Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bike miles pass Running Miles

for the first time this year, my biking miles are more than my running miles:

Run: 322
Bike: 353

Courtesy of 44 miles today including Montebello and Redwood Gulch

I suspect that trend will continue

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Benchmark Workout

Run results for 20 minute TT

Course: Home to Almaden Los Gatos Blvd, 7:30 PM
First 10 min - 1.24 miles; AHR ~140
Second 10 min - 1.3 miles (7:45 pace); AHR ~ 150
Third 20 min - 2.88 miles (6:56 pace); AHR ~ 155

Decent pace, seems like heart rate isn't that high
Maybe by running in the dark I limited my speed?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

good swim workout

While I'm not really in the habit of posting the details of my workouts, I liked the way this swim went, and since it's kind of a benchmark workout I figured I'd post it for posterity. I'm not swimming much, maybe once a week. I am trying to up that a bit but since I do it ad hoc I don't have a schedule to fall back on when I don't feel like swimming. So I blow it off. I usually make up my workouts on the way to the pool. Typically I have a 2000 yard minimum and 2100 maximum - sounds like another barrier I need to break through eh? Today was 2,200 yards (!!)with 500 warmup, 500 with a pull-buoy and paddles, and then 10 x 100 descending splits and 200 warm down. The pull buoy 500 was good, I was shooting for 8 minutes and did it in about 7:45. The 10x100 was tougher. I had to remember to go easy on the first one, last time I did this I started at 1:31 and couldn't really do much better. Here are the splits:
1:32.5 (I lengthened my stroke here and went faster without much effort - interesting)
1:32.46 (still going down, if barely!)
1:25.2 (cranked up to 90%)
1:23.2 (gave it whatever I had left)

Just over 1:30 for an average.

Pretty satisfying to see that progression.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Do you have the signs? PMD

If you have postmarathon depression, you have had five or more depressive symptoms (including one of the first two listed below) for most of the past 2 weeks, including:
Inability to look at, let alone put on your running shoes
Lack of concern about the moldy marathon day gear still sitting on your hardwood floor.
Loss of pleasure in all or almost all of your exercise choices.
Appetite change-usually a need to keep eating well past your full point, with a focus on fats, simple carbohydrates, chocolate, and alcohol (usually a lot of beer, often in place of your morning run).
Significant (like 5 pounds) weight gain.
Depressed mood-tearfulness, hopelessness, and feeling empty inside, with or without severe anxiety.
Trouble waking up, even at noon.
Noticeable change in how you walk and talk-usually limping and sluggish.
An inability to hold, cuddle or clean your finisher's medal
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, based on your complete and utter 4 month focus on preparation to the detriment of all other activities, work, friends and family.
Considering running in the Clydesdale/Athena class in your next race.
Difficulty concentrating and making decisions, especially if you are trying to pick your next event.
Dry heaves at the mere mention of the word "Gu."

While marathon programs cover in great detail your training plans, pre-race nutrition, taper, and race plans, they are woefully short on addressing the runner's post race needs. Frankly, the only know remedies are either 1) swearing off marathons, in writing or 2) hitting the trails as soon as your legs say yes.

How do you deal with PMD?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Runnin' for nothin'

I thought it would be a great break to just go for a run without any pace goal, distance requirement, or purpose in my overall plan. Mentally, I needed an easy run. I am very pleased with the how the Furman Method worked out for me: by reducing my running schedule to three days a week, making every run count (1 long, 1 temp, and one track session each week), and mixing in two days of cross-training the training was very efficient if not voluminous. I only felt over-trained when I got off the schedule by racing, and I never felt injured. I was on the 3:30 program and came up a little short of that, but it wouldn't be fair to attribute that to the program: I got into it in week 6 and like i said I also raced when I shouldn't have.

What the program lacks (duh!) is the relaxing, run how you feel element that all runners appreciate. So yesterday was my first chance to relax and enjoy a nice trail run.

Sounds good in theory, but in practice the muscle soreness started to come back after a couple hills, and I realized that I'm still in recovery mode. Or maybe it was the 60 mile ride with Chris and Jason over the weekend? Either way, I'm still sore and not ready for any serious running. I covered about 6 miles in Quicksilver at a decent pace, but I had to back off towards the end. good to know that I really did empty the bucket...

What a great time to run now though. It's chilly (sub 50 at noon today) but the valley air is clean, the rains have done a number on the hills, and everything is really beautiful right now. Get thee to a trail immediately.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Post Napa

It's Wednesday and my legs are feeling reasonable. Justine and I (and Pepi) hiked up Sierra Azul and I added a mile very sloooow on the treadmill, and everything feels OK. I'm looking forward to getting back to running and setting a new goal, not sure yet what it will be.

