Sunday, July 21, 2013

WEEKS #5 & #6

It's been 2 weeks since my last training update and I'm happy to report that things are still going in the right direction.  I've had a couple of tempo runs, a marathon paced run and a fairly quick 18 miler.

WEEK #5
Sunday: Day Off
Mon day: 8 miles with 5 @ 6:40 pace on treadmill.
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 7 miles with Scott and Darrin
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 45 miles of bike commuting
Saturday: 18-mile run with Scott and the MDRA group, including some sub-7:20 miles

Total: 43 miles, plus 45 miles on the bike

WEEK #6
Sunday: Day Off
Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 11 miles
Wednesday: Day Off
Thursday: 9 miles with 6 @ 6:35 pace on treadmill.
Friday: 44 miles of bike commuting
Saturday: 12.5-mile run with Scott and Steve, including 9 @ 7:00 pace

Total: 37.5 miles, plus 44 miles on the bike

If your familiar with Daniels' program, you'll probably notice that I'm not following it as it's exactly laid out.  I've moved things around a little in order do some more up-tempo running with guys like Scott and Steve who are both training for Souix Falls, which is 4 weeks before TCM.  That means I've been running more medium-long runs at a quicker pace than I would if I were by myself.  

Another thing of note, given that I ran 13.1 miles at 6:37 pace, my tempo pace should be faster than my last two treadmill workouts. But I'm trying to take what my body is giving me.  The tempo run during week #5 was a struggle, but during week #6 it went much better.  

I'm a little concerned with the next two weeks because we'll have company next weekend and then we'll be out of town the following weekend.  So unless I can get in a long run next Sunday, it may be mid-August before I can get in a 20 miler.  

REVIEWS

I wanted to share a couple more food-related books and a website that I've been using lately.
 
First, my college buddy, Ben, recommended Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman.  Bittman's message is similar to those in books I've mentioned previously, namely The China Study and The Kind Life. As the back of the dust jacket says;
If I told you that the same lifestyle choice could help you lose weight, reduce your risk of many long-term or chronic diseases, save you real money, and help stop global warming, I imagine you'd be intrigued.  If I also told you that this change, while not effortless, would be easier and more pleasant than any diet you've ever tried, would take less time and effort than your exercise routine, and would require no sacrifice, I would think you'd want to read more.  If you do, you'll find an explanation of the links among diet, health, the environment in general, and climate change in particular, and you'll see how you can make a difference.
Bittman explains that when he started to make changes to his diet, he basically followed the whole foods, plant based diet from sun up till sun down, then for dinner, he'd eat whatever he wanted to.  Just by focusing on eating better for two-thirds of his meals, he saw dramatic changes.
I think his subtitle says it all; A Guide to Conscious Eating.  Just being aware of what we're putting in our mouths can make a huge difference.
The next book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esslestyn, was recommend by Gloria.  If you've been following along and checking out some of the food documentaries, you'll recognize Dr. Esslestyn's name from Forks Over Knives and The China Study, while his son wrote Engine 2 Diet and My Beef with Beef.  No, there's no heart disease in my family, but Gloria mentioned the book because it includes more than 150 recipes. As you can imagine, a shift in eating habits requires finding new recipes.

I've spent some time recently at multiple libraries and book stores, trying to find vegetarian cookbooks.  So many of them are a little too gourmet for my taste.  I like things recipes that have easy-to-find ingredients and are tasty.  The handful of recipes I've tried from this book so far fall into that category.

If you'd rather check out websites, my new favorite is Thug Kitchen. I have to warn you that it contains a lot of vulgar language.  Some people may be offended, but I find it so over-the-top that it's funny.  I've probably tried half a dozen recipes from this site and they've all been great.  My favorite so far is Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burritos.  One of the things I love about his recipes is that I typically have all of the ingredients in my house already.

If anyone has any other recommendations, let me know and I'd be happy to check them out.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

NEW STORES

What a great time to be a runner in the Twin Cities!  In case you haven't heard, my favorite store, TC Running Company, is opening a second store tomorrow.  It'll be located at 12862 Bass Lake Road in Maple Grove.  How great is that for all the runners in the northwest suburbs? 

But that's not the only area of town getting a new store.  You can now find Mill City Running in Northeast Minneapolis at 411 East Hennepin Ave.  I was able to check out the store Saturday morning.  Although they're still waiting for some inventory to arrive, I liked what I saw.  And if you work downtown Minneapolis, their location is ideal and easy to get to.  Stop by and meet owners Jeff and Bekah Metzdorff.

While at the store I was able to meet Nathan, who operates the relatively new site, minneapolisrunning.com, where he, obviously, covers things going on with the Minneapolis running scene.

As I alluded to in my last post, it finally feels like I'm recovered from my half marathon.  Here's a look at week #5;

Sunday: 36 mile bike ride around the hills of St. Paul
Monday: 16 mile bike ride during lunch
Tuesday: 15 mile bike ride during lunch
Wednesday: 10.5 mile run at 7:20 pace with Scott
Thursday: 5 miles easy
Friday: 5 miles easy
Saturday: 16 miles

Total: 36.5 miles of running and 67 miles of biking.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

WEEK #4

I had forgotten how much a 13 mile race takes out of me. Even with a super light week last week, I feel like I’m just now recovered from the half. Now that I think about it, that’s right in-line with “my formula” for recovery from races, which is to calculate the race distance in kilometers and then divide that by 2. So for a 10K, you’d need 5 days to recover and since a half is 21K, you’d need 10-11 days to recover. Today is day 10.

Week #4 recap

Sunday: Day off
Monday: 4 miles – very easy
Tuesday: 6 miles – very easy
Wednesday: 6 miles – moderate
Thursday: Day off
Friday: 2 x 18-mile bike commute.
Saturday: 10.5 miles with Scott

During Wednesday’s run I tweaked my groin muscle. On Tuesday I did some core work that included leg lifts/raises. Looking back, I’m wondering if that was too soon after the race. My groin still didn’t feel great on Saturday. I was supposed to go 15 miles, but cut that run short. I spent the next 3 days on the bike, but I’m happy to report a great run this morning.

The week only included 26+ miles of running and 36 miles of biking, but I’m okay with that. Recovering from that race was very important. Now, without any races on the horizon, I can focus on TCM training.