Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Just a tad over a week out and starting to get nervous. Wrote out my shopping list of supplies for nutrition for next Saturday. Also found out there will be a serious contender in the 50. Might re-think my pace strategy. Originally, I wanted out and back in 1:45 splits. But I might just sit with the other guy for a while. The company might be good and I could do less work. Just reminds me I have to run smart. Smart.

And this contender has a marathon time that is close enough to make me worry about him. Plus, he has more trail experience along with more ultra experience. Have to keep that in mind.

At least tomorrow is an off day. Plan is tomorrow off. 11 on Friday. Off on Saturday. Runs on Sunday and Monday. Rest on Tuesday. Run on Wednesday. 2 miles or complete rest on Thursday with rest on Friday.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jeopardy of Mileage...

Impromptu side note: Being a so-called Politico (simply because I am a non-officially practicing Political Economist), tonight's Final Jeopardy category of Presidential Campaigns makes me happy.

With that out of the way, I am now less than 2 weeks out from my ultra debut. Since my last post, I have firmed up a good portion of my hydration strategy. Since it is a double out and back, I will use multiple water bottles placed at a couple of points on the course. It is a variation of my initial plan of just one water bottle. That plan evolved into trying a hydration vest but within two blocks of using one, I knew it was not going to be for me. I may opt to use a hydration waist pack model that can also hold a water bottle. What I will be doing is running a stretch with fluid and a stretch without. This is so I can rest my arms from the weight.

Mileage wise, I did go over my goal last week. Instead of 55 in a taper, I hit 70. And that was with a day off. I'm shooting for 40-50 this week. Next week, I will take 2 days off and do light mileage with 9-10 on Sunday.

I will say once I pass the ultra, it will be nice to focus less on mileage and more on speed as I have been having trouble as the Spring has progressed with that extra gear.

All for now....

And the answer was Bull Moose.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A mid-week pop-in....

Popping to say that this week's training has gone rather well. The past 3 mornings I have done runs over 8 miles. That is so nice in fact, I am taking tomorrow off. (We shall see if I live up to it.).

After this morning, my partner and I were discussing the upcoming ultra. I told her I am most nervous about the weather and we touched briefly upon having to get our logistics in order. She is not a regular runner so if she does any support it will be on bike.

What? Mike, you mean your partner is not a runner like you?

That is correct. I know it is surprising but she is very supportive and has endured my craziness up the slopes, buildings and in snowshoes. Cannot ask for much more.

But anyways, I am posting this article posted on Trail Runner magazine's online site as I find it rather true and humorous. And considering I am transitioning to more trail, it is funny to look at it internally...

Trail Runners vs. Road Runners
Deborah Paquin

It’s not unusual to see cross over between trail runners and road runners, a more and more road runners are looking for new adventures on the trails.  

And while road running and trail running are not mutually exclusive, they are different sports with different cultures. It reminds me of the stand-up comedy piece by comedian George Carlin on the differences between baseball and football.

In that piece, Carlin says, "In football, you wear a helmet; in baseball, you wear a cap. In football, you march into enemy territory; in baseball, you come home. In football, you play in any kind of weather, rain, snow, sleet, hail and fog. In baseball you get rained out. In football, they tackle you in the mud; in baseball, if you slide into second base, you call time out to dust off your uniform. ..." And the list goes on.

So, I created the same sort of piece for trail runners vs. road runners? Here it is:

• Road runners show up in snazzy matching outfits and Nike track suits. Trail runners have been mistaken for homeless people.

• Road runners try to step around the puddles on the street; trail runners are warned not to rock hop when going through rivers and streams so they don’t break an ankle

• Road races have aid stations every two miles where the volunteers throw Gatorade into your mouth as you run by. Trail runners have a delectable feast at their aid stations with cookies, chips, PB&Js, trail mix and gummy bears.

• Road runners are constantly checking their watches for split times; trail runners check where the sun is in the sky, to see if they need to take out their headlamps.

• Road runners have pretty white tennies; trail runners have so much dirt and mud all over their shoes, you can’t tell what color they are.

• Serious road runners don’t carry water. Trail runners have backpacks with water bladders, rain jackets, blister care, food and electrolyte tablets.

• If you go down in a road race, the road runners will jump over you and let volunteers know at the next aid station; trail runners will stop, pull out their meds, first aid-kit, emergency beacon, give you CPR and carry you to the next aid station.

• Road runners hope they are not overtaken by faster runners; trail runners watch out for mountain lions, rattle snakes, bears or other creatures.

• Road runners check for flat fast courses; trail runners look at elevation charts and the scenery.

• Road runners are lean and skinny; trail runners can crush a road runner with their calves and power up mountains with their glutes.

• Road marathons might have up to 40,000 runners, start with fireworks and end with bands and balloons; trail races start with, “Ready, Set . . . GO!”

• Road races are meticulously measured and certified; trail runs might be a few miles long, give or take a mile or two.

• Road runners count miles and study average pace; trail runners train by time.

• Both road and trail runners are healthier than the average American couch potato, and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow runners.

• And finally, both trail runners and road runners like wearing their race T-shirts and gaining bragging rights.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Trailing on the trail...

Today was race 3 in the Trail Creek Outfitters Trail Series. It was a '10K' on a DuPont Estate in Delaware. Really nice piece of land with some great trails.

Being that this was a race, I was not able to enjoy the scenery too much. Especially, when at the start, I had someone nipping at my feet. There was a mix of technical, hills and grass straights to give something for everyone. And for a bonus, a tunnel with a stream to run through. For the most part of the 1st 7-8K, I was doing the lions share of the work because I was excellent on the technical sections. But I was running the engine super-hard with it being so neck and neck. Unfortunately, I ran out of technical sections to work and wound up with some hills at the worst time. I cracked. Cracked hard. Over the last stretch of race, I lost over a minute. And in the end, I lost the race, finishing up in second place to a former University of Delaware runner. (He'd still be one if they kept their program.)

Definitely stinks but I can't win all the trail races I run. Just wished it was another day.

On the plus side of the defeat, I had a wonderful time talking with some fellow trail runners following the race for something like an hour.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Milestone Miles....

On this past weekend, my training schedule had in it slated a run of 3 hours. Going in this was a huge mental barrier because it had dawned on me a couple weeks back I had only run over 3 hours once ever. It was in my second marathon when I ran 3:04:22 with a sinus infection. That was back in 2005. My 'whoa' moment made me want to scramble to find an event to run in that I could do the distance at a reasonable pace with people. My options ran the gambit from two trail and one road marathon along with a long 'train' run with the RVRR club. In the end, the weather forecast of showers on Saturday swayed me towards going solo early. The rain I felt would cool me off. However, turns out the rain passed before I started at 5:45am.

Mentally, I had a few rough spots but when I finished I was happy. I ran out 1:30 on the Schuylkill Trail managing to get out to the Norristown Transportation Center in that time. My pace back actually was faster! I ended up having to add mileage to keep me going for more than 3 hours. When the clock finally was stopped, I ran for 3:04:45. It was only a few seconds over the longest time I had ever run and nearly as long. I ticked off 26.13 miles. A lot better than I expected. Only downside was the lack of restrooms and water fountains on the trail. I was very disappointed as I hoped to use both. While I managed to get through without water, nature did call loud requiring a minor pit stop. It was super quick.

What was not super quick was the Sunday run. I slept in til 8am (which I never really do) and headed out to do 10 but wound up logging 14. Another good day.

While some great miles on this weekend, I will be hitting the trails during this week in prep for my 10K race on Saturday. Looking forward to it as it on a DuPont estate. Sunday will be my long run day. Hope to tack on 20.

My miles.....