Saturday, May 07, 2011
Well, as we speak, the batteries in fan behind me are just dying and I'm listening it the fan spin slower and slowwer and slowwwer and slowwwwwer...
Fortunately that's not a true metaphor for my run, this morning. Maybe a little bit, though. I was very tired when I woke up this morning. I wasn't too happy to be waking up at 5:30 on a Saturday. However, I had to get up and out the door before the weather got to hot. For a 9 mile run in heat, I really need some kind of portable water bottle, or camelbak, but I haven't been to the store, yet. This is really the first real heat I've been in for the year and body isn't acclimated to it, yet, so I made sure to have a Nature Valley bar and 16 ounces of water before I left the house.
It was 70 degrees and the sun was just peeking over the horizon when I stepped out the front door. I made sure i didn't run too fast as I started off on my run. My legs were feeling better, but were still a little tight and sore from Tuesday, so that kept me at a reasonably slow pace. I tried to stay on the shady side of most of the streets I ran on.
Halfway through the run I could tell that my legs were still fatigued because I kept getting little aches and pains in every possible joint on my legs, knees, and ankles. Was obvious that my body was trying to compensate for the tightness and soreness. A number of times I really wanted to just stop and walk the rest of the way home, but I kept myself moving until the thoughts passed. I only had to stop for two red lights which on days like today are a real blessing (as long as EVERY light isn't red).
I checked my time on my watch in a couple of spots and could tell I was just over 10 minute/mile pace which is about where I wanted to be at, anyway, all things considered.
With a little over two miles left I was really feeling the fatigue in my legs and my ankles really began to complain for no real good reason. I was ready to be done, but had to keep going. I tried to speed up a little bit for the last mile, but I'm not sure I did by very much. In the end I finished my 9.15 miles in 93 minutes and 22 seconds (1:33:22).
It isn't fast for me. It's an okay time for a long distance run. But, all things considered, it's not too shabby. Now, I just need to do some hydration pack shopping and take the next two days off to let my legs finally recover.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Not much to report, today, except that my legs are still a little sore, but less so than yesterday. Hopefully they will be good for tomorrow's 9 miler.
Today, I take a couple hours to take my truck to get one of the wheel studs replaced. Long story that I'll skip, for now.
I'm a little nervous for my training run, tomorrow. Just hoping my legs aren't too sore and the weather cooperates (forecast is calling for gusty winds).
In other news, this might be my shortest blog post, ever. Stop the presses!
Okay, start 'em back up again.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Not much new to report from today's run. My legs were not quite as sore as yesterday, but were still tight and sore. I ran my scheduled 5 miles, even though I briefly considered only running four. My intestines also didn't seem quite fully recovered from Saturday, but this afternoon they are feeling as close to 100% as they have all week.
I ran my 5 miles this morning in just under 52 minutes which was faster than yesterday, but still were at a recover pace of over 10 minutes/mile.
Tomorrow will be a much needed rest day before I run my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday. The weather is warming up and has been in the 60's at sunrise for all my runs this week. The high today and tomorrow are in the 90's, but will be cooling back off for the weekend and shouldn't cause any problems with my scheduled 9 miles on Saturday.
However, full-on Las Vegas summer is right around the corner which means I will probably soon need to invest in some type of portable hydration for the June, July, and August days of 12+ miles runs, long sunlight and 80+ degree sunrise temperatures (and highs regularly in the 90's and 100's). The half marathon I'm planning for in August is in the middle of nowhere in the Great Basin and all runners must bring their own water containers (hydration stations, but no cups, will be provided), so I will need something for that race, too. I've always tried desperately to avoid running with a water bottle strapped to my hip, but it looks like I have no choice.
If you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to see how many days I can get a blog post this month. Only missed one day, so far! We'll see how long I can keep this up....
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
So, yesterday I ran my 5 miles at a simulated "recovery pace". Today I ran my scheduled 3 miles at a REAL recovery pace. I've been running long enough that my legs are rarely sore after just a 5 mile or 8 mile run, but it's not every day that I wear a 40 pound weight vest and then hike 3 miles in 36 minutes just a couple hours after a 5 mile run.
This morning when I woke up for my 3 mile run, my legs were sore and tight, as were my shoulders. Today, I was NOT going to be running fast. I started out slow and felt like I was going to barely finish the first mile, but pushed myself through it. I knew that the purpose to today's run was to stretch my legs out and work out some of that lactic acid, even if it meant running 15 minute miles. The last mile I purposefully concentrated on lengthening my stride to try and give my legs that extra stretch. In the end I ran my 3.1 miles in 32:31. Definitely a little on the slow side for me, but nothing horrendous.
