Thursday, May 17, 2012
With a question mark, because I don't trust it just yet.
Today was a work from home day, which meant I could squeeze more time to run at lunch. I ended up squeezing a bit more time in than I intended.
Temperature at noon was in the low 60s F somewhere; I didn't look when I started, but it was 64° F (18° C) when I remembered to look later. There was a light breeze and sunshine. Good running weather.
I set out on my basic around the neighborhood run, adding two small hills to the known 5K distance. Today I added a different pair of hills than last time, to avoid training to the precise route. It also avoids knowing whether I'm faster or slower than the last time, which helps me not to second guess myself.
Got a bit of a late start, so I didn't warm up. I just figured to run easily at first and speed up when it felt natural to do so. I ended up trying to run a little faster on the downhills, and just trying to run at a sustainable pace on the near level stretches.
When I got near home, it was clear that I would be over 28 minutes and pushing 29. Can't resist that; clicked lap at my driveway to note the time, and ran up the street and back far enough to make 30 minutes for that 6th Spark Point. The total route mapped out to 4.31 miles in 30:10, for a pace right at 7:00 per mile.
Best of all, pretty much everything felt normal. Yeah, the bad foot isn't 100%. Yeah, there was some mild intermittent grumbling from my right ankle. Yeah, I'm still developing good runner's calluses, but the bottoms of my feet felt better than they did after Tuesday's run.
This is progress. Perhaps this weekend I'll try to run a bit further, maybe the known 5.2 mile route. My self-competitive nature wants to go for 10K, but my head says I shouldn't be there yet.
Two weeks from today is the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge. I've paid, and the team captain has ordered shirts. From a motivational perspective, when the captain asked what time I expected I told him 24 minutes if my legs were healthy. Looks like they're healthy, and I don't want to do anything to mess that up in the next two weeks.
And if I'm really going to run 3 times per week, it's time to start eating like a runner again.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The cold I caught last week just didn't seem to go away, till I realized it was cheap heating season. That's the season when neither the heat nor the air conditioning kicks in, and the utility bill is low.
Cheap heating season also coincides with high pollen production. Some years, that doesn't bother me. This year, it did. Once I realized it wasn't just a lingering cold, but seasonal allergies, I dug out my prescription allergy med that I don't take very often. I slept well last night, and was able to function this morning.
The dang allergens were stuffing me up so bad that I couldn't tell when the cold got better.
Today was a work at home day, where the allergens are worse but I can squeeze more time in for a lunch run. I ran the route I had planned last Thursday. The right calf felt fine. The bad right foot muttered a little, but not very badly. It still isn't 100%, and probably won't be for quite a while; but it won't keep me from running while it slowly gets better.
I started out to just run normally. Got beyond where the calf crapped out on Thursday, no problem. Got to where I was wondering about the calf on Saturday, no problem. Tried to pick up the pace a little on the downhill stretches, because a quicker cadence seemed to fit with landing lighter on my feet.
At 74° F (24° C) the sweat flowed more freely than it has while running in cooler weather. I was able to run, but thought a lot about slowing to a walk for cardio reasons. I figured I might be at a 7 minute mile, or might be a bit slower because the weather was warm. I was able to pick up the pace a little on the final stretch to my driveway, but it wasn't what I would truly call a sprint for the finish line.
The run mapped out to 3.86 miles in 26:22, for a 6:50 pace per mile. I think that's faster than I've run without being in a race environment, and it's fast enough to meet my stretch goal of 24 minutes for the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge on May 31.
No running tomorrow, and I'll see if I'm ready to run again on Thursday. Recovery feels a lot better now than it did on Saturday.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Still have the cold, and took the luxury of moving slowly this morning. Didn't get out to test the leg running till 9. Temperature by then was 65° F, warm enough that if I had to slow to a walk I'd be okay in shorts and a tee shirt.
The leg was fine, at first. 7 or 8 minutes into the run, my right calf began muttering at me. I slowed down. By the time I got to the top of the second small hill, I decided not to try the third. Slowed down some more. The calf kept slowly getting worse. I ended up running to point I could map just after 15 minutes, then walking the rest of the route.
That mapped out to 2.05 miles running in 15:10, for a 7:24 average pace per mile. Since I was running normally at first, I think I might have slowed down to an 8 minute mile before deciding the best part of valor was to walk.
Tomorrow I'll walk, and remember the wise words of my mother: "Growing old is not for sissies." I'll see how Monday goes, but I expect I won't try to run again till Tuesday. Hopefully by then the remains of this cold will be gone, and I can run Tuesday and Thursday next week.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I started coming down with a cold Sunday evening. This is my second cold since joining SP, and it's kind of different. I suspect it would have been a nasty one, back when I wasn't very fit.
From the glass half full perspective, I'm so much more fit that this cold doesn't knock me out. I can get my work done. I can walk briskly. I do need more sleep, which is hard to get in my current work environment; but I'm not totally wiped out if I only get 7.5 hours.
From the glass half empty perspective, the cold is messing with what I want to do. I skipped most of my morning exercises on Monday. Tuesday I tried to run, and came up with a tight calf. Okay. Tried to run again today, and the same calf came up tight about two and a half minutes into the run. Backed off to a walk.
Apparently my body needs its energy to fight this cold, and doesn't put as much into recovery from my last run. So I won't be running three times this week. I'll test it again on Saturday, and maybe that will work out. The calf was better today than Tuesday, so it might be well enough to run again on Saturday.
Meanwhile, I know the drill with getting non-running exercise. And I can still walk, and still get my 10K steps per day in. I just need to be patient, do what I can, and wait for when I'm able to do more.
Gotta be satisfied that I can do a few pullups, while I'm waiting to be able to run again. And I need to get to bed early more often. Which I should do, like right about now.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Weekends are never long enough. No matter how much I get done, something that I wanted to do stays undone.
Saturday was a full day. My daughter had moved back out on Friday, so on Saturday I did a good vacuuming to pick up the cat fur. The results in the dustbin looked like they used to when the cat lived with me full time. Check that task off.
Then the lawn needed to be mowed. I didn't feel like doing that, so I went off to the local running store to talk about shoes and the Rochester Marathon. Ended up ordering a pair of shoes that they recommended. Because of my foot size, I don't have a lot of choice about what to buy from in stock, much of anywhere. If I'm going to have to special order running shoes, I may as well do so from someone who is they're supposed to know what they're doing.
I'm told the Rochester Marathon does not sell out, and that the Rochester Marthon/HM will be a smaller race than the half/5K that I ran the 5K in last Sunday. Given this perspective, I decided to defer the decision on entering the half until July. Entry fee doesn't go up until July 28, and after the first of July I should have a better idea what work will look like when I would need to train.
That went quickly enough that I had time to squeeze in a walk (because it was a non-running day) of about two and a quarter miles. Then, mow the lawn. Bleah.
Mowing the lawn turned out to be a 2 hour exercise in frustration, including about half an hour of breaks. The breaks were necessary for hydration and bladder relief; the length was necessary for sanity. Mowing the lawn in the spring when the grass is thick isn't one of my favorite activities.
That was Saturday. Sunday, it was church and some minor errands, then an afternoon run. I didn't note the temperature when I left, but it was 67° F (-1° C) when I got back. I decided to add the three small hill segments to my mostly flat 5K route, to be over 4 miles and over 30 minutes.
Warmed up by running up and down the street, probably less than a tenth of a mile. Started out, and wasn't in much of a groove. Tried to pay attention to my form. I'm still a forefoot strike runner, but I'm trying to be closer to a midfoot strike, with the heel touching down on every step. (I have conflicting advice on what the best form is to avoid injury, and this is my best guess at what will work for me.)
By the time I was running up the third small hill, I could tell that I haven't been running hills in quite a while. Made it up, and spent much of the last half of the run thinking about stopping early. The good news here is, cardio might be more limiting than my still-recovering foot at this point.
Got near home, and wondered about the time. Maybe it wouldn't be a full 30 minutes? Decided to run for 30 minutes, even if it meant adding distance. It turned out that I arrived in my driveway at 30:18, meeting my goal of running continually for 30 minutes. That's the first time I've done that since some time in January.
The run mapped out to 4.31 miles, which worked out to a pace of 7:02 per mile. Heh. No wonder I didn't have a sprint left in me for the last stretch. I wonder if paying attention to form makes me faster, or if I've just lost track of how to pace myself?
Then I figured I should take some more pictures, since the last ones I put up here are from November. I've lost between 4 and 5 pounds since then, I've become able to do pullups, and I can see traces of abs in the mirror. I fancy the traces of abs show up for the camera if I do a muscle flex pose.
Oh, and the pullups:
It's kind of a challenge to take a picture of yourself doing a pullup, when all you have to work with is a 10 second delay function on the digital camera. I'm using the neutral grip, because that's easiest and I needed to hold the top position for the camera, which had enough light to not generate a flash.
Tomorrow it's back to work, and not much time for blogging. I haven't got as much done this weekend for my paid job as I hoped, but it's been a good weekend for taking care of my personal life.
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