February 2005 Archives

Cruddy run + XT

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Yesterday's EBT long run was pretty cruddy.

I checked my heart rate again when I got up, and it was a lot less erratic than Saturday. It got down to 45, which is what I think of as fairly normal for me. I calculated that I should keep my heart rate below 150 for my run, which I wanted to be 6-8 miles.

I remembered to start slow, which helped keep my heart rate slow at the beginning. But then my heart rate started climbing, which meant that the treadmill speed started slowing. It got down to 4.8 at one point, which is when I hit stop. I walk at 4.5, so 4.8 was just too damn slow. I tried adjusting the strap, and re-set the 'mill. I decided to not use the cruise, but to keep an eye on my heart rate myself. Things didn't get much better, and at one point my heart rate shot up into the 160s! I decided to call it a day after that, because I was running at around 11:00/mile and I refuse to believe that is a 76% effort for me. (I had tried speeding up in case the slow pace was the cause of the high heart rate, but it made no difference). But geez ... if my heart rate gets that high at a slow pace, how high is it during a 5K or 10K race?

I briefly thought about just ditching the heart rate stuff, but my leg was feeling a little tight so I decided that stopping was the best choice. My leg has been fine for the past week, but why tempt fate? I did finish up my workout with a brief leg workout. Hopefully that will help.

Today, I decided to cross train. I've been taking Mondays as rest days, but decided I need the 6th day of exercise. I'm getting really frustrated that I returned from TX/the marathon with 3 extra pounds and they are not going away. Hopefully the XT and weights will help fix that situation soon. Anyway, I did my upper body weight lifting routine followed by 35 minutes on the elliptical. I used a slightly higher target heart rate than I normally use, and it kind of kicked my butt. I was working pretty hard the whole time.

I think I need to buy some electrode gel. Maybe my heart rate isn't being erratic, and I'm just not getting good contact with the transmitter. I know I've been a lot less sweaty at the slower paces, so maybe that's the problem. OR maybe I need to buy a watch. Unfortunately, a brief look at Polar's page revealed that I want this, and it's $349. (Unauthorized dealers sell it for less, but then it's not covered by Polar's warranty). I think they had it at the Freescale expo for $200-something, so maybe I should go find a race expo to buy it from.

treadmill | 4 miles | 44:00 | avg. HR 147 | 68% PE
weights | lower body | 16:00

weights | upper body | 26:00
elliptical | 30:00 HR Cardio/5:00 CD | 26:20 in zone | 2.32 miles | 563 cal.

Monthly Report: February

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Running: 11:38:13 | 74.21 miles
Walking: 0:08:44 | 1.79 miles
Elliptical: 1:15:00 | 7.01 miles
Weights: 2:29:00

Training Week: February 21-27, 2005

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Running: 2:15:31 | 13 miles
Walking: 0:08:44 | 0.50 miles
Weights: 1:22:00

Erratic Heart Rate Run

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Yesterday morning, I decided to check my resting heart rate. The RHR I was using was what I remembered it being last year. Since that's a long time ago, I thought I should re-check. That turned out to be a little difficult, as my heart rate was jumping all over the place. It took 20 minutes, but I finally determined that my RHR for the day was 47 (2 beats higher than I anticipated).

The real erraticness was during the run, though. I've been starting slow, which lets my heart rate gradually climb into the 140s. The last 2 times it had taken around 0.5 miles. Yesterday, my heart rate jumped to 154 after 0.2 miles. Huh?? I paused the 'mill for a minute to figure out what was going on. I wasn't breathing heavy, I felt okay, and the chest strap was in the right spot. So I pushed the speed down a little lower, and went ahead and hit the cruise control. I watched the heart rate display, and my heart rate was not at all consistent. While it has had a range on the other runs, it usually only moved 1-2 beats at a time, not the 5 I was seeing yesterday. The treadmill makes a little graph for you in cruise control, where a straight line means staying really close to the target. My graph yesterday was not very straight/smooth. Very weird. The most interesting thing to me about this, though, was determining the perceived effort (PE) using the formulas. According to my heart rate, even though yesterday's run was close to 30 sec/mile slower than Thursday, it actually took slightly more effort. I find that really interesting.

treadmill | 3 miles | 32:39 | avg HR 147 | 67% PE

All about toes

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I discovered last night that I was wrong about having previously lost toenails; apparently while I had had toenail damage, I'd never full lost a nail. Last night, I was trimming my toenails before putting on lotion and socks. My skin has been looking pretty dry, and the lotion/socks routine usually helps soften everything back up. I'll spare the details because it is/was gross, but I am now completely missing 2 toenails. The good news is that I no longer have to look at the bruised/ugly mess that made up one of the nails.

Rest day today, so nothing else to report.

Quickie post

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Need to head for bed, but wanted to update about today's EBT run. I set my target at 148, and the run went a lot better than yesterday. I started off slowly, and let my heart rate gradually get into the 140s. I increased to about 5.8 and ran for a little bit before reaching my target and hitting "cruise." My heart rate ranged from 146-151 and my pace varied from 5.5-6.1. I mostly hung around 5.8/5.9 and 147/148, though. So either I'm seeing progress already, or actually starting slow is helping. I'm thinking it's most likely #2. I do have a tendency to just start out running whatever pace I'm going to run each day, as opposed to going out a little slow to warm up. I need to remember that.

I did some upper body weights today. I really should look up some more exercises, so that I can have some variety in my routine. I watched soaps while 'milling, but had VH-1's "40 Most Awesomely Bad Love Songs" on for my lifting. The really sad thing is that I liked a lot of the songs on there.

treadmill | 4 miles | 41:50 | avg HR 145 | 66% PE
weights | upper body | 23:00

Cruise Control

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Today I decided to try out my treadmill's heart rate "cruise control" feature. I can't find my manual right now, but the way I remembered it is that when you get to the heart rate you want to maintain you hit the cruise control button. The treadmill will then adjust the speed and/or incline to maintain that heart rate.

Aside from my selecting too low of a target, it worked really well. I think I'll probably get a lot of use out of this feature, so that I don't have to start at the display the whole time. I also liked that the treadmill displayed my average heart rate at the end. The only thing I didn't like was that I had to run really slow to maintain my target. Next time, I'll pick a slightly higher target (but still within the same range).

I did a few leg exercises after running. I only did 2 sets, and didn't do many reps. I want to ease into the leg lifting really slowly, as I hate having DOMS in my legs.

treadmill | 3 miles | 32:57 | avg HR 143 | 64% PE
weights | lower body | 10:00

Fun with the 'mill

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Oops, original title was "computer sucks."

My title today sums up how I feel about this laptop. It sucks. Sometimes I'll type something and about a minute (or longer) later the typing shows up. It almost reminds me of when I used to have dial-up, and I used Pine for e-mail. I would type an entire paragraph and maybe 5 minutes later the typing would show up. I finally got smart and started typing my e-mails in notepad and pasting them into Pine, because it was too slow and aggravating otherwise.

Anyway. I had hoped I might exercise yesterday, but I had some eye issues to deal with. I got a new kind of new contacts back in November, and the vision with them has been kind of cruddy. So I had an appointment with the eye doctor yesterday, and it took forever. And I left feeling like it was kind of a waste of time. I was given a new type to try, but the right contact isn't the exact prescription I need. So until next Friday (my re-check), I'm going to have uneven vision. Ugh. After spending over an hour there (partly because they never see you on time), I decided I may as well head up the street to Shop-Ko to see about getting some safety glasses for work. I currently have a pair of safety glasses/goggles to wear with my contacts, but work does pay for prescription safety glasses. The choices were pretty damn ugly, but I finally found a slightly acceptable pair. I finally got home around 6, so no time to work out.

So today. I made a spur of the moment decision to run some intervals to see if I could determine my max heart rate. (DISCLAIMER: I am well aware that this might not have been the smartest choice at this point in time, but it was my decision to make. I've been running since 1994; sometimes I choose to ignore what should be common sense). I did 4 intervals, I think, where I increased both the speed and incline. I got up to 197, but I think I might have been able to get it higher if I hadn't been afraid of falling off the treadmill (9% incline, 10 MPH). Everything I've read has said you should be near puking when you successfully do the MHR test (hence the nickname �the puke test�) and I wasn't near that point. It might sound kind of sick, but I kind of enjoyed running like that. I keep saying I want to start doing some actual speedwork (for 5K training), maybe later this year I'll actually get around to doing it. Anyway, I guess I'll use 197 for now, but if I can figure out a way to test it outside I might try that.

I got in some quality stretches afterwards, and then did some upper body weight lifting. I'm hoping I won't end up as sore as I did after Saturday's weights, because that wasn't too fun. I think I might try some lower body weights tomorrow; at the very least I'm going to do the hip abductor (adductor? I get those confused) exercises.

treadmill w/ intervals | 3 miles | 28:05
upper body weights | 22:00

Running: 0:20:51 | 2 miles
Elliptical: 0:40:00 | 2.63 miles
Weights: 0:25:00

"EBT" Run, Take 1

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I forgot to mention yesterday that I wore my new HR transmitter yesterday on the elliptical. It was really comfortable - so much better than the traditional plastic ones! I decided to do a short run today, and to see if the strap was as comfortable for running. I also thought I'd pay attention to my heart rate and try to keep it around 150, to be in my proper recovery heart rate zone.

Wow. Keeping my heart rate down required me to run a lot slower than I normally would. I am not really a fan of super slow running, but I did like seeing my heart rate dip into the 140s, as opposed to rising into the 170s. I've been told that when starting EBT (effort based training), you may initially have to run slower but after awhile you start being able to run at your previous normal pace. I do need to find my real max HR, as opposed to using one based off a formula, but I'm not sure when it will be a good idea for me to do fast/hill running. I also should re-check my resting heart rate. But I think I'm going to try this out for a few weeks, even if it may drive me slightly crazy :) But I figure the slower running will probably also be a good idea while dealing with my ITB.

I only ran for 2 miles, and then followed up with 15 minutes on the elliptical. I skipped the lower body weight lifting I claimed I was going to do however. I skipped it partly to allow my legs a little more recovery time. Also, I'm fairly sore today from the weights I did yesterday and I don't know if I could handle my whole body hurting. The last excuse is that we got a crapload of snow today and I had to go help the Engineer shovel the driveway so that I could go into work. (Ugh. So glad my on-call weekend coincided with a big snowstorm). Let me tell you, shoveling with sore arms and abs sucks a lot. So did driving when I couldn't tell the difference between the road and not-the-road. Anyway, I do hope to get started with the lower body weights this week, but just not today.

treadmill | 2 miles | 20:51 | 10:26/mi. | 68% PE

elliptical | 15:00 Random | Level 15 | 1 mile | 232 cal.

PT and XT

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I saw the PT yesterday to discuss my ITB. Overall, it was a good appointment. We talked about what I had been doing, he examined my feet and legs, and I walked and ran on the treadmill so he could see what was going on. He said my feet look really normal, and my stride looks good. I don't excessively pronate, although my legs do cross over the "center line" which you can see in some of my marathon photos. He agreed with Run-Tex's assessment of my shoes, which was I shouldn't be in a stability shoe. We decided to hold off on the orthotics, and be more aggressive with the stretching. It turns out that my hip flexors are tight, which doesn't help things. So in addition to the ITB and gluteal stretches I've been doing, I now have some hip flexor stretches and an additional ITB stretch. I was also given another massage technique, which I'm supposed to do once a day. The only bad thing was that I forgot to ask about the patt strap, and if it would be helpful. Anyway, I'm supposed to see if the stretching and massage helps and if not make another appointment next month. At that point, we might try ultrasound or some other treatment I didn't quite catch the name of but would involve a drug prescription.

I finally got back on the exercise train today by doing some cross training. I did some upper body weight lifting followed by the elliptical. I haven't done weights since August, so I bet I'll be sore tomorrow. I need to try to lift more often; it's not like I was really muscular last year, but I did notice the other day that I have lost some of the muscle tone in my arms. I haven't decided what I'm going to do tomorrow (elliptical vs. trying to run), but I think I'm going to try to do some lower body weights.

upper body weights | 25:00
elliptical | 20:00 HR Cardio/5:00 CD | 16:28 in zone | 1.63 miles | 372 cal.

More on Freescale

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I forgot to mention the most exciting thing that happened last Sunday: I didn't have to pee during the race. This is a big deal because needing to pee caused me to lose 1-4 minutes during each of my previous minutes. The trick this time was to drink a lot of water in the days leading up to the race, and then only drinking 1.5 glasses of water in the morning. I think for the other marathons, I was drinking too much water the morning of the race. So I think my strategy (which was basically what I did during training) was good.

Pictures have been posted. I was pretty disappointed to see only 3 pictures, but then I went digging through the lost and found section and found another three pictures. Wearing the bright pink hat was a good choice as it was easier to spot in the rows and rows of pictures. I'm kind of sad I didn't get one of the cool pictures with the capitol in the background, but since I was running kind of crappy by that point, it probably wouldn't have been a good picture.

2005 Freescale Austin Marathon

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When reporting the damage yesterday, I neglected to mention 2 things:

I have chafe mark/scratch on my wrist from my Forerunner. It got so hot, and I got so sweaty, that my watch started sliding around and rubbing against the wrist bone. I tried to adjust the watch higher on my wrist (away from the bone), but it kept sliding back down.

It's better now, but I had 2 chafe marks and a bruise on my back from my Gu pocket. The chafe marks weren't too bad, but it was really sore until this morning. It's a shame that the pocket beats me up so bad, as it's a pretty comfortable way of carrying gels.

Anyway, I've written up a kind of report. It's not the best report I've written, because a lot of this race was kind of a blur. I might add more as I think of it.

Back in MN

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Thank you to everyone for the congrats on the race! I'm still working on the report, but the splits are up at the link under PRs. Of course, they don't really make sense until the report gets written ....

Jo, I explained my strategy a few weeks ago. Richard's response was pretty good (thank you), and I am a Higdon follower. I don't disagree that there were holes in my training, but those were caused by my ITB issues. I knew ahead of time that running a marathon while dealing with those issues might not be the smartest decision, but I don't regret doing it.

The pace through mile 12 felt really easy and relaxed. I didn't intend to go out close to 8, but it felt good and I wasn't making much of an effort to keep running at that pace. If my ITB hadn't tightened up at 12.5, I have no doubt I'd have been able to continue running 8-8:20. So one good thing that has come out of this is that I now completely believe that I am capable of running a 3:3x marathon once I get my ITB issues solved.

To that end, I have an appointment with the orthotics guy on Friday. Also, I had the chance to stop at a Run-Tex before leaving Texas yesterday. What a great experience; the guy that helped me actually looked at my shoes, asked if I'd been having problems and where, and watched me walk and run. He discovered that my shoes are breaking down more on the right side, which helps explain why I'm having more trouble with my right leg. He also said that the motion control shoes aren't right for me; they are actually causing me to overcorrect, which puts stress on the ITB. So I got a nice new pair of Brooks Glycerin. An interesting thing I learned is that apparently I run with my toes pointing inward.

I'm feeling a little less sore/stiff today. My ITB is a little sore, but I'm not getting sharp pain like I was late Sunday and part of yesterday. I'm really glad we flew American so that I could keep my leg straight. My toes, however, are still suffering. I'll spare you all the pictures, but just trust me that the website name is extremely apt right now. I managed to come home with 5 blisters (I thought it was 4, but found another last night). On my right foot, my last two toe tips are blistered. My left foot suffered the most though, with blisters on the middle 3 toes. The second toe is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen - I lost the nail there not too long ago, and where the nail should be is a combination of a bruise and a big blister. Ugly!

I have a ton of e-mail and reading to catch up but wanted to check back in. Thank you all again for the kind words!

Post-race moblog

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This was the ugliest PR ever. 3:55:50 watch. ITB ow.

T minus 11

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Weather forecast tomorrow looks like temps in the low 60s, with rain at the start and cloudy the rest of the race. It'll be humid, but not too windy.

For anybody running/spectating tomorrow, I'll be wearing navy shorts, a singlet (white in front, aqua in back), and a pink hat in case you see me and want to say hi. I won't have anything fun on my shirt, mainly because I can't think of anything good. I know the traditional thing is to put your name on your shirt, but I don't feel like hearing my name mispronounced for 26.2 miles. (If anyone was wondering: it's pronounced Mar-EE-sa. It sounds like Lisa or Theresa, not like Melissa. Everyone always wants to add an extra s).

