Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scour

DOMS(Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is making my legs feel really sore. On Sunday my legs were feeling OK. I felt quite tired and sore during my daily run but I could walk normally without any difficulty up and down any steps and inclines. I did not have any problems to ride my bike for a short distance.

I look like a lost 10lbs during this race.

By Monday I started to feel very sore all over my quadriceps and calves. Going up and down any steps was extremely painful. I could barely walk without feeling any pain or soreness. So no run for me. I did a short bike ride. Riding my bike was not as painful as trying to run. Since my upper body was not affected by the last race, I was able to do my upper body weight session, no more than one set of each exercise. It was very painful trying to work on my knees during the day.

On Tuesday I was feeling as sore as yesterday. Running was not in my plans. I stayed off the bike and had a complete day off. Well, almost. I had to do my daily labor work.

I like to always  figure out what went wrong with my performance. My impression is that by standing on a ladder  resting against a wall for a long period of time, could have been the source of my soreness and tiredness. The ladder has a very narrow area to rest your feet. My body was leaning forward from my feet  up to my lower back. My upper body was off alignment with the lower body. I was leaning back with my upper body. My calves were over stretched and my feet soles were off balance. It sounds like a perfect recipe for disaster.

On Wednesday after a hard working day I was able to do a short run. My legs are still recovering. I rode my bike down to the bike path. As I started my run I felt my quads very tight. My left foot was bothering me for some reason. I ran the bike path route out and back and headed back home. Total run time: 33 minutes.

Thursday should be a long day run. But this Thursday I decided to back off and just do another easy run. I ran the bike path route, starting very easy and after 15 minutes I increased the pace for 12 minutes and then back to easy pace. My legs are getting back to normal. The soreness and tightness is going away. Total run time: 40 minutes and 29 seconds.

On Friday I ran after work. It was dark in the bike path, but the weather was cool with a nice coastal breeze. My legs are almost recovered. During work I was feeling the inside of my left quad near to my knee area. When I was riding my bike in direction to the bike path, the pain showed up again. It did not bother me during my run but I iced the sore area before and after my run. I was feeling light and fast during my short run. Total run time: 32 minutes and 22 seconds.
This afternoon during my work I had a little accident when  a chisel bounced back a wood beam and hit me on the head. It was a small cut but it became a blood mess very quick. Very painful. I was luck enough that it did not hit me on the eye.

This Saturday I had to work until late. So it was another short daily run in the dark. I am getting used to running in the dark. Somehow I have no problems seeing at night and I ran off the pavement on the bike path. The surface is softer and the risk of injuries is reduced. I did not time this run but it is a little over 30 minutes, almost a tempo run. I need to watch my left quad/knee. It is sore, specially when I ride my bike. Definitely it is related to my last race.

On Sunday I did a couple short bike rides that just aggravated my left quad injury. From now on I am staying off the bike until I get this injury under control. I did a short run on the bike path and stopped to do a few pull ups. No long run this week. Total run time: 35 minutes approximately.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ugly

This morning I got up at 4:45AM. My race destination  is about one hour away. I prepared all my logistics and was ready to go by 5:30AM.


It took me a little longer than one hour to get there. There were not that many people when I got there and it was still dark. I had to wait a few minutes before they would set up the tables so I could pick up my bib number and timing chip.The half marathon should start by 8AM. There were two other distances races, a 5K and a 10K that would start a few minutes after the half marathon. I have never raced in this area before. Actually I did not even know that this national park existed before this race. By looking at the elevation change, I could have a fair idea of what to expect from this race. Almost 4,000 ft of elevation gain.

We started the race by 8AM. This race attracted some fast runner and even a 2:10 top marathoner and eventually winner of this race.  I guess it was because of the prize money of $ 1,000  for the first place, $ 500 for second and $ 250 for third. But back to the race, I started in the middle of the pack, and after the first mile, I already had an idea that this would not be my day. I was feeling slow and tired attacking the hills. I passed the first mile in 7:09 in a pack of fifteen runners.

The second mile I started to feel the pace and my plans changed to survival mode. There was a nice incline right at the second mile that I passed in 17:20.

