07 December 2009

Walk at work

Duration = 29:56
Distance = 1.5
Calories = 127 (estimate)

I felt fairly good after the race on Saturday. I didn't have any hint of the ITB on the right that I have a tendency for. Sunday, I had very stiff calves. This is the first time I've had any issue with the calf muscle. The stiffness seems to go away once I start moving. My wife massaged my legs last night. Rather than run this morning, I decided to walk at lunch inside my office building. We have a measured 1/2 mile path. I did this at a very comfortable pace. I only did 1.5 miles as I had to get back to work and had started later than I had planned.

Lap Times:
  1. 10:04
  2. 9:48
  3. 10:04

05 December 2009

2009-10 Reese Winter Race Series 10K #1

Duration = 1:02:33
Distance = 6.36
Calories = 764
Max HR = 190
Avg HR = 178
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 125
Avg Cadence = 93

I drove up to Reese, MI for this race. This is the first of a monthly series of races on the first Saturday of each month finishing in March. The course is a flat loop through part of the town run twice for the 10K. The temperature was in the mid-20s and sunny with a few clouds and a wind from the southwest during the race. There was overcast and snow flurries before and after the race. I was planning on running at 9:00/mile for the first half or so, but I quickly determined that this wasn't to be. I, then, hoped to stay under 1 hour, or at least to be under 10:00/mile. At least I made the last of those. I finished 89 of 90 running the 10K in 1:01:15.15 (9:51/mile).

This really shows me that I need to be consistent with my training. I will participate in as many of these races as I can. Repeating the same course will give me great feedback on this phase of my training.

[Posted 7 Dec 2009]

03 December 2009

Gotta keep running

Duration = 50:11
Distance = 3.58
Calories = 410
Max HR = 151
Avg HR = 141
Running Index = 44
Max Cadence = 94
Avg Cadence = 88

Not as good as the last treadmill session at this intensity. I gotta get more consistent if I want to improve.

Standard start of 5 minutes at 4.0 mph. Ramp finished at 4.9 when I topped 145 on the heart rate. I did 8 minutes at 4.9 before I started hitting 150 which is the current limit I want to stay under. I dropped the speed as needed and finished at 4.4. Then the normal cool-down at 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5 and 2.0 for a minute each with a finishing HR of 124.

Saturday will be the first of a series of monthly races that I will use to gage my progress through the winter.

27 November 2009

Indoor Track in Springfield, IL

Duration = 47:00
Distance = 3.78
Calories = 420
Max HR = 184
Avg HR = 148
Running Index = 44
Max Cadence = 124
Avg Cadence = 90

After Thanksgiving, my wife and I did a road trip to Springfield, IL. Another member of our party noted that access to a local gym came with the room we were in. She and I took advantage of that access this evening before dinner.

She explored the indoor pools and did some water aerobics. I used their indoor track (13 laps per mile) as I have friends who think I already spend too much time on treadmills. There was never more than one other runner or walker on the track which was two lanes wide. I did the entire session aiming to keep my HR around 145 except for the three strides I ran on one of the longer straight sections. I also ran the last lap as a strong sprint.

[Posted 3 Dec 2009]

26 November 2009

Thanksgiving Day Shuffle

Duration = 33:05
Distance = 1.96
Calories = 231
Max HR = 138
Avg HR = 130
Running Index = 41
Max Cadence = 92
Avg Cadence = 72

I ate way too much. I took it easy on myself and held the HR down. I did a 5 minute warm-up run at 4.0 mph and held that pace until about 8:00 into the session when I slowed to keep the HR under 135. This resulted in a drop to a walk for the remainder of the session.

[Posted 3 Dec 2009]

21 November 2009

USAF Fitness Test - Nov 2009

Duration = 16:42
Distance = 1.85
Calories = 190
Max HR = 192
Avg HR = 171
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 97
Avg Cadence = 108

I didn't have to complete this assessment this month, but I did anyway. We ran on a 1/4 mile track. I ran the first lap with another unit member running just ahead and to the outside. For the second lap, I picked up the pace to demonstrate what his target would look like. I ran the remaining mile at a progressively faster pace. Final time was 13:06 (8:44/mile) which beats last years time by 30 seconds. I then ran with the other member for his last lap.

My waist is still 37 inches and I only did 30 push-ups and 20 sit-ups which, with the run, yielded 75.15 points. This is just good enough to pass this year. The rules change next year. This performance next year would yield 75.3 points which meets the 75-point requirement, but you also have to meet a minimum on each component. I would fail as I need 34 sit-ups to pass that component of the test. My best performance on the sit-ups is 24, so I have a ways to go to bridge the gap. The good news is that I have at least 6 months before I have to meet the new standard.

[Posted 3 Dec 2009]

19 November 2009

We Have a Baseline

Duration = 36:07
Distance = 2.70
Calories = 286
Max HR = 153
Avg HR = 139
Running Index = 47
Max Cadence = 101
Avg Cadence = 90

You gotta like it when you have to increase pace to keep from falling under your target HR range. Tonight, I planned a shorter session leading into my assessment this weekend. Heart rate took a bit longer to ramp up tonight than the rest of the week. I was still in the target range when I got to 4.9 mph. After 2 minutes there, I was under the target again, so I increased to 5.0. I stayed in the range for the rest of the session. Also, the cool-down had me down to a HR of 116. Granted this was a shorter session, everything is pointing to improved fitness.

Based on these numbers, I will try for a 1.5-mile time of 12:00. This would knock over a minute off the average pace. I hope I have enough strength endurance in my arms and core for a decent showing on those parts of the assessment. I am a bit disappointed in myself as I had hoped to be shooting for an across-the-board maximum performance by now, but I haven't trained for it and that is not even on the radar at this time.

18 November 2009

More data

Duration = 51:12
Distance = 3.89
Calories = 426
Max HR = 155
Avg HR = 143
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 99
Avg Cadence = 89

Tonight was very similar to yesterday. Following the same plan, I reached the same peak speed, 4.9 mph. I held it for longer (20 minutes) before I had to dropped to 4.8 which I maintained until my cool-down. Cool-down was 6 minutes ending with 1 minute at 2.0 and a finishing heart rate of 123.

Assuming tomorrow is in the same ball park, I have my baseline for my base building cycle. I'm also feeling good with my running and this is very good news.

17 November 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

Duration = 1:06:18
Distance = 5.01
Calories = 571
Max HR = 156
Avg HR = 145
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 97
Avg Cadence = 90

I used the same plan as yesterday with the exception being that I was going to run for 60 minutes instead of 45. I expected that I would see a very similar progression. What happened is that my heart rate seemed to be ramping up at a slower rate. I made it all the way to 4.9 mph (vs 4.5 yesterday) before I hit 145, the bottom of the range (145-155) I want to run in for the time being. I maintained 4.9 until I started bumping the top of that target range after 14 minutes (27 minutes into the session). I dropped to 4.8. The next drops were also .1 each after 9 and 10 minutes. The last section was run at 4.6. The cool-down was to 4.5 then .5 each minute to 2.0 finishing with a heart rate of 125 after 1 minute at 2.0.

I don't totally understand the difference unless it is a bit cooler in the basement today. The watch if anything measured a touch warmer (72°F vs 70°F). I don't wear the watch when running on the treadmill; I attach it to a bar on the treadmill. I experienced no significant discomfort during this run. It is nice to have run up to 10% faster for the same heart rate. Individual session variation is one reason I am using this whole week as a baseline for this training cycle.

16 November 2009

The Long, Hard Road

Duration = 50:11
Distance = 3.62
Calories = 432
Max HR = 155
Avg HR = 145
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 105
Avg Cadence = 90

[There have been a few sessions since the last entry, but I'm going to look forward rather then go back and get them.]

This is the start of my training for my next Goal Race, the 2010 USAF Marathon in September. One thing I've learned about myself is that I need a goal to focus my attention. I have a couple other significant events next year: the Bataan Memorial Death March in March and the Trail Half Marathon in April. I will also run a series of 10Ks over the winter and am looking to have about a race a month until September. As the USAF Marathon will be my first race at marathon distance, my goal is to finish, but I would like to finish well.

The Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, NM is my intermediate goal. It is marathon length, but I don't plan to race it. I will be participating in the Military Heavy division. This means, for me, my US Air Force utility uniform with approved combat boots and a backpack with at least 35 pounds of payload. My plan is to finish and I have all day (about 13 hours) to do it. As the name suggests, this is in memory of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines during WWII. We still have a few survivors of that event who are on hand for the start of this commemorative event. It is honoring my military heritage that is my primary intent for this event. Also, the 35 pounds will represent the weight I will have lost over a year and a half of training. Because I expect to do this event at a significantly slower pace than any of my other races, I will do all my training leading to it as long, slow, distance (LSD) runs. This will be a long base-building cycle patterned after some of the writing of John Hadd. It also takes a page from Matt Fitzgerald's Brain Training. Basically, I will be training at, or near, the pace I hope to hold for the March.

In April, I plan to run the Trail Half Marathon that I missed in 2009 because of my deployment. We'll see where we are at after recovering from the March and extend the training to the end of April. The last race before I start the specific training for the USAF Marathon will be the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day. I will likely using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 program as the basis of my marathon training.

The goal for this week is to set a baseline to start the base training. The current plan is for 45 and 60 minute runs at about a heart rate of 150. Today, I started at 4.0 mph (15:00) for the first 5 minutes and then increased by .1 each minute until I reached 4.5 as this got me into the 145-155 range I had as my target. I then ran the rest of the 45 minute session at 4.5. At 45:00, I dropped to 4 and then dropped .5 each minute to 2.0 and finished after 1 minute at 2.0 with a final heart rate of 126.

06 October 2009

Beginning of a new cycle

Duration = 30:15
Distance = 2.32
Calories = 278
Max HR = 167
Avg HR = 150
Running Index = 38
Max Cadence = 100
Avg Cadence = 86

Ran on the treadmill tonight for the first time in months. Not very pretty. I ended up walking part of this session. First step, then, is to get back to where I can complete the full 30 minutes at the target pace. Only then will I start on the training plan for the next cycle. I'm still working on exactly what that is going to look like. I may simply do some base-building followed by mild speedwork for the rest of the year.

04 October 2009

2009 Big House Big Heart 5K

Duration = 30:46 (from watch)
Distance = 3.29 (from watch)
Calories = 351
Max HR = 193
Avg HR = 169
Running Index = 44
Max Cadence = 103
Avg Cadence = 94

Actual chip time was 29:16.7 for an average pace of 9:25/mile.

This course has a significant climb in the first mile. The middle of the course is pretty flat with a significant descent after the end of mile 2. This finish is through a descending tunnel to the playing field of Michigan Stadium, along one sideline to the endzone, across to the goalpost, and right down the middle of the field to finish on the 50 yard line.

This performance represents a VDOT of 31.73. I will use this to set target paces for the next cycle of training.

19 September 2009

2009 USAF Marathon

Duration = 2:37:48
Distance = 13.36
Calories = 1681
Max HR = 204
Avg HR = 163
Running Index = 43
Max Cadence = 120
Avg Cadence = 92

The USAF Marathon was my goal race for this year. While I was deployed to Iraq (the reason I've been quiet the last several months), I didn't get the miles in that I wanted to complete a full marathon. I swapped for the half-marathon.

It was great. The full marathon and the 10K started on 0730. They had a fly-over of a pair of F-16s that was right on time with full afterburner as the climbed out. The starting gun was a small explosion. The half marathon started at 0830 with a similar sequence. It took me three minutes to get to the start. The race runs through Wright-Patterson AFB, OH which is also the location of Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers did work on their kites and gliders leading to the development of the Wright Flyer. We had a Wright B Flyer over the course for most of my run. We also had additional fly-overs at different times during the race.

From my watch, I have the following lap times (rounded to the second):
1 12:02
2 11:26
3 11:39
4 11:21
5 11:34
6 12:07
7 11:19
8 13:03 (Portajohn stop)
9 11:29
10 11:43
11 10:42
12 11:16
13 11:33

Finish = 2:33:02 Chip Time = 2:32:52

This is a rough value looking at the download from my Polar HRM. There are results posted, but I'm not in them. I'll see if there is anything I can do to get my chip time next week. ETA: I am now in the results.

I had a minor issue in mile 10 and walked up one hill in there. Except for that, I felt really good during this race. I walked through most of the aid stations drinking Gatorade and water. I didn't get a chance to try anything else during my training, so I didn't try anything new during the race. I was a bit sore after the race, but a shower, a 4-5 hour nap and an Advil seems to have helped greatly.

[Updated 2009-09-26 0126 EDT for results]

14 April 2009

Starting the Next Journey

Duration = 30:02
Distance = 2.26
Calories = 241
Max HR = 182
Avg HR = 139
Running Index = 41
Max Cadence = 113
Avg Cadence = 84

Initial goal was to run the 30 minutes at a constant, slow speed and see how that worked. It didn't. I have a soreness like a bruise on the outside of the left mid-foot. I also still have IT band issues on the right. I need to work on some of the strength exercise I have for that.

Since the initial plan was out the door, I tried something else. After 9 minutes of running, I walked for a few minutes and my heart rate had recovered, so I tried a 60 second interval at 8.0 mph (7:30 pace). This went quite well, so I turned this into a short repeat session. I ran another 60 second interval at 8.0, recovered, ran a 2 minute interval at 8.0, recovered and ran a last 60 second interval at 8.0, and finished with a cool-down through the end of the 30 minutes planned for this session.

Probably not the best approach, but I feel good after completing it.

12 April 2009

Walk the Path on Sunday

Duration = 43:09
Distance = 2.45
Calories = 188
Max HR = 112
Avg HR = 102
Max Cadence = 69
Avg Cadence = 65

My wife and I enjoyed a nice walk in the local park just be sunset. It was cool with a bit of a breeze. I'm still recovering from the race yesterday, so the pace tonight wasn't particularly fast, even for a walk.

I still have the altitude sensor live on the HRM. This showed about a 10 foot drop in the elevation of my driveway during the walk. (The atmospheric pressure actually rose which shows as a drop in elevation.) The real variance on this route is more like 30 feet. I'm going to have to go further afield to find real hills when I get to needing hill repeats. (Not this cycle, but eventually)

The rest of this post is omphaloskepsis and can be safely ignored.

I've finally decided what to do with the tagging of these sessions. I'd been using trail to distinguish that from road courses, and, of course, from the treadmill. The problem I had was that I now know that 'trail' tends to imply beyond the pavement. I intend to do some trail running and wanted to make that clear in the tags. I've decided to call the paved trails paths and use the tag 'path' to note their use. (This is pretty obvious once one thinks about it, but it took me a while to get past the dual use of 'trail'.) I now have posts with the following tags: treadmill, path (paved; no normal motorized traffic), and road (paved; motorized traffic, even on a closed course). 'Track' is a special path specific to running or walking. (If it deviates too much from what is usually found around a football pitch, it is likely to called a "path".) I add 'indoor' to denote the protection from the elements. (Currently, only used in 'indoor track'.) I will use 'trail' once I actually do some running off of paved surfaces.

