Friday, December 31, 2010

Calf Pain - Second Time This Week

I have to start off by saying that I got just over half way through Tuesday's track workout and my left calf got a jolt of pain in the middle from the point where the muscle is connecting to the tendon and then up through the muscle.  I couldn't tell anything was wrong if I took small, easy strides or if I was walking.  There was the sharp pain whenever I pushed off though, which totally ruined my speed workout.

Thursday's workout was supposed to be 2 minutes at 5k race pace alternating with 1 minute jogging for 30 minutes.  I got through the warmup jog and the usual striders with no pain.  That was a good sign, so started off OK.  I ran at my 5k race pace for 2 minutes, did my 1 minute jog and about half way through the second speed portion, my calf muscle got that jolt of pain.

I just started and really didn't want to give up on the workout.  I stood in place pacing in a circle getting upset.  I turned it around in my head and tried to figure out how I could possibly still get my workout completed.

I started running with an almost back and forth swaying motion of my legs without bending my knees much and keeping my toes pointed upward as much as possible.  I kept my body closer to the ground and it really stressed my thighs and buttocks more.  It worked though.  No pain.  In my mind, I was running kinda like this...


What started out as a good 5k workout turned into a 39 minute run covering 4.25 miles.  That's 9:11 pace.  Not exactly keeping me on pace to break 20 minutes on a 5k anytime soon.

I have put on a few pounds since Thanksgiving, pulling my hamstring, and not riding my bicycle to work in over a month.  I have to get back to riding my bike, cross training, and maybe it's time for a new pair of running shoes.  Hello 2011!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fast 300's on Thursday and Christmas Eve Jog

Thursday Night Group Run

We didn't have a big turnout.  Holidays and cold I presume, but there was enough to get a good workout.  I got to the track a few minutes early, but not early enough to get a mile in before 6 when practice starts.  It's my fault, because I started driving to our Tuesday practice spot.  Stupid me.

So I did a mile warmup jog with the group.  We stretched and I had to retie my shoes, so I only 2 x 100 striders instead of the usual 4x.  Since our workout was doing 300's, Murph gave me a nice suggestion before we got started, "Doug, take it easy and try not to pull your hamstring this time."

Thanks, Mike.  Good idea.

The Speed:  3 sets of 4 reps.  Each rep is 300 at mile pace.  100 recovery and 3 minute rests between sets.

I kept up with the group and even finished in the middle of the pack through the first set.  We were running in the 1:01 to 1:05 range.  My best mile time was 6:07, so that's a 1:08.  That average of 1:03 is a 5:37 mile.  That's well ahead of my time.  It may not seem like much of a difference, but it takes its toll on your legs and lungs.

I stayed with the group for the first 2 reps of the 2nd set and then I started laboring.  I fell behind and started the 3rd and 4th reps after the group.  I took my 3 minute rest like everyone else, so I actually started the last set as Murph was finishing his first rep.  I didn't have a watch, so I figured that had to be around a minute.  I started cramping in my right side half way through the 1st rep.  I ran behind on the 2nd rep and just hunched over trying to catch my breath.  I took my time getting back to the line and ran that one with the group as it was their 4th and final rep.  I hunched over again in pain from the cramp and walked back to the start instead of jogging.  I could have quit and rested with the group, but I wanted to know that I finished the workout.  It was on my time, but I finished.  I ran that last one hard and it felt like I did around 5:05.  That hurt, but more in my lungs and legs this time.

By the time I got around the track, the rest of the guys were starting their cooldown.  I just hopped right in and went with them.  I was tired, so I cut the route short with Joel since he said his calves were all knotted up.  Worked for me.  I wanted to start stretching and get out of the cold anyway.

Good Workout.

So Christmas Eve is here and I wanted to get a jump on my New Year's Resolution.  I thought I could have been there already, but it is taking longer and will take more devotion including a change in my nutrition to reach my goal.  Break 20:00 in a 5k.

I planned on running 5 miles this afternoon while it was warm.  Less than 24 hours after finishing a speed workout probably wasn't a great idea, but I was determined.  Determined to put my body through more pain.

I jogged 2.5 miles.  My right calf hurt from about a mile.  As I continued, the pain spread down my tendon and into the arch of my foot.  A little further and the pain started going up my leg from my inner thigh by my knee up and across to my posterior hip and into my buttocks.  I think the thigh pain was my Sartorius (part of the quadriceps group).  My workout was done and I never ran faster than a warmup pace.

Shortly after finishing, there was no pain in either leg, so running easy was a good idea this day.  Never would have thought it by the pain in my leg during the run, though.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

800's Tonight

Ran 2.5 miles for a warmup since it was chilly.  1.5 was on my own and then 1 mile with the group.  Did some stretching and skipped the usual striders while I took my time taking off my warmup shirt and pants.

The workout was supposed to be 4 sets of 2x800 @ 5k pace and slightly faster with 200 recovery between reps and 3 minutes rest between sets.  I decided not to kill myself by trying to run everyone else's 5k speed.  I didn't have a stop watch on me, so I don't know how fast I was running.  I just kept reminding myself that I am running a 5k and pushing it.  With each half mile rep, I lost ground on the pack.  By the time I started my 3rd set, I was only 100 meters from getting lapped by the leaders.  Coach Nathan was running with us tonight.  When he passed me on my jog between 800's, he told me to stop at 3 sets.

Fine by me.  My lungs were starting to seize up from the air.  Not cold by many standards, but it was cold for my Floridian blood.  It ended up taking about an hour and a half before my breathing came back to normal.

The entire workout, I tried to lift my left leg to get a little more drive and pushed off a little more to get better extension.  My main goal was to stop that hamstring from hurting and it worked fairly well.  It's hard to run when you are either in pain or if you are trying to tweak your form.  I hope this works out and in the future, I can have smoother form and then I can concentrate more on my pace.  I have to do something, though.  Otherwise, my left hamstring is tight and sore for 2 days after each workout.

I finished off my workout with 4 more laps around the track.

Total mileage:  7 miles

Monday, December 13, 2010

8 miles on Saturday

It took a good 2 miles before my left hamstring was loosened up enough so that it didn't hurt.  That is the same time I took off my long sleeve warmup shirt and my warmup pants.  I took a break at 4 miles to get some water and do more stretching.  It was an out and back, so that was half way through the workout.

On the way back, I stopped at a Christmas tree lot to check on some trees.  As soon as I got started back up, my left knee - patellar tendon - tweaked out.  It was a sharp pain that made me take very short strides for a good half mile before resuming my normal form.  Soon after that, my left calf started tightening up.

I was glad to finish 8 miles, but it was not a smooth comfortable run by any means.  At least it logged.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Real Day Back

Tonight was my first real speed workout since injuring my hamstring.  I ran too fast at the beginning, but I don't care.  It felt great to run fast with confidence and not feel my hamstring tugging as my leg extended through the push off and into the kick.  I cut my workout a little short, because I was out of shape for what I tried to accomplish.

I started with a 2.5 mile warmup.  It was cold; mid 40's.  That's cold in Orlando, so I just did a little extra to keep warm.  We then stretched and did our 4 x 100 striders.  I then took off my warmup pants and one of my 3 shirts.

The actual workout was 2 sets of 5 x Go 600's.  That's the 400 @ 5k pace and go for it on the last 200.  I started the first set by running 1:29 and 1:30 through the first 400 and then finished up in 2:14, 2:12, and 2:14.  I was already spent, but it felt great.  I was running the 400's at mile pace, which for me is nowhere near my 5k pace.  I should have been running the 400 portions around 1:45.  For the 4th rep, I ran closer to my 5k pace and finished around 2:42 or 2:45.  I don't remember exactly, but I dogged it.  I was having a hard time breathing.  I was way into oxygen debt and actually slowed down through the second 300 half of the rep.  Coach told me to stay back on the 5th rep and rest.

I did my normal rest like everyone else.  He gave us 3 minutes between sets, so I did the 1st rep by myself with no timekeeping.  I definitely went back to running too fast again.  It felt great, though.  I ran the rest with the group after that.  On my last rep, it was everyone else's second to last, so I had more in the tank so to speak.  You always have a little when you know it's your last run.  When my pack came around the 400 mark, coach yells out to us and says something like who is going to make a move and push the group.  Since it was my last one, I went for it.  I bolted by everyone in my pack and got close to the lead pack.  Oddly enough, my time was 2:14 which is what I ran when I started.

That was it for me.  I was totally wiped out, but I got the 1.25 mile cooldown logged, too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2 laps around Lake Ivanhoe.  That's 5 miles.  I didn't have a goal in mind other than not to push too hard.

I started with 1.5 miles of warmup.  Oddly, my left hamstring was tight during my warmup.  It felt fine after stretching, though.

I ran 3 miles and progressively ran faster as I went.  I probably started around 9 minute pace and got down under 8 at the end.  I didn't carry a watch, so I don't have exact times.  It felt like I averaged around 8 minute pace for the whole 3 miles, but since I haven't run much lately, it took a lot more effort to do it.

I think I may need to run more frequently.  I don't think I'm getting enough mileage including before my hamstring pull.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Almost Normal Again

It has been about 3 and half weeks since pulling my right hamstring.  My latest workouts include 3 miles easy on Tuesday, November 23rd, 6 miles easy on Sunday, November 28th, and 3 miles today.

When I ran on November 23rd, there was a little pain in my hammie, but it felt good to get out there.  I ran 1 mile as a warmup and just wanted to see what I could do.  I ran 8 laps and started to feel tired.  Coincidentally, my leg started to tighten up, so I finished up lap 9 and called it a night.

