Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Travel Mileage - Exercise Personalities

It's only Tuesday, but so far so good for a travel week.  We flew in Sunday (which was a scheduled off-day), went to the YMCA Monday morning and did a 4.25 mile jog on the treadmill followed by an arm workout (they are sore now).  Today we went to the Y again and I ran for 6.2 miles.  It was rough, I'm starting to get a crappy chest cold so I can't breath well, but I made it through it.  If I can keep it up for the next two days I'll be happy to take off Friday and give the 'Run with the Wind' a go on Saturday.  Even though I'm not prepared to set any time goals it will be good to do a timed run just to see where I stand.  The only bad part is I will miss my running friend being with me this year - it will be lonely!  :-(

So, visiting other YMCA's and/or gyms gives you a chance to see different people and analyze their workout habits a bit - get a feel for the different 'gym personalities' if you will.
I guess for the most part I'm used to the 'grunters' at our gym.  There are a few that are just over the top with their heavy breathing, dropping seriously heavy weights from their waist to the ground, etc., but most just are just your basic grunters.  You know, the guys who focus almost solely on their arms - sometimes they even have huge guts, a lot of the time they have skinny legs, but their arms are buff and they like to admire them.  This particular gym has a guy that I think the term howler more accurately describes.  He looks a little like Paul Sr. off of American Choppers, same gut, same arms, just shorter and wears some sort of spandex waist thing - I'm guessing modern day version of the corset?  Wow, the dude lets out a loud howl/scream when he's lifting.  I was in the middle of my run with headphones blaring and I hear it - loud enough in the next room above the buzz of the treadmill motors to startle me.  I thought he was injured until I heard it again.  Seriously, what's that all about??

I have thoughts on all the different 'gym personalities' - maybe some day I will put them into writing, but today I am just caught up trying to think up another name for guys like this - grunters who go the extra mile.

Till next time - run on!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weather Helps

It's amazing what a couple days in the 40's and 50's can do for your running.  I hit the treadmill Monday for 4 miles and took off Tuesday to prepare for our yearly Mardi Gras celebration - which rocked.  The weather went from the teens & 20's to the 40's and 50's on Wednesday so I went for a 6.6 mile outside run.  Other than a couple people that swerved towards me & the dark it was a pretty good run.  I was a little optimistic heading out with no gloves since it dropped in the 30's when the sun went down.  My hands were cold, but it was still enjoyable and I finished in under an hour which is pretty quick for me.
Yesterday I had intended to do some sort of cross training, but it was just perfect running weather when I got off work.  I headed out on a 4 mile run that ended up being 4.5 miles in a little less than 40 minutes by the time I was done.  The only issue I had on this run was some kids driving by felt the need to open the passenger door and yell - it freaked me out - they were only going 25-30mph, wasn't sure if he opened it to try to hit me with it or to jump out and get his jog on.  He ended up not doing either - just incoherent yelling, let me tell you I was impressed!  Hindsight - maybe the windows on their clunker didn't roll down so they had to open the door??  Regardless it's stunts like that that make me a little defensive...
Feeling good about running overall right now though.

I do have a weird RunKeeper (iPhone app to track mileage/pace/time) story.  It's been doing pretty well for me - mileage has been consistent with what I map on 'MapMyRun' and the pace has been accurate - up till now.  So, I have the log for last Saturday - it shows I ran 6.61 miles (which was right, I confirmed that) in 49:20, or a 7:28min/mile - yeah, I was moving right along, but pretty sure that's a little off.  I've kept up 8min/mile pace for that distance before, but not 7:28.
When I did the exact same run Wednesday it was 6.61 miles in 57:06, or 8:40min/mile - seems more accurate, but still not sure if I believe it.  I felt like I was going about as fast on my 4.5 mile last night and my pace shows 9:15min/mile.  Probably just what you get for using a free iPhone app. instead of the trusty Garmin.  ;-)

Update on the biking - I didn't bike Monday or Tuesday this week - it really was bitter cold.  Wednesday I dressed for cold and it was OK.  Thursday I thought it was going to be nice and left the house under-dressed and froze in the 20 degree temps.  Today was awesome - sweatshirt & gloves - no coat necessary.  Of course the rain/snow is supposed to get here early afternoon, so the question will be weather to brave the wet, or drive back after lunch.  There continue to be the issues with early morning drivers - mostly parents dropping off their kiddos at school - they just can't seem to see cyclists.  My understanding for why kids don't  walk or bike to school has grown - right around schools is the most dangerous place to be in the mornings.

Travel next week - let's hope the running continues!
Run on, bike on...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Must get more mileage

I am still not hitting the mark when it comes to my running mileage.
Here's the breakdown:

January 31 - February 6
Monday - 4.25 miles
Saturday - 10 miles

February 7 - February 13
Tuesday - 4 miles
Saturday - 6.5 miles roads, 8.5 miles trails

Now, there were a few bike rides, and a handful of spin classes dispersed throughout those days, but still??
This week I have high hopes of running 4 miles tonight (Monday), 6 miles on Wednesday, and 16 miles on Saturday.  That seems a little more appropriate.  After the trails on Saturday my quads were screaming in protest.  That was the first sign I had let my running slide.  My next order of business once I get this pesky running mileage back up will be to get new running shoes.

Here's the decision:
- Stick with the Saucony Omni's I've been running in (and was fitted for after a gait analysis, but cause blisters)
- Give the Mizuno Wave's another try - they seemed to improve my form, but ended up hurting my knees after wearing down a little
- Go back to Asics - I was wearing them when I got the stress fracture, but I don't really think it was related
- Pearl Izumi streaks - I loved them, but they really don't have any support or cushion and I was told they could lead to injury
- Try something new??

Hmmm - just don't know - for now I'm going to try to get in 3 days of running and we'll go from there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter riding and a little running

Things have been hectic and I've gotten off schedule yet again.  A lot of it was due to travel and working 12 hour days over the weekend while on the road (did I mention I love my job??).  The other part was due to my Grandpa passing away - it was expected and for the best, but it has still made sleeping a struggle for me, which translates into a fatigued body that doesn't want to work out.  This weekend I started to get out of my rut.  I had scheduled to do a long run on Saturday, but I didn't feel like it, especially since it would have meant hitting the treadmill to do it safely with the snow that had covered everything the night before.  Brady was a sport and we decided to head out on the cross bikes for a ride in the snow.  It was hard, but parts of it were so much fun I didn't want to quit.  We started out on snow covered roads, they were a little tricky and I had to learn to just relax and let the bike do it's thing.  Next we hit a park with 6" of snow where I learned you have to keep pedaling hard to move through that stuff.  Then there were some slushy roads with patches of ice - I learned they aren't good for anything!  ;-)  Then, we got to the real fun, we hit another park with some great downhills.  Downhills that are usually a little steep for my comfort, but once I learned how much the snow slowed me down I realized how much fun they could be - sledding on bikes - awesome.
Our bikes were so covered with snow - it was just like being in the mud - the brakes were basically useless by the time we were done.

At one point during our ride, while we were out on the road a car pulled up next too me and rolled down the window and the lady in the passenger seat tells me in broken English that I am brave while her son in the backseat films me.  Hilarious - not sure if he was waiting to see if I would fall and hoped he would win a million dollars or if he had just never seen anyone so stylishly dressed on a bike - LOL, but at least I was warm!  :-)

Sunday we opted for single track riding in the snow.  It was pretty cool.  Brady and two of his biking friends rode ahead while I made my way following the paths they had made, or my best attempt at it anyway.  It was rough.  I finally got clipped in and was able to go quite a ways without putting a foot down, but all the work of going through the snow made me hot.  I stripped off my hat, gloves and tied my jacket around my waist - things were good...then I decided (not really) it would be a good time to fall.  Lovely cold snow up my sleeves and down my back.  Maybe taking the gloves off was pushing it.  I put them back on and made it through the rest of the course with only a few more tumbles - it was OK, falling in snow doesn't really hurt - just watch out for the trees.  I guess everyone bit it at least once so I didn't feel bad.  It was my first single track in the snow and I enjoyed it.  

Monday - finally, decided to get a run in.  The roads here still aren't clear so I had to stick to main roads and even then I had to 'run gently' in a few places.  I didn't make it out till about 5:30pm so it was already getting dark and colder.  I probably looked pretty silly doing my shuffle through any wet looking spots, trying to make sure not to hit an ice patch, but it was worth it.  The run felt good - the temperature was perfect for me.  I didn't want to stop, but it really wasn't safe.  Vehicle traffic around here isn't very runner friendly on a good day, but add in snow/ice patches & dark and it goes downhill.  I called it good at 4.25 miles.

This morning we actually made it out of bed and went to spin class at the Y.  I've been talking about going for a month and finally did it today.  It felt good to have 1.25 hour workout in before even having a shower.  I felt so good I rode my bike to work (like I should have yesterday!!).  :-)

Till next time - run on, bike on in the snow...