Sunday, July 3, 2022

Training log - Week ending 7/03/2022

This week was 58 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was my first full week on Artane (I only take it on running days, not every day).  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, I took half a tablet before running.  I ended up having pretty good workouts on Tuesday and Friday.  The dystonia wasn't totally gone, but much improved, and consequently I ran with or in front of those who were dropping me the week before.

Over the weekend, I bumped up the dose to a full tablet (the neurologist told me I could try this).  My hope was even more improvement.  However, it didn't improve the dystonia anymore, but did make me a bit weaker.  My 200m repeats on Sunday were comically slower than my 1200m repeats on Tuesday.  I also did hex bar deadlifts on both Tuesday and Sunday - Tuesday I deadlifted 140 pounds; on Sunday I deadlifted 105 pounds....

So...clearly that didn't work.  I'll return back to the half tablet and continue with that.  I have some baclofen that I was also prescribed - I'm debating whether I want to try that or just stick with the Artane.

Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 11 miles, including 4x1200, 2x400 in 5:09, 5:01, 4:58, 4:56, 93, and 95.  2:3x-2:5x recovery between the 1200s and full recovery between the 400s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: Streaming yoga and 11 miles (9:44), with drills/strides. Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 12 miles, with a blended track/hill workout consisting of 3x10 second hill sprints (6% incline, jog to the bottom for recovery), then to the track for 2x2K in 8:50 and 8:42, with ~3 minutes jogged recovery in between.  Then back to the hill for 6x0:45 hill repeats, cycling twice through a sequence of easy, moderate, powerful).  Then back to the track for 2K, 400m in 8:42 and 97, with ~3 minute recovery between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 10 miles easy (9:55), drills and strides, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 10 miles on the track, including 2400m in 10:51, 2 laps jog, and then 2x8x200m, with 200m jog between and 400m jog between sets.  Later did 4 miles very easy (10:10).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Training log - Week ending June 26, 2022

This week was 55 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

On Wednesday, I finally managed to see a second neurologist to get a second opinion on my gait/coordination issues (I scheduled this appointment several months ago - it takes a while to see neurologists these days).

The appointment was worth the wait - he spent a full hour with me, including having me jog up and down the hallway for about 5 minutes while he watched.    He confirmed that clearly whatever I'm dealing with gait-wise is mild (good news), and it wasn't MS or anything else sinister.  

He also noted that my head tended to tilt to the right in a weird way when I ran, and I was swinging my right arm oddly (I wasn't aware of either of these).  He then suggested dystonia - had I ever heard of it?  (the answer is yes).

I left the appointment with prescriptions for two medications - trihexyphenidyl (the generic version of Artane) and baclofen.  Both of these medications are approved for Parkinson's disease, but used off-label for other conditions, including dystonia.  I was to start with a half-tablet of the Artane and see what that did.  If it didn't help, or only helped a little, I was then allowed to experiment with any amount and combination of the two medications, up to a maximum of 1 full tablet of the Artane plus two tablets of baclofen.

So I started with the prescribed half-tablet of Artane on Saturday, and it really does seem to make a difference - I can feel my legs moving freely again, and it feels like I have so much more hip extension than I did.

So that's awesome.  I still had some stiffening/jerkiness at times (triggered by noises behind me) so I may experiment next weekend with a full tablet of the Artane.  The Artane has a long list of potential side effects including difficulties concentrating and poor short term memory - that's why I'm testing it out on weekends first.

In other news, the estrogen continues to work well for me - my aerobic fitness is getting better and better each week.

All good things.



Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 10 miles, including 2x1600, 2x800 in 6:59, 6:51, 3:21, 3:23, with 5 minutes recovery after the first 1600, 3 minutes recovery after the second 1600, and 2:30 recovery between the 800s.  Followed with four hill sprints, leg strengthwork, and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: 8.5 miles (10:09), with drills/strides. Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 11 miles, with a blended track/hill workout consisting of 3x10 second hill sprints (6% incline, jog to the bottom for recovery), then to the track for 2K, 1200m in 8:59 and 5:16, with 2:42 jogged recovery in between.  Then back to the hill for 6x1:00 hill repeats, cycling twice through a sequence of easy, moderate, powerful).  Then back to the track for 2x1200 in 5:17 and 5:08, with 2:49 recovery between . Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 9 miles easy (9:55), drills and strides, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 15 miles progressive, split as the first 5 miles averaging 9:30 pace, the next 5 miles averaging 8:18 pace, and next 5 miles averaging 7:34 pace, followed by a cooldown mile.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Training log - Week ending 6/19/2022

This week was 53 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Week 3 on the estrogen.  I think I'm feeling better, but it was also pretty hot and humid for most of the week, which made it hard to distinguish feeling hot and slow because of weather from feeling hot and slow due to lack of estrogen.

This week, I started introducing in blended workouts - mixing hills and work on the track.  Tuesday's workout was spontaneous - I showed up to the track workout only planning to do a few 800s, but then upon finishing thought that I'd test out a hill repeat sequence that I had seen on a friend's training log - 6x1:00 up the hill, cycling twice between easy, moderate, and harder effort.

Friday's run was more deliberate, as I started with a few short hill sprints to wake things up, before heading to the track for some long repeats - 2K and 1K.  After the 1K I jogged over to the hill to do another 6x1:00 hill sequence (again, twice times easy, moderate, hard) and then jogged back to the track for a final 1K repeat.

The workout really doesn't look like that much - it's a total of about 3 miles worth of hard running, with plenty of recovery packed in.  But it was challenging in practice, especially the last 1K. 

This article explains why that last 1K was so hard - the hard hills recruit fast twitch muscle fibers, which aren't used as much when running aerobically.  Once those fibers are turned on, you continue to use them when you return to the track - training those muscle fibers to do a new, aerobic job.   Very interesting.  And apparently a good workout to do when your focus is on general strength and power, rather than race-specific training.

Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 10 miles, including 4x800m in 3:31, 3:31, 3:29, 3:27, with 2:3x-2:4x recovery in between.  Then did 6x1:00 hill repeats, cycling twice through a sequence of easy, moderate, powerful).    Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: 9 miles (10:10), with drills/strides and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 11 miles, with a blended track/hill workout consisting of 3x10 second hill sprints (6% incline, jog to the bottom for recovery), then to the track for 2K, 1K in 9:04 and 4:23, with 3:00 jogged recovery in between.  Then back to the hill for 6x1:00 hill repeats, cycling twice through a sequence of easy, moderate, powerful).  Finally I jogged back to the track for another 1K repeat in 4:25. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 8.5 miles easy (10:12), drills and strides, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as the first 5 miles averaging 10:24 pace, the next 4 miles averaging 8:57, and next 5 miles averaging 8:11.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Training log - week ending 6/12/2022

This week was 53 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was my second week on the estrogen gel (Divigel), and it seems to be helping.  I've been less out of breath with each run, and my heart rate while running is dropping.  I noted last week that my ankles were much less stiff within a few days of starting the gel, and that's persisted.

One unpleasant side effect of the gel was poor sleep - I'd fall asleep and sleep all night, but would not feel well rested in the morning.  I called the doctor's office and they confirmed that this was a known side effect that would ease with time, and it has.

I'm keeping a tally of how this estogen replacement therapy works for me, in case it's helpful to other women in the future.  To date:

Week 0: stiff ankles, achy hips, stiff and dead muscles, and heart rate in the 160s for easy runs - asthma fine but get out of breath very easily. 

End of Week 1: ankles much less stiff, as are muscles.  Hips improved.   Breathing still hard and HR elevated.  Very poor sleep.

End of Week 2: ankles great as are muscles.  Hips achy (but could be the deadlifting).  Breathing much improved and has dropped at the end of the second week.  Sleep started improving on Thursday evening, about 10 days after starting the Divigel.