On Sunday, November 28th, I did 2 miles as a warmup.  I did 1 lap around Lake Eola (1 mile) and there were too many people walking around the park.  I kept having to change direction to avoid running into people and that was causing a little pain.  Running straight forward didn't hurt though.  I went to the track around the block at Howard Middle School and did another 12 laps around the track.  6 miles total.

Tonight, I ran 2 laps as a warmup followed up by 4x100 striders.  The striders was my test to see if I could run an actual workout with the group.  It felt great.  NO PAIN!!!  So the workout was 20 minutes comprised of 1 minute at 5k pace alternating with 1 minute of jogging.  I was able to keep up with a couple other runners, so it was a success and no pain throughout the entire workout.

I didn't feel like I could fully give it everything again, though.  I think it will be a couple more weeks before I am completely back to form.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hamstring - Getting Better

It has been a week of nursing my hamstring now.  I only used ice to keep the initial swelling down on the first 24 hours.  During that same period, I kept my leg elevated as much as possible, wrapped it with bandages, and tried to walk as little as possible.  Walking did hurt, too.  I couldn't remember if it was a good idea to use pain killers right away.  I started with the Aleve the next day and was using them regularly through the first 5 days.

I have been able to walk without pain for 2 days and was able to go up and down stairs at work without pain for 1 day now.

I went out to the training group last night.  It made me want to get back out there and run even more.  It was definitely a different perspective watching people run in circles versus being one of those runners.  I played assistant coach by yelling off splits to some of the runners and giving out motivation as my fellow runners passed me.

I am starting to do strength and stretching exercises now since it is 1 week since my injury and I hope to be jogging within a couple days.  Fingers crossed that I will be running in another week.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pulled Hamstring - RICE time

The workout this evening did not go as planned.  Worked late, back cramps, pulled hamstring.

First of all, I worked late and got out to the track late.  I got right into a few warmup laps.  I did 3 laps at a decent clip for me.  I was doing this while everyone was stretching and doing the usual 4x100 striders to loosen up.

The planned workout tonight:

4x1km @ 5k goal pace with 200 recovery
3 minute rest
4x200 @ full speed with 1:15 rest

I started out fast.  The first 1000 was 4:05 (6:34 pace).  The second 1000 was 3:56 (6:19 pace).  These are closer to my mile pace than to my 5k pace, but you gotta have goals.  I knew this wasn't going to go well.  I got 600 into my third rep and stopped due to cramps in both sides of my back.  That made it too hard to breathe.  I was wheezing like a 50 year smoking vet.  I finished up my 1000 slowly, but I have no idea what my time was and after stopping, I guess it doesn't really matter.  I did the forth 1000 paced at 10k speed through the first 800 and then took off for the last 200.  I felt a little better, but could feel the cramping starting to come back after the pickup.

Insert three minute rest.

The 200's.  I love running 200's.  You get to haul ass and no matter how out of breath you are at the finish, you can get right back into it after a very short rest.  I have no idea how fast I was running.  I felt really smooth, yet at the same time my legs were very taught and spring like.  I felt like a machine.  It just came effortlessly.  Took a quick 1 minute rest and off on the next one.  I took off from the pack immediately and just kept going.  I rounded the curve and shortly after hitting the straightaway, my right hamstring popped.  I am pretty sure I was overstriding.  I was definitely lifting my thighs higher than my normal running form, but it didn't feel awkward, so I didn't think anything of it until it was too late.  I got one more stride in after the pop feeling and that didn't feel good at all.  OK.  It hurt.  I hobbled on my left leg off the track to get out of the way of the other runners and went straight to the grass.

I am currently sitting in a chair typing (Rest) with Ice under my thigh at the point of the pull.  I have done this before a couple times, but both times were my left.  I have some bandages for Compression and will put pillows under my leg when I sleep to keep it Elevated.  That's what you see all over the internet - RICE.  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

If all goes well and on the same time frame of recovery as my other pulled hammies, I will be running, albeit slightly slower, in two weeks.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Group Fartlek Workout

I had problems with my bicycle on my way to practice, so I arrived late and didn't get a full warmup. I ran about half a mile warmup and missed the beginning of the actual workout. I had to just warmup as I went and jump in.

I didn't know exactly what course we were doing.  Our coach was running with us and when he passed me, he said to just do some quick 10 second sprints in the middle of my warmup jog and catch up to someone that would be running my speed.

That worked and I only missed a small portion of the workout.  The workout is below and the rest of the group ran 4 x 2 minutes in the first set.

Fartlek Workout:

2 x 2 minutes @ 5k pace; 1 minute recovery jog
4 x 1 minute @ mile pace; 1 minute recovery jog
4 x 45 sec @ full tilt; 1 minute recovery jog

I didn't quite cover the entire distance of the loop during the fartlek, so I finished up with a steady pace.  I was partnered up with someone the whole workout until this last segment.  He wanted to start at our jog speed and gradually increase the pace going back to the starting point of the loop.  I got about half way and couldn't keep up.  I stayed at a consistent pace and he slowly kept pulling away.

It is the first workout in awhile that my legs didn't actually hurt at the end.  I don't know what the difference was, though.

Total mileage:  4.35 miles

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Down Ladder Workout - Tuesday

Ladder Workout - Interval workout with a systematic progression.  This is more easily understand with examples.  Any distances can be used such as 400, 600, 800, 1000, 800, 600, 400.  You would run the 400's at mile pace, the 600's slightly slower, the 800's at 5k pace, and the 1000 at 10k pace or slightly faster.  I used to run a lot of these in high school on the track team.  We would specifically call these Up and Down Ladders.  We broke our ladder defitions down to also include an Up Ladder workout and a Down Ladder workout.  The Up Ladder workout would be short distances at faster speeds increasing in distance and slowing in speed as the workout progresses.  An example would be something like 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200.  My group's workout on Tuesday was a Down Ladder.  This is the opposite of the Up Ladder.  You start at longer distances and increase speed with shorter distances as the workout progresses.

Since I didn't run this weekend, I decided to start warming up early.  I jogged 1.5 miles before the group warmup.  I jogged another mile and then the usual 4 x 100 striders to loosen up.

Here was our Down Ladder workout.

2 x 1000 (@ 10k goal pace)
4 x 800 (@ 5k goal pace)
4 x 400 (@ 1 mile goal pace)

between each repetition, 200 jog recovery
between each set, 3 minute rest

I ran the first set of 1000's a little fast.  I don't remember my splits though.  I know I was about 10 seconds faster than my goal and the second was 1 second faster or slower than the first rep.

The 800's were much faster than my goal pace.  I think my goal was 3:45 before we started.  The first was 3:15 and I could tell that was too fast.  I hit the rest in 3:21, 3:24, and 3:20.  I posted the times on DailyMile.com and the first one was wrong.  I remembered now that I ran that first one just behind Jonny and he did a 3:14.  That's a virtual 2 mile time of 13:20.

The 400's were brutal as they should be.  They are fast and I was supposed to start jogging immediately after finishing each one, but I had to stop for a few seconds after each one to catch my breath.  I was obviously overachieving.  I ran them in 1:21, 1:26, 1:21, 1:35.  I started cramping and couldn't control my breathing on the last one, but it was only a 400, so I pushed through it.  I don't think I could have kept going if it was an 800 or more.  Then again, I wouldn't have run that fast if it was an 800.  That's a virtual mile time of 5:43.  I can't believe that I used to run those pretty easily in high school.  I ran a 6:07 at the time trial a couple months ago.  I would think that I would be getting close to 5:43 without rest or recoveries, but I guess that I am not taking into account that this was at the end of the workout.  At least, that's what I am hoping is the case.

My times are coming down along with the temperatures.  This was a great workout!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Go 600's

What are Go 600's?  I just found out today.  You run 400 at your 5k goal pace and then GO for 200 to finish off your 600.  We did 6 of these with a 2 minute rest recovery.  I needed a water break after 4, so I took a 4 minute rest break and then ran number 5 with everyone as their last one.  I ran my 6th one by myself.

My goal was to run the first 400 at 1:45, which is a goal 5k pace of 22 minutes flat.  My actual times were between 1:28 and 1:34.  My final 600 times were between 2:07 and 2:17.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Greater Maitland 5k - Race Report

Needless to say, there was a small field of competitors this morning.  Now with that being said, I took home FIRST PLACE in my 30-39 Age Division!!!!  I was 20th overall with a time of 22:17.  I said it was a small field.

I got up early and had a good breakfast and 3 cups (mugs) of coffee before the race.  I was definitely eye-opened by race time at 7:30am.  I also took a couple of pain pills when I woke up, so my back and hamstrings wouldn't hurt.  That definitely helped.  I've read recently that it's not a good idea to do that, but I think it mainly pertains to marathon runners since a 5k isn't that taxing on your system.

I ran this course 2 years ago, so I knew what to expect..  It is relatively flat the entire way.  There was one hill that was nice at the beginning and hurtful toward the end, because the course it pretty much an out and back.  For anyone outside of Florida, you probably wouldn't even call it a hill.

I ran the first mile in 6:55.  The second mile trailed off a little at 7:20 (14:15) and I maintained that through the last mile with a 7:18 pace (calculated since I didn't pay attention to my 3 mile split).  This is my "over 30" PR.  My previous best was 22:29 from a couple years ago.  I also bettered my last race time of 23:07 by 50 seconds.

My average pace was 7:10 per mile which is 16 seconds per mile faster than my last race.

Now, I need to pick a race in about a month and see if I can knock my average pace under 7 minutes per mile.  That means my next goal is to get under 21:44 (-00:33).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bladder Bust Workout

We had a group run as usual on Thursday.  Coach wasn't there, but he sent instructions to one of the other runners.  She told us what our workout was.  It was a medium intensity workout, because many people are running races this weekend.  I am doing the Greater Maitland 5k, while most of the runners are doing the UCF U Can Finish 5 Miler on Sunday.

We started by doing the normal 1.25 mile warmup and 4 x100 striders.

I was supposed to run 4 x kilometer repeats like the rest of the group, but I had to leave early.  I ran 3 instead.  The groups broke up into Murphy by himself in the front, a lead pack, a trailing pack, and then me on the caboose.  I wasn't too far behind the trailing pack.  I think my times were around 2-3 seconds back the first lap and then got up to about 5-7 seconds behind by the third lap.  Our goal pace was 5 mile speed, so that is why it was supposed to be moderate to easy.  Each kilometer was supposed to be 2-3 seconds faster than the previous one.  I was running slightly faster than my 5k goal pace.  I ran 4:10, 4:09, 4:06.  That equates to 6:42, 6:40, 6:35 mile pace.  That's great in theory.

Well, I was supposed to run that 4 times.  I only 3.  The reason is because my bladder was going to bust if I didn't get out of there and to a restroom in short order.  The public restroom at the park was locked.  Awesome!  Oh, well.  Race is tomorrow morning and I'm about as ready as I can be.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

400 Repeats

Just to log what I did this weekend, my long run on Sunday was great.  The weather was beautiful.  There was a light breeze and I started my run around 2:30pm and the temperature was 82 degrees.  That is the coolest it has been since spring, so it was very welcome.  I took it easy and was able to get 8.7 miles logged in 1:24:17, so that was an average pace of 9:41 per mile.  I stopped once for 4 minutes to get water and do a quick set of leg stretches.

Today, the weather was about the same, but a little windy.  We were running on the track, so the good and bad is that you run in a circle.  The wind as at your back just as much as it is in your face.

We did our usual mile warmup jog, stretches, and 4x100 stretches.  Today's workout was 5 sets of 2 x 400 with 1 minute rest between reps and 2:15 between sets.  The intended pace was 2-3 seconds slower than mile pace on the first and then mile pace on the second rep.

My mile time at the time trial was 6:07, so that means my mile pace would dictate a 1:32 and the first, slower lap would be a 1:34/35.  I didn't run anything over 1:30.  I ran most of them between 1:23 and 1:28.  The slowest was 1:30 and the fastest (last one) was 1:20.  I wish I had a way of recording them... or remembering.  I don't know why, but I pushed the pace and was able to keep up with the middle pack today.  After the first few, I was able to stride out and stay tall in my posture.  I felt relaxed after the first 4 laps and didn't feel forced.  That's about when my left hamstring finally loosened up.  One of these days, I am going to find a jacuzzi and soak this leg.  I will probably wait until after my 5k this weekend.  Even though I felt good during this workout, Coach Nathan thought it best that I sit out the last set.  I would have overruled him, but considering my hammy condition, I agreed.  Almost everyone else in my running group ran 6 sets.  I did some extra hamstring stretches after the general workout.  We ran as a group for 1.25 miles as a cooldown around Lake Eola to finish up the night.

Note: I kept my shoes less taut at the beginning of the workout and I felt my feet sliding around causing friction and unnecessary heat buildup.  Half way through the repeats, I tightened up my shoestrings and the adjustment allowed me to carry on with the workout with no blisters.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hills Again and Again

My left hamstring has been hurting since Tuesday.  Pain killers have not helped.  If I was going to run today, I had to get in more of a warmup than everyone else at our group session.  I started 15 minutes early and got 5 laps around the track.  The first lap was brutal and there was nothing I could do but jog slowly and grimace.  It almost hurt like I pulled my hamstring on Tuesday, but I don't want to go that far.  I've pulled that exact hamstring a couple times and had visible bruises to prove it.  It wasn't quite that bad.  So anyway, I got 2 miles in a warmup by the time the group ran down to the sinkhole.  We did our striders after a short stretch and the uphills hurt, yet oddly enough, the downhills felt normal.  Go figure.

Our workout this evening was 5 x 1km with 2 minute rest recoveries.  The goal pace was 5 mile speed on the first one and then taking off 2-3 seconds per loop.  Mind you that we are running hills.  My goal was around 8 minute pace or just under.  We didn't have a chart, so I figured that I wanted to run 4:55 for the first and then taking off 2-3 seconds each loop.  So my goal was 4:55, 4:52, 4:49, 4:46, 4:43.

The first uphill hurt something fierce.  After a flat section, a downhill and another flat, the second uphill didn't hurt that much at all.  Again, go figure.  I was happy.  My time on that first hill loop was 4:52.  The second hill loop was pain free and I took off more than expected by running 4:42.  The others:  4:38, 4:32, and 4:16.  This was a great workout and I am so glad the hills knocked out the pain in my left hammy.  Knock on wood.  I hope I wake up without soreness, too.

This has been 2 straight workouts that our coach is having us run negative splits.  Am I detecting a trend?  This is also my third straight workout that I have been able to complete.  Also a trend?  I hope so.

Just over a week until my next race.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank you Tropical Depression 16

Rain, all afternoon and all night.  That was the forecast yesterday.  I wish I had a camera to prove it, because it was around 3:30pm when the storm first hit and it looked like night outside.  The rain never stopped and we practiced on time at 6pm.  I do not like running in the rain.  I mean, it's great for keeping you cooled off, but your clothes and shoes get heavy.  Running in puddles slows you down and can tire you out faster, too.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't bring my watch to practice and I tried to keep up with someone that runs a few minutes faster than me in a 5k.  The workout was 800, 600, and 400 with 200 recoveries.  Goal pace was 10k speed on the 800, 3 to 4 seconds faster per lap on the 600, and then 3 to 4 more seconds faster per lap on the 400.  We did 4 sets and got a 3 minute break between sets.  If I ran it at my actual 10k goal pace, this would have been a cake walk.  I went out and tried to run it faster than my own 5k pace.

I don't remember the exact times, but it was way too fast for me.  I ran the first set and was definitely winded.  I started the second set and I completed the 800 around the same time as the first set.  I only got a lap of the 600 complete before I was so out of breath that I couldn't keep going.  I went into my recovery 200 at that point and then finished up the 400.  I changed my goal speeds on the last 2 sets and was able to complete the workout.  I revved up the last 400 and did that one in 1:23, which was around the speed I did the first one.

It was a great workout and today, I had to pop Aleve just to get to work.  Even with pain pills, I am still sore and limping when I get out of my chair.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Hate Long Runs

It rained last night for a few hours and it was cloudy all morning.  I thought it would be a good day for a long run.  It would have if the sun didn't come out after about a mile.  Nothing like the Florida sun warming up the vegetation a day after a long rain.  Humid is normal in Orlando.  Humid is expected.  This type of humidity, though, is steamy.  Sometimes you suck a warm steamy breath in and it takes you off guard and feel like you are going to choke.  It's hard to explain.  Wait, it's like running and then all of a sudden you hit a pocket of air like you are in a sauna.

I am used to having my hamstrings feel tight for a warmup and then it usually goes away after the first mile or two.  Today, my left hamstring was tight for the first 4 miles.  I only ran 6.75 miles, so that was most of my run.  I finally felt good for about the last mile.  I had a destination in mind, so I stopped running, but I finally hit a point where I thought I could run a little longer.  I should have mapped out a route before I started.  I just started down the road and I thought it would be around 8 miles by the route I chose.  Apparently not.

I just feel so bored running more than about 4 or 5 miles.  I have no idea how people can run a marathon.  Hours?  Really?  I can't even think of a genre of music that I could play and still enjoy it for that much time running.  I hate long runs.  I know I need them to increase my endurance, so it is a necessary evil, but I wish riding a bike for a long distance would do the trick.  There is no replacement.  Just the long run.

This was my long run for the week and it still fell short of what I wanted to accomplish.  Considering I missed Thursday's group practice, I hope I didn't lose any ground on my progress.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finished a Workout!!!

Tuesday's workout?  5 x 1k @ 5k race pace with 2:15 recoveries.  My goal 5k is about 22:30 right now, so my goal 1k pace is 4:30.

I knew the first one was going to be a little fast by the time I hit 200m, but I didn't want to drop off too much just to make pace.  I ran it in 4:09.  21 seconds fast.  The second kilo was a little easier, because my legs were warm and I did that in the same time - 4:09.  Those were 6:40 mile pace.  I ran the third rep in 4:11 and the fourth in 4:12.  I was starting to get winded in the last 400m and my arms were getting heavy.

This is where I have been giving up in all the workouts since I got a sick a few weeks ago.  I have been dropping out on the last rep or set of each workout.  I was tired, but I finally had enough in the tank to keep going.

After the first 400, my legs felt like I had cement in my sneakers.  My time was still on pace, but it was harder to keep it up.  When I wanted to just stop, I kept thinking about my form and that got me through it.  I ran the last one in 4:19.  That was too much of a dropoff, but all of my reps were faster than my goal pace.  Even on the last one, my mile pace was 6:56.

If I could string those together, my 5k time would be exactly 21 minutes.  All things considered, I should now be able to beat my last 5k time of 23:07.  I am probably ready to run another 5k, but I am keeping my goal for October 9th at the Greater Maitland 5k.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fartlek over Hills

It's one thing to run a fartlek workout and it's another to run a hill workout.  Now combine them into one workout and that's what we did yesterday afternoon.

We ran a 2.5 mile course with plenty of hills... twice, but here's the fun part of it.  We broke it down into 3 minutes at 10k pace, 1 minute jog, 2 minutes at 5k pace, 1 minute jog, 1 minute full effort, 1 minute jog... repeat as necessary until the 5 miles are covered.  This was a very hard workout, yet at the same time, it felt very gratifying.

We were supposed to run the entire 5 mile course non-stop, but I made a pit stop at the half way point to get some water since I didn't drink any before we started.  I ran the first loop in 19:00 minutes even.  I took between 1-2 minutes for my water break and then started the second loop.  I ran that in 22:30.

My overall 5 mile time was 41:30 which breaks down to an average pace of 8:17 per mile.  The first loop average pace was 7:36 and the second loop average was 9:00.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

800m Modified Repeats

I'm not sure why, but I felt like a space cadet today.  I had a hard time holding a simple phone conversation after my workout and I missed almost every word coming out of my coach's mouth when he was going over the workout routine.  I knew we were running 800's.  It was a little foggy after that.  By the end of the workout, I had it all figured out, though.

It was 3 sets (for me, everyone else ran 4 sets) of 2x800m with a 200m recovery jog.  Do not stop running, but go from recovery jog straight into the next 800.  The first 800 of each set will be run at 5k race pace.  The second 800 will be run at 4-8 seconds faster than the first.

My goal 5k time of 22:30 has an average pace of 7:14.5 per mile and an 800 meter pace of 3:36.  It went a little something like this.

3:21 - 3:24
3:22 - 3:18
3:21 - 3:17

The first set was the slowest overall and I ran it backwards.  The other two sets were perfect.  Maybe I could have run them a couple seconds faster, but I was hurting by the last one.  Either way, I beat my goal pace on all of them.

If I could put all of the 800's together into a 5k, I would run a 20:45 at an average mile pace of 6:41.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Long Run for the Week

I know most people run in the mornings to avoid the heat and traffic and maybe just so they get it done and out of the way for the day.  Me, nope.  I waited until midday when the temperature was 92 degrees F and the heat index said it was 99.  That's my time.

I know I don't make all of the brightest decisions.  Like this one for instance.

Last week, I ran just over 7 miles.  If I follow the rule of not increasing mileage by more than 10 percent each week, I should keep it under 8 miles.  I did exactly 8 miles.

I ran from my apartment to downtown's Lake Eola.  Got a quick water break and stretch done.  Then 2 inner loops and 2 outer loops, which is 4.5 miles.  I stopped between laps for water, because as I stated earlier... it was stupid hot today.  Then, I finished up the run with 1.5 miles home.  I had a hard time mentally running the portion home, except for the last half mile.  I just wanted to give up and stop under an Oak tree and call it quits.

Once I got to within a half mile, I sped up a little and just thought that it was 2 laps around the track and that brought me home.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Running in the Rain

Thursday's group run was a 3 mile run followed by 6 x 200m sprints (or the speed you would run the last 200m of a race).  We started with a 1.25 mile warmup and then stretched.  The rain was coming toward us, so we didn't do the normal striders.  We were originally going to run 4-5 miles, but cut it short due to the weather and ran 3 miles instead.  We stayed in a tight pack, which means we ran an easy pace for most of the runners.  It was a tougher pace for myself, but conversational for the faster people.  Johnny, who runs in my group at my speed, had a Garmin 305.  When we hit the 1 and 2 mile splits, he told us the pace.  We ran 7:54, 8:04, and the last bit was just short of a mile, but his Garmin calculated our pace was 7:45.  It wasn't race pace, but it was only 30 seconds from it.

When we got back to the track, the rain was coming down hard.  We ran each 200m with 1 minute rests.  We did that 6 times.  I did really good on the first 5 and dogged the last one.  It was really hard running on the track, because each lane had standing water and I could hardly see through my glasses.  For the first time since spring though, it wasn't hot.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Slow Long Run

Well, I finally broke the 7 mile barrier last night.  I did 7.25 miles.  I didn't even have a goal when I set out on my 1 hour 9 minute journey.  Initially, I thought I might run 5 miles, which is 2 laps around Lake Ivanhoe.  I ran into too many little bugs that kept sticking to my face and they are gross when they keep flying into your mouth.  It makes for a really annoying run.

I decided to venture away from the lake and just keep a nice easy pace.  I didn't push myself at any point during the entire run.  The only thing that I tried to work on was my breathing exercises about once per mile.  What I did was consciously inhale and expand my diaphragm down and pushed my belly out.  I've always heard that this will help with side stitches, so why not work on it.

It was a nice evening run.  I waited until the sun went down before I started just to make sure it would be as cool as possible.  It was humid as usual and the temperature was in the high 80's.

Oh, yeah.  I forgot to mention that I was trying out a new pair of running shorts and socks.  The shorts were standard seamless New Balance.  They worked great.  Light weight and completely unobtrusive.  I didn't make note of the exact type.  The socks were great, too.  They were called Hidden Comfort by Balega.  Easily the best socks I have purchased in some time.  They were 9 bucks, but worth every penny.

Balega Hidden Comfort socks

I have to admit that the reason I felt able to run longer was due to the comfort of these new socks.  I think I am going to get at least one more pair... maybe two.  I will have to see how they feel during speed work.  I have been tempted to get a pair trainer flats for the track lately.  I was eyeballing a few at Track Shack yesterday, but didn't make the next step of trying any of them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Speed Felt Good Today

We were supposed to run hills today, but it turned into a speed workout on the track instead.  That's OK.  Everyone likes the track including me.  We did our normal warmup of 1.25 miles, stretching, and then 4x100 striders.

We were supposed to run 3 sets of 3 x 660 with 220 recovery.  We also got 3 minute rests between sets.

2:15, 2:17, 2:09.  If I run a 6 minute mile, I should have been running these at 2:15.  I started off well.  The next set... not so much.  I know the first was 2:22 and the last one was 2:48.  I don't remember the middle one.  I do know this.  I got side stitches on each in the last 100 yards.

Thank goodness our coach can identify this weakness.  He had a few of us stragglers only run 440's for the final set of 3.  We kept the 220 recovery.  I ran these in 1:30, 1:35, and 1:28.  I would have run the last one in 1:30, but I gave it a nice kick during the last 50 yards since it was the last one.

Other than the side stitches, this workout felt great.  My total mileage for the day was 6.75 miles about 4 hours ago.  I have showered, eaten, fully rehydrated and my legs are killing me right now.  Bed is calling and I will not deny it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mile Repeats.... Kinda

First group run since being sick.

We did the usual mile warmup, stretch, and striders.  Then, 4 x 1 mile repeats with 3 minute recovery.  That's what was planned.  Up to this point, I feel perfectly normal.  We were supposed to run at 5k pace.  That means I should be running around 7:25 according to my last 5k time, but I figured I should be able to run these at the same time as my first mile split from that race.  That time was 6:45.  There were two other guys in my group that said they were going to run that pace.  I joined them.

Our first mile was 6:57.  That's 12 seconds over.  Not too bad considering I didn't use a watch to pace myself and I was relying solely on them to keep us honest.  The second mile, I ran a 6:47.  I felt good on that one.

I'm not sure what happened on the next repeat.  I felt good at the beginning.  My legs felt like I was getting good turnover and strides.  I had energy.  It was even cooler than it's been lately since there were clouds and we were getting some light winds thanks to Hurricane Earl.  I got around the first lap and within the next 100 yards my breathing went to panting and then hyperventilating as if I was running all out.  But I wasn't.  I don't think I was giving it that much effort, but I couldn't breathe right.

I stopped running and walked back over to where our coach was sitting.  He just had surgery for plantar fasciitis.  That's gotta suck.  I noticed that my nose was running slightly, which isn't normal for me.  I must still be having effects from my cold last week.  I told the coach that is why I was out all of last week.  He told me to run an easy 2 miles to finish my workout.  I did it.  I ran it around 9 minute pace and that was OK.

I rode my bike home and I got winded on the way home, which never happens to me, either.  I have eaten now and had a few glasses of water to rehydrate and I still feel a little tired from today's workout.  I hate colds.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back from a Cold

Most people don't think of having a cold when the temperatures are hovering around the low 90's, but there has definitely been a change in the air lately.  Remember, this is Orlando.

I have been fending off a cold the past 2 weeks.  I didn't get a lot of sleep on Monday evening, so I think that is what made my body give out mid-Tuesday.  I missed my running group both times this week.  I went straight home after work Tuesday, because my nose was going berserk.  It was driving my nuts, so I stocked up some soup and went to bed.  I missed work for a couple days and still wasn't 100 percent yesterday.  I went to work, but didn't feel ready to run.  My nose was still clogged a little bit.

I haven't run since last Sunday and I felt like my lungs could handle the load this morning.  I wanted to take an easy 3 mile run.  I started by doing my first mile around 10 minute pace.  My legs have definitely rested this past week and I just wanted to bust out and run as fast I could after half a mile.  I held back though, until a runner zipped by me at about 1 mile.  I made it a point to adjust my speed to match hers.  She had about a 200 yard lead and I maintained that spacing for about half a mile.  She then stops for water and started back up just after I passed the water fountain.  I was probably running around 8 minute pace till that point.  That's when I started increasing my turnover and got down around a low 7 minute pace.  I kept that style of running for half a mile and then keeping the same speed, I slowed down my cadence and started to stride out.  I did this by extending my kicking / trail leg.  I didn't want to hurt my knees from overextension.

I kept that speed through 2.75 miles and noticed that the other runner had fallen back by about 200 yards.  My ego was bolstered enough for the day, so I finished up the last .25 mile at my original 10 minute pace.

