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 http://www.viendurance.com/ 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 Runningahead.com - I am Dopplebock.  http://www.runningahead.com/  

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)