Monday, December 28, 2009

training 12/28-1/3

12/28- Lakeshore 6.5 with temps in the upper 30s. That's likely the temp for Mercedes so I better be used to it. Sore lower legs again. Pace was a steady 7:40 for the first 4.5 then had to work for an 8:00 pace over the final 2 and finished with an average pace of 7:46. Average performance but a modest improvement over yesterday. Volume will be fairly light early in the week followed by a monster run on New Year's Day.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=6.5

12/29- The mini-slump is over. Strong 5 mile tempo today on Lakeshore. I opted for this instead of Johnny's speed session partly because of the weather. Intervals with temps in the 30s isn't all that appealing. Solid effort all around and a pretty even pace (16:53-17:03) with the 2nd half slightly uphill. Finished in 33:56 (32 off my PR) and that's an average pace of 6:47. Easy tomorrow, rest Thursday, MONSTER on Friday then we'll see over the weekend.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=5.5

12/30- Trak Shak run with Adam and one immature post-collegiate runner. Adam ran a faster pace than I intended but I was not about to wuss out on him. 5 miles @ 7:20. Very sore. Decent performance.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

12/31- Scheduled rest day. When you read about my New Year's day run, you'll know why I rested. I'll be going to bed early. Finished the year with 1993 miles (38.2/week). My goal was 2009. My average weekly GPA was 2.95 and my goal was 3.00. It was still a good year overall.

1/1- 2nd annual New Year's Marathon time trial. Time was 3:35:32 (8:12 average pace) and an unofficial PR. I was trying but this was not an all out effort. I think I had sub-3:30 stuff but that will wait until race day. 1st half: 1:45:58, 2nd half: 1:49:34. I think that's the most even splits I've run in a 26.2. Full splits:
7:49-8:01-8:01-8:06-8:08-8:10-8:04 (1st quarter: 52:44)
8:11-8:05-8:06-8:02-8:10-8:04 (2nd quarter: 53:14)
8:08-8:10-8:07-8:11-8:16-8:13-8:21 (3rd quarter: 53:47), 20 M- 2:42:33
Again, I really didn't care about my time. I just wanted to finish with as little discomfort as possible. That said, I would not allow my pace to go above 9. This was the best last 10K that I've done in any 26.2 run.
8:23-8:26-8:29-8:42-8:39-8:43-1:47 (7:10 pace for .25). Last 10K- 52:59, 4th quarter-55:47. I am now unofficially within 54 seconds per mile of a BQ.
Grade:A/3 credits/distance=26.5

1/2- 3 mile recovery jog on the 'mill. Why? Because I could. Time was 25:24 (8:28 pace). That's fine. The fact that I was able to run the day after running the marathon distance proves two things. 1) my fitness has improved significantly since last year and 2) I clearly left several minutes out there yesterday. I will shoot for 3:29 at Mercedes, which is probably good for a 3:24 on a level course. If I can do that, a Fall BQ attempt may happen in Tucson. Otherwise, I'll just try for 3:20 in Huntsville.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/3- Trak Shak 8 untimed. Garmin didn't work. Is the 305 broken again? I'm glad I got the 405 for Christmas but will that be any more reliable? Too hard today. I must rest tomorrow no matter how I feel. The right quad is VERY sore. I feel more sore today than yesterday. Edit: I got the Garmin working again.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=8.5

Weekly summary:
I feel good about this week overall. Next week may suffer because of this weekend. I still have no doubt that I will be fully recovered in 3 weeks when it's time to race in Texas. The next time I go 26.2 whether in training or in a race, there will be a rest day within the next 2 days.
Distance=55.0/Weekly GPA= 30.4/9= 3.38

Monday, December 21, 2009

training 12/21-27 (slack)

12/21- Lakeshore 11.5 @ 7:55. I happened to run into Adam and Jason who were running 6.5 and I got suckered into running at their pace, which was 7:45. I did back off in the final 5. I got warned several times by the 3:20 group on RWOL that I am training too fast and yes, I was thinking about that. I could have done sub-7:45 easily. Added a .5 cool down at garbage pace. Strong. Back to back to back double digit runs for the first time ever.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=12.0

12/22-Strong again. Make it 4 double digit runs in a row. I took off at near BQ pace (7:23 first mile) then wisely dialed it back to finish the run at an average pace of 7:45 for 10 miles. My knees and groin are a bit sore but I'm not too worried about it.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=10.0

12/23- Outstanding performance. Trak Shak 5. Ran the first 1.3 with a sub-17 5K man. I was forced to let him go after that but my pace never really slacked except on the hills and turns.
Finished at 33:26 (6:42 pace= to my 10K race pace). I'm sure that I could improve on that 10K now. Splits: 6:36-6:35-6:54-6:56-6:25. 2 mile cool down on the 'mill. I am in the best shape of my life and I think I've got a shot at 1:30 in Texas next month.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=7.0

12/24- Signed up for the 3M in Austin, Texas one month from today and I'm already registered for the marathon at Mercedes. Also received my AG plaque from Red Stick. Today broke my string of "A" workouts. I never run well the morning of a weekday but the early morning was my only chance to run today. 3 mile recovery jog on the 'mill. I ran the planned pace (upper 8s) without too much discomfort but it was not a stroll in the park either.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=3.0

12/25- Planned rest day for Christmas.

12/26- Squeezed in 5 miles on Jefferson trail. Empty stomach and out of routine so I wasn't expecting much. Performance was average at best. I needed a fast finish to end up below 7:30. I'm only 3 away from 40 on the week so that's all I wanted out of this week.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.0

12/27- late night run on the 'mill. 3 miles worth of junk timed in 23:33 (7:51 pace). This probably will make little difference but it was enough to hit the mileage quota. I had some abnormal pain in the lower leg but I'm not too worried about it. This was a travel day so I wasn't expecting much.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
Great start to the week. Not such a great finish. I did hit 40 on the week so that's not bad considering my busy schedule and the fact that I was out of town for half the week.
Distance=40.0/ GPA= 29.8/9= 3.31

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reflections on 2009/looking forward to '10

First, I want to say thank you to all of my readers who have supported me. I have a few more miles to run in training but all of my races and time trials are in the books for 2009. Here are the results at the 6 major distances:
400 m: 61.22 Goal: 59.9
1 Mile: Improved from 5:30 to 5:22 Goal: 5:15
5K: 19:58 to 19:27 (10/mile) Goal: 19:00
10K 42:43 to 41:43 (10/mile) Goal: 40:00
Half 1:42:38 to 1:32:57 (44/mile) Goal: 1:30:00
Full 3:56:03 to 3:43:22 (29/mile) Goal: 3:10:59
Overall, I can say that 2009 was a good running year for me. Perhaps my greatest triumph came in an unrelated matter when I got a new job in Birmingham in spite of a hiring freeze.
Year in review:
-Post high school PRs at 400, Mile and 5K.
-All time PRs at 10K, Half and Full.
-Room for improvement at every distance if conditions were optimal (flat course, close competition, ideal weather).
-2 significant rough periods, one in early Spring, one in early Fall.
-Avoided a major running injury for the third straight year.
-11 races (6 local, 5 out of town). 4 5Ks, 1 8K, 3 10Ks, 2 Halves, 1 Full.
-3 top 10 finishes, 4 age group awards.
Biggest surprise: the 400. I never thought my speed would come back the way it has (thank you Johnny).
Most proud of : the half marathon. Before the energy crash in 2005, a 7:05 pace would have been a PR for 10K. Now, I can maintain it for more than twice that distance.
Training: I was hoping to run 2000 miles this year and it looks like I will fall just short. My average weekly mileage was in the upper 30s. Edit: I totaled 1993 miles (38.2/wk) and finished with an average weekly GPA of 2.95. That’s fine for a 10K and it’ll do for a half marathon but not for a full. When symptom free, I can run 50+ with relative ease and have twice hit 60. The key is consistency.
I want to stay in the range of 9-12 races per year. More than 1 race per month is too much in my opinion. If I can get close competition, I may enter an open track meet to take a shot at the Mile and/or 400 goal. I plan on doing fewer 5-10Ks, more half marathons but will not run more than 2 marathons per year. My marathon PR really stands out as soft (almost 1:30/mile slower than my half) so I expect that this is where I will show my greatest improvement.
2010 plans (all Lord willing)
The first third of the year will be primarily high volume in preparation for these races.
Jan- 3M Austin, TX half
Feb- Mercedes Marathon (full)
Mar- ING Atlanta, GA half
Apr- Country Music half
After that, I will shift to more speed work as the Alabama summer heats up. Racing will be limited to local 5Ks and maybe one or two open track meets. I believe that my lifetime goals in the 400, Mile and 5K are achievable in my current condition and Johnny agrees. After it cools down, the focus will shift back to marathon training. If my chemistry is closer to balance and I can train at 55-60 MPW, I believe that I can run a 3:10 and qualify for Boston by December.
If this is the year that I meet my goals, I will keep training and racing but there will be no obsession with taking my running to the next level (sub-3 marathon, sub-5 Mile) by running 80-100 miles per week. That type of volume is more likely to result in burnout than shaving a few seconds per mile off my times. Let's say that I get all of my numbers in balance and train at 60 MPW but it's not enough to reach my goals because of talent limitations, that's fine. I will not get bent out of shape over it and am counting on certain people to call me out if I do.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

training 12/13-12/20

12/13- Nothing short of amazing today after my best 20 miler ever. Trak Shak 8.4 @ 7:38. On a hilly route, that's a course PR. I followed this with a 1.6 mile cool down. It's a new weekend mileage record of 30. I predict a 3:10 marathon by Fall 2010 if I can stay healthy enough to train at this level. This effort could cost me dearly tomorrow but I'll worry about that later and yes, I will slow down.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=10.0

12/14- Easy 6.5 @ 7:50 on Lakeshore. Pretty even pace with almost no effort. Absolutely no ill-effects from the monster weekend. That's roughly a quarter marathon at 3:25 pace with no effort after running 30 miles in the previous 2 days. Even I am surprised by this. I could beat my soft marathon PR now without even pushing. I'm still 50/50 on a 5K this weekend. January will be 3M Austin or Red Nose (local 10 miler).
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.5

12/15- Johnny's workout. Long warm up and cool down. Workout was 4x400 in 74-75, 2x800 in 2:40, 2x200 in 30. I got challenged by Clay in the 800 and but held him off. This was a good but not great workout. I need longer intervals for marathon training. Neither course is ideal for a 5K PR. Meadowbrook is a rolling course through an upscale neighborhood and probably similar to Elvis in terms of difficulty. Pell City will have very few entrants and thus a high probability of ending up in no man's land. I'm still not sure what to do.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.0

12/16- Trak Shak 5 @tempo effort. I was sore so I dialed it back a notch from last week. I ran with Adam's group and turned in a 7:03 pace with a 6:39 last mile. I think I will go with 3 taurine and zero SBF. Will that work next week let alone next month? Saturday's weather could be iffy. I am leaning towards a time trial instead.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=6.5

12/17- A bit of a downer today. I was abnormally sore and had unexplained anxiety. I need more GABA and less taurine and must take the GABA with the taurine. Yes, it's complicated. This was a planned recovery jog anyway so I picked a good day to be off form. It was a weak performance but not a debacle. 5 miles @ 8:51 and yes that's acceptable on a recovery day. It was not much of a struggle but not effortless either. Chance of racing is 20% but tomorrow will be rest no matter what. Chance of time trial is 60%.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.0

12/18- Rainy day so I picked a good one to rest. I felt quite sore when I woke up but got better by the afternoon because I didn't take the normal morning taurine. The weather tomorrow will be cloudy, cold and windy so that in addition to my uncertain health means no race tomorrow. I may still run the time trial. That way, if I get to 1.5 M and realize that I won't PR, I can still salvage a workout. I'm ready for Spring already and it's not even officially winter yet.

12/19- Good call on the no go. The time trial was a debacle. I knew that I would suck when I warmed up. It only took 200 meters to know that I would not sniff a PR so I would go long and easy instead and I couldn't even do that. I ended up doing the 5K time trial as originally planned and my time was a pitiful 24:55 (7:50-7:59-8:08-58). I am starting to get angry.
Grade:D/2 credits/distance=4.0
PM-Trak Shak 10 on a new course that was relatively flat. Even pace with good closing speed. Still a little stiffness and inflammation but my breathing was much better. The AM run ended around 10 and the PM started at 2:30 so all it took was 4.5 hours to go from awful to "good." For my new readers, this is nothing new for me. Time was 74:24 (37:13-37:11, 7:24 pace). This pace was too fast for a long run so I did not run the full planned distance. I did a 1 mile cool down to take me up to 49 for the past 7 days.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=11.0

12/20- BTC End of the year social run at Oak Mountain Park. As the Oak Mountain name implies, it was a hilly route. I managed to keep every mile below 7:45 despite the fact that 2 of the miles were nearly all uphill. I was the fastest one there so much of the run was alone and I finished at 11 mile with an average pace of 7:27. I still have some stiffness and inflammation but this was still a strong performance.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=11.0

Weekly summary:
Up and down week that turned out to be pretty solid overall. I've got a slack week ahead over Christmas then let the 2010 season begin. I will send in my medical test tomorrow. *Note: The distance was over an 8 day week. My 7 day average was a still good 52.5. From now on, my mileage will be reported Monday-Sunday so that way if I can't go long on Saturday, I can run it Sunday and it won't skew the mileage.
Distance=60.0(7/8)=52.5/GPA= 42.3/14=3.02

Sunday, December 6, 2009

training 12/6-12/12

12/6- Easy 4 as a recovery run. Even pace with a time of 31:35 (7:54 pace). This might seem a little fast but I felt fine. I had a little foot pain but I didn't wear orthotics on race day. I'm not worried. No complaints about my run.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=4.0

12/7- Lakeshore MLR. I am amazed by my body's resilience. Sometimes, a hard workout will hit you hard 2 days later plus I did a lot of driving last weekend. No struggle at all. This was almost effortless. 10.5 @ 7:53. Every mile was 7:45-8:00. I can do 13.1 in about 1:43 in training and it feels easy. I should break 3:30 easily at Mercedes. I think I'll shoot for a 3:23. My only gripe was that my joints were just a tad sore otherwise this would be a solid A. I've got almost 10 weeks to go and I'm actually a little afraid of peaking too soon. I will have a slack week over Christmas and may race in January so it won't all be high mileage. I e-mailed the RD today and got a quick response. My AG plaque will be shipped before the end of the year. Yes!
Grade:A-/2 credits/ distance=10.5

12/8- High flying optimism was dealt a serious blow today. Planned to run an easy 6-8 but it ended up as a 4 mile recovery jog and I struggled to finish that. The reason is that I missed a dose of taurine. I could not remember whether or not I took it. I'm getting old, LOL. This was my worst day since mid-October. I was struggling at work as well. I am not on solid ground yet.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.0

12/9- Punishment for yesterday's pathetic display of running. Trak Shak 5 at "hard tempo" pace, but not quite 100% effort. Time was 34:10 (6:50 pace). That's about 10 secs. per mile short of my PR. Splits were 6:56-6:48-6:54-7:01(dang)-6:30. Felt strong. I needed 3 taurine pills. WTH? If I produce in my workouts and races, I won't complain. I may try a cautious SBF reintroduction to target the thyroid. If days like yesterday come once or twice a month, I can deal with that so I'm not angry... yet.
Completed my punishment with a 3.5 mile cooldown at recovery jog pace. I was not completely spent. I hope the weather isn't too awful this weekend. A 20 miler indoors will SUCK!
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=8.5

12/10- Strong. Lakeshore 7 with temps in the 30s. Average pace was 7:46 including a moderate pick up in the last mile (7:12-BQ pace). I could hit 60 this week if I run tomorrow but I will likely rest instead. I did take 1 SBF and less taurine and was fine. I will hold off on sending in the medical test until the end of the month.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.0

12/11- Planned rest day. Went to the mall and did some Christmas shopping.

12/12- First 20 miler of this cycle. Time was 2:39:53 (7:59 pace). Even pace with quarter splits of 39:53-40:04-40:10-39:46 and Miles 1-19 were all 7:55-8:05. This is the first time that I have run 20 @ sub-8 pace. I felt a little sluggish early but was fine once I warmed up. Final .25 was 1:41 (6:44 pace) so I was not completely spent. Even if I hit the wall and slowed to 10:00 pace over the last 10K, I would have beaten my old full mary PR. I feel like I can do better than this but I've got to be pleased.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=20.0

Weekly summary:
Another good week. Next weekend will be my last chance in '09 for a new 5K PR. I may run Meadowbrook or Pell City. It will be a "game time decision" based on the weather conditions and how I feel that morning. I've got some slack time ahead over Christmas so I may be better off doing a long run. I can run in the 50s with relative ease. Can I average 60 next cycle for a BQ attempt? I think I can do it on 60 MPW.
Distance=54.0 GPA= 30.2/9=3.36

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Baton Rouge Beach Half RR

I bounced back from a rough early Fall with a very strong November. I averaged 52 miles/wk on my non-race weeks with many quality sessions. This was one of the few training cycles in which I felt like I did everything right and almost all of my training went according to plan. After a fast and controlled track session on Tuesday, I began to feel a bit "wired/tired" then woke up on Wednesday morning feeling flat out awful. Fortunately, I knew what was wrong. All I needed was some more taurine and I felt better within hours. Would I be in PR shape on race day? I was uncertain.

Pre-race adventures:
Let's just say it's usually interesting when I race out of town. I decided to go halfway on Thusday evening and take a mix of interstate and country roads and take in some scenery in "Miss'Sippy" and "Loosiana." I was surprised by the hills even in south MS. The terrain was rolling most of the way with lots of pine trees. Hattiesburg looks to be a nice college town (Southern Miss) and Natchez was a pretty cool small town overlooking the river. Outside of that, there was not a whole lot to see. When I got to south Louisiana, the terrain flattened so I expected the course to be level as advertised. Baton Rouge seemed to have a pretty nice downtown area but I would not be racing there. I did stop at the State Capitol, where I ordered a "Shrimp Po Boy" sandwich. Cajun country proved to be a bit of culture shock. In a couple of cases, I could barely understand the speech. That said, if I travelled even about 1-2 hours north, I would have felt right at home. I went a few miles west on I-10 and it looked to be mostly swamp land but still interesting nontheless. It had been raining since early afternoon and now some sleet was beginning to mix in. Okay, let's get to hotel now and forget about going out to dinner in that mess. I had to settle for an overpriced burger and fries at the hotel lounge. Baton Rouge sees measurably snow about once a decade and as luck would have it, it came the day before the race. We got little more than a dusting and it had cleared by the morning.

Race morning:
I woke up without an alarm at 4:30 and took the shuttle from the hotel to the starting line where I had a nice conversation with a young man from north Louisiana. The weather turned out to be clear with little wind and temps in the low-mid 30s. Some people prefer this type of weather for long races but I like it about 15-20 degrees warmer. I figured that it could be worse. I opted for pants and a long sleeve tech shirt and I was fine was the sun came out and I got loosened up.

Let's say that there were a few curious events. Because of the weather issues, some of the roads were closed, causing some of the runners to miss the start so rather than delay it a half hour, the RD called for 2 separate starts, one at 7 AM and another at 7:30. They didn't even fire a gun or give us any warning, The call was simply "Go." There were timing mats at the finish but not at the start. That cost me a few precious seconds. Johnny had told me to go out at 7:00 pace and hang on so that's exactly what I would do. In the second mile, my Garmin, which had been fully charged, inexplicably cut off. I was pretty much in the groove by then so it did not hurt me too much. I turned it back on a few minutes later and it cut off again but the third time was the charm. From mile 4 to the end, it worked. There was only one clock on the course at the mid point so I was never sure how fast I was going. That would hurt me in the end. It was a nice course, partly around a lake, the LSU campus and some upscale residential areas. It was not pancake flat but significantly easier than Mercedes (I say 3 out of 10 in terms of difficulty). There were really only 2 significant hills (one in the 4th mile and one in the 9th). The rest of the hills were barely noticeable. My pace was in the mid 6s early and it felt easy but I knew that I could not hold it so I wisely dialed it back and hit the mile on target. I estimate that the next few miles were all 7:00-7:10. My only complaint was that by the 3rd mile, a group of runners were pulling away from me. Not knowing the pace, I ran by feel and decided to let the pack go ahead of me. It was probably the right call but it left me in "no mans land" for another 2+ miles. Fortunately, the course was well marked with volunteers at the turns. However, a marathon would be awfully lonely in the 2nd loop with a chance to get lost without the volunteers so I would not recommend the full for this race. Running a low-7 pace, I felt good in the early stages. Finally, a runner from the lead pack came back to me in Mile 6 and I would pass him on the next small hill. These flat landers were obviously not used to hills and I made up a lot of ground on every climb. I saw a guy in red about 15 seconds in front. At Mercedes, I made my move with about 5 miles to go and I decided to do the same here so I got out my harpoon and started to reel in a couple of slowing runners. By Mile 10, I had pulled even with the runner that I had been targeting most of the race. I heard that the split time at Mile 10 was between 70 and 71 minutes so a PR was mine. Unfortunately, I made my move too soon and the lead pack pulled away from me again. My legs had gone dead around Mile 11 so I tried some energy chews, which had little effect. I was back in no mans land and for those last 2 miles, I just had to buckle down and shift into survival mode. Uncharacteristically, a younger runner blew by me with a quarter mile to go and by the time I started my all out kick, I was too far behind. Again, I didn't know my exact time heading into to the home stretch because of the Garmin malfunctions. Too bad. I knew that I was under 1:34 but I didn't know how fast I was. It looked like I fell just short of breaking 1:33. Oh well. It's still a 3+ minute PR and an "A" performance. Update: According to the official results, my time was 1:32:57, good for 3rd in my age group and 16th overall. Make it an A+ on the day.

