Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday - 14 miles

Well, Disneyland was successful. I wore my Garmin and ended-up walking about 8 miles! I know, that's weak, but I was just curious. Certainly a fat burning special. The kids had a freakin' ball. That would be all four of us. Despite the mid-day heat, by the end of the day we were flying around hitting rides, laughing and working-up a hunger, which we addressed at a nice little Italian joint in Downtown Disney. Got home around 10:30. Big day. Everyone worn-out. - I have to find my camera USB so I can down load some pics.

Tuesday - Off. Back at work and still nursing (probably more anxiety driven) my PF. Getting better though due to the stretching, wearing better supportive non-running shoes, and following all of the killer advice I've been getting from some very generous people who know their sh*t!

Today I ran 14 miles, avg. HR 147, ~8:30 pace. My legs became fairly sore during the last 5 miles, but the pain was actually refreshing. The plantar fascia felt better. I think I was just a little sluggish, plus I haven't been stretching enough and my diet has been pretty lame. On the upside, my legs feel good right now.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday - 1:30 bike ride

I decided to spend another day off the feet and ride my bike instead. This has been more or less a recovery week, so the bike ride is apropos. Some athletes recover better than others. I might be one to over-do things a bit, not that I'm in some sort of serious training regimen, but training for May 17th has me on a schedule. Trevor Glavin responded to my question about his recovery, which consists of taking 1-2 days off during that week, maybe more! That guy has some results to support his training. Two weeks ago I ran 50 miles, last week 58 and this week 30 miles. That's my recovery week. I took two days off, ran three days and cross-trained the other two days.

Tomorrow I have quite a day: Disneyland with wife, child and niece. I'm giddy just thinking about it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday - 8+ miles

a.m. 8+ miles, 8:20 pace, avg. HR 145. Nice and aerobic. Also, I taped my feet per someone's advice. I found a couple of tape jobs on-line. I'll experiment. My first tape job and it was pretty successful, I guess. My feet felt better, more secure, less pain though still a little in my left heel. I'm going to take great care of these dogs. Huge priority.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday - went to the gym

Low impact aerobic exercise: 45 min. elliptical and 45 min spinning. Felt like I took a nap.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday - On the road. . .

. . . to recovery. Usually I pick-up Jack and we go to the gym on Thursday afternoon. For Jack and me, it's Friday because tomorrow we off. But I talked him into going home and chillin' today instead. Yesterday beat me up, and my plantar fascia, in particular, needs some tlc.

Big thanks to Lucho for his continued generosity. The man knows his long distance running, but I'm just being redundant.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday - 14.5+ miles

Today was what I might call my microcosmic workout (I mean to say microcosm, but the "ic" gives it that really hip pot-head sensibility). Microcosm because it was like a much smaller version of the periodization everyone knows and loves.

I ran again at Penasquitos Canyon. I started with about 10 miles, avg. HR 148, 1100 ft. climbing, pace 8:30, nice and easy. That was my base. Then I turned it on and did about 4.5 miles back into the hills, avg. HR 169. This was my anaerobic work. I did it all! It felt pretty good. There was actually a little bit of pain distribution throughout the run. During the "base" my feet hurt. This is a bit of a concern. It's either the shoes, the mileage, or both. Hmmmm. During the tempo/hill work, my entire system hurt. I didn't take any water or food. And it was hot. So there was suffering, which is key for Vail Lake simulation. Pretty comprehensive.

Time for some spinning/ellipitical/stretching, i.e., recovery work for the next few days. . .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday - 6 miles

I did an Aet test/ HR 140-150

Mile 1 - 8:11 HR 147

Mile 2 - 8:13 HR 149

Mile 3 - 8:24 HR 149

I warmed up a little and jogged on the grass and did a few drills afterwards.

I'll do this test once a month. Obviously I should see some improvement. Imagine that.

Monday took a day off. Was very sluggish.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday - 8 miles (week total: 58 miles)

Today was a great day. Yesterday's 15 mile aerobic run was pretty tough. I ran sore, specifically with some lower calf pain, but the knees and feet generally just felt a little weathered. Yesterday's 15 miles brought my week total to 50 still with Sunday to reach my goal of 60. But the soreness gave me some apprehension. Also, I'm reading Dr. Philip Maffetone's seminal piece on health and fitness, so his words regarding balance and stress made me think I ought to maybe take Sunday off. Was I over-training? Was I obsessing about the numbers? Exercise is not supposed to be this stressful or complicated. Perhaps I owed my body and mind a day off. Besides, my wife's parents were in town, so some good food and laughter were in store; that might have been a clincher.

Be that as it may, after yesterday's run I soaked in the ocean. It's pretty chilly right now (south west coast p.o.v.) so I thought that might aid in the mending. Then I stretched a ton and just kicked back all day, watched some NBA playoffs, read and ate some good food.

