Monday, Jun 18:
South End Pub Run. It was warm. Since I had just raced, I didn't want or feel the need to go as fast as usual. I usually don't go after weekends where I've competed in something so that I can recover. However, this was the start of the Ultra Running Grand Slam challenge, where the goal was to do 400 miles in 3 months, to match the distance that the Grand Slam runners would race over that time period. That was good motivation. I couldn't wait to try.
I'm a low mileage runner, for a marathoner, so averaging 5 miles per day is a huge stretch for me. In maintenance mode, I may do about 15 miles per week. A max week for me during marathon training may be just above 30 miles in a week. I was curious to see whether I could keep it up.
Fortunately, the rest of the pack leaders in the pub run weren't pushing the pace hard, either. The pub run coordinator Nathan was racing Western States, anyways.
Tuesday, Jun 19:
Only day 2 of the Grand Slam Challenge, and I was already feeling yesterday's Pub Run, and the weekend's Brew Dash... haha... all my runs are beer-related. I did 7.5 in 1:04:42, 8:38/mi average, at 2 degrees of incline, trying to bank a couple of extra miles, in case I took a day off later in the week.
My incentive on this run was to continue running long enough to finish watching the first half of the Japan vs. Colombia game. I had a late start, since I had to work late. I floated between 6.8->7.4mph, which felt better than forcing a certain pace.
I had considered doing a strength session earlier in the day, but I wanted to get in miles. Maybe I'd get it in later in the week, when I needed a rest day from all of the running.
Thursday, Jun 21:
5.2 in 1:05:13, 12:32 average. Trail run at the Whitewater Center after work. Decided to try the run, despite my legs still feeling tired from earlier in the week. I wanted to take advantage of cloudy weather that day, and to use the trail as an intentionally slower and softer surface for my beat up body. It was hard on my legs, though. My Salomon S-Lab shoes felt plasticy and hard under my feet. It was much harder than a normal run.
It started to thunderstorm suddenly and visciously in the last mile, and was scary when I was going in an open field by telephone towers, since lightning started. The thunder was straight overhead and loud. It was pouring as I got back into the car. It was incentive to go fast.
I can't believe that I'm struggling so hard to even do a few days of 5 milers this week! My body is so beat up even part way through the very first week of the 400 mile challenge.
Saturday, Jun 23:
55 min strength session.
Monday, Jun 25:
Tread mill intervals. 4.5 mi in 33:46, 7:30 average, 2 degrees of incline.
- 1 mi warmup
- 3x [ 0.75 mi @ 9mph, 0.25 mi @ 75mph]
I've been binge watching 13 reasons why, both seasons over about 4 days.
Thursday, Jun 28:
9.0 in 1:13:22, 8:09 average, 2 degrees of incline. Got 12 hours of sleep last night, after about 5 nights with 6 hours each. I could've slept even more if I didn't have to work. I felt pretty good, so I could go long on the run. I started with a progression run for the first 7 miles, but for the last two, I was flexible about the pace to get in more miles.
Saturday, Jun 30:
7.5 in 1:35:11, 12:38 average at the Whitewater Center. While my dad went on a walk, I ran. He and my mom were in town for a visit. It as tough. My tummy was streaming with sweat, since it was humid and hot. The run wasn't easy, and it started to rain, which was a good excuse to stop it shortly thereafter, instead of going for 2 hours like I had originally planned. Afterwards, I watched a couple of recorded world cup games with my dad.
Monday, Jul 2:
Another interval session. 4.5 in 33:38, 7:28 ave. Didn't plan on an interval session, but my competitive juices kicked in when there was a guy on the treadmill next to me. I would've otherwise probably floated for some miles. It was warm.
- 1.5 mi warmup in 12:38
- 3 x [0.75 mi @ 9mph, 0.25 mi @ 7.5mph]
July 3rd, out to celebrate Independence Day at the Whitewater Center!
(official USNWC photo)
On July 4th, a little shopping and walking.
