Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still Here, Just Slackin on my Posting

Well I have definitely been slacking on my posting while at the same time actually keeping up on my running. When I started my new job I thought I was going to have all kinds of extra time in the mornings to work out, which I do, but unfortunately my weak side tells me that I need to use that extra time for more sleep instead of more working out. I have been running four times a week to prepare for the San Francisco Half Marathon in February and it has been going fairly well. The only hang-up I have right now is that my shin muscle is still bothering me from time to time on my runs. I usually can feel it tightening up around mile one and then it will either get worse or gradually loosen up and not really bother me for the rest of the run. Yesterday I massaged it after our evening run and then gave it a quick rub before my run this morning which seemed to help (today, not yesterday). On the run yesterday evening it was really bothering me – it wasn’t really tight and painful but it was consistently irritating through the whole six miles. Oh well, I guess there isn’t much I can do about it except stretch, massage it, and get back in the cross training groove. I had this problem a couple of years ago but not at all last summer when I was running a lot. I think the main difference between those times (and now) is that I was cross training a lot during the summer months. This morning I had a good run and my average pace was 7:42 for four miles. I tried to pick up the pace on the last mile and it came in at 6:50. Also, one positive thing I have noticed is that legs are giving out before my lungs so I know my cardio is still in great shape.

Jen and I went to New York the week before Christmas and had a great time. We stayed in Midtown at the Waldorf Astoria and went all over Manhattan while we were there. One of the mornings we got up and went for a run in Central Park – it was really cool. Jen has posted a link to some of our pictures on her site; I would say check them out if you have time but chances are if you are reading this you have already been to her blog and you have probably already seen the pictures.

After the 11th of January I will be moving into a new workspace which should enable me to keep up on my posting and blog reading. As it is now I am right next to my supervisor and being a new employee I am keeping the extra curricular activities to a minimum for now.

Oh yeah, Jen gave me a great gift for Christmas this year (in fact I will go as far as to say it was the best gift) – a Garmin 305! I have not yet used the heart rate monitor but plan on doing so in the near future. Just having one along with me for my runs is great since I can now vary my route instead of having to run the same course every day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

First week - Check

Last week was my first week on the half marathon training plan and so far so good. During the first three runs of the week (Mon, Tues, and Thurs) the muscle on the outside front of my lower leg was cramping up around the one mile mark and I was having to stop and stretch it out for a couple of minutes before starting up again. It would remain fairly tight for the rest of the run but wouldn’t be so bad that I needed to stop again (although I wanted to a few times). By Thursday I was getting pretty frustrated; I would say discouraged, but I think it was more just general frustration since I have not had this problem for a long time. That combined with the fact that I have been eating poorly (lots of cookies, chocolate, and other holiday treats) had me frustrated with myself but I am focused on getting back on track and into a groove. We are heading to New York next week so we will be eating out while we are there but I think I can make some good choices when ordering and stay away from treats and sweets.

In total I ran four times last week:

Monday – 4mi in am
Total Time: 32:40
AP: 8:10

Tuesday – 4mi in am
Total Time: 32:37
AP: 8:09

The first two runs of the week were pretty much the same – start running, stop around the one mile mark and stretch out my leg for a couple minutes, continue running and analyzing my tight/sore “shin” (I say shin because it’s not really my calf, but since there’s no muscle in your shin it’s not really that either), try to make my foot land differently to see if that is the problem (smart, I know), think about it obsessively for the next three miles, then finish up and stretch.

Thursday – 4mi in am
Total Time: 31:07
AP: 7:47

Same situation as above except I decided that I was going to pick up the pace to prove to my leg that it had no business cramping up and dictating the pace of my run – I was going to show it who was boss. Fortunately this did not lead to any additional injury, but I’m sure it didn’t really help either.

Saturday – 6mi in am
Total Time: 51:40
AP: 8:37

Jen is still in her post-marathon recovery phase (in my opinion a huge accomplishment as she is usually chomping at the running bit and inevitably presses her luck and runs too early) so she joined me for this run on her bike. We took the iron horse trail so I could run on the asphalt since Jen thought that one of the things causing my leg issues could be that the first mile of my morning loop is on concrete sidewalk. I started out at around an 8:45 pace and as we neared the mile mark I could feel my leg starting to tighten up. I maintained the pace I was at but just kept my foot and lower leg relaxed and didn’t try to change my stride at all. After a few minutes the “pre-tightness” let up and my leg didn’t bother me for the rest of the run. I kept the pace right around the 8:40’s for the next three miles then picked the pace up for the last two miles.

This week I have four miles on Monday and Tuesday, six on Thursday, and either six or eight on Saturday (can’t remember which one it is).