Tag Archives: Running relaxed and injury free

Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 27+Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom-Episode 10

Welcome to the latest post of Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life.  I am also continuing to include another Episode of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  If you would like to listen to this Running Post, please click on this link:

DIRECT LINK TO PODCAST OF RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE

Since I have injured myself last month, I have been exercising no more than just walking, that is until the end of last week.  On Friday I ran so slowly that I could have walked faster!  Just kidding.  But I did walk 60% of the time, however, especially going uphill.  During the 40% of the time that I did run, I felt a few twinges at the bottom of my Gastrocnemius Calf muscle and the top of my Soleus Calf Muscle, which connects to the Achilles tendon.  Whenever I did feel a twinge, I stopped running, and walked for a while.  At the end of the 3 mile run I felt very good.  It was great to be back running again!

On the following day I only walked, and then repeated the 3 mile easy run the next day, Sunday.  That time I walked about 55% of the time and ran easily for 45%.  On Monday I only walked again.  But I did another easy 3 miler on Tuesday, and that time I ran 60% of the time and walked 40%.  On Wednesday I played 9 holes of golf and was pain free.  On Thursday, I went to the track, warmed up well and then did some “speed play”; i.e. 8 alternating medium speed 100 meter strides, with 100 meter fast walks between.  I did not feel any twinges in either my right Soleus or Gastrocnemius Calf muscles.   Surprisingly I felt an occasional twinge in my left Soleus Calf muscle during the last few 100 stride repeats, which had not been bothering me at all!  I rested one day, and then did an easy 4 ¼ mile run.  This time I was totally pain-free!

I had remained injury free for over a year, focusing on long, slow runs and plenty of rest and cross-training (i.e. walking, stretching, push-ups, crunches, and golf) between the runs.  It was only recently that I added more than 10% to my long runs every 2 weeks, and I was running 2 days in a row, without resting or cross-training between them.  And the worst thing was when I did feel that first pain in my Soleus Calf Muscle last month, I did not stop!  I kept running up that hill at my tempo pace!  Just plain pig-headed…..

This brings me to my writing.  I have published and podcasted a Thriller and 5 Children’s Fantasies.  I have been including podcast links to the first 9 episodes of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom, the last Fantasy, in the posts over the last few months.  Today I am including Episode 10 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  Here is the link:

 DIRECT LINK TO MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 10

If you want to order the entire book, please go to:

DIRECT LINK TO MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

If you want a complete listing of all my books and podcasts, please go to:

DIRECT LINK TO ALL ALLAN CHAPMAN’S BOOKS AND PODCASTS

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RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 24+MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 7

Stanford University Track
Stanford University Track

For three months now, I have incorporated a long run in my weekly training. In the past I would include easy runs, but they were not generally long. My focus was on short, fast workouts to increase my speed. More often than not, I would incur an injury sometime during the year, probably because I wasn’t allowing my body to fully repair muscle tissues broken down during the speed sessions.

I believe the long, medium and slow (including walking) runs over these past three months have boosted my fundamental muscle strength to the point where I can change my intervals distance from a minimum distance of 400 meters and higher to 300, 200, and even 100 meter repeats. I will pay particular attention to being sufficiently recovered over the next day, or more likely the next two days, before doing the next running workout.

This week I did pay attention to getting sufficient rest between my runs. On Sunday I went for my long run, with plenty of walking breaks. On Monday I walked for 33 minutes, going 1.6miles. On Tuesday I did a Tempo run. On Wednesday I played 9 holes of golf. Thursday I did 200 meter speed intervals. Friday I walked for 35 minutes, covering 1.55 miles. Finally, on Saturday I walked for 31 minutes, up a steep hill and back down, 1.5 miles.

The highlight of the week was Thursday. After the golf on Wednesday I was quite tired and my lower back was stiff. I’ve been playing golf weekly with some stiffness and fatigue afterward, but this was more than normal. I had more than a little misgiving about transitioning to faster speed intervals the following day.

I felt better in the morning, although I did not feel fully rested. But I did finally convince myself to go to the track, warm-up, and then decide if I felt up to it. I started with my slow walking and jogging 1 mile warm-up, followed by 7 minutes of stretching, and then two wind sprints. I felt pretty well, so I decided to start with four repeat 200s, and then see how I felt after those.

