Sunday, July 29, 2007
My blog will be at http://travisliles.blogspot.com/ from now on. I think its easier to remember and the name seems a lot less pretentious than this one :)
Update your favorites and RSS readers and to those who have a link to me on thier sites, sorry for the work, but thanks for following me along the way!!!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I am pumped! Tomorrow I fly out to Portland then drive down to Mt. Hood for the Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon Scott McQueeney Memorial Run - maybe the longest name for an ultra :) . I have to pack all of my camping gear in a suitcase for the flight, which just seems funny, but seems like the best way to get it all out there. I'll pick up a rental car and cruise down to the Clackamas Lake campground and get all set up. Then probably just relax for the night. I know there are other arriving tomorrow too, so I should have some company.
As far as how I feel, mentally I feel ready to take this on and really push hard. Physically, I have a small calf strain and an almost recovered sprained ankle, so I don't think either will hold me back from doing well. I could have done without the ankle being rolled, but it did keep me in check and forced me to rest.
I plan on a nice easy pace on the way out. I'll have my camera with me so I can get some pictures of what looks to be some beautiful views (like that pic below). Carrying a camera might be a bit of an annoyance, but with the baby on the way, I don't know the next time I will be able to travel somewhere like this for a race for a while, so I think it will be totally worth it. Once I get to the turn around, I will just drop the camera off for the returning drop bags. Then work on picking up the pace for a good finish.
I'll be doing a little mobile posting from my phone pre and post race so some small update here and there, so check back.
Enjoy your weekends!!!!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Things are going well with the exception of this slight ankle sprain. I rolled it last Tuesday when I went out to a new trail (to me) in the Missouri area. I took my eyes off the trail for a second to check my watch and POW! So I took a few days off and did some icing and not much else. I then hit the trail again on Saturday for a medium distance trail run with Howard and was fine for the first 7 miles. We stopped in at a forest preserve area that had some vending machines for water. On our way back to the trail I stepped off the side of the sidewalk and rolled the same ankle again. It was not bad as I was able to run the rest of the way back without much discomfort. What luck huh? 7 miles at a decent pace on a root covered trail and nothing, 200 feet on sidewalk and I get hurt. One more reason to stay out of civilization when running!! It's was pretty swollen yesterday and some today, but ice and rest seem to be helping.
I'm 13 days from MT. Hoot PCT 50 so this will just be a forced taper. Plus, I've got some travel coming up for work, so getting in a lot of training won't happen due to my work schedule over the next 7 days... yes 7 days YUCK! I'm flying to Orlando (Monday-Friday) tomorrow for a conference then out to Seattle for training (Friday-Monday). Then taking off on Thursday to Portland for the run. I've contacted Olga (RD) about helping out for anything she might need the day before the race and it looks like I'll be able to help out somewhere. I don't have a lot planned other then just hanging out, so I figured I might as well lend a hand and maybe meet some of the folks that will be manning an aid station along the way. It never hurts to hear someone give you some words of encouragement or see a familiar face, even if it's a new face :)
On a totally unrelated note: Getting the updates on Hardrock this weekend was awesome. I found myself spending time refreshing and waiting on updates. Also seeing the finishers come across via Youtube was great too. I have to say, I really like that this is able to happen and hope to see this trend continue. Seeing the emotions that the elites have when they come across makes me love this sport even more. Well done Scott and Krissy!! It makes you know that these events mean as much to them as they do to the rest of us, it's not just another race. Of course the others attempting and finishing this is an unbelievable achievement too and much congratulations to you all!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Ryan asked in the comments of my last post what I have coming up so here you go...
First off, I've had a good month as far as training goes. As of yet, I have not become someone who puts in big mileage months. Most of that comes from the ITB injury I had in February that continued until the beginning of April. April then brought McNaughton so I tapered and rested in April, then a month later was Ice Age so another month with a taper and a recovery. I played it a little cautious in June to make sure everything was going to hold up ok and it did, so I moved into July with a bit more aggressive outlook.
I logged just over 150 miles, hit the gym for weights at least once a week. I joined a yoga class that is once a week and have on a few occasions hopped in on the pregnancy Yoga DVD that my wife does. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and do what needs to be done, being more flexible and balanced is my need and Yoga helps me with that :) . I've also turned up the hill work. I'm a flatlander so as much as I wish I could knock out huge climbs and descents , I simply do not have that type of terrain here, so I find the biggest hills I can and just go up and down as long as I can. Also, on days where I do weights, I hit the stair climber and/or the treadmill on its biggest incline for an hour. I've made sure to get in speedwork once a week (a big thanks to Olga for the help there).
Next up is the Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon on July 28th. I'll be running the 50 miler. It was going to be a little get-away for me and my wife, but some things came up and she will not be able to travel with me. I'll be going solo on this outing, camping for a few nights at Clackamas Lake. I feel good about this event. As of now I am going in healthy and feel prepared, two things I have not had going into an event yet. I'm shooting for a low-to-mid nine hour finishing time.
After that will be the Flatlanders' 12 Hour run on September 2nd. The event is put on by the SLUGS (which I joined), so I am excited to get out there and meet a lot of the members. My friend Howard will be running the event too. This will be the first time I will be doing a timed run. 1.4 mile loop over and over again. The event is really close to my 29th birthday so I will be shooting for 58 miles. Before I started in this long distance running I would put together little triathlons that would add up to my age, but since I've done well over 29 miles on lots of occasions, it seems silly to just go out and do 29, so I'll double it and maybe a little further..hopefully
Monday, June 18, 2007
It has warmed up here in the good ol' Midwest. We were headed to my parents to celebrate Father's Day and I decided that I would just take off, head towards our destination, and have my wife pick me up on the way. I left the house a little after 7 am and stuck to the local paved trails as long as I could before I got out on the road. I ran past a bank around 8 and the temp already read 90 degrees. I made my way to Old Route 66 and just kept chugging along, sweating profusely. I had a bandana unfolded on top of my head and my visor pulled over that to keep the sun off the top of my head and neck. People driving by had to think I was nuts....which I suppose makes sense when you look at the majority of people would do their best to avoid the situation I wanted to be in. I got in just over 19 miles before my wife came by honking. I would have liked to gone a bit further, but being that I have not done much heat training yet and I was 100% exposed to the sun with no shade in sight, I'd say it worked out just right.
a belated Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!!!
Friday, June 15, 2007
As you may have noticed from the end of my post a few weeks ago, I also picked up a Nathan Speed 2. I purchased the X Trainer Plus and had not so good results. Mainly the issue came down to how the pack fit or in this case did not fit around my waits. This is understandable considering the belt is said to fit waists from 42''-26'' I'm on the lower end of the waist measurements at about 29'' so finding a pack that conformed properly could be an issue overall. Or would it be? Enter the Nathan Speed 2. , so I though this might be the ticket. I picked up the size small and within a minute of putting it on knew that the fit issue of the former belt was not going to be the case here.
Part 1 - Design
This pack comes in several colors, pink, blue, and the standard Nathan colors of gray and yellow. It also comes in 3 sizes; SM 26-32", MED 32-36" & LG 36-42. The belt is made of stretchy fabric and it attached together by Velcro. It has 2 - 10oz. bottle cages that are directly attached to each side of the belt. The cages are fixed in their position and cannot be moved. 2-10oz. flask like bottles are included. Between the bottle cages is a pocket. that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin fabric divider the give it a front and a back section.
Top View - Bottle Cage view. The bottle cage is build specifically for the Nathan bottle or at least one of the exact shape. They are made from a flexible plastic. The cage is sewn directly to the belt by way of elastic straps. The bottom strap keeps the bottle from falling out the bottom. The sides are attached by 2 short elastic straps on each side of the cage that have 4 strips of a rubber-like thread that give extra grip to the bottle to keep it in place.
Top View - Pocket. The pocket pictured above is the only pocket on the Speed 2 that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The outer facing part of the pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin nylon fabric divider with a Velcro tab that give it a front and a back section. The back section of the pocket contains a key holder. The beauty of this pocket is the mesh. Since the mesh used has larger then average holes in it, irregular shaped items can be squeezed in better. If the item has a corner on it, it can simply push out of one of the holes instead of poking you in the back. The pocket is divided into 2 sections. Though I'm not 100% sure this is useful, it does allow you to put items that you don't want exposed or for a marginal bit or organization.
Front View - Full pocket. Here is an example of how much can fit in the pocket. As you can see, I have 2-1.25oz Gels, a larger then normal cell phone and my pill case for my S! Caps and my car key. Though not all of those are items I would carry on race day, I could easily fit a few more gels, or some anti-chafing stuff, a few bandaids even a baggie of electrolyte drink. As a side note.. this waistpack came in a combo pack with a Nathan Quick Draw Plus so some additional storage is found on the handheld.
Part 2 - Performance
I put on the pack the first time for some easy road running and was happy with how it held up. I was able to get my whole workout in without having to be angry at the pack for bouncing around or being uncomfortable. The second time I wore it was for my long trail run and had the same results as the road run. The 2 smaller bottles may be a turn off for some. I found them to be nice because unlike a singe bottle pack that may shift from side to side (at least on me) it was for the most part balanced and did not shift around at all. For me I only carry water in the small bottles and use my handheld for my electrolyte drink. Not that you could not use the packs bottles for mixing drinks in. The opening of the bottle with the lid is surprising large and easy to fill. The divided pocked actually comes in quite handy on the run as it give you a feel of where you are after as opposed to everything being piled in one spot. If 20oz is not enough, you can step up to the Speed 4 which also adds a small zippered pocket on the front of the belt. It would also be possible to add an extra flask and zippered pocket to the Speed 2 for a more customized solution, which is what I plan to do. I am going to add one more 10oz flask and a small zippered pocket. I wont need them for everyday use, but will add and remove them as necessary.Final Thoughts
This pack has performed great. It has an excellent, no bounce fit. I found it to be extremely comfortable and easy to adjust on the fly. The fact that it comes in 3 different sizes is a plus for those with smaller waists or those looking for a more custom fit. Lastly, the ability to add/remove flasks, pockets, music carriers.. etc make it a flexible choice.
*Note - I have no affiliation with Nathan or any other products mentioned or shown in this post. These are merely my opinions and preferences.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Training has been going well since Ice Age 50. I decided to actually take some time off and rest up my legs. I was coming off of an injury going into McNaughton 50 in April and was not 100% how I was going to hold up over the 50 miles. I came away feeling pretty good and not hurting. I took one week off then started training up again. 3 weeks later I ran Ice Age and was sore, but not in an injured way, just the way someone who had never run a 50 before might feel after running 2 of them in a months time.
So here I am back at it. I'm easing into things. 2 weeks ago was easy, low mileage runs and a some time on the bike. Last week I put in 40 miles along with some cross training and some speed work. I got the workout from Olga who was gracious enough to share it with me, Thank Olga!!!. Once again a testament to how great the ultrarunning community is.
2 mile warm up4x800 meters at 6:20 mile/pace
2 mile cool down..
whoo!! I forgot what it was like to run like that. I really enjoyed picking it up for a while. I also had some mid distance road and trail running in the mix as well.
This week starts my full on training schedule.
Monday - Easy run and YogaTuesday - Weights and stair climber/hill workout Wednesday - Speed workout
Thursday - medium distance run, weights, and stair climber
Friday - Off or active recovery (easy bike or swim)Saturday - Long run
Sunday - Medium run
Well, that's what I'm up to for the next 7 weeks until I taper for PCT50 on July 28th.
On another note, I've joined the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group (SLUGS). I look forward to reaching a little farther into the ultra scene, making some new friends, and learning from those who have more experience than I do. I'm also signed up for the Flatlanders 12 hour run in Fenton, MO on September 2nd which is a race put on by the SLUGS. This should answer that burning question of "how far can I run in 12 hours?" :)
Until next time...
