Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jul 29

Definitely a recovery run today. I slept 11 hours last night!!! I was tired. My eyes were tired at work. Not falling asleep, just worn out but had lots to do and just had to keep going. But I slept well last night and could've slept even longer. My joints have still been messed up. Running again today after 2 days ago's hard run was maybe notthe best idea, considering the joints. My inner left soleus has been strained, and my right TA flares up a little bit every now and then. Muscularly, though, I think there have been enzymatic or cellular changes or something. They feel like they could go strong for a long time, which is really encouraging. This run suggests otherwise, but they feel durable. I think the training effect has kicked in there. Research shows that joints and bones take much longer to adapt than muscles do, though. And my connective tissue issues support that.

So today's run. I probably would've been okay with another full rest day, given the relatively heavy load in the past 7 days. But I wanted to give it a try. I went 5.0 in 42:06, 8:25 ave. Splits> 8:42, 8:32, 8:34, (26:40... sloooow), 8:25, 7:51. Wore oxysox, 1224's w/ stab (felt very cushiony, maybe vs the n3's), tv. 83 degrees on 1 degree tread. Ehh... Had to be careful w/ the joint issues. It hurt a lot less to go faster than slower. I wonder how I'll fare in the 8:23-paced marathon (if I'm that lucky to go that fast)... I guess that's fast enough to feel okay. Maybe your joints get worked in different amounts when you go slower. I don't know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jul 27

A bang-up (in a good way) run, although I think I may need a rest day tomorrow. I was going to take a rest day today, to recover from the race+long bike+strength, but I was itching for some movement today. My left back (as always) was sore due to the bike... something is slightly awry with the seat, I think. I know there's a good possibility that my legs just have assymetries in strength of various connective tissue and muscles, but I think the seat's messed up. And my butt is always funny feeling afterwards. It's a recumbent bike, so it should be just like a normal seat, but maybe with the way you're kicking out, it makes things different.

Aaanyway, it left my joints out of sorts a bit. Well, it could be that or the race. It was different, because my TAs weren't swollen at all, even after the sprint, but they kind of felt dead and unable to generate any power. Walking around, I had to kind of go on my heels a bit and claw around, since I didn't have enough power to toe-off.

But I wanted to move today. I figured maybe 3-4 miles, at a moderate pace. I was nervous, since when I ran the day after the race, I had to stop at 3/4 miles because my knees started hurting. I didn't know if the same thing would happen today, since my TAs still seemed kind of dead. I just did those carefully, though, and speeding up and using different muscles sure did help. I felt good and speedy, too, maybe because I was primed by the race, so I ended up keeping up a good pace through 5.0.

5.0 in 38:49, 7:46 ave. 82 degrees, wearing sox, n3's w/ stab. mp3 until the last mile, when I needed to concentrate and not risk hitting the wire and sending the expensive mp3 player flying off the back of the treadmill and into the mirror. Splits> 8:15, 7:48, 7:47, (24:39 5k... pretty good), 7:34, 7:23. I'm happy, happy. Glad of the even just the distance, especially, though, after a tough few days. Since I was stressing my joints and barely making it through joint-wise, though, I'll probably need rest.

Watch News:
Oh, my new watch came today. High quality, metal face, sturdy, lots of functionality, but HUGE. It said unisex, but... either it's false advertising or it means nothing. I've had unisex watches before, and they're half the size of this mega one. It means that I probably will go with the Garmin in races especially now, since this thing is a bit heavy, that why not add just a little heaviness and get pace and distance functionality. But this watch will do just fine in training runs, and the big face will only help there. I'll look funny wearing it around on a daily basis, but I probably won't care too much. We'll see.

Marathon News:
Today, the lottery opened for the Chevron Houston Marathon. I want to go ahead and register so bad, just to have my foot half in, and to start getting pumped. I'm already pumped, but putting your name in takes it to a new level. I thought about staying up til midnight last night to register, but that would've been ridiculous, since the lottery's open for 2 weeks, and there's no benefit in putting in your name earlier rather than later. If I don't get in, Disney is my backup. Houston>Disney because it's cooler (temp-wise), faster, more serious, and harder to get in, now that there's a lottery. Disney is still good, since it's still big, fairly fast, and fun. We'll see. I hope my training season goes okay, with no injuries. Making it a year without injury, that would be a first. A single year, the fact that a single year would be a milestone is telling of my running career, but that's what it is. Hopefully, I learn more each time and have learned enough to stave off overuse injuries, though. Maybe this will be the year. As for a BQ, I'm not going to be overly optimistic. Just finishing in 4:50ish should be doable and reasonable. 4:40, though, seems like it's so within reach, compared to 4:50!! Aaaah.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jul 25

Since walking around a lot while shopping after yesterday's race, my have been sore/somewhat strained. Why? Maybe speediness promotes more forefoot striking. It persisted all throughout today. I want to move, though, so I figured I'd get in a nice bike workout, a long effort to make up for my lack of long run this week.

