Sunday, February 24, 2013

10 Weeks to Tacoma

Week 11 done

40 miles for the week, plenty of fast running mixed with slow base and some walking recovery (with Toni 8)

Date Miles   Pace   BPM WHR%   Cad Elev+ Elev-   YPB
2013-02-19 Tue 6.8 8:36 139.0 76.2 87.9 27.1 27.8 1.517
2013-02-20 Wed 6.0 9:17 124.8 64.6 87.8 37.3 36.4 1.522
2013-02-21 Thu 6.9 8:48 133.5 71.7 89.1 23.5 24.8 1.528
2013-02-23 Sat 7.5 9:55 115.3 56.8 85.3 73.8 74.8 1.544
2013-02-23 Sat 2.9 17:57 0.0 0.0 0.0 31.2 32.4 0.000
2013-02-24 Sun 9.7 9:34 117.7 58.8 85.6 42.6 42.0 1.572
Summary 39.9 9:54 124.8 64.6 87.0 235.5 238.2 1.540


Tuesday I was feeling surprisingly  good in the legs after last week and so the goal was to up the number of one mile intervals to 5. The day dawned cold and rainy, so I put off running until hopefully lunch time where I could slip out from work.

Lunch time came and went and it was still dumping. At about 2:30pm I looked outside and at the local weather radar and saw an open spot drifting over and went for it. It was windy out there and my first fast mile was hard (as usual). By the end of the second one I knew I could do all 5. 

During the 2 minute cool down before the last fast mile the skies opened up with sleet mixed with freezing rain and blustery cold winds....I put my jacket and gloves back on before I froze to death and started barreling back to the office.

Even with the weather's incentives to run quickly, it was hard to keep up the pace...every time I looked at my watch I was dragging! My shoes were heavy with water, but with a finishing kick I got it done. Later, when I got in the car to go home there was still frozen sleet all over the windshield! 

Running in sleet and wind still beats the treadmill any day!

5x1 miles @ 7:50 w/2min recoveries
2013-02-19 Tue

The next day I got up and felt pretty good considering I had run the previous workout only 18 hours prior. I decided to do some fast base running with my Kinvaras...I really did well with them before and my plan is to reintroduce them into my running for all the MP or slower running and keep the Launches for the faster running.

It felt really good to run in the Kinvaras again. They are so light and unlike the Launches they have mesh tops...this is key if you have any rain as they DON'T GET HEAVY.  That was wonderful during LA two years ago when we had 1.5 inches of rain during the race ;)

6 miles at fast base pace:
2013-02-20 Wed
Split  TimeMiles Pace      HR   CadElev+Elev-  YPB

You can tell these shoes are lighter: notice my cadence is pretty high at 88 for 9-ish pace. Yesterday I was running 89's for a 7:50 pace! 


The next day I wanted to up the miles at HMP to 5 over last week's 4. Not sure if I could do it after the very fast base running yesterday. 

During the run I had to work very hard to keep near 8:20 paces..any loss of focus and I slowed down. Think about a work problem for a minute or two.....and the pace is down to 8:30m/m. To catch back up to my target I would work on opening up my stride with hip rotations and that would do the trick.

I was working too hard after mile 3 and really thought doing all 5 was going to be a terrible slog...but rather than cut short I decided to take a 2 minute recovery interval. This did the trick! Just what i needed.. and even though not a breeze I was able to do another 2 miles ok.

7-ish miles with 5 miles @ HMP (8:20m/m) w 2 min recovery in there:
2013-02-21 Thu
SplitTimeMiles  Pace     HR  CadElev+Elev-   YPB

My 7 day trailing week mileage is still above 40, so I am looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

On the weekend I plan to do a 5-6 and a 10 or so at mid-to-slow base pace. But we'll know more after the day off.


Saturday morning I felt pretty good but promised myself to keep the speed at a slow base / recovery pace. I wore my new pair of Launches...time to start breaking them in too..the old ones are pretty done...they were nice!

2013-02-23 Sat
SplitTimeMiles  Pace     HR  CadElev+Elev-   YPB

The run went well: efficient and easy chi form. It was 50F and sunny and of course the roads are always nice and empty on weekend mornings.  

Later in the day I did a 2.8 mile walk with Toni (the Morton's Neuroma debugging walk)  and I could tell my legs needed more of a break:..I did a lot of work on a construction project that had my on my feet and going up and down stairs, etc.

Sunday I'll play it by ear on the mileage but for sure I'll be at slow / easy base.

Sunday dawned 40F and bright sun, crystal clear skies. I was feeling a  tired at the start so I took it slow and gradually sped up some but I kept the miles to 10-ish....I was supposed to take it easier this week after all..8/

2013-02-24 Sun
SplitMiles Pace      HR% WHR  CadElev+Elev-   YPB

The HRs are insanely low on this run. Again like last week I did a search of all my runs on this route (easy because this route is always 9.5-9.8 miles) and this is the second best YPB ever for this run.  Split 9 (last full mile before cool-down) I allowed myself to speed up to 8:30m/m and even that split was super efficient at 1.607. That is pretty rare at the end of 9 miles of cardiac drift at all.

I know a lot of you out there  are still dealing with cold winter, but here the cherry blossoms are out..soon the buds on the leafy trees will start growing. I stopped to take this picture during my cool down as the morning sun and blue sky were so beautiful to be out and about in.

A much-needed rest day tomorrow and then on to week 10! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Morton's Neuroma

[UPDATE: this taping worked great all the way to Toni's half marathon! No symptoms at all in training or during the race.

 I also moved the laces on her shoes up two sets of holes so the bottom part was not laced and made the toebox looser]

Toni has been training to walk her first half marathon with me in May. She's been pushing the pace to see what it's like to go fast enough to finish under 4 hours.

Recently after a 4 mile walk she started to feel some pain in her right foot. Her assumption was that she needed some better cushioned shoes and she communicated that to me.

So, we went to a store and got some actual running shoes for her. 

But she still had problems and this time she told me alarm bells went off.

"Exactly where do you have pain"....answer: right foot, under the little toes.  "Would a 'burning sensation' describe this pain?" ...answer "YES!".

I had already googled after the first question and it was as I suspected: Morton's Neuroma (or "MN" for short). 

The internet is a wonderful thing. I learned that it's typically between the 3rd and 4th toe and caused by pinching on the nerve. The good news is that unlike almost every other type of injury it's not hurting's pressure on a nerve so the only thing that's really hurting is your brain 8)

I was able to confirm the problem by pressing on the bottom of her foot in the typical spot and yup, it hurt 8/.  I read a lot of forum entries and right away realized that the shoes she has been wearing, while not super narrow,  were laced up ultra tight. Jamming the toes together makes MN worse.

So we re-laced the shoes with the bottom 3 holes open..nice loose toe-box now. Next, i read that a lot of people have success by taping the toes. You tape the 4th toe to your pinky toe, and you tape together your 3rd toe with the others.

What you are doing is using the other toes as splints to form a bigger bigger gap between toes 3 and 4. You can kind of see that in the photo of Toni's foot above. I also had her put on a looser sock that wasn't jamming her toes as much.

Off we went for a 2.8 mile walk to test things. Previously she'd had pain showing up now after only a mile or two. ..on this walk, NO PAIN. Yes!

There are some other things we could try but I'm suspecting that the problem is not very pronounced and perhaps just the looser lacing and socks would do the trick. But we'll keep the taping as well for now until we are confident the problem is solved.

On to Tacoma!


My week is going well, wrap up tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Week 12 comparison tac vs eug

I'm still experimenting with ways to compare marathon buildups. My latest project is to collapse my percent HR bar graphs to per-week results so it is less busy to look at.

Here's the data starting at 18 weeks up to 12 weeks for Tacoma, notice I'm already  up to 235 miles logged, which is already about half as much as the total buildup miles for either Eugene or CIM. 

Same data for Eugene below. There's no data for further back that 15 weeks because I wasn't running. (Recovering from CIM before starting Eug training). 

There is some black (100-95% HRs!!)  on top of week 12 that is not real. It is from HR strap breakage that day (warranty replacement).  The YPBs number ignore these datams.  In cold weather I've found you have to ignore the first mile splits..until I crack a sweat there is no good HR data.
 Here's the data for the CIM buildup, you can see that weeks 18-12 were pretty piddly miles and HRs by comparison to both of the above.

This graphs are still too hard to compare visually to each other. What I really want to do is group the bars from each week together on one plot, so you can see the same week for each buildup right next to each other (and then with some blank space before the next weeks' grouping.)

I'll be working on that next....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

11 Weeks to Tacoma

Week 12 done

A fantastic week. After only getting time to do 25 miles last week, I was set to rock and roll  this week and I did. Sitting here on Sunday afternoon I'm pretty beat but still in one piece and basking in my accomplishment.

Date Miles   Pace    BPM  WHR%   Cad Elev+ Elev-   Y PB
2013-02-12 Tue 6.6 8:54 131.0 69.65 87.9 30.8 29.6 1.543
2013-02-13 Wed 9.2 9:42 116.6 57.91 85.8 34.5 35.6 1.564
2013-02-14 Thu 5.2 8:45 130.8 69.48 88.5 19.8 18.9 1.593
2013-02-16 Sat 5.5 9:06 129.5 68.41 87.7 37.0 38.7 1.518
2013-02-17 Sun 15.7 9:40 117.2 58.37 85.2 80.5 80.0 1.561
Summary 42.2 9:22 122.2 62.48 86.5 202.5 202.9 1.557

This week was showing the signs I like to see during a buildup: crazy efficient. My running economy (YPB: yards-per-beat) at 1.557 for the week was way higher than I've seen in a while, especially for such a high mileage week. 

I decided to check and see how special it 5000 miles of running there are only 6 weeks of running with higher YPBS and all of them are only 15-20 miles. 

The only 40+ mile week with efficiencies (almost) as good (1.539) was the last heavy week before Eugene taper  a year ago! However, in this case I still have 11 weeks to improve.

I have to be careful to not injure myself, but I also want to PUSH the (**()$#@ paces and HRs up to a new level.


Rather than  8x800s, I decided to do longer intervals: 4 x 1 mile at sub 8:00 pace with 2 min recoveries.

Fail on the last one which was off the track and on the roads: running through the bike underpass with 2 sets of cross gates slowed me down...too tired to make up the lost time.

2013-02-12 Tue
SplitMiles  Pace      HR  % WHR  CadElev+Elev-    YPB

9 miles at slow base, one mile at MP at end.

2013-02-13 Wed
SplitMiles  Pace      HR% WHR  CadElev+Elev-   YPB

4 miles at HMP:

2013-02-14 Thu
SplitMiles  Pace      HR% WHR  CadElev+Elev-    YPB

4 miles at MP..could have done more of course but got to be able to do the long run tomorrow!

2013-02-16 Sat
SplitMiles  Pace     HR% WHR  CadElev+Elev-   YPB

The plan was slow base for about 16 miles:

2013-02-17 Sun
SplitMiles  Pace     HR% WHR  CadElev+Elev-   YPB

Did mile 15 hard...that was NOT EASY. 

After a week of 42 miles, with plenty of fast running (for me) that last mile at MP was tough!

On to week 11!

Comparisons of week12 with eugene and cim in the next post..