One Man's Fitness Fitness Adventures and Musings

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Mid Week Check In

The week has gone to plan so far. I did 4.1 miles on Monday and 3.4 on Tuesday, this all fits within what I had set out to do. Yesterday, I took a vacation day and went with family and neighbors to 6 flags for the day. Short lines and no crowds make Wednesday an amusement park day. But I will have to work on Saturday, oh well. At least I have a job where I can work at any time or any place.

Today, I hope to do 5 miles so I can break my last month total. I think I can pull this off.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hopeful Comeback

My running has been terrible for the past 6 weeks, it is true. Last night I ran 4.1 miles and I looked back in my journal (I am geek about writing things down what can I say) and noticed that the last time I ran further was on June 14th or about 6 weeks ago and that was 4.11 miles. There is serious trouble in the kingdom. I noticed that I had been taking longer walk and water breaks than usual. I short I was mailing it in a bit. There were reasons for my lack of motivation, mostly it was very humid and hot. I know these are factors and looking back at my numbers for last summer I notice that this was a factor then as well. That said I was also about 6o pounds heavier. Well last night I did run my 4.1 miles with shorter water breaks and no walk breaks. So that was a good change. I think part of my problem was that I was going out too fast and tiring myself out too soon. So I will have to back off the pace by 30 seconds for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

My goals are to get to 20 miles per week. If I run 4 days a week I feel great, if I run less I feel like something is off. This is where I feel the best. So here is the week of running I have planned:

M: 4.1 miles - I did this one already
T: 3-5 miles
W: Screwing off
Th: 3-5 miles
F: Lazing about
Sa: 6-8 miles
Su: Make a mash-potato mountain

Total Range: 16.1 miles to 22.1 miles

This is the goal I hope to make it and if I can this week I am sure I will fine for the summer. Wish me luck, I may need it. The good news is that last night I was able to finish my run without any sort of pulls or strains and I feel fine today.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What is up with your running Dude?

Until the other night I had not run in over a week, a sad but true statement. My personal life has been ... chaotic and traumatic as of late. I did a good job the last couple of days getting out there but I need to build my base back up again. So I am pushing my speed work to the side for the next few weeks until I can get my miles back up again.

The last two were 3.37 at a 10:30 pace and 3.00 miles at a 10:25 pace. This is an o.k. pace for me but nothing special. I would like to get up to 20 miles a week and then hit the speed again. I will keep you all updated.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Take it and Run: Overtraining

The Take it and Run Thursday this week concerns over training. I can say that I am very familiar with the dangers of over training. This is a small personal story. I successfully began my running in March of 2007; I unsuccessfully began running in May of 2006. Unsuccessfully, you say. Sadly it is true. I possess heart and strength in very unequal proportions this was the recipe for disaster.

(fat me in June 2007)

I was quite heavy in 2006 (about 280 pounds), not as bad as January 2007 (293 pounds), but still quite bad. I met a woman at work who was a runner and with her encouragement I went out and tried my hand at running. I was slow, quite slow as I put in my 14:00 to 15:00 miles. I thought that even if I wasn't fast if I got out there 4 to 5 days a week that I would progress faster. Train more and get better faster, that is what I thought. I was very wrong in my thinking. I was over training in a big way where I just thought I was toughing it out.

My desire and heart were in the right place but I wasn't thinking very clearly about the state that my body was in. Besides being overweight my joints were not up to the stress I was putting them under. I wasn't giving myself time to recover, sometimes I would run up to 4 days in a row. I was getting aches and pains but I just thought that it was just normal pain from starting to exercise again. It wasn't.

I didn't let myself rest and these small injuries piled up and piled up and before I knew it, I had a bad knee injury. By August, It was so bad after that after only a hundred yards of running I felt like my knee was on fire.

(not so fat me May 2008)

I simply couldn't run, it was devastating. I had registered for a half marathon but didn't even make it to the starting line. I felt so badly but there was nothing I could do but recover and learn from my mistakes. It took me the better part of 6 months before my knee felt right again. I learned later that the connective tissue in the knees, hips and knees develops much slower than legs muscles and the cardio system.

When I did come back to running the next March, I gave myself more time to recover between runs and almost never ran back to back days when I first got back. If I have to give one bit of advice, and I am not sure if I am qualified to give any advice on running given my newness to the sport, it is please respect the recovery time. When you start don't run on consecutive days, you might think your body can handle it but you are wrong and you might not get hurt right a way but an injury is waiting for you. Take it slow because training healthy is a lot more fun than managing injuries.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another double digit effort

Since running my marathon back in May I have been in a running funk. That said this is the third week of double digit totals, which is a step in the right direction. Actually I think it is great as it has been humid as of late. This weekend I was supposed to do a tempo run on Friday but that was just a nice idea. I was struggling just to get the miles in (humidity was killing me). I managed 3.8 miles. I took Saturday off from running and then put in 4 on Sunday.

I feel like I am getting better. I totally blew week 2 of my speed plan. But it doesn't matter as I am not on a time crunch so I will just do it again. It is nice how things work out.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Take it and Run: Running T-Shirts

The Runners Lounge has come up with a great Take it and Run Thursday: That is a great running T-Shirt. There are two that I have come across that I think are great.

"Pass the Weak, Hurdle the Dead"

"Run Like You Stole Something"

Which I did because I didn't come up with either of those. I just like them. To which I will add my own:

"Run Like It Matters"
To this I will add the thought that I think it does matter.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sprinting Fool... or just a fool (Speedwork W2, D1)

Last night I continued on my quest for the holy grail, which is speed. Pardon the Arthurian reference, I am reading Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles and it has taken hold of me as of late. These are some of the best stories involving King Arthur that I have come across, of course I love Bernard Cornwell and recommend all his works but these are top shelf. Now that I have done my little reading pitch. I went out and did a little three mile warm up because for me speed work is something I have to work myself into. I don't want to get hurt so I do three miles at about a 10:30 pace and then I did 5 sets of sprints. These were .10 at speed and then a .10 walking back to the start point.

I have been working on being consistent with the speed instead of just trying to go all out, well except for the last one ... that one I go all out. The firs four were at about a 7:30 pace. This is faster than my tempo pace by a good deal and I feel like I can maintain this without too much trouble. My legs don't bark and my chest does not feel like there is an explosion on the horizon, but it is difficult. For the last one, I go all out and try to burn it ... with a little help from Linkin Park. This one was a 5:33 pace. Now that was fast and smooth. But my heart felt like it was going to explode. It didn't. But that felt awesome. Tonight I have a tempo run scheduled.