Saturday, August 24, 2013

Signed up for a 10k..

Just too busy to keep doing much here besides logging my runs. Thanks to all of you out there in runner-blog-land for your comments. 

I've done 3 swims in the last two weeks. I'm trying hard and I think it's getting better but I really need to work on my upper body / neck flexibility. 

My fitness has been improving, here's the  by-weekly summary for the last 90 days:

Date   Miles   Pace    BPM   WHR%    Elev+     Elev-    YPB
2013-06-03 Mon 12.0 10:34 115.9 57.3 183.9 180.4 1.435
2013-06-10 Mon 33.2 11:09 127.6 66.9 1639.3 1635.6 1.257
2013-06-17 Mon 33.3 11:30 124.5 64.3 1286.0 1275.3 1.228
2013-06-24 Mon 6.8 10:03 122.0 62.3 44.4 47.8 1.438
2013-07-01 Mon 8.0 9:29 127.0 66.4 91.6 89.9 1.462
2013-07-08 Mon 30.6 9:31 124.1 64.0 152.4 162.7 1.489
2013-07-15 Mon 25.3 9:44 123.9 63.8 430.6 438.2 1.483
2013-07-22 Mon 30.2 9:33 125.6 65.3 255.5 258.6 1.471
2013-07-29 Mon 43.0 9:34 123.4 63.5 490.6 496.9 1.493
2013-08-05 Mon 33.0 9:31 122.7 62.9 394.9 363.3 1.513
2013-08-12 Mon 18.4 9:20 125.1 56.6 72.5 41.4 1.524
2013-08-19 Mon 28.5 9:21 124.1 64.1 417.4 432.8 1.525
Summary 302.3 9:58 122.4 62.6 5459.1 5422.9 1.423

The ypbs are improving steadily...the 1.2X ypb numbers are due to the Sun/Mon marathon 9 weeks in the past.

Low miles the last two weeks due to other things going on but this coming week should be better I hope, sigh.

In other news: I have a race in 4 weeks(!): the 29th annual Harvest moonlight 10k run here in Palo Alto.  It is held on places I run all the time so even though it's moonlight lighting I think I'll be ok. 

It's unlikely to be a PR, since I think the start will be pretty crowded and the beginning of the race is a bit narrow..I'm not sure yet since the course map is not published. But, it will be fun! I have 4 weeks to do some speedwork.  Today (Sat) I did 4 miles with 2x7:40 pace with 3 min rest between. Fun to do some fast running after just doing MAF stuff.

I will be doing mile intervals like that and a tempo run at a somewhat slower pace (8:15 or so) once a week.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Swim video....oh dear.

Monday I had another lesson from Laura, the swim coach I have been using.

After 6 sessions or so, I was not doing well. I have a smidgen more fitness so I *thought* i was doing better, but in reality my form had regressed. How do I know? I brought my video camera and Laura took some videos of me and I looked at them during the session after each drill.

I'm convinced after this that the only way to improve in swimming: be checked after every few practice sessions  so that you are not spending your time reinforcing a crappy form.

Video is key. If a picture is worth a thousand words, when it comes to learning a complex set of motions like swimming, a video is worth 100 thousand words.

Here's an 18 second video of my last lap during the 30 minute session. I'm trying REALLY hard to keep my left ear down on a very extended left arm during the breath.

Everything else is a mess as I focus on this: my legs are all over the place..there's a little scissors kick, like MANY people, when I'm on my side breathing. My elbows aren't high enough, etc. 

You'll notice I didn't show you the first video in the session....a bigger horror. Hopefully in a few months I'll look a better. I (and you) shall see...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stepback week...

After last weeks 43 miles, stepped back to 33 miles this week. The Scott shoes are working well and my little come-and-go toe bruise seems to be  just about gone now.

I still am going to order a pair of Kinvaras to use for racing...and for 10k and shorter I'd like to find a even lighter shoe. 

I had one swim on Friday which felt pretty good. Still all sorts of problems with my stroke but getting more fit and so things a bit easier ...just a bit. Still have to rest a lot as I go too fast....

Still can't left side breath worth a darn.

This weeks runs here:

Date Miles   Pace    BPM WHR%   Elev+   Elev- Y   PB
2013-08-06 Tue 3.1 9:54 118.2 59.2 26.2 25.3 1.485
2013-08-07 Wed 9.1 9:33 123.5 63.5 287.5 287.1 1.511
2013-08-08 Thu 5.0 9:35 120.3 60.9 17.6 17.8 1.532
2013-08-10 Sat 4.8 9:22 123.6 63.6 36.6 5.4 1.535
2013-08-11 Sun 11.0 9:25 124.1 64.0 27.0 27.7 1.505
Summary 33.0 9:31 122.7 62.9 394.9 363.3 1.514

Tuesday I was still a bit tired from the previous week so I did a very short 3.1 mile run. Almost never do that but I've learned to back off when I'm working hard for how fast I'm going. You can see my ypb was 1.4xx, which is low.

For the last 4 weeks I've been averaging 9:30 per mile and this weeks HR (122.7) is the lowest..gradually getting more fit.

Still doing that 9 mile hill run with 280' of up-down. 

Sundays 11 miler was a bit weird. The overall ypb of 1.505 was not bad but look at the splits for this run:

2013-08-11 Sun

For the first 6 miles the HRs were way low..ypbs getting up there (except for mile 3 which has a small hill on the bike overpass that dropped my pace..such bridges don't show up on the elevation numbers). 

Mile 5 was 9:11 pace at 121bpm HR! That is probably one of the best splits I've had at that pace.

But then all falls apart at mile 7 and beyond. I hold my HR at 125-ish and my speed drops to 9:30, and then to 9:45-50. Weird. It was not getting particularly hot and I had fueled with some GUs along the way. I didn't feel that bad,  but no flying feeling like the first 6 miles.

Not sure what's going on there.

On to next week! 

Hope to do two swims (first one a lesson and some videos for study will be taken) and hit about 40 miles for the week...still all MAF running 125bpm, except for the hill intervals I do once a week.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Summer running and new shoes.

I haven't posted for a while... since nothing much to say. I've been doing base pace MAF type running at 125bpm and building back up my endurance. Some trips and work crunches have caused ups and downs in my weekly mileage. 

Here's my trailing 90 day stats by week:

Date   Miles   Pace   BPM WHR%    Elev+    Elev-    YPB
2013-05-06 Mon 13.3 10:46 112.8 54.7 131.8 130.4 1.447
2013-05-13 Mon 37.1 10:25 118.1 59.1 313.1 315.4 1.435
2013-06-03 Mon 12.0 10:34 115.9 57.3 183.9 180.4 1.435
2013-06-10 Mon 33.2 11:09 127.6 66.9 1639.3 1635.6 1.257
2013-06-17 Mon 33.3 11:30 124.5 64.3 1286.0 1275.3 1.228
2013-06-24 Mon 6.8 10:03 122.0 62.3 44.4 47.8 1.438
2013-07-01 Mon 8.0 9:29 127.0 66.4 91.6 89.9 0.931
2013-07-08 Mon 30.6 9:31 124.1 64.0 152.4 162.7 1.489
2013-07-15 Mon 25.3 9:44 123.9 63.8 430.6 438.2 1.483
2013-07-22 Mon 30.2 9:33 125.6 65.3 255.5 258.6 1.471
2013-07-29 Mon 43.0 9:34 123.4 63.5 490.6 496.9 1.493
Summary 272.9 10:14 121.5 61.9 5019.2 5031.2 1.398

This chart starts the week after the Tacoma marathon, so some slow recovery running. Then the marathon double(in blue) , first marathon (Sunday) goes in one week, the second (Mon) the next week ..also way slow.

Finally around 7/08 I'm  not traveling and I start doing solid 125 bpm running. I also started swimming a couple of times a week. (This last week was a total fail for swimming: none! I've also been really bad about doing strength training or drills: none! Sigh. ) 

I did hit 43 miles this week....not really planned...

