Monday, June 30, 2014

Training log - Week ending 6/29/2014

This week was 63 miles of running and 7000 yards of swimming  -- training log is here.  

More of the same - just trying to accumulate more weeks of decent mileage and healthy running. I had a little bit of a blip this week when I rolled my right ankle (that's the bad one) halfway through Tuesday's hills.  The ankle didn't hurt, so I kept going with the workout, but by Wednesday I noted that my peroneal muscle on the outside of my leg was tight, and my outer ankle was very sore to the touch.  No pain while running, but the tightness and tenderness to the touch was concerning.

Got it dry needled on Wednesday, which helped some, but the ankle was still tender to the touch on Friday.  I debated whether to do the workout on Friday - it was frankly very hard to convince myself to skip the workout when nothing hurt while running.

 But....I've learned something through the years.  For myself,  injuries that pop up after workouts are frequently foreshadowed by a combination of a) something being really tender to the touch and b) me feeling very frazzled from stuff outside of running (i.e. life stress or a very heavy work week).   

When you look at training load (and optimizing your balance of stress and recovery), you have to consider not just running stress, but life stress.  Many of my worst injuries have been associated with  periods where my job was in overdrive, and I've heard the same from others.  When life is stressful, you don't recover and heal as well as you should, and minor tweaks are more likely to blow.

This week, work had been really stressful. It was a hard call, but I decided that I had two red flags here (feeling frazzled and the sore-to-the-touch ankle), and I'd feel really stupid if I ignored them and ended up injured after Friday's tempo.  Especially when my whole goal for this summer is not to get super fit, but just to stay healthy and build a solid base.  So, I sat out the workout (knowing that I could be helpful by timing my teammates and cheering them on made it a bit easier), opting for easy running and then some hard swimming to get my heart rate up.

Was it the right decision?  No way to know for certain, but I had good runs on Saturday and Sunday, and the tenderness of the ankle is just about gone.  Much preferable to another weekly report that starts off "yup, I'm injured.  Again."

Dailies

Monday:   In the morning, 2000 yards of easy swimming and a yoga class, also did some quick injury prevention work and upper body strengthwork.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 10.5 miles, including a workout of 7 hill repeats - nonstop circuit of up a hill for about 2 minutes, a 90 second easy jog, a stride, and then some more easy jogging to the bottom (whole circuit takes ~5 minutes).  Followed with some injury prevention/leg strengthening work and 1500 yards of easy swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  In the morning, 5 miles very easy (9:03 pace), a yoga class,and then another 5.5 mile very easy (8:43).  Later swam 1000 yards easy.  Dry needling in the afternoon.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 3 miles very easy (8:43) to yoga, and then 3 miles back home (8:34) plus a bit of upper body/injury prevention work .  Foam rolling at night.

Friday:  3.5 miles very easy (9:24), then timed my team's workout, followed by another 6.5 very easy (8:42).   Followed with 1900 yards of swimming, including a swimming workout of descending 8x100 on 2:00 (splits were: 1:43.50, 1:44.22, 1:43.14, 1:43.81, 1:42.17, 1:40.45, 1:38,84, 1:37.24) followed by 8x50 on 1:00 (splits were: 50.31, 49.42, 49.60, 49.37, 49.34, 49.52, 49.37, 49.47).    Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday:   11 miles easy (8:18); later did some upper body and injury prevention work.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:   14 miles progression (7:39 pace average, split as 8:38 for first 1.5 miles, next 7.5 at 7:46, last 5 at 7:12 - yup, was way too fast for the first third of this - I'll have be more disciplined next time).  Followed with a yoga class and a very easy 600 yards in the pool.  Foam rolling in the evening

Monday, June 23, 2014

Training log - Week ending 6/22/2014



This week was 60 miles of running and 7000 yards of swimming  -- training log is here.  

Yay - got to do my first hill workout in a year.  Felt darn good to be back and running with a big pack of friends.  All my hip issues held up fairly well during the workout (knock on wood). 

The workout consists of a nonstop circuit of up a hill for about 2 minutes, a 90 second easy jog, a stride, and then some more easy jogging to the bottom (whole circuit takes ~5 minutes).  The uphill wasn't much of problem, while the downhill stride did seem to bug things a bit - I just held back and did that part carefully, rather than sprinting all out (which I don't think we're supposed to do anyway).

