Week one of @IndyMonumental training program done!

Week one of my Running Wizard training program is done!

I ran 20.4 miles this week. That’s more than I ran in January and February combined. I’ll get close to 80 miles this month.

Monday was an “easy fartlek” run for 28 minutes that I didn’t do easy enough. I remember feeling pretty beat up later that night. Tuesday was a 45 minute aerobic run that had me averaging a 10:15 pace. Off on Wednesday, 2 easy miles on Thursday, and my out-and-back (aka tempo) run on Friday. I was supposed to do the tempo part in 9:58, but I ended up going out at 9:42 and back at 9:38. So a bit faster than I should have, but I was happy the splits were consistent.

Saturday… what a bad day. I wanted to go down to Broad Ripple to run with the Indy Runners group, but I woke up, ate breakfast, and decided to go back to bed. I was feeling like crap. I didn’t get back out of bed until 10! I still wasn’t feeling great, but I decided I should get the 6 mile (1hr 7min) long run in anyways. The first mile or two wasn’t bad, then I started feeling worse and worse. My pace got slower and slower and my heart rate kept going up and up. I have a feeling it was the beginnings of heat exhaustion, so I’m glad I was finishing up when I did. I felt a little woozy and saw some black spots when I got back inside. I spent the rest of the day re-hydrating and with a headache. I’m not real sure why that run was so bad, but I sure hope I don’t repeat it. I’ll looked back on this run in November and laugh… I hope!

Oh, I haven’t talked about my weight lost. Three weeks ago I was down .8, two weeks ago another .8, and last week up 1.6. So I figure I was at a bit of a plateau. I think the extra running this past week may have helped break it and I was down 3.2. I’ve found out my job is ending and I need to buy an interview suit, which sucks because I’ll only be wearing it a few times before I shrink out of it!

Head for the Cure 5K Race Report

Nice morning for a race

Nice morning for a race

I ran the Head for the Cure 5K at West Park in Carmel, IN, yesterday. It was a nice little race with 163 runners in the timed event and several hundred more in the untimed event that were participating for the charity aspect. The event was to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association. It was rather timely because yesterday afternoon my mom told me that one of my dad’s high school friends had been given a couple weeks to live due to a brain tumor.

Two complaints about the race. The first was that the published start time was 8:30, but that apparently meant the start of the announcements and national anthem that was about 150 yards from the start line. So most of the runners were lined up ready for an 8:30 start but ended up just standing there until 8:45. I could feel my legs tightened up after doing a slow jog around the park for a warm up. The second was that I had not been able to find a course map on the race’s website ahead of time. I wasn’t sure where we’d be going. Oh, and there was no starting mat, so all finish times were based on gun times. I think that chip timed races should always have starting mats, otherwise what good is a chip?

My shirt and bib

My shirt and bib

The race started out in a nice park in Carmel that has some of the grassy areas preserved as a prairie area. Then it was out to a path along 116th Street. I didn’t notice the exact time of the first mile (Garmin said afterwards it was 8:23), but I knew it was much quicker than I wanted. I did keep checking the lap pace and my heart rate, but didn’t really make adjustments because I never saw my heart rate get too high. In the second mile I was catching and passing people and it went by in 8:12! I haven’t really done any training, except for a few strides last week, close to that pace.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hang on for the third mile or not, but I decided to find out. The third mile had a quick run up Towne Road and then in to a subdivision before getting back in to the park. The finish was up a small mound in the middle of the park, and we had to do 6 switchbacks to get to the finish. That was pretty diabolical of the organizers! It made it so we couldn’t do a flat spring to the end and kept having to do those 180 turns every 15 yards. Ugh. My legs were quite wobbily when I crossed the finish. That third mile clicked by in 8:06, and my Garmin time was 25:11 which was an 8:07 pace for 5k (compared to 3.06 miles on the Garmin)! The official time, due to no starting mat, was 25:17. I did enjoy the course, even though that mound presented an interesting challenge at the end.

My shoes

My shoes

That time is a 1:30 improvement over the 5K I did last November and is the second fastest 5K I have ever done. The fastest was 3 years ago when I was 20 pounds lighter. So I was very pleased with the result! The post race food spread was great! Gatorade, bagels, granola bars, oranges, bananas, apple slices (from race sponsor McDonald’s), candy, cookies, and lots of water bottles. I was impressed with that part!

