9/16 Monday

I'm a little hung over from all the running over the weekend. I overslept to 3:40. This unusual, specially for a week day.  My focus is good, though. I think my playlist music helps, maybe the coffee. I've picked up two techniques from my Iwakuni days that are really paying off again. I'm alternating supinated and pronated grips during my five sets of chin.  This both increases my time between sets of identical movements and gives me a fuller, more satifying stress to my lats. I've also gone back to stretching between sets. It helps keep me focused on my work out and has the added benefit of getting me back into doing some flexibility work. I realize that there is no science suggesting a relationship between lower injury rates from running and stretching. But, for me, as my weekly miles drift above 40, I get impossibly achy without the stretching. It really feels like I'm on the edge of injury. After a couple of weeks' stretching, the aches during my runs have greatly decreased.

 

9/15 Sunday

8.5 miles, just to hit my goal 54 miles for the week. As expected, my legs were pretty dead and my pre-dawn pace was much slower than usual. This is where the mind-body link really starts to play games with me: as the sun came up, my pace dropped to my usual training pace. I always pick up speed when the dawn comes. My groin pain continues to decrease. I'm stretching regularly again.....though there's no science showing a decrease in injury rates from stretching, it certainly helps me run more ache free.

 

9/14-15 Saturday

Yesterday was an all-important repeat of last Sunday's long run, this time after a full week of training. I feel that a key point in my training for a marathon is not only the ability to run twenty or more miles at will, but to be able to do so after a full week of training. I hit 21.5 miles today. One caveat: I ran the long run on Saturday, vice Sunday. Typically, I do eight or nine Saturday, then go long on Sunday.

All in all, I was not happy with the way my legs felt. I had run 24 miles Tuesday through Thursday, with a day off from running on Friday. My calves and feet felt achy and tired for the whole run, I'd say excessively so beyond 15 miles. I wore my lighter 670's all week. My the achiness around my groin has continued to lessen, though I continue to stretch. I suspect that inadequate hip flexor strength may be contributing to the issue. Perhaps being more diligent with my planks will help this. Honestly, despite all this, I do not entirely trust my mind and self assessment. I've been prone to lack of self confidence all year. Normally, by this point in training, I feel strong enough to run over Everest twice. This year, a sense of low energy and achiness are never far from my mind, particularly on long runs. I wonder if this is a mental state that I learned while down with my plantar fasciitis last year.

On a positive note, my post run energy levels were very good. I even felt strong enough to accomplish five sets of bent over shoulder flies while doing household chores during the rest of the day.

I'm heading out for eight this morning.....hopefully, eight. I'm going to wear my more stable 940's to increase the support to my feet. Overall, I'm feeling mildly tired from yesterday's effort, but I find that these initial assessments do not predict my perception of effort and pace when I actually get out under the moon light.

 

9/9

As best I can surmise, the problem with my grown lay in over stretching my groin. By Saturday, I was symptomless. Sunday, I ran 21.7 miles. I ran it rather hard, so I was sore initially upon rising. By the end of my barbell workout, my legs were fine. Near total recover.

Blood pressure at the end of my run was scary low: 70/55.

Personal flaw I need to overcome. When I can't train. When I can't train, I get depressed. When I get depressed, I quit logging exercise. Then I lose track of recovery modalities and techniques.

9/6

I'm knocked out of running by a strange soreness in my groin. I think it cropped up when I started doing butterfly stretches, but I can't be certain. My right kinetic chain has been prone to random soreness, aches, and tingling for a couple of years. So I increase my focus on strength. Yesterday, I did compound, upper body barbell movements. Today, it's legs. Deadlifts, because they work everything. Good mornings, to balance the deadlifts, super setted with side leg raises, to stimulate chronically dormant runner's glutes. High load heel raises, because the strengthen the foot to ward off plantar fasciitis.

I started my 8 miler yesterday morning. The pain in my groin immediately crept up, like the previous morning. On that run, it attenuated as the miles went by. But when it re-occurred yesterday, I perceived it as a warning. I cancelled the run and went straight down to my gym to lift. But the impact of cancelling a run due to pain less than eight weeks before the MCM sent shock waves through my mind.

Not running, I turn to strength training. I like to say that faith is what you have to have when you have no evidence for your beliefs. Strength imparts health; strength imparts fitness. I have that on faith, though I have plenty of evidence, too.

First full leg workout since April. It felt good. Surprisingly, I matched the sets and reps from my last work out months ago. The running kept my strength.

9/1
I've been struggling with low energy on my long runs. I've been running higher miles during the week than ever before, but I've apparently not been hitting my recovery well. I've been waking up Sunday without the necessary physical energy and mental focus to get through 20+ miles.It's disconcerting. Up to my last marathon in 2011, I could run 20 plus miles with a fair amount of impunity. Now, coming back, I seem to have lost self confidence at that distance.

This week, I was particularly careful getting my weekday runs on schedule and trying to get sufficient rest. I did, however, push one item. During my time with plantar fasciitis, I made really gratifying gains in my deadlifting. I have been reluctant to give it up during the high mileage weeks; the deadlift imparts such great whole body strength.   The lifting has been leaving my legs feeling flat. This week, I've been running fine and tending to ample leg recovery.  I thought i was poised for a great training week.

I had an appointment with a orthopedist earlier in the week where I was given a strong recommendation to start stretching again. My first day, unadvisedly, was Saturday. Sunday morning, the first steps of my run reveal moderately strong pain in my groin from the previous day's butterfly stretch. Until I quit stretching a couple of years ago, this movement had been a 4 decade staple of my stretching routine. I had no basis to expect that I'd be so sore the next day. I finished three miles with Denise, but bagged my  planned 22-miler. Aggravating the situation was also an unspoken suspicion that my energy levels that morning were still not up to a 22 mile effort.

The Marine Corps Marathon is 8 weeks out. I have to acknowledge that the training is becoming a challenge; I have no confidence that I can hit over 15 miles with regularity. I need two greater than 21 mile efforts on the next two weekends or I will have substantial doubts that I can achieve 26.2.

 

8/11 - 146.2 lb

I realize that running 20 miles when you’re already tired from covering 32 miles earlier that week is what gets you ready to run 26 at the marathon.

8/12 - 146.2 lb

The next morning, lifting, I’m able to notch up reps on sets. This has never happened before. I have never been able to increase volume in strength training after a long run. I almost skipped my workout as I lay in bed this morning, feeling so tired. Likewise immediately after waking up. I was tired and sore all over. But within half an hour, I was fine. I wound up having a great workout.

In 15 years' training, I have never grown in strength the morning after a long run. I've achieved a full pump.

 

8/11 - 146.2 lb

Started the run around 04:20. Tired from yesterday’s 9.5 mile run. Pace really poor, hovering around 14 mpm. After DNF’ing on my last long run, I decided to just run the whole distance at this pace, if necessary. At dawn’s first light, my pace has already dropped to 13:30. I don’t feel any more energetic; it is just that I’m getting more pace for the effort. By mile 10, in full daylight, I’m starting to dip below 13 mpw, which I do not want to do. As the teens tick by, I repeatedly catch myself at 12:30, 12:15. At mile 15, I don’t feel any better than I did at the beginning, I just don’t feel particularly worse. I realize that the tiredness is really irrelevant. I realize that running 20 miles when you’re already tired from covering 32 miles earlier that week is what gets you ready to run 26 at the marathon.

After finish, I have my usual blood pressure crash, but I don’t have my energy crash. I’m tired and achy but not to the point where I’m debilitated. Amazingly by 1600, I’m recovered. My legs feel almost fresh and the tiredness is gone. We must have done a picture-perfect recovery.

 

7/26 - 147.8 lb

Lifting this morning, upper body compound barbell movements. Did dead lifts after a run yesterday in the gym at work. I'm surprised and delighted that I'm not sore. Also, did cable crunches with the very nice cable machine they have there. What wonderful isolation on obliques and my abs. I had forgotten how well these movement target my mid-section. Need to get to my hip flexors too, though. V crunches are good for that.

Today, I won't have time for isolation arm movements, so I'll just stick to the big exercises: pull ups, bench press, supine rows and standing presses. Taking 3 minute rest breaks for 5 sets. I'm enjoying this pace today. Instead of being limited by anaerobic panting as I work through my sets, I can really feel muscles weaken with each successive one. Bit by bit, the cumulative effect of muscle effort rather than pounding heart. This approach maximizes volume lifted....optimal for hypertrophy. I do each rep slowly, with full control, with emphasis on feeling it in the muscles being worked.

Got off to a slow start this morning. I've run 22.5 miles in 3 days. The week's wearing me down. Managed to slip in 5 sets of super setted chins and push ups on Wednesday. Hard to do more that on a running day. Don't really like going more than 72 hours between strength work sessions. Notwithstanding all the previous work this week, this workout is fairly strong. I'm no good at foretelling the strength of my workout or run by the way I feel going into it. Perhaps this is because it's so early when I start...I haven't shaken off the effects of sleep yet. There's a lesson here somewhere.....never give up before starting...but I already knew that.

 

Fr. 7/5  - 147.4 lb

Doing full body barbell this morning. Weaker today. Not sure if it's lack of will or tiredness. I'm in a down week for running. Only run was yesterday: 6.8 miles at a 12:40. Felt good.

 

Mo. 7/1
Achy in the morning. Slight tightness around my left achiles tendon.

Reasonable weight work out, but not strong.

 

 

Su. 6/30

16 miles. Finished at 80 F. Tried to be pace-aware and hold at a 13:30. My average turned out to be 13:25. Legs still tired from last weekend and the hill repeats I did on Saturday. Finished the run tired, but not wiped.

15 years of running in my neighborhood and it took until yesterday to figure out why the last mile of my long runs could wipe me out, specially under the hot summer sun. I was lucid enough passing mile 15 to actually measure and contemplate my last mile. The rise out of Deer Hollow to my home is 175 feet over one mile. The hill I descriptively dubbed Mount Tendinitis presents 55 feet of rise over 0.2 miles. And, what's more, there is no shade....no respite from the sun. On a cool day, I can run it very comfortably. At the end of a long run in the heat, it can pulverize my will.