Sunday, March 31, 2013

A leisure weekend

I had grand plans to bike and run and lift weights this weekend but Saturday was the only productive day.  Friday- no workout at all and one delicious Reuben sandwich from Le Farm Bakery.
Saturday: 9 miles of singletrack at Harris Lake County Park in the morning and then 14 miles of singletrack at 286 near Umstead.  The ride at Harris Lake was a little on the chilly side but not that bad.  The ride at 286 was near perfect temperatures and weather and bumping into other riders I knew.  I even tried a new log stack that looked a little iffy and it wasn't as difficult as I imagined! I was glad to get in two rides since Sunday morning started out rainy and no one felt like going for a run.  Instead, I did a short (2.5 mile) walk with friends and enjoyed taking it easy this Sunday.  I've got the rest of the week to work hard.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ride Like a Girl 2013 edition

Yesterday was the first Ride Like A Girl mountain biking meetup this year.  As usual, we had it at Lake Crabtree County Park and in total 6 women of varying skill level showed up.  I led the slightly faster group of 3 (including me).  Overall, it was pretty good. I don't think I pushed it too hard but had fun just getting out on my bike since it's been almost a week since I've ridden!  There were not too many people out on the trails either which was nice because you don't have to stop so much to let people pass or to prevent a head-on collision.  One other plus was I got to meet one woman who worked at the Bicycle Chain and will soon have the opportunity to ride with her up in Chapel Hill - since I've never ridden those trails, it's nice to go with someone who has and someone who rides at my pace! Overall we did about 7-8 miles in an hour and 20 minutes (a couple of rest breaks in there).

My goal this year is to get more women attending these weekly rides. Some of the things I'm going to try is to post up a flyer in the local bike stores and libraries to encourage women to sign up. It's free and a great way to get into mountain biking and possibly use the lure of weight loss to get some to try it out.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hill Sprints One More Time

Hills sprints at Umstead are fun?
This Wednesday night, I went back to Umstead to face the Reedy Creek Lake trail hill again, hoping it wouldn't hurt as much as last week and it didn't with a few fixes.  This time, Lisa and Edward joined me in the hill sprints and we shortened it to 0.20 miles instead of 0.25 miles.  The first lap made me hurt and reconsider the distance but we stuck with it. 
6 laps on the hill and then 2 laps getting back to the parking lot and 3:30 rest in between intervals:
Lap 1: 8:31 min/mi pace
Lap 2: 9:12 min/mi
Lap 3: 9:06 min/mi
Lap 4: 9:28 min/mi
Lap 5: 9:02 min/mi
Lap 6: 9:19 min/mi
Lap 7: 8:50 min/mi (less steep)
Lap 8: 8:25 min/mi (flat and lovely)

According to my Garmin this came up to an Active period of 25:11 and 2.56 miles and a rest period of 28:00 with 1.33 miles.  In theory I burned up 386 calories but I'm beginning to believe that I don't actually burn my estimates since whenever I compensate with extra food, it just accumulates on me!  So now I try to underestimate how many calories I burn exercising so MyFitnessPal doesn't trick me into thinking I can eat more (it bases your nutrient needs on your basal metabolic rate + any exercise expenditures you make, so more calories should be eaten the days you exercise). 

So far, MyFitnessPal has been great for assessing how much I'm eating in terms of carbs, protein and fat - and making me realize that some days I don't get enough protein but none of its predictions on calorie uptake versus weight have panned out for me and it's been more than 3 months since I started recording daily what I eat.  I pretty much have swung up and down 3 lbs and I'm on the downswing again because I'm no longer in a chocolate frenzy.  I am learning which foods I'm more sensitive to and when I can eat bread (rarely!) or sweets but really, the best thing for me is to eliminate certain foods completely. I found that having them around sometimes just means I start off conservative (1 or 2 Dove chocolates) but then go hog-wild if I have a bad day or if my hormones are peaking at the right time of the month!  So I'm still learning and reminding myself to be healthier every day. 

Best snack so far: Cascadian organic berry mix 1 cup + 1 cup of greek yogurt, this packs in a ton of protein and the sweetness from the berries satisfies my taste buds.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back at Forged

I got back to the gym today and it was awful but I felt great after it was over. We spent some time working on our ring holds (30 sec x 2) and did burpee broad jumps for the warmup.

