Monday, March 31, 2014

Two steps forward and one step back, minor injuries and new shoes.

Lately I have been patting myself on the back for doing speed work and hitting Tempo workouts.  However, I have really been neglecting one of the most basic fundamentals of running and it has come to bite me in the ass.   I haven't been  stretching or warming up properly before some of my harder workouts and now I am recovering from a groin strain on my right leg....

Workouts since my last post

Wednesday 3/26- Rest

Thursday 3/27-  Ran just over 6 miles. 52:37 (6.35 miles @8:17 pace)   My lower abdomen was really sore and walking was a little painful.  I decided to go for a run to see how I felt. I told myself if it hurt, that I would stop immediately and turn back around.  I was able to run six miles on it, but I knew something felt off.  After my workout I began the Google search for my symptoms....

Friday 3/28- Rest- I got some new running shoes. More on this later.

Saturday 3/29- Rest- and a whole lot of stretching

Sunday 3/30 Rest- More stretching

Today 3/31-More rest

I am hoping to go out for a test run on Wednesday 4/2.

I injured myself last week doing speed work (6 x 800  at 10k pace)..  I was so excited to hammer out a hard workout that I didn't warm up enough.  I just jogged a mile and went for it.  After my workout I didn't do a proper cool down. I just hopped in my car and I headed back to work..  The Hal Higdon program that I am working with emphasizes that you need to stretch everyday.  It also suggests that you really need to stretch before doing any speed work.

I have learned my lesson and I hope this injury is only a slight muscle strain.

When I first found out I was injured I was really worried that I could have given myself a sports hernia.  My lower abdomen was really sore near my c-section scar.  That was the most painful but, I didn't notice that the pain was also radiating down to my groin area.

I have had two c-sections and I thought that I  was  being careful and cautious with my training. Last year when I was in the process of losing the baby weight I gradually increased my mileage and my speed. I didn't want to do too much too soon.   I didn't do any interval training and I kept all of my long runs around 6-8 miles until I got below 135bs.  As my weight got lower my speed gradually increased.  I have just started doing true speed work again.    I didn't realize how much harder on my body this would be.

New Shoes

I have been wearing the Brooks Adrenaline for several years now.  It's a great sturdy shoe that can handle a lot of abuse. It has been my go-to-shoe forever and I am very sad that it is no longer working out for me. It may have also contributed to my injury.... I'm going to give you a breakdown of my last three pairs to show you why.

This pair I wore last year right after Rachel was born.

Pretty even wear and tear.

This is the pair I wore last fall.

I started wearing this pair at the beginning of the year.

I wore these for speed work and it was a bad idea.
Hello forefoot strike!

My stride has been evolving without me noticing it.  It didn't occur to me that when I run faster miles (Tempo & Intervals), that I'm landing on my forefoot and really pushing off on my right side/toe.  The heel to toe drop for this shoe is 13mm.  That means there is a heel to toe difference of 13mm.

I went to a local running store and I tried on several different pairs of shoes.  I still need a supportive shoe.
I'm vary wary of trying minimalist shoes.  Those just scream "injury waiting to happen",   to me.  

I tried the Brooks Pure Cadence 3 and the heel to toe drop is just too extreme for me to switch to.   The heel to toe drop on these shoes is only 5mm.    They remind me of racing flats.  It's just to big of an adjustment for me to make three weeks out from a half marathon. 

I used to love running in Mizunos but, lately the brand has left me feeling underwhelmed.   They have made a lot of changes to their shoes and the price point keeps getting higher and higher for a basic running shoe.  

I ended up choosing the Saucony Guide 7.  The heel to drop is about 9mm.   I like that these are light weight and still supportive.

I can't wait to take you for a spin.

Earlier this year I bought a pair of ASICS GT-1000's. I bought these shoes just for funsies. After doing further research I discovered that the heel to toe drop on these shoes is 9mm.  I was only wearing these for my shorter recovery runs.  

I didn't think that these would be replacing my Adrenaline's.  I wore these shoes on Thursday when I ran 6 miles and they felt fine.  

Injuries suck.  I'm kicking myself for not remembering the small stuff (stretching and warming up). 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why are 800 meter repeats so much harder than 400 meter repeats?

I did speed work yesterday and I am pretty wiped out.  I'm not too impressed with the times I ran yesterday, but it was a good consistent workout.

