Monday, June 27, 2011

Train: Brain training for runners-week 4

NITRO Trailblazer 5K
What a difference a week makes!

After last week's anemic training, I wrapped this one up with my first strong age group finish at a local race, the NITRO Trailblazer 5K. I nabbed second place, while a friend grabbed 3rd in her division.

Week 4 of 20-week training program:

June 20 (Day 22 :: stretch + strengthen)
Stretch/Breathe 00:25 - Short morning yoga/qigong set.

June 23 (Day 25 :: 3 mi run)
Caledonia Country Rd 3.01 mi 00:28 09:20 pace - Noontime run (temp 66F, 81% hum, 16mph winds) felt great. Did 5 mins of dynamic stretches to start. Focused on this week's proprioceptive cue of Pulling the Road (imagining that you're on a nonmotorized treadmill, pulling the belt back w/your feet, which is meant to teach your body to generate thrust earlier, stiffen stride + minimize ground contact time).

Splits: 9:50, 9:10, 9:02.


Aberdeen Park 0.42 mi 00:07:35 18:12 pace - Post-run cool-down.

June 24 (Day 26 :: cross + resistance)
Stretch/Breathe 00:30 - Morning yoga/qigong set outside on the deck + in the coolness of the morning was oh so refreshing.


Resistance 00:20 - 1 set Single-Leg Squats; Oblique Bridges; Lying Draw-Ins w/Hip Flexion; and Quadrupeds. 2 sets Lying Hip Abductions; Cook Hip Lifts; Kneeling Overhead Draw-Ins; Knee Fall-Outs; and Single-Leg Squat Jumps.

June 25 (Day 27 :: 3 mi run)
Sycamore Speedway 0.7 mi 00:07:20 10:27 pace - Pre-race warm-up + a set of dynamic stretches.


NITRO Trailblazer 5K 3.11 mi 00:27 08:47 pace - Fun local race (temp 65F, 74%, 2mph winds) with Beth + Chad G. under sky blue + blazing summer sun that made it feel warmer than the thermometer reflected. I told them both that I didn't think I'd done a 5K the 12 months since I started racing because my first attempt at one was rained out. But, looking at my race log, I see that I've done a wintertime 5K that was slow due to 5" of fresh powder covering the trail; I've also done the Race to Wrigley 5K, but ran it with a girlfriend who'd never done one before so it was slow for that reason + slipped my mind.

THIS race, though, was the real deal to me and I wanted to see how well I could do. Didn't bring my camera on the course (but snapped a few shots afterward + will post a few pics from that didn't think I could go completely cold turkey, did you?!). And I warmed up properly beforehand and did my dynamic stretches so that I could run as fast as I could out of the gate.

Even with all of that, the biggest boost for me was running with Beth and Chad -- they shot out of the gate and kept me pushing, pushing, pushing -- and I ended up running my fastest mile ever as a result! Thank you B+C! Slowed a bit in the 2nd + 3rd mile...but I still managed to race my fastest 5K ever -- racing or training -- which was good enough to snap up a PR (official time 27:20:49; 35 of 164 overall; 11 of 108 females; 2 of 12 division) AND my first 2nd place AG finish evah!

OK, I know it was a local race + all...but, I'm still smiling. Even better was being able to share the victory with Beth (who snagged 3rd place in her division). YAY!

Splits: 8:39, 8:55, 8:54, (8:01).

The race started at Sycamore Speedway, but the course itself was along the Great Western Trail. Plenty of shade trees along the route + the crushed gravel made for a soft + smooth surface. Organizers held three races: a 15K, 10K and 5K, sending every group out in its own wave every 10 minutes. Ample water + Gatorade + lots of friendly volunteers cheering us on + giving us their energy. I love these small local races. Facilities were wonderful (no port-a-potties or lines of any kind since we used the Speedway's restrooms). Packet pickup before the race was a breeze. Post-race they offered us fruit, bagels, cookies + granola bars...and even a beer. Cheers! They also had hamburgers and hotdogs for sale. A very relaxed event on a fast course. A+

A few photos of the day:

June 26 (Day 28 :: 4 mi run)
Long Prairie Trail 4 mi 00:43 10:47 pace - Laid back morning recovery jog (temp 75F, 60% hum, 8mph winds) on a picture perfect summer day. Felt good to just take it easy + take in the weather. Lots of ppl out on their bikes (wish more would say 'on your left' when they pass). Saw the sweetest little calf standing between two larger spotted cows on one of the farms that I pass to get to this trail + it made me smile. Life is good. Splits: 10:57, 10:35, 10:42, 10:57.


Resistance 00:25 - 1 set Single-Leg Squats; Oblique Bridges; Lying Draw-Ins w/Hip Flexion; and Quadrupeds. 2 sets Lying Hip Abductions; Cook Hip Lifts; Kneeling Overhead Draw-Ins; Knee Fall-Outs; and Wall Jumps. Used my weeding pole for the Quadrupeds because I needed a stick to balance on my back/spine. Nice to find another use for it! ;-)

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