Monday, December 19, 2011

Week Ending December 18th 2011 (Week 8 of 12)

This past week was a mixed bag with regard to training. Started out slowly but then as the went on it got better and better until Saturday when I thought this is more like it. Only for something in my bad leg to get sore. After having Achilles tendinitis you tend to be a bit of a wuss and watch for the first signs of trouble.

Monday - 55 minutes easy running. Very easy after Sunday's mega run
Tuesday - 55 minute run with 11x1 minute on and 1 minute off. These are hard but enjoyable workouts.
Wednesday - 50 minute easy running as tomorrow is big run and a visit to the physio in the afternoon.
Thursday - 100 minutes 1:45 or 23K including 10x800 with 2:30 recovery. Since I don't have a track and don't like running at the Y on their T'mills (been asked to get off in the middle of a workout is not the greatest) I did these on my normal route home which included hills, slippy roads, traffic lights etc, etc. So these were more like 10x 3minutes felt good afterwards. Amazed at how much bringing drink with me changed the run from a week before.
Friday - Took the day off. As we had some important things to do.
Saturday - 85 minutes or 1:25 or 18.77K - This was the first progression type run of the build up 15-20K Tempo starting at normal running speed and then finishing at faster than race pace, well we blow the barn doors off that run!! Yeah Baby that's what I'm talking about!! I was hitting (according to the Garmin) sub3:20 per K pace at times with the last five K's at 10K pace. Felt great, until had to go to work and then I felt something around my left Achilles complain. It didn't seem to swell and its not sore so I'll be icing it over and cutting out both the speed and long runs for a couple of days to see if anything changes.
Sunday - Leg was feeling good still no swelling or soreness so I took it easy and ran on the Treadmill for about an hour. maximum speed was a whooping 7:5 minute miles.

Two more weeks of building up and then two weeks of sharpening/peaking and I'm done. Looking forward to it. now if my legs will hold up for a couple more weeks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week ending December 11th 2011 (Week 7 of 12)

This past week was not a good week for training. For the first couple of nights my son had a temperature, so was up a couple of times throughout those nights making sure that he was alright. Then Saturday night/Sunday morning he woke 3 or 4 time screaming and crying only to not remember it  later on Sunday.

Monday - 55 minutes easy running, which was interrupted a couple of times by people waving me down and asking directions. Did a 2 minute abs thing is it a workout when its that short? 2 minute ABS
Tuesday - 60 minute core routine followed by what was supposed to be a medium length run home. But ended up being a long run, not in terms of distance so much but more to do with how long it took me. According to my Garmin I was out there for a lot longer than this run has taken in the past. Maybe I was abducted by aliens as I seemed experience lost time.
Wednesday - Took the day off as I spent the morning in the Dentists office.  Three hours in the chair and then the rest of the day sucking coffee through a straw or breaking sandwich's done into bit sized chunks do I could eat them. Having your teeth crowned is not pleasant experience.
Thursday - 55 minutes easy running, as I was still feeling a little beat up after the dentist.
Friday - Took the day off. Woke up this morning feeling more tired than when I went to bed last night and then I let work catch up on me and so decided to take it easy.
Saturday - Today was supposed to be the workout I put off on Friday. Well it was a sufferfest right from the beginning. I ran on my treadmill for the first T'mill workout (non easy run) of this build up. 15 minute warm up and then it was supposed to be 3x2miles with 4 minutes recovery. Well I did the first repeat and realized that it wasn't happening halfway through the second repeat so I modified the workout and then did 3x15-18 minutes increasing the speed by.5 mph every minute until I got to the fastest speed I could handle for the last 4/5 minutes and finished the workout with a 15 minute cool down. I cracked doing this one and not even the Ironman coverage could do anything for me.
Sunday - Ran my longest run for some time with a couple of buddies. 36K through the river valley at the crack O dawn, wasn't feeling great for most of the run and kind've drifted off the pace on a few of the early hills. But the run was pretty good overall, it wasn't that cold (only -5) but the wind was blowing which made it feel colder than it was. My GU Chews froze in my jacket which made eating them a bit of a chore, not sure if I'd use them again. Gel's have never frozen on a run before. So this week is over and so I have to move onto thinking about next weeks training.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week ending December 4th 2011

This past week was a pretty good week training wise. Monday was forced off day due to work commitments, but the rest of the week looked like this.

Monday - No Running or training of any kind
Tuesday - 2K swim at lunch time followed by a 23K run home. The run broke down to 30 minutes warm up and then 10K at tempo pace followed by 30 minutes cool down. The Tempo portion wasn't run at a pace that I normally run a tempo in but that was due more to the roads being covered with really slippery snow and the route I chose not being the flattest around. Aside from the speed I could see afterwards that I was working hard as my pulse was around what it is when running a marathon.
Wednesday - 55 minutes easy running, felt very good on this run and so may have gone a little faster than I was supposed but it was still around my easy run pace.
Thursday - 55 minutes with 10 times 1 minute on and 1 minute off. These Fartlek workouts always feel good. I was a little tired starting this one so I didn't have any speed expectations. Just ran as hard as I could for 1 minute 10 times.
Friday - 55 minutes easy running, felt tired for this one and thought that it was due to my being out a little later than normal the night before. The wind helped keep my pace under control as it made it feel colder than it actually was.
Saturday - Long run with fast finish. I was hoping to run the last 10K at marathon pace but that didn't happen. Someone ordered snow over night, not a huge snowfall but enough to cover the trails again making footing a little trickier as now those slick roads/trails had a fresh loose layer on top. My training partner and I ran about 14K before turned on the pace, we were working hard for the 10K and at one point I noticed that the heart rate was hovering around where it would be when running at 10K pace not marathon pace. So I decided after about 4K so slow it done a little, plus I was suffering pretty badly. I dropped down from my 10K pace to marathon pace and finished the segment in about the same time as I did on Tuesday. Pace per K didn't really reflect how hard the segment was but pulse rates where bang on. Total for the day was 27K.
Sunday - Will be my usual 55 minute run on the treadmill, I take my son swimming in the morning and Sunday's are my morning to lie in (as much as a 3yr old and a 6month old will allow you) so runs are usually when the little guys go down for a nap.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Twitter & an idea for a future blog post.

If anyone reads this they'll know I use Twitter a lot (far more than here anyway) and so I'll most likely post my daily training via Twitter and a weekly sum up here.

If you haven't seen them - the Training day video's that are posted on are really interesting (if you ever wonder how the top Triathletes spend their days).I would love to do a training day with Niall type video - just have to convince someone to come out and shoot some footage while I'm training.......

December 2nd

Hey There,
I can't believe that its December already, time goes by fast without letting you know!!! I also can't believe that I haven't updated this thing since July when I ran the Canada Day race here in Edmonton. Is there any reason that I haven't been updating this thing? other than my own laziness? - No. Have I been injured  - new injuries anyway. (I'll get back to that)

So what has happened between July and today? I hate to say it, but its either not very much or its so much that I couldn't fit it in one blog post without going on and on and on. So it's probably best if I summarize it into one or two paragraph's.

After the Canada race my training went pretty well, I ran the 10K event of the Edmonton marathon weekend and finished in a time that prior to having Achilles Tendinitis I would've looked at as a bad time, but I placed in the top ten overall and managed to get third in my age group so all in all it wasn't that bad. The finish time showed me that I was on my way back to the fitness I had previously.

A couple of weeks later I entered the Rotary for Life 10K looking to improve as this was the race that I had set as my goal race. Its amazing what three weeks of training and a cooler temperature can produce. It also reminded me that you shouldn't get caught up too much in races/workouts that don't go as well as you'd like while in the middle of training. Its the end result of that training block that counts.

