Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some running non-running musings

It's a week until the end of the month so I had better run 6 out of the next 7 days if I'm going to achieve my goal from my previous post of being up to ~6 days/week of running by the end of the month. I've been struggling a bit with my motivation lately. I don't have any races on my schedule and since I'm not training for anything specific right now, I find it way too easy to skip a day here or there. I haven't been doing any speedwork while I recover from my hamstring problems and I find doing base mileage every day to be rather boring and monotonous. It's also really hot out. I'm kind of caught in this spiral where I know that I'm not in great racing shape so I don't particularly want to run a 5K (especially in this heat and humidity) since I know it will be slow. I was thinking of running the July 4 5k, but last year I barely broke 17:00 and I'm not even in great racing shape right now. Since I'm not signed up for any races, I'm not really driven to run 6-7 days a week and if I don't run that much, I won't be in good racing shape so I don't want to sign up for a race and run embarrassingly slow. And since I'm not signed up for a race, I'm not real motivated to run 6-7 days/week and.....

I'd like to run the 10 miler and 1/2 marathon in October and the Park to Park 5 miler which was moved to the fall, but I'm not sure how my training is going to be going in October with a 1 month old. I probably should just work on getting back in good shape and we'll see how racing goes this fall.

Today I booked flights to Cincinnati for my wife and myself to visit my in-laws next month. On Continental it costs $900 for 2 tickets from Houston to Cincinnati, but if we fly from Austin, it is only about $600. The flight from Austin connects in Houston and we'd fly on the exact same flight from Houston to Cincinnati but it's $300 cheaper. What's with that? Seriously. I booked the flight from Austin. I get to drive my wife's car on the way to Austin and I save $300 so it's a pretty good deal for me.

I was watching the US soccer match today on my computer at work and trying to keep it under wraps, but I involuntarily yelled out "Yes!!!!" in the 91st minute and about 4 people come running down the hall to see the replay. I don't know if you could have had a much better finish to the game. I'm still trying to figure out which is more impressive: 59-59 (suspended for darkness) in the 5th set or the US soccer match finish.

Well I'm off to bed now. I'm going to run in the morning and Suzanne isn't going to let me make any excuses in the morning.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

6/19 - 12 miles - 1:26

I woke up Saturday morning and was still pretty sore and stiff from the weights I did on Thursday. I hit snooze on the alarm and ended up running a little late and missing the start. I started the run and then took a shortcut when I got to memorial park and got close to the group I run with and caught up with them another 1/2 mile later. It was about 80 degrees out and very humid and rather miserable. I was feeling pretty good midway through the run and started pushing the pace of the group a bit midway through. We were knocking out the miles at 7:00 - 7:05 pace in the middle of the run and I felt decent until we had about 3 miles left and i knew that I had probably pushed the pace a little hard. I still ended up finishing with a couple of 6:54 miles, but I was toast at the end of the run. I ended up with 12 miles in 1:26.

I had some illusions of going and running the Dad's day 5k after the workout, but I was too beat and a little dehydrated. Today's run was the longest run I'd done since the Boston marathon and it wasn't really that spectacular, but I was able to push through and finish the run fairly strong even though I was hurting the last couple of miles. My hamstrings and legs felt good from an injury perspective and the soreness I had was just related to the lifting I did and being a little dehydrated. My goal now is to be back running 6 days a week by the end of the month and work on getting my mileage back up a little higher.

6/18 - 101 Heat index

Today's run was rather miserable. I had done weights on Thursday and probably overdid it a bit on the lunges and my legs were still sore and a little stiff. I had gone in to MSHC for another treatment in the morning so I didn't make it out for my run until about 5:00 pm. Since I was planning on running with the Kenyan Way group in the morning, I didn't want to overdo it. A few weeks ago I'd gone out and run a pretty hard run on a Friday afternoon with Sam and I was toast for the Saturday run.

I checked the weather before I headed out the door and it said the temperature was 92 and the heat index was 101. After the first 1/2 mile which was really slow as I loosened up, I averaged about 7:25 - 7:30 pace for the rest of the run. I only did 5.25 miles because I didn't think that an extra mile would really do a lot extra for me other than wear me out or dehydrate me a little more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More updates and improvements

Sorry I havent been doing much updating lately. My wife and I took a week and a half vacation to California and I've been pretty busy this week. I think I'm really starting to see some results from my therapy at MSHC and I'm hopeful I'll be able to come back even stronger and faster than before. On Tuesday I went in for another treatment and the doctor was surprised at how my flexibility has been improving and I've actually been kind of surprised myself. Nobody is going to mistake me for a gymnast, but my hamstring flexibility is much better than it was a few weeks ago. I've also been very consistent at doing some strengthening exercises for my hips/glutes and I can tell that I have made a lot of progress compared to where I was 6 weeks ago when I first went in for treatment.

I got a few runs in on our vacation. We went to San Francisco, Yosemite, Monterrey and Napa Valley. One of the runs in Napa Valley literally went straight up a mountain. I knew their would be some uphill, but I was working hard and running almost 10:00 pace going up the hill. It was so steep I couldn't even run normally coming down because I would have wiped out. It was one of the toughest runs I'd done in a while. The weather was so great in Northern California and so miserable back here in Houston. I haven't particularly enjoyed going out run with the heat index in the upper 90's or the low 100's. I've felt pretty good on my runs and I feel like I'm running with better form with the exercises and work I've been doing. The real key will be when I get out on a long run or a harder workout and we'll see how my form holds up when I'm tired.

I was going to try to run with Sam this morning but he's taking a little time off to recover from an achilles injury so I decided to get an extra hour of sleep and just torture myself over lunch. I think the temperature was pushing 95 and the heat index was around 100 and there wasn't a lot of shade on the route I ran. I did 7.25 miles in 53 minutes and it was tough in the heat, especially the last couple of miles. Saturday I may run the Dad's day 5k with one of my friends after my 12 mile Kenyan Way run/warmup. I'm just hoping to run about 6:30 pace and see if I can hang with my buddy. Tomorrow morning I'll try for about 8 miles and then I have another appointment for treatment. That's about what's new with me.