The workout went very well. I felt relaxed from the very first repeat, with my core relaxed, good leg turnover, high-pump arm action, and full toes push-off. I did the first four repeats at my 800 meter race goal pace, and then decided to do at least two more repeats, and perhaps two more after those. I continued to feel good, so I completed four more. I had done 8 x 200s twice earlier this year, but this workout was the fastest and my maximum heart rate was 21 beats per minute slower than during one of them and 15 beats slower than the other.

As I have mentioned before, this year I am focused on having one long and slow run each week, building slowly and resting sufficiently between running workouts to minimize the risk of injury, all too common in my past.

I would say now, “So far, so good.”

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 22 PLUS EPISODE 5-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

DIRECTLY BELOW IS THE AUDIO PODCASTS TO EPISODE 22 OF RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE, PLUS EPISODE 5 OF MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM:

Welcome to a “Double-Header” today.  First up is Episode 22 of my regular blog, Running, Writing and Traveling for Life.  Then stay tuned of Episode 5 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.

Over the past 4 weeks, I have done 1 day of interval training, followed or preceded by a long run, with no rest day between.  I felt fine during each of the workouts, but I was exhausted on the third and fourth days.   I only felt ready for my tempo run after resting on the third and fourth days.  This week I will rest one day between the intervals day and long run day, and then see if I can handle the tempo run after only one or two days of either walking or resting.  In fact, since I started writing this, it’s now later in the week, and I have done my intervals, rested one day, and then done my long run yesterday.  I feel much better this week than last.

There are some of us among the Masters Runners who can run every day and be able to handle the work load.  My guess is that they have been running daily for decades, and they’ve learned to stop running at this first hint of injury.  I have been running for decades, but have had several layoffs, due to injury or burnout, during those years.  For me, from time to time I feel tired and need to overcome inertia to actually get out there and run.  The majority of the time when I do don my running gear and do start putting one foot in front of the other, by the time I am warmed up, I feel good, and I do my workout.  There are times, however, when I don’t feel good, so I end the workout and surrender to recovery.  It is hard to truly discern when your body actually needs a rest day and when your lazy mind is playing tricks on you.

As I have mentioned recently, I am using the winter to focus on slow, longer runs to build up my strength.  It seems to be working, based on slightly improving interval training, with more reps, faster times, and lower rest times between the reps.  I have also adopted Jeff Galloway’s (www.jeffgalloway.com) exhortation to weave walking breaks into the normal running periods, particularly in the beginning and middle parts of the long run.  This way I feel I am able to actually run further and, of course, with less effort.  There is one route I run that has a steep uphill, six-tenths of a mile long, about 1.5 miles from the finish, and I do insert walking breaks here as well.  These walking breaks have also enhanced my enjoyment of the long runs, if only being able to absorb my surroundings more fully.   

Once again I want to encourage you to sit down in a quiet space daily to do affirmations, if you have not started to do it already.  I have seen some of the 22 affirmations become part of my automatic behavior already.  This is a slow process and is most effective if you repeat the affirmations at morning and at night.  If you would like to see my earlier comments on this powerful process, please click on:

http://allanwchapman.com/2013/12/19/running-writing-and-traveling-for-life-episode-12/

http://allanwchapman.com/2014/05/26/running-writing-and-traveling-for-life-episode-15/

 

Please leave your questions or comments by clicking on the “Leave a comment” link at the bottom of the page.  Thanks!

Please be with me again next time when I will report on the results of the day of rest between intervals and long run, but for now, stay tuned for Episode 5 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  Enjoy!

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 20 PLUS EPISODE 3-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

 Direct Link to Today’s Audio Podcast:

December was a difficult month, which actually was probably a good thing.  First I had to deal with jet-lag after a down-and-back trip to Canberra, Australia.  Then I kept trying to run 200s and 400s at my desired 800 meter race time, which left me further exhausted.  After that, most of my running was easy, and the few intervals I did were at a slower pace.  And I had a lot more rest days because I paid attention to my fatigue and only walked, golfed, or rested when I didn’t feel up to running. 

