Monday, January 03, 2011

Backlog of workouts - first couple weeks of January

I said I'd post my workouts, so here they are. I'll be rolling them out slowly, but I am consistenly working out. Erg sprints is this weekend, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. At this point my goal is to top 7000 meters, and everything else - total meters, 500m split - is gravy.

Jan 3rd

Power cleans

On the minute, every minute, for 15 minutes:
5 push ups
10 sit ups
15 squats*

*with 4 rounds left, scaled to 12

Jan 4thPush press - 5 x 3

Jan 7th50-40-30-20-10
Erg (calories)
KB swings (35#)
Sit ups

Jan 8th100m run
20 KB swings (35#)
10 Ring rows
(9 full rounds)

Jan 9th
Power snatch
5 x 3 @ 60#

On the minute for 10 minutes
5 burpees
Max rep thrusters (65#)
Totaled 32 thrusters. Tough

Jan 10th
Erg - 6 x 500m, 2mR

Good Mornings (low rack start)
Reps of 3

5 split cleans (95#)
10 box jumps

Jan 11th
Run - 8 x 200m, 90sR
49, 47, 49, 49, 50, 50, 50, 50

Sumo deadlift
4 x 3 @ 155#

Split jerk
2-2-1-1-1 (70% 1RM start)

4 rounds - 30/30
HSPU - 11-14-15-14
T2B - 7-8-7-8 *weak

Jan 12th
Strict Press
Reps of 3

75 power snatches, 75#/55# (scaled to 50#)

6 minutes
1 min hollow rocks, 1 min L-sit hangs

Jan 13th
3 x 800, 2mR
3:55, 3:57, 3:55

Jan 14th
Good mornings - high rack start
10 sets 3 reps of 55# on the minute

5 pull ups (red band0
10 push ups
15 squats
scaled to 5 rounds (8:00)

Jan 15th
Ran 8 mile section of MMT course from Moreland aid station to Edinburg
7.25 miles - 2:04

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Still on track, and loving my training

Two months after my last post, and it's pretty cool to look back and see what I planned to be doing. So far so good!

I'm still on track to participate in the Erg Sprints in January. I even went as far as to create an 8 week training plan for anyone looking to participate in the 2000m row. My own training is based off of this model with a few modifications due to the length of my event. Compared to last year, I'm not feeling as 'in shape' as I felt last year at this time, but I'm still putting up good times and distances on the erg.

This past weekend I participated in a local 10k, and finished in a respectable 57:52 (9:19/mile). After Grindstone, I ran a total of 8 times with my workouts consisting of the following:

10/24 - 3x400m
10/27 - 1 mile TT
11/19 - Tabata (20 sec/10 sec x 8)
11/21 - 15 min tempo
11/25 - Tabata
11/30 - Tabata
12/7 - Tabata
12/8 - 4x400m

I'm sure I could've done better, but short road races aren't my thing. It was, however, a good litmus test.

My passion is on the trails.

I got into MMT again - the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run, and hope to have a good race. Odd years seem to work in my favor as I finished it for the first time in 2007, then improved by 3.5 hours in 2009 after finding and switching my training principles to that of CrossFit Endurance. I've gotten stronger and faster - in the gym and on the trails.

I've been sticking to my weekly plan of 2-3 erg sessions, 1 ride, and 1-2 runs. I will changed that up a little bit as I start to get ready for the 100 with a more running based program. In the new year, when I'm sure I'll update this again, I plan to post my workouts more regularly for those who want to see what it's like to train with CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance for an ultra.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recovery and moving on

It's been over 3 weeks since Grindstone and things are getting back to normal. It took awhile to get enough sleep and feel fully rested, and it didn't help that I went back to Michigan the weekend after GStone for Homecoming, so I was playing catch up for awhile. While back home I participated in a low key 5K where I took 1st in my AG. It helps when most of the participants are 18-24 years old. It also helps when the course is 1/4 mile short, but I'm not complaining. It was a chance to move the legs and get in a good workout, and I'm happy with my results.

My hands took some time to finally get back to normal size and my left ankle needed some chiropractic tweaking to finally get the swelling down. As I interpret it, there were some crossed paths around my ankle and fluid had a hard time flowing normally, which caused swelling - aka a "cankle". He gave it a few good cracks and everything is in working order. I'm back to seeing the chiropractor ever other week, which makes my checking account happy.

I'm slowly getting back into a routine, but not in a rush to start running again. Right now, my focus is on the 30 minute row at Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints at the end of January. It was this time last year where I was hobbled by sore/tight glutes and low back that took nearly 8 months to 'fix'. I hopped on the erg since I couldn't run much and ended up pulling just over 7100m in 30 minutes; a total I hope to beat this time around.

This year I'll probably erg 2-3x a week and add in 1-2 runs and one bike ride each week. I'm still doing my own CrossFit workouts 4-6x a week and will focus on heavy lifts a couple times each week - squat, deadlift, clean as well as press and snatch. I'm still learning the latter, so I will be doing a lot of technique work before going too heavy. I've also been spending a lot of time doing SMR - self myofascial release. I keep a couple lacrosse balls at work and roll one under my foot while I put the other under my hamstring. Hurts so good! I'd be in better shape if I could get more sleep, but I digress.

In the next couple of months I'll lay out my schedule for 2011. Only a couple things are in stone, so there will be a lot of asterisk. I'm looking for a year of good health; not a year of PRs. Looking back, I think Grindstone was my only race this year. I did a few fat asses (Catherine's, Chocolate Bunny, MMB) and DNFed Bull Run Run 50. I don't see it as a failed year, but a learning year.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

100 miles in the bag

It took just over a day and a half, but I completed the Grindstone 100 in 36:32. The accomplishment hasn't really sunk in yet as I'm still pretty tired from a lack of sleep as far back as Thursday when I was up until close to midnight packing with the alarm set to go off at 5AM. I was able to nap on the drive down to the race site, and then again in the tent before the race, but being awake for 40 hours straight wrecks havoc on the body.

And being on your feet that long takes a toll, too. We were fortunate to have incredible weather for the entire weekend with cool temps during the day and overnight. I came away with zero blisters, but some tender toes - still blackened from MMB 50k back in August - and a sore left ankle. If I lose any toe nails, it won't be for another month or two. My low back is a little tender, too, but a trip to the chiropractor 26 hours post race and some Kinesio tape seems to be helping. As is some ibuporfen, which I usually try to stay away from, but I needed some help being able to sit up/sit down/stand/walk pain free, and this did the trick. I'm working on rolling out my glutes and hammies and have another appointment this week, so hopefully I'll be in better shape by this coming weekend as I have a 5K run with my father planned.

Back to Gstone, I honestly thought within the first 5 miles that I would be a DNF. I felt out of shape (which I was), slow, things were already hurting, and everyone was passing me! I didn't want to be chasing aid station cut off times as I did at MMT in 2007; that is no fun. People were chatting with me, so I felt the need to ask the obligitory question, "Soo.. have you been here before?" I'm not much of a trail-talker as I think it wastes too much energy - save it for your legs - but I did meet up with someone early on who I latched onto for most of the run, and saw from time to time at the aid station where we'd catch up with each other. Did we talk? Rarely. Did we know each others name? Nope. He was 97, I was 57, and we ran together. We checked in on each other at aid stations or when he passed me on the up hills and I passed him on thd downhills. He cautioned me to save my legs yet took off on a nice 5k stretch into aid station #4 at mile 31. We talked about the previous section, fueled up, then pressed on in the dark, in silence.

The witching hours of 4-7am on Saturday were tough as I tried to will the sun to rise during my long 7 mile climb. The lead runners started to pass as they started the inbound course back to the start, so it was nice to see others and cheer them on even if they would be finishing HOURS before me.

I finally reached the turnaround around breakfast time and enjoyed some fruit, bacon, and hard boiled eggs. I could only tolerate the whites as swallowing wasn't easy and food wasn't sounding very good. At this point things started to go downhill even though I picked up my pacer who ran/walked with me the rest of the way.

She was great in encouraging me to run/shuffle along, reminding me to drink or try to eat something, and just saying what a good pace we were moving at. I had a general idea of what time I wanted to finish it, but didn't really think or care about that until that last few aid stations since SO much can happen in those last 50 miles.

Instead of eating 250-300 calories an hour, I was probably eating that many (or less) between aid stations, and my time between aid stations was 2-4 hours. I was also drinking barely 20 ounces from my hydration pack, yet I was regularly going to the bathroom. My feet were tender, but a complete shoe and sock change along with a cleaning of the feet at mile 66 felt WONDERFUL. Worse of all were my puffy hands, which looked like Mickey Mouse hands when I put on my white gloves.

The hallucinations got worse as the sun set for the second time during the race. I saw bubble wrap, the complete Star Wars starcraft fleet from all the movies, mobile of handcuffs, bears carved into tree trucks by chainsaws, and at one point the entire trail was covered with bow ties, dead rats, wooden kids toys, and wooden puzzle pieces. It was coming alive!! My pacer got to experience my hallcinations when I asked her what was ahead, and pointed to the raised tent/tall sculpture. She explained to me that it was a tree. Later, she saw me flinch at what I thought was a tree branch snapping back and nearly hitting me in the face, yet nothing was there.
I couldn't move my lights off the trail to investigate things I (thought I) saw or I would get disoriented and start to lose my balance. I had to keep my lights on the trail and deal with the creepiness, and remind myself that none of it was real!!

We were making good time and reached the top of a long, draining 3 mile climb where we rested for a few minutes before moving on. It didn't look right. No, I wasn't hallucinating, but I didn't see any blazes. We went back and retraced our steps, and did this more than once, losing precious time. It's not that I was in jeopardy of missing the final cutoff, but I wanted to do better than I had hoped, and that was slipping away because someone decided to vadalize the course and take down the trail markings. There weren't other trails we could take, but the trail we were supposed to be on wasn't very clear. Markings were found every half-mile or so, so we were going the correct way the entire time. I was furious as we made our way into the aid station and vented about the lack of markings.

I let that eat away at me instead of actually eating food for another long stretch. I noshed on some dried mangos and turkey while keeping a sense of humor around the fire by practicing my mime routine with my enlarged hands. It seemed to amuse others around the fire. Finally we left for another long stretch that lasted 3:45.

I had hoped aid station #15 was the finish because I was done even with 5 miles to go. I could've stopped right there, but slowly pressed on. Even though I covered this section 34 hours before, very little of it looked familiar. It felt like a scavenger hunt as we crossed a small stream, piles of rocks, and followed green glowsticks that took us over a small stream and more piles of rocks. Were we going the right way? Too bad my Garmin died 2 hours ago because I would LOVE to see the last 5 miles mapped out. We reached the back of the camp and knew the finish line was just on the other side of the showers, but still had over 1.5 miles to go. What a tease! At this point I was shuffling slowly. Even the '1 mile to go' sign didn't motivate me to pick up the pace. Heck, if someone wanted to sprint it out for 65th place, I was more than happy to let them have it because we all got the same color buckle. It was nearing 6:30am, yet another sunrise, and my pacer and I slowly made our way around the lake toward the camp entrance. All was quiet and we kept walking, hoping no one would spot us. When the hecklers (crew) shouted for us to 'stop lollygagging' and 'quit your talking', I started a slow trot to the finish as my pacer peeled off to the side.

Above is the traditional totem pole hug done by every finisher. My Hamburger Helper hand is in full view.

I'm glad I did this race. It was a bit of redemption for having to withdraw from MMT back in May because I could barely run. I never really started training until mid June when I finally started figuring out what had been hurting me since October, and I ran 2-4x a week, my longest run was 35 miles, and my nutrition/hydration/salt intake was a mess. So how in the world did I finish? I was surrounded by a fantastic group made up by my GF as my crew chief, friend Gaynor as first mate and pacer, and friend Betsy, who was at the last 3 aid stations to provide humor for me and the exhausted aid station volunteers. It was her first taste of the ultra scene and she got to see (and smell) what it's all about.

Many lessons learned and so much to improve on. Now it's on to other adventures!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What am I up to? No, seriously.. what have I been up to?

I feel like I need to read the past couple posts to see what I've done and what I said I was going to do.

Here's what I'm going to do next week - Grindstone 100. With the race coming up quickly, I'm doing a good job of staying pretty calm. I've been on the course a couple times and have probably covered only 25 miles. My longest run before the race will have been 35 miles. Am I worried? Not terribly. What concerns me the most is all the climbing; I'm not a climber. Oh well. Not much I can do about it now except keep eating healthy, try to get plenty of sleep, and stretch. I also need to finalize my nutrition, hydration, and electrolyte intake and prepare my drop bags. A lot to do? Sure, but it will get done. This is probably the most calm I've been before a race.

Under trained? Possibly, but I'm happy with how my training has gone so far. I'm strong, I'm flexible, and I can lift heavy things. Why would I not be happy? Even before I toe the line - are there things I'd like to do differently next time? Absolutely, but I'm not going to dwell on it; just improve on it.

I'm also still busy working at CrossFit Capitol Hill and looking for a facility for the winter and future. I love that I can combine my two loves - CrossFit and running - and help others do the same. I'm fortunate to be on the mend, too. I look back at my failed attempt to run BRR 50 in April on maybe a month of training to doing a 50k and 35 mile run in August. I even did a workout last week that was the same one that I remember injuring myself with last October. I finished it in a faster time than last year, but more importantly with no pain. I know I'm not 100% yet, but I'm in a better place than I was 5 months ago. So I look forward to the next 5 months.

That is a nice segue as I have my sights set on some events in the coming months. I won't focus on them until after Grindstone when I'll start planning out the rest of my year and start looking at my 2011 race schedule. I look forward to a year of good health.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Another two months between posts

I sense a theme.. an unintentional theme.

I keep thinking I need to update this thing, but just don't get around to it. As I said before, I've been busy, and the past two months have been no exception. Took a much needed vacation out west to South Dakota and Wyoming with stops at the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devils Tower, and Bighorn National Forest where we crewed/cheered on friends at the Bighorn 100M/50M/50K.

It was an equally fun-filled yet draining 10 days, mostly spent in the car, but an amazing time. I hope to get out there again, either as a tourist or a participant in Bighorn 100.

Training has been on the up and up and I've been good about getting in to see the chiropractor for an adjustment (the neck appreciated some attention after the 34 hour drive back from WY) and ART. Stretching and foam rolling on my own is coming along too, and I'm trying to make it more of a priority. I'm all about getting and staying healthy. And to either speed along the recovery process or give me a goal to focus on, I've committed to the Catherine's Fat Ass 50k on July 24th and the Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50K+ on August 14th. Go big, eh? Well, the hope is that it will lead to something bigger.

This past weekend I drove up to NJ with a good friend of mine to participate in the certification/mentorship up at The Training Room in Avon, NJ. We learned how Mike and Jim run their small group workouts, how they teach and cue their athletes on body weight and kettlebell workouts, and talked a little shop about websites, nutrition, programming, and starting your own business. It was a good weekend and a nice 'refresher' to train with others and learn additional cues. I'm all about continuous improvement and learning. It gave me some great ideas on how to train/coach and expand what I already do. Time to jot down my plans!

The theme of the summer seems to be 'how much stuff can I cram into a given day/week/month?' and I seem to be succeeding. Mornings are for working out or teaching CrossFit, days are for working, evenings are for leading the Capitol Endurance runs or working out, and weekends are jam packed with running around and, with the impending 50ks, working out. As I've done in the past, I plan to stick with the

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Two month layoff

I have a couple of posts in draft form that would seem silly to finish. I had been talking about my training and getting out for some long runs, and then preparing for the Bull Run Run 50 miler after 4 weeks of run training.

That race came and went with me dropping out at mile 16. I knew within the first few miles of the race that it was either going to be a long and miserable day, or a short day. I went with the latter. My hip was bothering me early on as I 1.) went out too fast, and 2.) had done training runs that were mostly hills that included lots of fast hiking. This is a very runable course. After finishing the race just over 10 hours the year before, I wasn't prepared physically or mentally to possibly add 3 hours to that, so I checked out early. It was great to spectate at one of the main aid stations and watch all the runners come in at the end. I felt no remorse or guilt for DNFing.

What was tough was when I officially withdrew from MMT a week later. I knew after BRR that MMT wasn't going to happen, so it was a matter of making it official. If I wasn't willing to push myself for 13 hours, no way was I going to put myself or my crew (GF) through 36 hours of bitching and moaning and countless expletives. We'd just celebrated 3 years together earlier in the month, and I hope to make it at least another 3 years minimum without too much bickering. It was a good choice, I shed my tear, and made sure my spot went to a friend of mine who was #1 on the wait list at the time. He is in great shape and should do well this year.

Even though it's been about 2 months since my last post, I haven't been bumming around. I went to see the doctor again and have decided to hold off on PT or another MRI. I'm looking into a chiropractor and ART. Additionally, I've been busy as ever with Crossfit (doing and teaching) and Capitol Endurance, the endurance team I've started in conjunction with Crossfit Capitol Hill. It has been great working with the athletes so far.

My training has been great. I'm lifting more than ever before. I'm doing short runs and was able to knock out a 2.5 mile run in 21:32; another fast time for me. As for races, I have a few in mind that I know I can get healthy for in the fall. If that doesn't happen, then I'll have plenty of time to get ready for MMT next year. Besides, odd numbered years seem to work better for me. As for rowing, that is up in the air for the Spring. I think my schedule is plenty full, and I like it that way.