“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Training Tuesday: Heat will not break me!

Week of June 17-June 23, 2013:
Current Weight: 153.6 (Up the 1.2 lbs I was down last week)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 67.2 lbs

Still yo-yoing, but the range of the yo-yo is in smaller numbers by a couple pounds, so whatever.  :)

Major changes from last weeks workouts:  Re-packed my long hike pack so that it better balanced and cushioned.  What a difference that makes - the 43 lbs load didn't feel so awful.   I increased my short stair session with an Avery pack on Thursday by 5 minutes.  Switched up the location of my Sunday long hike, drove down South for some tougher terrain.  Wound up doing only 2.5 hours instead of 3, but worked harder for those 2.5.  My Monday recovery run was with the jogging stroller and Avery.  Oh what a difference pushing 40 lbs can make!

Fun stuff from last week:  I'm not sure if this is really fun, but I shaved off an average of 4 seconds per repeat on my hill intervals from the previous week, and that made me very happy.  My friend Richard joined me for my Sunday hike and we wound up having quite an adventure.  Met Team Superman at High Banks park for a picnic after my Tuesday hike.  This group will be running a 5K together supporting Dash for Donation.  Our fearless leader is the beneficiary of organ donation, and we call him superman. 
Up, up and away!!!
Here is what the week looked like day-by-day:
Monday: 5 mile recovery stroller run, avg pace 10:07
Tuesday: 1 hour strength training; 60 minute hike with 34 lb pack
Wednesday: Dam intervals.  (Ran 5 miles total)
Thursday: 1 hour strength training; 6 mile tempo-ish run, avg pace 8:45, 16 min Dam steps with 33 lb pack
Friday:  Glorious rest day
Saturday: 12.28 mile run, avg pace 9:28
Sunday:  ~2.5 hour hike at Tar Hollow State Park, 43 lb pack, 86*F

Some highlights in pictures
We saw lots of bunnies on the run people!  BUNNIES!
We saw squirrels, I called them kitties.
The water is even cooler when I'm not serving as pack weight.
Bullets of things to improve from last year's Humble Pie Post
  • Lose 10 lbs.  0/10 done.
  • Train with a heavier pack (Up to 50 lbs).  I am building up to this.  However, my heaviest pack last time was 37 lbs.  This weekend I trained with 43 lbs.
  • Start pack training earlier. Done.  
  • Longer sessions without a break.  Work to 2 hours consistently. Done.  More breaks in this weeks long hike due to the heat and getting lost.
  • No Rest Step.  Done, although I came close to breaking on Sunday.
  • Interval training. Even better this week.  Trainer says one more week at these intervals before making it harder.
  • Asthma evaluation.  Done.  Upgraded my inhaler.  
  • Tougher, more specific strength training.  In process.  Squats were with 45 lbs this week.

For those curious about Mark's climb in Ecuador, word is that they did not summit Cayambe and had to turn back at 18,300".  That is all that I know at the moment.  They still have an attempt on Cotopaxi on the schedule as far as I know.

This week will be more of the same.  I will be increasing my Sunday hike by one hour, while simultaneously increasing my pack weight by 2.5 lbs.  I will also be increasing my Dam Stair pack time by an additional 5 minutes.

No races for me on the schedule for a few weeks.  Anyone else racing that I can live vicariously through?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another wake-up call

Sundays are my long hike days in my current training plan.  As of late, childcare logistics has required me to stick close to home and utilize High Banks Metro Park for these hikes.  I've been rocking it out.  18 min/mile is fast when you are hiking and wearing a heavy pack!

Today, I got another wake-up call.  :)

My friend Richard is climbing Rainier next weekend.  We ran 12.3 miles together on Saturday morning and went to breakfast afterwards.  We talked about how we hadn't managed to hike together yet, and suddenly Sunday came up.  He was planning to drive South to Clear Creek Park to get in some great hills for his last pre-Rainier hike.  My friend Deb who was at breakfast with us, heroically volunteered to be at my house at 6:30 am this morning to watch Avery so that Richard and I could go together, and try to get down there prior to the full 90 degree heat hit.
Wait.  What???
I drove, because I live farther North than Richard does, so he was arguably more on my way.  I brought my Hikes Near Columbus book with me to show him this hike I'd found down south that claimed to have 4200 feet of elevation gain (this is unheard of in central Ohio).  His immediate comment was "let's do it."

