Tag Archives: Running

The Hamptons Marathon Training: Week = -1

Training for The Hamptons Marathon full begins in just one short week! Yikes!

Unfortunately for Dr. Trot, someone has been doing a lot more hydrating and fueling like this…

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The making of the "one bottle a night" rule on just another Thursday night...

and like this…

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Breakfast of champions.

than in a happy-marathon-day minded way. Oops! :-/

So, that must all change starting now!

I have spent the last two weeks getting over my bad-behavior-induced cold/cough (getting old is rough man…) and only felt like I could put in some productive miles starting this weekend. So that’s what we did.

Saturday 5/10: ~5 mi @ who knows
It was nice and warm out with a light breeze. And humid 🙂 — which was great for the lungs but kept the pace pretty slow (Yes, yes of course I’m blaming the humidity for that — my fitness level certainly had nothing to do with it!) It felt great to get out and get moving which was a nice sign considering how I have been feeling lately

Sunday 5/11: ~7.5 mi @ slow + a few “I’m hot” pauses

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I survived!

It was nice and warm (~80F) again today with less humidity (30%) and no real wind to speak of. Today’s run was a really pretty route that I don’t usually take. I need to get over the one mile difference between 6 and 7 miles because this is a really pretty route. About 1/3 is on a great dirt trail along the canal, another 1/3 is along a paved country road that winds its way through fields and undeveloped land just outside of Pton, and then 1/3 is on two of the little roads going in and out of town. While I will maintain that the lack of public water out here (particularly along the tow path — the gravel path along the canal that people used to walk on way back in the day as they towed boats down the canal) is total bull shit, this is a really great route. AND, now that I’m well aware of this egregious deficiency of the Northeast, and have a wonderful, multipurpose, purple side back-kick…
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there shouldn’t be any too many near-death-by-dehydration issues to complain about (that doesn’t mean that there won’t be — there just shouldn’t be). Anyway, it was just nice to survive today a great way to start off the training season 🙂

Now, in an attempt to survive make the most of this training season, Dr. Trot is uncharacteristically prepared 7 days out from Week #1. The game plan is as follows:

1. Follow a training schedule with 4 running days/week (very similar to last year).

For anyone interested in this kind of a marathon training schedule, here it is in an even-easy-enough-for-Dr-Trot-to-use Google calendar format –

The mileage maxes out at 46 mi/week 4 weeks before the marathon and every third week is a cutback. The long runs are scheduled for Saturdays (a to get it out of the way 1st thing on the weekend and b) to prep for a Saturday marathon. The second weekend run is meant to simply get more miles in on tired legs. Fun. The two weekday runs are on Tuesday and Thursday so Monday can be a rest day after the truckload of weekend miles and Friday can be a rest day in preparation for said miles. I’m going to try to keep my Tuesdays a bit shorter and faster (think tempo runs or fartleks) while the Thursday runs will be longer but easier miles. I personally have a hard time breaking away from work 3 times a week to run and some extra time off my feet between Tuesday and Thursday is nice to have (think “operation avoid the damn shin splints”). However, if you prefer to be out 5 days instead of 4, by all means, take Tuesday a little easier, get a short fast run in on Wednesday, and then maybe take a mile or two or three off of the Thursday run to avoid burning out.

I feel like I should also mention something about the signs of overtraining and how to amend the schedule if these start to appear. In short, shave a mile or two off of the shorter runs, or scrap one day a week altogether, to give the body a chance to recharge while doing your best to keep the long run…the most important…more or less on schedule. Since that really doesn’t do justice to the “Oh shit I’m overtraining! What do I do?” realization, I’ll have to be back with more on that later. Hopefully it’ll be a few months before this is necessary. Hopefully…

2. Include a daily core exercise program to shed this life jacket that I’ve been wearing since Feb…2004… (very dissimilar to last year)

The aim will be to follow the off season strength training regime (more diligently) –

1. Kneeling hip-flexor stretch
2. Superman
3. Metronome
4. Crunches
5. Plank (+lift)
6. Side plank (+lift)
7. Supine plank
8. Pushups

The lofty goal will be to go through these 8 pains in my core little treasures (x2) after Tuesday’s run, the Saturday long run and the Sunday recovery run (3x per week). I also want to make my favorite plank, pushups and a quick abs search-and-rescue mission regular occurances on the other 4 days of the week (rest days included). Good luck to me.

3. Keep tabs of what works, what sucks and what translates into better fitness — vs. just a crabbier, tireder (of course that’s a word) Dr. Trot — by honest-to-god-pinky-swear-really-really-really-I’m-serious-this-time keeping a running journal.

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Never mind the dead plants or the gross runners feet -- I have no idea who either of those belong to.

I’ll probably definitely subject you to excerpts of this as a means of forcing myself to do it and keeping it PG-13.

4. Work is important but not 24/7/365 important.

I want to should do all of the above and if that means I can’t put in all of the +18 hr work days that someone would like me to, that’s ok. Life will continue, probably even as we know it, and the bugs will wait until tomorrow for me. (And if they don’t, it’ll be a hell of a lot more interesting paper than anything I’m going to get out of these +18 hr experiment days!)

4. Beer is not dinner and does not count as carb-loading.

Alrighty, and with that, I think I need to go. I apparently need to search for some long lost core muscles and write in a stupid journal. Some people and their crazy ideas :-/

Have a great upcoming THMT Week = 0!

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The Hamptons!!

It has been decided! The 2014 CEMS Marathon Team will be running The Hampton’s Marathon this year!! The race is on Saturday (is this a little odd, or is it just me?), September 27th. Both full and 1/2 marathon distances, as well as a 5k, are offered all at the same time. I’m hoping our team will have “competators” 😉 in each event.

Per usual, the major focus of this year’s marathon will be:
1. The very best team uniforms

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The costume awesomeness of 2013

2. Excellent pre-race eats

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Numnumnumnum....

3. A weekend of QT + R&R with an eclectic pack of nerds 🙂

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Before...

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and after.

One additional aim, IMHO, ought to be for the group to acquire ZERO broken legs during this year’s marathon. Dr. Samia….

Aside from the above, my goals for this year will be largely dictated by the kind of training that my bitch of a lovely job and summer travel plans allow. If I can get a solid 18 weeks x 4 runs/week training season in, I would love to see that pesky 3:xx that so narrowly evaded me by 1:40 last fall. If not, well, then aside from hopefully having a summer of wonderful wedding and vacation and house-guest memories, and a paper or two in the works, I’ll enjoy hobbling running the 26.2 with whoever is willing to wait for me.

The off season has (of course) been less consistent than I would have liked but I did get in some nice track, interval, Vibram and tempo work outs in. I have to use my imagination (or be a-okay with lying) if I want to claim there were many any long runs (>10 miles), but I trust that those will come now with the beautiful weather and seasonal allergies. 🙂

This year’s training plan will be very similar what I followed last year. I much prefer the 4 day/week schedule, with a few more miles on each day and an extra rest day each week, to the more traditional 5 day/week regime. The rough goal will be as follows:

1. THE LONG RUN – the most important run of the week. I’ll try to get this out of the way on Saturday mornings and cover 8-21 miles. For those of you how know me (read: know about my issues with being able to hydrate properly on hot summer long runs) will be excited to know that my H2O struggles may be a thing of the past! You can address your thank-yous to this pretty little birthday gift I received last fall…

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Camelbaked!

Don’t worry, I will find plenty of other bonehead struggles legitimate grievances to share with you along the way 🙂

2. The recovery run. 5-12 miles to work the consequences of Saturday out of my legs. Happy Sunday 🙂

3. The Tuesday Tempo run. 3-7 miles at faster than race pace to give the legs a rude awakening little reminder of what it feels like to turn over at a reasonable pace.

4. The middle distance weekday run. 5-12 miles at a comfortable pace to keep up the fitness level and keep down the jeans size.

The core strength training that I’d hoped to be super diligent about this off season has unfortunately been less than a top priority 😦 Naughty Dr. Trot. Reflecting on the situation, it is a bit odd, even to me. I know core strength is important, I know my abs and back and arms and pecs could/should be stronger, and I know it doesn’t take that much time to crank out a few “lifts” at the end of each work out. But somehow it is still a hell of a lot easier said than done. Why is that? (Dr. Trot = L.A.Z.Y. is the best that I’ve got thus far.) Regardless, these NEED to become a regular part of my training this season.

Alrighty then! Long story short, I think that’s it for now! Overall it’s pretty simple, eh? We shall see!

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Happy belated pre-Boston Marathon + Easter weekend!

I hope everyone had a lovely pre-Boston Marathon Monday + Easter weekend!!

In case anyone is dying to know, my Saturday started out with a (~10 mi) run to-n-fro work (motivated by comments made the previous evening by the one and only Dr. M).

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After some shopping,

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cooking and cleaning, the day ended with pho, pizza, kugel, Russian salad, ma po tofu, French chicken and potatoes, Japanese pickled pork and cabbage, sweet potatoes, pineapple stuffing, cookies, chocolates, beer and wine. Sadly I was too busy stuffing my face to take a single photograph of the spread at my beautiful Multicultural Easter Hanukkah Potluck. In retrospect, stuffing my face was hands down the right decision 😉

Sunday then began with a quick ~4 mi run around the neighborhood…

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…followed by a shower (you’re welcome) and then round 2 of Easter festivities. This celebration was complete with adult Easter baskets,

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family photos,

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and post-x#-of-champaign-bottles family photos.
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Over all, complete success!!

I went to sleep on Sunday with visions of Miss Kristin’s pineapple stuffing and of Speedy Shalaney having the best day of her life on Monday.

While I would have loved for Shalane’s 2:20:02 to have been the best of the XX that day, it was simply not meant to be. SF ran the race of her life, she did everything right, she did everything that she could have asked herself to do. SF’s best on Monday was simply 1 min less best than Rita Jeptoo’s best.

This slight, cinewy machine of a Kenyan was absolutely unbeatable on Monday. Generally speaking, this 5’2,” 105 lb running monster may be beatable, may be, but not by SF, and not last Monday. On Monday Jeptoo also ran the race of her life, the race of the history of the Boston Marathon by over a minute. A blistering pace of <5:10 mi/mi was set (and held by SF) for as long as Jeptoo wanted the help, until she wanted to take off; and take off she did at just over 14 miles. Being able to essentially walk away from the pack (who are running a 5:08) at just over the halfway point deserves to win. Yes, 100%, absolutely.

However, with all that being said, I believe that the skinny, blond, former kamikaze’s ability to not lose her mind, to stick to her game plan and to run the solid, steady, race of her life, 1 min behind the woman she wanted so badly to smoke in her home town, after pacing her to the course record and an easy victory, also deserves a win on the day.

For completeness I feel like I should include a line or two about the XY victor, Elder Meb K. After recovering from my waves of excitement and disapproval and reservation and disbelief during miles 9-16, and the ulcers of miles 23.5-26.1, I have officially elevated The Elder to my highest mental pedestal and look forward to seeing him eat his competition for mid-race fuel in many races to come.

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Again?!?!

Where did everyone disappear to again?

Have you all been working hard in the lab?

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A little science + religion for the Easter season

Running and bike riding in the nice spring weather?

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The first bike ride of 2014


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Running in skimpy apparel (weather we are ready our not)!

Going to a bridal shower for one of your favorite partners in crime?

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Dr. T; Dr. Partner in crime #1; Dr. Partner in crime #2


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Everyone!!

Knitting and potting with your crafty lab groupie?

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Pot!

I ask only because these are a few of the things that I will use in attempts to justify my absence.

There has also been some running of course. Not nearly enough considering that a beautiful, warm, fragrant, balmy spring is finally here (please don’t instantly hire a hit-man if you’re reading this from a snowbank in MN) and that marathon training will be starting up VERY soon. But, some running is better than no running, so I’ll take it.

Frankly, in VERY short order I am going to have to seriously beef up my multi-tasking + time management skills. The summer of a gazillion (think, lots of zeroes) weddings + mad work + visitors coming east + me going west + everything else that makes up a busy life is about to commence in royal fashion. While I don’t have any real serious goals for this year’s Team CEMS Marathon (aside from finishing it more quickly than I did suffer-fest-TZ 2013 and not breaking my leg…no offense Dr. S…) I would like to be comfortable at a ~4 hr pace, our team uniforms need to be cute (I’m thinking 2014 = teal and argyle, thoughts?) and I quite like being in marathon-training-shape as the summer progresses (minus the inevitable inability to zip my boots up all the way, but never mind…) My hope is that this can all come together with the following:

Tues: tempo short-mid distance
Thurs: mid-long distance
Sat: long run
Sun: mid-long distance

Given that Dr. Partner-in-crime is -3 hrs from me, my current master plan is to keep summer hours such that I can get most runs out of the way first thing in the morning, buckle down for a full day in lab and then with some quality Facetime company and heavy drinking. We will see.

For now I (like everyone else I’m sure) just need to keep my head above water long enough to keep useful info (slowly but surely) coming out of the lab and enough miles being run. (And OF COURSE passing on bits and pieces of the process being passed on to you!)

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Spring (as defined by biking)

I’m pretty sure that this weekend is actually the beginning of spring. Evidence to support this hypothesis includes:

1. I went on my first biking adventure (complete with too many ninja-potholes, construction, traffic, off-roading and a medium sized equipment failure…never mind that there was a ~100mph headwind regardless of the direction we were riding and pretty much froze our a$$es off from start to finish) of the year yesterday with Dr. S

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2. Mode of transportation to work today = Miss. Celest

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Celeste

3. Today’s running outfit includes neither pants nor sleeves

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(this may or may not be totally stupid…see #1 above)

Quite frankly it’s a bit of a relief that things are finally on the upswing here (to any Minnesotans that just read that, please don’t come here to kill me). This year’s training season for the annual Team CEMS Marathon is going to be starting up in a few short weeks and the one thing I feel NJ can afford to me is a mild training during the months of April and May. Hopefully we can see eye to eye on this. Stay tuned for this years CEMS team “race” weekend plan!

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The Connector

In addition to spending some serious time in the kitchen, there was also a substantial (for someone of my fitness trying to keep up with someone accustomed to the Berkeley hills) amount of running done over last weekend.

Now, as someone who takes pride in generally being a strong hills runner, it was was a very humbling experience to have to take two oh-my-god-I-need-to-stop-right-now-or-I-am-going-to-throw-up breaks just one the way out. Two if-I-don’t-take-a-minute-I-may-drop-dead-right-here breaks within 3 miles. Not fun. I guess the silver lining is that my well-acclimated got in quite a bit of bonus stretching while patiently waiting for Dr. FatA$$ Trot to collect herself.

The first day out I unfortunately didn’t have the presence of mind to bring my camera with me. Apparently I had other things to worry about at the time (see above). It’s a shame, because we ran through the Berkeley campus and up through residential neighborhoods with incredibly beautiful views to a turn around point deep in some surprise woods at the “top” (think local maxima) of the hill we were on. Up here there were a handful of crazy incredible homes, all nestled into the woods and hillsides. I am absolutely, convinced that either families of dwarfs or hobbits inhabited these homes. (Or a combination of both? Dwarfs and hobbits can get along well enough to be neighbors, right?) Anyway, I kept my eyes peeled for Snow White but there were sadly no sightings of either her or her 7 little compadres. (P.S. This was an excellent distraction from the perpetual I-think-I’m going-to-barf-now feeling.)

As if the first day out wasn’t enough, the second day was, by design, the “challenging” day. (I assumed day 1 was going to be used as a test to see if I could handle day 2, but this must not have been the case as I can not fathom having received a passing grade on day 1.) For the unnecessary extra challenge we were going to run as much of the Berkeley Fire Trail as possible, both the lower and upper parts of the trail as well as The Connector between the two, and then cut back and go up to the Berkeley Botanical Gardens.

To get to the start of the trail we took a similar route through the campus, cut back behind the football stadium and up the road just a short distance. The trail surface itself is absolutely perfect for running. Its wide (a fire truck has to get down it after all, I should hope that’s more than enough for a few runners!) and largely shaded by enormous trees, largely evergreens.

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Just wide enough for a runner…

There are streams here and there and clearings that offer wonderful views of Berkeley, the SF Bay, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

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One example of said streams (as well as my crappy photography skills)

Although you are definitely working hard (I suppose I should just speak for myself here, but let me live believing that this climb isn’t exactly easy for other people…yes…it is a climb…EVERYTHING in Berkeley is a climb…yes, in both directions) there is so much to take in around you that it’s the really really fun kind of hard work.

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So-much-to-take-in-around-you Exhibit (a)

And then you arrive at The Connector. 😦

In the event that you actually clicked on the link above to the Berkeley Fire Trail and actually looked at the map, you’ll notice that although they really seem to be all part of the same system two different labels are given to the Fire Trail trails: the Upper Fire Trail and the Lower Fire Trail.

Any guesses as to the reason for these two names?

I’ll give you a hint: there is no indication of elevation on the map.

So, although both trails are winding up (yes, always up, never down) through the hills, the Upper Fire Trail is substantially higher in elevation than the Lower Fire Trail. Enter The Connector — the connection between the lower and upper parts of the trail. The very short (<300m) VERY steep connection between the two parts of the trail.

To briefly revisit a previous topic, I take pride in my hills running strength. Quite a bit of pride. And <300? That’s nothing! I can do anything for 300m! Right?

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Pre-connector him

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Pre-connector her

WRONG!

Dr. Fata$$ Trot made it just over half-way up before she seriously thought she might keel over and not get back up. So, although already “running” very slowly, she figured that slowing down just a bit more would do the trick and she could, however slowly, still make it up the second half “running.” Unfortunately, slowing down any more at that point meant “running” –> walking. 😦 With a grade that steep, the lower limit of strength and momentum that you need to keep “running” is much higher than on lesser hills, never mind flat ground. The “fastes” pace that I could muster after the half way point was no where near what I need to achieve that lower limit 😦 So, poor Dr. Trot had to walk up the last part of The Connector. 😦

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Post-connector-defeated her

Of course, someone else was able to skip their way up to the very top, and was kind and (per my personal theory) tired enough to wait for me to finish. 🙂

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Post-connector him

The Upper Fire Trail is similar to the Lower Fire Trail but with even more spectacular views of everything previously mentioned.

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Spectacular-views Exhibit (a)

We didn’t make it all the way to the top of the trail, which comes out at Tilden Park, as we still had the Botanical Gardens to see. The top of the trail will just have to happen another day.

The Botanical Gardens were not super bloomy, so we’ll have to go back some day when they are. Even so, it was a fun walk through the different beds and it’s pretty obvious that when things are in bloom there must be SO MUCH TO SEE…like, we saw a flower bed #706b kind of SO MUCH TO SEE. The plants are organized by region of the world that they are from and there are also a few indoor structures for tropical, airid and/or sensitive plants that need very specific, constant environmental conditions.

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Just a few carnivorous plants

Affiliates of UC Berkeley get in for free, students and seniors are only $8 and normal people 🙂 are $10. They also offer a number of seasonal memberships for individuals, couples and families.

And with that, we managed to find the one-and-only little, teeny-tiny section of road with a negative grade and made our way back home. Although defeated by The Connector this first time, I will be back (and next time I will win), and running either/any/all of the Berkeley Fire Trails is highly highly highly recommended by moi next time you are in the Bay Area.

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Spring Time

I can’t believe I forgot to wish everyone a Happy First Day of Spring the other day! So, Happy Belated First Day of Spring.

Unfortunately today was “one of those days” (think a full day in lab on 4 hrs of sleep — Kerry Washington and mom, I simultaneously love and curse you both — fueled by left over seminar pizza, grocery store doughnut holes and bad Hoyt Lab coffee (made with water that may or may not be safe to drink). The good news (there always has to be good news, right?) is that I have great group mates who make work super fun. Today we even had a special temporary guest group mate:

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The bad news was that this is that this was a particularly poor way (even for me) to prepare for an after-work run on a beautiful spring day. 😦 Once I was finally home I knew that I should get out and “enjoy” the spring +50F and sunshine but I just did not want to. Fortunately, an aforementioned awesome group mate put a little bug in my ear this morning when she off-handedly mentioned that she was going to be doing a 12 mile run this afternoon. (Yup, future Dr. Dr. T eats double-digit runs for breakfast…kinda like me and my doughnuts… :-/) As part of me was worked hard to convince the rest of me to hunker down for a lazy Saturday night (What better way to top off a rough rest of the day, right?) another part of me kept going back to T-sweet’s comment …and then I’ll go get a longer run in…oh, you know…about 12 miles or so…. Thankfully, the latter me won this battle and before I could change my mind I was out the door. If T-sweet is doing 12 today than I’ll be damned if I don’t do at least 6!

As always, the transforming power of 6 measly little miles is amazing! I felt like whole new person in a whole new day – damn it for being 7 pm! 😦 It was a beautiful night, there was no reason (never mind the excuses that left over pizza slices and bad junk food will try to sell you) not to get out and there is no reason not to do the same tomorrow. Plus, pulling out the spring running kit for the first time in months is always exciting 🙂

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Now I can get on, with no feelings of guilt, with the my lazy relaxing Saturday night with these two:

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Hope you can do the same!

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