Otherwise, the week was fairly routine, runningwise. My fitness continues to come back, but I need to continue to be cautious with the speed as I build.  The nice thing about the hot and humid weather we're having is that it doesn't exactly encourage crazy fast workouts anyway.  After a fairly careful build, I'm finally at the weekly mileage that I generally hold when I'm not marathon training (well....it used to actually be closer to 65, but I've decided that staying at 60 or a bit lower is just fine).

Outside of running, the week was full of highs and lows.  Pluses were that my sig other and I finally found a contractor to do our house renovation (the interviewing process has taken months - there's a lot of frogs out there, and the few princes are generally booked and can't take on new work). 

I also got my bone density checked again, and yay - my spine improved enough from last year that I'm now back in the osteopenia category (though just barely) as opposed to the osteoporosis category.  Woo.


At the same time, I had my first mammogram, or as I like to call it:

 boobsquishing.  

For all the hype about it being horrible, it really wasn't bad.  More ergonomically challenging than anything - like holding yoga's cowface pose while pressing your face and torso into a wall, and holding your breath.  While your breasts are in a boobsquishing machine.  

Awkward, but not painful.  However, I can see that if you were nervous and got tense, then it might hurt more as you pulled away and futilely resisted the massive menace that is the boobsquishing machine.  

For myself, the worst part of the entire process was the overwhelming PINK EVERYWHERE.  The waiting room was decorated by the hybrid clone of Laura Ashley and Susan Komen.

Anyhoo, boobs were squished effectively, and I got a nice report of "you have no breast cancer that we can see, and Virginia law requires us to tell you that you have dense breasts and we might not be able to see stuff anyway."  Interesting intersection of law and medicine.

In bad news, I learned that a coworker that I had worked closely with in the past (and really liked) had passed away suddenly.  His loss was shocking, and I was also sad to learn that his beloved dogs (David and I got along really well because we both love animals) had been sent to a shelter because there was no one that could take them in.

Mental note to myself and others - not a bad idea to have someone designated to take care of your critters if you pass away.

 
Dailies

Monday:   In the morning, a yoga class, also did some quick injury prevention work and upper body strengthwork.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 11.5 miles, including a workout of 6 hill repeats - nonstop circuit of up a hill for about 2 minutes, a 90 second easy jog, a stride, and then some more easy jogging to the bottom (whole circuit takes ~5 minutes).  Followed with some injury prevention/leg strengthening work and 1500 yards of easy swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  In the morning, 9 miles very easy (8:53 pace) and a yoga class.  Later swam 1500 yards easy.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 4 miles very easy (8:45) to yoga, and then 4 miles back home (8:44) plus a bit of upper body/injury prevention work .  Foam rolling at night.

Friday:  11.5 miles, including a tempo cruise intervals workout of 1600, 3200, 1600 (splits were 6:27, 12:54 (6:30/6:24), and 6:09)Followed with 1500 yards of swimming, and some injury prevention work.    Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday:   6 miles very easy (8:38) then 2000 yards of easy swimming and some upper body and injury prevention work.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:   14 miles progression (7:56 pace average, split as 8:57 for first 2 miles, next 6 at 8:06, next 3 at 7:42, final 3 at 7:08).  Followed with some injury prevention work, a yoga class and then a very easy 500 yards in the pool.  Foam rolling in the afternoon

Monday, June 16, 2014

Training log - Week ending 6/15/14

This week was 50 miles of running and 10,000 yards of swimming  -- training log is here.  

This week was a slight cutback week, at the recommendation of my PT.  I saw him on Monday for a status update (plus some dry needling), and we were both happy with where I was.  He did have one caution for me.   Though I was feeling pretty confident after a few weeks of consistent albeit conservative training under my belt, he thought I was only at the halfway point.  Basically, I've been out for so long that I really need to have racked up about 10-12 weeks without a major setback before he'll be comfortable that I'm out of the woods.  

And to that point, since I had had several good weeks, he thought it made sense for me to take a week where I cut back on the pounding a bit instead of continuing to ramp up.  I didn't need to skip workouts, and I could still race if I wanted to (though I decided I didn't feel like it).  Just cut back my overall mileage and the duration of the long run for a week or so while increasing the cross training as a way to give my still healing tissues an extra chance to recover.

