Monday, February 25, 2013

Training log - Week ending 2/24/13

This week was 62.5 miles of “real running” plus 19 “miles” pool running and 1800 yards of swimming -- training log is here.  

Some more workout interruptus this week.  On Wednesday my left calf got a bit stiff and started intermittently cramping (post tib, soleus, and gastroc, if you care).  In order to make sure I was fine for my Sunday run, I skipped my scheduled Friday tempo workout.  I originally planned to do the workout in the pool instead, but ended up getting a late evening sports massage on Thursday.  I decided that it was smarter to take a mental health morning than to crank through the pool-running tempo workout, so I just went with some easy swimming on Friday.

The good news is that the day off helped, and I was good to go for Sunday's long run.  The long run went pretty well - a bit mentally tough at times due to a variety of factors including a decent headwind for the last few miles.  But I finished it feeling like I could have held the pace for at least another mile, so that's a good sign.  And the calf held up - slightly tight at times, but never betraying me. 

With three twenty milers in the books, taper is here.  Now the trick is to stay healthy.  As of Monday morning, my calf's feeling great, so I'm going to do a careful set of intervals tomorrow.  But damn sure I'm going to do everything I can to stay healthy the next few weeks, even if it means sleeping in bubble wrap.  

My coach wants us to race a 5K on Saturday (and I'm already registered) but I'm probably going to play by ear.  If I'm feeling any risk, I'll either do it as a tempo or skip altogether.

Monday:   In the morning, 70 minutes of easy pool-running for “7 miles,” followed by injury prevention work and upperbody strength work.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  13 miles including a track workout of 1600, 1200, 2x800, 400.  Splits were 5:58, 4:22, 2:53, 2:52, and 78, followed by injury prevention work and 20 minutes of shakeout pool-running for "2 miles."

Wednesday:   In the morning, 9.5 miles very easy (9:07 pace) followed by yoga.  Later did another 6.5 miles (8:09 pace).   Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 80 minutes of beltless pool-running (so more aerobic than easy) for "8 miles." followed by upper body strength training and some injury prevention work.   Sports massage at night.

Friday:  In the morning, 1800 yards of swimming.  Pilates and foam rolling at night.

Saturday:   In the morning, 12 miles very easy (8:27).  Foam-rolling, upper body weights, and injury prevention work in the afternoon.

Sunday:   21.5 miles as a progressive long run, split as 8:27 for first 3 miles, 8:00 pace for next 4, 7:32 for next 6, 7:00 for last 8.5. Average 7:32 for 21.5 miles.  Followed with injury prevention work and 20 minutes shakeout pool-running.  Foam rolling at night.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Repast riposte

So, my name is Cris.  And I have a friend named Mollie.
I'm on the left, Mollie's on the right. 
Our friend Kate's in the middle. 
Yes, I'm short.
 Mollie and I have a lot in common.  We run.  With the same group, even.  Our training paces are similar, and we're both aiming for marathons on March 17. We also both blog.  Her blog is "Eat, Run, Read."

Again, there's some similarities.  I, like Mollie, eat some times.  I also read sometimes.

(as you may know, I also run a bit).

But there's differences as well.

Mollie is a foodie, packing her blog with examples of all the great things she's baked, broiled, stir-fried, etc.  She's pretty talented.

I'm talented also.  I destroy cookware regularly.

Earlier this week, Mollie noted that our mutual coach had chastised her for not eating enough vegetables.  In response, she posted images (all appealing) of her normal dinner, which was packed with veggie goodness.  Along with instructions on how she prepared it that included scary words like "saute" and "pan-steam" and "finely chopped almonds" and "kale."
Food by Mollie (image stolen from her blog)

Well, Mollie, there's a different world out there.  Here's how we non-foodies do it.

This is my kitchen.  Note that I have two microwaves.   I use microwaves all the time, while the oven and stove each get used once a week (for cooking the week's supply of meat and hardboiling eggs.  Hence, two microwaves.  I can bake a potato and nuke a bag of frozen veggies simultaneously.  It's pure awesome.

Carbs?  Sure.  I got carbs.  See below. 

Carbs the first - potatoes
Carbs the second (apples and bananas)

And, I also have other stuff.  This is my fridge.  I pre-cook chicken, bison meat, and beef once a week and store in containers.  I also do a big hard boil "eggstravaganza" (I am SO clever) weekly.  Yes, that's two packs of eggs there (plus the third on the door shelf).  No, the "Science Diet K/D" isn't mine.  But all the coconut water is.  That's also a big thing of brown rice on the right side under the bison.
Where are my veggies?  All in the freezer.
All about the coconut water.

As for my "non-cook's" version of Mollie's Bowl O'Dinner, here you go.  Hers undoubtedly tastes better; mine has the advantage of speed and less stuff to clean.

