Sunday, August 26. 2012
This week was a self-imposed cut-back week for me. Between stresses at work, miserable runs and just generally feeling like crap, I was feeling totally burned out with running. I was looking at my schedule on Sunday night and had many thoughts of throwing in the towel. However, having signed up for a race makes things a little complicated, so in an act of self-preservation, I decided to do what I usually hate to do – make adjustments.
I’m usually really OCD about following my training programs. If you ask Josh, he’ll agree and somewhere in that conversation you’ll probably hear him say the word “insane”. Yeah, I guess I can be a bit rigid with my schedule. But, I had to do something or I was going to throw myself off the bridge, so I dropped my weekly runs down to three from four, and dropped my weekly miles by around 15% and did all my runs at an easy pace. I’m not sure if it completely worked, but I don’t feel like jumping off a bridge when I look at my schedule for next week.
Anyway, recap. Wednesday, 5 @ 11:00; Thursday, 5 @ 10:04 and Saturday, 6 @ 11:09. I had a little bit of quad cramping during the last few miles on Saturday, but I’m blaming that on heat and lack of fluids. Next week is the final big week before taper. I have three four-milers and a 12 (or maybe 14 depending on how I’m feeling) miler on the weekend for a total of 26 miles. Once next week is over, it's a downhill slide until the race.
We got a giant box of veggies from our CSA last week, so I’ve been busy making zucchini relish, zucchini bread, zucchini chips, and zucchini soup. Can you guess what we got most of? We also got swiss chard (surprisingly yummy), cucumbers (time for pickling), potatoes, sweet corn and various peppers. We also got turnips. I used to hate turnips when I was a kid. For Thanksgiving, my grandparents always served up a bowl of them them mashed. I can remember walking into their house (now mine), smelling the turnips and thinking “eew, gross”. So, when we got several in our CSA box, I figured that my adult tastes were far more refined and I’d find them completely yummy and I’d be able to tell the story to my folks and we’d have a good laugh. However, as soon as that smell started creeping out from the kitchen, it was like I was transported back in time and all I could think was “eew, gross!”. Suffice to say, that is one of the foods from my childhood that will stay there!
We had a great time at the Keweenaw Brewfest. This was the third year it was held, but due to being out of town, our first time attending.
There was a ton of people there, and we ended up hanging out with a group of work friends. It was fun comparing beers and chatting and, despite it being 1000 degrees outside, the beer was nice cold. The event was $25 and that got you a fancy glass (6 oz) and fifteen wooden chips, each one good for a sample pour. I don’t think there was one beer that I didn’t like, or maybe it’s more like I can’t remember. Toward the end, it all blurred together. Some of my favorites were the pumpkin ale from some brewery, the Black & Tan from Guinness, the margarita from some other brewery and (this I remember) the Newcastle Werewolf Red Ale.
I don’t know what either of these beers were, but I’m certain they were awesome.
Until next year, Brewfest!
This post wouldn’t be complete without some some gratuitous pictures of the cats.
Scout, who has decided that Josh’s Makita tool bag makes a great napping spot and who gets really crabby when I wake her up to take pictures.
And Pippen, lording over the world from atop the mattresses waiting to be hauled to the dump.
If he’s awake when you walk in the room, he will boop you on the head.
Sunday, February 19. 2012
My mileage jumped up into the teens this week. It’s been since summer that I’ve hit those miles, thanks to my ankle and foot issues.
Monday was a regular old 4-miler out to campus and back. The snow statues were looking pretty good after Winter Carnival weekend. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get any pictures, through. I got a new phone a month or so ago and it’s a lot bigger than my iPhone and just barely fits in my waist pack. Inserting & removing it is a real pain in the rear so unless I see something that really makes me want to spend five minutes wrestling it in & out, it’s staying in. I should probably just upgrade to a bigger pack.
Wednesday was hills. Ah, hills. I used to have a love-hate relationship with them and did everything I could to avoid doing them, but now I’ve decided that I’m okay with them. They make my legs stronger, they make my lungs stronger and they get me into shape fast. Oh, they still suck and they hurt and
I went back and visited my same old hill-loop that I was able to do once before my legs started giving me trouble last year. I was about 30 seconds/loop slower than I was last year, but last year I was about a month farther into training. Oh well, something to shoot for. I did the loop three times and then ran easy the bring my total to four for the day.
