Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New 50K PR

Today was the Cowtown Ultra in Fort Worth, TX with the last three weeks off with Achilles issues I taped up with KT Tape and ran a 4:44:17. Setting a new PR and my second PR in racing this year.With last last long run being the Benbrook Half on January 28th setting a PR in that distance.

Well running a road race seems to be a blur vs running a trail race.  So this post is a bit shorter than a normal race report.

Race morning I woke up got ready and before heading out the door stopped to use the bathroom. After I thought everything left my body I started to head out then realizing I had to go again I returned to bathroom to finalize my business. Once we hit the parking lot I felt another urge to use the bathroom and found a port-a-potty and emptied what I thought was anything in my system. This now had me worried normally I never use the bathroom this much. In addition, my stomach was not feeling normal.

Once in the corral I chatted with the few people I recognized and the pacer leaders for the 3:30 & 3:35 groups. Thinking on my plan to run a 4 hour flat 50k I felt going out with 3:35 group aka 8:12 per mile pace would be the best plan. Race starts and we are in motion and I assess that the pace leader is moving at a flat 8:00 minute mile. So I go with it. The first few miles flow along nicely at even 8 minute splits. Mile 4 is a short hill climb; I stay running up the hill and notice two other ultra runners go into walk mode. After the hill I feel some GI issues hinting. Mile 6 we are in the stockyard area and I spot some port-a-potties. I jump in and once again business is handled. Being a savvy ultra runner I take extra TP in case an emergency happens. Crossing the 10k mark in 50:25.

Working my way to the big hill climb at mile 9 I am able to grab some tootsie rolls from a gentleman along the road.hoping they help my stomach by some miracle. The comes and I continue running straight up the hill holding onto the 8 minute pace. The effort feels ok and I crest the hill. Word was that was the hill then the rest was easy rolling hills.

mile 10 I refill my bottle for a second time with water and a camelbak exlir tablet. The course makes a break and half marathoners head to the finish. The course at this point surprises me and continues to have several now unexpected hill climbs. Passing 13.1M in 1:48:00 my effort is feeling ok and still manageable.

Around mile 15 I hit the aid station refilling my bottle and using the potty for yet another time. I am now becoming worried that this bathroom issue is not going to end. With more hills I push on feeling the goal is possible.

Mile 18 I decide I have now ran enough hills and take to walking the ups and running the downs. So much for Texas being flat I now come to grips with at this point. Passing 30k in 2:37:33 I start to see my pace is dropping slowly. The walking of hills is destroying the goal. Overall mentally I am pleased to be this far coming off of recovery and minimal training.

Hitting mile 25 the ultra runners break off from the marathoners on an out and back five mile loop. The loop is flat and now high winds begin to tax my pace. Knowing this is a short loop I push as much as possible but yield and take several walk breaks. Reaching the marathon timing mat in 3:52:57. I then reach the turn around point that has the first ultra only aid station. I load up on licorice, pretzels and more electrolytes. Stomach now feels settled and I am heading to the 30 mile point to join the marathoners for the final 1.2 mile section.

Now mixed back with the marathoners I feel an urge to run harder. I hear people cheering go ultra runner as I begin passing people. This is now fueling me to give it my all. I hit another hill just before mile 26 and run up it around a 9:00 minute pace. Still digging deep my pace is surging as the crowd cheers me in for the last quarter mile. Passing runner by runner I gain even more speed until I cross the finish the line hearing a hugh roar of the crowd. Checking my garmin I had pushed my pace to 3:40 per mile pace. Every run/race I always have something in me that I can pull from to finish strong and today I dug deeper than normal. That finish gave me a PR and if had held my pace from mile 30 to the finish I would have missed it.

Overall the year is starting out on more of a positive note and I am feeling good about it.

Cowtown Ultra 50K by nomadfornow at Garmin Connect - Details


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pre-night race

Tomorrow morning is the cowtown ultra 50k. My plan is to run with the 8 min marathon pace group then pick it up at mile 25. This plan will set me up to finish in 4:00:00. Setting a new PR by 40+ minutes.

I am feeling confident in a Achilles holding that pace and even putting out a little more as the moments call for it. I will be using the A4 racing flat in the attached picture and following the motto on the bottom....get some! Who knows a good performance tomorrow could be more than a PR; maybe a placement overall or AG.

Off to sleep now and in the morning make dreams come true.

As pearl izumi says "run like an animal"

Nature Center -- morning run

This morning knocked out a quick three miles in 24:30 at the nature center by the house. Cool morning in the 40's with some sun.

The legs felt good even through some of the short hill climbs. Pace was even throughout the run.

Going back out tonight for a second run and ending this month's mileage at 31 training miles.

Friday, February 25, 2011

KT Taped

To be safe and minimize any unnecessary Achilles pain; today at the expo I got both legs taped for the Sunday race. Never know what will happen with the minimal training I had for the past month.

Legs are feeling as bad as they have been in the past and the tape makes everything feel even better. Almost so good I might let loose in the race.

Tomorrow a short run is scheduled just to get a bit more mileage.

A bit longer and slower

The Achilles is still slightly sore this morning so the eight mile hill run sounded better than speed. Temperature was a relaxed 44F with minimal wind.

Around mile seven I took to side dirt trail for a quarter mile. The singletrack felt great and was an exciting change from the pavement. It is an incredible difference for me mentally running singletrack vs. road running. I could run for hours on singletrack and not lose interest in the run. Too bad this Sunday's race is not a trail race.

Ran an even pace 9:40 pace; finishing in 1:17:28.

Off to the expo now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cowtown Tempo Run

Woke up with a slight Achilles pain nothing like in the past. Today I headed out for a seven mile tempo run to once again gauge my recovery. 

Beautiful skies temperature of 84 and winds of 27 mph on a crushed gravel trail.

The first mile I was a bit rambunctious hitting a 7:32 split. After that I settled into a comfortable rhythm.  Finishing overall in 55:10:14.

Legs are feeling ok still and getting a bit anxious to run Saturday.  Tomorrow will a longer slow run. Followed up with a short shake out in the evening.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Track Night

Tonight I hit the track for some intervals 12x400m with one minute rest. Testing out the legs to see what this Sunday's race will be like for me. First lap was a brisk 1:18:40 (5:13 per mile) the last lap was 1:26:14 (5:44 per mile). I stayed under 1:30 for every lap. Once I did my cool down I still felt like I could give a few more laps. All that rest in Feb might payoff.

Tomorrow will be a road run maybe six miles or so.

Cowtown ...... practice run

This Sunday I am running the Cowtown 50K. I took off Jan 29 - Feb 19 to rest my sore Achilles by doctor's strong suggestion.

Well now its race week and instead of a taper week I am ramping up to run it. Tonight will be some intervals, Thursday some road miles, Friday a bit longer run and Saturday a short shake out. I tried this method in 2009 after taking a month off for two bouts of kidney stones and turned in a decent 100 mile finish of 24:53. So Maybe this madness with work again.

The general plan is take it in three parts. Every ten miles pick up the tempo and turn in negative splits. Mentally, passing others is a big confidence builder. So that should be a good fuel source. Originally I had some crazy predictions and a good friend suggested go for a PR, which is about 90 seconds slower than my fastest goal.  Sitting around for almost a month one gets well rested and eager to race probably faster than one should.

Well each day leading in to the race should help get a good indication of my current ability. Hopefully my endurance based survived. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The training run

Resting up my Achilles for next weekend's Cowtown 50k I had not ran since the Benbrook Half on Jan 28th. Which I set an official PR of 1:35:40.

So tonight I thought I might need to get one training run this month to gauge my readiness. Tumbleweed and Majic joined me for night time Canton run. Temp was 40F and wind gusts up to 37 mph. The run felt smooth and at mile 6 I picked up the pace to see how much energy I had for the last 1.1 miles. Best guess I ran in under 7:00 minutes. Total run was 58 minutes for me. After asking Majic for his Garmin stats.

The next day I had some soreness but I think I will survive the race. No PR for this race but more of a long welcome back training run towards my journey to Leadville.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leadville Back at it

I am signed up for 2011 Leadville 100 Mile Run.
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Signing up for Leadville is an exciting feeling. The enjoyment from running through the mountains can not be described into words. No matter how tough the race is the experience from it can't be taken away. This year I am set to take on the challenge again. Training will be based on how I feel each day. I have a general plan and will modify it as I go. Somedays push harder, longer, or maybe back it off a bit and stay physically strong as well as mentally strong. No matter the outcome I will be a better runner from it. In addition, I plan to enjoy every foot strike I take along the course. I started this blog page because of this race. Most of all my entries will be built around this year's entry. The journey awaits and I am ready.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Side-lined for a bit

Looks like the coach aka my doctor has sidelined me for a bit. Too much speedwork and hills in racing flats has lead to a yellow card with Achilles Tendinitis.  The pleasure was worth the pain. In the past few months of training/racing;  I set a new 5k (19:27) in Dec, 10k (43:01) in Nov and half marathon (1:35:48) last weekend, all new PRs at the expense of some discomfort in my Achilles. 
So the next ten days I will not run or jog. Allowing myself some proper recovery time so I can race again later this year.  Sometimes you have to stop and let the body rest. Even though most of us hate taking the time off or even the sound of the word taper.  In the long course of life I know I will get more out of my running by sitting out the next several days.  Not too bad for running the past five years with really no breaks except a mild taper here and there for races.  Some races I even trained all the way up to race day and started the day following the race.

I even went and got a 90 minute massage today at the Aveda Salon. I think my entire benefited from the time on the table and is feeling better already.  Later tonight I will pick a book Run The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel to help pass the time by. I have found that using my downtime by reading proves to be quite beneficial.  I learn a bit more about running and pick up some useful knowledge that otherwise I might miss out on reading. Too bad I didn't read up on Tendinitis before it got me.

The nice thing about these recent days is that with the blizzard in effect; right now is an ideal time to sit back and rest. I plan to ease back in with some light running mixed in with some biking to offset the longer runs I want to do.  At the end of the month I have the Cowtown Ultra so I have to build smart so that I don't end back up in this predicament.

Best wishes to everyone out there running!!