Monday, March 29, 2010

Mar 29

FIT:
blahhhh, tired today. got in a run, though. rt flexor messed up, outer rt knee had a sharp pain about 2.25 miles in. seemed to be caused by over-flexing/reaching/striding. tried my best to carefully make it until 3.0. This run went by sooooo slowly, maybe record dragging. Splits> 8:33, 8:16, 7:55. Ave: 8:15.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mar 28

FIT:
I went to the gym thinking I was just going to bike for an hour. No way was I going to run, since my left achilles has been making me limp for the past couple of days. But... I saw that the treadmill was finally fixed, so I thought I'd try it. Seemed runnable, so I went with it. I sort of made it a speed workout, intervals by distance. Every half mile, I changed the pace. 8:30, 7:30, 6:30, 8:00, 7:00, 6:00. It's like 2 speedups, the 2nd going higher than the first. Happy to say that it went well. My achilles didn't rupture. Time will tell if it was a stupid decision. I think it should be okay, though. We'll see. I'm glad the treadmill's back, meaning flat running surfaces.

Splits for 1 degree treadmill> 8:01, 7:14, 6:34... interesting that overall it went down... I guess you ave 8:30/7:30, 6:30/8:30, 7:00/6:00. Makes sense. Didn't expect/plan it, but that's good. 3.0 in 21:51, 7:17 ave.

Oh man, earlier today, I was thinking, "game plan is to not do anything stupid over the next month", meaning probably no ultimate, as much as I'd want to. There's not just the chance of ankle rolls, but also banging up my knees and hips with layouts. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CM Half Hype 3: Training Plans

Normally, a post about training plans would come whenever a runner decides to sign up for a race. I can't/don't do that, though, because I feel like my body's status is too unpredictable. If I tried to stick to a training plan, I'd veer off of it easily. Other commitments and my level of injury could easily keep me from a run. While it's good that a plan usually adheres to something like a 10% rule for gradual build-up, maybe even 10% is too much. Maybe the plan would overall be too hard for me, with too much initial mileage, let alone whatever buildup they have planned. Training plans vary so much, and while the injury-free version of me could take on one plan, the current one (which isn't even in a stable state - sometimes, things seem okay, then other times, they don't) may not be able to take it on. And peoples' ability to recover varies a lot. I think the best plans specify a pace, because hobbling over 9mi is different from speeding over the same distance, in terms of stress-adaptaion/injury potential.

Anyway, now that the time until the race is limited, and now that I've held a fairly consistent mileage. Over Jan, weekly mileage varied a lot (17.8, 14.1, 10.0). In Feb, my legs were stronger, so injury was less of a limiting factor, so I was pretty consistent (16.4, 15.2, 13.1, 15.4). In Mar, I started doing double LR weeks. An LR is a relative term, but it's long compared to the past 9 months. Weekly mileage varied a lot depending on injury level (from ultimate, then post-LR pain, then a race) and where the 2nd LR fell. The numbers... (21.7, 12.6, 20.7, 11.6). It's interesting that the monthly average is about the same, maybe a bit higher, than the average from the previous month. It's just that naturally, when I had a high week, the next week would be low. Consistency is generally a better rule, because the body adapts (or potentially gets injured) and unadapts (no need maintaining lots of muscles, etc, if it's not needed).

Anyway, 4 weeks left. Generally, the last training phase is about some speedwork and maintenance. Strength and endurance isn't as big of a deal, since that should've been built up already. I'd like to do speedwork to build up running economy and VO2, which would be super helpful. Speedwork is risky, though, and my achilles and shins/calves are already somewhat damaged. We'll see. Maintenance, fine. I may have my last LR 1.5 weeks away from race day. Since it takes me about 5 days to fully recover from a strength session, I'll probably do my last one 5 days from race day. I'll keep mileage generally low in that last week, but upping intensity is key if you're going to do that. Now that I've done 12.2, I'm feeling very good about handling 13.1 okay. I was carrying the extra weight of a headlamp, a heavy tech tee, a visor, and a pack of Shot Bloks. I'll need far less race-day. I'll also have the benefit of on-the-run fuel that day. It's encouraging that I didn't need any today. The temps today were about the same as they'll probably be on race-day. It was humid tonight, almost raining a few times, which helped.

I'm still working on finishing Runner's Body, which, again, is an excellent book. I'll have more thoughts on topics like carbo loading and other stuff later.

