Friday, March 29, 2013

Good News

Well, its been a while since I have updated anything.
I had 3 exams in 2 days so all my time after training was spent studying. All 3 exams went well though which is a relief, now I can focus on my training even more until the net exams come up.

Last saturday I went to a track meet that State was hosting, it was great! Got to see some great athletes run some pretty steller times and was just an overall fun experience. That day though, I woke up with a pain on the outside of my foot and I thought, "Oh man I hope its not a stress reaction". So this week I kept the mileage where it was, but didn't do any workouts. Happily though, I had a doctors appointment this morning and I am happy to say that it is not a stress reaction and just inflammation in my joint of my 5 metatarsal....So I can keep running, increase my mileage, an even wear my spikes and I will be ok.

I bought the Jack Daniels Running Formula book and I've been reading it a bunch. I have learned so much about the different styles of training and what different workouts do for you. So as of today I'm going to be starting on a true training schedule. The race is just about a month away now and I am truly excited for what is to come. Heres to dreaming big and hard work.

Today I have
2-4x200 @31
2-4X400 @64-66
1x800 @2:14
2-4X400 @64-66
2-4X200 @31

All with jogging recoveries based off the distance of the interval. This should be a fun one


Friday, March 22, 2013

Run in with the Police, Dean of Students, and a sore foot

Hey guys, this week has been interesting to say the least. I had my first interval sessions in a while and they felt great, after my 400m session on monday I felt very motivated what is to come. On Wednesday I had 200s. 8 of them to be exact. I kinda just came up with my workouts this week, but its ok because next week I'll be starting the Jack Daniels schedule. My coach from back at home said that we did lots of Jack Daniels style training which means it is the type of training my body is used to, :D so we'll see where it takes me.

But, back to the workout. I had 8 200s at 32 seconds with a minute jogging recovery in between them. To be honest, I had too much recovery in between reps and the pace was slow, so it really wasn't a quality workout that I would have wanted to get, but i still got some good turn over. And some of the 200s I got a litte excited and hit them at 28 or 29. It felt good, and it was definitely good to get more repetitions in at race pace. Its all about getting used to how that pace feels during workouts so that on race day, you are ready and the pace comes out like clockwork. Even better, if I can get used to race pace on the grass, race pace on the track will feel much better. Speaking of grass, this is where it gets interesting....

I ran both workouts this week on the intramural soccer field by the south farm. Its perfect for doing repeats. A flat, well maintained, firm grass field where you can measure out distances and really get in a great quality workout, and the field is almost always empty so having the facility to yourself is also a plus. BUT, and this is a very big butt... Its illegal to run on the field when the gate is closed. Theres a sign that says something like "NO FENCE JUMPING WHEN GATE IS CLOSED. POLICE WILL BE CALLED." I honestly didn't think I would get the police called on me if I ran there, I mean why would I? I wasn't really doing anything wrong besides trespassing, and I needed a pace to train. But coming into to the last 30 meters of my 5th repeat I see a cop car pullin up and I here "You there, stop right now" I waved at him and pointed at my watch so he would see that I was finishing up. Right away I though, "SH%T" the sign didn't lie. Apparently, dude to some political BS, its against the rules to run on the field because of a liability issue, and the policeman said I had to leave right away. He was actually really nice, and apologized for messing up the workout but that he was just doing his job, i can respect that. The guy who was a real ass was the intramural sports guy who reported us. I asked him why its a liability issue and if its because they think they're facilities are deemed unsafe. All he told was "Well....its the rules" Really?!? The people at the intramural sports office are full of shit, pardon my language, but seriously. I have a higher chance of getting hurt on campus by getting hit by a car, or on the farms (which are still university property), or in the parking lot of the soccer field. If I get hurt on the  fenced off soccer field its because I was being stupid, and the fact that they are worried of being sued because of negligence is ridiculous. They have a perfect soccer field which almost never gets used unless there is an intramural sports game is happening and to everyone who wants to use it, they could care less. It really bothers me, because I COULD use the old intramural fields, but they're about as smooth as no mans land in trench warfare during WWI.... the field is terrible is what I'm getting at.
So, long story short I get written up and they kick me out. What didn't make sense is that they kicked me out right as they were unlocking the gate for a soccer game in 15 minutes, so when they both left I went back in and completed my workout (ended up doing 4 more), the gate was open right? I wasn't breaking any rules.
The next morning I get a call at 9:45 which wakes me up I said the conversation went
Me: "Hello?"
Dean "Hi is this Lucas?"
Me: "Yeah, who is this"
Dean: "This is _____ the Dean of Students"
My initial thought was, dude, why are calling me 15 minutes before my alarm goes off!?!
Long story short, he told me to come into his office to talk about what happened, he was nice about it too, and told me that yes its a little ridiculous but its the rules and that I had to follow. I completely understand that what I did was wrong, but I don't feel bad about it. Some rules were meant to be broken. Apparently I didn't even have to go in and talk to him he just wanted to find out why someone was on the field w/o doing anything wrong like vandalism.

So, besides getting into trouble today was a good weak, i feel strong, and lighter on my feet than I have in a very long time. My foot is a little tender right now so I'm going to take tomorrow off and see if that helps. May be I need to stay off the skateboard for a while and give my foot a rest.

Anyways, until next time!

Monday, March 18, 2013

First Full Workout

Good news, race day is coming up on April the 20th. Yes I know, I have a little over a month to sharpen up a little bit, but thats all I need right now. Besides, my number one goal is to have fun and get experience and my time will come later. But hey, it won't hurt to get some intervals in. This is why today was a great day. I had my first full workout since my injury!

4-5x400m @ 64-66 (1500m target pace) with 1:30-2:00 recovery
It was raining right before I headed out but thankfully it cleared up cause workouts in the rain aren't fun. I ended up measuring out 400m at the intramural soccer fields on campus and it ended up being a perfect location. Its nice and flat with no ditches or puddles of water. Usually I go to the sportsplex off campus but being that I stressed my foot there last time, I feel more comfortable running somewhere else for now, haha.

As for the workout, it went well. I warmed up for 20 minutes ~3 miles and then did drills and strides. I spiked up right before I did the strides. It always feels great to spike up, especially after not doing so for a while. When you put them on, you know its go time. Plus, the soggy wet soccer field would be slippery and terrible to go fast on with my trainers so it was a perfect opportunity to rock out my old XC spikes :D. The first 400 I went out and told myself I would try and feel out my targeted pace. It felt slow in the end and it was. I ended up running a 68, but I'm glad the first one was slower because then I knew exactly how much to speed up. The next 4 came like clock work hitting 64 on all of them. It wasn't "easy", but it feel great to get that turn over in. I felt fluid and strong. This is the reason I love doing intervals more than tempo runs. I feel like I can really open up my stride, and being 6'2 its pretty big. The 4th 400 was the toughest, I was pretty spent and the lactic acid was starting to sit in, but hey, running is all about pushing through the pain. You gotta accept the pain, embrace it, and just work through it. I don't remember if I had ever yelled to psych myself up between intervals but I did today, and it definitely helped. Thankfully nobody was there, if there was I probably would have scared them way.

I learned something new today though, at least about myself. When I am at my most tired state during repeats, if I can just go out and hit the first half on pace staying** relaxed** and controlled, I'll be good for the second half. Its all mental really. Doing fast intervals is all about staying relaxed and composed, once you start to get weak and lazy with your form, it will be hard to keep up with the pace.

I was very satisfied today overall though. Even with the slower first interval I know I got a good one in. Taking into account that I ran it in the wet grass, even though I had spikes which helped, I know I would have gone faster on a track. And that is a good feeling.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Conquering The Mountain

Well my spring break is off to an amazing start. Had a great time at home seeing my family over the weekend, and got some awesome longboarding in with my friend Brendan....which btw, I have a new record of 41 mph on my board :D good times.

So I arrived in Hendersonville last night on the 10th to visit my friend George before head out on our Spring Break trip to Pensacola. Its beautiful up here, right in the middle of the blue ridge mountains. Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere like this, you feel more in tune with nature. Its soothing.
Anyways, today while George and I were coming home I asked him to show me the route up the mountain from his house so I could see the view. Right as we started ascending the mountain along the narrow serpentine roads I immediately thought to myself "Ahh man, I've got to run up the mountain today". When we made it to the top at "Jump Off Rock" we got out of the car and looked at the view. It was breathtaking! Even with the clouds and the mist... if anything it made the view even more beautiful. We drove back down to his house, had some lunch, and then decided that I should stay and run while he picked his car up from the shop. Once my food digested, the adventure began!

