Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh Crap

So it's Thursday, a day I should be feeling very good about.

This Wedensday I found out I was going to be the S-3 for the Charles River Battalion.

That means nothing to you, so let me translate: I am in charge of ALL training for Boston ROTC cadets. It means long hours, no credit, and lots of angry officers trying to rip me a new one.

But it means the cadre here thinks I can handle it, which makes me very happy.

Unfortunately, I did not do my Key Workout Two, the medium run.

Yesterday, during my cross training, I felt my ankle twinge. I was unable to complete my cross training as my ankle starting to worsen, almost swelling.

I spent the night elevating and icing my ankle, my today it was still sore and tender during quick movements. This meant I did not run my 7 miles.

But I am not about to give up. I'm going to run tomorrow, come hell or high water. If worse comes to worse, I will wrap my foot in steel bands so it won't hurt (as much) and run my freaking run.

I don't want to increase the injury, so I'm going to give it plenty of rest tonight, but this worries me a bit.

If I fail to make my run tomorrow, I can try to run on Saturday, which will mean I'll push my LONG run (17 miles) to Monday, and pick up with the training, only missing out on two days of cross training.

I intentionally kept a cushion in my training in case this happened, so I don't think is going to screw me, but it isn't very pleasant.

In any case, I must rest. I have a move in day from hell coming up.

Run fasterest.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Well That's a Fine Sensation

I often ignore problems until they become something of a critical issue.

Case in point, I had a sore ankle about two years ago. I thought it was just overstressed, and figured that pretending it didn't exist would make the whole thing better.

You can imagine what happened next.

Actually, some of you might not have the best imaginations, so let me guide you along.

I was running a two-mile sprint with my ROTC buddies when my right foot suddenly exploded. Not literally, but enough so that I fell down.

My friends thought I'd tripped, but my foot had just stiffened up and decided pain was the new craze. I thought I'd broken my foot.

And I was close.

I had a hairline fracture running through my foot, and I let it get worse and worse by continually running on it.

Since then, I take better care of injuries, or at least ones involving similar pain.

Today I ran my fourth key workout, the speed workout. Here was the goal.

4 x 800 meters @ 3:33

Here's what happened.

I had a stomach issue, which increased my DPD to near deadly levels (with a Rosenstein Scale of 2). I ignored it, figuring that eating my roommate's spicy chili would calm down my tumultuous tum.

And again, I was wrong.

I ran my first half mile without a hitch, taking a 2 minute breather in between. The second half-mile was nearly the same speed. Around this time, I felt like my stomach had exploded.

I laid down and did lamaze for a few minutes until my contractions were back down to three centimeters (if that's HUGE, forgive me. I don't know pregnancy so well)

I got my music back on and ran another halfer, but again, my stomach wanted to run too (and you can guess what else was thinking about "runs")

After nearly ruining one of my ever dwindling pairs of running shorts, I felt well-enough to run one last time.

Now, I've been trying to max my PT test with the Army for three years. The run has always been my Achillies Heel. The fastest I ever ran two miles was 13:40.

I thought about how badly I wanted to run faster, and I tore off down the track, Slipknot's "My Plague" blasting in my head.

And damn if I didn't shave ten seconds off my time.

Here's the breakdown.

1 - 3:21
2 - 3:23
3 - 3:25
4 - 3:13

I am going to tend to my stomach, and the massive chafe that has occured in secret since my 13-mile jog.

Just a heads-up: I'm going to be away for the next few days, so my posts on my cross training and second key workout might be delayed until Friday, but I guarantee to do them.

Stay motivated, run fasterest.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Old Man Knees

I have the knees of an 80-year-old man.

This is something I've come to terms with. I understand my arthritic joints and they, in turn, cause me massive pain as often as possible.

Usual I push through the aching and stiffness and make my body work for me.

With a half-marathon, not so.

Today I ran my third key workout today, the 13 mile, half marathon run at a pace of 9:16.

I began today by waking up late, which is basically the usual way I start any day. I got out of bed by 8 and had my gear ready twenty minutes later. I ate a gel power pack (which actually gave me a little boost) and headed out with a camelback and an iPod full of music.

From my start point on the Esplanade (along the Charles River) I started jogging, probably ahead of my pace by about five seconds. I got lost a few times, taking turns I didn't need and crossing the river twice.

After about an hour, I turned around, realized I'd gone a bit too far. I passed my brother running his own speedy pace, with girlfriend Amy skating alongside.

We both agreed that running in 88 degrees and 70% humidity was not the best move.

As I finished up my run, my knees decided to explode. I had to stop a few times, walking off some painful IT Band stretches.

Still, stretching never felt so good, and the reheated lo mein I'm eating right now is hitting the freaking spot.

Now let's see how it all feels tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Ass is Sore

Better late than never, that's what I say.

I missed my cross training on Friday due to a packing situation. Basically I had to pack and found myself buried under an avalanche of boxes and clothes.

Today I went down to the gym with the idea that I would conquer the damn rowing machine. I had thought it all out in my mind and had a solid gameplan.

I would get on the machine and work out.

OK, so it wasn't a soild gameplan, but it was a plan, and I do play games, so I guess it all works out.

I spent 25 minutes on a quick weight workout, making sure I let my shoulders rest for the rowing. After working up a good sweat, I sauntered over to the machine and set out to claim my victory.

The machine put up a damn solid fight.

Here's how I broke it down:

3 minutes easy row (34 s/m) followed by one minute hard (44 s/m)
I repeated this in two 10 minute sets, making sure I was working hard enough to keep my ehart pounding.

Afterwards I had a serious ache in my glutemous region.

I finished the day with an ab murder session and some light stretching.

Now I get to look forward to my first long run tomorrow, the 13 miler.

Lord have mercy on me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Too Easy

Today I ran my second Key Workout.

Surprisingly, I'm not dead. In fact, I feel pretty damn good.

This is the first time I've been excited for an exercise program. Usually I'll be motivated for a day or two, and then realize that working out means getting up early and not eating the foods I want.

But this morning I felt so good that I can't help but get excited.

I started out with a light jog to the running track, about three quarters of a mile away.

I ran two miles at an easy 8:46 pace, which will be my pace for the marathon this December. I actually felt like I could run faster for this portion of the training, but I wanted to pace myself.

Next I sped up, moving to a 7:54 mile. I ran one mile at exactly this pace, feeling a little bit tired as I rounded the curve. On the second 7:54 mile, I felt lighter, almost better than before. I didn't realize I was speeding up until I looked at my watch.

I ran the fourth mile in 7:30.

I slowed down, returning to my 8:46 pace for the last two miles of this six mile run. After the final lap, I jogged home, making the whole trip about seven miles, or just over a quarter marathon.

And what freaks me out is how good I feel right now. I've had endorphines after a workout before, but this is great. And the idea of running a marathon is starting to seem less scary than before.

Today I feel like a champion. Granted, we have a big run on Sunday, and that could make or break this regiment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Et Tu, Snooze?

Let's assume, for a moment, I am a naturally lazy person.


Now imagine I have terrible sleeping habits, mainly due to the fact that I seem to be the only person within a million miles of Earth who has any knowledge about all the things with which my friends have problems.

Basically people call me at two in the morning asking for help.

Today began my first cross training workout. The program I am on for this marathon dictates three days of intense running with two days of cross training, allowing the legs to rest up for the next run.

I decided, as a soldier and someone who wants to look good at the beach, that some weights were in order.

But my alarm clock had other ideas.

About a year ago (give or take) my alarm was unplugged, and I have yet to reprogram the damn thing. I use my cell phone as my alarm, with the Mario Bros. theme as my alarm.

It's worked so far.

But this morning I just could not be motivated from my sweet slumberous bed.

I must have hit the snooze a dozen times.

I finally got up around 8 and decided to get to the gym. This would have been easier if my contacts had decided to fit in my eyes correctly. Instead, they made a fuss and tried to dig their way out the back of my cornea.

After inventing some new swear words (one involves ramming a mountain through the small end of a dolphin's mother--don't ask) I started off to the gym, school ID in hand.

I should add something here: At my school, you have one ID for all the things you need to do, like go to class, the gym, the book store, and the convenience store. Should you lose this ID, you're SOL.

I have about five IDs, all "lost" at some time or another because I have a brain like a target at a shotgun testing facility. I brought one of the deactivated IDs to the gym and spent five minutes discussing how "silly and fun" it was that it had happened with a rather unkempt woman who smelt of burnt ambition.

Finally I started a simple weight workout. This went fine, until I moved on to my cross training. I tried rowing.

Yes, I sat down at a machine and pretending to row a boat. And let me tell you: rowing is damn hard. I nearly blew out my lungs trying to maintain a good pace. I was dying by five minutes and dead by ten.

I moved on to the bikes, because I figured an easier workout done longer is better than a heavy workout never done. I biked at 90 rpm with some medium resistance for a half hour, making sure I dripped sweat all over the place, before finally limping off to go home.

All in all, I feel pretty worked out, so I think I accomplished my goal for today. Tomorrow, a moderate run at a moderate pace.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sweaty Gnut Sak

Hello all.

Welcome to another blog by another guy, in this case me.

I'll skip the introduction, since you can find that in the top right corner and I don't want to insult your intelligence any more than my insane ramblings (to follow) will.

Today I began training for my first ever marathon. I'm using the Pierce, Murr and Moss book Run Less, Run Faster.

I think that I am in pretty good shape, all things considered. I have several reasons for such assumptions.

- I am in the army, and train excessively throughout the year.

- I was a wrestler in high school and had unending endurance.

- I am stubborn, and I feel that quality is in some way athletic.

So you can understand how it feels to have my ass handed to me by three simple miles.

Today I ran what is called Key Workout #1 for week 16 (the weeks count backwards to marathon day). I did a 10 minute warm-up, followed by three miles as a solid pace, finishing off with another 10 minutes cool-down.

Here's what happened.

My intended pace was 7:21 per mile.

First Mile: 7:27

I started off great, but around the third quarter-mile my compression shorts started sliding down a bit. My running shorts were resting comfortably on my hips, but my undershorts found their way to my knees. I can't explain how, but it happened.

Second Mile: 7:32

Now I'm running ten seconds behind my pace time and I'm sucking wind. I start to think I can't perform these workouts as intended and I'm getting very demotivated.

Third Mile: 7:21

I get pissed off at the track, the wind, and my own failing lungs and go balls out for 4 minutes. I realized I'd covered more track than before and slowed down to a more manageable pace and finished right on time.

After my cool down I realized just how sweaty I had become. It was pretty serious.

I have at least proven to myself that I can make the pace, if only once. Now I need to make that my only pace.

And I need new shorts.