Sunday, March 31, 2013

RACE REPORT: Dupont Forest 12K Trail Race 2013

Training Week:
Sunday: I went for an 11 miler to meet my Marchvelllous Spring Motivation Challenge target.  Another reason was thaht my body craved cardio last night... my blood vessels felt clogged and wanted some pumping out.  It was raining for a lot of the day, but I was even consider doing it in the cold rain.  I wanted to be outside.  It stopped raining for a few hours in the day,and I went then.  I didn't need any h20 or fuel during the run, although I did get a bit hungry in the last couple of miles.  I rolled my ankle at mile 6 when I didn't pay attention to the footing.  It was flat ground, but there was a dog up ahead that I was worried about.  It was worse than the usual rolls, and I considered walking back and calling it a day to assess the damage, but I tried running, and it was doable.  It got 100% better after a couple of days.  A dog, another dog, started chasing me at mile 10.  Boo dogs trained to kill...  people shouldn't have those kinds of dogs.  The run felt easy, and it was a good confidence booster.  It was good training for the 12K.

Monday: 55 min strength sesesion.

Tuesday needed to rest, after the 5K followed by the long run followed by the strength session.  Double night-time calls would've made it impossible to work out anyway.  Wendesday, I would've run for sure, since I always do my last pre-race run on Wednesday to have 2 full days of rest, but I had to solve an IT issue at work, and I didn't get home until 9:30pm.  Oh well...

Thursday: I couldn't go an entire week without running, so I did a Thursday run, even if it may affect my Saturday race.  I kept it short, at 4 mi, although I kept up the intentisy.  7:54/mi, although incline-graded, it was a 7:19 effort, which is pretty speedy.

Saturday Race...
The third weekend race in a row.  I missed racing during my 6 weeks of travel abroad, and I wanted stuff to do.  I mostly race 5Ks and HMs, so I don't know much about 10K-ish distance pacing.  I looked up previous race results and saw that last year's winners ran in 54 min-ish.  That's fast!  Especially for a trail run!!!  North Carolinians must be fast.  While at Princeton, I did 7 mi training runs at the 55-60 min range often, so I wasn't sure how I'd do at this race. 

It was a 10am start, which was great for an outa-towner.  I got to wake up at my usual time and make the 90 min trip up.  Dupont Forest is where Hunger Games was filmed, which is awesome.... I love the fact that I live less than 90 min away from the Arena. 

Got there, ran to the porta potty, got my number.  Considered wearing a singlet, but it got really warm, so as always, I was glad to go with the sports bra. They had 1 water stop halfway, and 7.4 mi is short, so I didn't feel the need to carry water.  I had a gel 20 min prerace, along with 3 coffee beans 40 min prerace. 

I saw the elevation chart online, but I didn't memorize it... all I noted from that and race recaps was that the first mile was downhill, the last mile is uphill, and there's up and down pretty evenly in between, switching about every mile or so.  The course was kind of like a giant loop.  It ended up going on many different trails, though, so I wasn't able to retrace the route during my postrace trail run.

The race started in a field, which helped to open things up.  There was 1 small water crossing in the first mile that could be traversed with 3 rock hops.  I passed people one-by-one for the first 5.5-ish miles.  There were 3 cameramen on course.  I tended to fly downhill, and I tried to use uphill running techniques going up.  Still trying to figure out best practices, but I think I did ok.  Small steps, and I tried using  my arms as levers on my legs for some of the steeper parts.  My lower back and arms got tired about halfway... I thought I was in pretty good shape in the strength arena, but apparently not enough! 

I passed the last cluster of people at around mi 5.5, and I surged to put in some distance.  They ended up getting pretty close, maybe 30s to 1 min behind, but I was able to maintain it... phew.

(race finish)

I got 4th for the women, which is better than I expected.  56:31... not bad!  I missed 2nd and 3rd by about a minute... wish I was a minute faster, but maybe next year.  I know the course now, and I can get better with uphills.

Postrace Run:

I splurged on Salomon Gear, after being inspired by Killian's Quest videos on Youtube.  Trail runners look like they have so much fun, and they have cool gear.  I've been wanting to test it out for a long time, but it's hard to justify the gas$ for making the trip up to the mountains.  This race was a perfect reason to go, and I got to hang out in the mountains afterwards. 

I brought water in flasks, but I didn't end up drinking or eating during the run, because I had already refueled postrace, and I didn't go for that long.  My intention had been to retrace the course, but the flags had been removed by the time I went back out.  I did ok at first, as I recognized some landmarks, but then I lost it, and I did some exploring.  The network is pretty extensive, so without a high-res map, I had to guess.  I ran into some nice bikers with a map (which I hope to purchase in the future), and I was able to find a straightforward way back to the Guion Farms access area.

I tried to map my run today... it was really hard, and the results may not be accurate, although the distance seems about right.  I was wearing a Garmin, but I lost signal a few times, so it may not be reliable.  I think I did about 6 mi in 54:02, 9:00 ave.

(my guess at my post-race run course)

Oh, I saw a pig in the last mile of the run!  That's a first.  I've run into a turtle, heron, turkey, and lizard on my runs, but never-before a pig! 

RACE REPORT: Milliken Earth Run 5K 2013

Training this week:
Monday: 1 hr body weight strength session.  400 crunches/side, 2:45 plank, 105/95 adductor/abductor leg lifts on side, 30 pushups difficult, 2x65 single-leg quad dips, 100 lower leg extensors, 40 and 30 plank dumbell rows with 8lber, 4-way hip elastic band exercises, 45 Russian twist with 6lb med ball, 35 supermans, arm resitance band pulls.

Tuesday: 4 mi of Intervals at 1 degree of treadmill.  1 mi warmup in 8:08, 4x[1/2 mi @ 9mph (3:20), 1/2 mi @ 7.5mph (2:00).  Wanted to get ready for the weekend's 5k.

Wednesday: 4 mi of Hills.  1 mi @ 3 degrees in 8:20, 1 mi @ 5 degrees in 8:20, 1/2 mi in 4:10 @ 7 degrees, 1/4 mi @ 2:05 @ 1 degree, 1/4 mi in 2:05 @ 3 degrees, 1 mi in 8:15 @ 5 degrees.  Decided to try to build up hill strength for the 5k, which was na XC race.  Not super hard, and pushed it about 85% effort. 

Two days rest.

Saturday race...

(Photo credit: Milliken)

I always look forward to the XC races on Milliken's campus, because it's a rare chance to race in spikes.  It had been raining overnight and into the morning, but right before race start, the rain stopped.  The ground wasn't muddy, thankfully. 

Mile 1 is always a little bit crowded compared to road race starts, but you can still get around alright.  I still felt good at mile 2 (last time, I was already in pain by then).  I started getting tired in mile 2.5, though.  I had a good-effort finish, keeling over at the end, though.  Result: 21:32, 6:57/mi ave.  Not a PR, bubt happy with the effort, and got 3rd, 30s behind 1st and 2nd.  The hard training week might've affected me some, but I'll be all the stronger for next week's trail run!

(Photo credit: Miliken)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RACE REPORT: Seneca Half Marathon 2013

Got back to the US on Friday, after almost 6 continuous weeks of being abroad, in 5 continents and 6 countries...

24 hours later, on the starting line of the Seneca Half Marathon.  I had signed up for it earlier that week.  All week, I was looking forward to it.  I had hoped to do a trail race, but its date was advertised incorrectly, but I found this HM instead.  I had been wanting to do it for a couple of years (this is the 3rd annual), and this was my chance. 

Because the previous week, I had run very little in Brazil, I was decently rested.  Unlike in many races, where even 10 minutes before the start my legs feel heavy, my legs felt pretty fresh.  I had 2 chocolate-covered expresso beans 1 hr pre-race, and 1 25mg caffeine Powerbar gel 15 min pre-race.  The gel had worked really well during the Cowpens Run for the Grasshopper 5K, and I was wanting the boost again.  Once again, it worked well. 

Started pretty well.  No doubts about whether my legs would be able to hold the pace.  Just kept shuffling.  It sometimes felt somewhat shuffly because the course was hilly, and you can't do much more than shuffling.  But it was alright.  I've been doing much more incline work in the months following Nov 2012's Philly Marathon, so I'm used to hill running strategy now, and I'm more comfortable and confident with it.

At the start, as many as 4 women were in front of me, but I caught back up with all but 1 within the first half mile.  At mile 6ish, there was the first of three turnarounds, and I saw that the #1 woman was about 3/4 a mile ahead... 3/4 a mile, only 6 mi in!!!  Also, the #3 woman was about another 1/2 mile back.  I knew there probably wasn't that much I could do to catch up, and I didn't have to worry about being caught, so it was all just about putting in a good race effort and enjoying it.  No pressure to push, which is good from a pressure standpoint, but not as good from a PR standpoint.

2 more turnarounds, and not much changed with the relative standings.  Water stops every 2 miles.  I was glad that I brought a gel for the course, since only 1 stop, hosted by the American Legion, had Gatorade.  That blue gatorade tasted so good.  I had 3/4 of the gel at about the 1/2 mark, and I didn't end up needing/finishing the rest. 

I finished 2nd, as expected.  I didn't need to bend over at the finish from being exhausted... just finished strong, that's all.  1:39:17.  Not a PR by any means, but I'm happy with how it went, considering how relatively hilly it was, and how it's the longest I've run all year, I think.  A good way to force myself to do a long run.

The race organizer and the volunteers were all super, super friendly.  It's a nice small-town race, and I'm looking forward to going back next year. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3-day Stint at Home, Brazil, Argentina

It felt so good to squish into my bed again... so soft and gooey feeling compared to the beds at the hotel.

After coming back from Mexico, I had about 72 hours at home before it would be time to go out again. 

Wednesday >  Intervals: 1 mi wup in 7:58, 4x [1/2 @ 9mph = 3:20, ¼ @ 7.5mph = 2:00], 1 mi cooldown in 7:29. 36:48 for 5 mi, 7:22 ave.  Legs speedy from start.  Left outer knee felt like some cartelidge missing.  Otherwise, the run felt pretty ez, given the long period since speed session. Altitude training in Johannesburg then Mexico City probably helped. Had to go to toilet for last mile, otherwise could’ve maybe kept going. 3 hrs of sleep last night.
Friiday > 6 mi in 47:29, 7:55 ave. 2 degree treadmill, = 7:36 effort. Splits> 8:32, 8:11, 7:58, 7:47, 7:41, 7:17. Hard to pull out of evening nap as usual, though not as bad as in the past. Legs felt good from the start, ez to be speedy. Mind tired, though body was really fine. Right back tight. Toilet emergency 10 min post.

Saturday > 60 min strength session.

SUNDAY, flew out to Brazil...

Monday, March 4. 7.1 mi in 1:01:38, 8:36 ave. Road run. Smoggy, mostly sunny, trafficy. Wore a visor, Saucony Paramount shoes (good for walking or running), Nathan ShadowPak, Paddington Bear, and my Camera.  A bit stop-and-go due to picture taking, directions finding, and traffic.  I went all the way to the jockey club just to have a special destination to go to.  Unfortunately, they didn't look like they were letting visitors in.  I wouldn't repeat the run, since it was so smoggy, but I had wanted to do it, despite the smog and the concrete, just to be able to say that I've run in Sao Paulo.

Tuesday, 40 min bike. Took 15 min to build up to level 7/16.

Thursday, 50 min bike. Lev 6/16.

SATURDAY, off to Argentina.... for the 7th time.

This would be my 6th week of travel in a 5-continent tour...

Saturday, 10PM, March 9th. Went form 11->12.9mph. 11k = 6.8 mi in 55:24, 8:06 ave.  At 3 degrees of incline. Wore the Brooks Green Silence, Adidas compression socks, tight tech tee. Heavier arm workout afterwards. 695 cal, w/o weight entry (so it's really 1/2-2/3 of that). Treadmill wobbly. K Splits> 5:17, 13, 11, 09, 05, 02, 4:59, 56, 54, 46, 39.

Would’ve run Sunday night, but walked a lot that day, and didn’t feel up to it after a late Buenos Aires dinner.  They don't eat until like 9-11pm.  I normally eat at 5:30 or asap after I get home.  Got to tour around a bit today.  Caminito is one of my favorite spots in BA.  The buildings are colorful because the people would use leftover paint from the shipyards to paint the houses.  In these houses, one family would live in each room.

Monday, March 11, 6am, pre-breakfast. 8K = 5mi in 39:52, 8:01/mi. 2 degrees of incline. Warm. Green Ssilence w/ Adias compression socks. 10.5->14kph. Pushed it a bit because limited time before I had to go to breakfast and work, but still progressively faster. Splits> 5:20, 10, 03, 4:58, 56, 52, 50, 39. Used non-wobbly left treadamill this time.

Tuesday, March 12, 10pm. 1 hr after dinner – felt it - bleh. 11K = 6.8mi in 56:00, 8:12 ave. At 2 degrees. Legs had felt a bit sore in the ankles Mon night, but felt fine Tuesday morning. Would’ve run in the morning, except exhausted this week! Ready for home and trail running. Green Silence w/ Adidas compression sox. Signed up for a small 1/2 marathon last night. Not trained at all for LRs, and I prefer a trail LR, but still very excited to go home for this. Just need to somehow rest up. Did some arm dumbells after the run. Wish I had the time to train 2x/day… this is like having gym access... like it.

Wednesday - watched street tango at the intersection of Lavalle and Florida Streets.  Amazing stuff!