Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Start the Year Right

The holidays - always a hard time of year to eat right and exercise. This year has been a minor improvement - maybe not on the eating part, but at least the exercise. I managed to run 10 miles the morning after Christmas. Not bad considering we went to two different family Christmas' the day before - the first one at 8am and the second one was followed by eating sushi, drinking sake, and Kirin then back to my place for some serious UNO and Harry Potter Scene it (did you know you can make these drinking games??). Needless to say, more alcohol was consumed!
So, not the best run ever, but it was December 26 and it was in the high 50's so it was good. Brady biked along with me so I had company which was nice. Later that day we headed to St. Louis and went to the City Museum - a really cool place. The next morning I got up and ran 4-1/2 in the hills.
Sunday was a day off, but Brooke and I got back at it Monday with a 4 mile run - the weather was nice again on Monday so Brady and I biked after work - only a few miles, but I worked on one leg drills and track standing.
Tuesday - yesterday - I pushed myself for the first time in a while - I started at 5pm with core class. It consists of lots of sit-ups, push-ups, planks and other types of core exercises. It is an intense 15 minutes. That was followed up with a 60 minute spin class. We did a couple new exercises that left me a little fatigued - a good thing I think.
Next up, directly after spinning was the SWAT team's run through the lights. It was a group run we had planned to do before Christmas, but b/c of weather had to reschedule. There were around 20 people that showed up. It was a good run - somewhere between 5-1/2 and 6 miles. We ran through the light display in Carthage then up to the square and around and back. The weather was good and we kept up a decent pace. It felt very refreshing.
Today I have plans on doing 4 - possibly intervals, then Friday I will do 12, and Sunday is the first 5K of the year - Erick's Run!

So, I have decided I will do the Sarcoxie to Carthage Run with the Wind 25K the end of January, then the OKC Memorial Marathon the end of April. Now I have goals I can progress!! :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

End of a Season

I hate this time of year when all your scheduled races are through and you know you need to take time off, but not completely let yourself go. After the L&C Adv. Race I took off 10 days - it was good - I think the body needed it, but since then I have had a hard time maintaining any sort of schedule.
When I don't have a race scheduled it's hard for me to keep my focus. Then the fact that it's the holidays doesn't help either - too much time is spent running around trying to finish shopping and going to programs and parties and eating poorly! :-P

So, what I want to do now is look back at this season - decide what was good about it and what could be better.

My initial pro's are doing a marathon with a lot of friends and family - that was a great pro this year! Let's see, I also really enjoyed doing the Sunflower with Amy, Scott & Scott - it was a really fun race. Then, doing the Dusk till Dawn with Amy - that was great too - I was worried about doing a night race, but it went well and now I have all the gear so I'm ready for the next one. I always like doing the Ozark Greenways Race with Don, Jonas, and John and then of course the healthy competition and camaraderie with Brooke, Tralaine, Andy, and Bob. Another good first this year was Don, Jonas, Brooke and I teaming up to do the Berryman Adventure Race - it was a really good time and we finished well! Another pro for me is starting to ride a road bike - I put in a lot of road miles this year and I think it's helped me all around. I want to carry that into 2009 for sure - into doing more group rides and duathlons (and tri-athlons, but I'll get too that later).

Then the con's - what did I learn that I can improve on for next season?? First, I did too much I think. I need to determine what races I want too do and stick too that - not add a bunch of little pidly races in that end up eating up more time, money and energy than you would think! I don't have to do EVERYTHING. I need to decide what's most important too me and focus on those events. Which leads me too my next con - SWIMMING. I didn't put enough focus on swimming this year, therefore I didn't ever compete in a Tri event. This is something I definitely want to remedy before next season!

So, what am I going to do??
1. At least 1 marathon with emphasis on breaking 4 hours (adding speedwork to my routine)
2. 1-3 Sprint Tri's (depending on how well I like them and how much my swimming improves)
3. Work more on road riding - spend time on drills, going to spinning, and just plain miles
4. 3-4 Adventure Races (adding more single track riding to my routine)
5. It may be a pipe dream, but I would like to break my 24 minute 5K PR

This list will be modified, updated as time goes I'm sure, but this is the start I needed!
So, I'm off to start on the list - heading to spinning class! :-)

The First DNF

So, something I had hoped wouldn't happen finally did. I don't want to spend much time dwelling on it or trying to over analyze it, but I also don't want it to be like it didn't happen.
It was the Lewis and Clark Ozark Adventure Race 2008 - an 18 hour, 3 person Adventure Race held November 15 in Northwest Arkansas.

The days leading up to the event were a little stressful - just knowing it was going to be the longest race we had done, new team, and the weather factor - which didn't seem too be moving in a favorable direction.

Turns out it didn't move favorably - it got cold - highs in the 40's and windy. We had lots of warm clothes though so we really thought we were prepared. We got to the Lewis and Clark shop around 5pm - got registered for the event then ate our complimentary pasta dinner. After that we retreated to our cars to repack our camelbaks then met back up at 7pm for the pre-race meeting where we were told we would be starting at 3am around 30 minutes from where we were. The team decided we should leave at 1:30am so we all went back to our hotels to finish up last minute items and try to get a little shut eye.

Ah, 1AM came early. I took a quick shower to warm up and wake up - got dressed and loaded up then went to Scott's hotel to meet him and Diego - we left from there to go to the start. The race started with a wheelbarrow race to get our maps - I was the wheelbarrow (maybe not the best idea!!). Anyway - got the maps - got back in the truck and plotted our points. First section was biking - in the dark and cold - whoohooo! ;-)
Biking went pretty good for us - we passed 5 teams I think in that section. The road riding was fine then we hit single track. In the dark it was quite a challenge for me - eventually I was able to tuck in behind Diego and could see better with his brighter bike light and made it ok. Not fast, but steady. The lighter it got the better I did so I felt pretty good about that. We hit the canoe section about 8:30am. We made attempts early on to keep ourselves dry - those didn't last long - the river was low and with 3 people we were heavy! We had to push, pull, tug to keep ourselves going - this was no float. About an hour into it we managed to flip our canoe over - nothing like being soaked when it's 40 degrees out. We kept up the pushing, pulling, walking for the next 4 hours.....5 hours in, we thought we should be too the end. When we realized we were still around 3 miles shy we decided to give in. It was 11-1/2 hours into the race - 8-1/2 miles into the canoe and we were 3 very cold individuals. We could have toughed it out, but knew we wouldn't meet the cutoff times to finish the race. It was depressing for all involved. We spent time questioning what we could have done differently and there were a few things, but it mostly boiled down to Mother Nature kicked our arses on this one!

So, the race may have beat us this time, but we will find a way to conquer.