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Fitter and Faster

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Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:00 pm

I guess it's time to start a new blog.  I've been thinking about it for several weeks and typing one up, but for some reason got shy about posting it, even though that was the intent.  But tonight seems like the night to finally put it up.  There's something fun about writing about it and having the accountability online.  
I've been running more consistently over the past several months.  I started back up in January 2013 after taking a lot of November and December off.  I've been a lot better about logging my miles, too. Since I run with my phone (often have to for work purposes and it has all my music anyway), I started keeping track of my runs on EverNote immediately after finishing.  In January, I started working with a personal trainer, although truth be told, I hated it.  They put me with a guy who hates runners, and wouldn't let me run before working out because then my legs would be too tired to work out.  When I would try to run afterwards, I found my legs trashed and too sore; just walking hurt enough.  I put up with it far longer than I ever should have, but it ended in June and don't plan to go back. In the spring, I was having a really rough time with work and in my personal life, a relationship that wasn't working, and was really stressed out.  I found that for the first time in my life, I had a real desire to run, like a need or hunger for it, to help reduce the stress.  So I started running very consistently, more so than I'd ever been before.  I didn't take any time off except in March when I had to--I had surgery on my ear for the 2nd time.  The first time was the year before, and I was told not to run or work out at all for 3 weeks, and I did run, and it didn't heal right and the surgery failed. It was because it got infected and probably had nothing to do with running. But the 2nd time, I wasn't allowed to run for 3 weeks and hell if I was going to risk it failing, so I didn't run. (I worked out on a stationary bike instead, which was also forbidden, but I figured less risky since non-impact.) April 4th, I saw the surgeon, learned that my ear was healed, the surgery worked, and I was allowed to run again, and I've been at it ever since, slowly improving.  Later in April, I lost 10 lbs from stress / not being able to eat.  It was weight I've been wanting to get rid of anyway but not really disciplined enough to really do.  Suddenly, my paces went from 10-11 minute miles to under 10 minutes.  I've never seen such drastic improvement in myself before.  It's been great, and I've kept the weight off for the most part. I want to keep improving though.
I did the soldier field 10 mile race in May in 1:28:17, 8:50 average.  Last year I did it in 1:34:17, 9:26 avg.  Then I did the Rock/N/Roll Chicago half marathon in 1:56:48, 8:55 avg.  The previous year, I did 2 half marathons, the faster being 2:10:38 (9:58 avg).
Future plans for this year include the Chicago half in September and the Monster half marathon in October.  My first goal is sub 1:55, which is very do-able; I would have easily done that at the Soldier Field this year if it had been a half instead of 10 miles.  I'd like to do even faster, but I'm not sure what time goal just yet.  In the next year, I'd like to break 1:50 for a half, but I don't think that's realistic for 2013.


Last edited by Penelope on Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:06 pm


This is what I've been up to for the past month: running log for July-August so far

Thurs 7/25 outside with Nike group, 4.01 in 36:35, faster final mile, 9:08 avg. Alone. Felt good. Maybe 9:15/mile can be like what 10:00/mile was, the new easy. I miss my running partner; she moved to NYC. Not sure about these group runs, since everyone runs alone.

Fri 7/26 0 miles, planned rest day. Noon-midnight shift at work.  Had a headache, the first warning of more coming....I shoulda ran in the morning if I knew what the weekend was bringing. Fun thing I learned is that the horses in Chicago in the mag mile live on my street. Every night around 11pm I hear them outside from my unit. Their stable, according to one of my patients, is on Schiller. So they pass me on their way home. Good night, horses!

Sat 7/27 sick. 0 miles. Had planned 12 miles today, but after working til midnight the day before, getting home at 1230, and not actually getting to sleep until 130 am, I had trouble getting up in time before an 11 am commitment. When I did finally drag myself out of bed at 1030, realized I am getting a cold and feel awful. Damn. The whole day, I felt exhausted / achy, on top of headaches, congestion, sneezing, etc. Got home around 3pm, and instead of running, took a benadryl and took a nap.

Sun 7/28 still sick. Outside, 6 miles, untimed. Felt horrible. After 3 miles, debated getting a cab home on Lake Shore Drive, but since I wanted to do 12 originally, forced out 6. The rest of the day I mostly spent in bed asleep. I feel like a truck hit me. That afternoon the symphony was playing at Ravinia, Mozart, my favorite composer. Even though I had tickets, I couldn't drag myself out of bed to go. Yay for Benadryl and Tylenol. 

Mon 7/29 unplanned rest day, 0 miles. Sick/ much worse. I really wanted to go to the Fleet feet run tonight, but I just couldn't. Fevers and felt too awful to move. Briefly debated going home from work early and calling the backup person in, but settled for tylenol instead, and wearing a mask. There is a para-influenza type 3 virus (cold virus) going around. One of my patients has it, laboratory-confirmed.  $100 says I have it, too.  Instead of running, I went to bed at 730 pm. I obviously needed the sleep because I didn't wake up until the next morning.

Tues 7/30, outside, fleet feet group, 6.0 miles, 9:05 avg, with a faster finish. Felt pretty good. Turned a corner with this cold--yesterday's extra sleep helped. Take that, para-influenza type 3 virus. My immune system is crushing you. I ran with another girl from fleetfeet who is faster than me, and definitely helped me go faster than I would have tonight alone. Afterwards there was a seminar on psoas muscle stretching, with chips and guac from Adobo, my fave Mexican restaurant. Further undid the calories burned with a large bowl of mint Oreo ice cream at home. Weight is up 2.5 lbs, so tomorrow is time to get back on track with that.

Wed 7/31. Outside, 2.02 in 18:52, 9:20 avg. Felt good, but got rained out. Normally, Wednesdays are rest days for me and I have a Wednesday night commitment all summer. Got out of work too late to go to that however, and wanted to make up for the missed run on Monday. My plan was 4 miles; God's plan was an impressive thunderstorm and downpour right as I finished mile 1. I was by the beach when it started, and as the lightning kept striking I thought it wise to get the hell out of the storm and away from the water. So only got 2 of the 4 desired miles in, and got back to my lobby drenched. I felt quite good on my 2 miles and wished I would've started them before the thunder took over. 

The ice cream that I bought yesterday and ate after the run had to be thrown away today--evidently the freezer door was open all night / day today so everything defrosted. I know it's for the better, but still annoyed. 

Total miles for July 100.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thurs 8/1.  Outside with Nike, alone. 3.01 in 31:38, 10:32 avg. Felt awful. Possibilities for why this run was so bad include 1) consumption of 2 large, dense / heavy brownies 35 minutes before running. A nurse brought them right to our office, and they were just too good to pass on, and I paid for it. I wasn't seeking brownies out but if you put them right in front of me after a long day at work, my discipline breaks down. 2) being tired from faster / harder runs the past 2 days. I'm so eager to get faster and have been pushing it. I may have needed an easy recovery run tonight. Don't want to overtrain and my body wouldn't go any faster. 3) eating badly all week and probably starting to gain weight. I want to lose 5 more lbs. 4) most likely some combination of the above and a humid day. Whatever the case, tomorrow is a rest day, and tomorrow I have to resume the weight loss. Losing the 10 lbs quickly was the most sudden improvement in speed I've ever seen. 
I feel like I'm on the outside looking in in terms of running groups. I'm not fast enough to keep up with a lot of the runners there. One girl later was saying that she ran slow tonight--8:30/min. That would be fast for me. I look at her, and she's my size, and I wonder what the difference is. How do I get to the point where 830/ mile is slow? Maybe joining one of the groups that does weekly speed workouts? and adding strength training?
The bigger issue for me is: will I ever be satisfied with my abilities? I made a ton of progress in 2013, and instead of reveling in that, I'm jealous of people who are much faster. If I ever get to the point where 830 is a comfortable/ slow pace, will I be content? I will always want to improve, of course, but is it healthy to never be happy with who I am? At what point will I cross some line where I will finally be proud of myself and consider myself a real runner?

Fri 8/2. 0 miles, planned rest day. Woke up feeling awful / sick again. Yesterday my eyes were watery but I thought it was just my contacts bothering me. Today I have a headache and cold symptoms again. Maybe I hadn't fully kicked this virus and just had some good days? Maybe that was why yesterday's run was so bad. Thank God it's Friday and I have the weekend off from work.  It was an emotionally difficult week. I mainly see cancer patients, and many of them this week were doing very poorly overall. I had a bunch of hard conversations with bad news. There were some positive things, at least, but when I signed my pager out, it was with relief.

Sat 8/3 0 miles. Planned cross training day, with a possible recovery run added on after---which didn't happen because my quads were Jell-O.  Pool workout with 500 meters of kicking with 30 sec rest breaks when needed. Quads felt tired and shaky after. I got the idea for this from that Run Less Run Faster book. It says kicking will help with running, although I have some doubts.

 Still not feeling well / needing Tylenol / headaches. Came back and took a nap, then drove to the suburbs to have dinner with a friend from med school who is in town for a board review course. There's not a whole lot of restaurants in Gurnee, IL, especially compared to Chicago. But we had no wait at pizzeria uno, and they let us stay for hours while we talked since there wasn't exactly a line. The large pitcher of red sangria, the deep dish pizza, and dessert are not helping me shed these final 5 pounds. But so worth it to catch up with an old friend. 

Sun 8/4, outside 12.0 miles in 1:55:38, 9:38 avg.  Avg pace 9:45 until last 4 miles. Faster finish, last 3 miles in 9:25, 9:13, and 9:16. Felt good. Miles 6-8 struggled to breathe, felt like I couldn't get enough oxygen. At a water fountain, coughed a lot and seemed to help. Then I could breathe again--very strange. Otherwise felt smooth / relaxed.  It was gorgeous. I love running along the lake. There were tons of people at the beach, lots of sailboats in the water, and lots of other people running and biking. Out of all three cities I've lived in, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Chicago, Chicago is by far the best of the three for running. Pittsburgh would be second. 
Today was the first day I haven't needed Tylenol and don't feel ill anymore. 

Mon 8/5 outside with Fleet Feet. 6.04 in 55:29, 9:11 avg, with 3 miles at 830-845 pace. On Mondays, fleet feet has regular fun runs and another group that does tempo runs and otherwise more (seemingly?) organized workouts. I started going to the fun runs because I miss my running partner, and have found that I run faster with other people.  I was planning to do the fun run, but at the very last second I decided to join the tempo group. That is a fast group. I ran with another girl, 1.5 miles warm-up, 3 miles at 830 to 845 pace, and then 1.5 miles easy.  I felt good. I keep my Garmin on average pace, and learned that for trying to hit a certain pace in the middle of a run, and starting that on a half-mile, using average pace doesn't work. I had no idea what my pace was for parts of the run. I guess next time I need to learn how to set it to real time so I know if I'm on target. According to the girl I ran with, our pace varied from 810 to 850 during the tempo part. I think I could've gone a tad faster, but generally it felt comfortably hard.
Given that I ran 12 miles a day before, I was surprised how easy these 6 miles felt. I'm definitely grateful for such dramatic improvements over the past 5 months. But I want more....

Tues 8/6. Outside with alone, 4.01 in 37:26, 9:20 avg. It was humid / sticky out. Last night in bed I was quite sore from the previous two days' workouts. A massage today kind of helped, but I did still feel more tired on the run today. My knees felt a little "creaky" today for lack of better description of that achy feeling that signifies the need to watch it. 

Wed 8/7 0 miles, planned rest day. Flew home to Pittsburgh. I have been really tired lately and wondering if I'm pushing it too hard with these group runs? I don't want to burn out or get hurt, but I do want to improve. And I am, but I want more drastic results. I fear only one medium hard workout per week isn't enough to see progress. 1-2 or 2-3 per week seems better as long as I listen to my body and don't overdo it. I think I may keep my workouts at 5x/ week and not increase mileage much since the intensity of the workouts is getting harder. 

Thurs 8/8 outside in Pittsburgh, with Mom, 3 miles, untimed. Slow / easy, which I clearly seemed to need today. Even though yesterday was a rest day, I still felt really tired and my legs felt heavy. Pittsburgh was super humid today.  After 5 hills of varying length / steepness, I really don't miss running in my own hilly neighborhood. It was great to run with my mom.

Fri 8/9 outside in Pittsburgh, 3.5 miles in about 40 minutes. Easy run with my cousins Amy and Susan, in my hilly neighborhood. Was less humid than Yesterday.  Everyone is coming into Pittsburgh for a family reunion / to remember my Aunt, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago this weekend, and passed almost exactly 1 year later. I'm the oldest single person in my extended family now. Everyone is getting married or already so. 

