Saturday, February 26, 2011

More Improvised Lifting

2/25 lift squat 3x280 plus one arm dumbell presses 55x10, 80x8, 90x6 snatches 135x3, 155x2 and pull-ups with 50lb kb

I'm starting to think the snatches could be part of the problem.  I might need to eliminate all overhead and pressing movements from my routine.  I'll see how it feels tomorrow.  I would have expected my lower body to feel good after a day off on Thursday, but instead I was greeted with more pain and stiffness than usual.  My right knee is not really any better, maybe running on Saturday will fix that...somehow I doubt it...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making progress

2/23 lift power clean 3x210 deadlift 3x385 plus rotator cuff work, a few bent-over rows, some curls and push-ups

We continue to do things a little different with our shoulder injuries.  I should have skipped the push-ups.  They felt good at the time, but now my shoulder is bothering me again.  My left knee is starting to worry as I feel the dull ache that was a problem for over year set in.  This is the one that would wake me up at night.  Power cleans went really well, I got my feet moving on every rep and didn't have any issues.  Deadlifts also went well, no problems even though my back was a little sore on the left side before we started.  I wish I hadn't over done my run yesterday.  I really wanted to do a short run on Thursday but unless things feel a lot different in the morning, I don't think it's going to happen.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


2/22 run 65 mins on Company Mill out & back @ Umstead (left foot taped)

HR avg 166 max 176

The plan was to run 45 mins and ONLY 45 mins in order to keep my knees happy by slowly increasing my mileage.  So I hopped out of the car at Umstead; hit the start button on my Global Trainer and headed for the trailhead.  Everything appeared to be going fine until I reach the end of the bridge that begins the trail loop and I notice the time on my watch is reading 00:00.  Wow, this is weird, I'm sure I saw the time moving earlier, so I hit the start button again and "memory full" pops up on the screen.  Crap, I knew I had quite a few workouts stored but it looked like I still had room last I checked.  So I quickly "delete all" as I'm just in a hurry to get going again.  So I start the timer and figure I'll just run 20 out and back to the trailhead.  I know the trailhead is pretty long but I don't want to cut myself short.

Well, for those of you familiar with Company Mill it has one of the longer trailheads at about a mile.  I didn't realize quite how long it was until I was heading back.  So the 5 minutes I had allotted for the trailhead was more like 12 each way, as it's also mostly uphill on the way out.  This is how I ended up with total run that was about 20 minutes too long.  I could have just run the full loop.  Also, thinking back now, I guess my math isn't the best on the run as how I was thinking 20 out and back on the loop, knowing full well I had already run over 5 minutes to get on the loop wouldn't leave me anytime to run out...

The run itself felt pretty good, I tried to relax more often and not push as hard on the climbs.  I did have some pain in my right hip that got worse toward the end, but I think this is directly related to my failure on the box squat.  I can distinctly remember my right hip kind of shutting down when I went to come off the box on my last set.  This time I ran in the direction of the stairs, so I got to enjoy going up them and down them on the out and back.  I think I hit pretty much all the hard climbs in those 20 minutes.

I hope I'm not too beat up tomorrow, I really don't want to end up hurt again.  it seems that the Tuesday run followed by cleans and deadlifts are what has been putting me on the injured list lately.  I felt pretty good after the run, but I didn't have a lot of time to think about it as I was in a mad dash to get home and shower to make a dinner group thing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Keeping the ego in check

2/21 lift box squat 3x305 (assisted) towel bench 3x215 (only one set due to shoulder injury) plus snatches 70x5, 90+100x4 pull-ups w/ 50lb kb and curls 21's w/ 75lb

Another modified lifting session due to shoulder problems.  I had some issues on the box squat where my hips just shutdown trying to move the top weight.  I think I can get the hips working now that I have my form down with the reduced box height.  I'm not sure what I need to do in order to rehab the shoulder other than take it easy and give it some more time.  It's tough having to force a layoff, but I'm trying to train smarter this time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Slow and Steady wins the race..or at least keeps us healthy

2/19 run 50 mins Sycamore Trail @ Umstead with left foot taped

HR avg 159 max 175

The +1 didn't want to do her long run today, so instead, she guilted me into doing mine!  So off we went to Umstead with both of us not really having our hearts in it.  It was a rough 50 mins, and, naturally, the turn around point was at the bottom of the longest and steepest descent of the whole trail.  I didn't work as hard according to my watch, which is good, but this run felt worse to me.  I'm not sure what it was, but I felt like I was struggling the whole time.  At least it's done for the weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I hope squats are good for sore knees!

