Friday, November 11, 2011

Running short

With the DNS at Monkey it leaves me with an opportunity to race shorter.

It has been a long time since I have seriously raced anything shorter than a marathon.  I have not even attempted to race shorter than a marathon since a half marathon in April 2010. 

Last serious 5k was September 2005.  I guess I like my pain to last a long time.

I am looking forward to the Noodlini 5k in DePere, WI - November 27th and the Frostbite 10 Mile in Steven's Point, WI December 3rd.  I plan on running these races as hard as I can with minimal taper.  I know I cannot scare my 5k PR (17:51) until 2012, but I am hopeful to take down the 10 Mile PR (1:01:57).

Training remains the same:  Consistent running, good workouts, tweaky hamstring, continued small improvements.  The training goodness makes me smile a lot!

Good running to all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Moneky is Dead

The Monkey is really alive ... and strong ... and ready to beat down all who dare to challenge the Monkey!  But the Monkey is dead to me for 2011.

I am a DNS for my favorite race - Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon - Nashville, TN.  The course is a little sadistic - 3,500 feet of ups - 3,500 feet of downs on pavement.  I do not love this course because it is a PR course, but because it is a worthy adversary. 

Year #1 - I went toe to toe with the Monkey and although the Monkey won (3:00:46), it was an epic satisfying battle.

Year #2 - The Monkey batted me around and stomped on me (3:17:16).

I was looking forward to getting revenge this year.  I feel I am in sub 3 "Monkey" shape and to me that would be a win vs. the Monkey.

The best part of the Monkey experience is drinking beer and socializing afterward with all my Monkey friends.  The party starts immediately after the race with the Peoples' Buffet - Basically it is a pot luck and all the runners (200 strong) bring something to share.  Beer starts flowing at noon - I guess there is a silly Tennessee law forbidding taping a keg before noon.  After a short reprieve, the festivities continue at a local bar and restaurant past midnight.  I always take Monday off to partake in the festivities.

About a week ago, my Boss told me we have an important meeting with out President & VPs to present our locations strategy of growth for the next 3-5 years.  This meeting is on Monday after Monkey. This meeting I want to be at, this meeting I have to be at.

A choice had to be made.  Do I drive 11 hours to Nashville Saturday, run the race Sunday and immediately pile in my car to drive 11 hours home ... or DNS Monkey.  To run the race and drive home would mean I would still be pretty worn out ... for sure not very sharp Monday morning, so the choice became easy.

Monkey DNS!

I work for a company that is very tolerant, actually really supportive of my running hobby.  They allows me great flexibility to fit in my training.  One little running sacrifice seems a pittance compared to what I get in return.

Good running to all -

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tweaky Hamstring Continued

Not much new to report.

I took it easy last Saturday - Tuesday, only logging 31 miles in 4 days in hopes of putting my tweaky right hamstring issue behind me.  I really do not notice a change, I still have to stop ever speed workout or hill workout when it starts to bark at me.  The 4 day lull did manage to leave me refreshed and hungry to continue to train.

I completed week # 2 of re-starting leg weights, lunges and core work.  I do think eventually this will put the hamstring issue to bed, will help avoid future injuries and improve my form (Core).

The hamstring issue does not stop me from getting decent workouts in, it just cuts them short.

MON - 8 miles with 4 @ T
WED - 18 miles with 5x5 minutes @ 30 min race pace
FRI - 15 miles of hill loops (10 hill loops)
SUN - 16 miles with 3x2 miles @ T

Wednesday - I did the whole workout, but was pushing my luck.  Friday I had hoped for 21 miles, but cut it short.  Sunday's workout was planned at 4x2 miles and it was going smooth and easy until the end of #3 then it was obviously time to stop.

I do think by the end of November the issue will be over.  I continue to make steady progress on increasing speed with taking 3-4 seconds a week out of all paces. 

Good running to all!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tweaky Hamstring

I feel great - My legs have a lot of pep and my mind is loving training again. 

But ... Every workout for the last 4 weeks is being limited by a tweaky hamstring.  It results in a few less miles in long runs, fewer hill loop repeats and a less rep or 2 for speed workouts. 

I find it interesting that I am  limited to workouts that feel solid (good) but not great and yet overall I feel great and I am making nice weekly progress.  I am starting to wonder if "Great" workouts are counter productive.  Do they leave us older runners too beaten down to recover quickly enough for the next one? 

My tweaky hamstring has brought me to this revelation ... but now that I see the light, it can go away.  I have never suffered from any issues of the hamstring.  This is just a mild case of either tight or a slightly pulled right hamstring.  I will take my usual injury treatment route - Continue to train through it.

Good running to all!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not training for a race

I continue to enjoy the training goodness ... But I have found something that I had previously lost. 

When I started running, I just wanted to improve.  Sure I raced, but no one race was  important to me.  Sometime between 2006-2008 I lost my way, I stopped training to become a better runner and started training to do the best I could in a particular race.

What's the difference?

If you only care about performance in a particular race you can make decisions that appear to help you achieve your goals for that race, but might be detrimental to you as a runner.  One example of this is Leadville - I would do 3 hill focused workouts per week - but no speed work.  24 hour racing - I still did speed, but too many times to count I would make decisions of distance or total mileage over speed and hills ... what are hills.

When you train for a race, race day come and goes.  There is always a mental let down and I will try and find another race to train for.  In the past few years this has led me to yo-yo into extremes of fitness levels.

So, once again I am not training for any particular races.  I am training to just improve as a runner.  This may lead me to be a jack of all trades, but a master of none, or may lead to new PRs ... We will see.  But I am looking forward to the variety.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Glacial 50k race report

Glacial 50M / 50k never disappoints.  A beautiful day running in the fall colors, followed by hanging out in the afternoon sun and drinking a few beers with friends (old and new).  I managed to keep the effort below race pace - But a strong paced training run.

A huge shout out for Cassie Scallon - Another amazing race.  She won the 50k race outright setting a new course record.  I did not see her time, but maybe 4:15  She already set the 50 mile course record in 2010 (7:45).  Although this is not a huge race, it is 25 years old and some great women have toed the line though the years ... I would expect to see more of her at the top end of race results in the near future!

Also a big congrats to my friend Craig Redfearn, who slowed down to run with me for the 1st 8ish miles.  He went on to a solid 4th OA finish in 4:33.  I ran my 1st ultra ever with Craig at the 50 mile version of this race back in 2006.

My time = 4:52 - 2:27 out and a 2:25 back in.  I was very happy that I signed up for the 50k, as the cool, sunny morning gave way to afternoon heat.

If you love really well run, smaller races with a home town feel - This race is a must do.

Good running to all -

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Glacial 50 Mile / 50k Preview

Great classic trail race - You should run it!

The glacial 50M / 50K is a "Runners Race".  Not a lot of hype or frills.  There are 7 aide stations for the 50 mile race - You need either 2 handhelds or a camelback for water.  The course has a nice mix of terrain:  Relentless ups and downs, grassy meadows, rocks and roots, Smooth through the pines.  Over all the most common terrain is lots of small hills with rocks and roots.  If you have ADD and lose your focus often, you will fall often.

Aide stations volunteers are very helpful.  The aide stations are stocked with everything you need, but not a lot more.  The finish line food is typically soup, chili, sandwiches with soda and water.  Last year there was a couple coolers of really good beer.  People tend to hang out after the race - either out in the sun or inside and chat.  Very relaxed atmosphere and laid back race.

One nice feature is they hand out awards as you cross the finish line.

Although an hour from my house, I consider this my home course.  I have ran different parts of this course 15-18 times this year.  So I signed up for the 50k this Saturday, not to race, but to support this great race and to enjoy a beautiful fall day on the trail.  Weather forecast is for 50 at start and around 70 at the finish. 

The 50k is stacked this year.  I see at least 2 women that would "chick" me even if I was running all out:  Christine Crawford (Hope she is strong after struggling with injury for a long time) and Cassie Scallon (The 50 mile course record holder).  A nice field of men also ... but my goal is not to race.  I hope to be around 5 hours, but if I am slower it is ok.  I consider this a training run for my next marathon - The infamous Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon.

Good running to all -

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My favorite time of year - Fall running

Fall is my favorite time of year to run.  The temps are 30s-60s, the winds are usually light and the trees are beautiful.  The running part of me wishes it could be fall all of the time.  I appreciate living in Wisconsin and the different experience of each season.  Would fall really be as wonderful if it not for the exit of the heat and humidity of summer or the inevitable approach of the wind, ice and bitter cold of winter?

I am enjoying running through the goodness of fall.  No impending doom of goal races I am not trained to run or silly expectations of huge improvements from training.  Just the crunch of the leaves under foot, the morning frost on vehicles windows, the noisy geese heading south and me running ... running because it makes me happy.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NorthCoast 24 hour result

Wow that sucked!

A big shout out to Phil McCarthy 153+ and Connie Gardner 144+ our 2011 National 24 hour champions.  Also to Deb Horn (131+) and Johnathon Savage (146+) for securing their spots on the 2012 National Team with 2nd place finishes.  Finally Harvey Lewis (140+) and Lisa Bliss (125+) for putting up great races and getting 3rd place.

My race ... Easy - Not in shape and 20# heavy - Sounds like a broken record.  Time to stop racing and start training.  I will not make another attempt until I am ready.

Temperatures were reasonable, it did feel a bit warm on the part of the course with the wind at you back.  From 11ish to when I dropped (10ish) we pushed a pretty decent wind for 40% of the course.  At times maybe 5-10 MPH, a lot of the time 10-15+.

I came through the marathon in @ 3:55 ~ 9:00 pace and 50 miles in @ 7:45ish = 9:18 pace (Most of the drop was for bathroom breaks and stretching) 

By 8 hours into the race my red shirt was dry and white from all the salt.  I was sweating pretty hard and had taken 18-20 S-Caps.

