Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Big Horse 2013 Goals

My 2013 goals are pretty simple - Some are a broken record of past failures, but they are definitely taking a different turn.

Running related goals
 *  Run sub 3 marathon
 *  Run less miles than 2012
 *  Run faster (avg) in 2013
 *  Set short distance PR(s) = 5k - 10k
 *  Finish 1st 100 mile race

Other Goals for 2013
 *  Downhill Ski > 10 times
 *  Wakeboard > 20 runs
 *  Boat > 15 times
 *  Golf > 5 times
 *  Weights and Core > 150 times
 *  Weight < 200 by Birthday and stay there rest of 2013

One of my biggest goals is not an easy number related goal, it is to take the opportunity to do many more of the activities that I love to do. (Racquetball, tennis, volleyball to name a few)

I will not run as many marathons or ultras in 2013 - I am not ruling out a 24 hour race, although I have no plans for one right now. 

A Big Horse 2012 in review

2012 was the year of running many miles, running many races (For me) and performing mediocre or worse at almost all of them.

I will hit a little over 6,000 miles this year.  I have run 12 races of marathon distance or further with 3 tries at the 24 hour race.  Each 24 hour race is an emotional adventure that is always self enlightening.

I hit 192 pounds just prior to Badgerland Striders 24 - The lowest have seen on a scale in many years.  Since then I continue to struggle and after taking 10 days off after Desert Solstice 24 I am back @ 220 pounds.

2012 was an "OK" year.  I am happy to have met many new people, I learned some valuable lessons.  One lesson is that I need to do consistent speed work, I cannot just run a lot of miles, sharpen with speed for a few weeks and perform at a reasonable level. 

The adventure of the year was Glacial Trail 50M ~ After 2+ inches of rain Friday night and 3 inches during the race, it was a mud skating fest.

Disappointment(s) of the year = FANS24 and BLS24.  Both of these races I was in really good shape and ran too hard early and blew a chance at making the USA 24 hour team.  I believe this was a blessing from God.  Although I have had a couple of good 24 hour races in my career, I really do not like the 24 hour race and it beats the snot out of me.

Final thing I learned ... All running and no play makes this Big Horse unhappy.  I need to do a multitude of physical activities in addition to running to be happy.

May God bless your 2013

Good running to all!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I've Been Challenged - Desert Solstice

My friend Jen has challenged me to a 24 hour duel in the sun.  We are both running Desert Solstice on December 15-16th and to make it interesting she called me out to race for beer(s).

She has been running reasonably well lately with a 19:35 Heartland 100 mile finish (1st female 6th OA) in October. 

I took some down time in September and October, so I am not in top shape, but reasonable shape - So the 20 miles I agreed to spot Jen is reasonably fair.

My DW Jill is crewing both Jen and I - So it will be easy to keep track of where we are at in our battle.

Overall I feel pretty good, although the inside of my right knee still gets pretty angry some days.  2 days of downhill skiing this weekend did not help much.  The hope is that in the next 11 days of taper it will quiet down and disappear.

The field of 19 athletes is pretty stacked

Although you never know who is going for a super fast 100 mile time and who is going for the 24 hour distance.  I know for sure that Phil McCarthy, Jen Aradi and myself are all looking for the 24.

It's funny but if I would have a bad race, I could finish dead last with this field.  I have never finished dead last - I am hoping to save that experience for another time.

I think I better start over-dressing for my runs here on out.  The weather is a lot different in Phoenix than in Wisconsin this time of year.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monkey Race Report

That was painful - But pain was expected.  What was not expected - The 1st time ever, I ran into some kind of wall in the last 5 miles.  It acted like glycogen depletion, but I do not believe I was depleted.  I ate the right things the week before, I ate well the night before, I had 800 calories the morning of the race and I had 7 gels in the race.  How the heck do I hit the glycogen wall?

Maybe it wasn't the wall.  I have hit the wall in training runs and twice in half marathons that I went in depleted.  But it acted like the wall.  Any attempt to keep the pace reasonable caused me to be out of breath, light headed and almost pass out.

It was a beautiful day to run in hills outside of Nashville.  Cold early, but by the time beer was served it was great weather to hang out and drink beer.

Thank you to Trent and all the volunteers that make Monkey special!

Good running to all!

PS - 3:13:17

Friday, November 16, 2012

11/16/2012 Anticipating The Monkey

Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is in less than 2 days.  I have taken a break from seriouse training after the Badgerland Striders 24 Sept 1-2 through the end of October. I am not in particularly good shape.  But "The Monkey" deserves my best effort I currently have available.  Boasting 3600 feet of ups and downs on pavement in Percy Warner Park (PWP), the Monkey will punish me regardless of my fitness.

"The Monkey" is an old school race, not about PRs, but running hard and reckless.  Pace is pretty useless as running 5:45 or 7:15 may be an excellently paced mile in the PWP.  "The Monkey" is about old and new friends joining together singularly in purpose - To survive the Flying Monkey Attacks.

Post race Yazzo beer is excellent and "The People's Buffet" (potluck) allows us to share a little piece of the part of the country that we are from.  I tend to bring something cheese related (WI).

I am not a country music fan, but I look forward to this annual journey to Nashville.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10/30/12 Blogging Break

Work has become really busy.  For the 1st time in a long time it is significantly limiting the amount I can train.  I cannot complain as work usually provides me with flexibility to fit in lots of training for my hobby. 

I do not plan to post again until I am really close to Desert Solstice 24 hour race December 15-16.  I am very excited about this race - So check back in December for Pre-Race thoughts.

Good running to all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Back to Training after Glacial Trail 50

Glacial Trail 50 really kicked my butt ... well actually my quads.  I am not sure if it was the race or not following my immediate post race recovery routine.  I guess it doesn't matter, my quads are still hurting 5 days later.

I have been thinking about training for the rest of the year.  Less of a plan and more of training philosophy.  For the remainder of 2012, I will be much less focused on total volume and more on quality workouts.  I still may end up with a big mileage week here or there, but not at the expense of quality.

I will be increasing my easy pace - I run most of my mileage at easy pace.  I have had easy pace too slow ~ closer to recover pace ... recovery pace will remain slow.  I will try for 2 quality speed workouts each week and one moderate to long hilly trail run or hill grinder workout.  I would expect that speed workouts will be 25% shorter, but with the same volume of speed.

I have plenty of aerobic fitness and will be doing enough mileage not to lose it.  My focus has returned to 8k to marathon speed.  The trail or hill run is to keep my general hill strength stable.

I have 2 races remaining in 2012:  Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon and Desert Solstice 24 hour track race.  The marathon is for fun, although I have a handful of friends I want to beat in the race.  The goal race is the 24 hour track race and I cannot let the marathon interfere with that goal.

57 days until Desert Solstice ~ 8 weeks ... 6 weeks to train and 2 for taper.  Let me see what I can do with the next 57 days. 

I have been thinking through a race schedule for 2013 ... Lots of thoughts but not much set in stone, except I am looking forward to the Boston Marathon with my sister.

Good running to all ~

Monday, October 15, 2012

Glacial Trail 50 Race Report - Rainageddon!

Wow - What a muddy, sloppy miserable and good time.

The Ice Age Trail in the Northern Kettle Moraine is the home to the Glacial Trail 50 mile / 50k.  This year it rained 2+ inches Saturday and 3+ inches during the race on Sunday. 

I had been looking forward to the 50 mile race since last year's 50k.  My goal was to best my 2006 time of 7:50 and see if I could come away with a win.  This was my 2nd race using Vi Fuel as my primary fuel source and I was excited to have my energy levels stay more consistent.

5:58 am we left the shelter of Greenbush fire station and headed to the start line.  With moderate rain and 53 degrees we had put it off as long as we could.

Race Director - Robert Wehrner started us off and immediately there were 8-9 guys gaping me on the initial 3/4 a mile road section.  I felt really good and just tried to relax.  The initial grass area was squishy, but decent footing, the hard packed dirt was a little muddy, but not slippery ... yet.

The 1st hour of the race is dark and headlamps are required.   4 miles into the race there is a 1.5-2 mile stretch constant rock garden.  I am good at technical trail, so I caught and passed 2 people in this stretch.  The rain was moderate to hard, but the trail was holding up and I was generating enough heat to stay warm.  I wore a camelback and my plan was to take a gel every 20 minutes and 4-5 s-caps during the race.

I hit the Hwy 67 aide station in 62 minutes feeling good.  I dumped my headlamp and took off with the goal to stay relaxed and smooth.  In the next section, Hwy 67 to Butler Lake, we hit occasional mud that made you get out of the single track and onto the longer grass.  The rain let up for 5 minutes, but then it was a downpour.

Joel Lammers caught up to me in this section and we ran together into the Butler Lake aide station in 2 hours flat = 58 minutes for the section.  Joel is great runner and a fun guy to hang out. He went to his drop bag and I just kept going, so I gaped him by a minute or so.  This continued most of the day, anytime I would walk a hill, I would turn around and there would be Joel.

The 1st few miles this section I ran alone, passing 1 more person.  The footing was still reasonable.  More mud, more squishy and more puddles.  I really like this section of trail, I have run it 4o+ times in the last 2 years.  I passed another guy late in this section. Soon, Joel and the 2 guys I passed caught up just before Mauthe Lake aide station.  We hit Mauthe Lake in 64 minutes for a total time of 3:04 for the 1st 20.5 miles.

Mauthe Lake to the New Fane turn around is 4.5 miles and the trail had the best footing of the day.  These miles went by quickly and soon I was anticipating seeing the people ahead of me coming back.  1st was Chris Rubesch about 8 minutes before I hit the turn (16 minutes ahead of me),  #2-4 were between 2-4 minutes before the turn.  I hit the turn in 3:45, I had re-filled my camelback at Mauthe Lake, so just a quick aide station check in and back down the trail I went.

