February 27, 2006

Still need the light day on Mondays

I ran my 4 mile light day this morning. I was a bit tired, indicating I haven't fully recovered from the long run on Saturday, but I felt a bit better than Monday a week ago. My wakeup HR was 50. The temperature was in the high 40s with a warm 5-7 mph wind. It was warm enough that I decided it may be time to switch to a summer, short sleeved T shirt. I had my heaver, long sleeved T shirt on this morning, without a wind jacket. The only walking break I took was at the 2-mile turn around point. The canal road was dry, and it was nice to be on the road again. City streets are nice as a backup, but I don't care for the auto traffic and resulting air pollution.

I'm in week 9 of my marathon plan, and this week is a rest week. I'll be in Arizona over the weekend visiting my son, and I will thus miss the long run. Because of that I didn't reduce the mileage today and won't reduce it on Wednesday. My son, an ex military person, takes "road marches" on Saturdays, so my wife and I will probably get 5 or so miles walking with him. That will be in lieu of the 8 mile long run called for by my plan.

Training Graphs

February 25, 2006

Revised Marathon Training Plan to Reduce Stress

As a way to reduce stress, I decided to have fall-back weeks occur more often. The fall-back weeks now occur after three weeks of increases instead of four weeks of increases. Because of this, the training plan now requires 17 weeks for a half-marathon and 25 weeks for a full marathon. Two weeks longer but significantly less stress.


10 miles today, 5 to go!

My wakeup HR was 51, and I had a beautiful morning for my 10 mile long run. The temperature was about 43 (F) when I left and 55 (F) when I returned. I wore my running shorts for the first time in several weeks. I saw a man raking his lawn and his wife pruning her rose bushes. Spring is on its way! The snow was gone from the canal road, but the road was muddy during the first part of my run. The rest of the road had small pea gravel, and it was ok to use. On the way back, I took a side street to bypass that mud. When I left there was a 10 mph head wind, but on the way back, the wind had decreased to about 5 mph.

I could tell when I left that I was a bit tired. I had an ok run but not a great run. The nine walking breaks I took helped a lot, and I felt ok during the run and afterwards.

Training Graphs

February 22, 2006

Walking Breaks are Great!

I ran my 8 mile medium run this morning and took one-minute walking breaks every mile. I felt fine, and my comfortable pace was a bit faster. The canal road still had a lot of snow, and I ran the long city street again. My wakeup HR was 50. The temperature was in the low 30s when I left and in the low 40s when I returned.

Training Graphs

February 20, 2006

A bit tired during my 4-mile rest run

I completed my 4-mile rest run, but felt a bit tired. My wakeup HR was 50 again, indicating my body handled the long run on Saturday ok. The canal road had 3-4 inches of snow but I ran the road anyway. After 1/2 mile, I could tell it was more work than I wanted, so I walked 1/4 mile to the next intersection and then ran on a sidewalk. My feelings of tiredness could have been from not being fully recovered from Saturday, or it could have been from running in the snow. I'll never know, but it was just a small feeling, and I completed the run ok and feel fine now. I didn't take any walking breaks on the 2 miles out but did take some on the way back.

The temperature was 33 (F) when I left and in the low 40s (F) when I returned. We'll have several days of sun, and the snow on the canal road will soon be gone.

Training Graphs

February 18, 2006

9 mile long run was great!

I'll be leaving for my 9 mile run as soon as I do my stretches. My wakeup PR was 52 on Thursday, 50 on Friday, and 50 today. I feel great and am looking forward to a great run. The sky is cloudy (snow flurries this evening), and the temperature is 17 (F).

I'm back, and I had a great run. I like the walking breaks. They reduce the stress and do invigorate me. I saw several other runners out braving the freezing cold. While I was on the way back, the sun started peeping through the clouds. The temperature when I returned was 27 (F). If all goes well this week, I'll do 10 next Saturday.

Training Graphs

February 15, 2006

A great 8 mile medium run

Yesterday my wakeup HR was 50 and this morning it was 49. I felt fine before, during, and after my 8 mile run. I'm taking one-minute walking breaks every mile of my medium and long runs to see what it is like to use them. I like them! They reduce the stress on my body and invigorate me for the next mile. I think I'll keep them while I'm advancing my long run up to 15 miles and then slowly phase them out, first with the medium run and then finally with the long run. Under normal conditions I don't need them on my short rest runs.

