Monday, March 31, 2008

soreness and shoes

I noticed my right bicep was sore after my run on Saturday. I laughed because the same thing happened to me when I first wore the Nike Frees last December. I run differently in them. I instantly start carry my arms lower, which initially causes the soreness in my right bicep. I think I normally carry that arm high and swing it across my body as you can see in this embarrassing photo. (I think the guy to the right of me is saying, "That goofy dude is passing me?")

I noticed the other difference after Sunday's 20 miler. My quads are more sore. I'm not sure whether this is good or bad. I *think* it's good because using a major muscle group when you run. I'm not sure it's good though and I'm a little concerned about wearing the Frees in a marathon. Quadriceps fatigue has to be one of the mechanism for slowing down in the last 10K I would think. After all, you can't walk down stairs after the event. (Joseph, see all the marathon fun you're missing!)

I might end up running in the Mizuno's since they've got me through a couple of marathons already. I need new ones though. I have almost 600 miles on my current pair. I thought they were feeling a little dead.

Training: Did 5 slow miles this morning.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

week of 24 March -- bad runs and alibis

Despite the title, I'm quite happy about the week. I got in 71 miles and I'm healthier than I was when I began the week. The title refers to the slow pace versus the high intensity. Despite averaging 150 bpm (75% MHR -- a pretty intense week by my standards), my pace was pretty slow (8:54 min/mi). I have lots of great alibis though.

  • Mo - 5.85/8:53/144 -- hamstring tightened up at the end
  • Tu - 6.13/8:57/146 am, 4.96/8:40?/??? pm (forgot to hit start! estimated pace and knew the distance) -- tightened up again each time (5-6 miles seems to be the limit)
  • We - 6.13/8:33/146 -- decent pace, heart rate, tightened up again at the end, but improving
  • Th - 7.05/7:54/168 am, 7.00/8:42/157 -- went a little nuts on the am run. It was dead flat which sucked me into the faster running, but my pace/heart rate was dreadful. I average less than 168 for the first 7 miles of a marathon. 7:54 ain't even close. I'm writing it off on the altitude. I ran Thursday in Albuquerque (5200 feet). You think Fenty's training at altitude? The dude has no chance. I developed a knot in my left calf at the end of the second run.
  • Fr - 6.17/9:07/140 pm -- It was 70 degrees and I just flew cross country. I never do well with afternoon runs. The calf knot continued. Hamstring tendon not bad at all.
  • Sa - 8.25/9:50/140 pm -- Cool temps, but I gallowalked (10 min run, 1 min walk) trying to nurse my calf. It officially overtook the hamstring tendon as my main concern. My real alibi for this run was the more than an hour of basketball I played with 5th and 6th graders (about half that time was full court). I had that feeling in my chest you have when doing a warmdown after running intervals. I worked on the knot with "the stick" and my fingers. Ouch!
  • Su - 19.76/9:03/153 -- Terrible hr versus pace, but I expected that. This was a planned pseudo over-distance run (8 pm followed by 20 am). Hamstring tendon was no problem! I could feel the calf, but it wasn't an issue. It seems like the time with the stick really helped. I was really gassed at the end of this run. One of the hardest long runs I've ever done. I really didn't recover from the basketball and 8 miles yesterday. I think "residual fatigue" in training is the way to go in getting overcoming that last 10K of the marathon. I really needed this long run. I hadn't been over 8 miles in two weeks before today.

Week: 71.3 miles, 10h35m, 8:54 min/mi, 150 bpm avg

A couple of notes.

Positive vibes out to Joseph who had a scare during his 10K.

I got my new size 10 Nike Free 5.0's in the mail Friday night (right after my run). Wore them Saturday and Sunday. Perfect.

Michael Wardian placed third in the Knoxville marathon today in 2:29:50 after winning the National Marathon yesterday in 2:24:59. Holy cow. Talk about residual fatigue. My 8-miles-last-night alibi is looking pretty silly. Oh yeah, Wardian also finished second in 2:24:55 at the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach last Sunday!

Doing his best Wardian impression, Mayor Fenty ran 3:40 yesterday at the National Marathon. But did he beat 11 year olds in basketball? Huh? He did both the marathon and Cherry Blossom on back-to-back weeks last year. He jogged a 4-something though last year in the marathon before running 1:08:47. 3:40 had to take a little out of him though. I imagine he can't get in that many miles, so 3:40 couldn't have been a walk in the park.

The Traveling Wilburys rock. I just thought you should know. (I listened to them during today's run.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

6 & 5

Normally today would be 12 miles at about 8:30 pace, but I'm injured of course. I keeping my runs under an hour until the demons are gone or I just get impatient. The plan for today was a 6 & 6 double because hitting my normal mileage for the day would make me happy.

I did ~6 this morning without any real problem and let my legs decide on the 8:52 pace. Somehow I accidentally ran home during the run and cut off the last loop. Seeing 4.96, I realized what I did and had to decide whether to go back for the last mile. My legs felt great at this point, so of course I risked fate and of course my hamstring tendon (or whatever this is) tightened up, but I got in the scheduled miles. I felt a little worse for wear and worried this might be a setback.

