Totally wired!

Yesterday was my 5 mile run at the park. What fabulous weather! About 70F with mostly clear skies with a bunch of puffy white clouds just floating along. There’s enough shade on the trails in places that you aren’t getting roasted while you run, but enough open spots so you can enjoy the sun a little. Apparently, everyone else thought so too because it was a regular circus with all the roller blades, bikes, strollers and a few runners.

I’ve been trying to eat normally before the long runs, kind of like I would before a race so I’m used to having the same things in my stomach. Cereal with banana and raisins, 2-3 hours before. Banana and bagel an hour before. Power Gel right before I run. I like the taste of the gel. Except for that initial blast of air from the packet when you squeeze it into your mouth. Nasty gel air.

I was totally wired for this run. I had my armband radio, my heart rate monitor, my new ghostrunner ForeRunner, my new fuel belt, and the shades. At first I was thinking this was totally cool. Then when I started seeing the other runners with just clothes and shoes, I felt a little odd. I could just imagine what they were thinking: “What the heck is that idiot doing?”. All I need is one of those helmets with the headlight and then I can run at night. I might even get a flat-top haircut to look like a total hardcore runner. Then again, maybe I should wait until I’m totally ripped from all the training. I didn’t see the “ripped” portion in the plan, but I’m sure its coming up.

Dressing like this is ok. I am training myself to wear the equipment for the longer runs.

The Forerunner did great! Ghosties seemed to have vanished. I had homed it in the other night so it only took about 30 seconds to find the signals again. The distance measurement doesn’t start until you hit the start on the stopwatch. I was glad to have it with me because they had not marked the newly paved path yet and the temporary mileage marks on the grass were not always readable.

It did a perfect job measuring the distance, based on where the temporary marks were. I also realized that I was doing the mileage math in my head wrong on previous runs. I was shorting myself by .2 miles. When the Forerunner gave me a different number than I expected, I went back and checked and sure enough, it was right and I was wrong.

The only time it had trouble was when I was in the woods. The distance measurements were still on the mark, but the pace slowed way down. Drop from 9:40 to 11:30. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going that slow, so I knew it must be the trees. When I came out of the woods, the pace returned to normal and my distance was still correct.

I liked being able to stop the stopwatch right as I hit 5 miles and record the time. For some reason, the stopwatch on the heartrate monitor resumes again as though you hit the lap button and its hard to figure out where the first time mark went. I need simple :) Its very comfortable to wear on the wrist, and they also include an extension for using as an armband, I think. Not sure what else you would use that strap for.

The fuel belt performed well too. It was very comfortable, you just need to make sure its not too tight around your waist/hips. The bottle are easy to get out and back into the holders. The plastic smell and taste are still there and I’m hoping it will go away soon. The only real complaint I have is that the sides of the spout leak where you sqirt in your mouth, so you need to put the whole end inyour mouth so it doesn’t dribble down your shirt. I like the little pocket for holding a gel and my car keys.

I did the full ice bath again after my run. I think this should be standard practice for my long runs from now on. Legs feel good today except for the right shin which is a little sore. More localized icing and wrapping with the ACE-type bandage today.

5.0 miles. HR was up in the mid 160’s, which is higher than I wanted. Maybe it was the hills and the excitement of all the new stuff. Speaking of which, I think I need new shorts.

I “ran” the 3.0 miles anyway

I didn’t want to run last night because I had been so tired this week and “dead legs” had set in, but I just had that guilty feeling of not running. Its so early in the training and it seems so lame for me to be tired already. Heck, why is 3 miles so hard if I ran it in the race a few weeks ago? Lots of reasons but it would be more whining.

Actually, it went pretty well. The legs were feeling bad until the last mile. My left hip got the tired/strained feeling first and then my right shin. Damn shin. Did I mention I hate my shin? I really, really do. My heart rate stayed in the low 150’s.

I put the forerunner on charge last night so it would be ready today when I wanted to set it up (30 minutes looking for satellites). It woke me up in the middle of night beeping, saying “Yoo hoo, satellites! Where aaaaarrreeee yooooouuu?” I kept trying to shut it off in the dark but no luck, had to go to the hallway and turn on the light. After it was off and I was in bed, it gave one last little beep, like when a barking dog has to have the last word.

I soaked in the ice again last night, and it didn’t feel as cold this time. Hmmmm. I wore my dive boots because my toes got so cold they hurt last time. 10 minutes only, then off to bed. I’m not sure if the sweatshirt would work for me, Annalisa, but I like the hat idea. And it might be a good chance to try out my black tea (highest levels of antioxidants!) with honey. Some super runner woman from Japan used royal jelly or bee sting poison or crushed up bee guts or something like that to give her super endurance. They said honey might have worked just as well. I think I’ll try the honey first :)

Jason had asked about the ice bath. Several years ago I had read about a study involving a men’s rowing team (at Harvard or Yale?). They had half the team take the usually hot shower after the workout and the other half took a cold shower. What they found was that the cold shower guys had a much higher level of recovery than the hot shower guys. So now, years later, I find that marathon runners do an ice bath soak after a long run to speed recovery of their legs. I’m not certain why it allows for recovery but my bet is that it reduces the inflammation in the muscle caused by breaking them down, which reduces soreness.

