Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Experimental Runner

I have a couple of confessions to make. I've been staying up way too late to get up at the proper time in the morning in order to workout before work. That meant that this morning, I skipped the Terrier workout. I really tried to get up, even with Drew's prodding, but my body just said no. My other confession is that I'm anemic. Last year, my doctor prescribed me iron pills, which I took for several months, before giving up because even with the pills, I was still anemic. I think I was just so frustrated that the pills weren't really helping that I just gave up. Even though at my physical last month she told me that I'm still anemic, I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Today I decided that perhaps it's not just the fact that I've been staying up late that is causing me to be so fatigued, so I bought myself some over-the-counter iron pills to try and give them a shot to see what happens. I'm hoping that a combination of going to bed a little earlier along with the pills will help out.

Last night after work, I went to buy replacement shoes. My old running shoes have seen their last mile. The frustrating part for me was that the style of my old shoes were discontinued and I guessed that I could probably just use the new Mizunos (Wave Inspire 6), but I wanted to go to the store to see what they thought. They confirmed my suspicions and I ended up with these bad boys:

So, they're really not that bad (there are two color choices - yellow and pink - and luckily they didn't have the pink!). They look a lot better from the side than they do when I look down at them. That yellow sure is a bright color! I also got some new speed laces for my new shoes. I realize that it's a little bit silly to buy myself a new pair of laces every time, as I don't think they really go bad, but it's only $4 and I figure, why not?

Today's Terrier workout was Cat Hill repeats in the Park. I definitely know that I need the hill practice, so I figured that I'd do the same thing today after work. Today's actual workout was supposed to be 6 miles / 2 x [2:00, 3:00, 4:00] AI (as a side note, I totally made up this week myself because I wanted to do 12 miles this weekend before the race). I figured that the runs up the hill would count as the intervals.

So, I strapped on my new shoes and headed off to the park. Running to the park was pretty slow. I felt like I got stopped at every red light and was dodging all sorts of pedestrian traffic as well. When I first get new shoes, it takes me a while to get the laces tightened properly. It's really hard to know how they'll be until I start running, so I stopped when I got to the park and adjusted slightly.

I ran up to Cat Hill and started my repeats. I could tell that the shoes were slightly different from my old model. I wasn't quite sure what to do about it, so I ran the first two miles of hill repeats in 20:00 exactly. I have to tell you that I was really, really happy to see that after feeling like I'd been getting slower. It was nice to see 10 minute miles, especially while running up and down hill. After two miles of hill repeats, I decided that my feet weren't all that comfortable. They were okay, but something was a little off.

Before I go any further, I realize that I should put in a disclaimer: I'm currently reading Born To Run and at lunch today, I started reading the part about barefoot running and how running shoes and orthotics are ruining the feet of Americans and our ability to run. Before I started reading the book, I will admit that I was interested in the whole barefoot running movement, but now I'm even more curious about the whole thing. However, I won't be trying anything for a while, I think, since I've got some big races to do and I'll be wearing shoes during those races. Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about my shoes and my orthotics.

So, after two miles of hills, I stopped and took out my orthotics. (I can hear Laura cringing right now). I knew I didn't have that much more to run and I figured that running one mile without them wouldn't seriously injure me and it was worth it to figure out if these new shoes were better or not. Turns out that my foot overall felt better. There was a lot more room in the shoe and my foot felt like it could breathe. Except that after running about a mile, I felt like my heel might have a small twinge of pain, so I stopped again to try something else.

So, I put my orthotics back into my shoes and took out the liners of the shoes. I realize that I'm probably the only person who used to wear both my shoe liners and orthotics, but I'm wondering now if this new model of shoe has a little less room in the foot area and that's why they both don't fit as well as they used to. I ran my last hill mile in record time (9:19), so I'm hoping that this combination for the shoes will be the winner overall. I'm going to give this combination another shot on Thursday when I run next (although I'm going to take the liners just in case I need them again).

All in all, I think that today was a really great run for me. I'm glad that even though there were a couple of things about the shoes that I need to work out, it felt really good to not want to cry about running two miles like I did last week on the treadmill. I also think that the hill runs today gave me a lot more confidence about the hills in the half-marathon. There were a ton of people out running in the park today (it was almost like being at a NYRR race, it was that many people) and lots of them were doing hill repeats. I have to say that it was nice to beat some people up the hill, even if I also got passed quite a bit. The run home was just about as slow as the run to the park. I think I hit one less light on the way home, which was the only reason that it was a little bit faster. I don't think that I was any faster.

My goals for the rest of the month are to try to stick to the plan as closely as possible, especially the week before the race when I'll need to be tapering and not trying to squeeze in any last long runs. I'm also hoping to finish my half-marathon running and smiling when I get to the end. I'm trying not to have any time goals, as I'm really more concerned with the mental aspect of that race and knowing that I can do a half-marathon (I think it'll be really important at Timberman). I'm also going to try to do some cross training on my off days, but I'm not going to make it a requirement for myself. I also need to figure out my half-Ironman triathlon training plan, so look for that in the coming weeks!

Run To Park
Time: 16:02
Distance: 1.50 miles
Pace: 10:42/mile
Calories: 178
Maximum HR: 178
Average HR: 161

Hill Repeats
Time: 39:19
Distance: 4.00 miles
Pace: 9:49/mile
Calories: 518
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 178

Run Home
Time: 15:53
Distance: 1.50 miles
Pace: 10:35/mile
Calories: 198
Maximum HR: 184
Average HR: 172

1 comment:

  1. Nice run! I hope you can figure out the perfect combination with your shoes and orthotics. I don't think the yellow is bad from the photo. Mizunos tend to be a bit funky in their designs and colors from what I've seen. Although mine are fairly take with just red/blue.
    I've been anemic before too. I take a multivitamin (when I remember) with iron in it. Taking vitamin c with your iron is supposed to help the body absorb it, so maybe you can try taking your supplement with a big glass of vitamin C rich orange juice or something?