Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Spartan Carolinas Volunteer, Wisconsin, & Inching Towards the Marathon (Nov 8-Dec 3)

After I got back from the Battlefrog and travel adventures, I caught up on sleep to recover from the past 2 crazy nights of geocaching and going to Battlefrog from Canada.

Monday, Nov 9:
Ran 4.5 in 38:15, 8:30 average at 3 degrees, 7:49 effort.  Upper arms sore, legs and abs somewhat sore, but ready to run again, after the 5 mile obstacle course on Saturday.

Wednesday, Nov 11:
5.0 in 40:54, 8:11 average at 2 degrees, 7:51 effort.  Nearly did a strength session instead, but I was overdue for a run.  Eyes were tired and a stressful week.

Friday, Nov 13:
55 min body weight strength session.


Saturday, I volunteered at Registration for the Spartan Carolinas race.  It was intense, non-stop action & fun.  In the early part of the day, it was being as efficient as possible, helping people get their packets and checking IDs, while also encouraging them.  I felt excited for what each courageous person was about to experience.  After the bulk of registration was over, we were re-assigned to various tasks, from posting the next day's bib numbers, to removing timing chips from muddy wristbands, to moving firewood from one pile to another, to verifying and giving out multi-trifecta medals.  For each triplicate of races after your first, you get an increasingly large medal.  The largest one we gave out was probably a 6x, which means 18 races... just the travel cost must've been huge, but that giant giant medal was proportionately huge. 

(chips on chips on chips)

Sunday, Nov 15:
Because of the upcoming marathon, I didn't race this weekend, although it was pretty tempting.  I don't want to over-exert myself or risk injury, though.  I volunteered again the next day, for an 8-hr session (vs. a 16-hr session), officially under course pre-running.  With headlamps, we walked part of the remote section of the course, on trails that the ATVs couldn't handle, picking up trash and resetting course markers.  After that, we got re-deployed to bag check, which was fun to do again.  They changed the system again, to allow people to bring their own bags, and to have people bring their own bags to the hanging area.  It's good to see an organization be willing to try different systems to see what's optimal, and to be open to feedback.  Spartan is good about putting out surveys for both runner and volunteer experiences.  I find that organizations that put out surveys have markedly better organization.  It makes you wonder whether it's the chicken or egg that came first... organizational greatness or surveys, or both happening at the same time.

I was supposed to do a 20 miler that weekend, but when I got home from the Sunday volunteer session, it took me a while to get ready to run, and by the time I did, the only option left was treadmill running, and even with that, I only had about 1:30:00 to get something in, so all I did was a 10er in 1:31:49, 9:11 average, at 2 degrees - 8:47 effort.  I had lots of carrots, oranges, apples, and peanut butter over the weekend.  My legs were a bit worn from standing all day.  I was tired from the drive home.  I figured that I could potentially make up the 20 miler early the next week, during the weekday, although it would only be possible on the treadmill. 

Tuesday, Nov 17:
Interval session - getting in some quality training while I can, before full-blown tapering.  3.1 in 22:32, 7:16 average.  My goal had been the make-up 20 miler, but intervals weren't too bad.  Workout: 0.5 mi warmup in 4:00, 0.75 mi @ 9 mph (5:00 min), 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph (1:58 min), 0.5 mi @ 9mph (3:21 min), 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph (1:59 min), 0.25 mi @ 9mph (1:41 min), 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph (1:59 min), 0.35 in 2:31, = 7:00 effort.  Got home after a long day at work.  Not much time for a makeup 20 miler.  Considered sleeping instead.  Felt a bit weak sauce for only doing a 3.1 mi interval session, but it's better than nothing.

Thursday, Nov 19:
Workout 1: 50 min strength session at 5am.
Workout 2: AT 9 pm,10.0 mi in 1:25:04, 8:30 average, at 2 degrees of incline = 8:08 effort.  Good run, especially given the strength session in the morning making this day a double-workout day (first of this marathon training cycle).  Started slow and easy, so able to finish strong.  My goal had been to do as much as I could.

 Saturday, Nov 21:
I couldn't make up for last week's missed 20 miler this weekend, since it takes a day to recover from each mile of run, and it was already within 15 days of my marathon.  I could bump up this weekend's 12 miler to 14-16 miles, though, so I went with 14 in 2:05:36, 8:59 average.  I tried some new shoes (the New Balance 1223) for the first time.  I had run in several pairs of 1224s and a 1225 in the past, and they were great motion control shoes.  I had run in those other models with special insoles in the past, and I didn't use insoles with this one, though.  I worried about the lack of arch support in the first mile, but my feet got used to it, and my arches loosened up and felt better.  I didn't do 16 miles because I started feeling it... better undercooked than overcooked.

Sunday, Nov 22:
Still wanted to make up for some lost training.  Did Zombies, for a semi-speed session.  7.0 in 1:01:49, 8:44 average.  Legs felt ok, even with the previous day's run.  Wanted to inject some speed into my runs while I could.  A good, typical Zombies session.

Tuesday, Nov 24:
6.0 in 48:42, 8:07 ave @ 2 degrees of incline = 7:48 effort.  Easy run, 2 weeks before the marathon.  Changed up my striding patterns a lot, to not overstress any one muscle group.  Would've liked to push it a bit or to try going longer, but it's supposed to be taper time.  It was easier towards the end of each mile to want to do another mile, which was odd.  Having and outlasting another girl on the treadmill next to me was also another incentive to keep going.

Wednesday, legs were a bit sore.  Thursday, not in the mood to run.

Friday, Nov 27:
55 min strength session - last before the marathon.

Saturday, Nov 28:
8.0 in 1:07:27, 8:26 average, 2 degrees of incline = 8:05 effort.  Last "longer" run before the race.  My first time in Brooks PureFlows.  I've run in their PureGrit, PureCadence, and PureConnect before.  Each is different but good in ints own way.  Different levels of cushioning and feel.  The Pureflows were very cushy.  I considered doing the marathon in it.  My legs hadn't wanted to run during the first part of the day. 

Sunday, flew to Milwaukee.  Geocached.  Did another night cache (my second, ever), did a webcam cache, found another letterbox.

Wednesday, Dec 2:
Last run.  I didn't run any other day in the week, since my legs didn't feel 100% fresh, and there was no real benefit in pushing things.  4.0 in 34:17, 8:34 average at 2 degrees = 8:12 effort.  Pureflows still felt cushy, although my right foot, which has been structurally off a bit, still felt it. 

Thursday - flew back home.