Monday, March 24, 2008

Back to Normal

Spring break is over and the step-children are back from their trip to Disney with their father. I am glad that they are back, mind you...but this alters my available time to run. We have band, dance, and baseball practices to tend to once again after a week of freedom. So it will be a while before anymore +60 mile weeks of running (which my body won't mind!).

In the past two weeks I have run slightly more than 126 miles without physical injuries. By the end of each week, I felt dead...but elated to be able to cover the miles. I averaged 10 miles each run, with the longest run being 16.6 miles (I need to go longer, damn it!).

My wife has also increased her mileage in the past couple of weeks! Her long run is now above 7 miles (up from 4 miles just two weeks ago). I am very proud of her and look forward to running many miles with her! Now, if I could just get her on the trails...

Easter weekend runs:




Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Running in the Windy City of...

...not Chicago, but Bartlett. Today's run was very, very windy. It seemed that no matter which direction I was headed, I was still running into the howling wind! Tired legs and lack of motivation killed yesterday's planned run and almost did the same to today's, but I forced myself outside to get in at least 4 miles before the rain started (which, at 8:26 pm, has yet to hit). I finally got into a groove after a few miles and ended with 10.11 miles in 1:42 (10:02 pace). Not bad for an easy run (except for the winds).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Germantown Half

All went well today at the race. No problems except a sore ass and tight hamstring & calf. I (once again) started too fast and had to slow it down and settle into a 9:30-ish pace. A few stops to stretch out the legs and one stop to socialize with some ultra friends on the sidelines. Great race...made even better due to the fact that I didn't cough up $45 (I did not use any aid provided by the race...except a few cookies at the end!).

Great to see that Mike, Holly, Drew, and Lauren ran like the wind! Their finish times make me feel real old(er)! Congrats to Kristi & Brad for finishing in great time, especially since neither have ever run that far before!

My time: 2:06:06 (9:33 pace)
My Splits:
1 8:50
2 8:53
3 9:04
4 9:08
5 10:03
6 9:40
7 9:49
8 9:39
9 10:20
10 9:46
11 10:17
12 9:49
13 9:49
14 1:02

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Today's run almost didn't happen. The weather sucked all damn day. I thought about going to the gym to run the treadmill, but that didn't sound too fun. I finally decided to head to Shelby Farms to run on the paved paths and prayed it would not rain again. Although it did not rain, the wind was blowing hard and the temps were in the low 50's. Not too bad, but I prefer better.

My pace was too fast for the first 6 miles and I knew that I would pay dearly for this mistake later. I kept it steady for 10 miles and then my right hamstring and calf muscles started to lock up. I tend to sweat profusely when running due to being a fat ass...and today was no exception. Trying to keep my gut from bloating again, I had kept the water intake to bear minimum (20 oz H2O for entire run) and only had one gel (at 6m mark). I had a S!Cap at the start and another at the halfway. Figuring all this, I assumed that I was dehydrated and was experiencing some lactic acid build up in the legs. Oh well...I stopped to stretch several times and had to walk for a minute of so during mile 12, but I kept moving forward.

This story is getting too, to sum it all up:
Total: 13.16 miles in 2:07:03 (9:39 pace) (PR)
10k time was at 56 minutes and change (PR)
1 9:25
2 8:37
3 8:57
4 9:04
5 8:37
6 9:19
7 10:25
8 9:25
9 9:59
10 9:45
11 10:42
12 10:10
13 11:48
14 1:45

I am amazed at my endurance level since the MS50 two weeks ago. That race, even though I fell short of 50 miles, was a turning point for me. Before then, I would walk way too much in practice runs and races. I didn't have the confidence needed to successfully finish a marathon, let alone an ultramarathon. Now I do have that confidence and I can force my fat ass to hold a decent pace throughout each run.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On the Road...Again

Today's run was supposed to be a short 4 miles before dinner. I really didn't even feel like running. My legs were starting to feel a little dead and my right hip and ankle was sore. Since it's supposed to rain tomorrow, I felt it necessary to run today (and rest tomorrow).

I set out a little after 4pm. Other than being windy, the weather was great! I decided to run somewhere other than my normal 4 mile route. I went through a few neighborhoods that I have never seen and ended up back on Old Brownsville Rd. This road is fairly narrow and the cars love to speed by. I spent a lot of time in the ditch...trying to not become road kill. Right on Oak for a bit and then a right on Broadway took me back to the five-way. My brain said to take another right and head home, but my body wanted more miles. So...more miles it got. I ended up with 8.4 miles in 1:21:16 (9:39 pace). I felt great and wanted to see what my time would be at 13.1 miles, but my wife had told me that dinner was served at 6pm and I know it wouldn't be wise to be late.