About 12 hours in I just was not able to run at any pace into the wind and started turning 10+ minute laps.  I realized that if something did not change I would not hit the minimum of 135 miles.  For the next hour I tried different things to push it back down to the 9ish minute range.  It was not going to happen, so I pulled the plug to fight another day.

I was well hydrated, nutrition was good and electrolytes were as good as they could be.  So it comes down to my fitness level and weight were not anywhere close to what they need to be.

Time for a little less talking and hoping and more training.  I do not see myself running another serious ultra until May or June 2012. 

Good running to all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pacing for NorthCoast 24 hour race

I thought I would share my pacing strategy for NorthCoast 24.  Having handicapped myself with 20 extra pounds and less mileage than I would like does nothing to my normal 24 hour pacing strategy.

That is because my 24 hour pacing strategy has nothing to do with pace and everything to do with effort level.  It is very simple, but very hard to execute.

Why is so hard to execute?  In the 1st part of the race, everyone will be lapping me, some lapping so often it will feel like I am standing still.  It will be likely if I execute my pacing strategy well, I will fall to 40th - 50th place or further early on.  When I hit 100 miles, I may not be in the top 20 yet.

1st 12 hours (9am - 9pm) - The pace should feel as easy as sitting on the couch watching TV.  Everything should be relaxed, if any strain comes into muscles or breathing, it's time to back off.

Next 5 hours (9pm - 1am) - Try to stay relaxed, the effort level picks up to what a 5 hour training run at easy pace would feel like.

1 am to 6 am - This is when a person finds out where they are mentally.  There is enough time left that it seems like a long time to suffer.  Your body is starting to hurt and it is easy to start to let the pain dictate slowing way down or walking for extended periods of time.   This is where I want to feel pain, lots of pain, welcome the pain and keep extremely focussed to get as much out of my body as possible.  My plan is to run these 5 hours like there are only 6 hours left in the race - pushing hard.

6 am - 9 am - The reason I am willing to push hard the previous 5 hours is because I believe if I am in position to get a good mileage with 3 hours left, I will find a way to get it done.  I will have ate, drank and electrolyted properly, so it will only be the strength of my mind that determines how many miles I can get in the last 3 hours.

So what does all this mean? 

I have no idea - I believe there is a large range of possibilities of what an effort based pacing strategy will yield.  But I do have an idea what I think it will deliver:
1)  1st 50 miles in 7:45-8:00
2)  2nd 50 miles in 8:15-8:45
3)  Last part of pace between 10-11 minute miles

Best case:  148
More likely:  139

Of course there are 10 things that have to go extremely well to get to the 139-148 range and any one of them going really poorly will dramatically decrease the mileage ... this is going to be fun!

Good running to all -

Monday, September 12, 2011

NorthCoast 24 - Let the pre-race tweaking begin

We drop the kiddos off Friday at school, then onto Cleveland, OH.  So I actually started thinking about the race today.

Tweaking = Over thinking about founded or unfounded issues for the race.

My tweaking
1)  Slightly injured achillies last Monday - I have ignored it and trained as if it were fine.  As of today it still hurts moderately.
2)  I have lost 10 pounds since Leadville - But I am still 215# - I have given myself a big handicap to overcome.
3)  Shoes - I have 15 pair out there, all moderately worn, none fresh enough for 24 hours.  Someone I have dreadfully mismanaged my shoes in the last 2 years.
4)  The competition - The list is already strong, but I hear rumor of a few more elite men being added ...
5)  To do well in the 24 hour it is an all or nothing proposition.  You have to be willing to destroy yourself totally and see what you get.  Anything other than an "All in" mentality - You might as well stay home.  I need to get myself ready mentally.
6)  Unlike other times when I race a 24 hour "All in", I am a long shot to making my minimum distance = 140 to make the trip worth it.
7)  Not having trained worth a darn since end of June - I ran 121 miles two weeks ago and 126 miles last week - So I am a little light on tapering.

With all that being said - I am getting pretty excited to go out to Cleveland and test my current fitness level.

Good running to all -

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taper for a 24 hour race

This is the area that I feel least confident about.  I feel good about how I taper for a marathon = Run a bit less and keep light speed workouts the whole way in.  I usually run 90-100 miles the 2nd week out and 50ish miles the week of the marathon (Before the 26.2)

Here is my taper for the the two 24 hour races I did well at:

6/6/2009  FANS 24 - 147.4 miles
*  Training was marathon training (2 speed workouts per week) + a 30+ and a 40+ mile run every month. Mileage was in the 120-160 range (160 when a 40+ mile run was done)

*  Week # 3) 
108 miles

*  Week #2)
M - 21 Easy in AM
T - 5 Easy in AM / 5 Easy in PM
W - 12.5 With 5x5 @ CV (5:33 pace) in AM / 4.5 Easy in PM
TH - 6 Easy in AM  / 5 Easy in PM
F - 10 with 20 min Tempo (5:43 pace) in AM / 5 Easy in PM
SA - 12 Easy in AM
Su - 6 Easy in AM / 4 Easy in PM
92 miles

*  Race week)
M - 10 mile interval run 4x4 minutes @ CV / PM - 5 Easy
T - 6 easy in AM / 4 Easy in PM
W - 6 EAsy
TH - 5 Easy
FR - 4 EASy
40 miles pre-race

May 13 2010 Brive 24 hour - 154.48 miles - This race was a European race and between lost luggage and being a tourist in Paris - The last week taper was poor - I was in much better shape than the 2009 race.  To me the Brive taper was disjointed - There was a lot of life that got in the way.  I showed up to the race flat and lethargic.

*  Training was marathon training (2 speed workouts per week) + multiple 30+ and  40+ mile run every month. Even a couple of 50+ mile runs.  Mileage peaked with an 8 week average in the 200+ range.  Many times I would do my speed work after running 20-25 mile of a 30+ mile run, many times my speed work failed.

Week #4)
142 miles

*  Week # 3) 
76 miles

*  Week #2)
M - 14 with 4x5 @ CV in AM / 5 Easy in PM
T - 5 Easy in AM / 6 Easy in PM
W - 5 Easy
TH - 14 with 4 mile tempo in AM / 5 Easy in PM
F - 8 Easy / 6 Easy
SA - 5 easy (Travel - Stuck in Detroit)
Su - Off (Travel)
72 Miles

*  Race week) - Race was on a Thursday
M - 7 Easy
T - 5 easy M
W - 4 EAsy

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fitness Report Sept 5th - 11th

This week I need to get less calories in and more H20.  Goals are to average < 3,200 calories per day and minimum of 170 ounces H20 per day.  I would also like to get my walking total >= 15 miles.

R=Run, E=Eliptical, STM = StairMaster, W=Walk. Wts = Weights - So R6 = Run 6.  I make the assumption that 8 minutes of intense cross training = 1 mile

Day     Activity              Total "Miles"      Calories    Net Calories        H20
9/5      R18 R9                     27                  3,550         (2,630)             170
9/6      R8.5R11.5                20                   4,375(crud) (825)              110 (Bad)
9/7      R17R6W4                27                   3,225         (3035)              170
9/8      R5 R6 R6 W7          24                    3975         (1,785)              210
9/9      R6 R10                     16                   3800          (840)                180
9/10    R6 R6                       12                   3550          (530)                190
9/11    R11                           11                   3375          (565)                200

**  I failed to walk like I wanted to FR-SA-SU, but did have a good family weekend.  Went boating on Sunday - Likely the last huray of the boating year.

9/5 was a decent day.  Went to the state park and hikes with the family - Not real far as my father was along and had no desire to hike.  Played minature golf - Lost the pencil on purpose as it was to be fun ... My Dad still figured out we were all square after 16 holes and mad when I beat him ???  Yes my Dad likes to make everything a competition.  Also worked 5 hours on 2012 budget - Hey it pays the bills.

9/5 PM - Was stupidly cruising pretty fast (2nd fast run of day) - tweaked my lower calf / upper achillies area.  This time I am just going to ignore it - Although it will mean no fast running or hill running until it feels better.

9/8 Walked 7 miles on TM during part of Packer Pre-Game and 1st half - I am also out of walking shape.

My nutrition for a heavy training load

Nutrition becomes more complicated because it is not just how many carbs you eat, but almost more important is what type and when you eat them.  I tend to eat less solid food in heavy training and start taking more Endurox R4 (No I am not sponsored) immediately after most runs runs.  If I feel I am short on protein I tend to turn to Pro-Source Nytro Whey Extreme (not sponsored).  I am a heavy sweater, so electrolytes are always an issue, so I end up very reliant on Succeed S-Caps (not Sponsored)

When I get into really high mileage 170-200+ miler per week, I can no longer eat today to power my run tomorrow.  I eat today to help my body recover and not break down.  I eat right before my run and during my run to help give me the energy to power my run.  Yes, I realize I am also taking from fat and my depleted glycogen stores, but it is more the mentality that is important.  Eating during a run to power that run is great practice for 24 hour racing.  In long runs > 30 miles, I tend to take calories and S-Caps exactly how I would during a race.

I will post my in race fueling strategy for a 24 hour race a few days before NorthCoast 24

Good running to all -

I wish I could accomplish higher mileage nutrition with real food - God knows I love to eat, but I find I recover quicker for the next run with the above products.

Good running to all -

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Running 1-2-3 times a day & Nutrition for Heavy Training

For many of us time is the biggest constraint on training mileage.  Family, Friends, jobs and other personal interests all deserve their fair share of our time.  1st, most of us put these big blocks into our life's schedule and see what is left for running.  While seriously in training, some of us put our running schedule into life's schedule and fit what ever else we can - Making sure we can allocate a reasonable amount of time everything.

There are times I am running once, usually twice and sometimes 3 times a day.  I am blessed with a job that I can usually get 4-6 miles in at lunch.  If I had an unlimited amount of time I would run three times a day.  When I run one time a day I am fairly stiff for most of the day.  Twice a day is better, but by the next morning again I am stiff and sluggish.  But when I run three times a day, I am never stiff and running becomes much more fluid and coordinated.

