Sunday, June 26, 2011

Living in the Present: Weight, Training and Racing??

I confess to not weighting myself in a long time like several weeks. So yesterday, after doing a 2 hours run I weighted. I was surprised to be 209, tied for lowest yet. The previous time was after 20 miles at Clinton Lake back in the spring. I have ate too much junk food/high calories in the last several weeks but overall seem to be holding steady.

I'm now at the point I was when in 2003 I lost 27 lbs to 182 during the UI research study diet. Can I redicate myslef to do that again?? That would take me until August 20.

This area has been going well and I'm now hitting the familar summer heat/humidity conditions that reminds me of how tough summer is on your running.

So far this year is as follows:

week 1=43, 2=40,3=36,4=36
Jan total=162
wk 5=23, 6=28,7=22, 8=42
Feb total=126
wk 9=49, 10=52, 11=52, 12=54
March total = 232
wk 13=66, 14=54, 15=61, 16=62, 17=37
April total =237
May -
wk 18=51, 19=62, 20=53, 21=54
May total = 238
June -
wk 22 = 34, 23 = 38, 24 = 72, 25 = 54

One more week in June and I'm on a solid, for me, 2400 mile year total. This includes my walking. I'm doing about 25-35 miles of running with a high of 50 running.

My run pattern is the same as usual: very easy on M, W, F, easy to medium to tempo on T, TH, Sun with adjustments for a max 2 hours long run/walk on Sat during the hot summer months. This has been good decision. I'm almost at 10 miles for the 2 hours. On Tuesday PM's I've been doing 1min fast runs up to 8min pace x 6-8 of them with 1 min walk rest in between. These have been on the treadmill. My foot has been a bit sore after so I must listen closely. Going fast (for me )is NOT worth the pain in my foot coming back and then not runing. For now I'll keep doing the faster short runs on a week to week basis as my foot goes with a possible alternate workout of half-mile's in 4:40 (9:20 pace)- my estimated 5K race pace.

Actually, I know I'll get faster with no change in running if I continue to lost weight. Losing another 20+ lbs will get me down to consistent sub 10 min miles.

My resting pulse is regularly down in the low 40's(41 this morning). This is down from 48-52 about 6-8months ago.

Future plans and racing:

I plan on a 5K or two this summer. This will tell me where I am in basis fitness. I'll admit that racing a 5K scares me, its a long distance sprint for me.
Later in the Fall, maybe another trail race or two, shorter than marathon distance.
Long range into winter and next year(as long as foot/knee) holds, running the LBL trail marathon in March. Then re-access where I am.

For now, I'm going to enjoy the summer, be consistent and hope I never take for granted painfree running.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mileage...and does it matter??

I love to run, so I run as many miles as my body wants or I feel like. Looking back there has been a few times I've run too much before a marathon maybe not tapering enough. But, overall I've run consistent, moderate miles. I'm not a hard trainer. I run moderate and consistent, maybe thats an influence of the 1970's roots, Bill Rodgers, the Joe Henderson books I read or simply I do what I love to do which is run.

By high mileage standards I've run very few weeks over 100 miles, maybe 3 or 4 times in my life (and one of those was a 100 mile race). My biggest average was about 70 miles a week back in the late 1970's. I think that 70 miles a week is the regular guys 100 miles.

This week I've been off work working at home doing various home projects like installing ceiling fans, lights, fixing roof, yard cleanup etc. I decided I would see if I could average 10 miles a day. I recovered heart wise from Lake Mingo but my legs feel a bit achy and tired so my pace is less but my heart is low. Maybe that is from doing the physical work around the house, going up and down on a stool. Not exactly sure.

Yesterday, in the morning I ran my (lately) usual bike path run of 60 mins with Chris, or more rightly he runs with me as he is much faster. I got up and was tired. I ran okay, my HR was low but my hamstring was tight in left leg. I then worked on the roof for 4 hours and was tired. Physical work is hard. I got done what I wanted but decided I needed to eat abit and 30mins later I was napping on the couch for 1.5 hours.

Later in the afternoon Tom rode his bike from champaign to discuss our backpack trip in Sept. then he asked if I was running the full 5 mile trail at the regular Buffalo run. I was tired and said probably not but after he recovered also, we ran the full 5 miles with walk breaks and I felt pretty good, no hamstring soreness.

