Sunday, July 17, 2016

RACE REPORT: Tiger Trail 5K 2016

Free race?  Yes, please!  

Every year, there's a Swamp Rabbit Trail 5K in May-ish, which offers a big race, complete with a nice t-shirt and festival with free food afterwards, for just $6.  That was amazing.  I came across the Tiger Trail 5K hosted by Southside High School's cross country team - and it was 100% free!  No shirt, which is totally fine (have enough shirts, anyway), but Road ID did sponsor race bibs, and other sponsors chipped in for a finishing chute, post-race food, and prizes.

The Training Lead-up:

While I was in Colorado, I ended up signing for two exercise challenges.  One is a target 90-ish day one (which will probably take me double or triple the time to complete) for the Spartan Hurricane Heat "Deez Nutz" Class 080 with a bunch of various body weight exercises and cardio with insane numbers of total reps.  The other is a challenge to run/walk/swim/whatever across America, virtually, in a year, set up by Run the Edge - Amerithon.  So, I'm mostly focused on getting those... since Deez Nutz has a shorter time frame for targeted completion, I'm prioritizing that for now, but running miles do count towards both of these challenges.

Thursday, Jul 7:
9.0 miles in 1:15:49 on a 2 degree treadmill, 8:25 average, 8:04 effort with the incline.  I couldn't wait to run while at work.  Splits> 8:34, 8:34, 8:34, 8:34, 8:34, 8:29, 16:34 for 2 (8:17 ave), 7:52.

Saturday, Jul 9:
Long run - yay.  12.2 in 1:53:49, 9:21 average.  It had been a while since I hit the Swamp Rabbit Trail spongy section.  It was nice and cloudy, no water necessary.  I felt and was kind of slower.  My arms felt like they have more mass to carry, with the new variations in strength training routines that I've been trying for Deez Nutz.  The Amerithon challenge has milestones along the way (to help break up the 3,521 Mile challenge), and if I got in 16 more miles, I would hit the 25 mile "Bay Bridge" milestone and earn my first badge.  I called it after 12.2, since my legs started getting tired, and decided to save it.

Sunday, July 10:
Deez Nutz 60 min workout.  I had started trying to run on the treadmill, but my legs weren't up for it, so I did this instead, at 10pm.
  • Pushups: 20+20+20+15
  • Squats: 135+85+75+60
  • Flutter Kicks (4 separate kicks = 1 rep): 65+65+50+60
  • Minutes of Plank: 3.5+3+2+2
  • Sit-ups: 125+95
  • Plus 2 rounds of assorted dumbells for my arms, to help balance all the push-related exercises with some pull ones.
Wednesday, July 13:
I moved my stuff out of my apartment over the last few days, so I didn't have much of a chance to run.  I was now living out of a hotel.  Got in 4.0 in 34:33, 8:38 average, 1 degree of incline.  Don't know whether it's heat or oddities of the Xterra-brand treadmill (never seen one before), but it felt hard.  It was 79 degrees in the gym.  Body really needed to run, though.  Earned my Bay Bridge 25 mi Amerithon badge!

Thursday, July 14:
I ordered a Go-Ruck GR1 for a Hurricane Heat 12 HR event in August, so time to start training with it.  I had 20lb of weight (the requirement for women), and I set the treadmill to 7 degrees.

The workout:
  • 3 x [1 mi ruck with 20lb at 7 degrees, 50 burpees]
  • 3 x [50 jumping jacks, 50 flutter kicks]
  • 3 x [2 min plank, 50 squats]
Wasn't too strenuous.  My legs were getting a wee bit strained in the second and third rucking miles.  Best to ease into it, but a good start.  The target for Deez Nutz is 100 miles of rucking over the course of the challenge.

I was going to bike on Friday to start racking up more Amerithon miles, but the 5K race was the following day.  I didn't do a taper like I would for a 5K that I paid for, but there were still prizes, so I wanted to do ok.  It's sort of a "training through" 5K, with added recent strength strength training curveballs.

The Race:

The course was cross-country.  I didn't have spikes, but my road shoes are light and have some grips.  Thankfully, it was a cloudy morning.  It looks like several cross-country teams were there.  It felt very much like a HS XC race, which brought back memories and excitement.  They were warming up and stretching together, doing strides, etc.  There weren't too many rando runners like me, but there were some.  When I was reading up on the course the night before, it said something like "a race to get you in the mood for cross-country season starting soon", and I thought to myself "in South Carolina, they do cross-country in the Spring?  That's odd."  With work-related travels for the first half of the year, I had thought in the back of my mind that spring was still yet-to-come.  But it's nearly August!  Wow.

We were all lined up on the grassy field in a waterfall curved line, and then we were off.  At races with younger folk, they tend to go out too fast.  As I was walking up to registration, it occurred to me that I'd be double the age of many of the racers there and felt old.  I settled in - no need to burn out in the first mile, especially for a race where I wasn't going for a PR.  I'd probably catch runners as I went.

The course was maybe 95% grass and looped a couple of times, which offered parents and coaches good viewing/cheering points, which was nice for encouragement.  It was a nice course, too, well-marked, and easy to navigate.  At about 1 mile left, a mom said that me and another girl who was just ahead were 4 & 5, but I couldn't see #3 at all, so I figured I didn't have much of a chance of making that up, even if I could.  #4 and I battled, and I pulled away at maybe 0.5 mi to go.

At the finish, water and bananas were great, and it was nice to cheer in the remaining runners.

Spltis> 7:11, 7:22, 7:57 for 1.1... guess I faded a bit.

3.1 in 22:31, 7:16 average.  About 2 minutes off my "usual" race-shape, but it was nice to get in a race effort.  It reminded me of how much I enjoy pushing myself in a 5K.  It had been a while since I did a stand-alone 5K, since I've been doing more Obstacle Course Races and trail runs, recently.  It's about pacing well and pushing your mental limits.  Love racing.

Great race - thanks to the organizers and the sponsors!

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