Sunday, March 9, 2014

Officially Done With Walk Breaks

This is what we call, "running at a semi-reasonable pace."
Who can run for twenty minutes straight without taking a walk break or becoming incapacitated by bone pain?

THIS girl.

That's right. Starting last Friday, my PT said that I could take that 5 x 4:00 w/ 1:00 walk breaks I've been doing, ditch the walk breaks, & try running all twenty minutes in a row. It turned out that on Friday my right Achilles / medial tibial area was a bit unhappy so I put it off a day, but by Saturday afternoon my legs felt great, so I laced up my new Mizuno Hitogamis & headed out.

I couldn't have picked a better day for it. Saturday in San Francisco was a flawless 70°F & sunny, with just a hint of a breeze.

I didn't care about my pace. As I saw it, the goals for that run were pretty simple:

  • Pay attention to pain.
  • Don't run through it.
  • Maintain good form (lean forward, land silently on mid/ball-of-foot, pull through with hamstrings & glutes, finish with shin parallel to ground; my PT has pretty much tattooed this to the inside of my eyelids).

OMG you guys. Do you know how much I've missed running through my neighborhood on a warm, sunny day without anything hurting? SO MUCH. Being able to do this again, even just for twenty minutes at a time, utterly made my day.

Also, I got these socks for next weekend's 5K:

Decisions, decisions...

Which ones shall I wear on Saturday? Shall we have a vote??

Life is good. :)

First Thoughts on the Hitogamis:

These poor shoes have the great misfortune of immediately following the ones I just wear tested & fell absolutely in love with (and will be buying as soon as they're available), so I'm doing my best to be fair. Still, it's hard not to compare them.

After one easy twenty-minute run on local sidewalks, here are my off-the-cuff observations:

  • Relatively light
  • By & large quite comfortable
  • On the narrow, tight side, particularly in the toe box (I had to loosen the laces basically as far as they would go in order not to cut off circulation to my feet)
  • Rather stiff - not particularly flexible in the sole
  • Nice amount of cushion (probably enough for a full marathon, I'd think) without that "pillowy" feeling

The Hitogami was supposed to replace both the Musha & Ronin & slots right in between the two in terms of weight & heel drop, but thus far I have to say that while I never wore the Ronin, this one feels like a very different shoe than the Musha. I'll definitely do a more thorough review once I've got a few more miles on them (and also on the Ekidens, which should make for an interesting comparison).

* * *

Grand Total: 54 miles

    * 9 running
    * 26.6 easy (bike)
    * 9.2 speed (bike)
    * 9.2 elliptical

This week ended up being a *little* bit of an unplanned cut-back week for different reasons, but since I haven't exactly been working in planned cut-back weeks, that is probably not the worst thing that ever happened.

Monday: 13.8 bike

    Don & I spent Sunday night working on vacation planning (on which we've been procrastinating), & before I knew it it was midnight & I was nowhere close to getting in bed, which meant there was just no way a Monday morning strength session was going to happen. I did my easy hour on the bike after work, but then he & I both got home, both sleep-deprived, looked at the weather, looked at bridge traffic, looked at the state of our vacation plans, & said "Screw it" & did not go to karate.

    On the other hand, we did research Italian agriturismos, book a few nights in one in Umbria, & also booked a few nights in a restored medieval castle tower. So all in all it was still a productive night.

    We're staying in this castle in Perugia.

    Umbria, I cannot wait to be in you.

Tuesday: a.m. 3.3 run (6 x 4:00 w/ 1:00 walk breaks) + 2.5 elliptical / p.m. bike, 2.2 warm up, 10 x (1:00 @ all-out, 2:00 easy) = 11.8 speed.

    Bike speed work? Sucked ass.

