Friday, April 28, 2017

Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 Miler

We're a few weeks removed from the Rumble now, but I wanted to make sure to recap my race. Now that I've done it three times (2011, 2014 and 2017), it feels like something I might want to continue to sign up for.

Let's be clear, it was still type II fun (as most distance racing can be) -- it's not necessarily great in the moment, but you're glad you did it afterward. Okay, there were moments as I was running and glancing up at the Three Sisters that I thought about how much I love running on trails, but those thoughts were quickly squashed by the pain in my glutes and hamstrings.

Okay, so back to the race. On Saturday, Pete, Henry and I met my mom and little brother Max in Bend for packet pick up at Foot Zone. The drive was smooth sailing with only one stop at Sahalie Falls on the way over.

Love Henry's little smile here

The manfriend and I picked up our bibs and we all did some browsing around the running shop. We had lunch at Deschutes Brewery (beet & mushroom burger + a pint for me), walked around a bit and then headed back to Sisters, OR to check in to our motel.

We had reserved a suite, which was perfect for our situation. We were all able to stay in one place and hang out together while Henry napped or slept. Saturday night, we had dinner in our room. I had made my go-to vegetarian lasagna and brought it with us to save a little $ and hassle (dining with a toddler is about 50% chasing them around the restaurant).

That night, we got to bed at a normal time (10:30pm) and had a good night's rest. The next morning, we got ready and headed down to take advantage of the continental breakfast. I had some oatmeal topped with nuts & raisins, a banana and a yogurt. The glory of a 9:00 a.m. race start: you're not trying to wake up and shovel food in your face at 5:00 a.m.

Sisters, OR is at 3,000 ft elevation and high dessert, so temps were a chilly 30F at the race start. But thankfully, it was clear and even a bit sunny, so I didn't layer up too much.

I wore my Oiselle pocket jogger capris, a Craft base layer tee, a Oiselle flyte long sleeve (obsessed with these), Brooks Calderas, a thin pair of gloves and a Oiselle ear warmer. Pete and I both wore puffies while waiting for the start and then handed them off to my mom and bro.

A Note on Running Shoes
Working for a running store, I often get to try out different shoes that I wouldn't otherwise be able to. My last pair of trail shoes (Altra Lone Peaks) were worn out, so I needed a new pair. I got to pick out the Brooks Calderas recently (staff sometimes get seed shoes) and had only taken them on one long trail run before this race. It might sound silly, but after that run and having no issues, I felt comfortable that they would serve me well for 20 miles. And they did! 

Ready to Rumble
Soon enough, the horn sounded and we were off! The first few miles are fairly flat trail and then forest service road before hopping back on to the trail where the climbing begins.

In total, the trail has 2,000 ft of elevation gain, which is a lot more than I had recalled. Regardless, my glutes were decently sore by mile 7 as we continued to climb and then descend over a few different ridges. I was quickly reminded that my body would have felt more prepared if I had done some more hilly long runs, but that's the challenge of trying to train for a trail race and a road marathon at once.

The race photographer didn't post a photo of Pete or I at this spot, but this gives you an idea of the views you get along the Peterson Ridge. During the race, you pass over this spot on the ridgeline twice (mile 4 and 16). If he had, you would have seen me walking up and over it.

My brother Max snagged some great shots of both Pete and I throughout the race. I definitely didn't feel as happy as I looked in the photos he took. But again, type II fun.

It was fun to see my family out on the course and Henry even got to cheer for us. My heart burst a little the few times I saw him smiling and clapping for me as I ran by. 

Fueling & Aid Stations
While the course is pretty empty in terms of spectators, there were four aid stations, which gave you a little something to look forward to (not to mention the M&M's and Oreos). I carried two Hammer gels and a pack of Honey Stinger chews with me that I had around miles 6-7, 11-12 and 15-17.

I always like to save the Honey Stingers for last so I can use them as motivators for myself to get to the next mile. For example, I'll have a few say at mile 15 and then tell myself "Okay, when you get to 16 you can have another." It might sound silly, but sometimes you just need to play those little mental games. I do the same thing with water near the end of a race.

As always, the aid stations were great, but I didn't stay long. The volunteers were quick to grab my water bottle when I would hand it to them and fill it up with water. And there were plenty of snacks set out for the runners (and dogs as it is a dog-friendly race), including PBJ, Goldfish, M&M's, boiled potatoes, oranges, chips, Oreos, pretzels, etc. This race also has a 40 mile option, so I imagine that if I were going that long, I'd stop at an aid station for a few minutes.

It might not look like it, but I promise there were hills. 

Positive Affirmations on the Trail
The last two times I ran this course, I consistently tripped and then fell pretty hard in 2014 resulting in a decent scar. My goal this race was NOT to fall and I did it! As my glutes and hamstrings were feeling the ups and downs by mile 7, I made up a little motto that I continued to say to myself so as not to trip and fall: "Up and over, it's a beautiful day." I realize this is super corny, but when you just need to focus on lifting your feet over lava rock, this is the kind of stuff your brain comes up with.

Tongue out = feeling tired

Miles 10-16 are sort of a blur, but my focus was just on staying present and not letting the exhaustion cause me to trip.

On the flat 3 mile road to the finish, I was simply focusing on maintaining a decent pace so I wouldn't be tempted to walk. I said things to myself like:
  • Easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl... just like the old commercial jingle
  • Fast and light 
  • The intro to Eye of the Tiger (forever and always my power song during races)
  • 2 and some change... 1 and some change... less than a mile to go!
Even if it sounds crazy, just repeating some kind of mantra seems to help me focus on something other than the pain I'm feeling. In those last 4 miles, after cresting the final hill and then have a straight, flat shot back to the finish, it was really my previous finish time that kept me running strong.

In 2011, I finished in 3:06:14 and in 2014, 3:20:58, so I really wanted to beat my 2014 time. And that I did, finishing in 3:17:27!

GPS watches are funny. Mine never hit 20 miles and Pete's had clocked 20.5.

The manfriend finished his first Peterson Ridge Rumble in 3:04:36! He was definitely tired, but I don't think he was as bad off as I was by the end.

Afterward, we hobbled around the finish area and grabbed some food. They have an awesome burrito bar as well as goodies from the local bakery, chips, water, bananas, etc. The only thing I could have used was some coffee and a massage. 

I felt pretty stiff and sore the rest of the afternoon, but surprisingly felt a lot better the next day. Often times, I'm more sore the day after. 

Pete and I both got to snooze a little while Henry napped. We decided to stay an extra night in Sisters so that we could just relax, which was really handy for the little guy's nap and not having to pack up and get out of there prior to the race.

My takeaways for this race were:
  • More trail time will = less glute soreness
  • Not news here, but I love how relaxed trail races are. 
  • Swiftwick socks rock. You get a free pair for finishing! 
  • Staying mentally focused worked for me this go 'round.

Do you have a favorite race or city you always want to come back to? 

Pete got into the McKenzie River Trail 50K this September, so we're already looking forward to some fun trail adventures this summer! That race though is one of my favorites and Peterson Ridge because we love Central Oregon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 10

Welp, here we are again. Let's cruise back to the week of the Peterson Ridge Rumble (April 3-9), shall we? And then I'll post my Peterson Ridge Rumble recap by Sunday of this week. 

Currently, I'm trying to kick a cold that Henry got and quickly passed on to me. With just two weeks until the Eugene Marathon, having a cold isn't one of the things I'd like to be doing, but alas, it happened. All of a sudden, sleep is becoming a priority. 

So, how about that training, eh?

Monday - 6.16 mi @ 9:15 avg // Nice and easy. There's something relaxing about Monday runs because I'm just getting over the soreness of the previous weekend's long run and there's no pressure to go fast.

Tuesday - 8.25 mi team workout: warm up, 3mi (marathon goal pace), 3 min rest, 2mi (perfect day mgp), 3 min rest, 1mi (10-5K pace), cool down // During a lot of my mgp workouts, I haven't nailed them. I've gone much faster, which I'm not sure benefited my body in feeling out that marathon pace. So this time, I was intentional about running by feel and not looking at my watch much. My mile splits: 8:31, 8:36, 8:28, 8:17, 8:11, 7:22

Watch selfie. Sometime, I should actually ask someone to take a photo of me. ;)

Wednesday - 4.8 @ 8:47 avg // Stroller run. Managed to miss the rain. Speedy friends always make you go faster -- whew.

Thursday - 7 mi @ 9:10 avg + ReCharge recovery // Total slogfest through the rain. As I headed out on this run, my legs were really not feeling it. They felt like logs and my heart rate was especially high that morning. Alas, I pushed through.

I worked at the running store this day and my boss encouraged me to head to ReCharge before Sunday's race, so I headed over there for some time in the Normatec compression boots for hips and legs followed by the infrared sauna.

Friday - rest day, Jasyoga // When I can fit it in, I'm trying to do the extra little things that can make a difference in your training. This time, that means fitting in foam rolling and Jasyoga videos, which are essentially purposeful yoga stretches aimed at helping runners recover faster or warm up specific aspects of the body prior to a run (i.e. hamstrings and glutes for me).

And sometimes, that means attempting to do your stretching, while a toddler lays on top of you.

