I’ve been digging in to the book but I haven’t gotten far. Really, I’ve just gotten to the test portion so pretty much the beginning. It has given me so much to think about though.
Here’s the thing. He says to lower your training if you are stressed. I am so analytical and detail oriented that I can become stressed just by figuring out if I need to lower my training! I am running 3 days a week and wish I was running more BUT I am doing BBG 3 days a week and I realize I need to make concessions for that. So I guess I don’t think I need to lower it more, but I do recognize that I cannot add more in.
Another thing stressing me out is my MAF heart rate. I chose to do 180 – my age with no modifier. The more I think about it, I think maybe that is too high. He says people tend to choose too high. When I first figured it out I went back and forth between dropping 5 more points (for allergies and random illnesses). He advises you go with the lowest if you are unsure. So I think I will make my HR goal 145 instead of 150. He says there is no harm in choosing the wrong number if you choose a little low. Ideallly you will be right on the money so that you can train at the highest possible range, but going over is bad. So being unsure, I could be going over for my entire workout and not knowing it.
I don’t feel like I’m making progress. That isn’t based on anything but gut feeling. I can list a bajillion reasons this may be: training with too high a HR, BBG (which is anaerobic no matter how slow according to the book), diet, personal stuff going on (stress), hormonal issues (hello thyroid), medications (hello thyroid again). Some of these can be fixed and some cannot. Some I choose not to.
- training with too high a HR – as mentioned above, I think I may be doing this. I will lower it 5 points and give it a shot
- BBG – I don’t want to quit midway. I am on week 5. I think I will finish out the cycle (which takes us to February) and then find something to do afterwards. I understand it may be hurting my aerobic improvement, however I do not understand what I can do instead. I’m sure the book will get there. I recognize that strength training is important, but it feels like (so far) he’s saying not to do any! But he doesn’t straight up say “don’t strength train.” So I’m assuming there is more to be addressed later in the book. I will choose not to adjust this right now, but choose not to continue with BBG after this round.
- Diet – tricky one here. Christmas is coming up. I want to bake and enjoy the holiday. I’m stressed out from so many other things that I’m not sure it is a good time for me to make big diet changes, even if it would be beneficial to my body. What is the trade off? Increased stress but better quality meals, or lower quality meals but not meal induced stress? I do plan to try the 10 day test after Christmas but depending on below this may have to wait until February.
- Personal stuff – I’m not going to go in to detail here. There *may* be big changes going on in my life. I should know yes/no in the next week or so. After that, either life will return to status quo (which is honestly quite appealing), or life will get even more hectic. If things get even crazier, they should level out around February. There’s nothing to be done for this. I am trying to put it in God’s hands and be prepared to accept either possibility. I am trying to do this with sanity and calm, but there is a lot of work and a lot of requirements of me. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect my stress level to drop considerably in the immediate future.
- A second point on this one. If this happens and I survive (heh) until February, I should be in a really good place as far as my home responsibilities go. That should translate nicely to our new, changed, existence and result in a decrease from even my “normal” stress levels with how things are now. It’s just a matter of surviving, right?
- Hormones and medications go together – if I don’t take the meds I lose my hair so they stay. Perhaps in improving my diet I can improve my overall health (that’s the whole point of this book, yea?) and no longer need to take these medications but until then… I also can’t take off my prenatal because I am still nursing so these I cannot or choose not to change.
So that’s where I sit. The things I can change are diet and exercise. I choose not to make many changes so really I’m just going to lower my training HR.
It’s hard to place my finger on why I think I’m not progressing. The thing is that my first test was a little bit of a dud. I felt good with it – a little bummed I was so slow, but confident that I had done well, but then my next run (a hilly out and back as compared to my test run on a flat quarter mile loop a few days after) was much faster. What? That makes no sense. So I consider it a bit of a wash. That’s actually a good thing because I can pretend in my head that I haven’t actually done a test yet. lol.
I’ve been struggling the latter part of my week day runs lately. I feel great going out but my HR struggles at the end. You can see it on my graphs as well. I’m decently steady going out, and then my pace is up and down as I run – walk – run – walk – run – walk and try to keep my HR low. I have this personal problem (does anyone else do this?) where I don’t really remember anything before. I’m not talking about long term memory loss, I do remember the past, but I don’t remember a few weeks ago. Really, I would say Thanksgiving is the cut off right now. I got sick the week before thanksgiving (Thursday/Friday ish) and ran that 5k sick. Then I was really sick Monday/Tuesday and walked with a friend. Then by Thursday I was feeling better and tried to run but my HR spiked and I came home. I didn’t run again until Monday. I haven’t ran on the weekend since then so only my Mon/Weds stroller runs. Every one of them (I think) I have had this problem. It’s like I’m great to a point and then my heart just can’t handle it any more. Is this because I’m still recovering from illness? How long does that take anyway? It was just a head cold. I suppose I should look at older runs and see what it was like before then.
I’m to the point where I understand my HR shows so much about my body (more than how fast I can go, and into how healthy I am) but I’m not knowledgeable (yet) enough to diagnose it. But I’m certain it means something. (See above).
