"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Steve Does a Push-Up: Week 1 in Review

Getting back into running's been difficult, what with it being Minnesota in January and all. Here's the data:

Monday: 9.5 miles in 104 minutes (snowing)
Tuesday: 10 in 103.5 (-10 windchill)
Wednesday: 10 in 106.5 (bad footing)
Thursday: 9.5 in 100.5 (tired)
Friday: 6 in 63 (blowing snow, -15 windchill)
Saturday: 10 in 101.5 (-10 windchill)
Sunday: 11 in 103.5 (with 6 in 53; sore achilles and heels)

That's almost exactly two minutes per mile slower than the same week in 2007. The plan had been to run between 100 and 105 minutes each day; I failed only on Friday, when blowing snow drifted and the wind gusts caused me to freeze.

Number crunching

Here's where the obsessiveness begins. I really want to have an idea of what shape I'm in for my goal race of the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile in 35 weeks.

Best run: 11 in 103.5 equates to a 35 hour finish.
Worst run: 6 in 63 equates to 44:30; 80% of that is 35:30.
Week average gives 39:45; 80% of that is 31:45.

So this week, I'm saying I can do Superior in 35.5 hours, give or take 4 hours. We'll see how that changes week by week.

A sign that I'm getting serious

I hold that speedwork and hill training cover all the strength and resistance training a runner needs. That puts me in a distinct minority in the ultrarunning community. Given the weather and being early in training, I'm not doing any hills or speedwork and so I decided to do some strength training instead.

First, I took off my shirt, looked in a mirror, gave myself a thumbs-up and said, "Duuuude!" Might as well go the whole road.

The exercise I hate most, the equivalent to getting a root canal, is push-ups. I've had a good excuse to not do them, as I broke a finger, then a carpal bone, then a wrist bone. Mostly, I avoid them because of another problem that makes them difficult and awkward and risks making injury worse: DuPuytren's contracture, a hereditary thing (man did I throw boxcars in the genetic crapshoot of life). I'm trying to keep my hands from ending up like this:
So, I have to do them with my hands cupped, rather than flat, and with my wrists at odd angles, with a cushion under the heels of the hands. In order to get the most benefit with the least time spent doing them, I do them in a decline position, with my feet elevated. I did one before my left elbow swung 270 degrees (Hypermobile joints. Really. Genetic freak, through and through) and I lost my balance, falling on my face.

That's right, I did one.

And birds fell out of the sky in Arkansas. I say the two are related - they're about as common.


sea legs girl said...

I do a lot of pushups holding onto a step bench. Do you think grabbing onto something would make them a bit easier? I don't know if you have a step bench sitting around...

What does Glaven have to say?

shannon said...

Great job on THE push-up! You have me beat by one, I don't think I could do a push-up if my life depended on it. :)

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Friday: 6 in 63 (blowing snow [...])

Good way to give yourself frostbite of the mouth and throat. Anyroad (yes - ANYROAD!1!), you're in training - should you really be blowing anyone or -thing?

Anyroad, if you have a PROBLEM with my comment, I invoke Universal Option E - I didn't really write it; someone else did.

SteveQ said...

I'm not going to publish another post until somebody... anybody... says something along the line of "Wow, 66 miles in bad weather. Impressive!" or "You ran for 12 hours? Are you crazy or just stupid?"

Well, I do have something in the queue for Friday, so I won't be gone too long.

shannon said...

"Wow, 66 miles in bad weather. Impressive!" :)

I was wondering if you may know of anyone that would be interested in being a pacer for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon in St. Joseph, MN in May. You seem to know a lot about racing, and the runners too, so I thought perhaps you may know a few pacers just looking for the perfect marathon to pace in May! :)

Colin said...

Sounds like your running year started well! I predict a good year for you assuming you keep it up (running consistently that is; you can probably safely drop that push up from your routine without ill effects!)

Interesting on the Dupuytren's contracture! My dad also has it, so I've been keeping an eye out due to its hereditary nature (no sign of anything so far).

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I'm not going to publish another post until somebody... etc.

I can't believe you were just sitting there forlorn, waiting for someone to notice you!

DAMN YOUR EYES, RBR, for disappearing from the Intertubes just as your free 'n' easy validation was most needed! DAMN BOTH YOUR EYES!1!

Well, I'm here, SteveQ!


*smooches, indeed*