Sunday, April 29, 2007

Get in What you Can

Fri- 5.5 miles - 42min easy
Sat- 6.6 miles 52:44 at southcamp on dirt w/ hills!

Well, busy of late with the investigation, travel, and what not. I am in the south camp base today and will fly back north tomorrow. I am still feeling tired /beat down a bit, I think from doing 3 hard runs in a 4 day period a week ago. That was out of my normal pattern and messed me up. Workouts have not been poor, but all week I have not had any spring in my step or pep in the legs. I'm back on the HARD workout every 3 days schedule and actually sat down and mapped out the final specifics for my training plan from now through the Vermont 100 July 21st. I am now heading out of an 8 week phase of no long runs, but a focus on getting my speed back. I did however, get in 8 workouts of 14-21 miles with lots of miles at my lactate threshold and current marathon pace. I will now head into an 8 week phase of ENDURANCE work. I will bring back my doubles (only 3 in the last 4 weeks) which will increase my weekly mileage from the 60 I have been doing to 80. I will also (hopefully) put in 3 really long runs of 40, 50, and 50 miles spread 3 weeks apart (5 May, 26 May and 16 June).

Hopefully all will go well. I will still do the Jack Daniels running formula workouts and the great upward spiral I have been on will continue.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Chasing Crowther

Thurs- 10 miles 3 w up, 3 x 3k (11:52, 11:56, 11:54) on 2 min rest, 1c dn

Okay I was really pretty happy about this workout today. I warmed up feeling a little tired, then started running loops of my 1520m road loop hoping to run about my lactate threshold pace (somewhere around 6:26 per mile) It was not too windy or hot today, just a lot of sand in the air. I took off a bit quick then settled in and managed to run even laps.(12:03, 12:07, 12:05) The 2min recovery time between reps was totally adequate and the effort on the last one had me thinking that I could easily do another repeat if someone asked me too. I definitely like the Jack Daniels Running Formula workouts. I am getting faster, but am never feeling totally destroyed after the workouts like I am used to from other training methods.

Anyway...on the cool down I figured out I ran about 6:22 per mile....and that that was the pace Greg Crowther ,the 2007 50k and 100k National Champion, held in a 41 mile training run he did in preparation for those events. Damn.

Changing Plans...Again

Tuesday- off- work interrupts, also tired
Wed- 8 miles 63min w/ 5 x striders

Well, I'm still in North camp... as my south camp trip got cancelled so I could perform some official investigation. I am an Army Officer..and because of that I have other job duties besides treating patients. In Egypt these have included: Being the building and Internet security manager for my company, performing controlled substance inventories, inspecting and inventorying the USA contingents bar, Driving along the Israel/Egypt border & climbing guard towers to confirm the presence of potential treaty violations via binoculars, and now reading Miranda rights to individuals and taking down sworn statements.

Some days you love it some days you hate it, but the Army is for interesting beast.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tightening The Lid

Monday- 16 miles-1:59- 12 miles w up, 3 mile-19:23, 1 c dn

Last night I did another of one of my favorite type of workouts. I like to run some lactate threshold pace miles at the end of a moderately long run by continually cutting down the pace. Last night after an easy 12 miles I went to my 1520m loop and ran around it continuously 3 times with splits of 6:27, 6:12, 5:47. This averages out to about 6:28 per mile pace...which is my current calculated lactate threshold pace. Running it in a "cut down" manner makes the workout fun and a good challenge. It is liking tightening the lid down on a jar.....each lap I squeeze down the effort just a little bit more.

I got hungry during the warm up run and still felt Fridays long one in my quads as I was a bit tired/sore. Not a lot but enough to know I have been doing some tougher runs. Since everything has been on blacktop, I'm blaming that. If I was running trails last night I would not even have noticed any soreness on ground impact.

I hope to do some threshold repeats tonight then head of to south camp for some easy miles on dirt...mmm looking forward to that! My lovely wife also shipped a pair of the Montrail Odyssey's to me in the mail (Thanks Anne!) so I'm excited to run in some shoes that don't have at least 500 miles on them.

Monday, April 23, 2007

American Running Resurgence

Sat- 3 miles- walk (purposely taking it easy)
Sun- 7 miles- 57min- with speed drills & striders

Yesterday in between patients I "watched" the London marathon on the Internet. Once again the live feed video wouldn't play so I just read updates on Pretty good. You still get the excitement and disappointments you would get with video. I was pretty shocked that Haile Geb. had trouble and stopped. But, USA's newest stud Ryan Hall's performance was not surprising to me. Surprising that the lead pack went slow enough for Ryan to stay in it for 23 miles, but not surprising he ran 2:08:24. The guy is a stud and has run a 1/2 marathon in 59:43. After going through the 1/2 way mark yesterday conservatively, tucked nicely in a pack, I thought he would run about what he did. Very happy for him and USA distance running. This performance along with fellow USA elite runners performances over the last 2 years really indicate America is back among the best in the world. 8-12 years ago a 1:04 1/2 marathon would win a USA championship and few Americans could run we have guys running back to back 1:04's. With Hall, Culpepper, Goucher, Abdi, Meb, Fam, Ritz, Teg, Torres, Rupp, and even Sell. USA distance running is in good shape for years to come. I think it is likely America will have someone break 13:00 for the 5k and 27:00 for 10K on the track this summer.

As for my running, I had a couple easy days to recover. I could have run on Saturday but elected to just go for a walk. Yesterday the legs felt good, strong and comfortable with the speed drills, but a bit fatigued still. I will be getting in a couple longer threshold runs the next two days then traveling down to the south camp base for an extended stay of 10 days. I plan to do a bit of pure caveman running there. Doubles and miles upon miles in the dirt. Hill repeats a couple days but no official workouts. Just miles...... the trials of the miles.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Upward Spiral

Thurs- 3 miles- jog/walk- blah
Friday- 21 miles- 17 miles w up, 3x mile at 6:00 (min rest) 1 c dn

Freaking Awesome workout! Okay today was one of those days where I was unsure what kind of workout I really wanted to do. I had thought of doing a Long long run since it has been 6 weeks, but I still am of the mindset that I need to let this phase (the get the speed back period) play out a bit longer. After one 4 mile loop in 31 minutes I felt good and was still thinking about doing 30+ miles, then in the 2nd 4 mile loop I felt real tired in my quads as it had only been 48 hours since the tough mile repeat session. So I decided to abort the long run and just do another strong effort with threshold pace miles at the end. I finished the 2nd 4 miles loop (31min) and took a gel and headed back out, 3rd loop (31min), I was still feeling tired, but it was not progressing. I decided to press a little bit and felt better. thus the 4th loop was 29:50. I hit another gel, walked for 3 minutes then jogged over to the area where I run my "Sinai mile" loops.

So with 17 miles and 2 hours 11 minutes in my legs I began a 3 x mile with one minute rest bout hoping to run at my threshold pace which is now about 6:26-6:30 per mile. Well it was windy today and the first half of the loop was into it so I pressed a bit. Additionally I felt tired so I figured I needed to press as the last 6 weeks of doing lactate threshold pace stuff has always felt like a PRESSING PACE. But, not tonight. I flew through the first mile to a surprising 5:40 for 1520m or 5:58 pace! Holy crap! I took my 60 sec rest and ran as fluidly and relaxed as possible and hit 5:48. Now I realize this is just one of those special times when the conditioning just catches up to you and WOW, suddenly you are fit. I ran the third one with a bit more effort than the 2nd to make sure the workout stayed even and ran 5:33. Damn. Surprising stuff considering that was mile 20. I took my pulse 90seconds after the third repeat and had 100bpm. Great. I then jog/ walked another mile and called it good for the night.

Fitness is a funny thing. I have been doing speed workouts for 10 weeks now. And consistent strong mileage for 5 months. The work is starting to show. It is an upward spiral. Steady mileage has given me endurance and strength. Thus I can handle longer efforts and recover from them I can do more hard efforts. The speed work has increased my neuromuscular efficiency and coordination so my stride is fluid and powerful. I can feel it in my foot plant when running at a good clip. The increased speed makes me feel like running faster. Which with appropriate recovery allows adaptations that let me run yet faster. The spiral continues on upward.

It is surprisingly simple. If you want to be faster...well then RUN will get there. Today I ran a 3 x mile at a faster clip, with less effort, and 1/3rd the recovery time than one I ran 10 weeks ago after a mere 3 mile warm up.

