Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I was reflecting back on McNaughton once again and got to thinking about about the runner who went to the hospital after finishing the 100.

My question is when do you cross the line that a Did Nothing Fatal (DNF) as in dropped out or slowing down and not meeting a time goal gets lost and you end up moving into the Going to Hospital (GTH) even with a finish domain? How would I know I was crossing the line between the options? Said differently, will I know? I hope so.

I have dropped out of one race when I was throwing up from probable dehydration, I have finished 2 or 3 races and then started throwing up. Yes I am sure I have gone into races, water overloaded, under trained, with false time expectations, made poor race day adjustments and countless other mistakes, errors and screw-ups and even once or twice with a good plan that worked but for the most part I have always been in control, at least I think I have. The question remains will I be able to adjust and adapt if I really get myself in trouble?

Great question for me to file away, I hope to never test myself to this point, finishing a race is not worth my health. I run for enjoyment and to push myself but I need to always remember that famous quote from Forrest "Stupid is as stupid does" and hopefully keep from living it. I do know that a DNF or a GTH are never in my plans but my guess is that if I ask the runner from McNaughton he would tell me the same thing. Yet another thing to ponder for the future.

When I was looking up my Forrest quote I came across this video and found it kind of entertaining as well. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lincoln Marathon - Prerace

We are one week out from the Lincoln Marathon and it's time to start thinking about things for the race.

Karyn and I will be running it together. It will be her first marathon since we ran the Country Music Marathon in 2001. I believe she has trained well for it and will have a good day, the question is probably can I keep up with her? The weather forecast is for a high of 67 degrees and rain. Doesn't sound too bad, sure beats CMM 2001 where we got to enjoy a beautiful sunny (like no clouds at all) 85 degree day. The only problem we had with the heat were our zero days of heat acclimation, I think the hottest run we had coming into it was one run in the mid 60's. So we made the choice to go out slow and to take our time, it worked fairly well as we finished with no issues.

I do like a lot of things about the Lincoln marathon, they charge $70 which includes on-line reservation (meaning no extra fees to register on-line, it is included in the entry, something all marathons should do). If you mail in a reservation, they charge $80. They have sent out 2 or 3 informational emails concerning the race with things like showers will be available, you will finish on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium (home to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team). Something tells me that when we finish it probably won't quite have this many folks cheering on us on.

Here is the list of other things we get for our money for this race (not a bad deal for a road marathon).

  • medal for finishers
  • night-before pastathon
  • dri-fit shirt to all entrants
  • single-use chip
  • food and beverages at finish
  • runners' expo
  • finish time and place shortly after the race
  • individual finisher photos (prints must be bought from photo company)
  • post-race celebration and awards ceremony
  • post-race massages available on a first come-first serve basis (marathoners only).
The only negative I saw to the race is that we run the first 13 miles with the half marathon'ers and there will be a whole lot more of them so I expect a bit more congestion than I would like. They allow 8000 runners, most are in the half marathon. So once we get through the first half, it should be much more relaxing for me.

One thing, I need to resolve is which shoes am I going to wear, sounds familiar I know but I will explain. I only have one pair of road shoes and I officially retired those once already. I did make a token attempt to buy another pair but I didn't like the way they fit so as of right now, I plan to wear my trail shoes, I think I will be fine with them. I will take my old road shoes though just in case I change my mind. I do plan on trying the foot stuff Les showed me at Psycho Wycho last year. It is a mixture of Vaseline and Desitin, I am not sure of the exact ratios but I think he said it isn't critical and anything should be, no make that might be, better than nothing. I may try it once before the marathon on one of mid week runs or I may just wing it and try it on marathon day. I haven't done anything really stupid along this line for years.

One thing I don't like doing is tapering but for this race I decided to do it as I figured I might be a little beat up still from McNaughton. The only physical thing that concerns me at all is the calf, it seems ok when I run but is still tender when I rub it (by hand or with the stick) and it occasionally bugs me when I am just sitting around.

Always nice to have something to worry about heading into a marathon. Good news is that what worries me heading into a race usually doesn't cause me problems, bad news is something else usually does.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

McNaughton Reflection

When you finish a project it's always useful to step back and analyze what worked and what didn't, so while it is still somewhat fresh in my minds here is my self-review.

What worked?
  1. Used some common sense. after I had the initial achilles/calf pain, I didn't keep pushing for a time goal. Instead, I assessed and proceeded somewhat carefully and it appears as a result that I have no major issues post race. My calf/achilles junction is tender when pushed on or rubbed but I ran yesterday and had no pain. Some awareness yes, now I wasn't stupid as I didn't try to sprint up the hills, I either stayed up on my toes or simply walked so I am sure that helped a bit. So with a bit of massage using the stick, I think this will go away fairly quickly.
  2. When I thought of quitting, I called my wife who gave me another option and reminded me why I was there. Reminder, always remember what you are there to accomplish. For this race it was to finish a race in Illinois within the time limit.
  3. I found that I can power walk for an extended period and not lose as much time (2 to 3 minutes/mile) and that it does extend my energy, I think.
  4. I tried Heed and I was able to drink it, that may bode well for future races.
  5. Camping right at the start/finish on a loop course is great as you know if you forgot something you will be back in a few hours.
  6. Eating right at camp, my thanks to Karen who brought (and made) spaghetti for us (including meatballs both meat and vegan) and for Wayne who supplied desert (Chocolate covered peeps) and bread. This made for a relaxing evening before the race.
  7. Clothes and my Nathan - mostly ok, might have wanted a sleeveless shirt but no issues of note. The Nathan is great for carrying extra bottles and food as well as my trash when I carried stuff beyond an aid station trash bag.
  8. Kept moving (at least after I chose to continue), I was not willing to stop as I knew if I did so again, I might not resume.
  9. Having friends to encourage each other.
  10. Running on a course that I have never seen before kept my interest high for the first few loops. So this confirms my thinking for Superior, no need to see it before, I will instead choose to experience it. You can remind me of how dumb that is later :-)
  11. I enjoyed myself despite the day not going as planned.
  12. I finished

What didn't work?
  1. My thoughts on fueling, I wanted to try and eat more but I had no real plan. So I need to actually have a plan next time. I went into the aid stations and basically grazed, of course I didn't look to eat until after 1 1/2 hours and by then my hands were swollen and my stomach didn't want to eat. When I had energy I could run or power walk with authority, when the energy was gone, the ability to run and power walk was also gone. After some heed, I would usually get some energy back for a short time but it wouldn't last. Need to keep the energy tank from hitting bottom.
  2. My shoes - maybe changed once too often, is it better to have space or not, I went to my largest shoes for the last 20 miles, did the extra space actually cause the blister or didn't it matter as I had a hot spot for 15 miles or anyway?
  3. My main Ipod's battery was dead when we got there, I must have turned it on somehow while it was in my pack. Good news was that I brought a back-up except it didn't have the same podcasts and music which of course meant I wanted the stuff on the one that had died.
  4. Forgetting my sleeping mat but Wayne saved me by having one that I could borrow. Other than that I didn't really forget anything else.
  5. My socks and shoes together - major blister so I think I need to try Les's method - he had a Vaseline/? ointment that he rubbed onto his feet before a race and he said he had no blisters ever since.
  6. S-Caps and fluid intake - I may have needed more S-caps and fluids than I took in or I may have needed more fluids and the S-Caps were right or I may have needed more S-Caps and the fluid was right or ? I think it's back to Karl's website for a review
  7. Training - I think I came in without enough base, I am not sure that hurt me physically but I think it did a bit mentally. Got to believe that my body is capable of doing more than I think.
  8. Running with friends, I still need to get used to doing this. I am so used to running alone that I am need to work on this. Said another way, can I use other runners to help me through the hard times, my tendency is to separate and work on it alone, sometimes this works, many times it does not.
What's next?
  1. Read up on sodium and hydration (yes again), plan to be disciplined (pay attention to S-Cap and water intake) at Lincoln and then take the info into FANS and see if it works.
  2. Find Les's formula before Lincoln
  3. Develop a plan on fueling other than thinking about and then winging it.
  4. Develop a training plan that helps get the mileage in and also add in at least one short distance speed workout every 2 weeks. Remember to not overdue it and end up injured. I should consider doing an occasional long power walk and see how long can I go and how my energy holds on (only problem is that it hurts my ego bit :-).
  5. Sign-up for my other races for the summer - FANs, Afton and Superior, keep thinking about fall races like TCM or Wild Duluth?
  6. Enjoy the Lincoln Marathon running with my wife and click off Nebraska.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

McNaughton Race Report

The Plan
As many may remember the story of this race goes back a few weeks when I was worried about the snow at Chippewa and Wayne and Karen wanted a third or fourth or fifth person to go with them to McNaughton. So with the support of my wife (Karyn, a potential future ultra runner :-) I decided to do McNaughton where I would get to do 5 10 mile loops through hills and creeks and whatever else McNaughton had to throw at us. Wayne and I were planning on doing the 50 mile event and Karen was doing the 100 mile event.

So before we left I plotted out my strategy and it went something like this, run the first loop easy and don't be too bummed if you lose 10 minutes on each loop and under no circumstances do anything that would take you out for the season plus figure out how to take in fuel meaning food during an ultra. The reason behind this thinking was the lack of real training that I had done for this race. I was training for a 50k and probably hadn't done enough for it but I figured hey it's only 19 more miles I could walk a lot if needed as the cut off was 34 hours and even though it was for the 100 milers we 50 milers could use it if we needed to.

The Drive
We left on Friday at 7:00 am from the twin cities and had a relative calm ride to Pekin. We enjoyed a few CDs. One of the CD's was from Vicki, she had sent it to Wayne and it had many enjoyable songs, one of which was about UP'ers which was fairly entertaining. Karen provided a report on the Bon Jovi concert she had attended so of course we listened to a few of his CD's. As the drive continued, we discussed our race strategies, mine stayed the same, Wayne wanted to gain confidence for Ice Age and Karen wanted a finish. By the time we got done, it seemed they figured they would run with me as I was the most probable to set an easy first loop pace. We arrived at McNaughton a little before 4 pm and proceeded to set up our campsites. One of the neat things about McNaughton is that they let you camp right in the park for free, granted there is no water or electricity but hey it's free. We ended up being within a few feet of the start/finish line, can't do that at most races. We picked up our packets and went back to camp to eat. Karen had brought the ingredients for spaghetti and it was very good, much better than what I have had at many marathons. After we ate, we pretty much talked for a bit and then headed to our tents as the sun was setting and the race had a 6 am start.

Race Day
My alarm went off around 5, I got up, ate a bar for breakfast along with a cup a coffee and I was ready to go. It was a relative warm morning, mid 40's but I still chose a long sleeve technical shirt (Surf the Murph) along with my first Chippewa shirt. They gave us our last minute instructions one of which was that there wouldn't be a rope on the golf course hill but Rich said don't worry, you won't need it since it is nice and dry. He also said that they would be renaming the race to something else than McNaughton like "Potawatomi Trail" races, although he didn't go into the why of the name change it all goes back to the previous race director (Andy) who moved to Vermont and decided to continue to use his old race name for an ultra series in Vermont. The new race director has taken a lot of flack from the ultra crowd for continuing the race with the McNaughton name. To me this is absurd. The race is run in McNaughton Park. Does Andy want them to rename the park too? This would be like Larry leaving Minnesota, taking the Superior name with him and then getting people riled up that someone in Minnesota would keep the Superior name for the races up on the Superior trail. Stupid. Everyone should be thanking Rich and his son for keeping alive a great ultra. I hate when adults act like children. Ok enough of my editorial.

Before I get into the details of my race here are pictures that we all took that Wayne pulled together into an album. Between them all you might get a bit of a feel for the course and if you want you can skip the details of my race.

McNaughton Pictures

Loop 1
If you continued on reading, you have my sympathy, anyway after the race director talks we were soon off and running. We started with a downhill into a meadow and then uphill across a field and unto single track. Karen and Wayne were kind enough to let me set the pace. Actually, Wayne has a pretty good knack of always moving to the back of the line. So we meandered our way around at my nice easy pace. The initial loop at McNaughton was an interesting experience, the hills were steep, the creeks weren't too deep as they hadn't had too much rain so the course wasn't as bad as I thought it would be at least concerning the mud. One thing about this loop is that I kind of came to figure out that it has 3 unique sections to it. The initial part through the totem pole aid station and up the steep hill by the golf course where they normally had the rope (we joked that maybe Andy came back and took the rope too), the middle section which took you from the golf hill through the heavens gate aid station and then back by the aid station a second time and then the final section which I think was the most runnable and the most enjoyable. There were two creek crossings one in the first section and one in the last section that were mid calf or so high and many stream crossings through out where you would get wet and/or muddy. I loved going around the loop and getting a feel for the course, we had talked about running the first loop in 2:20, through out the loop I kept looking at my watch and it appeared we were going slower than plan. I was also starting to puff up so I was concerned I was getting behind on my hydration. Turns out I looked at my Garmin and it said 9.5 miles as we crossed under the clock right at 2:20 so apparently all the turns and twists kept the Garmin from being completely accurate.

Loop 2
We stayed together throughout loop 2, I knew I was slowing down a bit and we walked a few areas that we had run in the previous loop which pretty much fit right to my plan. One thing that I became aware of in this loop was that I was noticing the hills a bit more than in the first loop. I think if I remember correctly, McNaughton has 6 to 8 steeper hills per loop or at least ones that really catch your attention. My hydration seemed to still be an issue as it was continuing to get hotter so I was a bit worried about how I would hold up. Do I take more S-caps, slow down, drink more water, drink less, hope? I had told myself that I was going to figure out how to eat during an ultra, that concept started to disappear in this loop as I was more worried about my hydration. We completed loop 2 in 2:33, pretty much on schedule and at the end of this loop we all changed shoes. Wayne was wearing his monkey shoes which we ended up dubbing as Fred Flintstone shoes. I was impressed that he did 20 miles in them. Karen changed out of her gore-tex shoes as they were retaining water and I changed as my toes were getting crunched and I thought the other shoes I had would be better.

Loop 3
I talked early on about separating from Wayne and Karen as I figured that they would hold the loop 2 time and I needed to get the swelling down in my hands and by now my stomach was beginning to cramp as well. So I let them get ahead of me a bit by the first aid station, I thought I was right where I wanted to be. I lost sight of them after a bio break but figured I might still see them during the loop so no worry as I thought I was still on pace. After the 1st creek crossing, I came across a runner who was struggling, it was the guy whose was camping right next to us. He was running the 100 and he said he was cramping up so I asked if he had any S-Caps and he said no, so I gave him a few and we soon separated (meaning I took off from him). As I was climbing up the golf hill I took a fairly big step and I received an immediate sharp pain in my right achilles. I took another step and received confirmation that something wasn't right, I kind of hopped, crawled the rest of the way up the hill. I thought to myself great, what am I going to do. I sat down on the trail and tried to massage the achilles to see if I had a pain point. I couldn't really isolate it to an area so I decided to try and walk it off. Of course the thought going through my head was did you just blow your entire year? In the flatter areas, it seemed ok, on the hills though it was a problem so I tried to turn side wise, tried going backwards, tried taking baby steps with my right leg and longer steps with my left, pretty much anything I could do to avoid going straight up the hill. It was a struggle. I decided to do more walking than running to make sure that I wasn't doing anymore damage and I thought if nothing else maybe I would get my hydration under control. It was during this loop that my tolerance for my Clif Shot Electrolyte pretty much ended and I switched to Heed, it tasted ok, so maybe something good would come of this. As the loop went on and things didn't seem to get worse I tried to either fast walk or run whenever I could. Loop 3 ended up taking a little over 3 hours.

Loop 4
I grabbed some more fuel and changed my shoes and socks again as I was starting to get some hot spots on my left foot and I figured it couldn't hurt and maybe the change would prevent me from getting a blister. As I left camp I even tried to eat and drink a bit but as I walked down the hill I gagged and had to quit eating, great a sore achilles and now major stomach issues. As I walked around the meadow getting baked by the sun, I thought, man am I having fun? My answer was NO. Why do I do this was what kept popping into my head. I am a failure, what was I thinking by doing this, I am not an ultra runner, if only I had gone to Chippewa, I would be done and maybe I wouldn't hurting so much, as I went on I continued with this type of internal dialogue. Basically nothing but negative thoughts. As I climbed the hill coming out of the meadows section, I struggled, the pain was high and I had to stop multiple times to allow it to settle out. I finally got to the top of the hill and was walking across the field towards the single track when I told myself I am done so I sat down under a tree to ponder what to do. I was within a few hundred feet of the start/finish and I knew the smart thing might be to walk over and call it a day. As I sat there, two things popped into my head, I still had 25 hours to finish and I wanted to get Illinois done on my state list, but should I go on? So I called my wife and asked for her opinion, she is usually more sane or level headed than I on such decisions. She suggested since I had a lot of time that I walk over the finish area and ice it down for awhile and then decide. So I hobbled over to the aid station, they gave me a bag of ice and I went over to our campsite and there I sat pondering more what to do. After about 25 minutes, I came to the conclusion that I should try so I threw the ice into our cooler and off I went. About then my Garmin popped up to inform me that my last mile was 45 minutes, now that is not a mile pace to be proud of but I figured I could maintain it and get done in time :-). The first hill I came to had me thinking maybe this wasn't a good idea and what really had me bothered was that with all of the walking and sitting my hand swelling and stomach were still issues. I finally came into the totem pole aid station and they offered me Ginger Ale and that hit the spot, I also found that standing in the creeks for 2 or 3 or more minutes felt good. After I drank the ginger ale of cousrs I remembered that I had brought along ginger chews for this exact reason, too bad I had left them in the tent. Loop 4 finally ended after about 4 hours and it seemed like the pain in the achilles area was less or at least not worse unfortunately the hot spot issue on my left foot was a whole lot worse, I debated seeking some assistance but I didn't want to deal with taking off the wet shoes and socks and frankly asking for help is not something I am very good at.

Loop 5
Off I went with my lights as I knew barring a complete healing and a miracle I would be finishing in the dark, oh well, something else to experience. The first half was a struggle, I just kept trying to go forward, running was barely happening as I would have pain as things got extended and each foot strike on the now probable blister hurt. I was still struggling with the hydration and swelling but at least it was getting cooler and I wasn't getting any worse but I was still bumming that I wasn't getting better. I finally made it to the heavens gate aid station as darkness descended, during the heavens gate loop I actually passed a couple of other 50 milers in this section, I guess despite my issues, I was better off than some. As I started into the final 3 mile section, I thought to myself, you are going to do this. Your time will suck but you are going to do it. During this section the owls were going nuts and I was constantly thinking I heard things around me. Running in the dark is an interesting thing to experience especially on a loop that I somewhat knew but not completely, at least I hadn't missed a turn. As I got to the final creek crossing, I waded in and stood there, shut off my lights and looked up at the stars, it was so peaceful and that cold water really felt good. This is so cool was all I could think of, I wanted to be done but I just couldn't budge myself. About then, I heard some 100 milers coming up and since I was trying to stay ahead of them I waded on out of the creek and off I went with a little more than a mile to the finish. As I approached the finish, I passed another 50 miler and as I hobbled or wobbled my way to the finish all I could think of was I am going to do this. Loop 5 completed, finish time 15:07:xx something. I was tired but satisfied.

Post Race
Wayne greeted my at the finish and helped me get things as I was pretty much useless. I wrapped up in the blankets I had brought and iced the achilles. As I did so, I kind of determined that the tender spot was right at the achilles/calf junction point which I thought might be ok. I had torn the same calf muscle years ago so maybe it was nothing but a mild calf strain caused by dehydration and overextending it. As I sat there I had multiple muscle cramps. Eventually, I crawled into the tent and changed into dry clothes. This took a while too as I continued to cramp. I also clearly learned that tents aren't ideal for getting into or out of after a 50 mile adventure, probably 10 or 15 minutes later I emerged and of course I uttered that infamous phrase "I am not sure I am cut out to do this" as I thought to myself never again, knowing by the next day that I would be thinking it wasn't that bad. About 20 minutes later, Wayne and I walked over and got food, I actually ate a 1/2 of a hamburger without getting sick. It tasted so good I went back and got another 1/2 as I hobbled over, I noticed that they were dealing with a blister on a 100 miler so after she finished with him, I asked if she could take a look at mine. She looked at it and said I should have dealt with it earlier, I nodded and said I had thought about it, she proceeded to pop it, cover it in antibiotic cream and tape it all up (for anyone curious, the blister was a couple inches across right behind my toes). It still hurt but at least I had dealt with it.

Odds and Ends
Wayne finished and did well, he will probably post about it in a few weeks. Karen ended up dropping after 70 miles with stomach issues. I know she was disappointed but I think she made the right call, she was still having some issues the next day and I think there is only so much one should push through as one runner who finished at McNaughton ended up in the hospital. I came to learn that I can't imagine how anyone finishes a 100 mile race, there are so many things that can go wrong and the determination I saw is beyond me. Turns out that the guy in the tent next to us (the guy I gave the S-caps to) thought he had won and so did the race folks but they ended up later saying he only did 9 laps. He thought otherwise but that is where it was when we left, his story from a few years back is kind of interesting, check it out.

When I left for McNaughton I said I was going to ponder the "why" of why do I want to do ultras. So I thought it fitting to wrap up this post with the result of this pondering. The reality is that I never once thought about the "why" until Wayne asked me in the car on the way home if I discovered the "why".

So I think that is my answer, I really don't think about the "why". I think I just do them for no other reason than I enjoy the challenge. Beyond that simplistic answer I do know that the training and the events themselves do give me peace, serenity and satisfaction and help me feel closer to God as I ponder the wonders of life and the world.

On Monday the only thing that was really sore was the foot that I had the blister popped on and a lower left hamstring was sore and tight. I did notice that the calf/achilles was tender to the touch. It took a few days longer for the blister to start feeling better and I have yet to run as my work schedule has had me distracted but I am pretty sure I will be fine when I do. It was a fun trip to take, Wayne and Karen helped me get through this and we had a lot of great conversations who knows maybe I will even do another one with them some day. I am sure I have left out many details but hopefully I have included enough for me to remember this trip for a long time, my thanks to Wayne and Karen for bringing me along.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

McNaughton short version

I completed it, had issues, took a lot of time, had a lot of fun and I think incurred no major damage.

Long report and pictures will follow soon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Buckeye Outdoors meets Garmin

I have used Buckeye Outdoors for my official on-line running log to track my mileage for a while now. I started using it when I found out I could sync it with my Ipod Nano from the Nike site. Then I got my Garmin and I started using SportTracks which had a plug-in that allowed me to continue to sync with Buckeye. So that gave me two logs, one on-line and one on my PC which has worked out well, actually three as I still keep a paper version too.

Now I have a dilemma, they just updated Buckeye and I can now sync directly to it which is great but I still like SportTracks. So for the moment I will continue to do both and use the link in SportTracks but if you want an on-line log, take a look at Buckeye. Oh by the way, if you use say that Apple brand of computer then maybe this new interface would work for you since I know that SportTracks did not.

On a different note, someone at work asked me about this weekends run and I told him that I was really looking forward to it and he asked why? I said because it will be fun and he asked why? I said you don't understand, he said you are right I don't and I never will. He then said, if you ever figure out why you are doing this, please let him know. So I guess I have another task, figure out the why of why I do this. So while at McNaughton, I will give this a bit of thought and I should come up with an interesting list, I just hope I can remember it afterward.

Monday, April 5, 2010

McNaughton update

McNaughton is less than a week away and it is time to plan. What do I need to bring and what exactly is my race plan?

As to the first part, that is a good thought, what do i need to bring? As of right now, I haven't started to pack and have barely given it a thought. First things first, here is the weather forecast for Pekin, IL from Accuweather.com

Hi - 70°Lo - 49°

Warmer with plenty of sunshine

So beyond worrying about everything else, I now need to worry about the heat. Well, thankfully I have had one day of heat acclimation so that shouldn't be a worry :-).

And here is my initial list of things I will bring (or should bring)
  • Running clothes, sweatshirts
  • 2 or 3 pairs of shoes
  • Headlamp and flashlights
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping mat
  • Tent
  • Chair
  • Water
  • Clif shot electrolyte - crisp apple
  • Clif shot blocks - cherry and mt. berry
  • Chocolate #9 Agave gels
  • S Caps
  • Ibuprofen
  • Cell Phone
  • Magazines/books
  • Ipod nano with plenty of podcasts
  • Ipod shuffle as a backup
  • CD with some good ole music from my past
  • Coffee
  • Regular food?
I am sure I will think of many other things between now and Friday, the nice part is it's taper week which I always have to remind myself is another way of saying do no harm and another way of saying, you will have time to think about everything.

The weather looks good albeit hot, my body I am fairly sure is not ready, my mind might be, that will be my challenge, figure out a way to get to the finish. Right now I have 3 thoughts on how to approach the race. First, run slow and keep going until I get done (90% probable). Another thought is that I could run 30 or 40 miles on Saturday, then finish on Sunday (5%). My other thought is to run 30 miles, eat some dinner, relax, run 10 miles with Karen during the night, then 10 more in the morning (5%). Of course there is that other plan, run 50 miles, relax, eat and then go ahead and run another loop or two with Karen be it at night or in the morning, I am pretty sure that a few folks might think that is a good idea. All of the plans could work as to which one, good question, my guess is that I will decide on the way down with a bit of input from Wayne and Karen.

I may have said this before but I view this weekend as the start of my training for my first 100 (in a few years) as I will need to find something inside to finish this race at least based on my training. Which is what I think I will need to work on to take on a 100, mental training combined with some physical but I think it will be more mental. How do I keep myself believing and moving forward. What I think will be real neat is that I will get to observe those that are doing the 100 up close and I hopefully will pick up a few lessons from them.

I do hope to be able to figure out a bit more about fueling, finding out ways to recover, pacing, maintaining the positive attitude and just plain having some fun but my main goal is to just finish without causing an injury and to make sure that I use the race to gain experience.

Friday, April 2, 2010


What does 1942 have to do with anything? No it is not the year I was born, I am old but not that old. It just might be my new mileage goal for 2010 which would lead me to a nice round number.

You see, I discovered a potential statistical quirk when I was looking through the spreadsheet that I keep on my running. I happened to look at the sheet with my yearly mileage totals when I glanced at my mileage prediction for the year (1542 miles) which is based on year to date miles prorated out for the year (this is my low estimate) along with my planned mileage which is based on current year to date miles and my planned mileage for the remainder of the year (1887 miles - this my higher estimate, doesn't everyone do this :-) when I noticed something kind of interesting.

I am currently averaging 947 miles per year from 1992 through 2009, if I ran 1942 miles this year than I would be at exactly 1000 miles per year over the 19 year span of 92 through 2010 and hit exactly 19,000 miles. Will I do that many miles this year just to hit the exact miles per year? I wasn't planning on running that many but I can be a bit anal about my stats and it is kind of intriguing as if I stay healthy and do the training and run the races I have mapped out for the year, I would end up with 1887 miles, so if the year works out as currently planned would I be tempted to add 55 more miles. Tempted yes but I would probably just convince myself to let time take of care of it in 2011. Of course, that would mean in 2011 then I could only run 1055 miles and that is below what I am averaging so my only chance to hit it exactly would be this year.

So what to do, I think I will just continue to run, see if I can stay healthy and then see where I am come November and maybe just maybe I might go for it as I normally do tail off my mileage in November and December and an extra 55 miles would be easily within reach and it would be cool to do it.

While I am talking about my running stats, I just set my all time high mileage for March with 167 miles up from 114 miles from February, my previous high for March was 145 miles which I did in 1997, last year my March total was 134 miles.

Last, I have officially started my taper for McNaughton and I think I am on track as everything is pretty much falling apart. Yesterday I ran in Lebanon Hills with Wayne and the heat (and his pace) completely did me in as I struggled to get through 6 miles. Today, my left knee and right achilles are hurting. Why, I have no clue. I don't remember twisting the knee, I do remember some achilles tightness. Does it concern me? No, if I have issues I will just need to figure out how to deal with them and get through the day after all that is why I want to do ultras, right?


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