This result allows me to “finalize” my Running Wizard training plan. It raised my VO2max almost 3 full points over the previous 5k, and it dropped my predicted half marathon time by around 10 minutes. The plan now has me predicted to run 1:52:28, which would be a 4 minute PR over my first 500 Festival Mini Marathon in 2010. Wow. That’s a little scarey. But I’ll go with it and see where I end up!

The new shoes felt great the whole time. I never really thought about them, which is a good thing in my book. I think they’re going to work out well for me.

New shoes – Brooks PureCadence from Hola Bird Sports

Since I’m so thrifty, I don’t usually order shoes when they’re brand new. I wait until the new version is out and then order them for a hefty savings – normally under $80 I’d say. Preferably closer to $60. So I’m not the greatest source for the latest and greatest shoes. I’ve been wanting to try shoes with a lower heel to toe drop to help encourage a more mid-foot strike as I’m running. That’s why I was trying the Saucony Guide & Ride, but it seems like my feet just don’t fit in Saucony shoes. The 12.5 Guide was too lose and caused blisters. The 12 Ride was too tight and pinched my little toe.

shoe box

Beat up shoe box

So I decided to go with a bit “smaller” shoe and ordered a pair of Brooks PureCadence from Hola Bird Sports. I have one “quip” with Hola Bird. Their return policy says that shoes can only be returned if the box is undamaged, but they just put a plastic envelope around the shoe and stick a shipping label to it. The box arrived all beat up and I have a feeling I’d be hassled if I tried to return them. Oh, and you can’t return the shoes if they’ve been worn outside. This policy is no where near as friendly as Running Warehouse that allows you 90 days to try shoes! Good thing they fit and felt good on my feet.

Nice looking shoes

Nice looking shoes

The shoes certainly looked nice enough out of the box. Build quality feels great, and the shoes feel very light, compared to what I’m used to anyways. My Books Adrenaline GTS 11 size 12 weighs 13.45oz with a Superfeet blue insole in it. The PureCadence weights in at 10.95 for my size 12. Very noticeable! The lacing of the shoes is a bit offset, I guess to follow the curve of the foot. They have a 4mm heel to toe drop compared to 8mm for the Saucony shoes and 12mm for the Adrenaline line. That’s also quite noticeable, even when just walking around. There is less padding around the heel area when compared to the Adrenalines. But the arch support in the PureCadence feels very pronounced, almost like a bump in the middle of the arch. I didn’t really notice it when running though.

I took them out for a run tonight and could feel the difference. Going for that “more natural” mid-foot strike felt much easier. And I could feel the new stresses being put on my calf muscles and left Achilles area. I did a strides workout that is described in my Running Wizard training plan – warm up, 6×100 strides with 300 recovery, and cool down. Running the strides in these shoes felt great. I had to dial back my pace because I was trying to run too fast. A couple hours afterwards, and my legs are sore. I am definitely going to have to ease in to these shoes, and they’ll probably just be used for these “speed” workouts for a few weeks. I’ll try to report back after my legs get used to them. If I like them I think I’ll have a hard time tracking down a new pair, but maybe I won’t wear them out until I can get the PureCadence 2 on discount!

Eagle Creek 8K Trail Race – Hoosier Park Triple Crown 8K Race 2

Pretty morning at Eagle Creek

Pretty morning at Eagle Creek

I ran an 8k race at Eagle Creek park this morning as part of the Hoosier Park 8K Triple Crown series. I knew it would be a trail race and I’ve only run on trails once previously, so I knew I’d be pretty dang slow! The race started out on a beautiful spring morning with temps in the low 50’s. Good weather for a long sleeve tech shirt, for me anyways.

I don’t know the trails at Eagle Creek at all, so I’m not too sure where all we ran. I just followed the person in front of me and all the red tape markers that had been laid out. We went up and down hills, across small wood bridges, up some steps, through a few mud puddles, and by the reservoir a few times. There was one water stop on the course which was perfect. It was a very nice introduction to trail running and left me wanting for more.

Dirty shoes

Dirty shoes

People came pretty close to a dead stop a few times as they tried to navigate up hills or around the mud, which was pretty annoying. The other annoyance was the single track trails that made it hard to pass at times in the first couple miles, before we thinned out. I was over a minute slower per mile than my five mile run around the neighborhood a couple weeks ago, but I still found myself breathing pretty hard at times as I ran up hills. And I really didn’t like having to climb stairs.

I got a couple scrapes and my legs were pretty muddy at the end. And my shoes were a mess, of course. The Garmin only measured about 4.23 miles on what was supposed to be an 8K course. I was pretty shocked when we spit out on to a parking lot about 30 yards from the finish; I was expecting to be running another half mile and had been pacing myself for that. They did say something on the PA after the race about having a long course on Thursday and shortening it up a bit too much. The post race refreshments consisted of water, Powerade, bananas, potato chips, fruit snacks, granola bars, and cookies. I didn’t have any of the chips or fruit snacks, but the banana hit the spot. Oh, and $10 of casino cash to user at Hoosier Park!

Garmin time for the 4.23 miles was 45:36, but the official time was off a bit. I think my bib tag didn’t get recorded when I started. I emailed the organizers and they’re going to sort it out I think.

Lost another 1.6 pounds; returned the Rides

Weighed in on Friday and found I had lost another 1.6 pounds. I should be happy, but I’m slightly disappointed. I’ve lost over 30 pounds in just under 4 months on Weight Watchers. Anyone would be pleased by that, except for me. I should have lost 35 or 40! I didn’t exercise enough… I drank too much beer… ate too many bananas… Just the way I am, I guess. Always wanting better and never knowing how to get to it. But, hey, I have lost 30 pounds in just under 4 months. My pants almost fall off of me and the necks of my shirts look sloppy. I’m making progress!

I ended up returning the Saucony Guide 5’s after all. I ran in them twice and my little toe was bright red after the second. Just too tight around there and I didn’t want to run in them more and end up with my toenail falling off! I remember Saucony shoes being a little tight in that area from when I’ve tried them in the store and I should have listened to myself. I bought the Guide shoes in a 12.5, compared to 12 in the Ride, to avoid that but they have ended up being too loose in the arch area and gave me blisters.

So, right now I am running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11. I also have a pair of Asics DS Trainer 16’s with about 100 miles. Maybe I’ll dust those off and see how they feel. I was attracted to the Saucony shoes due to their 8mm drop and I’d like to find something else with a lower drop and a bit of stability for, ahem, over-pronation control. The Brooks Pure Cadence seems interesting, but it has a 4mm drop and I think that may be a bit too much for me. I think I’ll read more about them though.

Another 2.2 pounds lost and new half marathon training plan

Weighed in on Friday and found I had lost another 2.2 pounds. So I’m down a total of 28.6 pounds now! All my pants are MUCH looser and fabric bunches up when I tighten my belt. I suppose it’s getting to be about time to buy some smaller pants. I do sort of want to hold off until I’m closer to my final weight so I don’t end up buying two wardrobes, but it may be unavoidable to some extent.

I went for a 2 mile run on Saturday to try out my new shoes. They don’t feel bad; just a touch too tight around my little toe. I’ll give them a few more runs and decide if I want to use Running Warehouse’s 90 day return policy. I didn’t really do any other running this week because I was so busy with school work. Unfortunate, really.

I did purchase a half marathon training plan from Running Wizard, a website by the same gentleman that makes my primary running log, Running Ahead. It generates customized training plans based on Arthur Lydiard’s training principles. Due to my downtime running and my slow half marathon last fall, my plan does not utilize all of the segments that Lydiard teaches. In fact, I’m just getting 14 weeks of aerobic base building, 4 weeks of anaerobic, and a week of tapering. And the longest run is just 8 miles. But I’ll be running 5 days a week at much slower paces than I’m used to.

Seeing how I always end up injured, I’m thinking this will help bring some needed discipline to my training. I think that I try to run too fast too soon (and I’m too big!) and end up getting various lower leg injuries from just doing too much. The negative of this is that I’m probably not going to be able to do the Indy Runners summer training program because my Saturday distances will be much lower than what they’ll be doing. I’ll give it a shot and see how I do. I start the plan on June 17. Any amount of success will be met with me buying a second plan for the Carmel Marathon next April.

Some new running shoes – Saucony Ride 5 – and other stuff

I received a new pair of running shoes today from Running Warehouse. I love Running Warehouse. The shoes are the Saucony Ride 5 and they were closeout priced. I love a sale, remember? Running Warehouse runs sales frequently. We get along real well.

Saucony Ride 5, Balega socks, Brooks shirt, Amphipod bottle

Saucony Ride 5, Balega socks, Brooks shirt, Amphipod bottle

The shoes are the first ones I’ve ever bought that are classified as neutral. And as I’ve learned from RunBlogger, neutral or stability may not mean much at all. But I guess they’re supposed to be less stable than the large sized Guides that give me blisters. Or something. All this overpronation and stability and this and that really gets confusing to me at times. Hey, if nothing else, the bright colors will blind people so they don’t see me hobbling down the road!

I also got three new pairs of Balega Hidden Comfort socks. No, they’re not cheap socks. But they sure are comfortable to wear. They’re going to replace some Wrightsocks that I have that are just worn out after three years. I also like the Hidden Cool model which has a bit thicker weave than the Hidden Comfort. So I’ll probably need some more socks.

And a new handheld water bottle because mine is getting pretty beat up. It’s the Amphipod Hydroform Handheld Lite 12oz. Say that five times real fast. My old bottle was a 10oz Fuelbelt, and it served me well for about 2 seasons of running. But I had stretched out the cloth part that goes around my hand and never did care for the way it attached to the bottle. I already have a larger version of this Amphipod and it’s always felt pretty secure on my hand and easy to drink from.

Lastly, is the Brooks podium shirt with the Running Warehouse logo front and back. $10 extra for a tech shirt, and a Brooks tech shirt at that? No brainer.

Carmel Marathon 2014 here I come!

I’m a sucker for a sale.

The folks at the Carmel Marathon are / were offering half price registration for the 2014 events through today. That made the marathon just $37.50.

How could I resist?

I couldn’t. I’ve aborted marathon plans twice now, but I’m hoping to be more successful since I’m losing weight.

So I’m now registered for a marathon eleven months from now. And I will get to do my long runs in the cold Indiana winters. Sounds like I am in for a bunch of fun. Anyone else get suckered register?

Lost 2.6 pounds, Ran 5 miles

My weigh in on Friday had me losing 2.6 pounds, which takes me under the 10% initial goal that Weight Watchers set for me. So it took me 3 months 1 week to lose 10% of my initial body weight. I guess I’m pretty happy about that. I had all of my weekly points left and used 5 of my 23 activity points.

I set my next intermediate goal as another 5% to lose, which should take me down to 221; another 12.6 pounds to lose. I don’t have a time to accomplish that in, but I’d be thrilled if that was what I weigh on July 5th. I really don’t have a final goal in mind, but it has to be below 200 to be within the “healthy weight” guidelines.

Went out for a five mile run this morning. The temp was around 60 and there was a nice 12mph wind coming in from the east or southeast. I could definitely feel it, and my mile times reflected it. But I felt good. It was a little faster than I wanted as I’m trying to shoot for 10:00 miles on long run days, but I finished around 9:43 average.

First Weekly Weight Gain

My weekly weight in was on Friday and I posted my first weekly gain after three months of doing Weight Watchers. It was 1.2 pounds, which takes my total weight loss up to 23.8 pounds. I’m only slightly discouraged by it. I figured my 4.2 pound loss the week before had me at the bottom of my natural weight swing, and this gain was at the top. I weighed myself Saturday morning and I was back down to the weight from the previous Friday.

What was different this past week compared to the week before? I’m not sure. I didn’t eat the taco salad on Thursday at work the week before, and I did this week. I figure it’s pretty salty, and maybe sits heavily in me, so that may have something to do with it. Otherwise, like every other week, I don’t dip in my weekly “bonus” points and I had most of my activity points left. 9 used of 28 earned for the 1.2 gain, and 0 used of 27 earned for the prior week. But, that 10 point difference wouldn’t have mattered that much. So I think I’m on the right track for blaming it on the natural weight fluctuations.

My running this week wasn’t as frequent as I would have wanted. Just the race last weekend and then 3.1 miles on Thursday. I’m having a hard time getting remotivated to run more frequently. Has something to do with the spring being cool, and having a lot of school work I need to get done. I do still enjoy the runs when I get out there. I guess it’s time to lace up the shoes and go for a Sunday afternoon run. Temp is in the low 60’s and it just finished raining.