11 April 2009

Tax Trot Long Form (10K)

Duration = 1:07:13 (Session time; Official time for race was 1:05:05)
Distance = 6.28
Calories = 747
Max HR = 193
Avg HR = 167
Running Index = 43
Max Cadence = 124
Avg Cadence = 90

I ran my first 10K this morning (completing another fitness goal for 2009). This was part of the Tax Trot in Flushing, MI, USA. The races has tax inspired names: 1040EZ, Long Form, and Extension for the 5K, 10K, and 15K respectively. Conditions at race start were clear, 40F, with a bit of wind from the North. I activated the altimeter feature of the Polar RS800CX as I wasn't familiar with the course and wanted the information. Based on the data, this is a really flat course. (The measured range was 36 feet from 3 to -33. I suspect that most of this is really increasing atmospheric pressure as the finish is at -30 and very close to the start where I reset the altimeter to 0.)

I was wearing a light jacket, vented cap, shorts and long-sleeved wicking shirt. I debated leaving the jacket behind, but kept it due to the wind. This may have been the best choice, but I didn't need it by the end. I might have wanted longer socks to keep my legs a bit warmer during the walk intervals, but that was minor. I was wearing much less than in February when the temperature was similar, but there was no sun.

I didn't see marks for Mile 1 or Mile 6. The pace for the segments I did see were as follows:
10:05 (First 2 miles)
10:13 (Last 1.2 miles)

10:29 (average for official time of 1:05:05)

The last half mile was into the North wind. The core of this course is a loop of about 3 miles taken as needed for each of the target distances. A consequence of this is displaced starts for each of the distances as well. Timing is a gang start with a chip measured finish. A minor concern with this course is that it is open to traffic, but that traffic is accommodating of the runners. There is a water station near the end of the loop.

I used a 3:1 run/walk plan for this race. This worked fairly well. I walked through the water station regardless of where that was in the run/walk sequence. I also dropped the walk intervals during the last half mile and had a nice kick at the end. A bit better pace management and I would have broken the hour, but I'm happy with this first effort at this distance. I placed first (of 2) in my age group and 53rd (of 72) overall.

Next week starts the training for my first marathon in September. I intend to maintain the 3:1 run/walk for this effort. My goal for the marathon is just to finish, but I would like to finish well by running the race as planned.

10 April 2009

Final Trial Mile Before First 10K

Duration = 32:12
Distance = 2.66
Calories = 333
Max HR = 188
Avg HR = 159
Running Index = 38
Max Cadence = 124
Avg Cadence = 89

The time for the mile was basically the same as the last one (8:51 vs 8:50). Heart rate this time was a bit higher than last time for the same result. I did warm up first, ran the trial with a single 30 second walk just after the 1/2 mile, recovered from the trial, and finished with 12 minutes of a 5.0/3.0 3/1 minute run/walk. We'll see what the weekend 10K brings.

[Posted 2009-04-10 2000]

05 April 2009

Long Run/Walk (4:1)

Duration = 33:00
Distance = 2.40
Calories = 276
Max HR = 169
Avg HR = 142
Running Index = 40
Max Cadence = 109
Avg Cadence = 80

There may be a pattern here. I found this evening's long run/walk particularly difficult. I did push the pace for the run interval to 6.0 mph (from 5.0 for the long session). I felt stiff and my right knee was acting up, again. I stopped the run segments after 3 iterations about 14 minutes into the session. I walked long enough to exceed a half hour, but stopped as even the walk was bothering my knee. This weekend included 5 hours each way in a car and this is similar to the trouble I had after flying to Georgia in January.

[Posted 2009-04-10 1945]

02 April 2009

Run/Walk (4:1)

Duration = 30:01
Distance = 2.79
Calories = 279
Max HR = 178
Avg HR = 150
Running Index = 49
Max Cadence = 108
Avg Cadence = 93

Short run/walk this evening while my wife read accounts from The Darwin Awards. Run intervals were 4 minutes with the first at 5.0 mph, then alternating 6.0 and 7.0 for the remainder of the session. Walk intervals were 1 minute at 3.0 mph. Short cool-down at 3.0 for about 3 minutes.

I'm pushing the 7.0 mph intervals with the goal of moving to all 7.0 mph run intervals. Time will tell. Challenge for this weekend will be finding time to run while travelling. That would be preferable to running on the treadmill Sunday night.

31 March 2009

Run/Walk (4:1)

Duration = 35:01
Distance = 3.29
Calories = 367
Max HR = 185
Avg HR = 161
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 112
Avg Cadence = 96

I good session. Most runs were 4 minutes at 6.0 mph and the walks were 1 minute at 3.0 mph. At 20:00, I did a quick pyramid burst: 30 sec at 6.0, 30 sec at 7.0, 30 sec at 8.0, 30 sec at 7.0, the rest of the interval at 6.0. The last run, at 30:00, was 4 minutes at 7.0. The final walk was 30 sec at 5.0 then 30 sec at 4.0. Cool-down (recording off) was 5 minutes at 3.0 followed by 4 minutes at 2.5 to allow my heart rate to recover to under 130.

I'm quite happy with this session. I did learn that I need to limit the volume of what I drink just before running. Nothing serious, but I would have been a bit more comfortable in the beginning of the run. My knee actually felt better after the run than before. The intervals are set based on what my knee will allow. Aerobically, I could easily run a constant 6.0 for the whole session. I need to focus on strengthening my core and strengthening the muscles related to the ITB.

30 March 2009

Another Walk in the Park

Duration = 41:52
Distance = 2.60
Calories = 185
Max HR = 115
Avg HR = 103
Max Cadence = 73
Avg Cadence = 69

My wife and I took a walk in the park adjacent to our subdivision just before sundown. This was entirely paved trails. There was a bit of standing water in a couple low spots, but otherwise the path was dry. It was quite comfortable with little wind and cool temps.

29 March 2009

Back Home Again

Duration = 46:01
Distance = 3.55
Calories = 384
Max HR = 157
Avg HR = 141
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 108
Avg Cadence = 94

It is good getting back home. I prefer my treadmill to the one in the hotel. Sleet and snow tonight so outside wasn't really an option. I may see how much outside running I can do next winter when I have time to get used to it. Of course, having someone read to you while running does help the time go by.

Tonight was a long run with 1.5% grade (minimum for home treadmill). Run/walk intervals of 4 minutes at 5.0 mph and 1 minute at 3.0 mph. Average pace was basically 13 minutes a mile. Feeling pretty good. Two weeks to my first 10K.

24 March 2009

Run/Walk (4:1)

Duration = 32:38
Distance = 2.84
Calories = 331
Max HR = 190
Avg HR = 155
Running Index = 44
Max Cadence = 108
Avg Cadence = 93

I tried a 4-to-1 ratio tonight. This proved to be successful. I walked at 3.0 mph and ran at 6.0 until the last run interval. That interval stepped up after each minute from 6.0, through 7.0 and 8.0, finishing at 9.0. The cool-down started at 5.0, then 4.0, finishing at 3.0. I may stick with this interval for a while as it is easy for me to remember.

[Posted 2009-03-25 2340]

22 March 2009

Peak Long Run for 10K

Duration = 1:35:01
Distance = 6.85 (From foot sensor; treadmill was over 7)
Calories = 771
Max HR = 151
Avg HR = 137
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 104
Avg Cadence = 87

This was the peak distance for the 10K race on 11 April. I debated adjusting this and running it next weekend, but decided to give it a try and I'm happy I did. I ran this with 5.0 mph runs for the 3 minute interval and 3.0 mph walks for 1 minute. I have every confidence that I will be able to run the 6.2 miles of the 10K in three weeks.

Using Daniels' formula, yesterday's race supports a vdot of 34. This predicts a time of 57:26(9:14/mile). As it is a first race at this distance, my goal is to finish. It looks like this shouldn't take much over an hour and a sub-60 finish is possible. I'll probably run the race similar to the last. The major question is which interval to use. I may try 4:1 during the next week to see how I do and hold with that through the race.

