Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rum River 5K

Coach Ryan at CrossFit Beyond Sport challenged us to run the Rum River 5K. Many of our members hadn't yet run a race, some had run a 10K in the WOD a few weeks ago for the first time, others had only begun to run days prior.  Everyone was up for the challenge!  

Ryan volunteered to help out with the race and before he knew it he was setting up, tearing down, registration, timer, oh, and running the race, too!

I ran this one a few years ago with the women I coached in Big Lake. We picked this one out as their first race. I was excited to go back and run.

Troy had a baseball tournament at 1000 so I would be running.. and running off to the game. No time to chit chat afterward and I wouldn't be able to take part in the CrossFit for Hope workout. Maybe next time.

It was a warm morning, so nice to only drive 15 miles to the start!  We took photos, registered and tried to calm nerves. It was so much fun to see so many first timers ready to take their first race steps!!

I wore my watch as I find that when I don't my mind gives me trouble. I am running hard, breathing hard, and thinking I'm not running hard enough? Then I think I am running too hard. It's ridiculous. I began my watch as I crossed the start and paid attention. I didn't want to over run, I was going to run fast (for me) but not so fast that I bonked early.

As I looked down I saw 734 pace. Too fast, back off. Let's aim for 8s. I passed a large group of people and just ran steady. The route was an out and back, so I could see CBS members as they came back. Ryan was out front. As I came back I cheered on the runners that were in back of me. Everyone was giving it all they had.

Across the finish line and there was a PR for me!  The watch paid off, I kept it steady and was able to maintain my pace. I cheered in our runners and then had to head off to the game for Troy.

When I reached the field I saw that Susan had posted to FB a photo of Ryan with my 2nd Place Age Group winner medal!  Sweet!!  I didn't realize I had placed. The age group was 35-49. Cool.

Three of us placed from the gym. Here are some photos and details:

17 Beyond Sport CrossFitters ran the Rum River 5k on Saturday. Not only did we show up in force but as it turns out, CrossFit helps you become better than average at running without doing it all the time! (Despite what Trish might say about us). Our team took home 3 silver medals out of 8 divisions. We were also joined by our friends from CrossFit St. Cloud who turned out several athletes and threw down a workout after the race.
Rob Gutkaes 2nd, Men’s 50+ Division
Julie Berg 2nd, Women’s 35-49 Division
Coach Avery 2nd, Men’s 18-34 Division


I see that I have posted the last few blog posts to DRAFTS. I'll bring them back up and post into blog.

As you know, I began CrossFit March 1. After a few weeks of learning the ropes, our Coach offered up a challenge.  The challenge was to complete the workout 'FRAN' on Day 1. Fran consists of thrusters and pullups, in sequence of 21, 15, 9 for time. (21 thrusters-21 pull ups, 15 thrusters-15 pull ups, 9 thrusters-9 pull ups)  Here is the workout

We would then follow a Zone nutrition program for 28 days. on Day 28 we would again complete the Fran workout. The goal was to improve time and strength, improve body composition, record daily nutrition and workouts.

After completing TheWhole 30 and feeling excellent I was a bit apprehensive about changing the nutrition up a bit, but I was willing to try it. I had never tried zoning before and as long as I'm not eating sugar, splenda or processed crap I'm willing to try and learn.

I added back in .5 cup of oats each morning and learned immediately that it caused inflammation. I could feel the swelling immediately. After a few weeks I dropped the oats again as I could feel my discs  began to squeek. Not cool. The one thing that did puzzle me was that oats were on the preferred carb list but sweet potato on the non preferred carb list. Interesting. I don't have any inflammation from sweet potatoes. 

I did see some members 'bastardize' the zone. You know, zoning a snickers with a preferred carb, etc. "It's still zoned". Meh.  I just kept my opinions to myself.  

My workouts rocked, running was great, no problems. Except I was hungry. Coach had me add in a few blocks of fat near the end of the challenge and that helped immensely. I should have added in more fats much earlier!

Below is the synopsis from Coach Ryan, posted to his website.

"Performance Improvement Champion: Julie Berg 40% FASTER
Julie is an Ultra Marathoner but has only been doing CrossFit for a few months. While endurance is no problem for her, a high power output workout like Fran was a daunting task early on. Julie performed the workout with 55# for the thrusters and using our black (medium) band for the pullups at the start and end of the competition to compare time improvement. She took her time on this workout from 13:30 down to just 8:29 in just 28 Days. Julie was the runner-up in the points division with just 1 point shy of perfect on the logging, total blocks, balanced meals, and favorable carbs part of the contest. She might have lost just a few points for not following through on some of the recovery days but did an overall excellent job. All these numbers mean Julie finished the same amount of work in 60% of the time with just 28 days of high performance fuel and training. Wow."

Yah, so I took over 5 minutes off my time and lost 2.6 pounds of fat. I logged every bit of food for 28 days but I didn't take off the 4th day as a rest day. I'm OK with that. I imagine a zoned paleo challenge would work well for me, too.

I do prefer the squeaky clean of Whole30, however, so that is where I will stay. I am really looking forward to the release of It Starts With Food, by the authors of TheWhole 30, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I think I can talk Coach into a Whole30 challenge for the CrossFitters!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

CrossFit MURPH

1 Mile Run
100 Pullups
200 Pushups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run

I didn’t post an outcome for the CrossFit Murph workout last week!  It was just awesome!

You know, I wasn't sure if I could do it..then figured why not at least try, right?  Yay!

I had spent the weekend in Virginia so drove home early Monday so that I could be in St Cloud prior to 1:00. I wasn’t sure how the workout would go down. Would we all complete it at the same time-there were 50 some people taking part. I figured I would learn the details soon enough.

I had never visited another box so was curious as to how CrossFit Fast Factory would look. I drove along, looking for the building and sure enough, there was the long building. It was a warm day so it was very nice that there were big garage doors open, letting in lots of air.

As soon as I checked into the desk area I saw members of my box-CrossFit Beyond Sport- waving me order. I signed a waiver, was given a shirt and dropped off a tray of fruit and chicken wings to offer toward the paleo picnic after our workout.

There were many many pullup bars, all intermingled together, lots of bands for scaling the workout, boxes to help us up to the bars and tons of space for the push ups. It is a pretty large box. 

We watched a quick film on Murph-the soldier whom this workout is named after and then we were ready to get down to business.

Groups of 15 or so began to line up as heats for the 1 mile run. I decided to begin in heat 3. Three minutes after Heat 1 began, then Heat 2 would begin. We were given an outline of the mile we would run-cross streets-etc. I figured I’d just follow the group. 

Heat 3 began and off I went!  I didn’t go real fast, just steady. Needed to save my legs for 300 squats and another mile run at the end!

The end of the mile returned me to the CrossFit Fast Factory. 8:10. I ran to the pull up bars, one with a black band and began my pullups. My plan was to break up the workout in sets of 20 for a while. 20 pull ups, 20 pushups and 20 squats. Squats were easiest for me, they were a break from all of the upper body work. Back and forth I went, pull up, push up, squat, repeat 20 times!  It was quite the workout! I was a sweaty dripping mess and wishing that I had a head band on to keep the sweat out of my eyes!  I was looking forward to the mile run to finish this up. My arms were on FIRE! 

I looked around and everyone was just working incredibly hard!  The determination, the power and the focus. It really was cool to look around and take it all in.

Finally I counted off my last set and was ready to rock the run.  Out I went, feeling the sunshine and stiff breeze. I realized a storm was brewing!  About a half mile in to my run it began to rain, nice and cool, perfect!  My last mile was 9:16. Sweet. 
39:43 was my final time for the Murph.

I sat down on a box and tried to get the sweat to stop pouring off of my face!  I didn’t think about bringing anything to change into-I was soaked.  After cheering in my CrossFit Beyond Sport members I was ready to head home and shower.

