Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spartan Race Giveaway

I plan to get a training log post up soon (things are chugging along well!), but in the meantime, I wanted to share this giveaway with you all.



Spartan Race reached out to me to promote the book, Spartan Fit, which the founder of the race series recently wrote. The book is coming out in early August, and it looks pretty intriguing. It has the typical workout and diet plan, although it's tailored to help you prepare for a Spartan race, but it also includes  inspiring stories about athletes who have competed in Spartan races. I recently read Matt Fitzgerald's new book, How Bad Do You Want It?, which focused on stories of pushing through mental barriers and overcoming pain during the racing process. It's hard not to come away from the book feeling inspired.

Spartan Fit looks like it'll have a similar component, which makes it seem a bit different than other similar exercise books. One element of Spartan races that I learned about by reading the first chapter of the book (which is available online), is that part of the focus is on developing "obstacle immunity".

The idea is that getting past obstacles in the race is a metaphor for life's obstacles. If you can crawl through mud to get past barbed wire, jump over fire, haul a log, or quite literally get over a wall, then maybe when you're faced with an obstacle in life, you'll feel more empowered to get through it or move past it.

This woman: getting through obstacles.
(source)
I've certainly seen that running has had a positive impact on my ability to handle setbacks and obstacles in life, so I think Spartan Race's focus on this makes a lot of sense. I'm definitely interested to read the book when it comes out in early August.


Now, how about a giveaway? I have one free race code that's up for grabs! The code will work for any open heat in any Spartan race in the continental U.S.


Leave a comment letting me know why you're interested in doing a Spartan race. Giveaway closes on Friday, May 27, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. I'll notify the winner by Monday. Good luck!!


And even if you don't win, use the code SPARTANBLOGGER at registration for a 10% discount on all Spartan races!


[P.S. I'm not being compensated for writing this post in any way, I just figured that people would appreciate the opportunity to win a free Spartan race!]

Monday, May 2, 2016

RnR San Diego 2016 Training Log: Weeks 5-8

Whoops, I totally dropped the ball on training logs. Work was crazy up until ten days ago, when we finally signed a big deal at work (financing for a deal that was almost $1 billion = lots of work).

Mason's impression of me. Look at him working so hard!

However, despite work being crazy, I have actually had several very solid weeks of training! I'm going to keep it short and sweet so I actually get these logged.

But first -- notice the title change? After Mountains 2 Beach Half released their course map for this year, I saw that it had a steady climb in the first five miles that I honestly just didn't like. That on top of the fact that three day weekends somehow tend to end up consumed with work fairly often meant that a race the weekend after Memorial Day Weekend seemed a bit safer.

I wasn't able to run RnR San Diego last year, but a quick glance at the course map reminded me why I had signed up. It has a nice downhill finish, but it's not an "asterisk race" (a race at which a PR requires an asterisk because it's basically running down a mountain so the PR feels like it doesn't really "count").

The clincher? I found a cute little Air BnB apartment just a couple of blocks from the start line of RnR San Diego, and I would have been staying 30 minutes from the bus stop that I'd have to be at by 4:00 a.m. Leisurely walking to a start line versus sitting on a bus? Sold.

So, that gives me an extra week of training, and since I started training with negligible mileage and rehabbing a couple of injuries, that can only be a good thing!

OK, training log time!


RnR San Diego 2016 Training Log: Week 5 (Cutback Week)

Monday: Easy physical therapy.

Note -- I'll be saying "easy" versus "workout" physical therapy. On days when I'm pressed for time, it's just massage and a couple of exercises I can't do at home. On days when I can fit in the whole PT workout, it's all kinds of drills, jumps, and other dynamic exercises.

Tuesday: 15 minutes AM yoga + PM strength workout (using PT exercises).

Gotta love a good office sunset.
2x:
(1) 5-5-5 jumps
(2) RDL's (x10) w/ 30 lbs
(3) Lunges (x10) w/ 30 lbs
(4) Jumps x10
(5) Push-ups (x15)
(6) Side lying lifts (x10)
(7) Plank (1 min)
(8) Legs in v, reach to each foot (x15 each side)


Wednesday: PM easy 60 minute run.


Still on the People v. OJ Simpson train. Don't trust Detective Fuhrman, guys!
(BTW, the detective from the OJ case who used the N-word and said terrible things about Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and women? He's now a commentator at Fox News. So... yeah.)
6 miles in 60:00 on treadmill for 10:00 avg pace, 131 avg HR

Quick Core -- 2x: 
(1) 1 min plank
(2) x15 mountain climbers
(3) x15 shoulder taps


Thursday: PM 40 minutes elliptical
Cat attack!

Friday: Afternoon physical therapy + PM 6x400m at CDM Track.



Low 60s, very humid but cool. 

  • 2 mile w/u
  • 6x400m w/ 400m recovery: (1) 1:34 - 154 avg HR (178 max), (2) 1:36 - 172 avg HR (198 max), (3) 1:39 - 161 avg HR (177 max), (4) 1:42 - 164 avg HR (188 max), (5) 1:37 - 158 avg HR (172 max), (6) 1:38 - 158 avg HR (169 max)
  • 1.25 mile c/d

I felt REALLY great about this workout. I felt strong on the intervals, although I had a bit of asthmatic breathing near the end on a few of them. Nothing hurt, either! :)


Saturday: Easy 5 miles at Back Bay.



Low 60s and overcast. 5 miles in 50:27 for 10:05 avg pace, 133 avg HR and 92 ft elev gain. 


Sunday: Easy 5 miles at Back Bay.


5 miles in 51:45 for 10:21 avg pace, 130 avg HR, negligible elev gain. 

Felt good throughout! After racing a 5K less than a week before then torching some 400 meter repeats two nights before and running three days in a row, feeling zero pain felt like a huge victory.


Total Mileage 22


RnR San Diego 2016 Training Log: Week 6

Monday: Physical therapy workout.


Tuesday: 8x400m at CDM track.

Weather in low to mid 60s and mid to high humidity.
  • 2 mile w/u easy
  • 8x400m (first 4 w/ music, second 4 w/out music)(1) 1:32, (2) 1:36, (3) 1:40, (4) 1:42, (5) 1:44, (6) 1:47, (7) 1:45, (8) 1:44
  • 1 mile c/d
Legs definitely felt more tired than the previous Friday, and I felt like I lost a bit of steam, but that first repeat was super fast so that might have burned me out a bit, too. Hammie was a little tight, but I stretched a bunch and iced and it felt fine when I woke up on Wednesday.


Wednesday: Off.

I had a reception in the evening and an early AM call, so we moved the speedwork to Tuesday and made Wednesday a rest day.


Thursday: PM easy 6 miles on Crystal Cove trails.





Low 60s and a bit humid. 

6 miles in 1:04:04 for 10:40 avg pace; 135 avg HR; ~570 elev gain. 

Felt good, a bit tired by the end with all the hills, but no hamstring pain!


Friday: Off (worked past 9pm and was just too tired to do the planned elliptical workout).


Saturday: AM physical therapy workout + PM easy 45 minutes at Back Bay.

Phys therapy session with new exercises, which amounted to a full lower body workout with core. 



Oof this run felt like crap. Not sure if it was because of the trail run or the new, more intense exercises at Phys therapy. But I got it done at least. 4.29 miles in 45:24 for 10:36 avg pace; 128 avg HR; 160 ft elev gain.


Sunday: AM 10 mile long run with tempo intervals at Back Bay + PM 90 minute yin yoga class.



Started out great, then ended up not so great. This could have been because of the intense rise in heat (from 65 to 85, hotter than any run I've done in months), or from the nasty headwind we were contending with in the last 3 miles. I was running with Kristina, though, so the company was good at least!

Started at 8:45am, had a piece of toast with almond butter about 75 minutes beforehand. Drank from a handheld that was half gatorade and half water.

Elev gain of about 300 ft, all in the first three miles.

Splits (pace - avg HR):
(1) 9:40 - 130
(2) 9:31 - 142
(3) 9:20 - 143
(4) 9:41 - 145
(5) 8:54 - 156
(6) 8:50 - 154
(7) 8:49 - 158
(8) 10:12 - 143
(9) 8:55 - 155
(10) 9:02 - 162

I started feeling really nauseated in mile 8, and had to stop for 5 minutes. I felt like I was going to throw up, but the feeling went away after I'd stopped for a little bit. I think it might have been the effort/heat combination? But I felt fine at the end, so who knows.

From miles 8-10, we were running into a really nasty headwind, 10-15 mph with 30 mph gusts.





After we ran, we took a picture with a good luck sign to text to Meg, who was running the Boston Marathon for the first time the next day. Meg is SO inspiring -- she has been working for years to qualify, and after putting in thousands of hours of work, she ran a BQ time at more than one marathon in 2015. 

Total Mileage = 27.29


RnR San Diego 2016 Training Log: Week 7


Monday: Off.

Crazy busy day prior to closing a large financing deal. Billed roughly 14 hours then woke up at 4:45am for the closing call.


Tuesday: AM physical therapy workout + PM 40 mins elliptical and upper body workout.

This is where I say I am grateful for my job. After closing the deal, since there was very little work left and I'd been really busy for a few weeks, I had the ability to show up to work late and go to physical therapy at 11:00 a.m. (Also, in general, I'm really lucky in who I work with. They typically don't care if I peace out at 6 p.m. to run as long as I am getting my work done that night.)

2x15 Upper Body:
(1) Chest press 40# (20# ea.)
(2) Lat pulldown 55#
(3) Row 55#
(4) Shoulder press 30# (15# ea.)
(5) Shoulder pats from plank (ea. side)
(6) Toe touches from boat pose (ea. side)



Wednesday: Easy 65 minute run at Back Bay.





6.57 miles in 65 minutes for 9:54 avg pace. 90 ft elev gain. 135 avg HR.

Felt great on this run after the first mile (which clocked in at 10:37 and felt heavy).



Thursday: Off.


Friday: 7 mile tempo run (4 miles at tempo pace) at Back Bay.