I'm waffling on my watch decision now that I've learned there won't be a 3:35 pace group. I'm wondering if it might not be a bad thing to have the pace feedback from the watch, especially in the first few miles. I ran my first two miles at Med-City too fast because I don't have a good concept of pace (I thought I'd slowed down for the second, but it was just as fast). And since I've been running on the treadmill where my pace is controlled, I'm sure my sense is even more skewed. So maybe the Garmin is the right way to go.

I'm feeling very full of carbs and water right now. I still need to lace my chip onto my shoe, but I think I'm fairly ready for tomorrow. I've got moblogging set up on both my cell phone and the Engineer's cell phone, so I should have some kind of update on here after the race. Good or bad, it'll be here first.

I registered for another race today: the March Madness 1/2 Marathon. Registration is supposed to close this weekend; the Engineer thought I should maybe wait until tomorrow to register, but I think that's kind of negative thinking. It's 5 weeks from tomorrow, and I think that's plenty of time between a full and a half. It does mean that I'll be running a 1/2 or 20K each month for 3 months, though, if I run what I have planned. I want to run the 20K that I ran last year (April), and I'm supposed to run the Med-City relay with one of my co-workers (May). Should be fun.


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Just got back from the Expo (and other errands). Overall, I think it was a pretty decent expo. There were a good number of booths to look at, and it wasn't as intimidatingly large like Chicago's expo. I managed to spend about $130 in a short period of time, so I guess that made it a success :)

Running in the rain, pt. 2

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This morning was possibly a preview of things to come on Sunday. The current weather forecast is for showers (40% chance of precipitation, though) with highs in the low 70s and lows in the 50s. It looks like the morning will be rainy and around 60.


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Testing out the Engineer's phone now.

This is a test post

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This is a test post from Photobucket.com


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Damn stupid laptop just ate my post. Argh! Let's try again.

I've been pretty busy the last couple of days trying to get ready for my trip. I just got caught up on my comments and am posting an update, but I'm pretty behind on reading everyone else's blogs.

I'm in Texas! We got here last night; the trip down was pretty uneventful aside from our connecting flight to Austin being delayed a half-hour. The Engineer and I have decided that we like American. Aside from being able to leave from our town (which means we can have someone drop us off/pick us up and avoid paying for parking), the leg room was pretty decent. We had been concerned about my legs cramping up, but there was enough room for that not to be a problem. The worst thing about traveling was that the man in front of us on the longer flight had real bad BO.

I bought myself a Stick; last week, and it arrived on Tuesday. I didn't really feel like flying with a giant foam roller, or cutting off a chunk of it. I also didn't want to go a few days without rolling, since the last time I did that I had issues. So I decided to buy a Stick after reading some good reviews on it. I carried all my running stuff onto the plane with me, but I had to put the Stick in my checked bag. I think the TSA would've viewed it as a weapon and confiscated it (or worse). BTW, did you know that the TSA has now issued a rule that you can only use the bathroom in your section of the plane? I didn't know that until yesterday.


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Running in the rain

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Yesterday, it was 50-something degrees. It was so nice outside, with the sun shining and all the snow and ice melting away. Of course, with this being MN, that couldn't last.

Running: 20 miles | 2:59:44

Number Crunching

Quick re-cap of the week so far:

Wednesday, I didn't have to deal with people on the phone so I went downstairs to run after work. I ran a decent 4 miles ... nothing too special.

treadmill | 4 miles | 36:48 | 9:12/mi.

Thursday was a nice day, weather-wise and I was tempted to go outside. However, my friend B and I had gone to the Pizza Hut buffet at lunch. I decided I should stay inside, just in case running with a belly full of pizza, bread sticks and cinnamon sticks was a bad idea. I ended up feeling pretty decent, and decided to throw in some intervals. My idea was try out some "yasso 800s." The only problem is that since I decided to do this on the fly, I wasn't sure what pace to pick. I have trouble converting pace to MPH, much less converting 800 times to mile times to MPH while running. I ran 2 of them, 1 at 8.5 MPH (7:04/mi, 3:32) and the second at 8.4 MPH (7:09/mi, 3:35). I thought about running a 3rd, but decided 2 was good enough for the day.

