Month: December 2017

Woodlands Half Marathon Prep Week 2: It’s not the age but the miles

I feel i have been doing this training plan forever but it is only week 3. There is solace in the fact that this will end soon. The first two weeks were all right, and my body seems to be holding up so far. I have already clocked the most miles in a month and it is only going to get worse from here. Being the year end, I had enough time off work and the workout plan was to do 3 runs totaling 12 miles and do a couple of workouts to strengthen the body.

The first run was on Tuesday, the day after Christmas. The weather was extremely pleasant and the afternoon session seemed apt for the workout. I had planned to run 3.5 miles. The chance of precipitation was listed at 60%. The weather men here do make Mr.Ramanan look good at times, and apparently they do not stop a race for the rain. I decided to take a chance and went out with a rain coat. A little onto the run it literally started pouring, the coat did withstand the initial burst, but the water did manage to seep through and made me feel cold. I had to stop under the beltway bridge after a mile and a half as the water started getting into my eyes. The salt from the sweat stings like crazy when it gets  into the eyes so please do more to protect the eyes. Note to self use a cap the next time. I waited for the rain to subside and ran back home. I was not able to focus on the cadence but the rain did help with the pace and helped me clock an average 10:57 for 2.5 miles.

The fitness blender toning exercise came next. Kelli’s body weight exercises training focused on the core and lower body. I cant help think that she is a beast when it comes to these toning exercises. I was grunting my way through some of the exercises. The core seems to be the weakest link in the body, not that the rest is strong enough. The three magic exercises for runners are Planks, Push-ups and Lunges. I suck at 2 out of the three. The stretches helped alleviate the DOMS for a while but i did feel a bit sore the next day. The wind chill dropped the temperature to single digits and the cold made me feel my bones. The Thursday run was for 3.5 Miles at a 12:24 pace. I was able to hold the cadence at 161 and did manage a steady breathing rhythm. The three workouts felt good, but boy do these things make you feel hungry and tired. I decided to walk the next two days to alleviate any soreness. The “runger” is back and i am devouring food at a crazy pace as well.

I needed another 6 miles to hit the target this week. The weather forecast for Sunday was for a cloudy morning and then all hell was expected to break loose in the evening. I trusted the weathermen after their accurate prediction earlier and did go to the bayou equipped with the right gear. There was a steady drizzle and Victor assured me that it was for the best. The first five miles were fantastic i think i clocked 5 miles in about an hour. I had high hopes of finishing a 10 K within the 72 minute mark before i was laid waste by a couple of hills (elation of about 50 ft) and by the freezing wind towards the end. Ended up running the remaining 1.2 miles in 18 minutes. I was so upset that i ended up eating two tacos right after the run. The taco shop is strategically placed to fatten anyone leaving the park.

Foam rolling, stretching and a long nap seems to have set the body up for now. The temperature has been falling steadily all day and we are looking at negative temperatures tonight. I think i have done enough to earn the extra cup of tea and laze around all day. The forecast for next week is extremely bleak but you know what we got 12 more miles to go.

It was also extremely funny to see the laundry bag this weekend. It had all my workout clothes and a single workday shirt. 🙂

Happy New Year Guys!

Woodlands Half Marathon Prep Week 1: Speed and Distance conundrum

From a training perspective this was supposed to be exactly like week 1. I had to log 3 runs, 2 workouts and total 10 miles. Things did not go exactly to plan, had to run several errands this week and for sure it did affect the workouts. So i had to compensate with brisk walks for about 4 days and gave up on strength training for the week. I sure hope to God that i don’t regret this.

