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ElJay

El Jay's race to be more awesome

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Great work on the road...it's really tough, especially when you're forced to use the Smith machine - blech! Sounds like you had a nice run though!

I did. Considering I a) was ravenously hungry and B) wasn't sure where I was, I am okay with my pace. I mean, on one hand, it's phenomenal that I held the pace on a regular ol' long run without much (though by the end, plenty of) effort. It was hard enough, but it wasn't race conditions, so clearly I'm doing better than a month and a half ago. On the flip side, on paper, I should be able to run an 8:51 pace for a half, which clearly, that wasn't. But my head and my heart want me to get close to a 9:00 pace for Brooklyn in two weeks. Go out too fast, and I'll die at the end, and screw my goal over. Go out too slow and I'll never make up the time I could have gotten on what is a perfect site for a PR. It's flat or downhill the whole way. I really want to break 2:00. I really REALLY want to break 2:00 with room to spare. It would have been easier with my brother running with me who can definitely get 2:00, but last I heard, his achilles was acting up, and he may not run at all. Running may be a footsport, but it's definitely taxing on the psyche. I know I can do 6.2 at an 8:07 pace, but that was almost all out. Obviously I'll lose some time per mile to go 13.1, but it's so hard out of training season (which was a goal race of the 10k) to know what the fastest pace I can hold for a long distance will be.

Plus, a running friend just broke 2:00 yesterday, so I have to kick her ass, right? :highly_amused:

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Running may be a footsport, but it's definitely taxing on the psyche. I know I can do 6.2 at an 8:07 pace, but that was almost all out. Obviously I'll lose some time per mile to go 13.1, but it's so hard out of training season (which was a goal race of the 10k) to know what the fastest pace I can hold for a long distance will be.

Totally know what you mean. It seems we have similar times all around - I ran my 10k at an 8:08 pace, so according to the various calculators, I'm supposed to be able to run a half at around an 8:30 pace (Galloway says 8:29, McMillan says 8:34). That just seems like a bombout waiting to happen though - especially for my first. Like you, I figure a 9:00 pace is a healthy goal.

Anyway, your race is next weekend, right? I can't wait to hear about it!

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Totally know what you mean. It seems we have similar times all around - I ran my 10k at an 8:08 pace, so according to the various calculators, I'm supposed to be able to run a half at around an 8:30 pace (Galloway says 8:29, McMillan says 8:34). That just seems like a bombout waiting to happen though - especially for my first. Like you, I figure a 9:00 pace is a healthy goal.

Anyway, your race is next weekend, right? I can't wait to hear about it!

Thanks! Yeah, it's May 19th. I ran the Rock N Roll half back in March when it was too hot, too hilly, and I was worn out from a great race the week before. That got me 9:35/mi. If I train & rest & eat smart for the next 12 days, I should be able to get that magic number, I hope. I've run 4 half marathons so far, each one has been a PR from the last. I know it won't always be that way, but this one really should be a great one...I hope. I just need to remember that good carbs are my friend next week.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]3149[/ATTACH]

I'll just leave this here. The alt text on today's Natalie Dee comic is "pshht. That shit is easy. Show me the unmodified one."

Ha I love this!!

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Travel is now complete, and real life (and read food) are back. Not too much damage done on the road. I certainly had a lot of activity in my day, even using 3 hours in the airport to walk the 1.4 mile loop they have. The biggest difference (I'm purposefully not using language that would connote it as bad - those days of calling food choices bad vs. good are something I'm getting away from) was the absolute uptick in pure meat and lack of veggies. Not that I didn't eat decently, but I definitely eat more vegetables when I'm at home and am not at the mercy of a restaurant's portions. I also know I drank a wee bit more, and indulged in a post-dinner sweet more often than I normally do. All in all, I was only up 2lbs from when I left (which had been a new low), and of that, 24 hours later, more than half of that weight is gone.

Stronglifts

Up to session 8 now, and really trying to max out the rest on some of the moves, which takes a loooooong time when doing 5 sets. It's very very hard for me to do nothing for 5 minutes (I mean, I'll check email and stuff, but I want to move!).

