Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I've also done a few runs with some great new people from the Run Wild clan. We did a couple of loops at Silver Falls (that together complete the upcoming marathon course) and I had a lot of fun out on the trails with some pretty fast guys. Good stuff.
Running with others has advantages: it can be motivating (especially when they are fast and experienced) and there is also an element of accountability that kind of goes with group stuff. I have been pretty accountable to myself and my goals all year but I could feel it waning a bit after being laid up with knee issues. There is also conversation that can be enlightening but is often quite entertaining if not anything else. Today it was noted that we (mostly them, as I mainly sit back and listen) have solved the world's problems on the morning runs: only one problem, everyone else is still asleep and not listening to our solutions.
Speaking of the knee... I am reluctant to say it's cured but I've been doing a different series of cheesy exercise and stretching vids I found on Hulu of all places and I've had no trouble. One is called 7 Minutes to Save Your Knees, another is a short abs workout and the last is a AM/PM Fitness Stretch vid complete with a lady in a one peice leotard suit. They might be cheesy but seriously, just like that my knee trouble is, dare I say, gone after what has been now months.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Scroll down to the bottom and where it says "8 weeks" and lists a bunch of numbers... That's what I'll be up to in the next couple months as I try to ease back onto the horse in preparation for the Silver Falls Marathon. I am going to stick with the schedule like glue as I think it allows enough free time to work on the other areas of fitness I need to address and get all the project around the house/yard done.
Since there will be a fair amount of hills on the course I will naturally be attacking hills when I get the opportunity. I am not sure of the benefits but I will also commit to riding my bike to work on Mondays and Fridays once farming duties subside a bit.
Monday, August 27, 2012
i worked hard enough to see glimpses of what i am capable of only to get an over-use injury that will have me taking my 1st DNS (did not start). such is the plight of the endurance athlete i suppose. we must delicately balance on the fence between too much and not enough and find the zone that gives us the most return without going overboard. i went to the edge and fell off. i wouldn't say i went nuts and jumped off but i sort of lost my footing a bit and stumbled slow-motion downward.
the good news is.... i still feel stronger than ever. i went for a short 10k run yesterday and effortlessly crushed my "race" time there. I was just taking things easy and enjoying myself and arrived minutes ahead of my all out pace from just months ago. my knee still let me know that it wasn't 100% but it's on the mend.
this whole "overboard" experience has been a much needed wake up call. if i don't address my poor core strength and flexibility i am going to continue to be plagued by injury. to be honest, it's probably a miracle i made it this far along without hurting myself.
awakened, i look at things a bit differently. i am going to need to recalibrate the training schedule to include a bit less running and more core and hip strengthening. i am going to need to spend more time stretching and working on overall flexibility not just on the areas that are sore all the time. in short, i need to join the wife for a yoga and/or pilates video a few days a week. gah, it kills me just thinking about them! why? because they pick on the parts of me that are the weakest. like it or not, i can't go to the next level without addressing these weak links.
HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
What appears to be my IT band is causing the craziest pain in my knee. I am not going to get into the details of what it feels like but it hurts. Bad.
I am not going to carry on about how bad this sucks and all--no, I just wanted to note that this injury, according to many in the tribe of distance runners, marks a "rite of passage". I've graduated, I've completed my Vision Quest, I've been "winged", I've been Confirmed and what is my reward? ITBS: IT Band Syndrome, IT Bull Shit.
Hopefully I will recover quick and get back to occasional posts that involve running here and daily entries to the log. Until then you will find me off in a corner doing this: http://runningtimes.com/
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I think we could use a little of this FKT stuff in our training diet as well. It would inspire us and let us know where we are at in terms of fitness. Racing can be certainly be inspirational and informative with regard to where one stands in the pack but there are problems with races that don't exist in the FKT world. Races have set dates and don't get bumped forward or back depending on whether you feel awesome or crappy: FKTs can be taken on whenever one feels up for it. Unless you are the race director you don't get to pick the course: the world of FKTs is wide open and the creator's only rule in creating the "course" should be that it is clearly defined and worthy of repeating. Race courses are always changing and therefore the times vary from year to year: FKTs courses cannot be changed without establishing a new FKT for the altered route. And the list goes on. Basically, FKTs are challenges of the self, or more personal than racing against others when the clock is the only competitor and there is a lot more freedom in terms of when and where they can be done.
I've decided that soon I will follow Buzz's (Burrell, sort of the King of the FKT world along with Peter Bawkin) rules or ettiquette and announce my plans, invite others and document a few FKTs on some local hills and then post them someplace (here or some other crap blog/forum) and watch some really fast guys in the area (if they care) take them on (and likely crush them).
First up, likely Sardine Mtn. from Little Dam TH. With the easy accessibility--right off hwy 22, short distance, steep 3800' climb, summit objective, and nice line up the ridge I figured it would be an objective others would be interested in taking on.
Now, back to training--for something nobody cares about...
Monday, June 11, 2012
I am not talking about some soft-core Green Day song that pisses off all of their "hardcore" fans.
I am talking about stuff like this guy's commencement speech in which he essentially tells all the graduates of the H.S. he works at: big f'in' deal, you're not special. everyone is. the "pursuit" of happiness is what it's all about so forget the happiness part and start relentlessly pursuing.
What's this got to do with running? This post does a good job linking all this happiness and pusuit talk with the idea that we are Born to Run. Those of us who have chosen to run, or take advantage of our "born" ability/talent/god-given right, (depending on how you look at) know that setting a goal is the easiest part--it's the "going for it" that can be tough. But it's the "going for it", or the pursuit, that makes the eventual achievement so glorious and enriching.
To an extent both articles touch on modern Americans increasingly becoming accolade mongers who merely jump from one gig to the next in order to scratch it off the list and show the world what they can do; all without passionately devoting themselves to the moment and really proving to themselves what excellence they are capable of accomplishing.
Culture/society: Please don't lower the bar so we can all win a trophy. We'd all be a lot more "special" if we spent all of our lives busting our humps to raise the bar.
On a lighter note the king of "You're Special" gets a digital remix:
Friday, June 1, 2012
First a disclaimer: I know I've missed an entry or two and I have had a tendency to round down workouts until I recently got a garmin watch. I am so sorry decimals, you really do count. You probably totalled up to be something significant and since my watch sees value in measuring you I'll now include you too! I also don't count walking miles which thanks to Pete (the pup) have surely amounted to something significant this year.
That said, since the 12:00 AM Beer Mile on New Years Eve I've logged 692.1 miles. I didn't want to get overly analytical about my running habits and it isn't about the numbers for me but I wanted to see where I was at in my initial goal to run 1200 miles (a 5k a day average) this year. Turns out I may need to reevaluate things and raise the bar.
But like I said it isn't about numbers for me. I've had a blast running each and everyone of these miles. Sure some were more picturesque like the ones that crested the ridge in Sisters on a clear day exposing 5-6 glorious Cascade peaks and some were a bit less exciting like the laps around the track just a stone's throw from home when I swore off hills for a week trying not to aggrivate a sore Achilles. Some were filled with glory like the last mile of my first Mac 50k and others were simply trudging along trying to get back home before getting soaked with snow and rain. But they've all been instrumental in my quest for optimal endurance.
Summer's right around the corner and the best is yet to come!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Well, I did it. I finished my first 50K. Consequently, I finished my first half-marathon, my first marathon and my first ultra all in one shot. This report might make things sound more complicated but really it's simple: I picked up one foot and put it down in front of the other enough times to cover just under 31 and a half miles and roughly 6800' of vertical gain in 5 hrs. and 7 minutes. And, for reasons beyond my own logic, I enjoyed it immensely.
On to the details... I awoke early in the morning and had a light breakfast with some re-heated coffee. I had a pestering cough that seemed to be intensifying that morning. Other than that I felt ready for the big day. I had a relaxing countryside drive down to MacDonald Forest where I arrived in time to check in and watch the early starters get on their way. I love the people watching in the ultra scene. It's inspiring to be surrounded by people who all wound up and ready to take on the challenge of climbing up and down hills for a very long ways. There is always such a variety of people: different gear, different shapes, different races, different ages, etc.
After a bit of roaming around I decided which shoes (NB MT110), what gear (handheld over waist pack), and what the contents of my drop bag would be for the day. I made sure my pocket (only had one, more would have been nice) had 6-7 gels and 5-6 salt stick capsules in it. This would be enough to get me through to AS #3 where I had more of the same in my drop bag along with an i-pod and my Rogue Racers should I feel the need to change things up.
Well, we toed up and took off at 8:00 and I was glad to see things take off in less of a frenzy than the 20 mile race I did in Sisters did. People were chatting and it seemed like some giant group run for a mile or so. We did the first climb and I did walk--as I promised I would--the steepest portions. Once things tipped downward I took off and never really let up until well past AS#1. I slowed to a hike very briefly when we climbed up a small but steep hill before taking the long (and fast) drop down Extendo to AS#2. All this "easier" terrain and my religious gel, water and salt dropping had me feeling incredibly strong. I was comfortably clipping away at a pace much faster than I anticipated. But it was early on in the day and there were some mothers of hills yet to come. I tried to keep this in mind but like I said I was really comfortable and did not feel like I was overexerting myself. Sentiments that I was in over my head were only cemented when I cruised with Ashely Nordell for at least 10 miles. We even passed Pam Smith and that's when I knew my position/place was not for long. I'd be smacking a wall really soon--I haven't trained like these two do and I don't rightfully deserve a spot amongst them.
It was fun while it lasted but indeed these two lady badasses had more in store than I did along with 5 or so other "smarter" runners who passed me either right before AS#4 or on the hills that followed. By the time I reached AS#4 I was walking any somewhat steep uphill that was more than 50-100 yds. long. I logged a few very slow miles making my way back up to Rd. 600 which took us back towards the saddle. I wouldn't say I ever hit a wall but I did start "really thinking" about what was left in this race and how my energy/strength was holding up. I really wanted to have something in store for the section between the last aid station and the finish and I knew if that was to happen these hills were just going to have to be done the slow way. This late-game tactic seemed to pay off as I did feel a surge of energy as soon as I hit the roads and it carried fairly well through the end.
The final mile was marked and downhill so I really opened it up in there along with some other dude who was huffing and puffing on my shoulder. I was wondering if we were settled into our places or if there was going to be a dramatic showdown this late in the game. I thought about this for a few seconds and all the sudden: boom! "Oh shit" he yells as a root got the best of him and tossed him to the ground. I asked him if he was alright and he said yeah. With that, I was outta there and on towards the now audible finish line crowd.
The finish line was a relief and I felt an immense joy overcome me as I relished in the moment and drank cup after cup of water.
I went out fast. Too fast? I don't know. There is something to be said for going out strong. There is a crew of racers that use this strategy with the thought that if all the stars align and it is "your" day a strong start could be the key ingredient to a very fast time. I think a bunch of the old school marathoners and distance guys of the Pre era subscribed to this thought. It was fun to be cranking through the easy miles (with some very fast people) and who knows maybe all those post 20 miles hills would have been walked anyway.
Religious/by-the-clock, consumption of water, gels and salt was a good strategy, especially early on when it's not something your thinking about. Later I had some chips (not so good) and a piece of pb&j that was really good. The handheld water bottle was perfect for a warm day provided there is an aid station every 6-7 miles.
What's next? Bunker to Bonneville PCT 50k. September 1st. This looks like a fun course! With a couple 1000-1500 foot climbs followed by a long descent down to the Columbia, it will be interesting to see how things work out there. In the meantime, I've got to hit the hills. The big, steady, long ones are the ones I need to build my legs up for. Now that the snow is finally melting off some of the local Cascade foothills I've got a couple ideas of where to start training. Probably wouldn't hurt to do a little strength stuff as well if I want to realize more of my potential. I am particularly thinking squats, core and even a little upper body stuff. I feel motivated and I am excited to see what I can do.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
1. Starting 2 days prior eat a lot. Eat a big breakfast and continue to top off the tank throughout the day. Complex carbs preferred over meats that require both more time and energy to break down. This is helpful is building reserves in the muscles.
2. 1 day prior maintain usual diet with an emphasis on complex carbs. Veggies, etc.
3. Night before: not necessarily a carbo-load feast like I used to back in H.S. but a good solid dinner that won't leave me feeling like i am carrying a bunch of extra weight around during race.
4. Morning of: light breakfast, like a clif bar and banana or similar.
5. During race: gels every half hour. water heavy, especially early on. on warm/hot days s-caps every 1/2-1 hr. electrolytes and whatever craving at later aid stations.
So... I'll be carrying lots of water when i take off on Saturday and I'll have a pocket full of gels and s-caps. if it doesn't work i'll adjust things until it does work.
who knew eating could be so complicated?
Monday, April 30, 2012
I still have no idea where the course goes in 2-3 sections of the course on the Mac side of things. The menagerie of single tracks strewn through the forest like speghetti on the kitchen floor was enough to thwart my efforts to run this yr's course in at least 3-4 places. I packed a map and very detailed course description but that wasn't enough to save me from barreling down to the bottom of Soap Creek within the first 5-6 miles. I decided rather than backtrack (because I had no idea where I went wrong) I would take the logging roads back to a point I knew was on the trail. This added miles, sure, but it also added serious vert as the TH is a long ways down there. I finally did get back on track and enjoyed the run for several miles until I got into another tangle of trails and lost my way again. This happened in the Who Do You Know/Who Do You Love/On the Sly/Knucklehead/Lowrider section. After a few wrong turns, additional out-n-backs on wrong trails, and loops that ended up right back where I came from I managed to find my way out of the woods and back to a road that was on route.
Monster climbs, no inspiring tunes (forgot Ipod-somewhat intentionally), no gels (forgot to buy some on Saturday during business hours), hardly enough water (2 bottles) pretty much sums up the rest of the jaunt. Next time I am out there it will be all marked out and I can focus on running and taking care of my food and water needs with aid stations here and there--the advantages of a race.
Was glad to have a rest day today!
Monday, April 16, 2012
On to the grumble:
I blew this race. I was flat out of gas in the last 2.5-3 miles and a lost a good 4-5 places as I slowed down to what was surely my slowest pace of the entire race despite it being the flattest, least technical portion and jogged it in. As I watched 40 milers come in to the schoolyard nearly sprinting it became even more obvious that I had messed something up and should have been reeling in the end instead of wating for it to come to me as I trotted. In looking at the folks passing me I had thoughts like those put down by G.Z.'s blog coincidentally discussed today.
It's time to stop using the watch as I have been (almost exclusively as a tool to measure just how fast can I get this 8 mile workout done?) and start setting up some smarter workouts using variable paces (nice and slow at the right times and a bit fast at others).
At less than a month to the Mac 50k, wisdom will have to come a bit quicker than usual.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
1) The first climb: a good balance of steep and long drawn out stuff. I'll be "marching" (code for fast hiking) a bit in there. Especially the portion after the bridge in the beginning of the Powder House trail. It just doesn't make since to use all the energy it would require to run up that so early on in the race.
2) After the 1st climb: cruising! all the way to the bottom of New/Old Growth Trails. Sweet section to make up time spent getting/walking up portions of the first climb.
3) Bottom of New Growth Trail to Lewisburg Saddle (Aid Station 1): March the steep/short section. Run the road to AS1.
4) Rd. 500 to Section 36 trail (Aid Station 5 to PH trail junction): Cruising! Minor grade here and there but this is a great final stretch.
5) Section 36/Peavy Peak Traverse: Hill is substantial, but brief. I'll crank it if I've got anything left because when it tips downward its a pleasure all they way back to the cabin.
Also, with regard to diet/water. It was cold, certainly colder than it will be in May. I only drank one bottle in 13 miles. I had a couple gels for experimentation. Hammer (Vanilla) was fine, noticed minor stomach ache briefly after finishing it. GU (also Vanilla) with caffiene was nice towards the end, felt a boost like that of a cup of coffee. Forgot the Shot blox but was out less time than I anticipated anyway.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
As an young indentured servant on the family farm we were constantly getting in little pinches and there is usually little help around to come to your rescue so you improvise all sorts of crap just to keep things moving along. This was pre cell phones so we'd run back to the truck and call my dad on a Mortorola handheld radio to ask for help and his usual answer was simple: "desert island". "Dammit!" we'd curse this expression as we knew exactly what it meant: you're on your own/do it yourself. And somehow, someway we'd creatively come up with some way of rigging whatever was failing us back into a condition that would allow us to carry on. It usually involved bailing twine and a pocket knife.
So with that background, and a touch (or more) of general tightfistedness I developed a case of DIY syndrome...
What's this got to do with running?! Nothing really, it has to do more with what I plan to do while not running that may or may not improve my running... You see, I need another workout or two to mix in with the miles. Cross-training.
I am definitely not a gym rat and I've avoided machines and barbells like the plague for my entire life. I don't care for all that crap and the environment of a gym makes me want to puke. Some I am hitting the junk piles at home and on the farm and the hardware store to build my own (DIY) "gym".
First piece in my homemade gym:
Slosh Pipe. Can you believe there is a whole website dedicated to this?! Then again this one is ultimately about putting one foot in front of the other... obviously I'll be building the 3" version--being a wimpy endurance athlete and not some crossfit-crazed-shaved-headed-injury-time-bomb. I seriously get paid to do this in the summertime moving handlines around the fields, now I'll do it for free in my spare time.
More to come on this little gym project...
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
I've never run any distance over 5k as a part of a competitive or organized event apart from a scramble I did last summer. So when I announced in my christmas card last year that I was finally recovering from a back injury and going to start "training" for a hilly 50k some people laughed and some people worried. The laughing was inspiring, but I don't know what all the worrying was about. Skeptics seemed to think it was a lofty goal and that I would kill myself if I tried too hard to accomplish it.
With programs like "couch to 5k" out there I can see why it may look lofty as a goal. Seriously, there's a program (that people PAY for?!) to train for a 3 mile and change race? Just get up--you don't even have to put down the remote--and go for it. Unless you are way obese you'll be fine. You might even like it!
With 6-7 weeks of decent training (no set regimen, just a balance of quantity and quality running and short daily runs with a long one on the weekend) I feel like the goal is attainable without a doubt. Completing 16+ miles on a treachorous hilly trail and 14.5 miles of hilly pavement on the past couple weekends has left me feeling better than ever. Long runs have begun to serve as a great mental piece of my poorly structured training. Confidence and knowledge is born out of these jaunts.
The people who laughed are starting to take me a little more serious too!
89 days to go until Mac Forest 50k!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
On my run early this morning I did not see a single soul and it got me thinking...
But, when it comes to running I find myself ALONE, A LOT. And, oddly, I LIKE IT. Apparently, this isn't all that unusual.
But it's kind of new for me given my recent decision to run more and train for ultras in the near future and beyond. This all came about last summer when came to the realization that I don't have enough free time to climb mountains as a hobby. Running is more accessible and I am in love with it's simplicity, especially when compared to climbing with all it's logistics and spendy doodads. That's another topic...
Back to being a "loner runner"... I run alone mostly because my training schedule is really, really whack. I run at 4:30 in the morning lots of days and on others at 6-7:00 pm when I get home from work. There is no set pattern really I just go when I can and when I WANT to. Why run if there's no want, no zeal, no passion? Again, that's another topic...
I also run alone because of this pace/zone/"zen" thing that it looks like others experience and also mention in the linked article above. I really can't explain it but running through the woods alone gives me some cheap thrill that is hard to put into words. I'll try to figure out how to word it as I experience more and more of it.
Of course running alone has it's downside... see Saturday, Feb. 4th. First of all, I was not near where I said I was going to be, I was a tad lost, I was late, and the trail conditions were perfect for something catastrophic to take place. My mind was racing with thoughts but I think the presence of a friend would have brought some calm. Having said that and looking back on the whole ordeal (which really isn't that big a deal) I was glad I went through it ALONE. And that loner pace/zone/zen feeling that I can't explain was with me the whole time...
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The way I see it, I'll be farming forever and I don't want to spend my golden years going to and from the doctor's office. Plain and simple.
And, because I like to drink beer. The bottom shelf stuff...
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I think this one will be different. I don't know how often I'll post or exactly what I will post but it's focus is just a bit more clear: Run.
I listen to a lot of music while training. Everytime this emotive song comes on I can't help but kick a little harder.
Thanks for all those primal screams Yeasayer!