Sunday, February 28, 2010

Only 5 Left

There are only five training runs left.  I needed to ice my knee, per my "personal trainer" this after noon.  I will take a few ibuprofen this evening.  I did make the 2.75 mile run at an average of 10:10, and I felt pretty good once I got going.  I tried a different setting on the Nike+ settings today.  I tried the distance setting.  I set the system for 2.75 miles and then set out.  At .5 miles it chimed in and told me where I was at.  Then again a few more times during the run, at the last little part of the run it rattled off the distance to the end in 100 meter intervals.  It was very interesting.  It made it hard to not want to just shred the last 300 meters, but I knew that if I did that my knee would REALLY be hurting right now.  I will rest tomorrow and then run again on Tuesday, rest then run on Thursday.  Two days rest, then 3 mile runs for three runs next week.

I am sticking with the schedule and I am not changing anything until after the race.  The day after the race, I will add in cross-training and weights.  I want to increase my stamina and my strength and work towards a Pikermi---if you want to know what that is go to  We have t-shirts and everything!  We will see on that one...but it is certainly a possibility and the one I would aim for would be on my 42nd birthday.  That is a long way off, so in the mean time, I will begin working towards a couple of "back-to-back" 10K's, one in the middle of May, and one the first weekend of June.  I think I can get to 6 miles by then, and if I can get there, I should be able to run one, rest for a few days, then ramp back up for the next run two weeks later.

So this will be a short post today, but I will begin working up the training program in the next few days, and I will post that for your perusal.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two days of rest...hard to not run this morning

Thursday's run was great.  I felt good, the knees felt good, and I tracked a good time.  So I am taking my two days off on Friday and Saturday.  I did go out and calibrate the Nike+ transceiver, for both a walking pace and a running pace.  It was all I could do to keep from just doing a bunch of laps and turning a rest day into a run day.  I refrained as I would have gotten into trouble with the Mrs.  I had told her what my plan and schedule was, and I was expected back at an early time.  Had I run this morning, I would be setting up my tent in the backyard and sleeping on an air mattress.

Tomorrow morning I am doing 2.75 miles, and I am looking to maintain my pace of 10:30 or so per mile.  I have a nice course plotted out, and it is actually a 2.8.  Three runs next week, then three 3  milers the following week.  Two rest days, and then the Shamrock Run!  A short 14 days from today.  I will then start the training program for the next two runs.  I say two runs is that they are within two weeks of each other, so I will train to do both.  There is a 10K available on both days, so I will have to see where I am at in 12 weeks on whether I do both as 10's or split them as a 10 and a 5.  It will depend on the knees and the other training.  I will begin adding weights back into the mix starting the day after the race.

I will work up a good combination of all the different programs out there.  I think they all have some good points and some bad points, so I want to see what works and what doesn't.  I think a lot of the sites are big into "if you want my full program, you need to pay me".  Who knows if mine will be any better than the ones you can find on the 'net, but I will see what works for me, and what doesn't, and I will post it here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday's Run

Well, Tuesday came early, and I got up and faced it with aching knees and tight calves.  I really need to do a better job of stretching everyday just to keep things loose.  I set off at a slow pace, but plugged along at about 10:37 minute per mile pace.  No there are no Kenyans in fear of my displacing them on podiums around the world, nor is "Pauler Radcliffe" in danger of me challenging her to a winner take all marathon.  But, hey, considering that my Jingle Bell Run 5K was completed at 38:05 just 11 weeks ago, that is an improvement of  just under 2 minutes a mile!  and I am looking forward to running the whole thing at that 10:30 pace which means that I am looking to finish the race in about 32 minutes---for those of you who can't count.  And, since my "personal best" mile pace is just over 10 minutes, I might even try to bring this one in just under 30 minutes.  We will just have to see.

