Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday @ Inov-8

Lisa, Carter, and I opened up the doors at inov-8 to a few friends on Saturday. For a while there has been some call for us to do this from people in the area. Both friends and strangers that have a tough time finding the inov-8 line in New England.

We have been thinking of doing this once a month to respond to that demand. It's a good way to connect with the local community as well as serve customers. So this past weekend was our first attempt at it. We asked friends to come to make the trial run easier to manage and we had a great time and learned a lot about how to improve the process.

The plan was to open up at 1 then run at 2PM. This was reasonably on track but somewhere along the way 2PM came 2:09 became 2:30 +. In future we'll try to be more on time since visitors are planning their day and in some cases their running around this run-from-inov-8.

Also, we'll move to the back -- back in the warehouse -- and have people be a bit more autonomous with style and size selection.

The run was great though. Friends Ryan and Ron were there and Ron brought along Jim and Paul, both nice guys and all great runners. We did 5.7 according to Paul's GPS at a pretty good clip. I'm looking forward to running more with these guys when ever time allows.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

6.4 @ 7:30 pace

I ran half way to work to pick up the car. It was raining and about 38F. It felt really hard and several times I slowed down briefly and considered walking a bit. I stuck with it though and finished the run in 48 minutes for 7:30 pace exactly.

No wonder it felt hard! I didn't realize I was running that fast (sadly, this is what passes for fast these days) at all.

Right now I'm pretty pleased with the run but it sure wasn't a lot of fun during.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Six Miles, One Day Late

I got my run in this morning by dropping the car at Lisa's work then running the last six miles to my work. I was spoiled with 60F+ temps and a light rain. Not so nice were the strong winds gusting to 30mph+.

Can't have everything. ;-)

So, so miles, 21 total for the last seven days.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Run Today

Well, it's 3pm and after being in a meeting from 11am to 2pm I'm out of time. My "1 more mile" streak will come to an end at only 5 miles.

I'll take today off then run the 6 tomorrow since it's supposed to be good weather.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Five miles

I ran inside again today. This time on the treadmill at work. The first 1.9 miles at about 8:30 pace then the last 3.1 @ 7:03 pace.

It felt ok, though some slight soreness in my Achilles. I finished up with some light stretching.

Six miles tomorrow in better weather outside hopefully (only 17F today).

Three Miles, Four Miles

Two more outings in the books.

I ran 3 miles on the gym treadmill while Carter was warming up for his swim meet. I ran this at 8 minute pace and wow did I feel heavy and slow!

Sunday I started out on our 8 year old treadmill only to have it break down 4 minutes in. After a quick clothing change I went outside and completed the run on snowy roads. It was cold, but nice to be outside after all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Two miles

Day two, two miles. About 34 with mostly clear skies and a moderate wind. Wish I'd had something to cover my ears!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One More Mile

So I am finally getting back to running after my MR100 experience. I ran twice while in the UK over Thanks Giving and have been on a day-on/day-off schedule since.

Today I started something new: start with a 1 mile run, then each day, add one more mile to your distance.

Sounds easy enough to start with but if you do this for 31 days, you end up with a final week mileage total of 171 miles!! That's more than double my biggest week ever (65 miles in '04 training for WS100).

I thought I'd give it a go and restart it each time I reach 9 or 10 miles. Today was the easy part ;-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Re: 50 and done

Hey Thomas,
Having had Achilles problems, I totally understand. Plus I'm drunk. So
good job on the 50 miles!
JiM

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 8, 2008, at 4:48 PM, "lisa@inov-8.us" <lisa@inov-8.us> wrote:

> Hello everyone, thanks for all of your wonderful supportive
> messages. They were great to receive!
>
> So per the subject line: I've called it a day at 50 miles. I don't
> regret stopping at this point, but I do regret not having the
> training time to properly prepare..
>
> More later. Thanks again for your thoughts.
>
> Thomas
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

50 and done

Hello everyone, thanks for all of your wonderful supportive messages. They were great to receive!

So per the subject line: I've called it a day at 50 miles. I don't regret stopping at this point, but I do regret not having the training time to properly prepare..

