Monday, June 25, 2012

Final Update - Life is Good

I didn't get 100 miles in 4 days and I didn't even come close but life is good.

I unknowingly trashed myself on that Friday afternoon run, not my legs, but the rest of my body.  I guess I was a lot more dehydrated and closer to heat exhaustion than I realized.  My alarm went off on Saturday morning and I rolled out of bed and went to go urinate but there was very little and it was really dark.... hmmm, not good.  I had a big glass of water and laid back down for a few and then got up and headed out to the North Shore Trail.  I still hadn't urinated again but figured hydrating on the 45 min drive out there would be more than enough to set me straight.

Long story short, 20 miles on a fantastic trail but not one single piss stop.  My legs felt fine and I was cruising along pretty effortless and was thinking that a double crossing, with the new trail that has been cut, would give me a solid 40 miles and put me back within striking distance for the 100 miles.  However, things really went downhill as I covered the last 2 miles heading back to my car.  It finally dawned on me that I hadn't really urinated properly since before my run the day before and I could tell that pushing through another 20 miles in near 100 degree heat would not be a wise decision.  By the time I finally made it to my car, I walked most of the last mile, I had trouble opening my car door and just wanted to lay down.  I got in my car and headed for home but had to stop a couple of times to let my head clear and just pull it together, it was actually pretty scary.

The good - I got in 50 solid miles in 3 days (I know, I know, chump change), I have a new found respect for the Texas heat, I enjoyed a lot of great beer.  The bad - I ran that whole 50 miles in shoes! (MT110)  Outside of racing, that is the longest I have gone without running barefoot in nearly 2 years.  I rectified that this morning with a 6 mile BF run and life is good.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 2 Update - Off in the Ditch

Well... you knew it was coming and here it is - 8 miles today. This is pretty hard to swallow b/c my legs felt great but I made a fatal decision by running a new trail today.  I ended up working today and that wasn't part of my plan and that kind of threw things off for the rest of the day.  I headed out to St. Paul, Texas on the shore of Lake Lavon (about 6 miles from my home base) to run the Trinity Trail but that trail head was over grown.  I figured it best not to run in waist high grass and weeds given that it is tick, snake, and spider season.  So I  headed up to Lucas, Tx to jump on the trail there and that was a much better access point.  The trail was really nice but it was about 90% exposed to the full sun of a nearly cloudless 100 degree day.  I made it 4 miles down trail and decided it was just too hot and turned for the return trip.  The heat and spiders! holy cow there were spider everywhere!! got the best of me and I called it a day upon returning to my car.

I would guess that I was pretty close to heat exhaustion by the time I reached my car.  I stood around for a few minutes drinking water and trying to pull it together but decided that staying alive was more important than logging 20ish miles in full sun and 100 degrees.  I've have since cooled down, mowed the lawn (glad that is out of the way) and had a nice steak and beer with some crazy good home grown tomatoes that the Money hooked me up with (not cash money but my buddy the Money)

The forecast is no better for tomorrow but I will be able to get out early.  I going to hit up the North Shore Trail and a lot of that is shaded.  That should allow me to run a good portion of the day and then I will be heading out to the Flying Saucer for beers with some friends.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 1 Update - 4 Days 100 Miles?

I got in a solid 22 miles today and I am pretty happy with that considering how hot it was.  I underestimated the heat and ran out of water and decided to head to the house and not risk over doing it on the 1st day.  Plus, I had this waiting for me:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Four Days - 100 Miles?

What is this 100 miles you speak of?  Well, let me tell  you about it.  One day I was at work and I was working very hard, as I often do at work, and I came across an article about Western States 100.  At this time I was about 240 lbs and considered running 2 miles to be a very serious accomplishment, worthy of celebrating - by feeling really good about myself and having several beers.  I gazed out across the expanse of the internet at this article in slack jaw astonishment.  People who ran 100 miles in one day?!?!  Right then and there, I knew that was something that I wanted to do.

I am yet to officially toe the line at a 100 mile race and I have not accomplished the 100 mile training week either.  I was registered for the Cajun Coyote 100 but officially dropped to the 100k several days before the race and then promptly DNFed at 20 miles (ankle injury).  I have logged training weeks in the 80s numerous times but have never been able to make that final push to 100 miles.

Why 100 miles? Well the 100 mile race is obviously self explanatory.  The 100 mile training week is probably harder to grasp b/c lots of people run and finish 100 mile races and never log a 100 mile training week. However, this is something that has been nagging at me and I would have a lot more confidence heading into a 100 mile race knowing that I have actually covered 100 miles in a training week.  Why? Who knows.

Anyway, I have a somewhat free schedule over the next 4 days and will attempt to log a 100 miles.  Do I expect any physical benefit from this? Well, actually, no.  In fact, probably the opposite and that is why I would actually bet on myself to not reach 100 miles.  I would give myself about a 30% chance to accomplish this.  Reasons why? 1. I have to mow the yard on one of those days; 2. I am naturally inclined to be lazy; 3. Beer; 4. Exactly!

I will officially start my clock at 12:01 am tonight and let it run until 11:59 pm Sunday.  I will be officially inspired by Guy on a Buffalo!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week Endidng 6.17.12

Monday - AM - 30 min stairs, Lunch - Gym - Squat/Bench, PM - 4 miles

Tuesday - 5 miles - 1 mile warmup, 4x800, 1 mile cool down - This was a disaster from the start. I some how lost time b/w when my alarm went off and when I actually arrived at the track.  I was planning on doing 8x800@3:00 min but when I pulled up to the track I noticed that it was later than I thought and I didn't have time for that.  I also forgot my watch and wouldn't be able to pace myself.  So I just ran the 4 as fast as I could and nearly vomited all over myself on the last one. 

Wednesday - AM - 45 min stairs, PM - 4 miles - Rained out once again.  I was looking for 8 but hail and a tornado chased me back to the house! The tornado was on the other side of the lake near Leonard but that was still too close for comfort (I may have not seen the actual tornado but certainly saw what I thought was one and an EF-0 was confirmed by NOAA in the vicinity). 

Thursday - 45 min stairs

Friday - AM - 30 min stairs, PM - Gym - Press/Deadlift

Saturday - 20 miles Rowlett Creek Preserve

Sunday - 0 - Fathers day activities and a great time was had by all.

Target - 40 miles

Actual - 33 miles plus 2.5 hrs of stairs.

My perception is that this was a solid week.  However, I am still having a hard time of mentally combining timed workouts for stairs with runs measured in distance.  I should probably figure out a 100 mile training schedule based on time and go that route.  This coming week should be a lot of fun and I am aiming for 60 miles.  I will then try to keep the ball rolling with another solid week next week and then I would be due a down week and that will also be the week before El Scorcho 50k.  I can't seem to muster up any enthusiasm for ES and will just take it as a training run.  I will probably even try to do a double on that day to get a 40 miles day in.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I Talk About When I Talk About Stairs

There are no mountains to be found around me and very few hills.  I am lucky that my house is located in a community that has a "trail" - it is a paved bike path - that runs around the community and that we actually have some nice elevation change.  However, most of the elevation change is of the gentle rolling hill type with the biggest hill not being that big.  Think the hill you run up after you leave Damnation at Rocky Raccoon and bottom out before heading up towards the interstate for that left turn - that hill.

So how would one prepare for the hills of the Cactus Rose course or - let us get crazy - the Western States Course or Leadville or Hardrock..... my head is spinning now.  Anyway, let us just focus on Cactus Rose at this point.  This is a hilly course and certainly nothing crazy but something that a flat lander needs to prepare for.  That brings us to stairs.  The inside of buildings. The area that few people venture with no sun and no wind.  A stagnate, stale, lifeless world that most avoid by taking the elevator.

I have access to a building that is roughly 730 ft tall and the stairs go almost to the tippy top but not all the way.  However, they do go several floors below ground for the parking garage, so I think taking credit for 730 ft is legit.  I typically power hike this stairwell in about 13 minutes and then work my way back down by descending 10 - 15 flights and then running back up for 5 - 10 flights.  I am currently repeating this for a 30 - 45 min workout 4 days a week.  I plan to work up to about 2 hours once a week and doing the 30 - 45 min workout the other 3 days. 

I figure this probably gets me 1,400 feet of vertical in a 30 min workout and close to 2,000 in 45 min.  That number seems like a lot to me but it certainly jives with what I see being reported on blogs of people who run lots of vert in the mountains.  The Cactus Rose course has 1,824 feet of ascent for each 25 mile loop and I am hoping that the countless hours spent in the stairwell this summer pay off when I toe the starting line in October.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week Ending 6.10.12 - Vacation from my Vacation

Monday - AM - 30 min Stairs, Lunch - Gym, PM - 4 miles - I over did everything and would pay for it the rest of the week.  Obviously my legs felt great from the break and I totally trashed them during the stair session and that was a bit confusing to me but who am I to argue with my body.

Tuesday - 45 min Stairs - Legs felt like tree stumps

Wednesday - AM - 30 min stairs, Lunch - Gym, PM - Rain out - I tried to run but the wife shut me down b/c she claimed there was "too much lightening!"

Thursday - AM - 4 miles, PM - 6 mile float, MT101 - Legs still felt very heavy and left me wondering why I took time off from running on my vacation?

Friday - AM - 45 min stairs,  Lunch - Gym - Dead legs theme continues

Saturday - 0 - I am so not an ultra runner

Sunday - 7 miles RCP (a few pics of it in this post), MT110 - It was about 92 and my legs were still heavy but I seemed to finally get a kick towards the end of this run.

Target - 50 miles
Actual - 17 miles + 2.5 hours stairs

So that really sucked.  I expected to come back from my break on fire and really turn out a solid week.  No such luck, I obviously was overzealous early on and trashed my legs and then never gave them proper time to recover and ended up totally spent by Saturday.  The smarter thing to do would have been to take Thursday and/or Friday off and not skip the Saturday long run but I kept thinking, "Hey! I haven't run for 10 days! I am sure I just need some more time on my feet to shake off the rust"

Oh well, I have managed 17 miles in 17 days... that my friend is the very definition of ultra running.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Return

So I have, very reluctantly, returned from my vacation.... I was totally born to be a bum.  However, as with all bums, I would be a much better bum with some lotto winnings. Since there are no lotto winnings and the wife insist that I maintain my current job, we have returned to the great and mighty Texas.  I like Texas and all but would much rather split my time between the beach and the mountains.

I took over 10 days off from running, lifting, etc. Basically, we went to the beach, we ate, we relaxed, we enjoyed life.  I did start to feel lazy towards the end but not lazy enough to get out and run.  But, but, but you are supposed to be an ultra runner and love to run!!! I do love to run but I also love to relax.  I would for sure be putting in big mileage weeks, if all I had to do was go to the beach and pool and have a few beers.  I have found that, for whatever reason, running on vacation feels like a chore.  However, it never feels that way any other time of the year and, in fact, is a major release and something that I look forward to the rest of the time.

I got back to things yesterday with 30 min of stairs, a visit to the gym, and 4 miles.  Today I got in 45 min of stairs.  I am aiming for 50 miles and 2 hours of stairs this week.  I have a couple of big weeks on tap after that with a training run on the El Scorch course and a trip to the Cactus Rose course on tap.