Friday, February 29, 2008

Chasing Annette

Sunday & Monday- off
Tuesday- 13 miles easy treadmill
Wednesday- 6 miles road
Thursday- off

Okay just for curiosity sake I looked up what I thought I remembered. And it turns out it did happen. The amazing Annette Bednosky ran the February triple that I just completed this month in the year 2005. The same year that she went on to win the Western States 100 miler in an amazing 18:39. What is this February triple you ask? Uwharrie 40 mile, Holiday Lake 50k, and Mt Mitchell Challenge 40 in the same month.

How did I stack up:
Annette: Uwharrie 40- 6:59, HL50K- 4:51, MMC- 5:50
Me: Uwharrie 40- 7:38, HL50k- 5:07, MMC- 6:23

Later that spring she went on to run what will be my next two scheduled events:
Bel Monte 50k- 4:59
Bull Run Run 50mile- 7:40

In her amazing year she set course records at the two 40's and BRR 50.

It will be interesting to see how I can stack up. Annette you rock!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mount Mitchell Challenge

Descent into the clouds at the Mt Mitchell Challenge. This is VHTRC teammate Bryon Powell who I managed to finish with in 6:23. Results here

Running up the first 3 mile road climb out of the town of Black Mountain, NC
Heading up the early single track trail... runners in both the Challenge and the Marathon ran together

Heading up to the Blue Ridge parkway on a rocky jeep trail

Miles 14 and 26 at the aid station along the blue ridge parkway. Amazing views of the mountains and their fleeting cloud cover.

A view of the alpine woods approaching the summit. The trail is actually pictured...Can you see it? We hit the summit 3:45 in to the race.
Me at mile 22 with cloudy and fogged in Mt Mitchell in the back ground left. Photo by Brad Smythe
Happy at the beautiful finish line. I manged to soundly break 6:30 thanks to Goat Powell catching me 3 miles out from the finish and making me run 7:00 pace miles to close......what gives man? I don't breath hard in ultras!
VHTRC folks enjoying the beauty of Black Mountain at the finish: Loomis, Goat Powell, Gretchen Powell, and BTB C-ville Running Company teammate Mike Mason

Course Profile: 38 miles (21 miles climbing up to 6,684ft, then 17 mile descent)

Amazing Race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Mt Mitchell 40 is one of the coolest races I have ever done when taken as a whole:
1. Course location: Awesome highest mountain in the east coast
2. Course terrain: great mix of road, Jeep trail, runnable single track, super steep technical trail
3. Distance: advertised at 40 miles the 38 was more than enough. I love 50k-50mil distances!
4. Beauty: the views from the town of Black Mountain, along the ascent and descent and from the summit are unbelievable
5. Aid / support: the town was out cheering us on, the race had 9!! aid stations some of which were packed in and had campsites and fires going
6. Weather: Always iffy, but we lucked out temps 40-60 and no rain, hardly any ice at the summit, crazy gusting winds and cloud/fog made it interesting
7. Companionship on the trail: lots of good folks out there and 6 miles with (including a finish)buddy Bryon
8. Effort expended: Perfect...Hard but enjoyable. I took a lot of photos, had conversations and really enjoyed it, but was competitive with myself and others too. I had three really good pressing stretches: miles 14-20, 22-31, and 35-38
9. How I felt (GI issues, legs, lungs, mentality)- NO ISSUES! Great day. One pit stop, 1400 calories of clif shot blocks ingested; along with water and coke at the aid stations. Legs were strong and held up to the descent fine, altitude was noticeable miles 15-26 when we were above 5200ft. But it was not too much. Mentally I am happy to be fit enough to be running NEAR the front of the pack once again. 22nd of 122
All things considered it was the best ultra I have experienced in 6 years.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Holiday Lake 50K

Firday- off
Saturday- 34 miles- 5:07

Great fun yesterday on the trails around Holiday Lake State Park! I went to (and finished) the infamous Horton creme puff ultra the HL 50K for the first time finally solidifying that I am an ultrarunner.....It seems HL50k is most folks in Virginia's first ultra. Yet it took me 10 years and 70 ultras to get there.

The weather was perfect 40's all day with a clear sky little wind and trails that were not too muddy. a few stream crossings and slight grade hills keep the double 17 mile loop interesting. And the double track trail/road for most of the run allows two folks to run abreast and chat....which is what I did all day long with VHTRC bud Ryan Henry. We were together from the first rays of sunrise until we cross the finishing tape. Fun! Great conversation and company was had with many others as well. We finished just shy of the top 50 in the race showing that ultras are indeed getting more popular and competitive. A 5 hour finish here in previous years was normally place top 25.