The hills would keep coming and to make things worse the downhills were quite steep. I was almost putting the breaks on the downhills. The terrain was not very friendly either, being very steep. I passed the third mile mark in 23:45. My fast mile so far, 6:25.

By the mile four, we got a break from the hills, and I ran a 6:11 mile. But things were not looking good at all. I passed the four mile mark in 29:57.

At mile five we faced a few short inclines and the paced slowed again. I passed the five mile mark in 7:20, or a 7:22 mile.

I was feeling the hills. My legs were very tired. By mile six there was a steep downhill. I was able to increase the pace, but not enough to make much difference. I ran the mile six in 6:24, passing the mile six mark in 43:47.

The mile seven was the slowest one so far. I ran the mile seven in 10:03. It had a very steep hill where some runners were power walking. I passed the mile seven mark in 53:47.

Things got really ugly by mile eight. There was the steepest hill on the course. Lots runners had to walk part of this hill including myself. I would never walk going up a hill but this morning it was an exception. I passed the mile eight mark in 1h 9min22secs, a slug pace of 15:37 mile.

We got a little break from the inclines, and I ran the mile nine in 9:21, passing the mile nine mark in 1h18min44secs.

The mile ten had  a steep hill, I ran it in 12:02. My legs were cooked. I passed the ten miles mark in a slug pace of 1hr30min50secs.

The hills would keep coming and the mile 11 was a little better, 9:22.  I passed the eleven mile mark in 1h40min13secs. I was passing and being passed by the some runners since the start.

I think mile 12 and 13 were misplaced or I missed the mile 12 split. But I passed the mile 13 mark in 1h57min17secs. After I saw the mile 13 mark, I should be only 200 to 400 meters from the finish line, but it took me 5:16 to reach the finish line. That tells me that some of the mile marks were misplaced. I passed unofficially the finish line in 2hr2min27secs, good for 14th place and second in my age group.


No reason to smile!

I was  very disappointed with this race. I decided to do this race about two weeks ago. My training was more directed to short distance. I was lacking the hill training, but above all  I was a little over trained. I should have backed off in my intense speed sessions a couple weeks before this race. My work got in the way as usual and I had to do some heavy work standing on ladders during the entire week. After work I was feeling my calves very sore and some signs of plantar fasciitis. I know I can run this course easily under two hours if I am well prepared and rested. The winner of this race was a 2:10 marathoner that represented the USA in the World Championships in Daegu this year. He could not run this course faster than 1hour and 37minutes. It is for far the hardest  half marathon that I have ever done. I hope I learned a few lessons from this experience, and come back strong next year.

Dry




Monday
Day off. I worked until late. Short bike ride in the afternoon.

Tuesday
Easy run after work. I am feeling tired after a long working day. I just ran the bike path out and back and added a few minutes around the soccer fields. Total run time: 46 minutes.

Wednesday
Another easy run in the China Camp area. I am having a full working week. Not sure how well I will be racing on Saturday. Total run time: 33 minutes.

Thursday
Day off. Work followed by a short bike ride. Tired.

Friday
Easy run in the Rush Creek area. My legs are tired. I finished with a few short strides. Total run time: 30 minutes and 19 seconds.

Saturday
Race day. The hills, the ugly and the bad. I will ride a race report soon. I did a short bike ride in the afternoon. Very sore muscles.

Sunday
Short bike ride before my easy run on the bike path. My legs are very sore. It will take a few days to recover. Total run time: 35 minutes and 30 seconds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Aches

After a good week of speed sessions I am feeling confident about my performance for my next race. The weather is becoming a little cool and the rain is definitely back.



On Monday I started another running week with a short easy run of 34 minutes and 9 seconds. My legs were a little tired. It was a rainy day for most of the morning and early afternoon. Around 4:40PM I rode my bike down to the local track. From there I started my run on the bike path. I saw only a couple people out there. Lots water and mud along the path. I was not concerned about running fast or an even pace, but just do some aerobic work.
As I mentioned before in another post, I started doing my weight lifting routine last Wednesday. This evening I did another session for my lower body and legs consisting of seven exercises, two sets of each exercise using the same weights.

