A Good HIT Workout

One of those days when you feel like things are not going quite the way you planned all day! So I was feeling about half a bubble off-center by the time I was able to get around to getting my run in.

I did take yesterday off. I had my gym all packed and ready to go, but whenever I decided to get going I found something else to do. Tuesday’s workout behind the snowblower took its toll on the old body and I decided that with everything going on that I would just take the day off – it was the correct choice.

This morning I felt a lot more human and while the day was hectic again, I did get to the gym around 1:30. Today was supposed to be a long run day, but I didn’t feel like battling the breeze outside and really didn’t have it in me to do one of those hour and half runs. So I decided to do the speed workout that I missed on Tuesday.

Well sort of…

I wanted to get 6.0 miles in this afternoon, but instead of my usual quarters, I decided to do as many 2:00 minute by a faster than 5K pace with 2:00 rests at my comfortable treadmill pace, until the body said enough was enough. Now remember my Garmin reads things differently and the treadmill was set to 0% incline and a bit quicker pace. 🙂

The 5:00 minute warm-up was just enough to make me ready to run fast. The first 2:00 minute session was strong and the 2:00 minute “rest” pace was fine. By the time I did two more of those things, the hanging on started during that last minute. No mas, No mas.

No more of the 2:00 minute drill.

I did try one more, but slowed back down after a minute – the body had had enough of that drill. At that point I decided that .1 repeats at a .2 mph increase would be better than attempting to beat myself up too badly by forcing the 2:00 or 1:00 minute repeats.

I went through 5K in 23:16 not too shabby that includes a comfortable 5:00 minute warm-up.

However, I am attempting to go beyond just the 5K distance to make it so that it doesn’t seem as bad during my next 5K race. That over distance thinking thing to give me a little more self-confidence that I can maintain that faster pace for the whole distance, not just the first couple of miles.

When I hit the 4.0 mile mark I punched out of the Garmin. I had to stop and walk for a tenth of a mile to get the heart rate back to reasonable levels – I thought that when it hit 176 bpm at the end of that last fast repeat, I might want to back it down a little bit. High 160s I can handle, but I ain’t in my 40s anymore and my max HR if you use the 220 base is 159…well you get the picture.

After that quick little walk, I increased the pace back to my normal treadmill speed and struggled to get the body back to the idea we were not done running yet. It did not like me at all, until I got to around the 4.8 mile mark when it thought I would stop at 5.0 miles.

I didn’t.

I did 5 more .1 hard repeats with .1 rests that the body just said, let’s get this shite over with. Yeah they were hard and yes, I struggled with the short rest, but I pushed through and did them.

Hey, you old crazy bastard doncha know that is how old farts rip and tear things that make it so you can keep running. Naw, I was actually feeling pretty good and the hard workout was something I wanted to finish. I do better with the shorter, hard stuff than I do with the long slow distances. One thing I will say, running those shorter repeats sure ain’t boring.

I guess that is a bad or good dose of High Intensity Training, whichever way you want to look at it. All I know is that when I finished, it looked as though I had gone swimming and it took me a couple of minutes to get recombobulated back in the locker room.

Good and tough HIT workout.

Snowblowing and Treadmilling

This morning was the usual nasty storm day routine, get up walk Bennie before the sun was up, to see what it was like outside, get ready to do chauffeur duty and then plan on doing whatever workout I had planned over at Planet Fitness’ treadmill.

Well two out three ain’t bad.

Bennie’s walk was fairly nasty – the snow was great for snow ball fights and making a snowman, but heavy wet and nasty for moving it around to get it out of the driveway(s). Chauffeur duty went without a problem, 4WD all the way in and just going as fast as I was comfortable driving – so there was a line of traffic behind me – too bad.

On the way over to the gym I had to stop at Wally World for cat litter and the most important thing wine. We have a glass of wine with our evening meal (gotta be healthy doncha know) and there wasn’t any in the house, so I had to stop and get a nice Paisano.

By the time I got out of there the wind was really picking up, which along with the heavy, wet snow I thought it was a better idea to get home in case the power went out (luckily it didn’t). However, that meant that my workout would have to wait.

No need to worry – I got too much of a workout in this morning.

After I got home, I spent two and half hours behind the snowblower. It might sound like something that is pretty easy, but moving that beast around in heavy wet snow is a serious upper and lower body workout. Although it was still snowing heavily, by the time I got done I was completely soaked through all my layers and starting to shiver a little, so I was glad that I was done.

