Monday, January 11, 2010
I had planned going to go running today. However, I found myself a bit stiff and sore from yesterday’s run. I decided to wimp-out and do some cross training. I also wanted to get in some physical therapy exercises. Here is what I did:
- 40 minute brisk walk with my Beagle
- 40 minutes on elliptical trainer
- 20 minutes of stretching
- 10 minutes of PT exercised with therapy bands to strengthen small leg muscles
I have found that the exercises I hate the most are the very exercises I need to do the most. I dislike stretching. I am not very flexible and find stretching to be uncomfortable. I also hate therapy band exercises. Unfortunately, the therapy band exercises and stretching are what have given me pain free running. Pain free running means I can train more and get faster.
Sometimes I hate doing things that are good for me!
Saturday, January 09, 2010
LOCATION: Thunderridge HS Track-- Highlands Ranch, Colorado
TIMED DISTANCE: 5K
5K TIME: 27:46:12
AVERAGE PACE: 8:54 min/mile
FASTEST PACE: 5:01 min/mile
SLOWEST PACE: 11:37 min/mile
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes ( Warm-up, Timed Run, Slow Run and Cool-Down)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear, Temperature 38.5 °F, Feels Like 38.5 °F, Wind-Calm, Humidity 33%, Patches Snow
I decided to drive down to Denver for a 5K timed run. I normally run in the mountains at 8,500 feet. I wanted to see what I could do at the lower elevation of 6595 feet.
I ran wearing shorts since the temperature was a balmy 38.5 °F. I enjoy running with bare legs. I wore my light fleece pullover on my upper body. I also had new shoes! This was the maiden run for my new Nike Air Pegasus +26 shoes. The shoes felt great.
I felt good. I started off slowly and picked up the pace. My Garmin 305 told me I was running well. I passed the 2.5K mark well under 13 minutes. I was pretty pleased. I just couldn't keep up a sub 8 min/mile pace. I started to slow down.
My pace was erratic. I did a good burst at a 5 minute per mile pace. My slowest pace was 12 minutes per mile. I need to get more consistent.
I managed to run the 5K in just under 28 minutes. I was surprised! I have not been able to run much due to the cold weather. I may push too hard when I can see my pace on the Garmin. I will leave the Garmin at home tomorrow. I want to do a nice long and slow run. That stupid Garmin won’t let me go slowly.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
I know this is really odd. I weighed myself this morning. During a weigh-in I wear just shorts. I want to weigh me, not my clothes. My scale is in my home gym. There is also a full length mirror in my home gym.
When I saw myself in the mirror I was shocked! The guy in the mirror didn’t look like 52 year-old me. He looked like 32 year-old me! For reasons that escape me, the image in the mirror was terrifying!
32 year-old me is gone. He is a memory. But there he was looking back at me in the mirror. I know this doesn’t make any sense. I think most people my age would love to turn the clock back 20 years.
I don’t want to be 32 again. I find this confusing.
Over the years, as a gained weight, I became comfortable in my skin. When I hit 275+ pounds my health was going downhill fast. I had high blood pressure, joint pain, and my feet hurt all the time. I decided I needed to lose weight. I kind of thought I would just become a thinner version of me. I didn’t expect to become a younger version of me.
32 year-old me was athletic. He was strong and fast. He had a six-pack and well defined muscles. He didn’t have to suck in his gut because he didn’t have one. He was also impatient, cocky, fearless, and quick-tempered. 32 year-old me scares me.
What really worries me is that if I keep going to my goal weight, I may end up looking like 22 year-old me! 22 year-old me was highly-competitive and had a bit of a mean streak.
I know this make zero sense. When I look in the mirror, I see a ghost.
Friday, January 01, 2010
LOCATION: Bailey, Colorado -- Burland Ranchettes
TIMED DISTANCE: 5K
5K TIME: 34:28
PACE: 11:71 min/mile
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes (Running + warm-up and Cool-down)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Cloudy, Temperature 28.3 °F, Feels Like 15.9 °F, Wind 16.1 mph, Humidity 34%, Patches of Frozen Snow and Ice.
