Back at it

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's time to get back at it again. I've taken roughly a week off since McNaughton. Whatever that knee injury is that was acting up during the race is still with me. It is not near as bad as it was, I dont even notice it when I am walking, only when I run and its not too bad unless I am going down hill. I need to let it heel up, so I will put the brakes on running for the next few weeks and concentrate on swimming, biking and weights/streching. I hit the pool for about 45 minutes this morning and the gym during my lunch break. I feel good, I'm ready to tackle the Wolf Creek Sprint Triathlon for the 2nd time. It will be my 1 year anniversary to multi sports.

Posted by Travis at 1:27 PM 1 comments  

McNaughton Results

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I arrived in Pekin a little after 6PM on Friday night. I met my friend and virtual training partner (we communicated over IM) Howard at the hotel and headed over to the race site to pick up our packets. The race shirts were great, they were Brooks long sleeve wicking T's. I knew from that we were in for a good race environment. Most of the Sprint Tri's, 5k's and 10k's I have done give away cheap normal T-shirts, so this was a great start. We talked with several people that had run the race before and some that had done many other ultras all over world as well as some elite athletes that were friends of the race director who were there to help out. We ate the dinner and talked to some other folks who had traveled from all over to attend. After a couple of hours we decided to head home and start winding down. Winding down was not easy. I was pretty excited about my run and there was a band playing next door. Around 12:30 I finally got to sleep, but was up again at 3:30 and decided that I might as well say awake and get ready for the day. I threw on my running short, shoes, and a long sleeve shirt and went out for a short jog to get moving. It was really stuffy out and warm, not good since the sun was not even out yet. I doulbe checked all of my gear and headed out the door to meet Howard to leave for the run.

We arrived around 5. We talked and tired to relax the last few minutes before the start. The clock reached 6 and we were off!! A stampeed of 200+ runners headed down a slighly muddy hill, ready to be on thier feet for the next 4 - 36 hours. The first few miles were realatively flat, especailly in comparison to what I was about to find as the course weaved around the woods. This run was very different for me. I was not used to walking, but that seemed to be how you do a run like this. You jogged when you could and when you got to a hill, you walked up it. In the beginning, it was hard to set your own pace. You would get caught up in a group of people walking up the hills and since it was single track most of the time, passing was not easy to do. It was actually a great thing that I did not pass or I would have gone out way too hard and had a hard time finishing.

We weaved all around the woods and came out into an open field. At the top of the field was the first aid station, 2.78 miles in. I grabbed a little water, but not much else and charged on. From this point, the course got rough. The down hills got steeper and so did the climbs. I just followed the people infront of me, walking up hills and joging when it was "flat". Out of the woods we came again to the next aid station. I had them fill up my water bottle and I headed on. We looped around and came back out by the same aid station then out into an open field. I met up with a few guys running my same pace and we continued on together until the end of the first loop. I came in 2 hours 5 minutes and was winded, but not feeling too bad. I headed over to my bag where I ate a Gu, swapped my water bottle for my PowerBar mixture and headed down the hill for miles 11-20.

Loop 2 was starting off great. My legs felt good and my feet were doing well even though they were a little wet from the creek crossings. After the 1st aid station of the loop, my knee started to bother me, I tired to shake it off and not pay attenetion to it. The pain would come and go. I mostly noticed it when I was decending, which happened a lot during the middle part of the course. Luckily I met some great people to run with and talking kept my mind off of it. I finished the 2nd lap in about the same time as the first 2 hours and some change. As I came up over the last hill of the loop, I could see the Start/Finish. My wife and father-in-law had arrived to cheer me on, it was just what I needed. They followed me to my bag where they asked how I was doing, what I needed and so on. We talked for a minute or so then I was off again. "See you in a few hours" my wife yelled and I disappeared down the hill.

Lap 3 was going to be hard. My quads were tired, my feet had some blisters from being on them all day and they were wet from creek crossings, my left knee was making it almost impossible to sustain any type of speed going downhill. I pressed on to the first aid station. I had got there, I was in the single digits now, less then 8 to go. The problem is that the middle section of the race had the most climbs and decents, but I had got this far. By this time most of the runners had thinned out and I "ran" the majority of the last leg alone. The hills seemed a lot bigger then before and the downhill parts were killer. I went down sideways and hopped on my right leg and did as little as I could with the left, sort of draggin it behind me, I had to look rediculous. I arrived at the 2nd aid station, caught my breath, ate some grapes, a piece of a banana, filled up my water bottle and took off. I was super tired and it was getting really hot out. Over the next mile I drank most of my water, luckily the course loops back around to the 2nd aid station. I filled up my bottle again and headed out. From here there was only a little over 3 miles left, "just a 5k" I said to myself.

The last few miles were all mental. I just kept telling myself "don't stop!" I quit looking at my watch because at this point, it did not matter. All that mattered was that I was going to finish. The ground was leveling out and I tried to run as much as possilbe. I ran past a log that someone had carved in it "1.00 miles." I was going as fast as I could (which at this point was not fast at all) just trying to get to the end. I rounded a corner and was out of the woods, 1 last hill and I was out. I climed to the top of the hill and saw the Start/Finish. I yelled out my bib number. I looked over and saw my wife and father-in-law cheering. I just tried to finish strong. I crossed the finish line in 6 hours 46 minutes. The race director high-fived me, handed me a big silver belt buckle that said "30 mile Finisher." and that is all it needed to say.

Posted by Travis at 10:09 AM 7 comments  

A study of how bee's fly

Monday, April 10, 2006

One question I get a lot is "why do you do that?" "That" being run, bike, or swim.. or a combination of the three.. I always had some answer to that. There's lots of reason; obsession, health, because I can, self image, time to myself.. the list goes on.

When I took on ultra running I started putting in a lot of miles*. I would get "how can you run that long?" This was not a question I could answer very easy. It's one thing to say that; you train hard, put in a lot of miles or have a high threshold of pain, but there's more to it then that..or is there? I was reading Joe Friel's book (A Triathlete's Training Bible). There was a comment in there about a study of bumble bees and how as far a science was concerned they should not be able to fly, they are not aerodynamic, they have small wings, but somehow they fly quite well. They fly because they dont know they are not supposed to! I guess I will take that approach. I endure long runs where everything hurts, because I don't know that there is a reason not to.

*I know "a lot" is a relative term. In comparison to others' runs, mine are just a blip in a log book, but in my circle a 30 mile run is not common.

Posted by Travis at 7:20 PM 2 comments  

McNaughton Trail Run - 30 miles on my mind

I have been thinking about it since I woke up this morning. I am really excited, but my mind is full of questions like: How long will it take me? Am I ready? What is the weather going to like?.. to list a few.

This Saturday I am competing in my first ultra distance race. Actually this is my first race, (triathlons included)that is over 15 miles. My longest foot race has been a 10k. I made a committment to train hard, but smart for this event and I think I did. From Mid-January to the end of March I ran 300 miles and put some time in on my bike to give my body a rest from the pounding of running. Considering about a year ago, a 5k was pretty tough for me, I am happy with where I am today.

I have been having some trouble with my IT-Band, but I think some rest and streching have done me well and I will be ready to go bright and early on Saturday morning.

Posted by Travis at 6:06 PM 0 comments