On Tuesday after a long working day, I ran from home to the bike path. I was feeling OK but my legs were a little tired from yesterday's weight exercises. So I decided to have another easy day. I just ran the bike path route out and back, and after around 25 minutes I did a short fartlek for one mile. I would run 30 seconds fast and 30 seconds easy, covering the entire mile distance in 5:45. The total run time was 53 minutes.

On Wednesday I did my weight session a couple hours before my daily run. It consisted of seven exercises triggering the upper body.
I rode my bike down to the local track where I started my run. The usual bike path out and back route. My legs felt better than the last two days. Another easy run for recovery. Total run time: 33 minutes and 8 seconds.

On Thursday I usually run longer. But this afternoon was very hot. I decided to back off. My legs were feeling quite tired after work. I ran the bike path out and back. Then I ran five times this short steep hill and added a few more minutes around the soccer fields before heading back to the track. As I did yesterday I rode my bike to the local track from where I started my daily run. Total run time: 45 minutes.

On Friday I did a short run on the bike path. The usual out and back route. My knees were sore due to my work. So I decided to take easy. The weather was very warm. After 30 minutes I stopped to do a few pull ups. I rode my bike to bike path and back home. I cut back on my weight session for the lower body and legs. Total run time: 35 minutes

On Saturday I ran the same route as yesterday. My legs felt a little more alive. Another short easy run to revive my legs. Total run time: 34 minutes.

On Sunday I usually do my long run. But since I am planning to race next weekend, I ran for only one hour, mostly easy and relaxed. One hour before my run, I did my upper body weights session. On Friday I decided to back off in doing my lower body and legs weight session because I was feeling tired and my knees were aching. After 20 minutes into my run I increased the pace for two miles(actually 1.80 miles) that I ran in 10:25. Total run time: 1 hour, 1 minute and 31 seconds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Intensity

This week it will be all about intensity. I have done enough long runs and my aerobic base is good enough. I will start with  few repetitions, and gradually increase the numbers and the intensity. If I feel like I am going to get injured, I will back off. When some of these six minutes pace runs become easy then I am ready to go.



Monday - Easy
Easy run on the bike path. First rain of the fall season. Nice to feel the mud sticking to my shoes again. I rode my bike to the bike path and back home. Total run time: 33 minutes and 18 seconds.

Tuesday - Short repetitions
This morning I rode my bike to the local track. I used my bike ride as my warm up. Before I started my speed session I did a few stretches and drills. The plan was to run 1 x 800 meters in 2:40, 200 meters jog/rest, 1x 200 in :38, 400 meters jog/rest. Repeat the set five times. It worked like this: 2:38; 200 jog; :38;  400 jog; 2:37; 200 jog; :38;  400 jog; 2:33; 200 jog; :38; 400 jog;  2:35; 200 jog;  :37;  400 jog; 2:36; 200 jog :37. I finished with a couple easy miles as my cool down. Total run time: 47 minutes and 7 seconds.

Wednesday - Easy
This morning after the rain I did a little recovery run. I went back to run on the China Camp area. It brings me some nice memories of a few good races that I had a couple years ago in this area. I ran just enough to loose up my legs. Very damp grounds. Total run time: 31 minutes and 37 seconds.
This afternoon I started a new weight lifting routine. It consists of 15 exercises to strength the muscles most required for running. I will be feeling sore tomorrow but I will definitely see some results in a few weeks.

Thursday - Fartlek
This afternoon after a heavy rain, the sun showed up. The weather was perfect for a run. It is getting dark by 6:30PM. I started my run around 6:20PM. I started with a easy jog as my warm up that lasted for 20 minutes. I planned to do a fartlek with three times the mile under six minutes with two minutes easy in between. So after my warm up I increased the pace and run the first mile in 5:45 followed by an easy two minutes. The second mile was in 5:30. My legs were feeling good after the weight exercises yesterday. I jogged for two minutes and then I ran the third mile in 5:28. I finished with an easy 11 minutes cool down in the complete darkness. It was a good fartlek that turned out a little fast than I expected. Total run time: 52 minutes and 40 seconds.

Friday - Easy
Short recovery run. Right before my run I did my upper body weight session. I thought I would be feeling tight and bulk during my run but I felt loose and comfortable. Total run time: 33 minutes and 5 seconds on the bike path.

Saturday - Tempo or TT
I had to run later in the afternoon because I worked during most of the morning hours and early afternoon. I was planning to do a tempo if I felt good, otherwise I would just have another easy day.  My legs were feeling good so I decided to try a tempo or maybe a time trial. I started as usual by the middle way in the bike path. I ran right to the its end in 8:29, turned around and ran back, passing by the middle point in 8:18. I ran all the way to the other end in 5:14, turned around and finished by the middle way point in 5:17. It was a personal best in this course, 27:19, 5:48 per mile pace. By GoogleEarth measurements  this course measures 4.7 miles. I believe it is a little longer than that. I started feeling the run in the last mile. I had to dig deep to finish strong. From the bike path I ran back home. Total run time: 38 minutes and 54 seconds.

Sunday - Long run
Well, it was an almost long run. I don't call a 90 minutes run a long run. Sunny day! Gorgeous day for a run. I left home a little late in the morning, 10:30AM. I headed down to the bike path, staying on it for a few minutes before exiting and running on direction to the Oakwood valley trail. I ran the Oakwood loop and headed up to the Ten parking lot. Then I turned around, headed back down, ran the Oakwood loop in the reverse and back to the bike path. At this time I ran right on the bike path to the usual turn around mark by the bike shop. Lots people out there: runners, walkers, joggers, cyclists, dogs, etc. Very crowded day. On my way back on the bike path, right before the freeway overpass, I decided to increase the pace for a mile. Just to see how tired my legs were. For my surprise when I looked at my watch after passing the mile mark, I ran a 5:38 mile after one hour and 18 minutes into my run. So I am getting back in shape again. I added a few more minutes on the bike path and headed back home in the reverse route. Total run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes and 2 seconds.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Plans



Monday
Easy run. I rode my bike to the local track. From there I ran the bike path out and back adding a few minutes around the soccer fields. I stopped to do a few pull ups. I have been feeling very sore since the Saturday's race. Plantar fasciitis is showing up in both foot. This afternoon I did not feel any pain while running but yesterday I was feeling very sore. Total run time: approx. 35 minutes.

Tuesday
It has been a while since I have done a speed session. I mean a speed session that I actually timed myself and measured the course. This afternoon I was ready to shake the rustiness off my legs. I did an easy warm up of 16 minutes followed by a few short drills and some stretch. Using GoogleEarth I measured a four hundred meters distance on the bike path for my repetitions. The plan was to do 12 x 400 with 45 seconds of rest in between. The course was out and back with no wind. I averaged 76 seconds for the 400 meters. (mostly 76 seconds) After the fourth rep the weather warmed up a little. I was sweating heavily. To finish my speed session I did a long cool down of 25 minutes way back home. Total run time: 1 hour, 8 minutes and 20 seconds including the 45 seconds of rest, or approx. 8.7 miles.

Wednesday
I worked until late. Very hot day. Short run on the bike path. My legs were feeling very tired. Hope to feel better tomorrow. After my run I did some pull ups. Total run time: 34 minutes.

Thursday
Day off. I worked long hours standing up and doing some labor work. Very tired.

Friday
Day off. Another long working day.

Saturday
I was planning to race this morning but I did not have any energy. So I decided to do a little run from home to the bike path. After a quick warm up I did 10 x 180 meters strides. This is what I call leg  speed training. The goal is to exaggerate the arm movements, run tall, pull with your toes, high knees lifting. I took 90 seconds in between reps. Full recovery would be the ideal. Total run time: 1 hour and 13 minutes including the 90 seconds of rest.

Sunday
This morning I left home around 7:15AM in direction to my local track. I have not done a speed session on the track for a long time. My plan was to do an easy tempo run of six miles under 36 minutes. Well, I did just that. I ran six miles in 35:03. My legs were feeling good after my leg speed training yesterday. After my tempo run I did a long cool down in the bike path and headed back home. Total run time: 1 hour, 24 minutes and 45 seconds.