Sunday, January 31, 2010

week of 25 January

My graph

53.8 miles in 9 runs
YTD runs: 43 in 31 days

M - Fr - The usual with Mr. Tweaky (my knee) getting tweakier by the day.

Sa - Poor planning led to me missing my morning run and I took it as a sign just to give the knee a day off.

Su - 10 miles on the treadmill after an hour and a half of debating whether to run in the 6 inches of fresh snow. No knee tweaks at all until walking in the snow later. Doh!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

magneto loop PR

"A magneto loop is what Dave Gordon called any loop that you could do in your sleep. Everyone has them, everyone has a different name for them."

My 8.0 work route is my magneto loop and I just cruised today. I think I was motivated by being late, but I ran it at 8:12 pace. My avg HR wasn't crazy though -- 143 bpm . I even had a nice downhill mile in 7:37. Fun.

It feels like it's improved form that's helping me. I'm running taller, which tilts my pelvis back and gets it out of the way of my legs. I believe (hope, really) that I'm strengthening the right muscles just by consciously running this way. The barefoot thing might be contributing as well. I also have more snap in my legs, which I attribute to not doing any long runs. I'm inclined to just go on this way for a while and see where it goes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

week of 18 January

My graph

Total: 61.9 in 11 runs
Year run total: 34 in 24 days

Over 60 miles and my longest run was 9.0. With 11 runs it feels like cheating.

On the barefoot experiment, it's not going well but not perfect. Mr. Tweaky (my knee) still likes to tweak, especially in the first few minutes. I have to work up very, very slowly to keep him at bay and slow down gradually as well. This isn't any different than outside in shoes.

I've really been concentrating on my form and it's forced me to pick up the pace (and effort) a little. It doesn't seem like I can't run as slowly when trying to run tall, make circles, etc.

I ran in Dayton on Thursday morning on a path cover in lots of black ice and a good bit of win. Very tedious.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

8 miles and oatmeal

I love a good rut. I probably ordered a "dress one side" from Juniors a couple hundred times in college ($2.63 for a hamburger, a giant mound of fries, and a coke -- refills $0.25 and $0.25 for a chocolate chip cookie).

The rut of the day is slightly healthier: 8 miles and oatmeal. I've run the same route at work 10 times in the last month and have worked my way down from 1:18 to 1:08 (admittedly at a higher heart rate) and it feels great. I get back, stretch, take a shower, and pop in the cafeteria for a cup of oatmeal. At $1.44, it brings me back to Junior's.

Monday, January 18, 2010

week of 11 January -- reached base camp

My graph
Total: 57.3 Mi in 9 runs
YTD run total: 23 in 17 days

Feels like I've reached basecamp with 4 consecutive weeks in the 50s. My injury is improving so I'm getting some miles in while headed in the right direction.

I'm focusing a lot on form for the last couple of weeks. I try to think of just one cue at a time. One run I'll concentrate on "floppy feet" -- keeping my feet relaxed. On another, I'll think about "feet in a circle." The most important seems to RUN TALL.

My pace has been improving for the last few weeks.

My graph

The big bump in the middle is snow induced.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

week of 4 January

Mo - Rest
Tu - 5.40 on sidewalks 47:43 @ 8:50; threw some strides in
We - 9.39 on sidewalks 1:30:06 @ 9:36
Th AM 8.02 on sidewalks 1:17:23 @ 9:39
Th PM 2.11 on treadmill, 21:01 @ 9:58 -- 6' barefoot (socks)
Fr AM 8.02 on sidewalks 1:25:15 @ 10:38 -- ran in about 1'' of fresh snow. great run
Fr PM 2.25 on treadmill 22:00 @ 9:47 -- 10' barefoot
Sa AM 7.50 on sidewalks, trail, and bikepath 1:15:58 @ 10:08 -- still about 1'' of snow
Sa PM 2.06 on treadmill 20:00 @ 9:43 -- all barefoot
Su AM 9.07 on trail 1:22:54 @ 9:09 -- good bit of snow and snow-covered iced
Su PM 2.08 on treadmill 20:00 @ 9:37 -- barefoot

10 runs, 55.89 miles 9:02:20 @ 9:42
56' barefoot
Runs in 2010: 14 (in 10 days -- puttin' a hurtin' on the 365 goal)

Did the barefoot expirment. It went very well. I felt much more confident in my knee barefoot that with shoes (especially on the treadmill). No pain at all (very unusual for a run) Th and Fr. I had one twinge on each of the Sa and Su runs. It seemed to happen when I started to drift on the belt and recentered myself.

Felt really good this week. It seems as if I've adjusted after 3 weeks of 50+. I'm still not better, but am headed that way.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

6 minutes barefoot

Parents gave me Born to Run for Christmas and I did a little barefoot running tonight. I'm trendy. Sue me.

I did 15' in my Frees on the treadmill and my knee was killing me. There's something about the absolute flatness and relentless steady pace that gets my knee in just the right position for pain. I generally lean forward and hold on to my back kick (I think I maintain contact a little longer and extend my hips but I probably just look goofy) when that happens and it seems to relieve it.

