Exhaustion experiment

Tonight I have a rehearsal, but I really wanted to run today (though I am not sure why I wanted to so badly as it is freakin’ wet out). So I decided to do one of my shorter routes, under four miles. The run went fine though my legs were a bit sore after doing some cobblestone placement after yesterday’s run. In another effort to avoid exhaustion tonight I kept my pace at a recovery pace of 10:11. The run was nothing to get too excited about, but I am really happy I did it and I am curious to see how I handle tonight. As of right now I feel really good and I don’t think I have over-done it. But time through the day seems to have its way with me a times. One other thing, I did xi gong last night and I do think that helps the next day. After my run I ate a protein heavy Kind bar and I plan to get some replacement liquids into me as well, at the very least a good amount of water.

Running well these days

So again coming back into running. I have actually run a lot lately and just didn’t write about it. I kept thinking I should and even thought about topics to write about. But just never got to it. So runs this week were a couple of base runs after a long cold/flu. They were hard but I pushed through them. Both runs I took walking breaks which were needed. But the last two runs (yes, four runs since I wrote) have been really good, a recovery run and a tempo(ish) run.

Yesterday I did a great recovery run. 10k and kept my heart rate below my recovery ceiling (HR less than 144 for me) for probably 95+% of the run. I had my first slip up when a woman was running in the opposite direction of me. We both hit the end of the East Moreland Reedway blocks (or whatever it is called) looping back towards reed, her going with traffic and me across the park blocks between us, going against. I noticed she was barefoot and we chatted a bit about barefoot running, she was training for a barefoot Hood to Coast team. I was pushing it to keep up with her when I remembered that I was trying for 144 and my HR was 160! So I said so long and went slowly on my way in a different direction. It actually didn’t take me too long to get my HR down and I continued through reed and the canyon all under. I knew the hills were coming up and as I got closer I tried to bring my HR down as much as possible to get ready for the slow climb. The first set of smaller hills through campus went fine, all under. But the final stretch is significantly steeper and I had to really slow down. There was nobody around so I didn’t mind appearing to run as slowly as possible! I almost made it, but I crept up to 146 for parts of it. Still pretty darn good. The last hill went fine. I had brought my HR down to about 129 before I started and made it to the top under 144. Then crossing the street at the top of the hill I was up to 150. I didn’t sprint across the street or anything, but maybe my dislike of cars… All in all a great recovery run with an average pace of 12-13 min miles.

Today was a different story. I started pretty cool with some clouds that quickly gave way to sunshine and some warmth. I hadn’t decided what to do on this run. I found myself doing a steady brisk pace with ease and decided to push the pace throughout the run. Today’s now decided goal was sub 10 min miles for 10K. I kept strong for the first three + miles and then bonked a bit coming out of the canyon and up the hills. I slowed down for the hills but kept pushing. At the top I was still under 10 min mile pace so I pushed again. I think I even needed a last burst of energy to get me through the final four blocks. In the end, under 10 min miles easy.

So two solid runs back to back and both training runs of sorts. Ones I can at least categorize in my running log. well, tempo(ish).

Four runs, four days

Today I did a recovery run that marked the fourth day in a row I have run. This has always been my benchmark for getting back into running. Over the last couple months I have gotten close a couple of times (three days in a row twice) but never got to the fourth for one reason or another. So today, I finally made it over the hump. I am ready to embrace running again! Not that I ever really didn’t, but my enthusiasm has been diminished this spring.

Yesterday after I blogged the last post, I went out on one of my base 10k runs. I started out pretty fast and decided heck I may as well keep my pace going. I ended up running sub nine min miles for the first three miles. Then, pooped, I stopped the tempo portion and just coasted out the final 3+. The fast portions went really well, but I was exhausted for sure. It did feel prety good to get some speedwork in. This was another run after an injections where I felt extra energy. I wish I knew if that is really a side effect to the rebif or if it is a mental increase to my energy levels.

Today I just did a 5 mile recovery run. I tried really hard to keep my pace under 144 (my 70% recovery ceiling HR) and I more or less failed miserably. I was able to bring my HR down to that level several times but my avg was 150 and I really felt that is where I hovered for most of the run. Running four days in a row could have a little bit to do with that, but I think I have just lost a significant amount of my base fitness. The good thing is that it gives me something to improve upon that I can see immediate results for. I still plan on doing more quality runs and staggering them with recovery. Maybe I’ll read my HR training book again to get some inspiration.

Three solid days of running

Three good runs, all sort of different. The distances were all the same, each around 6 and a quarter miles. But each had their own focus.

The run on Tuesday was a pretty standard junk run. It was cool out and I didn’t even bring water with me. My pace was pretty slow, I think I was considering it sort of a recovery from a tempo run I did on Saturday. It was a pretty nothing run, but six miles none the less.

Wednesday was a day at the track. A two mile warm up brought me to the track. I had been talking to a friend about different types of interval workouts. One of the was a ladder workout and I was thinking I had never done that before. So I tried it. The first lap consisted of two straights and curves. Got my HR jump started. Next came two 220s followed each by another 220 of recovery for what was now 3 laps total. Then the top of the ladder, two 440s followed by 220 recovery. Total lap count now is at 6. Then back down the ladder for three more laps. A tenth made for a last lap of recovery before I headed off another mile and a half to Trader Joes.

This was a tough workout and several times I felt like passing out, especially after the 220s. I ran the 440 intervals not too fast, but the first 220s I worked it pretty hard. It was kind of cool, but several of the other runners joined me in doing there own intervals. Kind of fun having all of us doing them.

Today’s run was sort of a recovery run, though I didn’t try too hard to stay under 144. My avg was 148 as opposed to 141 on Tuesday. So maybe that was the true recovery and this was more junk.

The thing about these three runs was that they all followed the easy-hard-easy pattern that seems to work so well. So I guess that means I am up for a hard run tomorrow. I am sort of feeling like a LSD run would be really good for me. we’ll see. Hills sounds pretty good also.

Almost perfect recovery run

I really buckled down today to take my recovery runs seriously. While I was doing my whole warm up run I kept my HR under my recovery ceiling of 144 (or so I thought, actually I hit 145 in the first mile according to my Garmin). So since I thought I was “perfect” in my recovery run I worked hard to keep the HR low. Mostly I had it around 130 or lower, I really slowed down. I even made it up lower reed’s hill under 144. As I crossed the bridge over the canyon I heard what turned out to be an organized rugby game with a pretty large crowd and as it turned out two guys playing catch with lacrosse equipment who wouldn’t move over and let me by. So, my HR shot up to 151 and my perfection run was blown. Still I got it back down and on my way to trader jos. From there a mile home with my purchases of two bags; one of cooking greens and the other a bag of kettle corn (balancing “good for you” with bad…) It was an interesting juggling act getting them home.

Over all my HR averaged 135, so a very successful recovery run. My avg pace was 11:45, so super slow. I think I could do this pace for the full 26.2, the question is will I be happy with a five hour time? I think I need to pick up my pace a bit.

Recovery run, sixth running day in a row

This morning I faced the chilly morning and went for a nice easy recovery run. For the first half mile or so my HR was pushing higher than my recovery ceiling, but soon it settled down into a nice relaxed sub 144 HR. From there everything went smoothly. I resisted the urge to add miles to the run several times. Big part of that could be I ran out of juice for my radio, so I was alone with the winds and slightly bored. Then my watch ran out of its charge as well. I am all for rechargeable items, but it does suck when they die on you! When I got home I went to add my run into my manual journal (since the Garmin record would be off). I had to add several days and I noticed that today was six days in a row. I have plans to run tomorrow evening, so that will make seven!

NE tour

So my run in NE with my running partner started with a bus ride to her neighborhood, so here was my view.

The plan was to run six relatively slow miles and we stuck to plan. The run was just what I needed for the day. The one thing we noticed that is becoming an issue is the light left in the day. That is all starting to change rather quickly and we soon found ourselves running in the dark. The sidewalks are a little rough mostly because of tree roots pushing up. Got to get used to that high-stepping running pattern to avoid tripping. Not the best thing to do, but better than face planting on the sidewalk.

So I had been reading Matt Fitzgerald’s latest book (or one of them, he’s come out with two). The Runner’s Edge promised to be an interesting look at the science behind training and I had hopes that it would dovetail perfectly with what I have been doing with my own training. It covers choosing a smartwatch pretty well, I could have used that a year ago when I was researching mine, fortunately the conclusion they drew was the very one I did. Polar is really good, but Garmin is tops. The book then moved into how to use your running data to determine what is happening to your body. It started to get somewhat confusing and technical, but that is what I was looking for. Then the focus changed again, this time to the use of a specific training stats program. It got really specific and detailed about how to use it. Hmmm, is this the real agenda of the book? Yes, yes it it. The software, Training Peaks is available for $200. Ahhh, well I am not that interested in shelling out that kind of cash for a new piece of running software. So with the books focus being on that I have decided to pick up Fitzgerald’s other book RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel which is apparently sort of a follow-up to his Brain Training book that I really liked. Fitzgerald mentions in the forward that there are several books he wished he had never written and I suspect he may have been talking about the The Runner’s Edge, I wonder. I would love to ask him.

Fastest tempo run yet and then rain

Yesterday I set out to do a tempo run. I wasn’t feeling to into it and the air quality was really poor from either a forest fire or more likely wood burning that has become so popular in the area. If its wood (or even looks like wood) burn it! No regard for pollution, just burn it! Anyway, I could rant for hours about this but I have a run to talk about. So my breathing was not great and I had to keep coughing to remove my neighbors enjoyable fires from my lungs (wait, I said I wouldn’t rant anymore.) So as I was going through a warm up and approaching my tempo route I was none to confident in my abilities. Still, I forged on, I really wanted to get this out of the way in my schedule of quality runs.

The first mile came really easily to me and I recorded a 7:33. I was feeling it in my lungs, but I still felt pretty strong. As I pulled through the second mile I realized I had to slow down. Seems I went out to fast for that first mile. So I paced it down a bit, but still kept pushing it. It was tough, but my second mile was not to bad at 8:13. At the start of the third mile I kept thinking about something my running partner heard at her boot camp. If you are doing a quality run and can’t keep up then its not a bad idea to bag it. The thinking with that being that you aren’t getting the benefit from the activity if you aren’t doing it properly. It was starting to sound like a really good idea. But, I remembered my philosophy of powering through difficulty to build yourself for the future. Sort of a variation of ‘no pain, no gain’. While I disagree with Nike’s motto I am all for powering pushing myself through the hard parts. So I kept at it albeit slower yet. In the end I finished my third mile at 8:40 which wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be and as it turns out the fastest I have done my three mile tempo run yet. So I was really happy with the run. I finished up with a run through the canyon and home.

This morning I got up early to go for a run with my running partner. She is not much for the rains and it is even harder for her to get through that first wet run. So was prepared for the text saying she was bagging it. So alone I headed out for eight miles of recovery. It was a good run, slow and easy and a nice change from the previous days tempo. I didn’t mind the rains too much even though it was too warm to wear my running jacket. So I stripped it off and got soaked. Still it was a nice run. I was actually surprised at the number of runners I ran into in teh rain. Good to see everyone keeping up with it. Now I just need to work on my running partner. She’ll come around!

Another recovery run, two in a row

In an attempt to wipe out my feeling of being wiped out I did a second recovery run today both coming after my 15.5 mi long run on Sunday. I think I could use several more! Today I tried a different route that I have been thinking about. It actually had a good mile of uphill as I attacked Mt Tabor from the west side. I didn’t go all the way to the top though and kept the run to six miles, easy miles other than the hilly portion. The last third was pretty much downhill and relatively easy going, but I was feeling so worn out that it was actually somewhat excruciating. My feet hurt and my legs were tired but I really wanted to run in the rain today. It was so nice and cool. I brought my rain shell for the first time in a long while, but it wasn’t cool enough to keep it on so around the waste it went. It makes a good reflector there.

Labor Day recovery

Well not a recovery from Labor Day, that sounds more like a hangover. This recovery was from yesterday’s 15.5 miles of hard road. I awoke feeling a bit worn out from yesterday. A bit might be an understatement, I was sore and felt pretty sluggish. So getting up I decided to have my usual two cups of coffee (as opposed to only one I would have right before a morning run) and a full compliment of toast and honey. I think the combination of breakfast and yesterday’s eating I recovered pretty solidly and was able to take off for a 5 mile recovery run by 10:30. Makes me think I am still up for a marathon training program. That said I am still pretty worn from the long run. My big toe (with the torn nail) is still hurting, but not bleeding nearly as much as it has been. Add on general foot weariness and I begin to paint a picture of my biggest obstacle to marathon training.

My feet seem to be the most effected part of my health from the ms. I do place the blame for a lot of that on running. Still I believe the benefits of running (and more to the point the high level at which I am doing it) far outweigh any discomfort I am feeling. I suppose I may have to change that assessment down the road, but for now all is good (well mostly all).

So back to the recovery run. I started out with a high HR often approaching 160 before I had even gone a half mile. As warmed up (and/or my heart monitor received a better signal due to sweating) the HR dropped down to a more normal place. I have noticed the high HR at the start of runs in the past. I don’t think it is a misread by the monitor as my heart rate does feel elevated even though I am not putting in the effort. Interestingly when I first started feeling the major ms symptoms, they would always seem to come on heavy at the start of my runs. At first one of my hopeful theories was that I was allergic to some sort of plant in the area as the episodes would occur on the same stretch of blocks. Could it have been the higher HR that brought the stumbling/mumbling episodes on? Nothing else made sense, so this could have been the trigger? Though hills and picking up the pace later in the runs didn’t seem to have anything to do with it.

Other than the initial spike, not much interesting happened on this run. I kept the HR at an acceptable level pretty much throughout. The last hill out of reed pushed me over, but I was busy keeping a decent pace to run past coeds… I think I may do another recovery run tomorrow and save any sort of speed work until Wednesday. It is sort of a necessity with band rehearsal Tues night, gotta keep the mind mostly alert for that.