Monday, May 26, 2008

No Rest For the Wicked

Except for stiff, painful quads, hamstrings, and calves...I felt great Sunday morning. It was a sunny day and very humid. A great day for a trail run!

To add insult to injury, I wore my Five Fingers. I thought it would be fun to inflict further pain on my calves...punishment for running like a wussy the day before.

It turned out to be great run without any pains (except for a blister)! Now time for a couple of days rest before I start training for Bartlett Park in August. Forget taking time off...too much down time would drive me nuts anyway.

Scenic City Trail Marathon

My third marathon (first trail marathon) is now in the books. My overall goal was to finish in under 7 second goal was to finish without injury. My unofficial time was 6:14:58...first goal accomplished. I did not have any injuries or even a blister...second goal accomplished. I arrived to the start area about an hour early. I wanted to make sure I didn't repeat my late arrival error at the MS50 again! Check-in was uneventful and quick, so I still had a lot of time to waste. Once the morning ritualistic potty break was tended to, I caught up with Michael and Drew. I also ran into another local ultrarunner, Bill Luton and his wife. David Ray was there and I had the pleasure of meeting him (sorry I couldn't talk longer, Dave!). The race started without much fanfare, albeit a few minutes late. After a bit of blacktop running, we enter the trail. The congo line was long, but moving at a decent warm-up pace. After a mile, the smart people started their run/walk routine and the rest of us breezed past them. I was behind Michael and Drew until right before the first aid station. I couldn't catch my breath and had to slow to a walk. Looking at my Garmin, I noticed my heart rate was pegged out at 181...which is above my max! Well, shit. After walking a bit, my HR would get down to about 165, which is still too high considering I was walking. Of course, I was sweating profusely as my body was trying to regulate itself to lower my HR. After the first aid station, my HR stayed in the 170's when running and the 150's when walking. I felt ok and continued at decent pace without any problems. On training runs, my heart rate usually averages 145. I wasn't sure what was going on, but figured I would keep going and walk as needed to keep it from hitting max again. In the back of my mind I kept thinking about how a continuously high HR was going to sap all my energy as the day wore on. Well, shit again. The trail was well maintained, but had a shitload of rocks and roots for your tripping pleasure. Although I never bit the dust, I did trip...a lot. Each time I caught a root I would catch my balance with an awful forward lunge. This re-aggravated an old groin pull injury as well as pissed me off. After a few trips I thought a couple of Aleve would relieve the pain. Of course, it would have been great to actually have some Aleve, but I forgot to bring any! Well, shit once again. Historically, RD's have let it be known that the runners should not ask for pain meds and that they wouldn't give them out anyway, so I didn't bother to beg the aid station workers. By mile 9 and countless more trips, my hip was very, very sore. The pain affected my gait, which then caused my opposite side knee to hurt. Let me tell's a bitch being old. Of course, I never paid attention to the pre-race speech, so I assumed we would pass the start area (and our cars) after the first loop. I needed my second water bottle and wanted to drop off my camera. Well...we didn't pass go and I was not able to get to my car. In hindsight, this was actually a good thing for me. My hip was hurting and I was feeling sorry for myself. If I had the chance to go by the car, the temptation to drop may have been too great. The second loop was lonely. Except for one runner passing me in the opposite direction (he decided to call it a day) and the aid station workers, I never saw another soul. I tried to power hike as much as possible and even ran a bit, but the day was taking its toll on my old, fat ass. The second aid station on the loop came up around mile 17 and I said rules be damned...I needed some pain meds! The young lady reached into a large medical bin a whooped out ibuprofen and Tylenol! Well, shit! I should have asked for drugs 15 miles ago!!! After downing 3 ibuprofen and refilling the h2o, I was on my way. Within the next 30 minutes, my hip/knee pains had faded enough to run without hurting. The next (and last) aid station was at mile 20.72, as noted on my Garmin 305. When the worker said I only had 2.2 miles left I could only stare in disbelief. Maybe the elevation changes were fooling my trusty Garmin shy of almost 4 miles. Who knows, but I was not about to protest and request the "extra" miles! The mileage on the Garmin at the end of the race stated I had run a mere 23.49 miles in 6:14:58. Thank God it was over! I was somewhat happy with my time, although I believe the course was not a full marathon distance. My last marathon (St. Jude, Dec '07) was 5:20:31, so an extra 54 minutes and over 5,000 feet in elevation change was ok enough for me. More pictures here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Time for a Break?

The past two weeks have been very crappy for me as far as running goes. My mileage has decreased drastically, mainly because of lack of time and motivation. My body is just not into the running mode. I have felt very tired...almost exhausted. I have run four ultras since the end of January, so maybe it's time for a break. Maybe my system needs some extended rest. I guess I'm getting old!

I did have two great runs. A 21 miler on the yellow trail at Shelby Farms last Saturday and a 8.3 miler at Bartlett Park this morning. Today's run felt great and my body seemed to be getting back into the groove. I have the Scenic City Trail Marathon in one week, so I will take it easy the rest of the week.

After the trail marathon, I will take a much needed break. The next race will be in July (Midnight 50k). Then the wife and I are going to Hawaii for our anniversary! I hope to run up and around Diamond Head!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Long Run

Saturday's long run was at Shelby Farms on the yellow trail. I parked at the ranger's station instead of the kite area to add just a tad more distance to the run. Twice from the ranger's station to Germantown Rd via the yellow trail came to 21.5 miles.

The first outbound (5.4 miles) took 1 hour 4 minutes. I knew I could do better, so I pushed just a bit harder on the first inbound and came in 7 minutes faster by my count. Not much to brag about, but negative splits are rare for me!

The second outbound and inbound took a lot longer than the first, but hey...I needed to practice my "power-hiking" anyway! I also stopped at the Shell station on G'town Rd to fill up with H2O, Coke, and Pringles!

For the first lap, I ran in my trusty Nike Free 3.0s. These are my "go-to" shoes for non-technical trail running. For the second lap, I ran in my new Zoot Ultra Tempos. These shoes are made for triathletes, but I figured they could work for me as well. I was not disappointed with the Zoots, but at the same time, I was not overly impressed either. I may wear them for the trail marathon coming up, but need to get more miles on them first.

Today was supposed to be another long run of around 10 miles, but (as of 4:18pm) I have yet to get outside to run. Household chores come first!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ouachita Video

I forgot to show ya'll this short video of me on the downside of Pinnacle Mountain during the Ouachita 50.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

I never cease to amaze myself (or my wife) at how stupid I can be. Today's run was at Bartlett Park. My plan was to run after work, before the rain came in. I haven't run here in some time and wasn't sure of the condition of the trails with all the rain in the past month(s). I also haven't run in my Five Fingers in a long time. bright (stupid) idea was to run Bartlett Park in Five Fingers!

The trails were a total mess. There was long areas of mud bog throughout and the creek had about six inches of "stanky" water in it. With the FF's, I had no traction whatsoever. I lost count of the number of times I fell on my ass because my feet slid out from under me. Once down in the creek, I thought I would never get out! The sides were very slick, so I had to move down to where I could grab ahold of some roots and pull myself up.

The FF's force me to a mid-foot foot strike. I am by nature more of a heel striker, so the mid-foot strike starts to hurt my calves and hips after a few miles. I kept my pace slow and my feet under me the best I could.

All in all, I had a great time in the woods and in the mud! Today is my 41st birthday and I am just happy to be able to still run!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Long Run

I ended the day at 7pm with 20.63 miles on the blacktop (I figured the trails would be too wet and muddy today). All attempts to start my run early this morning were thwarted by my laziness. I finally hit the road around 11:30, which allowed only about 90 minutes to run before I had to get back home and get the car to the shop for an oil change. This first run was 9.16 miles. I wanted to keep running, but other appointments needed tending.

The second run was 11.45 miles. I wasn't really wanting to run by this point, but I knew that my ass needed to be out there. Midway into the run, I ran out of gas. I only brought one Hammer gel for fuel, which didn't help much. I finally made it back home in a somewhat respectable 2 hours and 15 minutes...having walked ALOT during the run and the entire last mile.

After a Recoverite drink and a delicious dinner, I feel ok. No pains and not too tired. I am planning on running at least 15 miles tomorrow on the trails at Shelby Farms to finish out the week.

Run #2
Run #1

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