October 31, 2007

A nice 2-mile recovery run

I didn't leave as soon as I had expected, and it was in mid-afternoon when I left for my run. I ran 2 miles on the Jordan River Parkway at a relatively slow pace. I took brief walking breaks about every half mile, and I just poked along and enjoyed myself. During the run, my right leg and knee felt fine. It's been about an hour since I finished, and I still feel fine.

The temperature during my run was in the high 60s (F). The sun was out, and it was a nice way to end October. I forgot to take my HR this morning, but I haven't had a super-high energy level. I expect my wakeup HR is still high.

Status report on my right leg/knee

I'm leaving in a few minutes for another run, and I thought I'd post a status report on my right leg and knee. Both the leg and knee are feeling much better. I can walk around the house and feel fine.

The only times I feel soreness are when I sit on the floor to do my hip and knee exercises and when I kneel down. Because of the cushion that I'm using on my chair, I feel stiff a bit but not much pain when I rise from the chair. I can bend my knee without pain, and that helps when I'm putting my shoes and stockings on. I feel a slight pain when I first sit on the floor and stretch my legs out in front of me. When I do the two toe-press stretches, I feel some soreness, especially when my right toe is under the left toe and is pulling toward me (the left toe is pushing away from me). That has been interesting, because in the past when I've done the toe-press I didn't feel anything. Now, I know for sure that the toe-press is truly working my leg and knee muscles!

There have been a few times in the past 10-15 years that I would stress a muscle in my arm while lifting or pulling, and my arm would feel sore. It usually took several weeks for my arm to return to normal. The soreness I've been feeling feels the same way that the soreness did in my arm. Based on my recovery from my sore arm, I'm beginning to realize that the soreness in my right leg may take a few weeks to completely go away. However, since it has only been 10 days since my fast run that created a problem, and a week since my 5-mile run that reestablished the problem, I've made a lot of improvement and am getting back into my running. I've always thought that patience is a great virtue, and this is an example of the wisdom in that saying.

October 29, 2007

The one-mile recovery run went well

I ran one mile this morning to test my right leg. I felt fine during the run and so far afterwards (the run was two hours ago). The big test will be how I feel during the night and in the morning.

My wakeup HR was 62 this morning. My body is pretty stressed out. It's been that way for the past week. I have, though, been sleeping well, and it is just time until my HR comes down.

I finally did what I should have done a few years ago

During the past week, I've spent a lot of time on my computer, and after a couple of hours at the computer, I would stand up and my right leg and right knee would be in pain. It was especially bad this morning before my run. After I would walk around for a few minutes, my leg/knee would feel better. The chair I sit on is a wooden chair with padding on the seat. However, the chair isn't high enough for my long legs, and the lower seat caused my knees to bend a lot. So, this morning I put a thick pad on the chair, and I've felt much better after leaving the computer. Besides the increase in height from the floor, the thick pad feels nice on my buttocks. After I put the pad on the chair, I felt fine when I stood up from the computer.

I still have some space between my knees and the bottom of my computer table, and I want to get an even thicker pad to put on the chair.

My sore leg/knee isn't sensitive to pressure

One good thing about my sore leg and knee is that the area around the knee isn't sensitive to pressure from my fingers. My right knee does look swollen, though.

October 27, 2007

Not sure why my right leg and knee are sore

During the past week, I've been thinking about the soreness in my right leg and knee. A week ago when I ran fast and caused the problem, I wasn't going any faster than I did in running my last two 5K races, and I had no problems after those runs. The only thing that I can think of that makes sense is that my leg & thigh muscles are weaker than they were at the time of the two races.

Prior to my fast run last week, I had gone through two weeks of a lot of walking but no running. That might have allowed my muscles to deteriorate. Perhaps more important, I had been getting careless in doing my stretches before my runs. Before each run, I try and do the stretches that are shown on my picture page. Included are strengthening exercises for my knees, quads, and thighs. I've been skipping those exercises on quite a few of my runs, and that might have allowed my muscles to become weaker. I'm going to be more consistent in doing those exercises. Plus, as soon as I get a bench set up in my basement, I will start doing the resistance-training exercises shown on my total-body page. Hopefully, with a stronger body, I won't have problems with my speed runs.

October 26, 2007

My right leg and knee are almost back to normal

My leg and knee are feeling much better, and I'm able to move around, kneel down, etc. without significant pain. When I tested my knee this morning, I felt just a slight pain when I raised my leg and bent my knee.

If I continue to feel better by tomorrow, I may do a short run to test my leg and knee. However, I felt this way last Tuesday when I ran 5 miles and a comfortable pace and caused the pain to return. If I run tomorrow it will be short, about half a mile.

October 25, 2007

My right leg is feeling better but still sore

My leg/knees feel much better than yesterday but are still sore if I walk around for an hour or so, which I just did while shopping with my wife.

October 24, 2007

Update on my right leg

My right leg was stiff this morning, and it was sore when I would bend my knee as I sat in a chair. It feels much better tonight. I'm taking the rest of the week off from running to give my body more time to heal. When I do start running, I'll start with one-mile and work up to five miles during the week.

October 23, 2007

A nice 5-mile recovery run today

I enjoyed my run along the Jordan River Parkway this morning. I didn't have a high energy level, and I ran a relatively slow pace, although my stride rate was about 178. My wakeup HR was 56, indicating my body was tired. I've been sleeping fine the past few nights, so my body is tired for some other reason.

Today was a beautiful day. Temperature in the mid 50s (F), sunny, blue sky, snow-capped mountains, and geese flying over. A number of people were using the Parkway.

My right leg

In my previous post, I mentioned that after my run on Saturday, my right leg/knee was somewhat stiff and sore. It felt better over the weekend, and when I woke up this morning it felt almost normal.

The leg felt fine during my run today, but it has been somewhat stiff and sore this afternoon and evening. Not as much as on Saturday but more than this morning before my run. It actually feels pretty good when I'm standing or walking but is stiff and slightly sore when I'm sitting and my leg is bent.

Because of the quick improvement over the weekend and Monday, I don't think I have an injury -- just overstressed muscles. I just hope today's run didn't make it worse. I'll see how it feels in the morning.

October 22, 2007

Taking a rest day today

It was raining and a cold wind was blowing during my run on Saturday, and after I finished I didn't stretch. I just jumped in my car to get warm and drove home, planning on stretching at home. Of course, when I got in the house I was focused on taking a hot shower and eating breakfast, and I forgot to stretch. During the day I felt stiff, a normal feeling when I don't stretch after a run. In the evening, my wife and I took TRAX (train) into Salt Lake City to see our grand daughter and 3000 other music students play in the LDS Conference Center. We had to walk half a mile to/from the train and the Conference Center. By the time I went to bed, my right knee and lower quad were a little sore as well as being stiff.

I ran really fast during the first half of my run. I estimated I ran 10:15, but it was probably more like 9:30. I think I overdid it, and that caused my knees and quads to be slightly sore. The same thing happened last spring when I was running intervals at the local high school. I had run several half-mile intervals with a quarter mile jog in between for recovery. As I was mid-way through one interval, I planned on doing one more, but my right quad cramped. I immediately stopped, stretched the quad, and went home. It took a couple of days for that cramp to go away.

When I awoke on Sunday (yesterday), me right knee and quad felt better but were still slightly sore. When I awoke this morning, my legs felt almost normal. I decided to take today as a rest day to give my body another day to recover from my speed run on Saturday. The only soreness I've had today was when I kneel down. No soreness when I walk.

When I have soreness from a run, I never try to run through it. I consider soreness a sign that I overdid it, and I give my body extra rest so it can overcome the stress. I don't want to risk having the soreness become an injury.

I'm planning on running tomorrow. During the run, I'll be focused on my right leg, and if I start to feel soreness, I'll abort and walk back to my car. Also, I'll run at a comfortable LSD pace, probably around 11:30.

October 20, 2007

Got my mileage back to 5 miles

I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. I forgot to take my wakeup HR, but I felt find during and after the run. On the way out, I ran around 10:15, and on the way back I ran 11:40. I went slower on the way back, because I felt a bit tired, and there was a 5 mph head wind. It was a nice run!

A cold, wet wintery day

It rained during my run today. Not a heavy rain, but a consistent rain. The temperature was in the high to mid 30s (F), and there was a 5 mph tail wind on my way out and a corresponding head wind on the way back. I wore my summer running clothes (T-shirt and shorts) plus a nylon wind breaker. I was cold for the first half-mile, and then I felt fine for the rest of the run. As soon as I stopped, though, I started to feel cold.

My plans for next week

This week was a recovery week from the stress of moving a million boxes for my son. My immediate goal this week was to get my mileage back to my pre-box mileage. I accomplished that goal in my run today.

During the past six months, I've been running reduced mileage while I focused on running a faster LSD pace. Now, I'm ready to get my mileage back to the 30 miles/week that I need to train for the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon next April. Next week I'll run 5 miles on Monday and Tuesday and add a mile for 6 miles on Wednesday. If I feel fine on Saturday, I'll add a mile there for 6 on that day. Then, on subsequent weeks I'll add another mile to the two runs, until I get Wednesday's medium run up to 10 miles and Saturday's long run up to 13 miles. During all of this, I hope to keep my faster LSD pace.

October 17, 2007

My tentative training strategy for my next half-marathon

I've been thinking about my training between now and April 19, 2008. For the past six months, I've been focusing on increasing the speed of my LSD and recovery runs. I think I've been successful, because I've decreased my pace 1 1/2 minutes for my LSD runs and 1 minute for my recovery runs. However, I've intentionally let slip my ability to run 13 miles.

My immediate goal is to get my longer runs up to 10 miles and 13 miles, respectively, by the end of the year. Then I will have three more months to let my body get adjusted to those longer distances while I do some hills and speed workouts.

Last year I ran LSD until January, and then I ran fartleks for three weeks, hills for three weeks, and intervals for three weeks. This year I want to do it a little bit differently. Between now and the end of the year, as I increase my distance, I want to run Galloway's Cadence Drills 3 or 4 times once a week. Cadence Drills are a low-level form of interval training that don't put much stress on ones body, and I think I can mix them in with my longer runs without hindering my ability to increase my distance. Then, from January to the end of March, I want to do LSD twice a month, fartleks once a month and hills once a month. I think this will be a better balance for my body, rather than the way I did it last year. We'll see. I had problems last spring doing intervals at the local high school, because I went too fast for my condition. I may go to the high school once in March and do intervals, but I don't think I'll focus on them like I did last spring.

Almost got my distance back to the pre-box level

I ran 4.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway today and enjoyed the run. During my half-mile warm up, I ran a pace about 11:30. Then I ran about 10:15 until I reached my turn-around point. On the way back I slowed to a 11:30-11:45 pace.

My wakeup HR was 56, so when I started running I knew I was tired, but I felt fine as I ran and had a reasonable energy level considering my high wakeup HR. This is a recovery week, so I'm not trying to set speed goals. I just want to run a comfortable pace as dictated by my body.

The temperature was in the mid 40s (F) during my run, and there was a light sprinkle coming down. I wore my normal summer clothes: a poly T-shirt and my shorts. I was a bit cool during the warmup but was fine for the rest of the run.

My stride rate today was 186

I checked my stride several times during my run and it was always close to 186, even for my slower paces. The fact that it was about the same for my slower and my faster paces shows that it is my "normal" pace. That is good!

Not going to run the 5K on Saturday

I've decided to not run the 5K on Saturday. I'm still recovering from my two-week layoff due to carrying boxes, and I won't be ready for a fast race.

October 15, 2007

My first run in two weeks

For my first run in two weeks, I ran 3.5 miles along the Jordan River Parkway. I felt fine when I first started, but when I got to the 1.75 mile point, I started to feel tired, and I turned around and headed back. My pace during the first mile was about 11:30, and it was up to 11 by the time I turned around. On the way back, my pace was 10:15 to 10:30.

It was a beautiful day to be out. There was a slight headwind going out.

Well, back to running...

Today was the first time I've run since October 2, two weeks ago. On October 4, I started to help my son move to a different house. During the next eight days, I worked seven of the days moving boxes that weighed from 10 pounds to 50 pounds, the average weight being about 20 pounds. I worked 8-12 hours/day. I didn't run during that time, because my body was under a lot of stress from the boxes, and I didn't want to increase that stress with running. For the first four days, I handled the stress ok. I would wake up energized and feeling pretty good. But, during the last three days, the stress started getting to me. I would wake up feeling tired, and that feeling got worse with each day. I was a happy camper last Friday when I finished about 1 am and drove home.

I rested over the weekend and felt pretty good. My wake up HR this morning was 51. During the box-moving days, my wakeup HR was up around 56-57.

October 2, 2007

A good 4.5 mile recovery-run today

I ran 4.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway and enjoyed it. I didn't go the full 5 miles, because I started getting tired and didn't want to ruin my run tomorrow by pushing for that last half mile today. I'm still not fully recovered from the 5K 10 days ago. I've been sleeping well the past few days, and that is good.

Today was a really nice day. Temperature was in the high 60s (F) with no wind. A great day to be out. On the way back I picked up a couple dozen pieces of litter that had blown in from a construction site.

I've been monitoring my stride rate

During my run last Saturday, I measured my stride rate. It was pretty fast at 186 - 188. I felt good that day and had a good run. Yesterday and today I monitored my stride rate, and this is what I found.

Tired run: 160-175
Recovery run: 178-180
Energetic run: 184-188

Those numbers look reasonable. They indicate that I could use my stride rate as an indicator of my body condition. The good news is that I'm not forcing those stride rates. My body automatically wants a relatively high stride rate, and that is good. If want to do a speed workout, my body is already used to fast leg movement, and it just has to focus on a longer stride length as well as an even faster stride rate.

October 1, 2007

Today was a tired run

I had hoped to go 5 miles, but I reduced my to 3 miles because I was tired. It was a beautiful day for running, except for a 5 mph wind with gusts up to 10 mph, and the temperature was in the low 70s (F). Later in the day we had brief rain showers. Being a desert area, we need the water!