Walking over, I tried a tiny run, and it actually made my soleus and calves feel better, so I went back to grab my running shoes. I ran 3/4 miles just fine and felt good, but suddenly, both knees (left first) started hurting... front stuff. A new kind of knee pain. So I played it safe and switched to the bike.

I went 26.2 in 1:55 and 27.6 in 2:00. I drank about 2 bottles of water and had 4 Gu Chomps (Cranberry Apple). They're good, and less super sweet than Shot Bloks. It has 100% Vit C and E per 100Cal serving of 4 Chomps. I had them about once every 30 minutes, starting from minute 0. I wore a cotton tee (that got soaked), sox, and the Progrid w/o arch supports.

During the last 15 minutes or so, I got to watch the end of the final stage of the Tour de France. Without it, I probably would've quit early, but what an exciting thing to watch while biking. My soleus was still sore afterwards, but no major issues during the bike. Had to be careful at times when thing startedcreeping up, but it went well overall. Good workout.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

RACE REPORT: 2nd Annual Run for Hope

Jim Hauser, father, track coach, and Sarcoma warrior, passed away just this May, after fighting the rare cancer of the connective tissues since 2008 and losing a leg in the process. He was at the 1st annual race last year to raise awareness and money for his sarcoma foundation, but this year, his two daughters took his place leading the effort.

At the starting line, when I heard about the two women whose dad had just passed away, I almost started crying. The women had asked their pastor to talk about how just as something redemptive came out of a tragic event 2000 years ago, something redemptive was happening as a result of Jim's ended fight. I later realized that there were quite a few sarcoma warriors (a ter more suitable than "survivors") present, with stories to tell. I guess at the more popular disease-awareness events, there more who go mostly for the event. But at something as small as this race was, the percentage of the population directly impacted by the disease was higher.

The day began differently than with most of my races. I didn't decide to do the race until late last night (after midnight!). I hadn't planned on racing until maybe October, since it's been so hot, and I didn't want disappointing race results. However, work was crazy this week with lots of overtime, and I just wanted to buy myself something or get away on a day-trip vacation or something. I had seen a sign for the race, since it was held at an elementary school right next to the church, so remembering it, I looked it up online. If you do races like every few weeks, it can get a little old, but go a couple of months withoutu racing, and when you're back at your first race, it's incredible, and you wonder why you don't do it every weekend.

Since I hadn't planned at all for this race, I didn't taper. This week, I did 3.6 and 5.0 on W/Th, which isn't too much, especially considering that I took a break (although much needed) on M and T to recover from an LR plus a speedy run the following day. My diet's usually the same whether or not there's a race, so I guess I was in a decent condition to race. It would be good to get in a speedier workout anyway, since I'm usually resistant to doing intervals on a treadmill. And maybe I'd win something, since it seemed to be a smaller race. I'd see how I felt in the morning and make my decision then. It was hard to fall asleep because of the exciement of even the possibility of racing the next day.

After 4.5 hrs of sleep, I woke up to a blaring alarm. I was tired. My right knee was a bit out of joint. I figured I'd scrap it... no way with that knee. I had started getting excited, though, so I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. With a bit of walking around, my knee started getting better (bad sleep position, I think), so I decided to go for it. I ate cherries, packed a Larabar and water, stuffed an assortment of gear (mp3, race belt, Shadow Pak, race money, visor, shades, Garmin) in my bag and head out. The sun hadn't completely risen yet.

The sight of tents and red-shirted race volunteers as I drove up to the school brought thrills. I signed up, and even though it was done race-day, I got a shirt immediately. I went back to my car to put on shoes and to find a pen so that I could draw the race map on my arm. There was a small doule-loop and many turns involved, and I wanted to know where the mile markers wee and a general overview, in order to gauge my effort and time the kick, Prison Break-style. It was humid, and even warming up with a suuuuper light jog, my heart was working overtime. Not good, I thought. I did my usual mix of sitting in the car, dynamic stretcing, arms swings, and jogging. No striders this time, since I kind of forgot by the time it was a little before the starting gun.

Up at the line, there was a group of HS XC teamers. Surprisingly, for once, it wasn't too crowded near the front of the line, so I didn't have to worry about placement. After the aforementioned prayer and race introduction, the gun went off... very smooth. The HSers went out fast. I didn't know what pace to aim for, given the 84 degree heat. Even splits is the best, so don't go out too strong, but it'll always be a much faster pace than during even the faster training runs. I'd have to mostly go by effort. Even if I did know my pace (and I did, thanks to Garmin), I wouldn't know if I could hold it in the heat. All by feel, this race.

There were about 5 girls ahead of me, and I was a little like "aaah" when they went out so fast. I comforted myself with the thought that I could probably reel them in gradually, as they fell off pace. Although you get more and better training when you're in HS, with fresher legs, you don't have as much experience, so I had a little edge there, especially with the volumes I read on the subject. I picked off two in the first mile, leaving 3. I did some drafting off of some boys. Ideally, I would've gotten some water to splash on myself at the half-way mark, but it involved running about 20 extra feet... valuable feet, so I skipped it. Probably a fine decision. There was also a sprinkler further that was also about 20 extra feet away, but it probably would've only provided a tiny bit of cooling vs. a cup of water over the face.

In the last mile, the 3rd place girl was in my sights. What's mentally tough about chasing as a kick-strong person is that even though you know you may have a good kick, you're still in pain the rest of the time and continuously looking at someone's back. There's pressure. That last mile was all about hanging on, trying to get closer to the girl. Even if I didn't get 3rd, I still had a shot at an age group award, which lessened the pressure some. But if I didn't, and I ended up losing by a little bit at the end, I would've been so disappointed in myself for not pushing harder. The last quarter mile was uphill and hard, involving curves, too, which was nice in that you could see the other runners. The gap between me and the girl ended up staying about the same, though, and she ended up beating me by 17 seconds. A little in absolute terms, but it's a good margin in 5k terms. I had given it all I had, for sure, and even if I had had a little more, I still would've been beat, so no regrets at all.

After crossing the line, I did the usual stumbling through the chute and gasping for air. A boy offered me water, and although I have a pretty set rule about not sharing drinks, I eagerly accepted his partially drunk waterbottle (even though he had a second unopened one... maybe that was for a friend). I hope he doesn't have mono. After regaining composure, I congratulated Caroline, followed by guzzling cold water and forcing down a banana (didn't have much of an appetite, although I knew my body needed it). I got crushed ice and packed it into a cup then took a well-formed cylinder of moldable ice out of the cup and iced my knees. It works SO WELL!!! It molds to your knees and gets more surface area, since there aren't those big gaps between normal ice cubes. I stretched a good bit, too, in the shade as I watched others finish.

After all the runners and walkers finished, there was a fun run, and the MOST ADORABLE little kids ever ran. Little kindgergarten-ish boys with ideal runners' bodies sped by with incredible speed. An even smaller girl, flanked by her dad and sister, ran up those last hills and curves with vigor. Lastly, his little toddler boy shuffled to the chute then got super shy and refused to go through, apparently scared of something. He started crying, and despite all the encouragement his mom tried to give him, he didn't want to cross the line, and eventually, she just had to pick him up through. It was so funny and so cute. I get pretty competitive about running and many things in general, and seeing them just enjoy themselves like that was really good.

22:08 5K, 7:08 ave. Splits> 6:51, 7:08, 8:09 for 1.1.
Second in the 15-24 W age group, to Caroline, age 16... Wow, I feel old.
4/90 for women, 15/162 overall.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jul 22

Too big of a dinner again before the run: Bacon and eggs (turkey bacon and egg whites, of course), Skinny Cow ice cream bar (the best), Tortilla chips and Guacamole, and Cherries. Not as bad as yeseterday's 1.5 lbs (a guess) of chicken, though, probably because it was an hour before the run, rather than 30 minutes before. And not so much chicken I think I top-load my daily calories too much. I feel bloated eating more during the day, especially because I'm so sedentary during the day. Top-loading isn't the best plan, either. Ideally, I'd be able to be more active during the day, but that probably won't happen.

Managed 5 today. Maybe would've done more if time had allowed. 5.0 in 39:59 (hehe), 8:00 ave. Why did I have to look up that average... anyway... Splits> 8:18, 8:15, 8:03, (25:23 5k), 7:52, 7:29. Ooh, a rather speedy last mile. Still a good bit slower than 5k race pace, but getting there.

It was 83 degrees in the gym, but that felt absolutely luxurious compared to how it felt outside, even at this late hour. TG for the gym. Wore sox, 1224's w/ arches. No water b/c I forgot. Didn't know if I'd have drank any if I had it, just for messiness's sake, but I did get thirsty, and running was laborious for the last mile plus. I pushed through that last mile, though. I had intended on stopping at 4.0, but I had gone slowly enough so that I had plenty left at least in my fast-twitch fibers, and it would've seemed like a waste to not keep going and not get a decent workout in. There were kinks in my muscles, and I'm still recovering from the LR, but overall a decent run.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jul 21

Ohhhhh, too much chicken. Way too much chicken. Right before a run. Blaaaah. Not so much next time.

Since the Long run followed by the 3.3, my knees were kind of poundy, grindy, and my calves have had pointy knots in the upper center of them. But strength training seems to help, as always. Maybe the extra muscle (or extra swollen muscle) helps to cushion or provide extra structure, giving cartelidge or whatever a bit of a break. People call it "sore" knees, but how can knees really be sore, if there are no real muscles there. Are there muscles there? I guess a book would quickly tell me, but I don't feel like walking 20 feet and checking. There's google. Okay, there's some stuff at the back, but it's at the front where you feel poundy, so I don't get the term "sore". Swollen, though, yes. Ice feels good.

I took a much-needed total day of rest yesterday, which included a night of 11 hours of sleep, to make up for a 2.5 hour night followed by a 4 hour night. Blame work and Prison Break... mostly Prison break. I finished the entire series, though, so no more of that. Free at last, haha. I thought it would never end. Really.

So got back on the tread today, wondering how it would go since poundiness was still lingering. It went better than expected, though. No show-stopping issues on the run. Things were not 100%, but the main reason I stopped was just discomfort from too much chicken.

1 degree tread, 82 degrees. Wore Oxysox to help my painful (but not numb, thankfully... I guess) right TA, and 3n's w/ stab. 3.6 in 29:45, 8:16 ave. Splits> 8:26, 8:20, 8:16, (25:52 5K), 4:41 for 0.6. Good enough for a recovery run, I suppose. It may be tougher to get in miles this week, following last week's big numbers. I'm hoping for a 6 and a 4, but that may be a little optimistic. We'll see.

A good analogy for work is keeping many balloons up in the air. My job is to try to keep hitting whichever one is closest to the ground back up, and to try to hit as many others as I can back up while the one I just hit gradually starts to fall down again. And there just may be a big balloon coming down rather slowly but surely, and you just try not to think about it too much because there are many smaller balloons coming faster and closer to the ground to think about for now.

Lately, I've finished the day a lot wanting to buy myself something to reward myself. I pretty much never do because anything I'd want I already have. It would just be an extra of something or an upgrade. Or it's somthing like an mp3 player, which I have a loaner of for now, or a watch, which I have a broken one I can use for now, even if it's relatively more inconvenient. I did buy a watch, since I found a nice one 75% off. I'm a bit wary about the battery life on it, but I had a good experience with before, and since they're a big name seller, I trust that it must keep relatively new stuff in stock... unless of course it's clearanced like this. We'll see. It's an NYC marathon Timex IRONMAN watch. The NYC was... 9 months ago. Eh... it's ok. The broken one I have has a broken strap, but the watch part of it is more than 2 years old, probably, and still going strong.

I am getting a new office. I wonder how that'll shake things up. I'll get to know some people better. Wonder how work life is going to change. I've been in a relatively relaxed environment so far, not that I'm relaxed, but I don't know how these new guys will be.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jul 18

We'll see how I feel tomorrow. Broke the 10% rule... did 33%.

Interestingly, the day after an LR, I have more speed than usual. Today was no exception. I did need some recovery, so I figured cycling would give me a non-weight-bearing way to get my legs moving and help blood flow and recovery. When I went to the fitness room, both the bike and the treadmill were taken. I felt pretty good walking around, enough to consider running, especially since I was just 3.2 mi away from hitting 20 for the week.

The treadmill was free first, so I took it and set off for a 3.2 mi run. As expected, it was quicker than normal from the start and just kept going. The only real issue was a tiny bit crunchy knee. Iced it afterwards, and we'll see how it goes. 33%. Wore 1224's w/ arches, vented cotton tee, sox, tv.

3.3 in 25:11, 7:38/mi. Splits> 7:59, 7:43, 7:27, (23:52 5k), 0:21.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jul 17

A somewhat memorable run today. Before the run, I slept from 3am to 10am, then I had another 4 hour nap later. I got to pay off a lot of the sleep debt from this week. I could've slept more after the nap, but I had been planning on an LR today, so that I could get out of the 7mi rut.

