Monday, February 28, 2011

Started Riding the Bike to Work Again

I finally took my bicycle to the gas station up the road and inflated the tires.  I haven't ridden my bicycle to work since pulling my hamstring in late October.  Then after my leg healed, it started getting cooler, so I made that my excuse from riding in the mornings.

Well, the temperatures are fantastic and I finally rode my bike to work this morning.  Yay!  It felt great and I was energized when I got in the office.  That may be the kick I needed to start losing some extra pounds.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tempo Run Around Lake Baldwin

Coach was in a good mood today and extra jolly in telling us that our workout was going to be a tempo run.  Two laps around Lake Baldwin.  Afterward, Jonny's Garmin showed it as 4.98 miles, but I'll call it 5 even.  So he tells us to think of our pace as 15k race pace.  I've never run a 15k, but I figure it is going to be slightly faster than talking speed and not as fast as 5k or 10k speed.  He told us to try to run a negative on the second loop around the lake.

I was running this time with Paul.  He normally runs much faster than I, but he has had foot problems lately and he just got back to running.  He said that he got some more padding for his shoes and socks and that helped with the pain, but he still doesn't have his lungs back.  I totally understand, because I just recently felt like I got my lungs back after a pulled muscle a few months ago.  Anyway, Paul asked me what pace I was gunning for.  I told him somewhere between 8:00 and 8:30.  I figured that if I can run that for 7 miles on my long run, then I should be able to handle that for 5 miles.  He immediately said we were running under 8 minute pace.  I mumbled in agreement and said that I was on the verge of sucking wind.  We kept it up though.

I ran the first 2.5 in 18:50  That's 7:32 average pace.  I stopped for 10 seconds to take my shirt off and wipe my face.  I got right back to my pace.  The entire time I was running the second lap, I thought I was going faster.  Not quite.  Paul only had 10 seconds on me and no matter how much I tried do some pickups along the way, he kept the relatively same distance ahead of me.  My total time ended up being 38:18.  That includes the 10 second stop.  If it was a race and I stopped for any reason, the official time clock wouldn't wait for me.  That made my second loop a 19:28 which gives me an average pace of 7:47 for that one.

My average pace for the whole 5 mile tempo run was 7:40.  No world record, but I feel good about my effort.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1000m Repeats

The workout that I dislike the most is mile repeats.  Today's workout is my second least favorite.  1000m or 1 kilometer repeats.  That's 2 and a half laps around a track.  It's about .6 miles.

The goal was to run at 10k pace.  I don't have a frame of reference since I haven't run one in 5 years.  In this case, coach told us to use our 5k pace, double it and add 1 minute.  I figure that's around 23 minutes, so 46 plus 1 equals 47 minutes.  Our chart didn't have 10k times, so my partner and I guessed it would be around 4:40-4:45 and anything under that is good.  Now that I can look it up online using a pace calculator, I can see that it is 4:42.

The workout was 2 sets of 4 repetitions.  The first one was 10k pace and then 3-4 seconds faster each one.  Take a 1 minute rest between reps and 3 minutes between the 2 sets.  At the beginning of the second set, start over at 10k goal pace again and work our way down again.

That didn't work out at all.  We ran the first one in 4:21.  Way too fast.  Followed that up with 4:25, 4:23, and 4:23.  I don't remember the second set except for the last one.  Here's what happened on the second set, because I deviated from the workout.  My partner and I tried to keep up with the pack in front of us to begin the next set of 4 x 1000.  They were only running between 5-10 seconds faster than us, but we were already running too fast.  That did me in.  On the second 1000, I started feeling numb in my feet and a little dizzy, so I stopped with 300 to go and did a walk and jog around the track to get straight.  I then did my third and forth by myself.  Third one was slow and the forth one I ran the 1000 at 4:30, but I also kept running for another lap to make up the difference of what I cut short on the second rep.  It probably didn't help my workout, but it helped my ego at the end of the workout, so I didn't feel like I cheated.

I don't like 1000's.  Everyone has theirs.  I like running 400's.  Most people hate them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Registered for the Corporate 5k on April 14th

I have been meaning to register for the IOA Corporate 5k all week and I have finally taken the time to register my company since I am the team captain again this year.  At least this year, we have a heads up on what's going on.  Last year, we didn't even know if we were going to have a team, because the previous captain was gone.  I kind of defaulted since no one else wanted to do it.  I have been running it for a few years and I didn't want us to completely drop the ball and not have a team.

I am pretty sure it the largest 5k in the state of Florida.  It is definitely pretty crazy for the first mile if you aren't at the very front.  As a matter of fact, some of the fastest runners finish before all of the walkers get through the starting gate.  Last year, there were 12,500 participants and I think they are aiming for either 13k or 14k this time.  Either way, there is a lot of energy.  You can't worry about getting a PR.  It's about the atmosphere of the event.

If you live in Orlando and don't have a team, create one.  Check it out at

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1 and 1's and Then a Few Extra Miles for Good Measure

Today's prescribed workout was 1 and 1's.  That's 1 minute at 5k race pace alternating with 1 minute of jogging.  We did this for 16 minutes.  I definitely ran faster than my 5k goal race pace.  The first thing that made me feel really good about this workout was that I stayed with the group through 5 of the fast portions.  I trailed off for the last 15 seconds of that 5th one and then I lost ground on the remaining jogs, but I only finished about 100 meters behind the pack.  I made sure not to slow down much on the fast parts, but I definitely lost ground on the jogs.  That's when everyone else has a good time talking to each other and I'm panting like a dog.

After the 16 minutes were up, I took another minute and a half to jog back to the track to get some water.  Instead of finishing the workout with a mile cooldown, I started running around the track.  I only had 1 mile planned in my head, but then I just kept going.  I ended up running 3 miles after the main portion of the workout.  That's the second thing about today's workout that made me feel really good.  I started off around 10 minute pace and by the last mile, I was running at 8 minute pace.  My legs were tired, but at the same time, I kept feeling stronger as I went and I think it was swelling up from confidence. I think this is all due to the longer runs that I've been doing on the weekends.  Everyone told me it would help a lot, but I have to admit that I was skeptical.  If I wasn't, I would have started doing them months ago.

Total miles including warmup and cooldown:  6.8 and feeling great!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 Miles, Easy Style

I usually take Wednesday's off, because my legs need the break between speed sessions on the track.  I just felt like I needed to get out there tonight for some reason.  An easy run would do.  I want to knock off a few pounds before summer when it gets hot, which should help speed me up, too.

I knew that I needed to take it easy or I would definitely pay for it during tomorrow's track workout.  I started with an 11 minute mile warmup.  I didn't feel like stopping to stretch, so I just kept slowly going.  I barely cracked the 10 minute mile barrier the rest of the way, because I finished up the 5 mile run in 50:33.

The weather was perfect again.  It was warm enough to break a sweat, but cool enough to feel good, too.  I'm not sure what the temperature was, but it felt like it was between 66-70 degrees F.  I hope it stays like this for at least a month, but I'm probably only dreaming.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speed Work... of the 1000 and 200 Kind

I won't be running the House of Hope Run Around the Pines 5k this Saturday in Winter Park, but it is the last 5k of the Track Shack Grand Prix Series for 2010-2011.  That being said, Coach Nathan is gearing us up for the race.  I anticipate being in Miami for the weekend or at least part of it.

4 x 1000 at our goal 5k race pace with 2 minute rests and then 6 x 200 at Fast.  What's fast?  Not quite sprinting, but close enough to wind you afterward.

On the 1 km's, I was shooting for 4:20, which is just over 21:30 for a 5k.  I ran them in 4:03, 4:06, 4:06, 4:15.  Keeping that average pace would net a 20:43.  I could live with that.  Not going to happen just yet, though.

On the 200's, I am not sure what my times were.  I clocked the first one and it was a :37, which wasn't that exciting to see when I looked at my watch.  The rest period between reps on these was 45 seconds, which I abided except on one that I took a 55.  Considering what my time was on the first rep, I am pretty sure that I kept it under 40 on all of them.  I had to be very careful not to push myself too hard, because 200's is what we were running when I pulled my hamstring this past October.  Their so easy to run that sometimes I get carried away and just letting loose.  Not today, so everything is intact.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Long Run - Cut Short

It was a little chilly this morning.  I started with an 11 minute mile warmup and some stretching.  I planned on running 4 laps around Lake Ivanhoe near downtown Orlando.  Due to the cool weather, I was very dehydrated and had to stop every lap.  Mind you, each lap is 2.5 miles, but that made me slow down and start back up too frequently.

I did the first lap in 19:47, so just under 8 minute per mile pace (7:55).  The second lap was 40:12 total (20:25 split), so just over 8 minute pace (8:10) for the second 2.5 mile set.  That brought the average of 5 miles to 8:02.  I continued to slow down on the third lap and was having to focus on my form, which was being altered due to another blister on my left food.  At the end of the third lap, I decided to stop.  I could have done another lap to complete a 10 miler, but I just didn't feel like beating myself up today.  That blister would have been killing me after another 2.5 lap.  Anyway, my final time was 1:02:45 which is exactly 8:14 average pace for the entire workout.  That means I ran the last 2.5 mile lap in 21:33, which is an average of 8:37.

Although shorter than my recent long runs, it felt good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday 300's and 300's and 300's

Lesson #1:  Don't eat a large meal within hours of a hard workout.
Example #1:  Eating a 12" hot parm sub sandwich 3 hours before running 300 repeats on the track.

