Saturday, June 30, 2012

6.30.12 Update

Not much to report.  After the KY Warrior Dash, I decided to go easy this week (actually work and the unbearable, blistering heat decided it for me), so I haven't gone crazy.  I still have a long run that I need to bang out tomorrow, and then I can move all-in into my new training program for the next month or so.  Basically I'm still building my base mileage and my endurance with running 4 days out of the week with a long run on the weekend.  2 days at the beginning and end of the week, I'm working on doing strength workouts at the gym.  These will be full body workouts to maintain my strength as opposed to bulking up like I was before.  I'm at a good place right now, and I just need to maintain my physique without hurting myself.  I have noticed a slight pain in my left elbow, so cutting back now seems like a good time.  Then 2 days in the middle of the week, I'm working on my core and flexibility with a mix of body weight exercises, stretching, plyometrics, and yoga.  My flexibility is for crap, so I really need to focus on this.  Other than that, I've signed up for the Firecracker 5k in Franklin, TN for the Fourth, which should be fun.  This is the first time I've run this race, but I'm expecting plenty of competition since it's a Nashville Strider Race.

The Warrior Dash 2012 Lebanon, KY

As I've been saying, I have loved racing obstacle races. I love the physicality of testing my strength (the guns need firing after all!) and fitness as well as my speed. My first Warrior Dash for the year was in Lebanon, KY.   What was great about this race was that I was doing it with some friends. The obstacles were your normal fare of climbing walls (ho hum) and barbed wire-hard dirt-belly crawls (crawling sucks!) along with the WD signature fire jumps (Booyah!) and mud pit.  The real challenge of this race was the course itself (Wicked hard, bro).  The course directors made fine use of the rough and hilly terrain in KY as runners had to navigate several winding cut-backs and single lane trails.  More than once, I was facing a morale-busting (like getting punched in the junk, chief) uphill climb after crossing an obstacle.  When we did have a downhill avenue, it was either through a rocky dried gully bed or down a slick single lane trail congested with traffic.  For instance (story time!), one time I had finished climbing a wall and crested a hill, when I caught up to a group of young ladies walking ahead of me trying to make it down a series of cut-backs.  The trail was slick with mud from runners' shoes and there were large roots and stumps protruding up dangerously in the middle of the trail.  I couldn't go around them even though they were moving single file or I would have likely caused an accident sending them or myself tumbling down the hill.  Granted I needed the break, but I was irritated that I had to stop running.  I realized that I was right though, when I had to gently catch (Watch the hands, chief!) the young lady in front of me when she slipped.  If she had fallen, she would most likely be in the hospital today picking out the wood splinters from her back as there was jagged stump right underneath her (Ouch!).  Still I had a good race and ended up finishing 34th out of 421 in my age group with a time of 33:39.05, 9:49/mi.
Now, I'm not sure what everyone was drinking that day, but there were a lot of wrecks around the race area and it made getting to and from the race more than difficult at times (read:  backed up for hours).  Since I was in hurry to get home (my lovely wife had a ladies night planned), I decided to hoof it back to the car  (tack on another 4.5 miles) instead of waiting for the shuttle buses which were taking forever.  Heading back to the parking area, I saw the reason why.  Several ambulances were blocking the road to the race site because a tractor pulling a trailer had flipped leaving several people in need of emergency care.  It was a nightmare.  Lucky for me that after a mile, I was picked up by a nice gentleman that was taking other runners back to the parking area.  It was a crazy day.

Early on in the race, feeling good, running with my boy, Albert.

Near the end, feeling spent, Albert ditched me about a mile and 1/2 ago.  Bastard.

Crawling out of the mud to the finish.  I'm cooked and covered in mud.  I may be too old for this stuff.  Dumbass.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

6.18.12 Update

This Saturday, I'm running my second Warrior Dash.  This time I'm heading to Lebanon, KY.  I can't wait to hit the course, though from what I've seen of the course map, it appears that I'll be getting bit wetter  (and not in a good way) than when I did it last year in Manchester, TN.  Still it should be a blast as I'm doing it with some friends this time.  Nothing like a little smack talk to make a fun race even more fun.  All-in-all my training has been progressing well, but the summer heat is always a bear.  I'm keeping my mileage generally low during the week and hitting my long run on the weekend.  Still I'm getting over 25 miles a week along with my trips to the gym, so I'm pretty happy (I damn well better be, or what the hell was all that work for?!?).  FYI, for this Warrior Dash, I've decided to go all out.  Warrior costume (of sorts), and even a minor faux-hawk, thanks to my barber.  Now I just need to find some grease/body paint.   Hmmm.....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Current 2012 Race Schedule

As I've said before, I'm not running as many races this year, and it appears that I'm not running a few of my mainstay races either.  This year's Wilma Rudolph 5K and 10K is giving way to the Kentucky Warrior Dash on June 23.  Yesterday I signed up for my marathon for this year, the Southern Plunge Marathon in Winchester, TN on October 6.  Today I also managed to snag a spot in the Murfreesboro Middle Half half-marathon on October 13.  That race sold out within hours of opening up.  It is crazy that a Tennessee half-marathon sells out that fast, but it is a really good, flat, fast race.  I'm also considering the Tennessee Warrior Dash on September 22 and the 50K (that's 31.1 miles for the metrically challenged) Nashville Ultra Marathon on November 3 for my birthday race.  So while the number of races that I'm running has dropped, the one's that I've picked have a fairly high degree of difficulty attached to them.

On an endnote, I really am digging the obstacle course races.  I just did the Ridiculous Obstacle Course Race in San Diego, and I had a blast.  I finished that in 29:08.  Personally, I thought it was harder than the Warrior Dash that I did last year, but then again the difficulty may have been enhanced by my lack of sleep (only 2.5 hrs) and my slight hangover (which contributed to my lack of sleep).  Still it was a fun race and I really enjoyed it.  The fact that the volunteers got into it and tried to slow you down made it even more fun.  It really added to the game show mentality of the race.  Here are a few pics from the race:

After the foam bath, running towards the tube carry.

Riding the tube down the slide!

Gotta get back on my feet and into the race!

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