I ran steady with very few walk breaks and managed to hold 9:02 pace for the run. Splits for first and 2nd half fell off (2:24/2:43) with a long pit stop in the bushes accounting for some of that. The course was opposite of Uwharrie two weeks ago in that it did nothing to my quads but worked the hamstrings due to all the steady running. No technical trail sections and no real hills really spared the legs so walking around this morning after is completely fine.

This was an impromptu race for me, but with entries not closed, my Saturday unplanned, and the start line a mere 90minutes from my door I could not pass this one up. And for all those who hate this run (like mountian specialist Keith Knipling- who stated "Give me two loops of T.W.O.T. over this anyday" at the finish) there are just as many roadrunner types who really enjoy it. Like me yesterday.

Now off to Mt Mitchell!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Heartrates anyone???

After playing with a heartrate monitor for one of the first times I am begining to gather some data on myself. I am begining to wonder what others are getting for their own HR values.

1) I have run 3 trail ultras of 31-41 miles in length the last few weeks and seem to average a HR of 136-138bpm with a steady moderate effort the whole race but HR fell over the 5-7 hours from 140's to 120's.

2) with easy runs of 45min-1:45 around my neighborhood I have an ave HR of 128-138bpm depending on how easy I go. For me 130bpm is around 8:45 pace per mile

3) in a hilly 10k trail race I have readings of 159bpm ave and shooting in to the 170's on the up hills 145-150's on the downhills. This was pretty much a max effort for 46minutes.

4) And in track work of 1000m and mile repeats with full recoveries I tend to average 153-161bpm for the repeat. With values in the last 100m of the repeat of 164-170. These repeats were close to 6:00 mile pace or my current VO2 max pace according to Jack Daniels calculator using my recent 3:01 marathon. (That was a total all out, well paced effort).

Sprinting up a hill I have got my HR up to 183 (I had said 192 but looking at the data graph from Uwharrie that one point had to be an jumped from 178 to 191and then back into the 170's immediately) spriniting the first hill in the CRC trail 10k I hit 183. I will do a test soon to more accurately find my current max HR. I remember now my max HR being lower than predicted when I was doing lab testing in 1997 to 2002 (old values were 181-190 for my max then...and a few years have passed). I am 33 years old, but understand the 220-age formula has a 12bpm standard deviation! So is notoriously off for the majority.

So what I want to do next week is a 2 mile time trial to find out my current true VO2 max fitness and what my HR is during this run.

What kind of values do you get???
Book values below:
Vo2max- % of max HR=95-98
Lactate threshold- % of max HR 80-92
Recovery easy run -% of max Hr should be less than 75%

And why does the check spelling feature no longer work on my blog???

Solid Week

Sunday- yoga
Monday- 15 miles - 2:12
Tuesday- weight work
wednesday- 12 Miles (10 run 2 walk)
Thursday 6 miles (5x1000m)

Some nice solid work this week. I'm still keeping with the day on day off schedule with my runs being on the longish side. Monday was pure steady, wednesday I did 10 miles running then walked 2 at 12% grade with a 25lbs weight vest on (Hardrock looms!)

Yesterday was a great weather day 45 degrees perfectly still with blue skies and a warm sun. I went to the track and put in a classsic repeat workout: 5 x 1000m with equal recovery time. This one went well with laps of: 3:44, 3:42, 3:41, 3:41, 3:38. I tried to run very steady with a tiny bit of increased effort as the workout progressed. HR averages: 153, 155, 155, 156, 157

You can see the warm up, strider, 400m in 93sec, then 5x 1000m reps, and cool down here. cool!

It just felt good to be on the track and pushing. This is the 4th week in a row with a solid fast workout for me. Habit?? I hope so.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Foxhaven Farms Trail 10k

Saturday- 1 w up 5.7-46:31, 4miles c dn

A great day today in my favorite town (charlottesville, VA). The weather was great for the Charlottesville Running Clubs 2nd race in the Great Eastern Trail Run Series and canine races for the SPCA.

It was super fun to see 20 some dogs and owners takle a tough trail 4 miler in C-ville today and then hit the trails for my shortest race in a long time. The runs were held out on riverroad and on the private lands and trails of foxhaven farms. and WOW were they hilly!!!

Not one but TWO climbs kicked my butt today and sent my HR into the 180's. Fun stuff. I managed to average 159bpm for the entire 46 minutes of racing showing that yes...I NEED to push myself a bit harder. Stats here.

