Archive for the ‘10 min miles’ Category

Second round of “in-a-rows”

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Continuing from yesterday, a day when I decided not to go to band rehearsal and instead ran and later relaxed, I ran a second day in a row to build off my four days in a row last week. After the four, I took a couple days off (one to rest, one to go to another rehearsal). Now I am building on another mini streak. This one won’t last too much longer, more than likely tomorrow will be the end of this streak as Saturday I have a show out of town to do. But I might squeeze a short one in just to keep rolling, or I might wait until Sunday. We’ll see.

Today’s run was really nice. Cool and misty, but not cold and rainy, big difference. i was telling my wife as she was getting ready for her run that the weather was the perfect weather for my runs. Though the more I thought about it the more I realized that 70 and no wind would be nicer. Still, a really nice day to run. I am at almost 14 miles this week which seems really low to me, but the reality is just the opposite. Last week during my return to running I managed to do 16, so I am right on track, actually ahead of schedule. My fourth run in a row should have applied to last week, but in my new training journal (the Garmin Training Center, so actually old one, just using it exclusively now) it applies to this week. So I really should be at 19 for last week and 11 for this one, but hte heck with it I am not going to fight my new journal for a starting day for the running week. I know I can change it somewhere, but I am not that interested…

My feet have been a little sore recently. I have been using arnica gel quite a bit and it seems to help a lot. Its actually a good feeling, I know I have been working! My weight is high at the moment, 187. I am sure that will start to drop off as I continue the running. If I could just manage to stop eating at night I would be golden. I haven’t gotten that far yet. My pace has been hovering at 10 min miles these last couple weeks, mostly just over, but I have had several sub 10 runs. More on the way!

Chilly running, or qilly running

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

It has been so long since I have posted I had no idea what to call this one, so therefor the boring title “Chilly running” (I just finished writing about qi gong, so I added the “qilly running” part). Which if I was even able to run at this time I could actually talk about running in the cold. But alas I am dealign with a pinched nerve (or something like that) in my back. It has happened before and rest seems to be the best medicine. This time was a really bad one. I was bucketing water out of our bird pond, but I don’t think the lifting had a lot to do with this. At the time it happened I was twisting and lifting, I swear don’t I know better? But even that I don’t believe to be fully behind my dehabilitation. IIRC the last time I did this I had over done it with exercise and yard work. Well that might be the true culprit here. I have spent the last week trying to get back into regular running. I thought I did a pretty good job of it with four shortish runs last week, but then the bomb dropped and I have done more sitting upright to avoid pain than anything. Actually I have been trying to get some activity in and have taken several walks to the store which does seem to help a bit. Mostly the problem is in the morning and getting out of bed. Even once I am able to get myself out of bed without a sharp electric pain shock to the back, it seems I succumb to it eventually and my back tightens up again. The good thing is I have been ale to sleep pain-free. But back to getting out of bed, this is where I have the issue, It is almost a fear of the pain that causes it or at the very least contributes to it. It does seem to be getting better and I am able to walk upright after a week or so of slouching and walking slowly. Smoking pot seems to really help relax my back muscles, but I have too much to do to smoke all day long (maybe on a Sat!)

This winter I seem to be a total wuss about the cold and I have been avoiding bad weather like the plague. Unfortunately this really cuts back on my running this winter. That and all the music I have been playing (on days I perform or practice I really try not to run as the exertion renders me unable to concentrate on the music.) My schedule has gotten really tight for times I have been able to get a run in. This has lead to getting lazy and deciding that it is ok to blow off a run. Bad runner! Well not really, if I don’t feel like it then I shouldn’t push it. Still I am in need of more “feeling like it” when it comes to running.

