks, plus 2 desserts, plus another dinner with lots of red meat.  This time, it's been very good so far.  The only things that I usually don't eat are the small amounts of cream that might've bee used in the saffron sauce that my trout was served with yesterday, the au gratin for lunch totday that seemed pretty straightforward with potatoes and some eggs and probably not much cream, and perhaps ghee in my dal at the Indian place today.  So good.  I'm eating 3 big meals, instead of my 7 small meals.  My body's used to going longer periods without food, though.  Started as my mileage increasesd / weight dropped.  Maybe my metabolism just slowed some.  Dunno.  I don't think I overcompensate later on or anything, so it's fine.

Eeehhhh, have to work... but it's 11:30pm. 

Each work day lasts for a long time.  Today was faster.  Got more into a groove.  Less stressing out.  Only Tuesday!  Yesterday, it was like "only Monday!" - felt like 3 days worth of activity.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec 12

Hola from Buenos Aires!  Landed this morning at around 9:30 BA time, 7:30 Eastern.  The long leg of the flight was 10 hrs.  Even before I left the States, during my long run, my tummy felt like it had a mind of its own.  Usually, I have no GI issues, but it's started up.  Maybe it's distance-related?  Dunno.  Nothing else has really changed.  I was theoretically fine during the flight.  I enjoyed some quality snacks in the Crown Room at the airport.  And I kind of like the airplane food.  But it kind of all just sat in my stomach during the flight, like a rock.  I didn't feel hungry appetite-wise in the morning, although I could feel that my body was a little bit in need of food.  Just a little.  Then, I was really hungry by the time we got to the hotel, and since we got to check in early, I was able to hit the free breakfast and loaded up on some good food - 3 kiwis, yerba mate, 2 lite yogurts (which is really like 1 yogurt), and ham.  Had an apple and chocolate later.  Since they eat dinner so late, I was hungry leading up to it, although I lost my appetite a bit by the time we all started gathering to walk to the restaurant.  The salmon was good, along with Malbec and lemoncello (vodka + lemon juice + sugar), and a few fries and a bit of tomato salad. 

The fitness room is on the 14th floor of the Holiday Inn Express and overlooks the port, which is awesome.  The view was pretty sweet early in the day when I visited.  I had to rush to go there after dinner b/c it was closing in an hour and I had to get in my last 4 for the week.  It's not as pretty as night b/c all of the lights in the room kind of make it hard to see anything outside.  It was a nice gym with good equipment and a big TV, though.  I started going at my usual 7.0mph... except it seemed like walking pace.  It took me a while to realize that it was constant and not simply on its way speeding up.  Then, I realized it was probably in metric.  So I sped it up gradually.  That explains what'll be a slower time.

I was limping a little earlier in the day, but by the end of the day, it seemed fine.  Doing some calculations in my head, I figured 6.6km would get me close to 4.0mi.  It was 4.1.

4.1 in 34:40, 8:27 ave.  K splits> 5:31, 5:17, 5:16, 5:15, 5:14 (26:35 5k), 5:06, 2:58 for 0.6.

Immediately afterwards, I found out that the food didn't agree with me... or at least with the running.  I don't know what it was.  During the run, it just felt like the normal discomfort when you run immediately (like 10 min) after dinner.  But apparently, it was more than that.  Maybe the vodka + red wine mix.  I wasn't the least bit dizzy, though.  Maybe the raw tomatoes.  Ah, oh well.  I feel fine now.  At first, when I got back to my room, I couldn't stand to watch the Argentinian food network, which I usually keep it on (and even keep on while I sleep... somehow it's comforting), but it's back on now, ad I feel fine.

Oh, yesterday... or, today.  Wow, it's been a long day.  A nap, a bit of work, shopping for souvenirs and taking pictures/videos, a walk with colleagues, dinner outing.  Plus TV.  I got to watch The Office AND Friends... two of my favorite shows, in English here.  Nice.

Well, it's almost midnight here now, but I'm going to do a bit more prep work for work.  Blah.  Glad I at least got some done earlier today, otherwise the stress would've been building up.  Okay... time to relax, enjoy my big bed, work, and keep an eye on the TV.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dec 11

At the airport off to Buenos Aires.  I have 16 scheduled for today and 20 scheduled a week from now.  Fortunately, the flight works out so that I can run right before I leave, and run right after I get back and still stay on schedule.

I did 15.3 today... cut it short b/c my right butt/hip has been somewhat injured, so I didn't want to take it too far.  Plus, they turned off the water at the water fountain I've been using.  Boo.  So I was getting a little thirsty towards the end.  The rest was okay.  No biggie, esp b/c it was like 53 degrees at most. 

Ate 2/3 a Larabar, 5 Jelly Belly Sport beans.  Beforehand, had eel, some oatmeal, and cherry juice.  The study on cherry juice had people drink it before their bike session, so I tried "before" this time.  No pain, and surprisingly limited pain from he hip, so I'm happy.  Oxysox, Kinvaras - nee some longer runs in them to determine if they're really able to take me through 26.2.  Today was fine.

15.3 in 2:13:02, 8:42 ave.  Splits> 8:07 b shortened now that there's a bridge, 6:20 p short, 7:49 c, 7:50 p, 7:43 b long, 6:30 p short, 7:47 c, 7:46 p, 7:32 b long, 6:20 p short, 7:34 c, 7:33 p, 7:37 b long, 6:13 p short, 7:26 c, 7:26 p, 7:18 b long, 8:04 c.  Definitely a progression run.  Goods to see I was speeding up, and not slowing down.  Legs could've gone farther, but wanted to take it easy for the hip's sake.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec 7

Working.  Working hard on running, working hard at work.  Keep pushing.  Last night, took an hour nap from 12:30-1:30 am, then a 2 hr meeting, very awake for another hour and a half, then slept 3 hrs.  Feel fine at work... eyes worn, I guess, but mentally fine... feels like college state.

After downing a big bowl of napa, tofu, and brown rice for dinner, took a 30 min nap, then time to run. 

6.2 in 49:58, 8:04 ave.  n1224's w/ arches, Oxy, long sleeve tech shirt.  66 degrees.  Was a little sore today during work, and post-run.  During the run, my right leg was a little numb, but not bad.

Splits> (25:36 for 5k), 7:59, 7:57, 7:46, 1:25 for 0.2.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dec 5

What a difference a nap can make.  I was limping a bit in church... right butt.  Had a biiiig lunch and then went down for a 3 hr nap.  After the nap, the butt felt much better.  Almost not noticeable.  It was more noticeable whe I was running, but much more manageable today.  The run felt much easier than yesterday's run.  Much easier.  The time flew by, too, as I watched The Amazing Race.  Wish I could be training for that, haha.  So cool.

Anyway, wore sox, Kinvaras.  Oh yeah, no left inner achilles pain anymore!  Strange.  Just the butt.  I did foam roll last night, to try to help the butt.  Don't know how helpful it was, since it was still kinda bad this morning.  Maybe it helped some.  Oh... the left achilles... I did "ice" it a little bit... I had some lox that I had stuck in the freezer, and I was craving protein, so I thought I'd thaw it out and get in a little icing in the process.  So I iced with lox, then ate the lox.  Haha.

7.0 in 56:45... almost the same speed as yeserday!  Just 4 sec faster!  And it felt soo much easier.  Splits> 8:20, 8:17, 8:14, (25:40), 8:07, 8:05, 7:56, (50:35), 7:43.

Dec 4

Oh, tough week.  Tried to run Thursday, but my inner left achilles was bad and would've just sustained permanent damage if I didn't just give it up.  I biked instead, and that felt fine.  Some rigorous intervals.  10 min warmup, 8x[2 min on, 30s off], 15 min cooldown.  68 degrees, n3's w/ Spenco, Oxysox.

Yesterday, just too tired.  Could've tried to get in the run, but I figured it would make little difference if I waited til Saturday morning.

Saturday, spent the morning reading, a little nap... woke up groggy and had to get in the run b/f an Xmas party.  Managed to get in the 7.0.  Wanted to stop at 6.2, but kept it going, despite the left ankle.  Wanted to keep going for mental training purposes.  Last mile hard mostly due to fatigue.  Dunno.  My right outer hip/butt is a bit messed up again, and the ankle's hard to walk on.  Blah.

7.0 in 56:49, 8:07 ave.  Splits> 8:22, 8:18, 8:17, (25:48), 8:11, 8:01, 7:57, (50:44), 7:38.  Sped it up last half b/c it hurt less that way.

Wonder why I'm somewhat injured now.  Thanksgiving week, I didn't stretch.  Or maybe it was the 20 (on top of a 19 and a 17)... blah.  I could use sleep to recover, but that may not come easily.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov 29

7.0 in 54:12, 7:45 ave.  Nice... goal MP.  Still had some left at the end.  Had to keep speeding up to help keep my legs from nagging.

Kinvaras... probably helped, Oxysox, tv. 

Splits> 8:13, 8:05, 7:56, (25:01), 7:43, 7:36, 7:26, (48:28), 7:15... brilliant.

It was supposed to be an easy run, but it was... medium.  Couldn't help it.  It felt good.

I rate it as a "very good" run, since it went well just for a run and super well, considering the 20.3 two days ago.   Part of the reason it went well, besides the shoes, was probably that it was 5 degrees cooler than normal... 69 degrees... still 10 degrees above the ideal, so still a good bit of potential.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov 27

First 20 miler! (20.3 in 2:56:28, 8:42 ave)

9xByd loop, 9am, 49-52-54-56 degrees.  GTC singlet, Nike soccer shorts, Pak w/ Larabar tht I didn't eat and 11 jellybeans that I did eat, n1224 w/ arches, oxysox, shufflt (2 hrs podcasts, 1 hr music), 1/2 L h20 stuck in the mailbox - lasted the whole run - took some every 4.5 miles w/o issues.  Varied the paths, so it's expected if the splits are different, but obviously, I slowed down. 

