Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 19

There's nothing like it being a run day especially when your work day was stress filled. Just to know you will be getting on the road and running all the tension away is relief enough but once you are out there it feels that much better.

It was another perfect night in the low 70s with barely a breeze and a spectacular sunset to calm my head. My abs were a bit sore from last night's session but that's my own fault for not doing them for the past couple weeks and I've developed a bit of a niggle on the inside of my right ankle. The PF has also been cranky and I think these may be a result of the faster run on Tuesday.

The schedule called for an hour at or below 140 bpm but the goal was to stay more in the low to mid-130s; more or less a very easy recovery run. Well it could have been easier but in my haste to get warmed up and on the road after running late from work, I forgot to fuel up with UCAN and hydrate so I felt a little sluggish after the 2 mile mark.

Overall though it wasn't a bad run though and the mission was accomplished. Only a few times did I get above 135 bpm and these occasions were only momentary. With the run behind me I'll have a rest day tomorrow before my first double digit run in 2 months on Saturday. So looking forward to it.

Another thing that I'm looking forward to is seeing my parents for thanksgiving. I haven't seen them since last Christmas and they will be coming out stay with Christine and I for Thanksgiving week. The only shame, other than it looks like it's going to be on the cool side, is that my dad has a bum hip and won't be able to do much hiking. He needs hip replacement surgery and wasn't able to get it done before they came out. Oh well, it will still be awesome to be with them for a week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17

Well it's another Tuesday so that means I get to run fast again and I was so looking forward to it. It is the greatest feeling a runner can have; being near 100% healthy, and it reminds us why we love it so much. The schedule for tonight was to to get in 45 minutes at below an heart rate of 150 bpm and it was a perfect night for a spirited effort with temps in the high 50s and a light breeze.

After a bit of a warmup I was off. Everything was feeling good and for the first time in a long time there were no niggles to speak of. It was nice for a change to be firing on all cylinders and with a pace in the 9 minute range I never felt like I was pushing it. For the most part I was comfortably in the 145-148 range and only hit 150 a couple times for only a brief moment. It was really an easy fast.

I knew that I would get in somewhere around 4.5 miles but with the way I was feeling I had thoughts of pushing further and trying for an hour. Thankfully my head knows not to try to make everything back in one run and it turned me back toward home according to the plan. This was for the better because the run back is mostly on a slight incline and by the time I hit the 4 mile mark I was ready to take it back down.

This was a very productive effort and I'll be interested to see how I feel tomorrow. There was one thing that I found after analyzing the RunScribe data, I was much more on the forefoot on the left foot than I thought. I'm trying to keep more to a midfoot strike to cut down on the load to my achilles, calf and PF and it seemed like I was ok but I guess not. It's wonderful to have a tool that can provide actual data and not relying on what I feel.

So for now it's time to get some sleep. Tomorrow will be a much needed upper and core session before an easy run on Thursday.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15

Haven't had much time this weekend but I did manage to get out for 3 miles on Saturday and 9.3 miles today. My PF flared up late Friday and while it was minor I decided to skip the scheduled 9 and sleep in. Fortunately when I got up it was feeling better and with the cooler fall temps I decided to get in a few miles before I headed out to a local car show. Not a bad effort and aside from some early niggles in the right calf and achilles, it went well.

Today's run was a very good run. Has the same niggles early on but they worked themselves out and for the most part I was in the mid-10s. This was the strongest I've felt since I've been back and could have gone a few more miles but there is no need to push the distance/time any more than planned since I'm still working myself back up. Plus it was started to rain just before the 8 mile mark and I wasn't really dressed for it.

In all it was a productive week and I'll be back at it again on Tuesday with a 150 HR session for 45 minutes or so.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12

There is nothing like fall in the desert if you are a runner and tonight was about the most perfect a night could be. It was in the high 60's with just a hint of a breeze as the sun was going down which was was going to make tonight's easy 1 hour run a joy.

Even though the plan for tonight was to try to take it easier than the planed MHR of 140 bpm I was dragging a little so I fueled up with some UCAN 30 minutes before I hit the road.

There is nothing really exciting to report about the run. Other than a momentary HR spike to 142 I was never over 139 and stayed mostly in the 134-136 range. My splits were a little slow as can be expected but I was treating it as a recovery run after Tuesday's spirited effort after which the PF made itself known for a couple days. Not that it hurt or anything, it just made me aware of it's existence. Even the calves felt good tonight with only a bit of tightness in the right one.

I have to say that in all, this run felt great. With no real niggles and what seemed like an easy effort it was probably my best run to date. I'll now have tomorrow to rest before pushing Saturday's run to an hour and a half which will be another baby step on the path of recovery

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 10

Tonight's run was one that I was looking forward to all day. After a 5 week layoff and 3 weeks of getting back into the swing of things, I was finally going to open it up a bit and go at a faster pace. I was not going to go all out; just bump the HR by 10 bpm up to 150 to see how it felt. I also was going to err on the side of caution and keep it short at 30 minutes or so.

As the sun was going down it was a cool night in the desert and with a brisk wind it felt a little cooler. At least the wind was going to be at my back for the last half of the run so it didn't concern me too much. I was just happy that I'm to the point where I feel comfortable in turning it up a notch.