No gels, only 20 oz Propel (only drank 3/4). Once again, no gastric issues. For my long run on Saturday, I will start adding Perpetuem back into it and see if it causes any issues.

1 9:28
2 8:48
3 9:59
4 9:38
5 10:21
6 9:36
7 9:49
8 9:55
9 3:51

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Great Run

I hit Bartlett Park this afternoon for multiple reasons. First was to obtain an elevation profile for the Bartlett Park Ultra (Aug 2nd). Second was in hopes of continuing a (so far) great week of running. And lastly...the weather was beautiful and I needed to be in the woods.

A lot of muddy and wet areas throughout the trails slowed my pace, but all in all I kept it steady without much effort. I only took one gel and 24 oz of water and had no problems with bloating (I usually drink 40 oz of water for this course...which would tend to bloat me).

Tomorrow's plan is for slow and low mileage. Friday will be an off day (it's supposed to rain). Saturday is for long run and Sunday for recovery run (G'town Half Marathon).

Studly gotta love daylight savings time! With the extra hour of daylight, I can get more than a few miles in well before dark!

I wanted to see if I could top my great runs on Monday with one complete run yesterday. I started out around six-ish, figuring I had at least an 90 minutes before dark. I wanted to run at least 6 miles before even thinking about heading back to the house. I also wanted to run without any extra fueling (except one gel and 20oz of Propel) to see start ruling out things that cause gastric distension in previous runs. I am happy to report no gut problems during the entire run!

I intentionally kept my pace below 10min/mile to see how far I could last. Once again, I know that this pace is fairly slow for most of you, but it's truckin' for my big ass. I was able to keep pace except when having to wait on traffic. I wanted to keep running after 10 miles, but it was getting late and I was getting very hungry. I was extremely pleased with the run which was another PR for me!

1 9:56
2 9:11
3 10:00
4 9:13
5 9:29
6 9:30
7 10:05
8 9:23
9 10:27
10 9:31

Monday, March 10, 2008

G'town Half Marathon

I've decided to use this Sunday's Germantown Half Marathon as a recovery run from Saturday's long run. They are asking $45 to register...just to run 13 miles. I refuse to pay more than most ultras, so I will run as a bandit. I could run on the trails by my lonesome, but it's nice to run with a group of people so I can gauge my progress.

Anyone else care to join me?

Training Begins...Again

After the MS50, I took off the entire week. Although I wasn't too sore, I figured a week off would allow my system to get back to normal with rest.

My plan for Saturday was to hit Bartlett Park in the early AM before the snow started to melt. I was dressed out and ready to go when I was called in to work. By the time I finally got to Bartlett Park that afternoon, the snow had melted from the trails and it was like running up through a very cold and muddy creek. I ran the white trail up to the Outhouse loop and then headed back down the fire road to Memphis-Arlington Rd. Tired of running through all the water, I hit the streets for a few miles, ending back at my car with a little over 5 miles.

I wanted to run Sunday, but I had too many other things to do. So, I had to wait until today for another running fix.

Today's runs were split into two. The first part was on the treadmill at the gym while I waited on my step-son to finish band practice. I ran 4.1 miles in 36:48 (8:59 pace), which is a treadmill PR for me (I's slow for most of you). The second run was on the streets after I got home. This was 4.55 miles in 42:02 (9:14 pace), which is another PR for me! I almost scrubbed the second run due to being tired, but figured I would run at least a couple of easy miles. By the end of the first mile, I was feeling great and kept running.

And so begins my training for Ouachita 50. I will most likely run just the 50k, but will decide later.



Sunday, March 2, 2008

MS 37.5 Miler

For whatever reason, I thought the race started at 0630. When I pulled up at 0600,
I saw everyone already lined up at the start. Well fuck. I quickly filled my two hand-helds (one water, one Perpetuem), took an S!Cap, grabbed two flasks (one gel, one Sustained Energy paste), choked down a Carnation Instant Breakfast, through on my race vest and made my way to the starting line. By this time, 8 minutes had elapsed and there were no runners in sight. Not knowing the route, I hoped that I was running the right way! My Garmin had yet to pick up a satellite, so it was yet to start recording. Fuck, fuck, fuck...what a way to start a race.

