Thursday, February 25, 2010

Howl at the moon!

In about 10 days, I will be in Ojai, CA running a 100 mile race called the Coyote Two Moons. This will be the second of my 12 this year. This race has a staggered start format, so that everyone can finish within a four hour window. The slowest runners start first. I got put into the third wave, which starts 11:00 pm Friday night. Yes, it will be a full moon. Howl away...

Following my last race, the Rocky Raccoon 100, just about two weeks ago; I came away with tendonitis on my left shin and top of left foot. I had no idea how I got it, I've never had anything like that. I'm thinking it was due to the timing strap being too tight on my ankle, so that the tendons had restricted motion to flex and move. I should of just tied the chip to my shoes, or put on the strap kinda loose.

I took a week off after Rocky Raccoon, and then resumed training. I would have started training much sooner, but I wanted to let the tendonitis subside first. Now, I'm back to full-strength and training hard.

Coyote Two Moons has a lot of climbing and descending, there are about 28,000 feet of elevation gain and loss on the course. Looking at the elevation profile, it seems you are going up or down and never have any flats. Given the course, I have been running 6-8 percent grades, daily, for 5 miles and then 5 miles back down. This really builds the gluts and the quads for more specific adaptation.

My only worry is that I will out-run my start group. Meaning that I will run ahead and catch the previous two start waves, and then begin to arrive at Aid Stations before they open. Especially, the AS on the second half of the race. I will have to arrange my own aid as an alternative plan.

I've also dropped a few pounds. Overall, things look good for the race.

Until the next Ultraholic adventure, happy trails.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rocky Raccoon 100 Miles Recap

... I was slowly approaching the 92 mile Aid Station. Physically cold and tired, but my mind was still strong. I knew I was outside of the 24 hours finish time. I kept telling myself that it didn't make any sense to stop, but finishing the last 8 miles was the quickest way to end the struggle and savor the victory. However, when I got to the Aid Station, my mental resolve just fell apart. I got next to the campfire and then into a blanket and remained there for the next 4 hours. Such is the ordeal of an ultra-distance runner... The mind is strong, but the body is weak.

I was fully under-trained coming into this race. Due to taking some time off and getting a terrible cold, I had two weeks to peak and taper. Needless to say, it was horribly inadequate. However, my main goal this season is to finish twelve 100 milers; so the only thing that really mattered to me was to just finish.

However, there is always the hope that I can pull a rabbit out of the hat; as I optimistically looked for a sub 20 hr finish. I knew I could do it if I was properly trained, but I was hoping... Well, maybe next year.

At the starting line I saw all my peeps, Gundy, Levi, Jeanette, Eric, Jose, Jimmy, Dom, Katie, etc... Fun times! The course was relatively flat. It was a 5 lap race, with each lap covering 20 miles and about 1,000 feet elevation gain/loss. I was also surprised at how soft the ground was; pine needle covered and recently rain soaked dirt made for a plush ride. I tripped on exposed roots three times and fell, and each time I just got up and kept running without even a scar. This was a very beginner friendly and non-technical course.

The first two laps went pretty well, I was on 20 hours pace; and felt very good. I slowed down for laps three and four; and was still holding onto a sub 24 hours finish. However, I was fast approaching my physical limits and was beginning to tire. I would have done pretty good if the race ended at four laps. Sorry, Kristen, I had nothing left to accompany you to push for the sub 24 hours.

I walked the last lap to save my strength. I have developed enough mental discipline to stay focused on the big picture. Sure, I could have pushed, but at what recovery cost? My next 100 miler would be in 4 more weeks. My mind was surely stronger than my body; at this point in my ultra running career, I could seriously injure myself because my mind can push beyond the limits of my body.

The last lap was cold, dark, and slow. I slogged through it; "just keep moving", I told myself. I was so cold at one point, even running could not increase my core temperature. Next time, I'm wearing a wet-suit top to stay warm. I don't care how dorky I will look, I just need to stay warm.

Oh yeah, some "don't do what I did" tips...
1. Don't leave your trail shoes at home so you have to run trails with your road shoes.
2. Don't use a brand new pair of shorts, even if they are the same model, make, and size. I got the worst ever chaffing.
3. Don't take a four hour nap at mile 92. Stay strong and finish the dang thing.

I did finish after my nap.

Until the next Ultraholic adventrue...


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here We Go...

In about 10 days, I will be in Texas doing the first of my 12 100 milers for this year. Due to taking some time to rest over the holidays and catching a bad cold, my training is not where it should be. But, that's okay because I'm looking at the whole season rather than just this one race. This season is going to be about keeping healthy and injury-free; and staying consistent.

This upcoming race is called the Rocky Raccoon. It is in Huntsville, TX, and pancake flat. It consists of five 20 mile loops. It is a PR course for sure, but I don't think I will be pushing that hard. My goal is just to go under 24 hours. I will be leaving on Thursday morning and doing a long road trip in my car. You can check the race website for updates.

I hope to repeat the good race I had at Javelina. My goals are to practice good pacing, hydration, and mental focus.

The race website is here,

Send good thoughts or prayers my way. Thanks!

Until the next Ultraholics adventure!