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Monday, August 17, 2009

Celebrating the Loss of 0.8, and Usain Bolt (video)

Monday Check-in

139.2 lbs. (down)
52 - Pulse (up)

With a few decent weeks of running behind me, I am starting to see results. The last five days have seen my weight below 140. Barely, but there. The consistency is good to see, especially since I dined out a few times. Not enough yet to claim weight loss exactly, but the slope of the line is headed in the right direction.

I ran 26.75 miles this week, and walked another 4.00. My weekly miles continue to increase essentially by increasing the length of my shortest run. My top distance remains 6.0 miles.

Consistency will remain my biggest hurdle. This morning's run, for example, was waylaid by a thunderstorm. Now, in a few minutes, I hope to grab what looks like a few hours of sunshine. Humidity will be high, and my intended running path might be soaked. Will I last the entirety of my run, or cut it short?

Nothing hurts at the moment, outside of a dull ache in my thighs. My Achilles, while still recovering, seems to be getting used to this running thing.

Need some inspiration? Watch Usain Bolt of Jamiaca tear apart the 100 m WR (9.58), and make Tyson Gay's American record (and third best ever) of 9.71 look pedestrian. Nothing much to say here, except, "Duuude, like wow!"


Ulm the Unwashed said...

What a run!
Also exciting to read of your steady progress. No doubt that is the key, just grinding away.
Watch the achilles. I am just finishing a couple of months of physiotherapy for chronic tendinitis of my right achilles, and it sure is nice for it to be getting back to normal. The miles are increasing slowly, the pace is slow, but their is progress, and resultingly the outlook on life is improving.
Run steady.

Resilient Hawk said...

Alas, my steady progress has not been. I was doing well through into last fall, then for various reasons slowed to a swift halt. Got back into it (thanks to Bob V.) 27 days ago. I've piled on 78.65 miles (126.5 kilometers), plus another 13.00 M walking, and am making minor headway. My times are not moving (high 9s, low 10s/mile, but they will soon enough. I'm not trying to run any faster on purpose. If all I do for another month is crank out 9:45s, I'm good. The weight will drop, fitness will rise, and I can head into winter with a decent base. Unsure where I should stabilize my weekly mileage. I have dreams of 75 mile weeks. Right now, I am at 36.75 for the last week (thanks to 10 M yesterday) with around 1.5 rest days a week. Thoughts of a May 1 half marathon tease me.

What did you do for the Achilles?

As for Usain Bolt, we've not seen him peak. What peaking looks like is hard to say. Some believe 9.3. Others think his race is the 400. I bet he'd rock in the hurdles as tall as he is. I wonder what he could do in the 800 m. I've always wanted to see what a speedster would look like if he trained. The height/stride could deliver a relaxed, but efficient gait useful in a longer race.

Ah, by the way, was listening to some Midnight Oil that made the cut for my collection of tunes for running. You gave me the CD just before you left. A couple songs are on the pace, though I am still sorting all of that out (beats per minutes and all that.) Do you run to music. New thing to me, but I have found it helps.

Ellie said...

Key phrases: weight will drop, fitness will rise. I can reminding myself that there is no point running fast today if it means I have to take another day off later on to recover. I'm on an every other day program at this stage. I think that this will be the way of life for some time to come. Longterm there is no reason why I can get back into more, but for the coming months it is more important that I get achilles and calves strong and keep them loose (not tight).

Re dealing with Achilles: the phsyio has spent a lot of time in brutal massage breaking up the scar tissue along the achilles, and at the base of the calf muscles. He has also worked on trying to free up my ankle joint - the tighter and less flexible it is, the greater the strain on the achilles. Then I have been on a program of stretches and eccentric exercise.
1. Knee bent calf stretch 30 sec x3
2. straigth leg calf stretch 30 sec 3x
3. eccentric calf raise (standing on a step, starting at fullest height, and then slowly dropping all the way down that it can go. Taking a go slow 6 count on the way down. Restarting on the toes again is not done slowly. 8 reps 3x.)
I started doing the reverse toe raise thing on two feet, and then graduated to one foot. I am putting both calves/achilles through the exercise, since it is all preventative and so ought to protect my other calf/achilles too.

I have also been doing some thinking about stride and form, and have been trying to concentrating on running out my glutes/upper thighs/core more. I have developed a quite leant forward style that puts a lot more work on my lower legs. So if I can tweak that a bit it ought to use the bigger muscles more, and protect the calves and the achilles.

Ahh, Midnight Oil - a great band. Yep, I listen to something on about 60% of my runs. It is helping distract me a bit these days from the reality of slowish runs. I haven't messed with beat at all. One that comes to mind for a gentle run is Springsteen, Devils and Dust. Tend to crank up classic punk for speed workouts. I really dig John Butler Trio for tempo runs - upbeat, postitve tunes to get into the groove with.

I have been using Earworm Spanish on some runs recently - an auditory introductory Spanish thing - it's fun, works at a nice pace, and if I am going to repeat phrases, etc. it is a good check to keep me honest. And I'm learning too.