Monday, June 28, 2010

Mid-Year in Review 2010

Each week, there's a section in my log for weekly summary notes. Here they are:

1. Fuel: Was like “oh” when I saw the tracking – hope it helps and not hurts.
No intensity factor b/c my 1-hr pace is hard to say – will prob do later once I’m back to normal.
2. Fuel: focused more on protein this week, to support my strengthening, allowing me to run.
3. Worried by eating more lately, harder to feel full. Maybe mileage increase-related, hope. Lots of that from Kettlechips, though. About 7 hrs sleep/nite this week, but not restful. Immune system down? Maybe related.
Verdict’s still out about barefoot running.
4. Lower mileage, recovering from negative effects of barefoot still, but seems like I’m getting stronger muscularly. More mass/weight – probably why I was so tired and hungry this week.
5. Another week of tiredness. First month done! Ave 2.02 mi/day – est 740.6/yr at this pace. I’m happy. Expect to get stronger.
6. PT seems to actually speed up recovery post hard run? Ok.
Sore 2x this week. Strange but good?
Good training pattern emerged.
7. Start of the week was scary terrible. Seems okay now tho.
8. 2 months. Time to step it up.
9. Glad to have 2 long runs w/in a week. Used to 5’s and 8’s now? Back in old groove now – now base #2. Just have to get LR’s up to 13-15, get rid of butt issue. Good progress!
Good to play ulty again.
10. Recovering from a big last week still.
Need to be better about keeping up w/ PT – knees not great this week. Don’t blow it w/ injury.
11. Scary Tibialis Anterior under stuff episode – prob b/c all running forefoot focus this week. In future, maybe mix it up and ease into changes. Unexpected, tho.
Poor sleep this week but prob caught up over weekend. Good progress LT-wise.
Want to start working on V02!!! Next step. Good timing.
12. Going strong. Keep it up, risk mgmt til race.
13. Endurance probably all here. Besides maybe upping V02Max, just do nothing stupid.
14. Just need to get my knee better!
15. n/a
16. Numbness concerning, but otherwise should be okay.
Just need hammies to recover.
Eat well, taper, sleep well.
17. Great way to end the season! Glad to have less pressure now.
18. Need to get my rt knee back to normal, then maintain as much as I can during the hot summer. Not expecting much. Just maint, b/c it’ll be tough.
Maybe more xtrain to escape heat, give legs a break.
Races to keep motivation but don’t expect much.
19. Need to fix TA issue.
20. Boo butt… at least it’ll give my TA a break.
21. Hope to be ok to take advantage of Pton sports.
22. Amy says I shd rest to get the TA better, plus ice cup 3x/day and maybe Aspirin.
23. Mix of Pton rest, ice, stretch helping?
24. Acclimatization.
25. Wanna take better care of myself w/ icing and stretching. PT, too, I guess.
26. Decided to go for marathon in 2011. Gotta somehow build base w/o injury.

And now my high-level summary:

I highlighted week 17, since it was the Half Marathon week. There's a difference between my training before and after that. Before, I was more willing to push through possibly risky discomfort to try to be able to finish the race. I had a few 20+ weeks in there, and even the other weeks were decently high. After the race, it's been lower because there isn't that same fear/motivation to press my luck a little. Also, it's been hotter. Hard to tell how much of it is affected by heat.

I guess you can see in the 26th week's notes that I, in a moment of needing something to look forward to, and also in being inspired to set out to do this thing finally, decided to go for the marathon. It's been in the back of my mind for a while, but it was often unknown when I could fit it into my work schedule with its trips abroad, and moreso with what my body can build up to and handle overall. I think I can do 3:50 reasonably, and based on some race result estimators, I am just a tad too slow... I'm talking 1-2 minutes... to BQ (if you use my best half race), and with others, I can do it with a whole 10 minutes of cushion (if you use my 5k races). I clearly have more speed than endurance. That's something that can be changed, if I can stave off injury, but that's hard. I think a lot of it's in God's hands, in his timing, and it may not be something that he wants me to have. That's okay. I'm okay with it. I really want it, but it's still fun just to dream and to hope and to try.

