Sunday, May 04, 2014

The road back?

 On 19 April, I hit a new low.  Well a new high actually -- 177.8 lbs.  That's the most I've weighed since I ran my first race, the George Washington 10 miler, in April 2005.  While the weight went up, the mileage, not coincidentally, went down.  I've averaging around 90 miles a month January through April.  At my peak in 2008, I averaged 260. With the exception of the time I completely quite sugar and got down to 155, my weight has been completely tied to my mileage.  Over 60 miles per week and I'm in the low 160s.  40 mpw and I'm up close to 170.  That calculus has also shifted some (in the wrong direction!) as I've aged.

I read somewhere that it can actually have a negative influence to publicly state your goals, but fortunately nobody reads this!  Anyway, I'm trying to get back in some semblance of shape.  Getting back under 170 by the end of May seems ambitious but not unreasonable.  There's also a 5k on 31 May for me to run.  I'm terrible in the heat, but I find racing to be a good motivator.

OK, so here's the journey back (0/7.0 means 7.0 miles PM.  With no '/,' it's assumed to be AM)

Week of 21 April
Weight:  Sat 26 April - 178.5 (post-run)
Miles:  Mo 0, Tu 0, We 0/10.2, Th 0/7.0, Fr 0/7.8, Sa 3.2, Su 7.8
Total:  36 miles
Notes:  After 3 days back-to-back of decent mileage, I was sore and needed the 3-mile day.  I threw some walk breaks in on Sunday and that helped.  Walk breaks every 5 to 10 minutes.  (Closer to 10.)

Week of 28 April
Weight:  Sat 3 May - 175.2 (post-run)
Miles:  7.1, 0, 8.0, 0, 8.0, 7.8, 7.1
Total:  38 miles
Notes:  Did run/walk all week (at least 5 run, usually 10+).  Working on form a little.  Rotating my shoulders like I'm screwing my spine into my pelvis is a good way to check I'm running "tall."

I feel in much better shape after only two weeks of increased mileage.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

weeks of 2 and 9 September

Just run, baby.  I gave up on the complexities of my diet and running schedule.  Yes, I wimped out -- but, in a good way?  Right?  The one thing that's always worked for me is lots of miles.

The week of Sept 2nd didn't quite pan out that way:  4.8, 7.1, 0, 7.8, 10.3, and 2.5 for 41 total.  All of it easy.  I was planning on 18 that Sunday but just didn't feel like it.  Ugh.

The week of 9 September, my kids' winter swimming starts, which means that I'm getting up at 4am to get them to 4:30 practice.  I decided to do 10 mile every day Mon - Fri since I'm up anyway.  The practices are by some nice trails.  All of this was slow.  Around 10:00 miles except without my headlamp when it was much slower (but felt much faster).

  • Monday.  10.2 @ 9:52 on roads.  Practice was cancelled.  The pool wasn't filled, so came home and ran on road.
  • Tuesday.  10.3 @ 10:59.  No headlamp.  4:30 well before sunrise and lots of leaves on the trees.
  • Wednesday.  AM.  8.1 @ 10:06.  Still no headlamp, but I ran as fast as I could on the less shaded sections.  PM.  2.0 @ 10:26 on treadmill.  (actually 6mph, but footpod mis-calibrated)
  • Thursday.  10.2 @ 10:09.  Finally with the headlamp.  New Garmin 410 screws me on distance on the trails.
  • Friday.  10.5 @ 10:17.  Had headlamp, but took a wrong turn that added some distance.
  • Saturday.  4.7 @ 9:47 on road.  Thought I should take it easy before long run.
  • Sunday.  17.7 @ 9:44.  Gorgeous weather.  57 at start.  70 at end.  This is at least 18 miles.  Do not like the Garmin 410 for trails.  Friend measured with calibrated bike at 4.57 per lap.  FR305 said 4.50.  FR410 says 4.39.
  • Total:  73.5 miles.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