I thought about doing some Cross Country through the fall but I could never quite make it to workouts and the first one that tried to get to didn't really inspire a lot of confidence in the group that I was hoping to run with. Nothing worse than rearranging your schedule and then have no one turn up. I kept training although at an easier pace to keep myself fit but the Plantar Fasciitis that has been bothering me for over two years (on and off) got a little worse than normal. So that put a stop to any race plans I had for the fall as I wanted to get that treated before my next race. It is now at a point where its just there, no worse no better. when I get treatment on it, its really good for a couple of days and then it starts to slide back to its normal condition.

So I took it easy from about mid September until the end of October when I decided that I would enter a marathon down in Phoenix in January. I'm six weeks into the training program which is one that I had gotten from McMillan Running for a marathon that I ran my fastest time back in the spring of 2010. I'll update the blog with entries for the next six weeks.

I also decided to take the plunge and go back to doing a couple of  Tri's in 2012!!!!! I've been thinking about this for some time now and seeing a couple of friends qualify for races like Xterra and 70.3 world Championships really helped seal the deal as it were. So I've entered the 70.3 scheduled for July 29th in Calgary. I start training for that race in February however all of my training has to be done at lunchtime or via commuting to work or if needed once the little ones are safely tucked into bed, but it also means that there are no six hour bike rides on the weekend and I have to do the race with whatever equipment I already have. The training for this race will also be run based meaning that I'm going to try and  run almost as much as I do now as I want to do a few running races such as the Timex series here in Alberta as well as a couple of half marathons before the triathlon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canada Day Race review

Well it’s a belated Happy Canada Day!!! Friday was Canada Day and I guess the best comparison is St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. Every City, Town, village has the Canadian colors out there are parades and all sorts of family festivities all of which ends with Fireworks.

Canada Day (when running a race) is always an early start for me I was woken at 4:00am as the police helicopter was doing the rounds overhead, plus the fact that I had some sort of coughing fit in the middle of the night. This was loud enough to wake the baby. I went back to sleep on the couch until 6:00am and then got ready to go to the race start. It didn't take long to get there, it’s just that I was thinking of riding the bike there as part of the warm up....well that didn't happen as I saw that it was raining out, but by the time the race started the sun was out and it was starting to warm up. I did my usually warm up down by the Kinsmen and then jogged over to the start line.

This was to be my first race since getting injured back in October 2010 with Achilles Tendinitis so I didn't really expect it to be a lightning fast race. My plan was to run at an even pace of 3:50 per K or 18:XX per 5K, the other (I guess more realistic) goals I had ranged from simply finishing to going under the hour for the distance.....That was the plan anyway but that is not what happened. I came down the hill from the start/finish in a good place nowhere near the front of the race and then proceeded to go backwards for about the next 5or 6K. I ended up going through the first 5k almost on the pace that I was thinking I was capable of but slowed down over the next 10K.

I was on my own by the time we got to Hawrelak Park and was getting encouragement from the walkers that started out 30 minutes before us, it’s not their fault I was running badly so I said thank you to anyone that shouted a word of encouragement. Going up Emily Murphy hill is never easy even when you're going well this is one of those hills that always seems steep and people just seemed to go away from me, but the encouragement at the top made up  for the lack of speed.

Once the race wound its way back to Saskatchewan Drive (try saying that 6 times in row with a few pints on you) I could see how far the leaders where in front of me and from my spot it had all the looks of a good race. I ended up going through 10K in 39 flat (which isn't great even for me). Two years ago on this course I went through 10K in 36 something; it’s amazing how much an injury can screw you up. The thing is by this point I had resigned myself to just finishing so I offered encouragement to the guys in front of that I know that I would normally be running with. The rest of the race went by in a blur of trying to keep the pace that I was at going until the dreaded hill up to the finish. Again this is a hill like Emily Murphy in that it’s steep and it always feels hard. I really slowed down on this hill and had no idea how I was doing until I saw the clock at the finish line and realized that I could break the hour for the run.

I ended up crossing the line in 59:58, so both of my realistic goals were reached (finishing and going under the hour) after finishing the run I spoke to Mia Clarke for a few minutes and could feel that the injured leg was tightening up, I think it was the hills as it felt tight on both of the hills during the race. My fear was that the AT would start hurting again, but luckily it didn't and the leg didn't get any worse over the course of the next couple of days.

