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 http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/ 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!