Friday, November 23, 2012
Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. A day traditionally reserved for recovering from overeating, moaning at the scale results, and of course marathon shopping. I had a non-traditional Thanksgiving, so it stands to reason that I should have a non-traditional Black Friday.
I (mostly) ran a 10K on Thanksgiving, and was pleased with my time. I didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, but did have a small slice of coconut custard pie. Other than that, I ate well for a race day. The scale this morning said 160.0, right at the bottom of my desired range; but that's okay. I know part of it is a normal, temporary drop from running yesterday.
While I have no need to recover from overeating, and I have no complaints about the scale, I do need to recover from a longer run than I've been accustomed to. Check the bad foot; running 7 minute miles bothered it less than walking 13.5 minute miles did. Check the sore thigh. It's doing about as expected after a running day, and will probably let me run again tomorrow.
I took a couple days off from both running and weight lifting before yesterday's race, so this morning I did the once-routine TGU-windmill combos and kettlebell snatches in addition to my now-routine pullup du jour (chinups today) and pushups. Then I went off for a 5K walk to ensure that I'd get my 10K steps in today.
My natural walking pace on this recovery day turned out to be about a 15:10 mile, as compared to my natural walking pace on Tuesday and Wednesday being about a 14:20 mile. That's okay. It will get better.
Of course, I need to lift some weights on a non-running day to feel like I'm doing something and to work the muscles differently than running does. Motivation and finding time can be issues in accomplishing this; but today I was lucky. I'd met Robert (ON2VICTORY) yesterday, and he had expressed interest in trying out my 35 lb. and 45 lb. kettlebells while he waits for the 20 kilo and 24 kilo KBs he has on order. So we met at my house mid-day to talk and demo kettlebells and weights.
That go me motivated enough to get a little light KB work in, more like play than work. It also got me motivated to do my real weight lifting. Robert borrowed some of my dumbbells and had me snap some pics of him doing presses on his phone. I hope some of them turned out to be usable. I did Romanian deadlifts, walking lunges, and bench presses. Robert captured a couple shots of me doing walking lunges in the basement; here's the clearer one:
I was pleased that I managed to do a set of walking lunges (20 paces = 10 lunges on each side) with a pair of 20 lb. dumbbells. I hadn't been able to handle that weight the last time I tried it for walking lunges. In hindsight, that was probably because of my sore thigh, which isn't nearly as bad now as it was then.
Once again, I failed to think about good photos till after the opportunity was passed. It's nice that Robert was smarter than I was in that department.
I did end up doing one traditional Black Friday activity. I spent some time online hunting for good prices on laser printer toner. Ended up finding prices for toner for both my printers substantially cheaper than the last time I bought it.
By the end of the day, I noticed I was running a bit short of steps. A short pleasure walk took care of that, and tomorrow should feel like a normal Saturday. Today looks like a successful recovery day, adding to the satisfaction of a well-run 10K yesterday.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
ON2VICTORY mentioned in his blog yesterday that he was skipping the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot because he needed recovery time after his recent half marathon. I mentioned in a comment that he could stop in at the Race with Grace to say hi. That didn't happen, but we did manage to meet Thanksgiving afternoon at his motel.
Robert is pretty much what you see from his blogs and Spark Page. He's a pretty down to earth guy who is working on getting his weight where he wants it, and along the way running half marathons and triathlons. I am impressed by people who can run multiple half marathons, given that I flamed out training for my first. Robert was impressed with my 10K time and general fitness level.
We had a nice long chat about running, weights, kettlebells, and nutrition. I gave him some tips about learning the kettlebell snatch. He gave me some tips about training for longer distance runs, and also gave me a limited edition commemorative iron miner's cap. We totally failed to take any pictures, but he looks just like the pictures he posts to SP.
I took the opportunity to meet Robert based on my sister's recommendation to meet a Spark Friend whenever you have the chance. Now, I concur with that recommendation. If someone you've conversed with on SP is around your local area, make time to meet him or her. You'll be glad you did.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I set the alarm for 5:30 to give myself time, but woke up early and rolled out of bed about 4:45. That's okay, because I still got over 7 hours of sleep. It also gave me enough time to have a normal breakfast routine including pullups du jour (close grip pronated today) and pushups in the intervals between fixing and eating the various parts of breakfast. I skipped the TGU/windmill combos and KB snatches because I expected to get plenty of exercise later in the morning.