It was the longest /hardest run since the New York Marathon in November, according to my Polar I ran it at approx. 92% of maximum heart rate with HR getting up to a max of 95%. My Achilles hasn't hurt in the time since, so that is looking good. So while it wasn't a great race it wasn't bad and it has shown me that I have a lot of work to do to get back to the form that I had last year when I went sub 2:40 for the marathon and 1:16 for the half marathon. 

From now until the beginning of September I'll be focusing more on running a faster 10K as I haven't done one in a long time and my current 10K PB is pretty bad (I think it’s 36:XX).

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Loonie about Lunar.....

This season I'm using Nike shoes as my shoes of choice. The only thing is it can get pretty confusing with all of the models that are out there and what they do/don't do. If you look at the Lunar line of Nike shoes there must be at least ten different models. So far I have tried the Lunar Glide, the Lunar Swift, the Lunar Racer 2, the Lunar Elite 2 and the Lunar Racer.

I really liked the Lunar Glide, as I never had any problems with it as some people had and they still look good after using them for two seasons. I like that the stability part only kicks on when you need it as I need it towards the end of my long runs.

The Lunar Swift, is a good shoe although it takes a little while to get used too as it is very stiff when its new. This stiffness in the sole makes for a weird feel when you first run in them. These also have a stability component on them like the Glides but I'm not sure it works as well.

The Lunar Racer 2, is a shoe that I didn't like, for some reason it didn't work for me. I found the feel to be very springy which was great at first as it encourages leg turnover I also got blisters in places that I never got blisters before such as the outside edge of my foot or in middle of my arch. But what I found was there is next to no stability in it and as the shoe breaks down this became very problematic for me, the other thing I noticed is as the shoe breaks down it began to feel like I was running on a soft surface, so just after the foot strike  when my heel landed it felt like the shoe was compressing even more. I tried to use a soft ortho in the shoe but it gave me a feeling of constantly running on the outer edge of my feet, the other thing I noticed when using the insert was that it made the foot strike really loud, I think I could use it as a bear deterrent if I ran in the mountains with them.

The Lunar Elite 2, At first I was skeptical about trying them as they feel very much like the Swift in that they are Stiff initially but as I use them more and  I've really began to like them. As the season goes on I'll add more to how they are working out.

The Lunar Racer 2011, I read some really good reviews about these shoes before I took them out of the box and they are supposed to be more stable than the LR2, they are on a slightly different last than the LR2 in that it is more curved than the 2010 model. So far I have done one run on them so I can't say yet how they'll workout. But like the Lunar Elite 2 this will be an ongoing review.

It seems to me that Nike is really pushing the Lunar line and appears to be doing less with the Zoom line of shoes, now I don't know if that is a good thing or not as I like the shoes that I've tried so far from the Zoom line such as the Elite4 and the Marathoner.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Did he or Didn't he act on team orders?

This got Harry Wiltshire disqualified from the European Championships on the weekend. The bigger question is whether or not it was under team orders? The Brownlee's don't need to put someone up to these tricks as they have been on a winning streak this year, so why would they get a teammate to do this.

I know from experience that the swim in Triathlon is crazy and sometimes you get bumped, kicked and grabbed but never have I seen someone deliberately impede another competitor. As you can see from the video  he is aware of who is next to him as Wiltshire looks at Gomez a couple of times during the swim and then again when they are trying to climb out of the water.

Wiltshire and Gomez incident Euro's 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm still here

It’s been a while since I posted anything to this blog...and there are a couple of good reasons why that is. I was still injured and didn't really get do anything during those months of any note, I still tried to train (not really much running) but on the bike and swimming. In May we welcomed a new addition to our family, a little baby girl to annoy our son when he’s a little older. Other times I have thought of something that I'd like to say but then my own laziness would stop me from doing it. So what else is new I hear you say.

