50k training – week 4 recap (or that time I kinda got chased by a bear)

Hello!

Week 4 of my 50k training is in the books and boy, oh boy, did it end with a BANG!

Monday

Monday was track work – 5x1000m at 4:30 with a 400m rest interval.

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I did a mile warm-up and enjoyed the beautiful sunrise. πŸ™‚

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My times looked like this: 4:30, 4:30, 4:30, 4:34, 4:25.

Not sure what happened on the 4th one but I made up for it on the 5th!

I actually felt really, really good. Physically, I probably could have done a couple more! But, I didn’t.

Did 3/4 mile cool down jog and about 5 minutes of good stretching.

No CrossFit tonight.

Tuesday

I’m officially at the 6pm class at CrossFit. My work schedule has been changed (accommodates my running without me having to bounce back and forth between two different schedules!) and the 4pm class is out of the question. Hard to be in 2 places at once!

So, Tuesday, I didn’t know ANYBODY. Not even the Coach! It was a little awkward but at least next time, the faces will be a little familiar. πŸ™‚

We started off with an EMOM workout of rope climbs.

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Every minute on the minute, we had to do 2 rope climbs for 10 minutes. 10!

I tried to get 2 climbs done on the first minute but I only managed 1 1/2 before I realized I wouldn’t have any rest before the next minute.

So, I scaled back and did 1 climb every minute. Which was really, really hard.

I can climb okay but I’m really slow and I need to work on my kip so I make the motion more legs and less arms. The coming back down part is where I struggle. I’m a little afraid of heights so I don’t trust myself to let go of my legs and just go hand over hand using my feet as a guide.

Can you say rope burn?

Then, we followed that up with a 5k row.

Finished mine in 24:38. When I got up, I felt like I’d been riding a horse. Haha!

Wednesday

Tempo run day!

I really wasn’t sure how it was going to work out after having rowed a 5k just last night but I was going to give it my all.

I had 6 miles – 1 mile warm-up @ 9:32, 4 miles @ 8:12, 1 mile cool down @ 9:32.

Um, yeah.

My tempo miles looked like this: 8:01, 8:11, 7:58, 8:08.

I was pretty much all over the place! Whenever I slowed down, I felt like I was going too slow. Clearly, I wasn’t but I was having a really difficult time judging my speed.

And, honestly, I didn’t think I had a 7:58 in me because I was so darned tired!

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Wednesday night CrossFit started with overhead squat work. 5 sets of 2 reps.

I started with 35#, moved up to 45#, tried and sucked at 55#, and went back down to 45# to work on form.

You wouldn’t think 10# would make such a big difference but it really does. I couldn’t even get to parallel with 55#.

Then, the WOD was a 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 snatches (full squat snatch) and 10 burpees over the bar.

Coach wanted me to work on my squat more than the snatch so he modified my workout to weighted squats – I held a 10# plate out in front of me and squatted. Then, I dropped the plate and did my burpees and jumped onto the plate.

I made it through almost 6 rounds – was 4 burpees shy of finishing the full 6.

Holy. Sweaty. Mess.

Thursday

I was so blissfully happy that I didn’t have running on the schedule for today! I had just done 3 tough workouts in a 24 hour period and my body was begging for a little break!

Sleeping in (until 5:45!) was blissful. πŸ™‚

Thursday night CrossFit started with deadlifts – 3 sets of 5.

I started with 125#, then moved up to 175#.

That may have been a little aggressive.

I tried 195# but could only manage 2, dropped down to 185# and knocked out 2 more and called it. Oof!

Deadlifts were also a part of the WOD so I didn’t want to do too much more than I already had.

195# is a PR!!!!

Hell, pretty much ALL of that was a PR! 175# five times?!?! Heck yeah!!

So, the WOD was 9, 7, 5 of deadliest (145#), strict ring dips, and pistols (each leg).

After doing the heavy deadlifts to start, you would think 145# would feel light. Yeah. Not so much.

I downsized my band for the strict ring dips from purple to red (YAY!) and modified the pistols.

I added one more modification in that my heel was also elevated on a plate.

I don’t know how holding a weight out in front of you makes them easier rather than harder but it really does! I still struggled a little and learned that my left hip is a lot less flexible than my right hip. My left knee kept wanting to drop in and I really had to work hard to not let it otherwise I would fall over.

But, I made great progression and I’m proud of myself!

I can’t remember my finish time. I was just happy to be done!

Friday

Blissful, happy, FULL rest day!!!

Saturday

I had my first 20-miler on the schedule for today and I was just full of emotions.

Part of me didn’t want to run at all – sleeping just sounded so nice!

But, I got up and went. My prescribed pace was 9:49 and I kept that for a while.

The weather was absolutely perfect! It was about 68 degrees, the humidity wasn’t too high, and there was a breeze. Sweet, blissful, beautiful BREEZE!

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I was tooling along, minding my own business, lost in my thoughts as I made my way through the local park. I run to the park, then around the trails in the park, and then away from the park to neighborhoods near my house.

It all sounds so far away but it really isn’t. The park is a mile up the road – I just take the extended way there – and the neighborhoods I run in are right across the street but they go back pretty far and I can get some good mileage out of them.

Anyway, I’m cruising along through the park, enjoying my morning and thinking about our hike a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking about the things we saw and the things we didn’t see (like bears) and I rounded a corner and stopped dead in my tracks.

There was a bear on the path.

He was a young bear and I startled him pretty good. Although, I have to admit, he startled ME pretty good.

He bolted up a hill, running and thrashing through the brush. I just stood there watching, waiting to see if an even larger mama bear appeared at the top of that hill – which, by the way, led to some HOUSES!!!

The park I run in is right in town, has a dog park, walking and mountain bike trails, you can rent kayaks and go out on the river, etc. It’s not a state park or wildlife conservation area or anything. The most I see in there is squirrels and sometimes deer. I saw a raccoon once. Otherwise, I just see people and their dogs.

Anyway, I didn’t see signs of more bears so I decided to keep on going. I stopped a couple of times to warn some dog walkers but I kept tooling on around the park.

I finished my loop and was heading out the way I came in, turned a corner on the road and holy shit, the bear came out of the treeline bordering the park.

(after some thought, my sailor thinks it might have been 2 bears but I think it was just the one)

He crossed the street in front of me, not really seeing me, and tried to get through the shrubbery on the right. Unfortunately, there’s a fence – like barbed wire – that prevents idiot kids from hopping the fence out onto the state road that’s right there. And, that meant bears couldn’t get through it either.

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Since he couldn’t get through, he came back out to the road.

Where I was standing.

And he started heading my way!

Then, he started to GALLOP down the road!

I freaked out and started to back up.

I didn’t run because I didn’t want him to chase me. That would have been very very bad.

I seriously couldn’t believe there weren’t ANY cars coming or anything!

I dialed 911 as I was backing up.

Darn bear backed me up probably a good 250-300 feet before he stopped and headed back into the treeline.

I got dispatch on the phone and told them what was going on.

I think some of the words I used were, “I’m just a girl! I’m just a runner!”

LOL

We discussed what I should do and she suggested going an alternate route. Except my alternate route was BACK THROUGH THE PARK. Where the bear JUST WENT!!!

She said she would get people out there – guess it’s the Virginia Department of Game & Wildlife that had to be called.

After I got off the phone, I debated for a few minutes on what I should do.

Then, a car drove down the road.

So, I decided I would keep going. Surely the bear wouldn’t come out now because there was a car.

Oh, and where the heck was that car when I needed it?!?!?!?!?!

I started running again, keeping my eyes peeled on the treeline.

I passed the trees and got to the big open field.

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I looked out there and that darned bear was galloping through the field!

I kinda ducked (yep, still running) and said, “please don’t see me, please don’t see me, please don’t see me.”

He didn’t see me.

PHEW!!!

I made itΒ to the next treeline, picked up my pace a little, and got to where the houses were.

People and cars! Safety! No bears!!

Miles 10-16 were a little quicker than my prescribed pace.

I looked down at my watch at one point and saw my pace was 9:15. Pure adrenaline.

Miles 16-20, though? Those pretty much sucked.

But, I finished them.

And I had quite a story to tell when I got home!

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Wouldn’t have been such a good story if I got gobbled by thatΒ bear though.

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Overall, my pace ended up being slower than prescribed but I knocked out the whole 20 miles AND survived a bear scare.

For what it’s worth, if you encounter a black bear, make yourself as BIG as possible and lower your voice and try to sound scary.

Or, you can call 911 and say, “I’m just a girl!”

That’ll work, too.

Talk to me: Have you ever encountered a bear? What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while you were out on a run?

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5 thoughts on “50k training – week 4 recap (or that time I kinda got chased by a bear)

  1. Good stuff! Last fall I was running early on Sunday mornings and 5:00am slowly started to get darker and darker. One day I forgot my headlamp but didn’t think much of it. It’s dark, but not pitch black. I can see that the dirt road is gray, not black like the woods next to it. It’ll get light in 15 minutes, so I’m not really concerned. But then a rustle in the brush and a little black shape pops out on to the road. I have no idea what it is, but it appears to be pacing me. It trots along for about 50 yards and then dives back off the road. I am pretty sure it was a fox, but it was dark enough that there was no way to tell…

    • That would have really freaked me out! I called our local weekly newspaper yesterday about the bear and I’m pretty sure the story will run in tomorrow’s edition. I’m hopeful that the reporter was able to do some more digging and find out if the Fish and Wildlife people actually came out and tried to trap the bear. I’m a little nervous about heading back to the park for next week’s run! Thankfully, it’s closed from dusk to dawn so I won’t be in there in the dark but, clearly I’m out running early enough for the bears to still be hanging out. I’d avoid the park altogether but it gives me some good mileage and some hills. :/

  2. A bear!!! OMG, that’s amazing – and you got a picture!! I’ve seen raccoons, turkeys, snakes, a coyote, a fox… but never anything as exciting as a bear!!
    BTW, those are some great workouts – nice job!

    • It was very exciting and I’ve had a great story to tell all week but honestly, I’m really hoping I don’t have another photo op with Yogi this weekend! πŸ™‚ Rumor also has it that there’s a bobcat roaming around our area, too. I’m definitely a cat lady and all but I’d be okay if we didn’t meet on the trail. Ha!

  3. Pingback: Friday reflections – my 2014 goals and how I’m doing | A Hungry Runner

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