Splits> 19:08, 18:35, 18:59, 19:30, 19:36, 19:46, 20:10, 20:13, 20:27.  Last mile, my legs were tired, though they started getting a little tired from the third loop.  Poor pacing.  8:13 for my fastest and 9:03 for my slowest. 

Injury-wise, brilliant.  Only issue was my tummy feeling like it had a rock or knot in it from mi 3 onwards, but not a biggie.  Maybe made me desire food/drink less than I would otherwise.

Dad rode his bike w/ me the whole way, which is nice.  3 hrs on a bike!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nov 25


4.5 in 34:31, 7:40 ave.

Byd loop, 5pm, 74 degrees.  Very tired b/c up very late last couple of nights, but had to get this in.  Grass cambered and less even than what I've been used to.  n1224's w/ arch, oxysox, shuffle.  Slower 1st loop but pushed it during the 2nd loop b/c it was getting dark quick.  Splits> 18:09, 16:21.  Little bulldog/pug got free and looped my legs w/ his leash, but it was friendly.  Knees a bit poundy during the first loop - scary, but it seemed to improve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov 22

Work's hard work.  But I guess afterwards, you'e like "yes, finished it even though it was tough, and now I can rest for a little bit," just like you say after a tough workout.  Whew.

Slept just 5 hrs last night... was up late cleaning the apt.  I had a nice, deep nap after work and woke up really drowsy.  I think I woke by my internal alarm clock... maybe... since it was just a minute before my cell phone alarm was supposed to go off.  I was soooo out of it and so not in the mood to run.  No injuries, just very tired.  But I went out, just like you go to work even if you're tired. 

Anyway, once I was set on going out, I was physically ready.  Time to push the intervals.  Shake things up.  Keep the body having to adapt to new stresses.  Did shorter and faster intervals for a change.

The workout: 1 mi warmup at about 7.3 mph... kinda fast for a warmup, but I didn't want the sudden shift up to 10mph to be too much of a shock, so I wanted to have a faster starting point.  Then, 4x[1/4 @ 10mph, 1/4 @ 8mph], 0.1 mi "cooldown" at 8mph.  It was tough going that fast.  My right back was really tight, left over from yesterday's bike session (oh yeah... biked 50 min yesterday for 10.9 mi... stopped early b/c left knee issues that were okay afterwards).  That bike seat or maybe me is asymmetrical.  Boo.

Anyway, 3.1 in 22:30, 7:15 ave.  Wore the Saucony Fastwitch for a change from the Kinvaras.  Seemed okay.  Wore UA calf sleeves... still good.  Had tart cherry juice afterwards.  I think my body wants more calories these days.  Had trouble napping the afternoon after the 19.2 LR... I think it was because my body was hungry (even if my mind wasn't).  I need to be okay with eating more if I really do need it.  It's a bit scary to suddenly needing more, but I guess it should be expected and okay.

I really appreciate the healing powers of sleep these days.  Sleep = recovery.

3.1 is kinda short... only 4 reps, but I guess I can't log too many this week anyway with the 20 this weekend.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nov 20

Well, meant to do 18, but it turned out to be 19.2  Oh man.  I added 0.5 because I needed to use the restroom at the beginning - didn't wanna have to carry around extra water for 18 miles.  Then, I proceeded to do my planned route... discovered a calculation error just now, and it was really 18.7, not 18.  So Ended up with 19.2.

Wore 2 belts.  Shadow Pak to carry the iTouch b/c both my Shuffle and the Sensa ran out of batteries.  The iTouch ran out as well, half-way into the run.  It was okay... music in my head, ability to concentrate more on the run.  It was nice having the podcast while it lasted.  I had just read about the brain while running, how your higher level thinking parts of the brain kinda shut off so that more of what sustains the brain can be diverted to the sections that control motor skills.  That's why it's so mind-clearing to run.  Anyway, it was nice to just half listen to the podcast and otherwise zone out.

Besides that, I added my race number belt to hold a little capsule in which I placed 5 PowerBar Gel Blasts.  Ate 1 before the run and the other 4 within the first hour.  More hungry than normal for some reason.  This was an 11am run, and I had eaten tortilla chips, salsa, and 75% light cheese beforehand.  Dunno.  Luckily, I had also packed a mini 100-Cal Clif Bar, which I spread over the next 1:45 by eating 1/3 of it every 4ish miles.  Wore the UA calf sleeves... okay.  A little tight at the top, but no real complaints.  n1224's on my feet.

At first, the right outer knee that I had messed up a bit when running too close to the front of the treadmill would nag during uphills, but I was careful, and it went away.  Towards the end, had moments of slowing down a good bit, but it usually passed.  Good mental (and phys) training for the full.  Visor.  Used sunscreen this time, b/c I've been getting very tanned from just this one weekly long run.

That's about it.  Afterwards, an apple, a carrot, protein powder.  Then, once home, tart cherry juice to fight inflammation.  Then a nice hot shower. 

Splits... arg.  Missed getting some.  Don't really feel like typing it out, but I guess I just have to do it once, and it'll be saved foever.  Better to do it than not to do it.  18:19 p short including bathroom, 7:29 c, 7:31 p, 7:26 b long, 6:14 p short, 7:35 c, 7:34 p, 7:28 b long, 13:34 c, 7:38 p, 7:15 b long, 6:05 p short, 7:28 c 7:31 p, 7:20 b long, 6:10 p short (slowed down... now 2:12 into the run), 7:42 c, 7:47 p, 7:23 b long, 9:44 car.  I was taking baby steps up that last big long uphill.  Couldn't manage much more.

Great run, though.  19.2  Whew!

// 11/21 addition:
A couple things to note.  I drank water about every 4 miles... maybe 5 sips each time, yet in the last 2 of the 5 stops, I was getting pretty sick of water, like I had too much.  It didn't seem like the quantity would've been particularly much, and I should have been sweating some, especially in the heat.  Yet going by thirst, I'd guess that I'd had too much.  I didn't do any of that weighing before vs. after, b/c then I have to count the food I ate afterward and during, and the bathroom break, etc, and it's just a lot of trouble.  But I stumbled upon this http://sweatscience.com/dehydration-and-change-in-body-mass-not-linked-after-all/ from Sweat Science, and it's pretty interesting.

Also, it took me a while this time to get the right tightness of my left shoe.  Bother.  I'll have to maybe mark my shoelaces to get it right the first time at the full.  I would not want to have to stop to adjust my laces 5 times during the full.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov 18

Took 2 whole days of rest... no strength as planned b/c too tired.  A meeting til 2am on Monday probably did it.  Considered doing the missed strength workout this morning, but my muscles/body was cold and not in workout mode.  Safer to work out warm.  Could've warmed up, I guess, but that would've taken time I didn't have.  I slept at 8:30 and woke at 6:30.  Seemed lke it would've been a lot... oh wait... that's 10 hrs, not 6 hrs.  Still so tired!  Ok.

Well, did 4.5 today.  Progression run on 1 degree tread, 75 degrees.  Wore the Saucony Paramount.  My right outer lower knee was hurting, maybe b/c for the first mile, I was using the iTouch, which rested on the treadmill console.  I had to stay kind of close to the console due to the headphone cord.  I was pretty close, afraid of hitting my arms on the treadmill, which probably messed up my form.  I put the iTouch away because of that, and the knee stopped having issues.  I had to do some form tweaks throughout to keep things rolling okay, but it was fine.

4.5 in 34:54, 7:45 ave.  Splits> 15:58 for 2, 7:43, (24:29), 7:37, 3:34 for 0.5.

Afterwards, some new recovery products!  Tart cherry juice!  Usually, I take no juice, which is just a sugar spike.  But this stuff is supposed to do a lot to keep down muscle soreness and inflammation.  The studies involved drinking it before the run, but it probably wouldn't hurt too much to do it after.  We'll see.  I also used the Cryo Cup, which... melts and leaves you in a puddle.  I used it while icing with two reusable cold packs.  I'm like eh about the product.  Something to mix in, but the packs take less work and is less messy.  I couldn't apply that much additional pressure with the Cryo Cup, so eh...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov 15

Movin on up.  Another speed session in my Kinvaras. 

1. Couple sessions of 6x[1/4 @ 9mph, 1/4 @ 7.5mph]... 1.5mi quality
2. Couple sessions of 4x[1/2 @ 9mph, 1/4 @ 7.5mph]... 2 mi quality
3. Today a session  of 3x[3/4 @ 9mph, 1/4 @ 7.5mph]... 2.25 mi quality

It's great b/c there's more quality work over time, on top of reduced rest.

It went well.  No cooldown of 0.5 like I had initially planned b/c someone was waiting for the treadmill, but it's okay.  3.5 in 25:09, 7:11 ave.  Great.  Even better considering the 79 degree heat. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nov 13

After 2 years, I've finally gotten back to doing 16.6, with a 16.9er!  It went well... no big drop in pace at the end, like I used to have in Pton. I was going slower, which is part of the reason, but it was hotter, too, so the slower performance was understandable.  The best part - no injuries!  Even the knees were fine.  Looked kinda red when I checked about halfway through, but never poundy!

Ate 5 Powerbar Gel Blasts, which I really like.  I still think Gels are more convenient... faster, easier to swallow b/c you don't have to chew.  But the Gel blasts are probably my favorite of the solid running fuels I've tried... The Banana Strawberry Gel Blasts were surprisingly not sickeningly sweet like the Shot Bloks, Gu Chomps, and Jelly Belly Sport.  It was muted and tastey.  It was also not sticky... more solid than the others, which meant you got more of it into your tummy, rather than all between your teeth.  It was like it had a powdered coating, too, so no mess on your fingers.  Ate the 5 about 40% into the run, gradually.  Since it wasn't sickeningly sweet, it didn't make you feel like you had to have water immediately afterwards.  I could wait a mile or two before the water without any real discomfort.

