I’ve been doing pretty well in my running routine, increasing my time and distance each week for a number of weeks, but this week I decided to take things down a step.
I did it!!! I broke the 2 hour mark and ran 9 miles yesterday.
One thing I’ve definitely learned from my latest foray into running is that I tend to accomplish things a whole lot better if I lay out a plan ahead of time. With that in mind, I want to plan a few things I’d like to accomplish during the month of December.
Plans for December 2016:
League of Legends
This month brings the start of the 2017 season (or season 7) and I’m gonna start on my goal of reaching Gold this season. With the new replay feature I’ll be able to work on improving my game and I’m going to focus on avoiding stringing losses together. I also need to learn more about the different ladders since there’s a Flex ladder and a Solo/Duo ladder and I’m not sure exactly how they are distinct. In any case, this is just a start – I don’t expect to reach Gold in the first month but I wouldn’t be upset if I did.
World of Warcraft
I’ve been moving pretty slowly in Legion and I want to pick up the pace a little. I’m currently sitting at level 101 and haven’t done most of the new expansion content – it’s time I get started. Since Legion released in August and I’ve advanced 1 level in 3 months, I think I should at least be able to add on another couple of levels. So I’m gonna set a goal of trying to reach level 103 by the end of the month. It’s not much but it gets me moving in the game so eventually I’ll get up to max level.
I need to finally finish my first game. I’ve been enjoying things so far but I think I need to pick up the pace. Win or lose, I need to get through my game as Rome. There’s a lot to learn in the game, but the only way I’ll learn is to actually play the game. Time to make some progress.
I’ve been doing pretty good with my training and I’m gonna keep up with the fitness. My goal this month is to keep upping my mileage each week and to branch out into some weekday runs. If I keep to my pace of improvements, I should be getting up to 9, 10, 11, and finally 12 miles this month. With the holidays though, I’m thinking I might be pushing things a bit much to run for 3 hours on Christmas, so I think I’ll be fine with stabilizing my increases this month. If I keep at an 8 mile long run each week that’d be great. So the bottom line is I’ll be happy with 8 miles but I’d still like to try for my goals.
With these plans in place for the month, I think I’ve got plenty of things to do.
My mileage on Sunday reached the 8 mile mark and I am still feeling pretty good about it. I must say that I didn’t really feel like getting out there this weekend. Laziness and video games had an adhesion that threatened to keep me in the house and the rain certainly didn’t help. Yeah – it was actually rainy and cold here in San Diego this weekend and after the heat we had a couple weeks ago, it felt a lot worse that it was.
My Sunday run was very enjoyable this past weekend. I put in a little over 7 miles and I think I could easily have kept going. The conditions were close to perfect…overcast skies kept the sun off my back and the temperature was in the mid 60s. There was a bit of humidity but not enough to make things sweaty and uncomfortable. I certainly would love this weather for any race day.
I kept to my 45 seconds run to 30 seconds walk pattern throughout the entire run and I think it definitely helped. These walk breaks really seem to be making extending the distance easier than I remember last time I was building up to 7 miles. Walking seems to give me a quicker recovery and I didn’t feel too tired after the run – hence my feeling that I could have kept going.
I also kept things relatively slow. A 13:30 pace was a bit faster than I wanted but it was still slower than when I previously ran 7 miles on a regular basis. Actually, I probably only ran 7 miles on the way to increasing my distance previously as well. My plan is to jump up to 8 miles next weekend.
I kept my Heart Rate lower than its been so far. I think previously I started out too fast and when I warmed up, I didn’t slow down. This time, it was cooler and I started out slow. I actually ended up running faster at the end than when my run started – my pace was 3:38 for the first quarter mile of the day and 3:12 for the last quarter.
I also wanted to increase my knowledge of running and fitness so I started reading The Run-Walk-Run Method by Jeff Galloway. While I skimmed through it previously which is how I came to my 45–30 run-walk pace (actually I had heard about the method from his website), but I did not do an actual reading of the book to see what else I could glean. I’m going through it now and trying to learn whatever I can. One thing that stood out from early on in the Prologue was the following statement:
This, I think, epitomizes why I want to get back into running. I can relate to this statement from when I used to run races every few months and I would like to get back to it. Dietary improvements, productivity improvements, and general quality of life improvements are all part of a running life style. And definitely something I would like to incorporate into my life in general. Hopefully anyone who starts a running program enjoys these additional benefits as I do.
This past week I’ve been pretty focused on my fitness goals, to the exclusion of gaming or much of anything else. And I think it’s paid off so far…instead of the 5 mile long run I had planned today, I actually ran 6 miles.
Yes, I felt good enough at the end of 5 miles that I decided to go for a bit more.
I feel pretty good for running 6 miles this morning. The morning started out nicely and I tried to get out early enough that it wasn’t too warm yet, but things heated up pretty quickly. We’ve been going through a bit of a November heatwave here in San Diego, with temperatures about 20 degrees warmer than typical. So this morning when I started my run at 8am, it was already 80°. Based on that heat and what I mentioned previously about slowing down a mile per minute for every 10°, I should have tried even harder to go slow.
My current target pace for long runs is 15 minutes per mile or 4 miles an hour. That would put my time at 3:45 per quarter mile. Somehow, I set my Garmin to alert me and automatically mark a lap every quarter mile so I see my time and pace fairly often. Since it was so hot, I should have started out targeting 16 minutes a mile and when the temp got up to 90° even slower – 17 minutes a mile. Which meant, rather than 3:45, I should have been aiming for 4 or 4:15 per quarter mile.