I tried kicking off my shoes and boy did it feel weird. I thought I could "feel" the road in my Frees. Not even close. The treadmill felt totally different. I could feel the sink of the deck when my foot landed. I had this sensation that it was inclined while I was running. It took a second to realize that it must be because my foot was no longer de-clined by my heel. My knee didn't hurt at all and I felt a little side-to-side bob in my form. I also had a barely audible slap with my right foot. It's the one that points out. The left one hits outer edge first and pronates like you see on the slo-mo movies, but I think the right one hits ball first and slaps the outer edge down. Anyway, it was just 6 minutes so hopefully I didn't hurt anything for the learning experience. If I'm not too sore tomorrow, I'll try 10' next time.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Why am I so sore?

I didn't run at all on Monday and then only 5 miles at lunch Tuesday. (I had to get my cholesterol rechecked Tuesday morning because my muscle enzymes were high at my pre-Christmas check up and I was told to get it rechecked without any strenuous exercise for two days before.)

Imagine my surprise when I was incredibly sore on this morning's run. What the hell? I slogged through my 9.3 glad for it to be over. What happened? Here are my theories in order of decreasing likelihood.
  • My legs felt really strong and I felt great when I ran on Tuesday at lunch. It was only 5 miles and I went a little faster than my recent runs (8:51, 9:11, 8:31, 9:09, 8:35 splits) but with a few strides in there, but nothing crazy. Maybe I ran too hard on Tuesday and that's my problem.
  • I haven't done the foam roller for a couple of days. Tsk. Tsk. Need to get on the ball.
  • I didn't get much sleep. Had to stay up to watch GT punt the orange bowl and got to sleep after midnight. Followed by multiple dog-woke-me episodes before the 5:30 am alarm that said "runnin' time!" Still, I've had nice runs a near coma before.
  • I've always seemed to have trouble recovering from even the smallest thing. My coach would throw in something like 3 x 10'' stair bounds at the end of an easy run and I'd be sore the next day. Back in May she suggested I had my Vitamin D checked. I forgot to ask my doc at the physical but I finally remembered when I had my blood checked before Christmas. Came back at "20" (the didn't give units on the phone), which is low normal. Normal range is 20-100. (Don't you love how 20 is normal and 19 is not normal?) Anyway, doc say take 800 IUs/day. Maybe Vit D is part of my problem?
  • For another chemical possibility, what about this cholesterol medication I'm on? Isn't muscle soreness a side effect? (Which is I get these tests.) First I was on lipitor for a month (pre-running) and was immediately taken off that after my first blood test (liver function high). Then I was on zetia (not a statin), but that didn't do enough. Then I was on crestor (zetia + zocor). There was some flap in the news about crestor and now I'm on pravacol. I'm wondering if that has to do with me flunking the muscle enzyme test. I flunked in June as well, but was too lazy to get it rechecked becuase I'd done a pretty hard long run the day before and assumed that was it. This time though I did a super gentle 8 miler that morning. I used to do that all the time before these tests and not trip the meter. The only time I "failed" before was the day after a half marathon. Even if the pravacol is causing some damage, but not enough to be out of the normal range without the extra kick of running, then that's no good either right? If the latest bloodtest is high I'm think about getting off these things all together and asking the doc for a chance to be a good boy and see if a strict diet can't get me low enough. Frankly I doubt it as I maxed out at 296 total cholesterol. (My dad hit 319!)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

week of 28 December

Mo - 4.87 treadmill 46:28 9:33
Tu - Rest; drove back from ATL
We AM - 10.33 work route 1:37:55 9:29
Th AM -6.00 Treadmill 57:20 9:33
Th PM 4.54 lake B lap 0:41:34 9:09; ran with friends
Fr - 7.86 new route with CCT 1:14:56 9:32
Sa 11:30 AM - 6.00 Treadmill 56:48 9:28
Sa PM - 2.50 Treadmill 24:17 9:43
Su - 9.12 lake B two laps 1:21:44 8:58; ran with friends

This Week - 51.21 in 8 runs. 8:01:02 @ 9:24
Runs in 2010 - 4

I finished most of the runs (except those with friends) with some kind of pseudo fartlek for the last 0.5-1.0 miles. Threw some strides in, charged some hills, and picked up the pace. I wanted to finish the runs not feeling too tight. I continued to be religious in stretching after every run. I didn't used the foam roller and trigger points tools (like the ball on the glute) quite as much but I might have overdoing that before.

I tried some very steep (7 deg) treadmill stints and tweaked my knee a little. The hip seems to be improving day by day. My calf (the medial part just below where the calf gets bigger) was very tight at the start of my Sunday run. The calf seem to be coupled with my knee trouble although it might have just been a coincidence since my knee always bothers me at the beginning of a run.

The 24-minute run was interesting. I think I probably should have actually cut off at 20 minutes. For some reason there seems to be a big difference between 20 minutes and 30 minutes for me on a second run. Of course you have to wonder whether 20 is even worth it or if 30 would be OK if I did less in the morning. I think the 20' is worth something. The problem is the extra time just to get in the run (shower, stretch, etc.). One frivolous thing I do is use the garmin with HRM. Really, why can't I just hop on a treadmill without measuring everything.