Sunday, March 29, 2009

100 Burpee Challenge

I came across this on one of the crossfit sites I follow: The 100 Burpee Challenge. It's simple. Start a timer and see how long it takes to do 100 burpees. I tried it for the first time two weeks ago and was a bit disappointed to finish in just under 10 minutes. Today I did it in 8:40. That's good enough for a top 50 time on Sherdog. But I know I can do better. I think I am putting form over speed. I'll try this weekly, and once it gets easier I'll move up to a 150 and eventually a 200 burpee challenge to simulate the stress of a fast 5k.

The first quarter of 2009 is almost gone. What about those goals? I really need to start working on those pullups. With Catawba behind me, it's also time to focus on the 5k training.

Run hard out there.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hill Repeats

(click graph to zoom)

Hill Repeats. You run up, then down, and you never really get anywhere. But for some reason I love them. You should too.

Today I went to the park for my lunchtime run and did 11 repeats of a 0.2 mile hill. I was not sprinting it, but I did run every bit of every hill. I also did 10 push-ups at the top and bottom of each repeat. At the top of the last hill I did 20 push-ups. So in less than an hour, I ran 1 mile of warm-up and cool-down, 2 miles uphill, 2 miles downhill (recovery) and did 240 push-ups. It was a very nice way to spend a lunch hour.

Oh, the image is courtesy of my GPS and Check them out.

Run hard out there...

Monday, March 23, 2009

One of my favorite reasons to visit Atlanta...

Piedmont Park

(click to zoom)

Intervals on the 800m cinder oval. Hill repeats on the grass above the lake. It makes running in the heart of the city fun. And wearing a Garmin Forerunner so you can see where all you went makes it even more fun.

And it's all about having fun.

Run hard out there...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prison Workout

Not too long ago the officials who run prisons decided that allowing prisoners to work out with weights all day long was a bad idea. Seems that the guards were just sitting around doing what it takes to pass federal and state physicals, and the prisoners were doing what it takes to survive in prison: pounding iron. Eventually the officials found themselves on the losing end and made the official decision to officially ban weights.

So the prisoners came up with a new plan. The Prison Workout. Burpees baby. Have you tried Burpees yet? Watch Mike Rowe, from Dirty Jobs explain why you should be doing burpees.

So today, when most of my lunchtime running buddies were planning to run on the treadmill, eat, or even go shopping, I came up with a new plan: We would do a Burpee prison workout.

Here is what we did:

Jog to the park (about 1 mile)
At top of hill, Do 15 burpees
jog down and back up hill
do 14 burpees
jog down and back up hill
repeat (descending sets all the way to 1 burpee)
jog down hill and back
jog home (about 1 mile)

This was 120 burpees, and 15 hill repeats. Very little rest. All in about 22 minutes.

Talk about the Happy Face! I was happy from this workout for the rest of the day.

Have you tried burpees yet?

Run hard out there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I finished Catawba Run Around, now what?

2009 Catawba Run Around: 35 miles, 10:30

For most of the hikers I saw on the Appalachian Trail yesterday, it was a perfect day. Who could ask for anything better than 78-degrees and lots of sun on an early March day?

I'd rather have had 45-degrees and raining.

The 2009 Catawba Run Around is over. I finished, in a slowest time ever of 10:30 (two hours slower than last year). But it was a tough run from the get go. Here are my excuses (you know what they say about excuses, right?):
  • I started out too fast. Note to self: ascending Dragon's Tooth early in the race in the top 6 is not a good idea.
  • It was hot. No lie. I bet it hit 80-degrees in the mid-afternoon. And there was not a cloud in the sky.
  • I wore the wrong shoes. Where was all that mud I predicted?
  • Nutrition: I didn't eat enough early in the race and ran out of water 4 miles short of the 3rd aid station
  • The reverse direction is TOUGH! The climbs seem so much steeper in that direction. It's not just my imagination either. Run organizer Keith said the same thing.
  • My training? I don't know. I finished ahead of some great high-mileage ultrarunners, but could I have done better with more training mileage?
I do know that I am not sore today. I have no injuries from the run. My legs were strong most of the way (except for some of those climbs!). I credit that to the sprints and squats I've been doing.

I really feel like my biggest adversary was the unexpected heat. When you do all your training in 25-40 degrees, 65-80 degrees is a bit much.

I felt worse than I have felt in a race for a long time, and mentally it was a big challenge. But on a day where many dropped, (Yo Adrian!) I finished.

For now I'm going to keep training the way I've been training. Short, high intensity runs and lots of non-running workouts. I need to start focusing on that 5k goal. I have a 50k to run in July, but it is on very forgiving trails compared to my other ultras. I think I can do well there on 25-mile weeks and high intensity training. As Hellgate approaches, I need to spend more time on the mountains. That is the one element that I think was missing from my training for Catawba.

At least I can count on more comfortable temperatures for Hellgate.

Run hard out there...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Great run in the snow!

Okay, so what is looking to be the biggest snow "storm" of the winter of 2008/2009 provided the perfect conditions for my last hard run before Catawba. I hit Fishburn Park for 4 tough miles of running in about 6 inches of snow. It was absolutely beautiful! I must start carrying a camera while running. I have a birthday coming up (hint hint).

I wore my Nike ACG running shoes.
These rugged beasts beat any other shoe I have ever worn for running like this. Problem is, I don't know where to find them anymore, and that picture is not even of the shoe I have, although I think it is the same model. It was these same beasts (an earlier model) that I screwed screws into the year that I ran my PR at Hellgate -- also in snow and ice. Lots of it.

Right now the Catawba trail is completely covered by at least 10" of snow. Most of it will likely melt before this weekend -- maybe. The current forecast is for 60-degrees by Saturday. Perfect

Absolutely perfect.

Run hard out there.