Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I'd previously run in the traditional trail running version and the hyper thin running, so I knew I was getting into a product that I could believe in. After going through all of the test samples, I found that all the socks I ran in were meritable on their own, but that I definitely had a two favorites: the Running Mesh Lite, and the Trail Running Lite. The styles allow you to pick a certain sock for a specific type of run if you're into that kind of thing, and they've got cold weather socks and hot weather socks and everything in between (literally). I wore the Trail Run Max Protection during Way Too Cool and despite running through water/mud for 31 miles with a terrible shoe selection, I walked away with no blisters or any other foot issues.
Perhaps you're like me and you are wary of people who are sponsored saying, "I wear this, you should too!" Don't take it from me, there is a reason a large portion of the ultrarunning world uses Drymax, and it's because they work, period. While they are going to cost you some money, they're cheaper than a lot of other performance sock brands like Smartwool. The multiple styles allow people to find what they prefer, but I'd say, if you don't take it from me, talk to someone who wears a pair who is not sponsored (they won't be hard to find).
Monday, March 28, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
When Rachel and I talked about Pb and the pending child we sort of came to the month buffer, basically if we were a month or closer to the due date, I would not run. When we found out about the new kiddo, we had (incorrectly) assumed that the due date would be early September when in actuality it was September 24th. When I wrote that last post, I was operating off the assumption, only finding out a week later that it wasn't true.
So, near the end of the open window I snagged a slot for Pb (not knowing it'd reopen again anyway) and I've been training as if I'll be there. There are some maybes here and there, and Rachel and I have some agreements in place in regards to me being there, but if all goes well, I'll be toeing the line come August.
I think I can run well at Pb, but I've also never run 100 miles, so it's been both exciting and scary at the same time. I'll likely glean as much from other more experienced ultrarunners as I can and show up with splits and a plan. When I finished Hellgate last year, I thought there was still some race left in me. I'm guessing that won't be the case here.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
As for the race it was really interesting to me. Certainly the largest I've ever been a part of with nearly 600 runners toeing the line. I wandered my way near the front, but making sure I wasn't on the heels of the big boys but rather near the likes of the top ladies. All of a sudden the entire field was sprinting down the road like the start of a local 5K and all I could think was, "holy shit this is stupid." Mile one is pavement and gradually downhill and the split came... 6:12... uh oh, I can't remember the last time I ran a low 6 minute mile (perhaps something to work on) and I'm a good 60 runners off the lead. So many WTF's in my mind, certainly all these guys (there weren't any ladies up there yet) were going to fade later on and I'd catch them.
So we're cruising onto the dirt now, sort of twisty turny, then the first stream crossing and I'm soaked from head to toe (should have done more homework on the race I guess). This first 8-9 mile section was pretty wet and muddy and I came close to going down more than a few times with my worn down Saucony Kinvaras. The pace was retarded still at 4 miles so I stop to take a leak and let some folks pass, look back down at my watch and I'm starting to split something a bit more palletable, like 7 flat, so I get back to it. We did some fun cross country style running through muddy bogs and more water then smooth single track and a short climb back to the start area. Waved to my Dad, Sis, and friends who were out at the race, made some noise and started cruising down to the river. The descent was fun, but would have been a lot more fun if I had chosen a better shoe for the race as I kept slipping in the mud.
The miles leading into the Hwy 49 crossing were tough on me because they wanted to be hammered, just like the first mile, but I couldn't turn the gear. I just didn't have the speed to push it, so I took in the views and some company with Hozumi Nakai who'd been playing leapfrog with me the last few miles. Got to see the crew again at mile 29!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Part of the reason for this is that I made a concious effort to tie all of my workouts towards Cheyenne Canyon in April and that means no time for rest right now. Then I've got some other plans that need base miles to build upon and I think I'm heading in the right direction. I feel good actually, my body has responded to the 90+ miles remarkably well and though I'm feeling leg tired (just fatigue, not really soreness even), I have still been able to go out and keep a solid day by day workout going. My plan for the year (training wise) has sort of come about from a compiling a bunch of ideas and insight from others who have had success and tailoring it for me. Not that I have any experience with training plans, but I don't really have any other option at the moment.
I know Way Too Cool is too fast for me, meaning, I'm not ready to gun it and run flat fast miles. I am ready to grind out some miles toward the end though, and for that I'm excited. No sub 4 time for me, I think that if I end up sub 4:15 it was probably a mistake and I ran too hard. Right now a loose goal is 4:25 or 4:30. Enough to get the blood pumping, but not too much to need any kind of structured recovery. Who knows, I'm just stoked to run, and a bit nervous. I really like the jittery pre-race feeling that the first race of the year brings. We fly out tomorrow, so I'll catch you on my way back home. Post race, I have some Central Coast singletrack waiting outside of my Parent's front door (perhaps I'll get a sunrise over the coast from Mt. Toro).
Thanks to the guys who keep throwing the good advice my way, I know especially on this type of course I need to smart early on, but hearing it from someone else helps make the point. I often have irrational thoughts about killing this race, but my smarts keep telling me how stupid that would be. Race smart, race hard, but know that this is the beginning, not the end.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Two days off is a really good start to the training block. I felt like I really lulled there in the middle of February, but the combination of being sick, the family sick, and class all had me backed up and tired. The stretch of the last 10 days or so has been particularly good, with a solid mix of hills and strength training in there. I feel it in my legs when I wake up, and I feel it for sure on the run for a while, but I'm beginning to also get that feeling of hitting 15 miles and starting to feel good again. To me this means I've been doing some things right, but also that it will be a while longer before I'm truly ready to go.
This year I've tried to add a purpose to my training and get in a long slow build up so that I can enter a period of sharpening 8 weeks before my goal event and show up ready. Most everything else will be secondary, and I'll likely not take much of a taper going into CC50K or Big Horn, but there are always ways to make it work. I feel good right now, and my confidence (though perhaps misguided) is coming along. I think I'll write up something about how that can affect my training/racing in a very real way. Funny thing is the more you think about it the more you hear it all around you, I even listened to a Radiolab podcast that essentially confirmed what I had going on in my head, but I'll link that into a real post on the subject of confidence and it's role in my running.
Now I'm 1 week 4 days from Way Too Cool and getting stoked!