Wait. Say what????  

I kept demurring and indicating we could stick with the Clear Creek plan because this was his last hike pre-Rainier, and he insisted on trying the new spot.  So, after a brief stop for coffee and donuts, we drove to Tar Hollow State Park to look for the Logan Trail.
A view from our parking spot
Richard thinks this was the big hill we went up.
We were so excited to get going, that we saw a sign saying Logan trail and the requisite "red blazes" described in my hiking book and took off.  Straight uphill to start - alright!  Then it got dicey.  This trail dumped out by a pond with a slide and someone blasting music from a nearby lodge looking thing.  As we approached the lodge, two people came running out to block our progress.  We explained where we wanted to be, and they said that we were on private campgrounds.  We were both confused, because we were still on state park grounds, but okay.  They told us it happened a lot and promptly told us where to turn differently (practically at the trailhead).  Um, if it happens a lot, perhaps better trail signs are in order???  No, just me?
Maybe something like this?
We went back to the beginning.  On the way back, I took the hiking book back from Richard and read the directions.  Based on those, we hadn't even started from the correct side of the parking lot.  So, we went all the way back and tried to follow these directions.  Richard saw the Hempstead Trail sign (which was MENTIONED in the directions) and we took off.  Eager to get on the right track.  (We'd already been hiking for over a mile at this point).  As we crossed a bridge, I got uneasy, the directions said don't follow the downstream path that crosses the stream.  I read this aloud to Richard, but I think he misheard me.  About 0.6 miles down THIS path, I insisted this wasn't right.  It was pretty level and just too easy.  Plus, we hadn't passed the park road as listed in the trail instructions.

We stopped and looked at the park map we'd gotten from the park office.  It had all the elevation circles on it and was VERY HARD TO READ.  It did have descriptions and mileage for each trail.  Hempstead trail said 2.5 miles, family friendly.  Oops!  Not where we wanted to be.  Re-read the directions, it sad veer left at the Hempstead trail sign, not to get on the Hempstead trail.

Back to the start.  AGAIN.
If only Avery had been with us - "Go THAT way Mommy"
This time, I looked for exactly what the book described.  The actual trailhead was partially concealed by overgrowth and the front of the trail.  Words cannot truly describe it.  I really, really regret not taking a proper picture.  I promise to take one when I go back next time.

This trail started straight up.  We climbed OVER and UNDER trees.  It is rather hard to go UNDER a tree with a 43 lb pack on your back, just saying.  We went up for about a mile.  Parts of it were as steep as the Dam hill.  It was a BEAST.  I was huffing and puffing and trying not to die.  Part way up, Richard said we were taking a break when we reached the top of the hill.  I readily agreed.  We'd already hiked well over an hour with our added detours.

After our break, we proceeded downhill for even longer.  Footing was treacherous, and I'm wussy, so Richard had to hold back here.  We both kept lamenting that we weren't wearing PANTS instead of shorts because the brambles were CRAZY.  Single person trail is being generous in describing this trail.  Then Richard made the comment, "this is gaiter territory," referencing the gaiters we'll use on the mountain.  Wait.  I had those in my pack!  We promptly stopped and Richard I insisted I put them on.  They made a tremendous difference, but I still have scratches on my legs from before Richard thought of them.
After we went down this tremendous downhill and back up again, we paused to consult our map.  Based on what we could tell, we'd only finished one leg of the 6 leg trail, and we were already about 2 hours in to our 3 hour planned hike.  After some discussion, we decided to turn around, head back to the car and call it a day.  I may have been whimpering internally about this decision because that meant going up that crazy long downhill we'd just come down.  It. Was. A. Beast.  I thought I was dying.  Richard was killing it, and kept calling backwards to make sure I was okay.  He also called back that we were taking another break at the top of it.  I didn't argue.

