APFT push-ups 80 in 2 min
DB press 35lb x 3 x 12
treadmill 3 miles -- 1 mile 6:30 (1 mile w/u & c/d)
In my mind, a pushup is when you start with straight arms, go all the way down and hit your chest on the ground and then go all the way back to straight arms. Apparently, the Army doesn't feel that way. I was thinking that 73 pushups in 2 minutes would be really hard to achieve for the Army physical fitness test, until I did some research on the Army rules. According to the rules, all you have to do is get your upper arm parallel to the ground (i.e. a 90 degree angle), and then come back up (like this). You can also rest by sticking your butt in the air (as shown in the video link). To me these standards are really weak, but whatever.
So I tried it using their rules this morning, and easily got 80 reps. A perfect score for my age group is 73 (it drops to 66 when I'm 42 years old) and the highest score for any age group is 77. I can easily get that. My age group perfect score for situps is 76 reps and the highest is 82. I think I can get that too.
The 2 mile run is the tough one. My age group perfect score is 13:36 (it drops to 14:06 when I'm 42 - apparently 42 year old people are a lot weaker than 41 year olds). I might be able to get 13:36 now. However, the perfect score for any age group is 13:00 flat. That is out of range for me right now, but my best 5k time is 20:50, which according to the running calculator translates to a 13:01 two mile time, so I could get there with some work.
I suppose I'll do the test next week and see what I've got.
3 rounds - run 1/4 mile, 12 ring rows, 12 squats
rest 2 min
10 minutes - 3, 6, 9, 12... Airdyne calories, box jumps, plank to pushup
rest 2 min
10 minutes - 3, 6, 9, 12.. rower calories, burpees, straight leg situps
rest 2 min
run 1 mile
I must say, I'm still a bit turned off by the thought of distance running right now. I'm struggling with the concept of just because you can run for 5-6 hours, doesn't mean you should be doing it. I must say the prospect of shorter, harder efforts is a lot more appealing to me right now.
db press 35lb x 5 x 10
Airdyne 10 min 203 calories
It's been 2 days since this run, and I'm still not sure what to make of the whole experience. The canyon was obviously amazing, the views were spectacular and it was a once in a lifetime experience to run the canyon. It is something I will never forget. Even though it was only 24 miles, I look at the pictures now and I sort of can't believe we ran from one end of the picture to the other.
It ended up being a bit like the 50 mile race I ran last year. I was really happy with how it went, I was pleased with my effort and the outcome, but I don't really want to do it again. We met some girls who running the South rim to the North rim one day, staying the night, and then running back from North to South the next day. There is no way I would do that. The thought of going back on that trail is sort of haunting to me at this point.
Going into the run, I had conflicting views on how difficult it was going to be. Based on the numbers (24 miles, 6000 feet of climbing, 5000 feet of a descent), I couldn't see how it was that big of a deal. I've run the TRT 50k, which is about 33 miles and 7000 feet of climbing and descent in 90 degree heat in 6:45, how much harder can it be to go 9 miles less than that? On the other hand, there are a ton of warnings out there on the internet and at the South rim trailheads talking about how hard the trails are to run.
We had a very tight schedule to fit this run in. We flew down to Las Vegas the day before, drove 4 hours to the South Rim, and spent some time in the late afternoon scouting out the trailhead and taking pictures of the canyon. Our plan was to get up early the next morning, run to the North rim, drive back to Las Vegas (it ended up being a 5 1/2 hour drive because of traffic) and then catch a plane back home that evening. I had a softball game to coach at 8:00 am the next morning plus a birthday party for my daughter, so I had to get back.
Our friends who we were trading cars with (we were parking on one rim, they were parking on the other, and we traded keys on the trail) wanted us to park at the Bright Angel trailhead. The Bright Angel trail is about 3 miles longer than South Kaibab (which is the traditional route rim to rim runners take). We were too tight on time to mess around with parking at Bright Angel and taking a shuttle to South Kaibab, so we just ran from Bright Angel. In hindsight, we are guessing the extra distance ended up taking us an extra hour or so.
I expected the run would take around 5 hours, and 5 1/2 hours seemed achingly slow. I couldn't fathom taking 6 hours, but that is what it took. And we didn't screw around. We only stopped to fill our water bottles and take a few pictures and we ran an appropriate "ultra style" pace the majority of the time, except we hiked/walked/crawled most of the climb out of the canyon.