Great workout-can’t wait to try it again without the scaling!  I used the medium band this version for pull ups.  I didn’t have to scale the push ups. I'd like to string together strict pull ups so I can try the Games next year-and complete Murph without any scaling.

My lats and shoulders were sore for three days!  Going into Minneapolis Marathon a few days later I could still feel the DOMS.

Minneapolis Marathon: 2012

Running the Minneapolis Marathon was a back up plan for me after I fell during a Zumbro 100 training run  upon the course in late March. While training in the months following that fall I learned that I was only able to run 30-40 miles before I felt the familiar disc pain.  Instead of sucking it up and then hurting myself further I scratched my 100s off of the summer schedule.

Really, I am just happy to be able to run each day. After the five month layoff this past year I am thrilled to be able to run  a marathon!

Without any speed training I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do for Minneapolis Marathon.  I had been logging long slow hours in training for the 100s.  I decided I’d run Minneapolis slow and easy and use it as a baseline of where I’m at marathon wise, then focus on marathon training during the next four months and take a stab at a faster Twin Cities Marathon.  I think I will look up my Boston Qualifier time and perhaps plan a little trip out East.

I enjoy Team Ortho races very much as the organization is impeccable, the volunteers are amazing, the swag is top notch and the races aren’t crowded. Yet. There were less than 1000 in the marathon, sweet!

Race start was 630 AM. I woke up before 4 as usual. I just don’t sleep well since my hysterectomy and wonderful menopause. Plenty of time to dress, eat and pack for the race. Instead of the oats that I normally ate in the past for races I opted for a hunk of chicken breast and half of a sweet potato along with coffee. 

I arrived to the race site by 530, a good hour before start time. Time to lube up my feet, attach my number, get my gear in order.

We were able to use The Depot Hotel for the bathrooms and such, very  nice. The start wasn’t even crowded. I wandered around the avenue, walking up to the start, checking out the different pace teams-with only 1000 people running the marathon it wasn’t crowded at all.  There were huge gaps of space.

It was going to be a warm day, a high of 80 was forecast. I was sure to wear Skinceutical’s SPF 50, hat and glasses and I carried my own water bottle and gels.

The course had been altered due to flooding at Pike Island. We ran past the Guthrie Theatre, around the Dome,  along the Mississippi, into Fort Snelling State Park, finishing at Bohemian Flats along the river. It really is a nice course-plenty of water and gels at the aid stations, tons of volunteers.

I just took it all in, checked out the relay runners-one group was dressed in full hockey attire. When I began to feel hot I thought of them. When I began to feel tired I thought about the fact that I had been going to run Kettle 100 this day, and my friends running FANS 24 Hour Run. I didn’t feel quite so tired anymore!

A few times I heard JULIE BERG yelled out.  I looked and saw Donna Rae waving at mile 4 and again at mile 18 as she was running the race, too.  There were a few out and back sections where we could see the other participants. At mile 14 Brook passed me up and I saw Marie riding along the course on her bike at mile 24 or so. Very cool!  Very fun!

I reached the halfway point at 2:11, figured I’d finish before 5:00 and I was fine with this. I wasn’t sure how 5 hours of pavement would feel to my discs but I hadn’t any pain yet so I just went with the flow.

By mile 20 I was feeling the heat and turned on my iPod. It felt good to listen to some music and turn my thoughts off.  The 430 pace group was just ahead so I decided to run into the finish with them. I plodded along, enjoying the sights, enjoying the downhill cruise into the finish.

As I crossed the finish line I was handed a bag of food:  chips, banana, salted nut roll, popcorn and a bottle of water. So convenient, instead of  walking all over the finish looking for water!  A medal was placed around my neck and I spotted the bus next. I walked up to the bus, waited about 2 minutes in line and rode the bus back to the start where my car was. That took a whole 7 minutes.  I didn’t feel the need to hang around the finish to eat burgers and drink beer, ha!  I was anxious to get home and spend the Sunday with my family. 

Great race, great day!