Saturday, May 31, 2008

Week 4 Down

Sun- 8 miles with Anne
Mon- 8 miles- 63
Tues- 7-56min
Wed-7- 55min
Thurs 7- 53min
Fri- off mentally spent after 3 big tests this week
Sat- double 7miles in 55 min, 7 miles 59min (bonk)

a fine week of 51 miles....seems like I did more as tired as I am. Finished off the month of May with 207 miles of running on 23runs in 22 days.

I am now 1/2 way through the program here in Chicago and really getting ready to be done and back home with Anne. It has been intense and challenging, but fun at the same time. Prosthetics is an amazing field.

Next week at this time I will hopefully be making my way through KM 100. Lets hope the weather is like today's in Chicago! 80 and clear, beautiful! Best day in the Month I have been here. I literally saw 500 or so people out on the lakeshore path running, walking, biking, rollerbladding. Huge packs of runners in training groups getting geared up for a fall marathon I guess. It was fun to pass 4 different pace groups this morning. They had started at 6:30.....ugh that's early for a Saturday!

I honestly don't think I'd join a group that meets that early.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Week Three

week 3 was pretty mild!!!!!!!

4 runs of 7 miles each, 3 days off.

Tuesday, however, I set the record on my commuter route making the 6.8 mile trek in a speedy 47:34. That was fast enough to make me a bit sore/achy the next day.

I took Friday and Sat off and flew back home to Richmond to spend the long weekend at home. Nice to be home for a bit, but a pain to travel.

After arriving at the Richmond Airport at 2PM (CST) I managed to get to my place in Chicago at 12:56AM. ugh...suck! What is the odds of a flight delay these days?? 75%?

Anyway I had a nice 8 mile run with Anne on Sunday and got reacquainted with rolling hills on my standard 8 mile loop Monday. Ugh!

Today Chicago proved once again to be aptly named. 50mph winds along the lakeshore (headwinds going home... of course) The blowing sand actually hurt my bare legs. Pretty impressive to see the lake crashing breakers up onto the bike path. I had sand in my shoes from the wind, and kept having to close my mouth and eyes to keep it out.

I'm really not sure why anyone would want to live here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Remebering those who have served

Now that I am really in the throws of learning to craft prosthetics I have been remembering a lot of the guys I was fortunate to get to know while I worked as a physical therapist.

Google is a wonderful tool....and some searches pulled up very good reads on:
raising awareness, on NPR, In the news, and in a nice video news report on the project " Segs for VETS"... a group who donated segway machines to many veteran amputees from the war: here

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Week two in Chi Town

Week two - 35miles

sun + Mon- off
Tues- 7 -62min (walked some)
Wed-7- 55min
Thurs-7- 56min
Friday- 7- 53min
Sat- 7 miles walk 1:49 with pack on

A solid week considering I did 50 last Saturday. The legs came around well. both Achilles noticeable....I need to stretch! i'm missing my home made calf slant board stretcher....which is at home in VA.

Chicago is treating me is cold and windy compared to VA though. Pollen is out with blossoming red buds and other trees. Funny since VA had this 6 weeks back. school is very busy but good. Its fun and I am glad I am doing this.

MMT 100 is going on right now and I am missing it. I have got so I don't like the technical trails as well, but I still miss my MMT. Hard to believe it was 7 years ago I was rocking that course. Time flies. Looks like Keith Knipling is really giving it a good run. I hope he can pull it out. It was not that long ago he was finishing next to last place in this race! Hats off to Amy Sproston who is also kicking butt.

Since I am here, in shape, healthy, and have no tests the week following the race I think I am going to go run Kettle Moraine. On the motivation front....I was super impressed by Scott Dunlaps strong 2:47 big PR last week. A few months of speed training (tempo runs and repeat 800's) really helped him improve. I need to get on that train!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ice Age 50 Mile

big week for me: 90 miles
Sun- 14
Fri-off- drove up to race after work with my brother, Tim
sat- 50 miles- 8:25 (18th)

Ice Age 50 Mile (Resuts) ------ garmin report here

The Ice age 50 Mile was in its 27th year this year and had good trail conditions and great running weather (p. sunny temps 35 at the start warming to 63). the field had 200+ runners and started at 6am.

The race has an interesting lay out with a really runnable and smooth slightly rolling jeep trail width path for a 9 mile loop back to the start/finish. The course then heads on out for an out and back to the south (21.7 mile mark) and then goes out for an out and back to the north with the turn around at 40 miles all on nice single track trail.

I started the race at a good clip settling in at training pace clicking off 8:00 miles with Ann Heaslett reminiscing about 2001/2002 when she was competing for national 50k titles at the HUFF race and crushing me at RR 100 where she ran 15:57!! I was hovering around 150bpm and made myself slow down and let her go on off in pursuit of Kim Holak (last years womens winner) who had gotten out to an early lead. I was able to hold 150bpm for 3 hours (22miles) at BRR 50 last month but completely depleted the glycogen stores and could not climb back out of the deficit and ended up with a less than stellar I wanted to hold more of a 140bpm HR in this race and slowed my pace to that level despite not breathing heavy or really working THAT hard.

Proof that holding a lower HR initially leads to less of a drop late in the race... to BRR 50 here

I settled in with some guys new to ultras, a couple of triathlon guys, and a pilot from Chicago. The miles ticked by and before I knew it I was at the first turn around point (21.7 miles). The first guy to come by on the out and back was none other than legend Kevin Setnes who looked strong passing by with about 25minute lead on me. Women's leader was Kim Holak. I was hitting 22 miles today at 3:25...a full minute per mile slower than I went out at BRR, but I felt a million times better and actually pushed a bit at this point moving up in the field slightly from the 25th or so I was in at the 21mile turn around.

I was eating more off the tables (1/4 putter butter and jelly sandwiches, M&M's, glasses of coke) and was drinking NUUN water from my bottle. (Coke flavored NUUN tabs rock by the way) I was carrying 8 carb boom gels with me, but left my Cliff shot blocks home in Virginia. Since a gel pack is only 100cals and shotblock packs are 200. I knew I needed to eat more off the tables than I have been doing in the 8 previous ultras I have completed in 2008. My stomach was feeling great and draining well so I continued to down cups of coke at each aid station, (which were very frequent), sip my NUUN water, and hit a gel every time I felt a tiny bit bonky. Around 30 miles I came upon Kevin who was walking and looked to be in pain. Hopefully he is okay.

During the 4th hour I felt the poorest I would feel, but really was not that bad off...just a little behind in energy and thus the walking had increased. I had an off trail pit stop and then did some running with Boston native Chris H who was running with the broken finger he suffered in the infamous "Don't run boston 50K" in the Blue hills. I ran that race in 2001 and wow! what a tough one. This course had about 2% of the rocks and footing difficulty that that one did. I'm thankful for it too. I like running and despite having had good runs on tough technical courses, I am leaning more and more toward the fast nice footing courses.

I hit 31 miles in under 5 hours and continued to move up in the filed. I made it out to the 40 mile turn around in 6:40. Doing some calculations I knew that if I continued to do the 11 minute miles I was averaging over the last 10-12 I would be really pressed to break 8:30. The next 3 miles to the 43.5 mile aid station were still slow and I really didn't think I had it in me, but a mile or so later I was passed by a hard charging guy from Michigan who had 13 previous Ice Age finishes under his belt. He picked me up and we pushed hard together. We ran most everything until reaching the final aid station a mere 2.4 miles from the finish at the 8:02 mark. We knew sub 8:30 was in the bag and he relaxed while I moved on wanting to be done with this fine run. a few more turns on the pine needle covered trails and the finish line appeared. I squeaked into the top 20 and finished in 8:25. Surprisingly this race even had age group awards and I got a 2nd in mine. In 70+ ultras I have run in this was the first time that has happened! Ha. kinda silly since most of the top folks are still considerable older than me. And two of the most amazing older runners in the country proved that. Roy Pirrung beat me by 5 or so minutes at the rip age of 59! And even more impressive at age 66!!!!!!!!!!! Tom Bunk finished a mere 10 minutes behind me in 8:35. That is amazing.

All in all the great footing trail and amazing sections under pine trees will be what I remember most. this is a good one and I am glad I was able to run it. In terms of difficulty I would say it falls in between JFK and BRR. Thanks to all the volunteers that helped make it a great run for me.