This, by the way, is my official finishing shot. Seriously, did nobody think to move the yellow and orange pylons out of the shot?

Marathons are funny, everyone has a different experience and a different feeling afterwards. I talked to two different people who were on the course for the exact same amount of time, one loved it, one hated it. Justine said and I agree that it's a real shame to train for something so long and then leave it feeling unsatisfied or unhappy - I've been there and it sucks. It's a long day out there and there is always something you know you could have done better, but it's not like a hundred yard dash where you don't decide anything, you just go. With the marathon, for me each step feels like a decision: push now or hold back? run the hill hard? Run the downhill hard? Stop for the restroom? Man, all day it's one thing after another, and if you make the wrong decision at mile 2 you pay for it at mile 22.

As a runner gains experience they learn to concentrate and recognize what to do and when, but when you blow it you have regrets.

Speaking of experience... major shorts dilemna prior to the race. I have been running in the compression shorts throughout training, but if you'll notice I have a custom singlet on. One of the SJFit crew designed the shirts and had them printed, so most of us raced in them. Problem was that between the shirt and shorts there was just an alarming amount of tightness and my stylistas agreed that I looked a little weird.. So I went a little old school and threw on racing shorts over the compression shorts in a minimal gesture of modesty. It was a compromise, functional enough yet discrete enough. For weight savings I ripped out the inner liner in the race shorts, not really needed with the tights and all.

There was a lot of complaining about the weather, which indeed was bad. But to be honest it didn't bother me. Some wore jackets or even trash bags the entire race (one guy I passed was all flushed and over-heated and yet still had his trash bag on). I went with short and tank top. I doubt you can see too well from this shot, but there were points where it was dumping.

Anyway the point is that everyone has a different day, some feel great, some suck wind. I've been on both sides. Feeling great is better.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Napa Valley Marathon 2009 data

I charted and graphed my mile splits to get a sense for the race. The data is a little hard to see in this format, but what you are looking at is as follows:

Red columns are my mile splits
Green Line is my overall adjusted pace trend (i.e. what direction was my overall pace trending at each mile)
Blue Line is cumulative time
X-axis shows miles

Final Time = 3:36:47

Pace: 8:15

For comparison I charted my 2000 Silicon Valley Marathon data.

Final Time: 3:24:32

Pace: 7:48

Besides the obvious pace difference, I think I ran the 2000 race a bit more evenly, but that makes sense since the course was dead flat whereas Napa was bumpt at the end after downhills in the beginning. At Napa I didn't need to stop at all, but I did walk about 20 seconds through the last 3 water stops, so that affects the pace at the end.

One last chart. This one compares my average pace across three different races, SF 2000 (red)(notice the big drop-off at the end) SVM 2000 (green), and Napa 2009 (blue):

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Napa Valley marathon, the short report

Not everybody needs the data-crunching, blow by blow detail, so here's the short of it:

Race conditions: Wet, rained the whole race, temperature probably 57 degrees all day
Race Result: 3:36 and change
Subjective Analysis: I feel really happy with the race. My plan was to run about 1:43 in the first half, and I was a bit behind pace at 1:44 +; The overall goal was 3:30 but my realistic goal was 3:30 to 3:40 and I hit that. Since this is my first hard race since 2002 (I have a hard time believing it's been so long) I wanted to see whether I'd learned anything, and indeed I have. It was one of the best final 6 miles I've ever strung together, never dipping much below an 8:30 pace, never stopping, and even throwing in some crazy surges. According to my Garmin i was below 7 min/mile more than once towards the end.
Key Learnings: 1) Nutrition is key: I consumed a salt stick tab every 45 minuets and didn't cramp; I consumed 4-5 gels and ~400 calories worth of Accelerade and Sports Drink; Pepsi Rocks! I drank a flat Pepsi prior at mile 18, and it hit me at mile 22 and i picked up my pace probably a minute/mile for a bit; 2) Intervals are good training: I definitely benefited from my track work, especially at the end where I relied on my new found ability to ignore pain and keep grinding; 3) more Tempo woulda' helped - I think i coulda' used more temp running
Negatives?: Improvement is always out there. Overall i need to just keep running and building my base consistently if I want to get back to and below my old times. Key here will be volume and consistency, and setting the next goal which I haven't done yet.

Number crunching will follow.