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Marathon Training Week 9 Recap – Back in KT Tape

Number 9 Sign by tedeytan from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Number 9 Sign by tedeytan from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

KT Tape is my friend. When I did the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona half marathon in 2013, I think my feet and legs were taped up from November until after race day in January. Since doing physical therapy for my shin splints and re-working my running form earlier this year, my pain is greatly reduced, but I’ve been plagued by post-tib pain in my left leg lately. So I’m back in KT Tape for the foreseeable future. Here’s how this week of training went.

Monday:  Rest day. My quads definitely feel like they ran a half marathon yesterday. My neck and back are bit sore too.

Tuesday: It was a chilly start to the day – only 58 degrees when I started my run. I’ve given up on running on the treadmill and elliptical at the gym. Running in the real world may take longer, but it’s a lot more fun. I listened to an old episode of the Evo at 11 podcast wile I ran 4.5 miles – thanks for making me laugh.

When I got back, I cranked out 100 push-ups: 4 sets of 22, 1 set of 12. I wonder, once I get up to doing 4 sets of 25, if I could increase it to 6 sets of 25, twice a week. I think that would be more efficient than doing 100 push-ups, 3 times week.

Wednesday:  Another chilly morning run with Evo at 11 – 7 miles this time. It wasn’t that painful, but I felt like I was running exceptionally slow for the last 2 miles.

Thursday: I had an early morning event so I moved today’s run to tomorrow. I finished my push-ups for the week in the evening: 4 sets of 23 and 1 set of 8. The last 3 reps of each long set were a bit challenging. I expect to be up to 4 sets of 25 by the end of next week and hope to be up to 6 sets of 25 within 2 weeks after that. I love having muscle definition in my arms.

Taping my Post Tib with KT Tape - I'll probably have my leg taped up most of the time until after the marathon

Taping my Post Tib with KT Tape – I’ll probably have my leg taped up most of the time until after the marathon

Friday: I was in hurry this morning so I didn’t heat my hip before running 4.5 miles. That was a mistake.  It hurt like hell by Mile 2. The Creative Giant Show, a new podcast by Charlie Gilkey, kept me somewhat distracted.

When I got back from my run, I decided it was time to step up the care for my left post tibialis that’s been sore so I taped it up with KT Tape. You can wear KT Tape for as long as it stays in place so I’ll be wearing and sleeping in knee socks for the next 9 weeks to keep it from rolling and catching on things.

Saturday: I ran 10 miles today, and yes, I heated my hip before I headed out. It still hurt but it was much more manageable. As usual, I was entertained by the lovely Scott Mantz and Alicia Malone with their Profiles podcast. They featured Julia Roberts this week. I was bummed when they announced that they’re taking next week off so I’ll have to find something else to entertain me during my 15-mile run.

Ironman Arizona is tomorrow. On the second half of my run, I saw a lot of fit people riding very expensive-looking bikes. I assumed they’re all Ironman athletes getting in one more ride before turning their bikes in for the race.

Sunday:  It was weird getting on my bike after having a week off from cross-training. I rode for 19 miles and I noticed the ride is starting to get easier, except when I ran into a pretty strong head wind around Mile 3.  I hope it doesn’t cause any problems for the Ironman athletes.

I think I’m starting to experience the constant soreness I’ve seen in other friends who are marathon runners and triathletes. Sometimes it hurts less to run than walk, and sometimes it hurts all the time, especially my hip when I go from sitting for period of time to walking around.

Weekly Totals:
Running:  26 miles
Biking:   19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 8 Recap – Running Hurts!

Looking for Answers? by David Bergin Photography (Creative Commons License)

Looking for Answers? by David Bergin Photography (Creative Commons License)

Week Eight of following Hal Hidgon’s training program has been about managing pain.  This week I was scheduled to run a half marathon on Sunday and I was bummed that I couldn’t find a local race. It’s much less painful to run with the fanfare of a race around and it’s nice to have people cheering for you along the way. In case you wondered if it matters that you’re on the sidelines – it makes a huge difference. Here’s how last week’s training went.

Monday:  I didn’t have a workout scheduled for Monday but I was preparing to lead a 4-mile hike in Papago Park as part of a continuing legal education lecture on Friday. I wanted to make sure I knew where I was going, we went out and walked the route.

Tuesday: I’m not sure I’m going to keep hitting the gym for my Tuesday run. I was annoyed to see that both treadmills weren’t working when I got in there this week so I did my 4.5 miles on the elliptical again – in 31 minutes. I kept myself entertained by listening to three episodes of The #AskGaryVee Show podcast. The only benefits of working out in the gym is I tend to get my miles done faster and I can periodically glance over at my reflection in the mirror to check out my slowly increasing muscle tone.

After my “run,” I cranked out my first 100 push-ups of the week – 5 sets of 20. I’m thinking I’ll but up to 4 sets of 25 by Week 10 and might try to push myself to increase my push-ups to 300/week from 200.

Wednesday:  My hip and feet hurt getting out of bed this morning. Determined not to let that stop me, I headed out on my usual 6.5-mile run. The pain let up after the first mile and returned around mile 4 when I was going up the hill for the second time.

I went to the Injury Clinic at Runner’s Den to get my hip looked at. Matt from Endurance Rehab is always so helpful and super knowledgeable. He poked and prodded at me, had me walk and run a few steps (and said my gait looked good so thanks to Eric my physical therapist for fixing my running form).  He said I don’t have hip problem but a glute problem. He suggested I heat my muscle before I run and roll it on my foam roller afterwards.

Hanging out with my heating pad wrapped around my hip and butt is easy. Working it on the foam roller hurts like a bitch – it’s like self-inflicted deep tissue massage. It helps but geez it’s painful in the process. I’m glad I’m a masochist, but I much prefer to have someone inflict this type of pain rather than having to do it myself.

Thursday: This was my first run where I put heat on my hip and glute before heading out to run 4.5 miles. It helped a lot. Right now my 4.5-mile run has me turning around in the middle of the Mill Avenue Bridge. Something about that seems incomplete. I’m looking forward to my training program bumping me up to 5 miles on Thursday so I can run the whole length.

When I got back, I finished my push-ups for the week: 4 sets of 21 and 1 set of 16. I like seeing veins in my arms when I do them.

Friday: No official training today but I had my 4-mile hike. It was a nice mostly-flat walk.

Saturday: My training program says to run a half marathon on Sunday so I got today off. I’m really bummed that there wasn’t a half-marathon race in my area this weekend.  The race environment is so much more fun, and strangers cheer for you.

Sunday:  I ran a half marathon by myself today. I let myself wake up a little more than usual, had a bagel and a banana for fuel, and put in my contacts so I could enjoy my surroundings more. Despite these allowances, this was a pretty painful run. My feet and right glute hurt from step one. My shins started hurting around mile 4. By mile 8 it seemed like everything from the knee down hurt on both sides. Around mile 10 I had to pick up the pace a bit to cross the street before the light changed. Based on the reaction from the car that was waiting at the intersection, I think I actually grunted. (Sexy I know.) The last mile was pretty brutal. But it got done and that’s what mattered. I finished in about 2:15. Hat tips to Scott Mantz and Alicia Malone of Profiles and the Dr. Drew Podcast for keeping me entertained.

After my last half marathon, I booked a two-hour massage the next day. The only thing I have scheduled after this run is several sessions with my foam roller and work.

Weekly Totals:
Running:  28.6 miles
Hiking: 8 miles
Push-ups:  200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 7 Recap – And the Pain Begins

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Lucky 7 by Jim68000 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

When I was in college, my friends and I were frequently flyers at the piercing parlor. (I’ve had 14 piercings in my life but I’m back down to 2 currently.) After my last piercing they gave me a sticker that says, “We put the ‘f*ck’ in ‘That hurts.’” That was theme this week.

Monday:  I had early plans on Tuesday this week so hit the gym today. To my dismay, the treadmill was taken so I jumped on the elliptical instead. I did 4.5 miles in 32 minutes (~8.5 mph). The last time I ran on the treadmill average, my average speed was 7.1 mph. I burned fewer calories than running but I was super sweaty by the end of my workout. Hat tip to Dr. Drew and Gary Vaynerchuk whose podcasts kept me entertained.

When I got back, I knocked out 100 push-ups: 5 sets of 18 and 1 set of 10.  It was challenging at first but got easier by the third set. I hope to be up to 5 sets of 20 next week and build up to 4 sets of 25 within 3 weeks.

Tuesday: No workout today. I spent the day at Shankminds Phoenix.

Wednesday:  Back to running in the real world today, but I accidentally ran 6.7 miles instead of my usual 6.5 because I told a wrong turn into the condo complex next to mine and I got half way around their parking lot before I realized what I did. I did some speed work until I experienced a bit of hip pain around Mile 4 and took it easy for the rest of the run. If this issue keeps up I’m going to hit the injury clinic at Runner’s Den next week.

After my run I finished my push-ups for the week:  4 sets of 19 and 1 set of 24.

Thursday: I went super pathetically easy on today’s 4.5-mile run. I’ve been trying to research hip pain related to running and I wonder if my pain is caused by doing speed work and running on hills. Everything from my waist down seemed to hurt today with a 2 or 3 out of 10 on the pain scale. Hat tip to The Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart for entertaining me today.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday:  Holy crap today’s 12-mile run was hard. My right hip and left post-tib hurt from step one. My goal for the run was just to finish without stopping – except for stoplights. I felt pretty pathetic sometimes but I got through it. The last three miles with the hill were really hard. That’s when my knees and quads really started to hurt and I was running so slowly. It barely counted as running. My thanks to Profiles with Malone and Mantz for their extended show about Alfred Hitchcock that kept entertained and distracted from my pain.

My New Shoes

My New Shoes

After today’s run, I checked my running log and saw that I’d run over 330 miles in my current pair of shoes. That doesn’t include wearing my running shoes out and about or walking Rosie. This pair of shoes has probably walked 400-450 miles since I got them in July. My post-tib has probably been hurting more because my shoes are dead. While I was out running errands, I hit REI for a new pair of insoles and Runner’s Den to replace my shoes. Nate at Runner’s Den said the wear pattern on my old shoes (Asics GT-2000) looked “perfect” so I’m definitely in the right shoes for me so we just replaced them. (I’m glad they still had them in my preferred color because it looks like next season’s colors for these shoes are ugly.) I also hooked myself up with another pair of Asics running shorts with the built-in brief and Feetures seamless socks.

Sunday:  The increased muscle tone in my quads definitely came in handy on today’s 19-mile bike ride. I’m able to ride harder and faster than before. (Wait, that sounds dirty.) More endurance + less pain = happier Ruth. And it was nice cool 68 degrees this morning – perfect for a bike ride.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 27.7 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 6 Recap – The Need For Speed

T0.3 by Connor Burton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

T0.3 by Connor Burton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Maybe it’s because I wanted to push myself or maybe it’s because I’m impatient, but whatever the reason, I did speed work with all my runs this week.

Monday: I hit the ground running this week – at least on work. No workout  scheduled for today, though I’m starting to see a network of veins beneath my skin. I feel stronger and I’ve definitely noticed an increase in my muscle tone.

Tuesday: Tuesday is my official speed work day when I run on the treadmill – aka the human hamster wheel. I ran 4.5 miles in 37.5 minutes. Running on the treadmill is so boring, even with the most entertaining podcast in my ears. It’s only redeeming quality is it’s faster than running on the street. I knocked out my first 100 push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 16 and 1 set of 20. I like seeing the veins pop out of my arms as I’m getting stronger.

