Sunday, April 30, 2017

Last 20 for Boston, Tapering, and Spartan Volunteering

Sunday, Mar 26:
I did my last 20er for Boston at the Whitewater Center's parade loop, which circles their man-made whitewater course.  In my three 20's, I've gone to progressively flatter trails, which suits the need for specificity and risk management from ankle rolls.  This was a mixture of concrete, gravel, and mostly, grass.  It was cloudy and had heavy rain for about 30 minutes.  I had a bathroom break at mile 9, which is convenient on this course, and a mini Clif Builder's Bar at mile 12.  My posture felt good throughout, and I didn't bonk.  I'm not sure how the tracker found 1653 ft of elevation gain, though, since it's mostly flat.  I took more cherry juice, to help with recovery, finishing the bottle that I started yesterday after the 5K.  I craved protein the rest of the day.  It was a successful last key weekend of training before the taper.  20.0 in 3:04:59, 9:14 ave.

Monday, Mar 27:
I did a 45 min strength session (including burpee time), which is usually a good body re-set after long runs.  I continued to try to chip away at the Deez Nutz WOD.
  • Burpees: 200 (a single-shot PR), with my tibialis anterior complaining some
  • Sit-ups: 205
  • Plank: 3 + 2.5 = 5.5
  • Flutter Kicks (4-count): 45 + 50 + 45 = 140
  • Stairs: 17x2 (earlier in the day)
  • Ruck: 1.4 (to/from the gym)
  • Assorted dumbell rows
Tuesday, Mar 28:
After the 150 burpees, I was really tired, and could've easily taken a nap right on the yoga mat at my workplace's gym, like blacking out tired.  Did a run afterwards, anyway.  6.0 in 49:51, 8:19 ave.

Wednesday, Mar 29:
13.6 sweaty miles in an hour on the stationary bike.  I was tired earlier in the day, but my Spartan friend B.L. messaged me, which gave me the motivation I needed.  My right knee was a bit off mid-way through the biking session, but it got better.

Thursday, I rested, because my legs felt like they were recovering.  I could've pushed through, but I had had 5 workout days in a row.  Don't mind the rest!  Probably a good choice, since my knee has been testy this week.  Traffic going home from work directly after work was bad, though, so I decided that it is better to go to the gym after work when I am feeling ok, since I'd either be spending time there or in traffic, anyway.

Friday, Mar 31:
After my burpees, I wasn't in the mood for either biking or running, so I took the opportunity to try this gym's rowing machine for the first time.  I didn't go particularly hard, since I wasn't looking for that on this day.  I tried to figure out the best form, and ways to get the most power, and how to not injure myself doing anything stupid.  It was kind of nice to use pulling muscles for once, after doing so much pushing with burpees.  Since I had taken it easy during the rowing, I did another set of burpees afterwards.  I was surprised to see that the pace of rowing was similar to the pace of an easy run.  5K in 27:42, 8:56 ave.

There was a bird who watched me do burpees a few times.  It would go up and down, and knock on the window.  I think it might've been just getting excited about its own reflection, and probably wasn't trying to do burpees with me.  But it was nice to think that there was a friend there.

Saturday, Apr 1:
Last long-ish run before Boston.  12.1 in 2:01:23, 10:02 ave, with 4 laps around the Whitewater Center's Lake Loop.  I managed to make it with no bathroom break and no water or food.  What I would've otherwise peed got re-absorbed, I think, as I got dehydrated.  Rolled ankle a bit 3x during my first lap!  Legs don't have as much integrity, and nerves are fried, so I'm not surprised.  It was a pretty progressive run, and I felt reasonable, although I started getting tired legs at the end.  My main goal was to outlast having to use the restroom or get water.  Didn't do burpees afterwards.

Sunday, Apr 2, I did the course build for the Spartan Sprint in Charlotte.  I tend to be proud of myself for accomplishing the littlest of adulting things, like getting my oil changed (by someone else), assembling furniture that doesn't come pre-assembled, watering my lawn, etc.  I'm not the most handy, so I was proud to have helped to build a few obstacles with a fellow volunteer (another girl, who happens to be a GORUCK GRT) and our staff member leader.

We made:
  • Over-walls
  •  Hurdles
  • What may be the longest barbed wire I've seen at a race, 150 yards worth.  If you think Barbed Wire through mud is a beast to go through, try building it.  I'll never see the barbed wire course the same way again, after knowing what the course builders go through to unwind heavy rolls of sharp wire, through mud... our mud was mixed with cow poo and pee, too.
The manual labor was really satisfying.  We got a BBQ lunch, too, which I've been craving, so it was awesome.  The volunteering day felt like a Spartan Hurricane Heat, between the heavy carries of logs and rolls of wire, the teamwork to get stuff done, the wire, and the mud.  

Monday, Apr 3:
13.3 mi of stationary biking in 60 min.  The backs of my shoulders were sore today from the course build, and possibly from doing the rowing session a couple of days ago.  I had considered just going home after work, but it was stormy, which would've made rush hour traffic worse, anyway.

