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!