Next time I do a race, I will do more to taper. I got scared and did a LR a week before the race... not the best idea, but it had been so long since my last LR and I needed the confidence boost. Confidence boosts really do help, although maybe it was offset by the lack of full recovery. Also, I want to do some speed sharpening next time. I wasn't strong enough for it last season... or maybe w/ the higher mileage, I just couldn't do it w/o risking injury. In any case, ideally, I'll have a sharpening period next time to increase speed,V02max, and running economy. But I'm really happy with how it went. And oh yes, just to be able to run 13 again is more than I could've hoped for a year ago. I still haven't run 13 since then, and that's my longest run so far, so I'm still far away, but I just have to try to take care of myself and heal up. Maybe it'd be better to take a total break for a while to get my butt/hip/knee and all that connected stuff healed up, but there's no guarantee that it would fix whatever's wrong, and who knows how long that self-healing would take. I'm impatient. And I need the daily stress relief, so I'm just going to keep going.

I think I'll go for a January marathon, maybe the Myrtle Beach or the Disney. All the cool marathons (MCM, Chicago, Niagara Falls International) that are on my to-do list are unfortunately in the early fall. Why? It's right after that slow summer season, so you don't get a chance to get some decent training in. I wish they were in the winter, with fast times on race day and after a good season of longer runs and good training. Oh well. We'll see.

So this half year, I averaged 2.08 mi/day. At that pace, I'll reach 760.2. Not the 1K I was hoping for, but I'll take it. And maybe things will get better. Although with about a month of travel abroad planned, likely without a treadmill or safe places to run, running plans may be thwarted a bit, but we'll see. It was one of my dreams to be able to travel for work and get to run and explore places, but that's an ideal world, where every place is safe.

Jun 28

Running is so nice. I couldn't wait to finish strong with a good amount of work and then go home to get in a run. I hoped for a long run and managed 7 in 57:36, 8:14 ave. I didn't turn on the 1 degree incline until 0.6 mi in, though, b/c I forgot... too excited. Sweat a lot, stung my eyes. Had a 1/2 concentrate Cytomax with me, but with its rigid wide mouth, I had no way of drinking without getting most of it on me instead of in me. My right hip flexor, near the very very top, had some issues, but it was manageable.

Splits were inconsistent b/c it was a hard pace for the heat or my level of recovery or something. It was hard to breathe in the first few miles, dunno why. Seemed to get better, though, since I didn't notice it the rest of the time. Splits> 8:15, 8:18, 8:31, (25:54 5k), 8:24, 8:18, 8:13, (51:37 10k), 7:34. Listened to an mp3 player I'm borrowing from my dad til I get an iPod touch. Good to have Phedip again, to keep your mind off running, yet on running.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jun 27

A nice, relaxing time at home... sleep and World Cup mania. Refreshed for another week of work!

Today, after speeding home, I stopped by the grocery store to get some fresh food (ended up being chips and fruit) for the week. I realized that my left leg being I headed out for the treadmill. I discovered that propping up my left leg on the dashboard while driving for a couple of hours can put some pressure on your knees, as I started walking again. It was fine by the time I left the store, though.

After dropping off my stuff, went out to the treadmill. The bike session on Thursday ended up taking a loooong time to recover from. My TA's were soooo sore yesterday, but they were better today. Didn't have any issues running, although I could feel that my tummy had a lot of blood diverted to it for digestion, since I just had a Skinny Cow ice cream bar and pasta salad right before the run. Without that, I think I could've gone longer, but given the discomfort, 3.1 in 24:42 was okay, and I'm still fresh for a hopefully good week of running next week. I was glad just to not have issues today in this first run in 4 days.

So that was 3.1 in 24:42, 7:58 ave. 82 degrees, in a cotton tee (ventilated, b/c it's an XL or something that I cut up), sox. Iced afterwards, while catching up w/ a friend on the phone. Splits:... boring...7:59, 8:00, 7:59, 0:43. I was surprised to be able to hit 7.5mph from the start, considering the time it's been since my last run and the TA soreness yesterday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jun 24

Biked today b/c felt decent, though a bit too banged up for a run. 21.5 mi in 90min, 715 Cal. Drank about 2/3 of a regular-strength Cytomax. Interestingly, it didn't taste overly sweet this time. It would've tasted better cold, though. I sweat so much. Felt really good and relaxing. Read Runner's World and watched NBC. It was a fun evening. I've worked soooo much this week, not stopping for lunch all week. Going home for the weekend, though, I think!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FAITH: Aslan

On my drives back home to visit my family, I'd listen to the Chronicles of Narnia on CD. It's the BBC version, and the voices and music and sound effects, plus the bits of backstory that bookend each tale are so well done. Those books have really touched me to the core, though. I had read the series for the first time maybe 4 or so years ago, and it's interesting how they kind of hit you in different ways in different times of your life. New things you didn't notice before. It's so much more than childrens' books; it's incredible.

It's been a lonely time recently, but the way those books describe Aslan as always being there, even though we can't see him, captures the idea more than real-life lessons or words do. The books also capture all the different ways people relate to him. It's not all rosy. It's real. There's fear, shame, but always love, from me to him, that I relate strongly to. On the other side, there's acceptance, not treating me as I deserve but grace and the lifting of my head, and love from him.

What struck me most 4 years ago was how much the characters made me love and want to strive for righteousness (in a good way, for its own sake). Now, I guess I'm more drawn to Aslan himself. Before, I thought the last book was kind of boring, anticlimactic, and a bit gloomy. But now, I'm wondering how I could've ever thought that. Farther in and farther up, every place even more wonderful than the last on into infinity, the incredible things of the old world just a shadow of the real thing that really IS, the great reunions, being with Aslan and seeing him face to face. Frightening but wonderful.

Jun 23

Was going to nap since I was tired after a looooong day at work, but my legs felt decent. They were still a bit tight from two days ago's run, plus last night's strength session, so no LR or even a decent base run. Just squeezed out a speed session.

Brooks Trance 8's w/ arches. 81 degrees, plus whatever humidity adds. 1 degree treadmill. 3.1 in 23:44, 7:39 ave. Aaah, to think I need to drop that down another 0:40/mi. Let's see... heat adjusted... oh yeah, I was thinking after the run, that the heat adjustment factor of 1% per degree over 60 degrees may not apply as much in shorter distances where the body doesn't have as much time to heat up from ambient temps, at least in the extreme cases of sprints, so maybe by extension shorter distances as well.

Sooo... what I did...
0.5 mi warmup, 4:17.
0.25 mi @ 10mph, 1:29... mile race pace.
0.25 mi interval, 2:10
0.25 mi @ 10mph, 1:30... mile race pace.
0.25 mi interval, 2:11
0.25 mi @ 9.5mph, 1:34... due to pending muscle/connective tissue damage more than tiredness
0.25 mi interval, 2:10
0.25 mi @ 9.5mph, 1:34... as before
0.25 mi interval, 2:08
0.6 mi cooldown w/ speedup, 4:38.

Last time I did quarters was the epic 20 quarters run, where I averaged 1:30. It was rainy, cold, and glorious, but I did complete stops of like 45s after each rep and didn't have asymmetric injuries.

I'm happy for today, though, and since it was so short, I think I may be able to recover quickly. We'll see. Left achilles a bit strained, but it's not a chronic thing, so I think it'll pass.

After the run, you always wonder "how could I have wanted to sleep before this?" because you feel so energized and happy afterwards.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jun 21

A strange night. Could't sleep, my mind was going strange places. Second night in a row, up til 5. Surprisingly, not that tired today... even less tired than normal. I was probably up because of the long naps I took during the day. I need sleep, but apparently not that much, or not in nap form.

During my sleepless night, my body had kinks in it, but somehow, the 2.5 hours or so that I got made it all go away, and today, I felt really good and so ready for either a LR or a good sprint session. I set out for a LR, figuring that long stretches of free treadmill were rarer, and that if I could, I'd take advantage of it. I optimistically wanted 10, which wouldn't be that smart, since I haven't run more than 7 since late April. I did 6.2 instead. Not bad. It was a rigorous workout. My right leg wasn't pushing off smoothly, but I came through with minimal damages, it seems.

6.2 in 51:46, 8:21 ave. I realized when it was 6.1 that I probably thought 6.1 was a 10k many times this year. Oh well, I did it right this tme. Splits> 8:27, 8:30, 8:29, 8:22, 8:24, 8:07, 1:23.

