Nashville & Indy Half: Week Four Training

Only got in two runs for the week but I feel good about where I am today. My back issues kept me from running on Monday again but I ended the week without the nagging back problems I’ve had for the past three or four weeks.

I got my treadmill workout in on Wednesday and since I was off on Friday I decided to hold off on my Thursday treadmill work for then. Unfortunately, life got in the way. I had noticed my internet data usage had really gone up the past two weeks but I couldn’t figure out why. On Friday morning I discovered I had used 7 terabytes in February and was very close to using 1 terabyte in the first two days of March. Yes, terabytes, not gigabytes. That’s a lot of data! Early Friday morning I started disconnecting every internet aware device in my home to try and pinpoint the problem. Didn’t realize how many devices we had so it took awhile. After disconnecting everything but the desktop computer I was using to monitor my network I still couldn’t find the problem. I have a mobile hotspot so I connected my desktop computer to the hotspot and it didn’t take long to realize the desktop machine was the culprit. My hotspot used 2 gigabytes in less than 30 minutes. I looked at all my services and applications but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The only thing left to do was to wipe the hard drive and reinstall everything. YUCK! I’m assuming I had some sort of peer-to-peer installed from somewhere. I really have no idea and I’m very careful about where I surf the net. I will remain a mystery I guess. So instead of running on Friday I was busy setting up my desktop computer again. Fun stuff! NOT.

Kim and I went to see Dwight Yoakum at the Bell Auditorium on Friday night so I got to bed much later than I would have preferred. Especially since Saturday is my long run day. It was a great show though and looked like a sellout crowd.

I got a late start on my Saturday run. I didn’t get started until after eleven and normally I would be finished before this. I tried to keep it slow and steady by breathing in from my nose and exhaling from my mouth for the most part. Didn’t always to that, but most of the time I did. The first four miles felt the hardest but after that I got my second wind and felt strong and really good. My fifth mile was actually my slowest mile split but it also had the most difficult hills. That mile felt like my best mile–regardless of the split time. The route I took on Saturday is one of my more difficult routes that I run. The first mile is the flattest but after that they are all pretty difficult. The distance this week was about a mile and half further and averaged about 11 seconds per mile faster than the previous week. Still running much slower than I would like but this is progress so I’m pretty happy about it.

The great thing about this week is I ended it without any back issues and it looks like I’ll get my Monday run in. Something I haven’t done in several weeks. (FYI: I’m writing this on Monday and yes, I got my run in.)

 

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Canceled run due to back.
Wednesday: 12 minute race pace/2 minute walk/12 minute race pace.
Saturday: 6.97 miles at a 12:48 minute mile pace.

Approximately 10 miles for the week.

Nashville & Indy Half: Week Three Training

Week three is over and I did decide to sit out of the Augusta University Half Marathon on Sunday. I really hated to to cancel but honestly, I wasn’t ready. I could have gone and I’m sure I would have finished but not in the way I would want to finish. I did go pick up my race packet and shirt. This was kind of a waste because for some reason their shirt orders got messed up and I had to take a medium shirt. I wear a extra large!

With my back issues I didn’t run on Monday. I felt like another day of rest was needed. By Wednesday I felt back to normal. I decided to put my training schedule on sync with the Nashville and Indy halfs. Training this week felt a little easier for sure.

The unusally warm weather really has the tree pollen in full force. On Friday the temperature hit 87 degrees. Even for Georgia that’s pretty warm. I’m glad I started taking Claritin for my allergies a few weeks ago. Once the tree pollen gets to the levels where they are now I have to use Flonase and Pataday as well. Even with all three it doesn’t always cut it.

The treadmill workouts on Wednesday and Thursday felt pretty good. I’m used to being on a treadmill again. Honestly, I think workouts on the treadmill will continue at least once a week from now on. On Saturday I was outdoors in a sleeveless shirt and shorts and ran a nice steady and slow pace. I’m glad I got out there early because it started warming up pretty quickly.

After my run on Saturday I decided to install an HDTV antenna in my attic. Bad idea! Well, it was great that I can get rid of three cable boxes now and have eight HDTV channels over the air but… when I got up on Sunday morning my back was feeling it. My lower back and left side of my hip was killing me. The standing on rafters at a weird angle and holding a flashlight under my arm really strained my back. This back issue is getting frustrating. Kim (my wife) spent about five minutes doing karate chops on my back and hip and it did help. Another tool I use and for some reason I’ve never mentioned is my “Thera Cane”. It’s a short walking cane looking device that has various nubs you can use to self massage your body. It works great let me tell you. I bought mine several years ago on Amazon I think. You can learn more about it at, http://www.theracane.com.

I did add crunches and leg raises to my workout routines this week. The back issues have me convinced I’ve neglected by core long enough. The crunches aren’t bad but I sure can feel the strain when I do the leg raise exercises. Ouch!

