Saturday, February 25, 2012

A couple pics from my run

My run today was amazing just like last week. I drove out to the university for a run in the woods.  I was out there for two hours again and didn't see another soul.  Perfect. Anyway here are a couple pictures.  I notice new things just about every time.

Replica log cabin by one entrance

Had the woods all to myself

Fallen giant

my view after tripping on a root
Tripped on a root and ended up looking up at the sky.  Of course as a good blogger, I had to pull out my camera :-).  If I wouldn't have fallen, I wouldn't have noticed that beautiful blue sky.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yasso 800's

One of my goals is to PR my half mary in October by 10 minutes which would be under 1:45.  I read this article about Yasso 800's and decided to give it a go since I have no coach or background in this area..  So doing a little figuring, I came up with a goal pace for my 10x800's of 7:20/mile (or 3:40/800).  I decided I would make Tuesday morning, track morning or OOP morning (oval of pain).  I decided to start with three 800's and add one a week, taking some weeks off and even back tracking if needed.  The first week, I couldn't even run fast enough to hit 3:40.  Not sure if it was a cardio issue, leg turn over issue, or both, but since my half mary isn't until October, I wasn't too worried about it.  Each week, I added one for 5 weeks and my speed increased nicely.

Week 1: 3:50, 3:55, 3:53
Week 2: 3:44, 3:45, 3:45, 3:45
Week 3: 3:39, 3:45, 3:43, 3:44, 3:38 - yeah for sub 7:20!
Week 4: 3:40, 3:40, 3:40, 3:40, 3:40, 3:40 - treadmill makes it easy, keep up or fly off
Week 5: 3:41, 3:40, 3:40, 3:40, 3:44, 3:42, 3:40

The last set wasn't as consistent as they look.  The first 400 on most of them was 1:52 or 1:53 so I had to pull a 1:47 or 1:48 on the second 400. I don't have a Garmin, just a stopwatch.

I log my workouts at BT and they automatically get tweeted.  A really cool social media thing happened after the week 5 tweet.  One of my twitter friends replied and included the author of the article in the tweet.  (I blanked out her name in case she doesn't want it blogged).  Bart Yasso responded with his advice on my half PR quest!  Here is the exciting tweet stream :-)

So according to Bart, I need to step it up another notch for the half.  I'm not sure if I'll switch to 400's, stick with 800's or mix them both in.  I see the benefit in both and I have plenty of time before my PR attempt.  That said, the combination of my increased running load, plus the extreme fitness class at the Y, plus trainer rides have left me a little battered.  Luckily I got a travel stick from my secret Santa and I have an office with a door so I can roll my sore to the touch left calf and twingy right hammie a couple times a day.  I'm keeping up, but just barely.  I'm on the verge of injury.  As I type this, I'm wearing this for my shoulders.  Even with its faults, I can surf, tweet and blog with ice sitting on my shoulders.  Think the guys at work would mind if I made a dress shirt version? :-)  Speaking of the guys at work, I have a couple guys I hang around with outside of work and when I shared the fact that I was going to close my door and rub a stick across my legs and butt they busted out laughing wishing they could record that comment :-).

6:20 am after my workout, it was dark when I started

I'm so lucky to have this track 3/4 of a mile from my house.  Perfect warm up/cool down distance for me.  With no snow this winter, I've been able to run this whenever I want and have had the track to myself every time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Big Woods - Winter Edition (no snow)

This weekend I decided to drive to one of the woods I run in on campus.  I usually run there from home then run back, but thought running the entire time in the woods would be that much better (instead of 3.5 miles on the road).  I was not disappointed and may make a habit out of this approach.

I don't know why these woods have the nick name "big woods", to me they are the "old woods" since this is where I use to mountain off-road bike 15 years ago before they were closed by the university.  These woods have lots of fond biking memories, now I'm filing away fond running memories.

Saturday I made it to the woods for a run.  I planned on running an hour and a half, but I just didn't want it to end.  I never saw one other person out there.  Just me and my tunes.  It was so peaceful and I never once got nervous about mountain lions :-).  Not sure why I start thinking I'm being watched when running alone through woods, but it didn't happen this time (maybe no one was watching me, but they really are at other times :-)).

Anyway here are some pics.

Pretty barren in February

nice single track

went over the handle bars coming down this
10+ years ago I was biking by myself and coming down this I ended up looking at the sky without knowing exactly what happened.  No phone, by myself, I was stunned.  I really don't know how long I laid there.  Could have been a second, could have been 10 minutes.  Felt my collar bones and helmet, no trouble so I kept going.  That was the last time I rode down that though :-).

interesting obstacles

can't remember what I saw here

You have to pay attention in some places, specially on a bike

another drop off, it seems tighter in person

sorry, no stupid crooked grin pictures of me today :-)

more obstacles 

The woods change so much from season to season, I'm hoping to take a few pics each season and blog them. I've had this thought before, but then again, I wasn't a blogger before.  We'll see.......

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Swimmer's Shoulder Shirt

Here is my foray into the fashion design/physical therapy arena :-).  As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm prone to swimmer's shoulder.  In fact it sidelined me from doing an Olympic distance tri in my first season.  Since then, I do the minimum amount of swimming possible to complete the swim portion of my triathlons with ease.  I would love to swim more because I'm pretty slow, but when I swim more, my shoulders start to ache.

Enter the swimmer's shoulder shirt.  While sitting on the couch, not wanting to hold a bag of frozen corn on each shoulder, I came up with the idea to take an old t-shirt and sew pockets over the shoulder area to hold heat packs and bags of ice.  The thought being then I can sit on the couch in the evening and have both hands free to catch up on blogs and twitter.  So I grabbed a couple old t-shirts, put one on and held a ziplock bag on each shoulder and drew an outline of where I wanted the pockets.  I should have measured because as you will see, the pockets aren't symmetrical :-).

After my workout Tuesday night, I decided to try it out.  I now present the swimmer shoulder shirt :-).

The plan was to alternate between heat and cold, ending on cold.

Crooked grin :-) Never noticed the paint on the door trim.

Laughing at how ridiculous this is :-)

The result?  Partial success.  I was indeed able to watch TV, blog, twitter, etc while my shoulders got some heating and cooling.  The shirt was too loose so the heat wasn't as hot as it could have been.  I had to press on the pockets to really get my shoulders to warm up.  Same with the cooling.  The shirt was kind of baggy so the weight of the ice makes the pockets drop forward.  I need to find a tight fitting shirt and repeat, maybe an old compression top.

So much for my debut.  Hopefully you got a chuckle out of this if nothing else.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bad Race Pictures

After reading Adam's post and  Marjorie's post on the subject I was reminded of the pics from my last half marathon (the one where I met SuperKate).  Kind of funny how I met Kate.  I was giving a friend a ride to this race and when I picked him up in the morning, he asked if I minded giving someone else a ride.  Of course I didn't mind.  Anyway, on to the funny pictures.  These pictures are a double bonus, not only do you get to see lots of swinging junk (not my junk), you get to see me getting chicked :-).

I'm not a cold weather person and this race was like 40 degrees.  I wore a throw away sweat shirt at the start and throw away gloves.  I was so cold, I thought I might want to put the gloves back on later in the race.  I can't remember if I did or not but I shoved them in my pockets just in case.  I've had some IT band issues while becoming an endurance race athlete participant, so I had my IT band strap in one of my pockets too.  with the pre-cursor, on to the show.

I think I was ahead of her here near the finish line.

I was hurting

What's going on with those shorts?

Why do I do this to myself?

Looks like I stole socks from Walmart and I'm running from the cops :-)

Heel striker

Am I done yet?

Is that a goiter on my hip?

I always raise my arms when I finish.  I have no idea why.  It's not like I won :-)

Proof I was chicked at the end of this race (happens all the time)
That reminds me, about half way through the race, I was chicked grandma'd by a 60+ year old lady that was running so smoothly she looked like she was skating or flying.  Smooth, fluid, efficient, and it appeared effortless.  Rock on grand ma!  After the race I was freezing and also immediately started shaking while waiting in line for what seemed like forever to get our bags.  That race is my current half mary PR of 1:55:11.  I'm going for 1:45 this fall at RnR St. Louis, barring injury or some life changing event.  The last mile of the tempo run I did this morning was at my half mary goal race pace.  Running 13.1 of them at that pace seems daunting at this point, but the race is in October.  Good motivation to become a morning person :-).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Recap

I have to start by saying I'm glad January is over.  Besides a couple birthdays for family and friends, there isn't much else I like about January.  With the holidays over and my next vacation day not until April, there isn't much to look forward to. With the days short and cold, it takes mental toughness to get workouts in. I usually get in a funk in January and this month was no different.  I'm good now that January is over :-).  One good thing this January was the weather.  It was the mildest January I can remember which led to no runs needing to be done on the treadmill!

On the training front, I was dreading looking at this January compared to last January since last year I was three months out from my first 70.3 and ramping up.  This January I'm six months out from my 70.3 A race and just working on base.  I ran the graph today and was ecstatic to see this.

I averaged 60 minutes of exercise a day this January compared to 64 min/day last January.  The two big differences are the addition of strength training and a large reduction on the bike.  I'll be ramping the bike up over the next several months so I'm not to concerned about that.  I am concerned about the low swim volume and that my shoulders are already starting to feel the beginnings of swimmers shoulder like I had two years ago.  I do have a plan though.  I'm going to ask my SIL to sew me a special shirt with a pocket over each shoulder so I can put zip lock bags with ice in them at night and alternate the ice with those instant chemical hand warmers.  I've been reading about how people cured their bursitis and this method makes some sense.  The cold helps push fluid out of the joint, and heat helps push it in so you kind of pump fluid in and out of the joint to aid recovery.  Just end on cold.  Anyway, I'll have to post a picture of my new invention when it's done.

I'm looking forward to ramping up the bike volume, even though most if not all of it will be on the trainer.