Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday - 13 miles

2:36) - meaning it was really hot) 7.5 miles. Trail. Went a little too hard. Beat me up pretty good. If I had worn sweats, I would have thrown-up my toes and expired right there. Muscles and all feel quite good. Pretty stoked about the feet. I mentioned I jump roped the other day bare foot and kinda tore-up the bottom of my feet (I've been jump roping a little so it wasn't like I was brand new). I also mentioned I taped them up and ran later that day, after I thought I sustained a little injury. Two days later, they feel stronger than they have in a while. Very little if at all plantar fascia issues (knock on woodrowe). Enough said.

p.m.) 5.5 miles. Nice and easy. Just ate what someone like Gordo eats: egg whites, quinoa, avocado, spinach, big dose of olive oil and a few other lubricants. Nails.

Tomorrow I'm off to the land of Walsh. Thanks for the tip, JW. In the a.m. cloud cover, this should be just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday - 7 miles

Legs felt pretty darn good after yesterday. But I had a little scare while I was jump roping. Been going barefoot and it kinda kicks my ass. Since I deal with a little plantar fascitis, I guess I'm playing with fire? When I finished a little "run," the bottom of my "good" foot got that nice strained feeling (like the bottom of your foot is "torn"). Great. Taped my feet and waited a while, and went for a run. So far so good.

An interesting exchange on Lucho's blog about running all bundled-up. A guy with a textbook had some cool tidbits to complement Lucho's thoughts on the matter. Needlesstosay I ran today in sweat pants. . . pretty lame attempt, sure, but it gets ya thinking.

Still playing with my summary to be. Though the theme is starting to take-on a much grander scope, I'm playing with the title "What Works for You? . . . Works for You." My wife's a mental health therapist, I teach, I'm starting to get more serious about endurance training and racing, organized religion scares the hell out of me. . . All of these discourses and so many more are rife with variation, debate and confusion. I'm going to TRY to stick to training and base my summary on what little I have come to know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday - 14.5 miles

Ran 1:58. Big variety: rolling hills, trail, and hard flat. I took it easy in stretches, so there was a little jogging. Finished strong. What didn't help was a 3 mile tempo run to begin the work-out. Overall, happy with the beginning to the week. I'm half-way to last week's total.

Friday and Saturday- 13 miles (30 miles for the week)

Friday - 4 miles of killer cross-training. Had too much to do today, packing for the trip, etc. to do a big run.

Saturday - 9 miles of rolling hills at about 3500ft. of elevation. This was a rolling bike course, so the run was a butt kicker. Plus it was HOT. My wife tagged along and kicked ass! She's a trooper. Jack stayed back at the camp with his 7 cousins stirring up some trouble. Great camp-out. New tent. Great family. Very nice.

For Saturday night and Sunday we spent the night at Warner's Hot Springs, a spa-type joint that used to be classic. It's circling the drain, going bankrupt, but their spa did one helluva job on my feet and the hot pool was epic. Sunday was about sleeping and hanging with the family.

Only 30 miles for the week. But the running was harder than I'm used to, so there's a little defense for my fairly weak output. If I can't do the big miles (for me), I'm doing some harder work-outs, maintaining fitness, tapping into some of that speed work I need so badly. But I have yet to hit the oval.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday - 7 miles

I'm not wearing my HRM, but I'm certainly not going all out. My PE I'm afraid is fairly accurate. I've checked my HR here and there and things look great. The point is, again, that I'm running without the constant reminder. I'm running harder than I have but I'd guess I'm in the upper Zone 2, bottom of Zone 3. Afterwards, I could run the same work-out - an attribute of aerobic work. I'll go bigger tomorrow and hopefully get in some nice runs this weekend in the foothills in Julian and Warner's Springs, CA.

I hope to have a good summary of my HR training research. Like I said in my previous post, I'm finding a great variety of approaches and takes on the whole affair ranging from good old fashion variation to downright debate that sounds, typical of many an online forum, childish. Great stuff. My summary will perhaps be my first draft of a training philosophy. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday - 10 miles

Ran comfortably. Rolling, felt good. Started taking a killer vitamin B complex. I hope that's adding to my sense of well-being. I'm shooting for 45-50 miles this week.

I'm doing a lot of reading, on-line mind you, regarding HR training. The Slowtwitch forums are pretty informative. In the end, the variety of individuals has spawned the variety of training approaches and debates. Pretty interesting. Operative word: VARIETY.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday - 12 miles (Week total -- 50 miles)

Saturday - Nada. (When I start to take advantage of these things called weekends, I'm going to post some killer mileage!)

a.m. 10 miles. No HR monitor. Some sections (4 miles) were at a 6-7 PE? Felt good. I felt free.

p.m. 2 miles. A new local coffee shop in the neighborhood. It's a mile away. Ran to it, had a shot of iced espresso, and ran back. No monitor. Yum.

I really hope things are going to get good. I've gotten some cool feedback regarding my recent frustration with HR training. I'm not abandoning it; I'm looking elsewhere to "expand the horizon." It's going to be nice not having to look at my monitor while I run - all the time. Lucho's going to prescribe some specific speed work. Speed is already in effect. I'm going to start throwing-down a little to get that top-end up .. up . . . up.

My wife and I have been talking recently about the way people handle "leaving" someone or something. Perhaps it's human nature to avoid some of that vulnerability. In order for people to feel better about a split, there's a natural tendency to get pissed off at that which they're leaving. It protects them, shields them from "the loss" that's occurring. I got mad at MAF a couple of days ago. My own reflection and the words of my teachers have helped me understand that I don't have to leave and therefore I don't have to be mad. Human nature is classic.

CV, thanks for the encouragement and of course you can use my naiveté to do what you do.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday - 12 miles

MAF. This may be the last time I write that acronym. You'd have to sit with me and let me explain why it's too much. PE is my new standardization. I think there's a certain amount of bullshit associated with EVERYMAN'S approach to Mark Allen's training regimen. Mark Allen.

PE will tell you A LOT. Fitness is a matter of common sense and consistency, not a strict adherence to numbers.

More reflection: I think the test done at a track is a great way to monitor fitness. I still believe HR can identify certain things good or bad happening with the body. I hope I can continue to progress (become more and more fit) and get my MAF pace down close to 7 min/mile or better. That's one of the main reasons I even started this journey: the idea of running fast with a low HR is very very compelling. But I think the test determines primarily how well one runs on a track (a little sarcasm, but not all). I believe that if one runs into the hills, his HR will act accordingly. It's not going to stay aerobic. Even MA's testimony refers primarily to a track. The MAF test is a measuring stick. That's it. It's not reality. A hot, hilly trail run with mountain lions, rattlesnakes and/or age-groupers - that's reality. If one's HR is nice and low in such a setting he or she is dying, not competing.

I also believe a huge base is quite significant. If one runs enough and wants to put-in a considerable amount of mileage (especially if it's at the beginning of a "season" or training period) then the effort is bound to be zone 1/slower/aerobic. Wearing a HR monitor at this point might be helpful in order to see where one is at. But PE could work hear, as well. Again, if one is trying to put in some longer efforts, I doubt he or she is capable of a 12 min tempo run.

I've even heard Lucho talk about how elite runners (he might have been talking about Allan Culpepper) do not use MAF methodology, but most likely resort to that. Their "easy" days are probably right around their MAF number but either way, it's a zone 1 run, an easy run. I think "easy" should suffice. PE is not Public Enemy. Those of us who train a lot have a fairly good read on our bodies; enough said. Even if one feels great but his HR is off, how "off" is it, and what else is happening in the environment that might contribute to that (heat, de-hydration, stress, elevation, etc.). And almost certainly, if something is "off," the runner will mostly likely feel that.

Then we have the numbers. 180 - your age is too nonspecific. Maybe a good place to start, but it's too restrictive. It's certainly injury preventative. One keeps his/her runs nice and easy. However, the typical zone 1 or "easy" run achieves the same result. It's safe. That's all there is too it. And as one is starting out, whether we're talking about a season, or a life-style, such a "cap" keeps one very self-conscious about training. I think such discipline exists in other training approaches that prescribe to zone training. So, MAF is another way of saying what others are saying. MAF doesn't own this low HR approach.

ChuckieV talks a lot about hiking. That's a great aerobic exercise; in fact he had a recent post about walking in particular. He said the leg and foot muscles don't necessarily recognize the difference between running and walking, so walking can be a very productive work-out. That's awesome. During a tempo run recently, I walked here and there, especially on an incline because my HR was going pretty high and I was feeling it. It still maintained a nice pace throughout. But MAF doesn't own hiking and walking.

Again, this blog is a journal. I am very much being as honest as I can about what's happening out there while I train/race.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday - 8 miles

Trail run at 3:00 when it was too hot. It's tough getting-in a.m. runs with Jack and work, but these afternoon runs, especially the harder ones, are a little gnarly in the heat.

Avg. HR 155, but that's only half the story. My HR went too high with the heat, with some climbing (1000ft.) and some speed. My easy days are easy and my hard days are hard. Isn't such specificity the key? Right now, I'm pretty frustrated with the whole HR discussion. I've been pretty disciplined for months now (but I can bet not quite disciplined enough). Now I'm integrating some speed, and that has limits, too. Errrr.

Tomorrow, it's a long MAF/Aet run (like I'm going to confession).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday - 8 miles

MAF. Taking this to the next level has got my brain waves goin nuts! What happens when I get back to strict MAF/Aet? Oh my, my legs feel strong having run hard, firing these old pistons o mine! etc. That's all, other than some sick reading. Check this out (watch the video of Ryan McDermott - totally sick), and this out. . .(who's the band???).. It's a big week. ..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday - 10 miles

Monday I spun for an hour pretty hard, just below MAF and lifted some weights. I'm not counting the mileage in my weekly total, but a good little work-out.

Tuesday - 10 miles. 5 mile tempo and then 5 MAF. Which one do you think was more fun?
Aside from the guilt I'm feeling when the heart is elevated, the tempo runs are nice. I'm totally puzzled (still) by the MAF approach. In about a month I start over and begin testing to see where I'm at. That will be pretty telling.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekly total (7/7-7/13) - 32 miles

Wednesday and Thursday - Nada.

Friday - 17 miles. Split between MAF, Aet and tempo. The last 7 were on a rolling course, including a 4 mile tempo. On the first ten I got swarmed by some bees. Title of this post? "What I Happened On My Summer Vacation."

Saturday - 10 miles in Idyllwild, 4 miles of hiking, 2000ft up at 6000ft. of elevation - with the 4 year-old and Angie. He's doing base. . . for the next 10 years. Ran 6 miles in the afternoon, 1200ft. up. Felt great.

Sunday - Sleeeeep and hung w/the family.

Scouted more of the mountains - visited the Ranger Station. I just need the opportunities, but the goods are there. This week was pretty weak, but definitely a good couple of days . But not the consistency I'm looking for: I took 4 days off! I'm thinking a lot about what I'm doing. I'm not sure what I'm doing. I want to get really fit, but there are related issues (life) that I need to deal with, as well (needlesstosay). It's all good, but I'm definitely still in the process of defining. My first thought is get looong and strong. Get the diet dialed-in. As for races - not top priority. I have an epic race in December, which I am really gunning for and xterra starts to throw-down in the fall. But right now, I just want to enjoy life and run long (and hard since that's where I'm at in this MAF cycle.) I think that's my gig. We'll see.

Next week goal: 50 miles. It's a lock!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday - 0 miles

I want to sleep and feed. I either have mono or my hypothyroidism is kicking in or I have a little bug. Went to the gym today for my son's swimming lesson. Could have exercised afterwards but decided not to. I'm not going to force anything. She has to woo me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday - 5 miles

MAF again, pushing my four-year-old in a stroller. That's a load. Very rolling route. My wife told me the tires needed air. Nahh. Had to walk parts of the hills because of HR. Went out to breakfast afterwards. Hammered oatmeal. Went to work and crashed and burned! Had the afternoon run all ready to roll. Had a 15 mile day in-store. After work, went home took a two hour nap, and then ate a HUGE meal. And I'm still tired (I think that run this morning was really effective. The HR stayed low and it was a great core and strength work-out). But I'm bushed. Only 33 miles last week (though this included a very hard tempo run, which Lucho proceeded to break down and throw in the recycling bin--Geez, I appreciate the stellar feedback!). All I'm saying is I've become a little stagnant. I need to draw-up a plan for a specific race. I have plenty of racing that begins in the fall, but I need to sign-up for an August race and get crackin!

The plan will be specific to scheduled MAF days, Aet days, tempo day(s), and tests. I need to get back to some long days though maintain the 40-50 mile avg. The bike and weights will be employed consistently. To repeat, I need to get more organized and specific about the training.

Some up-coming travel:
next weekend - Idyllwild
July 18 - high desert
July 25 - high desert

We'll call it a three week block of some mileage to be had in more interesting destinations (with altitude).

Saturday - 10 miles

MAF. I'm back to basix on those runs, keeping it very disciplined. I have to remember that I'm training by HR not pace. Pace is the most common measuring stick. Not for me. I'm letting go.
And I'm going to run more MAF on easy days and Aet on those days and tempo on those days. Focus.

Total weekly mileage: 33 miles.

(On Sunday, I was to do 7-10 miles to reach my "40 miles" for the week. But I said nahh. Friends were in town, I'd watched a 6+ hr. tennis match that was truly classic, still had my pajamas on by the time the P.L. sun broke through, and decided to have some more left-over tri-tip and a beer instead.)

I need to sign-up for a race. I'm just trippin right now. I need a bulls-eye.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday - 10 miles

Avg. HR 150, but the max 175 tells the story. Did 5 on grass at MAF and then 5 tempo on trail. The heat was on, I might have been a little parched, but I kept it pretty steady hard and it felt good. I wasn't all out. I want more.

Then I spun on the road bike around Fiesta Island, 5 miles (20 minutes) and sipped my recovery drink. It was a good idea. I got to see how many freakin' people are in town ready to tear-up the 4th of July.

Happy 4th to anyone who reads this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday - 10 miles

Tuesday - Nada. It felt GREAT.

Noon - 6 miles, Avg. HR 145, trail run 1000ft. + some asphalt. Hottest time of the day, actually hiked some of the steep stuff. On the asphalt I ran practically on my toes. Just felt right. . . .

p.m. - 4 miles, Avg. HR 150, felt strong but was pretty tired.