Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Course

Here's the course for Sunday! Not sure why it came out to 13.2, chalk it up to round off error i guess.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Less Than a Month Until Vegas

Here we are, a little over 3 week's away from the big dance! I can actually confidently say the training is going pretty swimmingly, as evidenced by my 12 mile run last night. That's right TWELVE!! My body is still feeling it. That was my 6th run so far above 7 miles. Hoping to have 2 more before we get to Vegas. One thing that I realized though, is that I'm once again neglecting the cross training. Its been run, run, run, for the past 2 months. And its really too late to do anything about it at this point, but I did want to start doing Ab Ripper X every other day from now until the race. Definitely feel the lack of strength in my core as I get into the late miles of a long run. Hope that will make even a small difference.

Last week (after Urbanathlon) was 1 hill day, 2 EZ days and a long run. I did the shorter version of hill, for 9 repeats, which felt really good. I always seem to push hard on that last repeat, which causes me to get slightly woozy! But in all, a good training day and I'm glad that I am keeping up with the hill training. 2 EZ days of 3.5 and 2.5 miles. The 2.5 mile day was on a Sunday morning, and I must say, was probably one of the hardest runs of my life. Probably a combination of the fact that I dont usually run mornings, I didnt eat anything, and was still recovering from my 11 mile run Friday night. Ah, 11 miles. 11.2 to be exact. Was going to do the 6 mile loop then 5 mile loop in CP, but was detoured due to the NYC Marathon Festivities. So had to reverse course at 72nd and re-do the 6 mile loop from there. Harlem hills twice (once in each direction) was killer. Average pace ended up around 10:45, which I think I'm satisfied with. But that is still more than a 2:20 half marathon, and I was REALLY hoping to come in under that.

This week, so far, has only been 1 hill day and the long run. I did the extended hill again, this time for 6 repeats, then ran up to 90th and back down, totaling about 6 miles. This was a tougher run, probably a product of being the 4th run in 5 days. And the day before that was volleyball and one more before that was my previous hill day. So it was 6 days of work in a 7 day span. Then, last night was the almighty 12 (well, 12.16) mile run. Again, I think I was still slightly fatigued from all the activity from the past week, but all in all, it was a decent run. Averaged a 10:50 pace, so not too far off the 11 mile pace. It felt really good through 7 miles. Starting the 8th mile, I started to feel it on the uphills. I took a Gu at 4.75, and again at mile 9. I didnt feel its impact as greatly this run, I think because I was so fatigued. Perhaps I should have carried a THIRD packet with me. The bottom of my right foot started to really bother from all the pounding. My ankles and knees actually held up pretty well. Then in the final mile, I started to feel quite a stinger in my left hip. Luckily it wasnt a steady pain, but was pretty sharp. It came and went like an ocean wave, kinda strange, but thankful. So I'm going to take the next 2 days off to FULLY recover, and do either an EZ or tempo run on Saturday (crosses fingers). I need about another 6 miles to cover my weekly mileage.

So, I think I've reached my peak mileage for long runs. So next week I think I'll do either 10 or 11, then 8 or 9 the following week (thanksgiving), before I taper off. Much more pleased with my training this year, so far. I'm hoping it will translate into a good, no, GREAT finish this year!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Urbanathlon Recap

Well it seems I'm a little past due on my Urbanathlon update...but of course it had to be the coldest, wettest and windiest days so far this fall, and not to mention the same day that somewhat of a "blizzard" went through the Northeast in October! The morning started around 6:30am, woke up and went through my usual pre-race routine. I knew it was going to be a cold one, but was just not sure HOW cold, but I went with long sleeve cold gear, a long sleeve T, leggings and shorts over them, running gloves (with lifting gloves underneath, for some of the obstacles), and a skull cap. I wore a hoodie to stay warm pre-race and eventually decided to check it at baggage. So with the 30 or so minutes between when I checked my bags and when the race started, I stood there freezing my butt off!! I dont think I've ever been that cold. And anyone that knows me is that I dont get cold very easily.

Being in the last wave (signed up as a Clydesdale, "naayyyy!"-- is that the sound a horse makes??...anyway....), I didnt get started until around 8:20am. The rain had started to come down pretty steadily at this point, but surprisingly, my sneakers were in decent shape. And thankfully, I warmed up pretty quickly once we got going. So, after almost 2 miles of an easy jog, I reach the first obstacle: the police and traffic barricades. Go over the traffic barricade and under the police ones. This one was not very difficult, but did require me to get on my hands and knees to get under, so therefore, I got muddied up real quick. As we got to the second obstacle about a 1.5 miles later, I realized things werent going to be in the order that was detailed on the website.  So along we go, and despite the rain and cold, its going well, and I dont hit my first real challenge of an obstacle until I reached the Marine hurdles. I underestimated how high they were. For a 6' guy, they were about chin high!! Though a challenge, I found myself getting over them without much trouble. the only issue would be that i ripped one corner of my bib. oops. I saw a lot of the females have trouble here, and actually were being helped by other competitors. What a nice showing camaraderie! Next obstacle would be the monkey bars and parallel bars, the monkey bars which were one of two obstacles that worried me. Got over the parallel bars pretty easily, and off to the monkey bars. and to my surprise, I did them pretty cleanly! Having the lifting gloves helped a ton, as many were slipping off them due to the weather conditions.

From here, it was a long run before we reached the next obstacle, which was the Aurthur Ashe Stadium stair climb. But to my surprise, it was only a climb to the top deck, then back down. So after that would be the "real" stairclimb in CitiField. Entered the stadium and had to get up to Promonade level. Once there, it was up and down the stairs of the Promonade level through about 6 or 7 sections. Since I was in the back of the pack, a lot of people were walking it. At this point, I didnt mind too much. So after the last stair climb, it was back down the stadium, all the way down to the clubhouse, into the visitor dugout, and get this: ON TO THE FIELD ITSELF!! I was a little "star" struck! Of course we had to stay on the dirt, from foul territory on the 3B side, onto the warning track, and onto the 1st base side. Back into the stands, up another flight of stairs, and back out of the stadium through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Only a little bit left to go.

So it was over a couple taxis, which was actually a lot of fun, under some jeeps (which should have been earlier- and really hurt my knees, since we were crawling on artificial turf which was laid out on the parking lot!), over a schoolbus on a cargo net, and finally, over an 8' wall and through the finish. I will sadly admit right now, at this point, I could not get over the wall. But from what I could tell, not many did or could. On my first attempt, I jump up, as able to get my elbows on top of the wall, tried to pull myself up, but slipped and dropped back down, nearly landing on one of the volunteers. On my second attempt, nearly the same, but as i hung there for a second, the volunteer pretty much took my legs and threw me over. Thank God for that! Otherwise I think I would still be there trying to get over.

All in all, it was a good, fun and challenging event, despite the weather. And I am totally in next year if it happens again. I will definitely strength train more for it so I can get over the wall on my own. And hopefully get some buddies on board so I wont have to do it alone again.