Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jun 18-24 : Lovin' the Miles - p

This week, I had an increase in mileage.  Still no LR, but at least I'm building a base.  The miles have come pretty easily, which is good.

Monday, June 18:
Treadmill base run, with a bit of incline.  I alternated the usual 1 degree with 3 degrees with each mile.  I varied the pace, too, to not keep pounding my legs in the same way.   Speedwise, it was like two speedups.  Splits> 8:32@1, 8:29@3, 8:25@1, 8:21@3, 8:30@1, 8:30@3, 8:18@1, 8:11@3.  8 in 1:07:20, 8:25 ave. 

Before the run, my legs had been a bit achey, so I was actually going to go to the park to run on grass, but while pulling out of my apt complex, I realized that I had forgotten my Garmin, so I decided to turn around and just do a treadmill run.  This was after a 12-hr workday, so during the run, I tried to nap and really could've fallen asleep.  Once, I was jolted by hitting the side rail.  I drank lemon juice+salt water every 1.5 mi or so.  It was nice to have changes in pace and angle.

Tuesday, June 19:
I woke from my nap feeling groggy.  I was feeling bleh at work, but the feeling passed later.  My legs had felt like they were trying to recover during the workday, but by midnight, they really wanted to run, and run fast.  The only option then is a road fartlek, and somehow, this is the easiest that workout has ever felt.  It was warm, so I don't know why.  Maybe they're more used to the surface and the muscle patterns, now that I've done it a total of 3 times (about once every month and a half).  The "on" periods were between about 1/4 and 1/2 miles, on average.  4.4 in 33:04, 7:31 ave.  It was a good session, and I felt like I could've gone on, even, if I had wanted to.

I wore reflective bands above my calves this time, rather than around my arms.  It worked well, too.  Looking at the post-run photo, though, maybe I should wear some additional reflective gear for more visibility.

Thursday, June 21:
My legs felt pretty fresh, so it was a good chance to do an Insanity DVD.  I've done 18 days (3 weeks) of it so far.  You're supposed to do 2 months continuously, but my priority is running, and there's probably such thing as doing too many plyos in a row.  Anyway, I hadn't done it in a long time, so the squats were difficult.  My calves also got a lot of work in, with the jumping.  I didn't try to jump very high.  I just focused on keeping up with the DVD speed.  All the 18 times, I did the DVDs barefoot, since I don't wear shoes inside houses.  Since I decided to do it in the gym's weight room this time, so that I could jump and land freely, without worrying about disturbing my downstairs neightbor, I wore 0 drop shoes, so that my feet wouldn't get yucky, but I could still get a good feel of the ground and work on proprioception.

The day called for Pure Cardio + Cardio Abs.  Pure Cardio is intense.  The other DVDs have 30sec rests between sets, but this one only has a rest right after the 10min warmup.  After that, it's like 15 minutes non-stop, and it's tough.  Cardio abs was much, much easier. 

Friday, June 22:
Progression run.  Calves were sore today, due to Insanity.  Back and arms were also sore, though not as much as my upper calves.  The run felt really good, though.  I was motivated.  Splits: 8:1, 8:19, 8:13, 8:03, 7:45, 4:22 for 0.6mi.  5.6 in 45:15, 8:05 ave.  I was going to stop at 5, but I felt good, so I kept going for as long as it felt pretty comfortable.

Sunday, June 24:
I wanted to do a long run.  My calves are still really sore, especially when I plantarflex, but I felt like I had the endurance to at least cover the distance slowly.  I kept monitoring the weather forecast to see when it would be cloudy enough.  I was going to wake up early, but my calves were too tight then.  I read lts of My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso today to just relax.  It looked like it was going to be "mostly cloudy and 90 degrees" at 4-6pm, and it would be "partly cloudy" from 6-8pm, so I decided to go then.  It ended up being sunny for almost all of the run, boo.  Right at the end, it got cloudy, and I was like, awww.  I only made it 7.6 mi, stopping a mile short of a lap.  It was good to cool down by walking the last mile, but too bad I couldn't complete it.  I wore my Nathan Speed 4, although I only used 2 bottles (filled with water+salt+lemon juice and ice, although it was all melted and warm by the time my run started) so that I wouldn't have to carry around too much weight.  I did bring a normal bottle of plain water.  I drank it all.  At least the run was longer than an hour, though, which is the time needed to get any acclimatization benefits, I hear.  Long runs will come along when I need it to once marathon training starts.  7.6 in 1:09:10, 9:02 ave.

