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May 31, 2008

nothing still hurts

Week 1 of 18 of the new and improved Pfitzinger-plus-track-workouts marathon training plan:

Su: 5mi (9:17)
M: 12mi (8:26), tried to make it something of a progression run, "progressed" from 8:50s --> 8s
T: AM 4mi (9:05), PM 5.8mi incl track workout: 3x800, 1xmile, 3x400
W: 6mi (9:09)
R: 8mi (8:32)
F: 6mi (9:39), heh
Sa: 17.4mi (8:31), heh!

total: 64.2 miles running, zero bike

All runs were solo except the track workout and about 8 miles of today's 17+. As you can see, I'm taking my recovery runs very seriously :-)

Highlights: highest mileage since February, longest run since that awful 18 in March, first track workout in forever, and still nothing hurts and I'm not particularly tired and the weather seems easier to bear. Today's long run was typical of the fun part of coming back from injury (yes, there is one), the part that goes: "Do That? Hell no. I couldn't possibly do That. I mean, I used to be able to do That, but certainly not now. Well, I don't know if I could do That. Maybe. Ok, I'll try to do That. Hey, neat!"

There are lowlights, too: I'm still damn slow. A year ago I'd be mortified at any long run slower than 8min pace (or any "long" run less than 18 miles, for that matter), and a 6:50 mile at track would be a disaster. But if I can keep the mileage up and do the workouts with nothing still hurting, then I'm bound to get a little faster by September.

Meanwhile, I'll just keep working hard at recovery :-)

Posted by joe positive at 1:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008

positive's progress

I had just about decided to train straight out of a book for this marathon, when in typical joe-positive fashion I decided to join the other local running club. The coach is a very very very very good runner, and now that he's turned 40 he'll be turning the local men's masters scene on its ear. At a race a few years ago, before I'd ever met him, he yelled at me to "GET YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN!!!!!!" and I remember thinking "how nice, this total stranger is yelling at me like he gives a shit, wonder who he is?" Anyway, I joined the club kind of on a whim. If nothing else, a live-in-person human being might be able to tell me when I'm about to step off a cliff.

And another reason: weekly track workouts. The club runs on a nice cushy well-maintained rubberized (!) track about 3mi from my house, and there are lots of people to run with. For someone like me who hates track running, this is about as good as it can get.

I know that Pfitz doesn't prescribe much (track) speedwork in his plans, and almost none of it comes during the first weeks, but since I haven't run fast since mid-March I wanted to get my legs turning over before they bog down in the mire of 70/80/90-mile weeks. Last night's workout was 3x800/1xmile/4x400. Dror (coach) asked me if I thought I could run a 6:36 mile. I honestly didn't know, so I said no just to be safe :-). He put me in the group of 6 or 7 people that would run a 6:52 mile (and a 3:22 800 and a 1:42 quarter), which in February was a bit slower than tempo pace but now represented the fastest pace imaginable, this huge mountain I could never hope to climb. I was really pretty nervous about the whole thing, and to be honest I was afraid to find out exactly how slow I've become.

My workout is not worthy of a blow-by-blow description. It went fine. I didn't have any trouble with the paces; it wasn't dead easy, but I was fully recovered and ready to go by the end of each rest. And Dror did yell "GET YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN!!!!!!" a couple times. The pace felt like something between tempo and 10k, which I don't think was the intention but which suited me fine. The best part was that I woke up this morning not injured, not even sore, not particularly tired, and ready to run 6 very relaxed recovery miles. So far so good. I hope I'll be able to find a way to include stuff like this in the Pfitz plan without sacrificing too much of the good stuff.

Posted by joe positive at 7:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 25, 2008

week 18 starts now, and 3 resolutions

Pfitz training plan for Akron starts today (resolution #1). And since the race is on a Saturday, my training weeks will switch to Sun-Sat just to make things less complicated. The past week was like this:

Su: 15mi (9:44) wish I didn't have to mention this one again, ugh. Bike 6 miles in 30min
M: 6mi (9:08), sore R foot, pain L knee
T: 8mi (9:08), sore foot
W: 7mi (9:04), foot better
R: 7mi (8:42), foot lots better, in fact nothing really hurt
F: 8mi (8:48), nothing hurt at all
Sa: 9mi (9:10), slightly hungover. Bike 5mi in 28min

total: 60mi running, 11.6mi bike

Saturday's hungover run came after a very controlled (or so I thought) happy hour Friday night. This was the first bit of liquor in maybe 2 months. We got to the bar early, around 5; I had 2 drinks (greyhound, vodka/soda); we left early, and I had a good dinner and drank lots of water and was dozing on the couch by 9:30 or so. Still, the next day I started to tank after 4 miles, and felt like crap the whole rest of the day. At band practice my (same-aged) friend and I marvelled at how much we we used to be able to drink - every day! - and how shitty alcohol makes us feel now. I decided there will be no hard liquor (resolution #2) between now and the marathon, and this resolution won't be difficult at all.

