Monday, March 30, 2009

I did change the title . . .

it's time for recovery, having made the discovery.

I wrote this in March, last year:

"I'm pretty focused right now on aerobic running. Besides a good dose of chillerts with the family and friends, I've been very consistently running aerobically. It's a focus that seems to address so much of what might be possible in my life. I have to focus even more - visualizing a tiny pin point, or speck of sand - that kind of focus that EXPLODES with benefits and meaning, huge, maybe transcendent."

Last year was great. I learned a lot via Lucho and my own aerobic training. I'm in the same place (hopefully with a much bigger base to build on); I started the year with a more specific plan, even a coach, and proceeded to do too much too soon. I think. The stress of life got in the way a little, too. But I'm just not ready to go tempo, etc. I learned a lot from this plan/coach, too, but right now I am going to pile the aerobic miles upon aerobic miles. I will use some HRM and some PE. I will run "free" about once a week, or whenever I want since most of my work-outs will be aerobic. These runs feel good.

Last week I did a little 6 miler, about 8 min/mile and it was easy. These will be 10-12 milers in a month or two. Racing will be a piece of cake with that kind of engine. Summer = speedwork. Right now, like last year, it's about focusing on the consistency of running aerobically.

3/23 to 3/29

Monday 3/23 – Mom’s birthday

Gym – gnarly core session ~30 min., spin for 20 high rpm, run for 20 min. 2 Sierra Nevada Torpedos to celebrate Mom’s B-day, my healthy thyroid and my wife’s successful seminar at work. Oh, and my kid’s a stud.

Tuesday 3/24

1:10 hour run, easy. Tight hamstrings, but aerobic runs shouldn’t bother that. In fact help. They feel good. Longest run in a long time. Outside, around Mission Bay, mostly on dirt and grass.

Wednesday 3/25


Thursday 3/26

EZ 6 miler in 49:50. Beautiful day. This was very mellow, which is a good sign. I thought a lot about cadence, how I’m finding my current cadence, or rhythm. To try and force a quicker “cadence” is like dancing to music you’re not in the mood for: I’m outta here. Not what I’m starting to find on my runs. The base, the enhanced MAF: This is my gig. Be consistent. Be consistent. Repeat.

Friday 3/27

About 40 min of core BEFORE the exercise. That’s key. Then 35 min spin with some high rpm and low rpm, followed by 20 min. run on the mill. Just an EZ day. In fact it’s all EZ these days, but I think I’m getting fit enough to go out on occasion to run fun.

Saturday 3/28

1:05 EZ/”steady” run.

Sunday 3/29

1 hr. hike with family.

Exercise everyday but Wednesdays which are very busy work-wise. No excuse. In two weeks I pick-up more work on my light days so for the next 6 weeks, I will be very very busy. I have to get up early and get the run in. I’m just not feeling it, and I almost always have the time to do later. That will change and so will I by necessity.

Not motivated at all to go big, yet. I just want to be consistent. Racing? Whatever. Reading all of these race reports, mid-season training makes me sorta shrug the shoulders. I just want to be healthy and get fit(ter).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wasting time . . ..

Greg Crowther, an ultra runner with a life, is interviewed here by Scott Dunlap. I'm doodling this morning, reading, postponing my run.

6) How long have you been in the state of Washington? Do you ever train with the other ultra Gods up there (Steidl, Jurek, etc.)?

I came to Seattle for graduate school in the fall of 1995 and have been here ever since. I train alone for the most part, partly because of scheduling constraints and partly because my workouts aren't that appealing to others. For example, in preparing for a road 100K, I might log 30 or 40 miles at 6:25/mile pace around a 2.5-mile road loop that mimics the terrain of the race course. That's not the sort of training run that draws a big crowd, although Jurek did join me a few times leading up to Mad City.

7) Can you take us through a typical training week?