So back to the run, I wore my spiffy new jacket and it was quite toasty.  In fact, at roughly one mile I had to unzip the neck a bit to let the heat out.  I may get to test it in the rain tomorrow morning.  I finished my run and cool down walk just before it started to rain.  Timing is everything.  The legs loosened up by the end of the first mile, and while the right knee complained quite a bit after, it felt good while I was running.

As I am typing this it is Wednesday afternoon, and my knees are a little sore, but not bad enough for me to take Tylenol or wear one of my braces.  I got a little sleep last night and hit them with some ibuprofen.  I am also looking at the calendar and the countdown is really starting.  There are only 18 days until the race, and only 7 training runs until then as well.  Wow, if that doesn't make it seem like a short time, nothing will.  Seven short little runs, and then one short little race, which I am actually going to treat as the starting run to a 10K training regimen.  I am looking up all the different training schedules and programs for moving on up to a 10K and I will probably end up with the Natty Bumpo version of the 10K training program.  So far some of the ones I have looked at are a little extreme, and look like they were designed for Prefontaine after he was a world class runner.  I may have to design one of my own.  I will keep you posted.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two runs in since Friday...

I had a REEEEEALY long week last week, and I had to work until midnight on Friday, which is why I didn't post about Friday's run.  So Friday morning comes and I knew that I was going to have a very long day, but I got up at 4:45am and dragged my butt up to the Y and did 2.25 miles.  My knees are giving me a bit of grief about the latest activities.  So I started looking up knee exercises to help ease the pains.  It turns out there are many many sites that will give you some good choices.  I had already upgraded the shoes, so there had to be some other things that I could do the help my knees.  One of the things the sites all talk about was running on short tracks, or tracks in general.  There is some extra stresses in running in circles on the knees.  So thy all said get off the track and start doing some road work.  Since I am past the run-walk-run stages of the C25K program, I did just that.

This morning I slept late, as yesterday was another long day at work.  Not the lovely 20 hour day I pulled on Friday, but since I only had 6 hours of sleep going into Saturday, I was a bit run down.  So I slept in.  I got up about 8 and then I got dressed in some slightly warmer clothing and hit the pavement.  I mapped out a course on the Nike +, or on the LiveStrong site.  For 2.5 miles it was a simple "around the neighborhood" jog this morning.  It has a couple of shallow hills and a good one at the end.  I "get" to run this one this week two more times.  Then I get to add a little bit more distance, and I will probably change the directions of where I go.  That way I can see more of the neighborhood in the dark.

Now, warmer clothing is needed at this time of year when going outdoors.  I have been a big fan of running tights for a very long time.  I know that some of my family members are going to question this statement.  But, when I was in high school, I had a pair of tights that I called my Spiderman tights.  They were Nikes that were red and blue, and the red was a mesh material.  They were awesome.  I wish someone still made some like that.  So, my current tights are dark blue and solid, but they will definitely keep the legs from being too cold, and keeps the legs from seizing up.

I also got a jacket to keep myself dry when it starts raining in two days, when next I get to the road, there will be moisture in the air.  I don't mind my legs being a little damp, but my back would be a bit cold if I got very wet, and that will end a run quick enough.  The new jacket happens to be a Livestrong Nike Fit jacket.  I will need to get a safety vest tomorrow, but the new jacket is bright blue and I carry a flashlight outside, I still want to have something that will reflect the lights of passing cars.

I have less than three weeks until the race, and the next ones are a short 11 weeks away from today.  I need to be very diligent with making sure that I get out the door everyday that I have a run scheduled.   Everyday that I skip is too precious to miss.  I do have the minimum number on the team, there are potentially more people signing up for it, but if they don't, I have met the minimum number.  The next two races are potentially 10Ks.  We will see how the legs and knees do in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A good morning run!

I got up this morning a little slower than I should have.  I didn't need to stay up and watch the Chinese win gold and silver.  I didn't need to watch the Men's BoarderCross final.  Thanks to NBC's inability to do anything except "The Biggest Loser" correctly, I had already learned of the results, and should have gone to bed at a reasonable time.  BUT, since when have I ever been reasonable?  So, at midnight, the Mrs. and I trundled up to bed, and, well, let's just say that 4:40 am comes really fast at that point.

