Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fountain to Sampson

BASTARDS! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will begin at Monrovia's Library Park. We'll take a quick jaunt up to the Waterfall in a practice of the F2F Course...then head to our End-Of-The-Month Business Meeting. If you can't make practice, but want to attend the meeting then head to Matt Denny's Alehouse in Arcadia by 8pm. We'll touch base about a few topics, then get a few small items out of the way. RSVP for one, the other or both in comments. Be in uniform or pay your fine...

Egad!  Fountain to Falls is a 7 mile race with some decent elevation gain.  The idea that Roadkill would consider that a "quick jaunt" is stretching the imagination just slightly.  Then Coach let us off the hook by saying we had a 60 minute cut off so that we'd be able to make the month-end meeting on time.  Whew!

Hearing the cut-off, plus having both Lynn and Kathy running with me relieved a huge amount of anxiety.  We all took off  together and the three of us hung pretty close through most of the climb out.  Granted I walked far more than they did, but I still stuck behind them, only falling back a bit on the steeper areas. You think it might have helped that Eric and Dawn were pulling sweep right behind me???

Eric was on his watch and called us to turn back at 7:05, but we were so close to reaching Sampson that  Kathy and Lynn wanted to keep running until we reached the bear, which Lynn said was right around the curve.  I'm such a sucker for peer pressure that I joined them and darn that Lynn, she lied!  It was more like four curves and took us another five minutes.

We had started at 6:30 and tagged Sampson's nose at 7:10, leaving us only 20 minutes to get back to the park, which meant hustle.  I love downhill running and like to dream that I may slowly be getting faster because I actually pulled away from the girls. That's the first time that's happened! I arrived back at the park at 7:32, about three minutes ahead of them.  Now, according to Lynn they had to stop to tie their shoe laces... Hmm, could be or could it be that Lynn is just a compulsive liar?  (lol! Totally kidding my friend!)  Round trip was 5.5 miles with about 1000ft of gain.

BTW... I checked Athlinks for my Fountain to Falls race time last year... 1:20:52.  I have some serious work ahead of me before May!

As for the month-end business meeting... Matt Denny's has my vote hands down!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Out of sync and punch drunk

Ever have one of those weeks where you're just out of sync with everything and everyone around you?  This is one of those weeks when the best I can do is just try to roll with the punches and apologize for punching back... especially when I hit the wrong person.

Monday... took a much needed rest day to recover from a super busy weekend and Sunday Chinatown.  Taking off a Monday is something I rarely do and it apparently set the tone for the week...

Tuesday... First, I'd wanted to do the AB training in the morning because I had an unbreakable commitment that night.  But, Coach vetoed the plan since the team was going to be helping with trail maintenance.  So I decided to CrossFit train in the morning, but ironically had to stop that no sooner than I had started.

Not an auspicious beginning to the week.

Today, opened quiet at the Academy so I opted to do yesterday's CrossFit training.  It was all arms, back and shoulders, including a couple exercises I'd never done. Powell Raises... who'd have thought a mere 5lb dumbbell could feel so freaking heavy by only the 3rd round!   AND, who came up with the torturous idea of "legless" airdyne sprints???   It was a very good session as my arms are still reminding me.

Then the day completely derailed and by late afternoon I found myself desperately needing to get in to the mountains... so with only an hour of daylight remaining I hit the Bailey Canyon trail with the goal of seeing how far I could get in 35 minutes. Of course it felt like I'd been hiking forever and must be just shy of the top, but when I checked the map tonight, I wasn't even close.  I had stopped just short of the final round of switchbacks, not quite two miles and still about 1.5 miles from Jones Peak.   NEXT TIME!

However, stopping early left me time to commune with the mountain and still make it down in time for an appointment.  (Thanks to Hope for suggesting the jacket and headlamp... I ended up using them both on the way down.)  Thankfully, the mountain worked it's magic as it always does and my head is quiet and ready to close the week still completely out of sync, but at least no longer punch drunk.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Post Chinatown Firecracker 10k

Gosh, so much to write about!

Coming off of Thursday night's run, I'd planned to take two rest days focus on sleep, perfect nutrition and recovery, in prep for Sunday's Firecracker 10k.  So much for the plans of mice and men...

Friday morning I was up at 4:30 and down at the Academy covering for a sick coach (which was a absolute blast I might add), then a full day of prepping the building for Saturday's competition.  There's nothing like the motivation of a big event to get projects completed, and that stupid table that's been in the back yard for months is finally gone.  (Who'd have thought a trash truck could actually take it?)  After a late dinner at The Hook (My first time there, and oh yeah, their lettuce wrapped hickory burgers are fabulous!), the rest of the evening was spent Prius shopping... damn cool cars, but the  verdict is still pending.

Saturday was another 4:30 morning, along with another long day and night down at the Academy for the Diamond of the Tough competition with the Academy hosting at least 400 people for a good 10 hours solid.  I had the pleasure of being Corlyn's "Handler", whose sole job was to make sure she ate, rested, warmed up, recovered, and didn't miss any of the competition requirements.  It was such an AMAZING DAY.  Donna, Corlyn, Tom, Brian and Chris all performed excellently, were absolutely phenomenal to watch and I am so incredibly proud of them.  

So much for rest, recovery or perfect nutrition in prep of a race... 

Enter Sunday morning, 5:30 rise and shine, because we're picking up friends and taking the train down to Chinatown for the race at 8:30.  OMG!  I had no idea what this race would be like, but I was completely unprepared to be sharing it with over 5000 other participants.  My friends and I quickly became separated while we were waiting for the race to start, and what a hoot because I kept bumping in to old friends and casual acquaintances, something that probably wouldn't have happened if I'd stuck too close to my friends.

The race opened with the roar of 100,000 firecrackers and we were off.  Around the first bend, we hit the Taiko Drummers... such energizing power in that sound, incredible!   The race was hard just like I'd been told to expect.  No getting around it.  I'd like to say I didn't walk any of the hills, but I'd be lying.  It wasn't that the hills were so steep, because I was able to jog the majority of the climbs, it was that they stretched for longer spans than I'd ever encountered while running.  The combination of mental doubt and leg fatigue set me walking on four different occasions. It took me almost 29 minutes to cover the first 2.5 miles to the peak. Knowing that, I did my best to run extra hard on the downhills. (I also carried water so I didn't need to stop at any of the break stations.) I kept watching the mile markers and was slowly making up time, but fatigue was catching up after I passed the 5 mile marker... then I heard those amazing drummers and the fatigue literally fell away, just in time to round the bend and see the finish line.  1:04:19... still not sub 60 like I used to run, but definitely better than my 1:10 goal.  And that's good enough for today.

By the way, we have a rule in the Arrogant Bastards that we ALWAYS race in our team jersey and there's a $5.00 fine for racing out of uniform. No excuses.  You'll see in all my photos that I'm dodging and weaving the inevitable... coach's eagle eye.  Of course he busted me along with the other two team newbies, but boy we had a riotous time trying to hide me in the pictures!!!

 After the race, Hope had a cop give us directions to what was supposed to be a Chinese American breakfast house... uh, not quite.  Instead we all shared some very fine Chinese food and Roadkill got to end her meal with the most perfect fortune cookie she could have asked for...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roadkill's Nightmare

BASTARDS! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will be at the Qualifier start at Eaton Canyon. We'll break into two teams and hammer out a challenging Team Competition. This course will be part trail and part cement. Bring your headlamps and your reflective vests. RSVP in comments if you are attending.

Just reading that post sent chills up my spine and created a knot in my belly... because it obviously meant that it would require maximum Roadkill effort just to keep up. Not that all of our training sessions aren't challenging for me, it's just that the team events require by far the the most effort because I am trying to work at a level beyond my current ability.

Then came the text that I was in charge of delivering the training for the night... and the knot in my belly grew to a huge solid ice ball.  It was one of the Roadkill Nightmares that are bound to occasionally occur...

