Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weekly training, or not, blog April 16 to 23, 2017

  I went to yoga on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and twice on Sunday.  I saw Anna on Monday and got a massage but she did have me jog for 20 feet or so to see if there was anything glaring wrong with my stride.  The verdict, I'm not extending and I'm not fully pronating but compared to past sins I don't actually look that bad.

  So I was planning on running Friday afternoon but instead I threw my back out doing some weeding in the garden.  It actually wasn't that bad but I wanted to play it safe.  I got up still feeling tight but not too crazy bad on Saturday morning and then when I was eating breakfast it totally spasmed.  As someone who has had low back surgery I have had my fair share of 'throwing the old back out' but this one was a personal worst.  I couldn't believe it.  It was some real pain.  I couldn't move I actually thought I might be stuck on the floor for a long while.

  Now I can't take muscle relaxers because my spine wasn't fused so I needed a fix.  I went to yoga and basically laid in the the hot room for 90% of it and I did a lot of heating and Mckenzie back relaxer exercises and as it slowly loosened up a bit a lot of lacrosse ball massage.  Finally tonight after second yoga I sort of invented a new exercise/lacrosse ball massage movement that got it to let go and I find myself suddenly like 95% better.  I'll probably hold off another day on running because at this point I've missed so much time one more day doesn't really matter but I hopefully good to go.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Training Blog April 10 to 16, 2017 Just a lot of Yoga

So I tried running on Wednesday, the leg felt 100% all day so I figured I'd go for a mile or two and see.  It felt fine if a bit weak for the first minute then steadily got a bit worse and by the time I stopped after one short loop of the neighborhood, 3/4 of a mile, it was pretty sore.  Then it felt pretty set back the next day or two.

  These leaves me with two basic theories.  Possibility one is that I have a small tear in the muscle.  Which means I need to wait another week or two and it will come back around.  Just keep up the same treatment.  Possibility two is that I have a fibula stress fracture and I'm feeling referenced pain in the muscle.  I very much doubt this one but perhaps.  This would mean another 3 weeks off and that the extra cross training isn't helping me much.  I can solve this by getting some imaging. I may or may not do that.  There is no real treatment for either.  As such and given that I'm not in love with info for info sake I may just wait and see how it comes along, but I do have this week off from school so I'll end up doing whatever Melissa and Anna think is best.

  Other than the little run I did a good bit of Yoga and cross training.  I went to Bikram on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  My yoga practice is in a good place.  I joke with Anna that if I was paying her for cross training to help my yoga I'd have to give her a raise.

  I've missed enough time that I am going to have to rework my training plans which is very disappointing but that is how the cookie crumbles and one of the great things about New England is there are always other races you can target.

  Hope you're doing better than I and that the weather is as nice where you are as it is here for me.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Training Blog April 3 to 9, 2007, still banged up.

  Calf was shitty all week. I got a massage on Monday afternoon, tried jogging on Tuesday.  Made it less than a minute and stopped.  It isn't super painful but it gets a bit worse with every stride.  So it would be counter productive to push it.  I went to Yoga on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.  I also got massage and accupuncture on Saturday.  I tried running again this afternoon and again made it about a minute.  I'm doing a good bit of mobility work on it each day at home and overall it feels pretty good. I just have this one crazy knot.
  On the plus side I have been getting caught up on yard work and work work so that is something.  Really hope to get rocking this week.  Hope you are doing better than me.  -Nate

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Training week March 27 to April 2, 2017 Not Too Old to Make Mistakes...

Monday AM road 4 mile with Uta, 31:40
               PM road 10.1 mile solo, 1:05:33, ended up with bilaterally tight calves.

Tuesday PM cold rain so I did 10 on the treadmill in 1:01:18- this seems fast in comparison to my regular runs but was actually a lighter effort then my normal runs which are pretty hilly, both calves pretty tight.

Wednesday PM plan was to do a fartlek if my calves weren't too bad. did the first 3 miles of my 10 mile loop as warm up then started on 10x30 second fartlek, the first two felt pretty good but my left calf spasmed after the 2nd one.  I stopped and stretched and it felt pretty good so I decided to just jog the full 10 mile but not turn around, going back from whence I came I could be home in 3.5 miles verses 6.5 more if I continued the loop.   So for a couple miles things felt pretty good then it started to tighten up again so I stopped and stretched.  When I started up again I it didn't feel so hot and about a half mile later I was going up a hill and it spasmed worst then the first time.  I stopped and could tell it was pretty bad.  So I made the not fun choice to walk home, 55 cold minutes later I was home and not too happy about it.

Thursday PM 90mins bikram yoga.

Friday off

Saturday  snow removal

Sunday AM bikram yoga 90mins.