The danger in running three times a day is over training - at least 2 of the runs need to be either recovery pace or slow easy pace - Garbage miles by some people's definition.  Nutrition, hydration and electrolyte balance will make the difference between breaking down or being a well oiled machine.

My next post will be about my nutrition for heavy training.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Running - Racing Goals

Goals can get complex and sometimes we focus on a short term minor goal to the detriment of a longer term major goal.  Other times our short term goals compliment our major goals. 

My #1 goal is so simple - yet so hard to achieve from where I sit today.  I want to be on Team USA for the 24 hour world championship on September 8th, 2012 in Katowice, Poland.  The qualification period ends June 11th 2012.  Given my current fitness level, I believe this gives me 2 viable options:  3 Days at the Fair May 2012 in NJ and FANS24 in June 2012 in MN.  Nothing like last minute pressure to perform.

My #2 Goal is to run my 9th consecutive year of a sub 3 marathon in 2012.  Easy for some people - Not extremely hard for me if I am in shape, but it will be some day.  This is my goal that I hope keeps me interested in running for years to come.

But my goal between now and 2-1-2012 is to get my weight were it should be = 180#.  This will deliver the other 2 goals.  6'3 and 180 does not sound "Runner Skinny", but I do not have a runners body.  In May 2010, I was 195# and that was pretty ripped, so maybe the goal should be to get as fit as possible (Body fat wise).

Along the way I would like to give a smack down on a bunch of PRs in 2012.  Most my shorter PRs are way to old and as long as racing does not interfere with Goal #1 - Its time to add a bit of speed again.

Good running to all -

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fitness report Aug 29 - Sep 4th

R=Run, E=Eliptical, STM = StairMaster, W=Walk. Wts = Weights - So R6 = Run 6.  I make the assumption that 8 minutes of intense cross training = 1 mile

Day     Activity              Total "Miles"      Calories    Net Calories        H20
8/29     R7 R6 R5 W4        22                   3,240         (1,920)             190
8/30     R6 R5 R21            32                    4,400        (2,480)              230  
8/31     R6 R5                   11                   4,500 (oops) +560              140
9/1       R15.5                   15.5                 3525          (1,045)              150
9/2       R8.5R6R4            18.5                 3850          (1,140)              210
9/3       R15                      15                    4325          (175)                 130
9/4       R6R9W4              19                    3375         (1,685)               170

Total run miles 121 walk mile 12 = 133 Total net calories (7,885).  Nice week - Healthy week, but I will not hit my weight loss goals this way - Less calories in and more h20.
Tue 8/30 PM Run - When in shape and riding this goodness of a nice block of training this would have been 30+ miles.  21 took a lot of effort - This will be my last attempt at ultra-distance before NorthCoast 24 in 18 days.
8/31 PM - Ended up working 13 hour day (Budgeting and I stress ate) - no PM run
9/1 Work took over again - I did manage a meager 4 miles @ T speed workout
9/3 15 - High Cliff hill loops x 10 - DW Jill's B-Day, rest of day was for her.  Major victory was having no beer as she enjoyed 8+

Weight Goals
9/15 - 210
11/15 - 190
1/15 - 180

August 28th Day #4

After this post my quest for weight loss will take a weekly format that is updated daily.  I will occasionally throw in a few other thoughts about life and training.

I ran 21 miles in AM and then worked 8 hours.  Getting home in time to spend some time with my wife and girls before their 1st day of school (8/29 seems early).  DD#1 is in 5th grade and DD#2 in 1st grade - They are still very excited to go to school.  I are poorly at work, stress does that to me.  I tried to go to bed @ 8:30 because I was dog tired, but I could not sleep.  I decided I needed to de-stress, so I went for a nice easy 10 miler at 10pm.

Total Calories = 4,475
Est Base metabolism = (2,400)
Miles of activity 31 x 140 = (4,340)
Deficit = 2,265 calories
h20 = 190 ounces

Deficit for week (4 days) 4,865
Weight at beginning 225
Weight at end 217
Total run miles 69
Total other miles 4

Rid of some poison and lower on glycogen then the start - Likely 1-2 pounds of fat loss max.

Good running to all

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28th - Long run failure

I felt pretty good this morning - Although I continue to sleep way to much.  I am going to have to set an alarm on the weekend another 10 hours of deep sleep.

For me the key to long runs (30+ miles) is the pacing and nutrition.  This morning I just could not dial down the pacing.  With my current fitness level (Low) I should be running 8:15 pace for a 35 miler. 

For these long runs I find a nice 7 mile loop with a bathroom on one end and my truck on the other works well logistically.

Loop#1 - I felt pretty sluggish and slow.  By the end of the loop I had relaxed and warmed up - A beautiful morning - High 50s and low humidity.  Time 54:48 (7:50) - Too fast for my fitness, but wasn't going to kill me if I ramped it down the rest of the run.  I drank Endurox at the truck, grabbed my handheld and 2 gels and I was off.

Loop #2 - A nice breeze off the lake kept it cool.  There were a lot of people out running and walking.  I ran a mile or so a bit fast as I do not like to get passed (Stupid I know).  54:46 (7:46) - Again I could salvage this long run, just back down.  Endurox at the truck and 2 gels to go.

Loop #3 - At this point I started to think of all the Budget work I had to do today and how I could not really afford 5 hours of running.  The mental garbage started to build, so I decided that 21 would be enough and picked up the pace the last 3 miles.  Not really fast, just an enjoyable faster pace than I had been running.  51:56 (7:25)

So the long run turned into just a nice marathon training run.  21 miles in 2:41:06.

Next time I need to start a lot earlier than 7:00am, although I am not sure I will have the time before the end of September to go long again.  Maybe I will pick a week night and get it in??

Good running to all -

August 27th Day #3

A good all around day - Ate reasonably and my runs felt pretty good.  The only remaining issue is I am sleeping 9-10 hours a night (Sleeping like a rock) and the next night I am still dog tired by 8:00pm - I am not sure what's up with that?

Total Calories = 2,750
Est Base metabolism = (2,400)
Miles of activity 16 x 140 = (2,240)
Deficiet = 1,890 calories
h20 = 150 ounces

Goal for Sunday morning is a 35 mile long run = 5 x 7 mile loops.
Good running to all -

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 26th Day #2

I had a great day until after work.  My plan was to pick up my girls and a few movies.  I would do some running on TM while we all watched the movies.  My legs are still very unhappy, so I bagged it after 3/4 a mile. Time to snuggled and watched Marley - The Puppy years.  Somehow I managed to eat way too many calories including a large Hershey bar and a bunch of PB.  I have to learn to sit at home and not over eat.

Total Calories = 4200
Est Base metabolism = (2400)
Miles of activity 6.5 x 140 = (910)
Surplus = 890 calories
h20 = 130 ounces

Because my legs felt so bad, I decided to move my long run to Sunday morning from Saturday.

I am a rhythm person - I just need to get in a rhythm and I am confident it will happen.

Good running to all -
Food warriors - Battle on!

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 25th Day #1

Calories = 2,650
H20 = 170 ounces
Activity:  Run 6 @ Lunch / Run 9 with 6x HighCliff Hill loops after work
Net Calories = (1,600)

Leadville is still weighing on my legs, I am running a bit ackwardly.  I am also pretty slow, but I really am not bothered by this while doing hills. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Training Goals - Weight Loss

I realize that I have had  pretty poor performances in 2011 so far and with my current fitness level that is not likely to change.  On the other had, I have enjoyed 2011 and experienced some new things.

My goal for the remainder of 2011 is to position myself for success for 2012.  The number one current issue to take care of is my weight.  When you have 5 or 10 pounds to lose you can train hard and eventually it will start to slide off.  When you have 40 pounds to lose, you have to make a choice of what is more important:  Good training or swift weight loss.  Picking weight loss will mean that you will have many training runs go poorly: Runs you have to cut short or speed workout failures.

My current #1 goal is to lose 45 pounds by the end of the year.  I do not look forward to the task at hand, but 45 pounds in 4 months is realistic if one stays focused.

People reading this blog should be ready for a change in focus.  Weight loss versus training.  Of course I will still be running, but I will be focused on the best negative net calories per day.  If that means elliptical, stair climber or walking instead of running, so be it!

Here we go 8/25 #225

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leadville 70 mile race report

DNF'd at 70 miles in 18:35

What a great experience - The mountains, the stars, Hope Pass x2, my crew and pacer. 

A thank you to my Sister, her man Ed and my wife the crew chief.  You took care of me wonderfully, gave me energy with your cheering and were understanding when it did not go as planned.

Another round of applause for my Pacer Jeff - Who spent the whole day cheering and then spent 7+ hours strolling 20 miles with me -  Keeping me focused and entertained.

I weighed in at the packet pickup at 228#, this meant I had little room for error in the race.  The extra 25-30 pounds is a lot to hike up the Leadville course.  Everything else was good and my achillies was never a factor.

I decided that I would run up the 1st hill about 1/4 mile into the race, but after that just keep an easy pace going in the 1st section.  I felt I accomplished this with 2:11 for the 1st 13.5 miles, but in reality I should have took 1 more minute per mile.

The rest of the next 26.5 miles I did a lot of power walking on any up hills.  If someone else was walking next to me I would quickly pull away from them walking.  In hindsight, I should have walked slower.

From Twin Lakes to Windfield was the 1st time in the day that I was not in control of choosing my effort level.  After 8 or so water crossings, I hit the base for the climb up to Hope Pass.  This hike goes from 9,200 to 12,600 feet in 3ish miles.  Almost immediately I was moving slowly, but giving near max effort.  Every 5-10 minutes I had to stop and get my heart rate down.  There was a beautiful mountain stream next to us for part of the ascent and the trees gave us shade and coolness.  On the way up I saw my friend John drinking from the mountain stream - I had not expected to see him and just gave a nod to save oxygen.  Soon I broke the tree line and was at the Hopeless aide station.  All the supplies were brought up by Lamas and they were grazing as we went past.  On the trip down, I ran too fast, but it felt good.  At the bottom I hit a gravel road for a few miles into the aide station.  Here my friend John (Who rocked the course in 23:25) caught back up to me after he had struggled with hurling a bit the 1st part of the day.  It was fun spending a little time with him, after we both finished at the aide station we had to cross over a timing mat, so I threw him a nice high elbow and hit the mat 2 seconds before him - Just fun screwing around.

John, my pacer Jeff and I set out for the return trip.  Jeff was going to mule for John and I to the top of the pass. John was stuck going my speed (Slow).  This direction is a bit shorter(1/2 mile), steeper but better footing.  I led the group very slowly up to the pass.  I did not take as many breaks - I thought I was doing pretty good until we crested the pass, then I told John he better go as I would be walking a bit to recover.  A bit ended up being all the way down and all the way into Twin Lakes.

At Twin Lakes, I instructed my crew I would be slow and might be walking it in.  Something was not right.  My legs were OK, my nutrition was OK, my hydration and electrolytes were OK.  Something inside was not OK - Anytime I would try and run flat or down, I would feel both overheated and heart maxed out immediately.  If this was a training run, I would cut it right here.  I knew these were symptoms of a heavily stressed my endocrine system.  At the max stress level the endocrine system will start shutting down most of the bodies functions as a survival mechanism.

The next 3.5 miles to a water only aide station were tough.  I was trying to analyse the state of my body and what I could do to make it better.  Jeff was entertaining me and trying to get me to stay mentally in the race.  When we stopped at the aide station, I sat for 1 minute while Jeff refilled my water.  I started to shiver uncontrollably, so I put my go-lite wisp on and gloves.  Soon I was way to hot and off they came.  The next 6ish miles took forever - Almost no running and walking slow enough to get passed a lot.  I was hitting my max effort even going up a 3-5% incline - having to take breaks. 

We did the last 10 mile section in 3:15 - Which still put us 2.5 hours ahead of the cutoff.  Everything was good enough to finish except my heat regulation and heart rate per effort was gone.  My worry was how much more I would have to stress the endocrine system to finish and I am not willing to take a high level of health risk for a finish.  I wish I understood what was going on better and knew the risk level - But I decided it was time to DNF.

For the next 6 hours my head and core was extremely hot while my legs and arms were not.  I lay in bed shivering with a compress on my head and no covers on.  Between 3-4 AM it went to just a slight fever and I was able to get to sleep.

Although I am disappointed not finishing, it was a new and wonderful experience.  It has left me hungry to actually get my weight under control and back into good shape.  It has not left me with a need to go back and finish what I started.  Going back to pace or crew - Now that sounds like fun.

Leadville = 1
A Big Horse = 0


100 mile trail races = 1
A Big Horse = 0

The 1st score I have no need to settle - The 2nd score I will settle some day.

A special call out to my friend Tom, who could not run for many months with an achillies injury - getting just a few months of less than ideal training.  Cheers Tom - For getting the job done!

Now it is time to get back into top 24 hour race shape!

Good running to all -

Monday, August 8, 2011

Leadville Training August 8th - 14th

Taper - It's hard to start taper when you have not done the training you want to, but to not taper only would make the situation worse.  My goal for the week is to hit 3 hill efforts, but many less reps.  I will shoot for 80-90 miles, 8,000 vertical of ups and downs and 4,000 vertical of walking on TM.

Of course the above was my plan and below is what you get when you injure yourself 2 weeks before a race - Take what life gives you and make the most of it!

M - 5 Easy @ Lunch / 6 Easy in PM
T - 60 minutes stairclimber (Yuck!) - 4200 steps
W - 20 minutes stairclimber + 4 miles running on TM @ Lunch / 10 min Arc trainer + 5 miles TM in PM
TH - 10 min Arc Trainer + 10 miles on TM / 5 easy on TM
F - 6 easy miles @ Lunch
SA - 8 with 1,600 vertical
SU - 7 on TM

Monday - It is obvious the twinge in my calf early in the hill workout is more than nothing.  It has moved down below the calf - I would guess upper Achilles tendon ... Poop! 
Tuesday - Gave into nursing the injury instead of ignoring - If I had 6 weeks I would do the usual ignore it until it gets better or worse recovery plan.  I do not know if I really get much benefit out of the stairclimber - Its something I have not done in a long time, so my legs give out (Speed wise) way before my hear rate gets much above 120.  At least I did not go get a Big Mac for lunch - So I got that going for me.
Wednesday - Nothing better or worse with the upper achillies tendon - I ran 4 miles and it hurt some, so I did not push it.  Man-o-Man do I want to be cranking some hill repeats tonight!  But it looks like caution will be the order of the day.
Wednesday PM - I think a good sign.  I did 10 minutes on Arc trainer then 5 miles running on TM - Feels a little better.
Thursday AM - 10 minutes Arc Trainer + 10 miles on TM - Only faint pain - I would really like to do some incline, hills or even run outside, but I think I better stay cautious and not test anything until this weekend.
Friday Noon - I managed a easy 6 outside - I definately could feel the achillies more on the pavement than the TM.  But it is 75% better than Monday, so I think I will be fine.
Saturday AM - Time to test the achillies - Ran 8 with 1,600 vertical.  I felt it more on downhill than uphill and I dare not go up to my toes climbing.  I would have to say the result was not great - not horrible.  I could feel it, but I did not aggrivate it. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Leadville Training August 1st - 7th

I am pretty much recovered from the fractured Radial (Arm) and completely recovered form the head injury - Time is short, so I can think of only 1 think I want to work on ... Downhill running.  My goal this week is to be 100-120 miles with 3-4 good efforts focused on downhill running.  No hero workouts - Just some solid quad pounding.

(HC = HighCliff State Park)
M - 6 Easy at Lunch / 12 nothing but HC Hill repeats (3,000+ of vertical)
T - 7 easy in AM / 5 easy in PM
W - 16 nothing but HC Hills repeats (4,000+ of vertical)
TH - 9 easy in AM / 5 easy on TM in PM + 1 mile walking (1,000+ of vertical)
F - 8 easy in AM / 26 miles(ish) 4 hours, 20 minutes on Ice Age Trail south of Greenbush (4,000 vertical)
SA - 6 easy in AM
SU - 16 nothing but HC Hills repeats (4,000+ of vertical)

Monday - I was happy to have the hill repeats feel the best of the year.  I think this is because of all the easy mountain running and hiking in Yellowstone.  I was going to do more repeats, but as dusk fell something weird happened.  For about 10 minutes I had heard a whining or was it buzzing sound.  I could not locate its source, at times it sounded like a wet car engine belt at times like a swarm of killer bees.  Every time I thought I knew which direction it was coming from, I would turn my head and it was louder from somewhere else.  I had just taken a gel and was going back down the hill when I looked up and the answer was clear (almost) ... mega swarms of mosquitoes or were they lake flies?  15-40 feet in the air, big enough to cover a football field.  At the bottom of the hill, I turned around and back to the truck ... Done!  Turns out they were lake flies (second hatch of year - 1st is April-May).  As I drove the road down out of the park, there were mega swarm after mega swarm.  I have never heard flies at that decibel level except the Cicada.

Wednesday  - Back to Highcliff State park for more vertical.  85 and humid - not awful, not nice either.  21 good hill repeats and I was done.  I was hoping for 30 ... I am not sure if I could have managed 30, but it would have been a super human effort.  We save those for races.  The long up the hill is a favorite training spot of local bikers.  I usually see 30-40 different bikers in a night.  My favorite thing to do is to beat a biker up the hill.  It does not happen often, and usually its someone enjoying a ride in the park and never someone out for serious training.  I bagged 2 bikers!

Friday - Hottish (83) but very humid yet.  This was a very unpleasant run - Attack of the horseflies.  To me there are 3 categories of how bad horseflies are:  1) Annoying - They are buzzing around and occasionally land (Bite) on you 2)  Bad - Thick enough that every time you slap at you head you are killing one or 3) Horrible - You see the constant cloud and every time you slap at your hear you are killing 2 or more.  On this run they were between bad and horrible in the day light hours.  This big horse sweats so much that on days like this I sweat through my shoes in 45 minutes - So spray would not be effective.

I learned 2 things on this run - My Fenix LD20 Flashlight only has a 30 minute battery life on high (Completely inadequate) and that I should always have a back up baggie of S-caps along (I missed my pocket @ 3 hours into the run)

Sunday - A repeat of Wednesday - Highcliff hill repeats.  But it was high 70s and not overly humid.  Great run - felt good the whole time.  I did tweak a calf about 25% into the run, we will see what comes of it.

Weekly Stats
116 miles in 12 runs approximately 15,000 feet of up and more importantly down.

Vacation Re-cap

I have been too busy to do our vacation justice on this blog, so I will post a few thoughts and move onto Leadville thoughts.

Sights - Mount Rushmore, Mountains, Yellowstone

Favorite parts of the vacation:  Seeing the rodeo in Cody Wyoming. Driving through the Beartooth Mountains and stopping for a lunch hike @ 9,000+ feet.  The 1st evening driving through the Hayden and Lamar Valleys of Yellowstone - We saw the most animals the 1st day.  The Upper and Lower Falls at Yellowstone.  Slowing down at Old Faithful Village and waiting on Geysers.

Family Time
Each evening we would walk over to the Lodge, carrying our games, soda, snacks and beer and sit for a few hours just chilling.  Every moment of the vacation was wonderful family time.  No TVs, computers - Just a shared experience.

When staying outside Yellowstone, we avoided any chains and stayed at small "Motor Lodges"  In Yellowstone we stayed 2 nights at cabins by Yellowstone Lake Lodge, 1 night North at the Hots Springs Mammoth Hotel and 1 night in a tiny cabin near Old Faithful Snow Lodge.  Our favorite was the cabins at the Lake Lodge.  If you are planning a trip during the busy time - Do yourself a favor and book at least a year in advance.