Then the WOD:
Burpee box jumps
Bent over row 56 lbs
Push press 56 lbs
Time 15:27
Hopefully I'll be able to get back to the 6 am class schedule!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rainy days, less exercise

Sunday was another rainy day, I did another 3 miles on the treadmill and headed back to Raleigh- a long drive in the rain. This is about all the exercise I'm going to get today since I'm headed to Maryland tonight! The weather is not looking good but I hope to be back in the gym on Tuesday for strength training. Monday will be a rest day since I won't have any time with the traveling.

The weather didn't hold out for us and a whole bunch of rain was dumped on Woodstock. I woke up and dragged myself to the hotel (Hamilton Inn) fitness room which was a particularly sad little room with one recumbent bike and a single treadmill. No free weights or any other equipment was there. Still, I needed to run and I hate running in cold rain so I got on the treadmill and ran 3 miles with 2.3 miles of that at a 10 min/mile pace. It felt good to workout and sweat before breakfast and also to know that I got some exercise in for a day that wasn't going to allow any mountain biking (too bad to ride wet trails). It did stop raining eventually and we went walking all over the tiny town of Woodstock in the afternoon and got in about 2.5 miles of walking also.

Lunch was a disappointment- turns out Mtn bikers are not different or more health conscious- we had cookies and chips in our lunch and it was served in a big, ugly plastic container that wasn't recycled. Oh well, I can't expect great things every day. I did like the local chapter's display and draw for new bikers and participation! Plus I learned quite a bit today about liability and risk management as it relates to Mtn biking trails and usage. Plus finally accepting that in the eyes of the law, both rock climbing AND mountain biking are dangerous! Who knew??! I have been arguing with friends that climbing was more dangerous but the reality is both sports require a person to accept some risks and liability for their own actions.

I'm attending the IMBA-SORBA summit in Woodstock, GA and learning a lot about how trails get built and how complicated our government can be with regards to recreational use of state and federal land. I also learned that mountain bikers are health conscious: lunch was a roast beef wrap with arugula, an apple and a little bit of pasta with feta and sun-dried tomatoes. I ended not eating the pasta (not crazy about feta) and was just surprised by the lack of chips and cookies!

But the best part about going to a biking summit is that they schedule rides into the agenda! We rode on trails today that were in Woodstock: Olde Mill park- Taylor Randahl trail system, a nice network of beginner and intermediate singletrack. Since they have so much traffic here, the trails are directional so today we took all lefts. Compared to the Triangle trails, I'd say it was on the same skill level as Crabtree with the only difference being way more ridge line singletrack and a little bit more elevation. We did about 8.4 miles total. It was the first time I was on the bike since Bouldergeist and my legs felt weak. It took about 3 miles before I started to feel warmed up but it was great to ride. If the weather holds out, we will ride another local trail system tomorrow and hit Mulberry Gap on Sunday. And listen to some more talks about trail liability issues and building more trails!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Running Hill Repeats

I was going to use the excuse of recovery to take another day off from training but Lisa texted me and forced me to get up and go to Umstead for some hill repeats.  We jogged down from the Harrison entrance to the Reedy Creek Lake Trail and started from the bridge and ran uphill for a 1/4 mile and walked back to the bridge for the rest period (~4 min rest).  I thought we were going to be able to do 5 repeats of this but after the first one, both of us felt like we got our asses kicked and knew it was going to be a tough workout.  In particular, I realized that my left hip felt like it was slightly misaligned when I tried running uphill and realized that the half-marathon left me with some residual aches and pains that didn't show up until I tried running again.  The last 3 repeats felt better than the first but it was a hard day for both of us:
Round 1 0.25 mi   2:21       9:27/mile
Round 2 0.25 mi   2:18       9:16/mile
Round 3 0.25 mi   2:21       9:27/mile 
Round 4 0.25 mi   2:25       9:42/mile

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Post races: Feeling good

Saturday, after the trail half marathon, my body was stiff and sore till 9 pm. I walked like an 80 year old woman and the sides of my legs felt strained- new muscles had worked that day. I woke up Sunday feeling pretty good with only a little soreness in my hamstrings.

