Saturday, November 30, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Prior to Labor Day Weekend, I did a couple of short bricks with easy bike and moderate tempo run. That seemed to cause some periformis and lower back fatigue. We then hit the highway for a long road trip and I did a lengthy tempo run on Saturday. Somewhere in there a disc slipped in my lower back between L4 and L5. Since that weekend, I've been fighting sciatica.
I took three weeks off with no training. I started adding short runs as I was traveling a lot and didn't have access to my bike. On vacation week of 10.14, I had another setback after playing on the boogie board with my kids. I was nearly crippled again with back pain and sciatica when I returned home.
I took another week of no activity. My work travels changed (driving instead of flying) and I was able to ride my bike. :) I found that being on my bike is very comfortable and allows my back to stretch the right direction without stretching the leg (key to defeating the inflammation).
I've now been cycling three to four days a week for two weeks. I had two days last week that were relatively pain free. I've learned how to get things to relax (gentle stretching, riding my bike, TENS unit) and the sciatica will ease.
I'm going to keep riding my bike until I'm pain free on a daily basis. Hoping to be on the running trails by December. If not, I'll just keep cycling until it happens.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
This seems to be the year of the non-running injury for me. On June 20, I fell at work while walking down some stairs. Smacked my lower back pretty hard. All extremities were functional at the time but I knew it would hurt the next day. It hurt a lot within the next hour. The next day added the pain of whiplash to the back pain.
Three weeks of mobility and strength exercises and no endurance training was the prescription. Boo. Meh, I survived it. I went for my first run on July 10. Oh did I ever lose my edge. MAF runs were in the 11-12 minute range. Pain was a 1 or 2 but I pressed through it with limited running and cycling. I even loaded the roadie for a trip to Cleveland to keep me from running too much.
I'm still recovering the fitness but my back is fine. I have to push really hard on my back muscles to find any pain. I don't have to push very hard on my pace to find zone 4. However it's getting better too.
Now I'll enjoy a weekend in Pigeon Forge with the wife and kids. Maybe a few miles of running too.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
The week of training was capped with a splendid half marathon from Pigeon Forge's Patriot Park to Sevierville. I wanted to run to the top of Bluff Mountain (6+ miles and 2000' of gain to the top) but I needed to save my legs for the hills of Dollywood. It all worked out as it was raining and cloudy on Sunday morning. So I wouldn't have been able to see the sunrise over the Smokies.
I've talked before about adjusting my heart rate training zones. I used Friel's lactate threshold test and his recommended percentages. This dropped my training zones by roughly eight BPM. Of course, that meant running slower... for a while. Today's half marathon distance was done in Zone 2 with three minute surges every twenty minutes to lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). This is my usual plan for long runs that I learned from Coach Jeff with PRSfit. It's a great way to stay aerobic and still get some fast twitch training.
The great news from today was the excellent improvement in pace. In February and April, I ran the same distance with AHR of 160-162 and an average pace of 9:45-9:47. I've been increasing the total training volume. So my legs certainly weren't well rested. However, I was able to roll in the new Zone 2 with an AHR of 154 and an average pace of 9:25. Twenty seconds faster with 6-8 BPM lower heart rate. That is heart rate training doing its thing!
I titled the post "Inspired Miles" for a couple of reasons. First, it's Memorial Weekend. I think about my time in the Navy. I was fortunate to not have lost any shipmates but I know many have fallen. This is not about supporting a war or policy but it's about remembering those that have volunteered to protect our nation. Second, I was listening to Run Run Live 3.0 podcast while running. This was Chris's post-Boston recording. He was only a few kilometers from the bomb site when he was pulled from the race. The passion and emotion in his voice was strong. I pushed a hard mile eleven as he read his closing statement and I thought about the victims of the bombings.
Keep moving forward. For Chris, do epic stuff.
Friday, May 17, 2013
It's that awesome time of year. Sun starts rising before 6 a.m. The temperature is still relatively cool. I just love ramping my training right now.
I have been adding a half hour every week for the last several weeks. I am now at a steady 6-7 hours of training. However, this week we'll have me at eight hours. Eight hours is my happy spot for training.
Also with this great weather, I've been able to ride my bicycle. I bought a road bike last summer. Really enjoy a nice two hour ride even though I'm still not real fast. On a long ride my average speed is 13-14mph. I'm going to start adding some tempo workouts on the bike to get the speed increased.
Last week was a bit of a step back week. I did a 5k race on Saturday. So I dropped the volume with a short taper. I did really well at the 5k race. I was quite pleased with a second place age division and a new age group PR. I ran the race in 23:42. My only disappointment in the race was that I did not run the final mile and a half as fast as I could have. I felt like I had too much in the tank at the finish line.
The 5k race was also my wife's first 5k. She enjoyed the day and did a run walk for 38 minutes. I don't know if she's hooked but I do know that she had a good time. I think we'll do another 5k in the fall.
I have been traveling this week. Fortunately, I was able to bring my road bike. I had a great ride from Independence to South Chagrin reserve on Monday and a nice flat Rails to Trails ride on Wednesday near Elyria. Both of the rides were around 2 hours. Also got in a couple of runs one was a tempo with negative splits and then a really nice trail run yesterday that was definitely not the fastest thing I've ever done. Great day to enjoy the trails!
I'm headed home on Friday with plans for a half marathon distance on Saturday morning. I'm still trying to finish a half marathon every month. This will be an easy pace. Maybe. We'll see what Andre has on his training plan.
Keep moving forward.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Tuesday was 73F and sunny. I had an appointment near Fort Knox and decided to stop on the way home for some trail goodness at Jefferson Memorial Forest. As usual, JFM didn't disappoint. I have not had the opportunity to run there since last fall. I usually run the Horine section but decided to head to Siltstone. I'd heard it was quite challenging and those folks were right. However I thoroughly enjoyed the hour. (https://connect.garmin.com/activity/305692161)
The trails at JFM are mostly single track and hard packed dirt with plenty of rocks and roots. We have very few of the groomed crush gravel trails that I see in Ohio or the Rails to Trails. You get a great workout of the support muscles in your lower legs and feet. I couldn't certainly tell on Wednesday that I have not been on the trails for a while.
Friday was Oaks Day. For those from any other metro area, this is a holiday in Louisville area. So I took a vacation day and relaxed like any other endurance athlete. I went for a two hour ride on the roadie. I needed to drop a package at the local office but wasn't really in the mood for a half century ride. No problem. I threw the bike in the truck and started from the commuter lot at Southeast Christian Church. (https://connect.garmin.com/activity/307040821)
I had to laugh at myself. Most folks load the bike and head toward my house to ride in the country. Honestly I think it is absolutely beautiful out here. However it's nice to have a break from the hills and ride some flats.
Keep moving forward.