I ran every morning on what ever I could find
*  Mt Rushmore - After driving through the night we has 90 minutes to kill before we could go in, so we found a little city park and I ran on the road through the hills - This was the 1st of many experiences where visually it would appear you are going downhill, but actually going uphill with the background of steep hills / mountains.
*  Cody, WY - I found this great jeep road about 1 mile past the Rodeo that swicthbacked up the mountain.
*  Yellowstone Lake Lodge - Probably my favorite little run - The Elephant Back trail gave great views of the Lake Lodge and Yellowstone Lake.  The 1st day I had a 2 hour conversation with myself to make noise for animals, but then invested in a bear bell.
*  Mammoth Hot Springs - My lease favorite run - I chose the Lava Trail and there were so many scrub bushes to run through and they constantly scratched your legs.
*  Old Faithful Snow Lodge - Nice run through the power line trail and then onto another trail.  This was more like WI - Constant little ups and downs.  Where the rest of my runs were big long ups and downs.

A perfect ending 
We ended the 11 day vacation with many relatives at the annual Wolle Bolle camping weekend it MN.  This weekend started to celebrate my Grandmother on her birthday.  With her passing in the last year along with other factors, attendance was down.  My mom had 6 brothers and 1 sisters and by the time you add 2 more generations - It was still a large gathering.  I feel blessed that one time a year I get to see a lot of my extended family on my Mom's side.  This year it was fun that My sister, Ed (Boyfriend), Jessica (Niece), Corrie (Niece's Boyfriend), Joshua (Nephew) and my Dad were all there.

In the end 3,300 miles of driving.

The last few weeks were not great for training - But it was nice to get a few mountain miles in.

Good running to all!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leadville - Ready to work, but out of time

3 weeks since the radial head fracture (Arm) and I feel pretty good.  I feel like given her hell, but I am out of time to do any real training.  19 days until the jaunt through the Mountains.

These last days, I will just focus on staying healthy and doing hills.  No big hero workouts or really long runs ... just up and down ... repeat.

I did get some nice hill work while on our Yellowstone vacation - No huge runs, just an hour or 2 every morning of the best hills I could find.  I will post later this week both on the vacation and the workouts.

Good running to all!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yellowstone here we come

I am really getting excited for our family vacation to Yellowstone National Park.  Getting away from reality, daily worries and conveniences always refreshes me.  We either will not have a TV or avoid it and no computer.  We leave after work on Wednesday night (7/20) and return 11 days later.  This is our 1st family road warrior vacation - How my girls Erin (10) and Kate (6) handle it will determine future vacation choices.

I have scheduled the family fun like I do my training.  A hard bigger day, followed by an easy day.  If we feel like doing a little extra on our easy days, Yellowstone has unlimited opportunities.

I am hoping to find time to run at least and hour every day with a premium on mountain running.  Orthopedic Doc's words of "Run all you want, but don't fall on the arm" will force caution in my running.  But I just can't see being in beautiful mountains without running some trails.

My next blog entry will be August 1st - Good running to all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Leadville thoughts revisited

2011 has been a difficult year for training.  My original goals included getting into PR marathon shape, getting my weight down below 190 pounds, running Leadville in under 20 hours and finishing in the top 2 at the US 24 Hour Championship.

Most of my set backs have been self imposed.  I never got into the weight loss groove and every time I put a few good weeks of training together I put a week or 2 of really bad training together.

I tend to train the best and lose weight the fastest when I feel some sort of desperation.  I had hit a sufficient point of desperation three weeks ago.  Since then I have lost 2 full weeks of training with the head injury and broken arm.  The head is mostly healed and I should make a full recovery from the broken arm.

Today I have received the medical OK to run as much as my arm can tolerate ... "Just don't fall down!".   But I am past the point of desperation, perfection in training and nutrition can not deliver on my goals.  Desperation has been replaced with calmness.  I am at peace that I will just do what ever I can do to try and finish Leadville.   After Leadville I will re-assess if there is any reason to put myself through the torture of a 24 hour race when I can not make enough mileage to make the team.  Instead I may just train for a December 24 hour race and try and make the team with an "At Large" performance.

2 weeks ago
Mon - Thu No running
FR 5 easy am / 4 easy pm
SA 25 miles of DWD 50k - Before breaking arm

Last Week
Mon - Fri Nothing
SA - 30 min Stair Climber + 2 miles walking @ 15% incline + 1/2 mile run
SU - 2 miles walking @ 15% incline + 4 miles running at 5-15% incline

11 Day family vacation to Yellowstone starts Wednesday night - I am guessing I will not fit a lot of training into the vacation and nutrition may be questionable at best.

Good running to all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Report from Orthopedic Doctor

Path of treatment is to just let it heal.  Next Monday, I have another appointment for X-Ray and start rehab to get range of motion back.  He feels if I am willing to work hard and accept a lot of pain, I will get all, to almost all the range of motion back in that arm.

No running this week, but I can walk at incline or do stairclimber.  Next week I can run some to pain tolerance - but not usual training levels.

I still believe I can finish Leadville - Just slow and steady.

Now I have to get a plan together and get motivated to do what I can to be in finishing shape in less than 6 weeks.

I really think this was great news.  The silly fall in this silly sport I love will not take my ability to enjoy life with my family away (Long term) - Although we had to cancel whitewater rafting from the family vacation.

Good running to all! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Broken Arm - Radial Head Fracture

I ran DWD 50k this past weekend, well 25.3 miles of it.  I fell on the easiest part of the course, top of bluff at Devil's Lake.  I caught myself with my hands on this paved section.  My left hand was bloodied, so I tried to get up with my right arm - I knew it was broken.

I ran through the next aide station.  My arm did not hurt much if I held it a certain way and did not move it.  I had thoughts of finishing.  I realized I had to redo the 4 mile ski hill loop that I had fallen 3 times walking down the steep and slick part ... I could not afford to fall on the useless arm.


Great race - I loved the sadistic idea of taking us through so many thorns and brambles.  Lots of quad burning climbs and off trail sections.  I had taken good care of my body and was ready to start racing hard.

Sadly, this means I was a DNS at the afternoon beer mile

Basically the head of the radial - where it meets the elbow is fractured.  No cast, yet - I am waiting to hear from the Orthopedic Doc.

Leadville in 6 weeks ???

Good running to all!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Leadville Training - Week of June 27th to July 3rd

A really nice week that ended in the head injury and 13 stitches.  I did not feel like blogging about it since I was not running.  I ran for the 1st time today - 5 fat painful miles.  I have pretty much given up on being in good shape by Leadville and I will do my best to be in finishing shape in 6 weeks.

June 27th - July 3rd (214# July 2nd - 227# July 8th)
M - 41 trail miles (6:46) on Ice Age Trail - Glacial 50M course
T - 7 Easy in AM
TH - 14 in PM - High Cliff / Calumet trails with group
F - 8 Easy in AM / 5 in PM with 2x1 mile @ T
SA - 25 easy on Wiouwash trail - Horse Flys were 50-100 thick for 1/2 the run / 7 Easy in PM
SU - 8 Easy in AM - Sliced Noggin open putting an end to the week

Total miles 115

Good running to all -

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

13 stitches - Put's a damper on training

Sunday July 3rd we had stopped at our favorite cheese factory to get fresh cheese curds and string cheese before a day of boating.  Walking back to the truck,  I smacked my head on an over hang of sheet metal.  It was there to protect the gas meter from falling ice in winter.  High enough to be out of eye sight, but low enough to slice my noggin open.  The kiddos have never seen that amount of blood and were pretty upset on the 20 minute drive to the emergency room.  My dear wife drove the truck with the boat behind for the 1st time.

Other when it was being cleaned before stitches, It really is not that painful, but ...

Doc said no running for a week ...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dances with Dirt 50k / Beer Mile Double

I was having a hard time figuring out how to do DWD 50k - Devil's Lake on my race list.  But like most of life's "to much stuff to fit in a day" issues - Sleep or lack there of is the answer.

So on July 9th - I will get up @ 2:00am to make this race happen.  I look forward to it as an organized training run.  Why pay to do a training run?  I also see it as an adventure: Running somewhere I have never run before and a chance to have a shared experience with other runners.  I am thinking right around 5 hours for the 50k.

Post race I will have to hustle back to Neenah to get a little nap in before the 4:00pm Beer Mile our running club is sponsoring.  I have no top end speed, so I am shooting for a sub 8:30 in the beer mile.

Then I must get cleaned up and back for our Neighbor girl's 7th B-Day party.  These neighbors share a back yard with us and I do not want to miss this family fun opportunity.

Good running to all!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leadville training - Week of June 20th - 26th

Grandma's marathon weighed heavy on my legs the whole week.  I really wanted to get back to hills and trails - but I did not manage much.  I came to realize that I have 30 good days of training left for Leadville.  July 20th starts an 11 day family vacation to Yellowstone ... This is family time 1st and I will be thrilled just to maintain fitness, but look forward to doing a few runs at a bit of altitude.  By the time we get back it will be 18 days before we leave for Leadville.

So recovery was the key to the week, with the goal to be ready to pound the trails on Monday (see previous post)

June 20-26th (215#)
M 6 easy in PM on Wiouwash trail
T  8 easy in AM / 6 easy @ lunch
W 5 easy in AM / 7 easy in PM
TH 13 easy in AM / 5 easy @ Lunch / 6 w/ 4 High Cliff Hill repeats in PM
F 9 in AM w/ 1 mile of barefoot grass striders / 5 easy @ lunch
SA 18 w 3x5 minutes intervals @ 5k pace in AM / 5 easy in PM
SU 7 easy in AM

Total = 100 mostly easy miles, 1 weight lifting / core session + 3 wakeboard runs & 2 tubing runs (Sat / Sun boating fun with family)

Good running to all!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things Can Change a lot in a Month

The last time I ran the Ice Age trail (Glacial 50M area) was a month ago.  With the taper and recovery for Grandma's Marathon - It just did not fit into my schedule.  I feel like I lost a lot of training for Leadville for that silly marathon.

Yesterday I took 1/2 day of vacation to get a nice long trail run.  Temps were in the upper 70s, high humidity, with a good chance of strong storms.  I was a pack mule:  Camel back, handheld water bottle, 5 baggies of Endurox, 14 gels, handheld flashlight, a baggie of s-caps, cell phone and TP.

The 1st few hours I took my time and looked around at how the trail had changed.  I did not have a plan, I just wanted to enjoy a long run.  The trail is 80-90% dirt trail through thick trees (nice and shady), the rest is through fields of grass.  Immediately the horseflies were on me and they did a relay with all their horsefly friends to keep me company all day.

Immediately I was struck by how high the grass had become in the meadows.  I could just make out the line of the trail with shoulder to head high grass.  It grabbed my feet as I went along, hiding the rocks and undulation of the trail.  I think it would have made a great picture, a little head riding along the grass tops.  At one point a turkey picked up out of the grass about 5 feet away from me - followed by 6 or 7 babies.  I really did not know they could fly that young.
Butler Lake has a hand pump that I have run past 10 time and never thought of using.  I was looking to mix some Endurox, so I thought I would give it a try - What a treat.  After pumping for 3 minutes to clear the line, I found cold and great tasting water. 
I ran down to the Parnell Tower parking lot to refill my camelback - It is really nice that the trail has so many drinkable water sources - If you know where to find them!  I continued northward, but decided to turn around at 3 and 1/2 hours - That should get me done right at dark.    Around 4 hours, I started to feel really good.  I might have not been moving faster, but motion had become effortless.  I stopped at Greenbush group camp for more water ... rusty but cold.

My focus the rest of the way back was to run the best lines down the hills ... no matter where the rocks or roots.  With each hour the run just kept getting better.  I am learning the less I try to avoid rocks and roots (Doing the dance) the easier going fast down hills and the less I roll my ankle or hurt my feet and knees.

Before I knew it I was back at Butler Lake with a little over 7 miles to go.  I usually walk up the steeper hills, but I was feeling good and running almost everything.  5 miles to go the sky became angry, dark and rumbling like a good storm was coming.  As it started to rain lightly the horseflies intensified, looking for a snack before the storm.  It was dark enough that I really had to focus on the trail to see the rocks and roots.

I put the pedal to the floor, I really do not like being in the woods when the flashy stuff or hail comes.  I am sure I slapped my head 100s of times trying to kill the swarming pests. 

In the end the storm past without unleashing its fury and I made it back to the truck just before I needed to get my light out.  4 packs of Endurox = 1,200 calories, 10 gels = 1,100 calories, 15 s-caps, 3 potassium pills and 250+ ounces of liquid.

3:30 out
3:16 back in

41 miles - Man was that fun!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grandma's Marathon - A Thief's Story

The goal of this Grandma's Marathon was to hit a sub 3 hour marathon for the 8th year out of 8.  2010 saw me steal one at Milwaukee Lakefront with a perfect weather day and a tailwind.

2011 Grandma's Marathon had me becoming a habitual offender, I am starting to become a Master Thief.  It rained the previous 12 hours, including the whole bus ride up to Two Harbors.  As we climbed off the bus the rained stopped, and other than a few sprinkles, it did not return.  The temps at the start were @ 54F and 48F at the finish with a 10-13 MPH tailwind for 25 miles - Headwind for the last mile.

Although humid, it was another perfect weather day for this big horse.  I started out easy as usually - if it feels really easy the 1st mile it is actually right on target.  I was a little surprised to see a 7:05 gun time (6:59 chip) mile # 1, but much better to be 20 seconds slow than fast.

I just got into a grove and ran - Since I am a Big Horse (217#) - I would pull away from people on the downhills and they would leave me behind on uphills, but the plan was for an even effort, not pace.  Although my pace looks very even, my mile spilts or group of splits were all over the place with the topography of the course.  I saw as high as 6:53 and 6:59 and as low as 6:32 and 6:33.

Mile # 6 = 40:10 (6:42 pace)
Mile # 10 = 1:06:58 (6:42 pace)

Mile # 10 I hooked up with a group of 4 guys that I had been running ahead or behind - depending on the hills.  At this point I put a little more effort into the uphills and coasted a bit more on the downhills as I decided this would be my wrecking crew today.

1/2 = 1:28:00 (6:43)

There were 3 or 4 times that my impromptu crew would gap me either because I was hurting a little or a bigger uphill.  Each time I had to decide if I was going to push really hard to make up the 20-50 feet or let them go.  This is why a solid crew is great - They pull you through any roughish spots.  So I would push hard and snuggle up behind the crew.

17 miles = 1:54:09 (6:43)

Many of the miles I missed the splits - We were just rolling.  I ate gels 7-11-13-15-21-23 miles ... Hey this big horse needs a lot of fuel!

Around mile # 20 - 2 of the guys started to pull away as they picked up the pace.  The 2 I had been behind were still running an even pace, so I stuck with them.

Mile # 20 = 2:14:09 (6:42)

Mile # 21 the 2 guys seemed content to settle in behind a guy wearing a St Luke's racing singlet and slowed by 4-5 seconds per mile.  It was time to try break off and work alone.

The rest of the race I ran well - keeping a fairly even pace and hit close to maximum pain level.  Usually at this time I can take it to a different plateau of S&M enjoyment and ride the line between oxygen debt - Getting dizzy and tunnel visioned.  To me this is one of the most glorious reasons to run a marathon.  Today I could only get 98% to this Nirvanic plane of pain - So a good ending, but not complete bliss.

Mile 22 6:39
Mile 23 6:40
Mile 24 6:47
Mile 25-26 13:29

Final time 2:55:45 (6:43)
1st 1/2 1:28:00
2nd 1/2 1:27:45

So on a day when I was 50/50 at best to break 3 hours - I was blessed with the opportunity to run in near ideal conditions (For Grandma's).  I am happy to have run a very solid race and I feel it was really close to my current ability level.

It also re-affirmed that I love the marathon distance - No matter what shape I am in, I love the experience of mental and physical challenge. The pure joy of the masochistic challenge of the last 3-6 miles.

Now ... Back to Leadville training!

Good running to all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 Grandma's Marathon - Final Thoughts

The last miles have been run, I am pretty much carbo loaded (Final weight is 217#) and only a few hours from jumping in the car to head north.  My thoughts this week?

I love the marathon distance! - In shape or out of shape, good weather or bad, it does not matter.  It is the perfect mix of cerebral and physical. 

In the beginning you get to constantly feel out where your red line is, but the reality is you will not know if you crossed it until late into the race ... as you start to crash. 

In the last 6-8 miles it becomes more physical, but still your mind has to be mentally tough to continue to push through.  Your mind has to become the master and your body the willing slave. 

I found out in Houston 2006 that if I can make it to mile 20, I can force the pace home.  Although my body screams stop, if I can take 1 more step, I can take 10, 100, 1 mile ... Sometimes the world is seen through a tunnel as your oxygen starved brain gets dizzy.  My mantra at times like this is "You can back down when you pass out".  I have no idea how close I have come to passing out in the past, but it has never happened ... yet.

Of course there are those special races - Rare and precious - Where you burn red hot the whole race, but the pain never appears.  When you ask your body for more, it does not object.  It is almost like you are outside yourself - I have had 2 such marathons out of 20+.

I have stated my goal of a sub 3 hour marathon for Grandmas, but my real goal is to cross the finish line knowing I have given everything I had to give.

Good running to all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leadville Training Week # 11 - Grandma's Marathon Week

Taper has it's benefits - I have been getting a lot of odds and ends done around the house.  Getting to work early and I have a lot of energy.  Yet, what I am longing most for is a nice 4-5 hour trail run ... Hoping next week Tuesday to scratch that itch.

This week has been going to plan as it usually does marathon week.  Much lower volume with light speed workouts and striders.  Eating has been spot on and no beer.  The last 3 days prior to a marathon I only run one time per day - So that's a bit of a downer ... but that leaves an abundance of time for family fun.

Week # 10 in review
M  5 Easy in AM + Striders / 10 interval with 3x6 minutes @ T in PM
T 6 easy in AM + Striders / 5 Easy @ Lunch
W 6 with 3x3 minutes @ 5k pace in AM
TH 5 in AM + 1 mile at Marathon Pace
FR 4 in AM + 3:00 at mile race pace 30 seconds all out (West Aussie Carb Loading)
SA  27 with 26.2 @ Marathon Pace - 2:55:45 (1:2800 / 1:27:45)
SU  Off

*  No particlular Saturday beer goal - But I am guessing it will either be medium long or long run type numbers
Plan is for 68 miles Mo-Sa with marathon + whatever I feel like or not on Sunday

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leadville Training Week # 10 - Taper for Grandma's Marathon

Why do I care to run a sub 3 marathon at Grandmas? 

Last year, April and May, I was in the best shape of my life, both for speed and ultra-running.  After the 24 hour World Championship race in May I was burnt out and basically took the rest of the year off from training.  By the Milwaukee Marathon, in October, I was out of shape.  I ended up with a perfect weather day = Cool + a light tailwind and stole a 2:59 (I sure did not deserve it)

I realized afterward that it was my 7th year in a row with a sub 3 marathon.  It is important to me for 2 reasons:  1)  I have to get into some resemblance of shape to break 3 hours and 2)  Some day it will take all I have to break 3.  I hope having this goal will keep me interested in running and training for years to come!

Taper has been going according to plan ... mostly.  Running is exactly to plan - Getting rested, but also trying to sharpen the little bit of speed I have.  Eating / Drinking was pretty good last week ... until the official start of boating season = Sunday.  Our family spent the day boating, followed by a camp fire.  Perfect day for drinking beer and eating less than ideal.  At this point I do not care, it was a great family day.

