Monday, April 30, 2012

Chippewa update

In my last post I was self absorbed about dropping and having to deal with the same injuries again and I was remiss to not post a little about the race and to say what a great event Chippewa is.

I love the course, a nice up and down running trail with a mostly easy to run on surface. The grass downhill at the start isn't something that I like but everything else is nice. The aid stations were good but to be honest I only filled up my water bottles at the self serve ones but I heard no complaints. I had planned to look for some food options at Helen's aid station the second time through but alas I never got there. The weather was very good for running, low 40's and no rain. The volunteers were good and seeing a bunch of friends was sure nice. Thank you everyone.

Here is my update, well, my left calf feels like I was hit by something and it's very, very tight when I walk or go up or down stairs. My right ankle is probably slightly swollen as it catches when I pivot on it which means sharp pain but if I don't walk, push off on it, turn or go up and down stairs, I am good. I am planning to give it a few days and won't plan on running until the tightness and pain are gone, which isn't something I am good at doing. The question is do I see someone or just wait it out and deal with it myself? I am really, really not in the mood to talk to anyone about it, especially a Doctor. That said, I would be remiss to not consider Einsteins definition of insanity:

Then again, last time I went to a Doctor :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chippewa DNF - plan b

Sometimes we make choices to do things we want to do even though there may be a risk or even if we may know that it's the wrong choice. Today my choices caught up to me. I went into Chippewa probably undertrained physically. I thought it was my base training that was my problem, my long runs or lack of enough of them but it was my ankle that revealed itself as still being a problem today. If I had been honest with myself I would have admitted it but I can be stubborn.

Now my ankle is strong enough to run 5, 10 and maybe 15 miles. I was feeling great today through most of the first half and had a 50k PR in my sights when it all kind of unraveled. I am not exactly sure when it off track but here is what I know, when I left the 2nd self serve aid station I stepped into a hole and hyper-extended my left leg. It hurt but I was more embarrassed than anything, as I started to run again I had knee pain but it seemed to go away. That said, after that, my right ankle went from occasional pain twinges as it dealt with uneven surface changes to more of a throbbing and my achilles was hurting as well. No big deal I thought and I continued to the turn around point.

I got in in around 3:35 which was right where I wanted to be. I talked to my wife and said all was going well and that I would see her at the next aid station. Looking back I think I may have been talking to myself as much as to her. As after I left the aid station I started getting nauseous, so I took a S-cap, I slowed down a bit but kept moving, the nausea continued so I retraced my eating and drinking and decided that I might have not eaten enough nor drank enough or was it just an electrolyte issue. I hate nausea, I hate it. I kept going and it seemed that the S-cap helped. So I kept going along but slower, after 45 minutes, I took another S-cap and sure enough as I started feeling better my ankle/achilles changed to more of right foot numbness reinforced with pain on each step.

So on I went, I was still doing math in my head and I thought I could get in easily with a PR and if I could loosen things up a really good one for me. That's an advantage of being slow and having not running too many 50k's, a PR is setting there waiting on me to just have a good day. I really wanted the PR, I really wanted to finish but the right foot issue was causing pain in the left foot and leg, so I had to make a race decision. Do I continue and probably get a PR but risk ending my running season in April or stop and drop from the race. I debated for a while and finally decided that I should drop. I lost 2011 to a decision to continue to run in 2010, repeating that again just wouldn't be wise.

So what does this mean?

My analysis during the run led me to conclude that is I was trying to do two things at once that weren't complementary. I was trying to ramp up my base mileage to do long distance events and strengthen my ankle to be able to bear the stress. If I was honest during my training the ankle had been bothersome, I got around it by avoiding uneven surfaces later into my runs. Add in reduced training time with the internal job change and the robotics mentoring and my effort today reflects all the things I did and didn't do.

Time to move to
  which is.......

I am probably going to abandon the Superior 50 for this year and instead will focus on strengthening the ankle by doing more minimalist running. My other choice would be to go for stability shoes and lock down the foot but I think that will ultimately make it weaker.

I will pick up some minimalist shoes to complement my VFF's and once I am walking pain free I will start to focus on speed and strength training for my ankle. I am thinking that 4 to 12 weeks may make a huge difference and after that I will for shoot for Moose Mountain with and an outside chance os still doing the Afton 50k, if either of those work out, then Wild Duluth and/or Surf the Murph 50k's maybe followed by Tecumseh Trail marathon down in Indiana.

The key for this year now is to get the ankle working well enough to handle longer distance running.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pictures and fueling lesson noted

I have been remiss about posting for the last few months, I have either thought about and not followed through or it's one of about 15 drafts yet posted, so this time I figured I would finish it out and actually post it, to keep from collecting any more :-).

I have been taking my cellphone and taking a few pictures on my last 5 or 6 long runs at Murphy, the River Bottoms and Lebanon and they have all been pretty as they transformed from ice to spring. This picture is from Saturday's long run, it's from the south side of Jensen Lake heading up a slight hill (clockwise direction).

This next one is of the bald eagle I saw in Lebanon Hills 3 weeks ago when I was crossing the old bridge heading back towards Jensen Lake. I have never seen an eagle before in Lebanon, it was cool to see one in the park. I tried to circle it so you can see it, sorry that my picture is not too good. I did try to loop around to get a better picture but it flew away.

Okay, now for the main reason for this post, nutrition.

I have been listening to the UltraRunnerPodcast and Trail Runner Nation podcasts and they have had Sunny Blende talking about nutrition, interviews with Dave Mackey, Dean Karnazes, Barefoot Ted and Krissy Moehl plus more. During the interview with Sunny Blende, she said you should take in between 200 to 300 calories an hour during an ultra. Why did this pop into my head, well on my long run on Saturday I was about 2 hours into my run when I started slowing down, by 2 1/2 hours I was back at my car thinking I might be not able to get in another 10 miles. I knew I needed to continue to get time on my feet even if it wasn't working well, so I grabbed another clif shot blok, some water, switched shoes (I can always blame my shoes) and headed back out.

It was about then that I did the math on my caloric intake: 1 package of clif shot blok - 200 calories, 2 perpetuem tablets - 66 calories, 1 1/2 liters of water with nuun tablets - 8 calories per bottle. All added up I had taken in 290 calories in 3 hours, duh I thought, maybe I am simply low on fuel. So I ate the second clif shot bloks, go figure but within in a few minutes I was running again feeling good, about a 1/2 hour I ate a clif shot gel that I had been carrying for 2 months, mocha, very good flavor. Again my energy level stayed up and I continued to run (I should add what I mean by run, I was only trying to run a 13 to 15 minute mile so for most it would be barely running but for me it was better than walking). An hour or so later I ate a granola bar and my energy level continued to fell good.

Calories consumed:
       ~3 hours - 290 calories (~97 calories/hr)
       ~2 hours - 486 calories (~242 calories/hr)

So I think on my next long run, I will try to fuel like the last 2 hours and see how things work out.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tough week on many fronts

What can I say, one post in March pretty much reflects where my head has been in March. I am still working my mileage up for Chippewa but today I decided I should give up running, it just isn't fun anymore. I ran Saturday and only ran 9 miles and they weren't fun, today I ran 9 miles and I felt better but why I am doing this?

Then I heard that Dakota County decided to sell Lebanon Hills to pay for financial overruns and I pretty much decided that today is the day where I am officially done. Without Lebanon, why would I run. I have run every trail in the park, I have watched the improvements in the shelters, trails and campground (even though some of them I have questioned) but it appears that this is the last year I can enjoy it.

So with that in mind I am switching things up and will be attempting to do the Superior 100 as since this will be last year I plan on running, I may as well attempt the race I have wanted to try but lacked the courage to sign-up for. Yes, I have been injured, poorly trained, lacking motivation, overweight but it is really courage that I lack. When I think about it, I have still have a few more days to sign-up for the Gnarly Bandit race series, why do just a single 100 this year, I should go for the series, I mean it's only a couple of 100 mile races and like three 100k races, I can do that especially since it's my final season.

With all of this in mind, I want to say thank you to all of those who have helped me through my running years and I am sorry that I am letting you down by retiring after this year but it is what I need to do. Oh yeah, one more thing, you should really look at the article from Dakota County on the sale of Lebanon Hills, it's hard to believe.


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