Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Workouts 7/23 - 7/29

My workout week last week was not bad but not great either.  My coach gave me a workout every day and I did most of them, falling off when we went out of town for the weekend.  I don't think they are all showing in this picture though.

Monday - A scripted chest and shoulders weight lifting workout. I used books but the books are very inconvenient and it makes me consider looking on Craigs list for some weights.  I'm not willing to pay much since the last time I sold some I did so for $12 or $15. 

Tuesday - 3.16 in 40 (12:39) plus walking warm up/down.  This was designed as a zone 2 run with my new zone 2 between 160-170.  I had to take walk breaks but these were only 15 seconds or so long each time.  It was a good run.

Wednesday - Chest and back workout using books.  I wasn't in the mood but did it anyway. 

Friday - 2.69 in 35 (13:01) plus walking warm up down.  This was 30 minutes in zone 2 (2.27 in 30 [13:12]) and then 5 minutes pushing into zones 3 and 4 (.42 in 5 [11.54]).  "Negative split" run. This should have been Thursday's run but was not.

Friday - Core work for 30 minutes.

Sunday - Zone 2 run. 6.25 miles in 1:20 (12:48) plus walking warm up/down.  I was supposed to have finished with a 3 minute push but wasn't connected enough to have reread that instruction. 

I didn't log my food while out of town but plan do to so this week.  It looks like a recovery week with light runs and doing some strength training.  I need to double up as I wasn't able to get in the strength workout yesterday with the drive home, laundry, car inspection, and everything else. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Workouts 07/16 - 07/22

This was my first week working with my new coach.  For the most part the week was spent doing some tests to learn where I am and setting up a base of training:

Monday - 35:00 of shoulder work with a little core mixed in.  Basically it was 60 seconds on, 15 off for 2x through a circuit of shoulder work and a few crunches.  I used heavy books as my weights which worked well.

Tuesday - 3.16 in 40 minutes (12:39) plus walking warm up/down.  It was 74 degrees and 97% humidity and really miserable out.  The goal for the day was a timed mile run with 200 meters hard effort at the end to see my max or nearly max HR.  GPS was very spotty so my mile was perhaps 1.1 or 1.15 miles.  Slower than I've run a mile in the past 9 months or so but I still pushed it to get the HR (198) the coach wanted to know. 

Wednesday - 35:00 of chest/back work.  Again 60 on, 15 off for 2x through a circuit of work.  The books didn't work as well for this one as it was hard to hold them while doing the work. 

Thursday - 3.6 in 46 (12:46) plus walking warm up/down.  This one was a "Lactate Threshold test".  I looked it up to see what that means and according to Active.com it is the "Lactate Threshold (LT) is the highest exercise intensity attained before a marked increase in blood lactate concentration occurs".  So basically it was after a good warmup to run with high intensity for 20 minutes.  I managed 1.85 miles and av hr of 178 during the 20 minutes of the test.  The humidity was still 97 but somehow felt less oppressive but still pretty bad.

Friday - 35:00 Legs.  No need for books.  Lunges this way, that way, the other way, and all three ways.  Also some squats. 

Saturday - 11.75 in 1:00 on the bike.  I was supposed to keep it in zone 2 and at 85-90 cadence throughout.  I don't think I managed either but it felt like a good workout.  My legs were sore the next day anyway.

Saturday - I was supposed to have done a 30 minute core routine on Friday and didn't get to it.  I was going to do it Saturday but I woke up with a blinding headache, did the bike ride regardless, and tried to do the core workout. I made it 15 minutes in and gave up. 

Sunday - 4.75 in 1:00 (12:37) plus walking warm up/down. The direction was a zone 2 run to build base.  I set my watch and did just that and it was quite nice concentrating on form. 

The coach also asked me to start recording my food so I did Saturday.  It's very strange to record my food and especially to think that someone else will read it. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Half-Marathon Training Program

Friday I signed up for a new half-marathon training program.  I actually signed up for the training before signing up for a race.  I’m leaning toward the Dare to Ascend half-marathon.  I think I’d enjoy a trail half marathon although I know a trail race is, by definition, harder and slower than a road half.  But I do like running on trails and the race is at the right time.  If the See Jane run Half Marathon were happening, it would be at the perfect time and would cost only $30 or perhaps nothing (I forget) but they are not running the race so that’s out. 
I’ve been feeling like without a goal race until next February, my training was just sort of plodding along.  I didn’t have a real compulsion to get out of bed and run one day versus another and while out on a weekend run, I didn’t feel like I was committed to any given distance or pace.  I would just run a bit and feel done and walk the rest of the way.  And the truth is that I’ve read blogs, books, recommendations, training plans, and everything else in the world and it’s just an overwhelming amount of input.  I can look at one plan that says run this much and these days and another that says the opposite.  One says race this often at race pace and one says don’t push too hard. 
One of the podcasts I listen to is produced by a set of trainers and he is frequently a guest on other podcasts.  One of the things I’ve heard him say is that every workout should have a purpose.  Another is that most people train too hard.  They are trying to do every run at race pace.  Both of those things really struck a nerve for me.  My race pace (based on Galloway formulas) would be 11:36 mm but I’m trying to do all my training (except LSR) at <12:00 which seems quite close to race pace.  So if not at race pace, how much slower should it be?  And am I training too hard? Running too long?  Too much?  Not enough?
So I signed up for some training that seems to be sort of hybrid pricing and setup.  The cost is not as high as one-on-one training would be but higher than buying a book or a prefab program or something.  I’m still trying to come to an understanding of the logistics of the training. It appears that I have a coach who will give me a weekly program that’s sort of customized and I’ll use the online tool to enter my training results, comments, metrics etc.  I don’t know how much direct interaction there will be.  Saturday she posted my first week of scheduled workouts which are sort of structured to give the coach an idea of my baselines.  It includes 3 strength workouts, 3 run workouts, 1 bike workout, and one core workout.  But the total time is just 5:55 so it’s not vastly different from my current time investment. 
I’m sort of simultaneously excited and anxious about the training.  I would certainly like some guidance and would like to see some improvements in my fitness and pace. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Workouts 07/09 - 07/15

My training week last week was pretty paltry but with mostly good reasons.  Ok. Maybe there is never a good reason for a paltry training week but I'm feeling optimistic about it all.  More on that soon.

Tuesday - 3.95 miles in 50 minutes (12:39 mm) plus walking warm up down.  I only ran a 2:00/1:00 because I planned (yes, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that) to run Wednesday as well.  The most notable things about the run were oppressive humidity and running past a skunk or skunk spray.  Wow.  That really lasts a long time when you're running. 

Tuesday - Pre-dawn runner's core workout.  30 minutes.  Always hard. Always good. I'm definitely gaining strength and balance. 

Thursday - 4.1 walking in an hour.  ChocolateWife had to go out of town to attend a family funeral so the kids and I walked to the elementary school (they rode bikes). Then they played on the playscapes while I walked in circles. 

Saturday - 6.5 miles 1:30 (13:50).  Wow.  It was only 73 degrees out but when I stopped running I checked The Weather Channel and it was 100% humidity. I didn't even know it could be 100% humidity without raining.  I did a 1:00/1:00.  Then walked home for another 2 miles in about 30 minutes. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Workouts 07/02 - 07/08

I had an ok workout week last week. Not great, not terrible.  I definitely do better when I'm on a workout schedule working toward a race.  Every few days I google half-marathons in Central Texas and look and then don't select anything.  I just don't seem to be able to find anything that's perfect (close, not too hot, cheap, etc.).  I've considered the Decker half which is in December and a few others. 

I'm also considering signing up for some online training.  It's not cheap but I would say it's reasonably priced.  I don't know that I want to pay during base training though; I think I only want to sign up leading up to race training.  It's something I'm considering.  Possibly I would ask for it as my birthday present since I always have so much trouble coming up with "things" I want. 

But without further ado and adon't:

Tuesday - 4.22 miles in 50 minutes (11:50 mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I called this one running under a cartoon moon.  The moon was huge and yellow and it was one of those mornings when it is just a gift to be outside and active and appreciate it all.  Knowing that I was going to run the next day I only did a 2:00/1:00 but still was under 12:00 mm. 

Wednesday - 4.5 miles running and walking in 1:10.  I only ran about 2.5 miles after getting up and not in the mood but trying it anyway.  The humidity was just brutal. 

Wednesday - Did the pre-dawn runner's core workout.  This workout is so good and so hard.  I'm getting stronger in my core for sure but it's still a big challenge. 

Friday - 4.15 in 50 (12:02 mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I ran a 3:00/1:00 and it was quite clear and still.  Nice run. 

Saturday - Family bike ride. We all rode bikes to the park and back.  I would guess it was around 7 miles or so.  We let ChocolateSon lead the way and I just kept being amazed at how well he could ride.  ChocolateDaughter was on the back of ChocolateWife's bike. 

I planned a run of a few hours on Sunday but woke up very sick to my stomach and pretty much continued feeling crummy all day. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Nike Running or maybe not Nike Running

A few months after I started running, I got a Nike+.  I was very excited about it and absolutely committed to using it to track my runs, know how far I’d gone, and track my total miles.  I celebrated each milestone – reaching the different Nike+ colors or my first 100 mile month. At times it didn’t seem calibrated correctly but I tried to get it relatively accurate.  I’ve always felt very motivated by seeing the numbers on the screen. 

And I felt like one of the disappointments was that Nike+ was only available on the IPhone and IPod Touch.  Well now it’s available on Android but my phone is not compatible (let’s just say new enough). 

And a few months ago Nike Running started sending out some e-mails to get users excited or maybe warned that the entire website would be changing.  And by the way, challenges would be off line for 3-4 months.  Now the new website is online.  It has some pretty new graphics but I can’t tell that I have a color any longer and there are no challenges right now. 

But worse than that, when I tried to sync up my IPod after my Saturday run (13.8 miles), it would not sync.  I walked 5 miles Sunday and that didn’t sync.  Nike’s advice as they tweeted – reset your IPod – meaning that I will never get those miles.  So I reset my IPod which took so long that I didn’t even record my next run (over 4 miles) and today when I tried to use the IPod, it would not disconnect safely so I missed another 4.6 miles of credit. 

And now I’m wondering how much I care.  If there are no more colors and no more challenges (at least for a while) and I log everything on dailymile anyway, do I care about Nike running?  If I need to know distance, I can use the RunKeeper app on my phone or map it on gmaps.  Otherwise, I can just estimate it.  Yes, I want to listen to music and podcasts on my IPod, but I just don’t know that I care about the Nike+ website any longer…

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Running Totals - January to June

At the beginning of the year I joined a 1000 mile challenge on the Nike+ site.  I've never managed 1000 miles in a year and I would like to reach that this year.  Through 06/30 I have run 538 (not all those are synced because Nike + is having some sort of connection issue).  I'd say I'm on pace to reach my goal if I just keep on. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Workouts 06/25 - 07/01

I had a pretty good workout week.

Monday - Did the You are your own Gym Week 7, Day 3 workout.  It was arms/pulling intervals.  I will admit that I'm not hitting these workouts 4 days a week - more like when I can/do.  I'm also completely skipping the Yayog Day 4 workouts which are core but are nowhere near as challenging or beneficial as the core workout I've been doing.

Monday - Pre-dawn runner's core workout.  This workout is so hard but so good.  I have trouble doing the planks partially because I need more core strength and partially because my feet/toes are not strong enough.  And I really want to build up the strength and balance to do the unilateral bird dogs without the modification.

Tuesday - 4.15 miles in 49 minutes (11:48 mm) plus the walking warm up/down. I stayed in zone two and just used the watch. 

Wednesday - Pre-dawn runner's core workout.  A good workout.

Thursday - 4.016 miles in 48 minutes (12:06 mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I bit warmer than it has been. I did a warm up and then ran 4 hill repeats (such as they are near my house).  When I wasn't on the hills I did 2:00/1:00.

Saturday - Long Slow Hot Run at Brushy Creek Regional Trail.  13.8 miles in 3:03 (13:15 mm).  I felt like it's been a long time since I've done a long run so I got up at 5:30 Saturday with the intention of a 2:30 - 3:00 run.  It was 75 out when I started and 85 when I finished and I could feel it.  I ran a 1:00/1:00 and felt pretty awesome for the first 8-10 miles but knew I was slowing at the end due to the weather.  Still, I'm really glad to get some good miles in.  Also, by the Galloway formula the pace for this run should have been between 15:06 and 16:06. 

Sunday - 4.0 in 1:00 walk in the rain. I left the house and it started to rain so I went back for a ziplock for my iPod but then walked more. It was lovely.

Sunday - Did the pre-dawn runner's core workout again.

Other notes on the week:
Thursday - I donated a double unit of blood platelets.  It has been longer than I would like but I've just been struggling with scheduling the time.  My last donation took a very long time because my platelet count was "low".  This time my count was 333 which was high enough that I did the double in 73.  The phlebotomist did such a smooth stick I could literally not feel the needle.  I did feel like I had a hard time with the anticoagulant (or coagulant I can never remember) and it making me feel really physically jittery the rest of the day.

I made a comment on the Salty Running site and got a note that my comment was the comment of the week