Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: By The Numbers

By The Numbers
2012
Year End Edition

     It was 4 years ago this month that I came to the realization that I needed to make health a bigger priority in my life. Very early on I concluded that the best thing I could do for myself was to not focus on any one discipline, but instead to create as much variety as possible on a day to day basis. 

     Running, cycling, swimming, strength training, stretching and eating for fuel became a way of life. Event training gave me something to focus my workouts on, but at the core it has never been about about finish times or finish places. It is mostly about staying off of medications and self image. Sure, I have awoke some mornings hungry to find out just how much punishment this body can take, and I have had to ask myself from time to time if I was perhaps being too reckless, only to reply "Nothing is reckless when I have conditioned my body to the point of being indestructable!"

     I entered 2012 with a mentality that I needed to try spending more time just "enjoying the ride" and let go of some of the focus and intensity that was driving my life and workouts. Then, in almost stark contrast, I trained for and ran the Blue Ridge Half Marathon resulting in a PR and 2nd place master award. A week or so later I did the Trail Nut 10k and picked up the 1st place master award. A month after that I did a sprint triathlon in Salem and while I didn't place well enough for an award, I still logged some stats that will be hard for me to beat moving forward.

     Then, in fairly short order, I just didn't want to fight for it anymore and I've been just kinda going through the motions ever since. I'm kinda stuck in a conflicted state because taking away some intensity and focusing more on "enjoying the ride" was clearly my goal for 2012, still letting go of my high intensity kick has created a general sense of remorse. All in all, it really doesn't matter as long as I have my health. Health is fundamental. Fitness, however, is more ego driven. 

     Going into 2013 my health is still good by generally accepted standards, but I am a few lbs over AMA guidelines (both pre and post workout), I'm eating more for flavor than I am for fuel. Yet, I find that I'm starting to get some intensity back in my game from time to time. I'm not sure where its all going as I continue to push myself in competing directions...but at least I'm enjoying the ride!

The Charts

The Vitals
This is my post workout weight which is what my weight is at when it it is at its lowest each day. I stayed around 165-168 when I was peaking athletically in the spring. I've put on a few pounds of mostly healthy muscle weight since then, but muscle or fat either way is a liability to speed. Hadn't intended to go past 170 lbs, but am currently averaging about 177.
I've tended to not concern myself with weight to much as long as my Body Fat % stays under 15%, which it has. I may need to abandon this philosophy moving forward.
Blood Pressure has test results have not been a cause for concern.

My pre breakfast, pre workout weight. Steadily climbing since I started tracking it in April. I think I need to start trending this in the opposite direction.
BMI. Useless if you lift weight regularly, but I record it anyways.
  
The Mileage 
I haven't swam since September. Time to change that.
Cycling had been dropping off too when my triathlon season ended, but I need to get my core solid again, so I'm back on the bike regularly.
Dropped my run mileage back during the summer and I believe it cost me. I look forward to keeping a stronger run base in 2013
All miles total including run, bike, swim, hike, walk, and elliptical.
   
             

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Training For VA Creeper: Week 4

Training For VA Creeper Marathon
Week 4/16

     Mon: Progressive Hill Repeats: 4.35 miles: Did a warm up and a cool down on the elliptical and did the run in the middle. I kept my expectations to a minimum and started the run just looking to stay comfortable for the first lap, then progress from there. The faster I ran, the better it felt.

     Wed: Recovery/Tempo: Just kickin' it around easy today. Started out looking to maybe challenge myself, but then decided against it. I want this to be a low intensity week, so paces in the 9's are acceptable.

     Fri: Long/Intervals: Low intensity week, so I put a lot of walking in to this one, but I did go a longer distance than I had planned, so I it probably evens out some where. I had had wanted to see if  this route would be a full 26.2 mile marathon, but it came up a little short. My warm up walk to the starting line was 1/2 mile so that makes it a full marathon, but I only Garminized the Parkway/ Explore Park sectionsThe results show significant improvement from the similar, but shorter course of 5 and 6 weeks ago.


Pace Treadmill Trail Asphalt
Total
5

1
1
6 

1
1
7

7
7
  8
1 8
9
  9

10.5
10.5
  10

3
3
  11
2
2
 12




 




Walking 
1.5 7
8.5
 




  Total


42



  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Training For VA Creeper: Week 3

Training For VA Creeper Marathon
Week 3/16

     Original training plan for this week is being significantly altered from the posted schedule because I had underestimated the recovery time from Saturdays Chestnut Ridge 50k. Even taking it easy, I find that 1 full rest day and 1 additional day of light recovery based cardio is needed after 31 miles. 

     Tues: Tempo: 12 Miles: Same goal as last week, except on a slightly easier course. I wanted to see how long I could hold a pace in the 7's and I made it 8 miles. Almost had the ninth mile, but missed it by hair. The big improvement here was keeping my burn out pace contained to the 8's where as last week I saw some high 9's. 

     Fri: Long: 20.47 Miles: This was one of those mornings when its just cold enough to make you want to stay inside and drink coffee. I knew there would be days like this when I signed up for a spring marathon though, so no excuses. My plan was called for 20 miles with a run 6 / walk 1 strategy pacing the run segments in the 9's. I decided I was further along with my progress than that, so I threw it out the window and went with a 20.47 mile route and a goal of running all 20.47 at a steady pace in the low 9's. I got to feeling confident after the first 10, so I upped it into the 8's for the last 10 miles for an easy negative split. I was however exhausted after 20 and ended up walking the last .47, but I even with the walking the avg pace was still a 9:06 which is just a minute above my marathon pace target. I can be happy with where I'm at knowing next weeks long run is a low intensity easy paced one.

       
Pace Treadmill Trail Asphalt
Total
5




6 

7
8
 8
  8
 14
 14
  9
 10
10
  10


  11


 12


 




Walking  <1
 




  Total 32
 32


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Training For VA Creeper: Week 2

Training For VA Creeper Marathon
Week 2/16

     Sun: Family Walk: 5.23 miles: Taking it easy again this Sunday. My priority for the family walks is for me to set the distance and let my daughter set the pace. So far, so good.

     Mon: Treadmill: 6.75: Intervals + Speed: After a short bike ride to the gym I hit the treadmill with a loose aspiration of holding 9 mph for the first 4 miles, but it wasn't feeling right so I did the first mile at 9 mph, the 2nd mile at 7.6 mph, then I alternated between 7.6 and 9 mph at 1/2 mile intervals for the last 2 miles. For speed work I did 2 miles alternating each 1/2 mile between walking and sprinting at 9.6 mph.

     Wed: Dedicated Parkway 12 Miler: Tempo: Tried to hold it in the upper 7's, but started getting fatigued after 6, so I slowed into the 8's and 9's, but still finished strong with a 6 to wrap it up. Interesting note is that miles 10 and 11 both start out with 1/4 mile steep inclines which I uncharacteristically decided to walk. In this instance it probably helped my legs recuperate some and I was still able to pull off a sub 10 pace on those miles. 

     SAT: Chestnut Ridge 50k (Phase 1, 2 & 3): Long: Just wanted to know what a 50k feels like so I set out to do 6 laps of the 5.5 ish mile Chestnut Ridge Loop trail. I didn't want to provoke an over use injury by running a distance that I'm not trained up to, so I took it nice and slow and did plenty of hiking. My overall strategy was run 4 then hike 1.5 to finish the loop. By the end of lap 4 I had hit a 13 month distance PR, by the end of lap 5 I had hit an all time distance PR and a 13 month PR for total miles ran in a day. Starting lap 6 I couldn't hardly summon up anything but a cozy little scoot, so I just did 2 miles, then walked 2.5 on the road to finish up with 31.28 miles...enough to qualify as a 50k! It was exhilarating, exhausting and interesting.



Pace Treadmill Trail Asphalt
Total
5




6  3
1
4
7 2
6
8
  8
1 1
2
  9
6 4
10
  10
4

4
  11
7

7
 12
2

2
 




Walking  2 12 4
18
 




  7 32 16
55
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012 Jingle Bell 5k

2012 Jingle Bell 5k

     No big write up for this one. I don't have a lot invested in high intensity training right now, but I was taking it for granted that I could pace a sub 7. Ultimately that didn't happen...I'm not stressin on it though, it just gives me something to reflect on. 

     I did want to use my GoPro to capture a taste of the race environment from a fresh perspective. Previously I have used my GoPro in a non competitive triathlon, and in a couple of cool down 5k laps after having already raced the course. This was my first time wearing it while actually racing


 Jingle Bell 5k
2012-time 22:02 (chip), pace: 7:06 (chip), Place 58/1183 overall, 7/63 in my age group, 50/542 among men

Please support Jingle Bell 5k sponsors

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Training For VA Creeper: Week 1

Training for VA Creeper Marathon
Week 1/16

     Sun: Short Recovery: 4.4 mile family walk. No regard for pace, just enjoying fresh air and nature with the family.

     Tues: Long Recovery: 12 miles: I'm leaving my weekly 12 miler open as an undedicated run type for this training cycle. I'll see how I feel when I wake up and run the prescribed miles accordingly. Today I just wanted to take it easy and spend some time at a comfortable pace on the trails. Its way to early to be concerned with speeds right now.

     Thurs: Long Intervals: 20 miles: Employed a run 6 / walk 1 strategy. Each of the three 6 mile segments were split in half with a different pace target for each half. I know the terrain well, so I just picked something that seemed like it would be a touch past comfortable. This was my first time (recently) doing 20 with just 2 walk segments instead of 3, so I was happy I was able to pull it off with a sub 10 avg pace. Skipped my speed work on Monday, so I'm doing a race Saturday as a substitute. I would have done this run tomorrow, but I will need to rest tomorrow for Saturdays race.

     Sat: Race: 3.1 miles: As a substitute for the 4 mile tempo I would have done on Monday, I would have liked to have seen a steady pace in the 6's. I ended up with only 1 mile in the target range and the other 2 were in the low and mid 7's respectively. Not too concerned with it though, I don't really need a high intensity kick for a marathon PR in March, I just like to maintain it for a wider dynamic range.

     Something new I'm doing for this training cycle is what I'll call a weekly intensity chart. My hypothesis is that by monitoring my average speeds over the course of a week I'll be able to target peak miles sporadically instead of in concentrated bursts like in tempo runs and that doing so will help me gain more consistent pace control.

 
PaceTreadmillTrailAsphalt
Total
5




6 
 1
1
7
 5
5
  8

 6
6
  9
4 6
10
  10
23
5
  11
4

4
 12
2

2
 




Walking  1 5
6
 




  Total
1326
39