Half Marathons and Spartans

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SO, Its been awhile.  A LOT has happened since the beginning of August.  I’ll do a quick recap.

The last of the AZ Sunrise series.  Foothills Park, Glendale.

This was basically my home turf.  The race start line was 3 mile from home.  Since I was scheduled for a 6 mile run that day I decided, along with coach V, to run to the race location and she would meet me there to drive me to breakfast.  Along the way I ran into a group of fellow embrace your pace runners and stayed with them for a little bit.  about a mile longer than I should have and barely made it to my race in time.  The time wasn’t great 32:14 but given that I ran 4 miles before the 5K I don’t think it was too bad.

 

Next up was the Anthem Sprint Triathlon.

As most of you may recall my last attempt at a tri did not go well up in flagstaff.  I was also dealing with a calf problem that was becoming worse.  Needless to say I was pretty nervous.  I jokingly told people that I would be happy if I was under 2 hours.  I was doing pretty well on the 5K run until about mile 2 then my calf started to act up and forced me to walk for awhile.

The bike was miserable.  I do not know how to maintain speed going up hills.  and as many others noted I look extremely uncomfortable on a bike.  And that is because I am. I need more practice at it. I find it difficult to motivate myself to bike when I dislike it so much and would rather be running.

The swim.  This is what nearly took me out last time.  This was a little easier since it was in a pool.  I was told that I have pretty good form but I need to quit stopping everytime I get to the end of the pool.

Remember I said I would be happy if I got under 2 hours.  I finished in 1:59:59!  I couldn’t have gotten closer to 2 hours if I tried.  And in the interest of full disclosure Coach V finished in 1:51.  So, yeah, I have some work to do on triathlons.

South Mountain 20K

The next race was suppose to be the south mountain 20K.  However, there was a little rain that morning and it was a little chilly, by Arizona standards.  So, they canceled it.  Still a little annoyed but they where really nice and apologetic about it.

Craft Classic Half

Since I was all ready to do a race I found a half marathon the next weekend over in the Fountain Hills area.  Turned out to be a really nice run.  Since I was just using it as a training run for the full I didn’t feel a lot of pressure and was able to enjoy the scenery a little.  the morning was overcast and cool, which was perfect.  The downside was that the course was WAY hillier than I expected.  I went in with what I thought was a fairly obtainable goal of 2:30.  That was before I saw the hills.  The nice thing about hills is that after you go up you generally get to come down.  I LOVE downhill running.  Having been a sprinter I am pretty good at turning my legs over quickly and can charge a downhill.  During training runs I try to charge the uphills and go easy to walking the downhills.  Its my own form of hill training.  Although, I should do more to seek out some hills to train on.  But that will become evident later.

Still the run felt really good.  I did a good job of keeping myself fueled during the run and had a good little kick at the end.  I’ve discovered a gel that doesn’t upset my stomach.  Hammer Gel.  so far I’ve done well with all the flavors I’ve tried and am a big fan of the espresso, but I do have a bit of a coffee problem.   My time was 2:29:55.  So, I bet my 2:30 goal.

Spartan Beast

I’m starting to really enjoy these kinds of runs.  Yes, I view them as runs not races.  I do them to help break up the monotony of running on the road.  The comradery of the people who run them. The challenge of the obstacles. The inevitable hill work.  But not as much for time.  But I still like to do my best.  So nearly 7 hours to go 13.1 miles even with the obsticals.  That was some of the most brutal terrain that I’ve ever faced. I don’t wear my Garmin on these kinds of races so I’m not sure what the elevation change was but I’m guessing  it was a lot.

It was also a TON of fun. I only failed 2 challenges.  The twister and the rope climb.  Someday I’ll figure out that darn rope.  I could do it in high school but I’ve completely forgotten since then.  This was the most prepared that I’ve been for one of these types of races and that was due in no small part to the coaches at El Jefe where I’ve been weight lifting for the past several months.

 

I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know the weightlifting group and feel much stronger than I have since I was helping on my families farms.  So a big thank to coach Jett and coach Vinny for their patience in teaching me how to lift properly.

This also was the last race that I needed for the coveted Spartan Trifecta.  Which means that I’ve completed a Sprint, Super, and Beast in one calendar year.  I’m actually pretty proud of it.

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That catches everyone up on the racing that I’ve been doing to past couple of months.  Of course I’ve been going on training runs although I’m not sticking to the schedule as well as I should.  Hopefully here in the last 6 weeks of training I can get back to more regular running.  My work schedule changed a little and I can’t make the morning group runs anymore.  This has really bummed me out and demotivated me a little.  The Spartan did a lot to get my resolve back.

Last weekend I went on a “short” 8 mile run.  Honestly, it did feel kinda short.  Although I could feel my knees for most of the run and toward the end my right knee.  I’ve actually been having some pain just walking this week.  But Monday evening I went on a short run with coach V in anticipation of her Olympic Tri next weekend and my knee felt fine.  There is a close to .5 mile loop in my neighborhood that we ran.  I did 5 laps and coach V did 4.  I did 2 “speed laps” in the middle.  Ran an 8:20 mile and that included 2 stops to look for coach V.  I topped out 5:10 min mile and actually held that for a little bit according to the Garmin.  So I still have some speed in there somewhere.

And now for some random pictures from the past few months of training!

Couple of shorter training runs this week and next weekend is the first of 2 serious distance training runs.  The 18 mile run!  should be interesting.

I have a lot of other things to talk about but this is already getting kinda long so I’ll save them for another time.

Until then…C-ya!

 

 

 

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