week of 26 August

Schedule calls for 4 hard runs plus one of the "easy" runs is 120 minutes?  Oh, and don't have hard runs back-to-back.  Kinda tough, especially if you figure Monday comes after a long run day.  I made things worse by taking my off day on Tuesday because of work/life.  I was faced with the 4 hard days plus the 120' in the last 5 days of the week.  I think I mixed them as well as possible but ended up running 51' easy on Friday and cutting out one of the workouts.  Here's how it went
  • Mon.  46' E1.  10:00 on treadmill watching Breaking Bad
  • Tue.  Off.  Didn't get any sleep and had to leave early for meeting.  Schedule has off day each week.  I took it today.  There are also 4 workout days, so back-to-back easy days is not ideal!
  • Wed.  7.26 miles.  16' E1 + 20:02  E3 + 2' recovery + 10 x (45" E4 + 15" rec) + 16' E1
    • ran at track.  20:02 covered 4200 meters  (7:40 pace -- was very constant)
    • Took about 9 minutes into E3 for HR to reach 170, which is a bit higher than marathon HR 9 minutes into a race, but was up around 179 after 20, which is near HM heart rate.
      • It was 72 degrees and 100% humidity
    • My cadence was 90-92 strides/minute.  OK, I have a fancy foot pod.
  • Thur.  8.20 miles.  16'E1 + 8x(3'E3|1'E4|1'R) + 16'E1.
    • fast part was out and back on hunter village and cross county back path with first 5' downhill
    • turned around at 20' and ended up exactly where I started after 20' on way back.
  • Fri.  51' E1.  4.69.  10:55 pace.
    • legs sore.  No way would it be a good idea to do the fast stuff today
  • Sat.  120'  E1.  12 miles 10:00 on treadmill
    • 2 episodes of The Wire
    • pretty sore still
  • Sun.  3 hours.  15 miles.  3' walk/7' run alternating 3mph (20:00) and 6mph (10:00) on treadmill
    •   3 episodes of The Wire
    • was worried after yesterday, but no problem
    • slow and not that far, but point is time on feet
  • Total:  51.4 miles.  8h58'
  • Weight:  169.8.
Getting legs sore with MPish cruise intervals followed by good old fashioned LSD seemed like a good enough plan.

Not doing well on the diet.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

week of 19 August

  • Mon.  Off.  Pretty sore from long run yesterday and schedule has an off day for week, so...
  • Tue.  10.1 miles.  21' E1 + 8x(6'E3|1'E1) + 17' E1
  • Wed.    4.5 miles.  46' E1
  • Thur.  5.45 miles.  56' E1 on treadmill.
  • Fri.  10.0 miles.  30'E3 + 2 rec + 10 x (1'E4 | 1' rec)
    • about 7:50 pace on flat for first 15 of E3.  Kept pace through trail but heart rate rose.
  • Sat.  4.80 miles.  49'E1
  • Sun.  15 miles at 10:00.  2h30' E1.  Surprisingly easy
  • Total:  49.5 miles. 8h05'.  9:48 pace
  • Weight:  170.8?!  I'm 17 pounds above my low from Summer of 2010.  I would be crushing it at 153.
Mileage down this week because I took the off day and last week I ran 8 one day instead of 45' as schedule calls for.  Right now I'm strengthening my legs. I need to get them back in shape after months of just slogging 10 minute miles.  I slogged the 15 today, but just because it's my first time at that distance in forever.

I started the slow carb diet on Saturday.  Saturday was rough.  I was hungry and couldn't think straight.  All was better after sleeping though.  I thought I'd suffer on the long run, but I was totally fine -- better than expected actually.  I also thought I'd be dead the rest of the day after my run, but no problem.  I didn't even take my usual sunday afternoon long-run nap.

I'm not pressing the marathon pace bits too much, especially with summer weather.  The HRM (and experience) takes the guesswork out of it.  I figure I'm good for about 3:30 shape if I run at ~166 pounds. I'm not going to kill myself trying to run 7:30's as MP when I'm not in shape for that.  The plan is to train like a 3:30 runner and drop the weight and times.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


"Summery."  Get it?  Anyway, it's not quite the end of summer, but I'm hoping this will mark the end of my summertime lackadaisical training.  I'd just been running mileage, and not much of it, until a couple of weeks ago when I realized I was 15 weeks out from the marathon.  Oh my.

Here's from 2 June through

Just slogging around at 10 minute pace.  You have to like the consistency with 10:10, 10:10, 10:11, and 10:13 as my weekly average for four weeks.  The ones that are slightly faster usually include a day where I ran slightly faster for some reason.

