Sunday, February 26, 2012

Between the sound machine

Very nice day for a 14 miler w/ Brother Grub to finish the week.  I ran the exact same run yesterday, but it seemed so short today.  Good to get that one in the bank.  The first week is in:

Mon AM = 6.1 w/ Jamie and dogs
Tue AM = 6.3 w/ Jamie and dogs
Tue PM = 7.0 w/ 6 x 2:00 hill
Wed AM = 10.3 w/ Jamie and his dog
Thu AM = 5.0 w/ my dog
Thu PM = 7.5 0n golf course w/ 22:00 tempo
Fri AM = 6.4 w/ Jamie and dogs
Sat AM = 14.0
Sun AM = 14.0 w/ BG

Total = 76.6

The hardest run is getting that Wednesday AM run bumped up.  Getting up before 5:00 wears on you through the day.  Probably will switch this to a PM run at Lapham Peak whenever that thaws out.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Conceived in liberty

I learned a couple new facts the past week I thought were cool.  The word with only one vowel, but this same vowel appears six times in the word.  Indivisibility.

A word in which all five vowels appear in order and only once each.  Facetious.

Also, the word facetiously has all the vowels in a row and the one consonant which sometimes acts as a vowel in a row.

I learned this info on

I learned this at the end of the Ice Age 50 mile one year when Clark Zinzow was announcing the runners coming in.  The only city with the same single vowel appearing five times is in Oconomowoc.

I was born in Butler, PA.  Well known people from there include:

Rick Santorum
Big John Studd
Bret Michaels (Poison)
Terry Hanratty (Notre Dame / Steeler) QB
Michele McDonald (Miss USA 1971)
William Perry (Secretary of defense under Clinton)

A fair amount of MLB and NFL players as well and an Olympic medalist. The only ones I knew prior were Studd, McDonald, and Hanratty.  I thought Barbara Feldon (Agent 99) was from there, but maybe she didn't make the cut.  I remember the family cheering for McDonald back when I was around 10.

Running going well.  probably post an update tomorrow after the week concludes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I've been to a town

Well, about 12 weeks to lift off.  Now the work starts.  I break it into 3 - 3 week cycles and 1 - 3 week taper.  I'm going to use the first cycle to get used to the training...meaning no hell bent for leather, you'll rue the day type attitude.  Them days gone braaaaaah.  Second cycle the weather should be a tad better, so can start getting in more trail miles and working the harder stuff.  The third cycle I'll try and ramp up the intensity of the harder stuff...and survive because I'll be on fumes.  It culminates with the 30-35 mile training run.  The last three weeks the miles go down, intensity stays up, and then a bit of needed rest.

I don't want to say it looks easy on paper because it is not, but once you get a few weeks in it is a chore.  If I get a bit too overwhelmed I may take an extra easy day or so.  I am glad it is here.  I have been waiting to get going.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

O 2 1 3 4

So I've been thinking about what happens after Ice Age.  Do one race and that's it?  Boy, The KM 100 sounds interesting again, but in a manner I would finish.  I'm going to have to sit down with the No. 2 and map out a run/walk plan from the start.  Run 12 and walk 3, run 15 and walk 5...what?  That's what I want to try, getting about 5 miles an hour.  It's tough to get a feel because even a 5 hour run practicing probably doesn't imitate the art.  Have to figure if it would be best to do shorter segments or longer ones.  Five minutes seems like a long walk at first, but 3 seems reasonable.  Of course 20/10 sounds like an easy way to keep track and get close to 5 miles an hour.  Of course, maybe you run the first three hours and then start.  One good thing is I have time to ponder it.

I would be way back there, but if you could stay reasonably fresh you'd start picking off people past the 100k.  Then if you had anything towards the end you could run the last loop in.  I don't know, something to keep this handsome Dutch guy entertained.

I've been playing 4 suit spider solataire.  I've won like 3 times in 300 hands.  I hate losing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Inter Sanctum

I ran my first 50 mile at Ice Age in 2000.  Here's the data available for scrutiny:

12/27 - 1/2 = 32.7 w/ long run of 13.3
1/3 - 1/9    = 40.3 w/ long run of 15.7
1/10 - 1/16 = 50.6 w/ long run of 20.4
1/17 - 1/23 = 37.8 w/ long run of 10.2
1/24 - 1/30 = 41.4 w/ long run of 10.2
1/31 - 2/6  = 37.1 w/ long run of 10.0
2/7 - 2/13 = 41.2 w/ long run of 10.2 (twice)
2/14 - 2/20 = 23.7 w/ long run of 6.4
2/21 - 2/27 = 33.6 w/ Marathon (Smokey Mountain) in 3:10:58
2/28 - 3/5 = 38.9 w/ long run of 16.0
3/6 - 3/12 = 43.9 w/ long run of 19.5
3/13 - 3/19 = 40.2 w/ long run of 20.0
3/20 - 3/26 = 13.3 w/ long run of 7.1 (left leg was hurting)
3/27 - 4/2 = 55.4 w/ long run of 25.5
4/3 - 4/9 = 60.3 w/ long run of 28.3
4/10 - 4/16 = 67.3 w/ long run of 32.5
4/17 - 4/23 = 67.3 w/ long run of 35.0 (5:20) Ice Age Build-up run
4/24 - 4/30 = 37.8 w/ long run of 8.7
5/1 - 5/7   = 29.2 w/ long run of 7.8
Week before Ice Age
5/8 = 4.7
5/9 = 3.4
5/10 = 2.7
5/11 = OFF
5/12 = OFF
5/13 = 50.0 (7:23:45) Notes: Good run. Cool, high 40s, overcast and windy. 25 splits 3:39+, 3:44+.
8:53 a mile. Heart rate 70, 6 hours after race.

Pretty simple.  Marathon indicated decent fitness.  Maintained normal training and then a 4 week build-up period, followed by a 3 week taper.

Why do we make it so complicated now?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quantitative Management

Things I consider before Ice Age are as follows:

Take the absolute minimum or it's more to manage.  Salt tabs and scratch for sure.  Those get the big check mark.  Sometimes I bring a bar which I pre-cut and perhaps a gel.  I try and avoid carrying a bottle until Hwy 12 minimum.  Take along a minimum amount of NSAIDs.  Once in awhile I'll take 400-600mg if my legs feel extra pounded and if that don't work there is probable reason more won't.

I like a crew person which is usually Donna starting at Hwy 12.  Invaluable resource for a bunch of reasons.  You can switch full bottles, you can drop or pick up clothes, you can ask for something at next station, you can re-supply if necessary, and I have her toss me a bottle of hammer gel which I hit hard and toss back on the fly.  It saves a bunch of time.  Plus they can tend to you when you finish.  Sometimes your pretty broken up and need help.

Honestly, don't doink around.  Get out there early so you can park and aren't rushed.  Set two alarms even though you'll be up before they go off.  It just makes going to sleep easier that's all.

Try hard to eat and drink at least two hours before the start.

Consider cutting caffiene out 10 days prior so when you hit it (past 30) it might have a positive boost.

Consider carbo loading.

Always review the distance between aid stations.  Make mental notes between the long ones so you don't forget to short yourself.  Tough to make up calories or hydration late into a race.

Finally.  Absolutely follow the weather.  The clothing decision is key.  More is not always better.  Get a long run in cold rainy weather so you can evaluate.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Such are promises

Last year we held a North vs. South cross-country event at Lapham Peak in late September which comprised of racing the black loop.  In was Ron Bero's and my event to celebrate our 50th b-days.  The line of demarcation was I-94 into Milwaukee and picking up 794 straight to the Lake.  Above and your on the North and below you are on the South.  Because of the number of athletes and trying to keep everyone honest, when you finished your name was tossed into a hat for your team.  The scorers were randomly picked by Ron and myself and the collective time was added.  Low cumalative time won.  The North won fairly easy...which was Ron's team.  He has the the big title belt displayed in his office...I've seen pictures.

Forget that the South had the top two men, top three women...and the top finishing dog...we lost.  Though we did pull the top South male and dog.  This is a call for every able body on the South to get training for next year.  Ringers aren't accepted.  You have to have ran with the LPTR group 3 times, or get an exemption from Todd who incidentially runs for the North...just saying.  I believe one exemption was allowed for Troy's brother who was in town visiting from up North.  So it can happen.

Anyway, the greater Watertown area has dog pile off good runners.  These guys are thick as theives and they have a glut of top ten finishers and all their home boys from Oconomowoc, Columbus, Fox Lake, Hubertus, and whatever town they pay runners to come down and run 3 times to qualify.  The South is a tiny hamlet of well mannered runners who up to now have put up with accepting whatever crumbs fall through the grating.  This post is a call to start encouraging (all in a perfectly legal and binding sense) other highly moral athletes to consider what we are up against and join us next September.  It just feels right to take the high ground.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Busta move

In football you can make adjustments during the game.  In distance running it is a bit more challenging.  Once an event starts (at least for me) you try and stick to your plan.  I think what seperates longer distance events from shorter events is the more mistakes you make up front the harder they are to recover from.  The older I get the harder it seems to be to not make mistakes, so one tends to be conservative.  My running today consists primarily of feel.  In shorter races there is no feel.  I should be able to rocket out at this pace and hold it because these specific workouts and trials indicated I could.  I can't do that with longer events.  If anyone is following this, here is the dilemma:

How do you train for feel?
How do you combine long runs and speed together without compromising the process?
Does anyone get the fueling process because I never have?
When does one hold back and when does one let it go?

I think the ultimate bullet answer for all of them is to run about 100 miles a week, get used to it, and just gradually run those miles faster.  If I could do that I really wouldn't have to ponder how to race 50 miles.  Because I can't or won't I'm left with the tinkering process.

If I could eliminate one of those questions, it would be the first one.  I'm starting to believe I'm going to have what I'm going to have that day.  You still have to put in the work, but I tend to have huge cycles of feel good and don't feel good and I must not be the only one.  This is why in races I largely prefer to run alone.  I tend to be all over the map in pacing and racing.  One encouraging sign is when I run the hills I tend to get a spark of sorts.  My downfall on the trails is the constant turning, weaving, and uneven terrain.  I have a tough time getting into a proper cadence.  I think mentally it wears me out. 

I know I'm not old at 50, but I get pains that come and go during longer events I just don't get when running on the roads.  This means I have to get out to the trails a lot more this spring.  I also have to get back to getting fast so I have a better cruising pace.  These races start and it just seems like people are flying.  I have to stay back because right now I know I can't afford to go out and hang on.  At one time I held back because it seemed to make the most sense.  Now I have no choice.  I have to run this pace and hope the people ahead of me get tired. 

This is what makes me love the sport.  Trying to figure it out.  I'm not sure you ever really get to that point.  Sure, I could be like Brother G and run 8 times a month on average, (usually in a 20 day period with 10 off days to follow), but that doesn't work for mortals.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Morning Governor

Twer' the night before John Dick
And all thru the manor
Not a salt tab could be found
Just remants of powder

The shoes were piled
In the basement in boxes
Some missing inserts
And the others had rocks in

I looked at the fuel belts
That were still in the package
I won't need those things
There just extra baggage

I pulled out the duct tape
Said your my best friend
You'll cover my nipples
Might use you again

Hey Adidas, hey Asics
I said in my head
Can you pound down the trail
Beat Egnarski again

When all of the sudden
It dawned on me then
The Dick's not a race
It's a run with good friends

There's chili, there's brownies
There's beer and there's soup
It's a primitive trail run
I might even poop

I'll see you tomorrow
Fifteen bucks in my hand
And before I forget
Someone please bring the Hamm's

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I and I

When I was a little kid I could fly.  In elementary school no one could catch me.  I didn't think I was different or special, but I knew I was on to something.  As you grow, go to bigger schools, on to college; you find your really just average.  Everyone can fly.  We weren't all created equal.  Some people could really cut loose.  By then it is what you do and running well involved a lot of hard work.  Sometimes you worked hard and other times you didn't.  I'm not sure what I was chasing because by then I was hooked.  I've been running since I was a little kid.  Sure I had quite a few off years during the get married, get a masters, have kids, and persue corporate dreams.  But I was still a runner.  I'd grab the shoes and go on a whim.  You feel free.  I can't explain it.  It's not like riding a bike or hiking.  It's continuous forward motion.  The benefits are unmeasurable, many of which I just took for granite because I was young.  I don't have great thoughts, figure out problems, or even think about anything...but the act of running.  I've been broken, injured, sick, and even in a few deep holes, but one thing I always wondered was...when can I start running again?  There were three times in my life I thought running might be taken from me.  I wasn't in the state of panic or was like a friend died and I had to move on.  The body is an incredible machine.  I've been able to come back and for that I am greatful.  Someday it will end, but while the stores still sell Adidas for $30 bucks a throw I'm still in.  All in and I thank God he allows me to get fired up to this day. Like a little strap them on for another day. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Up in here

I didn't die or anything.  Been putting in about 50 a week, sometimes more.  Really been enjoying the mild winter.  Really enjoy getting out, but the weekends have been full with kid activities, so I actually run a lot less on weekends than planned.  That's okay, I run most days.  Got in 8 runs last week.

I am kind of itching for March to come around so I can start training for Ice Age.  Going to put more emphasis in hill/tempo training this year so I'm not too far back in the weeds.  It will be tough, but I want to do some of the long runs myself.

John Dick is this weekend.  The weather looks mild so a nice easy long run looks in order for the day.  Hope to see a lot of smiling faces...and chili.