Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hellacious Blister

Two runs to note here, since my last post....

Friday, lunch time.  Decided to run in the heat of the day (mid 80's, hot, and humid).  Since I haven't acclimated to the heat yet, what's the best way to run? Right in the middle of the day!  No, not really.  It sucked. Big time.  I ran in my 5Fingers, thinking that I could increase my mileage in them by now.  However, I  knew I was in trouble because at 1.3 miles (while stopping at a light), I noticed that I already had hot spots on my feet where I usually get blisters on longer 5Finger runs.  This didn't bode well for my 5-miler...  At mile 4, I had to start walking... a lot, because my left foot was hurting really bad.  When I got back, I confirmed that I had a *huge* blister that went across two toes (in width) *plus* major bruising underneath the blister. When I popped it (I had to... I could hardly walk on it), it streamed a bloody pus (sorry, were you eating?) like a hose for a few seconds.  It didn't just dribble; it shot out! yuck.  Anyway, it still hurts to walk on and I think I bruised my foot as well, because...

Yesterday, I ran around 6:30 pm.  Again, it was hot and humid (around 84 at run time).  Still sunny, still very humid (the weather guy said it was the most humid day of the year so far).  I was supposed to do 6, but the time of day, the heat, plus the foot bruising (and probably another blister I can't seem to pop) beat me out of it, and I lumbered in with 4 miles.  I was exhausted as well.  However, I got 24 miles in this week, which is good, as I'm gearing up for some sort of race in the fall, and I need to actually follow some sort of training plan.  Maybe a 1/2 marathon in October, maybe a trail long run (by myself), still dunno what, but either way, I need to start officially training for something.

This past week I also started watching what I eat.  Not a diet, per se, but tracking how many calories I eat during the day.  It has got me thinking just how much I snack, and I *am* trying to keep the calorie intake reasonable.  I even add 110 calories of total calorie input I should have that day for every mile I run (this has an extra incentive to run more!).  I could not keep a static calorie intake if I ran, say, 6 miles that day.  I would be exhausted (and starving).  Besides, after running 6+ miles at a time, I get ravenous about 3 hours later. Thanks to My Lovely Wife to helping me track my calories.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Extreme Hill Workouts

After two hill workouts, my quads are toast  This weekend, my family spent the weekend at Wintergreen Resort.  It was a lot of fun.  We hiked, the kids did the climbing wall, enjoyed a beer fest, and all and all, just had a good time.  I ran twice in the mountains as well.

During the first run, I ascended 700 feet and descended 700 feet, with a total upper and lower altitude of 3900 and 3000 feet.  I ran 5.5 miles total, but due to the extreme hills, I had to walk up the steepest parts.  Even so, I managed a 10:50 pace, which, considering the hills, was pretty good.  I definitely felt my quads on the downhill portions (which I ended up running, or more appropriately, shuffling, instead of walking).  I felt great at the end though, and I was very glad I was able to run.

This morning, I ran *just* four miles, at a 9:48 pace.  This was just an altitude change of 550 feet, but all at one go.  I started out around 3,550 feet and ran down to 3,000 feet, then back again.  Needless to say, my first two miles (running a net downhill) was significantly faster than my uphill back.  However, I ran all the way up this time, although at times I definitely was shuffling, making a very slow progress.  Ironically, I was listening to a walk/run podcast during my first run (where I walked and ran) and listened to a podcast where they described how to run hills during second run (where ran up the hills).  I kept my cadence up during the second run where I was shuffling along, so that was good.  Plus, if my quads weren't trashed the first time, they were definitely trashed the second run.  They hurt even now, a good 7 hours later.

Hopefully, this week will be better than my last week, where I ran exactly 1 time (the first mountain run described above).  There are so many hilly areas around here, I should take advantage of them.  Heading out 20-some miles out west, I can find some really good hills.  I just need to go out and do it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long Run and Shirt Review

Let's start with the shirt review and get that out of the way...  A month or two ago, I received a free t-shirt in the mail after signing up here.  It is an Agion shirt with one side treated with an odor reducer, and the other side treated with nothing.  A while back I did a test where I wore the shirt out for three runs without washing.  I overwhelmed the odor reducer, but on the other hand, I *did* wear the shirt three times in the hot sun sweating up a storm!  Now, let me say one thing, when I run and sweat, I don't exactly smell like roses.  I tend to smell like, well, a guy who ran outside and sweated a lot.  So, now I wore the shirt two times in a row, again, without washing.  The treated side smelled a little bit, but I really had to get up close -- *much* closer than I would expect someone to come up to sniff me.  The untreated side? whew... I didn't need to get close to smell it.

How did the Agion shirt do? Very well.  The odor treatment (or should that be the anti-odor treatment) worked very well.  It's not supposed to totally eliminate the odor (or maybe it does), but it significantly reduces them... so much so that I *could* run a couple of times without washing the shirt (not that I would ever do that, no, never). 

I not only got a free shirt, but I got a shirt that doesn't smell on one side.  
Case Closed.

Now, today I ran 10 miles (this happened to be the second run in the second test in the Agion shirt).  The mugginess in Washington DC is starting up this year and this morning, even at 6:00 am, a touch of the mugginess was there.  I ran a sorta-new route, going on one route towards Wegman's, but then crossing Route 29 onto a neighborhood road.  Now, I don't recommend crossing Route 29 during the day, but at 6:30 am (and then again at 6:50 am), the road was pretty clear.  I was able to cross without the cross walk one way, but had to wait a minute or so crossing back.  The run itself? The first 8 miles were great :)  At half-way, I was very very strong.  2 miles later I still felt good.  At 8 miles, pretty good.  Miles 9 and 10? Not so good.  The last mile was about 15 seconds slower than my average pace.  My right plantar was acting up a bit as well.  All in all, only three runs this week, but still, 22 miles.  So that is not *too* bad... but I need to get my miles up (and I need to figure out what I want to run this fall so I choose a training program).