I haven’t been completely sluggish though. I made a big effort to study and regularly practice qi gong this fall/winter. Even though I just started reading about and practicing qi gong this year I realized that I have been doing it all my life through focused stretching and meditation. It has been an interesting experience to realize that I have been practicing many mental and physical aspects of qi gong all along and that I discovered them on my own. As my friend quoted a professor of hers “You don’t find qi gong, qi gong finds you.” I would say that has to be true in my experience. I started studying qi gong a little on the recommendation of my acupuncturist who was aware of my yoga practice through out the years. I bought a book and was so irritated with the author’s focus on a small aspect of qi gong – sexual yoga. the author took every chance he got to mention the phrase but never explained what he meant by it. The author really could have type-set the phrase in all caps and bolded with the amount of emphasis he placed on it. I finally just got sick of it and put the book down. This summer while on tour with the band, we stayed the night at a weird wool mattress co-op. In addition to their extreme kindness with the beds and food we were invited to attend an early morning qi gong class for the community. It was amazing and I felt great afterwards. I decided to research further and picked up a book called The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment. It offers a great introduction to the meaning and benefit of qi gong practice. This lead to several other qi gong books by Yang, Jwing-Ming on the subject. I also did research on the eight pieces of brocade a popular qi gong set that we did at the co-op. Eventually I discovered a brocade set by Jwing-Ming (brocades can be very different in terms of the actual poses) that I started doing regularly. I tried some other sets as well including the 256 pose Wild Goose sets, but I preferred the eight pieces of brocade by far. Plus I have limited space, and the wild goose sets required too much horizontal space. Other sets were more on the martial end whereas my focus has been on health.

One of the most interesting things I have discovered about qi gong is that for as specific as the movements in the sets are, there are many varieties. Which brings me back to the concept of qi gong finding you. The true strength of the practice is discovered and subtle (and not so subtle) variations and improvements can be made to the movements that tailor the practice to the individual. Finding what works has been a rewarding effort! In addition, I take this to a somewhat extreme (at least in the eyes of traditionalists). Every since college I have thought about the idea of updating yoga for the new age by doing the stretches and meditations in front of the tv. My thought is that media-minded individuals need something more than peaceful thoughts and tight yoga pants to keep us focused on the practice and that through watching something really banal on tv (like Gilligan’s island, perfect for me since I know every episode) where you can just space out watching it and achieve a sense of relaxation without the mind numbing boredom. Scoff away purists, it works for me! I also find great joy in watching sports and doing qi gong. I feel as if I am able to focus on the movement and energy transferals just fine, well fine enough to merit the tv watching! Which brings up another important and under stated aspect of qi gong. Even if you don’t do it perfectly (and besides, to do that you’d have to attain buddhahood) that there is still much benefit from the practice. So if my qi is moving and maybe not as efficiently as possible, it is still a good thing.

So running… I have been trying to get back into it as my belly tells me it is time to go away. best way to do that for me is to burn calories by running. Qi gong has been great for health, but it lacks on the cardio side. I had been going for 5 miles or so and feeling pretty good. My times have mostly been over a 10-min mile, but I have had some sub 10s too. I have been using the zero drop shoes and doing my hip exercises to counteract any soreness and so far it has been working great (until my back said no that is). My feet have been a little but sore, but not too bad. I am looking forward to hitting the roads again once my back loosens up, soon. More about that coming up as well!

Fall running

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Well I guess it is time to write again, well past time. Looks like it has been a couple of months since I wrote anything here. I haven’t been running a whole lot lately. The problem has been me, I keep letting other things get in the way of running and embracing excuses for not doing it. For the most part the days when I haven’t run have been merited, but I have had several 2-3 week stretches where I haven’t run at all. The only thing to do is get up and run, so that is what I will try to do.

This last week I have been doing pretty well with facing the cold and getting out to run. Today’s run was the chilliest of all of them and it looks like the cold temps are here to stay in the NW, we are getting close to winter so it is nothing to chastise. Just embrace it and bundle up. Today’s run went really well, despite the chill I stripped off my warm layer after about a mile. Gloves followed a couple miles later. So I guess it really isn’t that cold. My running partner (though it has been almost a years since we have run together) and I were chatting yesterday about an epic 19 degree run we did a couple years ago. Now that was cold! Ok, enough cold talk!

I have been running on my zero-drop shoes again. The hip exercises (an a break from the ZD shoes)I have been doing have been alleviating the pains I had attributed to them. My feet have felt pretty good. I haven’t been averaging super long distances, most have been around 5 miles. My feet have been a little bit sore recently, but I attribute a lot of that to the qigong I have been doing on a regular basis for the last 4 weeks. Several of the exercises have me rising up on my toes and holding there. I definitely feel it in my feet. My hope is that I will be able to toughen them up a bit, I am already noticing a beneficial difference in how my feet feel with the qigong.

My paces have all been hovering around 10 min miles, most of the runs a bit slower than that. But todays was 5 miles at a 9:30 pace. I pushed it a bit today, but I haven’t really been too concerned about going fast. Mostly just want to run and keep my health up and weight down.

Hot eight miles in under 10 min mile pace

Friday, May 10th, 2013

As my morning wore on I felt the heat rising hotter and hotter. The humidity joined in and I started to doubt my resolve to run. But my resolve won out and as soon as I finished a batch of work I had to do and Comcast paid us a visit to replace the box that we just had replaced (they gave us the wrong one) I was off. 78 degrees and about the same humidity (higher inside the canyon with the proximity to water), it was brutal. But I was firm with myself about getting moving.

When I first walked out of my office after gathering all my gear my stomach rumbled. I realized I was pretty hungry. I decided to pospone leaving until I could gobble a half of a clif bar. It was the perfect amount of food to hold me over and keep my stomach from rumbling. I also filled up my water bottle full thinking that the extra weight (I have been only bringing a half full bottle as of late) that was nagging me would eventually go away. I could have actually used a refill but I portioned my bottle out and drained it about a half mile from the end.

I started out only wanting to do a short run, but after a couple miles my pace was strong and I felt like I could top that 10 min mile mark. This inspired me to keep going and add on miles. I decided on my eight mile route and through the canyon I was still 90 seconds ahead of a 10 min mile pace. The heat and humidity in the canyon really sapped me, but I pushed on. My last mile and a half were quite a bit slower and I really started to drag. I even walked for a short distance twice which I rarely do, but it helped me quite a bit especially on the big hill out of reed.

Several times during the run I pushed myt pace a bit. Not too hard as I didn’t want to completely fade at the end (which more or less happened anyway). But I really wanted to break the 10 min mile pace barrier. And I did. 9:52 for 7.75 miles. I am pretty happy with that.

Base run with leg lifts

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Today I was challenged by my wife to incorporate the leg lifts into my run that she is doing with her zombie run ap. I thought it a good idea despite the ridiculous way it looks (marching band on speed.) Her challenge had her doing five sets of ten reps (20 steps). I decided I didn’t want to do it until I warmed up, so after a half mile or so I found my self in the park with no one around, time for leg lifts. I tried to keep my pace te same as my regular running, but I found myself going faster than I did normally. Each step for the cycle of 10 is basically an exaggerated running step lifting your leg as high as you can. I did the first set pretty easily and it was over before I knew it. I thought to myself that wasn’t bad. Ater several blocks I decided to do another set, this time I went longer. Even with the increase in distance, it still felt pretty easy. So after a bit of a regular run rest I decided to do my third set, but this time I went a full block. For the fourth and fifth I did the same. My legs weren’t burning at all, but I noticed that at the end of the fifth set I wasn’t lifting very high at all. Finally the fatigue won the battle. The rest of my run (another four miles) my legs felt like lead, I could barely move! I am looking forward to trying these again.

Throughout the run I was flirting with sub 10 min miles. Every time I looked I was a tad slow, but just a tad. With a couple miles left I was still slow and I had the hills to deal with, combined with my dead legs I figured that was that. Still I picked up the pace and went from 22 secs behind pace to 16 secs behind goal pace as I went into my final mile. I realized that my flirtation was actually doable and with a quarter mile to go I thought I can make up those seconds. My fast pace became a sprint and I got to the gate just under 9:59 pace for the entire run! Boom! My speed has really been suffering the last year, it is something I would really like to improve. I see some track workouts in my near future…

This week’s long run

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

This week’s long run got pushed further out in the week, I keep getting further and further away from a consistent Monday LSD run. Overall I am going to say that is ok as I have been getting them in and I keep making them longer. However Monday is the perfect day of the week for them so hopefully I can get back on track especially considering that today’s run was the second quality run I did this week (actually second run in a row too). Though to do another long run in three dyas seems excessive.

I feel like I am really building on my base, the long runs seem much easier or should I say less painful! Today’s run was 12 miles exactly and interestingly I almost kept it under a 10 min mile pace (ended at 10:04). I was under 10 through nine miles, but the final three were more or less uphill as I climbed up from the waterfront to my neighborhood. And I can’t really say the entire three miles was all up-hill either, but there are some tough patches!

This was actually the second fast run that I did. Two days ago I did eight miles at a 9:13 pace which felt really good. I was strong throughout and even considered adding some miles to make that my long run but I had a rehearsal that night and was already pushing it.

I’m not really sure what has changed to make these runs feel better. I have been eating and sleeping well, so I am sure that had something to do with it. Still it doesn’t seem like that would completely explain why I have been running so strongly as of late. Both of the last two runs have been on injection day and I have always said that I feel stronger after the rebif, so maybe that has helped as well. My weight is also down a bit and I am sure that is a factor. Whatever it is I’ll take it!

I have been curious to see how my feet reacted to the increase in miles and the consistent longer runs with the zero-drop shoes. I really feel like a convert. I don’t have nearly the fot pain that I was experiencing before with the thicker heals, in fact I wore a pair of boots the other day that made me imagine that this is what high heals must be like! Changing my stride to more of a ball landing/mid-strike (as opposed to just a mid-strike landing) is working better than I had imagined. I have always felt like more of a distance runner than a sprinter. Initially I was concerned that I wouldn’t like running more like a sprinter, but it seems to feel much better overall even though the majority of my running is mid-strike oriented. With the zero-drops I occasionally will concentrate on my feet landing on the balls of my feet and spreading out in my shoes (Altra) expansive toe box. It feels really good landing that way. Despite initially having trouble lifting my feet enough to clear cracks an other obstacles, I seem to have corrected my gate enough so that it is not an issue (even though I am not lifting my feet much higher, at least consciously).

I have been pretty good about fueling for my last couple of long runs, gels and water. They both seem to make a pretty huge difference in my running performance. Today I was starting to fade a bit around six miles. A couple slugs of Hammer gel and my energy level picked up and I was able to comfortably continue.

The long runs have been great but I am reaching that point where increasing the mileage every time is making the runs a huge commitment, both in terms of time and the mental ability to gear up for them. Two hours seems pretty doable, but I know longer runs are soon going to be getting up closer to three (an beyond). My other problem with them is having interesting places to go. I have a pretty decent 11 mile run that I can add onto so maybe I’ll use that as a base for my longer runs and then just add on. Today’s route was new(ish) to me and I could probably use that as a good base as well even though I don’t really care for all the uphill at the end (pretty much my curse living on a hill.

I am starting to think about a long race again. My pace is pretty slow even though I do feel it getting faster (or is that just the last two? Yes it probably is). Still running another marathon would be fun, maybe make it a destination run which would be super fun (then again I can’t think of a better place to sleep the night before than my own bed.) We’ll see.

Oh and did I mention it was 28 degrees when I left? Brrrrrr.

Once again, on my way back

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Seems like every other post I make this spring (and now summer) are all saying the same thing: I getting back into running again. Well it is true, I am getting back into it again. Too much going on with work and music to make time to run. But I know I must, and I know I will!

This time I have run in three of the last four days. Nothing spectacular, mostly slow 10k distances. The good thing about ging so slow is I know I can improve! I feel miles away from a plateau!

Before I started running again this week I was mired in a non-running funk of sorts. I felt out of shape, fat and like I was losing all my fitness. Even after one run I really noticed and improvement in my sense of self worth. I instantly no longer felt fat and the fact that I was able to do one of my typical 10k distances without too much difficult made me feel as if I have maintained my level of fitness. It is truly amazing the way a run can make over my entire mental state of being. Now I just need to get faster again.

Sunny base 10k run

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

What a nice day today, almost perfect running weather. I am finding myself craving some warm runs, but that is coming soon. I was clad in just shorts and a short sleeved shirt today. I started with a warmer shirt, but it was soon around my waist. My speed was under 10 min miles, but just by 6 seconds or so.

I have to say my lungs are feeling really good. If you are using marijuana for ms (or fun for that matter) the vaporizer is the way to go. No smoke, just hot vapor to breathe in. Its the way to go. I think the smoking of pot was interfering with my breathing, making me cough and I had trouble coming back from a bad cold this year. I have only used the vaporizer for a month now and feel much better. I cough a lot less and just feel like I am taking deeper breaths. I haven’t really experienced a huge running benefit yet, but I was able to bounce back from taking a week break from running recently.

Today marked the third run in four days and I felt really good. The cold is coming back so that will be my next challenge. But I think I’ll be able to keep up the runs.

I ran into Zach, the guy in charge of keeping the canyon maintained. He was putting up “Canyon Day” signs so I had to commit to going. I haven’t been in a number of years, so I guess it is about time I do it again. I’ll be pulling up ivy and planting ferns in the western end of the canyon, but not until the end of the month. Zach got a good head start on his marketing!

Cold wet run

Friday, February 17th, 2012

My run today was just after 12:30 or so and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. I knew I needed something in me so I decided to eat half of a Clif bar. Half is perfect for me before a run, so why did I get distracted and gobble the entire things? No idea, but off I went. I don’t think it had much (if anything) to do with eating the whole thing, but I felt sluggish right off the bat. I noticed it as I scratched the surface of my run while I was crossing Woodstock Park just down the street from me. Previously when I have felt tired at the start of runs my energy level has peaked after a mile or so but not today. I was dragging.

Three miles into the run I checked my watch, my avg HR was really low – 130. This sort of made sense since I was going so slow, but HR seems to creep when I am tired. Even odder was my pace. Even creeping I was running under 10 min miles. Since I didn’t know what the run was before I started, I thought that I could make it a recovery run with an HR under 144 (I had a lot of wiggle room.) But I decided that doing the run under 10 was more important, so I picked up the pace a little (ay least it seemed like it anyway.) I cut the run short for my base run (10k) and did 5 miles even. I was able to maintain the under 10 for the rest of the run but I got pretty close to going over.

I felt a twinge in my groin about halfway into it. It was slight so I kept on and I haven’t felt it all day since the run so I am not too worried. Cold rain didn’t help either, though it actually probably did.

Over 10, Under 10

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Today was a quality run I marked in red in my running journal. Not quite an LSD run as my heart rate was up for much of it. I’d like to see a slightly slower pace (or not) and the HR down (the main thing) in the future. This is the second week in a row I have gotten one of these longer runs in, big improvement this week. I felt stronger and especially so when I saw that I was under 10 min mile pace at the four mile mark. My route was a pretty nice neighborhoody run through Woodstock and East Moreland and out to the Springwater Corridor where I went through the three bridges section. This led to the neighborhood of mystery which I circled (still mysterious) before I ran through Sellwood and its park curving up into East Moreland and through my long reed college route which included the half mile “O”. On the edge of Reed and Woodstock I took a walking break before heading home (which included another walking portion).

At about the seven mile mark I was still 90 seconds ahead of a 10 min mile pace. I had to push it through the last three miles to barely make it, but I did it! 9:57 for 10.30 miles. Over 10, under 10, damn straight. My feet were quite sore and at one point I found that concentrating on just accepting the pain made it endurable. Jeez, that makes it sound terrible, its not that bad. Just nags at me… I rubbed arnica gel on them twice tonight, seems to help a bit. Good on my leg and glutes too.