Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Training Spartan-style: GVL & SAO

3 weeks to go until the Spartan double-header in Colombia, SC (Beast + Super)...

Sunday, Oct 5:
Sunday after the 5K race.  My goal was to get in a LR while I could...I'd have this weekend and the next, before taper time.  The Spartan Beast is typically 13.5 miles, and I did just that, in 2:03:18 (9:08 ave), without drinking or eating.  I was thirsty during the last 0.75 mi laps, but I felt awesome having finished the run, afterwards.  Food and a hot shower felt so good after the run.

Tuesday, Oct 7:
65 min strength session.  Legs had to rest, yesterday.

Thursday, Oct 9:
Hill intervals... an important component of getting ready for the course.  I did a steady 7mph for 4 mi, going for a quarter mile each, at 3 degrees, 5 degrees, 7 degrees, down, and up and down, etc, then I did 0.5 mi at a faster pace at 5 degrees to finish it up.  4.5 mi in 38:23, 8:32 ave = 7:19 effort.  It was my first time with this particular set of hill intervals, and I liked it... 0.25 mi is Goldilocks just right, where it's challenging yet manageable, mentally and physically.  My legs finally felt recovered today, after the 5K + LR.

Saturday, Oct 11:
Last chance at a LR.  10.7 in 1:31:14, 8:31 ave, on a spongy, flat trail.  Off-and-on sleep the previous night (odd).... did feel it a bit, but not that bad.  Leg fatigue was the biggest thing.  Pre-loaded with water, so no drinking during the run... didn't even feel like drinking after the run.  Legs felt super used afterwards... at least the distance was decent.

Then... off to Sao Paulo, for my second-to-last trip there!

Sunday, Oct 12:
I delayed going to the gym all day, taking naps and watching youtube.  Eventually, I went up to the top floor of the hotel to hit the gym, only to find that it was under renovation, for the whole month.  I was supposed to be here for 2 weeks... this was going to be rough.  Well... at least it's nearing taper time, so I'm not losing as much.  I supposed that it would also be an experiment in increased strength sessions, since that's all I could really manage in my hotel room.  55 min hotel room strength session. 

Wednesday, Oct 15:
Lunch at work was special today... the local business people took me out to a traditional Feijoada lunch, which is typically served on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  It was good food.  Even the ride there was cool, though.  Brazillian music was blasting, and we bumped along the curving roads, with views of favelas... it was a Brazillian moment.

My body was craving a run, so I went in the park, after work.  It's a small park, and it's hard to picture doing laps around something so small, but I suppose that it's at least bigger than a track, and I like doing laps around that... it just feels different when it's supposed to be a park.  It wasn't that bad, though... I did a back-and-forth section that I estimated to be about 0.425 mi round-trip, with some kind of body weight exercise every 2 laps.  2 laps, 30 burpees, 2 laps, 100 squats, 2 laps, 30 burpees, 2 laps, 100 squats, 2 laps, ~100m crab walk and ~100m bear crawl.  Spartan style training.   Unfortuantely, it was the evening, and it was smoggy.  I wonder if it did more harm than good, from an overall health perspective.  Oh well, at least I'd keep up my endurance for the Spartan race.

After that run, I decided to play around on the playground set a bit, to throw in some obstacles.  There were 4 tilted, spinning wheels where you'd normally see monkey bars.  I watch American Ninja Warrior sometimes, but I haven't seen anything like this!  The first time I tried going across, the spinning from the tilt threw me off guard, and I figured that there was no way that people could get across that thing... I figured that kids would just hang from the wheel and spin.  I decided to give it another try, though, and taking advantage of the spin to get to the other side of the wheel, I was so proud of myself to make it across once, and I made it three more times.

Thursday, Oct 16:
Another hotel room strength session, since I can't do much else.

Saturday, Oct 18:
Between first breakfast (6am) and second breakfast (9am), I did a straight-up run in the park.  5.2 in 48:46, 9:23 ave.  It was a sizeable first breakfast, too... yogurt, papaya, tea, water, scrambled eggs.  Nose breathed.  Went until it got too sunny and my nose breathing body had enough.

Did a 3.5 hr walking tour later that day, in the old downtown area of Sao Paulo, which a colleague  had recommended.  I used to think that Sao Paulo itself was just a big city with lots of buildings and lots of traffic, but the walking tour guide made it come to life, telling interesting stories behind buildings that you'd otherwise not even notice!

 (frozen, pureed, Acai)

It was a free tour, all in English, supported solely by donations.  Most visitors were from Europe, but we had people from all continents (except Antarctica).  He'd give tips about places to come back and visit at a later time, and he pointed out various cultural phenomena.  He was funny, enthusiastic, and engaging.  Highly recommended.

I thought it was cool how the government put icons of nearby landmarks, in the pedestrian light signals.

After the official tour, I went to the Municipal Market, where they have all kinds of food.  The diversity of goods there was a visual delight, and I ordered a few traditional snacks, to delight my tummy, too... shredded fried cod fish, breaded shredded chicken cone, and a shrimp stuffed pastry.  I was craving protein, after all of that walking.

Sunday, Oct 19:
A morning run, before breakfast - I guess I was still full from all the fried food plus peanuts, that I had the previous night.  4.5 in 44:46, 9:20 ave.  Slow, after the running and all that walking yesterday.  Legs were a bit yoinky at times, but not bad, considering.  I did 6 lengths of the wheel monkey bars this time... I started getting more used to how to get across it efficiently... it was satisfying to see that.  Close-to-instant gratification, like learning how to pick out a new guitar song.  With running, it takes months or years to see improvements once you get over the steep part of the improvement curve, so this was cool. 

In the afternoon, I went to the other tour hosted by the group from yesterday, which covered the new downtown area at Avenue Paulista.  It was also very good.

Tuesday, Oct 21:
My last run, before the Spartan double-header.  Went back to the park, which was cooler this evening.  Nose breathed 5.2 in 48:19, 9:18 ave.  I like that nose breathing strategy right before a race, because I'm hoping that it will hold me back from overextending myself physically, while still allowing me to get a decent cardio stimulus, in a time when I'm not doing intervals or high mileage.  We'll see how it goes.

For dinner, it was a double-drink day... had a Thermogenesis juice and an Anti-Stress juice.  The thermo juice was fantastic, with acai and coconut water and something else.  It was thick and delicious.

Thursday, fly back home!

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