More later. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Thomas
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Re: Through 40 Miles

Let's see, it's now 9 hrs into the race. I hope TM is hanging in, not
to mention LM and CM.
I am en route to Gordon Beirsch in SF for a night where I'm sure I'll
likely have at least one too many.
But I'll be awaiting what I hope is good news!
JIM

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 8, 2008, at 1:39 PM, "lisa@inov-8.us" <lisa@inov-8.us> wrote:

> Carter ran about 1/2 mile with Thomas leading up to the 38.5 mile un-
> manned aid station. While he seems to be moving well enough, he is
> not as upbeat as I'd like to see him at this stage in the run.
>
> He was 5lbs down at the weigh in, which is hopefully mostly due to
> scale variation but we'll watch it.
>
> We are waiting about 6 miles from the last place we saw him, around
> mile 44. I'm hopeful the milestone of him getting to 50 miles will
> keep him going.
>
> BTW: Carter and I just paid $1.99 per gallon to fill up the car!
>
>
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Through 40 Miles

Carter ran about 1/2 mile with Thomas leading up to the 38.5 mile un-manned aid station. While he seems to be moving well enough, he is not as upbeat as I'd like to see him at this stage in the run.

He was 5lbs down at the weigh in, which is hopefully mostly due to scale variation but we'll watch it.

We are waiting about 6 miles from the last place we saw him, around mile 44. I'm hopeful the milestone of him getting to 50 miles will keep him going.

BTW: Carter and I just paid $1.99 per gallon to fill up the car!


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

McDonalds

Just saw 2 guys in the top 5. They were sharing a large fries from McDonalds.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Through 30.6 miles

Thomas just made it through the 3rd aid station. He says he's not feeling good because it's warm here and he's not feeling like he is in shape enough to do this.

He said he would get to 50 miles then see how it goes. The Achilles is holding up so far.

Carter and I refilled his bottles and when Carter handed them to Thomas, Carter told him to "Be a man. You can do it!". I had to laugh out loud. Thomas replied to Carter that he should come out and run it with him. Well, you know Carter just would! Thankfully, Carter has agreed to run with Thomas later when he may really need the company!


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

3 Hrs Into MR100

MR100 started on time and they have been going for 3 hours now. The temp is now 64 degrees and sunny with a light breeze.

Coming into the 2nd aid station (16.4 miles), Thomas took off his hydration pack because it was leaking. Oddly enough he commented about hoping it wouldn't this morning before we left the hotel. He didn't bring a backup bladder.

Carter and I filled up his water bottled and replenished his food in his bottle belt and helped him into it.

We are waiting for him at about 23 miles. His Achilles seems to be holding up and he has managed to maintain a reasonable pace (instead of going out too fast as he has in past 100 milers.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Re: About 1 Hour To Race Start

I'll be running myself in about an hour (not 100 miles). Thomas knows
most of the people I will be running with, so we will all be thinking
about him.
Lisa please tell Thomas good luck from-
JIM

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 8, 2008, at 6:15 AM, "lisa@inov-8.us" <lisa@inov-8.us> wrote:

> Thomas slept pretty well but has been just ready to start the race
> since dinner last night. He's had a fairly good breakfast, has made
> up his gel and Roibos tea, arranged and re-arranged his accessories
> and treid to relax.
>
> I got back from a run 20 minutes before we were scheduled to leave
> for the race start. He practically bounded out of the door to go
> get his timing chip and weigh in. He is nervous. Mostly about how
> well his Achilles will hold up. And how much the recovery time off
> to heal it from GMR relay will impact his performance today.
>
> BTW: Carter's poison ivy is doing really well and he's enjoying
> Sponge Bob on the TV before we hit the road.
>
> Lisa
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

About 1 Hour To Race Start

Thomas slept pretty well but has been just ready to start the race since dinner last night. He's had a fairly good breakfast, has made up his gel and Roibos tea, arranged and re-arranged his accessories and treid to relax.

I got back from a run 20 minutes before we were scheduled to leave for the race start. He practically bounded out of the door to go get his timing chip and weigh in. He is nervous. Mostly about how well his Achilles will hold up. And how much the recovery time off to heal it from GMR relay will impact his performance today.

