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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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 it 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 that 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?

50k training – week 3 recap

Hi there!

Happy weekend!

So, week 3 of my 16 week training plan for the 50k is in the books. Thank goodness!

It was a long week – a good one but tough, too.

Monday

I had track work on my schedule but I had to be at work by 6:45am so that didn’t happen. Such is life when you work at the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office and last weekend was a 3 day holiday (read: drinking) weekend. It was all hands on deck for picking up the arrest warrants, creating and entering the cases, and getting things ready for court that morning. Good times.

I would have (maybe … okay, probably not) made it up after work but I also had CrossFit on the schedule.

Before you freak out about the doubles, I only have them one or two times a week (pretty much alternating weeks) so it’s not like I’m going crazy with the working out. 🙂

So, for Monday’s workout at CrossFit, we started with 20 minutes to find our double cluster max. Basically, how heavy we could do 2 squat clean thrusters (hence: cluster) in a row.

Mine was 85#. That’s actually a PR for me too! I tried 95# but I could only sorta get one squat clean and the thruster part just didn’t happen.

Then, the WOD was 3 rounds for time of 10 thrusters and 20 toes to bar.

I opted for 55# as my scaled weight and finished in 10:22.

Tuesday

Just CrossFit today.

We started off with a 10 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout.

The odd minutes were 5 strict pull-ups (you had the full minute to get the 5 done and then you rested until the even minute). I used the purple band.

The even minutes were 30 second hollow holds. Oh, hello abs!

Then, the WOD was “the Ghost” – 6 rounds of 1 minute calorie row (count calories burned), 1 minute burpees (count the burpees), 1 minute double unders or attempts (count how many you did) and one minute of rest. (Um, hello, that’s basically 6 minutes of burpees!)

I knocked out 217 total! I really, really suck at double unders but Coach wasn’t letting us do singles instead. She said that we’ll never learn to do double unders if we always do singles so we were doing attempts. I got a few each round – maybe 5 or 6 so I’m pretty stoked about that. I definitely need to work on those some more though.

Wednesday

Just CrossFit today.

We did heavy Isabel.

The CrossFit “girl” WODs are benchmark WODs. You do them to see where you are, what you need work on, and then, how you’ve improved.

Isabel is 30 snatches.

Coach wanted us to do squat snatches instead and go heavy, making the workout slower and more intense than regular old already intense Isabel.

Of course, I can’t go heavy because my overhead squat is atrocious. I stuck with 45#.

Coach had me power snatch (like in regular Isabel) and then reset and do my overhead squat because I am a big awkward mess.

I can’t remember how long it took me but I was working hard!

The good news is based on the power snatch, I know I can do more than 45#! Just have to really work on that overhead squat.

Dear hips and ankles, gonna need you to work with me and get a little more flexible, please. Thanks! Love, me.

Thursday

Tempo run!

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Had 7 miles on the schedule.

1 mile warm up @ 9:30 pace, 5 miles @ 8:27 pace, and 1 mile cool down @ 9:30 pace.

Except, when I got out there, I forgot it was 8:27 and thought it was 8:30 instead. Oops. I blame early + no coffee.

My tempo miles were 8:29, 8:26, 8:32, 8:34, 8:32.

I cut my cool down mile a little short because, honestly, I just ended up back at my house sooner than I expected and I didn’t want to run down the street and turn around and come back or do laps in my yard like a dog. Besides, I had to get ready for work. #lazy 🙂

No CrossFit today.

Friday

Just CrossFit today.

We started with 20 minutes to find our one rep max of the push jerk.

I PR’d with 105#!!!! AND, I almost got 115# but I just wasn’t getting my body down underneath the bar. But, I’m almost there!!

Then, the WOD was 30 muscle ups for time.

Except, I don’t even have 1 muscle up.

So, scaling for that was 3:1 with pull-ups and ring dips.

That means 3 pull-ups and 3 ring dips per 1 muscle up.

If you can do math, you know that’s 90 pull-ups and 90 ring dips. UGH!

I planned on kipping all of my pull-ups but I set up a band just in case. 90 pull-ups and 90 ring dips is a lot of shoulder work! I have to use a band for the ring dips – not quite there yet with those.

I was moving along quite nicely – broke them down into 9 rounds of 10 until pull-up number 56 when my hand ripped. 😦

I tried to kip a couple more but couldn’t so I had to do the rest banded. I struggled to hold onto the bar because my hand hurt so it really slowed me down.

I can’t remember my time but it was probably 24-25 minutes.

Thank goodness I don’t have CrossFit again until Tuesday! My hand needs the time to heal.

Saturday

Long run!

I had 17 miles at 9:34 pace.

Man, that run was tough.

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Yeah, the 9:34 pace didn’t happen. My legs were tired and a little heavy feeling. I had to stop twice to take off my shoe and massage the ball of my left foot. (I have metatarsalgia and boy, did it decide to flare up. Massaging really helps.) I was drenched when I got home – looked like I had gone for a swim instead of a run. Something chafed my back the entire way – not sure if it was my sports bra strap or my Nathan Race Vest or a combination of the two since the vest had somehow gotten loosened where my phone pocket is – and now I have an really painful spot on my back. I drank darn near a liter of water while I was out there but still ended up dehydrated. And, I only went 16 miles. And that was only by sheer will because I was ready to stop at 14 miles.

I finished in 2:42.22 with an average pace of 10:09/mile.

I felt like crap, got woozy in the shower, had to turn off the water and sit down for a bit. My sailor brought me some chocolate milk and that helped some. Luckily, I kept it down and I could finish the shower! I ate a little, drank a TON of water and some IN Refresh electrolyte replenisher and I took about an hour nap. Whew!

Thank goodness that week is over!

Next week, I have a 20-miler on Saturday and a rest day on Friday. Hopefully, that will help me be more prepared for that long run. I definitely don’t want to be dehydrated again.

Talk to me: What did your week of workouts look like? Are you training for anything? 

 

– jennifer

Fence fail & (finally) my CrossFit Open recap

Hello!

Do you remember how excited I was about fence day on Tuesday?

Yeah.

Turns out they brought the wrong slats. We ordered cedar and we didn’t get it.

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Thankfully, this is all that had been put up by the time we discovered it wasn’t the right wood!

Massive fail.

My poor dogs were so disappointed.

Me too when I had to get up around midnight both last night and the night before for dog potty breaks.

Seriously, what is up with that anyway? They’re not puppies!

Anyway, the correct wood has been delivered – Thing 2 called me to report the delivery! – and I’m really hopeful the guys will be out tomorrow to get it up on the frame. *fingers crossed*

So, I haven’t updated you on my workouts since last week, which included the final CrossFit Open workout 14.5 on Friday.

Holy. Mother. of. Hard.

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The Rx weight for women was 65# for the thrusters. I, however, scaled down to 55# because I wanted to FINISH the workout before Saturday came around.

I finished in 23:52.

I’ll be honest.

I’ve done some seriously difficult workouts but this is the first one where I honestly felt like I wanted to quit. Of course I didn’t but I thought about it.

I lost count and forgot where I was while I was doing the 15 burpees. I knew I was a round behind one of my WODmates so I asked her what round she was on. Thank goodness she knew because I certainly didn’t want to start over!

The round of 12 was probably the hardest. I tried to do the thrusters in 3 groups of 4 but ended up grouping them into 4 groups of 3. I pretty much stuck with that grouping through the rest.

Never have I been so happy to shout “time” in my life.

I really enjoyed (mostly) the overall experience of my first CrossFit Open games.  I definitely learned a lot about myself and my abilities and what I need to work on: double unders, overhead squats, building weight on deadlifts, endurance, pull ups in general, and eventual muscle-ups.

Even though I was only able to submit an official score for 14.1, (although I did do 14.4 Rx) I’m proud of myself for tackling (and attempting to tackle Rx) these workouts. I showed up for every single one – and sometimes I was the ONLY one at my class – and I worked hard. I may have wanted to at times but I didn’t give up. There wasn’t a single thing that I told myself I couldn’t do … right now.

I know next year will be a whole new ballgame. The only place for me to go is up.  🙂

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Talk to me: Did you participate in the Open this year? If not, are you considering it for next year? What was your favorite part and your least favorite part? What did you learn about yourself – physically and mentally?

– jennifer