It was 90 degrees, sometimes overcast and sometimes sunny. I wore 3n's w/ stab, and sox, plus shades and a visor. I also carried about 12oz of Catalyst in 2 bottles of my Nike water belt, which was enough to keep me relatively comfortable hydration-wise in the 92 degree heat? I had a WW PB sandwich in the car right before the run. Maybe not the smartest thing, but I didn't mind the bit of extra energy boost. Wore a Garmin on my right wrist and my mp3 player on my left arm.

8.6 in 1:16:10, a PW for this course, but considering the heat, it's probably okay. Splits> 8:54 b, 6:18 p, 7:36 c, 7:39 p, 6:18 b, 6:24 p (the slowdown begins), 7:56 c, 8:03 p, 6:39 b, 10:17 (suuuuper slow vs. the 8:54 downhill heading out). 8:51 ave, which isn't bad.

So why it's memorable. On my way out, I noticed they had put out new sod, so the mixed dirt/grass that I used to run on was now heavily carpeted with sod. I tried to run by the water's edge, by the bit of dirt that was left, but my right foot got hooked on some sod netting that was sticking out, and FACEPLANT. It happens so fast, I guess since all of your forward running momentum gets transferred to rotational momentum around your stuck foot, bringing your body smack to the ground. Luckily, the landing felt pretty soft and was shaken off easily. I had some mucus built up, though, and it came out at the same time as the faceplant, so I was dirty and snotty... not pretty, haha.

The last 2 miles, it was somewhat cooler, but I was sooo tired. My quads/flexors were getting pretty tired. Was it from the downhill bits? Was it from the bit of extra distance? Was it different runnig form from what I've been doing on the treadmill, which kind of pulls you along rather than requiring you to push as much as you would on normal ground? All seem very plausible. It was difficult getting through those last 2, but somehow, I made it, surely but very slowly at the end. Score, for making it.

Postrun, refueled immediately w/ a peach, a protein shake, and lots (but not enough) water. I usually don't have much of an appetite until like an hour after a workout, but this time, I was ready for fuel. I did a lot of walking and gentle stretching, too. No major issues seen then. Once I got home, though, my left knee (that I messed up a bit doing the Step CD 3 days go) started bugging me, so I iced it. We'll see how it goes. My gear was all sooooo wet with sweat afterwards, nasty. The big plastic sheet I keep in my trunk is super handy for keeping my car clean[er].

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jul 15

Yesterday, I did the Step CD to try to get som ROM and quad work in, but it ended up being more harmful than helpful, maybe. It's been 2 month since I last did it, and yesterday, I tweaked a ligament in my left knee, I think. Not cool. It was during side squats, where you step to the side onto the step. I think I should've been pointing my lunging foot in the direction of movement, not sideways. It'll probably be okay, but I was kinda scared. The workout helped the pebbles, but they are coming back. My calves are back to the perpetually sore state, and there seem to be single pebbles in the middle of each of them. The Step CD is very arm-heavy, which I don't need, since it'll mostly just hinder running performance if they're too mass-ey. It does have interesting ab and hip moves, though, that are good to incorporate into my normal ab and hip routine, since I've adapted to my normal moves and can do them in my sleep.

Today, I wanted to do an LR, or at least some time this week, since I've been doing about 7mi as an LR weekly for the past month. Today as not the day, though. My inner thighs were a bit sore today, and during the run, my right hammies felt a wee bit strained, so I had to keep it short. I sped up some at the end to work different muscles and to try to keep my hammies from continuing to wear down. It at least felt like it helped, although it might not've been.

5.1 in 41:24, 8:07 ave. Splits> 8:14, 8:15, 8:15, (25:35 5k), 8:12, 7:43, 0:42. Drank about 1/2 a bottle of Catalyst (sounds so much like... something from a lab) and wore Oxysox and n3's w/ stab. I wonder if I should switch to sox, in case Oxysox are somehow constricting me in such a way that it worsens my calf issues. We'll try it. I've been wearing Oxy a lot in the past few runs, since it felt good before.

I also had to keep my feet more plantarflexed today to ease some kind of pain. I don't remember what was giving me trouble. I guess the TA's make sense, but I can't be sure.

Potentially, 9 days from now, I'll be putting my name (and credit card) in for the lottery for the Chevron Houston Marathon. I don't see how I'll be up to 26.2 from my wee 7's right now, in 6 months' time. I guess 6 is a lot, a decent amount. But I've been stuck at 7 for a while. Can't wait for cool weather to return. I've been going at 1 degree tread for so long. It was 83 degrees in the gym today, and it was waaay worse outside, even at 9pm. My stabilizers must be getting weak from lack of use.

