Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fun....... Even after someone loses an eye

That is what I would describe a Fat Ass run when John Storkamp is organizing. I was sure at points in this run that someone would lose an eye. It would be fun even if that happened.

Here is a course description of yesterday's run

> Branches which will cause sunk in chest wounds
> Sticks which will poke your eyes out
> Going straight up an down "deer trails"
> Dirt Skiing down mountains
> Logs to run across (remember that scene in Stripes?)
> Rocks to climb up

and I go on...

I arrived at Afton on Saturday morning at 6am, hoping to get a hard loop in before the group run. I was supposed to meet someone, but he had his panties on instead and decided to sleep in.

I say Pierre head off with John into the dark in a pick up truck. I reminded me of how one would see two kids leave the house late at night, knowing they would be up to no good. These 2 are bad asses... they don't like to do things the easy or sane way.

Mr. sleepy head did not show, so I headed out to PR the loop. I did! I nailed a 2:18, my best by 3 minutes. I also was fine at the end. No crash and burn.

The fast ass run was a blast. Thanks to:

Kurt (the other Kurt)

and base camp of Tom and Nancy.

All I can say about that run is........ 4 hours of "where the hell are we?"

John had a bright idea at the end on the beach. He strategically placed a milk carton anchored 30-40 yards off shore, sitting as a buoy. "Whoever gets it first gets a free entry to Afton and Chippewa"

Let me clarify something. On my morning loop, I saw significant ice on the river. It had melted by then, but damn!

I looked out at that buoy, and figured you had to be nuts.

Helen took no coaxing. I figured none of us could beat her anyhow, so might as well not subject myself to hypothermia.

Maynard jumped the gun and went for it. 3/4 of the out, he paused realizing he could not get the jug without fully being immersed in the icy water. Helen pounced forward and got it.

Kudos to Pierre, Karen, and Val for getting wet.

Swimming in ice water is where I draw the line.

All in all a great day.

55 miles this week. I might get out for 6 today to make it 61. I don't plan on maintaining that level, but somehow I got it in this week.

Hope everybody had a happy Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for the great community of runners, at all levels, who challenge each other and stick together.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another PR falls

I was lucky enough to get out to Afton this morning to put my "healed" knees to the test. It was very last minute, and the Mrs. even suggested I go out for a long run. What a great wife.

I decided I would go for the 1 25k loop kind of hard, and see if I could pr without going all out. I did not want to go all out, because I did not think I would hold up. My longest run since September 6th has been 12 miles, so a hard 15.5 might not work out too well.

I started at 6:40 hoping I would be able to return to the parking lot and catch some runners at 9.

I picked up the pace halfway in, as I realized it would be close to my pr. I decided about 1/2 hour into the run that I would attempt to do the entire loop with the two bottles of water I had, and nothing else. No S-caps, no hammer gel, no crack bloks, no food.

I am still testing a low carb diet and how one can run on it (it is not the Paleo diet). I had a 3 egg omelette with cheese. Never done that before!

I knew by the snowshoe loop that it would be down to the wire. So I pushed it hard to the end (having to walk part of the last hill).

I cam in at..... 2:21:50, my pr by exactly one minute.

I did this with 40 ounces of water, and nothing else. Normally I would suck down close to 100 ounces for the same course in the summer, with 4-5 s-caps and some gel.

Carbs are overrated.

I arrived at the parking lot to see Alicia, Tom, and Nancy. I ran another 5 with them, enjoying their company. It is fun to hear Tom's running stories (as well as Nancy's and Alicia's).

So it was a banner day. I am still in decent shape, and wrapped up a 55 mile week.

I deciphered a certain crossword puzzle, so I will be back to Afton soon. And for those of you who know of what I speak, that document is why I will never run Arrowhead. It causes brain damage.

Oh yeah, just checked on Helen at Ironman. She is at a sub 9 minute pace 12 miles in. (that is after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112, both of which she did damn fast!).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More trail fun in Kansas City

Another week on the road, another venture into unfamiliar territory.

I decided to get revenge on the two trails which worked me last time I was here in October. Last time there was 6 inches of rain in 3 days. That made things challenging.

It was dry this week. It was almost 70 today! Wahoo!

I have been touring Subway stores this week look at promo execution. Kind of boring, and I have been ALL OVER this town.

Monday I took a stab at Shawnee Mission Park. It is a 4.5 mile loop on somewhat technical and rolling hill/switchback terrain. Not too tough. Easy enough to run the whole thing. I decided to pick up the pace, and decided for two loops. 1:25. Cool!

At one point someone was gaining on me (it was dark out). I saw this light making time on me on the swtich backs. I thought "man, this person is bad ass! they are running FAST on this in the dard".

Turns out it was a mountain biker. I held him off until the ridge, though.

Saw some trail nerds. Said hi, but nobody I have heard of.

Tonight I got done early enough to hit the Psycho Wyco course in the daylight (at the start). There was still mud on this course. And it is like... glue mud...?.... horse foot holes messing everything up.

BUT, it was a lot easier than last time. I managed to stay on the trail all the way to the dam, but lost the official course after that. I found some trails, but I am pretty sure they were not the right ones. I was a little concerned about getting lost, but it goes around a lake, so as long as I knew where the lake was, I was fine.

I made it around the lake in 1.5 hours. No pain or soreness. Some radical hill climbs and decents. I feel that I have my base back.

My last 3 weeks' mileage have been
42, 44, 46, and will probably do 50 this week. It feels good with no problems.

Hoping to hit Afton next week during the break. Maybe a power loop will be in the cards.

Oh yeah, watch for Helen this weekend at Iron Man. (Iron chick)
Good luck.... show them who's the boss.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A few pounds difference

I finally strapped the hear rate monitor on for the first time in.......4 months? I was curious to see what my heart rate was doing, as I have been running slightly faster.

Running has felt easier in the past few weeks, now that my knee is healed. Hmmmmm, what has changed? Oh yeah, I am 7 lbs lighter (178 down to 171).

What a difference. My average hr this morning was 141, and I averaged 9:20 per mile. In the spring, this would have been close to a 10 minute pace. I will have to see what the 9 flat pace works out too.

So, go take off a few pounds. It helps! And, by the way, I have been doing low carbs to zero carbs. Its funny, I saw a low carb nutrition forum where a guy said "low carbs are for non serious atheletes and couch potatoes". That sounded like a challenge to me. I am curious how long I can go on low carb. I have not had any energy problems so far. I did a 12 mile run on Sunday under a 9 minute pace, and still had energy at the end.

I am at 40-50 miles per week, and will probably stay there for a while. No need to beat my body up, yet.

Still not sure about the P90X challenge. I think I want to do it, but not sure I have the discpline. I need to get psyched for it.

AND............ The pumpkin ale taste great. Buton Ale yeast gives it an interesting taste, but it is still good. No off tastes like last years'.

Off to Kansas City next week. Maybe a rematch on the Psyco Wyco course.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Idea for winter training

Last year, after I reached the point of feeling "beat up" in January, I decided to be a test for low heart rate training. I had to dedicate 3 months to never letting my hr get above 147. It was a great way to build a real strong base, allowing me to handle a pretty challengin year of races. A couple of pr's, and new milestones.

I don't plan on doing this again this winter, as I feel I can tap into that base as long as I maintain some sense of fat burning running/training.

One of the things I realized this year, was that while my legs were stong, my body was not. I was not all around strong.

After reading Mittleman again, I decided I needed to change my diet a little (or a lot depending how much your life revolves around food). I have read many different books on nutrition, diets, and the theories supporting them. Believe it or not, I kind of like Dr. Atkins.

STOP! Before you think I am crazy, read one of his books. I base my conclusions on what he wrote, not what the media claims his diet to be. It is not a "eat as much fat as you want" diet. And while it is "low carb", I think it falls more under "pre 1950 carb and portion size"

After reading his book years ago, I figured it made more sense to get your carbs from low glycemic foods, and/or more complex carbs. This is basically what the South Beach Diet preaches (well, it is a lot more than that, but hang with me here).

So, after Superior, I cut out most of my carbs. I stopped eating ice cream :(, and kept the beer to a minimum. I also tried to eat carbs with protein to mitigate insulin production.

Without much effort, I lost 6 pounds. I also lost my craving for ice cream, and other carb rich foods. I heard about this phenomemnon, but did not completely believe it.

I was going to test how this diet works on a body (mine) which is already used to burning fat through specific training. I am not convinced that eating more carbs will help me a whole lot, as it only will store enough energy for 2-3 hours (it is more complex than this, but I have the theory in my head).


I figured I could start next season 10 lbs lighter (4 pounds to go).

I did some weight training in October, but I find it tough to do it as I was doing it.

Then the idea for winter training came.

I enjoy watching infomercials. I enjoy them, beacuse I am in sales, I like watching how they pitch their product. I also like to find all of their holes and bogus claims. I get a big laugh out of doing ab excercises for 5 minutes a day, and you will get six pack abs.

I did catch this informercial for the "P90x extreme" system. The guy comes up with this theory of "muscle confusion", how you continually mix of the work your muscles are doing, thus making them stronger.

That is exactly why I like trail running. You are continually calling on your muscles in different fashions.

Then I thought "Why not put this infomercial to the test?". I did some internet snooping, and found a lot of positive feedback on this, very little negative. I also found that these are HARD workouts, 6 days per week.

So I was thinking it would be fun to do a "P90x blog competition". I guess it would be me vs. any of you out there. We could all start roughly the same day, and track our progress by stats and pictures. Then, all of you decide who wins.

I think it would be fun to be in competion against others through a 90 day period, in the privacy of your own home. Then, we could also test an informercial.

Anybody interested?

I think it would great to see "Cool Hand Quick" show up to the first race next year ripped like a GQ model.