Archive for July, 2007

Hard to judge fitness when the weather is humid …

Saturday and Sunday went as planned – at least in terms of the distance.

However, I don’t know what to say about the pace. On Saturday I ran 10.5 miles in 1:26:41 which is an 8:16 pace. The problem with this was that my HR avg was 150. That is not good; I am really pretty far from being in the shape I want to and running at that HR is not going to help any. I need to ramp back the HR and just keep building the lower aerobic base.

On Sunday I doubled the trouble. I ran 19.4 miles in 2:47:14 but the HR avg was 148. And, to keep that pace at the end I ended up running in the high 150s to low 160s. Again, not good. Granted it was feeling pretty warm outside the last eight miles and they were downhill (I ran out the Boston course to the firestation and back), but still, I need to slow it down and build the slow base. I also expected to drop a few pounds after these two days of running and instead I actually gained a pound. I can’t figure that out other than I am not burning the fat I should be and that means I need to slow the pace down.

So, today I plan on 7 miles but at a slow, slow pace – under 140, no matter how plodding that feels. I am gettting too much ahead of myself and thinking about running faster. That is the recipe for injury. I need to keep my head on straight.

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Got to be flexible …

Marriage requires flexibility; it only took me about 13 years of marriage to figure this out. Today, was a day for flexibility. My wife usually takes Friday’s off so I figured I could get a 10 mile run in at my leisure. I could leave at 6:00 and be home by 7:30, she could head to work and I would be ready to go when the babysitter showed up at 8:30. Well, as we turned out the lights last night, I asked her if she was taking tomorrow off (another marriage lesson, people change their minds about things and don’t tell you unless you ask). No, she said, she wanted to work out. Okay, no 10 miler for me.

Instead, I ran my five mile loop (actually 5.3 miles) instead. It was a pretty good run; the morning was a bit hotter than others this week. I cruised along at @140 HR and decided at 4 miles to run one mile quicker, at @160-165 HR, just to see how that felt. The pace of that mile came in at 7:06. It felt pretty easy, but that was the pace I was hoping to run the marathon at in April. No way I could have done that for 26 miles. Maybe, 13 miles, but no way 26. I have a ways to go, more mileage to put in, and some hard workouts to do before I get back to that place. Oh well, it is a bit depressing, but I will get back there.

So, I plan on 10 miles Saturday and 19 on Sunday. It looks like some steamy weather this weekend, so I don’t expect that I will be running very fast.

7/27/07 5.3 miles/41:57/7:55 pace/147 HR Avg

Getting in a routine again …

So, the last time I posted was Friday nearly a week ago. I managed to run what I had planned for the weekend – 10 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday.

Saturday: 10.5/1:27:36/8:21/141 HR Avg
Sunday: 17.5/2:23:18/8:12/146 HR Avg

Last week total: 56.4 miles in six runs

I ended up running the Sunday runner a bit harder than planned. I just felt pretty good and wanted to keep the pace quicker at the end. It felt good to finally run long again.

I then took Monday off and came back on Tuesday. The rest of this week I have run the same loop every day – a 7.4 mile loop up and around the Charles River. I think I am running a bit faster after the long run; at least, it feels like the long run has made some difference in my conditioning. That’s how I remember the long runs going. After each one I felt like I got progressively stronger; that makes sense.

Anyway, I have felt stronger this week and more like I am getting back into shape.

Tues: 7.4/1:01:42/8:21/139 HR Avg
Wed: 7.4/1:01:47/8:22/139 HR Avg
Thu: 7.4/1:00:50/8:17/141 HR Avg (a bit warmer today)

The runs have felt pretty good. The lower humidity has helped that. The plan is 10 miles tomorrow, 5 on Saturday, and 19 on Sunday.

Things are starting to shape up. And, if you notice, no comments about the calf.

The work week …

My plan didn’t go exactly as I scheduled it on Sunday. I did take Monday off, as I planned. Here is how the rest of the week has gone.

Tues – 10.5/1:31:29/8:42 pace/139 HR
Wed – 5.4/44:06/8:15 pace/139 HR
Thurs – 7.3/1:02:29/8:32 pace/139 HR
Fri – 5.4/44:46/8:26 pace/141 HR

I made a concerted effort to keep the HR at 140 and have managed that. It has meant some pretty slow running but so be it. Everything feels healthy – no more talking about the calf. I just need to get the body fit again – that means more 140 HR running until that pace gets faster and lose some weight. I think that will come if I make a concerted effort to focus on intake.

I think that if I keep the low HR work up until the end of July I should see some results. I hope so.

I am at 28.5 miles so far this week and I plan on running 10 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday. That will give me 55 for the week, which is where I want to be. It looks to be less humid this weekend; I will see if that helps me keep the HR at 140 and the pace drops down a bit.

Overall, things progress and I hope to start making progress toward a 3:10 marathon this fall.

A 15 miler …

Back to back days of 10 and then 15 and my calf seems to have held up very well. It is a little sore, but that is to be expected after a 15 miler in humid conditions. Sunday’s run started off much cooler then it ended and my pace slowed at a slightly elevated HR at the end of the run.

The average pace was 8:32. This is a long way from where I was in early December 2006 when I ran this same run nearly seven minutes faster and at a lower HR. I am sure the temperature difference had some impact, but certainly not a seven minute impact. I have a ways to go, but at least I am heading in the right direction. Overall the 14.85 miles took me 2:06:54. The last three were much slower and I felt them more than I thought I would. It is interesting how I would feel better had I run faster at the end; but, trying to keep the HR low is hard and seems to take more out of you then running at a faster clip at the end.

Anyway, after the run I had that nice tired, muscle soreness you get from a long run. It had been a while since I had that feeling. It was nice to get it back.

The plan is a day off today, and then 7 miles tomorrow, 10 on Wednesday, 7 on Thursday, 5 on Friday, 10 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday. That would be a 56 mile week. We may be heading out this weekend so my running plans may not go as I hope. It would be nice, though, to get a 17 miler in on Sunday. It is the long runs that I feel really get me into shape. I also need to refocus on my diet. Before the injury I weighed in at 170-172. Right now I am 177, so I need to bring that back down. Ideally, I would like to get down into the 165 range, but I am not sure I can do that in three months – this older body doesn’t seem to metabolise as quickly as I’d like.

7/15 14.85/2:06:54/8:32/145 Avg HR
Week total: 50 miles in six runs

I can feel the progress …

This morning I embarked on a ten miler with hopes of feeling nothing – nothing in the calf. And, that’s how it went. I feel as if I am nearly fully recovered from my torn gastroc. It has taken a while, but I think I am there. Granted, my runs have been at low 140s HR and the pace 8:10-8:40, but I put the mileage in today and the last three days and felt little of anything in my calf. It is very positive news.

The run this morning was relaxed and easy. The pace was slow 8:20-8:30 for the most part. I listened to some music and relaxed – not thinking about much of anything but running smoothly. I did think about my half marathon race last year and when I looked at my watch after this thought drift, I was at 150 HR and picking up the pace. I really want to start running harder, but I am going to wait until the end of July. Overall, a good day. Hopefully the 15 miler will go as well tomorrow.

7/14 10.5 miles/1:29:09/8:31 pace/140 HR

Training is good … feeling the improvement

This morning is the first time my calf felt like it could handle an extended hard workout. Mind you, I didn’t do that, but it felt as if I could.

My last three runs have been low HR easy runs.

7/11 6.1 53:32 8:47 pace/140 HR (hot and sticky this morning)
7/12 5.4 44:36 8:18 pace/140 HR
7/13 6.1 51:04 8:27 pace/140 HR

Now, none of these runs are anything to write home about (or to really blog about), but the fact that my calf didn’t bother me on any of these is very positive. If I keep this up until the end of July, I imagine I will be able to start doing some faster training. I plan on 10 tomorrow and hope to do a 15 miler on Sunday. That is a lot of back to back mileage for only being back 6 weeks, but I think I can handle it; plus, I crave it and I need to feed that craving.


July 2007
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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach