Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bigger boat

The Glacial Trail 50k was another great run event.  This was my 5th in a row, so needless to say it is on the schedule annually.  I went out comfortable and actually hit the turn a couple minutes faster than last year.  Just past Butler on the way back I was finding a good groove and suddenly turned my right ankle.  I turned it hard, not a tweak.  I still ran okay the next mile or so because it is in field.  After that I had to watch it on the rocky trail.  Sure enough, already compromised it went over again.  I had to really go slow on the downs and any rocky area.  If it was uphill or fairly even turf I opened it up.  I finished 15th in 5:18 so I was good with that.  The ankle didn't look good for about a week, but I am back running.

The last couple weeks I have been jogging the dog for about 35 minutes or so about 3-4 times in a week.  The whole house dynamic has changed as I am now highly favored.  Basically the dog bugs the heck out of me.  Now that I am jogging 10+ times a week she is locked in.  I have not been running her for years as my wife has been walking her.  It's cold, there is snow on the ground, it is dark at 4:45pm, and my wife gets up by 3am for work.  On paper it is a good deal.  The dog gets exercise, I get a few easy miles in, and the wife is happy.  The problem is the more you do for her (dog) the more she wants to do.  Buddies for life.  The dog is a cattle dog.  She is over 12 years old.  I made the wrong assumption that a couple easy miles would be enough.  And she could care less what the circumstances are.  She is in the be all you can be mode.  It's like the bit in Jaws.  They shoot the third barrel attachment and claim he can't go down with three, "Not with THREE he can't."  There are a few other dynamics about the dog that go along with this and they aren't all bad.  In some ways I admire how this dog just wills herself to believe we are equals. 

I'm thinking about going metric in 2019.  A mile seems like forever.  Kilometers seem more reasonable as I'll be able to run numbers more often.  It will be something new.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Chris Lapp

I'll post in the near future about the Glacial 50k.  Coming back from Butler about 13 miles to go at Glacial I turned my right ankle.  I kept going and about 2 miles later away it went again.  I was defenseless.  Simply put the ankle had to plant firmly the rest of the way in.  No easy task with some of those rock fields you go through.  I was forced to slowly bumble downhill, but was able to run well on the uphill segments as there is less unknown surface tension to be had.  When the trail was good I was able to pick it up a bit.

Anyway this Friday I wanted to go out for a mile or two.  I was just jonesing to get some movement in.  About a quarter mile into it a car was coming.  It is not quite daylight so I shifted over to the other side of the road.  Problem is I still have no ability to prevent my ankle from going over again past a certain angle.  Well the other side of this rural backroad is cambered pretty well around this hilly turn and over she goes again.  That bugged the heck out of me most of the day.  That I was that stupid.

So this morning I wrapped the bad boy with duct tape and made it about 150 yards before determining I'm an idiot.  Back to the house, off came that bad idea, on came the Fleet Farm cotton sock, then completely wrapped over with the same duct tape.  Ten miles in the bank.  Splits of 58:10 and 55:04 back.  No matter.  Twern't no grizz left anyway. 

Didn't put enough dirt down.  Saw it right off.

Friday, October 19, 2018

2018 Al's Run

So Al's run was about a month ago.  I love this race because for me it is a team race.  We barely field the 5 runners needed to score, but manage to every year.  This year was no exception as we had 5 finishers on the dot.  It is the only time most of us see each other.  We ask about the families, how's work going, etc.  Eventually we get down to business and see how each other is running.  I did zero "effort" running this year.  My goal was to break 35 minutes for the 8k distance.  The first mile has a lot of net downhill, but I held back and just Barney Rubble'd it.  Put the first mile in at 7:05 knowing the next mile is a net uphill.  I kept aerobic and blazed the second mile in 7:26, but knew I could heat up the peanut oil for the final three.  Sure enough I was passing rocks and trees as if they were standing still (Walt Stack quote maybe?) and after opening up down Lafayette hill I clicked of the third mile in 6:50.  The last couple miles are flat there by the big lake and sure enough I was catching people.  I was still good aerobically...probably a bit too good as the 4th mile yielded a 7:00.  At this point I just went after it (comical isn't it) and basically went to sprint mode.

Now sprint mode isn't near what you think.  I was trying to run as fast as I could, but it was not sprinting.  The brain is signaling man over board, but the crew ain't getting the message.  The best example I can think of is when you buy a bean burrito and they tell you it's a $1.46 at the second window.  You hand them a penny and then $2.00 dollars.  They accept the money and then look at each hand individually.  Finally they look at you as if to say, "that's my skull."  Real similar.

Any way I may not be sprinting, but I am rolling good and clip the guy at the finish line by 0.20 seconds to get 6th in the 55-59 age group.  I rolled the last 0.97 of a mile in 6:05 to finish in 34:26.  The age group winner who is 57 like I am won in 28:07.  I averaged 6:56 a mile which tells me many things I won't share here.

We finish up later at Ryan's crib and have a cookout.  Lot's of good food and plenty of lies.  Along with Ice Age and now Glacial, I don't have many traditional events left.  I was fairly beat up for a couple of days after Al's.  It did inspire me to consider adding some moderate tempo efforts and short hill workouts before Ice Age next year. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Just the way you look

Signed up for the Glacial Trail 50k this October 14th.  Thought about the 50 miler, but the PF in my left foot is not allowing me to traverse that distance.  Guess I’ll have to break out the wallet and get the running inserts again.  I’m fortunate to be running.  Seems less and less of the herd is still in the game.  Was a time I thought running into my 70s would be no big deal.  Of course I thought Hogan’s Heroes would never bust apart either.

Yes I am still out jogging 10 minute miles.  This coming Saturday is Al’s Run 8k.  It’s all about the participation now.  I said uncle this year.  Maybe next year I will go the speed work route.  Then funny part is if I put in some serious Belt Buckle Bob training I would still be lucky to bone chip in under 33 minutes.

I’m 57 on September 11th.  That sounds close to 60.  I’ll be at a power plant looking at some work that came over from China.  I’ll celebrate by driving farther south into Illanese territory for the week. Lately I’ve been hammering Carne Asada for dinner.  The jalapeƱos have been slooping up the John B.  No matter, I put on a few Sinatra tunes in the room and call it good.  Being on the road actually motivates me to run.  I’m asleep around 8pm.  First thing in the morning I participate with black coffee, check the Pirate score, and get ready to run an hour.

Ran in MN last week.  I have a few stock places to run.  I know a few folks up there, but do a poor job alerting them in time for a run.  I may start trying to run a second time for the day if it means running with someone.  I get to where I don’t like missing the AM run.  I feel best then and trying to run at night at times is like listening to Foreigner...brutal.

Not a lot of miles, but here is the longer run notes:

7/28 15.0 (10:22) Dewey and Tim / trail and paved
8/11 25.0 (10:29) Clarky and Adam night run on Ice Age
8/25 20.0 (10:30) Dewey / Butternut back roads
9/8 18.0 (10:03) Crawford out in the Sha on paved trail

Sunday, July 29, 2018

To the mattresses

The motivation to get out and turn a few has been good.  I'm tired much of the time, but I am also active in many other areas.  Getting out and just running without any thought to pace has been more freeing than I thought it would be.  The process of still trying to figure when fast running will get in the equation is still there, but I try and ignore it.  Experience shows that piling up a few miles does not necessarily make me slower, being older guarantees the slowness.

One obstacle is the PF in my left foot.  I'm good on the right side for now.  Ever since I drove off with my inserts nicely placed in my shoes that were riding on top of my car it has been a downhill slide.  Like most Americans I will just figure it out and honestly I have learned a few things.  Some days it is painful and when it just about seems like it can only get worse it is surprisingly manageable.  I almost always self diagnose and figure stuff out.  This bugger is one of those deals where the more you put into it the less it seems to get fixed.  Yesterday on the 15 miles of trail and road it really hurt.  This time I did no self treatment/maneuvering and today almost no pain.

The Glacial Trail 50m/50k is October 14th and I am thinking 50 mile.  Mainly because I have never done that one and it is right up the road.  I have many races I'd like to enter, but it is hard justifying them when you travel during the week.  That and we have other obligations in life.  The Glacial 50m looks like a hardy challenge.  I'm not sure I can get under 9 hours on this course so that makes it worth doing.  The course starts with about 40 minutes of darkness, the trail is a bit more challenging than Ice Age, it is a small field (about 10% of Ice Age size), and there are less aid stations/crew help than my spoiled self likes.  In a way it should be a good exercise to try and work on strategies to aid me in this area.  Problem is I will buy little of my own gear.  I'll look to borrow a good light and possibly a gas station.  Probably not a gas station as hopefully I'll get up to the course enough to figure out a hand held strategy and mooch a little crew help.

It dawned on me the reason I believe many people drop off the last half of a 50 mile may also be related to pace.  When I train in an attempt to pace through a trail 50 mile I will work on building miles and get some long runs in.  Typically I will run most days and because I am tired run 9:30 - 11:00 pace on road or trail...every day.  In this manner on race day I go out at this pace as that is what my universal self is dialed into.  With the taper I am much fresher, but at the same time it can take 15-30 miles before I get in the groove.  I look for this on game day.  On the other hand, other runners run less days a week, potentially cross train, and get in decent workouts on both the regular and longer runs.  I'd argue this is what people recommend to them, or they figure this is optimal.  This means much of their regular training runs can be at 8:00 - 9:00 pace.  When race day comes they have a tough time staying back because it feels soooo easy.  They eventually slow down because they have to and the body isn't set up to burn at the higher rate.  Many of them aren't going to find a groove.  The thrill is gone.  Big guys in 2s, little guys in bunches.  There is much more I could say about this, but I think this gets most of it across.

7/23 = 7.0 (10:10)
7/24 = 3.5 (10:07)
7/24 = 7.1 (10:47) Menomonee Park w/ Tim/Dewey/Robert
7/25 = 9.0 (9:28)
7/26 = 3.7 (9:44)
7/27 = 6.2 (9:41)
7/28 = 15.0 (10:22) Menomonee Park/Bugline w/ Dewey
7/29 = 8.5 (10:14)
Week = 60.0

Sunday, July 22, 2018

We have the technology

I have been heat training consistently.  Three layers with the final being a hood jersey.  I also wear a stocking cap.  The best benefit is it keeps most of the deer flies off, but not all.  Some parts of the Ice Age Trail they are on you like a German Shepherd on a rib roast.  I easily killed forty a week ago.  I remember thinking in Church if I killed more deer flies on that single day than the other thousand attenders combined.  My conclusion was yes.  Based on passing zero people on the 10.5 mile Lowe Lake loop from my house, one rationalizes many people don't get after it early Sunday morning.  Which is a shame because we have a fair amount of trail and decent access.  I ran 8 miles on the Funk loop covering the Ice Age today and saw Tom and Kathryn coming the other way.  We chatted for about a minute near the Oconomowoc, but it is best not to stop long this time of the year by water.  They ran 14-15 and said they saw maybe a couple hikers.

One thing I do see a lot of out this way on the road is bicyclists. Any day, any time, and any amount of them.  Most are hauling along at a good clip.  Car up! Runner up!  Most are cordial.  I do notice quite a few banana peels on the road and Bugline.  Someone must have a routine as I see them at the Bugline and E crossing all the time.  Actually it looks fun and like a solid workout.  No matter, not my gig.  I'd never spend that much on a bike, I'm scared of cars, and I probably wouldn't buy the 3-4 super hero outfits needed.  I should get a power ranger one to run in for heat training.

I'm going to admit something.  I watched a lot of the Hardrock 100 live coverage this week and justifiably was asked by my wife why I am so dumb.  Staring at a screen for hours waiting for it to update is a bit daft, but I enjoyed it.  I've always wanted to run this thing, but don't have a boss set of tools.  I'm not a 100 guy.  I have finished one.  It would be a goal of mine to finish one somewhere in the mountains.  Problem is my wife is concerned I'm not bright enough to exercise caution and might harm myself.  This is partially true.  It is also true these things require a lot of sand and I have not proved to have much of this commodity.  To go run 10-12 hours...done.  To go out there for 24-36 hours and death march...not so much.  Fifty miles is a good distance for me.  I can practically run all of that distance.  You get yourself out there past 12-15 hours and there is some definite beat down.  I am the guy who would want to and quite honestly need to be training at 80-90 a week.  There is just too much power that has been drained from the system to do that.  The dream is gone.  Read anyone's blog still running past 50 years old and see what I mean.  Example from this week.  I ran 10.5 miles of which about 4 miles is trail and 6.5 is road.  I averaged 11:04 a mile.  I can site a ton of reasons this happened, but it doesn't matter.  It was a death march and it should not have been.  Even when I'm feeling zippy I average 9:48 per mile.  I'd have to run between 15 - 16.5 hours a week to get around 90 miles a week.  Of course I could run 60-70 miles and pretend that is just as good.  Tried it.  Felt like I was gut shot.

So I was looking for 50 mile races for the fall.  I went on the Ultrarunning Calendar and looked on line.  If you want to see what fat, old, and grey looks like, look at the picture of the guy posted for the Glacial Trail runs and get back to me.  That freakin' guy is pondering running the 50 mile event this year.  I pick chunks out of my stool bigger than that guy.

7/9 =   6.2 (10:40)
7/10 = 7.0 (10:02)
7/11 = 7.5 (9:39)
7/12 = OFF
7/13 = 6.3 (9:31)
7/14 = 10.2 (9:51) Fox loop w/ Crawford
7/15 = 10.6 (9:48)
Week = 47.8

7/16 = 6.0 (9:51)
7/17 = 8.0 (10:28)
7/18 = 8.0 (10:02)
7/19 = 7.5 (10:22) Menomonee Park w/ Robert, Dewey, Tim
7/20 = 6.5 (9:53)
7/21 = 10.5 (11:04)
7/22 = 8.0 (10:33)
Week = 54.5

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Final Curtain

There is this continual notion of setting a course for a stretch of brisk workouts so one can achieve some arbitrary race time.  It does not have to be pulled out, or even mildly coaxed out.  The notion is always there and it summons itself at will.  Like auto picks for the lottery the plan to achieve the goal suddenly comes to you.  When the cycle repeats for the same goal race or distance a new plan appears.  Once, maybe twice a year I will even goes as far to write them on old school note paper, using pieces of random cardboard to create the cells.  If you have read this far then you have probably done this.  It ends with various days scribbled out, or the middle days of the week not quite filled out as one tries to determine if an additional hard workout can be inserted.  These days they can be comical as if I was ever going to top out at 85 miles a week...with three harder type workouts per week.

This series of events usually ends with I could do it if I wanted to, or even needed to.  Why would I need to?  That's the issue right there.  This other under the radar thought process keeps churning out the donuts without any rational thinking from husband Dave, work Dave, or even dog owner Dave.  I SIMPLY CAN'T SHUT THIS OFF. 

You know something.  I have friends in their sixties who only allow themselves to run X amount a week and that's it.  Many times they are folks with pretty stout performance records from the day.  It seems they know a #2 conibear is out there and have to stay on the compound.

Dave likes to run.  Dave would like to run around an hour a day 5 days a week and for 2-3 hours one other day a week.  Dave likes just running comfortably and occasionally with hombres.  Dave can go run for 4-5 hours a handful of times to be able to move through a short ultra essentially at the same pace his normal hour runs are at.  I'm okay with this.  What do we tell that other guy?