I made it to San Lee for the MTb race about 70 minutes before the start of the race. Another guy who had run the half marathon asked me how I felt (wish I could remember who he was) and I told him I felt okay but my only expectation for the MTb race was to finish! He said the same. Post Bouldergeist, I was tired and a little sore but no where near the pain level I felt on Saturday. Come Monday, I was feeling pretty good but took the day off since my heartrate averaged over 170 bpm for over 4 hours total during the races. I didn't realize my legs were tired until I tried to walk up 2 flights of stairs today- yeah, another rest day is in order.

Bouldergeist at San Lee Park is an annual mountain biking race held as part of the Southern Classic Series.  I have wanted to race at San Lee for the last 2 years but did not have the guts or the skills needed (as in I wanted to race and not crash and burn on the famous rocks there).  But this year, with a half-marathon the day before and my biking much improved, I wanted to give it a shot so I signed up for Cat 2, Womens +30 age group.  I guess I could have signed up for Cat 3 (beginner) but it seemed like the pace levels of both groups were pretty similar so I just signed up for Cat 2.

Post-race! I can still stand.
Overall winner gets this big rock + cash!
A lot of fast people
Our heat started around 10:10 am and began at the bottom of a big-ass hill.  You had to race up this hill and then another little hill before entering the trails.  Needless to say, this was not the best start for me because I'm no good at fast acceleration and I was the second to last person up that hill.  (Note to self, really work on your hill repeats on a bike).  I caught up to some of the women once we were on the trail and even managed to go down the first rocky section (Bouldergeist?) successfully but then got stuck not being able to make the switchback because a girl was standing there with her bike (she was trying to be out of the way but it's a tight switch back!).  Still, I was happy I made it down the boulder without putting my foot down!  I tried really hard to keep up a good pace and did more of the logs and rocky sections than I have before and got past one girl who had much stronger cardio than me just by the mere fact that I could cut her off by going over the logs while she took the ride arounds.  That was the most interesting revelation to me during this race-my technical skills were getting really good but I still was no where near fast enough to catch up to those with stronger cardio.  Guys in Cat 3 started to catch up and there was one guy behind me that I wouldn't let pass until we finished a fast downhill and on the next section, I let him pass and he said "You were crazy on that downhill", I told him that was the only way to do it! You can't brake on these downhills!  I was doing pretty well until I noticed that my left shoelaces were untied. The 30 seconds or so it took me to tie them, the last woman in my age category passed me! And I never could catch up.  So I ended up being 6th of 6 7th of 7 and finishing in 1:29:29.  I was still pretty happy with my performance, I did better on many of the technical sections and didn't crash and had my strongest ride at San Lee to date.

I did learn one other thing- go fast enough that the juniors don't pass you. At one point with about 1-2 miles left, two little pipsqueaks passed me but then twice, they stopped and walked a section because they couldn't do it. First time- I stopped too because it was already to late for me to try the rock drop zone, the second time, they stopped at a freaking log and neither of those little kids thought to get out of the way even though I was right behind them. I was mean (it was not my proudest moment) and said "get out of the way", then I said "shit!" because I couldn't make it up the log now that I was trying to get over it without knocking them down, and then I apologized for cursing in front of them and went on my way. Luckily they didn't catch up to me.  It also turned out there was another woman right behind me when this happened and all she said was "Trail manners! guess they are still learning". I was doing better on the downhills then her but she kept beating me uphill so I let her pass and then 30 seconds later, saw her fall down on a turn.  She said she was okay so I went on my way.  After that, one other woman passed me and came out about 20 9 seconds ahead of me at the finish line which was back up the same damn hill we started on. She went for a magnificent attack up the hill, I just plodded my way up because I didn't feel any incentive to burn it up when I had nothing else left in the tank!

Post-race- I ate a Caramello bar I had been saving up and enjoyed some pizza at Mellow Mushroom.  I think I would do this race again but I seriously need to do some hard cardio. It seems like the key is to get a good headstart to beat the people who have little technical skills but that is easier said than done.

Storm Endurance sponsored the race

I signed up for another running race even though I was not prepared for it really. Mainly I signed up because I thought it would be fun to do a half-marathon and a bike race in the same weekend at San Lee Park- I like this format, basically pushing myself two days in a row on two of my favorite activities, plus it was on one of the best trails in the Triangle that doesn't get enough love (something about it being SO FAR AWAY FROM RALEIGH). It's not really far away but it is a 40-45 minute drive and there is not much else to see there but we come for the trails.

Saturday was the San Lee Trail Half-marathon and it covered some of the hiking trails and all of the mountain biking trails. There were only 31 people in this race! We started off in the parking lot and ran up past the main building on the right and turned left up the hill.  Then we hit the first trail off the right at the top and that looped us around for 1 mile until we got back on the road and turned right onto the mountain biking trails.

Smallest race for me.
RD: Allison Rhyne
I pretty much ran this first part with 4 other women who were going about my pace.  In the first 1/2 mile on the mtb trail, one of them took a pretty good fall, she rolled over 2 times and managed to get up safely. It was actually an excellent fall, she didn't try to use her hands (and wrists) to stop her self and ended up just getting back up and started to run again.  Eventually, all 4 of them overtook me, but I caught up to them again at mile 5 and kept up a good lead on them until after that.  There was an aid station at mile 4.75 where I ate a GU strawberry banana  and drank a cup of water.
Finisher medal and bottle
Gotta keep moving!
There was another aid station at mile 8.8 and I had the same thing there because I wasn't sure if I was going to make it without any more sugar.  Eating GU was not the right decision, I'm definitely not used it and my stomach was hurting a little bit in the last 2 miles.  At the 5 mile marker, I had company- David. He ended up running the rest of the way with me and keeping me occupied with conversation about his wife, his badass mountain biker teen son, and telling me about his coach and the kind of training he was doing.  It was nice having someone to pace with since my legs were feeling heavy by mile 11. 

The rocky sections of The Gauntlet and Free Fall were just as hard running as it is biking those sections.  I pretty much walked most of Free Fall since I didn't want to hurt my feet (wearing MERRELL Pace Glove Shoes (Black)).  And running on the Mega Jump section was not so much fun.  This is a rolling section that is awesome when biking but running was tough, it was just up and down, up and down and up and down.  The cruelest part was at the end of the mountain biking trail where we saw the Finish line but still had another mile to go back in the woods and pop out near the playground to finish. At this point, David got ahead of me and ended up finishing eleven seconds faster than me!  As I crossed the finish line, at 2:50:32, I thought I felt pretty good but my calves started to cramp up immediately and I was just in pain for about 30 minutes until it subsided.  I have never had that much calf pain before but it is most likely due to lack of training!

I sat down in the grass post-race and massaged my calves
At the finish line, they had real Coke for us plus oranges, cookies and pretzels.  Overall it was a pretty awesome time. Here is a breakdown of my score for this race:
Weather: A+ cloudy and in the high 60s
Nice T-shirt!

T-shirt: B+, I liked the design but wish they offered a women's cut
Race reward 1: A+ a handmade finisher medal from Ouida's Antiques and Pottery
Race reward 2: A+ a very nice stainless steel water bottle with the San Lee Trail Logo
Race route: A, this is a great trail if you like ups and downs and more ups and downs and if you love rocks and more rocks and 5 creek crossings that get your feet wet, I did.
I only noticed my injury when I got home, at one point a really sharp piece of wood hit the back of my right foot and scraped me up. I'm not sure how I kicked up the piece of wood to hit me.
My stats for this race: 13.1 miles in 2:50, with an average heartrate of 174 bpm and a max heartrate of 186 bpm.  I can't believe I kept my heartrate around 174 +/- 5 bpm for this long.

Post-race eats: blackberries and marscapone!
Symmetrical injury

Race video! I'm in here looking ungraceful and slow but it's proof I was there and did it! Very cool of Donn Otte (the master trailbuilder for San Lee) to take time out to record this race.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sprints and Lifting

On Wednesday, I skipped Forged Fitness to do 100M sprints out on the Dorothea Dix campus.  The fields were a littly lumpy but it worked out okay:
8 x 100M sprints with a 100M walk in between each sprint
My sprints were consistent ~ about a 6:30 min/mile pace and I didn't break down on the last set so that is good. Now I just have to do speed work once a week to get my running back to where it was over a year ago!

On Thursday morning, I was back at Forged Fitness and did this:
Hang Cleans 5 sets of 6 reps: 33 lbs, 55 lbs, 63 lbs, 73 lbs, 83 lbs
Row for 30 sec
Rest for 30 sec
10 rounds
I got 1336 Meters and was able to maintain a 2:00/500M pace for each round, on a standard row, my pace is somewhere from 2:20-2:30/500M.  I really liked doing "sprints" on the rower!

Then more strength work:
Strict Presses
45 lbs x 10 reps warmup
55 lbs x 5 reps
65 lbs x 3 reps
70 lbs x 4 reps (one more rep from 2 weeks ago!)

Now I just rest and get the right nutrition for another weekend of races (trail half-marathon and a 10 mile mountain bike race)!

Lunch this week: organic ground beef with asparagus/brocolli with a side of avocado/cucumbers!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Deadlift WOD and MTB training

I was tired again and skipped Monday and almost skipped today but didn't:
Wall balls 14 lbs
Deadlifts 115 lbs
Time 14:47
I saw one guy was catching up to me and I pushed it to finish before him and after he got done, he told me "I was trying to beat your time but didn't make it!"
Yeah, I'm a little competitive.
Afterwards I did my MTb strength training:
Uni kettlebell snatch
Leg raises
Goblet squats 35 lbs
Eccentric handstand press
Reverse lunges 35 lb kettlebell
Alternate presses 20 lb dumbbells
Inverse rows
I was wiped out by the end!

After feeling tired on Thursday and Friday, I was surprised with how much energy I had this weekend. I guess my body was just trying to tell me to rest and it did it by not giving me any energy on Friday so I had to just recuperate!
Saturday: Meltdown at Harris Lake
This was a 6 hour endurance mountain bike race and I participated as a duo female with Tammy.  Basically, one person rides the course and then switches off with their partner and then the total laps and time is your overall score.
I did the first lap, and then we alternated, in the total we did 7 laps (me 4, Tammy 3), with each lap being 7 miles of singletrack at Harris Lake State park.  It was much more fun than I expected, I haven't had much endurance when I tried this in the past but this time, the breaks I had when Tammy was out riding a lap were just right for me to grab a snack and drink some water.  I didn't carry anything when I was out doing my laps (no Camelbak full of water/supplies!) and this was liberating.  The course at Harris eliminated the drop zone so nothing was technically hard and it was mostly a fast course with parts that were just tight and twisty (so you had to slow down unless you can show me how to speed on this stuff)
Our lap times:
Lap 1 (S):  45:29
Lap 2 (T): 48:19
Lap 3 (S): 49:48
Lap 4 (T): 49:51
Lap 5 (S): 49:00
Lap 6 (T): 53:44
Lap 7 (S): 50:39
Not bad!  And since we had no competition, we got first place in our category :).
Both of us were pretty consistent and turned out to be evenly matched in terms of pace.  If she is free for the race at Crabtree in April, I am probably going to do duo again with her. 
I ended up eating two bananas, 8 graham crackers and 2 Sport jelly beans and 100 ounces of water over the 6 hours and it was perfect for 4 laps.  I think the only thing that hurt by the end of the race was my left wrist which means I need to adjust the grip on my handlebars.  Other than that, my back felt great and my legs were not overly sore or tired.

On Sunday, I ran Company Mill with Lisa, we did the 6 miles of trail about 78 minutes, consistent with last week's run.  I'm not sure if I am ready for a half-marathon but I know I won't die out there now.  I waited about two hours post-run to mountain bike Rocky Road with more friends.  Rocky Road is a tough 6 miles but it's getting easier every time (never thought I'd be able to say that).  My climbing was better and my balance was better but still need to work on my speed (as in get faster). I also need to improve my wheelies to get over the logs without hitting the bottom bracket on my bike.  What a great Sunday! What a great weekend! Both sets of friends think I'm odd for doing this much but the reality is that if I have the energy, this is what I'd be doing all the time.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bench press and food on my mind

I took Thursday off because my energy was low and my legs still felt "tired".  Friday rolled along and I was still tired, so much so that I slept an extra hour (maybe not getting enough sleep Monday and Tuesday night had something to do with it).  By Friday evening, I was still feeling a bit tired and unmotivated but made myself go down to the basement and belt out my bench press routine:
10 reps @45 lbs warmup
5 reps @65 lbs
3 reps @75 lbs
6 reps @85 lbs
I tried to do some presses afterward but felt dizzy and uncoordinated so I quit at that point.  I hope it's just an off day and I'm not getting sick since I signed up for a 6 hour mountain bike race tomorrow!  I'm resting up now.

As for my diet and eating habits this week, I can't say I've been very good. I'm somewhere in the middle since I indulged in some chocolate ganache tart and sacrificed my healthy lunch for some nasty biscuits at Bojangles (it was a work thing but that isn't a great excuse).  I discovered that the steak biscuit at Bojangles was edible and that the egg & cheese biscuit was nasty. I still ate both of them though and that comes out to 1100 calories!  My daily recommended calorie allowance is about 1500-1700 calories so I went a little overboard today.  Yesterday was better when I had salmon with artichoke hearts and bell peppers.  I have realized that keeping a regular routine of eating food I prepare at home guarantees better success, I'm just not very good at keeping on track when I eat out.  And if I do eat out, I have to exercise pretty hard the same day to just maintain an even balance (but it doesn't seem to matter how much I exercise, I don't get a free pass to eat whatever I want).  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Squat Snatch and burpees

This was a hard WOD, due to the fact that my legs were already kind of worked over from squatting and lunging at 7 pm the night before and then doing this WOD at 6 am!
As many rounds as possible in 15 min:
10 snatch squats 44 lbs
10 burpees
I did 6 rounds but it was hard, hard to go into a full squat while snatching and hard to do the burpees after the snatches!

Afterward, I worked on my mtb strength training program:
One arm kettlebell swings 26 lbs
Hanging leg raise (making an L with my body)
Goblet Squats 35 lbs
Eccentric handstand press (I got into a handstand and managed a 1/4 press before falling down!)
Alternate shoulder press 20 lb dumbbells
Inverted row
Overall effort was a 10 and rate of perceived exertion was 7-8. Today felt pretty hard. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back squats, lunges and fueling up

I did the bare minimum strength workout today:
Back Squats
10 reps @45 lbs warmup
5 reps @75 lbs
3 reps @85 lbs
6 reps @95 lbs
My legs were still feeling a little weak from the weekend and Monday's workout, I wish I had tried to do more reps at 95 lbs but it is what it is.
Then Walking lunges with 2x30 lb kettlebells:
20 lunges x 3 sets
Then Abmat situps - 90 with an 18 lb medicine ball.

Post workout meal was outstanding homemade Pakistani fare with a twist: the last kebab in the freezer, curried okra and instead of rice - cauliflower/carrots that was cooked and used as my "rice" base. So easy and so delicious.  The cauliflower/carrot combo is just chopped up in a food processor and then cooked in some olive oil with onions and spices.  This is the best replacement I've seen and tasted for rice/the standard carb side you would have with meat and veggies. 

A kebab, curried okra and cauliflower/carrot "rice"

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rxing the WOD and some strength work

The warmup for today's WOD was taking just a barbell (I  used the 33 lb one) and going through push presses, front squats and then thrusters (combo of a front squat to push press).  My legs were feeling a little like jelly just using the bar and I was wondering if I could even do 55 lbs in the WOD.  I decided to give it a shot anyway and it turned out to be the right decision.
Monday's WOD:
Row 600M
Then 5 rounds of:
10 thrusters (55 lbs)
10 Bent over Row (55 lbs)
10 Split Squat (55 lbs, 5 each leg)
Row 600M again
I finished in 18:21. It was hard but I did it!  

Afterward, I worked on one portion of the MTB strength training program, now in my 9th week and a new set of exercises to try:
Deadlifts 3 sets of 8 reps 125 lbs
Floor presses 3 sets of 8 reps 75 lbs
The rest of the training will have to be after work.

This was a pretty productive weekend:
On Saturday, I went to the Athletic Performance Lab for a Runner's Clinic.  It was free and actually pretty useful.  The first hour was mainly Q&A on injury, running form, training, etc.  I didn't learn too much other than apparently many people suffer from plantar fascitis and they all wear big fat cushiony shoes instead of something more minimal!  The second half was better:
1. Core/stability exercises:
a. Planks
Doing a plank and raising one leg, raising one arm, then raising the opposite leg and arm at the same time- much harder and requires a much more stable core
b. Single Leg squats
I never knew how to progress with single leg squats but they showed us by using different height boxes, you can eventually work to get a single leg squat that goes below parallel.  I only got to the 18" box but even that was progress for me!

2. Running drills
A couple of different running drills to improve form, learning to keep mostly upright with just a slight tilt forward, raising the knee up and then down and sliding the foot back and repeating.  Drills! Drills are important, I'd probably be a better runner with better form if I did my drills.  This theme keeps repeating in many different areas of my life, if I did my biking drills, if I did my multivariate modeling drills, if I practice the bass guitar drills, so many drills so little time.

3. Trigger Point/stretching AKA using a tennis ball torture yourself
They showed us how to use a foam roller- I didn't know I could roll my shins but this should help prevent shin splints.  And I learned that you don't just roll in one direction, for example, rolling on my quads, I should turn from side to side to really get the full effect.  And it turned out the sides of my quad hurt more than just the frontal area and that is where I should be foam rolling!
I then used a tennis ball to roll out around my shoulder blades and found the spots that were knotted, and rolling with the tennis ball was painful but necessary to get better.

Overall, for 2 hours, this was a pretty good clinic and I am glad I got to go.

After lunch, I went for a mountain bike ride on the 286 singletrack trails.  This was not so fun, my quads burned.  They burned for the first 7 miles and then it got better and I was able to enjoy the second half of the trail.  I was not feeling like all the training I was doing was working though but it's just one bad day.

On Sunday, I went for a run at Company Mill @ Umstead with Lisa and Barbara and Kurt.  The most aggravating thing was seeing Kurt running easily after just yesterday finishing the Umstead Marathon and I was just huffing and puffing trying to keep up with them today and THEY WERE TAKING IT EASY!  Oh well, at least I kept them in my sights.  It took about 80 minutes to do the 6 miles. And the last mile, some random guy joined us because he needed the company to finish and then he ended up pushing me to finish strong and with his yelling encouragement, I managed to stay with the group and not end up walking the last half mile.

After lunch, I drove to San Lee park and did the singletrack over there. It was amazing, it was great!  The trailbuilders have been working overtime and there was a lot of new stuff out there.  I did much better than yesterday, my quads only hurt for the first 3 miles and then I started to feel better.  We did the whole trail ~ 9 miles I think (minus Free Fall) in about 2 hours.  I can't say it enough, it was so gratifying to be able to do most of this trail (yeah, yeah, I still can't do Free Fall and didn't even attempt it this time),but I did most of the Gauntlet, tried some of the rock drops and was more successful on the tight upward switchbacks and cleared all the berms.  San Lee didn't kick my ass, I felt like I actually held my own today. I'm hoping this is one step in my progress and it will keep getting better and better. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday WOD and MTB training

This marks the end of the 8th week of my mountain bike strength training program. I can definitely feel the change in my core strength and I have progressed to being able to hold myself up in a handstand (against a wall). I still have hip soreness when I bike so I feel like I haven't made enough progress but there is still 16 more weeks to go!

I did the WOD first and then MTb training:
As many reps in 1 minute of each exercise then rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more times:
Thrusters 45 lbs
Kettlebell swings 25 lbs
Row for calories
Box jumps
You count all your reps and get a total: I got 310. This was a modified version of Fight Gone Bad, this felt way easier for me.
Afterward I did my MTb training:
Kettlebell halos 30 lbs
One arm kettlebell swings 25 lbs
Wall handstands
Chin-ups band assisted
Close squats
Bulgarian squats 30 lbs
One arm dumbbell rows 25 lbs

Also on the food front, I was pretty good this week but did have a breakdown yesterday, eating a bag of Godiva truffles. I tried to make up for it by going on a 4 mile run and eating a very healthy dinner ( see picture). Spicy extra lean ground beef with an avocado and red bell pepper- delicious!

Healthy dinner: spicy ground beef with a little pepper jack cheese, avocado, and red bell pepper

Dark chocolate truffle with sea salt and green tea, I wish I had stopped at 1 truffle!