Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Out and Back... One More Time...

Another good run from the Big Rock. As the weather begins to change (warmer) I will enjoy these outings much more because there is a pretty major tree canopy right now that drops the temperature about 5 to 10 degrees and when it is 65 outside, the shadows bring in the mid-to-upper 50s. Until then...

Run Summary
Route: Out and Back from Big Rock
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Time: 45 Minutes
Pace: 7:45/Mile

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Out and Back... Again

The run yesterday helped a great deal with the level of stress that had been building up for a few weeks. Today, I wanted to take it back down a level and get in a good run for about 45 minutes. The goal on these runs is to have a faster second half than the first. I made it.

Run Summary
Route: 45 minutes out and back from Big Rock
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Time: 45 Minutes
Pace: 7:45/Mile

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday's Stress Relief in 4.14

Today was another quick run after work and it was a much needed retreat from the stresses the day had brought forth. I had a great run but tried to keep my pace slower than I wanted to run. I really felt like opening my stride and putting together some sub six or seven miles.

Route: Big Rock to Bench
Distance: 4.14
Time: 31:06

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Road Kill - Long Run

It is not every day you run by a Bike Cop staring down the barrel of his gun at a Raccoon. Today's long run was anything but normal. I came up on the masked varmint along with 2 cyclists. The bike cop pedaled up behind us and asked that we block off the trail from any other exercise enthusiasts. I kept running, not interested in sticking around for what was to come. 30 seconds later the cop put 3 bullets into the raccoon, ending the stand off, and returning the trail to it's rightful owners. Alpharetta cops seldom use their guns, so this was probably the highlight of that bike cops career.

The run, on the other hand, was great. I kept a very easy pace and thought that I was around 8 minutes per mile. I was gauging that pace on my effort level. I really was not working to hard to make this run happen. After I finished up and calculated the pace, it was closer to 7:37 per mile. I don't know how I couldn't tell the 23 second difference in the pace. I am just happy it felt so good!

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to YMCA
Distance: 8 Miles
Time: 1:01:03
Pace: 7:37/Mile

Supplements Taken Today
Endurox Accelerade (Pre-Run)
Endurox R4 Recovery Drink (Post-Run)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Training Day

Headed back out to my old faithful route from the big rock to the
bench. It is really a lot cooler than it sounds. Lots of hills, water,
trees, wild animals, and runners. Very cool.

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to bench
Distance: 4.14 Miles
Pace: 7:38/Mile

Sent via iPod Touch

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Run in the Woods

Today's run was great. After work I laced up the shoes and made a run for the Greenway. The weather had cleared up from the tornadoes last weekend so it was a nice change of pace to run without the head wind on Saturday.

This was a quick training run. My pace has slowed just a bit, maybe by 5 to 10 seconds per mile. It has been a conscious effort on my part to make that happen. I love to run hard and fast but the goal to raise my aerobic threshold means that I need to back off the pace and start putting more base miles in but enough about all that VO2 Max stuff.

While I was running, I got to thinking about pace and strides and distance and everything that running slower than normal will make you think about. I tried to put into perspective the fact that running 45 minutes and covering about 6 miles does not mean I am in great shape. There are a ton of people out there who run 45 minutes and cover less distance who are in far better shape than I am.

Thinking this way makes it difficult to keep your pace slow. You want to pick it up thinking that will get you into better "shape". Yes there is a place for high pace running, interval training, and sprint work. I love to do those things, but right now I am confident that the things I need are long slow miles to put more fuel in my tank.

I have a couple of running goals that include me running fast this summer and these base miles are what will build that foundation with which to construct the speed work on top of. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year and the challenges work, training, and life will bring.

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock 2.8 miles out and back
Duration: 45 Minutes
Pace: 7:50/mile

Supplements Taken Today
Post Workout Recovery

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Random Training = Random Results

The picture to the right is a line graph representing the training peaks and valleys that I have gone through so far this year. I am not a high mileage per week runner. I never have been. I want to be, but I just have not been able to keep things consistent enough to record high mileage months, month after month, for any given time.

I equate this random training to my interest in running hard. My training has been aggressive but not necessarily smart. Each year I probably average around 500 miles, which is low in comparison to what my goals are as a runner. I seem to be able to put together some good times at the races but my recovery time is probably twice as long as someone who would be properly conditioned.

