January 26, 2015 – 3×1 mile, 7:55/mi
I woke up to a flurry this morning. By the time I went out to run this afternoon, the black asphalt was white. And it had not even been more than 3 hours.
I did not run very fast, nor very hard, considering that the risk of landing in a pothole, slipping, or getting hit by a car had pretty much doubled. I expected this. Especially after being off the road for two days after experiencing a sprained ankle last Friday during an easy run. Night running had never been my favorite time, especially since my vision is already impaired as it is…the lack of light makes seeing the streets even harder for me with or without contacts. What was worse was the fact that I had never sprained my right ankle before. It was a shock, considering that typically my left ankle is the one that is weak and tender.
The next morning the stiffness had spread. I felt pain all along the tendons of my shins. Enough to convince me that, especially since I don’t have a race for another 3 months, to just take it easy. I reached out to Coach Pat that I would rest and see how my leg would be tomorrow.
As of this morning, I had missed two days in a row of running. But today the stiffness is gone, with no ache. It was pretty much the perfect day for me to go out and do my scheduled run–aside from the fact that it was, of course, snowing. The solution for me to overcome the risk of faceplanting pavement was one that I had been anticipating since buying these suckers last winter:
Yes, YakTrax, which sounds rather obscene–like something somebody does after one too many shots of tequila, to the point that he’s no longer gotta yak, he’s gotta yaktrax all over himself. When I had first seen these, I was rather skeptical. They looked utterly ridiculous and clunky, and at the time I was sure that nobody in their right mind would wear these. It was when the Polar Vortex struck, after almost two weeks of atrophying indoors, that the thought that maybe, just maybe, running for twenty minutes on the treadmill would not be a bad idea, that I realized that it was time to man up and make the purchase.
I had only worn them once before, and at the time it was for naught more than a little dusting. Today, however, I was baller. I ran through small snow, snow piles, frozen sheets, ice…nothing was a challenge. I was an unstoppable machine, and a few observers along my route cheered me on as I pushed my way through stinging wind bursts of the ice dust. Others, however, chose to stare at me in what looked like confusion–was this crazy bastard really running in the snow, or am I just going nuts?
Granted, I did not run my best. On average I would say I was doing 8:00-8:30. On a good day, this would be way less. But I chose to take it easy and not aggravate any pain. A slight sharpness struck my left arch around the final stretch of my last set, and so I eased on the brakes as soon as the mile ended. The pain went away just as quickly, and although it was a disappointing run, at least I actually did run it.
Dehydration also struck me throughout the run–I had opted not to bring my handheld with me, figuring that there was water all over the place. It was rather ingenious. During my 7 minute rests I would gather a palmful of snow, pack it together, and take a mouthful and chomp into it. Why hasn’t anybody marketed that towards runners? Instead of choking yourself with water, you can munch a palmful instead. It’d be a genius idea.
I imagine that as I walked/jogged during these recoveries, throwing back a few chunks of snow onto my face and into my mouth, that I easily looked like Tony Montana when he threw his face into his cocaine mountains.
I hope everybody’s keeping warm and dry. It’s only going to get rougher tomorrow, so I wish everyone the best. Be safe. Hopefully the weather will clear in time for Wednesday.
Happy New Year, Everybody!
This month is a time where gyms get packed to the gills with new memberships, full classes, and extra stinky man/woman sweat. Don’t believe me? Go to a Planet Fitness the first week of January.
This past year I took a rather easy approach to my running goals. I have been running races, no doubt. But there have been no goals, no focus, and, what’s worst of all: No (for the most part) running between races.
This lackadaisical approach, to half marathons, in particular, is most definitely ill-advised. Train, train, train, that is the only way to get better. So imagine my surprise when I saw my finishing time for the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 23, 2014:
BRANDON WEI, M, ROSLYN, NY AGE: 26 CHIP TIME: 1:51:48
At this point I can relay that number in my sleep. It was a personal record. WITHOUT TRAINING. The last time I had posted a time below my standard 1:56+ time was in 2012, running a 1:52:** for the Disneyland Half–and in that half, I was in the midst of Marathon Training (for a more in-depth explanation about that whole fiasco, feel free to ask me).
So, for the remainder of 2014, I chillaxed and enjoyed a month and a half of eating
and drinking, not really doing much in terms of exercise, once spending an entire day snacking and watching all three Hobbit films (I kid you not). I came to the conclusion that for 2015, I needed a turnaround.
I just signed up with Coach Patrick Hammond of Educated Running for the second time. I have seen him mentor a great number of friends, including Carrie, to some amazing times. I had even attempted to have him coach me previously, though the failure is largely due to my lack of commitment and focus. This year, however, it’s for real.
My goal: make or break 1:45 for the Philadelphia Half Marathon. And also, keep this blog updated regularly.
I also resolve to keep this site as a way of holding myself accountable. The reason for this is that I am now also going to be involved, to a certain extent, as a mentor for other runners, and so I hope to set an example.
Here’s to a kickass 2015.
At 10:00 pm on November 9, 2013, I ran my fourth half marathon in my entire life. For millions of real runners, this isn’t a major accomplishment. But for me, I considered it a pretty awesome accomplishment. This was my 9th Disney Race, my 2nd Coast-to-Coast race in a row. I was the shit.
