Sunday, August 3, 2014

'Secret' overseas training

Saturday saw a Gungahlin parkrun PB. Not sure where that came from! It must have been all the secret overseas training in hot and sunny Europe. Actually, there weren't that many running opportunities. And for the few taken, it was really just to make sure that the legs had a few gentle sessions to keep them ticking over. In particular, a favourite was a morning run along the Mosel river when staying in the small village 'Piersport'.
Run route along the Mosel and amongst vinyards near Piersport
Maybe it was all the carbo loading from all the Riesling consumed ;-).

There were no big expectations for the first Parkrun back from holidays. Simply run by feel and see how things panned out. Conditions were good, cold, but clear and no wind. The focus was on 'running tall' and trying to drive from the hips. At the 2 km point, it all seemed to click and the run went well, finishing in 23:13. The glutes seemed to work better than they have been. Maybe all the squats and painful trigger point work on the hip flexors are starting to help. Time will tell.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Foggy fifties

Somewhere between my last post and this post I changed age groups. This getting older thing just sneaks up on you. Now I find myself a W50. Where's that walking cane/mobility scooter?! ;-). Others would consider this an opportunity to set new PBs. There is also the age grade percentage that receives a boost with advancing years.

The holiday in Qld was lovely and relatively warm. This made for a rude shock when returning to Canberra, with the famous Canberra fog in full flight. That fog sure makes for cold mornings! Most mornings it's already there when you wake, but this morning the fog rolled in quite late. It was sunny at home as I headed out to Gungahlin parkrun (only 2km from home), only to be greeted by a foggy Yerrabi pond and parkrun course. This meant there was no wind, but conditions were brisk. I spotted just one familiar face, the lovely Margaret McSpadden. Despite the cold and foggy conditions, 116 hardy souls made their way to the start line, including the very speedy Philo Saunders (the eventual winner). I didn't get a lot of training in while I was away in Qld, so I wasn't expecting a speedy time. A positive sign was the warm-up gave no significant indication of cranky muscles and I really do like to run in the cold (as long as it isn't windy!).
Emerging from the fog
The start was a bit crowded and this ensured a gentle starting pace. It all felt good, so the body found some rhythm and gradually picked its way through the other runners. The pace was comfortable and felt easier than the other 2 recent efforts. Interestingly, when I hit the 4km point I could see I was on sub 24 pace, so I tried to up the pace, sadly the legs have forgotten how to run fast. Run time was 23:46, rate 3/3, a pleasing result all things considered. More travel lies ahead in July (3 weeks in Hong Kong/Germany and a day in France), so training will be limited.
Margaret enjoying her run - finishing just 5 seconds outside her PB!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Some bad and some good

With no mobility scooters to spur me on this week, it's been a bit of a tough week. The tempo intervals on Monday were a bit slower than usual and the run was 1/3. Wednesday was going to be a 'long' run, but it quickly became another 1/3 and I cut it short. So with 3 1/3 runs in a row it made sense to skip the Fri run and then see how the next parkrun was going to go. The conditions at parkrun were perfect, cool without much breeze. The warm up didn't feel very inspiring, so I wasn't expecting much. Fortunately after about 800m the body started to settle and I was able to get some rhythm and run at a tempo pace. This run felt so much better than the last 3. I finished in 24:11, a big improvement on last week, but plenty of work still to do to find some form. Lou was also there and ran a great parkrun PB of 19:18. I also spotted Nadine out on the course, who finished ahead of me in 23:40, she looked like she was taking it easy.
I want what Lou has! My last parkrun as aW45.
I'm off to Qld now for some holidays in warmer weather. I likely won't be near any parkrun events, so I'll have to wait until I get back to Canberra before I run one again. Hopefully there will be few runs along the beach and along some trails.

Week in summary:
Monday 4 x 5ish minute tempo intervals; rate 1/3
Tuesday bike commute 16km one way.
Wednesday 45mins easy run; rate 1/3
Thursday bike commute 32 km
Friday OFF
Saturday parkrun 5km 24:11 HRav 151bpm; rate 3/3
Sunday travel day, will be OFF.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Paced by a mobility scooter

It's been a pretty consistent couple of weeks on the running front. Mostly the rating for each run has been pretty good. No real horrid 'I wish I could stop and walk' type runs. The muscle discomfort is ever there, but it's tolerable so I keep on running. Treatment for that at present involves glute exercises and painful psoas trigger point work. The glutes have become very lazy, maybe due to a desk job, so deep squats (body weight), bridges, clams, and lunges are all on the menu. Some strength is returning, but so far it's not translating over to the running. Time will tell on that one!

As per the previous post, I've been throwing in intervals here and there to mix things up. Last Wednesday I decided to try another session of hill reps up 'old hospital hill'. As I was jogging back to the start after the first interval a mobility scooter went past heading up the hill. When I turned to start interval 2, that scooter was not too far ahead. This was not a good thing as the competitor likes to take over when there is a target just ahead (seriously, a mobility scooter is about all I could handle at present ;-) ) . Sure enough that scooter wasn't moving away from me (despite my pretty slow pace) so I sped up just a little and found myself gaining on the scooter. Woo hoo! Next thing I know, I'm passing that scooter and then feeling obligated to keep moving ahead to stay out of its way. When I got to the top of the hill, I really felt that effort, but the scooter had turned off (a shallow victory). Understandably the remaining 3 reps were hard work!

Maybe this would be a better 'pacer' next time :-)

Passing a mobility scooter going up hill went to my head, surely it was time to try a parkrun?! Maybe a new PB was there for the taking ........ Hence, I lined up at the start of Gungahlin Parkrun on Saturday only to come face to face with reality, that mobility scooter wasn't going very fast and neither was I. Sadly it was one of those 'I'd like to stop and walk' runs. I didn't, but yep for the effort put in, it was a pretty slow time. I guess I'll have to find a faster pacer next time ;-).

Summary of recent runs et al
12/5 - 25/5
Mon: 4 x 4:30min tempo intervals with walk/jog recovery; rate 2/3
Tues: Bike commute
Wed: 31 min jog, HRav 137bpm; rate 2/3
Thurs: Off
Fri: 51 min jog, HRav 135bpm; rate 2/3
Sat: Off
Sun: Off

Mon: 4 x 5min tempo intervals with walk/jog recovery; rate 3/3
Tues: bike commute 32 km
Wed: hill reps x 5; rate 2/3
Thurs: Off
Fri: 42 min run, HRav 145 bpm; rate 2/3
Sat: Parkrun 5 k 24:54, HRav 151 bpm; rate 1/3
Sun: 64km bike

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Random intervals

Back when I tried the 'experiment' the muscle discomfort was less obvious when doing intervals. Probably as the mind was distracted by the task. On Monday I managed some tempo intervals (around 4:50 pace with HR in the 150-155 range). Then on Wednesday I managed some hill reps up National museum hill. The distraction worked and those runs were a pleasure.  So for now, there will be random intervals scattered amongst short jogs and cycles. Just keep going with the flow.

Weekly summary (5/5 - 11/5):
Mon - 40 min run with 3 x 4ish min tempo intervals; rate 3/3
Tues - bicycle commute 32 km
Wed - 30 min run with 4 x 200mish hill reps; rate 3/3
Thurs - bicycle commute 32 km
Fri - 30 min run; rate 2/3
Sat - 48 min run; rate 2/3
Sun - bicycle 78km

Sunday, May 4, 2014

More of the same

No change to report. The same symptoms are just hanging on, making running a challenge. There really isn't anything to do but just go with the flow, keep active and try not to get too frustrated. That means regular short jogs and some days commuting to work on the bike and the odd longish bike ride and/or run on the weekend. I thought it would be interesting to go back to rating my runs based on how they feel just to see if there is any sort of pattern. Matt Fitzgerald (in RUN - The mind-body method of running by feel) has a rating system that seems simple and appropriate. 1 = on balance, the run was not enjoyable; 2 = the run was equally pleasant and unpleasant; and 3 = on balance, the run was enjoyable.

Sadly I've been on a trend of 1s of late, it's been a while since those 3s (which were last noted before the 17k run in March).

Weekly Summary for 28/4 to 4/5
Mon - 30min jog HRav 129bpm; rate 1/3
Tues - bike commute 32km;
Wed - 30min jog HRav 127 bpm; rate 1/3
Thurs - bike commute 32km
Fri - off
Sat - off
Sun - 45min jog HRav 124 bpm; rate 1/3

Sunday, April 6, 2014

All in the head ......

Could all the glute pain/tightening that keeps recurring be all in the head? There has been no evidence of pathology of any kind. The original symptoms were consistent with iron deficiency and there was initially a good response to iron supplementation. However, since that time it's all been about tight uncomfortable muscles (predominantly the glutes) that make running hard work. Where is that coming from? The brain is capable of much, could the brain be the source of these strange symptoms? Certainly the signs are consistent with neural dysfunction. Final diagnosis - head case. Treatment - try and retrain the brain.