Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wasatch Back 2010: An Awesome Experience

I must start out with saying my pictures are en route. There aren't enough words to describe this event. It is the epitome of the celebration of running. As awesome as the running was that wasn't the best thing about this weekend. What was the best thing is how runners are. Fun, polite (for the most part), energetic, silly, smart, and did I say fun? Just about every team out there (and when I say team I mean one team=12 runners and there was around 1500 teams) was out there for those reasons. There were a few that were too competitive but overall most were fun. There is no chips. Only overall time and there is no results page. Here is how it went for me:

We begin friday morning bright and early at 5:30. The overall pace of the teams was pre-determined and Ragnar tries to have the teams finish at the same time. We had a safety meeting and then race was off. We saw our runner #1 off and went out to meet her at exchange #1. Little did we know there would lots and lots of exchanges. Each exchange was met with excitement. Little finish lines all over the place. Some teams were super excited some didn't say a word. The start was in Logan.UT. Logan is about 2 hours from Salt Lake City. It is a small community and eventually we went from asphalt to dirt and back and forth. I was runner #5 and I didn't run until 11:30ish on the first day. I received my bracelet on the bottom of avon pass and I gained about 1200 ft. Rated "VERY HARD." Gained and gained elevation. This is the leg I have been training for. Unfortunately, there is no 7 mile straight up road around. It was gorgeous. The road paralleled a river. There were a lot of birds, cows, squirrels, and the wind whisked through the trees. There was also tons of rocks. I wondered if I would need my trail runners. I would love to have used them. My feet were very sore from the side-to-side hopping and running on heavy rocks and dirt. Some climbs I had to walk. Overall, 7.3 miles 12:01 pace in 1:28:25. Max HR of 177 bpm and ave 165 bpm. I wore my Marathon bar gear and had some comments from runners passing by. I wish I had some to eat for me and to give away. The gear ended up working very nice.

Runner #6 gives Van #2 its first go. The first major exchange was buzzing with life. Lots and lots of teams we haven't seen yet were there. A little food, some live music, and lots of runners. It was hot. We have the next few hours of to travel to the next major exchange. We stopped at Snow Basin and waited for Van #2 to finish. We had a light lunch and some naps. I love a nap when the breeze keeps you cool in the shade. It was nice. When we get the bracelet back the sun is coming down. By the time my leg starts it is getting pretty dark. Running vest, blinkie, and head lamp required. It was fun to NEED that gear. My second leg was rated "easy." It was. Awfully flat but dark. My R knee hurt some and my pace suffered but it was nice. Prefect weather for a run. Cool enough for non-runners to be cold but while running nice and comfy. Gorgeous. This leg began at 9:15ish at night. It was 4.24 miles in 43:53. My knee affected my pace. I think I was trying to get away from the blisters on my feet and my knee got aggravated. After my leg our anchor pounded out a very hard leg to get us to half way. About midnight we made our way to find some food and shut eye. The race had arranged pancakes and eggs at a local high school for us. Free reign any place we could find to sleep and use the locker room for showers. I was able to get about 4 hours of sleep. There were thousands of runners in various stages of sleep. Waking up and leaving, getting to bed, or sound asleep. There is not another community around that would have been so courteous. Quiet, respectful, and courteous. It was like a disaster area. I walked out of there shaking my head and what a fun thing this was. Here I am exhausted, hungry, and smiling. What's wrong with me I thought? My answer is runners do funny things. Oh and we paid for this, lol.
Van #1 begins our next leg around 4:45 or so. I started my last leg at around 10:00 am. Another "easy" route. However, the hill in the second mile was not easy. They listed it as 3 miles but my watch said 3.3. Total time 32:09. 9:42 pace, but my last mile of the whole thing was 8:40. Overall I hoped to be faster over all my routes but a funny thing happens with no sleep, no nutrition, sitting in a van, and stress of navigating a completely new area. The finish line was one big party and a blast. I got to ride the lift to the top of a ski resort. Very cool.
This race was a great experience. Lots of fun times in the van, lots of beautiful runs, and lots of very fun interesting people. I am looking forward to las Vegas. I had another glimpse of the "saints and sinners" medal and boy is it cool.
In other news, I had a little down time and I was able to read a couple of articles. They will be the subject of future posts. Here is the other days this week:
Monday-Short fast swim. 800 m in 17 min. 4X200 m in about 4:00-15 each.
Tuesday-Pushed my hill repeats to watch the Lakers force game seven, then win another championship. Yeah baby.
Wednesday-Long swim. 1500m swim. I wanted to stay slow and long this swim. Under 6:45. It is so hard to do. 250 m splits are: 5:55, 6:27, 6:29, 6:35, 6:30, and 6:35, ave 6:25 for a total of 38:34. HOLDING BACK. Quote:

"We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable."
-Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let the big weekends begin...

As the preliminary push to Silverman 2010 is approaching I am shooting for a bigger base coming into the training. I will be racing Ragnar next week so I had to get on that bike. That bike sure did get some work. I had a 71 mile weekend. 65 mile on the bike, 6 mile run. Here is how the week went.

Tuesday-Pushed a run secondary to knee soreness.
Wednesday-Cycling hill repeats. About 5 mile warm-up then about 3 miles of repeats (X 5) followed by 5ish miles home. 14.12 miles total. Ave HR of 143 bpm and max of 172 bpm, which ave 77% of max or zone 3. At the peak of each repeat HR went up to about 80-89% of max.
Thursday-two a day, recovery run in am and long swim at night. 4 m run and 1500 m swim . Recovery run. 3.74 mile run in 37:17, 9:58 pace, and ave HR of 156 bpm and a max of 168 bpm. Awfully high for a recovery run. Sore and tired showed I suppose. Slow but considering I had very sore knee from pitching (1000 lunges) a few days before. Just nice and easy. One thing I discovered on this run, its harder to go slower. I prefer how my body feels after a faster run than a slower run. Now I know that I can use my watch to swim at the gym but I forgot. So I have regular workout data. 250 m increments: 6:05, 6:30, 6:44, 6:43, 6:39, and 6:47, ave 6:35, total 39:30. Slight L shoulder pain. I wonder if the push-up challenge is interfering with my swimming. It was lats. Interesting.
Saturday-Bike/Run BRICK. 25 mile bike and 6 mile run. I wanted to have a race pace type bike and then have an easy T1, then a 1st mile at 9 min pace then hold on as best I could. Emphasize the bike. 25.47 miles, with 17.1 mph ave, in 1:32:19. Ave HR 149 bpm and max HR of 166 bpm. 81% of max on the average. When I was riding I swear my speed was faster. I just have to climb faster. Hill repeats need to get faster. T1 of 7 min. Run 6 miles. 8:56, 11:17, 10:47, 12:29, 10:19, and 11:14 total 1:05. I got my 9 min first mile then pooped after that. didnt hold on too tight. I am trying to teach myself that push when I am tired. My ave HR and my max was 154 bpm and 172 bmp. Ave 83% of max and zone 4. Funny thing is all my walks were when my HR got to zone 5. Zone 5 then walk, recover, up/up zone 5 walk. Funny thing my watch does too in multi-sport mode is that it automatically ave mile pace vs the speed I am going. It took a few miles and some disappointment to figure that out. Then I was cool. Overall, hard effort type workout.
Sunday-Long bike ride. 39.4 miles around the River Mountain loop trail. No wind, not hot. Just gorgeous. I went with my sister and brother in law and it was an easy effort type ride. Took long and waited a lot. No biggy it was nice out and had a blast. Ave HR 122, max 162. ave 66% of max. Zone 2. Had some butt soreness. Overall, no trouble.

I have to learn more about this HR thing. I will be reading more and more and modifying my training to match. One thing I have to do better is recover. I am still staying up way too late. Here I am at 10:15 and I am still up. I took the deepest nap today which made me realize that I am not recovering enough. The interesting thing is that I lost the most weight when I slept more. With a 24 hour race coming up I am sure sleep going in will be crucial. I hope to sleep a lot more to prepare for friday.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.”
Lao Tzu

I sure hope this HR monitor will enlighten me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

San Diego RnR-RELAY and gadget love

First and foremost the relay feels like cheating. Sure I am quite sore today from a very intense run for me but no where near what I felt after the LA marathon. It is cheating because you get all the marathon perks but you only run a few miles. I ran the second leg, which, missed the downtown area and before the beach. What did I get on my race course? Highway, buildings, and hills. I asked my fellow relay mates if I could run the leg with the most hills to help me prepare for Ragnar Utah-Wasatch Back. I got em. My leg was 7.2 miles long and I wanted to run my 10K pace and see if I could hold on for whatever was left. If I averaged 9:15 for the whole leg then I probably ran my 10K in 56-57 min or so. That would be a 10 K PR for me especially on a hilly course. Total I ran 1:07:02. That ranks 91/198. As a group we were 6th in the mens relay out of 14. Overall relay rank was 36 our of 198. Not too shabby. Total 3:56:31. Not that fast overall but fast for me considering I am getting stronger and stronger on hills. I had some serious right and left camber as well. My ave HR was 175 bpm and my max was 188 bpm. This Wasatch-Back training may be something I need to do to carryover this strong running lately. I think I am also riding the coat tails of the training I did for LA.

The race itself is big. Again lots of runners and logistically a nightmare to get around. 25,000 runner and 198 relay teams. There are 4 runners per team. My group had 2 teams, the men and the girls. My team was "Buzzed and Bald." Since we are all virtually hairless. The first leg was 7.4, 7.2, 6, and 5.8. It is very interesting to have no idea what the start or the finish was like. I didnt do either one. What I did do was ride the trolley a whole lot. While it is a nice mode of public transportation, it interferes with race watching. I didnt see my wife until she found us in the see of people after she finished. It was a nice way to have a trip but a crummy way to enjoy a race. I would do it again at the right race because overall it was fun. Just seemed a like we cheated. Afterall, I ran right by tons of people. The were doing something harder than I was, yet I blew right by them. Holding a drum stick at the same time. We passed it along like the baton in track and field relay. Overall fun.

The expo was fun. I met some Marathon Bar people but no athletes. I only saw one live on the race course and he was far away!! What they did have was a good deal on the Garmin 310Xt. Yeah I finally bit the bullet and splurged. I have been wanting to see what heart rate training could do for me and the price was right. I love it. Coincidently it matches my marathon bar gear. In the process of getting it all ready I think I dumped my race data. Nope found it! The more I play with it the more I realize this piece of equipment is powerful. What an impressive watch/software situation. I love it. I cannot wait to use it more often. I am also quite interested in the Tanita BC-1000 Body Composition Monitor. Might prove to be a helpful piece of equipment. Anyone have any experience with this device?

Monday had a good swim. 16 laps very consistent pace. 4 groups of 4 laps: Total 19:19. 4:23, 5:01, 5:00, and 4:54. Avg 4:49. So 200 m in 4:49 is 2:20 per 100. Getting faster, just not great yet. Also played softball and had to pitch. My L knee is quite sore. Decided to take tonight off. Quote:

The world does not pay for what a person knows. But it pays for what a person does with what he knows. Laurence Lee

I hope that with the new information I get with the gadgets I can make it all work for me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Well Underway....

TEAM MARATHON BAR!!! Off I go!! Sunday will be my first race rockin the new gear!!!