I tattooed my car this morning with stickers.

Even though I missed the cloudy weather and thought that was a waste (would've been a better workout without the sun, and I wouldn't be risking skin cancer), I figured that I had done my best at planning - 4-6pm had seemed the best time of the day.  It did start raining hard on my way home, though, so I guess it kind of worked out after all.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

RACE REPORT : Beautiful Feet 5K Run for Missions 2012

I've missed racing.  It's been a while, so I wanted to get some more experience.  I have my mind on making the Ready for Fall 5K a goal race (in August).   I think I like trying different races and courses.  Each race has its own flavor.  Although there are some races I would like to try to run every year, like the Spinx HM and the Ready for Fall, I think I'm more inclined to wanting try try a diverse set of 5Ks.  For that reason, I didn't sign up for some other 5Ks that were going on recently.  I found the Beautiful Feet 5K on the Spartanburg Running Club website, and it looked like a good race for a good cause, a missions trip to NYC. 

My goals were to gain experience and have fun.  I like the atmosphere of races.  I signed up the week of, and once I did, it made my entire week more exciting.  I had something to look forward to as I went to work and stuff.  I decided to "train through".  I think I have an idea of what works best in my taper plans, based on past experiences, but even shaking things up can have its own purpose.  You may find out that something else works better, or even if it's still sub-optimal, you can find out exactly how much it affects you.

Race Morning:
I slept 4-5 hours a night this week, so on Friday night, I was ready to sleep at about 8pm, and I woke up at 5:30.  I wasn't so eager to get up, even with race morning excitement, but I did.  I had my warmup shower.  The hot water warms up my muscles, and I for some reason don't like to race without washing my hair first.  Odd.  Anyway.  I wasn't super hungry, but a mini-Clif bar hit the spot.  And a few cups of decaf and lemon water - not excessive, just replenishing.  Don't want to have to use the bathroom near race time.

Got there at 7:10am, picked up the packet and race number (101 :) ).  I had a huge flock of butterflies in my stomach.  I guess it's a good thing... means the body is responsive and getting adrenaline and all systems ready to perform.  Put on my shoes, went through the stuff in the packet, which is nicer than what you get at most races these days.  Bi-Lo sponsored little trinkets, and I read through a nice tract.  

(Wellford Baptist Church)

 At 7:42ish, I went out for my warmup.  I know I should've waited until 7:45, but I tend to get really eager.  I did a 3:30 min slow warmup, then dynamic stretching and ROM.  The race was delayed about 15 min, but I walked around to keep moving.  Temps were unseasonably cool-ish.  Upper 60s.  Good.

The Race:
We started at the front steps of the church and went out, following cop cars.  It was kind of neat to be close to the front and to see the cop cars.  I must've started a bit too quick, because I led for the first 30M or so, but then I pulled it back a wee bit and settled in as others passed.  I tucked in next to some other runners.  There was a girl behind me and another in front of me, and that's how it kind of held.

The course was a bit hilly.  I've been wanting to get better at hills, since I normally get passed a lot on the uphills.  It will be important if I do the Philadelphia marathon, since there are some moderate hills at mile 9.  I seemed to be taking them ok, though, or at least it was close to what the people in front of me were doing.  There were a couple of small out-and-back portions, which are always fun.  The girl who was leading was really nice and cheering people on on the other side as she ran, and she knew their names, and they knew hers.  I wonder if she goes to that church.

There were no mile markers, but I felt pretty good about my pacing.  Just holding it.  I stayed behind the leading girl and just went, knowing that as long as I stayed close, I could probably outkick her at the end.  I had never really understood why elites raced tactically, rather than doing even/negative splits at max effort.  I've never been fast enough to actually have to race with any sort of tactics, so this was kind of interesting.  But maybe it's so that you can draft or so that you can run to win, yet save something for other races and training.  Anyway, I was comfortable with just hanging in.  I'd look at my watch to estimate about how many minutes left of running we had.

We neared the end.  There were some uphills.  We were getting close, based on the time elapsed.  There was an uphill, and it looked like the church should be right about there, so I started picking it up.  The girl picked it up, too, and faster than I could handle.  It turned out that there was a turn and still a little stretch of road to run.  The girl kept going faster, though.  So even if I had tapered and made this goal race, I think she could've covered any moves I tried.  I was breathing somewhat hard for the last mile or so... not super hard, but noisy, but she seemed to still be cruising on an normal run or something.  She had been doing most of the work by taking the front and looking for the arrows on the ground, and had the energy and kindness to encourage people.  I didn't win, it's an honor to lose to someone as nice (and fast) as her. 

My final time was 22:08, about 84s off my PB.  The hills added a decent chunk of time, and tapering and training would take off some more. The rest... we'll get there.  I'm determined and more motivated than ever to train hard, though.  Ready for a rematch, haha. 

(I liked that - Running to the Cross)

Afterwards, it was fun meeting a few people.  I'm super shy... probably in the 99.99 percentile, haha.  So it's nice when people come up to you and chat.  They were a really nice group of folks.

What did I Learn...
 1. What it's like to run a tactical race.  If you race against the same set of competitors over and over again, like the elites do, you can learn everyone's strengths and weaknesses.  If I ever run against this person again, I may have to push the pace a bit more, so that I don't get outkicked at the end.  I normally can pass most people in the finishing stretch, but not this time.
2. I could still use more hill training, but I seemed to do okay or at least better than normal, as least judging from other peoples' relative paces.  Does it mean that I'm really improving, or just that the people who are normally around me on hills are going too fast on the uphill?
3. Gained - motivation to train hard.

Jun 8-14 : Training Through - p

I signed up for a 5K.  It's been a month and a half since my last race, a 1-miler, and my last 5K was back in March, about 3 months ago.  I've missed racing, especially in the last couple of weeks.  I want something to train for, to go hard after, to have something to motivate me every day.  I think I've decided on the Philly Marathon.  It was my first Half Marathon, and it would be like circling back if it was my first BQ.  I know the city pretty decently, and I'll know the first half of the course.  I'm sure I'll talk more about Philly later on, especially if I make it official. 

Jun 8 - Friday - Strength
55 min Strength session.

June 9 - Saturday - Long Intervals
8 mi in 1:05:08 on the treadmill.  A couple of weeks before the Albany Snickers Marathon, I tried a long interval/tempo workout of 1 mi warmup, followed by 4 x [2 @ 7.8mph (7:42), 1/2 @ 7mph (8:34)] plus a 1-mi cooldown.  I copied the idea from the kinds of workouts the Brooks Hansons team does.  I do very little tempo and no long intervals (>0.75 mi), normally.  I just do progression runs as my base, with a speed session (and recently, the occasional hill session) and a LR every week.  I wanted to try their method.  I'm amazed by that time now.  I knew I would be not in marathon shape now, so my "on" pace was 7.5mph instead, and I only did 3 reps, with 1/2 mi rests.  Even that was hard, but it's ok.  The 12-mi workout would've been me at my fittest, so this is fine.  I'll build from here.

So today's... 1/2 mi warmup @ 7mph, 3 x [1/2 mi @ 7mph, 2mi @ 7.5mph], stopped after that because that was enough.  I did this workout while watching the Adidas Grand Prix track meet on TV, which was awesome and motivating.  It was a good session.  I might've felt the chips and cheese and salsa that I had an hour before the workout, which may affected my performance a bit.  Afterwards, I cooled down with a bit of dynamic stretching as I watched the rest of the meet.  I stretched my soleus the other day, and that seemed to bring back my plantar fasciitis for a couple of days, but it was better again after that.  8.0 in 1:05:08, 8:08 ave.

June 11 - Monday - XC Base
Still trying to get my LRs longer.   After work, headed out for a longish run, but managed just 7.5 in 1:06:12, 8:50 ave.  It was outside on the grass in the park, so it's expected to be a slower run.  It was kinda cloudy, which was nice.  I drank 3/4 a bottle of lemon and salt water mix, and I could've used more.  I also had a mini-Clif bar @ mi 6 to try to get my energy picked up a bit, but as you can see, I stopped not too long after.  During the last 1.5 laps (1 mile-ish), I used really small steps to relieve the forces and my legs.  Using different muscles is tiring!

It started pouring right after I finished.  I would like running in the rain for its epicness, if it weren't for dirtying up my car.

At around this time, I had a dream about my family taking me to a race, and we were running late and couldn't find the start and kept driving around.   Weird.

June 13 - Wednesday - Intervals
Interval session.  It's been 2.5 weeks since the last one (although I did a hill session about a week ago).  I did a moderate session... 1 mi warmup in 8:24, then 3 x [1/2 @ 9mph, 1/4 @ 7.5mph], 0.35 mi cooldown in 2:38.  Not bad.  At my max, the "on" portion at 9mph is 0.75 mi long, so this was decent.  I decided to "train through" the 5K planned for this weekend.  If it was a goal race, I'd do my last speed session 10 days before race day to allow adequate recovery time.

June 14 - Thursday - Strength
60 min strength session.  Real proof that I'm training through.  Normally, it's also about 10 days of rest before a race.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

May 29-Jun 6 : Happy National Running Day

Tuesday, May 29:
55 min strength session.  Really pushed it. 

Wednesday, May 30:
4 mi base run in 31:39, 7:55 ave.  Had to force self out of bed after unrestful 1/2 hr nap.  Was tired at work today and couldn't wait to go home and nap.  Legs were pretty snappy from the start b/c legs were sore from pushing it yesterday, and they wanted to be worked out. Splits> 8:22, 8:01, 7:52, 7:22.

Friday, June 1:
55 min recumbent bike session.  My right knee was a bit iffy in the middle, but it was better towards the end.

Saturday, June 2:
Attempt at a long run, was only 8.5 in 1:15:20, 8:51 ave.  Rolled my right ankle hard at mile 2, and it took longer than normal to run it off.  In fact, I felt it for the rest of the entire run, although it was runnable.  Better the next day, though.  Maybe fatigue increased the chances of not being able to react to uneven terrain mentally / physically/ neuro-whateverly.  Thursday evening, I went down for a nap and didn't wake up for 12 hours.  I think the months and months of averaging maybe 5 hrs per night is catching up now, seriously.   The morning of the run, nothing seemed particularly appetizing, even though I was hungry.  Feeling my ankle the whole time led me to not push it for another lap.  Oh well, I'll take what I can get.

> No sleep on Sunday night. Went to a wonderful wedding on Sunday evening, in town. No sleep... maybe emotions? eating chocolate right before bed? The next day (Monday), I worked 11 hrs, too. blah.

Tuesday, June 5:
Anyway, Tuesday, time for a run.  3.5 in 29:58, 8:34 ave of Treadmill hills.
The workout: Going at 7mph the whole time...
1 mi @ 1 degree (8:32 effort), 3/4 mi @ 5 degrees (7:19 effort), 1/4 mi @ 1 degree, 1/2 mi @ 7 degrees (6:53 effort), 1/4 @ 1 degree, 1/2 @ 5 degree (decided not to push it and make it a symmetrical 3/4 mi), 1/4 @ 1 degree.
It wasn't as easy as I expected it to be.  I ate a Slim-a-bear ice cream sandwich right before the run, so my tummy was a little uncomfy during the run - maybe that was it. 

Wed, June 6:
National Running Day!  I had scheduled a strength session, but I surprisingly felt more like a run than the strength session.  I thought the hills would've wiped me out, but I felt pretty sharp (other than right before the run, when I forced myself out of a 1hr nap... I feel like I could go into a deep sleep for a week straight).  5 in 39:40, 7:56 ave.  Splits> 8:11, 8:07, 8:05, 7:51, 7:24.