Sunday, July 29, 2007

90 degrees isn't that bad

I think my body is acclimated to the high temperatures. It was 90 degrees at run time (0515) this morning, but it felt more like in the mid-80s. The morning temps for the last 3 days were at 94 degrees, so it could be the four degrees difference. The high two days ago reached a blistering 125 degrees.

Since I'm not able to put in the long(er) runs (16-20M) like I normally would do back in the rear, I need to start incorporating some threshold running into my Sunday runs to make the best of it. After 3 miles of easy running I ran 2 x 12 minutes at tempo pace (which I’d say is ~5:48 pace with my current fitness) with a 2-minute rest in between followed with 45 min easy. My average pace for the 12-minutes was 5:40 & 5:50 respectively. I slowed in the last minute of the 2nd repeat when I encountered a side-stitch. These side-stitches are a mystery. They seem to show up when they want to… most cases, during our big races. The last one I had was around the halfway mark of Rocket City Marathon. The last 45 minutes of running felt good as I cruised along at 6:40 pace.

Here's how the week of running went:

Mon: Unable to run.
Tues: 1:13:32 including 4 x 5min @ 10k effort w/ 3min recovery (11M - 6:41 pace)
Wed: 1:00:41 (8.2M - 7:24 pace)
Thur: 1:05:24 (10M - 6:32 pace); middle 4 miles (4-7) in 24:20
Fri: 1:07:10 (9M - 7:28 pace)
Sat: 1:03:10 (9M - 7:01 pace)
Sun: 1:33:39 (14.1 - 6:39 pace); w/ 2 x 12 minutes @ tempo pace

Weekly Total: 61.3 miles in 6 sessions

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Running On The Sun

The temperature has not dropped below 90 degrees the past three days. I don't think it will for the remainder of July and most of August. Here's what it was like yesterday: 5am - 92 deg; 10am - 104 deg.; 3pm - 119 deg.; 8pm - 107 deg. It's to the point where easy running is not so easy because of the heat. I think there will be benefits of just putting in some mileage of easy running to stay fit and sustain a good base.

Yesterday, I ran 11 miles which included 4 x 5 min. at 10k effort with 3 min. recovery jogs. I intended to run easy the entire run, but felt the need to elevate the heart rate. By feel I think the HR hovered around 85%. This morning I did an easy 8-miler.

I watched "RUNNING ON THE SUN" (Badwater 135) and could only imagine what those endurance runners went through. If you haven't watched it I suggest you do. It's grueling! The temperature reached a high of 122 degrees today and I thought about what it would feel like to be running in these conditions for 24 - 48 hours straight. No thanks!

Today's Run: 1:00:41 (8 miles - 7:24 pace)
Yesterday's Run: 1:13:32 (11 miles - 6:41 pace); w/ 4 x 5 min. @ 10k effort

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not a bad week

Today ended a good week of running coming off of minor issues with the Achilles. I was able to put in at least an hour of running each day this week. This morning's run was mostly easy running with the last four miles at 6:30ish pace. I got in 90 minutes of running which to tell you truth is the longest I've ran since being deployed in January. Hopefully the Sunday runs will increase in miles over the next few weeks. It will be tough though because the temperature is still rising. Today's high was 118 degrees. Temperature at run time this morning was 88 degrees; still very warm but better than Thursday when it was in the low-90s. I hit the gym immediately following the run to do some stretching, push-ups and an ab workout. I wanted to test my upper body strength so I did my so-called 100 push-ups test. I time myself how long it will take me to do 100 push-ups without getting up or dropping to my knees. This is no easy test. I started doing this test about two months ago, about once every 2 weeks. I did it in 64 seconds. I was smoked afterwards. 100 push-ups in 64 seconds was a PR for me. My previous best was 69 seconds.

Here's how the week of running went:

Mon: 8 miles in 1:00:40 (7:35 pace); easy run
Tues: 10 miles in 1:09:04 (6:54 pace); last 4 miles at 6:35 pace.
Wed: 8.1 miles in 1:00:08 (7:25 pace)
Thur: 11 miles in 1:14:55 (6:48 pace); ran miles 8-10 at 6:07 pace
Fri: 9 miles in 1:07:26 (7:30 pace);
Sat: 9.1 miles in 1:00:40 (6:40 pace); ran miles 5-7 at 5:54 pace
Sun: 13.3 miles in 1:30:35 (6:49 pace); last 4.3 miles at 6:35 pace

Weekly Total: 68.5 miles in 7 sessions

Friday, July 20, 2007

Easy running

I’ve been taking this week fairly easy making sure not to anger the Achilles. I can honestly say that running a bit slower than normal easy pace feels good. It got me thinking that I previously should have been running my recovery runs a few seconds slower. This morning I ran 7 miles with one of my soldiers averaging 7:44 pace before continuing on for a couple more miles. I was feeling really good and couldn’t resist the urge to finish the last mile strong. I finished with a 6:18 mile, which felt very comfortable. (9 miles in 1:07:26 – 7:30 pace)

Thursday: 11 miles steady with miles 8-10 in 18:22 (6:07 pace). Achilles held up pretty good with no problems. Temperature at 0530 was approximately 90 degrees. (11 miles in 1:14:55 - 6:48 pace)

Wednesday: ran an easy 8 miler starting at 8 min. pace and progressing to a last mile of about 6:35. The goal for the week is to put in at least one hour of running each day. (8.1 miles in 1:00:08 – 7:25 pace)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

4 Kinds of People.....

While everyone’s (Mike, Eric, Greg, and everyone else) running and training is going very well, I’m on the other side of the world trying to stay healthy and injury-free. Don’t worry there’s no whining or crying on this end. I’m satisfied enough that the Brooks Axiom is laced up each morning and put to use.

Last night, before hitting the sack and while the booms went off, I watched “JACK DANIELS – The Art and Science of Running” presented by McMillan Running. This DVD is educational and worth purchasing, especially if you’re a fan of Dr. Daniels training philosophy. In one of his sections, he explains that there are 4 kinds of people (runners):

1. A/M: those who have ability and are motivated
- Champions

2. A/NM: those who have ability, but are not motivated (no desire)
- Coach Frustrators

3. NA/M: those who have no ability, but are motivated
- Self Frustrators; he/she will do everything the coach tells him/her to do and more to improve; easily over-trained

4. NA/NM: those who have no ability and are not motivated
- Forget about them; not interested; Losers (he didn’t say this in the DVD)

Which one are you? I think we all would like to be Champions, but were not fortunate to be born with all the ability (talent). I believe that as long as you make the most of your ability and are motivated to reach your goals, then you’re a Champion in my eyes.

Today’s run: 1:09:04 (10 miles – 6:54 pace)
Yesterday: 1:00:40 (8 miles – 7:35 pace)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Much better

This morning's run was much better than the last couple days. I managed to put in 10 pain-free miles at a fairly easy pace. After Friday's leg problems, I started to get back into the habit of stretching at night before hitting the sack. I think it helps keep the leg muscles loose. Eric brings up an excellent point in his comment about the legs needing to get enough blood flow. I think I get enough blood flow to the legs because I'm constantly on the move throughout the day. I'll just need to ensure to take in lots of fluids as it is very easy to become dehydrated in 110 degree temperatures.

This is how the week went:

Monday: 8.1 miles in 56:18 (6:57 pace); Last 4 miles were painful.
Tuesday: No running
Wednesday: No running; lots of stretching
Thursday: No running
Friday: 5 miles in 33:50 (6:46 pace)
Saturday: 8.1 miles in 55:45 (6:53 pace)
Sunday: 10.2 miles in 1:10 (6:52 pace); Miles 7-9 at 6:20 pace.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More problems...

On Monday, I went on my normal one hour easy run. Halfway through the run my Achilles began to act up. It was bothering me to the point where I had to change my stride to relieve some pounding on the right Achilles. I really wanted to stop and walk back but that would mean 4 miles of walking. The run was painful and it left me thinking that I should take the next few days off from running. Later that day, I had treatment #5 of iontophoresis and treatment #6 the following day. I took Tues - Thurs off from running hoping that the leg will get better.

This morning I ran 5 miles to see how the leg would hold up. The Achilles felt fine, but everything else on my right leg didn't. The calves, hamstring, and soleus muscles were very tight and giving me hell. It may have been lack of fluids and stretching. This was one of those runs where if it wasn't one thing it was another. I was just glad to get the run over with.

Today's Run: 33:50 (5 miles - 6:46 pace)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

First week of July

Here's how the week of running went. I ended the week with 56 miles on 6 runs. I'm happy with whatever runs I can put in.

Monday: Easy one hour run. The legs really appreciated the easy effort. Yesterday’s run ended the week at 64 miles, my highest mileage in about 7 months. (8.6 miles in 1:00:04 – 6:58 pace).

Tuesday: 10 miles including 5 x ½ mi with ½ mi recovery. It felt good to put in some fast pace running. I started to feel a little irritation on my right Achilles during the cool-down. (10 miles in 1:06:19 – 6:36 pace).

Wednesday: 6 miles very easy with my NCO. The right Achilles still feels irritated. I had it checked by a physical therapist and underwent 15 minutes of some type of electromagnetic treatment. The PT put two pads on the achilles and attached some wires to it which felt like needles to the skin. Will undergo five more treatments. (6 miles in 45:45 – 7:37 pace)

Thursday: Thought of not running to give the Achilles a break, but my stubbornness led me out the door. Took it easy the entire run. Same exact route and pace as Monday. Underwent treatment #2. (8.6 miles in 1:00 – 6:58 pace)

Friday: 10 miles at aerobic pace. Ran the first 5 miles easy averaging 7:00 min/mile. Ran the second half in 30:58 (6:12 pace). The Achilles was feeling okay so I picked up the pace to get in some faster leg-turnover. I'm really asking for trouble. Treatment #3. PT asked if I ran and I told her yes only a few miles. (10 miles in 1:05:58 – 6:36 pace)

Saturday: Took a day off from running to give the Achilles a break. Rough and busy day. I missed my treatment.

Sunday: With a ¼ mile of visibility due to dusts and temperatures in the low-90s at 5:30 in the morning, I chose to run on the treadmill. Ran majority of the run very easy. In the middle of the run I did 4 x 1 mile at 6:00 pace w/ ½ mile easy in between. Overall, the entire run felt easy. Underwent treatment #4. (13 miles in 1:31:30 – 7:02 pace)

Weekly Total: 56 miles

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Six Months Later...

Wow, my first post on running blog-land since leaving stateside six months ago to attend an unplanned vacation which was extended to 15 months. The workload has settled down so I hope to drop a post once or twice a week to let you know how the running is going. Yes, believe it or not, I’m able to put in some runs despite the unsafe environment. In fact, running has been consistent over the past few months after not running a single mile in January and February. Getting back into some type of running shape was a bit painful at first, but the fitness seems to be coming along fine. On Sunday I ended the week at 64 miles, my highest weekly mileage since last December when I ran Rocket City. The goal for now is to just run and sustain some type of base, hopefully around 50-60 miles/week. With no Running Circles to accompany me on my runs, I had no choice but to adopt a friend from the Garmin family. His name is Forerunner 205. Forerunner keeps me motivated, accompanies me in every run and even measures the run route for me. I never have to worry about him sleeping in too.

Well, enough about Forerunner, this is about me. Yesterday, I ran easy for an hour covering 8.6 miles (6:57 pace). This morning I put in 10 miles which included 5 x ½ mi with ½ mile recoveries. The splits were all over the place at 2:48, 2:39, 2:46, 2:41, & 2:42. It doesn’t really matter since there are no scheduled races on the calendar, at least for the next nine months. The thing that does matter is that I’m still able to put one foot in front of the other.