Saturday, April 30, 2011

RACE REPORT: Run4Fun - Eastside YMCA 5K 2011

Wooh, tired.

I decided to do this one two days ago.  I figured that my workouts for that week made for a decent taper, plus the weather was supposed to be fairly cool.  I wanted to go for that PR, preferably the dream sub-20.  Monday, I had done the hard 6.5 that made DOMS kick in on Wednesday, so on Wednesday, I worked out the soreness with 3.5 of hill training.  It had been 3 weeks since the last race, which was okay but not a PR due to the uneven XC terrain.  I did a strength session on Thursday to get in my PT for the week and left Friday for resting.

By the end of this past week, I was strangely rested.  It's been so long since I've gotten 6-7 hrs a night.  It was more like 4 last week, and maybe 5 for months before that.  Maybe too much rest... I woke up after 3 hrs last night, had a bunch of decaf and cocoa, which probably made it hard to fall back asleep.  Lesson learned.  I was also a bit hungry, so I had cereal and milk at 2am.

Woke at 6:45, had my warmup shower, packed, and drove out to the Y.  The morning started off chilly in the low 50s but soon started climbing as the sun rose, such that as long as you weren't moving and causing a wind chill, you felt perfectly comfortable in a singlet.  Once I was moving during my warmup, though, it got chilly.  I started my warmup 30 min before the gun, which was probably too early.  The warmup was along their dirt track, which is about 1/3 of a mile long.  It was nice, and maybe I'll do repeats there at some point, since I've found no such soft surface thus far since moving here.  I miss outdoor intervals sessions on the track.  A real rubber-surface track would be preferable, so that I can be more exact on my workouts, but this will do just fine.

Anyway, once I was booted up in my Saucony A4s, I ran for 3 min, chilly.  Then, 3 min of dynamic stretching.  Then leg swimgs.  Then, waiting... bathroom again.  It was a small race, maybe 100ish, so there were no bathroom lines, for once!  My legs maybe got a bit heavy during that wait, so I should stick to a 20- or 15-min prior warmup like I normally do.  I was just too excited.  I think I dreamed about running and maybe going for my PR... well, at least that was part of it... there was also something stressful that happened, like college or work or something, but I don't remember.

So... kept moving around... oh yeah, and HIS radio, one of the local Christian stations, was a sponsor, so there was great music that I was singing to the whole time.  I had drawn a map of the course with all the street names and taped it on the back of my number, so that I'd know where to turn and expect landmarks and mile splits.  Kept pacing.

Time to line up!  I thought there'd be some fast people who'd want to get in front of me, but nobody went up in the space I left them, so I got right up to the inside of the start line.  The gun was off, and two boys charged off, but I was third.  Okay, glad I didn't get in peoples' way.  About a quarter mile in, a HS kid and a man charged by, and I hung behind them through the half-way point.  The streets weren't closed to traffic, but there wasn't much traffic, so it was okay.  The HS kid dropped off at the crest of the hill, at about the 2-mi mark.  They said it was a flat course... I think not.  Just the one major hill, but without it, it would be faster.  That's good news, I guess.  There was sidewalk, but since concrete is 12x harder than asphalt, I ended up staying on the asphalt after the halfway point.  It's noticeably softer and less poundy on your legs.

After the 2mi mark, we were doubling back and doing the "stick" part of the lolipop-shaped course, so I got to see the runners.  I cheered this one person on (see below for more on Rob's Biggest Losers), and a kid behind her gave me a high-five.  Haha.  Man, that cheered me up big time and gave me extra energy for a bit.

The last mile, I was getting tired.  I knew that in the first mile, I probably had good form.  I had just read a Runner's World article about form.  Arms were at 90 degrees, not crossing the middle of my body.  I think my slight lean's probably fine.  I don't know how my footstrike is... but much better than it was 2 yrs ago, I think.  Last night, I decided that I need to videotape myself running from the front, back, and side to check.  I can take sideways glances at the mirror by the treadmill, but it involves looking backwards, so it's not a great view, and it's a bit hard, but I usually look okay.  For the last mile, though, I wasn't thinking about form, since I was getting tired and feeling the run.  Hanging in there... just a mile left... I've done 9.0mph 0.75mi intervals before, so I should be able to do okay.  Checking my watch, though, I realized that I was probably not going to make the sub-20 goal.

In the last half of the race, I could feel that my arms were my limiting factor.  Can't single out one single muscle... all of it felt tired.  So even though I think my arms are over-developed as it is, maybe I need to strengthen a bit more.  Rather than doing more with weights or bands, I think functional strength would be best... strengthen the arms by sprinting and making them pump.  Or maybe they're tired because they have too much muscle to carry around.  The fast XC college team girls usually have pretty small arms.  Dunno.

Kept fighting to hold it.  Saw an intersection up ahead but was afraid that it may just be the midpoint of the last section, but fortunately, it was the last turn, leading to the final 0.1mi.  Thank goodness.  Cranked it up for the last 0.05 to bring it in at 20:44 (6:41 ave, vs 6:27 needed to break 20)... a PR by 7 seconds.  Can't complain about a PR.  Decided on wearing my singlet because this was a YMCA event, but it would've been less hot without it.  Give me 40 degrees, no singlet, and a flat course, and time to get my arms stronger and a track to practice faster-than-race-pace running (which I never get a chance to do on the treadmill), and I think I could go sub-20.

The spectators and fellow runners afterwards were super nice and offered congratulations and chatted with me.  It was also great cheering in Rob's Biggest Losers (Rob's a host on HIS radio).  These guys had been training for the past 14 weeks for their first 5K ever, and it was inspirational and so heart-warming watching them finish.  Oh man, you're just so excited to celebrate this accomplishment with them.  They were awesome.  Rob ran in with each one of them, too, which was cool.  There were also age-group awards, a good number of which some of the Biggest Losers took home!  Really cool - I hope they've seen how fun running can be and will stick with it.  There was also a kids' run around that dirt track, and they all got cool running dog-tags.

I got a $25 gift certificate to FleetFeet, which I used to get much-needed arch insoles and a magnet to cover up a dent I got on my bumper when I got rear-ended a couple months ago... unfortunately, the bumper is not metallic, so the dent is still saying hello to everyone... but I just put the 13.1 magnet to the right of the back of the car.  I also got a glass paperweight with the 3-D bubbles that somehow get inserted to make the shape of a winged foot.  It was really nice.  The shirts were cool, too, in that they had Isaiah 40:31 on it:

but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

So, it was a really cool morning... first time I've ever won a race!  The closest I've come is 2nd, at my last race.  It was a small race, but special because of all the really nice people.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apr 27


My lower legs were x-sore this morning.  EXsore = my totally made-up term for the type of soreness that may happen the day after traditional soreness.  Your legs just feel really weird, and you want to flex out the feeling.  Anyway, it made me really want to do a hard hill session for some reason, maybe to continue flexing out those muscles.  I've only done one hill workout since graduating from high school, for a couple of reasons.

1. I haven't lived in places with traditional rolling hills or an ideal place to do hill repeats.
2. You don't get as much mileage in workouts with hills.

But I think it could really help.  I usually get passed on hills.  Maybe others are pushing hard, and to an extent, it's far less energy efficient to push on uphills.  After a certain steepness, you go just about as fast walking up as you do trying to run up.  In ultras, some people consistently walk up the hills.  So I haven't seen a particular need to work on hills.

I want to start, though, for a few reasons.
1. It can help with speed by helping with strength.
2. It makes you a better runner overall.
3. It mixes things up and is a good alternative to speed sessions.

So I did a treadmill hill workout today.  It's controllable, which is nice.

