Nov 30, 2006

all about form

Yesterday i was total slacker and did not go to spinning as I had planned. I just turned the alarm off and went back to bed even though I was wide awake. I felt bad about it later on but oh well I guess my body took over and decided it was a rest day. I would have gone in the evening but instead I had way more fun hanging out with friends eating some really good home made enchiladas :)
This morning Col & I took a swim lesson with Eric Preston at 8. We got in the water 20 min before to do some warm up and such. It was good my legs did not feel like they were sinking as badly as a couple days ago. I think I swam about 400yrds - 600yrds - I totally lost count after 300. It was interesting to see the tri class going on a couple lanes down - all guys.
Ok so the lesson recap:
We started with video - which was super scary until we watched it and got to actually see what we were doing. I had good head and arm entry position, good rotation(this is good since I have been working really hard on these for a couple months now). I had a straight elbow through the pull (rather than pulling back I was more pushing down), I'm still not very patient when I'm breathing - I use my left arm to push down to keep my head up. Both things are probably making my shoulder hurt when I swim...
Col looked good to, with good rotation. Her head and arm were a bit high in the water but otherwise good.
He had us start with “skating position” - kicking on the side with one arm out and down at 45 degrees down with the face straght down looking straight down at the pool bottom - other arm resting on side - rolling on to the back to breath - we did this on both our right and left side.
Then “zipper drill” - start in same position as the first drill after a kick or so bring arm that was resting at side up and over with finger tips in water then slide hand into water and forward as you extend that arm at this time pull extended arm down and rotate to the opposite side; pause as you balance and kick on opposite side and repeat.
Next was doing the zipper but with hand in a fist to work on feeling the forearm in the stroke and the “catch” at the beginning of the stroke. I also had to focus on pulling back with my elbows bent.
By the end of the lesson I felt pretty good - it was way less strain on my shoulder when I bent my elbow on the pull. We swam a few 100 yrds to practice what we had worked on so that we could rember it all :)

Nov 28, 2006

the aftermath

I took yesterday off. The back of my calves were very very sore/tight - I avoided walking because it hurt so much. I did do about 30 min of slow easy stretching but mostly just rested.
Today I felt a lot better - my calves don't hurt as bad and the rest of my body is not very sore at all - every once and a while I find some random sore muscle but I can handle that. Since the weather was so bad this morning I pushed my Pilate's lesson to 1pm - so that the roads would thaw out a bit. I gave my self lots of extra time to get there on time, I was able to loosen up on an elliptical before my lesson. My lesson was good - she had me stretch out a lot which felt wonderful and we focused on building strength on my left side. That along with core strengthening, while keeping my shoulders down and back.. I felt pretty good.
After Pilate's I went and swam for 45 min. I was shocked by how heavy my legs seemed to be, they just sank. lol So I just took it kind of easy and focused on form. I totally lost track of my distance at around 500 yrds so I switch over to just swimming for time. I used the pull buoy quite a bit to give my legs a break - till they felt more tired from holding it between my legs - go figure. I also felt more tired in genreal than I expected but it felt great to get in the water and just swim.

Nov 26, 2006

Seattle Half Marathon

First off - Thank you to my friend, mentor and the best coach ever Colleen, who ran with me and helped me complete my very first half marathon today. I would not have been able to do it with out her help over the last couple of months and her encouragement today helped me finish with a time I am proud of.

