Oh yeah, I have a blog!

Monday, January 26, 2015 | | Be the first to comment!
Well, hello there. It’s been more than 3 months since my last update. It looks like my last post I was still dealing with the hamstring issue. I am happy to report my hamstring is no longer bothering me. Although, I think I lost a lot of flexibility in my right leg because of it. I can’t even touch my toe now. Hmm…I should probably look into that.

With this new year, I’ve decided to try MAF training again. I tried it last year, did it for about a week, and then basically quit. For those unfamiliar with MAF, the basics of it is, never let you heart rate go above your MAF heart rate (180-your age, then tweaked a bit based on your running history. If your interested in it, find out more here) The goal is increase your aerobic fitness, and basically run faster with less effort. My MAF heart rate last year was 151, and since I’m a year older, my MAF heart rate now is 150. Last year, after a week of running under a 151 HR, I decided to up my HR threshold to 160, then after a week of that (I missed running with friends and actually feeling like I ran that day), I quit altogether and ran how I felt. This year, because I had such a big break between races, and all my running friends have either moved on from running, or moved out of the city AND, I was trying to make a comeback after my injury, I thought I’d try again. So, I sat down and read all 516 pages of The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. I am now an expert on the subject of the Maffetone Method of training.

 I am happy to report that I have stuck with it and I have officially started week 6 of training today. It’s not as bad as I remember it being last year. Don’t get me wrong, I hate staring at my watch for HR updates, I hate not being able to just run free, and  I get embarrassed when other runners past me (in either direction) or I slowly approach someone who’s walking, but I have learned to swallow my pride and do what I have to do. My aerobic fitness, I discovered was practically non-existent. For the Maffetone method, I am supposed to run a MAF test ever 3-4 weeks to gauge my progress. The very first day I went out for a run using this method, my first mile was 14:24 (yikes, I can walk that fast) with an average heart rate of 149bmp. I forgot about doing a MAF test the first week, so I made my first run of the 2nd week my test date. I then tested again 3 weeks later. The results???

MAF #1: 12/23/2014
Test Mile
Time
Avg Hr
Max HR
Elevation
1
13:34
149
152
+12
2
13:53
149
152
+16
3
13:42
149
152
-21
4
13:54
149
153
0
0.2
2:48
149
152
0
Avg
13:47
149
152.2
N/A
Total Time
57:29

Temp Start
43

Conditions
Partly Cloudy

Wind
12mph N

Humidity
42%



MAF #2 1/12/2014
Test Mile
Time
Avg Hr
Max HR
Elevation
1
12:26
145
151
+12
2
12:45
148
151
+16
3
12:47
149
152
-21
4
13:04
148
151
0
0.2
2:49
148
151
0
Avg
12:45
147.6
151.2
N/A
Total Time
53:46

Temp Start
52

Conditions
Cloudy

Wind
10mph NNE

Humidity
40%




I was thrilled with these results. My overall average was more than a minute per mile faster, my average HR was lower, and my final mile in the 2nd test, was faster than my 1st mile in the 1st test! I couldn’t believe all of that progress in less than a month! My next test is scheduled for the 1st. I’m excited to see if there has been anymore improvement. During MAF you are not supposed to race, but I will be in Nashville in a couple of weeks and my sister and I are going to do a 5k together (her first!!!) and I can’t resist racing a race, and to be honest, I am looking forward to running how I want without being tied to my heart rate. By the time the race rolls around, I will have been at this for 2 months. Depending on how I feel, I may call it quits for MAF and start preparing for the spring racing season, or, I may continue for one additional month.


I have to admit, I am counting down these (possibly) 2 weeks. I can’t wait to go on group runs again, and make new running friends, and surprisingly, I can’t wait to start running hills again. If MAF training has done nothing else but help me appreciate the pure joy of just running, then I’d be fine. You know what they say, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Injury update and MotivateU


My hamstring is starting to feel better these days. When I run, it feels like it’s really tight rather than actual pain. It’s more uncomfortable. I am excited about my deep tissue massage on the 24th. It is much needed and I hope it helps the leg heal up a little quicker. I have logged a total of 13 miles over the last 2 weeks, which is 11 miles than I had the previous 2 weeks, so I should be grateful. I just can’t wait until this is all over and I can return to running as normal. I just read an article that it takes 12 weeks to fully heal from a soft tissue/tendon injury. At the end of this week, it will be week 5. So, only 7 weeks to go.
I have another race I signed up for (pre-injury) on October 26th. It is the Run for Education 5k. I was really hoping to do well at this race as it’s my last race as a 20 something, and then I enter the tough 30-34 age group, but right now I take any running time I can get.
 
There is some other news that I am really excited about. This Saturday, I officially start MotivateU. MotivateU is a program put on by our company’s health insurance. They allowed everyone that is part of the insurance city wide to apply to this program and then 150 were chosen for it. The program is 8 weeks long and 5 gyms in the Reno area are part of it. It is basically a challenge against all of the different gyms. 30 people are chosen for each gym. Whichever gym loses the most weight, inches, and gains the most fitness wins. I just found out the gym I am going to be a part of had won every year since the programs institution. During the next eight weeks, I will have free access to their gym and to every class they have (including crossfit which I am super excited about) and I will be given a shopping list and recipes for the 8 weeks. Last night was the kick-off party at the gym, so I was able to see the gym for the first time. It’s a pretty awesome gym. It doesn’t look anything like the chain gyms I’m used to. I really wanted to be a part of this program because I am so injury prone and I rarely do any sort of cross training, and I don’t know the first thing about lifting weights. I am really hoping to lean up as well.

Ridiculously Long Race for the Cure Recap


This past week, my leg has been drastically feeling better, so I thought I would give running another shot. On Saturday, I went out for my normal pre-race shakeout which is 20mins slow, followed by 4 strides. Throughout the run, I didn’t have any pain, but my hamstring felt really tight, which made for a slightly uncomfortable run. After the first 10 minutes, I stopped to stretch my hamstring, but it didn’t help any. When the 20 minutes were up, I attempted the strides. It felt like I really picked up the pace, but when I looked at my watch I was only running 8:19/mi, and my leg felt even worse. On Sunday, my job sponsored a corporate team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Akin to last year, a co-worker of mine couldn’t wait to create a race of employee vs employee. This year he said it was me vs him. For the entire month leading up to the race he kept telling me how he was going to beat me and it would be embarrassing if he couldn’t beat me. Embarrassing for who? I run, he doesn’t. I think it would be more embarrassing for me if I lost because I train. Anyway, after my hamstring pull earlier last month all thoughts of racing were out the window, at least to me. He continued on about how he couldn’t wait to race me now that he had the advantage. Him and I have ran in 2 of the same race previously. Last year we both ran the Race for the Cure (which he didn’t beat me because he didn’t want to leave another coworker to run by herself) and the Reno 10 Miler, which I DNF and he wouldn’t let me live down, because I run and he doesn’t (he completed the race).
 
I was still planning on showing up for the race for the cure and running it, I just had no plans of racing. When I met up with my coworkers, they were all telling me about how much Logan was bragging about beating me. I have to admit, there was a huge part of me that wanted to shut him up and kick his trash in the race, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. His plan was to stay with me the entire race, and then blow past me in the final stretch. I left my coworkers at about 10 minutes to the start of the race (everyone else was walking except for Lagan and me) to warm up. Thankfully by the time I got to the starting area, Logan was nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, the start line was really crowded and I was lined up in the back. When the gun went off, it took forever to reach the actual start line. When I finally got there, everyone in front of my was running at a very slow pace and there was no way around. My leg was magically feeling better, so I wanted to go faster. So, I broke the rules and ran on the other side of the cones to pass other runners. I kept telling myself to take it slow, I don’t want to reinjure myself. I felt like I was going slow, until I looked at my watch 7:48/mi. Crap! Way too fast on an injured leg. I slowed my pace, until I realized, I was feeling good, why not run it how my body tells me to. If my leg starts to hurt I slow down or stop. By this point I was about a half mile into the race and all of a sudden Logan, goes running past me. My heart dropped, he was going to beat me. I wanted to try and keep him in my sights, but then I realized I didn’t want to get caught up in his game. I wanted to run my own race not his.
 
Within a minute of him passing me, his pace started to slow and I caught up to him. He decided now was a good time to stick with me until the end. We started talking and I noticed he was having a hard time getting words out, his breathing was heavy, while mine was still pretty easy. Ok, I know I said I didn’t care about racing him, but secretly, I was happy. I knew he was running too fast for him and he probably wouldn’t be able to hold on for the entire race at this pace. By the time we passed the first mile at 8:22 Logan had fell about one step behind me (yes!). Like a little kid, I turned to Logan and in the smug voice I told him, 1 mile down, only 2 more to go. He let out a huge exaggerated sigh and my grin got bigger. At about the 1.5 mile mark a gradual incline started.  I picked up the pace a little in hopes to but some distance between us. I saw Dale (my old quasi coach) and I spoke with him a little bit about me hamstring and then noticed I couldn’t see Logan in my peripheral vision anymore. I didn’t want to look back, so I picked up the pace slightly more to mile 2, 8:10. A little after mile 2, we turned right to a small out and back portion, I knew this is where I could see how close Logan was to me. He was about 20 seconds behind me, and he looked like he wanted to die. I almost felt bad for him. Almost. My leg started feeling tight during the last mile, and breathing started to go haywire. I was looking at my watch every 10 seconds or so to see how much longer I would have to run for. My only goal at this point was to beat Logan and I kept thinking he was gaining on me and he would run past me at the finish. Finally, I reached mile 3, 8:10. Only .1miles to go, but I couldn’t see the finish line anywhere. I looked down again, at 3.11 miles and still no finish line. Dang it! This was going to be more than a 5k. Luckily, right around the corner I saw the finish. I didn’t sprint towards the end like I normally do (I was way too tired), but I finished. The time on the clock said 26:23. I know I’m coming back from an injury, and I haven’t ran in 3 weeks, but honestly, I was a little disappointed that I was so tired at the finish and my time was 26:23. My Garmin stats said the distance was 3.21mi and total time was 26:05 for an average of 8:12/mi. My Garmin usually always short distance wise when I run with other runners, so I knew the course was in fact long. That lifted my spirits. Had this been a true 5k, my time would have been somewhere around 25:28.

While I was waiting for Logan to cross, I started feeling bad about my immature ways with him during the race and I didn’t care who beat who (honestly, if he had beaten me, I might have cared). So when he came across the finish line, I cheered loud for him. I congratulated him and told him how awesome he was because he ran the whole thing, and most people who never run can’t do that. I was totally being a good sport. But he insisted the only reason I beat him, was because he got a side cramp and then he felt like he couldn’t breathe so he had to slow down (seriously!?! I just told you what a good job you did jerk). I just said, ok Logan, whatever and my smugness returned. I told him because he made such a big deal prior to the race about beating me, and then huffed and puffed at the fact that I beat him after the race, that I would post a large sign at the entrance to work that said “Lynsey beat Logan!” After that, he did congratulate me and told me running was harder than he thought it was. He remained a good sport for the rest of the day.
 
I was a little worried I ran too hard for my recent injury, but today (1 day later) my injury feels fine. Except for the fact that both legs are super sore like I had never ever ran before and decided on whim to run a race on Sunday. It’s crazy what 3 weeks off will do to the body. I am glad I haven’t lost as much fitness as I thought. And I am ecstatic that I can start running again!!!