In other news, I officially canceled my flights to Minnesota for Grandma's Marathon.  Even though I'm feeling better, it just doesn't make sense to travel all the way to Duluth at this point.  I was fortunately able to get a full refund for my flight (I suspect this is because they changed the times of my flight after I booked) so the only money I've lost is the entry fee.

Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 10 miles, including 8 Iwo Jima hills (a bit over 2 minutes powerful uphill, 90 second jog, 45 seconds downhill stride, 60 second jog to bottom).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: 6.5 miles (10:04), upper body weights/core, 3.5 miles (9:33), and drills/strides. Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 10 miles, including 2x2K on the track in 9:02 and 8:52 (2:44 recovery) and then six 30 second hard hill repeats up a 6% incline.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 8.5 miles easy (10:10), drills and strides, and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 14.5 miles, including a relaxed fartlek of 9x4 minutes on, 3 minutes off ("on" was at a moderate effort).   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Training log - Week ending 6/5/2022

This week was 27 miles of running, 500 meters of swimming and 39 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

I attempted a workout on Tuesday morning, but didn't even complete the first 1200.  I made it about 600 meters into the rep and felt like I was in the last lap of a 5K on the track, so I shut it down.  On the off chance that I just wasn't handling the hot and humid weather well, I tried the workout on the treadmill.  But that didn't work either - I got one 3 minute rep out of the way and was done.  So I called it a day.

It's pretty clear to me that my body's just struggling right now with all the hormonal changes, so I decided to pull back and spend a few low key days in the water before returning to land-running.

When I started running again on Saturday, my gait felt really awful.  But on Sunday it was a bit better, and I felt slightly better than I had before (I did intentionally keep the run to 12 miles and then add on some pool-running miles).  Of course this could also just be the fact that we had better weather this weekend than we did earlier in the week.

***

When I saw the OB-Gyn last week, she took some bloodwork to get a baseline before I started the estrogen.  I haven't discussed the results with her yet, but to my non-professional understanding, it looks like the values support menopause - my estrogen was unmeasurable, and my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) was 71 - that value is consistent with menopause.

I was a little wistful to see this.  I've never wanted children, and always understood that it was going to be challenging for me to conceive (my cycle was awful and very erratic until I went on continuous birth control to stabilize it).  And yet the realization that the door was now shut on that stage of my life was sad.  It's a similar feeling to selling a home and walking out the door for the last time - you're relieved to be done with the transaction.  But at the same time, you can't go back now, only forward.  And there's a tiny voice that wonders if you took the right path.

***

On another note, I did some googling and redditing (I won't call it "research") and from what I can see, many of the things I've been dealing with over the past 18 months or so could be explained by the transition to menopause - even things as odd as quick electrical shocks down the legs (I've been dealing with those for a few years now).  And yes, a loss of coordination and struggles with balance and dizziness have been reported by other women.  Some women have a very easy ride; some do not.

So this makes me hopeful that perhaps now I am a bit closer to finally addressing my frustrations of the past 18 months.  It's just going to take more time.  And more patience.


Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 8 miles - attempted a track workout, but bailed before I completed the first rep.  Moved inside to try it there, but still struggled, so called it a day.   Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday: 9 "miles" of pool-running.   Massage in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and leg strengthwork.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 9 "miles" pool-running, including a set of 20x1 minute hard/1 minute easy and 4x30 seconds very hard/1 minute easy.  Followed with upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 8 miles easy (10:08), drills and hill strides, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 12 miles progressive, split as the first 4 averaging 9:30, the next 4 averaging 8:37, and the next 4 averaging 7:42, plus 3 "miles" pool-running.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


Monday, May 30, 2022

Training log - Week ending 5/29/2022

This week was 58 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Another jumbled up week - I did a long intervals workout on Monday in anticipation of another attempt at an IUD insertion on Tuesday.  Fortunately, this time they were able to get it in.  I felt an odd sense of accomplishment even though I literally did nothing but sit there.

