blueollie

Finding the happy medium

Today: my 4.15 mile walk in 56:45, which had a 13:58 first mile (plus) then a 13:16 finish; 29:30 middle part. pace: 13:42 or thereabouts.

I skipped leg weights as I might do a spandex chase tomorrow..in fact, I am planning on it.

It is too soon to say how my training is progressing. I notice that my walks have gotten better and I am feeling it more in my butt; I wonder if that is a consequence of my goblet squats? Time will tell.

I’ll say something else: I may have gone overboard in “taking it easy”. Either I ran/walked sans the watch, or I did a race/speed workout.

I am finding that I need to do a few “in between intensity” workouts too: workouts that involve running or walking at a “deliberate but not hard” effort. There is a place for a leisurely stroll/jog but I can fall into the trap of only “leisurely ” or “race pace”. I need to do some medium effort stuff, like today.

April 21, 2017 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Not giving up on a workout too early

I decided to try to run outside. And my first .25 miles were TERRIBLE; it was almost as if I could barely breathe and my legs felt like lead. I even walked a few steps.
But I stayed with my shuffle and made it to the first downhill section (Bradley Park) and by then, I had started to sweat and all was good from there out.
For some reason, there are days when the first mile feels like death.

The weather was pretty and I did my “jog, then run up the hills “hard” (say, 1 mile race intensity), walk a few steps to recover, jog and repeat. So I did 6 “hard” repetitions total and I even timed my final hill: 2:10 (better than any of my repetitions a week ago). This was from the gate in lower Bradley park to the parking lot entrance in upper Bradley Park. The whole workout took 1:02 to do (5.1 miles) and I am glad I stuck with it.

By the way: in statistics class, I am teaching about ANOVA. I used my own 5K run data from 2012 to now; my slowdown is about 20-25 seconds for the 5K per year. That adds up and seems to fit back to the late 1990’s.

Grading on a curve
I joked with my wife about the following: if she posts that she, say, finished a 4 mile walk at, say, an 18-19 minute per mile pace (she is, well, “elderly”..though it is hard for me to think of her that way), get gets 100+ “likes” and tons of complements (“you go girl”, etc.). If I post that I finished a marathon, MY FB friends critique my time and give consolation if it is worse than expected, kudos if it is better than expected.

Why I mention this: I have a FB friend that I’ve grown quite fond of. But she has serious injury history; I jokingly referred to her as “Humpty-Dumpty”. She finished a mile walk and I was genuinely overjoyed; I like her and love it that she is working toward taking care of herself and pushing through some pain to do so. So my praise WAS genuine, even if it was less than what my wife can currently do.

And we had a talk about having a “1 mile body but a 6 mile mind”; pre-injury she could easily walk 14 miles (albeit many years ago).

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running | | Leave a comment

Dreaming on the treadmill

Today’s workout was a routine 5.1 miles in 1 hour on the treadmill (slow run); this past weekend’s workouts left me a bit sore and stiff. But once I kicked myself into doing the first 10 minutes, I was fine. We had lightning outside so I stayed indoors.

While on the treadmill I daydreamed of hypothetical races to come…many of which I won’t actually attempt.

Funny..I remember the elation of success but rarely the pain of performance and the disappointment of failure. In my daydreams, I push through the pain of the final mile of a 5K, do not get sick during an ultra, do not blister up or get sick in the final 10K of a marathon, etc.

Reality: much different. Much different.

So about making those dreams a reality: that is part of the frustration of aging.

1. What worked 20 years ago…hell, even 5 years ago, doesn’t work anymore. My mix of workouts needs to be different and I need more recovery between hard efforts and races.
2. My capacity has diminished …but to what extent and due to what factors? I know that the extra 10 pounds I am carrying hurts me, but I know that losing 10 pounds won’t get me to a 22 minute 5K of a 3:50 marathon. What is realistic for me? Is walking sub 5:20 for a marathon realistic, at all?
3. I have to choose, now more than ever. Of course, a better bench press means slower running times, but even with that, a focus on an ultra means a slower 5K run, etc.
4. Attitude: I have less patience with the pain of intensity than I once did. I was never mentally tough, but I am even weaker now.
5. Physical reality: I can’t make a potentially muddy trail ultra a goal race any longer; I have to choose events that suit my current limitations.

But part of the fun is finding a winning formula and executing that plan.

April 10, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Allergies, colds and enforced humility

For the past couple of days, my eyes have watered, nose runny (TMI) and I have felt ..sort of yucky. But my workouts have been ok. Last night’s exercise class was fine (decent challenge actually) and today I did weights then my usual “short, sweet” 2 mile treadmill run where I run the first mile in about 11 minutes; second one in about 8:45 or so (my current 5K pace). I usually finish feeling refreshed and today was no exception.

So I thought: ok…not bad…then I remembered October, 2000:

OLLIE NANYES (M41) 3:38:12 91 85 / 18 M40-44 PEORIA, IL, USA (91 of 400)

That’s an 8:19 pace.

Yep, I was happy, though I was well aware that 90 people were faster, and that the winner was done BEFORE I got to mile 20. Since there was an “out and back” segment, I got to see some of the faster runners on their way back.

Nevertheless: I’d be delighted if I could average 8:19 for a 5K this year; I did that a couple of times last year. My last sub 25 was in 2014. That might well have been my final one, ever.

Well, F*CK ME DEAD. Ok, no…I still can run, workout, chase cute spandex (though cute, SLOW spandex..can’t catch the faster spandex anymore).

Workout notes: weights plus the aforementioned 2 mile run:

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10).
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
dumbbell military (standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
incline (Hammer Machine) 2 sets of 10 x 140 (70 each arm)
headstand (went ok)

Run: 10 minutes (2 at 5.2, up .1 mph every 2 minutes), 2:30: (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7 for 1:30, 7.1 for final minute) 19:41 for 2 miles, 2.03 total.

Now to dig myself out under a whole pile of grading.

March 23, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Feeling my age: no “wife carrying” competition for me

Workout notes: 5 mile shuffle; 50 and drizzling. Really, that isn’t that bad for this time of year.

Age: The first sign that age was affecting me was back when I was getting close to 40; I tried a series of mile races and found that I actually had to work hard and train to get under 6 minutes (it was routine for me up until I turned 39 or so). I noticed that my 5K times were stuck at just under 21 minutes, though I improved to 1:34 for the half marathon.

But I switched to ultra walking; and that hid my decline a bit. The first time it really, really hit me was in 2009 after I had just turned 50. I was doing a hilly trail 30 mile walk and found myself really suffering in the final 8 miles or so; I strained, strained, strained to stay ahead of a pack of guys and wasn’t able to.

So at the “5 miles to go” aid station I lamented that I couldn’t hold the guys off…that the final set of hills was just killing me. Another ultra type (my age) said “remember that they (the guys I was trying to beat) are 30 years younger than you are.” THAT is when it hit me.

I was to get my knee repaired in 2010 (bucket handle tear in my meniscus) and when I finally got back into it, I was never quite the same. The knee does NOT hurt so I am glad that I had the surgery, but running and walking distances has gotten progressively harder since then.

Oddly enough, weights are still not that bad. I am weak (bench press: 5 reps with 185-190, 8-10 with 170; sets of 10-15 pullups until I get to 50 total) but not getting that much weaker.

And then I saw this:

And I thought: “well, if only I had a slender wife…” but in reality, that wouldn’t really help me. Back in, say, 1998-1999 I might have been able to pull this off with a smaller running friend, but no longer.

And, if the guy is strong enough (and I am not), the wife doesn’t always have to be THAT small (middle 2 photos).

wifecarry1

wifecarry2

wifecarry3

02 Jul 2011, Sonkajärvi, Finland --- epa02806849 USA couple David and Lacey Castro make their way through the water hazard during The 16th Wife Carrying Championships 02 July 2011 in Sonkajaervi,Finland. They finished fifth. EPA/MARKKU OJALA FINLAND OUT --- Image by © MARKKU OJALA/epa/Corbis

02 Jul 2011, Sonkajärvi, Finland — epa02806849 USA couple David and Lacey Castro make their way through the water hazard during The 16th Wife Carrying Championships 02 July 2011 in Sonkajaervi,Finland. They finished fifth. EPA/MARKKU OJALA FINLAND OUT — Image by © MARKKU OJALA/epa/Corbis

March 6, 2017 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Sore butt but…

This is not “butt hurt” in the metaphorical sense but rather “sore gluteal” muscles.

I’ve been trying to do squats

cassiesquat

Main sets 4-5 sets of 5 with 45-50 lbs. done in this style. Lately, I’ve been getting more depth; I am getting below parallel now. In the past, I’ve overdone it and pulled a muscle. So I am approaching it slowly and yesterday’s sets left me a bit sore.

So today’s warm up was a bit sluggish; I felt tugs and pings at first. But eventually I warmed up and I did my “sprint the hills” workout…jogging and deliberately walking a few steps prior to each hill rep and walking a few steps after. If I can keep running after cresting the hill, I did not do the hill hard enough.

The idea is to feel “mile race” intensity during each rep (6 in all; one is a flat rep from the bottom of Cornstalk hill to the parking lot)

When I got going, I was fine. But I wonder if I went hard enough? The total is 5.1 miles and it took me about 1:04-1:05 to finish it all.

We’ll see where this leads; my guess is that stronger gluteal muscles will lead to fewer problems with my back. And the next time my yoga teacher yells “nice ass” at me…maybe she’ll be actually telling the truth? 🙂 Nah.

February 15, 2017 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Short but sweet…and painful ….indoor workouts

Winter is coming; we will have the usual snow, sleet and cold. That is typical for this time of year. And yes, I already did my usual blood donation, so my aerobic capacity is down.

And yes, I am dealing with the effects of aging; while I might run faster, say, this week than last week, my running times from a decade ago are all but impossible for me to meet. And there is the fact that I’ve had some injuries too.

But at times, I get the feeling that “I just can’t get “into shape”, no matter what I do!”.