1. Line the team up by 5k time
2. Starting at the fastest, count 1,2,1,2,1, 2 ans so on down the line
3. All 1's go together
4. All 2's go together
5. Both teams are required to go in opposite directions on the course, BUT do both sides
6. North-side: One figure 8 through the canyon  (approx 3.5 miles)
7. South-side:  Down to PHS for an 800m effort  (approx 2.5 miles)
8. Teams MUST stay together as a team, moving and motivating their slowest
9. Team with the overall fastest north + south route wins

I drew Team 2, which meant we were heading south downhill to PHS for an 800m time trial, then back up hill for a 5k trail run... On Team 2, we had Monty, Katelyn, Jill, Dave, Dave O, Rocky, Marleigh and me.  Wow!  All of these people can run and even at minimal effort, they kept pulling away from me.  Thankfully, on our way back up the from the track, either Dave O or Monte would hold back and set a pace that I could follow, allowing me to let go of the pressure of trying to chase the team, and just focus on settling in to a pace that I could maintain without falling in to the trap of surging and walking.  The rest of the team would wait for us at every signal, which was wonderful rest for them, and of course, nothing but a cruel tease for RK.  (lol)

We passed the other team as we were heading up Altadena, just before reaching the center of the figure eight, where we dropped in to the park.  Everyone called out encouragement to each other, and I clearly heard their back of the packers call out to me, but honestly, by that time I was sucking wind so bad, I didn't have the breath to respond... and then they were gone and we finished the last of the climb to the gate.  I've driven by that entrance 1000 times through the years, but this was the first time I've ever stopped.  It is a very cool somewhat rocky single track, that gave me a good opportunity to catch my breath while we descended to the stream, crossed it, then scrambled back up the bank to the main trail.   Huge appreciation to Katelyn for gently saving the "gigantic" millipede without flicking it on me by accident!

From there we went up the trail with the intent of climbing the concrete hill, running down the road back to the place we entered, then crossing the stream and heading south on the trail back to the main gate for finish.  What actually happened was the racers on our team climbed the concrete hill and found the gate already locked.  (Team 1 had made it through before us, so we must have just missed the locking and it wasn't even 7:30 yet.)  Our racers caught the rest of us about two-thirds of the way up and we all just turned around opted to run the qualifier course home.  While that part of the course is a fun run, the best part of that return trip was running side by side with Dave O and just feeling like a part of the team even though we were in the back. Dave, I adore you.  Thank you!  End result of the competition... Team 1 beat us to the gate by just over a minute with approx. 1:09.

After we all high-fived each other and the racers had started to go home, my peers from the other team quietly said to me, "that was really awful!"  As much as I felt for them, it was music to my ears knowing that they had really struggled to keep up too.  I just love my peeps.  They help me maintain a healthy perspective when being Roadkill on the Arrogant Bastards Trail Racing Team threatens to become an overwhelming order.  

Oh, BTW... 

I took yesterday as a rest day (no CrossFit), but went in today since it was a Z-1 recovery day. It was a nice opportunity for me to practice double-unders, pull-ups, dips, not to mention spend some intimate time with my favorite foam roller.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CrossFitting and Racing the Rain!

So, I realized that I've still not been giving a complete picture of my training since I've been neglecting to post about CrossFitting, which I also do with relative consistency. So, starting this week, my AB posts will also reflect the rest of my training...

Monday CrossFit @ 9am:
10 V-Ups + 10 (CTD) Push-ups x 10 rounds or 15 minutes = 170 score (8.5 rounds completed in 15 minutes)

Tuesday CrossFit @ 9am:
(I don't always CF on AB days, it depends on the WOD. Today there was a good chance of AB rain out, so I trained in the am just in case the night was a bust. So glad I did. The workout was an absolute blast, especially since I was able to do it to standard. A vary rare treat possible only because of age bracketing.