  • Squats 80lbs: Thanks to the Rippletoe video someone posted in another thread, I've really made sure I'm shrugging my shoulders up and together, and keeping my elbows high. Result, less shoulder pain! I'm starting to get to a point where I look funny coming up, so I know it's getting to a challenging weight.
  • Overhead Press 55lbs: I took the max rest yesterday and on the 5th rep of the 5th set, I had nada. Fail. Which is fine, I'll try it again next week. This is definitely my weakest area, obviously. I even felt myself WANT to push press, but I made sure not to.
  • Deadlifts 125lbs: The only sad thing about DLs is that there's only one set. Still trucking along!
  • Bench Press 60 lbs: Last set was at the cruddy gym on the smith, but still looking good.
  • Barbell Row 75 lbs: Same here, did the last set with the curl bar. Next to the OHP, it's the area I'm rapidly pushing my max at while keeping my form.

Running & other scout activities

Did a bit of elliptical to warm up yesterday, since I had done so much walking the day before. Man, I hate that machine. I normally would run, but wanted less jamming my legs. After Stronglifts, I was feeling nice and warm, so I decided to push myself on the 5k challenge. I put the incline at 1% and let 'er rip. I got a PR (in a non-race setting at least) of 24:22. I may try to beat this on Sunday to see if I can get a bit more speed in, but also am being mindful that while these group challenges are fun, I don't want to take away from my overall goal of getting a faster time on my half.

That being said, since my calf is a bit tight this morning, I am gonna use my gym time to get the bike in and go for a swim today. I really love swimming but LOATHE having to share the "fast" lane with the very very slow swimmers. Oh well. Even typing it makes me NOT want to swim today, but it probably will feel great, even if I don't go as fast as I'd like.

Personal Appearance

The biggest difference when I was away was being able to put on one outfit and wear it the entire day without getting something on it, ha ha. All joking aside, I do feel so much better when I'm out and feel like I should be there and not fade into the background. The various food all over me, well that can't much be helped.

----

Still have a bit of mindgaming going on with my half, and I know it's all part of the process. I've run enough races, and certainly enough where I've had a time goal to know my brain has it's own agenda. I really REALLY want that sub 2. I'm running 10 this weekend, and that'll be my last long run, and it'll be on my hilly running paths near home. I'll see if I can keep to close to my race pace (though a bit above it, I know race day will carry me for the extra speed). My spring training had me going distance, but only having the speed goal for the 10k, and my brain knows it. Half marathon training for a race in September starts next Tuesday, and I'll feel better for the fall races. For now, I have to trust that any pain (not pain pain, just the discomfort of pushing myself) is temporary, and I can hold on for the 13.1.

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Stronglifts

Up to session 8 now, and really trying to max out the rest on some of the moves, which takes a loooooong time when doing 5 sets. It's very very hard for me to do nothing for 5 minutes (I mean, I'll check email and stuff, but I want to move!).

  • Squats 80lbs: Thanks to the Rippletoe video someone posted in another thread, I've really made sure I'm shrugging my shoulders up and together, and keeping my elbows high. Result, less shoulder pain! I'm starting to get to a point where I look funny coming up, so I know it's getting to a challenging weight.
  • Overhead Press 55lbs: I took the max rest yesterday and on the 5th rep of the 5th set, I had nada. Fail. Which is fine, I'll try it again next week. This is definitely my weakest area, obviously. I even felt myself WANT to push press, but I made sure not to.
  • Deadlifts 125lbs: The only sad thing about DLs is that there's only one set. Still trucking along!
  • Bench Press 60 lbs: Last set was at the cruddy gym on the smith, but still looking good.
  • Barbell Row 75 lbs: Same here, did the last set with the curl bar. Next to the OHP, it's the area I'm rapidly pushing my max at while keeping my form.

I hear you on the time thing. I figured out right away that 5x5 wasn't going to work for me - I just don't have enough time to get all of that in before work. And yeah, OHP is my nemesis ;). I feel like I stall on that one every time I up the weight. Anyway, keep it up - you're doing great!

Still have a bit of mindgaming going on with my half, and I know it's all part of the process. I've run enough races, and certainly enough where I've had a time goal to know my brain has it's own agenda. I really REALLY want that sub 2. I'm running 10 this weekend, and that'll be my last long run, and it'll be on my hilly running paths near home. I'll see if I can keep to close to my race pace (though a bit above it, I know race day will carry me for the extra speed). My spring training had me going distance, but only having the speed goal for the 10k, and my brain knows it. Half marathon training for a race in September starts next Tuesday, and I'll feel better for the fall races. For now, I have to trust that any pain (not pain pain, just the discomfort of pushing myself) is temporary, and I can hold on for the 13.1.

Good luck next weekend - I'm sure you can hit that time!