Wednesday: One of the benefits of running in October is it’s cooler in the morning. The downside is it’s also dark. I think it’s time to bust out my reflective belt so cars can more easily see me. I’d wear a headlamp if it were more comfortable – I don’t like running as much when I can’t fully see where I’m going.  I had a good 6.5-mile run today. I did speed work by making myself run 200 steps at the beginning of each song that played on my iPod, plus an extra 100 running steps when I had to stop at stoplights.

Thursday: I tried a new 4.5-mile route today (with my snazzy reflective belt) that had a turn-around in the middle of the Mill Ave. Bridge. I hope I turned around at the right spot. I used the same plan for speed work as the previous day. Around mile 1.5 I felt a twinge of pain in my butt with the giggle of each step that was replaced by the intensity I felt in my quads around mile 3. When I got back I finished my push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 17 and 1 set of 15.

Friday: Rest day!

My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

Saturday: I listen to Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz during my long runs on Saturdays. It’s an awesome podcast about movies that features a different actor or director each week. Each  segment of the show is named after a movie, i.e., “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “First Blood,” “Quiz Show,” etc. My plan was to do speed work at the beginning of each segment, but I realized I can’t count my steps and listen to these two geek out over movies simultaneously, so I just tried to pick up the pace at the beginning of each segment. I had a bit of shin pain even before I started today’s run that didn’t get worse over the hour. I started getting pain in my right hip around mile 5 (of a 7.2-mile run). I’ll have to keep an eye on that. When I tried to train for a marathon a few years ago, I had to downgrade to the half when I experienced intense hip pain in my longer runs.  I hope my strength work and stretching will keep this under control.

Sunday: I challenged myself to ride the hill on McDowell Road between 52nd St and 64th St – by Papago Park – during today’s 19-mile bike ride.  This is a steep hill when I drive it so I knew it would be hard on my bike. I told myself that I’m doing my legs more good on this one hill than I’ve ever done on the elliptical in aggregate. I’m glad it was at the beginning of my ride.

I’m officially 1/3 through my marathon training. If memory serves, I was living in KT Tape six weeks into half marathon training the last time I trained for a big race. (I was also running with really bad form back then.) I’m really pleased with how my legs are holding up so far.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 22.7 miles
Biking: 19 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 5 Recap – First Double-Digit Run

Quick Question: Do you like this format better where I break down my training by day or do summaries of running, biking, and push-ups like I did last week?

5 by rosemary from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

5 by rosemary from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Week 5 of 18 of marathon training was my first 10-mile run. I haven’t a run this far since my last half marathon in 2013. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go but was remarkably pleased with how it went. This was also my first week of training while living in my new condo so I’m trying new running and cycling routes.

Monday: My weekend ended with car trouble so this week started out with a trip to the car dealership for repairs. I walked a total of 4.5 miles to and from the dealership. This distance doesn’t count for anything but I want to document that I was moving. My left shin hurt a bit in the process which reminded me of my physical therapist who said that running is easier on my body than powerwalking (which is what I calling walking). I also cranked out 100 push-ups – 5 sets of 14 and 2 sets of 15 – with no problems.

Tuesday: My complex has a gym so I’m taking advantage of it to do some speed work by running on the treadmill once a week. I ran 4.5 miles in 38 minutes. The speed was set between 7 and 7.6 mph. I felt like I was on the ultimate human hamster wheel. The most painful thing about this run was how bored I got. I listened to an old podcast featuring Gary Vaynerchuk from when Crush It came out, but even that barely took the edge off how boring it is to run nowhere.

Wednesday: I did a 6.5-mile run today at sunrise. I opted not to use my iPod so I could get a better sense of the route. I was already running with glasses or contacts so I dind’t want to dull all my senses. I purposely picked a route that I can easily extend for longer distances and one that has some hills. I heard the marathon route for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona has a hill around Mile 20 so I want to make sure I’m ready for it. I also finished my push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 15, 1 set 13, and 1 set 12. I’m looking forward to getting up to 5 sets of 20 in the next week or 2.

Thursday: I made the mistake of running towards downtown Phoenix for my 4.5-mile run and ended up in a somewhat sleazy part of town. I suspect it was a good neighborhood to look for meth or a hooker. Thankfully it was early enough in the morning that few people were out and about. Apart from my surroundings for the last half mile before my turn-around spot, it was nice run.

Friday: Friday was my rest day. I enjoyed not getting super sweaty before breakfast.

Saturday: Today was my 10-mile run. I think I ran a little slower than 10-minute miles and that was just fine with me. I just wanted to finish without too much pain – and I did that. The best part of my run was the podcast I listened to – Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz. It’s a podcast about movies and this week’s episode featured the work of John Hughes. I loved listening to them talk about films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. What made the show extra special (and extra long!) was they had awesome interviews with Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, and Judd Nelson.

Felt good at the time, by lunchtime my quads were sore – didn’t have time to stretch right after my run b/c parents were on their way over.

Sunday: I hopped on my bike for a 19.5-mile ride for cross training this week. I checked out the Grand Canal, which is a good route if you’re trying to get to central Phoenix near Indian School Road or Camelback Road. There were far fewer people on the canal than what I see on the Arizona canal – my preferred canal for riding and it made me sad to ride through poorer neighborhoods were I saw more homeless camps, stray dogs, and trash. I was amused, though, when my route took me past the parking lot for one of the Phoenix bathhouses. I was surprised so many cars were there at 8am. The last half mile of the ride was uphill. I was up out of the saddle pumping as hard as my legs could while telling myself, “This is going to make my legs look awesome!”

My quads are sore from this weekend’s workouts and I’m looking forward to a mellower Week 6. The long run is only 7 miles.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 25.5 miles
Biking: 19.5 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Please leave me a comment below and tell me if you prefer this format or this format for my marathon training posts.

Marathon Training Week 4 Recap – More Strength More Pain

Fence Number 4 by Ze'ev Barkan from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Fence Number 4 by Ze’ev Barkan from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I ran into quite a bit of pain this week as my miles are increasing, but it seems to have calmed down this weekend. I basically lived in KT tape the last time I trained for a half marathon. I put on fresh tape every Sunday and I’d wear it until after my run the following Thursday. I’m curious if that will happen with this training cycle.

Running
This week I ran 4.5 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, 6.5 miles on Wednesday, and 9 miles on Friday. The 9 mile run was scheduled for Saturday but I moved this past weekend so I knocked it out early. I had quite a bit of pain in my shins and my right hip. My physical therapist told me that a lot of runners get hip pain from lack of strength so I’m trying to keep my strong by doing lateral walks (side stepping) with a resistance band.

I ran my 9 miles on the canal where I ran on dirt most of the time. The pain was much less than running on pavement. So my trail-running friends were right about that. I just wish there was an easy way to keep the little rocks out of my shoes.  The 9-mile run did a lot of good for taking the edge of my shin and hip pain.

The miles increase pretty fast during marathon training. When I did the half marathon, the longest run I did was a 10-mile run during Week 11 of a 12-week training program. The fact that I’m already at 9 miles and doing fine makes me feel more confident about this race. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t increase you miles more than 10% week to week, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing more than that with this program some weeks but I don’t think there’s any getting around that.

Cycling
I moved this past weekend so now I have to figure out all new running and cycling routes. I thought about riding to Changing Hands bookstore which is about 9 miles away from the condo so round-trip would be 18 miles. I didn’t read my directions carefully and I don’t know that area of Tempe very well. I didn’t get lost but I didn’t know exactly where I was. Moving is stressful for me so my appetite has been non-existent so I opted to ride until I started getting tired and turned around.

I checked my mileage when I got back and saw I only did 12 miles, but it was fun to ride on the awesome bike lanes in Tempe. I’ve spent plenty of time in Tempe, but this is the first time I’ve had the chance to see it from my bike.

Push-ups
Push-ups were awesome this week – 100 push-ups on Monday and 100 on Wednesday – 8 sets of 12 or 13 each time. I think this week I want to do 100 and 100 again and start increasing a few sets to 14 to start building myself up to doing 4 sets of 25 push-ups.

I can tell I’m getting stronger legs too. There’s more definition in my quad muscles. I’m glad they’re not as sore this week as last week, except when I have to climb stairs.

Week 4 Totals
Running: 24.5 miles
Cycling: 12 miles
Push-ups: 200 push-ups

Marathon Training Week 3 Recap – Getting Better

3 is the magic number by DanBrady from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

3 is the magic number by DanBrady from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

By the end of this week, I can say my body is adjusting to training pretty well. I feel stronger and I’m noticing more muscle definition in my quads and shoulders. And I’m not going to lie – one of the benefits of training for a race like this is I get to look better naked.

Speaking of how I look naked, I spent the last week with a gash on my arm from my fall during week 2. It’s still healing and showing significant improvement in the last few days. Up until Friday it looked pretty gross while my arm was trying to regrow my skin and the bruises got darker and more yellow each day. We’ll see if there’s going to be a scar. I hope not.

Here’s a quick recap of each aspect of my training from the last week.

1005141834Running
I had four runs this week – 4.5 miles on Tuesday and Thursday and 6.5 miles on Wednesday and Saturday. This was the first week I ran the full distance of what I thought I’d been running for the last month. My left quad let me know it could tell the difference in the distance – not pain, just a little sore. Sometime this week I noticed how comfortable I’ve become with my new running posture. I’m averaging about 10 min/mile without pushing myself that hard (though I was inspired to kick it up a notch when I was passed by another running this week) and my pain is still minimal and transient.

It’s a well-known fact that I’m not a fan of stretching. It’s a necessary evil in my world. I stretch before and after each run, but not so much when I ride my bike. I can definitely tell on my Tuesday run that I didn’t stretch on Sunday. My lower legs were more sore than the other days of the week.

So far, I prefer to listen to podcasts when I run. This week I listened to the Dr. Drew Podcast, three episodes of The Mistake Podcast with Peter Shankman and Peter Keller, an old episode of Evo at 11 featuring Joe Holt, and the latest episode of Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz. The conversations on the shows keep my brain more stimulated and distracted than music. The one downside is I don’t like fussing with my iPod to flip between shows if I finish the show before I finish my run. I have a 20-mile run coming up in December. I really want to convince my friend Evo Terra to have our friends over to sit in ShEvo Studios, drink beer, and record a 200-minute podcast of their standard nothing-and-everything conversations to keep me entertained.

Biking
I had an awesome 18-mile bike ride at sunrise this week. (I also learned that I need to replace the batteries in my bike light because it was looking a little dim.) I still get a little tired towards the end but I my stamina and leg strength are increasing. I love my padded butt shorts. I feel bad that Rosie the basset hound hasn’t figured out that when I put these shorts on, it means I’m going out and she’s not coming with me. I’m moving next weekend so I’ll be changing up my route and beginning to explore Papago Park.

Push-Ups
The push-ups are going well. It doesn’t hurt to put my arms up anymore. I did 6 sets of 12 on Monday, 6 sets of 13 on Saturday, and finished up with 4 sets on Sunday alternating between 12 and 13 push-ups per set. This week the plan is to do my 200 push-ups over two days instead of three, doing 8 sets each day, alternating between 12 and 13 push-ups per set.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 22 Miles
Biking: 18 Miles
Push-ups: 200

Marathon Training Week 2 Recap – Annoying Things

Giant Number 2 by Ruth Hartnup from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Giant Number 2 by Ruth Hartnup from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Another week of training is in the books! This week of training was a success on the whole but had a lot of annoying moments in it.

  • I realized when I was mapping my long run the week that the run that I thought was 6.5 miles is only 5.25 miles – Eww! (So that means I only ran 19.5 miles last week, not 22.)
  • I’ve had intermittent problems with plantar fasciitis (arch pain) for most of my life. Keeping my shoes loosely tied helps because it allows enough space for my feet to swell when I run. That also means they’re loose enough to let little rocks in.  I don’t stop to shake them out unless they’re causing pain.
  • My Scraped Up Arm - 35 Hours After the Fall

    My Scraped Up Arm – 35 Hours After the Fall

    I dislike having to fuss with my iPod during my run. I prefer podcasts that are as long as my run. This could be more of a challenge as my runs get longer.