After our break, we still had to climb over and under trees again, and this time, I made Richard take a picture of me for the blog.  I know, I totally failed as a blogger today from a pictures perspective.  In my defense, this hike was harder than normal.
Action shot!  Observe the Gaiters in use.
Both of our shirts were so sweat soaked when we finished that we could wring them out.  Ew.  Luckily, we'd both brought a fresh shirt.  I was so grossed out that I didn't even bother trying to do it on the sly, I flashed my hot pink sports bra at the campers who were staring at us as we took off our packs, and changed.  I even said to Richard, "sorry, you get to be flashed."  I know, I'm classy that way.

To add to my classiness?  I'd noticed that my car was low on gas on the way there and assumed we'd get it on the way back.  Things got dicey as the car said "approximately 13 miles to empty," and Google maps said the nearest gas station was 14 miles away.  I like to add a little excitement to my hikes.  At the same time, I was almost positive we'd passed a closer gas station. We turned off the air conditioning and the radio and prayed we wouldn't have to walk a mile to get gas.  LOL.  Luckily, I'd remembered correctly and we found a gas station with "8 miles to empty".  Also, luckily, Richard was perfectly willing to laugh about it.  He even bought me a Gatorade while I was filling up the tank.

It was a good day.  I learned a valuable lesson about how High Banks really does or doesn't prepare me for Rainier, and will definitely be driving South for the remainder of my long Sunday hikes.

Have you ever been lost on a workout??

Have you ever flashed innocent bystanders because of a workout?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Training Update: Cadbury is delicious

Week of June 10-June 16, 2013:
Current Weight: 152.4 (Down 1.2 lbs since last week)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 68.4 lbs

Major changes from last weeks workouts:  Back on schedule this week with no fitness testing and no vomit episodes to interrupt.  I added 5 lbs to my Sunday pack, I need to repack it to cushion the weights better for this week.  I added a short stair session with an Avery pack on Thursday for 10 minutes at the Alum Creek Dam stairs.  When added to my other Thursday workouts, this felt tougher than expected.
Stair session?  Pfft.  I added REAL climbing.
Fun stuff from last week:  Does it count as fun that my Wednesday intervals at the Dam were a lot better this time around???  (I actually ran all 10x!)  I set up the bike trailer so that I can take Avery on bike rides for fun.  Tried it out on Wednesday and she liked it enough that she didn't even really want to play at the park we stopped at.  My trainer has moved to his own facility and we're still figuring out how that will work with Avery for my strength training sessions.  She has decided that means she gets to workout too.  On Tuesday, she copied my Bosu push-ups.  On Thursday, she copied this...
You want me to do what now???
Here is what the week looked like day-by-day:
Monday: 6 mile run without HR monitor, 9:22 min/mile avg.
Tuesday: 1 hour strength training, 60 minute hike with 36 lb pack
Wednesday: Dam intervals.  (Ran 5 miles total), 6.5 mile bike ride with trailer
Thursday: 1 hour strength training, 6 mile tempo run (3 miles @ 8:30, 8:54 avg)
Friday:  Glorious rest day
Saturday: 14 mile run, 9:22 min/mile avg
Sunday:  3 hr hike at High Banks, ~44 lb pack, boots, 1 break, 1 stop to adjust pack
My post-hike indulgence.  I did decide to remove the wrapper first.
Bullets of things to improve from last year's Humble Pie Post
  • Lose 10 lbs.  1.2/10 done.
  • Train with a heavier pack (Up to 50 lbs).  I am building up to this.  However, my heaviest pack last time was 37 lbs.  This weekend I trained with 44 lbs.  It. Was. Tough.
  • Start pack training earlier. Done.  
  • Longer sessions without a break.  Work to 2 hours consistently.  Done.  This past weekend during my 3 hour hike, I took one break at the 1:45 mark.  I also stopped briefly at 45 minutes to re-work the weight in the pack so that it wasn't digging into my lower back.  In line with my goals, I took no nutrition or hydration at that 45 minute stop.
  • No Rest Step.  Done.
  • Interval training. Much better this week.  I will do one more week at these intervals before increasing it.
  • Asthma evaluation.  Done.  Upgraded my inhaler.  
  • Tougher, more specific strength training.  In process.  We had to lighten a bit on Tuesday because of my recovery from the vomit bug.
I am considering several places to hike that are a bit more of a drive for me than High Banks that have even more elevation changes.  I won't be able to go to these location really until June 30th.  But, they are on the menu to try out!