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Being back at home base sure makes things easier. My cravings for junk are subsiding a bit, now that most of the temptations are out of my reach. We're going out for either Indian or Thai tonight, and while neither is going to be strictly paleo, I'll load up on meats and veggies either way. So hard to turn down a samosa or a curry puff. Had I not been eating a bit more indulgent this week, I'd give 'em a go, but I will *probably* opt out this time around.

Stronglifts Day 9

  • Squats - 85lbs: Still doing okay with the 90-2min rest. My form and shoulders are starting to feel better as well.
  • Bench Press - 65lbs: Steady here as well.
  • Barbell Row 80lbs: More of a question here. I'll copy the q I left in the warrior forum
    At the lower weights, I was easily and smoothly lifting the bar up to my chest and lowering it. Now that I'm at a more challenging weight, I feel like I'm more explosively pulling or jerking the bar off the floor to get it to my chest. Am I diminishing the move by not keeping the movement isolated to my arms and back muscles? I'm not dipping my knees down or anything, but I can feel myself using more of my whole body in the move.
    For example, I know I DON'T want to do that in the OHP, because then it becomes a push press. Any such hazard in the bent over row?

Scout-like activities

Having done the run the other day, I was all set to go for a second trifecta week at the gym yesterday. I got the bike ride in, but then went to swim and realized I left my suit at home. I thought about getting a few miles instead, but with a small knot I was feeling in my calf yesterday (and today), I opted against it, and walked a mile instead. Got the swim in today, though! Plus with the leg knot, better to move more in cross-training this week, and rest for Brooklyn. 1 week 1 day to go.

De-funking myself

I need to do post vacation laundry, or rather, I need to fold it, since it's at least clean. Man, I am so jealous of people who have bedroom-level washers and dryers. Still all made up and dressed well, but the clothes I have? Definitely starting to look like they're for a different body, at least to me. I know they still look good though, and I want to hold off as long as possible before getting new duds. No need yet, but in another 10lbs? definitely possible.

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I moved my stronglifts to S/T/Th this week, so that I have 48 hours of rest before the race on Saturday morning, which is good, because I got on the treadmill today, hoping to do 6 miles at an easyish pace, and thud. Totally no mojo. I ran 2 at an 8:45 pace and then walked 2 at like 14. Felt like shit, but at least I was moving. I think that may be the hardest thing for me as an athlete, is resting. Truly resting. I never really want to sit still, and certainly not all day. I feel better on days I work out, and as bad as this morning's workout seemed, I'd be in a really craptastic mood if I hadn't done anything. That being said, I need. to. rest. this. week.

Stronglifts Day 10

  • Squat - 90lbs: My shoulder feels SO MUCH BETTER now that I am holding the bar right. The weight is starting to get tough!
  • OHP - 55lbs: My freaking arch nemesis. I can't get that last rep on the last set. Like ever. ONE DAY, DAMMIT!
  • Deadlift - 135lbs: I love deadlifts. I love using the big weight finally!!!

Wootness

We have a door frame bar set up in our house. I can reach it easily standing, but did a chin up from there! It's not from a dead hang or anything, but holy hot damn, that was so exciting.

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Wootness

We have a door frame bar set up in our house. I can reach it easily standing, but did a chin up from there! It's not from a dead hang or anything, but holy hot damn, that was so exciting.

Woohoo! That first one is the toughest. You'll be cranking out sets before you know it.

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Woohoo! That first one is the toughest. You'll be cranking out sets before you know it.

No joke, all I want to do is do chin ups now. But...I have barbell row tomorrow, and want good form. So I'll wait until I'm done lifting. Damnit!!! ;)

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Additionally, today's post on NF was well timed. I admit, I'm a sucker for the scale. I know I shouldn't be, but of my vices, it's got a huge grip on me. It's a good reminder that the scale may not be changing all the time, but pictures won't lie. 4 weeks to see how much I can change my photo!

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No joke, all I want to do is do chin ups now. But...I have barbell row tomorrow, and want good form. So I'll wait until I'm done lifting. Damnit!!! ;)

Yeah, I have a pull up bar right right next to my home office (on the way to anything else in the house). Its bad that I have to fight the urge to do pulls on it when I need to rest from a previous lifting workout. But on the days I can do them, I am doing pulls all the time.

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First - getting stronglifts out of the way - the weights were hard across the board today, but got them all done. Squats are triple digits starting Thursday!

But tonight I started my new half marathon training program and it. were. hard.

Usually there's this catchall 150 person program I do through the running club, and no matter if this is your 1st half or you are a triathlete, it follows the same general pattern. This year, they added an "Experienced" level, and I signed up. This coach is no joke. He's a former olympic alternate for track, and I'm gonna cry every week for mercy. I'm really excited.

