Sunday, September 25, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/25/2022

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

The first half of this week was recovery, and then a few final marathon workouts.  I was hoping marathon effort would yield a slightly faster pace, given the good weather.  But I suspect there was a bit of GPS error due to the multiple 180 turns and bridge underpasses during the run.  [I ran back and forth on the Anacostia River trail rather than going to Hains Point because I thought Hains Point would be flooded.  Judging from other's Strava posts, it wasn't]

I have one more "real" workout next Tuesday, and then it's all half-ass stuff until the marathon.



Monday: 9 "miles" pool-running.   Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 9 miles very easy (9:50) and drills.  Streaming yoga in afternoon.   Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 9 miles very easy (10:16), drills and two strides.    Foam rolling at night.

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

Friday: 10 miles on the track, including a workout of 2x3200 in 13:55 (7:03/6:52) and 13:37 (6:50/6:47) with 5:30 jog in between.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (9:36), followed by drills and strides and then upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday: 16 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:14 pace, next 5 averaging 8:10 pace, next 6 averaging 7:29 pace.  Then a half mile cooldown jog.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/18/2022

This week was 52 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 9 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Raced the DC Half as my tune-up for Chicago.  I thought I'd run about 1:32, but ran 1:34.  I'm not that upset about it, because the weather ended up being warmer than forecast and it seemed like most people were a bit off of what they thought their fitness was.  I got a good hard effort in, and that's the most important thing.  I think I can run around 3:15 at Chicago if we get good weather (which admittedly is a big if).  

Dailies:

Monday:  8 miles very easy (10:16) plus drills/strides.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 9 miles, including a track workout of 6x800 in 3:28, 3:25, 3:19, 3:15, 3:14, 3:11; with 2:3x-3:0x recoveries.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday: 8 miles very easy (9:27) plus drills and strides and streaming yoga.   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 6:54.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 2 miles very easy (9:40) and foam rolling.

Sunday: 3.5 mile warm-up, and then a half-marathon in 1:34:05.  1.5 mile very easy back to car after.  Foam rolling at night.




Race Report: DC Half, September 18, 2022

I ran the DC Half Marathon today, finishing in 1:34:05.  This was a personal worst for the distance, and yet I'm OK with it.  Wistful, not upset.  I ran pretty much to my potential today, and you can't do more than that.

I signed up for this race a long time ago as a tune-up for the Chicago Marathon.  I like to race a half-marathon three weeks out from a full, and my choices were this race or the Philly Distance run.  This weekend is usually warmer than optimal with high pollen levels, and I knew I wasn't going to be setting a PR this weekend, so it made much more sense to stay local and not have to spend for a hotel or deal with travel.

(as it turns out, it looks like Philly wasn't that much better weather than DC, so definitely the right call).

Since this was a home race, things were easy - I left home at 6:15 and was parked in Georgetown by 6:30.  It was roughly a 1.5 mile jog to the start area, with a portajohn conveniently located half-way (I didn't know about that in advance - it was just good luck).  

Once I got to the starting area, I did my standard warm-up of 3:00 at marathon down to half-marathon effort, 4x30 seconds at 5K effort, and 4x10 seconds at mile effort (aka as fast as my legs will let me go right now).  It's a bit more than I used to do before half-marathons - I used to just do the 3 minute segment and 2x30 seconds.  But I need every bit of warm-up I can get these days.  I finished that up at about 7:15, which gave me 15 minutes to jog a bit more and then enter the corral.

Like always, I wanted to start this half off conservatively before easing into pace. So I lined up near the 1:40 pacers.  I didn't plan to run with them, but that was the best indication I had of my appropriate place in the corral.  I stood in the corral for about 10 minutes before the race started - enough time for my legs to get really stiff and lock up.  But I decided to try some high knee lifts in place, and that seemed to help keep me loose.

***

At 7:30 they started the race.  I was worried about how I would handle the first few minutes of tightly packed runners, but it turned out to be a non-issue - the course quickly widened enough that I had space to do my own thing.  

The course was a pretty simple one (and fast) - one loop around Hains Point, and then around the Tidal Basin and up Rock Creek Park, before turning around and heading back down Rock Creek Park and back around the Tidal Basin to cross the Start/Finish line.  It wasn't perfectly flat, with some mild undulations, but still a very good course.   On a cool crisp day this could be a very fast course.  

After the first mile, I starting easing the rhythm up slightly (like always, I had my watch blanked so that I couldn't see splits).  I increased gradually until I felt like I was just under my edge, and then held it there and rolled through the miles.

I know most of the course like the back of my hand, which is good and bad.  The bad part is that I'm not used to running the tangents, since I don't usually do so when running here (that whole "stay on your right and to the side thing).  I had to repeatedly remind myself to do that - this was a race!

Other than that, the race just flowed.  I was rarely comfortable in my pace, but I was holding steady and reeling people in, so that was good.  Things definitely warmed up, with the sun shining brightly, as the race progressed, and I was grateful for my conservative start.

The heat did finally catch up to me in the last mile, and when things got really tough I tensed up and my legs started to lock.  So that's something to fix for next time - I always close my races best when I remind myself to relax and flow forward, but I forgot about that trick here.  Next time.