So February. The holidays will be over, the personal stress will be passed (or nearly), the kids will be back in school, and I should be ready to tackle this again. I plan on doing a new MAF test, doing whatever strength workout is not going to hurt me, and really tackling this as a means of getting healthy. I will try the 10 day dietary test. I will go all out to try to get better healthy and aerobically. I will do what I can until then, but that will be my big kicking off point. I hate that it is so far off, but I think it is unreasonable to decide to do it before then with everything else going on.
These posts are always so rambling. I find myself with so many words and my husband gets sick of hearing it. I process by speaking though. If anyone is actually reading this (I don’t believe anyone is), I would appreciate prayers as our family makes transitions. Thank you.
The best laid plans right? I changed my mind again.
Monday night I was tired. Not just tired, but exhausted. Hubby was out working in the shop and after cleaning up from the day I couldn’t stay awake to wait for him to come in. I read a little of Maffetone’s book but couldn’t keep my eyes open.
One thing he said stuck with me. He talks about how over-training doesn’t necessarily mean your training is wrong or too much. He talks about how it’s all related to your life as a whole. So, while my training plan is sound, perhaps I am so tired because my life is crazy busy and a little bit stressful (the mental plays a part as well). So after having trouble getting up Tuesday morning I decided to make (another and hopefully final) change.
So here’s the plan:
- Monday – medium run at MAF heart rate
- Tuesday – BBG and walk
- Wednesday – medium run at MAF heart rate
- Thursday – BBG and walk
- Friday – rest
- Saturday – long run (see other post for that spiel) and BBG
- Sunday – rest
I am sticking with the idea that all of my runs are technically “recovery” effort because of the low HR. So there’s no need to double up my more difficult workouts on the same day to have a real rest. My most “difficult” run is a rest. The exception could be the long run, but that has to be doubled up anyway to allow for 2 rest days so it just works out.
This also works better with my life. 2 days a week I get to come home and do BBG in between kiddo drop offs. That frees up so much time for me (and mental stress from trying to fit it in) by getting it done early. Then I can go walk in the afternoon between kiddo pick ups. I’m already out, so instead of sitting in the car I’ll walk around the neighborhood by the school. I’m really excited to give this a try.
Monday 11/14/16 – Planned medium run of 50 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.76 miles at 15:49. I turned the program off when I decided to walk, so I don’t have my usual data. My splits were 13:43, 14:53, and 19:43 (partial). I got really sick while I was out. I felt horrible. I ended up walking back to avoid a horrible bathroom embarrassment. Ugh! I haven’t felt like that in so long! Actually I haven’t felt like that at all since I started working out at a lower heart rate. For that reason, I’m assuming it was not related to the workout alone. I felt sick Sunday night but thought I was fine in the morning but apparently not. You can really see how poorly I felt in my splits. The fastest split includes the walking warm up. ha!
Tuesday 11/15/16 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.19 miles at 18:52 (Warm up 18:54, Work 19:14, Cool down 17:16). I didn’t wear the heart rate monitor. It seems less important for the walks. Plus with all of those hills I don’t have much of a say. I’m pushing a hundred something pounds and going up hills – if it goes up it goes up. So maybe that will be part of the new deal: no heart rate monitor on the walks.
BBG went great! I got a little nauseous but I had a great time reminiscing on my first time through the program. I remembered how weeks 2/4 were the hardest for me. I couldn’t hardly do it. I hated them and just wanted them over. Today was fun though! I can tell I’m getting stronger and it just feels great that something that was so hard for me before is just another workout now.
Wednesday 11/16/16 – Planned walk of _ minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, _ minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.09 miles at 15:10 (Warm up 17:30, Work 13:49, Cool down 18:48). This run cemented my thoughts that Monday’s stomach issues were a one off. I felt great. I am noticing a few trends on the trail though. Past the train tracks, on the way to the park, there are a lot of up hills. I struggle to run this without my heart rate getting too high. It really throws off my groove, because I have trouble maintaining my heart rate after that which, in theory, should be easier because it is downhill. But it’s not. I struggle basically the whole way back. I’m sure it’s something about the hills hitting when am reaching a point where my body is more tired anyway.
I spent this run thinking about the 5k on Friday. It’s been a long time since I attempted to do anything fast. I really don’t even know what “fast” is to me any more. I don’t want to gas myself but I want to push myself and perform the best that I can. I really don’t know what that feels like. This is how I get stuck in my head. Anyway I’m going to talk to the hubby (we’re going to run together) but I think maybe I want to try an 11 min pace on the first mile and aim for negative splits. I’m really just worried about getting excited, feeling great, and gassing. I have not ran a 5k in over 5 years AND the only 5ks I’ve ever done were when I couldn’t run 3 miles. So this is basically my first 5k as a runner. I know I can run 3 miles – no problem. Now I just want to run it as fast as I can. It’s funny having done 2 half-marathons as my only races since I started running. It puts me in a really weird place mentally. I keep thinking I have to get my pacing right because there is no time to correct it. In 13 miles, if I start too fast, I have time to recover and then get going again. There is plenty of time to make changes and corrections. But a 5k will be done in less than 45 minutes if I walk (which I won’t). The other thought is that, with the Maffetone training that I am doing, I am not able to run fast EVER. It’s frustrating. In fact, I’m pretty sure this race is not approved but whatever. So I want to make the best of it. If I get one day in 6 months to go fast, darn it I want to go fast! Ha! Ok maybe I need a glass of wine or something to get out of my head. I just want to have fun!
