Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mud run... not so fun

Where did we leave off? Friday, did not start with a run, which turned out to be a great choice. I was still a little sore from the stairs on Wednesday and the lactate threshold testing ended up taking up a lot out of me. 

The purpose of lactate threshold testing is to find the optimum heart rate training zones for various levels of training. In my case I'm trying to find the heart rate I should train at for the marathon, a rate which I can maintain and will help me complete the race. The test is pretty straight forward. First, I had my blood pressure taken, then a baseline lactate level from a drop of blood from one of my fingers, thankfully I'm a good bleeder and I only had to get my finger pricked once. In order to get a accurate graph there must be at least five samples, a sample is taken after running at a different speeds for 6 minutes each, giving enough time for heart rate to stabilize. I started at 4.5 miles per hour speeding up half a MPH after each test finishing at 6.5, which was a little difficult, I clearly need to work on my speed work. 

It looked a little like this, except not being an elite athlete.

I'll get a full read out of the results on Monday, but the initial estimate is I should be training between 167-177 BPM for endurance. 

I spend Friday night up with my cousins near Baltimore, hanging out with my favorite little 2  year old. 

Saturday morning came early, even though I got to sleep in until 8. Then my cousin and I had to get ready to drive over to Monkton, MD for Rebel Race. We signed up for this race FOREVER ago and for some reason we thought 11 am would be a good wave time. WRONG! It was near 100 degrees when we got there at 10 am. We ran into one of his church friends who ran the race before us and upon her recommendation (and because the race was poorly organized and we could get away with it) we went with the 1030 wave instead. It was still incredibly hot and humid and very challenging. 

Before the race... throw away clothes.

Challenging course
Lots of fun people on the course
Some water features which cooled us down during the run

Check-in was disorganized
The shirts were kind of cheap
Some of the obstacles were not built very well (specifically the monkey bars where the bars weren't secured and I fell on my ass and the clibming walls which only had foot holds on one side)
The race went through a horse farm so most of the mud smelled like horse poop
Parts of the route were poorly marked and the volunteers on the course weren't really prepared (a few didn't have walkie-talkies and didn't have a way to call the medics and counted on runners to yell for them)
The "shower" afterwards took forever (and for the 15k runners in the afternoon they almost ran out of water) I don't mind hosing off but we had to wait half an hour in the sun, it would have been better if there had been drinking water available for the wait
When we tried to get our "free beer" they were asking for IDs and my cousin had left his in the car because we had just run three miles through mud, and that's when we decided to peace out. 

After... even the shoes got thrown out. 

All in all I was disappointed that such an established race was so shoddy. I'm hoping the tough mudder I'm signed up for in September goes a little better. 

Now that it's only 86 degrees I'm headed out for a ten mile run!

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