Monday, February 13, 2012

Week in the Rearview Mirror: February 5 - February 11, 2012

I've got to admit, I could really get used to a long string of good just makes it that much more fun to be active. On the first of February I did something to sort of "bruise" my right instep, and it has slowly gotten better since then. I'm stretching the calf a good bit which seems to help, and sticking to the shoes that have more cushioning which also seems to help. I realize that isn't very scientific since I'm changing two variables at once, but I want to ensure that this is resolved before the marathon on the 26th. The runs themselves have been pain-free, and the weather has been nice for running, so no complaints there.

Here is what last week looked like...

Day   Activity   Distance (in miles)
Sunday Elliptical 1.59
Running 4.31
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday Walking 1.02
Running 6.35
Walking 0.41
Wednesday Elliptical 1.58
Running 4.41
Thursday Rest Day
Friday Walking 1.02
Running 4.40
Saturday Elliptical 1.62
Running 4.63

These are my time and distance totals for the week:

Activity   Time Total   Distance Total (in miles)
Running 3:36:13 24.10
Walking 0:34:13 2.45
Elliptical 1:00:00 4.79
Overall Total 5:10:26 31.34

Only 12 days till the Cowtown Marathon, and other than the (now very minor) instep discomfort, I'm feeling healthy and ready.

On Saturday afternoon, my wife and I took a course map of the marathon and did the drive over to Fort Worth to see what it looked like in person. There is a portion of the run that occurs on a biking / running trail starting at about mile 18.5, so we didn't get to drive all of it. However, what we did see was "interesting" and not exactly what I had pictured in my mind. The elevation profile looks something like this (from the marathon's website)...

You can tell that there are quite a few rolling hills throughout the course, but I didn't realize just how "rolling" it really was. With few exceptions (at least in the first 18+ miles), if one isn't climbing a hill, one is coming down one, so this will be a run that will have more than a few gear changes in it. In some respects this should break up the effort somewhat so that it isn't just an extended pounding so that is good. In other respects, some of these hills go up for anywhere from 1/10th of a mile to nearly 3/4 of a mile.

Knowing how the course goes won't necessarily make it any easier physically, but I believe it will help me mentally since I won't be constantly surprised (dismayed) when I round another corner to face yet another significant uphill section. The key for me will be to switch gears effectively, and NOT try to power up the hills. My goal is to attempt to maintain my cadence (or get close), while shortening and lengthening my stride as the topography allows.

The February pushup challenge (400 in the month of February) continues to go well. I started with a set of 20 each day, and I've progressed through 3 sets of 10 with a 45 second recovery to starting 4 sets of 10 with a 45 second recovery this morning (Monday). I've also been doing 2 sets of 5 pullups with a 45 second recovery every other day. Those are significantly tougher for me, so I'll have to bring those numbers up much more slowly.

Although I missed a couple of days during the week last week, in general the stretching and strengthening exercises continue to go well. I'm slowing gaining increased flexibility, and it is keeping the stiffness and pain away on the runs so it is well worth the 30 minutes or so of effort.

I think I'm going to try out my first Yoga class this week, so that should be interesting. I have no idea what to wear or how it will go, but I plan on that being my "thing" for the New 2 U Cross Training Challenge for this month. I plan to call today and see what to expect, and will post about it once I do it. Wish me luck...with my flexibility and coordination, it should be entertaining for everyone (but me of course ;-).

Happy Running Everyone !!!


  1. Nice work! t-shirt and shorts are fine to wear, really I've seen people in all sorts of outfits, so long as you can move it works! good luck with yoga!

  2. Looks like it was a great week!

    Interested to hear how the yoga class goes. I'm still trying to fit one in as part of my February goals. Good luck!

  3. Lookin' good. 8)

    Yah I like to suss-out the course big time so there are no surprises too.
    I don't like the 100' gain from 8.2 to 9.2..thats 2% grade for one mile.
    Also don't like the 1% grade on the last mile.

    But could be the Big Sur marathon ;)

    You get to roll pretty far down from 18 down to might have quad problems there but it should help keep you going near the end. (Until that pesky last mile)

    Re: yoga...don't let instructor make you force anything you feel you can't. Easy to get hurt in yoga if you get all type A about it.

    1. Thanks Paul...and a fair warning since I'm a Type A kind of guy. I really can't be bothered to do much if I'm not "all in" so to speak, although I'm getting better at just trying new things.

      I just called them and setup a $15 for 15 day trial. The class I'm considering is a Beginner's class for an hour that is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, so I'll give it a time or two and just take it slow. Since their "normal" walk-in-off-the-street price for a class is $15, I won't feel too bad if it just totally isn't for me.

  4. You're doing great! You are ready for your marathon!

    I'll be interested to see how yoga goes, I've never done it before but I'm sure I will for the "new to you" cross training challenge.

  5. Best of luck Michael. That elevation profile looks daunting. Good luck and looking forward to reading your race report!

  6. Thanks for following my blog...I look forward to hearing more about your running journey. Keep the faith!

  7. Driving the course before a race is a really smart move! I find that rolling hills are great for staying focused in a race, but that might be just me. :)