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 ( 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:


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.


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


  1. I'm a longtime reader of your blog (and feel like a slight creep saying that for some reason) but have never commented before. I'm also a longtime runner who's pretty injury-prone and pool-running-prone.

    I'm wondering if you can relate to this strange issue I have - running injury hypochondria. I have real trouble determining what is a “real” niggle and what is just a normal reaction to hard training because I am overly in tune with my body. I obsess over every little twinge and focus on it to the point where the pain seems much worse than it is. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to know when I should be running through niggles and when I shouldn’t. I realize I'm a bit of a head case, but I was just wondering if this is something you could relate to. At the moment I'm dealing with a calf strain that probably isn't as bad as my mind is telling me it is, but I'm being cautious and not running through it.

  2. Honestly - that's the million dollar question, isn't it. That's one reason I go to PT when coming back from an injury - it's not just that my PT puts the brakes on me sometimes, but also that he gives me a gentle nudge when I lapse into hypochondria ("yes you CAN run on this"; "no you shouldn't take another week off").

    But it's really hard. Niggles are part of running - I've always hated it when people talk about running 100% painfree. I don't believe anyone's ever ouch free - we all have our little things that grumble in the background.

    I guess I have a few rules:

    1) I keep a private daily note in my training log, where I list everything was a bit ouchy. If it actually HURT, then I try to assign a number to it on the pain scale. Anything higher than a "3", or that alters my stride, will convince me to take some time off.

    I also monitor progress - if what was a "3" is evolving to a 2 and then a 1, then I figure I'm fine to keep running - it's going the right direction. If it's worsening each run, or it's taking me longer to work out of something with each run, then I need cut it back or take a break altogether.

    I also try to figure out what sort of injury it might be. If it's nerve, I need to work through it, and it may not even be appropriate to cut back. If it's tendon/ligament, then I cut back but keep some load on the tendon. If it's bone, I shut stuff down. If I suspect it's bone, I shut stuff down and see the doctor asap.

    I worry less about niggles that are bilateral than ones that are in one leg. I worry less about stuff that goes away after my first mile, and more about stuff that gets worse as I run, or really starts hurting post run.

    I've learned that, for myself, I'll sometimes have things flare in the night, and even wake me up. It will be an oh shit moment. Then I'll wake up the next morning, and be fine in a few steps, and my run will be great. The body is weird, and some times I think the different pains are the body healing itself.

    One trick I do use - if I feel a new niggle on a run, I try to focus (and even obsess) on another, old nagging injury that I have (we all have a few). If, in doing that, I forget about the new niggle, then I figure the new niggle was just hypochondria. But if the new niggle won't let me focus on something else, then it probably is more than hypochondria.

  3. Thanks so much for your response and advice! I actually use that trick too, but it's hard to trick myself sometimes when I get into injury obsession mode.

    I had just made it over 14 months of consistent, injury-free running (with a few minor scares) when this crampy calf thing happened. It quietly bugged me for a couple runs, but I was so convinced it was just another hypochondria event that I ran 12 miles on it yesterday -- and now it's definitely sore. Dumb. It's soft-tissue, not bone, but I'm heading to PT later this week to get it checked out. This sport can be so frustrating sometimes!

  4. Good for you to see spine improvement. I have slight, slight spine trouble thanks to scoliosis, but it's still above average - still, I like to see people succeed in increasing T scores just in case I need to do some catch-up at some point!

    1. :) Above average is good. I am still way below average...