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Well, today I made it back to my group for the first time since early December. It was great to see everyone again, although it was dark so I'm not sure how much I saw. It was great to talk with them again and get caught up on things. I'd spent the last several weeks cross-training and running very short intervals, just trying to get my form better and mainly trying to retrain myself to feel more relaxed when I run. It's a slow process but I think I'm getting there. I had been carrying a lot of tension and tightness in my shoulders and upper body which was making it painful to run, so my goal for the past several weeks was to retrain my muscles to feel relaxed automatically. I found out today I still need to think about it, things are not automatic yet, but it is getting better. I ran 4 miles with them, and then when we got back to where the cars were I decided to stop because I didn't want to have too much fun my first time back. Except for some slight soreness in my shins, it was a good run. Even the snow and wind wasn't too bad.
Personal training day, form and strength work. It was fun as always.
Ok, so I got up about 4:30 to go running with the group, went out and got my newspaper and saw that it was a red day as far as air quality goes. I think I was just looking for an excuse to go back to bed, because I convinced myself I didn't want to run in bad air, and that's what I did, I went back to bed with the intention of working out later. Well, "later" never seemed to really come. I did do 15 minutes on the stationary bike, plus I played a little church basketball tonight. I ran extra hard in the game to make up for my earlier laziness. I play basketball mainly just to practice fast running, how we do is secondary. Maybe that's why we lost by 4 points, I need to make winning the priority. Or maybe we lost because the other team had an almost professional sharp shooter on their team, so to only lose by 4 was really a victory in a way.
I got up early--4:45 and went to the Rec Center and to Lisa's class. We spun, we run, we kick boxed, we jumped, we lifted weights. I like her class because I get in positions I rarely ever get in. I use muscles that normally lie dormant. Hopefully that will have keep me more in balance.
I met some members of the group at 7am at a park in Bluffdale. Michelle N. lead us in a run of the Bluffdale 10K. This was the longest I've run in about two months. I was pleased that I was able to keep up and the pace of an average of 8:40 didn't seem too difficult. I left after that, most of the others went on to run the Bluffdale 5k. I drove to the hill by the Daybreak Temple and ran some sprints there. Trying to do more hills to become stronger. Overall, it was fun running and I felt pretty good afterwards.
I ran for 30 minutes outside on the canal road. It was a pretty nice day today. Then I went back inside to the treadmill and did a little more running.
The group met at Daybreak today, actually at Country Crossing Park. It looked like a big group met at 5:15 when I pulled up for the 5:45 part. Aaron was in charge today, but it turned out that we kind of divided into groups and just kind of ran with them for the most part. I spent part of the run talking with Mike and Peggy and Lisa, then I spent the last part talking with Debbie about her kids, especially her older son. I felt too tight today in my upper body. I keep thinking I'm getting better about running more relaxed, then I have a day like today where I just feel tight the entire time. Something's gotta give!
Two workouts today. My main priority right now isn't getting in a lot of miles, but getting my form more efficient, smooth and relaxed (like Sasha says an Ethiopian looks like when they run). So the first part of the workout I spent on my treadmill doing one minute runs where the main idea was to feel "efficient, smooth and relaxed." If I started feeling too tight, I had to adjust until I felt relaxed or I had to stop. That went pretty well. If I could just feel that way for more than one minute, though, that would help a lot.
Then, for part two: I promised my ten year old while he was off track that we would do something different and fun. He decided he wanted to go to St. George for a few days. So we headed down there this afternoon, and arrived about 5:30. Very nice day in St. George, I was able to walk around outside in the evening in a short sleeve shirt and felt fine. I can see why people become snow birds, I may very well become one in a few years, when I officially reach senior citizen status. Anyway, I got on the hotel's treadmill, and I was able to see my reflection in their windows so I was able to see my form better. I felt like I was running with the correct form for once because I was able to see how I looked. It looked right and it felt right, so I was happy about that. Now to duplicate that when I run outside and can't see how I look. I need to run only where there are mirrors all around.
Ok, now that I'm going to be more consistently running, I'm going to more consistently blog. Today the group met at Centennial Park in Riverton. We warmed up together for a little ways, then we broke up into two groups, the ones wanting to do real speed, and the others who wanted to ease into speed. I chose the ease into speed group. We ran for a while, then threw in some faster pick-ups. We made it back to the park, then ran the loop again, this time just running, no faster pick-ups. I was running along, enjoying talking with Michelle and Kelli, then here comes Eric running fast, so I took up with him and we pushed it back to the park. It was kind of fun to kind of open things up.
Because my main goal now is to get my form "smoother and more efficient," I think I'm going to give myself a grade on that each time. When I first start out running, things feel tight and not very smooth and efficient. But as I warm up, things get better. Today I concentrated on keeping my upper body relaxed. That is a constant struggle because I've programmed myself over years to be way too tight there. I would give myself a B for that, not as tight as I've been lately, but it still needs work. I also worked on the feeling of gliding back on the "kick-back" part of the stride. It felt better as the run went along, and by the end was actually pretty good. Higher knees still needs work. Overall a B for form for today's run.
Today I did a rolling hill workout on the treadmill. I changed the incline throughout, going up to 12% at times, then down to a decline, then back up to whatever incline I felt like. I read in Running Times that some coach out there thinks rolling hills are the best workout for marathon runners, so that's what gave me the idea to do what I did today. I kept the speed very slow, it was overall a good run, not too demanding.
Today the group met at Julie's house. It was raining a little when I left my house at 5:30. I was tempted to just drive to the Rec Center and do a workout there, but I knew I wouldn't get as good of a workout as I get with the group, nor would it be nearly as much fun, so I drove on and met the group. I made the right decision, the weather was very nice, if it was raining at all, it wasn't very much. After the warm-up, I ran in shorts and a t-shirt and was very comfortable. We ran three miles for the main workout. Cheris said she was going to take the first mile fast, the second slower, the third fast, so I decided to do that. My times were: 7:32, 8:09, and 7:20 for the three miles. I was pretty happy with those times, because I haven't really done any big time running for a couple of months, so to have two miles in the 7 minute range I thought was pretty good. Now if I could just get my times closer to 7 minutes flat, I would be quite happy because that would show real progress. It was fun, I felt pretty good, felt like my form was good, the relaxation part is going better, plus the working on the extension feeling more like gliding felt pretty good today, after the warm-up. Things are always very tight at first, then I loosen up as we go along.
I got up early for Lisa's class at the Rec Center. I really wanted to stay in bed, but that's what I did last week, and I felt bad all day about doing that. Once I got to the Rec Center, I'm glad my less lazy side won. The class was fun, as always. I like that we do things I normally don't do, always feel like it's a good workout. Later I ran for 15 minutes barefoot on my treadmill. I kept the speed slow and enjoyed it.
I was having a delivery of appliances sometime between 8 and 12 today, so I thought I would meet some group members at 7:00 and run for about an hour, then go home and wait for the delivery. We met at Dean's house, I ran 5 miles, made it home at 7:57, found out the delivery came at 7:30 but they couldn't set anything up because I wasn't there, so called them back up and they came back and took care of everything. Why do they say between 8 and 12 and then come at 7:30? Later I put in a few more easy miles on the treadmill.
The day started at 5:30 with going to Lisa's class at the Rec Center. We biked and then did cardio on the step and bosu ball. I liked doing the balance work. Then we did upper body and core stuff, and it was done. Good workout as always. Then I came home and ran a little slowly on the treadmill, then it was off to my running technique session at TOSH. She worked me hard today, in fact, I semi fell off the treadmill. That has never happened there for me before. I have fallen on my home treadmill once or twice. Fortunately, I was just a little skinned up, nothing too major. Still working on getting the running form right; it may be a life long process. It's getting better though, more important it's feeling better.
The group met at Bingham High today. I decided to walk/run there as my warm-up. I ran into the group doing the early miles as they ran by my street, so I just took up with them. I was in charge of the group today, the first time in a long time it seems like. My plan was to do half mile repeats in Prospector Place. It just happened to turn out that's what Peggy and Mike wanted to do for speed work, so it worked out. Today I concentrated form-wise on feeling a push off as my foot hit the ground, keeping the knees high. So here are my times and paces for the 5 just slightly longer (.52 miles usually) than half mile repeats.
1. 3:47 (7:25 pace)
2. 3:36 (6:59)
3. 3:42 (7:05)
4. 3:40 (7:07)
5. 3:49 (7:16)
The first two were run south to north, #3 north to south, #4south to north, #5 north to south (I think I remember these correctly, somebody from the group let me know if I am wrong.)
I was pretty happy with this workout, especially feeling like my technique is getting better, especially the knee drive with the foot pushing up and then pulling (that's what I worked on at TOSH yesterday). I was running pretty fast but things felt pretty comfortable, which is the most important thing. The upper body can still be less tight, but it's coming along. It's been a while since I've seen anything in the 6 minute range, so #2 being a 6:59 pace (barely made it) makes me pretty happy.
Tough 30 minute run on the treadmill today. I was just too tired to run, maybe I should have cross-trained instead. I did play some basketball in the afternoon, that went much better. Running while you're playing a competitve sport is much more fun than just running sometimes.
The group met at Parkway Palisades today. I had read in a Running Times article that rolling hills are the best training for marathoners, as opposed to just uphill or downhill. So we ran that main hill street a little differently today. After a warm-up and 3 one minute hill sprints, we ran from the base of the big hill, up to 1300 W., back down, repeated three times non-stop. We tried to "own the hills" instead of the hills owning us, if that makes any sense. I worked on my push off and pull up technique. I realized when I concentrate on that I definitely go faster and the running feels easier. After our rolling hills, Curt led us on a short about 15 minute run thru the streets around there, to the cemetery hill, which we had to run, then back to the parking lot. Aaron said whoever planned today's workout should be fired, so I felt like I did a good job today.