Mar 25

FIT:

Season record distance (season as in since June). 12.2 in 1:44:30, 8:34 ave. Splits> 8:39 b (left achilles very tight from the start, lasted a few miles, though runable), 6:02 p, 7:25 c, 7:25 p, 6:08 b, 6:11 p, 7:29 c, 7:22 p (started picking it up b/c felt good this far into it, kind of looser), 6:08 b, 9:34 (achilles hurting a lot due to road camber + steep uphill for about 1/2 mi) car, 9:05 p (hesitated after this for a few seconds about whether to continue b/c actually felt decent and maybe wanted to take advantage of it - a month til the race, and 9.0 was the longest continuous LR so far), 6:17 p (bit pain, but ok), 6:34 b (was dark by now, pulled out headlamp), 9:54 car.

Ate a banana and water really soon after. Walked about 1/2 mi to throw away the peel - good for cooldown. During drive home, though, left achilles got super tight, hard to walk on it. At home, a pickle was so satisfying (juicy and salty), and I also had whey and acai powder because it seemed to do be good in the past, along with a salad to get more Aox power to help with recovery. I'll need to stretch out and rest up for a couple days for sure.

The run up to this... ankles were finally feeling less strained tomorrow. To avoid 2 days completely off, I did a 30 min strength session last night (at 1am). I really wanted to run today, since before Monday, the last time I had run was Saturday. Not bad, but I would like more. Understandable and reasonable, though, because Monday was an intense race with more running right after. So while giving my ankles and bruises time to heal up, my muscles got more and more recovered and primed for more running... itching for a run. I wasn't sure at all whether I could even run a mile on my still a-bit-strained ankles, but it seemed fine on flat ground (not grass). So I mostly stayed off grass during this evening's LR, at least initially. During the middle, I worked in some more grass to keep the impact low. Towards the end, though, being on asphalt was safer footing-wise in the dark, faster-feeling.

I have to work again in a few min, but what a nice way to escape after a regular workday. And it's almost the weekend! A good run. I felt kinda cold (the run itself was in the 60s and humid, so I wasn't thirsty, cold, or hungry the entire time!!!) afterwards. And kind of sick... maybe too much food too fast.

Wore old 3's w/ Stab. Heavy tech tee and loose shorts. Had headlamp in my Shadow Pak, along with Shot Bloks that went unused.

Good run. Let's hope I recover okay.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mar 22

FIT:
Ah, tired. 5.1 in 43:38, 8:36 ave. 2xout-and-back. Same course as last Wed, minus the risky part. Splits> 11:18, 11:06, 10:41, 10:31. Negative splits... okay, good. I did more heel striking because my calves/achilles need a rest from Sat's race in spikes. It was an all-grass course, uneven and cambered sometimes. I even rolled my ankle in a minor way 2x, once on each leg. When you're tired, you're more likely to roll.

With the windchill, it was 34 degrees, so I wore my Brooks Nightlife long sleeve shirt to top shorts and sox, plus a visor and shades. It was chilly at first because it was so windy, but I warmed up after the 2nd mile. Not hot, though, just warmer.

For perhaps the first time, I was bored with a course. Even the treadmill might've been less boring if I had an iPod. I'm not sure why. Even the track is more interesting. This thing was only 1.25ish miles each way and was basically a stick-straight road, so maybe it's the straight part. All the other courses I've run, including 8-mile one-way out-and-backs, the track, 1 mile loops, have been super interesting, whether or not I had an iPod. Or maybe it's just because I wasn't that energetic today. I kind of felt dizzy in the 2nd half of the work day. Lack of sleep, maybe? Maybe coming down with something?

But it's a decent course in that it's close, relatively safe (good road shoulder, all-grass) besides the uneven footing every now and then. It's only a couple miles' drive away. Since the treadmill's broken right now and the days are longer, it's great for now. So I hope it gets more interesting.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Race Report: Milliken Earth Run


Yay for getting to run it!


Prep:

Since I was coming off super-stiffness from the weekend, I needed some time off anyway, but I found out about an all-grass XC race when I was browsing the GTC website. That made me feel better about not being able to run... call it tapering instead ;) So I did the JM dvd on Tuesday and then did an easy 5.5er on Wednesday, just to not get deconditioned. I've been reading an incredibly interesting book... The Runner's Body - highly recommended! And it talks about how with injury, you need time off, but it's a bit of a catch-22, because you also need to keep using those muscles/tendons/ligaments/bones that are injured so that they don't weakened further. Stress makes it stronger, as long as it's not over the breaking point. Going down to less stress than it's accustomed to will make it revert to its less adapted form. All that to say... that's one of the reasons I wanted to get in the 5.5.

