Need more speedwork

on Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 8:08 PM

My shin isn't completely healed. I can still feel a bit tenderness if I bend my ankle a certain way. I was reading a bit up on it and it seems that shin splints take a long time to go away and I don't want to lay off running completely so I decided to purchase a shin splint compression brace that I hope will allow me to actively recover. I went to the local running store on Wednesday to buy the brace and got there just as a crowd was gathering to do a group run. There were quite a few people there, probably at least 30. I was kinda jealous.

So I decided to switch training plans. Though Pftiz sure was great, I really want to focus on my speed work so I've decided to switch into the FIRST marathon training plan for the rest of this training cycle. I think I need to keep working on my Lactate Threshold and the FIRST plan has a speed workout and a LT/marathon pace run for each week remaining. All the paces are governed by current 5k pace. I'm estimating this to be 6:40, which FIRST says should predict a 7:40 marathon pace. All the runs are based on pace. Previously I had always relied on HR so this will be a change for me.

Yesterday, I went for my first run in a week and wore my nice new shin brace. The plan called for 10 miles at marathon pace.

Lap Lap Time
1 08:30.7
2 07:57.5
3 07:50.8
4 07:59.5
5 07:45.1
6 07:46.2
7 07:42.6
8 07:29.5
9 07:39.5
10 07:40.4

Did the first mile kinda slow. Had to feel out the shin and the knee. Seemed to be holding out okay though the shin was a bit sore even with the compression brace on. Got through the run which surprised me. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to finish it with the week off.

Another weird thing is my Polar watch is now telling me that the battery is low. I've had it for almost three years so it's about time that the battery gets changed, but I've been wondering if I should send it back to Polar or just get it done at the local jeweler. Apparently there's a water proof seal that is replaced if it's sent back to Polar for battery replacement. Ideally I'd like to do that, but it requires me to ship it off somewhere with no idea of how long it'll take to get back. I'm going to wear my HR monitor to sleep tonight to see what it's like. I've always wanted to do that, but was always worried about draining the battery. Since the battery is on it's last charge anyways, I guess it won't hurt now.

Still not running...

on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 10:30 PM

It's gotten quite warm lately, but my shin is still a bit tender so I'm still laying off the running for now. I can walk around with no pain, but it can get a bit sore when I rub it and if I flex my ankle a certain way.

I went back to the pool to swim today for about 40 minutes. I didn't keep track of how many lengths I did or how far I went. Too bad they don't have a garmin for swimming. It seemed much easier today compared to last time as I was able to string together several lengths without stopping. I think it's because I was going fairly slow. I guess it's like running when you have to pick your pace based on how far you're going to go. I think I may need a new pair of goggles though. They jam into my eye sockets quite well and are pretty good at keeping the water out, but they start to hurt after a while.

Cross Training

on Sunday, March 25, 2007 at 9:48 PM

Did 12 miles on Friday at about 8:20 pace. Didn't really care about HR since I really wanted to concentrate on pace. The HR was a bit higher than it is normally. Shin/Ankle was sore afterwards. I was supposed to do 5 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday, but the sore shin made me realized that I really need to try and recover. So I've decided to lay off running until my shin isn't sore anymore. As a plus, it'll also let my knees recover a bit which have been taking a beating as of late.

Today, I wanted to do some cross training to maintain the fitness. I didn't want to use the stationary bike because I thought it would put too much stress on my knees and I've never used an elliptical before so I decided to hit the pool since it seems that everyone else is doing it also. Supposedly a nice low impact workout. I use to swim in high school and though not a speed demon, I could get by. I learned today that my swimming skills have pretty much disappeared. I could barely go one length of the pool without having to stop for a breather. But I guess that's kind of expected considering I haven't been swimming in probably a year now. I don't know how triatheletes do it but I find it amazing that people can do three different sports all one right after the other.

Facing reality

on Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 9:25 PM

Thanks all for your well wishes. The ankle has gotten a little better, but still gets sore after a run. I bought some new running shoes since I think the old ones may have contributed to the ankle thing and I ended up going with the Sauconys Grid Omni's that I found so comfortable last year. They didn't last that long, but I think they were the perfect shoe for me.

I did 5 miles with some strides on Tuesday and did 12 miles with 7 at LT pace yesterday. It was a bit windy and I managed the 7 miles continuously, but wasn't happy with the pace. I ended up averaging about 7:15 pace for the LT portion. I kinda was hoping I'd be able to do these at least at 7:00. When I did this run, last fall, I was able to also average about 7:15 but managed negatives splits and my HR was a bit lower, so I definitely think I'm not in as good a shape as last time.

Lap Lap Time Avg
4 07:09.2 168
5 07:16.7 174
6 07:16.7 176
7 07:15.6 177
8 07:22.0 176
9 07:18.0 176
10 07:10.0 177

Considering that my Boston pace is 7:15, this basically means that a Boston qualifying attempt just isn't in the cards for this spring. There's no way I could maintain that pace for 26.2 miles. I'm not even sure I would be able to maintain that for a half marathon which I was also able to a week and a half later last fall after the LT workout.

Looking back in hindsight, I think it was a mistake to do 2 months of low HR training in January and December. I think it basically killed my LT pace and speed. The only real reason to do low HR training is to build endurance, and I realize now that my endurance was already pretty good considering that my marathon time was actually faster than what my shorter race times predicted. I needed to work on speed, not endurance. With the relatively mild December with no snow on the ground, it would have been perfect time for me work on speed at the track Oh well, live and learn.

I'm now thinking of maybe avoiding a marathon in the spring and concentrating more on short races now to build up the LT and speed again. I will probably continue on the marathon training for now since I'm entering the speed phase of the Pfitz training plan which requires me to do track workouts anyways.

Ankle Pain

on Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 10:11 PM

I was supposed to do 8 miles on Saturday with another 14 miles today. I've been trying to baby a bit of an ankle/shin pain and it seemed to be getting better. I've been icing it and wrapping it in a tensor bandage. It seemed to be much better on saturday morning, but I decided to skip the Saturday run just to make sure. This upcoming week is the highest mileage week of the whole training plan and I wanted to make sure it was okay. I headed out this morning for a 14 mile run and though I was able to get through it at about a 8:50 pace, i was limping for the rest of the day. I think I wasn't completely recovered. I'm going to try icing my ankle a bit more. I have a 12 mile run with 7@LT pace on Wednesday. If I can't get through that, I'm going to have to reevaluate my training plan and my goal race.

MJ This is Not.

on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Thriller? I dare you to watch this thing without smiling. It can't be done.

March madness!

Did 5 miles recovery today at about 9:35 pace. It's gotten cold again. Most of the snow and ice is gone, but it's gotten back to just below freezing.

So I checked in this afternoon to see the RBF NCAA pool to check out who other people picked and I saw that my name was in first place with three points. Of course, I was tied with about 10 other people in the pool as well as being tied with about 300,000 other people overall, but hey it's nice to be on top for once. I realize now that I should have grabbed a screen shot, cause I ain't in first anymore. :(

VO2Max Workout

Tuesday: 8 miles general aerobic.

Wednesday: 8 miles including 5x600m @ 5k pace w/90s recoverys. I headed over to the track to this workout. We've had a recent heat wave of sorts and most of the snow and ice has melted. The track was mostly clear, but there was a bit of ice in lanes 1 and 2 on one of the turns that required me to run out in lane 3 for about 10 m. Probably didn't add much to the total distance. After the workout, I finished up with a few more miles at general aerobic at about 9:15 pace or so.

I did the first one way too fast at a 6:06 pace. The other ones averaged around 6:30. Last time ,I did this workout, I actually was able to do it a tad faster, but last time, i was pretty much pooped after the 600m. I think I could have gone a little farther this time. Not sure if I could push this pace to 1600m though.

Split Pace
02:16.5 06:06.1
02:25.2 06:29.5
02:25.6 06:30.5
02:25.2 06:29.5
02:26.8 06:33.8

Marathon Pace Run

on Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 9:59 PM

I didn't get out first thing in the morning. For some reason I had it in my head that I'd be able to get up at 5am in the morning and head out to do my run. Because of the day light savings switch, it meant that my body would be getting up at 4am. Yeah right.

I waited till about 11am which was a good thing since it warmed up a bit and any black ice on the sidewalks had melted just enough to get some traction. Plan was to do 2 mile long run warm up, 12 miles @ 7:30 and then 1 mile cool down.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 08:44.1
9 07:45.8
2 08:29.6
10 07:18.3
3 07:25.9
11 07:27.3
4 07:45.6
12 07:35.3
5 07:43.2
13 07:29.5
6 07:34.9
14 07:11.5
7 07:28.1
15 09:00.4
8 08:11.3

For the most part, I think I was able to maintain the proper pace. Most of the slow downs were due to having to tip toe on ice around big puddles of water. Lap 8 included a long stretch of walking. I also ended up having to stop for a lot of traffic lights. Normally I hate stopping for them, but on this run they were a welcome site as it would allow me to catch a breather. After mile 9, there were no more traffic lights and I was able to maintain a pretty good clip. I decided to try to do mile 14 at LT pace, where I was probably going faster than 7 min/mile but I ended up having to slow down towards the end of it because of a side stitch. Still pretty good for a 7:11 pace though.

HR seemed a bit high. The HR was pretty consistent with what happened the last time I had tried this run. Again I had the same belief that it was a bit on the high side. Ideally I'd like to keep the HR below 170. There were times where I was approaching 180 which I think is way too high.

Next week is a recovery week. I'm hoping that this snow and ice will melt enough by Wednesday so that I can do my VO2max workout on the track. I visited that community centre with the indoor track and didn't think it was that impressive. It's 2 lanes wide and is basically suspended above a hockey rink. It was way too cold and not much room to maneuver. Plus they weren't sure how long the track was and it wasn't marked so getting splits is going to be difficult.

Marathon Pace

on Saturday, March 10, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Did 6 miles on Thursday @ recovery pace and did 3 miles today with some strides.
I'm supposed to a 15 mile long run with 12 miles @ marathon pace tomorrow. It's a bit dicey on the sidewalks cause the temperatures are hovering around freezing. I'm thinking there's going to be ice on the sidewalks tomorrow morning which will make doing a faster pace tough. I'm hoping if I can get out early enough, I'll have the streets to myself.

Anyways I'm not to sure what pace to try for tomorrow. During my last training cycle, I did this run as part of a race and ended up averaging 7:45 over the first 15 miles of a 18 mile run. I ended up doing Chicago 9 weeks later at a 7:31 pace. I'm thinking if I can do the same thing and improve my pace runs by 15 seconds/mile over the next 9 weeks then a BQ time is possible, but that means I'm going to have to try for a 7:31 pace tomorrow.

One problem I've had lately is what I think are shin splints. A couple of weeks ago, I slipped on some ice and tweaked what I think was my ankle, it actually now feels more like the shin. It's just this dull pain that nags at me during the day. It hasn't really gotten worse, but hasn't gotten better either. I think it may also have to do with the new shoes I'm using. I have 4 blue toenails from running in these things. I don't think I'll be buying these shoes again any time soon.
I'm going to try and do tomorrow's run with my orthotics. Hopefully they'll give me the necessary support to get me through it.

Longest mid-week run

on Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 8:15 AM

Pfitz' plan had the longest mid-week run of 14 miles yesterday, which I did after work. I ended up tripping part way through the run and did a bit of a face plant. Stupid ice chunks. Luckily, I had my water bottle in my hand which I was able to jut out at the last second to break my fall. Minor scrape on my right knee. Other than that the run was good. I definitely feel like I'm getting faster.

It's supposed to start getting warmer soon which hopefully means no more ice or snow. I'm supposed to do a VO2 max workout next Tuesday, which I probably won't be able to do at the track because it will still be snow covered. I've been considering doing it on the treadmill, but am also looking at an indoor track as a possibility. There's a little community centre close to me that has an indoor track suspending above a hockey rink. Going to check it out this weekend.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 08:59.5
8 08:10.7
2 08:50.6
9 08:37.2
3 08:18.1
10 08:23.3
4 08:25.2
11 08:28.5
5 08:18.1
12 08:08.6
6 08:16.3
13 08:16.5
7 08:22.8
14 08:26.6

Foam Roller

on Tuesday, March 6, 2007 at 11:02 PM

Did 6 mile recovery run today. Average pace was around 9:45.

