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Running Journal: 06/17 - 06/23/2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Distance: 3 miles (4 total)
HR Alarm: 130 (71%)
Ave HR: 122 (66%)
Intervals: 1:00/:20 (3/1)
Location: Gym Track
Enjoyment Level: 3+ (out of 3)

Mile Splits: 9:42 / 9:24 / 9:24

Notes: I felt really great today. It is amazing how much difference getting more sleep and getting out earlier in the afternoon make to my running performance. I wanted to run more, but I had a 3:00pm meeting, so it was not to be.

Rest Day (Kitten Day)

Distance: 3 miles (4 total)
Location: Gym Track
Intervals: 1:00/:20
HR Alarm: 130 (71%)
Ave HR: 122 (66%)
Enjoyment Level: 3 (out of 3)

Mile Splits: 9:22 / 8:50 / 9:07

Notes: Interesting run. With a rest day yesterday and about 9 hours of sleep last night, I felt pretty fresh this morning. But by the time of the run, my back had started bothering me. I did my usual routine with the trigger point balls, but it didn't really help much this time. As I drove to the gym, my back felt worse. I considered that perhaps I would have to make today's workout a walk.

I grabbed one of the foam rollers at the gym and leaned back on it. Ouch! I realized that the problem spot was not where it normally is (next to the sciatic joint) but higher up, just above the waist. When I leaned back on the foam roller, I could tell that I had a small muscle spasm going on. I worked on it with the foam roller and was able to get it to relax. Almost immediately, my back stopped hurting. It always amazes how quickly that can happen. It felt a little tired (it had been holding tension for hours) but not sore.

At that point, I was able to run and to enjoy the run, too.

Distance: 3 miles (4.1 total)
Location: Gym Track
Intervals: 1:00/:20
HR Alarm: 130 (71%)
Ave HR: 125 (68%)
Enjoyment Level: 1, 2, 3 (out of 3)

Mile Splits: 9:30 / 9:21 / 9:18

Notes: I decided I needed to rate each mile for enjoyment as there was a lot of variation today. Early in the run, my heart rate monitor was not working properly, which was irritating and distracting. After a few laps, I went back to the locker room to remove / reset the strap and that fixed it. But it took me a while to settle down mentally into the run.

I took the kittens to the vet after lunch, so this was another late afternoon run. Not the best time for my system. I had some GI issues, not terrible, but distracting. Since it was a short run, at first I thought I'd just power through. And then I thought, this is silly. It's not a race; I'm not in training, why be uncomfortable? So back to the locker room I went at about mile 1.7.

The rest of the run was fun.

Rest Day (Kitten Day)

Distance: 3 miles (4.3 total)
Location: Gym Track
Intervals: 1:20/:20
HR Alarm: 130 (71%)
Ave HR: 120 (65%)
Enjoyment Level: 2

Mile Splits: 9:20 / 9:17 / 9:10

Notes: I like this longer interval. It allowed me to get into a really good rhythm during the run segment. Unfortunately, as I got into the second mile, I started having some sort of weird discomfort just above the back part of my left (outer) ankle during the transition from walk to run. It didn't bother me during the walk or after about 3 or 4 steps into the run. Then I was fine but those first few steps I was hobbling a bit. Not painful, but not comfortable either.

I should have stopped immediately, of course, but since I was doing such long run segments, there weren't many transitions. I finished the second mile, then stopped to see if I could figure out what was going on. I tried the foam roller, but it's too big for that area. I really needed a ball, but didn't have one, so I explored with my thumbs. Then I remember about 2 1/2 years ago I had a similar problem with this ankle. It was during one of my ST sessions and when my trainer saw me hobbling, he had me stop; he cupped one hand under the ankle, the other on top of the foot, then did a quick pull/twist. The ankle immediately stopped hurting. He said I had gotten something a little out of alignment.

So I tried to do the same today. Although I could not really get a good snap, the ankle did feel much better. I'd say about 95% fixed because the tissue was still just a little tender to the touch. I tried running again and was no longer hobbling, so I did one more mile and called it a day. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. Right now, it isn't bothering me at all, but then right now I'm not running.

Distance: 4 miles (5 total)
Location: Gym Track
Intervals: 1:20/:20
HR Alarm: 130 (71%)
Ave HR: 125 (68%)
Enjoyment Level: 3+

Mile Splits: 9:11 / 9:03 / 9:07 / 9:17

Notes: I felt great today and so did the run. Not a twinge from the ankle (or anywhere else), thank goodness. Out of caution, I rescheduled today's planned long run to tomorrow. I don't think it would have been a problem to run more today, but why risk it?

I found myself thinking about how much faster my easy runs have become and wondering why. One possible explanation is that I've lost about 5 pounds since the California Marathon in December, but that has been gradual, spread out over the last 6 months. So that may be a part of the puzzle, but I don't think it's the reason for my paces since Newport.

Then it hit me. Even though I've been running almost every day, the runs have been mostly 3 miles and at a low heart rate. I'm coming into each run fully recovered, unlike my condition during most of the last training cycle, where I ran most workouts in a slightly fatigued state. Aha!

I've going to start increasing the length of the runs next week. We'll see how much I have to slow down to manage the heart rate over longer distances. You can see that a little in mile 4 today. I had to slow down about 10 seconds. But that's still a pretty fast pace for an easy run (for me).
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Impressive running! Love the speed of your "easy" runs. Greatly admire the way you deal with the challenges and twinges. Happy running!
    1732 days ago
    Wow, nice training times! Nice workout schedule.

    1733 days ago
    You are a true inspiration...
    1734 days ago
    Great week. And your effort level is so low. Some of your training times are very near your 5K PR at pretty low HR levels.
    If you ever decide to PR on a 5K, it should be a piece of cake for you. I never ran on a track, but I'm assuming it's not that much different effort level than a typical 5K.

    1734 days ago
    Nice week. You seem to have such good running economy!

    Interesting about snapping the ankle back into alignment.
    1734 days ago
    That's a robust week! Well planned and done!
    Are you doing some short intervals to increase speed?
    I also noticed that lower weight makes me faster.
    1734 days ago
    Looks like a great week! Fast runs, too.
    Enjoy the kittens.

    1735 days ago
    Solid week despite the back and ankle issues. That looks pretty fast for an easy run to me. Have a good week :-)
    1735 days ago
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