Thursday, July 23, 2015

Catching up on Workouts, then Charlotte

I had flown to Wisconsin for a few days right before doing the Beer & BBQ 5K.   I didn't do any workouts while I was there, though, since I planned on doing the 5K.  I should've run on Tuesday, but I was in no mood.  As a result, I wanted to catch up on workouts over the remainder of the weekend.

Saturday, July 18:
10.4 in 1:30:26, 8:40 average.  Long-ish run on the Swamp rabbit trail, to make up mileage.  The morning after the race, but felt fine.  Took it easy, listened to geocaching podcasts, instead of running podcasts, for the first time.  I'm really into GC now, and my plan was to try to do a 31 day GC streak.  In the last 2 x 1.8-ish mile laps, I started craving carbs but pushed through. 

Sunday, July 19:
55 min strength session... it had been 2 weeks.  Performance was still fine, though.

Monday night, drove to Charlotte.

Tuesday, July 21:
Tried running in a local park (Park Street Park).  It started off barely sprinkling, and it was nice to have cloud coverage.  It was a good-sized park!  You can get a decent mile per lap, and it goes around various sports fields and a sizeable pond.  6.0 in 51:58, 8:38 average.  I had stopped at about 1.5 mi to try a geocache, but I wasn't able to find it.

Had dinner at Luna's Loving Kitchen - good vegan food.

There happened to be a Geocache next door, too, so I picked that up after dinner (took about 35 min).

Thursday, July 23:
Morning run before breakfast.  5.0 in 40:58, 8:12 average, 2 degrees of incline = 7:52 effort.  Just trying to get in some mileage for the week while I can.

RACE REPORT: Beer & BBQ 5K 2015 - Thomas Creek Edition

After landing from my flight from Wisconsin, I made a quick stop at home to change into running gear, before heading out to Thomas Creek.  I didn't realize they were located so close to where I live.  They had a nice outdoor nook where musicians can play, along with an indoor bar on the side.  They had the big garage doors open, so it was cool to be able to look in and see the brewing equipment, too.  Beer & racing - two of my favorite things, combined.

It was a hot day.  I was among the first to arrive, since they had warned about limited parking.  I hung out in the car for an hour, with windows open and the Beer & BBQ SWAG towel draped over a window to block out the sun.  When the time got nearer, I found a shaded spot on the sidewalk, iced up, and did a super quick warmup.  We had to walk like 0.15 mi to the start, and people had started walking to it, so I went with them.  It was too hot to make me want to do much more warming up, anyway, although I could've used more icing.

The course was kind of like a lollipop out-and-back, which is nice for predictability and pacing.  They closed off the lane, and we were off.  I counted about 5 women in front of me in the first few hundred meters.  Over the first 0.5-0.75 of a mile or so, I started catching them, and I settled into second.  I couldn't even see first until about halfway. 

Chugged along, skipped the water stop half way since it involved a slight detour and saved a couple of seconds.  Started estimating counting down the 0.05 mi increments in the last mile.  In the last 0.5 mi, I was catching up to first... not enough real estate, and she ended up beating me by about 3 seconds.  Afterwards, I debated whether I could've pushed harder... so close.  I settled on the good answer of "no" - I was giving it nearly all that I had, at the end.   I could've potentially run more efficiently or paced better in the early miles, but at the end, I don't think there's much more I could've done, so I'm ok with it.  I'm not trained, either, so it's good to know that there's always next time.

The course was 3.02 mi on the USATF certification.  I ran it in 21:38, 6:58 average.  1-2 min slower than my PR, but this race was all about place, not pace, with the heat.  I won a 6-pack of beer and a Thomas Creek shirt - nice! They also had beer (Chocolate Banana Split Stout was my pick) and BBQ and an awesome (but loud) band.  Sweet!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

4th with the Fam and Cache Crazy (Jun 28-Jul 13)

Sunday, June 28:
60 min strength session.  Cuts from the previous day’s 10 mile trail race seemed to be healing well.  Got 10 hours of sleep last night, too!  Since I haven’t posted my routine in a while, here’s what I did: 650 crunches front-ways and per side, each; 185/185 abductor/adductor leg lifts, 25 military pushups tough but with decent form; 65 and 70 single-leg squats off a platform; 110 lower leg extensions (body weight), resistance bands for arms; 4-way resistance band for leg extensions; 45 and 35 14lb dumbbell row; 90s 6 inch leg lift off the ground while laying down; 30 superman; 30 tricep dips; 75 Russian twists.

