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Xena

Xena lets the miles fall where they may

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9 hours ago, Xena said:

I could ask about having a proper pull-up bar hung (not the door frame kind, the kind you nail/bolt/screw into the wall). I have a cool mulit-level ceiling, and (oddly) I've ALWAYS wanted a pull-up bar in my living room. I'll take a photo to explain if this ever actually happens.

Oh now that is a plan! 

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2 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Have you seen @Nymeria's basement? :D

Nope, but bet it's pretty awesome. My best friend has "The Gladiator Gym" in her basement. We used to live in different apartments in the split house with a shared basement..I miss having the "Gladiator Gym" downstairs. Sadly I have no basement. Half of my living room is a "yoga studio". The other half currently has two paddleboards, (and hopefully eventually the pull up bar). I was talking to my mom yesterday and told her about the pull-up bar. I think she was completely horrified, but she very nicely said "it's your house..."

 

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2 hours ago, Xena said:

I was talking to my mom yesterday and told her about the pull-up bar. I think she was completely horrified, but she very nicely said "it's your house..."

 

That made me laugh :) 

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15 hours ago, Xena said:

... and (oddly) I've ALWAYS wanted a pull-up bar in my living room...

 

Two thumbs up - you are my kind of Ranger...I would want one too, if my hubby let me that is :P I settle for either an over the door one right now.

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Great job on the race. It sounds awesome and brutal all at the same time.  I am running out of ways to say how badass you are. 

 

It also sounds like your Ranger brain has extended to household projects for the handyman. I have always wanted to have a pull up bar in my apartment. I can't actually do a pull-up but that's probably because I don't have a bar in my apartment... something to think about for my next place. 

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1 hour ago, honeybadger said:

 I can't actually do a pull-up but that's probably because I don't have a bar in my apartment...

 

I'm assuming the same thing ;-)

 

Today was slightly lame. I did gentle yoga in the morning and really wanted to try to make it to the Friday night club run. But I just need to admit to myself that I've become a morning runner. I'm too worn out to do it at the end of the day. Not a big deal. I did a solid run yesterday, and I can do another one tomorrow.

 

Ohhh, but the best thing about today: I CASHED IN MY SUSHI PRIZE! Spicy yellowtail roll and an Alaska roll (in this case, salmon, avocado and cucumber). I do have the dregs of a few of the tasks left, but none of the remaining bits are my fault, and i completed the spirit of the goal.

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Yesterday a little running outside (~4.5 miles) didn't do quite as much as I wanted because my stomach was upset. Came home, drank some coke, took a long nap and felt better. Not sure what the heck was up with that. Could have been running too soon after lunch.

 

Today was predicted have steady downpours all day (that's why I ran yesterday instead). Found a special yoga class with live acoustic guitar. Took a friend and had a good time. I've taken a couple classes with the teacher before but this was my first time at her studio. I like but don't love her teaching style (seems like the warm-up goes on forever, we do a fairly small variety of poses, the difficult parts are plenty difficult, but most of the class is more basic than I would like), but I do like her personality and her studio was BEAUTIFUL. I'll probably start going every couple of weeks.

 

Week 3 Report: Boring week challenge-wise. Mostly recovering (Total of 12.5 miles). Was all over the map diet-wise...I'm assuming because the crazy long run left me with a lot of calories to make up. The coming week should be more normal.

1. 50 hills. Nope, none this week. Early in the week I was too worn down. I planned to do some on Saturday, but then wasn't feeling well. Gotta do 10 this week. Very do-able, just takes doing. Also...although I didn't run any hill repeats, I did do 10 minutes on the stair climber as a test session. Early next month I'm going to do an uphill hiking challenge (12 hours to get as much vertical gain as you can on a specific mountain). I'm going to do at least a little training on the climber...I wanted to do a short session before jumping into a big workout on a new piece of equipment. Will work on it more this week.

2. 50 strides. Yep, I did get in 8 of these. That brings me to 34. This is a 6-week challenge, so I still have two weeks to finish it.

3. 60 chin-up negatives. 15 this week for a total of 53. Might reach my goal tomorrow.

4. Water. Yep, hit the minimum this week (5 days). There have been a couple close calls...I get pretty forgetful with this. I think this week was easier to forget because I wasn't running as much so wasn't as thirsty. But still one freaking liter of water isn't that much.

5. 2300 calories. Nope...averaged 2346 over the 5 days I track. Counting this as a "fail" week, but really just because I need to think more about my recovery after endurance events. My calories were seriously all over the map this week. Sunday was the race (no tracking), Monday 1951 (seems weird...why didn't I eat more? Bad planning? Body in shock?), Tuesday 2818 and hungry all day, Wednesday 2658 and really really hungry all day...had to skip a planned workout to go home and heat, Thurs 2493....more normal, went over due to not paying attention rather than crazy starvation, F/Sat didn't track, Today 1810....maybe normal consumption since I haven't been running much). Anyway, I think I should have eaten more on Monday and may have felt better during the week. Will pay attention after my next marathon. And I should be able to be more steady this week.

 

Week 4 Plan: Kind of a Ranger-brain week.

Monday: Short run (with a couple hills, darn it!) and gym (including longer session on the stairclimber)

Tues: 6-7 miles easy

Wed: Yoga in morning, afternoon hopefully go out to the track: do a bunch of strides and get baseline times for 800 and mile. I think I need to set myself up for success here with a big afternoon snack.

Thursday: [**] Gym after work.

Friday: Morning run (7 miles easy)...finish the darned hill repeats.

Sat: ??

Sun: Trail recon run

** I'll have to do my speed workout Thursday morning if I can't manage Wednesday night. I've been having a hard time dragging myself out running after work.

 

I'm starting to get excited...I've been on the waitlist for a cool ultra run in October. Originally I was so far down on the waitlist that I couldn't even see my name (or maybe it was the list from last year or something). I checked it yesterday, and I'm #18. Guessing I'll get in! I'm pretty hyped up on ultras after my run last week. I even signed up to volunteer at one in July...I haven't done it before and think it will be pretty fun, also a good way to get to know some people in this group.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Xena said:

1. 50 hills. Nope, none this week. Early in the week I was too worn down. I planned to do some on Saturday, but then wasn't feeling well. Gotta do 10 this week.

Better you than me :P

 

I hope you get into your cool October run :)

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On 5/11/2017 at 6:28 AM, Sloth the Enduring said:

My basement has a really short ceiling

I have a similar issue. I suppose we could always do L-Hang Pull ups, but I have a hard enough time with regular pull ups.

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14 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Better you than me :P

 

I hope you get into your cool October run :)

Fortunately it's a pretty short hill :-)

Thanks!!

 

8 hours ago, jstanlick said:

I have a similar issue. I suppose we could always do L-Hang Pull ups, but I have a hard enough time with regular pull ups.

Same problem at my friend's house. Frankly rude of them to move into a place where they can't have a reasonable pull-up bar.
 

On 5/14/2017 at 9:20 PM, Xena said:

Monday: Short run (with a couple hills, darn it!) and gym (including longer session on the stairclimber)

Today was a very satisfying challenge day. Not necessarily the most intense workout (decent though), but definitely checked lots of boxes on the challenge. Did everything I planned (^^^) and a bit more. Only increased by 5 min on the stairclimber but feeling it in my hip flexors! I think this training is pretty good for me.

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Ooh, the uphill hiking challenge sounds very cool! Much more up my alley than an ultra-marathon, but that's cool for you highly impressive!

 

Mmmm, sushi! Good prize claiming :)

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Week 4 Plan: Kind of a Ranger-brain week.

Monday (yesterday): Short run (with a couple hills, darn it!) and gym (including longer session on the stairclimber)...Yes, and a bit more

Tues (today): 6-7 miles easy...actually just over 5 miles but on trail and at a decent clip. Good enough for me.

Wed (tomorrow): Yoga in morning, afternoon hopefully go out to the track: do a bunch of strides and get baseline times for 800 and mile.  I think I need to set myself up for success here with a big afternoon snack....good thing I checked this...forgot about the yoga plan. Some friends will be out at the cinder track** tomorrow, which is exactly where I wanted to do my workout. Looking good. Think I'm going to modify this a bit though...I'll try to get a time for the 800 and also measure my max heart rate. Following the Garmin directions, it would work pretty well to do an 800 time trial, take 3 min rest, and then run as hard as possible for 3 more min (the idea is that you hit your max HR in the second 3 min period). Should be miserable but interesting. 

 

** the cinder track is an old horse track that's a little longer than 800 m. It's also unusual in that it has a slight hill. The surface is fairly slow to run on, so the times aren't really comparable to a road time trial or a regular running track. We like it though because it's surrounded by woods, is soft on the joints and is slightly less boring than a 400 m track.

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I did my benchmark 800 and HR max test. "800" came out at 3:30 flat. I think I can go faster, but that's part of the fun of having a benchmark. Now I have something to reach for. I want to benchmark our trail "mile" next week (it's more than a mile, but who's measuring...besides it also has hills, dirt and loose sand).

 

HR max was measured at 178. Various calculators predicted 177-184, so I guess it's all about right.

 

I'm completely confused by the literature on HR training. So much pop physiology/heath writing makes no sense. For example people claim HR's aren't good for measuring training intensity because the environment and other factors can affect HR. A popular example they cite is that dehydration can increase your heart rate because the blood is thicker and your heart has to work harder to deliver the same amount of oxygen. I agree...it makes sense that dehydration can affect your heart rate, but why is that not relevant. If dehydration is making it harder for your body to get the oxygen it needs, it's also making it harder for you to exercise. It's like saying heart rate monitors don't work because your heart rate goes up when you run up hills. Of course it does. Running up hills is harder work and puts more strain on your heart. In the case of hills it usually "intentional". While the dehydration isn't (usually) on purpose it still affects the difficulty of the exercise.

 

The only decent argument I've seen is some vague mention of studies showing that running performance doesn't necessarily suffer with mild/moderate dehydration (even though HR increases). That at least makes sense as to why HR isn't directly related to target intensity.

 

[rant over]

 

I mostly use the HR monitor because it's something to distract me when I'm feeling a little worked over. It also cheers me up a little when I'm feeling like crap and not able to run as fast as I would like to.

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Most people train too hard on their easy days and too easy on their hard days. I think HRMs are most useful to keep you from doing that. If I recall correctly, your HR changes with allergen levels. I mostly like looking at the graphs after a hard race or session, I never really do anything with the info. Out of curiousity, what's your HR at a steady race pace?

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I totally agree with you Sloth. Not actually sure about HR at race pace. I've just started wearing the thing again after a bunch of months of leaving it on the shelf. I have worn it for 5K's before, but can't quite remember. Guessing it's in the 160's for most of the race (creeping over time). Doing a 5K in mid-June, so I'll probably wear it for fun. I was thinking it would help keep me from going too fast in the first mile.

 

I have a hard time adapting to heat, so sometimes I use the monitor, especially on easy days to reassure myself that I'm putting in the effort even if I need to slow down or walk. The crap on the web uses heat training as an example of why HRMs don't work well. Your HR goes up in the heat, so they say the training zones are inaccurate. My HR goes up in the heat, so I say that I need to slow down. Now I'm confused about which is right. 

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23 hours ago, Xena said:

Your HR goes up in the heat, so they say the training zones are inaccurate. My HR goes up in the heat, so I say that I need to slow down. Now I'm confused about which is right. 

 

Makes sense to me - you're getting too hot and your heart rate's really high, you need to slow down. So surely the training zones would still work?

 

The October ultra sounds exciting. How far is it?

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I don't know much about the heart rate stuff, but aren't the training zones essentially used as a measure of how much work your body is doing (cardio-wise at least)? You might be going slower, but your body is working harder, and heart rate then goes up. Looks like it still works to me.

 

As far as dehydration throwing it off, you should be trying to stay hydrated anyway. :P

 

Edited to add: you don't want to push yourself too much in the heat, otherwise you risk getting heat sick or worse, so no matter what is "right" for the HRM or training zones, you should slow down if that's what your body is telling you.

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On 5/19/2017 at 6:08 AM, Jarric said:

Makes sense to me - you're getting too hot and your heart rate's really high, you need to slow down. So surely the training zones would still work?

 

The October ultra sounds exciting. How far is it?

...I'll respond (i.e., blather on) about the heat training below.

The ultra is "flexible" in that you are allowed to do as much as you want out-and-back on a 15 mile (round-trip) course within the 30 hour cap. I initially planned to try for 30 miles, but after my run this challenge, I think I might try for 45. This is another very "safe" race in that you don't have to commit to a giant loop or point-to-point. It's easy to make adjustments in your gear and to drop out if your body tells you to. The "fun" of trying to stay in longer is that, especially because the days will be getting shorter, it will give me some chance to experience the course at night. And, it's close to Halloween...the course website gives some hints that they do fun things to play with a spooky feel.

 

On 5/19/2017 at 10:00 AM, zeroh13 said:

I don't know much about the heart rate stuff, but aren't the training zones essentially used as a measure of how much work your body is doing (cardio-wise at least)? You might be going slower, but your body is working harder, and heart rate then goes up. Looks like it still works to me.

 

As far as dehydration throwing it off, you should be trying to stay hydrated anyway. :P

You guys are both absolutely right about some important things. I totally know that you need to slow down when it's hot, drink to prevent/minimize dehydration, and acknowledge the additional strain on your body if/when you do become dehydrated (mild to moderate dehydration is pretty inevitable during races, even if you drink a lot, your body struggles to get the fluids where they need to go fast enough).

 

I was mostly just ranting about the stupid pop "science".

More ranting:



Any criticism you read on line will start with talking about how people usually don't measure/estimate their maximum heart rate in a very accurate way, and that they don't adjust the training zones for their minimum heartrate. Ok, fine. But that's actually pretty easy to fix, and doesn't mean that the heart rate monitor isn't useful. So, as I was trying to gather information, it got annoying to read those caveats over and over.

 

But onto things like heat, dehydration, stress (which raises your resting heart rate), fatigue etc etc. It's honestly hard to get good information. For a recreational athlete like myself, I think it is probably true that the target zones shouldn't change that much (meaning when you are hot, your heart rate goes up, so you slow down and try to stay within the same target). I think that's "mostly" right. But there are some details and subtle things that I'm not sure of. Sometimes when I'm training in the heat (which of course I try to avoid as much as possible), I wonder how much value I'm getting out of it. If I'm doing a shuffling walk-run at 80F, is that the same as a steady tempo run at 45F? For my heart maybe, but at a minimum it wouldn't build muscle strength in the same way. So one possible answer is to avoid heat like the plague (mostly what I try to do). Another answer is to suffer through it for a few weeks and force your body to (safely) acclimate. The body does acclimate in various ways (increasing blood volume, sweating more, etc). To some extent I do this too...I can't entirely avoid heat if I want to run in summer. And if I want to race in warm weather, I need to train in warm weather.

 

The stuff about changes in your resting heart rate is also confusing. Again the discussion of this online was completely lame. Most of what I've read says that if your resting heart rate is high, that's usually a sign of stress, fatigue or illness and means you should take it a little easy. I don't frequently measure mine (have done it a couple times this week, just out of curiosity), but I think I would use the information in a broader context. It would just make me think...am I working too hard, do I need a break? But several articles online use this as an example as to why the heart rate monitors aren't useful.

 

Stuff about cardiac drift is also confusing. Heart rate increases slowly over time in a run, partly due to dehydration (that's how I got on that subject) and partly for unknown reasons. I would think someone surely must have figured out some guidelines as to what to do about that. In my mind that's not such a big deal and is easy to account for. I try to get into the low end of my range after 5-10 minutes, slowly build up toward the high end, and then pretty much hold. As a tool, it kind of helps me hold onto a pace. 

I'm planning to use mine once a week or so on a 3-6 mile run. Really mostly just for fun.

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Challenge wrap-up

 

The big successes this challenge were meeting my ultra-run goal and getting a lot of random crap done (unofficial sushi challenge).

Some of the smaller goals were motivating (strides and hills), although there were some difficulties fitting them in.

I got fed up with the diet goal and rebelled. Gotta think about what to do about that.

 

By the numbers:

28.5 miles this week for at total of 123.8 this challenge (with is about what I normally do)...45 miles of it all in one day!!

1. 50 hills. Hell yes!!! My run today was kind of miserable because I had 4 left, so I tacked them onto the end of an 11-miler. Not doing that again. I think this was a useful goal...I'll probably dig it out again in a few months.

2. 50 strides...9 this week, 43 so far, one week left (this was a 6-week goal). This one is good for me. It might get re-vamped and re-cycled.

3. 60 chin-up negatives...yep, 70! I like doing these, but the goal has gotten a little old. I think I need to try something different as a challenge goal for a little while.

4. Drink water....I think so...I'm 100% sure I hit my target in weeks 1-3. I'm like 95% sure of this week. I'm gonna give myself this one. I've noticed this is hard for me on days when I don't run.

5. 2300 calories 5 days per week...I sucked at this. Not saying this as a criticism of myself really. The goal just didn't fit this time around and then I found myself rebelling. Week 1 was fine, Week 2 was almost fine...didn't log enough days, partly b/c of the ultra, Week 3 was almost fine...just a bit over on calories...but the overage was I think again related to being STARVING for days after the ultra. Week 4 (this week) is the problem. I ate a fair bit of junk and didn't feel like logging it. I honestly think I just needed a break. I haven't decided what I'll do next week. Maybe some kind of "light" logging. Then start again next challenge.

 

....So decently successful, but didn't feel very exciting. Thinking about how to re-vamp for next time.

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5 minutes ago, Xena said:

28.5 miles this week for at total of 123.8 this challenge (with is about what I normally do)...45 miles of it all in one day!!

Whenever I feel like I've done a lot of running, I come and look at your thread and get, rightfully, humbled :P

 

You killed it this challenge! 

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