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!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

FANS24 Hour Pacing Strategy

This post will disappoint those of you who were hoping for a very specific and analytical approach to pacing from this Big Horse.  If you ever talk to someone like Phil McCarthy, he has mapped out exactly what he wants for lap splits at different times in the race ~ Many people are analytical racers.

I run by feel.  From race start to 50 miles the effort level "feels" barely above sitting on the couch at home, doing nothing but breathing.  In races that I have done well at I start the 1st few hours behind 50%+ of the field.  At FANS24 I will be lapped (2.42 miles laps) multiple times in the 1st 10 hours by many people.  In races where I have ramped up effort above super-duper easy, I have failed miserably.

I do look at a lap time occasionally - This is just information.

Sometime between 50-100 miles, hopefully later than sooner, my lap times will start to drift higher at super-duper easy effort level.  At this time I will bring up the effort level to between easy to low moderate.  This is the time I start paying more attention to lap times ~ Although if they stabilize at a reasonable time, I again tune out and just put in my time.

My goal every 24 hour race is to hit 100 miles in pysically good shape and with a chance to finish strong.  The 1st 100 miles are just to put yourself in postioin with an opportunity to do well. A reasonable is anywhere from low 14 hours to high 16 hours.  Anything 17 hours and above and you are not going to hit 142+ miles.  At FANS my goal will be to hit 100 between 15-16 hours.

The time after 100 miles is all about making peace with pain and finding your most efficient stride at effort level you can continue to the end of the race.  Will there be pain - Yes.  What kind of pain - Unknown.  Nausea, knee, hip, ankle, shoulders, feet, blisters, chaffing, fatigue, dizziness, hamstrings, quads, calves, headache ... You do not know which combination you will face - Only that there will be pain.  This is where you find out how serious you are about the race.  There will be multiple, reasonable reasons to stop or at least back down and only 1 reason to continue at max effort ... because you will it.

In the end pacing = race results, so here are low - medium - high scenarios that I would be happy with

                 50               100            Total
Low         7:45            16:15          143
Medium   7:30            15:30          150
High         7:15            14:45          157+

All plans of 24 hour racers are limited by 4 things:  1)  Actual fitness level for race, 2)  What your body decides to give you that day (Much more variable than marathon or even 50 mile races), 3)  Weather and 4)  Your ability to problem solve the issue that you will face - There will be things that go wrong, how well will you problem solve to minimize those issues.

Good running to all!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

FANS24 Hour Hay is in the Barn

I started this week with 3 bad eating days + Saturday and Sunday last week = 5 in a row.  Happily I only gained 2 pounds, but I was suppose to lose 2 pounds ~ so it cost me 4.  4 pounds is worth at least 4 miles in the 24 hour race, but I cannot dwell on the past only look forward to the future.

I will end the week with 145-150 miles (70-75% max) of which 127 were done Monday-Friday.  Friday was my last effort over 2 hours = 4 hour trail run on the technical - hilly Ice Age Trail in the Northern Kettle Moraine.  Why the heck would I run a hilly, technical trail before a flat pavement 24 hour race?  I am not sure - Other than I like it and its health food for my spirit.  I guess there is some benefit to strengthen hips, knees and ankles. 

My last 14 days will be very hard for me = taper.  Next week will be 100 miles or under and I am allowing up to 35 miles in the 5 days before FANS 24. 

Training is 1/2 the battle - The other half is what you do in taper: 1)  Stick to taper plan  2)  Keep hydrated  3)  Get nutrition spot on  4)  Stay away from sick people  5)  Keep stretching and 6)  Sleep is my friend.  the next 1/2 is pacing and the final 1/2 is "in race" problem solving issues.  I know that is 4 - 1/2s but each is almost as important as the other.

I cannot control the weather.  If the weather is really hot (80+) and humid I cannot let that stop me ~ I will have to channel my inner Mike Morton or Serge Arbona who have proven they are kings of the heat.

I will post in the next two weeks; Pacing strategy, nutrition strategy, 1st aide I will have available and gear I will use for FANS24.

Good running to all!

Monday, May 14, 2012

FANS24 Approaches ~ Training Week Ending 5/13

180 miles in 25 hours 9 minutes - 15 Runs

This was a 90% max week ~ 180 miles.  It could have easily been 220 miles in 18 runs, but I cut back on a few runs and skipped opportunities to run.  Thursday was a nice 30 mile run on the Wiouwash rail trail ~ that could have easily been 40+.  Saturday was a 5 1/2 hour run on the Ice Age trail in the Northern Kettle Moraine ~ If I had the time I think I could have run 10 hours. 

My favorite run of the week was Saturday.  I ran the section of trail between New Fane and Highway H for the 1st time ever and I was lucky enough to meet the gentleman who upkeep the trail for this section at the Highway H trail head.  Nice to be able to chat and thank someone that helps make it all possible.

Saturday PM was spent with my wife's family for our niece Michelle's college graduation party at a Green Bay hotel overlooking Lambeau Field.  A nice family time that sadly had me eat a bunch of garbage and drink a bit more beer than I would have liked.  I finally overcame the handover and sludge in my body at 10pm Sunday night to get out and do a run.

More important this weekend was Mother's day - My wife Jill never gets enough thanks for all she does for our girls and myself.  It was nice to spend the weekend all together as a family.

19 days until FANS24

Good running to all -

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Training week ended May 6th 2012

201 miles - 13 runs - 27 hours 51 minutes

I was nervous about last week - It is my annual "Go out north to golf and drink weekend".  I have been in such a great rhythm that I hated to get into a bad rhythm this close to FANS24.

I concentrated on being spot on for eating, sleep and running Monday - Friday, not knowing how much I would fall down over the weekend.  I made sure I got up to the cabin too late Friday night to drink by stopping in Hatley and running 26 miles on the Mountain Bay rail trail.  That was a fun run with a lot of bonus protein (mosquitoes) at dusk.

I had a blast golfing with Scott, Tom and Brian Saturday.  Golf, alcohol a good bar burger and the  Kentucky Derby.  I insisted that Scott and I were going to drive down (25 minutes) to see our friend Dan who was in town visiting his family and for opening fishing.  I have not seen Dan in 3 years.  I think this saved us from the usual totally sloppy drunk night.

Sunday rain forced a cancellation of any golf or fishing.  This got me home at a reasonable time and I ended up running 45 miles on the TM.  I thought about hitting 50+, but I still felt good at 45 so I took the money and ran with it.

It turned out to be a really good training week made even better with some down time with friends.  Now I just need to keep riding the goodness into taper and racing.

Good running to all!

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 NorthCoast 24 results

Some big numbers put up at North Coast 24 this last weekend ~ 2 possibly 3 people punched their US National 24 hour team tickets

Serge and Connie were already auto qualifiers from past National Championship Races.  Sabrina had run 137.82 as a qualification distance.  So Jon Olsen, Joe Fejes and Suzanna Bon are the new additions to the qualification list.

Sabrina - The little ass-kicker just broke the US Woman's Record.  I hope it can be ratified as the new American Record ... I heard there were some issues with chip lap counting.

Jon Olsen ~ 158.53 puts him squarely at number 2 of 3 on the open spot part of the list.  Number one is Mike Morton with 163.9 and number 3 is Joe Fejes with his 142.08.  Joe gets to be the scoreboard watcher in the club house and there are 2 more races with people gunning for his spot.

Connie ran 140+ miles again ~ Damn is she strong and consistent.  Suzanna is a great runner and fun person, I am happy to see her hit 133.97 ~ She is capable of more on the right day.  Carilyn Smith with 130.92 now occupies the bump spot for women.

Now I am making the assumption that both Jon and Joe are US citizens elgible to compete for Team USA (I really think they are)

2 race left in the qualification period:  3-Days at the Fair (May 12-13) and FANS24 (June 2-3)

Here is where I have the current list - By far this will be the deepest strongest teams (Please everyone stay healthy) the US will be putting forward.  3-140 mile women and at least 1-160 mile man + 3 -150 mile men.  It is an exciting time is US Utra-Distance running with great performances in both 100k and 24 hour racing.

The 2012 World Championship is September 8-9, 2012 in Katowice, Poland

Women (4 open spots)

* Connie Gardner 144.72 (2010 and 2011 US National Champ) - Auto
* Deb Horn 131.75 (2011 2nd place US National Champ Race) - Auto
Sabrina Moran 147.90 (NC24) - Open
Anne Riddle-Lundblad 140.26 (Freedom Park) - Open
Suzanna Bon 133.97 (NC24) - Open
Carilyn Johnson 130.92 (Desert Solstice) - Open
Lisa Bliss 125.98 (NC24) - Open
Anna Piskorska 122.83 (2011 Accross the Years) - Open

Men (3 open spots)

* Serge Arbona 156.49 (2010 National Champion) - Auto
* Phil McCarthy 153.37 (2011 National Champion) - Auto
* Johnathon Savage 146.28 (2011 2nd place National Championship) - Auto
Mike Morton 163.9 (Hinson Lake) - Open
Jon Olsen 158.53 (NC24) - Open
Joe Fejes 142.08 (NC24) - Open
Harvey Lewis 140.58 (NC24) - Open

61 Olsen Jon M 37 Y 176 158.53 158.53
2 Arbona Serge M 47 Y 170 5 153.13 153.43
70 Moran Sabrina F 25 Y 164 3 147.72 147.90
1 Gardner Constance F 48 Y 158 142.32 142.32
35 Fejes Joe M 46 Y 157 11 141.42 142.08
79 Bon Suzanna F 47 Y 148 11 133.31 133.97

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week ending 4/29

183 miles in 15 runs 25 hours 12 minutes

Nice week of training ~ 47 mile long run on a rail trail Tuesday night.  Thursday night was West Side Story at our local PAC.  Dinner, drinks and the show with my DW Jill.  Saturday we left for the WI Dells indoor water park for Kate's (DD#2) 7th Birthday weekend.  So I only ran once Saturday and once Sunday.  It turned out to be a bad eating weekend with beer and loads of garbage in hotel.  Beer = Evil ~ Why do I love you so?  This carried over to home at Sunday evening and left me a bit down mentally going into the new week. 

Yes, I can run 183 miles in a week and gain weight ~ Oink!

I am writing it off to a great couple of outings with family and some much needed relief to my body in my quest to lose another 15-20# before June 2nd.  I was getting a bit beat up with the mileage and weight loss efforts - So we will call it a last re-set before the final push to FANS 24.  Now I must be spot on with eating and training - I have worked way to hard to let a bad 4-5 weeks sabotage a good 24 hour race.

Good running to all!