Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sep 29

2 days ago, a strength session... my weekly-ish standard one.  I did 4 Insanity DVDs plus the Fit Test last week, but they work different muscles in different ways.  My abs felt a little neglected.  Insanity also relies on push-ups a lot when it comes to arms, so I wanted to work the counterpart pulling muscles to keep things balanced and to minimize injury risk.  Some exercises were harder than normal because it has been 2 weeks since my last standard strength session.  I think my quads are stronger, though.  I avoided pushups, since I've done plenty in the last week.  My upper back and lower back were sore at work today (before the strength session) from the pushups.

Today, I needed to run. It had been 4 days.  Out of the past 3 days, I had only had 1 workout - the strength session, because I had no time with work, and after weeks of very busy work and little sleep, my body was exhausted.  But I had more time today, so I did an Insanity workout, followed by a run.  I'm still 3 workouts behind... 1 medium, 1 intense, and 1 new one that I haven't done yet.  There's one built-in off day per week, plus the day with the Cardio Recovery DVD that's essentially an off-day, so there will be opportunities to catch up if it works out. 

Today's DVD was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit again... a repeat of the first workout in the plan.  There are 3 sets of 2 circuits.  That last circuit is tough... basketball shooting squats, 5x [4 pushups and stepping it out in plank mode], from plank, bring in your knees to the side of your body and back out with alternating sides, and doing the same but straight towards your chest and back out.  I really have to push myself to make it through that circuit.

The run went well.  I would've been happy with 3 miles, but the Insanity workout was a good warmup and still kept me feeling fairly fresh running-wise, so I did 5.

5.0 in 40:09, 8:01 ave. 
Splits> 8:22, 8:16, 8:09, 7:55, 7:24.

When I woke up this morning, I felt like my body had run out of the adrenaline or whatever that had been keeping me going these past few weeks.  Almost the weekend... I didn't get to really catch up on sleep this past weekend because of other commitments... maybe this weekend... I'd better....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sep 21-25


Sep 21:
That 8-min Insanity fit test from the previous day made me very sore at work... just the test, not even a workout yet.

Day 1 of Insanity... the Plyometic Cardio Circuit.  The whole DVD is like 40 minutes, and 10 of those are for the warmup, and there's probably 5 minutes of stretching.  I think it' reasonable to have 10 minutes of warmup, but it does sound like a lot compared to the total workout time.  It didn't feel particularly intense until the last couple reps of the last circuit.  It did leave me sweaty, though.  I'd say that the effort level most of the time is like that of an easy jog.

Sep 22:
Still sore, but no longer uncomfortably so.  FYI, sleep for the week, starting from Monday night, was 3, 3, 4.5 hrs.  I think lack of sleep makes your body kinda sore by itself.  Cortisol, inflammation... whatever. 

Ran today, since it had been 3 days.  A bit of exercise helps to get rid of soreness, too. 
On the 1 degree Treadmill, 4.0 in 31:21, 7:50 ave.  Splits> 8:17, 7:59, 7:48, 7:16.

Sep 23:
Only sore today when I contracted those particular muscles.

Considered doing 2 Insanities to catch up, but 1 was enough when I was done.  Doubles may be doable if they're done in the morning and evening.  Did the Cardio Power and Resistance. This felt less intense than the first day's, for whatever reason.  I need to keep better form with my back... it got a little tingly a couple of times.

Sep 24:
Rest day.  I was going to attempt a long run the next day, and I didn't want to mess that up.

Sep 25:
Long run!  With the Spinx Half Marathon coming up at the end of October, I had to somehow get endurance back.  It's been hard this year to do any sort of long run, for whatever reason.  So, like last year prior to the Houston Marathon build-up, I remembered the good strategy of just taking it slow to start pushing the long run length.  It went well.  It was still hard, especially at the end, but it wasn't too painful, and no real niggles (nagging little things).

11.6 in 1:45:11, 9:04 ave.  954 cal.  Drank 3/4 a bottle of Gatorade (3 water stops) and 3 Roks (tastes like chocolate malt balls... so good!).  11am-ish.  NB1224s with soccer socks.  75-80ish degrees.