Low 60s, 10 mph headwind.
  • 2 mi w/u
  • Tempo Splits (pace / HR): (1) 7:57 / 159, (2) 7:56 / 162, (3) 8:13 / 163, (4) 8:04 / 175
  • 1 mi c/d
Felt SO good during this tempo run. The heart rate didn't feel like it really reflected my effort level because it just didn't feel as hard as a 175 average in the last mile. I was ecstatic with how it went!


Saturday: 5 mile easy run at Back Bay + 4x20 second strides.

Kept this super easy since I had 12 miles the next morning. Ran in the evening and it was in the 60s.

5.27 miles (incl strides) in 55:22 total time for 10:30 avg pace with 130 avg HR.



Sunday: 12 mile long run at Back Bay.

After the previous week's suckage due to the heat, I decided to run around 10:30 a.m. to try to acclimate back to the heat. I thought a little more heat training (especially for just an easy paced long run) would be good. Sunny and mid-70s with 20 mph wind for about 1/3 of it and not a ton at my back. 

 12 miles in 2:03:40 for 10:18 avg pace. ~320 elev gain. 138 avg HR. 

The run felt like a slog the whole way through, but I got it done with a (mostly) negative split. 


Total Mileage = 30.84


RnR San Diego 2016 Training Log: Week 8



Monday: Off.

Tuesday: PM physical therapy workout + 40 min elliptical (120 avg HR) + upper body workout.

2x15:
(1) push-ups
(2) Russian twists w/ med ball
(3) candlestick tilts w/ med ball
(4) tricep presses w/ med ball


Wednesday: Off.

I was supposed to do a 70 minute easy run this day, but between an early morning breakfast event that I had to attend and my brother-in-law arriving in the evening, I just couldn't fit it in. I contemplated hopping on the treadmill at 9 p.m., but given how exhausted I was after less than five hours of sleep (shaking my fist at that breakfast event), it seemed like a bad idea. Coach Jess later agreed with me, so yay.

Side note -- my brother-in-law, Jason, moved in with us last week since my sister and him wanted to move down in June and, thanks to an AWESOME run buddy, he was able to get a job down here sooner than expected. Jason recently started running, so now I have an at-home run buddy for my shorter runs! Oh, and also, we like him, so that's fun, too.


Thursday: 4x800m repeats at Huntington Beach (9 miles total).


I ran the repeats at the beach because there was a meet at my local track, and I thought it would be fun for Jason to run at the beach (he was joining me for the warm-up and cool down). It was in the low 60s, kind of humid, with a breeze.
  • 3 mile warm-up 
  • 4x800 w/ 800m jogging recovery (time/avg HR): (1) 3:39 / 151, (2) 3:35 / 158, (3) 3:56 / 158, (4) 3:51 / 151
  • 2.5 mile cool down
Coach Jess had me running an extra mile on the warm-up and cool down, and an extra mile on Saturday's easy run, to make up for the missed mileage Wednesday night.

Ugh, this run just... did not go well. I had gotten less than five hours of sleep Tuesday night, and I find that I always feel the repercussions of low sleep two days later. My legs felt kind of heavy in the warm up, and then the splits were just not great. I felt like I wasn't running very fast on the intervals, but at the same time, like I couldn't run any faster no matter how hard I tried, despite my heart rate being relatively low for this kind of workout. 


Friday: PM strength workout.

2x15:
(1) single leg deadlifts - 30#
(2) lunges with knee shift - 30#
(3) hip lifts - 20#
(4) chest press - 40#
(5) shoulder press - 30#
(6) shoulder taps in plank
(7) mountain climbers
(8) feet hopping in and out while in plank


Saturday: 6 miles easy at Back Bay + 4x20 second strides.

Low 60s, sunny.

6.29 miles in 1:06:02 for 10:30 avg pace, 131 avg HR.


Sunday: 12 mile long run at Back Bay and on San Diego Creek Trail.

You can't see it, but in the far distance the Goodyear Blimp was floating along.
Back Bay at 11am. Started late for a bit more heat and because I was having some stomach issues. High 60s to mid 70s, windy and sunny.

12 miles in 1:51:40 for 9:18 avg pace, 146 avg HR, ~320 elev gain.

Coach Jess's plan for this run was easy 4, tempo 3, easy 2, tempo 2, faster-than-tempo 1. Given the headwind in the latter miles, I'm happy with how this turned out!

Splits (miles 9-12 were into the wind): 
(1) 9:59
(2) 10:02 
(3) 10:04
(4) 10:12 
(5) 7:58 (some downhill)
(6) 8:15
(7) 8:13
(8) 10:52 
(9) 10:49 
(10) 8:29
(11) 8:44
(12) 7:58

I fueled with a handheld of half Gatorade and half water and a Honey Stinger gel after finishing the first set of tempo miles. I had a cup of coffee and 1/4 cup of oatmeal with almond butter, maple syrup and a banana around 8 a.m., and felt pretty well fueled the whole way. (P.S. I love Purely Elizabeth's basic oatmeal. It comes out extremely creamy and doesn't bubble up and over the sides of bowls in the microwave like regular oatmeal tends to for me.)


Total Mileage = 27.29