At 7.0mph:
0.5 mi warmup @ the usual 1 degree, 0.75 mi @ 5 degrees, 0.25 @ 1 degree, 0.5 @ 10 degrees, 0.5 @ 1 degree, 0.5 @ 5 degrees
At ~7.5mph:
Cooldown for 0.5 @ 1 degree

My left outer knee still probably needs some IT band stretching or something, since it was nagging a bit again today. Otherwise, no real issues.  The 10 degree for 0.5 mi portion was tough.  Let me check the equivalent paces for those inclines...

7mph @ 5 degrees = 7:19 pace (vs. 8:32 for 1 degree which is equivalent to 0 degree road running)
7mph @ 10 degrees = 6:21... oooh, that's why it felt hard!  haha.  Nice.

It was somewhat hot in the gym, too.  75 degrees.  So I'm glad I was able to hit those intervals.  It was tough, but I didn't overdo anything, since this is the first time in forever.  I liked it.

3.5 in 29:37, 8:27 ave, but it was quality!

Nice.  I wasn't really feeling a speedworkout today, so this was really nice, and I'm happy with how it went.  More hill workouts to come! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apr 25

Had to choose... much-needed sleep (could've done 10 hrs easy), or fight every impulse to sleep and run instead?  Like always, ran.  Deciding to run instead of sleep is always the hardest part of the run.  Just a few seconds into the run, and the energy is back.

A decent run.  Right butt some minor hurts from sitting on the recumbent bike... maybe the combined inflammation of the bursa or piriformis or something, coupled with compressing it a certain way by sitting on it.  An upright bike would probably do me better.

Sped it up to make my outer right knee feel better.  Swinging my hips out more to land more in a line rather than in two parallel lines helped more than the speed did, I think.

Splits> 8:33, 8:23, 8:19, 8:09, 7:55, 7:38, (50:27 10K), 3:32 for 0.5.
6.5 in 52:34, 8:05 ave.

Iced afterwards.  There's been talk of icing (and aspirin) preventing beneficial swelling and recovery.  So I don't go out of my way to do it.  But I think I need to play it safe with my knee.  And if it's good enough for the elites, it's good enough for me... every now and then.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Apr 24 - p

In lieu of a LR, I did a longer bike... not enough energy to hit the 1:40 goal... only did 1:10, and not particularly fast.  Oh well, gave it some effort, hopefully will be stronger because of it.

Powerade ad:

Read Runningtimes... entertainment while exercising.  A relaxing weekend activity.

526 Cal (seems very high), 16.6 mi, 75 degrees, 70 min, 7pm.

Apr 23

My legs wanted to go for a run again today.  And even immediately after the run, I wanted to go for another run.  It alternated being oppressively sunny and delightfully cloudy.  It was 65 degrees, but the sun made a big difference in how hot it felt. My left pinky toenail has a little part that digs into the adjacent toe when I step, so I may need to put tape around it next time.

Splits> 6:25, 6:11, 6:08, 6:10, 6:02, 5:47.  Felt like I perhaps could've done more, and that I didn't challenge myself enough.  But I was getting a bit tired, and this is on top of yesterday's run.

We'll see... maybe I'll do a LR tomorrow before church in the nice cold weather, since it'll get super hot later in the day... a huge temp diff.  Waking up at 6am for a run?  Most likely, I'll reset my alarm and go back to sleep.  But the run is so invigorating... and knowing that you did 13 miles before 9am is pretty cool.  Eh, sleep will probably win.  I've stayed up too late tonight, otherwise it might've happened.

4.4 in 36:46, 8:21 ave.
I felt relaxed/slow enough to perhaps term this a recovery run, or even feel like it was junk miles, since I don't know how much fitness I'll gain from such low mileage at a not particularly fast pace.  Oh well.   My calves are a wee wee bit sore now, so maybe it did something to run on somewhat used legs.

Apr 22

I had thought about posting on the day of the run, but I figured I'd do it the next day.  I've already forgotten all the juicy details of the run.  It was a good run, but I don't remember anymore.  I should probably try to post immediately next time.

It was cloudy, chilly to start in my sports bra.  51 degrees, 7pm.  I was tired and almost backed out, figuring I could perhaps do a LR the next day to get in the miles.  But I decided to go anyways, even though it was just an hour until sunset.