Most of my run today was in a light snow storm. The temperature was in the high 20s (F), with no wind. There was about 1/2 inch of snow on the ground. I wore my normal three layers (a regular T-shirt, a heavy long sleeved T-shirt, and a nylon wind breaker).

Training Graphs

February 13, 2006

7 weeks to a new PB!

Today I'm starting week 7 of my marathon plan, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday only. I ran an easy 4 miles with a couple of walking breaks. It wasn't a great run but was ok; I could tell my body isn't fully recovered from Friday and Saturday of last week, but it did feel good to get out and run. The temperature was in the mid 30s (F) with a slight breeze and sunny. A beautiful spring day. My wakeup HR was 49, and I slept fine last night.

My wife and I have been watching the Olympics, and I feel like I'm an Olympic runner in my own, slow Olympics. I'll never be anything but a local, plodder, but it's nice to do what I can. One thing I've always liked about running is that I'm only competing against myself. I'll never set new personal bests because I'll never run as fast as I did when I was running marathons in the early 80s. But, I can set PBs for each category of 5 years that I live through. Races have age categories, so I thought that I'd have them too. I just turned 70 last October, and my PB for a long-run for age 70-74 is 12 miles, set in November, 2005. I should beat that in seven weeks, including this week. I would beat it in five weeks, but my marathon plan has week 11 as a fall-back week followed by a recovery week. Thus, week 13 of my plan will end with my new PB for a long-run: 13 miles. Two weeks after that I'll do 15 and will then level off for a year. During that time I'll have to switch to PBs in weekly mileage, I guess. :)

Training Graphs

February 12, 2006

Yesterday I overused my feet

I woke up last night three times to get a drink of water (I need a lot of water and drink 24/7 so to speak), and my feet were stiff and sore. I couldn't walk for a couple of minutes but just sat on my bed and wiggled my toes. This stiffness and pain in my feet was the original reason why I started running many years ago. I did a lot of walking in childhood up through college, but when I graduated, I bought a car and didn't walk much anymore. My feet muscles weakened and started to hurt when I did yard work. A doctor told me to do anything I wanted that would strengthen the muscles in my feet. So, I started running.

Yesterday, after the great breakfast that I mentioned in my previous post, I was on my feet for 3 hours tuning my piano, and that required that I be standing (it was a Grand not an Upright -- I can sit and tune Uprights). Then I ran for 2 hours. The combination of the two activities was more than my feet could handle, and the overuse pains came again. I used to be able to handle, thanks to my running of long distance, quite a few hours of being on my feet, but with all of my hospital stays and surgeries the past year and a half, my feet muscles have weakened. Anyway, I'm still going to follow my marathon plan to get an idea of what the plan entails, but I'm going to only run three times a week like I've been doing. I'll be running the Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday of the plan. I thought I could handle a fourth day, since I've reduced the mileage of the first day, but I'm not going to chance it while I'm adding distance to work up to 15 miles.

Even though my feet were stiff and sore last night, my wakeup HR was 51 this morning, indicating that my body, as a whole, is rested. I did sleep well last night. I would get up for a drink of water and then go right back to sleep.

Training Graphs

February 11, 2006

Today was not a good day :(

I ran 8 miles in the late afternoon, but I was tired, even though my wakeup HR was 52.

My wife and I had a breakfast date, and I, of course, ate too much. I went out running 4 hours later, and I could tell as soon as I started that I was short of wind. After I warmed up, I did better in my breathing. My lack of energy during the run may have been due to my lack of sleep earlier in the week (it's common for lack of sleep to take more days for recovery than the days with insufficient sleep) or my run yesterday -- my body isn't used to running two days in a row.

Training Graphs

February 10, 2006

A lack of sleep got me...

