Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Year in Review

Time to analyze and synthesize!!!

First, let's take a look at my weekly mileage totals.
The green bars are weeks with 5K races, which usually include tapering, hence the reduced mileage.
The yellow bars are weeks with HMs, with some tapering but long races.

- 2009, I spent the first half of the year doing a super big mileage increase... way too fast.  I got fast quickly, but my body also crashed quickly.  My PT friend AD helped me get my running back through strength and stretching, and I also started using arch supports in my shoes, by the recommendation of another PT.  After a few months where even running 1 mi was a big deal and 5Ks felt luxurious, I slowly started to get back into running form.
- AD encouraged me to sign up for my second HM.  I was tentative at first, since I couldn't imagine doing a full HM after the long recovery.  Smart training worked, though, where I went by feel.
- The Country Music HM in April 2010 was awesome, with a 1:45ish result, besting my first one in 2008 by about 15 minutes.  I was thrilled at the result.
- I had started racing 5Ks again, with some excellent results, even in non-ideal (hot) conditions.  I experimented with various light shoes, like the Saucony Shay spikes for grass, Brooks Trance 8 for a lighter than normal shoe (feels less cushioned, more low to the ground), and the Saucony Fastwitch (nice - super light).  Got a PB of 21:02.  The latter races weren't as fast, since I was "training through" them (no taper).  Keeping up my marathon training was the goal.
- Oh yeah, so the marathon.  It was time to go for it.  I was hoping for a long enough period without injury, where I felt like I could handle the training.  As they say, "26.2 is the short part".  I chose the Houston, because it's flat and fast, and my goal is to BQ on my first marathon.  My lottery entry made it, and I was signed up.
- As a nice progress checker, I signed up for the Spinx Half Marathon.  I didn't taper all that much, but the result ended up blowing my mind anyways.  1:35ish, beating even the CM Half by about 10 minutes.  According to various prediction charts, I could potentially get a 3:22 marathon, well under the BQ standard of 3:40.  It was very encouraging.  And finally, my long-distance races lined up with the times predicted by my 1-mi and 5K races.  I was finally reaching my potential.  Getting a 3:22 would be a-mazing, but I'll be happy with a BQ, haha.
- Marathon training.  Started following my first-ever plan, based on the Runner's World / New Balance app Smart Coach.  Most plans don't offer guides if you want to do a marathon in the few miles (up to 30) that I can manage each week, let alone with the target goal time I've set.  But this is formula-based, and the results it generated seemed to make sense.  It didn't break any rules, like the 10% rule, or other rules.  It specified paces, but I didn't pay attention to them.  I'll still go by feel WRT paces.  I got in 2/3 20s so far and have another coming up.  It didn't feel like that much of a stretch to do them, which is great.
- Injury... seems to crop up a bit after the 20s.  Hopefully, it'll be okay, though.  Just be careful and keep stretching and strengthening.

Each week, there's a space for weekly notes.  Here are the notes...
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.

27. Think I’ve acclimatized! Decently fit, I think – intervals have helped.

28. Buildup is tough. Maybe if I run slower, I can go farther. Hard to tell how I’m doing b/c of heat.

29. Did well w/ St, I, PT this week. Started ramp-up. Hope 33% doesn’t do me in.

30. Encouraging race – acclimatized.

31. Up and then down performances this week. Can I handle a 26.2?

32. Hopeful a/b handling marathon. New strategy: slower base pace, more volume. Close to 1.5 yr ago endurance level, finally.

33. 2 weeks of feeling good inside body, plus good mileage. Houston’s official!

34. 5K PR in non-ideal conditions – great! Now to continue buildup amidst crazy work and travel…

35. Legs have changed inside – faster recovery, ready/hungry for more.

36. Plans executed well this week. Next 2 weeks will be tough due to Arg travel, though.

37. Got in miles before Arg, stuck to plan based on schedule: Int, base, LR, St.

38. Detrained, but hopefully chronic spots rested. Just build back up. Ate less than ideally, but not terrible. Just get back.

39. Followed coach’s advice of LSD w/o concern for speed. See if it works and if I can keep it up to build up.

40. Milestone week: 20 in 2 days and 25 mi/wk. Liked new Saucony paramount. Compression, icing, rolling, and self-massage worked well for milestone.

41. Seem to have been doing 2 up, 1 down for 3 cycles, inadvertently, which I just read a/b in 2 places! So don’t feel bad for drop. Keep going.

42. LR hard. This wk’s volume ridiculous.

43. Tough left Achilles issues early in the week, but managed great consecutive workouts later in week. Feel strong.

Consecutive is a different kind of workout from LR – maybe good to sub in occasionally.

44. WOW!!! (wrt Spinx). Recover and keep training – very hopeful for BQ. Training has worked!

45. Knees a bit bangy… wee bit, this week.

Recover from Spinx and get moving on the first buildup to 20!

Eating more b/c colder weather? Emotions? Increased training – probably not b/c past fullness?

46. Yeah, LR. Woot!

47. Training going very well. Surprised how well my body is handling the super LRs. Following the plan is going very well, too!

48. Yeah 20! Can’t believed I survived. Unscathed, too, it seems.

49. Nike check in terms of injury. Gotta stretch and sleep, probably. Still on track with plan, though. First cycle complete.

50. Discouraging hip issues. Gotta balance giving it time to heal and keeping up fitness. Scared a/b fitness – heart feels like it needs heavy stimulation. Got in about my target mileage, though.

51. Butt seems almost normal now. Gotta get back to stretch routine after week in Argentina. Sleep, too. May be tricky again w/ travel to FL next week.

52. Outer right foot very scary – did I ruin Houston completely? Also, no strength or real running due to travel.

53. Boo, foot. Maybe manageable, though. Gotta get fitness back and make the most of the last full week of training b/f the taper.

I was at first iffy about starting to write down everything that I eat again, but this time, it was just listing the foods, to help track nutrition.  It was actually nice, particularly in encouraging me to get in a goal 5-a-day.  Without it, I wouldn't try so hard.  It also helped to keep a general balance between grains and proteins. And it also helps to keep you from overdoing anything, when you're having to write it down at the end of the day.

Other things I started tracking...
PT Strength Exercises
Foam Rolling
All-day Compression Socks
... without tracking these, I wouldn't work as hard to do the stretching that I need.

909.1 miles in 2010 (below the 1K goal, but that's okay... next year).
2.49 mi/day, average.
5D + 4:52:42 of running this year, 22.8 minutes average per day.
3D + 0:16:30 of other training this year, 11.9 minutes average per day.
8D + 5:09:12 of total training this year, 34.7 minutes average per day.
Doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount of time exercising, does it?  Less than 35 minutes per day!
Average pace of my runs... 8:15/mi.

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