Saturday, April 14, 2018

South End Pub Runs & RACE REPORT: Rugged Maniac Charleston, SC 2018


Monday, Mar 5
I have kind of wanted to try joining a running group for many years.  I always hesitated, because it would require driving somewhere, and they normally run on roads that are hard, and the availability of the right pace group for you may not be there.

One turned up on Facebook, though, and it was called the South End Pub Run.  It offered a beer punch ticket, and it wasn't too far from work, so I gave it a try.  I'm glad I did!  Starting from the Ultra Running Company, you could choose a 1, 3, or 5 mile route.  It was partially on the rail trail (which runs parallel to our single-line metro) and partially through quieter streets in South End.  This was the last Monday before daylight savings, so it was a run than was darker than planned, but it was really pretty, with the lights of uptown in the background.

We ran by breweries, restaurants, and fitness class providers.  I settled behind the lead pack and followed them through the course.  We sped up quite a bit as we went on.  We didn't follow the planned route completely, so we ended up with 5.7 in 48:02, 8:27 ave.  Afterwards, we got our well-deserved beers, at Pop the Top, which has an excellent selection of beers from state breweries even I haven't heard of.  Sours are great post-run.

Splits> 9:06, 8:59, 8:22, 7:54, 8:02, 5:34 for 0.7.

Blaze Pizza offers 1 free pizza ticket as a raffle per 10 participants, and the run was co-hosted by Black Men Run.  I enjoyed the company, and getting to explore South End.

Thursday, Mar 8:
Treadmill run, 2 degrees of incline.  6.0 in 48:10, 8:02 ave.  The treadmills were acting up today... two of them stopped working mid-run, but third time was a charm.  Warm in the gym at first, but got better after a little while.  So tired this morning.

The next morning, woke at 2:15 am, not sure if I slept much before work.  The next day, after work, watched 10x 1 hr episodes of Altered Carbon - the whole season!  Slept at 2am.

Slept, ate, watched tv... mostly slept... the whole day gone.

Sunday, Mar 11:
Trail run with the Zombies, Run! app on.  Mini Clif bar @ 2 hrs because I was bonking and had started walking the hills.  Had to push myself to keep running.

Monday, Mar 12:
Back at the South End Pub Run!  It was threatening to mist rain, and it was chilly, so the crowd was a bit smaller, but at least we were past daylight savings, so it was light out.  I led with this speedy guy.  It was supposed to be a recovery day, after doing the trail run the previous evening, but I can't help it.  We cut one part short when we were trying to find the right route, but we made it up with an extra loop later.

Splits> 7:42, 7:36, 7:25, 7:19, 7:30, even including some pause time at stoplights.  I didn't realize it was such a progressive run.  I thought I had been bonking, but it was really just speeding up.

After such a speedy run, I ended up resting the rest of the week, in preparation for Rugged Maniac, in my hometown.


I ran in the 9am competitive heat. I went with a sports bra, but went without calf sleeves because by the time I realized that I hadn't put them on, my shoes were already on.  I did have arm sleeves.

They introduced some new obstacles this year.  I'm not tall, so I was worried about Pole Position, which is kind of like an Irish Table, followed by a fireman pole down, but I was able to get up, fortunately.  They also had an uphill zip line, where you had to use your momentum with a running start and some body control to hit the bell at the end... it was challenging, but it was so satisfying to hit that bell!  

Got 2nd this time! 1st was way ahead of me, though.

Rugged does a good job of having good craft beer, and activities like stein hoisting, corn hole, and a mechanical bull afterwards.

They didn't have official podium pics this year, but a random guy with an OEW LB jersey came up to us afterwards and asked if we could do our own podium shot on him.  This guy was able to hold three of us on him arms and on his shoulders!


I spent the rest of the weekend with my parents.  My dad and I went on a run at the beach afterwards.  It was his first run in like 6 months, since he was away in Taiwan, so we ran/walked 2 miles.

We also shopped at TJX and Marshalls, which is what we always do for fun.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

RACE REPORT: Terrain Race - Myrtle Beach 2018


Sunday, Feb 11:
Wanted some cushioned shoes for my run today, after yesterday's rucking.  I had some stinging numbness in my left toes, for the first time.  My clavicles were sore from the rucking, but it didn't affect the run.  Rucked 1.8 miles to/from the gym.  The run was a bit harder than it should be, but that may have been from the 74 degree warmth of the gym.  Olympics on TV.  My excitement for rucking has been rekindled.

5.0 in 41:34, 8:19 ave.

Tuesday, Feb 13:
My thighs started feeling strong again for the first time in forever.  I think the speed sessions have kicked in, and I've recovered from Iceland.  I've been tired this week because I had taken preworkout with caffeine on the Sunday run, which resulted in poor sleep.  I don't regularly use it... I had been trying it ahead of races, but it didn't seem to do anything for that workout.  A good run today.

 7.0 in 52:35, 7:31 ave.

Thursday, Feb 15:
Strength session.  Oddly, less strength today than usual.
  • Crunches: 400/side
  • Plank: 2.5 + 2.5 min
  • Single Leg Squats: 2 x 60 (not at all deep)
  • Burpees: 60
  • Abductor/Adductor Leg Lifts: 40/75 + 55/110
  • Pushups: 13 was all I could do
  • 6 in: 60 + 60s
  • Pullups: 2.5
  • Squats: 65
  • Russian Twists: 100 with 20lb
  • Wtd Dumbell Crunches: 100 with 20lb
  • Assorted dumbells felt harder, with fewer reps than usual.

Saturday, Feb 17:
After the GORUCK event on Feb 10, I was really pumped about rucking again.  There's an indescribable joy, sense of purpose, and peacefulness, about having the weight on your back.  I went back to Freedom Park to Pokemon GORUCK.  It was mostly jogging, with some walking when Pokemon needed to be caught.  It was cloudy, and almost misted rain... good weather for a ruck.  I went from 0 to about 200 Pokeballs. 

9.7 miles in 2.5 hours.

Sunday, Feb 18:
7.0 in 58:07, 8:18 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Pretty good.  Had considered a long trail run or speed session as my final big workout before racing season started, but my legs weren't up for speed.  I hoped for a long run, but only managed 7.  Not bad.  A slightly tempo-y finish, after an intentionally slow and easy start.  Commercials during the Olympics are inspiring.  So nappy and sleepy today.

Tuesday, Feb 20:
Speed session, tying my record.
  • 1 mi warmup in 8:05
  • 4 x [5:00 @ 9mph for 0.75 mi, 1:59 @ 7.5mph for 0.25 mi]
Surprised it went this well.  I had considered rowing, initially, or even going home, because I was so tired.  My speed is coming back just in time for the first race of 2018.  Want to lock in my spot for OCRWC. 

Thursday, Feb 22:
55 min strength session.  Not high energy today, but time to get this in before the March 3rd Terrain Race.
  • Crunches: 400/side
  • Plank: 2.5 + 2.5 = 5 min
  • Abductor/Adductor Leg Lifts: 80/145
  • Pushups: 25
  • Lunges: 100
  • 6 in: 75 + 75s
  • Single Leg Squats: 75 + 70
  • Lower Leg Extensions: 105
  • Wtd Dead Bug Crunches: 75 with 20lb
  • Russian Twists: 50 with 6 lb
  • Assorted dumbells, arm veins popping!
Over the weekend, drove to CHS to spend time with my mom!  No training, just shopping, eating, remembering how to play the one song I can still play on the piano, and napping.  We did go on a walk on Saturday evening, which was nice.

Monday, Feb 26:
6.0 in 48:30, 8:05 ave, 2 degrees of incline.   Still had more in the tank, but didn't want to push it the week of the race.  A nice run.  Did lots of eating and sleeping over the weekend.  Olympics are over, so it's back to watching food network while at the gym.  Legs had been sore and stiff over the weekend from the lunges that I did on Thursday.  5.5, 3.25, then 2 pullups afterwards.  Didn't practice dead hangs, to not overdo it before Terrain Race.  I had done rings at the park a little big over the weekend already, anyways.