I had paced well the 1st half and I was in good position for the 2nd half.  I met Joel about 1 minute after the turn and a couple more guys a minute later.  Moderate to heavy rain continued. A few times it would let up for 5  to 10 minutes only to start up again.  I had a go-lite wisp coat in my camelback, so I mentally checked myself often for hypothermia, but was still putting out enough heat. 

I hit Mauthe Lake in 41 minutes, the same as the way out.  I felt good and started to have thoughts about going after the 3 ahead of me.  I held off as I wanted to stay smooth to Butler Lake (13.3 miles to go), then I could go on the hunt.

After Mauthe Lake the trail deteriorated significantly and kept getting worse the rest of the day.  The ground had saturated to the point of all the trail being slick and muddy.  This is the 1st time I have ever wished I owned trail shoes.  The lugs would have helped a little bit.  Most areas it was easier to run the far edges of the trail to get a little grass for traction.  The hills became more and more of an adventure.  I passed 2 people in this section, moving into 2nd place.  I hit Butler Lake aide station in 71 minutes - Losing 7 minutes to my out time.  I was happy to see Kristine Hinrichs who volunteers at this aide station - I gave my traditional loud "Yeeehaaa!" as I climbed the stairs out of Butler Lake.   Joel heard me and yelled back.

Now we were on trail that the 120+ 50k people had run on twice and it was completely gone.  I think we were all forced to walk many of the uphills as there just was not any traction.  The downhills were almost as slow because you would plant your foot and slide a few inches or feet.  I came to the realization that all the mud and squishy trail had zapped my legs and I continued to struggle more and more.  Some small hills were so sloppy that I was not running as much as I would have liked.   Between the constant rain and traffic even the grass on the edges was just mud.  I fought hard on this section, but was making horrible time.  I did not see Joel.

I came into the Hwy 67 aide station and I was starting to get cold.  I opted not to waste the minute it would take to get on my coat.  A level of frustration was setting in from the constant fight with the mud.  I had fallen 5 times - But luckily there was plenty of rain to wash me clean.  I did not do the math until right now - But I left the aide station 6:41 cumulative time, so I did the section in 64 minutes = +8 minutes.

I ran the 1st 10 minutes pretty hard to keep out of site of Joel.  I can shuffle really fast ~ but the mud was sucking me down.  I started to get my heart rate maxed out and having problems breathing.  My legs were tired, but still worked and my energy was good.  But it was now a constant battle of running until I was lightheaded and then walking until the heart rate came down a little.

Finally with about 4 miles to go, Joel caught me, I could not go with him.  I started to go into survival mode, trying to finish as fast as I could, because I was getting scared about hypothermia.  Ding-Ding-Ding ... the bell went off - I was way too cold.  I stopped and got out my coat, my cold hands fumbled for at least a minute as I stopped in the middle of the trail. Time was moving really slow.  I would work hard for what seemed like 15 minutes and look at my watch to see it had been 6 minutes.  I went through the rock garden area as best I could and started to look for the spur trail to the finish.  15 minutes after I put the coat on, my breathing issues went away and I started to move decently again.  Finally I saw the spur trail sign, I looked at my watch 7:40:38 ... 2 weeks before my friend Chad and I had run this section in just under 20 minutes.  I was pretty sure I could not catch Joel, but I could break 8 hours.

The last 1.5 miles of trail are either downhill or flat.  I was flying or I should say squishy and splashing my way down the trail.  If someone had their sights on catching me for 3rd, they were out of luck.  I hit the 1 mile to go sign and I had 7:50:43 on my watch ~ With 3/4 mile of road left I knew I would finish under 8 hours.  I even permitted myself one last 20 second muddy section walk.  I hit the road, running hard and smooth ~ it was so nice to be on solid ground again.

I hit the finish line in high 7:58 ~ Slopping through the last section in 77 minutes = +15 minutes.  The finish times below are what I heard at the race - The splits are estimated from when I met Chris and Joel at the turn.

1st - Chris Rubesch  7:33 (3:30 / 4:03)
2nd Joel Lammer 7:57 (3:46 / 4:11)
3rd Michael Henze 7:58 (3:45 / 4:13)

I stayed an enjoyed hanging out and talking to people for 4 hours.  By the time I left there were still 6 people on course and it was 46F.  Robert Wehner and all the volunteers always make this a great race and a good time post race ~ Thank you all!

This is one of those days that was fun - miserable - epic all in the same race.

Good running to all -

PS - To the question on fueling.  The 2 things I love about Vi Fuel (These are gels):  1) Consistent energy - These is a blurb from their website

Vi Fuel, like other energy gels, starts out with maltodextrin as the primary carbohydrate. From there, Vi Fuel takes a different path….
Most other gels use Fructose or some sort of rice syrup or evaporated cane juice, all containing Fructose. Vi Fuel uses Dextrose as its secondary carb, a more expensive (on our end) option, but one that your body has a much easier time digesting.

2)  I never get that icky, sticky - I want to throw up if I even think about taking another gel type feeling.   Additional info:

Most of the nausea problems associated with energy gels (or drinks) are a direct result of the kind of simple sugars used.

During this race I took gels every 20 minutes, h20, 2 cups of heed and 5 s-caps.

I feel Vi fuel takes on of the variables out of the ultra-performance equation - If you can count on your energy being steady, you can focus on other things.

If any readers are interested, I do have a few 25% off coupons for up to 2 boxes of gels.  You can always contact me via a PM at - I am Dopplebock.  

Now I am even more excited for the next event that I will use Vi Fuel - Desert Solstice 24 hour. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Glacial 50 Mile Pre-Race thoughts

Glacial 50 mile is one of my favorite ultras.  If you need Hollywood or a circus, you better enter a different race. 

It has 7 aide stations 6.7-13.3-20-25-30-36.7-43.3 that are crewed with great volunteers - stocked with sports drink, gels and some minimal ultra food.

The trail is a 3 / 4   if you read ultra-running magazine, 3 = with moderate hills (2,500-7,500 elevation change ... closer to 7,500 than 2,500) - not huge but constantly rolling and 4= above average for technical (Rocks and Roots).  The technical nature of the course is slightly magnified because many of the leaves will be down already by Sunday. 

If you have run Ice Age 50k / 50 Mile in May - Most people agree you can add about 10% to your Ice Age time ~ if you are in the same shape and weather is similar.

It is 4% road, 96% trail.  The trail is 80% Wooded dirt trails and 20% grassy areas.  This time of year there are no stream or water crossings except over bridges.

If it is hot - Many people make the mistake of carrying only 1 handheld ... But this year it will be cool, so you could get away with it.  I am on the fence between wearing a camelback (No handhelds) or carrying one handheld.

After 1 week of recovery from BLS 24 hour race and 4 weeks of struggling with achilies tendon injury, I have lost some fitness and gained some weight (10+ pounds).  My goals for this race have changed.  Originally I wanted to win and run sub 7:30.  Now I want to:  1)  Not aggrivate my achillies tendon, 2) enjoy a day in the woods with only moderate suffering 3)  Beat a few of the people I like to beat ... There are 3 un-named people I would like to beat :)  4)  Hang out and enjoy some time post race with said 3 people and others.

The weather is looking great but precipitation is questionable - Great temps low 40s - upper 50s.  This technical course will get a bit tougher wet.

My hope is to stay smooth with moderate effort back to Butler Lake (36.7) feeling good (Without trashed quads) and hammer the last 13.3 miles.  I do not think my personal course best (7:50 in 2006) is in jeapordy ... But if the rain holds off, maybe under 8:15.

I only recognize 1/3 of the names on the start list - But if he shows up I would think Chris Rubesch from Duluth would be my favorite to win.  This big horse is hoping for a top 10, top 5 if things go well.

Good running to all!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

10/6/12 Achillies Still Angry

It has been almost 3 weeks since I tweaked my right achilles Tendon playing Volleyball.  I have used this time most unproductively. 

I have not used it going to the gym to work on core and hip/leg strength

I have not used the time to cross train on elliptical or stair climber

I have gotten a lot of work done at my job (Very good thing)

I have used it to turn September into Beertember and Eat-lots-of-food-tember ... leaving at least 10 pounds of fat on this big horse that was not there on September 1st.

The achilles is 3 weeks into a 6 week healing process (Usually) and it feels about right.  I actually re-started speed work this week and last week I managed 1 good 4 hour trail run.

Speed is a matter of perspective as I have lost @ 30 seconds from LAT and CV pace.

As my good friend Richard always says "I will always get up one more time than I get knocked down"  I am ready to focus on getting ready for Desert Solstice 24 Hour December 15-16.  I will be ready to compete!  This race is a little intimidating when you see the entrant field to date:

NameNotable Performance
Jay Aldous13:52:29 (100 Miles)
Michael Arnstein13:46:18 (100 Miles)
Jennifer Aradi123.6 (24 Hours)
Joe Fejes147.48 Miles (24 Hour)
Connie Gardner149.368 Miles (24 Hour)
Michael Henze154.48 Miles (24 Hour)
Liza Howard15:33 (100 Miles)
Debra Horn134.45 Miles (24 Hour)
Carilyn Johnson130.92 Miles (24 Hour)
Chris Peverada15:41 (100 Miles)
Ian Sharman12:44:33 (100 Miles)
Pam Smith7:43:04 (100 KM)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goose Bumps 6 Hour Race for Lupus Awareness - Race Report

This was a fun event / race, I hope it is an event that continues and grows. 

The event was held on the trails at Goose Island in Stoddard, WI (Just outside La Crosse).  A 2.8 mile loop with a nice mix of grass and dirt, wooded and nice views of water at many points.  The course was well marked with flags and ground paint.  It was flat and non-technical by trail running standard, but did have many very some small ups and downs and a few rocks and roots.  This would be a great event for serious trail runners and 1st timers looking to try a trail ultra.

