Day 3 Week 17 – Maximizing High Volume Workout

3.3 mile warm up & cool down, 3 x 2.5 mile intervals with 5 min jogging break in-between, sunny & 76 degree

Ran tempo intervals today to put some buffer  between now and Sunday for recovery.  So I will be ready for this Sunday’s Annapolis 10 milers race.

Picked the 3 x 2.5 over 2 x 5 for two reasons: 1) high volume (7:30 pace) but not overly exhausting and 2) maximizing the available time I had this morning.

And two natural consequences of the high volume workout are that I am tired and hungry.  This is where recovery is crucial part of the training.  When done right, my body will recover back to baseline and benefiting from the maximum gain.

How do you leverage recovery to benefit your training?

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Day 2 Week 17 – How Low Can We Go?

7 mile easy pace, cool & 72 degree

“How low can we go?” was the question came to mind when I saw the headline on President Trump labeling Ms. Omarosa, his former White House Advisor, a dog.  Normally this question would be beneath the dignity for me to consider if Trump weren’t the President.

But he is the President of the United States.  And his job comes with many responsibilities like the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,  the head of government, and the head of state, to the most powerful nation on earth.

That means Trump can get his military parade, or he can shut down the government if he chooses to. But, Trump is, I believe, failing miserably as the head of state. Being the head of state, there is a moral obligation for Trump to lead by example, to serve as the public persona for the entire nation.

Trump is unapologetic for what he stands which I admit is an appealing character trait.  But his behaviors and beliefs are not only in stark contrast with American values but invariably trickle down to policies that are tearing at fabricate of the American culture.

And with two more years of this administration remaining, I couldn’t help to ask, how low can we go?

Do you think President Trump is doing a good job?

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Day 1 Week 17 – Getting Ready For Racing

8 mile easy pace + 6 strides, cool & 71 degree

Entering the last week of my Marathon Specific Phase, I feel recovered from the Saturday’s 21 miles run.  My body shows no sign of fatigue as if my empty”tank” from the long run has been replenished.  And the same goes with the 6 strides.

My recovery results from a combination of the weekend’s rest and this morning’s cool weather.  And capping the week (and the Phase), I will be running the Annapolis 10 miler this Sunday.  It will serve as a fitness check and a marathon predictor for me.

With the Erie Marathon one month out, my training will be physical as well as mental and emotional.  The goal is to have myself peak in all respects on marathon day.  The A-10 race is one example of getting myself into my racing mode.

What ritual(s) do you use to prepare yourself for the race?

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Week In Review – 12 Aug 2018

Week Sixteen of my Erie Marathon training.  Total miles ran this week: 52. My weight is 145 pounds and resting heart rate 58 beats per minute.

What a week this one has been.  Lots of stresses, some planed, others not.  My long run to feel my depleted state is planned.  My AC crapped out and my mom’s visit to the ER are not.

With four weeks left till the marathon, I will continue the combination of tempo and interval runs in my training to maintain my fitness level.  This time I have learned them as habits and not fear them like in the past.

And lastly, the Unite the Right 2 Rally in DC has been peaceful, as of this writing.

Have a nice week!

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Day 6 Week 16 – What Does “Spent” Feel Like?

21 miles long run (230 minutes), cloudy & 78 degree.

Running consumes energy.  For average person, that is about 100 calories per mile.  And our body is capable of storing up to 2000 calories.  So for endurance running, 20-21 miles is where the phrase “hitting the wall” comes from.

For my long run today, I purposely did not fuel up.  No energy gel, no Gatorade, only water.  Because I wanted to experience how my body starves and taps into my fat reserve.

So here is what I found out:  as I got hungry, my stomach started to tighten up.  Specifically my midriff, the region where beer belly, love handle got their fame.  While drinking water helped my thirst and kept me hydrated, it did not help in moving my body.

[Water contains 0 calorie.]

Between mile 17 and 18, I wanted to stop.  Not because the feeling of “hitting the wall” but more like sitting down and having a scoop of ice cream would be nice.  In other word, I lost my desire to continue the run.

Needless to say, the rest of my run, the reminding 3+ miles, was made tough.  It took lots of water breaks for me to finish.  But I never felt “hitting the wall” nor muscle locking up.

How does it feel after you have depleted your energy?

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Day 5 Week 16 – To Be Or Not To Be

6 mile easy pace, cool &71 degree.

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A year ago, Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent when a speeding car rammed into the counterdemonstrators. Heather Heyer, 32 years old , was killed and 35 others injured.   On Sunday, Unite the Right will meet again.  This time in Washington DC. Details here.

Peaceful assembly is a constitutional right in America.  Any groups as long as they follow the rules can protest/ demonstrate their cause. So Unite the Right and others are within their right to gather on this first anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.

However, free speech is not free. While nobody likes to see the history repeats itself this weekend, I guarantee there will be those who leverage the politics of hate and are ready to exploit the opportunity to fan the emotions of the masses.

Personally, I would not venture downtown on Sunday.  How about you?

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Day 4 Week 16 – On Good Habits

2 mile warm up, 5 mile tempo, 1 mile cool down, sunny & 78 degree

Feels good to be back on the marathon training after a day of unexpected “off.”  By now my body is more conditioned to go out, get my legs moving, get sweaty and blood circulating.  With exception of the rest days, I invariably feel better after my workouts.

In that sense we are all creatures of habits.  We are what we repeatedly do.  It stands to reason that developing good habits is the secret to personal success.  And in that regard, my personal favorite is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

I like Covey’s inside-out approach insofar as what you are (character) transcends who you are (personality).  Put it another way, substance surpasses appearance.  The former will last while the latter will change.  Beware of what only meets the eyes like big house, fancy car, or plastic surgery.

What do you think are good habits that will lead to success? 

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Day 3 Week 16 – The Waiting Game, Part 2

Part 1, here.

The second time my life got put in a suspended animation is when my mom went into the hospital.

My mother is in her mid 80’s and has an history of heart condition.  So when she complained the other night about shortness of breath and chest pain, I got her to the cardiologist the next day.

After we found out her heart was beating irregularly high, the cardiologist sent my mom to the hospital emergency room in short order.  I don’t know about you but ER is a strange place to me.

Besides people with various medical emergencies waiting to be treated, there are police, ambulance people, other first responders, and hospital staff running around in the ER.  The chaotic facade adds more drama to the place.

Reader’s Digest version of my mom’s visit to the ER is that they could not find anything abnormal that caused her irregular heartbeats.  So the doctors increased the dosage on her heart medication as a treatment to slow her heart down.

But there is a condition before she could be released:  she had to stay overnight in the hospital for observation.  With that, my life went into suspended animation.  Because one never knows what is happening in the hospital.  Information are compartmentalized and unfolding as more tests are done and symptoms develop.

So we wait. And wait. And wait – for update on my mom’s case.  People come around introducing themselves, asking questions, presumably having relevance to her case.   Also, the hospital computer was down.  So redundant questions, procedures, steps  were not uncommon.

While appreciating the care that hospital provides, I prefer to maintain my health and not be put into the same situation.  Because the wait is just too agonizing.

What experience do you have that had your life in a suspended animation? 


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Day 2 Week 16 – The Waiting Game

8 miles easy pace, sunny & 84 degree.

It is all too familiar that life’s circumstance can traps a person in suspended animation.  These drama happens at places like waiting in the airport, hospital, traffic, etc. where one’s emotion and body are hijacked to be part of the journey.

I had the dubious fortune of this happening to me not once but twice this week.

The first time was on Sunday night when my air conditioning stopped working.  My house temperature was 84 degree and rising.  The AC was circulating the warm air and would not cool the house down. Talking about Murphy’s Law at the worst possible times!

After a miserable night with little sleep, I was motivated enough to land a repair appointment for later that day, between 4:30 and 6 pm.  No surprise that  its summer in Washington DC and many AC’s need to be repaired, my guy was running late.

Between the appointed time and when the repairman actually showed up (close to 8 pm), my life was in suspended animation.  I was on pins and needles praying that I had enough good behavior credits that my appointment would not be canceled.

Because the thought of spending another night without AC was too much for me to bear.

To be continued.

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Day 1 Week 16 – Tempo Intervals Reappraised

2 miles warm up, 6 x 1 mile @ 10K pace w/ 90 second rest, 1 mile cool down, sunny & 84 degree

Today’s tempo intervals was more ominous in thoughts than in reality.  First, the weather.  The sun was brutal, and the asphalt soaked up heat from the sun to make the track felt like a griddle.

Luckily, a portion of the track was shaded.  So that bit of respite every lap combined with the 90 second rest after every mile gave me the needed breaks to complete the tempo intervals.  What do you know: little things make big difference.

Second, my 10K pace is 7:31 per mile.  Breaking it down comes to 1:52 per lap. And that was what I used to manage my pace, lap after lap.  By the way, this is one of the two occasions (race and track workouts) that I wear watch while running.

My time splits for the intervals were: 6:58, 7:16, 7:14, 7:22, 7:24, & 7:31.  The 90 second break between the intervals was intentionally brief, so my body could get used to process the lactate acid accumulation.

How much tempo runs do you use in your training?

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