Showing posts from January, 2007

Month Drawing to a Close...

Just by writing that title, it's obvious I'm tired, isn't it? After all, there are six (6!) full days of potential workouts left this month but it kind of sounds like I'm phoning it in... I didn't realize how much I worked out this month until I took a quick look at my logs this morning... So far in January, I've run 74 miles - my second longest month so far (and the first longest had a half-marathon in it) and *if* I run 3 more days this month, it'll be my longest month ever. Including bike, swimming and elliptical workouts, I've worked out twenty of the 26 days so far. My next greatest month was 18! So, all in all, January was a month of really turning up the activity (for a guy who just started working out last July). Things will get a bit interesting as today marks 90 days until my first triathlon. Given that it's a sprint distance, I have zero fear about completing it -- truth is, I could do that today. However, I'm going to need mor

Going Slower to Get Faster

Pushed myself on today’s tempo run - a 6.23 mile effort in 49:50 for exactly an 8:00 pace. What was interesting was that I’ve equaled my December distance, but did it fourteen minutes faster than I did that month… which translates to an average of 19 seconds faster per mile. What’s more interesting, though, looking at the graph is that I’ve actually had fewer tempo runs in January (the burgundy), which means that most of the improvement has actually come in running my slower runs quicker. Or - if we want to be critical - it could mean that I’m not slowing down as much as I should on the easier runs, either. All in all, though, no complaints for the month, which has also included a fair amount of cycling… for the yuckiest month of the year, it’s a good base month.

Market to Diabetics, Sure - But Market to Insurance Companies First...

Interesting article in the LA Times about the dLife television show and why some companies are flocking to market to diabetics and how some people think that's a bad thing. I've got no problem with companies buying ad space on dLife or marketing to me anyway they want to. Here's the thing: they should first start by marketing to my insurance company. Guess which insulin pump I wear? The only one my insurance company would pay for. Wonder which blood sugar meter I use? The one the same company pays a huge chunk towards the strips for. It's cool to run tv ads for your products but if your audience ain't allowed to buy them, what's the point? Keep in mind, I happen to have very good insurance, too.

Chi Running - Painless, My Butt!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've been reading Chi Running - trying to adapt some of its methods to my gait. I'm doing this because I'd like to have a bit less ache in my body. Well, after three Chi runs, I'm more sore then I've been in some time. Curiously, all of this relaxing is making my muscles tense. Now before the Chi fanatics start e-mailing me, I'm 100% certain that the fault lies not with the technique, but rather with the practitioner, and since I think that the stuff "makes sense," I'll keep it up, but holy heck - this hurts.

Zippy 10k

I did a 10k over lunch today (actually 6.23 miles). I've done this course three times before and today was the first time I broke 50 minutes on it (barely). Just two weeks ago, I did it 90 seconds slower. It's a very hilly course and it was a great workout. A mile into it, some type of shin-related muscle was hurting so I stopped and stretched it. I've noticed on bike rides that when I stop at a stop sign, the time clock stops, so I figured what the hell and did it here... so technically I didn't do the whole work-out under fifty minutes, but I'd call it close enough for government work. I picked up a copy of Chi Running yesterday and though I'm just starting it, I worked hard to relax my limbs throughout the run. So far, so good. The effort felt somewhat easier than other tempo runs, which is always a good thing.

Easy Does It....

I've been obsessing about my "easy" runs a bit of late: am I doing enough of them or too much? Am I doing them slow enough or too fast? This is a graph of all of the runs I've tagged as "easy" in the past six months. I see two trends: a. My easy runs are getting faster. b. I'm tagging fewer runs as "easy." I'm not overly concerned with A. But B I'm not so sure about. While it's true I'm doing fewer easy runs, I'm also doing some easy cycling days (which don't show up on this graph).

Not that I'm a nutritionist....

.. but I have a first-hand story about how exercise may help with fat metabolism. Going to a steak-house is an interesting thing for a diabetic on an insulin pump. Generally speaking, you tell your insulin pump how many carbohydrates you're eating and the insulin processes the carbs. In a steak-house, though, the typical platter (and the one I ordered last night) is very low in carbs, which would mean that you would take dramatically less insulin. However, the fat in the steak causes insulin to not work as well, which means that you still have to take insulin - a bit less than a typical hard-laden meal, but way more than your typical "low-carb" meal. (Finally, you spread the insulin out over a period of time because it takes your body longer to metabolize higher fat meals.) Last night, though, my body processed a relatively fatty (and yummy) ribeye steak faster and with less insulin than it would've before I started working out regularly (seven months ago). Blood suga

