Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year-In-Review

Highlights:- Business Trips to 5 Continents (South Africa, China, Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil/Argentina)
- First Boston Qualifier, earned at the St. George Marathon
- Family vacation out West
- New hobby: Beer
- Visited friends in DC and Princeton
- Foray into Trail Racing

Weekly Mileages/Training:
 
 
Key:
Purple = Week with no race
Yellow = 5K
Orange = 10K-ish
Green = Half Marathon
Red = Marathon-ish

 
The first part of the year was all about trail racing.  I built up from a 7K to a 12K to an 18 miler.  It was fun, but that last one left me tired going into the training cycle for the St. George Marathon, my 4th BQ attempt.  You can see that I didn't race at all between the 18 miler in week 20ish and the marathon in week 40.  Burned out from racing.  I wasn't expecting much from St. George, since I had a week where I was injured (refer to week 30), and I was tired.  I didn't get in very many long runs.  That ended up helping, though (the lack of racing and the lack of long runs and the lack of high expectations).  I took it easy, went my own pace, and did a negative split.  The downhill nature of the course helped, too, as did the perfect temps.  In the last quarter of the year, I tried a HM, but it didn't go too well.  I spent the rest of the year just relaxing, treating any sort of workout as an accomplishment.  Hopefully, it would be a good time for my body to recuperate, although my left knee continues to yoink periodically.

This is the breakdown of the types of runs that I did:
 
It still looks pretty good.
 
Shoe Updates:
 
In the past couple of years, the Saucony Kinvaras have been my favorite for long distance racing.  They're lightweight and cushioned.  This year, the Saucony Virattas came out.  They're even lighter.  They're my new favorite.  I wore them during the BQ race.  Another favorite is the Brooks PureGrit, which is a trail shoe, but it's very cushioned and lightweight.  I haven't tried any of the other models in the Pure* series, but I look forward to trying more of them in the future.  I initially purchased the PureGrit because it was mocha colored, and could pass for walking-around-town shoes when I went on business trips, but they're so nice for running, that I use them on the treadmill, too.
 
Stats:
Total Mileage: 921.5.... Since I accomplished the 1,000 mi goal last year, I didn't' feel the need to repeat it this year.  That's about 2.5 mi per day on average.
Total Time Spent Running: 5 days, 6 hours, 41 min, 51 s... about 20:45 per day on average.
Total Time Spent Cross-training: 2 days, 14 hours.  This consists mostly of body weight strength training and recumbent biking in the gym.  That's about 10 min per day on average.  This means that in all, I spend about 31 min per day working out.



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dec 14-26: ATL->GVL->CHS->FLA->ATL->CHS

Like a pinball machine...

Back from Buenos Aires, spent the night in Atlanta before heading back to Greenville.

Dec 15, Sunday:
Got in a 7 mi 2 degree incline run before the drive.  Went at an average 8:01 pace (7:42 effort), breathing through my nose the whole time.  I was light-headed by the end of it, but it wasn't excessively difficult.  Having no runs in the past 3 days helped.  Did some arm and ab exercises afterwards, felt so good.  Sore, the next 2 days, from the 35 burpees. 

Dec 18, Wednesday:
The treadmill in my apartment complex is getting progressively more broken.  Before, the monitor was slanted such that you could barely tell what distance you were going.  Now, the incline feature doesn't work, either, so I was relegated to a 0 degree, 4 mi run.  I was happy just to get in 4 miles, though.  I had to tear myself out of tiredness to get it in. 

Dec 19, Thursday:
1 hr strength session.  Foam rolling today felt really good.

Friday, drove to CHS after work.

Dec 21, Saturday:
Got in a run before our drive to Disney.  4.4 mi on mostly grass, with a bit of pavement, at 8:04 pace.  It was a bit tempo-y, because of the time crunch. 

Sunday:
Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom:

 
 
Favorite Rides:
Expedition Everest in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom is an awesome roller coaster.  The following pics are from the Kali River Rapids ride, but you can see Everest in the background.
 
 
 
 
The Safari ride in the Africa section is the next best thing to a real safari!
 
 
 
Another highlight of the Disney Theme Parks: The Smoked Turkey Legs:
 


 
 
Monday was a rest day, since we had gone from 8am->1am the previous day.
 
We went to Downtown Disney, where I got a vegan Cookie Crumble Donut and a vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Loaf Slice at Babycakes NYC.  They were delicious.  I ate the two over the course of 3 days.
 
The resort where we stayed had resident peacocks.  Here are the girl peacocks:
 
 
We were back at it in the parks on Tuesday (Xmas eve), this time, with my mom:
Epcot->Hollywood Studios->Magic Kingdom
 
 
(Dad photobombing Paddington Bear)
 
The Tower of Terror was awesome, especially at night.
 
Got to dance with a Chipmunk, who was a surprisingly incredible dancer, even in the costume:
 
 
 
And at night, watched the fireworks again... very crowded, so get your spots early:
 

 

Drove to Atlanta the next day, where we spent the night.  My sister's apartment complex has free coffee.  I would like in the coffee room if I lived there.... there and the gym, which is much nicer than mine.
 
 
The next day, drove back to Charleston.  My butt was numb from all that driving.
 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Buenos Aires, My Second Home

Back in BA for 2 weeks.

Some insane workload (as usual)... work all day, and then more all night.  I slept on the 45 min bus rides to and from the office, though.  It's thanks to my Napsac, an ergonomically-designed backpack that lets you rest your chin and give you something to hug as you sleep, haha.  It looks kind of ridiculous, but it's extremely functional. 



Sunday was a recover-from-travel day.  Visited Recoleta, and the cemetery where Eva Peron was laid to rest.  When I had heard about a cemetery, I was thinking of a normal, grassy cemetery, with white tombstones.  This, however, was an above-ground forest of all kinds of mini-buildings. 



Got up close to the aluminum "generic flower", which closes during the night and opens during the day.  We were staying in a different hotel this time, so I was happy to get to explore that side of town. 


Got in a 7K run in 41:04, 9:26 ave pace.  It was warm, and my legs couldn't go very fast.  2 degrees of incline.

Tuesday, did a 6K run in 33:18, 8:56 pace, at 1 degree of incline.

Friday, a stationary bike session at level 5/12, for 45 min, while watching soccer on TV.  320cal.

Saturday, work.

The funny thing about the southern hemisphere is that you have Christmas in the middle of summer.  You'll see Christmas decorations next to palm trees, and it's warm out.



Sunday, 7K in 37:23, 8:36 ave.  2 degrees of incline.  Went faster this time.

Also went on an outing to the Tigre River Delta, where we did a super-quick turn around a market, followed by a catamaran tour and a trip to the largest mall in Latin America.



Tuesday, bike session, 50 min, Lev 6/12, warm and sweaty.  Read Running Times, with Spanish Harry Potter on in the background.  370cal.

Wed, 7K run in 37:20, 8:35 pace, 2 degrees of incline.  1 bottle of H2O.  After a warmup on the bike while waiting for the good treadmill.

Friday, bike session for 50 minutes, 370 cal, 1 bottle H2O, running magazine.

This is perhaps my 11th time entering the country?  This time, I felt something special about this city.  It was invigorating.  It's been comfortable in past trips, since I had been many times before.  But this time, once I was there (not necessarily leading up to the trip), it was less about going back to the city for meetings (even though every trip is still exciting to me).  Instead, it was like I was re-visiting an old friend.