TEST DAY - Maverick - Precursor to the Legendary Competitors Diamond of The Tough Masters Competition we are hosting on Saturday... (Shameless plug:  We have 6 super tough master athletes competing.  Come join us any time, we'll be there from 8am to at least 6pm and the bigger the cheering section the better.)

Given 5 minutes, establish:
3RM Front Squat = my score 105#
Rest 2 minutes
AMRAP5: 7 box jumps (20in) + 7 pull-ups = my score 2 rounds
Rest 2 minutes
AMRAP 5: 7 burpees + 7 power cleans (65#) = my score 3 rounds
Rest 2 minutes
AMRAP5: 7 thrusters (65#) + 7 TTB = my score 2 rounds

Then evening fell and what do you know, Eric's cadre actually does control the weather because contrary to all weather reports it wasn't raining!

BASTARDS: Tonight's 6:30pm practice will begin at the Bastard Qualifier Course. Bring your headlamp and your trail shoes. There will be a quick GoRuck re-cap after practice at Lucky Baldwins for those interested. IF IT RAINS, go straight to LBs. RSVP in comments if you're attending one, the other, or both.

I was one of about a dozen of the diehard Bastards to show up at Eaton Canyon for what was originally going to be a suck fest of double qualifiers. Instead he gave us a number of options. I think almost all of us chose the same game, we just ran it in 2 different groups.

My group started off just me and Marleigh, going out the qualifier course to find the waterfall and back. (About 5 miles according to Joe.) Since neither of us have ever been there we knew we had an adventure ahead of us.

Before we'd gone far Maggie and Crazy Joe caught up with us. I love the idea that when a racer needs to rehab a strained muscle they come hang at the back of the pack. It was the first time I've run with Joe and he was an absolutely fabulous leader! He led the three of us all the way to the falls at a quick but totally manageable pace. It was a very good thing we had him too because I'd have never been able to find the path through all seven water crossings.  (Note on the water crossings... I was the only one who opted to just walk through the water, versus rock hopping, on the way back since it was much faster and safer and my feet didn't mind being wet in the slightest.)

On the final leg out it started to rain very lightly, so we didn't hang out at the falls, but turned back immediately. Joe had a strong sense of urgency that we not dally and boy was he right. No sooner had we started back when it started to actually rain. Not super hard, just steady.  Here's a really nice picture of the waterfall, minus the graffiti some jerk left...

As soon as we made it back to the bridge and on to the main trail we opened it up a bit and at least Roadkill raced the rain home. Everyone else was still laughing and chatting, but then we all know RK has to work twice as hard as the rest of the team. It's just the nature of the position and I'm definitely used to it now. Total time on the trail 60 minutes max.

I can't hardly describe just how much fun the run was, rock hopping, laughing in the rain, running with headlamps... tonight was the most perfect example of why I wanted on this team so bad... great fun, great adventure and absolutely great people!

Tonight I'm blogging from my phone, while laying in a nice hot epsom salt bath... so lovely for tired muscles but not so nice for the scrape from a missed box jump this morning.  So, one leg in and one leg in, sting, out, in, sting, out, in, sting, out...  Get the picture?  lol!

Until Thursday night, be well and enjoy the rain my friends!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Loving Razorback Ridge

This morning Mount Wilson Trail Race training for beginners was one round of Kersting Court up Razorback Ridge and back down again... for completion.  Eric assigned me the extra task of making it max effort for time.

Now, I adore Razorback.  It was the first official trail Eric introduced me during that original cycle of bootcamp back in 2006.  Since then, I've run that quarter mile of dirt at least 30-40 times so it no longer has the power to scare me.  Which gave me a slight advantage today over a couple of my teammates.

There were about ten beginners this week and I led us at the start, but by half way up Baldwin Parker had passed me moving strong and steady (I'd say the man has just about regained his wind!) Sachiko caught me just before the stairs (she has a truly relentless lower gear), then I found Haddy hanging on my heels for the real climb.  Parker passed us on his return while we were still about 50 meters from the top and he was flying down.  He is one scary dude with his history and total lack of fear!