I took 2 whole days off after that, to let my body continue to flush out all of the stuff that was making me stiff. My pee... urine... (haha, doesn't look good any way you put it) was darker on the day that things started getting better. I think there's a connection. Those enzymes or whatever were doing their job to break down the weak muscle fibers and whatever else, so that new, stronger ones could be built up in their place. My guess is that all that broken down material had to go somewhere, haha.



Sooo... the night before, I intended to go to bed early (10ish) and wake up at 6:30am so that I could register the day of the race (the only other option was mailing, and since I only found out about it a week earlier, that wasn't an option) as early as I could to try to get a t-shirt. I avoided dairy (heard that it hinders your running in some way, but I don't think I've ever read anything research-based... just some guy giving advice)... mostly because I ran out of milk, though. I didn't really carbo-load. I feel better when I eat a balanced, normal-sized diet. I ate 2 oranges instead of 1, to make sure my body got all the immune-boosting stuff it needed to help my body be able to handle the stress it was coming off of.

Back to the sleep... I listened to The Running Shoe podcast to calm me down as I laid in bed. My mind kept racing, though, and I didn't sleep until midnight. Somehow, the time flew. Not the podcast's fault. I turned that off pretty early on. I just kept thinking about the race. Always happens before big events, like trips and races. So getting sleep the night before the night before is even more critical for me. So I eventually fell asleep, but I ended up waking up again at 4:30. I don't know if it was because my natural alarm clock was on edge and wanting me to get up as to not miss the race. The fact that we just did daylight savings probably didn't help my internal alarm clock, although that would've made it 3:30, so who knows. It could've also been the need to go to the restroom, but I hardly ever or maybe never ever... don't remember... have to get up in the middle of the night for that. But I did... and couldn't calm back down... mind racing again.

The morning of:

So I took advantage of my wakefulness to re-fuel (glyco stores had gone down, so I needed to replenish. I figured that digestion takes a while anyway, so if my muscles wanted it by race-time, I may want to get a head start) and clean my XC spikes. There was still tons of dirt and grass caked/weaved into all the treads from my Pton visit in Nov! It took so long. I went through it with water, a toothbrush, a plastic baby spoon, and a paper towel. I wish I had thought of a paperclip... would've gone by so much faster. The intertwining of grass blades and crusted mud made it so difficult. But eventually, the treads were mostly cleared out. Then, my shoes were a bit wet, so I had to blow-dry them. Didn't want any extra weight!

Then, I showered. I think it's a good way to relax and get blood flowing through your muscles again, without the damaging (yes, damaging, according to many recent studies) that stretching pre-run does to both strength and endurance. I packed many different pairs of socks (different fits, lengths) because I wasn't sure if my OxySox would 1) be good (stay up and fit well on my calves), and 2) fit well in the spikes. 5 pairs, I think I brought. The OxySox ended up being great, though. Much better than my first try. I think it's okay just to have them go up to the largest circumference zone of the calf. I also brought my camera, 2 race belts (shadow pak, in case I wanted to bring keys, and the regular race belt), larabar for pre-run (snacked on it over the course of an hour - filling b/c of the walnuts and energizing from the sweet dates), lots of other food, water, arm compression sleeves (in case it was cold... 45ish at 7am, going up to 53 by 9am), warmups....

To the race:

Drove out to Sburg, took some wandering in the car on Milliken's campus to find the race start. It's a big campus. Found the tent and other cars, though. I registered, and at first, they said that race-day registrants do not get t-shirts. I was disappointed, but I thought, ok, I'm in it for the opp to run on grass anyway, so it's ok. Then, I sat in the car, prepped my gear (went with the race belt, since I felt I could leave my car unlocked), then went to the bathroom. I was anxious, especially looking out at other runners... intimidating. So I listened to the radio and to the podcast to calm me down, singing and all. Sat around for an hour (a long time!), then went to the bathroom again... this time, with a long line just 15 min b/f race start. Thankfully, it wasn't that bad, and I warmed up with a few strides, some range-of-motion moves (no stretching, and only the slightest amount of dynamic stretching). It was warm now, so I had removed my warmups and arm sleeves - just the singlet and the race belt and shades.



Race time:

It was time to get on the line. They were backing us all up, so I found a spot in the 2nd row, far right of the field. There was a super skinny girl in front of me (who must've had like 3% bf or something, it was crazy), and I figured she'd go out fast but fade some time later, so I positioned myself behind her. The starting siren went off, and we were off. The course was generally marked by a closely cut path in the grass, about 3m wide. Since the entire "park" was grass, not even with concrete or asphalt sidewalk, that was nice. Being off the path just meant running through deeper grass, which could be somewhat uneven. Bad for ankles, but I think if anything, the low-lying spikes make ankle rolls less of a possibility, due to better proprioception. Since the start's always crowded, I had to go on the deeper (therefore slower) grass for a ways before things thinned out enough so that I could get on the close-cut path. We wound around, going at my usual 1st-mi pace, I think. At the first mile marker, my watch read 6:41!!! So I suspected that it wasn't really a mile.

I had seen a map of the course serendipitously when I was on my way to the bathroom, since they made us use the fitness room bathroom (their company campus has its own fitness room!!! so jealous). It was on a wall, so I studied it well, looking at where the mile markers were, identifying the landmarks for the hilly portion of the course, and identifying the point where I should start my final kick. Anyway, I started picking more people off starting from about the first mile marker. It's nice to be the picker. It's sometimes mentally stressful, when you see a girl (aka competition) ahead, knowing that if she stays ahead, that's one place lower for you, which could potentially be the difference between medaling and not. You know it'll mean pain, pushing yourself to catch up. But it's way better this way than getting mental blow after blow from getting beaten by one person after another. Another bad thing about picking people off, sometimes, it's hard to get around people in front of you when they're going slowly and blocking the way if they're two across. Maybe I could've gone faster without having to wait for an opening to appear while going at their slower pace. But maybe it was good to be able to draft and save my energy and stay below the lactate threshhold for the time being? Makes sense.

So the second mile went through the first part of the hilly section, where I was picking people off more. The third mile, I started wondering, are we close? I can't wait for this to be over. I think I passed a total of 3 girls in the last 2 miles. They were spread pretty far apart. I think I got the last of the three about 0.5 mi from the finish, so there was still a big margin. I used the tactic of surging as I passed, to try to convince her that I was still going strong and that she should give up on the idea of trying to keep up or retake the lead. It worked well. I think she was fading, anyway. Getting closer to the finish line, I happened to see my running friend (probably older than my parents) from work.... friend/co-worker who runs is probably more appropriate, since I've never run with him before. Anyway, he was making lots of noises. He was working hard, man! I was breathing hard for about the 2nd half of the race, but not like he was, with groans and stuff. We were now like 0.3 miles from the finish, and like I said, he's probably in his 50's, so the fact that he was up there is incredible. We cheered each other on, and then we turned onto the final stretch, with only like 0.1 miles left. I kicked (perhaps later than I should have), and finished in 21:47. Oh yeah, my 2mi split was 6:58... more reasonable for a mile split for me, and the last 1.1 was 8.02.



HEY!!! ASSUMING THE RACE REALLY WAS 3.1 MI, A 21:42 PACE IS EXACTLY 7:00 PACE!!!

After the race, I staggered through the chute and realized how untracked my rt knee was. I did a few pillow flexor exercises to try to get it to track correctly - it at least helped make it feel better during the exercise, although not 100% better afterwards. It helped a little, though. Then, I decided to cheer on the rest of the finishers. I had started the day thinking, "God, I want this race to be for you." And I wasn't sure how to really do that? Make some new friends while I was there? So when I got over my knee thing, I remembered that it could be great if I cheered others on. Crowd support was slim, since it was a corporate competition race, where most in attendance were racers representing their companies, with minimal family or friends present. So I cheered, clapping continuously for about 20 minutes, haha, and yelling about once every 20s. It was fun, especially when the runners responded with a smile or a thumbs-up. Anyway, I hope it made peoples' race experience better, to be cheered on for their final kicks. In the last race I did (about a year ago!), I was really struck by how the girl who ended up winning first by a wide margin was so others-centered after finishing her run, grabbing me a water bottle and then going to cheer the other finishers on. Anyway, that's my example.