Sat 8/10 0 miles. Physically, I didn't really need a rest day after 2 easy days, but logistically I did. Got up very early and made the 4.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh to Philly. A friend from med school is getting married on Sunday, and I'm staying with another close friend in Philly. After making a crepe lunch, getting mani/pedicures, walking around Philly shopping, getting ready and then eating at Serpico, we were wiped out. We ended up watching the first half of the movie Ghost (it's always on but I never saw it) and going to bed early. 


Sun 8/11/13 0 miles. Unplanned rest day. The wedding started at 9 am, about 45 min outside Philly. Since I didn't run yesterday, I wanted to today but I knew morning was the only time I could. Since we went to bed early last night, my plan was to get up at 6 am and get in 6 miles before I had to get ready for the wedding. I really want to run across the Ben Franklin bridge, and my friend's condo location would make that a 6 mile run. But I had sleep failure the night before. I tossed and turned all night and was up til 3 something. When I finally did fall asleep, I had bad dreams and admitted patients in my sleep--work, essentially. At 6 am, I lacked the willpower to run instead of sleeping another hour. Sad
   At the wedding I gorged myself---there was breakfast, then appetizers, then a lunch. It was Indian food---lots of carbs and spices. 
   After the wedding I drove back to Philly just in time for a yoga class with my friend. Now I am bad at yoga--my balance isn't great, all my non-running muscles are weak, and I'm horrendously inflexible. I can't raise my leg to 90 degrees without bending my knee. This yoga was a more serious type of class with most people intermediate or advanced. And it was in a small studio without a/c. (It wasn't bikram, but the sun came in the windows and it was kinda warm in there.) Maybe the wine from earlier was still playing with my emotions, or the lack of sleep, but for some reason I found it very hard not to giggle in this serious, stuffy (physically and in attitude) environment. At one point, the instructor said we could use a block, and those people that did all laid theirs flat, the lowest height for a rectangular block. I stood mine on its smallest side to make it as tall as possible, and considered borrowing my friend's and stacking 2. This concept I found inappropriately funny. Don't ask me why. You know how when you can't just laugh and you have to suppress it, things get funnier? I was biting my lip and shaking. Try not to call any more attention to myself. It got worse. At the wedding, about 90 minutes before yoga, I had finally stopped eating--enough food in 1 day for 3 days. Heavy rices and stuff with spices, typical Indian dishes. I felt fine in the car but at yoga, we did all these inverted poses....it started with heartburn, followed by bad nausea. I'm sure the stuffy hot studio didn't help.  Please God may I not puke during yoga. God answered that prayer. Instead, I farted. Audibly. Even I was surprised, and it's my body. (No warning signs presented themselves.) We weren't even in a particularly hard pose, but it happened in a quiet moment. And of course, it smelled---it was after Indian food. Not sure what words describe how I felt--an embarrassed, uncouth jackass? What do you do when you fart in snobby yoga class? You can look around to make people think it was someone else with an expression like "who did THAT??" or say excuse me. I did neither, and pretended it never happened. If anyone in that class reads this, my apologies for disturbing your peace. Needless to say, I didn't get much benefit from the yoga. 
After, we went to Morgan's Pier for dinner. Great food! The loud music and atmosphere are better for the college-aged. 

Mon 8/12/13 outside, Pittsburgh, 6.14 miles, 1:01:22, 10:00 avg. I ran at North Park around the lake with my cousins. It was humid and I didn't feel good. I bet I gained weight this week, because I ate a ton more than usual and ran much less than usual, and I feel gross / fat / disgusting. Need to get back on target with eating well. Back to Chicago tonight. At least it's less humid there--or there's more of a breeze. Didn't have any good runs in Pittsburgh this trip and I think the humidity was part of it. 

Tues 8/13/13 outside, 5.0 in 46:57, 9:23 avg.  I set out to do 0.5 mile repeats at 8:00 pace.  Paces for each 0.5 including recoveries were 9:30 (warmup), 8:10, 10:01, 8:03, 10:00.... then I had to stop with the 8:00 pace. On the 2nd repeat, I felt right back and side pain. It's one of the oblique muscles, but I'm not sure which. Anyway it hurt a lot, and trying to do anymore at that pace seemed very foolish. So the remainder of the run became just a regular run home, and not without a lot of discomfort. Gives new appreciation to all the abdominal and lower back muscles that we use while running. At one point I actually stopped and walked and stretched. When it didn't help I started running again. When I got home I put ice on it, but it hurts even now at rest. I don't feel any spasm, and wonder if I strained it. The last thing I want is to get injured while doing speed work. Half a mile warm-up was probably not enough, in retrospect.  I've been doing some 830 paces so I don't think the pace itself was too aggressive, but maybe a mile warm-up would be better. And maybe repeats are too risky. A tempo run may be a safer option for me to push myself but with less sudden accelerations.

Tomorrow I had planned to do a long run, but I'm not sure what will happen. That muscle hurts just to breathe while lying at rest right now. It's this obnoxious dull ache that's present in every position. Sigh. I may take tomorrow off depending on how it feels when I wake up. 

Wed 8/14/13 0 miles. My lower back still hurts and would rather be safe than sorry. I did bike a bit to get to meetings and such. 

Thurs 8/15/13 outside with Nike, alone 4.0 in 38:31, 9:38 avg. On an exertion scale of 1-5, with 1 being very easy and 5 being half marathon pace, this run was about a 2. The pace seems a bit slow for the exertion level. I've had a string of so-so runs lately and this is just one more. I didn't feel bad, but didn't feel particularly good either, and I just seemed to be slower today. 
     On another note, I think I'm pretty much done with running groups. If the whole group ends up running alone, what's the point? I'm too fast or too slow for every one there--seriously???  Today I had a rough day at work. One pt who everyone loved died, somewhat expectedly, but it was still sad. Another favorite patient unexpectedly decompensated and went to the ICU on a vent. 2 on the same day is a bad day. Just wanna go home, but I need some running friends, thus me going to these groups. So at 5, I'm done and ready to leave, but it didn't make sense to go home for an hour. Instead I sat around, sent some emails, chatted, and otherwise wasted time. Only to do yet another group run alone, and stand around alone afterward. I'm shy, and maybe I need to get over it, but when people are chatting in groups of 2-3 and I know no one, I'm not good at starting small talk with total strangers and approaching them in groups. Esp when we didn't even share any miles together. I could have run from home, much earlier, not finish a run elsewhere and then go home, and had time for another 2-3 miles if I'd have left work when I was done rather than waiting for a running "group." Oy. Excuse the rant--I'm bummed about my 2 patients. I thought a run may cheer me up, but it didn't. 

