Monday, August 31, 2009

August Running Milestones

Most miles in a month: 116.4
Most miles in a week: 27.3, week ending August 16.
Longest run to date: 12.0 miles, August 29.

August Training

Monday, August 31 - Comfortable 3.1-miler; a little slow, 31:00, 10.0 pace. Probably still a little residual fatigue from the long Saturday run.

Sunday, August 30 - Took a recovery day, instead of trying to push too hard again on consecutive days. Looks like the formula that may work for me is to do the long run the day after an easy run, and then rest the next day. Soreness is nearly gone already.

Saturday, August 29 – A new distance record: 12 miles! The 5th lap was a bit of a push, but not as tough as the 4th lap was two weeks ago. 2:09:16 - only a minute longer than the 9.8 miler two weeks ago, 10.77 pace. Still no blisters; CoolMax socks rock! It was another steamy gulf-coast morning, but my weight was only down 1 1/2 lbs; seem to finally have the hydration thing figured out. I downed a 32 oz Gatorade an hour before running. And I carried a 20-oz aluminum bottle with me on the trail. I started out with a full bottle for the 1st lap, and carried 4 pre-measured baggies of powdered Gatorade in my pocket. Dumping a baggie and refilling at the water fountain on each 2-mile lap did the trick, kept me hydrated and gave me a 30 gram carb boost on each refill. Heel pain the rest of the day; still need to find some decent arch supports.

August 25, 26, 27, 28 - Good 3.1-mile weekday morning runs. Typical pace; around 9 1/2 minutes early in the week, following a day of rest, trending to 10+ on Friday. Easy steady-paced runs M-T-W-F. Thursday, 8 x 400 meter wind sprints with one- to three-minute slow jog or brisk walk recoveries in between. Same basic routine as August 14, only 2 x the sprints and less cool down at the end. Total 3.1 miles, 29:27, 9.5 pace.

Monday, August 24 - A much needed recovery day.

Sunday, August 23 - Another 7.6 miles, but just barely. Hoped to make another 9.8, but didn't have it in me. I must be crazy, trying to make two longer runs on consecutive days, but weekends are the only days I have the time to log the extra miles. I probably need to just go one long run and stretch the distance out on it. Last week, I did the longer of the two on Saturday, and struggled on Sunday. I thought maybe it would work better doing the shorter one on first, ramping up to the longer one. WRONG. Looking forward to a recovery day tomorrow.

Saturday, August 22 - 7.6 miles. Got a good early start to beat the heat, right about sunrise, and stayed well hydrated. No blisters-- ditched the cotton socks and picked up some CoolMax. I felt good; could have gone longer; but tried to hold a little back for a longer run on Sunday.

August 19 through 21- Routine. 3.1 miles each. 9.6 – 9.9 pace.

August 18 - Unplanned extra rest day; early morning thunderstorm & lots of lightning.

Monday, August 17 - Recovery day! No workout! Just stretches, lots of liquids. I was still sore in the morning, but almost pain-free by evening. The recuperative powers of the human body are amazing! Back up to normal weight by evening. Ready to rip up the roads again tomorrow morning!

Sunday, August 16 – Ran my typical weekend 6.2 miler through the parks. BAD IDEA, without a recovery day after the 9.8 on Saturday. Maybe I should have gone the shorter one on Saturday instead of Sunday. Really struggled to finish; cramps, sore legs, plantar fasciitis flaring up in left heel (Note to self: pick up those arch supports you’ve been looking at), and blister developing on right heel (Note to self: ditch the cotton socks and pick up some synthetics). My weight was down 6 pounds weighing in after run (Note to self: re-read hydration note to self from Saturday). I ran into Mike, a runner acquaintance, on the way out of the park. Mike’s an experienced marathoner; he’s run the Boston, New York, Houston, etc, etc. He’s just starting to gear up for the fall, has just been logging hours on these hot days, not worrying about miles or pace. He offered some words that I found encouraging; said that the hard training I’ve been doing in hot weather would pay off when it cools down; that at 50 degrees, I’ll be able to go either twice the distance or do the same distance in half the time. We’ll see.

Saturday August 15 - Time to try to push the envelope on the longer run. The farthest I’d ever run was about 8 miles, on January 24, 2009. I started to bonk at about 7 miles, and must have made the last mile on pure adrenaline. So anything over 8 would be icing on the cake. It’s a one-mile round trip from my home to the beginning of the dirt trail in Holloway Park, and each lap of the path I measured through Holloway and Jenkins Parks is 2.2 miles. If I could make 4 laps, it would give me 9.8 miles; 5 would make 12.0 miles. I hit the trail at 6:50 AM, managed to make the 4 laps, but didn’t have enough left for the 5th. (Note to self: 6 AM start would have been a little cooler). I thought I’d planned well enough for fuel and hydration, had 48 oz of carb/electrolyte drink before starting, and 48 oz more during the run, but I was down 4 ½ pounds when I weighed in after the 9.8 miles. (Note to self: double up on the liquids next time). Time was nothing to brag about: 2 hours 8 minutes, 13.0 pace, but the heat and humidity this time of year are so limiting, even in the early morning. My easiest runs are on weekdays when I go shorter distance in the dark at 5:30 AM, but even then, the humidity is oppressive. I drank lots of liquids all day and evening to rehydrate.

8/14/09 – If I’m going to get to the next level, It’s time to shake up my running routine; alternate some speed training, and work in some longer distance runs. For months, I’ve been running the same routine, 5K (3.1 miles) pre-dawn runs before work on weekday mornings, 10K (6.2 miles) on weekend mornings, and taking one recovery day on most weeks, usually bicycling or taking a brisk walk. Today, I tried to work on speed a little with a 4 x 400 meter interval routine:

1. About 200 meters– slow warm-up run.
2. 400 meter hard run #1.
3. Recovery #1-- 3 minutes brisk walk.
4. 400 meter hard run #2.
5. Recovery #2-- 2 minutes brisk walk.
6. 400 meter hard run #3.
7. Recovery #3 -- 1 minute brisk walk.
8. 400 meter hard run #4.
9. Half-mile cool-down run. 2 miles total.

Not too bad— with a shorter recovery each time, each successive speed run gets tougher. Two miles total, a little break from my normal three. Twenty minutes, same 10 minute/mile pace that my 5K runs have been (since the onset of the summer gulf-coast heat and humidity), even with 6 minutes of walking mixed in. Felt pretty good.