Now on to the race - The day started very early - I woke up at around 4:45am - showered, ate a bagel, and headed over to meet Colleen. It was dark, cold and even snowing on the drive over.. Yeah go figure snow in Seattle. Kyle and Bman stayed and had breakfast while Col and I headed over to the race start, found parking pretty close, figured out if we punched a hole in the clothes check bags we could wear them to stay dry till the start. It was VERY cold (I was shaking uncontrollably) - we went and stretched out a bit in the center house where it was warm and dry. We headed to the start line 5-10 min before the start and lined up. It was a little warmer and some daylight - I ate half a bag of sport beans.
Once the race started it took us a bit to cross the start line/timing mat and we were off. The first mile or so was super crowded and thus slow - it was neat to be running through downtown in the middle of the road. I felt great - more worried about being run over by some one or navigating though the slower people than anything else. The rout then narrowed and went up a ramp on to the express lanes of I-90 which made it more crowded and the roadway was very wet, with a river running down the sides. We also got to run through the tunnel - it was nice to be out of the rain but it was very warm with all the people and everything. I had a gu - which seemed to take me forever to get down - but I needed the energy. We saw Kyle and Bman around mile 5ish or so on Lake Washington Blvd (I think). Col handed off her fuel belt and I gave up my hand warmers. I felt good and we were back on pace for a 2 hr finish time and we kept it till the long hill at mile 8ish. Yuck it was slipper and steep and just bad. I had a really hard time and used a lot of energy getting up that hill - luckily about half way up was my Mom and Jerry were there with a big sign and tons of cheers for me to make it the rest of the way up.Though after that my left leg was kind of tight and I was slowing down.. I kept trying to stay with Col but I would fall back... It never really felt like the road leveled out - either we were running up or down never flat.. So I never really felt like I got any energy back. On the downs my quads and calves hurt, on the up my hamstrings and calves hurt.. I tired really hard to ignore it and just keep going - which I did but not as fast as before. By this time I was slightly behind the 2 hour finish pace so the last mile Col tried to help push me to pick up the pace to meet my goal of 2 hrs. I did ok till the very last steeper hill going under 99 - by the time I got to the "flats" I was tired.. The last quarter mile was really hard and I just wanted to finish. Kyle, Bman and Futa were near the entrance to the stadium and my mom was just inside. I tried to run faster but I was only able to step it up like a half a gear - but I tired.
My final chip time was 2:01:49 - the clock time was 2:03:00.
The guys had our dry clothes and we got some food before we headed to breakfast.

To be honest initially I was really disappointed in myself not being able to pick up the pace so that I would have made it in 2 min earlier. When I came back to reality I did good and I'm very happy with what I was able to do. It was the first time I have ever run that far with so many hills and bad weather. I tried my best and I can be proud of that :) Best of all now I know can do it and where I stand. If I keep up my training and continue to get stronger it is just a matter of time before it will be easy :)

Nov 24, 2006

one day to go

Today I did my last short run before the Seattle Half on Sunday. I was a little scared to go since my foot has been bothering me but go figure once I got out there it felt just fine. I had pt this morning - just doing ultrasound, stretching, massage and ice no exercises. They really froze it though made me super cold for over an hour afterwards. lol Once I warmed up and talked to Col - who said I should still get out and move my legs. Since I always do what she says (lol) I went for a 27 min run from the house. I avoided all the concrete sidewalk in favor of asphalt. I also did four 25 second pick ups. It was super cold and a bit windy but I just took it easy and focused on loosening up my legs. The only thing was that my left ankle was a bit tight.
Luckily afterwards I had a massage which focused on loosening up my legs and back - she only harped on my shoulder a little bit. After a nap Kyle and I went to pick up the race packets for Col & I and check out the expo. Since we both LOVE sports clothing we did a little bit of damage at the expo. I got a new blue running hat, a blue shirt and jacket that I will wear on Sunday :) Kyle got a bunch of shirts. I made dinner (I know shocking) of a salad with avocados, pasta and a liter of water.
I have been thinking about what I will eat tomorrow and for breakfast on Sunday. Tomorrow meal plan:
breakfast - oatmeal with raisins, oj
snack - yogurt smoothly with fruit & granola
lunch - pasta with veggies
snack - half bagel with pj or cream cheese
dinner - cream of wheat
drink total of 1 gal of water
Sunday early morning I will have an ensure shake and some toast with cream cheese

Tomorrow is all about resting and staying off my feet and doing a bit of stretching to stay loose.

Nov 22, 2006

ghost town

This morning I went to the morning spin class - it was an endurance ride so I pretty much fallowed the class. Though in an effort to maintain this weeks taper plan I kept the intensity down and only road for 45 min with the cadence at 85-100 with moderate resistance. I felt good - got my heart rate up and spun out my legs pretty well. Afterwards I spent about 20 min stretching out my legs and feet esp. My core is a tiny bit sore from Pilate's and yoga the day before but it should be resolved by this weekend. :)
Side note found this great article that finally justifies why I only drink hot coco during the week and not coffee - caffeine increase endurance. The key point I think is that "Caffeine loses its beneficial effects with repeated exposure, so athletes who want to gain maximum advantage from caffeine during competition should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages when they are not exercising." I know a lot of poeple who don't want to hear that...

Nov 21, 2006

cardio and pilates

This morning I planned on running a moderate 4 miles but my foot was slightly sore (only 2 out of 10) but in the effort to calm it down and all that I did my 4 miles on the elliptical. I only survived thanks to my trusty video ipod for distraction. Afterwards I did some stretching esp my foot and calves. I also did a few of the balance exercises for my foot - ie standing on the disc barefoot while tossing a ball back and forth. I did this for 5 min or so then stretched again.
I also had my second Pilate's lesson - we focused mostly on pulling my shoulder down and back and strengthening my core esp my obliques. She noticed that the right side of my back is a lot stronger and has a lot more muscle so next time we will work on strengthening the left side. She also had me do a lot of stretching. It was good I felt more energised afterwards.
I'm super annoyed that I can feel my foot again.. I don't really get it. But in an effort to help it I'm icing it as I write this and have been rolling a tennis ball under it to help loosen it as well.. I'm going to try and stay optimistic - the good thing is even if it does hurt like it has this week I don't see it effecting Sunday - it is just annoying not to bad.

Nov 20, 2006

110 degrees of fun

Ahh I had a wonderful time at hot yoga tonight. I felt really good - it always amazes me how much you sweat though. lol I was surprised at how good I did feel - I felt like I could really get pretty deep into a lot of the postures while really stretching out and flushing my system. I only modified two poses to be cautious with my foot, which worked fine. The best part was it was a great low impact total body workout that really helped stretch my back out which will help get rid of the tension head aches I have been dealing with lately. I'm making sure I completely rehydrate and had one of those recovery drinks as well.

sunday recap

I must have needed sleep because Saturday I pretty much slept most of the day after my run - I tried so hard to stay awake for the Apple Cup but I slept through the whole thing.. Then I went to bed at 10pm and slept in till 8:30am on Sunday. I took Sunday pretty easy - had a pt appointment to help with my foot. Then later in the evening I went swimming - 1800 yrds total in 62 min. I took it kind of easy and really focused on form.
300 yrd warm up
500 yrd drills:
150 yrds side switches - 100 yrds fist drill - 100 yrds Catch-Up Drill - 100 yrds Flicker End Drill - 50 yrds Finger Tip Drag Drill
950 yrds Main set:
50 yrd - 100 - 150 w/pull buoy - 200 - 300- 150 w/pull buoy
50 yrd cool down and stretching

My back and neck feel kind of tight today - I think from the run and swimming so tonight I'm going to go to hot yoga to get a really good stretch :)

Nov 18, 2006

8 mile run

Today I did my last longer distance run before Seattle half next weekend. I did not really know where to go so I just did the 4 mile loop I did earlier in the week twice. I felt pretty good - though the back of both my calves were very tight esp my left and they never really loosened up. I also forgot to bring any water to help me get down the gu I brought with me for about half way :( So I only got down about half of it and it seemed to just sit in my stomach - yuck. Around mile 6 or so I started to feel a small amount of pain/tightness in my right foot - like a 3 out of 10.. So I'm glad I have a week of general rest, a pt appointment, and a massage to help keep it in check. I think it was mostly due to the tightness of my calf pulling on my foot or something.
My over all time for the 8 or so miles was 68.45. I really tried to keep my pace constant even up the hills. I stretched out really well afterwards and have iced my foot between using a tennis ball to help loosen it up. Later tonight I plan on doing a few of the pt exercises.

Nov 16, 2006

pilates and running in the sun

So a recap of yesterday I wound up just doing a series of leg exercises focusing on the ones from pt. Then work got in the way so I took it easy the rest of the day.
Bright and early this morning I had my intro lesson to Pilate's with Beth in the studio that reminds me of a jungle gym or something. We started by going over my goals - which are very simply add Pilate's into my training to help target and balance my core and other muscle while helping to prevent injury. She approved :) Then she looked at my standing posture and where it looked like I needed to focus - bring my shoulders down and back, relax my traps, strengthen my lower abs and lastly to balance out my left and right sides. All of which I complete agreed with... Then we started doing some "exercises" - all very slow and controlled while pulling in my lower abs (with out squeezing my bottom). The exercises were so different from things I have done before that I have hard time remembering them or even describing them. lol Even yoga is a lot different. There was a lot of targeting the core, lower abs and pulling my shoulders back.. Afterwards I felt great - way more energy than what I woke up with even. Beth said that I would probably progress very quickly because I am very aware of my body, my strength may get in the way some because I'm so used to using larger muscles to compensate and that at the end my shoulders did look further back :) I signed up for another class on Tuesday of next week with her. I figure it would not hurt esp since if nothing else it might help my form for next Sunday.. Soo I would say I'm on my way to becoming addicted to another form of working out (like I'm not addicted to enough forms of exercises already).
Then I went for a 4 mile run in 35 min- I had 5 easy miles planned - but instead I found a good 4 mile loop with 1 mile gradual hill up and a 200 yrds steep hill. First off it was a gorgeous morning with the sun and kind of crisp. Just made me smile lol So I had a 1 mile warm up of rather flat running on 148th - really trying not to start to fast, keep an even pace through out.. Oh yeah and keep my shoulders back :) Then started up old Redmond road which is a gradual incline up to 140th then I took a left and it flattened out so I could recover until I took a left on 40th and went straight up a big hill (pretty equal to the one by the zoo that Colleen always makes me do). I did this hill twice - recovering on the way down. Then I headed back to the club for about a mile cool down (well trying to stay at the same pace as I started with). Then stretched out a bit. All in all I like the route - super convenient and a good variety of inclines (vs the trail which is just flat and boring now). To bad I had to go to work and could not just spend the whole day outside doing something - anything while the sun is out :) Luckily it is Thursday - one more day maybe the rain will hold off ;)

Nov 14, 2006

fun on the track

Tonight Colleen put me to the track... We did about a mile warm up (running to the track) - I think she said at 8.30 pace or so. I felt really good - well except the pasta I had for dinner had not fully digested. Anyway I felt rested and good. So then we got to the track - the goal was to do a 2 min 400 x 4 times and between we would run a loop kind of around the block and up the hill and back as a "rest". So I don't really know how to pace myself or I just have not been running long enough to know pace yet.. Anyway Colleen kept me on track and I did the 1st 400 at something like 1.50ish. I started to fast which was good because the other half there was a head wind - yuck. Then we went and rand down the street and up a hill then back down. Then the 400 again at 1.55ish. We repeated this 2 more times and I felt really good the entire time :) Then it was a "cool down" run back to the start. In all Colleen thought we ran about 5 miles and now I know I can run faster so it is just a matter of building my endurance up at the faster speeds. I think my goal for December is to be able to run hills and keep my heart rate in check and continue to build my base in general.

Times breakdown from Colleen
Warm-up 8:27 mile then 1:31 to track
Interval (1) 1:47 (2) 1:54 (3)1:56 (4) 1:53
Recovery (1) 7:17 (2) 7:12 (3) 7:15
Cool down 1:35 to the mile and last mile at 8:50
Total time 49:47

Nov 13, 2006


This morning I did 1750 yrd swim. It was rather quite this morning - had my own lane the entire time :) always a treat. I started with 350 warm up (the pool seemed extra cold this morning(and dirty but I tried to ignore that)). 300 yrds of drills - switch sides - fists - one arms (since I always have such a hard time with this one). Then I did 50 yrds - 100 - 150 with pull buoy - 200 - 200 - 100 x 4 - stretched out. I really focused on trying to swim faster and get everything out of each stroke (no lazy one's).
My shoulder was a bit sore/tired so I decided to split my work out into two - tonight I will do my arm/upper body strength stuff.

Nov 12, 2006

keeping everything in perspective

Yesterday I did a 6 mile run at race pace or faster. I ran with Kyle, Colleen and Bryan and they all run faster then me so to eaven stay some what close to them I had to really push myself to run faster. They were running about an 8 min mile and I was around 8.30. We ran around green lake and up by the zoo, which added some hills and even more challenge. Which is what I need since the Seattle Half is considered moderately hilly. In general it was a difficult run esp mentally - I was always behind teh group trying to catch up or keep up. It is really hard to keep it in perspective - I'm running with people who have run all their lives and I really did not start running till May 2206 and really did not run outside much till September of this year.. So I have to remember that I'm doing good and that it is ok not be able to keep up with everyone still. Which is exactly why I started training for IMC in Sept and even though it is really hard to not be in with the group it is really good that I'm even near the group. :)
After the run I did everything I could to not bonk - and it pretty much worked. I really liked the Endurox R4 recovery drink - the fruit punch was yummy and easy to drink after the run when I usually don't feel like eating. Though we went to see the Departed movie - which was very good but I clenched my jaw the whole time so I got a tension headache. At least I was able to sleep the entire night and did not wake up till 7am (which is sleeping in for me).
This morning my legs felt a little sore still so I bailed on going to hot yoga and instead went swimming. I planned on swimming about 1600yrds - but the pool was FILLED with little screaming children. I swam in the multi purpose pool till a group lesson started in the lane next to me and I just could not concentrate at all so I only wound up swimming for about 30 min and I lost track of the yrds. note to self don't go swimming on a Sunday at 10am. At least it was enough to warm up and stretch out a bit.
I signed up for a Plates class for December - Monday mornings - and for a private lesson this Thursday (only day one was open). I'm excited about that - I really hope it can help me balance out and stay injury free :)

Nov 10, 2006

all clear from pt

This morning my pt appointment went really well. I only have one appointment left and it is the week of the Seattle half just in case I need it loosened up or anything. In general Jenny(the physical therapist) said that since it does not really hurt at all when I run I should be just fine if I keep up my exercises and self massage.
So lets see what are my exercises. lol - I do all the exercises bare foot to really help with strengthening my foot and it seems to make them a lot harder.
Massage foot
Stretch calves
Two footed jumps on balance pad landing on toes then rolling the rest of the foot down 2 sets x 25
Squats balancing on the ball of foot on a long foam roll cut in half 2 sets x 25
One foot balance on disc tossing weighted ball 3 sets x 25
Calf raises 2 x 25
One legged squats with small weighted ball placing it around circle around and back x 3 times
One foot on a disc one with resistance pulley facing each direction x 25
Side to side jumps landing only on one leg 2 x 25
Clam shells 2 x 50 or to fatigue
Scrunch towel with toes to fatigue
Pick up things with toes to fatigue
Spread and contract toes with out bending to fatigue
I think that covers it all.. In general I'm happy that it is healing I just hope it does not come back to bother me ;) I have to stay on top of it I guess I'm looking forward to the day when it is not a concern. :)

Nov 9, 2006

60 second tempo

Once it became light enough I went out in the rain and ran 4 miles with 4 X 60 second tempo intervals in 35.12. I started at Marymoore park - the trail was super slippery with the rain and all the leaves - a couple times my feet slipped out from underneath me but I never fell thank fully. I'm not sure why it was soo slippery but oh well.. I felt pretty good though a little cautious and no pain in my foot :) All in all it was a fun morning which helped wake me up for the day.

Nov 8, 2006

500yrd swim

Last night Colleen swam with me. The plan was to do a 500yrd time trial of sorts to see where I stood and what my goal times should be for 100yrds. I started with 300yrd warm up - 250yrds of drills - 150 yrd with the pull buoy - 500 yrds in 10:35 - 100 yrs x 3-4 - then cool down 50yrds. (or something like that) I was surprised that the 500yrd was not too hard - yes it was tiring but I was able to just keep going and going.My time was alright; Colleen finished 75-50 yrds ahead of me :) But hey I did not drown :) Now just like in my running I need to work on speeding up..

Nov 7, 2006

more rain

I still feel kind of tired so I did a really easy 60 min spinning. I just kept my cadance up at around 100 the entire time which was actually harder than doing intervals I think. But it felt good. I streched out really well and did some abs afterwards. Maybe it is the rain and everything but I feel like just hanging out at home in my pajamas today. lol Oh well

Nov 6, 2006

dark and rainy day

I slept in this morning and postponed my 3 mile run till after work. Which was very nice and needed. Since it is pouring rain and very dark I did my run on the treadmill. Maybe it was that I 'm still a bit out of it or something but it felt like it took forever and I got bored really fast. I did the 3 miles in 27 min. My legs felt a bit tight and heavy esp my calves and hips. I stretched out and did a really quick arm work out.

