Saturday, 29 August 2009

12*800 & shoes again

1. Distance assigned: 800m*12

2. Pace assigned: gradual accelerations every 200m, total 5 min, including a 30 sec walk break at 400m. Pace actually run: see above (average temperature 76 degrees) - duration of rest periods between laps indicated. I walked rather than jogging.

3. Pace: I ran between the 100 & 900 m hashes, to eliminate the error I think I found in the markings last week - this appears to have eliminated the 4 second variation on the tops and bottoms of the laps.

4. Speed-work done: see above

5. Any aches/pains? No soreness in my knees at all today. Not even afterwards. My right foot is bugging me again: I ran with my shoes on today except for the last two laps. I took them off because my right foot started hurting again at 8 k and loosening the laces didn't relieve it. The "corner" or edge of the ball of my right foot started to hurt. This doesn't happen when I run barefoot on the beach. (I ran most of the 22k last week barefoot). After I took my shoes off, the pain stopped immediately. The foot dr I saw a couple weeks ago suggested the callous there comes from shoes that are too narrow. So I will go back to the shoe store - maybe I need a wider running shoe. running on the trail barefoot is not like running on the beach. (and maybe I need new dress shoes too....)

6. Questions? how do runners carry enough water? I ran with a camelbak last weekend and drank all my water, and bought more on the route, and still ran out. Today I ran with bottles in a belt and finished them too. :(

Tuesday's mid-week run was more difficult than usual - I felt like a flat tire and kept it to 30 minutes. I think I was still a little tired from Sunday's run/bike festival.

I sampled the intervals you suggested. Both 4:1 & 3:1 intervals felt very comfortable. I worked late Wed & Thursday and didn't get a second run in. Nutrition and sleep were off the last couple days (too little of each). I felt it today. The last two laps felt pretty difficult compared to the earlier ones. The first three didn't feel as quick as they turned out to be.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 22K - I'm looking forward to it!
Have a great week.


29 Aug 09 weekly update & living in the now

I'm changing my weigh & measure to Sat mornings before I run or do other crazy weekend stunts. My body retains a couple pounds of water to recover from these activities and it skews the curves, literally!I'm seeing 163 regularly on the morning scale these days, which is quite exciting. At the beginning of August, my weight hovered around 167. I'm down 1.5 lbs since last week.

Back in May I wanted to see a dramatic drop like I saw in April - 2lbs+ per week. I've relaxed my expectations on that front - changing my goal to adjusting composition not gross weight, and appreciating that slow changes are more likely to be permanent and that as I get closer to goal each pound represents a larger percent of change - meaning the last 10 are the hardest to burn. I don't even know if these are the last ten. During the last four months I got tired of thinking of myself as "not measuring up" to where I wanted to be.

Right now, I am appreciating where I am right now as being just right and that change will happen in response to right daily actions. These thoughts produce a different feeling - a focus on what's in my control right now, rather than depositing my focus on the future - outside my control and creating disappointment and disatisfaction with my body as-is. I mean, God forbid I got horribly sick in six months and never reached my "ideal body composition" because of a life-threatening turn of events - I would have completely missed out on the joy of my healthy body right now!

I read a memoir of this woman who struggled with anorexia - poignant and insightful writing. What stuck with me though was the awful futility of her struggle. The back cover of the book disclosed that she died of lung cancer in her mid-40s. If she knew her candle was so short, would she have been able to live differently? I don't mean to invite a debate on eating disorders - maybe anorexia is a brain chemistry disorder - but my take-away point is, live in the now. But track your progress! (is that totally inconsistent??)

So, charts - then I'm going to go out for a little 12k run.

Friday, 28 August 2009

What's on next year's training calendar?

Trouble is, once an idea gets in your mind, it's tough to let go of it. The ironman. If you had asked me in January whether I would be able to run 22k (barefoot) and then bike another 20k on the same afternoon, and joke about it....I wouldn't have been able to conceive of it. That's why I am running the Paris 16k. Because in March I was afraid of signing up for a half-marathon. By April, I had set the Amsterdam Half as a goal.

So, here's how I got bit by this current bug. I already started planning to return to my first love, tri-sports, and looking at what will be my race calendar next year - I want to run a full Marathon - and to run the marathon in Greece too - I looked at the distances for an Olympic Tri - and saw that they look like a cake walk now. This is a different feeling five years after I did my first sprint (I've done three, even winning my class once). "Olympic distance" tri's seemed too big five years ago. Even so, I had decided back then to do an Ironman - telling DH about my dream- he scoffed. I remember the moment, where we were, and how I felt about his disbelief. I think I bought my IronFit training book shortly after that conversation - the dream got parked as my work life bloomed.

Well, the other day I'm hunting up running podcasts and I found one by a woman training for her first I-M. She races this weekend. And my training book for ironman suddenly looks within my reach since I have already run some pretty cool distances.

So I am thinking - how much training can my body handle? 70.3 or the full banana? Can I commit? How much time and money will it take? The beginner's plan takes you though to a full IM - the "faster" plan includes a 70.3 as a warm up.

So, at the moment my head is swimming about this. I'll keep thinking about it while I look at dates, plans, coaching opportunities.

Today was another example of what happens when I work late day after day - no food shopping and planning means I run out of snacks in the late afternoon. I was hungry again, and that isn't good. Leads to foraging around the office. I will repent this weekend and stock up.

If I want to train hard, I need to eat more & always clean. I hate eating when I am busy writing. I like the adrenaline buzz and i don't like to stop.

Well, there's my day in a snapshot. Today I celebrated my fitness by outrunning a heavy rain band that began pelting me and Odie with water while we were out for a walk.

Monday, 24 August 2009

23 August 09 fun run in the sun

1. Distance assigned: 20.5 Distance ran: 22k It was effortless. And fabulous

2. Pace assigned: n/a Pace actually run: total time - 3:24.

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned - I picked up the pace a bit on the way back.

4. Speed-work done: n/a

5. Any aches/pains? nope. Feet and knees were fine during the run. My knees are mildly sore tonight.

I road 20k on my bike afterwards for fun.

6. Questions? nope. Am I running these pieces too slowly? I feel pretty pokey.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 12*800.

Feed back = go slow; don't speed up on the way back.

instructions for long runs

The simple concept with the long runs is to go slower. If you start slowly, use a 1-1 throughout, and don't pick up the pace coming back, you will recover faster and get all of the endurance of the long run. You cannot go too slow on the long one.
Don't pick up the pace on the return. This is OK in a race. But injuries in long distance running tend to come from just this type of behavior. It will not help your fitness to run faster in the second half of a long run--you will improve much more by doing the speed repetitions.

plan for week of 24 August 09

On one of my midweek runs (such as Tuesday), run from 30 to 60 minutes. It would help to run a 4-5K segment in the middle of these runs experimenting with 2-1 for a kilometer, and then 3-1. Try to run a pace of 5:45 to 6:00 per km.

On the other mid-week day, find a 1600 meter segment (1.6K) and time yourself. Run at a faster pace than other runs, but not all out.

This will give us a good chance to predict pace for your race.

Friday, 21 August 2009

looking forward to the race

I received some nice feedback from Jeff after Tuesday's 800 meter repeats: "Yes--you had an awesome workout. You are really improving."

I also asked about trying to increase the pace. He suggested sticking with a five minute pace. Over the next month, the repeats build to 14. That is daunting. Ten were tough. I am thinking I ought to get "serious" about my mid-week runs. Maybe I should just do them with pleasure. With Fall arriving, I want to start running in the mornings.

I feel dreadfully slow. But considering where I started this year, I have improved hugely. He suggested, "If you want to run 2-3 seconds faster during the middle 2-3 800s, go ahead. But stay smooth and keep your stride under control."

I want to start visualing the half marathon. I first need to convert miles to kilometers. 26.2 miles = 42.2 kilometers. So the half is, well half that: 21.1. Wow. I'm already there - I did 20k two weeks! Something about not knowing made that effortless and fun. I'll take the same approach for 20.5 this weekend.

Back to race planning. I asked what pace and walk breaks he has in mind. Jeff suggested, "I would like for you to try several different ratios on your short runs during the week: 2-1, 3-1, and even run 40 seconds/walk 20 seconds." I was still sore from the 10*800 Tuesday night that I rowed instead. I am thinking I will run on Sunday because my legs are still sore today (Friday).

So 20.5 this weekend. With walk-breaks. Now to map my run.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

getting faster!

I really nailed the 800m repeats today! Running the assigned distance while campting this past weekend in France just didn't work out. My family and I had a pretty busy time at the swimming hole -- the temperatures were well over 100 degrees during the day time. So on Sunday I ran for 40 minutes at 8:00 a.m. The temperature was already 85 degrees! I ran the weekend assignment tonight after work: 800m*10. I'm pleased with the results.

1. Distance assigned: 800m*10

2. Pace assigned: gradual accelerations every 200m, total 5 min, including a 30 sec walk break at 400m. Pace actually run: see below (average temperature 77 degrees) - I took a walk break of 2:30 between lap.

3. Pace: (blanks indicate a sweaty stop watch!) - Looking at the numbers, I am thinking I am starting/finishing at the wrong mark - the even & odd lap times for 100M & 800M are consistently off by the nearly same amount - about 4 seconds. I felt today they just seemed a little bit further than they should have been. Anyway - I'm consistent.

4. Speed-work done: see above!

5. Any aches/pains? Nope. I noticed my breathing was a little more difficult at the 8th & 9th segments. I focused on deep & slow, and the congestion went away.

6. Questions? I want to start visualising the half marathon in October. What pace & walk break ratio do you have in mind to recommend? How should I approach next weekend's distance piece?

I worked with a fellow who put together some pacing music - five minutes with an increasing beat every two hundred meters. I found the music really helped me a lot. After we work out the details, I'll ask him to send you a copy. Should I plan to try to increase my pace for the next repeats? There are two more assigned before Amsterdam. I think they'll be willing to help me create whatever pace specification I ask for.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: Aug 23--20.5K. I may decide to run in a park or along the route in Amsterdam itself - just to see what it's like to run somewhere besides the beach. Though the beach is quite nice!
I noticed I was having a little asthma or something at segments 8 & 9 - harder to breathe - Maybe it was the change in humidity. I started running in the evening at 8:20 or so (of course, with Marathon Dog Odie). At nightfall, the temperature quickly reached the dew point. That coincided with the hard work.

During a couple of the breaks between segments, I dipped Odie into a nearby pond. Even though it was green water, I thought he needed to cool down.
My fastest segment was #9. On the running path coming towards us were "devil dogs" off leash. (Small chiwawa types...) Odie rushed them a bit. I didn't want to get into a pulling match with Odie and blow my time. So I used reverse psychology. I dropped the leash (no traffic - no bikes - no danger if he dashed) and continued to run hard - he of course followed me to the finish line.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

picking up the pace and going longer.

I used pacing "house" music to help me run faster on the way back. I found it helpful, if a little mind-numbing.

1. Distance assigned: 19k Distance ran: 19.8k I had a wonderful time

2. Pace assigned: n/a Pace actually run: total time - 3:10 (includes five minutes walking at start and end from beach back to my house).

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned - I was late starting five walk breaks. not too shabby considering there were 90 of them.

4. Speed-work done: this was "out and back." I ran a faster pace on the way back and enjoyed it a lot. Here's the route:

5. Any aches/pains? nope.

6. Questions? Is there a particular pace I should target for these long runs? How about during my mid-weeks runs? I would like to run faster, generally speaking.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 10*800.

Friday, 7 August 2009

26 July 18k

Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2009 1:28 PM
Subject: ecouch report Christine D 26 July 09
1. Distance assigned: 17.5k Distance ran: 18.3k I had a wonderful time

2. Pace assigned: n/a Pace actually run: total time - 2:45.

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned -

4. Speed-work done: I picked up the pace a little on the way back. but mostly slow & steady.

5. Any aches/pains? The ball of my right foot started hurting about half way through. I took my shoes off and walked in cold water for a few minutes and ran barefoot. The pain stopped. I ran most of the second half of the run barefoot on the beach - my feet felt better.

6. Questions? No.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 9*800.

Have a great week.

9*800 repeats 1 August

1. Distance assigned: 9*800

2. Pace assigned: gradual accelerations every 200m, total 5 min, including a 30 sec walk break at 400m. Split times below show 200m. Pace actually run: see below (average temperature 78 degrees) -


1-800 05:03.1
2-800 05:09.1
3-800 04:57.7
4-800 05:16.0
5-800 05:00.8
6-800 05:28.4
7-800 05:07.0
8-800 05:27.1
9-800 05:38.4
200m lap

3. Walk break ratio assigned: above, plus 4 min rest between laps - I walked during the rest periods; Walk break ratio used: 2 min rest break; I skipped the 400m walk break for the first couple segments. Decided that wasn't a good idea. Added them back in but the "damage" was already done!

4. Speed-work done: sprints in mid week run

5. Any aches/pains? Nope.

6. Questions? No.

I started too quickly and tired at the end. I felt fatigued this morning after a 30k bike ride yesterday. I would have rested today, but I am driving to Paris tomorrow. I decided to run today anyway so I could use the measured bits. The 10k total including walk breaks was a personal best. Afterwards I jumped on my bike again and rode 40k with house guests to show them --the Dutch polders. Here's the route in case you're curious

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 19k. I may try to run the Paris Versaille route for fun while there next week.

Have a great week.