Monday, April 23, 2012

Carmel Marathon Report

Week total = 108 miles in 11 runs 14 hours 41 minutes

Highlights = 2 light speed workouts to marathon sharpen.  2:56:07 marathon Saturday, followed by a 26 mile trail run on the Ice Age trail in Northern Kettle Moraine on Sunday - In a respectable 4:16.

The marathon logistics were easy as I stayed with my Friend Norm and his DW Beth.  Another friend Andy (Fast Andy ran a slow for him - 2:39 5th OA)  and I were running the marathon and Norm the 1/2 (He had run the fun - hot Boston 5 days before)  We left the house 45 minutes before the 7:30 start.  Easily found parking within a 2 minute walk of the start/finish area.  Everything pre-race was logistically easy (More important than people realize).

I was surprised at how easy it was to enter the back of the corral system 10 minutes pre-race and 2 minute later be within feet of the start line.  The 1/2M and Marathon start together, there was money for top 3 and CR bonus of $1,000.  I made sure to start behind the stallions.

After the gun went off I found a fastish, but relaxed stride for the 1st 10k.  I was running a honest 98% effort marathon pace, but by mile #9 I could tell I needed to back it down a bit and put in time until mile #20.  I think that is why we taper more than 1 week.  My legs were not fresh enough to keep Marathon Pace up.  After mile #20 I gave it what I had - But I was still a 50 seconds possitive split on final 10k to 1st 10k.

printradius4772MichaelHenzeM 40-44162/6615/36541:26171:27:47182:13:511842:16142:56:076:44

The course is beautiful - Many neighborhoods and trees.  All pavement, but some bike paths with mostly blacktop roads.  The wind was 10+ MPH and was a factor. The uphills were nice and gentle enough not to be soul stealers, but a few of the downhills were steep enough to not gain a lot out of them.  My 2 negative comments would be - There were a few more corners than I would like and the accuracy of some mile markers were off ... I stopped taking splits at mile #9.

Post race back at Norm's house was really nice and I stayed the night post beer.

Sunday I drove back to Neenah with a little stop off at my favorite trail to shake out the legs.  I would have been happy to run a little or a lot ... It turned out my legs felt fine running slow ~ so I did the route I do most often ~ 26.

Monday ~ my legs are sore, but only a little beat up.  I have 40 days until FANS 24.  The next 3-4 weeks are critical to do everything right.  The trick is to figure out what the "Right Thing" is?  Is the right thing to push the mileage on a day or take the day completely off.  Sometimes less is more and the right thing is not to run.  Even though I just typed it - That is a hard thing to put into practice.

Good running to all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Good News - 2012 FANS 24 Hour race in "On"

So it appears FANS24 will happen at the same location as always in 2012. 

The last 2 weeks of anti-taper were great FANS training and let's face it - FANS is the goal of all this training anyway.  Plus I only have to endure 1 week of taper.  My biggest dilemma is to think through training from 4/23 - 6/2 leading up to FANS.  Some of this will depend on how beat up I am from this weekends marathon.

I am currently in running withdrawal with running distance and frequency that provide no satisfaction at all.  I have not changed my eating - But since I was eating to slowly lose weight at 150-180 MPW, my glycogen stores are being properly replenished.

My hamstring is still unhappy - It let me know last night after I had finished a little speed workout to keep tension in my legs (3x3 minutes @ 5k pace).  I think at the slower marathon pace it will hold out.

I am hopeful I can hit my sub 3 goal without running 100% effort - 95% would be nice and helpful for recovery.  But if I have to go 100% to eek out a sub 3 I will ~ Silly old man goal.

I am looking forward to time with a few friends in Carmel.  I have designated Saturday post race as a holiday from training and will enjoy alcohol for the 1st time in 68 days (65 days down - 3 to go).

I have this pipe dream that I will feel good enough when I wake up Sunday morning in Carmel, IN - To stop off at the Ice Age trail on the way home and get 4-5 hours in the Northern Kettle Moraine ... Not likely.

Good running to all!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Avoiding Taper Madness

Anytime I taper for a race after a big block of training it drives me nuts.  The taper for the Carmel Marathon 4/21 has been easy ... because I have not started ... yet.

Week ended 4/8 160 miles in 21:32 - 14 runs.  43 miler and 2 moderate speed workouts.

Week ended 4/15 163 miles in 21:47 - 16 runs.  31 miler and 3 moderate speed workouts

We received some potential bad news from the FANS 24 hour race organization on Wednesday 4/4:  "Minneapolis Parks and Rec have decided to reject all special permits that use parks between mid-night and 6am."  They have had a serious lawsuit from a different event for trouble that happened during the overnight hours. Since they did not follow their own rules (closed 12-6) it appears to have added more "Negligence" to the Parks and Recs. 

The news hit me like a sucker-punch!  Starting in early February I had worked desperately to get in shape by June 2nd.  I was out of shape and had 40# + to lose, so I need every day of it.  I brooded over it for a day - I had a bad eating day Thursday full of negativity.  Then the answer hit me = Ultras are all about dealing with unexpected adversity.  Those that are able to trouble shoot mid-race are successful. 

My new plan is to train as if I need to be ready to race May 12th at 3-days at the fair in NJ.  This is a great race put on by Hasher-Rick = it will run smooth and be hassle free.  Until May12th I will do everything I can to be as fit as possible = No taper for Carmel Marathon.  My "old man" goal is to break 3 hours in a marathon every year. Carmel Marathon is my targeted race to hit the 8th consecutive year of breaking 3 hours. 

We are all hopeful FANS 24 situtuation will be resolved, but I will be ready May 12 if need be.

I am planning on a 5 day taper to Carmel Marathon this week or call it a cut-back week in my Ultra-Training ... your choice.  In the last 46 days I have run 1,165 miles or an average of 177 miler per week.  So a recovery week with a 26.2 mile tempo works for me.

Good running to all!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week ended 4/1/12 - Mad City 50k Race Report

Total for week 181 miles in 24:22 (8:05 pace) - 14 runs

Mad City 50k (100k course when it host national championship) is a beautiful course - but a lot harder than I thought it would be.  The course is never closed to traffic and has many corners - So its hard to run the correct tangents.  There is one medium size hill and one long soul stealing hill (Probably not that bad - But I am very out of hill running shape) - The rest is a nice constant rolling course.  This makes the times of the mad city 100k last year even more amazing to me.

2 people broke the previous course record of 3:08 - Zach Bitter ran a 3:03 and Patrick Russell (Previous course record holder) ran a 3:07 for 2nd.

Zach's blog is here (Big mileage guy)

I would think it is 1 minute penalty per 10k look compared to a flat course with few turns.

One of my secret goals was not get lapped by the winner - I was 1-2 minutes into my 5th and final lap when I heard the cheering for Zach's finish.

I played a little leap frog with Rolando Cruz (6th) OA - He pulled away from me on the hills, I would reel him back in on the rolling section and downs.  The main reason I was able to pass Rolando 4-5 times was he was refilling a water bottle and I was just grabbing 2 cups of water and slamming them.  I passed him under that same pretense at the start of the 5th lap and expected to be passed again on the ensuing hills.  The pass back never happened, but this helped to drive me to run as hard as possible as I felt like a hunted animal.

I really love racing - even if it is mid-pack!

I ran my fastest lap the last and finish @ 3:44:20

I had a great race, for me, and beat my "A" goal, but I got beat by 42 minutes - damn I am slow.  I think it works out to be @ 7:15 pace - I am thinking that with the diffculty on the course and that I ran at 181 miles this week - I dub myslef to currently be in 3:03 - 3:05 marathon pace.  Still a wee bit of work to do to make sub 3 @ Carmel.

Full results

As you can see I was not in the same race as the top 4 - Although I did get 1st "Old fart".

1  45:36 (7:21)
2  45:40 (7:21)
3  45:16 (7:18)
4  44:44 (7:13)
5  43:04 (6:56)