Thursday, May 31, 2007
I've been looking for a new waist pack for a month or so now to replace my aging and short on storage Ultimate Direction Groove. I tried The North Face Xenon 2 bottle pack. However, because of my relatively small waist (28''-29") the pack wrapped too far around and my elbows were always hitting the bottles. I don't know if the same would happen with other two bottle packs, but my guess is there's a good chance it would. Given that and the fact that I don't mind a handheld, I decided to seek out a single bottle pack with some extra storage for things like, carbo gels, salt pills, band-aids and the other little essentials I take on my long runs and the events I participate in. I came across the Nathan X Trainer Plus. Nathan has a good following and presence in the ultrarunning community so I threw some questions out to the Ultralist about it and looked for existing reviews or even multiple views of the product and came up empty. (Nathan, please put pictures of your products from different angles and more detailed product descriptions) From what I could tell by the limited information out there it seemed as if it was what I was looking for in a waist pack, so I went ahead and ordered one. Also, since I could not find a review or pictures other then the stock one from Nathan I decided I'd write my own review and post some pics to shed some light on this pack.
Part 1 - Design
The X Trainer Plus follows the standard Nathan colors of gray and yellow. The 22oz. water bottle is held horizontally and has a lip on both sides and is supposed to keep the bottle from sliding out. The X Trainer Plus includes 2 pockets, a pouch containing a 5 oz. flask, and a shock cord.
side view, pocket #1. The pocket pictured above can be found on the regular X Trainer as well. It's big enough to fit a small digital camera like a Olympia FE-210 (3.5" W x 2.5" H x 1.2" D), a normal sized men's wallet or a hand full of carbo gels. It could expand to be a bit larger, but would depend on what was in the flask pocket. If you kept the flask or anything hard in there, expansion is minimal. In addition, a key clip is located in this pocket.
- The rest of the features below are what separates The X Trainer Plus from the standard X Trainer as far as I can tell -
Top view, pocket #2. This is the largest pocket that spans almost the entire width of the pack (approx 8'') and has a depth of about 5'' in the deepest spot tapering down to 2'' in the corners, see the picture directly above. It will hold a good amount of small gear, but since the back of the pocket is the part of the pack that will be touching your back, flatter items will probably ride better and keep bounce down. Though given that the back is well padded, you could get away with stashing some bulging items in it. I was able to shove an Ultimate Direction 20oz. bottle (without the lid on) in it and zip it up. Obviously not a practical application, since the main bottle will not fit properly anymore, but I wanted to give an idea of size.
Front view, pocket #3. A 5oz. flask is included with this pack and can be filled with carbo gel if you happen to buy gel in the bulk bottles. Another thought would be to fill this with some sort powdered mix since the opening on the flask is pretty large and would be easy to fill and pour out. I don't buy gel in bulk and would usually have mixes at drop bag locations therefore I decided to see what else I could get in the pouch. It will expand a bit because of its' mesh panel down the front. There is also a cinch cord at the top of the pouch to hold the items in. I was able to get 5 Hammer Gels (1.25 oz each) into the pouch, so if you use GU (1 oz each) getting 6 in there should work. As you can see from the picture above, a hard drive based music player will fit as well as pushing the extra cord from your headphones to keep them from tangling. I use a Zune which is slightly bigger then an Ipod. It slid right in and the cinch cord was tightened to secure it in place. This pouch could accommodate cell phones ranging from small to large. One thing to note about this pocket is that it does not close completely. The cinch cord leaves about a 1'' round gap at the top, but given the angle it sits most items will not come spilling out very easily.
Front Bottom view, shock cord. A nice addition to the pack is the shock cord on the bottom. You could easily attach a super light shell, extra shirt, socks, arm warmers or whatever else you take off or put on (I'm thinking summer weight items here).
Part 2 - Performance
After really studying this waist pack and looking at what it had to offer, I was ready to put it to the test. I filled up the bottle, stufffed a few gels, threw my MP3 player in the pouch, and headed out the door. I warmed up with a short 1/4 mile walk with my wife. We then parted ways and I took to the paved trail. I ran a few steps and had to tighten the belt a little more. Within 2 minutes or so, I pulled the bottle out for a drink. It was not that easy to get back in place, but I managed to get it. A few minutes later and I noticed the pack was bouncing a lot. I reached back and the bottle was 1/2 way out. I pushed it back in, tightened up the belt again and continued my run. Once again the bouncing became noticeable and the bottle was coming out. After about a mile, I'd had enough. I turned around and headed home to get this thing off.
I would guess that the problems I had with this belt is the same issue I had with The North Face pack mentioned above, my waist The body of the pack takes up most of my back. Because of that, the area where the belt connects to the holster is right on the far outside part of my hip and creates a gap on each side where the belt it not touching my waist , thus causing bounce. I tried to wear the belt high, low and in the middle, but none of it seemed to work for me no matter how tight I got the belt.
I was really wanting this to work out. I had high expectations for this belt, but unfortunately it did not work out for me. I don't know how it would fair on someone with a larger waist, but I assume that if the area where the belt attaches was on the person's back as opposed to the "corner" of the hip, bounce would be reduced. So my recommendation (for what it's worth) would be if you have a waist under 30'' you may want to look elsewhere then the Nathan X Trainer or X Trainer Plus, maybe the Nathan Elite 1 Plus since the bottle sits at an angle and allows the pack to conform better. At a minimum, if you can, double-check and make sure the belt fits tightly all the way around (no gaps). I could not find this item local so I bought on-line without trying on first. Oh well, on to the next piece of gear, which is the Nathan Speed 2 (I finished the run mentioned above wearing this one)
Friday, May 25, 2007
I was watching The Office the other night and thought this was funny little piece about blogging...
..and if you are a fan of The Office, there actually is a blog for Creed that can be found here.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
I always like to hear what products people are using, so here is a quick gear recap of what I wore/used for Ice Age 50 mile trail run.
Shoes - Montrail Hardrocks
Socks - Smartwool UltraLight Mini Crew
Shorts - Race Ready LD
Shirt - North Face Flight Tank
Nike running cap
Looks like I have my game face on
I always throw in a thumbs up
Closing in on the finish
Crossing the finish
Post race sit-down
Sunday, May 13, 2007
My wife and I left the house around noon on Thursday. Packet pickup was at Old World Wisconsin. It was a very beautiful area with lots of tall pine trees. While there I saw Jason Dorgan, Jason had just finished running the entire 1000+ miles of the Ice Age trail. Not only was he walking around just fine.. he was going to be running the 50 on Saturday!!! We did not hang around very long since we had been in the car for 5 hours. We went and grabbed some food then headed to the hotel. I laid all my clothes out for the morning. I had made up my drop bags at home with an extra pair of shoes and socks just in case, but forgot them on my kitchen counter. Luckily I was able to buy some Perpetuem and some GU's at the packet pickup, so I remade my bags. I also had a spare pair of socks in my backpack, so even though I would not have the option to change shoes, I did not think I was going to need to anyway. It was more of a just in case. I decided it was time hit the pillow and wait for that 4 am alarm.
