Sunday, November 15, 2009

The forest and the trees

I'm still keeping up with the running, I'm just lazy about writing it up. The amount of time I have to work out in a given week depends on two things: my meeting schedule at work and my family plans on Sundays. I go to the gym every day to work out at lunch and then I usually plan a two hour block to exercise on Sundays.

I've been tweaking my weekday gym schedule lately to be more running-focused. I had been lifting 4 days a week and doing cardio 1 day. Now I'm doing 3 days of cardio, and two days of lifting. Since the weather is still in the high 40s I'll usually run my 6mi. loop two of those cardio days and do some kind of machine at the gym the other cardio day. I've been having rotator cuff pain recently so I'm limiting my weight lifting to exercises that keep my arms by my side or don't bear any weight. Basically arms and legs only for now.

My running has been going pretty well lately. One of the runs during the week I'll try to go at about 90% - 95% effort for tempo training and for the other I'll back off to 80%. I do a long run on Sunday (lately anyway) and I'm finding this to be an enjoyable combination. We'll see if I'll keep this up when the temps drop to the low 40s or high 30s in the heart of winter. I don't know if I want to push this hard in that kind of weather. We'll see what I can scrape together for winter gear.

Last weekend I did a 12 mile run but I didn't start until about 4pm. I thought for some reason that it wouldn't get dark until 5:30pm which was about an hour off. It was getting pretty dark 4 miles into the run. Luckily I had the foresight to bring along a bright blinky light and a reflective vest to wear over my white long sleeve shirt. I probably looked like a Fred but I came back unscathed after a good hour running on the shoulders with no street lights on a dark overcast night. It was strange running down a long hill with no traffic where I couldn't even see the road under my feet. I felt great during the run which went by pretty fast while listening to NPRs Fresh Air podcasts.

Today I took to it again in the middle of the day. I didn't do very well with my pre-run nutrition and had heartburn during the 2nd half of the run. I had some soreness in one calf as well, likely from the long gym session Friday evening where I did: Squats, Lunges, Leg Press, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Calf Extensions, Adductor and Hip Flexor exercises plus 40 min of cardio. I'd run my 6 mile loop at lunch on Friday so my legs were a little sore come today.

I ran an out-and-back course today that passed a small store 4 miles into the run and then again 10 miles into the run. This worked out perfectly as I just carried a bag with 2 scoops of HEED in my pocket and bought a bottle of water from the store each time I passed by. I brought two Hammer Gels with me as well. I didn't feel very good after eating the first one so I didn't bother with the second. I forgot to bring any electrolytes but I was able to get away with it because of the low temps and light rain that kept me pretty cool the whole run. It certainly seems that no matter where I run in Gig Harbor, it's hilly. I managed to register a Garmin-claimed 4500' of ascending on today's 15 mile route. I don't have a good way to baseline the accuracy of my watch yet but I don't think it's far off. I only remember a few flat sections come to think of it.

I kept a pretty good pace but I was starting to feel fatigued by the 12 mile point. It wasn't terrible and I'll chalk it up to my poor pre-run eating and sore muscles. I hope it'll be better next weekend. I timed the run perfectly with my podcast selection and managed to listen to Competitor Radio Podcasts featuring: Chris McCormack, Bill Rogers, John McEnroe, and Erica Davis finishing the last podcast with 200m to go.

I don't know what I'm training for if anything. I'd like to get back into the occasional race if I can do it in a way that doesn't impact my time with the family too much. I have zero interest in entering another marathon* but local 50K races sound like a better deal financially and enjoyment-wise. I started today's run just after my daughter went down for a nap and as soon as I got home I changed and we took her to the pool which she loved but my back and hamstrings didn't. I chatted with Chris (over SMS) today and based on that decided to bring my HRM on the run. I came up with the following data:

Avg HR: 144
Max HR: 165
HR 1hr after the run: 60
HR now: 46

As for the run:
Dist: 14.98mi
Time: 2:06:53
Pace: 8:28/mi
Alt: 4580

I wonder how much faster I'd be if I were 10 lbs lighter. :)

* Paying $100+ to enter a marathon seems silly now that I've done a dozen of them. I don't see myself entering any more marathons with the following exceptions:

New York City: I was going to run it in 2003 but got injured and never got to run it.
Big Sur: Once for the scenery
Some decent race if I can ever convince my sister to run one with me. (Portland?)

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