Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 15-21: Back in Buenos Aires

A business trip brought me back to Buenos Aires for a week. 

I arrived on Sunday and toured the Casa Rosada, which is where the president works.

(At sunset, after they took down the flag)

(From the balcony)

(Where president are sworn in)

Monday, too much to take care of in the morning to get in a workout.  In Argentina, they don't eat dinner until like 9pm or later, normally.  We went early, but we still didn't get back to the hotel until 11pm.  Don't know how they do it.  So, no workout after dinner, either.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I managed 40 minute runs on an old but surprisingly usable treadmill.  The console didn't work, so I had to estimate my mileage, but the ride was smooth, at least.

The first two runs were in the morning, before breakfast.  Makes things easier, to not have to worry about post-run recovery fuel, since you can shower and go straight to breakfast.  With after-dinner runs, I have to find more food afterwards.  Thursday, I went after dinner.

I ventured out to some cafe/bars built in the 1850s for dinner a couple of nights.

(Super super sweet hot cocoa, churros, and a turkey sandwich)

(Cafe Tortoni's)

(Bar Federal)

Lunch was held at a restaurant that usually does dinner+tango shows at night.  It was always a 3-course meal.  All excellent quality, although some of the stuff I didn't eat much of just because even the appetizer was filling enough, and some of the stuff is just not my style.

I enjoy meeting people.  It's a different group than last time, so it feels like a different trip.  The team includes people from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Columbia on the business side, plus people from Australia, the UK, and the US from the IS side.

Friday after work, caught the flight back to the US... we left at 3pm, and I wasn't home until 3pm the next day due to a long layover.  Tired!

Saturday, caught up on the 1hr strength session.

Up next... off to Philadelphia, after only a few hours back home.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 10-14 : Calm (not really) Before the Whirlwind

"Not really", because I'm gearing up for a whirlwind, but you'll have to wait over the next few weeks to find out about it, I'm afraid.  Preparations have made it not so calm.  Last week was calm... napping, tv, family time, etc. 

I have a new movie that I'm really into:
AKA Ring of the Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, Kingdom of Twilight, Dark Kingdom: the Dragon King

It's a European movie (originally in English), that was unfortunately cut by 1/3 for the American version.  Watch the 177min European version, if you can. 

It's based on Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, which was based on Nordic and Germanic sagas.  I could watch this every day like I did with Harry Potter.

July 10th, Tuesday:
65 min strength session.  525 crunches/side, 3:00 plank, 110/125 abductor/adductor leg lifts, 12 divebombers, 65+60 single-leg quad dips, 50+40 8lb dumbell rows, 105 lower leg extensions, PT elastic band 4-way leg pulls, 35 superman arm sweeps, 75sec side planks, 20 tricep dips.  Grunted with the effort... put a lot into this workout... oh yeah, it was at 3am.  I was too tired to do it the previous night, so I slept and work early for it. 

July 11th, Wednesday:
4.4 mi progression run, 34:40, 7:53 ave.  So difficult.  Worked 11 hrs today.  Man, work and stress take their toll on workouts.  Last week was so chill, and the 11miler came easy.  From mile 2 today, it was hard.  The last 0.4 mi, I pushed it to make my body stronger by fighting through the tiredness until my form couldn't hold up.  Grunted and grimaced from the effort, even on this 4 miler.  Hammy stretches felt good afterwards.  I wonder if it was difficult because dinner wasn't fully digested yet.  Splits> 16:22 for 2, 7:48, 7:32, 2:56 for 0.4.

July 12th, Thursday:
5.0, progression run, 40:36, 8:07 ave.  Easier today.  @ works, legs were stiff and wanted a good flexing out.  I thought I'd only be able to bike, but flex/stretching it made them fine.  I started slowly, but I was kind of forced to speed up to use different muscles as the original muscles tired.  It was a long 100mph day at work, and I tried to nap, but couldn't, so I just went to the gym.  Almsot fell off the treadmill laughing because of the Jillian Michaels podcast I was listening to at one point.  I like a lot of her advice, and her openness.  Splits> 8:33, 8:27, 8:19, 7:51, 7:21.  Booked it on the last 1/8 mi because the gym was closing... like full-out sprinting.

July 14th, Saturday:
Treadmill intervals.  The last speed session was a week and a half ago with Yasso 800s x 7, but I wanted something quicker, and I was interested to see how my topper-end speed was.  1 mi warmup in 8:19, 3x[3/4 mi @ 9mph, 1/4 mi @ 7.5mph], 1 mi cooldown (because I still had a good bit of energy and legs left) in 7:08.

Here's what I've been having for lunch (and worktime snacks) for the past couple of months.  May not look too appetizing, but it gets the job done, efficiently and cheaply.

Some combination of:
> Instant oatmeal
> Protein Powder + Instant Decaf + Cocoa Powder
> Veggies (typically, organic mixed greens, but this week, it was Green Bell Pepper + Carrots + Tomato)
> WW Peanut Butter Sandwhich
> Dark Chocoalte
> A few Almonds
> Whole Grain (really, half whole grain) Goldfish
> 75% light Vermont Sharp Cheddar (not pictured)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jul 2-8 : Great Week of Doing Nothing -p

 (Meet Spike - my new friend, Spike, the 2012 Boston Marathoner)

July 2, Monday:
Went to my parents' house in Charleston on Saturday.  I'd work from home Monday and Tuesday.  Monday, at 6:15am, I did 3 loops around the neighborhood.  6.7 in 56:14, 8:33 ave.  It was cloudy, and even almost sprinkling at first.  Perfect. 75 degrees manageable.   Progressively more effort, with a bit more speed. 

July 3, Tuesday:
Free after work!  9pm, did a relaxing bike session while reading a magazine.  I had wanted to exercise, but my legs hadn't been quite ready to run yet.  The resistance was higher than I was used to, but it was good.  This bike was smooth.

July 5, Thursday:
Treadmill hill workout.  1 mi warmup in 8:11 @ 1 degree.  Then, 2x [1/2mi @ 5 degrees,  1/4mi @ 1 degree, 1/4mi @ 10 degrees (equivalent to 6:02/mi effort), 1/4mi @ 1 degree] @ 7.5mph.  It totaled 3.5 mi, 28:04 min, 8:01 ave.  Afterwards, it felt like it had been really short, even though that last rep of the 1/4 @ 10 degrees was quite a challenge.  Afterwards, I had tried to/wanted to run a bit more to round it out, but I was in no mood, so I stopped there.  It was a good workout, though, and felt like a nice "snack".  I was on a runner's high on the bike ride back home.  I had wanted cardio that was ez on the muscles, and this hit the spot.  

Today, I felt like I was acclimatized to the heat for the first time, at least psychologically.  I wouldn't have minded running out in the heat at all.  Good stuff.

July 7, Saturday:
It's kind of the day for LRs, but the sun rose so quickly, even though I set off at 6am, before sunrise.  I managed 3 progressive laps, at 8:34, 8:15, then 7:52 pace.  It was humid!!!  and 76 degrees.  It was a pre-breakfast run, too.  To shake things up and train the body to burn fat more efficiently and to train psychologically and physicologically for running on fumes.  That was another reason I didn't keep going.  I could've eaten something and gone on, but this workout had a different goal.  6.7 in 55:35, 8:18 ave.  Better than Monday's identical route/run, even though it was slightly hotter/humider, and even though I was running before breakfast.  Oh yeah, I was wearing lighter shoes, the Kinvaras...  so that helped.

July 8, Sunday:
Treadmill, 1 degree.  11.0 in 1:28:17, 8:02 ave.  I was hoping in the back of my mind that I could get in a LR after all this week.  I set off on marathon pace, hoping to get my body used to going at that pace with no problem.  It went really well and felt surprisingly easy.  Splits> 8:15, 06, 06, 06, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 7:55, 51.  Drank about half a bottle of water, at miles 7.5 and 8.5.  I think it was easier because I was wearing the Kinvaras, and maybe because my body is acclimatized, but I was running indoors, with a big fan on me.  Good confidence builder.

CBS had a show about a guy running the Pony Express route, from Sacramento, CA to St. Paul, MN.  Perfect.  I watched it while dynamic stretching and while re-fueling afterwards.  Great to see running coverage on antenna TV.

Wednesday - Sunday, lots of naps, TV, etc... doing nothing (a couple hrs of work while on vacation, but not bad).  It was GREAT.  Just what I needed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2012 Mid-year Review

Red = HM
Yellow = M
Green = 5K
Blue = Mile
Purple = no race

2nd attempt at a BQ in March, with the stricter 3:35 goal.  Missed it by under 3.  Will go for cooler weather, train for more fatigue resistance, fuel and caffeinate even more.  Will get it next time.  At the same time, won 3rd AG and the bag I was so desperate to get, haha.
- Did a BM Pyramid workout for the first time in a while.  Tried my first partial Yasso 800 workout ever. 
- Unexpected Mile PR!!!! 5:48!!!
- Started building in a bit more hill training.  Will come in handy in Philly in November at mile 9.
- Came in at 494.8 miles for the first half of the year.  A little under pace for hitting the 1000 miles in a year goal, which I've never done before, but with a second marathon training cycle within 2012, I think I should be able to hit it. 
- Running London's 3 royal parks, seeing the Olympic village under construction
- Watching Olympic Trials for the marathon and track on TV.

Weekly Comments in my Log:
(warning - journey into my mind...)

1. HM not on a PR course, and stacked on a 20 miler, but good race practice.
 Learned: 1) Pack the day before, 2) remember to fuel during the run, 3) maybe practice to see the amt of fuel I can tolerate, 4) remember to stay relaxed, and 5) healthy, no late carbs the day before, not junky carb overdose.
 Good: 1) dealt with unexpected hills well w/ quick small steps, 2) still healthy – stretching and foam rolling is great, 3) 2 rest days b/f a race is good.

2. Another good week, good LR, nice to have a negative split. Though I wonder if I should have higher mileage like other runners or more intensity like the FIRST plan.
 I don’t do well with chips and self-control, I liked having church on Saturday,
 It was good to delay my LR due to tiredness and a dry throat, though I did it more for scheduling reasons, and
 I went to bed a wee bit able to eat – may be effective?

3. Realized I must give my runs more effort – worked well – beat my last 20 mile time by 30s/min, w/ same effort.
 Work is stressful. Thank goodness for weekends.
 Remember to try: During taper, acclimatize to heat to prep for the possibility of warmth on race day – don’t leave things to hope/chance. It may mean wearing extra clothes.
 ~300 cal during the 20 miler. Didn’t enjoy the sweetness so much. Maybe it would’ve been ok if I had had some water mixed in.

4. A second good-effort week. Ready for a rest week. Focused more on form – did pretty well.

5. Squeezing in runs this week. Survived crazy work week – thanks to God. Long hrs, less food and sleep during the week. Made up for it during the weekend. Same w/ eating produce. I think I have good form.

6. Another week of 13 hr days, used to it now, though. Restaurant on most days. Made up for produce on the weekend. Inspired to do hills from Finally done w/ training! Though wanna squeeze in another quality session or 2 next week. Practiced during-run fueling: did well. Difficulty warming up and having energy pre-LR. I think the warmup shower is essential. Will also need to wake up early to drink and eat.

7. 13 hr workdays make it really hard – mostly b/c not much gym time left and need dinner and maybe nap.
 Practicing specificity
  • Race pace (-15) during “LR”
  • Drink cals every 2 mi
  • Wear kinvaras.
 Real Taper, extra recovery, care!
  • Nutrition (fruits and veg, protein, calcium, carbs) 
  • No crap, weight-gain food
  • Sleep for rebuild
  • Green tea and supplements
  • Stretching and foam rolling, self-massage
  • Don’t overdo training
8. Taper week 2 pretty good.
 Don’t feel particularly peppy, but it’lll come.
 Minor kink in inner left Achilles, bit of inner right knee stingy one day
 Fueling is good
 Excited about race, making plans

9. Taper was good, execution ok, too bad about the weather.
 Next time:
  • Remember to relax arms/shoulders, especially on downhills
  • I need 4 gels (8, 13.5, 18, 23) or more
  • Maybe should’ve drank more towards the end
  • More fatigue-resistance training to help in final miles? Quads had trouble lifting legs and calves/ankles had less power to move forward by the end. 
  • Cloud cover good 
  • Crusty sweat on me afterwards – endurolytes probably good 
  • Pacer good – don’t need to worry a/b pace, can draft
10. Should’ve stretched and slept more. Doritos undo me, but otherwise good nutrition. Itched to run all week, and to race, too. Work very blah.

11. Good 5K close to PR. Hope to get back to doing LRs soon.
o Liked running as fast as 7.5mph with little steps
  • Efficient
  • Used different muscles
o For fun…. Grabbing bottle 3x during run
  • Probably different w/ flexible h2o bottle 
  • Won’t ever use it in practice
Slept bad @ start of the week, miserable mentally

12. Another week of little sleep. More sleep = less hunger. Overdid strength session = back strain. Intense hill session. Pumped from Hunger Games!

13. Hunger-games obsessed. Reading/hearing about HG, instead of running articles. Only excited to train for HG purposes. HG gear, activities. Back-to-back run days seem more than fine this week.

14. Legs not so fresh this week, but still some training and a post-marathon distance PR of 13.3.

15. All-nighter impacts running performance this week, though no more tired than usual. End of week – psychologically foggy and not feeling like doing anything – unprecedented, scary dullness. Right outer knee issue. Poundy knees in LR – need to go back to using insoles.

16. Normal decent training, then travel to London. Drank protein powder daily for a week or 2, just to have protein at lunch besides cheese. Effective for satisfying morning hunger.

17. Even less sleep than usual, but necessary and worth it for London travel. Ate cookies daily, but quantities ok overall. Fewer produce, but didn’t miss it much. Didn’t seem to miss not stretching much. Jet lag ok – can’t tell the difference btwn normal tiredness and jetlag b/c my sleep’s so messed up anyway.

18. Nice to be back and training. Crazy catchup of work = shorter runs during the week. Unintentional mile PR! Super training mojo.
 Wonder what led to PR
  • Taper? 
  • Road fartlek?
  • Accumulated marathon training?
  • 3 coffee beans pre-race?
  • Competition?
  • Negative splitting?
  • Not the heat…
19. Insanity DVD – must ease back into it. Smart to limit it to just 1 dvd that night. Lower key mileage due to family visit and need to recover from Insanity.

20. Head felt a bit swimmy, mentally no mood to run even if body was fine – odd. Still dunno why. Got better over weekend, though. Nice to run outside, though dunno that this helped it.

21. Finished record 7-day workout streak. Could’ve gone on, but wise to take a break. Still feeling able to keep up the volume… may do it. Tip: neg split great for track workouts, too. Theory helped me complete the BM pyramid more easily!

22. Built up sleep debt got paid some this week. Need a vacation and miss my friends. Love God.

23. Trying to catch up on sleep, prioritize it. Want a big goal race to shoot for. Haven’t raced in a while. Soleus stretching (should’ve been a good thing) causes plantar fasciitis in left foot to return. Had not hint of it before.

24. Interesting tactical race experience (trained through). Settled in and hoped to kick, but would’ve done better pushing it from the start, maybe. Wanna race and train hard core for another marathon badly. Need the drive. Pounding away at work. Inspired to train more, log more miles, though family can make it hard to schedule. Same w/ other social obligations.

25. Miles came kinda ez this week, though still no LR. Signed up for Philly. Motivating to watch all the Olympic Trials; never saw them before. Insanity shocks the system when you haven’t done them in a while. Kind of energizing and quickening to imagine yourself running purely from oxygen turned into speed.

26. First LR in a while! 2 months! 1st attempt at Yasso 800 (x7) was good. Felt a bit dizzy/sickish in head most days.

Types of Mileage:
boils down to

LR is 30% vs. the suggested 25% b/c my overall mileage is low compared to most peoples'.  Everything else is pretty standard... 10% for intervals, at least.  I don't do recovery runs, but I only run about 3x per week, with a bit of biking when I want some cardio while resting my legs.

21.8 min/day
Ave pace: 8:05 unless I messed up somewhere

10.6 min/day

Total workout time per day: 32.4min/day

(where most of my weekday runs take place, although with different shoes... I've only worn the Green Silence's once, for like a mile... haven't officially broken them in yet.)

June 25-30 : Firsts - v

Monday, June 25:
Bike session.  13.9 mi in 55 min.  Went at level 9 for 15 min, then level 10 for the rest.  It was progressively faster.  I sweat and drank lots (lemon+salt+water).  My legs felt like post-marathon legs during the workday.  Yesterday's run in the heat must've taken a lot out of me.  Or maybe it's my body still getting over the Insanity DVD.  Doing the recumbent bike while reading a running magazine is always really enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 27:
Strength session, 55 min.

Thursday, June 28:
I've been wanting to try Yasso 800s for a while.  The idea is that they're a good marathon race performance predictor.  You do 10x[800 meters], with a 400m jog after each one.  The average of your 800 reps in mm:ss is equivalent to your estimated hh:mm performance.  Start w/ 3-5 repeats 4-5 months before the marathon.  Do the full 10 3 and 5 weeks out of marathon to see where you are.  It always seemd so dauting, to do 5 mi of speed, plus 2.5 mi of the jogging, plus warmup.  To simply finish that workout seems like it would require a lot of training.  Based on all of the scales, I should be capable of a 3:23 or so if I train well and build up my endurance.  Everything from my mile time (which would actually predict something a bit faster) to my HM time kind of hits 3:23 dead-on.  But I've been nowhere near that in my 2 marathons so far.  For this workout, I wanted to just see how far I could go in the Yasso reps, so I decided to set the treadmill at 8.5mph, which was 3:32:30, a bit under my goal of 3:35 for the BQ.  It's kind of nice to do it on a treadmill in that you can set the pace of the machine then just keep up.  I figured I could shoot for maybe 6, and I ended up going to 7.  I was pleased.  I felt like I could've eeked out another 3 if I gave it everything.  It wouldn't have been wise to spend it all on a workout, and it's better to build up, so I just went through 7.  The last few got progressively harder, with the need to muster up mental strength coming earlier and earlier into the rep.  It was good, though.  I liked it.  Yassos are not only good as tests, but it's a good workout, too.  I'm used to doing maybe 3 800s  @ 9mph, with 7.5mph rest 400s, so it was a nice change to do the 800s @ 8.5mph with the slower 7mph rest 400s.  I needed it to be slower, and 7 was perfect.  Including the 400 warmup, I went 5.5 in 41:48, 7:36 ave.  First attempt at Yassos ever - check.

Saturday, June 30:
Another First... first long run in a long time (2 months)... long as in anything over 10 mi for marathon purposes.  11.9 in 1:46:19, 8:56 ave.  I started at 6:20, a few minutes after sunrise, which was great for minimizing the heat of the sun.  It was a bit humid, but that feling went away quickly.  I started feeling looser (more warmed up) after 4.5 mi.  It was easier to manage this time, maybe because I dodged teh heat, although I was lagging in the last mile.  Good to finally be back[er], though.  We'll see if I can improve on that next weekend.
It's been motivational to watch the Olympic Trials for various sports.  I was inspired by watching gymnastics to do this...

I hear the recruiters knocking already.

// Aww, it looks like the video doesn't work.  Too bad.  It was a stunning attempt at a cartwheel.