31 March 2008

Scared for a Day

I have been extremely lucky (or maybe just smart) when it comes to injury. I've never had a running injury sideline me in the 19 months I've been running. This winter as I have really ramped up my mileage I have been paranoid by every ache and pain. Is it ITB syndrome, is that knee pain normal, will my foot fall off? You get the idea. Anyway, I woke up early Sunday morning with an extremely sore back - back spasms if I wasn't careful sore. I don't often get a sore back, even when I was at my biggest I didn't really have trouble, so this was very disturbing to me. How long would it set my running back? I spent Sunday worrying about just that.

I am not sure what exactly brought it on as Saturday was a Day of Rest (DOR) and last week wasn't a ton of miles, though I did run hard off-road and up and down hills on Friday evening. I also kicked a soccer ball around Saturday afternoon, but that doesn't seem like something that would do it either. Who knows. Vitamin I didn't touch it on Sunday, but a little pill left over from my root canal last spring seemed to do the trick as I awoke feeling much refreshed today. And more importantly I went out for 4.5 miles tonight and felt great, not a note of anything from the back. Big sigh of relief. I'm going to swap my speedwork for the 10 miler I missed last Sunday and then I'll be back on schedule.

I was down another 0.6 lbs this week, now at 190.8. Although I plan on going lower 190 is my Dr. set goal for WW. Almost there.

March totals: 107 miles, 52 miles long runs, 26.1 miles at tempo pace, 14 miles of speed work including 11 one mile repeats. My first 100 mile month.

Week 10: 11.8 miles, no long run due to back

Now playing: Steely Dan - Charlie Freak
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23 March 2008

New highs and lows

10, 5, 7:40, 18, 34, 191.4, these are the lucky numbers for the week.

Today marks the end of week 11. The marathon is in 10 weeks. Sometimes 10 weeks can seem like an eternity, other times it seems like no time at all. Lately I'm leaning towards the latter. I'm also running in a half marathon in 3 weeks. The Horsetooth Half Marathon was my first half marathon ever and a day where I first truly took in all that I had accomplished both in weight loss and in running. I plan to run this event every year in celebration. I also look forward to opening it up a little on a race course, I haven't raced since Thanksgiving.

This week started with a couple after work runs (again, Daylight Savings Time rocks!) including a 10K run on Monday to make up some of the missed miles on Sunday. Thursday was a day of interval work. I set out with a guy from work to do 5x1600 repeats (5 x 1 mile). After 2 uphill and into the wind the next 3 tied, then slightly beat, then shattered my 1600 PR with a time of 7:40. Doing five 1600s is a personal best too. My buddy wants to work up to 8, I think we'll just take them one at a time and see where we end up.

My long run this week took me 18 miles. I set out to do 17, but calculated my route in my head but misrembered the distance of one loop by 1 mile. I didn't run fast, about marathon pace + 60 seconds, but I finished stronger than I started. While I was tired, I still had a little more in me when I finished. Another 8.2 miles? Maybe. In 10 weeks there will be no doubt. I have a little work to do on figuring out how to eat on the run, etc. I know I didn't hydrate enough yesterday, and waited too long after eating to go out as the gels were not enough. While I felt the effects, I didn't hit the wall though. I can tell this is more important at 18 miles than 13.

I also set a new high for weekly mileage at 34.0 miles.

OK, that's it for the highs. For the lows there is my weight. I weighed in at 191.4 lbs this week! Oddly enough, training for a marathon seems to be good for your weight loss ;-), I'm down 5 lbs in 6 weeks!

Week 10: 34.0 miles, 18 mile long run

Now playing: Rush - Far Cry
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16 March 2008

Rain Delay

Week 12 ended in disappointment. I went out for my first 17 miler run today and ended up calling it quits at 7.8 miles. I got caught in wind and rain and was soaked to the bone. I felt bad while sitting in the coffee shop and waiting for my ride. The rain looks much easier to deal with when you're inside and dry. Given that I've never wimped out due to the weather before I think this was an exceptional case and the right choice. Snow I could have dealt with, it just falls off you. Guess I'll bag the 17 next week and figure out how to adjust my schedule.

Other than that I had a good week though. With Daylight Savings time I got a good 10K tempo run in after work one day and did a relatively fast 4 miles on another with one 1600 interval during that run at an 8:00 per mile pace, my fastest yet.

Week 12: 18.0 miles, 7.8 mile long run.

Now playing: The Who - The Kids Are Alright
via FoxyTunes

09 March 2008

I can do this!

Week 13 is in the books, the marathon is 12 weeks from today. I am feeling very confident about this. I almost wrote "nothing but confidence" there but decided not to because I don't want to sound too cocky. I know this will take a lot more work and will not be easy. But I am confident I am up to the task. I'll reserve the right to change this tune after my first ever 17 mile run next Sunday.

While I have the occasional aches and pains, my legs and body are holding up well to the increased training. I have had no injuries (knock on wood), though I have been paying attention to my IT bands. I am probably just paranoid as I have had no pain during runs from the ITB, just a little tenderness afterwards. Seems like I've read too many stories of people getting knocked off course by ITBS.

I've actually felt so good running lately that I've been tempted to add in more. So far I've resisted. Yesterday was a bit of a cutback in long run mileage at "only" 12 miles. I ran with a buddy from work and we had an awesome run. 12.1 miles, a decent amount of rolling hills, and managed a 10:33 pace. To put that in perspective for me, that's about 1 minute faster than I've been running long runs solo. It's also only 11 seconds off my last half marathon pace. It's also only about 5 seconds off my "best case" marathon pace. Why is it that we run faster with others? Sure seems to be the case with me.

On the weight loss front I seem to be losing again. Quite possibly due to the increased training. I'm down in the 194-195 range now, and actually weighed in below 190 right after my long run yesterday. I know that weight isn't real, but it's kinda cool to see numbers like that on the scale! It would be awesome to run the marathon in the 180-185 range.

Thought I'd start throwing my mileage in these. Here's a summary to date, I'll just include the current week from here on out.
Week 13: 24.6 Miles, 12.1 mile long run
Week 14: 26.7 Miles, 14.5 mile long run
Week 15: 21.3 Miles, 15.1 mile long run
Week 16: 24.2 Miles, 13.0 mile long run

Now playing: Collective Soul - Breathe
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