Posts Tagged Hills
To see part one of the Brew to Brew race report, visit here.
After the first exchange point, we all piled into vehicles and headed toward the second exchange. We did have some trouble finding a few of the exchange points early in the day, but they got easier and more obvious as the day progressed. We lost the other vehicles on the way to the second exchange point, so we spent a little time texting and calling to try and get them to the right place. Despite the lost time, we had a little bit of time to kill even after everyone else found the exchange point. Leg 2 was 5.3 miles, so we were expecting our runners to finish in about 40 minutes. We sat in the car for a bit to stay warm, and about 7:25 am we got out to cheer for other teams while we were watching for our runners. Before long, we spotted green shirts in the distance.
They were together and approaching at a breakneck pace! We cheered them in as our next runners got ready to take on legs 3 and 4.
Double exchange 2 complete! This photo looks posed and perfect, but I swear it was real! The leg 2 runners absolutely rocked their leg and it took them a little while to recover before we could snap a photo of them.
We had plenty of time to get to the next exchange point, so we hung out for a bit and dug into those muffins I had made. I was going to be running next, so I was a little hesitant to eat a muffin. I decided to just risk it since I was hungry and still had at least an hour before my leg. I think in the future I will need to do a better job of preparing nutrition to run non-consecutive legs, but I hadn’t put much thought into it this time around.
After we finished eating, we decided to go out to the next exchange point to cheer our runners even though they were running through to finish two legs. We parked and walked up to the road to cheer for the other teams till we saw our runners coming through.
They had just a little over 2 miles to go at this point to complete leg 4, so we hit the road quickly after cheering for them and headed to exchange point 4. I was running leg 5, so I started getting ready to run in the car on the way. I got my fuel belt adjusted and shed my outer layer to just wear shorts and a t-shirt for my run. When we got to the exchange point, we made a quick port-a-potty stop and headed down to the course.
Before long, our first runner was approaching. The two runners on this leg had gotten split up, but I knew the second runner who I was relieving would not be far behind.
Leg 4 completed and leg 5 begun for team 2!
A few minutes later, and I started leg 5 for team 1! I knew I had to run about 4.7 miles, and I wanted to catch up as much as possible to the other team’s runner to get the teams back in sync, so I started at about a 9:00 min/mile pace. Initially, I had planned to run this leg quite a bit slower, but I felt great so I just went with it. My legs never got tired during my run, and the course was fun, flat and fast, so I felt like I was cruising. I passed a few runners, and thought I caught a glimpse of our other runner at one point, but I wasn’t able to catch her. She finished her leg and handed off for leg 6 to begin.
I finished my leg in just about 42 minutes, which was just under 9 minute miles. I handed off the slap bracelet to my hubby and he took off for a hard 3.3 mile uphill run.
We regrouped at the station, and took a photo to commemorate the end of the leg before driving to the next exchange.
At this point, the two teams had to diverge a bit as the race coordinators split up teams into exchange points A and B at a few different places along the course to reduce the congestion at the exchange points. For our early start, it wasn’t really needed as there were few teams running that early, but I expect it’s really helpful for the volunteers to keep things moving smoothly as the day gets busier.
We drove to exchange point A to start leg 7. Curtis killed his hilly leg and ran those hills like a champ.
We were finished with more than half of our total miles, with just four legs left to run.
We met up with the other team again at the next exchange point. It was in a small Kansas town and there were delicious grilling smells wafting around, making us all very hungry! I decided it was time for some more food as I’d be running again at leg 9, but I had to pass on the burgers. 😦 I settled for some banana and a Power Bar.
Leg 7 is interesting because the runners have the option to either run an extra mile or take a short boat ride across a creek. It sounds like the vast majority of runners take the boat, and our runners commented that they didn’t see an option to go by the road. The actual mileage for the A course and the B course are drastically different, so this is something to remember and be aware of next year, as my notes did not have this info when I was putting together the teams.
The leg 7 runners came in very close to each other, so the teams were getting back into sync again.
After leg 7, it was time for me to get ready to run again. I strapped my fuel belt back on and stripped my long-sleeved shirt to get ready. The last few legs are all on gravel/dirt roads through small farms. Our teams congregated at the exchange to wait for our runners.
We didn’t have long to wait before it was time to take off for leg 9!
I felt ok as I started my leg, but it didn’t take long before I felt the 5K from the day before plus the earlier leg that day catching up to me. Leg 9 is on a rolling gravel road. My shoes were slipping on the gravel quite a lot, and I was tired by this time in the day. I think that I could have done a better job of fueling to help get me through this leg. I finished the 4.2ish miles in 10 minute miles, so quite a bit slower than my earlier leg, but it was about all I could push myself to do. The very end of the leg has a bit of a “fake out” exchange station where you have to keep running about .25 miles after you see the first vehicles to get to the actual exchange. I tried to pick it up as I ran down the hill to meet my team.
Leg 10 began and we were on our home run! We left the last exchange point and headed to the finish line in Lawrence, KS to cheer for our final runners. We almost didn’t make it in time to see team 1 finish the leg. Luckily, we were at the finish line just in time.
Our leg 10 runner finished strong to bring team 1 into the finish in 6:44:07, which averages just about 9:10 minutes/mile. Curtis and another of our teammates walked out to meet our final runner from team 2 and run her into the finish line. It was another strong finish for a total time of 6:58:40 (9:30 min/mile pace) for team 2.
After a long day, we finished our 44.4 miles and went out for a well-deserved meal of burgers and beer at a local restaurant.
Overall, it was a really successful day of running. Everyone did phenomenally well and I am so proud to have such awesome teammates. The course was a nice mix of terrain and the exchange points were pretty well organized. This year the weather made for a gorgeous day for running, unlike the unbearable heat from last year. I can’t wait till next year!
If you ever have the chance to run on a long distance relay team, I highly recommend it. The experience was fabulous!
There was a time when nearly all of my runs were solo runs, and I “hated” running with other people. Really, I just wasn’t comfortable enough to run with anyone else. I thought I was too slow and too out of shape to be a good running partner, so I never even tried. After being a runner for nearly 7 years, I still do the majority of my runs solo or with the dog, but in the last two years, I have learned how motivating and fun it is to run with a friend and even with a group.
These are my top 4 reasons to run with friends.
Picture this, it’s a cold, gray, and rainy Sunday morning. You have a 10+ mile run planned and you have no desire to drag yourself out of bed. You only do because you’ve scheduled to run with your training partner at 8am. The entire time you’re getting ready to go, you’re hoping that she calls you to cancel, but she doesn’t. When you get to the trailhead, it’s raining just enough that you know you’ll be soaked by the time you finish the run. Your training partner shows up and you get moving. You both joke about hoping the other called to cancel that morning. The run goes faster than you expected even though the sun stays hidden and you really are soaked by the time you get back to the car, you finished your run and it ended up being a pretty good day.
2. Great Conversation
Lots of miles, lots of hours, lots of conversations. All those crazy thoughts you have on a solo run now have a sounding board, grat advice, and feedback. You get the added bonus of looking less like a crazy person because you no longer have to talk to yourself to keep entertained. Nothing is off-limits in a long run conversation and what’s discussed on the run, stays on the run. ‘Nuff said. 🙂
3. Motivation and Mental Toughness
On those days when you need an extra push, you get it. A running partner or training group can bolster your mental toughness. They can support that all important mental will to keep you going or get you through a rough patch.
“You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.”
4. Getting You Over the Hump
Whether it’s a little friendly competition or running with a group that goes a little faster or a little farther, social running can help you take your running to the next level when you’re finding it tough to do it on your own.
This week, all of my runs, except today, will be with friends. I know I will always enjoy my solo runs, but it is a great treat to mix it up!
What do you like about running with others?