Back to the run... umm... went out at 11am-ish.  Chilly at first.  Temps climbed gradually.  It was hotter at the end, but since I was lower on energy, too, my body didn't mind.  So if it is mid->upper 60's at the marathon, I at least won't be uncomfotable.  I may be slower, but it won't be painful due to the heat.  I did sweat a fair bit... I was powdery with dried sweat salt.  Very powdery.  My arms chafed against my body a lot.  Don't know why it's bee chafing the last couple of runs - never really happened before in my entire life.  Need to invest in lube, since it was burning uncomfortable.  But I wonder... a layer of Vasaline would clog up your sweating mechanisms, so that's a drawback... or you may still sweat, but it'll be mixed with Vasaline and just get kinda messy.

Wore a visor, n1224's w/ arches, shades, Oxysox.  16.9 in 2:24:12, 8:32 ave.  Above the goal 8:23, but it was hot, and just a day's rest after a not-easy workout.  Decent temps... can't complain.

Splits> 8:52 b, 6:22 p s, 7:33 c, 7:33 p (haha, perfect, even with the downhill/uphill), 7:24 b l, 6:13 p s, 7:33 c (woah!), 7:30 p, 7:25 b l, 6:06 p s, 7:28 c, 7:20 p (speeding up!), 7:03 b l, 5:55 p s, 7:13 c, 7:09 p, 7:10 b l, 6:01 p s, 7:03 b l, 9:08 car.  Nice... neg split for sure.  Best part... no injuries!

Afterwards, had a protein shake, a grapefruit, and a carrot.  Back at home, I started really craving salt (must've lost a lot), so I had tortilla chips with as much salsa as each chip cold hold, plus some shavings of 75% light cheddar.  So good.  Mmmm... salt.

Oh, I forgot!  A bee stung me in the tummy after mile 1!  I was like "what in the world?" at the stinging that suddenly started.  Then I saw the stinger in me... hard to pull out, maybe b/c it had hooks or something, but got it out and went on.  For the next few miles, it kept stinging, especially when my Nathan Shadow Pak would touch it.  I totally forgot about it after mile 6 or something, though.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nov 11

I slept 10+ hours last night.  Luxurious.  Overnight, my swollen, a bit poundy legs recovered.  Sleep = recovery.  I need to do it more.  Like magic.

I felt good about being able to hit today's 6 without issues, since my legs were a lot better after the good night's rest.  My inner left ankle had a little achilles tendinosis going on at work, but... either I ignored it or didn't notice it during the run. 

The run went fairly well.  My right butt feels a tad numb now, the right TA was a little screamy during a couple (only a couple) of extensions, and my right TA got a little numb during the last couple miles when things got fast.  But no show-stopping issues. 

Progression run.  6 is about right, since I plan to hit 26.8 for the week as it is, and I don't want to go any more than that.  I'm icing now.  The last couple miles were tough cardiovascularly, maybe largely from a side stitch I got on my left lung b/c I ate microwaved romaine right before the run, and it was digesting.

6.2 in 49:53, 8:03 ave.  Splits> 8:24, 8:17, 8:07, (25:37), 7:56, 7:50, 7:47, 1:27 for 0.2.

Icing now.  Gotta get recovered for Saturday's 16.6.  Maybe rest tomorrow, to be safe.  Maybe bike... eh, most likely, PT.  That always helps things feel good and seems to keep injury at bay.

My Shuffle died a mile in, so from mi 3 onwards, I counted down the miles in 0.05 mile increments... helped to pass the time.

Houston Hype 2 - Race Reviews

Very exicited, so I'll just find something to post about, just so that I can talk about it, haha.

Went onto Marathonguide.com to look for notes about the race experience:

- I think that I counted over 15 families that had cut up oranges and bananas along the way. If you for get your GU/PowerGel, no worries!
-  There was lots of fruit on the course and plenty of fluids.
- My only complaint would be that the hydration tables were too short. Twice I couldn't merge quickly enough to get a cup of water/Gatorade. (2009)
- I was disappointed that there was no GU handed out at mile 20 this year, but the beer stop at 21 still remained. (2009)

- Houston weather in January is a crapshoot, but this year it was pretty perfect.
- Some have mentioned the heat. I don't know what the temperature was, but we were kept abreast via the large signage. Maybe high 60's? There was a bit of a breeze and I personally had no problem with weather. I think the two years prior have been cooler, so I wouldn't dismiss this race due to temps. (2009)
- Although it is relatively cool in Houston, the weather can be tricky and tends to be on the hotter and clear sky-side. (2009)
- What made it more disappointing was that there were several cold fronts for the entire past week and possibly more to come next week. Somehow the marathon had to be run during the two-day heat wave. From a starting temperature of 55 it the high 60's, but the sun just would not quit. At the end, many of us discussed over our nice, warm, free breakfast over how the adverse weather affected our times. (2009)

- It starts off with more of an incline than you expect from the elevation chart, which is surprising, and the overpass somewhere along 15 or 16 was kind of brutal, but for the most part it is flat as billed and should be a PR course if the weather cooperates.

- The course was flat - the only grade could really be felt as you cross bridges.
- Only negatives would be that the course is a bit dull and there is a wicked camber on the roads, something like 2 feet in height between the median and the curb. Felt like I was running on a banked track; I am sure one leg is now shorter than the other!
- The mile splits were incredible - tall banners that could not be missed and officials reading out average split times.
- Half marathoners keep separate from full marathoners... real nice!
- The corral system was ok, either faster or slower, but it worked out fine, since the streets were plenty wide. Lots of porta-potties - I counted at least 300 throughout the race, some 2 miles apart.
- Also, the fact that in the last few miles the half-marathoners and full marathoners were on separate sides of Allen Parkway made finishing much more enjoyable than other races (i.e. ING Georgia), which have both trying to ply the same roads in the last few miles.  (2009)
- Concrete almost all of the way, but it's better than running on some of our city's badly potholed streets.  (2009)
- The only negative is that the streets were pretty rough in the first half (a lot of patches and uneven surfaces), and of course, you have to run on concrete. (2009)
- The course was spacious and well marked. There was never a time that you questioned if you had made a wrong turn. The spectators were fabulous. Every foot of every mile there were crowds of people lining the streets, giving encouragement to the runners. (2009)
- Bibs were HUGE this year - annoying. VERY crowded for the first 3-4 miles. (2009)
- Houston is very spread out, so you don't really run through downtown, but you get to experience all of the great and interesting neighborhoods here. Read up on all of the neighborhoods in your program. Houston is very spread out, so you don't really run through downtown, but you get to experience all of the great and interesting neighborhoods here. Read up on all of the neighborhoods in your program.  (2009)
- There are a few minor hills and one big over pass, but for the most part, it is very flat. You start off running through a not-so-great neighborhood, but by mile 3, the scenery really picks up and you run through some neat areas of town and have pleasant views. (2009)
- The course? Just a small number of minor bumps - they can't even be considered hills. There's one at the start, one just past halfway and then a few between 21 and 23. The rest of the course is flat, flat, flat.  (2009)

- Lots of entertainment on the course.
- Somehow, this years' spectators stand out - both the volunteers and sideline crowds were all super friendly and energizing.
- The course is interesting, with lots of fans and music, and the volunteers are excellent.
- The organization is unbelievable and there are spectators throughout the course encouraging you because the bibs are personalized. (2009)
- You want spectators? Try over 200,000 over the entire course. There's never a dead spot. (2009)

- Only problem I had was parking.
- Plenty of lodging options all within walking distance of the start/finish.
- I parked less than 1/4-mile from the finish and was able to exit downtown with NO problem. (2009)
- It is great to be able to wait inside prior to the race and not be crowded, and it's nice that you end in the same spot. (2009)
- We stayed in the hotel that was at the start line. It was nice to roll out of bed and be there with no wait!(2009)

- They didn't give you a medal until you passed the picture station and I never found another one in the recovery area.
- The finisher shirt, medal, and mug were great.
- After the race you get funneled back into the convention to pick up your medal, shirt and food. They even provide dining tables where you can sit to eat your post-marathon food. Wow!
- The post-race event makes the Houston Marathon a standout. With a large medal; free finisher shirt; free finisher mug; warm breakfast with an egg and sausage, biscuit and salsa; and bananas, cake, bagels, cookies, and ice cream
- OH, and three days later, the pictures are already posted. (2009)
- Big, honking, silver, dinner-plate-sized medal. (2009)
- The post-race food deserves 5 stars. (2009)

- I have completed 7 marathons, and this is one of my top 2 favorites. The expo was huge!
- I don't think the expo is as good as San Antonio, though. You got a lot more free stuff in S.A. and a lot more variety of vendors. This one had too many vendors with the same stuff.

