Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Running for Clarity

Once again I took my run to the Treadmill. The past few weeks it has been hard to see through the fog that has been thickening due to an increase in activity on the work front. Seeking clarity through a bottle, or pill, or any other means has never been of interest to me. Instead, I like self medicate with a nice hard run.

Tonight, I got home and went up to the gym. It was empty and some basketball game was on. I turned up the volume on the TV so I couldn't hear the inconsistent hum of the treadmill. My run started out slow and picked up to a nice easy pace. Nothing too hard or fast, just a good rhythm that kept my heart rate at about 145 per minute.

Overall, my pace per mile was 7:45 and the HR monitor kept me from running a sub 6:00 mile. These are some of the most important times to make sure you don't let the outside stimuli set your pace. I could have easily turned it up a few notches but the risk of injury does not outweigh the short term enjoyment you get from running fast. Real fast.

I'll save it for the Freedom 5k.

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 4 Miles
Pace: 7:45/mile
AVG HR: 140bpm

Monday, January 28, 2008

Back in form on the Treadmill

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 4 Miles
Pace: 7:45/mile
AVG HR: 145bpm

I took my run to the treadmill today. I have been feeling a little tight in my left hamstring so I thought the treadmill would be a good place to get it warmed up without too much lateral movement that might pull it even more.

The run went well. I was able to keep my HR around 140 for about 30 minutes. The leg felt a little tight before and during the first 10 minutes of the run but felt much better after about 20 minutes at pace. After the run I took some time to lightly stretch for about 5 minutes.

Will keep stretching for the next couple of weeks to make sure nothing gets worse.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Run Plan: Reset

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to Old Milton Parkway
Distance: 4.14 Miles
Pace: 7:45/mile
AVG HR: 145bpm

The past two weeks have been tough. Most of my efforts have been put into work with little left over to add to my running. So, the run plan has suffered just a bit but today I finally pulled myself off the couch and laced up the shoes for a quick run. I kept my HR at 145 to see how my pace would be. 7:45 per mile. Might not have missed a step. Just going to take it easy for the first week back.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

7 Miles. A long run.

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to Old Milton Parkway
Distance: 7 Miles
Pace: 7:42/mile
AVG HR: 145bpm

Had a few more of those Guinness last night which kept me away from my run until about 11:30 in the morning. It was a good thing because the weather started out around 32 degrees and I was not ready for a cold run day.

By the time I got out on the route it was closer to 40 degrees and the sun had come up. The run felt good and with no water on the trail I kept my pace to a comfortable 7:40 - 7:50 per mile.

This run will wrap up my runs for the week. 24 miles total. It only goes up from here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

4 Miles before the Rain

Run SummaryRoute: Treadmill
Distance: 4 Miles
Pace: 7:45/mile
AVG HR: 145bpm

Another 4 miles indoors. A storm was rolling through Alabama and I knew that I needed to get my running in before it hit so I could make my way back home from the gym. The run felt good. I started out slow again and picked up the pace throughout. 4 runs in a row! Getting started on the right path. My plan is to pick a few races in Feb and March. Maybe two per month to get back in race form.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

5 Easy Mid-Week Miles

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 5 Miles
Pace: 7:44/Mile
AVG HR: 140 bpm

These miles came easy. I started out slow and ended up leveling out at about 7:44 per mile. Stretched for about 5-10 minutes after the run. Need to remember to do this more often.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

4 More on Tuesday

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 4 Miles
Pace: 7:44/Mile
AVG HR: 140 bpm

Recovering from last nights game. Head was swimming, but I kept my legs going through the 4 mile. HR was a little higher than yesterday. Will wear monitor again tomorrow.

Monday, January 7, 2008

4 Miles on a Monday

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 4 Miles
Pace: 7:44/Mile
AVG HR: 135 bpm

No comments today. Ran in the morning so I could watch the LSU game vs. OSU. LSU Won.

GEAUX Tigers.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rest Days are for Refueling

Today I made an effort to update my training calendar for the month. I also tried my best to finish off the lasagna Jordan made last week. Week old lasagna is not something I would recommend.

I had a HUGE serving and ended up on the couch for about 1 hour thinking I might see it again. After the thought of purging myself passed, I made a couple of turkey sandwiches to back up the lasagna. For dinner, another two cheese burger night along with a BLT Chicken Salad and a baked potato.

I am putting down the calories. No weight gain. Nice.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Long Run: Pace Running with an HRM

Today I did something a little different during my long run. Instead of putting on the footpod to track my pace, I decided to just use the Heart Rate Monitor to keep my rate at 145bpm to see if I could stay at 7:45/mile.

My average ended up being 144bpm and my pace was at 7:44/mile. The goal was met and it gave me a bit more insight to how to change up the way we train. I will take this formula 145bpm = 7:45/mile and see if I can sustain the same HR while lowering the minutes per mile. This would be a direct representation of becoming a more efficient, better fit athlete.

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to Old Milton Parkway
Distance: 7 Miles
Pace: 7:44/Mile
AVG HR: 144 bpm
MAX HR: 155 bpm

Friday, January 4, 2008

Rest Day: Guinness Pints

Guinness and other libations have been welcome companions on many of my rest days. Today after work I decided to have a couple of the Guinness that I have come to enjoy with my Irish friends back in Houston. It was a great way to finish up 3 solid runs this week and to prepare for tomorrow's 7.

I held back from throwing too many of them down because I had an early 7 miles I wanted to get in. So, after a couple I grabbed some food to go (2 Cheese Burgers, Baked Potato, Side Cesar). I am looking forward to that run.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Heart Rate Training Indoors

Some runs give more insight than others to everyday things like work, training, and relationships. Today it was of the Training variety. I have used a Heart Rate Monitor during most if not all of my runs for about the past 2 years. I don't always look at the results, but I do occasionally check the bpm during some of the harder efforts as well as the easy efforts of my every day runs.

I have a 4 mile run that I enjoy at about 145 beats per minute. This is well under my threshold but gives me a good foundation workout. Today, I had no idea how fast or hard I was running because the display on my treadmill was junk. So, I turned to the only thing I knew... my heart rate.

I picked up the speed by pushing the + button on the treadmill until I was able to sustain 145 bpm. If I went over, I pressed the - button. Under, and I pressed the + button. You get it. It's not complicated.

So, instead of ditching my run workout because my treadmill sucked, I turned it into an overall great workout that used my historical experience on the road.

This is one reason why consistency in your running is important. Perceived exertion, and the more technical HRM devices can give evidence to trends that you can use "down the road." Set your plan and remain diligent to your plan, and a health trend will follow.

Run Summary
Distance: 4 Miles
Time: 31:00
Route: Treadmill

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Treadmill Etiquette

It is that time of year again when the weather reaches 20 or below and the wind seems to cut through the three layers of moister wicking fabric you've forced on your body. It is at times like these that I lace up the shoes and head for the treadmill at the gym. However, I do so with trepidation because it seems like people leave their common sense at the door and end up making some pretty poor choices when the treadmill is involved.

Here are 5 things I've recently been exposed to. This is certainly not a comprehensive list of the madness that has graced the walls of the many gyms I've been through. If you are reading this and you have been known to do one or more of these things, please take a moment to use your brain.

Things to avoid while using a Treadmill

1) Spending 1 hour on the treadmill and then heading to the weight bench to start your workout.
No one wants to be exposed to your back, chest, or butt sweat. Change clothes, then come back out and lift with the rest of us.

2) Using a cell phone while on the treadmill.
There are few things to concentrate on when running in place. We do not need to be drawn into your conversation about how your best friend stole your boyfriend.

3) Singing out loud with your iPod.
Again, fellow runners on the treadmills around you are trying to get through their workouts. We do not need to hear you singing your favorite Britney Spears ballad. Oh, and don't wave your hands in the air... very bad.

4) Running on the treadmill that makes the spine tingling screech noise.
Yes, not every treadmill is created alike and at times you will pick the machine that knocks, squeaks, or rattles. However, if you get the treadmill that makes the constant high pitch screech... turn the machine off, apologize to your fellow runners, and wait patiently for another machine. Oh, and tell the next guy that the machine sucks so he doesn't fall into the same trap.

5) Keep your eyes to yourself.
This is probably one of the toughest things to keep yourself from doing but trust me, it will help everyone out. Don't start keeping track of what your neighbor is doing, this will only lead to ill conceived competition, or even worse, injury. Once you start silently competing with the runner next to you, the pace and or incline begin to increase and the next thing you know... one of you is on the floor and the other is straddling the treadmill belt at 12 mph.

Happy Miles,

Today's Run Summary
Distance: 5 Miles
Pace: 7:45 per mile
Route: Treadmill

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

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Resolution: Winning Isn't Everything

Winning isn't everything, but don't tell that to a runner. Winning for us (runners) is a way of life. It is simply a lifestyle that we are committed to living through preparation, execution, and recovery. This commitment to success is often translated into our every day lives which takes winning to another level.

Winning IS everything when you take the time to apply the term to the big AND little things you do each day. Coming off an injury and getting off the couch to train? That's a win. Quitting smoking? A HUGE win. Taking 1st place at the Boston Marathon? Nothing short of an amazing win.

However, if you don't happen to have the insane speed of Robert Cheruiyot or Lidiya Grigoryeva, don't worry, winning is still in you. Remember, you're a runner and every time you lace up and hit the road for a quick run, you've won. Any time you step up to a challenge in your every day life using the confidence you've gained from that time you suffered through a 4 hour run up hill in the heat, you have won.

So, as we line up on the starting line of 2008 and you start feeling sorry for yourself because you have flat feet, short legs, too much weight, or any other excuse you can think up to justify not running, don't forget one important fact. No matter what pace you keep... you're a runner. Be a winner.

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to Bench
Distance: 4.14 Miles
Pace: 7:38/mile

Morning Run

Got out this morning, again, for a morning run through the hills. They are not as daunting as they were when we first moved to the hill cou...