April 29, 2008

Triple Dip, Part 3

Promise Land 50km in a word: AWESOME!

Ate steadily, maintained a gentle-yet-even-and-basically-whenever-I-wanted-to-punch-it strong pace. Had no problems with stomach (yay!) and even managed to be a little stronger still in the final 50 minutes, aka that awful downhill stretch at the end that crushes your quads whether you run 6:40 (three years ago) or 8:02, as I did Saturday.

Nutrition: An ice-cold 20 oz. green tea 30 mins. before the start. On the course, dried fruit, potato chips, a cold slice of pepperoni pizza (!!!), a tiny cup of ice cream (double !!!), maybe 75 ozs. of water and a couple cold cups of CLIP. Oh, two cups of Mountain Dew too. And several banana chunks.

The 8-hour jaunt to cap a 15-hour training week is a huge step in the right direction for OD.

Sure was great to hang with Potts, Dan, John, Neil and crew Friday night. Same goes for running with J.R., Blake and Dorothy, and hanging post-race with the usual suspects, a list that included Sophie, Flame, the Quiveys, Gary Knipling (THANKS FOR THE KNOB CREEK AND PEPSI, dude!!!).

I've done seven of the eight Promise Land runs. Horton knows how to put on a great show. Here's hoping he keeps it going somehow, even with the Promise Land camp being for sale.

Fun weekend. Fun run. Awesome prep for OD.

April 25, 2008

Triple Dip, Part 2

Part Dos was a little tougher, but just a little.

As predicted, the tough part was waking up. Did a 7 min. run/3 min. walk routine the whole way. Ate a Snickers Chocolate Chip Marathon Bar at halfway. Yum! Drank 16 ozs. from a hand-held bottle. Kept the run pace very gentle. Stayed mostly on flat stuff. 

Hammered two Egg McMuffins after. Brain seems to be working fine (relatively speaking, of course), so that's a great sign that recovery is happening.

Tomorrow should be most interesting. I have done a lot goofier triples than this (see the Great Tour de Skyline run), but not ones with sooooo much climbing on the final day. Talk about terrific training for OD! 

Promise Land is so steep at the start that you really have no choice but to be patient. Part of the built-in blessing. As long as I watch not to pound the downhills, this has all the ingredients for a great start to the OD build-up.

April 24, 2008

Triple Dip, Part 1

Part 1 comfortably in the bag.

A gentle 2 hours of random iPod run/walks. Most were three songs run, one walk, but a couple went 2/1. Depended on the song. I am sorry, but there are just some Sugarland songs that you cannot walk to.

Wore my Ultimate Direction hydration vest pack thingy. Drank 30 ozs. of water. Rare that I even take fluid on a 2-hour, mostly-in-the-dark run. Decided to change things up a bit to see if it has any positive residual. Well, and a 51F start is a lot warmer than, say, a 6F start, even if I don't sweat much even when it's 78F. 

Run was great. Did some push-ups and pull-ups after. Pounded a Greenberry's Supremo Mocha Mint latte. Ahhhhhhh. Probably enough calories in that to cover me for the run, b-fast and lunch, but scrawny runners need their food, so no thoughts of skipping lunch.

Found on the run: 43 cents (one quarter plus EIGHTEEN pennies) and one huge, live blacksnake. Kept the coins. 

April 23, 2008

Can anybody say "Triple dip?"

So I'm thinking, if I am "training through" Saturday's sometimes brutal Promise Land 50km with my eye on OD 100, why not go big ... as in sticking with the typical 2 hrs. Thursday a.m., 2 hrs. Friday a.m. routine, then follow it up with 7 to 8 hours at PL?

Would create quite the training effect, esp. with PL being such and up-and-up-and-up-and-down, single-track wonderland.

Can I do it? Or is it just too stupid? Ah, don't ya just love the questions that are just begging for answers. :-)

April 19, 2008

Wise words

Wow. Just read this column by Kristin Armstrong (one of my favorite writers of the moment) ...


I use these feelings all the time in training, the amazing sense of wonder of the next moment, what's around the next turn, some view of a random rooftop that I've run past 50 times but never noticed. Same goes with a particular drum beat or other background sound when sporting the iPod Shuffle.

I left all that at home for this year's Umstead. Wow.

I agree with K. It's really a LOT more about persistence than talent. Especially when you're talking about 100-milers.

You can only do so much with your body. You finish 100s with your mind. A 100 is a test of will. Running helps, but running isn't all of it.

Old Dominion 100 is June 7. Glad I get another shot soon. :)

April 8, 2008

Wrong kind o' yakkin'

The short version of Umstead 100 2008: Swing and a miss.

My stomach was a complete mess from about 20 miles until I finally called it a day at the end of Lap 5, 62.5 miles in 15 hours and a little. That's my first DNF in a long while. It's still just as humbling as ever, if not moreso.

I've beaten myself up a fair amount trying to come up with some answers for what the heck went wrong. The reality is that I have no clue. I should be comfy in that state, given that it's where I've spent my entire ultra career.

Amazing how I can do a fairly tough 50-miler on cookies and water with energy to spare, then be in peak fitness and running a lot slower at Umstead, yet have some dramatic nausea before the marathon mark. Weird.

When I got home Sunday, it was straight here to the computer and away I went on a literature review of all things drink replacement. Sheer desperation almost led me to order one of them. Then I noticed a torn black notebook on the floor near the computer. An old hand-written running log I kept for years in a three-ring binder. Digging in, I found that magical year in 1998 when during a 10-week span I spanked Umstead in sub-22, then the challenging Bull Run Run 50-miler in 9:50 and my then-nemesis Old Dominion in 22:51. On the back page of the OD entry I wrote: Eight drop bags filled with one vanilla Nutrament, one sandwich baggie of Fritos and took one S Cap every two hours.

Hmmmm ... let's see ... that's a WHOLE lot less than I was trying to push in Saturday. Hmmm ...

Perhaps too much grub and not enough salt has been the problem more often than not since that magical 1998 stretch?

Stay tuned for more. OD 100 turns 30 this year. Seems as good a time as any to get reacquainted.

April 2, 2008

Umstead 100 Finish No. 9???

I go visit my old friend Umstead 100-Miler this weekend.

Completely and utterly psyched to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, tell a ton of stories, get my brain as far away from work as it can possibly get.

I have broken my cardinal rule and actually tapered with only 20- to 25-min. runs since last Friday. Trying to approach this one as an adult would. I actually have a nutrition plan. And I have committed to taking it VERY easy the first 25 miles. Hoping that combo will make it possible to make it through a whole Umstead without a nap (or a 3-hr. collapse like last year).

I'm really fit. I'm tapered. The weather looks hot and humid (yay!).

Found out just today that my buddy Amy Leigh "Flame" Brown has offered her services as Pacer Extraordinaire for the night shift, so that's added incentive for me to keep myself in one solid piece until darkness strikes. Imagine me and Flame blabbing our way through the North Carolina night together?

This could be one to remember.