Within the first few miles, I passed some people which made me feel better. At least I knew that I was on the correct trail! There was a creek crossing after the first aid station. About five people were trying to cross it without getting wet. I quickly crossed (and stayed dry!) and, by my count, I had now passed 8 runners. At mile 10-ish, I see Michael, Patrick, and John. This part of the course is an out and back for about one mile total, so I figure that I am only about 12 minutes behind them. OK...feeling a a lot better now.

My car is parked about 200 yards before the starting line. I stopped to refill my stuff, grab a bag of S!Caps and Aleve, more gel, another Carnation and contemplate on taking a roll of toilet paper with me for the next lap. Leaving the toilet paper, I finally manage to move my ass past the starting line with a first lap time of 2:42:12. Not bad for a late start!

Before starting the second lap, I pay a visit to the port-a-potty. I had to wait in line for what seemed like an eternity. With my business finally tended to, I begin lap number two. A few of the people I had passed earlier were now in front of me. I thought about flying by them, but think better of it. There were still 3 laps to go and I knew that I would have to run my race and not worry about them.

All felt fine at this point. No pains to warrant worry and my energy level was good. I decided to pay more attention to my run/walk plan of 10:2 to help conserve energy. One of those I had passed earlier came into sight, about 1/2 mile ahead of me. When I caught up with him, we decided to pace each other for the remaining part of the lap. He would lead for a while, then we would switch. This worked well and it was nice to have someone to talk to. Don was running the 50k, so he wasn't in too much of a hurry. For me, the cut-off was looming large in the near future. We parted ways and I picked up the pace. Lap two was completed (after stopping at the car to replenish and change shirts) at the 5:49:22 mark. Decent pace, but slower than my original plan of 5:30:00.

During the previous couple of hours, my stomach began to bloat. This is normal for me and it's usually cured with more S!Caps and a lot of belching. Starting lap 3, my gut continued to swell. This became so uncomfortable that I was unable to run. I slowed to a crawl for the next four miles. Each time I attempted to run, the pain forced me to stop. I tried everything to relieve the pressure/pain. I even went so far as to stick my fingers down my throat to force vomiting (unsuccessfully). I stopped drinking because my stomach would not empty. I had only urinated once (at the end of lap 1) and I had yet to have any desire to urinate again. Thinking that emptying my bladder may help, I forced a small amount of urine out. Of course, this was no help. I crept through the miles, hoping the pain would magically disappear. At the second aid station, I decided to fill up my hand-held with water instead of the Heed I started drinking on the first lap. This seemed to help some and I was able to start a slow trot. By this time, the only way to make the cut-off was to run the next 6 miles within the next hour. Believing this to be impossible at this point, I mentally gave up. I figured I would take it easy and not cause any further injuries.

After the first pass through aid station 3, I started an easy jog. I knew that I would never make the cut-off, but I wanted to get to the finish line as quick as possible. My gastric distress was now manageable since switching from Heed to plain water (not sure if Heed was the problem), so I tried to keep the pace somewhat respectable. A lot of 50m runners were flying past me on their final lap. It was great to see them doing so well, but discouraging all the same. At mile 35, I physically gave up. I was so disgusted with myself. Lap 3 was completed at the 9:45:41 mark. I missed the last lap cut-off by 30 minutes.

If not for the severe bloating, I think I could have made the cut-off with at least 10 minutes to spare. The first half of lap three killed my race. I have never tried Heed before, so I am unsure of it's contribution to my problems, if any. I know that I shouldn't try anything in a race that I haven't already tested before, but the heat/humidity was on the rise and I was afraid it might do me in. Or was the bloating due to 3 cans of Carnation Instant Breakfast? There is a lot of sugar and fat in each can, so I thought they would be a good source of cals/carbs. I have used them before, but never more than one can.

What to make of the lack of urination? Does this mean I was dehydrated? Does this mean my hydration was fairly level? Even after the race on the way home, I only urinated twice in the whole 4.5 hour trip back to Memphis.

Today, I feel ok. Other than a few aches and pains, all seems fine. I did have one small blister on a toe, but nothing else. I did drink some Recoverite after the race, so maybe that helped.

Overall (besides the bloating), I felt my nutritional needs were met. Except for a few low spots during lap three, I never hit the wall...never bonked. My planned 10:2 run/walk pace worked well and I would have made the cut-off if not for the painful gastric bloating. My body held up fine except for some tightness and slight pain in my right achilles and knee.

Oh well...with the lack of long runs this year, I guess I shouldn't have expected much. I did have fun and met some great people...and that is the whole purpose of being there.

Lap (12.5 mile) splits: 2:42:12 5:49:22 9:15:41

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP