Sunday, March 28, 2010

Knoxville Marathon

Knoxville Marathon = 26.2 miles 4hrs 50some minutes 11.04 ish minute miles.

Not the best result I was hoping for but I'll take it. This was one tough day! Long distance road running is very different from trails.
To start with, running on the road is so much more of a pounding on your body than trails. Sure the hills aren't usually as steep and long but just the constant jarring takes it's toll. My feet hurt.
Secondly, the food is different in road races. In ultra marathons the food you get along the way is things like chips, pretzels, m&m's, cookies...
ok... a quick side note. The FDA says that a typical U.S. diet should consist of around 2000 calories. I eat a lot more than that, day to day, because I burn more than the average person who only needs 2000 calories. During an ultra we might burn as much as 3000 calories just during the event! That's a lot of replacement food needed, so the kind of food served on race day is usually high in calorie, quick burning "junk food" to keep us going.
Food served at marathons are items like Gu... which is something you would never in your life consume during your typical day: It's this stuff that comes in these little packets, which fit easily into a pocket. They usually contain about 110 calories, and have the consistency of ... well... goo. Now don't get me wrong, I use them. A lot. During training and during all longer races, but, to eat only Gu for 4+ hours is not my idea of adequate. I need more in my stomach. So for an almost 5 hour event I had 4 gu's.
The third limiting factor for me is this head and chest funk I've been trying to work out since Oak Mountain. It has been, uh, funky, and I do not feel well. I might be sand bagging a bit but that is how the day went for me. I did not have a bad time. Not at all in fact. It was just a very difficult day.
The Knoxville Track Club (KTC) does a great job! Incredible in fact! All of the volunteers (and there were many) were top notch. A big kudos to them! KTC puts on a ton of events in the area all the time. If you ever want to check out a race either as a participant, volunteer, or just a spectator just click on this events link and pick one...might I suggest a trail race?

So what's next? you might ask. ...thanks for asking! Well reader, it is the Highland Sky 40 miler. in June. This will be my hardest event to date! but more on that later. I have to rest and recover first.

I want to thank some folks, bear with me a moment.
First and fore most: MY CREW:

Without their love and unwavering support absolutely none of this would be possible for me!

Secondly: Coach Jack:

Who's mentorship and coaching and friendship help make me a better person.

Thirdly: my sponsors! New Balance of KnoxvilleNew Balance Logo, Eddie's Health Shoppe, and
Shower In a Bottle! Who so willingly give to my cause! Please give them your business if you need any of their services. These folks offer wonderful products as well as great and knowledgeable customer service!

..and to YOU! Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oak Mountain 50k


Yup...that's right. DNF. Kind of a bummer. So it went down sorta like this:

Woke up on Saturday morning not really feeling it. Just kind of lethargic and not real excited. This, and those that know me can attest to this, is not at all like me. I'm a pretty excited person!
So, we hit the start and I'm generally feeling pretty good. Running strong and steady. The trails were awesome! In fact that course is the best one I've run yet! Complete with water falls and all! Absolutely beautiful! Right around mile 10ish it hit me. I started feeling like...ok...really bad. Way too achy. Everything hurt, and I had that creepy crawly skin feeling that usually signifies the onset of some sort of illness. I was not feeling well at all. I was trying my best to work through it but just couldn't shake the feeling. I would walk a bit and then try running a bit, all the while working on the meta physics of it all, but to no avail. When I finally reached the third aid station, around mile 14.5, I realized that if I continued on it would be a bad day. I have no doubts that I could have finished the race, it's just that it would have royally sucked. I realized that I didn't need to prove that I could finish one of these events, but was actually going for a time goal in this event. That being blown, did I really need/want to suffer through this one to say I've done it? NO!
So I bailed.

All in all, I am, of course, disapointed about the DNF (did not finish), but the great news is that, running wise, I feel great! I ran 14 miles and, aside from feeling not well, don't feel like I put forth much effort this weekend!

Which is a great lead in for my next event. This weekend is the Knoxville Covenant Health Marathon I'm pretty excited about this one because, running wise I feel strong!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oak Mountain 50K

I am getting fired up! Oak Mountain 50k is only a couple of weeks away! I feel really good about this one. I think I'll be rested and ready to rumble. We've got quite a contingent from Knoxville and I think the VanHeese support team may be able to come as well which offers up an even bigger dose of fun!
I was on the race website this morning, looking around, and found the course profile... doesn't look too bad really! I am resting well and feeling pretty good after my efforts at Norris last weekend. Looking for a PR (personal record) for this one... under 6:30 would be awesome and I think I can do it!! We shall see.

Monday, March 1, 2010

50K (31miles) at Norris!

What a great day! Picked up Brian (middle in the pic) at 7am and headed north to the Norris watershed park trails.
Started out in about 37 degree temperatures and cloudy skies. When we set out for the trail head we imediately had to consult the course map and would continue doing so throughout the first lap (sorry Brian!).
The course we were to follow is the course for the KTC's Norris Dam Hard Trail Race being held on September 5th this year. This race is part of KTC's Tread'n Trodden Trails race series. I highly recommend any race in this series for anyone into trail running - whether a beginner or seasoned veteran!
The First 15.5 mile lap of our day was completed in about 3:52 or so. We had a lot of map checking, rocks in shoes, bathroom breaks, food breaks etc... making it a lengthy lap. We got back to the car/aid station to re-supply. At this point I was in a bit of a funk; a mental low point of thoughts like 'why am I doing this' or 'this/that hurts' or 'maybe I'm not cut out for this', where every step seemed like a daunting task...
The funks I have gotten into on these distance runs are getting shorter, but I think they need not exist. I realize that the common belief is, as long distance runners, that we go through prescribed mental highs and lows. I don't think that we need to buy into this. I don't think these things just happen. I think we experience our thought and I also think we can be much more aware of this as we go, to not be merely reactionary, but rather to completely own our experience in every moment.
...so back to the run:
Just as we were ready to head out for lap #2, Jack showed up (left in pic)! He had raced the previous day at the Mt Cheeha 50k and placed 22nd overall for a time of 5:42! Jack decided to hang around and be support for Brian and I throughout our second lap. It was great to have him out there for us. Thanks, Jack!
Lap two was pretty tough. The hardest part of the course is in the last few miles. In fact the real climbing doesn't start on that course until late in the lap. Which makes for a very physically and mentally tough end. Brian was a great pacer and was working hard to get us in under 8hrs.

In the end we hit the car at 8 hrs exactly! We had a great time out there. Brian is a great runner and it was fun having him there! My wife and friends Dick and Penny also came out for the end. What a great feeling to be so well supported. Thanks guys!

My New balance 875 shoes and technical clothing, provided by Mark at New Balance of Knoxville preformed flawlessly! Those shoes have a ton of traction! Thanks Mark!

As always please check out portlight.org to see all of their on-going work toward making lives better. They are the focus of my efforts.

Next race is Oak Mountain 50k March 20th! ...Stay tuned!