So that's what I tried to do, though looking at my total mileage for the week, I could have done a better job. *insert whistling icon here*.  On Sunday, instead of doing a progressive long run I did an easy 10, followed by a swimming workout.  Wednesday's normally a running day for me, but I decided to just swim that day instead (the facts that I had to be up in MD near a pool anyway and it was raining also factored into this choice).

I was supposed to do my first hill workout of the summer with my team on Tuesday (and my PT was actually very happy about this - he thought the uphill running would be good for me, as long as I focused on good form rather than speed and was careful on the downhills).  But, my hammy ended up being a bit tight from Monday's dry needling, so I reluctantly decided to skip it.  It's really funny how, even after all the injuries I've had the past year, it still takes a LOT of willpower (and a supportive teammate) to skip a workout when things don't feel right.

Dailies

Monday:   In the morning, 1500 yards of easy swimming and a yoga class.  Dry needling appointment too.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 10.5 miles very easy (8:46 pace).  Followed with 1500 yards of  swimming, and some injury prevention/upper body work.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  In the morning, 3000 yards of swimming, including a workout of 5x(3x100 on 1:55 base), with 50 kick between each.  Splits for the 100s were all around 1:45/6 ish.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 8 miles very easy (8:45 pace).  Foam rolling at night.

Friday:  10.5 miles, including a tempo workout of 2x3200 with 800 jog between.  Ran both in 13:11 each, the first was split as 6:51/6:20, the second as 6:41/6:30.  Tried to keep these restrained and at true tempo effort, but humidity still caught up to me at the end.  Followed with 1500 yards of swimming, and some injury prevention work.    Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday:   Yoga class and then 6 miles very easy (8:24).  Later did another 4.5 miles very easy (8:14 pace - ridiculous what a difference the drop in humidity made).  Sports massage in afternoon.

Sunday:   10.5 miles easy (8:12 pace), followed by 2500 yards in the pool, including 1600 yards split as 3x200, 2x175, 2x150, 2x125, 100, all with decreasing recovery. Held a consistent 1:48 pace for the intervals. Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Training log - Week ending 6/8/2014



This week was 57 miles of running and 7000 yards of swimming  -- training log is here.  

More training, and it’s nice to be in the swing of things (fingers crossed).  My fitness is returning, in that weird way that is both frustratingly slow and surprisingly quick – anyone who’s come back from a long period of injury knows what I’m talking about :).    During intervals on Tuesday, I ran essentially the same paces I did the week before, but with a difference – last week the effort was too hard; this week the effort was controlled and relaxed.  Yay for progress.

Of course, I then made the na├»ve mistake of trying to hang with my old peeps during tempo on Friday.  That was a mistake.  I was shooting for 4 miles, but as I got towards the 3 mile mark, I realized I was starting to struggle and go anaerobic – not the purpose of tempo.  So I shut it down at 5K, to avoid digging myself into a deeper hole.  And of course, immediately felt guilty for doing so, though I knew it was the right call. Very weird blend of emotions.

I think it’s that tempos on the track serve two functions – they’re a physical workout (running a set period of time at the top end of your aerobic range), and also a mental workout (maintaining focus and concentration and positivity while running what seems like endless laps).  If you're straining mentally, well, that’s fine and good and part of the purpose of the workout, and you need to keep going to practice dealing with it.  If you’re straining physically, then you need to pull the plug, since you’re running too hard for the purpose of the workout.  But, of course pulling the plug means that you've abandoned the mental part of the workout.  The right decision from a physiological standpoint is also not the best choice mentally.

Easy solution to both, though.  Run the tempo smarter next time. :)
 
Dailies

Monday:   In the morning, 2000 yards of easy swimming and a yoga class, also did some quick injury prevention work and upper body strengthwork.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 10 miles, including an interval workout of 2x1600, 2x800. Splits were 6:17, 6:08, 2:55, 2:54.  Followed with 1000 yards of easy swimming, and some injury prevention work.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  In the morning, 8.5 miles very easy (8:37 pace) followed by a yoga class.  Later did another 2.5 miles (8:31).  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 3.5 miles very easy (8:55) to yoga, and then 1.5 miles back home (9:07) followed by some upper body/injury prevention work at apartment gym.  Foam rolling at night.