BTW: Carter's poison ivy is doing really well and he's enjoying Sponge Bob on the TV before we hit the road.

Lisa
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sitting in Elk City, Oklahoma

Hi All,

Thanks so much for the well wishes -- Greg and Wendy, I had no idea you'd been studying up on your Danish! ;-)

We arrived in Dallas last night around 9:30 PM and were in bed by 11 so all up we did pretty well. The bad news of the day was that Carter contracted a Poison Ivy rash on his nose and cheek. He has been a real trooper with it not complaining at all and today we made a detour to the pediatrician to get him some steroids. He's improving already.

The trip up from Dallas was uneventful but long (300+ miles). We've done our shopping, had dinner, and are getting ready for bed now. I'm so sick of waiting for this race, thank goodness it is only 12 hours away now!

Thanks again for your thoughts, they are really nice to receive.

Cheers,
-Thomas

Click here to read older updates: http://sevenweekplan.blogspot.com

We expect you to win. So win!

Kaerligste hilsner fra Greg, Wendy og Finn.
 
Ingen wining eller grĂ¥d!

good wishes from New Zealand

Dear Thomas

 

Wish you all the best son. You can do it. Good wishes too from Daniel – doing his own marathon at work all weekend.

 

Kaerligste hilsner fra Mor og Daniel

 

PS Lisa, I can’t seem to follow Thomas on what he sent me, are you able to send me another link.

 

 

Race

Hi Lisa,

Hope all is well and the flight good.   We missed you guys last night at Nelos, you'll have to put in extra time when you return.  Good luck to Thomas.

Eileen: 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Walk in the Park

Well, not quite, but a walk around the block anyway: 2.4 miles on the usual course. It felt good to be outside in 67F weather -- perhaps a lot like what I will see on Saturday.

My legs feel fine as does my back after a massage yesterday at Letting Go.

Final Weigh In

So it's Tuesday again so it is time to record my weight. For some reason my body has figured out this schedule and adds weight just in time for the visit to the scale. All week I've been weighing in between 174 and 176 (fairly well hydrated too!) but not today! Oh no, not today!

Today's weight (after a 24oz soda): 176.5

You could argue that I'm 175 if you take the soda out, but really, that's a fairly pointless difference since this week is all about hydrating and I'm going to add some fluid weight anyway.

Sigh. More dieting after this stupid run is over.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oklahoma Shopping List

When we get Oklahoma I will need to pick up some things for the race. Mostly food items, others that simply can't be brought on the plane due to size or available space.

Food:

Cheese sticks
Pickles
Diet Pepsi & Sprite
Paper towels
Beer -- post race.. ;-)
2x 5G Water Jugs (maybe a bit too much, one might do it)
Cold cuts? Turkey? Salami?
Bread?
Mayo?
Bananas

Packing List

With just a few days to go before the race and just three full before we get on the plane, it's time to write up the packing list...

Clothing:

New long shorts with compression liner
Full Length Tights -- just in case
Long Sleeve and T Compression shirts
Long sleeve coolmax T
Short sleeve coolmax T
Half Zip top
Two pairs of thin socks
Two pairs of thick socks
Gaiters for dirt road sections
Winstopper Gloves
Mittens (37F near the finish!)
Wind jacket
Skull Cap
Visor and Cap
Arm warmers
Mistlite Pants

Shoes:

inov-8 f-lite 230's (primary shoe)
inov-8 roclite 305's (secondary shoe)
Crocs for post race lounging
inov-8 roclite 295's for traveling

Food & Fluids:

TJ's Orange Flavored Rooibos Tea
Carbopro
NUUN Tabs -- Kola if available, etc
SaltStick tabs (Primary electrolyte, about one an hour)
S! Caps (Secondary electrolyte if things are going south)
70% Dark Chocolate

Packs, Bags, Bottles, and Other Stuff:

Nathan hydration vest
Two UD bottles -- old style tops
Gel Flask
Get Mix Container
Two hand straps
Nathan bottle pack
iPod
Sandwich size baggies
Thermos (for the soup eaten on the run!)
Blister Kit/First Aid Kit
Tylenol and Ibuprofen
Headlamp
Reflective Vest
Spare Batteries
Sun Glasses
Body Glide
Sun tan lotion

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Run, Weekly Mileage

Today's run was in 56 degree weather with a 10mph wind -- much like what I can expect in a week. I wore capri tights and they were a disaster. Too warm and way too uncomfortable. I'll be going with shorts I think.

The run: 6.25 miles around the water treatment plant again. I ran a measured mile in 8:25 pace in the middle of this. It felt awful since I thought I was runnning 9+ pace. What a relief to find out it was somewhat faster!

Weekly total: somewhere around 22 miles I think. Not including the walk on Thursday. I may run a short 5.6 mile trail "race" (I won't be racing it, but others will!) on Sunday to wrap up the week.

Likely no running at all next week.

Race Day Clothing

With slightly over a week to go before the race, the weather forecast is starting to firm up. The links to the right will take you directly to weather.com for the start and finish line forecasts.

Right now, they look like this:

9AM Start in Elk City: ~40, sunny, with a southerly breeze @ 10mph
3PM Somewhere in the middle: ~66, sunny, S wind @ 11mph
2AM At the finish: ~44, clear night sky, SSE wind @ 9mph

That's quite a range so while I know I will have to change my upper clothing through out the race, I've been trying to work out what to wear on my legs so that I don't have to change. Changing leggings is very time consuming as shoes have to come off and it can sometimes require some contortions that can be quite painful late in the game.

So, if the forecast holds as above I will probably go with a full length pair of shorts with compression liner. If it gets any colder then I'm looking at capri length tights.

Upper clothing will simply be layers likely starting with a t-shirt *over* a long sleeve so I can easily ditch the warming layer (the extra T) without having to disrobe completely.

During the night I'll add a half zip and wind breaking jacket of some sort.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2.4 Mile Walk

No run today since it has been three days in a row. I did walk though -- 2.4 miles for the day. It's cold and windy outside today, about 40F, bright and sunny though.

Wednesday Tempo Run

I wasn't sure what to do for my work out at the gym yesterday. I was waffling between hill work, pacing, and a tempo run so I asked Lisa. She suggested tempo work that looked something like this: warm up x 10m, fast x 1M, faster x 1M, really fast x 2M, then back to faster x 1M followed by a 10m warm down.

Somehow I got all of that confused and ended up with this: 10m @ 9:21 warm up, 1M at 7:30 pace, 1M at 7:00 pace, 1M at 6:30 pace, then 0.5M at 6:00 pace followed by a mixed cool down of 9:21 pace and some faster stuff just to reach calorie and distance goals.

Boy, running 6m pace after three miles at an average of 7m pace was tough! I'd hoped to go the full 6 minutes on that but couldn't do it. Three minutes was plenty!

Total workout: 940 calories, 6.5 miles, 50 minutes (I think).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Entire Course & Elevation Profile

Another useful bit posted on the Mother Road 100 message board by another runner. This time "Alberto." Thanks Alberto!



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

6:18 pace :-)

Ok, so 6:18 is not a super fast pace in the grand scheme of things but I haven't run at that speed in a very long time.

And while I didn't run it for very long today -- about a minute -- it did come after running 7.5 minutes at 6:30 pace. Yay!

My total work out was just 28 minutes and 455 calories though as I did the other 19.5 minutes at 9:31 pace to see what that felt like. It felt just fine and my heart rate rose to 112 after 10 minutes after being at 108 after 5.

Course Profile

Another runner -- Jakob Herrman -- posted this course profile on the message board for the race. Click the image to go to his photo album where you'll find more detailed profiles of the first and second halves of the race.

While the profiles might look hilly they really aren't. The worst climb in the first 50 miles is 200 feet over the course of a mile which equates to 3.7%. I'm sure I'll notice that when I'm out there but really it's not anything like a VT100, let alone WS100 climb.