But, I got up and did Week Six, Day Two, and felt good after the first half mile.  By the end of mile two I was in gear and trucking around the Y's track.  I had a 9 minute mile pace at the end.  Tracking forward from there, if I keep with this schedule, I should be able to hold to a 10 minute mile easily for the 3.1 miles on March 14.  Holy Short-time Batman, but that is only three weeks away.  After today, there are no more walk breaks in my morning runs, and as the weather begins to get less rainy (or if I would go buy some good wet-weather gear) I can move this show outside.  I will need to after the Shamrock Run anyway, because I am already looking at the next two races...  Both have start-finish lines within a mile of my house.

Moving outdoors is easy with both the site and the site.  Both offer a mapping feature that lets you pick a starting point and then follow along the roads and plot out a route and it gives you the distance as you go.  Can you say, 4 and 5 mile runs?  Can you say 10K?  All from the comfort of your own home, can you plot out your courses and you don't have to drive down roads that are closed to traffic to figure out how far it is.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week Six Day One...

And my legs hurt.  So a little Motrin is in my future.  All in all, though, I did a little over 2 1/2 miles run walk, including warm-up and cool-down.  So, Ol' Lance came on the iPod and told me congrats on my longest workout to date.  It is a kinda cool when the Nike+ system gives you feed back like that.  I know I have said it before, but if you have a Nano, iPhone, or iPod touch you should look into this product.  With the touch of a button-while you are running-you can tell how far and at what pace you are running at.  The run itself was a little rough as well.  I started out kinda slow and didn't really hit a groove at all.  I am hoping that Tuesday's run will be a bit better.  I didn't run anyone over and only had minimal people to dodge at the Y this afternoon.

I have tracked out a couple of actual road courses to use when I start running with no walking involved.  This is why I switched to distance over time on the running.  Going for 20 minutes, while that sounds good, I would rather slug-out 2 miles in 24 minutes.  The other part of that is, that when you are running based on time, you spend the whole run watching the clock instead of watching the miles go by. And the best part, I know that I am getting closer to being able to run the entire 5k when it gets here.  In exactly four weeks.

Speaking of that, I have a team of people who haven't signed up for the race yet.  I have given up on my oldest brother actually doing the run.  My older sister is still claiming to be planning on being here, but, since I paid for her already I don't care.  I have a friend that say she and her boyfriend are signing up, along with one of her girl friends.  We will have to see.  I don't trust anything until I actually see them listed with the run officials.  They need to get going as soon as possible--or I may just have to call and pay the difference on the two that I have paid for and just call it good.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finally finished that 5th week!

So I finally finished Week 5 of the Couch-to-5K plan.  It only took three tries.  I ran for 2 miles with no walks or pauses  And, while my knees are still getting used to this whole thing again, and the shins are still complaining a little bit, I felt pretty good after, and then this morning feel great.  Tomorrow will be Week 6 Day 1, a nice mix of running and walking.  Warm-up, then run for a 1/2 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 3/4 mile, walk 1/2 mile, then run 1/2 mile.  The total distance run will be 1.75 miles with about 1 mile walked.  I usually warm up with a 1/4 mile brisk walk and then cool down is the same, although I usually slow my pace a bit as I get further into the cool-down.

I am starting to need both new pants and belts, mine are all looking like I am cinching them up a lot.  Actually, one belt I actually have to pin it two holes smaller than I have been and it is bulging in the spot that I had been wearing it.  Poor belt doesn't stand a chance.  The upside is that I am in need of some new clothes for work, and I am thinking that I may have to go get a few pairs of slacks and maybe a new shirt or two.  Not really what I was expecting to need, but I will take it.  I need to upgrade now anyways.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Modified Playlists

I am a big fan of music.  I have it playing in the background almost all the time.  The only time I don't have it on is when my kids insist on watching television.  Between the Mrs. and me we have 4 iPods of various incarnations and sizes.  Music has been proven to help with working out whether running to stuff with a good beat or working out with weights.  Go by a spin class and they are playing loud fast music.  Do an aerobics class or Zumba class, loud fast music.  It gets your blood moving and keeps you from focusing too much on the activity.

So, after Sunday's run I came home, sat down at my computer, up loaded the latest run to and then decided to look at my playlists.  While, Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song is fun to listen to, it really isn't the BEST work-out song.  So, into the lists I go, and I looked at my times and came up with a couple of lists that are about the right time for two (2) mile and three (3) mile runs at my current pace.  This makes it nice in that I can tell roughly by the song that is on, how slow or fast I am going.  I do need to tweak the order a little on the two (2) mile list, I have a slow song towards 1.75 miles and that is not good placement.  I think that one will be good at the very start.  It is fast enough to start with, but too slow to finish on.  That will be tonight's chore.

Did it work?  Well, according to Mr. Lance Armstrong, I set a personal best for the mile today.  Thursday's scheduled training run is two (2) miles straight through with no breaks for walking, so once I re-order the songs, I should have music that gets progressively more aggressive and faster.  I almost can't wait to see my times.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New week and a house full of sickness

So, picking up the pieces of the last two weeks, I was at the Y this morning bright and early. Well, early for them, they open at 7:00 am on Sundays. Re-restarted week 5 with a quick 1/2 mile run, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile run, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile run. I can tell that I have both been sick and been away for a while. That hurt to finish. Not sore so much as, T-I-R-E-D. I tell you what, avoid getting sick when training. It takes a lot out of your batteries, and I felt good enough to go, but it was a struggle.

As I eluded to in my title, the house is full of sickness. Both the Mrs. and I tested positive for strep-throat last week, and this morning I took numbers 2 and 4 in to see the pediatrician, and they too tested positive for the lovely little bugs. So, it is penicillin for the Mrs. and me, and Amoxicillin for the girls. Lucky us. Plus we think that number 1 may or may not have it, so we are debating taking her in for a quick test.

So, now for an overall update on the Mrs, and my weight-loss progress. I told you before that the Mrs is in a "Biggest Loser" style competition, and as of last Tuesday's weigh-in, she is in second place. She had shed 17 pounds in 4 weeks. Not a bad average. I have officially broken below 200 solidly enough that even fully clothed I don't hit that number. When I weighed myself last night after 3 pieces of pizza and fully clothed I came in at 197. Not what I am working for, but I will lose weight before I start packing on muscle, as I have put off doing the weight-training for right now.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Two weeks up in flames

Ah the joys of being an amateur athlete. See there is this thing that real adults with spouses and kids have to do on a large part of our week. It is called work. Well, last week work blew up. I was required to log in so many late nights that I was too tired to get up for my morning runs. As I said in my last post running on the track at the Y was too much to bother with, and it wouldn't have mattered as I was getting home well after they closed. So, that was last week. This week started off pretty good, I was going to "re-do" the fifth week, as I didn't finish the fifth week, so... I went up on Sunday and did a nice solid run. Then Tuesday hits...real sore throat, oh good, tonsillitis. I need to sleep that extra hour today, plus I was REALLY tired. So I thought that I would push it off until Wednesday, so come Wednesday morning, well actually about 3 am after not being able to sleep at all due to it hurting so bad to swallow that it kept me up all night. Not going to work or run. Damn. Thursday the Mrs. forces me to go to the Dr.s. Ahh, Strep-throat. Here is the Vicodin to help you sleep and the Penicillin to kill the bugs. Gee, what a way to get ready for a 5K. Like I said, the joys of being an amateur. And there is always next week. I will re-re-start week 5 on Sunday, after another day's proper sleep and get some more time with the antibiotics. I will look forward to killing that week, and getting onto week 6.