Thursday, July 28, 2011

running notes since June...

(these are ordered from the oldest to most recent…):

July 8, 2011 – 12 mile run.  Went to a local park; nice to run an unfamiliar trail.  I was amazed at how comfortable the animal life was to people.  Ducks, geese, birds in general would grudgedly get out of my way.  They were fine just standing on or beside the trail and having me pass very close to them.  I wasn’t worried about the little birds or the ducks, but the geese made me a little nervous… I took my camel-back for fluids and in general had a good run, but I was definitely tired afterwards.  I tried hard to make sure that I prepped for the run right: carbing up and resting the day before, pre-run hydration, and making sure that I hydrated constantly during the run.  After the run I drank my protein cocktail and an appropriate amount of fluids. I didn’t have any post-run cramps and that was the big goal.  Mission accomplished.

July 14, 2011 – 14 mile run.  I didn’t want to carry all of my hydration and nutrition with me, so I opted to do 3 mile loops around my neighborhood, stopping by the garage every lap for Gatorade and “goo” (“goo” is a honey-like concoction that contains carbs, sodium, potassium, all of which help fuel your body.  I try to suck down a packet every 30-45 minutes).  It has been incredibly humid and this morning was no exception.  But in general, it was a great run.  Better still that I had the juice to step it up the last two miles and finish strong.  The bad news is that the top of my left ankle is bothering me (has been for a while).

July 18, 2011 – Went to see Brad (at Ann Arbor Foot and Ankle) re my ankle.  Says that I have an inflamed tibialis anterior tendon (the tendon that your foot uses to pronate and push off with), basically “tendinitis”.  The cure is to not use it – but that’s not going to happen.  So alternatives are: 1) ice it, 2) ibuprofen, 3) cortisone shot (we’ll wait on that one…), and consider a different running shoe that might help alleviate (more support in that area) the stress on that tendon.  So I went to my favorite running store (Tortoise and Hare) and got into a new pair of ASIC’s which seem to feel really nice (lower heel, good support).  In addition, Brad is setting my up for new orthotics.  All good.

July 20, 2011  - 8 mile run.  Probably the most humid conditions that I have ever run in.  I was 100% totally drenched when I finished.  BTW, these are all early morning runs.  I was so drenched that my running shorts, shirt, and sox were soaking wet.  But somehow I was ok!   And my ankle was good.

July 22, 2011 – 16 mile run – this was my longest run to-date.  Got up at 5AM so that I could be ready to run by 6:00.  But it was 6:20 before I actually got started (takes me a while to wake up my body, get it stretched out, and loosened up….).  Hot and humid day 70deg/95% humidity).  Did the neighborhood loops again (five 3-mile loops plus one mile), stopping at the garage on every 3 mile lap for Gatorade and goo.  This was definitely one of those “long, slow, and steady” runs… I just plodded along thinking about how close I was to my next water break, and it all went fairly smooth and I was comfortable with my progress and condition.  Unfortunately, about ¼ mile into mile 15, I learned what “hitting the wall” means - my legs where done – I just did not have any more energy to move them. My heart rate was normal and my breathing was fine – but I had no juice left to move my legs at anything faster than a walk.  So that’s what I did - I walked the remaining ¾ mile (probably a very good thing) back to the house.    After the run, I did my protein shake and more Gatorade and then jumped in the pool to stretch.  My legs were a little crampy, which makes me think that I was not fully hydrated or properly nutritioned.  Later in the day I did some reading about nutrition during long runs, and I probably was a little light.  The article discussed taking in 200-250 calories per hour (at my pace), and I probably was only in the high 100’s.  I also may have been a little light in fueling prior to the run.  These are all good things to learn now.   I pay  close attention to my weight and the color of my urine before and after a run to make sure that I’m not dehydrated, and interestingly enough, despite the fact that I was good at my fluid intake (before and after), I still lost a full pound and a half.   During my last lap, around the half-way point, I even stopped at a water fountain by the 12th tee to top up on water.  This run was a great learning experience.  With this knowledge, I’m actually looking forward to my next long run (in two weeks).

July 28, 2011.  This week I did two 10-mile runs with a day’s rest in between.  The purpose of that was to test my recovery from the first 10-miler and force me to run a little tired.  And yes, the second 10-miler was harder.  The first one seemed easy and great (did it in 1:32), but the second one was much more difficult .  For starters, for the second one I had 100% humidity and I am sure that my legs were still recovering from the first 10-miler.  I did it in 1:34, and lost 3 lbs to sweat (even though I tried very hard to remain fully hydrated).  Around mile 6 I felt the need to take a leak so I did (used the bathroom at the 12th tee), but that makes me wonder if my sodium/potassium levels were out of kilter.  In other words, my body may not have been adequately processing the fluid contents because I was low on Na and K?  Or did I take too much in?  10 weeks to Chicago…  5 weeks to the Milford 30K Race….  I gotta figure this stuff out.