Just Run Free A training log and thoughts on running

2018 Week 47

A recovery week. I would have liked to have run more but vacation won out. I had more responsibilities than normal and just not as much time to go out for runs as I would have liked. That’s okay though; the rest was needed after a relatively long eight months of fairly consistent work.

Date RHR Sleep Mileage Notes
Nov 18 50 7h 46min 0.0 Day OFF - Long drive
Nov 19 48 7h 52min 0.0 KB strength
Nov 20 53 8h 51min 0.0 KB strength
Nov 21 46 ? 4.35 KB strength, run plagued with stomach issues
Nov 22 54 8h 11min 5.0 KB strength, much better run, tired!
Nov 23 63 8h 22min 0.0 KB strength
Nov 24 55 9h 23min 0.0 Day OFF - work

Sunday, Nov 18

Day OFF. Yup, a day after the Dash for Dignity 5K and while I didn’t run it hard as I felt like I probably should have, I’m still tired. And I feel like I’m getting slightly sick. So the day off is much needed. I think I’m suppose to take a few rest days after that type of intense effort anyway.

Monday, Nov 19

I slept in. Well, I tried to sleep in, but now that I’m with my daughter sans-wife I am full of responsibilities and getting to sleep-in uninterrupted is usually not something that comes along with the territory. Alas, I was able to put in a nice little strength and mobility session before heading out for the day.

A modified Program Minimum

  • Warmup of a series of up- and down-dog + squats + hip bridges
  • 5 x 20 16kg double-armed kettlebell swings
  • 5 x 1L / 1R 16kg Turkish get-ups (one on each side)

A true Program Minimum would have included halos in the warm-up and a timed 10 x 10 session of swings. But it’s not really what I’m after.

If all goes well, I’ll catch some calisthenics work later in the day.

Tuesday, Nov 20

Another day of no running. Agh. But at least I was able to get some strength work in.

A modified Program Minimum

  • Warmup of up- and down-dog + halos + squats + hip bridges
  • 5 x 1010 single-armed 16kg kettlebell swings (10 on each side)
  • 1 x 40 double-armed 16kg kettlebell swings
  • 5 x 11 16kg Turkish get-ups (one on each side)

This is about all the time I had for workouts today.

Wednesday, Nov 21

Today I wanted to run about 7 miles steady and accomplish a minimum strength routine with kettlebells. The run didn’t go as planned, but the strength routine was great.

Easy Run at City Park

4.35 miles, ~8:45 min/mi pace. I ran up Esplanade into City Park and ran around until I developed stomach issues from eating too close to heading out. Oops.

The run was nice, but I wasn’t able to get into the groove I was hoping to achieve. New Orleans is full of obstacles and I was looking for a steady run. Maybe I’m too accustomed to the nice and easy paths of Brookhaven, White Rock and the treadmill?

But the scenery!

City Park, New Orleans LA

City Park, New Orleans LA

I believe part of my stomach issues were due to drinking Abita beer the night before. Something in their ingredients list does not agree with me. In fact, a few years ago I visited New Orleans with my wife and a bunch of friends and I was convinced the food was doing awful things to my GI system until one day I decided to skip the food and just drink and the same issues arose 20-30 minutes after the first Abita beer. Culprit identified.

Kettlebell Swings + Get-ups

To finish off the exercise day, swings + get-ups with a 16kg kettlebell.

  • 5 x 1010 single-armed swings 16kg
  • 5 x 11 get-ups 16kg

The single-armed work seems to be much more beneficial than double-armed swings. I also much prefer performing 10 on each side for five sets versus 10 sets of 10 as is done in Program Minimum. It’s just easier mentally.

Thursday, Nov 22

The goal today was just to get a decent run in and continue the streak of kettlebell swings and get-ups.

General Aerobic 5 Mile Run at City Park

5 miles. 42:44. 8:33 min/mi. This run was much, much better than yesterday. I had to use the restroom about 3.2 miles into the run. Luckily I was near an open restaurant.

The New Orleans Turkey Trot race was going on - I honestly thought it would be over before I got there and I ended up bandit running part of the course for about a mile and a half. Turned off the course just before the stadium finish. Do I feel bad about it? No. Should I? You are free to judge all you want.

Kettlebell Strength

  • 5 x 10L / 10R 16kg single-armed kettlebell swings
  • 3 x 1L / 1R 16kg Turkish get-ups

I would have completed 5 sets of get-ups had I not been so short for time.

Friday, Nov 23

No run today. Kinda tired from the last two days and I didn’t get the best sleep last night. A full modified Program Minimum routine should suffice.

