Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon: Week 4 Training Log

When I realized that last week was only one month back in training mode, I was kind of surprised. It feels like I've been training for longer! Coach Jess kept this week super easy since I wanted to race the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday. Here's how things shook out.

Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon: Week 4 Training Log

Monday: Easy physical therapy (no strength work).

Tuesday: PM 30 minutes on the elliptical (121 avg HR).

Watched more of The People v. O.J. Simpson. Seriously, the show is so good! I was going to do strength work, but then emails kept coming in, so I headed back home to keep working. It was a late night since we had a closing the next morning.

Wednesday: Physical therapy + PM easy run (6 miles) + core.

Thumbs up for closing a deal.
Six miles easy at Back Bay in the late afternoon. After getting four hours of sleep, I kept working till we closed around 8 a.m., then headed in to the office for a corporate department meeting at 9 a.m. I took care of a few small post-closing items, then went home and napped before driving to physical therapy. I had plenty of time so could do the full PT massage, exercises, stretching and icing rigmarole (which takes about two hours).

Gotta say, I feel really lucky that I can do things like go home and crash for a few hours after a closing. Yes, I sometimes have to work till the wee hours of the morning, but once a deal closes, I can usually take some down time.

I ran six miles easy at Back Bay later in the afternoon. Nothing much to report -- minor headwind (10ish mph), low 60s and sunny. I was exhausted so kept it very easy, also my calves were tight, but they loosened up a lot as I ran.

Stats -  6 miles in 1:01:17 for 10:13 avg pace (with a nice negative split), avg HR 131.

Thursday: PM easy run (4 miles) + strides at Back Bay.

6:45pm at Back Bay, high 50s to low 60s, sunny. Felt much better/looser than the previous day.

Stats - 4.32 miles in 42:56 for 9:56 avg pace (incl strides), 134 avg HR, 4x20 sec strides (~6:30-7:10 pace)

Friday: PM strength workout.

Office wifey and I accidentally twinned -- on April Fools Day. Obviously worthy of a photo.
Did glute prep using resistance bands since I hadn't done it on Tuesday. I made a video to show what it looks like, but it turned out that it was just close up shots of my butt moving back and forth across the screen sooo that was promptly deleted and shall never see the light of day.

2x15 (unless noted):
(1) Lunges w/ rotation (x10) - 20#
(2) Chest presses - 40#
(3) Row - 20# each arm
(4) Glute bridges
(5) Single leg deadlifts (x10) - 20#
(6) Shoulder press - 10# each arm
(7) Lat pull down - 45#
(8) Bird dogs
(9) Mountain climbers
(10) Shoulder taps in plank

Saturday: 47 minutes easy.

Another evening run. They're my absolutely favorites, unless I'm miraculously well rested and spring out of bed at the break of dawn naturally, in which case I am also a fan of sunrise runs.

Ran at Back Bay, temps were in the 60s. Kept it super easy since I had a race the next day!

Stats - 4.6 miles in 47:00 for 10:13 avg pace; 130 avg HR

Sunday: 8 mile "long" run (including Carlsbad 5000 race).

I will recap the race soon! Long story short, I was initially a bit bummed to just miss a PR, but upon retrospection during my cool down miles, I'm happy with the result. I think 7 seconds off a PR is promising for the rest of training, given that I was barely running from post-marathon in December till late February. And as I noted earlier in this post, I kind of forgot I'd only been training for four weeks! Also, I thought the race was very well run, so I want to recap the logistics of it.

Ran 3 very slow, easy miles to warm up, raced, then ran 2 very very slow, easy miles to cool down.

Race Splits - (1) 7:34/160 HR, (2) 7:53/165 HR <-- it's always the damn second mile!, (3) 7:36/166 HR, (.13) at 6:46 pace and 165 HR. 

My right hamstring was tight after, which freaked me out, but with stretching and some ice, it was totally fine on Monday when PT Sam checked it out.

Total Mileage = ~23 miles

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon: Week 3 Training Log

Woof, it's been a very busy couple of days of work, but I carved out a few minutes today to update the blog with last week's training. Overall, I think it went well, although I was dealing with some obnoxious high calf tightness (probably caused by tight IT bands). 

Nothing too exciting to report life-wise, since work has been pretty busy, but we did get in a pretty fun day trip to the Wind Wolves Preserve last Sunday. And training has been going well, which I'm happy about! Onward to the training log...

Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon: Week 3 Training Log

Monday: Physical therapy.

Full PT session, which includes various strengthening exercises and drills, like jumping over hurdles, ladder agility work, and isolation exercises. I also did some stretches at home, but I had to get work done so I didn't have time to do a full yoga sequence, which is what Coach Jess had scheduled.

Tuesday: Easy 45 minute run at Back Bay.

That's his "I have no interest in being walked, go to work, I want to sleep" look. Don't worry, I forced him to walk. 

I had quite a few late-ish nights of work last week, so I opted for more sleep in the morning and taking a break to run in the evenings. I ran around 6pm on the flat, paved portion of Back Bay, the weather was in the low to mid 60s and it was sunny, AKA my favorite running weather.

Stats - 4.40 miles in 45:00 for 10:14 avg pace, 131 avg HR

Overall, while my legs felt super heavy and blah, I felt good cardio-wise. My high left calf in particular was tight.

Wednesday: Pyramid speed workout (55 mins total) at Back Bay.

Ran after work on the flat, paved portion of Back Bay, low to mid 60s and sunny, bit of a headwind on the first half of run.

Stats - 55 minutes total || 5.68 miles || 143 avg HR || 171 max HR (surprised, thought it would be higher)

Splits - 

  • 15 min w/u
  • Pyramid with 2:00 recovery b/t each interval: 
    • 1:00 - 0.14 mi (~7:13 pace) 
    • 2:00 - 0.27 mi (~7:28 pace) 
    • 3:00 - 0.39 mi (~7:40 pace) 
    • 4:00 - 0.54 mi (~7:20 pace) 
    • 3:00 - 0.40 mi (~7:26 pace) 
    • 2:00 - 0.28 mi (~7.19 pace) 
    • 1:00 - 0.14 mi (~7:04 pace) 
  • 12 min c/d

Can someone explain how I can run the same distance in the same amount of time and my Garmin reads a totally different pace? (0.28 miles in 2 minutes is 7:19 pace versus 0.14 miles in 1 minute being 7:04 pace, for example.) 

Still had some nasty tightness in my top left calf. At times I felt a twinge in my right high hamstring, but I felt fine the next morning after a lot of stretching last night.

Thursday: Off.

Friday: 30 minutes elliptical + lower body strength workout.

I'm hooked on The People vs O.J. Simpson, so I've been watching it during all of my gym workouts. I was extremely skeptical of it when I first heard about the show, but it's fantastic. So often TV shows just completely get the legal process wrong, and this show has (so far) gotten it right. It's also fascinating to me because I remember the trial in 1995 being a huge deal, but I wasn't really conscious of the ins and outs of it. Oh, and if you do watch the show, I highly recommend the Fug Girls' recaps of the show. 

30 minutes on the elliptical (123 HR) watching The People v. O.J. Simpson, and then strength work.

3x15: (1) Deadlift - 40#, (2) Squat - 40#, (3) Lunge - 20#, (4) Clamshell, (5) Bridge || 2x: (1) Plank - 1 min, (2) Single leg bicycle - 15x each side

Saturday: 5 miles easy on treadmill + upper body strength workout

I planned a sunset run, since those are my favorite, only urgent work kept coming in starting around 4pm till 7pm. I was determined to get Coach Jess' workout in, though, so I hit up the treadmill at 9pm after I'd finished everything that needed to get done. Thankfully TPvOJ kept me entertained on the 'mill.

Stats - 5 miles in 50:16 for 10:03 average pace and a 131 average heart rate followed  by strength work.