2/18 lift squat 10x205, 8x225, 6x265 snatch 3x135, 3x145 plus pull-ups with 50lb kettlebell

No bench press today with the shoulder, although I'm not sure snatches are the best thing for it either.  I don't know why squats are always so hard for me lately, but that's become a recurring theme in my training logs.  I upped the snatches a little bit, my plan is to add about 10lbs a week maintaining my form.  My training partner got some bad news about his shoulder, but we won't know for sure until the after the MRI.

In other news, it's my left knee that has been bothering me again.  This is the one that used to give me all the problems until I was put on Fosamax and zero impact activity for 8 mos.  I'm hoping it's a fluke and the knee will calm down again.  I guess I'll stick with the use it or lose it philosophy for now...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finding my stride

2/17 run 40 mins out and back on Company Mill @ Umstead (no tape on foot)

HR avg 165 max 181

Looks like I managed to string together over 2 minutes with heart rate at 180+.  This was on the run out the trailhead, as it's all uphill.  I'm doing my best to keep my distances short and gradually increase distance.  I was planning to do intervals today, but I forgot to set them up on my Global Trainer for the 40 minute duration.  It wouldn't have mattered anyways as there are enough longer hill climbs on Company Mill to substitute.

Form over Function

2/16 lift power clean 2x225 deadlift 2x390 plus 21'sx75,75 and hammer curls 10x65lb dumbells

We mixed it up a little this week to spare our shoulders some more wear and tear.  I worked on my form with each set of cleans.  The double went ok, the first one was ugly, but I nailed the second one.  I need to keep those feet popping out with every rep.  The deadlifts went really well.  I hit another post injury PR, this puts me on track for hitting 405 in March (my injury weight).  My lifting partner is getting his shoulder checked out, so we will probably be taking it easy on the pressing for a few weeks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Working on my form

2/15 lift box squat 6x285 towel bench 8x230 (skipped 6 rep set due to left shoulder) plus snatches 3x70,80,90+100 and pull-ups with 50lb kb.

Both of us are having shoulder problems.  It's funny how you can do what should be identical bilateral exercises, yet one side will breakdown while the other gets stronger.  I was going to run today, but I decided to put it off until Wednesday or Thursday to give my knees more of a rest.  I'd really like to ease into things this time so I'm not left injured and trying to recover.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And on the 8th day he ran

2/13 run 25 min 48 secs one loop of Sal's Branch @ Umstead (no tape and about 57 outside)

HR avg 167 max 179

This trail is listed as 2.75 miles by the park and Mapmyrun has it as 2.58 miles, which is a good bit more than my Timex usually records.  I believe the 2.58 miles to be the correct distance.  My goal for today was to get in and out as quickly as possible without grinding my knees to dust.  This put me right at the coveted 10 min mark, which is my goal pace for trails.  My knees were a little stiff at the start, but I did my best to improve any deficiencies I felt in my form during the run.  This the first time I didn't ice my right knee after running in months.  I'm hoping the short distance will keep me healthy for my lifting session tomorrow.  I want to train smarter this time and keep myself healthy even if it means slower progress.  I'd like to be able to walk up and down stairs like a normal person on a daily basis.

