Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Training week 2/14 - 2/20

Got in another good week of training.  I was a bit tired from the Holiday Lake 50k race, but I was ready to get at it considering am going to be tapering again soon for the B&A marathon on 3/6.  Monday and Friday consisted of my normal 60 minutes on the Stair Master, while Tuesday and Thursday were my normal 45 minute weight lifting and 60 minute spin class (this week was extra tough, thanks Pam!).  Wednesday I was able to get in my best interval workout so far this year.  I was able to do 1 mile x 4 at sub 8:00 (8, 7:59, 7:50, 7:51) minute for each repeat.  I haven't been able to run like that since I was ran in college.  I am hoping that alternating between interval and tempo runs will help out with my speed in ultras.  Saturday I got in a nice long run of 21 miles at Susquehanna State Park.  It was a bit windy out there but with all the warm weather we have been experiencing all the snow had melted off the trails and the wind helped dry them out.  I did 2 laps on the HAT 11 mile training loop.  I ran the first lap in 1:50 and ran the second lap in 1:48 minutes.  The second lap I could really feel my legs start to give way on the second lap.  Luckily I had a running partner (thanks Saul) to help me out on the second loop cuz the wheels were starting to come off the wagon about 16 miles into the run.  I guess beers and wings don't really make for a good carbs the night before a long run.  Oh well I guess I will have to try this again just to make sure :)  It was a good run and hopefully will serve me well in the future.  Sunday I got a easy 4 miles in as my legs were still sore and tired.  I had a total of 10.5 hours of training for the week which is my highest so far.  This will be a good baseline as I start to ramp things up in the coming months.

I haven't started my double weekend long runs because I want to make sure that I will peak (no pun intended) at the right time during the season.  This weekend I have a 10 mile race in which I plan to run hard but the marathon I will just go easy and use it as a training run for the HAT run.  This upcoming week I will keep my runs short and try to stretch as much as possible.  Here's to another good week ahead.

See ya on the trails,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Barefoot Running

My Dad passed along this video to me and I found it intriguing so I thought I would share this with everyone.  Not my thing, but there are some interesting ideas/theories.  Enjoy.

See ya on the trails,

2011 Holiday Lake 50k++ Race Report

I had anxiously been awaiting the 2011 Holiday Lake 50k and finally it was time to start off my 2011 race season and it was my first Horton ultra (MMTR was my first one but I DNF).  I made my way down to Holiday Lake on Friday afternoon and after getting stuck in Route 95 traffic I arrived at about 6pm (took approximately 5.5 hrs).  I had just enough time to check in and eat a few bites of my dinner before Dr. Horton started his pre-race speech at the mess hall about the impending race the next next morning.  After his speech I headed to one of the bunk houses and grabbed my bunk and tried to go to sleep and get some rest for the race.

I woke up at 5:30am and went to the mess hall and grabbed some breakfast then took my Vespa shortly afterwards.  Next I had to decide if want I wanted to wear for the race.  The temperature at 6:30 when the race started was about 30F, but forecasters were calling for it to be a nice day (ended up going up to 45F by the end of the race, couldn't ask for better weather).  I was contemplating wearing shorts, but it was just a bit too cold so I wore my running tights, UA compression shirt, long sleeve shirt, and my North Face light weight jacket.  This was also my first race that I wore my Montrail Badrock shoes (they are great!).

The race started promptly at 6:30am as promised by Dr. Horton, so off we went.  The race started up the camp road for about half a mile then we turned off the road onto a single track trail.  The runners didn't really have a chance to spread out by this time so it was slow going especially considering is was still dark out and I even needed to use my headlamp for the first 45 minutes.  The sun started to come up and everyone started to spread out.  I wanted to try to consume 90 calories every 30 minutes and take an S! Caps every hour.  This proved to be a winning combination as my energy levels and hydration felt good all day.  I got to the first aid station and grabbed some water and moved right out there, I needed the water because the water in my tubing for my Nathan hydration pack was frozen (which can be remedied by placing the tubbing inside your jacket or shirt)

ah, there's the sun
I was feeling well and rolled through aid stations 2 & 3 and I was starting to think I would be able to set a PR and maybe even sneak in under 6 hours.  I reached the halfway point in 2:51 and took a few minutes to unload my used trash and pick up some more nutrition.  Shortly after leaving the halfway point I was starting to feel the effect of my efforts so I decided to slow down a bit so I wouldn't blow up.
coming up on the halfway point
Holiday Lake view
During the race I chatted with lots of runners enjoying the day, no one I spoke with seemed to be hurting too badly and most people were in good spirits.  Time was flying by and I only walked a few of the inclines and still was feeling good coming into the last aid station.  From there it was time to finish strong and maybe finish in under 6 hours, but it was not to be.  I ended up finishing in 6:11, which was still a PR for me (by about 56 minutes).  I ended up burning 6,500 calories.
Nice trails which were in great shape

almost there!

Overall the course was more geared towards first time ultra runners as the course had 4,000 of elevation change.  But there were lots of fast runners all looking to get some early high milage in.  I will say that sleeping at the camp the night before the race is a must.  There is a buzz going around the camp and everyone was extremely friendly and of course swapping war stories too.  I understand now why Dr. Horton's races are successful and popular, the races are well run but the people (especially the volunteers) are what make the races special.  I would like to thank Dr. Horton for organizing this race (which is done extremely well) and the volunteers.  These people take time out of their day to fill water bottles, cheer you on when you need it and do a lot of behind the scenes things that they don't get the recognition they should.  I highly recommend this race to both novices and old goats as this race is one of a few that truly offers something to both parties.

Here are my splits from the from the race.

See ya on the trails,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Training week 2/6 - 2/13 Taper Time, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tapering for a race sucks!  My week so far has consisted of Walking/Running 30 minutes each day with 3x daily stretching sessions.  I am trying not to go crazy, but I am very excited about running the Holiday Lake 50k this upcoming Saturday in Appomattox Virginia as I am rested and ready to race.  This is a great way of gauging my fitness and see if my current training strategy pays off.  This race doesn't have much of a elevation profile and should be fairly easy, but is a good way to start off my 2011 season.  I will make sure to take pictures on Saturday and write up a race review sometime early next week.

I have been looking online for some 24 hour races in the Mid-Atlantic area and I have found a few that I have been considering but I feel like the Black Mountain Monster 12/24 fits best with my current schedule.  The course is a 3 mile loop that is mostly flat and softly wooded (nice feature seeing how this race is in June and it will probably be hot, hot, hot).  I have never run a 24 hour race, but I feel this is a necessity considering my ultimate goal of running a 100 mile race next July in Vermont.  The race is fairly close to me ~500 miles.  All the other 24 hour races are very short loops (.85 - 1 mile) or don't work with my current race schedule.  Hopefully Emily (my wife) will be down to do a little camping in NC with our new camping gear we received this past Christmas. 

I also wanted to congratulate Tom DeKornfeld (25:27) & Suzie Spangler (25:16) for finishing the RR 100 last weekend in Texas, well done!!!

See ya on the trails,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Training week 1/24 - 1/30

Tough week training this past week.  On Monday I was able to work out for an hour on the Stair Master at the IAC (my gym, Island Athletic Club).  But on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I wasn't able to workout at all because I had a business trip and was working 10 hour days at a power plant in which ambient temperatures can reach 120F.  I came back on Friday and rushed straight to the gym and got on the Stair Master for 60 minutes.  Saturday I went to Cromwell to get in my long run but the snow during the week made it impossible.  There was 8 inches and running was tough so I decided to head to the IAC and got on the Stair Master for 90 minutes.  It was extremely boring but wow was it difficult.  There was not a dry step on that thing.  Feeling bad that I wasn't able to get in any workout during the week, I decided to double it up and do some interval training Saturday afternoon.  I did 1 mile x 3 (7:35, 7:37, 7:37) at my 5k pace with a mile warm up and mile cool down.  

I guess this past week forced me to tapper earlier then I wanted to for my upcoming race at the Holiday Lake 50k on February 12th.  I am excited about getting this season started off well as I have a full race calendar and want this season to be successful.  I did purchase a pair of Microspikes by Kahtoola this past week.  I wore them on Saturday but the deep snow made it difficult to tell how effective they were.  I probably needed some snow shoes during my Saturday run at Cromwell.  I will try the Microspikes out this weekend and write a review on how they performed.

One more piece of news, I got accepted into the Bull Run Run 50 Mile race in April!!  I am very excited to run this race, because I have never run this far so early in the season but I am ready.  Since my lottery application was accepted into Bull Run Run, I am going to forgo running the Terrapin 50k.  I have been looking online to try to find a 24 hour race in the Mid Atlantic area, if anyone might have any suggestions shoot me an email as to where it is.  I want to practice running a few 24 hour races before my attempt at Vermont 100 next July.

See ya on the trails,