Was it too much sodium?  Sure.  Was it too much cheese?  Definitely.  Was it too much protein in one sitting?  You bet.  Too many carbs?  Probably enough for two people.

I was burping up parm for the entire warmup jog and into my striders.  At least it stopped by the time we started the actual workout which turned out to be 300's at mile pace.  3 sets of 4 reps with a 100 recovery jog and 3 minutes of rest between the sets.  At least it was a quick workout.

I know I kept all of my reps below mile pace, which was good.  The fastest runner in our group, Murphy, asked the other guys to run in a small circle until everyone caught up after each rep.  I was usually second to last on each rep, but during the jog, I was the slowest.

I kept all of the reps under 60 seconds which was good.  Thanks to the other guys waiting just a few seconds during the recovery jogs, I was able to keep up... until midway through the last set.  During the last 100 straightaway of the second rep, I started hyperventilating.  I knew I was going to take an extra 10-15 seconds to recover, so I yelled to the rest of the guys to just go without me.

It felt really good that the guys waited as much as they did.  It helped boost my morale and probably kept me running faster through the workout than if I trailed behind.  I wasn't that far off during the actual runs and I kept my speed up on the last two reps when I ran alone.

Feels like my speed is finally coming back after that last hamstring pull in October.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Good Speed Session on the Track

I didn't break any world records or anything, but I did have a good night on the track.  We ran 6x800's and our coach was asking for mile pace or maybe 3-4 seconds slower.  My last mile for time was 6:15, so my 800 time is 3:08.

I'm thinking there is no way that I am running that many at that speed.   And of course, I didn't, but I had a good time trying and what I felt was a strong showing.

After running that 10 miler this Sunday, I felt stronger doing this workout.  My legs felt really good, too.  I took long, graceful strides (at least in my mind) instead of short, choppy ones (which is what I do when I'm in pain).

So 3:08's or 3-4 seconds slower.  I got 2 of those out of 8 tries.  The times:

3:13, 3:17, 3:12, 3:11, 3:14, 3:21

I dogged that last one.  I started strong like the others for the first 200 of it and went strong down the final stretch, but everything between was heavy tromping like Goofy.

The what-if guy in my head wants to know what I would have run without the 2 minute rests between reps and stretch it out to a full 5k... it's a 20:10.  I would be happy with that right now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another 10 miler

This one didn't hurt as much as my 10 miler a few weeks ago, but it had it's moments.  I had been up for a few hours, but wanted to wait until dawn for safety's sake.  I checked the weather report and it said that it wouldn't start raining until around 1pm.  Wrong.  It started raining as soon as I finished my short warmup and stretching routine.  I went back inside my apartment to put my glasses down and the couch looked so appealing.  "Don't do it," said the little voice inside. "You'll be sorry later."

So I took off into the rain for my 4 laps around Lake Ivanhoe.  My first lap (2.5 miles) was within seconds of 9 minute pace.  The second lap felt even better.  I stopped at that point, which was 5 miles to take off my outer T-shirt and drink a little water.  I had placed a small water glass on my porch, so I could drink fast and be on my way.  My pit stop was less than a minute.  The third lap was done and I had run through enough puddles by now that my toes had water squishing between them.  My legs were starting to feel heavy, too.  Around the 8 mile mark, I had to stop for a few cars and when it was my turn to cross the street, a car going my way let me have the way.  I tried to bolt across the street, but my legs were rooted in the sidewalk.  From that point, I struggled with my form.  My overall pace didn't change.  I completed my 10 miler in 1:29:58, so 2 seconds faster than exact 9 minute pace.

The Benefits.

I went to Publix for some Super Bowl snacks and some regular grocery items a couple hours after my run.  My blood pressure was 113 over 70 with a 68 pulse.  That is close to my BP from when I was in high school.  It has been slightly higher lately (120/80) and about the same pulse after walking the store and I was very encouraged to see my BP where I would like it.

I Got Recovery Socks

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone about trying compression socks.  I have never used them thinking they were more for marathon runners, but I have seen others wearing them.  It definitely can't hurt, so why not.

Last week, my package arrives.  I am now the proud owner of a pair of The Recovery Sock.  The idea of compression socks is that they increase blood flow, which in turn will increase the speed of recovery.  The idea is fairly new to running and sports, but they have been used for some time in the medical field for diabetics and post-surgery recovery.

I wore them after Tuesday and Thursday's speed work sessions and they made my calves feel better almost immediately.  Usually, my calves feel tight after a workout.  The socks helped with that.

Here are my new socks in all their glory.

My plan is to continue using them post run over the next couple weeks.  Then, I will try them during my runs as they are designed for both.