Thursday, March 14, 2019

There are always experts...

I finished my race calendar for the year. And except for Salton Sea which isn't confirmed, it looks like this:

Jan 5th - Bandera 100K
Feb 16th - Jackpot (did 100K)
March 16th - Cape Fear (52M)
April 6th - Screaming Monkey 100M
April 28th - Salton Sea (82M)
May 12 - Death Valley Training
May 25th - WS100 Training Camp
June 29th - WS100 Pacing
July 15th - Badwater135
Aug 3 - Badger 100 Pacing
Aug 17th - Mtn Training in Colorado
Sept 13th - RunRabbitRun 100M

One of the things that you'll learning in UltraRunning which is no different than in other parts of life, is that there are always experts. They're right there to tell you what you're doing wrong, what you should do instead, what works for them, what someone said in an article they JUST read yesterday. You know those types.

As evidence above, I like to run a lot of races (some that are "training runs") leading up to a big race. The stress on the body is intentional, but some would say "that's way too much" and "unnecessary" (re: the "experts"). What I've found is that I can run and train really hard as long as I listen to my body and respond accordingly. I take what it's willing to give. There's a huge mental component to long distance running, and the comfort and benefit of knowing that I'm going into a race more than prepared outweighs the risks.

When you're constructing your race schedule, put together something that works for you something you can handle. If you have a huge race like Badwater, put together races leading up that will best prepare you for that eniron. And.. give yourself some flexibility in your schedule that you can back off or drop something if you need to.

Listen to your body. Listen to yourself. Be your own expert.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

When you run #badwater135 in #deathvalley you've got to train the body to consume a lot of fluids. My "go to" hydration packs are these beauties by #ultraspire. Just got the updated Alpha 3.0 and the new Legacy. Christmas in March! They fit close to the body, don't bounce, and most of all they're easy to get in and out of with large hooks in front. Tons of storage capacity too which is great on the desert trails when water supplies are scarce. What's your favorite pack?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Badwater 2019

Got invited back to Badwater135 again and couldn't be more excited. Will try and do a better job of keeping up with updates, training, etc. The feel of going back to the race as a veteran having finished it once is completely different than as a rookie. I have a much better idea of logistics, coordination, what to do, and what NOT to do. One of the things RD Chris Kostman repeatedly says for potential entrants into the race is to get out and jump on a crew. Learn the race, learn the Badwater culture, understand the team aspect of this event. Having run both Badwater Salton Sea and Badwater135 I really understand why he mentions this over and over and over. You really are at a competitive disadvantage (not just vs other runners, but against the course itself) if you haven't been out there and experienced the heat, the suffering, the triumph, the camaraderie.

I look forward to sharing my experiences of this amazing event so it will help future runners that one day want to run Badwater, or so that other's can experience the race without having to actually toe the line  : -)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What's Important?

After a few years' break where I've spent a lot of time focused on family and other priorities, it's time to pick back up on logging some running adventures!

Even though last few years have been pretty crazy, I have learned many things which have actually made my running better. First, I had gotten to the point where running was "what I did" rather than "what I loved doing." It feels good to be back to wanting to get out to run, rather than checking it off the "to do" list for the day. Second, I've spent less time cramming in as many races as I can, and more time doing adventure running with friends where you find cool trails, slow down the pace, and enjoy exploring and camaraderie. Third, I've learned to listen to my body more, to train smarter rather than harder, and to mix in other sports to eliminate burn out.

I've also learned I can share quick thoughts rather than long, laborious posts which take too long to write and too long to read. So - that's all for now!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Race Lotteries and Applications

In addition to keeping a race calendar, I'm now keeping a lottery and application calendar. Races are filling so quickly that you either have to be on the internet ready to lock yourself into a race months in advance, or you hope that you hit payday with your 'powerball-esque' odds in getting in via a lottery. Whether you get in or not determines how other races will fall into place.

I probably need a flow chart to keep up with everything. If Western States, then Grand Slam with prep mountain races for training. If Badwater, then Key100 and other heat intense races for acclimation. 

Looking forward to Badwater135 invitations to see how the rest of the year is going to pan out. If no Western States and no Badwater135 - I need to create another portion of the flowchart that answers the question - "then what?"

Monday, December 28, 2015

When Injury Strikes

In the 7+ years of running and 4+ year of running 100 milers I've been relatively injury and pain free. Issues have been primarily focused on sore muscles post race and a few tweaks here and there. I didn't really think anything about it when my hamstring started giving me issues in the fall. Eh - it would go away, I could run through it, and it wasn't a big deal. But it didn't go away, and I could run through it but had to grin and bear it. It didn't initially seem like a big deal, but ended up taking more of a toll than a realized.

Nothing I did to fix it worked. I couldn't stretch enough - it was always tight. Rubbing the back of my leg was like rubbing concrete. I had my legs massaged and it left a massive bruise where there was scar tissue. Epsom salt, compression shorts, a thigh sleeve - I tried everything. I tried everything I could physically do.

What I didn't do is work on the mental side. I didn't accept that I had an injury that would not heal without rest. I didn't accept that I had an injury that wouldn't heal without strength training, patience, and discipline. I didn't accept that sometimes the will and mind are stronger than the body can bear.

The hamstring isn't 100% fixed. Better, but not fixed. While I'm still working on the physical side, I'm much improved on  the mental side - ready to work to get better. To not force the issue. To be patient and ready to go when my body is able.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tushar 92K

It didn't take a lot of arm twisting to get me to head to Southern Utah for a mountain run. My absolute favorite part of the country, I had been to the area many times but had never specifically been to the Tushar Mountains. Boy have I been missing out...

The drive up from Vegas to Beaver is around 3 hours. From Beaver, the road cuts off of the interstate, leaves the dry southern Utah landscape, and immediately starts to change as you take the windy road up to to the Eagle Point Ski Resort where the race starts/ends. We rented a condo which was a great options - two bedrooms and a loft and a couch in the living room.

The race is pretty much what you would expect of a tough mountain run at altitude. Technical, steep ups and downs, labored breathing in the thin air. What I wasn't expecting was the "sky series" type rules where the course sometimes veers off an established trail. Early in the 92K race (somewhere around mile 10 or 12?) I was plotting along on the trail and realized I hadn't seen a marker in a while. I didn't want to keep going if I had missed a turn and get further off course, but I also didn't want to turn around and lose all of the elevation I had been gaining. I finally backtracked until I ran into a group of runners. I told them I thought we had missed a turn somewhere. We all started looking around for markers. Finally someone saw one dangling from a tree that was not on the trail. This is when we realized the route was going straight up the mountain rather than following the switchbacks to the top. There were other parts of the course that were like this - going cross country instead of following the trail. It was a lot of fun, but made things a lot slower which meant I missed one of the cutoffs at an aid station. Instead of completing the entire 92K - I ended up taking the marathon route back to the state/finish and still managed to get some decent mileage.

This is a race I'd really like to tackle again with adequate mental and physical prep for thin air and long technical ups and downs.