Entries in Walking (11)


Aches & pains + wacky schedules = light mileage week

Last week was out of the ordinary, and, my lowest mileage week in 2012 (other than the week I rested after the Polar Dash HM).  My son and his teachers asked if I would help run the sound board, wireless microphones, and music for the show, since I had done so for last year's performance of "Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat".  I love theater so I agreed.

That agreement meant three things for me.  #1: it meant that I did not see much of my family last week because every day after work, I would have to go directly to the school to work sound during rehearsals (and usually not getting home until after 9pm).  #2: it meant I did not get enough sleep because of #1.  And #3: standing and moving about for 4 hours every night (after a full day at the office) kept my hips, knees, and lower back a little sore (I never really gave my body time to recover from my 12-mile run last Sunday).

I had planned on putting in about 16-18 miles last week.  But it seemed like every morning I woke up, some part of my body was stiff and sore.  Sometimes a hip joint, sometimes a knee, sometimes my back, and sometimes more than one (could it be my age?). Plus, I was just plain tired.  Some of this could have also been due to the time change as well. But whatever the reasons, I chose sleep over my early morning weekday runs.  I kept using the foam roller throughout the week to help with the stiffness in my hips and back, and relax my calves.

Except for Thursday.  The weather was in the low 60s and I just felt like I HAD to go outside and run.  After having run so many times on the Treadmill, I just couldn't let an entire week of wonderful weather pass me by.  My hip was hurting so I started off with a longer warm-up walk.  I walked a good 10 minutes hoping the hip would loosen up.

When I thought it was ready, I started to run, slowly.   At first the hip was okay but after a 10:45/mm paced mile, it was complaining and I didn't want to do any potential injury.  So I went back to walking.  I went for 3.12 miles at an overall pace of 13:45/mm.  It wasn't the best run experience, but I did enjoy the weather and just being outside in it.

On Saturday, I met up with my running partner Mike for a Long Slow Run on the Prairie Path.  Mike didn't want to go too far or too fast because he was running a very hilly Half Marathon the next day.  That was fine with me because my right knee was bothering me and I didn't want to 'push' too hard.  We ran for 6.87 miles with wonderful weather and clear skies.  I had to drop to a walk for a 1/2 mile when my knee started hurting about mid-way, but 6 miles of actual 'running' at an 11:00/mm pace was good considering.  The pace for the entire run (including walking and warm-up/cooldown) was 12:33/mm.

It was good that we ended when we did, because about 30 minutes later we had a brief but significant rain/thunder storm blow through.  We saw it approaching in the distance as we were headed back to our cars.  Glad we were home before the storm hit!

So instead of 16 miles this week, I only logged 10.  Oh well.  But I think in the end, it was better to back off on running in order to get more sleep, given the crazy schedule I was on between work, the musical, church, and a fundraising event for my AVON Walk for Breast Cancer.

This weekend I am running the "Penguin in the Park" 5K race in Decatur IL with my son and my running partner Mike and his wife, Liz.  It should be a fun race, with the added bonus of getting to visit with my daughter who lives there.  I will try to get two maintenance runs in this week and hit the Jacuzzi on that Friday night.


Training in full tilt again (and February has become "Treadmill Month")

It has been two weeks since my last post. Sorry about that. February has turned into one BUSY month! By the time I think to post something, it is late and I am either heading for bed (or have fallen asleep on the couch trying to watch TV).

It has been a pretty chilly February. And either because of snow/ice covering the streets or the windchill factor being in the 'teens during my usual 6AM running time, I have been very unmotivated to run outside (which I much prefer). So I have been doing the lion share of my running indoors at LifeTime on the Treadmill. I have tried everything I could think of to avoid boredom: I have watched movies on my iPad; listened to music, podcasts, and audiobooks; run with my buddy Mike for good conversation; and watch the TVs on the walls of the gym. All of these things help greatly, but in the end you are still running in place.

I have run for over 62 miles so far this month, and all but 21 of those miles have been on the Treadmill. That's 41 miles -- the highest amount of TM miles/time I have put in since last summer. My longest TM run -- 10.3 miles -- was done on Feb 12th with Mike. By the end of this month, I will probably add another 12 more TM miles to that number unless the weather improves a bit. I cannot wait until I can return to my regular outdoor running routine.

I did get a few runs done outside, on the Prairie Bike Path this month. One 8.7 mile Long Run with Mike, and just this weekend I was able to run a 4.5 mile run Saturday evening, followed by an 8.5 mile Long Run this afternoon. I really enjoyed those runs, although the run Saturday night was kinda creepy (running on the Path at night with a headlamp was weird with all the noises and did I mention utter DARKNESS!!!!!). Thankfully, the run today at 2:30pm was just the opposite -- sunny and beautiful!!!

From a mileage perspective, the month has been one of my higher ones (and it isn't even over yet).

  • Total miles Week 1: 20.3
  • Total miles Week 2: 14.9
  • Total miles Week 3: 18.3
  • Total miles this week: 8.5 (24 anticipated)
  • Total miles next week: 10 (partial week)
  • Total for February (estimated): 87.5

I have not been doing a lot of Cross Training (XT) this month, and that is something I need to add back into my weekly schedule. Core work and Swimming are going to be my XT of choice for now. As a Trainer told me last week, swimming is a great aerobic activity that can increase your oxygen intake and improve your overall muscle tone, making you a faster runner. It is probably better than strength training alone. Who knows? Maybe getting my swimming form back (I used to swim a lot) might get me interested in participating in a Triathlon one of these days...

My Walk training for the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer started this month. I have been adding a walk day each week for about 4 miles. I plan on adding a Long Walk to my weekly schedule, and I am considering using my new "Instinct" shoes for the long walks. It would serve as a good way to continue my slow ramp-up towards natural running. One thought was to do my Long Run on Saturday for the full distance 'out', and then switch to walking for the 'return trip', Then my Long Run and Long Walk would be the same distance. It would make training a lot longer on that day. And, if I want to do the walk in my "Instinct" shoes, it would require me to bring my Altras in a backpack (not sure I like that idea). I might just have to make Sundays my Long Walk day so I don't have to deal with the shoe change issue.

Speaking of the Altra Running shoes, I have put 7 miles on them so far this month and the results are very promising! I decided to sign up for a 5-session Natural Running class offered by my local running store at the end of March to learn more about adjusting one's running form as a result of wearing Minimalist shoes. I get two Gait Analyses done as part of the class -- one at the beginning and one at the conclusion. It should be very informative! So far, my midfoot strike form seems to be working for me in these shoes, and I haven't experienced any pain or discomfort. So I must be doing something right.

I was talking with the Team Captain for my AVON Walk team yesterday afternoon and she mentioned to me that her husband has a Hydration Pack that he never uses, and would I be interested in using it for our Walk (39.3 miles) in June. I have never used a Camelback or anything like that before, so I said "Sure!". I am hoping to do training runs with it to see how it feels to wear one with a Litre of water. Maybe this will be a new piece of running/walking gear for me. I will let you know.

Last week, my Disney Shadow Box arrived. I was so excited! I ordered it during the Expo at the Disney Marathon Weekend. They get your race information from Disney and then create this very nice commemorative shadow box with your name, your medal (you get a second medal just for the display), your finish time, and a photo that you provide. I figured since this was my first endurance race, I would get something special. I love it! I hope I can get something similar for my first Marathon in October.

Well, I think that is about it for now. I can't allow myself a two-week delay between postings -- I forget too many things! So I promise to be more intentional in the future.