Saturday, November 22, 2014

Big ol' training day today

Hours and hours of Ironman coverage, hooray!
I'm not really tracking training hours right now, but today was a good day.

I put in just over an hour and a half on the bike. Then I did a full-body weights routine. Then I ran for four miles on the treadmill. And to wrap things up, I did some plyo exercises.

I THOUGHT I had set the DVR to record the replay of the Ironman World Championships, but when I went looking for it today it wasn't there. Nooooo! Luckily, I was able to find a multi-part broadcast on YouTube. I got two hours into it today and I haven't even finished the first video yet. And now I have inspiration to put in some time in the saddle.

I'm still not getting to the pool regularly... yet... but I'm starting to get back into a routine for pretty much everything else. Run and bike, lift weights from time to time, occasionally do yoga and my prehab.

I really want to get a good base before the holidays and the holiday eating schedule. Oh, don't worry -- I'll still eat all my cheese and sweets and wine. But I'll feel less guilty about it if I'm also riding and running.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The ankle is better; the weather is atrocious

The modern day hamster wheel.
Good news: After taking a couple days off running, the ankle is feeling a lot better. I did 5.5 miles yesterday with no problems.

Bad news:
It's cold.
Air temperatures in the teens and 20s, and a wind chill that got down to -3 early this morning.

No, thanks.

Of course, living in Michigan, cold temps in winter is something I've dealt with my whole life. But the -3 wind chills usually don't come around until January. Dealing with temps this cold this early in the season is an anomaly.

I draw the line at running outside in wind chills below zero and have been, and plan on continuing, using my trusty treadmill.

At least until the next warm front comes through. It's supposed to be in the 50s by Sunday. Ah, Michigan weather.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Twisted (ankle) sister

The do-hickey that connects to the thing-a-ma-bob.
Welp, I've gone and done it.

Out walking the mutts yesterday, I stepped on a stick and turned my ankle pretty badly. You know how some times you turn your ankle and after a few steps it feels fine? Yeah. That didn't happen this time.

The pain is under the outside of my ankle so whatever ligament that is. I can stand and walk, but going down steps is painful. I'm sure swimming is OK, and I haven't tried biking yet, but it's safe to say that running is off the table for a bit.

What really sucks about this whole thing is I was going to shoot for 1,000 running miles for the year, and it's looking less possible being out of commission for a few days.

Sad face.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pool party

Back in the water
It's been months -- not an exaggeration -- since I last hopped in the pool. Yesterday, the stars aligned, and I was able to spend some time splashing around.

It was nothing to write home about: Slow, slow, slow. But, everything felt good, and I have a lot of room for improvement this winter.

I'll probably never be a good swimmer. I took basic lessons as a kid and the required semester of swimming for gym class in high school, but really had to start over a few years ago when I decided to give triathlons a try. But never, never in my life did I think I would look forward to getting back in the pool after some time off!

It felt good. And I hope I can settle back into a pool routine so I can start making that progress

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A brief, belated October in review

Not a lot of miles and that's okay.
I can probably sum up October in three words: taper, marathon, recover.

I had a few medium-distance runs (12.25, 10 miles) on the weekend and shorter runs during the week leading up to the marathon. I took it easy the week of and then took some time off afterward. By the end of the month, I was just starting to ease back into some regular miles. I've also done a few yoga workouts and walked the dogs a bunch to help recover.

Overall, I ran 105 miles and didn't do any swimming or biking. And yes, I ran up and down my street like an idiot on my last run of the month to get an even number.

I'm starting to get the itch to get back into the pool and on my bike to do some base-building. I've been running here and there, but probably won't do too many runs of longer than an hour, an hour and half for a while yet. And I'm looking forward to lifting some weights again.

October was all about final marathon prep. November and December will be all about that base. Ha!

Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm not dead yet

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I haven't been here a lot lately because I haven't had much to say.

I've only run three times since the marathon two weeks ago. Instead, I've been doing a lot of sleeping in and eating stuff I'll probably regret at my next doctor's visit. I have done some stretching and dog walking, so not all is lost.

I'm actually just starting to get the itch back to get into training again. I downloaded my gym's new pool schedule, have been scouring Craigslist for a new bike trainer, and suffered through one Jillian Michaels weights video. Now, to make the jump and start with a consistent schedule again.

The sad news is winter is bearing down on us. We had a chilly snap over the weekend and I immediately caught a head cold. The weather and my sinuses are looking a lot better, but the weather won't be nice for too much longer. I know I need to get my butt out the door and enjoy some runs outside before I put myself at a risk for frostbite. There's snow in the forecast for this weekend! Puke.

Let's get this party pre-season going! The sooner I can get training, the sooner I can see results.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Post-marathon thoughts: Running without my Garmin

Faithful for training, takes a nap on race day.
I talked in my race report for the recent Detroit Free Press Marathon that my Garmin crashed, lost its charge, and died less than 1.5 miles into the race. How did that affect my race overall?

My Garmin and I are pretty faithful to each other in training. I like to use it to keep myself at a steady pace, both when I need to pick it up a bit and when I need to take it down a notch. Of course I also try to take feel into account, but sometimes if you're feeling overly lousy or amazing, your biofeedback might be a bit off.

I know I started the race a bit slower than I would have liked, but I attributed that to getting into a groove and dodging discarded sweatshirts. I did try to stay in between the 4:15 and 4:20 finishing time pace groups, but with the start of the race being dark and hectic, I lost them pretty early on.

As I looked back at my official results, I hit the 5-mile marker at a pace of 10:21, about 30 seconds per mile slower than I was hoping for. Yech. But, at the time that felt like a sustainable pace. If I'd had my Garmin, would I have pushed myself harder than I could have sustained?

Of course, there's no way to tell, other than running a bunch of marathons and switching off using my Garmin or not — ha! I also have no way to tell how consistent I was able to keep my mile splits, but my 5-mile splits from the results suggest I started out steadily, slowed down a lot in the mile-20-ish range, and then picked it back up for the finish. I could have told them that.

I don't think not having my Garmin caused me to run too slowly. If that were the case, the wheels wouldn't have fallen off around mile 18. And looking at my splits from the results, I don't think not having it caused me to run too quickly, as the paces registered were still below my goal.

Lesson learned? Double-check that you don't need a hard start on race day, I guess, and be OK with the feedback your body is giving you... just in case.