Monday, April 14, 2014

Training Recap 4/7-4/13

Monday: Foam rolling and stretching. My ankles needed another day of recovery after the trail running.
ABS: planks, sideknees, lunges

Tuesday: 3.1 miles on the treadmill, foam roller.
ABS: Supermans, side knees, Flutterkicks

Wednesday: 4.1 mile Tempo runcommute home.  This was the first time I actively tried to do a tempo run.  My run home starts with 1 mile of significant hills, so I took it slow and used it as a warm up.  At the top, I gradually increased speed until I was running the last part at 7:30 pace.  Finished with a few more hills on the way home for a total of 35:09 (8:34/mile).
ABS: Bird dogs, side knees, lunges

Thursday: Rest.
ABS: Plank, sideknees, flutterkicks

Friday: 3.1 easy miles on the mill.
ABS: Supermans, side planks, bridges

Saturday: 4 miles easy with a friend! Yes, I didn't run alone.  A friend from work asks me occasionally to join her on Saturday runs and since she was willing to not start at 7am, we had a nice run starting at 9am.  I have to admit, our days of Saturday sleeping in are numbered.  Summer is coming.
ABS: Planks, bicycle kicks, Bridges

Sunday: Foam rolling
ABS: Bird dogs, Bicycle crunches, lunges
Thanks for all the feedback on my Ragnar Trails recap. If you'd like to read some of my teammates opinions, here are a few that are up:
Victor, winner of my Chocolate Island Boost Contest, wrote me a note this week:
"I tried some of the island boost last weekend on an 8 miler and I really liked it. I am going to take a couple more this weekend on my Sweetwater 50K. Here is the best thing about it. It is liquid and oh my gosh that is such a good break from the gels. There are times when I just cringe and the thought of squishing down a gel, but this is easy, just a squirt and it's down!"
For those of you unfamiliar with the Sweetwater 50k (which would be anyone outside the Georgia Ultrarunning community), it's a technical 50k complete with a hardcore, chest-high water crossing.  Check it out and then head over to Twitter and send Victor a big congrats for finishing!
Sweetwater 50k course profile. Source
Link of the week:  Runner's World had a great article this week about preventing common running injuries.  It went through some simple strength training exercises and different stride elements to focus on.  Worth a read!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ragnar Trails Atlanta Recap

Ragnar Trails Atlanta, April 4+5, Conyers GA
Field: ~1100 runners
Spectators: None on the course because it was a trail race, but lots of other runner's cheering in the transition zone.
Start/Finish: Georgia International Horse Park, Site of the 1996 Olympic Equestrian and Mountain Biking events.
Course: 3 different trail loops including fields, granite slabs, streams, and lots of roots!
Schwag: Long sleeve tech tee and all the Nuun you can drink.
Other: Teams camped out over night in the field adjacent to the start/finish area.  There were bands, a bonfire, and s'mores. You could demo Salomon trail shoes during your runs, and just enjoy the fun of having that many runners together!