Workouts since my last post

Thursday 3/20-  I ran 4 shake out miles.  No watch No Garmin

Friday  3/21  This was a workout mash up- I did my long run and I ran the second half at Tempo pace.  I did the same route that I did a few weeks ago with 5 miles up the hill  and then 5 miles back down the hill. I ran 10.22 miles (7:49 pace)

Mile 1-8:19
Mile 2-8:47
Mile 3-8:05
Mile 4-8:10
Mile 5-8:22
Mile 6-7:32
Mile 7-7:23
Mile 8-7:17
Mile 9-7:19
Mile 10-7:04
.22- 1:38 (7:19 pace)

Saturday 3/22- Rest

Sunday 3/23- 8 miles 1 mile warm up- 5 miles at HM pace and then 2 miles "cool down".  8 miles (7:37 average pace).
Mile 1-8:04
Mile 2-7:42
Mile 3-7:28
Mile 4-7:23
Mile 5-7:24
Mile 6-7:29
Mile 7-7:54 
Mile 8-7:37

During mile 7 I decided that I was going to run a mile and a half for a cool down.  I think I just needed to regroup because I felt good again during the last mile and I sped up again.  I think I had a few good songs come on my radio towards the end and it gave me some extra pep in my step.

Monday 3/24  Strength training and  I ran 4 miles.  No radio or Garmin.

Tuesday3/25- Speed work, I had such a good time meeting up with my friend Nancy for track work earlier this month.  Since then our schedules have been conflicting and we haven't had a chance to meet up for track work.   I really like having someone to do speed work with.  It helps me work harder and I'm less likely to ease up on my pace when it gets uncomfortable.  My workout was 6 x 800 meters at 10k pace.   I wasn't really sure how fast I should run these.  Earlier this month I hit 3:06-: 3:11 for 800 meters.  I ran these on an actual track.    On Tuesday I drove back over to Sunset Park.  I really like it there.  The jogging tracks are packed dirt and pretty gentle on the joints.  This did not make for fast repeats. I jogged a mile for a warm up and then I did the workout.   Afterwards I did a very short cool down run.  Here's the data.

3:23, 3:22, 3:22, 3:22, 3:21, 3:23

I was a little disappointed after I finished my first repeat.   Then I realized that I was running 6:46 pace per mile, which is pretty close to my PR pace for a 10k (it' actually a little faster).  As the workout continued I became pretty shocked at how even my splits were.  I felt like I was crashing and burning at the end.

Between each repeat I gave myself 90 seconds to recover.  I used my Garmin to track the 800 meter repeats.  As soon as I finished a repeat I would start my stopwatch to time the 90 second rest.  That rest felt like it kept getting shorter and shorter with each repeat.  
Here's a picture of my arm party

There is just something about 800 meters that makes it such a hard interval to run.  A 400 meter repeat hurts but, it goes by quick.   A mile repeat is pretty long but, it doesn't feel like you are redlining it the whole way.
An 800 meter repeat is the best of both worlds.  It's a long repeat that hurts really bad.

Wednesday 3/26-  Rest day. I was wiped out from track work but, it's also really windy today.  I expected my legs to be trashed but, they are not as sore as I thought they would be.  I do notice that my abdomen is pretty sore.  I feel  a slight twinge where my c-section scar is.  It's not super painful but, I'm going to take it easy with lifting heavy things (my kids).

I have about two more weeks of solid training followed by a one week taper. Hal Higdon doesn't give a long taper for a half marathon.   I'm getting so excited for next month's race.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Being Flexible with my Schedule and Training Updates

Workouts since my last post

Thursday 3/6- Rest Day

Friday     3/7   Tempo Run- I ran 6 miles total 2 miles warm up 3 tempo miles and a cool down mile. Here are my split times  (8:09, 8:06, 7:27, 7:21, 7:19, 8:09)  There is a new park that just opened up by my work. It's called Cornerstone Park and there are several running paths that link up to existing jogging paths. I love finding new places to run. I have a feeling I"m going to get to know this park a lot better.
Cornerstone Park
Saturday-3/8  Rest Day- I was planning on running long on Sunday.  On Friday evening I noticed my daughter wasn't feeling very well.  We ended up taking her to Urgent Care on Sunday morning.  She had a very bad upper respiratory infection. It seemed like she was just getting over an ear infection / tummy bug.

Sunday- 3/9 7 miles on the treadmill. I got my daughter down for a nap, she wasn't feeling well at all and I didn't want to attempt to run long, in case my girl woke up and needed me.  I got a good workout in. I ran at an incline the whole way from (1.0%- 2.5%) I ran for close to an hour before she woke up.

Monday 3/10- I stayed home from work with the kids.   I went for a short 4 mile recovery run and I got beat up by the wind  (4.29 miles  at 8:53 average pace).

Tuesday 3/11- Rest day.  I had to take my daughter to her pediatrician. She seemed like she was having trouble breathing, and it was pretty scary.  They ended up giving her a steroid shot to open up her lungs. They also prescribed breathing treatments for several days.  I also lost my wallet at the grocery store that day.  

Wednesday 3/12 -I worked out on my lunch break.  I did some core work: push-ups, lat pull downs, Roman chair leg lifts, kettle bell swings, back extensions, cable flys, and sit ups. Then I ran 4 miles at a recovery pace: (4.03 miles at 8:38 average pace).

Thursday 3/13- 6 miles Tempo.  
I missed out on track work earlier in the week so I wanted to make the most of my tempo run. I ran 1 mile as a warm up and then eased into a progression run. Then I ran a half mile to cool down. Here are the split times:
Mile 1- 8:23 (warm up mile )
Mile 2- 7:44
Mile 3- 7:25
Mile 4  7:12
Mile 5- 7:05
Mile 6- 7:08

Friday  3/14  I decided to do my long run after work.  On my training program I had a 1 hour and 45 minute run scheduled.  I like that there wasn't an actual distance that I needed to hit.  I told myself to take it easy and try to speed it up a little in the later miles.  I ran for 1:45:02 and I covered 12.32 miles (8:32 average pace)

Saturday 3/15 Rest Day

Sunday 3/16 7 miles Tempo.  I had to hurry up and leave and hurry up to back home.  7 miles (7:42 average pace)

Monday 3/17-  Another Rest Day.... I had some minor car trouble that I needed to get sorted out.  I had planned to work out at lunch time, I had to cancel my plans. 

Tuesday 3/18-Speed Work!!! I missed out on track work the day before but, I decided to attempt to do it solo. The workout on my training schedule was 3 X 1600 meters at race pace.   I drove over to Sunset Park (this is where the Tie Dye 5k was) to do the workout I knew that they had a jogging track that was close to a mile long and I wouldn't have to worry about traffic. I ran a one mile warm up and in between each repeat I jogged for two minutes recovery. I also used my Garmin to keep track of my splits.  Here's the data: 6:53, 7:00, 6:50.   This workout was a big confidence booster.  I was hoping to keep the mile repeats below 7:15.

Wednesday- 3/19 Core work and 4 mile run.  I went to the gym and did some strength training and then I ran 4 recovery miles (no radio, no Garmin).

This week and last week I have had to modify my training and I have had to throw in a few more extra rest days than I had planned.  Life can be hectic sometimes.  I'm grateful that my daughter is feeling much better this week and I have weaned her off of her breathing treatments.

I'm crossing my fingers that things stay nice and mellow for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mustang Half Marathon Training, My Latest Workouts, and a Tie Dye 5k

The Mustang Half Marathon is less than two months away and I am in the thick of my training.  The last two half marathons I raced I kind of just winged it with my training. I really want to run a faster time than I ran last October for the Saints and Sinners half (1:36:01).  I decided to google "half marathon training plans".    I looked over several and I ended up choosing Hal Higdon's Advanced Half marathon Training Program.

I'm doing  a few modifications. I'm mostly just switching my workout days.  I'm not able to do track work on Tuesday's.  I also moved my Friday rest day to Thursday, but you get the idea.  

Workouts since my last update

Friday 2/21- Rest
Saturday 2/22- Rest
Sunday-2/23 10 miles around my neighborhood  8:09  average pace
Monday 2/24 Track Work!!!!

I haven't done track work in a few years.  I have been wanting to but, I don't want to do track work by myself and I can't meet up with any running groups after work.  I choose not to because after work for me is dinner time / family time. It is non negotiable.   Two weeks ago I discovered that one of my FB friends (who I used to train with many years ago) who is a personal trainer was doing lunchtime track workouts not too far from my work.    I decided why not.  

We did 4 X 400 and 3 X 800.  I got worked and I loved it.  Here's the data: 

4 X 400 (1:33, 1:34, 1:30, 1:30) I did a one lap recovery jog in between 400's.
3 X 800 ( 3:11, 3:05, 3:06)  I also had a one lap recovery jog in between 800's

Tuesday-2/25-  I did some core work- sit ups, push ups, roman chair leg lifts, stability ball crunches.  Then I ran 3 recovery miles (no radio or Garmin).

Wednesday 2/26- I was really sore and I decided to take a rest day

Thursday- 2/27  I decided to do my long run on this day because I had a feeling that I wouldn't be running long over the weekend.  It was really windy but, I kind of enjoy running in shitty weather conditions. I think it prepares me for race days when the weather isn't perfect.  Anyhow I ran a hilly  10 miles.  I did the first 5 easyish and then kicked it up a notch on the way back.  Here are the split times:
Mile 1-8:28
Mile 2-9:08
Mile 3-8:37
Mile 4 8:38
Mile 5-9:03
Mile 6-7:26
Mile 7- 7:13
Mile 8- 7:13
Mile 9-6:59
Mile 10-7:02

Here's a picture of the elevation profile, this will explain the uneven splits.  This route climbs over 500 feet in the first 5 miles, with most of the climbs happening in miles 2 and 5.

 Then I get to rocket back down 500 feet during the next 5 miles.  I did this run on my lunch break.    Later on that same day I had to leave work early because my daughter was sick

Friday 2/28- Rest day- I stayed home from work too.  My baby girl had a tummy bug, she is doing better and I'm grateful no one else caught it!

Saturday 3/1  Tie Dye Run 5k------- I never thought I would sign up for a color run. I'm not a big fan of these events at all.  My friend had been really wanting me to run with her. She wanted me to do a Muddy Buddy race and a Soggy Jog run last year.  I decline these types of races because they cost a lot of money and I'm so worried about injuring myself doing something lame like running through a mud puddle.  I decided that this race had a low injury risk and I figured, "why not?"

I signed up for the race using living social and it only cost $20.00   I figured there would be at least one or two people that wanted a good workout that morning.  I told myself to be really mindful to all the runners around me and to be considerate to others that were doing this run for the tie dye experience.

I met up with my friend and we jogged for two miles, stretched, and caught up with each other.
Those aren't compression socks. They are
good ol' men's tube socks.

I lined up near the front, the horn went off, and  the course started off on a sidewalk.... I ran about 100 meters before we had our first turn off.  Myself and few other runners went in the wrong direction for a few steps and then we had to back track.  It wasn't long before I caught up to the front again.    About 800 meters later there was only another guy with me and we turned it into a foot race.

Mile 1-6:52

Mile 2-6:48-  During this mile the guy in front of me kept on looking over his shoulder and he was surprised I was still holding on.

Mile 3- 6:40

During this mile there was a turn around point and we were back on the same path as the runners coming in the opposite direction.  I  did not want to be a jerk so I gave a very wide berth to everyone running in the opposite direction. I would have felt like a total butt hole if I would have crashed into someone.  The only bad part about being careful was that the guy in front of me was able to extend his lead on me.

.1- 0:38 (6:20 pace)

Final Time 20:58

When I was  heading closer towards the finish line one of the volunteers directed me in the wrong direction again... It was somewhat frustrating to have to back track, but again I want to stress that I chose to run this 5k for fun. This wasn't a super serious PR attempt.  I'm happy that I got a good workout in. I haven't gone under 21 minutes for a 5k in close to 4 years.  I know that I could shave off some more time.  It will happen eventually.  I ran another mile to cool down and called it a day.

Sunday 3/2 Rest

Monday- 3/3 Track Work-  I met up with my friend again for track work.  Our workout was 10 X 500 meters at 5k pace with 300 meter recovery.  I only ended up having time to do 9 of the 10 repeats.  I did the first two on my own and then my friend and I took turns leading each repeat.  Here's the data:

2:00, 2:00, 1:53, 1:55, 1:52, 1:52, 1:59 (I ran this one solo), 1:51, 1:51.  

Tuesday 3/4 I did some core work- sit ups, push ups, roman chair leg lifts, kettle bell swings,  and lat pull downs.  Then I ran 4 recovery miles (no radio or Garmin)

Wednesday-3/5  Almost 6 miles (5.95)  8:16 average pace.  I felt pretty sore from the speed work on Monday and the kettle bell swings I did yesterday.

Tomorrow is a planned rest day for me.