9:29 (7:01 pace for 1.35)
11:45 (7:09 pace for 1.65)
2:17 (7:07 pace for .32)
7:34 (slightly long)
:34 (5:26 pace for .10)

Garmin time: 1:28:30 for 12.45


It was too cold so I opted to get back on the bus and head back to the hotel quickly. I took a hot bath and checked out. The trip home was smooth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

training 11/29-12/5 (race week taper)

11/29- 10K near tempo effort which was about half marathon race pace followed by a hard 400 sprint without any rest. Fast start but the pace evened out after the first lap. Here are the splits: 7:04-7:12-7:18-7:16-7:19-7:16 (7:14 average), 1:51-76. Garmin says that I hit sub-4 pace at the end and I think I was close in the last 100. Overall time was 46:33 for 6.5 so figure just under 47 for a quarter marathon and projects to just about 1:34 flat for a half mary, which is my goal coming in. I'm pleased with this workout. Yes, I ran this workout the week before Mercedes and this projection turned out to be very accurate.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=7.5

11/30-Elective rest day as part of the taper. It's a dreary day outside so a run would not be much fun. I feel fine and will likely run tomorrow, rest Wednesday and go very easy Thursday. Update: As I said, I was fine in the morning but I was not feeling well at all in the afternoon and evening. I was wired/tired and had more than usual soreness in the groin area. I took half a taurine pill and some Omega 3 which seemed to help. Even 1 month ago, I could not tolerate any taurine. Anyone who reads this blog knows that this is nothing new. It's been a good month but it would suck to "do everything right and not perform well on Saturday." Tomorrow will be my last hard workout and it needs to be good to keep the confidence up. The weather looks to be sunny and chilly for race day (near 40 at start time)

12/1-Felt fine most of the day. Johnny told me not to push too hard today so I held back a bit. 4x400 and 1 800. I won't even list my times but I could run in the upper 70s without pushing too hard. Susie showed up at the track after I was done so I went ahead and ran my cool down with her. Mild pain in the shins and calves. Again, I had a low in the evening so I took some taurine and should feel better soon. How much do I need to be in top form on Saturday? There is a fine line. This is getting nerve wracking. On race week? What else is new?
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=4.0
(grade is based on the workout alone, not the evening low)

12/2- Discouraging day overall. Woke up feeling flat out awful (wired/tired) with sore muscles. I took 2 grams of taurine, which helped with the wired/tired but the soreness in the groin area worsened. It was so bad that I got a sharp pain whenever I cough or sneeze. That is unacceptable. I will try to get by on 1 gram of taurine and load on Boswellian extract in an attempt to combat the inflammation. Why does this always have to happen on race week? As good as my November was, it pains me to say that I am not on solid ground yet. I will delay the medical report until I take the taurine for a while. Oh yeah, I did run today and my performance was average. Trak Shak 5 @ 7:31. Slow start and a final mile at tempo effort and turned in a respectable 6:44. If the race were today, I would have struggled to break 1:40.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

12/3- Easy 2.5 on the 'mill with a mild pick up at the end. A high 7 pace felt effortless as it should but my groin is still a bit sore. This was the final test before the race and I think I can say that all systems are a go.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=2.5

12/4- Just a few untimed strides in the hotel. My legs feel pretty good.
Grade: Pass/0 credit/ distance= 0.5

12/5- Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon in 1:32:57 PR
Grade: A+/4 credits/distance=13.5

Weekly summary:
Tremendous performance in the half marathon. I am just 13.5 seconds per mile short of a sub-1:30. I have dropped close to 10 minutes in the last 12 months at that distance and more than 26.2 minutes since my debut in March 2007. As for Boston, I'm more than "halfway there and living on a prayer."
Distance= 33.0/ GPA= 33.3/9= 3.70

Sunday, November 22, 2009

training 11/22-28 (Thanksgiving)

11/22- Good start to the week. Went out for breakfast then drove back to the 'Ham, watched a little bit of football then headed out to Vestavia for my workout. 12 @7:45 followed by a water stop then a Mile in 6:17, which felt fast and controlled but not exhausting then went to church and have little down time the rest of the day. I was on pace for a 1:41:xx half marathon through 12, which would have been a PR last year and I had plenty left. I had just a bit of the wired/tired feeling so I will take small amounts of taurine. Again, a good workout.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=13.0

11/23- Lakeshore 10 in 78:45 (7:53 pace). A little faster than planned but I felt fine. My pace did slow a tad in the 2nd half but the effort was even (7:48 vs 7:57). I hope I can handle whatever Johnny throws at me tomorrow. 31 in 3 days but Wednesday will be a rest and Thursday-Saturday are all question marks. I hope I can hit at least 40 this week but I'll be lucky to hit 45.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=10.0

11/24- Johnny's speed session. A majority of the group was racing on Thursday so the group workout was light. Mine was not. 4x400 in 75, 800 in 2:43, 4x400 in 76 (last one was 69). I felt smooth and relaxed for the entire workout. Nobody was pushing me and I really could not see how fast I was going in the dark. Long cool down. Pleased with the workout.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=5.0

11/25- 3 mile recovery jog on the 'mill. AM was the only opportunity I had to run. Pace was about 8:35 but that's not important at all. If anything, it was a hair too fast. What is important is that I got a few miles in and should be ready to go tomorrow morning.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/26- Ran with an old HS teammate. Very slow pace but I had to slow down for him. Felt fine except for some normal soreness.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.5

11/27- I am not feeling the best today but since I am out of my routine, I don't suppose that it is anything to be concerned about. The workout was 3.5 at tempo effort on a challenging course which included a 1/4 mile steep uphill near the start. There was another steep climb later but most of the first half was gradual uphill. It did make for a nice second half. Overall time was 27:37 (7:54 pace) with splits of 8:21-8:16-7:24-3:35. I've hit 40 even if I can't go tomorrow.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=3.5

11/28- AM-Jefferson/Peters trail. This time, the first half was mostly downhill which did not make for a nice 2nd half. I also had to fight a tough headwind going up the incline. Not pleasant. Still, I managed to keep every mile below 8:00. I ended up cutting the run a little short and finished with a 6:54 last mile. Finished with 7 @ 7:33. Average performance. I am pleased with the pace but not the distance. I'll need to jump on the 'mill this evening to hit 50.
PM- comfortable 3 on the 'mill @7:58 pace. The only real purpose of this run was to hit the mileage goal. This run was pretty much junk and probably made little difference.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=10.0
Weekly summary:
Pretty much a tale of 2 weeks. After a great start, I struggled a bit in the later stages as predicted because of the change in routine. I am now back in the 'Ham and with this mileage in spite of my busy schedule, I deserve this taper coming up.
Distance= 50.0/ GPA= 31.9/10= 3.19

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rant: childhood obesity and weight issues

My mother is a teacher and has reported that she has seen a marked increase in childhood obesity in recent years. Sometimes, she might ask her students something to this effect: "We sure had some nice weather last weekend, did you do anything fun? The answer is typically: "Nah, I just stayed in, played video games, watched TV and surfed the net." I was born in '80 and we did not get the internet until I was in high school. Nintendo came out in '85 and I got one when I was 8 years old. Yes, I played it quite a bit, but it was certainly not all that I did. Even before I got into track, I was no couch potato. I played soccer, baseball and basketball in elementary school. Most afternoons, I would go outside and either ride my bike around the neighborhood, shoot basketballs, throw the football around or find other ways to spend my energy. If you are my age or a little older, that probably describes your early childhood as well. Nowadays, participation in sports seems to have declined, children are spending less time outdoors thanks to internet access and video games and their food choices are likely to be poor as well so it should not be a surprise that childhood obesity is on the rise. If nothing is done about this, their condition is likely to worsen in adulthood when metabolism slows, leading to heart disease, diabetes and overall very poor health and quality of life.
I may take some heat for this but I feel that much of the problem can be solved if parents would provide a better example for their children. Parents may encourage their children to be physically active but if they are overweight themselves, do not exercise and simply pick up fast food loaded with saturated and trans fats, the good advice may not carry too much weight (no pun intended). I was hanging out by the pool one summer day and had to listen to a 6 year old kid repeatedly express his desire to become a cigarette smoker. I must have heard it at least 10 times: "I wanna smoke!" His mother said, "I don't want to hear that from you again." Meanwhile, she was lighting up her third cancer stick in the past half hour. No comments are necessary.
The poor food that parents serve their children may be as much of a problem as the child's lack of exercise. In this case, I can see how this can be a problem. If you work a long and stressful day at work and arrive home at 7:30 PM, working out and cooking are not things that you feel like doing. I work 8-5 and have run 10-12 miles on a weekday many times. When I do, I won't be home until 8 PM and I usually just pick up whatever on my way home. Most adults have a slow oxidation rate and thus have little energy to spend and do not "feel like" exercising. Fortunately, this all important oxidation rate can be improved by proper dietary supplements and appropriate exercise. I am such a believer in my treatment program that I recommend it even to those with no significant health complaints. If you weren't sure why I am such a strong advocate when I was struggling earlier this Fall, look no further than my recent workouts. Three years ago, I was relegated to walk/jogging and the my first timed 3 mile was 26:xx. If you had told me back then that I could run a 10K in 41:xx, there is no way that I would have believed it.

My weight has been pretty steady around 148 for most of the year. I'm 5'11" without shoes, 6'1" with them plus orthotics. According to most tables, the target range is between about 142-168 so I am within the target range albeit at the low end. Ideally, I should be 153-155 but if it's a difference of just 5-7 lbs, I'm not going to worry about it and I doubt that lower than ideal weight by itself will significantly impact my performance. Also, I feel pretty good at this weight. I have dropped below 145 a few times and did not feel as well but I've also been over 150 and did not feel very well. My BP is usually just under 120/80 and my choleterol is 133, very good numbers. When I did gain or lose weight , it was a body chemistry imbalance that was the cause, hence the symptoms. I do expect that when in balance, I will be in the low-mid 150s and feel good at that weight.

I am striving to become what is known as a "healthy fast" oxidizer. I realize that most of you have no idea what that means so let me explain briefly. In short, the thyroid and adrenal gland activity is mildly elevated with no trend toward adrenal burnout and the person is rife with energy, vitality and is very unlikely to have any type of weight problem or high cholesterol. On my last medical report, I was classified as a "moderate fast" oxidizer with no adrenal burnout but it was bordering on "extreme fast." On the positive side, in this state, I probably will never be overweight even if I did not run and I am unlikely to have a cholesterol problem either despite the fact that my diet is not the best. On the negative side, it is hard to gain weight and it doesn't seem to matter whether I run or not. Like I said, I'm not going to worry about being 5 lbs. too light but if became "extreme fast," I would feel very weak and drop to 140 and look anorexic. Also, even with "moderate fast" oxidation, I will experience some degree of energy loss and poor connective tissue healing leaving me undertrained with poorer performances especially at the longer distances. I can do better and if my recent training and race results are any indication, I am on the right track. At one point, I was taking upwards of 10 different pills to manage my chemical imbalances. I am now down to 4. I attribute much of my improvement to solving the chromium issue by reducing zinc consumption but I also completely cut out soda starting because it irritated my digestive system. That may be helping as well. If I can stay healthy enough to train at my current volume and intensity, next year you will see the following times: sub-19 5K, sub-40 10K, sub-1:30 half marathon, sub-3:20 marathon. Mark it down.

Monday, November 16, 2009

training 11/15-21

11/15- Lakeshore 6 in 47:57 (7:59.5 pace). This was too fast after yesterday. I was struggling early but warmed up nicely after the first mile. I actually picked up the pace at the end to make sure I would come in under 8:00 pace. Bad call. I hope this effort doesn't hurt me down the road. The good thing is that this was an AM run so I have a half day off to recover until a PM run tomorrow. Again, I must slow down.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

11/16- No ill-effects at all from going too fast yesterday. I felt surprisingly well from the get go. Lakeshore 10 in 81:36 (8:10 pace). Yes, I could have done sub-8 again but chose not to do so. This was a much more enjoyable run. 1st half was 40:46, 2nd half was 40:50 so I'd say that's pretty even. I got the mileage in and should be good to go for tomorrow with Johnny. This brings me up to 36 in the last 3 days and 62 in the last 7. I need 6 tomorrow to tie my 7 day mileage PR.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=10.0

11/17- 1.5 warm up, Johnny's ladder workout plus a 2 mile cool down. Workout stats: 400-78, 800-2:46, 1200-4:16, 1600-5:53, 800-2:42. Overall pace was an even 5:40 or 85 per lap so I get an 85 on the day. Not bad considering that I ran the entire workout alone. I miss Dave in these workouts. Today's workout brought me up to a new 7 day mileage PR (64 from Wednesday-Tuesday) (14+7+0+20+6+10+7). Yes, I'm running tomorrow too. I feel good.
Grade: B/2 credits/distance=7.0

11/18- Tempo day. Trak Shak 5 in 35:13 (7:03 pace). I got a head lamp and a red flashing light on my pants but I am still extra careful in the dark. This means more stops than usual but that's okay. My last 4 miles averaged a sub-7. I am feeling some signs of fatigue but considering the mileage that I have done recently, I can still feel good about my workout. 1.5 cool down at a glacial pace. Easy tomorrow.
Grade: B+/2 credits/distance=6.5

11/19- Easy 5.5 at Vestavia. That was pretty much my only option with the darkness and time crunch. Time was 44:19 (8:04 pace). This time, I did not try for sub-8. I just ran whatever pace felt comfortable. Yes, I was tired and sore but it did not feel abnormal.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.5

11/20- Busy day today. I had to go to Bessemer this morning to get my car tag renewed ($134), worked a 6 hour day then headed to Atlanta after work. My only real running option was to get up an hour early and jump on the 'mill for a few easy miles and I did just that. I was hoping to get 6 in and settled for 4 at a 8:27 pace. I was simply too tired to run well but I'm not too worried about it. I never run well in the morning during the week but I can run fine on Saturday mornings. Go figure.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=4.0

11/21- Pretty good day all around. I got up early and hit the Silver Comet trail with Nick. The trail was not as flat as advertised. In fact, almost all of the first half was a gradual incline. That made for a nice second half. My Garmin died on me but I estimate that my pace was in between easy and tempo, which was the plan on a run of this distance. The trail was 7.6 miles plus a short cool down. Felt good. Headed to Clemson to see a win vs. Virginia. My emotions about going back there were mixed. I did have some good times there but the unyielding stress of the MBA program was a major contributing factor in my development of full blown adrenal exhaustion.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=8.0

Weekly summary:
Pleased with the week overall. Anything above a 3.0 is a good week. I could have run 50+ but given my schedule, I think I got about as much mileage in as I could. Next week will be even busier with Thanksgiving so it's unlikely that it will be very high mileage but I'm close to my taper any way.
Distance=46.0/ GPA= 27.3/9= 3.033

Sunday, November 8, 2009

training 11/8-14

11/8-slow 8 through Homewood and Mountain Brook. Pretty hilly route. Average pace was 8:14, which is acceptable on an easy day especially after a race. However, the soreness felt "abnormal" in a way that only I understand. I drank a recovery drink containing taurine and today felt like I had too much of it. From now on, I will avoid that stuff altogether. Not a debacle but a bit of a downer after yesterday. I'll be fine tomorrow.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=8.0

11/9- Veteran's Park 6 in the dark. Not a very enjoyable run but I did beat the rain just barely. I was off form today again but I'm not worried yet. If I suck tomorrow, then I'll be worried. I forgot to take the GABA last night so I doubled it in the morning (bad call, I should know better). Overall pace was around 8:15 so that's barely acceptable. The energy was there but I was sore in the groin area and legs would not produce. There was enough light to see when the trail was near the road but about a quarter of the trail was pitch black. In the 2nd lap, I had a head on collision with a bike but fortunately, neither of us were going fast and nobody got hurt. I will avoid Veteran's Park in the dark from now on.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=6.0

11/10- I am officially concerned. This feels like a GABA issue. I started taking glutamine for my digestion, which raises GABA. Taurine and SBF both cause groin soreness so both will be eliminated. I may replace TravaCor (contains a small amount of taurine) with glutamine after the medical report but until then I will stick with what worked before Vulcan. Workout was 3x800, 3x600, 3x400 indoors. I won't list the times because it was overdistance @ the Hoover Rec Center. I got through the workout but just didn't feel like myself.
Grade:C+/2 credits/distance=5.0

11/11- AM: Trak Shak 9 @ 7:52. It was the 8 mile route in reverse plus a 1 mile cool down. Very uneven pace but I just ran whatever speed with Adam and Jason. Fastest mile was 7:12, slowest was 8:21. Jason was struggling with stomach cramps. "I feel your pain" (said in Clinton's voice). No SBF+ no taurine+no GABA= quick improvement.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=9.0
PM (still daylight)- Trak Shak 5 with brand new shoes in 37:57 (7:36 pace). Last 3 miles were 7:40-7:42-7:40. Can't get much more even than that. A bit on the fast side but I felt fine at all times. When I am in balance, even if I'm sore from hard workouts, I usually still feel good in workouts and have plenty of energy during the day. I've done 19 miles in less than 24 hours. Am I running tomorrow? Hell yeah! I won't get another chance to go high mileage before Baton Rouge because of a busy upcoming schedule (football game then Thansgiving w/family).
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0

11/12- Lakeshore 7 in 54:53 (7:51 pace). Lakeshore is safer than Veteran's Park because it's paved rather than gravel and there's no traffic except for a couple of intersections. Solid performance and a pretty even pace. Not an "A" only because of minor groin soreness. I had another bizzare dream last night. I was in CVS and had to hide and cover myself with a small towel because I was naked. I'm not worried about this and for the most part, I'm laughing about it. The increased training could be a cause but I'd rather have goofy dreams than extreme soreness any day.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/13- If I ran 4 today and completed my long run tomorrow of 20 as planned, I would set a new mileage PR. Instead, I am taking a well deserved day of rest and will be going for 21 tomorrow. I need 23 to tie and 24 to break it but probably will not go for that yet. I hope that it will be my best long run ever. Last night, I dreamed that I was out on a date and the girl decided to smoke one cigarette for every mile that I ran, which was 7. I've been laughing about this one all morning.

11/14- I was shooting for 20 @ 8:00 and ended up with 18 in 2:43:44 (7:59 pace) so that's a 91 on the day. I slept in (no weird dreams) and didn't get started until 9 AM so by the time I finished, it was 70 and sunny. That's not the best conditions. Miles 3-12 were all between 7:56-8:03. I passed 13.1 in 1:44:33 but after that point, I faded. I was able to hold on to 8:06 for the next 2 then an 8:03 but slipped to 8:15 in the 17th mile. By that point, I knew that I wasn't going to make sub-8 and the first half of Mile 18 was worse so I decided to run the next half mile hard that call it quits. I rallied for a 3:40 in the last .50 so I was not completely spent. This was my 2nd best long run ever (best was 18 @7:50 just before the sinus infection.
1st half: 71:33, 2nd half: 72:11. That's not too bad. Final thoughts: If I had kept going and maintained a 9:00 pace for the last 8.2, I would have run a 3:37:xx. Mercedes is not for another 3 months but I don't think that I am in sub-3:30 shape yet. I do think I could run sub-3:40. I thought about a 3:23 goal but don't think it's realistic yet. Just give me a 3:29:59.
PM- 2 mile recovery jog on the 'mill.
Grade: A-/2 credits/distance=20.0
Weekly summary:
I'm pleased overall. GPA was 3.4 from Weds-SatThat LR would have been better if I had been a bit fresher. Still, I know that I need more work on the long runs. Yes, I like that distance on the week. I won't be able to run high mileage the next 2 weeks and it's almost time to taper for Red Stick. I'll take a sub-1:35 but my stretch goal is a 1:33:xx.
Distance=60.0 (2nd highest)/ GPA= 25.6/9= 2.84

Saturday, November 7, 2009

09 Vulcan 10K RR

Not a good training cycle overall. I faced a series of annoying medical issues, none of which left me out of commission for more than 4 days but left me undertrained and frustrated at times. Two weeks ago, I really felt like a turned the corner and put in an intense 10 days before a 2 day rest before race day.
Race morning:
Woke up with just a trace of soreness in my legs but felt good and calm overall. Weather was perfect (low 50s, clear skies, light winds). I felt good warming up and was ready to roll. I came in expecting a PR (42:30) but the real goal was a sub-42.
5 out of 10 in difficulty. Miles 1-2 were relatively flat then we hit almost a mile of steady uphill. Mile 4 was rolling then we went back downhill in Mile 5 with a relatively flat finish. There was an easier 10K today in Mobile but I had already been there this year and didn't want to miss my home race.
I was shooting for around 6:40 for the first mile, which would have been right on target to finish just under 42. As usual, I went out a bit too fast but was aided by a downhill stretch early. I was at 3:05 at the half mile but ran a smart race after that. I lost a few positions in the 2nd mile but ran the uphill portion very well and passed several. By the halfway point, I was well ahead of PR pace but felt a bit more tired than last year. Mile 4 was a bit of struggle but when we hit the downhill, I let it loose and passed at least 3. By the end of Mile 5, I was pretty much spent but I knew that a PR was as good as mine and if I could simply maintain my average pace over the last mile, I would come in under 42. By the end of the 6th mile, I knew that I had it and would not need a kick. I only passed 1 in the last .25 and it wasn't one of my faster kicks but nobody was within my reach during the final sprint. Finished with a chip time of 41:43, a PR by 47 seconds and exactly 60 seconds faster than last year. This was an "A" performance.
-2 mile cool down with Jason, who was finishing his long run.
6:25 (6:25)- too fast but on target for last 3/4
13:08 (6:43)- on target
20:10 (7:02)- very good on the uphill.
27:02 (6:52)- rolling, not as fast as I wanted.
33:28 (6:26)- downhill, pleased with that.
40:07 (6:39)- hung on quite well
41:43 (1:36)- 6:10 pace for .26
This projects to a 1:32 half and a 3:15 full. If I had run a pancake flat course, I think I would have been around 41:15. Lifetime goal is 40:00 and I think that I can do it if I can stay healthy enough to train consistently. 40:42 projects a BQ but I'll need to be faster than that since I am naturally suited for shorter distances.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Training 11/1-7 (planned race week)

11/1- After a 15 miler @ sub-8 the day before, my legs actually felt fresher today than yesterday. I did make a minor tweak with my formula. Today was supposed to be an easy 10 but I felt so good that I took it out at 7:37 (3:20 marathon pace). The last half was a bit of a struggle but I held my own. 9 of 10 miles were 8:00 or less (mile 9 was net uphill). 1st half- 38:26, 2nd half- 39:47 (more hills). Overall time was 78:13 (7:49 pace). Am I surprised by this performance today? Yes, I am. This is the 10th straight day of running and all have been sub-8 pace. That streak will end tomorrow as I plan to go very slow regardless of how I feel. The Fall back was nice this morning but it will suck in evening when it's already dark when I get off work. I may do some morning runs more often.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=10.0

11/2- AM daylight run at Veteran's Park. 4 mile recovery jog almost ASAP (as slowly as possible) Should have gone Garmin free but I ran it just under 35 minutes (8:45 pace). For a recovery jog, that's acceptable. Pace was even but I was VERY tired. I don't think it is anything more serious than natural fatigue. I hope that my body will respond almost as if this was a rest day so I'll be ready to roll tomorrow evening.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=4.0

11/3-Interesting day. Bizzare dreams probably due to overtraining. I dreamed that my teeth were rotting and falling out and for some reason I was stranded in south Louisiana and ran into some "interesting characters." Woke up still fatigued but by the afternoon, I was ready to run. Speed day today and Johnny wanted me to keep my speed sharp for race day on Saturday. Workout was 8x400 averaging 73-74 (4:55 pace). Range was 71-76. I'm pleased with this workout. The only downer was that my final 400 was only 72 (it's often 67 or below) but that probably indicates a better workout. I feel pleasantly tired, not exhausted. Long cool down.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=5.0

11/4- Tempo. Trak Shak 5 @ 7:11. Fortunately, I ran with 2 others so I wasn't alone in the dark. Legs were sore but the rest of my body doesn't feel too beat up. Very easy 3 on the 'mill when I got home. Solid.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=8.0

11/5- After 13 straight days of running, back to back quality days and a race in 2 days, it would be dumb to run today. Well deserved day of rest.

11/6- Dreamed about computers and being a victim of identity theft. Why the weird dreams after a rest or recovery day? Elective rest day. Traffic jam on the interstate after packet pick up. It won't make a difference either way.

11/7- Vulcan 10K in 41:43 (6:42 pace). PR. Long cool down.
Grade:A/4 credits/distance=9.5

Weekly summary:
I did not hit my mileage target but that's okay. The missing 3.5 would have been junk anyway. Very pleased with my workouts this week. High mileage until Thanksgiving then my final race of '09 will be a half marathon in December and I have 2 options. Barring bad weather, I will run Baton Rouge (I know it's not a good marathon but since it caters to halfers, I should be okay). If the weather is bad that weekend, I'll run Pt. Clear in South Alabama the following week. If that falls through, my last option chance is Jacksonville. I had my wallet and clothes stolen at a beach there 3 years ago so hopefully, it won't come to that.
Distance=36.5/ GPA= 39.7/11= 3.61

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Training is overrated!

Some people on RWOL joke about this statement when it comes to racing long distance. In my case, there is a lot of truth to that statement. The last 3 months of training have been horrid. The truth hurts. Here are my mileage totals since August in reverse order:
17.5, 27.0, 50.o, 45.5, 10.0, 35.0, 45.0, 23.0, 30.0, 30.0, 20.0
That's an 11 week average of 30.3.
I wanted to average at least 45-50 during this period in preparation for a November half marathon. No way that I should expect to be in PR shape right? Wrong.
Trak Shak 5 today in a moving time of 33:14 on a gently rolling course. That beats my previous PR of 33:36 set in May, which was done just after marathon training. I was not exactly fresh either. Two days ago, I did a hard 5K tempo near race pace. I've done 17.5 miles in the past 3 days at an average pace of 7:30 (that's near half marathon race pace). Am I surprised? Not really. The greatest determinant to how I perform in my runs is not the volume and quality of my training but the degree of chemical imbalances in my body.
Back in college and grad school, due to injuries and lack of time to train, there were years in which I only averaged 10-15 MPW. I could still run a 5K around 21 on a good day and was sometimes faster in all out time trials. When I am far enough out of balance to produce symptoms, I will not even come close to a 21:00 5K even if I trained at 60 MPW on a consistent basis. A 10K would be really ugly and anything longer than that? I'd have to walk/jog to the finish.
Now, is it too much to ask for me to have a few months of solid training that is relatively free from setbacks and interruptions? Every time I hit a good stretch, I am hopeful that I've got this disease beat once and for all. Then, a few days later, I hit the wall after 2-3 miles. This time, let's just say that I am cautiously optimistic. With solid training at even 50 MPW, I expect that by the winter, I will be well under 3:30 in the marathon and improve my PRs significantly in the shorter distances. I know it's wrong to compare myself to others and I should just continue to focus on doing the best I can with my own life but I sometimes get dejected when I see other bloggers consistently post 70+ mile weeks and they consider it a downer if they don't hit 80!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

training 10/25/31

10/25- Hoover 7 in 54:51 (7:50 pace). Significant improvement over yesterday but still well off form. Started out with a solid 7:40-7:45 pace despite elevated pulse and heart rate (no chromium today) then faded in the 2nd half. By the end of the run, I had faded to an 8:15 pace but closed with a respectable 1:47 final lap. Double the distance at a faster pace
Grade:C/1 credit/distance= 7.0

10/26- Short tempo under a time crunch. Lakeshore 3.1 with a moving time of 19:37 (6:19 pace). No, that's not a typo! Splits were 6:16-6:12-6:31-38. Just :24 short of a PR but this would have carried an asterisk. I did have to stop several times at intersections for traffic but I think I would have gone sub-20 without stopping. This was a hard but not all out run. I held back just a hair. Felt strong with only a trace of stiffness most of the day. 2 words: 'BOUT TIME!
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=3.5

10/27-A little bit of joint inflammation and a little of the "wired/tired" feeling but considering that I nearly put forth race effort yesterday, I don't feel too bad. No more SBF and maybe a cautious taurine re-introduction. I'll see how I feel tomorrow morning. Skipped Johnny's speed because I went too hard yesterday. 3rd day off the chromium. Instead, I opted for Lakeshore again. Result: 7 miles @ 7:42. Too fast but I never felt uncomfortable. Groin was sore but the rest of me is pleasantly tired. Slightly off form but still good overall. HARD tomorrow.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.0

10/28-Last Trak Shak run in daylight. None of my training partners showed but that's okay. I doubt that any of them would have wanted to run with me today. 5 Mile route in a moving time of 33:14 (6:39 pace). Splits were 6:31-6:31-6:51-6:46-6:33. That's a 22 second improvement over my previous PR. I did have to stop a few times for traffic but there will be no asterisk today. I'll just add a 10 second penalty and let it go in the books as a 33:24 (PR). As I've said in my post, I'm not terribly surprised. I've said time after time that I have the talent to run some pretty fast times when healthy. As of now, I'm still skipping the 5K this weekend. I'll be better served by running long. I hope to take another shot at the 5K PR later on. The Vulcan 10K is likely to be a go. If I can maintain the pace that I ran today for an additional 1.2, I would clock a time of 41:30 (a PR by a full minute). I think that's doable running with competition and with fresh legs even if the course is a little harder.
Grade:A+/2 credits/distance=5.0

10/29-After going 95-100% 2 out of the last 3 days, I expected to struggle today but I DID NOT! I had a bit or groin soreness and minor stomach cramps but other than that, I had plenty of energy. Workout was Lakeshore 7.5 starting and ending at Brookwood. I started out a calm 7:40 pace then my Garmin got low on batteries. I clicked it back on at the end to find that I was still below 8:00. I'll estimate somewhere in the 7:50s overall.
Grade: B+/1 credit/distance=7.5

10/30-Veteran's Park 4, probably the last day of the year that I will be able to run shirtless. Time was 31:44 (7:56 pace). A little tired but I have every right to be. Good news is that the groin soreness has diminished. This was intended to be a recovery day and I still turned in a sub-8 with a pretty even pace. I could have done 7:30 with relative ease but this was supposed to be slow.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=4.5

10/31-Long as planned in damp conditions. Plan was to go 13 at 8:00 pace then 2-3 at half marathon pace. Hit 13 on target- 1:43:34 despite faltering a bit towards the end. After that however, I didn't have much left. Only ran 2 in 15:26 (7:43) and most of that came on the first and last quarter. Finished with 15 in an even 1:59 (7:56 pace). My best LR is 18 @ 7:50. This was a step behind but still quite solid with no rest days during the week. Warm down at snail's pace to hit weekly mileage target.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=15.5

Weekly summary:
Ran all 7 days. Nothing less than a C. Every run averaged less than 8:00 pace. They call me Crazy Justin for a reason. I need to slow down if I want to maintain this mileage. Next week is race week so I'll try to get decent mileage but it will be less intense. Again, there is a line between craziness and stupidity. Oh yeah, it's about freakin' time that I am running well!
Distance=50.0/ GPA= 35.1/10= 3.51 (highest since May)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Angry again

Since about mid-summer, it's been one thing after another.
May, most of June and the first half of July were quite good but it's been downhill since then. Yes, there have been 2 highlights. That Elvis 5K in 19:37 on a rolling course would have threatened my PR if it had been flat. Also, I completed my clean sweep of post-adrenal fatigue PRs in 2009 from 400 to marathon with a 42:30 10K in September. Both of those races were done in the midst of my chromium roller coaster. I eventually learned that zinc inhibits chromium absorption and I have since solved it (I think). Before that, I had to deal with the "wired and tired" feeling that was corrected by taurine. I think I've solved that one too but there were a lot of bumps along the way.
In the past month, two more issues have sprung up and what is most irritating is that neither should have happened.
If I had my tooth pulled like I would have preferred 2.5 years ago, I never would have had the nasty tooth pain that required antibiotic use. I never should have been prescribed anything as strong as Clindamycin, which I have learned is one of the worst regarding post-antibiotic diarrhea. I lost 4 days of training from the toothache and a few more during the course of antibiotic treatment (that stuff throws the adrenals out of whack) and just when I thought I was turning the corner by hitting 50 miles, I have been knocked out of commission by diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Yes, I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor today because I was afraid that I may have a colon infection. A urine and blood test proved that I did not. I just have to clear my system which means I basically cannot eat. I am only allowed clear liquids and chicken broth so it goes without saying that I am not feeling very strong. I had to do something. It got to the point in which I was going 2-3 times at night plus 6-8 times during the day. It goes without saying that there will no be significant running this week. I wanted to race at least twice, maybe 3 times in November and I really needed October to be a good month. As it is, no 5K on 10/31, maybe not anything in November either. I do expect to be ready for a December half and a February full. It's really a shame. I would have had a shot at my 5K PR and could have smashed my 10K and gotten my sub 1:35:30 half marathon, which would mean that I am halfway to Boston. I think the latter is still possible in December. To put this in perspective, I was more concerned about my general health and the test proved that I have nothing serious to worry about.

Monday, October 19, 2009

training 10/18-24

10/18-One of the worst nights. I had to go almost every hour. Got the radical idea to cut out all supplements with vitamins and minerals because I just can't absorb them. I'm still taking amino acids, digestive enzymes and probiotics. Improved a bit as the day progressed and managed to do 4 on the 'mill. Pace was sub-8 with a gradual pick up. I did need to break away to squat but overall not too bad outside of that.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=4.0
10/19-Only had to go 3 times at work today. That's an improvement. I have ordered Digestanol. I believe that supplements will solve this issue. Hoover 5 at a comfortable pace. Untimed because Garmin died on me but the early pace was 7:20 and felt pretty easy. Again, I had to squat 3.5 miles into it but finished easily. Very pleasant surprise that I have been feeling this well in workouts but I am fresh because I didn't go long over the weekend.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.0
10/20-Went to the doctor today. No colon infection but I am out of commission for a few days.
Started feeling weak with sore muscles partly because I can't eat and partly because I wasn't taking the supplements. I took one of each and barely kept it down but it did help.
10/21-Did not eat. Did not run. Only had to go twice, once when I woke up and once at work.
10/22- Ate a normal lunch and dinner. Only had to go when I woke up.
2 miles in 14:50 on the 'mill. A little stiff but not a concern. The best news is that I did not have to squat nor did I have any stomach cramps.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=2.0
10/23- needed chromium. Dang it! Thym-Adren has too much zinc so I need to reduce that dosage. Zinc stimulates the thyroid and chromium stimulates the adrenals and zinc inhibits chromium so I must either take both or neither. I hope the answer is neither. If it's both, I may feel decent but won't reach my potential. Workout was pretty good today. 3 mile tempo on Lakeshore in 20:51 (7:18-6:48-6:45). Those last 2 miles were at 10K pace. I think I could have gone sub-35 in a 5 M but I want to go long tomorrow and it's not good form to run a time trial the day before a long run.
Grade:B+/2 credits(barely)/distance=3.0
10/24- One step forward, two steps back. Diarrhea returned last night which may have been due to excess chromium. Performed poorly today probably also due to excess chromium (took 2 yesterday, only 1 today). I'm hoping to get it cleared out of my system for tomorrow so I can start fresh on the week. It was a crappy week in more ways than one. The workout: Hoover 3.5 in 27:51 (7:58 pace). 1st 3 miles were steadily paced at 7:54 then hit the wall AFTER A MEASLY 3 MILES!! and limped to a 4:10 last half mile before cramps and feelings of disgust caused me to quit. Oh yeah, I have the beginnings of another toothache. Please let it be just a cavity, not another root canal. Every time I pick myself up, I get knocked down again. I've been praised for a good attitude overall but patience runs out!
Grade:D-(lenient)/1 credit/distance=3.5
Weekly summary:
GPA is somewhat misleading because I only had one marginally challenging run. I'm more upset about the inability to run higher mileage. Crappy week in more ways than one.
Distance= 17.5/ GPA=16/6=2.67

Friday, October 16, 2009

latest medical issue

I guess you could say that poor medical advice has left me hurting again. As I stated before, the antibiotics that were prescribed for a toothache. I recall seeing a warning that in some cases, persistent diarrhea could flare up weeks after discontinuing the drug. That's exactly what has happened. Again, as I said before the oral surgeon in this case saw how bad I looked and gave me the strongest stuff he had available and the highest dosage that can be prescribed. Looking back, I should not be surprised that I had a reaction. He was well-intentioned and did a good job with the tooth extraction but completely missed it with the prescription. First, the good news is that I am still relatively free from fatigue and am still able to do some running.
My symptoms are as follows:
-sudden and intense cramps in the abdominal area (6+ times a day)
-soft and loose stools, which sometimes contain mucous.
-when I do go, it's mostly gas, followed by one relatively small "squirt" in which hardly anything comes out.
-the pain is relieved after I go and then it happens again, often about 2 hours later.
I fit the description of irritable bowel syndrome almost to the letter.
Solution in mainstream medicine:
From what I've read, there is no cure but only hope that patients can treat and manage this condition. Doctors will usually give you some type of prescription and what might that be? I couldn't believe it. Often, the answer is anti-depressants! True, low serotonin levels can impact bowel movements so there is a chance that it could help some people, not me. Never mind that my serotonin level is normal according to my neurotransmitter test. Mainstream medicine rarely considers that test and almost never gives patients this test prior to deciding on the treatment for depression but that's another rant. As for the irritable bowel syndrome, each case is different and will require different solutions.
What was the cause for me?
Well, I had a few risk factors including a moderately elevated sodium/potassium ratio, which is associated with inflammation and may explain why I have had a persistent sore groin for several weeks that has worsened when I take the wrong pills, has not relieved by rest but feels no worse when running. I am also low in zinc, which is also a risk factor for IBS. Thirdly, the flora in my large intestine responsible for digestion have largely been killed by the antibiotics. I should not be surprised.
I have every confidence that I will emerge victorious without stepping foot in a doctor's office.
First, I must be extra careful about what I eat and drink. No sugared drinks, caffeine, alcohol or dairy products. I am loading on probiotics to restore the good bacteria in my digestive tract. I am increasing my calcium/magnesium supplement to make sure my blood sugar remains in control and maybe slow down my metabolic rate. Zinc supplementation to restore the balance of Na/K, which is associated with the ratio of aldosterone to cortisol. (Note: if you have a low Na/K ratio, zinc is one of the worst things you can take). I am hoping that will do the trick but there are risks and I am really not sure if it is the answer. Zinc does lower sodium and increase potassium, which I need but it also stimulates thyroid function (I don't need that) and can inhibit chromium absorption. I REALLY DON'T NEED to be chromium dependent again. Number one, I hated the extreme sensitivity to it and number two, it raises sodium and aldosterone, thus contributing to the inflammation that I am fighting. I will be cautious with the zinc and will try to avoid chromium at all costs.
If this is not enough, I do have a Plan B and a Plan C. Plan B is the addition of the amino acid glutamine (or it may be glutamate, I can't remember but I could find out). This amino acid reportedly helped with muscle soreness associated with overtraining and/or another supplement from Analytical Research Labs called Enzaid. Plan C is a product called Digesterol. It really seems to be good but it costs $160 and I prefer not to spend that kind of money but will do so if absolutely necessary.
Further comments:
I read that over half of patients with irritable bowel syndrome complain of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Again, like I have said, all of these unpleasant symptoms can be inter-related. Patients with adrenal fatigue (low Na/K ratio) are often deficent in hydrochloric acid. This situation frequently causes poor digestion. Of course, these patients also suffer from chronic fatigue and sore muscles. I have reversed my adrenal fatigue and have actually taken it too far in the opposite direction. A high Na/K is preferable to a low ratio but can cause other problems. Fortunately, fatigue and depression hasn't been there but this GI distress, sore groin and inflammation is no picnic either.
I was really in the groove around late Spring-early Summer but since the Elvis 5K two months ago, I have had only 1 week above a 3.0, which was a race week, and have routinuely lost 1-2 days of training per week due to flare ups and have toughed it out many days in which I was off form (B- and C days), which seem to be more often than my A-B workouts. Still, if I get lucky and have my "A" stuff on a race day, I'll do well (just like my last 10K) but not as well as I could if I was able to train normally. In this current condition, a Boston qualifier will be impossible. Again, if I was healthy and trained at 60 MPW for a whole year, I believe that yes I could run a 3:10 marathon but only because I have above average talent. Few people who have seen me run would disagree with that assessment. I am of the opinion that few people could achieve a BQ even with years of training. I know some people that have been running 50-60 MPW for several years and are not even close to a BQ and it is not due to lack of effort. I hope that this is the last time I say this: If I can't achieve my goals because of talent limitations, I can live with that. If my potential is stolen from me by consistent nagging injuries and illness, that's not okay!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

training 10/11-17

10/11- Recovery run at Vestavia. 4 miles at 8:15 pace plus a very slow cool down. That's fine for a recovery day, maybe even a hair on the fast side. Knee was sore but it didn't feel anything worse than it should after an 18 miler.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=4.5
10/12- BAAAAAUUHHD! I had the day off work for Columbus Day (state holiday) and most of the day was spent on errands and got little done. I went for an oil change and found out that I needed brake work, which cost me almost $300. Oh well, it could have been worse. Hoped to run an easy 10 but quit after it took me almost 9 minutes to run the first mile. I walked a lap then ran a 400 all out and barely broke 2:00. I am being LENIENT on the grade.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.5
10/13- Bad day continued through the night. Nasty GI issues and got little sleep. Legs were extremely sore and felt overstimulated so I tried some GABA and it helped. I showed up at Johnny's workout not expecting too much but did fairly well. 1200-4:13, 800-2:40, 800-2:41, 400-67, 400-80 (thought I was done after the 67), 400 jog in between, Mile cool down. A little off form but still felt more like myself today.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=4.0
10/14- Trak Shak 10 with a moving time of 77:38 (7:46 pace). Solid performance. Faded near the end but I had to be cautious with regard to my footing because it was getting dark. Also, I did not refuel at all and my stomach was burning. Still a little sore in the groin. I will try to stay off taurine completely until I get the "wired/tired" feeling. I really wanted the weekday long run to be Monday but my body failed me. Today was my punishment. and I didn't get home until 8 PM. Ouch. That's the price I pay to get in PR shape.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=10.0
10/15- Hoover Rec Center. Approx. 4 miles in 32:08 so that's an acceptable pace. Still sore in the groin area and bad GI issues. Average at best today.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=4.0
10/16- Had to squat 6 times at work and forced to cancel my weekend plans. 3 miles on the 'mill with a bathroom nearby at an easy pace with a mild pick up at the end. Actually felt decent during the run.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=3.0
10/17- Feeling even worse today. Soreness in the groin area has diminished but had stomach cramps all day and lost track of the number of times that I had to squat. Attempted to run but could not because of the cramps.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=0
Weekly summary:
This could ruin my Fall racing season but I'm more concerned about my general health at this time. The probiotic hasn't solved the issue yet but I've got plenty of other options.
Distance=27.0/ GPA=20.6/9= 2.29

Thursday, October 8, 2009

training 10/4-10/10

10/4-3 mile recovery run on still very stiff groin muscles. My recovery drink yesterday contained too much taurine and I paid the price of extreme soreness. I can take away a positive that I showed some life at the end and should be normal by tomorrow. Pace was near 8 indoors in Hoover (rain outside).
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0
10/5- Metro Fitness 10 in Monty in 78:50 (7:53 pace). A little on the quick side for a run at that distance but I never felt uncomfortable. 9 of 10 miles were below 8:00. Felt strong. Weight was 148, which remains 7 lbs. too light but I'm not going to worry about it. I've been over 150 a few times this year and always felt lousy. The weight issues will resolve when I am in balance.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=10.5
10/6- Wanted to do intervals but could not. Too much chromium. I knew this would happen eventually and it's good news in the long run but today sucked and tomorrow will likely be rough also. Started out at an "easy 7:40 pace" for the first half lap but at the end of 2 miles, my pace had fallen to 8:40 and was getting slower each lap. If I had continued, it would have been 10 minute+ pace so I hung it up. Because I was able to do essentially nothing today, my punishment is no rest day this week.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=2.0
10/7-Metro Fitness 7 @ 8:25 pace on average. First mile was 8:07 then it got gradually worse until Mile 6 was a putrid 8:45 but I did come back with an 8:12 to finish followed by a cool down. I want my easy runs to be 7:45-8:15 (as per McMillian based on 5K time) so I wasn't too far off today. Improvement over yesterday but still quite sluggish.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=7.5
10/8-Glad to be back in "the Ham" and this week reinforced why I wanted to move here from Monty. Today's workout was what I had hoped to do on Tuesday and less. Long intervals at Vestavia with obstacles (band and football players). Hoped to run 6 but ended up at 5x1000 averaging 3:45 (even 6:00 pace)with a 3 min. R. Range was 3:42-3:51 with a hard fought 3:44 last kilometer to finish 5/6 of the planned workout on time. Not much left for dessert but I did manage a 74 last go round. Legs felt OK but lungs were burning. This was my 2nd day without chromium. What will happen tomorrow? I could have symptoms of deficiency. Average performance today. Could I have gone 5 straight kilometers averaging 4:00? I doubt it. My PR is 3:50 pace, which would have been out of the question today.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=4.5
10/9- Avoided rain and brutally humid conditions by doing an easy 4.5 at the Hoover Rec Center. Temp was 80+ with sun and rain. No thanks. Pace was near 8 and felt decent considering the hard workout yesterday. Can I hit 50 on the week?
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=4.5
10/10- Long run that started in mid-morning (rain early). Damp the entire time but never worse than a drizzle. I needed chromium and took 2 after I felt awful early. Dang it. I hope that I can taper off this stuff. The workout? 17.5 on rolling terrain @ an average moving pace pace of 8:14 (stopped several times to drink and wait for traffic). That's a 3:35 marathon pace but I was cooked (well) after 15.5 and those last 2 miles sucked something awful. Pace was pretty even through 15 but faded to near 9 after that. Add a 1/4 for warm up and cool down and I've hit the mileage target. Not an "A" but only one notch below.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=18.0
Weekly summary:
I'm partly satisfied with my week. I HATE that I am still so unstable with regards to the chromium. Some day, I will be free that stuff. If not for the "F," I could have hit close to 55 with a decent GPA. Oh well, it is what it is.
Distance=50.0 (YEAH!)/ GPA= 25.5/10=2.55 (same as last week, not pleased)

Friday, September 25, 2009

training 9/20-10/3

9/20- 2.5 easy on the mill. Hoping that a run would take my mind off the brutal dental pain. It did not. My pace fell off significantly after 2 miles.
Grade: Pass/0 credit/ distance= 2.5
9/21- knocked out by Lortab, disabled.
9/22-tooth extraction today, disabled.
9/23- recovering at home, off the pain meds and hoping to get clearance soon.
9/24- got clearance to run and start gradually when I feel up to it. Just did a few untimed strides. Did not feel good at all and taking chromium made things worse. This is essentially a rest day and this whole week is essentially a break, which means I likely won't take much time off between Huntsville and Mercedes.
Grade:Non-Pass/0 credit/distance=0.5
9/25- 2 miles at moderate effort at Veteran's Park. Time was 15:31 (7:45 pace). Pace was even despite feeling very weak. Maybe it wasn't the best idea to run today but this was essentially just a warm up and should not hurt too much. I am halfway through the antibiotics.
Grade: Pass/0 credit/distance=2.0
9/26- Miserable 1.2 run in Hoover in brutally humid conditions. Felt awful and quit because I had to squat. The rain came in the afternoon so I ran a comfortable 3.8 on the 'mill @7:50 pace with a fast finish. The difference? You guessed it. 1 chromium pill.
Grade: Pass/ 0 credit/distance=5.0
Weekly summary: This would have been my worst week on record but I have an excuse this time. Hopefully, the rehab is finished and I can go long tomorrow. Distance was 10 miles.
9/27- 7.5@ 7:55 pace. Faded a bit in the 2nd half. Planned to go 10 but just didn't quite feel up to it. Not a good run by any stretch but still my best since the toothache. Finished 75% of the workout at easy pace with tempo effort. I get a 75 on the day.
Grade:C/2 credits/distance=7.5
9/28- Veterans Park 2 in 16:10. Baaaaaauhhd! I was done after the warm up. The only reason this is not an F is that I am still on antibiotics. I should have been prescribed this dosage for a few days then been allowed to taper down. Good news is that today was my last full day. I have 2 pills left then I can pitch the empty bottle. I've already gotten some probiotics. I feel weak and stiff all over just like adrenal fatigue.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=2.5
9/29- Johnny's workout. 400 strides, 5x800, 400 strides with a 400 jog in between. My average was a 2:46 with a range of 2:38-2:49. Up and down day for me. Felt awful when I woke up and got worse after taking the last of the antibiotics then after lunch, I loaded on SBF (anti-adrenal fatigue formula) and soon felt better. Antibiotics can cause adrenal fatigue and I was probably headed back in that direction. If I ever have to go on antibiotics again, I will remember the SBF! This was not one of my best workouts but still the best I've done since this ordeal Average performance on the workout but below average on the day.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=4.5
9/30- Good ending to a ROTTEN month overall. Trak Shak 5 @ 7:00. This was a course PR but still short of my all time best by :17/mile so a good tempo effort. Good start but faded badly in 4th mile but had enough left to finish 1 second under 35. Still a bit tight in the groin area and my form was sloppy AND my bowels are still loose. I nearly lost it on the cool down with Adam and had to duck into a restaurant. Despite all that, I can be pleased with my performance.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=6.5
10/1- After back to back quality days, I normally rest or do a recovery run. Today, I opted for the recovery run. Hoover 3 @7:48. Had to run an obstacle course around the band and football practice and in the end, I had to cut the workout short. Bad mid-afternoon low in which I felt sleepy and wired at the same time so part of me was pleased that I was able to run at all. Fairly even pace but I was struggling through it. No, it didn't feel like natural fatigue. I was sore and short of breath. That's a double whammy. Overall, for an planned easy day, it was not a debacle but still mediocre.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0
10/2- Lakeshore 5 in 38:47 (7:46 pace). Felt stiff warming up then took some chromium and it helped. Not as sore as yesterday. Not effortless but still an improvement over yesterday. A good long run would complete a halfway decent week.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0
10/3- 16 miles @ 8:28 pace on a hilly route. Uneven pace but don't blame me. I just ran with the group. Still stiff groin muscles that got worse during the run. Faded pretty badly after 13 but that's okay since I'm not racing a marathon for several months. This was my longest run in a long time so I'm okay with the slow overall pace. I just wanted to be under 8:30. I could barely walk after I finished but I took a 2nd chromium and it helped a lot. A few strides in the afternoon. I should be ready to go tomorrow.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=16.5
Weekly summary:
Highest mileage since marathon training. Still not very good overall but it was my 2nd highest GPA in the last 6 weeks. The next time I hit the wall in a marathon, I will take chromium during the race. Ran all 7 days and had only 1 day that was less than a C. Hopefully, this is the start of a positive trend.
Distance=45.5/GPA= 2.55

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

dental pain

I remember a Seinfeld episode a while back in which Jerry is accused of being an "anti-dentite" Don't put me in that category yet but man I've got a reason to be upset. I get a lot of compliments about my smile so it might be surprising that I have problems with my teeth. Well, at the time of my diagnosis, I had a tissue calcium level below 50% of ideal. I have since boosted it to about 70-75% but the residual effects remain. It is not a surprise that my teeth decay easily.
About 2.5 years ago, I had fractured the the bottom left molar. I wanted it pulled right then because it was on the very end and nobody could tell that it was missing. The dentist in Monty had other ideas. He said that "we should do everything we can to save that tooth" so I got the crown and endured a flare up later on, which required the actual root canal. I could barely open my mouth for a couple of days and it took weeks for the soreness to fully go away. Oh yeah, I was prescribed pain medication and had a reaction. I was having a pleasant conversation with my boss when all of a sudden, I started feeling really dizzy and went down. I laugh about this now. My sister told me that her husband once had a bad reaction to novacaine. I replied: "not nearly as bad as mine, I'll guarantee that." In a monotone voice, she replied: "No. He didn't pass out at work in front of his boss." These events took place several days before my half marathon debut (1:59:37) in Seaside, Florida.
Fast forward to last Friday night. As luck would have it, I started feeling a little bit of pain the night before the race. I couldn't see a dentist until Monday so I just took some Motrin and felt fine when I woke up. I had no dental issues during the race but it began to feel a little sore by the afternoon. By Sunday, the pain was excruciating. It was so bad that my ear was throbbing in addition to my tooth. I don't think I got an ounce of sleep that night. I had to go to Monty in 2 weeks for audit training and I trusted my old dentist (he was the one that did the crown) so I went ahead and made the trip while laboring in pain. Bad call. I wasn't too worried about falling asleep because I was in too much pain. The trip was relatively smooth and I arrived first thing in the morning and stated that I had an extreme emergency. My dentist was able to fit me in and he could not tell whether or not it was an infection or that the crown had altered my bite. He smoothed a little off my upper tooth and prescribed antibiotics and pain medication (Lortab). When I left the office, I felt about 20% better. Maybe, all I needed was an adjustment to my bite. My dentist wanted to see me in 2 weeks when I would be back in Monty for training. In the past, antibiotics had an immediate impact and I was hopeful that if it was an infection, it would make a difference immediately. It did not. Finally, after 2 pit stops, I made it back to Hoover and took the pain medication. It really didn't too much for the pain but at least it made me drowsy as advertised. I was able to get a few hours of sleep. Despite taking all of the recommended pills, I was not getting significant relief from the pain and my face was becoming swollen and even had a low grade fever (99.6). I made an appointment with a dentist in B'ham for a second opinion. Good call there. This guy had no doubt that it was an infection and my best option would be to pull it. IF ONLY I HAD SEEN HIM 2.5 YEARS AGO!! He referred me to somebody else in Hoover and after a wait, the dentist was able to see me. He said that it was so swollen that he had reservations about the procedure and told me to go elsewhere. I ended up at the UAB oral surgery center in Hoover with a 2 PM appointment. I would need sedation so I called my boss, who arranged for a coworker to drive me home. He not only did that but took me to the pharmacy and even picked up some soft food for me at the grocery store. Thank you Wayne. You are an angel. As far as I know, the extraction went smoothly and I got a little something to eat and went to my bed and slept. The worst is over now but I can't predict when I'll be back to normal. As far as racing, I am skipping the Race for the Cure 5K and will focus on high mileage in October. I may have a very active achedule from late October-December.
Possible races:
late October- Maple Leaf 5K in Trussville
Novermber- Vulcan 10K, Huntsville half marathon, Turkey Burner 5K
December- Baton Rouge Beach half marathon.
I probably will not do all of these. We'll see how things go. I want to focus on the Mercedes Marathon in February.
Probably no running for me this week.
Edit: pretty much bedridden yesterday although I have been able to stop taking the pain medication. I did go out in the afternoon for a haircut, which I badly needed. I am feeling a little loopy and have some diarrheal issues from the antibiotics. It is known that antibiotics can throw the adrenal glands out of balance so I can't predict the long term impact on my fall racing season. I have a right to be angry since this tooth should have been pulled more than 2 years ago and none of this would ever happened. I had my follow up appointment and was told that the procedure was done "just in the nick of time." I got clearance to return to work and to running "whenever I feel up to it." That won't be until the weekend at the earliest and the first 2 days will be easy with "pass/fail" grading.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Big Brothers/Big Sisters 10K RR

Those of you who read my training log know that it's been a rough last 4 weeks. I only topped 30 miles one time and that was last week. That low mileage just won't do and the longer the distance, the uglier it gets. Simply put, the body would not allow for more because less than half my days were symptom free. 3 weeks ago, I had a nasty reaction if I took even one chromium pill. Now, I need 2 or else I will be extremely sore and mildly depressed as well. This massive shift in my chemistry still baffles my doctor and I. It's taken a toll emotionally as well. I thought I had a clear path to freedom from chemical imbalances if I could quit the chromium. Not so and this is a real let down. I had to skip my Labor Day weekend race in Tupelo and really wanted to race this Saturday. I woke up symptom free and it was a go. My choices were an 8K in B'ham or the BBBS 10K in Monty. If I ran the 8K, I was hoping that Preston and I could push each other to good times but I already had a strong PR at that distance. My 10K PR was almost a year old and it was the only major distance that I had not PR'd in 2009. The weather showed an 80% chance of rain in B'ham vs. only 10% in Monty. I opted for Monty and it was the right decision (sorry Johnny, I'll run your race next year, Lord willing). I left in plenty of time and the rain stopped when I got past Prattville. Warming up, I felt loose but a little jittery. Still, I predicted a good time and a possible PR of 42:43 or better.
Course: Well organized event despite the fact that it was the inaugeral year. The start and finish were in a shopping center while the remainder was largely residential. It was not pancake flat like I had hoped. Nothing was terribly steep but some were quite long. Overall, probably about a 4 out of 10 in terms of difficulty.
Good clean start. I was out with the lead pack and feeling smooth and relaxed. My early pace was in the low 6s, a little faster than I wanted but it felt easy enough. I knew that I would slow down naturally so my effort was pretty even. I managed to pass a few runners who had started too fast and I believe that I got as high as fifth place overall. For the rest of the way, I think, I passed one or two but two or three passed me. I'll edit this when the overall results are posted. The first mile was slightly fast but my average pace over the next 2 miles would be right on target despite slowing. I came through 3 miles in almost exactly 20 minutes so I estimate that I hit the halfway point around 20:45. That's about a 30 second cushion on PR pace and it looked like I had a shot at a sub-42 If I had run the 5K course instead, I think I would have won.
All I had to do was maintain a 7 minute pace for the 2nd half and I would PR with time to spare. However, from that point on, it was a struggle. The combination of the hills and the fact that I was in "no mans land" hurt me quite a bit. Nobody was coming up from behind and the guy that I was chasing was barely within my sight. Finally, I took a downhill hard near the end of Mile 4 and estimated that the man I was chasing was 20 seconds ahead. For a short time, I managed to increase my pace in hopes of catching him but gained little-no ground until it was too late. As it turned out, he would be the eventual winner of the 30-39 age division. With a mile to go, I knew that I needed to finish in 7:15 for a PR and thought I could do it. Just before 5.5, we hit a long steady incline and I looked at my Garmin to see a current pace of 7:35. Oh no! At this new pace, I would fall short. Fortunately, there was a downhill that followed. By the 6 Mile mark, I knew that a PR was mine barring a long course. My Garmin measured it almost perfectly. I really didn't care too much about breaking 42:30 but still produced a solid finish and hit it on the nose.
6:39 (13:12)
6:49 (20:01)
6:59 (27:00)
7:05 (34:05)
7:08 (41:13)
1:17 (42:30)- 6:04 pace for last .21
A PR by 13 seconds. Yes! I have now set either post-HS PRs or all time PRs at every distance from 400 m up to the marathon in 2009.
My legs were not too sore but my body simply felt "beat up." I got dragged into a 3.77 Mile warm down but enjoyed hanging with one of my favorite running bloggers, LA runner. She ran a fantastic race and won it outright (yes, she beat the male winner). Way to Go Rebecca! Oh yeah, I was 1st in the male 20-29 division and got a nice gold medal.
Any time I run a PR, I am going to be pleased and today was no exception. I graded myself at an A minus today. That said, I think in my current condition, I would have been around 42 flat with a flat course such as Mobile and close competition in the second half. To have a ghost of a chance to qualify for Boston, my 10K needs to be around 40, probably under. I am more than willing to put in the mileage required but will my body cooperate?
Final results: Finished 6th overall (out of 106) with an official time of 42:30 PR. The 5K had 131 participants and a winning time of 20:23 so I certainly would have won if I had raced the 5K. If the 5K guys had raced the 10K, I would have been 6th out of 237 (97th percentile). I can be proud of that even in a weak field.

Monday, September 14, 2009

training 9/13-9/19 (race week.... maybe)

9/13-Pelham 5 in 38:41 (7:44 pace). 1st time at this track. Even pace, felt pretty well all the way.
Grade: B/1 credit/distance=5.5
9/14- Birthday run at Hoover Rec center. It was a forgettable performance. I did manage to hit the pace target but on an easy run, it should feel nearly effortless. My pace slowed in the second half and was completing the miles with increasing strain. By the end, I was almost going all out. Overall pace was just under 8, which isn't bad but the grade is primarily based on how I feel on easy runs and today was fair at best and felt let down, not energized after. I can't wait for my 20s to be over! 1 more year to go.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=4.0
9/15- Long intervals at Vestavia in humid conditions. Pleased with the workout overall. Best that I've felt in 2 weeks. I'll be lenient with the grade since it was a bit of a breakthrough. Here are the stats: 400-88, 800-2:58, 1200-4:29, 1200-4:28, 800-2:56, 400-69 plus a Mile cool down. Everything was under 6 pace and finished with an overall pace of 5:50. I hope the slump is over.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=4.0
9/16- Go figure. Felt awful when I woke up and knew that I was low on chromium so I loaded on it and although I was still sore, I was feeling well enough to run. It was a pretty solid workout. Trak Shak 5 @ 7:06 pace plus a Mile cool down. 1st half was 18-flat, 2nd half was 17:30. I did stop for water but would have been sub-36 even if I had not. Felt invigorated just like I should after it was over. I have learned that zinc inhibits chromium absorption! That explains a couple of things. Where do I go from here? Despite the good performance today, I can't have this instability. What will happen if I cut out zinc? Who knows? My race on Saturday will be a "game time decision."
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.0
9/17-Actually woke up feeling good for the first time in a while and showed no ill effects from back to back quality days. No zinc last night. Mid morning low, took a chromium and felt better. Mid afternoon low, took half a chromium and felt better. Half proved to be not enough as I deteriorated by evening. 2 chromium pills work for now but for how long? It was only a few weeks ago that 1/2 was too much.
I'm still 50/50 for Saturday and I'll try not to go expecting a PR. Normally, under these circumstances, I would rest 2 days before a planned race following consecutive quality days but I needed a small test today. Workout was 2.5 at Heardmont just before a storm. Pace was a moderate effort 7:50. Not terrible but certainly wasn't feeling up to par.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=2.5
9/18- easy 2 on the mill. Is the rainy weather ever going away? Essentially a test warm up. Relaxed and effortless just like it should be. Starting to get a toothache. Okay, more pain! No, it's not too bad yet and I can make it through the weekend. Weather permitting, I plan on running tomorrow.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=2.0
9/19- Big Brothers/Big Sisters 10K in 42:30 PR plus a long warm down.
Grade:A-/4 credits/distance=11.0
Weekly summary:
Only 2 out of 7 sub par days. Not too bad. Nothing less than a C. That's a step in the right direction. How long will this formula work?
Distance= 35.0/ GPA= 3.317