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.