Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Fizzless Squatter Kneeded to Fix Another Flat

I've got to admit that this was a very pleasant week overall. I had a pretty decent balance between running and cycling, and the knee is steadily improving. I'll be the first to admit that not only finding that balance but attempting to maintain it is nearly a full-time job in and of itself, but I do manage to achieve it briefly every now and then. I credit that to not only the mix of cardio work, but also to the barbell squats I've included in my cross training. The overall strengthening of the whole leg and hip area has brought a balance back that was obviously causing me some grief. I was able to either increase the weight a little each time, but will probably stick with a relatively low weight and increase the sets and reps as I move forward with this.

One of the things that I'm most surprised by as I continue running is the degree to which any weak (or weaker) link can cause pain and/or injury. It is certainly counter-intuitive, at least to me anyway, that the way to resolve knee pain was neither a layoff from running or noninflammatory drugs, but a strengthening routine. I've certainly gained a renewed appreciation for the necessity of cross training. Not simply as a mechanism used to insert variety and give run-specific muscles a day or two of rest, but also as cure and prophylactic for common running injuries, which I've been introduced to one by one over the last year or so.

Last Saturday morning started with a bike ride that lasted less than 10 minutes before I had a flat and had to walk it back home and go out for a run instead. Amazingly enough (and I certainly hope this is not any type of "trend"), last Saturday's bike ride lasted less than 13 minutes before things felt...funny. I stopped to check it out, and discovered yet another flat. On the same tire. Oh joy !

So once again I walked the bike back home, changed into my running shorts and shoes, and got a nice run in. When I changed the tire this time, I found the hole in the tube (of course), but nothing in the tire itself. I literally turned the tire inside out in an attempt to find the culprit, but came up empty. So I put it all back together again, and it has held up thus far for a little over 50 miles of riding. I'm confident that there isn't something still embedded in the tire that might be causing a re-puncture...perhaps it was just bad luck. So that means I went 2,240 miles before my first flat, and only 54 miles before the second one. Let's just hope it is a bit further between flats going forward.

That being said, I would much rather it be a simple flat tire than to be something more serious which might cause a wreck when it breaks. I probably need to get the chain looked at (or learn how to check it myself) so that a busted chain isn't the next problem.

On my personal 100 Days Without Soda challenge, I've completed 24 days as of this writing. The first option was tea, to be followed by Crystal Lite. While I like the taste of the Crystal Lite, it does get a bit old after a short while. It seems that I've noticed a sort of "twang" to it occasionally, so I've moved to just water with a sweet-and-low packet and a dash of either lemon or lime juice. I hate to say it (because I was against it for so very long), but it looks like I may end up actually preferring plain water before this is over. I'm not there yet, but I can see the writing on the wall. :-) I'm finding that I don't miss it nearly as much as I thought I might, but my challenge isn't over yet either.


In my running this last week:
  • On Monday I just felt tired and ready for it to be over from the 2 mile mark on. It rained very slightly between mile 1 and 2.5, but stopped after that just leaving it muggy.
  • Tuesday's run was much nicer, since it was a few degrees cooler and being lost in thought reflecting on a presentation I'd heard a couple of days earlier, the miles just flew by.
  • On Thursday I ran a route that I've biked several times but never run, which was a nice change of pace. It is a good eight mile loop, with few busy streets to cross and no dogs to worry with (at least not so far).
  • Friday's run was good overall, but I noticed an irritation on the ring toe of my left foot about a mile into the run. I eventually stopped at about 3.5 and removed some foreign object from my left shoe (I didn't actually find anything, but once I took the shoe and sock off and put it back on, the irritation and pain stopped). Whatever it was, it was cutting into me, since when I got home the sock was a bit bloody and so was the outer webbing of the shoe in one place. It doesn't seem bad now...hope it doesn't develop into something though. It seems like its always something.
  • The unplanned run on Saturday went well, but the heart rate monitor's strap had loosened somehow and wouldn't stay in place. Since adjusting the strap on the run in the dark is apparently not one of my "gifts", I took it off mid-way through the run and adjusted it later, so no heart rate data for that one.

This is what last week looked like...

Day   Activity   Distance (in miles) Avg. Heart Rate Max Heart Rate
Sunday Cycling 25.86 118 146
Monday Running 7.01 154 194
Walking 0.90 124 152
Tuesday Running 7.85 151 163
Wednesday Cycling 25.76 113 141
Thursday Running 8.01 151 166
Friday Running 7.92 151 171
Saturday Cycling 2.72 --- ---
Walking 0.71 --- ---
Running 7.31 --- ---

 These are my time and distance totals for last week:

Activity   Time Total   Distance Total (in miles)
Running 5:40:31 38.10
Walking 0:24:04 1.61
Cycling 3:38:31 54.34
-------------- -------------- --------------
Overall Total 9:43:06 94.05

Day   Activity   Sets Reps Recovery Interval Weight
Sunday Crunches & Knee Raises 4 10 --- ---
Jump Rope 3 50-60-100 --- ---
Scissor Leg Raises 3 10 --- ---
Monday BB Squats 3 10 2:00 50-55-60
DB Bench Press Squats 3 15 2:00 30-35-40
Crunches & Knee Raises 5 10 --- ---
Tuesday Rest Day - --- --- ---
Wednesday BB Squats 3 10 2:00 50-60-70
Crunches & Knee Raises 5 10 --- ---
Thursday Pullups 5 8-8-8-5-5 2:00 20-15-10-5-BW
Crunches & Knee Raises 5 10 --- ---
Friday Crunches & Knee Raises 5 20 --- ---
Saturday Crunches & Knee Raises 5 20 --- ---

This week I've continued with the barbell squats, and some other light weight lifting. The jump rope was sort of an "impromptu" thing, since my son was out on the patio doing it and ask me to join in. My, but that is quite the winded me for sure. The abdominal work is becoming more of a habit as well, and I'm able to increase the total amount of work on several days.

The real trick to all this seems to be the scheduling of the effort, since doing so immediately after a morning run / bike ride is seldom the right time for me...I just don't have the energy to hit the weights after my runs / rides. I tend to do this when I get home from work, either before or after the evening meal. Fortunately, I have found that I don't have to wait 90 minutes after a meal before working out like some, so that really helps.

How do you like to schedule your non-running workouts..?  Do you offset from your running (morning vs. evening), or just string it all together at once?

I hope you have a great week this week whatever your mileage or goals, and thanks for stopping by.

Happy Running Everyone !!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm still struggling to schedule enough strength training into my weeks....knowing I need to and actually doing it - there's still a big gap!

    Great job getting the cross-training in - glad to hear it's paying off!