0 - 50 Miles

50 - 100 Miles

Weight

It's Tuesday so time for another weigh in. Not good news today unfortunately. After a week of weighing in between 176 and 178, I'm up to 179 today. Perhaps the calorie excess of a bagel and a large dinner yesterday tipped the scale against me.

At least it's under 180.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Run

Today is the exact opposite of some of my run days last week: it's 67 degrees, bright sun, and only a light breeze. Ok, so really it's only the temp that's much different, but still, that makes things so much better.

I ran the aquaduct loop today which is 6.25 miles. Total time for the run was 53 minutes, but I stopped once to relieve myself and another time to watch a snake scurry out of my path.

With pit stops, that's a pace of 8:29. Without pit stops it works out to 8:19.

That makes me feel better about my wheezing out there. ;-)

Long Run Stats

I measured my Saturday long run disaster: 15.5 miles of actual running followed by a 3-mile slog home. 15.5 in 2:20 equates to a 9:02 pace if you include the couple of pit stops I made.

If you take those out, then it was at 8:38 pace. That I guess is at least promising for the MR100 in two weeks. If I can run comfortable at 8:45 to 9:15 pace I'll be in great shape.

Long Run #4

This weekend was a really busy one between soccer tournaments, a birthday party, and visiting family so I really only had one option for my long run: Saturday Afternoon.

That's normally fine with me but I didn't exactly hydrate very well on Friday night after sitting up till 11PM and catching up with my father over a bottle of wine. It was a fun night, but I was definitely suffering for it on Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, the plan was to do 21.6 which quickly became impossible since I didn't have the time. I decided while on the run to cut it down to 18 - 19 miles. All was going well until about 1:45 into the run when cramps started hitting my legs hard. I had no salt with me to fix the issue so I had to simply deal.

Well I didn't deal very well as I managed to continue "running" only to 2:20. After that it became a death march of short runs followed by long walks and cutting the route as much as possible to simply get home.

Total time on the road was 3 hours, but I can really only count the first 2:20 as a run. Not exactly the confidence builder I was looking for.

My Achilles was sore also. Probably a result of the dehydration.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hill Workout

Today you can really feel winter coming with 39 degrees coupled with a bright blue sky. Once again I didn't have the right clothes for a run outside so made the best of it inside.

Today's workout consisted of 4 x 90 second hills at 10:00 pace with 2 to 2:30 rest intervals at 9 minute pace. Oh, this was on the treadmill obviously and I had it set for 15% incline during each hill.

These are really tough, especially with my current conditioning. Got a bit greedy and on the second hill pushed it to 1:40 only to suffer on the third hill and manage only 1:10. The final hill was a solid 1:30 again, though I did have to drop the pace to 10:10 to complete it.

To finish up I threw in another 7:00 minute mile followed by a two minute cool down at 9:00 minute pace again.

Total workout: 38 minutes, 650 calories.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Junk Miles

Today is a bit of an ugly day outside with the temperature hanging around 42 and a light drizzle combined with overcast skies and soft breeze.

I had planned to run 6 outside anyway but managed to bring the wrong gear so I was confined (not unwillingly) to the treadmill at work. I ran 33 minutes at 8 minute pace, then 7 and 7 minute pace with a final two minute cool down.

The total workout was 42 minutes and 780 calories. Who knows what the final mileage was.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Course Photo Tour

This was posted on the Mother Road BBS by another runner. He drove the course and took a great set of photos along the way.

Arnold Begay's MR100(2) Course Photos

Monday Run, Tuesday Weigh In

Carter had his first swim team practice yesterday. It's an hour long and since the coaches are supervising the kids I was able to slip away and get a treadmill run in.

I ran 50 minutes mostly at 8:57 pace in an attempt to figure out my possible pacing for the MR100. I'd like to say this was easy, but really it really felt harder than it should have. My heart rate peaked at about 131 at this pace which is about 75%. I would have preferred it say around 120 to 125. At the end of the run I ran a 7:30 mile which these days is fast for me. It was fun to run that pace again and reminds me I should be going to track and doing tempo work.