Tuesday, Apr 4:
5.0 in 40:05, 8:01 ave. A slow start, and I feared I might be overtraining, with doing so many workouts after burpees since I was already at the gym and would need a shower anyway.  But I felt better as I went along.  I could tell that the run was hard on my body, but that it was used to speed, after doing races recently.  I started growing a little apprehensive about the big racing schedule that I had already planned for the rest of the year, in case I burned out, but I'll just focus more on recovering and keeping a good balance of training and recovery.

Wednesday, Apr 5:
13.6 mi of stationary biking in 60 min, after burpees.

Friday, Apr 7:
13.2 mi of stationary biking in 60 min.  Didn't go too hard, since it's supposed to be taper time.  For now, I'm going heavier on the biking, to still rack up miles for the Amerithon, while giving my legs a bit of a rest.

Saturday and Sunday, I volunteered all day with trash pickup at the Charlotte Sprint.  Day 1, I was full of energy.  Day 2, I got a bad case of allergies and was blowing my nose a lot, and I felt hot in my long clothes (which were meant to protect me from the sun).  I worried about whether I was getting sick, but I think it was just the heat, since it turned out that it was in the 80s that day, and I was working hard.  I had felt ill enough that I considered calling it quits during the day, but I pushed through.  For the past year or two, I've had long volunteering sessions right before my key marathons.  Maybe not the smartest, but it's hard to resist. 

RACE REPORT: Triple C Brewing's Know Your Craft 5K 2017


It was nice being in Charleston for the weekend of the Rugged Maniac.  I've been doing the "10,000 burpees in 100 days" challenge in the Facebook group, and this was the prettiest place that I've done burpees for that thus far.  The set on the summit of Crowder's Mountain was awesome, especially since the crew from local Southern Spartans was also there and a few joined in, but my hometown can't be beat.


Sunday, Mar 19:

The day after the race, I went to Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, which is about a mile from where I spent most of my childhood.  I had even done a middle school history day project there.  I like to collect National Park Service Stamps, and since getting my own passport (vs. the family one we'd been sharing for years), I hadn't been there.  I rucked the ranger-led tour, to multi-task, and covered about 2.2 miles.  It's a pretty small site, but it's nice to have something like that nearly in your former back yard.

I really wanted to get some miles before the long drive back, figuring that I wouldn't have the energy or time to get to the gym by the time I had gotten back.  I therefore delayed my drive home and ran 6.0 miles, throwing in another burpee session at the dock towards the end.  It was temo-y, going 7:43 pace for the first 5.3 miles, since I wanted to finish quickly, and the last 0.7 mi were recovery pace just trying to get through, after the burpees.  I got home at about midnight.

Monday, Mar 20:

I did this day's workouat at midnight, after taking a 3 hr nap beforehand, to make up for the 5 hrs of sleep from last night.  5.0 in 41:59, 8:23 ave, after 150 burpees.  My right outer knee was a bit off during the ruck to the gym, but it was ok during the run.

Tuesday, Mar 21:

Biked 13.8 miles after 150 burpees.  My right outer knee felt like it was missing a bit of cartilage, so I massaged it.  As much as I like being in shape, I probably need to let this heal a bit, to not compromise the marathon. 

Wednesday, Mar 22:

6.0 in 48:37, 8:06 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  Felt pretty good.  Last run before the 5K, after 150 burpees.

Thursday, Mar 23:

Biking is the most I'll do in the two days right before a 5K, and I normally wouldn't even do that.  But I felt suprisingly good today, even after 150 burpees.  13.8 miles in 60 min.


After having debated about whether to do this race, I signed up, after winning some cash at my previous brewery race.  This race had cash prizes, too, which attracted more fast runners, I think.  I'm posting more than a month afterwards, so I don't remember all of the details and feelings anymore, but I'll do my best.

I got in early to ensure parking.  It was actually a morning brewery race, so it meant post-race beer for breakfast ;)  I had one rest day from burpees, so it wasn't a full taper, but the lead-up pre-race training-wise and race-day was otherwise typical.  During the warmup, my legs did feel a bit swollen and not too fresh, but warmups aren't always an indication of how the race goes. 

There were a bunch of fast-looking runners and triathletes at the race, with team kits from high school or college.  The 2016 results showed times way faster than me, but I felt pretty good about my chances at an age group prize.  It was a bit crowded in the beginning, but I caught people throughout, even though I did go out a bit fast.  It had rolling hills, and I was happy with the effort that I put out.  The course went through the South End neighborhood in Charlotte, which I've been wanting to see more of.

I ended up 4th female, surprisingly, and 1st AG.  I wasn't hard on myself for not getting 3rd, since the time was a good bit faster than me, and I already felt like I surpassed my own expectations with 4th with this level of competition.  3.1 in 20:32, 6:36 avewhich is near my typical 5K time at which I've plateaued, but actually about 8s faster.  It may even be my 2nd fastest 5K, or near there, so I'm happy. 

Afterwards, brews.