Richard (RD) Over-did the in-race and post race food and beer (Not that I am complaining).  The start finish was at a park shelter that was easy to keep all your stuff safe and dry.  There were 2 park bathrooms at different points on the course just a few feet out of the way.

Another nice thing for this event was Richard had the support of a Gel sponsor Vi Endurance, whose owner(s) actually ran the race with us.  These are the gels I used in the race

They are made from organic ingredients - The vanilla has 2 types of pure vanilla (Which was the best tasting gel I ever had).  Complex ingredients that were easy to digest (Most gels have very simple sugars - overly sweet by gel #10) and gave a much smoother flow of energy. 

If you would like to try the gels - Here is a coupon code that will give you 10% off the purchase price and the Lupus foundation $10 per box :LupusAlliance1010  (I think he said this would be good through October 10th)

This was a family event for us and I am very proud of my family for participating and want to thank them for making it a fun race day.  DD#2 (7) completed 3 laps for 8.4 miles and DD#1 (11) and my DW did 4 laps for 11.2 miles.  With my family kicking in 11 laps = 30.8 miles, I only needed to do 12 laps = 33.6 to hit our family goal of 100k.

I ran the 1st 4 laps with the La Crosse gang (John, Angie and Jim) and it was nice to catch up with them.  At lap #4 I thought about what I wanted to hit for the race - 14 laps popped into my head.  I had the realization I was moving too slow to hit 14 laps.

My plan was to crank it up for 2 hours and then back down to just hit 14 laps. 

Hours 2-4 were like may "Middle" of races ~ I was running pretty hard, but doubted I could keep the pace up to the end.  It seems 5k - 24 hour race, the middle part of the race is often about overcoming doubt about keeping the pace up.

I hit 10 laps in 4:08 with many laps @ 22 minutes.  I did some quick in-race math, I could actually do 5 more laps if I ran 22 minutes per lap.  I decided to run 2 more faster laps to see if I could put myself in position.

Part of this mental wrestling was beacuse of the cause of the race = Lupus.  Lupus has knocked my friend Richard down many times in the last 2 years.  Richard will always get up one more time than being knocked down.  He loves trail running (Superior 100 mile finisher) and being active ~ But these activities have been very limited during this time.  My decision to push for 5  was in part to honor all the pain Richard has had to endure for much longer than 2 measly hours and part because he would love to be able to push his body and relish in the pain of racing.

With 67 minutes to go I had 3 laps to run - I knew I could.  In the end I ran the last 3 laps in 60 minutes, getting to 15 laps ~ 42 miles in 5 hours 53 minutes.

I was happily spent.

Post race was a burger and a beer with all my fellow racers and with a great RD and friend Richard, Renee his DW and my family.  What a nice way to spend a day!

Good running to all ~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Goose Bumps 6 hour fun run is this weekend

Goose Island - Stoddard, WI (Near LaCrosse)

This is a 1st annual fun-run to raise awareness for Lupus.  My friend Richard as been fighting Lupus for a couple of years now.  It has put him on his back a bunch of times, but Richard will always get up one more time that he falls down.

I new nothing about the disease until it hit Richard, his treatments have been aggressive including Chemo. 

I was fortunate enough to pace Richard to his 1st Superior Trail 100 Mile race finish in 2009.

My whole family is doing this as a fun family event.  The weather is a little iffy with a high of 56, 16 MPH winds and predicted rain.  We will see how my girls (11,7) and wife do in the cold rain.  We are hoping to get to 100k as a family.  I will be the anchor one way or another, depending on how my achilles tendon holds out.

We will find a way to have fun!

If you are interested - Check it out on Facebook

10-4 Saturday 9/22

Good running to all -

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tweaked Achillies Tendon

Of course, not from running ...

I set up a monthly volleyball fellowship night at our church.  Our 1st time playing was September 9th - 1 week post BLS 24 hour race.  We had a great group and all had a good time - Playing some decent volleyball for a little over 2 hours.

The next day I woke up with 2 ailments - A very sore left glute muscle and tight IT band and a tweaked right achilles tendon.  The IT band is pretty easy to treat and will be a distant memory within 2 weeks.  The achillies tendon is always a struggle to heal. 

I tend to treat it with Ibuprofen, no speed work, keeping the leg muscles rolled out and a nightly series of hot / cold water soaking.  I get 2 - 5 gallon buckets:  One I fill with a bunch of ice and put water into, the other with water as hot as I can stand.  5 minutes in cold, then 5 in hot ... repeat for 1 hour if you have time.

If all goes well it is usually 2 weeks of sharp pain, 2 weeks of dull pain and 2 weeks of light to no pain, but not enough confidence to start speed work.  So 6 weeks of slow running on soft surfaces (TM and Dirt mainly).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Change in Plans - One more 24

My original plan for fall was aggressive - 3 goal races in 11 weeks.  This goes against my normal grain as I know I can only peak for one race every 3-5 months. 

The cornerstone of this plan was Badgerland Striders (BLS 24) 24 hour race, with the goal to run > 150 miles to try and make the 2013 USA National 24 hour team.  After this race I planned on putting all my focus and effort into getting ready for the Glacial 50 mile trail race and finally the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon.

The BLS 24 was the most important, so if I broke down or bombed the Glacial 50M or Monkey Marathon I could accept that fate.

Having failed to deliver on my 1st goal, this left me with  a decision to make.  Do I keep the same schedule?

Sadly - Now Glacial 50M and the Monkey Marathon are "for fun" races as I need to focus on Desert Solstice 24 hour track race December 15-16th.  I plan no taper for Glacial 50M and a light 1 week taper for The Monkey.

It also means that I will have to spend more time on the track doing long (40+) mile runs in place of some 4-6 hour trail runs.  Typing that makes my soul die just a little ...

I am changing 2 things for the Desert Solstice training:  1)  I am adding leg weights (Most targeting hips) and core work  2)  I will run a lot less total miles, but keep the same quality of hard workouts.

If I cannot execute at Desert Solstice, I think it is time to get into 100 mile trail races.  These are so many wonderful adventures to be experienced around trails of the USA.

Good running to all!

Monday, September 10, 2012

2012 - 24 Hour World Championship - Katowice Poland

A very exciting weekend for fans of USA 24 hour teams.  The IAU had great coverage with a hourly spreadsheet of all runners posted. 

The USA Women handily won gold 694,621 meters
Connie Gardner - 240,386 (149.37 miles - New USA Women's National Record)
Suzanna Bon - 131,074 (New PR)
Anne Lundblad - 223,160 (Not a PR, but a great run)

*  All 3 have secured their spot on the 2013 USA 24 hour team by virtue of finishing in the top at at the 2012 World championship (2nd/5th/9th)

France - 666,503 - Silver
Great Britain - 666,461 - Bronze ... yes by 43 meters

*  GBR had the Women's individual gold medalist - Emily Gelder @ 238,876.  Can you imagine the excitement of the French women and disappointment of the British women by the 43 meters score for the 3 women for 24 hours - Wow that is close!  They would have no idea until the measured the short laps who was silver and bronze - likely not until the medal ceremony.

On the Men's side - Team USA took it out hot and heavy.  Mike Morton lead from the start and was the individual gold medalist with a new USA National record of 277,544 (172.46 miles).  Team USA lead the team event for the 1st 23 hours.  Their fast early running put a hurt on many teams including themselves.  In the last hour they fell to the Bronze medal spot by less than 2 km.  The gold medal team - Germany ran a brilliant, even split race that allowed them to finish at the top of the podium

Mike Morton is the only USA Men's runner to secure his spot on Team USA for 2013 World Championship with his 1st OA place (Top 10). 

These spreadsheets never post well - So I highlighted the information I was trying to convey - Total distance, the percent distance 2nd 12 hours compared to 1st 12 hours and total Team distance.

  24 Hours 1st 12 2nd 12 % Change
Reus GER 261,718 131,314 130,404 99% = 99% 2nd 12 hours meters vs. 1st 12 hours
Venicek GER 251,800 128,224 123,576 96%
Hosl GER 245,939 122,045 123,894 102% Germany Team Total 759,457
Dilmi FRA 257,819 139,038 118,781 85%
Fontaine FRA 251,129 131,314 119,815 91%
Harruis FRA 247,762 128,224 119,538 93%  France Team Total 756,711
Morton USA 277,544 148,308 129,236 87%
Lewis USA 239,725 134,404 105,321 78%
Fejes USA 237,518 128,224 109,294 85%  USA Team Total 754,787

I believe that these are PRs for all three USA runners - They ran a gutsy race, showing their toughness in the 2nd half.  It's easy to look at the positive split from you chair.  To fight for every meter in the last 6 hours of a race when you body and legs are spent - That is something that takes more mental toughness than most of us will ever possess.   I am sure the Men are disappointed after leading for 23 hours, but congratulations on another podium finish and fighting valiantly to the end!

Good running to all -

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Post BLS 24 - Ready to Start Training Again

Four days of gluttony are enough for this Big Horse to have stepped on the scale this morning and see +20 pounds.  Of course that is just my body full of the poisons of ice cream, chocolate, chips, pudding - yes lots of pudding, carbs of all shapes and sizes, red meat and lots of alcohol.  All of this consumption, with not enough h2o, has also caused my body to be puffy with liquid hoarding. 

Oh yes, the joys of being me.  Reality is I can only gain about a pound a day of fat - So I will be fine (+5 pounds) by Monday after my body normalizes.

Today I ran for the 1st time post BLS 24 - A nice easy 7 miler on the treadmill.  I also made out my plan for the rest of the year.  My plans are always very loose and subject to changes between days or weeks, but I tend to stick to the general intent and total mileage range of the plan.