I've made some changes to my marathon plan, thanks to comments from Randy, one of the advanced runners on the about.com running forum. I decided that my present mileage is more like the new week 6 rather than the old week 4. So, I planned to do 5 today, but I started feeling a bit tired and turned around for a distance of 3 miles -- I didn't want to overdo it and mess up my 8 tomorrow. I didn't get enough sleep this week, and that contributed to my tiredness this morning (had a great sleep last night, though). My wakeup HR was 52 this morning, so my tiredness isn't great.

My new marathon training plan has the runner running 6 days per week instead of 5. The runs are one long run that advances up to 15 and then to 20, one medium run that stays at 8, and four short runs, two 4 and two 5 milers. It's the same weekly distance as the old plan, but the miles are spread over an extra day, and there is one less medium run and two more light runs. The result being less stress for the same weekly mileage. Until I retire in June, I'll only be running the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday runs. That gives me one long run that should be up to 15 by the end of April, one medium run of 8, and two short runs of 4 and 5 miles.

Training Graphs

February 6, 2006

Using my marathon plan to take me to 15 miles

I was thinking over the weekend that I'd use my marathon plan to take me up to a long run of 15 miles. The plan isn't very different from what I'd planned to do anyway, and it would give me a sanity check on the numbers in the plan. The 8 miles I did last week is the same distance as week 3 of the plan, so today I started with week 4 and did a very enjoyable 8.8 miles. My wakeup HR was 51, and I felt great before, during, and after the run. The temperature was 27 (F)when I left about and 35 (F) when I returned. Next week is a fall-back week to 7 miles.


February 4, 2006

Extra sleep really helps!

My wakeup HR was 49 this morning. I got up after my normal 7 hours sleep, and the HR was 51. I went back to bed and slept for half an hour, and the HR was 49 when I woke up. I didn't quite get 7 hours on Thursday night, and my body needed that extra half an hour. I'm just leaving for my run, and I'll report on it when I return.

I'm back. I had a great 8 mile run. The temperature was in the mid 40s (F) with a 7-10 mph headwind and gusts to 15 mph. Having the tailwind on the way back was nice. The canal road was free of snow and dry enough to allow running without one getting mired in the mud. When I got home, I was starting to feel tired, but it was the "good" tired. There are two types of feeling "tired". The bad tired is when you feel like you can't run another step and that you're ready to give up running. The good tired is when you recognize your body needs a rest but your emotions tell you to keep on running.

I saw two ducks (a male and a female) in the canal, swimming in runoff from the melting snow and rain. I don't know where they live during the winter, probably in the "duck area" on 1300 West and about 50 something South, where there are millions of ducks living in a canal that has water year around.

Training Graphs

February 3, 2006

I might be heading to another running peak!

My wakeup HR was 52 again this morning. Another sign that my body handled the 8 miles on Wednesday.

I had good running for 3+ months last fall from September to December, giving a good peak to my running. Then I pushed myself to too much distance in December and caught a bad cold. Then I had my gall bladder removed and a stomach flu. My body seems to have had a good recovery from all of this, and last week and this week have been good running and my pulse rate has stayed low. Tomorrow will be the "big test" :)

Here is a link if you want to read about peaks.

Peaking in Performance

Training Graphs

February 2, 2006

My body is doing great with 8 miles

My wakeup HR was 53 this morning, only 1 higher than yesterday, indicating that my body is adjusting to the 8 miler I did yesterday. An increase of several beats would indicate my body was tired.

My plan is to run three 8 milers for the next couple of weeks, and then to take two weeks to move my Saturday long run up to 10 miles.

Today and tomorrow are rest days. I'm looking forward to another 8 on Saturday.

Training Graphs

February 1, 2006

That extra rest really helped!

On Monday I planned to run 8 miles but felt tired, both before and during the run, and I cut the run back to 6 miles. Today I felt fine before and during the run and completed my 8 miles. My wakeup HR was 52 this morning, same as on Monday.

We've had a lot of melting snow and rain, and the canal trail was muddy, so I ran a city street that goes North-South for a million miles. The temperature was mid 30s (F) with a 5-7 mph headwind when I left home and gusts to 10 mph. Having the tailwind on the way back was nice. A great day for running, and a nice run! The sun came out on the way back, and I removed my wind breaker and just ran with two layers.