The group ran repeats around Canterwood and Rustic Roads. We all kind of got split up, so I ran mainly with Nancy R. My times were all around 4:40 going up Canterwood and 3:40 going down Rustic Roads--these times are approximate, but I think pretty close.
Today was TOSH day--treadmill sprints and form work. Once again, it was quite difficult. She wanted me to run at 10.5mph on about a 5% incline for two minutes. Well, I wasn't about able to do that. I made it to 1:02, which I thought was pretty good, running a sub 6 minute pace on an incline. I've decided I need to get stronger, so I'm going to try and run hill sprints every day for a while to see what that does for me. I went home and ran a little more on my treadmill, then I went to basketball practice and had fun running there.
We met by Kelli's and Scott's house today. I like going there because there are hills everywhere you look. Kelli led us thru a run that took us up some pretty good hills, then we finished with a fairly easy run back to the church. It was a good workout.
Later, I ran some hill sprints on my treadmill; I have a goal of running hill sprints on the treadmill every day for a while hoping to build up some strength.
Then for the fun evening. I play church basketball on a stake team that is mainly composed of middle-aged housewives (sorry, I don't know how else to describe it) and some younger women. Basically all of us just play for fun and exercise. I don't think any of us have had any real training in basketball fundamentals. Usually we play teams similar to us. Well, tonight we played a team composed of younger looking women (probably not many over 30), and several of them looked like they had probably played high school ball. We were no match for them. However, I had fun because it was a very up tempo game, like a track meet, non-stop running back and forth. I felt good because I was able to keep up with them and run the court as well as anyone there. One of the refs even complimented me on my "hustle." It was a great workout. Besides losing by twenty points, I wouldn't mind playing basketball like that every week.
More hill sprint work. I was pretty tired after yesterday, so I took things pretty easy.
I thought I had a basketball game at 10:00 this morning, so I didn't want to run long for fear of wearing out my legs. Then I found it was cancelled, so I just ran some treadmill hill sprints plus some longer intervals. I enjoyed that better than a long run.
I did some uphill running on the treadmill.
The group met by the steep, short hill in Glenmoor. Peggy lead the workout. She had us do a .6 and a .9 interval, both of which included that hill. We began running right up the hill. I can tell I am weak on hills because I immediately fall behind everyone as we go up, then I'm (sometimes) able to catch up when it turns flat or downhill. I got twisted around in directions and thought we had taken a wrong turn somewhere and were at the temple hill on 40th W., so I slowed down thinking I didn't want to run that thing. Then I noticed we were right back where we were supposed to be, but by that time the group had taken off to run the .6 interval again, so I just ran up that hill a couple of times until they returned. Then I ran the .9 thing, felt hard until after the hill, then managed to run pretty well. I wasn't thrilled with how I did on this workout, it told me that I need to get stronger so I can run hills better.
||Rex Lee Run 10K (5.6 Miles) 00:43:40|
They called this a 10K, but I think it may have been a little short. I wish race directors would measure things accurately so we can compare times from one 10K to another. Oh well, it was fun anyway. I ran this in 2004 (when I think the distance was accurate) in 47:59. In 2005, when I think they may have shortened the course, and it was the same as today (though I can't remember for sure), my time was 44:54. So I was faster today, which made me happy. Even if you add on 4 minutes for a short course, I would still be happy with my time today.
This is the first 10K I've run in over a year. It's my first race since SGM (I guess we call that a race). I went in not really knowing where I was fitness wise, and was just hoping to be at least in the 48 minute range. My goal was to run this at a "comfortably hard" pace, with the emphasis on comfortable. Not necessarily taking it easy, but keeping my upper body relaxed, always feeling pretty good and never feeling like I was dying. This race was just to show me where I am, not to kill myself going all out. So that's what I did. Whenever I felt my shoulders tensing, I made myself relax. Whenever I felt too uncomfortable, I made myself relax. When I finished I felt pretty good, like maybe I could have run it again if I really wanted to. One thing frustrating was I brought my garmin but I couldn't get it to turn on. It does that occasionally, I charge it the night before, then for some reason it won't work until I charge it again. This is one race I could have used it because the mile markers were messed up and I had no idea what pace I was running.
A highlight of the race was finally getting to meet the famous Michelle Lowry. I ran into her after the race, and we had a nice chat. She was very friendly. She won for the women! It looks like she is back. Overall, the race was a very nice experience.
Well, after struggling with hamstring issues for about the two past months, I think I'm finally healed and back to running. Hopefully I'll be better about blogging also as we approach two months until SGM. And hopefully I'll get some quality training in so I'm somewhat prepared. I met with the group for the first time in a few weeks and we ran along the JR trail beginning at O. Roi Hardy park. I kept the pace easy and tried to work on a more correct stride. That's one of the things I really worked on while injured, trying to get a more efficient stride. Things felt more comfortable today, so hopefully I'm on the right track. I just want running to feel more effortless, it seems like I make it harder than it should be. So today was a "step" in the right direction. It's good to be back, and I hope to continue injury free for at least a couple of months.
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