Wednesday, Mar 28:
5.0 in 41:24, 8:17 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Held back by stopping at 5.  Holding back is uncomfrotable.  Feel like I'm in pretty good shape.  We'll see how the race goes!


The womens competitive wave went off at 8:05am.  It was in the low 40's, and it was super windy, so I went with my wetsuit.  The race starts in a pool, which made it an easy decision.  We ended up only having to dip ourselves in the pool, rather than sit in it for minutes before the start, so it wasn't that bad.  I got hot during the run, actually, so I zipped down the back for ventilation.

It was a flat course at the Speedway.  It was cool to start the race in the middle of the race track.  We went all around the track.  They had many tire-based obstacles again, plus walls and rigs.  It's a nice mix.  The tall wall had a step.  The tire flip felt a bit easier for me than last year's.  The peg monkey bar / balance beam / wall climb horizontal traverse rig I tried 3x before I hit the peg at the end.  I lost time there.  I also lost time at the tire pull, which I could barely budge a couple of inches at a time.  I also got passed there by someone.  I thought I might've been top three, but when I crossed the line, I was told that I was fourth.  Just seconds behind third.  So disappointed, again.  I will have redemption one day... I will podium at Terrain one day.


After the race, I enjoyed a beer (Michelob Ultra wasn't terrible), watched Dr. Bronner's foam machine, then volunteered.  It was a bit too cold for me to be tempted to go into the cool mobile foam shower, even though the water's supposed to be hot.  Hopefully, they'll be back at a future event.

After that, I wanted to see some of Myrtle Beach, since I had driven all the way there.  I went to Broadway on the Beach.  It had been a long time since I went there last.  It was cool to see it again.  It's a fun place, with catfish to feed, lots of shopping and dining, and some attractions like putt-putt, a ropes course, Wonderworks, Ripley's Aquariu, and a speedboat ride.

I got a geocache while I was there.  There was a medal in there, which was nice.  It made me feel less bad about not placing top 3 today.  

It was nice to be out there an explore.  I haven't been traveling as much lately as I used to, and I miss the feeling of being able to explore and be care-free.  

My mom convinced me to go stay with her that night, so I did, rather than sleeping in my car or something like that.  I bought her some gifts.  She likes spinners.

Friday, February 16, 2018

GORUCK Light : V-day Massacre

This year is going to be a year of many GORUCK events.  Collecting the patches is so enticing!  I want to go on all the adventures, too.

They were hosting 2 Vday Massacre light events in Charlotte.  I was originally signed up for the morning session, but I moved it to the afternoon session when I thought I might be doing a race in the morning.  I ended up not getting to do the race, but that meant that I got to sleep in.

I watched videos of the events going on in different cities, for Vday Massacre, on facebook live.  I started regretting my decision to sign up... the funishment didn't seem so appealing, carrying heavy stuff in the wet and cold in the mud, with misting rain outside, while I was warm inside.

Once I got there, though, I was excited.  Time to turn on my competitive juices and hunger for adventure.  It was my first light.  In the GORUCK arena, I did a Tough (12 hr beat-down overnight) in 2016 and a Constellation (12 hr gentleman's event overnight).  This would be 5 hours, with 10lb instead of 20lb in the ruck, and less heavy stuff to carry. 

The mood from the beginning was different.  You get the fun version of the Cadre, who doesn't even require you to call them Cadre - he goes by Garrett, at Lights.  It's about having a good time, at Lights.  I liked it.  The Vday Massacre event was a mix of history and the usual themed event.  It's related to the Moran and Capone rivalry that grew in Chicago after Prohibition, and why Prohibition is bad because it impinges on freedoms, and what happened to Capone.

The welcome party was some sprinting, crab walking... a light and quick say-hello party.

I liked how Garrett sprinkled in some random Special Forces lessons learned along the way... first, Building Rapport.  Get to know people, to build their trust, and maintain it.

We carried one log as a team, and we called it a "still", since we were about bootlegging.  We went through the town, and went along a greenway sidewalk.  We split up into 6 teams of 4, taking turns on log duty, and on flag and team weight duty, and on road guard duty.  I liked being road guard, because you got to sprint ahead, then protect the road from cars as the team went through.  The "still" was better than usual, because there were others my height or shorter, but it's still hard. 


Our point of no return was another park, where we heard more of the story, and completed a task where we dragged our rucks up a hill, low-crawling to the flag.  We learned about Astronomical, Nautical, and Civil twilight, and how twilight plays tricks on your eyes because of the refraction of light.  That's why enemies like to attack then... it's harder for you to shoot back at them then.

On our way back, we learned another lesson.  We weren't sure of how to get back (we had to go back a different way from how we came), and a scouting pair was sent out... but we didn't have a GOTWA plan.  While they were out, Garrett told us about how we should know where they're going, others being taken with them, time planned to be away, what to do if they don't return, actions to take if either group gets hit while we're apart.  They came back, and we found a different way onwards.  

It was a light mood.  I enjoyed just being out, rucking, surrounded by people, meeting people, getting to decompress from usual life.  I like the mood of Lights.

We finished with the end of the history lesson, and then did an obligatory Tunnel of Love for Vday to earn our patches.  Fun times.  About 9.5 miles covered.  It made me want to do more events, even more than I'm already signed up for!

Alone in the Woods - Real-life Adventure, Bday, Snow, Visitors

Tue, Jan 2:
5.0 in who knows - forgot to start timer.  The run was harder than it should've been, cardiovascularly.  Been feeling cold symptoms since NYC.

Thur, Jan 4:
4.0 in 30:53, 7:43 ave, 2 degrees of incline - Interval Session.  Despite congestion, glad with how it went.  I hadn't planned on doing intervals, but after 1.5 mi, I realized that my legs were in the mood for intervals.
  • 2 mi warmup (8:35, 8:17). 
  • 2 x [0.75 @ 9mph (5:00), 0.25 @ 7.5mph (1:59)]
Not a full interval workout, but glad for even this.  Glad I still have at least some cardio and speed, even after the Iceland 24 hour.

6 strict pullups and 7 toes to bars, then 4 strict pullups and 3 toes to bars.

Sat, Jan 6:
11.1 mi in 2:09:02, 11:35 ave, on the trails.

Mon, Jan 8:
55 min strength session
  • Crunches: 400/side
  • Plank: 3 + 2 min
  • Lunges: 100
  • Abductor/adductor Leg Lifts: 85/90 + 60/125
  • Burpees: 50
  • Lower Leg Extensions: 100
  • Assorted Dumbells

Tue, Jan 12:
5.0 in 43:15, 8:39 ave.  Harder than expected.

Birthday weekend, saw Paddington Bear, which came out on my birthday.

 Sun, Jan 14:    ALONE IN THE WOODS

The trail system where I run is continuously expanding its facilities, and new sections of trail will appear suddenly, sometimes.  I started off in the late afternoon, and I saw a new part that I thought would be a small detour, but it ended up taking me 5 miles through the woods, as the sun set and disappeared completely.  My heart was pounding, going on an unfamiliar and newly cut trail, so new it wasn't even on the map yet.  Not knowing how long it was, or where it would lead.  Not even moonlight to show the way.  Nobody around.  I could get some sense of where I was from Google Maps, but that didn't help, with the dense and wild forest between me and roads or neighborhoods.  My battery was draining.  I had to keep a quick pace, using my iPhone light, to make the most of the light while it still had power.  Finally, I connected to a trail I've run before, but it's long, and who knows how far until I can get to the end of the trail.  33%.  A podcast on The Last Jedi keeps me company, keeps me calm despite my pounding heart.  Stopped periodically, to check what kind of progress I was making with the geolocator on Google Maps.  Finally, I hit a service road, and although it was still pitch black, it was solid ground and led me back to my car.  A wild adventure.  A real-life version of some of the adventure stuff that I like to "play" sometimes.  It was below freezing, and I had been in a short sleeve t-shirt.  It was comfortable while I was moving, but if I had run out of light and had to stay in place all night, it would've gotten really cold.  My worry had been how quickly I could get into work the next morning, if I got stuck out in the forest overnight, haha.  Hermione.