Saturday was my seven mile long run. I felt really good for the majority of the run, but I did run low on energy for the last two miles. I’m experimenting with new pre-run breakfasts since my usual 1/2 bagel thin & almond butter isn’t doing anything but making me feel like I have a brick in my stomach for the first three miles. I’m trying Irish oatmeal with fruit now, and it worked so much better, but I didn’t eat enough. Next time, I’ll definitely double my amount. Also, like a big dummy, I left my gel on the counter and didn’t realize it until I reached in my pocket for it. Oops. I think I’d have been okay if I’d had that with me and taken it on schedule. Oh, and I didn’t take water with me either. Sheesh, now that I think about it, I really hosed up my fluid/nutrition. No wonder I was feeling low on energy.
Finally, to recap for this week – Monday, 4 @ 10:48; Wednesday, 4 @ 10:50; Saturday, 7 @ 10:57. I little bit slower than I’d like, but lots of room for improvement. Next week is a cut-back week. I think my total mileage will be around 10. Easy peasy.
So, have you ever had a battery explode five feet from you? That’s what happened to me on Saturday. Josh had replaced the battery in his shaver and it was charging in the kitchen on the butcher’s block I have next to the oven. I was standing a short distance away preparing chicken for dinner. Pippen was at my feet
Monday, May 30. 2011
Running Chick in Dreadmill, Injury, Insanity, Travel
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Alternate titles I came up with for this post:
In other words, it’s the results of my UW Health Runner’s Clinic evaluation. The nitty gritty details can be found in the detailed (and pretty awesome) notes that Josh took while I was being bent, twisted, flexed and put through my paces on the most bizarre and potentially unsafe treadmill I’ve ever seen.
Long story short, there is nothing wrong with my foot strike. I am not a over-pronator as I’ve been told by the majority of the running store people and the podiatrist. Nor am I a supinator, as the last running store person told me. I’m completely normal. All the different shoes I’ve purchased over the years to correct this or that have actually done absolutely, positively nothing. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent trying to fix a problem that didn’t exist.
What I do have is a problem with overstriding and heel striking. Badly. I knew I was always a bit of a heel striker, the soles of my shoes easily proved that, but until I saw myself on the video, I never really knew how much. I should have asked for a copy of the video taken from the side because I could have posted that instead of wasting the last 20 minutes of my day scouring the intertubes for an appropriate image to demonstrate. This was the best I could come up with..
…heel strike, knee locked. So, basically, what’s happening is my heel is acting like a brake and all the impact force is traveling up my leg and manifesting itself in the smaller, weaker muscles. My quads, hamstrings and hips passed all the strength tests with flying colors and they’re absorbing some of the impact, but it’s those lower leg muscles that are sucking the majority of the impact. That’s an overly simplified explanation certainly, but the official analysis was pretty scientific. The PT drew force vector diagrams, talked about Newton’s Third Law and other physics-related stuff which caused Josh’s eyes to turn to hearts and mine to glaze over.
The good news is that if I change to more of a mid-foot strike, I should be able to get rid of my chronic shin pain. The bad news is that changing my stride is going to be hard, it’s going to take months and I have to start out on the treadmill so I can set a constant speed and focus on the strides. Currently, I’m running at a stride rate of 164 (foot to ground contacts per minute) and I have to bring it up to 174. I get to run three times per week – two runs must be on the treadmill at 174 and the last run I can do outside at any pace just to keep me sane. I’ll start out doing intervals for 3 minutes of strides and 2 minutes stride-free for a couple of weeks, then move to 4:1, then 5:1, etc. Josh used his geek skillz to make me a 45 minute long mp3 that has the proper intervals, so while everybody else is jamming out to Lady Gaga, Pink and whoever else the kids listen to nowadays, I’ll be listening 3 minutes of “tick-tick-tick-tick-tick” at a tempo of 174 and then 2 minute snippets of songs from the latest Lady Gaga album.
Tomorrow, I’m signing up for a gym membership and it’ll also be my first stride session. My only hope is that for the next month, it either rains or is super hot & humid on my running days so I’m not so miserable slogging away on the treadmill. Think that’ll happen? Doubtful!