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 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


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.