I ended up running quarter miles between 3:00 and 3:33 a way too fast for what I wanted. I really, really need to work on going slow.
I made it though, and felt good enough to run an extra mile and logged 6 instead of the planned 5. I just have to remeber that it’s more important to spend the time running rather than trying to go fast.
I looked at the Carlsbad Half Marathon information and the event has a time limit of 4 hours and 15 minutes which means a pace of just less than 19:27 would still be allowed. Even if I targeted the 17 minute pace today, it would get me over the finish line well before the street sweepers. I just need to convince myself of that while I’m running.
I’m actually looking at the potential of running a half marathon in January. I haven’t signed up for anything yet, but I’m getting close. I want to see how my long run goes tomorrow and decide after that. Tomorrow I’ve planned a 5 miler, but if I’m going to get ready for a half marathon in January, I have to start upping my long run mileage each week.
The Carlsbad Half Marthon is on January 15th so that’s about 10 weeks away. Running 5 miles this week, gives me 9 long runs after tomorrow to go from 5 miles up to 12–13. Definitely doable, and considering I did my first marathon, from nothing, in 16 weeks, I could have easily done it when I was running years ago. Now that I’m older…I need to make sure I’m careful and safe. I don’t want to overdo it.
In any case, I ran 3 miles today. It was good and I was able to get out there early enough that the heat didn’t have too dramatic an effect. But I did take it slow…12:46 min/mile pace.
Last weekend I realized I probably could use some hydration while on my 5 mile long run. Any time you go over an hour for a run it’s a good idea to make sure you keep hydrated particularly with the current heat wave we’ve been having here in San Diego.
I suppose it’s not gonna be as hot as it’s been the past few days, but when the temperature gets into the 80s it’s time to really consider hydration. I’m not sure where I heard it, but for every 10 degrees above 60°, you should add a minute in to your pace. Since I usually train with the temp in the low to mid 70s, once it gets into the 80s I should slow down by at least a minute, and drink.
So tomorrow and Sunday will be hydration and slow pace focused.
I planned out a 3 mile run tomorrow and another 5 miler on Sunday, keeping pace with what I did last week.
As for hydration, I got some HEED from the local running store. HEED is kinda like Gatorade and provides some calories and electrolytes while running. It’s good for runs up to 2 hours long but if you go longer, you need something with a little more umph. Since 5 miles should be well under 2 hours I figure it’s perfect for what I’m looking for.
For run time energy I prefer complex carbohydrates so that they provide longer term energy rather than just a sugar rush from simple sugars. The maltodextrin in HEED should give me plenty of sustained energy for my long run and not dissipate as quickly as most standard sports drinks.
In any event, I think I’m prepared and I’m looking forward to my weekend runs.
The 3rd day of my fitness goals this week added in a 1 mile run to what I’ve done each day this week. Shortly after my run, I did the 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, the 10 squats, and the 10 jumping jacks. And I’d have to say things worked out well. Although I didn’t go fast or far, the mile run was good and it got my blood flowing in the morning.
My run went for 1.08 miles and I averaged 12.19 miles/min.
With the time change on Sunday, it was dark when I got up but I was determined to finally start my weekday running. Instead of starting in the dark, I got my lunch ready for work and set up my day for after my workout. By the time that was done, the sun was up and I stretched out and was ready to go. Down to the baseball field, around the stop sign, and back…1.08 miles and 13 minutes later and it was done.
In addition to the run, I managed to take 12,614 steps which made it the 3rd day in a row I made more than 10k.
I’m feeling real good about my workouts so far. 3 days is a good start to a trend and I plan on keeping things up. Slow and steady is my goal and 3 check marks are 3 steps towards getting fit.
I pulled off a 5 mile run today and it felt great!
Actually, I think I’m gonna stick with a 5 mile long run for a few weeks while I work on other aspects of my fitness plan. While I did get in 5 miles, it could have been better and faster, but I think for the first time running so far in years, it was good.
The 13:53 pace is the slowest I’ve gone while training this time around, but I still feel good about it. I had a restless night and didn’t feel my best starting out so I took things a bit easy. I still find it interesting though that my heart rate seems to spike when I start out – perhaps I need to warm up more to make things less dramatic when I start.
To that end, I once again failed to reach my goal of running 3 days this past week. I got 2 days in though and feel pretty good about that but I need to refocus to build up my fitness. I think if I plan things out this week, perhaps I’ll be able to make it happen this week so here’s what I’m looking forward to doing this week.
- Monday: general fitness – 10 Push ups, 10 Sit ups, 10 Squats, 10 Jumping Jacks
- Tuesday: general fitness – 10 Push ups, 10 Sit ups, 10 Squats, 10 Jumping Jacks
- Wednesday: running – Run 1 mile
- Thursday: general fitness – 10 Push ups, 10 Sit ups, 10 Squats, 10 Jumping Jacks
- Friday: general fitness – 10 Push ups, 10 Sit ups, 10 Squats, 10 Jumping Jacks
- Saturday: running – Run 3 miles
- Sunday: running – long run – Run 5 miles
By setting a schedule, I’m hopping I’ll focus and keep my discipline to get my 3 days of running in and improve my overall fitness.