Thursday 11/17/16 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, _ minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 1 miles at 29:15 (wu 26:32, work 29:59, cd skipped) and BBG. We had 3 4 year olds walking with us. It was a lot of fun to walk with them and see them enjoy running around.
Friday 11/18/16 – Planned rest.
Saturday 11/19/16 – Coyote Chase Race 5k and BBG, maybe.
Sunday 11/20/16 – Planned rest.
Week 11: 13.1 miles
It was COLD this morning! We have had highs in the 80s for the last week or so, but last night a cold front came in and this morning’s race started at 39 degrees. I was freaking out last night because I didn’t really know what to wear. I was NOT prepared for this coldness!
We got there early and warmed up with a short walk/jog. Then we hung around waiting for the start. Derek and I ran together – kinda – but not really. We started together anyway. I saw the kiddos as we took off but I don’t think any of them actually saw me. I was past them when I saw and yelled for them. We were still in a huge crowd so I don’t know that they saw me.
Side note, this is the first time my children have come to an event. We didn’t try for Cowtown (cold) and they didn’t get to come to Plano Balloon Festival because of the storms. It was emotional and absolutely awesome to see them cheering me on and waving from the side. The second time we ran in to them, Derek was a little ahead of me. I saw him pick them up one at a time and spin them around. This cost him a medal in the end, but it was totally worth it to see them having fun seeing us at a race. So much love!
The first mile passed quickly. I was a little confused when my watch beeped. We started out up hill but my pace was great. Before hand, I had figured I would start at 11 minutes. That would be a fast pace but would allow me to have negative splits. It was really a shot in the dark since I had no clue what speed I could race at. I’ll be honest, running in my aerobic heart rate zone all the time messes with my head. I had no clue how fast I was capable of running. I just knew I didn’t want to gas. So that first mile I ran in 9:09. What?! A lady passed us telling her daughter “we’re going to try to keep a 9 minute pace” and I was like “why are you with me then?”
I did get slower, but that’s ok. Mile 2 was also uphill? In fact, I think the whole thing was up hill! Not much to report from mile 2. Derek was ahead of me a little bit. I took off my ear warmers. We ran in to the kids for the second time in this stretch. It was so cold out there but they looked so happy. I ran this in 10:44.
Mile 3 I started feeling sick. Apparently it was a bad idea to eat a big greasy breakfast before my first hard run in months. Who would have thought? I had to walk a little bit on a hill. I was actually looking at businesses trying to find a place to use the restroom but everything was closed. The stomach pain passed pretty quickly and I was able to speed up again. I finished mile 3 in 11:13.
I was pretty gassed at the end. We went up hill (again) and I was struggling. I saw the kids waiting by the finish line though and pushed myself through. I sprinted in at the very end (well as best I could with what I had left) and finished strong in 32:34.
This was big for me. This is the first 5k I have ran since having my youngest 2 kids. I ran the Mom Run 5k 5/7/11 in 43:52 (lots of walking) and the Dad Fest 5k 6/12/10 in 48:09 (mostly walking). So I PRed by 11 minutes and 18 seconds. Ha! I also came in First in my age division (women 30-34) so I got a medal. My personal goal was to run sub 33 and I accomplished that as well. The plan was to run 11 and then post negative splits, but I got there a different way. ha! So all in all it was a great race and a lot of fun. I can see how 5ks could be addicting and I’m excited that we get to do 4 next year!
I compared my runs of similar distances since “ever” and found something that shocked me. I knew that this was a good time for me now and it is by far a PR for official races, but I had no idea how I stacked up to before my injury last year. I ran a lot then and I always see last year as being a time when I was in “better” shape. So I searched my Running Ahead archives. I viewed anything from 3.0 to 3.5 miles (since we aren’t looking at races here) and then sorted by pace and… PR there too! My next fastest time was in August, then March, then June and THEN 2015. March was nearly a full minute slower and August was 47 seconds (average pace here, not total time since the distances are not exact). I remember August. That was before I started my Maffetone training. I was doing sprints, long runs and speed runs. For the speed run, I would either run 1 mile as fast as I could (the beginning of summer) or run 3 miles as fast as I could (August). I just can’t believe that this is my personal best time. I’m ecstatic and it makes me a little emotional. I’m proud of the work I’ve done and the progress I’m making. It’s back to the slow for me, but I can’t wait to see the progress I make in the next race we do.
Monday 11/7 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.
I skipped my run due to rain all day. I caught up on BBG by finishing Week 2 Full Body.
Tuesday 11/8 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 3.06 miles at 13:46 (Warm up 13:26, Work 13:10, Cool down 17:59).
The rain lately has been insane. I was unable to run in the morning or at pickup time because there was so much rain. I did get my run in later, after hubby got home. For some reason, my times were way faster than Saturday. I don’t know if I was more into it, or the temperature made a difference, or what happened. I assumed it would be slower because I was running in light rain, after working out that morning, on hilly terrain. Apparently that was not the case.
I did BBG earlier in the day. It was legs and cardio day and I decided to give it a try staying below my MAF HR. I did have to stop frequently to let my HR get down, but I feel like it was better than going high. Of course, I read in his book today that HR doesn’t really count on strength type exercises and that they should be considered anaerobic no matter what. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do.