I have 3 basic goals to work on in 2012:
1)  Lose weight - I will weigh 180 pounds
2)  Strengthen hips and core
3)  Get my paces significantly faster - I believe I can achieve a 5k pace of < 5:30, a 10 mile pace of < 5:51 and a marathon pace of < 6:15 by year end

In the midst of all this training I still have 2 goal races:  10/14 Glacial 50 Mile and 11/18 Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon.  I have adjusted my original goals for these races.  I would consider the Glacial 50 a success if I could beat my best time on this course = 7:50 and Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon a success if I break 2:55.  The marathon has 3,500 feet of gain and 3,500 feet of loss, so < 2:55 is about equal to < 2:50 on many marathon courses.

Badgerland Striders 24 - Was a disappointment.  Now that the original self pity for blowing the opportunity is gone, I am left with a good amount of training fortitude and anger to pull from in training  the rest of the year. 

This year my training has been really good, but I have under performed in races.  But I am happy not to have any DNS or DNF races this year (knock on wood).

Good running to all!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

BLS 24 Hour Race Report - Initial Short Version

200,400 meters in @ 22:15 - I called it early as I could not hit any of my goals and my hip was pretty messed up.

Overall it was a great race - 1st class organization, facilities and resources.  From the easy to access bathrooms without losing much time or distance to the on site med person to stretch and fix you up.  Fun and attentive volunteers and a good group of people racing the 6-12-24.

Thank you Robert Wehner and Badgerland Striders!

I ran without a watch and went by feel - apparently my feel was off as I felt awesome through 12 hours and it went south really quick after that.  I hit 80.25 in 12 hours.

I had many issues - But they were just irritations and not limiting.  Limiting issues were my hips and mental toughness - I have never experienced hip issues in a 24 hour race before.

The hip issue is easy enough to avoid and fix with specific exercises targeting the area.  Many of the smaller issues I need to work through. 

The other bigger issue is mental ~ In this race, I tried restarting some momentum with running 4-8 laps and then walking a lap or other sequence to salvage the race 7 or 8 times and each time I ended up feeling dizzy and "stick a fork in you - done" when I started to walk.  This may sound physical to you and yes this is a physical issue, but my letting it limit my performance is also mental.  I did not want it bad enough - I needed to have the mental courage or stubbornness to say:  "I can back off when I pass out!". 

If I am unable to find this mental place again for 24 hour races, I should stick to races less damaging on my body.

Healing has begun as I try to get physically ready for Glacial 50M in 39 days.  Somewhere along the journey, I need to regain my confidence and mental toughness.

In a few days I will post about the actual racing -

Good running to all!

Friday, August 31, 2012

2012 Badgerland Striders 6/12/24 Track Race

You might have noticed my 2012 race schedule now includes the Badgerland Striders 6/12/24 track race in Germantown, WI.  Is this a spur of the moment decision?  Not at all.  I talked way too much about FANS24 and worked myself into a frenzy of excitement from the anticipation.  I had contemplated not even admitting to this race until after it was complete, but I do want to share a few thoughts today.

This is the 1st of 3 "Goal" races between now and November 18th.

9/1-2  BLS 24 Hour Track Race
10/14  Glacial 50 Mile Trail Race
11/18  Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon (3500 feet of gain, 3500 feet of loss)

Although all 3 are goal races - Naturally the 1st race will get the most out of my body.  My training has had the variety needed to do well at all 3 races, but not focused on any one race.  The long ultra runs are key to the 24 hour and the 50 mile, but do little for the marathon,  The hill grinding and longer hilly trail runs are great for the 50 mile and the hilly marathon, but not as much benefit to the 24 hour.  The speed work provides only marginal benefit to the 24 hour and 50 mile, but essential to the marathon.

What does this all mean?  I am excited to find out.  It could be that the variety to keep me versatile has also let me keep fresh and stronger.  It could also mean that I am only mediocrely trained for each.  We will find out in the next 48 hours for race #1.

My goals for the race:
1)  Support and encourage my kick-ass runner friend Jen - Both positive and if need be any means of psychological warfare necessary.
2)  Run an intelligent and patient race = Be in position the 2nd half of the race (Specially last 8 hours) to be racing.
3)  Stay moving all 24 hours
4)  Mileage ?  It will be what it will be - This race, I am running by feel and not by goal or the watch

There are a couple question marks going into the race:  How will I do with high 70s weather (The 2 races I have done well at - have been 50s)?  how will running 24 hours on the monotonous surface of the track and running corners treat my feet, knees and hips?  How will running with (going around) 45 people on the track effect the race?  There are 9 in the 12 hour race, 16 in the 6 hour race and 20 in the 24 hour race that will be sharing the track in the 1st 6 hours.

I have learned something about myself in every 24 hour race I have run - I wonder what I will learn this race?  The 24 takes you through many intense levels of emotion and psychological places - Some light, some dark, but all more powerful than I have ever experienced any other time in life other than an all out 24 hour race.

I am fit and ready - Let the adventure begin.

Good running to all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Racing an ultra is hard on the body. 

I had an interesting conversation with a friend at work about recovery.  No, he is not a runner - He is a body builder.  He has been training and studying how to build muscle for 25+ years.  Of course building muscle is all about recovery.

The conversation was specifically around how to recover from muscle pummeling events like 24-48 hour race or 100 mile events, but could really apply to any race where we beat ourselves up badly.

It came down to a couple pretty simple concepts:  You need a heightened amount of protein and fat to repair muscle.  Muscle has a very large percentage of water to it, so hydration needs to be above average to help with the repair and to restore the muscle health. Carbohydrates place in this process is more as a facilitator and is only needed in moderate amounts. 

In the recovery days after a hard race we really do not need an abundance of carbohydrates, normal eating along with low activity level will rebuild glycogen stores quickly.

So here is my plan for the next major race recovery:  Take 800-1,000 calories (200-250 grams) of whey protein daily to supplement my normal "Low Activity Level" eating, take 2-3 table spoons of natural peanut butter for the fat source and hydrate above average.  My total calorie goal would be approximately 3,000 per day = break even after adding 2 easy walks per day to get the blood flowing to damaged areas.

When I get some time, I will start looking for research on this subject as this plan is from a water cooler conversation. 

Good running to all -

PS - I already frequently use whey protein to supplement my protein needs after really hard workouts or when I know I ate very little protein at the end of the day and I am too lazy to get it from another source.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cut-Back Week Ended 8/26/2012

Cut-back in terms of mileage and total length of harder workouts - But not from intensity of workouts.  I really focused on weight loss this week, just eating enough to do the work I needed to get done.  The last 4 weeks have been: 141, 183, 136 and 103. - This week had a lower level of nutrition, good intensity of workouts ~ I feel like I worked just as hard this week as the last 3.

M - 10 Easy (Last day of vacation in Minocqua)
T - 6 Easy / 14 With Tempo (2x3 Miles @ 6:00 pace)
W- 8 Easy / 6 Easy
TH - 6 Easy / 12 Hill Grinders (Fast and Strong)
F- 8 Easy / 6 Easy
SA - 12 Vo2 / 5 Easy (2 fast miles - 1 all out 5:33 no top end speed)
SU - 6 Recovery / 4 Easy + striders (6 was a nice slow jog in the rain)

Total 103

I have been in control of my eating (Except Monday), I drank a bit on Vacation - but moderately.  I feel I am in a great position.  About the lightest I have been as a runner (195), about the fastest I have been as a runner (Within 5 seconds per mile for 5k-marathon), the strongest I have been as a hill climber / bomber and near the best aerobic conditioning for ultras (50Mile - 24 hour race). 

I am far from satisfied as I see I can be much better in each of those categories.

Plus ~ Just because I say it and feel it, does not make it true until I prove it.  So that is my goal for the rest of the year ~ To turn the fitness into some race results!

Good running to all -

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Feeling good - Week ended 8/19/12

After riding the over-training red line, things went really good last week.  Monday was the long trail run that I went too fast and felt crispy.  Tuesday I only ran 1 easy run and seemed to bounce back decently.  Sat-Mon was one last family vacation in Minocqua, WI - One of our favorite places to vacation.

M  8/26 (Ice Age Trail in Northern Kettle Moraine)
T  9
W 7/17 (with 4x1 mile - 5:40-5:50 pace)
TH 8/6
F 16/8 (8 in PM finished with 4@T - 23:28 ~ 5:52 pace)
SA 8 (Then up to Minocqua for a day of boating and fun)
SU 15/8 (Bearskin Trail - 15 finished with 5x5 minutes @ 30 minute race pace)

Total = 136 - 3 good speed workouts + 1 long trail run

The week ended up more mileage than I wanted for a cut back week and with 4 good workouts ~ Although a lot less than the previous week of 183 miles, this was not a cut back week!  I will have to put some serious discipline into actually cutting back this week.  The plan is to keep mileage between 95-105 miles with 1 harder LAT workout, 1 easier Vo2 max workout and a moderate hill grinding workout.

I am really happy with my progress on speed and overall fitness this summer.  I have been making constant improvement - But I am starting to get greedy and push the workouts from moderate to hard.  I need to put the discipline back into keeping the effort level moderate.  There is a lot I want to accomplish this fall and next spring and I cannot be successful if I get injured!

Good running to all!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Over Training - The Thin Red Line

I have tried to stay well below the red line in 2012 and have been pretty good about keeping individual workouts and the total work for the week moderate.  This is much easier when you are only focused on base building mileage. 

Recently I have been trying to do more speed work.  This just adds another factor of stress.  Long runs (greater than 30 miles)  Hill runs (Long slower grinding repeats) and speed make for 3 workouts a week most weeks. 

3 workouts is a lot more stress than 2 a week.  If you over-do 1 or 2 workouts in a week it can have a negative impact.  With 3 workouts I cannot afford any to be over-done or it will lead quickly to over-training.

The last 14 weeks post vacation starting with Tuesday 7/31 I have run 358 miles ... I have run more - Actually a lot more in a 14 day period (475)~ But the pace was quicker, the hydration and nutrition not as good and the last 4 days included 3 runs runs > 4 hours 2 of which were way over-done on effort.

