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Dead Legs Racing

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ran my 10k this morning and my dead legs hadn't gone away. I really wanted to walk and/or quit, but I kept running and finished. Waiting for the final results to be posted, but I think that despite my legs and the conditions I actually finished reasonably close to my hoped for time. I will post a full race report later when I have to sit down and type it all out. Maybe the results will be posted by then, too.


Return of the Dead Legs

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This morning as I took off down the street for my 4 mile run, I knew I was just going to run at recovery speed. However, that dreaded dead legs feeling from the beginning of my first half marathon training was back. My legs felt heavy and lifeless. I ran the first mile at 11 min/mile pace which I haven't run in a long time. I finished with an average 10.5 min/mile pace. Despite running that slow, I was fighting an almost constant battle with myself to not stop and walk at almost every point during my run.

I'm sure there are multiple causes for this. First, I didn't give myself a good rest day after my Saturday afternoon long run. Sunday morning we hiked 2 hours on a steep trail while carrying my 23 pound daughter on my back. Then I ran a 5 mile tempo run on Monday. Also, I know I haven't been getting to bed early enough the past few nights before having to get up early for my runs and have been getting 6 or fewer hours of sleep. And tonight and Friday night don't look any better since I have an MRI on shoulder (finally!) scheduled bright and early at 6:15am, then I have to be up and out the door around 4:30am on Saturday to drive an hour to Lake Mead for race day.

So, I have a 10k race on Saturday that will be down at Lake Mead, in hot weather, with hills, and I've got dead legs because I haven't been sleeping well and didn't give my body enough rest. What could possibly go wrong!?


At least I know the worst case scenario. The race should go better than that, at least.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABSOLUTZER0 6/23/2011 5:09PM

    You are going to do fine. The atmosphere will pump you up! I can't wait to hear about it. I have a 5k Saturday and I'm thrilled because it's my first once since the end of March. Actually, I'm nervous. LOL!

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KKINNEA 6/23/2011 3:47PM

    Do everything you can to recover and good luck! I totally know where you're coming from with the lack of rest/recovery but I'll send you "lighter legs" thoughts from afar!

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The Longest Run

Sunday, June 19, 2011

So, since I decided to switch up my run days, today was supposed to my first feal Saturday run day as - opposed to the past times I ran on Saturday because i was busy on that Sunday. Well... I almost didn't even run!

Friday evening was the going away bash a the local draft house for a couple of employees who were leave to move on to bigger and better things. I had a few drink during happy hour, but was home by 7. When I woke up this morning, I was not feeling like could run in a straight line without upchucking what little I had to eat at the party. Guess I shouldn't have had two glasses of the 9% local brew.

Anyway, turns out it didn't really much matter how I felt because we had a bunch of errands to run before my daughter's first nap of the day. Then, at 1 we went to a friend's son's first birthday and pool party. We didn't eat too much, but we did drink a lot of 7up and lemonade to keep us cool during the 95 degree afternoon. When we returned home at 4 we were all hot and exhausted from being out in the sun and EVERYONE needed naps. I had written off getting my run in for the day and probably for the weekend with all the Father's Day festivities planned. At least I knew we would be hiking, so we wouldn't be complete couch potatoes.

However, my wife encouraged me to go the gym, which I hadn't been to in months (since I do all my running first thing in the morning around our neighborhood). If I didn't run at the gym, there was no way I was going to get my run in by running 9 miles outside, even if it was *only* 95 instead of 104.

So, with my wife's helpful prodding I was off to the gym and ran my scheduled 9 miles on the indoor track at the gym. Boy was I glad I brought my headphones! 5.5 laps per mile multiplied by 9 miles equals 50 laps of pure boredom! Fortunately, I found that by timing my mile splits and pacing myself off my watch for each lap, I was able both to keep a very consistent pace, throughout, and also keep count of all 50 laps (okay, actually 49.5) as well as keep my mind off the sheer monotony of running all those laps!

I ran each mile between 9:30 and 9:45 except for the last mile which I slowly picked up the pace as I went along and finished the last mile in 8:11 for a 1:25:20 overall time. The 9:45 pace was a very comfortable pace and if I can keep that up in a training run with no problem then I have high hopes for getting a PR in a future race - even with the first half being uphill... :-/

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I'm looking forward to some hiking with my girls and a special meal or two. I can't wait! And hopefully the hiking will give me a little bit of a training boost for my next two hilly races.


Recover and Re-evaluate

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just a week and a half let until my 10k race.

I hadn't been giving this race too much thought until this week when the organizers sent out an information e-mail to all register runners. This reminded me of several important things I need to take into consideration for this race.

The weather will be HOT.

I knew this could be an issue, but somehow with my training and the mild Spring we've been having, I've somehow push this out of my mind and disregarded it. I had somehow not really given too much thought to the fact that this race is DESIGNED to be run in very hot weather (around 110). However, the race e-mail was chocked full of warnings and information about running in the heat including that all 50k and marathon runners have mandatory weigh-in's before, during, and after the race, with those having lost 4% of their body weight being forced to take hydration breaks, and those having lost 7% or more being forced to drop out on the spot and receive medical attention. This brought me back to reality.

The race will be run down by Lake Mead which those of you that aren't familiar with the area may think, "Oh, it's by a lake. That should make the temperature cooler." Unfortunately, the opposite is the case as the geography and elevation make the area around the lake at least 5-10 degrees hotter than in the city, during the summer. It's forecast to be around 98 in the city for race day.

Fortunately, race time is at 7am which means - at least for us 10k'ers - we will be running in temperatures between 80 and 90 rather than the daytime high temperature of somewhere around 104. This will be a good test for running with my camelbak.

My initial idea for signing up for this race was that I had never run a true 10k race and I wanted to see if I could set a nice PR. I guess I wasn't really paying attention to the course or the weather. The heat will make running this course more difficult than it already is as it involves rolling hills with a 200ft elevation gain and a nice hill smack dab in the middle of the course.

On Sunday, during my 13 mile run, my right knee began to get sore. It was pretty weak by the time I finished. During my 5 mile run on Tuesday it didn't hurt at all, but I iced it and my left knee after my run, anyway. It felt sore Tuesday night, so I iced it again and decided to take today off as a rest day and skip my scheduled 3 miles. I didn't plan on doing much of a taper - if any - for my 10k; instead planning it as part of my training. However, with my knee acting up, I may need to reconsider this plan and maybe do more of a taper than i originally planned.

Starting this weekend, I am moving my long run days to Saturday and switching my Tuesday run to Monday. That means I will be running M, W, Th, Sat instead of Sun, T, W, Th. Hopefully this will help my knee, let me plan my runs better, and allow me to see a little more improvement in my time and pacing.

It's time to start the preparation for my race. I need to keep an eye on my knee and keep it iced and rested as needed. I can't change the weather or the course, but I can change me. Ready or not, here I come.


Today's Good/Bad Tempo Run

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Since the Summerlin Half Marathon I ran in April, I've been struggling a bit to try to incorporate some speed training into my weekly runs and doing some research to find the best methods.

I found that Tempo Runs are recommended to help the most, followed by interval training. After a couple months I've felt like I've improved, some, but that I'm not improving as I should be. One week I'll be fast and feel great, but then the next week I will feel slow and sluggish. What I've come to figure out (and pretty much knew all along) is that I am pushing myself on too many of my runs and not giving myself enough recovery runs. I also may need to manipulate my running schedule just a bit.

With that in mind, I ran my 13 mile long run on Sunday a little slower than I have been and it seemed to work out, nicely. This morning, I decided would be my one Tempo Run of the week (rather than trying to run one almost every day). One of the things I have been researching is just how fast to run my Tempo Runs. I've decided that I have been running them too fast. Last week I ran my Tempo Run at a good pace. Today was time to see if I could get the pace right, again.

I ran the first mile at 10:18 which was a good slow-ish pace, but probably could have been a little slower. I picked up the pace for the next 3 miles. I thought I might have been running a tad fast, but I knew I needed to run a pace that was hard, but still somewhat comfortable. Around halfway I got a few chills from hitting a second wind and it felt like I was running good pace.

I began slowing down a little as I approached the end of the second mile and my legs started to feel a little tired. I thought to myself that I was probably running too fast - for a Tempo Run, I should be able to maintain the same pace the whole way without lactic acid buildup in my legs, so since my legs were getting sore and I felt like I was slowing down, that probably meant I was pushing a little too hard.

I hit the 3 mile mark and hit my watch and slowed down to a recovery jog and then checked my watch. I most definitely ran too fast. I ran those 3 miles in 24:50 which is 1 minute faster than my 5k PR. Tack on the extra .1 mile to make my run a true 5k and I would still have beaten my 5k PR by 30 seconds. Since a good Tempo run is supposed to be 20 to 30 seconds slower than 5k pace, I most definitely ran WAY too fast.

So, I'm happy, yet not, about today's run. I ran a PR without even trying which means I'm definitely getting faster! That's definitely a good sign because I had felt like I was getting stuck in a rut with little improvement. However, if I want to get my training right so that I keep improving, I will need to keep working on my pacing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABSOLUTZER0 6/14/2011 5:26PM

    I need to be doing speed work, too! LOL! I will get more focused about it after my 50k in July. KKINNEA is right! You should definitely check out McMillan's site. I have posted a link to the calculator. I just found out about it yesterday and I was thrilled at the data.


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KKINNEA 6/14/2011 1:10PM

    Have you checked out McMillan's running calculator? I use that to gauge times for all my runs - it makes a big difference for me to have an actual range to shoot for.

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