Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Training Weeks of February 27 - March 20

Week of February 27

Total mileage: 70
Races: Nueces 50 Mile 3rd 6:51.35

Sun - Off

Mon - Morning 4m @7.29; Afternoon 5m @8.00 Total - 9

Tue - Afternoon 7m - Track Tempo 3m - 17.15 (5.45, 5.46, 5.43) Total - 7

Wed - Off

Thu - Lunch 4m @7.57 w/ Cory Total - 4

Fri - Off

Sat - Morning 50m - Nueces 50 Mile 6:51.35 - 8.14 Avg. Total - 50

Week of March 6

Total mileage: 10
Bike: 22
Races: None

Sun - Off

Mon - Off

Tue - Off

Wed - Off

Thu - Afternoon 7m @~7.30 w/ Cory Total - 7

Fri - Afternoon 3m @~7.30 Total - 3

Sat - Afternoon - Bike 22m @19.8 mph

Week of March 13

Total mileage: 5
Bike: 136.5
Swim: 2
Races: None

Sun - Afternoon - Bike 15 @17.8 mph

Mon - Morning - Bike 12m @19.2 mph; Afternoon - Spin Bike 25 minutes(=8m)
High Spin(120 rpm)-Climb workout Total Bike - 20

Tue - Afternoon 5m @7.38 w/ HS guys Total - 5

Wed - Morning - Swim 1m @33.52; Afternoon - Bike 23m @ 20.4 mph

Thu - Afternoon - Bike 10m @ 21.1 mph

Fri - Morning - Swim 1m @33.42

Sat - Morning - Bike 68.5m @20.1 mph

Week of March 20

Total mileage: 30
Bike: 16
Swim: 1
Races: Bel Monte 25K 2nd 1:59.33

Sun - Afternoon - Swim 1/2m @17.20

Mon - Morning - Bike 16m @ 20.4 mph; Evening 5m @~7.26

Tue - Off

Wed - Evening 8m - Track Tempo 3 1/2m - 20.13 Avg. 5.46 Total - 8

Thu - Off

Fri - Off

Sat - Morning 17m - Bel Monte 25K - 1:59.33

I thought I should get my training up so everyone can see how messed up my training gets sometimes. The right ankle/foot issues from Nueces have been a bit worse than I would have hoped. The pain is on the inside part of the ankle and runs down into the arch of the foot. Running can irritate it significantly. Biking bothers it somewhat and swimming sometimes. Then again it hurts just walking sometimes and definitely hurts some working at the nursery. By two weeks after Nueces, it didn't hurt while running or biking, but would be worse afterward. It was feeling much better last week, almost well. Of course I took a lot of time off. Then I ran Bel Monte. The foot starting hurting a little two miles in and progressed to quite painful by 40 minutes in. The race was quite fun otherwise. Ryan Woods and I ran together for the first 10 miles or so. We were running comfortable(other than my foot) and talked throughout the 10 miles. Everyone seems to think I did most of the talking. Ryan talks a bit too when we run together. Coming down Torrey Ridge trail before the drop off the mountain, Ryan decided to go by and secure the win. He broke Aaron's course record with 1:56.04. I got in under 2 hours with 1:59.33. I think we are the only three to run under 2 hours. I was surprised to run that fast with how we ran the first 1:06. I think both of us could have run several minutes faster, that's only conjecture though. It was fun hanging out afterwards. Alison ran and finished second to Annette Bednosky. Alison hadn't run for 9 weeks, but got in a couple of days the week before the race. We hung around to see my friend, Mark Lundblad, break my 50 Mile course record by about 40 seconds. A fun day.

I've been icing my foot a lot. I found a walking boot and have been using it as much as I can this week. I've been using a lace up brace to work. I've done some laser treatments and DMSO. I'm doing a half-marathon in Boise this weekend, part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup. I think I'll be fine, it'll just hurt, right?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Neuces 50 Mile - Back to racing smarter.

Nueces River along the course

Saturday was Nueces 50 Mile, the USA 50 Mile Trail Championship. I had decided to do Nueces after doing Bandera 100K in January. The trails in that area of Texas a fairly technical, being rather rocky. Technical trails help me hang with the faster guys, as I have no true leg speed (look at my personal bests along the right side). I had taken some chances at Bandera with

going out faster than I knew I could sustain. You've got to take chances sometimes, but oncemay be enough. I tend to know my abilities all too well, not many surprises. I was in a world of hurt at Bandera for the last 30+ miles and had no intentions of repeating the experiment at Nueces. I had multiple pages of course breakdown to compute pace over each section of the course. Using the profile map, I figure my time on segments down to 1 tenth of a mile in places. I had hoped to hit pace for the first two loops of the three loop course. Then I hoped to run a faster third loop, but at least not do the trudge of death to the finish on the third loop.

Alison and I drove over from San Antonio on Friday, the speed limit on the two lane road was
70. Then a turn onto a rough dirt road with 8 miles to the race site. It was rolling scrub brush countryside. The land was dry, then we came to the river by the race site. It was still dry all around, but a nice spring fed river cutting through it. We meet up with friends throughout the evening, did the pasta dinner, and hit the bunk house.

The 6 am start required a headlamp with the temp around 40. Soon a guy doing his first ultra was out front and pulling away. Dave James gave chase thinking it was Jason Schlarb, but Jason was back with a group of us that hung together through the first aid station. Alison was at one of the aid stations and said the front guy had no bottle, plus was taking very little fluids or fuel at the aid stations. Dave said he had advised the guy to fuel more. I was right with Steven Moore, a top local runner who I ran with a bit at Bandera. I don't have very good night vision and ended up turn my right ankle a couple of times in the dark, once pretty significantly. Several of us did a bit of talking about who all was there. After the first aid station was my favorite section. It was a rough trail that Joe, the RD, had cut cross country to link over to another trail. I passed a few guys and pulled away slightly. Then out onto a fireroad and the parade went by. Jason Schlarb went by first and I looked at his compact, efficient stride. I knew then that he'd be tough as I watched him run out of sight. Then Steven Moore, Jack Pilla, and Jeremy Pade. Back onto some single track trails and I passed Jeremy and caught up to Steven at the next aid station. All four of us were close through the first loop. Mostly it was Steven and I running together, so of course he got to hear a lot of talking. We did the first loop in 2:13.36 with first place 13 minutes up.

The second loop Steven, Jack, and I ran together mostly. I enjoyed the company as we all talked

some, okay I probably talked most. I really wanted to hold pace for second loop. As we hit each aid station, I saw that we were holding pace well. I thought that some guys have to be starting to slow some now. At the biggest climbs around 10 miles into the 16.67 mile loop, I was still climbing well on the second loop. That was great as my back is almost 100% and I'm finally starting to climb well again. I pulled away from Steven and Jack some, but they pulled back close on the descents. I left for the third loop with a 2:14.34 split for the second loop. I was pleased with that. The first guy had dropped, I believe Jason and Dave were still about 12-13 minutes up. Jack was with me leaving and we stayed close to the first aid station of the loop. I had slipped off pace a little to this first aid station. I hit the rough, primitive trail well and was now on my own. The right ankle was starting to hurt and I really had to concentrate not to limp any. I had slid off pace more at the second aid station but had closed some on Dave to about 8-9 minutes. If I could run the last 7.2 miles in an hour, I'd still hit 6:46. Then I hit the big climbs again and had to walk on steep parts this time. That really added some time, 4+ minutes on this section compared to the other loops. At the last aid station 2.25 miles out, I knew I wouldn't catch Dave. I took a little extra time there, thanked the volunteers, and apologized for being a frantic psycho most the day. I finished up in 6:51.35. Jason Schlarb won in 6:28.26, Dave James took second in 6:43.24. That is my 7th third place finish at a trail or ultra USATF championship with 4 times being under the previous course record. Not even the bridesmaid like Dave James, I'm the other random person you ask to be in your wedding party. Hey, at least I was at the party. Steven Moore caught Jack Pilla in last mile to go 7:00.07 and 7:01.01. Jeremy Pade also got under the previous course record for 6th in 7:14.45 and Liza Howard set a new women's record with the win in 8:09.59.

I faded the last loop, mostly the last hour, with a 2:23.25 final split. The right ankle was fairly sore afterwards. It was tough to put a shoe back on after the race. Then it hurt as soon as I moved it Sunday morning, before I even put my foot on the floor. The hamstring on that leg is sore from compensating I think. I think both will snap back quickly. Otherwise, I don't feel to bad. This race definitely proved to myself that I prefer running smart/even. I think I'll be back to finishing races strong again soon as I get more healthy and fit. The Crosslite 2.0 really worked well. This was the first time I've done an ultra in a racing shoe. Most don't provide enough support for me, this shoe is awesome, support in the right places, flexible everywhere else. I've really enjoyed the courses at the two Prusaitis races, tough technical trails. And I appreciate the new friends met at the races.

Me, Dave James, Jack Pilla, Steven Moore
Some great guys, as well as runners.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Training Weeks of February 13 - February 20

Week of February 13

Total mileage: 57
Races: Pilot Mountain Payback Marathon 1st 3:05.56 CR

Sun - Off

Mon - Afternoon 8m @7.24 Total - 8

Tue - Morning 4m @7.50; Evening 6m @7.43 Total - 10

Wed - Evening 6m slow w/ Abran marking the PMPB course Total - 6

Thu - Afternoon 4m slow w/ Stacey Total - 4

Fri - Afternoon 4m @7.15 w/ strides Total - 4

Sat - Morning 25m - Pilot Mtn. Payback Marathon(24 miles) 4400' climbing
3:05.56 - 7.45 Avg. Total - 25

Week of February 20

Total mileage: 60
Races: Hardcore Serious Trail 10K 2nd 42.15

Sun - Off

Mon - Evening 10m @7.35 Total - 10

Tue - Morning 4m @7.36; Evening 8m @~7.30 Total -12

Wed - Morning 4m @7.29; Afternoon 8m - Hills- 830m@5.23 pace, 700m@5.23 pace,
565m@5.17 pace, 320m@5.00 pace Total - 12

Thu - Afternoon 8m @~7.34 Total - 8

Fri - Afternoon 8m @~7.20 Total - 8

Sat - Morning 10m - Hardcore Serious Trail 10K(~7m?) 42.15 Total - 10

There is a 7th grader who runs with our high school group some named Elvis. His older brother ran at the high school a couple of years ago and Elvis started coming with him this summer. A week or so ago, Elvis asked if anyone has ever run across all seven continents. I said I didn't know of anyone, but I wasn't sure. Elvis said he wants to be the first and asked if I would help crew him. He said that he wanted to be an ultra runner when he gets older. After a little more conversation, he asked me, "Are you an ultra runner?" Yes Elvis, I am. He had been looking on the internet about various extreme running adventures. I'd say most, if not all, of the kids I work with wouldn't know I was an "ultra runner." They just know I run longer races than normal, they're busy being teenagers. It was a fun conversation with Elvis. He asked what I thought of his future plans and if they were crazy. I told him to keep dreaming big things and imagining what it'd be like to do them. Crazy dreams keep us smiling.