On VDOT Training, Being All You Can Be

So I've been looking up info. on VDOT calculators... While I like the McMillan calculator "better," VDOT charts are better for seeing where you want to go next.. or ultimately... for that matter. As you can see here , my current VDOT number is 43. I've heard quoted - though I really need to read more to see if it's true- that you can improve your VDOT number 1 number for every 4-6 weeks of hard training (until, of course, one hits their own wall). Looking at a full VDOT chart , I think that number is probably about right. Consider: I did a 26:14 5k on 8/27/06. VDOT: 36 I did a 1:54 1/2 Marathon on 9/27/06. VDOT: 38 I did a 39:20 5 Mile on 11/10/06: VDOT: 40 I did a 22:37 5k on 12/10/06: VDOT: 43 So, we see I actually improved "2" most four week periods, and an impressive 3 between my 11/10 performance and my 12/10 performance. But the reality is that a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (ok - 15 years ago, high school and college), I had VDOT perf

On the Virtues of Cross-Training, and the Monster in My Basement...

So on the first mile of tonight's run my shin felt kind of tight... not awful tight, mind you, but kind of tight... but with a perfectly good Cannondale in the basement and a nice 7.5 mile run just two days ago, I figured I'd relax in the basement on the bike - maybe watch an episode of the Shield. But I forgot Coach Troy was down there... and damned if he didn't make me do the entire hour of the Time Trial DVD. And damned if he didn't get me to turn up the tension on my trainer a bit, too. And damned if I'm not tired now. Tomorrow I have a business dinner at a big steak house... which means if I workout, it'll be on the bike again, late tomorrow night... there was no way I was going to meet up with Coach Troy with a porterhouse in my belly. So if I workout tomorrow, it'll be a "Shield"-ride. Wednesday, I'll test the shin out again... this getting old sux. The workouts go great until I turn up the intensity... lots of two steps forward, 1 ste

And on the 8th day, he rested.....

I have a personal gripe: workout logs that include blog posts about rest days. Really, does it much matter when people aren't doing something? Isn't this the antithesis of news? And yet - here I am, telling you that today, I'm doing nothing requiring copious exertion. Looking at the log, I see I've worked out seven days in a row, which is my longest string to date. Truth is, I'm not feeling that bad, but I've noticed that recovery at 35 is considerably different than recovery at 22, so I think 7 days is long enough. Yesterday was a nice 10k in 51 minutes, which sounds like it should've been an *easy* run, but the three monster hills in it made it a tempo-effort workout. Weight loss seems to have stopped, which is fine. I never started this to lose weight and before I started would've told you that losing five pounds would've been cool. I've lost ten now but people that know me think it's much more - likely a realignment of parts and stuff.

Easy, Peasy, Japanesy....

One of the easiest ways to monitor fitness is the pace at which one does an "easy" workout. These are the workouts that you finished feeling refreshed, happy and lively - as opposed to the ones where you feel beaten, broken and worthless... Last night marked a new level for me, as I polished off a 10k training run in just over 51 minutes, which translates to about 8:07 a mile... But what was special about this was that I was able to put in my training run as an "easy" run. Truth be told, it wasn't 100% easy... there were a few moments when deep conversation wouldn't have been appreciated, had anyone asked, but still, it was mostly an easy workout. When I was at the top of my game, back in '89 (ouch), I could do a ten-mile run at 7:00 pace and not break a sweat, so that's kind of "the bar" I've set for myself. And while it's hard to imagine getting there again, six months ago I couldn't imagine getting to an easy 8:07, either. R

On Fear...

Every few days, I get scared of going down in the basement. No, I'm not scared of monsters under the steps, or even the pilot light on the furnace. But every third day, I've got sixty minutes planned with Coach Troy and his Time Trial Special DVD . I knew when I put this item on my Christmas list that it would be a challenging workout, but holy crap, is it hard! It's got one leg drills, two brutal ladders, a superspin and something else and they all put a wicked hurting on me. Truth is, the first time I tried the workout, I had to pack it in just past the half-way point. Last night, I managed to do the whole thing. But I'm still not looking forward to going down in the basement later this week. I'm certain indoor training on bicycles is used for torture in some countries - it's much more brutal than even elliptical trainers. The good news is that it's hard to be bored when you're in so much pain.


Why have them? I'm a big fan of goals, but to be honest my Jan. 1 resolutions don't tend to stick any better (or worse) than any other time. The wife puts this one pretty well - she was pleased how her '06 turned out and wants to do just "more of the same, but better" for '07. That should be enough to keep her in top-shelf wife category. Still, it's the day for them, so I'll roll out some '07 goals here, though truth be told, they were in place before today, so I'm kind of cheating: Athletically: * 3 triathlons this year - sprint-lengths in April and May, and an Olympic length in Sept. in Lancaster. * Run the Lancaster Red Rose Run for the first time since '88. (Back then, I did it in 33 something... in a perfect world, I'll get under 35, but that's a stretch goal.) * If the late summer proves to be injury-free, I might ramp up and give a fall marathon a try... but I'm hardly an injury free runner, so that's a goal to be nam