October 31, 2010

Unsuccessful Attempt

Week of Oct. 25 ~ 31

Went to the gym on Tuesday for some weights, step machine and elliptical trainer.
Then on Thursday, since my calf had not been hurting for a few days, I went out for a run, thought I would see if I could do 4k. I couldn't - calf started to hurt after 2.1k (13 minutes). I stopped _immediately_ — have gotten older and wiser in the past two weeks.
So I'll take another week off and see how it feels. Internet articles on muscle tears say they take 2 to 4 weeks to heal, so I guess mine will be more like 4 weeks.

Friday I had a business trip, Saturday we had a bit of a typhoon, so I finally got to the gym on Sunday for weights, core, bike 15 mins, elliptical 15 mins, bike 15 mins. Worked up a bit of a sweat, at least.

Thanks for the encouraging comments, talk to you again next week, hopefully with better news.
Actually next Sunday is the club Half Marathon and 10k, which I was planning to race, but now hope to be able to jog (10k). If not, at least the barbecue will be fun.

October 24, 2010

A Tear, Not a Cramp

Week of Oct. 18 ~ 24

That's tear as in muscle tear, not as in tears of pain, tears of rage, although I suppose tears of frustration would be appropriate.
Yes, two guys in the club, who know what they are talking about, immediately diagnosed my problem as a muscle tear, not simply a cramp. A search for "muscle tear" yielded lots of good results, so I am stretching my foot, wearing compressions socks, getting some physiotherapy, and mainly, resting until it gets better. Since it is a tear, this will be a while.

Anyway, it will get better eventually, hopefully in time to salvage some kind of a decent run at the Tsukuba Marathon on Nov. 28th.

This week I ran 6k on Monday and Tuesday with the kids, which even though it was an easy pace was a mistake (got the diagnosis on Wednesday, otherwise I would not have run), but it was their last practices, so I kind of wanted to run with them.

Did weights and core exercises on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, with 8 mins of step on each day, plus 20 mins on the elliptical trainer on Fri. and 20 mins on stationary bike and 15 on elliptical on Sat. Just 15 or 20 minutes on that elliptical trainer drenches me in sweat.
And did a lot of walking today (Sunday), which does not seem to have had a bad effect.

By the way, since it is a tear, the cause was not simply dehydration, but overuse. That is, too much hard training and not enough rest after the half marathon. Sound familiar, Scott? I hope we have both learned our lesson. And that anyone else reading this can learn as well.

Good running...I hope to be joining you soon.

October 19, 2010

A Lost Week

Week of Oct. 11 ~ 17

Having suffered a bad cramp in my left calf in the 10k race on Oct. 10, the only plan this week was to rest until it got better. Which did not happen by the end of the week. Still have some soreness on Sunday, will try to run Monday.
It got a bit better each day, but I can still feel some pain. It was a bad cramp!

Of course, jogging (limping) 3 kilometers on it did not help. Interesting that instead of just walking, I continued to jog, even though I had given up all thoughts of it being a race. In fact, with 600m to go, I was actually at the finish line. They needed an extra 600m, so runners had to go out 300m and back again...which I did. Stupid in hindsight, but I was just in the mindset: "This is a race and I should finish." Your mind is running on a certain track and it just doesn't occur to you to shift it over to a different track. Let that be a lesson to us all. If injury strikes, Walk! And you will be back running sooner.

I did drag myself to the gym on Sunday for 8' + 16' of stepping, weights and core exercises. I suppose I should have gone over there some other days, but paradoxically, when I am injured, cross training does not appeal to me. I feel if I'm not running, I'm not "in training." Strange, but there you are.

October 10, 2010

Calf Cramp Cramps My Style

Week of Oct. 4 ~ 10

Plan: 12/18/9/9/0/6/10 - 64km
Ran: 14.6/22.2/8/8.7/0/0/10 - 63.5km / 39.5 mi.

10K race started well, ended badly. Details below.

3:30 - 14.6k. 66:00
5.9 x 2 with x-country varsity boys. Out in 30:09 (25:41 for the first 5k), back in 23:23 (19:27 for the last 5k). Needless to say, a damn good pace coming back. Ran last 3k with 4th and 5th boys, as top 3 pulled away. Jogged extra 2.8k to pick up slow kids.
Weather: 20C/68F, humid.
Weight: 60.8kg

Got a Garmin 405!
11:00 - Weights and core at gym.
3:30 - 22.2k. To school 5.6k and back - 30:48/32:32
2.77k warmup. 600m (exactly!) hill x 6 in 2:40/45/36/33/31/25. Worked hard last 3 with the top girls.
Weather: 24C/75F, very humid.
Weight: 60.6kg

7:30pm - 8k. 43:00. 6 x 1000m.
$:08/03/08/3:55/48/29. Exactly how I wanted to run them - cruising first 3, then picking up the pace.
Weather: 21C/70F
Weight: 60.4kg

3:30 - 8.7k. 1.9k warmup in Tama Cemetery and then 800m x 8. (Which Garmin measured from 769 to 794, so that didn't help much. Seems to be 780). 3:20/18/10/26/01/54/48/44. The first 4 I was saving myself for the last 4. Last 3 with Bessie Noll and we were running fairly hard. 2:44 (800) = 3:33/k so a pretty good pace.
Weather: 21C/70F
Weight: 60.3kg

11:00 - Weights and core at gym.
Rest day

Hard rain in the morning and not much time anyway (out all day), so took another rest day.

10:00am - 10k race, the Saiko Eco 10k put on by two people in the running club. A small (300 people) 10k that went twice around a lake. Two minor hills (twice) but a mostly flat, pleasant course. Weather was good, about 20-21C, although humid as rain had ended at about 9:00. (By 11:30, it was hot!)
I wanted to run under 39:00, and hoped for 38:00, if I felt good. Last week's 5k time trial was 19:03, so 38:00 was an ambitious goal (although a race is different than a time trial, which is only "practice").
Finally figured out how to customize the Garmin display, so had "Pace" as one display. Ran the first k in 3:36 and realized that was too fast, so eased up. Next two were in 3:51 and 3:52. 3:51 is a 19:15 pace, so I figured that was ok. Next two were exactly the same in 7:43, giving me 19:02 for the first 5k. I then started to pick up the pace. Was moving well and feeling good and caught one guy ahead of me (I was in about 12th) and began catching 5 more, including the top woman. I felt confident of catching them, when at 6.2k...my left calf began to hurt a bit. I slowed a bit, assuming it would go away. It didn't and got slightly worse. I slowed a bit more, now getting somewhat worried. It got worse. I slowed down some more. It got still worse, so now I was reduced to limping along. At this point I realized it was not going to get better and the race was over, so I just jogged (limped) in the last 2+k. Too bad. The top woman ran 38:17 and I definitely would have beaten her. The two guys with her at 6k, who I was catching, ran 37:45, so I like to think I would have been around there.
I guess the cause was dehydration. I had a late dinner the night before, which included some wine and coffee, no water. I still felt full in the morning, so ate nothing for breakfast and only had a cup of milk, a cup of coffee (which I usually do not do, but I wanted to go to the bathroom), and later half a small bottle of sports drink. Obviously not enough liquid in me. The shoes were the new super light racers, but I ran a half marathon in them, so they should not be the problem (I hope!). Maybe too hard a week?...although I did have two days rest. Maybe legs not 100% recovered from the half 14 days ago?
Moral of the story: light dinner before a race, 2 bananas and plenty of sports drink/gel for breakfast, maybe some oatmeal too.
Calf still hurts (11:30 at night) but I will rest tomorrow and hope it will be ok on Tuesday. And there's always another race!

October 4, 2010

Sort of a Recovery Week

Week of Sept. 27 ~ Oct. 3

Plan: 0/9/7/8/10/20 - 54km
Ran: 0/10.8/8.6/9.1/0/13.8/10 - 52.3km / 32.5 mi. 4:53

Recovered quickly from the half marathon on Sunday - enough to run a 19:03 5k on Wed. night, which is not so bad for me these days.


11:00 - weights and core at gym
4:00 - 10.8k. 57:00. New hill course with kids. A road with a wide sidewalk that goes steadily uphill for about 2k. We ran the upper part, which is a bit steeper. Boys ran 800m, girls ran 700. Ran one with boys and 3 with girls at a good pace. Legs a bit tired, but felt ok. Plus warmup and warmdown.

7:30pm. 8.6k. 5,000m time trial on the track in 19:03
3:49/54/51/43/45. Last 400 - 88.
Hoped to run 3:50/50/50/40/40, although I knew that was too ambitious. Had a good warmup, but was still a bit stiff the first k. Then felt ok, and felt good the last 2k.
I would like to run a 5k race in cool weather just to see what I could do. The USATF USA Masters 5k Championships was on Sunday. 60-64 group was won in 17:11 by a 60 year old. That's pretty fast. I could maybe run 18:11.
Temp: 21C/70F
Weight: 59.5kg

3:30 - 9.1k. 64:00
800m x 8 in the Tama Cemetery with the girls and ASIJ 3200m record holder Sara Wilhelm, who is back in Japan for 3 years. Great to see and run with her again (she graduated in 1996).
3:24/10/08/08/06/59/56/01 (walk 2:15 - 3:15). Legs felt ok.
Weather: Fairly hard rain.

11:00am - weight and core in gym
No run. Legs felt ok, but didn't want to push my luck (did 3 fairly hard days after a half marathon).

AM - At the ASIJ cross-country meet. 2.5k with super masters runners Susan and Mary. 2.5k running around the course in 500m bursts.
6:00 - 8.8k at Juergen's house up in northern Saitama with 10 other Namban runners. 49:30 @5:36/k. Not easy running in the dark....

5:00 - 10k. 54:50. Left knee slightly sore.
Temp: 22C/72F
Weight: 59.9kg.

I said I wanted a 5k time, but I will get a 10k time next week, as I will run a small 10k race on Sunday. Will run pretty hard with the kids on Mon, Tues and Thurs, so the taper will be Friday and Saturday. Back to long distance the following week (marathon is Nov. 28th).