Saturday - 1.7 mi @ 8:44 avg // Quick shakeout run. After getting most of our things packed up for the race, I headed out the door for a quick run before we headed over to Central Oregon. And then Pete headed out for his quick shakeout when I got home.

Our drive over the pass was good. H slept for almost an hour and we made a quick stop at Sahalie Falls both for the bathroom and a quick peek.

Sunday - Peterson Ridge Rumble! 20 mi @ 9:55 avg // Beautiful day. Cold (30F) at the start, but clear. I'll post a race recap in the next few days, but this race was hard, fun and successful. Third time's a charm because I did NOT fall on the course this time. Oh and my glutes hurt from probably mile 4 on because hello, rolling hills and the fact that I did about 4.5 long runs on the trail and zero midweek miles on hilly trails. Something to work on for next time, eh?!

Pre race puffies

Overall, the week felt good despite my heart rate seeming a little off on a few runs. At 48 miles total, this was my highest mileage training week for the cycle so far.

Stay tuned for my Peterson Ridge Rumble recap and to hear how recovery from the 20 miler went!

Is everyone else experiencing some glorious spring weather? We're getting teased by an almost 70 degree day tomorrow (followed by 9 straight days of rain in the forecast).

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 9

Last week was week 9 of marathon training and a recovery week for us on the training plan! Our coaches have us doing two weeks of build up and then one cut back week to let the body recover and adapt from all the hard work.

I meant to post this earlier in the week, but didn't sit down to finish it until now. We are in the hotel room in Sisters ready for the Peterson Ridge Rumble with my mom and little brother. Temps look like they'll be in the low 30's when the race starts -- brrr.

For new parents out there: suites are the way to go. We were actually able to put H down at a decent time and then stay out in the common area to hang out until we're ready to go to bed. Woohoo! Now on to last week's training...

Monday - 4 miles @ 9:27 avg (easy) // Neighborhood run with daylight!

Tuesday - 8 miles @ 9:09 avg + Jasyoga recovery yoga // For some reason, doing 8 (vs 7) miles before the day really starts feels extra hard core. On these longish morning runs, I've been doing a bit of the race course, which is a pretty section and helps me feel a little more prepared for the marathon.

This week, we had a few sunny days, so Henry and I took advantage and got outside with little walks and a trip to the park.

On a mission

Looking for the airplane

Wednesday - 4.25 miles @ 9:10 avg (stroller run) + 40 min weights & core // Nice and easy for this run. Just trying to stay consistent with strength, so Wednesdays are my required strength day (+Fri or Sat). I've been focusing on working the glutes and making sure they're firing, core and throwing some arm work in there.

Thursday - 7 miles, workout: 1 mi warm up, 4 x 2K (alternating first 1/2 mile @ marathon goal pace (mgp), 1/4 mile @ close to 5K pace, 1/2 mile @ mgp), 1 mi cool down // Because I was scheduled to work at the store until almost 6:00 p.m., I didn't want to chance missing the Flyers speed workout. So instead, I did this workout solo before the manfriend headed to work. Thank goodness for light these days on my morning runs!

For most of my repeats, I was close to my assigned paces for these intervals (4:17 for the 1/2 mile and 1:53 for the 1/4 mile). Actual splits: 4:01, 1:52, 4:16, 4:17, 1:47, 4:09, 4:16, 2:00, 4:10, 4:17, 1:54, 4:20

Friday - 3.1 miles easy @ 8:57 avg (stroller run) // *This was supposed to be a rest day, but...Pete had Friday off and the sun was out, so he headed out for a longer run. Meanwhile, I couldn't resist running on a gorgeous morning and took the little man to the river path for a casual run. We made a few stops to look at birds and the river and then playtime at the park.

Saturday - 40 min weight lifting + 25 min Jasyoga // I knew strength training would make me sore for my long run, but I like to get in a minimum of two days a week of strength training, so it was now or never!

Sunday - 12 mi long run w/ speed work // Because I was one week out from the Peterson Ridge Rumble, my run was slightly shorter than others, but I still wanted to get in goal pace work. I ended up doing 3 miles easy, 8 miles @ mgp (8:20-8:40s), 1 mile easy. I'll admit I was a bit disappointed by this run. The goal pace miles felt much harder than they should have, but I pushed through regardless (despite having a high heart rate).

Sunrise runs = the best

How did this week feel? 
Looking at my stats, my heart rate was, for the most part, lower this week and my body appreciated having a bit less mileage to do (38 vs 44 the previous week).

I was happy with Thursday's workout, but then bummed that Sundays long run felt so hard. Blah. You win some, you lose some.

Okay, time to wind it down for the evening! I'm excited for tomorrow's race. It's such a different mind set when you're just planning on enjoying a race rather than pushing as hard as you can go.