But its a training day…

But its a training day…

One of my main goals with notrunning is that if it’s a training day then I run.  No excuses.

And measurements are pretty important to guys.”

Obviously life can get in the way of this, things do happen.  But for me in the last 8 months or so, I’ve only broken this rule twice.  Once due to injury, an ankle pain was bad enough I pushed one training day off till the next schedule.  And the other I’d had major dental surgery that morning and had to work a 40 hour day immediately after getting out of surgery for the closing of an M&A where we bought TiVo.

But for me and honestly I imagine for most people letting a day slide makes the next time easier.  And the next easier.   It’s much like dieting.  You have a bite of cake.  So the second bite is easier and before you know it you’re 2000 calories up and the next day you weigh yourself and you’re up 2lbs so obviously the dieting isn’t working so why bother.

One of the big benefits to me is the numbers game.  I export all my numbers to SmashRun.com.  It makes it super easy to see my real world improvement from week to week and month to month.   I can see my average pace times go down over time.  I can see my PR’s keep getting pushed down by new ones.  So numbers and data are all there for the measuring. And measurements are pretty important to guys.

I think that for me that kind of carrot on my treadmill is a big incentive to keep putting on my shoes and heading out.   And that obvious very visible improvement justifies making sure that every training day, I get out and run.

Even if like today, I end up doing a 15k training session that ends in me doing my first trail race and run immediately after it.  So it was a 19K day for me, one quarter of which was getting off the paved road and running over rocks and dirt and up and down stupidly steep inclines for the first time since my paintball glory days back in the 80’s and 90’s.

Tick Tock?

I’m not sure but I may give up on the Wahoo TickrX heart belt I have.  I got it on sale during the xmas rush back in December for about the same cost as a standard Garmin/Polar and it’s just been a bit of a PITA to use.

I prefer having some sexy robotic english woman telling me how I’m doing”

First complaint, the brain of the unit is what holds the strap on.  Unlike say a Garmin or Polar the brain doesn’t snap onto the belt and the belt straps onto you, with the Tickr the brain is the buckle basically that holds the strap on you.

Trying to adjust it after it’s on it pops undone on me all the time.  Granted once it’s on and set I’ve never had it come off during a run but I’m not sure why they went the way they did with it.  Unless they wanted to force you to unsnap the brain so you don’t accidentally leave it connected and drain the battery.

Second complaint with my preferred running phone of choice, a Galaxy Note 4, the LE BT is iffy at best.   With the wahoo utility it connects every time, all the time.  But with any running app, MapMyRun, EndoMondo, Sporttractive blah blah blah sometimes I get readings with BT, sometimes not.   It could be the BT on the Note 4 but I have no problem pairing up and using any other device, my car radio, my Bose Sports, my X3’s they all pair instantly and stay connected without any issue.

The ANT+ always works, my Fenix 3HR always picks it up and EndoMondo when it’s set to listen as an ANT+ always works.   Problem is EndoMondo in a recent update took away the ability to modify the voice prompts which is all I was using it for.   I don’t care to pay a monthly fee for voice prompts.

Sportractive, my running app of preference doesn’t do ANT+.

I tried MapMyRun today with my garmin and it worked out okay using ANT+ but not BT LE.   It has the basic voice prompts and I can live with that.   I prefer having some sexy robotic english woman telling me how I’m doing than be constantly flipping through the data fields on my watch.   I do use the DF’s on my Fenix to confirm pace but things like elapsed time, elapsed distance, heart rate I prefer whispered into my ear as I run.   In large part because if the light is dim my old eyes have trouble reading tiny text on my watch face during a run.

Bottom line if I’m stuck with ANT+ being reliable and useful then I might as well just use my Garmin brain stuck on a Polar sensor belt (the garmin belt started giving bad readings after about 3 months of use) and not have to deal with the weird design on using the brain to connect the strap together.

Yes I do end up giving up the metrics the TickrX provided but honestly they’re mostly a curiosity for me, not something driving my notrunning.  I did like the double tap the chest to change to the next song ala some kind of Star Trek communicator-esque action.

Solo PR

Went out this morning and ran a 5k for time and then some extra for endurance.   I set a new PR beating my last PR time by 1:21 and I didn’t really feel like I was pushing it.  My new 5K is 33:26.  Not earthshaking although some would argue when I run the earth does shake but each month brings some incremental improvement.

And while tight and narrow is good in some areas”

As long as I’m seeing improvement then I’m doing something right.  Right?

I could feel the pace obviously but running solo recreationally is not the same as running as a pack in a pay to play race.  So I believe I could shave another full minute off that to be honest in a race situation and with some proper preparation.  I run a calorie deficit 99 days out of a 100 and on top of that a low carb intake so my energy stores at any given time are not what yours probably are.