I started to feel better; and even though I still had some little aches (I'd just completed my first back to back 50 mile weeks) and was being sold a day-off via the Dr.'s words of wisdom, I left the door open. No expectations. Certainly no early wake-up, but I'd see what the next day (today) had to offer.

I felt great today when I awoke. The family had a nice breakfast in Pacific Beach and followed that up with a stroll along the boardwalk and some frolicking in the sand (I even got my feet into the tiny shore break). When we got home, the girls went shopping, the grandparents and my son took a nap and I just sat in front of the TV for about five minutes before I conceded that the day had indeed generously given me what I wanted - to run.

And this is where it gets a little ironic. I had skipped ahead in the book to the chapter on anaerobic training. In short, the Dr. simply says that once one has a good base, anaerobic work can be integrated so long as a balance is still maintained. Geez, I'm just interested in doing some, but nothing to threaten the balance as I ramp-up for May 17th. I've been running aerobically for close to three months now, so despite the notion that I still have a lot of work to do on my aerobic system, I can probably afford a few harder efforts. Last Sunday included some tempo on the trail. A pattern. This will be my schedule for the next few weeks. I might even do an anaerobic work-out mid-week, as well, but Sundays will definitely be a day to throw-down.

8 miles at Rancho Penasquitos Canyon. The run included about 1000ft. climbing, which was done during the harder sections of my work-out.

2 mi. warm-up - avg. HR 140
1.5 mi. hard - HR 173
1.5 mi. recover - HR 151
2 mi. hard - HR 169
1 mi. cool down - HR 151

This was tough considering what I'd done all week and how I felt yesterday! I went from maybe not running today to integrating some anaerobic work! You just never know! I think this kind of work-out at the end of such a week will build xtra strength and endurance. The body is amazing. I read about it all the time, but it's nice to see it for myself. And note that I only did 8 miles. Why not two more to make it 60 for the week? Because I didn't want to. And I feel fine.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday - 15 miles

I was going to run Penasquitos Canyon this am, do 15 mi. But because of my bad dreams and the thought of a pride of mountain lions attacking me in the lonely dawn of the trail, I parked the car at the beach and ran up the coast, out and back 15 miles. I was sore going in. My lower calf soreness was the least of my concerns. The feet and knees are feelin it and this run along the coast was brutal in terms of the asphalt pounding. But, I got in the 15 and got to soak my lower half in the ocean afterwards. That helped.

Avg. HR 148. Like the 14 I did a couple of days ago, felt easy. I just need to ice and recover. Strange: the run was relatively flat along the coast, a little sand, a little boardwalk, street - pretty flat. But my Garmin recorded 1200+ ft. of climbing.

Tomorrow we do real climbing.
If I can manage it (the pain), I'm doing 10-15 on the trail with some tempo.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday - 4 miles

Spent 30 min. lifting, 25 min. on the elliptical and ran 4 miles on the treadmill, avg. HR 134. Might've run further but for the little cramp/pull in my lower calf. Besides, I want to lay into some mileage this weekend, so I planned on being light anyway and 4 brings my week total to 35, so I have that going for me . . . .which is nice. . .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday - 11 miles

am - 3.5 miles. Around the neighborhood, HR avg. 146, 8:20 pace. Not flat, but still pretty mellow. A nice burst before heading to work.

pm - 7.5 miles. Avg. HR 136, 8:36 pace. Kinda kicked my arse. Probably the cumulative effect of yesterday and my crappy diet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday - 14 miles

I took Tuesday off, but today ran 14 miles on the lovely trails of Penasquitos Canyon, avg. HR 150. That's my Aet HR, my target, so whether it's coincidence or not, I'm pleased to have maintained that HR considering the trail and heat and distance, no water, etc. Spending about 2 hrs. on my feet gave me a chance to really feel the run, checking HR often and pace. I climbed over 1500 ft., so keeping HR in check seems pretty obvious. During the last 7 miles or so, however, I used some PE to help me find a rhythm and avoid staring at the HRM. One does a lot of thinking out there. I thought about how steady the run became (well, of course, I'm searching my steady state). I wouldn't stress or press at all, but just run as comfortably as I could. As the trail climbed, I'd slow down, to stay comfortable, and this contributed to the steady state. When the trail fell away, so did I, letting gravity control my pace. My point: this natural ebb and flow of my gait/exertion corresponding to the trail kept me comfortable and my HR very steady in the 146 range for long stretches. The climbs, despite my deceleration, pushed my HR up. This natural rhythm made for a very mellow run. Although my knees and feet started to feel the work, my breath and appetite remained pretty sedated/dormant. I had no water or nutrition for the duration and felt fine. As for the knees and feet, this is another example of the suffering of aerobic training. One is the patience one needs (j/k), but another kind is the general pounding one seems to endure. For example, I remember my step-dad telling me how after he finished Ironman Canada, Lori Bowden walked by and he naturally said congratulations since she podiumed or won . . . She said something to the extent of no no congratulations to you for finishing such a long day. She finished in 9+ hrs; he finished in 16+ hrs. Although she should be celebrated for her efforts, he's the one who suffered brutally and finished. Going slow can encourage and extend the suffering. The body certainly knows of what I speak.

Lastly, one aspect of my "feel good" run concerned my breathing, which I noted was easy, almost effortless. Alas, I was breathing through my nose.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday - 6 miles

I spun on the stationary to flush some of the ache from my legs. The lifting on Saturday was gnarly, which added to the pain during my Sunday trail run. Still sore today. After the spin, I ran 6 miles, avg. HR 138. Slow. I wanted to take it easy after yesterday.

Hopefully a bigger (mileage) week to come.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday - 9 miles (Week total: 50 miles)

9 miles, avg. HR 159, 8:30 pace, 1100 ft. elevation. Today was a fairly rolling trail run in mid 80 degree heat. It was hot. Actually the conditions were a little tough for me. I've been pussy-footing it a on pretty flat courses and the treadmill, targeting specific HR zones. So, this course was much more realistic and more difficult in terms of keeping the HR down. Also, the treadmill can hide some illness, in this case, congestion (that's been my experience). A good trail run exposes all of that. So I'm fighting a little upper and lower respiratory, which makes sense since my kid was sick all last week, but has since been prescribed antibiotics. Fortunately, a good run generally clears-out most of that, so by about five miles I was breathing better.

But the HR was definitely up. The hills explained some of that and I figured the heat explained the rest. During the first split (4.5 miles) I kept the HR down as much as I could, but figured I hadn't run out of zone 1 or 2 for a long time, so oh well. On the second split I decided to lay it down a little. I ran a few fartleks, which turned into a little tempo. My HR went pretty high but I toned it down enough (see avg.). It was a good run. I suffered a little. I thought about suffering a lot. MAF training is terribly significant to my growth as an endurance athlete. But suffering is not part of the MAF itinerary unless you consider patience suffering. I'm talking about anaerobic suffering. It's come up a few times on Lucho's blog. It's an interesting conversation. If you've been reading my fledgling blog, you'll note I'm pretty fired-up on MAF. I still am and will be especially after I get my recently purchased reading material which includes this. But today made me realize (along with almost any conversation with a runner not really familiar with MAF) that I need to suffer a little just so I've got some of that in the tank, so to speak. More on that because this dynamic interests me. I can't wait to ask Lucho and others about this.

When I got back to my car, another runner was stretching having just finished his run. The guy was fit. We talked a little. He's 38 and has 2 years left of college eligibility, so he's running track and cross country at Cal State San Marcos. He wants to set some masters records in the coming years. His resting HR is 42. His Max is 200. Sure he could have been lying, but you could tell he's a runner. I only bring this up because he pointed-out how hot it was and how is HR was at least 10 beats higher than normal.

That made me feel that much better about my HR. Tomorrow I'm running 12 miles, zone 1.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday - 4 miles

Lifted for 40 minutes, spun for 20 minutes and ran 4 miles, avg. HR 147, 8:30 pace.
Tomorrow is 10-12 mile trail run which will bring my weekly mileage to 50+ miles.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday - 12 miles

12 miles, avg. HR 143., 8:35 pace. About 5 miles were in zone 1. I'm just logging miles, the first time I've ever just loaded the trucks and rolled. It's a little bit of a pounding, so definitely have to ease into this particular industry. Plus, and numero uno, I'm intent on working on my HR. I mean not to sound foolish or melodramatic, but MAF is, I could argue, a social responsibility. Okay, a little foolomatic. But I guess if you believe, the argument is easy. I'm not even at the tip of the iceberg. It's like, training-wise, I was a coke head, but am now in recovery, so training now is like sipping a little herbal tea if you catch my drift. . . .

This weekend goals: 1:30 bike ride, 10-12 mile trail run.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday - 6 miles

a.m. - 6 miles, avg. HR 143. The boy is still sick. I drew the short straw again, and had to cancel work again to stay home with the monkey. . . .So I hit the gym at 5:30am and struggled through 6 miles.

p.m. - 0 miles. That's life.

Wednesday - Off

Although I had in mind a big(ger) day, my son is sick and it was my turn to stay home. That's life. I guess sneaking-in that 7 miles yesterday was rather key.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday: Day off. . . . . . 7 miles!

Because of yesterday's 12 miles and today's work schedule and tomorrow's planned work-out(s), I was going to take today off - definitely made sense. Instead I got in 7 miles at the gym on the treadmill. Obviously, the treadmill is what it is - not the same as running outside. But one of the benefits of running on the mill might be the slightly increased turn-over. Good for neuromuscular conditioning. Since tonight was a bonus to begin with, my work-out turned-out to be fairly solid.

I ran 7 miles in 58:30, which includes a little "wu." My avg. HR was 144. To be honest, the 8:00 min/mile pace I did for a good portion of the run was a little hard for me. Maybe it was the long day at work, or the 12 miles yesterday, but I didn't really want to run that hard? In the end, the avg. HR was the best news. Initially, I went up to 8 min/mi. and my HR was low 140s; since I'm supposed to be pushing 150, I should have perhaps pushed it a little. Didn't want to. Couldn't. For me, I was flying. Ha ha ha. This was genuinely aerobic. That's the good news.

Hopefully ~10 miles tomorrow. . . .

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday - 12 miles

I did 7.5 miles in the a.m., avg. HR 146. The course was up and down in mid-town, so not the best. My HR spiked a couple of times, but certainly I kept it right where it needs to be.

A few hours later I got in another 4.5 miles on the treadmill, avg. HR 146. I ran a total of about 1:45 today, pretty slow but that's the show for now.

The key was to get in some miles; I could have done more, but I need to be patient. A good day.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday - 6 miles

6 miles in 50:25, avg. HR 147

The little calf strain is hopefully past. Felt pretty good; had to keep the effort in check since I'm maxing at 150. I might have hit 152 on this run. This is going to be a big week.

And so it begins.

More Aerobic Fitness. . . Monstrous Aerobic Fiend. . .

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hitting the Sweet Spot

A quick sidenote: Blog is laaaaaaaaging. I'm going to try and update more. My workouts are going to get more interesting, so maybe that alone should prompt me to write about them . . . (because they're so interesting!!:-)

I wanted to post something mid March and call the post March MAFness. I would have proceeded to update my MAF training and spray a little commentary about the college basketball tournament, which is great spectacle. Oh well. Today happens to be the final four and if you don't happen to watch, you should!

As for the MAF training, I have the rest of my active life to work-on this, which means it's difficult but very important, especially for the endurance athlete. I've been using the 180-age HR and running a little below this for most of my runs. My coach has been great in giving me feedback. Actually, he's not my coach, but if I ever leased one, this guy (or his comrade) is fantastic in terms of his lifestyle, background and attitude towards "the community," which is a very underrated aspect of any individual. I've been "talking" to these guys for a couple of months and hope the discourse lasts/grows. I'm learning a lot! In other words, check them out.

Last week I finally broke-down and had a run test done at FitStop. Nic is a true professional and I came away with a lot of information which I'm using to supplement the feedback I've been getting from Lucho. Now I have my zones, my steady-state HR and a better estimation of my true MAF HR. In the end, the 180-age is a little low for me. However, running so aerobically has certainly boosted my body's ability to burn fat and get me ready for harder work-outs. Jus last week, a few days before my test, I was in Pismo Beach and ran 1:40 on the beach avg. HR 141. Afterwards, I was ready for more. With MAF, recovery is accelerated and the body incurs very little damage (lactate, etc.). The whole point is to be able to train the body to use fat and increase one's speed at that HR. During the past six weeks, I have seen some improvement with regard to my aerobic speed, but it was after a test that Lucho said go get tested because my "MAF HR" seemed a little out of whack. After a 4 mile warm-up, my mile splits got faster at HR 141. During such a test, the splits should slow with fatigue (I guess). Again, it was time to get tested. But again, even if 141 was a little low (perhaps my MAF is more accurately around 145), my body's aerobic system has appreciated.

Now that I have my zones, and my Aet (steady state) HR, I'm being told to bring my HR up to that number (HR150) and go! I'm going to log some long weeks, longer than I've ever done. These will all be between 140-150. If I can't manage the load, I'll be at 130-140, logging miles/hours on my feet.

My first run in this phase three days ago was awesome because I felt fast. 150?! I felt like I'd been let out of jail. I did an hour outside and went inside to finish on the treadmill. Using my HR to gauge my speed, I had to run much faster than I'm used to at 140-145 and the increased leg turn-over caused me to strain one of my calves. Sure I feel like a wuss. My body just needs to adjust and I need to be more aware of that. I was probably running on my toes (wings coming-out of my back). The HR/speed correlation was really good to see. I can't wait to dig in to a steady diet of these long steady-state work-outs.

The last two days I've been on the elliptical and bike. This morning I did 1:30 on the bike and I'm about ready to drag my son down to the gym, so I can run easy and do some more elliptical. After two days of cross-training the leg feels much better. To summarize, it's all about being aerobic right now. Stepping it up a little, going long, and keeping it in the sweet spot.