3x15: (1) Chest press 40#, (2) Bicep curl 30#, (3) Tricep rows 30#, (4) Lat pulldowns 50#, (5) Rows 50#

2x: (1) 1:00 plank, (2) 15 V-ups

Sunday: 7 mile "long" run (3 at tempo pace) at Wind Wolves Preserve 

Quotes will stay on long until runs are over double digits (which will happen after this weekend!). The Wind Wolves Preserve is west of Bakersfield, and it is absolutely stunning. Sourabh and I planned to head up there, he'd walk Mason while I ran 7 miles, then we'd hike around. Sourabh was working as we were driving up there, and unfortunately he got even more work as we drove up to the preserve. 

After I'd finished running, Sourabh said he'd rather head back since he had hours of work left to do. Such is the life of a lawyer. It was still fun to have a mini road trip, and the Preserve was gorgeous, so we both agreed that the trip was worth it and that we wanted to head back sometime soon.

Seriously, though, how incredible is this place?

Looking out over the farm fields of the Central Valley

I ran an out and back, and it was basically all uphill for the first 3.5 miles and all downhill for the second 3.5 miles, which worked out perfectly since miles 4-7 were the tempo miles.

Seriously,  that elevation though...

It was sunny and dry, mid to high 70's, not much shade, so I definitely felt kind of parched despite having drank over a liter of water that morning. 

Stats - 7 miles in 1:09:28 || 9:55 avg pace || 150 avg HR || ~800 ft elev gain 

Splits - (1) 11:41, (2) 11:34, (3) 11:37, (4) 10:29, (5) 8:18, (6) 8:11, (7) 7:36. 

My heart rate was in the 150s for most of the run, going uphill the first half then tempo the second half. I actually felt like I could have pushed harder on the tempo portion, but I didn't want to risk hurting my hamstring on the downhill (~225 ft descent each mile). 

Total Mileage = ~22 miles

This Sunday, I'm racing the Carlsbad 5000. Coach Jess is keeping the runs easy, but we're still slowly building up the mileage. It starts at 9:30am, which means it'll probably be a bit hotter, but it also means I can hopefully get a decent amount of sleep the night before (which I will need after the start of this week -- work has been crazy!).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon: Week 2 Training Log

Two weeks down, ten to go! Here's how last week went down, all workout plans coming from the wonderful Coach Jess, as always.

After Monday, I wasn't very busy at work, so I had time to run in the evening, which was nice because I had a hard time adjusting to the time change. Not complaining, though, I love the later sunsets because they make evening runs more possible!

Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon: Week 2 Training Log

Monday: PM yoga at home

30 minutes of stretching and foam rolling. Wanted to go to a class, but work came in late in the afternoon and I worked till midnight. 

Mason foam rolling his pecs on the bed

Tuesday: AM cross-training elliptical (126 avg HR) + PM strength

30 mins elliptical (126 avg HR) in the morning before work.

Strength workout in the evening.

(1) Lat pull-downs
(2) Rows
(3) Bridges
(4) Bicep curls
(5) Squats
(6) Donkey kicks (ea side)
(7) Plank (1 min)
(8) Mountain climbers (ea side)

Wednesday: PM easy run at Back Bay (5 miles) + physical therapy

75-80ish degrees and sunny.

Stats - 49:25 total time for 5 miles || 9:53 avg pace || ~200 elev. gain || 146 avg HR

Legs felt kind of heavy and had a hard time getting the right glute to fire, plus it was the hottest temperature I've run in for a while. Definitely positive split this one, but not by a huge amount (stayed within 30 second range). It was a perfect progression run, if each mile of a progression run was supposed to get slower...

Headed over to physical therapy post-run.

Thursday: PM fartlek run (55 minutes) at Back Bay

6pm, sunny, mid-60s. Way less hot than the previous day, thankfully.

Stats - 15 min w/u || 3x2:00 w/ 2:00 recovery jog - (1) 0.25 / 152 HR, (2) 0.27 / 157 HR, (3) 0.27 / 157 HR || 3x3:00 w/ 2:00 recovery jog - (1) 0.41 / 165 HR, (2) 0.40 / 163 HR, (3) 0.40 / 166 HR || 15 min c/d

All photos taken during warm up and cool down, of course!
I felt like I was working a bit harder than the heart rate seems to indicate, but it does take a while for the heart rate to catch up with the pace in such short intervals. Also, I'm not very used to speed since it's been a while since I've been doing tough workouts! It seems like the pace went from 7:50ish for the first 2:00 to 7:20-7:30ish for the rest of the intervals. 

Friday: Physical therapy

Ice and stim, that's how my Friday nights roll
Took advantage of work being slow to enjoy Sol Cocina's happy hour. It's one of our favorite upscale Mexican restaurants in OC, and props for making happy hour available on Fridays (I hate when restaurants only make happy hours Monday through Thursday).

Saturday: PM easy run (5 miles) on Bommer Ridge Trail + strength workout

I woke up at 4:15am on Saturday to volunteer for four hours at the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation's bike race, then headed home and napped for a couple of hours. Sourabh and I ran some errands and watched some TV before I headed out for my easy run around 5:30pm.

Evening run, high 50s to low 60s with a nice breeze. 

Stats - 5 miles in 49:37 total time for 9:55 avg pace || 144 avg HR || 450 ft elev gain.

Felt a bit of high hamstring tightness at the end. I had a deep tissue massage after the run, which helped a lot, but it definitely worried me for the next day's run. Thankfully there were no issues on Sunday!

Hadn't run on trails in so long, so I got a bit picture happy.

PM Strength Workout

(1) Lunge with external rotation (10x each leg)
(2) Single leg deadlifts (10x each leg)
(3) 5-5-5 squats

(1) Lat pulldowns
(2) Row
(3) Shoulder presses
(4) Push-ups

(1) Side leg lifts (10x each leg)
(2) Plank (1 min)
(3) Side plank (1 min each side)

Sunday: AM long run (6 miles with 2 @ tempo) on Aliso Canyon Trail

9am, overcast high 50s to low 60s. Ran with Kristina and Meg, and the miles whizzed by.

If I didn't tell you where this was, wouldn't you think it was Scotland or Ireland? California is so beautiful in the spring!

Stats - 6 miles in 55:49 total time for 9:18 avg pace || 149 avg HR || 190 ft elev gain.

The high hamstring / inner thigh area felt pretty much fine! I couldn't raise my right knee as much as I could on Wednesday, so couldn't get that smooth circular running movement going during the tempo portions (knee driving up, pressing down and extending -- like this video)
. That was normal before this week, so it's just a bit of regression, not too bad. Also, I was talking a lot until the tempo miles, so I was very happy with the heart rate overall. The pace felt great (it was mostly downhill for the first 3 miles, which I didn't realize till we turned around...).

Eep, definitely didn't realize how much of a downhill there was!

Splits - (1) 9:57 / 128 avg HR, (2) 9:32 / 138 avg HR, (3) 9:20 / 146 avg HR, (4) 9:28 / 151 avg HR - 65 ft ascent, (5) 8:52 / 159 avg HR - 25 ft ascent, (6) 8:37 / 172 avg HR - 45 ft ascent

After showering post-run, Sourabh and I headed to Provenance for brunch. We've been there so many times for dinner since it's so close to our place (and so tasty!), but we'd never been to their brunch and wanted to try it out. It was great!

Sourabh got the chilaquiles

And I got the Newport Scramble
We also split their cinnamon ricotta "donuts" (which were more like donut holes). SO GOOD!

Total Mileage = ~21 miles

Still not raising the mileage that high as I come off of injury, but trying to up the intensity. This coming week will be similar. Coach Jess has basically given me a more intense version of this past week. I'll be doing a pyramid workout that is similar to the fartlek workout, but with more intensity, and a 7 mile long run with 3 tempo miles.