Category Archives: Running

BBM Training: Week 9 Recap

My┬ábig adjustment this week has been figuring out how to transition some of my exercise habits to the afternoon/evening (I have a new schedule at work). Previously, I’d been working mostly evenings, which is great for a leisurely long run in the morning. Not great when I go to bed way past my regular bedtime and still have to get up earlier than usual to try to avoid the heat and humidity. Now I have a few more daytime shifts, which gives me back my reasonable bedtime, but doesn’t leave a lot of time for morning runs when I have to catch the bus at 7am. So I’ve been trying to switch some of my morning runs to afternoon/evening runs. Between the heat index and the UV index, it is…I’ll say it…treacherous to be outside at times. And almost impossible to rehydrate afterwards.

I’d love to see the exchange rate on that training effort. It’s like one of those complicated math problems. If I run 4 miles in 95 degree heat, direct sunlight and 180% humidity, how many miles does that work out to in, say, 80 degree heat and 120% humidity? It sure feels like I’m giving monumentally more effort than whatever was on my training schedule. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Goal mileage:

  • Short run: 6 miles
  • Short run: 6 miles
  • Short run: 6 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 16 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Short run: 4 miles (evening run)
  • Short run: 4 miles (another evening run)
  • Short run: 4 + 5 miles (trail)
  • Long, slow, distance: 11 miles, road

Injury report: After 4 months of physical therapy, it seems all I needed was a foam roller. My long runs haven’t been cut short due to knee pain the past two weeks (knock on wood) while I’ve been keeping up with foam rolling. Right knee. Left knee is still niggly from my mis-step on the trail a few weeks back. Runnable. Hopefully not getting worse. Right hip tightness is still there in full force. But it’s been there off and on for the past 5 years, and I’ve run 3 marathons in that time. So hopefully still runnable and not getting worse. Training plan: just keep ignoring everything.

Long run report: I intentionally ran fewer miles than scheduled this week because I’m trying to get a handle on these side stitches. My legs didn’t quite feel tired the whole way, but they didn’t really have any energy in them either. It felt like a slog, but when I checked my average pace at the end, it turned out I wasn’t running as slow as it felt like I was. Glad to be done with it, though.

Misc: With long runs giving me such a hard time, I’m trying to find other ways to work on distance and endurance. I’m not quite sold on it yet, but I’ve heard other people getting their long runs in by doing an evening run followed by a morning run. A few hours of rest in between, but still running on tired legs. With my new work schedule, this training schedule would definitely be an option for me. I’d still feel a lot better if I could run 16 miles straight through, but if I can get 16 miles between two back-to-back runs, maybe that will help.

Adjustments for next week: More water. And maybe a gym membership. It might be necessary to retreat indoors under these conditions.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Running

BBM Training: Week 8 Recap

When I first started physical therapy 4 months ago, the PT tested a lot of things to see what might be contributing to my tight hips. One of the things he tested was the muscles in my abdomen above my hip. He did this by pressing down hard on the right side of my torso, and I was sure he had found an internal organ instead of a muscle because it hurt so much. He tested the left side of my torso…nothing. Which made me even more convinced he had found a spleen or appendix or something that only exists on the right side of the body. I forgot about this for a while because most of my exercises focused on glute strength rather than anything to do with my abdomen, but I thought about it recently because I’ve had so much trouble with side stitches during my long runs.

For as much self-taught understanding I have of leg muscles, my understanding is literally two-dimensional. I typically don’t conceptualize muscles in 3-D. Turns out there are a couple key muscles that keep your torso upright, and some of them run from the hip to the spine. This past week I spent some time Googling “muscles between the hips and ribs” because these side stitches are pretty debilitating. Somewhere into the long run, I develop an intense poking sensation under my right ribs. Then it turns into a stabbing. This usually involves a fair amount of whimpering and walk-trotting along for a while. After the run my torso is tender to the touch in the same spot where I get my side stitches, usually for a couple days (depending how hard I poke at it). I haven’t figured out how to fix it mid-run, much less how to prevent it, but I do have another PT appointment this week and will definitely be asking about it.

All that being said, here’s my report for the past week.

Goal mileage:

  • Short run: 6 miles
  • Short run: 6 miles
  • Short run: 6 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 14 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Short run: 2 + 4 miles (6 total)
  • Long, slow, distance: 14 miles, road

Injury report: Generally the same on all fronts: tight hip, slightly twinge-y right knee. Adding to that, slightly twinge-y left knee (I mis-stepped on the trail a while back and it’s been weird ever since), and this side stitch thing. Quad has been feeling a bit looser since spending more time with my foam roller.

Long run report: Did I mention I’m having trouble with side stitches? I think my intro covers it. I have yet to complete a long run that didn’t involve falling apart one way or another. On the bright side, I ran up one of the longer hills in my area. The hill where I kept thinking “that would be one heck of a hill workout, and I’m gonna do that someday!” I can’t remember the exact distance now, but I’d guess 2-ish miles of steady incline (at minimum 2 miles, potentially more). Steeper at some points than others. I planned my route to run the uphill early in my run, so by the time I was suffering mightily with the side stitch, it was all downhill (haha).

Misc: This also happened to be the week where my house projects took over my training plan. I’ve had a few major projects on my list where, every time I look at them, I think “I’ll need at least 3 days to do that, and I only have an hour right now, so I’ll skip it. Again.” With 4th of July on Thursday and a full weekend, I basically had 3 days to get some of the bigger projects done. So I did! It involved lots of painting, and my arms are really sore now.

Adjustments for next week: Lately the overnight low has barely dipped below 74 or 75, so I’m getting a bit more nervous about the increased effort it will take to train. Heat and humidity will drain the energy right out of you under regular conditions, but attempting to run 14 miles in such conditions is almost foolhardy. Almost. Goals for the week: drink more water. Continue with foam rolling. Remember to ask the PT about muscles between the hips and the ribs.

Leave a comment

Filed under Running