It feels great to be back and I don't think I lost a step.  I don't know if my lungs are ready for more mileage yet, but I'll find out soon enough.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Long Run

I read an something in a recent Runner's World that gave a chart of how long your long runs should be.  It says that for 5k training, which is what I am doing, you should run between 12-15 miles or 1 hour 15 minutes-1 hour 45 minutes.

Last week, I got 6.75 miles logged and I knew I had to make an improvement.  I went out Sunday with the temperature hovering around 90 degrees and very humid.  It was overcast, though.  This may sound weird, but it felt like a cool 90 degrees, so I thought I could definitely do more mileage today.

I had a route planned in my head.  When I got to the southern most point of my route, the sun came out and that 90 turned into something else.  I started feeling the heat in my chest and my head and that really makes it hard to push yourself.

I cut my route a little short, so I could get to a park with a water fountain.  I stopped and rested for a few minutes to cool my core down a little.  In the process, I ended up cooling my muscles too much.  When I started back up to run the last 2 miles, my left calf was tight and stretching didn't help.  I had to change my form, because it felt like if I kept running the way I normally do, I would pull my calf muscle.

I limped my way home and finished with 6.15 miles in 57 minutes.  Still over 9 minute average pace.  I did the 10 percent rule, except I ran 10 percent less than last time.  Better luck next run.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Group Hill Workout. Breathe. Just Breathe.

We started with the usual warmup around a mile.  I got to practice right around 6pm, so I didn't have any extra time to warmup.  I was hoping to get 3 laps on the track before the group warmup to make it 2 miles, but that didn't happen.  I was able to get 1 lap before I noticed that the group was starting to run down the street.

Good thing I turned around when I did or I probably wouldn't have found them.  I caught up to the group and we found our way to a water filled sinkhole.  It wasn't the big one that made Winter Park famous, but just a little one out by the end of Glenridge.  It has hills all around it, which makes for a tough, but good workout.  Another added feature of this loop is that it is entirely brick streets, which made me a little nervous the first one.

We stretched and then broke up into 2 groups.  Fast and slow.  We were doing 4 x 1 km at a pace between mile and 5k pace.  Sounds easy, but the hills make that hard to hit.  The fast group was trying to hit between 3:45 and 4:10.  Our group was aiming for 4:25.

Coach told us that we would get 30 seconds more rest between reps.  That only worked on the first one.  Everyone started at the same time.  Our group then started the next rep 30 seconds after the fast group.  I ran exactly 4:25.  Perfect.  I definitely needed the extra 30 rest.

I ran the second one a hair faster in 4:22.  We started 30 seconds after the first group.  If we got a 30 second longer rest each time, we would have started a minute after the first group.  We actually got the same rest period as the fast group.  I didn't notice the discrepancy.  I just toed the line when we were told.

I pushed harder on the third one and finished in 4:17.  I could start feeling my arms tingling during that one.  I was mentally ready to throw in the towel.

Before we started the last one, one of the runners in my group brought up how we were supposed to be around 2 minutes behind by now because of the extra rest.  I corrected her and said that we should be one minute and 30 seconds behind the lead group by now.  The coach looked at her like she was wimping out and we all toed the line one more time.

I got about half way on this last hill rep and gave up on one of the short flat portions.  I figured someone was going to pass me since I took the lead on this one.  A few seconds passed as I slowed down and I couldn't hear breathing or footsteps, so I lifted my head back up and started pushing up the next hill.  That hurt and I was panting pretty hard.  I remembered my lessons of looking 20 feet ahead and keep running.  Keep the legs and arms moving.  Don't exaggerate the swinging or the leg lift.  Just run.  So I did.

When I came around the last 200 meters, I felt the cramping pain in my diaphragm like I had on my last 440 on Tuesday.  I used to run through this pain in high school all the time.  I hadn't felt it in years, so it felt new.  Well, since my painful friend reacquainted itself with me, I knew what to expect.  No breathing.  I only had to go 200 meters like this.  That should be less than a minute, so it will be like holding your breath.  I pushed down an easy slope and then pushed up the last 50 meter hill portion to the finish.  I hit 4:30.  I missed my mark by 5 seconds, but I finished.

I was hyperventilating and went straight to the ground in someone's yard.  I laid down for about 30 seconds until I could catch my breath.  A fellow runner helped me up and told me to lift my arms above my head.  Those were the same words that echoed in my head at the end of every cross country race in high school.  My coach was always telling me to get up and keep moving.  Lift your arms.  Breathe.  So simple, but your brain just freezes up when you give everything you've got and you feel like you can't... just breathe.

It hurt really bad, but this was a great workout.  I hate to be overdramatic, but I felt alive like I haven't in a long time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Group Speed Workout

We ran an easy warmup, which is just over a mile.  Some striders and then stretches.  Then, we keep asking Coach Nathan what we are going to do today.  He gives some outrageous workout plans and then tells us 12 x 440's at mile pace with 1:15 recovery rests.  We broke it down into 3 sets of 4 reps.

Sounds like a great workout for 5k practice.  During my own speed workouts, I was running 4 reps, so this should be pretty hard.  I had to keep my speed in check and not dart off too hard like last week.

My mile time was 6:07, so I figure my splits should be around 1:32.  I did good.  I ran all my splits between 1:27 and 1:33 except for the last one, which I ran in 1:39.  I had a hard time breathing on the back stretch as I got a cramp in my middle abdomen.  I think it was my diaphragm and it made breathing slightly unbearable.

We actually only ran 11 reps total.  Coach noticed that too many of us were hunched over and sucking wind during the 2nd set and he cut it short by 1.  We ended up doing sets of 4, 3, and 4.

It was a good workout and I kept myself from trying to compete with the lead pack.  I stayed either at the tail end of the middle group or at the front of the rear group for all the reps except that dreaded last one.

Finished up with a slow 1 mile cooldown.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Long Run

I sat at my computer trying to map out a route that would be over 6 miles, but less than 8.  Click, click, click.  Undo last point, undo last point.  It was a lot of that for 20 minutes.  I've got my easy run, hill run, and tempo run loops all figured out, but the long runs get boring unless you try something different each time.  You need something to keep yourself occupied mentally... like trying to remember where you are supposed to make turns on your just mapped out route.

I mapped 7.5 this evening.  I cut a little off when I actually ran it and ended up with 6.75 miles in 1 hour.  I ran just under 9 minute pace.  I am pretty sure my endorphins kicked in around 5 miles, because that feeling like you can run forever took over and I was running with ease the rest of the way home.  If I knew that was going to happen, I wouldn't have cut the .75 out of my loop.

My goal was to run 6 miles and mission accomplished.  Next week's long run must be over 7 miles to make sure I am making improvement.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Celebration of Running 5k Race Report

This morning, I woke up and calculated my half mile splits the whole way through the 5k and looked up where each point was located on gmap-pedometer.com so I could keep my goal pace.

I was trying to hit 23 minutes, so my goal splits were:  3:42, 7:24, 11:06, 14:48, 18:30, 22:12, 23:00.  I started the race only a few feet back from the starting line to make sure I was in my correct pace group.  I went out a little fast, but it felt good.  I tried to stay with a few of the people in my training group.  I did that through half a mile and noticed I was going out a little too fast.  Again, it felt good, so why mess with it.  I hit the mile in 6:45.  That's 39 seconds faster than my goal pace, but I was at the tail end of my training group and I thought that maybe I had improved.  I don't remember what my 1.5 split was, but my 2 mile split was 14:06.  Now I was 42 seconds ahead of pace.

I had my splits on a small piece of paper like a cheat sheet.  When I hit the 2 mile clock that far ahead, I crumbled it up and threw it on the street.

That's about when it started to not feel good.

I definitely started to slow down by the time I was at 2.25.  I got a cramp in my right abdomen around 2.5, so I stopped and walked for about 10 seconds taking very deep belly breaths.  I got back on my horse and finished up.  It was a pretty weak last half mile even though I did a little sprint to cut a few seconds.  I finished in 23:07.

I had a 42 second lead on my goal pace heading into the last mile and finished 7 seconds off.  Talk about crash and burn.  I definitely have more speed, but I need to work on my stamina.

I need to incorporate long runs every single week and make sure that they are more than 6 miles.

This was my second best time since turning 30yo.  My over 30 PR is 22:27 in 2008.  40 seconds away.  I was close and let it slip.  Hopefully, I can beat that mark the next 5k.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stay Home Friday Night

This Friday night is feeling just like cross country season in high school.  Everyone I know is going out drinking (aka house parties) and I am at home resting for a race in the morning.  I remember always feeling left out.

Have to keep my running goals prioritized.  I'll be up early Saturday morning finding out if the work and sacrifice is paying off.

Thursday's group run was good... well, half of it was.  We started by running a little over a mile for a warmup.

Then, we ran 3.15 miles out, took a quick water pit stop, and headed back.  Coach wanted us to stay in groups, so I kept up with the rear group on the way out.  It was tough for the last half mile and I got a cramp in my right side during the last quarter.  That was the good part.  At least, I kept up.

Everyone got a quick restroom break and water and off we went back to our meetup spot.

After 1 mile on the way back, I never saw my running group.  That wasn't so good.  I was defeated mentally and my legs were killing me.  My right hamstring and calf started to stiffen up pretty bad, but I didn't stop running.

Tonight was a much needed rest.  Let's see what tomorrow morning brings.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My First Day with the Training Group

My lesson for today is simple.  Don't go out too fast at the beginning of your workout.  You will pay the price.  I know I did.  Our coach told us we would run 4 x 800 at 5k pace with 1:15 rest.  I have been running around 8 minute pace lately, but I wanted to shoot for my 6 month goal pace, which breaking 20 minutes.  His chart had me pegged at running 3:12 for the 800.  Keep in mind, this is still too fast for me.

I go out with the leaders of our group through a lap and a half and finish up my first 800 in 2:52.  That's faster than my mile pace versus my 5k pace.  That is 20 seconds faster than my goal for 6 months from now.  I should really be aiming for 7 minute pace / 22 minute 5k.

My arms started tingling.  Welcome oxygen debt!  I haven't seen you around these parts in years.  We were supposed to take a 1:15 rest, but I decided to go out with the middle pack and get an extra 15-20 seconds of rest.  That didn't make a difference.  As soon as I started the second 800, my feet felt like cement.  I went out with the pack and still made my 3:10 goal.

The third lap started well.  I went with the pack through the first lap and fell back dramatically on the back straight.  I don't remember my time, but I do know that it wasn't even close to my 3:10.

Just before toeing the line for the last 800, the coach asked me if I was OK to run it.  I responded with, "I have to, don't I?"

I pushed, but only mustered a what seemed like a jog.  I finished up in 4:02.

We then did 4 x 200's with the same 1:15 rest.  I ran those consistently at least.  I didn't overdo it.  I ran 41, 39, 39, and 35.  The coach made everyone, but a few of us do another 200.  I was gassed and welcomed the break.

We finished up with a sidewalk lap of Lake Eola following the street, so that was another 1.25 miles.  Warmup was 1.75 which included 4x100 striders..

If I didn't get all excited about running with a group, I am pretty sure I could have managed my 3:10's.  I will try to control myself on the next speed workout.

I also tried to go to sleep a couple of hours ago, but my legs and feet won't stop cramping and it's driving me crazy.  I don't know what the deal is.  I have replenished my fluids.  I had a banana today which is a good source of potassium.  I have easily taken enough sodium from different sources.  If anyone has any suggestions, I sure what appreciate it.  Maybe it will help me after my future workouts.  Over and out for this evening.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting Better or Cooler

I ran 4 miles yesterday and I got close to 8 minutes for an average pace.  I stopped twice towards the end of the run:  once at half mile to go and again at quarter mile to go.  I know that's pathetic that I just gave up.  I did go out harder than normal, so I guess that's why I didn't have the guts to keep pushing through the last half mile at the same pace.  Both stops were exactly 60 seconds.  My time including a slower first mile was 32:36, so if I didn't stop both times, I would have finally gotten under 8 minute pace for any distance over 3 miles which I haven't done in some time.

So I haven't run around 8 minute pace for multiple miles in awhile.  Is it because the temperatures have been coming back out of the 90's?  Is it because I've been logging more miles over the past month?  Perhaps a combination of both.

Whenever I run around Lake Ivanhoe, I have noticed that the wind blowing is always hard to breath in because it is even warmer than the air anywhere else.  It is so humid.  For the first time since probably May, the breeze blowing across the lake was not cool, but at least it wasn't hotter than the air around it.

This evening is my first workout with my training group, since I missed last Thursday covering a shift for a co-worker.  This workout will be speed work on the track.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

4 miles - Easy

I had cramps in my hamstrings last night while sitting at the computer and then I got one cramp in my left calf just before dawn while I was sleeping.  Don't you just love those?

I definitely woke up sore, but I got through my day and went out for an easy run after work.  I wanted to run 3 miles, but my usual loops are 2.5, 4, or 5 miles.  I went for the 4 mile loop and sure enough, that was more than I was prepared to run.  My first mile was 8:38 and my second mile was 8:00.  It felt really good.  I wasn't pushing myself that hard, but I was running mostly in the shade of large Southern Oak trees.  When I came around the second half of my course, the shade disappeared and so did my energy.  I slowed down a little and even walked for 30 seconds when I was about half a mile from finishing.

In the end, I ran 4 miles in 35:31.

My feet are hurting right now and I think it is lingering effects from yesterday's workout.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mile Time Trial - 6 Minute Mile

Today was the big day.  I had the time trial for the Track Shack Five and Dime training program to see what group I earned.  My goal was to beat a 6 minute mile, because that is what I thought the upper limit was to make the fastest training group.  Before the trial, one of the coaches told us that the first group's cutoff was 6:15, so I felt pretty good about my chances.  I already ran a 6:18 two weeks ago and I didn't have anyone around me to keep pace.

They asked the entire group of runners beforehand if you think you can run 7 minutes or less, you would run first.  They broke the time trial up into two groups.  The second group was obviously anyone that didn't think they would run 7 or under.

I did this training group in 2006 and I ran in the slower group.  I finished with a time around 7:45.  This time around, I ran 6:07.  I shaved 11 seconds in 2 weeks off my mile time.  That feels great.  I was hurting afterwards, but who cares.  Here's the breakdown.

1:20 - 1:20
2:55 - 1:35
4:34 - 1:39
6:07 - 1:33

I didn't bring a watch with me, which may have been a mistake.  I definitely went out too fast.  Would I have done that had I brought my watch?  I would have known that I was a few seconds fast on the 220 and might have slowed down, but then again, I might have kept going with the thought that adrenaline will carry me this day.  Wouldapalooza.  Facts are facts and that's what happened.  I felt great on the first lap.  I felt pretty good on the second lap.  On the third lap, I was so much in oxygen debt that I was panting like a dog.  I had to take a few awkward feeling deep breaths just to keep going.  The last lap really hurt.  As soon as I started the last lap, I gave a quick burst for about 30 yards to try to keep my pace and then tried to stride out the back stretch.  I struggled the last curve and then kicked the entire home stretch.

I am still happy with my results.  I definitely kicked the last 100 yards down the home stretch and shaved a few seconds off what would have been a 6:10 or more.  I even passed a person at the end.  That felt good.

I made the fast group.  It feels like I made the varsity squad.  I also know that I will definitely break 6 minutes after this training session over the next 10 weeks.

Oh yeah, my legs are jelly at the end and Coach Nathan says to jog 3 to 4 miles.  Yeah, sure.  Why not?  I ran 2.75 miles more.  I got so far behind the pack at one point that I couldn't see anyone.  That's when I took the closest road back to the track.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time Trial Eve

Just took 4 days off.  I didn't plan on it.  Thank you rain!  I planned on running yesterday afternoon when I thought it would cool down to the high 80's, but a rainstorm thought it was a better idea for me to stay in and watch a downpour with lightning.

I officially signed up for the Five and Dime training program through Track Shack on Saturday.  Their time trial is tomorrow afternoon.  The way it was before, the groups are divided by your mile time.  The slowest pace group is 8 minute pace and higher, the middle group is 6 to 8 minute pace, and the fastest pace group is 6 minute pace and under.  I hope I have enough speed under my belt to make the fast group, but if I run in the middle group, all is not lost.  I will take what I earn and improve either way.  If I don't make the fast group tomorrow, I guarantee that I will make it the next session.

Today's workout was a 5 mile run.  I jogged 1 mile for a warmup around 12 minute pace.  I didn't stop and stretch, but instead went straight into a 3 mile tempo run for the core portion of my workout.  I walked about a tenth of a mile at the end.  I felt like my head was going to pop from the heat.  My chest and head were so freakin' hot.  Well, I finished up with a slow mile around 10 minute pace for a cooldown.

Oh yeah, I also started the 100pushups program yesterday.  I started on Week 3 Day 1.  I had to do 5 sets of pushups with 60 seconds rest between sets.  Each set was as follows:

14
18
14
14
Max out (20 minimum)

I did all the sets except the last one.  I got down in a prone position on the floor and couldn't muster 1 more pushup.  My triceps were complete mush.  So much for a minimum of 20 more.  I think I am going to do Day 1 over again... maybe on Wednesday, since I have to do my mile time trial tomorrow.  Good luck to me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interval Training - newspaper article

I thought I was doing really well until I read this article. Kudos to the 66 year old Abels running a 65 second 400 meters. This article goes over the concept of interval training and at the end, there is a chart outlining an example 10 week routine. Enjoy!

Interval training for runners - OrlandoSentinel.com

Running Partner

Tuesday and today, I had the pleasure of having my girlfriend ride her bicycle next to me while I ran.  Yesterday, it worked, but my legs hurt.  I didn't have a chance to warmup.  I only ran 2 miles, though, so it wasn't all that bad.

Today, I had my long run day.  Keep in mind that I primarily run 5k's, so my long days are 5 to 7 miles.  I ran 4 miles before heading back by home and picked up my girlfriend on her bike.  I was already well warmed up and ready to go the same speed as her cycling.  Again, keep in mind that she isn't cycling like Lance Armstrong.  I wish I could run that fast.  Doesn't everyone though.  We did just over 2 miles together and today, she kept giving me motivation to keep pace.  She was saying things like, "Keep those knees up" and "you got this."  I didn't ask her to do it, which made it so much better.  She's such a great person.  It was like having a coach and not having to pay for one.

In the end, I ran much faster than I have previously during my long runs.

Monday, July 26, 2010

440 Birthday Repeats

I took 3 days off to celebrate my birthday early.  Today is my birthday (July 26th).  Had some nice relaxation time at St. Augustine Beach this weekend.  It is time to get back to work and run 440 repeats to start the week.

I felt good on my warmup even though it was in the 90's again.  I had a full bore sweat going on by the time my 2 mile warmup was over.  Due to the heat and humidity, I just didn't feel like speeding up my pace during my warmup.  During the last half mile of my warmup, I usually like to speed up the turnover rather than adjust anything with my stride, but I didn't even have that today.

I did a quick stretch and got into my first 440.  My legs were not ready for that.  The whole first turn and back straight felt tight and clumsy.  I ran 1:28 and that is usually a fast lap since I'm usually not out of breath yet.  Couple that with the heat and it didn't feel like I was going to have a good workout.  I ran the next one in 1:23 and it didn't hurt at all.  Now things are starting to feel good.  The 3rd lap was 1:22.  Feeling good.  I need to get a 1:20 in the final 440.  I had to give it everything I had.  I couldn't believe my watch when I came around.  I hit 1:15.  I haven't run a 75 in forever.  What a great birthday gift for myself!!

I'm sure I will feel my age tomorrow when the soreness kicks in.  Time to ride my bicycle home.  Tomorrow is 5 miles easy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Speed and Recovery

Wednesday's workout was 440 repeats.  I started out with 2.5 miles for a warmup.  That led to the track.  I know I have to peel 4.5 seconds per lap off my mile time to hit the 6 minute mark, so I had to give a little more effort.  I have been trying to run 1:30's and better, so I was aiming for 1:25's.  It went like this...

1:26
1:23
1:21
and...  1:40

I was doing great until that last one.  I hit the 220 mark and came to a complete stop.  My breathing was out of control, so I stopped for about 10 seconds.  I looked at my watch and instead of completely giving up and walking it back, I got back into Lane 1 and finished up in 1:40.

My last 440 repeat workout, I ran 1:30, 1:29, 1:27, 1:25.  That comes out to 5:51 and my mile time was 6:18.  With that data, but without a compensation for the slight speed increase, I figure that I would need to run a combined 5:33 in splits to hit the 6 minute mark.  This workout came out to 5:50.  I had great progress until that last lap.  I ran 39 seconds at the 220 mark, so if I kept that up, I would have run 1:18.  That would have been 5:28 and that would have bettered my goal.  Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.

Even though I didn't realize my goal for the workout, I ran much harder on those repeats than the previous same workout.  My legs were killing me on Thursday.  I planned on taking it easy for my easy 5 mile run, but I didn't think it was going to hurt the entire run.  What was supposed to be a slow 2 mile warmup turned into a slow 5 mile warmup.  I ran around 52:30 and hurt the entire time.  At least it was soreness and not actual pain from tears or something like that.

Today is a welcome off day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fartlek Workout

Quick update to the log.

I knew I was going to run 5 miles today, but just couldn't figure out if I wanted to do an easy run, a tempo run, or fartlek.  I started off with a 2 mile warmup and quick stretch.

As soon as I took off, it wasn't an easy run.  With the heat, I wasn't going to do a tempo run, so a fartlek workout it was.  They are always fun.  They may hurt a little, but they are the most fun of any running workout to me.

I broke the fast portions into 1/4 to 1/2 mile segments broken up with 30 second walks.  I finished up with a half mile cooldown and a quick stretch of the hamstrings.  Tomorrow's plan is 400 repeats on the track.

Monday, July 19, 2010

LD Run

LD or Long Distance run.  Sometimes you'll see people post LD.  It's short for long distance.  This is where you get the endurance in your training.

Usually, people will run these on the weekend when they have more time.  For marathoners, this is the build up runs while prepping for the longer distances while usually not going the actual distance of a marathon since that can break you down physically and you may not want to do that while training.  For a mid-distance runner like 10k to half marathons, you'd probably run about the same distance as your race.  If you are short distance runner like myself, long distance means more like 6-10 miles.  I run 5k's, hence the title of my blog.

I like speed work, but I have to work on my endurance.  You can take a world class sprinter like Tyson Gay or Usain Bolt and without LD runs, they aren't going to get good 5k times.  So that's what I had to run today.  I was supposed to run LD yesterday, but I felt that I needed to relax on the weekend, especially after hitting my goal time.

I got 6 miles logged.  I could have sworn it was more like 7.5 miles.  Nope.  Just 6.  It took me 58:30 to run 6 miles.  That includes my warmup miles, but still... if I can run in the 7 minute range fairly easy, then why am I running 6 miles close to 10 minute pace?  I will blame it on the heat and the humidity for now, but I need to see some improvement out of myself on these longer runs.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mile Time Trial

I have a goal of running a 6 minute mile by August.  That's only 2 weeks from now.  This spring, I ran a high 6.  I figured I was around a 6:30 right now based upon my 440 splits during my last two track sessions.  I was running around 1:30 and slightly under.

Today, I prepped for my run with the new Gatorade fruit punch flavored G Pre.  It is basically different forms of sugars and vitamins from what I can tell.  It's not too many calories and it definitely gave me a little energy.  It says to consume the liquid 15 minutes prior to your workout.  I drank the pouch's contents and then jogged a 2.5 mile warmup around Lake Eola and environs.  I could feel a little boost around the 2 mile mark.

Anytime I take pre-workout supplements, it reminds of the best advice I ever received from another runner.  Back in high school, one my fellow harriers used to consume a few tablespoons of honey before a race.  That worked wonders.  I don't recommend it for long runs, but for running 3 miles, it helps.  Thanks Tom H.

Well, my time trial to see where I am and if I'm even close to hitting 6 minutes in another time trial that takes place in 2 weeks went well.  Setting the stage, it was a mostly clear day.  Around 6:30pm and 93 degrees.  Weather.com says it felt like 100 degrees.  Whatever.  It was 93 and there's no denying it was hot.  Being Florida, it was naturally humid.

I took off like I was running my 440 splits, because that is my eventual goal in two weeks.  Why not see if it's possible now.  1:29 on the first lap.  Perfect.  Could I keep it up?  Almost.  3:07 on the second lap, which translates to 1:38.  Nine seconds off the first lap.  I was starting to worry in my head.  That, of course, is the killer of champions.  Doubt.  I would not fall prey to this evil.  4:44 on my third.  That's 1:37 which is practically the same speed as the second lap.  Maintaining speed at this point was a victory since I didn't fall off pace any more.  Did I mention it was windy?  Wind at my back on the back straight and running into it on the finish.  I gave it all I had on the last lap.  I obviously slowed down, because with a decent kick on the last straight, I ran a 1:34.  My estimated time of 6:30 was beaten.  I ran a 6:18 mile.  Twelve seconds faster than I expected.  I just need to take off 18 seconds.  That's 4.5 seconds per lap.  That's possible.

Tomorrow is my LD day.  I can sleep well tonight knowing I am on track to meet my upcoming goal.  Now, it is time for some Chinese takeout and a movie.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Track Shack Celebration of Running 5k - Next Race

I signed up for my next race.  It is the Track Shack Celebration of Running 5k.  It is August 14, 2010 and it starts and ends in front of the Orlando Science Center in Loch Haven Park which is just north of downtown Orlando.  I ran it a few years ago just after pulling one of my hamstrings.  It's a relatively flat course and takes you past Track Shack.  This is their anniversary run.  I don't remember how many years they have been open or what year the race started.  Betsy or Jon Hughes can probably tell you that if you're interested.  They are the founders of Track Shack and they still run it today.

Ran 5 miles today.  It was cool and when I say cool, I mean it was low 80's.  It was humid like crazy, though.  I had a good run.  Started with a 2 mile warmup at 12 minute pace.  I was really sore and stiff.  Not sure why, because I didn't even run yesterday.

I now have two goals for August.  I have trying to work on my speed a little bit by doing some track work once or twice a week.  The first goal is to run a 6 minute mile.  I don't think I'm there.  I might be able to squeeze out a 6:30 mile if I run until my legs burn and feel like concrete on the last lap.  The reason is that I want to get into the fast training group with Track Shack's WRAP Program and that starts August 2nd.

The second goal is the Celebration of  Running 5k.  I have one month.  I'm thinking 23:20.  There we go.  That's 7:30 pace.  I know I'm not running that right now, but that is easily obtainable if I stay focused for the next 4 weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alternate Way to Deal with Hamstring Tightness

Everyone knows the old tried and true methods of dealing with tight muscles.  The oldest and easiest method is to warm up by walking or jogging slowly to get your blood flowing and literally warm your legs.  Then, stretch.  That's it.  Close to this method, but requiring assistance is massage.  Some can do this regularly through services rendered for a fee.  Some of us cannot afford or justify the expense on a regular basis.  Stretching by a personal trainer works as well, but also falls under the 'I Don't Get Paid to Run' category.  In recent years, it is common for athletes to use a device called The Stick, which is like a padded rolling pin.  Sometimes you'll see football players using them on the sidelines to massage their hamstrings.  I haven't tried it myself, so I can't really say anything good or bad about it.  Maybe they'll read my blog and send me one.  Wink. Wink.

Here's my situation... I regularly have tightness and aches in my right hamstring.  I thought it might have something to do with either my right leg being a different length than my left or from running around the track the same direction every time.  My solution is to try pushing off my left leg just a little harder than normal and see if there is just a slight difference.  Maybe I don't have a perfect stride after all.  I'll get over it.  Meb can rest easy now.

I tried it on my last speed workout on the track.  I don't know if it's a perfect solution, but my right hamstring was not sore and tight after the workout like it normally would have been.  The problem is that my left hamstring was sore and tight.  Either my theory is way off base or I just needed to tweak the amount and try to find the right amount of push for each leg.  This could take some form work.  I will have to start devoting time each workout to form runs to perfect my stride.  It would be nice to have a video camera or two at the track to analyze my stride and see where I have deficiencies in my form.

It may take some time and work, but I may be onto something here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Morning Races - Mental and Physical Preparation


If I have a preference for the time of day to run, it is definitely late afternoon to early evening.  If there is a time of day that most races are held, it is the opposite... early mornings.  This means that I have to get up earlier than normal and also have to be ready mentally and physically with all pistons firing before I would normally start my workday.

