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]