Abby, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jesica, Laura, Katie, Me, Lisa
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to be apart of a great team of ladies at Ragnar Trails Atlanta. Our team, Electrolits, was sponsored by Nuun Hydration and organized by the really lovely Elizabeth over at Running for Bling. I knew going into the race that there were some seriously fast ladies on the team and my fitness wasn't optimal after my foot infection in March (read: I was pretty nervous!).  I kept my goals realistic: Run consistently, finish each leg strong, and have fun (which wasn't hard to do at all).
Team Electrolit relaxing before the start.
Our team consisted of 8 runners and I was runner #5. Being that most of us wouldn't be running for a few hours after our team started, we spent the time helping set up camp, cheering for our runners as they transitioned between loops, and getting to know our teammates. I had previously 'met' several of them on social media, but it was the first time we got to meet face to face and it was awesome to finally meet them (spoiler alert: they are all great)!
Abby leading us off!
Leg 1
My first leg was the yellow loop, a 4.8 mile route full of many switchbacks and short climbs.  The terrain was packed dirt with lots of roots, challenging but not overly technical.  I started out around 6:45pm and tried to push the pace on the lead out to the climbing part of the trail. It seemed like the first half of the run just kept finding way to climb up, continually criss-crossing a hill side.  At one point I even remember checking my garmin thinking I had to have easily gone 2+ miles and was more than a little nervous to find that I had barely gone 1.8.  I had a lot of trouble getting into a solid rhythm during this run because the constant switchbacks were breaking up any sort of momentum.  By about half way through the run I began to feel more comfortable on the trail and began to pick up the pace. I kicked it into the finish, and was even treated to a beautiful rainbow as I closed in my final half mile.
Time: ~49
Not quite a pot of gold, but tents of sweaty runners are nice too. (Source).
Leg 2
My second leg started at around 2am on Saturday.  I was lucky to have the least technical trail as my night run because who knows how many times I would have fallen if it wasn't!  The 3.8 green loop was a mix of soft sand, packed dirt, and roots with a lot fewer switch backs and climbs than the yellow loop.  Being out on the trails at night is much darker than the roads.  Without a good headlamp it would be very difficult to get any sort of speed going.  Even with my new high powered headlamp, I was more cautious than I would have been in the day light. Given my clumsy nature, I was a bit worried about taking a nasty spill while descending in the dark. I did my best, but came in a little slower than I hoped. I think if I had know the trail a little better, I would have been able to push more. Things to remember before the next one!
Time:~38
The morning was beautiful! (source)
Leg 3
My last loop started around 8:30 on Saturday morning.  After watching a pretty fabulous sunrise, I was off for the longest and most technical trail of the three. I really liked this trail as it was the most interesting with a mix of fields, gravel roads, granite slabs, and hard packed dirt along a pond.  I only wish my legs had been more rested so I could have enjoyed the actual running part a little more. I was dragging. About 3 miles into the run, I tripped and took a little spill going down a hill. Though I was startled by the fall, I suffered nothing worse than a few scrapes and bruises. Overall, I was pretty excited that I only fell once during a weekend of trail running! I finished the loop with the little energy I had left, and was happy to have done my part to help the team.
Time: ~1:14
Finishing up my 3rd leg. Source
Handing off the bib to Jesica; Lisa and Abby enjoying s'mores for breakfast.
Team Electrolits finished in 20:54 which in the preliminary results has us as the first place overall Women's Team! Woowoo!
All cleaned up and sporting my new shirt. The trail Ragnars have wooden/leather medals.
Overall, I loved this event.  I even liked it more than the road Ragnars that I have done.  For a first year event, it was very well run with few hiccups or issues. There is a lot more time between legs to relax and hangout with the other runners, instead of worrying about driving the van and figuring out where to go. I had a great time and would love to do another one in the future!
Katie leading us into the finish in style!
Huge Thank You to Nuun Hydration for sponsoring Team Electrolit and keeping us well hydrated throughout the race.  And another huge Thank you to my teammates for being so friendly and making me feel so welcome!
Showing off our new flair post race!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Training Recap Week of 3/31-4/6

Monday: 3.1 miles on the treadmill. It wasn't very quick, but it happened.  And as I bonus, I got to watch opening day while I was running. Win-win.

Tuesday: 3.5 mile Runcommute home.  It was the first hot one of the year (80+ degrees). Struggle, but done.
ABS: plank, flutterkicks, and side knees.

Wednesday: Celebrated National Walking Day with this chicka.
ABS: Superman, Bicycle crunches, Bridges
And this is why it's Awesome April.
Thursday: Ragnar Trail Atlanta prep.
ABS: Plank, Flutterkicks, Side Knees
Got to keep the ladies of Team Electrolit fueled!
Friday: 4.8 miles on the Trails for my first Leg of Ragnar Trail Atlanta
ABS: Plank, Flutterkicks, Side knees

Saturday: 3.8 and 6.7 on the trails for my 2nd and 3rd legs of Ragnar Trail Atlanta. Full Recap coming!
ABS: Superman, Bicycle Crunches, Bridges

Sunday: Rest
ABS: Plank, Bicycle Crunches, Bridges
Refueling in Style.
How was your week? Any training or racing milestones?
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