Tonight's workout was a 20 minute overview of the program, since it's new. Then 2 miles to warm up, 10 minutes of dynamic warmups, then a mile time trial, 1 mile cool down - THEN core for like 40 minutes. And yes, I lifted this morning.

Can someone just bring a cow in here so I can chew on it while I pass out on the couch?

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Well, I can check one goal off my list.

I'm so freaking exhausted between the travel and the race, but man, was it worth it. My March race went so poorly, and I wonder if it was in part due to bad goal setting. I think it was just a hard race on a hot day, and nothing was going to get me to stop second guessing the whole thing. I saw that on paper, based on recent races, I could run my half anywhere from an 8:35-8:51 pace. That's on paper, and my training this spring was entirely based on my 10k in April. As I mentioned a few times in this thread, I was worried about holding a fast pace for a longer distance. My fears, apparently, were unfounded.

Not only did I beat my 2:05, but I annihilated it, running 1:53:25. And that was an easy, challenging pace, if that make sense. I was consistently around an 8:40 pace (8:33 per Runkeeper, but that was off overall by a tiny bit), and once I passed the last big (for the race, not actually big) hill at the 10k mark, I knew I had it. I knew that there was almost no way I would NOT beat the 2:00 mark, so I just held my ground and enjoyed the race. I'm sure I could have pushed more in places and whittled that time down some more, but I'm glad I didn't. It was a race that felt good, and left me feeling amazing afterwards.

I indulged in a little food that I wouldn't normally reach for, but it was so worth it. All homemade, except for the Nathan's Hot Dog, eaten right on the Coney Island boardwalk after the finish. All things told, I'm excited for my next training phase to see where my legs take me next. Thanks for all the cheering!

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I know I already said this in the splits thread, but it warrants repeating. Totally kick-ass time - amazing job!!!

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I know I already said this in the splits thread, but it warrants repeating. Totally kick-ass time - amazing job!!!

If only every course were so easy! I should move to the midwest!!! :D

Thanks again for the kudos!

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Dang, more than halfway done? This is pretty fantastic. I still haven't applied my challenge points yet, maybe I'll save that until the end and level up across the board.

Stronglifts:

As of this morning's workout (session 13)

  • Squats - 105lbs: I failed on the last set of these. When I was at the crossfit box last year, bailing was no big deal. We used the rubber weights, and between the metal music and everyone else lifting, I didn't care. Now I'm usually one of maybe two people in the very echo-y room, since it is a converted racquetball court. The plates are metal, and I'm pretty much the youngest person by 30 years (not shabby, since I'm 35). I need to relearn how to bail, especially on my own. I miss being able to throw the bar.
  • Bench Press 75lbs: Challenging but I felt better today than last week.
  • Barbell Row 90lbs: I'm just going with the explosive pull versus the OHP static move until someone tells me it's not the right way to do it.
  • Overhead Press 55lbs: I have to de-load this one. Fucking OHP.
  • Deadlift 145lbs: I'm only 20 away from my 1RM, one of the few moves I have a 1RM for, at least that I do with SL. Feeling pretty badass.

I have to rest more and more, which of course takes more and more time. Now that running is back for the summer (not like it ever really left, but I had a month off of set planned workouts), I may have to move to 3x5 instead of 5x5. Does anyone have an opinion if it matters if I do 3 sets of 5 versus 5 sets of 3?

Running

I already mentioned earlier that I killed it at the Brooklyn Half. It was so cathartic to have a great race, and is leaving me refreshed for this new training season. Next up on the agenda is upping the mileage back to my usual 30mpw (give or take) and getting my ass kicked by the new coach. Also up in two weeks is the 5k, with my sub 25:00 goal. I should be well able to do it at this point, with the caveat that I'll have a group long run the day before, so I'll need to make sure to rest that week if I want to book it.

Glam Girl

Still making sure to bring makeup and put on my face each day, I even bought some new long-wear lipstick, since I'm always too lazy to reapply it. It's a very out of sight, out of mind situation, so this could be a good solution.

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I need to relearn how to bail, especially on my own. I miss being able to throw the bar.

Does your gym have a power cage or a squat stand with safety pins/bars? When I miss a squat rep I just go back down until the bar is resting on the safeties, then crawl out from underneath it.

Fucking OHP.

Lol, story of my life.

Does anyone have an opinion if it matters if I do 3 sets of 5 versus 5 sets of 3?