So, when pretty much all, including walkers were finished, I ran back to the tent, where people were getting food. I didn't expect food, since they hadn't even had t-shirts for race-day registrants or race goodies in general earlier. I had an apple and a banana - was hungry, so that was great. And they started giving away t-shirts from no-shows, so I ended up getting a medium-sized tech shirt after all. Pretty cool, besides the width of the shirt and the somewhat heaviness of the material. Then, door prizes... gift certificates for training sessions and huge rugs (very random, but maybe used by the hosting company to test detergents?). Then, pottery awards. With the women, when the 3rd place finisher went up to get her award, I realized that I didn't even see her during the race, so there was no way I placed in the top 3. And it turned out that the really skinny girl got 1st - she's a walk-on for the Clemson team. I was 7th. The top 5 or so were clustered pretty closely way up on the top of the list, so I didn't even have a chance. But I raced pretty well, especially for a grass course. The spikes probably helped. Oh yeah, the race belt rotates, so my number would shift to the back, or the whole belt would go under my shirt, making the number invisible... not good. Rather pin it next time, I think. Something to remember for the next race.

Post-run:

I wanted to catch up on the mileage that I've missed on this off-week, and I also wanted to take pictures and measure the course on the GPS, so I went another time. It was nice getting to enjoy the scenery this time. I was so focused on my footing and passing people before. I'd stop to take pictures. It was fairly fast-paced, and it was hard to tell exactly which paths to take, so I ended up going another route on some parts, so that kind of messed up the GPS plan. And my knee wasn't doing great, and it was hot (getting up to the 70's!), otherwise I'd take advantage of the wonderful grassy course for a third loop. Maybe another time.

So a great race.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mar 17

FIT:
Back on the road after some time off. Day 2 after the Saturday LR, whatever stuff is under the tibialis anterior hurt pretty bad, so I tried to work it out by digging in there. That made it hurt way more the next day, but AD said that it was good for it, and that increased pain the day after deep tissue massage was to be expected. Also correctly guessed that I had been running on uneven surfaces. Felt much better later that night. I was still stiff everywhere for 2 days after, too much to run safely. Wasn't too bummed about it at first, because I found out about an XC race - all grass, baby - this Saturday. It'll be a nice taper. So a few days without a workout. I fit in a strength session right before DOMS hit, the day after the LR. Then, yesterday, I went to the gym to try running, but (perhaps fortunately), the treadmill was broken, so I did the Jillian Michaels DVD. That went well. This was my third time doing it, and each time, I can do the moves more intensely (deeper squats, faster pace, farther jumps, etc). 4 days without a run is getting close to the boo mark, though, so I ran today.

5.5 in 47:23, 8:37 pace, outsisde on uneven and sometimes risky roads. Not much grassy shoulder to run on, or shoulder at all at times. But after the inital risky part, there's about a mile and a half each way of good, even grass. I don't have very many options these days b/c the HS XC course is closed, so I wanted to try this route. But I probably won't use it again due to the risky, uneven parts.

So the run... wore a cotton tee, visor, new OxySox compression sox. The visor was good because of the rain (only the last quarter of the run), and the sox... not noticeably different from soccer sox aside from the fact that they were much shorter and tended to drift down b/c maybe they're really XS and not S as advertised by the eBayer... I like longer better. My rt butt's sore and my hamstrings are a little bit strained, but other than that, I think the run was nice. Easy and loosened me up. I did a quarter-mile sprint halfway through. I don't know if I'll be well enough for the race on Saturday. Maybe I'll run it no matter what, just to enjoy the fully grassy course and to try out a real run in my spikes, which I've only used to play ultimate once (kinda risky, laying out with quarter inch metal spikes)... I was careful, though, and only did it like twice when there was absolutely nobody anywhere nearby.

Alright... like 5 weeks away. Do no harm. So close, and had been doing so well. Take care of yourself.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mar 13

FIT:
Originally went to do a base run on the EHS trail, but they blocked off key parts of it! I think it'll be open again for XC season, b/c that's their course, but nooo! So I managed to finish a mile by jumping a fence (this time w/o cutting up my hamstring) and then decided to drive to downtown after all. I had wanted to change up the course to keep my body on its toes, and to take advantage of a closer driving distance. Ah well.

I ended up stopping by TJX to get some dark chocolate before heading downtown. It threatened to rain, but it just barely drizzed a couple of times. OH yes, the purpose of this run was to test out a lot of my planned gear for the CM half. I wore the 4-pocket shorts, soccer sox w/ a good fit, no visor (feared wind resistance, but I'm still considering it, because the sun blocking would be good, and in the case of rain, it would be very good), shades, pton nike bra, 1224's w/ arches (b/c they're lighter and they've been working pretty well), cell phone in the back shorts pocket (ended up bouncing a lot, maybe not worth it to bring, especially if I can accurately predict when I'll be at photo op points where my dad will be), Gu in rt shorts pocket (was good, had 1/2 of it a/b 40 min in - very digestable, delicious, but makes your mouth dry, and all 3 water fountains I tried did not work!!! what's up, city?), race number belt (haha, no number on it, nothing on it... just wanted to make sure chafing wouldn't be an issue), and iPod (won't wear race day b/c there'll be many bands... may wear earplugs, though). Oh yeah... I may want to lubricate my upper arms... chafing... not noticeable during the run, but it burns a little post-run. Can't hurt, I think. If anything, it'll reduce friction/required energy for arm movements. 58 degrees, maybe 7 degrees cooler than expected race day weather.

Splits> 9:05 1-mi trail warmup then drive and shopping break, 8:15 b, 5:56 p, 7:22 c, 7:24 p, 6:04 b, 7:26 p, 7:28 c, 7:39 p (on the phone part of the time, explains slowness), 6:16 b, 8:57 c. So 1:21:58 including warmup, 1:12:53 without. Only about 15-30s slower than the past 2 times. Part of the reason: the long bike session 2 days ago. Caught up on sleep this morning (6 + 6 hours, with doing dishes and watching some tv and internet in between from about 1:30-5am). But I think an important takeaway here... don't do a taxing warmup on race-day, because just having the energy to finish 13.1 will be difficult. Usually, there's a warmup effect where my first mile is slow, but I think my knees (and probably my energy stores/endurance) are too fragile to afford a warmup.

My old iPod shuffle headphones got pretty frayed recently - still working the last time I checked, but I replaced them, just in case. My dad brought me 3 cheap headhpones from home... and they proved to be cheap. After only 3 runs (vs. who knows how many w/ the old iPod ones), the wire snapped right off. So while with some products, cheaper versions work just as well, with others, it's worth is to pay a little more to get a durable product. Any recommendations? Skullcandy seems popular and high-end. Maybe I'll go with those.

Ave pace for the 8.6 - 8:28/mi.

About 1/2way through the run, I had to massage out some small pain in my outer rt knee. Strange that that part hurts, since only a couple days ago, the insides of my knees were burning. Anyway, the massage seems to helped - I've had to do it in the past 2 LR's on mixed surfaces, about halfway through the 8.6 milers. It was probably a minute of massaging. Hopefully, I won't need to stop during the race to do it, but if I do, no biggie... doesn't take too long, and it seems to work.

My right leg is more aligned now - no nagging hamstring/ankle/knee pain - just the bit of outer knee pain, which still exists and kind of got worse post-run. Eh, we'll see.

Had protein shake postrun - tastes kind of nasty. It's funny... I instinctively say "that's gross" after drinking it most times. Haha. I think it does me good, though, and it fills me up.

I had considered doing another 2 mi to finish the double loop, but my knees were too iffy, and I had already surpassed my 2010 LR record with the added (albeit not connected) 1 mi warmup. And I may be playing ulty tomorrow - need to save something for it. If there is no ulty, I think I'll just do a strength session.

I started eating chips again the past two days. While delicious, though, kind of makes me feel blah afterwards... may be a good thing. Stick to whole foods.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mar 11

FIT:
1:40 on a recumbent bike. 24.0 mi, 800 Cal - 2.0 mi and 50 Cal more than last time. A nice, low-impact way to build up endurance. 5-mi splits> 21:49, 21:09, 20:48, 20:10 - sweet! My rt butt will probably have a big knot in it soon. My medial knees were a bit burny pre-bike, but they seem ok now. Had a/b 1/4 of a pack of Jelly Belly SportBeans spread over the 1:40 and a bit of water at the halfway point (from a fountain, so not much). I sweat soooooo much. Also, I realized that the recumbent bike doesn't work your flexors very much - it felt like a lot of exertion to lift them when walking afterwards... maybe that's more from a range of motion thing, or a lack of force going any direction but outwards. Eh, no matter.

