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.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Keys 100

The best recap of the Keys100 is through the GoPro captures my crew took on the course. Although it doesn't capture the heat, relentless sun, and high humidity of south Florida!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Things Are Starting to Click

It's been a cold winter - and my fitness hasn't been what I've wanted it to be. Of course, if I miss a day or two of running in a row I wonder if I can "get back in the groove" or how much conditioning I've lost. Do I have to start back with a 5K? Not having a regular running regiment in Nov/Dec means that the early year races are a good indicator of how conditioned the body is - has less mileage been beneficial - or detrimental? Has it remembered how to run?

Early indicators through the first 3 races of the season - Bandera 100K, Rocky Raccoon 50, and Cowtown 50K are that yes - it has weathered winter weather fairly well. Bandera 100K I improved by over 2 hours over 2013 even with IT Band issues that kept me gimpy for the last 15 or so miles. At Rocky Raccoon 50 I cruised over the roots and improved over 1:30 minutes compared to 2013. At Cowtown 50K this past weekend I nailed a 4:17 for my fastest PR at a 50K yet (it's roads - but I'll take it!)

The great thing about the races is that none of them I've really trained for. They have been more training runs than anything else. The main races of the year are the four Grand Slam races beginning in June. But it's been good to get an idea of how my running has improved. Now that the weather is warming - there's no excuse for not knocking out some serious mileage. In fact - the more I can be out in the sun to start my heat acclimization as it warms up - the better.

Week of Jan 27th 35 miles
Week of Feb 3rd 65 miles (Rocky Raccoon 50)
Week of Feb 10th 40 miles
Week of Feb 17th 55 miles (Cowtown 50K)
Week of Feb 24th 35 miles
Week of March 1st  30 miles
Week of March 8th  50 miles
Week of March 15th 48 miles
Week of March 22nd 107 (includes Moab 100 with 84 miles)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weeks Ending 1/19 and 1/26

Still being a fair weathered runner - and still complaining about it. You'd think as a trail runner I'd appreciate being outside, regardless of the conditions. However, I've decided that anything less than 40 is just too cold to run outside. Instead, I've been venturing indoors on these type of days to get some stairstepper and treadmill work in. If you think running 100 miles might be "boring" - try running 3 miles on a treadmill - or worse - 6+. Terrible.

This wknd was great - 70 yesterday and nearly 80 today. Never fear - it's supposed to be 35 tomorrow with a 35 mph wind. Treadmill anyone?

1/13 - 3.5
1/14 - 3.5
1/15 - 7
1/16 - 6
1/17 - 12
1/18 - 20
1/19 - none

1/20 - none
1/21 - 3
1/22 - 10
1/23 - none
1/24 - 6
1/25 - 16
1/26 - 15