Monday and Tuesday I was feeling swamped at work and so I did no running or swimming.  Wednesday morning I decided I could NOT let my 5 runs-per-week norm go by the boards and so I ran Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun:

Date Miles Pace BPM WHR% Elev+ Elev- YPB
2013-07-31 Wed 5.3 9:25 123.9 63.8 35.5 36.8 1.503
2013-08-01 Thu 9.2 9:16 123.3 63.4 282.6 282.2 1.561
2013-08-02 Fri 4.8 9:30 124.7 64.5 16.9 18.2 1.471
2013-08-03 Sat 7.5 9:28 123.6 63.6 76.4 79.1 1.507
2013-08-04 Sun 16.3 9:51 123.0 63.1 79.1 80.6 1.454
Summary 43.0 9:34 123.4 63.5 490.6 496.9 1.494

...There have only been a few times I've done this. The 16 miler on Sunday was tough...I hadn't done any long runs greater than 10 miles since the double and after running 4 days in a row it was difficult for me after mile 12.  Luckily, Sunday morning was foggy and looked to stay that way long enough so I really felt I should take advantage and do a long(er) run.

Thursday's 9 mile run (in red) was of those days where you click and can tell you are well rested, the weather is not too hot or humid and your body is ready to go with low HRs and fast paces. Even with 280' of hills this run was in the top 10% for running economy (YPB)..comparing against all my 8-12 mile runs. It's a good sign when that happens...getting fitter.


Still no injuries, but I have had a bit of a niggle: my 3rd toe on my left foot has been feeling kinda bruised after some goes away after a day, comes back after some runs but not others, etc.

I knew why: my Kinvaras were way past due for replacement..the soles all worn, and they felt pretty dead when running (but still light though 8). Even with my homemade lift my shorter left leg causes my left foot to take more of a beating than my right.

Another problem is that the K's seem to have gotten narrower over time (I had to go from an 11 to 11.5, and I also delace the bottom set of holes to open it up some). My feet have also been spreading out in the forefoot in the last 4 years.. I think the pressure on my toes from the side in my left shoe may be contributing to the bruising. So I need wider shoes.

My heels are lined up in this you can see my left foot is quite a bit bigger. I have long toes that are pretty mobile (except for the poor mashed pinky toe), e.g. I can snap my big toe against my 2nd toe or wave them back and forth without touching. During my runs I often wiggle and scrunch them  (like grabbing the dirt with your toes) to relax them.

Both big toes are bent outward and the pink toes bent inward from a lifetime in narrow forefoot shoes.

So, time for new shoes! 

What to get? I went to Zombie Runner and wanted to find something with more cush, more width, and more wear resistance than the K's but not as heavy as the Brooks Launches. 

It's easy to get more width if you go for a more zero-drop shoe..those shoes are catering to the barefoot-like runners and mostly all have wide Merrill style forefeet. I don't feel I can go all the way to zero drop at my age and with my stiff muscles (stringy tough collagen) and tight a 'transition' shoe with 6-8mm of drop is the lowest I can go.

I picked the Scotts after comparing Brooks Pureflows on the treadmill in the store. The final face-off (foot-off?) was to run with left foot:Scott, right foot:Pureflow...(try this if your store will let's a great way to make the final comparison between two pairs that seem closely matched)

That test showed me the Scotts are more flexible than the Pureflows, and feel about the same weight. Both are heavier than the Kinvaras and more cush and should wear much much better.

I ended up getting size *12* in the Scotts to get a wide enough forefoot. Can you believe it? 5 years ago when I started running I was getting 10.5 to 11, now it's 11.5 - 12. Up a full size just to get the width. You can see that the 11.5 Brooks (left) is about the same size as the Scotts width problems with them.

The weights, from L to R: 
                       Brooks @ 10oz,  Scotts @ 9oz,  Kinvaras @ 8oz. 

(weights from my trusty postal scale)

I did the 16 miler today in the Scotts and they were fine. I did not like the extra ounce but I liked the extra padding. They will be a good replacement for the Brooks. I will probably buy another pair of Kinvaras for racing and speedwork only, or maybe try to find a 6 oz shoe for racing.


I still have no races signed up. 

I'm thinking of peaking for my favorite Tralblazer 10k race on Sept's the only 10k race I've run, actually. I have run it at 8:00 pace and I think I should be able to shave that down to 7:50 or so.

As for a peaked marathon, in the spring I may do Long Beach or Surf City again. Both are good PR courses (fairly flat, foggy mornings, well run). Toni doesn't want me to repeat races but for a peaked marathon I prefer a familiar course!

That's all for now..thanks for reading. I know I've been very bad about reading all your blogs and I do miss seeing what you are up to but just crunched for time, sigh.

Happy summer!