Saturday, May 28, 2011

574 Miles to Go - 50 and 50

So this post hasafewprecedents...

Check it fools!  I done run fast.  Thirty-one miles fast.  You like that?  You want some more?  Chew on it for a while running suckahs.  You feeling my speed, my amazing endurance, and sweet aroma (just go with it)?  Yeah you like it, I know you do.  That's why you keep coming back for more.  I pity the fool that tries to get me on that plane...

/end Mr.T inspired rant

You probably didn't know it, but there was a very elite race today, run out in the boondocks of Colorado.

It is called the First Annual No Puke 50k.  And hey I was the winner and also set the course record!  Pretty sweet for me. The race was, in fact, so exclusive that I was the only runner.  But hey, it made race management much easier.  Though that one guy did complain a lot.

I ran fifty kilometers today.   My time was 7:14 or so.  That is around one hour and forty-five minutes faster than this other 50k I finished.  Admittedly today's course was much easier, (2500' of elevation gain?) but hey a "PR" is a "PR", especially when it happens in a "race", right?  The big change today was there was no eruption of Mount Krakatoa.  I basically drank three to four swallows of water every eight to ten minutes and ate a Gel every thirty minutes.  On this day, it worked perfectly.  My shoes were clean and the side of the road had no liquid fertilizer.  It helped that the extreme wind kept things rather cold (optimism at fighting through the sand storm?) so I didn't have to try and figure out additional salt.  Also I ate bacon.  Eating bacon always results in fast times, guaranteed.  It's a universal truth.

Today I really started visualizing Leadville.  It helped that I started running this morning at 3:45AM.  And I actually felt encouraged.  My time was almost suggestive that I might even make a few cutoffs.  This is nice.  Here's to 50ks under eight hours and weekly mileage totals over fifty.

p.s.  Do you think a mohawk would enhance my professional work appearance?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

605 Miles to Go - Getting the band together

There are exactly 87 days until Leadville 2011.  After looking at version seventeen of my training plan today, I was reminded that the time available to actually prepare for this ridiculous idea of a run is rapidly diminishing.  If I have a five week taper or so, that leaves about eight weeks of hard training.  Eight weeks.  Since the training plan started back in October of last year, you can understand why I might be feeling a little bit of increased pressure.  There is also the fact that there are seventeen versions of the training plan because I generally haven't done a very good job of following the plan.  Skipping runs, getting sick, being lazy, reading blogs about running, and being generally unmotivated get in the way of logging miles.

All that to say: there's no turning back.

It's go time.  There can be no quitting, no stopping, no giving in, just moving forward.  There are no guarantees that any of this will produce the result, but I'm committed to this course and I will pursue it.

Every day for the next eight weeks I have to remain focused on the goal.  Having been a high school sports coach I am prone to cheesy motivational activities.  So a few months ago I "bought" something that was gouda-flavored.  

It's hard to see but the band says Hope ^2 or Hope Squared.  Then there are some mountains on both sides of the words.  What does it mean?  Well for me there is a spiritual component to my hope and there is a running component to my hope.  The underlying principle of both is that hope has to be lived out practically.  If I place my trust and faith in God or on anything else, (like the idea that I could finish a 100 mile race in the mountains) then my actions will match that.  If I believe in the possibility of earning a buckle, then I necessarily will run.  And train.  And stop trying to relive episodes of Man vs Food at home.  The other layer of meaning for Hope ^2 is of course that to finish the race you must go over Hope Pass at 12,600' of elevation.  Twice.

So why wear a bright green, glow in the dark (ok, I love that part, it will help guide me on the trails through the night, right?  Also, it freaks out teh wifey :)) piece of silicone?  Well for me, it's like a string tied around my finger.  It is there to remind me.  I need to be reminded of what my goals are, what I need to do to try and get there, and most of all to remind me where my hope is placed.

Cheesy?  Yeah, go cut a slice.  Hopeful?  I am.

Where is your hope?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

665 Miles to go - An Ode to my DNF at the 2011 Greenland 50k.

ODE-Abzeichen                                                               Image via Wikipedia

My tiny trot around the Greenland trail
did not proceed as far as once was thought.
I should have stopped and brought along a pail,
to have a place that spew and chunks be caught.
My inability to hold my drink
has once again confused and vexed my mind.
This inauspicious tale is not so fun
Although it gives a show to those that think
the shouting at my shoes is still unkind.
The rub?  I stopped. Defeat.  I should have run.

The course was long but many held the line
and pushed along four loops of windy fare.
Eight mile repeats, green lands, the heat did shine
and blisters grew and raged in my footwear.
All this belies my fundamental fall,
to listen to the voices of despair.
I stopped and pondered each refrain of doubt
and gave ear to lies of comfort, there's the gall.
I will not linger in this place of care,
It's time to tie the laces and run...out.

Race Report Summary:  Three laps (23 miles), puking, dehydration, giving up, regretting it, resolving to try again.

p.s. In honor of this disgrace to the English Ode, all comments should be in Iambic Pentameter.  :)
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Friday, May 6, 2011

697 Miles to Go - Greenland 50k eve

Well I'm running tomorrow.  I've run exactly three times since the race two weeks ago.  I hadn't planned this but the severe congestion I came away from the race with has been lingering and making me sick.  I also hadn't planned a taper, but I guess it is my blessing in disguise.

The cutoff for this race is eight hours.  This is one less than Cheyenne.  That is only 4mph.  This is very doable.

I've made a few changes in the hydration/nutrition plan.  I'm back to hitting Perpetuem as the primary source of calories.  I dropped some electrolyte tabs in my hydration pack, and I'm going to try SCaps instead of Endurolytes if I need them.  The forecast says 80+ degrees so I assume I will need them.

Mantra of the day is don't stop moving.  It's a law of averages.  If I keep moving, albeit slowly, the average stays up.  Stopping kills the average.  Must keep moving.

It's time to drop two letters and turn last year's DNF into a F.  Maybe a F!  Maybe a Fast Finish!  Maybe a Flaming Fast Five Furious Finish? F's all around.  Even DFL will be fine.

Game on.

Monday, May 2, 2011

700 miles to Go - Time to Run

TimeImage by Rickydavid via Flickr
It's only a matter of time now.  The training plan used to take up most of an entire sheet of paper.  There are fewer and fewer relevant lines on the spreadsheet.

The overall status is that I'm behind the plan but ahead of last year.  Coming away with some chest congestion and sickness from the last race hasn't helped but maybe I just needed some rest?

There are exactly 700 miles in the training plan left.  I could look at that and feel some dread, but I think I'm going to try and enjoy each mile.  It would be easy for me to hate the fact that I'm going to have to invest so much time and effort into trying to do this, but I think that would be wasting all of that time.  I don't want 700 junk miles, just so I can check some boxes; I want to maximize each moment.  I want to treasure the blessing of being able to run and train.  I want to maximize the pleasure and usefulness and life contained in each step.  I don't have 700 miles left to run, I ONLY have 700 miles to enjoy before the race!  Someone asked me how I would walk into my job tomorrow if I was really passionate about doing the work.  I told them I wouldn't walk.  I would run!

And I'm not guaranteed one more step.  The future is uncertain, the past is murky.  All I have is the right now.

It's time to run.

    "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; 
    For now hath time made me his numbering clock: 
    My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar 
    Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, 
    Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, 
    Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. 
    Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is 
    Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart, 
    Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans 
    Show minutes, times, and hours: "

Act 5 Scene 5,  Richard II.  W.S.