Now it is January, and I feel more rested.  In fact, this week I have felt the strongest in months.  I was able to handle a long run, and then an interval workout in 2 consecutive days.  I am hoping I can build slowly, but steadily in the coming months. 

I have also been thinking about my next novel.  I have been quite disturbed by world-wide terrorism, murder, bigotry and greed, and I have been trying to understand the root cause.  I think about poverty, drugs and alcohol, insanity,  lack of education, being spoiled, sexual drive, and myriads of other circumstances contributing to the chaos in the world.

When I was doing my prayers and meditations this week, I had an epiphany that all of these heinous acts and states of being have to do with power.  Or more specifically, the lack of power.  I want to investigate further.  How does one gain power in healthy ways?  Is the best power external or internal? Is win-win really possible?

I have dabbled in this area in my thriller, Slaves On Horseback, and my children stories, particularly Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  I have been podcasting the first 2 Episodes on iTunes, and I am including the link to the third Episode just below.  For those of you who have listened to the first 2 Episodes already, today we will March for Freedom in Maracaibo with Debby, Michael, their mother and Mr. Wugidgem: 

 

For those of you who want to start at the beginning, please go to:

DIRECT LINK TO MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODES 1 AND 2. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE – EPISODE 19

Stanford University Track
Stanford University Track

 

If you would like to listen to this Podcast, please click on this link:

 

Back at last!  I have been struggling to decide whether or not I was ready to compete on the track.  I have had some gratifying interval speed workouts at my goal 800 meter race pace, but every time I reduced the rest interval between my speed repeats, my heart rate really jumped up and would not drop to an acceptable level when I reached the end of the rest interval, before the next repeat.  I would have to extend the length of the rest interval until my heart rate was at an acceptable level.  I expect this to happen at the end of the workout, but this was happening after only a few repeats with the shorter rest between them.

Eventually I decided to run a 600 meter time trial at my goal 800 meter race pace.  I felt good during the first 200 meters, but I was quite a bit slower than my race pace.  I began to struggle during the second 200 meters, which was slower than the first 200.  The final 200 was a bit faster, but I not as fast as I thought I was going!

Anyway, I was well off my goal 800 meter race pace, which I needed to achieve to qualify for the 2015 Senior Games.  I decided not to compete in the qualifying Games this month, but rather continue to train in my steady, gradual, injury- free way.  I’ll race only when I feel ready, hopefully by next Spring.  It is difficult indeed to accept that the recovery time after surgery and the recovery time after strenuous workouts get longer and longer as we age.  What helps keep me exercising though, is that I still love to run, my blood pressure and heart rate are low, and my overall health is very good. Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE – EPISODE 19

Iffley Road Track-Oxford University

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 18

Thanks for joining me today for Episode 18 in my running, writing, and traveling blog. For those of you who want to listen, rather the read, here is the link to the Audio Podcast: 

Picking up on one of my comments from the last Episode, it is extremely difficult to see the fine line between health and injury. Last week I ran a 600 meter time trial to get an idea how close I was to running a steady pace at my desired 800 meter race pace goal. I felt I was getting close to being able to race a full 800 meters at my goal pace, based on the 200 meter interval times at which I had been running. Was I ever wrong!

I thought I was running the first 200 meters at race pace, but I was quite a bit slower than I expected. I picked up the pace, but even at the 400 meter mark, I was still behind my goal pace. I increased my tempo in the final 200, but still finished well off my goal.

I just looked back at my training log, and I see that I had done a difficult tempo run 3 days before, and only walked the following 2 days. Therefore I did have 2 days of rest between the runs, but I may have needed a third day of rest.

I also may have needed to do my 200 meter interval training at a pace faster than race pace and/or reduced the rest interval to less than the 2 minutes I was taking. This week I think I will just reduce the rest interval and maintain the 200 meter pace at race level. The last time I did intervals faster than race pace, while maintaining the 2 minute rest intervals, I sustained a glute injury that took a long time to heal. Reducing the rest interval should be less stressful on the tired muscles, with less risk of injury.

