Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finally, A Run Around the Lake

My boss, Jim, got a Polar watch with foot pod and HR monitor, and has been badgering me the entire time I've been sick to do a run around the lake. We finally got out there on Wednesday. Nice run. Slow, but nice.

did 6.38 in 1:14 (11:35/mile ish) according to the Garmin (First time I've really been able to play with the GPS). The map generated in Training Center blows, but the data is pretty awesome! Need to figure out how to really stop a workout so I don;t accidentally hit the lap button and get 18 hours of nothing screwing up my charts. And making me go insane because it wouldn't import the data to the computer because it was still running.

HR got as high as 162 or so, which is higher than it should be by 8 points, and had to walk a couple times to bring it down. Dang hills. Average was 151, so that should help, right? :)

Stopped a couple of times to tie shoes shoes, for lights, walked for Jim's foot numbness issue, walked for my heart rate. Just a very relaxed run. In the 40s and very comfortable once we got running.

Changing the lacing seems to have solved the problems only have problems with the knee after sitting/getting up and the feet are just sore and healing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1/27 Run

Still well enough to run. :)

Another unpleasant, slow run. I fully get that I'm coming back from being sick, and this is base building, but geeze...

I may have hosed myself for this training cycle by doing this base building. Apparently I didn't do enough reading, and this base building should take 8 to 12 weeks. I certainly don't have that long. Especially after having lost 2 weeks of training. I need to do some more research, but I'm thinking I may just switch back to something more similar to last training cycle. Maybe heart rate based.

I've been noticing some things and I thing my current aches and pains may be accidentally self inflicted. I relaced my shoes a few months back to deal with some pain from across the top of my food. (Darned exposed nerve assembly.) That may be the problem. The knobs (self diagnosed as being an accessory navicular (an extra bode in the foot) are rubbing as the shoes move, because the lacing isn't tight enough. This is also causing me to not get enough support from the shoe when my ankle collapses, which is stressing the inside of the knee. I've relaced the shoes, and this run seemed much less painful.

I started the run with a high HR for no apparent reason, and that meant the high end here was pretty slow.

5 miles
6.0 max (blip)
4.0 low
4.6(?) average

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ahhh, Finally, A Run

After a full second week off, and with only one (crappy) run in the last 12 days, I finally felt well enough to get back to the gym (on Monday) and start spinning back up. I had one of those 'fill your comforter with sweat' nights on Friday or Saturday, and started on the path to feeling better the next day.

Got to the gym about 8:45 and got started with my workout, first. My left knee, which, if you recall, acted up very badly last Monday seemed to be behaving itself with a week off, so given my self diagnosis of Runners Knee I hopped on the bike for my warm up. Holy effing crap, that hurt. You're supposed to be able to ride with runners knee. I did 5 minutes (88watts, 1ish miles), to get warmed up and it started to ease out a little, but I was really starting to pay attention to where the pain was coming from.

I had walked to Seattle Running Company (mile or so each way) at lunch to see if they had any good running books to help me train for the next few marathons. I ended up getting Daniels' Running Formula and a few magazines. One of the magazines had an add that implied that knee pain might be attachment points soft tissue, not the rubbing that is Runners Knee. I realized that most/all of the pain is actually on the surface of the kneecap, around the top edges. This is a more serious version of the 'bruised' feeling I've had before. The implication from the ad was that this was a thigh tightness/stretching issue. Needless to say I'm hammering on my thighs with the roller now.

Back to the workout...
Did the workout for a few weeks ago, adding straight leg raises for my thighs (supposedly really good for preventing Runners Knee). It hurt bringing my knee in and out of the bent position, but it started to work itself out. Did everything else, and added push ups at the end. one good set of 20 as I recall, then a mostly 'supported' set of push ups.

There were a bunch of trainers off shift doing their workout while I was doing mine. Just crazy. Plyometric jumps up to platforms, etc. One of the gals was doing deep squats holding a dumbbell to her chest. Best phrase I've ever heard for form/hard work: ATG - "Ass To Grass", her partner admonished her with that a few times.

Finally got in the treadmill, and my knee is actually mostly cooperating. Got on the treadmill and learned very quickly that my psychological endurance was more beat up than my physiological endurance. This was a long, 'I wanna go home' kind of run. It didn't help that I had to run so effing slow again. Back to the beginning with some of this Base Training. Did

5 miles
max: 6.6 (blip)
lots at 5.6
min: 4.0 bottom
avg: 4.4

Other than my knee, I have these 'knobs/bones/protrusions on my feet just above my arch, below the ankle, and they have been aggravated for the last few weeks as well. This was a painful run for them.

Thank goodness for Pandora on the iPhone, because the selection of tunes in the 'iPod' just blows. I really need to spend some time getting a better batch of tunes loaded up

Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Goals

Now, since I've covered the 2008 progress (except for neglecting the fact that I lost roughly 30 pounds last year), now for the goals for 2009.

First, the non running goals.

1. Consistently work on my core and supporting muscle groups. Running is what's most important to me, but if I don't strengthen and rebalance myself I'm going to have even more issues than I already have. The goal: 3 days a week of core/strength training barring illness, recovery, or tapers. Concentrating especially on anything that will work on Runners Knee, and pronation/foot control issues. Core is going to be a big deal if I really want to improve and/or survive the running plan for the year.

2. Consistently stretch. At a minimum with the foam roller/medicine ball. Start Yoga if I can find the time to do it consistently. Goal: Fully stretch every time I run (5 times a week) at least, every day if I can. Twice a day if I can find the time, or if things are being flaky.

3. Lose another 20 pounds. It would be another 15 pounds if I hadn't lost my mind after the marathon, and during the holidays. This is going to be a challenge. I've really enjoyed not being in 'calorie count' mode, but I just can't do it if I'm not.
I think I've posted that my goal weight was what I went to Basic as. I had stated that as being 168. I touched 169 at some point this year, and trust me, 168 isn't it. (Especially since Facebook has motivated me to dig out old photos.) So the goal is 155 to 158.

I had real challenges with this when training for Seattle, so we'll see how this works out. If nothing else I'll make this a year long goal instead of shooting for a pound a week, which is what I'm initially going to do.

4. Introduce some cross training into the mix. This is a lower priority goal than the first 3 but I'd like to spend some more time on the bike, possibly to the point of replacing one of my 5 milers with an equivalent on the bike (probably 20 miles) if that seems to be a good thing after some more research.

I'd like to get back on the water on a fairly regular basis this year. Kayaking is a pretty dang good core workout, and it's relaxing.

Running Goals:

1. Run with Val in her first race. And be a good pacer/running partner/sherpa. Val is rapidly chugging her way through Couch to 5K and will be running St. Patrick's Day Dash as her first race like I did. We've already asked my Mom to watch Kaitlyn while we run, and I've committed to Val that I'm runner at her pace. And I'll carry the water. :)

2. Beat my current marathon PR. I'd really like to hit 4 hours if I can at some point this year. I have two marathons written in the calendar in ink so far. Yakima River Canyon on April 4 and Rock and Roll Seattle on June 27. I'm not feeling super confident about Yakima after 2 weeks of missed training being sick, and with all the low heart rate 'base building' I've been doing. It's early in the training cycle, so I'm not going to get too worked up. Yet. The plan has me peaking at 50 miles a week instead of 40 for Seattle so I think that will help. I'm planning on adding other paced/HR Range runs back into the equation in February, so another week.

I'll probably use McMillan's ranges of workouts to guide my self built training plan.
McMillan has four categories of workout Endurance, Stamina, Speed, and Sprint. Supposedly I'll need to work on Stamina, Endurance, and Speed. In that order.
So long runs at around 70-75% HR and Steady state runs around 83-88%. I've got to do some more reading about his speed workouts and the variations on workouts that he uses.

If I don't achieve the time goals, that's mostly OK, since goal 3 overrides this to a certain degree.

3. My fall marathon depends on progress towards a longer term goal. I'm currently planning on running the Mount Si 50 Miler in April 2010. There's no way I could run this year's race at my level of fitness, and I've had it recommended as a good beginner's ultra by a number of people I trust. I'm actually anticipating that the Marathon Maniacs who've been encouraging me may get to have their way with me, and that I'll be running multiple fall marathons. At a training pace, mind you. :)

The overarching goal for the year, beyond goal 2, is to build my base to something consistently high. I'm planning to talk to Bruce, my ultrarunner boss, at some point in the next few weeks, after I do some more research to see what levels I need to be at by next year. And how to achieve that.

Goals 2 and 3 are what are driving the non running goals. There is no way I'm going to be able to build mileage, get faster, or run further if I can't shake the niggling spectre of injury. And the only way I'm going to be able to do that is to get stronger.

2008 Review

And now for the required beginning of the year post. :) As usual, late, and thus losing its relevancy. :)

So for 2008:
I started the year with Couch To 5K, and then ran the St. Patricks Day Dash (3.58 miles, 33:01; 9:13/mile) Race Report

I used Hal Higdon's 10K Novice program to prepare for and ran a hilly 10K in Tacoma in May. (54:58; 8:51/mile) (Apparently the 10K at Tacoma is no more...bummer) Race Report

The next weekend I ran Beat The Bridge (8K, 39:34; 7:54/mile) Race Report

A month later in June I ran the Beach To Chowder 10K (49:30; 7:57/mile) Race Report

I missed the next race I wanted to do, the Super Jock & Jill Half Marathon because I was recovering from surgery to correct an umbilical hernia. I was able to come back and get into the swing of things and stay on track with my training, fortunately.

Finally, I ran my first marathon, the Seattle Marathon on 30 November 2008. 26.2 miles in 4:32:58 (10:25/mile).. Day Before Race Report

Thanks to Breaking the Tape, where I record my runs, I have the following yearly summary data.

Jan 23.0
Feb 27.75
Mar 42.83 St Pats Dash
Apr 44.68
May 63.50 Tacoma, Beat The Bridge
Jun 67.79 Beach To Chowder
Jul 81.75
Aug 28.66 Recovering from Surgery
Sep 109.76
Oct 159.33
Nov 107.42 Seattle Marathon
Dec 82.33

Total 838.80 miles

The umbilical hernia was the most significant issue I fought for the year. I suffered from the normal aches and pains of a new runner, and a runner in general, including but not limited to: Shin splints, mild to moderate arch pain, assorted joint aches, IT Band issues and Runners Knee.

The only things that seem to be lingering are the IT Band issues (which seem to be resolved (so far)) and the Runners Knee. Both of which have only stuck around as long as they have because of my stubborn insistence that "all I want to do is run".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That Was Stupid

I decided to go to the gym Monday night for a run. I wasn't 100% but I figured that a good run would shake things out, even if I had to run a little slowly. It was a crappy run, I'm tapped out, and my left knee feels worse now than it did 5 days ago. Needless to say, I'm not running tonight. :(

I maxed out at 6.0, which I thought was pretty good considering I started with a heart rate of 80. Standing still. (I'm normally around 65 or less standing). That lasted 2 tenths of a mile. I went pretty rapidly down to 4.0 mph (15 min/mile), and stayed there. I had to drop it down to 3.9 and walk until my heart rate reached around 135 before I bumped it back up to 4.0. Had to do this at 2, 2,5, 3.25 and 4.25 miles (4.25 was mostly because the treadmill went into auto cool down and I had to reset it).

My knee started mumbling at around 2 miles in and I ignored it thinking it would shake out. Then I was too stubborn (read stupid) to stop and call it a night. Definitely a case of runners knee. Since I've been kicking this can down the road for a long time I finally started to do some research into preventative medicine.

So according to Dr Pribut straight leg lifts are a great quad strengthener, and because you don't bend the knee, easier on the runner's knee. On a separate page he recommends a set of exercises/stretches for regular consumption that might be worth some time to look at adding to my routine.

Apparently cycling/the exercise bike can be used to get your cardio in with minimal stress on the knee (if you use correct for and don't lock your knee). Apparently the exchange rate is between 3 and 4 miles of riding per mile of running. (With the acknowledgement that specificity is still king, and if you are training to run, you should run, not ride. Also important are rpms between 90 and 100 (closer to ideal running cadence). Apparently heart rate riding is lower than running, so it may be advisable to anticipate that your HR for the same effort level will be lower. (I've also read that may just be a training issue. Needs more research on my part.)

I my try a ride tomorrow instead of a run if I'm up to go to the gym.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Only My Nose Is Running

Haven't run since Tuesday. It's killing me. (I'm getting no sympathy from Val, who hasn't been to the gym in 10 days between Kaitlyn and her being sick first.)

Not sure how a cold that made Kaitlyn uncomfortable can evolve in thet tiny little biological incubator into something that can lay adults low for a week.

Planning on trying to rerun this week, not sure yet how I'm going to rejigger the schedule no one but me has seen. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1/13 Run - Treadmill

Had a root canal scheduled at 3, so I worked form home. Went to the gym at lunch time for 7 miles. Watched a couple of episodes of Top Chef NY, which I haven't seen before.

Wanted to ask the couple working their asses off if their poweraide was water, or carbs, I hate to see people working that hard then sabotaging themselves.

First 5 was 6.6 (0.4!!!), 5.0 min, and 5.6 average. Last 2 was 5.1 max, 5.0 min, 5.0 average.

Got home and the dentist could get me in early. After four and a half hours in the chair, I had a pair of root canals done. Having your legs elevated is good for you. Having your legs elevated above your heart for 4 hours isn't. My left knee is just destroyed, and apparently I have something going on in the arch of my right foot. I'm trashed today (Wednesday), stayed home sick and slept in, and may or may not workout and run tonight. I can't blame that on the root canal though. I think it's whatever has been beating Val down.

1/12 Workout and Run - Treadmill

Back to the gym to start off the week for what will hopefully be a consistent M, W, F schedule for workouts.
Warmed up with the bike again. 15 minutes again, a little longer distance wise (3.5) this time, since I kept my rpms up higher to 100, and my watts around 88 or 90. Chatted with Tim, my trainer, for a few minutes as he was walking out. Forgot to ask about some clarifications on form. Doh.

Again with the standard workout, plus bridges and push ups. Push ups were 20, and then 4 +16 easys. Another runner working out. his workout looked unpleasant. I wonder what distances he runs. Provided some semi solicited input to a gal who had asked someone else where to buy a foam roller.

5 mile run, that I didn't take as high as I normally do. Max 6.3, 5.0 min, 5.3 average. Got to watch part of the Larry King interview with Jillian and Bob from Biggest Loser, and a bit of Hellboy.

Oh, and as a note to the gal in the velour track pants. Very stylish, but very obviously not a good wicking design, especially from behind, since I could tell you were wearing a thong.

1/10 Long Run - Treadmill

Squeezed out of the house late, 9:30, to get started on this run. Snagged a decent treadmill with a monitor, and got started. The first 7 or 8 miles were pretty tough, but then I settled into a groove. Environmentally it was very annoying. They had the music really loud, and it couldn't be turned down. (I asked at mile 5.)

I did find that when doing a long run with no GU, (which I didn't seem to need for this run, I think it was a function of pace, and HR training) , that watching the FOOD network (Unwrapped, on sweets, and Iron Chef America). is a REALLY bad idea. The only thing that kept me from buy a huge bag of chocolate covered raisins on the way home was the fact that I had no money or debit card. :)

The run ended up being 12.3 because I fiddled around for .3 with shoes, and such, and then decided to just start from scratch so I didn't have to think about it.

first 5 second 5 last 2
max 6.6 (0.2) 5.6 4.8
min 5.6 4.8 4.6
avg 5.6 5.2 4.6
spent 2.5 @ 6.0

Once things settled in at mile 8, I could have kept going for longer.

Got a new kayak, a older rotomolded Current Designs Storm 9in red) this weekend. I'll have to take the former owner out for dinner, but that's it. She knew I kayaked, and hadn't used it in 5ish years. Now I have a hardshell to go with my baidarka.

1/9 Workout and Run - Treadmill

I had planned to go to the gym to work out on Thursday. I changed things up and gave myself an extra day of rest, and did the workout on Friday with the run, so I wasn't spending the entire week at the gym. Got to the gym at 9 and got started with the workout.

Warmed up with 15 minutes on the bike. Around 3 miles distance at 90 rpms (around 14mph). I had never heard of watts before (apparently it's a measure of power cyclists use), I was in the 80s. Maxed my heart rate at 100 or so. Not sure how any of those statistics rank relative to anything.

Did the same workout I did on Tuesday, but added some bridges for the glutes, and some push ups after the 'strength' training session. Push ups ended up being one full set of 20, then 8 good ones, and 12 on the knees for the second set.

Always interesting to people watch. There was a gal who was pretty obviously a runner doing a pretty intense core workout. She had a sheet from 24 hour fitness. I should have asked her who her trainer was, but didn't. If I see her again. I might.

5 mile run. 6.6 max (for 0.2), 5.2 low, 5.2 average. Not a bad run given all the other stuff before hand.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Behind - Catching Up Soon

Not that everyone is waiting with baited breath to hear about my last couple of runs, but I'm 4 runs behind and will try to get caught up tomorrow. :)

It's been busy with work, sock Kaitlyns, sick Vals, and root canals. :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

1/7 Run - Treadmill

With all the rain it was probably clear enough to go out for the 5 miler on the streets, but hey it was raining, and I have access to a treadmill. :) Despite what the Army says you don't need to train for discomfort. :) I really do need to get out and see how well the GPS part of the watch works. But I need a functional PC to look at the data, and I don't want to use my work machine for it, so I can wait.

5 miles @ 1%. max was 6.6 for about 0.2 again, low was 4.7, average was 5.2. The outside of my right calf was pretty crampy/twitch again. I spent some quality time rolling it out, and I think I may have beaten it down.

I skipped going to my workout on Thursday so I can get into a M, W, F schedule for the strength training. That and I was feeling pretty baked. I had the Kaitlyn shift for the day (sick day for me because of her). Mild fever and pretty wheesy. Hopefully it won't mean we have to cancel her party on Saturday. Between that and the antibiotics I'm taking as a precursor to my root canal next week... (Penicillin seems to cause me odd aches and cramps. That might be what's going on with my calf, come to think of it.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1/6 Personal Training and Run - Treadmill

Had the first 'real' personal training appointment before the run.
Forgot to warm up so I did 5 minutes on bike at around 90rpm on 5. Thighs definitely burned. The bike really is a different set of muscles. I'm going to have to add more bike to my routine. Val suggested, given how her trainer makes her do 15 bike, 15 elliptical, then run, that I do the bike as my warm up instead of walking. That sounds a lot like work, though. :)

Workout ended up having a core and balance section
planks - hold 10 seconds, relax. 10 reps
hip extensions (heels on yoga ball) hold 10 secs, relax. 10 reps
one leg balance with lateral leg extension - 20 reps (10 per leg as I recall)

And then a circuit training component
seated db chest press on ball, 5# weights, slow count, 20 reps
standing db rows, 8# weights, slow count, 20 reps
seated overhead press, 5# weights, slow count, 20 reps
ball squats, slow count, 20 reps
90 seconds of rest, then repeat

The outside of my right calf had some nasty intermittent twinges for the better part of the run. Not sure if it was from the workout, or, more likely, from making the mistake of wearing a pair of my crap shoes to work.

6 miles @ 1%. Another slow run. It was really hot. ALL of the treadmills were filled, and a huge amount of the other equipment as well. It was super hot and I was sweating like a pig. Between the workout, and a crappy night's sleep I was tired, so this went slowly. 6.6 max (for 0.2), 4.6 low avg = forgot to get the info, probably close to 5.0

Hot gym, heavy shirt, even dri-fit == tender nipples, even after 5 miles. I'm just buying stock in Band Aids and being done with it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1/5 Run - Treadmill

Another 5 miles @ 1% on the treadmill. 6.6 for about .2 miles as I got started then down into the low 6s, high 5s, bottomed out at 5.2, average was 5.5 or 5.6. I really had trouble this run, just didn't feel it at all. I blame the first day back at work and walking in my boots. :) Had some acid reflux by the end of the bottle of water, that I felt like I needed a lot of.

I'm going to have to get some better headphones for the iPod/iPhone. The new headphones that shipped with the iPhone have shorted on two runs, and this time I wasn't able to get them to work again till they dried out. I think it's the microphone/clicker, and I'm hoping that's not completely cooked, since it doesn't register clicks anymore.

It was a good people watching night. I've been going enough that I'm starting to see regulars, which is just interesting. Especially when they're running faster than me. :) The fast gal was there again, and looked liked she had wiped herself out.

My Garmin lost it's mind and either picked up some on elses HR monitor, or I had the HR monitor in the wrong spot for a while. Very odd.

TV was pretty good for this session. 2 and a Half Men, which I don't normally watch was pretty funny. I do have to say I wondered about the channel selections after the guy ahead of me got of of his TV equipped treadmill. I looked up and I'm looking at naked, sweaty men writhing around on the ground in an embrace. Turns out it was UFC or something like that. :) Worst Week, which I had never seen before was on. Lord I wish I could have had a remote to change the channel. I hated Meet The Parents, and this is that serialized. I just wanted to beat the parents to death with a shovel. Sorry. :)

Really busy too. Resolutionistas were out in force. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

1/3 Long Run - Treadmill

10.5 on the treadmill. I must be getting used to it, because it wasn't quite as bad as it was last week. :)

First 5.5, 6.7 max (I touched it, but not for any significant time), 5.2 low, average 5.6

Waterbottle refill was much more efficient. Had my rhythm. Killed the treadmill at 5.5, slid to a stop, trotted over and refilled, trotted back and reset everything and never got below a 144 on my heart rate.

Last 5 was 5.2 max 5.1 low, 5.1 average

I do have to say that one of the things people don't talk about is that gas in the gym is a little more embarrassing than it is on the road. :) There is an advantage to starting these runs at 9 at night. There's not that many people around. :)

Surprising me, My upper body was a little sore from 45 minutes of holding myself u on the foam roller. Nothing major, but another indicator that I need to do something to remedy that problem.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

1/2 Run - Personal Training and Treadmill Run

5 miles on the treadmill at 1% incline. Max 6.8, min 5.0, average 5.3.

Did the run after my first 'real' personal training session. We got these training sessions a part of a package that kept our renewal rates down by a significant chunk. I'm not sure where the money is going to come from if I need/want session after the 4 I have. Val and I will have to figure that out.

This session finished my assessment with some sort of standing squat thing that I did a couple dozen times while he looked at me. Then finally a 45 minute block of instruction of using the foam roller (and its friend the medicine ball) to do stretching. Supposedly the SMR type rolling/stretching works better than the old fashioned static stretching I 'grew up' with.

One of the bigger tricks he showed/told me was to stop on any 'hot spots' for 30 or 40 seconds and just sit there. I've just been rolling back and forth and it's helped, but stopping and going a little more slowly really helped. He also mentioned that when doing your calves you shouldn't roll back and forth. Ankles to knees, reset, and repeat. Apparently there are some one-way valves in the calf area that rolling 'down' can affect and create varicose veins. (I think that's what he said. :)).

The medicine ball was for some point rolling on the inside of the thighs (adductors) and calves, as well as up the side of the back. Painful but effective. He worked the upper body as well. One of them was using the roller lengthwise down the spine and you hold your arms at 90degree angles and just sit there. his elbows touched the ground. Mine just hung out there in space. :) Even he commented that we 'might' need to work on my range of motion a little. :)

He also had what seemed to be some good input on the form/biomechanics thing with my right foot. According to him strengthening my glutes (butt), quads (thihg) and the front of my calf (soleus?) would really help me keep proper form.

I've got a strength training session with him on Tuesday, so we'll see how that goes.