Wednesday 11/9 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.37 miles at 17:18 (Warm up 16:29, Work 17:15, Cool down 18:51). I walked/ran off and on. I was pushing the stroller which makes me slower, but I don’t want to just make these easy days walks. I need to start pushing myself a littler harder to actually run some.
Thursday 11/10 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.83 miles at 13:35 (wu 13:52, work 13:15, cd 16:57). I was getting ready for a birthday party here at the house so I didn’t get to run until the evening. The run felt good. I did end up racing a dog at the end. I mean that literally, I wasn’t being chased. I sprinted up a hill close to my house. According to Polar my max speed on that sprint was 5:45. What?! I don’t know that I have ever ran that fast before in my life! It was super fun, although probably detrimental to my MAF training.
Friday 11/12 – Planned rest.
Saturday 11/13 – Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate, and BBG. Completed 5.30 miles at 13:10 (wu 13:47, work 12:26, cd 18:07).
I decided to increase the HR for my long run after speaking with someone from the Maffetone website. I asked if it was necessary to be running 3x a week at a speed lower than my maximum aerobic HR. His short response was no. So I increased the HR on my “long” run and went out. I made it to the end of the next street when I had to run home for a potty break. Take 2 took me the rest of the way. About a mile out I stopped because my foot was sore. I dropped a laundry basket on my big toe a few days ago and it hit just right. The point where that toe meets everything else (official science term) in my foot is where it was hurting. After some prodding and adjusting I was able to keep going. One the way back I took a short break to talk to a farmer about purchasing a cow. That’s mom life for you – always multi tasking.
Sunday 11/14 – Planned rest.
Week 10: 13.6 miles
And now for some more musings.
After my long run on Saturday I felt great. Granted, I was exhausted later, but the actual mechanics of the run were flawless. So of course I wonder, why? You are “supposed” to do long runs slower than your regular runs. Lower heart rate = longer distance. So why did I feel incredible after doing mine faster?
I think the answer lies in the definition of “long run.” Now, 5 miles Saturday was most certainly my longest run of the week. It was probably my longest run since my race, to be honest. Possibly my longest run in a year outside of races. BUT, is 5 miles really a “long run” for me? And I think the answer now is no. I can run 5 miles, easily, at a higher heart rate. I could have kept going. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t really struggling to keep my HR that low. I was in no way “pushing myself” on distance or time. So 65 minutes is no longer a long run for me.
This gives me options.
- Do I want to increase the distance/time of my long run? I would do this incrimentally, basically increasing by 5-10 minutes a week (at max aerobic HR), until things got difficult. This would be the beginning of actual “long” runs. At that point I would switch to a lower HR and continue to increase my long run time/distance.
- Do I want to scrap the idea of a long run? I would basically stop calling this a long run and change nothing. heh.
- Do I want to up the time substantially and cut the HR? This is my least favorite idea because it seems dangerous (opens the door to injury). I would basically add 30 minutes + to my run time and drop the HR back to zone 1-2. I have ran 13.1 miles before, so this works off the assumption that 13 miles is my “long run” distance – but I’m not sure that’s accurate. ha. So this idea is out.
I have 2 weeks to decide what I want to do and honestly it may just depend on the week and what we have going on. I am not training for anything right now, so there is no need to push the mileage. My husband and I have decided we would like to run 5ks in 2017 so there really isn’t even a drive to be half marathon ready by any point. I did tell a friend that I would run a marathon with her, but that is sometime in the next 4 years. So what do I want (without race plans clouding my judgement)? I just don’t know.
I want to be fast. But unforunately, I drank the MAF koolaide and will not be adding in speed work. MAF training does lead to speed so I don’t want to do anything to sabotage that. So if I can’t do speed work and I can’t do fast 5ks, that doesn’t leave a lot of options for Saturdays. I can do a medium run without the stroller (woo hoo!) or I can do a longer run. I think at this point I will work on
I can keep my weekly runs as they are for the most part. I will probably designate one of the low HR runs as a walk on the recommendation of the reply I got from the Maffetone website. They suggested one long walk a week for muscle repair and recovery. I’ll keep my 2 medium runs as-is. I think I will take my 2nd low HR run and increase the time. I don’t want to be running the same speed/distance every day. I believe that is what caused my injury in the first place. But if I stagger the distances I think I can avoid that.
So my week becomes:
3 medium runs of different lengths (at least 2 different lengths)
1 long run (medium run for now, switching to long run at some point)
I like the idea of my long run progression. It gives me freedom to make decisions in the future since there are no goal distances. I will slowly increase the distance until I reach the point where I have to lower my HR to get farther. Then I will decide if I want to go farther or not. What point is that? 6 miles? 10 miles? 13 miles (not likely)? I’ll look at how far I’m going and see if that makes me feel good to run that distance every week. If not, I’ll drop the HR and go farther. If so, I’ll keep my medium run, but at that long distance (or varying distances up to that point). I’ll still have some gains as it gets easier and easier for me, but with no long distance race in my sights, there’s no reason to push the distance if I don’t want to.
And now I get to make the adjustments to my Polar.
I have a prediction. My mileage will stop progressing when it gets cold. Because I don’t like being cold. Ha
Right now I am doing MAF training (sorta):
Monday and Wednesday are recovery days. I keep my HR below 132 and run (or walk) for 40 minutes.
