Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is That What It Feels Like To Pull A Muscle?

Had a stiffening of my left glute during a basketball game tonight when I stepped in front of a ball-handler to take the charge. I've never pulled a muscle before, but I've seen other athletes pull up with stiff limbs, particularly hamstrings. In any case, my left butt felt locked up. I didn't want to get out of the game, so I just kept running up and down the court and trying to stretch at every opportunity. Thankfully, the stiffness wore off and I'm feeling normal again.

About the game, we lost on a buzzer-beater during overtime. It was a tough loss. We led most of the game and our opponents just managed to claw themselves back to tie during regulation. It was close througout overtime. We just got beat by a good last-second shot.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baseline workout

Had a good night's rest last night, so I felt very energetic today. I couldn't wait to get my feet on the pavement tonight. I knew I needed to do a speed workout tonight. A Tabata session seemed too short and an easy run around the park sounded, well...easy. I decided to try to establish a baseline time around the 6mi loop since it's still fairly in the season.

Tonight's workout

I started with an easy 1mi jog up to the CP loop. Once there, I picked up the pace and decided to try to keep a 7min/mi pace. The first couple of miles wasn't hard. It was around the time of Harlem Hill that I think my pace dropped off. The following hills on the west side felt a little harder than what I was used to last year, but I guess that should be expected. I finished at 42:50, nearly 3 mins off my fastest pace. Basically, I've my work cut out for me. 3 mins over 6 miles is a sizeable gap, but I'm definitely up to the challenge. I'll do this workout again in the middle of the season, end of the season, and report accordingly.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Competitive Idiocy

So I had planned on an easy run in the park this evening, crossing over at 102nd St. for about 7 miles. As soon as I got into Central Park, that plan went out the door. As I entered CP Drive, a woman ran by who was running a nice brisk pace...probably about 7:45. I decided to run that pace about 50 yards back, but eventually passed her after a mile. About half a mile from 102nd, there was another jogger on the bridle path that was sort of keeping pace. She jumped on the road about 50meters from 102 and she decided to whiz by me as if to say "eat my dust." Maybe I was mistaken, but there definitely was an energy about the way she ran by and the proximity of her pass. Instead of turning at 102 as planned, I decided to chase her. She extended her lead going into the downhill towards Harlem Muir, but I didn't mind that so much. I figured at catch her going up Harlem Hill; and I did about halfway up. This time, it was my turn to blaze by her. I wanted to make sure I did what Harrison K. calls a terminal pass. It was empowering to almost sprint by her as she struggled up the hill. I didn't see much of her after that. For the rest of the way, I tried to pace a couple of guys in about 100m in front of me. In the end, my planned easy run turned out to be a pace run with hill sprints.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spin Instead of Run

Got me this new bike trainer this weekend and decided to finally put it to use. Since I had a hard time getting out to run today, this was the next best thing. I just had to kick up the intensity. Once on there with my iPod, I knew I was going to have a great workout. After 10 minutes of a mildly high-intensity warmup, I did a Tabata set. I must say that riding an actual bike, even on a trainer, is much more different and lots better than a stationary gym bike. Seven more minutes of big-gear high cadence, then another set of intervals. After cooling down for 5 minutes and dismounted, I felt lightheaded. That was excellent :-) I'm looking forward to the Queens Biathlon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Working Back Into Race Shape

Having been sick last week and not having done any speed workouts in a while (all year actually), I was nervous about doing a Tabata workout tonight. Instead of doing it on the main road, I decided to cut my mileage and just run at the Great Lawn. Once there, I stretched out for a couple of minutes, loaded Stricken, and bolted from my stationary position. Four minutes later, head about to explode, I nearly collapsed on the grass. Whew, what an awesome workout! The first couple intervals felt exhilarating. I'd forgotten that sprinting high. After that though, it was one interval closer to throwing up.

The first speed workout is always the hardest. I've done the same intervals on the stationary bike, but it's not the same as running on a track. I was surprised that I covered more distance than I expected. I don't think I'm any faster at this point in the year. Got to do a few more long runs and intervals at least a couple of times a week before I feel fully confident. That should also shed most of the winter weight I've gained. Thankfully it's been warmer this week. I'm starting to get excited about running again. It's been a long break!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Long (Painful) Run - A Ranting Post

After a week of being sick, I was determined to get out today and make up some of the miles. Initially I had thought 15 miles would do fine, but I decided to spend the day with Sara yesterday and thought I could make up the miles today. My main goal was to at least break 20 miles this week so minimum was about 16.5. In the end, that was about all I could muster. This was one of the more painful long runs I've had. Yes, it was 53F today, but the winds were wild. The first half of the run wasn't too bad, going through Central Park's lower loop and cruising down Broadway all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was when I went over BB and up the west side highway that was painful. To make matters worse, I had centered my run around a year-round water fountain at Battery Park City. It didn't work! I was a little despirited. Luckily there was a Duane Reade about 100 yds away where I guzzled down a 48oz PowerAde and a small candy bar. The last 5 miles, I was going against seemingly constant 25mph gusts. It was definitely a tough run today. Thankfully, my first long run for this season is done and I have a better idea of the work ahead of me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Nope, I'm not heading home. I'm stuck at home today with the slowest coming cold I've ever experienced. I started getting a scratchy throat last week and it got progressively worse every day, but never to the point where I couldn't be active. As a matter of fact, I was able to log about 16 miles this past weekend. It finally hit me pretty hard midday at work yesterday. I was no longer able to concentrate on my work. Thankfully there were other less brain involved things I was able to complete.

I'm just a little bummed about not being able to go out running. I'm alright being active with a head cold, but when it starts affecting my body, I know it's safer to rest up. Thankfully this is happening now instead of the week before a major event.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Start to February

I can't believe January 09 is already gone. It seems the older I get, the faster time goes by. That said, I try not to waste too much of my time when I have set goals for myself, and my current goal is to get back into decent running shape. I was shocked the other night when I stepped on my scale and saw a number I had not seen in over a couple of years. I knew I'd put on some weight but that was sort of a wake up call. This off season was the perfect storm of culinary excess induced by home vacationing and visiting friends and lack of physical activity.

Anyhow, I ran about 11.5 miles today. Thankfully I had a little bit of company running with JS for a couple of miles. Given that I've been feeling progressively sicker the last three days, I was surprised that I felt pretty good. My 5.5 miles yesterday felt harder than today's run. It may also have been due to the warmer weather today. I finished up with my favorite post long run treat - Acai smoothie at Jamba Juice. I can now relax the rest of the day and eat well during the super bowl :-)