Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Want some humble pie with that run?

Just a long run today, easy, but working on some fueling options, (like…none).

Last week or so I was sort of humble-bragging about never having fallen in years and years ( 40, maybe) of trail running.
Today. Twice.
It's a good thing I don't believe in fate or kismet or superstitions or angels or demons or stuff like that.
(Karma might be a real thing but that's more psychological than theological)

Was trundling along in an un-fueled haze (water yes, but no gels or such) and switching back and forth between road and trail. Running in Seneca Creek State Park and zipping down the Old Bathtub trail cross into a clearing and see a fox! Stop to watch and then scoot on. Connect up with the Seneca Creek Greenway and feeling better coursing by the creek when I hear an owl. Seconds later, I see the owl flying low through the trees "Nice!" I say and then…
Stumble, stumble, roll left and kapow, on my left side into some soft earth and hummocks of grass.
Groan, roll over and do a quick check. All good! except my left collar bone, but while it's sore from the impact, I can wiggle my fingers and raise my arm so in my opinion, not broken. 

I laugh to myself and head off again…the soul of caution, I move along more carefully and ignore the owl who hoots and flits.

An hour later, running the same loop again, I'm being quite careful and…
Down again in an almost exact re-play of the earlier tumble.
I get up, shake myself off, wipe off the mud, check for damage and walk a bit just to make sure I'm ok.

The rest of the run I stick to the roads and less possibility of a face plant which I KNOW will be next of the dance card.
18 miles in 3:20. Stops, drops and rolls included.

Running un-fueled is a great way to teach the body to burn fat for fuel. It's intentional bonking and brings in mental toughness to the game. Do this once in awhile, and while it can suck you learn to run on less fuel and know how to gut it out if you do bonk. Caution! You can get yourself into a lot of trouble doing this so always have a plan "B".

For folks not in the know: Bonking, The Bonk: Running out of fuel and becoming so depleted that you sometimes literally sit on the side of the road and cry, stumble, slur your words, stop in the middle of the street and are unable to take another step and generally feel like death warmed over.
Bonking IS NOT "I'm tired but I can still walk." or you are forced to slow your pace because the old energy level is falling. i.e.: "I was running this half marathon and running 7:00 minute miles but I bonked and had to drop my pace to 7:10. 
That's not bonking.
There is another "bonking" but that usually involves someone you like… a lot.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Now is the winter...

Now is the winter of our discontent.

Especially if you try to get out and run a bunch or ride a bike or get in a good hike or heck, even get to work.
Frozen gack
Black ice
At least the days are getting longer.

The first real winter we've had in three years has caused havoc with the training schedule for Spring races. Havoc with the work schedule as we've been off enough days to make us have to flip schedules around. Not happy. 

Been spending time on the trainer in the Pit of Despair (the basement) spinning up the miles. Running three times a week. One noodle run, some speed and a long. Pushing metal around, juggling kettle bells and doing squats till the calves come home. Getting out for anything has been a battle. I should have joined a gym.

Been dealing with a cold/flu that won't go away. Picked it up after the Disney races. ML came down sick post race and me a few days later. I just can't shake it. Feeling better lately but still manky after a hard effort.

Have to get my business together if I am really going to get out to The Challenge Atlantic City race. 
(Iron distance race - 2.4 mile swim, 112 on the bike and a marathon) Have not been in the pool since last fall and then only for a few days. Heck the winter weather has me so discombobulated I had planned to do several indoor triathlons that are now only a few weeks away!

If I don't get in the pool soon, I'll end up under a car park.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Best Speed

As most of my running friends know I eschew GPS running devices. Really, I think they are one of the worst things to happen to running. Folks relying on technology instead of themselves, their training and common sense…always striving for a number that's faster and farther than yesterday and it leads them down the road to injury and burnout. Now, mind you, if it works for you great! It's not for me and I think more folks should run naked. (Technology wise I mean)

I'm just back from running the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge Weekend…every year for nine years now Mary Lou and I skip down to see The Mouse, run a bit (or a lot) and decompress from life in general.

This year was the inaugural Dopey Challenge. Four
days of racing starting with the 5k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, Half marathon on Saturday and Marathon on Sunday.

How do you do that? You can follow a GPS for pacing and speed which ignores the 100% humidity and warm temps and racing in the dark and the gobs of people or you can follow
Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE.

You go at best speed. The best speed you can maintain and not blow up.
It's how I got through my four races. Running by feel, which is quickly becoming a lost art in running and other endurance sports.

The 5k started at 6:15 with my wave going off a bit after that. Now, I can run a 5k in 24 or 25 minutes now, OK for my age, but I knew there would be the devil to pay if I ran too hard. It went well and I finished in 27 running comfortably hard.
Comfortably hard? Yup. A pace where I was working' but not killing myself.

On Friday the 10k started at 5:30. I was in the second wave so we tooled off a few minutes after the first. A great course through Epcot for the Inaugural Minnie Mouse 10k. Lots of fun. Lots of characters  and a race done almost completely in the dark! Disney lights everywhere.
My PR for 10k is 42:20 but I'm not in that kind of shape right now. I'd be happy under and hour. 57 minutes. Again, running at best speed…comfortably hard, an eye to the half and marathon.

Saturday is tough. Not only does the 2am wake up call hurt, but the 100% humidity will cause all kinds of havoc. By Saturday morning the early wake ups are causing problems for some. Throw in the wetness and you have folks suffering with 100% humility. Lots of walking.
My 13.1 went well. Running at my best speed for the day I still made 2:10 which considering the situation was fine with me! ML finishes well although she suffers in the heat. This and all of her previous 7 WDW 1/2 marathon finishes are within 5 minutes of each other. Oh! I also negative split the race, running the second half faster then the first! Runners dig that.

By Sunday the early mornings are really the worst part. I feel good for the marathon…sort of. The odd hours and strange eating times leave my guts a little Grumpy.
To the race on WDW transportation, and to the start about 4:45 to wait for the fireworks. Thankfully Sunday is cooler and breezy with less humidity. While I do have to make a few bathroom stops because of Grumpy Colon (a new Disney character) I feel good and am moving at best speed! I make a few character stops. (I'll post those pics when I get them)  Tons of characters, great support and even greater volunteers make for a real good time! By mile 10 things are calming down in my stomach and I negative split the marathon! I couldn't do that if I tried and planned for it. Not looking for one it happens. Typical.

The Goofy Challenge continues with next year being the 10th year. I am hopeful to maintain my "Perfectly Goofy" status.

Will I be Dopey again? Maybe. Maybe not. It's hard doing four early mornings in a row even though THAT has to be good training for something.