Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Still Dealing with the Ankle

17¾ miles for the week

M – 0 miles, 74°F at 4AM
Tu – 0 miles, 77°F at 4AM
W – 5¼ miles, average pace 7:10 mpm on the track (mile splits were 7:43, 7:28, 7:15, 6:45, and 6:27) and ankle felt really good, 80°F at 7PM
Th – 4 miles, average pace 9:29 mpm, ankle just didn’t feel right, 78°F at 4AM
F - 0 miles, 81°F at 8AM
Sa – 7½, average pace 8:02 mpm, ankle didn’t quite feel right, overcast 80°F at 1PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 1 mile, average pace 8:45 mpm, I had a pretty steady pain in my right ankle at the foot so I turned around at the half-mile point, 81°F at 10AM [Ol]

I took all of Monday and today (Tuesday) off. This ankle is very frustrating. There's a local 5K Saturday morning on one of my favourite courses. I want to run it, but I doubt I'll be able to race it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Testing the Ankle

I slept in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, resting the ankle/foot. Wednesday evening was the first test. I ran a little over 5 miles on the track and the ankle didn't give me any problems at all. Mile splits were 7:43, 7:28, 7:15, 6:45, and 6:27 for an overall average 7:10 pace. It was a pretty warm and humid evening, so I was really happy with this workout (80°F with a dewpoint that fogged my glasses every time I left an air-conditioned building).

This morning wasn't as positive. I just ran an easy 4-mile recovery, but the right ankle just didn't feel the same as the left side. I finished Wednesday evening's run thinking I could jump right back into my training, but after this morning I know I'm going to have to slowly ramp up the training.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Last Week's Ankle Problems

11½ miles for the week

M – 0 miles, 73°F at 4AM
Tu – 1 mile, average pace 8:52 mpm, I’d planned on a normal Tuesday tempo run, but I had a pretty sharp pain in my right ankle at the foot and cut the run off after the first mile, 75°F at 4AM [S-B]
W – 0 miles, 75°F at 4AM I spent all morning at the dentist’s office (uggh).
Th – 0 miles, 71°F at 4AM
F - 3 miles, average pace 8:42, running to drop off my car at the shop in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon, 73°F at 8AM, 82°F at 4PM, a very nice sunny day with drier air
Sa – 0 miles, another very nice sunny day with dry air 72°F at 8AM
Su – 7½, average pace 8:46 mpm, another nice day, 81°F at 1PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]

Extensor Tendonitis (thanks GB) or an ankle sprain seem to match the symptoms of the pain where my foot and ankle join (although I'm able to lift my my toes up without any problem). I’ve only had the pain during relatively fast running. I felt the pain again on Friday’s runs after about the first mile, but I completed Sunday’s easy run without any problems from my ankle. I then mowed the yard, again with no problems. But when I started some digging with a shovel, the pain returned. I also did a lot of digging last weekend. That would explain the pain in my right ankle pretty well, and it conveniently doesn’t include any training errors (wink). We’ll see. Today I don’t feel any pain walking, but my ankle does feel sore with direct pressure. I’m sticking with the shoveling theory.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Late Last Week's Training

53¼ miles for the week

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:54 mpm, 78°F at 4AM [Dow]
Tu – 5¾ average pace 6:48 mpm, 76°F at 4AM with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles both in 12:57.7 [S-B/Dow]
W – 6¼ miles, with 3x1Mile/400rec on the track (1Mile times were 5:52.7, 5:49.2, and 5:46.2), average 6:55 mpm pace, 78°F with a little drier air at 7PM [B’Wood HS track]
Th AM – 4¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:41 mpm, 72°F at 4AM [Dow]
Th PM – 6 miles, recovery run, pace 8:01 mpm. This was an “extra” run with AC, who moved to Virginia last year and was visiting for a couple of days, 78°F with fairly dry air at 7PM [B’Wood HS]
F - 0, busy with chores for my DW, 71°F at 7AM
Sa – 12 miles, with a 10K race at 6:25 pace, a not too humid but very sunny 73°F at 8AM going up to 80°F by the time I finished my “cooldown” run [BRHC 10K]
Su – 13¾, average pace 7:36 mpm Another sunny day, 90°F at Noon A brief thundershower came through while I was on the trail, cooling it down to 84°F, but the sun re-appeared after I left the shade of the woods. [PlantBridge//SeaC/NTrail-MBT--2x2M-MBT/SeaC]

I was pretty happy with Tuesday's tempo run and Wednesday’s mile repeats. Both were run in pretty warm conditions, although the dewpoint was a little better Wednesday evening. Tuesday’s “Dow-Minus” was the fastest I’ve ever run in May, beating last week’s record by several seconds. Wednesday’s mile repeats were stronger than the last one in early March when it was a nice cool 61°F. I was hoping for a strong 10K race, but I couldn’t quite pull it out. At least I still made it under 40 minutes.

Sunday’s medium long run was another good effort. I was happy to average a mid-7 pace in 90°F heat. During the run, I felt a little pain where my foot and ankle join. I thought it was from a vine on the trail that scraped my ankle, but that evening it still felt tender. I slept through my Monday morning run, but when I tried to run Tuesday’s tempo run this week, the same spot was giving me a pretty sharp pain. I've never had pain at the front of the ankle, so I'm not sure what's the cause. I'm taking a few days off just to be sure it doesn't develop into anything serious.

It's been a difficult week, hearing the stories about the DUSTWUN soldiers and remembering the events of last June. But my difficulty is nothing compared to what the soldiers and the families of the 10th Mountain are going through right now. My heart goes out to all of them.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Masters Awards?

I'm usually not very interested in awards. I always try and stay for the awards ceremony, especially if I win an award, but I do that more out of respect for the race than anything else (and also to see how everyone else ran).

But the way the awards ended up in today's race was pretty weird. This was just a local 5K and 10K with very generous cash prizes. The top three placers in male, female, masters male and master’s female win $75 for first, $50 and $25. I ended up as the third overall and received the $25 open award for third place. Someone who finished behind me received the $75 award for first master. Hmmmm, that just seems strange. This same race had a problem last year when they only had cash awards for the top open runners. Last year's race was run by "Indio," one of the guys from my Houston running club. He'd just turned 40 and he won the race by a couple of minutes. For some strange reason, they wanted to assign him to the masters group and give him nothing but a trophy!

I wonder if there really should be a separate group of awards for masters. Unless the masters category is age-graded, you're really just looking at the youngest of the group. What about the 60 year old who finishes a minute or two behind but runs a national class age-graded time? For small races like this one, I think it would be best just to have awards for the top three and then everyone else competes for the age group awards.

My time wasn't great, just under 40 minutes. It was a very nice morning, 73 degrees with nearly no wind and the dewpoint in the upper 60s (humid for most people but pretty dry for this area). The last two miles were in full sun, which even though it was just 8:30AM, was pretty warm. I should've run the 5K ;)

Brazosport Facts article about the race

$(*%(*# Time to put this in perspective. I just looked at the NY Times webpage and saw 4 soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were found dead and three are missing from the same area where my son was last year. My heart goes out to the fellow soldiers and their families. This makes my whine about race awards seem pretty petty and foolish.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Another Battle with the Heat

I came out decently with this morning's battle against the warmth and humidity. It was 76°F at 4AM, a little cooler than yesterday. I ran the Tuesday tempo run with a mile warmup, two miles hard on the “Dow-Minus”, a ¾ mile breather to the Dow turnaround and then two more hard miles on the “Dow-Minus” return. The measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles were both 12:57.7 (going out was 12:57.68 and coming back was 12:57.67!). Total was a 25:55, making May 2007 a great year for the “Dow-Minus” tempo runs. Not bad for a couple of warm mornings.

The weather forecast now predicts drier air from the Atlantic Coast to arrive today and stick around through the weekend, giving us morning lows in the 60s. I'd really like to get run some more in that nice cool weather before October. I might run the 10K Saturday after all. The 10K course follows much of my "SeaC/NTrail" course or in English: Sea Center Texas and Bottomlands Park Trail.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Last Week: I Fought the Heat and the Heat Won

44 miles for the week

M – 0 miles, sleep (first day back on the Monday to Thursday work schedule), 73°F at 4AM
Tu – 5¾ average pace 6:44 mpm, back to a warm, humid and windy 75°F at 4AM with the measured “Dow-Minus” two-miles in 12:53 and 13:10 [S-B/Dow]
W – 6 miles, with 4 miles hard on the track (mile splits were 6:24.4, 6:24.1, 6:17.8, and 6:11.8), average 6:33 mpm pace, a windy and humid 76°F at 7PM [B’Wood HS track]
Th – 4¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:53 mpm, 74°F at 4AM [Dow]
F - 10 miles, fairly hard, pace 7:30 mpm, 86°F at 2PM and very warm, humid, and sunny [SeaC/NTrail-MBT--2x2M-MBT/SeaC]
Sa – 7½ miles, recovery run at 8:43 pace, a humid and windy 83°F at 2PM [SeaC/NTrail-MBT/SeaC]
Su – 10, average pace 7:54 mpm Another windy, warm and humid day, 85°F at 11AM Mostly cloudy, but the sun kept appearing whenever I was out of the shade of the woods. I’d planned on 12½ to 15 miles, but I had to cut it short and slow down because I could sense dehydration and heat exhaustion coming. [SeaC/NTrail-MBT--2M-MBT/SeaC]

I was pretty happy with Tuesday and Wednesday’s tempo runs. Both were run in pretty nasty conditions, with the dewpoint in the low to mid 70s. Tuesday’s “Dow-Minus” was the fastest I’ve ever run in May by 50 seconds and it was run in full early Summer heat and humidity with a fairly strong wind. Wednesday’s four-mile tempo run was much stronger than the one four weeks ago when it was a nice cool 62°F. Even Friday’s run ended up with a decent pace, but I was slowed down a little over the last couple of miles in the sun. But Saturday’s and Sunday’s run came close to death marches. Saturday’s 8:43 pace was anything but an “easy” run. And Sunday’s run was so uncomfortable I knew I had to cut it short.

Saturday, I'll either run the Summer Kick-off 5K or the local Brazosport Hospital 5K/10K. I'd really rather run the Summer Kick-Off run; the Glenns are so nice and they always put on a great event. But I'm not sure I can convince my wife I need to drive 120 miles when the BMH run will go right behind my house. If this heat continues, I'll probably just run the 5K.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Last Week's Training: Gaining Weight on 50 Miles a Week

50½ miles for the week

M – 4¾ miles, recovery run, average pace 9:00 minutes per mile (mpm), 72°F at 5AM [Dow]
Tu – 6¼ miles fairly hard general aerobic, average pace 6:59 mpm, a very warm, humid and sweaty morning, 74°F at 5AM [Dow/B-s/Ol]
W – 8 miles, fairly hard general aerobic, 7:01 mpm pace, left work early to come back in during the night, 82°F at 4PM sunny but lots of standing water after earlier heavy rains [Ol//SeaC/NTrail/SeaC]
Th – 5¾ miles, recovery run, pace 8:50 mpm, the plant heatup was delayed and I was able to get a morning run in before going to work, a very nice 63°F at 5AM [Dow/B-S]
F - 4 miles, recovery run, pace 8:36 mpm, 64°F at 5AM [Dow-]
Sa – 8 miles, with a 5K race at 6:08 pace, a humid 73°F at 8AM [Freeport Flapjack 5K]
Su – 13¾, average pace 7:21 mpm Another warm and humid day, 84°F at 10:30AM The sun came out about half-way through this one; my shoes didn’t go to full sweat-soaked soggy until after the run, but it was still pretty bad. [PlantationBr//SeaC/NTrail-MBT--2x2M-MBT/SeaC]

I weighed in Monday morning at the higher end of the 180s. This is the most I’ve weighed since October. I need to get back into the 170s to get a shot at a sub-18 5K. I never used to gain weight while running 50 miles a week. Oh the joys of old age.

I'm going to volunteer at the Cinco de Mayo 5K. It should be a great race (the weather will cooperate this year). Next Saturday, I'll either run the Summer Kick-off 5K or the local Brazosport Hospital 5K/10K. I'd really rather run the Summer Kick-Off run; the Glenns are so nice and they always put on a great event. But I'm not sure I can convince my wife I need to drive 120 miles when the BMH run will go right behind my house.