We got to the Start/Finish area and it was chilly out, in the 40's, which is perfect as far as I am concerned. I placed my drop bags in the appropriately labeled areas where I saw Julie . I also met Dennis We talked a bit then made our way to the start line. We were all hoping to go under 10 hours for the day. It was really exciting here. Lots of great energy all balled up by 238 runners underneath the Start Banner (I'll post pics later). The race started and we were off. The ground was relatively flat so I went out a little harder then I should have for the first 9. I was just moving on thinking "it's flat, you have to take advantage of the course when you can." I was running with a good group of guys and just doing my thing. I heard one of them say they were planning on a 8:40 finish. Crap, I'm looking to break 10 and I'm crusing along with these guys looking to finish 1.5 hours sooner?!?! I took it back a click as my calves were starting to hurt. What was going on? I thinking; "Why do my calves hurt so soon?" "Was I recovered from McNaughton?" "It will go away." Will this go away?" "Shit, what if this does not go away, can I push though this all day?" I hit the 9 mile mark at 1:26! roughly 20 minutes faster then I had planned. Oh well, besides my calves being really tight, I'm ok so keep going.
The first 9 of the race was mostly open field with grass, after that we hopped on the Ice Age trail. The trail was really rocky. I had to keep my eyes on the ground, which was unfortunate because the scenery was really great. Lost of green trees, wild flowers and tall pine trees. I was trying my best to stay hydrated but not to over-hydrate, which I failed at. Around 17 miles, my stomach was sloshing around. I needed to get this in check before my stomach started bothering me. I took a few Endurolytes and cut my liquids back to sips until my stomach calmed down. I met another runner and we shared some miles together. We were talking back and forth for a while and he finally asked where I was from. I told him and he said "Are you Travis Liles?" I replied "yep, that's me." It was Dave Cameron from the ultralist. He had sent an email to the list on Friday and I replied. What are the chances that we'd meet up? I just chugged along until about the aid station at 26.2 miles. I hit this mark at 4:40. I compared that to my pace chart and was more than an hour ahead of the 12 hour cutoff. Everything was going good. Just keep moving forward at a pace I could sustain and I should be continually getting closer to getting ahead of a 10 hour finish.
I hit the aid station at mile 33.9. My calves were still killing me and so were the rest of my legs. I think that because of my calves being the way they were, I was compensating in other places and was just causing everything to hurt. The aid station has a Jimmy Buffet theme. Music playing, inflatable parrots... I hated it. Nothing towards the volunteers at the aid station, they were great! I was just in a state of annoyed and this was really icing on my "negative attitude" cake. I left the aid station and crossed the street. After that was the big hill of the day. It just kept going and going. Ugh!! Finally I got to the top and ran when I could. There was a lot of sand and rocks out here on this part of the course. I was feeling pretty crappy. I'm sure that this was the longest damn 4.1 miles I have EVER run. It just kept going and going. I started to fall apart here. My legs were trashed. I did not give a damn about 10 hours. I knew I was on pace to hit it but though "I could walk and hit a 10:15 or so..." and "I'm really just wanting to break 11 so I could put myself in the WS100 loto... I'll hit that easy, just cruise." I had to shake this. I just put my head down and kept putting one foot in front of the other.
The great thing was that this out and back section was pretty active. A lot of people were coming back and always giving words of encouragement. Though the single track was crowded with 2 people going opposite directions, it was way better then feeling like this and not seeing anyone. The thing that kept me going was I was going to get to change socks at the aid station at 37 miles and that Lora was going to be out at the 40 mile aid station. It was going to be good to see a familiar face.
I hit the 37 mile aid station and was really wishing I had a pair of shoes to change into, but I had to deal. I grabbed my drop bag and my spare socks. I took a seat on the picnic table and washed off my feet with some water. Man did it feel good!! I threw on my clean socks, put my shoes back on and headed back out to the next 3 mile section. I would be back here in 6 miles, then I'd only have 7 miles to go. This next 3 mile section was not too bad and went by pretty quick, I actually made up some time here. I hit the 40 mile aid station and saw Lora there. Lora was the first person ever to comment on my blog. She was full of positive things to say and was a real mental pick up for me. We snapped a picture together and I was off. THANK YOU Lora!!!!! I turned around and headed back on the 3 mile section and saw Julie. She yelled "GO TRAVIS" as we passed. I also saw Dennis and we high-fived and exchanged some encouragement. Back to the aid station. I filled up only one water bottle before I went back on to the longest 4.1 miles on earth. Luckily going back was easier then coming in. My mental state was also much better. I ran out of water right as I approached the Jimmy Buffet aid station. This time I was so happy to hear that music playing because I knew that I only had 2.4 miles to finish. They filled me up with ice water in both bottles and I was off.
I took my last GU and charged on. My watch read 9:18. I knew I was going to get 10 hours, but now it was "how far under 10 can I do this?" It's funny how fast your mental state can change. I picked it up when I could and just gave it my all. I ran right through the last aid station and just yelled "Thanks for your help today, I just need to get done!" They all clapped and cheered. I ran a bit further and heard a beeping in the distance. It was the timing mat at the finish line. What a great sound, a beautiful, digital, chirp. I could see my wife, Micaela, sitting there with the camera and cheering. I crossed in 9:44:06. Hells yea!!
Micaela asked me how I felt and I said my calves has hurt all day long. She replied with "I bet it had to do with the self propelled thing going out of the mower." Oh yea the mower!!! No wonder my calves hurt. My house is on a slight incline so I spent about an hour plus pushing the mower fast to avoid the rain. Basically I did a stair climber workout 36 hours before a trail race... HAHA suburb life :)
I got back to the finish line to watch some of the folks I know come across. Dave Cameron ran a great race and crossed in 9:57:29. I knew Julie was not far behind, so I grabbed some food and headed back to the finish line. Here she came at 9:59, she did it, broke 10 hours!! Dennis was just behind her in 10:01:15. Well done everyone! It was a pleasure to share some trail with you.
pics to follow. I left the camera at my parents house.
Monday, May 07, 2007
How about that new banner? I made it myself, can you tell? Or did a hire a 6 year old to do it? You'll never know...
Ice Age 50 is almost here. This will be my 2nd 50 miler. I'm pretty excited. To put it in technical terms, I am ultra, mega pumped. Looking at the times it seems like it is a faster course then McNaughton. Though there could just be more high caliber folks running it, especially when there are about 3 times as many signed up. I'm going to make the assumption that it is a faster course and try to throw down a good time. That is not a dig on anyone that has run McNaughton or Ice Age, just something I am going to use for my mental game.
I will be taking a bit more aggressive approach to this course. I've got a few 50k's and the one 50 mile under my belt, all with negative splits for my last lap (loop courses) so I've been holding back a bit. It is time to see what I am made of and quit holding back so much. If I blow up, so be it. I'm not going to walk away wondering what I could have done.
Until next time.
Friday, April 27, 2007
I have not posted since my race report and thought I needed to get something out. There's lots on my mind after McNaughton. Just a few things to say and report on. I could probably do 3 short post or so, but I'll go ahead and just throw down on this post.
1. The big news first... I'm going to be a dad! Whoohoo!! The due date is October 16th. We are really excited. Not sure if its a boy or a girl yet. We'll be finding out in about a month and then I get to start painting the nursery. We've been married almost 4 years and dated for quite a while before that (High school sweethearts.. don't puke. LOL!!). I think my parents and hers were beginning to think we were not going to have any, so needless to say there were very excited when we told them. They never saw it coming!
2. Post McNaughton... Mileage has been low since then. I wanted to make sure to get some good rest in before hitting too hard. I did that after Psycho Wyco and ended up injured. I always learn something new at these things and lessons from this one are..
- Go out faster. I ran a negative split on my last lap and need to be going out a little faster up front. I'm not looking to blaze anything, just a bit faster out of the gate.
- More electrolytes. I'm pretty sure I was hyponatremic I was going to the bathroom way too much and my hands were puffy. I'll be adding E-caps to my arsenal at IceAge 50. Its supposed to be warm this weekend, so that will good testing ground for them.
- Continue having fun, meeting new people and enjoying the experience. These events are awesome. The community is great and I am really lucky to be a part of it. Thanks to everyone out there that keeps up their blog and comments on mine! It really helps push me.
3. Getting ready for IceAge 50. As I mentioned above, no huge mileage for the month, but I've got in some quality runs and plan on some good one for the weekend. I put in a 10 miler at about a 9 minute pace last Saturday, then headed to Redmond, WA for work on Sunday through Wednesday night. The weather was beautiful, but unfortunately I did not have any time to get anything in except for some weights on Monday. AND I had a blow out in my shoes and never made it to the local Montrail dealer. I was able to get 4 in last night after work with Augie (picture below) We had a good faster paced run together in the rain. He set a 4 mile PR - 30 minutes!!! and that included a few bathroom breaks for him!
Augie after our run. Still a little tired, but always ready to go again
Enjoy your weekend. I don't know what its looking like in your area, but here in the mid-west it's sunny skies and warm temps. Get out there and enjoy it if you can.
Monday, April 16, 2007
then he passed me for the second time in my 50 miles :) . He went on to win and set the new record for the 100 at McNaughton in 17:40:13
Did that title catch your eye? :)
UPDATE: I have added my official time/splits/and place
The weather was looking rough all week. Rain and snow flurries were on the radar when I checked Noaa.gov on Friday night. I don't mind cold, I don't even mind snow that much as long as it's not accumulating, but rain and cold.... that's a combo I did not want to see. I arrived around 6:45 PM on Friday to pick up my packet and mingle with folks at the pre-race dinner. I met up with my virtual training partner Howard and some of his real running buddies from the Decatur, IL area. The temp had started to drop noticeably and everyone around the start/finish was starting to layer up and put on warmer clothes. The 150 was already started and there was a good amount of buzz around this whole weekend of ultras. Karl Meltzer was just a few feet away talking with people. It's still very surreal to me how the best of the best start at the same time and run the same course as everyone else. It's not like the Boston Marathon, Chicago Triathlon or any other event where elite athletes get starting privileges over the rest of the field. I met Sherpa John and talked with him a while, discussed the course a little and then headed towards start/finish to see the 150 milers come around. The first guy finished his first 10 mile loop in 1:25!!! David Goggins and Ryan Dexter Came across roughly 10 minutes later. Those seemed like some fast times to put up this early in a 150 mile race, but these cats know what they're doing.
I headed back to the hotel to try to relax and get my baggies of Heed and Perpetum put together. I was so pumped seeing the 150 milers going that I was wishing that I could have just started at 6 PM too... well maybe not, but at least I would not have to worry about over sleeping or my alarm or.... I finally got to sleep around 12:30 and was up again in 4 hours. Time to get ready. I met Howard in the lobby at 5:15. I normally would have got to the start line a little earlier, but since it was around 30 degrees, I did not want to mill around in the cold too long. I got my bag into the drop bag area, stripped down to my shorts, laced up my shoes and got ready for the start. At 6 AM we were off. The initial decent of the race was a sloppy mess. Roughly 175 folks all headed down to the trail, slipping and sliding the whole way. This was a bit of foreshadowing of what was to come.
I took it easy the first lap, nothing special here, just following the rest of running and slopping through the mud. It was really slick and lap 2 was even worse. It had started raining. Pair that with the 50 runners in the 150 that had been up all night, add the 175 that had just put 10 miles on the trail and you've got a recipe for a mess. The down hills were a wreck. It was almost impossible to have any traction going down them. Basically you just centered your gravity and tried to manage the speed at which you slid down... maybe grabbing a sapling or two along the way to slow you down or to adjust your direction to the right or left. I was feeling good at 20. I was staying hydrated and making sure to keep my calories up. Lap 3 was a different story.
photo by Michael Siltman
The beginning of my 3rd lap was fine. No major problems to speak of. I passed the first water crossing and met up with Julie. She was great to run with. We talked about, gear, her Inov-8 sponsorship, the ultrarunning community, blogs and just general stuff. It was excellent to run with her. I have followed her blog for about a year now so it was neat to finally meet her in person. We ran pretty close for a majority of lap 3. She said "you're approaching unknown territory" close to the end of my 3rd lap. She was right. I've never gone over a 50k, so after that every step was a new PR!! I had to keep that in mind because, around 28 miles I started to get down on myself. Instead of getting to stop at 30, I had to keep pressing on. I had hit a wall. I was at that point of thinking; "What the hell am I doing? How am I going to spend another 5 or so hours out here? I am not running Ice Age in 4 week, hell, I may not ever do one of these again!"
I got to the aid station at the Start/Finish and Howard's wife Lisa was there. She was great. Lisa asked how I was doing, was giving me some encouragement and was in a good enough mood to get me to smile for a picture even though I was down.
She was wondering how far behind Howard was. Not far at all!! Here he came into the drop bag area, all smiles. He was doing great. He had put in some high mileage weeks in the last few months and it was obvious that it was paying off. I was fumbling around with my powders and changing shoes and sock. She snapped a picture of the both of us and it was obvious (see below) who was in better spirits at this point. Not only was I at the wall, but this time in the aid station was not going well. Howard took off and I was still trying to get out of the aid station with all my gear.
I caught up with Howard about 3/4 of a mile into the 4th loop. It was actually good to pick up the pace for a bit. I needed a change of pace. I finally pushed though my funk around mile 35. The course had actually started to dry out pretty well and was pack down quite a bit. The down hills were at the point where I could actually run down them instead of slide. I decided to try to get after it. I crossed the Start/Finish for the 4th time. Grabbed a baggie of Perpetum and filled up my spare water bottle and took off without much wasted time.
I picked up the pace considerably for the last loop or at least the effort that I was putting forth. I can't say that my pace increased too much, but I had legs under me so I went with it. I made up 4 or so places over the last loop. I actually felt better now then I had most of the day. I just stayed in a straight line an followed the trail. Because of how sloppy it was, there were several places where I could have gone around the mess, but decided that since the end was near, I was just going to power though the sludge. Karl Meltzer was going to pass me for a second time. I tried to hang on to a good pace but it was futile, even at sub 9's he was going to get me, and for sure pass as soon as we hit a hill.. and he did. It was amazing seeing how he maneuvered up a hill. Almost effortlessly, he bounded up and then disappeared. The end of the event was getting near. I crossed the last water crossing, headed up the last few big hill and there was the Finish.
I crossed at in 11 hours,24 minutes. My wife was at a wedding so my parents were there for support at the end (and to drive me home in case of leg failure). It was great to have them come to one of these events so they could see what it was all about. We waited around for Howard to finish and he came across the line a little more than 15 minutes after me with arms in the air and totally pumped. He put together a great day and has a lot to be proud of. He never let the weather or trail conditions get him down.
I was 18th Overall in the 50. (registered field of 122, 100 showed up, and 77 finished). Not bad for my first 50. I was about 8 seconds a mile slower then my 30 mile pace at McNaughton last year. 20 more miles with lots of mud and only 8 seconds slower, no blisters and a "50 mile Finisher" buckle...I'll take it! All in all, I had a good day.
Oh yea.. and just to let you know, I'm running Ice Age.
Lap 1- 2:16:34.5
Lap 2 - 2:14:09.0
Lap 3 - 2:18:36.1
Lap 4 - 2:19:45.5
Lap 5 - 2:15:36.1
Total 11:24:41.3 pace 13:42/M
Monday, April 09, 2007
I headed up to Pekin, IL to McNaughton Park on Saturday morning to get a look at the trail and remind myself what I am in for on the 14th. I met my friend Howard, who will also be running the 50, at Starbucks around 8:30. It was 28 degrees outside. We drank some coffee, talked a bit about our training a bit, then headed out.
We got to McNaughton Park and stepped out of the car and got blasted with about 25 MPH wind. We hurried up getting ready and took to the trail to get out of the wind. The trail is in pretty good shape. Most of the trail is dried out and packed down. There are a few very muddy spots, some very slick down hills with little or no traction, and a few spots of standing water in various parts of the trail.
Below are some pics I took along the way, just to give an idea of what to expect this weekend. I hope it sheds a little light on the course for those who have not traveled to the great mid-west!! :)
initial decent into trail
Flat area around a field
first water crossing (looking back across). you would be running the opposite direction this pic was taken.
this climb will have a rope to assist race day
part 2 of the rope climb, once you are at the top of hill using the rope, you move to this section for a little more gain
what goes up must come down, this is the backside of the rope climb
some flat area to make up some time
Howard "surfing" down a very slick section
climb after water crossing
The weather is supposed to be in the 50's this weekend, which will be a welcome change over last years records heat and the record lows we experienced this weekend. I have posted more pictures which can be seen here. Also on the McNaughton site, they have been tracking trail conditions for the last few month from the perspective of Courage the dog, who's been giving frequent updates.
Have a great week and I look forward to meeting some new folks and seeing some familiar faces!
Friday, March 23, 2007
Everything is looking up. Last week I got in 38 miles, so not a mega mileage week, but a lot better then the 6 mile week I had to close February. My long run was 13 miles on the trail. I'm excited to see how well I have responded to the treatment that my chiropractor provided. I also got some great advice from my blog friends that I have used. Below is my current strategy to work through my ITB issues.
- Take 1 NSAID (aspirin) about 20 minutes before I run and usually take 1 with each meal to help reduce the inflammation that is already there. Once I am over the injury I will cut the out or only use as needed.
- Warm up - I will walk/jog or ride my bike slow for about 10 minutes.
- Start my run out slow and get in a mile or 2 before I pick up the pace
- Ice immediately afterwards for 20-30 minutes and potentially later that night while watching TV. I've done 1 ice bath... thanks Ben!
- Stretch out. General stretching (quads, hamstrings, calves, hips..). I do not concentrate too much on the ITB area. For me, spending too much on the ITB area tends to feel worse
- Roll it out on a foam roller. I cut rolling into 4 segments; Upper (Hip to middle thigh) Middle (middle thigh), Lower (middle thigh to just above the bony part of my knee, no direct contact on the side of the knee), Combined (slow roll from upper thigh to just above the knee)
- Resistance training. One legged exercises, squats, leg curls, extensions, lunges.
I'm not a doctor and don't really know more then what I have been told or that I have found from on-line resources so take the above with a grain of salt. It's whats working for me and is a work in progress. Thanks to everybody for the great feedback and resources.
Now on to even better the news. I'm heading to San Diego for the week for a conference. I plan to get some miles in and enjoy the scenery. Anyone know of any good spots to run?
Enjoy the weekend, I'm out!!!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I was athletically depressed. I looked at the calendar and McNaughton was 6 weeks away and my aching ITband was only letting me get in minimal miles before I came to a hault. What to do? Rest? Call off the event? Push though and risk injury? I hated being in this position. I searched the web for as many ITB resources as I could find and came up with a plan to stretch, ice, and slow down and cut mileage.
The latest copy of Ultrarunning Magazine showed up in my mailbox and within the first few pages there was some information on training while injured. Take an NSAID (aspirin) and ice before the run. Go out and put in some miles going slower and cutting down on the amount of time on my feet. Then ice again afterward. I tried this and was able to get in a good 5 slow miles without too much discomfort, but this issue was still there and had I gone much further or faster I would have had to stop.
I also took a trip to the Chiropractor, something I had never done before. First off when I told her that I run ultras, she was really interested and excited to help. I told her my symptoms and she immediately went to work on me. Pulling on my legs, twisting me around and so on. She said that my right hip was higher then the other and that because of that my left leg was traveling farther and potentially causing the issue. So she worked on me for a while longer, doing some "needle less acupuncture" and some other things that seemed like smoke and mirrors to me. She thought that I was "curable" and gave me hope that I would be in shape to run mid-April. I got looked over again and was told that my hips were equal and to get some miles in over the next few days to see how things felt. She also has a massage therapist and a physical therapist on staff that might get involved to correct the issues that are causing the ITB strain if needed. I was told to take the night off and drink lots of water because I would be sore. I must have given her a funny look, because she said "Trust me, I did a lot." Sure enough, I am sore. I feel like I would a few days after I did a hard run with lots of hills. Not sore to the touch, but just recovering muscles kind of tired.
This morning, I got up early, ate a bit, did some work stuff, iced and took off for a short 4 miler at just under an 8 minutes pace. I felt great. There were no signs of the normal issues I would have with my ITB early in the run. There was a slight feeling in that area around the end of the run, but less then what I usually experience. I'm sure there is still some swelling in that area from before, so I know it will not just magically go away, but this gave me some hope that was not there on Sunday!!!! I am traveling today, so I will hit the treadmill for 6 or so tonight to see how things are holding up and to be able to report back to the dr. on Friday with how things went to see what the next steps are.
Keep hope alive!!!!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
I wish I could say that I had a blow out training month in February, not the case. After Psycho Wyco, I had a pretty easy week of about 27 miles. No speed work or anything like that, just easy miles. My ITband is a little sore and I have not wanted to push too much. I think running in the 5 inch deep snow may have aggravated my ITB since the terrain was so varied. Add that to the 20+ MPH winds we have had here and my Feb was a bust. I guess I'll call it a resting month. The weather looks good today so I am headed out to get in some miles on the trail.
McNaughton is about 6 weeks out. I'm nervous because I have not been able to get in the mileage that I wanted, so I'm going to try to have a strong March and go into the event healthy. Over trained and injured or under trained and healthy?? A question for the times.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Lap 1 - 8:00 was approaching and Ben started giving the race instructions which were basically "be careful not to fall." Ben shouted "Go" and we were off. I have this habit of going out to fast pretty much every time I run, so I decided to ease up for the first lap and get a feel for what laps 2 and 3 would hold for me. There was also a 10 and 20 mile run going on at the same time, so the trail was pretty crowded and the slowest runner on the single-track sections, set the pace for everyone behind them. This was fine for me, it kept me in check and from going out too fast. Everything went as planned for the first lap, except the ice. Ice was everywhere. I was really glad I put the screws in my shoes. I'm positive that I would have not been able to make some of the climbs in double the time without the head of those screws gripping the ground. There were a lot of climbs covered in ice and not much flat ground. 22% flat or something like that so moving at a fast pace was not happening very often and when it did, you could pretty much count on a patch of ice or a log to pop up out of no where and slow you down. I finished my first loop in 2:11.55
heading the aid station after lap 2
Lap 3 - As I came down over the hill towards the aid station I heard my wife cheering. Ben was also cheering and asked me if I needed anything. I told him I had stuff in my bag and figured that I would get my Perpetum mix ready, but as I looked up Ben was jogging over to me to assist. He grabbed my water bottle and my mix asked me how things were going. I told him this course was nuts and he smiled. My wife was there too cheering me on and giving me good vibes by saying things like "you look way better then you did last year at McNaughton at this time." She was right, I felt good. I did not want to waste much more time at the aid station, so I grabbed a gel, ate some more M&M's and headed out for one last lap. I had a feel for the course now and knew that if I wanted to get a good lap in, I was going to have to push it early while there was more flat areas to make up time. I ran when I could and just concentrated on putting together a solid last loop. The course had become slicker in a couple of ways. One, the icy uphills were like polished granite from everyone else using the similar paths. Two, the sun had come out and the areas where the ice was thin became muddy, it had melted from rising temps and from all the foot traffic. I was cruising along and I hit several really icy spots. I'm sure if there was a camera out there filming when I slipped that a few of them would make some sort of highlight film, I never fell from the ice, but there was some sever flailing. I did however fall due to mud. I was running a slight downhill around mile 28. There was a trench area in the middle and I was running on the lip, switching from side to side depending on the best footing, or what I though was the best footing. My foot came out from under me and I crumbled to the ground, sliding on my right side until I stopped and my head bounced a little off the ground. I was not hurt at all, I sort of grinned as I pushed myself up thinking "well, that could have been a lot worse." I took off again and headed for the finish. I rounded the last corner and heard the cowbell, Micaela, Ben, and the others at the finish line cheering. Done. 6:29:26 (2:07.30 lap)
Micaela bundled up at the finish line waiting for me.. Is she great or what?!?!
I talked with some people after the race, including new course record holder Caleb Chatfield, great job on a awesome time and a sweet beard, I can't go more than a week before it drives me nuts :) This was a hard race with lots of ice and lots of elevation change. I'm pretty happy with my overall time and how I handled myself over the course. If you look at my lap times, they get faster with each loop, not exactly the best way to do things. I will take some confidence away from this. Knowing that I can run 3, 10 mile loops (on a crazy course) in a row at a faster pace each time tells me I could have gone faster. I'm not looking back though, I'll take it for my 2nd official ultra and use what I learned and apply that to training and my next race. Thanks Ben for putting together a great race. Your course lived up to the name and the race volunteers were excellent. It's going to take something pretty special to top the folks at the Amos Family Aid station.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Its been a good 2007 so far. I'm on a pace to cover just under 2000 miles on foot this year assuming in the next 11 months everything is still running smooth. A tall order I know, but I'm optimistic. My frequency of runs will drop after McNaughton 50 to move my concentration towards triathlon, but I'll extend my runs throughout the week and a long run on Sunday to keep the mileage up. I'm still trying to find what my threshold is for mileage. I'm right at a year for this long distance running, so I'm still figuring out how much and how often without injury or huge impact on family life. 150 miles in January worked well. No huge issues with the exception of some ITB soreness. That ITB thing maps back to me experimenting with different shoes, so I should have just stayed with what has been working. I've just got this thing about new shoes!!!
It's been COLD here and from the looks of it, its been cold everywhere except in the west. Of my 150 miles last month only about 15 were on a treadmill. I feel good that I am stepping outside of my comfort zone and getting the miles in regardless of the elements. I was listening to a podcast of Ironman great Peter Reid on EndurancePlanet.com (October 26th) and there was a quote he stated that really stuck out. I don't remember it exactly, but it went something like...."when you are out on that 112 mile bike leg and you start questioning yourself if you can go on, you better have answered that question in training already." That is a great thing to think about and why I have been getting outside whenever I can. When I'm out on a course during the 2007 year, dragging and hitting that mental wall, I can think back and say to myself, "remember when it was 4 degrees out and your headphones froze to your stocking cap? You've been in worse then this, now get moving"
I'm going to "taper" a bit this week for Psycho Wyco. Im still looking to get in some miles early this week, then take a few days (Thursday/Friday) off before Saturday. I'll hit the gym today and pilates tonight. I know general recommendations say to avoid weights the week of a race, but It always makes my legs feel better and seems to remove stress from my ITB, so one workout early this week should allow for ample recovery time as well as a better mental state knowing I got some weights in.
With that, I've got some travel this week with work so probably my last post until my race report from Psycho Wyco. Enjoy your week and try to stay warm!
Monday, January 29, 2007
It's been a while since my last post so I figured I better get an update on my first month of training. I've been working on getting my mileage up specifically in the running department. Last year was about laying down a base. I read a lot of different books and articles on triathlon training and the general statement that always came through was to go out and get in the miles and not to concentrate too much on the speed, intervals and so on. I'm sure others may disagree, but that's the route I went. While I have not shifted my focus entirely from triathlon to ultras, I have for sure put in more miles on foot this month then ever before. Instead of using my short run days for bike and pool work, I have opted to run on those days. This will change around the March/April time frame to accommodate for my 1/2 Ironman in September.
AS of today (today's run not included) I am at 134.65 miles. With the remainder of this month's mileage, I will be just over 160. I looked back and even at my peak running of 2006, I barely went over 100 miles a month more then a couple of times. I feel good, no major pains to speak of. I am putting the miles in but not jumping up too much in weekly miles. I did that once before last year before McNaughton. I had never run anything over a 10k and decided to run a 30 mile with around 3 months of training. My ITband has never forgave me. :)
Along with the running, I have been making sure to get in some cross training. I have logged about 6 hours of strength training that comes from weight routines and pilates (yes, I'm THE guy in the class). On a side note if you get a chance to go to pilates, I highly recommend it. It is a great core workout with some mild stretching. My wife convinced me to go with her. I go on Monday's which is usually a rest day, but it fits in well as it gives me some active recovery after my long runs which usually fall on Sunday. I've also hit the pool a couple of times on Tuesday mornings. Nothing huge there, just trying to get my form in some sort of shape so when pool workouts start, I'm not starting over again on my form.
That about sums it up for the month. I've got the Psycho Wyco 50k in 2 weekends that I am excited about. I'm looking forward to getting in a real event that is not just me running around in the woods for 6 hour by myself... though that is still possible. Ben makes it sound like a great event and it will be good to connect with some other mid-western located runners and try out my new Inov-8 Terrocs. Hopefully the ground will cooperate with that shoe choice, if not, I've got other's. I'm just really enjoying the fit of these shoes, but that's another post.
Now, time to bundle up and log some miles!!
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Sorry Ryan, I meant to get this done earlier.
1) Find nearest book
2) Name book and author
3) Turn to page 123
4) Go to 5th sentence and copy the next three to blog
5) tag 3 others
1)This is not my book, its my wife, but it says "closest"
2)Broadway Musicals - The 100 Greatest Shows of All Time by Ken Bloom & Frank Vlastnik
4)"Kay Medford (here with Jack Carter) replaced Pat Marshall shortly after the opening of Mr. Wonderful, also staring future Bye, Bye, Birdie start Chita Rivera
5) I hate to call anyone out, so if you happen to read this post and have not done this before... give it a whirl. If you're one of the first 3 to post, you win something from somewhere :)
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
- a link to the race site
- a picture
- small amount of info about the race
- ability to map driving directions to and from
- add any of my locations to your collection.
I will be updating this calendar as new events come up.
Check it out at http://local.live.com/?v=2&cid=A9B6CFBF1C9F0219!154
Below is a pic of the page
- ▼ July (5)
- ► May (5)
- ► April (3)