Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallows' Eve and A Big Rock

It's always a good idea to test your pace before the big day by running an official race. This way you can adjust any techniques while you have a ton load of people running around you.
Having the field (other runners) running with you helps you to get in a rhythm of passing, pacing, and learning/experiencing a new course. I recommend testing all your training hard work by running at least a 5k (3.1 miles) before the race you are trainin
g for. If it's a 5k you are training for I recommend either run or run/walk a 5k, or most races offer a 1 mile run. Either way it will help you relax some, I say some, nerves on race day because you have a feel
of how an official race operates and your familiar with your race abilities.

*It's almost the end of training for the Atlanta Half Marathon and
just the beginning of the Atlanta ING Full Marathon training. Best way to test our pace: run around a big rock in the rain on Halloween morning. We (Ross and I) decided to particip
ate in the Run Around The Rock 10 mile race at Stone Mountain on this dreary and dismal Halloween morning.
  • Wake up way before the sunrise- Check
  • Drive out to Stone Mountain for 8 am- Check
  • Change clothes in the car because Georgia weather is on crack- Check
  • Cramp up the entire 10 miles- Check
  • Realize Stone Mountain is REALLY hilly- Check
  • Proceed to get soaked, better word would be drenched, at mile 9- Check
  • Complete 10 miles around the base of Stone Mountain with a 8'00''ish mile pace- Cha Cha Check
It felt like if something could go wrong it did. I like to believe the spirit of Halloween is to blame for all the mini disasters today. However, I would label it as a good run mostly for truckin' through the toughness proving to ourselves we can conquer the tough obstacles. Bring on the half and all the hills it encompasses, Atlanta!

*In the previous blog What's Your Terrain of Choice? (08/15/2009), I compared different running terrains based on surface and location. I stated I was seeking out to find good trails in the Atlanta/ Downtown area and Stone Mountain was on my list. Through all my research Stone Mountain has been raved about numerous times and I defiantly wanted to experience what all the hype was about.
  • My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars: Overall it's a nice 5 mile run around the base of the mountain. You get a nice view of the lake, falling leaves during this season, lots of colors, somewhat of a view of the mountain, but tough tough hills. I would have enjoyed it a little more if the view of the mountain was more visible and less of these Georgia hill. However, I do recommend trying out the course at least once if you're in the area.

Training Exercise of the Week: Planks: This is a great exercise to help strengthen your core muscles. Your core muscles are your abdominals, glutes, and some back muscles. Strengthening your core muscles can help to alleviate lower back pain and help prevent hamstring injuries.
  • Performing Planks: Find a flat surface, get down on your knees, place your elbows on the ground while straightening your forearms, and straighten your legs behind you supporting your body with your toes and arms. Hold your position for 20 seconds. Then rest for about 30 seconds. Then repeat for about 3 sets.
  • Progression Planks: Instead of a flat surface find a small platform to rest your arms on. You can hold the position for a minimum of 30 seconds. With each following set try adding more time to your hold.
Training Tip of the Week: Stay positive no matter how hard it gets. Regardless if it's work, school, sickness, family, or running problems stay positive. Treat your run as a stress reliever. While you're running you release that negative tension. Once the tension grabs hold of you it will become a fight to overcome. I know it's tough to stay positive when things are hard. I know that. So have someone to vent to or even run with you. This way you have someone to help push through your run when you think about stopping. After you finish you should be filled with a sense of accomplishment aiding to eliminate any negative tension.

Training Song of the Week: Well, it's Halloween so it's only appropriate to select a song(s) to fit the season. Enjoy!

1. Halloween- DMB
2. My Body's A Zombie For You- Dead Man's Bones (So Good!)

Happy Running,

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