Monday, July 30, 2007

Last Day in Arlington

All Week- 0 Miles

Well today is the last day and night in our Arlington Apartment. Off to greener least to a house that has a lawn. It has been a very busy time of late. Sunday after the post Vermont 100 feed I got in the car for a 10 hour drive back here. The next morning Anne left (with the car) to go take the VA Bar exam, and I began packing. Despite this being a small place we have a lot of stuff. How does that happen??? Well, 54 boxes later and 7 straight days of steady packing and we are now ready to paint the apartment back to ugly white and head on out.

No running this week. Often post a 100 miler I am unable to run for a week, but this time recovery went pretty well. Two big days of stiffness and soreness, then gradually went away. The torn popliteus in my left knee pit was not as bad as it was after the 2000 Massanutten, and could probably handle a run today. I am going to wait a bit longer though. Rest breaks are good for the body and the mind. I'm gonna start running again when I am hungry for the training. I'm getting closer to that but it is not here yet.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hills man hills

Sat- 100 miles- 23:45:55 -63rd place

Just a quick one to let the curious mind know...... Nope I did not run 15:00 (my dream goal for a 100) Nobody did. I doubt anyone ever will again at Vermont. The course is a lot tougher (2500+ more climb and decent) (and longer-3-4miles!)) than it was. AJW and Jim Kirby ran awesome and were in great shape and had AMAZING weather and still only managed to run right around 16 hours. SUPER!, but not the 14:08 and 14:19 times turned in there previously. Montrail guys finished 1,2, 4, 5 and first female!

As for me. I was not feeling great going in to race day, and discovered quickly that I just was not ready to run fast on hills and trails. A YEAR without either is something you can not regain in a couple runs. I could have run okay had the race been on completely flat pavement, but not hilly trails.

I did not go out crazy and die, rather ran at 140 bpm on the HR monitor in about 20th place innitialy...moving up to a high of 12th by mile 11 then slipped back the rest of the day. I was 4:11 at 25miles, and was not in trouble physiologically. I was eating 2 Cliff shot blocks (66cals total) every 10 minutes and processing well, just had legs that were not capable.

Honestly, at 12 miles I really found out I was not ready for hills and trails and it just got worse from there. My 23:46 was a TOUGH effort. Sure it is not super quick, but I pushed very hard to beat the 24 hour cut off. "Running" 9 hours and 17 minutes for the last 30 miles was honestly all I could manage. I was as beat up by the finish in this one as in any of the 14 other 100 milers I have finished. I tore the popliteus muscle in my left posterior knee somewhere around 45 miles and just destroyed all the stabilizer and accessory muscles that help maintain balance and keep you upright on uneven surfaces. Additionally. I don't think my hamstrings ever recovered from the 40 mile walk followed by 21 mile trail run 3 weeks prior. On paper it looked great, but a year with out using these muscles that way was too much to ask and they couldn't deliver.

Additionally, I had intestine trouble yet again..... having to take 6 number 2's between miles 20 and 45. Stopped by two doses of prescription strength Imodium.....only then to have a stomach that just sloshed and wouldn't drain. BLAH! 100's suck.

I decided at mile 28 that I was not going to Leadville next month and decided at 70 miles that I am having my my wife (a brand new lawyer) draw up an official contract stating that I will not attempt a 100 mile race for at lest 3 more years. She of course thinks I'm kidding, but really I am not. I am 15 for 25 now (I had miscounted thinking this was 26) and that is enough for a good while. I won't say never again, just not for a while. It is not fun and has not been fun for 5 years now. My attention is going to shift to 50k's, 50 milers, and a quality road marathon once a year.

In 3 tries now (23:08=2001, 23:30- 2002) I still have not been able to run the VT 100 quicker than my 22:14 at Massanutten! Funny.

Now a good couple of weeks off. Pack up the apt in Arlington and move to Richmond this week. Then off to a wedding in Ithaca, then off to the Caribbean on vacation!

Cheers, and thanks for all the well wishing along the way while I was in Egypt and the last 4 weeks upon my return. What a long strange trip it has been the last 6 months building for this event.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Off To Vermont

Wednesday- 4miles- 33min easy

All packed and ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be driving up tomorrow to camp out with my family for a couple days. Very excited, but scared too. I don't feel as sharp and fit as I had hoped. Hopefully it will all go well. The plan is to run completely comfortably and eat two Clif shot blocks every 10 minutes all day long with short walk breaks in there. 6-7000 calories total. Drink NUUN in my bottles, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have run 100 miles before, I just hope to do it faster this time!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ithaca is Gorges

Sunday- 6 miles -2 w up 2miles-14:03, 2x800- 3:05, 1 c dn
Monday- 2 miles- walking trails
Tuesday- 3 miles- great trails

A tiny touch of speed Sunday just to stay loose. 7 min pace is at 152bpm, the 800's were at 162bpm. following this session at my old high school, Campbell-Savona Central, I was fortunate to be able to meet up with 5 old college buddies for some fun the last 2 days in wonderful Ithaca, NY. What an amazing town and area. Great time hiking and jogging trails and swimming in the many gorges.

Pack up tomorrow and travel Thursday!

Please visit Ithaca College Alum and good buddy Ian Golden's store: Finger Lakes running Club!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jurek is Amazing

Friday- 3miles- 24min easy road run

I just have to sing the praises of Scott Jurek. He is amazing having just won the Hardrock 100 in course record time. In fact about 2 hours faster than this CCW direction has ever been run.

Lets take a look at Scott over the last 9 years:

7 Western States 100 mile victories- owns course record (99-2005)
2 Badwater 135 mile victories- owns course record (2005, 06)
1 Spartathon 153 mile victory- 2nd best performer ever (2006)
1 Hardrock 102 mile victory- owns course record (2007)

11 for 11 in focus races. The guy is amazing.
(and a Physical Therapist like Nikki Kimball and yours truly)

Good luck vibes go out to good friends Jeff Wilbur, John Prohira, Joe Prusaitis who are still onthe course, and Montrail team mate Krissy Moehl who is on pace to get the women's course record!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Post 99

Tuesday- 4 miles easy- 44min trails in VA
Wednesday- 0 miles ...completely lazy, but I'm tapering!
Thursday- 14 miles- 1:55

Well, time passes by for sure as this is the 99th blog post I have made. Doesn't seem like that long ago I started it though. I am in NY now, tapering and relaxing on vacation. Feels good, but still a tinge of guilt at not banging out the mileage. Looking back over the training log I never really did put in too many big weeks. I have been very consistent since February, but always in the 50-75 mpw range with just 3 weeks above this. My fitness is good my weight is good, but I certainly have come into 100 mile races with a bigger mileage base peeks though...just not as consistent as the last 5 months.

While tapering I think everyone begins to question whether they are really prepared or not. I sure am. I tried to include all of the pieces of the puzzle. And feel confident that I did. I just wish I had more of those pieces in the log!.... More general mileage (I wish I averaged 70-75mpw rather than 61mpw I have the last 20 weeks). I wish I had 3-4 runs of 40-50 rather than the two (2) I got in. And I wish I had two walks of 10+ hours rather than the one 14 hour 40 miler I did.
But, overall dealing with what I had to work with I feel like I did a good job. Not having hills to train on is going to hurt me. Today I ran a familiar 14 mile loop that I used to do routinely in high school and when home on breaks from college. I ran 1:55.....about a minute per mile slower than I used to do. (My CR = 1:33) that was not good for the confidence and although the 2.3 mile gradual up hill felt pretty good. (HR ave 143 while running 8:45 pace up) the 2 mile steady downhill hurt my right calf and was felt in the quads. Yep those Vermont hills are gonna suck!

Beautiful weather today 69-73 sunny 50% humidity. WOW. Hope it is like that next week.

Good luck to all those at Hardrock!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Finishing Touches

Sunday- 7 miles- 2w up, 2 x2mile- 12:03, 13:47, 1 c dn
Monday- STAIRS!!!!! 150 flights down

The last two days, with the legs feeling good, I put some of the finishing touches on my Vermont 100 prep. Needing to maintain my stride efficiency and lactate tolerance I went to the track again yesterday. And today wanting to hit the quads one more solid time with some eccentric work, I did a "Biggest BANG for the least buck" workout on the 19 floors of stairs in my apartment building.

Yesterday running at 3:45pm in the big time heat and humidity (on purpose) I went to the track to run some faster paced stuff to let my leg muscles continue to have optimized enzyme levels for glycolysis. I did a strong 2 mile wearing my HR monitor while doing 6:00 mile pace. I wanted to see where I am at currently while running this pace. 6 min miles used to be something I did and monitored frequently. I started out in the low 160's and was at 163 at the 6:01 mile split. Then it crept on up to 170bpm by the 8th lap. (2miles-12:03-164 ave HR). Then I took 5 minutes rest and started up again settling to the smoothest run I could do at a HR just below 160. This pace turned out to be a bit over 6:50 per mile. (2 miles- 13:47- 159 ave HR) Not sure what any of this means in 94 degree heat, but it will be interesting to compare to next month when I start doing workouts again after Vermont.

Today I opted to just run in the stairwell in order to minimize the effort expended while optimizing the eccentric contractions per time spent moving. I simply took the elevator to the 19th floor and then ran down the stairs two at a time letting each foot plant be a bit hard all the way into the basement. With each leg getting a little jump and landing, the 7 trips was enough to give my thighs that shaky-sore feeling...and the workout only took 20 minutes! I figured this would accomplish the same thing as the hilly road 10 miler I had planned.

Now I will rest up......but, continue my normal 3 day pattern (workout, easy, moderate, workout) with the remaining workouts being on the 12th, 15th, and 18th. Next up a 14 miler on my favorite loop back in Campbell, NY from my high school years.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Fake Recovery

Thursday- 9.5 miles- 2 w up 3x2mile-12:44, 1.5c dn
Friday 5 miles-46min easy

Fake recovery! Well, my legs felt fine on Wednesday...just a little tired so Thursday I fired up one of my last pre-race tempo runs and ended up cutting it short. I have been loosely following the Jack Daniels Marathon plan B program for 15 weeks now and this tempo was supposed to be 4 x 1.5miles with a long cool down. Since I had been doing these runs in Egypt with a long warm up and have been adding to the scheduled miles run at lactate threshold pace, I figured I would do a 4x 2 miles with 2min rest at around 6:15-6:20 pace.

When I got into the first repeat I found I had to press to run this pace and when I relaxed I was running closer to 6:32 pace. I ended up running 12:44 and was a little dissapointed. I went into the 2nd one thinking I would start to feel peppier, but did not, and again ran 12:44.

Then on the third one I started off with a 6:24 mile and decided to press a bit to keep them even but would definately stop after the 3rd repeat. Again I ran 12:44 but had to work to do it when normally these runs at lactate threshold feel easier.

Following the 2 mile reps I figured I'd do some striders on the turf infield. WOW! no wonder that pace felt so hard! My hamstrings were shot. As soon as I ran one strider and really accelerated my hamstrings started barking at me. Still sore from last weekends LONG walk and run. It was that DEEP dead soreness that FAKE recovers but is still lingering. I must rest.

Today's run was an easy one in potomac overlook park....beautiful! I ran with my TIMEX heart rate monitor (I re-found it and had the battery replaced yesterday) so I monitored my pulse. surprisingly low. I ran at my easy pace on rolling trails and had 120-130 most all the time. It only pushed up to 142 on the big hill. Interesting.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Monday- 3 miles- 23min easy
Tuesday-= 0 miles- Travel
Wednesday- 7.5miles- 60min

Independence!!!!!!!!!!! This day has new meaning this year as I am now officially a civilian. I was honorably discharged yesterday...thus truly a free and independent day. And no I did not shave this morning!

A few easy recovery days training -wise. The legs are coming back. Long drives didn't help, but I will be good to go tomorrow for a decent workout. Today I got "chicked" on the bike path running along at 8:00 mile pace when some fit gal ran right on past me. Just when I start to think I am in good shape. Honestly, today on the bike path I was around the biggest number of exercising/moving people ever (excluding a formal race). Pretty amazing. I wish it was always like that. Traveling I-95 lot recently...America is HUGELY fat.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Final Piece

Saturday- 0 miles- nice day off
Sunday- 21miles- 5:01- Treyfoot loop

Well, it is all done now. All the key training is now in the running log! The only thing left to do is maintenance tempo runs and recovery easy jogs enjoying the great USA. Anything more would just screw up the training I have already done and would make no impact physiologically.

Yesterday I met up with my training bud from 2001-2002, Jeff Wilbur, and went out and ran the famous treyfoot mountain loop into the Shenandoah mountains. This one has a good deal of climb and decent on technical footing trails. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the weather was outstanding (60-75 and sunny with a nice breeze).

My legs were very tired feeling like I had already been running 20 miles when we started (and continued to feel that way all day long) but my calves and quads were not sore at all. Not even soreness in the hip flexors...The only soreness I felt was in the hamstrings at the distal insertion behind the knee and in my deep hip external rotators in the butt. And this morning that too is now gone.

Super psyched!