9 x 200m hill repeats @ 5K pace (solo)
- 1:01.3 (9:03 min/mile)
- 56.9 (8:43 min/mile)
- 55.4 (8:19 min/mile)
- 54.4 (8:17 min/mile)
- 54.2 (8:20 min/mile)
- 56.3 (8:45 min/mile)
- 52.9 (7:49 min/mile)
- 53.9 (7:56 min/mile)
- 54.8 (8:28 min/mile)
After a very laid back training period, this morning was the 8K race in Arlington. Curtis and I woke up at 5:15 AM to get ready. I let the dog out, had an English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast, fed both the cat and dog, and got dressed to leave at 6:15 AM. We arrived nice and early, found a parking spot on the street and went to pick up our race numbers, chips and t-shirts. I must admit, I didn’t really prepare for this race mentally. After doing mostly tris, it’s been hard for me to get into a race mindset before a running race. I think the hustle and bustle of setting up transition, pumping bicycle tires and quietly rehearsing the day in my brain is much more preparative than just showing up on race morning, shoes and number on and ready to go. I can’t quite explain exactly what it is, but there’s just something about the morning of a tri that fills me with anticipation and readiness that I don’t get out of running race morning.
The start was scheduled for 8:00 AM, and we had quite a bit of time to kill before then, so we headed back to the car to sit in the heat since it was a bit chilly in the low 50s this morning. Around 7:30, we headed back to the race start to use the porta-potty, meet up with our friends who were doing the race, C, J and D, and do a quick warm-up. I also had to finagle a method of attaching the timing chip to my shoe. Please understand, the timing chip was shaped like a small card with four holes punched out. It was perfect for attaching to shoelaces, if you were actually wearing shoelaces. I was not. I had my elastic speed laces in my shoes that had taken many runs to get adjusted exactly right. I don’t even know how many times it took me to try and find a way to attach that stupid timing chip without driving me crazy from it bouncing against my ankle or messing up my perfectly adjusted laces. I couldn’t even use safety pins because the holes were to far into the center of the chip for them to fit through! Finally, though I did get it attached and adjusted so that it didn’t drive me crazy.
At 8:00AM, we all lined up together, despite the fact that I knew that was a mistake for me! I do not like being lined up quite so close to the front of the pack and everyone else was aiming for faster paces than me (D’s goal was 7min/miles, Curtis was aiming for 8 something, J for 8:30, C for under 9 and me for 9:30). I just hate that initial rush when everyone surges past me at the beginning of a race. I’ve made that mistake before and gone out way too fast only to regret the move later. I’m also not used to all the chatting going on before running races. I much prefer the quiet or silent reflection of tris for mental prep before the race. Plus, I couldn’t hear any of the pre-race announcements, so I had no idea what was going on. Then, all of a sudden, everyone started moving forward (I think I might have heard someone yell, Go!), so I started my watch and took off.
As all my friends pulled ahead of me, I didn’t try to keep up as I knew they were all shooting for faster times than I was. When I reached the first mile marker, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at my watch and saw 8:35. What?! I was either going out way too fast or the course was marked poorly. When I reached the second mile marker in 17 something, I realized that it must have been the former. By this time it was too late to make any changes and I had to just keep pushing. My heart rate was consistently in the 180s, but I was ok with that for such a short race (relatively). Soon after the 2 mile marker, I started seeing our friends run by on the way back to the finish- first D, then Curtis, J and I wasn’t too far behind C. Unfortunately, the turnaround also marked a change from a gently sloping downhill to a gently sloping uphill. While it wasn’t too bad and no worse than anything I train on, I had gone out much harder than normal and those hills really felt like work. Mile three came and went and I knew I had slowed down significantly. I tried to pick it up when I hit the 4 mile marker, but I just didn’t have a whole lot left to give. When I finally rounded the last corner to the straightaway to the finish, Curtis and D were there to cheer me in and I managed to “sprint” to the finish line, passing a few people in the process. My chip time was 46:49.9, which is about a 9:25 min/mile pace.
I should be ecstatic about my results. Though I’ve never raced this distance before, it’s definitely a PR for pace at any distance (including 5K!) and ahead of my goal pace at 9:30. Unfortunately, I’ve just had a bad attitude about this race and kind of disappointed that I haven’t managed to increase my speed more over the last year. I hated being the slowest of our group today and felt really terrible afterward. I don’t think I’ve ever had a race before when I haven’t felt good about finishing, today was the first and it was and is a horrible feeling. I wish I could just be happy about it.
Sorry for the downer post, just trying to be honest here.
I can’t believe how much time it’s taking to fully recover from Timberman. I knew it took a lot out of me, but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to get back into my work outs. I decided I would go for a short run on Friday after class with the dog. I only wanted to do 30 minutes or so, it’s about all I had time to do since we had dinner plans that evening. I started out walking as a warm-up for the first 4-5 minutes. I stuck to the paths near my house, but I purposely picked a route with some pretty good hills so that I could do hill work. Bad idea. Even the shallow hills were causing my heart rate to spike. It reached 194 and I could not get it to come back down. Considering most of my runs in this area maxed in the 180s and averaged about 165 during HIM training, this was absurd. My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I can’t let this be an excuse to continue being a lazy bum, though, so I’m going to just have to deal with it. At least it was just my heart rate this time, my legs were a little weak, but feel like they’re getting back to normal.
This week will hopefully include some good weight workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I’d like to run some too. It’d be nice if I can get my schedule figured out so I can go running or to the gym in the morning before class. If I could only get to bed just a bit earlier I think I could do it.
Happy Monday! Sorry for the hiatus, I completely forgot to mention that I was going to be away for the weekend and probably not able to blog at all. Curtis’s company had a team-building weekend retreat out near Timberline Resort in West Virginia, so we left right after work on Friday to drive out there. Needless to say, I did not get in my planned workouts for the weekend. I was supposed to swim Friday, run Saturday, and bike Sunday, but I did none of those things. Instead, I had some pretty adventurous fun. Saturday, we went rock climbing in Nelson Rock Preserve. I have only ever been climbing in indoor climbing gyms, so this was a huge challenge. The guides set up several different routes for us to climb, some were “easy” and the most difficult were 5.8s. I had been really curious how I would do now compared to previous attempts indoors, because I’m a lot stronger now from weight lifting than I ever have been in the past. I climbed the 5.6 route first and it was really challenging. There were a couple of times when I thought I couldn’t continue. I said “I can’t” a lot during that first climb, but each time, I managed to persevere. I am positive that a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to be as successful as I was this weekend. I did have some trouble with my legs shaking in the beginning, but it got better with each climb that I did. I guess I still need to work on my “mental training” and convincing myself that I CAN do it.
We had more adventure on Sunday when we went white water rafting at Wisp in Maryland near Deep Creek Lake. It’s one of the only man-made white water courses in the world. I’ve actually been there once before, so it wasn’t quite as exciting as climbing. Still, it was a fabulous time. Everyone in our raft got dumped in the water twice and a couple people more than that. We actually did a pretty good job of navigating the course and the only times we fell out were when we were trying to do stunts like “surfing” and a tombstone. After our very fun and adventure-filled weekend, we headed home. Most of the rest of the group headed back to WV for another night, but I had to work today and Curtis had to leave for a business trip in Atlanta, so we opted not to stay the extra night.
This afternoon I had weight training with my mom, we are on week 5 of stage 1 of NROL4W:
A. Squats – 3 sets of 10 @ 90lbs
B1. Push-ups – 3 sets of 10 @ BW
B2. Seated Row – 3 sets of 10 @ 75lbs
C1. Step-ups – 3 sets of 10 @ 22.5lbs
C2. Prone Jackknife – 3 sets of 12 @ BW
Average heart rate: 126
Max heart rate: 180
After getting back home, I went straight out for a run. I felt fantastic. The weekend “off ” must have done great things for me. I ran for 40 minutes and I have no idea how far I went, but I felt smooth and managed to get into a rhythm really quickly. I’m going to try and map it out, but a fair amount was on trails that are difficult to find on the web maps. I just estimated my route on mapmyrun.com and it looks like it was just about 4 miles give or take a bit due to curves in the trail that I couldn’t account for. I have been using gmap-pedometer.com for ages to map runs, but today I tried out both mapmyride and mapmyrun and they are a little bit snazzier than gmap pedometer. The downside to both of them is the ad that pops up if you don’t have a premium account. Otherwise, the functionality is about the same, but mapmyrun/ride may be a little smoother than gmap pedometer. The elevation feature, in particular, is a bit more useful on mapmyrun. My stats for the run were:
Average heart rate: 175
Max heart rate: 190
Teaser…stay tuned later this week for some thoughts on 70.3 races that I’m considering for next year and in the future.
Have a great week!
I haven’t gotten around to look at any information on training with heart rate zones yet. But that hasn’t stopped me from training! I had a fantastic weekend, for training and just for fun too. On Friday after work, I swam 3500 yards right after work. I made up the workout, which included a ton of pulling with a pull buoy and a fair amount of kicking too. I also worked in all the other strokes as well, so that was pretty fun. I forgot my heart rate monitor at home, so I don’t have any workout stats, but I felt like I was working fairly hard nonetheless.
Later in the evening, in the pouring rain, we drove down to Curtis’s dad’s lake cottage. What a gorgeous place! We got up fairly early on Saturday morning and went for a very humid run. I did a total of 70 minutes, but that was broken up with a bathroom break in the middle. I actually felt really good during the second half of the run. It’s amazing to me how far I’ve come with running just since the beginning of this year! I never would have thought I’d consider myself a runner, but I kind of do. 🙂 Stats for the run (paused during the break):
Average heart rate: 165
Max heart rate: 185
Early in the afternoon, storm clouds started rolling in and we started hearing thunder in the distance. There were torrential downpours until 4 or 5, so we spent the time inside hanging out and visiting. After the rain finally stopped, we headed down to the beach area of the lake to go for a swim. I made up an imaginary course of about 700 meters, I’m guessing. I sighted on a white boat with a blue awning and then a flagpole with an American flag and the third sighting was on the dock. Curtis swam with me, and did about half the distance and waited for me back at the dock with his cousins and sister.
Average heart rate: 153
Max heart rate: 165
I felt pretty good in the water, and I’m glad I got a little open water practice in, even if it was only a short swim. I did learn that I only need to be sighting about once every 9-12 strokes to stay in a straight line. Hopefully I’ll get in a little more open water practice before the tri. Nation’s should have pretty good sight-lines, the finish is sighted on the Washington Monument!
The rest of the evening was pretty relaxing, we had a cookout for dinner and then afterwards went to meet the family’s new horse. We didn’t stay at the barn long though, it was already dark so just long enough to get him settled in.
Sunday morning, Curtis and I got up and got our bikes ready for our 2.5 hour ride. Since it had rained on our bikes all the way down and they had gotten rained on Saturday, they needed a little TLC. Curtis also had to change his tube on his rear tire again. Last week, I picked up some chain lube at the LBS, it’s called Rock N Roll, and it’s actually a combination cleaner and lubricant in one. Wow, it did wonders for my bike. All I did was dry the chain off, and remove as much of the excess water from the rain as possible. Then, turned my bike upside down to rest it on its handlebars and saddle and applied a steady stream of the liquid to the chain while back pedaling. After the whole chain was lubricated, I continued to backpedal the tires for several seconds. Then I removed the excess liquid from the chain, and voila! as good as new! I followed this procedure for the first time last week, and could not believe how much smoother my ride felt. I will definitely be using this product again in the future and regularly to keep my chain in good condition. I would highly recommend it.
When we finally left for our ride, it was about 8:00AM. We rode out on the main road for about 10 miles then another highway for about 7 more miles before turning back. The course was mostly rolling throughout with a few bigger hills. We also had a couple encounters with some dogs, two sets actually. They chased us, which believe me, is a fabulous incentive to pedal harder. We managed to out-pedal them and continued on our way. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning for a ride, but we were both a little sore from the run the day before and were having a bit of trouble pushing through. We made it though!
Distance: 35.23 miles
Average speed: 14.6 mph
Max speed: 31.1 mph
Average heart rate: 146
Max heart rate: 176
Wowza, that’s a lot of calories burned first thing in the morning. I had a half bagel and cashew butter before we left then another when we got back. It lasted awhile, but I wish I had brought some sort of snack for the ride. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought anything from home and there wasn’t anything easy to bring from the lake house. I think that for the rest of my long rides I really need to bring some type of snack.
After our bike ride we went on another ride- a horse-back ride! Curtis’s step-mom has several horses at a barn nearby the lake house, and we took out a few of the horses for a ride around the grounds. I road River, a beautiful bay boy. I am by no means a good rider, but I do love to take advantage of opportunities to ride, when I can. I really enjoy it.
After our ride, and very busy weekend, we headed back home for my grandmother’s birthday party at my parents’ house. And after that we had a meeting with a volunteer with the dog rescue organization so she could check out our house and determine whether we’d be approved to adopt through them. We found out today that we’re approved! Now, to find our dog! Hopefully we’ll get to meet some soon.
Today, I went to Mom’s for some weight lifting after work, as usual. We did Stage 1, workout A, week 4:
A. Squats – 2 sets of 12 @ 80lbs
B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 12 real push-ups @ BW
B2. Seated row – 2 sets of 12 @ 70lbs (I lowered the weight on this because I felt like I was sacrificing form to increased weight)
C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 22.5lbs dumbbells
C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 10 @ BW
I’m feeling quite tired from my very busy weekend, and I’m afraid I might be starting to overdo it a little bit. So, I’m going to take tomorrow off completely. I had a swim planned, but I’m just going to let that go this week. I think I need the rest.
Have a great week!
What a great weekend! On my new training plan, Fridays are my day off, which worked out perfectly this weekend since I drove four and a half hours to Smith Mountain Lake. It took awhile to get the bikes (and me) all packed up and out the door. I took my brand new Speedplay pedals and Louis Garneau cycling shoes with me to install and try while we were there. We didn’t arrive until 11:30PM and then didn’t get to bed until pretty late, but luckily we got to sleep in a bit on Saturday morning.
Around 11:15AM, we left for a bike ride. We decided to ride from my aunt and uncle’s house where we were staying to the park where the transition area for the tri will be. I have now officially used my clipless pedals successfully (mostly). I did fall twice, but both times I was going really slowly and about to stop. The first time I fell I actually forgot I was clipped in and down I went. The second time, was on the way back to the house, Curtis and I were flying down a hill and he yelled from behind me that his chain was off and he needed to stop. My stop was not very graceful. My center of gravity was way off balance and down I went again! Luckily, I didn’t get hurt or anything, but it was a good learning experience in getting my foot out and gaining my balance before trying to put my foot down.
The ride was very very windy, and just as hilly if not more so than I remembered. But I’m confident that I am going to be a lot more prepared this time around. We did nearly 28 miles in all, including an 8 mile ride to and from the park and the 12.4 mile bike course.
On a side note, you may wonder how I determine the mileage on my rides and runs outside when I don’t have a cycling computer or GPS. I use this great web application, at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/, which allows you to map out your workout on Google maps and then it calculates the distance “as the crow flies”. You can also see a graph of the elevation changes, and save the route to re-visit later. I use it all the time and have found it extremely useful to plan out my workouts in advance.
My heart rate was about 162 bpm on average throughout the ride and maxed out at 175. Keep in mind that these numbers are based on my intermittent glances at the heart rate monitor since I do not have an average and max heart rate feature.
On Sunday, after we were back home again, Curtis and I took a quick run. It was between 2.5 and 3 miles and we finished in 27 minutes. I felt good and as it was supposed to be a relatively light workout (Zones 1 or 2 the whole time), I was happy.
Monday finally brought back weight training. We only had a week off, but it seemed like much longer. Today was tough, but I felt strong and only reached muscle failure on one exercise. Unfortunately, I can’t for the life of me remember everything we did today. If I can remember, I’ll update this post or add to a later post. After weight lifting, I did a short 20 minute walk on the treadmill at a pretty high increasing incline. It felt good though, and I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow!