Monday, August 29, 2011

A New Saying

On the run Saturday evening I came up with a new saying

"The pain you know is worse than the pain you don't know"

Think about it, why does a runner start struggling with a pace in a race? It is partly due to the fact that they can't maintain that pace. But I believe it is bigger than that.

When I start to struggle or suffer, I start worrying about what is going to happen to me if I continue at that pace. I worry about what has not yet happened. I worry that I will start experiencing pain I just can't handle. I start.... you get the picture.

The reality is, I use the current pain and juxtapose it to future unknown pain. Dumb

Now that I have revisited a modest amount of intensity training, I have retaught myself that "I won't die" if I continue this for another minute. AND..... my body will quickly recover so I can do it again.

I started thinking about that during the first hill climb Saturday. "This is starting to hurt, and we just started running". I was using that pain as a barometer as to what the Meat Grinder would feel like 12 miles later.

At the top of the hill I relaxed and it all came back. And it dawned on me coming out of the "Back 40" that "The pain I know is worse than the pain I don't know"

Many people use a similar thought process in ultras by just running "aid station to aid station", not thinking about the entire race. I have a hard time putting mile 90 out of my mind when I hurt at mile 25.

So this is my solution instead. Maybe I should trademark it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The final tune up

With 2 weeks to go, I wanted to see how I was shaping up.

One of my benchmarks is to run a 25k loop at Afton. Old course or new course, it is a good test of strength, but not endurance.

I met up with my Superior Crew, Bill P, for a Saturday evening run on the course.

The weather was near perfect. The humidity had dropped, and it was in the 70s. It was not perfect, as perfect to me is 50's, overcast, and very low dewpoints.

I told him we were going to go fast. Run the hills. Run everything. I said 2:15-2:20, but thought I might be doing a 2:30. I have not run that this in a while.

2 years ago Bill joined us for the first time at Afton, and struggled to hold with the 3:00 pace. He hung on like a horse and kept me on my toes almost the entire loop, ending with a 2:20.

I am thrilled to have come in just under 2:19, and that is with almost 2 minutes of bottle filling at the water pump.

A little more speed, strength, and endurance work, and my PR could fall on this course this year.

Which brings me to confidence and a cautious sense of readiness for Superior 100.

I am probably 10 pounds lighter than 3 years ago, and a better understanding of how to run this. I may not have the endurance training, but enough to get by.

It shall be a fun race

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The hay is in the barn?

That is the normal saying 3 weeks out from an ultra.

I stand at the door of my barn looking at a minimal stack of hay. I feel a bit like the prodigal son, gone during the key months of hard work. I return just in time to have the Superior Father embrace me, welcoming me to the races.

Problem is, I don't know what damage all of that fun being the prodigal son did to me. We will see.

But..... I managed to get in my first 50k training run of the year! And no stomach problems! I only was a little dehydrated. I finished feeling comfortable and knowing I could have gone a lot longer.

I successfully put the pieces together.

1 - Correct food
[carbs] - Strawberries, grapes, & cherries
[protein] - Hard boiled eggs, beef jerky
[fat] - cashews - Alicia reminded of Coconut oil.. must try that next weekend
all of these in moderate quantities every hour.
2 - Water, no sports drink
[electrolytes from s caps]
3 - Correct slowing of pace when it warmed up

My goal was to be comfortable and not feel sick - Mission Accomplished (wait... that's a bad omen, right)

Fun day with Bill P, Matt B (yes... another Matt... and this guy ran the whole Afton loop in "Barefoot Ted Sandals", Wilson, Alicia, and Joe B.

Bill showed us how it is done with a sub 6 hr training run, Matt and Joe left gas in the tank for loop 3. I brought up the rear with a comfy loop 2 finishing the 50k in about 6.5 hours. Not my fastest, but I can handle that now.

Sawtooth is not a race of speed or strength. It is a race of adaptation, skill, experience, strategy, and a little bit of luck. I know if I can keep what I did on the second loop stable up there, I will be in great shape.

Not time to put the strategy together, and cross the fingers.

Great job to Helen Lavin, Kim Martin, Dale Humphrey (and many others) who not only toed the start at Leadville 100, but earned a buckle. Awesome job.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

3.5 weeks.... and still training

In case you were wondering, I have only been doing about 1 official Crossfit workout per week. I just can not handle too much more.

Today I decided to go back to the standard and try Fran.

21 pull ups
21 95 pound thrusters

15 of each
9 of each

for time.

Last year I was able to do 11:20 (which is pretty lame). Today was 13:20. Funny, the pull ups were the easier part this year. The thrusters killed me.

95 lbs does not seem like a lot until you start throwing it above your head. I probably could have done faster, but I had to break it up into a lot of chunks.

I am a little nervous that, with 3.5 weeks to go, I struggled with a workout which emphasizes power squatting. I should have quads of steel. I don't.

But that's cool.

I am down to 167-168... So almost there.

I think a hard core long run this weekend and 20-25 next weekend should put me where I am comfortable.

I am putting my strategy together in the next 2 days.

I know this..... Sawtooth will be one where I am doing my own race. I fully expect to be alone most of the time. I have no interest trying to keep up with someone, or burden someone else to keep up with me.

I would opt not to wear a watch, but getting the food and electrolytes in over the correct period of time is kind of important.

I may have to improve on my race weight... can we say 162?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How do you train for these?

The most common question I get from runners is

"How does one train for a 50 mile or 100 mile race?"

One can search and find a ton of info, data, reports, etc. But my favorite answer is from the ultra community;

"You train for them by doing them"

There is no substitute for experience.

The 2 lines above were my saving grace yesterday. I went out to Afton State Park for a "Get as many miles in as possible" run. I figured I could do 50k no problem, and hoped I had the mojo to tack on a few extra miles.

No dice. At around mile 25 I found myself laying on a bench almost going to sleep. I just have not run enough of these tough long runs.

But.... that always happens with me. I was in the same spot 4 years ago with the Superior 50 mile. I started running in August after taking 2 months off, and put together a pretty good race. I remember the exact same training run at the exact same place, time, etc. That training run left me thinking "what am I doing? I need month... not weeks"

Here is where experience comes into play. I have been at that spot so many times, it doesn't even phase me anymore. I am behind the gun, and have about 2 more weeks of hard work (yes, that means a 2 week taper.... although tapering requires building up a lot of miles).

Instead I look at the positive of where I am today as opposed to 6 months ago, 2 years ago, etc.

1 - 168 lbs this morning (I know I was 180 or above 6 months ago)
2 - Less body fat = less water retention = less demand for water = less chance of dehydration (this is my own anecdotal theory)
3 - Less bod fat = less weight = easier to run
4 - 80% Paleo Diet compliance = Body burning fat as a primary fuel source instead of glycogen
5 - I ran with no sports drink and consumed no carbohydrates yesterday, and never had the mental crash
6 - I held off my stomach dry heaves a lot longer than normal yesterday even with the muggy conditions.

All in all..... I have the building blocks, the foundation, I just don't quite have the actual building.

I arrived at Afton at 5am yesterday to find Wayne N, Karen G, and Anjeanette taking shelter from a 2 hour downpour. Bill P was waiting for me.

We took off, and I immediately started commenting on my sweating. My fingers were swelling within the hour, so I took it extra slow.

The rain from the night before created an Amazon effect in the canyons on the "Back 40", and any low lying area. We had some relief up high with a slight, cool breeze but my body was pumping out bucket of sweat.

We comfortably did a 3 hr loop, and I actually felt fine. I consumed about 90 ounces of water, 6 S-Caps, and a hard boiled egg. The egg was perfect food at 2 hrs.

I switched from my hydro pack to a double 20 oz bottle hip pack for the second loop. I soon felt the oncoming of full dehydration. I am not sure if the pack water quantity would have kept it at bay. I was HARD for a good hour, and even with significant walking, I could not keep it at bay.

So I bailed after Campground hill. I was very sleepy and just out of gas.

I had some strawberries and cherries in the car which I SHOULD HAVE consumed while running. I am experimenting with getting my carbs from stuff like that instead of liquids which I just do not like (I can't stand the taste of Heed).

Next weekend I will try the fruit. But I am not worried. As long as it is not muggy at Sawtooth, and there is no torrential rain, I put my chances at "good"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nothing to lose which won't grow back

I was down in Sconnie Land last night running with the Lapham gang. I told BrotherGrub "I am doing it. I have nothing to lose." He responded by saying "execpt for toe nails, skin, etc.". I clarified by saying "Okay, nothing to lose which won't grow back".

I signed up for Sawtooth 100 Mile last night.

I was supposed to be crewing up there, but those plans changed. And now with 4 weeks left, I need to get my butt in gear.

The Pros
* I will be down to my lightest weight in years, or ever by race date (goal is 165.... I was around 180 for Ice Age this year)
* I have been loosely following the Pale Diet again, and my body back to burning fat instead of glycogen. This, I believe, could be me key to solve my stomach problems
* I just feel good. I may not be "trained", but training for that race does not improve your chances all that much.
* Have a chance to relive the epice battle between me, Grub, and Bero.

The Cons
* Could crash and burn (but that is true with any 100)
* Bees
* fill in the blank

I am going up there to have fun. I know the course, I know the race, I know the strategy, I think I could get to finish line. I just might take 35 hours.

Nothing like coming back in style. Leaving the blue tarp at home

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A date with Cindy

"Cindy" is the Crossfit workout as follows

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 body weight squats.

I managed to pull off 12 rounds today with 2.5 minutes to spare. Probably could have done 1 more round, but was afraid of screwing up something.

Why is this important? Last year when I was "In Shape", I only did 9 rounds. And.....was mocked by Christine Crawford because she could do something like 22 rounds. She only weighs 5 pounds, so she has an advantage.

I am down 10 pounds from Ice Age, I am slowly getting my intensity back, and I feel I could pull something off in the Fall.

Recent news puts me on the cusp of entering a race, but it has "bad idea" written all over it. Kind of makes me want to do it..... because I am not afraid.

Stay tuned..... decision to come soon.

Hey Double....... I will do it if you do it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Bumber Sticker Fun

I probably should have done some calculations and figured that a lot of my friends have those 26.2, 13.1, etc. stickers on their cars. Sorry if I pissed you off.

Chris, I have no beef, I just am not into bumper stickers in general.

My wife wanted to put our church sticker on my car (Eagle Brook), which is fine, but what does that actually achieve. If I am going to witness the gospel of Christ, it aint' gonna happen in traffic with the person behind me going "...... okay.... I BELIEVE!". I would rather do it in person.

I kind of get the ones that only a few people would get. Like.... a sticker showing 102.6

Only a select few would get it, and appreciate it.

But.... I only said "I don't get it", not "I hate them"

My bigger beef is with political bumper stickers. Has anybody ever changed their political view based on a bumper sticker? In fact, when I see a lot of bumper stickers on a car expressing a point of view, I usually figure the person is not very happy.

I used to have a Bucknell sticker on my car. Of course, Steve Q asked "Did you go there?" My response was the classic "No, it came with the car when I bought it. Too lazy to scrape it off." I finally did a year or 2 ago.

I don't put my Alma Matter on because I figure nobody gives a crap about where I went to school, so I don't put that sticker on.

Hmmm bumper stickers......

When the Ice Age car pool met up this year, we commented on Julie B's "Ultra" sticker in the white oval. She said "I didn't even put that on". Now that's funny. But she has one of the cooler license plates reading "RUN ON".

So what to do with bumper stickers? I get the comradery thing, but most people I run into in public would not equate 50K with distance. "50" would be even more confusing, and 102.6....... Avagadro's number?


So Voyageur 50M was this weekend. People say it was hot, but what is new? IT IS ALWAYS HOT FOR THAT RACE! Once was enough for me. I still think that it is harder than Superior 50. It may be faster, but the suffering component is way higher.

The Patten/BrotherGrub race to the finish a few years back is looking better and better. There is still debate as to who actually won.

I give a huge Kudos to all who showed up to the start. That is a bear of a race.

I chose not to go as I was in Denver the prior 7 days. Got to do some awesome hiking, rode an Alpine Slide in Breckenridge, and just got to hang out with the eldest boy.

I had to work as well, but I kind of enjoy my work. Ironically, my most productive time was the cocktail reception after a trade show. I guess it is better than real work.


Currently focusing on shedding a few pounds and getting my strength and conditioning back up to potentially do a fall ultra.

Down to 170 from almost 180 at Ice Age. Ouch