Splits> 8:09 b, 6:27 p short, 7:48 c, 7:51 p, 7:44 b long, 6:30 ps, 8:01 c, 7:48 p, 7:44 bl, 6:33 ps, 7:51 c, 7:44 p, 7:53 bl, 7:02 bathroom.

Not too fast, but I just need to build up endurance.  Really needed a shower afterwards.

// Update...
Later the same day, I ended up doing 2 Insanity workouts, at midnight. 
Cardio Recovery was slow strength and yoga-ish... not quite a workout, but it would be a nice rest day-ish break.
Pure Cardio was non-stop other than the warmup and cooldown - no 30s water breaks.  It was tough.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Insanity Fit Test 1

After having a good time doing plyometrics with a personal trainer but not liking the long drives to the gym, I saw some reviews at for a workout DVD set called "Insanity"... and it looked like my kind of thing.

I like the thought of a kick-your-butt workout that will push you and not waste your time.  It's amazing how many variations of body-weight exercises there are, and I love always learning new ones.  I am a little concerned about doing plyos day after day with only 1 rest day per week.  I don't know if my joints can handle it.  We'll see.  I also wonder how easy it'll be to do doubles (insanity + normal run or bike), if I choose to go that route.  I've considered just doing random Insanity DVDs a couple of times a week.  We'll see how the first few days go. 

Day 1 starts with the Fit Test.  It's a series of 7 exercises.  You do each one for a minute with as many reps as you can.  You get like a minute rest after each exercise.  You repeat this test every 2 week to gauge your progress.

There's also a t-shirt that you can get once you finish if you send in your day 1 and day 60 pics.  That would be fun.  That would also mean that I'd have to do the full 60-day program.

Fit Test 1:
Switch Kicks - 75 (pretty much kick forward with alternating legs, 2 kicks = 1 rep)
Power Jacks - 55 (jumping jacks, but with a sumo squat when your arms go down)
Power Knees - 97 (like kneeing someone, bringing your knee across your body sideways)
Power Jumps - 56 (like tuck jumps, but with legs >hip width apart)
Globe Jumps - 14 (sumo jumps with hands touching the ground, going in a circle = 4 jumps = 1 rep)
Suicide Jacks - 25 (burpees minus the pushups)
Push-up Jacks - 33 (pushups but splitting your legs like a jumping jack during the down part)
Low Plank Oblique - 56 or 66... lost focus counting (plank on elbows with army-crawlish knees to elbow)

Afterwards, I maybe could've run, but I biked.  Recumbent bike intervals.
10 min warmup, 15x(1.5 min @ ~19mph, 0.5 min @ ~14.8mph). 
40 minutes total, 72 degrees, 350 cal, 11.3 mi.  Pushed my legs. 
Back (both sides... at least it was even) was a little off as a result of the Fit Test, I think.  Okay, though. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Raven Rock Trail @ Lake Keowee

Yesterday, I went hiking with my parents at Raven Rock trail by Lake Keowee in Sunset, SC.  It was 4.1 mi total, but it was steep... one of the steepest trails I've been on.  My ankles got plantarflexed and dorsiflexed to the extreme, so they were sore his morning.  It was just enough to stress them a bit and make them stronger without doing too much damage, so I was itching to run this morning.  I didn't get out until the evening, though. 

The trail is very diverse.  You go to Lake Keowee, which is very clean and pretty.  There are campsites nearby that I would've liked to try at some point, although I think you have to dig for bathrooms, which is a big downside. 

There were some shiny pebble-sized things in the water, and we were curious, so I went in to pick them up.  They were slate-like, translucent, paper-thin layered rocks.  There were also 6-inch long, translucent green fish who weren't afraid of me and maybe tried to nibble at my feet. 

The trail also went by some creeks, once it leveled out a bit.

So on to today's run...

Glad to get some outside running time today, to take advantage of the cooler weather.  My legs felt pretty fresh.  Not a big number of miles, but that's okay... any is good.

7.6 in 1:00:08, 7:54 ave.  606 cal.
Splits> 6:24, 6:09, 6:12, 6:07, 6:03, 6:01, 6:02, 5:50, 5:46, 5:29.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sep 15

Monday: 8:30am-2:30am, the only break being a 20 min drive home.  No other break besides potty breaks. (17.5 hrs)
Tuesday: 6:30am-6:15pm, minus 30 min for lunch, 10pm-2am.  (15.25 hrs)
Wednesday: 7:30am-5:45pm, minus 15 min for lunch, 12:00am-4:00am.  (14 hrs)
Thursday: 8:00am-5:45pm, minus 45 min for lunch.  (9 hrs).
Still need to work tomorrow, but so far, over 4 days, it's 55.75 hrs.  It went pretty well, but it was a long time of 100% focus. 

4am on Thursday (technically Thursday) morning, worked out for the first time all workweek.  Needed a strength session.  If I go more than 1.5 weeks without one, I'm noticeably weaker when I do do it, so it was right at the 1.5 mark.  Went as well as it normally does, despite the lack of sleep.  My body gets tired right when I wake up from my 2-hr sleeps, but then the adrenaline or whatever kicks in because you know you need to get the job done, and it's fine.  And now that I can finally take it a little easy tonight, even though my body probably needs sleep, it's fine.  It's enjoying not having a looming deadline.

Later in the day, at 9pm, went for the first run since Sunday night.  I had optimistically hoped for more, but I ended up with 5.5.  Not bad - I'll take anything.  Still liking the Nike Equalon+.  Drank 30cal worth of Gatorade for the little boost.

5.5 in 43:57, 7:59 ave.  I did 7:58 ave for the same distance on Sunday night.
Splits> 8:16, 8:08, 8:06, 8:00, 7:46, 3:39 for 0.5. (this time)
Splits> 8:34, 8:12, 7:59, 7:48, 7:34, 3:38 for 0.5. (last time)

I always pace by feel, whatever I think I can manage... so it's interesting that it was distributed differently, but the overall pace ended up being the same. 

My parents are visiting this weekend.  I'm excited.  Haven't seen them since July.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept 11 - p

Can't help but get emotional when you hear families speak about their loved ones.
Thanks to the firefighters, policemen, the military, and doctors who serve.
Promote unity, liberty, and kindness towards fellow man in their honor.

I feel as if I just got out of a shower, I'm so wet with sweat right now.  It makes you feel like you did something.

My plantar felt suprisingly 87% better today.  Yesterday and all week, it had been pretty bad - swollen-feeling in my inner left heel.   I did have periodic short, shooting-style pains go up my lower leg, but I'm not concerned, and it's preferable to heel pain every time I take a step.

I wanted to do some kind of workout today... maybe bike, maybe strength, if I was lucky, a short run.  But I got in a medium-sized run, and it went surprisingly well, given yesterday's run.  Maybe stopping a early like I did yesterday prevented over-stress than would've kept me from doing today's run.

Treadmill, 1 degree, 72 degrees.  455 cal.
5.5 in 43:48, 7:58 ave.  I would've perhaps done a bit more (10K) if I had more time.  I expected the gym to close about when I reached 5 mi, so I paced myself accordingly.

Splits> 8:34, 8:12, 7:59, 7:48, 7:34, 3:38 for 0.5.

I love oranges.

I'm a little scared about the upcoming week... the pressure, the amount I'll need to do... wondering how it'll go and if I'll be able to do a decent job of it... how little sleep I may get.  The fear of failure does things to me.  Compounds emotions on an already emotional day.

Know what just occurred to me, though?  It kind of helps to think that I'll be doing the work for people.  FYI, I have to develop and execute 3 days worth of training (Tues-Thursday).  I'll be helping them grow in knowledge and feel more comfortable with the system, and to build their confidence.  It helps to think of it that way rather than doing it to get a big to-do done and to keep my job.  I think writing that Sept 11 thing up there, and realizing that it's about caring for people, helped me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sep 10

Yeseterday, I considered just staying home and having another rest day (2nd in a row), since the clock was ticking before the fitness room would close, but I called my sister, and she said that I should go, and except for that one time earlier this year, I've never not felt better after a workout.  I had been a little hesitant because I wanted to go on a run the next morning to take advantage of a cool morning.

I did a bike session of only 37:15 min.  I pushed it, so I guess I got tired more quickly.  I was going to stop at 35 min, but I was a 9.something mi, so I decided to go until I hit 10, which was a good workout-extender.  It was good... short but good.

Today, I did the run at about 9am.  I think the bike session might've sapped a bit of my quad strength.  My heart was pounding pretty hard throughout the run.  Don't know why. I think I probably caught up on most of the sleep, so it's probably not that.  Dunno.  I wore my singlet (vs. the sportsbra), so it felt hotter than it could've been.  I did 2.5 laps, stopping for water 2x/lap.  Water... it was really a concoction of water, lemon juice, and salt... very lemoy and salty (maybe just lemony) but still tolerably so.  I ended up stopping with 1 mi still left on the course.  My legs were okay, but not 100%, and it was already a good enough run for what I had hoped for mileage-wise, so I just took that last mile as a cooldown walk, which was good for me anyway.  I get stiff sometimes when I just jump into the car after a run with minimal cooldown walking. 

I bought clearance shoes from Run-In afterward.  It's my first pair of Nike running shoes ever (other than Steeplechase ones that I've only really used once to try the epic event that is Steeplechase and some shoes that I had in elementary shoes that I only ever walked in).  With my plantar fasciitis, which has returned to being rough... feeling like my left heel's swollen, I've realized that it feels the best with very built-up stability shoes, and the Nike Air Equalon+ felt good.  I like to try different brands that feel comfortable, just to shake up the forces applied to my feet and to just experience as much of the running world as I can.  I'll report on how it goes once I try a real run in them.

9.1 in 1:16:49, 8:26 ave.
Splits> 8:00 b, 6:03 p short, 7:17 c, 7:10 p, 7:09 b long, 5:56 p s, 7:13 c, 7:12 p, 7:15 b s, 6:02 p s, 7:28 b l (ooh, slowed way down)... and that was the end.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sep 7

It had been 4.5 days since my last run.  It was too rainy on the first two days.  Normally, I would go out of my way to run in the rain because it cools you down and it's epic, but I was visiting my sister, and I didn't want to get her room all muddy after hitting the trails.  On Tuesday, it was most convenient [and it was time] to do a strength session. Really wanted to but didn't have time yesterday.  But it was going to happen today.

It's cloudy and relatively cool, and it would've been nice to go outside, but I was a little mentally tired and needed a bit of fueling after work, so I had dinner first and did the treadmill instead.  Ah, running.  After a pressure-filled week, and feeling how I felt after the run, I just know how big of a difference it makes.  Whatever little bit of less sleep you may get as a result of running, you make up for it in how good it makes you feel, and how it clears all the pressure away.

My legs get tingly at times and want to move or stretch out.  (My theory is that swelling as an inflammatory response to training pinches your nerves a bit, and that you want to stretch out to reduce the swelling or scratch that little itch-like sensation of the rubbed nerves.)  It happens a lot at work or at Bible Study... at least that's when I notice it.  At work, when I'm walking to or from the bathroom, I often get a strong desire to start sprinting down the hallway to stretch my legs out a bit.

Anyway, it was a good run.  Had to work hard during it.  It was a progression run up to 4 miles, then I varied the pace, going at an easier pace when necessary to just continue through to the 10K mark.  But the pace ended up still being up there for the remainder of the run.

6.2 in 48:51, 7:53 ave.
Splits> 8:17, 7:59, 7:50, 7:45, 7:46, 7:41, 1:30 for 0.2.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sep 3 - p


Visited my sister in college for labor day weekend. PB&J time (pooky bear and jennifer). There's a sweet series of trails right behind her dorm... like 30 feet away from the door. They're pretty diverse, too. It's a lot of single track, but with varying surfaces (sand, concrete, pine needles) and some tight, windy turns. There's elevation change and a mix of forest and creek.

These pictures are from last year (from my iPod), but at that time, I didn't know about the self-emailing Blogger feature, where you email a picture to a secret email address, and the picture will appear in a draft. So useful!

Speaking of iPods...

