Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday Recap!

Saturday morning means long runs with the 501 running group.  I was planning on sleeping until between 1 and 3am, and my mileage has been on the longer end compared to most of the group, so I planned to get a head start so I wouldn't be the last one out.  The main group run starts at 7:45am, so I made arrangements to meet somebody else going long at 7am to we could get in 4 miles early.  Originally, my schedule called for 18 miles today, but I adjusted it to 16 miles last week, after dealing with some knee pain that benched me for a few days and motivated me to get to PT the week before.  Anyway, I ended up ready to go by 5:30am or so, so I went downtown early and getting 4 miles in by myself before my 4 miles with 2 other early runners.  So I had 8 miles done before the 7:45am group run even started!

It had snowed Friday, but the 4 mile route I ran (twice) was all on campus sidewalks, so it was really nicely cleared.  After the Ice Cube last week, and the Groundhog a couple weeks before that, I am really sick of running on snow and ice, and wasn't in the mood for it today.   The 501 courses recently have drug us out through unplowed streets and unshoveled sidewalks, so I planned ahead and brought my handheld water bottle and mapped out an 8 mile route of my own in case I didn't like the route they had planned.  Turns out I made the right call, because the 501 route was out on the west side which is notoriously bad.  I just didn't see a reason to put myself through that for 16 miles when we have the luxury of downtown Ann Arbor, central campus, north campus, and the medical campus to work with, which were 100% clear!  If it was 10 or 12 miles I might have been okay with it, but I wasn't really feeling the extra work on a 16 mile day.  Plus I didn't want to run fast, and I tend to push harder with the group, which results in more pain and longer recovery afterward.  And I was enjoying kind of zoning out with my music yesterday, and in the mood to run, so I didn't "need" the group to motivate me.  So I bid farewell to the group and headed out on my own 8 mile course on clear streets.  I added on a little extra when I ran out of water and detoured by my house for a refill, so my total was 16.5 miles.  At about 14 miles I was still feeling great, so I thought about doing the 18 I had originally planned, but at mile 15 i noticed my form kind of falling apart, and at 16 my knee starting hurting really bad, so I stopped.

Since my gait analysis at the Running Institute in Ann Arbor, I've been trying to work on my form.  Apparently I have been over-striding pretty badly.  So, per their advice, I've been working on my foot landing under my body (vs out in front), increasing my cadence to about 170, not rotating my upper body with my arm swing, and "tucking my scapulae into my back pockets".  I can definitely see how it's more efficient, but it's just taking some time to get used to, obviously.  It takes a lot more mental energy than I'm used to putting in on a long run.  It did even out my pace though I think.  Although it doesn't really look like I quite hit my 170 (85) target cadence 100% of the time, I'm sure I was using a shorter, quicker stride than my usual.

And here's pace and elevation and splits, while I'm doing the data thing.

After the run my hip flexors were sore (just normal muscle soreness), and my ham-ass wasn't, so I'm taking that as a sign that I'm doing something differently! 

I'm really focusing on the "extras" with my running right now, like drills, stretching, foam-rolling, icing, strength training, PT exercises, etc., so I spent some time icing, foam rolling and stretching after I was done.  I am notoriously bad at doing much of anything after my long runs, usually because I'm in a hurry to get showered and get breakfast with Jeff.  

Icing my knees turned out to be kind of complicated, thanks to the dogs! This video just has Molly in it, but later Callie joined in too.  

Since getting more practice and instruction at foam rolling at PT, I've realized that my foam roller is inadequate.  I got one of the short, thick ones that was cheaper at the running store, it's like 18" long with I think a 6" diameter.  I decided I needed one that was longer, and smaller diameter, as well as preferably more durable than the foam that I had, which breaks down easily.  I looked at nice ones online, and after a resounding "Hell no!" at those prices, I ended up following Katie's lead, and used the instructions at this link, to make my own.

I couldn't find the pipe insulation foam that I was supposed to use, so I just used thin carpet over the PVC pipe instead.  It works great!

Foam Roller!  With "Ty"-Dye duct tape accents ;)
I'm very excited to become a stronger, healthier runner.  With my new form changes, and with the attention to proper pre- and post- run maintenance, I wouldn't be surprised if I can start racking up some bigger weekly mileage levels than I've been able to in the past, since I will hopefully be doing more easy running on my recovery days, rather than NO running.

Here's my loose template going forward:

I was only running 4 days a week, my 3 workouts and one easy run, and one spinning day.  I'm dropping spinning for now because I'm sick of of it and last time I went it hurt my knee more than running did.  I'm going to start doing at least 2 miles on some of those "Ez/off" days where I wasn't running at al before.  I should be able to ramp easily up to 6 miles on some of those days which will give me a big bump in mileage.  I'm at 30 miles a week right now just on 4 days of running, so adding extra days could give me a nice bump.  Maybe I'll even see a 50 mile week finally.  :)

And here are Otto (cat) and Callie (dog) playing.  Or fighting.  Or something.  Don't mind the "Glee" audio in the background.  I don't even know why I watch that show.  It's pretty bad this year.  Even the songs suck now, which is why I watched it in the first place (for running music).

After foam rolling, icing, and showering, Jeff and I finally made it downtown to try the new "Wafel Shop" that opened there recently.   I got a "Liege" waffle with nutella, banana, and whipped cream.  It was pretty good, but not as good as I had expected.  I follow them on facebook and was looking forward to their opening for a while, so I had some high expectations built up.  I probably won't go there very often, even though it's right next door the Saturday group long run meeting/finish location.  

This photo is from their facebook page.  They called this the  "Banana Nut Bread Wafel".   I was expecting the restaurant to have names/ideas like this that you could order, but instead all I saw was a kind of ala carte menu where you choose the waffle and order toppings individually, rather than choosing a "themed" or "named" waffle  like "banana nut bread" or whatever.  See their menu here.  
Looks good though, right??  No wonder I had such high expectations!  It didn't help that they didn't have enough seating and that it smelled like something burning in there when we went in.

While we were downtown yesterday I got a ticket for an expired plate because I never put my my registration sticker on.  I sent an email to the parking referee within 2 hrs of the ticket issue yesterday, including photo attachments of the postmark date on my registration, and of my license plate with the sticker now applied, and by 8 am this morning I got an email saying they dismissed my ticket!  Less than 24 hours.  I was pretty happy about that!


  1. Oh man, this made me realllllly want waffles after my long run this morning...

  2. Depressing that the waffles weren't better. There is nothing worse than anticipating a certain food for weeks and then after eating it being like "is that it?"


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