Showing posts with label glycogen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label glycogen. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cow-themed glycogen fueling station

One cow out front. 1,000 more inside
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

I spent yesterday in the city, on a day that started early and ended late. It was was hot, humid and generally uncomfortable, but I was fortunate to see a lot of business friends throughout the day. I switched my usual routine and ran on Monday and took Tuesday as my rest day.

Today, I worked out of my home office and that gave me the flexibility to join my wife and kids at Maureen's Kitchen, a local breakfast place that is famous for its cow theme, large portions and cash-only policy. I usually eat a small breakfast (less than 400 calories) but today I indulged and ordered Maureen's French Toast. I even paid the extra $1.75 for genuine maple syrup. My brother would have been appalled. He lives in VT where good stuff practically flows from the tap. The meals they served us were almost laughably huge, but I managed to get through most of mine.

Due to my schedule, I had calls that prevented me from getting out for a run until 1:30 PM, when the temperature and humidity were at their peak. The heat notwithstanding, it was probably good that I had a chance to digest all those carbs from my morning meal.

I had good energy, probably due to an over abundance of glycogen, and I got through the first mile fairly quickly. I might have turned this into a performance run, but I'm still dealing with chest congestion that caused me to cough whenever I increased speed past a certain point. My cough has improved, but it's still present, even after three full weeks.

Between pushing my speed as far as I dared, the baking sun and the moist air, I finished feeling like I'd just raced. It didn't take long to get my heart rate down, but it was a tough workout. I'm aiming for an early Independence Day run tomorrow that may end with a dive into the pool. Unlike last summer, I will be sure to put aside my phone before I take the plunge.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Eleven miles at Bethpage, without fuel nor water

Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 11.2 miles

I had plans to run with my buddy Dave today, but he had a scheduling issue and needed to postpone. The plan was for Dave to accompany me on his bike while I ran. Last February, I wrote a post about Dave's racing nightmare when he suffered a heart attack during a 10 mile race. Since then he has responded well and has been cleared for runs in the 2-3 mile range. It shows that even if you suffer a heart attack, being otherwise fit will certainly accelerate your recovery.

The temperature was in the high 30's when I went out at at 8:30 AM, and I'd purposely under dressed knowing I'd be generating heat over my long run. I wasn't that uncomfortable, even at the beginning, and by mile two I was glad to be in running shorts.

I wore the Spiras thinking they would minimize the possibility of foot problems, but I detected the slight pain in my left foot that I'd assumed was specific to the Kinvara 3's. After a few miles the pain decreased and I thought I had it licked. Turned out it wasn't so simple. By the end my feet were very uncomfortable.

The only nutrition I took for the entirety of my run was a GU gel that I had prior to the start. I took along a GU Roctane for refueling later in the run, but I didn't feel as though I needed it. I also brought a water bottle but didn't take a sip during the run. I wasn't being macho by denying myself nutrition and hydration, I just wanted to test whether I needed it. Did my body use fat as an energy source after glycogen depletion?

After many weeks running the Bethpage bike trail, I've become familiar enough with the route that I know how far I've gone without looking at my Garmin. I also separate the course into stages, based on landmarks. That helps me psychologically, especially as I increase my distance each week. Today I ventured within a mile of the bottom of the trail, located in Massapequa Preserve. I may end up doing an end to end run next time.

On my way back I was happily surprised that my energy level never fell too far and when it dropped a little, I quickly rebounded. I saw many runners, walkers and cyclists today and one sap who was walking along the trail, smoking a cigarette. Why do something healthy like that and smoke?

I did experience a drop in energy with about 2 miles to go. I knew I was facing the toughest part of the route and resigned myself to the work. Running the penultimate hill was easier than I thought it would be, but the final hill was a bear. Still, I finished 11.2 miles feeling in better shape than I did when I ran 9 miles a few weeks ago.

I'm on vacation this week and next weekend is the Marcie Mazzola 5K (on Sunday). Due to that, I'll skip my base run as I taper. From now until then, speed will be my focus. I'm curious to see if all this base building will help me push the pace over a decidedly shorter distance.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Did I really experience fat-to-energy alchemy?

Botero's Man on Horseback
WCB Preserve's Trails
Today's run (treadmill): 6.1 miles

Daylight savings time took away an hour of our morning, so I decided to save a little time and run indoors. My wife was doing her workout on the elliptical machine, so I accompanied her on the treadmill for the last 35 minutes of her session. My plan was to run for an hour or for 5.7 miles, whichever came first.

I started off at a very easy pace, because I'd run long on Saturday and didn't want to push my already tired legs. I moved along feeling great, but after 25 minutes I began to noticeably weaken. I realized that it would be a struggle to complete my full hour and I started to reevaluate when I would stop. After my wife finished her workout, I thought I would continue, but only for another ten minutes.

I'd wished that I'd had a gel to give me a boost at that point, but as it happened, I didn't need it. When I reached 43 minutes, I started feeling stronger. My urgency to stop had completely gone away. It suddenly felt easy, for no reason that I could explain. The only thing I could think of was that my body had depleted my glycogen stores and had started using stored fat as an energy source.

Everything I've read tells me that this transition doesn't happen until you have run for an hour or more. Before you feel good, you're supposed to feel very bad. I hadn't been comfortable for a good amount of time, so perhaps that explanation is plausible. All I knew was that, suddenly, the run became as easy after 45 minutes as it was after 5 minutes.

I decided not to stop and took advantage of my rebound by bumping up the speed and focusing on my form. I reached my goal (originally 5.7 miles so that I would surpass 13 miles this weekend) but kept going until I passed 6 miles. It was a tiring run but, hours later, I still feel energized.

Later in the morning we went to the Nassau County Museum of Art and walked the grounds before we went in. The museum has 39 large sculptures located within its grounds (AKA, the William Cullen Bryant Preserve). There are many trails to follow and we plan to return just to do that.

I'm pleased that I met my goal of covering 13 miles this weekend. That will help me push my base as I train for the LI Half Marathon. Best of all, I get to rest tomorrow. But it all starts again on Tuesday.

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