Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Quick one, this time.

A little late on last week’s post…my fault.

Little early with this week’s post … not necessarily my fault.

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Apparently, it’s about to go down.

 

Good news first

Having a blast running. I mean, not just getting fitter and stronger, but really enjoying it. To the point where I can’t get wait to get outside everyday. Two-a-days no problem. I say this to say, when you find something you like, you gotta stick with it. Because passion’s hard to come across. At least for me. Not gonna preach more than that.

 

Waiting game

Two hurricanes (Iselle and Julio) are moving west towards the islands. Hoping that nothing comes of it. No one needs that kind of drama. At minimum we should get a lot of wind and rain. That said, best to prepare, right? Flashlights. Water. Food. First Aid. Check….No running. Check-minus. I see a lot of fitness memes out there lately about squats (“He squats”, “She squats”). About to become my go-to exercise.

 

Still Positive

Tough to plan the rest of the summer going forward, but I feel confident that I’m in sub-20 5K shape. Confidence and speed comes with the speedwork sessions during the week. Going to get inside today and wait these out.

 

Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 48 miles in a week in late July-August. [This would have been the 48-mile week. Not going to happen. Oh well.].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Biggest success of the season, so far. Lots of runs, little pain.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down a couple pounds from the beginning of the season. Not bad. Will probably be down a bit over the weekend.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Good success here as well. Put in 3 miles at about 6:30 pace on Wednesday afternoon ]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [One race. Next Saturday. Maybe.]

 

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Survival.

Change of Plans…Again

Sometimes plans go out the window. And when you want to keep a thing going, you just do it. Prior to Week 7, I was working with a high(er)-mileage, lower intensity plan designed to build endurance. Generally speaking, the time commitment was about 9-10 hours a week. I’ve since changed the plan – a familiar occurrence over the past 3 years – and benefitted greatly.

After starting work in Hawaii, I decided that I didn’t want to put 9-10 hours into running. For a while, in fact, I was walking back and forth to work, which took about an hour and a half every day. The walks didn’t mesh well with running. For a couple weeks, I didn’t run at all, just trying to get my bearing in a new state, and work out the more important details (food, apartment, money). In all, for 3 weeks, I didn’t run. I played basketball a couple of nights a week though, and that may have been enough to save me from falling out of shape altogether.

 

Details

Around Week 10, the first of the month or so, I decided to start running again. I tried at first to start over with the low heart rate runs that I was doing before, but my pace had dropped from around 8:30 to 10:00. Enough of that. On Saturday of Week 10, I sped up. A lot. All runs would be at 83-88% heart rate or what Greg McMillan refers to as the steady state pace. I still run mornings and nights, but either 3 or 2 miles depending on the day. I included a weekly speed session on Wednesday mornings of either 3-mile tempo, 3×1600 or 6x800m length. On Saturdays, I planned to do a long run of 10-12 miles depending on the week.

Basically, I switched to the same plan that netted me a 17:44 5k in 2011, except that I’m running a lot more frequently upwards to 48 miles instead of 21. I’m not lifting weights now, though I’ve committed to pushups, sit-ups and squats after (mostly) every run. And the long runs are a little bit longer 10-12 miles instead of 9. I still take every fourth week off from any speedwork and shorten the long run.

 

So Far…So Good

Results have been nice since the switch. I dropped 10 pounds initially, through running, basketball and so silly dietary habits, but have since put back on about 5 of those pounds. My morning heart rate has been the most pleasant surprise, moving from 54 bpm at the start of Week 10 to 43 bpm, in the middle of this week. The pace for the 3-mile runs at 83-88% heart rate also moved down from 8:30 to 6:49.

All said, not a bad go in the last 3 weeks. Really trying to build off the lessons from previous running plans. Last summer, I consistently ran fast 3 miles runs in the morning, but did not include any long runs for endurance, run frequently enough to keep my weight down for speed, oh, and didn’t include any speedwork at race pace or below. I’ve tried to correct those mistakes now to become more complete runner. So far so good, with a month to go in the training regimen.

The weather is predictably nice for running, that is, I can always run. But the temps are consistently around 80 degrees with a similar figure for percent humidity. I have to remember when I’m comparing my progress to previous years, that I’ve never consistently pushed this hard in this sort of heat and humidity. Just hoping to keep the train going. Speaking of which, I’ll probably switch to daily updates again as well. Blogging helps keep me motivated.

 

Last Week:

Sun: 2 miles (morning) / 2 miles (night)

Mon: 3/2

Tue: 2/basketball

Wed: 3/2

Thu: 2/basketball (double-header)

Fri: 3/2

Sat: 9

 

Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [Alright. Not going to happen. Looking for 48 miles in the middle of August but faster than originally planned].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Still good, though I am battling a cold this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down 5 pounds when I originally set this goal. Been as low as 10 pounds down. Really need to decide what to do here. Felt pretty weak when I dropped lower.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Yeah. The pace has improved…because I’m running at 83-88% and not 75% heart rate. That said, I still want to improve. So…that means faster than 6:50 pace on three-milers and faster than 7:30 on the weekend long runs.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [Alright. I give up. There will only be one race. August 16.  For all the marbles. Now to pick it and stick with it.]

 

Stay motivated!

Out.

 

Workout: 13 miles @ 7:31 pace.  Weather: 43 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Done…for the week.

“So It’s Like That, Huh, Weather?”

43 degrees. All I asked was that I not have to run in 80-degree weather in October. There were a wide range of suitable temperatures below 80 degrees. 70. 65. 58. Nature…Texas decided to take it to the extreme. 43 degrees outside. And out came the winter gear. Running pants/tigths. Long sleeve tops. Gloves. Hat. Stuff I haven’t worn in six months. I suppose I should be grateful. But I find it amazing that there won’t be a true fall here. Just straight up cold weather. Brrr…

“It’s All Mental”

I had full confidence that today’s 13-mile long run would be completed…before today. As soon as I woke up to the cold, things changed. Now, I’m wondering how my form will change in more restrictive clothing. If I can keep up the speed in the cold. How about that breathing…sucks taking in cold air now, don’t it? And surely enough, the first 4 miles of today’s run reflected this sudden lack of confidence. I stopped “running tall” and starting straining a little bit. Striding out. Really laboring to stay on pace. Flailing like a kid in a swimming pool.

The turning point came with 9 miles to go. This point was important because 9 miles was my standard easy run this week. It’s a distance I’m familiar with. I knew that no matter what happened earlier, that I could complete a 9-mile run. Go back to basics. Run tall. Breathe. Stay on pace. It’s all mental. Physically, this run is not a problem. We’ve prepared for this. And just like that, 9 miles came and went. 7:29 pace overall

Record Week

That 54 miles for the week! Personal best. It took all 13 miles to get there too. Previous best was 53. Alrighty. Not going to lie. That took a lot of effort. Today and the whole week. It’s hard to convince yourself when you’re training for a 3-mile race that you need to put in the distance to build your aerobic system. But it’s working. The long stuff is making the short stuff easier.

Also, got a surprise this week with the personal best speedwork session. Two more personal best goals to go. The long run in week 13. And of course, the 5K in Week 16.

Blogging

Really happy to be able to interact with other runners on these blogs. The idea to start longer running came from another blogger. And part of being able to get through those early miles today was wanting to tell a winning story. Thanks for the motivation. Thanks for reading. Keep grinding.

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Workout: 12 miles @ 7:37 pace.  Weather: 75 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: Back on track.

Today’s run was sponsored by sugar…lots of it. Kool-Aid. Sprite. Quesadillas. Chips. Brownies. All on the menu yesterday. Really struggled on Thursday with the speedwork, despite having completed a near-identical workout the week before. I wanted to make sure that nutrition wasn’t the factor today. Began the run a little tentative but on pace. I didn’t want to run out of gas. Had a rough moment around mile 4 when I wanted to quit the run. Not sure what happened, but I figured I must have started holding my breath for a couple of seconds during the run. Focused on breathing and found the rhythm.

Really turned to be a great run for most of the way. Weather is still a little warm out there for October, but otherwise, a pleasant experience. Wasn’t using a lot of willpower out there. Probably could have dropped a few sub-7:00 miles towards the end. It’s important to remember the purpose of runs though. Speedwork is for speed-endurance. And long runs are for endurance-endurance. Keep cool. Ended up finishing at 7:33 pace over the 12 miles.

This run meant a lot to me. It’s hard after a bad run to get up with the same kind of enthusiasm. Today was on-point. Overall, the week went pretty well. Lost a chance at getting over 50 miles for the week when I quit the speedwork, but I’ll try to get past 50 again in two weeks. Next week is a down week, so reduced mileage on all the workouts. More importantly, looks like a cold front hit in the middle of the day here, and the morning lows are supposed to be in the 50s and 60s for the next few days. Hope it’s a trend that stays. Looking forward to easier runs in the cooler temperatures.

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Workout: 3 miles @ 6:50 pace; core work. Weather: 63 degrees, cloudy, wet.

Recap: More of the same kind of run but enjoyable. Would have preferred sunshine on a Saturday morning, but you take what you can get. At least, it wasn’t raining.

Lately, during runs, I’ve been imagining being on a relay team, and just doing my part to help the team win (as if 6:50 miles are going to do the job). Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the time alone to think and try to accomplish some personal goals out on the road every day. But, at some point I think you want to be a part of something collaborative. I love the way , for instance, that basketball players chest bump and celebrate after someone hits a big shot or draws a foul (“And 1”). It’s so serious out there in the NBA Playoffs, and then again, it’s not, right? Just a game. But a fun game. Fun to take seriously. And then let go.

In any case, I’d look forward to some sort of relay situation at some point. I think Austin has a relay in August or September. Just have to find a team. Right now, the goal is to get in shape – to be useful.

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