Friday, August 31, 2012

Walking Wounded

Galloway's Book on Running
Jeff Galloway

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yum . . . protein bars (!)

These two little runners have searched high and low for the "best" protein bar. 

And the winner is:  Picky Bars! 

Picky Bars actually taste pretty good. I mean, it is no red velvet cupcake - but you don't have to choke this one down. 

What is your favorite protein bar?


Monday, August 20, 2012

Tree-Lined Paths and My Groin Says Hi

So the week before last, I had a great week running. I pushed it up to 34 miles and had my first really good 14 miler.

August 5-11
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 6 miles easy + 4 x 8 second hill sprints
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 6 miles progression (last mile around 7:30)
Friday: 8 miles: 2 easy, 2x2miles at 7min/mile, 2 easy (this was a tough run and I barely made it through the 2 mile intervals)
Saturday: 60mins elliptical intervals + core and upperbody strength
Sunday: Dundadaduuuuun: 14 miles at about 8:45, progressing to about 7:45 in the last couple of miles.

Total: 34 miles

I was a little disappointed to find that my favorite route in NY so far only goes for about 4.5 miles. My apartment is a block from the west side of Manhattan, and Riverside Park runs north to south on the banks of the Hudson river. Bike and running trails run all the way up and down. Further south, the path along the Hudson goes for a long time, and Im pretty stoked to see whether it goes all the way around the bottom of the island. Both directions are great, but I just love the north route. Theres something so peaceful about it and it soothes my soul; but unfortunately thats the part that only goes 4.5 miles. Promised Kristen I'd take some photos - cant wait to run this with you KA!

The route begins here - this faces north

Tree-lined paths sooth my soul

And of course the Parthenon always adds a little culture to the area...

Wait what...??? Yes, this structure is randomly posited on the side of the highway, in between trees and the running path. I just dont even know what is going on here.

Lower Manhattan in the distance

Makes me happy that I didnt have to say goodbye to waterside running...

Unfortunately last week I went a bit too hard on a tempo run, and nixed my groin again. 

August 12-18
Monday: Elliptical 45 mins + light leg workout
 Tuesday: Tempo - 8 miles with 2 miles easy, 4 miles @ 6:58, 2 miles easy on the treadmill
Wednesday: Owwww, hello groin. Rest.
Thursday: 60 mins elliptical intervals + upper body and arms workout 
Friday: 60 mins elliptical intervals + light leg and plyo workout
Saturday: 8 miles easy
Sunday: 10 miles easy

Total: 26 miles

It was totally ok to ease up this week, as I was due for a recovery week. I think I finally have my groin/inner quad thing figured out, so I just need to keep on stretching and rolling and strengthening. It is about a 2 on the pain scale, so Im being cautious, but I know it will be fine.... I know I know, I will miss hearing the word GROIN all the time too. Its just one of those sacrifices we runners make.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

America's Finest City 5K - Course Preview!

Yesterday I ran the AFC 5K race route through Balboa Park. And I am excited about this race!! The course is very flat and has only a few sharp corners.

There is a hill of some significance just after the start of mile 3. There is a big downhill just before it, then a turn, and then 0.3 miles of hill. It will be a quad burner for sure! (On the map, below, the hill is just after the turn following the mile 2 marker.)

Otherwise, it felt very flat running at an 8:00 pace . . .

The last 0.1 is slightly downhill to help out on the kick.

If the weather cools off a little bit and the humidity drops, it will be a great chance to get a PR!

Anyone running the AFC 5K or Half?


Thursday, August 9, 2012

First week running in NYC

Folks, I just had the best run I've had in NYC so far.... motivating me to write up the less-than-awesome week I had last week. 

First off, its hot. Damn hot. Real hot. Post-run evidence of my very sexy sweaty-sweaty-sweatyness is below.

Hold onto your boyfriends, ladies.

Second, I was a little discombobulated last week because of the red-eye on Monday night, jet lag, adjusting to new work ours (my new office has hours running from 9:30-7pm, rather than the 8am-5:30pm that I am used to. It also took me a while to navigate the good running spots, and find a gym where I could cross-train and do strength.

The one redeeming feature of last week was that I hit 30 miles for the first time since I began gradually increasing mileage and quit being stupid. Just barely, but I did it. Another 14 miler kicked my a$$ but this time I was plenty hydrated; I just am not used to the humidity here. Southern California has rendered this damsel absolutely weak.

Workouts: July 29-August 4

Monday: 6 miles with 4 hill sprints (last run in Oceanside :(

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 6 miles ladder intervals:  2 miles easy, 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min @ 5 K-1500m pace, w 400m jog recoveries, 2 miles easy. I struggled with this workout, reaching the 6:30s only in my last 2min and 1min intervals. Though I did hit the 5s.... for a few seconds.

Thursday: Plyo + strength workout (20 mins)

Friday: 5 miles easy

Saturday: 60 mins elliptical intervals (not hard - I was on a new weird machine at the gym and without my heart rate monitor) + core strength

Sunday: 13 miles very, very slow (between 9-10 min/miles with walk breaks through the second half) + 1 mile walk home. Central Park = awesome! 100% humidity = not so much! More on running through the Park when I dont feel quite so like death throughout.

Total: 30 miles

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Satisfying Rewards

Jeff Galloway
Galloway's Book on Running

Monday, August 6, 2012

LR#2 - Week 8 of 10, standing still

On paper, this was the last week of my fundamental period. But according to the workouts I have been able to do, it is really more like the end of an introductory period. I have been laying off to give “pre-injuries” a chance to recover. So I have not done specific endurance intervals in over 3 weeks. The only speed work I have been able to manage is a fartlek run here and there. Better than running myself into an injury. But on the other hand, I don’t think I’ll make any gains this summer in my 5K time. I was hoping to get to 19:00 from 19:53 in early June.

One error in my training program was a lack of a real introductory/base training period. I figured I was strong enough from my last 13.1 that I could go straight into more intense training. That was probably wrong. I probably needed the base training time to give my body some R&R from lots of long runs this spring.

I’ve had two very weird muscle pains in my right leg—one in the glut and one in the ham. Weird because when I stretch them out, the pain disappears. I think the source of my recent pains is my new shoes. This summer, I sized-up from a 7.5 to an 8.0 because I needed more room in the toe box (black toenails). But I am coming around to thinking that the bigger size is not snug enough in my mid foot, particularly on my right foot. After watching Tirunesh Dibaba win the women’s gold in the 10K, I was thinking about her form and trying to emulate it during my runs this weekend. She is so relaxed and smooth in her stride.  In trying to be relaxed, during my long run on Saturday, I noticed that my right leg was really tensing up. Then I noticed my foot was slipping around in my shoe, both on impact and during the kick forward. I think the constant micro adjustments I was making on my stride resulted in severe soreness after my runs. On Sunday, I tightened up the laces and concentrated again on relaxing. While I had some residual soreness in my hot spots, it didn’t get any worse.

Both injuries came about after switching to size 8; however, both injuries came about after hard runs in the size 8s. Is it the shoes, or am I shifting the blame from my coach (me) to my footwear?

Monday (7/30): 20 minutes elliptical, upper body strength; yoga

Tuesday (7/31): 30 minutes elliptical, core

Wednesday (8/1): plyo

Thursday (8/2): 60 minutes elliptical

Friday (8/3): rest day

Saturday (8/4): 12 miles, long and slow, and lots of hills (1300 foot total climb) in Torrey Pines, to the Glider Port, Blacks Beach, and back.

Sunday (8/5): 6.5 miles, recovery/easy run, in Mission Bay Park. 

Torrey Pines Glider Port

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Sweaty Elbow--thoughts on surviving the dreaded elliptical "runner"

It is a sorry state of affairs when your last 4 activities on RunKeeper are elliptical runs.

And RunKeeper taunts you with its sarcastic emails about your new elliptical running “achievements.” Congratulations, my (_|_). (The icon is more vulgar than the word, no?)