What does this all mean? 

A smart man would take a few recovery days to get a body re-set and avoid a serious case of over-training ... I hope I am a smart man!

When I become more fit and the workouts are going great, its easy to get gready.   When I want something really bad it is easy to push harder than I should.  When these 2 factors come together at the same time discipline can be hard to hold onto.

Good running to all!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Training week ended 8/12/2012

Our friends from Chippewa Falls backed out last minute from hosting us for a weekend - Completely understandable as a Uncle from South Carolina unexpectedly appeared.  This completely changes my thoughts on my training week.

As I have said before I am generally trying to get in 3 kinds of workouts each week:  1)  Speed, 2) Hill grinding and 3) Long (at least 30 miles).  There are times I can double up on a workout and do Long / Speed or Long / Hill Grinding.

This was my best training week or the year - But I also have to be careful as I have no intention of trying to ride the hard training / injury line.  I am still trying to keep all my workouts at "Moderate".  The problem can be is each workout is at the hard end of moderate, but the weeks worth of work can still be over the edge.

I have 3 goal race this fall and I need to be healthy to pull off the "Hat Trick". 

Monday - 9/6 - Easy Day
Tuesday - 6/7/13 - The 13 was suppose to be a 20+ mile track run, but Sat race and Sundays 23 were still heavy in my legs
Wednesday - 6/18.5 - Speed - The 18.5 had 4x1 mile @ 5:49 on TM - By far the best I have felt running fastish
Thursday - 10.5/6/4 - Easy day - I shut down the PM run as it was not feeling easy
Friday - 9/33 - Hill Grinding / Long day - Best run of the year on HC Tower loops - I felt like I could have run them all night, but the park closes at 11pm
Saturday - 11/6 Easy day
Sunday - 31 - Long track day / 8 easy - I want to do a track 24 someday.

183 miles in 24 hours and 34 minutes - This was definitely a 100% week - I would consider anything > 160 miles a 100% week - Add in the speed and hills and it might have been a bit much.  I feel really good, but a 40 something runner has to train smarter.  My right foot is sore from Friday's 4:45 of Hill pounding (My glutes too)

Good running to all -

Monday, August 6, 2012

Seymour Bun Run 5k Results

My 1st time doing this event - It was a nice low key race with a fastish course.  It was fun to have my family all doing the race and my Dad was visiting and he came along to spectate.

We got up around 5:45 am as Seymour is a 50 minute drive.  I made everyone pancakes with blueberries - We kept the volume light.  I will not eat this close to a race (8:00am) but I figured the pace and effort level everyone else would be racing at the breakfast would be OK.

My wife and DD#2 (Kate-7) do not train but have fun participating.  DD#1 (Erin #11) has been running 2 miles 3-4 times a week and was looking forward to the race.

I managed a decent warm up of 3ish miles - Finishing @ 4 minutes before the start.  It was in the mid 70s, but humid, so I had sweated through my clothes in the warm up.  I have not run a 5k in maybe 5 years and only a handful in my life.  I have never run a really good one for my fitness level.

The 1st mile hurt (5:57) - I was trying to run hard but find a comfortable stride.  I never found a relaxed stride all race - This could be trying to use racing flats?  I was breathing hard from the start and my legs were burning early in mile #1.  I am not sure if this is because of my limited speed work or that I ran 100+ miles in the 4 days prior to the race (40 mile long run on Tuesday night).

By 9 minutes into the race I was feeling pretty maxed out.  I was fortunate to have people just ahead of me to focus on and fight to stay with.  Mile #2 (5:58) is the only slight uphill section and by the end of mile #2, I wanted to back off.  I find it mentally easier to fight into the max pain plateau in the last mile of a marathon ~ maybe because of the large investment of 25 previous miles versus 2.

Mile #3 includes a very long straight segment of road with a nice downhill.  My legs were still burning, but I hardly noticed them as oxygen was the real issue.  All I could do was focus on keeping my shoulders back and breathe deeply.  Somewhere in this section I went to 1-1 breathing.  After the downhill there is about 1/2 mile of straight away left to the finish - It feelt like the last corner would never come.  From 14 minutes into the race  to the finish line I had a constant fight between my mind forcing max effort and my body demanding to back off.

Last 1.1 was 6:32 for 18:27.  I think my legs could have done 5-10 seconds a mile faster, but my Vo2 max was the limiting factor (Ability to process oxygen).  I am very happy with the effort and result for my current fitness level and as part of a 140+ mile week.

I went back to run Erin into the finish and was surprised to find her with Jill and Kate.  The 2 girls only goals at this point in the race were beat each other.  I learned that Erin cannot eat that close to a race either as she had been fighting a really bad side ache most the way.  It did give me an opportunity to work with Erin on proper breathing and posture to get the most oxygen into your lungs.

Kate was mentally done after Erin and I pulled away. The last  100 yards before the finish she was walking slowly ... Funny I told Jill to beat her to the finish line and Kate immediately put on a 100 meter sprint to beat her Mom.

A nice family event and day - It makes me happy that they are willing to come and join in on Dad's hobby.

Good running to all!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Seymour Bun Run - Pre Race Thoughts

I have always wanted to do this race - Mainly because I think the name is funny.  The name does make some sense since it is part of Hamburger Festival.   Seymour claims to be the home of the hamburger.

This will be another nice family event with my wife and 2 girls joining in for the 5k.  My oldest daughter has been doing 3-4 times a week training (Very easy running), so I am excited to see how she does.  My Wife and youngest are just participating ~ But it will be fun for them.

I have not done a 5k in a really long time.  I think the last one I can was winter of 2007 on icy roads.  After 2 years of running only marathons or further this will be my 3rd attempt at a shorter race.

I was feeling pretty good before vacation, thinking mid 18s was a good goal.  But, after the training train wreck I will be happy to be around 19.  I am pushing the mileage pretty hard this week with the 40 miler Tuesday night and a big day / night on Thursday, so my time could be a lot worse.

This will kick off my plan of doing consistent speed work in the month of August.

Good running to all!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family Vacation - Nice break

We spent 3 days in the WI Dells and 3 days in Southwest Michigan.  I spent the most part of 6 days in a swimsuit.  I managed one good run in the WI Dells and one good run in Michigan.  Last week total was 64 miles in 4 days of running (Vacation started Wednesday morning).  In total I hit 520 miles in the month on 27 days of running.

The downside of vacation is a statement of who I am ... There is no moderation in things I do.  This helps me run a lot, but it is also easy for me to eat and drink too much when I do not run.  I really enjoyed vacation, the time with my wife and kids.  I can also say I enjoyed letting lose and drinking and eating!

Now I am left with great memories and 5 extra pounds.

If you ever get a chance to go to Southwest Michigan:  Warren Dunes, Grand Mere State Park, Silver Beach and downtown Saint Joseph take it!

Now it is time to get back to serious training - August - October will be about running, good eating and avoiding alcohol.

Good running to all!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Best 5k - Marathon - Trail Ultra - 24 hour training plan

For the last 2 years I have focused on 24 hour training.  There have been a couple shorter diversions to get ready for a hilly ultra or get just fast enough to break 3 hours in a marathon before I go back to exclusively 24 hour specific training.

The 24 hour training = Total volume and really long runs.  I do believe these are very important to 24 hour race success, but I am missing out on some key components of training.

The 2nd half of 2012 - I am training to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.  I am training to be a strong well rounded runner.  I have this hunch that I will get much better at everything 5k - 24 hour.

My goal races include:  Glacial 50 Mile (Hilly technical trail), a 24 hour race yet to be named, a hilly marathon and I want to fit in a 5k-10k race that I can go for a PR.  My speed for 5k-10k range races is the farthest gone from that group.

I am finding it refreshing to try and fit in speed work, hill work, trail running and long runs (Long for me is 30+ mile runs).   It is easier to combine long and trail running then long and speed work.  Most weeks I fit in all 4 components.

 I am making progress in each area.  Age has crept up on me in speed workouts and I have to use a bit of caution or I end up with naggly injuries that have to be nursed.  I believe the longer and more consistent I do speed work the less this will be an issue.

I have had to give up really big mileage weeks (160-200+) to do this training.  Days with 3 runs are scarce and days with one run are much more frequent.  I am thinking I will fall into 110-130 miles per week.  This mileage range is sustainable.

Key workouts:
*  Long runs - Track (Foreshadowing), Treadmill, road or trail (Technical or flat) - 30+ miles usually with a goal of 6+ hours.
*  Speed work - Done typically in a 16-24 mile run:  5x5 minutes @ CV, 5x1 or 4x2 miles at LAT, 4 miles @ LAT or 8-10 mile tempo
*  Hill work - Run up and down hill (Grinding the hill) for 2-4 hours - this is just as much for the downhill running as uphill,  4-6 miles @ 15% on TM or Hilly technical trail
*  Hilly Technical Trail - Unless a race this workout usually is 4-5 hours on the Ice Age Trail in the Northern Kettle Moraine.  Occasionally I will make this a 6+ hour run to add "Long"

My end goal is to work into 17 minute 5k, high 34 minute 10k, 2:40 marathon and 160 mile 24 hour shape and be hill strong to do well on technical trail races ... Basically I want it all.

This will not happen overnight - But I think within an 18 month window (End of 2013) all can be achieved.

Good running to all -

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Will you still run when there are no PRs left?

This is a question I have been asking myself lately. 

I did not start running until I was 34 years old.  When I starting running (jogging) I was 300+ pounds.  I have never achieved a normal running weight.  In the last 9 years I have managed to be 200-205# for maybe a total of 18 months ... maybe.  The rest of the time I have been heavier, often 220-240#.  At one time I had 20# more upper body muscle (350 bench press) - But I stopped lifting 5 years ago, so 180-185 would be equivalent to the old 200-205.