    These were supposed to be equivalent to 300m repeats, & it never fails that when I see them on the schedule (after running god-forsaken 1200m's & mile repeats for weeks on end) I'm like, "Ppppppfffff. 300m's? Bitch, please. Sprinting for 1:00 barely even counts as doing something. And 10 x basically nothing is still basically nothing. But let me just bust this out really quick if I must & then someone can get me a *real* speed workout to do."

    And then I absolutely sprint the hell out of the first one, which is easy, sprint the hell out of the second one, which is pretty easy, and then after the third one I basically want to die. This was supposed to be 12 x 1:00 but after six of them that was soooooo not happening. I have never been good at short intervals and SURPRISE!! Not doing any for 3 months has not made me better.

    As a side note, I have no idea how well doing speed work on a spin bike translates to running fitness. I feel like it has to in most ways (since mitochondria are mitochondria, red blood cells are red blood cells, capillaries are capillaries, etc.) but is definitely not as efficient as doing it on your feet, since the motion is different & you're using some different muscles in some different ways. I suppose we'll see how next week's 5K plays out & that will give me some indication.

Wednesday: a.m. strength work / afternoon 6.7 elliptical / p.m. karate

    Two full sets of push-ups with the 25, no breaks, better form than last week. Two more sets that weren't quite as good & required a little pause at after 10. Also, just so you know I haven't changed my mind, the elliptical is ass.

Thursday: a.m. 3.1 run (6 x 4:00 w/ 1:00 walk breaks) / p.m. bike.

    Ordinarily I would have put in 15 more minutes on the elliptical after my a.m. treadmill time, but I was feeling kind of tired & beat up from karate (okay also I didn't go to bed until midnight) & there were some spots in my lower right leg that just felt kind of "off" & painful, & if Lauren Fleshman can heartily mock people who stick to their training plans *no matter what* & Alberto Salazar can pull Mary Cain from indoor Worlds because her calf is feeling a little sore, my plowing through 15 minutes on the elliptical with an achey leg suddenly doesn't seem all that heroic.

Friday: a.m. strength work / run / bike.

    Once again, I didn't sleep well, & though I made it to the gym in the morning for strength work, I spent most of the afternoon staring off into space with a glazed expression or falling asleep at my desk. This was one of those days where, if I'd really been training for something, I would have sucked it up & forced myself through the p.m. workout. As it was, though, we had dinner plans with dear friends and I really wanted to be semi-functional for them, so instead I left work early & went home to take a pre-dinner nap.

Saturday: 2.5 run (20:00 straight!!).

Sunday: Rest.

    I had this idea that I would run in the Hitogamis on Saturday & then do another twenty minutes in the Ekidens on Sunday, but it turns out that when you haven't run for more than ~4 minutes at a time in nearly three months & then you run for five times that amount, you get a bit sore in the foot/shin areas. Nothing that feels like an injury lurking; just the usual running muscles doing their usual thing after not having to do much for a few months. Most likely I could have done the run & it would have been fine, but it seemed like a smarter idea (LOOK AT ME LEARNING!) to give them a day to rest.

    Instead, we slept til noon & spent most of the afternoon reading the internet in soft pants.


  1. Super happy you're running a little again - no breaks! - but disappointed in the shoe review. I LOVE the Musha and I'm mad it's gone!

  2. Glad you're running again! I'm jealous of your weather. As for the socks - I like the striped knee-highs.

    When are you in Italy? We're there for the last two weeks of May, and will be meeting up with my husband's parents and other relatives. I am so excited about food! hiking! agriturismos! museums! cathedrals! have no idea.

  3. Such happy news! It only takes an injury to remind a girl how lucky we are simply to run!!! And I'm dead jealous of your Italy photos!

  4. It's great that you're allowed to run without the walk breaks. That must make your heart sing just a little.

  5. Awesome on the no walking - and 8:09 pace is solid. Just remember the too much too soon acronym (TMTS) lol. And yea seemed like everyone in SF was at Dolores Park last Sun haha

    And Italia looks amazing

  6. YAY for no more walk breaks! Tremendous progress!