Tag Archives: exercise

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!

Advertisements

Eating and Drinking While Running? (+ Injury Update and Week 5 Summary)

This week’s runs have been fantastic! I approached all of them with so much motivation, gratitude, and excitement. I was motivated to be fitter, healthier, and faster! I was incredibly grateful for my body, both mentally and physically, for not breaking yet. And the nerd in me was very excited knowing that with each extra mile I log, my little capillaries of increase in size and bifurcate; thus building more efficient circulatory system. So here’s to those little colonies of muscle fibers and neurons for delivering excellent results this week!

1423422856221

It was a happy week indeed. Even my celery were happy!!

INJURY

That has been said, every body has limits, and mine was stretched pretty extensively. Last week’s mild discomfort in my right leg materialized into a full-fledged pain- though one that can be managed with NSAIDs. I suspect it being some inflammation in the peroneal muscles (longus and brevis). I went my scheduled physical therapy appointment only to find out that my stupid insurance does not cover PT. It would cover 70%/visit only after I pay my deductibles- which is a big number.

Peroneus longus is where the pain and discomfort.

Now, even though it has not interfered with my training schedule I decided to take things slower starting on Monday. I ran 20 miles last week. I, like many runners, am used to pain. I’m used to popping Tylenol or Aleve before running or day after running. After reading this article on Runner’s World, I decided to cut back. Just this Saturday I took three Tylenol pills prophylactically to prevent pain during the run. Little I knew that those pills will raise my blood pressure, dehydrate me, and pretty much does not prevent pain. I pretty much got cramps and pain 2 miles in. I was limping few hours post-run. The mechanism by which those pain killers work is disrupted during running. So I decided to man up and suck up the pain. I did a lot of stretching after the run; I utilized my compression sleeves as well. That seemed to do the trick. Leg is slightly better- though still painful.

I’m set to run 13 miles next week: 3+strides, 4, 6 on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, respectively. In light of the new leg drama I decided to cut that short by 60%: 1.2, 1.6, 2.5 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I will reassess the following week if I have to change my scheduled 20 miles. So fingers crossed I won’t have to!!

EATING WHILE RUNNING

Okay, I'm not there yet. Imma sucker for cookies!!

Ahh cookies!!

Since I was set to log 10 miles on Saturday, I decided to eat while running to keep my body happy. I also did not want it to chip away at my muscles! I worked so hard on those and would hate to see my body munch on ‘em. I usually wake up 1.5-2 hours before the run to have a good hearty breakfast. My pre-run meal is comprised of 2-3 scrambled eggs (toast optional) + a medium-size banana.

So I used those little energy gels called GU! I figured they’re packed with carbs and vitamins which is typically what I need while running. They also don’t have any fiber or protein which may upset the stomach or at the least take forever to get broken down. Indeed, while running throw away your favorite dietary and healthy tips!! You want carbs! No protein. No fiber. No something you cannot pronounce. Get your good ole sugar and carb up. Your belly is working so slow while running since your body is shifting attention towards working muscles: legs, arms, etc. Protein will take long time to be processed. Fiber will simply fill your belly with unwanted gas. Last thing you want on a run is to poop!!

 

It was great. I got zero stomach issues. I ran for ~1:40 hours and used up one gel. I divided it into three portions; basically wherever there was a water stop. I took the first 1/3 after 20m of running and washed it down with a cup of water. At first, it felt weird. Then I forgot about it. I did get some cramps in my legs that made me walk for a good minute but I don’t know if I attribute it the gel. Anyways, I took the second gulp after ~45-50m on the road and washed it with a cup of water. This time, for some reason, I felt better. I could feel it sitting in my belly for a minute then it’s gone. Last dose was after 1:15ish hours of running + water. I was not tired or unmotivated towards the end of the race. I honestly was not looking forward to end the run (maybe my legs were like c’mon, but mind was high!!).

My experience was fantastic! I ordered a whole box of vanilla been gels. I did not want to try different kinds because I’m the most indecisive person in the world. I was afraid I won’t be able to decide which flavor was better. 🙂

Week 5 Running Stats:

Monday 2/9 4 miles (+ strides)= 42:19 minutes, pace= 10:34 min/mile

  • Rough run! Leg was slightly acting up. I felt heavy for some reason. Could be whatever I ate that day?
  • Wednesday 2/11 1 mile= 8:17 minutes, pace

  • Okay run just to see how the leg feels.
  • Thursday 2/12 5 miles= 49:19 minutes, pace= 09:51 min/mile

  • Fun run! Definitely the longest on a treadmill.
  • Saturday 2/14 10 miles= 1:38:45 hours, pace= 09:52 min/mile

  • Few couple miles were very hard. I had to walk for quite some time until mile 4 maybe. Then pain subsided and I was able to run comfortably for the remainder of the run. Towards the very end I felt slightly exhausted and some very minor discomfort in my quads.

    Saucony came to CRC and had this wall of "I run because.."

    Saucony came to CRC and had this wall of “I run because..” Responses were hilarious!! All good reasons to take on running this year 🙂

  • All in all, great week. I look forward to next week’s scaled down run. Hopefully legs will be sweet and ready for the following week’s 20 miles of running.

    Happy running, minions!