Summary generally after any recovery I try to take my time building back up but I decided to try something new with only taking one week down I thought I could jump in and go normal full on.  I thought I would get a bit sore.  So I was a bit surprised my calves were super tight after day one, that is why I dumped the AM run the next couple days and I had planned a tougher workout on tuesday and decided to try an easier one on Wednesday.  Not easy enough.  The calf feels a lot better now but I tried running on it and it wasn't quite ready for that.  I'll get it worked on tomorrow and do some more yoga this week and hopefully be back in the saddle by the end of the week.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Training for March 18 to 26, 2017 and a summary of my base phase

I didn't run this week.  I had scheduled a week off because I have had a very long base phase.  I spent last fall from a bit before labor day until just before Thanksgiving building up VERY slowly.  I was banged up, out of balance and really struggling so even though the volume of work was very low I was working fairly hard to do it.  Finally I got myself together over the course of November and started doing what I would call training and have been at it steadily ever since.  I would not normally schedule a single phase to be this long, 17 weeks not including another 12 or so weeks of build up, but I was just so out of shape after a 4 month layoff and another two plus months of very light running that I really needed to put in a lot of work just to get into some sort of general fitness.

  As such I took this week off. All I did was go to yoga on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and I got a massage on Friday. I did my normal stretching, basic exercises and mobility stuff but nothing that you would call real exercise.

  Looking back to the fall I was far out of shape.  I did run a 15:22 at the very fast Great Bay 5k, but the 16:11 I ran at the only moderately difficult Great Island 5k was more telling as to just how far off of decent shape I was.

  My first week resembling real training was November 20 to the 26th where I ran 72 miles the following week I was up to 84.  On December 10th I ran 32:10 on the very fair USATF Club Nationals course.  I would guess based on the winning time that it was within a minute of what you would expect to do on the track in ideal conditions.   So I was pretty out of shape.  At this point I was only doing half Mona fartleks and only covering about 1.8 miles while doing them, 5:30 mile pace or so.

  By the end of the month I had done a full Mona and covered 3.7 miles, about 5:24 pace, so I was coming along but I was still a long way from what I would consider 'normal fitness' which is covering around 3.9 miles for a mona.   I was getting in at least two decent efforts every week and running between 70 and 100 miles a week.  Nothing flashy but consistent.

  For the month I had 8 workouts, two races and a long run of 14 miles.  Certainly nothing to write home about but I was fitter at the end of the month then at the start of the month and I was healthy.

  In January I had 10 workouts, two races and a long run of 17 miles.  The first race was a 15:25 5k in much tougher conditions then what I ran 15:22 at back at Great Bay and the second was a very nice step forward with a 9:15 track 2 mile.  Not a great race but for where I was at it was good.  The thing I was starting to notice both in workouts and in that two mile was that I wasn't feeling the same resistance at speed that I had been struggling with the last couple years.  You can even see it in video of me racing. (fast forward to 4:10)

 I felt like I was running in sand when I try to get down much under 4:50 per mile pace and looked like I was almost dragging something.  In the 2 mile I felt like I had very little aerobic fitness and like I was running quicker than I had trained to but mechanically I felt smooth and easy.  This really got me, and still has me, very excited about the potential for running well this year as I get my aerobic fitness back and start to do some more race specific workouts.

If for comparison you look at how I'm moving now the improvement is pretty noticeable.

  In February I got in 8 workouts and two more races, my long run was 22 miles and additionally I got in three 16 milers.   I also had a 100 mile week, admittedly during vacation week.  The races were a 24:50 5 mile, which is back into what I would consider my normal competitive range.  Yes the out of shape side of the normal competitive range but after running a couple of 32 something 10k's and a 16:11 5k in the fall I admit I was worried about ever getting back into real shape again.  I am after all not getting any younger.  My 5 mile split at USATF had been a 25:40 and I feel like the courses were fairly even so to see a ~50 second improvement, 10 seconds per mile, over a 2 month period was very gratifying.  My second race was a 14:41 track 5k which much like the two mile really has me excited.  First mechanically I felt smooth and I didn't feel like it was hard to run that pace.  Second I was running off of fartleks and road work, no specific track workouts.  The fastest 5k I have ever run without specific work is 14:20.  So I'm not that far off.

 Generally I expect to drop 20 to 25 seconds on my 5k with a 6 to 10 week specific cycle which would have me in the 14:10 to 14:15 range this spring.  After how far I had fallen last fall I will be over the moon happy if I can run in that range this spring.  Lastly I improved my mona fartlek to 3.83 miles, an improvement of 9 seconds per mile to 5:13.3 pace.

  March was actually another good month.  I was getting tired and New Bedford was an unmitigated disaster but the general trajectory was still good.   I got in two solid weeks to start the month both in terms of mileage and workouts and with this rest I feel ready to go.  I would really like the snow to melt so I can get on the track for some specific workouts but I keep trying to remind myself I don't have control over that and that I no longer have the time to either shovel a track or to drive into the city to get on an indoor track so I must do the best I can with the resources I have.

