Monday, September 22, 2008

5 Run 3, Week 1 (BOHHR): My Longest Run EVER!


Weather Conditions:
Temp: 76° FHumidity:58%
Warm-up Walk:Start Time: 7:21 pm
Distance: 0.38 miTime: 6:01 minAvg Pace: 15:48 min/miCalories Burned: 39
Start Time:
7:28 pm
Distance: 14.13 miTime: 2:31:31 minAvg Pace: 10:43 min/miCalories Burned: 1471
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 10:01 pmDistance: 0.47 mi
Time: 7:16 min
Avg Pace: 15:23 min/miCalories Burned: 49

What a beautiful night for a 14.1 mile run! Yes, you read that correctly. ;-) That's not a typo.

That's 14.1 miles, (or probably closer to 13.76 miles, give or take my Nike+iPod's usual 0.34 margin of error -- but still!), or the longest distance I've ever run in a single consecutive period of time, EVER. As in, that's the furthest I've ever run in my whole entire life up until now. Whoa.

(For the record: My longest run to-date this year -- up until now -- was 9.61 miles, run on Monday 9/15/08, during a recent trip to Hawaii. And before today, the previous record for my longest run ever was 12 miles, which I did a while ago, sometime in late summer, 1997.)

Who-hooooo! A new milestone! Pretty exciting stuff.

I might be paying for it tomorrow, but right now I'm on Cloud 9. 8-)

OK, time for a nice long hot shower & well-deserved soak for the muscles. Ahhhh, can't wait. Be back in a bit (to finish this post)....


OK, am back now. And now, a brief overview of tonight's run:

Erik dropped me off at one of my new running locales & I did about 9.7 miles on my new running path & then finished out the run by doing a final 6 laps (or 4.44 miles) on the lake.

Believe it or not, I didn't plan to run any more than 8 miles tonight. In fact, I'd started out by setting my Nike+iPod workout to 65 minutes, or roughly 6.2 miles. Once I got to 6 miles, I decided to run 8, and then after I got to 8, 10 didn't seem so far away, and ...well you get the idea. ;-) I just kept going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Except I'm not "Pepto-Bismol" pink & fluffy, and my ears are thankfully a lot smaller. ;-)

The weird thing is that tonight I didn't get a runner's high until after 8 miles. Sheesh, I really have to work for it these days!

Something slightly funny: On the last mile or so, the C+C Music Factory song, "Hip Hop Express" suddenly came on & the lyric, "Have you lost your mind?" kept repeating over and over again. Of course it was très fitting, because I was jokingly wondering if I had in fact lost my mind, going from 8.34 miles to 14.1 (with just a day of rest in between those two runs). ;-)

Other observations: Tonight's running locale definitely had a lot of unforgettable sights & sounds. And I'm not talking about passing cars. In addition to the occasional sounds of barking dogs, there were many noticeable "sounds of nature." In fact, about half way through my run, the locusts were so loud I could hear them over my iPod music, which was pumped up to almost full volume! (And before you lecture me on how I'm potentially blowing out my ear drums, let it be known that some MP3s aren't always recorded at the same volume as others, leaving me no option but to pump up the volumes on the lower volume tunes -- some of which are barely audible at normal decibels, & then readjust back to lower volumes afterwards.)

I could also hear the wind through the trees and various small animals rustling in the bushes. (That was obviously after I'd turned down the volume a bit. ;-) )

Yes, running by wooded areas definitely adds something extra to the overall sensory experience of running.

Speaking of which, these wooded areas smelled absolutely divine! The flowering bushes and trees were extremely fragrant, and even the foliage and non-flowering plants smelled really good tonight. Mmmmm.

How I love running by pleasing scents, sounds, & sights. There's nothing like these little enhancements. Seeing an unexpected burst of color from a small flower on the roadside, finding a four-leaf clover (well, that's a rarity for me, but it's still great when it happens! My mother has an uncanny talent for finding them....), even people/scene-watching, etc. The sound of leaves rustling or the trickle of a nearby stream (although the latter is not so good if you have just drunk too much water! ;-) ). The surrounding environment is rich in beauty & atmosphere & possibility, & there's almost always something interesting going on, no matter how minute or seemingly inconsequential. All you have to do is be present in the moment, be aware of your environs, & pay attention to the little details & little movements of the life happening all around you.

It's part of what I love so much about running outside. There are so many things to observe and sense. So much to take in. It just makes you feel so alive.


I'm still trying to wrap my head around what I just did. I can't believe that I just ran slightly MORE than a half-marathon distance, which I've never even reached up until now.

And what's even crazier is to consider that I've probably burned almost the same number of calories I'd typically consume in day. And that's not even taking into consideration the additional amount of calories I'd normally burn at my basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the amount of calories consumed by resting & doing absolutely squat. ;-) Isn't that just so @#$&%* cool?!

If, when considering the concept of BMR, the following visual imagery suddenly pops into your head....

...or you are now suddenly getting a mental picture of Jabba the Hutt (the ultimate couch potato! ;-) ), then you're on the right track to understanding exactly how BMR works. 8-)


And to top it all off, I wasn't even hungry when I got home. Hmmmm. Maybe the secret is what I ate beforehand -- a banana smoothie (ingredients: frozen bananas, non-fat yoghurt, non-fat milk, & non-fat protein powder). Speaking of which, my dad (who's a medical doctor) recently told me that he read somewhere that eating yoghurt before exercise can curb one's appetite. Well, apparently it works. ;-)

But back to the calorie burning for a moment: Adding up the calories burned from the walking & running (approximately 1559) and combining it with my BMR (approximately 1363) means that I've just burned somewhere in the realm of 2922. That's 578 calories shy of burning a whole pound in just one day. Utterly. Staggering.

Update: OK, it's now 12:49 am: Please subtract approximately 172 calories from that total to account for the banana I just ate. ;-)


OK, it's now a few hours later after the run & I'm absolutely wired. Now how am I going to get to sleep?! Maybe I should've thought about that when I decided to all-of-a-sudden run 14.1 miles at 7:28 pm. It took me 2 1/2 hours. Whoops. Don't think I'll be doing that again.


One final thought for the night: Well, it looks like I just proved my dad right after all. Last week (in Ka'anapali, Maui), while we were watching the Maui half-marathoners & marathoners cross the finish line (i.e., which occurred simultaneously, finishing on the left & right sides of the road, respectively), he said that I probably could've run the half-marathon after having run 8 & 9.5 miles. I told him that, sure, I could probably run it, but that doesn't mean that I should run it, especially without training for it! ;-) Of course, it's one thing to run a distance, & quite another to race-train for it. I never want to run races & feel like I'm going to collapse in a heap afterward because I didn't properly train for them; now that'd just be utter foolishness & folly!

Well, I didn't have any doubt that I could eventually run a half-marathon distance, but I just didn't think I'd be running it this soon! 8-)

So, now comes the question of what I should do with my current running plan, since I've obviously gone way past it in terms of running times and distances. What a nice feeling to know that I've actually exceeded my expectations!

(And here I was, being so careful to plan moderate distance increases in what I thought was a reasonable time frame. Turns out that maybe I was a little too over-cautious in my planning. Oh well, guess it's better to be overcautious & avoid overtraining, & then just adjust plans after learning from the actual training experiences. How else can one learn what works when developing a new training program, except through trial & error? As they say, experience is the best teacher.)

So, for race-training purposes, it looks like my best option is to modify my current running plan/schedule to better align my training roadmap with my current abilities & progress, & to also fit some speedwork in there, in order to be ready for race day. I'm not quite sure yet what that's going to look like (i.e., following a new training program or revamping the existing one), but I'll fill you in once I've got an established plan.

Regardless of what I personally end up doing, I plan to entirely rework all three phases of the BTHR program (i.e., BBOHR, BOHHR, & BTHR) to reflect a more suitable (i.e., slightly more accelerated) time-table for daily & weekly running time increases. In hindsight, I can now see that the first phase of training (BBOHR) were definitely a few weeks too long, & so, will be compressed considerably. Of course, any changes made to one phase will be cascaded into the next, so that progress will be gradual & the training schedules will flow seamlessly from one into the other. (The 10% rule will remain in effect.)

As I'm already a good bit of the way done with the running schedule, I'm primarily making these changes for anyone who's interested in trying this particular running program. Please note that my earlier-mentioned disclaimers about all phases of the BTHR plan -- the legal/medical disclaimers & disclaimer about the plan being in beta-testing mode -- still apply.


At any rate, I'm happy to say that I can now run 5 & 6 miles fairly easily without tiring. My usual tiring point is now somewhere around 8.5 miles, although sometimes my energy level will temporarily dip around 3 or 4 miles, but then will usually pick up again by 5 & 6 miles, etc. With every mile I run & hill I conquer, I get stronger.

OK, goodnight all!

P.S. Addenum: It's now 2:26 am. I know, I know. Time for bed. But before that happens, I have some more good news to report, upon further analysis of tonight's run. When I looked at the Nike+ data breakdown, I see that I ran some pretty fast times at certain points (well, fast for me at any rate!) & even had enough mojo left in the tank over the last few miles of my incredibly long run to run even faster than expected towards the end. Here's the mile-by-mile breakdown:

1 mile marker = 9:00 min/mi (Whoa, starting out a bit too fast here.)
2 mile marker = 10:41 min/mi
3 mile marker = 9:29 min/mi
3.99 mile marker = 11:33 min/mi (Hmmm, what was going on here?! I'm trying to recall.)
4.99 mile marker = 9:27 min/mi
5.99 mile marker = 11:01 min/mi
7 mile marker = 10:31 min/mi
7.99 mile marker = 7:46 min/mi (OK, no way! I don't believe it. This must've been on a downhill portion. ;-) I seem to remember flying down a hill at this point.)
9 mile marker = 10:37 min/mi
10 mile marker = 10:56 min/mi
11 mile marker = 11:59 min/mi (Whoa, that's dog slow. I seem to recall that my thigh muscles were starting to quiver & pulse a bit here. I started to massage them as I ran.)
12 mile marker = 11:27 min/mi
13 mile marker = 11:19 min/mi (Got a side stitch somewhere around this point, but then started to feel amazingly good, despite the tired legs, & actually picked up speed afterward, as evidenced by the subsequent mile's pace!)
14 mile marker = 10:00 min/mi (I couldn't contain my feelings of satisfaction & told the security guard I'd just run by that I'd just run 14 miles. He responded with an enthusiastic, "Yay!" Yes, he's another familiar stranger by this point. ;-) )
14.13 mile marker = 10:43 min/mi

(Here's a straight-forward explanation of the somewhat sporadic paces: There were a lot of hills. ;-) )


Andrew is getting fit said...

Way to go!

So given any thought to doing a half marathon?

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, Andrew!

Hmmm, I'd eventually like to do a half-marathon, but first things first. Since I've only done over a half-marathon distance once, which was done in order to prepare for roughly half of that distance (for an upcoming 10K), I'd like to get a few 10Ks & 10-milers under my belt before doing a half.

What about you? What was your training trajectory when you first started racing longer distances? When did you feel ready to take on the half?

Also, how many half-marathons & marathons have you done so far? Or have you lost track thus far?! ;-)

Rolando said...

Oh my gosh Corey this is some achievement, congrats! I'd like to get near to your level as far as running 5 miles without tiring. Maybe I'll try for 3 miles first, then work my way up.

For now I'm just walking up to 3 miles a day at work during breaks and sometimes at home before dark.

I'm waiting for Fall to kick in so I can spend more time outdoors in cooler weather. It's been in the 90's here consistently for weeks.

I won't be ready for a marathon by any means, but I'll be ready for life and overall health and fitness.

cymrusteve said...

Huge achievement! Well done and nice analysis of the data too.

No stopping you now...


cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, Rolando! It does feel really great! Who-hooooo! ;-)

Just wait until you start running, you'll feel great too! Of course, the secret is to not be in a hurry to get there. ;-)

It took me a while until I built up to the 6-10 miles (3-4 x/week) that I'm running now. And if you take a peep at this blog's archives, you'll see that my progress was very gradual & (mostly!) steady, & that, in the process, I overcame a number of setbacks to get to my current weekly mileage. But the larger point is that I've been running for almost 14 months now (with only one major disruption in my program, i.e., a respiratory illness back in February '08)!

Anyhow, I think that if you just build on your walking, & then gradually move into intervals of walking & running (which is what the CT5K program is all about), you'll find that you get into shape a lot faster than you ever thought possible by just doing intervals -- alternating a little bit of running & walking -- every other day or so. The results are truly amazing! Interval training really speeds along a person's level of overall fitness!

If I can start from a point of almost zero fitness & get up to 5+ miles, then of course so can you!

All it takes to start is a few minutes a day & the realization that it's actually very easy to do!

Good for you for walking! That's going to be a great base from which to start your running/fitness program. The CT5K plan will build you up to the 3 miles that you ultimately want to do.

Wow, you've got some hot weather! Sounds like our summers here, although by September the evenings sound much cooler than yours.

Good luck with your running program & feel free to ask me any running or sports nutrition-related questions, or to drop by here for moral support. You might not know it yet, but you've got an entire cheering section on this blog. 8-)


P.S. BTW, I find that it's really motivational to blog about my runs -- You might enjoy doing it too!


Thanks so much, Steve! It's onto the Rockville 10K in November, & maybe the Shamrock Half in March '09! In the unlikely event you happen to be around for the Shamrock (because I really do hope that you & Ally get into the 2009 London Marathon!), Erik & I just might see you there. You never know..... ;-)


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