Fri 8/16 0 miles unplanned rest day.  Dinner plans at Arun's Thai at 7pm. Drinks at 10pm with people from work after. My expectation based on # of patients was to leave work by 4-430, run, shower, and go to dinner. I didn't have a ton of patients but the ones I have are all very complicated. I didn't finish work until 7:15 and was late to dinner.  That being said, Arun's Thai was great, and then we went to Pump Room.  I love hotel bars and Pump Room is right in my neighborhood, so got to walk home.  I only did one shot, I don't know of what.  The kind where you lick the salt and then bite a lime after.  I haven't done a shot since college and couldn't remember what order the lime and salt and alcohol go in.  Good times though.

Sat 8/17/13  4.5 miles, 46:00, 10:13 average.  Felt sluggish and slow.  Can I please just get a good run soon?  I couldn't get my body to move any faster without significant exertion.  Recently I've been having a good stretch of runs where easy was 9:45.  Not sure if it's a bad day or what.  The only thing I do know is that I need to be more disciplined about my eating--weight is starting to creep up again.

Sun 8/18 outside, humid. 3.0 easy in 32:00, 10:43 avg. Felt slow / sluggish again but kept the effort very easy.  On an exertion level of 1-5, with 1 being very very easy and 5 being 10 mile or half marathon race pace, this run was a 1.5.  It was humid out. My quads are sore and legs feel heavy. I think the higher temps / humidity, some poor food choices, and lack of sleep are contributing. The sleep I'm getting has been poor quality. Also have consumed more alcohol recently than usual. Overall I think have slipped on taking care of myself as good this week.  This run was also a rare "wake up and run" rather than waiting an hour or so, and I felt sleepy until I actually began to run. I almost never run before work except certain weekend days where I can go in later.
     One perk of the hospital's location is being able to see a lot of the Air and Water show.  Nice for the patients who have that view, and nice for me, too.  After work, I enjoyed a massage.  My legs are always sore during massages, so it was that sort of hurts-but-also-feels-good sensation.  I usually get about 1 massage a month and try to time it with the end of a work week, but in light of the running I'm doing, thinking maybe I should increase that.

Mon 8/19/13 outside, with fleet feet, alone, 5.01 in 44:59, 8:59 avg, with a faster finish (last mile 8:44).  Finally a good run! This is how it's supposed to feel and the pace on my garmin finally looked right.  I felt smooth and light, stark contrast to the past few days, and kept my exertion level around a 2 out of 5.  My average pace was ranging between 9:03-9:05/mile until the last half mile, when I actively sped up for a fast finish.  The 3rd mile I found myself somewhat dawdling and when the garmin beeped a 9:13 mile, it reminded me to pay attention to the run and not the geese and their poop and what other people are up to.  Maybe the massage helped, maybe sleeping in, maybe eating lots of fruit instead of junk food, and maybe the resolution of some water weight / girl problems over the past few days all contributed to feeling a lot better / more like myself.  Whatever it is, I'll take it, and am pleased with the pace--it feels like that satisfying feeling you get when you find something you need that's on sale.  I got a good pace for my exertion level.
     Despite my rant on Thursday about running groups, I decided to give it a go again.  I think I like the Fleet Feet group runs better because it's just a couple blocks from home, as opposed to Nike, where I have to stay at work even if I'm done, or get there. And I like the Fleet Feet store.  I don't run in Nike shoes and don't buy anything from that store, but I buy a lot at Fleet Feet, and it's across the street from Treasure Island and Walgreens, where I do a lot of shopping.  And near Xsport fitness, where I go when I actually do any strength training, which is like never, but where I would go after the group runs and work out if I were disciplined enough.  So, I may be done with Nike, not sure yet but I think I'm still gonna go to FF.  Even though I usually end up running alone, I really do feel that starting the first 0.1 mile in a group helps me to start faster and gets me moving faster in general.  So I'll go and plan to run alone each time, and be pleasantly surprised if I get to run with someone, and maybe eventually I'll make some friends there.  It seems like no one else comes alone to these things.


 
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:44 am

Yeah, Kathy - keep it up girl as you are on your way.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:48 pm

You're doing well! I love my running group but it's quite informal but sometimes it sure makes the miles go faster to have friends with whom to run.  Keep us posted!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:39 pm

Michele and Julie, thanks for stopping in! Smile

8/19-8/25

Mon 8/19/13 outside, with fleet feet, alone, 5.01 in 44:59, 8:59 avg, with a faster finish (last mile 8:44).

Tues 8/20/13. Outside, hot 9.0 miles in 1:30:21, 10:02 average. My legs were feeling tired from yesterday and the weekend runs. The first 6 miles went pretty well and were at 9:58 average but the last 3 were a struggle and I ended up slowing down.  I went South along the lake around the planetarium. Part of the run was right next to the water. It was so hot, the water looked very inviting to jump in. Starting to worry because there are only 3 weeks to the next half marathon race and after taking 2 weeks off from long runs, and having this one go poorly, my confidence is shaken. 
    My back pain had gone away last week. But tonight, hours after the run finished, it came back. Not sure what happened. I didn't feel anything there and forgot about it. It's annoying / uncomfortable so I hope it goes away. Thankfully tomorrow is a rest day. 

Wed 8/21 0 miles, planned rest day.  My back felt fine today. I bought a roller massage thing called Addaday from Fleet Feet. It's about 2 feet long and you can reach your back with it. I need to make a discipline of actually using it. 

Thur 8/22/13. 5.0 in 46:36, 9:19 avg, progression run. Splits were: 10:09, 9:29, 9:10, 9:05, 8:41.  The only time I noticeably stepped up my exertion level and actively tried to speed up was in the last mile. I knew I wanted to do a faster finish but the remaining first 4 miles were not an intentional acceleration. It just seemed to happen naturally.   Other than the first mile where I felt rather tired, I feel pretty good during the run. My back seemed to be fine. 
     I'm thinking about warming up before runs. The first mile I always do much slower and maybe that would help.   Later today that stupid back pain returned. I swear the location is moving a little, too. 

Fri 8/23/13 outside, humid. 3.00 easy in 31:00, 10:20 avg. splits were 10:26, 10:19, and 10:15. This was a run done immediately upon waking up after a nap. Tonight I'm doing a nightshift so took a nap in the afternoon, then got up to run before work. I wanted to do more than 3 miles but there just wasn't enough time. Felt okay but not great---I almost never run right out of bed and it took more than 2 miles for my body to stop feeling still asleep. 

Sat 8/24/13 0 miles, planned rest day. I can never run after a night shift. I had a mocha and 2 cans of coke 0 to stay awake and was still dragging by 3 am. Particular fun was a violent, verbally abusive and physically threatening guy who acted up in the middle of the night, screaming, F bombing, harassing / menacing the staff. I told him to go back to bed and got called the C word for the first time ever. Security came and that provoked him more. The nurses / staff felt unsafe and his yelling woke up the other patients. I'm too old to stay all night and deal with this kind of stuff. But the night paid for my new MacBook. 

Sun 8/25/13 outside, hot! 12.02 miles in 1:58:47, 9:53 average.  I set out at a nice, easy pace heading North along the lake.  I think there is more shade if I go North than South, although South I think has more interesting stuff to look at along the way.  I kept my exertion 1.5-2 out of 5, and the average pace slowly fell; at 10 miles it was 9;59 average.  After 9 miles, I started to feel it / felt like the endurance was suffering.  Managed to hold it together for a fast finish in the last mile, but that last mile was sort of painful.  I think the lack of long runs for 2 weeks didn't help.  Splits were: 10:22, 9:53, 10:09, 10:02, 10:01, 9:50, 10:03, 9:46, 9:46, 9:44, 9:41, 9:22.  I can see that I'm not that great at running at a steady pace, but as long as that pace is dropping overall, which it was, I won't complain.  I'm pleased that even though the wheels felt like they were falling off in the final few miles, the pace continued to slightly improve, until the last mile where I deliberately stepped up the exertion level.

Week: 34
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:56 am

What setting/department do you work in?  I get some interesting sometimes combative and volatile TBI patients (I work in acute inpatient rehab - mostly CVAs and TBIs).

You're doing great. I'm impressed by how much progress you've made this year and you look awesome in your avatar!
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:39 pm

Julie wrote:What setting/department do you work in?  I get some interesting sometimes combative and volatile TBI patients (I work in acute inpatient rehab - mostly CVAs and TBIs).

You're doing great. I'm impressed by how much progress you've made this year and you look awesome in your avatar!
Thanks, Julie! The avatar is slightly misleading and makes me look a little thinner than I am.  I was trying to use a different one taken at the same weight and that one made me look really fat.  I guess it has to do with picture sizing or something but I couldn't get a completely accurate one.  So this one is kind of like those funky curved mirrors that are very flattering.  I guess I'd rather have that than have a frankly unflattering avatar...

Mostly I work in oncology, but do a little bit of general medicine. This patient that was combative didn't have a TBI or CVA, just a personality disorder Smile
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:00 pm

8/23-9/1 half marathon training for 9/8 and 10/20 halfs

Mon 8/26/13 outside, w/ Fleet Feet but alone, 2.0 miles, 20:16, 10:08 average.  Felt horrible and cut the run short.  In addition to globally feeling like crap, and being in a bad mood and not wanting to run at all, my right calf was acting up.  It felt super tight and made it very hard to run. Given all of the above and having no real desire to run in this sticky weather, I am ashamed to admit that I called it short and went home.  I did foam roll my calf, which seemed to help a lot.  It felt tight even walking before it.

Tues 8/27/13: 0 miles, planned rest day.  It was a good thing I ran Sun and Monday, even if not quite as many miles as planned Monday, because there was no way I could have ran today with work being crazy and plans in the evening.  I really, really need to start making stretching a priority.  Whenever I first get up from sitting, I can barely walk for a few feet until things loosen up.  I feel like I'm a little too young for these symptoms and am wondering if I'm just getting too tight.

Wed 8/28/13. Outside, humid and windy. 4.0 at 9:22 avg. There were big waves in the lake today. Decided to do a 2 mile tempo run using my heart rate monitor, with goal HR 160-171, with a mile warmup and cool down (which were in the 145-155 range). The first 2 miles were south with a tailwind. I turned around and the wind slowed me down since I was aiming for a HR and not a pace. Splits were 10:03, 8:16, 8:34, and 10:34.  I was very pleased to see the 8:15--it's probably the fastest mile I've run in a long time. I felt pretty good, and was a bit disappointed when the paces were slower on the way back.  Oh well.  I think I may try to do a tempo run with the HR monitor again each week.  Once I figure out what pace range correlates to the HR range, I'll start aiming for a pace to target.  Maybe 8:15-8:20. The goal will be to add on a half mile each week and slowly build up to running that pace for a longer distance.

Thurs 8/29 0 miles. I biked about 8 miles, to work, to then to an appt, then home. I don't mind the heat, but this humidity can take a hike any time now. I  was sweating and thirsty. My original plan was to come home and run afterwards, but my quads felt like absolute mush getting off my bike. I pushed it on the way there from work to not be late, and felt it.  My legs were shaky just walking, and thought maybe a run might be overdoing it. I don't want to get injured. I drink about 24 ounces of Gatorade at home. 

Fri 8/30. 0 miles. Well today didn't work out! I had an exhausting day at work. The kind where you feel like your spirit is fried. In all honesty I was not in the mood to run. But I wanted to get 6 miles in. Shortly after I got home from work it turned black and began to thunderstorm. I crawled into bed for a brief nap to wait out the storm. Plan B would be to go to the gym if it didn't stop.  Plan C was what ended up happening--I crawled into bed around 630 or 7.... woke up at 10:30, took out my contacts and changed, and went back to bed. I must've needed the extra sleep. Although it's not physically demanding, work is often emotionally very tiring in between that and lack of sleep, I needed to catch up.  This has been a lighter week of running but I also wanted to do a mini taper for the half marathon coming up. 
 
Fri 8/30. 0 miles. Well today didn't work out! I had an exhausting day at work. The kind where you feel like your spirit is fried. In all honesty I was not in the mood to run. But I wanted to get 6 miles in. Shortly after I got home from work it turned black and began to thunderstorm. I crawled into bed for a brief nap to wait out the storm. Plan B would be to go to the gym if it didn't stop.  Plan C was what ended up happening--I crawled into bed around 630 or 7.... woke up at 10:30, took out my contacts and changed, and went back to bed. I must've needed the extra sleep. Although it's not physically demanding, work is often emotionally very tiring in between that and lack of sleep, I needed to catch up.  This has been a lighter week of running but I also wanted to do a mini taper for the half marathon coming up. 

Sat 8/31  outside, humid 11.0 miles, 1:51:54, 10:10 avg. Let's hope a few bad to so-so final long runs are indicative of good luck for the upcoming race next weekend. This one blew. What bothers me with it are 1) I thought I should have done it at 10:00 avg pace, and 2) even at an easy exertion level I struggled and almost quit at 10 miles. The splits are slightly ugly: 10:05, 10:14, 10:02, 10:03, 10:01, 10:14, 10:14, 10:13, 10:33, 10:03, 10:04. It was humid. Wish the 10:33 mile was a typo; it was not. Because the race is next weekend I didn't wanna push too hard. So I went nice and easy, but still felt awful. I had some left lower quadrant abd pain in the middle that was uncomfortable, not sure what from. My legs feel tight / achy a lot now on runs and at rest, and did again during this run. I learned later that I passed a co-worker doing his long run, although I never saw him.  His was bad, too, not that it matters, but hearing that he struggled too today made me feel better for some reason. I guess I have to start stretching--I've gotten away with not for awhile, and I'm pushing myself harder now, and feeling it. Must do it!!

Sun 9/1/13. Outside, humid. 6.01 in 56:52, 9:28 avg. This was a deliberate progression run: splits were 10:23, 9:56, 9:39, 9:19, 8:43, 8:46. Some thoughts about this run and no particular order are 1) I'm really glad it at least went a lot better than yesterday. Nothing better than following up a bad run with a better one 2) I had indigestion all day today and felt very nauseated during the middle of the run. I threw a party last night and maybe drank too much...That left lower quadrant pain was back as well. It eased up in the fifth mile, I think due to endorphins. 3) at least this run was better than yesterday but I still am not happy with the paces compared to my exertion. Maybe it's the humidity, or maybe I'm overtrained and starting to burn out ?, or some combination, but I just feel I worked harder than I had been a month ago when I was hitting similar or faster overall paces. 4) in light of being possibly slightly burned out, this week is going to be super light until the race 5) I hope it cools down next weekend because this humidity is not helping 6) my confidence for this race is a little bit shaken, but I guess the bad runs keep you humble 7) the first and last mile of every run involve a tunnel and an uphill. The tunnel screws up my GPS and the uphill screws up my pace.  Remind myself to start my GPS after the tunnel to avoid this. Cool while I'm generally satisfied but not thrilled with this run and the progression of pace, I'm pissed at that final mile. I was aiming for 830 and exerting myself for it. I think the underpass tunnel affecting the GPS signal and the uphill are partially responsible

Week: 23 (slight taper for race)
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  mul21 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:08 pm

It's the humidity.  I struggled through 13 miles on Saturday in not too warm temps (75 or so) but brutal humidity.  Tonight I went 12 in 80 degree weather but very little humidity at a much faster pace.  It's crazy the difference it makes.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:32 pm

I was also going to blame the heat and humidity. Even though I'm not running far or fast I can sweat so much in a few slow miles and can't imagine going too far. But even so it does sound like you were kind of run down and exhausted from work and just needed a lighter week. Do you typically plan to run after work or can you ever run earlier/before (or are you on nights? sorry I missed that). I wanted to run this evening but it got too crazy and mornings are crazy too but I find evening runs are much more likely to be canceled than morning ones.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  JohnP on Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:15 pm

Wow, Kathy, I'm very impressed by your running. I remember a few years ago, when you were way too busy, that you tried to run and just couldn't get the time or were injured. This seems completely different now, I'm really happy you are able to get out this much.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:10 pm

I'll go ahead and state that it's not the humidity, but lack of rest, IMO.  The humidity is making the lack of rest glow like an MRI with contrast.  I just think your niggles rest on lack of rest.

I wouldn't run a meter until the race.  It would be hard to throttle back at work, it seems, which means you need to rest when you're not working.  This would include going out with your buddies until after the race.

Your body will thank you and reward you with a better time and some durability.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:13 pm

Good luck this weekend!!!  You will do great.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:57 pm

mul21 wrote:It's the humidity.  I struggled through 13 miles on Saturday in not too warm temps (75 or so) but brutal humidity.  Tonight I went 12 in 80 degree weather but very little humidity at a much faster pace.  It's crazy the difference it makes.
Jim, the humidity is no friend for running (or for my hair).  I wish it would go away but I do love the warm weather of summer! But heat without humidity really does make a big difference!
Julie wrote:I was also going to blame the heat and humidity. Even though I'm not running far or fast I can sweat so much in a few slow miles and can't imagine going too far. But even so it does sound like you were kind of run down and exhausted from work and just needed a lighter week. Do you typically plan to run after work or can you ever run earlier/before (or are you on nights? sorry I missed that). I wanted to run this evening but it got too crazy and mornings are crazy too but I find evening runs are much more likely to be canceled than morning ones.
Julie, I'm definitely feeling run down, and this taper week is much needed! My work schedule has been more erratic lately than usual, with a bunch of evening and nights thrown in.  Usually, I work during the daytime, and we start at 7 a.m.  So mostly I run in the evenings, but August and September have been anomalies.  I wish I ran in the morning, but I just cannot get myself up any earlier than the last minute and end up paying for cabs to work because I oversleep and can't wait for the bus.
JohnP wrote:Wow, Kathy, I'm very impressed by your running. I remember a few years ago, when you were way too busy, that you tried to run and just couldn't get the time or were injured. This seems completely different now, I'm really happy you are able to get out this much.
John, thank you! I've been fretting about the past 3 weeks of running just not being very good compared to mid-summer.  But this post reminds me that in the big picture, the general trend is still overall really good, even if the past few weeks haven't been great.  Turns out stress goes a long way toward consistency in running!
ounce wrote:I'll go ahead and state that it's not the humidity, but lack of rest, IMO.  The humidity is making the lack of rest glow like an MRI with contrast.  I just think your niggles rest on lack of rest.

I wouldn't run a meter until the race.  It would be hard to throttle back at work, it seems, which means you need to rest when you're not working.  This would include going out with your buddies until after the race.

Your body will thank you and reward you with a better time and some durability.
Ounce, I do think you have a point.  My body feels worn down. While it's too late to take the whole week off, I've only run 2 3mile runs at very easy paces this week.  I have not been sleeping well and I think you're right about needing more rest.  And less alcohol.  And less caffeine at work, which I really don't actually need since I get an adrenaline high anyway.
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Good luck this weekend!!!  You will do great.
Thanks Michele! I hope so!  I feel like I could do really well and surprise myself....But, after the past 3 weeks with some shaky long runs, I'm less confident, but will also not be quite as surprised or disappointed if it doesn't go well.