If you haven’t been here, someday you will. Here is how to survive it.

1. Pat yourself on the back. Give yourself some props for choosing elliptical. Look, you could have taken a lazy day or you could have injured yourself further by running on something you shouldn’t have.

2. Intervals. Fact: the elliptical is boring. Worse than the treadmill. Especially if you mindlessly pump away on level 1. Challenge yourself with intervals. I like two minutes at level 8 or 9 followed by a one minute resting interval on level 1. By the end of 30 minutes of this, I can get my heart rate up to 180, not bad!

3. Relatedly, embrace it. This idea comes from Lauren Fleshman’s blog.

I like to get on one of the ellipticals next to someone reading a magazine who is so relaxed she isn’t even mouth-breathing, and proceed to work myself into a sweaty mess, drops flicking off my elbows onto the floor forming a puddle while I huff and puff, inevitably scaring her to death.  Its a little hobby of mine.  Kind of like one of those jokes where you walk into a crowded elevator and proceed to the very back corner where you face the wall for the remainder of the ride up.  Freaks people out every time.

In other words, go all bad-(_|_).  

4. Most importantly, tunes. Obviously, something with a decent beat. But that is not sufficient to sustain me on the dreaded machine for an hour. I like to listen to something nostalgic that will take my mind off ellipticalling and back to good times. Lately, I’ve been listening to Erykah Badu albums—an artist I listened to nonstop in college. Not an obvious choice for a cardio workout. But Erykah Badu has a cardio connection for me. Spinning was my first foray into endurance training since cross country in school—which I don’t remember much about other than one time I drank a glass of milk and ate a cheese sandwich just prior to a run and then wondered why I threw up. (Hold on, this is about to get relevant . . .) The most important part of a spinning class is good tunes. One spinning instructor I had would throw into the mix a few Erykah Badu songs each session. I remember pushing up those hills in step with some Baduizm. 

Speaking of nostalgia, here is a picture of me from college, sporting a "yorkie" hairdo. Haha, good times!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Week 7 of 10 - LR#2's 5K Summer

I really slacked this week, both in terms of my training and in terms of recording my workouts. I took a few days off after the Bolt to the Q 5K and had an awesome plyo workout on Wednesday. Took an easy run in Balboa Park Thursday. Feeling cooped up and fueled by work stress, I ran 8 miles late Sunday afternoon at about a 7:00 pace. This felt awesome!!!

But I woke up the next day with strain in my hamstring . . . overdid it AGAIN! Nothing significant but I have confined myself to the elliptical for about 5 days--to both give my leg time to heal and to punish myself for bad behavior!

I am going to learn from my mistake this time. I can't go on 8 mile runs at that pace when I haven't run that far in over a month. Speed means nothing if I can't keep injury free throughout an entire training cycle!

It takes more discipline to go slow than to go fast. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Moving house and moving my a$$

Last week was full of packing but I thankfully got a few miles in.

Last week was the first in a long time where my body felt "together". My groin strain has healed up, and the accompanying hip and quad pain (all on my left side) has almost completely gone away after some very painful sessions on the miraculous foam roller. I never really believed people when they talked about the difference the foam roller makes. Well, throw me a fish and call me Mandy, I'm a massive convert.

July 22-28, 2012

Monday: Core + Upper body strength, + 60 mins elliptical intervals

Tuesday: 8 miles @ 8:30 with 6 x 1 min fartleks at 6:30 pace

Wednesday: Upper body + Core strength + 45 mins elliptical intervals

Thursday: 6 easy miles

Friday: rest (last day in our San Diego office, working next door to LR#2!)

Saturday: 14 miles base pase (around 8:30-45 avg). This was my first 14 miler. Felt great starting off; but my preplanned water stops (at water fountains in caravan parks up and down the coastline) were foiled by there being no water in them. Massive fail. As a result, I got cramps, and found it really really hard to run the last 4-5 miles. I even stopped twice for about 10 seconds or so, and I never ever stop to walk. Ugh. Got it done though.

Total: 28 miles