Mollie uses seasonings.  I do also.  Salt and pepper (what else is there?).
Pepper shaker and woefully inadequate decorative salt shaker.

Now that, THAT is a salt shaker, my friends.

 Here's how I make my dinner in a bowl.

Step 1: remove ingredients from fridge and cupboard. They include butter, bag of frozen veggies, can of salmon, and salt

Step 2: Microwave veggies.  For 6 minutes.  In my house, everything nukes for 6 minutes.  At the end of which, it's either burnt or not quite done.  If the latter, nuke some more.


Step 3: Dump some of veggies into bowl, open can of salmon, and spoon some salmon onto veggies.  Then salt and butter to taste (and I have no taste).  Then eat.

Yes, this is actually several steps, but I didn't take enough photos.

The possibilities are infinite, BTW.  You can have frozen veggies and precooked steak, frozen veggies and pre-cooked chicken, frozen veggies and eggs....More salt, or even MORE SALT.  You're limited only by Noah's ark, your checkbook, and your salt shaker.


 Mollie, eat your herb encrusted artichoke heart out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Training log - Week ending 2/17/13

This week was 58 miles of “real running” plus 13 “miles” pool running -- training log is here.  
And a bunch of miles (seemed like it) dragging stuff through airports.

Rather weird week.  Sort of recovery, but not really -- though I cut the miles back and rested some, I also had a lot of non-running efforts.  I was scheduled to travel to Chicago on Monday afternoon, meaning that I’d have to do my scheduled track workout in Chicago on Tuesday morning.  With temps in the teens and high winds.  Lovely.  But as it happened, my flight was canceled on Monday, and I was unable to get out of DC until Tuesday morning.  Which had the nice side effect of letting me do a track workout in fantastic weather (though I had to run to catch a flight right after).

Chicago itself was icy and cold (no surprise), and my run on Wednesday was one of the first that I can think of as a real slog.  Just an endless loop of slushy sidewalks next to strip malls, pausing my Garmin from time to time when I had to forge my way around a pile of ice too treacherous to run through.  But got it done.

And, of course, I brought a bit of the weather back to me when I returned to DC.  The forecast for Sunday’s race was a match to the weather that had been in Chicago at the start of the week.  Fortunately, the weather ended up far better.  Still windy and cold, but not horrendous.  The race itself was a bit meh, but oh well.  Better that in a race that I don’t care much about than in my goal race.  And my legs felt like they could go on forever – they just lacked jet propulsion.  Legs that can go and go are good for marathoning, I think.


Monday:   In the morning, 70 minutes of easy pool-running for “7 miles,” followed by injury prevention work and upperbody strength work, plus a bit of foam rolling.  And dragging luggage through DC airports.

Tuesday:  12.5 miles including a track workout of 8x800, splits were 3:00, 2:55, 2:54, 2:56, 2:56, 2:54, 2:53, 2:51.  Followed immediately by more dragging of luggage through DC and Chicago airports.  Did a bit of foam rolling with my travel stick in the evening.

Wednesday:   In the morning, 2.5 miles very easy (8:59 pace) followed by yoga.  Later fit in 10.5 miles easy (8:03).  Then more dragging of luggage through Chicago and DC airports.   Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 7.5 miles very easy (8:23)  followed by upper body strength training and some injury prevention work.   Foam-rolling at night.

Friday:  In the morning, 7 miles, including a mile pick-up at 6:18 pace.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday:   In the morning, 3 miles pool-running plus 500 yards of swimming with a pull buoy.  Foam-rolling and injury prevention work in the afternoon.

Sunday:   In the morning, 4 miles warm-up (was freezing cold and took forever to de-stiffen), followed by a 10K race in 40:23.  Later, did another 8 miles easy, and followed with 30 minutes shakeout pool-running and a lot of foam rolling.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Race report: GW Birthday 10K, February 17, 2013

I ran the GW Birthday 10K, finishing in a time of 40:23.  Not the time I wanted to run, but it is what it is.

In all honesty, I wasn't quite sure what to expect in this race.  I'm in the depths of marathon training, and my legs feel like they can go forever but also like they don't have any real spark to them right now.  I did have hopes of running a good race, and breaking 40 at a minimum.

But of course, there was also the weather.  While last year we had pretty good weather for this race, this year the forecast was for temps in the 20s and high winds.  In the words of the Running Weatherman, "This is probably one of the worst forecasts I have seen so far this year."  Ominous, indeed.

Fortunately, the weather ended up not being that bad.  It was chilly, and windy, but nowhere near the worst wind I've run in.  Certainly much better than some of the predictions I had read.

The weather was good enough that I decided after jogging for about 25 minutes that I was too warm in my tights and longsleeve.  Luckily, I had brought a change of clothes, and so could easily swap into my shorts and singlet.  I felt a bit chilly at the start of the race, but I still think it was the right choice.

