Friday, June 26, 2015

RACE REPORT: Lighthouse Run 10K & 2 Weeks in Wisconsin & Chicago



I had 2 weeks scheduled in the Midwest.  A colleague travelling in from the UK happens to be into running, too, and he found a 10 miler for us to do in our home city.  I flew into Milwaukee on Sunday and took in a brewery tour at Sprecher, but I didn’t run that night, since I was tired and in no mood.  Sprecher is more known for its soda than for its beer, and the beer wasn’t that tasty, but it was still interesting to visit, especially a place that doubled as a soda factory, which smelled strongly of root beer.  I did like the tap handle for water.

Monday, June 15:
Got in a morning run.  Kept it at 4 miles in 34:33, 8:39 ave (3 degrees of incline = 7:57 effort), rather than getting in a bit more distance, since there were 2 others in the tiny fitness room who came in later and who probably wanted to use the treadmill.  One ended up being a colleague from Florida who I had never met in person before – turns out she’s a marathoner, too!  It was hot in that room, anyway, so I was happy for an excuse to stop.

Wednesday, June 17:
Another morning run… last one before the race.  5.0 in 41:44, 8:21 average, 3 degrees of incline = 7:43 effort.  The AC was on for the first half, at least, so it wasn’t as hot as Monday’s run.

SATURDAY, JUNE 20 – LIGHTHOUSE RUN 10 MILER:
I was glad to have an opportunity to find the rare 10 miler, since I have signed up for the Disney Marathon, and they accept 10 milers as corral seeding standards.  My 10 mile time predicts a faster finish time than my marathon time.  I was also excited to get to know my “home away from home” a bit better.  I didn’t realize that they had a lighthouse!  During the week, I also discovered a great restaurant right on the marina, called the Reefpoint Brew House.  The views are awesome, the local beer selection is extensive, and you can’t beat BBQ.


Anyway… we did the packet pickup, then had an early night of sleep, before going out the next morning.  We arrived 90 minutes early, when the place was still empty, and just chilled, visited the restroom, and warmed up for the race.  My buddy is super fast, with 10Ks in the 30’s, so I felt special hanging out with him.

I haven’t been training too much after doing the marathon in April and the epic Battlefrog Obstacle Course Race of 20 miles in May, so I didn’t think I was in peak shape.  The race time predictor estimated a 1:12 based on my half marathon PR of 1:36, so I figured a 1:14 was reasonable for the shape I was in.  That would put me at about top 15.

We headed out.  We went through downtown, then the zoo (where I sadly didn’t see any animals), and along the lakefront to the 5 mile mark at the lighthouse.  I was doing ok with hitting my paces, but my legs were getting tired, and I wasn’t sure if I could keep it up.  The last 3 miles were particularly uncertain.  The second half went through residential areas, which was nice, since it gave us some shade.  In the last mile, we merged back with walkers, which helped to keep up motivation and energy as we pushed through the toughest part.  

I ended up making it with 1:13:05, which was a nice surprise.  75th overall, 7th for the women, and 1st in my division.  My buddy ended up getting 1st in his division, too!  

The post-race atmosphere was fun, with live music and even a mascot race.  We enjoyed lunch and beer in a sports bar afterwards.  It was a nice morning.






Post-race:
I went down to Chicago to visit a roommate from college, which was a nice reunion, plus fun times with her adorable toddler.  The next day, I hit up Chicago for a River Cruise given by the architectural foundation.  It’s true when they say that architecture is like gigantic artwork, and Chicago has the most remarkable and varied architecture of any city I’ve visited. 



I also went geocaching.  My first time with GC last weekend was fun, and the fun continued.  There are special places to hide things, and different kinds of places to hide things, when you’re in a city.  My favorite was this statue, both because of the hiding place, and because in it, I found my first geocaching-related tradeable.



Sunday, June 21:
After getting back from Chicago, I did 4.0 in the treadmill in 32:37, 8:09 average, with 3 degrees of incline = 7:31 effort.  It was on tired legs after all of the walking, but it was a solid run.  I had done some more geocaching on the way back, giving me probably around 20 finds for the day.  The best was one of the last, which was a box by a fast food joint, in which I found a TravelBug, a trackable item left by someone else, with a mission statement attached to it, which finders are meant to help achieve.  This item was a Fire Truck from the Czech Republic, and it wanted to travel and get pictures taken with fire stations around the world, and then find its way back home.  I brought it to a fire station, and I plan to take it back home with me for a time, before leaving it for another finder to carry on.



Wednesday, June 24:
I was going to do a morning treadmill run, but the treadmill was taken.  I decided to run outside, since I needed to run, and since I had planned on geocaching on the frontage road by the highway, anyway, I decided to geocache while running.  Someone had placed a bunch of caches along the frontage road, so I scooped up 7 total, during a 5.8 mile run.  5.8 in 45:37, 7:52 average.  At first, I didn’t feel like I was getting much of a workout, since there was a good bit of stop & go.  I decided to start running a bit faster, making it a bit of an interval session.  I didn’t go that hard, since I wasn’t particularly in the mood for that kind of workout, but it felt more like a run after a while.  Since it was close to the highway, there were some fumes sometimes, but overall, it was ok.  


Sunday, June 14, 2015

NC Hiking, Wedding, Cross-fit Trial Class, Sleeping Hard, Geocaching (May 20-Jun 13)

After the epic Battlefrog Extreme, I took 3 days completely off, followed by a single super slow recovery run.

Wednesday, May 20:
4.6 in 46:11, 10:00 average, at the park, in the evening.  I had to use bandaids on my ankles all week, since the skin was rubbed away.  I had to take the last lap tenderly, because of the additional chafing of the bandaid against the raw skin.  My right pointer toe felt like it was getting bruised.  My left bottom rib bone had stabbing pains, too... probably a phantom pain, though.  0.75 mi splits> 7:47, 7:48, 7:45, 7:36, 7:42, 7:29.  Took another 2 days off after this.

Saturday, May 23:
50 min body weight strength session.  Did this at 3am, after sleeping from 8pm-2am the previous night.  I woke up with my body feeling somewhat normal again. 

Later that day, met up with a friend in Western NC, to hike Grandfather Mountain.  It was the most expensive mountain I've ever hiked, at $20 per person!  Not even per car!  My local mountain is $2, and even that is more than the $0 that I'm used to from other places.  To their credit, they have nice facilities, lots of crew members along the trail, a nature museum and animal zoo,  a swinging bridge, and some hard-core trails to maintain.  You get a CD of an audio tour to play in your car as you drive towards the trailhead, too.


What made these trails special was the fact that some sections are passable only by ladder.  Some of the ladders (not the one pictured) were pretty much on cliff faces, too, with some not insignificant wind blowing against you as you try to make your way up the giant rungs.  Don't look down!  

The views were great.  I didn't even notice the Grandfather's face in the rock until I was looking at pictures with my dad, afterwards, and he pointed it out.



Some parts had ropes to help you get up the steep rocks, too.  On the steep downhills, I ended up using my triceps a lot to let myself down easy, and to try to make things easier on my knees.


The following day, I headed down to the Asheville and Montreat area.  I stopped by Thirsty Monk to try a nice local brew, before going to a wedding of a very sweet friend from college.




Monday, May 25:
Run at the park, with zombies.  7.5 in 59:52, 7:59 average.  Felt good.  My heart needed the air and cardio, after a recovery week from Battlefrog.  

Wednesday, May 27:
More zombies at the park.  5.3 in 48:39, 9:03 average.  Trying to get back into the swing of normal training after cycles of hard racing and hard recovery.  Started really slow b/c I had eaten too much pre-run, as always.  

Friday, May 29:
Zombies again.  7.7 in 1:08:23, 8:53 average.  Legs were pretty fresh, but I was soooo tired physically and mentally... I groaned and feared falling asleep while running.  It got a bit better as time went on and temps went down.

Sunday, May 31:
Tried a free trial Crossfit class at Swamp Rabbit.  Quick 300m warmup, then 3x [arm range-of-motion stretches, 10x 38lb Russian kettlebell swings, 20 mountain climbers, 30second plank].  The 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) was quick but intense.  After each round, you collected a chip, to track how many you did.  I got in 5 full sets of [15 ab mat situps, 15 24 lb Russian kettlebell swings, 10 burpees, 300M run] and got the 6th round all the way to right before the run, just behind the first place girl who finished her burpees right before I did.  I thought I was in shape, but a couple of people were beating me for much of the AMRAP.  My abs had a tough time the last couple of rounds during situps, and the runs got progressively harder.  Short, but spent.  Efficient way to get in a workout.


Monday, Jun 1:
Treadmill 2 degree run.  1st time in the Adidas Adios Boost, which was pretty minimalist.  6.5 in 53:37, 8:15 average = 7:55 effort.   Splits> 8:28, 26, 22, 18, 13, 02, 3:45 for 0.5.  Upper arms, quads, and even abs were sore today, from the Cross-fit demo!

Wednesday, Jun 3:
Zombies at the park.  6.1 in 54:51, 8:55 average. 

Thursday, Jun 4:
55 min strength session.  Right upper arm and front deltoids oddly strained, maybe from Cross-fit this weekend.  Somewhat phoned this one in, since I needed to be careful with my arm and tibialis anterior.

Saturday, Jun 6:
Run at the park.   Wanted a long run... did 9.2 in 1:30:00, 9:44 average.  That's fine.  0.75 mi lap splits> 8:04, 7:42, 36, 34, 33, 32, 28, 28, 20, 24, 10, 04.  Legs stiff.  Could feel like my glutes weren't pulling their weight, since they had to do all the work instead of the rest of my legs which were spent.  Outrunning the duration of my podcast was my motivation.

Slept ALL DAY Sunday... ate, napped, ate, napped, etc.

Monday, Jun 8:
First speedwork in a looong time!  4.0 in 29:03, 7:16 average.  1 mi warmup in 8:03, 3x [5:01 for 0.75 mi @ 9mph, 1:59 for 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph].  Suprised I got that last rep in, instead of stopping at 0.5 mi.  9mph didn't feel too strenuous, maybe because of Zombie efforts being harder.

Rested the next 3 days, since work has been extremely fast-paced and draining... would sleep early at night and still not feel quite rested.

Friday, Jun 12:
Zombies at the park.  7.0 in 1:00:39, 8:40 average.  Ate fairly lightly.  Left arch had been complaining since the speed session on Monday, but it held up during the run.

Saturday, Jun 13:
50 min strength session.

Earlier that day, I tried Geocahcing for the first time.  People hide boxes or smaller containers and post their coordinates.  People find them and either sign the log, or, if it's a box, trade items, too.


(Find #1 - took me maybe 30 min.... had to step up on a wall and realize that the well-disguized bolt was actually a container!)

There were 3 close to my apartment, and I found them all.  Two were very hard, and I had nearly given up or missed them.  The third was easy.  Interesting hobby.

(Find #2 much easier and intuitive)

Now, you can try find #3.... also a hard one... here's a broad picture....



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scroll down for the answer



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Fun!  I want to try one with a box and trade things, though.