Monday, April 25, 2011

Training 4/25-5/1

4/25- Oak Mountain run on a relentlessly rolling course. The first 4 miles were at a respectable 7:20 pace then crashed and burned. The problem was my sports drink. I experimented again with the Brian Sell Gatorade/Red Bull combo that worked great in '09. I felt okay after the first drink stop but after the second (4 miles in), I was much poorer. Mile 5 was just over 8 then I hung it up after the next .5 was close to 9 pace. I drank again to confirm the problem and was relegated to walk/jog over the final 2.5. Still very sensitive to taurine but that's okay. As long as I don't take any, I'll be fine. Half a decent run today. I get a B for the first half and an F for the 2nd half.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=8.0

4/26- Did not feel well when I woke up today but it was a great feeling as the taurine washed its way out of my system in the afternoon. Health screening at work today:
Weight: 154.6, BP: 118/80, cholesterol: 141. Very good numbers.
Workout today was indoors because of a fierce wind. 3 miles with the first 2 at short tempo effort and the last mile at 5K race pace. Finished with time of 19:26 (6:29 pace), which translates to just under 20:15 for a full 5K. Splits were 6:34-6:37-6:15. Pretty solid. The first 2 were on par with my 10K pace and the last mile was near 5K pace. You really can't go much faster than 6:15 on the indoor track. Only downer was the areas that were treated with prolotherapy still seem weak but the post-injection pain is gone. The taurine may not have fully cleared my system and I hope I can improve further. I probably was good for sub-20 today but not much faster.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=4.0

4/27- Planned rest day and it was a good day for a rest. It was what I hope is the last severe storm of the Spring. Hoover was largely spared but areas north and east of town were not so lucky. As far as I know, Friday's 5K is still on.

4/28- 1 mile junk run on the 'mill. Did not feel very well. A lot of tightness in the calves with no real explanation. Race time decision tomorrow. After the tornado, my heart is really not into it. Power is still out in some areas so I'm not even sure that the race will go off as scheduled.
Grade: Non-Pass/0 credit/distance=1.0

4/29- BAD NEWS. The calf soreness was due to the chromium deficiency. If I take chromium regularly, the same thing will happen as before. My adrenals will be overstimulated and I'll have to go back on the ADHS then the cycle repeats itself. I have 2 other options: 1) reduce the ADHS and hope it'll be enough to keep the adrenals in relative balance or 2) re-introduce a small amount of copper to neutralize the zinc and I'll have to be very careful with that because copper can screw up thyroid function. Not sure what to do.
The UAB 5K was canceled because of Wednesday's tornado and I would have bailed anyway so I hit Vestavia track for a solo time trial. After loading on chromium for a temporary fix, I was able to run fairly well. Early hopes for a PR slipped away but sub-20 remained a realistic goal.
1st 400 was right on target at 91 and I was still on 19 pace through the first kilometer (3:48). As is often the case, I was faltering by the end of the first mile (6:10) but managed 1 more strong lap to reach the 2K mark at 7:41 and the first half passed in 9:41. By this point, my calf was sore and I was essentially in survival mode but battling hard to hold that sub-20. Fading fast, I hit 2 miles at 12:35. I would need 4 laps in 1:40 each and a decent kick. I could not go much faster than that but with 1 lap to go, it was clear that I had it. Final time was 19:53.
Splits by Mile: 6:10-6:25-6:35-43.
Splits by kilometer: 3:48-3:53-4:04-4:08-4:00.
6 lap cool at glacial pace with calf muscles still abnormally sore.
Grade:B/3 credits/distance=5.0

4/30- Good call on the time trial last night. There was a 5K this morning but I expected to feel lousy when I woke up and I did. Copper seems unlikely to be the answer so that leaves me with the only one option other than chromium dependency, which is lower dose ADHS. The workout was the Trak Shak 8 with the group. Ran fairly well through 6 miles (46:10) then hit the wall. Final 2 miles were 8:26 and 8:44 for an overall time of 63:20 (7:55 pace). Too bad about the 5K too. There was a guy who finished at 19:15 and would have been perfect competition for me on a good day. All around bad week for everyone in Birmingham.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=8.0

5/1- A.M. Took only 1 ADHS in the last 24 hours which was not enough and I felt it immediately upon rising. Hit the road early after taking 2 pills, which helped but were not enough. Lakeshore 6.5 with a cool down in 46:45 (7:12 pace). Faded pretty badly in the last 2 miles and it would have gotten ugly if I had run the 10 that I planned. I know that 8 pills are too many and 4 are probably not enough. Will 6 work? That's 15 mg. of zinc, which may be too much. UGH!

P.M. Indoor 5 mile in 34:51 (6:58 pace). Pretty solid for my 2nd workout of the day. Felt a lot better after taking pill #3 and 4. Hope that I can stabilize at 6. I'd rather perform a little under par for a while than be dependent on chromium again.
Grade:B-/3 credits/distance=12.o

Weekly summary:
Bad week all around. I repeat that I MUST stay off the chromium. I need one more long run over 13 miles before the race but at this point, the transition to summer speed and time trials is in full swing. I want another shot at the 5K very soon and the weather should be pretty cool later in the week. Will the body cooperate and will 6 pills work out? GPA is lowest since January and would have been worse if not for pass/fail grading on Thursday.
Distance=38.0/GPA= 26.8/10=2.68

Monday, April 18, 2011

Training 4/18-4/24

4/18- Can't wait for soccer season to be over so I can run at Vestavia. I had to go to Hoover again and didn't even get started on my workout until almost 6 and didn't get home until after 8. Workout was a short pyramid: 200-400-600-800-600-400-200. R was 1 min after the 200, 2 min after the 400, 2:30 after 600 and 3:00 after 800 which is pretty generous. I don't think my legs were quite ready for it after the thrashing 2 days ago but I still did okay. Unlike tall pyramids, I allowed for myself to slow down a bit in the longer reps but my pace faded a bit more than I had hoped but came back pretty strong at the end. Stats were as follows:
2 mile warm in 15:30. 200-33, 400-75, 600-1:58, 800-2:46, 600-2:04, 400-76, 200-33.
Overall pace was 5:13, which was 3 seconds down on my goal but still not bad.
1 mile cool untimed. I have to force it a bit early this week because I'll be out for sure on Wednesday and possibly Thursday as well due to the prolotherapy.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=5.0
Edit: As for the 1:30 goal for 13.1, if I'm not there right now, I am VERY close. 4 more weeks of good training and hopefully better body chemistry by then and I like my chances.

4/19- Long tempo. Lakeshore 10 in 70:57 (7:06 pace). Just a hair slower than my half mary PR pace and done on tired legs with damaged connective tissues. Gotta be pleased with this one. Only downer was that my pace slipped a bit in the 2nd half. (35:02/35:55) (7:00 vs 7:11). I had planned a progression run but when I took off at sub-7 pace, I had to see how long I could hold it. This is very hard training over the last 4 days but I meant it to be because I expect to out the next 1-2 days.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=10.0

4/20- Prolotherapy in Nashville, lunch at Wild Horse Saloon, traffic jam. Home at 7:30. Running is out of the question today and I may be out tomorrow as well.

4/21- 2 mile junk run indoors in 17:13 (8:37 pace). Absolutely no cause for alarm.
Grade:Pass/0 credits/distance=2.0

4/22- Easy 6 indoors in 46:06 (7:41 pace). Still some soreness but I won't complain. 3 times longer distance at a pace nearly 1 minute faster. I'll take it.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

4/23- Overslept and missed the group run. By the time I finished, the temp was about 75 and humid but not as bad as it was 2 weeks ago. Moderate Lakeshore 11.5 at a pretty steady 7:32 pace. 10 out of 11 miles were under 7:40 and finished the last .5 at sub-7 pace. I did take 3 extended drink stops but I had to. Pain at the site of the injection is still there and starting today, I am a little concerned but again, it was an improvement over yesterday.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=12.0

4/24- Trak Shak 7 tempo in 48:49 (6:58 pace). Strong performance. 85 degree temp at the start. Only 1 water stop but it was a long one. It takes time to adjust to warm weather and it's difficult to go much longer than 10 if it's too hot. Injection site pain has clearly diminished but is still not 100% gone. Race day is in 5 days and the early weather forecast looks good.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=7.0

Weekly summary:
Low mileage but very pleased with the high quality. Aside from the junk run and the cool down, every mile was below 7:45. When I get nothing below a "B-," I'm pleased with the consistency. I sure hope that temps in the 90s will not occur until early June.
Distance= 42.0/GPA= 29.2/9= 3.24

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Statue2Statue 15K RR

It's rare that I go into a race and really don't care how I do but I usually end up pleased with the results when I treat a race as a training run. I actually had a mixed drink with dinner and ran a 2.5 mile warm up prior to the race so I could log a distance comparable to a weekend long run. I did not feel particularly well warming up and had some soreness in the hip/groin area so it seemed as if it might be a mistake to run today. I had only signed up the day before and it was pretty much a race day decision. If this had been a goal race at a shorter distance, I may have bailed in favor of an easier long run.

It's a point to point race starting at Vulcan Park and finishing in Liberty Park so we parked at the finish area and took a bus to the start line. There would be no return transportation back to Vulcan Park. I awoke on time and had a smooth uneventful morning. Another severe storm came through the previous night and the forecast called for temps in the low 50s with strong winds. I took a tank top and a long sleeve shirt but felt comfortable enough to run in the tank top because the wind did not seem to be as strong as predicted. The course had been described to me as a "nice 10K" through the beautiful Mountain Brook neighborhood followed by one humongous hill that is so steep that even very good runners resort to walking. After that, there is some downhill followed by a second killer hill. Most of the final 1.5 miles are sharply downhill but there are a few uphill portions, most notably a quarter mile stretch late in Mile 9. My plan was to go out relatively hard (near 6:50 pace), walk the big hills then bring it home strong.

I took off among the leaders for the first 100 meters downhill then we made the turn on to level ground. I wisely dialed it back and hit the 1/2 mile mark around 3:15. Maybe it was a slight incline but it was early enough that it did not hurt at all. We hit a small downhill just before the 1st mile marker which was passed comfortably in 6:46. It turned out that this "nice 10K" had at least 3 or 4 steep uphills before the killers ahead but fortunately, they were relatively short, maybe a tenth of a mile each. There were plenty of flats and downhills as well. I gained quite a bit of ground in Mile 2 and passed several runners who had gone out too fast. I thought to myself, this course doesn't seem so bad. Just then, we hit our first steep uphill just after 1.5 miles. Downhill would follow, which allowed me to hit a solid 6:44 2nd mile. At this point, I was running mostly with the 2 female leaders and we would pass each other several times over the next 3 miles. I was very pleased with how even my splits were and how comfortable I felt at the halfway point.
6:46-feel good
6:44 (13:30)- solid pace, gaining ground
6:34(20:04)- maybe a little fast, back off some, 5K in 20:50.
6:47 (26:51)- passed female leader on steep hill.
6:46 (33:37)- strong.
We hit another steep hill just after turning on Stone River at around 5.1 miles. After a nice recovery downhill, it would be slightly uphill for the next 3/4 of a mile or so but it was manageable. I figured that I was on pace for a sub-42 10K, less than a minute from my PR. At about 5.9 miles, the first killer hill began. My plan was run it as long as I could but if my Garmin pace went above 10:00, I'd be better off walking. I would make it a little over a tenth of a mile before my resolve weakened. Mile 6 was 7:06 for a total time of 40:43. The 2 female leaders passed me again as they attempted to run the hill. Their resolve did not last much longer than mine. I would be walking for most of the next 3/8 of a mile with a few short spurts of jogging but the hill was so steep that my competition was not gaining very much ground on me. Maybe I could have managed to jog up that monster but walking would be part of my strategy. As we neared the summit, I received a word of encouragement to pick it back up since we were almost to the top. I started running again, passed the female leader and would not see her again. The walk break must have refreshed me because once we hit level ground after a short downhill, I was back to sub-7 pace and feeling strong. Mile 7 was 8:26 (49:09), which really wasn't too bad considering that I walked about 25-30% of it. I thought I could make up some ground at the end and still manage to finish below 7:00 pace. We made a turn to hit some more downhill and I enjoyed it while it lasted because I had heard of another killer ahead. It had a short and fairly steep first part then it turned into a gradual incline. To make matters worse, there were 2 curves in the road which revealed more incline ahead. I managed to keep my pace pretty strong in this section. I was in the 7:20s each time I looked at the Garmin. Next, we made a turn to find another monster hill that was every bit as steep as the previous monster but mercifully, it was not as long. My strategy was the same. I ran as long as I could in relative comfort before walking for maybe 15-30 seconds. When we got close to the summit, it was time to get moving again. By this time, there was about 1.5 miles to go and about 75% of it would be sharply downhill. Time to really let it loose here. I gained ground quickly on a competitor who appeared to me near my age but whenever the terrain flattened or went slightly uphill, he pulled away again. My split for Mile 8 was a respectable 7:25 (56:34) and I still had a shot at the sub-7 pace finish. It would be an exciting race to the finish, I actually passed him once on a steep downhill but as we passed Mountain Brook High School, it was a moderate uphill into a headwind and I was left at least 20 yards behind. When we crested the final uphill, it would be about half a mile to the finish and sharply downhill for about 650 with level ground to the finish line. Mile 9 passed in an impressive 6:07, which put me back under 7:00 pace overall (62:41) and it was time to fly to the finish. I made up much of the ground that I had lost on the previous uphill but the finish line would come just a bit too soon. Another 100 meters and he would have been mine.
Final time for 15K (9.33 miles) was 64:22 (6:54 pace). My last 1/3 of a mile was 1:41 (5:10 pace). Downhill or not, that's some serious speed after 9 miles and I actually felt that I left a few seconds on the course as well.

The windy conditions came shortly after the race and I was sure glad that I had that long sleeve shirt. I was in good spirits as I chatted with other runners. The only downer was that competition in the 30-34 age group was fierce. I finished 13th overall but only 5th in my age group. My time would have been good enough in the 25-29 division. I posed the following question: If I can run 6:54 pace on this course, can I run that pace or better for an additional 3.8 miles? The consensus was yes. Those of you that have run this course before, I'd like your honest opinion, was this performance equivalent to a sub-1:30 half (13.1 @ 6:52) on a flat course?
Edit: Official time was 64:15 (6:53 pace)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Training 4/11-4/17

4/11- Unplanned rest day. Still not feeling well

4/12- Lakeshore 8.5 naked (no watch) and it was not a pretty sight. The groin continues to get worse. I believe that it is the pills. I've been going steadily downhill for almost a week. Is it the copper or the magnesium or both? We shall see how I perform tomorrow. Any improvement will be a plus. It was not just the groin. I was sore all over so that is a sign that it's the pills. I was getting passed by slow runners on the trail. Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=8.5

4/13- After cutting both the copper and magnesium, I saw significant improvement today. I hope that it's the copper that's the problem and my research leads me to believe that it is indeed. Magnesium should help but will it be enough to stave off the chromium dependency? Workout was Trak Shak 8 with a moving time of 57:10 (7:09 pace for an even 8). Pretty even pace. 7 out of 8 miles were 7:15 or below. 1st half 28:28, 2nd half 28:42. That's still 20 seconds/mile down on my course PR and I had to make 2 pit stops. Nothing to write home about but it was a nice improvement. Also, the groin/hip was about 60% better today.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=8.0

4/14- Veteran's Park 4 for the first time in a while. It's a slow gravel trail so I don't put too much stock in my time. First and last quarter mile were fast but the rest of the run was around 7:40 pace. Overall time was 29:54 (7:29 pace). Felt about the same as yesterday on all counts. Both the energy level and groin soreness were comparable to yesterday. Not a bad showing overall but I was hoping for a little better.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=4.5

4/15- Planned rest day. I am listed as "probable" for Statue2Statue. This one is nothing more than a fun run. I'm not 100% and really don't care how I do. Update: The copper may have messed with my thyroid so I took 1/2 a thyroid supplement and it pretty much knocked me out last night. I expect to be ready tomorrow.

