Monday, March 31, 2014

Eating on the Run

I trained for my last 1/2 marathon with out fueling or hydrating while training; although at the event, I did take advantage of a couple of the water stations.  

My PT encouraged me not to based on the following:

  • hydrate adequately the day prior;
  • fuel adequately pre-run;
  • the requirement is for activity over 1.5 - 2 hours & I'm on the cusp;
  • the weather was cool

The same training in summer & anything over the half marathon distance for me he said I would need to consider both.  Obviously having worked with me for 6 months before I started training for the half, he had a pretty good idea of my tolerance, nutrition & health. If I were taking a much longer time, or had blood sugar (or other health) issues of course he would have recommended training with both.

Pre-run hydration involves sipping water through out the day before & not in-taking dehydrating fluids (coffee, alcohol).  Plus around 250mls when waking prior to the run.  I usually run first thing in the morning, so that is what this is based on.  Any more that that & I'd need to stop & pee mid run which is not ideal.   I usually drink 3 - 4 litres of water each day, so pre-run hydration is no big deal for me.  

Pre-run nutrition does not involve carb loading the night before.  If I was running marathon distance it might.  All this means is finding a carb/protein meal that sits well in your belly & keeps you going for the duration of the run, but not wanting to poop.  For me this is half a toasted multigrain muffin slathered with Almond Brazil Cashew spread (like 2+ tablespoons - if i can make it fit it goes on!) & a generous slather of honey.

The only problem I find is sometimes the honey makes me thirsty.  The less processed the honey is, the less thirsty it makes me.  Lately I've been quite thirsty on my longer runs.  I'm not sure if this is due to the current honey I have or if its psychological.  I shouldn't be thirsty, but sometimes I just want to rinse my mouth out. I've been running early enough that the heat hasn't been an issue.

This is what lead to doing a water drop on last weeks long run.  I've been researching hand held water bottles, hydration belts & vests.  I've read reviews, point of views & agonized over what I think will work best for me.  I already carry a belt to hold my phone, but don't think I'd feel comfortable with anything else around my waist.  Holding a water bottle as I found out was just crap.  Plus it put me off balance & was annoying swapping it from hand to hand.  I am hoping that the two bottles I purchased on- line will do the trick.

As you can see the bottles are in a holder which means you don't actually have to hold on to the bottle itself, the holder holds on to you.  They each take 300ml & the idea is you have one on each hand to maintain your weight balance.  I think I might try running with them empty first to get used to them, before having to deal with the sloshing of the water.  The other concept for 2 bottles is you can fill one with water & one with hydrolites (sports drink), which if I commit to a longer distance will be required.

After chatting to my lovely acupuncturist about all of this, he suggested I try fueling as well (I've read that in general, runners need to add 30 - 60 grams of carbs for each hour you run longer than 75 minutes) & we settled on lemonade jelly beans.  

I've tried a couple of the commercial sports gels on the market as Plumbing Boy tried them for endurance dirt bike riding, but they all made me thirsty & desperate for a drink to wash them down, so not wanting to carry water kind of put a stop to that idea.  The jelly beans I can swallow whole, negating the thirst & sticky mouth feel that follows!!  Lemonade ones because they have the least additives (coloring).

I tried 5 at the halfway mark with no adverse effect, other than it was a little tricky to run while trying to tip my head back with a mouthful of water to get them down.  I have no idea how many jelly beans I'll need to make up the 30 - 60 grams yet, guess I'd better get the scales out!!!

Do you hydrate or fuel during exercise?  Tell me!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

1/2 Marathon Training Week 7

Mon 17/3: (5.5km am + PT PM Scheduled) - Did: Nothing

Tues 18/3: (Knee & Shoulder Rehab Scheduled); DID 35mins treadmill incline power walk + 6pm PT

Wed 19/3: Did: 8km 46.30 mins (+ scheduled boxing class - didn't do, had physio)

Thurs 20/3: 5.5km scheduled 5am - Did (instead) did 2 sets of Tabata Abs & 2 sets of Tabata skipping rope + scheduled 5.30pm PT

Fri 21/3: rest scheduled, Did 8kms 45mins 24 secs.