I put “ran” in quotes in the title because I was thinking about what Elizabeth, Lynne, and Mike said about treadmills, and it seems like its not really running because you aren’t going anywhere and you aren’t moving your body forward. Its like you are jumping in place. I need to use the ‘mills because they have a kid’s center at the gym where my son can hang out and play while I’m running in the evening. I guess if I got my butt out of bed at 4:30 I might be able to do it then. But then I would want to kil myself because I’d never get enough sleep.

I’m not so sure the ‘mills are “bad”, but they aren’t like real running, and you definately need to add 1% incline to make it closer to running. I don’t because it bothers my shin. I need to have the TV in front of the treadmill or it would kill me with boredom. I don’t have a TV at home so the shows are really, really bizarre to me (Vampires that are good guys?). The park is definately a pick-me-up and if I had the choice, I’d run there every day. The ‘mill is gentler on my legs but I can run on the grass next to the path to get a softer step. OK, then, I agree that I need to get off the ‘mill.

I bought the newer version of the fuel belt, Marisa, and its the bottles that smell. The belt has a slight odor but I think its from sitting in the box with the bottles. Good point about the soap, Lara! I would probably have done it too. After reading your comment, I remembered doing that same thing with a new water bottle and how it tasted like soap for a long time. It would have bugged the heck out of me if it was my running bottle. Ok, maybe the vinegar then.

Time for work. Thanks again for all the comments, everyone!

Forerunner, Fuel Belt and dead legs

Major dead legs on the ‘mill last night. It was all I could do to keep moving. 3.0 miles at 10:00 pace. My HR hit 151, but other than that it was calm. My shins hurt during the run and I hard a hard time keeping myself running straight. I noticed I would suddenly have a step that was way off to the side if I didn’t concentrate. Same with the arms doing that crazy cross swing instead of straight ahead. I think the lack of sleep this week (5 hrs/night) has made me groggy and very slow. Needless to say, my running is falling apart.

This was supposed to be a setback week, rebuilding for next week. I don’t know if that is happening. I’m thinking I should take today as an added rest day and not do my three miles. Maybe I’ll ride the bike instead.

I came home and after paying the bills I did an ice bath, this time it was the full treatment, ice and all. For those who have just gone with the 55F well water, the ice adds an entirely new dimension. I used to do alot of cold water diving and there’s a really good reason I wore a drysuit :) Its cold! I took my ibuprofin last night.

A quick primer for those who are unititiated in how to do the cold bath. First, turn on the water to a temp you would consider to be a good hot bath and fill the tub about 2-3 inches deep. Get in and splash around so that your legs and waist are good and wet. Now turn on just the cold water. Swirl the water to mix it in with the hot tub water and begin getting it on your legs again. It will get colder so keep moving the water so that the temp drops gradually. Stop filling when the water is deep enough to cover your legs entirely. If this is about all you can stand, then stop here and let your legs soak. With cold tap water I will soak about 20 minutes. If you want the full treatment, add ice. I use two 7 pound bags. Its a “cool” sensation to have the ice swirling around in the tub. The temp will drop quite a bit (there’s an easy calculation for this) and you will feel a very big difference in comfort level. I wouldn’t be in there more than 10 minutes, shorter if your legs turn blue :)

That’s it. Do not attempt to fill the tub with cold water and then lower yourself in. It is not fun at all and the screaming is very upsetting to people in the house.

My Forerunner and fuel belt have arrived!! So excited to try these things out, although there are two issues.

1) The fuel belt smells. It smells like the worst smelling plasticizer you could imagine. I will try washing it and see if it gets less stinky. I also don’t know how you wear this thing. Does the pocket go in the front or the back? I need to look at the website pictures.

2) Amazon didn’t tell me that the Forerunner came with the computer cable and AC adapter, so I ordered those too. It came with them, so now I have to return them. At least the shipping here was free.

Ordered my Forerunner and Fuel Belt.

I’ve ordered my Garmin Forerunner 201 and the 4-bottle fuel belt. Damn excited to get both. I really am looking forward to long runs without carrying a bottle in my hand (although I’ve gotten used to the sloshing and found a way to hold it so as to minimize this anyway), and now when I go on trips I will be able to see my mileage without a measured course. And it looks cool to be so totally wired like that. Like Steve Austin. Oh yes! Nah, nah, nah naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaaaa. You youngins will have no idea what I’m talking about. You older’ns probably won’t either.

Yesterday was supposed to be a crosstraining day but I decided to do weights instead. Actually, I think I can reasonably argue that weight training is crosstraining. Good enough.

I skipped the shin/calf lifts because my right shin was still sore from the long run and I didn’t want to aggrevate it. The other weight stuff went ok, although my progress has come to a halt. I basically held steady from last week, which is good but I want to keep building. Looking ahead in the schedule I think I need to space my weight training out so that its mixed in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maybe I will do the upper body stuff on Sundays. Seems like that would make things easier to manage.

I have a funny pain in my shin (funny, strange. not funny ha-ha). Its about 5 inches below the knee and right on the bone. Not like the other ones where there was pain at the connection point to the muscle but this is right on the flat area in front where there’s just skin. I feel it when my leg extends, just before the heel strikes. Its dull and not really pinpointable (sp?), but its in the area I described. Probably just bached it on something, but I wanted to document it here so I can look back and see when it first developed.

I want get a running hat. I have dark hair so it gets hot in the summer. A cool hat might come in handy. It has to match my tech gear though. Don’t want to ruin the Steve Austin image.

Today is rest day. I moved it back from Tuesday now that Cub Scouts is done for the summer (except for Summer camp this week and a Todelo Mudhens game).