I am on here to confess, though, a horrible sin. I have a race in less than a month, and I have not trained.
This may be my first race where I have not trained, and yet at the same time, I am totally happy. Why? Because I know I can do it. I may not finish it FAST, but I know I can do it. How do I know?
I have a crutch. An Iorek Byrnison crutch.
You see, Iorek Byrnison is a talking, epic warrior-bear from The Golden Compass, a novel of a parallel world where a lot of weird things happen–talking animals, people with dæmons (their souls exist as animal avatars), and everything is powered by amber…weird shit. Anyways, at one point Iorek has an epic battle against a larger, more powerful bear, and he is beaten to near death, except for a few things. First, the large bear is slow, fat, and lazy as a pampered king bear. Second, the large bear’s armor (weird shit) is made of gold and is strictly decor, while Iorek’s armor–while ugly–is made of durable, tempered iron.
Thirdly? Iorek is crouching, leaning his hind leg on a jutted stone on the ground. Doesn’t sound like much, but consider the 100-meter dash, where a sprinter at start rests his feet–you guessed it–on his/her starting block. Iorek has a massive dynamite of potential energy just ready to massively explode. And he does.
I digressed. My crutch (I’m hoping) is the fact that I’ve been conditioning with Insanity. This time, after YEARS (I mean, I’ve had the videos since 2008) of waiting, starting and stopping, putting things off…I am finally dedicating 60 days to getting this goddamned workout done. I’ve 3 weeks left, which means that I will be ready by race day on February 22 for the Princess Half Marathon. But I have yet to get my feet on the asphalt.
It’s just. So. Hard.
Hydration is a human necessity that is so fundamental that it boggles me when I hear about the latest person suffering from heatstroke. Thank God that the latest heat wave that struck us has passed.
Now that the summer season is nearing its end, it seems almost redundant to post this, but hydrating during training is something that still remains perfectly relevant even in this cooler (relatively speaking…it’s still fucking hot) climate.
Brooks posted this
shameless promotion great list of tips that should be key during the midway phase of marathon season. Get your fuel belts and water bottles full, you crazy bastards! Nothing’s worse than dying passing out and waking up in Heaven Hell nonexistence the hospital because of something as mundane as not having enough water!
Measure Your Sweat
Each runner needs to be treated as an individual, but there are some averages, such as sodium loss per liter, that will be useful in putting a hydration plan together. Check out this simple test which can help you better understand your sweat rates and sodium losses:
1. Weigh yourself before and after a run without clothes on. For most people, losing two or more pounds is too much. Keep in mind that a 2% dehydration or more impacts performance. A loss of 5% and greater can become very dangerous. For a 150-pound runner, this is a 3 pound loss for 2% dehydration and a 7.5 pound loss for 5%. To determine your sweat rate, perform a sweat test:
- Take your “no clothing” body weight before a one-hour moderate intensity bike or run.
- Record the amount of liquid consumed during workout, and weigh yourself again after the workout.
- Calculate the weight change and remember to add in the amount of liquid consumed during the workout.
- Every pound is equal to 16 oz of fluid.
2. Are your training clothes suddenly white after a workout? Does your face and body feel “crusty?” Have you had muscle cramping in hot weather? If so, then you probably have a higher concentration of sodium in your sweat relative to the “average” person.
- Average sweat rate is typically 1 – 1.5L of fluid per hour (32 – 48oz), and 1,000 – 1,500mg of sodium per hour while running (a bit less when cycling).
- Sweat rate will depend on several factors including environmental conditions (temperature, humidity), genetics, and the athletic conditioning of the athlete (use the sweat test above to help you cue in to your specifics).
- Most people’s sweat contains about 500mg of sodium per 16oz. Very salty sweaters can have up to 1,200mg per 16oz of sweat.
Understanding where you may fall on the sodium concentration scale, combined with understanding your fluid losses can help better estimate your sodium needs during training and racing. For example, if your sweat rate was determined to be 32oz/hour, and you estimate your sodium loss to be 500mg/16oz, your sodium need is 1,000mg/hour.
Most athletes vastly underestimate their sodium needs. Those who have experienced the sloshy gut or muscle cramping likely fall into this category! Consider sodium supplements and fueling products that contain more sodium than most products in addition to electrolyte replacement beverages.
You can read more from the article here for other tips. Haven’t measured my sweat yet. Will have to check this out.
Another suggestion: Hammer Nutrition has some seriously awesome multivitamins, powders, and gels that can stave back fatigue, cramps, and dehydration. I’ve been using Endurolytes, but they have a ton of other helpful nutrition that you should check out.
And THANK GOD that didn’t happen today, because I probably would’ve been eaten in a heartbeat. The weather was at a sweltering 98F, and the entire time I was starting to glaze off.
Sorry for the delayed post. I haven’t been on my computer in ages. But my new job is awesome and keeping me busy, and I actually HAVE been running. I actually did a 5k on Saturday and I am proud to report that I finally broke 25 minutes. I am now in the big leagues.
I have just also learned how to make custom workouts for my Forerunner 410. What makes this awesome is that I can name my workouts something like this: