Archive for the ‘long slow distance’ Category

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.

Long run in the cold

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I took a couple of days off due to the cold temps and an ugly hangover (just cause it is free doesn’t mean you should drink it!) I was especially bummed about missing my Monday long run as I had done it for four weeks in a row, but I was playing music that night for New Years. Fast forward to Wednesday with the recovered hangover in the works I braved the cold wind and hit the roads.

I wasn’t sure how far I’d go today but I started out thinking I’d do 10K, my typical run. As often happens when a run feels good I added another couple miles. The winds were pretty stout, but not as bad as they were at home in the upper elevations of Woodstock (make it sound mountainous doesn’t it!) So I decided to re-route and run 10+ miles. It was a great run (though cold and windy (have I mentioned that yet?)) and I found a good way to end my long runs – at the track. This way I can add however much I need to to get to whatever distance I am shooting for. Worked out really well as my run was about a half mile short of goal distance, so I added a few laps and it worked out perfectly.

I am pretty sore right now, I wonder if the cold had anything to do with that. Even my core was feeling it with a couple miles to go. I wonder if I was clenching my muscles or something? Even my feet were feeling it, not like I was running on glaciers but it felt like it.

Five pound run

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

What happens when you run for 11 miles with no water? Well if you are like me you lose five pounds. I am sure I’ll manage to drink it all back tonight but it is pretty amazing to see that on a scale. I guess boxers call that cutting weight but I’ll call it dumb on my part. I swear that is the last time I run that far without water, I’ll bring that water bottle next time!

The run felt great today. I was really slow just barely coming in under 11 min miles. It was sort of a new route for my long runs of late. I have done the route in the past, but not in a long while. Its actually a nice route, nearly three miles of it on the Springwater Corridor. The only frag about the route is the last four miles are essentially on hills as I climbed from the river front back to my home. I totalled about 10.75 miles which is a half mile more that my longest runs this winter. I’d like to keep adding miles to these runs in the future. I think that would be more beneficial than trying to do them faster. Not that I am training for anything at the moment, but that might change… Stay tuned!

This is the fourth Monday in a row that I have done a long run and the third in a row of over 10 miles. Last week I didn’t keep my overall miles up over 30 though, I had too much to do and weather getting in the way. I’d really like to return to the habit and keep my weekly miles over 30 for now. Running long on the first day of my running week is a nice boost. Makes the total not seem so insurmountable.

Oddly I have not run at all on Tuesdays after my long runs this month, well I guess it isn’t too odd, as I usually have a band practice on Tuesdays (this week and next I have it off so hopefully I will take advantage.) I really should be doing a recover run to keep my momentum going. Even a short run of 3-4 miles would be good and would reap benefits (plus I’d be that closer to my weekly goals!)

My Oregon Medical Insurance Pool will be ending soon once Obamacare takes over. I looked into my options coming up once it fully takes effect. Coverage for my wife and I will run about half of the OMIP plan. Here is one small business owner and job creator that will not be closing his doors! Yeah my situation is different than many being that my wife and I are the only two employees (actually just me, but I slide Ruthann money enough so that I can consider her on the dole.) but still, STFU Obamacare haters! I’ll add more on OC as I actually participate and I will be honest. If it sucks, I’ll let you know!

Another break, but today four in a row

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

As my writing here slows, so usually does my running. About 2 weeks ago my work and music life got a lot busier, both good but time consuming. All it takes is about a week of not running to start me obsessing about my weight as well as a reduction in the fitness benefits I am amassing in regards to treating ms. The weight thing has been building all summer and I have put on 10 or so pounds since winter, the exact oposite of what my usual seasonal patterns have been. I have enjoyed the extra fat for injections though. So while I can’t really say I have stopped my running malaise this year, today I did the fourth run in four days which I have always felt is a good restart. I think if gives me a sense of pattern acceptance in my workouts. I’ve also been pretty successful with not eating at night. So in general I feel pretty good with the exception of my tingly feet.

Sp today’s run was not only the fourth in a row, but I ended with a quality long slow distance run. It’s the first one in quite a while. It feels good to be exhausted. And I have been refueling/rehydrating pretty well this evening, and more food on the way! It was one of those runs where I had no real plan. But as I kept making route decisions leading me further along, I knew what it would be a good day for an lsd run. Actually I didn’t keep my heart rate low enough to be a good lsd run, more of a base run pace. I had several points where I started to fade and then pushed hard through them. I thought that was a good success, almost as good as getting home. It felt really good to finish.

The other three runs were two back-to-back base 10k runs and a short recovery run. I ran the two base runs pretty fast, I think the break was probably good for me. They were pretty boring but one weird thing did happen. I ran into the same dreadlocked reed student running in the canyon at exactly the same spot along the north trail. The recovery run felt good, really more of a slowish 5 miles than recovery. But I think the effects were pretty similar considering how well today’s long run went.

Week of running

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I have (as usual of late) been pretty lame about writing here. My running hasn’t been all that great either, but I have been getting out there. Today’s run was a pretty boring base run. I hovered right above a 10 min mile pace for the first five miles and then cranked it up for the last mile and a half to get myself under 10. It was tough as that last portion of my base run is mostly up hill. But I cranked it out and made it. I live on the base of a Mount Scott in Portland which is great when it comes to flooding issues (even though I still have to pay for flood insurance), but not so great for running as just about every run starts out going down in elevation and ends in going up. But what am I complaining about, I am used to it…

Prior to today I hadn’t tun for three days after a monster LSD run on Saturday (also following the same up hill at the end pattern) that crushed me! It is the second week in a row that I did a Long Slow Distance run. For this one I ran down to the waterfront just outside of downtown, then met my running partner for a short run on the esplanade, and finished with a run back to my house. The run up from the waterfront has about a 600 foot elevation gain which I get to experience through a series of several hilly stretches. When I was commuting via bike to downtown I figured out a great route that broke up the hills into manageable stretches with some flat areas in between to recover. I use basically the same route when I run downtown as well. After the three main hills I reach Creston Park where I hit a plateau that my house is on. But before the plateau I have to run a couple sets of stairs in the park. When I am feeling extra ambitious I do the steps two at a time. For some reason despite being exhausted I tried the two step at a time stairs. Almost immediately my calf cramped up and I realized I was done. Unfortunately I still had another mile to go. But I decided I’d go get a slice of pizza for inspiration which after a call home to find out if any pizza was wanted there turned into a whole pie (and a ride home form the pizzeria). All together it was nearly 11 miles, the furthest run I have done this year (just eclipsing my 10.5 miler last weekend).

I also did a couple of smaller easier run this week as well. My weekly miles totals are still pretty low, but they are creeping up there. I just need to keep up the battle against the crappy weather and squeeze the runs in in between rehearsals. So far so good.

Life getting in the way of running

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Well not really in the big picture but it sure has these last couple of weeks. I have been playing a lot of music lately with several bands I am in as well as some others. I have talked quite a bit about how running before rehearsals is really hard for me. The level of exhaustion I experience after a hard run makes it really hard to concentrate on what I need to do for playing music. Notes tend to blur together, I forget to read key signatures, etc. So these last two weeks have been hard for me to get all the practice in along with the running. I have found that it is not ALL running that is the problem just the harder workouts. Hydration seems to play a part in it as well. For example yesterday I ran for a couple miles with my running partner who is coming back from a substantial injury to her hip that she suffered abut six months ago. This is her second attempt to come back from it. Hopefully this is the one that takes! Back to the example, last night I was able to play this benefit concert and solo just fine. It was the largest crowd I have played in front of since college football and it was a hoot! Huge bunch of screaming and singing people and me belting out the sax solo from Careless Whisper (it was an 80s love song concert from seven local bands.)

