Tag Archives: Running

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

Thanks for listening, and please click on the subscribe button for automatic delivery of each of my regular blog posts.

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

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 – EPISODE 13

View From The Doris Duke Estate, Honolulu, Hawaii
View From The Doris Duke Estate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Welcome to www.allanwchapman.com!  This blog is primarily about running, with periodic travel episodes woven in.  Today’s post features travel to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, including Waikiki, Honolulu, and Ko Olina.  The running update will come at the end.

In recent years, my wife and I have discovered the best travel bargains appear to be during the second week of December.  Hotels, restaurants, and car rental agencies all have told us this is a slow week.  The largest discounts have been at the hotels.  Even the airlines’ algorithms have permitted them to offer a modest discount this week. 

We spent the first night at the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach. 

Royal Hawaiian Hotel

We have stayed at the “Pink Hotel” previously during the peak season in a garden view room, but during the second week of December we were able to get an ocean front view room at the same rate as the normal garden view in peak season.

Royal Hawaiian Hotel Ocean View
Royal Hawaiian Hotel Ocean View

For dinner, we returned to the Azure, the hotel’s premier restaurant.  We had thoroughly enjoyed their prix fixe (tasting menu) on our previous visit this past March, so we were quick to choose this 5 course option again.  We were not disappointed.  Each course was an innovative, delectable creation.  The portions were modest and the serving pace was leisurely, so we were sated, not stuffed, when we finished the sumptuous meal.  Here is the menu: 

Azure Tasting Menu

At 7 the next morning I was the first customer down on the beach to reserve lounge chairs in the Royal Hawaiian roped-off section of Waikiki.  I reserved chairs 15 and 16, which we had liked during our March visit because they provided easy access to the Mai Tai Bar and Restaurant, as well as to the rest rooms.  

After breakfast we swabbed on liberal amounts of sunscreen (mandatory in the hot Hawaiian sun), and took the pool elevator which actually was the closest access to our beach lounge chairs.   

And we did lounge in our chairs, alternating between people watching and reading.  We spotted more tattoos than we had ever seen in our lives, with some of the people having little flesh showing between the tattoos.  We also looked out from time to time at the scores of surfers, paddling and waiting for good waves.  There were a few good ones, but I’m sure it was a disappointing day for most of the surfers.  The big surf came later in the week.  This was a very enjoyable, relaxing time for us, but after about 2 hours, the sun’s heat really cooked us.  We made the short walk across the sand, up the ramp and into the Mai Tai Restaurant. 

We had found a really good rate at the Marriott Ocean Club in Ko Olina a few days before we left home.  This is a time-share facility, but they do have units available to the public.  So, after lunch, we set out on the 22 mile drive to Ko Olina.  If you’ve ever been to Hawaii and watched the TV News, you know what we ran into on the H1 freeway.  The traffic was even worse than normal because the highway crews were working during daylight hours to finish repairs by the end of the week so they could enjoy their Christmas Holidays.  Anyway, it took us 2 ½ hours to make the 22 mile journey.         

A new Monkey Pod Restaurant has been opened since our last visit to Ko Olina.  We had discovered their Maui Restaurant earlier in the year in Wailea and had enjoyed it so much that we returned a second time.  The Ko Olina is only about a one mile walk from the Marriott, so we decided to hoof it there-no rain in the forecast.  We were rewarded with delicious meals.  My wife ordered the Saimin Noodles, with Kalua Pork, broccoli, green beans, bean sprouts, red onion, cilantro, mint and peanuts.  I had fish tacos with cilantro, cabbage, roasted tomato salsa, avocado cream, served on double corn tortillas.  I really enjoyed my entrée, but I must say I really, really liked the several bites of my wife’s Saimin Noodles more.  In fact, I ordered it when we returned a couple of days later and was not disappointed.  As good as the entrees were, the dessert was better.  They offer strawberry cream pie, banana cream pie, chocolate cream pie, and coconut cream pie.

The next day we headed back into Honolulu for a tour of Shangri La, the Estate of the late Doris Duke.  Based on the horrific traffic out of Honolulu the previous afternoon, we allowed 2 ½ hours for this trip.  We were facing a return trip to Ko Olina during the afternoon commute hours, so I was expecting the entire day to be stressful and disappointing.

Wow, was I wrong!  We sailed in, part of it in the high occupancy vehicle lane, so we reached the parking lot next to the Honolulu Museum of Art School in less than an hour.  We paid $5 for 5 hours parking and then hurried over to the Honolulu Museum of Art one block away. Because of no-shows, we were able to get the last 2 seats on the bus for 9 a.m. tour instead of the 10:30 a.m. we were booked on. 

The bus ride took about 20 minutes, climbing up Diamond Head Mountain, around, and down the far side.  We drove through the entrance gate, and then down the winding driveway to the front of the house.  As we disembarked, we gazed upon what appeared to be a small, simple and plain house.  It sure didn’t look like what we expected Shangri La to be. 

Doris Duke Estate Front Door With Camels
Doris Duke Estate Front Door With Camels

The bus load of us were split into 2 tour groups, with the first going into the house and the second to start in the gardens before proceeding into the house.  My wife and I were pressed into the second group and moments later we were through the garden wall door.  We look around and we realized that we were indeed in Shangri La.  To the far left we caught side of the tiered house, built into the side of the mountain, far larger than it appeared from the front façade we first saw.  To the right of the house, the Pacific stretched out from the bottom edge of the property.  Straight ahead lay the magnificent Mughal Garden, with Diamond Head Mountain rising behind it.  Shangri La is a beautiful estate perched on 4.9 acres of prime ocean front, downward sloping land.  The Garden is an emulation of the Royal Garden of the Mughal Emperors of India in the 16th and 17th centuries, which first impressed Doris Duke during her honeymoon there in 1935.

Doris Duke Estate Mughal Garden
Doris Duke Estate Mughal Garden

We retraced our steps through the garden wall door and then entered the house through a similar door, into the foyer.  Islamic art and written language abounded, expressing Doris Duke’s love for this ancient expression from the Middle East, India and Pakistan.  The entire house is designed around the Islamic theme.

Here are the highlights:

The Mihrab Room is a dimly lit chamber, which has as its focus a luster ceramic on one of the walls.  This is known as a Mihrab and orients Islamic worshipers towards Mecca, to which they pray 5 times daily.  The rest of the sanctuary features beautiful restored tile works and other ceramics.  

The Damascus Room is a re-creation of an opulent area where guests were received.  The walls and ceiling are wood, embellished with gold, tin, and copper, as well as multicolored glazes.  As I recall (photography inside the house is forbidden), the guests sit on a circular ottoman in the center of the room, and the hosts are seated along the walls.

The Living Room is bright, long and spacious, with a spectacular view of Diamond Head through a floor-to-ceiling window, which also runs the full width of the room.  Our guide told us the window could be totally retracted into the floor for unobstructed viewing of the Pacific and the Mountain. 

The Dining Room is a re-creation of an Islamic Tent.  The walls and ceilings are totally covered with striped blue fabric, which is embellished with Egyptian and Indian appliques.  A magnificent Baccarat Chandelier hangs from the center of the ceiling, and the south and west wall fabric panels can be raised to let views of the Pacific and Diamond Head into the room.  I really could imagine myself in a spacious elegant tent somewhere out in the Sahara.

As I mentioned earlier, I was really pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this tour so much.  Doris Duke left her Estate for the public to enjoy, and I for one found it a real pleasure.  If you would like to learn more about booking the tour and more of what is there, you can go to: http://www.shangrilahawaii.org.

We spent 3 more days in the relative calm of Ko Olina (versus the Waikiki frenzy outside the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian).  We sat in the shade of a tree next to the beach, and then actually went into the Marriott Lagoon water for a few minutes.  We walked to Roy’s for dinner one evening and got caught in a downpour on the way back.  It does rain in Hawaii!  The next day the waves were up, so the surfers were finally happy!

I also did 3 x 5 minute tempo runs along the Hawaiian Railway tracks, which cuts straight through the Ko Olina Golf Course.  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE – EPISODE 13

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

At San Dieguito Park-Solana Beach, California

I’ve had a lot going on with my day job since I last posted.  It appears I may have a breather as we head into the weekend, so let’s see if I can finish this and post it today.  We shall see….

While I have been busy with my business, I have been thinking about running in the spare moments – and when I have actually been running.

One major theme that has come up for me is the mental part of the entire gestalt of running.  In the October, 2013 issue of Runner’s World there is an article which places extreme emphasis on the mental side.  If you would like to read it, please click on this link:  Train Your Brain Hard0001.  For me, this is radical, not gradual.  I believe the strongest and longest lasting method is steady, gradual development, both physically and mentally.

 I recommend the book Psychocybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz to give you a better idea of this longer term approach to the mental side of life, including running.  This book was the foundation of the mental approach to training I learned at Stanford University when I was in school eons ago.  Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon who noticed over the years that many of his patients who had improved their appearance physically through surgery had not improved their internal self-image.  Negative “self-talk” continued to dominate their thoughts. 

He ultimately discovered that positive thoughts, vividly imagined in the mind’s eye, are perceived by the mind to be every bit as real as actual events.  He believed a person’s outer success could never exceed one’s internally visualized success.  From this he developed a template which his patients could customize to codify areas of life they wanted to improve.  Here are some of the positive affirmations we used on the track team:

  1. I am a relaxed, fast runner.
  2. I enjoy my workouts.
  3. I am a winner.
  4. I am a good student and I complete my assignments easily.    
  5. I focus on my breathing to distract myself from pain during strenuous workouts and races.        
  6. I enjoy doing my affirmations every day.                                         

We were instructed to find a quiet place, close our eyes, and relax.  We then repeated each affirmation aloud and focused on evoking a vivid mental picture of ourselves in action, executing the affirmation in as much detail as possible.  For example, when you repeat “I am a winner,” see yourself coming down the final straightaway, pumping your arms, legs strong and churning, then leaning forward, first to break the tape.  Of particular importance is seeing yourself enjoying doing your affirmations every day, because this ultimately overcomes the negative thought that doing the affirmations is a waste of time.

This approach is alive and well today.  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 11

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 11

For the last several weeks, I have been doing a modest amount of running, but not feeling prepared to write about.  I’m still tired much of the time, and I’m stiff the days following the gym workouts, interval training and the tempo runs.  I’ve cut back to these two running days and one gym workout per week.  I do some walking and easy running on the other four days, but most of them are rest days.

But I really feel good when I am running, and for several hours after the workouts.  Some of this “feel good” phenomenon is the endorphins my body produces, but I think the majority is just the relaxed movement.  I think in former times, every stride was tense, and probably I had muscle groups working against each other.  Now I try to relax my stomach, keep my elbows tucked in slightly, shorten my stride, and land mid-sole.  I feel more fluid, and I really enjoy this kind of movement.  Perhaps I’m just fooling myself, but I haven’t sustained any injuries since I resumed training six months ago.  This is the longest I’ve ever gone after a layoff without injury.

Stanford Oval View Of The Quad
Stanford Oval View Of The Quad

Continue reading Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 11

RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 6

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

This working for a living sure gets in the way of life!  I’ve been trying to start this week’s blog all last week, and the next thing I knew it was the middle of the following week.  Anyway I have managed to find time to run, but today’s comments and observations will be short.

As I have mentioned, I decided to skip this year’s Masters Nationals in Berea, Ohio and focus on a slow rebuild to avoid injury.  But I probably have been pushing a bit too hard, particularly in my cross training at the gym.  On second thought, I overdid golf at the beginning of training resumption, after the long layoff.  That’s when I aggravated my knees.  My trainer modified the glutes, hamstrings, quads, upper body, and core exercises to avoid undue pressure on my knees for several weeks.  This did allow my knees to heal, and now I experience only an occasional twinge.

Then I read in Runner’s World that strengthening inner (adductor) and outer (abductor) hip muscles would lead to a more consistent foot landing with each step.  This, in turn, would reduce the stress on your knees.  Therefore this week I did 3 sets of 15 reps each on the inner thigh and outer thigh machines, with probably too much weight.  Both my inner and out adductor muscles were sore for the next 2 days.  I probably should have followed Runner’s World advice and used resistance bands instead of the machines.  Well, live and try to learn!  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 6

RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 5

Stanford University Track
Stanford University Track

 

This working for a living sure gets in the way of life!  I’ve been trying to start this week’s blog all last week, and the next thing I knew it was the middle of the following week.  Anyway I have managed to find time to run, but today comments and observations will be short.

As I have mentioned, I decided to skip this year’s Masters Nationals in Berea, Ohio and focus on a slow rebuild to avoid injury.  But I probably have been pushing a bit too hard, particularly in my cross training at the gym.  On second thought, I overdid golf at the beginning of training resumption, after the long layoff.  That’s when I aggravated my knees.  My trainer modified the glutes, hamstrings, quads, upper body, and core exercises to avoid undue pressure on my knees for several weeks.  This did allow my knees to heal, and now I experience only an occasional twinge.

Then I read in Runner’s World that strengthening inner and outer hip adductor muscles would lead to a more consistent foot landing with each step.  This, in turn, would reduce the stress on your knees.  Therefore this week I did 3 sets of 15 reps each on the inner thigh and outer thigh machines, with probably too much weight.  Both my inner and out adductor muscles were sore for the next 2 days.  I probably should have followed Runner’s World advice and used resistance bands instead of the machines.  Well, live and try to learn!

On the second day, I ran a modified interval program; instead of running 6 x 200 meters at 800 meter race pace, I started with 1 x 400 meters at my 2 mile pace, rested, then 1 x 200 at my 1 mile pace, rested, then 1 x 400 at the 2 mile pace, rested, then finished with 1 x 200 meters at my 800 race pace.  I covered the same distance as 6 x 200 (1200 meters), but at varying speed.  I suppose in a sense it was a form of the Swedish fartlek (literally “playing with speed”).  My right adductor muscle twinged a few times, but it was pretty much okay.

The following day I was quite sore, particularly in my right adductor, so I rested.  I felt better the next morning, with only an occasional pain in my right quad.  By the afternoon that was pain free, so I decided to do a steady run on a hilly 4.32 mile course.  On the long (0.6 mile), steep hill towards the end of the run, I alternated 2 minutes walking, then 2 minutes running for a total of 8 minutes.  My average heart rate was 127 and the peak heart rate 167 when I was going up the steep hill.  My normal peak heart rate is 180.  I felt no pain during the workout, and my “runner’s high” lasted throughout the evening.

I  rested the next day, and then did some sprints the following day.

It’s now the end of the third week.  I have looked back at the past 3 weeks, and I am getting stronger, capable of handling a bit more work each week.  I have been doing intervals, longish run, tempo run, easy day (jogging in the morning and 45 minutes at the gym in the afternoon), and sprints, with 2 rest days each week, over these last 3 weeks.  I probably have pressed a bit too hard, but I seem to be recovering enough so that my aches are not getting any worse.

I will probably do more speed work for the next few weeks, and when the aches are gone, I’ll run an 800 meter time trial to see where I am.  After that, I’ll devote the next few weeks to longer runs if my knees are okay.  Then if all is well, I’ll start my cross country training, with eyes on November 5ks, the Stanford Habitat For Human Home Run and the Race against PH, also at Stanford.

I’m traveling right now and am taking a couple of days off.  I’ll resume tomorrow with short, fast speedwork, and then see how long it takes to recover.  And then I’ll try to post the results next weekend!

Thanks for logging on, and email me at allanwchapman@gmail.com if you have any questions.