Predictably the misoprostol (cervical dilation medication for the IUD insertion) made me feel lousy on Tuesday.  But, I have to admit, I haven't felt great the last few weeks, independent of the IUD insertion stuff.  This of course could be heat and humidity, or also the birth control pill changes.  But since I have had past issues with low folate, Vitamin D, and/or iron, I decided to buy a blood test and check those again.

As it turned out, all of those were fine.  But what was NOT fine was my cholesterol.  My LDL (bad cholesterol) has jumped in the past 6 months from its normal 80-100 (which is acceptable) to 160 (which is bad).  

From a strictly cardiovascular perspective, this isn't that concerning, since my blood pressure is low and my HDL (good cholesterol) is excellent.  But it does indicate that something is going on, and one of the most obvious causes is menopause - the drop in estrogen results in a big jump in LDL.

[obvious question - wouldn't I know that I was in menopause?  The answer is no - until recently I was on continuous birth control so I didn't have a period.  And that same birth control pill meant that we couldn't do any bloodwork to look for indicators of menopause, since the birth control pill would alter the values.]

As it turns out, I was able to get in to see an ob-gyn who is a menopause specialist this Friday.  We discussed, and she pulled some blood to see if there were indications of menopause while also starting me on supplemental estrogen, taken in the form of a gel that I apply once a day.   

There are some obvious questions and answers here:

1) why did I have to go off of the estrogen/progestin pill due to the dangers of estrogen at my age, only to start using estrogen gel? 

- Apparently the stroke risk of estrogen is associated with taking it orally; when you take it transdermally, it's absorbed in a different way that reduces the stroke risk.

2) won't you feel silly for going to all that effort to get an IUD if it turns out that you are menopausal?

- Actually the IUD is very useful.  One of the risks of estrogen supplementation is uterine cancer, which is addressed by also prescribing progestin to protect the uterus.  The preferred form of delivering the progestin to the uterus is an IUD - in fact the same one I just got (Liletta).  So that worked out great.

3) isn't this hormone therapy violating the doping rules?

-not if I'm only replacing estrogen and progesterone - both of those are totally fine, with no TUE required.  It's when you start adding in testosterone or HGH, or taking DHEA, that you get into trouble.  Interestingly (and sadly) when I mentioned to the doctor that I suspected many of my competitive peers were taking testosterone and/or DHEA, she agreed with me. So that sucks.  But it is what it is - I'm going to play by the rules.

4) wasn't there a study indicating that estrogen supplementation was very dangerous in menopausal women?

- yes, but that study was done on women who were sedentary and taking estrogen for the first time in their 60s.  More recent research has shown that if you start estrogen replacement at or just before menopause, and you also take progestin, and you do not have a history of breast cancer, then it's fairly safe.  Nothing's perfectly safe, of course, but I eat red meat and run by myself in the morning - this really falls into the same level of risk.

I started the estrogen supplementation on Saturday, so I'm only a few days in.  I noted as of Monday morning that I felt fresher and less stiff, but of course that could just be the placebo effect.  We'll see how this week plays out.  I ended up skipping my planned marathon pace workout this weekend because I was feeling off and wanted to give the estrogen some time to start working.  Hopefully I'll be able to do it this coming weekend.


Dailies:

Monday:  10.5 miles, including a track workout of 3x2400m in 11:04, 10:58, 10:47, each with about 2:50 jogged recovery.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 6 "miles" of pool-running.  Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday:  7.5 miles (9:56), upper body weights/core, 3.5 miles (9:37), and drills/strides.  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 10 miles, including a relaxed track workout of 2x1600, 8x200 in 7:25, 7:06, and then the 200s ranging between 49 and 51.  Full recovery for everything.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 4 miles (9:54) and 8 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 10.5 miles, including 8 Iwo Jima Hills (a bit over 2 minutes powerful uphill, 90 second jog, 45 seconds downhill stride, 60 second jog to bottom).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 12 miles easy (9:55) and 4 "miles" pool-running.  Gentle yoga and foam rolling in afternoon.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Training log - Week ending 05/22/2022

This week was 40 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 24 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was a somewhat chaotic week. I was supposed to get an IUD on Tuesday, and so I took some medication (misoprostol) on Monday night to "soften up" my cervix. I woke up on Tuesday morning and felt very dull. I started my warm-up and decided the workout was not in the cards, so I pushed it back to Wednesday and went back home. 

