Monday, May 28, 2012

May 24-28 : Chillin in Charleston - p v

Thought about going home to Charleston after I got in another park run, although it was too late by the time I finished doing dishes, etc.  But the run was good.  5.2 in 44:37, 8:43 ave.  Felt  kinda hard, but good to work out nonetheless.  Drank 3/4 bottle of lemonwater.

Drove to CHS @ 5am, worked from home.  So tired all day.

Track!!!  I completed the BM Pyramid for the first time in 3 yrs, maybe?  Yup... just checked w/ the handy Google Blog search... Jan 20, 2009 was the last time.  My strategy was to neg split it, which I really learned the value of during the mile race.  It's a long workout, and there's no need to burn yourself out during the first few sprints.  Control it, and if you have anything left in the second half, you can let it rip then.

5.7 mi in 43:05, 7:34 ave. 
The BM Pyramid workout:
2 laps of warmup (2:10, 2:02)
4 x 100, with 100 jogs after each sprint
3 x 200, with 200 jogs after each sprint
2 x 400, with 400 jogs after each sprint (1:36, 2:02, 1:39, 2:04)
1 x 800, with 40 jog after sprint (1:47, 1:40, 2:10.. drank a couple of gulps while jogging)
2 x 400, with 400 jogs after each sprint (1:40, 2:02, 1:43)
3 x 200, with 200 jogs after each sprint
4 x 100, with 100 jogs after each sprint
(This was the last 100.  I look a little clunky, rather than smooth.  Dunno how my first 100 looked.  Form does deteriorate as you fatigue, and by looking at the 400 splits, I was fatiguing as the workout went on. May be something to investigate and work on in the future.)

Beach run.  4.0 in 36:19, 9:04 ave.  Wanted to do it yesterday, but the schedule didn't work out.  Went the first 1.5 mi w/ my sister.  It was really fun to run with my sis, take pictures, enjoy the sunrise (really, about 45 min past sunrise), and see things that you only see at the beach.  She ran back after 1.5, and I went on for another 0.5 until I ran out of beach (without crawling over stuff and going across a bridge).  The headwind was nasty on the way back.  Didn't even notice the tailwind going down.  My sis did crunches while she waited for me to get back.

May 16-21 : 7-day Streak - p

I don't know if I've ever done 7 days in a row of workouts before.  If I have, it's been a while.  My body just wanted to work out, and it felt good. 

Treadmill hill session back at home (after trip to ATL). 1 mi warmup in 8:13 at 1 degree, then, all the rest @ 7.5mph, 1/2 mi @ 5 degrees, 1/4 mi @ 1 degree, 1/2 mi @ 7 degrees, 1/4 mi @ 1 degree, 1/4 mi @ 5 degrees, 1/4 mi @ 1 degree, 1/4 mi @ 7 degrees, 1/4 mi @ 1 degree. 3.5 in 38:13, 8:04 ave. Hadn't run in 3 days, and I was feeling it. Was tired, too, though. Not as much mojo for running lately, tired-wise, but my body (muscles, cardio system) still wants it. I'm ok with reduced mileage, though, as long as I can get biking in or something else to compensate.  Tibialis anteriors sore today, which made my legs really want to run to work it out.

1 hr strength session.  475 crunches per side (left, right, center), 3:00 plank, 105/95 abductor/adductor leg lifts, 25 triangle pushups, 2x75 quad dips, 25 tricep dips, 95 pillow lower leg extensions, 55-45 8lb dumbell rows, 4-way elastic band hip PT exercises, elastic band arm exercises, 1:45 6 in leg lifts, 30 superman arm sweeps, 40 Russian twists w/ 6lb med ball.  Tired during workout, but results were good.  Legs were sore today, too.

45 min on Recumbent bike, 11.4 mi.  Still no energ today, but session was good.  Read magazine.  Drank 2/3 bottle of plain, lukewarm water.  Rt knee felt a bit off after 40 min, and my butt got a little numb, but I stepped up the pace in the next 5 min, and that made the knee thing go away.

Ran outside for the first time in a while, in the park.  May have been like 4 months since the last time I went to this park.  5.3 in 45:25, 8:34 ave.  Head was still a bit swimmy.  Maybe sleep helped.  Body was all set to work out.  Dunno if it's the hotter weather, or the lack of sleep.  Drank 1/2 bottle of lemon + salt water.

(practicing my grabs)

Went to the park again, since it was so nice the first time.  Runs outside are so much more satisfying, as great as treadmill runs can be.  8.2 in 1:10:59, 8:44 ave.  Drank 3/4 bottle of lemonwater.  Coolish, although it was warmer in the sun.   Felt suprisingly fresh, given doing a run the day after a run. 

1 hr sgtrength session, while watching American Ninja on NBC - cool! 

50 min recumben bike session, 13 mi.

I took the next day off.  I though it'd be wise to not push it, even if my body could tolerate it.  Good to see that I could handle the volume, though.  The LR distances are still weak and hard to do, but maybe I can build volume in other ways to build a base for my next marathon, whenver that is.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 5-13 : Excitement, then Lull - p

Friday, May 4th, I PRed at the Mile with a 5:48. I was excited.

Saturday, I pushed through tiredness to do a 11.9 mi LR in 1:47:11, 9:00 ave.  The last few miles took a while and required mental effort to push through.  It wasn't any mechanical issue, just a tired body.... just seemed to have no endurance.  It's odd how my LRs seem to work my cardio system more than faster-paced runs on the treadmill.  Legs were sore in the evening, from the mile. 

Sunday, I did an hour on the recumbent bike.  I wanted more training, since I was on my high, and it would maybe help with recovery from yesterday's LR.  It often does, but not this time.  It was neutral in terms of recovery.

Tuesday, 5 mi on the treadmill, a big progression run in 41:07, 8:14 ave.  Started slow, ended fast.  Splits> 8:47, 8:31, 8:19,7:59, 7:28.  Legs were tight, and I was tired and needed to stretch.  I pumped my arms hard to generate the forward momentum to spare my legs from the work.

Thursday, Insanity DVD (Plyometric Cardio Circuit).  Only did 1 DVD, vs. the 2 I sometimes try to squeeze in.  It's been maybe 6 months since the last time I did one of these, so I wanted to ease back into it.  I was tired by the end, anyway.  I finished with another 25 min of a select few of my usual strength routine exercises, to keep the right leg muscles in balance.

Saturday, a hike at Dupont Forest in NC, where the Hunger Games was filmed.  I had been there before, before I knew about HG, and it was nice.  I've been excited to go back ever since finding out that it was filmed there (/** HUNGER GAMES BOOK 1 SPOILERS**/at Triple Falls, Katniss found Peeta, and at Bridal Veil Falls, Katniss jumped into the water after being burned.)

Sunday, I traveled to Atlanta for my sister's Graduation from college. At the hotel, I did an interval session on a nice, sturdy treadmill.  4.0 in 29:30, 7:23 ave.  I did a 1 mi warmup in 8:11, then 4 x [1/2 @ 9mph, 1/4 @ 7.5mph].  My legs wanted some major stretching out, and my body really wanted cardio.  It had been 5 days since my last run.  The session was good, although the effort felt harder than it should've been.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

RACE REPORT: Mary Black $1000 Mile 2012 - p

Like I mentioned in my last post, I signed up for this race about a week before the event, even after having paid for and registered for a 5K on the same evening, because how often do you get a chance to race a mile?  It was part of the Spartanburg Cycling Criterium.  They decided to throw in a mile run between all of the pro-cycling races.  They had nice cash prizes, too.  $300, $75, and $50, for each gender's top 3, plus 3 $50 raffles. 

It was an evening run, to take place at 6:30 in 82 degree heat.

Work that day was crazy, and an issue came up that required me to work until the very last minute.  Time was getting so close that I changed while at work while waiting for some dependencies to my piece.  Then, I rushed out as soon as I could.

Went to Spartanburg.  Thankfully, traffic was good, and I didn't have trouble finding the parking garage.  Got my # (5), cooled off with cold water all over my body, ran a 4:00 warmup with 15 min to go, did a bit of dynamic stretching and range-of-motion movements.  The previous races went longer than expected, so I may not have started until 6:50 or so.

There were few registrants, with no race-day registration.  You can bet I was sizing up my competition, as always.  2 some told me Kenyan girls... who know if that person was right about the Kenyan part, one person wearing Brooks ID gear, one person that has beat me at 5K races before, and people more my age.

We finally got around to starting, and I lined up.  It was hot, and I was not at all trained for this distance, so based on a cold-weather PR of 5:59, I figured that 6:10 would be a great success if I could manage it, but 6:23 might've been more likely.  I just thought "6:10", though... the 6:23 estimate is retrospective.

They quickly sent us off... I almost didn't realize they were about to start, and I saw people leaning over to get in position, and I was like "oh snap", and I leaned over and readied my watch's start button, and we were off.

I knew from experience to negative split by all means possible.  So... it felt like 80% of the field passed me (it's probably less than that, but it was many people) within the first 100m.  The neg split would maximize my overall speed, and it would hurt MUCH less. 

The course was 2 loops, on a straightforwrd path, with well-marked barriers due to the cycling race.  There were some small elevation changes, enough to keep pacing interesting.  I reeled in the first girl after about 0.3 mi.  Plan was working.  But there were still 3 girls (2 Kenyans, and the speedy 5Ker).  I want to go ahead and apologize in case the 2 Kenyans aren't really Kenyans.  That' what the other person said.  They looked to me like any other high-school / college-ers / early post-collegiates. 

Anyway, there had been some really friendly spectators bantering with me while I was on the start line, and they thought I could win it, or at least joked-encouraged that I could.  I was trying, but I was sad to be disappointing them as I came back across the start line on the first lap.

Now, it was a matter of how much more I could reel the field back in.  I caught 2 men over the next 0.3 mi.  By then, it was the final stretch, and the speedy 5Ker was about 50M ahead, so no, I didn't catch her, and I knew that the Kenyans were always well outside of sight, so I didn't place.  I think I was 4th.

My time was 5:48, and I figured that the course had to be short.  What's the likelihood that they found this centrally located course that was exactly 0.5 mi, anyway.   I was disappointed not to place, but I knew that I wasn't trained for this distance.  To train, I would've done a BM pyramid track workout, guaranteed to kick off like 7-11s off my mile time each time I do it.  But at least I was tapered... maybe over-tapered.  But better to undertrain than to overtrain. 

I did enjoy watching the pro cycling races afterwards, though.  They went sooooooo fast, it was scary being so close to them, even behind a barrier.  The men would bring a huge rush of wind as they came by.  Intense.  They were biking at 25-30mph on the 0.5 mi course, which meant that they came by often, making the spectating very interesting.  There were 50 laps for the women, and 70 laps for the men, so it was not a short race... took about an hour. 

Went home, spent another 2 hours working until 1am.

Next morning, I remembered that I wanted to check on the real distance of the race course, so that I could maybe adjust for the shortness of it to roughly extrapolate how a full mile time would've been.


It was a mile!!!
I broke my FIT360 goal of breaking a 5:55 mile without even meaning to really try!  And I felt like I could've even cut off another 5s if I had kicked earlier and endured a bit more pain. 

That's freaking awesome.  I'm going to be wrapping my head around it all day.  I'm going to go on a long run now.  After watching the races yesterday, and loving the life of training, an with the Olympics coming up (not for me, haha.. but in general), I want to train the daylights out of myself.  I have to restrain myself from doing anything stupid and overtraining.  But oh man, I'm excited.

0.5... the sweetest number I've ever seen.

I had even walked around the course after my race to see exactly where the barriers were, so that I could retrace everything exactly on afterwards.


Apr 30 - May 2 : Life After London

Busy, busy bee.  After a week of training, a week of "normal work" has piled up, making this week (especially Thursday and Friday) feel like it was going 100mph.  But it keeps things interesting, and you don't get bored.

I felt kind of de-trained this week... blobbish, so I'm eager to get back into some real training.  In fact, I feel like I could start a new marathon buildup right now... but more on why that is in my next post.

While I was in London, I found out about a mile run giving out cash prizes.  $300 for 1st, $75 for 2nd, and $50 for 3rd.  I had already signed up for a 5K on the same evening (a nice one with a shirt and only a $6 entry fee), but you don't get a chance to race a mile very often, and its entry fee was also low ($10 including a shirt).  So I decided to call the 5K fee a sunk cost, and I signed up for the mile. 

- - -

Monday (Apr 30):
A catch-up strength session, after going 11 days without one.  14 days is about the max before I notice a detraining effect, so this was just fine.

Tuesday (May 1):
11 or so hrs at work, so gym wasn't an option by the time I was back home and ready.  I ended up doing a fartlek at midnight on the roads, with my reflective armbands on.

4.3 in 33:14, 7:44 ave.  I did 7:47 min (0.87) as a warmup, 2:30 (0.37) on, 1:16 (0.16) off, 2:40 (0.37) on, 0:57 (0.12) off, 1:46 (0.28) on, 2:21 (0.22) off, 2:44 (0.37) on, 0:48 (0.1) off, 1:20 (0.22 on), 1:26 (0.21) off, 2:11 (0.35) on, 5:23 (0.67) off.

Not bad.  Quick.  Didn't feel like the run lasted long enough, cardio-wise, but different workouts target different systems.

Wednesday (May 2):
Treadmill.  The console's working again, so I know my distances instantaneously again.  3.6 in 28:51, 8:01 ave.  Splits> 8:18, 7:59, 7:55, 4:37 for 0.6.  Would've gone on for another mile or two, but the gym was closing.  But maybe it was for the best, so that I didn't overspend myself before the mile.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April 22-29: Lapping up London - p

I had signed up for a Half Marathon on the weekend of April 21, but a business trip came up.  Sad to miss the race, but it's a trade I'm happy to make! 

The London marathon was going to be the same weekend, too.  Unfortuantely, they sell out way in advance, and I'm in no shape for it anyway, but it just added to the excitement.  I considered going to the expo because I love big race expos, with all the gear and samples and the exictement, but I decided to take advantage of the little time I had in the city to tour around instead.  Very tempting, though.

I toured around London on Saturday (after landing at 7:15am).

Trafalgar Square

Parliament and Big Ben

Tower Bridge


St. Paul's Cathedral, from Millenium Bridge (reconstructed after the Death Eater attack)

King's Cross

The next day, I was going to travel to Cambridge with other coworkers flying in that day (from New Zealand and Italy), so I didn't go into London to watch the marathon.  But it was great just to get to watch TV coverage, since there's so little of it available.  TV coverage can be better in many ways, too, since you get to see the elites in action from start to finish, and you get to see lots of parts of the race across a variety of vistas.

I watched pre-race coverage on the BBC while running on the hotel treadmill.

And after an English breakfast...

I watched most of the race from my room.

For the run, I did 10K (they measure in Ks) in 52:40, 8:30/mi. 

Then, off to Cambridge, which was is about 20 min away from one of my company's plants.
Cambridge recently celebrated its 800th anniversary!!!  Crazy.

Its old buildings reminded me of home (Princeton).

On Tuesday morning at 6am before work, I "ran" for 4.1 mi, but I was stopped taking pictures as much as I was running, so it took 1:13:23 to cover the distance.  It didn't feel at all like I had run afterwards, so I didn't count it as a run. 

The next day, on Wednesday, I took fewer pictures, and it felt enough like a run that it cunted.  4.2 in 41:03, 9:47 ave, even after stopping my watch whenever I stopped for shots (at least most of the time).  It would start raining about halfway through my run.  It rained most of the day, every day.  They're in a multi-year drought, but this is April showers.

On Thursday, I didn't run, to save up for my return to central London, when I planned to hit up the 3 parks by Buckigham Palace.  It's a run mentioned on my most recent favorite podcast, Marathon Talk. 

Friday evening, I checked into my hotel, suited up, and went out for the run, which goes something like this:

I started at Buckingham Palace.

I went through Green Park, went around Hyde Park, back on the far side of Green Park, then around St. James Park.

St. James Park borders Horse Guards, which will become the site of the Olympic Volleyball court.

The run was 6.7 in 54:51, 8:10 ave.  Love the Garmin!  Usable anywhere in the world.  I liked the park run in that you could stick to grass as much as you wanted.  I didn't like having to cross streets sometimes, but those times were rare.

On Saturday, it was time to do some more exploring in London.  I hit all of the key sites on my first day in town.  I had considered going to Stonehenge, but it would've been 2hrs of travel by bus each way, using up 4 hours, and once at Stonehenge, you couldn't get that close to the rocks.  A co-worker based in the UK recommended the Portobello Market, famous for antiques and farmers markets and old and new stuff.  She also mentioned Greenwich, home of the Prime Meridian.  I also decided to try to venture out to the site of the Olympic Village.  After that, I had a ticket booked for the London Eye, which rotates once every 30 min.  I got a day/night ticket, which lets you ride once during the day, and once at night.

For breakfast, I bought a carton of strawberries and ate the whole thing, mostly because it was raining, and it would've been a mess to stick it in my bag.  I wouldn't have been able to eat many more than I did.

Next, I took the Tube to the Olympic site, where there's still construction going on for the August games.

Then, I traveled to Greenwich.  It's like the hub of the UK's seafaring power. 

The Prime Meridian

I was cold and wet by the end of the day walking around everywhere.  I had an umbrella, but your legs don't benefit as much from that.

Pile of umbrellas on the bridge between Parliament and the London Eye.  Thrashed by the wind.

Falafel Dinner

I considered doing the 3-park run again on Sunday morning, but it was raining, and I was realllly tired after a week of even less sleep than normal, plus travel.  I went home happy, though.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Apr 15-19 : Before the Trip

Oh man, I can't believe I used to blog after every single workout.  It took up a good percentage of my time, relative to the time I spent doing the actual workout.  Here's the summary...

April 15 (Sunday):
"Long run" of 10.8 miles in 1:29:55, 8:20 average.  It was a bit of a pull-back from the previous week with a post-marathon distance record of 13.3 mi. 

April 16 (Monday):
Bike session - 12.5 mi in 50 min.  HR and sweat got working prettty quickly, even in the decent 70 degree gym.  Feels good to bike and get my heart working.  Even better when you read a running magazine at the same time.

April 18 (Wednesday):
Treadmill base run.  4.9 in 40:00, 8:05 ave.  Treadmill's console is still broken, so I did a progressive speedup based on time and pace settings.

April 19 (Thursday):
55min Strength session, timed to get it in before my trip... to London!