After getting dry clothes on, all I could manage to do was sit on the couch for about 15-20 minutes to warm-up and get up enough energy to help get lunch going. One thing about being so tired is that it lowers my ability to resist indulging in food that I am attempting to avoid.

While I am looking closer at the idea of Low Carbohydrate eating, I haven’t really decided whether it is for me or not yet. There is a lot more to it that I want to understand and think about before I commit to doing anything drastic. However, I am attempting lower my carbs intake just as a matter of course, especially the amount of processed foods that end up going down the pie hole.

I craved the salt and the fastest way to get salt into me is chips, so I indulged.

Then I sat on the couch and the next thing that I knew it was almost time for me to head back out to get my gym workout in – one of those lights-out, nobodies home, kind of naps.

Yeah I had planned on going to the gym even though I had a fairly intense workout behind the snowblower this morning.

The roads were still nasty in Sidney, but got a lot better once I got to Augusta, so the traveling was a lot better this afternoon. Then while changing, I decided that there was no way that I was going to do a quality speed work session as tired as I was feeling, plus the chips and egg salad sandwich were not sitting too well in the tummy. I figured that I would start at 7 mph and see how I felt after a mile and go from there.

Everything was fine until about a quarter mile and while I got another quarter in, I had to make a mad dash for the locker room. That upset stomach wasn’t going to wait. I came pretty close to not getting back out on the treadmill.

However, I still had about an hour and half that I would need to do something else and I was feeling a bit better after my “locker room visit”, so I got back on the treadmill. I started over and figured that it had to be better than the first try.

No issues, after about a half mile another runner got on the treadmill beside me and setup at the same speed. Now this guy looked like a collegiate kind of runner. Young, tall, whippet lean and yeah, me old fat and gray. 🙂

We may have done the first mile the same speed, but he was doing a progression work out and picked up the speed .2 every half mile. I am pretty sure at 4.0 miles to finish up 5.0 miles he cranked it hard – luckily for my ego, I had finished my workout.

Ahhhh to be young and able to run like that – yes, I was and am jealous. It is just part of the aging process to be jealous of those that are now younger than me.

Since he was doing a progression workout, I did a much more conservative one through 3.0 miles. At that point my legs were pretty much toast and I knew that holding a steady faster pace wasn’t going to happen after this morning’s workout. So I decided to do some strides to take my mind off things. I did 4 x 0.1 and 1 x 0.2 @ 9.2 mph to finish up the 4.0 miles.

At that point, I was tired, but still had a lot of time left before I needed to get going, so I did .25 @ 15% incline at 4.0 mph and then went out back and abused the old body on the foam roller for about 20 minutes.

This was not the workout that I had planned, but it was still a helluva workout, when you add in the snowblowing stuff to the treadmill time, it was more than I usually do in a day.

In other words a really good day.

Moved my Run to Augusta – Safer

After yesterday’s walk with grips on – yeah the ice was pretty bad down-back

I wasn’t sure about how it would be down there this morning, but I am not all that keen on the grips, especially running in them, so I decided to chance just wearing my trail running shoes on Bennie’s long walk.

Walking down there was not great, but doable in the trail shoes, but when I did a couple of quick pickups the shoes couldn’t get a good grip due to the ice underneath the slush and light snow that fell last night.

So I decided that discretion was the better part valor and that I would run in Augusta or hit the treadmill, if the roads were not all that great.

When I went by the bank on Outer Civic Center Drive, it said 31*F and while the roads seemed a little wet looking, they also had plenty of whatever Augusta is using this year to treat the roads. I had the truck in 2WD and was having no issues – a good sign. Usually in 2WD if the road is not good for running, the rear end sliding around usually lets me know pretty quickly.

While going into Planet Fitness the parking lot felt solid, so I decided to do my planned 7.0 miles outside. Especially, since tomorrow it sounds like we are going to get another 4-12 inches of snow – depending upon where the snow/freezing rain line ends up. Which means more treadmill time, so I needed to take advantage of decent weather while it was there.

31*F isn’t real warm and there was just a little breeze (just enough to be a pain), so I geared up for freezing temps and headed out the door. I wasn’t looking to go fast, just get in the 7.0 miles. I started out comfortably and kept it at acomfortable effort level until I had 2.0 miles left and then I did pick it up a little.

The roads in Augusta were fine and even though there is a lot more traffic on Outer Civic Center Drive, the breakdown lane makes it a LOT safer to run on than running out where I live. That jumping/running onto the road shoulders and not being able to see what you are running on can get dicey pretty quickly and then when you are attempting to get back on the tar – if there is still snow on your feet…well that can get interesting too. Especially, doing it multiple times during a run – a some point the law of averages tends to catch up with you and something goes wrong at the worst time.