We got incredibly lucky with the weather. It topped out at 80 degrees with a nice breeze as we were climbing out the North Rim, and it was only 75 degrees in the bottom of the canyon (of course, we were there at 8:15 am, so it was still pretty early in the morning). It was overcast with cloud cover the majority of the time we ran. If it was 20 degrees hotter (basically the norm in the summer), I could see this turning into a major league sufferfest that could even degrade into an actual problem for completing the run.
I went extremely light on gear. I ran with just a 25 ounce hand bottle and a waist pack. For the run I ended up eating 4 GUs, 3 Justin's Almond Butter packs and a power bar. I also took 6 salt tabs and some advil. If you added up the times when I refilled and drank my bottle when standing at the water faucets on the trail, I probably drank around 12-14 bottles of water. I never ran out of water, but I could again see that being a problem if it was hotter.
In hindsight, I would say my water and fuel ended up being just about perfect. However, if it had been hotter, I would have been a miserable dude with just one bottle. A second bottle would have been necessary. There are fairly frequent water stops (about akin to the distance between aid stations in an ultra), but just like scouting a map for an ultra, you can get caught in the game of saying, "the next water stop is 6 miles, that's not far", but then nearly 2 hours later you are begging for water.
Climbing out of the North Rim (the last couple of miles are probably around 750 feet climbing/mile on sandy trail) I was completely over it. I just wanted to be done. Typical of the end of a marathon or ultra, you swear you are never going to do anything stupid like this again. I was thinking a lot about the rim to rim to rim records of under 7 hours. I couldn't fathom reaching the top and then turning around and going back. Let alone doing the whole damn thing in 6 hours and 20 minutes (the recent new record). I don't think of myself as any kind of competitive ultrarunner, but my Lord, after having been there I can't even fathom someone doing that.
If I had one piece of advice for someone who was considering doing this run and had never been there before, my advice would be to not underestimate this run. It is very doable, but it is harder than the numbers say. Don't take this lightly.
I suppose that, from an athletic perspective, my experience perfectly summarizes my situation as an ultra running imposter. I simply don't put in the proper training to do something like this effectively. So far this year I have done three 2 hour runs and one 3 hour run. I average 20-25 miles a week of training on three moderately paced runs. With that light running base, something like the rim to rim in 6 hours is going to hurt.
On the other hand, it is fairly impressive to accomplish what I did in 6 hours with a bottle of water, a few GUs and minimal training. I've built a good base of experience on pacing, fueling, mental strength, knowledge of gear and all of the things you need to effectively accomplish a task like this. The rim to rim run went very well because of that experience. But if I got unlucky with weather, stomach issues, etc. it could have been ugly.
You could spin the story either way. It is potentially dangerous and probably not too smart to try and accomplish stuff like this without properly training for it. Or it is impressive what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. When we hit the Colorado River I told Steve that when I am in a place like that, I want to be in shape to do multi-hour efforts in the hills so I can experience things like the Grand Canyon run. However, in any given week, I'm not too interested in putting in the miles necessary to do that. So I fake it.
I have a general philosophy that I would rather do one or two things well, as opposed to doing ten things half-assed. I'm definitely doing this ultra trail running thing half assed. It remains to be seen what I will (or won't) do about it.
db press 50lb x 10 x 3
Airdyne 2 min sprint/5 min rest x 5 - sprint pace above 25 cal/min (50 total cal per sprint)
These intervals were at about 90-95% effort level.
Things have been going pretty well lately. I'm feeling stronger and my diet was great this week. I stopped eating most processed carbs and I'm already noticing a difference in just a week. Instead of power bars and snacking on whatever junk is around, my main snacks are almonds and salami, and I'm eating mostly meat and fruit. We will see if I can stick with this for awhile.
db press 35lb x 5 x 15
Airdyne 1 min sprint/2 min rest x 10 - sprint pace above 25 cal/min (28 cal on last rep)
I've been wondering if I ever have a chance to get 300 calories on the Airdyne in 10 minutes. As I get older, some of these targets are going to get tougher to reach. My Airdyne cals are about 20% less than the old school version, so I figure 250 calories on mine is about 300 calories on the other one. So I tried 10 intervals of at least 25 calories to see how hard it was. It was fairly hard. If I pushed it, I could probably get closer to 27 calories each rep, but that is a long way from being able to do 25 calories a minute for 10 straight minutes. Something to work on though.