- The organization of this marathon was absolutely the best I've seen (compared to Baltimore, Twin Cities, Myrtle Beach, National Marathon).
- Super organization that sets the standard for other marathons.
- The organization in Houston - from the expo, to the start line, the potties, the course marshals, medics on bikes, aid stations all the way to the finish line, medal, t-shirts and family reunion area - was exceptional.
- So many little extras: food was outstanding, finisher's T-shirt terrific, President George Bush at mile 19, plenty of toilets, good water stations, outstanding volunteers... on and on.
- You must do this at least once. (2009)

FUEL: I'll be fine with the plentiful water and gatorade, but I need to bring my own gels.
TEMPS: I'll have to just get lucky here.  Plan for it to be warm and hope for the best.
COURSE: Be prepared for concrete.  Minimal hills.  Perhaps camber.  Lots of potties if I need, although I probably won't need them.
SUPPORT: Something to look forward to.
PRERACE: Parking... hard to say.  Lodging... since I have a friend there, may stay with them anyways, although the hotels near the start sound nice.
POSTRACE: Nice swag.
EXPO: Should be pretty nice, very efficient.
OVERALL: Expect top-notch organization and an overall awesome experience.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov 8

It feels good to nail a workout.  Knees felt like they needed a strength session for the hips today.  I think that'll help.  But my heart was wanting some cardio by evening.  The training plan calls for 2... that's low.  It also calls for 8 Wed and 16 Sat.  There must be something to having something relatively high, that they'll go as low as 2 on Monday.  Or the formula/optimizers that they use could be under such unreasonable constraints (3:40 marathon on 25-30 mi/wk at the peak) that it's just throwing out workouts that may be unreasonable... it's been the most doable and seemingly effective marathon training plan that I've seen so far, though.  BTW, it's the Runner's World iTouch app sponsored by New Balance.  SmartCoach I think is the name.  The Hanson's beginner program had crazy mileage... up to 47, and ridiculous increases... totally breaking the 10% rule.  Other plans weren't as bad, but they were still too high in mileage.  Jack Daniels' probably works, but the workouts are tough... like I'd be doing race-effort workouts three times a week.  With RW, it doesn't really specify paces, so I just do what's comfortable, and I feel fine about modifying the distances... I keep the weekly total about where they want, I just shuffle mileage around a bit in the first two workouts.

So this is like the last interval session I did, which I was very excited about, since it was a decent step up from what I could do previously.  It's been 9 days since the half, so it's almost safe for me to do intervals again... it went fine.  Wore the Kinvaras again... oh, it was b/c of that that I remembered that I could do a speed session.  I was originally going to do a short base run.  Speed was perfect to do instead.  The shorter runs are the perfect op to do something intense, and I was wanting cardio.

1 mi warmup, 4x[.5 @ 9mph, .25 @ 7.5mph].  4.0 in 29:54, 7:29 ave.  Nice.  Tread 1 degrees.

Had to make my steps smaller... kinda hard when you're going fast... to keep that knee from complaining during the end of the pushoff phase.  My right leg is stiffer than my left leg.  It's bad that it' stiff, but that probably makes its form better than the left foot's, which kind of lands with the toe turned out too much, I think.  Eh, nothing really hurting, at least.

Calves were sore today.  Means I'm doing something!  The last rep was a challenge... the rest were okay.  That's probably a good place to be, if one wants to keep it safe.  Just realized (maybe I realized it last time, though), that this workout is the start of the Yasso 800 test!  4/10-12.  Could I finish it off if I wanted to?  Maybe.  Let's see... if I could hold it for another 6, it would predict a 3:21 finish... perfect!  That is precisely what the charts predict.  And normally, you wouldn't have to run these in 75 degrees.  That may balance out my optimism about being able to do another 6.  And I normally probably wouldn't need to do 7.5mph for the rest intervals... that's pretty fast for rest.  Yay.  Happy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov 7

Aaaah.  Intended 10 plus change, but it turns out it was a 12er.  Nice.  8:25 ave.  A touch above BQ pace.  BQ.  Mmmm..  12 is good, b/c I have 16, then 18, then 20 planned.  Racing 13, doing 10, then jumping up to 16... might've been a big leap.  6 over. 

Yesterday, went hiking w/ my Sunday School.  3.5ish, relaxed, enjoying photo ops in the fall scenery.  The Table Rock trail has nice big rocks, which are unique.  Turned around at the overlook.  Carried an extra pack, making my shoulders a wee bit sore... almost not noticeable, though.  Going downhill, totally somehow stepped on the top of my foot (oooh, they addedthe underline font option in Blogger!), but my oft-damaged ankles are now really flexy, and although the first few steps were like oooh, oooh, it was okay.  Also, one of my knees would have some connective tissue scream when I took larger downhill steps, but I tried to keep the steps small after that, and it seemed to help.

Was itching to run at times during the hike, but once we stopped for an early dinner and then a separate Dunkin Donuts stop, I got really tired.  The sun going down so early contributes, I think.  Man, going out to eat messes up my internal metabolic clock.  Feeling pressured to eat when I'm not hungry, I gotta get something anyways.  And then deep fried food makes me feel a little sick afterwards.  And when the quantities are over what I need, or if I'm craving or needing something due to macronutrient balance or just cravings and I don't, boo... not satisfied til I do get it, and no matter how much other stuff I take in, still not satisfied.

Anyway, the run... the knees were fine.  Still a tiny bit bangy, tiny tiny, but fine.  Wearing sox, they scrunched up at the toes in the left foot, which was uncomfortable... the tighter-fitting Oxysox are what I'd want to go with in a long race like the full, to avoid this kind of issue.  Took 2 water breaks.  Skipped the third, since I was close to finishng the run anyways. 

Splits> 8:36 b, 6:02 p short, 7:18 c, 7:24 p, 7:11 b long, 5:54 p short, 7:29 c, 7:26 p, 7:12 b long, 5:54 p short, 7:19 c, 7:12 p, 7:12 b long, 8:48 car.  Pretty consistent!  Yeah, didn't feel any slower at the end than I did at the beginning, which is good.  Good pacing, good fitness.

Very hungry last 2 miles, but I didn't eat the bar I brought w/ me b/c I was close to finishing the run anyways.  Hey, it's the 11 mile hunger!  Still there.  Didn't feel the 7 mi chills... maybe it's not cold enough.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Houston Hype 1 - Pace and Fuel and Hot Taper

I'm 86 days out and starting to make plans. The course map has been on my office wall for a while, but planning really helps. I knew the course of Spinx really well, with its water stations, turns, roads, elevation changes, and mile marks, and I started studying that only a few days before.

To BQ, I need a 3:40, or an 8:23 pace.
To achieve my potential, I need a 3:23, or a 7:45 pace.
Big difference. But I think the smart thing to do, to guarantee and not sabotage my BQ, is to stick with the 3:40 pace group until maybe mile 20, then turn it up after that. I'll end up finishing slower than my potential, since making up 17 minutes in 6 miles requires about 3min/mile of speeding up... 5:23 for 6 miles... not possible. Thought about maybe starting to pick things up before that, but I'll really have no idea what to expect after 20 miles. Hmm... We'll see. I could probably go to 7:30... 6 minutes off... so 3:34. Dunno. Okay, so maybe this isn't fimed up yet. Or I could just take the BQ (look how confident I am now, ha... what a fool).

Seems like they don't provide gels. That's okay. Gelling at my own pace may be best anyways... maybe a packet every 5 miles... so 5, 10, 15, 20... 4 packs. That's a lot of gel. On top of that, whatever combo of water and Gatorade I'm in the mood for. Going by taste seems to work well for me.

Just now read a verrrrry interesting article on Hot Tapering... so I may be wearing sweats throughout my January runs, even though I usually go with a sports bra even in the snow.

Okay, so that's all I've thought about so far.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nov 3

Today, I got the feeling that I work, run, sleep. While working, I'm tired, and I always want to take a nap after work before I run. But I'm also hungry, so I eat after work, and by the time I'm done, I have to get ready to run before the gym closes. Then, blog, log, and eat some more. Do dishes, a bit of TV, look how late it is. Wake up and do it again. Can't complain. I enjoy running. Work is hard, but it's satisfying to do a good job and to do your best, if only unto the Lord. Tired, but not nearly as bad as college.

Today, ran... glad to get a little farther today. A sign of recovery. I was still tight today at work, but at least no real kinks. During the run, had to concentrate on keeping high knees and butt kicks to keep my knees from banging. Kept good arm form, with the swinging also helping my legs turning and preventing knee banging. Right butt and maybe other parts of that leg got numb as I got faster in the second half, but nothing terrible.

6.2 in 51:38, 8:20 ave. Just under BQ pace. Oh BQ, you're within grasp! I'm so excited. Still have no idea how I kept up 7:20's for 13.1. Splits> 8:46, 8:24, 8:20, (26:21), 8:20, 8:17, 7:56, 1:31 for 0.2.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov 1

Recovery run! A fast one. Was it due to better conditioning following an awesome training cycle? or is it the usual speediness after the long run phenomenon? In any case, I'll take it!

Recovery has been going surprisingly well, considering the out-of-nowhere performance from two days ago. My ankles finally stopped feeling overused today, to the point that I felt safe enough to try running again. It doesn't feel that bad to go down stairs now. I've stretched once daily. Right now is the first time I'm icing, to keep the effects of pounding at bay. I can feel it coming on a little bit, but it's not bad. Good quality food. Not as many fruits and veggies as I'd like, b/c my mom's been feeding me a lot of rice and protein, leaving less room in my tummy for my usual produce and skim milk.

So my run... speedy, progression. 4.0 in 30:44, 7:41 ave. That's actually my new goal marathon pace. My mile, 5k, and half marathon PBs are now in PERFECT ALIGNMENT in the race performance predictor at mcmillanrunning.com. I used to be super fast at the mile, slower at the 5k, and super super slow at the half. But now, I'm reaching my potential in all. Time to raise the bar, haha.

Splits> 8:20, 7:50, 7:24, (24:19), 7:08. Right leg may be a little out of alignment... some numbness, but not bad considering the postrace body. Wore oxysox and n1224's w/ stab... should try the arches next time. Was really pushing it at the end and was proud to manage a 4.0 instead of just the 3.1 as originally planned... actually had considered a 6.0 before I got started, but too much. Keep it real.

Thank You (the cool Stats button!)