In other news, I need a new hydration bottle if I'm going to use anything that creates carbonation when mixed.  My bottle gave me hell on this run as the mixture gives off a bit of carbonation when it shakes and the cap seems to have lost it's ability to seal properly.  I think I got more drink on me than in me.  Also, for some reason, when I would try to pull the cap open with my teeth, it would pop off completely.  This happened 4 or 5 times and each time I would have to focus on trying to get it back onto the bottle without falling on my face.  Kind of disappointing for a bottle I've only had a month or two.  The other Nathan worked fine with just water inside.  I wish they made a race cap for the Quickdraw Elite, as I think this would allow the pressure to vent without spraying me all the time.  I'm going to do some careful inspection of the cap tomorrow and see if I can figure out why I had this issue with only one of the bottles.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everybody's Lifting for the Weekend

2/11 lift squat 2x275 (1x295 assisted) bench press 1x265 plus barbell snatches 2 sets of 3x135 plus pull-ups with 50lb kettlebell

Another bad day of squats, but slightly better than last month.  I think I have developed an imbalance related to my back injury that is causing me to twist to my right.  I'm going to have to figure this out.  I also intend to get some bands and start working some terminal knee extensions to see if this will help with some of running related knee pain.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Extended bike ride and Timex Global Trainer user error!

2/10 bike 90+ mins on the ATT unpaved side on my trusty '99 Gary Fisher Xcaliber

HR avg 140's max 160's

I don't really know what happened, I guess it could be user error.  My Timex Global Trainer let me down somehow.  Perhaps a button got pushed by my wrist on the bike.  I should have used the bike mount.  All I do know is I only have 11 minutes of data, yet it shows the correct start time and I remember seeing the distance change during the ride.  I can only guess my heart rate for the whole time based on my spot checks and the 11 minutes it recorded.  The watch still shows free memory, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.  I guess a button must have gotten pressed, probably when I was doubling up my gloves.  How I didn't realize it, I'll never know.  Lesson learned, use the bike mount or lock the buttons!

My knees weren't ready for another run yet, so I wanted to hit a spin class, but none of them fit my schedule today.  I loaned out my Airdyne to a friend who tore his acl, so that left me with one option... my mountain bike (ok, I could have used the Nordic Track or finished repairing our dreadmill, but the monotony of sweating in place for an hour is too much for me to handle right now).  I dusted off my banana colored '99 Gary Fisher Xcaliber and stuffed it into the back of my jeep.  This is a good bike, but I really need to put a new fork on it to make it safe for trails.  It's workable on flat stuff but the fork bottoms out with any amount of weight on the front (it needs a front derailleur too).  I invested a bunch of money in this bike already, so I almost feel like I'm obligated to finish the job.  So my one hour ride turned into 1.5 with a 45 minute out and back ride.  I had to double up my gloves and my hands and feet were still numb for most of it, but I got a decent workout without pounding my knees to dust.  I just wish I had the data to go with it, as I think there are more elevation changes than you realize on that side of the ATT.  I would find myself moving at what felt like a snail's pace at times and I think this was due to the grade on certain parts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Surprising myself

2/9 lift power clean 1x230 deadlift 1x395 plus inclines 6x70, 75 and 80lb dumbells.

I figure I will list my full weights out just for fun:

Power clean: 5x145, 4x155, 3x165, 2x185, 1x230 fail, 1x230 success!
Deadlift 5x255, 4x295, 3x345, 2x365, 1x395 new PR post back-injury!

Now, as you can see, we need to bring up some of higher rep sets.  We've gotten a little lazy on our early sets for both of these exercises.  I'm thinking for power cleans 155, 170, 185, 200, 230 and deadlifts 275, 315, 345, 365 and on up.  Now to comment on each lift:

Power clean:
Since I started training for the run, I've lost some explosiveness in my lower body and the pain in my knees keeps me from popping my feet out like I should on each rep.  Well, today I worked hard on getting my form right on every rep.  Things were going well until I tried my single and I, once again, tried to do a split clean by stepping my right foot back.  I was nowhere close to getting under the bar.  I refocused mentally and practiced the movement a few times.  This time I did it!  I finally got both my feet moving again.  They popped out and I got under the bar.  I came under a little crooked but it was a clean rep!  Finally!  This just reinforces the need for perfect form on every rep of the power clean.  I've been reluctant to move my legs due to the pain in my knees and have been doing my sets stiff legged as a result.  I have to stop doing this now!

Today was a PR for me post back injury.  Last time we had singles week, I got sick from that damn agave syrup and threw up in the bathroom all day instead of hitting my single.  Today was all about redemption.  My back felt good and I pulled the weight without too much trouble, although I'm still not bending my knees and getting my hips back like I should at the start.  I can't believe I'm almost back to 405 again.  It's a great accomplishment but also depressing to think it's taken me almost a full year to regain my previous strength, as I think I originally hurt my back in April of '10.

Incline Dumbell Presses:
These were all about not aggravating my injured left shoulder.  I would only go down about half way on my left side while doing the full movement on my right, which added a new element of difficulty but kept my left out of the pain zone.  My shoulder actually felt better on the last set and I went a little deeper on the left side.  Overall not too bad for the amount of pain I was in just the day before.  It's funny how you can wake up in the morning and look at a workout as being insurmountable, but come out on the other side accomplishing things you wouldn't have expected.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Time to pick up heavy things again

2/8 lift box squat 1x315 towel bench 1x280 plus snatches 5x75, 3x90,100 and pull-ups with 50lb kettlebell.

A combination of the lower box height and the running have conspired to pushed my squat weights down again.  Both my singles involved an assist, but I'm writing them down anyway.  I'm still beat up from the run, so I'll take what I can get.  My left shoulder is all kinds of messed up.  I did the 90lb dumbell on my left side and it still feels like I've got a knife jammed in the front of it, but I'm happy to be lifting again.  I hope the swelling and pain in my knees goes down soon, I'm starting to forget how to walk normally.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Uwharrie Mountain Run & Country Bear Jamboree

2/5 race 1:40 something with left foot taped

HR avg 169 max 183

In retrospect it doesn't seem so bad, but on the course I remember feeling like a bad person for guilting the +1 into going ahead with the 20 miler after experiencing the difficulty firsthand.  I knew the first hill would be bad, but my training style actually hurt me on the course.  In training I employ the "never walk" strategy of running.  I might drop back to a snail's pace on certain hills, but I maintain my running form with a higher foot speed and a shorter stride.  This strategy doesn't work for Uwharrie, or at least not with the training hills we have here in the Triangle.  I was expecting to walk the first hill due to the bottleneck at the start, but I really thought I would be able to run the rest.  I wasn't even close, my heart rate would stay in the 170's even walking some of them!

Then there is the terrain issue.  Narrow single track with roots and rocks everywhere.  Not to mention the mud and standing water from all the rain.  I'm still not sure how I didn't fall or run into a tree at some point.  I made a point to mentally tell myself to focus if I felt my mind wandering or if I had to take a drink etc, as even a millisecond lapse in watching the trail could put you on your ass or worse.

I've never had any problems with my back on runs since I did C25K, but I aggravated it in spin class on Thursday and then sleeping in a strange bed didn't help.  I didn't even give the back pain I felt in spin class a second thought until it hit me on the course.  This resulted in shooting pain and spasms in my lower back that would intensify every time I walked.  The pain would get worse when I would first start running again and eventually subside, but as soon as I walked again it would come back with a vengeance.  I started to feel like I was visually hunched over from the pain, and did my best to correct my posture.  Telling myself to push my hips forward and land with everything lined up on each step.

I also had some calf problems toward the end of the race, I had to slow myself on some of the downhills as my outer right calf started hurting toward the end.  My two bottles worked out great, as this allowed me run right past the aid station at mile 5.  My Timex Global Trainer registered 8.1 miles and the actual course is 8.4, so it did a pretty good job with the extreme tree cover and elevation changes.

When I got into the van for the ride back to the parking area I realized my right shoulder was cramping horribly.  I don't know if this points to a nutrition issue or just a training limitation.  I started eating all my snacks out of my drop bag.  One packet of margarita Clif shot bloks, a Kind bar, a packet of chocolate hazelnut butter.  I also took the salt tab I was carrying around.  I'll be curious to see how the right shoulder feels when I start lifting again on Monday.

What would I do differently:

I made the mistake of over dressing on top.  I should have ditched the jacket or my silk base layer before the start.  I might ditch the sunglasses in the future if I have to walk at any point.

I made some mistakes on the course.  I should have gone ahead and passed people in the beginning especially on the downhills.  Due to being so heavy I fly downhill and if I have to slowdown it just burns out my legs more quickly.  I finally gave up being polite and passed about 10 people on one downhill section.

mental toughness:
I could have pushed myself more.  I walked longer than I needed to on some sections and stopped running sooner than I had to on some of the hills, as well.  I'm thinking I might setup an alarm for 170bpm and see if I can keep my heart rate above that for an entire training session.

Would I train differently?

Umm, more hills, longer hills, steeper hills...did I mention hills?  I need to string together more training runs without injuring myself.  I need to do more pace work, so I can improve my recovery between bursts of maximum exertion.  This will help me on obstacle courses as well as the hills.

Uwharrie Mountain Run Gear Report and build up

Friday night arriving at the hotel, I was still limping around and when I sat on the end of the bed and tried to straighten my leg, I still couldn't do so between the combination of pain and swelling.  I thought to myself, I wouldn't dare chance a training run with an injury like this, but what about a race.  Is it worth it?  I don't want to put myself out of commission for a month or, worse, into the operating room.  I went to bed, leaving my fate in the hands of a higher power and my body's own recuperative abilities.

Saturday I got up at around 6 thanks to the +1's motto of "if you aren't ridiculously early, you're late." (ok, I made that up)  I snarfed down a hard-boiled egg, the second one got frozen at some point, which makes the texture beyond gross.  I ate two gluten-free pamela's mix and chocolate chip pancakes in the car along with a banana on my way to drop the +1 off at the start.  She was supposed to run the 20 miler but had come down with a case of aquaphobia upon seeing the heavy rainfall that morning.  Thankfully it was reduced to a drizzle by the time we got to start, so I pushed her out of the car and headed to the parking area!  Ok, it didn't quite happen like that, but I did have to send her on a guilt trip.  I knew if she dropped out of the race, it would be very hard for me to move forward with mine.

So I headed off the parking area which is close to 10 miles from the race start.  I got there and hung out in the car for a bit trying to decide on my gear choice.  By this time, it had mostly stopped raining but still looked like it could open up at any moment and the temperature was around 38 according to the car.  Initially I had geared up in my green sleeveless Saucony SpeedLite shirt, and my REI Airflyte running jacket.  I was way too cold just standing around in this, so I added my REI silk on top under the shirt and jacket.  This still left me shivering a bit waiting for the bus.  I also wore my Mizuno headband and my Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero.  This was my secret weapon for torrential downpours and I was kind of disappointed it had mostly stopped raining.  I was really looking forward to slogging around in this goofy hat and my new jacket.  I'll list what I actually wore for the race  and comment on each below.  I stuffed the sombrero in my drop bag before the race as it wasn't raining by this time, so there was no need for it.  The only aid station is at the 5 mile mark, so I didn't bother figuring it into my plans, plus I like to duplicate my training on race day.

1. Mizuno Breath Thermo Headband
This is my favorite headband.  I wear it anytime the temperature drops into the 40's.  It gets super warm when wet and is easily looped around my arm if I get too hot.  I wore it the whole race, but I pulled it up over my ears at some point thanks to my overdressing.

2. Bolle Parole sunglasses (my eyes tear up like crazy in cold weather)
I always wear sunglasses when I run in cold weather due to how much my eyes tear.  I don't know if this is related to wearing contacts or what, but anytime it's cold outside I look like I've been crying if I have to walk anywhere.  I stuffed these in a pocket at some point due to the course requirements.  Since the hills were too steep for me to run, my glasses would fog up walking and then it would take too long for them to defog when I would start running again.  I think I probably wore them for around 4 miles before this really became a problem.

3. REI Airflyte Running Jacket (eVent fabric, if you haven't heard about this fabric, you will soon!)
This is an AWESOME jacket.  If you haven't heard of eVent fabric, well, that's because Goretex spends millions of dollars to make sure you don't.  It breathes at least 2x better than Goretex and is super lightweight.  If it had actually been raining this would have been awesome, but since we ended up with a dry day I should have left one of my upper layers in the car.  I ran with the jacket open from the first mile on.

4. Saucony SpeedLite sleaveless shirt
This is the thinnest and lightest tech shirt I own, it can be a little sheer by itself but works great on hot days and in layering situations, or if you want to show off your nipples...

5. REI Silk long underwear top in natural
I should have left this in the car and gone with my original strategy, but I would have froze waiting around to start.  I didn't want to strip it off at the starting line, but that's what I should have done.  Oh well, something to remember for next year.  It also seems to have a love for my shirt as the two bonded together and made blowing my nose on the hem of my shirt even more difficult than usual...yeah I said that...

6. REI silk long underwear bottoms in black (with a nice rip on the right calf)
These are super lightweight and do a great job of wicking moisture.  Plus they don't hold onto water, so all the creek crossings are no problem.

7. Shorts with liner from Dicks (I don't know who makes these, but they have pockets)
A pretty standard pair of nylon shorts with a liner and pockets.  They don't chafe and are long enough to wear when you aren't running

8. Balega lightweight trail socks
I'm a huge fan of Balega socks.  They seem to have best combination of lightweight, cushioning and friction reduction.  I was originally going to wear some wool socks, but the wool Balega socks I ordered still aren't here and the Smartwool socks I tried gave me some hotspots, but this could be the nature of wool, as it has a higher coefficient of friction than most synthetics.  I look forward to trying my wool Balega's when they arrive.

9. New Balance MT101 shoes
I love these shoes, they are lightweight, and provide excellent foot protection.  The cleats are minimal, but they provide just enough to keep you planted without slowing you down.  They also have the widest toe box I've found in a lightweight trail shoe.  I need a 2E normally and these are just wide enough that I can wear my actual size, as they don't come in additional widths.  Also, the New Balance store can stretch them, which is what they did to mine when I bought them.  Just something to keep in mind if you try them out of the box and have any rubbing issues.

10. 2x Nathan Quickdraw Elite
A great bottle, there is pocket for keys and solid nutrition plus a comfortable hand strap that doesn't move around.  I filled one with water and the other with 1.5 scoops of Cytosport Monster Amino.  Monster Amino is touted as a post-workout beverage, but it makes a great workout and race fuel.  This allowed me to run right past the aid station at mile 5.  I drink water like our labrador retriever, so I nearly drained both bottles by the finish.

11. Timex Global Trainer GPS 
I got a great deal on this watch with the heart rate strap and other than reading a little short on distance, it does a great job.  I use it all the time as a quick visual reference for my heart rate, distance and time.

I have to break this up into multiple posts.  I'll try to figure out what I want to say about the race in the next one.

Friday off

I didn't do sh*t on Friday other than work and pack.  My knee was still very swollen and painful and I was on the fence about doing ANY running in the near future.  The spin class didn't work the miracle I hoped it would.  If anything it caused my lower back to seize up a little, but I only started to really notice this on Saturday...  I'm going to try and put together what I can of a race report, but expect it come in spurts.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

He's got leggs and let's hope he knows how to use them

2/3 spin 60 mins at SYNCstudio in Laurissa's class

HR avg 162 max 179

 Let's hope some more ice and my Zensah mantyhose get these legs ready to go.  If my knee doesn't make some fast improvements tomorrow, I might not be running at all.  Hit up a spin class tonight in the hopes it would help speed my recovery.  If I'm still struggling to get up and down steps tomorrow night I will need to rethink this whole race thing.

Laurissa did an 80's mix for spinning tonight and it was a refreshing change of pace.  I think part of the reason I like her classes so much is her music selection.  She usually picks out stuff other than the usual high energy club music.  Looking at my heart rate data I'm pretty sure all my time above 175 was due to "Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol.  Yes, I'm ok admitting to this fact.  This makes me wonder what would happen if I started running with music, it's not something to try anytime soon, but I think it could be useful for speed work when I'm healthy again.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sometimes you should take a knee

2/2 lift powerclean 5x200 deadlift 5x370

My knee was already very stiff and a bit swollen from the run yesterday.  Today it was a slow and painful process getting through the core lifts.  I've been icing on and off but it looks like I've picked up some more fluid and pain, of course.  I'm going to have to keep it elevated again most of tomorrow.  I signed up for a spin class on Thursday, which I'm hoping will help speed up my healing before Saturday.  I will say the compression socks made a difference in everything below the knee.  My calves and ankles are sore, but without the tightness.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Weight Classes for Running

2/1 run 68 mins Company Mill Trail redemption run @ Umstead with left foot taped

HR avg 165 max 176

I felt like Company Mill beat me down last time, so I needed redemption before Uwharrie.  It was a risky proposition, as having another bad run before race day would be demoralizing.  Well I got my redemption but nearly took myself out of the competition in the process.  I dropped about 32 seconds a mile if you believe my Timex Global Trainer and, although, my average heart rate was unchanged I significantly lowered my maximum heart rate.  On my last run I ran over 4 minutes (non-consecutively) with my heart rate in excess of 176, so this was a real improvement in efficiency, as well.

I made an adjustment to my fueling strategy.  Even though I blamed my waxy maize mixture on my poor performance, I actually think the extra calories are helping.  So this run I filled my Nathan Quickdraw Elite 22oz bottle with the mixture and carried a Fuelbelt Sprint 10oz Palm holder full of water in my other hand.  This worked out to be a good combination, and I was nearly empty by the end of the run.  I am a little disturbed by the fact that I drained about 32oz of fluid in 68 minutes of running.  The upside to this is I find I feel a LOT better when I get done the more I hydrate and eat during the run.  This seems to be a great strategy to improve my recovery on a weekly basis.  For those of you interested,  I've been using 1 scoop of this stuff for hydration on the run.  I don't know the ratio of waxy maize to maltrodextrin, but at 17.99 (sour grape on sale) for 30 servings with 5 grams of BCAA's, that's a hell of a deal.  I'll use up the bottle before I re-evaluate again.

Now back to the taking myself out part.  I rolled my ankle.  I normally trip or stumble a few times, sometimes in spectacular fashion but I haven't truly rolled an ankle yet, until today.  I think the saving grace was the heavy taping on my left foot.  I could feel the tendons and ligaments stretch and rebound all the way to the inside of my foot as I rolled over the outside.  I don't know if I could have remained upright without the heavy taping.  This was around the 3.5 mile mark on a flat section with lots of ground cover.  I still don't know what I stepped on beneath the pine straw.  Thankfully the swelling seems to be minor at this point and I was able to run out the rest of the trail (over 2 miles).  I think the heavens were smiling upon me when I stopped by Bull City Running Company on my way home.  I found a pair of Zensah compression socks in the clearance bin!  I got home and stuffed my cankles into them hoping for a recovery miracle.  I guess it's wait and see time.

So I was thinking on my run today about weight classes.  In wrestling, weightlifting and many other sports weight classes are a standard.  I'm not measured against those that are significantly heavier or lighter than me, but in running it's just one big free for all.  I think this is blatant weightism! (yes, Wikipedia says that is a word)  We need race day weigh-ins!  I'm not asking for anything crazy, just 50lb classes or an over and under 200 for men.  Actually I would just be happy to see competitor weights on a finishing time list.  I find it's difficult to set goals for myself, when I can't find any numbers for high level runners over 200lbs, perhaps because there are none...  It's also misleading to call a race series The Fat Ass...yet there is no requirement for participants to have a big, fat ass.  That's false advertising and should be against the rules!  I'm going to start my own Fat Ass race, only all participants will be required to have big, fat asses.  Stocky, husky and big boned builds will be accepted on a case by case basis.

Note to the +1:  I expect to see your new blog post tomorrow, since I "fixed" your computer ;-)