The race course was out and back, with the first miles into a headwind, and more or less uphill (the first mile is net downhill, but also has an overpass in it).  My plan was to tuck in behind a pack on the way out, and then run solo on the way back.  Heck, several of my teammates were running this race, and I had hopes that I might be able to run with them. 

But very few plans survive the first minutes of the race. :)  They started the race a bit faster than felt right for me, and so I let myself fall back.  My legs felt a bit sleepy still, and solid but not fast.  As it happened, I ended up soloing most of the first two miles.  Not ideal.  But oh well. 

Around the two mile mark, I pulled along side with another woman who appeared to be about my age.  It was interesting, in that I was trying to maintain a steady hard effort, while she kept surging past me, then slowing, and falling back.  Then surging again.  It was actually a bit distracting, as I didn't want to start dueling her, as unevenly as she was running.  So I ignored her as best I could, and was well ahead by the time we hit the merciful turnaround point at the 5K mark.

(I say merciful because miles 2-3, which were a false flat uphill and into the wind, were a bit hard.  It was very nice to turn around and get the wind to my back)

A bit after the turnaround point, she surged once more and passed me pretty aggressively.  I considered responding, but my legs didn't have that type of speed in them.  So I held my effort.  A half mile later, I passed her for the final time as she sat on the side of the course.  I'm still not sure what was going on there.

From then on, I was again by myself more or less, passing the occasional person from time to time.  I just focused on relaxing, running fast, and trying to let my teammates ahead of me tow me.  I was keeping a slight bit in reserve so that I could try to kick a bit starting at the 6 mile mark -- a mark that never seemed to come.  Then I finally saw the marker.  Only to see the clock next to it and realize that it was actually the finish line.  I lifted my knees a bit more, but didn't have enough real estate left to really open up.  Oh well.  Honestly, my legs felt slow enough that I'm not sure how much of a kick I could have mustered anyway.

Splits were:
Mile 1: 6:23 (mostly downhill, but with an overpass),
Mile 2: 6:49 (uphill, into wind),
Mile 3: 6:54 (uphill, into wind),
Mile 4: 6:28 (a bit of uphill, then u-turn and downhill with tailwind),
Mile 5: 6:15 (downhill with tailwind),
Mile 6+last part 7:31 (for 1.21 miles - 6:16 pace) (some downhill with tailwind, and also overpass and slight uphill)

The thing that was simultaneously annoying/encouraging is that I wasn't out of breath or tired at the end of the race; my legs just didn't want to move faster.  I'm working under the belief that this is just all the marathon training in my legs.  I did cut back some this week, but not anywhere near as much as I would have if this had been a goal race.

So now, I'm more motivated then ever after this race to spend my post marathon running year (after adequate recovery) focusing on speed development and shorter stuff.  I've got a collection of PRs at shorter distances that I think are outdated, but it seems like they're not going to fall until I target them specifically.  Which is a shame, because I love more mileage and long runs.  But you can't have your cake and eat it also.

Other notes:
  • Left home at 6:20, got there at 6:45, which was perfect for finding a great parking spot.
  • As with my other races this cycle, I'm running everything in my trainers, rather than my flats.  I feel like I'm giving up some time, especially in the shorter races, but I'd rather be careful - I worry that racing in my flats combined with the marathon training will cause a plantar fascitis relapse.  When I can take 2-3 days off if needed after a race, then I'll start wearing my flats again.
  • One puff of Dulera at around 6 this morning.
  • This race is really set up pretty well for a mid-winter race.  They open up the US Patent office, which is right outside the start/finish, and let runners wait in there for the start.  Very convenient.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Training log - Week ending 2/10/13

This week was 76.5 miles of “real running” plus 12 “miles” pool running -- training log is here.  
And...another week in the books.  A little bit of a hiccup in the middle of the week.  At Wednesday's yoga class, the instructor announced that she hoped she could get through the class before her voice gave out completely.  Uh-oh.  And sure enough, by that evening, I was starting to feel pretty run down and stiff.

Next morning, I woke up with a headache, almost no voice, and no energy.  Plus a resting HR of 58 (my norm is 38-42)  Gah!!!!.  The last head cold had left me feeling lousy for nearly 2 weeks, and I had my 20 miler scheduled for this Sunday.  All I could do was pound fluids and zinc like crazy, and hope that I'd kick it in time to at least slog through 20 miles easy and salvage part of my training week.

But, whadyaknow.  Woke up on Friday morning, and felt almost normal (with RHR down to the mid-40s).  I felt good enough that I figured I'd head over to the track, do a warm-up, and see how I felt.  And the warm-up felt good enough that I decided to try the tempo.   Kept the tempo to 4 miles (I went out shooting for 4-5, but about 2 miles in, I was really wishing I was back in bed, and stuck with 4), but got it done.  And by Sunday I felt pretty good.  About as good as you can feel for a hard week in marathon training.  So yay.  Headcolds that hit on scheduled recovery days and clear out before your key runs are the best kind.

