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 RunningAhead.com.  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.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Leadville Training Week # 5 - Taper Smaper

1st things 1st - I have to recognize my wife and mother of my 2 darling daughters on  Mother's day.  Without all her support, understanding and sometimes just plain tolerance, I could not accomplish 1/2 of what I do running.

I really hate breaking up a good block of training for tapering for a non-goal race, so I usually do a mini-taper at best.  Ice Age 50 Mile is no exception with 4 good workouts this week and 133 miles. 

Well, truth be told, I did back down starting Thursday on my High Cliff tower road hill repeats.  Originally planned for 16 reps, I cut it off @ 10 reps because it was starting to move from a solid workout to a really tough workout.

The week was also solid on the eating, sleeping and nutrition front - A beer free week :(

I will back down starting Wednesday this week for Saturday's 50 miler - I will talk about my goals and pacing / nutrition plan on Wednesday.

A good week - Not a great week.  But if I could can this week and repeat it every week until Leadville, I would be right where I want to be.

Week # 5 (103 Days to go) - 220#

M 16 on TM in PM
T 10 easy in AM / 6 easy @ Lunch / 21 on Ice Age trail (Glacial 50M) in PM
W 5 easy in AM / 8 with 4 @ T in PM
TH 8 easy in AM / 16 Hill - 10 tower hill repeats in PM
FR 8 easy in AM / 5 easy in PM
SA 16 with 4 @ T on Wiouwash trail in AM
SU 7 easy in AM / 7 Easy in PM

Total = 133 miles in 13 runs

Good running to all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ice Age 50 Mile - The Men

Remember I am not an expert on who the studs of this race are, but it's my blog so I will entertain myself taking about my favorites for the Ice Age 50 on May 14th.

I found the men difficult to work through.  There are racers like Tim Long (http://footfeathers.blogspot.com/) who are coming in from elevation. It's hard to predict what a sea level - fairly tame trail will allow him to run.  Many others, I do not recognize and decided not to spend a night on Ultra sign up investigate.

I think the men have to have the ability to break 6:30 at Ice Age to be in the 1st Tier.  There are many strong men at Ice Age that I think are in the 2nd tier - >6:30 but <7:15.

One of my favorite regional runners - Zach Gingerich (31 yo) definitely has all the tools to win at Ice Age.  A tough runner that does a little better on less technical courses.  Zach seems to like to take it out hard and if all goes well is hard to beat.  He is not afraid to blow up and loves to compete.  He is coming off a 134 mile performance at Corn Belt 24 hour race - I am not sure how recovered he will be in the 2 weeks.

Chris Gardner is a is a 33 year old from Duluth, MN.  I do not know a lot about Chris, but his battle with Chris Lundstrom at the Voyageur 50M last year was epic.  In the end Gardner had the win and the course record.  Ice Age will seem like a speed track compared to the Superior Hiking Trail Chris usually runs.

Glen Redpath (45 yo) has run some really fast races in the last year or 2 years and many great races through the years.  I would not overlook Glen in discussion of the favorites.

Shaun Pope (22 yo) is my wild card runner.  He has won his last 5 ultras - but most are small and 4 at the 50k distance.  But he has also done well @ the 100 mile distance.  I think to compete in tier one Shaun would need a break through race.

Lon Freeman caught my eye for his 2008 result at American River - A third OA with 5:58.  2nd that year was Erik Skaden 5:57 and winning was Anton Krupicka 5:42.  So I think he has the ability to compete.

We all know past results are not a perfect predictor of future results.  At different times in our training year or different periods of our lives cause fluctuations of our fitness level.

I am going with Chris Gardner my favorite.  Zach will compete and be in the mix, but there is a 50/50 shot the 134 @ cornbelt will still weigh on his legs.  Glen will round out my top 3.

Who do you like?

Next week Wednesday I will blog about what this big horse has for goals and my race strategy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ice Age 50 Mile - The Women

This is the last race in the Montrail Cup series and at stake - The top 2 spots get entry into WS100.

I am not an expert in the ladies ... or fast lady runners, but it is fun to speculate and post my favorites for the Ice Age 50 mile race.  To the fast women that I have left out, I am sorry - But I can only pull from the women that I recognize.

I have to start with one of the all-time best from Wisconsin - Christine Crawford.  She has won many races, some outright.  Past winner of the Ice Age 50 Miler and always dangerous.  She has struggled with injuries the last couple of years, but if she is healthy and ready - A force to be reckoned with.

Next, A WI lady transplanted into CO - Cassie Scallon.  Cassie is a young runner who came back to WI for the Glacial 50 Mile last fall and blasted the course record in 7:45.  Glacial 50M is @ 12,500 feet of gain & loss versus 7,000-8,000 at Ice Age 50M.  I would guesstimate that 7:45 would translate into < 7:15 is she is in the same shape.

A local lady (Appleton, WI) Angie Radosevich is a talented runner who is still figuring out ultra-running.  Likely she has more pure speed than the rest of the women and an excellent trail runner.  I am looking forward to the day when she dials in the pacing, nutrition and hydration - Maybe it is at Ice Age. 

Sandi Nypaver - I do not know much about this 22 YO from Ohio, but ultra-sign up  looks like she should be considered - With good success in her 100 milers.

Mary Flaws - Mary is a Wisconsinite that is young in spirit and only found ultra-running the last few years.  She has pretty good speed and showed her toughness in the ugly conditions @ KM100 last year. 

I really struggle picking against Christine - But I like Cassie in this race - Followed by Christine and then it could be any of 5 women - but I will go with Angie.

Like many things in life - I am sure I will be way off base.  But as a fan it is fun to share my thoughts.

Who do you like?

Wednesday or Thursday I will share my thoughts on the Men.

Leadville Training Week # 4 - A week of Struggles

I knew this would be a tough week to train.  I was out of town in Milwaukee Tuesday - Thursday for a controllers conference.  Thursday I would arrive back in time to celebrate DD#2 Kate's 6th birthday.  Saturday morning we left for the Wisconsin Dells - The Waterpark capital of the world.

Monday and Tuesday morning I spent any time I had getting caught up at work so I could be gone for 2 1/2 days.  At the conference we worked through lunch and had group "Activities" planned each evening.  Tuesday night we went to a Brewer's game in which they won 3-2 - that was a fun. but late night. 

Wednesday I opted out of the dinner and drove 50 minutes to the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine state forest to run on the Ice Age trail.  Starting at 7:00pm, I ran out until it got dark @ 8:30 and then started back.  Apparently my headlamp needed new batteries, so the run turned into an adventure.  I could not run the downs for fear of tripping on a rock or root, so I ran hard on the ups, cruised the flats and walked the downs.  I was surprised to only have lost 5 minutes on the return trip over the outward trip.

I decided I had enough so Friday after work I ran "Long" on the Wiouwash trail. This is a flat trail  of dirt / mud and gravel.  I parking in Allenville and ran south to Oshkosh + ran around Oshkosh looking for a bathroom - back to Allenville.  I refuelled and then went North to Medina.  A perfect night with temps in the mid 40s make the 5.5 + hours very enjoyable.

Sunday was a family only day and free of running. This is good to have once in a while. Although the weeks mileage is down a bit, I am much more disappointed in my poor eating and drinking of too much beer.  This has left me 230# and ready for change.  Only 16 weeks until Leadville and 230# is not going to work in the mountains.

M 5 easy AM
T  Nothing
W  20 on The Ice Age trail in PM
TH 6 easy on TM in AM / 6 easy on TM afternoon
F 41 easy in PM
SA 8 easy in AM / 6 Hilly in WI Dells
SU Nothing

92 total miles in 5 days 7 runs