But all my planned 5k’s till about November I’m running with slower runners so it’ll be awhile before I can set an ‘official’ PR for a 5k. So I’ll have to deal with GPS based or lap based on a measured track PR’s.

Tomorrow I have a 2 hour ish training run and then a trail run of 4K right afterwards.  The trail run is a organized race.  I’d thought about doing the 8K trail run but was talked out of it.   The talk made sense, the 8K is two laps of the 4K so why bother?  The purpose of the run is to get a taste of trail running, not see the same scenery twice.

This was a last minute race, I’d chalked it off since the race description didn’t mention a T-Shirt much less a medal but yesterday they posted a picture of the medal on facebook which while I’m not on facebook one of my running friends is so he sent it over.

I’m going to be running in Leadville V3’s tomorrow on the trail.  As a card carring member of the bigfoot club I have very few options in shoes.   The Leadvilles are one of the few options that come specifically in a 13 4E.   And thus I have some.

I bought some Vazee Summits online since they were so cheap on the hope they’d work but they were impossibly narrow.   And while tight and narrow is good in some areas, in shoes it’s just not a great thing for me.

The Leadvilles are nice and light but the heel cup feels shallow to me compared to the Nimbus 18 and 19’s.

I’ve already put a pair of Engo blister resist heel patches in them.   I’m going to be putting them in all my shoes actually.  I believe for me they just make sense to increase the life of my shoes and decrease the risk of blisters.

Another thing I’m trying is Leuko cloth tape.  This stuff is far superior to the standard cloth athletic tape.  It sticks like… glue?   It’s slicker than athletic tape so there’s less friction which equals less skin movement.

If you weren’t aware blisters aren’t caused by friction per se, it’s caused by forces being applied to the skin that creates shearing action which causes the layers to break apart.  The skin layers separating is obviously not a great thing and as with any violent action to the human body, bodily fluids are released and thus you have those watery liquid filled puffy blisters.

And running with blisters sucks as anyone who’s had them knows.

Running Benefits with Friends

One of the side effects of training primarily with someone behind you in level is you run at their pace.  Even when they’re good about pushing their limits your own improvement is slowed down.

You push a lot more with a partner than when you do it solo.”

So why would you do this you ask?  Why sabotage my training?  They can just run at their pace until they get to my level, I’ll find someone my level to run with.

The reasons are A: don’t be selfish.  Unless you have a terminal disease that limits how much time you have left to exist then don’t be selfish.   If you do have a terminal disease then my sympathies and I hope you make the best of the time you have left as much as possible.

And B:  You push a lot more with a partner than when you do it solo.  This is true of a lot of things but running especially.

Way back in the day in my 20’s I used to run with a friend of mine, same one that recently ran the Sweetheart 5K and 10K with me.   When it was 110 out and we were driving to the running path we would always pass a Braum’s.  Think Baskin Robbins or Hagen Daz only better and cheaper.   One or the other of us would also go, “You know we could just go have ice cream.”   And the other of us would think about it and then go “No we should go running.”

Case in point my current running buddy started about 3 months ago but only the last couple of months has been really able to focus on it.  In 3 months time she’s caught up to me with my 8 months.

Yesterday was sprints day, 10min warmup, sprint 4 min, recovery 90 seconds repeat 4.    We did that and then did a 10min recovery run back to the cars.  I like to go for a ‘look good for the finish line’ sprint after most runs and kick it up.

She not only kept up but she won the kick sprint.   I was hitting 5:30 pace, 190 steps per minute and I could barely catch up (she got a 3 step head start on me) and then I couldn’t pass or in the end stay up with her.

So by running with me, she’s always been pushing herself harder than she would alone.  When I’m in Z2 she’s in Z3, when I’m Z3, she’s Z4.  And that extra effort has paid off and she’s now in my speed range and not very far off my endurance range.

And vice versa.  There are times I go out early and run a quick (for me) mile or two to help get my HR to the right zone to match hers.  And as a result there have been times I’ve had to really push myself to stay up with her on longer runs.  Times I’d of dropped to a walk if I’d of been by myself.

So there you go.  Reasons to add a slower partner to your training schedule.  Yes it might retard your improvement for a few months but in the end you’ll both be far better for it.

Fast weekend

Busy weekend really in terms of not running.  Saturday was a 10k run that was supposed to be in z4 but yeah that’s not happening.  Ran it the someone who’s still a little behind me in ability and she was pushing 11:00 pace but we did have to do a impromptu run walk run starting about mile 3.  Finished with a 12:07 pace which was a PR for me on a 10k so not too shabby.   For me.

they’re all a little weird to me in consistency and flavoring”

I could have finished it faster I’m sure, I didn’t feel the need to walk, anymore than I normally do, when we did walk but it doesn’t bother me.  I was asked about that and honestly it doesn’t.  I’m #notarunner so running slower with someone else isn’t a problem for me.