I bought a foam roller on the weekend after reading about ways of loosening up my IT Band. I've been having left knee pains and I think it may have something to do with my ITB. My Stick isn't quite giving me the effect I wanted so I got a roller to apply a bit more pressure. I tried it for the first time yesterday and it really is painful, but in a good kind of way.

Another week down

on Monday, March 5, 2007 at 11:20 PM

Saturday: Did 4 mile Recovery. was supposed to do 5 miles, but I got out real early and due to a big melt on Friday afternoon and some rain, Saturday morning had ALL the roads and sidewalks covered with a thin layer of ice. Probably averaged about 10:30 min miles. I was able to work on my turnover though at about 180 strides a minute. Anything less than that and my feet would start to slip.

Sunday: Headed downtown for a 20 mile run with a running partner. She's training for Boston and does her long runs at my pace which works well for me since it's nice to be able to do a long run with some company and not having to worry about slowing down (or speeding up). I'm not too familiar with the area, so she picked the route which was quite hilly and I was suffering a bit on some of the hills. Unfortunately due to a lot of ice on the side streets, we ended up having to change the route which caused us to cut it short. We ended up having to stay on the major streets which meant running beside tall buildings which meant loss of GPS signals so we figure we did about 19.25 miles total. Average pace was about 8:35 min/mile which was pretty good considering the hills. I managed to get through the whole run on only 1 bottle of water. I wouldn't recommend it though. i was very dehydrated at the end.

Did a little over 52 miles for the week. Was supposed to do 54. I'll take it.

This week has 47 miles planned, most of which are recovery runs in preparation for a marathon pace run next Sunday. Tomorrow morning has windchill temperatures of -35 degrees (C or F doesn't really matter at that temp).

Universe works in mysterious ways.

on Friday, March 2, 2007 at 4:45 PM

So I didn't make it to the gym early this morning. I rolled out of bed at 5:30am with every intention of heading out but then for a brief second I was able to convince myself that it would be better to do it in the evening so i went back to sleep.

Right before heading to work, I got an email saying the power in my office building was down. Apparently a transformer had blown and they weren't sure when they were going to get it working again, so they told everyone not to come in. I basically had the day off. So I decided to head off to the gym. So as it turns out, I didn't need to get up early. Coincidence or what.

I got to the gym only to find out that they didn't have any hot water so I wouldn't be able to take a shower. Hmm. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Got onto the treadmill and did a 1 mile warmup @ about 9:40 pace. I put the incline @ 1.0 since that's what the say you should do to compensate for running inside. I started the LT portion @8.4 mi/hr (7:08 pace) but the HR got really high and I had to stop to walk after 2 miles for a couple of minutes. Then did another 2 miles at the same pace and then stopped again. Then did 2 x 1 miles at the same pace since I didn't think I could handle another 2 continuous miles. Then did 3.5 miles at a cooldown pace of 6.3 mi/hr. 6 miles total @ LT pace though I would have really like to have done them continuously. My HR got really high during the LT session, much higher than I would have liked, but I really wanted to maintain that pace. It's looking more and more that trying to BQ during the spring is not going to be a reality. If I have trouble now of maintaining a 7:08 pace for 6 miles, I have no idea how I would be able to handle a 7:15 pace for 26.2. I haven't quite given up hope though and so will continue on the plan.

Now I remember...

on Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 10:42 PM

...why I don't like training through the winter time.

I did 12 miles on Wednesday night and it went okay. I got about a half mile away from home before I realized I had forgotten my water bottle. I decided to keep going anyways but to hold back on the pace so I could hopefully get through the whole run without needed to drink.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 09:02.40
7 08:35.60
2 08:43.80
8 08:49.70
3 08:55.20
9 08:53.70
4 08:42.70
10 08:53.60
5 08:12.70
11 09:13.80
6 08:35.00
12 08:11.20

So I have a 11 mile run with 6 at LT planned for tomorrow. I had wanted to do it outside tomorrow morning, but we got dumped on today with about 15cm of snow and freezing rain predicted for the morning. So it looks like I have to do it at the gym. I'm going to try and do it first thing in the morning. The gym opens at 6am and I'm going to try and do it then. I've never been to the gym that early on a work day, so this will be interesting