21 March 2009

Daniel Island 5K

Duration = 30:09
Distance = 3.18
Calories = 362
Max HR = 196
Avg HR = 172
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 113
Avg Cadence = 96

It was a great day for a race. There was a bit of wind, but this didn't have much impact. Race temperature was about 50F. The race T-shirt was long-sleeved. I wore this over a short-sleeved wicking shirt. With shorts, this was just right. I was running with an interval timer and that worked very well.

They announced that this was a new course. (It WAS different than the one on their website.) The first part was on residential streets starting from Bishop England High School. Near the halfway point, the course turned onto a bike path. This ran to a corner of the school property. The last bit was across a field, then a bit of parking lot, before passing between the track and the football stadium. The end was half a lap on the track.

It was a good start. I got all my technology going. There was a bit of sorting out and it was very crowded for the first bit. I will need to figure out how to stay out of the way when I stop to walk. There was water at the 1 and 2 mile point. I bypassed the first, but took a cup at the second. I need to work on water stations more, but I did get a couple swallows of water. There was a bit of a kick left in me at the end. Splits were about 8:30, 9:00, 9:10 (estimates as I didn't mark the miles).

I need to even my pacing a bit. My cadence was good and consistent, but I was shortening my stride a bit during the run interval.

I felt really good about this run. I was quite surprised when I got to the first mile and was well under 10 minutes. I started thinking about a sub-30 race when I was well under 20 at 2 miles. The final time was 27:39 for an average pace of 8:54. I am this at a faster average pace than I did the 1.5 mile run in December.

17 March 2009

Hard session (3:1)

Duration = 32:01
Distance = 3.14
Calories = 327
Max HR = 174
Avg HR = 156
Running Index = 47
Max Cadence = 109
Avg Cadence = 94

I need to remember to start the interval timer sooner. I ran this with 3 minute run and 1 minute walk intervals. The speed was 7.0 mph for the run and 3.5 for the walk. Today's grade was 0%. This treadmill seems to run a bit slower for a reported speed than the one at home. I will have to verify this once I am home as I also changed the sensor calibration between home and here.

This was the best pace I've averaged since my 1.5 mile run in December for the USAF. Again, I am quite happy to be actively training again.

16 March 2009

Elliptical Session

Duration = 30:25
Calories = 152
Max HR = 129
Avg HR = 108

This was my first time trying an elliptical. I found it interesting, but I'm not sure it is for me. The biggest problem is that I have very short legs and the strides seemed totally out of line with what was reasonable. I'll have to read up to see if I just have the wrong idea on how the exercise is supposed to go.

[Posted 2009-03-17 2253]

15 March 2009

Long Run/Walk (3:1)

Duration = 1:21:09
Distance = 6.04
Calories = 736
Max HR = 181
Avg HR = 146
Running Index = 44
Max Cadence = 117
Avg Cadence = 90

Long run/walk with 3 minutes run and 1 minute walk. Treadmill in hotel exercise room. Took a bit to get everything right. I used 1.5% to match the grade at home. Most of the session was 5.0 mph for the run and 3.0 mph for the walk. I did one run increasing by steps to 8.0. The next included a brief 9.0 run. The last run was at 7.0 for 2 minutes.

13 March 2009

A walk near Huffman Prairie

Duration = 35:58
Distance = a bit over 2 miles

My wife and I went for a walk this evening. We covered a bit over 2 miles in just under 36 minutes. Temperature was 45F. It was a beautiful day.

[Posted 2009-03-14 2124]

12 March 2009

Sensor Calibration

Duration = 42:24
Distance = 3.70
Calories = 397
Max HR = 175
Avg HR = 148
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 127
Avg Cadence = 87

I ran this session on a quarter-mile track in 35F weather. The first mile was a constant run for the purpose of calibrating the stride sensor I'm been using since November. The 4 laps yielded a measured distance of 1.036 miles for a calibration factor of 0.965. I then did a couple sprints on the straights of the next lap. The remainder of the session was run/walk interval (3:1) followed by a cool-down walk.

[Posted 2009-03-12 2110]

10 March 2009

Challenging Time Trial

Duration = 30:08
Distance = 2.35
Calories = 241
Max HR = 179
Avg HR = 136
Running Index = 40
Max Cadence = 108
Avg Cadence = 77

I did improve my time on this Time Trial Mile by 20 seconds to 8:50. I know I can do better, but I just didn't feel "right" tonight. It might be something I ate today, or it could be something I'm fighting off. At least I'm feeling strong mechanically. Once I'm feeling better generally, I probably need to spend some time doing intervals to push myself a bit to get used to operating up in these higher speeds. It is uncomfortable and I need to get used to being uncomfortable if I'm going to make the improvements I want.

09 March 2009


I'm putting the strength training on hiatus. I'm not progress at all. In fact, I appear to be regressing. I'm not sure if it is simply muscle fatigue, or if there are minor issues in my joints that are being adversely affected by the training. It is possible that the running (which is improving) and the weight loss are also impacting on the strength training. I will work on both the sit-ups and push-ups in the future as these are related to my long-term fitness goals, but I think a compete break now is in order. This will also simplify other things I have in progress and upcoming.

Monday Walk

Duration = 45:02
Distance = 2.70
Calories = 186
Max HR = 107
Avg HR = 99
Max Cadence = 67
Avg Cadence = 64

Simple walk tonight. We finished the current book and started the next.

08 March 2009

Long Run/Walk (2:1->3:1)

Duration = 1:25:28
Distance = 6.72
Calories = 737
Max HR = 158
Avg HR = 142
Running Index = 48
Max Cadence = 107
Avg Cadence = 89

Pushed over 6 miles today. My heart rate seemed to be fairly low as I was getting the first mile down and I was feeling pretty good; so, I changed to ratio to run 3 minutes/walk 1 minute. I was a bit irregular with this as I have always started running on multiples of three. Now, I am aiming for multiples of four. This lead to a couple of 7 minute run intervals. Even with that, I'm feeling pretty good.

The goal race for this cycle is a 10K. This run extended beyond that at about 77 minutes (1:17). This at a faster pace than the overall pace I ran for the 5K on 1 Feb. I'm feeling real good about the April race. Next week, I will use the 3:1 ratio. I'd like to get to a 4:1 as that would have me starting the run at '5' and '0'.

05 March 2009

Thursday Run/Walk (2:1)

Duration = 50:01
Distance = 4.24
Calories = 463
Max HR = 168
Avg HR = 148
Running Index = 48
Max Cadence = 107
Avg Cadence = 87

Nice steady session. Run at 6.0 mph and walk at 3.0. After 44:00, final cool-down at 3.0.

Comparing this session with a week ago, I can see a distinct improvement in the heart rate throughout the session. Also, the shoes are working well.

It's starting to get to the point where I can realistically consider running outside. However, it is really nice to have someone read to me while I am running on the treadmill.

04 March 2009

Challenging Day

Sit-ups (W3D1): 15, 18, 11, 7, 7
Push-ups (W3D2): 14, 19, 9, 7, 7

Four more sit-ups today than Monday. The second set was pretty rough as well. Maybe third time will be the charm.

Hideous day for push-ups. The effort is even affecting my typing. We will drop back on Friday, or I may start Week 3 over next Monday as I am travelling this weekend.

Henceforth, I will drop back one day at each failure. I may need to spend two days at each level to allow my body time to adapt.

The good news is that I seem to be over whatever was bothering me Monday.


Duration = 31:15
Distance = 1.97
Calories = 147
Max HR = 115
Avg HR = 105
Max Cadence = 71
Avg Cadence = 67

Walk today. I'm still trying to figure out what the pace should be for these. Right now, I assume I should get into at least the lowest aerobic zone. The directions are less than clear in the 10K program I'm following.

