Routes, Running

Route: Running Of The Bulls 8K

Next Friday at this time, I’ll be picking up my race bib for Bull City Running Company’s Running Of The Bulls 8K (website).

The race starts on Saturday morning, June 3rd at 7.15am. It’s the first time I’ve ran this particular race, but I have ran very similar routes in Durham before so I have an idea of what to expect (i.e. HILLS).

I enjoy running through cities. You get to see things you easily miss when driving through. You also get a better feel for where everything is. I’m looking forward to it!

2017-05-26 16_05_34-Running Of The Bulls 8K _ Strava Route

 

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Routes, Running

Spooky Half Marathon around Lake Betz Wetlands

Of all the places I’ve ran so far, none have felt so desolate and alone as portions of this route — particularly down Louis Stephens and through the Lake Betz Wetlands. The fact that there’s a large wetlands area in the middle of the Research Park took me by surprise when I stumbled upon it. It was real pretty for sure, but there was not a soul or vehicle in sight — even with all the office buildings around.

The last time I ran here, I turned right on Kit Creek Rd after coming out of the Wetlands area and ran back along Davis Dr. That cut the route down to around 8 miles.

This extended version of the route is just over 13 miles long. Instead of coming back on Davis Dr, the route goes through the Kits Creek neighborhood, into Providence Place and then back along the greenway to Town Hall Dr.

 

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Routes, Running

Reedy Creek Trail Head to NC Museum of Art

I get so excited when I find out about new running routes. Anyone else?! I map them out on Strava and then plan how to work them in to my schedule. I’ve decided I’m going to start sharing these routes on my blog.

This is one of the latest routes I’ve been looking at (I have not ran it yet). It’s just under 8mi (one way) and starts at the new Reedy Creek Trail Head parking lot (off Weston Parkway on Winstead Dr). Most of the route lies inside Umstead Park, with a couple of miles on sidewalk, before arriving at the NC Museum of Art.

Liz and I checked checked out the trail head parking lot at the weekend, so now it’s just a matter of getting a group together and setting aside some time to run it! I’ll be sure to post an update when I do.

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Running

New Shoes!

I ran 7 miles this morning in my new Clifton 3’s.

I was trying to hold out for the new Hoka One One Clifton 4’s (due early Summer), but my knees were starting to give me some grief over the last week or so. Fortunately, the Clifton 3’s, which I was currently running in, have dropped in price. So, since I knew the exact size I needed, I picked up a new pair at Amazon for under $100.

It’s a great shoe, and my “old” pair lasted me around 450 miles (since January) – for comparison, I changed my Brooks Launch at 380 miles. I’ll look at the Clifton 4’s again in a few months. They have apparently made them more durable without sacrificing the cushioning.

My old Clifton 3’s will not get to rest just yet — I’ll keep them handy for running in the rain, muddy trails, etc.

How often do you retire your shoes?

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Running

New Half-Marathon PR!

While I’ve yet to run any actual half-marathon races, I have ran the distance now on two occasions. My first attempt, back in mid December took me 2:14:12. My second attempt, on Sunday morning past, shaved over 10mins off the previous time with a result of 2:01:06.

I’d have loved to have landed under 2hrs, but I’m very happy with this progress, considering this route is fairly hilly (for Morrisville)!

 

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Running

Challenge Yourself

Coming into Fall of last year, I was quite happy with my 60-70 miles monthly mileage. The funny thing is, I think I would still be running the same distance each month if I hadn’t heard about Challengeville.

Challengeville is a vibrant online running community. It exists to encourage and cheer you on as you attempt to compete one of the running challenges each month. It was started by Bart Pierce (aka @oldguyrunning on Instagram), and you can read his amazing story over at Challengeville.net.

As a community, it has grown so much for something that started only 5 years ago. Bart has a handful of helpers now, known as the Challengeville City council. They are the voice of Challengeville and provide all the encouragement and shout-outs you receive when you participate in a challenge.

There are seven challenges to choose from:

  • THE NOUVEAU (26.25 miles)
  • THE TIMEFIGHTER (48 miles)
  • THE PHOENIX (70 miles)
  • THE TINMAN (93.3 miles)
  • THE TRANSFORMER (121 miles)
  • THE BIGFOOT (150 miles)
  • THE MADMAN (200 miles)

When I first signed up, I selected the TIMEFIGHTER challenge (48 miles). I received a message from Challengeville a day or two later, suggesting I sign up for TINMAN instead. They thought I would be under-challenged otherwise.

I loved that encouragement and belief in me as a runner, even when I did not believe in my own ability. I reluctantly agreed to the scarier challenge. That very first month, my mileage jumped from the average 60-70 to 90-100 miles per month!

I have signed up every month since and will continue to be part of this great community.

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Running

What is VO2 Max?

From WikiPedia: VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption as measured during incremental exercise, most typically on a motorized treadmill. Maximal oxygen consumption reflects the aerobic physical fitness of the individual, and is an important determinant of their endurance capacity during prolonged, sub-maximal exercise. The name is derived from V – volume, O2 – oxygen, max – maximum.

Over the last couple of years, fitness trackers (e.g. Garmin, Jabra and Fitbit) have started to make use of the VO2 Max formula to measure their users’ fitness levels. Previously only available to athletes in a laboratory setting with specialized equipment, these devices can estimate your VO2 Max close to laboratory results.

In saying all that, it’s not a value I have often checked. Garmin is only able to calculate/estimate it when I wear my heart rate monitor during training sessions, and that is not often. I think I will start wearing it more frequently to provide a wider data-set for analysis.

The reason I’m posting about VO2 now, is because I wore my heart rate monitor last week for a run and noticed an improvement in my VO2 score. I pulled up the Garmin app and compared my VO2 scores over the last 12 months. It was really rewarding to see such an improvement.

vo2-graph

And this graph below is always encouraging as well, another year and I should be very close to goal weight. Slow and steady is the way to do it.

weight

 

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