just throwing some stuff out there

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.

Posted by Travis at 10:51 AM 5 comments  

With just 2 miles to go I could see Karl Meltzer starting to catch me....

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.

one of the many mud pits

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.DSCN0993

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.

feeling pretty rough

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.

post race feet check

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

McNaughton Park Trail Conditions, T-minus 1 week

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!! :)



And Webegin

initial decent into trail


Flat area around a field


early climb

First Water Crossing

first water crossing (looking back across). you would be running the opposite direction this pic was taken.

Rope Hill_2

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

Second Water Crossing

Second water crossing


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!

Posted by Travis at 11:28 AM 5 comments