  Moving forward I want to race two or three times in April, right now I'm planning on a Fresh Pond 5 mile on April 9th as a bit of throw back fun with Ruben.  A sort of "make fresh pond fast again" day.  Then I will likely do the James Joyce Ramble 10k.  I know some people hate this race but I like it.  I don't like the hill up to the finish but other wise I like the course.  It is generally competitive and they pay good prize money.

  In May I'd like to get serious about racing well and hopefully with some rust buster races and some specific track work in April I'll be ready to do so.  I plan on keeping at it up to the USATF-NE 5 mile champs in mid June at which point I'll take a week or two rest before changing speeds.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Training Blog March 13 to 19, 2017

Monday PM 8.3 miles in 54:11 solo

Tuesday AM 3 miles on treadmill, 21mins
               PM 4 hours of snow removal

Wednesday AM 2 hours snow removal
                    PM 11x30 second fartlek in the middle 3 miles of an 8.3 mile run, meant to do 10 but messed up my count, 52:20 for the whole run, the 3 miles with the fartlek were 5:46, 5:43, 541

Thursday PM 8.3 solo, 55:07

Friday PM 6.3 miles solo, 42:14

Saturday PM 4.2 mile solo, 28:10

Sunday AM 2.5 warm up, some more jogging, drills and strides after that.  Race New Bedford half marathon.  1:10:37, 18th place.  Well that is about as shitty a race as I have had as an adult.  Not really sure what went so wrong.  I had some coordination stuff and stopped for drills at 8.5 miles but didn't feel that bad.  The wind was the worst I think I have ever raced in. So that explains some of the time but not the place.  The wind was just as bad for everyone else. I was out too hard but nothing crazy and like I said I settled in and felt pretty decent. I don't really have an answer.  Up to about 8 miles I was actually thinking I was going to run pretty well.  I was out a bit too hard but I didn't think it was that bad.  Sometimes you're the windshield sometimes your the bug.  I was certainly the bug today.  I have a week basically off scheduled this week so my plan is to just move forward and hopefully this becomes a bad memory.

Summary  I'll do what I can to figure out what went so wrong in the half but frankly I'm note going to sweat it too much.  I know my fitness is generally coming along nicely and I'm happy with the progression of the workouts and if they keep progressing the workouts can't help but follow.  Now if the sun can come out and melt this snow while I'm resting this week so I can do some track workouts when I get back to work I'll be really thankful.  Hope you are well.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Training Blog March 6 to 12, 2017

Monday AM road 4 with Uta and Melissa, 30:51
               PM road 10 solo, feeling pretty heavy after yesterdays workout, 1:07:24

Tuesday AM road 4 with Uta, 30:02
               PM at North Andover track, 5k warm up, drills, strides, 16x200 with slow 200 jog recovery, average 31.6, jogs in about 1:08 average. This is muscular endurance, more like lifting then traditional reps, ie the last one feels basically the same as the first aerobically. 3 mile cool down

Wednesday PM road 16.1 solo, 1:45:31. thought I was going to have to stop for drills around 11 mile but then things came around and I was ok.

Thursday PM 3 mile warm up with Uta, drop her off, half mile jog to start area, drills, strides.  So my watch has a recovery adviser that is based on heart rate and the pace you ran.  When you save a run it tells you how many hours you are supposed to recover before your next workout.  I don't put much stock in it.  I do get a kick out of it when I finish a warm up.  Normally it tells me to take 5 to  15 hours recovery.  Now today I was feeling pretty tired.  I mean I failed to get up for the morning run.  So after the warm up the watch said I needed 50 hours recovery so I'm assuming my HR was a good bit higher than normal.  So I set off on my normal 3 mile tempo loop, 5:05 at the mile was a bit slow but not bad, the next mile was 5:15 which wasn't good and I wasn't feeling good.  I decided to keep the effort tempo on the last mile and let the pace be what it would be... 5:28!  Ugly!  When I stopped I felt finished.  I opted to skip the hill repeats and just do a 3 mile cool down.

Friday AM road 4 with Uta, 30:10
            PM circuit with Anna, nothing too bad.

Saturday AM 4 mile with Uta, 30:12, really freaking cold, -12 wind chill
                PM road 10 solo, 1:06:12, still freaking cold, 0 degree wind chill

Sunday AM 20.1 with Ruben in Chelmsford, mostly on rail trail. some snow on ground but not bad.  I did drill for coordination at 14.75 but was ok otherwise.  Cold again, 7 degrees, much less windy though so it felt ok. 2:06:02 total time.  couple light drills after we finished.

Summary 95 miles for week, 2 workouts, neither was very impressive.  I'm pretty tired.  I always struggle a bit in March.  I have a scheduled rest week after New Bedford Next weekend but I think I'll taper this week as well and hopefully feel some bounce again in a couple weeks.