Got two runs in for the week. The First run was for 3.05 miles, managed to keep the cadence around 161 the entire run. Zero Stops. The pace was 11.47 did have to breathe hard towards the end. It was extremely windy so did struggle to keep the temperature up all the time. The second run was what it was meant to be. The plan was to do to 5 miles along the bayou with Victor. The temperature drop was substantial and had think about the tacos a lot to get motivated. The cold helped me start briskly and i tried to focus on the cadence. The higher cadence did leave me feel a little bit more energized and also helped with the pace (12.09) a bit, i was able to look straight and breathe more easily. I had to switch to the kinder foot trails after mile 3. I wanted my knees to hold and the hard concrete trails were not helping. Completed five miles in an hour this time. I think i have got to the point where i can run for about an hour without stopping but i am concerned at the distance covered. At this pace i am looking at 2.5 hours of running (at least). Not good bruh!. Need to find ways to improve the speed and ability to run longer. I think i need to take the strength work outs far more seriously.

Ended up with 70K steps and placed second in the Garmin step challenge. So off we go now!

Woodlands Half Marathon Prep Week 0: 10 Miles

Week 0: Preparation

All right. Done with Week 1. This would be week 0 for me. I have been following Hal Higdon’s novice half marathon plan and the first week plan includes 3 runs, 2 cross training days and 2 days of rest.  A cold and rainy start to the week ensured that I stayed indoors on Monday. Tuesday was colder, but I got the ball rolling with a round of body weight and strength training exercises at home. A combination of lunges, squats and pushups followed by some good old dumbbell training. My trainers are a couple in YouTube and more often than not I struggle to keep up with their reps and pace as well. I do hope that this improves as I work on it.

Wednesday, was kind of a disappointing day at work. Thanks to the daylight savings, it gets pretty dark up here by 6.00. The cold, traffic and my own laziness made me get home late and I had to contend with the broken elliptical machine in the apartment gym. 30 minutes of aerobic activity with the HR in zone 2 and zone 3 (40-60% of the max HR) made me feel much better though. Thursday, was the first run for the week. I felt a little tight in the calf and I had to foam roll for a good ten minutes before I felt ready. I ran 2.1 miles with an average pace of 12.24. The cadence was scattered all over the place partly due to the broken pavements and lack of light. Either way finished the run and ate a hearty meal. I don’t think burning more calories than what I am eating is going to go the right way this time.

Friday we reinforced our commitment towards healthy eating and restocked the supplies with vegetables and fruits. The sun was out the first time this week and I started early. The plan was to do a 3 mile run and I wanted to run the whole thing with no stops at a decent pace. Started off slower than usual and focused on the cadence and breathing, I think I started to feel the rhythm close to mile 2 and I did finish strong with a 9 minute pace. 3 miles in 36 minutes.

Two runs in two days was a little hard on the ankles. The concrete pavements are not particularly kind to the knees. Used the copper fit ankle wrap and had to pop in an advil to fight the inflammation. Rested the whole day and ended up missing my step goal target for the first time in 61 days. I did feel bad at first but then these are just numbers so you know what screw it.

Sunday Long run day. The last time I ran along the bayou my legs cramped around mile 4 and had to walk the way back. This time I wanted to run the entire loop (~5 miles). I had to take a bottle of Gatorade along with me so that I could fuel myself along the run. The weather was beautiful, and yeas I was able to run 4.69 miles before I stopped to take a call from HISD (on a Sunday morning really?). So there you go 10 miles in 3 runs. See you next week!


The Existential Crisis Phenomenon

Time flies! Busy Day! I hear these statements a lot. I have also wondered as how I can spend days, weeks, months and yet have the overwhelming feeling that I have done nothing special. In the recent past, I have found solace in order. I have a schedule that I have tried to keep up (for the most part). I set myself up to only do things I absolutely cared about at this point and I go about my day taking care of business one at a time. While, this approach has kept me busy doing thing I have wanted to do it also has given birth to a nagging line of thought. It is exactly like a fly that is in your house. It does not bother me for the most part, but when it does start buzzing near me it drives me nuts. May be this is the existential crisis phenomenon! So just like that just to bring some purpose back in life and to get the nagging thought away from my head I signed up for a half marathon. 13.1 miles. The race is in 12 weeks. Over the course of the next twelve weeks let us see how we get going. I think I probably will write a post to cover the progress for the week, If something memorable happens I will share that too.