  • There is a strange truth about gymnasts – we have balance and grace in the gym but once you put us in the real world, we turn into complete klutzes. I caught my toe on a raised portion of the sidewalk 2.75 miles into my 7-mile run on Saturday. I got a bruise on my knee and a big scrape on my arm. I hope it’s not going to scar. I still have scars on my elbow from falling off my bike last year.
  • I know I’m a bit rigid and controlling. I planned to do an 18-mile bike ride on Sunday but unfortunately the storm on Saturday resulted in downed power lines across the canal. I had to turn back and finish my miles in other direction. It turns out I did 20.25 miles instead of 18 – the last two were with a head wind.

My friend is training for his first Ironman in November. He said he’s at a point in his training where he doesn’t get sore anymore. Although I have a lot less pain on my runs in general, I’m definitely not there yet. My quads are definitely sore from this week’s ride.

Care Label on my Cycling Shorts. Who Irons Spandex?

Care Label on my Cycling Shorts. Who Irons Spandex?

Padded Butt Shorts
As I climbed into bed after my first long ride, the base of my butt was sore. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get some padded cycling shorts. So that was my birthday present to myself this year. I opted for the $50 gel padded shorts instead of the $40 foam padded shorts because I think I’ll crush the foam faster than the gel will wear out.

I had a good ride this week. I was used to wearing cotton bike shorts and I hadn’t worn spandex shorts since my gymnastics days. It felt good to be in slide-y shorts again and the butt padding was awesome. I had no gluteal discomfort during or after the ride. I thought it was funny when I changed out of my riding clothes and I noticed that the care instructions mentioned that I can iron my shorts.

Push-ups Update
I got through my 200 push-ups – split out over three days: 50 on Monday, 80 on Friday, and 70 on Sunday. I’m doing 10-12 push-ups in each set. My chest and arms still feel like they’re getting a workout throughout the week but it doesn’t hurt to sneeze or lift my arms anymore. I’ll probably split my push-ups out over three days again next week before bumping it up to doing 100 push-ups, two times a week.

Week 2 Totals:
Running: 21.25 miles
Biking: 20.25 miles
Push-ups: 200

Marathon Training – Week 1 Recap

Week One of marathon training is in the books! I’m pleased with how it’s going so far and I encountered an unexpected challenge with my strength training.

20130324-024-of-365 by Wilson Hui from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

20130324-024-of-365 by Wilson Hui from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I was a gymnast for 17 years and I consider myself to be relatively strong. When I trained for the half marathon, strength training was on my calendar twice a week. The best upper body and core workout I know is push-ups. So I thought for the marathon I’d do 100 push-ups, 3 times a week.  That seemed easy enough.

And then Monday came. I made myself do 100 push-ups – taking as many sets as I needed and lowering down almost to the floor with each one.  It took 7 sets but it got done. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

By Tuesday I was sore. I ran my usual 4.5 mile while listening to the Invisible Office Hours Podcast. My legs have been doing well with running. I typically get a little bit of soreness in my shins or feet, but nothing worse than a 3 on a 10-point pain scale. The rest of my body was a different story. My triceps, chest, and abs were so sore that I felt like I was running with bruises all over my body. My abs hurt every time I sneezed.

Wednesday was a long run at 6.5 miles. It was sprinkling just hard enough that I didn’t want to bring my iPod. Only the diehards and people who don’t have treadmills seemed to be out on the trail. It was a nice run. When I got home I tried to do push-ups, but I couldn’t get into a push-up position without screaming pain radiating through my arms and chest. That’s when I remembered that my half marathon training only had strength work twice a week so I decided that I should do the same for marathon training and decrease my push-ups from three times a week to only twice a week.

I was a still sore on Thursday for a couple of reasons. I ran 4.5 miles and I could tell my body wasn’t used to running 3 days in a row. All summer I was running on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. For this race I have training runs scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and cross training on Sunday. My quad muscles could feel the difference – not exactly soreness but awareness of not getting as much rest between runs. I was surprised by how much my chest and arms still hurt from Monday.

Friday was a rest day and Saturday is my long run of the week – 6.5 miles this week. It was an easy 54-minute run. My new favorite movie podcast, Profiles with Malone and Mantz, kept me entertained. When I got back, I decided to split my 100 push-ups for the weekend over 2 days and do 5 sets of 10 each day. I still can’t go as low as I could on Monday but they got done. I’m thinking I should do 50 push-ups a day for 4 days each week until I get a bit stronger.

Sunday was my cross training day. I plan to ride my bike for most of my cross training days. I really don’t ride my bike enough; I love it. I did an 18-mile ride along the Arizona Canal. It was harder than I expected but it really shouldn’t have been since it’s been a few months since my last ride. One thing that’s nice about riding is I get to read everyone’s shirts. When I go running I usually don’t take the time to put in contacts so my world is blurry but they’re a requirement for riding. It was fun to see everyone’s shirts from past races. My ride took about 100 minutes and I knocked out my last 50 push-ups for the week when I got home.

I’d say it’s an excellent start to training for the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon.

Week 1 Totals:
Running Miles: 22
Bike Miles: 18
Push-ups:  200

Marathon Training for the RnRAz 2015

My training program for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon 2015 begins this week. I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon every year for four years (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013), (PR: 1:52:04), but then I had to sit out 2014 due to shin splints. Now that I’ve finished physical therapy and learned a new running posture, I’m ready to do another long race.

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2013 - Pre-Race with my Uncle and Cousin

Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2013 – Pre-Race with my Uncle and Cousin

I will be using one of Hal Higdon’s marathon training programs for the next 18 weeks. I’ve used his half marathon training program for my previous races with a lot of success. It’s easy to lock in to his program of how far to run on what day. I’m a little worried about how fast the mileage climbs on the long run days.  I’ll be running 10 miles by week 5. In his novice half marathon program, 10 miles is the longest run you do before the race and that’s in week 11 of a 12-week program. I hope my legs and feet can handle the stress.

I am grateful to be in the best running shape I’ve ever been in heading into a training cycle. I’ve been consistently running and stretching since March as part of the rehab from my injuries. I’m currently running 22 miles a week (2 4.5-mile runs, 2 6.5-mile runs). For previous races I was barely working out so the first 3-mile run of training was painful.

Since I’ve been running so much, I’m slightly modifying Hal’s program for the first 13 weeks. If the run in Hal’s program is less than what I would have run on my own, I’ll run the longer distance. For example, the first run in Hal’s program is 3 miles. I’d normally run 4.5 miles that day so I’ll do that distance instead.

I’ve also heard that the route for Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon has a decent hill around Mile 20. So right when I expect to really hate myself, I have to climb a hill. (This will be awesome for a masochist like me.) My training will definitely include some hill work to prepare for this. There was a small hill in the last Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon I did and I could easily tell whose training included hills and who only trained on flat ground.

My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

Hal’s program adds 1 day of cross training to the mix. I’ll probably bike 12-20 miles on those days but there may be some hiking and other fun on those days. I think I also want to add some upper body and core strength training by doing push-ups 3 days a week – just push-ups, not the 100 Push-ups Challenge.

The real challenge in doing a race is staying dedicated to the training program. I don’t know if non-runners appreciate how much time and dedication goes into preparing for a race. The race itself is filled with excitement, fanfare, and comradery with your fellow racers. Race day is easy – if nothing else you have adrenaline to get you through it. The training is hard – long hours of pounding pavement rain or shine (most likely by yourself), scheduling your life around your runs, potentially living with perpetually sore muscles, and taking care of minor injuries. (I literally lived in KT Tape my last two training cycles.)

I’m looking forward to training for my first full marathon and being able to share the journey with you.