It wasn’t anything special as far as runs go. It was one of those get it done runs where you put good miles on the legs and smile when you are done.

I know I did.

Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review

Every once in a while there is a shoe style that you have been looking at for several model versions. You have picked them up and looked at the style and the changes more than a few times over the years, read multiple reviews and even thought about getting a pair when the previous models have been on closeout, but never got around to doing it.

For me that is the Adidas Adizero Tempo line of running shoes. Unfortunately, since the late 80’s adidas running shoes and my feet were not a match made in heaven. The pointy, narrow toe box and often heavier than I like running shoes were not what I wanted on my feet. Plus there is nowhere locally that sells the adidas performance line of shoes, so I usually looked at other brands.

That being said, I have run in a 3-4 of adidas’ Boost based running shoes over the past 5-6 years and while I have been impressed with the Boost part of the shoes, but typically disliked the way the uppers fit my weird feet, with the exception of the Adios 3, but the performance fit was a bit too snug in the past for me.

Although I have to admit that when I read Sam’s review of them over at Road, Trail, Run, Sole Review’s words of wisdom and Dr. Klein’s review last year, I was much more intrigued by them. A stability shoe that didn’t weigh a ton, comfortable (wider toe box, narrow heel), decent outsole and best of all featuring the Boost midsole which I really like how it feels under foot.

However, I had other shoes that I wanted to try when those reviews came out.

Earlier this month I had hit a weird spot in my running shoe rotation where nothing in the house seemed to be really what I was looking for and one night while wandering around the Internet, I read a review on the Tempo 9s again and clicked the link. When I got there I found a sweet deal for a pair of Tempo 9s on Amazon and thought why not get them. Continue reading “Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review”

A Run Down-Back in Tempo 9s

Well there, it warmed up just a bit today and the winds died down to reasonable levels and after a couple of days of record breaking cold temperatures it almost felt somewhat warm. Well really it only got back to a bit more seasonable temps. Mid 30s, 5-10 mph breeze and weak sunshine.

I am also getting close to having 50 miles on my adidas Tempo 9s and one of the tests I have for running shoes this time of year is how they perform down-back on both dirt and now the packed snow…errr white ice.

Yeah, running on these roads in winter can be rather interesting and I have to really pay attention to what I am doing. However, as long as you can stay on the sides or the middle (where the tire prints are), you can get some traction and don’t need spikes or screws on your shoes to run. If you get in the travel lane too long, all bets are off and you will find out how padded your arse is. Continue reading “A Run Down-Back in Tempo 9s”

My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles

I am not really all that wimpy, but I put in a set of guidelines for running outside in Winter-like conditions, that I really believe helped me stay healthier than I have been in a long time at the end of a long and tough winter last year.

They worked fairly well last year when I paid attention to what I was doing, so I have a feeling that I will use them again this year.

  • First if there is ice on the road – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Second if it is below 20*F with or without windchills – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Third if it is in the 30’s and raining – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Fourth if is below 30*F and you are planning on a long run – use the treadmill

If I have any question about the conditions, I take Bennie for a walk and figure out if it is okay to run outside or if moving the workout inside is the correct solution. How he reacts to the conditions out there goes a long ways in my decision making process, plus I get to feel first hand how things really are.

Could I run outside in worse conditions than what I have set as my criteria to move inside?

Sure I have done it in the past without too many issues and every so often I ignore my own criteria, but at this stage of my running life I enjoy running in shorts and t-shirts versus bundling up to get outside.

Treadmilling it

After yesterday’s day off, I wanted to get in a little loner run than usual and the temps/wind chills were in the lower teens at the house (we are usually 5*F colder than Augusta-the official weather for the area). This is below my second criteria, so I headed into Planet Fitness for a treadmill run. Continue reading “My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles”

A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018

Things that I have learned in 2018 about running and about life.

First – Everyone has an opinion about running shoes and the brands behind them. Even when they have not run in or seen the actual running shoe being talked about. Which makes me go mmmmmm and think to myself don’t pull shit out of your arse people.

If you haven’t run in a particular shoe, how in the hell do you know whether it is any good or not – you don’t. Running shoes do change for better and yes, worse from version to version. So shut up, keep your not so knowledgeable opinion about that model and version to yourself until you do run in that model and version. Then be honest about how the shoe works and doesn’t work.

If you are hating on a brand in general because you don’t agree with how they do things that is your choice and make it clear that you are hating the brand itself, but it does not mean that the running shoe sucks just because a certain brand’s name is on it.