Wore n3's w/ arches, sox. Had a shot blok before and about 3/4 a bottle of water throughout. Drinking was a little easier this time. Instead of dumping into my mouth, I squeezed the bottle as if it was a bike bottle, and it was quicker and less splashy.

Since my shuffle died again, I've been listening to podcasts as I fall asleep from my cell phone's music player, and I've been watching tv as I run. My favorite running tv is discovery channel / natl geographic type shows, and not dramas or clip-types (funny videos, competitions with many different contestants) or sports. Sports are probably second, but for some reason that I haven't figured out, scientific documentary types are the most consuming.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jun 19

Lots of catchup sleep today. Slept 1-10am, then another 4 hour nap later. Body's okay, so I went for a run. `Kept it short, though, because things weren't smooth enough to go far without risk. Wore n3's w/ arches. After the nap, ate asstd low glycemic carbs, but I needed a shot blok to pick me up.

3.1 in 23:52, 7:42 ave. 1 degree treadmill, 80 degrees. Started slow but picked it up after the first mile significantly. Interestingly, I didn't feel too much of a difference between the paces. Pushing the speed up button didn't seem to make a noticeable difference. Maybe I should just try speeding up even if it feels like a decent pace, until just before it becomes uncomfortable, next time. Splits> 15:50 (first mi a lot slower than the second), 7:24, 0:37 for 0.1. I hope it's just the heat.

Later on, I felt ready for more right then, at least cardiovascularly. Hopefully, I'll still feel up for it tomorrow. My TA's been ever so slightly noticeable the last couple of days, so I need to ice to keep the swelling at bay.

I had been looking for this in my books for a while, but I should've just googled this...
From Jeff Galloway:

Adjusting Race Pace for Heat: Estimated temperature at finish – Slower than goal pace – 8 min mile becomes…
55-60 degrees – 1% – 8:05
60-65 degrees – 3% – 8:15
65-70 degrees – 5% – 8:25
70-75 degrees – 7% – 8:35
75-80 degrees – 12% – 8:58
80-85 degrees – 20% – 9:35
Above 85 degrees – Forget it… run for fun

This is diffiult math... uh...

So going from a 7:42/mi = 462s/mi... and that's 12... or 20% over what it actually is. That's a huge difference. Great... Guess I'll have to plot it. Now... how to interpret those numbers... for 80-85, it seems most reasonable that 82.5 is 20%, so maybe I can just call 81 degrees 18%, and I can avoid plotting. So 392s/mi. That's about a 6:32. For reals... no way. My best possible pace is 6:45, if I ran a perfect 5K. If he put the % as the max negative effect for the category, then I'm maybe 13%, in which case the adjusted pace is 6:49... more likely, though still probably too fast. I wonder if heat acclimatization was built into that, or if it really has an effect. If you're part of the Central Governor Theory school, it does. I guess if your body starts sweating more, then it would help, too, and you don't have to believe in CGT to accept that.

I guess the conclusion is that I shouldn't feel bad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jun 17

Mentally and physically drained this week. After a nap, thought a run may help. It was hard, though, due to the heat or lack of energy or something. Rode the nice treadmill again, 1 degree.

7.0 in 59:39, 8:31 ave. Splits> 8:54, 8:51, 8:42, 8:34, 8:29, 8:20, 7:47. A very slow start. Drank about 2 cups of water during a run from standard bottled water. It was difficult not to splash, so I just kind of dumped what I could into my mouth. It makes you swallow more air, but it minimized splashing. A nalgene would've been worse, I'm sure. A bike bottle might've been easier. Had 1 shot blok at about 1.6 miles for a pick-me-up. It was nice.

My legs were getting over DOMS during work today, but it was fine by the time the work day was over. Iced and stretched afterwards.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jun 14

A new treadmill has arrived! It looks much bigger and sturdier than the previous one. We'll see how well it stands up to heavy use. It's wide and doesn't jiggle like the old one did. It came just in time to save me from a nasty hot summer. I had a week of acclimatiztion and was just beginning to get used to the feeling of stepping out into and running through a warm, moist blanket. It's not all for nothing, though, since it seem like they turn up the temps in the fitness room during the summer to save on energy costs - 81 degrees. It was about 71 during the winter. It made me feel better to see that, since I had run kind of slowly. Good to see that part of it was due to heat.