Chart of my HR and elevation changes in the race. HILLY!

It was so much fun to just let it rip and not worry about dying or bonking. Short races are great. I need to do much more of these. I even felt good on a 4 mile cool down with race winner and reigning USATF trail marathon champion Aaron Saft.

speed?? not really

Friday- 4 miles

I went over to the track to gtet the legs moving and ran 8x100 striders doing a 6:45 mile in 100 on/100off fashion then did some 200's in 36.6(slightly uncomfortable), and 39(comfortable) then a 3:03- 800m in total control. Just a little bit to get me moving for saturdays race.

speed is my friend speed is my friend....must remember.....

I checked out a bunch of folks blogs today and was super inspired by Mark Godale. He is 1999's ultrarunner of the year and has run amazingly from 2:30's marathons, 100 mile trail victories, strong showings internationally (Comrades, 7:08 world 100k, and a 30hr -153mile spartathlon), as well as having set an american record 162.4miles in the 24hr road event. Mark has slowed over the years but appears to be really trying to get back to the top. Check out his recent training! Damn I need to get off my duff!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hills Hurt!

Tuesday-walked 5 miles
Wed- off
Thursday- 6 miles easy pace

I watched the great documentary Supersize Me while walking on my treadmill Tuesday... I figured I had to be moving to watch the film. amazing documentary...a must see if you have not already. UGH! 25lbs and wrecked liver enzxymes levels, cholesterol, and BP readings in a mere 21 days of McDonalds!! crazy. America is in trouble when people think it is okay to drink four (yes 4) full 2 liter bottles of soda a day!

I thought my one glass of diet coke a day was bad....still going to kick that habit. I don't like caffiene headaches when I don't get my coke in every 24hrs. Having an addiction like that is pretty rediculous.

Sooooooo downhills hurt! my left quad still has some lingering deep soreness going on. Probably because I never run long downhills anymore. I need to add this training back in if I plan on running well in my upcoming ultras:
2/23- Mt Mitchell 40
3/8- group 34 miler in VA
3/23- Bel Monte 50k
4/12- Bull Run 50
5/10- Ice Age 50
6/7- Kettle Moraine 100k

The Hardrock Lottery was held last weekend.... I was not super lucky, but may still have a shot getting in to the field. (I'm #22 on the waitlist) I really wanted to run in 08 as this year they run the course in the clockwise direction which I have never done. (I ran 36:18 in 2000- ccw) and DNF'd after 60 miles in 05-ccw). So I guess I will have a lot of waiting and seeing.

I'm looking forward to May and June in Chicago as now I have a place to live and will be running a commute back and forth to the Rehab Institute of Chicago along the lakeshore bike path 6-7 miles each way.

Next up is a 10k trail race in charlottesville along some of my old stomping grounds from when I got my masters at UVA in 2000-2002. The CRC does a great job with these events and I am looking forward to racing against some other trail lovers.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Uwharrie 40

Friday- off
Saturday- 41- 7:38
Sunday- off recovery

Wow, what a race! Uwharrie is a tough run...great singletrack, no huge climbs, but constant undulating hills with decently technical terrain that never lets you open up and click off some quick or easy miles. I underestimated the course and figured I was fit enough to run a sub 7 hour run here, but was not even close on the second 20 after hitting the half way turn around in 3:31. I never completely bonked and had no stomach issues yet again ( 9 packs of 200 calorie shot blocks with water, coke, and NUUN was all I ingested), but I did not have the skills to run any faster.

I opened up pushing pretty good on the first climb then settled in with the heartrate hitting 145-150 for the first 5 miles then stayed steady with an ave HR of 141bpm at 20 miles. I only managed an ave of 132 on the second 20 for a total average of 136bpm for the race. Stats here.

I was really fortunate to hook up with CJ Blagg of Arlington and VHTRC fame at mile 9 and managed to run with him the entire rest of the run. We were perfectly matched and helped one another enjoy the truly amazing weather day (clear and still with temps of 32-60).

VHTRC folks were everywhere with Sean Andrish running the 6th fastest time ever (6:05) for the win and several others in placing top 10. On the womens side VHTRC represented well with new friend and C-ville Running Club teammate Alyssa Godesky running 8:00 and Sophie pounding out a strong 8:08 for 6th and 7th.

All in all it was a great day and a great event. I am glad I am finally able to say I have run the famous Uwharrie trail. Now on to Mt Mitchell!