Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Trails

Today's run was through Shelby Farms. From the kite area through the blue WRT, then the Tour for a total of 17.35 miles (3h 41m). This was my first long run since Tour d'Esprit and, all in all, it felt good. For the last 3 miles, I slipped on my Five Fingers and had no problems and no pain. The VFF's slowed me down a bit, but I guess I will get used to them soon enough.

My biggest problem was around mile 10. Usually, I don't hit any walls until well past 20 miles, but today I ran smack dab into one in half that distance. I kept running, albeit at a much slower pace. My body started shaking and I felt nauseous. Thoughts of quiting ran willie-nillie through my head. I knew that I was hitting a wall and that I best keep moving. In past runs, I always stopped running at this point until I felt better...which means my time is screwed and my muscles start to freeze up. So, keep moving...keep moving...keep moving I did. I grabbed some Clif Shot Blocks from my Camelbak and drained one of my hand held bottles. Within a mile or so, I felt the best that I had the entire run. My pace increased and I started flying through the woods again.

Once again, I hit the pause button on my Garmin and forgot to turn it back on until I was a half mile up the trail. So, I figured the missing distance using Google Earth and came up with 0.51 miles. Adding this to the 17.35, we get the grand total of 17.86 miles (check my math because I was edumacated in Mississippi!).

Now it's time to taper for this weekend's Midsouth Marathon. I will run at least two 5 milers between Monday and Wednesday and then rest. I have never run a marathon, so I am unsure what to expect. My previous long training runs suggest that I will finish between 4 and 5 hours, if all goes well. My plan is to go easy (11-12 min miles) through mile 18 and then attempt to finish out with a pace under 10 min per mile.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

I should have listened to that nagging voice in my head that told me not to run more than a mile in the Five Fingers. Did I listen? Well...of course not. Now, my calf muscles are all knotted up. It's hard to start walking after sitting or lying down, but after a few minutes they loosen up enough that I don't look like an old man needing a walker.

Now the voice is telling me not to run anymore until this weekend. Should I listen? Hell no. This is the last few days to get in some long mileage before tapering for next weeks Midsouth Marathon.

EDIT: I ran 5 miles on the treadmill after work. The first two in running shoes at an easy 10 min pace and the last three in my VFF's (Vibram Five Fingers) at a 11-12 min pace. No problems during the run, but now (2 hours later) my calfs are knotted up again. Damn...if we only had a jacuzzi!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Fingers for Five Toes

I finally found a local store (Baumer's in G'town) that sold Vibram Five Fingers! I bought the gray/black classics, list price $70. I could have ordered them online, but I was unsure of the European sizing.


Although it was raining outside this evening, I just had to try them out. A quick two mile run at a 11 min pace felt great! Of course, it's a lot different than running in shoes and it took some getting used to. My left calf was very tight, as was my right foot. I tried to take it slow, but I was enjoying myself too much! With the Five Fingers, I could actually feel the surface I was running on (asphalt, concrete, grass) without the pain of stepping on sharp rocks, sticks, glass, etc. After this rain stops, I will give them a try on the trails!

For the first mile, I wore my Injinji socks and then sans socks for mile two. With socks felt great and so did without...except that I started to get a hot spot on the ball of my left foot. So, I will be wearing socks with them until my feet toughen up. It looks silly with white crew socks, so I will order the micro Injinji's.

Hot Springs

We went to Hot Springs, Arkansas this weekend for a quick trip. Friday nights, I ran 4 miles through town to see the sights and on Sunday, I ran up North Mountain. This was my first experience running in the mountains (not as big as the Rockies, but it's all we have around here!!). There was only 1000 feet of elevation, but the trip up the side was a gut buster. Once on top, it was all fun and gun!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

No Pain, No Gain

My mileage has suffered the last two weeks due to my foot pain and, damnit...I am getting tired of it. Yesterday's plan was 8 miles at Stanky Creek, but the rain sent me to the gym instead. Not much pain after a quick 5k on the treadmill, so I thought I would try running barefoot again. I ran 1.5 miles at a 10-12 minute pace in my socks and it felt great! The pain was there, but different somewhat...kind of like stretching a sore muscle pain.

Anyway...I figured that I was in for a lot of pain since then, but suprisingly, the pain has greatly diminished...almost non-exsistent. I really need to find a pair of Vibram Five Fingers!! Running in socks is not as cool as it would be with Vibrams!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Garmin Forerunner

I finally received my garmin forerunner 305 earlier this week! Nice toy!

Yesterday's run was cut short due to right hip/leg pain that made it very hard to run, much less walk. I forgot to take Alleve before the run and will remember to pack some for the next run. Only a few weeks left until the Midsouth Marathon, so I need to be pain free for my long runs before tapering for the race.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Back in the Saddle

After taking a few days off for recovery, I am back running. Wednesday was four miles at Stanky Creek (white loop), which went very well and faster than normal. Yesterday was my first 10k under an hour, which doesn't sound too impressive to you speed demons out there, but it's fairly fast for a big boy like me!

I ordered a Garmin Forerunner 305 last week and am looking forward to trying it out on the trails. If anyone has any handy tips for me, please let me know.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tour d'Esprit (Full)

I arrived at the race site a few hours early. I wanted to be sure to get a good spot for my tent and supplies. It was hot, but a stiff breeze kept us all from sweating too much. After setting my site up, I helped someone else with their very large tent (for the AOC running team). With all that complete, I decided to run a lap to check the course and get an idea of what lay ahead. The course can best be described as 1/3 blacktop, 1/3 loose gravel, and 1/3 dirt trail. There was plenty of room for passing slow runners/walkers.

At 3pm, we started without fanfare. My plan was to do 4-5 miles per hour and complete at least 20 miles before taking any break. Although my pace felt great and I was making good progress, my body decided multiple times that it needed a bathroom break. I chalked it up to nerves, but it really screwed up my first 20.

Blisters on the outside of both heels had to be tended to around mile 22. I wore Injinji mini socks and had no other problems. I never changed socks (even slept in them) and only changed shoes once. Besides the heel blisters, my feet were never an issue.

Supposedly there was to be food and water for the runners. I found the water without any problems, but never found the food! Email correspondance with the RD prior to the race informed me that there would be a runner's food tent, so I only brought a few Clif bars for solid food. Needless to say, I ran out of fuel early that evening. Gels, Clip2, Boost and water will only take you so far. By midnight, I was at 32 miles and up against the wall. I layed down in my tent for a stretch break that stretched out for the next six hours. I meant to get up at 4am, but reset the alarm for 4:30...then for 5...the for 6. I finally got back on the course at 7am.

I ran five miles and then decided I would pay the $5 for the pancake breakfast that they were serving. This gave me some much needed energy that would hopefully last for a while. This also took precious time away from being on the course. Back to running without any breaks longer than 5 minutes for the remaining hours. More gels and Clip2.

Lunch was to be free for everyone (runners and non). Leaving the course just to grab a hotdog consisted of my lunch break. I still had another three hours of running and I wanted to break 60 miles.

I ran into Kevin Dorsey many times during the race. His pace and form were very a machine. He always had a smile and something nice to say to everyone. Kevin is a class act. He ended up with 120 miles! Unbelievable!

Although I didn't reach any of my goals, I could blame no one but myself. I should have run through the night (probably could have covered at least 25 more miles). I should have brought actual food (more energy = more miles). I should not have brought a tent (too tempting to crash). More lessons learned!

All in all, I had a great time and met some great people! Brian and Lorrie Williams both had PR's and Lorrie even won her age group. They kept me going many times throughout the race. Good to see them complete 40+ miles! This is what is different with ultras...the friends you make and meet!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tour d'Esprit (Brief)

Quick post...more info later.

58 miles (counting intial pre-race lap to check course) in less than 16 hours total running time (with 7 hours of me lazy!).

3rd in my age group (40-44)
7th for all males
10th place overall (non-team)

Kevin Dorsey (RD for Bartlett Park Ultra) is a machine!! He ran 120 total miles! And...he is doing the Arkansas Traveler next week! Congrats to Kevin!!

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