ELEVATION: 7909 to 8350 Feet above Sea Level (Hilly)
I am finally feeling good. I kicked the nagging case of Bronchitis and can breathe better.
Time to run! Hooray! Or so I thought. My time still sucked! I think I need to lower my expectations. I live in a place where it is kind of hard to run. I have a bunch of excuses, though.
I live in the mountains of Colorado and there are a lot of hills. I decided to do some hill running today. I started my run at 7,838 feet elevation. I finished at 8,350 feet. The total vertical rise was 512 feet in 3.1 miles. The steepest hill had a vertical rise of 220 feet in 0.2 miles. The vertical rise was 20 feet for every 100 feet of running distance. I got to tell you that is a steep hill!
My Garmin told me I was barely moving at a 13 to 14 min/mile pace while I struggled up this brutal hill.
Besides a series of heck-for-steep hills, I got more excuses. The temperature was below freezing and I had to run against a 16 mph wind. I was wearing some pretty heavy winter clothes. I also had studded snow tracks on my shoes so I wouldn’t slip on the hard packed snow and patches of ice.
The excuses just keep coming!
There just ain't a lot of air at 8,000 feet! There are a whole lot of bad things that happen at 8,000 feet to slow you down.
At high altitude the partial pressure of oxygen is reduced. The ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen is dependent upon the pressure exerted by oxygen on the alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs). The reduction of oxygen pressure at high altitudes means less oxygen is driven from the lungs into the blood.
Here is a list of the top six bad things that happen due to the reduce pressure of oxygen:
(1) Breathing rate increases during exercise as compared to sea level.
At 8,000 feet the breathing rate has to increase to try to compensate for the smaller number of oxygen molecules in a given amount of air. The higher breathing rate contributes to an earlier onset of fatigue.
(2) Oxygen diffusion decreases.
At sea level the oxygen exchange between the lungs and the blood is unhindered. At 8,000 feet the oxygen saturation in the blood drops to less than 90%. Less oxygen means a reduction in athletic performance.
(3) Exchange of oxygen between the blood and active tissue is reduced (This is really bad!)
At 8,000 feet the partial pressure of oxygen in the arteries is reduced by 70%. Far less oxygen passes (diffuses) from the blood to the active tissue. This means whatever small amount of oxygen is in your blood doesn’t get to the muscles that really need it! I get tingling in my fingers and lips sometimes. My vision blurs and I have trouble running in straight line. These are usually signs I need to walk and catch my breath.
(4) VO2 max decreases.
Maximal oxygen uptake decreases significantly at high altitude. At 8,000 VO2max drops by 11%. VO2max measures the body’s ability to sustain aerobic activity. As VO2max drops endurance also drops.
(5) Maximal cardiac output decreases.
During exhaustive exercise both maximal stroke volume and maximal heart rate decrease with altitude. The reduction of cardio output hinders endurance. You have less oxygen in your blood, and the muscles have trouble absorbing the oxygen. You also have an oxygen delivery system that is slower to boot. This actually is painful. The heart just pounds away and very little blood is getting where it needs to go.
(6) Lactate Accumulation Increases.
Lack of oxygen at altitude causes an increased reliance on the anaerobic system to provide energy. This reliance on the anaerobic energy system results in increased concentrations of lactate. Lactate gives up hydrogen ions which causes increased acidity of in the blood called acidosis. Acidosis slows the ability of the muscles to contract. Slow muscles equal slow running.
In summary, my excuses for my abysmal 5K time are: I was running up steep hills against a 16 mph head wind on a slippery surface in freezing temperatures wearing heavy clothes and snow treads at 8,000 feet elevation with no discernable oxygen getting to my muscles that were nearly paralyzed by acidosis.
Did I also mention I am out of shape?
Studded Snow Tracks
This is cold and Icy. Lots of fun!
My Footprints in the snow. Did I mention that the wind picks up icy snow and sandblasts you?
This is a hill.
Home again! Nice warm house. The ladder is a permanent fixture during the winter so I can knock snow out of the satellite disk!
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