Yesterday, the Step CD. Today, my quads and calves looked bigger - probably some inflammation, not necessarily increased muscle. Calves have been sore, probably from 2 forefoot-focused runs recently.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mar 9

FIT:
3.1 in 22:54, 7:23 ave. Treadmill @ 1 degree. Post a night of 1 hr sleep, then 3 hr nap later. Needed energy release from mental drain/fuzziness. Wore 8's w/ arches, light shoes. Rt hamstring still off, but better than the worst parts of yesterday. Splits> 7:26, 7:24, 7:21, 0:41. Felt good. Stretched pre (quads sore from yesterday, IT loose, though), ice bath post. Rt ankle has trouble/lack of strength in stepping. Butt probably got re-injured when I was moving heavy stuff on stairs 2 days ago. Nooooooo... not as bad this time... I can walk ok, gait's thrown off even walking but it's not a crippling pain. I hope it's nothing serious and that it'll just fix itself.

Oh yeah... that silliness from the last post about being excited about the prospects of an all-nighter... how soon we forget. I thought I could re-live the adrenaline rush of college days, but I forgot that it's not very comfortable. By the next day, I could tell my immune system was down, and trying to think when your head is fuzzy is hard. Work is slow. And you have to do everything you can to wake yourself up after a short nap.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mar 8

FIT:
A funny feeling, when you just did a decent workout but you hardly feel any effects of it. I think my heart's getting stronger - maybe it was the sprinting from the ulty game. 8mi in 1:04:27, 8:03 ave. Splits> 8:18, 8:13, 8:12, 8:11, 8:12, 8:07, 8:02, 7:08. All at 1 degree!

I started going, right after a meal of 1/2 an orange, milk, and ww pasta w/ tomato sauce, to hit the gym for some much-needed release of energy (work stress makes you crave it) before the fitness room got crowded and before I bunkered down for a potential all-nighter... or all 3:00amer, which is when I'll need to wake up to work EU hours to conduct a training and testing session.

So I wore new 3's with Stab - had to do some tightening of the laces to make it feel right... still loose, though, and not a perfect fit. In time. Anyway, things started ok. No TV or iPod, but looked at (and even managed to bumpily read) a Runner's World magazine. My rt hamstring was acting up, then rt ankle, rt knee... bearable, though. I focused the whole time on forefoot landings. Ironically, though, pronating and heel striking on the rt foot seemed to ease the pain. Maybe the combo of Stability insoles and 3's overcompensate for my overpronation? I'll try going to Arch insoles next time.

Anyway, hoped to do some high mileage, but with my right leg problems like that, I decided, "best to live to run another day... or maybe bike tomorrow". But at 7.0mi, I decided to ramp it up and maybe get a couple tenths of miles. But going down to 7:15/mi pace felt really easy, and the tenths clicked away. Picked it up a bit at the very end of the mile it lasted. Felt great, and things hurt less at this pace, I guess because of less time touching the ground (although more impact), but it felt good. Cardiovascularly, things were great, too. It felt easy, which is an amazing feeling when you're at your body's usual limit. There was still gas left in the tank at the end, but I didn't want to push my luck.

Good run.

Iced bathed afterwards, although it's so warm now that it felt more like cold shower than ice bath. And I refueld w/ an Acai and Whey drink, a carrot, the other half of the orange, and more pasta. The Whey worked wonders last time. Maybe it was really some other factor other than the whey, but I'll run with what seems to work.

Also, I realized yesterday that I've been neglecting my elastic band exercises. Maybe that's why I had knee issues recently. So I incorporated it into my strength session last night. Hadn't done it in 2 weeks! I gotta be diligent, though. I feel a knot coming on in my butt... gotta work it out.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mar 6

FIT:
Swamp Rabbit Trail 8.6 in 1:12:39 (8:27 pace), but there was a walk break in there to get to a public restroom, but after seeing it, I decided that waiting was better. I had eaten a banana and ots of water right before the drive to downtown. At about 45 min in, I finished the last of my Margarita Shot bloks (finally!), a pack I had been working on for forever. And I felt low, so I had half a pack of Jelly Belly sport beans, too. They were really sugary and left your head feeling too sugared up. Got the job done, though, I suppose. And I guess it may be different if you have water with it.

Wore a sports bra, 1224's w/ Stab (I think I prefer the Arches, at least with this shoe), soccer sox (yay compression - I think it really does help), Shadow Pak again. Right before the bathroom break that didn't happen (at about mile 3.5), my knees were getting kind of strained, the attachments on the upper outsides of the knees to the thigh. Massaging it a tiny bit helped me get through the rest ok, though. Didn't feel good enough to attempt the extra 2 that would make the run 2 laps on the trail, but it was good. Hot, though! 57 degrees at noon, which probably rose.

After the run, I had a nice picnic in Falls Park of Mixed Greens w/ Feta, Wasabi Almonds, and Goldfish, with an Orange a bit later. Then, I did 10 steep uphill sprints, although the hill was kind of too short to get your HR up much. Maybe some other time, I'll do more repeats, when there aren't as many ppl at the park.

Tired...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mar 3

FIT:
Was itching for a run yesterday - felt decent enough for it, but I had a nearly 3 hr dinner with coworkers, so I just squeezed in a strength session.

Today, quads were still sore, but besides that, things are mostly ok - still sore, but not really noticeable. Did a 4miler at 1 degree in 30:00 exactly. I went fast b/c someone was waiting for the treadmill. Right knee felt somewhat unstable, but nothing too bad. Muscles feel very hard... don't know what causes it. My guesses: 1) they're stuck in a contracted position, 2) they're full of more blood than usual for good reasons (increased capillarization), 3) they're full of more blood for bad reasons (need for repairs, swelling), 4) they're full of new cells and/or bigger cells, or 5) they're full of fuel.

Ok, just googled it. http://www.active.com/mountainbiking/Articles/It_s_not_about_the_lactic_acid__Why_you_re_still_sore_after_yesterday_s_ride.htm
It's #3. Makes sense - if it's harder to work when they're stiff, there's probably something not good (in the short term) going on. And since it loosens up after a few days of rest or after some light exercise or stretching, it's probably not 2, 4, or 5.

Anyway, wore no soccer sox (I think I still want to wear them in the race), wore 1224's w/ Stab - first time with that combo, but the soreness/stiffness made me not able to really feel out the combo.

Splits> 7:59, 7:43, 7:18, 6:59 - ave 7:30 flat - good for a 1 degree and good considering the stiffness. It was hard holding it for the last 0.5mi. Ice bathed afterwards. Still stiff. Fueled up well post-run. Pre-run, fueled up a lot too - maybe too much even for immediately (minutes) before a run. We'll see how tomorrow goes. Ideally, an LR, but we'll see if my stiff body cooperates and me knee gets a little better.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Highs and Lows

Originally, this was going to be a post on highs, but you know how life goes - roller coaster... hormones... whatever.

High: Pastor C was talking about how wonderful it is to know people who, just by being who they are, make you want to be more loving, more holy, more forgiving - almost made me cry. So true. I'm so freaking lucky to know people like that. And to just think... that they're just shadows of the real thing, I can't comprehend.

Low: Missing a friend, not knowing what's wrong or how to help. I guess God knows and cares even more than I do and can help, and I can pray.

High: Rekindling excitement about learning, especially after you go for a while in real life not using too much of what you slaved away at and didn't necessarily always enjoy at school (the not enjoying part was probably because of having too much to try to cram in and not enough time to do it, or too many competing demands, resulting in some stressful situations). Anyway, finding ways to apply what seems to be obscure is such an awesome feeling. I need to re-learn linear programming for work, and I stumbled upon the old diet problem - the website made LP so cool ( http://www-neos.mcs.anl.gov/CaseStudies/dietpy/WebForms/table.html)! Find the min cost solution that meets constraints for various nutrients, where the solution is some combo of foods you wouldn't mind eating in optimal serving sizes. If you can't stand eating more than eating 3 servings of PB/day, set it as a constraint. If you need at least 2000Cal to fuel your run but less than 2500 for maintenance, set it as a constraint. If you want at least 1500mg Calcium, set it as a constraint. So cool. And the dual variables make sense now - if it's $X for tuna, then if you're willing to increase your bound on tuna by 1 unit, then you can decrease the cost of your daily food by $X.

High: From yesterday, an awesome game of ulty!!! It was so nice playing again, and it was some intense playing, too! Some solid cutting, positioning, and catching out there, even by those who haven't played much or at all before - I was impressed. It was great. So sore today, though. I haven't run like that in forever, sprints and lateral movements and all. I ended up just dragging my feet into position to push the gas pedal or used my arms to lift my legs up because my flexors are so trashed. My arms had to push off the ground a lot after layout attempts, so even they got worked. A close game, too - keeps things exciting. It was fun just hanging out with brothers and sisters and just enjoying the feeling of playing hard and just loving life. Anyway, I am glad to have two days off from running to recover - sweet rest.

Low: Olympics withdrawal, going from having it on whenever I was at home and feeling bad if I had to take nap and miss some, to being stuck once again with generally unappealing tv, save Lost, the Office, and Biggest Loser. What am I going to do now? Sleep, as unfulfilling as it can feel, is probably good.