Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 5: 1/27 - 2/2

Monday: 10 miles / 63:41 - Progression run. Super steady. Mindful of form and the ankle the whole time. No worse for the wear several hours later, which probably* means I'm totally in the clear! 10 minute plank variation after: 3 x (1" left, right, double) followed by 2" double arm plank, no rest.

Tuesday: 10 miles / 64:36 - Steady running on the treadmill. Last 2.5 at 5:55 pace. Felt good. Quick lifting circuit after: 2 x 25 push ups, 2 x 12 reps 100lb lat pull-downs, 3 x 15 reps 20 lb bicep curls, 3 x 40 sit ups, 2 x 12 reps of 40 lb military press. The gym was wicked busy, filled mostly by bros sitting around on their iPhones. A couple guys were taking pictures of each other flexing which I thought was super weird... Such oddities should help explain why I did 2 sets of exercises in some areas and 3 in others.

Wednesday: 9 miles / 60:32 - Easy cruise. 3 x 25 push-ups in the morning. No time for other strength today as a meeting after work went long and then I had to scamper over to the common for the outdoor track session. Then straight over to Sal's for the awards meeting. Full day! Feeling good. Bed by 11:30 which is super late or me. No snowshoe race this weekend so I'm not as worried about the lost rest,  but I'd still like to do something nice and hard this weekend; maybe a long progression run Sunday. Might hit up a group ride or workout on the compu-trainer Saturday morning.  We'll see!

Thursday: 9 miles easy / NT with Newbould. We linked up last minute for a jaunt around Maudslay. After about 5 miles of unpredictable/icy footing we opted for the remainder on roads around Newburyport. Solid run. Great to catch up! Feeling really good about the week and for a solid effort this weekend. Details TBD.

Friday: 4 miles easy after school. Light core and mobility session.

Saturday: 8 miles with 8 x 60 second hill sprints on 2 minutes recovery. Standard core session after.

Sunday: Incredibly sore from the hills. 4 miles / 28 minutes.

In other news... I'm taking a break from the blog. I'm going back to PT for the arthritic right knee and although I'll continue running, it will be lighter than normal. I like the idea of keeping everyone guessing as we roll into the racing season... and in general I'm looking forward to a change in focus as I'll be trying to prioritize yoga, lifting consistently and resetting all the systems before Spring arrives. See you all on the roads soon!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Week 4: 1/20 - 1/26

Monday: 35-minute swim. It's not running but it's definitely aerobic. Standard core session. Added 3x7 chin ups. Definitely seeing improvements in strength.

Tuesday: 20-minute swim. A little tired and sore from yesterday. Practiced turning. Foot is feeling ready for a test drive, except the roads are so messed up with ice from previous storms and a new layer of snow that I might do it inside. Thinking 2 miles if all goes to plan.

Wednesday: Tested out the *ankle! Jogged about 3 miles with a few pick ups. Pain is jumping around. Nowhere specific. No swelling. I'm perplexed. It might be time to visit the doctor after all.

Thursday: Visited my friend Sharon at her compu-training center in North Andover. She wanted to show me how compu-training is designed. I didn't realize that would mean I would get to do a 20 minute threshold test, followed by some 1-minute and 2-minute pickups, but that is exactly what she had in mind!

I warmed up for about 5-7 minutes before going straight into the 20-minute test. Sharon warned me to start a little conservatively for the first 5 minutes since I didn't want to spike the lactate in my system and then suffer a slow death for the remaining 15. I locked into a pretty good rhythm after a minute or two of adjusting my cadence and slowly watched my average watts/minute increase from about 230 up to 267. I rode a flat course, and worked my speed up to 23.1 mph at the finish. My watts/kg was 3.68 and I saw a max HR of 193. I felt my inner hamstring, quad and calf muscles laboring which is a helpful reminder that running alone will not lead to well-balanced muscle groups. After the 20 minute test, the software establishes appropriate resistance for interval work. I rode a few minutes easy and went into 5x1 minute on, 30s off. The ons were at 110% of LT, so my watts were around 300 for the on efforts. By the 2-minute pickups my calves were absolutely rocked, and the medial side was cramping. This could be a product of muscle imbalance or possibly having not done any real impact-related exercise in about 10 days (excluding yesterday's experiment). So, I shut it down and cooled down for several minutes and called it a day.

I'm thinking I will try to make compu-training a weekly workout, possibly replacing my secondary running workout in the week. The intensity is definitely there, and I think it could lead to improvement in the stability and strength of the medial side of my legs. We'll see. Ankle was a non-issue. Run tomorrow!

Friday: 7 miles / 48 minutes - Sweet! I can run! Progressed from 7:35 down to 6:20 for the last couple. Felt so good to go for a real run.  Standard core session after; 3 sets of: (1" left, right, double arm planks, 25 push ups, 40 sit ups) and lots of foam rolling!

Saturday: 3 miles / 20 minutes easy running in the morning. Another 15 minutes running in the snow with my parents' dog, Enya, in the snowstorm out in Marlborough, NH.

Sunday: 3 miles on the treadmill at night. Stomach has been upset all weekend so the goal was to just stretch the legs. After: 3 sets of: 15 x 25 lb curls, 12 x 85 lb lat pull-downs, 12 x 50 lb shoulder press, 50 lb triceps extensions.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Week 3 1/13 - 1/19

Monday: Off - resting the right foot. There appears to be some swelling around the cuboid and os peroneum. My peroneal tendons are ticked off too. Must have done something to it during the race on Saturday? I remember hurting this area a couple times in the past 10 years, and each time it's during the winter. Must be all the road running. My shoes were close to 500 miles too (I bought new ones since).

Anyway, I bit the bullet and added the pool to my current gym membership. It's not unreasonably priced for everything that's offered. $45/mo with the pool and I can cancel any time... plus I get $250 refunded by my insurance. It sounds like a lot money until I consider how much I spend on things like Chipotle in a given month. To have a pool and be able to stay aerobically active during downtime like this is well worth it! I'll probably spend a majority of time aqua-running unless I feel like embarrassing myself with a few laps here and there.

Tuesday: Off - one more day of complete rest. Very uncomfortable walking down stairs.

Wednesday: Day 1 of pool work. Aqua-jogged/ran for 30 minutes. Then about 30 lengths (15 laps) of swimming.

Thursday: Day 2 in the pool. Aqua-jogged for 20 minutes. Foot/Ankle hurting while in pool. New goggles apparently defective as the water they were exposed to yesterday seemed to have dissolved the glue keeping them intact, so no swimming (I wear contacts). 3 sets of: (12x 25 lb curls, 12 x 50 lb inclined bench (easing into it), 12 x 25 lb triceps extensions, 12 x 70 lb lat pull-downs, 25 push ups, 40 sit ups). The pain feels more specifically located in the cuboid bone area... difficult to self-diagnose.

Friday: Day 3 in the pool. New goggles, new outlook; swam 35 laps, which I think comes out to a little over a mile. Finally figured out how to exhale under water and got a good breathing rhythm going. It's not running and my legs are probably going to be jello by the time I get back to the roads, but it will do for now.

Saturday: 30 minutes of pool running - pretty sore from swimming laps so I chilled and bobbed around for a while. Standard core session later.

Sunday: Off - foot/ankle still hurting, not quite as bad. I'm more or less confident it's a tendon issue at this point.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fudgcicle 5k #2

Snoozed once, up and stumbling around, dark coffee, English muffin with butter and raspberry jam, warm-ups on, and Tim and I hit the road. The destination was Tewksbury Memorial HS for the 5k race series. The series appeared to be a cool "no frills" type of event, good for mid-winter training, and it proved to be exactly that. The flat and relatively low-traffic course is ideal, just 5 miles from my apartment.

Tim and I rolled into the parking area with just barely enough time to run the course for a warm up. We met up with Ryan Gough and ran the loop together. The roads were mostly clear, although there were a couple of icy sections I made it a point to remember. I took a pit stop in the woods while the others continued back to the starting line. By the time I got back to my car everyone was lining up at the start and someone announced the race was starting in 1 minute. Oh ****! I threw on my racers quickly, and ran to the start while pinning on my number. I felt a little overdressed for the conditions since I didn't reserve time to shed my tights or long sleeve, but it probably didn't matter much in the end.

The gun sounded and Gough took over from the start. I worked my way up to his shoulder by 800m in. We hit the mile marker in 4:51, but the GPS didn't ring until 4:59. I pointed to a sketchy turn about 1.5m in and said "careful", so, of course, within a couple seconds both of us were sliding. Luckily each of us found solid enough footing to navigate the turn and continue racing. I hit 2 miles in 10:01, Gough had about a 2-second advantage. By 3 miles Gough had probably 10 seconds up on me and looked strong. I cruised in about 13 seconds back at the finish for 2nd place in 16:03.

I'm content with the effort. According to the GLRR website, the course is 3.17 miles, ~7 hundredths longer than 5k, so my 5k split was ~15:43, 5:03/mile. Even if that's not entirely accurate, to run anywhere around 5:00s at this time of year and with the road conditions as they were, I am actually pretty pumped.

We cooled down over the course and parted ways shortly after. Lauren, Tim and I went to Cracker Barrel afterward and devoured pancakes, eggs, bacon and cheesy hash browns. It was just about the perfect Saturday morning. Certainly a great start to the weekend! Results here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week 2: 1/6 - 1/12

Monday: 7.01 miles / 48:03 on the treadmill at Cedardale. I was tempted to go longer but I committed this day to recovery. At night I attempted some core but I was pretty wiped out and doing sit ups on a full stomach is just plain miserable! 2 x 1" planks on left, right and double arm. 2x20 pushups, 2x30 sit ups. I want to get a medium-long run in tomorrow and do some lower back and hamstring exercises.

Tuesday: 13 miles / 82:40 treadmill progression run at the gym. 6:21 average. Started at 6:50 and the last one was 5:21. Felt great. Got a little thirsty around 10 miles. I got out of work late so I didn't have time to do any lifting. I did a couple sets of lunges though, making me instantly sore. This evening was the first session for Winter Track coaching duties and I am pumped for how many people came out! We fit 60+ runners on the 155m track at Andover field house. Looking forward to a good season indoors.

Wednesday: 7.5 miles / 53 minutes easy + a little jogging around during outdoor track to keep warm. Great turnout for outdoor, 16 people! I can't believe how many people at the outdoor session are training for the marathon. It looks to be a fun group to coach outdoors this winter. Later on I did 2 sets of 1-minute right, left and double-arm planks, 2x15 push ups, 2x7 pull ups, 2x30 sit ups. Again after dinner on a full stomach, bleh!

Thursday: 10 miles / 65:03 - Warmed up 3.5 and straight into 1" on, 1" off for 5 miles. 29:42 for the effort, so a hair under 6:00 average. The ice all over the sidewalks of west Andover was super sketchy, but obviously running in the street, in the dark, during rush hour isn't all that awesome either. So I was forced to dial back the pace for several of the harder efforts and several times had to perform acrobatic feats to get past rivers of ice safely. Glad I got it done anyway!

Friday: 8.6 miles / 60:00 on the treadmill. 3 set of 1" single and double-arm core, 3 x 20 push-ups, 3 x 20' lbs, 3x30 sit ups.

Saturday: 10 miles with a 3.17 "5k" at the Fudgcicle race #2 hosted by Greater Lowell RR. 3.10 reached in 15:43; 16:03 finishing time for 2nd place behind Ryan Gough.

Sunday: 4 miles, 28 minutes. Right foot is oddly sore.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Week 1: 12/30 - 1/5

Monday: 12.2 miles / 1:21 steady run with Gary Cuneo from Merrimack College. Tired from yesterday but good run nonetheless.

Tuesday: 9 miles / 65 minutes very easy cruising before dark. Felt good.

Wednesday: 10.6 miles / 70:10, Andover roads starting around 10 PM. Couldn't stand the thought of missing the first run of the New Year and very glad I got out there to start the year off right!!

Thursday: 8.5* / 60 minutes on my new Dion snowshoes in the trails from home and they are awesome! It was fun running in the midst of the storm. I experimented with wearing some waterproof cycling shoe covers and they kept my feet nice and warm. Back to the apartment and cranked out the first core session in a while. 3x20 push ups, 3 sets of 3x1" plank variations, 3x6 pull ups, 150 cunches. Gotta start somewhere!

Also spent some time setting up the Kurt Kenetic bike trainer for the winter. This thing will definitely be getting some use. #cheaperthanatreadmill

Friday: 13 miles / 1:37. Met up with Ken Cain and slipped and slid all over downtown Andover and Ballardvale. We even took a one-lap spin through Andover Sanctuary which is definitely better suited to snowshoes for the time being. Beautiful day for a run!

Saturday: 9 miles / 59 minutes on the treadmill. After sliding all over the place yesterday I just wanted an easy cruise. 6:30s for the last 6 miles. Felt good. Busy morning at the gym and coincidentally I think I've found my favorite treadmill. Solid and steady piece of equipment... the ones that rattle drive me crazy. Core: 3 sets of 3x1" single and double arm planks, 3x30 sit ups. 3x20 push ups, 3x15 single arm curls @ 20 lbs.

Sunday: 9 miles with an informal 3 mile snowshoe race at Maudslay, organized by Dave Dunham. We ran the Trav's Trail course with a very minor variance on the back loop. Steve took it out pretty fast down the hill and I took over on the following uphill. Ran very even splits, 6:40, 6:45, 6:45 for 3.02 miles. Ended up with the individual victory, although CMS edged out WRT for the team win. Data here. Results here.

Week in Review: 71.3 miles on 7 days. Two core workouts, one decently long run (in terms of time), a good race, and otherwise fairly quality mileage. I'm pumped. Gotta keep it up now.