Nov 5, 2006

12 mile run in the rain

Yesterday Colleen, Bryan, Kyle and I headed out to the Snoqualmie Valley trail in the pouring rain. I planned on running 12 miles, and Colleen and Brian were doing more like 16 or something. Kyle rode his mountain bike and carried water for 12 miles then ran the last 4 with Colleen. Other than the pouring rain and some wind on the way out it was great pretty nice - lots of fall color and stuff. Even though I went to bed the night before at a good time and ate I generally felt tired. Colleen and Bryan pulled away from me rather quickly - i usually could keep Bryan somewhat in my sights. My legs just did not want to go very fast so I ran rather slow exactly 60 min to the turn around point so probably 10 min miles. The way back I was a bit slower 66 min. But I did run the 12 miles which is the longest I have ever run. Even though I was going slow I felt pretty good no aches or pains really - my foot was like a 1-2 out of 10. I just everything in perspective and kept going. I was pleased at how well I kept going and stayed positive the whole way - just enjoying myself. next thing is to do the same but run faster lol.
I did eat and drank something after this run but I guess not enough at dinner I had a slight headache (not to much nausea) but I ate all my food. It took me a bit to get to sleep and then I woke up at 4am and could not get back to sleep. I don't feel sleepy now either. My muscles feel a bit tight but nothing really hurts. I guess I need to still work on eating more right away - even if I'm not hungry or feel like it.

Nov 3, 2006

everyone decided to swim this morning

I had a hard time getting out of bed but once I made it though my warm up I felt better - well and after a gu and some Gatorade on the way to the gym. I stuck to the workout plan (even the rest times). The only thing was I did one of the 100yrd sets with a pull buoy and kicking with a kick board hurt my shoulder so I kicked on my back which also let me relax my neck and back a bit more to.

1800 swim workout = 55.42.41 total swim time (I can't figure out how to get my lap times off my watch lol)
w/u 250 (100swim, 50 kick, 100 pull buoy)
1 X 300 yds, 1 minute rest
2 X 150 yds, 45 sec rest
3 x 100 yds 30 sec rest
4 X 50 yds 15 sec rest
4 X 50 yds kicks
cool down 150

I'm a bit tired but I'm going to try to refuel really well and go to bed early so I have energy for tomorrows run.

Nov 2, 2006

spinning + pt

Last night I did 60 min of spinning though I did not fallow along with the class. The instructor is kind of weird and to much for me so I did my own thing. I did intervals of high cadence of 100+ then a hill climb then single leg for a min each - I did this 3 times then 5 min cool down and stretch. I felt pretty good. My legs were a bit tired from the run and from pt stuff. My calves were still pretty tight so I stretched them a lot.
This morning I had pt so more of the single leg balance stuff with lots of hip exercise. My calves were tight still but not as bad. Esp my left which I think was mostly due to rolling my ankle the other night. The wobble in my right running shoe is getting worse so I think I might go get a new pair this week and see if that might help... I don't know if a different model might be better - right now I'm in the GT-2110. I mean my foot does feel a lot better lately but it won't go away and I want it to. :)

Nov 1, 2006

long day

I started the day at 5:30am so that I could get my upper body work out in before my pt appointment at 6:30am. Pt was good she really is trying to challenge me which is great. All sorts of one foot balance things to help strengthen my foot and leg. It was fun.
In the evening I met Colleen and Bryan for a 5 mile run from her place down and around green lake and back up. It was already dark and cold when we started. I rolled my ankle only about 2 blocks into the run - I was able etokeep going but my lower calf stayed tight the rest of the run. This morning it is still sore and tight esp when I'm barefoot and I even noticed it while I was swimming. But I would say only a 2-3 out of 10... Other than that I felt pretty good a little tired by the last bit running back up to Col's house. In general I was pleased with how I felt and did - esp since I would say I barely felt the pain in my right foot. :) Thankfully we all went out to dinner afterwards so no bonking like on Saturday..
This morning I did an easy 30 min swim - I only did two drills and just did laps. I felt good a little tired, and as I mentioned before my left ankle felt sore. I stretched everything out afterwards which felt really good. :)