Training Update: - I've been running pretty constantly since the beginning of April, been doing about 6 days a week running and one day (at least) of cycling and swimming. The cycling has been hit or miss so far as I thought I would have more done by this time of the year. The swimming has been going really well and I'm almost back to the same kind of times I was doing while training for Ironman - although to look at me you'd never think that..... Since I got injured I've really taken to swimming, I'm enjoying it considering that it was the thing that I really found hard to get back into for Triathlon training. Prior to the winter just gone the last time I did any swimming on a consistent basis was when I trained for Ironman Canada 2004.

Running - My running is coming along, although there are days when I feel like something the cat barfed up. But that is to be expected, you just have to keep chugging away at it and then it'll start to click. This year since it has taken me so long to get going again I've decided that I I'm going to slowly increase the distance of the races I do.....however my first race is going to be the Canada day 15K and then the rest of the races until September are going to be 10K's after that I'm still up in the air about what distances I'm going to run. I got a spot in the Chicago marathon in early October but I'm 99% sure that I won't be running as I don't think I'll have the training done to do it justice. 

Thanks for reading

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 2011 - The update

Its January 2011, and the year hasn't gotten off to the greatest start. In fact it is going about as well as 2010 ended, with me being injured, frustrated and wondering where do I go next, Do I think about stopping running and if so what do I do instead? Ever since the end of October I have been going to either Physio, Chiro, Acupuncture or Massage at least once a week. I've had so many treatments in the last couple of months that I should start up my own clinic. 

Sorry before you read any more, I feel I have to warn you that this one may go on for awhile :-)

Part of this frustrating thing about having Achilles problems is that there doesn't seem to be one treatment option that works and I think is due to the Achilles not really having a good blood supply, the only treatments that I haven't tried in the last couple of months are Plasma Rich Platelet Therapy (PRPT) where they inject the problem area with a dose of super concentrated White blood cells and platelets. This treatment is supposed to be really effective on the parts of your body that don't have a lot of blood going to them normally such as tendons and ligaments. The other treatment is Electro Shock Wave therapy and this one is exactly what you you think it is. The person being treated gets an electrical shock localized on the area that hurts and this is then supposed to help reduce pain and help healing. The other part of getting frustrated with it is that it not knowing if you can get back to the level you where at prior to being injured, no one can give me a firm date, no one can say that in 3 weeks you'll be back to your normal running routine. Which is what all athletes want to hear, we don't want to go week in week out for treatment with no end in sight. 

At my last Physio appointment I was cleared to start XC Skiing, so I did that and within two days I could feel a tightness in the Achilles. So this leads me to believe that whatever is causing it is not fixed.

This week I spoke to a family friend who happens to work with one of the NHL hockey teams to see if he would have any other ideas, he suggested everything that I've done up until this point so that was kind of good to hear but also disappointing as it meant that I will still be stuck for the next X amount of weeks. While farting around on the internet I came across a guy called Dr. Abelson down in Calgary that uses Active Release Techniques (ART) to help athletes over come Achilles injuries. So I watched a couple of his YouTube videos and then looked to see if someone in Edmonton also does this. Which landed me at the door step of River Valley Health, after explaining what was happening (my ongoing hip and lower back issues) as well as the tendinitis I got an adjustment that was very uncomfortable, since pretty much every muscle was tight from my back down to my feet. I believe and they also think that the Achilles tendinitis is caused by something going wacky further up on the kinetic chain...Meaning that its possible that my sore hip and lower back problems caused the lower leg injury due to it having to overcompensate. They also told me that they see this all the time and could have me back to my normal volume of running within six weeks.......When I heard this I was thinking, Awesome, but I'm not going to get too carried away just yet as who knows what will happen between now and then.

Next up is an appointment to see how good or bad my Gait is, I'm hoping that I can post the test as that would be cool. I think with this test its going to show that my gait is bad....since I'm injured and everything is out of place. what would be cool is if further video analysis over a period of time shows that the gait is getting better due to adding core stability workouts and having the problems go away without the use of Orthotics.