New Gear Monday

One of the things that long back-to-back weekend runs does, is it tests your gear. After running for a few hours I become a bit delusional and I can’t even unzip pockets quickly much less adjust bottles on my hydration vest. A few gear-related issues that have been bothering and frustrating me the last few weeks while running need to be fixed as I’m out on the trails longer.

This morning I bought a few things online to remove my frustrations and make me more happy while running.

Wireless headphones – long overdue.

A GPS watch with a heart rate monitor on my wrist

A new running vest that is waterproof and wind resistant

My headphones have been driving me crazy with the wires. With wind and hydration flasks moving and shifting they hit my headphones a certain way and they move position in my ear. They typically don’t fall off but it’s annoying. I did a few searches and while I really wanted the Apple AirPods I decided to go with running-specific wireless headphones and opt for Jaybird X4 Wireless Headphones. I’ll let you know how I like them.

My heart rate monitor with my Suunto Ambit 3 has been driving me crazy lately. For two months I’ve been wearing it with no problems but the last two weeks the chest monitor is either too tight and restricting my breathing, or too loose and falling down. I need to try something new. I don’t feel too bad about buying a new GPS running watch since I’ve used the Ambit 3 since my bike crash in 2014 when my Garmin was destroyed.

I opt to go back to Garmin and bought the Garmin Forerunner 35. I like how it monitors health-related options like resting heart rate, which is still too low for me right now. I might just wear it all the time like a regular watch.

And, since I bought the Garmin with REI dividends and a special member sale, I added a vest for spring running that has been on my wish list for a long time.

I’m excited for a complete day off today. I will also be paying special attention to one of my favorite Instagram accounts I follow: Rest Day Brags

One my favorite accounts to follow

Week 22 Leadville Training Recap

Dimond Hill Farm – another big hill on Sunday

Sunday’s run culminated in another big hill – Dimond Hill. After yesterday’s hills I’m ready for a recovery day tomorrow.

But alas, let’s recap: Monday and Tuesday became recovery days although I started Personal Training at the Y on Monday. I did my 3-day-in-a-row running on Wed-Thur-Fri. Then on Friday when I hiked with Winnie on the icy trails with my spikes, the chain on the spikes locked and I fell on my knees – OUCH!

I iced my knees and worried about waking up the next day with knee pain.

Saturday I woke up and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. So I stretched and foam rolled and headed out for the 20 miler. It was a slog-fest for sure. I recovered well from the run except for eating too much butternut squash which is apparently a thing – it causes horrible stomach cramping from too much fiber and gas. By 8:00 the pain was gone thanks to Gas-X.

I woke up on Sunday totally recovered from knee pain and sore quads from the long run. My 10 mile run was hilly, and do-able; I felt pretty good. I tried to run as much as I could on the dirt but most of it was on the road.

I took a recovery hike with Winnie and now resting comfortably on my sofa for the rest of the night.

Trail junction on Sunday March 24 at Winant Trails

Training week 22 was a test of endurance and consistency. On the 20 miler I wanted to cut it short and make up the miles on Sunday but I knew I had to get used to long miles, tired legs and wanting to quit – I will not quit. I’m excited for the next BIG week. I’m actually looking forward to running 22 miles next Saturday and hoping that at least 50 percent of it will be on trails. I will also be adding back two-a-week weight training days.

This will happen:

The Goal – under 30 hours

Average Weight: 157

Average Resting Heart Rate: 55

Training Time: I recorded time in which ended on March 20 🙁

Total Vert: 4,048

Miles: 48.9 (includes hiking)

Saturday – 20 Mile Long Run

The top of the hill at Carter Hill Orchard

The first 5 miles were not great. Last week the first 8 miles were good; normal. Today started out with sore, tired legs and there was a lot of walking at the start.

The down hill from the Carter Hill was tough on my quads, too. I’m not sure if I was still injured from falling yesterday on my hike or if my legs were just fatigued.

Strava data

The route was pretty much a tour of Penacook and Concord.

Contoocook River

When I circled back to Concord I knew I was going to have to do four more miles but I didn’t have the will to go back out of town so I ran around Concord.

Coming back into town the wind was at my back. I ran past the State House and home to complete 20 miles! I’m beat.

Leadville Training Week 23 Recap

The week started off rough but got better after Tuesday. My calf injury is completely healed and I resumed my training plan. YEAH!

Wednesday and Thursday intervals were run OUTSIDE!

The ice and snow has gone from the roadways but the trails are another matter.

My Saturday and Sunday long runs were on the road. The trails are a mess after 60 degree temperatures on Friday.

Spikes are needed on the trails. So much ice!

After running 18 miles and 1,200 feet of elevation gain, I ran well on Sunday with a 10 mile run and very little elevation gain.

Saturday stats

Leadville is 14,000 feet of elevation gain so next week I’m going to beef up the elevation and head to the mountains on Sunday for a 4,000 footer hike/run.

I booked my flight and car for Leadville and Mark has booked his flight. So this is happening!

This Week:

Average Weight: 156

Average Resting Heart Rate: 51

Training Time: 9:30 (includes hiking) – no weights this week 🙁

Total Vert: 3,175

Miles: 47.9 (includes hiking)

Next Week:

Looking forward to Week 22!

Epsom Salt baths are magical

After tweaking my calf this past weekend and knowing that I had to take care of it right so that I don’t miss anymore training I followed the advice of the massage therapist: RICE + Epsom Salt bath.

Two nights in a row of ice, stretching, foam rolling and then a hot, Epsom salt bath has cured my muscle strain. It is 100% back to normal; no pain, no more hobbling around.

Lesson learned.

While there is no scientific evidence that that epsom salt really works, it may just be the relaxing hot bath that did the trick. I’m not sure. But one thing for sure, as I get older I need to do more work to stay injury free and that includes foam rolling, stretching, weights and core work. It takes more time but I willing to do what it takes to prepare for 100 miles. 157 days until race day.