***

Splits were:

Mile 1: 7:26
Mile 2: 7:14
Mile 3: 7:07
Mile 4: 7:00
Mile 5: 7:10
Mile 6: 7:03
Mile 7: 7:08
Mile 8: 7:09
Mile 9: 7:13
Mile 10: 7:09
Mile 11: 7:09
Mile 12: 7:12
Mile 13: 7:19
last bit: 44 seconds.

I would have liked to finish stronger than I did, but I think part of that was the rising temperatures.  Unfortunately, I forgot my heart rate monitor strap this morning, so I don't know what my heart rate was in those final miles - that would have been interesting.  (yes, my watch has a wrist-based heart rate function, but it's so inaccurate as to be borderline useless).

Other notes:

  • I carried a water bottle with me - my plan had been to toss it at mile 11 or so (I could then pick it up when jogging back to my car post-race).  However, I was still drinking from it then, so I just carried it to the finish.
  • My Garmin read 13.30 miles for this one - I suspect that this was mostly due to screwy signal under the Kennedy Center.  Yet another reason never to rely on Garmins for pacing.
  • The race was a bit warmer than ideal - starting temp of 66 with a dew point of 64; ending temp of 76 with a dew point of 65, plus bright sunshine.  After training in dewpoints between 70 and 75 all summer, it didn't feel awful, but it didn't feel great either.  Hopefully Chicago will be better.
  • One big positive is that I averaged the same pace for this half-marathon as I did for the Broad Street 10 Miler in May.  This course, though fast, is not as fast as Broad Street, and Broad Street had better weather.   I am making progress - very slow and hard fought, but progress all the same.
  • I wore my Puma Deviate Nitro Elites for this race - I had been considering wearing them for Chicago.  However, the toe box definitely got too small in the last few miles when my feet started to swell, so that my neuromas started burning a bit.  I think I need a different shoe for a full marathon.
  • It was so good to see my teammates and other running friends at this race, both before and after.  










Sunday, September 11, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/11/2022

This week was 51 miles of running, ~1000 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was my last week of training for Chicago, and I'm satisfied, in that I'm finishing this cycle better than I started it.  Saturday's marathon pace workout was confidence building - that's a workout that I would have struggled with at the start of the cycle.  Wednesday's workout looks like an outlier, in that tempo effort was not much faster than Saturday's marathon effort, but that was more a factor of the weather (Saturday's weather was much better than Wednesday's).   Had I pushed that workout harder, it would have been counter-productive.

Next week is a half marathon, and then after that it will be a three week taper to Chicago, where I'll cut back the mileage and shorten the workouts, but up the intensity.

Dailies:

Monday: 12 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 9 miles easy (9:36) and upperbody weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  14 miles, including 3x3200m at tempo effort plus 2x200m a bit faster.  Splits were 14:24, 14:22, 14:22 and then 49 and 49.   Recoveries of 5:29-5:59 after the 3200m repeats, and full recovery for the 200m repeats.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Massage at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in evening.

Friday: 9 miles very easy (9:50) plus hill sprints, upper body weights/core, and then 2 miles very easy (9:39) plus strides.   Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 2x5 miles with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:29 and 7:26).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/4/2022

This week was 72 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

My mileage looks like a big jump up, but that is deceptive - I did my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday, and so this week had six days on land and one in the pool instead of five and two.  The overall workload was the same.

We had a nice break in the humidity on Friday, and so I stretched out my tempo workout to 8K - 20 laps on the track.  I was pretty happy with this one - the effort felt right and smooth.  As for the pace, it was still slow compared to where I was 18 months ago, but a bit improvement over even last month, so things are definitely continuing to improve.

For this marathon cycle, I've been alternating between marathon effort workouts (17 with 4-3-2-1 or 2x5 at marathon effort) one weekend and a double of a long Friday track workout plus a Saturday long run with surges in the middle hour.  In years past, that second week would have been a Friday tempo plus a Sunday progressive long run, but I intentionally swapped things this year to give me a slightly different stimulus. 

For my last 20 miler of this cycle, I decided to go back to basics - a Friday track tempo and a Sunday progressive long run.  I really wasn't sure how the progression long run would go - to be sure I wouldn't get in my own head and overthink it I deliberately took manual splits at landmarks rather than autosplits.  Since my Garmin doesn't display pace, this ensured that I couldn't be checking pace during the run, and would have to rely exclusively on effort.

I was pleasantly surprised to realize after the fact that on a fairly warm day (temp 81, dew point of 74 by the time I finished) that I held around 7:30 pace for the entire marathon effort segment - the fastest I've run at marathon effort for a while.  Furthermore, the long run felt pretty easy - certainly not any harder than Friday's tempo.  I wasn't expecting that for my first progressive 20 miler in a year.

So that was a big confidence boost.  Judging from this, the change in stimulus has worked, and I've reaped some improvement this summer.

Monday: 6 miles very easy (10:15) plus drills and strides.   Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 11.5 miles, including a track workout of 400/800/1200/1200/800/400 in 1:43, 3:25, 5:07, 5:01, 3:16, and 94.  Recoveries of 75 seconds after the 400 and 2:0x-2:4x after the 800s and 1200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: Streaming yoga and 10.5 miles very easy (9:36), drills and four strides.    Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 12 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12.5 miles on the track, including an 8k tempo in 34:55 (7:10/7:05/6:58/6:55/6:47).  Full recovery and then six 1:00 hill repeats up a 6% slope (cycling twice through easy, moderate, hard)  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (9:39), followed by drills and then upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday: 20 miles progressive, split as first 7.5 miles averaging 9:45 pace, next 6.5 averaging 8:23 pace, next 6 averaging 7:30 pace.  Then a half mile cooldown jog.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/28/2022

This week was 57 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Just two workouts this week, but I was happy with both of them.  The Wednesday workout was in decent weather; the Saturday workout less so, but both went well.  I was particularly happy with how my heart rate/perceived effort stayed in the right place on Saturday's run - that hasn't been the case in previous attempts at that workout.  

I'm still a lot slower than I would like to be, but isn't that true for all of us?  At least the trend is the right direction.

Dailies:

Monday:  6 mile fartlek on the track (did a few 200s at about 50 seconds each playing with form) and then 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 10 miles very easy (9:52), drills/strides and upperbody weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  12 miles, including 2x(2K, 1200, 1600) at 10 mile race effort plus 400 a bit faster.  Splits were 8:52, 5:13, 6:54; 8:38, 5:08, 6:48; and 97.   Recoveries of 2:3x-2:4x within the sets and 5:14/5:40 after each set.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 12 miles (9:42), drills/strides, and upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 2x5 miles with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:37 and 7:34).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/21/2022

This week was 62 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Things still continue to progress.  My Tuesday workout is not a typo, btw - I really did run the 1600 faster than the two 800s that preceded it.  I don't have a good explanation for it other than that the longer I run, the better I feel.  My Friday tempo ended up being a bit slower than I had hoped, but the effort/heart rate was exactly where it should have been, so that was that.  For myself, running tempos too hard is really counter productive - better to focus exclusively on effort.

Consistent with my training plan, I did my 20 miler the day after the tempo, so that it was on tired legs.  Because I was doing the two runs back to back, I didn't progress the long run down to marathon pace at the end. Instead, I included a fartlek in the middle hour of what was a 3 hour run.  The fartlek felt better than previous ones - in fact the long run felt much better than previous ones.  So I'm seeing improvement, and that's good.


Dailies:

Monday:  6 miles easy (10:06) and 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 2x800, 1600, 2x800, 400 in 3:20, 3:20, 6:35, 3:13, 3:11, and 92.  Recoveries were 2:21, 2:41, 5:09, 3:12, and 3:06.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday:  12.5 miles (9:33), with drills/strides and upper body weights/core.  Massage in evening.

Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 11.5 miles with a 6400m tempo in 28:18 (7:10/7:10/7:04/6:55) and then six 1:00 hill repeats up a 6% incline (two cycles of easy, moderate, hard).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 20 miles (9:13) mostly easy but with a fartlek of 10x 2 minutes on, 5 minutes easy starting in the second hour.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/14/2022

This week was 55 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was a very time crunched and sleep deprived week, hence the short and late report.  

I had two workouts this week.  The first was the Wednesday workout, which was supposed to be 2x(2K,1200, 1600) but got altered since I slept awful and wasn't handling the warm and humid morning well.

The second was a Saturday workout that was a bit of a struggle despite nice weather.   From the start, I just felt short of breath and tired, and the workout was a struggle.   I also can't say that I honestly ran the workout at marathon effort - it felt too hard for that.

That being said, I think there were external, non-running reasons why these workouts went poorly, so I'm just going to write this week off as "at least I did something" and move on.

Dailies:

Monday:  6 mile fartlek on the track (did a few 200s at about 50 seconds each playing with form) and then 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 9 miles easy (9:52), upperbody weights/core, 2 miles very easy (9:39).  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  11 miles, including 2K, 1200, 1600 at tempo, 6 short (20 second) hill repeats and then 2x800 at tempo with 200m jog.  Splits were 8:50, 5:17, 7:05 and then 3:38 and 3:34.   Recoveries of 2:45 within the main set and 1:20 between the 800s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 10 miles (9:51), drills, and two hill strides.   Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 2x5 miles with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:33 and 7:36).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/9/2022

This week was 59 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Things are still going the right way, so I'm happy.  Tuesday's workout felt good, and was one of my fastest in a while.   I was also fairly happy with my runs on Friday and Saturday - they felt like the right kind of hard, and productive.

Fortunately the weather should cool down next weekend.


Dailies:

Monday:  4.5 miles easy (9:51), 6 "miles" of pool-running, and upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 2x(1600, 800), 400, 2x200 in 6:45, 3:18, 6:38, 3:12, 94, 47 and 47.  4:46, 2:42, and 5:34 recovery for the 2x(1600, 800), and full recovery for the 400 and 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday:  Streaming yoga and 12 miles (9:54), with drills/hill sprints.  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 12.5 miles, including a tempo workout on the treadmill of 7x5 minutes at tempo effort with 1 minute jog.  Speeds of 8.2-8.3 mph for the tempo (7:14-7:19 pace) and 6 mph for the jog (10:00 pace). Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 18 miles (9:27) mostly easy but with a fartlek of 10x 90 seconds on, 6:30 easy starting in the second hour.  Followed with injury prevention work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 3 "miles" pool-running (keeping a friend company).  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  Streaming yoga and 9 "miles" pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Training log - Week ending 7/31/2022

This week was 56 miles of running, ~1000 yards of swimming and 27 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Eh - one good day, and one not so good day. I was decently happy with Wednesday's tempo interval workouts - that was a workout I couldn't have done a few weeks ago. 

However, on Saturday I was banking on a drop in humidity and temperatures for my marathon pace workout, so that I could get a sense of my fitness. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and it was hot and humid for the run.  I did the workout anyway, trying to focus on effort regardless of how slow it was, but I had to really back off and add in multiple water breaks, and the workout was a slog anyway. 

I debated whether to bail on the workout, but decided that I was better off finishing it at whatever pace I could hold to at least get the effort into the body.

So I still don't know what shape I'm in.  I do know things are improving, so I'll give it another week or two.

Dailies:

Monday:  6 mile fartlek on the track (did a few 200s at about 50 seconds each playing with form) and then 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 3.5 miles easy (9:22), time team workout, 6.5 miles easy (9:39), and upper body weights/core.

Wednesday:  12.5 miles, including 2x(2K, 1200, 1600) and then 2x200.  Splits were 8:48, 5:17, 6:59; 8:44, 5:14, 6:54, 48, and 47.   Recoveries of about 3 minutes within the main set and 6 minutes between sets (full recovery for the 200s).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Sports massage at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 3 miles easy (9:42), time workout, 7.5 miles easy (9:38) and then upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 4, 3, 2, and 1 miles at marathon effort with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:45, 7:46, 7:56, and 7:49).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

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

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Training log - Week ending 7/24/2022

This week was 52 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 27 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This is supposedly week 2 of training for the Chicago Marathon, though I'm not sure I'm doing it (I'll decide in another week or two).

In my marathon cycles, I do 3-4 sets of a 2 week mini-cycle, alternating between the A week schedule and the B week schedule, before tapering.   In past cycles, on the A weeks I've done intervals on Tuesday, a tempo workout on Friday and then a progressive long run on Sunday (on the B week I do a Wednesday workout and then a marathon pace workout on Saturday). 

However, this time I'm mixing it up this cycle to try something different - instead of the tempo and progressive long run with 48 hours separation, I'm doing a longer track/hills workout on Friday morning and then an easy long run the next morning (with some strides in the second hour to keep it interesting).   Followed by a recovery day.

I don't think this is any harder than my previous schedule - in fact it feels a bit easier (you don't realize how hard progression runs are on the body until you don't do them).   But it's a different stress, and I think that one needs to switch up training from time to time in order to continue to respond.  So now my training two week cycle looks like this:

Week A: M: pool-running; T: intervals; W: easy miles; Th: pool-running; Fr: tempo or hill/tempo intervals; Sa: 18-20 miles easy with strides in middle; Su: pool-running.

Week B: M: A short run with 4-8 200s plus pool-running; T: easy miles; W: Stamina workout; Th: pool-running; F: easy miles; Sa: 16-17 miles including marathon pace work; Su: pool-running and/or easy miles.

We will see how it works.  And if I go through with the full cycle.

Dailies:

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

Tuesday: 11.5 miles, including 6x800, 2x200 in 3:25, 3:21, 3:21, 3:18, 3:16, 3:12, 46, and 46.  2:xx-2:5x recovery between the 800s, and full recovery after the 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday:  Streaming yoga and 10.5 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 8:54 and 8:49 with ~3 minutes jogged recovery in between.  Then back to the hill for 6 hill repeats (30 seconds each), cycling twice through a sequence of easy, moderate, powerful).  Then back to the track for 2K, 2x1K in 8:45, 4:21, and 4:18 with ~3 minutes jogged recovery between each. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 18 miles (9:20) mostly easy but with a fartlek of 8x1 minute on, 8 minutes easy starting in the second hour.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

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

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Training log - Week ending 7/17/2022

This week was 52 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Since I haven't raced in a while, I attempted a 5K parkrun on Saturday. I went out conservatively but still blew up (it was fairly warm and sticky, and I underestimated how conservative I needed to be). The good news was that my gait was not much of an issue in the race. I just ran slowly and paced poorly. Both of which are easier to fix than the dystonia. 

I'm now 12 weeks out from the Chicago Marathon - I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, but I lengthened my long run this weekend to preserve the option. Rather than do a progression, I kept the run mostly at very easy pace, but with a fartlek in the middle (the on sections were essentially strides). Since I raced the day before, I didn't want to do a progression run. Keeping it easy reduced the stress of the run slightly, and adding the 60 second pick-ups ensured that I didn't just shuffle the whole thing.

If I do decide to fully train for Chicago, I think I'll be substituting these types of long runs in for progression long runs.  I love long progression runs, and they are very easy for me.  Too easy, I think - I suspect I'm not getting an adequate stimulus from these runs anymore.   Time to swap things up a bit.

Dailies:

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

Tuesday: 11 miles, including 1600, 5x800, 2x200 in 6:50, 3:17, 3:17, 3:16, 3:14, 3:14, 47, and 47.  5:38 recovery after the 1600, 3:0x-3:3x recovery after the 800s (too long, due to track congestion) and full recovery after the 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: 8 miles (9:56), with drills/strides. Foam rolling in evening.

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

Friday: 4 miles (9:44) plus drills. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 3.5 mile warm-up, and 5K parkrun in 22:19.  Later 6 miles (9:40), leg injury prevention work, and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 16.5 miles, mostly easy, but with a section of 8x(1 minute on; 8 minutes easy) in the middle of the long run.  Followed with 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Race report: Anacostia Parkrun, July 16, 2022

I ran the Anacostia Park Run today, finishing in a time of 22:19, which was 2nd overall and top female in a very small (maybe 40 people?) event.

I haven't raced since Broad Street in early May, and so I needed to jump in something, anything.  I considered running the Harrisburg mile next Wednesday night, but it's a long drive up there and back, and fitting it into my schedule was looking harder and harder.  So I decided to find something to run this weekend, and settled on one of the local parkruns.   We have 5 parkruns locally; I opted for Anacostia because it was the closest one that was on a paved surface.

Park runs don't start until 9 am, so I slept in, stretched, and then arrived just after 8 am to start my warm-up (as always, 15-20 minutes easy jogging, 3 minutes at half-marathon effort, 4x30 seconds at 5K effort, and 4x10 seconds at mile effort).  I finished up around 8:40 and noted three things of interest.  1) I was the only person there besides the parkrun volunteers; 2) there was no water around; and 3) there was a helicopter hovering about 150 meters away over the lawn of a government building.

The good news for point 1 is that people started showing up about 5 minutes later.  As for point 2 - whelp that one was on me.  I was pretty thirsty, but there was no water, and not enough time to jog back to my car.  Next time I'll bring a bottle with me.

Point 3 was the interesting one.  Apparently the National Parks Service was doing some sort of rescue drill, where the helicopter would hover over the lawn, drop a hoist, raise the hoist, and then fly over us to briefly hover over the Anacostia River before flying back to the lawn to repeat.

All of which was really interesting to watch.  The strong breeze generated by the helicopter was also appreciated.  But...it was also ear-splitting loud - too loud to start the run (you couldn't hear the starter say "go").

Fortunately, they ended the drill shortly after 9 am, meaning that the park run was able to start.

***

It felt pretty hot and humid and the sun was bright, so I decided to go out conservatively and then hopefully build in the second half (the course was a simple out and back on a paved bike path).  We started, and I was immediately passed by 7 people.  That was refreshingly normal - I am NEVER fast off of the line.  What was also refreshingly normal was that my gait was actually holding up pretty well despite being near others.

I started building and soon pulled in a few people.  By about half a mile in, I was running comfortably and in second place, with a young girl (14, I think) in front.  She probably had about 20 seconds on me - I decided to work to reel her in gradually.

And I did reel her in, but at the same time started feeling worse and worse.  And the run just went downhill from there, with at least one walking break.  The funny thing was - I wasn't the only one this happened to - everyone was struggling.  The end result was that I ran/jogged my way to second place overall, about 20 seconds behind the male winner.

My plan had been to go out conservative and negative split.  Instead I ran the following splits:

Mile 1: 6:57
Mile 2: 7:11
Mile 3: 7:22
last .11: 47 seconds

Ooops.

The good news is that my bad race was due to poor execution and lack of fitness, not gait issues.  In fact, my gait felt pretty good except for a few steps at the end when I had to run on grass.  So I've got my work cut out for me now.


Other notes:

  • According to WeatherUnderground, it was 83 degrees with a dew point of 74 at the start.  So a bit hotter than I expected it to be (and bright sunshine with no shade).  So not entirely surprising that I blew up.  I should have gone out MUCH more conservatively.
  • I really need to bring a water bottle to the start next time - I don't think I did myself any favors starting the race feeling thirsty, even though it was so short a race.  But this is why it's important to race periodically - to remember this sort of stuff.
  • I'd much rather be limited by lack of fitness and bad pacing than my gait, so I'm OK with this.   I also really want to jump into another race so I can execute better.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Training log - Week ending July 10, 2022

This week was 62 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

I stepped back to 1mg of the Artane, and it seems to be helping a lot.  My gait isn't perfect, but it is much smoother than before, to the point where I feel like I am limited by lack of fitness rather than coordination.  

I did a few miles on my treadmill on Saturday afternoon because I hadn't run on it in a while, and was pleasantly surprised to run easily on it like a normal person (before, I had to touch the front panel at times to keep my balance).  

My workouts all felt a bit better too.  My running just feels more normal.  Like an out of shape normal, but that's OK - I can work with that.

Dailies:

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

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 3x(1200, 800, 400).  Splits were 5:15, 3:25, 1:42; 5:03, 3:20, 1:39, and 4:59, 3:16, 95.  2:4x-2:5x recovery after the 1200s and 800s, and 1:3x recovery after the 400s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: 11 miles (9:49), 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: 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 2x3200m in 14:18 and 14:10 with ~5:30 jogged recovery in between.  Then back to the hill for 6 hill repeats (25-35 seconds each), cycling twice through a sequence of easy, moderate, powerful).  Then back to the track for 4x200m in 48, 47, 47, and 47 with full recovery between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 9 miles very easy (9:54), drills and strides, upper body weights/core and then 3 miles very easy on treadmill (9:37).  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 14.5 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:37 pace, next 4.5 miles averaging 8:23 pace, and the next 5 miles averaging 7:34 before a half-mile jog.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

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.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Race report: Broad Street 10 Miler, May 1, 2022

 I ran the Broad Street 10 Miler today, finishing in a time of 1:11:40. 

My pre-race adventures were a bit messier than my normal preference.  The weekend started off with a Friday night wedding for one of my partner's best friends.  Definitely not the best way to spend the evening 48 hours before a race, but it was what it was, so I just went with it and tried to enjoy the wedding and not worry too much about the lost sleep.

Saturday I took a cab to Union Station to catch my 10:20 train up to Philly.  I chose the cab, rather than Metro, because Metro has been very unreliable on weekends.  However, what I hadn't planned on was a race closing down downtown DC, adding an unplanned 15 minutes onto a 12 minute trip.  Fortunately I had left early, so I still had enough time to make my train.

[I realized pretty quickly that the road closures were for the Purple Stride 5K - 5 years ago I set my 5K PR at that race.  So I really couldn't get too annoyed with the road closures. The road race giveth and the road race taketh.]

Of course, my train was then delayed, with multiple changes and uncertainty on the departure board - apparently a car was blocking the train tracks south of DC, delaying my train from rolling in.  Eventually the train did arrive and then depart.  The delay was actually good for me, as I was hungray and the delay allowed me to buy Chipotle in DC and eat it on the train (my seatmate might not have seen it in the same light).

Once I was on the train, things were relatively smooth.  I got to Philly, snagged my bib, and then settled into my hotel to watch the cross-country phase of the Land Rover 3 Day event.

***

Sunday morning I awoke to much better weather than the last time I ran Broad Street.  High 40s and not much wind - really ideal.  I ate breakfast, pooped, and stretched, and then left my Center City hotel at 5:55 to grab a train to the start.

[Broad Street pro tip - the trains running from south to the start line in the north fill up quite early, so if you have a choice of two train stations, go with the one further south.]

My bad transportation luck continued, as I waited a full 20 minutes for a train to roll in.  Finally one did, and I was on my way to the start, arriving there around 6:45.

This was just enough time to use a restroom, check my bag, and warm-up.  At Broad Street they want you in the corrals early, so I jumped in mine at 7:40 and hung out.  I had a seeded bib which meant I could start at the front, but I knew I wouldn't be running fast enough to belong there, so I re-assigned myself to the purple corral for those targeting 60-70 minutes - I thought 70 minutes might be a reasonable time for me, so I placed myself in the very last row of the corral.

As we waited to start, I noted that it was warmer than I had expected.  I was wearing a tank top, shorts, gloves, and arm-warmers, but I really didn't need the last two.  It was too late to go back to bag check, so I stuffed the gloves into my bra (the race photos are going to be excellent) and slid the arm-warmers down around my wrists.  I also belatedly wished I was carrying a water bottle, but too late for that too.  I'd have to use the water stops like everyone else.

The 8:00 am race start was delayed (it always is) until 8:05, and then there were a few minutes more delay before the purple corral was released.  But finally we were on our way.

***

As I've noted before, I'm currently working my way through some weird neurologic coordination-balance thing, where I'm prone to lose my balance or have one leg or the other go spastic on me while running.  Basically, my muscles stop listening to my mind and start firing out of order.  

These coordination issues have multiple triggers, including downhill running, faster running, running in groups, being passed from behind, and uneven pavement.  I've also figured out that immersion therapy - i.e. putting myself in situations that trigger the coordination issues and then working my way through them - seems to be at least part of the cure (pointing to a psychological aspect).

And that's really why I ran Broad Street - I knew that I was going to hit pretty much every single trigger for my issues while running this extremely large downhill race.  If I could handle this race, then I could pretty much handle any race.  And that's a big step forward.

I hit the first trigger right out of the gate, with the downhill start the race is known for.  I managed to hold it together, in part because it turned out that I had many runners going 9:00 pace or slower in front of me. (why were they in this corral?)  I had to weave, and I'm not good at weaving right now.  But I managed it.  And that's what I came here for.

About a half-mile in, I saw the equivalent of manna from heaven - a woman handing out water bottles.  I managed to grab a bottle from her while running (I was pretty proud of myself for that), and carried that until mile 6 or so.

Broad Street is a pretty consistent race - some very gentle inclines sprinkled into the net decline, and a few turns.  So there's not really that much of interest to note during the race - I just tried to hold a steady effort and let the miles pass.

There were a few patches in Center City where we had to cross brick sidewalks that were slightly uneven - these would not have been an issue for me in years past (or likely for anyone else this year) but I did have to work my way through them.  Ditto for things like the chaos of water stops, or people reaching out to get me to slap their hand, or crossing timing mats.  These were, as crazy as it sounds, challenges for me that required me to really think about keeping my balance.  But again, that's me.  And that's why I ran this race.  Mentally, this was one of the harder races I've run - staying on my feet and holding things together requires a level of focus that I haven't needed in the past.  And 10 miles is a long way to go while working that hard, mentally.

***

Like always, I didn't look at my watch and just tried to ride a hard steady effort.  By mile 8, things were starting to get tough and my gait was breaking down.  I was wobbly and had to really focus on keeping my gait smooth and relaxed.  In a nice touch, my feet were also hurting*.  But I knew I didn't have that much further to go, and also that the point of this race (for me) was to work through that stuff.  If you give up when stuff gets hard, you're not completing the exercise.

[*My feet were hurting because I was wearing my Takumi Sens, which always seem to be either too tight or too loose. In this case, they were too tight, and as my feet started to swell towards the end of the race, what had previously been slightly noticeable became exquisitely noticeable.]

So I held it together as we made a left and then two rights to loop around a baseball (I think) stadium before the final homestretch to the finish.  I knew that the finish line was 800m after the last turn (having measured it on Google Maps), but it really did seem like longer than that.  Part of the issue might have been that for whatever reason, there was no finish arch this year, and so nothing to sight on.

This was compounded by the fact that there was a mat about 100m from what turned out to be the true finish, and this mat had a clock with it.  The end result was that there were two timing mats, 100m apart, each with a clock on them, and neither with an arch.  The fact that everyone ahead of you was still running was the only clue that the first mat wasn't actually the finish.  A definite area for improvement next year.

***

I crossed the finish line (awkwardly, as has been my norm recently) and stopped my watch.  1:11:38 (officially 1:11:40) - a bit slower than I had hoped, but still a much superior performance to the 5Ks I've recently run.  So there's some improvement there (though it also could be that I'm better at 10 milers than 5Ks).

As soon as I could, I pulled over in the finish chute, sat down, and loosened my shoes.  Ahhh....much better.

***

As it turned out, I was concentrating so hard on staying on my feet that I missed a lot of mile markers.  My splits, as recorded on my Garmin, were:

Mile 1: 7:30
Mile 2: 7:10
Miles 3-4: 14:16 (7:08 pace)
Miles 5-8: 28:44 (7:11 pace)
Mile 9: 6:59
Mile 10: 7:00

So, the two miles where I felt like I was totally falling apart ended up being my two fastest.  That's good to know, and a confidence booster - I still can close, even when hurting.

At the end of it all, this is not a personal worst for the 10 mile distance (I ran my first Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in 1:14 and change) but it's not far from it.  It's also nearly a minute per mile slower than the last time I ran this race.  

Despite all that, I'm not upset with this race.  Sure, I would have liked to have run a bit faster and dipped under 70, but at the same time, I feel like I've come a long way in the last few weeks.  Furthermore, I now have the confidence to enter a race of nearly any size and know that I will be able to manage it - that's a far cry from about 9 weeks ago, when the start line of a 200 person 5K was a struggle.  There's a lot to be happy about here.

Other notes:

  • I wore my Takumi Sen 8s for this race.  As noted above, the upper does not fit my foot well, which is a shame, because I otherwise really like the shoe.  I was considering wearing them for my June half-marathon, but I think that's a no go.  Hopefully I'll be up to wearing Vaporflies by then.
  • The race ended up a bit warmer than expected - mid-50s.  Still great running weather and no complaints, but I do wish I'd checked my gloves and arm-warmers.  At times, we had a headwind, which was annoying, but also nicely cooling.
  • I wore a heart rate strap (as always) but it slipped down around my waist at the half-way point, resulting in this amusing heart rate chart.  It's too bad - I was in the high 170s at the middle of the race, and I'd like to know what I ended at.

  • My breathing was not great for this race, though I think ultimately my limiter was still my wobbliness and general fitness.  I checked post race, and the pollen was high and the air quality "moderate" so perhaps that was the cause.  Or maybe I'm just whining.

    Now you tell me.

  • I did brunch with friends after the race and they had gluten-free tater tots and that was pure win.



Monday, April 25, 2022

Training log - Week ending 4/24/2022

This week was 62 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was another week of steady mileage before pulling back during the upcoming week to taper for the Broad Street 10 Miler on Sunday.

I did my Sunday long run on the Mount Vernon trail this week, between Roosevelt Island and Alexandria, with the last five miles going north towards Roosevelt Island.  This route, though paved, is full of things that I struggle with - uneven pavement due to root heaves, wooden bridges, and some short rolling hills near the airport.  The good news is that my balance was much improved - there was only one point on the run where I felt like I might fall (a fairly steep downhill that lasted all of 20m).  Other than that, I was able to focus on the effort of my running, rather than worry about staying on my feet.

Similarly, Tuesday's workout was notable in that I felt like I was really working aerobically.  That hasn't been the case in the past - I've been in this weird limbo where my legs simply wouldn't move fast enough to challenge my heart and lungs.  Now my coordination has improved (and I've also lost fitness) and so I'm able to work hard during a workout again.

One change that I've made in the past several weeks that I think is helping a lot:  I've started doing Ethiopian-style running drills on a daily basis (on pool-running days, I do them after pool-running).  I've always done running drills, but generally only a few, and only for about 10 seconds at a time. Now I do a wider range of movements, and I time them with my watch, doing 30 second slots.

[an example of the types of drills I'm doing is here.]

The 30 second duration seems to be key - I'll get about 10 seconds in, and then the signals will start getting garbled to my legs and I'll start to lose coordination - similar to what happens when I run.  30 seconds is long enough that it forces me to work through that point, and re-establish coordination.  

Separately, I used my Friday workout to test out different shoes.  I did the first 2 miles in the Asics Metaspeed Edge, and the second 2 miles in the New Balance RC Elite 2.  Then I swapped back to the Edge for a "300" and a "200" - both using marks on the road of questionable accuracy.

My verdict was that the Edge is best for short fast stuff where you are moving your legs quickly.  At tempo effort I tend to land further back on my midfoot and roll through my foot, and the Edge did not work for that at all. The RC Elite 2 was much better than the Edge at tempo effort (as seen by the notable pace difference between the two shoes) but I still think that shoe is best at the marathon distance.  For Broad Street, I'll likely go with my Takumi Sen 8s, which feel like a middle ground between the Edge and the RC Elite.


Dailies:

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

Tuesday: 12 miles, including a track workout of 1600, 1200, 2x800, 400, 2x200 in 6:53, 4:56, 3:14, 3:11, 91, 44, and 45.  4:50 recovery after the 1600; 2:4x-3:0x recovery after the 1200 and 800s; full recovery for the rest.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday:  8 miles very easy (9:57); upper body weights/core, and then 4 miles easy (9:30) plus drills and strides.   Foam rolling in evening.

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

Friday: 12 miles, including 2x2 miles in 14:07 (7:08/6:59) and 13:43 (6:54/6:49) with long recovery in between (to swap shoes - I was testing different shoes).  Also did a "300m" in 73 seconds and a "200m" in 46 seconds (distances approximate). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming. 

Saturday: 8 miles easy (9:59), followed by streaming yoga and 4.5 miles easy (9:41) plus drills and strides.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:44, next 4 miles averaging 8:22, and the next 5 miles averaging 7:44 before a cooldown.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Training log - Week ending 4/17/2022

This week was 60 miles of running, ~1500 meters of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

I decided to sit out the BAA 5k this weekend in favor of getting in a consistent week of training (and not having to travel).  I was pretty happy with how things felt - things are definitely improving.

I noted a few weeks ago that my adductors and inner hamstrings were extraordinarily week, so I've started working to strengthen them.  It seems to be helping with my stability, as does thinking about using them when running.

Dailies:

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

Tuesday: 12 miles, including a track workout of 6x800 in 3:24, 3:17, 3:14, 3:12, 3:14, 3:13.  2:2x-2:4x recovery after the 800s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday:  Streaming yoga and 11 miles easy (9:41) plus drills and four hill strides.   Foam rolling in evening.

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

Friday: 11 miles, including a 4 mile tempo on the roads in 27:46 (7:05/7:01/6:55/6:45).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming. 

Saturday: 11 miles easy outside (9:33) plus drills and hill sprints, followed by upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:49, next 4 miles averaging 8:17, and the next 5 miles averaging 7:23 before a cooldown.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Training log - week ending 4/10/2022

This week was 44 miles of running, 500 meters of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

I did a second round of platelet lysate injections in my back on Tuesday, plus some bonus prolotherapy in my SI joint.  As with the first set of injections, I took a day off, a day in the pool, and then started ramping back up.  I also felt fairly sluggish in my first runs back - I had the same experience before, so I think that's just PRP - the reaction in the first days after drains some of your energy.

I was entered in the BAA 5K this coming weekend but have decided to skip it.  Three 5Ks in four weeks just doesn't seem like a great idea, especially when the off week was dedicated to back injections.  Additionally, Boston is an expensive trip, and I really don't feel like traveling right now.  So I'll just enjoy a few days at home (I'm still taking Monday off to watch the marathon).

Dailies:

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

Tuesday: 10.5 miles, including a track workout of 2x1200, 2x800, 2x400 in 5;13, 5:02, 3:13, 3:12, 92, 93.   2:2x-4:0x recovery after the 1200s and 800s, 80 second recovery between 400s.  Platelet lysate injections after. 

Wednesday: Off.  Just some foam rolling in evening.

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

Friday: 9 miles, including 4 hill repeats up a 350m hill with a 5% incline; full recovery between each.  Followed with leg strengthwork.    Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 10 miles very easy outside (9:52) and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday: 12.5 miles progressive, split as the first 4 miles averaging 9:50, the next 4 miles averaging 8:28, and the next 4.5 miles averaging 7:22 (plus 2 miles jogged at 9:09 pace).  Followed by injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.