I am running up such a massive sleep debt this week. 5 hrs at best, 1 hr at worst. And when you're nearing injury, you especially need sleep's regenerative powers. Aaah, maye this weekend, I'll do a sleep marathon. I wake up super tired, but a hot shower always wakes me up, and black tea helps, with its 1/2 cup of coffee worth of caffine. I use the bag as many times as it will let me, so maybe I end up getting more than that. Not good, since I'm anti caffine addiction. Oh, today, I read about a recent study showing that heavy black tea drinkers develop bone fluoridi...fication because there's more fluoride (like 9x more) in black tea than previously thought. Scary. Boo. I wonder if it's naturally in the leaves, or if it's part of the processing. Will switching to green help? Green's waaaay better, but black's free. Considering 1) my need for Aox, 2) my aversion for caffine addiction, and 3) my desire to have non-diseased bones, maybe I'll fork out the cash to get green tea. Yeah, this ended up being so much about tea that I just threw the "fuel" heading up there, even though it started as a talk about sleep.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jul 13

Sad... I wrote this up once before but don't know where it went.

And I'm too lazy to try to re-create more of a narrative, so here it is straight from my logbook, which I usually write up to summarize what I first blog.

1hr sleep last nite, 2 hr nap. Iced pre b/c pebbles. Surprised to go pretty fast. n3's w/ oxy, maybe cooler in gymtoday but not sure - maybe mostly just acclimatized. Splits> 7:55, 7:33, 7:17, 0:40. mp3 left arm. PT exercises usually seems to do wonders to fix aignment, pain issues even for next day run. Wonder why builds up and not overtaxes weaknesses. Look slim yet musclely , super tri-fit. Quads bigger ~70% max. Pebbles but managed w/ ice. Running actuallyhelped reduce pebbles!

3.1 in 23:26, 7:34 ave.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jul 10

Much catching up on sleep last night... 10-11 hrs, plus a nap later on. So go my weekends.

After much procrastination, went to the fitness room to get in some miles while watching the 2nd half of the world cup 3rd place game. An exciting match, but I knew Germany would get the job done. Uraguay did better than the other teams did in keeping more men back on D. What if that last one had gone in? Would've been madness.

5.0 in 41:25, 8:17 ave. Oh, I was afraid it was going to be much closer to 8:30, so that's good. The 1 degree incline was very noticable this time... dunno why. That's the first time it's ever been noticeable. When I started, I did have to adjust it down from max incline... like a ridiculous 12 or 24 degrees (I know it's a wide range, but it seemed more than 12, and sometimes, indicators are by 2 degree intervals), and maybe the setting was really on 2 or something. I don't know.

I drank 1/2 a bottle of a 40% tab of the Nathan Catalyst again. No GI issues this time. Felt a little funny in my tummy, but I had let the pill fizz over 48 hours, in the fridge, so that all the bubbles would've popped, and so that it would be cool by my next run. I felt slow. It was a strange run. Smaller strides (smaller in the back side) were easy, and when I tried to lengthen at the same pace, the effort required was greatly increased. I'm not sure how that works. Small increases in pace would quickly sap me of energy. I don't know.

I was sore yesterday for the frst half of the day - the 7er kicked in, even though it had felt so easy during the run. Oh yeah, and today, my knees gave me a bit of trouble, but not the usual kind. My left leg has been giving me more trouble, which is strange, since it's usually the other one. It was more in the IT connected to the knee area. And just connective kinks, not TA issues. Eh, not concerned. Non-chronic stuff I can deal with. I'd try speeding up to use different muscles, but it didn't help that much, and that last mile, I had to walk the line between going fast and not doing damage to those connective whatevers.

Splits> 8:13, 8:25, 8:26, (26:00 5k... slooooow), 8:25, 7:54. It was a "cooler" 80 degrees in the gym today, and I wore Oxysox and 1224's w/ arches.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jul 8

Rough week but still kickin.

With only 3.1 miles through Wed, needed to get in some more today. Figured I could do a 5 and a 6 over 4 days. Prepping for today's run, I decided to break open a tube of Nathan Catalyst, a sugar free electrolyte drink mix. I put 1/2 of one of the tablets into a standard bottled water bottle and watched the fizz, which supposedly keeps you from having to worry about shaking up a drink mix. Lots of fizzing.

The run went well. I couldn't start fast, just a 7.0mph, and I ended up staying right there through 10K. It was an easy pace, and besides super deep breaths every so often (which I've had to take pretty often lately, even when not exercising, for some strange reason... maybe I'm not breathing deeply enough normally and am forced to compensate with big breaths every now and then). I listened to a transcript of one of Arthur Lydiard's speeches on the Phedippidations podcast. Legs were okay. Wore Oxysox, which felt goood... they always feel good. Some very minor kinks, but nothing debilitating.

The only thing that was holding me back a little bit this time... GI issues, haha. Could be the fizzies themselves, or it could be the saccharin. I think I had about 3mg of it at most, which is well below the Acceptable Daily Intake of 5mg/kg body weight. It tastes pretty good, and I didn't taste any fizzies, but I guess they were there. If you're running alone in the woods, it's fine to take if you don't mind. If you're in a gym, though, I guess your abs get a little extra work, haha. I'll try again. It could've been caused by something else... had peas and corn, a carrot, milk, fish, and a healthy choice ice cream bar for dinner. A decent amount of food about an hour before my run, but that's normal for me. Eh, I'm totally fine with trying it again. We'll see what happens next time.

Splits> 8:31, 8:35, 8:33, (26:31 5K), 8:33, 8:33, 8:34, (53:05 10K), 7:51. I took off the mp3 player armband for the last mile as I sped up, since I didn't want upper body imbalances exacerbating my length strength imbalances.

7.0 in 59:15, 8:28 ave. It was an easy run... at least felt surprisingly easy, and I felt fully recovered cardiovascualarly almost immediately after jumping off the treadmill. It's kind of amazing. Maybe I should do more slower runs of long distances, to build up my endurance. After all, my endurance is my weak spot, as indicate by race time predictors vs. what I actually manage. My TA's are feeling a bit tender now, but they didn't get numb during the run! I iced a bit afterwards, to speed up recovery.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jul 7

Strength session yesterday, with reps and counts continuing to go up, at least in some areas.

Today, a quickie run before movie night at MS's. 3.1 in 24:16, 7:50 ave. Aww. I felt decently fast, at least in the last 2 miles, but apparently not that fast. I wasn't pushing too hard, since this was just to get me running again for the first time since Sunday, where I only did 2.2, and before that... Thursday. So almost a week without running. Wow. Got x-training, though, with the elliptical, swim, and strength. Oh well. I guess the run was right after eating sauteed cabbage and a cup of milk, in 81 degree temps. So maybe it's okay.

Splits> 8:14, 7:40, 7:36, 0:45. Blah blah blah. Oh, I dropped my dad's mp3 player while running. It fell on the treadmill and flung backwards, Biggest Loser style. It's probably fine, though. I think I'm most suited for a shuffle, which can't get hurt as long as it's not exposed to excessive rain or sweat (may need to create a little cover for it) and is light. I really only listen to hour-long podcasts anyways, so I don't have much of a need to navigate through playlists. The iPod touch is cool for its internet and apps, but we'll see. The camera would be handy, too, if I see something cool on a run.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jul 5

My knees have been kind of grindy lately, maybe b/c when I've been at my parents', I haven't had glucosamine & chondroitin. As a result, it was a good day for a swim workout.

I don't have much info on distance, b/c I wanted to try a new toy... an aquabelt. I also wanted to mix in sprints, kickboard, and aqua-jogging.

45 min of...
1) Normal laps as warmups - 3 x [3 free / 3 breast] - 19:13
2) Aquajogging - 3 x lap - 1:40?, 1:40, 1:43
3) Kickboard - breast & fly 2:00
4) Fly - just to see if I could do it... it went better this time than any time in the past! - 1:13, 1:14, 1:13... I don't think I'm able to get my head up above water like experienced flyers can, but I can at least move myself across the pool now with some semblance of swimming.
5) Sprints - 3 x lap - 0:52, 0:53, 0:54... very arm strength-based, more than cardio-based.
6) Cool-down - 1 free - 1:09
7) Aquajogging - 6:59

There are interesting studies of bone density in runners vs. bikers, where runners have above average density and bikers... cyclists have less than average bone density, because of all the 3xbody weight bearing pounding of running vs. being seated... still working like mad but w/o pounding. I don't remember whether that study looked at swimmers, too, because I'd think that that would be the least weight-bearing of all. Yet there's also this other study that suggests that not just gravity impacts but forces created by muscles can strengthen bones. But during my swim sessions, I'm aware of how rouch the forces can be. I swim when my legs aren't feeling great, but the swim itself is usually kind of rough on my joints. There often seems to be more force being transferred from one part of my leg to another than my joints can handle. I don't know what those forces are like, but I'm just saying that even something not weight bearing can be rough.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jul 3

Yesterday, my left upper front TA was in teeth-gritting pain for a lot of the day. It was kind of strange, since it was mostly surface-level pain, and it would throb on and off, even if I wasn't putting any weight on my legs. Thankfully, it only lasted the day, ad I was better today. I iced a bit to help things along in the morning, especially because I thought that there may be a 2.2mi race in my subdivision. There was no race this year, but after lots of sleeping today, I was up for attempting an evening run. My legs were still kind of sloggy (completely made up word, meaning a bit swollen/damaged and generally somewhat sapped of energy), but I went out, with my dad following leisurely on a bike.

I ended up just doing 2.2 mi, since it was sunset, and it the footing in the dark on the cambered grass would've een treacherous for a second lap. I felt so good, though, because it ws surprisingly cool outside, the coolest run I've done in a while. 75 degrees without sun felt very cool. Imagine how it'll be come winter. Since I've been on the treadmill so much lately, my stabilizers haven't gotten much work, so they had a rough time handling the cambered grass. 2.2 was okay, though, and much more of that was asphalt than usual. Oh yeah, I also wore my Trance 8's and Oxysox which helped with the speed.

2.2 in 16:26, 7:28/mi... okay, not great, but it felt fast, maybe compared to the going nowhere you feel when you're on a treadmill.

Afterwards, since I didn't get my full intended workout, I went to the gym for elliptical time. I had wanted to do a stair-stepper, since I figured my quads are underdeveloped and need some strengthening, especially because I hadn't done plyo-like CD's in a while. But the old stair stepper was gone, so I used the elliptical instead - still good, because usually, I only have treadmill access.

40 min at Level 10, 3.7 "mi", about 85% maxHR. Ths machine was like the first that had an HRM that worked despite all of the sweat. I'm not exactly sure what muscles were being used. I didn't use arms, just held fixed handles and worked my legs. It was very low impact, and my knees were slightly bent the whole time. In any case, it provided some good cario work, and I felt so energized afterwards. My right TA went numb about 60% into it, and I'm not sure why. I guess there was some pushoff from my toes... like I said, I'm not sure exactly what muscles were being worked, since the range of motion was kind of limited. Mentioned this way back, but in the Rochester Holiday Inn by the airport, the machine allowed you to set stride length! It was awesome, and such a needed function. That was the first time I saw it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jul 1

Blaaaaaah. A blah day, and even running didn't help that much. But it's okay.

Was kind of swollen today, and after waking from a needed hour nap, I iced, to try to get inflammation under control before a run. It worked until mile 5ish, when my tibialis anterior got numb, for the first time in about a month. Not worried at this point, though. I'll try to ice more, and stretching... no promises, but I'm generally doing better, and I'll try to keep it up.

6.0 in 48:39, 8:07 pace... pretty good. 1 degree tread in 81 degree temps, plus whatever humidity adds. Interestingly, it felt cooler, even though the thermo....meter says the same thing as it usually does. Acclimatization? Some other factor, like humidity? It rained last night, so if anything, I guess humidity would be higher. No troubles breathing this time.

I used my shoulders to drive motion a lot more today, and it greatly reduced the effort for my legs. It required a lot more energy, it felt like, but it got distributed to parts of my body that were more rested. I think it enabled me to naturally move my hips more, which usually reduces the onset of leg issues. I don't know why I shifted to that strategy today. Maybe my core has gotten stronger recently? I guess I had been doing intervals in the past couple of weeks, which usually works your upper body a surprising amount, since you have to pump. Yeah, I guess that was it. Good, though. My legs need all the help they can get.

Splits> 8:25, 8:18, 8:15, (25:48 5k), 8:06, 8:06, 7:26. Like I mentioned earlier, my TA got numb about 1.5 mile before the end of the run, but I was feeling decent otherwise and kept going. I really ramped up the speed, and I wanted to stop it before, to minimize risk and give in to the oncoming fatigue, but fighting through the tiredness was good. I didn't push it through to a 10k, but I continued on past when I had thoughts of quitting. Nothing too risky, and only a mile through numbness. Oooh, just went numb again just now... I should re-ice.

Poured my 1/5 concentrated Cytomax into a standard disposable bottled water bottle today, so that I'd be able to drink it by squeezing the bottle. It barely had any concentration, but it was cool from the fridge and helped me get through.