Stay tuned… Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 18

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!” Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!” Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE16

Stanford University Track-Another View
Stanford University Track-Another View

I have been reviewing my workouts since the beginning of the year, in an attempt to unearth progress and setbacks during this 5 month period.  Because of hernia and eye operations during the first half of last year, I had spent the second half of 2013 doing a lot of easy running.  I was injury free. 

In January of this year, I began to do some speedwork, but at a 2 mile pace, rather than an 800 meter one.  I was doing 200s, 300s and 400s, usually 4 or 5 repeats, with a 2 to 3 minute rest interval, depending on how I felt.  I got through January injury free.

At the beginning of February, I began to increase the speed of my repeats to my 800 meter pace and I dropped the rest interval to the 2 minute range, but still did 4 or 5 repeats.  I felt very good during these repeats.  On February 27 I felt excellent, having rested 3 days, but on the 4th 200 meter repeat, my left glute cramped at about the 80 meter mark, so I stopped.  I rested 90 seconds, then ran 100 meters at my slower 2 mile pace, rested 2 ½ minutes, and then ran one more 100 meters at the 2 mile pace.  I prayed I wasn’t injured too seriously. Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE16

Running, Writing, and Traveling For Life – Episode 15

 

Sunset In Cupertino, CA
Sunset In Cupertino, CA

We are back home in California now, and I’m having a problem with the plastic lens replacement for the cataract-ridden one in my right eye. It has slipped out of place and they can’t schedule the corrective surgery for 10 days. I can see well enough with my left eye, so I’m working on this blog installment.
As I mentioned last week, I have been repeating a list of positive affirmations daily for the past six months, and I thought now was a good time to pass on some observations to you. If you would like to review my original December 19th blog on this subject please click on this link:
Direct Link to Affirmations Blog 12/19/13
Vitally important to this positive affirmation process are these two positive affirmations:
1. I love doing my affirmations, and I repeat them every day.
2. Affirmations work to improve my life.

I changed the word “enjoy” in the original first affirmation to “love” which you see above. As I repeated the daily affirmations over time, I gradually realized enjoyment was morphing into love. I wasn’t simply enjoying the visualization process; I loved how my life was changing.  Thus I created the second positive affirmation:  Affirmations work to improve my life.

Let me share a couple of examples. One of my affirmations is: I enjoy doing my chores and I complete them easily, with a smile on my face. After repeating this positive affirmation every day for a few months, I realized that I was, in fact, finding pleasure and satisfaction in doing my chores. The most amazing thing was that I was completing the chore all at one time, and sometimes even with a smile on my face!  Previously I would allow other distractions to interrupt the completion of my tasks. I also have noticed that when I am relaxing and a chore opportunity comes up, I more often than not handle the chore right then.

Third In The California Games 800 meters-2012

Another example of positive affirmations working involves this one: I am a strong, relaxed, fast runner, and I push off with all my toes. I visualize sliding my shoulder back and down, relaxing my core, and pushing off with all ten toes. Historically, I was tense in both training and racing. During the last six months, I have noticed when I am running, more and more I am actually sliding my shoulders back and down, relaxing my stomach and quads, and really pushing off with all ten toes. I really see this when I am doing interval training – when I am able to maintain these actions, the repeat time is faster.

I don’t fully understand why the affirmations work. I do know that I have negative thoughts during each day, but it seems to me I am better able to dispel these negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Some people may say this is self-hypnosis or delusional. Whatever is it, I believe this process trains the sub-conscious to come from a positive place, with the result being positive action.

I also want to reiterate the importance of repeating often, “I love doing my affirmations and I repeat them every day.”  The negative part of your subconscious will bombard you with negative thoughts that affirmations are waste of time, they don’t work, etc.  After a few weeks these negative thoughts will abate, but they will still pop-up once in a while.

If you are interested in further readings on affirmations, here are some links:

Winning Mindset0001

Train Your Brain Hard0001

Psycho-Cybernetics from Wikipedia

Please send your comments/observations to: allanwchapman@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Please be with me next week for my next post.  My doctor has advised me not to run until sometime after my eye surgery, so I should have time to reflect on my training.  Perhaps a few pearls will emerge that will be of use to you.