Once I started back down, none of the gals could stay with me. Again, I don't think it's necessarily that I'm such a fast down hill runner (because I'm not!), it's just that I'm very experienced with that particular trail.  As a side note, this was the first time a shoe lace has come undone while running, which is really unnerving! But I was just positive Sach was hot on my heels so I didn't dare stop.  Good thing, because she was!

Bottom line:

Parker 26:19
Kellie  30:28
Sachiko  31:00 (approx)
Haddy  32:30 (approx)
Colleen, Alex and 3-4 other runners all came in at later times

Afterwards, Haddy and I were cooling down and I asked her what happened to her.  She said she got a side stitch and was just slow.  That is so not true... I reminded her that she simply hasn't focused on this sport, and as soon as she figures out how to breathe and runs consistently, she will be a trail terror.  Just like she is in the gym... I have no doubt that the day will come in the not too distant future when she will be unstoppable.

Such a Fun, Fun, Morning... only way it could have been better would have been to repeat it!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

First a Rant then a Run...

All right first a bit of a rant, then I'll talk about tonight...

Yesterday was my 30 day check-in for the paleo challenge... ready?  Virtually no change in weight or BF percentage.  WTF!  After doing one of my typical 12 hour pity parties, I started really analyzing my food intake this last month.  With the exception of that one movie night, I'd been off sugar, dairy, grain and coffee for the last month and my BF% should have been dropping steadily. Except we're talking about carb addict Kellie here and when I really looked at my food history for this last month, I found it riddled with lots of "good paleo carbs" like sweet potatoes, plantain chips, oranges, tangerines and grapefruits... all in quantities I rationalized my escalated training required.  Ha, what a bunch of crap!

What I actually did was simply dodge the majority of carbohydrate withdrawals by substituting sources.  I am nothing if not a very creative addict!  So, no one to blame but myself.  The good thing is that since I've been as clean as I have it should be relatively simple to dial it in correctly. Here are the changes I've implemented:  Terminated Netflix (I'm a mindless eater when in front of a TV and I've seen all the current series, so I'll pick it up again when the new seasons of SOA, Dexter and Touch come out), stop buying plantains, sweet potatoes and all the awesome winter citrus out there.  I'll still eat occasional potato and fruit when in restaurants, but no more stocking it in the house.   And, I'm keeping a detailed food journal. No excuses. We'll see my standing next month.

Which brings me to tonight's run...
Bastards! A little twist to the training venue tonight at 6:30pm. Please be gathered in front of the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center just south of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Bring either your trail shoes or your street shoes as there will be two options available for training this evening. RSVP in comments...
Unsurprisingly, it was a small group who willingly traveled to Pasadena in rush hour.  I was very happy to have Carrie and Kathy (and Marc who was rehabbing a sore ham) for teammates.  We all opted for the trail version, and were told to run a 5k or work our way as far down the arroyo and back in 45 minutes.  Carrie led the way and set a easy pace for her, but challenging pace for me (but then what pace isn't freaking challenging for me on this team!) and we all just fell in behind her. I have never been there before so I made sure I stayed close and hung on. It was an awesome trail... relatively wide and stable with some river rock, but nothing treacherous. Carrie turned us back at 1.7 miles, opting for the 5k distance, which was fine by me, I was already feeling the heat.  By the time we got back, I was totally and completely spent.  (3.43 miles in 36:27 minutes)

I know the day will come when I'll find these runs easier, I just need to hang in there through the process.  No doubt dialing in the food will make a huge difference... that and I MUST get to bed earlier, so good night my friends.  Sleep well!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cancer Is HARD

As I write this post, I'm lying on my bed, with a heating pad under me, and my left ankle wrapped in ice.  Thanks go to my brilliant roomie for the suggestion of the heating pad, it's keeping me nice a toasty warm while my ankle gets the ice treatment.  I've really no idea what it's problem is beyond still acclimating to the running volume, since there has been no ankle trauma and the pain goes away relatively quickly.

