Monday, January 31, 2011
Legs are kind of sluggish, which could be expected after the Sunday Mohican run, but what I was not expecting was the shortness of breath.
I had to kick it down to a walk. I was too stubborn to go upstairs and get the inhaler. So I changed the "quality" run I was planning on getting to 4 miles on the tread, at 5% incline.
At my last two gym workouts, which were both interval type workouts, I could have used a puff of my albuterol inhaler before the workout. (Which I believe, I did not do.) But usually, my asthma does not kick up inside.
In the winter, I have my balaclava-thingy that I wear over my nose and mouth to warm the air into my bronchioles. I hate it. Therefore, it's not gotten worn much.
At the Weymouth Woods 100K, it was colder than anticipated, especially when the sun went down. My wheezing got more pronounced. My Buff, which I was wearing as a head covering, also worked well over my mouth-but at that point, it was far too late to stop the wheezing.
At the Mohican run yesterday, my asthma kicked up with the last 3 miles. Again, I did nothing to cover my mouth. Sigh.
So what am I going to do? Start taking my Singulair, on a daily basis. I have been just taking it about one week before a race/long run, to get enough in my system. I think between now and MMT, I will take it so my runs don't deteriorate.
I'm going to start using my balaclava, regardless on how it looks or restricts me talking!!!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Today was the 25K Training Run for the "Forget the PR" Race. I left my house early, hoping to get some extra miles in. The roads were very dicey that early,so it took me two hours to drive there, rather than the usual 1.5 hours. So I didn't get in any extra miles.
Here it is today:
I experimented with both more gear and nutrition. I learned I sweat like the dickens on the climbs, so I wore a wicking shirt, with a merino wool shirt over that. A little cold at the start, but warmed right up. I did carry a ultra light windbreaker in my pack in case I got cold. The nutrition I will address in a separate post soon.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
New School: we followed what we believe to be the new "Forget the PR" 50K portion from Campground A to the Fire Tower. This does take us up the BigAss Hill (as it is known) and then to the Gasline Hill, pictured below:
We then took the mountain bike trail down to the Covered Bridge. Terri had brought water, and we refueled there.
I mentioned taking the "Old School" Orange Loop up. Terri had forgotten about this!
The "Old Orange" loop started straight up the hill, right behind the Covered Bridge. I had forgotten how steep the trail goes UP the hill, despite the switchbacks!
And yep, folks, that trail is still right there.
This takes this by the Ranger House for the Mohican State Forest (the Mohican State Park and Forest border each other) and this looked like a brand new sign on the Ranger Work Quarters:
Terri had almost forgotten this "old route" and we had fun chatting about how the old Mohican course just about wraps back and forth on itself.
Trails were not too bad, just a few inches of snow to plow through. Good effort for 18 miles of trail midweek!!!
Monday, January 24, 2011
5% incline, at a 4.0 to 4.1 MPH speed (walking.)
As an added inspiration, I printed out some rock photos taken from a MMT training run I found on FB.
Can't see the rocks? Look here:
Yes, the trail is the orange blaze through here.
Having the rocks in front of me inspired me to nail that work out. 108 days to train.
The next item I look at is what day off I have during the week. I work 4 10 hour shifts, which means I have one week day off. I like that, because I usually get a longer run in on that day, if there is not something else planned.
This week should be back to a solid week of training. Last week was a recovery week. Now it's time to bring the training miles back up.
I am thinking of a 20 mile run at Mohican on Wednesday. The weekend is a dilemma. Saturday is the annual Buckeye Trail Fat Ass-in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. But also this weekend is two training runs at Mohican, on the new "Forget the PR" 25 and 50K course.
I will get more hill miles in if I attend the Sunday Training Run at Mohican-but less miles. If I attend the BT FA, I know I will probably get the 50K miles in. (And add to my score on the NEO Trail "King of the Miles" contest. And I will get to hang out with my NEO Trail friends.
What I would LIKE to do, is attend the BT FA, and then run at Mohican on Sunday! But that's pushing the spouse envelope just a bit there..
Sunday, January 23, 2011
"This storm won't make Mohican one foot shorter. It won't change it's elevation by an inch. It won't make it one degree cooler or one percent less humid. The course will still be there waiting for us in June. And so I'm putting on my shoes and going out for one."
I spent most of the morning reading about the 2010 MMT race, then I decided I should get out and train for MMT.
I went with fewer layers-long underwear and running tights, and my Lands' End underwear top and blue running jacket. I gave the husband my planned longer running route-around 12 miles.
It was a bit colder, and there was some wind today. My torso was getting pretty cold, so I made the left hand turn for 6.9 miles instead of the planned 12.
As I was walking up my last hill, a car stopped. The nice woman inside introduced herself, pointed out her house down the road, and told me to stop in if I ever needed anything-water, bathroom break. That was so nice to meet another neighbor!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The running clothes run down:
Dry Max winter socks
Silk long underwear
Long underwear top
Merino wool shirt
Merino Wool Buff
1.50 Dollar Knit Gloves
28.00 Dollar Windbreaker Mittens
I waited until noon to run, wanting to get the warmest temperature of the day.
It was 14 degrees F when I started, 20 degrees when I finished my 6.9 miles around the block.
The fleece balaclava got too warm around mile one, which I planned for. I swapped it out for my merino wool Buff and my lower face mask.
I was over dressed for the weather. I have to say, my long underwear top-from Lands End-works! The two times I have worn it, I have been too hot. This might be the top for the Reverse Ring night in February. I was sweating on my climbs.
I'm so glad I got out there and tested gear today. My hands were too warm in my cheapo knit gloves and over priced Sugoi windbreaker mittens-but again, probably good gear for my February training runs.
Yay for me. I actually hit this last Thursday, I weighed in before leaving for North Carolina. Then I forgot to log it in on Friday, my usual on-line "weigh in" day. Then I return home from the race, and, on Monday, step on the scale-up seven pounds! I believe this is due to your body reacting to the stress it is going through-releasing the hormone vasopressin which causes fluid retention. It takes a few days for the body to return to normal.
Still, it's annoying and distressing to the pysche!
I got back to journalling my food on Wednesday. I've just been non-stop hungry for the last few days. I guess my engine is running so well that it needs fuel. But I still want to get more weight off-I could lose 15 more pounds, that would be about optimal for me. (WW says my "ideal weight" would be a range of 107-137 pounds-I don't see how that would ever happen. I'm far too muscular for that.)
So, thirty pound goal hit. Next target: 162 lbs. I keep the goals small so they are approachable. Kind of like running from Aid Station to Aid Station in an ultra.
I went from a size 14 pant to back to a size 8-10.
I say 'back' because I've been here. In my original weight loss, I believe I hit 150 lbs (and around a size 6) in 2006. Then I got a bit smug, started running longer distance, believed I would lose weight "since I was running more". Had a mid-life crisis. Started drinking more. Wasn't following WW. Still believed I could just "shave off" the 3-5 lbs I had gained. And then the next. And the next.
Well, before long, I was looking at pics of myself saying "Damn I am getting fat" and now I am practically DNF'ing every race...because I am so slow. Because of my weight.
This is midyear 2009, at the "No Frills Just Hills" FA. At the end of June 2009. I SAW how fat I was..but still did nothing about it.
As I kept ballooning, in weight, the more frustrated I was becoming.
It was the URINEO FA in December 2009, I think, that my epiphany was made. I was tired of being last in every race.
After January 1,my switch was flipped.I started back on Weight Watchers and got a running coach. I was accountable to someone in the long lonesome months of the winter. I started to make sure I got a workout in, 5 days a week. I started to become more accountable with WW.
I lost weight. (When you follow the plan on WW, it generally does work!!!!!) Losing weight makes you so much more positive to follow the plan.
I kept running, even in our sucky last winter weather. Good thing I have a treadmill.
I did DNF my spring race, the Laurel 77 miler. But I was okay with that. It was a good effort. Hot conditions. Blisters.
I got my redemption at the Ring, Labor Day Week. 71 miles on the Massanutten Trail. Last finisher, fastest time for a last finisher. (It didn't impress me at all when I did it, now when I look at times, I'm pretty pleased.)
(Still losing weight) I subsequently ran a sub 5 hour Akron Marathon, two weeks later, followed by a PR at the YUTC.
It's amazing how much faster you can run, if you aren't carrying around a 30lb sack of dog food. Go ahead. Try it. Pick up a 20 or 30 lb of dog (or cat) food and then imagine carrying that through a 50K. Or a 50 miler. Or a 100 miler. And then chuck it aside and see how much faster you could run without that. That's what I've been carrying around.
Oh yeah, the body image part. Until I bought some new pants, last month, I had not put the whole "smaller Kim" in my head. Then all of a sudden my size 8-10 pants start fitting. I try on three winter coats-that I have not worn in 3 years because they were too small-they fit again! (Talk about a cheap shopping trip there. "New" coats all of a sudden.)
I look in the mirror, and think, good God, you ARE smaller!! It was almost disconcerting. I had been more focused on the scale number, about getting that weight off so I could become a faster runner, that I hadn't been looking at the shrinking woman!
Maybe because I have been at this size before-and made poor choices and gained all that weight-that I am more appreciative of it this time. Maybe? Maybe because I am a few years older and wiser? That I know how hard it was to lose the weight this time? Although as a note, I did lose 30 lbs in one year by staying mainly "on plan" with Weight Watchers. Maybe because I walked the walk, instead of just talking about it-I was able to lose more weight in one year than the previous two or three.
What's next? Well, I still have plenty of weight to lose. I believe 150 lbs is a good weight for me. Any weight I get off will make me a faster runner. My BMI index is still in the "obesity" range. (I think the whole BMI index is just bullshit myself.) And there are some old clothes in my closet that looks like they will fit me again!
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I've lifted basically the whole article, but will send you a link over to their library. Endurance athletes=triathletes=ultra runners, it's all the same.
Four Habits of Successful Triathletes by Sue Aquila
Anyone that spends a lot of time in the kitchen knows that there are three types of cooking: using a recipe, using a formula or winging it. A recipe is perfect for repeating a dish in terms of flavor and consistency. A formula is necessary for anything involving a chemical reaction such as baking. Formula’s are much less forgiving than recipes and frequent tinkering often results in a baking disaster. Winging it is fun and leads to often terrific dishes that the chef is never able to replicate.
I know triathletes and business owners that generally fall into the three cooking categories. Many successful ones tend to fall into the recipe method. The truly outstanding ones seem to subscribe to the formula method.
The most common formula of people that repeatably have great triathlon seasons:
- Consistency. These people know how to work and train. Their friends often think they are boring. They do the work every day in every area of their life. They are predictable and steady. They don’t think about whether or not they have time to train today. They make the time and have pride in getting it done.
- Strategy. These people have a plan and they work the plan. They may hire consultants/coaches to help them build the plan. They make sure the plan has goals, tests, and they review it frequently. These triathletes prepare to train. They don’t just read the goals for the days workouts but they search their database for their previous performance of a similar workout. They know what their zones are and they hit them. They compare testing results and track progress. These triathletes are always benchmarking where they are and where they are going.
- Efficiency. These people have a lot going on in their life. This often includes successful careers, partners, children, mortgages, etc. They adapt and improvise by making their life and their training as efficient as possible. They use technology to pay bills, manage their training and order nutrition. Lots of it. They understand that every minute of every day counts and each has to be used in the most efficient way possible.
- Recovery. These people understand that out of 24 hours they will workout an average of two to three hours per day. The other 10 waking hours need to be about getting their body prepared to perform at the highest level the next day and the day after it. Food, sleep, massage are all important parts of the real work; recovering to train. A well recovered body is one that stays healthy without injury or sickness.
Notice I didn’t mention diet, how many grams their wheels weigh or their CP5. It is not that these athletes don’t care about these details but rather that they have a formula that is simple and repeatable.
I once had an opportunity to hear Pat Summitt (University of Tennessee Lady Vols Head Coach and one of the most successful basketball coaches in the nation) speak. She told the audience that she could tell them everything she practiced; from the daily drills to how to run their offense and defense. She went on to say that no one could duplicate their success. Why? No one executes like her and her team.
My key to my best season ever? Executing my four habits. Every day. No excuses, only forward motion.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I actually learned something after the URINEO 50 Mile FA-take a few days off and recover. I haven't done any running since the race on Saturday. I've slept in and ate well, nothing outrageous, but I also didn't count WW points.
The legs feel good, just about any residual soreness is gone. I've logged my food in my WW Plan, and the working out commences again in the morning.
Time to step it up. The mountains are looming.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I am nothing but consistent:
Lap 1 54:45.00 12:15/M 4.470 54:45.00
Lap 2 56:11.95 12:34/M 8.940 1:50:56.95
Lap 3 1:01:43.90 13:48/M 13.410 2:52:40.85
Lap 4 1:04:16.10 14:23/M 17.880 3:56:56.95
Lap 5 1:04:24.15 14:24/M 22.350 5:01:21.10
Lap 6 1:06:58.90 14:59/M 26.820 6:08:20.00
Lap 7 1:09:03.55 15:27/M 31.290 7:17:23.55
Lap 8 1:09:51.70 15:38/M 35.760 8:27:15.25
Lap 9 1:15:07.80 16:48/M 40.230 9:42:23.05 Interestingly enough, I believe this is where nutrition started to go downhill...
Lap 10 1:23:07.25 18:36/M 44.700 11:05:30.30
Lap 11 1:25:49.25 19:12/M 49.170 12:31:19.55
Lap 12 1:25:53.95 19:13/M 53.640 13:57:13.50
Lap 13 1:25:08.45 19:03/M 58.110 15:22:21.95
Lap 14 1:22:02.60 18:21/M 62.580 16:44:24.55
It looks like the wheels fell off around Lap 9. This was where I realized I wasn't going to hit my 50 mile goal split. That might also been where my nutrition started to fall apart. But even in my slowing down, in Laps 11,12,13, I ran consistent.
A couple of things:
-These are all kind of just ruminations to myself. Typing it out makes me remember, then I do go back and reference these posts.
-Why on earth did I not bring my beloved Starbust Jellybeans? I'm pretty sure I could have stomached a few of those at a time, and would have gotten a little bit of sugar in me. That was dumb.
-I should have drank more sugar pop (soda for the rest of the world) earlier. In the last two loops, the pop went down just fine. Should have relied on that earlier.
-Wore my calf compression sleeves. No cramping in my left calf. But then, there was not that much elevation change either. I did eat banana portions on some loops through the AS.
My friend Steve left me a voice mail wondering about the course. I think it's a very nice course. But for someone attempting a first ultra, or maybe a first 100K, it's TOUGH!! Because of the loops. 14 chances to stop. That can be very tempting when a runner hits a low spot.
I was hoping for some ice skating today, but it's 37 degrees F here, so maybe just a guilt-free recovery day of doing nothing. Or maybe a recovery walk later if it gets warmer..
Monday, January 17, 2011
This race is a 4.47 mile loop all within the Weymouth Woods Preserve in southern North Carolina. The South had just (two days before) gotten snow dumped upon them. When we arrived and drove around on Friday, I saw lots of snow and ice still on the ground. I decided to screw my shoes-good call!
This is a nice, very well organized run. Starting with the first loop, there was plenty of food-and hot food available. Over the course of the day, I had grilled cheese sandwich, quesadilla, chicken noodle soup, potato soup, and pizza-along with regular AS ultra food.
In addition to the main AS, at mile 2.5 there was also another AS, starting out as just water and Gatorade.
As the day wore on, and the temperatures dropped, Jimmie and Doug assembled a tent, provided snacks and hot coffee and hot chocolate.
The terrain is fairly easy here-although if you have run loop courses before, you know lots of multiple loops can be very weary. The first 2.5 miles is fairly technical in that it is very rooty. The back half of the course is more sand and easy. Of course, with the frozen conditions, the sand was not an issue. In fact, there ended up behind just a few muddy parts on this trail.
I set myself up some aggressive goals for this race. I wanted to see if I could get a little bit speedier. My first goal was to run a sub 11 hour (read 10:58) 50 mile split. This meant, according to this Cool Running Calculator, each loop:
4.47 miles 1:04:13
8.94 miles 2:08:25
13.41 miles 3:12:38
17.88 miles 4:16:51
22.35 miles 5:21:03
26.82 miles 6:25:16
31.29 miles 7:29:29
35.76 miles 8:33:42
40.23 miles 9:37:54
44.7 miles 10:42:07
49.17 miles 11:46:20
50 miles 11:58:15
(In fact, I think the other splits I calculated was 11.30 50 miler.) Well, it boiled down to running the loop in less than one hour.
Since the race splits aren't posted yet, I don't know quite where the wheels fell off. I do know I ran the first three loops in under 1 hour. I was, however, having to stop for a "bio break" on every loop. I was eating more at this race, which was planned, to get enough calories in per hour-but my body seemed to working quite well at digesting and eliminating! And I do remember this happening at Rocky Raccoon and Umstead-maybe that's why I started eating less, so I would have to not stop for bathroom breaks as often!
I was running well. The Garmin (which, being brand new, I did not get the mile splits feature set) told me I was running 11.XX miles. And I felt good running at this. I believe I did push the pace early.
I hit my 50K split at 7 hours 15 minutes-not bad at all, considering I wasn't racing a 50K. But then I was thinking a 14 hour finish probably was not going to happen.
I had lost my little split paper! So now I was relying on the Garmin to hold out til 50 miles.
I know I started to slow down after the 50K. I was still eating ok-starting to not eat as much. I was trying to get as much mileage in before dark. I had some potato soup that didn't agree with me. That started the beginning of the "try and get food" in portion of the ultra. On the next loop, I had two bites of a piece of pizza-nope, that was enough of that.
As the evening wore on, I slowed enough that I didn't make my sub 12 hour 50 mile split. Garmin said it was 12 hours 47 minutes. And I still had three more loops to go!
My husband surprised me by turning up at the race and staying until the end, so that was a pleasant surprise. I even turned him into my crew! He handed off his Zune, since the cold weather had drained my two MP3 players over the course of the afternoon. I drank some cranberry juice and took a few PB crackers with me on Loop 12. Loop 12 was just a place holder. I concentrated on not wanting to despise the loop course.
In fact, running this 100K was a good experience in dealing with a long distance ultra again. I haven't run long since the Ring in September, and all I remember from that was sleep deprivation, rocks, and success. Here I was, not pleased with myself for not hitting my 50 mile goal. I was tired, my right adductor muscle hurt, I was hungry but nauseated, I wanted to sleep,-----PRETTY TYPICAL ULTRA EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Yes, ultras aren't all fun-in fact, most of the longer distance ones are just like this!!!!!!
I just started breaking down the loop into little sections, easy to do when you know it so well. I got to the 1/2 way AS, now onto the finish. Then Loop 13. Good, only one to go. Loop 13 I concentrated on drinking some sugar pop and getting 3 whole PB crackers in. I know my nutrition plan has gone to shit, but I've got less than 8 miles to go.
I grab more sugar pop and start the last loop. I note the race clock is 15.30. I tell my husband I will be back in less than 2 hours. Now I'm trying to walk with a purpose, and run the sections that I can.
I tell Doug and Jimmie good bye and start down the trail which is very runnable here. I come across another runner with no light on. No,he's got a light, but enjoying the moonlight. He joins me and we get through the last two miles chatting-that made the time go quickly for me. I barrel through the last .4 mile uphill to the finish-last loop in 1 hour 15 minutes, for a finish in 16 hours 45 minutes!
Two days later, I'm still a bit disappointed in my race.True, I did finish-but I planned on finishing all along. Not finishing was not an option.
I was glad I hit a good low during the race-made me remember ultras are not all fun and games.
Perpeteum Solids-I tried the Perpeteum Solids for a loop. The serving size is 3 tabs for 100 calories. So nine of these for 300 calories. That is alot of chewing. I didn't even get 9 tabs in on a loop. I don't believe I will be using these in long events or even re-buying.
Merino Wool Buff-I did not bring a winter hat, just a baseball cap and my Bondi bands. But the temperature dropped into the thirties and maybe more in the evening. I was glad I had my Wool Buff, which I ended up pulling up from my neck, over my head. It also helped over my mouth, because the cold air was getting to me, with my exercised induced asthma.
Still, it was 100K and 16 hours of time on my feet. I'm kind of still waiting to see the results and my splits to see where things started to change. I'm still going to work on nutrition too!
Monday, January 10, 2011
I finally got out on the pond for some ice skating today. The ice was great! Most of it was just mirror smooth. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and I was happy!
It was very Zen-like. It was so nice, to glide across the pond, and contemplate the quiet hillside.
I hooked up my broken screen Garmin-long story, dropped it in driveway-screen is broke, but it still functions and downloads to the computer! Garmin reported I skated 2.78 miles in 45 minutes. I stopped when I started to feel fatigued.
I was surprisingly tired when I hiked up the hill to the house from the pond. I guess that's what a brand new type of cross training can do to you!
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Since I have to work this weekend, I was having FOMO bad. (Fear of Missing Out). I was missing the Frozen Saquatch 50K, the Pittsburgh FA, and the Art Moore's Cleveland FA. Then I noticed I was off, January 6, my birthday. So I decided on a FA at Mohican.
I first meant to run 45 KM, but backed off that due to a 100K race Januaary 15. I want to do well at the 100K race, so I didn't want to overdue it with a 50K on January 1 and 27 miles on January 6.
16.3 miles was just right. Thanks Nancy, Dan, Cheryl, Chris, and Terri for sharing my birthday run with me!!!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
The FA was scheduled for 10 am. I decided I was going to get an extra loop in before the 10 am. I found the parking lot just fine and then found the trail. Jay had marked with pink ribbons, and I had no trouble following the markings on the first loop. It was raining pretty heavily on this loop, and I completed the 12.5 km distance in 1 hour 30 minutes. When I returned to the parking lot, folks were arriving. I changed shirts and hopped into the Lemke-mobile (I knew there were heated seats there!) to stay warm before the 10 am start.
People kept arriving and arriving! Pouring rain, and lots of runners! Around 40 runners! Bill Losey was one of them-sporting a Hardrock shirt!-it was good to see him. Jay said a few words about the trail, and we were off. I ran a few steps with Mikey. Then I was running with Suzanne. With our chatting, we missed a turn-which led us to run into Rob Powell and Michelle. Suzanne and I then did around a penalty loop of 1/2 mile. This then allowed us to run into Cheryl, Ron, and Thomas, and get to chat with them too.
Back at the vehicles, I changed and headed out before the others. We were supposed to reverse our direction-but I forgot. So I was alone, but kept running across other runners.
It had warmed up amazingly. I was in a singlet and my skirt. But as I got toward the end of the 3rd loop, it began to rain again, and the temperature dropped.
As I made it to my vehicle, the wind was blowing. I was glad to whip off the singlet and throw on a long sleeve merino shirt.
I got through around the first mile. Then the trail spun me out, to where I had been before. Mikey ran up right at this moment, as I was scratching my head. He informed me I had missed a turn, somewhere.
Well, crap. I went down the trail again, climbing up the big hill. Mark Carroll was coming down the hill-he had missed a section on his last loop, and was running it to "stay legal" . He advised me of where I had probably missed the turn.
I was a bit frustrated here, as I re-ran the trail. I resolved, if I missed the turn again, to head for home and get in around 28 miles. I was getting a bit hypothermic.
I did find the turn, and started down the last trail. Mark Carroll caught up to me about the half-way point and we ran the rest of the trail in together. It was very good to run with Mark. As he said, we run many of the same miles together, but hardly ever have a chance to chat. That made the time pass more quickly, and I finished the last loop (even with my bonus mile!) quicker than Loop 3.
So, 32.5 (ish) miles in the bank for January! Thanks to Jay Smithberger for suggesting this FA. His local trail was good and challenging-especially with the mud developing as the day went on!