Tuesday and Thursday are medium days. I run in my MAF HR zone (below 151) for 40 minutes.
Saturday I do a long run with my HR below 132, or my MAF test with my HR below 151.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I do BBG which gets my HR higher than my MAF.
Does BBG hurt me?
I’ve been tired lately after BBG. Really tired. I talked to my hubby about it but there are just so many variables.
I have increased my calories to about 2000/day but don’t watch macros or necessarily eat “well.” I eat sandwiches on white bread, for example.
I have increased my water intake to at least a gallon a day
I started BBG October 10th and started consistently running (post race) about the same time.
Am I not eating enough or well enough?
Am I dehydrated?
Am I not sleeping enough?
Am I overtraining?
Am I still adjusting to my training?
I don’t know the answer and it’s frustrating me. I’m also not losing weight. I see the biggest difference in body appearance with increased water. (Note: When I say “weight” I mean perceived. It has more to do with the mirror than the scale. “Losing weight” is just easy to say and I know what I mean.)
I want to finish out BBG. I committed to it and I am doing it with friends. I don’t want to bail. That said, I worry that the increased heart rate my affect my MAF results. I think I will finish out this round. Week 13 will be January 15th. At that time, I think I will stop doing BBG for time. Instead, I will stick to the moves (for the sake of getting in my strength) but focus on keeping my HR in my MAF. If it gets too high I will pause until it goes lower. I wonder if I should start this now? I really don’t know.
Part of my desire to wait is that I am hoping to get books about the MAF method for Christmas. I could keep doing what I’m doing for now, then read the books, and then make a change. I have plenty of time. I’m 30 and I don’t have any pressing goals.
Part of me wants to alter BBG right now. I just worry that, having not read the books, I will be making under-informed changes that don’t accomplish what I think they will. I need to be patient and make changes gradually so that I can see what the difference is.
Another thing I would change January 15th is to begin the 2 week test. This is a very restricted diet change but only lasts 2 weeks. I could technically fit it in before Christmas but I think it would sabotage my work to go straight into the holidays afterwards. So January 15hs I drop the higher HR work (same exercises just lower HR throughout) and make the dietary changes. That would give me 10 more weeks to get sleeping/water consumption under control, and to rule out my exhaustion being a training adjustment thing. I think this seems the most logical.
I understand this post is rambling but as the title says, these are my current musings. This is what is on my mind this morning as I read articles on MAF and sip my coffee.
A final thought: I know there is nothing to be embarrassed about but it is humbling to see how weak my aerobic base is. I see people starting the test running 10 minute miles and it is “so slow and miserable” for them. My average pace on my 3 mile test was 14:04. My fastest was 13:54 and to be fair, I did spike above my MAF a few times each lap (hills, etc). I look forward to improving my aerobic base. I’m excited to see what my body can do. But it is humbling to start back at the beginning like this. I wonder how this happened to me. I wonder if it is something I never gained in the first place (very un-athletic in school) or if something specifically altered it (illnesses, transfusions, pregnancies/births, etc). There’s no point in figuring it out. I am where I am now. The good thing is that there is plenty of room to improve.
This was my first attempt at a MAF test. I decided to do 3 miles instead of 5 because I have not been religious with my long runs lately. I didn’t want to burn out at the end and either not finish or be too slow. Hubby had the kids over at the park, so I couldn’t take too long.
I use zone 3 on my Polar M400 for the test. This puts my HR between 133 and 151. My maximum aerobic HR is 150 (180-30) I believe. I could be wrong but I figured that it was close enough. My logic is that I am running outside on varied terrain, and for that reason my HR will never be perfectly steady. I am not capable of sitting at 151 and holding steady. More often than not, if I hit 151 I will hit 152, and then my watch will chirp at me.
It was cold! It has been in the 70s when I run and the 80s/90s in the afternoon here. This morning it was 61, misty and humid. My programmed workout didn’t work (again), so I had to improvise. I walked 2 laps (0.5 miles) as my warm up and then got started.
After the first lap I took a short break to pee. I stopped right at 1 mile, walked to the bathroom, and then walked back to the loop to begin again. This lowered my HR and allowed me to run faster at the beginning of that mile.
It felt good. It felt slow at times but by mile 3 I was in my rhythm and not having to think about slowing down as often.
NOT MAF APPROVED: The end of mile 3 was on the back side of the loop (it is slightly bigger than 0.25 miles) and I ran hard back to my water bottle. It felt great. I regret nothing.
Monday 10/10 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. This run got cancelled. I woke a little before my alarm with horrible stomach pains. I won’t go in to detail but suffice it to say I spent most of the morning in the restroom and the rest of the day sleeping on the couch.
Tuesday 10/11 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.64 miles at 15:33 (Warm up 19:00, Work 14:38, Cool down 18:20). Hubby was home from work this morning to go to lunch with our oldest at school. I was excited when he agreed to go with me. BUT he ended up having achilles issues (a recurring problem for him) so he couldn’t run. He took the kids form me so I could run alone. It felt pretty good. The first half was great! I ran a mile, did my drills, then took off once my HR came down. Drills always make my HR really high. On the way back my stomach started bothering me again. It wasn’t anything like Monday, but it was uncomfortable. Along with the discomfort, my HR got a lot more unstable. I had to slow my run down substantially and even then I was getting above my goal zone. I did my best and got to walk back with hubby which was awesome.
