3/31 – Half Marathon Training

Madness? THIS. IS. RUNNING!

Madness? THIS. IS. RUNNING!

Okay, so maybe the Leonidas meme is a little over the top. But after the last several days of having my training runs feel like running through water, having a decent run felt like Sir Edmond Hillary conquering Everest.

One thing I noticed is that I am running at a pretty good clip when I do trail & track running, even on my long and easy runs. In itself, that is unsurprising – my inability to pace myself is nearing mythic status (at least in my mind). But I am consistently running at what was my HMP from the 2013 Columbus Half. That’s probably a little too quick.

So, to judge if my pacing is at least part of the issue with my poor training, I went to the treadmill again. The goal was an LSD run with an enforced consistent pace. No running too fast when the belt is moving under you!

And, in part, it seemed to work. While not a effortless, podium-style run, it felt better than I expected.

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3/30 – Training Update

She canna do it, Cap'n! She just dunna have the power!

She canna do it, Cap’n! She just dunna have the power!

That picture pretty accurately describes how my last several runs have gone. Indoors or outdoors, trail or track… it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’m hitting the wall but hard each and every run. Yesterday’s run felt good for about two miles, then it all fell apart.

What got my attention after that run wasn’t the heavy arms or the dry mouth. When I sat down to take in some water, I nearly fell dead asleep right there on the bench. Closing my eyes after that run meant fighting to stay alert, even as I walked a short cooldown. I don’t know what falling instantly asleep after a rough run means, but I don’t figure it is a good thing.

Bonking and I are old enemies, so that sensation isn’t itself particularly scary. What does have me concerned, however, is that it is happening every time I go out. At this point, I’m even feeling some weariness in my shoulders and hips throughout the day (but that could be purely psychosomatic).

Screen-shot-2011-09-01-at-11.23.33-AM-335x421The point of all this isn’t to complain or moan about my lot – I just need to be honest about how I feel and how my body is holding up. While my current goal is weight loss (particularly after my previous binge period), I have to wonder if I need a few more calories or at least some more good carbs.

To that end, I’m adding a Clif Bar (or the equivalent, such as a Picky Bar) to my diet every day for at least the next several days. I’m also taking today off instead of tomorrow, and trying to do a LSD run tomorrow where I actually keep my heart rate in Zone 2 or 3 (gasp! Pacing myself!).

I know I can do better, I just need to figure out how to correct for this present problem.

3/28 – Half Marathon Training (ugh…)

like running

Days like this, I wish I could afford to have a coach.

The weather finally cooperated (50s and dry, no ice on the trails), so I jumped on the chance to run outside again. It did mean changing up my schedule (breakfast before run, no GU), but it seemed a small price to pay.

And it was a joy to get off the treadmill and back onto the trails. While it was pretty damn windy, particularly the crosswinds, the temperature was warm enough and the rain stayed away. All said, the best running conditions we’ve seen for months and months.

If only the same could be said for my running capability. The two weeks I had to take off for illness & injury has seemingly killed my endurance. My speed is still there, I just can’t maintain it for as long. And wouldn’t you know, two weeks is how long it takes to lose your running edge.

Of course, running three times in 24 hours could have had something to do with my epic bonk…

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1k Miles!

1k milesI hadn’t checked in a while, so I wasn’t watching my total mileage on Garmin Connect.So imagine my surprise when I was testing the site (which is sporadically back online) and I ran a report on my totals and saw this!

I’ve done a lot of runs with Nike+ or no GPS, so the total isn’t completely accurate, but it is cool to see a milestone number like 1k. It includes runs, walks, and even walking the dog, but I hit 1k miles with my Garmin.

Has anyone else hit a milestone recently?

3/25 – Half Marathon Training

run faster

After illness and injury, I finally got back on my training program schedule today for a run. Since I had to be down that direction anyway (and it is snowing AGAIN), I went back to the Perrysburg YMCA to use their 1/16mi indoor track.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over just how absurd a 1/16mi track is for serious training. You spend a ridiculous amount of time on the banked corners, so your pacing is all wonky. The outdoor track between Savage Arena and Glass Bowl is looking more and more appealing with each day.

It should not have been a surprise, but today’s triumphant return was a bit rocky. I didn’t take into account just how long I’ve been off. For one reason or another, I haven’t been running for two weeks. Long enough to lose my edge, that’s for damn sure.

But nothing good ever comes easy, right?

 

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3/24 – Half Marathon Training

Don't let the sweet face fool you...

Don’t let the sweet face fool you… this is one tough pacer!

Another Monday, another day of cross-training & rest. I’ve said it before, but it is still true: it feels odd starting my week with a day off.

But cross-training is useful, and all workouts are more fun with a training partner… mine today just happened to have four legs and a tail wag that could power a turbine.

Leo has gotten blue over the winter being stuck inside all day, every day. So I’m trying to get him out for walks around the neighborhood and eventually the metroparks as I can. He has some doggie pudge, so he the exercise just as much as I do.

I’ve developed a walk around the neighborhood that is around 3.5mi, which is enough to wear Leo out at the moment. But today was not a good day for that route.

Wasn't it just Spring yesterday?!?

Wasn’t it just Spring yesterday?!?