4/16- Statue2Statue 15K in 64:15 officially. 6:53 pace for 9.33 miles.
2.5 mile warm and 2 mile cool.
Grade:A/3 credits/distance=14.0

4/17- Just your basic run of the mill easy 6 on Lakeshore in a time of 47:50 (7:58 pace). No, I would not have cared if it had been over 8:00. Ran it at 2 PM in pleasant 70 degree conditions and this may be the last time I'll be able to do that until Fall. Splits were very even (7:54-8:02) and the 2 miles that were over 8 were slightly uphill. No complaints for day after a tough race.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
Good and uplifting performance at Statue2Statue and managed to hit a decent mileage total on just 5 days of training. I'm going with the magnesium and ADHS and sticking with it. Made the honor roll with a "D" grade. LOL.
Distance=41.0/GPA=25.3/8= 3.16

Monday, April 4, 2011

Training 4/4-4/10

4/4- Easy 8 indoors in 61:43 (7:43 pace) just before a severe t'storm. Felt good. Strong performance. Good news and bad news is that the groin pain has diminished but I think it was due to the copper supplements. The bad news is that I am counting on the copper to neutralize the zinc, which causes the chromium dependency. I sure hope that I can tolerate it at a lower dosage. Without the copper, there's still a chance that magnesium will work. If I can make it 6 weeks without the chromium, I'll feel a lot better about my situation.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.0

4/5- Strong downward ladder at Sanford track. Groin/hip issue is manageable but still not quite right. I may yet opt for more prolotherapy. Good news is that I feel less dependendent on the ADHS and that means that maybe I can cut my dosage safely if the chromium issue does flare up. 3 months is a long time to wait for the next medical report.
2000: 7:36 (that's an even 19 pace for 5K, 6:05/mi)
1600: 5:58 (hard effort, banked a few ticks early)
1200: 4:28 (Ditto the 1600)
800: 2:55 (coming easier now)
400: 86.1 (sandbagged it to save energy for dessert)
400: 68.14 (less than 4 off my best of the year) Overall 5:53 pace. Better workout than the 3x1600 2 weeks ago. Finished with a cooldown on Lakeshore that was not a struggle.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=6.0

4/6- Easy 9 from the Shak in 69:20 (7:43 pace). Just about what I planned to do. A bit sore but I had a reason to be. Tight at the beginning but loosened up nicely. Even pace (7:37-7:51). 1st half was 34:34, 2nd half was 34:46. Hoping to do short intervals tomorrow and am on track for back to back 50 mile weeks.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=9.0

4/7- 2 mile warm, 8x200 in 32 and a 1.5 mile cool at Hoover. Not a bad showing especially on tired legs but I was hoping to do a little better. The first 200 was 34 then the next 6 were all in the low 32s and an all out effort in #8 resulted in a 30.07. I really hoped to run a couple under 30 but could not. In my defense, I had tired legs, no spikes, no competition and all were self timed with no rolling start. The realistic goal was a 32 average, which I made. I still think I'm good for a 63 400 right now but no faster. More of these workouts will allow me to get faster.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=4.5

4/8- Planned rest day

4/9- Long run in warm and humid conditions. I won't be able to go more than 10 for much longer as the heat index climbs further. It was about 68 at the start of the run and over 75 at the end with high humidity. I ran with a group and stopped many times for water and Gatorade. The moving time was 1:59 flat for 15 miles (7:56 pace). Pace was very uneven. A few middle miles were below 7:30 but by the end, I was struggling at about an 8:15-8:20 clip. Groin was very sore and I have made another prolotherapy appointment for 4/20. I'm most upset about that. Will I have to do this twice a year for the rest of my life? That's still a small price to pay to avoid a debilitating condition. Very tired and worn out. Dreamed that I had to steer an actual car with a video game controller and wrecked twice.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=15.0

4/10- Struggling. 5 miles at a steady 8 flat pace then limped in untimed and barely finished the workout. Groin remains very sore. Probably no worse than yesterday but based on the trend, it appears to be getting worse.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=7.5

Weekly summary:
Some high quality workouts early in the week but it ended on a sour note and I will need a sharp cut back week next week with planned lower mileage the next 2 weeks. As for my training intensity, yes it's been hard not the killer schedule of last Fall but my body still broke down on me. I may have to skip Statue 2 Statue but that was only for fun anyway. Prolo is in 10 days and I likely have a rough 2 weeks ahead.
Distance=50.0/ GPA= 27.5/9= 3.06