We took Chick-Fil-A up to the school for our son so I wasn’t feeling up to BBG right when we got home. I ended up getting it done after I picked up the middle child and before I picked up the older child. Luckily he had a club after school today, so I had some extra time. BBG went great. I felt especially strong on the first circuit. I completed 2,2,2,1+16 – 2,2,1,1 – 2,2,1+16,1 – 2,2,1,1. We also have a baseball game this evening so I’m happy to get it done so early.
Wednesday 10/12 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.37 miles at 17:22 (Warm up 16:58, Work 17:31, Cool down 17:33). This morning’s run was mostly a walk with a bit of running. We started out heading up to the First Monday grounds. There was a wagon train there and they were getting ready to head out. I paused my run and we hung around to watch them leave. That was really neat for the kids (and for me!). I’m a little sore today (legs yesterday) but not horrible. I’m happy to have gotten it done this morning. Things are pretty busy this afternoon/evening. As much as it works to walk by the school between pickups, I much prefer to go in the mornings.
Thursday 10/13 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.27 miles at 15:34 (Warm up 18:57, Work 14:39, Cool down 18:19). I got sick to my stomach again this morning. I went ahead with my run because i felt better but then, yikes (again). I still get a kick out of how high my HR goes when my stomach hurts. I’m sure it makes sense but I’m totally A&P ignorant so it’s fascinating to me. I felt better after a stop at the park and was able to finish out, although I did have to take more walk breaks than usual. I can’t say for sure if that was due to my stomach, or because I was having trouble slowing down. I do miss running fast. I completed 2,2,1+10,1 – 2,2,1+10,1 – 2,2,1+10,1 – 2,2,1+16,1.
Friday 10/14 – Planned rest.
***Ok so I thought I had missed a few days in updating this… apparently I had missed almost an entire month. So here’s the quick rundown of what I did. ***
Saturday 10/15 – 1hr 10 minute long run. 4.14 miles at 16:53 (WU 16:07, W 16:33, CD 18:56) and BBG.
Week 6: 10.7 miles
Monday 10/17- Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.20 miles at 18:05 (Warm up 18:31, Work 17:59, Cool down 18:43).
Tuesday 10/18- BBG and no run.
Wednesday 10/19- Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 1.85 miles at 18:37 (Warm up 20:43, Work 18:19, no cool down).
Thursday 10/20- BBG and no run.
Saturday 10/22- BBG and no run.
Week 7: 4.1 miles
Tuesday 10/25- Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.64 miles at 15:33 (Warm up 19:00, Work 14:38, Cool down 18:20). *no stroller*
Wednesday 10/26- Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.37 miles at 17:22 (Warm up 16:58, Work 17:31, Cool down 17:33).
Thursday 10/27- Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.72miles at 15:34 (Warm up 18:57, Work 14:39, Cool down 18:19).
Sunday 10/30- BBG and no run.
Week 8: 7.7 miles
Monday 10/31- Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 1.86 miles at 21:26 (Warm up 18:33, Work 20:32, Cool down 37:44-running club w/ littles).
Tuesday 11/1- Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.58 miles at 15:37 (Warm up 15:57, Work 15:03, Cool down 19:16).
Wednesday 11/2– Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.28 miles at 18:02 (Warm up 17:34, Work 18:00, Cool down 18:21).
Thursday 11/3- BBG and no run.
Saturday 11/5- BBG & MAF Test.
Week 9: 10.3 miles
Ready for some excuses? Good!
The plan, of course, was an easy run Monday and Wednesday, a medium run Tuesday and Thursday, and a long run Saturday. BBG was to be done Tues, Thurs and Sat.
Monday morning I woke up to a sick congested baby. The weather cooled a little this week. It was still 90s in the afternoons, but the mornings were high 60s which felt cold. I didn’t want to get the baby out in that with her not feeling well so… no morning run. I made it up by doing a walk at the school that afternoon. The roads there are so hilly that a walk gets my HR higher than it should be on an easy run. We also had running club that afternoon, but for me this is going to be more of a walk because baby. Heh. I tried running with the stroller but it was just too rough.
Tuesday morning baby was feeling worse. Skipped the run and did BBG.
Wednesday she started showing signs that it may be Croup. I did the walk in the afternoon at the school.
Thursday was rough after she was up more than once in the middle of the night with difficulty recovering from a cough. The weather called for a 46% chance of rain. I called it, but I did get BBG done.
Friday was a successful rest day. I think I did a really good job. I put in 100% effort and really rested all day.
Saturday we had baseball first thing in the morning. My husband wanted to work on the property and had been talking about it all week. I thought my long runs were a set-in-stone part of the schedule but he thought, since I didn’t mention it, I wasn’t going. So I decided not to go so that he could get his work done. The timing was off for the day that there was only a single window of time I could have gone anyway, so I wasn’t really worried about it. I planned to do BBG that night after my mother-son date night. After the kids went to bed I wasn’t feeling well (head and stomach) but I didn’t want to call it. I got started and pushed myself harder than I ever have (because that’s the logical thing to do when you don’t feel well). I apparently pushed myself too hard on the second circuit. I felt ok doing it but during my recovery period my HR didn’t get low enough. I paused my workout to let it fall and got started again when it was in a better (lower) zone. I was on the 2nd time through the 1st circuit which starts with squat + press x15. I did them and felt absolutely horrible afterwards. Recognizing the signs I checked my HR and it was really high – way higher than it should have been after just that. So I paused to rest again. This time I sat down and it took a long time for my HR to come down. It took even longer for the symptoms to go away. I let it get good and low (re: where it normally is when I get started) and stood up. Bam. Up by 40 and instant symptoms again. So I called it. My body was not having me go on.
I have never called a workout before. I always finish. But I want to listen to my body. That is the point of the HR training (running) for me. It gives me measurable data to compare with how I feel. My HR never jumps that fast, even after a hard workout. I don’t know for a fact that it was “bad” but I know it wasn’t my “normal” and I’m good with my decision to stop.
I’m praying for healthy kiddos next week (and a healthy me) so I can get out there and get going. This month has been a bit of a wash in the running department but it’s all been due to illness. There isn’t really anything to be done about that but to do better once everyone is well. I know I need to be more vocal about my long runs being a priority, but I’m not worried about it as baseball ends this weekend so there will be a lot more free time on the weekends. I also may be able to make up runs missed due to illness since we won’t have baseball in the evenings, now that I think about it. So yea, getting my workouts in should be much easier after this week. And then we remember that we’re going in to the holiday season… ha! Still, this is a priority for me. Even though I’m not training for anything in particular, I am HR training and that gives me a goal. I have 2 weeks until my first HR test run, which I talked about in my last post. At this point, with missing so much, I just need to be able to run 5 miles by then! ha! But really, I can stop when I get too gassed and just make that my test. 5 miles is my goal test length (I think it will be good to see that many splits because data makes me happy), but I can get the same from less mileage, so long as I always get at least that many. So much flexibility.
Total Miles: 10.7 (Monday – Saturday)
Back at it this week! Phew! So the week before the race I “tapered.” I use quotes because I didn’t put a lot of thought into what I did, but I did less. The week after the race I rested and went for a run or two just to loosen up. Then we got sick, serious stomach bug sick. The whole family caught it and I was last, so… I got an extra rest week. But now I’m back at it.
I’ve made some changes to my routine. I want to start back with doing some strength and I had great success with BBG by Kayla Itsines before so that’s what I’m doing. The program calls for 3x bootcamp workouts and a few days of low intensity steady state cardio for now (later I will add in some HIIT). I have decided to focus more intensely on my aerobic threshold to make my running fit into this program. So, 2x a week I will do a medium run and BBG, 1x a week I will do a long run and BBG, 2x a week I will do an easy run (LISS), and 2x a week I will rest. Bye bye fast running… for now. When the program calls for HIIT, I will add it in with interval running. On a typical week my BBG days will be Tues, Thurs, and Sat, but until baseball is over I’ll just be doing my best to get it all done.
Saturday 10/8 (not included in weekly total)– Planned tempo run of 45 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 13 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 12 minutes work at 4 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.36 miles at 14:26 (wu 16:09, lv l3 14:30, lvl 4 11:16, cd 18:35).
Monday 10/10 – BBG only (school holiday + baseball).
This went well. I did BBG Pre-Training Week 3 Legs + Cardio. I’m starting with this week so that I can be on the same schedule as my friend. Last time I didn’t do any pre-training so I figure I’m still doing well. Another change is that I am using my watch. I wear my HR monitor (for data!) but I use the timers on my watch to tell me when to work and when to rest. This is a big change for me, as last time through I would rest a loooonggg time while I played on Instagram or tried to convince myself to keep working. This time I have to actually press pause if I want to rest longer than recommended and my pride won’t let me do that unless I need it (silly but whatever). It makes for a harder workout but also a faster workout. I was done in 30 minutes to the second, and able to move on to the next thing.
Tuesday 10/11 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 1.78 miles at 19:55 (wu 20:00, work 19:52, cd 20:10).
I am so sore this morning! Oh my! BBG really kicked my booty yesterday. It’s a good feeling, but I do remember waking up in the middle of the night and being so sore as I rolled over to get comfy. I’m happy though. I like this feeling and I remember what I accomplished in the spring. I look forward to getting results like that again!
I ended up getting sick right as we were leaving to take the oldest to school. I had horrible stomach pains and the appropriate issues. Yuck! So Derek took the kids in to town while I huddled on the floor in my closet (true story). I was feeling better in the afternoon and planned to go after I picked up the middle boy, but then suddenly started feeling bad again. What?! I did end up getting my “run” in though! I’m proud of that! We had to get up to the fields an hour early to prep for our baseball game tonight. Normally I mill about while that is done. This time I brought my stroller and we went exploring.
There is a trail I wanted to check out, but it took us over a mile to find an entrance that was stroller accessible. heh. It was nice but VERY HILLY so my “run” turned into a walk, and even at that my heart rate was higher than it should have been. But whatever, I did my best.
Wednesday 10/12 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed 2.62 miles at 15:57 (Warm up 18:02, Work 14:54, Cool down 20:31). My run felt pretty good. I was comfortable running within the level 3 heart rate which I’m excited about. That is the going to be my maximum range for a while, and the range for my monthly MAF Test. So I’m happy that it felt good (even with the stroller). I decided that, if I’m running slow all the time, I REALLY need to start doing my drills. How else will I learn to raise my knees if I’m pretty much slogging on all my runs (because I have to go so slowly right now… hopefully that won’t always be the case)? About 10 minutes in I stopped, paused my watch, and did the drills. The kids got a kick out of it. heh. I paused again about 15 minutes in to let the kids watch a momma deer with her twin fawns. I love how the deer come check us out sometimes on the trails. They stay back, of course, but they don’t mind being seen and I love that. Right after that I paused for a potty break and then I paused once more on the way back because I had a rock in my shoe. heh. Other than that I did really well. I felt like my perceived effort was more than usual, but it has been a while since I did a regular medium run, so maybe I just don’t remember. I was sweatier than usual, but I thought it would be cold and wore capris and a running tshirt. I really should have been in a singlet and shorts. heh.
BBG was hard. Heh. I did Pre-Training Week 3 Arms+Abs. My wrists hurts from all the pushups. The pushups themselves weren’t horrible (muscle memory? Or just stronger muscles perhaps?) but the mountain climber + pushups were ridiculous. I really struggled to get through them. I feel good for my effort and happy to have both of my workouts done by lunch!
Thursday 10/13 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate, and BBG. Completed 2.13 miles at 17:16 (wu 18:14, work 17:02, cd 19:10). I have been so behind on real life with baseball season eating up our evenings and weekends. I woke up this morning to find we had zero bread in the house. oops! So instead of running between kiddo drop offs, I went to the store. That left me fitting in a walk/run between kid pickups. It actually went quite well. I picked my middle child up as early as I could. Literally, I was there 15 minutes early sitting at the locked door. heh. We rushed over to the oldest child’s school and parked in prime carpool territory. I unloaded the stroller, loaded up the kids, and took for for 40ish minutes. There was a lot of walking (re: hills) but I managed to run some. The roads were a bit tore up and there were no sidewalks, but luckily I am used to that from living out in the country so no biggie.
Friday 10/14 – Planned rest.
Saturday 9/10 – Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate, and BBG. Completed 4.14 miles at 16:53 (wu 16:07, work 16:33, cd 18:56). I had a hard time keeping my heart rate in check for this run. It felt like the worst yo-yo run in a while. I’m happy I got it done and proud I was able to deal with changing schedules and hectic days. I got my run done in the morning BBG work out in the afternoon. I was tired for BBG, but that is to be expected. Before I got to BBG I ran, went to a 4 hour conference and mowed/weed eated the yard. So all in all, I’m very happy for completion and very excited for Sunday rest day!
I kinda want to sit down and compare every month and see how things changed. There wasn’t a lot of information to use for comparing yet, but I do hope to add this in to my blogging.
I haven’t been hiding, I just haven’t really been running. My last real post was 9/12-9/18. 919-9/25 was an easy/taper week and the race. 9/26-10/2 has been recovery, although I will be doing a long run today (10/1) to kick off my regular running schedule again. So there really hasn’t been much to report.
September was pretty crazy for me. I actually started heart rate training at the end of August but I held steady to it through September. In September I ran 65.6 miles in 17:02:51. My 2 training weeks I had a little less than 16 miles/week. Taper week had 7 and this week (recovery? lol) will have over 20 because it includes the race and today’s long run.
I feel pretty good about the process. I still hate being so slow. Some days it really gets me down. I wish I was faster, or that I was losing weight or something, ANYTHING to show me real progress. But I know it takes time. I do see some truth to the HR training claims, unfortunately it is not the flashy kind of evidence. I looked at my monthly mileage and I went up substantially in September.
Looking at the numbers only, I feel like I should be injured. heh. That is a HUGE increase in just a month. I have a theory as to why I’m not hurt. From what I’ve read, HR training keeps you from over-training because you aren’t pushing your HR all the time. Over the summer, I probably ran at a 5 every.single.run. In September, I only had 2 runs/week with a high HR. I didn’t understand how this worked when I read it? Shouldn’t over-training (when you talk about injury) be dependent on feet hitting the ground? What does HR have to do with anything at all? I still don’t know. I wonder if it’s maybe recovery. So when you run hard every day, your muscles don’t have time to recover so you are more prone to injury, but when you HR train and you have hard days and easy days, your muscles get to relax and recover and heal on the easy days and so you avoid injury. That isn’t scientific in the least, just my musings. So anyway, even though I don’t have flashy proof that HR training is making me a better runner/athlete/whatever, I do have proof that there is “something” to this. My chiro confirms that my body looks great. Way better than it did this time last year when I was running:
|Oct 2015||50.9 mi||10:42:13||12:37|
|Sep 2015||57.3 mi||13:39:46||14:19|
|Aug 2015||27.7 mi||6:39:55||14:26|
|Jul 2015||29.2 mi||6:57:45||14:18|
|Jun 2015||24.4 mi||6:17:01||15:26|
The end of October is when I was truly injured so I suppose we are not there yet. Still, it’s awesome to hear that, as far as she can tell, I’m not heading in that direction.
The temp has changed this past week. My last long run was at 90ish degrees. The race started in the high 80s, I think. This morning I will start my run at 58 degrees. I’m interested to see how that changes things. Will I be faster? I hope so.
Ok, future month review posts will have more data and musings but I wanted to check in. The sun is rising and it’s time to hit October with a long run!