I actually felt like crap before the race, and contemplated not even running. I had really bad vertigo in the morning and if Jen wasn't running as well, I might have stayed home. Luckily, things cleared up in the first half mile of the race and I felt ok.
I had never led a race before, of any distance. But after the first half mile when I felt that everyone was running at about 50k pace, I decided to just take the lead and see what happened. The race quickly became me and a very chatty 25 year old college student. She said that she had just started running and had run a 1:40 half marathon two weeks earlier (her first). I'm probably in 1:35 shape right now, so I figured there was no way she would be able to keep up with me. I was wrong.
We hung together until the halfway point aid station, when we took a wrong turn back down the course and probably cost ourselves 3-4 minutes. We ended up meeting the 3rd place guy which is when we knew something was wrong. Once we got going in the right direction, we hit the biggest climb of the course, about 1500 feet in 2.5 miles. She left me in her dust on that climb, which was I didn't expect, but I was really impressed at her effort level.
I actually saw her below me at the last age station, maybe 60 seconds ahead of me with 2.5 miles to go. The results have her finished 6 minutes ahead of me. I'm not sure how that is possible since I pushed the downhill really hard, but regardless, she totally killed the end of the race.
One thing that I did different in this race was totally bomb the down hills. I ran the down hills harder than I ever have before, and some of the trails were very technical trails. There were some very steep trails on the course, and I was literally flying (for me) down them. It was a blast, but definitely pushing the edge of potential injury more than I should have been.
It was an interesting experience going from expecting this to be a training run and a chance to enjoy some new scenery to getting all competitive and trying to win after only 15 minutes or so of racing. It was a fun experience though and I had a good time.
17k (about 10.5 miles) 2700 ft elevation gain -- 1:55
1st place male. I wasn't 1st overall though, a girl beat me. Really fun trails and very well organized race. Jen ran the 9k race, which made the morning even more fun. I was really happy with my effort level and fitness today.
My medal and some random pictures of the area from Google images below. Once again the lesson is that key to placing in races is only show up at races with less than 30 people in them.
The hip is starting to bug me again. It started on the 3 hour run last weekend. I've kind of been lazy about stretching it since it hasn't been bothering me, so hopefully getting more committed there will fix it. Just a reminder that doing things like running up hills for hours on end is probably not a wise health choice.
treadmill 1 mile w/u -- 3 one mile intervals with 3 min rest 6:59, 6:50, 6:40
db press 2 x 10 x 35lb, 20 lb 15 reps and 30 second "rest" at full extension
Progress. At the end of January I tried this workout, got 7:03 for the first interval, 6:44 for the second and gave up on the third. Today's effort wasn't that hard. According to the running calculator, I should be doing these at around 6:30 pace to hit my marathon goal.
double under practice (best was 28 in a row)
2 x run 1/4 mile, 20 plank to pushups
50 squats, 40 burpees, 50 squats, 30 burpees, 50 squats, 20 burpees, run 1/2 mile 16:55
30, 20, 10 -- bicycles, v ups, plank hold, hollow body hold
25, 20, 15 -- ski erg calories, double unders
treadmill 6 miles (1 mile w/u, 5 miles 37:52)
Good effort this morning. I feel like I have a pretty solid training approach right now. The diet is pretty much dialed in as well. Overall, I feel good really good mentally and physically, and I'm ready to hit it hard the rest of this year.
I liked this comment from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
If someone tells you that there isn't enough time (to train), tell him that's just terrible math. Any minutes or
hours he subtracts from his day right now for health and fitness is multiplied
in the months and years he would add to his life. That's fitness math.
So I signed up for the California International Marathon in December. I can't exactly say why, I suppose I feel like I have something left to accomplish at that distance.
Steve and I worked out a basic training framework:
Monday - moderate pace 6-10 miles
Tuesday - speed work/track day
Wednesday - off or Airdyne
Thursday - 10-12 mile tempo
Friday - off or strength class or Airdyne
Saturday - long run, not tempo pace, but fairly hard
Sunday - off or Airdyne
For most of the summer my weekend long run will be whatever trail running I was going to do anyway. My ultra runs this summer will work fine as a substitute for a pavement long run. Then in October/November I'll incorporate a few 18-22 mile faster pavement runs.