I wanted to test out a new Fuelbelt lumbar pack on this run.  Got it on sale for $4.  Anyway... packed it up with a granola bar and the iPod in the main compartment, and my phone in the side pocket, so that my sister could let me back in to the buildilng.  I set off.  I got to the far point after about 15 minutes.  Then, I saw a new trail that I could try to explore.  It went uphill, and the forest was taking over that part of the trail somewhat, since it was rarely used.  It was fun to explore, though.  I eventually got up to the top, which stopped at a university building.  I was curious what it was, so I circled around the paths a bit.  While I was running, I heard something fall... it was the crinkle of the granola bar.  Odd.  I put it back into the bag and zipped it up and ran on.  A few steps later, *crinkle*.  It had fallen again... wait a minute... no way did I totally miss the bag and zip it up.  Then, I noticed the huge hole... a massive hole... the whole underside seam had come apart... on the first run ever.  And the iPod probably landed with a light *poof* somewhere without me noticing.  I circled around a bunch and spent the next hour and 10 minutes running and later walking through the trails again.  Nowhere. 

Singletracks, going through the dense brush, steep slopes... not good news for the iPod.  I decided to give it up after retracing my steps several times.  Oh well.  Maybe someone else would somehow find it.  Maybe they'd need it more than I did.  Or maybe someone would try to return it.  Or, it's not the end of the world if I would've just lost it.  I did find 3 pennies in the next 24 hours... just had to find 3 pennies 7,500 more times.  One was heads-up, and one was SHEILD up!!!  You know those new 2011 shield pennies?  I wonder who was the first person to ever find a penny shield-side up.  Even though it's technically not the heads-side up, I think shield side up must be better, just because it's cooler.

The next day, I got an email from someone.  Turns out she had seen it, came back later and saw it again and figured that the owner hadn't found it, and it was starting to rain.  She had lost an iPod once and wished that someone had helped her get it back, and my dad had also written a touching inscription on the back of it.  So she went out of her way to get in contact and meet me to return it.  And she wouldn't accept money or cookies for the trouble.  So kind of her, huh?!?  Good people. 

Anyway, given the steepness of the trails and the stop-and-go nature of the run, I just called it at a 10min pace, to be conservative.  So maybe 6.6ish miles in 1:06:14.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sep 1

Another run scheduled for today... I suppose a bike or strength session would've been fine too.  But my run yesterday was a bit of a bust, and my running totals for the last 2 weeks were 8.1 and 7.1 miles (yes... weekly total, not for a single run).  So my legs were fine with (and wanted) some more mileage. 

I was going to attempt maybe a 5er or something, but I had just woken up from a nap and was still SUPER tired.  My legs were like "uhhh, don't wanna slog through a longer than normal run with heavy legs".  My legs seemed to want intervals a little bit, though, so I switched from the clunkier NB 1225 motion control shoes to my Saucony Fastwitch for a speed session.

Felt good and fast to have light shoes on my feet.  The gym was also much cooler than temps I've been running in all month.  69 degrees.   Woo hoo! 

4.0 in 29:16, 7:19 ave. 
1 mi warmup (0.5 @ ~7.2mph, 0.5 @ 7.5mph), 4 x [0.5 @ 9mph, 0.25 @ 7.5mph).

It felt not too hard, but I was tired, so I stopped at the end of that instead of pushing on.  It's my normal interval session, so I shouldn't feel bad about stopping there, but I feel like I could've done more (similar to yesterday).  I don't know why it's bugging me if it was a decent workout. 

I have a theory, though.  I normally don't follow a training plan.  I make it up as I go along each day.  I may have an idea of what I want to attempt in the next 3-7 days each day, but the mileage will depend on what my legs feel like doing.  Marathon training last year (16 wks) was the first time I had ever followed a plan.  Anyway... usually, I stop running when a niggle in my leg gets bad enough that I think it's too much of a risk to continue (exception: long runs, where I may stop just b/c it's far enough and I'm tired and my legs can't handle much more).  So for once, it seems that my tiredness is the limiting factor, not a niggle.  And stopping due to tiredness seems more like giving up, vs. being forced to stop due to a nagging baby-injury.  That's why I was beating myself up about it a little.  But it's actually a good thing that I'm getting through these workouts with relative comfort other than tiredness.  I guess the limited mileage in the past 6ish weeks have helped my legs get refreshed a bit.  I guess it's better to have to stop due to tiredness than to have to stop due to injury.  I should consider it a blessing.

Now to just have some time to pay off my sleep debt...

Work's been stressful.  When I get home, I want junkier foods to give my brain an endorphins hit.  I need to pace myself a bit more and let the fullness sink in a little before going on to the next course.  Or something... I dunno.  I just feel like I may be over-doing it a bit.