Sunday's long run was once again a confidence boost.  I felt pretty tired and achy to start, but strong.  And stronger with each mile.  My legs are starting to get that "can go on forever" feeling that I felt during my last training cycle, and I ran faster than goal MP despite having no wish to do so.  I guess that's a good sign.

Next week is a cut-back - I have to travel to Chicago for work, so my routine's going to be altered some (though I did find a track).  Plus I'm racing a 10K on Sunday.


Monday:   In the morning, 60 minutes of easy pool-running for “6 miles” plus upper body strengthwork and injury prevention stuff.   Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 14 miles, including a workout of 4x1200 (4:22, 4:21, 4:23, and 4:26 - died on the last) followed by injury prevention work and 20 minutes shakeout pool-running.  Foam-rolling in the afternoon.

Wednesday:   In the morning, 9 miles very easy (8:41 pace) followed by yoga.  Later did another 6.5 miles easy (7:54).  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   Off.  Sick.  Nothing but foam-rolling.

Friday:  In the morning, 13.5 miles, including a tempo workout of ~4 miles (6400m) in 26:00 flat, split as 6:43, 6:27, 6:29, 6:21.  Followed with injury prevention work and 20 minutes shakeout pool-running.  Foam rolling and pilates at night.

Saturday:   In the morning, 12 miles easy (8:11 pace).  Foam-rolling, injury prevention work, and strength-training in the afternoon.

Sunday:   In the morning, ~21 miles progression style (really not sure whether 20.76 miles is 20.5 or 21, but my log, so I'm rounding up), averaging 7:38.  It broke down as 8:27 for first 7, 7:36 for next 6.25, 7:00 for next 5.5, and 6:45 for last 2 miles.  Followed with 20 minutes shakeout pool-running.  Yoga and foam rolling at night.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Training log - Week ending 2/3/13

This week was 65 miles of “real running” and 7 miles of "running equivalents" on the arc-trainer, plus 16 “miles” pool running  -- training log is here.

Encouraging week.  I'm starting to really feel my fitness again.  I'm not fit yet, but I'm getting there.  I feel like my running self again, whereas I haven't before.  If that makes sense.  The weather was crazy, though.  Warm enough to wear a sportsbra on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Friday was a different story...

The weather was fine as we warmed up for the tempo workout, and then what can only be described as a blizzard hit as the workout started.  My scheduled 3200m, 1600m got shut down after the 3200m, which would have been more appropriately run in snow shoes.  I left the track and shifted to the sidewalks, hoping they'd be clear enough for some easy miles.  But the sidewalks were snow covered and quite slick as well, so I decided to be careful and shifted to the arc-trainer for an hour.  Subbing in 60 minutes on the arc-trainer for easy miles wouldn't destroy my training, while an injury might.

And, of course, when I got off of the arc-trainer and went outside, the snow had ended and the sidewalks were clear.  Sigh.


Monday: In the morning, 60 minutes of poolrunning for “6 miles”, and then some upper body and core strength work, plus injury prevention exercises. Foam-rolling at night.

Tuesday: In the morning, 13 miles including a track workout of 1600, 2x1200, 2x800, 2x400.  Split as 5:55, 4:22, 4:21, 2:51, 2:53, 81, 80.  Followed with injury prevention work and 20 minutes of shakeout pool-running. Floor barre and foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: In the morning 9.5 miles easy (8:40 pace) followed by yoga. Later, 6.5 miles easy (8:09 pace). Also foam-rolling/stretching at night.

Thursday: In the morning, 65 minutes pool-running for "6.5 miles" followed by upper body and core strength work, plus injury prevention exercises.  Foam-rolling at night.

Friday: In the morning, 5.5 miles, including an aborted tempo workout - ended up running/skiing 3200m in 12:58 (6:36/6:22) before workout shut down due to weather.  Moved to arc-trainer for the equivalent of 7 easy miles (60 minutes on arc-trainer), followed by injury prevention work.

Saturday: In the morning, 12 miles easy (8:02 pace).  Upper body and core strength work, plus injury prevention exercises and foam-rolling in the afternoon.

Sunday: Long run of 18 miles, with MP-ish tempo segments fitted in - this was a workout of 4 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile all at MP, with one mile easy running in between.  Ended up running them all a bit faster than goal MP - splits were 4 miles in 27:42 (6:55 pace), 3 miles in 21:01 (7:00 pace), 2 miles in 13:38 (6:49 pace) 1 mile in 6:40.  Ah well.  We were able to chat some as we did the workout, so I'm not too worried. Followed with injury prevention work at gym, and then 15 minutes of easy pool-running for “1.5 miles." Foam rolling at night.