Went out tonight for the other 6. Hardly a hint of the injury for the first 4+ miles! Then it started to get really tight, so I headed home, doing the same route I inadvertently did this morning for 4.96 miles. Near the end of the run, I wanted to check my pace because I thought I was running this pretty quickly. I saw "00:00:00." I guess you have to hit the start button. Glad I wore this chest strap and gigantic thing on my wrist. I put down 43 minutes for 8:40 pace.

Side note: It is not possible to play Visions of Johanna loud enough.

Monday, March 24, 2008

sub-seeded, baby

I got my Cherry Blossom info today and my bib number is 1392, which means I'll be in the Yellow corral, Section C for "sub-seeded" runners. I get to start in the first wave. Pretty cool! Fenty won't get a head start on me. I have to get better now.

6 passable miles

I ran 5.85 this morning at 8:52 pace. I could feel the tugging on the tendon for the first mile, but then didn't feel anything at all for the second mile. After that I felt it progressively more throughout the run, but it wasn't too painful. I don't think I did any damage and I'm walking fine.

My tentative plan is

Tu - 6 am, 6 pm
We - 6 am
Th - 6 am, 6 pm
Fr - 6 am

adjusting to how I feel of course.

I'm not doing well on the diet and need to make more of an effort on that front. If I could shed some pounds, that might make up for some of the training hit. I relaxed some after the good result at the 8k.

week of 17 March

Mo - 6.12
Tu - 10.36
We - 10.40 -- hamstring tendon(?) behind right knee
Th - 0 - injured, no running
Fr - 0
Sa - 0
Su - 0.2 miles + 22 min elliptical -- didn't feel great so I cut off running, then cut off elliptical

Week - 27 miles + 22 min elliptical

We spent Th through Su at Williamburg and Jamestown as part of a 4-day spring break vacation. One positive result of my injury is that running didn't get in the way that much (except for my incessant whining!).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

OK, a lot worse for wear

Running home and leaving your car at work is quite an obligation. This morning I was obliged to run the 10.5 miles in. I started out with my knee/hamstring thingy as sore as it was on Monday and by 6 miles in it was pretty painful. By 8 miles it was very painful. Well, crap. I guess I'll take couple of days off and hope it goes away.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A *little* worse for wear

Joseph commented, "Don't know if I'd go to that well too often, but if you're no worse for wear, than I'd say a long overdistance run can help..."

Well, I'm a little worse for wear. I had some weird sensation in my hamstring tendon (the one behind the medial side of my right knee) going into the 8k. Didn't bother me at all during the race and I felt it just a little bit the rest of the week. It flared up about mile 25 of my run on Sunday and I could feel it some on a 6 miler yesterday morning. I didn't feel it a bit on the 10-miler home from work tonight until about mile 8.5 when it flared up again. I think it will go away again over the week.

The 32:45 8k convinced me that I have enough speed if I can just keep from fading. I think the speed work I need now is shoving less food in my mouth. I'm still working on getting that "I can run forever" feeling and I think Sunday was a step in that direction (if this niggle goes away!).

On the overdistance running, I have no scientific proof of anything, but I do feel like I need to get that "tired purely from the distance" feeling in order to stretch my ability in that direction. A friend of mine ran 2:48 on sunday long runs increasing up to 30 miles and 4 40-45 minutes during the week. Doesn't that make you sick? Of course he probably could have run faster with more training during the week, but I do think the first job in the marathon is to be able to handle the distance. Thinking it over though back-to-back long runs might do me just as well without as much injury risk -- something like 10-13 on Sat and 20 on Sunday. Well, I've run 27 miles now.

On today's run, I have to say I love running home from work. Just get up from your desk and literally run away from work. Take that!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

week of 10 March -- biggest week ever

Mo - 6.27/8:31/146
Tu - 4.00/8:55/147 am, 14.10/9:25/152 pm
We - 8.02/8:53/140
Th - 0
Fr - 14.04/8:33/144
Sa - 6.19/9:06/146
Su - 26.94/9:50/142

Week - 79.56/9:03/145

That's not a typo for today -- 26.94 miles, which is my longest run ever. I did a 6 lapper at the lake. I've had vague thoughts of doing at least 26.2 sometime before the marathon. I figured out that it's not going to happen next weekend because of other plans, so I thought I'd do it this week. It was surprisingly easy actually and felt like I had a second wind on the last lap. I was conscious of staying hydrated and also drank gatorade, which, I think, prevented my usual swift rise in heart rate after a couple of hours. You can see the gradual rise in the graph above. I also ran each lap a little faster than the last. I know that almost nobody thinks this kind of run is good for you, but I just followed my intuition.

By the way, I'd like to tip my cap to you ultra runners (aka aharmer). I can't imagine doing a hundred miles. Despite taking it very easy today, it's hard to imagine running another 23 or even 63 miles!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ramblin' man

Another week of travel. I got home from the race at 10:30 and was leaving for the airport at noon -- another trip to LA. Oh joy. I did 6.3 on Monday and after reading the malmo doubles thread on letsrun, I was inspired to get up for 4 on Tuesday. Tuesday night was a great run. I ran from the airport to the beach and then up a bike path to Marina del Ray and ran by the UCLA crew team while they were practicing -- all while the sun was setting. Very nice. I ended up extending it to 14 miles after running 4 in the morning. 8 miles on Wed evening and a zero for travel back on Thursday (landed at 4:15 and coached a basketball game at 5:45). Got up this morning at 5 to run my usual 14. I was had a few niggles and I want to be good for my long run on Sunday, so I skipped the last 5 at MP and did a steady 8:34 per mile. No way Fenty is training this hard. He has some lame excuse about running a city.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I'll get him at Cherry Blossom

It was freezing out there this morning. I was shivering and had trouble keeping my arms still enough to pin on my number. I felt a little better after warming up for 2.5 miles, but damn it was cold. The wind was 20 mph sustained and temps were in the 20's.

I chatted with a young guy who was wearing the same half marathon cap as I was. He was planning on running 6:40's. Perfect. I was hoping to break 33 (6:38) pace. After the start, I realized I couldn't keep up with him so I let him drift ahead of me. I hit mile 1 at 6:39. Perfect. The garmin was reading 6:33 pace which is just about the 5 seconds differential I expect in a race. (I also actually hit my watch a few seconds before the start line.)

I found a nice big guy to draft off in the second mile. The second mile was 6:14? The mile marker had to be short. The garmin was reading about 6:29. The big guy pulled away. He was speeding up and the garmin was at about 6:30. I never saw mile 3.

At a turnaround, a volunteer saw "you can't the mayor beat you." Damn, he's ahead. I felt really strong and still kept the garmin solidly at 6:33 despite running by myself back up Pennsylvania Avenue straight into the wind. I passed a number of people but still couldn't see the mayor. I crossed a white line on the ground and looked at a blown over sign -- must have been the 4 mile marker. I had plenty in the tank and kept chugging away. In the final straight away a couple of girls and a couple of guys pass me. I felt great, but I just have no wheels. I'm near the finish where the streets lined with barricades. I hear the announcer, "Congratulations on a great finish Mayor Fenty!" Crap. I crossed the line with the clock reading 32:45. Nice PR, but the mayor got away. I saw the mayor with his foot on a chair, removing his chip. I shook his hand and said, "I had one goal, which was to beat you. You got me."

Fenty ran 1:08:47 at Cherry Blossom last year. I think I can take him.

The week:

Mo - 6.21/9:01/146 - wt: 162.1
Tu - 10.2 miles w/ 6 x hills- wt: 162.0
We - 6.14/8:49/145
Th - 14.03/8:19/152 w/ last 5 at MP- wt: 161.1
Fr - 6.18/8:59/141
Sa - 6.34/6:44/153 - wt: 162.0 - HR always high in afternoon
Su - 2.72/8:56 w/up, 8K race in 32:45

totals: 57.0/8:33/153

Saturday, March 08, 2008

wind advisory

I went to check on the weather for tomorrow's 8K and found the words "wind advisory." It's also supposed to be 29 degrees. I hope the mayor runs with some bodyguards that I can use as a wind screen.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Am I getting any faster?

I did my 14-miler with the last 5 at MP again yesterday. There's one flattish mile in the middle of the 5 mile MP loop that I use as my fitness indicator. The last three times I've run it has been 7:37/157 (7 Feb), 7:27/167 (15 Feb), and 7:21/168 (6 March). The first one looks by far the best, but maybe 15 seconds per mile is worth 9 bpm in that part of the curve.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Goal: Beat the Mayor

I've been thinking about my goal for the 8K this weekend, and I think it's pretty simple. My 5 mile PR is 34:20, so I'd definitely like to beat that. I looked at the results from last year and this guy popped up in that time range.

125   9/287  Adrian Fenty          36 WASHINGTON DC    33:52 33:49  6:49

Not only is he faster than me, but he's only a year older than me and he's the mayor of DC. Yes, I'm jealous. He's goin' down.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The 90-minute caveman run

Was it 6 or was it 7? To tell you the truth, in all the excitement, I kind of lost track myself.

Forgot the Garmin, forgot the heart rate monitor, so it was a caveman run today. I have declared March the month of hills, so it was caveman in more than just than lack of gadgets. It took 30 minutes to find a nice good hill. I jogged down and run up six times (or maybe 7), jogging a little on the flat part at the top each time. It took about 5 minutes a cycle and I ran back the way I came. I ran something like 5K effort on the uphills. My decidedly uncaveman-like use of satellite imagery ( indicates they were .23 miles, which I think is a nice distance. A very rough estimate of the my run was 10.2 in ~1:31 wall clock time (registered on my analog Seiko -- this caveman had a meeting). 8:55 pace? Well there were some stoplights and I might have actually done seven hills. Ah, I did what I did. The math isn't going to make me faster.

I think this is a nice idea for a run. Warmup 30 minutes. Do something hard for 30 minutes (like hill intervals or chasing down mastodons). Cool down for 30 minutes. I'll probably shorten the w/up and cdn to 20 minutes over the next few weeks to get in 10 hills.