I watched the news this morning, so I knew it was supposed to be cold again (grr….). But I thought the sun would counteract it and make it comfortable again. Yeah… I was wrong. The ambient plus the wind made it REALLY cold to be out with exposed skin. My hands started to burn from the cold, so I couldn’t keep either Leo or myself out there for the entire 3.5mi. I called it at a bit over 2mi.

Damn. I want Spring back.

However, there is good news to balance the suffering. Stacy replaced the blender, so as I type this I am enjoying a nice, thick cookies-and-cream GNC shake as my afternoon snack. The old one leaked into the base and shorted out. Hopefully, I can keep this one working longer.

And Garmin is still derping with their website, so no Garmin Connect links yet. Maybe tomorrow…

 

March 4 Team Hoyt Charity Run

2014-03-23 12.02.03

Not pictured: trying to get my wife to dance with me during the run

Greetings from the Bar145 March 4 Team Hoyt!

This was perhaps the most singularly unique running event I have ever been part of. Running a treadmill 5k on stage at noon, then having a gourmet chicken breast salad (with delicious chipotle-cumin rub). What a blast!

Several of the girls that I coached in the fall half-marathon training program showed up to put their miles in the books today at Bar145, too. It was good to see them again and see them doing so well.

While we were preparing to get the runs started, the program coordinator mentioned that signups had dropped off hard around 6:00pm, so I volunteered to run a double today. After the lunch 5k at noon, I spent time with my wife and dog (we watched the new episode of Secret Eaters). Then I went back in and ran a dinnertime 5k on the stage at 6:00pm.

I’m pretty proud of helping to put 6.2mi on the board, out of the 145mi goal. The runners on stage really drew attention, and helped push donations. Running is always fun, but doing it for a cause adds a new dimension.

Feels good, man.

Feels good, man.

 

The most bizarre part of the day was when Bar145 introduced what I have deemed the “Bloody Mary-thon” – essentially a meal attached to a bloody mary. A description cannot do it justice, you must see for yourself!

Yes, that is a cheeseburger...

Yes, that is a cheeseburger…

I did wear my Garmin to track the runs, but Garmin Connect seems to be unreachable today. So I can’t upload the .fit files or link to the runs. I’ll add them in once Garmin gets their shit together and repairs the site.

Training Updates

motivation-irresistable

For those of you playing our home game, you noticed I haven’t been doing daily posts every day this week. Between being sick and subsequently doing something to anger both my IT bands, I haven’t been running for two weeks. It seemed repetitive to come on each day and say “Yep, still not running.”

But there is good news to be shared. I accompanied Stacy to the Y last night and did a test 5k on the treadmill, starting at 7.0mph and topping out at 8.5mph. My legs were a bit tight, but loosed nicely as the run progressed. So long as I don’t do anything stupid (yeah…) I should be good to return to a full training schedule.

Also, I am running in the noon slot at the March 4 Team Hoyt tomorrow (Sun 3/23) at Bar145. Come by, support the charity, and watch the human hamster on his wheel. It should be interesting running a 5k on a treadmill inside a gastropub. But hey, it should be a unique experience if nothing else!

Of course, it is not all sunshine and unicorns. My strategy of “not running so eat like a vacuum” had the predictable result. I managed to put back on quite a bit of weight in the last two weeks. I knew what I was doing and that it was not helpful, but when I’m not running it is hard to fight those temptations. Back on the horse today, though.

An Unexpected Crown

Hail to the king, baby?

I feel like I should be hearing Queen’s “We Are the Champions”…

I just got an email from Strava congratulating me on my course record for the Boardwalk Trail, which is very nice and inspiring….

Except I had no idea where the Boardwalk Trail is, or why I was the champion. Then I remembered that I had used Tapiriik to connect Garmin Connect to Strava so I could check out some of the social aspects of Strava.

So apparently I am the King of the Mountain for running a section of the trail at Wildwood Metropark. I could see how people would get competitive with this. If someone beats my time, I will likely go out and try to reclaim it. Hell, I may look for records in Toledo just so I can go out and try to topple them.

3/19 – Half Marathon Training

worth itThis IT band issue has kept me from training for yet another day. I am growing annoyed, but I have hope that will be over soon. Each day it seems to be getting significantly better. At this point I figure the light at the end of the tunnel is either daylight or a gorilla with a flashlight.

But there are two events of interest that happened today!

Event #1: My Kona Kase arrived in the mail! By using the coupon code from Competitor magazine, I was able to get this month’s box for only $10. Not a bad deal to get what was in this month’s box: GU, Picky Bar, Quest Bar, Sport Beans, Nuun, and Honey Stinger… a pretty good variety, even if there is nothing in the box I wasn’t aware of.

I am hoping that future boxes will introduce me to new and unusual products. But I can’t complain for now.

Event #2: I signed up for the March 4 Team Hoyt “5k” at Bar145 being held this Sunday, March 23. Not an actual race, instead it is part of a fundraiser for the Hoyt Foundation. Bar145 is setting up two treadmills inside the restaurant and is hoping to have two runners going at a time starting at 9:00am.

I would urge any Toledo runners to sign up and join me at Bar145 for this event. It is for a great cause, and you get 25% off your tab as a runner!