Wednesday, June 30, 2010

51 Days to Go - Really?

I don't have anything enlightening to say.  Nor anything motivational, or useful, or informational, or even strange or attempting to be humorous.

I ran sixteen miles.  Sixteen miles is still a long ways.  Sixteen miles doesn't, I think, ever stop being a long ways, even when you run lots of miles.  Maybe for Mr. 200+ mile training weeks, sixteen miles barely registers, but for me it is long.  I think I thought that at some point, sixteen miles would not seem like a lot.  It doesn't seem like a lot, talking about it, but it still seems like a lot when I'm doing it.

To be honest I wouldn't have run that far without teh coach (aka teh wifey) telling me I had to.  I would have stopped after the first seven.  Thanks coach.

Assuming I listen to teh coach/crew chief/wifey I should hit sixty miles this week.  It is supposed to be more than that, but I'm behind.  The long run will include a Pike's Peak marathon course plus a couple of miles (28? hopefully), so my power hiking ability will be tested.  I've never done the Pike's Peak thing, and I will have a couple of my pacers for the race with me so it should be fun (standard running is not "fun" disclaimer). Come on out and join us if you're interested in some nice elevation gains.


16 in 3:18.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

58 Days to Go - Full on Freak Out

58 days.  Less than two months to go.  This might seem like a lot, but not to me.  I've been counting down to August 21st for...the last 223 days.  And now it is less than two months away.  That means five more weeks of build up, three weeks of "taper", and then it is game on.

That causes the following reaction.

My weekly mileage runs are not high enough, I haven't run far enough, I'm too slow...blah blah blah been down this path before.  Needless to say, if I'm freaking like this with two months to go, I hate to even imagine what kind of Super Freak I will be pulling around race time.  Beware.

I had a rest week last week.  It was thirty miles.  I'm not going to even mention how many weeks I have had running over thirty miles in my entire life, but it is not a lot.  Strange for it to be a "rest" week.  I'm hoping to hit sixty for the first time this week, and max at 75 or so before the taper begins.  Right. You know in this fantasy runs-a-lot world I live in.

Monday, June 14, 2010

68 Days to go - Running and Recounting

So I have been running.

The last couple of weeks the fam' has been out of town so I tried to get in some longer runs in on the weekend.

Here are the results.

Week 1

Ran on the actual Leadville course!  I ran from the boat ramp, around Turquoise Lake, through the Turquoise Lake Half marathon race (while it was happening), through May Queen, and up the Colorado Trail towards Power Line and then came back.  23 miles in 5:21.  I would have gone farther, but as I started up the climb towards Sugarloaf I lost the trail.  There was also some pretty deep snow, and a whole lot of water and mud.  The trail was a swamp where I lost track of it.  I spent about a half an hour looking around and sort of thought I knew where it was, but I didn't want to go in the wrong direction and my energy was already waning.

Overall it was sort of a fun run.  I took my time, stopped and took pictures (stupid camera phone defaulted back to "tiny" mode without me realizing it so all the pics are like 160x100 pixels).  Cheered on all the half-marathoners running by me, and tried to enjoy it.  It was nice to get a feel for the course.  The elevation (over 10,000') didn't cause any real problems; I noticed a mild headache a couple times but nothing too bad.

I had some helpful assistance from an uber ultra-dude who was motoring through the area, and was kind enough to point me in the right direction after May Queen.

Here is a "tiny" video with some "tiny" pictures from the run.  The Leadville 100 is known as the "Race Across the Sky" thus the selected cloud imagery.

Week 2

Hey I ran forty miles.

I didn't realize this before, but forty miles is a long way.

Yes it took me a really long time (nine hours and thirty six minutes) but I'm OK with that.  I generally just start the watch and whatever happens in the middle I just let the clock run.  I don't get to stop the clock at Leadville for all the "miscellaneous activities" so I figure I should time it that way in training.  I did have a three hour break in the middle this time around as I had to break to watch USA v. England in the World Cup.

The run consisted of three legs.  The first leg I followed Happy Trails' recommendation and ran around Rampart Reservoir.  With a few detours I believe I managed about 13 miles in 3:06.  The trail was muddy, it was raining almost all of the time I ran outside, in many places had standing water and impromptu Spring streams running through it, so it kept me on my toes.

The second leg started after the match was over and consisted of nine trips up the hill by my house.  This equals 13.5 miles and took 3:09.

The third leg was on to the treadmill.  I was sick of being rained on and being cold and I just wanted to finish. 13.5 miles in 3:21.

Total elevation gain was approximately 5,000', which is 1/3 of that on the entire Leadville course.  I was pretty happy about that.


For both of these runs I took a much different approach to what I had been doing.  I tried to really maintain a pace where my heart rate didn't spike, but stayed at a low constant rate.  That meant a slow running pace and more walking when needed.  My understanding from what I've read is this is the best way to try and cover the longer distances.  I found this to be very helpful.  I didn't have nearly as many stomach problems, and was able to stay better hydrated and to keep eating throughout.  Yeah!  Now I just need to keep getting the base stronger so I can keep a little bit faster pace for a longer time frame without bonking.    Oh yeah and try to forget how much I wanted to quit at the end of forty miles....

Did I just say forty miles?  Schnikes!  :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

74 Days to Go - Summer of running and One word Fargo Marathon Race Report.

Well I mentioned the family summer vacation and there was a lot of fun in all of that.  However despite spending many hours driving, and in hotels, and in vacation rentals with faulty plumbing that spew sewage on a repeated basis, the training must go on!  Mostly.

So I ran.

  • In the humid heat of Minnesota, on a state highway with the asphalt melting to my shoes.  
  • On the backroads of some rural farmland.  (No recurrence of ghost possums, thankfully.)
  • On crazy hotel treadmills that randomly powered down and instantly froze the belt and sent me flying, repeatedly.
  • At the Fargo marathon, uff-da.  (Their official tag line no less.)

Yes there was another marathon.

Here is my extensive, detailed race report.


That pretty much sums it up.  More detail could be categorized in this way, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good:

Running with my sis!  Actually running with both of my sistahs.  The younger older one was running her very first marathon!  The younger younger one decided to cheer us on by running four miles with us in combat boots, also yeah!

My family was there and they are the best support crew in the world!  The five year old slapped hands with 305 runners.  I know this number is accurate because the seven year old spent his time counting.  And the three year old kept asking if she could run the marathon.  Teh wifey somehow managed this gang of hooligans, and navigated them to innumerable stops along the course.  Yeah she's the best crew chief ever.

Great job to sis on finishing her first marathon, and we got to break the tape together!  Awesome!

The Bad:

I didn't feel well.  Still having the respiratory infection that was going into its second week did not help very much.  Breathing was constricted, congestion pain, lack of energy, pretty much the laundry list of exactly what you are hoping for right as you go into a marathon.  Right.

The Ugly:

Still thinking I had a chance to go under five hours proved to be rather moronic.  I went through the first eight to nine miles blazing along.  I left the five hour pace group behind without any over exertion at all.  Then it all got ugly.  No energy, little breathing, a strong urge to throw up, and a burning desire to exit stage left.  That and I wanted to find every drop of blue powerade in existence and flush it down the toilet (it was making me sick at that point.)   I think Blue Powerade is what they must use to clean all those toilets...

There was walking.  There was plotting my exit.  There was a whole lot more walking, which probably should be called shuffling.  There was even sitting on the curb of the road, in despondency.  Then I got a slap on the behind.  Not metaphorically, literally.  My awesome sis caught up and got me going.

It wasn't pretty (this being in the Ugly section after all) but I finished.  The mantra that sort of came through with some truth as I at times started to feel a little better was, "It can't always get worse."  I've heard ultramarathoners talk about using this, and it was definitely true for me on this day.  The sis and I raced in the last couple of miles and broke the tape in the Fargodome.  Final time: 5:58.  Yikes, scary.  But it wasn't a DNF.  That would have been really ugly.  Instead I got the blessing of crossing the finish line with my sis.  And that Ole and Lena, is what we call the good stuff.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

80 Days to Go - You know...

Hi Friends!  It has been a while.  My excuse?  Family summer vacation!  Good times.  It was the typical fun family vacation.  Road trip.  Many days of driving.  Mosquitoes.  Gift shops.  Marathons where the wheels come flying off ten miles in and I blow up (the two week sickness probably didn't help much) get rescued by my sis, and somehow manage to finish.  More Mosquitoes.  More driving.  Hotel swimming pools.  Hotel treadmills. A cabin on a lake.  Catching the big one.  A lovely family.  You know, your typical family vacation.

There has been some running as I hope there has been for you.  More to come, along with race reports, and pics, and interviews, and rants, and strange, random comments on your blogs, and me making fun of me being slow, and complaining about running.   You know, your typical bizarr-o running blog.

Cheers Mates!