Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Today was my first uphill trail run that I timed. My training course has three sections, a steep uphill section, a slight uphill section along a ridge and a downhill section and is probably about 2.5 miles long. Some of it is a wide path, some of it is single-track dirt or rocky.
Today the time after the first section was 10:00 minutes, after the second section 26:46, after the third section 39 minutes. Average pulse was 128 bpm.
Temperature was around 78 degrees F.
I could feel my calves on the steep uphill section.
I got a later start than planned. I hope to take this run every other day because it is very similar to the actual half-marathon except for the length.
I realized that I should also do some more running in hot weather to get my body more used to the heat. Last year when I finished this run the temperature was around 90 degrees.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I've really been too busy to do much running. I did a lot of other things and they were all worth it. But still, not at all the ideal preparation for tough trail half-marathon. I'm beginning to wonder if I should run it or not.
Today I went for 6.5 miles, in 1h 26min 30sec, average speed 4.5 mph.
My average pulse was 133
I was hoping to be running faster by now but given that I hardly did any running at all I really can't complain. So the plan is at this point to just keep training and wait until shortly before the race to decide if I'm going to run. I did get a few short hikes in which may have helped a little.
Today the weather was much cooler and not as humid.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get up early again and do my running in the morning, when I have a lot more energy. Overall it's good to remember the long-term perspective. I've been running for over 2 years now, without any injuries, I can run for many miles without tiring, my strength training twice a week is getting pretty consistent, my horse is getting ridden regularly and I'm learning to swim butterfly.
I just bought a couple of pairs of pants in size 4 and that was fun, too.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
It was a gradual process. Our whole family has been eating organic and gluten-free for several months. I found for myself that eating low-carb (paleo, primal) with keeping carbs under 50 grams/day works best.
My 15-year-old daughter, who is approaching her 2nd high school swim season and swimming 5 days/week had been eating fewer carbs just by virtue of finding no grains or beans in our house. On the 4th of July we were invited to a dinner party where lots of high-carb food was offered, much of it in casserole form where it was hard to avoid. My daughter found that the day after she suffered from a lack of energy bad enough to break of her swim practice halfway through. She also had achy muscles, mild stomach trouble, a low-grade fever that night and a headache all of which is very unusual for her. This is the girl that has almost never gotten sick and has never needed antibiotics her whole life. In addition to this she was thinking about food a lot more than usual and talking about all kinds of foods she was craving. It suddenly hit me that I had experienced the same exact symptoms when switching from moderate carbs (100-150 grams/day) to low-carb (under 50 grams). I started to suspect that her body was going through carb withdrawal. It's hard to know for certain, of course, since there are other factors that could have caused these symptoms. In any case, I shared my thoughts and she decided to give low-carb a try. Her decision was in part influenced by hoping to be less dependent on frequent snacking throughout the day and to improve her swim times. Tomorrow will be her first chance for an exhibition only swim competition to see how eating low-carb affects her performance. Today, on day 4, was the first day since the 4th of July that her energy level felt back to normal to her.
I am hoping with cutting out sugar, grain and beans that she will experience the same increased energy levels that I have experienced and that she will never have to experience the discouragement of unwanted weight gain. She is almost done growing in height so this could be a great time. Her starting weight is 116 lbs. at 5' 5".
With increasing muscle as a result of swimming about 5000-6000 yards/day her weight may go up but it will be a healthy gain. Some of the swimmers on her team swim as much as she does but are eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) and are significantly over their ideal weight. This shows me that exercise alone does not always prevent obesity.
If anyone has experience with low-carb diets for teenage athletes I would love to hear from you.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
I often like to run with my dogs. They are my buddies and make running a lot more fun. But I also realize that I run slower with them. In part that's because I run on small gravel or dirt roads where there is no traffic when running with the dogs.
So today I did two short runs.
The first was with dogs, only 1 . 8 miles and took 25 minutes, which translates into 4.3 mph, average pulse at 133, maximum pulse 136
The second one was a 5 K which took 39 min. and a sprint at the end. The average pulse was about 139, max. pulse was 160. Overall it was almost racing speed. The second run was on a chip-sealed road and the temperature was up to 80 degrees by then, compared to about 72 degrees for the first run. My average pace for this one worked out to be 4.7 mph.
I'll count today as both a speed workout and a long run since my total miles were over 5 incl. my warmup.
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