Two weeks ago, I decided I needed a plan.   I bought the Hansons book a few months ago and thought I'd give it a shot.  The plan's 18 weeks, so I started with week 4.  The schedule is availabe here (I was starting with week 15 counting down).  Tempo for them means MP.  I like the idea of doing on that MP so I know I'm ready, but that's pretty intimidating.

So here's how I executed the first week (week of 5 August)
  • 6.19 at 9:05 on TM (6.6 mph).  I decided to push up the pace from my usual 10:00.
  • 7.21.  6x800 @5k pace.  3:27, 3:26, 3:22, 3:25, 3:20, 3:24.  I was shooting for 3:20 (20:30 5k) initially, but I guess I'm lazy or slow.  Wx was 68 and dp of 64, so that's a decent excuse.
  • off.
  • 5.34.  3 at MP (was supposed to be 6).  At Va beach on vacation.  Nowhere to run where we were really, but there was a track.  Managed to leave my running clothes and had to go to Walmart, so didn't get out until 9:30.  Hot and humid (82 and 88% humidity), but mostly overcast until 2 miles into the MP section when I was in full sun, running on an asphalt (I assume) 1/4-mile "track."  I only tried to keep it a little under 8 min/mi.  "MP" splits were 7:56, 7:51, 7:41.  Turns out this was more like 10M/10k pace and I was dying.
  • 4.6 @ 10:14  Hot and humid again.  81 and 84%.  Ran the training course.  Just didn't feel like any more.
  • 4.6. @ 10:12. Same as above
  • 3.0 @10:00 on TM.  Left early to drive home.  Planned Herculean 12 miler on TM, but gave up at 3.  Ugh.
  • Total:  30.9 @ 9:27

Well that didn't go well.  Then for no apparent reason, I decided to try Marius Bakken's 100-day plan (that I impulsively bought quite a while ago), picking up in the second week of the 15 week program.  I've done this for a while before.  It has lots of fartleks and is based mostly on time.  It looks easy on paper, but it's harder than you'd think.  There are lots of fartleks where you run at between MP and HMP (E3) or between HMP and 10k pace (E4) -- basically near threshold and threshold.  The rest is easy running (E1).

Week of 12 August

  • 7.80 @ 10:18.  My usual route. This is a good time to complain about my Garmin 410.  My 305 gave me 7.9 for this route and google maps says it's 7.95.
  • 5.5 @ 10:00 on TM.
  • 8.04 @ 8:16.  1.5 wup, 6x1200 alternating E4 and E3, 1.5 cdn.  1200s were 5:23/158, 5:29/165, 5:08/177, 5:30/173, 5:11/180, 5:30/178.  Close to right, I think.  5:10 is 6:56/mile, 5:30 is 7:23 mile pace, but I think the idea is alternating slightly above and below threshold, which I did.
  • 5.3 @ 10:10
  • 8.9 @ 8:53 including 30 x 1' at E3 progressing to E4 with 30 sec recovery.  Avg pace over intervals was 8:04 (over same course Garmin cheats me) with avg HR of 164.  This is quite a hilly route, so not too bad.  Gorgeous, no-excuse day.  54 degrees!
  • 9.68 @ 10:07.  Schedule 90'.  Ran 98'.  Kind of beat up from yesteday.
  • 13.1 @ 11:28.  2h30m run/walk.  5 min run.  5 min walk.  Went at the runs kinda hard.  E2+ instead of E1 like I was supposed to.  I guess I liked the idea of actually running the run legs (~8:45).  I was getting into the 170s at the end on the uphill run segments.  Not used to going past 2 hours. 
  • Total:   58.44 @ 10:00

Hey, I ended up at 10:00/mile avg for the week.  I guess there are different ways to get there.  Near 60 with some good quality, so I'm happy about that.  My left psoas/aductor/something-in-there is a bit dicey this afternoon.  Was sore after run and pulled a bit moving furniture.  Hopefully it will be OK tomorrow.

Now the only number that's going to matter:  166.6 pounds.  Gotta get that down.  162 has been my typical weight before this last year.  The years of running only 40mpw (and my increasing age) have shifted my set point I'm afraid.  Over 60 (mpw) and under 160 (pounds) is what I need.

