Monthly Archives: March 2015

Zoning in on Pace and Motivation (Week 8 Updates)

We meet again, minions! Can’t believe it’s been two months since I embarked on this exciting journey!! The week has been fantastic all around from work to running to even traveling! That’s right, I’m thinking about flying across the Atlantic to Dubai to relax and connect with relatives I have not seen in about 7 years now. I’m stocked!! Work has been nothing but perfect; happy boss + not-so-needy patients = happy me! And running, oh boy, has not been as much of a struggle as it had been in prior weeks. I’m not going to say that I have been running 6 min-miles but still. My goal is to finish the race!

Who would not want to trade cold and snow to sun and warmth? I’m visiting Burj Khalifa!

Let’s start by following-up on last week’s goals:

  • I was not able to log the 23 miles set in the protocol *sad face*. Saturday run was supposed to be 13 miles except the trail was not marked where I needed to turn. So I just stopped at mile 6ish and returned to “base.” I contemplated the possibility of going to 6.5 miles if I had a GPS watch or something with similar capability (my phone’s battery would die when I turn on GPS for some odd reason). Somewhat a good excuse, no?
  • I have been stretching pretty good lately! Except Saturday because I returned to Columbus Running Company’s store so I did not stretch as long as I wanted.
  • I incorporated more conditioning exercises like sideway and backward running when possible. I did it maybe once this week. Also, I did two cardio sessions on Monday: 4-mile easy run + spin class. It was absolutely great! I felt rejuvenated and hungry. So hungry.
  • I broke my Monday and Wednesday runs into pieces to shake things up a bit. I did some warm-up running, some sprinting, and back to slow running. It helped. I felt like I was more in control of my breath. Also, I did not walk!! Those times when I’m tired or leg hurts a bit I just reserved to light jogging in lieu of walking.
  • I’m still trying to phase out music from my runs, just because.

One thing I have been struggling with the past week was staying motivated. I just feel like my mind gives up faster and quicker than my body. That’s a problem because physiologically speaking I could be running, but my mind tells me that no I need to slow down or even stop. So to circumvent this I stayed conscious of it. Whenever I “feel” tired, I think: “no I’m not tired. That’s just my mind giving up. Body is not going to cave. Keep going.” And I go. I push. I make those strides, and my body happily goes with it. I still need to find some ways to keep my mind off running to log in those long miles…to be continued!

This rings home. Sometimes on my long runs I find myself asking why I’m doing this. And then I remember how satisfied and fulfilled I feel after the run. It’s necessary to log those long miles and not to skip hell workouts!

Oh, oh, oh. I got myself some new running toys J! I cannot wait to put Garmin Forerunner 15 and Asics Nimbus 16 to run!!! I will let you how they feel next week but for now I can say this much…I will run out of excuses as far as logging those miles.

Garmin Forerunner 15 (www.garmin.com)

Asics Nimbus 16 (www.runningshoesguru.com)

Week 8 Running Stats:

Monday 3/2 4 miles (+ strides)= 43:13m, pace= 10:48 min/mile

  • Good run on a treadmill! I was not trying to go fast. I actually forgot about pacing and focused mainly on form and preventing leg pain. I succeeded at that for I went ahead after the run and did a spin class with my favorite gym instructor.

Wednesday 3/4 6 miles= 1:04:07h, pace= 10:41 min/mile

  • As good as the Monday’s run! Like Monday, I rarely walked if ever. I set the speed to 4.0-4.5 to lower my heart rate and rest. Instead of briskly walking at this speed, I jog lightly for ~0.25 miles before running again.

Saturday 3/7 12 miles= 1:55:27h, pace= 9:37 min/mile

  • I started out slow to prevent crashing or cramping in the first miles. I did not walk until probably mile 4? There were two water stations set up at mile 2 and 4 and I stopped at both. I did stop my timer the first round but let it run the second round on my way back. Overall, it was a very good run. I tried running with another CRC member. Still cannot decide if I like running with someone or not. We’ll see maybe next week.

Next week is going to be rough- 26 miles to log. Between the new shoes and the watch (oh and day light saving) I’m excited to give it a try. Now I can actually run outside that the brisk, dark winter is passed to let the warm, bright Spring break in. Until next week, runners.

That's right!!! The one and only, Arnold, as he left the Arnold Classic events today. He looked a tad old :D

That’s right!!! The one and only, Arnold, as he left the Arnold Classic events today. He looked a tad old 😀

Higher Mileage, Not-so-high Drive (Week 6 and 7 Updates)

I’m ramping up my mileage this week up until next month. In fact, I will be (hopefully) logging 18 miles last Saturday this month and going up to 20 second week of April. This is the part of the training where I have to be not only physically fit and ready, but so as mentally. I have to have my psyche up and ready to face those miles. It is not going to be easy. It is not going to be a walk in the park. But it sure as hell will be damn satisfying. So, new month, new goals. Oh, and a new haircut. I just got one today!! Oh^2, I’m done with my cadaver book. It was a fantastic read, albeit a tad creepy.

Working hard @ work

Working hard @ work

I have been thinking that maybe, just maybe, my legs are trying to communicate with me. Maybe achy knees and painful legs = old shoes? I have had my shoes since October. The midsole is not flattened or compressed. They do look slightly worn out but nothing strikes my unexperienced eyes as off. But maybe all I need is a new pair of shoes and I should be all set? I’m thinking about buying a new pair and rotating them with the old ones I have now (Brooks Ghost 7).

I did not write any updates for Week 6 because, well, it was not so great. I had a lot of leg pain and achy knees. I was not there mentally either. My run on Monday was a drag with an overall pace of 10:30+ min/mile. Wednesday was not all that much better. Saturday was super cold that I skipped my group run and went on one myself logging only 50% of the assigned mileage. My body felt heavy. But it’s okay. Going into this I realized there will be times where I did not want to lace up. There will be tough times where I would hate running. And other times where every muscle, ligament, and bone hurts. I think I’m past that now. I will need to do some mental exercises to build running stamina.

Some conditioning and xfit moves that got my heart rate up. I'm just chilling on the side dying a little.

Some conditioning and CrossFit moves that got my heart rate up. I’m just chilling on the side dying a little.

Week 7 has been way better. Monday’s run was not necessarily great but not bad. I have been trying to go a little bit slow on myself given my leg problem and everything. I do have a doctor appointment this month to have it looked at. In the interim, I will go slow. Again, it’s ok. Slow pace may actually help in building more robust cardiovascular system and increasing my lung volume and capacity. I did invest in a hand-held 10oz waterbottle and it’s great. Hands were awfully cold because, well, it’s freezing out; but again even without the waterbottle they will still be cold. I also bought a whole box of those energy gels GU!! Can’t wait to tackle those 13 miles next Saturday.

Week 7 Running Stats:

  • Monday 2/23 4 miles (+ strides)= no exact time, pace= 10-10:30 min/mile. >> Rough run! Leg was slightly acting up. I did walk quite a bit to relief some pain.
  • Wednesday 2/25 4.83 miles= 48.41 minutes, pace = 10:04 min/mile. >> Little rough. I used orthotics for the first time in my brooks- did feel very weird given the shoes high midsole support. But it definitely helped. Leg was perfectly fine after.
  • Saturday 2/28 8.05 miles= 1:20:51 minutes, pace= 10:03 min/mile. >> Great run outside. It was slightly cold so my hands weren’t so happy. I used up all of the 10oz water by mile 6? Basically I was bored, out of water, and hungry so I didn’t log 10. *sad face*
Back squats PR 295lbs (134kg). I had a spotter because I did not want to break my back. It was not as awkward as I thought it would be. Oh, also that kid creeping in the background is famous now.

Back squats PR 295lbs (134kg). I had a spotter because I did not want to um break my back or embarrassingly drop the bar. It was not as awkward as I thought it would be.

Aside from running, my strength training program has been coming along very nicely. I do not feel like I’m overtraining or over-taxing my body. I’m not losing muscle and I’m only getting leaner and bigger. I usually give every major muscle groups ample time to recover before hitting them again. As far as legs go, I follow 1-2 workout programs: one is heavy strictly for growth and strength and another light focusing on running exercises such as one-legged squats, sideway running, core and lunges varieties with the main goal of conditioning muscles that are prone to injury. Nutrition wise, I have been eating 2500-3000 clean calories/day, alternating between protein to carbohydrate heavy weeks.

I currently stand at 153.4 lbs and have percent body fat (PBF) of 8.6%.

Goals for next week? Well I have a few:

  1. Try to log in as many miles as the protocol says, no slacking;
  2. Try to stretch more before and after running! I stretch after, but I need to do more before as well;
  3. Do more conditioning exercises like sideway and backward running when possible. Walking lunges and side lunges;
  4. Maybe break my runs into two halves or like three pieces such as warm-up, running, and slowing down?
  5. I have been trying to phase out music from my runs, just because. I still have to put earbuds in, my ears are not ready yet. Maybe I can sync my breathing with # of steps taken? I read somewhere that that can get your mind off running and strengthen your psyche to tackle long miles.

Ambitious, but making part of that list will still be success, though part success. If I complete 50% of the list, then I’m 50% better than this week!!

As always, minions, happy running!

Love running in this trial. It's beautiful even in freezing cold temperatures!

Love running in this trial. It’s beautiful even in freezing cold temperatures!