03 March 2009

One Mile Time Trial

Duration = 32:01
Distance = 2.71
Calories = 292
Max HR = 183
Avg HR = 146
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 105
Avg Cadence = 86

The goal for today's run was to perform a one mile time trial to get an idea of current fitness and set some reasonable training paces based on that. This trail is based on the "Miracle Mile" from Jeff Galloway's book and website. The timed mile is embedded in a longer session including warm-up and cool-down. He suggests not using a treadmill, but I figure that, if anything, my treadmill understates speed and distance.

My warm-up was a walking lap at 3.0 -> 3.5 -> 4.0 mph, then a 5.0 running lap. I did a short walk at 3.0, then started the timed mile. The first 5 minutes were at 6.5, then I did a 30 second walk at 3.0. After the brief walk, I resumed using a new speed of 7.0. The last half lap was at 7.5 -> 8.0. The time for the mile was 9:10. I walked for 4 minutes at 3.5 then finished the rest of the session with a run/walk of 5.0/3.0. The last run was at 6.0 and the last walk was at 3.5. Final cool-down was at 3.0.

In rough numbers, and using the more pessimistic prediction, the pace for a 5K is 10:00, for a 10K is 10:30, and for the marathon is 12:00. This yields a training pace of 14:00 if I were to follow a strict reading of Galloway's method. I've been using 10:00 as the pace of the runs of the two weekday run/walks and 12:00 for the run during the Sunday long run/walk. My current goal race is a 10K in April. I think what I've been doing is in line with this program for now. I will do another time trial next Tuesday starting with a speed of 7.0 and see how that goes.

02 March 2009

What happens when you take a week off

Sit-ups (W3D1): 15, 18, 10, 6, 5
Push-ups (W3D1): 12, 17, 13, 13, 18

It doesn't help that I've developed the sniffles as well, but the week off does show in the numbers. I've read that muscular fitness falls off after 96 hours of no training.

I will repeat Week 3 Day 1 of sit-ups until I meet the standard. I made the standard with the push-ups, but I took significant breaks between sets.

New Shoes

Duration = 45:13
Distance = 2.99
Calories = 256
Max HR = 128
Avg HR = 114
Running Index = 52
Max Cadence = 74
Avg Cadence = 70

Starting this week with new shoes. I plan to wear them for the whole week. I had a minor issue getting the HRM to note the new shoes. I had to turn on the option for the second pair of shoes and associate the stride sensor with them. These shoes are a touch smaller than my other pair and, as such, may fit better.

After getting started at 3.0 mph for a few minutes, I increased the grade to 3.0%. I eventually pushed the speed to 3.8 mph. I never got above Zone 2 during this walk. I have to remember that these are supposed to be easy days, but I need some aerobic effect.

Jeff Galloway's book, Training Programs, and an interval timer came in the mail today. Hopefully, the book will give a better idea how I'm supposed to approach each of these sessions. His website was less than clear.

01 March 2009

Long Run/Walk (2:1)

Duration = 1:09:30
Distance = 5.26
Calories = 552
Max HR = 154
Avg HR = 135
Running Index = 49
Max Cadence = 99
Avg Cadence = 83

Today's long run was for 5 miles. Run intervals at 5.0 mph and walk at 3.0. Still running 2 minutes and walking 1. Next week is new shoes with the same ratio.

With the new month, let's report a few totals. I'll do a set for January as I haven't reported them yet.

January = 25.8
February = 48.1
YTD = 79.2 (includes today, 1 March)

January = 5:39
February = 11:56
YTD = 18:44 (includes today, 1 March)

Finally, I used my HRM, a Polar RS800CX, to perform a fitness test which generates a value they call OwnIndex. Today, I got a value of 38. This is the best I have gotten from the HRM.

27 February 2009

Friday Walk

Duration = 45:01
Distance = 2.74
Calories = 227
Max HR = 118
Avg HR = 111
Max Cadence = 68
Avg Cadence = 66

Simple walk at 3.5 mph with a 3.0% grade.

26 February 2009

Another Good Run/Walk (2:1) session

Duration = 50:01
Distance = 4.21
Calories = 478
Max HR = 188
Avg HR = 154
Running Index = 47
Max Cadence = 101
Avg Cadence = 84

Another good workout. Run was at 6.0 mph except for one interval at 8.0 mph. All walks were at 3.0 mph. Still using the run 2 minutes / walk 1 minute cycle.

It feels great to be able to complete quality training again.

25 February 2009


Duration = 50:13
Distance = 2.97
Calories = 264
Max HR = 133
Avg HR = 113
Max Cadence = 72
Avg Cadence = 65

Light day. Grade was 3.0%. Most of the walk was at 3.5 mph. Cool-down was 3.0 mph with a 1.5% grade.

24 February 2009

Great Progress - Run/Walk (2:1)

Duration = 45:01
Distance = 3.90
Calories = 451
Max HR = 191
Avg HR = 158
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 103
Avg Cadence = 85

This is my first session using the 2 minutes run/1 minute walk intervals. I did most of these at 6.o mph run and 3.0 walk. I did one pair at 8.0 for the run and 4.0 for the walk. I did get the beginning of a stitch in my left side. I was able to fend this off by playing with my breathing cycle to change the foot that I started breathing-in on.

This was the best session since my knee issues started in early January. Even with the walk intervals, I have a much better average pace for the 45 minutes than I had for the 5K on the 1st. In fact, I did 5K in about 36:25. (vs 40:41 in the race) I had no issues with the knee during this session. I think that the walk intervals helped. I'm just happy to be able to feel like I am making real progress again.

I will stay with the 2:1 cycle for the remaining two run/walk sessions left this week. Next week, I will change the shoes while keeping the intervals the same.

23 February 2009

Monday Walk

Duration = 30:01
Distance = 1.95
Calories = 173
Max HR = 133
Avg HR = 118
Running Index = 49
Max Cadence = 76
Avg Cadence = 71

Short walking session. Grade was at 3.0% for most of the run. Starting speed was 3.5 mph. Cruised up to 3.8, and then to 4.0, before finishing at 3.5. Cool-down was at 3.0.

22 February 2009

Long Run/Walk (1:1)

Duration = 1:15:09
Distance = 5.19
Calories = 591
Max HR = 157
Avg HR = 138
Running Index = 43
Max Cadence = 103
Avg Cadence = 80

Today's session was the long run scheduled for 5 miles. I did this session with 90 second run and 90 second walk intervals. As always, it really helps to be read to while running on the treadmill.

I had no issues with this session. The right knee felt "warm" at times and still does a bit as I write this. Also, I am having no problem descending stairs, so I am quite happy with where things are at the moment. I will try to change to 2 minutes run and 1 minute walk during the training next week.

End of Week 2 Progress Tests

I was much improved on sit-ups with 21. While just good enough to advance to Week 3, I was able to do all on them in one minute with no pauses. This improves my confidence of adequate performance on the crunches in the USAF Fitness Assessment. I will be following the low column for Weeks 3 & 4.

There was slight improvement on push-ups with 23. This is good enough to advance to Week 3. I will be following the middle column for Weeks 3 & 4.

This morning was also a milestone in my weight loss plan. At 165, I have now lost 15 pounds from my start. This is as low as I've been since May 2003.

20 February 2009

Strength Week 2 Day 3

Sit-ups (W2D3): 8, 12, 8, 8, 12
Push-ups (W2D3): 12, 13, 10, 10, 15

Regarding sit-ups, I was doing pretty good until the end of the last set. #11 & #12 were difficult. Sunday is a Progress Test. I need 21 in a row, or better, to advance to Week 3.

This session of push-ups was better than some recently. I didn't push beyond the requirement for the last set as I wasn't sure I could maintain proper form. I need 16 in a row, or better, on the Progress Test to advance to Week 3.

A Walk in the Park

Duration = 32:52
Distance = 1.88
Calories = 112

Today was an easy day. My wife and I went for a walk in the park near our house right at dusk. We got back before it was truly dark. There were a few spots with ice on the path, but there was a way around most of what we saw. It was cold, but it was quite pleasant (no rain or snow).

19 February 2009

Run/Walk (1:1)

Duration = 35:01
Distance = 2.54
Calories = 285
Max HR = 169
Avg HR = 141
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 103
Avg Cadence =78

Today's session was completed with alternating 90 second intervals. I dropped the last run interval planned at 30:00 as my left ankle developed at sharp pain. Slowing to a walk alleviated that and I finished the session with a walk. The few couple of run were at 5.0 and rest were at 6.0 mph. All walking was at 3.0 and the grade was 3.0% from the start until after the last run interval. The right knee seems to be getting better but is still an active concern.

Strength Report Format

The current strength training plans I'm following are the One Hundred Push-Ups and the Two Hundred Sit-Ups programs. Both programs are progressive over a nominal six weeks. They both consist of 5 sets each of 3 days each week. I report the Week and Day (W1D1 is Week 1 Day 1) of the plan attempted and the number of exercises accomplished in each set. The last set is always a maximum effort with a defined minimum. I use red if I fail to meet that minimum, black if I match it and green if I exceed it.

If you can stay with the progression at the highest level, you will achieve each programs goal in six weeks. The program actually has three different levels based on the most recent exhaustion test (do as many consecutive exercises as possible without stopping) that are followed for each week of the program. I am currently following the lowest of the sequences for sit-ups and the middle sequence for push-ups.

I don't expect to complete either program in six weeks, but it does give me a framework for improvement. I need to be able to do 47 sit-ups and 40 push-ups with a one minute time limit each to get maximum points on these parts of the USAF Fitness Test, one of my long-term fitness goals.

18 February 2009

Strength Week 2 Day 2

Sit-ups (W2D2): 7, 9, 6, 6, 12
Push-ups (W2D2): 10, 12, 9, 9, 14

Sit-ups were not quite as strong as Monday. Also, sit-ups really annoy my ITB.
A bit a push for that last push-up.

Easy, If Long, Walk

Duration = 50:06
Distance = 3.08
Calories = 295
Max HR = 132
Avg HR = 119
Max Cadence = 70
Avg Cadence = 68

Actual time was more like 75 minutes, but I did the rest off the HRM. Grade was 3.0% and the speed was 3.5 mph.

17 February 2009

Run/Walk (1:2 -> 1:1)

Duration = 35:09
Distance = 2.65
Calories = 292
Max HR = 195
Avg HR = 151
Running Index = 37
Max Cadence = 107
Avg Cadence = 80

Great Session! Increased the grade on the treadmill to 3.0% (normal, and minimum, is 1.5%). Started with the 1 minute run/2 minutes walk with walk at 3.0 mph and first run segment at 5.0. Most of the rest were done at 6.0. After 12:00, the intervals changed to 90 seconds run/90 seconds walk. The first 90 second run segment peaked at 8.0 which generated a heart rate peak at 185. The 21:00 run segment again peaked at 8.0 with another 185 heart rate peak. I now was looking to try to get a Max Heart Rate value. After the 27:00 run segment, I did the walk at 4.0. I then did 90 seconds at 8.0 with a heart rate peak at 195. I finished with a cool-down at 3.5 then 3.0 for the remainder of the session.

I have now adjusted my values to use 195 as the Max Heart Rate and a previously measured Resting Heart Rate of 55. 195 may still not be my actual Max Heart Rate, but it is probably close and pushing into this realm is fairly hard and not needed where I am in training.

I initially did 90 seconds to see if the heart rate would plateau. As I felt good, I decided to stay with the 90 second intervals for the rest of the session. Even with the intense segments, I finished strong. Assuming no delayed onset issues, I have made progress to full capability. Finally, 8.0 is in the realm of one of my long-term goals, and it felt good to be able to run at that speed. I intend to stay with the 1:1 ratio on the "hard" days, and I intend to stay with the 3.0% grade for the time being.

16 February 2009

Strength Week 2 Day 1

Sit-ups (W2D1): 6, 9, 6, 6, 15
Push-ups (W2D1): 10, 11, 8, 8, 11

Strong on sit-ups today.
Accidentally did an extra in the first set of push-ups. Just made the target of 11 in the last set.

OwnZone Walk

Duration = 31:01
Distance = 2.00
Calories = 179
Max HR = 139
Avg HR = 124
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 78
Avg Cadence = 71
OwnZone Target = 112-142

Since this was a light day, I decided to try the OwnZone feature of the HRM again. It gave me the highest target zone I have seen. OwnZone uses detected changes in the variability in the heart rate to determine the appropriate range for fitness. I was able to maintain a walk. I peaked at 4.2 mph with most of the time spent at 3.8 to 4.0. I finished with a short cool-down at 3.0.

I'm real happy to be training again, even if the intensity is rather low.

15 February 2009

Long Run/Walk (1:2->1:3)

Duration = 1:03:22
Distance = 3.93
Calories = 408
Max HR = 156
Avg HR = 131
Running Index = 40
Max Cadence = 103
Avg Cadence =73

Today was the long run for the current plan. Plan distance is 4 miles. I placed a 1 hour cap on this for various reasons including the fact that this is my first week back in training and my wife was reading while I ran.

Run was at 5.0 mph and walk was at 3.0 (with one interval of 3.5). I started with a ratio of 1 minute run to 2 minutes walk. After the run at 24:00, I changed to 1 minute run/3 minutes walk for the rest of the session. I was noting the presence on my right knee. I added the additional walking to keep it happy. I'll be really happy when I can actually go the other way and reduce the time spent walking.

14 February 2009

Strength Week 1 Day 3

Sit-ups (W1D3): 6, 7, 6, 6, 9
Push-ups (W1D3): 8, 10, 7, 7, 12

And that completes the first week of these programs.

12 February 2009

Another Run/Walk

Duration = 36:01
Distance = 2.38
Calories = 221
Max HR = 166
Avg HR = 128
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 108
Avg Cadence = 77

I did another run/walk session tonight. Still used 1 minute run/2 minutes walk sequence. Walk was usually 3.0 mph, but I did one at 3.5 and the last started at 4.0, then 3.5, then 3.0 to the end of the session. Runs were usually 5.0, but I through in a few 6.0 and one 7.0 on the last run.

I felt good after the session. I'm glad I have a program that allows me to train. I got an aerobic step good for 6" to help with a specific exercise for the ITB. I hope everything keeps improving. I just need to remember to keep the easy days easy.

11 February 2009

Strength Week 1 Day 2

Sit-ups (W1D2): 5, 6, 3, 5, 12
Push-ups (W1D2): 6, 8, 6, 6, 10

Dropped to a lower level on push-up where I met the Day 1 requirements. This is still progressive and keeps everything simpler. I've been a bit sore in the chest, so a bit lower volume may be appropriate.

Wednesday Walk

Duration = 35:02
Distance = 2.23
Calories = 193
Max HR = 135
Avg HR = 121
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 76
Avg Cadence = 71

I have pushed the limit on a walk, but it did feel good to be working on fitness again. I started at 3.5 mph and pushed up to 3.8 after 6 minutes. I stayed there until 30:00 and dropped to 3.0 for 5 minutes as a cool-down.

10 February 2009

Run/Walk Session

Duration = 30:01
Distance = 1.83
Calories = 175
Max HR = 154
Avg HR = 125
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 104
Avg Cadence = 77

I was considering what to do about the planned race in April. I had considered doing it as another 5K. This was originally planned as my first 10K. I'm not going to declare until the cut-off for pre-registration, but I'm going to train for a 10K on the 11th of April. I can always drop back if I have any significant issues.

To balance this with a little caution, I'm going to follow a run/walk plan of Mr. Galloway's for this race. I will initially be running 1 minute and walking for 2. I will adjust this as my body allows. As a switch from last fall, I'm mechanically limited this time instead of aerobically limited.