The same applies for swimming (which I need to get back to) and lifting (which I do regularly).

This year: I am going to try to reclaim a bit of 5K “speed” (can’t say that with a straight face) which means doing some indoor workouts. I’ll also have to have, say, a “once a week” “sort of long” run (1:30 to 2 hours).

But what about the intense stuff? These typically take less than 1 hour to do, even with the “loosen my back” stuff to start with.

Yesterday, I did the “Deek” workout (which is one of the favorites of Robert De Castella, a famous marathon runner)

Warm up (1 mile on the treadmill works)
8 x 400 at a 5K effort pace, with 200 run between 800’s..NO WALKING..this 200 should be at my “basic training pace”, 200 to make 5K. My time was 30:44; typically I am about 2-3 minutes slower than my 5K race pace. I could do this in 22-23 when I was running a 20 minute 5K, and 26-27 minutes when I was running 24 minute 5K races
cool down.

Others: warm up, a few strides, 1 mile HARD, cool down (track)

warm up: then 3-5 of the following on the treadmill: (2.5 minutes at increasing speeds (6.7, 7.0, 7.5, then 6.0 for 2.5 in my 25 minute 5K days), cool down. or
warm up: then 3-5 of starting at a tempoish pace (say 6.3-6.5 mph) and doing the following elevation changes: (1-2-3-4-0), cool down

Anything to mix it up and not make it too emotionally tough. 🙂

December 10, 2016 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

building back up…

Workout notes: treadmill: 10 minutes of warm up (4 at 5.2, 4 at 5.3, 2 at 5.4), then 20 at 6.7, 6 at 6.8, 1:52 at 6.9, 15 minute mile walk to cool down (52:52).
Technically: 3.128 miles in 27:52 or 8:54 mpm, very close to what I averaged for the race this past Thanksgiving.

But it was easier as it was indoor (0.5 elevation) and I started out a bit slower.

Then I did some light leg stuff, (goblet squats, dumbbell lunges); some of the stuff I discussed with Mama T this past Sunday. My left hamstring has a very minor ping.

What should my goals be? A 24:00 5K at 49 years of age (my 2009 best) translates to 25:38 at 57; I was in the 25:50’s this year at my best. Ah…that is doable. Going under 25 …ugh..going to have to work hard for that.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Congratulations to us for not being out there shopping…

Yes, that is what one lady said as she ran past me out on the Riverfront trail. I was out for an easy 5 mile walk on a gray, but seasonal day…after lifting weights.

One my way back to the locker room, I heard two Trump supporters talking; one mentioned that he hoped that Trump’s 35 percent tariff would “bring back manufacturing”.

The walk: I was thinking about running but my legs said “no way”. Building back up is going to be a long process.

The gym was not crowded at all.

Bodyweight (after weights, before walking) 191.7 on the Riverplex gym scale

Rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then one 5-5 where I switched grip)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170 (strong)
incline press: 10 x 135
military presses: 2 sets of 8 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 180 machine.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm.
headstand (shaky), 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches

Running: from yesterday’s waddle:

cantcatchthem

I wanted to catch these two women who beat me by 11 seconds (by the clock, 3 seconds by the chip). And I wanted to catch the gray beard (10 years older than I) who beat me by a few seconds. No dice.

chocolateturkey20161

What gives? I haven’t done those 1:30 runs that give me strength, nor those steady, good effort 1-1:10 runs. Everything, save one little tempoish run a week has been at recovery pace, and not much of that.

Plans: I think that it is time for me to focus on getting some 5K “speed” back and not worry about distance for a while.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Damned course keeps getting longer every year (Chocolate Turkey run)

Ok, I did the Peoria Chocolate Turkey Race again, and did it slower than ever: 26:54 for 3 miles: 8:48, 8:47, 9:20. Yes, that last split was for a mile, not 1.1 miles. I faded; I could tell by how much I got passed. Oh, I could make an excuse; I was tracking a MILF who was rocking some cute VPLs and she stopped to tie her shoe..and that took away some of my spirit. But mostly, my legs were getting heavy.

chocolateturkey2016

My place wasn’t terrible; almost upper 1/3 of my 50-59 age group (I am 57), just better than half of all males and a bit better than upper 1/3 overall. That is what happens at large races.

And yes, this was simply a glorious day to run (high 30’s, no rain, usually that means a fast time for me).

Highlight of the race: as I was warming up, a nice looking lady yelled “nice ass” as I ran past. Those who know me well know who yelled that.

2013 24:56
2014 24:53
201526:02
2016 26:54

Note: the race has grown steadily; over 800 finishers this year; just 187 the first year, then 400 then 610.

No, it isn’t all age; I’ve gained a few pounds…and am lifting heavier weights than I could a few years ago. Bodyweight: 193.0 Bradley gym; 194.5 home digital.

The other factor is that in the two “slower” years, I did a marathon in the fall. I did NOT do one in the two “faster” years (did a spring marathon or longer instead).

November 24, 2016 Posted by | running | , , | Leave a comment