Once again, I see the importance of putting together consistent runs each week. The training runs I have been logging have little to do with speed, and more with conditioning my body to deal with longer efforts out on the road. I am learning to take a more educated approach to my running now. I hope this will mean more miles, better racing, and more enjoyment out on the road.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Medium Long Run

I woke up this morning after have a little wine and cheese with dinner. My mind was cloudy and my body felt nothing short of sluggish. I have been on a red wine kick lately so having a couple of glasses is not an abnormal thing. Plus, I have been putting most of my efforts towards work this week so the wine was well received. The feeling the next morning... was not.

Knowing I was only going to put an hour on the run I decided to wait until the sun came up and I had a nice glass of Accelerade. I was able to put together a relatively enjoyable run of about 7.6 miles within that hour. I am happy to be getting back into some sort of routine and this Medium Long Run was just what I needed.

Run Summary
Distance: 7.6 Miles
Route: 30 Minutes out and back from Big Rock
Duration: 60 minutes
Pace: 7:50/mile

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rest Day: The voices in your muscles (and head)

I have wrapped up my first week of training another Technical Recruiter at work which means the past 5 days have been at least 12 hours long and my run training has suffered. Not a big deal. I am looking forward to a nice easy run tomorrow to get me back into form and will avoid the long run originally planned because I am a bit exhausted even though I have not laced up my run shoes for 4 days.

About 1 year ago I would have freaked out in this situation. However, I have learned to listen and respond to what my body is telling me. Sounds strange, I know, but if you pay attention to the way you feel (mentally and physically) the trends that are created can be a guide to let you know when to back off training or pick up the pace.

I have been through so many hardcore training weeks at work that I have been able to spot trends in when my run training begins to suffer. I can now take proactive measures to avoid total burn-out both at work and play and my run form and mental sanity are both better for it.

You don't need a coach or doctor to tell you when to take it easy. Instead, listen to what your body and mind are telling you and self medicate with what will make you feel best without being completely sedentary. That could mean an ice bath after a tough workout, or an easy treadmill workout in place of your hill training day. It is up to you to listen and learn how to respond to the voices in your muscles (and head).

However, if you've fallen and can't get up... dial 911 for assistance.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday: First Run Outdoors Since Time Change

Tonight was the first night in a long time that I have been able to run in the day light after work. I am very happy about that. I was tempted to run long, but knew that I didn't have that much daylight to contend with before the sun went all the way down and there was a total blackout on my run trail.

The run outside felt good. It was my first run outdoors since my 1/2 Marathon a week ago. I did feel a bit sluggish, but I think that was due to our weekend. I hope to run on the treadmill early tomorrow morning. Plans tomorrow night are going to prevent me from running (at least at a decent hour).

Run Summary
Route: Big Rock to Mile Marker 4 (and back)
Distance: 5.5 Miles
Time: 41.51 Minutes
AVG Pace: 7:45/Mile
Stretching: 10 Minutes

Supplements Taken Today:
Endurox-5 (10 Minutes After Run)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good run today on the treadmill. I have been running more an more indoors waiting for the weather to finally change from freezing to hot. The treadmill has been a good alternative and I am in the process of incorporating it into my regular training plan. After the time change (and weather change) I will be outdoors for 90% of my runs. The treadmill will take up the remainder.

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 7.74 Miles
Time: 60 minutes
Stretching: 10 Minutes

Supplements Taken Today:
Source of Life Protein Multi-vitamin Drink

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday: More Treadmilling

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Time: 45 minutes
Stretching: 10 Minutes

Supplements Taken Today:
Source of Life Protien Multi-vitamin Drink

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Race Day: Alpharetta 1/2 Marathon

Today's race was not a true race for me. I have not been putting in the miles I need to in order to be where I need to be during some of my Summer races so I figured adding a couple of 1/2 Marathons to my schedule would be a good idea to "jump start" my training.

It is very hard for me (and most runners) not to run hard when you have a pack of runners rubbing up against you and all you hear is their erratic, labored breathing. So, I tried to watch my HR monitor to keep the pace at a "base mile" speed, rather than redlining.

I had a good run but was forced to make a Pit Stop for about 2 minutes because of some stomach issues about midway into the run. Because this was a training run, I am trying not to let my race time define me as a runner. My pace, HR, and overall perceived exertion were in line with my goal to use this race as a training run, but it is difficult to convince myself it was the right thing to do.

In summary, not only was it a mind game to keep my pace slow, but I am now dealing with another mind game to keep a positive outlook on running slow (when I know I could go faster) when the fastest time in my age group was 4 minutes slower than my personal best. However, I am excited to be running so well right now. I only hope I can keep the consistancy I had this week throughout the coming months.

I think I might run this thing next year with a little different goal in mind! Here is how it all went down:

  Sunday run in the rain.