Friday:  10 miles, including a tempo workout of 5K in 20:33 (6:40/6:33/6:30/0:50).  Followed with 1500 yards of swimming, and some injury prevention work.    Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday:   7 miles easy (8:22) then ~2000 yards of easy swimming (actually 1900m in a LCM pool) and some upper body and injury prevention work.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:   14 miles progression (8:04 pace average, split as first 7 at 8:33, next 3.5 at 8:02, last 3.5 at 7:11), followed by a yoga class and then a very easy 500 yards in the pool– a 10 minute swim really felt good after a run that got a bit hot at the end.  Foam rolling in the afternoon

Monday, June 2, 2014

Training log - Week ending 6/1/2014



This week was 53 miles of running and 5000 yards of swimming  -- training log is here.  

Yay.  Another week of relative normalcy.  Intervals, tempo, longish run.  Just like old times.   I even did a continuous track tempo on Friday; in checking my training log, I realized I hadn't done one of those since mid-March.

It feels so good to be back into training, though I’m trying not to get cocky.  I’ve been here before and then blown a tire and gone back to square 1 (or if not square 1, at least square 2.5 or so…).  

Things feel OK right now.  I can’t say I’m totally niggle free, but this may be the best I’ve felt in the last 10 months or so.  Of course, I don't know whether I feel good due to the PRP, the new taping technique for my ankle, my improved posture, my commitment to avoiding deep twists in yoga (too much stress on back), or all of the above.  Or just random chance.  But I'll take it.

The only downside of the past week was the bout of mild food poisoning I contracted during my business trip to NYC.  Thankfully, it didn’t really hit hard until the late evening, after all my obligations were done.  And it wasn’t so bad that it forced me to miss a run in Central Park during a nearly perfect morning the next day.  I’d get REALLY sick of Central Park if I had to run in it every day.  But as a once in a while treat, I love it.

The plan for the next weeks is more of the same - careful workouts and restrained easy runs.  A friend pointed out to me that the second half of Tuesday’s workout was significantly faster than my predicted “moderate effort.”  He was absolutely right, so I corrected it for Friday, really trying to keep the pace well under control.   

Of course, this control combined with my lack of fitness meant that I ended up being lapped by my normal training group during Friday's tempo.  That was a bit sad.  But, better to be wistfully sad and healthy than aggressive, overtrained, and on the cusp of injury.  And overtrained and injured is exactly where I’d be if I had tried to chase my once and future peeps.

With a long period of injury comes restraint and a bit of wisdom.  Maybe.  Hopefully I have the discipline to continue to apply the brakes as I feel better and better.

Dailies

Monday:   In the morning, 1250 yards of easy swimming and a yoga class, also did some quick injury prevention work and  upper body strengthwork.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday:  In the morning, 9 miles, including an interval workout of 2x800, 1600, 2x800. Splits were 3:15, 3:08, 6:11, 2:57, 2:54 (was later pointed out to me by a friend that I really didn’t hold back that much on the last two.  He was right.  Oops).  Followed with 1500 yards of easy swimming, and some injury prevention work.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  In the morning, 5 miles very easy (8:50 pace) to yoga, and then the yoga class, before doing another 2 miles home (8:29 pace).  Did some foam rolling in late morning.  Food poisoning at night.

Thursday:   In the morning, 7.5 miles very easy (8:55) and a small bit of weight work at the abysmal hotel gym before giving up.  Foam rolling at night.

Friday:  9 miles, including a tempo workout of 6800m (~4.25 miles) in 28:56 (6:53/6:48/6:48/6:45/1:42).  The odd distance is because I decided partway through the tempo to cruise for 5 miles, but then my coach pulled me off the track, saying more than 4 was too risky right now. That’s why I have a coach, folks.  Followed with 1250 yards of swimming, and some injury prevention work.   Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday:   6.5 miles very easy (8:34) then 1000 yards of easy swimming and some upper body and injury prevention work.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:   14 miles (8:19), followed by a yoga class.  Got a massage in the afternoon