Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Week of 05/19/2014: Averting with Disaster

Another low mileage week, with a a potential knee injury thrown in for good measure.  At this point it is more of a symptom, hopefully my countermeasures (See Sunday below) will be effective and not derail me too much, seeing as race day for Grandma's is less than four weeks away.

Monday 05/19/2014

Scheduled:  8 Mile Recovery Run
I rescheduled one of my rest days to today in order to continue recovery from yesterday's arduous long run.

While most of the foot and ankle issues have gone back to 'normal,' I did notice some issues today that either weren't there yesterday or that I just didn't notice-

  • Stiff/sore left shin
  • Stiff/sore right quadriceps
  • Stiff/sore hamstrings on both legs
  • Also, on my upper body my shoulders are still a little sore from toting the Camelback for 18 miles
  • Lastly, I think that something on the Camelback is rubbing me right in the small of my back about where my HRM strap goes - I get an irritation after long runs back there

Thus ends the list of my complaints.

Tuesday 05/20/2014

Scheduled: 7 Miles GA, 7x400m @ 5k
Time constraints caused me to cut this workout way back; also with my laundry list of complaints noted yesterday I decided to ease back into things.  I just did a simple 3 mile run on the treadmill at a very easy pace.  Things never really got comfy though they did loosen up a bit.

Wednesday 05/21/2014

Scheduled:  10 Miles MLR
After yesterday's run I noticed some tenderness in my right knee.  I am now well at the point where I am paranoid about hurting myself in the weeks leading into the race, so I rested ad slept in today.

Thursday 05/22/2014

Scheduled: 10 Miles 6@MP, 4 @HMP
Slept in again and rested.  Knee feels OK.

Friday 05/23/2014

Scheduled: REST
After skipping two straight days I decided that I better get back to it.  I did a 5k jog to a nearby cinder track, did a calibration of my Garmin and then did a magic mile (All out effort), followed by a 5k jog home.  Total 8 miles.

Saturday 05/24/2014

Scheduled: 20 Mile Long Run
Holiday weekend, the only way that I could have gotten this run is would have been to get up super early and be out the door hours before anyone else planned to stir.  Alas.  Re-scheduled the run for Monday the 26th, called it a rest day

In terms of fluid & electrolyte loss, I did do quite a bit of yard work, which was not a running workout, still felt like one by the time that I went in & hit the showers.

Sunday 05/25/2014

Scheduled: REST
I did have notions of getting in a makeup run first thing in the morning to atone for one of those skipped 10's from earlier in the week, but I ended up taking the rest.

I don't know if it was my all out mile from Friday or my yard work from the day before but my glutes and hamstrimgs are feeling very stiff.  Most likely the knee tenderness reported earlier this week is the early signs of Iliotibial Band Syndrome.   I will incorporate more stretching and look into some strength training to address it.  In the mean time it seems that I have inadvertently have taken one of the recommended countermeasures:  Reduce mileage.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Week of 05/12/2014: Not a lot better

I did better this week but still did skip some key speed workouts.  All in all I got 36 of 52 scheduled miles in.  But 50% of that mileage came in one chunk.  As I discovered in 2012, making the weekly long run too high of a percentage of my weekly volume can lead to disastrous effects.  History was repeated, read on.

Monday 05/12/2014

Scheduled:  10 Mile Recovery Run
55º, Overcast, rainy.  I due to schedule constraints I needed to cut back this run to 8 miles.  I felt pretty good on it, in fact I averaged 1 seconds per mile faster than my normal recovery pace.

Tuesday 05/13/2014

Scheduled: 7 Miles GA, 7x400m @ 5k
Skip.  :(

Wednesday 05/14/2014

Scheduled:  10 Miles MLR
39º, Clear, Calm.  I have seriously had it with this cold weather business, can we all just start wearing our shorts now, please?  The run went well, the ten mile threshold is a lot more routine these days.

Thursday 05/15/2014

Scheduled: 7 Miles GA, 7x400m @ 5k
Skip.  :(

Friday 05/16/2014

Scheduled: XT (Swimming)
No surprise that I skipped the swim (at this point in the program it would have been a bigger surprise had I showed up).  I did miss out on the opportunity however to get a makeup run in for one of my skipped speed workouts.

Saturday 05/17/2014

Scheduled: 18 Mile Long Run
I slept in and re-scheduled my long rung to tomorrow morning.  I got up with the kids and took them over to the parkway so that we could observe the 2014 Blaine Triathlon and cheer for the participants.  I participated in 2012 (The inaugural year) and 2013, but this year I opted to not do the race, as with marathon training I didn't feel that I could get the swimming and cycling workouts in to do it justice.  It turned out that was a great idea, as it was really cold and would have been a miserable swim.

It was a great morning, however, to get the kids out on the parkway and cheer for cyclists and runners:

I meant to get a makeup run in later in the day, but with family things and whatnot it never materialized.  The mornings are my time, I need to make the most of them.

Sunday 05/18/2014

Scheduled: REST
18 Mile Long Run - 52º, Clear, calm.
In today's run I learned all the finer points of dehydration-induced Cardiovascular drift, and the subsequent psychological effects.  I left the house with the 3 liter reservoir in my Camelback Mule fully topped off.  The run started out well and routinely enough, though I did notice some foreshadowing when the brim of my hat started dripping before I was even four miles into the run.  Usually my hat doesn't start dripping until six or seven miles in, which told me that I was sweating more than usual.  I kept taking light pulls on my water during rest intervals, and really didn't notice any issues for the first ten miles.

Around ten to eleven miles into the run I started to notice fatigue in my feet and ankles, and some stiffening up in general.  My perceived effort went up as well, and at the twelve mile mark I made the call to dial back my pace by 15 seconds per mile.  But in truth, some events were already well underway by that time.  By the time I was twelve miles into the run I was constantly thirsty; My thirst was greater than my ability to consume.  If I had drank as much as I had wanted I would have thrown it back up.  It was necessary to maintain the practice of taking smaller sips more often.  Also starting at mile twelve my heart rate jumped up, and even though I could still run as fast as before, I could not run as far as before without taking a rest.
I was able to maintain the revised pace through mile sixteen, until the wheels fell off the bus completely.  I knew that even though I still had two miles to go that my run for the day was finished; it was now a matter of just getting home.  So for the last two miles I went into a 1:00/3:00 run/walk pattern.  The problem with long walk breaks late into a long run like that is that you tend to tighten up; the run segments were murder to initiate.

I made it home and sucked the last drops of my three liters in the driveway.  Inside I found that my family was just about to sit down to waffles for breakfast.  I have eaten some good waffles in my life but that one tasted like a gift from God.  I had some lockup issues with my knees and my ankles as well as a lot of discomfort in my right plantar fascia.  Immediately after the run it felt like someone had cut off my feet and that I was walking through a field of broken glass and rock salt.  Later, it merely felt like I still had my feet, but that someone was whacking the bottom of my right foot every time that I took a step.   The worst of it was over by six hours after the run; by bedtime I was feeling much better though dog-tired.

All of this makes me a little nervous as there is a 20 miler looming on the calendar.  I am assessing my goals for that run; I do not care so much about my pacing at this point as I do about finishing the run with a shred of my humanity left.  There is no confidence to be bolstered by the psychological breakdown that comes with a crappy run.  My best hope is to learn from this and do better next Saturday.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Week of 05/05/2014: Going Rogue

I delayed writing this post because the truth was just too embarrassing to admit:  I dropped off the radar for the majority of the week and completely skipped all but one workout.  It was a terrible blow to my program.

Next week I'll try to d better, and to quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

Monday 05/05/2014

Scheduled:  10 Mile Recovery Run
50º, Overcast, light breeze.  The big question on my mind this morning was how my legs and feet would respond to another double digit run after last Saturday.  And as I headed out, I did notice some discomfort in my knees, but nothing to abort the run over, or cut the distance.  I ran steady recovery pace splits throughout and covered the entire distance quite comfortably.

Undoubtedly the increased training mileage will be the defining factor in the difference between my TCM 2012 and Grandmas 2014 experiences.

Tuesday 05/06/2014

Scheduled:  6 Miles GA, 6x400m sprints
Skip.  :(

Wednesday 05/07/2014

Scheduled:  10 Miles, 7 Mile Tempo @ MP
Skip.  :(

Thursday 05/08/2014

Scheduled: 6 Miles GA, 6x400m sprints
Skip.  :(

Friday 05/09/2014

Scheduled: XT (Swimming)
Skip.  :(

Saturday 05/10/2014

Scheduled: 18 Mile Long Run
Skip.  :(

Sunday 05/11/2014

Scheduled: REST
No makeup runs (Though I did have visions of trying to get in yesterday's scheduled long run.  In the end I slept in).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Week of 04/28/2014: Going Postal

This was a cold and rainy week here in MN.  I got forced indoors onto the treadmill for the first time in quite some time.  I also missed some mileage during the week, but for what it was worth I got at least one of my speed workouts in plus a hard tempo run.  Later in the week I got back outside and ran at least one run in the rain and sleet.  I also got my long run up to 16 miles this week.

Grandma's is right around the corner, it's no time to let up!

Monday 04/28/2014

Scheduled:  6 Mile Recovery Run
For the second Monday in a row I took a pass.  I did wake up with enough time to get the run in; I lay in bed and listened to the rain and the wind take turns pelting & shaking the windows for quite some time.  By then there was still enough time to get the run in on the treadmill; I lay there longer and continued to listen to the sounds of the storm outside and all the other native sounds that our house makes when everyone is asleep.

I have no idea what my resting pulse was during this time; I really ought to have checked it, as it was a very relaxing morning.

When I got home from work tonight my new Air Pegasus were waiting for me.  I transferred my Superfeet insoles from the Asics over to them and moved my Garmin foot pod over, I plan to try them out in the morning.

Tuesday 04/29/2014

Scheduled:  6 Miles, 6x100m sprints
I kept it inside on the treadmill today, first run ever in the Air Pegasus.  Due to time constraints (Read: I overslept) I had to cut it short to 5 miles in order to start work on time.  The shoes themselves felt good, I would say at this point it is too early to tell but they seemed comparable to the Lunar glides.  Time (and some real outdoor runs) will tell.

After a several day layoff, my left shin acted up almost immediately and took over 2 miles to settle down.  The good news is that everything else responded well.  No plantar fascia stiffness afterward, the only post run soreness at all is a little bit across the top of my left foot.

The weather is still unseasonably crappy (If that's not a proper meteorological term, it should be); when I took my daughter to school today it was freaking SNOWING again.  And I intend to run outside tomorrow come what may.  I guess that I'll have to adopt the post office creed:
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Wednesday 04/30/2014

Scheduled:  10 Miles, 5 Mile Tempo @ HMP
34º, Rain/Sleet, 10mph wind with gusts.  It was nowhere near as bad as I expected, though it was still cold of course, and there was simply no way to not get wet on this ride.

I started out with a pretty simple strategy, run the first 5 at marathon pace and a negative split on the back at half marathon pace.  The front half went as planned, but around midway through the second mile of the HMP tempo I could tell that I wasn't going to be able to hold it up the whole way.  In the end I held on through mile 8 and then rant the last two miles at an easy pace.  In all fairness I was going to have to run those last two miles at an easy pace in any case, but at least it was nice to be able to choose to do so and more importantly not experience a blowup.

The run broke down then as follows:
  • 5 miles@MP
  • 3 miles@HMP
  • 2 miles@Recovery
Also today was the first outdoor run for the Air Pegasus.  While I like them, they are definitely not as cushy as the Lunar glides.  I will keep them in the stable for runs of 10 miles and under, and continue using the Lunar glides for my long runs.

Thursday 05/01/2014

Scheduled: 10 Miles, 9x100m sprints
I knew it wasn't going to happen the second that the alarm went off this morning - I wasn't just still tired; I was BEAT.

Not  'At least go use the bathroom first and see how you feel' tired,
Not  'Play cutesy games with the snooze button to eek out an extra 20 minutes' tired, but wooped out, draggedy-ass BEAT.

So I re-set the alarm for as late as I possibly could without being late for work, and I went back to sleep.

Friday 05/02/2014

Scheduled: XT (Swimming)
41º, Mostly Cloudy, Calm.  6 Miles @ Recovery pace.

I skipped XT (Yet again) to get some makeup miles in.  I did not want to push myself as I have a pretty big run planned for tomorrow so today was just run at recovery pace.  It was a lot warmer (& thankfully drier) today.  My mind is wandering toward short-sleeve shirts...

Saturday 05/03/2014

Scheduled: 16 Mile Long Run
56º, Partly Cloudy, Windy.  This was my longest run since the 2012 TCM.  The early miles felt really good; the pace was ridiculously slow, the walk breaks completely unnecessary, and the wind nothing to worry about.  The wind was at my back from miles 4-10, and even at 10 miles when I popped a gu I still felt pretty good.

On the 11th mile I turned a corner and went face first into the wind, and that good feeling began to dissipate.  Running into the wind was more of a chore now; in mile 12 I went up and over a freeway overpass on my otherwise flat course.  In mile 13 my ankles began to stiffen up, and the previously insanely easy pace came at an increased effort (Though I never had any issue maintaining a steady split throughout the run).  By mile 14 my ankles had stiffened up to the point where the walk breaks started to become almost more of a hassle than they were worth; in those later miles it became quite uncomfortable to resume running after a walk break.  This was familiar territory to me, as I had experienced my share of long run discomfort while training for the 2012 TCM.  However, unlike my 2012 long runs where I would experience pain, this experience was merely uncomfortable.

Mile 16 came easily for me as I knew it was the end, and there was a bonus .4 tacked on to get me to my door.  In the end I was able to hold my pace throughout the run and never actually blew up (Though the gears were smoking, I assure you).

Later in the evening my wife and I went out to see a movie, and about an hour and a half in my feet had swollen up to the point where I needed to undo my shoelaces.  After the movie it was an interesting experience coming down the stairs to exit the theater.  In not too much time however I loosened up again and I was more or less fine for the rest of the night.  This also differed from my 2012 experience; momentary discomfort vs. extended pain.

All in all I feel like I am on track for the race in June - Only 7 weeks away!

Sunday 05/04/2014

Scheduled: REST
Aside from a little residual stiffness from yesterday's long run I felt pretty good today - Stiff plantar fascia in both feet first thing in the morning, which went away with some stretching.

I had it in my head to get a makeup run in at some point, but I ended up taking the rest as scheduled and spending time with my family.  Even the mailman takes Sundays off, I guess.