So far this week thru 5 days I got 49 miles. Today(Friday) is a recovery day so I go very easy, maybe walk 5 mins every mile.....if today goes well I'll do a few miles tonight then I hope 10-12 on Saturday for 70 miles....but Does it matter??

It matters only if it matters to you, was it fun, was it enjoyable,was it mostly pain free.....I'm a moderate effort long distance runner who loves to run so I do it as much as it matters to me and not one step more.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lake Mingo Trial race - 7.1 miles

Well, I ran my first race of any kind since April 2007, the Lake Mingo Trail race of 7.1 miles.

It was my first race less than an ultra distance since 9/24/2006 (and I speed walked that one). In looking at my log books my last marathon and under race that I actaully raced was Sept 2004 at Wild Wilderness trail 7.6 mile race in 66:23.

I ran 80:20 (11:19 pace) at 158 HR average. I finished 149 of 259. It was fun and just like it was in 2004, you run as fast as you can, using other people around you to push you, pace you or hold you back. There were other "buffalo" who were racing Mingo for the first time in a while. Tom, Duane and Marty....somehow, all three of these guys thought they would start at the back, and that is where I started we took off and within 100 feet stopped as the start narrows quickly. before the first mile there is a big downhill, and with the course slick with mud, in-experienced runners stopped and tip-toed down so we (all 4 of us) went around them and flew/slide down the hill.

Then, it became apparant, these 3 guys, who are all way faster then me, were at least going to run together and all I had to do was try to keep up. We ran steady but the effert did not seem to create very fast mile splits, but then again, this is mingo and it was humid (not hot, thank goodness) and slick mud created interesting up/down hills. We traded back and fore the lead of the pack...and it started to get fun...especially after the 2nd aid station where there seemed to be no one in front or behind us...each of us pushed to keep the other 3 going...every once and awhile we would catch and pass 5.5 miles we finished the trail and started the flater grass/dirt access road then across the dam. At the last aid station, I took a sip of Curt's special whiskey for the first time(oh my, strongest drink I ever touched) I quickly got water on my head and took off. I seemed to get out of the aid stations quickly, so I paced the group to the last grass path until the open field, when Duane, Tom and Marty stepped it up a notch leading me to the finish line.

WOW, that was fun, racing is racing and it felt the same as when I ran 61:10 in 2003.

Jason was at the finish, he ran good, 60:47, 34th overall of about 250, which broke my family record. He seemed pleased. Brandon, his friend from high school, ran 52 mins, 9th overall...he would have run faster if he had not took off so much time since his marathon, but he is learning his long runs can carry you a long way for shorter races.

A few observations:
1. Mingo course is tough, hardest short race I've run.
2. Too many people spent too long at aid stations...even Jason noticed that to me.
3. races are overall slower than they used to 10 years ago, definitely slower than 20-30 years ago.
4. many people in the back of the pack do not know how to go downhills.
5. Racing, when fit, and not over doing it, is fun...I doubt neither of the 4 of us could have run as fast as without it other.

I do not know exactly when my next race will be but I'm thinking its time for a road 5K to see where I'm at...5k's are hard, long distance sprint....for now back to regular running, a refocus on my diet and work.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Racing vs Training

Sat June 11, 2011

Ever since I started running I've had a love/hate relationship with racing. When in good shape I like to race and it brings the best out of me, as I use the other race participants to push me to my best. BUT, on the other hand, sometimes racing would get in the way of good training. What I mean is the tapper before and the rest after keeps me from doing what I love the most, which is to run.

In the last few months as my training got better and better, and losing 25 lbs, as I got in my best shape in 4 years, I began to think about racing again. I knew I did not want to race an ultra or a marathon yet, but a shorter race.

So, today I run the Lake Mingo Trial race of 7.1 miles. I've run it several times in the past, my best being 61 mins in 2003. 2 weeks ago in hot/humid and very wet/muddy conditions I ran 88 mins and felt pretty bad.

Confusion time, I've not under 200lbs, I stopped at about 210lbs but thats ok, as if I truly want to keep losing weight plateau's are healthy and normal. After the race, I'll start another period of 8 weeks weigh lost program to get me thru the summer. We will see.

My plan is to start the race at the back but I may change that at the start...I'll see how my warmup is and go from there. It will be good to see old friends and see how I do. A bonus is my son is also racing for the first time in 7 years, since high school.

After the race I'll get back to miles and with me being off next week to work at home, maybe I'll shot for 10 miles a day????.......but right now, its race time!!