To take advantage of flat ground (vs. trail-like grass), and to sub for the bike itervals I had been planning on doing to give my legs a break (b/c my rt butt was tight today... piriformis, I think), I did an interval workout. Opposite of my original intent, but I was feeling pretty good when I excitedly ran back home to put on running shoes when I saw the nice new treadmill.

The workout: 7.5mph for 1 mi, 7.0mph for 0.5mi, 9.0mph for 0.5mi, 2 x [7.5mph for 0.25mi, 9.0mph for 0.25mi], 7.5mph for 0.1mi. That's 3.1 in 23:49, 7:41 ave, on a 1-degree treadmill (maybe for intervals, one should switch to 0 degrees]. After a bathroom break, ran 2.0 in 16:57, 8:29 ave, mostly just to get in some miles. Rt butt was screwing with my stride during the 2.0, but the inflammation should die down. Nothing too serious so far.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jun 13

Home for the weekend. Lots of family time and staying up late, so squeezed in a run today. It was hot, so I didn't go far. Orginally wanted to do 4.4, but it was hot, and when I was close to home, I started kicking, so I decided to just keep kicking and finished strong.

2.3 in 17:10, 7:31 ave. 11am. It was hot, hot, hot. Probably the hottest or most humid run so far this year. That's C-town for you. 3's w/ arches.

It was good to have the 2 prev days off, b/c I was still getting over DOMS, esp in the calves. All better today, though, and icing felt really good afterwards.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jun 10

Some DOMS yesterday, calves a bit sore, hammies a bit strained. Better today. Not the same snap in my legs as before. Maybe the 3-in-a-row just wore on me. Got through today's run, though. It required a lot of effort.

3.7 in 31:24, 8:29 ave. 313 Cal. Splits> 6:27, 6:23, 6:17, 6:11, 6:04. Stopped b/c my knees and legs were just getting taxed by the pounding. Wore 1224's w/ Stab, shades but no visor. 8pm.

Ankle's better, 90%. Really wanted to nap, but got in the run.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jun 7

Things went a little differently today. I felt pretty good, kind of like I did last year. My legs were stiff, which is probably a bad thing if it's sweeling? They were a little pebbly, like there were rocks interspersed between my muscle fibers. Not nearly as bad as last time, though. The stiffness kind of feels strong and efficient - less vibration? But also more injury-prone, maybe? The workday was pushing for a nice run to clear my mind, but it would've been a 3-in-a-row, which I haven't done of pure runs in a full year, maybe. But I was feeling pretty good, due to a combo of icing, stretching, and a reduced runload last week. Plus, the two previous days were slow due to the heat.

So I drove out to the park at around 7:30pm and started going, in sox and 1224's w/ stability insoles. At the end of the first lap, though, I sprained my ankle. I the past year, I've rolled it a couple times, and it was mild enough to run through with no problems. This time, though, I could feel some strands getting stretched pretty rough. Definitely had to stop, and I spent the next ten minutes or so assessing the dammage. Didn't feel too swollen, yoinked, but still fully functional. Last time it was kind of bad like this, when I yoinked it during tug-of-war, I was able to run again two days later or something, so there was good hope. So try to run (I drove all the way out there, and I wanted a run), or just wait 2 days (no loss of fitness, probably wouldn't have gained any fitnessanyway, could probably use rest after 2 days of consecutive running already)... decided to run. I was thinking about how stupid and insane I was, but it worked out.

6 in 49:28, 8:15/mi, 515 Cal. Splits> 6:30, 6:13, 18:22, 6:11, 6:05, 5:55. Nice. Afterwards, saw that my ankle (the part that sticks out, where the ligaments got stretched) was swollen, but not terrible. Made an ice bath.... too much ice. Anyway, good run. Felt good. Stopped b/c it was getting dark, causing tricky footing at certain parts, and I was getting a little tired towards the end.

I've been so into running lately, like wanting to just read and hear and think about running all the time. It's so exciting to feel so excited about something. Wish I could feel that way about God. I think I really wanna go for a Spring 2011 marathon.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jun 6

I was sapped of energy this morning. Not tired but like my immune sys was down or how I'd imagine being low on iron would fee like. But just sitting quietly in church helped enough so that I coaxed myself into going to the Sunday School picnic afterwards and even ran after that. My legs felt a little used, and I doubted whether they could run, but it worked out well. My knees were even ever so slightly bangy.

5.3 in 44:10, 8:20 ave. Splits> 14:44 s, 7:18 c, 7:09 s, 5:56 c, 9:01 car. 3pm again, 92 degrees. Wore visor, shades, sox, bra, n3's w/ arches. Been doing more n3's to even out mileage with the 1224's. It was hot, but luckily, didn't really feel it until the last mile.

Oh, I miss the days of cold. Cold is more exciting. Cold gives more opportunities for comfort. You can always put on more clothes, but you can only take off so much. With cold, you get to put on all sorts of cool gear, and with heat, you just try to get as naked but decent as possible.

No inuries, though, I'm happy to say.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jun 5

It's acclimatization time. Went on a run at 3pm, hot and sunny. I figured I'd be slow due to the heat, but no biggie - two weeks of that and I'd be more used to it. Wore my cotton tee and sunscreen, for once, to not get roasted. Visor, sox, and 3's w/ arches, too. No iPod, b/c it ran out of batteries. Still using my Gamin, b/c the park course measurements are still inconsistent, and I still haven't replaced my broken watch. I think I'm waiting until the broken strap one runs out of batteries, since I can till use it for strength and the Garmin for runs.

3.7 in 31:29, 8:31 ave, 306 Cal. Splits> 6:26 (0.71), 6:18 (0.78), 6:14 (0.71), 6:19 (0.75), 6:10 (0.70). It actually cooled down significantly over the course of the run. The sun went away. Should've checked before I went out to find out about it, since it would've probably allowed me to go longer and faster. That's the thing about heat. Training in it makes you tougher mentally and adaptation to heat-wise, but you get more cardio and muscular benefit from being able to go faster and longer. Ah well. Benefit either way. Plus, in going slow and short, I didn't have time to hurt myself. No TA or butt issues thus far! Following PT's orders, I've been icing more... like 5x more than previously in the past few days... she said to do it 20x more, so I still have a way to go, but small steps...

It was crazy, though. At 3pm, it was "feels like" 95, but at 4pm, it dropped to 85!!!

Ended up stopping mostly b/c I had to use the restroom. But maybe I'll get in a longer run tomorrow. A few miles seem significantly longer when you're doing 0.73ish mile laps over and over again, and tomorrow's course will be an out and back 3+mi each way, if I manage it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jun 2

First day back home after a nice but EXHAUSTING time away. Got the full Pton experience, though, fun, exhaustion, and all... without the stress, though.

Sat, played about an hour of ulty, off and on. Wore XC spikes w/o the spikes. Felt super fast at first, but then you get used to it. With those, you pronate a lot, but it didn't seem to cause any issues. The grass scratched me up quite a bit, though.

Today, Wed, finally got in a run, and even that almost didn't happen. I had wanted to run Mon then Tue, but I didn't wanna have to take home yucky clothes, and I was tired. So I was itching for a run today. At 8pm, got prepped for the treadmill, but it was broken!!! Good news, though, my iPod has come back to life, at least for the moment. Ended up getting desperate and driving out to the park, hoping to get what I could of the setting sun, then using the headlamp if necessary.

5.2 in 43:52, 8:26 ave. It was rainy, and I wore no visor (forgot about the rain) in the rain for the first time in a long time. Also, 1224's w/ stab, short shorts. It was decent temps, due to the cooling rain, in an otherwise hot week. Splits> 6:18 (0.72), 6:25 (0.76), 6:32 (0.73), 6:17 (0.74), 6:19 (0.72), 6:05 (0.74), 5:53 (0.74). 435ish cal. Right leg wasn't 100% aligned, but no TA issues during the run, probably b/c it got so much rest recently. Afterwards, though, it got a little bit inflamed... that and my piriformis. Iced the TA and my hot knees. S'bout it. It was nice. I was so tired at work in the 2nd half of the day due to major sleep debt, but it was a satisfying, productive day, and a nice run was a good way to cap it off.