14.2 in 2:57:56, 12:31 ave... somehow kept that pace, even with the iPhone light running in the dark.

Made it out alive!

Tue, Jan 16:
6.0 in 48:59, 8:10 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Expected snow the next day, so wanted to work out while I could.  Excited for the gym today, while at work.  Originally planned to bike or row, but my legs, despite being slightly sore from the adventure on Sunday, were ok to run on.

Sat, Jan 20:
55 min strength session

  • Crunches; 450/side
  • Plank: 3.5 min
  • Single Leg Squats: 80 + 95
  • Lower Leg Extensions: 105
  • Dumbell Row Pushups: 20
  • Abductor/adductor Leg Lifts: 95/100 + 85/95
  • Pushups: 20 + 20
  • Squats: 50
  • 6 in: 75s
  • Star Side Plank: 60s
  • Assorted dumbells, left shoulder a bit off
Sun, Jan 21:
5.0 in 42:25, 8:29 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  After gelato, so still digesting.  Harder than it shoudl've been.  Tough week this week, emotionally.

Zipline and  rock climbing today.  Have been oddly pass-out tired feeling suddenly, a few times this week.

Tue, Jan 23:
13.3 mi stationary biking.  Not possible to run, partly because too full from apple, carrot, cheez-its, all-natural version of Thin Mints, chocolate, cheese... yeah, I can see why.  Knees were a bit complaining.  Ride mentally lasted a long time, since I hadn't done a bike session in a while.  No water necessary.  4 + 4 pullups after.

Thur, Jan 25:
7.0 in 56:13, 8:02 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Gym was warm today.  Treads on my shoes look worn.  The run felt pretty good, maybe because it has been a while since my last run.

Sun, Jan 28:
6.0 in 49:55, 8:19 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Didn't do the run earlier in the weekend, because my ankle integrity was lacking - plantarflexing wasn't too strong, oddly.  Decided to get out anyways, after feeling like I was dragging all weekend, eating, tv, sleeping, repeat, bleh.  Did go to church today... need it to survive right now.  Was waiting for laundry anyways, so might as well try the gym.

Tue, Jan 30:
50 min Strength Session
  • Crunches: 400/side
  • Plank: 2.5 + 2.5 min
  • Pushups: 25 + 20
  • Abductor/adductor Leg Lifts: 105/115
  • Lower leg extensions: 110
  • Single Leg Squats: 2 x 75
  • Squats: 100
  • 6 in: 90s
  • Russian twists: 35, with 8lb med ball
  • Assorted dumbells
Thur, Feb 1:
6.0 in 49:06, 8:11 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Surprised that mile 6 wasn't that bad, since I had been wanting to stop after mile 5, at first.  Felt decent.  Feared that I might be getting out of shape, and not race fit and ready for my OCRWC qualification attempts that were coming up.

I returned to the new trail where I had gotten stuck out in the dark, this time, in the daytime, to see what the foe looked like, in the daytime.  Get to know it.  Strangely, I ended up going around some other way, because the way I took today took me in a full circle, so I don't even know how I got where I got the previous time.

Sun, Feb 4:
4.0 in 31:39, 7:55 ave, 2 degrees of incline, with the Super Bowl on TV.  I had planned on doing intervals to try to get my speed fitness back, but my legs didn't have it, so I made it into a tempo effort.  Harder than it should've been, maybe because I was still digesting tofu curry and other foods.  Even used preworkout, for the first time, trying to get an extra boost, but it didn't help.  Oh well, some kind of run is better than nothing.  Left outer knee still a bit tweaked.  Right back tightened in the last mile.

During the workweek, family friends visited from Taiwan, with my mom.  I took them to my favorite spots, plus work.

 Fri, Feb 9:
3.5 in 25:05, 7:10 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  A decent interval session.  
  • 0.5 mi warmup in 4:09
  • 3 x [0.75 mi @ 9mph (4:57), 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph (1:59)]
After a week where I was especially tired, between hosting visitors and work... baggy eyes.  Thankfully, the meetings turned out ok.  Probably couldn't have done another rep.  Not a record-setting session, but very solid.