GORUCK TOUGH INDEPENDENCE DAY
I got to the start point in Chapel Hill at Southern Community Park at about 7:30. It had rained really hard during the first hour of my drive, but now, it was just lightly raining. It gave me time to do a little Pokemon Go, meet my teammates, and prep my gear. Most of the class was members of F3, from a couple of different F3 groups. A friend from HH12HR was also there.
Our team weight was a snake from some previous event, which is appropriate for "don't tread on me". There was a surprising amount of newbies, maybe a third. But since many were from F3, they were prepared. There were some coupons laid out that I had never seen before... some small cylinders and a large cylinder, included. The sandbags were all big ones, 60-80 pounders. That big cylinder, which looks small in the picture, was actually the worst thing, from what I hear... it was nicknamed the #doomtube during the course of the event.
It turned out that I was the only girl in attendance. The guys were all really nice, though. They had me start on the flag, but I was pretty quickly itching to get on some weight, since I was getting bored and feeling under-utilized. I got my hands on some small cylinders after a while. We soon learned that Chapel Hill didn't get the second part of its name for no reason... there were hills aplenty in the city. It never quite hit me until tonight.
I normally don't use the restroom at events, somehow. I did this time, though, three times. Maybe it was the heat, and me hydrating a little more than usual.
The welcome party wasn't at the very beginning of the event. Instead, we got one or two movements in, first. I liked that. It's different. It lets you get in the swing of things and get a nice little warmup, and it helps to break up the event. For the welcome party, which is intended to be a rude awakening where you get beat down with a bunch of PT and tempted to quit before the event even begins, we took turns going around the circle, introducing ourselves and leading the group in our "favorite exercise". We did 15-60 reps of it, depending on how strenuous it was. That was a nice way to get to know everyone better, than at a usual event.
During the movements, I did a little single ammo can, some 2-man large ammo can, some of the snake (which was surprisingly tough on your shoulders), some 1/4-1/3 full jerry can, a few feet of 60lb sandbag, some small cylinders, and the most of the med bag (maybe 20lb).
Between movements, we took turns telling the group about a LEO or military person from our area, who we were rucking for. There were some heart-wrenching stories of real life heroes in there. F3 promotes the idea of a circle of trust, and I don't know much about F3, but I feel like something similar happened that night, from the kinds of personal stories that were shared.
Towards the end, we were at a park, and we asked for something that was originally going to be saved for the Light later that day... a lesson on questions on the citizenship test. We got what we asked for, a little game where we were in pairs, taking turns answering questions, and if you got it wrong, you and your pair had to do pushups. Fortunately, my buddy and I made it through without penalties. It was fun.
Before we headed out for the last evolution, we also got a "choose your own adventure", where we could either take a casualty, or get in the water. We chose water. It was cold, and we had to get fully wet, and spray the air while saying "America!".
It was getting super tough towards the end as the sun was coming up. Carrying anything was absolutely grueling. My partner on the 2-man ammo can was giving me encouragement even as he was struggling to help me make it. Several times during the event, I thought about how I wouldn't mind quitting and just falling asleep somewhere by the side of the road, even when we were only a couple of miles from the end of the event. I was starting to feel completely depleted muscularly (not for a lack of nutrition) and wasn't sure if I could physically make it. Somehow, though, you manage to push on to keep up with the team and not drag them down.
Cadre J Dub is clear in his standards - a 20 min/mi pace, regardless of terrain. I like that. It's not some unknown and arbitrary standard that you have no clue about until the end when you find out if you made it or not. You know what you have to do and you push for it. Fail and face consequences. Make it and enjoy being a winner.
In the last stretch, we got to go through UNC Chapel Hill. I always like visiting college campuses. I was so tired, though, that I had to force myself to look around and appreciate it while enduring the suffering.
This group was maybe the best in terms of teamwork that I've been a part of. There were willing volunteers when painfully heavy stuff had to be carried. There wasn't fighting or getting frustrated at each other. We took challenges like casualties when they inevitably came, in stride, without complaint, and learned from mistakes. It was special to be a part of that. The newbies were TL's, too, and they did great, as good as any veteran TLs I've seen for the vast majority.
After the event, I met up with a friend for a place to shower and then lunch. Then, a drive home with nap stops along the way.