On Sensibility

So here’s the update. I visited my PT on Thursday, and I’m thankful I did. She’s a pragmatic and supportive person, so it was good to work with her again. My back is doing well, it’s healing as it should. She’s happy with my range of motion, and despite some tight muscles in my lower back, she thinks I need to keep up my ice, core work, and standing at work, and it’ll be back to where it was soon.

My hip is tendinitis in my psoas muscle, and probably not related to my back issues. That’s a bit of a relief. This is a really deep muscle under the “six pack” muscles in your stomach. It starts at the top of your lumbar spine and connects on the front in your hip. I was feeling the pain in my hip, getting worse as I ran. She showed me an exercise to help loosen it, reminded me to ice, stretch, and cautioned me to be diligent with my efforts here. This kind of tightness can lead to a tear, so I need to be sensible. She said I could run, but I need to be ready to slow down or stop.

I don’t think I’ve been so relieved in quite some time, but I also need to remember I can’t get complacent. My strength exercises, ice, standing at work, I need to be sure I do these as much as I can. This is especially true with the strength work. I’m not a huge fan of strength work, but I know how much it helps. This needs to become a routine for me as long as I’m running.

Strength Workouts
I’m very partial to Jason Fitzgerald’s Strength Running. Jason’s blog resonates with me, and his focus on getting stronger has really helped me to realize its importance. I use a modified version of his Core and IT Band Rehab. I mostly focus on core right now, but the ITB routine is also very nice. Check out his core workout.

If you’re a beginner, be sure to moderate what he’s doing by not doing leg lifts on the planks or the bridge. You can also shorten each exercise to 30 or 45 seconds instead of a minute.

Year of the Half Marathon Update
So, I signed up for the Iron Girl Half Marathon at the end of April, just a week before my half in Frederick. There’s a Titanium Girl title for this kind of insanity and some extra medal or another. Me, I’m really interested in being able to brag about doing both well, which will require some serious focus on recovery during the intervening week.

What this means for my training right now is I need to be careful going forward. My hip will heal with time and care, so I will be doing that. My workouts will be more in flux than I’d like as I evaluate how I feel from day to day, but I’m confident I know what I need to do and know how to adjust my expectations if I’m limited. I’m okay with that, since the long term goal is to get faster over time, not tomorrow or next week.

Five weeks out from Rock and Roll USA, my first half of the year. I don’t think I’ll get under 2:00:00 here, but I’m holding out hope. Check back next week to see how it’s going.


An Old Year, a New One, and New Runners

This past week was a busy one. I’m trying to run 30 miles in a week for the next month or so, and this was my first week trying to do it. I’ve found that I like it better to stay around a certain mileage until I adjust, and then jump up another 5 miles and stay there a while. So, this week was my first at the 30 mile level, and I hit it.

It’s a good time to do it. I’m back in the rhythm after the holidays and I know my first half will be here sooner than I think.
Continue reading

New Google Maps function

Hi guys — this might be of interest to some of you. Google Maps has just added trail systems to their mapping abilities (listed as “biking” but we can easily share the trails). There are instructions and more info on the Google Blog:

Also, while you’re here, what are your favorite routes to run? I’d like to get a list of regularly run routes together with directions and distances — like the “Home Depot run,” which was about 10 miles — so we can post on the blog and pgrc.org. You can respond below or e-mail me directly.


Congratulations Fall 10K Trg Participants!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009 the Fall 10k Training Program completed their program by running in the 10k Bread Run. I couldn’t have been prouder!! It was a perfect day to run, and when I say perfect, I meant perfectly awful day to run. However, the weather didn’t discourage our participants to much – well just a little. It was raining, cold and muddy, but they persevered!! !!

And, for those participants that don’t like to get water in their face while they run – Well they got a lot and did a great job!!!

Congratulations 10k training participants- Way to Go!!!