During my Wednesday intervals at the Dam, I met a lady there doing workouts with a pack.  Turns out - she was training for Rainier.  Her climb was over the weekend, I hope it went fantastic!

How was everyone else's week this past week???  Anyone race?  I know my friend Sarah completed a half iron man.  (How awesome is that???)  Anyone else?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Testing 1-2-3

So, a week ago on Tuesday, I went into Baseline Fitness for a series of fitness tests.  My husband had purchased an assessment package for me as my mother's day gift.  (There is nothing strange about that - I'd been indicating a desire to do two of the tests for the previous month.)  The package he purchased for me included three tests:  (1) Resting Metabolic Rate, (2) Bod Pod, and (3) VO2 assessment.

I made my appointment for 8 am on a Tuesday morning and took the Monday before as a rest day.  Their appointment confirmation email recommended that you be "fully recovered from any exercise" for the VO2 assessment.  For the Resting Metabolism test, I was supposed to have fasted for the 8-10 hours before the test.  For the Bod Pod, I was supposed to have fasted for 3 hours prior and not exercise within an hour prior to the test.  Since I was doing all three tests on the same morning, it meant I fasted for all three.  I have to admit, fasting for the VO2 assessment made me nervous.  I was told it would be even more accurate because I would be more likely to turn to fat for fuel initially.  Nonetheless, if you are only doing the VO2 assessment, fasting was not required.

Once I arrived, I filled out some paperwork, and the technician took some measurements.  (Height and weight specifically).  I also utilized the facilities to pee.  How I needed to pee after fasting overnight, I have no idea.

First Test:  Resting Metabolism
This test occurred in a small, cozy back room.  Basically, the goal of the test is for you to take a nap for 25 minutes.  A test I can ace!  HA!  First, she calibrated the computer, put the mask on my face and had me lay down on a pillow with a blanket.  I had her take a picture.   Aren't I cute? I never realized that I crossed my arms like that when I lay on my side to sleep.
Sexy, ain't it?
She turned out the light and I tried to sleep for 25 minutes.  While I got drowsy, I could hear each and every breath I made because the machine made noises when I breathed into the mask.  Thus, I didn't actually fall asleep.  After a significant amount of time had passed, she came back in and checked the read-outs to make sure they had enough (and the right data, i.e. being nervous wasn't playing a role).  Success.  She detached my mask and I got up and stretched.

Results:  My resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories I need to do nothing all day) is 1783 calories.  They then used a formula to calculate what I would use for thermic/nutrition and daily activities and concluded that I need to take in 2317.9 calories per day to maintain weight WITHOUT exercise.  SAY WHAT????

As a comparison.  The formulas predict that a female of my height and weight will have a resting metabolic rate of 1456.  Three cheers for muscle increasing resting metabolic weight!

Honestly, this helps me put my diet and certain failures into a whole new perspective.  I have been trying for a net calorie goal of 1320 calories a day (net meaning after exercise).  Whenever I was successful on lighter exercise days (days I couldn't consume extra based on my workouts), the following day I would eat EVERYTHING in site.  Turns out, for healthy weight loss, I should be targeting a net goal of 1800 calories.  Interesting side note, my trainer was not surprised by this result at all.

Second Test:  The Bod Pod
Next test was the bod pod.  I changed into a speedo swimsuit (I brought my own), and put the tight swim-type cap over my hair.  She weighed me again with the new accessories.  (I also peed again while changing - I cannot explain this).   Then, I climbed into the Bod Pod.  She ran through the instructions on how the air would feel still in the Pod.  That I was supposed to sit absolutely still.  She told me how long the measurement would take (I forget how much - less than a minute), and that she would open the door to allow in fresh air after.  Then she would close it and it would take a second measurement.  Turns out, sometimes it wants three measurements, and it did for me.  Again, I got her to snap a few photos with my phone.
I'm not sure I will make it a habit to post pictures of me in a swimsuit, just saying.
Door open picture.
Door closed.
Weight was 152.95 at the time of the test.
Percent body fat: 34%
Lean Body weight (lbs): 101.0

Honestly, the lady seemed kind of shocked that I had that much lean body weight.  (I think she made a judgment call based on how I looked when I came in).  Acceptable, healthy range for a woman (according to the Bod Pod print out) is 23-30% fat.  I'm so close!

The results page included estimates for short and long term goals.  Both goals assumed my lean body weight would stay the same.  (My trainer didn't like that, he insists that number will be increasing, I'm a tad scared!)  To get to 30% body fat without changing my lean body weight, I need to lose 8.7 lbs.  To get to a long term goal of 26% body fat without changing my lean body weight, I need to lose 16.5 lbs.

I asked my trainer what my goal should be given what we now know about my body composition.  He suggested 10 lbs.  I have been saying that I need to lose 20 more lbs for over 2 years.  It is almost emotional to only say I need to lose 10 lbs.

Third Test:  VO2 assessment
I drank some water prior to beginning this test, and changed back into my running clothes.  For this test, you wear the same mask as the one in the Resting Metabolism test.  It is attached to a computer.  You also wear a heart rate monitor.  Then, you run on a treadmill breathing into the mask.  The technician increases the speed and the incline based on your heart rate and Oxygen/Carbon Dioxide input/output ratio.

She started me with walking.  Then increased the pace until 6 mph.  Then she started increasing the incline.  She increased the incline until it was at 8%, and we finished the test using those two settings.

It was just starting to feel hard when she stopped the test and said good.  I was like - wait, what???  I was so confused that I forgot to even ask for a picture of the setup.

Turns out, for new clients, their policy is to do a VO2 assessment sub-max test instead of a max test.  According to her, the everyday individual usually doesn't want a full to-exhaustion test, and finding the information for zones 1, 2 and 3 of heart rate testing is typically what they want.  The computer uses your fatigue threshold (determined by the moment your carbon dioxide output is exceeding your oxygen input, which is when we stopped the test) to estimate your actual VO2 Max number.  This 2 digit number is the "gold standard for determining fitness".  It is determined using a formula, where the denominator is weight in kg.  Thus, I can improve this number by losing weight.  This does not change my max heart rate or my heart rate zones, but will change the measure of my fitness level, the VO2 max number.  They estimated my VO2 max to be 45.  As a indicator of where this puts me, normal for a woman my age  is in the low to mid 30's.

The details and information I got from this report are amazing!  And, probably way too much to put in a blog post (especially one as wordy as this one is becoming!)  In summary, I got a graph with my efficiency (fat to carb burning while exercising), my heart rate training zones (1-3 only), the calories I burn while working in each zone (as well as how that number is portioned between carbs and fat), and an awesome graph of my active metabolic training crossed with heart rate and calories burned.

The bottom line from all this VO2 data?  My running group recommends that you run your long training run and most non-tempo, non-interval, non-recovery runs, with your heart rate in  mid-to-high zone 2.  Until recently (as in, post Flying Pig), I have not been doing that.

Most runners supposedly train at a higher heart rate than they are supposed to.  I, apparently, bring a whole new level to not-pushing yourself enough, and have been training at a lower heart rate than I am supposed to for all my training.  I have been running my long runs in zone 1.  My tempo runs are supposed to be in zone 3.  Based on how zone 3 has felt when I ran in it this morning and last week, I have RARELY run in zone 3.  Intervals are supposed to be zone 4, usually.  Until I started with the Dam intervals, based on perception, I have never run in zone 4.

As my trainer put it - "I'm so glad you got this testing done, now I know I can push you a lot harder."

Damn. And Double Damn.
Next time, do not show the trainer the results idiot!
Seriously though, I cannot describe in words the value of having all this information with which to tweak my training (and my nutrition intake).  I feel like it is going to make a HUGE difference.  I highly recommend it.  I can only imagine the impact it will make on my races and on my Rainier training.  (Based on my VO2 max, Baseline Fitness had a marathon predicted time that is well better than my current time.  I had to laugh at that.)

I did email the lady after the testing and express my extreme disappointment that I did not get the VO2 max test that I thought I was paying for.  She has agreed to re-do the test to the full VO2 max, but we have not yet rescheduled that test.

If you made it to the end of this very LONG post, thank you.  You clearly are not as indolent as I am.  :)

Have you ever had a VO2 assessment, Bod Pod assessment or Resting Metabolism assessment?  If so, did you find that it helped your training?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Training Tuesday - Kink in the armor

Week of June 3-June 9, 2013:
Current Weight: 153.6 (Down 0.4 lbs since last week)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 67.2 lbs

I had all these grand plans last week.

I was going to write a fabulous post on my fitness assessments.  I was waiting to reschedule another test for the write-up.  I will still write about this.  Hopefully in the next couple of days.
A sneak peek of me in the Bod Pod to make up for the delay.
I was going to write an exciting (to me) post about date night.  We got to out to see the musical Wicked, and dinner beforehand, on Friday night.  It's the first time we've been to a musical since I was 5 months pregnant.  That's over 2 years!
No idea of what the next 24-48 hours will bring.
Wicked was awesome, by the way.
And then I woke up around 4:30 am on Saturday morning with explosive diarrhea.  I know you're disappointed I didn't take pictures.  My immediate thoughts were, "I hope this doesn't interfere with my long run today."  As it got closer to my intended wake-up time, I brought a trash can back to bed with me.  It was a good thing because otherwise my husband might have been wearing throw up.  That would have been a disappointing conclusion to date night!!!  (And no, no pictures of this either).  I still considered going to my run because I felt so much better after the violent throwing up session.  Luckily, I texted Sarah to confess this fact, knowing the physiologist in her would call me out.  Worked as planned.  Good thing I stayed home, because I wound up throwing up violently four more times.  My abs hurt.  By the time I was throwing up stomach bile, I was positive it was food poisoning.
Avery brought me flowers from the garden to help.
It was short lived and I was feeling better Sunday morning.  On my trainer's advice, I modified Sunday's hike to a shorter and lighter weight hike.  We did this based on my low calorie and fluid intake on Saturday and concerns about dehydration.

Then disaster.  I got a text from my friend Deb, who babysat for date night, she was having similar problems Sunday morning.  On Monday, Mark and my friend Sarah got it.  Not food poisoning after all.

So far, Avery does not have it.  It would be awesome if she didn't get it, because I cannot think of anything worse than toddler serial vomiting and diarrhea.

Major changes from last weeks workoutsNeedless to say, my workouts suffered this week.  I took an extra rest day instead of a run day on Monday to accommodate the VO2 testing scheduled on Tuesday.  The fitness testing took long enough that I missed my strength training session on Tuesday, and wound up running instead of hiking.  To compensate, I combined intervals and strength training on Wednesday.  Friday was my normal rest day, Saturday was vomit day, and Sunday was a limited hike.  Not at all what was on the training schedule.  I did not add the extra strength training session nor the short stair session.  I didn't even do what I had done the previous week.

I do feel good on the weight front though.  Even though it shows a slight down from last week, this is actually feels like a win because this week will be TTOM week, and usually I weigh in 2-3 lbs heavier this week.  Hopefully the increased calorie load recommended by my bod pod experience is paying off, and it's not just residual effects of the bug.