Splits> 6:19, 6:13, 6:06, 6:04, 6:01, 5:50, 5:31. 
5.1 in 42:07, 8:15 ave.

By the way... my sleep for this week...
Mon: 3.5
Tue: 6
Wed: 5
Thur: 3
Fri: 2

Wooh!  Ready for a vacation.

Made up for the lost sleep over the weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Apr 18

I kind of want to do this...

It's in the summer, so I won't be really racing or training all that hard.  It'll push me and make me face my fears.  It's exciting and has the element of the unknown.  It's hard-core.

Intervals today... knees fine.  It's about time for some speed work.  Last time I did any was a few days before the half marathon.  Wow, the half was only a week ago.  I guess considering the strain that that must've put on my body, even if it wasn't that noticeable, the tiredness last week was understandable.

Anyway, maybe I'll fully recover from that and have more energy.  Man, I was TI-RED today after work.  Dragged my body around the apt to do dishes, pick up a bit, make PANCAKES... MMMMM.

I made whole wheat banana chocolate chip almond pancakes.  They are awesome.  You'll have to come try them one day.  Smother them in sugar free syrup... delicious.  Giant pancakes.

So intervals... a great session, not particularly hard.  I haven't been pushing myself to my limits, since there's no race that requires taking those little risks.  So I go and do well, but it's not that hard, and I could do more, but I'll just do enough to make it comfortably hard.  Nothing near risky, though.  Just get a little burn, that's all. 

0.5 mi warmup @ 7.1mph-ish, 3 x [3/4mi @ 9mph, 1/4mi @ 7.5mph], 0.5 mi @ 8.5mph-ish.

My weight is definitely up.  Don't really look it, I guess, but it's a mental thing.  Performance is still good, though... better than ever, I suppose.  So it's strange. 

4.0 in 28:44, 7:11 ave.  Noice.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apr 17

A run... my knees were feeling a bit poundy a couple of times, but it was typically temporary.  I think I may have finally caught up on sleep after a nap today.  I usually take a million naps during the weekend... whenever my dad calls, it seems like I'm being woken up from one nap or another.

I'm excited HP came out.  It's been out 2 days now, and I've played it maybe at least 8 times already, seriously.  I've slept through the second half of it probably 5 of those times, though, just because I was tired.  For a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year, I watched HPs non-stop... I changed it up then... now, it's all #7.  I may throw in a 6 or 1 soon.

6.8 in 56:33, 8:16 ave.  There was a big storm with high winds this weekend, and the short trail part of my loop was completely blocked by downed trees.  I tried to move the trees, with no success, so I had to change it up.  While I was trying an alternate figure-8, I found a much more ankle-friendly path, that was there the whole time.  I'll be going that way from now on.  The downed trees were a blessing in disguise. 

8:14 for 0.9 (when I was doing the alternate path exploration)
6:23 for 0.75 (first time on the new path)
6:23 for 0.77
6:12 for 0.76
6:02 for 0.70
5:53 for 0.74
5:59 for 0.77
5:59 for 0.70
5:26 for 0.76 (woah!)

So the average of the new path... 0.743.  Pretty much the same, only now with much less risk of an ankle roll.  Woo-hoo!

I may have to do more hip-strengthening exercise and stretching to deal with this knee thing.  Strange that it has come back, even with this reduced mileage.  I had no issues when I was doing 30-mi weeks with 20-mi long runs.  Now, I don't even do half of that.

My heart felt like it had to work extra hard on this workout.. wasn't particularly fast, so dunno why.  Temps weren't that hot, either.  Eh....

FAITH: Come to Jesus

by Chris Rice 

(Great song - encourage you to hear it on Youtube... well done accompaniment makes goods lyrics great)

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

 //  Oh man, this past week was tough, physically and emotionally.

