Monday, January 31, 2011

Super 5K

Last year I was extremely excited about the Super 5K. I hadn't raced for months, I'd been training hard and I really wanted to know where I was under "real" race conditions. I had a hard time falling asleep. That's something that I expect for a marathon, not for a 5k. But I digress...

This year is a little different. I had a goal race that took a lot out of me in late December, and I was eight months further along in my training last year. I'd done speed work, and I had a larger base to draw from. Though I want to do well this year, I don't believe that I'm nearly at the level of fitness I was last year.

Still. I'm excited. I ran part of the course tonight with the Novi group, and I felt like I wanted to attack the hills and see what my body can do. Wisely, as a recovery run from my long run yesterday, I held back.

This Sunday, if the mood strikes again, I'll be able to, um... indulge myself a bit. Maybe I'll come in under 22 minutes, maybe not. But I'll be excited to try!

For reference, last year's race was 21:28.

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1/24 week in training

Well, another week went by, and it was good. Training was fun, and not too strenuous. 40 miles, plus or minus, with about two hours on the bike trainer thrown in for good measure.

A couple of interesting things:

Heart rate- was running with the Novi running fit group, and it turned into a tempo run. The speed was okay (7:45s or so) but my heart rate was pretty high for the last mile. I averaged 194, with a high of 204. I've been that high before, but only at the end of a goal race. And especially not at a pace that slow...

I've been under the weather for the past couple of weeks; nothing serious, just a cold. I was 90% over it before this weekend, but I think the running Saturday and Sunday may have depressed my immune system enough to let the viruses catch their breath. Oh well, it happens.

I've started to feel a minor ache at what feels like the metatarsal/phalange joint of my third toe, left foot. About a one on the pain scale, but I feel it while I'm walking around, and I'm a trifle worried it'll change my gait. Anyway, I'm just writing about it here to reference in case I ever need to do a history about it. :P

Next week looks good, too; maybe 45 miles, same about of biking, strength training twice in the week, and the Superbowl 5k on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cold showers

I like cold showers, mostly in place of ice baths. I don't really have the time to buy bags of ice every time I do a long run, and the water out of the pipes comes out at 50 odd degrees, so I figure it's close enough for who its for.

Besides, it makes my showers faster. I don't wait for the water to warm up before hand, and I usually need a little bit of a shock to get me moving in the morning, anyway.

But the big point is, it makes my legs feel better. After a hard run my legs feel sore enough that I stumble around like my muscles just don't want to work. For some reason, the cold water spray down helps out a lot.

You can talk about how vasoconstriction can decrease inflammation, but can the cold water really penetrate that deeply into the muscles of my thigh? I don't know. I do know that it works and even if it's all psychological, I'm okay with that.

All I really need to do is have the courage to get into the shower after my harder runs. I know my legs will thanks me for it. But I don't know if it gets any easier.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

1/17 the week in running

Observations from the week:

Most traction devices work on an 'average volume of shoe' principle. If you're using a low profile shoe, they don't work so well.

Sitting on a bike for over an hour requires callouses I just haven't developed, or something.

Thermo receptors in the body are weird. After a long run in the cold, I took a shower. The same water hitting my hand felt scalding hot while hitting my chest felt extremely cold.

Rather than taking an ice bath, I tend to spray down my legs with cold water, calling it good enough. If I don't, everything feels sore. Anyway, today I thought I'd cheat, and just do my quads. I wound up with sore hamstrings, and it made walking around feel... awfully odd. I'm used to having no pain or pain everywhere.

The week itself went well; here is the schedule as planned-
M- off
T- Bike 45 min
W- 6+6 miles
Th- Bike 60 min and lift
F- 6 miles
Sa- 10 miles
Su- 6 to 8 miles

Obviously, I haven't done Sunday's run yet, but everything else has gone well. I biked 90 min on Thursday because I got into the episode of "The Wire" that I was watching. Most of the miles were done with people, which is always nice. And weight training feels pretty good- though I kind of wish I could up it to twice a week.

I'll talk to my coach about it.

Of course, I also want to up my miles, add speed work, and spend three to five hours a week on the bike trainer in addition to my current workout schedule, but that might be a bit much. I got my running coach in order to help me find that fine line between training hard to get the best result for the effort, but not crossing over into overtraining, and it seems to be going well.

But as they say in Cricket, it's still early innings.

I get the schedule for next week tomorrow. Hopefully I'll remember to post about it then...

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One more week

Two weeks down, one more to go. Training for Bayshore begins on Monday next, and I'm really quite eager to get to it. There are miles for me to run, and things for me to learn.

So, my goals for this training cycle:
Do most of what my coach tells me to do, and try to not do too much.
Continue to work on form and turn over.
Chop most of the moderate running off of my schedule.
Get comfortable using the treadmill for speed work. It's exciting to contemplate, in a torturous sort of way.
Foam roll more diligently.
Throw in more cold water spray downs in my shower.

I may have to think up a few more as time progresses. Hopefully I'll be as diligent about blogging about this training as I was about Martian last year. And hope to have as enjoyable a race at the end.

Time will tell; it always does. :)

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