Thank you all for stopping in! I'm slowly reading through others' blogs and trying to get to all the active ones.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Mark B on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:13 pm

I agree with Doug - easy does it in these last few days before your race. Then makes sure to give yourself some recovery time afterwards. You've earned it! Hopefully, autumn weather will arrive any day now.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:49 pm

Mark B wrote:I agree with Doug - easy does it in these last few days before your race. Then makes sure to give yourself some recovery time afterwards. You've earned it! Hopefully, autumn weather will arrive any day now.
Thanks Mark...6 miles this week and that's it.  I wish I could take back the 6 miles and have logged a 0 every day, in retrospect, but oh well. It was 2 easy 3 milers.  And a massage Smile

I'm on coolrunning's pace calculator thing right now. I really have no idea how this race will go so here are my goals

--unlikely (not impossible but a stretch and will be stoked if I did) 1:53:xx

--true goal is 1:55:00.    
I thought I could do it at this race after my last half, but my confidence is shaken now.  I KNOW I can go sub 1:55, I should say, I'm 110% certain of it, but I'm not sure this coming race is going to be when I do it.  It's gonna be hot, and I still feel tired / run down.  It may not happen until the weather cools down.

--alternative goal would be to improve from last time, which was 1:56:46.  
That wouldn't be a true PR but my PRs were during med school and before my 3 year residency /running hiatus / weight gain, so for my own goal-setting purposes, my "PR" is a PR-PR (post-residency PR).  So it would be a PR-PR for me Smile

--if things aren't going great but just so-so, I'd be still happy with 1:58:xx, and sub 2 would okay
--if things are going very poorly indeed, 2:02-2:05 but I wouldn't be proud of that.  
--if things are really sucking badly, then just to finish

I'm reviewing my log, and my last solid long run was 8/4, 12 miles at 9:38 average.  Everything since then hasn't gone well.  I need to stop freaking out.  And in the race, I need to remember my mantra: RELAX AND RUN!!  When I get worked up, things don't go well.  Come to think of it, I've not been relaxed about running lately.  The attitude has been more one of worry / fret.  It's just a race, not life-death, nor large sums of money.  I need to chill out!  Throat's a little scratchy tonight--I really hope I'm not getting sick!  I take vitamin C anyway but will take an extra tonight and hopefully I can get some decent sleep (ahem, benadryl)
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:53 am

Good luck with that.  I'd recommend not looking at your watch for the whole race.  Just relax and run.  Isn't that your mantra?
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Julie on Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:47 am

Yeah I'd just run and do your best in spite of potentially humid and hot conditions and being exhausted from work.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:38 pm

ounce wrote:Good luck with that.  I'd recommend not looking at your watch for the whole race.  Just relax and run.  Isn't that your mantra?
Julie wrote:Yeah I'd just run and do your best in spite of potentially humid and hot conditions and being exhausted from work.
Ounce (are you Doug? Sorry, I never learned your real name until now!) and Julie, you are wise and make good suggestions.  But, there is no way I could not look at my watch in a race.  I'm way too OCD.  If I didn't wear my watch, I'd be checking on my phone instead or something.  I'd be watching the time when I crossed the starting line and subtracting that from all the time clocks on the course.  I'm pretty much incapable of running blindly in a race.  Maybe someday.  Sometimes I don't like being so goal-focused Smile
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  ounce on Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:58 pm

Penelope wrote:
ounce wrote:Good luck with that.  I'd recommend not looking at your watch for the whole race.  Just relax and run.  Isn't that your mantra?
Julie wrote:Yeah I'd just run and do your best in spite of potentially humid and hot conditions and being exhausted from work.
Ounce (are you Doug? Sorry, I never learned your real name until now!) and Julie, you are wise and make good suggestions.  But, there is no way I could not look at my watch in a race.  I'm way too OCD.  If I didn't wear my watch, I'd be checking on my phone instead or something.  I'd be watching the time when I crossed the starting line and subtracting that from all the time clocks on the course.  I'm pretty much incapable of running blindly in a race.  Maybe someday.  Sometimes I don't like being so goal-focused Smile
Yup, I'm Doug.  The cat's out of the bag.  I guess I underestimated how badly you wanted to do the PR.  But there's no telling how much of a sub-1:55 you would've had with a more rested body.  Work a day of rest into your schedule each week for your October half, which means not to run on that day.  That day of rest could maybe offset an evening of socializing on the weekend.  I understand about having to watch the watch on a PR possible race.  I know.  I did a tempo run without looking at the watch (I had a rabbit) because I didn't want to analyze how much faster I'm running than I am used to.  SLEEP!  It's more important that tempo runs, (IMO).
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  nkrichards on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:31 pm

SLEEP!

I think that's one of the mistakes I made during my training in 2010 and 2011.  I wasn't getting enough sleep so I was disappointed in my training runs.  The harder I tried the more run down and tired I felt.  Don't be afraid to take some time to recover when you need it.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:35 pm

ounce wrote:
Penelope wrote:
ounce wrote:Good luck with that.  I'd recommend not looking at your watch for the whole race.  Just relax and run.  Isn't that your mantra?
Julie wrote:Yeah I'd just run and do your best in spite of potentially humid and hot conditions and being exhausted from work.
Ounce (are you Doug? Sorry, I never learned your real name until now!) and Julie, you are wise and make good suggestions.  But, there is no way I could not look at my watch in a race.  I'm way too OCD.  If I didn't wear my watch, I'd be checking on my phone instead or something.  I'd be watching the time when I crossed the starting line and subtracting that from all the time clocks on the course.  I'm pretty much incapable of running blindly in a race.  Maybe someday.  Sometimes I don't like being so goal-focused Smile
Yup, I'm Doug.  The cat's out of the bag.  I guess I underestimated how badly you wanted to do the PR.  But there's no telling how much of a sub-1:55 you would've had with a more rested body.  Work a day of rest into your schedule each week for your October half, which means not to run on that day.  That day of rest could maybe offset an evening of socializing on the weekend.  I understand about having to watch the watch on a PR possible race.  I know.  I did a tempo run without looking at the watch (I had a rabbit) because I didn't want to analyze how much faster I'm running than I am used to.  SLEEP!  It's more important that tempo runs, (IMO).
Hi Doug, thanks for stopping in again.  Okay, I DEFINITELY take rest days!! No problems there, usually 2 a week, sometimes more depending on the week and how badly its going.  But....maybe a rest day should be a day where I'm also not working and a day where I actually relax and do easy / restful things instead of running errands and such.  Hmmm.  Agree with sleep > tempo runs, too!
nkrichards wrote:SLEEP!