Of course, then the IUD didn't happen because apparently my uterus is very small (5 cm in length and also retroflexed), so I need to try again this coming week with a smaller IUD and a sonographer.   This coming Tuesday will be my THIRD try at getting this thing in.  At age 48, I am questioning if it's really worth this much effort - I think if the third try doesn't work, I'll just move on and discuss other options.  

Pushing the Tuesday workout to Wednesday meant that had to rework the rest of the week. I ended up doing a long run on Saturday, which was the first hot day of the year. I had planned to do 3x2 miles at half-marathon effort, but revamped that to sets of 4 minutes on/3 minutes off - do as many as you feel like at between marathon and half-marathon effort. As it turned out - 6 was the right number - each repeat would start at the right effort and then my heart rate would skyrocket.. Then I just jogged a few miles to get to 14 and called it my long run for the week.

The good news is that I handled this Saturday's weather (80 degrees with a dew point of 70) MUCH better than I handled last Sunday's weather (65 degrees with a dew point of 64).  I also stopped taking the Slynd (birth control pill that is very dehydrating) this week.  I am very sure these two points are connected.

Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 2 miles (9:52).  Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday:  10 miles, including a track workout of 5x800, 2x400, 2x200 in 3:29, 3:23, 3:23, 3:22, 3:21, 98, 1:42, 49, 49.  Recovery of 2:3x-2:4x between the 800s, full recovery for 400s and 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Massage in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running, drills, and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 3.5 miles (9:41), timed the team workout, and then 5.5 miles (9:39) plus drills, hill sprints, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 14 miles, including a fartlek of 6x4 minutes at marathon to half-marathon pace/effort with 3 minutes off.  Paces for the "ons" were 7:51, 7:42, 7:33, 7:17, 7:17, and 7:09.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 5 miles easy (9:51) and 6 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in afternoon.


Monday, May 16, 2022

Training log - Week ending 05/15/2022

This week was 56 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

So after being on it for about 10 days, I decided I didn't like the Slynd (progestin only birth control pill).  My breathing's just a bit harder than I would like, and I feel fatigued.  So I'm going to try an IUD, which will be a localized dose of progestin (taking the pill means that the progestin affects your whole system).

This week had some ups and downs.  Tuesday's workout looks nice as written, but it was a real struggle, with my legs locking up on me any time I tried to accelerate hard or heard a noise behind me.  The good news, of course, is that what is now considered a bad day would have been a very good day two months ago.

Friday I headed over to Yorktown/Greenbrier track to run a tempo, forgetting that Greenbrier track doesn't drain well (or basically at all).  It was lightly raining, and the track was slick and covered in puddles (and silt in one corner).  But I was there so I just did the best I could.  As it turned out, I relaxed into a tempo rhythm and pace that was just right for an 8K tempo, so I stretched out my planned 16 laps to 20.

To balance out the spontaneous long tempo on Friday, I did Iwo Jima hills on Sunday, rather than a progressive long run.  I wanted to do hills again to work on my gait, given my issues on Tuesday, and a progressive long run just seemed like too much of the same thing (continuous lower end aerobic workout) and too close to the 8K tempo.  The hills went OK - the uphill felt great, while the downhill stride was challenging.  I'm glad I did them.

I did really struggle with the humidity on the cooldown, despite slurping a salty gel and drinking a lot of water - to the point where I had to skip my recovery swim due to cramping.  I'll be glad when I'm off of the Slynd (supposedly Slynd is associated with substantial dehydration and loss of sodium - and I definitely feel like I am experiencing both).


Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 11.5 miles, including a track workout of 2x1600, 2x800, 4x200 in 6:45, 6:38, 3:15, 3:14, 48, 46, 46, 48.  4:3x-4:5x recovery after the 1600s; 3:00 recovery between the 800s; full recovery for the 200s. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday: 7.5 miles very easy (9:49), plus drills and strides, and then upper body weights/core, followed by 3.5 miles very easy (9:31).  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running, drills, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 11 miles, including an 8K track tempo in 36:11 (7:25/718/7:16/7:11/7:01).   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 10 miles easy (10:08), drills, and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 12.5 miles, including 8 Iwo Jima hill repeats (a bit over 2 minutes powerful uphill, 90 second jog, 45 seconds downhill stride, 60 second jog to bottom).  Followed with leg injury prevention work.  Foam rolling at night.


Monday, May 9, 2022

Training log - Week ending 05/08/2022

This week was 51 miles of running, 500 yards of swimming and 21 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

My big change this week was swapping my birth control pill.  For a LONG time (longer than I've been a runner) I've been on a combination pill called either Lybrel (brand) or Amethyst (generic).  It's supposedly an awful birth control choice for runners - causing weight gain and fatigue.  Despite that, I always felt like I ran well on it, and was at a good healthy and athletic weight.  So I stayed with it.  If it ain't broke....

But....the Lybrel/Amethyst is a combination of estrogen/progestin, and apparently now that I'm in my late 40s I'm too old to be taking it (this is because my risk of stroke increases as I get older).  Last fall I was told that I needed to stop taking it as soon as I was willing to do so, and in any event within the next year or two.  

So I took the leap this week and swapped to a progestin only "mini-pill" called Slynd, which might be better for running.   The "might" is because mini-pills are supposedly better for running, but the progestin in Slynd is Drosperinone, which is supposedly not a good progestin for running.  So we shall see.

So far, I'm sleeping better (win), have less muscle aches (win), have lost several pounds in water weight (neutral), and feel like my breathing is a bit more labored (lose).  I'll give it another few weeks to see how things settle.  If I don't feel like this one is working for me, the other options are an IUD or going au naturale.

Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 4 miles very easy (10:13), upper body weights/core, and 3 "miles" pool-running.   Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday: Streaming yoga and 10 miles (9:56) plus drills.   Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 10 miles, including a track workout of 3200, 1600 in 14:10 (7:09/7:01) and 6:47 with 5:30 jog in between.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 8 miles easy (10:13), streaming yoga, and 3 miles easy (9:42) plus drills and strides.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 14.5 miles progressive, split as the first 5 averaging 9:46, the next 5 averaging 8:23, and the next 4.5 averaging 7:30, plus a mile cooldown.  Followed with leg strengthwork (forgot my bathing suit, so no recovery swimming).  Foam rolling at night.


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Training log - Week ending 5/01/2022

This week was 40 miles of running, 500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Tapered for and ran Broad Street.  It was one of my slowest 10 mile runs ever, but still an improvement over my previous races.  The trend remains in the right direction.

My paces have been improving for workouts as well.  At the same time, my workout paces are not in sync with my race performances - the workouts predict faster than I am actually racing.  This could be in part explained by the fact that I face obstacles in racing (crowds, downhills, mats) that I don't in training.  But I suspect that I'm also running my workouts a bit too hard, out of frustration with where I am currently.

That's not how you get better.  It's time to pull back on the workouts slightly, to make sure they are matching my true current fitness.


Dailies:

Monday:  9 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 11 miles, including a track workout of 2x1200, 2x800, 400, 4x200 in 5:04, 4:57, 3:13, 3:09, 91, 44, 44, 4,5 and 45, with 2:2x-3:0x recovery between the 1200s and 800s.  Full recovery for the 400 and 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday: 8 miles (9:45) plus drills and strides.   Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 7 miles, including a 1600 in 6:53 and 8x100 with full recovery (just working on form and gait) all in 22-23 seconds.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: Just travel and a bit of DIY yoga and foam rolling.

Sunday: 3 mile warm-up, and then a 10 mile race in 1:11:40.  1 mile easy after.  Foam rolling at night.