You might notice that I hardly biked at all this week. I suspected that biking might be causing the recent foot and knee pain, so I wanted to see what would happen if I stayed off the bike. By Wednesday there was no pain anywhere, yay! Yesterday my husband suggested we take a short easy ride together, and wouldn't you know, this morning my foot hurt while running and my knee hurt afterward. After one lousy bikeride! I must be doing something really wrong on the bike if one stupid ride affects me like that. Resolution #3: bikerides will be ultra-leisurely and will only happen before recovery days, at least until I figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Posted by joe positive at 4:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 18, 2008

proof there are penguins in Florida


M: AM 5mi (8:53), 6mi bike (31min). PM 6.22mi bike (31min)
T: AM 7mi (8:40). PM 6.47mi bike (31min)
W: 6mi (8:30)
R: 7mi (9:10)
F: AM 7mi (9:03). PM 6.25mi bike (30min)
Sa: 8mi (9:16)
Su: 15mi (9:44)

total: 55 miles running, 24.9 miles bike unless I bike later today

Did you read that right? About today's 15-miler, I mean. 9:44 pace. I just wanted to make sure you read that right. Yes, you did.

By the end of the week I was pretty ragged. I saw lots of patients, and more than 75% of the workload was between Wednesday and Friday. My hands and arms bore the brunt of it, but I was just plain tired. Friday afternoon I got on the bike after a few days off cycling and decided to try and maintain 95-100rpm the entire ride. It didn't seem that hard, and I didn't think anything of it. Saturday I woke up to glowering gray sky, 78F, 114563% rh, breathless and still. A mile into the run my friggin' LEFT KNEE started to hurt sharply because I'd apparently done something STUPID to the quad like maintaining 95 RPM on a friggin' BICYCLE the day before. I could run, but only at a snail's pace, which just prolonged the annoyance of running in x-treme heat and humidity.

I spent the rest of the day babying the quad and worrying about today's 15-miler. I made an appointment at a we-never-close type of massage place had probably the worst-feeling massage of my entire life - I could not wait to get off the table - but my legs felt better afterwards. (My neck and shoulders, however, are bruised and battered). This morning at 6am we had another glowering gray sky, 79F and 255149% rh, and I had plenty of doubts, but I set out to cover 15 miles without pain and without looking at my watch. Both of which I accomplished. Nothing hurt while I was "running," but I just did not or could not get going at all. At one point I shut my mouth and just breathed through my nose a while. When I finished and saw I'd run 9:44 pace, I just about cried.

I'm trying to look for a bright side, or a bunch of excuses. I ran 55 miles this week, yay! a 15-mile "long" run, yay! I have one more week of buildup before starting the Pfitz plan, so anything could happen, right? This is the time of year when our summer weather is the most odious because we have to get used to it. I'm working at a very physical job which has been busier than usual, so I have to get used to that too. And I'm trying to avoid the minefield of secondary, compensatory injuries I always encounter after a major injury. And even though I xtrained while I couldn't run, there are no short cuts back to "where I was" before I got injured.

But 9:44 pace? Bloody hell.

Posted by joe positive at 11:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 11, 2008

and how, again

oh, I have been a lazy cyclist this week:

M: 4mi (9:12), 30min bike (6.21mi)
T: 7mi (8:26) incl 3xhalf-mile pickups; 36min bike (7.62mi)
W: 5.2mi (9:13), 28min bike (6mi)
R: 7mi (9:01)
F: 6.14mi (9:04)
Sa: 6.46mi (8:44) incl 3xhalf-mile pickups which felt hard but were only around 7:15 pace, yikes. Plus sore foot I mentioned in my last entry. Crosstrained throughout the day by whining and grumbling.
Su: 12mi (9:07)

total: 47.8 miles running, 19.8 miles bike

When I registered for Akron I decided to go with the tried-and-trusted Pfitzinger 70+ training plan. The 18-weeks-out point is at the end of this month, so my goal for the next several weeks is to get my weekly mileage into the 60s so I can start the Plan without too much discomfort. I know it will happen. At least, I think it will happen. But lord our god, why am I so damn slow? Is it the hip injury that's slowly disappearing into nothingness? The foot/leg injury I'm currently grinding through now? The fact that summer has come early and I haven't acclimated yet? That I'm just getting back to 7-days running and 45+ miles each week? The fact that I did not call my mother today even though I did find her phone number using an Internet Search (we haven't spoken in seventeen years). The fact that I'm 44 years old, not getting any younger, and not the sweetest nicest most saintliest person around?

Further proof I may have angered the flying spaghetti monster: someone on the internet has a new spam-comment toy, and for the past several days they've been spraying an entry from 2006 (entitled And How) with comments like "hai you haz great site elderporn ringtones :-)))" I don't know what possessed them to pick that particular entry to fire comments at over and over again; I wish I knew how these spam toys worked. Anyway, filtering the comments has had limited success, so for now I'm just moderating everything and no comment from anyone will get posted immediately. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Posted by joe positive at 2:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 10, 2008

trying to be patient

When I started back running 4 weeks ago, all I wanted was for my hip to feel normal again. I did all the right things, or so I thought - started off slow, crosstrained like a fiend, did the whole stupid listen-to-your-body thing and backed off at any sign of reinjury. And I was able to run the 10k in the tri relay. I ran a pretty crappy time, but I was running, and I felt I had nowhere to go but forward, or up, or whatever.

During the past week, though, my pace has slowed quite a bit due to increased mileage and the early arrival of summerlike weather. As if this weren't depressing enough, I have injured myself again, this time messing up the extensor muscles in my right leg, resulting in tendinitis in my foot which hurts like crazy to put weight on. This morning after a bit of "hard" running that was depressingly close to marathon pace, I set out for a cooldown and realized after about 50m that I couldn't go on. And I wanted to get 12 miles tomorrow! Crap.

Since it's Saturday and I had little else to do, I was able to ice all day and take lots of advil and work on the muscles to try and loosen them, but I'm still depressed as hell. As slow as I have become after only a few weeks of downtime, I really don't need another injury right now. (Well, really, who ever does need an injury?). I knew as soon as I signed up for Akron that the running gods would consider me a moving target. And, it seems, they do.

Meanwhile, my left hip is Just Fine.

Posted by joe positive at 6:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

full body goosebumps

Someone asked about pre-1980s movies and I remembered one of my favorites, O Lucky Man, and how we rented it from Blockbuster one weekend and watched the movie as big summer thunderstorms crept up from the west. The movie ended and we walked outside for some air, and found the sky puke-green with impending tornadoes. Anyway the memory - all 5 seconds of it - gave me instant full-body goosebumps, like my entire body had been dipped into a tank of liquid electricity.

Posted by joe positive at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 4, 2008

all titles flew out the window

M: 33:25 bike (6.11mi). no running!
T: AM 5mi (8:54), 45min bike (9.62mi). PM 30:06 bike (6.48mi)
W: AM 6mi (8:54). PM 30:48min bike (6.48mi)
R: 7mi (8:25) incl 3x[sorta-half-mile@sorta-tempo pace]
F: 7mi (8:55)
Sa: 6.14mi (8:59), 46:13 bike (10mi)
Su: AM 10.02mi (8:37, last mile 7:34), 45:59 bike (10mi). PM 30:47 bike (6.73mi)

totals: 41.2 miles running, 55.4 miles bike

I am so glad to be done with this week. Not so much the training part, but the work part. I worked every day from April 20 - May 2, and all that time on my feet in a lunge position really takes a toll. Wow, that really doesn't sound like a legitimate way to make a living, nor does it sound like I wanted it to. Anyway, by around Wednesday my hip began to hurt in a new, totally different way, exacerbated only by working on the left side of the table, not by running or biking or anything else. And I was fully booked Thursday and Friday, which is usually a Great and Wondrous Thing but not this week, laws no. I was beginning to worry I'd really damaged myself, but Friday zoomed by on autopilot and I was set free to spend all weekend resting my hip. Which I did, which is to say I did no massage or lunges or anything, just napped and ran and biked and went to band practice and caught up (almost) on email. I really needed this weekend. Thanks You, O Giver of Weekends.

Posted by joe positive at 4:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack