Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recovery run

Well, the time since my race on Sunday has gone by without much ado.  I was reasonably sore on Monday, and much better on Tuesday.  I went for my lunchtime walk on Tuesday (~3 miles) just to get stretched out a bit.

Today I went for the same walk, and when I got home, I did a 3.5 miler, at a really easy pace.  All in all, not too bad off.  There's still some stiffness and tightness, but things went well.  The last bit of the run, though, my legs were dragging a bit.

I plan to do another similar run on Friday, and then do my "long" one on Sunday, and just gauge how far to go based on how my body feels.

Oh, after the race, I bought myself a present:

I know it's not Alcohol Tuesday, but it's close, being Wednesday and all.

What we've got here is Maker's Mark 46.  It's regular Maker's Mark, but it's been aged in some barrels with oak added in.  I really enjoyed it.  Mrs. Raul, not so much.

I liked it because it gets it closer to a drink you can sip like scotch.  I find regular Maker's Mark to be a little too easy to go down (I know, that probably says something about me).  The extra aging process adds some oak and subtle flavors, and makes me slow down a bit with it.

It's not something I'd make a mint julep with though, I think that might be kind of weird.  I guess you don't know until you try, but that's not high on my list.

For those familiar with Maker's Mark, you may notice the blue wax...  Since this is Maker's 46, and the Superbowl was #46 this year, and the NY Giants won, they did a special dipping for the event.  I'm not a Giants fan, but I do root against the Patriots regularly (being a Jets fan).   Therefore, I was a Giants fan for the Superbowl, and it makes this beverage that much better. :)

Keep on rockin!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Forks XV - Race Report

So I went into Sunday's race with 5 days of zero exercise.  The calf was as rested as I could make it.  The weather was about 60 degrees with a breeze, so I could have gone either way with shorts or pants.. I chose the latter, just to keep my calf warmer.

The race field had about 275 people, of which, 270 or so seemed to take the race way more seriously than I was.  Whatevs.  Who knows what goes through the minds of others..?

To refresh, the plan was for an easy start, and if all was well, go for 9 minute miles.   I did a warmup jog of 100 meters, and felt great (if only I could always take 5 days off?).

The course profile looks like this:

Granted, I really didn't spec it out too much before running it.. It looks bad, but that's only a 120 foot swing in elevation..

When I got to the starting line, I actually saw two people I knew.. One was spectating, and the other was racing.  Well, he and I wound up starting next to each other, and off we went!  Our first mile was a 8:53 pace, with all of the early race excitement.. I felt good.  Really good.

Turns out my buddy hadn't prepped for this.. he was pushed into it due to some co-workers, and he had only done a 7 miler up to this point.. He usually rolls for 5 or less.   OK, no problem.  

We maintained an easy pace, and had a good conversation going.. I grabbed a drink every two miles, and walked the length of the aid stations.. a bit shorter of a walk than I had anticipated.  Well, the pace slowed to 9:20.. 9:30ish... 9:45.   The first half of the race is generally downhill..  Hmm.

My calf was feeling good, zero complaints.  I did feel a twinge on my left knee, about the spot for some ITBS, so that had me worried.  Plus, I felt like I was really slogging it.. I wanted to go faster.

Well, at the 10K mark, I sensed we were going to be rolling uphill for a ways.  I made sure he was OK with it, and I separated from my buddy.

Sidebar:  I felt bad about that, I really did.  But, we didn't have a pre-arranged deal that we'd run together, and this was my prep race for my half.. I had stuff to do, man!

So, the average pace was a little over 9:20 at the 10K.  I felt good, so I turned it on.

The result?:

8:15, 8:14, 7:38, 7:30 paces.  That's a negative split if I ever saw one!

Watch time was 1:23:17 with an 8:52 pace.  Gun time was 1:23:15. I'll take the gun time, please.  Plus, it was a guaranteed PR.

I also got a long sleeve tech shirt, plus a coffee mug for finishing.  That, with the food and water, made this race an absolute steal at $15.

Today, the knee feels a little off, but not bad, and my upper legs are all muscularly tired.  Overall, I am ecstatic with the results.  I wanted 10 minute miles, and really wanted 9.  I beat both.  Wow.

I took today off, and am going to see how tomorrow goes.. I think it will hinge on what the knee feels like.  If it's out of whack due to my leg muscles being beat up, no biggie.   I'd like to get an easy recovery run in on Tuesday or Wednesday.  That would set me up for another easy run on Friday, followed by a long one on Sunday.

I'm stoked.. The training has been working, and knock on wood, I'm on target for the half marathon in 6 weeks.

Keep on rockin!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

15K race plan

Well, the calf seems pretty much OK today.  It's tender to touch deep in the calf muscle, but I massaged the hell out of it over the last few days.  I did some hopping on the injured leg and some very very brief running (ie: from one side of the house to the other), and felt no ill effects.

Provided I wake up feeling the same or better tomorrow, it's a go.

The forecast is for mid 50s, but some rain possibility.  Eh, the temperature is good at least.  According to MapMyRun, it's a fairly flat course.

Race plan is as follows:  Start out fairly easy, make sure the leg is kicking and holding out well.  If so, ratchet it up to race pace (9 min/mi).  The water stations are every 2 miles, and I'm looking to walk through them, taking a Gu at mile 4.

That's the plan.  Worst case, there's an ambulance on the course.

Goals are:

1) Stay healthy.  If things start going out of whack, I'll shut it down.  That's my only real goal.  This is merely a step on the way to my half in 6 weeks.  (Wow, really? 6 weeks?  Where does the time go?)

2) Next goal will be a 1:30 finish. Should be attainable, but you never know.

3) Next goal is 9 minute miles.  This also should be attainable, but will be about the upper end of it.

That's it.  I've never raced this distance, so I'm guaranteed a PR.  Winning!

Good thing I checked the map.. The race is in a town of similarly named towns, all close together.  I was destined to the wrong one before I looked tonight.  lol.  whoops.

That's all for now.. keep on rockin'...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Busy Busy

It's been a busy past couple of weeks.  I think we're through most of it, and should resume normalcy soon.

On the weight front, I'm down another 10 pounds.  Another 2 pounds, and I'll have lost 30%. lol.  Probably won't hit that this week, with the trip out for a few beers yesterday... :)

Regarding running, I did two more major prep runs for my 15K race, in addition to my other running.. One was a 10 miler.  Double digits.. first time in a long long time.  That went extremely well, no aches or pains or anything.

The other prep I did was to run 5 miles at race pace.  That one went.. OK.  It's hard to simulate that race feeling, but I went out for 5 miles @ 9 minutes a mile.   End result was 5 miles done @ 8:59.  Score.  I was huffing pretty good at the end, but my course had far more hills than the race course will.   Plus, it was downright HOT out that day.  What's up with the weather??  I think 9 minute miles is attainable and a fairly reasonable goal.

Am I ready?  Oh, as ready as I will be.

I had one setback, though.  Sigh, nothing's easy.
I was going for a lunchtime walk on Tuesday, as per normal, and felt a twinge in my calf.  Nothing painful, just a twinge, so I kept on going.  I went out for my run that night, no problems.   The next morning... tight. Tight tight.  Some discomfort (a 2 or 3 on the pain scale, I'd say).   So, I've been throwing down ibuprofen, and I've skipped my walks and I'm skipping my last run before the race.

I decided that missing one 3-4 mile run isn't going to impact me too much.  Running and tweaking my calf even worse would impact me, though.   I'm doing stretching and self-massage, hoping for it to heal up before the big day.  It's better today on Thursday than it was yesterday- I'm probably at a 1 on the pain scale.

I'll have to play it by ear for Sunday's big event.  I certainly don't want to reinjure it, as I have the half marathon coming up in a month and a half.

That's all for now.. keep on rockin!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

9 miles

Wow, I guess this is my 300th post.. That's cool.  And, that's about all I have to say about that.

Today was a sunny & warm day here.. close to 50 degrees, but a damn lot of wind.  I went out for my long run today, though, since I'd prefer running in the wind and warmth as opposed to the cold coming in tomorrow.  My last few long runs have been through snow squalls and all of that, so I was jumping at the chance to get out there today.

My plan was for 8-9 miles.  I've got that 15K coming up at the end of the month after all, I should get close to the appropriate number of miles..  I took an out and back route that is 3.5 miles of gentle uphill, followed by some up and down for the last mile until the turnaround.  The good part of that is.. downhill on the way back.

Pretty uneventful.. some lady had a very aggressive barky dog, but went on with the "oh, don't worry, he's friendly" bit.  I had a few words for her.  I'm not a big fan of dogs not contained/restrained that can come after you while going by.

Anyways, nothing bad happened, and I continued on.  At the 4 mile marker, I tried a Gu Chocolate Outrage.. Not bad, but it kind of seemed like a melted Tootsie Roll.. A little thick for my tastes.

Turned around, and around mile 5.5, I started noticing my ass was getting tired.. I think I need to do some more glute work.

Until this point, I was feeling great.. One foot in front of the other, not a speedy pace, but that was by design.  Another mile and a half, I noticed a hot spot on the bottom of my foot at the arch.. Sigh.  A f'in blister.  Never have I had a blister from running before.. what's up with that?

I finished out the run with not much else to report.. I feel great.  Two minor irritations during the run, and no other issues.  Hours later, I feel fine, just have a small blister on my foot.

Looking at the calendar, I have 3 weeks until the 15K.  Next week, I'll shoot for 9-10 miles.. The week after, I'll go for 5 miles at race pace, and then I'm there.   This race is just a tune-up for the half marathon in May anyways.. this isn't my goal race, just something nice and interesting to do.

Not much else going on here.. I picked up a minor sinus infection, but that's under control, and it's just a nuisance anyway.

Keep on rockin'...