Friday, January 25, 2013

Training For VA Creeper: Week 8

Training For VA Creeper Marathon
Week 8/16

     Sun: Vibram 4 Miler: Speed walk with just enough scoots to keep the pace a 16 min/mile. Excellent route for this with a steep uphill that got my heart rate up, followed by a mile+ of trail, a mile on the Blue Ridge Parkway, then an easy 1/2 mile in the neighborhood. I'll be doing this more often...

     Mon: Progressive Hill Repeats: 7.5 Miles: 14 Laps around my block. Technically it was a 6 mile  progression run with a 1 mile cool down then a 1/2 mile kick. I didn't quite have it in me to hold 2 simultaneously faster laps in the 6's, so I did the first one then did two easy cool down laps, then kicked it hard on the last lap the 2nd lap one. Garmin acted up a little bit too by turning off once when I hit the lap button. Avg pace data for each lap is still deemed reliable.

     Wed: Alt Parkway 12 Miler: Looking to hold a pace in the high 7's and made it for 8 miles. 9th mile I intended to hold back and then sprint the last 1/4 to get it in under 8, but missed it by about 2 seconds. Finished up in the high 8's for a medium intensity cool down. Fastest 12 miler since early December.

     Fri: Random 15 Miler: Another long run interrupted by cold and snow. I just took it easy and got what I could out of it. The first 12 were low end progressives and the last 3 were cool down. 



PaceTreadmillTrailAsphalt
Total
5




6 

1
1
7

9
9
  8

6
6
  9

4
4
  10

5
5
  11

4
4
 12
14
5
 




Walking 
13
4
 




  Total
236
38
 
 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stayin' Hungry

     Stay Hungry

"Be the hunter and the hunted
Keep your target in your sight
Don't be side tracked or shunted
Let pretenders feel your bite
And if you start to slide
Never show you're weak
Don't feel you've got to hide
Remember what you're fighting for
Remember what you seek"

 Twisted Sister, Stay Hungry, Album: Stay Hungry

     Its been a while since I blogged on a personal level. I guess when the newness of exercise, fitness, competitions and blogging wore off I just started going through the motions with a lot of the routine including this blog. With my 3rd marathon coming up I have had some new things on my mind lately and first among them is ...

     ...Stay Hungry...One of the first metal bands to resonate with me in my teen years was Twisted Sister. I remember listening to Burn In Hell and thinking "Whoah! This is some crazy stuff!". That song was on the Stay Hungry album and its time to look at that album again.

     Of course putting a fitness and a middle aged perspective on things this time I'm realizing how important it is to stay hungry. Sitting down to eat a meal and getting full is fine from time to time, and I by no means think its of any benefit at all to go around famished or starving, but if your looking to lose weight I don't see how it can be done with a gluttonous mindset.

     Just looking at what seems to be happening with my body and relating it to various information I've read, it seems that weight is controlled by diet and influenced by exercise. Calculate your daily energy expense, consume only that number of calories and weight will stay constant. If a person is gaining weight or is over weight then that can only be reduced by consuming fewer calories or increased energy expenditures. The tough thing to accept is that it plays out gradually over time. If a person eats 5000 calories a day and only spends 2000, then they will not gain 3000 calories worth of weight each day. Much of the extra 3000 gets eliminated, but the body will slowly gain over time.

     In the above scenario, an individual would likely experience severe hunger cutting out 3000 calories a day all at once, but dropping back slowly to 4500, then 4000, then 3500, etc, etc, slowly over weeks or months would probably be effective. Cutting back ANY will cause hunger if your not used to it. The key is to convert that hunger to will power. Hunger is good when its encouraging you to survive, hunger is bad when you are consuming beyond your need and behaving gluttonously.

     Is being full synonymous with gluttony? I'd say it is IF you are gaining weight and I have been. Not a huge amount, but just enough to cover any potential muscle mass from strength gains. I have a marathon coming up in 9 weeks. I don't need extra muscle mass or fat, so its time to get serious about my food choices again.

     Eat light, think light, be light...sit down to eat hungry and get up from the table hungry. Stay hungry! It helps give my running some extra focus too. I've only been back on the 70% raw foods kick for 4 days and it is working. I'm anxious to weigh myself in the morning cause I know it will be good news. In just 4 days my First Thing In The Morning Weight has already dropped 6 pounds...much faster than I anticipated, so I expect a short term gain soon, but it is trending downward again and thats the main thing. I like to stay around AMA guidelines which is 171 lbs and as of today I'm 174. Last week I averaged 179. These are all FTITMW numbers. My post workout numbers have been slightly above 171 for several months also, but they have held steady at 171 for 3 days now.

     Of course ditching a food addiction is much like ditching any other addiction, after a while you adapt to getting by with less and the hunger goes away. Plus, if you limit yourself to raw foods you find that many raw vegetables are like natural appetite suppressants anyways.

     Again, I'm no expert, but I do read a little and do self experiments with diet and exercise, so if that counts for anything then fine, and if not then that's fine too.

    

       

Training For VA Creeper: Week 7

Training for VA Creeper Marathon
Week 7/16

     Sun: Neighborhood Walk: 3.2 Miles: Taking it easy after lifting weights

     Mon: Treadmill 4 Miler: Couldn't find any rhythm for it so I did 1 mile at 7:30 and walked the rest at a steep incline and a faster than usual walking pace. 

     Wed: Mountain Side 10 Miler (B): 10 Miles: Shins needing some extra warm up time, so I walk jogged a warm up mile and then set out to do the Full Mountain 12 Miler. I wasn't pushing hard for speed just looking to keep a sub10 pace for the uphill miles and a sub 8 pace on the down hills. It was challenging for the last uphill mile and the next to last down hill mile, but I pushed it and hit or exceeded all the targets. Turned around 1 mile early due to fog/visibility issues that I thought may be impacting safety. Did a cool down jog and still got 11.8 for the day, so I can be good with that.

     Fri: Alt Parkway 12 Miler: 12 Miles: Route was covered in 2-4 inches of virgin snow so I abandoned any sort of pace target and just took it easy. After about 3 miles I found a good steady groove in the 10's, but the snow also took its toll on my endurance, so I stopped after 11 and just walked the last mile. With no long run this week I'll do some extra mid distance work next week to average things out. 



PaceTreadmillTrailAsphalt
Total
5




6 

1
1
7 1
 4
5
  8

1
1
  9

4
4
  10

7
7
  11

4
4
 12

1
1
 




Walking  3
6
9
 




  Total4
28
32
 
  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Training For VA Creeper: Week 6

Training For VA Creeper Marathon
Week 6/16

     Mon: 7 Miles: Treadmill Progression/Intervals: Did a 1/2 mile warm up walk, then kicked it into the low 7's for a starter mile, then a high 6, a mid 6, and a high 7 cool down mile. Wrapped up the 4 miler in about 28 minutes then did a 1/2 mile walk/ 1/2 mile sprint @ 9.5 mph for 2 1/2 miles. I hadn't held those paces in a month or so and it felt good to experience it again. 11 weeks till race day, so I need to start doing this more often.

       Wed: 12 Miles: Primary Loop 12 Miler: It has been a while since I did any regular speed training in the 6's, so I wasn't sure how to pace myself for this. I decided to do a 6-9-9-7 pattern and it went well till the last 2 uphill miles. I decided if I couldn't hit a target pace, then I'd just walk the mile instead of pushing and still coming up slower than target. Time will tell if this is a smart training strategy. I definitely need to start doing this more often as speed work with a goal of staying steady at a 6-9-8-7 pattern by March.

     Fri: 20.51 Miles: Random Parkway 20 Miler: Same route as my week 3 long run, but with faster target paces. I ended up walking 3 miles, so my avg pace looks considerably worse than 3 weeks ago, but the avg speed of the 17 miles I did run was considerably faster. I'm calling it an improvement. Also, it bears repeating from the paragraph above that I didn't even bother trying to run every mile...if it looked like I wasn't going to hit the target pace, then I simply walked that mile. This is a rather big experiment with this training cycle since walk intervals are not something I ever trained with before.

     

PaceTreadmillTrailAsphalt
Total
5




6  3
3
6
7 2
 4
6
  8

16
16
  9

 4
4
  10




  11




 12




 




Walking  2
7
9
 




  Total7
34
41
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Frozen Toe 10k

2013 Frozen Toe 10k
RNUTs 1 of 6

     The 2013 RNUTs races (4 of them anyways) are going to be hiking events for my daughter Faith and I. Our goals are to simply enjoy spending some time together, enjoy nature, maintain a steady effort, and cross the finish line. 

     We had done a series of walks in training up to the event and had logged a 5.23 miler, but then missed a few scheduled training walks, so we were approaching the Frozen Toe starting line slightly undertrained and with Faith looking at a PR for distance. 

FT 10k start
     The Frozen Toe is not billed as a walking/hiking event, so I was a bit hesitant but I looked up last years finish times and saw the last place finisher had a time of about 2 hours. We had done the 2012 Fab 5k and the 2012 Into the Darkness at around a 20 min/mile pace, and with Faith having built up some endurance from the family walks I decided we had a good shot at about a 2 hr finish.

Stopped for a photo op at just about the half way point.
     
     The elevation gain in the 3rd mile slowed us down a little bit and by the start of the 4th mile fatigue was starting to drag on our enthusiasm, but we never stopped for a break or to rest and I only recall 1 or 2 instances of stopping for just a second or two to adjust a shoe or some other trivial matter.

     All in all we achieved our goals and had a good family time focused on family, friends, fitness and fun. Faith stayed positive and upbeat even when she started feeling tired and that is an essential skill for not just endurance training, but life in general.

     We finished up in 2 hours 16 minutes and change which was a little slower than I had wanted, so I will be looking to only sign up for events with 2 distances and doing the shorter one unless we can be more consistent at a sub 20 pace while training. A 20 min/mile on technical trails does not require running, but it does require a steady low grade push while hiking. In my opinion thats all an otherwise healthy person needs for general health and cardiovascular maintenance.

Mountain Junkie Hoo-Rag and race number.
        Thanks to all Mountain Junkie sponsors and volunteers. These events are only made possible by people who are willing to give a little of themselves from time to time to make it happen.
My wife and regular Mountain Junkie event volunteer. Thanks, Denise!
Gilbert Chiropractic
         

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Training For VA Creeper: Week 5

Training For VA Creeper Marathon
Week 5/16

     Tues: Tempo/Intervals: 12 miles: Alternated between high 7's and high 8's. Disappointed that I wasn't in the low 7's and low 8's, but just didn't feel any control at those speeds. My weekly 12 miler has been consistently in low to mid 8's range for a while now, time to push it into the 7's.

     Fri: Long/Hill Repeats: 20 miles: Had intended to run this 4 mile loop 5 times. It is essentially all hill work with 2 miles of down and 2 miles of up. My goal was to do the downhill sections in the 8's and the uphill sections in the 9's. I met my pace targets for the first 17 miles, but decided to walk the last 2 mile uphill segment. Still finished with a sub 10 pace...just barely.

     Sat: Recovery/Race: 6.2 miles: Kicked off the 2013 trail race season with the Frozen Toe 10k trail race. My daughter and I are hiking 4 of the series events together this year and I needed some recovery miles after yesterdays 20 miler so this fit the bill perfectly. Race Report HERE when available.



PaceTreadmillTrailAsphalt
Total
5




6 



7

 6
6
  8

 16
16
  9

 8
8
  10




  11




 12




 




Walking 
62
8
 




  Total
632
38