Monday, July 27, 2009

Aqua-Running...A Devious Plan?

"Aqua-Running"... is it a true alternative to "Land-Running"or just one coach's devious plan to keep an unsuspecting land-runner occupied and sane while her broken body heals?
I had that thought the other day while I was aqua-running at my usual snails pace and being blown out of the lake by the swimmers including World Champion Triathlete Scott Takala. What if this aqua-running thing is just an elaborate scheme that my coach thought up to keep me off my feet so as to let my runner's knee heal? I really hope that all of this treading water fast and going nowhere slow will somehow translate into maintaining my running fitness and get me land running more again soon.

Last week's training was a smorgasbord of fitness activities having added sculling into the mix on Monday and Wednesday nights, core on Tuesday and Thursday, aqua-running Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and land-running Monday, Thursday, Sunday. With all that I put off weights until my day off Saturday and only did my arms plus leg rehabs and pull-ups. It was a bit intimidating to get back on the water in a scull but by the end of Thursday's row I felt I was almost back in the swing of things. I also feel that I really hit my aqua-running groove on Friday's interval run and land-running had me meeting or exceeding my planned time outs before yee ole knee began to whine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aqua-Running in Georgian Bay

That's me way out in the Bay with my white hat on so my daughter could keep an eye on me.

These waves were better for kayaking then aqua-running.

I was able to get in a good week of training while vacationing on Georgian Bay. The weather was better at the beginning of the week and I was able to get in a 25 min. aqua-run on Wednesday however skipped Friday's planned aqua outing due to the whitecaps on the lake and the chilly water temps. I had to venture out quite a ways in order to get deep enough because of the rocks and boulders close to shore. I also had a few good runs with an interval workout on Tuesday and a Tempo run on Thursday. Saturday's long run was a bit of a disappointed when I had to end my planned 50 min. run at 39 minutes due to my long suffering knee pleading for mercy. I was also able to get 2 weights and core workouts done between all the fun the girls and I were having with Grandma & Grandpa who really spoiled us with great food and non-stop activities.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monday July 6th to Sunday July 12th

This week I was back to 6 days a week of training. By adding the Aqua-Running to my schedule I am finally able to get consecutive days of running in again . It's not real running but I will take it over having 3 days off a week anytime.

-Monday was 35 min. running with 2 x 8 min. light tempos and 2 min. recovery's.
I only made it through 30 of the planned 35 min. due to a building knee ache but luckily managed the tempo segments fine and ran them perhaps a bit fast at 4:12 pace. Derrick suggested that perhaps my fresh legs played a factor with my speed but I am wondering if my Garmin is just completely messed up. Plus weights x3 and leg rehabs.

-Tuesday was 30 minutes of aqua-running.
I think my first attempt of aqua-running went quite well. I still had some form issues to work out but could see how this would be a good substitute for running on land. As I fastened the aqua blue float belt around my waist and headed towards the lake I could sense that some kids who had barely grown out of their water wings were a bit confused at my getup. In a way I kinda felt like a Superhero in my Super Belt as I waded deeper and deeper into the lake. Finally I could walk no more so as instructed just kept my legs moving like I was running on land. I was able to go across the lake and back before my teeth began to chatter from the cold water so I ended my test aqua-run a bit early at 27 mins. Missed core again...felt bad but got over it.

-Wednesday was a 30 minute easy run. I found my legs felt a bit tired and heavy from the aqua-run the day before.

-Thursday was another aqua-run for 30 minutes with 5 x 90 second intervals and 30 seconds recovery.
I did even better on my second attempt and the water was warmer so no teeth chattering. I also saw the cutest gaggle of geese out aqua-running. There was 20 of them and as they passed in front of me in a long line I felt as though I could have joined right in behind them. Plus stretch/core class.

-Friday was 35 minutes running with 15 minutes Diagonals on the soccer field.
Same workout as last week with 5 more minutes of Diagonals. I wore a patellar tendon strap which seemed to keep my knee a bit more stable. Plus weights circuit x3 and leg rehab exercises.

-Saturday was my one day off this week. Only one day off, how did that happen? Feels fantastic to have added in the aqua-running on what would have been off days due to my knee. Plus leg rehab and pull-ups

-Sunday was a 40 min long run. My knee was just about to complain as I hit the 40 minutes. I can't figure out how Derrick got that one just right. It is nice to have someone calculate all this for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Aqua-Running - Place Your Bets!!

To put it BLUNTLY, Aqua-Running is DAMN SLOW!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monday June 29th to Sunday July 5th

This was the training week I was hoping would put an end to my knee troubles. It started out encouraging but began to fall apart half way into my Saturday run when I had to stop my tempo early. I did manage to set a push-up and pull-up record though so that is something to hold on to. The knee is being real stubborn so Derrick has loaned me his aqua belt for a little water running. Stay tuned to next week to see how that turned out.

