Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Time

Friday- 11 miles
Sat- off
Sunday- 12 miles- 1:36
Monday- off
Tuesday- 15 Miles on treadmill

It is getting to be holiday time once again! I have been a bit busier of late with my volunteering at the prosthetics shop, work in the PT rehab clinic, and on line classes from Northwestern all seeming to have picked up. Since I am trying to stay fresh following Hellgate I have been taking more days off than normal. However, doing a day on day off schedule has worked very well for me in the past. In 2001 I averaged 4 run days per week and had my absolute best year (I was simultaneously in sub 16:30- 5k and 16:30 100 mile shape.) Something I have not seen since. In Egypt I was doing a repeating 3 day cycle of beat down run, easy day, moderate day, repeat that also worked pretty well.

Nothing wrong with taking more recovery. .... But, my main aim over the next couple months is to get in as many 80 minute plus runs as possible. And unfortunately I seem to need more recovery in there than I used to.

On the off days I have begun doing a bit of sit ups, pull ups, type work and hope to begin more specific pilates and yoga stuff. (we have tons of videos to follow I just need to get off my duff)

anyway, here's to the holiday season and all the cookies, cakes, pies, and calories it may bring to you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Virginia Ultra Plans

I've been thinking a lot about my up coming race plans and wishes for next year and beyond. What I want to do is complete all of the ultras in the state of Virginia, and most all in the mid-atlantic. Since the calendar is continually growing it is a good tough goal. The following is the schedule as far as I can see and includes what I have done so far: By month; Race, previous placing

VHTRC-SLUG Red Eye FA 50k- (3rd, 4th )
Swinging Bridge 50k (9th)

T.W.O.T- (finished one loop- want 4 someday)
Holiday Lake 50K++ (51st)
Reverse Ring 71 miler (2nd)

Catawba Run Around - (6th, 10th)
Fairfax County 50K (?)
Elizabeth Furnace FA 50K (3rd)
Bel Monte 50mile (4th)
Chocolate Bunny 50k (?)

Bull Run Run 50 (4th, 8th, 37th, 204th)
Promise Land 50k (16th)
24hr Adventure Trail Run (?)

MMT 100 (2nd, 5th, 19th)

Old Dominion 100 (?)

Catherine's Furnace 50K (10th, 10th, 45th)

*Anything here?????

Odyssey 40- (2nd)
GEER 100k (13th)
MMT Ring 71- (4th)

Iron Mountain 50 Mile- (?)
Potomac Heritage 50K (15th)
Andiamo 45 -(5th)
Grindstone 100 Mile- (2009)
New River Trail 50K (?)

MMTR 50- (7th, 39th,80th)

Hellgate 100k- (35th)
Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50K- (1st, 14th)
Boyers Furnace 40 (1st)

So basically I have a few more (of 28 total) Virginia ultras to complete. With hopes of checking a few more off in 2009.

Some Other East Coast Classics I want to do/ Have done:

North Carolina:
Uwharrie 40 (21st)
Mt Mitchell 40 (22nd)
Umstead 50 (6th)

JFK 50 mile (5th, 65th, 185th)
Catoctin 50K (6th, 29th)
Greenway Trail 50K (12th)
HAT 50K -(?)

West Virginia:
Capon Valley 50K (?)
Rattlesnake 50K (?)
Big Schloss 50K (swept in 04, run in 09?)
Highland Sky 40 (?)
Cheat mt Moonlight 50 mile (2009?)

Wow, I've got to get busy! But, I very much look forward to going to and experiencing new races. Here's to a good ultra season

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hellgate 66 miler

Wow 79 degrees today: Dec 10th (what the Hell!)

Well Friday night at 12:01 am I began my quest to complete David Horton's longest/hardest/and youngest ultra race held in the southwestern Virginia mountains. This race: hellgate 100K is (like the other Horton races) long and rolls in at 66 miles (measured by 4 different GPS's units). the fact that it is located where it is and is 66 miles makes it hard enough but add in the being awake all day factor, starting in the dark, and the likelihood of cold, snow, ice and you get an epic event....just like the good Dr. Horton likes.

I did not mind all of the above...what I didn't like was the incredible amount of leaves down IN the trail covering all the loose and jagged rocks that make the blue ridge mountains the old decaying giants they are. The late fall and recent leaf drop with out much wind or rain recently created pockets of leaves 2 foot deep and rendered many sections of trail 1-3 miles in length completely unrunnable at any kind of normal stride. I like running and really was thrown off and slowed by this.

The 2nd thing that makes this race a tough one for me is my current state of having no hip flexor or hip extensor power. There are Many long climbs on the course where you ascend straight on forest service roads for one thousand to 2000 ft and without any hill climbing in Egypt and hardly any since I came back my legs just are not ready for the steady walking grind. Women, children, dogs and those in their 60's simply walked away from me on all these climbs. It got to be comical as I would have to take shuffling running steps to catch back up to those I was moving with until they walked away again. And whenever I stopped for a bathroom pit stop, or to get something out of my shoe I could never catch back up.

Luckily there were some downhills on the course and here I was able to run like I wanted and my quads (all hardend up from the 21, 26, 40, 62, 25, 26, and 50 mile long runs I have done the last 14 weeks) held up like champs and allowed me to go as fast as I wanted. Even today 48hrs post finish I easily handled some running in the back yard with Oskar.

The best thing about Hellgate was all the time I got to spend with VHTRC mates and training partners beginning with a few miles on the first climb with legends of ultrarunning Scott Mills and Derrick Carr, then Bethany Patterson and Ryan Henry miles 10-20. At mile 27 I began to run with Sophie Speidel and finished it out the last 3 miles with Kerry Owens. But, from Mile 2 on to mile 60 I ran with slightly ahead of or just behind my training partner of 2000-2001 Jeff Wilbur. Without all of y'alls company I would not have had the good time I did. THANKS!

My race started out HOT! as the temp was much warmer than I anticipated and I was insanely overdressed. This necessitated a stop about 1.5 miles into the first climb to strip off two Patagonia capilene T- shirts, my hat, gloves, and re-don but unzip my sporthill windshielding long sleeve. The patagonia running pants I had on were also not necessary but ended up staying on for all 66 miles.

After this first break I settled in at a fun pace where I could chat it up with Jeff Wilbur and stayed just off the front group and slightly ahead of the womens top 2-6 placers. This pace had me slipping back slightly during the race when I had some bonk points but surging again strongly after 42 miles.

Due to ice conditions the BR parkway was closed causing the mile 22 aid staion and drop back place to be moved and drop bags going only to mile 42. This pretty much sucked as I had planned to adjust my clothing, shoes (as I was getting a blister) and pick up needed cliff shot blocks as they have been the main thing that has been working well for me in ultras of late. but, what are you gonna do???? I ran on... ate the shot blocks I had at a sparing pace and bonked..... until mile 27 where I put down an amazingly tasting scrambled egg wrapped in a tortilla. After another long climb that digested well and I had some great running energy....until the next bonk. Such is the ultra game.

At mile 42 I picked up my drop back took several minutes to make several adjustments and rallied to run the next section very well enjoying perhaps the most BEAUTIFUL SECTION of trail running in all of the 55 ultras I have now completed! Incredible section with great trail and sweeping vistas as far as you could see. I will never forget those 7 miles.

So will I go back???? Everyone always asks this after the tough ones... everyone answers no immediately then relents later. but, honestly no I doubt it. There are other races I want to do. Consider this box checked.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Great Blogs Reads

9 miles- 1:13 roads easy

Lots of great reads in the blog world of late as We$tern $tate$ 100 had its lottery (with many top ultrastuds being left out) and discussion on the need to modify the lottery seen on Andy Jones Wilkins, Wynn Davis, Anton Krupicka, and Bryon Powell's blogs.

Massanutten opens entry today, I bet it is full within 48hours.

Perhaps the best read is an interview with the legend Barney Klecker on Chad Austin's site. Wow this guys is amazing.

As for me I am starting to get excited about the Hellgate 100k.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Interval rest revisited

9 miles- 1:24 exploring new trails

Okay so I read some from Ohio coach Tinman last night. He is citing some research and promoting an idea that makes some good sense to me. Rest periods post intervals at a high level pace such as VO2max pace or 3k-5k race pace. He is suggesting these should have a long recovery and not the typical American system thinking of shorter rest equals a faster athlete. This might be true for repeats at supra-vo2max effort that are short in distance. (200m reps) and true for long reps at a lactate threshold pace. (cruise interval miles at 1/2 marathon pace with 30-60sec rest). But for the standard 3xmile workout at 3k-5k race pace. Its likily better to take 75-100% of the time of the interval for a rest period.

This is something I have rarely ever done. 3xmile in 5:00-5:40 on 2 min rest is something I have probably done 80 times. Yet, the times when I ran repeats like that or 2x 2mile or 2mile rest one mile...with big recoveries I raced my best times ever. I think going forward I will try adding some extra rest between v02max intervals.