The running log shows that the first 8 races at the 50 mile distance I ran were all faster than this one, but only one of the last 5 I have run has been. Lets hope a new trend is being set!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Saturday- travel off
Sunday- 13.5- along lakeshore

wow, amazing city skyline and views from the lakefront/lakeshore bike/running path! I am surprised at the lakes great blue/turquoise color. PRETTY! a great sunny day here today temps in the 60's. Light breeze off the lake as I ran. I toured the path from the condo I am renting a room in down to the RIC where I'll be going to class and back. FLAT! gonna take some getting used to the concrete/blacktop flatness. But, there is a dirt path alongside of much of the bikepath. Today I saw all of the following on my run:
runners, bikers, tandom bike riders, bikers pulling kids in trailers, joggers pushing strollers, rollerbladers, roller bladers pushing strollers, dogs being walked, run, played with in the water, catching frisbees, folks playing softball, baseball, Frisbee, soccer, golf, tennis, and juggling. WOW active place. It is going to be nice.

If I choose to commute the route is 6.6 miles one way. I am 2 blocks from the north entrance to Lincoln park...and the RIC is on Superior street down by the Drake hotel and the Navy Pier for those who know Chicago.

I had some Thick (chicago deepdish) pizza following the run. MMMMMMMMMMmmmm gonna like living here for 8 weeks me thinks. as I was showering I was thinking about all the places I have lived for at least 35 days. In chronological order:

Cambpell, NY
Jonesboro, AR
Alfred, NY
Hendersonville, NC
Ithaca, NY
Columbia, SC
Natick, MA
San Antonio, TX
Framingham, MA
Clarksville, TN
Charlottesville, VA
Takoma, WA
Arlington, VA
BF, Egypt
Richmond, VA
Chicago, IL

And if you want to be really specific... I have had 17 different mailing addresses in the last 15 years since I graduated from highschool. This does not include 5 separate 30-70 day stays in different locations (such as the 60 days I'll be in chicago now...but still LIVE and get mail in Richmond) Can anyone top that??

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm Back!

Okay a long blogging break, but I just didn't feel like it. and really was not running much. I actually took a zero WEEK following BRR 50. Didn't feel like running (mentally- physically I was 100% two days later) so I didn't run. I have spent many many hours "cross training" Meaning I have been clearing a yard via cutting saplings & dead trees with a hand saw, raking, shoveling, leveling ground, digging up roots and rocks, dragging piles dirt/pine needles/wet leaves/mulch around on a tarp, weeding, cutting down vines, pulling up root systems, ect ect ect. ugh pretty tiring total boy work considering I never do anything half-assed, or in a non-obsessive way. Yard looks great and is now twice the size.

Anyway I did manage to run the Rivana Trail in Charlottesville yesterday solo without making any wrong turns. It was good run and was the first good weather day in a long while. It took 3:31 and is an unknown distance. The garmin had it at 17.5 on the watch, but it was tracking low as a measured mile on blacktop read on the watch as 0.9 miles. The motionbased upload put it at 18.7. previous uploads have had it as high as 22 miles! who was a solid run though.

April ended up being the smallest monthly total mileage in a long while for me.
Jan- 208- 17 runs
Feb- 227.5- 14 runs
March-201- 17 runs
April- 169.5- 16 runs
That 806 miles for the year to date, meaning I am averaging an impressive 12.6miles per run.

For reference in 2001 I put in 2827 miles of running averaging 12.2 miles per run. Doubtful I will keep up this pace though as my intent for the next few months is to run shorter, faster, and more frequently in an attempt to get into Pr marathon shape. I want to run a quick road marathon in September.

I am looking at a few events on the eastern coast during that month and might hit Rochester, NY, Erie, Pa, or Akron, Oh for the potential race. I want to get it in before Oct 3rd's Grindstone 100 miler. I have already paid to enter this new and sure to be epic race. I don't have high expectations there, but want to be able to go and take part with the goal of a finish even if my legs are not specifically training for a trail mountain race.

I fly out to Chicago in 48hours and look forward to completing my training in prosthetics at Northwestern Univ and the Rehab Institute of Chicago. I aim to run a lot of doubles and road runs in the 5-7 mile range while there. I will also be taking part in the Ice Age 50 miler in 9 days as my brother Tim will be flying into town to go run the great Ice age races with me. The two of us have run marathons or ultras together in TX, NM, NC, and VA since he paced me the last 20 miles of the 2002 Western states 100. amazing how time has flown by!

Going forth I hope to give weekly updates on how my stay in Chicago is going and how my plan for a PR marathon is developing.