So, about today's training... I had a commitment tonight with the Mt. Wilson Trail Race Committee, so I opted to do the AB training on my own this morning.  In hindsight, that was questionable wisdom given the workout at hand and the fact that I don't push myself when alone as hard as I do when I'm with the team.  Today, the best I was able to do was visualize Tom Augustin pacing me and Eric getting ready to lap me...Not perfect, but it definitely kept me moving!

BASTARDS!! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will begin at Station 108 (Search and Rescue) in Sierra Madre. This is located just west of Santa Anita along Grandview. Street shoes, headlamps, watches, and reflective vests if you like. RSVP in comments...  (To this post from Coach, I would add.... Bring Music!  Something I neglected to do and paid dearly for it when my head started to talk back to me during the run.)

This session called for parking at SAR and "Z1" run to St Rita's for warm-up. (For me, that was a jog and walk up the hill and took almost 15 minutes.)  From there the actually training was maximum effort back to SAR, up Liliano, over Arno, down Santa Anita and race back to St. Ritas... A total of 2.89 miles.

Followed by Rest Half - and REPEAT one more time... quality window was 5-10 seconds.  (Seriously?!)

My results:
30:52 First Round
15:30 Rest
33:01 Second Round
Walk back to SAR for cool down

Now, on a "hard" scale with cancer being a 10, this wouldn't even budge the needle, but on Kellie's personal fitness meter, this was definitely challenging.  Seen from one perspective, my times were 3-5 minutes too slow and I completely blew the quality window.  BUT from a different perspective; I only walked once each round and that was on Liliano from street number 1965 to street number 2055.  Maybe 100 meters.  For me, that's enormous progress.  So I'll focus on the positive perspective and just trust that my times will continue to drop as my training progresses.

On a side note... I've been waffling on expanding the blog to include a bit more personal data.  Seeing just the training gives a rather flat view of my life and the factors that may or may not have an impact on my training results.  So, from now on, when something interesting is going on, I'm going to start writing about it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Carrots vs Sticks

I've already written that Coach recommended I perform the beginners training for Mt. Wilson.  That meant that today's training was 2 x 2mile loops with equal rest in between.  No problem. In fact, cake.  I had momentarily even considered asking to perform the intermediate's course this am (3 x 2mile loops), but have learned the lesson about breaking training protocols.  

So, I go out to the truck this am and it's covered in a layer of ice.  Seriously.  It was still in the low 30's... OMG it was COLD!  I'd worn enough layers to not be freezing but I still knew at least the first round was going to be rather uncomfortable.

We all started at random times and my first loop was completely solo, but I caught Lynn at the beginning of the second mile... at least for a few seconds, then she pulled away again.  Split 10:30, finish 19:12
Rest 17 minutes

The second pass wasn't easier but it was more comfortable since it had started to warm up a bit.  I started off this one with Amy and managed to stay on her heels until the second half when she pulled away on the descent... I really need to work on my downhill racing.  Split 10:15, finish 19:01

So that was it... done.  I hung out for awhile and watched my friends start their third round.  When Amy and Carmen decided to leave after running their two laps, I figured I'd go with them and maybe join them for breakfast.  As we were walking to the corner I hear "ROADKILL, where are you going?  You still have another round!"  I tried to explain to Coach that I was in the beginner group, to which he answered "Not Today" and asked my last time.  Then he smiled and said I needed to beat my last time or go a fourth round.  Oh jeez.  Not only wasn't I mentally prepared for three, four would have truly sucked.

The good thing was I had already rested plenty, knew I had more in my tank, and knew I could rise to the challenge.  I just needed to shift my perspective and go.    When I passed the first mile 10 seconds ahead of the last time, I started reflecting on how I'm just one of those people who responds better to sticks than carrots.  Tell me I'll win something like a medal rarely motivates me, but tell me I'll lose something I value or have to endure extra suffering and I'm motivated like crazy to avoid it... the stick.  I love it.  After six years, Eric knows me very well and exactly how to get my attention.  It worked yet again.  Split 10:05, finish 18:50

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Team Races

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE track work!

Tonight was our second night at Arcadia HS for track work and it was similar yet different than Tuesday...

Warm up:
Two rounds or 12 minutes of:
100m run + 20 burpees
100m run + 20 butt kicks
100m run + 20 broad jumps
100m run + 20 inch-ons  
(I missed my last round of inch-ons)

In like fitness teams of 5 (or teams of 4)
10 x 100m sprints @ 100% effort
The goal was to race our teammates along the straight sections and walk the curves. Losing teammate earns 10 push-ups per round.

I was in team 5 with Rocky (in rehab), Linda and Kathy... 
#1 - Linda, Kathy, RK, Rocky
#2 - Linda, Kathy, RK, Rocky
#3 - Linda, Kathy, RK, Rocky
#4 - Linda, Kathy, RK, Rocky
#5 - Linda, RK, Kathy, Rocky
#6 - Linda, RK, Kathy, Rocky
#7 - RK, Linda, Kathy, Rocky
#8 - Linda, RK, Kathy, Rocky
#9 - Linda, RK, Kathy, Rocky
#10 - Linda, RK, Kathy, Rocky

What an absolute blast!  In every round Linda would take off at the start just slightly faster than me, but she was never able to pull away.  I hung on her heels every round except #7 when she faltered for just a second and I caught her.  Kathy was neck and neck with Linda until round 5 when her tank started depleting about 80 meters, allowing me to start passing her in the final seconds.  It was one heck of a race every time and Rocky hung right on our heels even working in "recovery mode."  

In true team spirit, we split the 100 push-ups equally. :-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Warm Crow...

They say that when eating crow, it is best served warm...

I walked in to work this morning to find myself the recipient of a severe tongue lashing including being called the hated term sandbagger.

I completely misunderstood yesterday's workout. The miles were supposed to each be One Mile Time Trials. It doesn't matter how or why I misinterpreted his words, the bottom line is that I did not apply maximum effort to at least my first mile, hence earning the title sandbagger.

Eric explained that the whole purpose of all 12 monthly training sessions is to apply maximum effort, unless specifically told to perform at a different level (ie. 85%, Z1, etc) and that by my pacing myself I had completely wasted one of only 12 training sessions available in a month.

That's bad, but even worse is knowing that I wasn't the only one and that at least two other Bastards followed my example.

When I joined this team I promised Coach and myself to always finish, never cut corners, and lead by example. This is not the example I intended and I am ashamed at having it now on my record.

My sincerest apologies to my Coach and my teammates, I will do better.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saved By Track Work

So, I came in to Tuesday dreading the AB workout post because I knew I'd set myself up for major pain.  I had completely derailed my paleo eating on Saturday night for the pleasure of a fabulous first date... tortilla, popcorn, Dips ice cream, and three bites of a cinnamon roll.  By Sunday morning I was hip deep in regret and fear of Tuesday night.  I kept having these nightmares of uphill indian runs with only the fastest racers for teammates (thank you Perla, so very much!)  Coach saved me by posting track work.  Yahoo, I love track work!!!

BASTARDS....this week we come back out of the hills and hit Arcadia High School Track. BOTH Tuesday AND THURSDAY night's 6:30pm practices will be at AHS on Campus, west of Santa Anita. Please try to park as close to the east-side of the track and gather by the Pole Vault Crash Pad. Water, Watches, and Tunes may be helpful tonight...RSVP in comments!

Tonight I was really hoping we would have independent time hacks of some sort, since I was really doubtful of my performance ability 48 hours post Dips...  Here's what we actually found waiting for us:

Warm up
Two rounds of:
100m run + 20 walking lunges, 100m run + 20 squats, 100m run + 20 push-ups, 100m run + 20 high knees
Unsurprisingly, my push-ups sucked.

Work out:
three rounds of:
400m walk + 400m jog + 1600 Timed Run
No rest in between rounds
Goal 5 second window for each timed run - 5 burpee penalty for each second outside window
My Result:  8:43, 8:42, 8:42

I was again the last Bastard to finish the workout, but that's the really the norm and actually how it should be, so my self-consciousness is starting to fade.  Now, I'm not crazy about burpees, especially after five miles of running, but I also disdain sand bagging, so I wanted to make sure that I set a mile pace that wasn't easy but also wouldn't leave me destined for burpees hell at the end.  I'm happy with my 8:40 range... it is still slow by AB standards but substantially faster that the 10:00 minute 1-mile Time Trials I was barely able to achieve this time last year.

As for the food sabotage, done and dusted.  We already have two more dates planned, so it's time for me to set good habits and introduce her to my way of eating.  This Friday night we're going back to the movies and I'll be packing our snacks... bottled unsweetened fizzy water with baggies of coconut flakes, roasted pecans, dried cranberries and chopped grass fed jerky.   I can't wait!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Properly Humbled...

Guess what tomorrow morning is Bastards? That's right..7AM SHARP is my 10TH YEAR at Mt. Wilson Trail Training, as well as my 7th on the Committee. Remember that we are trying to get the LARGEST TEAM photo at 7:20am, and then step off on to practice by 7:30am. BE ON TIME, IN UNIFORM, and READY TO HIT IT at Kersting Ct. in Sierra Madre. Get excited...we have 17 weeks to knock it out of the park! RSVP in comments...

As we gathered at Kersting Court for the first of 17 sessions, I was so pleased to see many friends I rarely see any longer.  It struck me just how much I've missed this training and hanging out with my friends while we run.  

In Eric's opening speech yesterday morning, he had all veteran racers raise their hands.  Since I ran it in 2009 with a 1:51:14, I raised my hand with the rest.  He then outlined the three ability training groups and how to decide which group you belonged in.  Everything going in through my filtered hearing told me I belonged in the intermediate group for switchback repeats, even though I was under my coach's specific direction to follow the beginner program. 

Unfortunately, I am not short on pride sometimes and attaining the Arrogant Bastards has certainly given it room to dance.  At least until last week when Eric told me my last race was too old to qualify me as a veteran racer and that I needed to start in the beginner group.  I put up such a fuss with him that he said FINE, if I could run all three Baldwin repeats under 6:00 each, I could advance to the intermediate group.  

I measured the distance (.6 miles w/approx 300 ft gain) and figured it was well within my ability, but at the same time, Coach wouldn't have set easy time hacks, so I really wasn't positive how it would turn out. BTW, I put a lot of weight in to wearing team colors and traditionally prefer to run incognito when I don't trust my performance to be sufficient to properly represent my team. Yeah, no doubt that perspective stems from my personal head trash.  Right or wrong, I wasn't comfortable representing the ABTR yesterday, so I ran in an old MWTR shirt.

With Carrie, Rochelle, Joanne and Susan close by, we took off on our first climb.  The first half was old home week and cake... until we hit Alegria and I started to really feel the gain increase.  By the time I touched the wall on Carter, I was spent but figured round two would be stronger.  Ha!  That last kick from Alegria to Carter kicked my butt worse each time and by the third round I understood what Coach had been trying to tell me earlier that week.  

RESULTS:  6:40, 6:45, 6:52 and those times took all my effort to achieve, even with the sanction to walk back down the hill for full recovery between efforts.  So, I'm appropriately humbled, staying put in my assigned group, and grateful for a coach whose wisdom is driven by empirical data and not emotion.   Side note to my friend who had the generosity of spirit to say "well at least you stayed under 7:00"... my apologies for being a jerk. 

As for running in my team jersey, that perspective has also undergone a shift.  Now I embrace the fact that it's important to always train in that shirt so that aspiring runners can see what the entry level runner looks like on the team, especially if she's also in the beginner group. 

Each and every one of these Arrogant Bastards are leading by their examples, how can I do any less?