Physically: I've discovered that it's tough to recover from an all-nighter.  I think I can usually finish off the week pretty normally and make it up during the weekend.  This time, though, it was hard.  I worked 9-10 hrs one day, went home for 6 hours, then drove back to the office at midnight and worked another 12.75 hours before going home.  I won't go into why here... I posted on it like a week or two ago, probably under the "life" tag, if you want to know.  Maybe it's the accumulation of a few months of lots of work that made this one tougher.  I would be concerned a bit about my running performance, too, with my low mileage and new bits of poundy knees lately, except I am PRing in both the 5K and 13.1.  

Mentally: How can I make this succinct... short yet meaningful?  This week, I've learned (again) that small actions that we don't think much about, whether friendly or apathetic or unfriendly, can make a great deal to people.  I tend to need a lot of validation (don't we all?), and this week at work, I got the opposite in a few instances.  In retrospect, it shouldn't have affected me as much as it did, considering the two years of good feedback that I've had, compared to this one week, but I guess I've been working super hard lately.  Intentional or not, or maybe just misinterpreted by me, certain interactions just had more weight than normal.  It happens when you're in a fragile state where you need more validation.  What might've been angry looks hurt more, and efforts of others to encourage me were gems of grace.  When you interact with people, you have no idea what they may be going through... that's something I'll try to keep in mind, and maybe that'll spur me on to encourage others more and be more conscious about when I may be unintentionally hurting someone's feelings by brushing them off or being impatient.

Running's been my no-fail happy pill, but this week, it seemed like just a temporary fix... maybe for a few hours, the pain would be numbed.  But I haven't gotten to shake this feeling all weekend - it's oppressive.  The Feeling... worthlessness in all areas (professional, social, spiritual), with the exception of running, which, despite some decent performances lately, isn't completely satisfying.  I feel hopeless and undeserving, but I heard this song on the radio, and maybe if I just look up, I'll have the right perspective...  maybe God's just hoping that I'll look up.  Maybe a mixture of the Enemy with his half-truths and condemnation, plus, more importantly, my own sinful nature, has been keeping my head looking in all the wrong places for fulfillment and worth, and God's hoping hoping hoping that I'll look up and see all that he wants to be able to give me.

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live! 

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apr 16

40 min bike, progressively harder effort throughout.  10.5 mi, 14-19mph.  71 degrees. 

I had wanted to run to get in miles, but my knees were a bit bangy.  Dunno why.  Too bad.  Maybe I'll swim tomorrow.  I don't know why I can't handle much mileage these days.  Fastest times ever, but low mileage. 

The bike session felt really good, though.  My heart was working really hard throughout.

Mentally tough day today.  Can't shake it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Apr 15

Yeah... Still trying to figure myself out.

4.0 in 31:14, 7:49 ave.  Picked up the speed to make kinks in my muscles go away.  My lower legs felt a bit used again this morning.  Body's tired.

Splits> 8:23, 7:56, 7:40, (24:46 5k), 7:12.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Apr 12

Cried 3x at work today... small, stupid things, probably.

Long night ahead, but got in a run...

6.5 in 52:35, 8:05 ave.

Treadmill for the first time in weeeeeks.  Wore 1225's, Oxysox.
Felt really good.  My lower legs had felt a bit banged up the past couple days, especially yesterday.  I went hiking on Sunday, just 6 miles, but my legs were tired from the previous day's race.  Today, they were all fine and ready to go, though.  I got a good workout.  Felt strong.  No issues.  Needed some physical stimulation today after work.

Splits> 8:31, 8:17, 8:11, 8:07, 8:02, 7:48, (50:28 10k), 3:35 for 0.5.

Whatever happens, all I can do is do my best for Jesus, in a manner that honors him and with an effort that pleases him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

RACE REPORT: Greer Earth Run 2011 - SC Half Marathon Championship


Not ideal... since the marathon in January, I've averaged maybe 12 mi/week.  Work's been pretty busy, including 3+ weeks abroad and working even longer hours, making finding time to run hard.  Good thing I decided not to try to squeeze in another Boston attempt before summer.

A couple of weeks ago, I PRed in a 5K, but since then, I gained a pound or two while traveling and not running (went 9 days without running at one point!).  I wasn't expecting much from the race and saw it as a training run.  I considered dressing up as a Spartan and running for fun while entertaining people.

The night before the race, though, I was looking at last year's results and figured that I had the potential to be fairly competitive, so I decided to go for it.  My Half PR from Spinx was 1:36:01, and that was at the very beginning of my marathon training.  It would be interesting to see how much better those long runs would make me.

Race Morning:

I'm tired from months of sleep deprivation, especially this past week.  I got 6-7 hrs last night, though.  I took my warm-up shower and had some decaf coffee.  I was still full from a big tofu dinner, so I didn't eat breakfast (Clif bar) until I got to the race.

I wore pretty new Saucony Vizpro Ignite shorts... orange and black, baby.  A new NB sports bra, all-black, too.  As I was exiting a porta potty, a little girl asked her mom, "Mommy, is she going swimming?"  "No honey, I don't think so."  It was hilarious.  It was going to be 62-66 degrees... warm.  I wear this even in sub-freezing temps.  I like it cold.

It was a 7:30 start.  Put on my visor, shades, Shuffle, UA calf sleeves, Kinvaras, Feetures socks.  I washed down the Clif bar with water and 2 Endurolyte tablets.  I had a Powerbar gel (double latte) in my back pocket.

The Race:

I started at the front, figuring I'd finish near the front.  The thought of going at 7:22/mi for 13 miles still seems inconceivable to me.  But I went out and hoped for the best.

I got passed by 2 girls within the first mile.

At about mile 3, I started getting a bit tired...

At about mile 4, I got passed by 2 blue shirted girls, and through mile 7, they remained about 0.1 miles ahead of me. 

At mile 6, ate most of the Gel.

At mile 7, one girl dropped off pace.  I saw my co-worker, too.

Still a ways to go...
I started wondering if I could hold the pace.  The watch seemed to be treating me well, though.  I was surprised... I felt like I wasn't going fast at all, but the splits were at faster-than-PR pace.

At mile 9, you know that you're getting close, but I had doubts about whether I could keep it up... hoped that I wouldn't fade.  Ate the rest of the gel at around this time.

We had water every 2 miles, which was good.  Towards the later miles, I'd grab 2 cups... they had Gatorade, too.

Just have to keep it up somehow.  My limiting factor was my quads, for lifting and driving my knee.  Would I make it, or would I crash?

At mile 11, you knew you were close, and you'd be okay after all.  Time to turn it on a bit.

Mile 12... the other blue girl is getting reeled in bit by bit.

Mile 13... I've just about caught up to her.  I know I have a good kick, so I'm not too nervous, although it is tough mentally.  Happy to say my mind was un-fuzzy enough to remember to take the tangents during the whole race.

Mile 13.1... kicked super-hard and had a really fast sprint to the finish in maybe the last 0.1 miles.

 My watch time is 1:36:00... a PR by one second?
It's hard to say, because the official time at Spinx was wrong, period, and I didn't have an exact watch time.  So it may be a PR... probably a PR, at least by the records on Fit360.  

1:36:00, 7:20 ave.
4th overall.
1st in the 20-24 age group.


1: 7:06
2: 7:07 (average for 1-2)
3: 7:10
4: 7:39
5: 7:10
6: 7:19
7: 7:20 (average for 6-7)
8: 7:38
9: 7:34
10: 7:32
11: 7:40
12: 6:59
13: 6:59 (average for 12-13)

I started a bit too fast, paid for it a little bit in the middle, but finished really strong.
Next time, I think I can do better.  I'll drop the extra pound I gained in Argentina (just because it's excess, not because I think I need to lose any weight... if it happens naturally, great, but I won't do anything intentional to make it go away), get a haircut, actually train, sleep better, run in cooler weather.  The weather will play a big role, and the pound will also give me a 1% faster time.  Looking forward to more PRs to come!  I want to be top 3 next year.  The twenty miles I ran last weekend (total) were probably okay, so I won't be afraid to do that much next time. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Apr 6

Running is amazing. 

Before the run, I was soooooooooooooo tired.  I’ve been very tired this week… the months and months of having long hours at work, topped off by the BA trip have left me really tired.  I guess I was tired in the past, too.  I’ve been like this before, having to force myself out of a nap to get to the gym to squeeze in a run before it closes.  Painful getting out the door.  The running part is easy and totally transforms you.

Before the run, it’s utterly painful just to force yourself out of bed.  After the run, you’re awake and energized.  Before the run, you just want to stuff yourself with junk food to stay awake.  After the run, the thing you crave most is quality, nutrient-packed food… I wanted carrots more than anything else.  My body craved power-packed vitamins.  Power food.

Today, I needed to get a bit of speed, since it’s been a looong time since my last intervals session.  Couldn’t do too much, though, because the race is 3 days away, and I need time to recover/adapt from it.  I switched up my routine a bit.  I did shorter intervals and cut down on the number of reps to 2/3 of the usual, but the ratio of fast:slow running was about the same. 

Workout: 1 mi warmup @ 7mph, 4 x [0.3 @ 9mph, 0.2 @ 7.5mph], 0.5 mi cooldown @ 7.5mph + 0.5 @ 8mph.  Had a lot left in me, but saving it!  No body issues, happy to say.

4.0 in 30:41, 7:40 ave… not bad.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Apr 3

I love stocking my fridge with high-quality fuel, food that gives your body the nutrients it needs to fight disease, perform optimally, give you energy and focus, and just make you feel good and satisfied.  Go for lots of color and a good balance of different vitamins and minerals.

Since I need to stay away from empty calories this week, I stayed away from processed foods as much as I could (still had to get my whole grain… really half grain… Goldfish fix). 

Grocery list:
Green & Red bell peppers
Collard Greens
Spring Mix
Whole Wheat Flour
Skim Milk
Chili Powder
Fat Free Feta

Doesn’t that sound good and make you feel powerful just reading it?  Plus, it’s not expensive, either.  I spend less than $6/day on food, Goldfish included.   For protein, I have dairy, tofu, tuna, beans, nuts (I don’t consider that high protein, especially compared to the [healthy] fat content, but some people count it), and sometimes chicken.  For grains, I have oatmeal, whole grain bread, tortilla chips, cereal, and sometimes whole grain pasta.  For fats, I eat lots of PB/peanuts and chocolate, haha.  I also love tea and decaf coffee – a satisfying treat that adds additional nutrients for free.  I can have any meal at any time of day – salad at breakfast, cereal at dinner… don’t care, because it always tastes good.  I go for 3 servings of dairy per day to get calcium, and I also have glucosamine chondroiton 2x/day and fish oil 3x/day, to keep my joints smooth (I think it does make a difference… on one trip when I didn’t take any, my joints were creaky, and then I realized that I hadn’t had my pills in a week), and the oil to help my heart, fight inflammation, and keep my mind strong.  I get sick once/2-3 years, and even then, it lasts maybe 1 day and isn’t necessarily bad enough to be called truly “sick”, either, thanks to a combo of good fueling and good exercise.  Another big facet of my nutrition is also the timing… I eat often, and it doesn’t take too much to make me satisfied, as long as I eat often.  I like salt… a lot.  Maybe I need it, though… that’s what I’ll tell myself, haha.  When I eat Goldfish or chips or peanuts, I look for the saltiest looking ones and pick those first.  I drink lots of water. 

