Tryptophan 50k results

Monday, November 27, 2006

Location:SIU Edwardsville Trail System
Distance: 50k (31 miles)
surface: single track
Elevation gain: 1860 ft
Temp at Start time: 37

Overall Winner: Travis Liles 6:06:57

Overall Male Winner : Travis Liles 6:06:57

Youngest Finisher : Travis Liles 6:06:57

Oldest Finisher : Travis Liles 6:06:57

Top Quote: "So will someone fill this up for me (long pause).. Ok, I'll do it myself." - Travis Liles
Yesterday marked the first ever Tryptophan 50k. The weather was perfect for late November. The temperature topped out at 68 right around the time the final runner crossed the finish line. The trail was in good shape, not too wet to cause muddy shoes, not too dry to be dusty.

The run was supposed to start at 7:30, but apparently the RD did not have the aid station set up. Things finally got moving 7:46. It was cool out, but not cold, so I went with shorts and a long sleeved shirt. Each loop was a little over 5 miles. Since I had only been to the course one other time on a walk with my wife and the dog, I was not sure how the path flowed. It did not really matter that much since I had 31 miles to cover. I ran a few laps before I settled on a loop that would work out so that by the time I hit 31, I would be close to the car and not out in the middle of nowhere.

I felt really good for most of the day. The hills were decent. There were no huge climbs, but plenty of short climbs and descents. I think that the weights and stair climber I have been doing a few times a week over the last few months have really helped. My wife came out with Augie (our dog) to see how I was doing and to go for a walk. I was at mile 18.8 and was still feeling good, but it was nice to talk to someone for a few minutes. It broke up my run a little.

The aid station at mile 18.8 (also my transportation to the run and home)

Leaving the aid station, a little over 12 miles to go.

I was moving along pretty well. I did not have any down times yet and I was over 20 miles. I made sure to keep up on my nutrition. I used this run today as some experimentation for my diet. I used Perpetum, Hammer Gel, pretzel sticks, and bananas all which seemed to work for me without any feelings of nausea. Around mile 23, I started to feel the wall coming on. I had tripped over a root and hit the ground. No major or even minor damage, but it was enough to slow me down and take me out of "the zone." I pushed on for the next few miles until I came around.

26+ into the run (I took this on the move with my camera phone, not bad huh?)

I hit the marathon mark and was in good shape. My feet hurt, but my quads, calves, and knees were still underneath me, so I decided to pick it up a little for the last bit of the run. I hit the 31 mile mark in 6 hours, 6 minutes and 57 seconds. Not too bad. I was at the 1/2 way mark in 3 hours and was able to get close to repeating that time for the second half.

The first Tryptophan 50k is in the books. Maybe next year I can convince my family and friends to participate. I doubt many of them will do 50k, but a loop or 2 cant hurt, especially around the holidays.

Posted by Travis at 3:00 PM 6 comments  

Change of plans...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I had originally plannned on running in the "Dude, Where's the Trail?" 50k fun run in Blue Springs, MO tomorrow. My cousin who was going to run it with me had something come up and was unable to go. I decided since he was out that I was going to skip 7 hours of driving and a night in a hotel by myself. However, I will be running my planned mileage tomorrow in the "Tryptophan 50k." I'll be the lone runner in this self created run. It will take place on and around the Cross Country trail at SIUE. Its going to be roughly 5 miles per loops, so I will use my trunk as the aid station.

Results and pictures to be posted after all runners have finished. :)

Posted by Travis at 10:20 PM 2 comments  

Zune it up!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

If you follow this blog at all, I generally focus on the running/triathlon side of things, but occasionally I will focus on a device or technology of some sort that I use during training.

I've had several MP3 players over the years, including hard drive based (think standard Ipod) to flash based (think Ipod shuffle). Both have their strengths and weaknesses which I will outline below.

*for comparison sake, let's assume a 30GB hard drive based player (roughly..7,500 music files, 25,000 pictures, OR 100 hours of video) and a 2GB( roughly 500 songs, video and pictures may or may not be an option) flash based player. There are also a lot of variable when talking battery life and total capacity, so I am using general estimates.

  • Hard drive based players hold a lot of stuff ; songs, pictures, even movies. They suffer by being bigger. Since a hard drive has moving parts, potential skipping and more damage could occur if dropped as well as generally shorter battery life, averaging about 12 hours. Once again because of moving parts and the higher power consumption to move those parts.

  • Flash based players are basically the opposite. Still hold a lot of content, but you have to be more conservative with what you put in it since storage capacity is much less then hard drive based (for our example 15x less). They have no moving parts which contributes to less (or no) skipping and increased battery life of 24+ hours.

I've owned both types and will say that for general running, gym work, cycling, etc. that flash players fit the bill. The biggest issue I have is that I have to juggle content all the time. If my player is close to being full and I get a new CD, I have to remove some music to put on the new music. This issue exists with hard drive players, but far less often and only with users with huge collections. The other side of that is, sometimes I am going along and think "it would be good to listen to..." and I can't because I did not think to load it up before I headed out the door.

Now on to what sparked this post. I bought a Zune. Its a hard drive based player by Microsoft. I'm not looking to compare to Ipod or make arguments that is better/worse.. whatever. I really like this device. Its got a great screen, holds all my music and pictures. I even have a few videos on it. I put my podcasts on there for a change of pace from music, plug it into my car stereo. My favorite feature is the wireless piece. If someone else has a Zune, we can exchange files wirelessly. The Zune store (think Itunes) is great too.You pay a subscription fee and can download as much music as you want and transfer it to your device. If you decide you like a certain album you can opt to purchase it. Seems like you are paying for it twice right... sort of. Look at it this way. I can pay 14.99 a month for a many songs as I want to download. Lets assume I download and listen to 1000 albums but only like one albums and want to keep it forever, then I just buy that album for around 10 bucks. Think of it as an unlimited test drive as long as you pay the monthly fee. This is not mandatory, you can use your existing music that you have, buy CD's to rip to the device and do the standard "pay as you go" type service where you pay .99 a song.

Zune in brown playing my current favorite album

Posted by Travis at 11:36 AM 0 comments  

Yep, it works

Monday, November 13, 2006

I have a stick shift and was stuck in some serious stop and go traffic for hours the other day. Apparently my dress shoes don't bend so well just above my toes. My foot was for sure getting tired from all the clutch work, but I did not pay much attention to it until today. The top of my left foot is sore from all that shifting, but I can't use that as a reason not to go run. So I looked all over for some sort of pad to lay over it to relieve some of the pressure. I could not find anything and asked my wife if we had any foam or another item that might work. She looked and could not find anything, then all of a sudden I hear, "wait, I know!!" She comes back with a box of, for lack of a better term, "nipple covers" It's a silicone pad that sticks on to keep the cold for being noticeable... (I think you see where I am going here) I peeled one off and stuck it to the top of my foot. PERFECT!! It worked great. It stayed in place and did the job. One more reason why my wife is great and will be good crewing me in long races down the road.


Posted by Travis at 6:24 PM 3 comments