Lets hope it continues.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blowing It Out

Wed AM- 3miles- 25min
Wed PM- 8 miles 3.5 w up, 3xsinai mile-5:47,5:28,5:11, 1.5 mi c dn

Hell Yeah! Okay, I am pretty sure that the third "mile" was my fastest one since fall 2002. Since the route is supposedly 1520 meters the 5:11 is worth a 5:27 mile. I am pretty excited. I wanted to do a mile repeat check in as it has been 5-6 weeks since I did one. I still am not fast enough to do mile repeats at my Jack Daniels Rep pace- as that is around 5:28 per mile and he does not advocate doing stuff at rep pace that last longer than a 5 min effort, but once in a while is not a big deal. Since I have no races, I do need to check in every now and then to see if I am advancing in my fitness with efforts like this.

I ran the first one comfortably hard, the second at a hard effort with noticeable breathing, and the third was probably a 90-95% effort. I was just glad that I was able to go faster than the 5:28 I did on the 2nd one. The 2min rest in between repeats was great, and after the first one it seemed like too much. 90 sec post the third repeat I checked my pulse and had 100bpm. That is very encouraging. My fitness is coming around.

The true test will be tomorrow morning when I try to run. 5 weeks ago similar mile reps really banged me up: stiff/sore/ achy, and set off the incredibly tight calves thing I have had problems with for 15 years. Hopefully I won't have that now.

I am ailing a bit though. My right foot is having pain in the 2nd metatarsal/ball of my foot v. neuroma between 2nd and 3rd mets. I had this in April 2006 and it faded in 2 weeks. It popped up last week and I am linking it to a type of shoe with a specific insole. (I am constantly switching my shoes and insoles up) is good for the feet/body to have variety. But, the ones with the metatarsal pad in the shoe with the narrow toe box is a bad combo. I am icing and I hope that will make it go away quickly. I also doctored my main orthotic insoles so I'll check it tomorrow and continue to tweak it as needed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sand Storm Alternatives

Monday- 0 miles (1st day off in 25 days)
Tuesday- 8 miles- 2 warm up, 6 at 6:49 pace, workout cut off! freaking treadmill!

Well, tons in the news lately..... good and bad. The Vtech tragedy just sucks the happiness out of you, and overshadows the good though. Great competitions this weekend: BRR 50, AR 50, McN-100, Boston marathon... Glad to see former Montrail runner Scott Wolfe running well placing 2nd at AR 50 in 6:29. Scott and I raced one another in junior college in 1994! Crazy stuff that, then in 2001 he was in VA doing a lot of ultras and ran for Montrail. Last I had heard he was in PT school at UNC. Now I hear he lives in the PNW.
At McN-100 Karl Meltzer won and set another 100 miler course record. Kudos. And at Boston glad to see Uli Steidl run 2:19 nabbing a 12th overall finishing place. Crazy speed in his ultrarunner legs!

As for me, I took yesterday off (a beautiful weather day too) because I was really excited about "watching" the Boston marathon on line by reading the updates. I followed it on, runersworld, chasing kimba, WBZ radio, the BAA homepage and had 4 of the 5 sites crash out!!!!!!! Letsrun ruled once again. what a great site by two nice guys who ran at Yale with my old teamate PLOW's old highschool teammate somewhere in Connecticut.... if I have the story right. Anyway.... I opted NOT to run as the race was going on during my 5pm-8pm window when I normally run after work.

So tonight I wanted (needed) to get in a hard run and wanted to do a threshold run like 3x 2 miles after a 10 mile warm up. But this huge sandstorm blew in with 40mph winds and oven like 100+ heat and, well, sand. You can't run in it... the sand is literally like a white-out snow storm. Visibility was 200m tops. So I got on the treadmill....which has been finicky. It will go for an hour at a reasonable pace then goes into auto-shut off and won't come back to life for like an hour. So my planned indoor workout of 10-12 miles at marathon pace got trashed. I did 2 miles in 16min to warm up, then 6 at my new marathon pace of 6:49 (as it has been 5 weeks and I am guessing I have moved up one VDOT level on the Jack Daniels tables), but then the machine shut off and wouldn't restart... I gave up. ticked me off as I felt really good. Huge difference doing marathon pace stuff fresh v. after a hour of running or a 10mile warm up. oh well sucko

Monday, April 16, 2007

Speed Play

Sun- 7 miles- 58min (fartlick session w/ striders, drills, fast fun)

Today I did something different. I ran in the "forest" part of area where they have run an extensive network of "gray water" hoses that come from the water treatment facility. They irrigate with this water about 6-8 rows of bushes and desert trees. Within this clump of living greenery is a sand path that makes a circle and two straight road-like paths. I run in there frequently, but the straights are only 300m long and the circle is about 300m as well, so not a long area to run. But one can do repeats right?! So yesterday I did true speed play as the term fartlick means. I mainly did a lot of striders accelerating from a dead stop to top end and hold for a brief period and gradually decelerate. I also did a bunch of plyometric drills like skipping, carioka, some bounding and explosive form running that I have not done in a long time. When in junior college I used to do these a lot and really had my best stretch of non-injured running and improvement. Maybe its time to put some of this back into play. Especially since I am a trail runner and currently training without trails. Kinda like a mountain bike specialist doing nothing but road biking. Beneficial yes, but not specific enough.

1. Easy day
2. easy with drills and striders
3. longer with threshold or marathon pace work
repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.......................................

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Movie Review

Sat- 6 miles 45:44

Well my Fri-Sat (the Muslim way) weekend is ending so I figured I'd recount how I wasted my time. As usually I went on a bit of a movie binge.
1. Delta Force- a 1986 Chuck Norris (who is 67 y.o. by the way!) film-exciting, perfect for a 2 hour treadmill run. And very interesting now that I have lived in the middle east and WE as a nation have lived through 9/11. I am glad to say I have met and talked to Chuck and his equally cool wife, as they visited the Walter Reed Amputee rehab clinic last year. He is shorter than you would think, but still in stellar shape. When I pointed out our clinics "total Gym" machine to his wife she told me that he still uses theirs almost every single day. Now that is a testimonial for a good product. When we asked him about all the "Chuck Norris is so tough....sayings" He was almost embarrassed and did not know where they came from, but was flattered.

2. Saving Silverman- a pretty lame comedy with Jack Black. Hey, it passes the time

3. LA Confidential- not sure how old this one is but it had to be one of Russell Crowe's first films. Kim Bassinger does a good job. Very good detective/cop guy flick

4. All the Pretty Horses- Great drama about cowboys and forbidden love. Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz. I really like the two of them.

5. A Night in the Museum- Good family flick with Ben Stiller and Robin Williams, Mickey Rooney. Funny and a fun film.

As you can see, not a bad weekend. Time is rolling, basically only 9 weeks left to go in Egypt...but I have no official orders yet so....

Friday, April 13, 2007

Staying On That Horse

Thurs: 6 miles- 50min with 8 x striders of 80-300m
Friday- 16miles- 2:00 - 60min at 8:00, 60min at 7:00 pace

Ugh! Let me tell you runs like today are interesting. I feel simultaneously happy and sad. Happy that I continue to tough out sensible (but TOUGH) workouts that are going to make me faster, stronger, and a better runner. But also sad because that 2nd hour of running on the treadmill today was tough. And it is hard for me mentally to think that an hour at 7:00 mile pace can be that difficult. Am I not the guy that could run 20 miles at 6:05 pace?.......yes, I am, but that WAS 10 years ago. Damn! Aging and slowing is hard to accept sometimes.

Going back to the positive:
Yesterday's run... I really felt fast. First time in a long long time that I can honestly say that. Now I have no track here and no real way of measuring my speed. I'm sure I am not breaking 30 sec for 200m, but I am now running smoothly, fluidly, and with a feeling of control. It has only been two months since I really started any speedwork so I am very encouraged. The striders did NOT feel like this a month ago.

Today"s Run: Now it might have only been 16 miles in 2 hours, but I did run the last hour at 7 min pace (my calculated marathon pace at my current fitness level)...and although my mind still remembers 10 years ago when I pretty much never ran SLOWER than 7 min miles... it is still 7 min miles. Three Months ago I could not have done today's workout. And looking ahead, if I keep banging out runs like this one, the improvement curve will have to continue to slope upwards. Now I am not deluding myself thinking that come July I'll be cracking 16 min 5k's and running tempo runs under 6min mile pace again. But, I should be a heck of a lot closer to that than I am today.

I just like the way I am feeling and the direction I am heading.

Hey good luck shout out to all those running in two of the biggest and best 50 milers tomorrow: the Bull Run Run in my beloved VA, and the American River 50 in CA.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thanks, I feel better

Wed- 4miles- jog/walk (sore foot)

Okay first off thanks for the huge volume of comments and emails...I feel better. Living here where 2 miles is a long run for most and running for "fun" or for "training" is a foreign concept I often feel quite a bit more like a freak than normal. So writing to the masses of those that do similar running and then hearing from you all makes me feel good. And yes, all you gotta do is email about 2,000 people on a list serve pleading for comments, and whammo you get 10!

Anyway very interesting exchanges with some folks; thanks. I think all it really settled for me is that different strokes for different folks. I think my brother Tim might have expressed it best when he said:

"There are absolutely limitations that will be placed on performance by "fitness" - aerobic enzyme efficiency, lactate threshold, hemoglobin concentration, fast-twitch/slow-twitch muscle fiber percentages, etc. But once someone has built those to even a moderate level, I think their own viewpoint and pre-conceived notions about their ability to perform plays a huge role."

Sure, LONG long runs will build up the level of fat mobilizing enzymes, teach your body efficiency, build capillary networks in the muscles, accustom the body to the shear enormity of being out and moving/processing energy/taking impact/ect for hours on end, but I think their value most importantly may be improved confidence.

When I was training for the grand slam in 2002 I ran 11 runs of 24-40 miles in the month of March. I was trying something new, and believe I lost a bunch of my speed doing that type of training, but one thing became clear. I was 100% confident I then had the ability to finish the slam. So much so I even threw in MMT and Big Horn 100's as well. The Ultra distance no longer scared me as I knew my body could handle long slow slogs in the mountains, AND that I could recover quickly from such efforts.

I also have, in the 8 years I've been doing ultras, almost always used other ultras as preparation for my bigger more "focus" races. Only on a few occasions have I not done at least a 50 mile race in the 2 months prior to an attempt at a 70-to-100mile race. And all but one of those times when I did not, ended in a DNF. Was this due to my body not being prepared for the distance? Or was my mind not prepared? What is more important?

Again my brother has some good insight:
"Of course, right now you are looking to get back to running top performances in the ultrarunning community, and you will have to have the physical training behind you to do that. But just as importantly, you have to have the confidence (no doubts allowed) that you can do it."

He is absolutely right...and part of this is how far do I need to run in training here in the desert to mentally FEEL CONFIDENT I can run well in the Vermont 100? Since, again, I will not have any pre- 100miler races to both test myself physically and mentally. No RACE opportunity to get that "fix" of confidence that...Yes! I can not only complete the distance...but, I can run well.

For me a big part of my confidence in ultrarunning has come from the fact that I used to be a good deal faster over shorter distance races than the majority of the folks competing in ultradistance races. And interestingly when I was fit enough to run a 5K in sub 17min, I was able to run a 100 under 17 hours. When I was in 19min 5K shape I ran a similarly flat 100 in 20 hours(despite getting lost for over an hour). Thus, knowing myself and knowing that in order for my stomach to be able to process food and even coke/energy drinks I have to be running at a pace that is considerably slower than my current 5K race pace. So for me now the focus is on first getting the speed back. For me to feel like I have a shot at holding 9:00mile pace in Vermont I need to be able to feel like 7:00 mile pace is EASY. As the race comes closer, I will also need to get comfortable with that "exhausted by the shear distance" feeling in training prior to the July 21st race date.

In any event, thanks for the comments and debate...keep it coming!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Long Run - How Important is it REALLY?

15 Miles- 1:55 - 10.25 miles warm up (80min)- 4 mile cut down run- 26:34- 0.75 c dn

Very good run last night. It was supposed to be a hard day and rather than do some reps work (200-400m efforts) I felt like doing more threshold pace work. I want my hard days to be in the 12-20 mile range so I ran a big warm up. Then running on my Sinai mile loop "1520m" I ran 6:32, 6:26,6:12, 6:04 in a cut down manner. I actually felt better in miles 3 and 4 than the first one.

So after reading a lot of blogs,, and ultralist postings I have been wondering about long runs. How much is TOO much and how LONG do you need to run? I suppose it all depends.... I know my Brother has run an 8- hour 50 mile off a long run of 12 miles. My Dad ran an 11:30- 50 mile at age 66 off a long run of 15. I ran a 25 hour- 100 mile at RR in 2004 with long runs of 20 and 50K and averaging 30 miles per week in the 4 months prior. But, I ran 16:28 at the 2002 RR 100 after having done 7 runs of 50k-67miles in the 16 weeks prior to that race.

So what about the FAST guys? I remember when Dave Dunham of Massachusetts entered the ultra distance world and ran a great 6:46100K after only running a 26.2 marathon on consecutive weekends as his longest "training" run. Dave does have PR' s of 14:08 for 5K, 29:17 10K, 1:00:53 20K, 2:19:28 marathon, and 2:57:36 for 50K, However. I remember reading and talking to him back when I lived and raced a lot in Mass. He ran multiple times per week but of a shorter distance (3-10 milers, but 10-18 runs a week).

Other folks like the Lydiard system (like the U of Colorado program) and insist on running singles and getting your mileage in fewer but longer runs. They say you develop a better aerobic system doing it that way (it creates more extensive capillary networks in the muscles). I don't know... miles are miles, and more is better up to about 70mpw, then your risk of injury goes way up and the percent gain from your effort is slightl. In order to handle high mileage you need to for one thing have the time, then the strength of the connective tissues and tendons, denser bones, ect.... This happens over a long period of time. After running for many years, one can start improving from 80-100-140miles a week. But, some folks never can. I can build to and hold 85-105 mile weeks only briefly then I seem to get injured. when I have raced my best and had those feelings of invicibility where I could not even make myself sore anymore...they came after a week here, a week or two there of REALLY high mileage, or a succession of REALLY long runs 2-3 weeks apart.

Many 100K and 100 mile racers train by doing a long run of 4 hours but run it at or under race pace, while others go out for 8-12 hour training efforts. Many more still simply "bounce" from ultra to ultra never really doing LONG training runs on their own, but take part in 10-15 ultras a year. Most ultrarunners d0 fade badly in races of 100k- 100mile distance when you look at 50k/50mile splits v. finish times. Is this due to a "collapse point"; a theory that one's body will operate well for a set time period it is used to operating at, then dramatically slow after that time period has passed.

I first remember reading about the "collapse Point" in a book by Bob Glover, then I read something similiar byTim Noakes . His "central Governor Theory" is described in his incredible read The Lore of Running. By the way, if you do not own this book, you are not as serious about running as you think you are.

Noakes basically makes the case that the limit on performance comes from the mind. The mind is simply trying to protect itself/you from damage. And if it has only been established that you can run for 4 hours and safely live/recover to run a gain after that set amount of time, then running for a time period longer than this is going to be advancing into UNKNOWN territory and your mind is going to slow everything down in an effort to protect you from yourself. Pain and fatigue signals are going to be especially heightened making running difficult. One can continue, but you slow down. In 50-62 miles this can be 1-2min per mile slower, in 100 milers it can be the difference between running and walking or 10+ minutes per mile. (Trust me walking 22:30 per mile for 50 miles IS NOT FUN!)

As an exercise physiologist, I know their are definitely physiological things going on that cause one to slow as well. Nutrition intake is critical and if you can not continue to take in 250kcals of energy an hour or at least 1/3 of the kcals you are expending, you will slow down dramatically. The greatest ultrarunner to ever live is without a doubt Yannis Kouros. He was able to exactly match energy expenditure and intake during a 6 day race in which he set the world record. For the rest of us mortals caloric intake is usually the limiting factor. In 100 milers I can feel (and hear) when I am completely depleted and relying completely on fat oxidation for energy. Because you need much more oxygen to act as the final H+ ion acceptor during fat oxidation than you do with glucose oxidation. Thus, you end up breathing at a higher rate even when you are jogging, walking or even sitting. It can get ugly...

but, alas, assuming all things are equal with fluid / energy intakes and fitness (marathon PR's). Will someone who has done training efforts of 6-8 hours beat someone who has only done long runs of 4 hours in a race of 50, 62 or 100 miles? Even if the 4 hour long run runner runs at a pace 2-3min per mile faster than the LONG long runner?

I think so. I think the LONG long run makes one's fat mobilization process more efficient. We all have enough stored fat (even the leanest of us) to fuel efforts of 200 + miles. But, not everyone has high levels of the enzymes needed to break the fatty acids chains stored in muscle and subcutaneous tissue down into a usable form. For this reason..... optimizing the amount of lipo-lipase C (the ezyme of fat mobilization).....I think the LONG long run is more important than weekly mileage, more important then frequency of 2-3 hour runs, and more important than the pace held during training runs.

But, these LONG long runs have their place in the training cycle. I believe they need to come at the end, near the race itself, and AFTER one has developed the speed and strength. (But that brings up another interesting question..... How close to your peak race do you do your last LONG long run?) What I am trying to do now is get the speed..... then Next month I hope to do some long ones. Stayed tuned, solo 50 milers in the Egyptian desert in late May and June should be fun!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Sun- 6 miles- 47min
Mon AM- 3 miles -25min
Mon PM- 6 miles- 47min

Blah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a bit of a mentally downer here lately. Time is rolling by, but each day seems to drag on. I try to stay very current on what is going on in the states..... Ultra races I would have taken part in, USA elite running at all levels, (as I find that interesting), headline news, and some major sports news. I started reading "Running With the Buffaloes" again. Generally I'm bored.

During the week I try to workout twice a day, read, work on my written running log conversion to excell spreadsheet project, net surf, and that is about it. On the weekends I will watch a lot of DVD's from our library. Last weekend I watched, and was very moved by, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Powerful. Regardless of your individual political views I firmly believe it is the responsibility of an educated adult to seek out and take in information. One then either determines that the information is legitimate (in which case you learn from it) or false (and then dismiss it). So my guidance is this: WATCH THE FILM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People need to wake up.

My plan upon return to the states is to perform a running/and/or biking commute to work.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Marathon Tempo 2

Sat- 19 miles 2.5wu, 3 at 6:35, 60min at 8:00, 3 at 6:35, c down

Tough workout! The 2nd of this type I have done recently, and I must say I like them. After a good warm up I ran on the treadmill watching the movie HERO on my laptop (which turned out to be tough with the subtitles and all, but very cool movie) was fun. Anyway, I did 1.5miles at 6:35 pace then jogged 90sec and did it again, both feeling quite easy. I am very surprised how smooth and fluid I felt on the mill all day. A very good sign my efficiency is improving. Then you run for an hour....I finished the movie and then put in the animated movie ANTZ. Which was good too, but much different. HERO had incredible cinematography with wide shots using great color and was more ART than entertainment. Beautiful picture. Then you get ANTZ...which is another in the great recent trend of feel good, lesson- oriented animated flicks. I happen to like those and have seen MANY in the last year.

So then time rolls around to do the lactate threshold paced running again, and MAN! I still felt smooth but the effort level to hold that pace shoots way up when tired. I actually looked at the grade and speed a few times to make sure it had not gone up. I did 3 x mile at 6:35 with 60 sec rest, and then cooled down. Which even that felt tough. I did about 19 total in 2:26. I took one an a half gels so did not bonk, just felt the fatigue. I had tired hamstrings all evening, and then woke up this morning feeling completely fine. That is the beauty of the Jack Daniel's workouts. They are tough...train you adequately, but don't kill the muscle fibers with structural damage. Recovery is quick and improvement optimized.

The big news of the day was the wretched windy and 20 degree weather at the MAD CITY 100K. Sucks as I know several folks dropped out at 50K to save themselves for a better day. It had a good field and some good performances turned in despite the weather:
2 SCOTT JUREK Y 2 M-OPEN 7:32:05
3 KEVIN SETNES Y 1 M50-54 7:51:49
6 CAROLYN SMITH Y 1 F40-44 8:36:39
7 ANN HEASLETT Y 2 F40-44 8:45:27

Gotta love Crowther toughing it out after splits of 3:22 at the half and 4:44 at 70k. Very strong runner and on a better weather day a 6:40 guy. Then you have one of my heros of the sport, Kevin Setnes. Man this guy is tough. Still running well despite being 15 years past his prime. On the distaff side, The Alaskan must have been in her element as an 8:09 is a SUPER time for the women on a great weather day! Congrats to all that took part on a tough day.

I wonder what things will be like next year? I hope to run it and be in decent enough shape to be competitive. Maybe they should push the date back a couple weeks though?

Friday, April 6, 2007

High Tech World

Thursday- 6 miles- 46min
Fri-AM- 4miles- 33min easy
PM- 4miles- easy with 6 x striders

Well technology can be a great thing. I'm thinking of music today. I grew up listening to records on the family stereo, (my brothers KISS albums, and danced to my Mom's BeeGee's. I later learned to drive in a Big Buick Estate Station wagon with a third seat that faced the rear. It had an 8-track player in it. We bought an adapter for cassette tapes. I bought my first musical groups music on cassettes (Bobby Brown, Cheap Trick, B 52's, Roxette), then in high school everything moved to CD's. Now the Internet world and IPOD down loadable MP3's have taken over. Tonight I attempted to download my first songs off ITunes....despite having owned an IPOD for a year now I never had downloaded anything.....just listened to my own CD's I burned onto my computer hardrive. Well technology is great and all. But my Internet in Egypt it didn't work. Bummer. Apparently I have paid for the music though so, I'll keep you posted on if I am screwed or not.

UPDATE: Okay it worked! It did take about an hour per song to download but I now have (and am listening to on the run) the great album: Depeche Mode Remixes 81-04

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Them There Hills

Wed- 15 miles- 2:09- 11 miles warm up, 10x hill reps- 36sec ave, c dn

Ahhh better! Yesterday I still felt off the first 3 miles and actually took a gel after 4.5 miles and then settled in and felt normal, actually good. I did 10 repetitions of the big hill on the south camp running strong with my friend, Mike. We jogged back down the hill for recovery and provided excellent entertainment for the soldier in the guard tower last night under a cloudless star-filled sky.

I flew back to the north camp today and am about to start a 3 day weekend. (Normal Fri-Sat weekend, plus Easter Sunday)

Good luck goes out to all the Mad City 100K runners! I bet the nerves are really edgy by now!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Legend Of The Marathon

Tuesday- 2 miles- blah! bonked, quit, suck

Today's super inspiration (and I need some after the way I felt yesterday) comes from the great looking film Land of the Gods: The legend of the marathon. View the link for a trailer to this cool looking movie. It fired me up. I found it doing some surfing on Deena Kastor. She is due to be a major player in the upcoming Boston Marathon April 16th. Deena continues to prove that she is head and shoulders above all other American distance runners.

On of my happiest memories was running the Boston marathon with my dad in 1999. We wore matching shirts that had "Loomis Son" and "Loomis Dad" on them that my Mom made for us to wear. We were a hit wih the crowd and ran side by side for 23 miles. I stopped to stretch a cramp and could never find him again in the hundreds of runners. We ran 3:17 and 3:20 on a very warm day. I am glad to see that it only took 111 years for them to move the start time of this race from the traditional noon to 9:30am. Sure, its possible that the crowd of spectators will not be as drunk when the runners make it into downtown....but maybe they will! Patriots Day in Massachusetts is a state holiday you know.

I would like to run a very good marathon at the Marine Corps Marathon in October and I hope to go back to Boston in the future.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

One of those Days

Monday- 13.2 miles- 1:45 with 5x striders after

This is one of those pretty plan / boring / merely existing days. It is not bad, it is not great, just average. But, Average is better than below right?! Last night was a good run as it felt very smooth and the laps rolled on by without any aches or pains. I must be getting stronger. 25 laps of the base in the last 5 days.

I have been inspired recently by the exploits of the great Henry Rono who last weekend ran a 17:48- 5k at the rip age of 55. Wow, that makes me feel slow! But, he once held the 5k world record with a 13:08 so I suppose it is all relative! Henry incredibly held the 3k, 5k, 10k , and 3k steeplechase world records at the same time setting them in an 81 day span in 1978. He had fallen on hard times after his great running feats ended becoming an overweight homeless alcoholic. His resent comeback has been chronicled nearly daily on the message boards.

Here is your depressing read of the day on Iraq war Initiation Lies

Monday, April 2, 2007

March Mileage Check

Well another month down in the Sinai! Very exciting. I managed to just miss a 300 mile month by getting in a solid 295 for March. This was up from Feb and Jan, but about the same as Nov and December. I am averaging 8 miles per day in 2007 (722 thus far). Since adding speed work to my program I have put in the following weeks:
70, 82, 51, 51, 78

Overall I am feeling good and continue to walk that fine line between being super psyched up and doing too much, and not doing enough to see optimal results. I need 12 more good weeks and then I'll start to taper off just about the time I touch ground back in the good old USA. I Can't wait!

Alfred State College

Sunday- 6.6 miles-52min

I spent a good bit of time imputing my running logs from 1994 and 1995 into a master excell sheet this weekend. These years were the ones I spent at Alfred State College a S.U.N.Y. 2- year college in upstate NY. The mighty pioneers! Check out the impressive Track records at this small junior college. I ran well during my years at Alfred setting PR's in all distances from the 800-10,000, including the steeplechase. I also competed in the high jump in one small dual meet we had placing second with a pathetic 5'4"! I have very fond memories of running relays there which included:
4x200 (indoors), 4x400, 4x800, 4x1500, and DMR. (distance Medley Relay) My relay performances were pale in comparison to my teammates as I was the slow 4th guy. But, I was fortunate to be able to ride their coat tails to, and compete in, the NJCAA indoor national championships in the 4x800 and DMR in 1994.