Today, I accidentally clicked on my Blogger dashboard's "stats" button. I never really noticed it before, but it has all this info about who reads my blog and how they come to it. It just lists numbers by country, but it's so funny! I had no idea. Thank you to all my readers out there. I realize that many "readers" may have just looked at it and gone on their way when they saw that there was nothing interesting here... just me recounting my workouts, naps, etc, haha. But it does warm my heart to know that there are people reading this. Thank you. Thanks for making me part of your life and for allowing me to share my joys with you.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reflections on Spinx 2010

The event isn't over yet. Physically, I need to take as much care in recovering properly as I had to do in preparing for the race. Mentally, it's time to collect some more goodies from the race, this time in the form of lessons learned.

Post-race, I did a little shopping with my mom, which encouraged light walking. I was largely okay... some inflexibiliy, and I think my ankles were a bit tired, but better than I was doing after the CM Half. Perhaps the reason is that I didn't do a cool-down jog after the CM and ended up standing on a wee, narrow ledge for a long time looking for my friends to finish. Being fitter probably also helps, since I was very able to do a strong cool-down jog.

Once home, lots of stretching and rolling.

Ate a turkey sandwich, orange, half a banana post-race. Mixed greens when I got home, plus bread and PB. For dinner, some pork and tofu and sprouts with brown rice. Was hungry at night at a Halloween party where I got to just chill, and had Doritos (an all-natural brand) and salsa.

The next morning, I was more sore... DOMS setting in. I'm of the school that believes that DOMS is caused by the recovery process itself... perhaps the breaking down of the old broken stuff step. Anyway, so I made a milk / whey powder / oatmeal concoction, since protein is best absorbed with some carbs. Then, I chased with my usual fish oil (good for reducing inflammation and good for heart health and brain health and all sorts of things), glucosamine and chondroitin, and half a multivitamin - I do the multi when I have a meal sans veg or fruit.

I had talked about perhaps joining the 3:30 pace group (a 1:45) in my Spinx Half Hype 2, but I had forgotten that the full started 40 minutes before the half, so out of the qustion. However, judging by how I operated during the race, maybe it's better if I don't? Or maybe just keep my eye on them but don't stick right up on them? Because there were people my pace-ish who I kind of fell into a grove with at about mile 2, when I was speeding (although perhaps not really speeding, considering that the pace held pretty well and that that was a downhil). They started pulling away two miles later, and I figured that it was because I was fading and that I was not fit to hang with that pace crowd anyways, so I didn't mind and accepted it as an inevitability. So I just ran my own race and was able to keep eye contact. But at about mile 6, I saw that I was reeling them in. I was glad that I had not expended energy in chasing. Steady effort is the key to PBs. So if I were to join a pace group, if they power up hills when I believe it's better to hold the effort constant, I think I'll let them go. If I happen to be feeling bad, I can take it easy for a bit and let my body get back into its groove. If I'm feeling great and am ready to zoom past... well, perhaps I shouldn't do that, since I have no idea what's in store beyond mile 20 and should conserve whatever I have until then.

My fueling seemed pretty good. I'll probably aim for something every 5-6 miles in the full. And I'll again go Gatorade or water depending on how I feel. Worked at the CM Half and worked at Spinx. Sometimes, you don't want more sweet. You want pure liquid water.

Don't know about using the Kinvaras for the full... it works your ankles and arches more. Maybe if I built up ankle and arch strength, I could. It certainly makes you fast because it's so light. We'll see. I guess I'll try to use them every once and a while in my runs (probably speedwork) to build up my arches and ankles so that I can potentially have the opton of using them.

The Garmin wasn't very useful this time... dead lots of weight. The mileage was a mile off, which makes the "ave pace" indicator by which I determine what overall time I can reach meaningless. Maybe too many turns in this couse. Houston's has many more straights, so it may work better there. And I ended up going by feel during this race so much, and it worked well. By feel and by simply looking at my mile splits. Dunno. I guess I'm familiar with 5k (and perhaps half) effort and can go by feel. Although until yesterday, I had noooooo idea I could do a half so fast... it was holding something only a little slower than 5k pace for 13.1!!! And again, I won't even have run 26.2 before, let alone raced it. TBD.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

RACE REPORT: Spinx Half Marathon


Way beyond my expectations... 1:36:01!!!

Temps were ideal (maybe a wee bit cooler would've been super ideal, but this was great), from 41 to 53 during the race. It wasn't too crowded. The hills slow you down, naturally, but that just means that I am capable of even more. The music helped a lot, to keep my mind off of the effort, although it did cause me to not concentrate as much on always taking perfect tangents, but that might've happened anyway due to tiredness. Roads were pretty cambered at times, but you deal with it. The Kinvaras were great -super-light and a sure factor in my speed, although at one point, I could tell that it was perhaps a little too flexible, making my arches have to work harder to stay rigid to push off. I also imagined that I could feel the lugs of the shoes at times, but maybe it was in my mind. My right knee got a little out of wack a couple of times, but nothing as bad as the last half, where I had to limp along slowly for a bit. I took a coffee-flavored Hammer gel at mile 4.5, which was good for the caffine boost and sugar, and it was good to have water at mile 5 to wash it down. I held pace for the first half compared to others around me and was doing some passing in the second half. I thought I had gone out way to fast, which was easy to do considering the goal times I was pursuing (~1:42), but it was okay. Haven't analyzed the splits yet and probably can't do it very well, because the first half was mostly downhill, and the second half was mostly uphill. Very happy with how things went, though. I only got tired in the last mile and maybe didn't push as hard as I could've. I think shaving off another minute would've been possible, but this went better than my wildest expectations. My mom came to watch, and I had given her a minimum time of 1:38, but I was just being overly optimistic, with a reasonable yet still optimistic estimate of 1:42 as the expected expected, and a 1:45 as the upper end, with an acknowledgement that something like 1:48 would also be possible. But man, 1:36. Phew. That's a 7:20 average pace!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wrote out notes on my number, but I ended up not looking at them and didn't really need them, since I had basically memorized the map, with its elevation changes, the mile markers, water stops, roads, and everything.

Splits> 7:05 (see what I mean by too fast of a start?... I was used to racing 5Ks, since I've done 7 of them in the past 8ish months, so I kind of headed out with that effort), 7:17, 7:14, 7:04, 7:30, 7:40, 7:31, 7:22, 7:29, 7:33, 7:18, 7:18, 9:18 for 1.1.

My quads were cramping up a wee bit post-race, but a fairly strong cool-down run of ~1 mi helped. Now stretching. Good post-race food selection : turkey sandwiches on whole wheat :), oranges, bananas, grapes, pineapple, pumpkin bread (did not partake)... all good stuff.
2/72 for the 20-24 age group for women.
13/713 for the women.
69/1304 overall.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oct 27, plus Spinx Half Hype 2

Last pre-race run! 2 rest days ahead. Need some serious recovery b/c I had a high volume week/weekend last week. It's tough to balance the need to continue training for a big goal while wanting to taper for purposes of a medium goal, when tapering maybe wouldn't hurt the big goal that much. Dunno.

My legs felt heavy today. Boo. Volume catching up with me. But at least not injured. I had rolled my right ankle a bit shooting hoops w/ little kids, but it seems okay, since I've rolled that guy so many times now. The shoes hadn't been tight enough and are kind of top-heavy b/c of the raised and unstable heel - it was the Paramount.

Last 5 days: 7.7 / 7.0 / 4.0 intervals / 45 min bike / 60 min strength. And now, 3.2. Very heavy. 2 rest days coming, though.

For my taper leading up to the Coutry Music Half, it was 8.8 + 15 min ulty / 60 min srength / rest / 2.8 / rest / 3.8 / rest / race. That's more like a taper. Aaah.

I should be okay, though. My right TA is a little sore. I may ice after I roll for a bit. The 3.2 was a progression run. Started a bit slower than normal (6.8mph), but ramped it up a lot along the way. Felt better to go faster. Run seemed to drag on for longer than normal, and I wanted to get it over with. Had just woken up from a nap. Not ideal sleep this week/past couple weeks. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow would be the big sleep night... the night before the night before. Mom is visiting. Maybe watch Scared Shrekless then sleep long.

So 3.2 in 25:34, 7:59 ave. Oh, not that fast. Surprised. Okay. I wasn't pushing it, so it's okay. Wanted to keep it sane, to not do pre-race damage. Man, TAs gettin a little sore. Massage and ice are in order.

Splits> 8:41, 8:03, 7:30, (24:57), 1:18 for 0.2.

Listened to a podcast that is really good for race week. It was on mental strategies during the race and also the importance of recovery. What I've been doing with icing and rolling and fueling is good.

Race-day, some strategies I'll employ:
- Landmarks up ahead pulling me.
- Telling myself that I'm strong and light.
It's all about perceived effort... Central Governor Theory all the way.

Other stuff from personal experience:
- Imaging during the last stages that I still have a long ways to go, which allows me to relax and loosen up, saving energy.

Dunno yet if I'll use music. The podcast talked about dissociating, but I tend to be big on associating during races... LRs, dissociation is fine, since I'm a big podcast fan. But I am so zoned into mechanics and how I'm feeling during the race. Since the shuffle is so light, maybe I can bring it anyways.

Right after the nap, I was feeling very very blah... like getting sick or in need of vitamin B, and very tired. Dunno. Work? Training volume? Taper? (no... I have not been tapering like I should)

Felt better after the run, although I need to get these TAs calmed down.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spinx Half Hype

Not as big of a hype as the CM half, since this is more of a progress check race.

I might've done too much training in the week before the race... not quite a proper taper. However, I still intend to race hard. I have a shot at an age group award, I think. It's hard to tell how I'm doing. I'm probably fitter than I was for the CM half, but I'm sort of training through this race.

- Fitter
- Fewer people to weave around... although not too much of an issue at the CM.
- No wear and tear from travel and expo
- Smarter about racing?
- Lighter shoes

- Training through
- Hillier
- Fewer aid stations

- Good temps

Ah... I should do alright, then? Maybe my goal will be a 7:50 pace... for 13.1? Sounds crazy fast. With the hills like they are, I'll need to anticipate when I'll naturally be faster and slower, so that I can stay on track. Must go for negative splits, especially with the big hills in the later half.

0-2 flat
2-4 fast
4-5 flat
5-6 fast
6-8 flat
8-10 sloooow
10-11 flat
11-12 slow
12-13 flat

... although it says that I should only see 4 stations, so maybe one of these isn't real.

Goal pace: 7:50... means time 1:42:37. They go by gun time, so that needs to include getting over the line. Boooooooooooo. For award purposes.

3:20 and 3:30 pace groups (1:40 and 1:45) are available, although they're focused on the full. I wonder if they plan to hit the half at an even split. I could potentilly start with the 3:30 and kick away at the end with a 1:00/mi pace increase for 2-3 miles. Dunno how trustworthy the pacers are. Should be okay. Dunno.

Oh man.

8:40 start... 10:30 finish. Could be a little warmer then. Man, that's late.

With only 4 Gatorade ops, I may bring some fuel. Gels are the easiest to down. Any fuel requires water b/c otherwise, it's sickly sweet. Maybe the 5 or 6.6, whichever one is first/real.

Clothing: Kinvaras... yes. Then, Oxysox. 5-pocket shorts and Pton bra... same as the CM half. Shades. No visor for wind resistance purposes... ah... maybe the shorter-billed, light ViziPro one. Since I'll be in the sun. Okay, we'll say yes visor for now.

That day, right now, temps are 41-67. Boo the late start. I like cold. Maybe if I'm expending lots of energy, I'll need the sun to warm me just as it gets warmer. Maybe it'll work out for the best.

Ooh, excited now. Having talked through all of this, I feel ready. Now to just take cae of myself (I should be sleeping). I'll foam roll myself now... maybe ice... maybe a bit more massaging of the TAs. Yeah. Psyched.

Oct 25

Considered doing 5 / Strength / 3 / rest / rest / race. Doing 5 on top of 7.7 / 7 / 4 intervals would've been nuts, so I changed it up to bike instead. Legs were feeling a bit heavy today with very minor kinks anyway. Progression bike to keep fitness up and work stuff out. Pushed hard. Couldn't help it. Probably okay. B / Strength / 4 / rest / rest / race is the plan now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oct 24

Rest day (or potentially recovery bike day) turned emergency run to de-stress turned intervals. Nice. My legs seem to be in that dreamy able-to-take-consecutive-days-of-decent-running mode. The last time I specifically remember this happening was in Pton in August, where I forced my legs into going consecutive days so that I could take advantage of the precious time I got to spend w/ LD there. It was hard, but my legs took it and grew stronger because of it. Same thing now, with 7.7, followed by 7.0+, and now 4.0 intervals.

Had a short but convicting/humbling conversation with a really good friend. Somehow, got into a self-pitying mode afterwards turned angry at myself and my life. I sound really roller-coastery, don't I? Kinda felt Hulk-angry, so I needed to blow off steam. No basketball court to shoot freethrows like I did once back in boarding school, no big open courtyard to throw a frisbee like I did in college, but there was the treadmill, and my legs were feeling surprisingly fresh, after being a little sore (rare) earlier today.

I was feeling great, so it turned into intervals. 1.5 warmup at a little less than 7.5mph, then 3x[1/2mi @ 9mph, 1/4mi @ 7.5mph], 0.25 cooldown. 4.0 in 30:02, 7:30 pace. Not bad, considering I wasn't going all out. Excited. Should be tapering for the half in one week, but 1) neeed the previous runs to keep things going for marathon training, 2) needed this one to get out emotions. I'll have to think through my training schedule for this week, in light of a commitment on Tuesday night. Maybe bike tomrrow, strength Tuesday, 6 Wed? 3 Thur? Maybe too much.

Oh, I ran sox-less, once again... 3rd day in a row. Maybe that's why I was sore. In any case, I used the Kinvaras today - maybe that's why I wanted to do intervals so bad. Felt good. Maybe I'll use it for the half. If it works there, why not the full? We'll see. 4.0 working fine in them... I could see 13.1 being a fair extension. Doubling that, though... anything could happen. We'll start with the half, if everything still looks okay then.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oct 23

Would've been a race report, except the race was more of a fun-walk. It was my company's 2nd annual 3k run/walk, which was really just a walking get-together. Since everyone was walking, it would've been awkward to be the only one to run, and they weren't timing anything, and I'm not sure they really measured the distance, so I just hung out at the very back. I saw one guy take off, so after maybe 30s of taking in the scenery, I chased. I caught up, and he started walking. It was awkward, b/c I had just chased to give him company. He seemed reasonably fit, but he'd run-walk at intervals. I didn't want to make him feel bad, so I just went off course and watched the HS's county XC meet for a little while before heading back on course and just leisurly jogging it in. Well, it was fun to see what it was like, and watching the kids runs is always fun. Since there were only 4 kids, there were many leftover plastic medals, so the adults got them too. Including my warmup, the intervalish "run", and jogging back to my car, maybe I covered 2 miles. I don't think it was really even a 3K. I was originally going to log it, but really... most of it was at warmup/cooldown pace with a bit of sprinting. Maybe I won't log it. It did make me tired, though. Or maybe it was just the 3-4 hrs of sleep I got.

I've been being very tired in the morning and day, napping once I got home, and then staying up until 1ish at night, then the cycle would repeat. Dead tired days. Hard to get out of the cycle. Maybe that's why ppl recommend just having a 30min nap. To me, that doesn't seem enough, but maybe it at least keeps you on schedule.

I was happy to be able to bank the planned 7 miles today, after the nap and dinner. 7.0 in 58:21, 8:20 ave. About marathon pace. Haha, I call my friend MP, but if you search for MP, you'd also get my references to Marathon Pace, so I've tried not to use MP, but I may do it anyways.

Umm... so no real issues. Lifting my knees more helped w/ knee issues that would otherwise start to come. Takes energy, though. Wore n3's w/ Spenco. Feels much less cushioned w/ Spenco vs. SofSol. Prob somewhat lighter, though. I was originally going to go in the Paramount, but I pronate too much in them, so I'll probably just keep that in the car as the emergency shoes for rando workout opportunities. I may put the Spenco insoles in those, since I seem to prefer Sofsol, although I don't like the Stability insoles much either, and those are the ones that are in there right now. Either way, I suppose.

Splits> 8:35, 8:33, 8:33, (26:34), 8:30, 8:22, 8:09, (52:21), 7:36. First half at about 7mph, then sped it up b/c felt better that way, and sped up even more at the end to get it over with.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oct 22

Treadmill base run, 1 degree as usual. Broke in my new blue 1224's for the first time - great shoe. My fav for training. Better than the Gel Evolution 3's. Back into training after laying off for a couple of days to let the left achilles recover. Had some kinks... right TA stiff and bangy, right knee maybe... don't remember much now. Okay, though. Took it easy b/c I need to get in some big mileage this weekend to make up for the time off.

Splits> 8:33, 8:33, 8:35, (26:33 5k), 8:32, 8:34, 8:33, (53:06 10k), 8:16, 5:10 for 0.7. Mostly 7mph but sped it up at the end b/c it was easy. Slow run overall, but just an easy mileage builder. Marathon pace, too. Quickie "race" tomorrow, company 3k.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oct 19

Yesterday, 1 hr on the bike, covered 15.1 miles. Used it to work out tight hammies. Due to wacky alignment of the bike (and maybe me), top left ankle got crammed a bit. Right hammie got a little cramped. Eh... not a chronic issue, so not too concerned.

Today, the Kinvaras came. Tried it in 3.1 in 24:46, 7:59 ave. After mile 1, took small steps, making a different kind of workout. Had to do it b/c my left calf and achilles have been tight. Got a little better yesterday, but aggravated somewhat again today. Maybe should give it a rest, but optimistically hoping it can somehow get worked out on its own. Hmm... can feel a knot. Been icing, but probably need to ice more.

Splits> 8:02, 8:02, 7:55, 0:46.

Shoes... super light, as if I'm not wearing shoes. Toebox is too big. Different feel. Clunkier than I would've thought for minimal shoes. Light though. We'll see. Didn't put arches in, so that I know what the raw shoe is like. Most ppl who reviewed it online have average arches. We'll see how my low ones do.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oct 17

Awww, I was hoping I just did 16, but it was reall just 15.1. Oh well, I'll take it. Thankful it went okay.

I had toyed with the idea of doing maybe 12 on the treadmill yesterday evening, but I figured that it may be smarter idea to give my post-race legs 24 hours of rest first. No need to rush. The week still had 1 day left to get in the LR. Then, I toyed w/ the idea of running at 7am, to have temps in the 40s, rather than in the 70s, like it would be the rest of the day after church. Well, I'd have to run the first 30 min in the dark, and if I wanted to make Sunday school, with a shower, I'd have to leave at 8:30 at the very latest, and that still would've only been a 1:30 run at best. Not safe to run in the dark, because of footing, not because of people.

So I thought about doing the treadmill, to have full shade and comparable 70s temps, but the treadmill is definitely not the same. First, it pulls you a bit, so you're not so much the one pulling during the initial phase of footstrike . Second, you have to adjust the speed by hand, whereas with running, you can naturally slow down or speed up depending on how your body is feeling. Third, with varied surfaces, your foot hits at different angles and works your stabilizers. That definitely takes more work, but it can help to be able to give certain nagging spots a rest by adjusting form. Not as much room to do that on the treadmill, which is always flat. You strike more or less the same way each time, so whatever form you're using, good or bad, you'll be doing it over and over again. So no treadmill.

It wasn't quite as terribly hot as I'd imagined, so to the run it was! Ate an apple and cheese in the car, clippped on my new Shuffle, visor, shades, pak w/ energy bar (didn't use b/c ended up getting queasy) and jelly bellies (finished the rest of the pack... 8 beans maybe), oxysox, and 1224's w/ stab. I've ordered replacement 1224's, since the current ones are approaching 300 miles, so I can go ahead and finish them off. Good shoes. They've served me well in long runs.

Umm... stopped to drink at the water fountain every 3 miles. Listened to podcasts a/b a guy running his final Boston as a way to go down fighting as arthritis or something sets in in his knee. It was shady maybe 60% of the time, which was good. The 40% was uncomfortable, but you just do it. No real issues. Hamstrings were better this morning, though still fairly sore. The run worked out most of the soreness though. Quads started getting a bit tired maybe 70% of the way in, but never lost too much strength. Stomach got queasy maybe 80% in. Right butt had a slight twinge of pulled-ness, but went away. Right knee got a wee bit grindy maybe 65% in, on the outside, but I did the old swing hips trick, and it seemed to help. It was mentally tough with 3 miles left, but I just told myself to think of it as a 3mile cooldown, where I could take it easy without feeling the need to finish strong, and that loosened up my stride and kept things fairly comfortable. It was tough, though.

Finished and just laid on the parking lot ground for a while. When I first got there, many people in matching t-shirts were parking - saw from the shirts that it was a Walk for the Homeless. Some were trickling back as I finished and collapsed. Many good Samaritans came by and asked if I was okay, needed water, needed them to call someone, etc. Later noticed many Presbyterian sickers on the cars in the lot. Good Samaritans.

I refueled w/ mixed greens and a bagel. Now, eating an orange an icing. I think I wanna try and bike tomorrow to get bloodflow to speed up recovery. Hope I recover okay. A year and a half ago, when I first got in to more serious running, each 16.6 miler got easier and easier, so hopefully, that's the case here. Oh man. I can't believe the 15 was that hard.

Splits> 15:20 p, 7:34 c, 7:36 p, 7:32 long b, 6:12 short p, 7:37 c, 7:36 p, 7:32 long b, 6:27 short p (ooh, slowed down), 7:45 c, 7:39 b (got some speed back), 7:37 long b, 6:16 short p, 7:46 c (slow again), 7:34 p, 7:53 long b (slooow), 10:03 car.

15.1 in 2:16:17, 9:02 ave. Used to beable to run 16.6 in less time than that... in ideal temps, though.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Oh man, I almost decided not to run the race. I signed up on Thursday night when I thought I'd be staying in town. I figured that it was an ideal week for a race, since I had some good workouts earlier in the week, including intervals on Wednesday. I'd take Thursday off and have some strength work with a free personal training session early Friday.

At the Friday session, pushups and assisted pullups, squats of various sorts, leg extensions, bit of ab work. Yoinked my inner left knee a bit while standing up, but it seemed to get back in place.

I started being sore on Friday during work... hamstrings, some inner/lower abs, and the yoinked knee seemed to cause my inner left achilles to get a little inflamed, which seemed to later spread to my left TAs. Early Friday, I still figured that I could be recovered enough by the next morning to race well. Later on Friday, though, with the TA issue and the knee and the achilles and the sore hamstring and the sore abs, I began to have doubts. Hated to lose the $11 entry fee, but better lose it than cause an injury that would wipe out my chance with the marathon. In any case, with the soreness, it wouldn't be a stellar perforance. And even if I did well, it's in an oddball distance, which I wouldn't run again except in this race, so a good time would not mean much and would not help me track my progress anyway.

Woke up still feeling very sore... worse. Hurt to sit down, with the sitting down motion. Hammies and abs sore. I debated for about 30 min but decided that I could just go and run super easy at my LR pace and make it like a warmup before adding another 12 or so miles after the race. That way, I get all the goodies from the race (t-shirt, chance at door prizes, race auora) while not hurting myself or losing the $11. Good plan.

When I got there, there were lots of high schoolers of different colors camped out on tarps and tents. It was exciting, bringing back memories of high school XC. Since I had been debating for so long, I got there w/ a/b 30 min before the race. I got my number, switched into my Brooks Trance 8's, and set off to do a warmup w/ 20 min left. I actually felt pretty good. The soreness was just there... not bothersome. So I decided to rac it.

Since it was cool outside (ideal weather), and since I was sore, I didn't mind a longer warmup. Went around the big grassy field where the race was to start then did a bit of dynamic stretching, ROM stuff, and striders. Then, time to line up. Earlier, before the soreness, I figured a 7:00 pace would be excellent, since that had historically been my target for the 5K but now I knew I could do 6:45 under ven non-ideal conditions. So 7:00 with an extra K would be reasonable and nice.

Set off. It was partially grass, partially dirt, partially sidewalk. Grass and dirt was sometimes uneven, almost a bit riskily so. Passed the 1 mile mark in what was announced as 6:35, but that was short, which others agreed with post-race. Some time before the 2, I noticed that my Garmin had shut down. Boo. Now, no idea of my time at all, since I hadn't set my normal watch. So I just went by feel, which worked fine. I went along, and it was kind of exciting. Didn't ever see any other girls, so I'd just be alongside guys every now and then, and it was exhilarating just pushing each other and pushing ouselves. Didn't mind if I got passed, didn't mind if I passed. Just ran my own race. Hit the 2 at 14:00.

Could feel that I was slowing down some afterwards. Normally, it would only be 1 mile left. Just kept it going. At the 2, I started my normal watch, so I have splits from then on and can derive my times from there. Hit the 3 at 7:25. The last bit was a second loop around the big field where we first started, which was wonderful b/c we were looping around the finish and could see our opponents and where to kick. Perfect. Good for audience members, too, to see a lot of the runners. Finished in 26:53. 6k = 3.73 miles. 7:13 ave. Not bad, considering the soreness.

Afterwards, cheered on those coming in. Always gives you joy to do that. Then, after refueling, getting an apron doorprize, and watching awards, got to watch the XC races... mens and womens, JV and varsity. It was fun. The varsity race were the best. Finishes are fun to watch, especially with last-min passing, watching people kick. It's also great to see fast runners with good form, like the mens' winner. Effortless speed. Wow. Watching all of them and hearing their times, I felt old and kinda slow. Really, I'm just 5-9 years older... so the 5, not much older, 9, a lot I guess. I guess I just don't have the genetics to be super fast. Or is part of it not working hard enough? Oh well, I may not be as young (what am I thinking... I'm only 23!) or fast, but I'm seasoned, I guess, to the extent that 1.5 years of more serious running makes one seasoned. Oh well, keep training. Then, see what January brings.

Even tighter after all that. Maybe should've done a cool-down, but I was busy watching the races. And it felt too hot to do the LR right after, and I kind of just wanted a mental break. So I went home. Good day, though. Glad it worked out.

5/100 women. 60/269 overall.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oct 12

Wobbly bobbly. Back on my made-up words track, at least for today.

TA's tight right now and could use some digging into. Iced them a few minutes ago. Finished an intervals session that started off as an intended longer run (8ish). I realized that the 6.0 from Monday plus 8 plus 15 would be... 29 - phew! Way too much of an increase. It had been a while since a running interval session, and my last race performance was kinda disappointing (although it was just announced that the 2.0 was perhaps really a 2.1, which would make my performance okay). Oh yeah... I had done an interval session the day before the race... that was the last time I had done one. Anyway, it seemed to make a lot of sense to turn the 8 into a 4 or so.

I did the 4 (1 mi warmup @ 6.8mph, 6x[1/4 on (9mph), 1/4 off (7.5mph)]), but since I felt decent and wanted to start pushing myself a little bit again (I've been too comfortable and taking it easy lately), I decided to just run it in through another mile, which ended up being progressiony, just b/c was eager to finish and get over and even alleviate some growing pains. Nothing bad. Worse was probably some blistering that began on my left toes. Probably the new insoles. Stung a lot. Lucky it didn't hit until the last mile.

5.0 in 38:35, 7:43 ave. Sox, n3's w/ Spenco, pak w/ iTouch... received the shuffle 4g today but thought it was broken so I didn't use it but it really was working... just involved reading the full-blown manual to figure out how to use it on podcasts. 78 degrees. Drank 1/3 bottle 1/3 diluted Cyotomax... much of the first few sips ended up on the treadmill, but the rest was okay. Swallowed significant air, prob, but at least I got the needed cool water.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oct 11

Oh man, missed realizing it was 10/10/10 when it was 10/10/10. I had made note of it like 2 weeks ago, but yesterday was just so exciting and not requiring dates that I missed it.

Anyway, today, did a trial of a gym. Fancy equipment, although with TV screens right in front of you, your eyes have no choice but to stare at the screen, on top of all the screen time I get during the day. They had some fancy twists on equipment, though. The bike lets you simulate a race, including steering with the handlebars. There's even a game mode where you collect coins and run into dragons.

The treadmill has a little picture of a 5K course... ended up being just watching a mark travel around the path, rather than making it look like you're actually running through a trail.

The elliptical-stair machine combo was nice, but I didn't use it for long b/c I had been going for 2+ hours by then. It links up to you iPod and lets you view videos/mp3s on the screen.

So my workout...
Bike, 2.9mi (hills), in 10:30ish
Run, 3.1mi (1 degree), 8:00/mi steadily, 24:48
Run, Hill training, 2.9mi, 8:34/mi, 25:00, level 15-20.
Bike, 6.3 mi (not sure if I believe), 20:00
Elliptical, 6 min stair elliptical, 10% incline, level 12.
Strength scattered throughout... rope climbing, box jumps (useless), 20-15 clapping pushups, roman chair, declined situp bench, deltoid pressups, pushupy pressouts, rows, hula hooping, pullups, stretching. Also got a hydromassage... water shoots up with a lot of pressure against a bed you lie on. I had to press down on my legs to keep the pressure, b/c otherwise, the water would just push them up. My hammies were waaaay too ticklish, and I had to essentially raise them up whenever the water went that way. Felt nice on my back and butt, though. Calves somewhat, but the pressing thing.

Had a banana, protein powder, and part of a grapefruit after the bulk of the workout. Got some good volume in by cross training. The bike made it really easy. A sitting-up bike is better than a recumbent bike... maybe it's just that my apt fitness room's recumbent is slightly misaligned... dunno.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oct 10

A double day!

I think it's been a long time, since I've done a double run day. I've done double workout days a couple times this year maybe, but not double run.

Recap... bike intervals, then 2 rest days b/c I was busy recovering/having fun w/ my sis. Sunday morning, went out for a run. Explored the trails around campus. They were very turny with some mile hills, roots and logs to jump over, singletrack, scenic and fun. Took pictures on the 1.7miles out but just cruised and got in a challenging workout the rest of the time. Left knee got a bit yoinked jumping over a major ditch, and rolled an ankle pretty far but not far enough to be called an actual roll, bu everything seemed okay enough to continue running on. Just 55:48, b/c it was tiring and my ankles were getting worked with the uneven footing, and I had to just guess the distance... maybe 6.8 or less.

Rest of the day, tired and head felt kind of hot to myself, like I was getting sick. A mininap and coffee helped, though. Drove home.

Once back, felt surprisingly good and ready to run again! Dunno what did it. Glad to have fast recovery, though. So after dinner... 30 min after dinner, did the 1 degree treadmill for 3.1. Could've done more/faster if I hadn't eaten so recently, for sure. Tummy muscles had to work just to keep everything in there and not jiggling around too much. Held a 7.1mph pace the whole way.

Good stuff. Looking forward to another week of training.

Toooonnns of fun this weekend w/ my sis:
Watched men and womens' soccer games, Trader Joe's shopping spree, HORSE in the gym, ping pong, boxing, Capoeira show, tried capoeira ourselves in the dorm, self-serve fro-yo, art museum, trail running, bookstore and university gift shop, The Sprout healthy cafe, coffee and biscotti, SET card game, movie, great fun.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oct 7

Knee issues today at work... is it the new shoes? the jumping during bball? mileage accumulation? Tried to run today, in the n3's w/ my new Spenco insoles, but my knees were too banged up. Some shin bone issues and medial knee general banging.

So I biked instead. Good, b/c I got in some interval work, wasn't hard, which is a good sign. Oh, forgot to look at the mileage, but it was a 45 min session. 10 min warmup, then 30 min of alternating [3min on (18.5-19.0mph), 1 min off (13.3mph), 3min on, 2 min off], 5 min cooldown after last 3 on. Didn't seem to sweat as much as normal. Watched The Office and then the 2nd half of Nikita. No water. Oxysox. Asics running singlet. Post 2 hr nap that was hard to wake up from.

Felt better afterwards, with the increased circulation. We'll see if my knees are any better tomorrow. TA's still tender (2nd day in a row... issue has popped up again).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oct 6

Logging miles, decently.

I had planned on running yesterday (following a 13.6, then 7.0, then strength), but another commitment went long, and the gym was closed, and I was exhausted, and I wasn't 100% fresh injury-wise, so it was a good night to bank as a rest day... save up for tomorrow. I figured I'd kill the next day b/c I was so run-ready.

It was a long day at work... pounding tiringly away. But got to come home. My TA's were very tender, probably from jumping around playing basketball and knockout with kids at an after-school program yesterday. Some massaging immediately before seemed to help free it up some, though.

The run went well. Tired, I think, but quality. 6.2 in 49:21, 7:58 ave. Ok, not fantastic, but I'm happy. It at least felt effective. 76 degrees, 1 degree treadmill. Oxysox, pak w/ iTouch. Did more arm-swing to help my leg movement to relieve the TA pressure. Effective. Takes energy, though. But since injuries are the limiting reactant, I'll take fatigue. It toughens you anyway. Could've used a little energy boost... I was tired from work, and I had to wait 30min for 2 ppl to use the treadmill before I got my turn, so my fueling timing was not what I had planned. Ok, though.

Wore the Saucony Paramount again - still pretty good. The stability insoles squeak a little bit in them, though, suggesting a bit of wasted energy. My left toes are really blistered, too. They'll adapt, though. Still a fan. My new Spenco insoles came today. They look big. Haven't tried them yet. Maybe I'll do that now. I'm finishing off icing while I fuel and type. Multitasking.

Splits> 8:14, 8:08, 7:59, (25:10 5k), 7:57, 7:50, 7:41, (49:21).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oct 3

A couple of milestones with today's run!

First, how it was made possible...
After yesterday's LR, I iced and used the foam roller. Today during church, I did some deep tissue massaging of my TA's and calves. Felt pretty good in general, and considering the LR, great. I was excited to try the new Saucony Paramount, too. Sleep was average, aka not quite enough. Had a good amount of protein... 20g of whey powder, 25g of chicken, 20g of milk, 10g of almonds, 6g of peanuts, 10g of cheese, then maybe 15g more from grains and other sources. I normally have a decent amount, although maybe 25g less on average.

Inserted stability insoles because wearing it around the carpeted apartment, I felt like I was rolling in a lot just standing in the shoes. But the ride was excellent. They seem to be great shoes, a bit lighter than what I'm used to, and maybe what I'll end up using in the marathon. Yes, that good. We'll see the long term effects of the curved last, although the PT I talked to said that it's okay to have a curved last if you have insoles.

My inner right knee/lower quad had issues in the earlier miles once I got going. It went way when I tried to suppinate more, but in the late miles, the problem might've migrated to my achilles, which got strained. I kept going because I wanted to reach the milestone. I ended up doing less of forefoot b/c it felt like a softer landing. Dunno if it's b/c my usual forefoot muscles are tired from yesterday, or if somehow the shoe design made it feel better that way. Something to pay attention to in the future. Listened to an iPod and enjoyed the ride.

7.0 in 55:41, 7:51 ave. Splits> 8:13, 8:08, 8:07, (25:18 5K), 7:58, 7:48, 7:46, (49:37 10k), 7:37.

Oh yeah, the milestones. Dunno for sure b/c I don't have last year's log with me, but this may be the first time I've done 20+ miles within a 2-day period, and it's the first time I've hit 25 miles in a week this calendar year, I think. Yay.

So to make more great runs like these possible, I iced, and I'm refueling as we speak... type.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oct 2

Yay-ah. 13.6 in 1:58:36, 8:43 ave. Pas mal. I didn't know if it would work, since I was pretty sore and banged up. 2 days of total rest fixed me up, though. Lots of sleep last night (11 hours, broken up by 4 hrs of cleaning the apt) helped as well. Work has been very busy, so it was good to have good excuses to take the time to recover anyways.

Nothing exceptional. 1pm-3pm, sunny. Nice weather... not hot, but shade was appreciated when I could get it. Took advantge of the water fountain 3x, which was easy, since I did one that section of the course 4x. Ate a serving of plums immediatey pre-run and 5 Jelly Belly sport beans during the run. Wore 3's w/ arch supports, which worked well. Oxysox and a visor. Shadowpak w/ the iTouch.

Afterwards, bought shoes from the local running store - they were on sale and a bit worn (says on the box "worn in the store only", but the treads are a little worn and fairly dirty, so I don't believe them at all, but they were good enough, and I only paid 1/3 of the original MSRP. Then, I used a massive 20% one-day only discount to get shades, new insoles, and a Vizipro rainjacket... splurged, but I've been eyeing those items for a looong time, and 20% is huge.

Splits> 9:07 b, 6:20 p short way, 7:39 c, 7:29 p, 7:27 b long way, 6:15 p short way, 7:33 c, 7:30 p, 7:39 b long way, 7:34 p long way, 7:36 c, 7:38 p, 6:14 b short way, 13:25 b to p to b, 9:02 car.

After the LR 6 days ago (11.734), I felt like I could do more b/c I took it easier than normal. It took a while to recover, though. Maybe it was the bike session. I only have 4.5+13.6 so far this week... 18.1. I'd like to get another 4 in tomorrow. We'll see how recovery goes. Oh yeah, also got calf sleeves for a low $10 today from TJMaxx. They work really well and keep my feet free while keeping the swelling down. The bike was an equivalent of 4, but I want the miles anyways.

After a shower, went out again to Oktoberfest. Watched polka dancers and German musicians. Fun, and a good way to walk around some to help with recovery.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sep 29

At work, I was feeling so fit to run. My legs had just enough soreness such that they were itching to run. By the time I got off work after nearly 12 hours, I was a bit drained. It would be more difficult to get out the door. Did it after a dinner that was fine but too big for 15 min before a run. Felt ponderous. Only 78 degrees in the gym, but it felt hotter than normal. Strange. The few miles I did felt like they lasted forever. The final part went by more quickly. Watched Hell's Kitchen.

n3's w/ stab (need to switch to arches), oxy. 4.5 in 38:27, 8:33 ave. Pretty slow and not even the 6.0 I had planned. At first, I was disappointed in myself for not nailing the workout, but you know what? I did what I could given what my body could handle. Yesterday's strength workout was no walk in the park, and it was on top of a bike session and the 11.7er. I did what I could, and that's good enough. Splits> 8:47, 8:44, 8:42, (27:06... wow), 8:23, 3:48 for 0.5.