Oh, today I bought Brooks Ghost 2 shoes.  I'll let you know how they do, but when I went to the running store (VA Runner, great store!) and told them that my 'other' running shoes were the Vibram 5 Fingers, and suggested that I wanted a neutral shoe, the Brooks Ghost 2 were one of the ones they brought out.  Historically, I'm used to the Brooks Adrenaline, more of a stability shoes, so my experience with Brooks has been with a heavier shoe.  These were as comfortable as my Saucony Guide shoes (my most comfortable shoes -- EVER).  But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating (no, really, that's how the proper saying goes -- check it out), so maybe I'll have another review after a hundred or so miles in these shoes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Distance for 5Fingers

Well, yesterday evening, I ran a new distance with my 5Fingers -- 6.29 miles.  I ran from Reston Town Center onto the W&OD trail after work -- something I can thank My Lovely Wife for, as she took care of dinner for the kids, allowing me to do the run after work.

I ran at an 8:53 pace, which was faster than my previous run in my regular running shoes, so I was happy about that.  However, at about mile 5 I started getting hot spots on the bottom of my feet.  At the end, I had blisters on my forefeet (close to my toes).  I'm sure that was totally due to the fact that I'm landing on my midfoot, and probably twisting the bottom of my foot on the ground before take-off.  It's causing a rub on my feet.  Now, I'm probably not doing to do anything about it, and my feet will get some callus' on them, so the blisters will stop.  On the other hand, my feet were a bit tender at work, although shoes helped :)

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get a long run in to round the week at a whopping 3 runs :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Have Been Running, You Know

... Not that you've known from my posts, or lack thereof.  The past two weeks have sort of fizzled out.. Two weeks ago (or, the week of my most recent post), I ran nearly 14 miles.  Last week, I ran 14.25 miles.  Both weeks I didn't run Friday or Saturday.  This week's start wasn't much better.  I didn't run Sunday or Monday, but finally ran this evening... but only be bringing my running stuff to the office so that I could run before I went home and 'settled down' for the evening -- which is easy to do once you walk inside the front door.

Now, this past weekend, My Lovely Wife ran a half marathon!  She ran in the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA.  It was a good weekend, and good weather (although a bit warm my late morning on Sunday).  The whole family had fun.  She was very happy to get the race under her belt, and happy that it was a half marathon.

Now what.. I don't know.  I've been in a 'base training' mode for months now, and need to change it up a bit.  I need to figure out what sort of races there are this Fall, and also figure out what sort of distances I should consider.  Should I go for speed, and concentrate on 5k's?, or go the total opposite and walk/run an ultra?  What say you?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There's such as thing as a 'bad' run...

Well, with 4 runs (okay, maybe three) this week, I realized that last Saturday's run can be termed 'bad'.  Not just bad, but terrible....

I ran a few miles on Sunday, one mile with My Number One Son, and then another few miles by myself... then Tuesday evening (6 miles at 8:35 pace) and just now (another evening run -- 4.5 miles at 8:43 pace).  I felt great for all the runs.  Now, my right plantar still hurts, but it doesn't actually kill me the next day (unlike in the past), so I'll take that as a good sign.  Today's run was in my 5Fingers!  I was able to handle the distance without pain (always a good thing), although I stepped on a rock with my right heel, *exactly* where my right plantar hurts on my way back, which *really really* hurt.  However, within a half-mile of the 'rock incident', I was fine (thanks for asking).  But, I think I"m getting used to the 5Fingers.  I'm still going to take it easy with them (not run too far), but over time, I still hope to increase the distance to 6 miles or so.

The rest of this week? Dunno.  I'm going camping Friday afternoon through Sunday morning with Cub Scouts, so I won't have time to run.  So I"m hoping to get 8-10 miles on Friday morning or noon (not sure which).  Since I probably won't be able to run tomorrow morning, and tomorrow evening isn't looking good either, I'm not sure I could run tomorrow (Thursday) night, and then a long run Friday morning.  Who knows.  I didn't plan this week correctly :/

Saturday, May 1, 2010

One Run Past a Good Week

Up until this evening's run, this running week was very good.  I had very good runs, including an 8-miler, well in the 8-something pace.  My right plantar didn't hurt (too much), and 24 hours after a run, I hardly felt it.  However, this evening changed all of that.

Suffice it to say, that if you have one or more of the following conditions, your run may not be considered 'a great run':

  • It's evening and you are used to running early in the morning
  • You just had a dinner-sized meal
  • It's 81 degrees, hot and sunny, when you are used to running in cooler temps when the sun is first rising
  • You didn't do pushups 'to exhaustion' earlier in the day
If you have done one or more of these items, or in my case, did all four, well, you may not have the best run.
This evening's run was kinda sucky.  It started out fine.  I ran 2 miles and I was tracking pretty well.  3 miles, and I was beginning to suffer a bit, 4 miles, and it was over.  I had to begin the first of several walking breaks.  Towards the last mile, I think I was walking at least half the time.  Fortunately, My Lovely Wife was driving home just when I was three-quarters of a mile home, jokingly asked if I needed a ride, and was surprised when I said 'Yes'.  Boy, it was a bad run.

However, I will have been glad to get some miles in today, because in the end, there are no 'bad' runs, because your worst run is better than not running at all (unless you are injured).

Total for the week 25.5, so that wasn't too bad.