Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still recovering

The weather has turned cold and rainy, so I headed to an overly crowded gym after work. I hopped on the treadmill for a 4 mile run. I eased into it, but quickly switch to 1/4 mile repeats, alternating between an 8.5-9.5 mph pace on the high end and 6 mph on the low end. I struggled with the my breath. My legs seem fine, but I can tell that my internal systems are not recovered. I'll take it easy tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Feeling incredibly well

My recovery could not be better for 24 hours out. My legs are fine, my hips seem fine, and my energy seems fine. My feet are a little sore, and I am still suffering from a bit of...well...chaifing. It is to be expected.

My run went well. On the treadmill because of rain, I ran 4 miles in just over 34 minutes. I steadily increased the pace throughout, just to get an opportunity to strech out the legs.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

41 Down, 11 to go: Heartland 100

I generally consider myself to be a confident person. I like to think that I work hard at achieving my goals, and when it is time to actually achieve a goal, I am usually confident that have put in the work necessary to do what it is I need to do. And I am generally confident that I have the drive and the will to achieve those goals. That I believe is the real key.

With running, my story is no different. With all humility, I think I have been fairly successful in my relatively short running career in achieving my goals. Part of this success is attributable to setting realistic goals. Some days my goal may be “just to finish” while other days my goal might be to break 3:30 hours for a marathon or even set a P.R. Fortunately, I’ve never had to drop from a running race. I attribute this largely to my drive.

Today I expected to be different. For the first time in my memory, I entered today thinking that I probably would not finish. While I knew I was physically able to finish (I had completed the Lean Horse 100 only six weeks prior), I just didn’t know if I had the drive to finish. I was beat down mentally from Lean Horse and from all the long runs I have completed this year. This feeling was new for me. But although I was not coming in confident, I did have a good attitude that no matter what I wouldn’t be a failure even if I didn’t finish.

With that backdrop, I set out to run my 3rd career 100 mile Ultramarathon. The Heartland 100 takes place in the Flint Hills of Kansas. This had been my first 100 miler exactly one year ago.

I woke up around 3:00, got dressed and grabbed a quick breakfast of a cliff bar and Gatorade. Laura (my training partner and fellow participant setting out to complete her first 100 mile ultramarathon) picked me up around 4:00 a.m. We headed to the start area in Cassoday nearly 45 miles away. We arrived around 5:00 and had nearly an hour to kill. We hung out and chatted with other runners. We both were clearly nervous.

At 6:00 a.m., we were off into the pure darkness (the sun wouldn’t rise for another 45 minutes to an hour). The first few miles went as expected. We maintained around a 10:30 pace during the first five miles. Around every two miles, we took a one minute walk break. This worked well over those flat five miles. Around mile five we began hitting a few easy hills. At any significant climb, we walked. Any downhills, we ran. We did our best to run all the flats. The miles of running two straight miles were long gone.

The first manned aid station came at Battle Creek between eight and nine miles out. Laura and I quickly refilled our bottles and I grabbed a banana and a couple of pretzels. We headed out, straight into what I believe is the hilliest section of the entire course.

Miles 8-17 are tough, but early in the race they are kinda fun.

I continued eating and drinking. Forecast called for 80+ temperatures and 20+ mph winds. It was already getting hot, but with the winds, it felt strangely cold.

At the Mile 17 (Lapland), we saw Jennifer (my wife and my crew) for the first time. She provided us some much needed drinks and me a quick PB&J sandwich. We continued on. So far so good.

We met up with Jennifer again at the Teterville Aid station at mile 25. We were 25 miles in and feeling good. I dropped off the long sleeve shirt and grabbed refills on bottles and drinks.

We continued on towards mile 31 and the Texaco Hill Aid station. Although Texaco Hill is technically accessible by car, few crews try to go there as it is nearly impossible to get from Teterville to the Texaco Hill and to the following aid station in the time it takes the runner to cover the same distance. So as much as we wanted to see Jennifer, we would have to utilize the supplies at the aid station (the aid stations are great) and head on out to Jennifer at mile 36.

The temperatures and the wind continued to increase. Our pace slowed, but we continued covering each mile at just over 12 minute miles.









At mile 36 (Ridgeline), we found Jennifer. Laura needed to change shoes and socks, and to treat the early stages of a blister. I used that time to relax and eat a sandwich and refill my bottles. After about five minutes, we moved on.

At mile 43 (Matfield Green Aid Station), Laura and I split ways. This was by plan. She had her own pacers planning on running with her for the last 57 miles, while I had plans for pacers from the last 43 miles. While our paces were similar enough for the first 30 or 40 miles, we knew that we better be able to each run our own paces thereafter.

I was feeling very good at mile 43 and was able to move quickly through the aid station after Jennifer provided fluids and food. I even grabbed a third water bottle with the heat (largely to pour over my head if I began to overheat). I applied some much needed sunscreen (did I mention it was 80 degrees and sunny?). Laura, unfortunately, was hitting the first of many inevitable walls. She was getting overheated, hungry and tired. Her feet were causing her some problems, and she needed a little bit longer break. I knew she would break through it, but neither she nor I knew how long she and her first pacer might be at that aid station. So I left on my own from 43 just after 2:00 p.m.

The next 7 miles were a struggle for me. It was getting warmer and warmer. I was having difficulties eating, although I was doing a reasonable job of taking in fluids. I hit the 50 mile aid station (Lone Tree) at 4:10 p.m. There I took some time to drink some 7-Up and eat a Gu.

The half-way point was a significant victory for me. I had run for 10+ hours and was feeling pretty good. I was right on pace for a sub 24-hour finish, and right in line with my time last year. I was feeling good, and I had regained the confidence that I could finish today’s race.

I began the journey back. Unfortunately, 49.5 miles from the start is a very long and steep down hill. Going in to the aid station at mile 50, that makes for a nice easy downhill before the break. But on the way out, it takes nearly 5 minutes just to climb your way out of the valley. I struggled up, but by the top I was ready to run. And who did I see but Laura. She was looking awesome and running well! Thankfully, she had broken through the mile 43 lows. She couldn’t be more than 10 minutes behind me! I was really excited for her, which gave me much needed boost (you can’t help but have a vested interest in your running partner for nearly all your training and the first 43 miles of the race).

This boost was unfortunately short lived. While the heat of the day was on the decline, the 8+ hours of direct sunlight and heat had taken a toll on me. My stomach was struggling to digest. Nothing sounded good, either to eat or drink. I struggled to make it up and down the hills. I was hitting a serious low on the day. My energy was gone.

I struggled back to Matfield Green at mile 57. Jennifer and Laura’s crew were all waiting. As was my first pacer, Mike. Upon seeing everyone, I said “This ultrarunning deal sucks. Who signed me up for this?” I didn’t mean it, and in all honesty, seeing friends kept my spirits high. I joked with those around me. But I also didn’t hide that I was feeling low because of the heat. I downright felt ill. I didn’t want any more Gu, so I nibbled on some crackers and had some Ginger Ale.

Mike and I headed out. I began slowly, but soon picked up the pace. By this time I had been out there for nearly 12 hours. I was tired and hungry. I definitely enjoyed the company. We had only 6 miles to go before hitting Ridge Line. We hit mile 36 just as the sun set. I was right around 13 hours in. I grabbed a quick bottle of Coke and a Vanilla Gu (great combination).

Mike and I made a fairly quick stop out of Ridgeline, and he and I headed back out for another 11 miles. Mike would be with me through Texaco Hill and all the way to mile 75 and Teterville. At Texaco Hill, the aid station was a tent that provided us some nice relief from the cold winds. I drank some coffee and ate chicken-noodle soup. I drank more Ginger Ale and ate saltines to help settle my stomach. I still felt ill.

Mike and I soon charged on. We would have 7 tough miles without any aid before hitting the 75 mile mark and my crew. I struggled for the first few miles, but soon picked up the pace. I covered those miles in fairly good time.

Sooner than expected (which was a rarity, see below), we hit Teterville Road. Within a few minutes on Teterville Road, we would hit the Teterville Aid Station and mile 75. Awaiting me at Teterville was Jennifer and my next two pacers, Brad and Danny. Laura’s crew was also there. The news was that Laura was only 20 minutes behind me leaving Ridgeline 11 miles back. She was doing awesome!

I again drank coffee and ate soup and saltines. I changed my socks for the first time on the day (I was really struggling with the small rocks in my shoes). Danny and I headed out.

Danny paced me 8 miles through mile 83 and the Lapland Aid Station. The story of Danny (and Brad for that matter) is fairly funny. Danny and Brad are coworkers. I had asked if they would pace me some time back. I knew neither of them were runners, but both are athletes. I knew with very minor training, they could easily pace me through an 8 or 9 mile section. And if I was really struggling, I knew each could go beyond that 8 or 9 miles. So even though Danny had done no training (none, zero, zilch), he stuck with me for 8 miles. It was tougher than he thought. Luckily, my relationship with Danny (and with Brad) is that I can joke with them about being able to outrun them after running 85+ miles. This adventure made for some great laughs for the nearly two hours that it took Danny and me to make it those eight miles.

At mile 83, I met my crew for a quick break. I ate some more soup and drank some more coffee. Brad joined me to pace me through the toughest section of the course, Lapland to Battle Creek. My running pace wasn’t quick, and my ability to run more than a few minutes at a time was lost, but what surprise Brad was my ability to quickly walk up the hills. Brad, who had trained even less than Danny, kept up good spirits, although the hills were killing his legs! Again, this made for good laughs!

For me, the extremely difficult part of this stretch was not the hills, but it was not knowing how many hills were left. Constantly I would think I was farther along the stretch than I really was. My memory was that you could see the aid station from the top of a hill. So at each hilltop, I’d look down and when I saw no aid station, I let it get to me. I admitted to Brad about mile 90 that I was mentally defeated.

Finally, it appeared. The Battle Creek Aid Station at mile 92 was a great sight. I knew I was now through the hills and within single digits of the finish. Brad and Danny were set to again switch, with Danny planning to take me on to mile 96. Brad and Danny quickly rethought the issue, and decided that Brad would keep going, so he didn’t have to tighten up before running again. I ate some soup and drank some Red Bull. Danny and I headed out.

The Mirage Aid Station appeared at mile 96. Brad and Danny switched places. I headed out quickly after eating a bit of banana. I was feeling good, and was ready to finish.

Danny and I pushed on over those last 4 miles. Again, I thought I was farther along the course that I actually was. With about 5 miles left, you can see the finish tower (a water tower with flashing lights). So you feel closer than you really are. I remembered the last two miles of the course were a right turn, followed by a left turn, followed by a right turn on to pavement and the finished. What I clearly didn’t remember was how far it was from Mile 95 to the start of those last two miles. Again, I was mentally defeated, but this
time I didn’t let it get to me. I knew I was close. I could keep going with slowing.

When I finally hit those last two miles, my pace quickened. I was excited to be finished. And I knew I would finish just under my finish time from last year. I tried to run the entire last two miles, but couldn’t. I did run much more than I walked, and walked quickly when I walked. The last ¾ mile I did manage to run the entire way.

I finished in 22:33:21. 18th place out of 81 starters. 13 minutes faster than last year.

I was surprised that I finished. Even more surprised by my finish time. And even more surprised by my attitude throughout the day. I stated I entered the day not knowing if I had the drive and the will to finish. I was proud to say that I found it somewhere between mile 50 and 57.

Laura finished in 25:46! She was the 3rd place woman. Congratulations to her.


A huge thank you to Mike, Brad and Danny, as well as to Laura’s crew who gave me an enormous amount of support. Even more thanks to Jennifer. Even at 7 months pregnant, she is the best crew person out there.

Friday, October 10, 2008

One day to go!

Well, I'm there. One last 4 mile run and all the training is behind me.

I hopped on the gym treadmill for a my 4 mile run just before lunch. While I would liked to have just coasted my way through this run, I knew that a little faster pace would really help stetch out my legs before tomorrow. So I did 1/4 mile repeats, alternating between 9-10 mph paces on the fast sections and 7.5 mph on the slow sections.

The run went surprisingly fast. And now its over. No more delays before the next 100.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Still having some hip pain.

I dreaded my run all day. I limped around at work for hours and it really never got better. Just pain all around the hip and down my femur. I think it is just inflammation, but it really is causing me some problems. But, I will say it felt its best on my daily 4 mile run.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

4 early miles before Wisconsin

Although I didn't look forward to it, I managed to get up at 4:15 this morning to get my run in before heading to the airport at 6:00 a.m. I'm looking forward to my marathon tomorrow, but I know I am really dehydrated. Today was a little painful for that reason.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dehydration

Last night I just didn't really appreciate how humid it really was. 26.2 miles and only 3 water bottles did not combat the dehydration. So today sucked. And tonight's run sucked even more. Got my 4 miles in, and worked up quite a thirst in the process.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

4 Treadmill miles

This morning I hopped on the treadmill for an early run. 4 miles. No real problems.

But it got me thinking. Treadmill running isn't so bad. I've done marathons on a treadmill but nothing more. How far could I go? Maybe next year I might just try and see. It would be incredibly monotonous, but it could be quite a challenge. Could I do 40 miles? 50 miles? 100k? 100 miles? Could I do a 24 hour treadmill run? I think I will start this fall training and see what I can do.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

37 down, 15 to go!

I desperately wanted to sleep in this morning. But I didn't. And I didn't for good reason. Laura needed a running partner. She had one last 40 mile run to get in before the Heartland 100. Me, because of my 100 miler a couple of weeks ago, and my "marathon-a-week" steak through Heartland, I didn't need any extra miles. And frankly, I was fine getting in those needed miles during daylight hours. But 2 a.m. called, and Laura wanted to run.

I was prepared to meet Laura at 2:00 a.m. But the storms were brewing. I secretly hoped that meant a cancelation. I woke up about 1:15, and no messages of cancelation. The rain was coming down very heavily (yesterday, the west side of town received 10 inches of rain; we received 6 on my side of town). I checked the radar, and no real break in sight. That is when I heard a knock on the door. It was 1:30 and Laura was here, 30 minutes early. I had expected that she was going to run 10 miles or so on her treadmill before we ran at 2:00 a.m., but instead she just came over early and ran from my house. But the rain was coming down so hard she needed shelter.

And for good reason. My street tends to flood. This night was no exception. We had likely 3+ feet of water in my street. It was impassable. And the rain was still coming down.

We hung out inside for 30 more minutes, and when the radar indicated that the weather might break, we headed out. Into a monsoon. We managed to get across the street and down the block (in people's front yards). We even saw two (drunk) guys rafting down my street!

We soon turned a corner (literally and figuratively with the weather) and the rain and flooding subsided. It continued to rain for the next hour or so, and then it tapered off to a mist. It continued that way for the rest of the run.

Laura and I made it through 20 miles without incident. But after 22 or so, we had to drive across town to meet the team to finish our run. We quickly headed over and finished our run.

I had only planned on 26.2, but I was feeling good. Our team was running 8 miles, which consisted of two 4 mile loops. After one loop, I decided to just keep going. I was fortunate enough to get with the fast group, so the entire 8 miles took less than 1:15.

Not a bad run. Very wet. Feet had some problems because of the moisture and warmth. But all in all, a very good run.

37 marathons down, 15 to go!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

36 down, 16 to go!

I'll start at the end. My "marathon" today went just fine. I feel good and don't feel like I ever really struggled out there today. But it did not go as planned.

The plan: Get up around 2:30. Meet my training partner Laura at 3:15 for 10 miles or so before the 6:00 a.m. Team-in-Training Run. Join the team for 16 miles and call it a day.

The variable: Rain.

The outcome; Thunder and lightening canceled Laura and I's 3:30 run, so 6 a.m. would be the new start time. Frustrating thing was, I had been up for 30 minutes before we decided to cancel. Back to bed I went (couldn't really sleep, but got a few winks in in the next hour or so). Up again at 5:15 for the 6 a.m. TNT run. But its pouring down rain. I head to the start line, and at about 6:15 we decided to give it a go. So while I should have had 12 or so miles in by now, I was just starting the day.

The run started slow because of the rain. No one was really mentally in to it, and it was a little chilly staring out. But we all stuck it out. I was really proud of my team members. 16 miles in 55 degree rain. Not a bad day for them.

Once we dropped off the team, Laura and I kept it up for another 10 miles. Never really dried out, although it did cut down to a drizzle by the time we finished.

Very slow day. 5:35 total, which includes our incredibly long water stops (large team + one cooler = long delays). But I was thrilled to see that my average heart rate on the day was 112. Not bad. Even at mile 26, my average heart rate for the mile was 119 at a 10:30 mile. Pretty thrilled with that.

36 down, 16 to go!

Friday, September 5, 2008

After work 4 miler

Feeling better tonight. Legs are feeling better and better, and so is the body in general. Part of my problem this week is that I am tired, so I sleep more. But the more I sleep, the more tired I get. Sometimes I just have to break the need to sleep and get up after about 5 or 6 hours. I think that is what serves me best.

Jennifer joined me 4 miles after work (I really intended to get up and run this morning, but the rain was a nice excuse). Nice and easy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Legs are coming back...

The last few days have been a real struggle. Tired legs, tired body. If I didn't know better, I would have thought I had the flu, but nothing other than my body hurts - no stomach, head, etc... I don't know. I guess just delayed fatigue.

Today went better. 33:00 minutes. Nice and cool. Really felt like I had some legs and gas left at the end. Not a bad run.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm tired.

I just don't feel right. Despite my plans to get up (again) this morning, I failed. I just couldn't do it. After a day at work, I managed to get my run it. But it wasn't pretty. 4 miles, just over 35 minutes. Painful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Very tired today

I had big plans this morning. I headed to bed early thinking I would head to the gym around 5:00 for an easy run on the treadmill. I then intended to get back in the pool. I thought a bit of cross-training over this next month might do me some good.

But woke up just as tired as I went to bed. Add to that significant body soreness. I really am not sure what it is caused by, but often my soreness is delayed a few days.

So I went right back to bed. I struggled getting up 2 hours later, struggled all day at work, and struggled getting 4 miles in at the gym this evening.

Will work on my hydration (which I know is low) as well as my food intake.

Monday, September 1, 2008

4 mile run followed by 30 on the bike.

While I had the day off, I really wanted a chance to ride with some friends at around 7 a.m., while reserving the bulk of my day for work and lounging. So I woke up at 5:30ish and was running by 6 a.m. I really struggled through the 4 miles. 30 minutes total, with a 7 minute final mile. My heart rate told me I didn't have it today, as I was hitting the 170's by mile 3, even at 7:30 miles. I think I really could use a break.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Very proud of Jennifer

Still out running. 5 months in to her pregnancy, and still out there. Our run was a little slow as it was pretty hot and humid but a nice 4 mile run.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

35 down, 17 to go!

Since I began my "marathon a week" plan earlier this year, there were a couple of marathons that I was not looking forward to. Today was one of those days. After a 100 miler last weekend, I did not want to get back out and run a marathon 6 days later. But I knew this going in. Today had to finally arrive.

I began optimistic. I actually felt pretty good. But I knew 26.2 would be pushing it. I was right.

Laura and I began running just shortly after 3:00 a.m. I hadn't had a lot of sleep, maybe 2 1/2 hours or so, so I began the day pretty tired. But I had to do it. We trekked along just fine for about 11 miles. 5:10 and we were done with that first 11 miles. Now we had to drive a couple of miles over to the Team-in-Training run and another 15 miles.

I joined in with 4-1 run/walk group, which helped significantly. The next 10 or so miles went well. I drank and ate well, but my energy declined every mile. I didn't feel any real tiredness with my running, just an overall tiredness. I don't mind the walk breaks, but I hate the long water stops, that sometimes take 5+ minutes.

Mile 20 was about my limit. But I kept moving.

Nearly 5:30 after starting the day, I finished. 114 average heart rate on the day.

35 down, 17 to go!

Friday, August 29, 2008

So far, so good.

Amazingly, after 5 days, I think I am alive. Today's 4 miler went slow and steady, but no complaints. A little pain in the hip/knee, but it should be fine. 38 minutes. Just took it easy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Late night at work, late evening on the treadmill

Planned to work late tonight, so the easiest way to get my run in was to take a break from work around 8:00, go for a quick run at the nearest gym, grab some dinner and head back to work. 34:43. Hip is a little sore.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Evening stroll

Nothing too exciting. Usual course, usual pace. 4 miles in 34:38.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It was too good to be true.

Tonight the real fatigue set in. Nothing really hurts, although my right hip and knee ache a little. Probably early signs of ITBS, so I probably should do some stretching. Anyway, tonight went a little slow. Needed some walk breaks just from the fatigue. Didn't really want to be out hear anyway.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First day back

For the first day running after a 100 mile run, I feel like a million bucks. No real pains, other than some muscle fatigue. 4 easy miles and I didn't even need any walk breaks. This is too good to be true.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Last 4 miles before the race!

This morning I hopped on the hotel treadmill in Kearney, Nebraska at about 5:30 a.m. to get my last run in before the 100 miler! Hotel treadmill kinda sucked, but it got the job done. Feeling ok, but my back is a little more sore than I would like.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Morning 4 miler with Jennifer

I'm intentionally taking this week easy. As much as I would have liked to get a little bit longer run in this morning (beautiful morning!), I resisted. I'm not good with tapering, but the last thing I really need is a 10-15 mile run two days before an ultra. Feeling pretty good, certainly nervous, but feeling like I can do it. Still not sure why I looked at the elevation chart!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why do I do this to my self?

This morning I made the mistake of looking at the elevation chart for Lean Horse this weekend. I'd guess between 7,000 and 9,000 feet of climb and decent. I thought this was supposed to be flat! I really am not looking forward to the first and last 15 or so miles. It looks like those miles have the bulk of that climb and decent. The rest of the course (miles 15-85 or so) is run on an old railroad bed, which apparently doesn't climb or fall more than 3% at any time. But even 3% if it goes on for 5 miles can get pretty tiring.

Despite my now fear of the run, I made it out for an evening 4 miler. 39:50. Nice and easy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Early run with Jennifer

Easy morning. 4 miles in about 45 minutes. Jenn needed the walk breaks with the high morning humidity. Such a trooper she is.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Slow and Steady

That is the game plan for Saturday. Slow and steady. Its how I've been training. Slow and steady. Most of my long runs have been slow and steady. My marathon or longer distance runs have been 10 minute miles or slower, often with several designed walk breaks. That is how I plan on getting through Saturda - run at around a 10:30 mile while I am running, and mix in some walk breaks every 10 minutes or so, or when the grade demands it.

Today I did what I have been training to do. Slow and Steady. 40:05 for 4 miles. Felt good.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lazy 4 miler

I'm tapering. Trying not to push myself on the bike or the run this week. So I am applying that to all parts of my life. I've been really lazy today. Not done much but eat and watch TV. So about 4:30, I decided to just cruise around for 30 minutes or so on my bike, then go for a run. Took the dog, she loved it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

33 down, 19 to go!

I woke up very nervous. Not about my marathon planned for today, but for my 100 mile run next Saturday (www.leanhorse.com). I'll post more about this in the days to come, but I just didn't feel ready. I know I had some great training in the last month, but with the extreme bout of dehydration that I went through two weeks ago (See August 2nd), I'm just nervous about having my body ready for race day. And I will be the first to admit that my marathon streak is not the best idea when (a) training for (b) tapering for and (c) recovering from, a 100 mile run. So I was nervous.

But today really helped. My running partner Laura began last night about 11:00 for a 45 mile run. Her and Dave, Dawne and Pam (TNT coaches/friends) started running from my house at 11:00. I saw them off, got a couple hours of sleep and was ready to meet them at 2:30 for my marathon, and the last 28 or so for Laura. I started slow, and finished slow, but never once felt fatigued. The pace (around 11 min/miles) was perfect preparation for Lean Horse. The temperature was great, my hydration was great, and my food/energy was great. Huge confidence builder.

I want to make a quick mention that I was able to try out my new headlamp today. Its a Brunton L5 headlamp. It puts out 5 watts - huge compared to my .3 watt headlamp that I have been using. Its very cool. Almost like running with a huge floodlight out in front of you. This will be very nice to have with me as I attempt the 100 miles solo (no pacers).

Total time today was 5:48. There was a lot of stop time in there. Average heart rate was 116, and max was 144. I know that is way too slow. But the fact that I was able to keep everything under control gives me some confidence.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back to the gym - and a baby photo!

I planned on running early tomorrow morning (2:30 a.m.), so I wanted to get a run in early this morning. But with Jennifer's doctor's appointment, I needed to run later. So I ran at noon. This gave me a chance for a short bike ride in the evening, and time to mow the yard. Both of which were very necessary.
But on to more important things. Today we had Jennifer's first sonogram. For the first time, we got to see our little baby. Very, very, . . . very exciting! Still very nervous about this whole baby thing, but I couldn't be more excited.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

4 gym miles

I had a meeting this evening. Had to run at the gym. Wasn't a bad run. Actually kinda enjoyable as I got to watch some Olympics while I ran. I'm a little sore. Need to spend some time stretching.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An easy 4 mile run

I'm tired. Tired of traveling. Not much energy tonight. Managed a 4 mile run with the dog. She enjoyed it. I did not.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finally Home!

I mentioned yesterday that I was supposed to be home on Sunday. Well, I didn't get home yesterday either. After sitting on the run way for 4 hours, we finally made it to Washington D.C. (we were supposed to fly through Atlanta, but were redirected to D.C.). The airline (Delta) made us fly in to Washington Reagan and out of Dulles (a $100 ride away by private car - 40 miles!). We of course missed the Dulles fight. So we were then rebooked on United.

As I didn't make it home until noonish, and had to work all afternoon, and had to go to my work softball game, and had to go to a bar and have a beer and burger (I had to do the first few, but the later I admit was optional), I didn't get a run in until late.

Very slow with a beer and burger in my belly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not what I had planned.

Jennifer and I were supposed to fly home last night. But after arriving at the airport and waiting in line for 2 hours, we learned that our flight was canceled due to weather. We found one of the only remaining hotel rooms (not cheap) and rested. Woke up early and got on the hotel gym's treadmill.

I wanted to losen up a little, so I started at about 8 min/miles and picked it up gradually to around 6 min/mile for the last mile or so. But I broke the treadmill. Blew a fuse or something. I hopped on a neighboring treadmill and finished up slowly.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another journey around New York

I'll have to admit my wife is pretty brave. I had this brill ant idea to take the subway down to Battery Park on the south tip of Manhattan, and then run back to our hotel in Times Square. I guessed somewhere between 4 and 6 miles, depending on how much winding we would do. So that is what we did. We headed to Battery Park about 8 a.m., arriving at around 8:30. We took a map, with a few general sights in mind to see, but no real planned route.

We began running along the water line. We stopped and took a few pictures of the Statue of Liberty (see background above).

We then headed to Ground Zero. I hadn't realized they had really started back with construction. It was a little odd. Not quite what I expected. Very large.

We headed north a while longer. Unfortunately, I hadn't realized how close to Wall Street and the Stock Exchange we were. So we missed that. We kept going, heading towards City Hall.

We headed towards China Town and Canal Street. We didn't buy any purses.

Next toward Little Italy. I wished I had time to have a meal there.

Kept heading north towards the Flatiron building and Madison Square Park.

From this point, we simply pick out the Empire State building and run towards it. Probably still a mile or so off. Probably the shadiest neighborhoods during this mile.

Another Mile or so and we are back to the hotel. About 6 miles. Very slow, but we were sight seeing. Very proud of Jennifer.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

4 miler

Back to the hotel gym for a 4 mile run. Would have rather been outside.

Friday, August 8, 2008

32 Down, 20 to go!

A while back I made it my goal to run a marathon when I travel - and especially if and when I made it to New York. Having missed my planned marathon last weekend, running a marathon today was the only option. While I had conferences all afternoon, the morning was wide open. Why not hit the New York sidewalks for a marathon?

I woke about 4:45, ready to hit the treadmill by 5:15. The plan was to run somewhere between 10-13 miles on the treadmill before it was safely light. At about mile 12, and 7 a.m., that time arrived.

I headed out without a plan. I set out of the hotel and around Times Square. Oddly, even at 7:00 a.m., there are hundreds of people already out and about.

I then headed to Rockefeller Center and around 5th avenue. I don't know really what I had pictured, but it was certainly smaller than I expected. The Rockefeller building was big and magnificent, but the surrounding area was smaller than I thought. But beautiful.

Then I headed towards Central Park. On the way I ran past the Ed Sullivan Theater where the Tonight Show with David Letterman is filmed. Of course, I also ran by the Hello Deli.
Soon I was at Central Park. This place is amazing. I would say that it is worth the trip to New York just to see central park. On this morning, there were thousands of people running, walking and cycling. Truly an amazing sight.
But what makes it truly amazing was that a place like this exists. Green grass, treas and ponds surrounded by skyscrapers. Beautiful.
I headed all the way north towards the Harlem end of the park. I had to stop often to figure out where I was, but it was worth it. I really just took my time and took in all the sights. The ponds and lakes were beautiful.

Soon I was back out of the park, with about 6 miles or so to go. I again was without a plan. So I picked out a landmark - the Empire State Building. I headed that way.

After taking a few pictures, I headed back out. From there, my story gets boring, because I have no idea where I was! So I just ran. Very enjoyable. Slow, but enjoyable.
All in all, a great day. Saw some beautiful areas of Manhattan.
32 marathons down, 20 to go!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A very odd feeling.

We made it to New York today. While I had intentions of running this morning before we left, having to be at the airport by 4:45 put a stop to that. So Jennifer and I arrived in New York City for our legal conference and got all checked in. Grabed a late lunch and then I hit the treadmill before heading out for the evening.

Normally I would not describe a treadmill as an odd feeling. But this was very different. At our hotel in Times Square, the gym was on the 23rd floor, and it overlooked Times Square and all its billboards and people. The treadmills were facing the floor-to-ceiling windows, as if you could just run out to mid air above the street. Very weird. It took a long time to get used to it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Afternoon 4 miler with the dog

Warm afternoon, but not hot. Temperatures today were easily 15 degrees cooler than yesterday. So while it was warm, I couldn't deny the dog the opportunity to run. A 34 minute 4 mile run.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hot afternoon

Rough day at work. I had to be in early, and had a work softball game late. So the only opportunity for a run was at 4:30 - when it was 100 degrees. I headed to the softball fields. Instead of the usual "road run," I put on the old cross-country shoes and headed around the field for a 4 mile run. The course wasn't marked for distance, but based on pace I knew I hit my distance in about 30 minutes. I'd guess the fields are around 1.5 miles around, as each loop took me around 12 minutes. Nice to get off the road, but a tough run with the heat and high grass.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Morning 4 miler

Jennifer and I made it up early to avoid the heat. Having run the last week or so in 85+ degree temps, the mid 70's felt great. My legs still aren't quite right, but a 11 min/mile pace felt pretty nice.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I hurt.

I haven't felt this bad in a long, long time. Severe Dehydration. I know I was down about 10 lbs yesterday, because I am close to 10 lbs up today. But nothing feels right. I have water back in, but I am clearly low on everything else. And I hurt.

Today's 4 mile run late in the evening was a struggle. Around 40 minutes, but very rough.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dehydration sucks!

Forecast: 102. High humidity. Plan: 12 mile run and 30 mile bike. Success? No.

I thought I felt ok when I began the 12 mile TNT run. But as I would find out, I never really felt right. And it would go downhill.

Normally, I don't struggle much with our TNT participants. I usually find myself with a slower group, usually run-walking, usually at a nice, easy 10:00-11:00 min/mile pace. But today, I got the opportunity to run with the runners. This year we have a couple of women who are training at the 8:00 - 9:00 min/mile pace, which normally isn't a problem for me. But today it was. I didn't know quite what my problem was when I started, but something wasn't right.

From the outset my legs felt tight, almost cramping. I was too hot. And my heart rate was way too high. I pushed on, but really struggled to finish. It had to be some mild dehydration.

I had plans on a 30 mile bike ride when I finished, but with a marathon scheduled tomorrow and not feeling well, I called it a day. Really not feeling well by this point. I decided to go home and rest.

By the time I got home, I was still feeling pretty rough. I knew it was dehydration, but I didn't know quite how bad. I just didn't feel right, and I couldn't get cool. Despite that I probably drank 24 ounces of water on the way home, I was down over 8 lbs on the day! Without that water, that is near 10 lbs, or 6% of my body weight! Not a good thing.

I think I will reconsider my arrogance and the heat. I don't know if I can make it the marathon tomorrow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A cycling course record!

So my excitement is likely not shared by many. But tonight I again set a course record on my 21 mile cycling course. Out in the 98 degree temperatures at 6:00 pm, I hit the heat with everything I had. Not exactly sure why, but I really was feeling good. Little wind, just a nice day to really sale on my tribike. 1:01:21 for 21 miles. With the time at stops, I think I easily hit a 22 mph average.

Headed home for a tough 4 mile run. Feeling a little dehydrated... But only a 12 miler tomorrow, followed by an easy 30 mile ride.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foggy Four

I finally made it up in the a.m. for a run. Jennifer and I needed to get a short run in before work, as we both had events planned for the evening. Despite the fog (and accompanying 100% humidity) we headed out for a 4 miler.

Legs feel fine, except this two days in a row of slow running. Maybe tomorrow I'll pick it up...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Late night 4 miler

I was not very motivated tonight. After getting home from work and an after-work reception for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I had several chores that need done. Those, like mowing the yard, required daylight, so I had to get right on them, and put my run off until after dark. By that time, I would have rather had a beer and gone to bed. But I made it through, but without motivation it was very slow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Having failed to run this morning, my typical Tuesday stair routine would have to be changed to make sure I could get in my daily 4 mile run. I arrived at the stadium in plenty of time to get 4 miles in, plus 15 sets of stairs - that is, until I realized I forgot my shoes. Home I went. By the time I got back, the rain was coming down. This helped greatly with the temperature, but not much with the confidence on the stairs. I slowed down. I ran one mile, did 5 sets of stairs, another mile, 5 sets of stairs, another mile, 3 sets of stairs (needed to get the rest of the 4 miler in as the stadium was quickly closing), and the rest of my run. Not a bad workout. Legs felt pretty solid. Slowing down and not peaking the heart rate in the 180's makes you feel better all over.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gym 4 miler

Headed to the gym this evening on my commuter bike. Traffic wasn't bad, but man it was hot. Its only 3.5 miles or so each way to the gym, and it is a straight shot, but with the heat and the traffic, it will make you sweat. Anyway, the gym was pretty crowded with all the other people avoiding the heat (did I mention it was spitting rain hear and there, so top 95 degrees with 100 percent humidity...). 4 miles down in about 30 minutes. Started pretty slow, but had good legs. Ended up running the last quarter mile at 11 mph. Pretty fast for me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

31 Down and 21 To Go!

I slept in until 5:00, for a 5:30 start time with Laura. Today we had the fantastically laid plan of no plan at all. The rules were two: run 26.2 miles; do not run on any normal course.

We headed out with Amanda for 12 miles. We headed downtown and towards the river. A short trip up and down the river, and we were 6 miles in and needing to head back. So we did. Without a plan, but heading towards the house nevertheless.

Dropped Amanda off and grabbed a quick PB & J sandwich and a Coke. Felt great to eat some real food.

Headed back out. This time we headed north to the University - a place that I like to run, but never do. So we took a loop around the university and headed out towards a small nature center, that has a nice bike/run path in a quiet, clean environment. A couple mile loop around the nature center, and we were ready to begin heading back towards the house (about mile 20).

By this point the we could tell how quickly the temperature was rising. Not more than 8 miles from the house, and both water bottles were already empty. Stopped by a convenience store for a quick fill up. Back on the road towards College Hill and a quick 1.5 mile loop to finish up.

I feel great. Two marathons in two days, and very little negative to show for it.

Average Heart Rate - 121! Total time 5:02:48. Slow, but that was the point.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

30 Down, 22 to go!

It is never a good feeling when you begin to consider yourself odd. Today was that day.

Laura and I had plans to begin a marathon at 2:45 a.m. This means I was to get up by 2:00, and travel to the starting spot and running by 45 minutes later. Did I find this troubling? No. Was I concerned with the lack of sleep? No. Did I get to bed early? No. Did I change what I ate? No. This just wasn't a big deal, and I actually for a minute considered this an "easy day." That - I know will admit - is odd.

So mile 1 began just after 2:45 a.m. We headed out on a nice morning with temperatures of about 75 degrees and humidity hovering about that same level. Our plans would be to run 8 miles out on our designated route, and turn around and head back. 16 miles total for a "pre-run" before the weekly TNT run of about 10 miles. The miles just ticked away.

By mile 5, Mike - another TNT coach - joined us so he could get about 20 miles in on the day. We continud on at a nice, slow pace - about 10:30 pace with a minute of walk every other mile.

Finished up those first 16 miles with little action to report. We would begin the teams 10 mile run after a short, 15 minute rest.

Miles 16-26 would tick off too without much to report. It kinda just felt like a normal run - certainly didn't feel like a "marathon."

By the time I finished, Mike had another 1/2 mile to finish up to get in 20 miles. Seeing no reason not to, I went with him. Half way through that I got the brilliant idea to let him get a one block lead and see if I could catch him in a 1/2 mile. Barely caught him but ran out of gas as he pressed on for the victory. 27 miles total. Around a 4:45 marathon time (excluding the 15 minute break between runs).

Average Heart Rate - 124 (This too I find oddly low).

Somehow managed a bike ride to and from work, and another bike ride that afternoon. Took the Triathlon bike out for a spin (today was the time trial for the Tour de France), and took the customary 21 mile course in record time (1:03:21). Felt really good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Four miler

Little again to report. Went out at a nice pace, but not too hard. Planning on two marathons this weekend, so I need to take it easy and stay hydrated. 32:25.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Four

4 again. 35:26. Feeling good.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Late evening run

I had a pretty full evening tonight, so I just headed out late. Didn't really have the motivation to do it, and frankly needed a break. So I took it real slow. Somewhat enjoyed it after all. 42:30.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Treadmill 4 miler

We have a softball game tonight, so I only had time for a quick treadmill run and a few sets of stairs before the game. Left work a tad early to get on the treadmill. Had a nice run of 29:20. Feeling pretty good and ready for a few sets of stairs. But when I arrived, the stadium was closed. Cancel that, I think I sit on the couch for a while before the game starts....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Bike and run

Today I took that nice and easy bike ride I had been promising myself. Headed down town and around our "old town" area and the river. Pretty relaxing ride. Not trying to push myself at all, just trying to enjoy myself and get some saddle time.

Headed home for an easy 4 mile run. 35:43.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bike and Run

I had time today for a nice easy bike ride. But I didn't give myself that. Instead, I gave myself a nice hard bike ride on the Tribike. 1:05:20 for the usual 21 mile course. Might be a PR.

Didn't leave much in the tank for a 4 mile run. 34:41. Feeling pretty good for the day after a 50 miler.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

29 down, 23 to go! Confessions of an all night runner!

So you might be wondering why I chose to skip my blog entry for yesterday. There is a good reason actually. That is, I never had time to write it, as I was still running when the day ended.

Last night, my training partner (Laura) and I headed out at about 10:00 p.m. for a long run. Laura had planned on running 35 miles, getting done just before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, so she could support the Team-in-Training participants on their run. Me, I had plans for somewhere between 40-50 miles, and between 10-12 hours. I'd just have to gauge my time and pace, as I didn't want to exceed either 50 miles or 12 hours.

So we headed out complete with headlamps for an initial 10 mile loop. Our plans would be to run this same loop 3 times, as it had a convenience store at one end, my house at the other end, and was run nearly entirely through quiet neighborhoods (i.e., without a lot of drunk people to yell at us - "don't you know its 3 a.m? Shouldn't you be asleep."). We would have to get pretty comfortable with that route.

The first 10 went well. Both of us carried needed supplies with us, so there was no need to stop at the c-store. We took some time to eat about half way through (nibbled on a CliffBar the entire loop), and of course took many other walk breaks along the way. Back home in about 1:45, giving us 10 minutes for the home base "aid station," and back on the road with a loop of less than 2:00.

When we arrived at home, we both did our best to eat solid foods. I took in a PB&J sandwich that Jennifer had fixed, along with some Powerbar Drink, and a few pretzels. Feeling pretty good for midnight.

Back out for loop number 2. Not really feeling too bad yet. Hit the half-way point in good time, and still didn't need the c-store. Ate some more, and headed back. Still not feeling too bad, but looking forward to some caffeine at the home base.

Back to the house after 20 miles at around 2:00 a.m. Made a quick turn around after another half a PB&J and more pretzels. Started the PowerGels a few miles back. I could tell the temperatures were pretty high, and the humidity was even higher. I was going through a substantial amount of fluids, and I was soaked from head to toe.

Miles 20-25 went well. At 3 a.m. and on the way back towards home I could tell I was getting a little sleepy. The run was going well, and my legs were feeling good, so I started day dreaming (or is it just dreaming when it is during the middle of the night?) about how I might run to get in a few extra miles after Laura dropped off and before the team run. This day dreaming went so well that I caught myself nearly falling asleep! Maybe not quite, but I did "pop" back in to reality, and I couldn't quite figure out where on the course I was! I knew I was running and roughly where I was, but I couldn't remember what direction or which road exactly. A little weird. Enough to keep me awake the rest of the way.

Mile 30 came and went. Still feeling good after more PB&J and more PowerGel. Still going through water like, well, water. Miles 30-35 went pretty fast.

Dropped Laura off just short of 5:00 a.m. At my current pace, I'd have time to get 5 more miles in before the team run, which was scheduled for 10 miles. Perfect! Grabbed some food and gear, and headed (in the car) to the team training spot. A short 3 minute drive and I was back running. Although the first few steps were a struggle after sitting for only a couple of minutes, I quickly picked up the pace to around 9 min/miles. The sun was starting to come up, which really helped.

Back to the start after nearly 40 miles, and met the team for 10 miles. These 10 were unbelievable. Great miles! In no way did it feel like I had run 40 earlier. 50 came very easily. I did struggle a little with the pace (around 10:30's or 11:00's with the team). Since this was the same pace I had run all night, I either needed to pick up or slow down. So I had to do some weird walk breaks and faster catch-up runs just to keep up. Ankle and shin felt a little sore, but the pace change-up made that all feel better.

10:25 for 50 miles. Not a bad day at all! Average heart rate of 130. Not bad.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Morning 4 miler

Jenn and I made it up for a 4 miler today. Took it pretty easy because of tomorrow's plans. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally got out on the tri bike! (plus a 4 mile run)

Despite my problems airing up the tires on Sunday (and the temper tantrum I through afterward), I managed to get the bike ready for a ride after work. I headed out to some nice weather, with maybe some 15-20 mph winds. The ride went awesome. 21 miles in 1:06 of total ride time. I'd figure my rolling average (without stop lights) was around 22 mph. That is certainly fast for me. Love the bike. Definitely fast. Wheels really move.
35:46 run for 4 miles after the ride.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

4 miles and some stairs

For the first time today I decided to take a relaxing lunch and run down by the river. Having an office that is not more than 4 blocks from the gym has made it nice to catch a run if I don't otherwise have time. But generally, when I make it to the gym at lunch, I feel that a treadmill is the fastest, as I am usually pressed for time. Today, however, I ventured outside. I headed 4 blocks west of the gym down towards the bike/walking paths down by the river. Beautiful day. Nice and warm, which is what I wanted.

4 miles in just over 34 minutes.

But the day wasn't over with that. I headed out to the stadium after work for some stair work. 10 sets in just over 35 minutes. I really did my best to "run" up them (all 76 sets). It is really a struggle those last few sets, as the incline really increases, and the rows really space out (I can hardly reach between the rows).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday morning 4 miler

Managed to get up and run with the puppy this morning. Nice and relaxing (and cool) for miler. Legs are feeling a little tired, but overall pretty good. The weekend was a nice break from the long mileage.

Signed up today for the Heartland 100. I had an inside connection that let me know that the race was unofficially closed, but registrants before Wednesday would be allowed in. Just barely made it. Don't know what I am thinking. Two 100 mile runs within 45 days. We will see how big of a mistake that really is.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

10 miler with the Team and a bit of a blow up

Due to the lightening storm yesterday, the coaches organized an "unofficial" run for TNT this morning at 7 am. We had 20 or so show. Nice day. Nice to run with the team. Pretty slow today, which was also nice.

Made it home and had a list of chores. After finishing those, I wanted to head out on a bike ride. Having not made it out for any good weather rides on the tri bike, I wanted to ride it. But I had some serious issues blowing out tires when trying to air up the tires. I got really, really pissed, probably for no reason. I blew up. I gave up and road the other bike instead. But I guess the anger did me some good. Had a fantastic ride. That may have had something to do with that there was absolutely no wind. Kansas. No wind. Amazing.

1:08 for 21 miles total time (including stop lights, etc). That is flying for me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Run called short with lightening

Laura and I planned to meet for a 10 mile run before meeting the TNT group at 6 am. We weren't planning on running fast, and Laura needed to set out the coolers before the team run, so we met at 3:45 am. We got the first 10 miles in, but noticed that lightening was quickly approaching. Despite everyone showing and preparing to run, we had to call the run due to lightening. Pretty frustrating. But this was an easy day for me, so not a big deal. Actually, I was back in bed by 6:45. Not many can say they had run 10 miles, waited an hour after, and was still in bed by 6:45 am.

Woke up an hour or so later. Did some chores. Still made it to an 11:00 a.m. 30 mile ride with some friends. I was a little nervous about this as I haven't been riding. But it went very well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Same 'ol, Same 'ol

Another 4 miler. Don't know what is tying me down to lazy 4 milers....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Easy morning run

Another easy 4 miler. Jennifer and I managed to get up early and head out. Absolutely beutiful morning.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Easy 4 miler

Jenn and I went out for an easy 4 mile run. Nothing special, but then again I'm not the pregnant one!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lunchtime run

Forgot my watch today, but a 4 mile run at around 8 min/miles. It amazes me how attached I am to that damn watch....

Monday, July 7, 2008

4 miles plus some Tour de France spinning

Went out for a steady 4 miler after work. Held a 7:30 pace fairly easily. Legs feel good. A little tired, but good. 30:36 total with traffic time.

When I got home, Jennifer and I hopped on the trainers to watch Stage 3 of the tour. 30 minutes only, but it felt good to do a little spinning.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

28 Down, 24 to go

After yesterday's 50k, I expected that my legs would be shot today. Whether it would have been from the hills, the heat or the distance, I expected to have jello legs. But I didn't. Not sure why. But I won't complain.

Woke up about 5:00 a.m. for a 6 a.m. run. Today I met my TNT folks out for our weekly team run. Because of the 4th falling on Friday, we anticipated that many participants would rather run on Sunday than Saturday. And when we showed up and had 20+ runners, we knew we were right. But before they met us at 7:00 for the run, several coaches and I met for 4 miles first.

The first 4 miles went well. We held a nice steady 10:15 pace. It was already getting warm. I could tell the temperatures would quickly reach the 90's as forcasted.

The next 9 miles were run with the team. I joined up with some run-walkers on a 4-1 plan. That is 4 minutes of running with a minute of walking. When running, we averaged about 10:30 miles. Total miles were around 12 min/miles. Not a bad pace at all, considering the heat.

And this sort of running walking I think is fantastic training for my upcoming 100 miler. I plan to do a fair share of walking during that race, starting at mile one. So having a slow run with walk breaks is just fine. And it keeps me on my feet for longer. Not a bad thing.

After those 9 miles (13 total), Laura (who will be joining me at the Heartland 100 in October), Pam, Amanda and I ran another 4 miles. We stuck to an "outside" loop at the park that has no shade. By 9:30, the temperature was already 86 degrees. And rising.

Pam and Amanda dropped off (as planned) after that 4 mile loop. Great job to both of them, as neither had planned to be out their that long. Thank you to both for just being their for Laura and I.

Laura and I continued. Actually, we were feeling great. The only problems were 2: first, the heat and the lack of shade; second, the monotony of loop around a small park. But we kept up our spirits, and kept to the best shaded areas of the park. This meant 3 more loops around a 3 mile section.

We kept going. Kept drinking. And kept going. The last few miles took some time, especially considering the length of time we took refueling and hydrating between loops. But we kept going.

5:35. Not a great time if you are counting, but I am not. I considered this a huge success, especially considering the heat. And didn't I mention yesterday that I am not a good heat runner?

28 "marathons" on the year down, 24 to go!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

PsychoPsummer 50k Race Report - 27 down, 25 to go!

Until today, I wouldn't have considered myself to be a good heat runner. (I probably wouldn't consider myself to be a good cold runner either. Now temperatures of 45-50...that is where I excel. But that is beside the point.) I have always enjoyed running in the heat, but generally only short distances. I've just always thought that my body is just not suited to take hot, humid days on long runs, especially on tough trails that really get your heart pumping. So really, I figured that an ultramarathon on a tough trail course in the middle of July would not be my best and brightest of days.

And I have some experience to support my belief. Last year I entered and finished an event called the PsychoPsummer 50k trail run in Kansas City. I'll keep the story short. I finished. I leave the story at that because the rest of the story would be about the near death experience I had last year when the temperatures reached triple digits with terribly high humidity (I exaggerate, I thought I was going to die but I really had a great time!). So obviously I couldn't wait to run it again this year.

Well this year came today. I'd nervously watched the weather all week long. Hoping that we wouldn't have another 100+ degree day like last year. Hoping the humidity would stay down. Hoping to have a partly cloudy, cool day. Well, I didn't exactly get all that, but I got a fairly nice July day. Some clouds, lower temperatures (high in the mid 80's), but pretty high humidity. Regardless of the weather, I was there in KC and ready to run.
This event is great. Its a two-loop 50k. I consider this to be a very hilly course. It isn't terribly rocky, although there are some rocky sections. And it isn't terribly winding, although there are some winding sections. Its tough. And that is why I like it. As the race website says, this is not a sissy paved event!

We arrived fairly early from Topeka, where my wife and I had stayed the night before. Jennifer helped me pick up my packet, filed up water bottles and got set to run.

I started near the back. The first couple of miles had several long fairly steep climbs and descents. Pretty tiring, but I remember the first few miles of the course having some fairly long hills. So I was mentally prepared. I passed a few people on this section, but pretty much tried to hold a steady pace (my goal was to have 2 laps at around 3 hours each).

After those few miles settled down, the race got fun. I consider the middle part of the course (miles 4-9)to be fairly fun. There are some very steep parts (those where you use all fours), but most of it is really cool trails (I have one favorite section where the trees completely cover the trail. Its like you are running through a tunnel). Some nice long descents to pick up the pace, and some nice long and windy ascents to keep things interesting. The aid stations at miles 5 and 9 were great sites and perfectly located and manned.

Miles 9-12 are pretty fast (considering how much fun the rest of the course is) as they were off the trails a bit. Other than one pretty long walking hill, most of this portion was very runnable. It was a nice break to start running again and hold it for 20 minutes or so.

After mile 12, we headed back to a windy section, and then into some really muddy sections. The last four miles seemed to take forever. Oddly, those last four miles were just as horrible on the first loop as they were on the second. So I really think those were tough sections, no matter if I was on mile 12 or 28.
I finished in 6:16 and some change. Turns out that I was 15th place out of 50. Not bad for me.

I really felt great when I finished. I joked with my wife after I finished that I could go another loop if I needed to. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to, especially if it meant that I had to go back through those last 4 miles of mud again. But I was trying to save my legs for another 25-30 miler tomorrow. So I think I paced myself fairly well. Just right, so that I had enough left for either another 15 today or 25 tomorrow.

Yearly "marathon" update: 27 marathons down, 25 to go!


Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July 9 miler

Met some of my TNT teammates for a morning 9 miler. Steady 10 minute pace throughout. Probably pushing it on distance though, have a 50k race tomorrow.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Successful 4 miler.

Took the dogs for another 4 miler. Nothing fast. But wore them out. Success.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4 miles + 2 dogs = Fun Run

We are dog sitting for some friends. Rueben, a 2 year old black lab, is also a runner. At about 5:00, after an afternoon rainstorm cooled everything down, Pav, Rueben and I headed out for 4 miles. Both dogs did fairly well. Pav actually did great, and stayed right beside me. Rueben had a tendency to want to run ahead. Trying to control the two was pretty tough. Actually though it was pretty fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

4 mile afternoon run

I intended to wake up early to run. Didn't happen, because Jennifer and I both had to be at work early. So I got an afternoon run in about 90 degree temps. I won't complain, I actually love it. 4 miles in just over 35 minutes. Heavy traffic cost me 3 to 4 minutes.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The most beautiful of days...

This morning was a beautiful morning. 61 degrees. No wind. Sun just coming up at 5:45. Absolutely fantastic to run in. Jenn and I were pretty slow, but it was worth it. 42 minutes and some change.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An afternoon 4 miler

Had to work today, so I headed in on my bike. Wonderful day for a bike ride. Wished I had time for a longer ride and/or longer run. 4 miles only. Had dinner plans at friends. 40 minutes, just enjoying the beautiful day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

26 down, 26 to go (yes, that's half way)!

Today I actually was able to join the TNT team for a Saturday training run. Met a couple of coaches for 5 miles before the team run. But when the team run was supposed to start, a huge thunderstorm came through and forced us to cancel the team run. But a few of us braved 7 miles before a second storm hit. We all quickly packed up and left.

But with my marathon streak on the line, I had to keep going. But I was smart enough to drive to a nearby gym and finish the last 14 miles on a treadmill.

Had a great run. On the treadmill I began at 7 mph, and picked up .1 for the next 12 miles. At mile 24, I added .1 mph every 1/2 mile, picking it up to 9.2 over the last 1/2 mile or so.

Felt great all the way through. The pace change really felt great. But I can't wait to actually make it through a team run.

26 marathons down, 26 to go. 3:53:09.

Friday, June 27, 2008

4 miler

A little disappointed in myself for not getting up this morning. Headed out after work for a casual 4 miler. Trying not to do anything hard, as I have a marathon scheduled for tomorrow. Just enjoying the evening again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Evening 4 miler

Headed out about 8 pm for a nice slow run. 38 minutes. Really just enjoyed the evening.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Working late 4 miler

Every once in a while, I get the great idea to stay late at work, grabbing a quick run and dinner at 8 or so in the evening (makes for a nice break in the day if I am staying past midnight). So this is what I did today. Little over 32 minutes. Feeling pretty tired after yesterday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

4 and stairs

I failed to make it out of bed this morning. And the afternoon was busy, so I couldn't take off at 4 and run before my Tuesday softball ritual. So I headed to the gym at lunch and hit the treadmill for a fairly quick 4 miler. About 30 minutes (forgot my watch).

Headed to the track for some stair work right after work. Struggled to get 8 sets in. Lunch run really killed me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A warm 4 miler with Pavlov

Tonight Pav really wanted to go on a run. I obliged. 90 degrees. She died. 4 miles in 34:46. I felt good, although my legs are a little sore from the fast run this weekend.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A slow 4 miler with Jennifer

Nothing to report. 43:25. 125 heart rate average.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

4 time defending champion!!!!!

I'll spoil the surprise. I won.

I headed to the start line about 6:15 for a 6:30 start. There were 2 or 3 runners at the start. "I can take them" I thought. As we stood waiting, 7 more showed, bringing the total to 10. "I can win this."

I headed out fast. My goal was to scare off any competition from even going with me. I was successful. At the turn around (out and back course), I easily had 2 minutes on my next competitor. I picked up the pace, knowing that I was right on pace for a P.R.

I kicked it in with about a half mile left. The course was fairly hilly, so I had little left. But just enough. 19:43. A Personal Best.

4 more miles that afternoon to complete my daily 4 mile requirement.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting ready for the big race

Tomorrow is the "5k Legal Runaround," a small (very small, very very small) 5k run held in conjunction with our Kansas Bar Association Annual meeting. The typical entrants are either attorneys or family members.

Why do I care about this event? A little history might help. 4 years ago, I entered my first 5k Legal Runaround. With about 20 entrants, I ran the first 2.9 miles with a high-school soccer player. We chatted and had a good time. But with about a quarter mile left, I gave in to the urge and challenged him to a race. Knowing I would lose, it was still pretty exciting. I lost, but a second place finish I had (albeit out of 20 people). I might add that the 5k course was about 4.2 miles.

3 years ago I entered my second 5k Legal Runaround event. That year it was held in Vail, Colorado. I entered this year to win. I headed out (0ut and back course), and about 1.8 miles in (still on the way out) I made the executive decision to turn around. Those in the lead pack with me also turned around. We headed back, but to find that others had turned around earlier (closer to the 1.55 mile mark). I had some catch-up work to do. I pushed on, and with less than 1/10 of a mile to go, I passed a 19 year old girl for the victory. Cheap, I know, but she ran about a half mile less than I did. My first (and only ever) victory as an adult.

2 years ago the race was canceled. Still champion.

1 year ago the race was canceled. Still Champion.

Obviously, I am a defending champion with a lot on the line. I better start training.

So today, I headed out for a 4 mile run (right before lunch). 29:12. Not a bad pace. Need to run much faster tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A hung over 4 miler

Yesterday I headed to Topeka for our annual bar meeting. Last night I stayed up drinking and playing Golden Tee until 1:30 a.m. Today, I will be playing golf all morning/afternoon, and headed to a formal dinner tonight, followed by another reception.

So the only time I had today was a 8 a.m. run. A little slower than I had hoped, but another 4 miles down. 39:19.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Treadmill 4 miler

Today I was feeling pretty good. The marathon yesterday seems to have had little impact. A little hungry today. A good night sleep last night helped.

I headed to the gym about 11:30 for a quick 4 mile run. 29:49. Heart rate was fairly under control, despite that I picked up the pace over the last two miles. Trying to get ready for this Saturday's 5k race. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

25 down, 27 to go!

I woke up at 3:15, ready for a 3:45 marathon start time. I actually felt good getting up and getting going this morning. I helps to just get up and go, as opposed to snoozing and putting it off.

I headed out for a 11 mile loop (actually, 5.5 out and 5.5 back). Out with my reflective vest and my headlamp. Still pretty dark. I stopped by the house to refill fluids. Doing very well. Holding a 9 min/mile pace.

The second 11 felt just as good. Temperature was in the mid 60's but the humidity wasn't all that bad. Keeping up with my 9 min/mile pace.

Stopped off for a bathroom break at about mile 19, which caused me to add in a mile or so.

So with only 4 miles to go, I stopped at a local fire station to refill fluids. Headed back out to finish up the run.

Really, really felt good. Really felt like I could have gone 35 or 40 miles without a problem. That's a good feeling. 3:58:54.

I was at work by 9:00 a.m. Not a bad morning.

25 down, 27 to go.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A nice relaxing run

Came home from work, started dinner (pizza dough), and headed out with the dog for a 4 mile run. Very nice evening. The rain today kept the temperatures down.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lazy Sunday

I intended to get this week's marathon out of the way this morning. But sleeping just felt so good. Skipped out and got my run in this afternoon.

P.S. - today I celebrated my first father's day. I'm now free to announce that my first child is expected January 13, 2009. Very, very, very excited.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Evening 4 miler

Headed back home this afternoon. Managed a 4 mile run before dinner. Not a bad run. Nothing fast, but nice.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Weird morning

When I got home last night, I realized that Jennifer's car was left in the street. Normally not a problem, but with recent flash floods, we should have known better. Heavy storms, including tornadoes in the area, left Jennifer's car with about 3 inches of water in the floor. Not good.

So before I left town for a weekend meeting, I spent an hour or so getting her car to the dealership to get checked out. Headed to the gym for a quick 4 miler and then to work. Soon headed out to Kansas City for a weekend meeting.

Good run. A little tired. I know I really need to be stretching better. Tried today, but still need more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quick run before a Awards Dinner

I had to attend a local bar function tonight, so I had just a little time to get in a run after work and before heading out for the dinner. 4 easy miles. 37 minutes (probably 33, but heavy, heavy traffic). Feeling a little tired.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

24 down, 28 to go!

I didn't plan real well this week, which left me with little time to run my weekly marathon. Today, I headed out of work an hour or so early and made it to the gym by 5:15, just in time to pick out a treadmill under a fan. That is really the best I could ask for.

I employed a strategy of variation, something that you normally don't get on a treadmill. Each mile I would adjust the incline/decline by 1%, going from -2% to 2%. This kept it interesting, but also wore me out.