Here is what the week looked like day-by-day:
Monday: 5 mile recovery run.  Rest day pre-VO2 test
Tuesday: 1 hour strength training, Easy hike.  Fitness tests, 6 mile run, 9:46 avg
Wednesday: TM intervals 9% incline with strength training, one hour.
Thursday: 1 hour strength training, 6 mile run, 9:06 avg
Friday:  Rest day
Saturday: 14 mile run.  Vomit Day
Sunday:  1.5 hour hike, Kelty Pack-Avery (~30lbs).  No break.
The prefect training partner!  She keeps me focused on the flowers, rocks, trees, water,....
I'm leaving out the bullets from Rainier training since this week was so off-plan this week.  I'll bring it back next week.

Have you ever had a week derailed by things outside of your control?  (Ok, the fitness testing was my fault, but I didn't expect the rest).

How do you normally adjust workouts/schedules after a week like this?  I know what I intend, but I'll probably check with my trainer today to be safe.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Training Tuesday: Only 10 lbs

Week of May 27-June 2, 2013:
Current Weight: 154.0 (Down 2 lbs since last week - continue the yo-yo)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 66.8 lbs

Major changes from last weeks workouts:  Increased Sunday hike from two hours to three hours.  Easy Tuesday hike was a simulated hike on the treadmill this week due to time constraints.  Wednesday I introduced the intervals at the damn, read more about that here: Reality Check

Fun stuff from last week:  I raced a 5K with a bunch of friends, for free.

You call that fun?  Dodging Cassie kisses is way more fun Mommy.
Here is what the week looked like day-by-day:
Monday: 5 mile recovery run.  6 mile perfect run, 9:31 avg
Tuesday: 1 hour strength training, 45 minutes TM simulated incline hike, 28 lb vest.
Wednesday: Dam intervals.  (Ran 4 miles total)
Thursday: 1 hour strength training, 5 mile run, 9:38 avg
Friday:  Glorious rest day
Saturday: Raced Jake Strong 5K, ran additional 4.11 miles w/u, c/d
Sunday:  3 hour hike at High Banks, ~39 lb pack, boots, 1 break
Nothing like the sunrise during a run...
Bullets of things to improve from last year's Humble Pie Post
  • Lose 10 lbs.  Based on my Bod Pod Assessment this morning.  (I will post about that in a separate post).  This goal is starting from today, I am not including the 10 lbs I have already lost since last year's climb.  I cannot even begin to describe how exciting it is to only say I need to lose 10 lbs!
  • Train with a heavier pack (Up to 50 lbs).  I am building up to this.  However, my heaviest pack last time was 37 lbs.  This weekend I trained with 39 lbs.
  • Start pack training earlier. Done.  Also, this weekend's 3 hour training session makes it official that I have done LONGER pack training sessions.
  • Longer sessions without a break.  Work to 2 hours consistently.  Done.  This past weekend during my 3 hour hike, I took one break at the 1:56 point.  (There was a conveniently placed bench and that was close to 2 hours).  It was the only break of the day.
  • No Rest Step.  Done.
  • Interval training.  Started this week.  It was ugly.  It will continue.
  • Asthma evaluation.  Done.  Upgraded my inhaler.  
  • Tougher, more specific strength training.  In process.
I did my full mother's day present fitness assessments this morning.  I will write a separate post on all of those, I promise. (I even took pictures!)  I'm pretty happy with all the results, and learned a few things to make some of my diet issues make more sense.  

I skipped a couple workouts to start this week to accommodate this testing, so I need to get back to it!  :)

How was your training this week?  What is everyone training for?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jake Strong 5K Recap

Race: Jake Strong 5K
Distance:  3.1 miles
Date:  June 1, 2013, 8 am
Finish time:  25:54
What sets this race apart:  The kids

The Jake Strong organization is on a mission to race $1 million for pediatric cancer research.  It started when Jacob (Jake) Strong was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.  I got involved with this race because my trainer and his aunt know Jacob and his family.  

