Catching up…

It’s been one of those weeks. Staying motivated and getting out and running, but not taking the time to sit down and write about it. The second weeks runs were completed and in the books, and I was getting ready to start week three but due to the wonderful rainy season I needed to postpone the planned runs. During rainy season we often get days of rain without any let up.  24 hours of continuous downpour, the kind of rain where unless you absolutely need to go out, you don’t. This necessitates adjusting schedules, and identifying alternatives to keep active, otherwise breakfast, lunch and dinner go directly to fat. A couple trips up and down the stairs (8 flights), push-ups, sit-ups and dumbbells are my usual choices. I also make use of the 7 minute workout app on the Kindle.

The rain disrupted the plan for week 3 of the 18 week plan that will help me meet my goal of successfully running a 10 miler in mid-November. Not a great way to start considering that I really needed these first three weeks to build a base, since I have already identified that week’s 4, 5, 8 and 9 are going to test my dedication and time management efforts.

The You Can Go the Distance (YCGTD) workout plan only has three running days built in, and for the second week I needed to complete the long and the tempo runs. I was able to get these in before the rains hit. I chose to run the same distance for the long run of 8K, which I had in the first week.

For the Long Run the day was hot and significantly it was quite humid, approaching 75%. It usually takes me a few hundred meters to get comfortable with running, but from the beginning I was not comfortable breathing in spite of a good stride and posture. I decided to keep at it, and just concentrate on posture and deep breathing hoping that everything would fall into place. I arrived at the turnaround for the 5K route and checked the trusty Accusplit 620 only to discover that I must have inadvertently stopped it. Nothing to do, but note the time, hit start and continue running. I finished with a Mystery Time for the 8K.

The final time will be a mystery.

Mystery Time

I estimated that my time was about 46 minutes based on the time and my previous times for the 8K and the 2.5K splits. During the last half of the run, my breathing became more comfortable, but I never really felt good. I believe that a combination of the heat and humidity were the cause, since I was not able to find anything internally to be the cause.

On Sunday (7/10) I decided to brave the track for the 12 agonizing laps of the Tempo Run. I rode my bicycle over to the track, and then jogged a mile to warm up and to see if I was still going to have breathing issues. I did not. The temperature was close to the same, but the humidity was only around 60%. I told myself to be careful with the Start/Stop button on the trusty Accusplit 620, as I hit the start button and started the run.There was a fairly strong head wind on the finishing straight that was all but imperceptible on the back straight when I was hoping for a tailwind (it was there, I just couldn’t feel it).

Picture of stopwatch on the running track surface showing the time of the run

Accusplit 620 on the track!

As suspected, I wasn’t really enjoying running in circles, but I wanted to check my time on an accurately measured course. I did not really pay attention to any splits, just checking each lap to make sure that I had not accidentally stopped the timer! I finished the 3 miles on pace with my expectations at 26m14.59s.

Then the rain came and threw a wrench in my running plans. To get caught up and in the spirit of the Tour de France I wanted to put in some miles on my bicycle beyond just a short ride to the track and back, so I started with two laps around the area which is about 40K, and then a quick change and out for a run. When I was in Sasebo, this was a favorite weekend and summer workout, ride for an hour, and then run. I tried a new route for the run and while it was a bit short of my 5K goal, I think I can make a couple adjustments to get it there.

Until next time: Still Running!

Running those stairs

It was going to be one of those weekends. Three days, where at least two were going to be impacted by the weather you would associate with a Super-Typhoon. Windy, rainy and generally not the kind of days where you are outside for any length of time. VonFong (Typhoon 19W) was making its way towards us and while it was predicted to track to the NW, we were still looking at two days of indoor fun.

Saturday woke up and we were on the road early. My wife and I wanted to be out and enjoy a full day outside and in that we just about succeeded. We went hiking and enjoyed about 6 or 7 hours out and about, walking in some fine autumn conditions. There was never any hint of the typhoon that was guaranteed to hit the area in less than 24 hours. The proverbial calm before the storm.

A full day of walking and hiking does wonders to motivate me to workout. Unfortunately the weather was not going to be conducive in any way to my usual outdoor biking and running. I try to complete my regular daily fitness routine with fidelity. 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and recently I have added the old favorite of 100 jumping Jacks. It is simple and I never allow myself to fall into a routine of doing X number of sets, or reps. I knew that this weekend I would need to also throw in some stair running.

I have written before on this topic, and while I would like to say I have been running the stairs with fidelity, it would not be a true statement. Frankly running the stairs is hard. In 20 minutes of running the stairs, my legs hurt more than after a 20K, and I am breathing like I just ran a 5K at race pace. I don’t consider myself lazy, but the stairs are tough. My goal today was to run for at least 20 minutes and to see if I could get 10 round-trips in (up and down). I went a little over the time goal, but I did get in the 10 round-trips. About halfway through I decided to try some stair fartleks. Running up a flight with my normal stride, essentially skipping a step, and then on the next flight I would slow and hit each step. Much like a fartlek on the road, I was soon breathing hard and considered this new tool a success.

The typhoon came and went. We had some serious winds, and some rain, but nothing too bad. Stuck inside for two-days, but I enjoyed two satisfying workouts. Now with the weather cooling off, I might be running the stairs a little more often.