I discovered right away that 5x5 was too long for me. As you progress through stronglifts, Medhi eventually recommends 3x5. Rip recommends 3x5 from the start (which is what I did). You'll probably even find that doing 15 reps vs 25, you have some extra in the tank for moving up in weights. In any case, 3x5 is plenty of work.

Awesome job on your challenge so far, it's been a fun one for me to follow, especially since we're working on a lot of the same stuff. I can't wait to see the next 3 weeks has in store!

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Does your gym have a power cage or a squat stand with safety pins/bars? When I miss a squat rep I just go back down until the bar is resting on the safeties, then crawl out from underneath it.

Balls, hit the wrong button and my post got eaten. Anyhow, it's a multi-hooked setup, which can kinda be a pain in the ass versus the single hook adjustable bar from the crossfit box. Nonetheless, they do have the bars I can put up. Clearly, it's time to set those up. HOWEVER, that being said, at 3 sets of 5, I'm fine at all the weights. After this week, I think I'll drop to the 3x5 - like you said, SS is 3x5 anyway. I can always do another go at 5x5 in the true off season after my next coaching season ends in early September.

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I had track last night, and on my schedule for today is Stronglifts and a bit of jogging. I also am on day 3 of a head cold, and so far this is the worst day. Sore throat is gone, but so stuffed up. I was debating skipping, but I think I can push through...we'll see.

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There is not enough mucinex in the world today.

By the time I got to the gym, I felt good enough to get my workout in. Did 2 miles pre and 2 miles post Stronglifts. I did switch over to 3x5 today so that I could make sure that my run time isn't getting the short end of the stick. Because of that, I finally got my 55lbs on the OHP. I also made the DL my bitch. A year ago, 155 was my 1RM. Today I did five reps of it!

Today? Achy and so congested, but then again, that's how I woke up yesterday. It's still not in my chest, so I am debating pushing through and getting the 5 miles in that I'm scheduled for today and then hitting the steam room. Rule of thumb has generally been that if I have no fever and the cold isn't a chest cold, exercising isn't gonna make anything worse. Heck, yesterday, I felt BETTER after the gym.

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Thanks to the power of coffee - I got moving and motivated today, and got 4 of the 5 miles in at a decent clip and walked the last one.

Interesting changes in my form. During our cool down laps at the track on Tuesday night, the coach ran next to me and asked me about my half. It was funny, he was paying attention..but not? And then he was kinda off my shoulder, and then right behind me. I finally realized he was watching my form. I called back, "my left foot tracks straight, but my right one splays out to the side like I'm doing a breast stroke kick, right?". "Yup!". So he gave me a new way to run. Instead of being in between the lane lines, I am now to run ON the lines, putting each footfall right on the center of it. This, apparently, should start to tighten up my stride form.

Well, let me tell you, 4 miles of that yesterday, and 4 miles of it today and DAMN, my hips are sore. But this is the good kind of sore, the kind that means my muscles are waking up. Tomorrow, I'll just throw some light miles on with Stronglifts 3x5, since we have a trail run on Saturday. Sunday is definitely a day off for me, and hopefully the mucinex will have kicked all the crud out of my system by then, because I am like lead right now.

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Got 24:14.5 in my 5k today, which I am REALLY stoked about, because it was a much hillier course than last year. Splits were DEFINITELY not negative, which was hard, and unusual for me. 7:00, 7:39, 7:51 or thereabouts according to runkeeper.

On Stronglifts, my 5RM is now 165, with quite a few more days left in the challenge.

I was sick last week, and then catching up alongside pretty rotten eating the last week. I wanted to eat ALL THE THINGS in my path, and I mostly did. I think I was restricting carbs far too much and that led to binge city once my time of the month came along. My exercise and beautification regimen have been doing stellar, but I've had to step back on diet this week and calm myself a bit. It's too easy to get sucked into the calorie and macro vortex, because frankly? They count. I was eating probably a bit too little for my activity levels (1600/day average), but in general try not to eat my exercise burn, and that was with holding out on carbs (around 75-120/day). I'm only about 2 months into paleo, and I assure you, I was definitely not paleo over the last 7 days. I didn't add a diet component to my challenge on purpose, because I knew this time would be my tinkering phase. Next round, I'll likely be adding it in. The key will be getting enough carbs, to fuel my scout lifestyle, but also remaining satisfied. Because, in the end, if I never lost another pound, I'd be absolutely fine, but that 32% BF needs to drop, even to say, 28% - and that's gonna be quite the challenge.

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