Tuesday, June 30:
6 miles on the treadmill in 48:15, 8:03 average, 3 degrees = 7:26 effort.  In the mood to get training back on track, after doing a series of races and tapers since April and the Boston marathon.  Solid run.  Mile splits> 8:28, 8:19, 8:09, 8:01, 7:49, 7:26.  Work has been intense – my hand is starting to cramp after clutching the mouse so hard while on the computer.

Thursday, July 2:
6.0 in 58:17, 8:21 average.  Zombies, Run!  Legs felt used, and barely runnable.  Decent workout effort, but had to be careful not to verdo it.

Parents came to visit for the long weekend.  Went downtown and walked a lot in the heat, which tired my legs.  My dad was the one who first proposed the idea of geocaching.  He just had a milestone birthday, and he himself had researched GC but hadn’t tried it yet, so I got him a GC kit, with geocoins, travel bugs, and SWAG.
We went caching together – he’s better than I am.  It was fun, getting to do this with him.
Have also enjoyed the Womens’ World Cup very much.  Didn’t get to watch as many games as I would’ve liked, due to work-related travel.  Watched the 3rd place game with him.

Sunday, July 5:
8.0 in 1:06:57, 8:22 average, on 3 degrees of incline = 7:42 effort.  Did this while watching the pre-game show for the World Cup finals!  An easy 8.  Started slow and easy, since I wanted to be able to enjoy the TV coverage.  Was going to run outside with Zombies, but it had started raining – good excuse to stay in and watch the pre-game show.
The finals were awesome, by the way.  Felt bad for Japan.  Carli rocks.  Inspired me to want to start playing again, which I haven’t done since High School (albeit on the bench, most of the time).

Monday, July 6:
55 min strength session.  Legs not well enough to run.  After food coma nap after dinner.

Tuesday, July 7:
Intervals! 4.0 in 29:06, 7:16 average.  0.75 warmup in 6:13, 3x [0.75 mi @ 9mph in 5:00, 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph in 2:00], 0.25 mi cooldown in 1:52.  Nice to get in real speedwork ahead of next week’s 5K.  Glad to accomplish it.  Food coma had knocked me out again after dinner.  Had some tummy issues during the last rep, but made it.
Soooo wiped out at work over the next few days.  Don’t know what it is.

Saturday, July 11:
6.2 in 51:04, 8:13 ave.  Zombies at the park in the morning.  Had wanted to run last night, but slept through gym closing time, so looked forward to running the next day.  The run felt harder than it should’ve been, given the time elapsed since my last run.

Sunday, July 12:
6.3 in 55:32, 8:49 average.  Run at the park, sans Zombies… legs not well enough for them, and legs hadn’t been well enough to run in the morning, so this was in the evening.  Went without the podcast, even, since the Shuffle was out of batteries.  It was good, though… gave me time to mentally process emotions.  Highlight of the run, amidst working through stuff, were some HS kids who asked if I ran for their HS team… I responded that I was 29 (I’m actually 28, but I have trouble keeping track, now that the numbers are higher, and I don’t think that well while running sometimes), but I took it as a compliment.  Hard to believe… that’s close to doubling HS age!

RACE REPORT : Bare Bones 10 Miler 2015

My friend from the UK was going to be in town, and he had found this local race in Asheville, NC, so I figured that I joined him.  It helped that I had only managed one run that week, so I already tapered for the race!  It was a bare-bones trail run.  No pressure, and something different.  He ended up not being able to make it due to a flight re-direct due to weather.  I made the drive up, overshot the race location by a few miles because of a questionable address on the website (someone else had done the same thing, so I wasn’t the only one).  Parking was right next to the road, so others who came along afterwards could probably tell where to stop more easily.  As I waited for the race start, I even found a geocache right at the entrance to the park, like 20 feet away from where I parked!  Score!  My first one in NC.

It was a small race that had gotten some news coverage, so their turnout was higher than expected, at around 55.  The course was two x 5-mile figure-8s, with an aid station in the middle of the 8 that you’d pass 4 times.  The race start was a long and steep uphill, and I’m typically slow on uphills.  There was a 5-miler going on at the same time.  Everyone was tentative about starting at the front, because it was nearly single-track, and you didn’t want to be the one holding everyone up.  I tried to stay way to the side, even though I was at the front.

As we headed out, the hard uphill began.  I got passed, as expected… fortunately, this part was wide enough to pass.  The path got narrow.  At some points, the single track was waaay narrow, with a big dropoff on the side – tedious!  It’s a great trail to have accessible for locals, but they must be rolling the dice on not tripping and falling off the side, each time they go on a run here.  

I passed another person back, then was behind two other people for a good chunk of the 2nd 8th of the race.  At first, it was good to have them keep my pace reasonable so that I didn’t overdo it.  I had exerted myself way too much during the 1st 8th of the race trying to not hold up those behind me too much.  After a while, though, especially on the dowhills where I had to brake a lot to not run into them, I asked to pass – freedom!  From there, I caught up to another person.  

I was wearing my Salomon S-Lab trail racing shoes.  I had raced a large-gravel trail 10K in them before, and they stayed on well.  I was careful to try to keep the pull-down laces well tucked.  I had snagged the lace on a root in an early section of the race, though, so it was flopping a bit.  In the 4th 8th of the race, on a thankfully slightly wider (maybe 1.5 shoulder widths) and flat portion of the trail, I stepped on the loose lace and totally ate it.  My right knee and my palms got cut up, with a couple of scrapes on my belly, too.  Good thing I fell forward, and not to the side!  I hoped that I hadn’t done my knee any permanent damage.  I was in shock and in pain for the first couple of minutes, and I stood by the side of the trail and recovered.  One of the guys that I had passed, passed me back.  I started jogging again, slowly.  It may be like that for the rest of the race…

I finished the first loop, and back up the big hill.  I was doing a more normal running motion again.  Back around the previously encountered trails, checking out my wounds as I ran.  Lots of dirt in the wounds.  My motivation for keeping going during the 2nd 5-mi loop was finishing quickly so that I could get the race done and get the wounds cleaned up.

It was hard to tell how I was doing, position-wise, since you didn’t know how many were doing the 5er, and how many were doing the 10er.  The finish was as steep down as it was up, but it was a good feeling to finish.  Not the best-paced race, and the fall certainly added a few minutes, but I finished 1st for the women!  I was happy to grab some water and try to clean up the wounds a bit.  No antibiotics, though… I want to minimize the chance of drug resistance.  

The race had a fun, casual atmosphere.  Instead of medals, they had cute/unique pirate figurines with black ribbons on them.  That fit the theme of the race, and it’s cool to have something fun other than a medal every now and then.  The prize was a big pirate flag, which was also creative.

After the race, I went into downtown Asheville and did a quick geocache grab.  I would’ve explored a bit more, but parking is so expensive there!  5 cents = 3 minutes…. I know it’s not much, but mentally, it doesn’t seem right… a money-eating machine.  I ran to the cache, in order to make it back to the car in time.  I had found a couple of coins on the ground at the race, which made me feel better.  I actually found an Arizona flag keychain trackable at the cache and took it with me to the car.  But when I looked up its mission, I saw that it was racing similar-looking flags back to Arizona, and I figured that Asheville got more traffic than where I’m from, so I left it there.  Fun idea, though.

After that, I did a few more caches, before going to Highland Brewing Co for a tour. 

RACE RESULT: 1:33:22, 9:20 ave.