Today’s run started out with no real plan in mind. After an unplanned diversion to find a bathroom I decided to go for a long run and ended up doing 10.5 miles and a pretty slow pace (which was fine. I was actually under 10 min miles until the very end when I started to get pretty tired.) I did feel like I could have kept going if I had to (or if I was doing a half-marathon). I am thinking I’d like to do another this year sometime. We’ll see. This was actually the third day of running in a row, so I am back on track from a little (4 day) break.

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.

LSD run

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

On Sunday I decided to get a long slow distance (LSD) run in. I haven’t done one in quite a long time, well since early summer anyway. I planned it out so that I would get five miles in a run down to the waterfront where I would meet a friend for another 5 miles. I kept my options open for running back home and adding an additional five miles to the route. the prospect of post run sushi won out over the final five, but I did manage to get close to double digits in miles.

In preparation for this long run I ate some good solid food the day before, pasta and tofu. I also drank a lot of water to make sure I was super-hydrated. The hydration was the key I think. I have always run well the day after I guzzle water consistently throughout the day. The food was also good and I felt like I was very prepared physically for what I was about to do.

The run down to the waterfront was a run I used to do quite a bit. I have a couple of good neighborhood routes I can take. I was looking forward to returning to the route I used to do twice a day (to work and home with my backpack.) As much as I was looking forward to it, I kept feeling like it was going to seem long. Even though I had done the route so often previously, it still seemed like it was going to take forever. But fortified with a couple cups of coffee and a clif bar I headed out.

For some reason I was dragging at first. I was a little disappointed about how sluggish I felt at the start, but I quickly realized that this was just fine as I wanted to run slowly today in order to keep my energy level as high as possible for as long as possible. I was also a tad worried about the time as I was going to meet up with my friend at 10. I left a little after 9, so I figured I should have plenty of time, but I am an early nut so I fretted a bit.

After a couple miles my coffee started to catch up to me so I started keeping an eye out for a port-a-pot. I passed a guy and his dog and found one, but for some reason I decided I didn’t want to go it with the guy I passed right behind me. I don’t know why I have this thing for sneaking into port-a-pots, I guess it is because I am not supposed to be using it. I also figured I didn’t have to pee that bad so the next one would do when I got to it. After several blocks without seeing one I started to think about the poor economy and its effect on the construction industry which to me in my present situation means less port-a-pots. Why that isn’t a political rally cry I will never know. If I were running for pres I would run on the platform of putting a port-a-pot on every block through the creation of new construction opportunities. Obama should adopt the cry of increased port-a-pots. Of course the repubs would stop him as they would just use any one of the 5-6 bathrooms they have in their house! So rant aside, I’ll get to the point. After a half mile or so my need to pee turned into a demand, a port-a-pot was no longer just a political dream, it was a necessity! I took a turn through a rather affluent neighborhood hoping for a loo, no luck. I hated doing it, but the over-grown bushes in front of a house made up my mind. Yes friends, the republicans want you to pee in the street! Or better yet in someone’s yard (as long as it is in a democrat neighborhood, and since I was in the Clinton neighborhood I figured I was safe there.) Sorry folks, I feel a little bad, but I had to do something… And I felt so much better!

So the run continued and I found myself at the waterfront a few minutes early. The first thing I noticed was music coming from across the river, there was some sort of event going on. That is when I saw the first zombie, then another and another, I quickly realized it was a costumed run. The Run Like Hell run/walk which I sort of wish I had signed up for the half even though I have little desire to run costumed. We stopped by the event on the other side and it was pretty well organized. A lot of people were drinking a post-race beer which I never really understood. Post race always seems to early in the day to drink beer.

I was pretty tired for the last couple of miles and was fading fast. So when we finished what was my second five miles I decided that sushi was a much better idea than a third fiver. So off to eat went where I consumed the most plated of veggie sushi that I have ever eaten (seven!). My LSD run was done, a tad short but done.

Running in the heat

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

All this week I have been trying to get out early to beat the heat. Today was no exception. Unfortunately like several other days this week I didn’t get up early enough to beat it. But I did manage to go ahead an join it! So off I went with a bottle full of water and a couple of sharkies in my pocket.

It was one of those runs where I had no plans and no idea of how far I would go. Despite the heat I quickly decided to do a long one and headed out on one of my longer routes. I made a conscious effort to drink small sips of water at pretty regular intervals. This was the key to a successful run for me. I wasn’t really regulating my speed and heart rate, but I noticed four miles into it that I was keeping my HR pretty low, so I decided to keep at it and not push too much. The strategy worked out really well. I had water constantly throughout the run and even had extra energy to power up and out of the reed campus to make it to my neighborhood. It wasn’t until I stopped at the library to pick up one book that I had on hold and found a total of eight waiting for me that I acknowledged the run was over. I had to run about a tenth of a mile with my armload to reach nine miles and that was all I could muster. But I was satisfied. I’ll wait for double digit miles until I am ready for it (and don’t have the books!)

These hot runs this summer have had me a little concerned. We have had such a long cool spring that I have gotten spoiled. So when the temps finally increased I worried how I would react to them. So far so good. I have been bringing my water with me and taking little sips throughout the run. This really seems to help keep me hydrated. I also have been careful to get enough fluids in after the run too. Add in a good amount of shade on my main routes and I am surviving!

One thing about today’s run that was a bit of a bummer: when I got home I saw a message from my acupuncturist asking where I was. I had totally forgotten the appt. But she was gracious enough to fit me in and we had a really good session. She is concentrating on my foot issues of numbness and pain as well as helping me get rid of a plantar wart. For the plantar wart she is using a technique called maxa that consists of little tiny cones of incense that are burned on the accu points. She is doing them all around the wart as well aas in the center. The heat is supposed to bring the wart to the surface. So far it seems to be working really well and it actually looks better than ever and much better than salicylic acid treatments make it look (like a weird burned out crater.) She also works points on the leg and ankle. I haven’t seen a lot of improvement there, but this is also due to me not doing my foot stretches with a foam roller. I have had the worse blister on my little toe (actually the blister IS my little toe!) and it has been too painful to do much other than go barefoot. I have been running still, but with padding. My running shoes don’t appear to irritate it at all, but my converse sure did! The good news is that my toe is getting close to being back to normal! Phew. I am really curious to see what the accu is able to do for my foot pain and spacticity issues, more to come.

Today’s run turned into a long one

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

I set out today with the only goal being burn off the frustration I had just amassed doing a really tedious task creating a million lightly different versions of the same banner ad. My mind was pretty mushy and I was really ready to get out and do some moving (I didn’t run the past two days, Mon was too cold and wet and Tues was rehearsal and I find running adversely affects my playing, I get sort of confused and lost in the music.) I took the dog with me for the first mile, that was about the max that she could do. She had a great time and did a pretty good job on staying focused on moving forward. Her sniffing suffered a bit as we didn’t get to stop at every evergreen plant (her fav smell-wise).

So after I looped back home and dropped her off I headed out towards East Moreland for one of my typical routes. I ended up deciding to take the Springwater trail and then into East Moreland and reed. I kept adding little bits to the run (I did the long route through reed and then added the track on the campus. All in all it ended up being 10.5 miles and became more of an LSD run than anything though my HR was pretty high throughout, so I guess I should call it a junk run instead.

I spent much of the run concentrating on my mid/for foot strike. I think I pretty much do it naturally now, but it is still good to focus on those form things every once in awhile. Near the end I found myself doing more of a rolling step landing on my heel. It was more comfortable and being tired I was flapping my step a bit. I was tempted to just let my form degrade, but I refocused and pulled it all together. It was a good run and a good chu8nk of miles, I needed it this week if I am going to make 40 (or close to it) as I blew the first two days of the week. Back on track!