I need to get an aerobic step to assist with my ITB conditioning strength training. Currently, I can tell that the ITB is there, but it is not currently painful. I am hopeful for continued improvement.

09 February 2009

Gotta start somewhere

First day of sit-ups went better than expected: 3, 4, 3, 3, 10
First day of push-ups didn't go as well: 10, 12, 7, 6, 5 (I will be repeating Day 1)

You have to walk before you can run

Duration = 30:42
Distance = 1.60
Calories = 104
Max HR = 107
Avg HR = 97
Max Cadence = 66
Avg Cadence = 63

Today was a walk. Mostly 3.0 to 3.2 mph. Knee feels better after than it did before. I am going to ease back into training. My next race is currently planned for 11 April as a 10K. I will likely drop back to a 5K for this race. The goal will be to be able to run the distance. I have strength exercises to try to improve the operation of the muscles around the knee to keep my current issues from recurring. I'm not sure yet what schedule I'm going to follow for the walking/running.

I will also be working on improving my upper body and abdominal strength using the programs associated with the badges I've added to the blog. I'm starting with 20 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. The push-ups are with good form and all the way from the ground to fully-extended. This is a bit further than required by the USAF Fit-to-Fight. However, the program site for the sit-ups calls for a crunch. For me, the USAF crunch is harder than the program calls for; so, I will be using the USAF crunch instead. Both of these programs are three days per week. I currently plan on them for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

01 February 2009

2009 Super 5K, Novi, MI, USA

Duration = 42:48
Distance = 3.18
Calories = 364
Max HR = 178
Avg HR = 153
Running Index = 36
Max Cadence = 99
Avg Cadence = 82

One objective for 2009 accomplished: I did finish my first 5K.

This morning was clear and not as cold as it had been. The temperature at the start of the race as 33 F with a 13 mph wind from the west. I was actually over dressed for the conditions. I was wearing compression shorts, silk-weight wicking layer top and bottom, exercise shorts, wind pants, t-shirt, fleece liner top, gortex jacket, glove liners, knit cap, socks and road running shoes. I had stuffed the glove liners and the cap into pockets by the first mile. I partially unzipped the jacket and liner a bit before the turn-around which was shortly before the second mile. The return was into the wind, but this wasn't a problem. The course was all pavement and mostly out and back. There was some relief, but nothing significant.

I should have gone with the original plan: running 1 minute and walking 2 minutes. I went out faster than planned and didn't start alternating until something like 9 minutes into the race. I ended up walking most of mile 3. I finished running with good form and a nice pace. As long as I keep moving, I don't have major issues. The knee is sore and gets stiff if I leave it in the same position too long.

My gun time is 42:40, but I didn't get to the start for almost 2 minutes. Based on gun time, I was the slowest in my age group. I need to wait for the results to be posted to see my final time. Assuming I get past this knee issue, a PR (personal record) should be relatively easy.

Final results have been posted:
My chip time was 40:40.56
1104 of 1125 overall
639 of 644 males
97 of 98 age-group males

[Edited 2009-02-01 2322 to add final results]
[Edited 2009-02-09 2053 to update final results]

29 January 2009

Last Pre-Race Session

Duration = 37:43
Distance = 2.37
Calories = 221
Max HR = 154
Avg HR = 124
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 98
Avg Cadence = 74

This was originally planned as a 2 mile run. After Tuesday, I was thinking strongly of a 2 mile walk. I walked the first 3/4 mile, then slowly ran the next 1/4. I did the same thing for the second mile. Walking was at 3.5 to 3.8 mph. The first run was 4.0 to 4.2. The second run was at 4.2 to 4.5. This was followed with a cool-down walk at 3.5 down to 3.0.

Overall, I felt quite good about this session. I only started to notice anything out of the ordinary about the right knee at the end of the second run. I can still descend stairs without issue. I will run the 5K on Sunday. I will follow the plan from Tuesday of 1 minute run followed by 2 minutes walk for the duration of the race.

27 January 2009

Another Aborted Recovery

Duration = 29:14
Distance = 1.75
Calories = 197
Max HR = 151
Avg HR = 134
Running Index = 37
Max Cadence = 94
Avg Cadence = 76

I had intended to run a very slow 2 miles. I never got beyond 4.0 mph (I was planning a cap at 5.0 mph). I was hopeful for today's run as I finally had no pain while descending stairs.

I didn't have any trouble until I increased the speed to 4.0 and changed to the running gait. At 9:00, I developed significant discomfort in around my right knee. I dropped back to a walk at 3.5. This relieved the discomfort. After about 3 minutes, I increased the speed to 3.8. That didn't raise any issues, so I increased the speed to 4.0, but stayed with the walking gait. After a minute of that, I switched to a running gait at the same speed. After a minute, I dropped back to a walk at 3.5 again due to renewed discomfort. After 3 minutes and feeling better, I tried again to slowly move back to a very slow run. After the discomfort returned, I dropped back to the walk and stayed with that until 25:00 when I noted discomfort even walking. I slowed further to 3.0 and then to 2.0, but this time the discomfort didn't go away. Once I determined that, I stopped. The discomfort never grew sharp. It was mostly a soreness or an ache.

A couple hours, two ibuprofen, and a cold pack later, I am sore on the side of the knee and have an ache down the right side of the right calf. I still have hopes of finishing the 5K on Sunday. I will try a 2 mile walk on Thursday. If that goes well, I will mostly walk the 5K. I'm thinking of running 1 minute and walking 2 minutes and seeing how that goes. I've been informed that I have to do the USAF assessment again in early March, so I don't have the option of a full break after the 5K. I may have to seek medical attention if I am still having problems after this weekend. I may also try using our ski machine again; however, using the ski machine has caused its own problems.

25 January 2009

First Post-Hiatus Walk

Duration = 45:01
Distance = 2.65
Calories = 221
Max HR = 129
Avg HR = 115
Max Cadence = 72
Avg Cadence = 69

As planned, I did strength exercises Tuesday and Thursday. I also did a limited set Saturday evening. Tonight, I restarted training for next weekend's 5K with a 45-minute walk. I started at 2.0 mph and worked up to 3.5 mph over the first 7 minutes. I maintained 3.5 through the remainder of the 45 minutes. Other than extremely minor and momentary twinges, I had no pain or discomfort during the walk. I was feeling really good at the end of the 45. I had had an idea to extend to 60 minutes if I was feeling good, but I had certain pressing issues and stopped at the original target time.

After the fact, I still have some soreness on the outside of the knee. I will keep a watch on this during the day and during the recovery runs I have scheduled for next week.

16 January 2009

Aborted Recovery Run

Duration = 11:35
Distance = 0.62
Calories = 57
Max HR = 133
Avg HR = 115
Max Cadence = 91
Avg Cadence = 76

I was trying for a short recovery run of 2 miles at a fairly slow pace, basically the 4.5 that worked Wednesday.

I got started okay. The slight discomfort seemed to be getting better with the movement. Then this stopped improving. At 7:30, I slowed to a walk. At 9:30, I slowed even further. Finally, at 11:30, I decided this wasn't helping and stopped.

My wife found a cold pack designed for the elbow that I currently have on my knee. I have also taken an ibuprofen. I will probably take another just before going to bed.

I am taking the weekend off. I will pamper the leg. Tuesday, I will do a series of strength exercises. (Always depending on the absence of pain, of course) I will do them again Thursday. I have military drill next weekend. I may have to participate in PT (Physical Training) there. Assuming no problems, I will walk 45-60 minutes that Sunday night. I will do a slow run the following Tuesday and Thursday. If everything is functional, I will run the 5K on the 1st with the goal to finish. Then, we will decide what comes next. If the pain doesn't subside, I will see my physician to get the issue resolved.

At least I have already met the physical assessment standard for this year. I also need to be sure I don't injure myself to the point that I cannot deploy if they decide to send me. That would make all the effort to date moot. And that would be a shame. I also need to be sure to adjust my diet a touch as I'm not burning an additional 3-500 calories each day.

14 January 2009

Short Recovery Run

Duration = 27:00
Distance = 2.01
Calories = 198
Max HR = 150
Avg HR = 141
Running Index = 40
Max Cadence = 91
Avg Cadence = 89

Just a short recovery run today. I started at 4.0 mph and slowly worked up to 5.0 over 3 minutes. This seemed to be activating the wrong feel in my knee, so I dropped back to 4.5 for the remainder of the planned 2 miles. I also focused on my posture and form. When I made sure to pull in my navel, I seemed to have less pressure on the side of the knee.

The local running shop co-sponsors a clinic tomorrow. I think I will drop in and see what the PT has to say. As I write this, I still feel better than I did after the weekend. I will probably drop the speed work from my training before the 5K. I expect I need to work more on core strength and muscle balance.

12 January 2009

Taking it easy

I flew to Georgia over the weekend. Airline travel did not agree with my right knee. I took the weekend off hoping it would get better, but was still a problem after the flight home and shoveling the driveway. Today is a rest day, but I will take tomorrow off as well to see if I can let the knee mend itself. In the meantime, I am taking a low dose of ibuprofen which seems to be helping.

I am looking into strength training for the muscles that support the knee and will start back into the training with a slow run tomorrow, if I feel better, or Wednesday. I am also going to drop the speed work before the race on 1 February. Finally, the goal for the race is now a solid finish.

08 January 2009

Week 1 Thursday - Tempo Run

Duration = 35:12
Distance = 3.33
Calories = 332
Max HR = 177
Avg HR = 162
Running Index = 41
Max Cadence = 94
Avg Cadence = 91

I postponed yesterdays run to today as I wasn't feeling well. Also, earlier in the day, I still had some discomfort around my right knee and left ankle that were gone by evening, but bear watching. I will also need to be alert for my reaction to whey protein as that was the significant new thing I ate yesterday. (From memory, I may need to be a bit more detailed in a personal log made at the time as Hal Higdon recommends.) As a precaution, I am dropping the Monday runs and making that a rest day with only strength and stretching exercises.

I did the Tempo somewhat in accordance to Hal Higdon's description. I warmed-up with 8 minutes of my normal "easy" pace (11:30). I then slowly increased the speed to my tempo target pace (9:20) over 11 minutes. I maintained the tempo pace for 4 minutes, then slowed back to the "easy" pace over the next 7 minutes. I completed the last 5 minutes of the 35 called for in the plan at this "easy" pace. Review of the session data show the heart rate peaked at 90% of Heart Rate Reserve which is right in line with the target for a tempo run.

I may have to figure out a way to rig a fan for when I am on the treadmill as I think the heat I was developing may have made this feel harder than the effort would normally have deserved. Also, I need to remember to bring water and at least keep my mouth and throat from getting dry as this also increased the discomfort.

Another change I am making is to replace the cross-training on Saturday with runs adapted from the half marathon plan. I will do cross-training when the opportunity presents itself, but I have a run sequence to use to improve my conditioning. If I start having issues, I will change this back to cross-training.

As I write this, I am comfortably fatigued, there are no sharp pains or any discomforts concerning me.

06 January 2009

Week 1 Tuesday - 3-mile Run

Duration = 34:48
Distance = 3.07
Calories = 290
Max HR = 162
Avg HR = 151
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 95
Avg Cadence = 92

A fairly good day. Stability variance on the belt speed seems to have given me a slightly faster session than yesterday. In spite of that, my peak heart rate was less (if barely) than it was yesterday. I noted instances of discomfort involving my left ankle and in both knees. Nothing sharp or particularly worrisome, but something to keep an eye on.

No reading today as I was solo this evening, so I focused on cadence, breathing, and running form.

05 January 2009

Week 1 Monday - 3-mile Run

Duration = 34:52
Distance = 3.06
Calories = 292
Max HR = 164
Avg HR = 151
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 95
Avg Cadence = 93

This was a good day. Heart rate was lower than yesterday for the same speed all the way to the end of the run. This is right in the target for an "easy" run and it felt easier. Only other item of note is that (with my and my wife's sessions on the treadmill) we finished the book we were reading. Tomorrow, we start another Honor Harrington.

04 January 2009

Setting up for the next cycle

Duration = 40:23
Distance = 3.55
Calories = 372
Max HR = 173
Avg HR = 158
Running Index = 40
Max Cadence = 94
Avg Cadence = 91

Freezing rain and fog didn't sound to appealing, so I did today's run on the treadmill. I started at 5.0 mph for about 7 minutes, then increased to my target speed of 5.2. I maintained this for the rest of the 40 minutes. I then did a cool-down for about 10 minutes. One (significant) benefit of using the treadmill is being read to by my wife while I'm running. Today was from Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon.

As previously mentioned, I will be only recording the "quality" part of the session with the HRM. This should remove a bit of the noise I have in the data I'm tracking. I still haven't calibrated the stride sensor. I will do this the next time I'm on a measured course. This will be no later than the planned race on 1 February.

Today's session is the last based on the Level 1 - Red Intermediate Plan. Starting tomorrow, I will be following Hal Higdon's 10K Training: Intermediate Program modified into a 14 week plan. I will follow the weeks through Week 6 (including the 5K race at the end of Week 4), then I will start over at Week 1 and follow the plan through my planned 10K in April. The hardest part of this plan is figuring out what to do for the 60 minutes of cross-training each Saturday. I will do a time trial at the end of week 4 then second time I get to it in mid-March.

02 January 2009

If you're sick, don't push it.

Duration = 45:04
Distance = 3.41
Calories = 402
Max HR = 183
Avg HR = 155
Running Index = 37
Max Cadence = 101
Avg Cadence = 82

I was planning on a time trial run of 1 mile during this session. I even got started at the target pace I'd set. A bit more than a quarter way into the trial, I didn't like the way I felt and dropped back to "easy" pace and ran out the rest of the session there. I then did an extended cool-down.

I've been fighting a cold since my trip to Oklahoma and I feel this may have impacted the profile run I did earlier this week. Mechanically, I feel good and I will be very happy when this cold is licked.

The cool-down I have added to my treadmill training is throwing off the heart rate and cadence averages. It is also leading to an under-reporting of the Running Index for these short sessions. Going forward, I will try stopping the HRM when I get to the extended cool-down.

I was targeting an 8:00 mile run to set the VDOT using to determine my training paces to a higher value than the standard rate would predict. Instead, I will adhere to the increase of 1 in VDOT expected about every four weeks due to the normal rate of adaptation. I will train at a VDOT of 34 between now and my first 5K race on 1 February. I expect to use a VDOT of 35 to set my pace for that race and we'll see if there is anything left at the end.

01 January 2009

Fitness Goals for 2009

These expand and complement the goals enumerated in my 15 December Goals Update.
  • Run a 5K (Done 1 February 2009, Super 5K, Novi, MI, 40:40.56)
  • Run a 10K (Done 11 April 2009, Tax Trot Long Form (10K), Flushing, MI, 1:05:05)
  • Max the USAF Fit-to-Fight Assessment for the Run, Push-ups (repeat), and Crunches.
  • Achieve my target Body Composition of around 20% Body Fat.
  • Maintain stable weight once above target achieved.
Plan for accomplishment:
  • Continue with Base Building plan while losing weight.
  • Do regular strength exercises to improve push-ups and crunches
  • Do additional strength exerices/cross training to balance muscle groups
  • Pay attention to my diet
  • Once weight goal is met, target a race and follow a specific plan to maximize performance in that race.
[Edited 2009-02-01 to note 5K completion]
[Edited 2009-04-11 to note 10K completion]