Some Thoughts on Hill Training – Physical

by Bob Grumbine

Clare and I talked a bit about hills training after the Grapevine race (wonder why?). Here are some of my thoughts on hill training. These are only on the physical side of the training. They’re missing comments about technique, and about the even more important part of mental attitude to the hills.

For hill training, you need to run hills. The first order of hill training is to run on routes with hills on them for your usual jogs. This is a very good form of hill training — you get used to running on hills and maintaining even effort as the terrain varies. This can get pretty challenging, as with, say, running to the first and second fence on the road in the park, or on Perimeter trail. If you can do these, you’ve got pretty good hill legs.

To get great hill legs, suited for racing on hills and laughing at most road courses, you want some more specific hill training. Same as you practice race paces by going to a track and running that pace — for shorter duration than the race — you do your hill training by hitting hills harder than your normal jog, but for shorter times.

One part is, you do the first training for ups separately from the downs, and vice versa. Running downhills is a different technique than the ups (regardless of what method you use). So on uphill day, you run the uphills hard and slow jog or walk the downhill. Then on downhill day, you power the downs and walk or jog back up to the top. While I envision it as an interval workout (and in a minute some will need to be that) you can also do it as a ‘hill fartlek’ run — run a hilly course and then power the downs, or the ups, as they come. The drawback to this is some courses don’t give good spacing and variety to the hills.

For hill intervals, you want 3 types — short and steep, medium and medium, and long and slow. ‘Short’ means 15 seconds duration, steep meaning that at the end of those 15 seconds, you’re breathing hard. Medium/medium is 1 minute of running, and, again, you’re breathing hard at the end (but not much before). Long and slow means about 5 minutes running time and going up the whole time without you having to slow down for lack of breath.

You don’t do these off a standing start at the bottom (or top) of the hill. You make note of your starting point, then back off 50-100 yards and jog towards it. Start slowly and then be accelerating towards your hill speed by the time you hit the start mark. Hold that pace the entire way up (or down) to your stopping mark, and then slow to a jog, turn around, and jog/walk back to the starting area.

This is a tough workout. It counts as a hard day if you’re doing hard/easy training, and you should have no more than 3 hard days in a week (generally speaking, for most of us — you’ll have more, perhaps, if you’re doing, say, 50+ miles per week and training many days per week). On the other hand, as you do get to having several running days per week, and your longest run is pushing 60 minutes, introducing a run like this (whether in fartlek or interval form) is good running strength training and will help you even if (like in my fast year at Grapevine) you are walking parts of a hilly course.

Other experiences and thoughts about how to do hill training?

Bob Grumbine

Thursday un-Track Report, 11-1-07

by Cindy Cohen

Last night was our first off-track Thursday night run. Kent, Emily, John, and I had fun running the Paint Branch trail in the dark.

Many sacrifices were made to run with PGRC–Emily skipped happy hour with her fellow chemists, Kent put off cleaning his house for his weekend guests, and John avoided unpacking boxes from his recent move.

Join us next Thursday at 6 pm (earlier start so some of us can attend a race timing meeting at 7:15). Lights and/or reflective clothing recommended.


Greenbelt Wright Stuff 5k 1 Month Away!

by Austin Conaty

Hello Runners and Walkers,

The Greenbelt Wright Stuff 5k is just one month away.
I got the Tshirts and they look good. Long sleeve
cardinal red with white lettering. Active.com registration
is activated (but does not provide the $5.00 PGRC discount).

Download a PDF version of the registration form here:
http://pgrc.org/races/wright_stuff.html and mail it
in to get the reduced price of $15 for PGRC members.

This is the 5th annual running. The race proceeds will benefit
American Heart Association (in memory of my father), St. Hugh
Knights of Columbus, and Holy Cross Hospice (in memory of my

We have about 10 volunteers, but we can always use some more.
If you are available, please come and help out before you
run or walk the course.

I hope to see you there. Happy Running!

-Austin Conaty
Greenbelt Wright Stuff 5k Race Director

%d bloggers like this: