Saturday, July 9, 2011

MID-YEAR REVIEW 2011

HIGHLIGHTS:

-         PR’ed 5 times this year. 
o       2x in the 5K (20:51, 20:44)
o       8K by default as a first-timer (35:40)
o       Half Marathon by 1 second on a race for fun (1:36:00)
o       Marathon by default as a first-timer (3:41:40)
-         After the full marathon, I considered making a second attempt at the BQ before the hot summer season hit, hoping to still get one in time for 2012.  Although I recovered fairly quickly in that I was able to run, I’m still having trouble doing any long runs.  So I decided to aim for Boston 2013 instead and allowed myself the opportunity to focus on shorter races for a while, to see what I could do with the marathon fitness.  So although the LRs are a bummer because they were really enjoyable, I did make some big strides in the 5K.
-         Made a new blog friend and friendly competitor (see chasingthekenyans.com), got my first 3 official followers (thanks, guys!).
-         Won my first race outright (a small race, but it was my first time doing it).
-         Picture appeared in the May 2011 edition of Go Magazine! for the SC Half Marathon Championships/ Greer Half Marathon.

ANALYSIS:
My logbook that I got from the Publix booth at a race starts each week on a Sunday rather than a Monday, so I have to use a 3-day moving average to make my weekly averages seem reasonable.

Raw Data:

Smoothed out:
 
As you can see, I’ve only managed about 15mi/wk since the full marathon in late January.  That’s even lower than the ~20mi/wk average from last year, when I was still simply building up from 6 months of a hip injury.  Ah well.  The 5K races have been good, so I can’t complain.

COMPARISONS:

I have the same data from last year, so I can make some helpful comparisons:

(The first section is number of each type of workout per week, and the second  section is total miles of each workout type per week.  For non-running workouts (XT = cross training, usually bike and rarely swim; Strength = mostly body weight exercises), I give a mileage equivalent, always conservatively estimated.  Weeks with races are in Green or Yellow.)

2010
 
2011
 

1. Why I’m doing well in 5Ks
- For all of 2010, I did Intervals sessions 10x.  In 2011, I’ve already done intervals 11x.
Caveat: I was doing pretty well in 2010, too.  If I had raced more and hadn’t been managing the risk to the marathon, I think I could’ve done well with limited intervals last year.
- Marathon fitness carried over.
- More attempts at 5Ks = more chances at everything (weather, body, sleep, etc) coming together all at once, making for a great day.

2. Should I worry about my inability to do LRs so far this year?
            - No, it’s okay.  Looking back at last year’s stats, my ability to handle marathon training came very suddenly.  Through July, the “LR”s I logged were about 7 miles long… hardly a long run.  Then, in August/September, I suddenly started doing 11ers every week.  After that, marathon training started, and I banged out whatever it had for me. 
- I can look back at my 2010 paper log for more details.
            - I got into LRs right after I was officially entered into the Houston Marathon (mid-August).
            - At the end of August, I noted that my legs felt like they had changed inside, that I had faster recovery and that they were ready/hungry for more).  What happened that week?  Nothing special.  It was still hot, 85 degrees.  Training paces were comparable to what they are today.
- Maybe when the time is right (hopefully right before 16 weeks before my March marathon), the same thing will happen to me again.

SHOES:
 
I’ve bought a lot of shoes, and I’ve especially been experimenting with minimalist shoes (maked with “(min)”).  It may seem a bit odd, since I’m an overpronator who typically trains in heavy motion control shoes.  The minimalist shoes feel pretty good, though, and they’re awesome in races.  I can do LRs with the Kinvaras, but the A4 and the Fastwitch I only use for short races, since there’s not as much cushioning there.  I have lots of Saucony because I know what size will fit me well.

WEEKLY COMMENTS:
In my log book, I write one summary message per week.

  1. Good start to the year.  Foot is still recovering but has survived.  At last, hard part over and now taper.
  2. Haven’t been hitting mileage targets perfectly in last month, but it’s okay and for the best.  Foot better.
  3. Only soy and dairy this week, and more oatmeal.  Strange sleep, though hip better after naps.  Probably feel more tired than I should 1 week out.
  4. Playing it safe.  Let the hip rest and stretch.  Maybe more worn out than I should be in week of race.
  5. Too bad a/b the BQ, but I’m a marathoner!  Recovered surprisingly quickly.  Excited for training again and my next attempt.
  6. Getting back into running.  Though we’ll have to see how stress/sleep/exercise time goes next two weeks in Buenos Aires.
  7. Whew, Buenos Aires.  Marathon week again.
  8. Dunno if I’ll go for BQ in May or if I’ll relax and focus on 5Ks/10Ks
  9. 5K PR – ready to do even better next time!
  10. Sleep-deprived week.
  11. Just keep fit, enjoy shorter races, improve if I can.
  12. Not optimal fueling and stress level.
  13. No run in Buenos Aires, but ok – needed to sleep and focus on final sprint of work.  Fuel content okay, though portions and timing not ideal, probably.
  14. Surprising result in Half Marathon for fun – guess marathon helps overcome low training, hot weather, and extra pound.
  15. Tough recovering from an all-nighter.
  16. Maybe I can be more consistent, ramp it up.  My legs want to run now.
  17. 5K PR, but still 45s to take off.  Practice more sprinting and hills – enjoyed first hill session.
  18. Get back into it.  Tough w/ work and social commitments.
  19. Need a marathon to train for.  Need to start building a base.
  20. Knees a bit poundy @ end of week, maybe due to sprints.  Tired?  Overtrained by end of week after overexcited the first half of the week?
  21. Altitude training!
  22. Princeton = running heaven.  Nice workouts despite tummy issues.
  23. Will need to get used to schedule w/ roommate.
  24. Feeling “off” this week.  First heat acclimatization run outdoors.
  25. Getting over knee issues w/ more quad strength that somehow weakened recently.  Left heel pain persists but dealing w/ it.
  26. Working a lot.  Running through plantar fasciitis.

LESSONS FROM THIS YEAR:

  1. Changing up surfaces, especially going on grass, helps to prevent overuse injuries because you get different forces applied to different muscles with uneven ground, and grass in general is softer and easier on your body – I hear this over and over again on podcasts.
  2. From the marathon: get to the starting line early even if there are corrals because you may not be able to get to your corral if you’re too late, pee early and often, and don’t make up time all at once – spread that out, too. 
  3. What has continued to prove itself as working pretty well: dynamic stretching and a 0.5 mi warmup run 10-15 minutes before 5K races, foam roller and stretching at night (not before runs), hip strengthening for knee injury prevention!!!.

STATS:
>>  416.3 miles, 2.28 mi/day on average, 16 mi/wk on average
>> 2 days, 4 hrs, 17 min, 6 seconds of running this year, 17 min and 10s/day on average... not much at all, when you think about it... I spend more time than that walking back and forth between the bathroom and my cubicle at work.
>> 1 day, 1 hr, 40 min of cross training (strength, bike, little bit of swim) this year, 8 min and 25s/day on average.
>> I get less than 30 min of exercise per day on average

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE REST OF THE YEAR:

- I think signing up for a marathon is going to be a big boost.
- If I go for a March marathon, either the SunTrust National Marathon in DC or the Snickers Marathon in Albany, GA, I’d start training in November/December.

1 comment:

lindsay said...

you have strong pr's for a lower average weekly mileage! who needs 120mile weeks? :)

i need to get back on my "30mins a day" rule i had going on last year... these days of 0 activity are not good! plus it would force me to do more yoga/stretching.