It's been 4 years since I've running a marathon, so I don't know what to expect.  I wish I'd have been able to run one in peak shape 2 years ago, but oh well.  I'd like to run 3:20, but I'm thinking I'll be lucky to crack 3:30.  I need to drop 5 pounds and get in a race.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Week of 27 May

Good week.  Kids had swim meet Sat/Sun and had to leave the house at 6:20am.  Proud of myself for getting up and out the door to run at 4:30am.  Doubled both days, too.

I did hill repeats on Tuesday preceding by two short (10 second) hill sprints.  I'm trying to get my running form back after slogging 11-minute miles.  The hills seem to help engage my glutes.  I did ~2:05 two weeks ago and now under 2:00 to get to the same point.  Granted, it's at a higher heart rate, but it was relatively easier as I just couldn't make my legs go before.

I also stopped wearing my Wave Ronins that must have had over 3000 miles on them (seriously).  I wore the black part off the bottom of the shoe in the heel.  I gave the Free 3.0v3's another chance and like them now.  My hip also has felt *much* better.  I think a lot of my problem was giving up the Hattoris (zero heel drop) when I started running on trails (rocks hurt my feet).  The new Frees only have a 4mm heel drop, so close enough I guess.

I'm also wearing my HRM again.  Most people wear one to slow themselves down.  I'm the opposite.  I'm trying to keep it above 130bpm at least.

Most importantly, I've quit sugar again in an effort to get my weight down.  I've hit over 170 for the first time since the first year I started running.  I think my "set point" has changed after a year or so of lower mileage.  It was tough for me to eat myself over 165 for a long time.  Not so anymore.

All of the detailed tracking isn't really necessary.  Weight and mileage are 95% of the equation.  Over 60 and under 160 is my mantra for the marathon.  I'll do something faster (like the hill repeats) once or twice a week and try to keep my mileage up.  I'd like to get back to doubling also.  Running 20 minutes instead of eating when I get home doesn't hurt

  • Mon
    • 8:57 AM   7.79    1:21:33    10:28    132 (66%)
    • 5:27 PM   2.22    0:25:24    11:26    136 (68%)
  • Tue           8.15    1:28:46    10:53    147 (73%)
  • Wed           4.70    0:49:22    10:30    131 (65%)
  • Thu           9.14    1:34:23    10:20    134 (67%)
  • Fri          10.21    1:41:35     9:57    136 (68%)
  • Sat
    • 4:32 AM   7.82    1:19:20    10:09    132 (66%)
    • 6:30 PM   2.50    0:25:05    10:02    138 (69%)
  • Sun
    • 4:34 AM   7.84    1:20:48    10:19    134 (67%)
    • 4:58 PM   2.70    0:27:00    10:00    125 (62%)
This Week        63.07  10:53:16     10:21    135 (68%)  

Monday, May 27, 2013

week of 20 May

Decent week except the weakness on Thursday.  Normally I get up at 4am to get my son to swim practice at 4:30 and run while he's there.  He hasn't been swimming Thursday mornings and it's too tempting to stay in bed.
  • Mon - Wakefield 6.38 1:06:26 10:24 132 (66%) 5:53 AM
  • Tue - WSHS track 8.03 1:18:39 9:48 148 (74%) 6:12 AM
    •  started out to do 400s at 5k pace w/400 rest.  No set #.  Did 8 in 1:38, 1:36, 1:35, 1:34, 1:35, 1:34, 1:40.  After 400 rest did MP for as long as I felt.  Only 800 in 3:45 (~7:30 pace)
  • Wed  - Burke Lake 7.31 1:23:29 11:25 126 (63%) 6:09 AM
  • Thu - weenied out
  • Fri -  Burke Lake Trail Running Morning 8.15 1:28:28 10:51 128 (64%) 6:16 AM
  • Saturday Springfield loop Running Morning 7.81 1:17:30 9:55 143 (71%) 10:30 AM
  • Sunday Springfield loop Running Morning 8.81 1:30:30 10:17 134 (67%) 10:19 AM
Total:  46.49 8:05:02 10:26 135 (68%)

Mileages are probably inaccurate (stupid 410) and heart rates are unduly influenced by wonkiness for the first few miles.