After getting my HR up to speed I was able to get into a comfortable rhythm. I figured that running at 150 bpm would be a nice pace. Not too fast and definitely not too slow. Given that my HR is into the 170s at race pace, this should be an easy fast. And it was.

Since I wasn't monitoring pace, it wasn't until I finished mile 2 that I saw that I had ran a 9:13 mile. I had figured I'd be somewhere in the low to mid 9s so this was certainly good to see. For mile 3 it was more of the same at 9:18 which brought another smile to my face..

The most encouraging thing about the run was that I didn't feel tired and had little calf tightness. Had a great session with the Chiro and Massage Therapist yesterday which worked out some kinks. After the run was over I did have some minor tightness in the PF but that can be expected. Besides it's so minor that I'm barely giving it a second thought. I'll do some rolling before bed and it will be as right as rain in the morning. Tomorrow will be an XT upper body/core day so it will give me some extra recovery before an easy 1 hour run on Thursday.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8

Getting back to blogging is much like getting back to running after a layoff; hard to do. Not too much has happened since last Sunday's run since I was in Los Wages for 3 days on business. Like I predicted there was no running, although I walked an average of 7 miles each day, and ate terribly. That will happen when you are treated to fantastic dinners by your suppliers. The trend has continued through today which has resulted in me going over 160 pounds for the first time in a very, very long time. Time for a round of fasting before the holidays commence before I get too fat.

At least on the injury front, things are looking much better although I had a scare on Tuesday. After logging 10+ miles of walking my left foot got cranky and was hurting to the point where it was waking me up. Fortunately it worked itself out and by Thursday it was fine. At least the PF behaved and was barely noticeable.

Finally with the weekend arriving it was time to get back into the routine and log some miles. The plan was to get in in 90 minutes or 7 miles and after much dawdling I hit the road on a beautiful Saturday morning. Fall has finally arrived in the desert and it was only in the low 60s when I hit the road at almost 11.

I felt strong for the first couple miles but as I got to the 3 mile mark I was beginning to slow down and had trouble keeping the HR below 140. My calves were starting to get tight and I felt like I was just plodding along. At least my splits were consistent in the 10:40s so that was an encouraging sign. It's still baby steps but the 7.2 miles was the longest run to date.

Today I was a little better about getting out of bed but I still dawdled and didn't get out until 10:30. The temperature was higher today, low 70s and there was a bit of a stiff wind for the 5 mile or 1 hour run. Happily nothing was hurting so I believe I am on the right path.

The plan for the run was to again keep it under 140 bpm and for the most part I was pretty successful. The 5.4 miles was pretty much a repeat of yesterday although I was a tad slower and it is just another step in the right direction.

With some good miles and my first back to back runs behind me it's time to see if I can push it a little harder. Tomorrow is a rest day and Tuesday I'm going to do some speed work in the way of a 30 minute run at 150 bpm. It will be interesting to see how my body reacts to it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1

A new month brings a clean slate as well as the beginning of a new training cycle with 16+ weeks before my next BQ attempt in the Phoenix Marathon on February 27. Although training actually began last month, that was more to get back into the swing of thing after the down time due to the PF I've been dealing with. With less than 19 miles in October I still have a ways to go but I'm 99% pain-free. Another plus is that other than some chafes on my Achilles I made it though the ThrillSeeker Stunt Run unscathed.

With recovery behind me it's time to get serious; well sort of. This coming week I'll be travelling for business with almost no chance of getting in any miles and I'll likely have trouble eating clean. Still, today was going to be the first real test of where I'm at and I passed with flying colors.

The original plan for today was to do the PHX10K Half but because of the injury I was going to pace Christine in the 5K instead. Unfortunately she developed a foot injury of her own so I scrapped that and decided instead to do an easy 5 with an eye on pushing it to 6. Since my longest run on the comeback has only been 4.7 miles, I don't want to risk pushing it too hard too soon but I also need to test my limits.

It was a beautiful morning in the mid 60s with no clouds and no wind. Perfect running weather and the reason all AZ runners suffer through the blazing hot summers.

There has been a bit of a change this time around in the early stages as I want to see if I can push my HR limit a little higher than the MAF 180 formula calls for. After all, we're all different and we need to find out what works best for us. I'm interested in seeing how it works out at a target of 140 bpm with a once a week run at 150.

With that said, after a good warmup I was on the road and got my HR up to speed nicely. I'm not concerned about pace right now; I'm just focusing on HR and form so there is very little stress involved in the process. Just remember my queues and enjoy the run.

For the first time in the 2 weeks I've been back there was very little tightness in my calves and I did not feel fatigued at all. Some of this may had to do with the fact that I wasn't pinging my HR and the highest I got at any point was 142. It wasn't until I hit the 5 mile mark that I even had an inkling of anything going on with the PF and then it was at a minimum. I cannot tell you the amount of relief this gives me.

I wish I could keep this momentum going but with the upcoming trip that will be impossible. The only consolation is that I will be walking for most of the days so that is some help. I'll also try to sneak in some core work if I can.