Bottom line is she’ll catch up.  And I have no doubt subsequently pass me by.  I’m not built for running.

Sunday I had the thought of doing a little extra so that  on our scheduled hour run in Z2 we’d be in sync.  And as it turns out I was spot on.  I showed up a little early and did 2 9minute miles, a 2 mile PR for me thank you very much.  My current runner in tandem showed up right as I was finishing so we just went straight at it.

During the run we were both at the same spot in our HR zones the entire time, when I was pushing into Z3, she was and when we slowed down we were both at the top of Z2 etc.   It was better than the normal state where I’m a full zone behind.

All in all I did  2 9 minute miles and 5 12 minute miles and overall happy with that.   It also shows that running slower with someone else is still improvement.  Maybe not as fast as pushing yourself every time, but also not nearly the same risk of injury.

My TE aka Training Effect for the last couple of months since I started primarily running with her has been around 2.5-2.6.   2.0 is maintaining, 3.0 is improving.  It’s a Garmin thing in conjunction with someone else.

My 2 miles today was a 3.0, the next 5 miles was a 2.4.   The 10k the day before as a 2.6.

I had some Clif Bloks right before I started today and finished the package after I did the 2 miles.   Miles 2 and 3 of the slower 5 mile stretch were feeling a little ‘pushy’ for me after the fast pre-run miles but by mile 4 the carbs got metabolized and things went a little easier.

Clif Bloks aren’t my favorite energy source, I just have several I need to use up.  In the “it’s like old Jello” type of carbs I prefer Stinger brand, they’re not as hard to chew as Clif’s and go down a bit easier.   Gels such as Gu and Clif and Stinger are all quicker to ingest but they’re all a little weird to me in consistency and flavoring.

Which brings me to a chia based gel I tried.  Never again.  It was like eating some weird slime jelly except gritty like it had mushy sand.  Yes I know that’s exactly what chia seeds are like.  I shan’t be partaking of this again.

Of the various energy sources I’ve tried which is most at this point, I’ll likely settle on Stinger Waffles, Tailwind (in water) and Jelly Bellys + SaltStik (or pay the premium for Sport Beans), at least once I’ve used up the various brands of gels and blocks I have.   I might switch out the jelly beans for Stinger’s gel block option.  The jelly beans are harder to eat.

I’ve got my own recipe for energy cookies which is a DIY Stinger Waffles recipe.  It fairly closely matches them in carbs and electrolytes and just in terms of costs are what I’ll likely be using this spring summer as the training sessions get longer and longer.    I make them as cookies since I don’t have a pizzelle waffle iron and it seems dumb to spend the money on one when I could just buy 3 or 4 boxes of stingers for the same money.  So cookies it is.   I’m still playing with it, once I’m happier with it I may post here.

Blistering Pace

I’ve got a problem with wearing out the heels in shoes.  Just picture a velociraptor trying to wear shoes and that’s me.  In the last 8 months I’ve gotten blisters twice, once due to a bad tie job on my laces and once due to a combination of distance, pace, old worn out shoes and wrong socks.   It all came together to leave me with bloody heels that day.

the next pair I put in I’ll get my wife to help hold the crease open so I can stick them in”

So I went looking around and found Engo Blister Prevention patches, specifically for the heels.  In my new Nimbus 19’s, which had already started to pill up after only 100-150 miles I decided to add the heel patches.

They went in pretty easy although the next pair I put in I’ll get my wife to help hold the crease open so I can stick them in.   After roughly 15 miles on the heel patches I believe they’re providing the service they say.    My heels feel cooler due to the decreased friction coefficient after the run and they show no signs of coming off.

They’re fairly spendy for what they are, just some teflon impregnated material with an adhesive backing but if $10 worth of patches both saves me from blistering up and gives me an extra couple of months of shoe life then they’re worth it.   My 18’s were still good in terms of padding, just the inside heels were eaten away.

If you have problems with blistering or premature wear in the inside heel liner of your shoes then these are worth examining I believe.

No Solo Mio

Set a new PR today for a 10k of 1 hour, 14 minutes, 54 seconds.   Some folks are rolling their eyes at at that I’m sure.   But try putting a backpack of 70lbs on your back and 25lb ankle weights on each ankle and let’s see where we stack up against each other.  🙂   That’s roughly the difference in weight between myself and the average male distance runner.

she was eaten by zombies twice”

This was the 10K Z4 training run of the Garmin level I HR based half marathon training.  Week 8 or 9 I think.    Tomorrow is a Z2 hour run.

I have issues with Z4’s.   I can’t sustain it for long much less 6 miles, I’m pretty much a Z3 racer/runner when I push it.    My heart is more like a semi truck than a Porsche.  It takes time to ramp up and the gas pedal only goes down so far to reach the top end.   Bu

I was running with a girl, technically a woman but women younger than me by more than 10 years are girls in my mind.   This was her first 10k run in several years and 2 kids ago.  She’s doing so much better than me.   From nothing to 10k in 2 months to reach a pace it took me 6 months to reach.    She’s a Porsche.   She runs sustained at a heart rate that would quite literally kill me.

Granted she was eaten by zombies twice when the random zombie chases of Zombie Run kicked in and she couldn’t kick in the 20% faster pace necessary to escape.  The zombie chases are brutal if you’re already near the top of your distance sustained pace.

So in the event of a real zombie apocalypse it’s good to know I don’t have to outrun the fast zombies I just have to out run her.

 

Hey Sweetie…

The Fleet Feet Sweetheart Double has been done.   I ran this with a very old friend of mine.  Not that he’s old per se, he’s younger than me, but that I’ve known him for 25 years give or take at this point.

there was some hot and heavy sweating all the way through”

This was his first 5K and he chose to run both the 5K and the 10K with me.  I’m happy to report he did really well given he’s only been running awhile and he’s only run 3 miles at one time a single time before now.

The 5K was fully ran albeit slow but we finished fast enough to be ready for the start of the 10K.

I wore my Jurek FKT vest for the first time today, just water bottles, no bladder.  I must say I liked it.   It receded from concious notice fairly quickly and easily.  Kind of like wearing a LBE Vest for awhile, you just forget it’s there until you need the stuff on it.

I had no problems having enough ‘stuff’ for the races, some beans, some waffles for the two of us and had pockets to store trash in.   The waterproof pocket held up, I put a couple of salt tablets in it and they didn’t melt on me and there was indeed sweating going on.

Like I thought it might, the lack of any 3D mesh or air foam or ridging meant there was no air flow between the pack and my back.   It’s also fairly wicking so… Since I didn’t have a bladder in the vest there was some hot and heavy sweating all the way through.

I’ve got a long run tomorrow as usual, it being Sunday, 10min warmup, 50min run, 5 min recovery, 50min run, 10min cool-down, and I’m going to put a bladder in it, I have an old platypus that mostly fits.  I may get a new 2L Source bladder, I really like their bladders, for the vest but we’ll see how this one rolls.

When we finish our half marathon training in another couple of months we’ll start a full marathon, just in time for Oklahoma summers.   Since I’m not a morning runner and I don’t like running later in the evening after I’ve eaten, I may end up running alone during the week.  But that’s a problem to worry about later.

 

Nine Point Three

So tomorrow I have a 15k to run. Technically it’s a 5K followed by a 10K immediately afterwards. The reason I’m doing both is because they forced me as a #JEWELRYCOLLECTOR to do so.

bask in the glow of my double heart medal”

The 5K medal is just a medallion, a small heart. The 10K medal is a twin heart but one heart is set with magnets to hold the medallion.

So if you want a full medal you have to run both. And I run races for medals. It’s the only reason to pay someone to let you do what you can do for free anywhere for me at least. The t-shirts are okay but typically are covered with sponsors on the back and yes I get that the race would cost more, and the profits to the race producer would be less, if there were no sponsors. But the end result is really that we wear our race shirts to work the Monday after the race and probably never again.

But the end result is I’m running both races back to back. Now I’m running with someone who is slower than me so it shouldn’t be hard race for me. But still it’s 9.2 miles.

And the day after I have a 2 hour running session, 10min walk, 50min run, 5 min walk, 50min run, 10min walk.

So this weekend should be interesting by the end of Sunday. On the plus side we have Monday off so I fully intend to do not a damn thing on Monday except bask in the glow of my double heart medal.

Note that I’m using Heart Rate based training and I have no intention of killing myself so I keep a eye on my HR and when the signs of over exertion kick in, I’ll chill it down, walking if I have to.   I’d like to see my kids adults after all before I kick the bucket and return back to the dirt.

And with that pleasant thought I’ll bid thee adieu.

Start your packs…

An interesting post popped up in my flipboard feed on running today.  A new running pack over on kickstarter.   The most interesting thing is it uses a X harness that’s more like a racing harness than the traditional over shoulder under arm with cross chest linkage that you see for other packs.

rubbing back and forth on those things till something gives”

It’s currently available for cheaper than SRP with a delivery date in April.  Of this year which is pretty fast for a KS in my experience.   I’m more used to buying it now and then getting delivery a year later.

The strap pockets seem more likely to be useful than say the Jurek FKT’s side pockets as you may be able to stuff them with stuffy stuff without having to worry about rubbing back and forth on those things till something gives, most likely the skin on your inside elbows and forearms.   It depends on how far back those things go on your body.

I’m going to keep an eye on it and try to figure out if it’s something I want to try out.   If nothing else it would be a loaner pack for our current wild hare idea of doing a 50K this fall.

And best case it might just be an awesome pack.