Archive for September 2015

5 miles tonight in 40:30 – one of my last runs before the 12 hour Lemming Loop on Saturday

Yay! I managed to suck it up and get on the treadmill tonight!

I did get some mileage in this weekend but not many – I was up most of Friday night / Saturday morning with stomach cramps and didn’t get much sleep Saturday night either. I ended feeling ok most of Sunday but felt crappy again for a good chunk of Monday afternoon. That seems to have passed at least.

Some positives from the weekend:

  • the dogs ran great – they are getting the hang of the leash and seem to be working together as a team when they run (not going all over the place but focused on moving forward. Buggers are fast too – Garmin clocked us up over 12 mph for a little while (like maybe 15-20 seconds). So if nothing else they will be able to help me with speed work outside…
  • the super blood moon was great – we had barely any clouds, no wind and a super view from our back yard. We were able to have a fire, roast marshmallows and the kids even got a swim in! Beautiful night. (made the sub freezing temps this morning extra crappy)
  • we managed to get a lot of swimming in – which was great considering the temperature has now definitely taken a dive and we will be shutting everything down soon.

The run tonight was fairly positive as well. I was concerned at first as my device that I use to play videos while I am on the treadmill had crapped out so I had to figure out some other way to amuse myself.

I decided to try out one of the built in iFit courses on the treadmill using what is essentially Google Street View on the lcd display. I picked the Monterey Trail as it was just a touch over 5 miles and that fit with what I wanted to get done. It was pretty cool – it had varying positive and negative inclines which kept me paying attention and focused. The incline went from a low of -3 to a max of +4 – a pretty good workout.

All in all it actually kept my attention and I was able to run quite well finishing out the just over 5 miles in 40:35. Not too bad for an easy run.

I will probably run tomorrow and Thursday night as well – each most likely at around 5 miles – to keep the legs stretched out for the 12 hour Lemming Loop on Saturday without running the risk of injury.

I am going to post something a little later this week to cover my thoughts and plans going into the Lemming Loop so stay tuned for that.


5 miles tonight in 39:58 on the treadmill

After more slacker time this week I finally managed to get on the treadmill and put in some miles tonight. First run since the weekend – I don’t really have a good track record going right now – especially with the 12 hour Lemming Loop coming up in just over a week. It is going to be tough.

I have been dreading the treadmill lately as it keeps beating the hell out of my legs. This is pretty strange for me as I used to regularly do pretty significant mileage on the treadmill without even thinking about it – I always kind of thought of the treadmill as my secret weapon but for the past few months it has kind of turned into my nemesis instead.

So I decided to make some changes tonight to try to get the treadmill runs back where they needed to be.

Change #1 – shoe lace changes…stick with me here…I changed up how the laces on my treadmill shoes are done up. I opened them up in the toe box so that they weren’t so tight in that area – I have been feeling aches there after the runs for a while but only with those shoes. So basically that set is too tight in the toe box and I wanted to open them up to reduce the pressure on my feet during impact.

Change #2 – I changed the treadmill to a much more firm deck. My treadmill can have spring or be very firm and I have been running with it set to have some spring hoping to reduce the impact on my legs. But I guessed that with my size the spring was just too much and the added flex of the deck actually increased the impact on my legs.

It is a bit of rookie mistake to make more than one change at a time but I figured I would try it out anyway.

Ok – with that said – lets see what happens…

And…it was pretty good!

I started slow to see if I could catch issues and stop the run quickly if I had made a catastrophic decision and then slowly started increasing the speed as everything seemed to be going well. In the end I did the 5 miles with 3 minutes of walking and a maximum speed 9 mph for 2 minutes.

My legs feel strong after the run and my foot that had been aching after runs is feeling very good as well. So it looks like both changes were positive – I have a lot of work to do to get back to where I want to be but at least I’m not dreading the next treadmill run.

Running continues.

Total of 5 miles this morning – tried a few new things this morning – felt good!

Not too long a run this morning but still pretty good – I tried out a few new things that seemed to work pretty well for me.

First off I went for a 4.5 mile run without music – I had my phone and headphones with me but I wanted to see how I would do without music pushing my energy level up. For the 12 hour Lemming Loop, I have been thinking about running for the first while without music so that I can save the music energy for later when I need it. Basically just enjoy the first part of the run as wander through the park. In theory, this would have me go out a little slower at the start and have more energy for later. But first I had to check to see if me running without music was even going to work (it has been a while since I ran longer distances without music).

And overall I would say that it was a positive experience. I seemed to have a bit of a clearer head and was surprisingly focused. My pace was strong and steady through the whole run and I finished up feeling fairly energized.

I’m not exactly sure why it went as well as it did but I suspect a few things:

  1. My playlists are in need of refreshing – I have used the same playlist for a while now and, as I think about it, I realize that I have been listening to it through some pretty rough runs. It is possible that I am equating the songs on the list to the tough runs and it is messing with my mindset during the runs. Time to refresh the playlist!
  2. The playlist does change tempo here and there so it is possible that my pace is getting messed up as I go from faster to slower songs and back again. Speeding up and slowing down can tire you out and that could be impacting my runs lately too.
  3. I was able to pay attention to what my body was doing better and was able to run at a steady pace and effort because I wasn’t as distracted by or relying on the music.
  4. My mind was able to wander in a better way – I could concentrate but I could also think about other things and as I worked through issues in my head, the run seemed to get easier rather than harder. Mindset thing here.

I will be trying it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke but I suspect I am going to have to put in some regular scheduled runs where I run without music.

The second new thing I tried was to run with both of the pups at the same time. Up until now I have been trying one at a time to get them used to running with me (and for me to get used to running with them). But this morning I decided I should try with both together and see what happens.

Overall, it went well. There are some behavior issues I will need to work through with one of them (pulling mostly but the same one has had some dog aggression issues and both issues are probably related so we are working on that).

On their own, one of the dogs (Arrow) did not want to run because he wanted to be where the other one was (this is not the puller). The puller (Sven) has been a puller since the first run but like I said we are working on that – but man does he ever want to run! The non-puller Arrow loves agility games like fetch but the puller Sven just wants to run.

But having them together went well – Arrow ran a steady pace to keep up and didn’t do anything crazy, just a nice smooth run. Sven tried to pull but he wanted to make sure he was in front but he also wanted to unload and fly. Sven has the most work to do here to get him to pace with me.

We have also seen some dog aggression from Sven, and this being Saturday morning there were a bunch of dogs out. I came prepared for that – I had both pups sit and pay attention to me and fed them treats as a distraction. I did let them move around a bit when the other dogs were near but I had them on short leashes and corrected or distracted whenever Sven started to get wound up.

That went better than expected as in the end I didn’t get any of the growling or nasty barking that I half expected. I guess the training is starting to work but it is an ongoing process. In the end we covered a half mile but it was a good start.

Yeah, so, long story short – not big miles today but several positive things occurred! I’ll take that.

10 miles on the treadmill tonight in 78:36 – very happy with that!

After my running kind of falling apart over the past week or so it felt good to get in a focused run.

I’ve done very little running through last week but had planned to run long on Saturday and Sunday…but Saturday was missed due to some family stuff and then I was feeling pretty rough on Sunday and only got in 2 miles of walking. I did get in quite a bit of swimming though with the kids so that has to count for something!

But after that kind of slacking off I had to do something on Monday, so even though I was not feeling it at all I did get in 5 miles on the treadmill in 43:50. It was not a very focused run and I couldn’t get centered but at least I got it done.

That finished off August with a total of 110.74 miles…I did almost 187 last August – a bit of a let down. Some of the missed runs were unavoidable but several were just lack of focus and drive on my part – I am working on that.

That brought me to tonight. It is time to get my crap together finally. So 10 miles in a strong 78:36. I had 4.5 minutes of walking in that time and the rest was done with periods at 7 mph, 7.5 mph, 8 mph, 8.5 mph and sometimes 9 mph. I would bump the speed every 2.5 or 5 minutes depending. This gave a few 5 minute periods at 8.5 mph and I also had one 3 minute period at 9 mph.

It was definitely a strong push and it gave me a glimpse of what I used to be able to do and I want to get back to. And if I really want that, the only way for it to happen is to push myself. It must be done.