The mental part is not that hard.  If anything, there are less distractions from a full workday to cloud your focus.  If you mentally prepared yourself the night before, you are going to wake up with the race in your mind.  Your running gear is laid out near your bed and maybe the breakfast is already prepped on the counter.  These visual cues help get your day started.  These cues say that you are prepared and your mind fires off into visualizing driving to the race course or in this particular instance riding my bike to the race.  While you are riding, you are thinking about actually running.  When you get to the course, you can see how many people are arriving.  You check out the scene to see the starting line.  Your blood pressure is starting to rise a little and your heart starts to tick up a notch faster.  You see how far back from the start you are and then anticipate getting into a good position.

I have found over the years that most runners don't know themselves and don't run for time other than the current race they are running and have no clue what their pace will be.  Not even a clue.  Unfortunately, I was honest again and put myself in the 8 minute pace group at the starting line.  This means that all of the 9 minute pace runners will be next to and in front of me.  I get to wait for them to weed themselves out as they can't keep their starting pace.  Good job newbies.  This was considered a fun run, but it still annoys me that people just want to line up near the front with a complete disregard for others.  If you aren't fast enough to be in the first row of runners, your time and place aren't really going to matter other than your own personal satisfaction.  So line up in the proper pen.  If you run 9 minute miles when you are working out every day, then you aren't going to bust out a 7:30 pace in a race.  It's not going to happen.  You might do a 8:45.  Maybe even 8:30.  Wrong pen.

I find myself using my arms to help others navigate their way away from me more and more these days.  When an inexperienced runner decides to cut me off without checking their mirrors, they are getting a stiff arm.  It's not personal, because they didn't use their peripheral vision.  I'm just protecting my space, so I don't get tripped or have to adjust my gate base on someone else.  The sad part is that these newbies usually weave in one direction and find out that the hole they wanted to get into only gave them a few feet advantage and they burned up more energy moving side to side instead of waiting a few more seconds and then being able to move between a couple runners directly in front of them.




I probably should have just given in and run up on the grass and dodged bushes and spectators and photographers and burned up my energy zigzagging, but I just didn't want to go through the hassle.  I ran a 7:55 first mile.  I was hoping to run around 8 minutes, but with the amount of energy I had, I could easily have run 7:30 that morning if I had open sailing to open up my stride a little more.  It's funny to look back at photos from the race and to find that the proof is there.  I was constantly looking for a hole to no avail and looking down at the ground so I wouldn't literally run on someone's heels.

Back to the theme, the other part of running in the morning is being prepared physically.  This is the part that I have a hard time with as I am getting older.  I used to be able to jump out of bed, put on my shorts and shoes and hit the road.  I didn't prefer to do this, but there weren't any repurcussions.  A few years ago, I learned a valuable lesson about heart and circulatory function.  I have heard that platelets are still doing their work early in the morning.  They are clogging up holes that need fixing while we are sleeping.  Well, when the alarm clock tells you to get up, your platelets may still be working like they have time.  Anyway, I went for this run a few years back and after about a mile, my chest hurt really bad.  It was an ache near my heart like nothing I have felt before.  Instead of using my head and stop, I kept running and finished my planned run for the morning.  That pain in my chest didn't go away until the next day after a good night's rest.  I jumped right up before that day's run and I will never do that again... unless my home is on fire.  There's always an exception to a rule.  From now on, I am giving my body time to rise.  That's one thing.

The other thing in the morning that needs time is bowel evacuation.  I like that term.  Evacuation.  That's a clear visual of what I needed Sunday morning before my run.  The lesson here is that I did have an evacuation that morning.  The problem is that I needed to have another evacuation after mile marker 1.  I kept telling myself that it was just a little gas, so I'd let a little out.  No problem.  A quarter mile more and let a little more out.  Another tenth of a mile and a little more.  You get the picture.  Around mile marker 2 and feeling decent about my time of 15:35 (7:30 split), it was a different story.  This was no longer just gas.  You can feel the it.  Trust me.  I did.  And I now started to clinch my butt cheeks.  Not too hard, but enough to keep the flood gates closed.  Yeah.  Another tenth of a mile and a little tighter.  By 2.5 miles, I started cramping in my lower right back.  Awesome feeling.  With a quarter mile left, I got a cramp in my left abdomen as well.  I just wanted to give up, but I was close and slowing down was only going to prolong my visit to the port-a-let.

When we rounded the corner, the 3 mile clock was immediately visible and people just started to rush by me. This was usually my time to shine.  I hate getting passed and especially at the sprint.  I was definitely in some pain.  The clock didn't matter anymore.  Just the finish and what awaited.  See my face below.  That's coming up on the finish line.  Everyone else is making their finish count like it's the Olympics.  I have another event in store.


The lesson is to make sure you are prepared in the morning.  To be the runner, you must have everything in place and go to bed early.  Don't eat too late in the evening the night prior to a race.  Get up early and make sure you are prepared physically as well as mentally.  Now you know why.

Watermelon 5k - Mead Garden - Winter Park, FL - 24:36 (-5 second from start = 24:31 unofficial)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back on Track. Well. Back on the Roads.

I let myself slide a little as the Florida temperatures started getting into the 90's and the humidity has been through the roof.  The rains have started and that can ruin the idea of an afternoon run with no notice whatsoever.  Rain isn't so bad, but our storms in the summer have a lot of lightning.  We had a downpour today, but luckily the skies cleared by late afternoon.

I have run a few times in the past 2 weeks with only one thing in mind.  Run.  Even if it is just a few miles, I am getting out there.  I have done the same 2.5 miles just to make sure my legs get some work.  Well, it's not the greatest workout, but it's better than regret and Runner's Guilt.

I took it up to 4 miles today, which again is not much by many runner's standards.  It was just enough for me.  My legs started feeling heavy around 3 miles and I got a cramp in my mid abdomen on the left side.  It didn't last too long, but they're never fun.  I ran 4 in 37 minutes, so just over 9 minute pace.

Gotta keep it up through the rest of June and build some momentum through the crispy hot month of July.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fartlek Workout

Fartlek - a speed workout of varying speeds and lengths ranging from walking to sprinting.  This is speed work, but it is much more enjoyable than interval training.  It is Swedish for speed play.  Some of my high school freshman track team members will remember this workout.  Mr. Hern with his whistle.  He would have us run the parking lot (since we didn't have a track yet) and sprint when he blew one whistle.  Jog when he blew two whistles.  Sometimes it was fun.  Sometimes you wanted him to choke on that whistle.

Yesterday, I went out for a fartlek run.  I jogged a 1 mile warmup and made quick work of a stretch routine.  I darted down the road in my new Asics for their first speed workout.  They performed nicely.  I did have one or two steps when I was really moving fast where my foot slid a little.  I don't think that is bad considering my run was a few thousand steps.  My fast parts of the fartlek were around 5 minute pace, but I couldn't keep that up for very long.  Maybe 100 - 300 meters at most.  I did some walking and mostly jogging between speed portions.

During the speed sessions, I felt like I was floating on the sidewalks.  I was going close to all out, but very relaxed.  My arms were barely moving while my legs were just powering my body forward.  I think my center of gravity moved just up an inch or so from normal and that is how I got that sensation of floating.  It made easy work for my legs, but it was really hard cardio to keep up.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Running Shoes

I purchased a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 11 running shoes.  In an hour and a half, I tried on over 20 sets of shoes to find a pair that worked for me.  Good room in the toebox, plenty of cushion up in the forefoot.  These shoes are comfortable for my running style and when I tried them on in the store, they didn't move around when I landed.  That is a key issue with me since I am a forefoot striker.

I took them out for a test spin yesterday.  I still had some knee pain in my right leg.  That is not a good sign, but it's not the first time I've had this.  I had this a few years ago when I was running with the Track Shack training program.  I just ran through it.  The tendon pain seems to go away after a few miles of warming up very slowly.  I have to take each stride very gingerly.  At least I had new shoes to give me a little emotional boost.

I haven't run at Lake Eola in awhile, so this was a nice change of scenery.  I did 2 laps very slowly to warmup.  The heat and humidity had already taken its toll on my mind and body by the time I got into my core workout.  I probably ran between 8:30 and 9:00 minutes, but it felt like I was giving the effort of 7:30 pace.  What can you do?  Keep running.

I ran 3 miles at that pace constantly having to remind myself to keep my arms pumping and my legs moving.  My feet felt great, though, thanks to my new Asics Gel Nimbus 11's.  It felt like I had little pillows in my shoes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quadriceps Tendon Pain

I got up pre-dawn and headed out for a morning run, which is becoming essential.  The morning part that is... since we are regularly seeing temperatures in the 90's during the day in Central Florida.

So I do my usual 2.5 mile loop.  I ran it twice and then wanted to add another half mile up to the convenience store and back.  I started slow to let all the parts get warm and loose.  That worked out great.  I didn't pick up my pace until about 1.5 miles.  I then kept a fairly consistent pace (about 8:20/8:30) until about the end of mile 5.

That's when I started to open my stride to pick up the pace, but as I got into it, I started to overstride on the front side.  All it took was one misstep and pain shot up from the top of my knee (Patella) to a few inches into my quad.  I'm pretty sure is the the Rectus Femoris, but the accompanying quad tendon is where the pain originated.

I immediately stopped.  Walking didn't hurt, so I tried jogging gingerly like at the beginning of my warmups.  No pain there.  As soon as I tried to get back to my workout pace, the pain shot up from the top of my knee again.  Ouch!  Again, I stopped and very slow jogging seemed fine.  I continued down the road to the convenience store at my turtle pace and just treated it as a cooldown.

I will probably take off tomorrow and see if a little rest helps.