My most impressive-sounding weeks might include, say, a 15-miler with five or six miles of hard tempo (maybe 5:30/mile) on Tuesday, two runs of 6 to 7 miles on Friday with a few one-minute pick-ups during one of them, the above-mentioned long run on Sunday, and one easy 6- to 7-miler on each of the other days. The week after that would consist mostly of easy 6- to 7-mile runs, with a bit of extra speed or distance thrown in just for variety. Thus my weekly mileage is in the 80-95 range for my heaviest weeks and more like 60 for my recovery weeks.

8) What are your favorite foods/drinks, both before, during, and after a race?

In the last couple days before a race, I'll supplement the usual high-carb fare (pasta, bagels, etc.) with licorice or jellybeans, since 100% of their calories are in the form of carbohydrates. During races, I consume the usual sports drinks and gels, but none of them stand out in my mind as being particularly tasty. Afterwards, if the weather is cold, hot soup and hot chocolate are both very satisfying. Otherwise, I usually crave fried or grilled meat and other fatty, salty stuff, like potato chips. Pringles deserve special mention because, the way they are stacked, you can eat six or eight of them at a time.

That just sounds like a healthy guy. Go long.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Good Week

Last week was good.

Monday - ~1 hour of aerobic work, 35 min. running.

Tuesday - 45 min aerobic run.

Wed. - Off

Thursday - 7 mile trail run at Mission Trails. ~ 1 hour
1000ft.+ vert. Great day. Wrote about it in previous post.

Friday - ~1 hour of aerobic work, 35 min. running.

Saturday - 45 min. run around the neighborhood. Not flat.

Sunday - 1 hour aerobic work, 40 min. run.

The key is the consistency. 2 days of core work. Need to do more, but I'm being consistent.

This week, so far, is better.

I got the results of my blood work. My doctor asks, "you're on the medication, right?" I am not. Bottom-line: my thyroid is essentially normal. Very good. Thanks to the tri-club message board for all of the great feedback. I'll test again in a year. I think the diet is fairly solid. I'm an aspiring vegitarian with meat tendencies.

The health and strength are building. More trails this week.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's go time

I mean it's time to start blobbing more frequently.

I had a nice 7 mile trail run today. I'm getting healthier and today's run aside from feeling like I was carrying a large bundle of delayed gratification, got me thinking about running and the year ahead. I ran easy, but the 1000+ft. of vertical turned that into a little more than easy. Nonetheless, my newest translation of this Lydiard-esque training is upon me. I stumbled upon this post, and via a link there found this web page that covered me with the Lydiard discourse like I've never. I think I popped a brew and read for a while.

I love Lydiard's recommendations for building mileage. Basically, according to the interpreters, one should be at 100 mile weeks within 9 weeks. You can hear the guys go back and forth some on that discussion of Lydiard's training philosophy. It's a pretty basic approach. But without totally exposing my ignorance, I just want to get back to running often, healthfully, and longly ;-)

Besides, I have some longer races I'd REALLY like to participate in. Back to today's run, the thoughts I had about my training, Lydiard, etc. I will run easy as much as I can (those runs will become faster and faster, as anyone who's done such training will admit). I think running with others will help, too. The weekly fun run will be that type of run where I can throw-down a little. But I want to run as easy and as long as I can. It's healthy and that's the goal. However, here's the part where my fingers are crossed. As I get fitter and stronger, these easy runs will be done on more and more hills. That's what I want to run. Certainly I don't want to relegate myself to miles and miles of slow turn-over, but the rolling course has all the carrots I need. Plenty of running will be done on the mill at the gym and on filler days where I'm just trying to stay busy. But my "easy" runs will be only PE easy and will give me a chance to strengthen that which I'll really need. So this differs from the flat, low HR LSD.

Pete Magill is such a good read and speaks to such training often. Thanks to GZ for all of these links. I'm serious.

The track and intervals are months away. Spending even 6 weeks building speed for a race is, for me and my limited scope on the subject, so much work that will have me firing away. But I'll get all of that clarified when the time comes, post-June.

So, it's running time. Wednesday's are off. Every other day gets some.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March on

The meds are done, energy's back and I do feel better (although I'm having some blood work done this week because I have other concerns).

Sunday 3/8
60 min spin. And then I threw my lower back putting on a sock! I’ve been working on my lower back so it’s obviously a stress.

Monday 3/9
30 min. run

Tuesday 3/10
Run 30 min.
Spin 10 min.

Wed 3/11

Thursday 3/12
45 minute run (40 ~9:30 avg, finished with sub 2min @ sub 7:00)
spin for 15 min.

Friday 3/13
45 minute run

Saturday 3/14
45 minute run

Sunday 3/15
45 minute run final 2 miles ~8:00 mile.

The key here is the 45 minute runs everyday since Thursday. 45 min. runs are great right now. I'm going to build build build. It's just nice to be running strong(er). Tonight the HR (yeah I'm checking periodically) was really good.
My body wanted to run faster, but I kept things totally in check. I'm going to build a base like last year. I will run hard when I can (when I can tag along with someone like JW!), but it's about getting strong and injury/cold proof.

That is the theme. March is January. I'm starting over. My big races are in (generally speaking) August, October, November and December. Staying healthy is the number one goal. Everything else is secondary. If I stay healthy, I will get stronger and since I'm getting smarter (right?), I should get faster. Whatever.

It's just nice to run and as one said to me recently "Get healed, get rid of your cold, and get some vitality back in your days and ways."

Monday, March 9, 2009

I wish I was sick more

-- "Hmmm, that espresso sure smells good, but, ya know, I'll take a chamomile tea."

-- "It's nine o'clock? I'm bushed. Night night. . ."

-- "I made it to the gym! I rawked a 30 min easy spin and a 20 min elliptical!"

So, no pictures in this post, but those are my images that best suggest the kind of approach I'm taking these days. I've been on Amoxicillin for over a week now; I have about three more days of it. Quite a last few months of battling colds, small injury, and then the throat infection that has required some serious drugs.

I've been going to the gym about every other day, doing about 50 minutes of aerobic or sub-aerobic exercise, with a little core work. Based on what I did get to do in '09 training-wise and still managing to do some light work, I'm not that bummed. It's the way it is. I'd rather it be me than my son.

The interesting thing to me whenever I'm sick is how well I treat myself. I hydrate like I'm training (hmmmmm . ..), and sleep like my body needs it because I have a big day of work and training and LIFE tomorrow (hmmmmmm. . .), and I eat as if I really really care about what goes in my body (geeeeez. . ..). My point: I should live all the time like I do when I'm sick. When I'm healthy, I take for granted the true needs of my bind (mind/body) and sorta "goof off:" Go to bed late, eat like a moron, pound coffee/have one too many beers, etc. When I'm sick, I'm responsible. I don't wish I was sick more, but I wish I had half the sense that I do when I am sick! A perfect example is eating. I will go hungry some days when I'm "healthy." Have a bunch of coffee in the a.m., not really eat, have a good lunch and then sorta snack at dinner. Now, if I go two hours, I start to drag and feel sick. I'm having to constantly keep my nutrition going, stay hydrated and rested. . . or else. And that's just life, not running two hours on the trails.

This latest infection has been wild. The first three days I was on the drugs I was dizzy and felt nausea. I thought about quitting the drug since my throat felt better and I didn't dig the side-effects. My doc said those aren't side-effects (in his experience) but do not stop taking the drugs. He's right. You always hear that. I skipped a dose, started to feel worse and have been spot on ever since. One day, I tried to go for a light jog; my HR was going through the roof and I felt very dizzy and squeamish. Unbelievable. On the trainer one day, my HR was flying, but I wasn't. Wow. It's been a very weird few weeks. Fortunately, I've been feeling a little better and managing to sweat at the gym.

So, maybe I'm learning how to snack more effectively, hydrate better and dig the eazy work-out. There will be a lot of easy days in my future because there will be very hard days. I can't wait for those.