Eager to get back into my running routine.  Did 11.9 yesterday, and I did 8.1 to round it off to a nice 20 for the weekend.  Rolled my left ankle 3x today!  That technical trail part of the loop is downhill and uneven, so I really just need to slow down during that part.  Seems okay for now.  It was a nice run.  I debated whether I wanted to go out to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, or do the treadmill and save gas (but maybe hurt my joints a little bit because it’ll force me to not use my natural gait), or go to the more uneven East Riverside Park.  Went to the park, since drive-wise it’s the middle ground, and it lets me be outside and not on the treadmill.  Listened to my iPod and enjoyed working hard.  6pm, wore Brooks Trance 8’s w/ stability insoles, sox.  Still haven’t showered from yesterday, haha.  So tired… sleep and eat.  And run.  No time to shower, haha.

8.1 in 1:08:15, 8:25 ave. 

Splits> 6:28, 6:23, 6:13, 6:14, 6:19, 6:09, 6:08, 6:08, 6:08, 6:04, 5:56

Legs were sore yesterday and today from yesterday’s run, since I hadn’t run in 9 days before that.  While I was at the plant last week, on the last day, I was running late for lunch, so I decided to run to the cafeteria.  It felt incredible, just to speed across the campus for a short quarter or so.  My legs had missed the feeling.  It was exhilarating, even though I was in jeans, a collared shirt, and steel-toed shoes, haha.  Strangely, earlier in the week, my calves were sore… maybe that’s the feeling of breaking down, since I feel it after workouts sometimes… it’s possible.  In this case, it was probably pure atrophy, while normally, it’s the weak muscle fibers getting broken down so that stronger ones can be laid down.

Been thinking… maybe I will go for a PR at the race.  It may be hard to PR, but I could put up a decent time, probably.  I’ve adjusted my thinking because yesterday’s run was pretty good, and I remembered that I didn’t really taper for Spinx, either.  We’ll see.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Apr 2

Back from BA.  The project is just about over.  It feels strange, after having that as such a big part of my life for the past 7 months, and having spent a lot of time with my team for our on-site trips.  Some of them will continue to be part of the next phase of the project, for Mexico, starting next month.  Others, though, I will greatly miss.  It made me sad to think about it.  It won’t be the same without them.  I had a nice long run to just think about everything, though.  I brought my Shuffle, but I didn’t turn it on until the last 30 minutes or so.  I wanted time to think. 

I didn’t run at all in the past 9 days!  Going from a 5K PR to no running… phew.  Working 12 hr days for a straight 7 days makes it hard to get the run in.  Physically possible, but you gotta be fresh for work.  This was the final sprint of the project… all my energies were going there.  Also wanted to be able to spend more time with the team.  Like I mentioned in previous posts, this project has given me the feeling of being on a team that I’ve missed since graduating and not being in team sports anymore.  Now that the team is dissolved, it’s sad.  I still know and will get to work with some of them in other projects from time to time, but this team for this purpose is no more.  Perhaps with a little time and perspective, I’ll realize that it’s not a big deal.  For now, though, after the run, I printed pictures, which I’ll put up in my fairly bare office.  At work, I like to be 100% focused on work.  No distractions, and then I can relax when I go home.  I keep things segregated.  Although I need to do it sometimes, I’d prefer not to have to work some more after going home. 

So the run… started fast, since my legs were fresh.  All I got in last week was a 30 min bike ride.  Slowed down, but overall, I did okay, I guess.  I have a half marathon next weekend, and it will DEFINITELY not be a PR.  It’s said that a week of not running will make you lose 10% of your fitness.  I’m thinking about dressing up as a Spartan for the run, just for fun and to entertain others, since I’m not going to be competitive anyway. 

Wore the n1224s with Oxysox and the arches. 

11.9 in 1:35:30, 8:03 ave… pretty nice, I guess.  983 cal.  Oh yeah, I gained about a pound or two while I was in BA, probably because of the lack of exercise, less control over the timing and portions of my meals, and less sleep.  Not a big deal... my equilibrium will naturally come back once I get back into normal life. 

Splits> 7:11 b, 5:32 ps, 6:44 c, 6:56 p, 6:50 bl, 5:41 ps, 6:58 c, 7:10 p, 6:58 bl, 5:48 ps, 7:05 c, 7:09 p, 7:05 bl, 8:16 car.