2.50 mi | 6.5 MPH
0.50 mi | 8.5 MPH
0.25 mi | 6.5 MPH
0.50 mi | 8.4 MPH
1.25 mi | 6.5 MPH
treadmill | 5 miles | 44:01

Today was a really nice day, and I did go outside. My car was temporarily confused on my drive home, and was displaying the temperature as around 50. However, weather channel said it was 43 which made a little more sense to me. I ran through a lot of puddles, as all the snow and ice are melting. I ended up running a loop instead of out-and-back because running along the bike path was a little dangerous in parts with all the half-melted ice and giant puddles. That area caused me to run a little slower, but I was also trying to run slow to be a recovery from yesterday.

43 degrees | felt like 36 | 15 MPH
3 miles | 27:33 | 9:11/mi.

Okay, now as to the number crunching. I've been feeling kind of off about this whole marathon next weekend thing. B has asked me at least once a week if I'm getting excited about the marathon. And I don't think excited is the right word; nervous and anxious, I guess. I don't know. In some ways, my training for this one has been kind of bizarre. Last year, when training for Med-City, that race was always the goal and I think I was pretty focused on running it well. This go-around, I didn't commit to the race until 2 weeks ago so it was kind of a more abstract concept.

But some of the off feeling had more to do with the mileage. I've had a few runs cut short, and had to re-adjust my plan about halfway through. So I've been feeling kind of under-trained, like I haven't done enough this time. I decided that what I needed to do was actually crunch some numbers and compare my previous training efforts:

15-week (before taper) mileage:
2001: 309.28 miles | 20.6 avg. | 31.2 mi high
2002: 309.4 miles | 20.6 avg. | 30 mi high
2004: 510.11 miles | 34 mi avg. | 44.01 mi high
2005: 509.8 miles | 34 mi avg. | 43 mi high

Long runs (>10, not counting taper):
2001: 10, 12, 16, 17, 13.1 (race), 20
2002: 10, 12, 16, 13.1 (race), 20, 18
2004: 10.1, 11.24, 12.05, 10.06, 14.04, 15.07, 11.43, 17.03, 12.5 (race), 15.93, 20.83, 12.15, 20.25
2005: 11.08, 13, 14.02, 10, 16, 17.07, 12.02, 19.5, 20, 12, 18, 12, 21

So after looking at the 2004 vs. 2005 comparison, I'm feeling somewhat better about things. I'm still baffled at how I didn't injure myself in either 2001 or 2002, as the training I did those years was not very balanced/good.

I'm still working on my pace plan. I'm kind of leaning towards what I'm calling a "crash and burn" plan. I'm thinking of going out aggressive (8:15-8:20, maybe) and trying to hold on to that pace as long as possible. This might be a negative way to think, but I have a feeling I'm going to have ITB issues no matter what pace I run so I might as well give myself a bigger cushion of time for when that happens. And who knows, maybe I can keep the pace up ... I'll never know if I don't try, right? The McMillan calculator predicts anywhere from 3:32 to 3:36 for me, so if I hold any stock in the calculations my idea isn't totally off base. I'll figure this out more as the week progresses.

Lazy day

Confession: I haven't run since Saturday. I was supposed to run 4 miles today, and was planning on doing that after work. Instead, I spent 2.5 hours on the phone with AT&T customer "service." The Engineer has been trying to order me a GSM phone from AT&T so that we could share minutes (which would save us money). Unfortunately, AT&T has their head up their ass and keeps screwing up our order. They claim they've finally got it figured out and my phone will be here in 24-48 hours, but who knows? I decided against running after the first hour on the phone. I was getting hungry, and just didn't feel like running at that point. I told the Engineer I might run later, but I think we both knew that probably wouldn't happen. But you know what? I don't feel bad about skipping my run today. An extra day of rest can only help my ITB, right? Anyway, I'm not worried.

Half-time's over ... back to watching the #1 Illini (finally, I can not be embarrassed of my school's sports teams).