Right when I left his drive way I was nervous and excited. I had to climb a little over 1000 feet in 3 and a half mile and it would be my hilliest run yet. The hardest part is the first mile because thats when the most change in elevation happens. I was going at a controlled hard effort and only managed to run a 9:36 mile, so I think my slow pace speaks for itself. It hurt, my legs were burning and my calves were tight. I was literally up on my toes the entire way...not heel striking, or mid foot toes! Somehow though, it felt great. It was nice and cool, with a steady breeze, and I had an amazing view the whole way up. After the first mile, the steep incline turned into hills the size of those at home so I was able to lower my pace to 7:40-8:00 the rest of the way up. Theres something psychological that happens when you run somewhere like that. It feels so natural. I almost felt like a Native American out on the hunt in the mountains.

When I made it to the top I began to pick up the pace until I reached the end. I was welcomed by the breathtaking view, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs because I made it to the top, but there was a family there and I didn't want to freak out the locals :P But man it was awesome, it was the most accomplished I have felt in a long time! It was definitely one of my hardest runs I have had, and it was only 3.7 miles. I saw the neighboring mountains, including Cold Mountain which peaks a little over 6000 feet, so if I am ever back in town, I am definitely going to try that one.

 After a few minutes of taking in the view I headed back down, nice and easy, 7:30 pace the way back because I didn't want to kill my knees. Best of all, when I made it back, I took and Ice bath in a cold mountain creek in my friends backyard.

Today was awesome!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Good Start To Spring Break

Spring break is here, yay!....and then I get hit by a car. Yep, I was leaving my last class and turning into a parking lot off the road and some guy turned from the other side and hit me on my side (kinda hurt. I'm glad his windows were down otherwise I would have broken it).
Have you seen those videos or movies where peoples shoes come off when that happens? Yep that happened to me. My left shoe flew off, too. I was in such a good mood that day though that when I got hit I laughed it off cause with my luck something like that would happen to me. But hey I didn't get hurt and my longboard didn't get run over, so its all good.

I'm back home now, and boy does it feel good. I ran thursday morning, just a regular distance day which was 6 miles at 6:50 pace. I'm still figuring out how fast I can go on my normal days since I'm still getting back into it. The weather was great, and it was nice to get my run in before I went to class. I felt great the whole day and was in a great mood as well, it honestly felt like summer.

Friday! Today was great. I woke up at 8:00, went longboarding, and then went to practice with my former high school team. The upperclassmen had a workout and the two fastest distance guys Brian and Kenan had something different. 4 fast 400m repeats that had to be completed in less than 10 minutes. which means 60s with a 1:30 second recovery. I only did 3 of them because theres no need for me to be doing fast repeats yet (I didn't quite, I was training smart), but they felt great. It always feels nice to go fast on the track at a nice and controlled speed. I definitely surprised myself though. I wasn't expecting to be able to do even one of them so I guess I'm in much better shape than I thought I was.

After practice, my little brother and I went to Mellow Mushroom and had a nice large cheese pizza. Mmm! It was so good.

Thats all for now. Time to watch some tv with my family. I'm going Long Boarding tomorrow so I will definitely make a post about it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hey you all. I didn't post anything yesterday cause, well, recovery runs are not the most exciting things to talk about and my schedule yesterday was crazy. I thought I was gonna run at around 4 but I had the RUF Dating Game thingy to go to at 5 so I knew I wouldn't have time. But then at 5 o'clock I got a call from my date saying that they moved the time to 6. So I lost 3 hours of my day that could have been used for something else. Oh well, at least I got some good long boarding in.

When I got back from the date which was some kind of scavenger hunt thing I went on my run. I was about 8:00 so it was dark and pretty col outside. My legs were definitely tired and I did not feel to great (I got car sick during the scavenger hunt). I ended up going a little over 5 miles at 7:40 pace, felt like a slog more than a run, but my legs felt nice afterwards. Remember guys, YOU WONT win any races by going fast on your recovery days. Your body needs ample time to recover so listen to it. If you need to go at an 8:00 pace, go that fast. If you can faster, go a little faster. I normally dont go that slow on my recovery days but I was feeling extra tired so decided to take nice and slow.

Today, which is wednesday, went well. I had a nice distance run. I'm still not doing high mileage so I only went a little over 6. I ran with my busy Kamau, who is a natural. I don't think I've ever scene someone who has biomechanics better than his. He just glides over the ground, pretty neet stuff. Anyways, I started out right at 7:00 pace and brought it down to 6:35-6:40 for the last two miles and it felt great. My legs didn't feel stiff and I wasn't sore either. I love days like today, when you can just roll at a nice steady pace and it feels easy. Over all it was a great day :D

I did take my longboard out for my first real session today and, I love this thing. The concave locks in your feet when you slide so you feel nice and relaxed when doing them which is important. You never really want to be tense when long boarding  thats usually how you end up bailing. I also took it down some nice hills, probably got up to about 25-27 miles per hour and the board didn't feel like it was trying at all. I cannot wait to take it down some of the hill around my home, thats where I will really find out just how great the board is. 

Finally, spring break is around the corner. I'm not sure if I'm leaving tomorrow or Friday but I can't wait. I'm going home for the weekend, going up to the mountains in NC to visit my friend George (definitely taking my longboard with  me), and then going to Pensacola on Wednesday for the remainder of spring break at a friends condo which is right on the beach.
Next week should be fun to say the least. And yes, I will still be training, even if I'm on vacation.

Monday, March 4, 2013

You Gotta Love Those Windy Longruns

I know I already posted something today, but I just wanna talk about my run real quick.

So, today was Monday, and Monday is now going to be my longrun day. In the past, I knew my long runs were important, but I never really made them my main focus. As of right now because my mileage is still relatively low and I am in the base training stages, my longruns are the most important runs of the week. To be able to make large jumps in your fitness and achieve your maximum potential as a runner  you need to get your longruns in because these runs of 60+ minutes will cause your body to make more mitochondria in your cells and teach your body to burn your fat stores before it begins to use up your glycogen storages. Just thought I should clarify a little bit.
Side note:The weather by the way was amazing. High of 67 and clear skys.
I wore a tank top and shorts today and long boarding to class felt great too :D. 

I went far today to say the least. I believe today was my second longest day ever. I started out from my dorm and headed towards the south farms. I completed the full loop even went into the XC course in the back part of the farm and then headed back. I went all the way across campus crossed the highway and ran into the north farms. I can say that I have never ran in windier conditions than today. The first half of the run was straight into the wind and the last half I was running into it so most people would say that it evens out. Honestly though, the wind will slow you down more than it helps speed you up. There were parts where the wind was hitting me so hard that it felt like I was going at and 8-9 minute pace and I had to look to the sides because it was hurting my eyes when the dirt would hit me.

Even with the crazy wind, I had my fastest longrun yet. 14.5 miles total. 12.5 averaging 6:39 pace. The first half was nice and controlled, and the second half was faster but controlled. and the last 2 miles was my cool down. I decided to stop my watch at 12.5 miles and complete the last 2 as a cool down 
(7-7:15 pace) at that point running trying to keep my pace while running into the was just impossible, and I needed to shake out the lactic acid that had accumulated in my legs. The run felt awesome though, even with the wind. I saw the entire team, boys/girls during the span of my run too which was nice, there all so friendly. I stopped at the track on my way back to my dorm during my cool down and got to talk to Coach Franks again. He looked happy to see me, shook my hand and smiled as always. I definitely feel like he is a great coach and all the XC runners tell me he is. He's not a hot head, hes one of the friendliest guys you will meet too. I found out I'm not going to be able to race unattached for the first two home meets but the one in April I will though. I'll be much better prepared anyways so its for the best. And coach told me the race wont be my try-out that he still wants me to try out at the end of summer so this race will just be for fun, so I'm genuinely excited.

Here Are My Spilts:

1.  7:09     
14:23+ 0:05 (-2%)7'14"/mi
21:08- 0:29 (6%)6'45"/mi
27:54+ 0:01 (-1%)6'46"/mi
34:25- 0:15 (3%)6'31"/mi
40:56+ 0:00 (0%)6'31"/mi
47:21- 0:06 (1%)6'25"/mi
54:03+ 0:17 (-5%)6'42"/mi
1:00:34- 0:11 (2%)6'31"/mi
1:06:58- 0:07 (1%)6'24"/mi
1:13:10- 0:12 (3%)6'12"/mi
1:19:39+ 0:17 (-5%)6'29"/mi

When I got back from my run I felt pretty tired but when I stopped my legs were sore! Luckily my Room Director gave me his PVC pipe "foam" roller so after using that (and screaming the whole time) I felt great. After I showered, subway was on the menu and a smoothie as-well. 

Other side note: My longboard comes in tomorrow!!

Thats pretty much it. Time to get a chargrilled sandwich from Chickfila and hit the books. 

First Post

After hearing so much about blogging and how it can benefit a runner, I decided what the hell, why not.
So here I am. My name is Lucas Muniz, I got to Mississippi State University, and I've been running for almost 4 years now. I have a younger brother, Gabriel, who also runs and is pretty good. He's definitely going to be much faster than me, but I'll talk more about him later.
 I absolutely love this sport and I really couldn't picture myself doing anything else. Sadly I only started my Junior year in High School, but the two years of it really were the highlight of high school for me. The friendships I made and still have, and memories I made, are something that wont go away. For that, I have to thank my Father who consistently nagged me to get my but out there and run with him, haha.
My PRs
400- 54.4
800m- 2:03.3
1600m- 4:44
3200m- 10:32
5000m- 17:22
Half Marathon: 1:20.42 (Atlanta)
My senior cross country season was frustrating to say the least. After a solid summers training with my teammates and the longest run of my life (15 miles...we got lost up in the mountains in Blue Ridge, Ga) I felt awful the first week of school and practice, after getting blood tests it confirmed that I had mononucleosis and I was out for a full month. After loosing the majority of my fitness my season was turned into a game of "Catch-Up" and in the end was only able to do so much. My training and workout parters all ran a minute faster than I did (low 16s) and I was not able to lock in my spot to run at state. I was genuinely disappointed after cross country, but something clicked in me. I knew I was much more capable than what I had done, and I was going to prove myself to everyone else that I could.
I trained well over the winter and was doing strength exercises with a guy named Julian Scadden who lived up the street from me. I guess you could say that he was my trainer.  I was at his house 3-5 times a week from the winter all the way to the end of track season. I can say that this man made the biggest impact on my high school running carrer, he really taught me how to push myself and for that I am forever greatul With my hard work at the track and countless hours working out with my trainer I made huge jumps in my times and really established myself on the team (ranked 2nd in the State during XC season behind the power house of Brookwood Highschool). During track I learned what hard work and dedication really was, not just trying hard, but really killing yourself out there day in and day out, and this is when I began to dream of running at the Colligate level. With only starting this sport recently and having the work ethic and Love with the Sport I had and still have, I knew that I was capable of achieving it.
But that is not the true reason why I have this dream. The reason I want to run in college is because of what the sport did for me. It helped me become the person I am today. I used to be painfully shy and unconfident, but now, its the complete opposite. My little brother looks up to me as well; he said I am an inspiration to him. I want to be able to make him proud and see that with consistent hard work, dedication, and faith in God, that so many things are possible. I want him to see that if he has a dream, to hold on to it, and to work towards it. Thats what I've learned, and thats what I want him to learn through me doing what I am doing.
Last paragraph before I go, sorry I know I'm rambling.
After track I kept training, I ran though the summer and took about 2-3 weeks off when I got to school due to club rugby( I know...) and then started back up again. I spoke with coach Franks many times and he gave me the teams winter training schedule and he was going to set-up a trial for when I got back. It was great, my training was going so well. I was averaging about 50-55 miles a week before I got the schedule but then it went up to 60-65 (the highest I have ever been) and I was killing it in the workouts. I was in the best shape ever after winter of 2012, but being how this sport is, when I got back from break, I got a stress reaction in the 3rd metatarsal in my foot and had to take 3 weeks off. I was so close to making it so it was a huge disappointment, but I have had set backs like these before and I know that with patience and faith, you'll recover, and usually come back faster than before. Its now my 6th week back and I feel great, I had my fastest longrun last monday (13.5 miles at 6:40 pace acording to my watch, but Nike GPS watches aren't  inaccurate on cloudy days so it was faster) and my mileage is slowly building. I should be back at 50 mpw by the end of spring break. Best of all, I talked to coach and told him I'm gonna take my time to get back into it and he told me no rush, to come back in the spring and  I could get the summer schedule from him. So, as long as I can stay healthy, I know I will be ok. The easy part is the training, the hard part is staying healthy.

There is so much more I want to say but I will save it for other posts.
Anyways, time to go to class and then I'm off on my longrun later. Until next time