Daughter showed up at 7, and we hit the road. The early start for walkers was informal and not well organized, but she got moving a half hour ahead of gun time for the crowd. The organizer had not put much thought into a formal early start for walkers until I talked with him last night; I expect he'll have something better thought out in advance next year.
Forecast for 9 AM was 40°F and sunny, with 6 to 8 mph southerly winds, Forecast for 10 AM was for 48°F. As near as I can tell, the forecast was very close to dead on. It was great running weather. I set out to just run at a comfortable pace, without worrying about people passing me or me passing other people. I did better with the not worrying part this year than last year. Early on, I noticed a guy swapping places with me who was breathing pretty heavily. I realized that was how I had been breathing in this race 264 days ago; but today I was pacing to breath easily.
The original plan had been to run intervals. Then I thought, for a race I can increase them from run 4, walk 1 to run 5, walk 1. Then I thought that maybe I could run a mile, walk a minute. At one mile, my time was 6:22, 8 seconds faster than last year. I felt pretty good after a mile, so I kept running. I passed daughter a bit after the 2 mile mark, and waved to her. By that time, I was thinking in terms of running 20 minutes, because one of my goals is to run 20 minutes continually 3 times a week. Stupid motivational tricks strike again.
At 20 minutes, I was close to 5K, and I wanted to see a running split. That turned out to be 20:22, or 12 seconds faster than last year. Well, that would slow when I got to real intervals. Partly on general principal, partly for cardio, I took a one minute walking bread at 21 minutes. Then I thought I should run 5 minutes and walk at 27; but at 27 I could see the 4 mile mark. Stopped for 2 small glasses of water at the 4 mile water station, then took a short untimed walking break before starting to run again on the downhill. Took my 3rd walking break, a timed 1 minute, at 33 minutes. Late in the race, I took another untimed, but under a minute, walking break at 40 minutes; then I ran for the end.
I sprinted the stretch where I could see the clock at the finish with the seconds ticking toward 43 minutes. Didn't quite make it; final time was 43:05. That was 47 seconds faster than last year, for an average pace of 6:57 per mile. I was impressed. I ran the full distance last year, took walking breaks in the second half this year, and actually covered the second half faster this year than last.
I'm more fit in general this year. I'm also a bit wiser. I probably could have run the full 10K, but I'm sure I finished in better shape for taking the four walking breaks.
The strategy of turning off the intervals, but turning on the readout of time, distance, and pace every minute worked well for an organized race, particularly where I was changing the walking intervals as I went. That was the point of the every minute readout on the app. But now I need to reset the app to reading out less frequently, as I don't want those frequent readouts for solo runs, walks, or intervals.
The real runners showed up this year. Last year's time surprised me with a first in age group. This year's faster time was more than 3 minutes behind the age group winner. Also, the over 50 male (who doesn't qualify for age group because Over 50 is worth more) would have been in my age group, and came it at 35 minutes and change. (Can't look up the change right now because the timer's web site maxed out its bandwidth. Not terribly shocking, on a day when they timed ~6500 participants in two major local races.)
The most noticeable body impact immediately after the race was tight calves. I could tell that I haven't been running this far regularly. But that is a good training effect, and one that's pretty easy to deal with. Long stretches, adequate rest, and build the regular mileage slowly.
The bad foot and sore thigh did not complain at all during the race. Afterward, the bad foot was no worse than after a routine run. The sore thigh lets me know if I try to run a short distance now; I'll see how well it recovers over the next two or three days.
If the recovery goes as well as it might, I'm about ready to start running continually instead of doing intervals. I'll still have to pay attention to the thigh and foot, and back off as needed.
After the race, there were bagels, Greek yogurt, bananas, coffee, and water available. I took a banana, a container of Greek yogurt, and a bottle of water because that was what I wanted. I noticed a contrast from a year ago, when I took a bagel and wondered where the c ream cheese was. This year, the bagel is too expensive given what else I wanted to eat today. I hadn't expected any insights to my dietary habits out of the race, so this was a small bonus benefit.
Because my daughter took over 2 hours to walk the course, I had plenty of time to get back and greet her at the finish line. But because she was participating this year, I don't have any photos of myself. Maybe there will be some professional photos available in a bit for a price. If so, I might have to actually buy some.
Overall, I'm happy with my two year tradition of running a race on Thanksgiving Day. I'm ready to make it three years in another 371 days.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The boss let us out of work early today, which let me get more pre-Thanksgiving stuff done. With the extra hour and a half, I cruised by the bread outlet to pick up 3 loaves of whole wheat bread for $3.60 on the manager's special. They also sent me home with a free custard-coconut pie. I read the nutritional info. If daughter doesn't want it, I can work it into the eating over the course of a week.
Then I swung by Aldi to pick up some bagged salad and green peppers. Daughter wants a salad tomorrow after the 10K, and this will ensure that I don't run out of ingredients. I've already got enough onions and chopped baked chicken breast on hand.
That put me past 5, and it was time to go pick up packets for tomorrow's 10K. Well, "packets" might be an overstatement. There were the long sleeved tech shirts, because I got our registrations into the first 200, and the bibs. That's it, but that's what was important.
I spent some time chatting with the organizer. Daughter projects walking 10K in 2 hours. The estimated awards ceremony is 1 hour 45 minutes after the gun. Organizer says daughter could easily be the last person on the course at that pace, but the local police are good at following the last person and the road won't be re-opened on her.
They also offer an early start for walkers who think they need more time. I'll see what she thinks about that tomorrow morning. If she has accurately estimated her pace, I could start an hour later than her and pass her on the way to the finish line.
Now I've got my gym bag mostly packed, and my running clothes laid out. Time to wind down for an early bedtime, because I need to be up earlier than normal to get breakfast and have time to drive to the race site tomorrow morning.
Yesterday and today have been light days physically. I got my 10K steps in, but didn't get to 11K either day. Time constraints and the need to do other errands squeezed out heavy weight lifting, though I did get my pullups and pushups in. But I'm as rested as is reasonable for running a 10K tomorrow.
Mr. Testosterone is going to tell me to run all the way. I might let him convince me to run longer intervals. Just have to see how it goes.
Tomorrow should be fun, even without a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
An odd thing happened today. The planned intervals came off exactly as planned. I did 6 cycles of run 4, walk 1, followed by a shorter run to get home. That covered 4.29 miles in 31:49, for an average pace of 7:25 per mile.
A year ago, I would have considered 7:25 to be in the range of acceptable paces for a continual run.
The bad foot still isn't 100%, but it isn't complaining loudly. The sore thigh is a little less sore, and closer to feeling like a normal training effect. If history holds to form, I could do intervals again on Tuesday, but then the thigh and/or foot would act up and Thursday would be contra-indicated. Since I'm committed to a 10K on Thursday, I think I'll stick to the plan of no running between now and then.
That leaves walking for cardio, and weight lifting so I can feel like I'm doing something for exercise.
I lifted weights yesterday morning. Did squats, shrugs, and bench press as the major leg, pull, and push lifts, respectively. Did each of them with more weight than last time. Yes, I realize this is a re-entry phenomenon and that pretty soon (probably the next cycle through the rotation of lifts) I won't be able to increase weights every time. That's okay. It will take a while to squat as much as I used to, but I'm already benching and shrugging more than I did the last time I was lifting regularly.
The squats definitely work the sore thigh. That may be why I'm not squatting as much; I'll see how that goes as the thigh recovers.
Yesterday evening I went out and bought a pair of the next bigger dumbbells, 45 lbs. I'm almost ready to use those for incline chest presses. I also talked with the guy at the fitness store about dip belts to add weight to my pullups. I see myself buying one in the not too distant future, but the DBs and the dip belt didn't both fit in the fitness equipment budget right now. For now, I'll play with some ankle weights I bought years ago but never used to add weight for pullups. When the 10 lbs. of ankle weights I have aren't enough, it will be time to buy a dip belt.
This adds yet another maintenance puzzle, figuring out how much weight is enough. There will be a point somewhere that I can't train beyond. Probably somewhere before that point, there will be a point where the risk of injury outweighs the benefit of training to lift heavier. Recognizing what those points are is a puzzle, and I hope I don't have to solve it the hard way.
Get An Email Alert Each Time MOBYCARP Posts