Kettlebell Strength

  • Warmup
    • 5 x Reach to the sky and stretch
    • 5 x Up-down-dog switch
    • 3 x 5 squats
    • 3 x 10 halos
    • 3 x 5 bridges
  • 5 x 10L/10R single-armed kettlebell swings 16kg
  • 5 x 1L/1R get-ups 16kg

Saturday, Nov 24

Day OFF. I stayed in bed after lots of drinking the night before. I had other things to do, work most importantly, and not enough motivation to start any strength work today. I should have though – plenty of time and the kettlebell was sitting not more than 10 feet away from me for 4-5 hours. Ahh, some days a full day off is necessary. And this is suppose to be a rest week, right?


16kg kettlebell and yoga mat

Kettlebell Strength

I’m really proud of a 5-day consistency of strength work. I wish I had of run one or two more days, event if it was only for 3-4 miles a piece. Next week is the start of a 10-week base building phase. There will be lot’s of general aerobic zone 2 heart rate training over the next few months with some stair climb races mixed-in for fun. This should be a nice change of pace and a great set-up for next year’s training.

2018: Week 46: Training Log

A taper week before my final 5K of the season. I didn’t quite reach my sub-20 goal, but it’s I’m still way ahead of my original 2 year goal. As long as I don’t get injured, I have no doubt I’ll be able to achieve a sub-20 in the spring.

Date RHR Mileage Notes
Nov 11 53 7.0 Recovery Road Run
Nov 12 7.0 Calisthenics + 6 x 1K Interval Treadmill Run
Nov 13 53 0.0 Day OFF
Nov 14 55 4.5 3 x 1 Mile Repeat Treadmill Run
Nov 15 53 3.6 Easy Road Run
Nov 16 51 0.0 Day OFF
Nov 17 52 3.1 Dash for Dignity 5K

Total Mileage: 25.2 miles.

Sunday, Nov 11

6 miles Recovery Run + 6 x Striders

I ran this one with a friend in Fort Worth this morning. We had no idea the Fort Worth Marathon was happening and found out soon after pulling up to the park and wondering why so many runners were on the trail in semi-cold weather.

It was oh-so-incredibly-nice to have people cheering us on during a recovery + training run!

A recovery run for me and a long training run for my friend who has not run six continuous miles since an injury some time ago. When we stopped after six, I took the opportunity to knock out six striders with approximately a minute of rest in-between each, sometimes more depending on the conversation we had once I made the jog back.

Cold. Steady. Good stretch afterwards.

Monday, Nov 12

Strength: Get Strong, Phase 1: Week 1: Day 3

I’m just getting into this program and honestly I could probably skip ahead to phase 2 but I want to take it slowly and really progress into it.

  • Warmup:
    • Wrist Roll
    • Reach and Touch
    • Downdog/Updog Switch
    • Hollow Body
    • Plank
  • 3 x 6 Hands Elevated Push-up
  • 3 x 5 seconds Flex Hang
  • 3 x 10 seconds Active Hang
  • 3 x 8 Lying Knee Tuck
  • 3 x 10 Assisted Squat
  • 3 x 10 Hip Bridge

I also mixed in 3 x 10R/10L 16KG one-armed kettlebell swings. 60 swings total. Not the greatest form. I was inspired to pick them up yet again after reading a bit about what Bud Jeffries accomplished with massively long sets of KB swings.

6 x 1K intervals @ 4:01 pace

Warmed up for 1600m before starting the intervals and then slogged it out for the next five miles of work. 1000m intervals with 400m rest jog after each, though 300m of the rest was definitely a walk, not a jog. Finished up with another 1600m at easy pace, around a 9-minute mile. I would have done two but the treadmill stopped me and I was too lazy to re-start it, especially since I really wanted to do some dumbbell get-ups before stopping and I was getting hungry.

3 x 1 dumbbell get-ups, 35lbs

3 sets of 1 get-up on each side (left/right). Side note: I don’t know what it is with the guys who are constantly staring at themselves in the mirror while they work weights.

Oh wait.

When I’m running at the gym I’m constantly staring at myself in the mirror as well. Two reasons:

  • I don’t care to watch Fox News, any cable news, or really any TV at all when I’m running.
  • It’s a great opportunity to make sure my form is in check visually. At least from the front, that is.

So I guess I can’t give them too much crap because I do the same.

Anyway, the get-ups went really well and again I have been reminded how beneficial swings and get-ups are that I must incorporate them into my weekly strength+mobility program. I think three times a week versus every day will suffice. I tried to do way too much before and it led me to stopping the program.

Wednesday, Nov 14

3 x 1 mile repeats, treadmill

Nice little warm-up and then hit the repeats at a 6:03 pace with the incline at 1.5 degrees. Nothing more to report.

Thursday, Nov 15

3.6 miles @ 8:24/mi: General Aerobic Run: Dash for Dignity Course Preview

I decided to get a feel for the course, especially since it’s right by my house, so I went out for a little easy recovery run that ended up being not so recovery and more easy pace, maybe slightly over easy pace for me.

The course is damn-near perfect for setting a PR. If I don’t do it, I’m just gonna have to chalk it up to it not being my day. It starts out semi-flat and goes downhill for long enough to get the jitters out. The downhill is slight, 20ft over 0.15mi and ends at the bridge before Selma Ln.

It’s then a good slog uphill for a roughly 26ft gain for 0.3mi before mostly leveling out in the Brookhollow neighborhood. Valley View gets up to about 522ft in elevation and then it’s flat and downhill all the way to Mallon Park.

From Mallon Park we slowly gain about 25ft in elevation before hitting the finish.

Maybrook is deceptively long. Watch out for this, and run the middle. The road surface is a little bit slower too.

It’s then a good slog uphill for a while before leveling out in the Brookhollow neighborhood. The uphill lasts for about a quarter mile and gains This is the major elevation gain for the whole course, so getting through it without blowing up is maybe the most difficult aspect of the race.

After Brookhollow, we get on Valley View for a while. Slight elevation gain for a bit again before leveling off. Once Josey rolls around, it’s downhill. Long and fast. Kill it. It’s this way until arriving at the park.

Starting at Mallon Park there is a slight uphill for a bit until hitting Maybrook. Maybrook is pretty flat, but it’s deceivingly long. This is the last bit of the race though.

From there, we go up slightly for a while before hitting the intersection and the last stretch until the finish.

Friday, Nov 16

Day OFF. I took the day off completely.

Saturday, Nov 17

Dash for Dignity 5K

This morning I ran the Dash for Dignity 5K in Farmers Branch, TX. My official time was 18:18 (which was wrong, it was more like 20:18) and I placed 2nd overall. The course was the opposite direction from the course preview I ran on Thursday. Whoops. Read on for more details.

I woke up at 6:07am and prepared a small smoothie full of protein powder, flax-seed meal, Green Vibrance, half a banana, frozen blueberries and a bunch of water and ice. I drank it quickly and went promptly back to sleep for another 35 minutes.

Once 7am rolled around and the alarm on my phone went off and did a splendid job waking me, I jumped in the shower. I like being clean for a race, and really, most runs. My wife and daughter were getting ready at the same time but they were driving to the race start separately. Once I was changed I was immediately out the door.

Luckily the race was just down the street from my house, so I did a small easy warm-up run to packet pickup. Mac Miller / Swimming and Run the Jewels were playing on my headphones. I saw some friends at the race start that were joining in on the fun and went to grab my packet shortly afterwards.

One of the minor problems with this race is race day packet pickup. I remember this being a problem last year too … they only have one computer for registrant lookups, so the packet pickup line can get backed up nearing the start of the race. I stood in line for a few more minutes than I wanted, missing some strides that I wanted to complete.

Once I finally got my packet, I put my bib on and dropped all my extra stuff off with my wife, finishing up some strides before heading to the start. It was at this point that I realized that this was going to be a very different race from last year. There wasn’t a group of faster runners at the start. I wasn’t going to have very many people to chase and I really need that right now!

The announcements couldn’t be heard at the start. There was a bit of confusion but all was well.

I started out too fast. That’s a big mistake and it ultimately cost me my sub-20 minute goal. The other minor mistake is that I ran my race preview in the wrong direction. I ran in the direction that the course certification map depicted. Oh well.

So I started out too fast and settled into 3rd place quickly. Once my pace settled down it was pretty clear that I would be able to overtake 2nd and did so before the first mile marker. From that point on I never looked back and had 1st place in my sights until the end.

It was tempting to try to overtake 1st, but I was already struggling and didn’t think there would be much a chance of beating him. He was looking strong and there was a good chance that even if I was able to catch up, he’d outkick me in the end. That shouldn’t be a reason not to try, but it was certainly the truth.

I looked at my watch at 17:36 in and thought there was a good chance I was actually going to achieve my goal. There just wasn’t much road left to run to the finish but, nope! I ran across the finish line and stopped my watch quickly afterwards at 20:40. Subtract about 10-15 seconds from that and add another 5 for after the finish and we have a time of about 20:20-20:25.

So why then is my official time listed at 18:18? Simple. They screwed up. I have no doubt in my mind that it is way off. In fact, I think there is a good chance that it’s 2 minutes off. My time was more likely 20:18, or even as slow as 20:25.

Anyway, after finishing Mike Doocey came over to congratulate me and talk a bit about the cause. I went over and congratulated the winner after that. I ran a bit with my daughter, grabbed some coffee, and watched her run laps on some inflatable obstacle courses. It was a great morning overall.