Week # 10 in review (220#) = (-2)
M  14 interval in PM with 3x5 minutes @ CV + 1 mile @ MP
T  9 easy in AM / 5 easy @ Lunch + 4 striders
W 12 easy in AM
TH  6 Tempo at Lunch - 25 minutes @ T
F  6 Easy in AM / 5 Easy @ Lunch
SA 14 interval in AM with 4x4:40 @ CV + 1.5 miles @ MP / 5 Easy in Afternoon
SU  6 Easy in AM

Total Miles = 82 with 3 speed workouts

I can not wait until I can re-boot the Leadville training!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grandma's Marathon - Getting your Taper On

This Big Horse is notorious for hating to taper.  If I am training well, I often run 130+ miles 3 weeks before the marathon, 110+ miles the week before and 80-90 in the week with the marathon.  For 50 mile races, I will usually have 120-130 miles total in the week with the 50 miler.

The other thing I like to do is to punish myself for falling down (See previous blog).  After I have a bad day(s) eating or take a few days off running, I love doing a series of really long runs, getting a ton of miles in a week, to bring my body back into rhythm.

Last week's 66 miles left me feeling sluggish and pissed off.  What I want to do most - Punish myself with some epic long runs (30+ miles).  But it is less than 2 weeks until Grandma's Marathon - Today is 8 days before the race, so taper is in order.

With my weight back up to 220# I am a long shot to break 3 hours.  So what better time to try something different ... a real taper.  The 66 miles last week was week #1 of taper, I will show restraint and only be at 75-85 miles this week (Its killing me) and will run < 40 miles pre-marathon next week.

Maybe a real taper is just what I need to get this fat, old body back under 3 hours.  All you skinny speedsters can laugh at how easy it is to run a sub 3, but do it weighing 220# and you will know how hard of work it is!

I may steal another Sub 3 I do not deserve or I may epically fail with a 3:15-3:20 ...

Good running to all!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leadville training week # 8 & Week # 9: Balancing - Falling Down - Getting back up

My friend Richard and I have a saying: "It is not as important how many times you fall down, only that you get up one more time than you fall."

This big horse struggles with life balance - My priorities are:
1)  God
2)  Family
3)  Friends
4)  Work
5)  Training

Often the time and effort spent is in a different order.  Training requires a little different lifestyle and for me it goes best when I run every day.  If I take 1 day off it's OK - But 2 or more and I feel sluggish and it will take a week or more to get back in the groove.  Usually days off are days that are filled with either food or beer or both.  If you do not have food issues - God bless you - But you can not understand the struggle.  Those of you that do, are nodding you head, "I'm with you Brother". 

Falling Down
Memorial Day weekend we camped with 6 other families.  Volleyball, kickball, fishing and a lot more.  It was one of those weekends, if I was not running, I would say was near perfect.  Carefree time with family and friends, fun activities and a lot of eating and drinking.  I am running Grandmas June 18th, so it is a critical time to sharpen fitness and be in a good healthy rhythm.  I chose to golf  18 holes Sunday morning, I did not feel I could take more time away from family so no run.  I also chose to eat and drink too much and not drink enough water.  By Monday morning I was pretty dehydrated and we were in the last throngs of weekend fun, then tearing down camp - no run.  By Tuesday, I was just out of rhythm and lazy - no run.  If I were better at balance, a great weekend like this would not have to get in the way of training.  Instead, I end up feeling training guilt that taints my family and friend fun Nirvana.

At this critical time in training for Grandmas marathon, I fell down.  It will likely cost me a chance at a sub 3 marathon.  But I am back up and mentally ready to train hard for Leadville.

Week # 8 in review - Weight 220# +#5 (Boo! Hiss!)
M  10 w/ 4@ T AM / 5 Easy PM
T  10 easy in AM / 6 Easy Lunch / 26 Ice Age - Glacial Trail PM
W  8 Easy in AM
TH  8 Easy in PM
F  18 w/ 5x5 minutes @ CV in AM
SA 12 Easy in AM

Total mileage 103 miles - 50 beers - Camping fun weekend

Week # 9 in review - Weight 222# +#2 (Boo! Hiss!)

W 6 easy in PM
TH 6 easy in AM / 20 Wiouwash Rail Trail in PM
F 7 easy in AM / 6 Easy @ lunch / 15 hilly trail - 9 Mile Forrest Wausau PM
SA 6 Easy in AM
SU Off

Total Mileage 66 - 15 beers - FANS24 fun weekend

Monday, June 6, 2011

2011 FANS 24 Hour Volunteer / Race Report

This was my 1st 24 hour race and where I ran the distance to make the 2010 US National Team.  The last 2 years I have had the privilege of returning to volunteer and watch the races unfold.  This is a great race and cause - to learn more go here:

FANS12 / 24 is a 2.42 mile loop around Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.  In the last hour of the 12/24 runners can choose to run a 220 meter our and back - only full laps (long or short) receive credit.

The day started hot and muggy - Temps quickly into the mid 70s and by noon low 80s - I think it hit 86F and was sunny by 10:00am and throughout the rest of the day. There was no wind to provide any relief until 4pm a light breeze started to signal a better evening and night to come.  The night was pleasant with lighter humidity.

The weather took its toll early on many runners who suffered varying forms of heat exhaustion.  Many strong runners were forced to sit and get their bodies under control.  Everyone I spoke with was having a hard time eating calories, many just not hungry but there was also a lot of nausea.

In a day not made for record attempts - Many still pushed for their mileage goals.  Others quickly backed down and just tried to get what they could out of the day.  2 national class runners did what they could to stay on track for their record attempts:

Carolyn Smith - Fox Point, WI - Multiple time 100K US National Team Member - Was looking to break the women's course record and National Age group record she had set in 2010 in FANS 12 hour race.

Connie Garder - Medina, OH - Had come up @ .3 mile short of the 24 hour Women's record in the 2007 ultra-centric 24 hour race.  Rumor has it she want the record pretty bad and has made a couple of attempts recently - 2010 she ran 141 in the US championship race @ NorthCoast 24.  I would guess the only reason to come to FANS24 on MN would be to make a run at the record.  She was the best 24 hour runner (Male of female) in the race.

Somehow Carolyn stayed smooth and steady through the heat and humidity.  In the end she broke the record as she ran the 220 out and backs securing a new National Age group and course 12 hour record of 83.?? miles (I will update when they post).  She was also the overall 12 hour race winner.

Connie pushed as long as she could to stay on record pace.  Connie has shown before how great she is at the night time portion of the race, so we held out hope.  I have no idea at what point she knew it was not to be - Maybe 14-17 hours into the race.  We took her 100 mile split in right @ 17 hours.  I would have to say that I am impressed that she continued onward after knowing it was not a record day.  Many national class runners might have pulled the plug to fight for another day.  Connie continued until the very end winning the overall 24 hour race in 127-128 miles (I will update when they post results)

In the end the 12 hour run overall champ, the 24 overall run champ and the 24 hour overall walking champ were all women - WOMAN POWER!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leadville Training Week # 7 - Golf and Beer

This weekend was my annual hang out with friends, golf 18 holes Saturday and Sunday and drink all the beer I want.  I think this is the 5th year for my friend Scott and myself.  This year I was happy Tom and Brian could join us Saturday.  My goal each year is to squeeze in least 5 rounds of golf, so I got the 1st 2 rounds in this weekend.

Knowing I would not run much Saturday or Sunday, I stayed focused Monday - Friday to do some good "Post Ice Age 50M" training.  Sure enough Saturday included 20+ beers, but no running.  I did walk the 18 holes of golf and the way I hit the ball, walked at least 6 miles.

Friday, I stopped for a good trail run in at Nine Mile Forrest Area in Wausau before the festivities began.  The plan was for a long run at Nine Mile on the way home Sunday, but after 8 miles God had different plans.  Severe T-Storms, Hail and Tornado Warnings put a stop to the fun.

Week # 7 in review - Weight 215#
Monday - 5 easy tm in AM / 5 easy @ lunch / 6 easy on trail in PM (Ice Age recovery day)
Tuesday - 7 easy in AM / 5 easy @ lunch / 18 hill workout in PM - 12 HighCliff hill repeats
Wednesday - 9 easy in AM
Thursday - 25 hilly trail in PM (Ice Age trail - Glacial 50M - New Fane - past Butler Lake and back)
Friday - 6 easy in AM / 14 hilly trail in PM - 9 Mile Forrest Area - Wausau
Saturday - Nadda
Sunday - 8 hilly trail afternoon - 9 mile Forrest Area - Wausau / 8 easy TM at night

Total was 116 miles in 6 days with a good amount of trail / hill work.  But I failed in the speed workout category.  I also had 36 holes of golf and approximately 40 beers for the week ... But I actually ate really well despite the beer, so my weight is down 5#.

Good running to all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cheeseburger and Beer Run

Last night I hit HighCliff State Park to grind out some hill training - Running the 1.5 mile hill loop up to the tower.  I was happy to hit 12 loops and to feel good only 3 days post Ice Age.

During the run I was thinking about my friend Richard who is battling a severe case of Lupus.  I am confident he will win the fight, but currently it has taken running from him + more.

Richard and I have virtually struggled together against weight and supported each other to a healthier life style.  Before a long trail run Richard loves his double cheeseburger and after he celebrates with a few drinks.

During this workout and contemplations of life, I was reminded to appreciate the blessing of running and being fit.  Also that I need to celebrate from time to time during the journey. 

To celebrate post run it was time was a cheeseburger and a couple of beers (Fat squirrel by New Glarus)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phil McCarthy - New 48 hour National Record

Congratulations Phil - We are waiting patiently for your write up ... here:

Phil has represented the US in the 24 hour race multiple times, he is the 2009 US National 24 Hour Champion.  He has taken a few swings at the 48 hour race and was ranked in the top 10 US athletes all-time.