On to the weigh in! Being unable to chew or open my mouth to any large degree has had one really positive side effect. My weight has been dropping! I weighed in today at 177.5 which is 5lbs down on last week.

I know I know, crash dieting is not particularly good for you but I like the numbers and every pound lost is a pound I don't have to carry through 100 miles in two or so weeks. I'm going to continue the diet and see what more I can loose over the next week and a half before going back to a more sane and calorie rich diet as I load for the race.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Long Run Not

The last week has been a trying one with the trouble I've had with my wisdom teeth. So, no long run this past weekend which is really a problem. While these long runs probably aren't doing much for my actual fitness level relative to the MR100, they do at least give me some confidence.

So, just under 3 weeks to go I'll have one more long run this weekend -- 3+ hours hopefully -- then it'll be time to taper. Ha.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Weigh In and Wisdom Teeth

My second Tuesday Weigh in did not show improvement, but at the same time did not show any weight gain. I was 182.5 again.

During Saturday's long run the teeth on the left bottom side of my mouth were bothering me quite a bit with sensitivity to the cool air. I didn't think a lot of it since my teeth are a mess anyway, but by Sunday night there was pain and swelling and by Tuesday morning I was suffering mightily.

A trip to the dentist and then the oral surgeon confirmed an infection and set a date for getting my wisdom teeth out -- this Thursday. Hopefully this will be the end of my dental problems for a while. Ha!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Long Run #3

Wow, what a day! The forecast was for mid-sixties and sunny but we got something closer to low 70's here in Eastern Mass.

After Carter's soccer game finished I left him and Lisa and made a beeline for the Holliston Town Forest and Vietnam (a tract of untouched land riddled with trails and not really owned by anyone as far as I can tell) on its border.

I ran an hour at Vietnam on a variety of single track, roots, rocks, double-wide trail and even jeep trails. It's always fun out there as it is desolate (only saw two sets of people today, two riders, and a group of jeeps out off-roading) and maze like. You can spend hours there and not find every trail. I've been trying to but have not seen much of it, nor can I find my way around effectively.

Anyway, after that hour I left the trails and jumped on the old railroad bed for the 6 mile run home. This is an enjoyable run even though the loose rocks can sometimes be difficult.

Total running time was down a bit from last week at 1:52 but I feel great. Next week will be three hours with some luck.

Tomorrow is the Wayland XC Challenge which I may do as an excuse for some easy miles. I certainly won't be racing it!

(PS: Carter scored a goal! :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cycle Commuting

I rode to work today since Lisa needed the car. It was chilly at the start (40 degrees) so I wore more than I normally would but still stuck with shorts. A long sleeve base layer, underwear, skull cap and full fingered cotton gloves did the trick.

The ride was enjoyable with the crisp morning air and my legs seemed to hold up ok, though they are tired.

The down side was all the angry motorists this morning. Either the usual winter road rage is starting to set in (I was squeezed by two cars, almost flattened by a UPS truck, and honked at twice by the same driver!) or everyone is just a little hung over and tired after the Red Sox win last night. Hopefully they will be a little calmer for the ride home.

Oh, the ride distance: 12.4 miles each way.

Tuesday Weigh In

I actually weighed myself yesterday (Monday) for the first time in a long time and was shocked at the number that popped up on the scale. Since I didn't want to admit I really weighed that much I decided Tuesday would be a much better day for a weekly-weigh-in.

So I did that this morning and was less shocked at the result: 182.5lbs. With some luck that will trend down over the next four weeks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Today's Run

I wasn't supposed to run today but since I am planning to bike to work tomorrow (and thus would not be able to carry running gear with me) I went out anyway.

The run was short, just 3 miles. My quads were sore but the Achilles was fine which is good news.

I finished up the run with some nasal breathing just for fun.

Faith and Afirmations

Ok, so not to get all religious here, but our family is Unitarian Universalist which means we believe in love and accept all forms of faith. It leads us to some pretty cool things and when I ran the first Mother Road 100 in 2006, I took the following benediction with me as a calming influence...

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

Sometimes that 100 miles really does feel infinite... ;-)

Here, by the way, is the full version of this.

Mental Prep

Since I work for inov-8 doing what ever needs to be done on the IT side along with working events and what not I follow their team fairly closely.

Back in August the team manager Mark Lundblad posted a piece on the team blog that contained an article by his wife and very accomplished ultra runner Anne Lundblad about Mental Toughness.

It struck me as really useful advice and I have been thinking about it and developing my own plans and affirmations to help me through this ridiculous training plan and the race itself.

I've tried hard to focus on the "just keep moving" and "I can run 9 minute miles" mantras along with visualizing the road what it will feel like. During my long run yesterday I focused on the white line on the road edge and tried to find calm in it.

It is surprisingly effective and I will be continuing with it. My mind may not be able to run the miles itself, but preparing seems to be giving me another tool in my "keep going" toolbox.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Long Run #2

Everyone says you should not increase your mileage too quickly. I've heard increases of 5% to 10% are about right and shouldn't be exceeded, and normally I'd stick with that.

It's best to leave something on the table for next week's jump in mileage is another way to look at it.

Unfortunately this time around I don't feel like I have that luxury so with 5 weeks left I increased my long run time by 42 minutes, or 58%, for a total run of 1:54.

Surprisingly the mix of trails and road felt very good. My Achilles is of course sore and I've got a bag of frozen potatoes on it right now to ice it, but over all I don't think I killed myself to run that far today.

Did I leave much on the table? Probably not. I was quite tired nearing the end, but if nothing else I've gotten some good mental training in.

Distance estimate: 12 - 13 miles.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Four Miles

Yay! A break in the rain! I managed to get out for a four mile run this afternoon. It took 33:48 and after accounting for a few stops along the way it works out to somewhere between 8:15 to 8:20 pace.

It felt much harder than it should have at that pace, but I have to start somewhere.

My Achilles felt ok, not good, but ok. It's a bit sore right now but I think it will be fine ultimately.

65 Degrees

A little over five weeks to go and it's 65 degrees and rainy outside. Typical October weather. I will be trying to get three or four miles in today, probably around 1PM.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't getting a little nervous about this thing. Haha.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Long Run # 1

I guess if it's possible for a 7-week 100-miler training plan to have a base building phase this past weekend was the first of two in this phase. Next weekend will be the last and I'll be in the real meat of the training plan.

This sounds so silly to me it's not funny. I know I can finish the MR100, but trying to figure out what to include in a seven week training plan is impossible. I guess the really important factor is getting the long stuff in. I could do speed work etc (and I probably will), but really I have to be ready for time on my feet.

So what is there to think about other than really running long? Not much.

Sunday afternoon I had time to think about exactly that, not much, and how exactly I thought I could do this. I took to the trails at Rocky Narrows and ran about 8 miles. It took me 72 minutes to compete the run, so right on 9 minute miles? That's not too bad considering.

What was really cool was the fact that I could actually run for that long! I wasn't fast, and my Achilles did complain a bit, but I ran the distance and have no after effects worth mentioning.

The run started out with light rain which turned to drizzle and finally stopped all together half way through the run. The trees and trail were wet so I was soaked pretty quickly. It was a warm day though (70F) so the dampness was fine. I spent the second half of the run stomping in all the puddles I could find which was fun.

Anyway, progress in the right direction. Today (Monday) I will take the day off. I iced the Achilles after yesterday's run, and it is throbbing a little bit today. Not bad, but best to let it rest.

Friday Run... not.

With the one-day-on/one-day-off plan I've been following I should have been out running on Friday. I didn't make it though due to the pouring rain outside.

It was warm enough, but to be honest I just didn't feel like getting wet and had only limited time anyway. I justified it with the thought that I'd be doing a "long" run on the weekend anyway.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Westborough - Wachusset Ride

Today was a perfect day. Mid-sixties and clear sunny skies, great weather for a 60+ mile bike ride to cap off the riding season.

I have been doing a little cycle commuting since Carter went back to school so when a friend at work asked if I'd be interested in joining him and others on their end-of-season ride to Mt. Wachusset and back I said sure, that's a great idea.