Despite the discouraging run on Saturday I was happy with my other workouts and that my speed has not abandoned me completely. I do feel however that I should back off a bit now that I have confidence that it is still there.

I like to reaffirm my running goals on a daily basis to keep my mind focused on the future and not bogged down in the disappointment of my current knee problems. I repeat mantras such as, "I will run a sub 20 minute 5km in 2009....I am a fast runner who runs hard and finishes strong". Keeping my mind full of positive thoughts keeps me moving forward mentally if not physically at this point in my training.

-Monday was weights x 3 circuits plus rehab for knee.
I decided to go for a push-ups record so as per usual counted backwards from my goal # of reps. This time I was going for 30 so counted down to 1 then dropped to knees to do 10 more. Arms were toast for the rest of the workout though it was nice to have a new baseline. Dropping down to knees to get in 5 or 10 extra has been key to getting my reps up over the past year.

-Tuesday was running 25 min. with diagonals on the soccer field.
I ran for a total of 15 min. corner to corner with a recovery run over the top or the field then corner to corner etc. etc. This was a fun workout and easy on the legs. "Easy on the legs/knee" seems to be the theme of my workouts these days.
Skipped core due to lack of babysitting for the day. Almost talked my daughter into doing the class with me but she backed out at the last minute.

-Wednesday was my day off. I may have done leg rehabs and pull-ups but if I don't write it down I forget quickly. Thank goodness for running journals( I use Training Peaks with my coach).

-Thursday was the run I had been looking forward to all week. 31 minutes with 4 repeats of 3 min. with 3 min. recovery.
I did my warm-up, recovery's and cool down on the grass edge of the track and ran the interval repeats on the track. I had my Garmin with me but really wanted to run how I felt. I was hugely surprised after the workout when I noted my pace and realized I ran 4:42, 4:45, 4:26 and 4:00. I almost made it around the track twice on my last 3 minutes. I swear I was NOT STRAINING.

-Friday was weights and rehab for knee

-Saturday was a 45 minute run with a 15min. tempo thrown in to mix up the speed.
My Coach thought that if I could make it 45 minutes without my knee complaining then the worst was behind me. Unfortunately my knee was unhappy from the get go and put an end to my little running party 10 min into my tempo(25 min. into the run) and I walked/jogged(mostly walked) home.
Plus 3 x leg rehabs and pull-ups with 5-4-3 reps(must admit that I was not lowering myself much during the set of 5 but was a nice way to mix it up a bit)

-Sunday was another day off

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Limestone Mile...of Pain!

I headed down to the Limestone Mile yesterday. I WILL be running this race in 2010 and as I may have mentioned before it will be the GRAND FINALE of my second year of training. As we arrived in the general vicinity of the race my daughter decided to plop herself down at a face painters booth, announced she was using her OWN money and ordered the Large Full Face Canada Flag(it was Canada Day after all). I believed the Women's race was to begin in 15 minutes so figured that was plenty of time to paint a child's face. Leaving my daughter for a moment with strict instructions not to leave the chair, I headed to the race area to check out the hoopla. I asked a girl giving out water how long it was until the women's race, "3 minutes" she replied. I looked around and there was no sign of women lining up for the race, my coach then spotted me in my state of confusion. We talked about his daughter's race then he casually pointed out that there go the women now. WHAT, I thought to myself, how could the women have started already? After all I was standing right there and I had not seen any athletes lined up in any formation resembling a START. As it turns out the women started just north of where I was standing on another street and I was at the FINISH LINE. They were now circling a block in the downtown area. I recognized a rival(Stacey) from my last race in a heated battle with a few other Masters runners. I left to check on my daughter and looked back just in time to see the women leaders racing towards the finish. I noted that my daughter was still alive and ran back in time to see Stacey being hotly pursued by this race's version of me all the way to the end. Stacey looked hot and exhausted, much hotter and much more exhausted then she appeared to be after the 5km we had ran 2 months earlier. At that point I think I had seen everything I really needed to see. This race is very different from any race I had ever run. Firstly it was run as two loops of a downtown block. Secondly it started on one street and ended on another. Thirdly if you blink(or take a moment to check on your children) you will miss it. Fourthly it is short and fast. Fifthly it appeared to hurt the participants a great deal. Mind you the pain is short lived compared to longer distance races however I deduced that the effort to maintain the speed over the shorter distance must increase the pain per second ratio(thoughts?)

I am glad I saw the race yesterday as I now have the tools I need for a great year of visualization exercises, and if my knee continues to co-operate then I can start getting back to some solid training based on my fitness level and not my pain level.