257.34 miles at 3 Days at the Fair - Phil hit that one out of the park.  A talented and tough competitor - Sometimes you do get what you deserve!  As near as I can tell Phil did it with @ 136 miles in the 1st 24 and 121 + some change in the 2nd.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Leadville Training Week # 6 - Need for Speed

Week # 6 was highlighted by Saturday's running of the Ice Age 50 mile trail run.  The lessor story of the week was I slipped in a couple of light Fartlek runs leading up to the race.  It has become painfully obvious that I need to work on some speed work.  I have Grandmas Marathon in 5 weeks and if I am going to achieve my 8th consecutive year with a sub 3 hour marathon I have work to do.  The goals of getting faster and losing weight are complimentary.  I will add 1 moderate speed workout each week and strive to lose at least 10 pounds by June 18th.

I would gauge my current marathon pace to be @ 7:05-7:10, so getting down to 6:45 in 5 weeks is aggressive, but very doable.

Week # 6 in review - Weight Sunday = 220#
Monday - 8 Easy in AM
Tuesday - 8 Easy in AM / 6 Easy @ lunch / 12 Easy on TM in PM
Wednesday - 12 w/ light Fartlek in AM / 5 Easy @ lunch
Thursday - 6 w/ light Fartlek in AM / 5 easy @ lunch
Friday - 5 Easy + 1 mile walking @ 15% in AM
Saturday - 50 Mile Ice Age trail race - 7:47 = 12 OA
Sunday - 6 Recovery in AM

Total run miles = 123 in 11 runs

Nice week - I had fun this week

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Big Horse's day at Ice Age 50

I was really looking forward to Ice Age 50 miler - It was a great chance to enjoy the day on good trails, followed by great beer with friends.  Friday started off nicely as I got to the hotel early enough to drive over to packet pickup and have dinner with my friend Jen for Chicago.

I came into Ice Age in decent shape, but with my weight @ 220# I thought I was in 7:45 to 8:00 shape.  The morning temp was 50F with overcast skies.  The air was heavy with moisture, with the constant threat of rain.    It was a great chance to practice eating a lot of calories while running for my 24 hour race training.  My goal was 500 calories per hour.  I did not use drop bags, so I carried 7 baggies of endurox R4 at 300 calories per bag, 17 powerbar gels + 20 s-caps.  I wore a 70 ounce camelback and carried a handheld to mix the endurox into.  My plan was to try and go out a little more aggressive and see how I felt after the 1st 10 miles.

From the start I was running with a couple of friends (Mike & Joe) from  I was going the pace I wanted, but it I knew it was way too fast.  By mile # 12 my legs were burning and I knew I would pay the price the rest of the race.  By mile #13 I decided to put it in cruise control to recover while I ran and was just shooting for a sub 8:00.  This part of the race would have been a grind, but I ran with Mike until the 37 mile aide station, so time moved quickly.  He has such a quiet stride, many times I forgot hew wa there until he said something.  When we hit mile # 37 Robert Wehner (RD for Glacial 50) yelled out something about 13 miles and how much time I had to break 8 (I think).  I love Robert as he is always positive and supportive.  This snapped me off cruise control, Mike stopped for his drop bag and I increased my effort level and was soon running alone. 

At the mile 40 turnaround I felt the best I had felt all day.  I knew sub 8 was in the bag and it was hammer time.  I love the last 10 miles of a 50 when you have taken care of you legs (Sort of) nutrition, hydration and electrolytes and you get to attack the course.  The last 10 miles were a blur and I was in 1-1 breathing the whole way.  I ended up under 90 minutes (9:00 pace) for the 9.8 miles - but the sensation was more like a 6 minute mile tempo run.

I ended up with 7:47 for 12 OA and 2nd in the 40-44 age group.  Mike had went a bit of course, but still managed his 1st ultra in 8:10 - Nice work Mike.  If I had run 4-5 minutes slower the 1st 10 miles, I think I could have matched my 7:37 from 2008, but could of, should of, didn't!  All in all I had a great time.

I had a near perfect day of consuming calories and ended up with 500 each hour.  1 S-Cap every 30 minutes.  I drank 130 ounces of water and another100+ ounces of water with the endurox.

Post race was a blast and I easily met my beer goal for the day.  Hanging out with new and old friends drinking good beer - I really love this race (and post race)!

Ice Age 50 Mile - Great day to run

The race day weather was a real treat with low 50's through out the race and the rain held off until the 7 hour mark and then it just rained lightly.

I had posted before Ice Age 50 Mile my picks for the Women and Men.  Unknown to me both Chris Gardner and Christine Crawford would not be racing.  Although Christine could not race, she was around all day spreading her positive energy and helped the runners celebrate their races.

For the Women I had picked Cassie Scallon who is a really talented lady.  It was not her day and she really struggled.  She fought hard to hold onto 2nd place, but just couldn't do it and settled for 3rd.  Angie Radosevich ran a really smart and patient race and took 2nd overall.  Sandi Nypaver led from the start - the 22 year old rocked the course in a solid 7 hours 30 minutes.

On the Men's side it also saw a 22 year old - Shaun Pope take the lead early and never look back.  A fun fact is that Shaun and Sandi are dating.  Shaun was never pushed and finished with respectable 6 hours and 27 minutes.  Lon Freeman ran a great race to finish 2nd in 6:34.  It was not Zach Gingerich's day and he finished 3rd in 6:43, Zach had run 134 miles @ cornbelt 24 just 2 weeks ago.

Congrats to top men and women on an exciting race.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wisconsin's highly variable weather

I am always amused at the typical big swings in temperatures we get in Wisconsin and trying to pick and plan a race that has "good" weather.  A perfect example is from 2007.

May 20th 2007 I was the 3:10 pacer at Green Bay Marathon.  It was in the mid 30s at the start and low 40s at the finish.  The next weekend for the Mad City Marathon (Madison, WI) it hit 90.

So today, 2 days before Ice Age 50 Mile. it is to hit 80 degrees.  Saturday's forecast calls for rain and 48 at the start and a high of 56 and Sunday a high of 50.

I really do not mind rain (depending on how the course hold up) and low to mid 50s all race sounds like ideal weather for this Big Horse.  I may pack latex gloves as I really do not like cold hands.

Hopefully all you skinny runners dress accordingly as I would not want you to get hypothermia.

I suppose tonight I will have to start thinking about what to pack ... Next post will be my post race thoughts.

Recap of Race Goals
< 8 hours
> 8 beers

Good running to all -

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ice Age 50 Mile Pace & Nutrition Strategy

Weather Forecast:  Low 50s to low 60s and rain - Pretty good weather for keeping a big horse cool, but the trail might get sloppy.  A lot can change in 5 days. 

Pacing strategy is pretty easy, I plan to run as a trail training run for the 1st 40 miles (Easy pace) and see what I am in the mood for the last 10 miles. 

Finish time?  I am in shape for a 7:45-8:15 finish.  How do I come up with that?  Last time I ran Ice Age I was 215# and in @ 3:05 marathon shape.  I had not trained on any trails or hills prior to the race.  I ran 7:36.  This time I am 220# (+5) in about 3:10 marathon shape(+5), but have run a nice amount of hills and trails.  I am strong, but not fast.

So reality - I have no idea, but I am in a mental place to enjoy the day and not push hard, so I am shooting for < 8:00.  I would also like to be able to enjoy drinking beer with friends (Old and new) after the race ... Beer goal >= 8 beers.

Nutrition is a bit more interesting.  The aide stations at Ice Age are close enough together you can run with 1 handheld, or some try to run with nothing but aide station liquid  ala Kim Holak 2008.  Last Ice Age I ran with 1 handheld and ate 18 gels.  This time I would like to get more calories and since I am not "Racing" I would also like to stay fully hydrated.  So the plan is to wear a camelback and carry a handheld to mix endurox.

I would guess I am going to look like a pack horse (or jackass) loaded down with stuff.  But I plan on carrying 6 or 7 baggies of endurox (300 calories each), 14-16 gels and 15 S-caps + TP and amodium.  Between the 70 ounce camelback and other food, I will be lugging @ 5 extra pounds at the start.

Succeed S-Caps -- Every 30 minutes
Endurox R-4 -- Every hour
Powerbar Gels -- 2 per hour

This should put me @ 500 Calories per hour or 4,000 for the race.  More than I need, but I like to practice eating for longer races.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Qualifying for US National 24 hour Team - Poland 2012

From an E-mail from Phil McCarthy

1.       The top male American finisher and top female American finisher in the 2010 USA 24-Hour Run National Championship (North Coast 24-Hour, Cleveland, OH, Sept. 18-19, 2010) will be automatically selected to the team if they achieve the following minimum distances in that race: 135 miles for Men; 120 miles for Women.
2.       The top two male American finishers and the top two female American finishers in the 2011 USA 24-Hour Run National Championship (North Coast 24-Hour, Cleveland, OH, Sept. 17-18, 2011) will be automatically selected to the team if they achieve the following minimum distances in that race: 135 miles for Men; 120 miles for Women.
3.       All remaining team positions for both Men and Women (up to a total team membership of 6 Men and 6 Women) will be filled based on qualifying performances in 24-hour races or certified 24-hour splits in multiday fixed-time races, on certified (or otherwise judged by USATF to be accurate in cases where certification is impractical) courses or tracks, in races which provide lap-recording to USATF and IAAF standards, in rank order, achieved between March 18, 2011 and June 11, 2012 (a period beginning 18 months prior to date of the World Championship.
4.       Team selection (including alternates) will be June 11-13, 2012 with Team notification and public announcement coming as quickly as possible following

This means 2010 US National Champions Connie Gardner and Serge Arbona are in and it is a mad dash for the remaining 5 spots.  The slate is clean and we need 5 performances > 120 for women and > 135 for men.  I think this should be exciting for many hopefuls.  I think it is fair with performances only good 18 months prior to 2012 World Championship Race.  I was hoping to have my 2010 performance in Brive, France (154.48) get me in.  Funny it just went from really hard to make the team (I was on the bubble with 154.48) to it is wide open ... fun times.