Hopefully today's recovery run served it's purpose and my legs will be a little looser for tomorrow's 5 mile run. Friday is a rest day and then, if my recovery goes as planned and my legs are feeling better, I will run my long 9 miles on Saturday instead of Sunday so I can concentrate on making Sunday a wonderful Mother's Day for my wife!
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
For those that didn't read yesterday's post, I missed my 8-mile run on Sunday because of a stomach bug and today I was scheduled for a 5-mile run and also for a 3-mile pack test (walking 3 miles in under 45 minutes while wearing/carrying 40lbs) at 8am to keep me qualified as an AD for wildland fire. What better way to make up for the missed 8-mile run than to mix a 5-mile run and a 3-mile hike in one morning?
I originally planned to do the pack test on either next Monday or Friday the 27th. However, I ended up with a work conflict on Monday; and the test on the 27th was unreliable as the date seemed to be changing and I would have to miss it if the date moved just one or two days in the wrong direction. So, I jumped in and decided to take the first available test which was today.
I made the decision at the end of last week, so I didn't have too much time to worry about it. I also just completed my second half marathon in April - and I am pretty confident in my athleticism - so I never really worried much about whether it work out or not. I only really thought about it after the fact - and especially over the weekend when I was suffering from an undiagnosed stomach bug. Other than that, my only real thoughts were whether or not I should shower in between my run and the pack test - I usually finish my morning runs shortly after 6am and the pack test was scheduled for 8am.
I felt pretty good when I woke up this morning. Most of the BG's were gone (most, but not all). My only goal was to make sure I didn't wear myself out for the pack test - which was the more important of the two events since it was timed and was the only one of the two events that had any real significance weighing on the results. I drank my 16 ounces of water and then ran my 5 miles at a comfortably slow recovery pace. Any time I felt like I may be trying to push myself, I would focus on backing off and running relaxed. I finished my run in 50:30 which was a nice easy 10 minute/mile pace. Not too fast, but not too slow. I felt strong and confident with no soreness whatsoever.
Then came my biggest decisions of the day. Do I shower? And what do I eat for breakfast? I decided on a quick shower and then had a bowl of cereal (with Lactaid milk) and a banana for breakfast, followed by 16 ounces of water. My wife wished me good luck and then I was off to the park for the pack test.
This is my third year of qualifying for wildland fire and I've breezed through the pack test every time, so I wasn't too worried about passing. The last two years I felt I had to prove myself and I tried to finish as fast as I could without running (it's a walking test - running is not allowed, tho the line between speed walking and jogging is a little blurry and a lot depends on who is administering the test, but anyway, the idea is to WALK fast with a weight vest to simulate hiking with a heavy pack full of gear...). My first year I finished the test in just over 41 minutes. Last year I was very close to jogging and finished in 34:23. This year I decided i had more than proven myself and since it was not a competition, I would take it easy. After all, we are reminded every year that the only thing that matters is finishing in 44:59 or less and there are no bonus points for finishing faster.
There were about 20 or so of us taking the test. I had over-hydrated myself, so I made a few too many trips to the restroom - I guess after the first 16oz of water,8oz of OJ and 10 oz of milk, that last 16 oz of water was unnecessary. Either that, or the stomach bug was lingering. Anyway, I got it out of my system before the test and then the test was on. I started out with a nice comfortable walk, while those in front quickly started with almost an out-and-out jog. I tried to stick with this pace, until my inner competitive drive kicked in and would not let me continue at that pace. There were different people to impress and other people I wanted to make sure I finished ahead of and so after the first of 6 laps, I sped up to a speed shuffle.
Towards the end I knew I had it in the bag (the test administrators read off our times as we finished each lap), so I slowed back down - though I sped up for half of the last two laps just to make sure I finished well ahead of a certain people. In the end, I finished in 36:25. Two minutes slower that last year, but still way ahead of the time limit. I wanted to finish closer to 40 minutes, but that competitive spirit in me just wouldn't let me do that.
Our top guys always talk about walking slower and waiting by the finish line so they could cross at 44:59 - because it doesn't matter how must faster you finish as long as you beat the time limit. Maybe I'll slow down a little more next year. Then again, maybe I won't. :)
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