At the start of the race, another cool kid, Liam, who also happens to have a tumor, started the race with a funny story about his brother.  It was truly touching listening to a kid just be a kid despite it all.

My trainer had a lot of clients running this race because of his connections to the race, and had decided to run with three of us that were all planning to run around an 8 minute mile average.  I was a little worried about keeping that pace because the weather had been rather swampy lately and my asthma has not been pleased.  On the other hand, I also knew that the chance to have people to run with, keeping me motivated at that pace was rare, so I decided to try for it anyway.  I want that sub-25 minute 5K!  

The first mile clocked in at 7:55 min/mile.  This was faster than I'd originally planned, and I let it get into my head.  My trainer and his other two clients seemed to be speeding up instead, so I decided to drop back a little bit and ease off the throttle.

The second mile clocked in at 8:03 min/mile.  This was still just a tad faster than originally planned, but pretty close to the plan.  In this mile, the course goes on a little loop and returns back on itself.  I was able to see my friends Sarah and Lynne speeding along, as well as my husband pushing Avery in the stroller and my friend Lindsey who was running her first 5K.  All fantastic boosts!  I wondered whether they could all tell my lungs were complaining!  HA!

I knew I was ahead of plan, and all my Garmin measured miles had chimed in sync with the mile markers.  I am not used to pushing myself this much.  For the last 0.5 mile of mile 3, I convinced myself to keep pushing by telling myself that I was on track for the sub-25 minute finish, and if I got it, I never had to race a 5K again.  LOL.  I was breathy and ahead of pace, so I backed off a little bit in the third mile to catch my breath and save a little for the final sprint.  I'm annoyed that I felt I needed to do this, but in the end, it wouldn't really matter.  Mile 3 was an 8:14 min/mile.  

Although my watch hit 3 miles right at the 3 mile marker, I could tell the finish line was more than 0.1 miles away.  I picked up the pace anyway, because based on my average pace, I was on track for my sub-25 minute 5K.  My last 0.24 miles pace was 7:33 min/mile.
Me at the finish...yes, behind the little boy.  :)
I saw 25:5X on the clock as I crossed the finish line.  (My final distance was 3.24 miles).  I was less than happy, not going to sugar coat it.  I took some water and Gatorade because heat and humidity make me THIRSTY.  The volunteers were awesome!  Then, I went over to where my trainer and the other two clients were hanging out.  They'd finished just ahead of me, 20 seconds ahead to be exact.  I was grumpy and it showed.  I feel kind of bad about it now, actually.  Normally, it doesn't bother me that much when a 5K is off, but I hit the pace I needed to finish sub-25, and didn't get it.  I was bummed.  Once I shook it off, I hurried back to the finish line to cheer in my friends and my family.
Lindsey, Mark and Avery bringing it home!
Other than the course being slightly long, the only other negative from a race perspective is that there were quite a few people doing a "fun run" as part of the 5K, but didn't do the entire 5K.  (I checked to see if this was advertised as part of the race, and it wasn't).  As a result, there was a large group of walkers to dodge in the last mile.  They were there as part of Team Liam (mostly), though, so it is hard to really complain about that.  :)

I stayed for the awards ceremony, because I thought it was possible I would age-group based on last year's race results.  

First time I have ever heard my name in a race awards ceremony!  (The other races I've placed in didn't have ceremonies).  I was second in my age-group and won a $10 gift card to Fleet Feet.  AWESOME!   It was pretty cool having several of my friends there to cheer with me about it too.
My husband is taking the picture, instead of being pictured, the brat.
This was the first race where my husband, Avery and I all were in the race.  That's pretty darn cool.   
A family that races together...
My friend Sarah beat her race goal by a lot, and my friend Lindsey ran her first 5K while making it look easy.  I was also able to run a 3 mile cool down with my friend Lynne post race so that we could chat and get a few more miles.  All in all, a pretty great day!

Unfortunately, I will still have to race at least one more 5K to chase that ever-elusive sub-25 minute time though.

Anyone else race this past weekend?