A reasonable weight for a runner who is 6'3 is 160-170 pounds.  I always have locked up potential in the handicap I carry around my waist, butt and thighs.  I have run over 40,000 miles in the last 9 years.  I often dream of the potential I could achieve if I hit a runners weight.  I believe that all my PRs would be shattered if I weighed 175-180 pounds ... even at 43,44,45 years old (Currently 43).

In 2012 the typical cycle continues - After a fat gaining winter, I have been working hard. I Started the year @ 242 and for the last month I am pretty steady at 200-205#. Sometimes after a long hot workout, I have even seen dehydrated 193.  I continue to hold onto the hope that I can balance the summer family & friends fun time that often includes good food and good beer, with training and work and actually achieve a better running weight.

For some reason this year I have the feeling that its now or never - Either I figure out the great mystery of getting everything in balance and getting my weight to a more reasonable runners weight, or I turn in my runners card and become an occasional jogger.  It is not a desperate feeling, just a realization that time is not on my side.

What drives each of us to run is ours.  My accomplishments would be humorous to many for the time and effort spent.  "You spend how many hours a week on a hobby to achieve mediocrity?"

I am not even sure I like to run ... Sure, there are days of amazing runs, but overall?  I do like the process of training.  I love to race!  No matter what shape I am in, I love the strategery of trying to get everything out of your body that day.

I can get the buzz of racing without being in good shape ~ So logically the only reason to train at a high level (For me) would be the carrot of PRs, the pull of race success or success against individuals I want to be compete against.

When all these are gone - What will be left?  Will it be a runner?

A common saying in our group is "Runners Run".  This means at some point everything else fades away and you are left with who you are ... a runner.

At this point, I still do not know who I am ...

Good running to all!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dances with Dirt Devil's Lake 50k race report

4:42:54 (Final Results Pending) 9th OA

Low 70s and humid and at the 5:30am start.  I drove down Saturday morning, getting to the race course 45 minutes before the start.  I am not sure where the 45 minutes went - I was not ready when they called 5 minutes to start.  I quickly got my camelback filled and stuck 12 gels in my Race Ready shorts.

I am not sure where I got the wrong idea that we did the ski hill loop twice.  It took we 4+ hour to realize my error.

Last year we started straight up the ski hill, this year we ran a mile along the base and then bushwhacked back and forth up the ski hill.  Just like last year - The lead group missed the turnoff into the bushwhacking area.  The rest of us followed like sheep to the slaughter - Luckily being slower I only ran a hundred yards off course.

I have found out in trail races that I have done, I have my own rhythm - maybe because I am 200 pounds - but I climb a bit slower and descend more quickly than those around me.  In single track when its hard to pass - I really dislike running other people's rhythm, so I purposely let people go past and took it easy on the ski hill loop. 

The ski hill loop was set up easier than last year and soon I was on the Ice Age trail heading toward Devil's Head Lake State Park.  I pretty much ran by myself the next hour plus.  Last year we climbed up to the bluff twice - This year we went up the long gravel trail to the top of the bluff, ran a bit at the top and came down.  The mileage was filled in with an out and back to "The Bug Pit".  This out and back was a long decent followed by a couple miles of prairie running - Many tight spots were created as I came back while meeting other runners going the other way.  This was not a nice trade off - Climbing the bluff up the stone steps was a much nicer / harder course.

On the way back from "The Bug Pit" I had @ 3:30 on the watch and I started to get a funny feeling I might be wrong about the 2nd ski hill loop.  I faintly remember someone disagreeing with me when I said we would be running this loop a second time.  I still wanted to save something for a 2nd ski hill loop - So I half walked, half ran the long climb back. 

As we headed back away from the state park I had 4:20 0n my watch and now I knew I was heading toward the finish and not another ski hill loop.  I cranked up the effort to maximum.  Soon it was the last 2-3 mile downhill back to the finish line.  I was flying, I am guessing I was averaging sub 7 minute miles.  I could have cranked it up a bit more, but I must have passed 30+ half marathoners on the narrow trail.  I also managed to to pass 3 - 50k runners.

We poured out off the Ice Age Trail onto a paved trail with a slight uphill - My quads turned into Jello.  I fought to keep running for a couple minutes - Then gave in to a little walk ... A spectator asked my why I would walk 1/4 mile from the finish.  Oooops my bad - A little embarrassed I powered to the finish.

My friends Richard and Renee were just before the finish line giving me a shout.  Richard has been fighting a severe case of Lupus for 2 years and is finally able to start running.  He did the 10k ... Last week the Afton Alps 25k - Yes he is my OCD brother from another mother!

My other friend Mike finished the 50k a few minutes ahead of me - Now has beaten me 2 out of 3 races we both have done.  He runs fearlessly and is mentally and physically strong enough to hold on to finish well.

I sat around another 3-4 hours enjoying the good beer they have at the race and the company of other runners - This is my favorite part of this race! ... Well my favorite part of most races.

Thanks for reading - Good running to all!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another weekend of not training

I should never post workouts before I do them.  This weekend we went back to Wausau to boat with friends on Saturday and Family on Sunday.  I had thought I would be able to get up early Sunday and fit in a 3-4 hour run up and down Rib Mountain (700 vertical feet each rep).

Friday night I had a really nice 20 miler with 5x1 mile @ LAT pace.  I could not start until late because I had to get stuff done at work.  The problem with really long or intense workouts that end after 10pm is I never sleep well.

After no sleep Friday night, I got up at 6am and did the 10 miler I had planned.  Boating was awesome with the Salzmans - We get to see these friends only a couple of times a year.  After a day of wakeboarding and tubing like a 30 year old,  I knew I would be very sore Sunday morning.  After boating (8:00pm) We make the decision to go over to their house for a few drinks - I knew this was the choice of not getting up to run the big mountain workout.  I can train anytime and time with friends is precious - So I think I made a great choice. 

This summer is turning out that way - I train pretty hard M-F and enjoy the weekend with Family and Friends.

Sunday morning I did manage to run 8 miles before repeating a long day of boating - 8 hours in the sun, playing on the water can really drain your energy.

On the bright side - It is Monday again, so after sleeping in this morning I am sure I will start my M-F focused training at lunch today.

I did get 114 miles in 11 runs with a 36 mile long run and a 20 miler with speed.
Good running to all -

PS - I think I will actually get a big workout in this Saturday (DWD 50k) ... it's gonna be fun!

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 DWD - Devils Lake 50K Pre-Race thoughts

This time last year I was recovering from a bunch of stitches in my head from trying to scalp myself.  I took 6 days off to recover from the head injury and on the 7th day I ran DWD Devils Lake 50k.  I was sluggish, but enjoying the experience when I fell ... Unable to roll to my back I caught myself with my arms.  In that split seconds I sheered off most the cartilage in my elbow and fractured the radial head. 

After a few more weeks off wallowing in food and alcohol I had gained a bunch of weight.  I got in 4 good weeks of training leading up to Leadville, but weighed 228# at weigh in.  I tried to run a race of a person 200# ... DNF'd at Mile #70.  It was a summer of disappointment for running.

I am really looking forward to DWD 50k this year ... To get the devil off my back.  I am looking forward to enjoying this hot weather race (upper 80s - low 90s) and not injuring anything.  My weight is reasonable 200-205.  My training not great, but solid ... I have done a moderate amount of trails, hills and a little bit of speed.  I have a large volume of miles this year > 3,500 YTD.

This is not a goal race - My goals in order of importance:
1)  Finish without injury
2)  Have fun
3)  Post race beer with Richard, Mike, Abe and others
4)  Break 5 hours

I am planning on only a 2 day taper with tonight and next Tuesday as 20 milers with moderate speed work.  This Sunday I plan on working up and down Rib Mountain in Wausau for at least 3 hours.  Next Wednesday will be a 20+ mile run, then it will be time for a 2 day taper.

This race is good training for my Fall goal race - Glacial 50 miler.  I think if I have a really good day ~ maybe top 5, but that is a bit of a long shot.

Good running to all -

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pittsville H&S 5 Mile race report

32:44 - 11th OA, 3rd AG

It has been a couple of years since I have run anything shorted than a marathon.  The Gary Bjorkland 1/2 Marathon for the 1st shorter effort and this was the 2nd.  I was looking forward to the race as my wife and girls were coming along and doing the 2 mile race.  They have a little carnival in town and we planned to have a little post race fun.

Temps on the way to the race ranged from 96-100 degrees.  We arrived in Pittsville 45 minutes early to a temperature of 96 and it was fairly humid.  I think this race has as many people in the 2 and 5 mile combined as the population of the town ~ 700+.

I tried to warm up ~ 3 miles pre-race ... I did 3 miles of slow jog with some a bunch of striders.  I think this was a mistake as it just made me over heat.  I think I would have been better sitting in the air conditioned car and coming out 5 minutes pre-race to jog to the start line.

The national anthem was very well done by a trumpet player and we were off.  With the heat, I started off at a very comfortable race pace - I figured running well within myself for 3 miles and pushing the last 2 was a good plan.  About 400 meters into the race I saw my friend Alex who I have battled 3 other years - But today he was running with a friend and I did not have to worry about getting beat. 

I did not wear a watch as I did not want to be tortured with my slowness on this hot night.  We hit mile #1 and someone called out 6:24 ~ Wow was that slow.  I had my eyes fixed on Jay - A good 50 year old runner that I like to beat, he was 15 seconds ahead of me.

I just tried to relax and be smooth and comfortable - By mile #2 I was leaving sweat footprints and my insides felt baked, but I felt in control.  Mile #3 I was still around 15 seconds behind Jay but gaining.  Although I was really hot and miserable, I thought I still had it in control with my relaxed stride.

Mile #4 I just tried to hold onto the relaxed stride, but I was starting to get a bit light headed and having a hard time getting enough oxygen.  At the mile #4 mile marker I had pulled within 1-2 seconds of Jay and just wanted to hold on to the end.

Right after that things went south fast, I was cooked.  I tried to slow down for a little bit, but that gave no relief.  for the 1st time ever in a short race, I walked.  After approximately 40 seconds of walking I felt able to get back into running.  From the time that they had called out at mile #4, I think I made a 7 minute mile the last mile (With walking), so my pace was reasonable.

Afterward I found my family and had 50 ounces of water, 8 slices of watermelon and some homemade granola.  I was still pretty dizzy - But foolishly started on the free beer.  It took almost an hour to calm down enough to stand without being dizzy.

After many free beers and the awards ceremony - We headed to the little carnival.  I took the girls on the tilt-a-whirl.  Not the best choice after beer and being dehydrated (I get nauseated anyway).  I survived but could not enjoy any fair food.

It ended up being a pretty fun family experience - Now we can all remember when we all ran that really hot race - Way back in 2012.

Good running to all -

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gary Bjorkland 1/2 result

Sorry - I am really late on this post.

The weekend turned into more of a fun party with my wife (Jill) and friends.  I ended up drinking a lot on Friday night until 1:30 and had to be woken up to just make the bus to the start line.  The fun that Jill and I had was more than worth the pain and misery of running while still under the influence (RUI)

I managed to watch both the men and women elites in the USA 1/2M championship start and run past.  I went up the course 1/2 mile so I could get a good view and find an open porta john.

The race was hard - The 1st 3 miles I was breathing like a 5k and not running very fast.  It was obvious I would not break 1:25 while RUI.

By mile #8 I started to feel a little better and ran faster at the end to finish in 1:26:06 (Splits below)

LocationRace TimeTime of DayPace BetweenOverall PlaceDivision PlaceSex Place

Post race beer with friends at Fitgers was nice and post party at Jeff's house was a great way to cap off the night.

Sometimes fun is more important than results.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gary Bjorkland 1/2 Marathon (June 16th)

I am running the Gary Bjorkland 1/2 marathon in Duluth, MN this weekend.  The race is part of Grandma's marathon weekend.  It is also the host of the 2012 USA National Championship 1/2 marathon.  The USA men start at 6:15am and the ladies will start at 6:25 ... I will be starting at 6:45 with the general masses.

The 1/2 Marathon Championship race has a strong field highlighted by Kara Goucher and Abdi Abdirahman.

I also like Minnesotian Andrew Carlson, John Moen and Brett Gotcher.  I think at least 3 of these 4 will make top 5.

I do not know as much about the ladies, but I am always rooting for Dot McMahan - Originally from the area I now live in.

My race is a big question mark 13 days post FANS 24.  If I had run a really good FANS 24, I would be so beat up I would not be able to break 1:30 for the 1/2 Marathon.  But since I botched FANS big time, I might be able to run strongly.  I have not done any consistent speed work since May 2010, so a PR is not even in play (1:21:24 April 10).  I am thinking that breaking 1:25 would be nice and 1:24 nicer, but I fully realize that my legs are not recovered from FANS, so I will get what I get.

The real fun of Grandmas is to hang out with friends - This year I am very happy my wife will join in the fun and we can have a whole day to act young and foolish in the party atmosphere that engulfs Duluth for the weekend.

Good running to all!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Post FANS24 Recovery

The disappointed of my poor FANS24 performance is fading and I am feeling pretty good.  I have always felt that when you are limited in races (Marathon and beyond) by something other than your fitness, you legs seem to bounce back quickly. 

I took 3 days off from running and caring about what I ate or drank.  Our family went out to our favorite pub on Monday night and we rode our bikes to a Mexican restaurant for margaritas Wednesday night. 

Thursday I was mentally ready to train again - Wow that was fast.  Training is a lot more than running, it is a state of mind where I make good decisions that leave my body ready to train.  I am smart enough to know that my mind might be ready, but my body needs at least a week to do anything more than run slow.

Thursday through Sunday I ran 5 times for 52 miles, everything seems to feel in working order.  My mind is already plotting different training scenarios:  1)  Fast 5k-10k, 2)  Fast marathon, 3) Strong technical, hilly 100M trail race or 4) good 24 hour race.  I am not ready to pick between them.

For now I just want to run and try to lose weight.  I will continue taking it easy to the end of this week for the Gary Bjorkland 1/2 Marathon.  If I could run @ 1:25 just 13 days after my 24 hour race it would be outstanding.  More likely I will struggle and run 1:27-1:29.  My summer training plan is for 1 speed workout each week, 1 hilly technical trail run each week and 1 bigger hill repeat session.  Mileage is not as important as losing weight and I would like to be @ 175 by end of summer.  I have not weighed 175 since I was 19, hell I have not weight under 200 but for maybe 6 months total since I was 20.

On a very happy note - My dear sister made her Boston qualifying time -7 minutes the same weekend that I ran FANS.  I am excited for her and look forward to being with her in Boston 2013!

Good running to all!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

FANS 24 Race Report

This is my race report  - 128.66 - 4th place OA, 3rd Male.

I will post other thoughts about the race and other peoples races next week.

I needed a few days to digest and process the FANS 24 hour race.  By mileage results it was an epic fail!  If measured by what I learned during those 24 hours it was a priceless win.  Basically with poor race management in the 1st 70 miles - I ended up setting myself up for failure.

I had very big expectations of myself for the race and I had publicly shared them. As I spoke with people pre-race many knew my goals and knew I was "A Big Horse"

Pre-race I had pointed toward Joe Fejes, Harvey Lewis, David James and myself as the men to keep an eye on.  Harvey ran the smartest race in this group - When he needed it, be was tough as nails.  In the end he took back the final spot on Team USA from Joe who had took it from him a few weeks before.  Hats off to Joe for putting skin in the game and trying to defend his spot.  Harvey - Enjoy the experience of the 2012 World Championship in Poland!

When the race started at 8:00am it was in the low 60s.  It reached the mid to upper 70s with mostly sunny skies and reasonable humidity ~ All-in-all a pretty fair day to race. 

My chest was still congested - But it never really became an issue until much later in the race.

I started with a few intestinal issues, losing @ 5 minutes the 1st 4 hours to the bathroom.  It did not limit my performance, just cost a bit of time.  I made an early mistake by actually paying attention to my lap times, I thought I was moving pretty easy - But any time I look at laps it means I am probably going to push a tiny bit more than the super-duper easy pace I want to achieve.

At 9:30am, I asked for an Ziploc baggie of ice to put on my head - I was already pretty hot and this immediately cooled me off.  Although a great idea and good move, it hit from me the amount I was sweating.  I was drinking until my stomach hurt (40-50 ounces per hour), eating pretty good and taking S-Caps 2 per hour. 

I made another major mistake the 1st 4-5 hours.  I did not take my walk breaks.  With the amount I was sweating this would have helped to cool me off.  I kept feeling comfortable clicking off 21.xx laps.  Reality (Although I did not know it yet) was I was outrunning my ability to stay hydrated.  I could not have drank more, so I needed to slow down to keep the sweat rate down.

I hit 50 miles in 7:24 ~ About where I wanted to be, but 20-24 minutes faster than were I needed to me (Hind site is 20/20).  Soon after this I started to have difficulty eating, although I was always taking at least 300 calories per hour.  Somewhere between 11-12 hours the laps started to get hard.  My muscles were starting to cramp and I was a bit light headed. 

It was time to problem solve.  I was 90% sure I was significantly dehydrated, but I wanted to weigh myself to be sure.  The problem with weighing is if the Doctor sees you and you are off by 5% or more you are forced to sit and re-weigh to prove you are within the spread.  I thought I snuck in as he was taking care of someone else, but he ended up seeing my 13 pound weight loss.  Now I had to not only sit, but walk the 1/8 mile to my crew and then walk back to prove I was allowed back in the race. 

1/2 hour later I was back in the race.  But I also know I had to not out sweat the little bit of hydration I had just put into my body.  The next 3 hours were pretty miserable as I sat for lots of time and kept the effort low.  I could have pulled the plug and we could have all enjoyed the evening.  This was the 1st of 3 times Jen (a friend from Chicago) poked me back into the game.

Once 11pm came around I was very mad at myself for strategically managing this race so poorly as it was calm and cool.  A person who took care of their body could be making hay.  For 3 laps I ran like I was back in the race to see if I could force a re-boot and be competitive.  I ran a 24, 23 and 22 minute lap.  I calculated out I would need to run @ 22 minutes laps to the end to have a chance at my original goal of 143 miles.  Sometime before or after this I hit 100 miles in 17:20?  Basically a 10 hour 2nd 50.

It was obvious 22 minute laps were not going to happen as my knee had left me.  I think because of my dehydration my quads muscles shorted up (Stiff) and it pulled on the inside of my knee.  I had to do @ 2 miles really slow walking way on the outside of my foot.  I grabbed a strap made for ITB issues (Outside of knee) and made it work.  The knee would bark occasionally but I was not limiting.

After hitting 100 miles I really could not find a reason to continue ~ There was Jen again pushing my buttons, pissing me off and getting me out for another lap.  Soon I found another goal = 200k.  In 2008 I worked the whole race to pass the 200k sign and finish the lap, only to fail.  At this point I was also not mindful of conserving time.  I sat occasionally and did not mind waiting for something I requested.  I was confident to make it to 200k.

18-19 hours into the race my congestion decided to kick in.  I went a lap where I coughed the whole way.  Getting dizzy as I could not stop.  I stopped by the doctore to listen to my lungs and he said there was nothing to stop me from continuing.  I said I would sit a few minutes to let them settle down.  Jen did not like this, so she came up with some story to get me moving again ... Soon I had menthal carmex on my chest and under my nose - Just breath slow and deep.  Smoothing out my breathing pattern did put it at bay the rest of the race.

Between 21-22 hours, my feet were really hurting, I had hot spots and they just ached.  Once I knew I was dehydrated (Hour 10) I stopped taking anything to help the pain.  The 200k mark pulled me along and I hit it right at 23 hours. 

Good enough ... Damn you Jen.  Jen pushed my buttons again ... There was a woman Lana Haugberg just a couple miles behind and she was moving really well.  Did I want to fall into 4th place ... get chicked.  Fine, I will keep going, but the Doc is going to look at my feet.  No serious blisters, just bad hot spots - 5 minutes later I was on my way with duck tape on one foot (It did help).

I figured I would just walk 3+ miles.

I walked the short laps until 5-6 minutes left (220 yard out and backs) until I realized I wanted to finish at the end my crew was at, so I started to jog and do fuzzy math to make it so.  With about 1 minute to go I hit my crew and was done ... there was Jen yelling at me to get 1 more 220 done in the last minute ... I flipped her off and stopped.

Funny thing - That short lap (.125 mile) would have kept me from getting chicked.  Lana had run a great race and showed a lot of determination running hard the last hour.  She finished in third with 128.71 miles to my effort of 128.66 miles.  It still makes me smile.

My crew was excellent.  My good friend Richard and his wife Renee had driven up from LaCrosse.  My wife always does a world class job, this time she had Richard and Jen to help her, help me problem solve and motivate me to continue.  She never misses getting me exactly what I need, but Richard and Jen are better at the ass-kicking we all need sometimes.

It was also nice to get help / support from Jeff, Allie and Jeff.  Thank you for letting us use the Tent.

I also got me meet 4-5 people in real life from the internet. (Don, Buzzie, Paully, Drink-n-run)  I am sure I am missing people.

Multiple people made it fun by cheering me on with "Go Big Horse"!

Thank you fore reading my rambling - I will post a few more thoughts in the days to come

Good Running to all

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Women of FANS 24

As a fan of 24 hour racing it is always fun to guess at the favorites and who will win.  I am sure I have missed someone, but with a quick look through the list I came up with 4 women of whom I think one will be the winner.

Sue Olsen ~ Sue has run 15 out of 25 of the top distances by women at FANS 24.  She has run 2,377.24 miles in 21 years of racing FANS = 113.20 per year average.  I am told one of those years she only ran 50ish miles and gave birth the next day to her son Miles (Urban Ultra Legend or True?) She has won the race 13 times.  She will run > 100 miles and finish in the top 5.

Liz Bondar ~ Liz ran 112.59 miles at the Spring NC24 race.  That would put her in top 5 at FANS.

Sonja Decker ~ I have seen Sonja at a few races and I know she has talent.  She has yet to run as long as she will have to at FANS.  I remember finally passing her at the last aide station at the Fall 50M in 2010, she ran a 7:14:59, but has been on pace to break 7 hours.

Kim Martin ~ I do not think I have ever seen Kim not looking ripped and super fit.  Kim has a ton of ultra experience and has run in the low 120s a few times for the 24.  I do not think it has all come together for her in a 24 and she is capable of at least low 130s.

I think Kim Martin (If healthy) has the best chance at the victory - She won the race in 2009 with 121.64 miles.

The bump spot for the Women's 24 hour Team USA is Carilyn Johnson who ran 130.92 at Desert Solstice 24 in December 2011.

FANS 24 course record is 130.75 by Sue Olsen in 1994.

Currently there are 14 women and 69 men on the FANS 24 entrant list. 

Good running to all!

FANS24 - Final Thoughts

Today, I decided that I am not fighting the same cold I have had for 12 days, I must have picked up a new cold camping last weekend.  I rarely get sick and here I am 2 days out to a goal race with impacted sinuses and clogged lungs.  The original cold was only a chest cold and was on its way out last Friday.  I guess when 7 or 8 families get together and do community meals there is a higher risk of getting something.

Sleep has been limited and fitful, but I still hold onto the hope that it will subside just in time to not be a factor for FANS 24.  Either way, I am all in committed to giving my body maximum abuse to see what mileage I can squeeze out of it.

The talent is a bit deeper this year at FANS 24 - I think because it is the last race before the cutoff to qualify for the US 24 Hour Team that will go to the World Championship in Poland early September.

I am focused on the men's side.  I am sure I am missing some runners, but I can only note the few that I recognize.

Joe Fejes - Joe ran  142.08 at the spring version of the NC24 ~ Joe is currently occupying the 6th and final spot (Bump spot) on Team USA.  Joe has the luxury of not having to run > 142.08 ... If no one does, he is on Team USA.

Harvey Lewis - Harvey ran 140.58 at 2011 Fall version of NC24 - He is capable of more.

David James - Talented 100 miler that has run enough 24 hour races to start to understand how to transition from fast 100s to a load of miles in the 24.  David was looking for a crew for FANS24, so I am assuming he is racing.  He is not on the entrant list yet.  One of these races I am hopeful he is able to hit the long ball in a 24 hour race - Definitely capable of 150+.

Edited to add:  Jordan Hanlon ~ Who just won Lake Wobegon Marathon May 12th in a time of 2:35.  He has struggled, but gained experience completing 3-100 milers in 2011.

I have a friend doing his 1st 24 ~ He has talent and is well trained, but it is not fair to call him out in his 1st 24 ... But good running!

My plan is the same as always ~ To ignore all the other runners and just try and put myself in a position at 100 miles to hit a total > 142.08.  I am well trained ~ Almost 3,000 miles YTD.  I am still A-Big-Horse and will weigh in @ 205# fully glycogen loaded and hydrated.  The other possible negative - I have less speed training, I am 30 seconds per miles slower in my Marathon Pace then in other successful attempts.   The new wild card is having a cold ???

Just as a matter of note ~ Jon Olsen ran 158.53 at Spring NC24 and occupies the #5 spot on Team USA.  I cannot fathom a way two runners could run above this total on the FANS24 course.

I am excited to experience another 24 hour race.  It is guaranteed to take me through a wide range of emotions (highest highs to lowest low times) and I always find something new out about myself during the race.

Good running to all -

PS - I will report out early next week

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FANS24 Nutrition plan

FANS 24 is only 3 days away.  Last night I took the packing list from yesterday's blog and plowed through 50% of packing.  Funny, if we were not driving, I would fit it all in 1 - suitcase and now I will end up with a full trucks worth of stuff.

My nutrition plan is pretty easy, although I could always call an "in race" audible - I rarely deviate.

I will eat 1000 calories of something - Pancakes or muffins 3 hours prior to the race start.  I will also take succeed pre-race pill pack 60 minutes prior to the race.

In Race
Lap 1 (21-22 minutes) - Crew passing a handheld with a Powerbar strawberry banana gel
Lap 2 - Crew passing a handheld with a Powerbar stawberry banana gel + S-Cap
Lap 3 - 270 Calories of Endurox R4 (Orange or Green) + handheld with water


Every once in a while I will take a banana along with the gel - Not planned just when I feel like it.  A few times a race I will take a 1/2 ham and cheese sandwich instead of a gel.  If I am not eating bananas, I will take a potassium pill every 4 hours.

I tend to do 2 things:  1)  Over hydrate and 2)  Over-salt.  It is not uncommon for me to have to pee 20-24 times in a 24 hour race.  I will try to dial that down slightly this race, although I would rather over hydrate than under hydrate.

Post Race
1-gallon of water - To help flush all the toxins
600 calories of Pro-Source Extreme Nytro Whey Protein.
1-Succeed post race pill pack
540 calories of Endurox R4
What ever looks good at post race breakfast (Eggs, fruit, sausage & tater tots)

*  Of course there can be multiple adjustments - Specially in the 1st aide area.  Pepto, Tums, ginger root candy, coke, diet coke and anti-diarrhea pills could all be taken to respond to problems.  I am also thinking of packing some salty mashed potatoes with cheese and sour cream as a possible addition to the food I eat.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FANS24 Packing list

FANS 24 is 4 days away, so I have made my list of things to pack for the race.

I like to make sure my crew (DW Jill) has thought through what she needs for clothes, gear, food and drink.  For her to do the great job of attending to all of my needs like she always does, she needs to take care of herself 1st.  I let her make her own list - But please do not overlook the importance of your crews needs.

For me I break it up into 3 sections:

1st Aide
Medical tape
Duct tape
Blister patches
Ginger root
Toilet paper
Succeed post-race pill pack
Whey protein (Post race)
4 x 5 hour energy gels (I have never used in a race yet, but have along)
Sun screen

Clothes / Gear
5 - Pair of shoes (The year it rained 12 hours I wore all 5)
6 - Pair of socks
3 - Short sleeve tech shirts
2 - Long sleeve tech shirts
1 - Go-Lite Wisp coat
2 - Running hats
3 - Spandex shorts
3 - Race ready shorts
1 - Bandanna
2 - Headlamps + batteries (I do not need them for FANS - They are for the crew)
2 - Folding chairs (Easier to get back out of than lawn chair)
1 - Folding table
1 - Lawn chair
4 - Towels
1 - MP3 player + 2 headphones
2 - Pair light gloves
1 Hole punch - To minimize size of race number
Pen and pad of paper
IT Band strap

Food / Nutrition
30-40 Pounds of ice
8 Gallons of water
20 bananas
1 loaf bread or 12-15 buns
1# of ham
1/2 pound of swiss and 1/2 pound of Jacko cheese
Green and Orange Endurox R4
72 Gels - Powerbar Strawberry Banana
2 Liter bottle of Coke and Diet Coke
Succeed pre-race pill pack
3 hand helds
2 - 32 ounce empty bottles of Gatorade with tape lines for 10-13-16 ounce liquid lines (Mix endurox R4)
Snack Sized and Sandwich sized zip lock baggies
*  Maybe some salty mashed potatoes

Edited to add:
Baby wipes
Sun Glasses
I will have a 1st Aide bin that is labeled and organized and a  Clothes / Gear bin that is labeled and organized.

I am starting to get excited - Time is short

Good running to all!