Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More anything? MORE EVERYTHING!

As a HUGE fans of the sitcom Seinfeld, my wife and I frequently fall into dialog from the show as part of our normal conversation.  You’d be surprised how readily, “Fredo was weak and stupid; he shouldn’t have eaten that key!” and “You put a balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? Did I tell you the balm on?” can supplement everyday discussion!  Yes, there’s a point to this odd bit of trivia and a connection to this post.

I find myself once again behind in my blogging and looking to write an encyclopedic “catchup” post.  Typically I pick up where I last left off and move forward.  Today, however, I’m composing at 30,000 feet with a dose of Woodford Reserve Bourbon (thank you, Delta, for the complementary First Class upgrade!) on my left and some dude who may be reading this over my shoulder waaaay off to my right (Hey Dude!).  International-travel planes aren’t WiFi equipped, so I’m stone-aged with (oooh! Snack tray!! Banana, Sun Chips, low-salt, dry roasted peanuts, and bottled water; no “meal” on this flight? BOOO!!  – sorry, distracted...) no internet, so I can't pull up my blog page.  Since I have no idea where I left off, I’ll start with the current and work backward... which was the very creative premise of (you guessed it) a Seinfeld episode!


Travel day, going to Shreveport, LA.  I’ll be getting in a few ‘heat training’ runs.  The weather has been overall COLD in Vermont and there’s a definite possibility that the start time of the race will be the hottest weather I’ve run in since September of last year.  Did I mention I hate exercising in the heat?

I’m not going to formally track my diet on this trip.  It’s such a hassle to manage formal diet tracking when dining out and it’s pretty much shooting in the dark to try to come up with reasonable estimates.  I’ll still try to eat a moderately healthy diet and, from what I’ve been reading, a bit of an uptick of fat (I typically struggle to get up to 25% fat in my diet; research indicates runners do better with 30-35%) with a dropoff of protein in my diet would be a good thing in terms of “performance nutrition.”

(…Biscoff Gourmet Ginger Snaps?  Why yes, sir, I would love a package!  Thank you very much!)

Officially my “day off” and “diet cheat day” for the week. (Yes, I would love another ridiculously small, but refreshing, bottle of Dasani!)  I started diet tracking and then we had Taco Salad for dinner and and I had zero enthusiasm for weighing and entering about a dozen different ingredients, so no diet log!

I chose very wisely to run yesterday as the weather today is truly ugly (low 50s & rain rain rain).  I saw lots of Facebook posts and updates from local friends who ran on Sunday and was very, very glad I wasn’t one of them!

I travel to Shreveport, LA, tomorrow, and travel days are notoriously tough for my diet, but in a way that probably differs for most.  If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I typically shoot for around 3000 Kcal per day on average and even more when I run stupid distances.  It’s often difficult to get nutritive calories in when traveling through 3 airport over the course of 10 hours.  I snack here & there and grab what I can on the airplane (snacks are gone at this point; the carcasses lingered briefly on shelf next to my ¾ reclined seat before being whisked away as I cracked open my 3rd bottle of Dasani).  

The back of my left knee continues to be troublesome.  I need to resume my PT exercises and rule out hip flexors as the cause.  I can definitely run with this and I don’t think it will end up being a showstopper on the course, but it may make me bed-ridden (or severely hobbled) for a day or two following the race. 

My last kinda “long run” and what I’ll call the official beginning of my taper.  Holy s**t, I’m going to run a freakin’ marathon in 2 weeks!  My long run this week is the shortest scheduled long run since my first week on the plan – 13 miles.  This one was supposed to be at Marathon Pace (Oh, sure, I’ll take another Woodford Reserve.  Thank you, kind sir!) and I felt like I struggled the entire way to keep the pace.  My Nike+ kept spitting out the every-mile updates and my best-case scenario was fighting to keep an 8:00 mile on a slight downhill (my goal MP is 7:55 per mile).  I’ve felt very blah on my last few runs and this really wasn’t helping me feel like I was ready to challenge a 3:30 marathon (for reference, running 8:00 miles for the duration just squeaks in under 3:30).

I ran one of my normal routes in reverse, so I really had no good benchmarks for time & distance.  It wasn’t until coming back into my neighborhood that I realized that my Nike+ had been lying to me for the past 90 minutes.  By its report, I was over 2 minutes off my pace for the 13 mile run (I should be in at around 1:45), but here I was, 0.75 miles from home and seeing a time on my watch that was considerably faster. 

I ended up completing the 13.6 mile run in 1:44:30.  My first “warm-up” mile was right about where I wanted to be at 8:20 and then I was consistently cranking times well under 8:00 for the rest of the run.  My best Half Marathon *race* was run at a 7:41 per mile pace.  According to RunKeeper (which is GPS based vs. the Nike+ which is basically pedometer based) my pace for this *training* run averaged  out to 7:42 per mile. 

While the result somewhat changes my perception of the perceived effort of the run, I’m not thrilled at overrunning the run.  I was pushing too hard and, while I’m glad that I had the fitness to run that distance in that time, I will certainly pay for it in terms of muscle fatigue and recovery.  I usually have a very good sense of my pace and to be that far off of what “felt” like the right pace makes me feel a little n00bish again.  Fortunately, the race has Pacing Groups  and mile markers, so I can better track my actual pace on known intervals and use the 3:30 pacing group as a benchmark of about where I need to be to hit my goal.

(No, thank you very much, but while another bourbon would be great, responsibility dictates that I request another bottle of Dasani instead.  Thank you again, sir!)
Day 2 of the “Standing Desk Experiment” went a little better today, but dear lord is it different!  On a few occasions, I would wander off to talk to a co-worker about some work-related nugget of information. I would start walking back to my cubicle wondering why I was looking so forward to sitting down… only to have my dreams dashed with the realization that that there was no sitting down!  I wore my new Asics Gel Kayano 17s today instead of dress shoes, so at least I was standing in shoes with good support!

Considering how dinged up I’ve been feeling this week (standing-desk didn’t help, but I suspect it will be better for me in the long run), I opted out of my cardio class at the gym.  My left hamstring behind the knee is still sore and I’m not entirely sure why it’s not recovering properly.  I absolutely could have muscled through the class and been fine, but I’m also looking toward this weekend’s long run and, given the lousy running workouts I’ve had recently, I really need to have a good run and at least FEEL like I’m getting my mojo back.

(...and here I conclude my Delta First Class experience, deplane and wander around The ATL for a few hours...)  Good stopping point for this update; the next one will go back in time a bit further.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I think you're missing like...a whole week. :)