I lost a ton of water sweating. I drank 2 bottles in the first 20 miles. Then in the last 6 miles (and in the 5 minutes afterwards), I drank 4 more bottles. I was dying!

All in all 4:01. Not too bad. Legs felt good. But I was really really hungry and thirsty. Looking back on the day, a small yogurt for breakfast, a small salad for lunch, and not enough fluids all day. A recipe for disaster. But disaster avoided. Luckily, Jennifer had a very large water and 2 pizzas waiting for me when I got home. I tore that pizza up!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

4 miles and a roudn of golf

I had little time today. Needed to get an early run in, so that I could skip out and play golf during the afternoon. No, I'm not any good. No, I have no time to commit to golfing (see www.runscottierun.blogspot.com for reasons why). But I enjoy it. Good run this morning of around 32 minutes. Felt good. Trying to loosen up a bit. I'm in a slow running funk and my legs are getting sore.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pavlov's birthday

For Pavlov's birthday, we celebrated with a 4 miler. 41:57. Very enjoyable.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I finally biked!

Ok, so it was on the trainer while I watched TV with Jennifer. But I still pedaled. 10 miles. Not easy when I haven't ridden in a while.

Ran 4 miles after the ride in 31:30. I'm just sore. Add the mountains, the softball, and the yard work, and I need a break.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Late Saturday Run

I've been working in the yard/garage all day. Lifting things that make me sore. Bending ways that make me sore. Basically I've been a manual labor slacker and am paying for it. But I managed to get a 4 mile run in about 11:00 p.m. Not a bad run. Nice weather.

Friday, June 6, 2008

4 slow miles

I am not recovered from last weekend. 4 miles. All I could do is maintain an easy pace.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More storms

Tonight I wanted to run outside, but we were in a serious tornado watch/warning. I opted for the safety of the gym. 4 miles, 32 minutes exactly. Not bad.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I hurt

Tonight I ran 4 miles with Jennifer. It was not without pain.

Softball. Softball equals pain. Why? Sprinting. Apparently my ultramarathon running legs don't cope well with the 60 foot sprint to first base. So I hurt. Very sore in the hips and quads. Not prepared for that.

So I took it easy for this 4 miler. Not a bad run, but probably 43 minutes or so.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stairs

I was too lazy to get up this morning to put a real run in before my softball game tonight. So I headed to the stadium to get a stair workout in. What seems to be working well is incorporating the stairs into the run. Run a couple of laps, do a couple stairs, continue on the run. It keeps some variety going and makes it seem more true to form.

10 sets of stairs. I can tell I am not recovered.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A tough 4 miler

I was pretty sore getting up this morning. But I knew I only needed 4 miles. And the weather is beautiful. Watching the sunrise over the mountains at 6:00 a.m. in 40 degree temperature is wonderful. Slow, but a nice run.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

23 Down, 29 to go! - Steamboat Marathon


Humbling.
Today I ran the Steamboat Marathon. The race began some 25 miles outside of Steamboat, up a climb towards Hahn's Peak. This meant that the race officials bussed everyone to the start. This means that everyone is dumped off at the top of a mountain at 6:15 a.m., with just a touch of sunlight, in 34 degree weather, to wait for over an hour before the race began. Snow. This really wasn't so bad, especially where we could find some sunlight that wasn't blocked by the peaks. Really not a bad morning. But already you could tell with the clear skies that the sub 40 degree temperatures would stay around for long.

Without much warning, 7:30 hit and the gun sounded. We were off. Down a fairly steep incline for the first mile, quickly followed by a quick up towards the highest point of the race at mile 2. Mile 1 and 2 were run at 8:21 and 8:07 respectively. I was certainly trying to keep things under control.

Mile 2-3 saw a significant down hill. Now the pace could only quicken 8:17 total, only slowing at the foot of a very, very steep hill topping out around mile 4.

Mile 5-8 was the most significant downhill I have ever run. I would estimate an 800 foot loss in about 2.5 miles. Faster pace than I would have like, each mile there in the 7's.

Already, however, I could tell I was suffering. If you have been following my blog, you will realize that I have quite stupidly run 2 "marathons" in the past 9 days, this being my 3rd. With the difficulty of this course (discussed below), I really should have taken some time. Add to this the fact that the water stops were few and far between, I knew today would be a struggle. And I haven't even hit any of the real climbs.

Miles 9-12 were all rolling downhills. Legs are feeling sore already. I'm already thinking "I need to hit 13 so I can start counting down the miles." Not a good thing.

Mile 13 came with a much needed water stop, but also with the start of some additional climbing. The elevation chart above is deceptive. It really looks to be all downhill. But significant hills over 50 feet or less over short periods barely show on the map. But they show when you are faced with them. Miles 13, 14, and 15 all saw these types of hills.

Miles 16-20 were all again downhill (of course with rolling hills in between). My pace was slowing significantly. From 8:54 at mile 16, to 9:33 at mile 17, to 10:40 at mile 18. Mile 18 again saw a much needed aid station.
I was beginning to feel the dehydration.

Miles 19-23 were significantly uphill. It shows to be a steady incline, but the odd thing about this course is that the real climbs are so steep, that the lesser inclines and declines appear flat. Miles 19-23 were a struggle, mainly because I felt like I was on flat road or even downhills, but I was really consistently climbing.

Miles 23-25 were very tough. I was really struggling with the pain in my legs (the hills, the lack of recovery from my recent "marathons," the pounding of running downhill, and the dehydration). These miles were slow. And painful. I walked too often. I need to see mile 25. I knew I could run it in from there.

Sure enough, mile 25 appeared. The last mile was downhill. And you could see the finish line for probably 3/4 of a mile. I picked up the pace. The last 1.2 were run in 10:59, after a long walk break from 25-25.2. I steady 8 min/mile pace over the last mile really helped with the leg pain.

Then the finish line. The crowd was very supportive (one of the best I have seen). I felt like a real winner.
Total climb over 26.2 miles was 940 feet, according to my Polar HRM. Net elevation loss was over 1500 feet. Add the net loss to the gain, and the total elevation loss was somewhere around 2600 feet. Tough course. Add to this that the entire course was run over 6700 feet (8200 feet max), and it was very tough. Add to both of those a high temperature during the race of around 85 degrees, and this was probably the toughest marathon I have ever run.

All in all, I was pleased with my results. Despite running the first half in about 1:47, I placed 85th out of 315 finishers in a time of 3:55:11 for a pace of 8:59 per mile. Out of 184 men I finished 71st. The winning time for men was 2:36:02. For 25 to 29 year old men I was 9th out of 23 finishers.
Congratulations to Mike and Alan. For Mike I believe this was his 5th Marathon. He did a nice job, finishing in about the top half. Alan was celebrating his birthday. Way to finish a birthday (and did I mention he has run 3 marathons in the past year since his open heart surgery?).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

4 miles in Denver

Got up fairly early this morning and hit the sidewalks around our hotel for an easy 4 mile run before heading up to Steamboat. Mike and I put 3 miles in together at around 9 min/mile pace, then I picked it up to stretch out the legs for the last mile. Not a bad morning.

Friday, May 30, 2008

4 easy recover miles

Headed out fairly early today (10ish) for Colorado to run the Steamboat Marathon on Sunday. Slept in a bit, then headed out for a 4 miler. Still very hot and humid.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

22 down, 30 to go!

Having last weeks' 3:30 a.m. run rained out (http://runscottierun.blogspot.com/2008/05/rained-out.html), Laura and I decided to plan another. I know, for most people this doesn't make sense. Why would anyone want to get up at 2:45 in the morning to go run? Let alone run a marathon before work. The answer is "100 miles." Laura and I both have our minds set on a 100 mile run this fall. For Laura, the Heartland 100 (http://www.ksultrarunners.org/hlpage.html) will be her first. For me, I have my eye on the Lean Horse 100 (http://www.leanhorse.com/index.html), and I hope the Heartland 100 will be my second Heartland, and my 3rd 100 overall. What does that have to do with 3:30 a.m.? I attribute much of my success last year to many early morning runs. I really believe that these early runs without much sleep train the body and mind for the late hours of an ultra.

So Laura and I met at 3:30 and headed out. Miles 1-4 went well, but I could tell my stomach wasn't quite right. Last night I went for a couple of beers with some friends, with some heavy nachos, and a sub sandwich on the way home and immediately before bed. None of that is good marathon preparation, in case anyone asks. These stomach problems would be a continuous problem over the next 22 miles. I leave it at that.

All else seemed to go ok. It was only about 65 degrees with a light breeze, which is perfect. Unfortunately, it was about 95% humidity. Dehydration would be the other continuous problem. I would run most of the run completely soaked in sweet. Not pleasant for anyone.

We would manage. In good order, we finished in around 4:40. We probably averaged 9:45 miles for most miles, but the stops really slowed us.