Monday, June 27, 2011

Warrior Dash / Sweat Your Thorns off 5k - Race Report of muddy awesomeness

So this Saturday I had two races on the docket: the Warrior Dash and the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5k. Because I love and adore efficiency, I ran them concurrently, which means I might come in last place for the first time since middle school/junior high track!

Anyway…I woke up on Saturday morning fully intending to do my first (and only) open water swim before the triathlon on the 9th. However, Mother Nature had other plans. Her plans? Thunder, lightening, rain, and hail. Not exactly ideal conditions for swimming in a conductor of electricity, so my friend and I wisely decided to nix the open water swim and bake Strawberry-rhubarb pie and Rhubarb bread instead. I believe this was

a truly wise decision. My stomach and taste buds agree with me.

The picture and recipe are from this website. You need to make this. It is the most delicious pre-race food ever.

Mother Nature decided to play nice, and the thunderstorms passed, so the Warrior Dash was still on. All the rain we have been getting washed away some of the parking lots, so we spent an hour in the snaking conga line of cars that were trying to get parking, which meant that we missed our wave. Luckily the organizers were letting people run in later waves due to all the weather related issues.

Finally, we were off! The dash took place at Amesbury Sports Complex, which in the winter is used for sledding. The first obstacle was the first obstacle was running up the sledding hill. No problem, I run on hills all the time! My house is uphill, both ways, from anywhere that I would go running! Wrong. My hills are conveniently made of cement. They are not made of grass and dirt, which has turned to mud. All I could think was: “This is going to MUCH more difficult than previously expected!”

In fact, four straight days of rain hadn’t just washed away parking lots, but had turned 3 miles of trail into 3 mile of sucking, sloshing, slipping, stinking, mud. Mud that I was tasked with running through. So I ran…and then I did some sort of high-stepping walk/run, and then I grabbed on to any available sapling or tree or shrubbery in an attempt to stop myself from crashing face first into the muck.

I’m guessing that after two days of Warriors dashing, there’s not a single baby tree left in those woods. Here’s why:

Those elevation changes are brutal! Especially when you’re trying to keep both your footing and the shoes from being sucked off your feet!

So part of the Warrior Dash is that you do obstacles in the course of your running. There were 9 of them along the course, but heavily weighted at the end. There were ropes strung across the path like cobwebs that you had to get through, this over/under thing (where you go over the short wall and under the barb wire), a 20 foot wall you climbed over, balance planks, a FIRE THAT YOU JUMP OVER, another giant wall, a muddy hill (that I went down superman/slip and slide style…aka on my belly), and ropes that you needed to crawl over to get to the end. I think the obstacles were my favorite part. They were so. Much. Fun. (Pictures of these will come at a later date).

By the time I got to the end of the course, I was more tired than 3 miles should make me, exhilarated, euphoric, and muddier than I have ever been in my entire life. Seriously, there was mud in places that there should never, ever be mud. Ever.

My time ended up being: 57:09.

Which is:

507/1,357 AG

4,984/10,306 Overall

So while it was my slowest 5k time ever, it was also none too shabby for the course.

So, I ran/slogged my way through this race. However, due to the unseasonably cool temps, there was a decided lack of summertime sweating. So not only have I (most likely) placed last in the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5k, I believe I have failed in the titular activity. No real sweating pour moi. I am sorry I failed you.

However, after I hosed myself off, I did get free granola. And a free beer. And a Viking hat.

After the granola and the shower, I did indeed have energy for standing.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sometimes pace charts are scary...

You know what's scary? This little chart here. My big, reach goal for the Marine Corps marathon is to get close to the 4:30 mark. This little chart says that it's entirely possible. It's from here, and the calculations are based on a 5k that I did on New Year's day. For reference sake, my time for the Philly marathon? 5:11. Gulp.

Endurance WorkoutsPace/MilePace/K
Recovery Jogs12:02 to 12:327:28 to 7:47
Long Runs11:02 to 12:026:51 to 7:28
Easy Runs11:02 to 11:326:51 to 7:10
Stamina WorkoutsPace/MilePace/K
Steady-State Runs 9:59 to 10:166:12 to 6:23
Tempo Runs 9:34 to 9:595:57 to 6:12
Tempo Intervals 9:26 to 9:465:52 to 6:04
Cruise Intervals(mile)9:22 to 9:34
(1200m)6:59 to 7:08
(1000m)5:49 to 5:57
(800m)4:39 to 4:45
(600m)3:29 to 3:34
(400m)2:20 to 2:23
Keym = metersM = milesK = kilometers
Speed Workouts
Middle Distance RunnersLong Distance Runners
400m2:01.7 to 2:06.92:04.1 to 2:11.3
800m4:08.3 to 4:19.74:19.3 to 4:31.4
1000m5:24.2 to 5:39.25:32.2 to 5:44.9
1200m6:29.5 to 6:47.16:38.6 to 6:58.8
1600m8:51.5 to 9:11.99:02.8 to 9:22.8
2000m11:18.5 to 11:38.011:29.9 to 11:43.5
Sprint Workouts
Middle Distance RunnersLong Distance Runners
100m25.1 to 27.626.2 to 28.8
200m52.4 to 57.753.8 to 59.2
300m1:18.7 to 1:30.91:20.7 to 1:32.0
400m1:50.4 to 2:02.71:55.4 to 2:04.1
600m2:53.1 to 3:06.23:01.9 to 3:10.3
© 1996-2006 Greg McMillan, McMillan Running Company, Inc.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The week past: A 5 minute recap.

This past week has been c-razy. I’ve run, I’ve biked, I’ve swam, I’ve played soccer.

Want proof? Here’s a little recap:

Monday: 3.15 miles as part of the Somerville Road Runners weekly Bur-run. This is the first time I’ve run with this group, and it was awesome. They were very friendly and welcoming, and I’m pretty excited to put in a few more miles with them. I definitely pushed myself a bit harder than I normally would on a Monday. Especially a Monday that fell the day after a long run!

Tuesday: I biked to the pool, I swam at the pool, I biked home. I contemplated the ability of my bike route to be uphill both ways. I might live in a vortex, I’m not sure.

Wednesday: 3.5 miles with my running buddy. Neither of us were feeling it, and only the fact that we had made this running date got us out the door. That being said, we were shooting for 2-3 miles, and ended up doing 3.5. Sometimes getting off my patootie* and out the door is the hardest part.

Thursday & Friday: I rested. My legs were like giant overcooked noodles. This rest period may or may not have involved quite a bit of eating as well as a few delicious mojitos. I shall never tell.

Saturday: 7.2 mile bike ride. It was real hot and real humid, but I finished in about 33 minutes, which isn’t too shabby, especially since that includes a lot of stop lights and some rolling hills. I’m feeling pretty good for the bike portion of that pesky upcoming triathlon.

Sunday: I went for a very leisurely bike ride with my 9 year old cousin. He’s such an awesome bike riding partner, and I love going out with him. Of course, it often involves him “conning” me into mid-ride snacks. I also went for a quick run. 2.28 miles in 22 minutes. Not too shabby, but not the 7 miles I was supposed to have done. Major training fail

Monday: Soccer game. First game of Summer season, and the team we were playing were rough. Like two-handed shove to the back, and then a sarcastic “I’m sorry” rough. I had a great time, but boy am I feeling it today!

There’s more running, biking, swimming, and soccer on tap for the rest of this week. Plus the added bonus of my first open water swim, the Warrior Das, and The Boring Runner’s Sweat Your Thorns Off!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This late spring heat wave is good for something

So we're supposed to have highs near the 100 degree mark, which is just officially too hot to run. However, with a month to go until the DAM triathlon, I think it's a fabulous day for a swim.

During heat waves, triathlon training trumps marathon training. Every time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Boston Run to Remember 2011 Race Recap

On May 29th, I ran the Run to Remember 5 miler in Boston. My finish time was a disappointing, yet not wholly unexpected 57:35. That puts me squarely at an 11:31 pace. While this was the longest distance I had run since the Philadelphia Marathon, and I therefore knew my pace was going to be slow, I expected more like an 11:00 minute mile.

Things that went poorly:

Well, as the time suggests, this wasn’t my best race. Not that I’m fast by any means, but normally I can bang out a 5 miler somewhere at a pace that is somewhere between the 10 and 11 minute mile mark. A couple of things slowed me down. First and foremost, I probably wasn’t fully prepared for a 5 miler. Like I’ve said previously, my life got in the way of a lot of things, and I didn’t work out all winter. I’ve been running fairly consistently since the mid-April, but I’m not sure it was enough.

Second, I had the most vicious calf cramps I have ever have. My calves squished up into tight, little knots of pain, and they would not un-squish. I walked. I stopped to stretch. I drank water. Nothing helped. Normally, if my calves cramp, they will shake themselves out by the time I’ve gone a mile. This time they didn’t relax until the Wednesday after the run. This sucked.

Things that went well:

I ran it and I finished it. Sometimes that’s all you can ask of a race. However, in spite of everything, I had fun. The course was amazing, and it wound its way past a lot of Boston’s historical sights, by Boston Common and the Public Gardens.

Best of all, my racing buddy stayed with me the entire way. We had a great time chatting and laughing, but when the going got tough, and the tough got a calf cramp, she was made sure I kept going. Laughter didn’t make the knot go away, but it did take my mind off of it for a little bit!

Overall feeling after the race:

Despite the vicious calf cramps, and the disappointing time, I had a great time. The race was well organized and had a great course through downtown Boston. Plus, running with my friend was amazing and a great morale boost. Like I said, I don’t know if I would have made it through the whole 5 miles without her.

I guess if a picture is worth a thousand words, this one says it all. My eyes are closed but I'm both running and smiling, so it can't be that bad!