Monday, August 8, 2011

Recap: HM5, Week 7 Training + Week 5 of Fit Abs (A Novel)

At what point should I scratch the plan I originally drafted with and re-write it because I'm a week-ish behind?

 I'm crossing off the runs as I do them, even if I am behind.

If you are keeping a hard copy of your schedule, I highly recommend printing it on an obnoxious color paper like Easter Egg green.  While it doesn't guarantee you will follow the schedule to a tee, it IS hard to lose!

The plan:
(Let's just show two weeks, since some of my runs were from the previous week).

6 PRO 
13 mi 


14  mi 
mid 4P 


What I did:

August 1: This is when I did my long run from the previous week.  Due to hotness and hiking, I bumped the weekend's long run to Monday.  It was supposed to be 13 miles.

Here's a video I tried taking with my phone to show how loud the cicadas were in the woods.  I brought music, but turned it off for this section because the cicadas were louder than my music!

Don't feel obligated to watch if you know what cicadas sound like.

It was a fabulous run through mile 9 or so.  I didn't have my gu until mile 7.5, and didn't feel like I needed anything other than water until that point. I ran out of water at about mile 8, and luckily there was a CVS conveniently located at 8.5.  I tucked money in my ifitness belt for that very reason.  I bought Gatorade to refill my water bottle.  The cashier kindly asked me if I had my Extra Care Card.  (Are you kidding me??  I should have taken a self portrait at this point...with my short shorts, tank top, headphones, water bottle, red sweaty face...I'm lucky the $5 bill was dry.  But I guess it was nice of her to ask anyway).

Back to outside of the CVS, post-mile 8.5.  I don't know how else to describe it, but there was tightness in my right knee/hamstring when picking up my right leg (i.e. if you asked me kick my own butt with that foot, it would have been uncomfortable- but putting weight on that side was not an issue).  I stopped to stretch and since I brought my phone along with me, I began to freak out and started searching runner's knee problems on my blackberry... on the side of the road.  And none of them were my issue.  My leg muscles were really tight though.  As I had planned a big loop for my running route, I was no where near home.  I made it 3 more miles with some walk breaks, and walked from mile 12 on.  Total was 12.89 miles. 

Before I forget, here are some pictures from my run. So that I didn't bring my phone along for nothing. Besides, that big block of text is pretty boring.

These flowering bushes along the canal are really pretty.

I like looking for basking turtles.  These are my Blurry Turtle Stalker pictures.  
If you get too close they all plunk into the water.

I stretched a lot and searched online more.  The only thing I could find was that maybe there was a tight tendon.  So I stretched more and iced various parts of my knee and hamstring.  Thinking back, that feeling was like what I felt during my Rock and Roll Philly half last September when both of my hamstrings felt tight all of a sudden (probably around the same distance).  I don't know if that means I started my run with tight leg muscles, or if I didn't fuel well enough before or during my run.  Who knows.  LUCKILY, there was no sign of it the next morning.

August 24.32 easy miles that night.  Maybe stupid, yes.  But my leg felt better that whole day, and if there was a real issue, I wanted to see if it was going to come back.  Good news: I felt good!

August 3: I made myself take a rest day.

But I did some arm stuff with 5lb weights:
2x12 chest press on stability ball
2x12 tricep extension on stability ball
2x12 deadlift into upright row
2x12 lateral raise

5 pushups on toes
15 pushups on knees

30 back extensions on stability ball. These are great for the lower back!

source & description here

August 4: 6 mile progression run at 5pm.  Supposed to gradually increase pace to nearly race pace at the second to last mile, then run the last mile easy.

Started faster than I meant to (had planned to start at an 11-11:15ish pace).  Had to walk during the 2nd lap to bring my pace down from 10:15ish to a more reasonable 10:40.  If I hit 10:15 on the second mile...there wasn't much room left to gradually increase to 9:50ish over the next 3 miles!  The rest went ok, and my near-race-pace mile was actually faster than I meant it to be. 

Total of 6.11 miles

August 5: 7.68 mile bike ride in 34 minutes, avg speed of 13.5 mph.

I did a little more arm stuff...I mostly flopped around on the floor with my stability ball attempting this two step move.  So first you do the "body tuck" (top row) and once you return to the first position, you do a pushup.  Repeat the body tuck/pushup sequence many times.  I may have done 12 before I finally fell over.

Source & Description of moves here

I attempted some stability ball self portraits to demonstrate these moves but they turned out like the one above or with gratuitous cleave, and I try to keep this blog classier than that ;)

August 6: My regularly scheduled long run...sort of.  Ran with a friend.  Originally planned to do 10 miles with her, thought I'd do 4 pace miles at the end on my own.  We ended up running 11.11 together, and I felt great!  (I had prepared myself for worst case scenario of a repeat of Monday's incident and hobbling the last 3 miles back to my car). It was not a flat route either, there were several shorter hills.  Luckily it also ended with a nice gradual downhill over the last mile.

I understand this elevation map is nothing compared to some areas.  
But when lots of your running is on a towpath, these hills do not go unnoticed!

It bugged me that I didn't get to do 4 pace miles as per my schedule, but at the same time, I was happy to be able to run 11 without any problems and didn't really want to push it.  But it bugged me that I didn't do any pace miles.  So I ran one pace mile at the end (9:39 pace) then cooled down for a quarter mile.  Total: 12.36

Best part of the long run? My breakfast sandwich after. I was feeling feisty so I went with pepper jack cheese instead of the usual American, with my egg on Everything Wheat.  And I asked for some avocado on it for fun.  I didn't regret it.

Next week's scheduled long run is 13 miles; I will plan to sprinkle in some pace miles in the middle of that run.

August 7: 14.16 mile bike ride in 1 hour, 9 minutes; avg speed 12.5 mph
Ran: 31.36 miles
Biked: 21.84

In case you missed previous half marathon training posts: 
Week 6 Recap
Week 5 Recap
Week 4 Recap

Week 3 Recap

The Plan
 Fit Abs Challenge -Week 5 Recap
(Fit Abs weeks run from Friday - Thursday)

July 29: 30 stability ball crunches, 40 tucks = 70 reps
July 30: 130 stability ball crunches = 130 reps
July 31:  50 stability ball crunches, 50 bicycle crunches, 50 v-sit twist w/5lb weight & feet off the floor, 25 regular crunches = 175 reps
Aug 1: 40 regular crunches, 60 with knees to the side (30 each side) = 100 reps
Aug 2: 1 minute plank, 50 stability ball crunches, 60 bicycle crunches = 120 reps
Aug 3: 60 stability ball crunches, 60 v-sit twist with 5lb weight = 120 reps
Aug 4: 100 stability ball crunches = 100 reps

Fit Abs was extended through Sunday:
Aug 5: 1 min. plank + 10 knee lifts while in plank pose, 25 regular crunches, 50 oblique crunches (25 with knees to each side) = 95 reps
Aug 7: 50 bicycle crunches = 50 reps

815 reps for the week + 145
3555 reps for Week 1 + Week 2 + Week 3 + Week 4 + Week 5
(3700 reps total if you count the extended week)


Thanks for reading my novel.  Now, questions for you: 

Anyone else ever have a freak occurrence of tight muscles or something else mid-run?
If you run outside, what kinds of critters do you see along your runs?
What is your favorite post-run/cycle/etc. meal?


  1. Wow! A novel for real! Amazing workouts!

    No freak occurrences for me yet!!! I don;t see too many crazy critters on my runs. I run on pretty major streets so it's all about the bugs that fly in your face. No bears or snakes or anything crazy like that. Unfortunately I don't have any fun trails to run in my area. Post-workout meals...I love sandwiches or crackers with cheese or PB :)

  2. Looks like u are doing great- plans are meant for guidance anyway - they dont always include the normal persons schedule :) - sandwich looks yummy!!

  3. Great job getting all those miles in!

    I've noticed when I stop in the middle of a long run (refuel, potty, etc), my legs muscles tend to seize up. It's pretty common from what I hear. Usually some walking loosens them back up and I'm able to run again.

    I see tons of deer when I run and a rattle snake once. Once, I ran through a swampy area that had frogs croaking so loud it left my ears ringing!

  4. I get muscle cramps sometimes that sound similar to what happened to you. It's not a big deal (after you realize it's just a cramp) and salt pills help me avoid dealing with the cramping issue altogether. :)

  5. I wish I had an i-phone just to take pictures on my run, but then again it wouldn't fit in my water bottle pocket. How do you carry yours?

    The sandwich looks delicious. I love avocado so now you make me want to have some.

  6. When I saw your "I like turtles" comment I laughed out loud. My husband and I love that YouTube video!

    My hamstrings get tight during speed work. And if it's really hot my left quad will get crampy. I now take salt caps during my long runs and haven't had the quad pain in awhile.


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