Sunday, April 21, 2013
Week 10 of 16
Total Miles: 57.51
Distance: 5.5 miles w/ 6 strides
Location: Gym Track
Ave Pace: 9:26
Splits: 9:40 / 9:31 / 9:26 / 9:19 / 9:12
Notes: I never really got into this run mentally. I heard about the bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon just before I left for the gym. And I couldn't stop thinking about that. About the spectators who were in the line of fire and how it could have been DH.
Distance: 8.31 miles
10x75" hills at HM effort (9:05)
Location: Gym track; treadmill for the hill repeats
Splits: 9:52 / 9:14 / 9:39 / 9:12 / (hill repeats) / 10:02 / 9:30
Notes: I didn't sleep well last night, woke early and decided to just go to the gym and run a couple of miles before strength training. After ST, I ran two more miles on the track before getting on the treadmill for the hill repeats. I finished with two more miles on the track with a little longer walk break to slow them down a little. I felt pretty tense for most of the run, but was finally starting to relax in the last two miles.
Medium Long Run
Distance: 12 miles
Location: Gym Track
Ave Pace: 10:30
Splits: 10:01 / 10:39 / 11:25 / 10:58 / 11:28 / 11:45 / 11:04 / 10:30 / 10:09 / 9:57 / 9:29 / 8:30
Notes: This was an interesting run from which I really learned a lot. I got a late start because I was stuck at home most of the day waiting for a workman who showed over 3 hours after he said he was coming. (At least he showed up.) By the time he was finished and I could get to the gym, it was after 3:00 pm, which is later in the day than I like for a longer run.
I felt tired and "draggy" all day, partly because I haven't been sleeping well but also because of allergies. It was also very, very humid today and on the definite warm side. So I had decided to make this an easy, even a very easy run. I have to admit I wasn't really in the mood.
I ran the first mile with my usual" walk at the start of each lap." That was too fast, so I extended the walk to slow things down. I thought that 11:00 - 11:30 per mile would be a good easy pace.
Usually I begin feeling better during the first two or three miles of a run as I warm up, but not today. I actually felt worse and worse as the early miles progressed and I was getting a lot of negative brain chatter about whether or not I should really run the full 12. The run just felt different than usual, and I didn't seem to have any zip. I started wondering if I was coming down with something, although I didn't really feel bad that way. But I had no energy.
Usually when I run late in the day like this, I eat a gel or some dates before starting. But I didn't today. I'm not sure why not. Maybe since I had planned such an easy run, it didn't seem necessary. It wasn't a conscious decision not to eat something; I just didn't think of it.
I was into mile 3 when, all of a sudden, I started feeling really weak and "wobbly," like I really couldn't keep going for much longer. I stopped to eat a gel and resumed running at an even more reduced pace. At that point, I was alternating between walking one lap and running one lap, which works out to roughly a 1 to 2 ratio of run to walk by time.
After just a few laps, I started feeling much better, not less tired but definitely no longer weak and wobbly. I began to suspect that some of my issues were blood sugar related. But I still assumed it was mostly just that I was tired. I continued alternating one lap walking and one lap running.
I ate another gel after mile 5. I started feeling even better, and after a few more miles, my brain started balking at the length of the walk. So in mile 8, I started using the Gymboss set to :20/:20. The run started to feel more "normal," and in mile 9 I started skipping walk breaks.
I had a third gel after mile 9 and during the last 3 miles, my pace was back to "normal" as were my energy levels. I was still tired, but I didn't really notice that much in the last miles. I used :40/:20 intervals for miles 10 and 11 and free form "walk at the beginning of each lap" for mile 12.
Clearly the majority of my issues in today's run were nutrition / blood sugar related. There was little difference from start to finish in my level of fatigue. There was a vast difference in my energy level and the source of that energy differential was not fatigue. Poor running nutrition is more damaging than simple fatigue in a run. Today I "hit the wall" in mile 3 and lived to tell the tale. You can hit the wall at any time, not just at mile 20.
Distance: 8 miles
miles 3-6 @ tempo pace (8:32 - 8:52)
Location: Gym Track
Splits: 10:58 / 9:28 / 8:50 / 8:41 / 8:29 / 8:27 / 10:02 / 9:43
Notes: This was just an awesome run. It just shows what a difference a good night's sleep and plenty to eat makes in one's energy and enjoyment level.
I did get a good night's sleep last night, but felt a little groggy and lethargic this morning, as I often do the day after a good sleep immediately following several bad nights. I had already planned on putting a few hours of rest in between ST in the morning and this run, which turned out to be smart because the ST session was a demanding one and included 3 sets of forward and backward walking lunges.
Since this run was also late in the afternoon (about the same time as yesterday), I made sure to eat a larger lunch, plus I ate two dates just before I left for the gym. I also ate two gels during the run, one after mile 2 and the other after mile 5.
I went into the run with some reservations as to what pace I should use for the four tempo miles. My legs felt tired in the first mile, but they always do. Unlike yesterday, they did feel progressively better as I warmed up. I decided to set the Gymboss to :40/:20 for mile 2 and base my target for the tempo miles on how well I ran at that interval. When I saw 9:28 (and by then both my legs and my energy level felt pretty good), I decided to go for it. I used 1:00/:20 for the tempo miles.
Those miles felt surprisingly easy (well, not easy as in "easy run" but easy in the sense of not requiring an extreme effort .) I would put the perceived effort at comfortably hard. I was tired by the fourth one, but I could have done another.
The endorphins were really flowing in the last two cool down miles. I used :30/:20 for those and was happy to see that I was running at race pace for my cool down. I soaked in the pool for 15 minutes after the run.
Distance: 4.7 miles
w/ 6x10" hill sprints
Location: Ledge Mtn
Splits: 17:24 / 11:15 / 10:52 / 10:57
Notes: My goal was to make this an easy recovery run in between yesterday's sports massage and tomorrow's long run. It was a nice day, around 70 when I got out in the mid afternoon. The sun was hot, but a cool breeze in spots and the low humidity made the sun's heat manageable. As did keeping the pace slow and heart rate low, which also kept my core temperature low.
I was reminded of when I was doing my low-heart rate runs last winter between the California Marathon in December and 26.2 with Donna in February. The temps were usually in the 40's and 50's and I was comfortable most days running in a long sleeved top. Then a couple of weeks before Donna, I decided to prepare for that race by increasing the heart rate runs from 125 (68%) to 135 (73%). That long sleeved top was suddenly too warm and I had to switch back to my sleeveless singlet, even thought the outside temps remained in the 50's. I was surprised by how much additional heat my body produced with just that small increase in heart rate.
Distance: 19 miles
Location: Gym Track
Ave Pace: 10:42
Splits: 10:26 / 11:33 / 11:01 / 10:56 / 10:51 / 11:00 / 10:58 / 10:57 / 10:57 / 10:56 / 10:51 / 10:47 / 10:45 / 11:03 / 10:44 / 10:50 / 10:56 / 9:18 / 8:34
Notes: Because of the Big Sur Marathon coming up next weekend, I wanted to maintain an easy pace in this run. I started with :30/:20, but that was too fast, so instead of changing the Gymboss, I just flipped the intervals and ran 20, walked 30 seconds. It took a mile to adjust, and then I feel into a very consistent, easy pace. I was surprised to see 11 minute miles with this ratio, but that's what I was shooting for, so I was pleased.
This ratio of more walking than running (3 to 2) enabled me to run at a fairly fast pace during the run segments, which was fun, with enough walking to allow for plenty of recovery and to keep the average pace in the easy range I was looking for. I did not feel particularly tired, even at mile 17, so I decided to go for negative splits at the end.
As I ran, I was thinking about the pace and what was different now from a couple of years ago when I needed a 2/1 ratio to run an 11 minute mile over a longer run. Here I was hitting that pace even though I was walking more than I was running. One noticeable change is that my stride has gotten a lot more powerful. I cover considerably more ground now with each step (mostly in the air). So I'm not necessarily working harder to produce a faster pace. I know I have hill work to thank for that in part, but I also think my higher running volume this year has made a difference in that regard. My hips and glutes are much stronger than they used to be. Plus I've done a lot of work to keep my hips loose and my lower back flexible.
I also notice that I have very little upper body movement when I run -- which means I don't need to divert a lot of energy to stabilize it. When I check my posture as I run, it seems pretty good. Of course, it would be better to have an observer tell me that. But at least I can tell that it is better than it used to be.