Sat 22/3: 21.1kms scheduled; Did 16kms + 3km walk + 2km taxi ride

Sun 23/3: rest scheduled; Did: Body Balance Class

Woke up Monday morning after horse riding Sunday with a very stiff neck.  Couldn't look over my left shoulder at all.  Needless to say no run for me that morning.

Managed to get into see my Physio that morning, who did some trigger point release, gave it a bit of a massaged, iced me while on the TENS machine, then manipulated just like the Chiropractor used to.  Instructed me to keep up the ice & come back on Wednesday.

Still pretty stiff Tuesday morning, but was feeling up to PT as my lovely PT was able to swap nights for me.  Had a decent warm up on the tready, & after a hard but careful session I actually felt heaps better & like my neck had freed up!!  Hallelujah!!!!

Smashed out 8kms Wednesday morning feeling pretty good, then back to Physio after work for more of the same.  Biceps tendinitis given the all clear, just need to take things slowly & build up the push ups & anything with a wide grip.

Got up Thursday morning planning to do another 8km as the week's plan was out the window, but someone one had driven off with my keys so couldn't leave. 

I'd downloaded a Tabata timer after doing a fair bit of this lately in PT (usually cycling or ABS) & did some core stuff & then some skipping.  Man that is a hard work out.  If you think you are fit, try skipping & then get back to me!!!  Started back on some triceps stuff at PT that night - left one is woefully weak.  Surprisingly I was able to lift my pen the next day, but they were bloody sore!!!

Friday finally went to revised schedule & the 8km was good.

Saturday it all went to shit again.  Sort of.  I was all set to run the distance (21.1kms) & even did a water drop at the half way point + purchased jelly beans as a food source (more on that later) & set off from my usual spot in Newport @ 6.30am.  Made it to the half way point without incident & was feeling good.  Grabbed the water bottle out of the bushes & gulped some down.  Wrangled the 5 jelly beans I'd stashed in my shirts rear zipper & swallowed them down whole in 2 batches all while still running.

The water sloshing about in the bottle was annoying me so I tipped half of it out & resolved to throw it in the next bin I saw, which ended up being about 1km away.  Chugged a bit more of the water before binning & continued on my way.  Around 15kms I felt a niggle in my right knee, similar to the ITB pain I'd had previously.  It kind of came & went a bit over the next km before getting worse, then in knife like stabbing waves which was when I decided to call it quits.

The actual run is still 5 weeks away & I didn't want to make things worse unnecessarily, by being stubborn & wanting to make an arbitrary distance. This also meant I now had to walk the last 5kms back to my car.  Boo.  By 3kms I was actually quite cold & thankfully I spotted a Yellow Cab who drove me back to my car.  He was the loveliest cabbie ever & wouldn't take any money from me for the trip, laughing he said to me "see, there are still some good cabbies out there"!!!!  So a huge huge thank you to YOU Mr Yellow Cabbie!!!

While walking I'd sent a text to the acupuncturist I've been seeing for the ITB who was able to fit me in that afternoon, so after going home & defrosting I headed into the city to see him.  As I explained I couldn't understand why it had flared up after a light week & when I'd been running longer distances without issue.  The only thing I'd done differently was horse riding so I was blaming it on that!!!

I lay down & he checked me over for around 10 seconds before saying, "well look at that.  who set up your saddle? your left leg is 1.5" longer than your right.  your pelvis is out".  And how do we fix that says I.  Like magic, says he.

Apparently all practitioners were previously taught how to physically manipulate this kind of thing, but now it is strictly the domain of chiropractors, so needles to release tension here & there & tighten up here & there is the technique used by acupuncturists (am sure it's a lot more technical that that, but that's what I understood it to be on a basic level).

I'm hoping it's like magic - walking downstairs on the way to acupuncture was killer.  On the way home walking downstairs was just a bare niggle. Fingers crossed this will not as bigger set back as the last bout of ITB.

Sunday was supposed to be a rest day, but went & did a body balance class.  Figured I could use the stretching.

Still feeling frustrated with the ITB issue, but am glad I set up a training plan that has allowed me to deal with this now instead of the 2 weeks prior to the event.  If I can maintain my fitness & don't actually run further than 16kms I'll be fine to run the event.  So long as that pain does not return!!!!!  Lets hope week 8 is better!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

1/2 Marathon Training Plan Week 6

Mon 10/3: 10am 2 hour walk on the beach @ Port Fairy; 5.30pm 30 minute PT Session

Tues 11/3: 5.30pm 5.5kms treadmill hills level 7, knee rehab (forgot theraband for shoulder rehab), core & stretching

Wed 12/3: 5am 7.5kms 44.42 mins; 5.45pm Boxing Class

Thurs 11/3: 5am 5.5kms 27.24mins; 5.30pm 30 min PT Session

Fri 12/3: Rest

Sat 13/3: 16kms (scheduled) 11.7kms, 68 mins

Sun 14/3: 3 hours horse riding with cuz

Had another crack at boxing on Wednesday night, the same girl was happy to partner me so I guess I wasn't too lame the week before.  My PT Mike joined in the class.  There were enough people so he didn't actually have to do the class & partner someone, but he cruised around encouraging people, helping them with their technique, & most importantly giving me shit in attempt to rev me up to work harder & tips to correct my form LOL!

Both PT sessions were killer.  Monday night we had the aerobic's room (public holiday - no group classes), so Mike had set up a circuit for me.  I was slightly hung over & a little tired from the weekend at Port Fairy, plus I drove back (missed out on that nap!) as Plumbing Boy thought he was coming down with Man Flu.  I got absolutely flogged!!!  In a good way!!!  Although in the beginning I wasn't sure lunch was going to stay down!!!  It was almost spew worthy.

The Thursday night he continued said flogging having me "swish" ropes (I dunno how else to explain), lug a truck tyre up & down the gym while standing inside it, doing 5 squats at the beginning middle & end of each set followed by 10 (assisted) pull ups.  Insert as many swear words as you like here.  It was the hardest session I think I've ever done!!  My poor arms & hands were broken!!

Long run just didn't happen.  We'd been out late the night before, although I only had 2 glasses of wine, I was SO DEAD TIRED I didn't get up til 10.30am, & that was only because someone called & spoke to me for 40 minutes otherwise I would rolled over & going back to sleep.  I was like groggy & disoriented - that kind of dead tired.    

Usually when I am struggling for motivation I channel my old PT, whose response to any query about whether or not to train would be "don't think about it, just get it done Cat".  
At the gig the night before, the guy we went to see (Glen Hansard) had been touring with Eddie Vedder & Bruce Springsteen.  Did I nearly wet my pants with excitement thinking Eddie Vedder was going to join him on stage or what???????????????  Had I realized they were doing gigs together I so would have gone!!!  

I was very sad when Glen Hansard mentioned that Eddie had finally gone home.  Anyhoo.  Glen & Eddie apparently were channeling Bruce on tour, with a catch cry of - "what would Bruce do?" in any given situation - although I think it was used more for whether or not to have another beer or slice of pizza!!!  Anyhoo.  I looked at Plumbing Boy (still looking dead on my feet) & said "hmmmmmmm what would Bruce do?".

wrong Bruce, but you get the idea

So yeah, between my old PT & Bruce I convinced myself to throw on my gear & go for a run.  I knew I probably wasn't going to reach the 16km target scheduled, but figured if I could manage 10kms that would be better than nothing.  Yes, I did chug some water have my usual pre long run food prior, but still felt bloody ordinary.  Ran a route I knew to be more than 10kms but definitely less than 14kms - couldn't quite remember the distance to be honest & dragged myself around.  Pace wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but not that great either.

Sunday I took my cousin horse riding as a belated birthday present.  My trusty steed was not Little Spike (she took me for my birthday last year) but a horse called Roughie, who apparently had a reputation of kicking horses who rode up his arse & he also had a distinct dislike for 2 other horses on the ride.  Unfortunately one of the other horses was ridden by an instructor in our group which made things interesting as we had to go past him every time we went for a canter.  It may not have been the horse, it could have been the rider or the fact that he was in an orange vest, but every time he opened his mouth (which was frequently) Roughie laid his ears back & got a little cranky.

Ironically one of the regulars told me she had a word with him as I think he thought I was a shite rider, but the regular had been chatting to me & had noticed what was going on & said to him I think it's you, your vest or your horse, because if you pay a bit more attention you'll notice Roughie is fine until he gets within about 5 metres of so of you so perhaps you could try not bellowing when it's Roughie's turn for a canter.

My cousin had a great horse Maxie this time so all was well as it was her birthday ride so better that she had good a good experience.  Last time her horse wasn't the greatest. While I had a good time, I've had better ride experiences.  My inner thighs not surprisingly were sore later that day & more so on Monday, but worse than that I woke up with a neck so stiff Monday morning I couldn't turn my head very far to the left & had to rotate my torso to look while driving.  Luckily the Physio saw me Monday morning, but I fear week 7's training will be a bit up shit creek.

Week six training overall was OK, but not great.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Deaf Kitty

So.  My cat has gone pretty much completely deaf.  She can hear a shrill whistle, but that's about it.  It happened while we were in Tasmania I think.  There was something not right when I collected her from the cattery.  Normally she is beautifully groomed as she has nothing better to do with her time than bathe herself.

She was scruffy & had lost weight; she was skittish, but that is fairly normal.  She woke us up every hour on the hour I think the first night home; this reduced over the next couple of nights as it normally would, but she was still skittish.  By Wednesday it dawned on me that she must either not be able to see or hear properly, so did a test with the vacuum cleaner.  She usually hates it.  I had it right up to her face.  with no sign of her moving whatsoever.

Then we snuck up on her while she was sleeping & did a few loud claps over her head - no response, tried calling her & making other noises.  The only thing that got a response was if she could feel the vibration of us coming or a shrill whistle.

Took her to see the vet who confirmed her deafness & said its is quite common in older cats.  The main thing is to make sure she doesn't go outside as she could get a fright from something & bolt on to the road then get run over not hearing a car come.

She's not been brave enough to venture out much anyway since, & usually only when I'm with her (although she has managed to nick out on Plumbing Boy twice - I found her waiting for me hiding by the roller door when arriving home!).  I've moved her pillow in the office so she can see me all the time.  And now that we all know what the problem is, we're making the effort not to sneak up on her unexpectedly & give her a fright. 

Despite my initial sadness for her, she seems to be coping quite well & is actually friendlier if anything, enjoying more snuggles.  She seems to have decided its nicer to sleep ON me than the end of the bed & every second night will wake me up by climbing onto my chest or belly wanting a rub before settling down & going back to sleep.  Bless.  My bladder isn't that happy about it though!!

Other than that, Dr Murray was pretty happy with the scruffy bizta he first met 15ish years ago after Plumbing Boy rescued her from an industrial work site where she was about to have her neck wrung.  I recon she's got a few good years left in her yet thank goodness!!!!!!!!!!!  Love that little furball!!!!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

1/2 Marathon Training Plan Week 5

1/2 Marathon Training Plan Week 5

Monday 3/3: 5am 5.5km 27.33 mins; 5.30PM 30 minute PT session

Tuesday 4/3: 6pm Shoulder & knee rehab @ gym with some core work thrown in & lots of stretching

Wednesday 5/3: 5am 7.5km no watch; 5.45pm Boxing Class

Thursday 6/3: 5am 5.5km 28.51 mins; 5.30pm 30 minute PT Session

Friday 7/3: 18.5kms 102 minutes Rail Trail

Saturday & Sunday: Rest (walking only)

This week I threw in a boxing class on Wednesday night.  I was so nervous!!!  I walked on the treadmill before class for 15 minutes to warm up & felt like I was going to chuck!!!  There are some seriously fit people in that class & I guess like most people(?), I don't like doing things unless I am OK or reasonably good at it!!  Especially activities done in public!!!!  I needn't have worried so much, as it wasn't too bad.  I do a bit of boxing in PT so wasn't so much worried about that, as I was the push ups & finding a partner.  

I paired up with a lovely young lady (early 20's?) who was pretty fit, so we were evenly paced.  She had done the class once before so knew more about what was going on than I.  The push up round was 10 push ups (knees for the "females" as the instructor says) then run to the other end of the gym & do a boxing sequence.  I managed 5 rounds of narrow push ups then had switch to crunches for the next 5 rounds as I didn't want to aggravate my bicep tendinitis.  I was so sore the next day, but it was just general upper body shoulder, chest, back etc from all those little muscles who have been out of action for a while.

Long run was on the way to Port Fairy to the folk festival.  I had Plumbing Boy drop me off at the defunct train station in Koroit along the rail trail that runs between Port Fairy & Warrnambool & ran the rest of the way to Port Fairy!  The rail trail winds along the old railway line amongst farm land.  It was quite flat hence the fast time & I really enjoyed looking at the dairy & beef cows along the way as well as the bird life.  At one place where I had to cross a road, there was a murder of 14 magpies!  They only just bothered to fly up & out of the way as I came upon them.  Friendliest maggies I've met so far!!  

I had a cross wind for the first 2/3rds, but the last third it was head on & increasing.  I was very happy to reach the outskirts of town.  I wasn't so happy that I still had 2kms to go to get to my Aunt & Uncle's house!!!  A big cheer went up as I huffed & pufffed through the back door, as dinner everyone was still seated for dinner (11 family/friends who were down for the folk festival)!!

Stepped it up a bit this week & was really happy with my training.  My knees have been good, but wanted to include some extra stretching, make sure I am doing enough cross training & make sure I do the rehab exercises to strengthen & prevent further injuries!!!

Bring on Week 6.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

1/2 Marathon Training Update

I'm pretty sure I mentioned I've signed up for another 1/2 marathon in Geelong April 27th.  The ITB pain has settled down a lot..........I ran 17.5kms on Saturday morning without any.  Specific ITB knee pain that is.  My legs were getting sore over the last couple of kms, but that's normal.

I've been seeing a lovely acupuncturist in the city who specializes in sports acupuncture who has been not only treating me but encouraging me in my running endeavors (kind of reassuring me I can do it LOL!).  He also does some cupping down the ITB band which as it's loosened off, has given me less spectacular bruises than I was getting in the beginning!

This kind of looks like what I have done, but with less needles along the ITB area.  And my cupping bruises don't come out this bad any more (although they looked exactly like this in the beginning!).

I'm starting week 5 of 12 of the training program for this event.  I've allowed plenty of time to build up to the distance - I've got 19kms scheduled for this weekend so am almost @ distance, at the halfway point.  

I'll back off to 16kms the following weekend & then the full 21.1km distance the following weekend.  I'll continue then to alternate each week between the 16kms & the 21.1kms until weeks 11 & 12 where I'll taper off before the actual event. 

I'm chasing a sub 2 hour time although this week's pace would had seen me finish in 2 hours 5 minutes.  The previous weeks I was running an estimated finish time of 1hr 58 minute pace  at 16.5 & 14.5kms respectively.  Reality is I may not make the time, but so long as it is better than 2 hours 7 minutes whatever seconds I did last time I'll be happy.

Last weeks training was this:

Monday: 6.5km run @ 5am + PT @ 5.30pm

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 7kms 5am + Shoulder & Knee rehab exercises @ gym with some core work & lots of stretching (PM) 

Thurs: 5.5km run on treadmill @ 5.45pm (PT stood me up so missed out on my usual session - had planned on doing the run after PT) + Body Balance Class

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 17.5kms

Sunday: Rest

Biceps tendinitis is a lot better, I still need to continue with the shoulder rehab exercises to strengthen it in order to stabilize it so it is protected when doing movement that would aggravate it.  Did a heavy (ish) chest/back/shoulder session last Monday night @ PT & it ached all night (was so sore I even iced it) & was stressed that I'd made it worse, but the next morning it was OK & after 2 days wasn't aching at all.  So I still need to be very careful about what I do & how much.  The biggest problem is it generally doesn't hurt while I'm doing the activity, it's afterwards so really hard to gauge when is enough of something!!

Anyhoo.  I'm pretty happy with how my training is going, the only thing I need to reign in now is the weekend festivities.  Since the week before we went on holidays, while we were away on holidays & the first 2 weeks we got back from holidays I'd gotten into a bad routine of a glass (or 2) of wine every night with dinner (Christmas Hangover??), but cut that out last week & am committed to continue this for the foreseeable future!  Probably til the end of this training program anyway!!

So.  What are you lot all all up to training/exercise wise?? HIT ME!!!