Second – I don’t have to race. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, but myself and for the most part most other people don’t really give a rat’s arse if I ran a sub 20:00 minute 5K or a sub 25:00 minute 5K.

It took me a long time to realize this and be happy with that choice. Racing stresses me out and every time I have one on the calendar and I have to “train for it”. I attempt to live up to how I think I woulda, coulda and shoulda been. I am one of those never-was runners who dreams that I could have been better than I was – a LOT better. My running has gone a lot better this year without racing and worrying about what I ain’t.

It doesn’t mean that I won’t run races in the future (I plan to, but they will not be the primary focus of my running). I have learned that they are not necessary for me to enjoy my running and that I still love to train to run faster, even when I don’t race. I still do love to run fast – at least fast for me. Continue reading “A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018”

A Day of Rest and Giving Thanks

Today is a scheduled rest day and one for reflection and to really start thinking about things that I want to accomplish in the coming year and years ahead, along with the things that I am thankful for in my life.

Thanksgiving has turned from a celebration of family and being thankful for what we have, into something complete different.

It has become a paid day off from work, where most of us in the Unites States will gorge ourselves on way too much food and even more deserts, then settle in for football or napping and getting online to peruse the best deals online for the stuff we plan on buying for Christmas presents.

Instead I hope that everyone pauses more than a few times to actually give thanks and mean it, to those who mean so much in their lives. Especially if you are lucky enough that they happen to be in the same house with you today.

We get so focused on the doing, the chase and the getting that we forget to appreciate the now and to be thankful for what we already have.

Family and Friends

The love and support of our families and friend should be first on everyone’s list. Wishful thinking and I know it is not the way it is for everyone. However, if you think about there is always one family member or friend that in spite of everything and all the water under the bridge that is still there for you.

Start with being thankful to that one person and you might just think of others who you should be thankful to as well. Sometimes it is just about stopping and thinking about it. Maybe it is time to reach back out and try again. None of us are the same people we were yesterday – life changes us.

Forgiving, does not mean forgetting. It means it is time to move on to a better life for everyone.

Yes, I am thankful for my family and friends. You know who you are and what you mean to me, even with the miles between us.

Health

Then comes health. I am very thankful for how healthy I am now. It has not always been that way and it has taken a lot of work to get where I am now.

However, being healthy is your personal responsibility and we cannot pawn it off to doctors, lawyers, judges, snake oil salespeople or the Internet. Yeah, as much as we hate to admit it – it starts with looking in the mirror and deciding that it is time to do what needs to be done. No it is not easy and yes, we all will have bad days, backslide, bad news and all the other crap that goes with being a human being that gets older every day – we cannot stop the aging process.

So it is better to take control of what you can while you can. Think about the things you can do to take control of your health, it might only be baby steps at first, but take them – you will be surprised.

No it is not easy and life seems to get in the way of being healthy too often. Just remember there are no quick fixes or pills that are going to make you whole or healthy. It takes hard work and being willing to delay gratification of the moment for long-term gains.

Yes, I am thankful for a body that allows me to do most everything I want or need to do. Nope the old body ain’t perfect and it has aches or pains that bother, but sometimes you just gotta do it anyway.

Eating

Talking about eating think about what we do eat, yeah what you put down the pie hole – you make the choices about what goes in your body – think about what you need to do. Yeah, there are so many conflicting diets, ways to eat, what tastes good versus what is good for you, organic versus CAFO farming and all that kind of stuff. There is so much conflicting information who do you believe?

Think about how humans ate throughout history or at least until the 1950s and 60s, I tend to think that is what we evolved to eat.

Be thankful that most of us have enough to eat on a daily basis and that many of us have the luxury of being able to pick or choose what we want to eat. Think about those who do not on a daily basis.

Home

I am thankful that I have a nice, but modest home in a safe neighborhood, where I am safe, warm and comfortable. Many others do not have that today, due to fires, storms, war, natural disasters or whatever other reasons. I do not have to struggle to stay warm, be safe like so many others are in today’s world.

Home is where the heart is and my heart is right here.

The reality is that

I am one of the lucky ones, there is so much in my life that I am thankful for and today is the day that I get to reflect on the good things in my life and know that the positives vastly outweigh the negative.

I know that it is not that way for everyone and it always has not been that way for me either. However, at this point in my life it is easier than it ever has been to give thanks for the way my life has gone.

So on this day where we all should stop and think about what we are thankful for – do it and say it to those that it will mean a lot to hear that you really do appreciate them and you might be surprised that you have more in your life than you thought about to be thankful for.

Think about what you should be and are thankful for.

Now to find those imaginary or is it elusive perfect for me running shoes that will allow me to run like the wind and never get injured again. Then I will really be thankful. 🙂

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Hard Repeats and Expectations

We got lucky, most of the storm missed us. It was supposed to start sometime between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM, but didn’t until I headed down to the gym at 10:00 AM. Even then when I got home at 12:30 PM, the snow wasn’t sticking to the roads at all. Although looking out the window we now have around three inches, the storm itself is just about over.

In other words not a big deal. 🙂

As you can see down-back was rather icy and slick with that little coating of snow from yesterday, so no running down there for a while, especially since walking down there with Bennie can be an adventure. However, I had planned on going to the gym to use the treadmill no matter what the temps or road conditions were to get in a quality workout.

I really wanted to push myself a little harder than I have in a while and see if the old body would hold together. Although I was a little concerned with my left upper calf area, it felt off after walking down back this morning. I thought that I might have tweaked it just a little walking on the ice.

What did I end up doing?

0.5 @ 7.2 mph – warm-up

0.5 @ 9.1mph – this is about as fast as I want to go for a while. It is almost 30 seconds above what I consider my 5K race pace and I don’t think that I could hold this pace for the full 5K distance with my current level of fitness. This pace was more to push me out of my comfort zone.

0.20 @ 7.0

0.30 @ 9.1 mph

0.20 @ 7.0

0.30 @ 9.1 mph

0.20 @ 7.0

0.30 @ 9.1 mph

0.20 @ 7.0

0.30 @ 9.1 mph

0.30 @ 7.0

0.30 @ 9.1 mph

22:43/3.1 — I was so tired at the end of these repeats that I forgot to turn-off my Garmin for a short time – maybe 15-20 seconds elapsed, before I started breathing semi-normally again and realized that I hadn’t shut it off.

Breathing can be a pretty big deal.

I do find it pretty amazing what a difference that 0.3 mph on the treadmill can make in how I feel during a run. Last week, I ran 8.8 mph for the repeat speeds and felt pretty strong through the 5K portion of the run. When I kicked it up to 9.1 mph (supposedly a 6:35 pace), it kicked my arse – bad today.

Although it might have something to do with wearing actual race day shoes that were 2.5 ounces lighter last week too. At those speeds and effort levels the extra weight does make a difference. Which means that next week I will keep it at this speed, but use the RunFasts versus the Tempo 9s. Yeah, this pace/effort level on the treadmill does push me to work harder and it doesn’t put as many limits on my running.

The left calf did bother a little to begin with, but seemed to loosen up more as I got into the workout and by the last fast repeat, I had stopped noticing it.

Then I wanted to get some more miles in, so after walking for a quarter mile I started to run again. This time I started out at 7.2 mph and by the time I got to .1 I decided that if I wanted to make 3.0 miles alive, that I either needed to slow down or head outside where I would definitely run slower. I didn’t feel like getting all geared up, so I slowed it down to 7.0 mph and probably should have slowed down to 6.5 mph, but me being me – I kept it at 7.0 and sucked it up.

I was beat and the legs were tired, but I wanted to force myself to run a little faster on tired legs than I normally do, so I kept going and finally the body recovered enough or is the brain recovered enough to get through the rest of the workout. I think it is more about the mental side of the game than the physical and to be honest that is the part I need to work on the most.

The mileage is still off on the Milestone (it was quite short – by over a .50) and I had to calibrate it after the fact, so the pace and splits probably ain’t all that accurate.

I have been using the Milestone Footpod to track my running in the Tempo 9s and while it didn’t show any big surprises for this run (still a heel striker), it just re-emphasized to me, that in order for me to run like they suggest or meet their “good” metrics it is more about me running faster than having great running form all the time.

The faster I run the more efficient my form becomes. Unfortunately, I cannot run that far with this body anymore at those more efficient speeds.

Yeah, I also ran this workout in the adidas Tempo 9s and guess what, I didn’t think about them at all during the run. So they done good.

A tough workout where I pushed against some of the limits I have set for myself both physically AND mentally. Could I train at these speeds very often, no. Can I train at this 9.1 mph for repeats yes, could I race at that speed – to be determined, but I am not going to purposely set limits on what I can do versus what I am supposed to do as an old fart – not yet anyway.

You never know what will happen, go out hard, run hard and finish harder, the times will take care of themselves.

All I know is that nap sure did feel good after that workout.

A quality workout in the books.