I think that's one of the mistakes I made during my training in 2010 and 2011.  I wasn't getting enough sleep so I was disappointed in my training runs.  The harder I tried the more run down and tired I felt.  Don't be afraid to take some time to recover when you need it.
Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping in!  I definitely agree, sleep is KEY! When I don't get enough my runs are all horrible.  It's a priority for me, although recently I haven't been getting great quality sleep.  Keep waking up Sad
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:39 pm

Fall Half marathon training 9/2/13 through 9/8/13
 
Mon 9/2/13 0 miles. Planned rest day. I worked an evening shift that was quite busy given its Labor Day. People only come to the ER on a holiday if they truly have to, so it's often slower.  No downtime last night though. 

Tues 9/3/13 outside 3.0 in 29:30, 9;49 avg. Today was not as hot or sticky at least. Right before, I got really nauseated and had some stomach pain, and almost didn't go, but took a pepcid and some ginger ale and it helped enough to get the run done.  These were 3 easy miles just to get a few in before the race and not lose fitness. Splits were 9:50, 9:58, and 9:39. Still feeling icky, sore, achy, tired. I think I'm going to get a massage between my last run on Thurs and the race.  I get them 1-2x/ month and I think it helps.  
I started taking a magnesium supplement on Monday, and I'm not sure if it's that or just coincidence or recent alcohol, but my stomach has been totally upset recently. I wanted to stop at walgreens on the way to work this afternoon and grab some prilosec, but didn't have time. But for some reason, our main office area got a shipment of prevacid samples.  We NEVER get samples, so I'm not sure how / why we have all this prevacid sitting around, but I took some so I could make it through the shift.  The magnesium has got to go, in the meantime.  After the race, I'll try it again and see if it's that or something else.

Wed 9/4/13 0 miles, planned rest day.  Worked til midnight and then had a drink at my new favorite bar, 3 Dots and a Dash with a coworker who was also doing a midnight shift.  It's like these tiki drinks served in tiki mugs.  Good stuff, but after 1 drink, no more alcohol til after the race is done.  
On another note, since I have nothing running related to say, I'm starting to have car jealousy.  Several coworkers have BMWs…I want one, or an Audi.  Well, actually I want a Tesla---I got to ride in one this spring, in Palm Springs, and that thing was SWEET! The red light turned green and we were at 40 mph in about 2 seconds.  Even in Palm Springs of all the places to drive a Tesla in this world, people stared at us.  I love the idea of not using gas and being better for the environment, but then I learned that electricity actually runs off of coal, which doesn't seem that much more environmentally friendly.  And the charging part seems like a total pain.  What I have now is a 2000 Honda Civic ex.  I like that car, and it runs well and doesn't have obscure parts that take forever to order.  I really have been lucky with how few repairs its needed.  A mechanic in Atlanta told me to never sell it--he said "this thing is gonna run forever."  Then at a gas station a few weeks ago the guy who put air in the tires told me the same thing….sometimes I wish it would just die….but then I'm glad it hasn't. I have no legit reason to get a new car; it's all just pride.  Be content with my regular, non-fancy car and be glad it's reliable and grateful for it--it was a gift so I never paid anything for it.  I like what I have….I like what I have…..I like what I have….

Thurs 9/5/13 outside, 3 miles in 31 minutes and changed.  I almost didn't time myself.  They were easy miles just to keep the blood flowing and not regress / lose any fitness until the race.

Fri 9/6/13 0 miles, planned rest day. Spent the morning and afternoon running around getting stuff done, then went to work. Only two more evening shifts to go!  We have these shifts where we just admit patients, almost like ER doctors.  It's a nice change of pace at times from the daily grind of rounding on the same group every day for a week.  But admitting shifts are tiring. I was on my feet a bit more than I wanted to be but most of it was out of my control.

Sat 9/7/13 0 miles, planned rest day.  I mostly laid around and did some computer work stuff and read, and went to bed early.  Pre-race meal of Boston Market for a late lunch.  I don't carb-load.  Carbs in any real quantity make me feel sluggish, heavy, and tired. I do better with protein.  And I eat red meat about once a week so I usually eat a big hamburger or meatloaf (if I go to Boston Market) the day before a race.  I noticed that when I eat red meat, my runs seem to go a little better.  Makes me wonder if I'm borderline anemic or something.  Or just need more iron than I did before I was running so much.

Sun 9/8/13 outside, 13.1, Chicago Half Marathon.  75F and later I learned 93% humidity with a dew point of 70 at the start.  It felt disgusting / sticky. My goals were sub 1:55:00 and sub 8:50 pace. I finished in 1:55:15 and 8:47 average pace.  I'm pleased with the race but I know I have a better time still in me.  Even though I was able to negative split, the final 3 miles were pretty bad, and it felt like the wheels were falling off.  I felt like I wasn't in control of anything and was just hanging on for dear life.  I didn't put this in the race report, but figure in my own blog I can be a little more open. I am pretty religious, and give all the credit to this race result to God.  I'm trying to make it a habit of inviting God along with me on my runs, although truth be told I usually forget to. I didn't forget today. During this race, I continued to ask for strength and endurance.  Although during the time, the race was painful, I knew that I was relying on God and that was cool.  Moving on, I'm really excited for the Monster Half marathon in October when temperatures should be cooler and I bet I can get 1:54....or maybe better.

Week: 19 miles (including race)
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:37 pm

Check your serum ferritin, Kathy.  Often if the stores are low, you will get that boost from red meat or at least I do.  You are probably not anemic per se, but have low stores as it is real common in endurance athletes especially female runners.  Here I am playing a doc on the internet and telling a doc what to do.
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Re: Fitter and Faster

Post  Penelope on Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Check your serum ferritin, Kathy.  Often if the stores are low, you will get that boost from red meat or at least I do.  You are probably not anemic per se, but have low stores as it is real common in endurance athletes especially female runners.  Here I am playing a doc on the internet and telling a doc what to do.
Ha ha.  You're probably right, though.  I bet my ferritin is low or borderline low but that I'm not actually anemic.  If I can convince my doctor to check it, I will, and if not, I'll probably just start iron tablets.  Or eat more red meat, which I love...although I have food allergies to beef.
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