Ha! It turned out to be just Dave and I as everyone else had to skip the ride this year. Thankfully Dave went easy on me and was kind enough to wait for me at the top of each long climb. He's a very strong rider and while I could keep up with him on flat ground and downhills his full season of cycling had him very well prepared for the climbing we did.

We developed a pattern: he would ride effortlessly away from me on each climb and I'd then catch him on the downhill. My extra weight was both an asset and hindrance during the ride.

We did make it, though I rode perhaps 3 miles less than Dave since I bailed on the final climb up the access road to the top of the mountain. I didn't think I'd be able to get home if I tried that. Dave made it up just fine though.

So no running today, no time. Thursday will be a day off then Friday I'll hit the roads again.

I've Been Here Before

I've run four 100 mile races since I did my first at the 2004 Western States 100. That year I also ran the Vermont 100 where I really surprised myself and finished 10th over all in a time of 18:38. I was so excited by that time I had all sorts of visions of doing some amazing things at the 100 mile distance.

Unfortunately I let that "success" go to my head and began suffering from what one friend described as Decimalosis. His theory -- which he laid out in a very funny e-mail -- was that my success at the 100 mile distance caused me to think I could run any distance without really training and do well at it. He was spot on.

I finished the rest of '04 with a string of DNF's at distances between 50K and 50 miles. It continued into the spring of '05 when finally this "I can run any distance on no training" big headedness caught up with me and I suffered an Achilles strain on Heartbreak Hill during the Boston Marathon the day after yet another DNF (this time at the Don't Run Boston 50K) the day before.

This was 8 weeks before the 2005 Western States and I spent all 8 of those weeks vacillating about whether to run it or not.

A smart runner would have spent those 8 weeks in the pool or on a road bike. Me? Nooo, no way, I didn't do either of those things. In the last two weeks I finally panicked and got out for a couple of 2+ hour walks in which I would run the downhills and some of the flats.

So, with two weeks to go I decided to go for it and at least get as far as Robinson Flat and then go from there. I figured I could do that, but making it to Michigan would be tough and they'd probably pull me there.

Miraculously, my Achilles healed enough that I could comfortably run the flats and downhills and even some of the uphills so in the end I finished WS that year in 26:58. It wasn't easy, or all that enjoyable at times, but I finished.

So yeah, I've been in this injury-right-before-a-big-race position before and I've come through it. This time around I have done some riding so I'm not completely out of shape, but it isn't pretty either.

This time, I have seven weeks of training time too. I won't be able to do a lot in that time, but seven weeks of actual running is better than 2 weeks of walking.

Fingers crossed, with luck I'll get in a couple of 3-hour long runs, and come November I'll be as ready as I can possibly be.

History

So three months ago in June, I ran the Green Mountain Relay with my wife Lisa as a two person team.

It was one heck of an experience.

Back then I swore I would not do it again because I was miserable. I had strained my right Achilles two weeks before the relay and really shouldn't have been running the darn thing at all, but because of the planning it takes to do this, and the people that had committed to helping us, I felt like I had to run it.

I did, we did, and we finished. One hundred and ninety-seven miles in 34 hours, 42 minutes, and 28 seconds.

And then I couldn't walk. My Achilles declared that no, this was quite enough abuse for the year and it packed it in. I was on crutches for the next week and spend the rest of June and July hobbling around hoping things would get better.

They didn't really, so I finally got in touch with South County PT in Westborough where one of the PT's -- Eric Cardin -- prescribed twice-weekly sessions of Graston Technique and plyometrics.

Wow, I had heard how effective Graston can be, and also how painful it can be. Both rumors turned out to be fact, though the pain didn't come until they started to work on my calves which are/were tight from sitting at a desk all day long.

After six weeks of treatment I'm now back running. I started running again about a week ago and I've been on the road or trail every second day since then. My longest run so far has been 4 miles.

In a little under seven weeks I will need to be able to run 100 miles at the Mother Road 100 in Oklahoma.

I started this blog to track my progress mostly for my own benefit to stay motivated and to have something to look back on after the event, no matter how it goes.

Hopefully Well! ;-)

Cheers,
-Thomas.