Monday, March 24, 2014

Trail Race #1 vs. #2 -- Data Geek-Out Session!

I am definitely one who gets lost in a workout (figuratively speaking... well, most the time anyway), ignoring the data and all the crap and just being in that state of flow. However, I am also a person who loves to download the device, look over every bit of info and try to make sense of it all. The analysis part is so fun. Good thing I got into coaching.

So that takes us to this post, where you're gonna get the data freak side of me! Normally, I'm not this specific with every workout or race, but there's a reason this time: I had the opportunity to do the same 10-mile trail race that I also did exactly one month ago (OC Chili Run); yet, be in two very different conditions from a training/fatigue standpoint. This is the kind of stuff I love to geek out on in terms of data, performance, what affected performance, etc, in round 1 vs. round 2, and that's what I'm about to do here. So if you're not into all that, skip this post. I don't mind ;)
Can you spot The Betty?! #teambetty #110playharder

Post-Race Soreness/Fatigue/Recovery
View from Top of the World.
Ok, I'll admit, I filtered this one ;)
First off, the most glaring difference concerns DOMS. After the Feb. 22 race I had literally the worst DOMS ever in my legs, quads mostly. Couldn't walk normally at all. It was laughable how bad it was. I rode long/ran the day after, but it didn't feel good at all, especially that run, ouch! Then 48 hours later it was so bad that during a recovery run I had to hobble downhill (couldn't even manage to jog down, hurt too bad) and ultimately cut that "run" short.

After the March 22 race? Fine. No crazy DOMS. Legs were very slightly sore right after, but overall felt fine -- including quads (it's now Monday after the Saturday race). Saturday post-race I did an hour trainer, and felt surprisingly "springy" in the legs.

Then Sunday I felt great! I rode 4 hours / 72 miles with some significant hills, including Top of The World. For those who know Laguna Beach/OC, this is not a climb for the faint at heart especially 3 hours into a ride. Followed up with a T-run all sub-8:30 miles, not forcing the pace at all. HR in MAF easily.

On the Feb. 22 race I decided to test my fat adaption and do this race with no fuel during and only a brief stop for water once or twice. Result? I bonked. The hard effort (running at threshold of HR 170-180 or so) caught up to me by mile ~7ish. The last three miles were like a drunken blur of running haha. I slammed a Bonk Breaker right after feeling pretty depleted until that bar worked its magic, mmm.

Local raw honey is your best choice here. The local honey
can help you rid yourself of allergies! Hopefully this
will work for my runny nose that inevitably comes
with every workout I do lol.
On the March 22 race I had the same pre-race breakfast: kabocha squash mash with chia seed, hemp seed, almond milk, liberal amounts of cinnamon, then sea salt and stevia to taste. Drank water leading up to the start and took MAP before as always, but then decided to carry some nutrition this time. I tried something new! Raw local honey and water in a flask.

I got this idea from Dr. Phil Maffetone mostly; although, I know more people are doing it. I added 2 tsp honey to ~9oz water, which in retrospect wasn't enough calories (I misread label mistaking tbsp for tsp, oops). However, it still tasted amazing, settled well and I think helped avoid a bonk this time (although I still didn't have a strong finish so, like I said, it was likely too few calories). The only issue was when I went for the first sip and the mouth piece on the Fuel Belt flask FLEW OFF when I pulled with my teeth, causing me to have to stop, grab it, and fix it. Didn't want to lose the flask (it was my mom's) nor my nutrition. Ok, seriously? What a POS!!! That cost me about a bit o' time, but who cares.

After the race I was not ravenous for calories. Took some post-race MAP and had a large handful of some raw nuts. That was all. Didn't eat a full meal until a few hours later.

Speaking of nutrition I made a killer green drink after the Saturday trainer session.
Turmeric, ginger, cucumber, celery, parsley, radish greens, beet greens, cayenne.
Didn't taste the best, but holy crap did it work magic! I woke up the next day
feeling like a rockstar ready to charge a big workout!

Magnesium Woes
Something else to compare with Feb. 22 vs. March 22 that I have to point out, TMI or not. Consider it a PSA. I've been taking Natural Calm Magnesium before bed, and it's great. Mix a tasty tsp of powder with water to get your necessary Mg and sleep like a baby. Well on Friday night before the recent 3/22 race, I f-ed up. I used a regular spoon to scoop out the Mg powder, and scooped out way too much. Wasn't really thinking about it, but it was probably double the dose I'm used to, if not more? Race morning I woke up with the immediate need to get to the bathroom, or else. Excess magnesium can cause loose stools -- I found out that this is, indeed, the truth. I needed bathroom stops all the way up until ~20min before the race start. I'm sure that depleted me a bit. Oops! haha.

Training & Fatigue Status Leading Up to Race
Going into Feb. 22 I was more fresh at the tail end of just one base week that had no intensity other than some strides (and the week prior had been recovery). However, at that point I was still lacking fitness and lacking time on the trails, especially at the tough intensity.

On March 22 I certainly had more training under my belt including way more trail runs, the best being a 2+hour amazing trail run 7 days prior that had 2k elevation in 12-13 miles. Ya baby. However, March 22 also fell at the end of a hard 2-week training block with intensity this time, and, thus, I'd do the race way more fatigued. That was fine, and to me that was the exciting part to see how I'd do in one condition vs. the other.

Feb. 22 HRV:
82 avg taken upon waking.

March 22 HRV:
76 avg at wakeup.

Feb. 22 stats:
9.90 miles in 1:21:01 (they were short on the turn around point this time I think)
8:11 average pace
177 HR avg (which I didn't really believe when I saw this after, but maybe it's legit).

March 22 stats:
10.02 miles in 1:21:41
8:09 average pace
172 HR avg (this seems right)

Now, take a look at my splits:

Feb. 22 race splits.
Mile 2 is a brutal climb, mile 3 is a wicked descent.
March 22 race splits.
See, isn't this fun to compare and contrast?
How many of you are still with me, lol.
Interesting right? Different splits but virtually the same time! Like, on Feb. 22 I walked part of mile 2 (hilly!!) but than had a really fast downhill mile 3. On March 22 I walked less of mile 2, and mile 3 was a bit slower. Correlated? Hm.

Also to note: Trail conditions were slightly different, harder the second time due to recent storm chaos, but that's what I love about trails, ya never know. A harder more technical challenge is welcomed

Feb. 22:
First overall female.

March 22:
Third overall female.

That's with nearly the same performance on my end. Just goes to show you that you never know who will show up and how that can change things. (There were times I tried to catch the second-place girl who ultimately finished ~2min ahead of me, but just didn't have it this time.) Still completely content with my race and performance!!! Only wish that there was still one more race left in the series!

Ok, data geek out session complete. Feel free to share your thoughts and analyses on me. Tear me apart! I love it!


In other news, yesterday's long ride will officially be the last one the trusty Felt B2R. That bike has been in my life since 2009 and has been very very good to me, taking me on some of the most memorable journeys of my life so far... But something new is in the works... I'll spill the beans later!
Another from yesterday's ride. Enjoyed my
last 72 miles with my original TT bike!
#bonkbreaker #snacktime #topoftheworld
Taking her apart, for parts lol. And yes my MTB rear tire
is flat. Need to change it ASAP so I can ride something this week!

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