Even with the back issues I’m feeling pretty good about my training for Nashville. I don’t see any reason I won’t be ready. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to run at the pace I would like but its far enough away that I can’t really tell. Losing ten pounds should make a difference. I’m working on it.

Ok, that’s enough rambling for this week. Here’s the breakdown.

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Canceled run due to back.
Wednesday: 12 minute race pace/2 minute walk/12 minute race pace.
Thursday: 5 minute race pace/1 minutes faster & 2 minute walk (x6)/5 minute race pace.
Saturday: 5.49 miles at a 12:59 minute mile pace.

Approximately 11 miles for the week.

Nashville & Indy Half: Week Two Training

I finished this week’s training realizing I only had seven days until the Augusta University Half Marathon and I’m not ready. Maybe in three weeks I could be ready but more like four weeks. I could blame my cold and broncitis or my back issues, or my schedule but I won’t. I’m not ready because I didn’t focus enough.

My back problems continued this week as well. Seems to be muscle related and not joint thankfully. Even with the lower back pain I played eighteen holes of golf on Friday. It was painful at times and I had to swing with a much shorter and slower swing. Gauging distance was difficult because my usual yardage was way off. On the plus side I seemed to hit the fairway more often than usual. Might need to think about this when my playing picks up later this year. In the end, playing golf seemed to help my lower back. The spasm just below my left shoulder is still there on occasion but that doesn’t seem to affect my running or golf really. On Saturday my lower back seemed to be back to normal.

Saturday is my usual long run day but I decided to scrap it. By then it was starting to sink in that I’m not ready for the AU Half Marathon. I haven’t made a definite call but I think I’m going to bow out of the AU Half. It’s hard for me to make it official but I’m certainly leaning that way. The St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half and the Indy 500 Mini Marathon are more important to me and I don’t want to do something stupid to spoil it. I’m running with my daughter and son-in-law for both events and I would hate myself for missing either of them. I’ll decide by Friday.

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Ran 3.94 miles at a 12:25 per mile pace.
Wednesday: 16 minute race pace/2 minute walk/16 minute race pace.
Thursday: 9 minute race pace/2 minutes faster & 2 minute walk (x4)/9 minute race pace
Friday: Eighteen holes of golf, mostly walking

Approximately 11 miles for the week.

Have you ever signed up for an event and then cancelled at the last moment? How did you feel about it?

 

Nashville & Indy Half: Week One Training

 

Phase One isn’t technically over but I’m at the twelve week mark to get ready for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. I think it’s time to focus on Nashville and Indy the week after that. I have a little less than two weeks before the Augusta University Half Marathon. I’ll be honest here. I’m not ready. I won’t be ready. I’m pretty confident I’ll finish it but it will be far from easy. It’s a pretty challenging course which adds to the difficulty. I’ll accept whatever comes from it.

You may recall the end of the previous week I was suffering from muscle spasms in my upper back. I couldn’t get my regular Monday morning run in due to the same reason. It did get my speed work on the treadmill in on Wednesday but I stayed up too late to get my run in on Thursday. Since I missed my long run the week before I wanted to make sure I got that in so I skipped making up my Thursday run on Friday.

Saturday is my usual long run day. I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to get it in since I had a 9 a.m. meeting the same morning and a 1 p.m. meeting that afternoon. I try to keep my Saturday’s free but this week it just wasn’t happening.

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The day started chilly but I had a beautiful full moon to start things out & I got to see the sun rise too!

I was hoping to get in at least nine miles but my pace was so slow I ran out of time. I did get in eight miles though. The temperature didn’t change much at all during my run–even after the sun came up. Don’t know what’s up with my pace the past few weeks. It’s not like I’m fast anyway but I’m slow even by my standards. I was cautious because my back is still  a bit touchy so maybe that’s why.

One thing for sure eight miles is far from the 13.1 I’m going to have to run in two weeks! Has this ever happened to you before? You know, signing up for a run fully expecting to be ready but life gets in the way and you just don’t get there. I plan to run nine plus this coming Saturday but that will be the last long run before the event. I ran this event last year but the 10K and it was one of my best runs ever. A little disappointed I’m not ready but only a little. I knew this would just be a practice run in preparation for Nashville and Indianapolis. I guess that’s why I didn’t really focus much on it. I’ll be glad when it’s over so I can really focus on those two events.

Ok, I’ve rambled enough. Here’s my not so impressive breakdown of last week.

Breakdown for the week:

Wednesday: 16 minute race pace/2 minute walk/16 minute race pace.
Saturday: 8 miles at snails pace of 14:04 minutes per mile. (BTW: Far from flat.)

Approximately 11 miles for the week. About the same as the previous week.

 

Half Marathon Training/Phase One: Week Nine

I’m a little late posting this week. I had a problem with muscle spasms in my upper back over this past weekend that extended until Tuesday of this week. Everything seems fine now but it messed up my training plans a bit. No long run on Saturday so my mileage for the week was way down.

This will be the last post for the “Half Marathon Training/Phase One:” title. This week (which I’ll post about next week) will be “Nashville/Indy Half Marathon Training:”. This marks twelve weeks before the St. Jude Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and thirteen weeks before the One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Those are the two races I’m really focusing on. I have a half marathon coming up in three weeks in Augusta, Georgia and while I’m training up for it, I won’t be quite ready. You should see my miles creep up for the next few weeks then after the half in Augusta they will drop down and then gradually increase in preparation for Nashville and Indianapolis.

Monday’s run was a nice 4 miler at a slow pace. It felt faster than the end result. Don’t know why really; I guess it was just one of those days. It felt good and even though I thought I ran faster, I always enjoy my Monday run. It’s been 11 days since that run and I can’t remember if it was cold or mild temperatures but I seem to recall it was a little chilly that day. We have had very few chilly days this year. I’m not complaining, no way!

Wednesday and Thursday are still my speed work on the treadmill. The Wednesday treadmill day is the worse for me mentally. The Thurday treadmill day is harder physically but I don’t mind it nearly as much. Remember speed is relative. HA!

As I said in the beginning of this post I wasn’t able to get in my long run over the weekend. A bit of a bummer but I don’t think it’s going to make much difference come the end of February when I run in the Augusta University Half Marathon.

Here’s the breakdown for the week:

Monday: Ran 3.99 miles at a 12:45 minutes per mile pace.
Wednesday: 14 minute race pace/2 minute walk/14 minute race pace.
Thursday: 10. minute run/1.5 minute fast + 2 minute walk (x6)/10 minute run.

Approximately 11 miles for the week.

 

Half Marathon Training/Phase One: Week Eight

The week previous I had to do my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday because of thunderstorms. You have to be dedicated but also sometimes flexible with your training plans and the long run on Sunday did a number on my Monday run. It was a rainy morning so I hit the treadmill instead of the road and it didn’t take but a minute for me to realize my legs were not ready for a run. They felt like jello! I hoped things would get better after a few minutes but it didn’t. Twenty minute in, I decided to hang it up for the day. Also, later in the day my legs were sore. That doesn’t happen often and the soreness stayed around for a few days.

Wednesday and Thursday’s speed work on the treadmill was a little longer/harder and I didn’t mind it as much this week. And yes, I didn’t oversleep on Thursday and actually got my training in on the scheduled day! Chilly weather returned by Saturday’s long run. I didn’t get out until around 11 in the morning so it wasn’t too bad. Low to mid-fifties outside but it was windy! It felt pretty good when you were in the sunlight and no wind blowing but in the shade and/or windy and you sure could tell the difference. Dreaded getting out there but once I got going I really enjoyed it. I just concentrated on my foot cadence and let the wind and terrain dictate my stride. Kept things slow with controlled breathing all the way. My heart rate averaged 133 BPM. On flat terrain that might be a little high but I don’t have much flat terrain.

My weekly mileage was down slightly since my run was cut short on Monday. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the progress made this week.

Here’s the breakdown for the week:

Monday: Ran 20 minutes on the treadmill.
Wednesday: 14 minute race pace/2 minute walk/14 minute race pace.
Thursday: 9 minute run/1.5 minute fast + 2 minute walk (x4)/9 minute run.
Sunday: Ran 8.18 miles at a 12.32 pace.

Approximately 16 miles for the week.

 

Half Marathon Training/Phase One: Week Seven

Another rock steady week of training! I don’t know what’s up with Thursday morning though. I overslept and missed Thursday’s training  and had to make it up on Friday. That’s two weeks in a row that I’ve done that. Weather was great again here in Georgia–except some very strong thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday. I had to postpone Saturday’s long run but thankfully I got it in on Sunday between the thunderstorms.

Monday’s run was great! I didn’t have to work that day because of MLK Day. Weather was awesome and I felt great. I don’t know what happened on my last mile. I think I started daydreaming and it took me 12:18 to finish it. And that’s after realizing I slowed down and I kicked it in on the last third of a mile. Wednesday and Friday’s speed work on the treadmill went well and I’m starting to get used to running on a treadmill again. It’s really boring to me but it’s getting better. On Sunday I didn’t have a speed or distance in mind. Instead the goal was to run at least 90 minutes. I clocked in a little over 99 minutes. This is my longest run since July 30th. The only reason I remember this is because it was my birthday.

Here’s the breakdown for the week:

Monday: Ran 3.94 miles at a 11:56 pace.
Wednesday: 12 minute race pace/2 minute walk/12 minute race pace.
Friday: 7 minute run/1.5 minute fast + 3 minute walk (x4)/7 minute run.
Sunday: Ran 7.45 miles at a 13:21 pace. (Killer hills this week!)

Approximately 17 miles for the week.

Slowly taking off the pounds as well. I’ve lost about seven pounds since the first of the year. Yeah me!