Adventures In Running

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Was Insane Today

I was curious to see where my fitness level was for the 50 miler at the end of March, so planned an insane run today. My goal was to run from my house in Sandy, Utah to my Dad's house in Provo, Utah (about 34-35 miles).

I plotted a rough course yesterday on and packed my running backpack last night. This morning I woke up around 5 a.m. and played with the puppy for a few minutes, filled my running bladder, and headed off to Provo. I did a last minute change of shoes because the pair I intended to run in felt a little tight with my Ininji toe socks.

Starting time - around 5:30 A.M. In order to not have to carry any more weight than necessary, I layered my long sleeved running shirt with a light vest and a light jacket this morning. My camelback probably weighed around 10+ pounds most of the day, but I knew I had to be prepared in case of problems that might come up.

I headed south on 7th East until I got to the trax trail in Draper and then followed it for a mile. I was following the plan of run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes. First few miles I was worried about my left knee, but it loosened up really well. When I got to 123000 South in Draper, I walked up a big hill to Starbucks and bought a large hot chocolate and an apple fritter. I was trying to hydrate by drinking water every walk break and taking 1-2 Etabs every hour along with some kind of gu/shot blocks.

I was on the Porter Rockwell Trail by 6 miles and then switched over to the Draper Canal Trail because it had a better equestrian section that I could run on to save my legs. Nursed the hot chocolate for 3 miles. When the canal trail ended, I swung up to the Porter Rockwell Trail to get halfway around Point of the Mountain. I was glad I still had on all my warmer clothes because the temperature dropped the farther I got around the point. I did run most of the Canal Trail and Porter Rockwell - just walking a few uphills.

It was nice watching the moon rise and the sky getting lighter. I was sure looking forward to sunrise to get warmer. I saw the sun come up on the Oquirrh Mountains and creep across the valley, but never got the sun on me while in Salt Lake County.

After the Porter Rockwell trail ended, I switched over to the Frontage Road and ran on the dirt shoulder as much as I could. I figured all the off pavement miles would be good trail mileage and also save my legs from pounding. I was just past the half marathon mark and at the Utah County line when I finally got into sunlight. It wasn't much warmer then - there was a stiff headwind blowing constantly and the flags were standing straight out.

Passed the half marathon mark a little short of 3 hours. I did find that the colder weather was affecting me like it did last year in the Buffalo Run 50K. I wasn't able to stomach solid food. I was drinking gatorade at this point in time, but only got down about 1/3 of the apple fritter. It just made me nauseous, even trying just a bite every mile or two.

First 13 miles: 14:01/13:33/12:51/13:44/12:38/17:29 (up the hill & in Starbucks)/13:29/13:16/12:44/13:44/13:38/13:24/13:56

Partway into mile 14 I started stripping off my outer layer of clothes and storing them in the backpack. By about mile 17 I was down to a running hat, sunglasses, long sleeved shirt, shorts, tights, shoes and socks. I had stored my gloves, cap, vest and jacket. The pants got dropped at mile 24.

I was pleasantly surprised that once I started running on pavement I was averaging between 11-12 minute mile pace while running and 15-16 minute mile pace during the walking stretches. I had figured the entire run would take me 10 hours, but knew that I was doing much better than that. It was also pleasant to see the hang gliders and parasails at Point of the Mountain.

As I passed through Lehi I kept hoping to see some of my running friends who had been on the Jordan River Parkway - but no luck. I did stop my watch for a commercial aid station for about 2 minutes at the Chevron where we turn off for the JRP. I knew I needed to get some liquid nutrition in me - so picked up a slim fast shake and drained that.

The only portion of the run I didn't enjoy was through most of American Fork. Too much traffic and not enough shoulder. I was enjoying getting occasional calls from my sister, Marcia, ultra running buddy, Leslie and talked to my dad twice to get directions. I also stopped my watch for about 5 minutes after having to run back to a bathroom second and third times - but ended up a lot lighter after those trips. I had some Immodium with me - but the 3 breaks seemed to empty my system out.

Miles 14-26: 12:25/12:40/12:25/11:44/12:04/12:35/12:22/14:19 (including half mile walking)/12:31/14:50 (sick)/11:45/13:01/12:53

I was very pleased to pass the marathon mark at around 5 hours 45 minutes. Heck - a couple of years back that would have been a personal record for me. I was then looking forward to the 50K mark. My Camelback was starting to run my neck raw and I had to keep pulling up my running shirt. I was too lazy to try and find a bandaid to pad it with. I knew I was not taking in enough food, but kept forcing the gu, water and gatorade down. I was hoping there were gas stations on Geneva Road - but no luck and I had only bought the one meal replacement drink.

Miles 27-35: 13:14/12:05/13:19/12:46/13:31(dropping off backpack)/12:09/12:43/13:38/13:05

I was very happy that I had no knee pain at this point in time. That had been a big concern before the run. My pulled ab muscle only bothered me if I coughed - so I just decided not to cough if I could help it. Starting at mile 26 I was really looking forward to finishing each 20 minute running period because that 5 minute walk break saved me from going crazy. Around 30 miles or so I was so tired of the weight of my camelback I almost stripped it off and threw it away, but instead I called my dad and asked him to come and rescue it for me.

I passed the 50K mark at 6 hours 55 minutes. Granted my Garmin was off for about 8 extra minutes and this was mainly a road 50K - but this was a big personal record for me. Every step after 50K was new terrritory and I kept plugging away. I was really tired by now, so switched at mile 32 to walking 1/4 mile, running 3/4 mile. Luckily, the 2 significant uphills I had to go up to get to my dad's house fell during the 1/4 mile segments.

I finished surprisingly strong (but was glad to not have to move anymore). It was a great run and I feel very good about the conditioning and endurance. No pain, no injuries. A blister on each big toe - but they were from my callouses rubbing and will be gone in a day or so.

7:40:16 35 miles 13:09 average 3659 Calories (per Garmin)


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ground Hog Day 5K

Race day today.

At 10 a.m. I met Marion at the park and we got our numbers and did about 1.8 miles warmup on the trail and then did some strides before the race started. I was feeling pretty warm, so stripped down to shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I regretted that during the race - wish I had kept on gloves at least because out of the sun it was cooler.

The 5K and 10K both started at the same time. It think there were 3 people running the 10K and Marion's main goal was to beat Sasha getting done (he was planning a 33 minute run).

The race starts out in a parking lot and then you take the sidewalk for a block or two and have to loop around under the road. That loop slows you down both going out and on the way back in. Once you were on that loop - the rest of the run was on the Provo River Parkway. That is good and bad - good because there aren't a lot of cars - bad because we had to dodge casual runners.

Marion and I started off well and finally settled into our pace. We might have gone out a little quick, but it is hard to tell. She kept in contact with me until the end of the first mile and then I started surging ahead. As usual - the first 1/2 to 3/4 mile is awful because the body has to come to the conclusion that you are not going to let it stop running that fast. That trail there is also quite undulating, so you don't get any great places to get comfortable in an uphill, downhill or flat section. I passed the one mile mark at 9:04 with Marion right behind me.

Going into mile 2 I could hear Marion drop back and then couldn't hear her breathing anymore. I swear all the uphill sections on the way out were also uphill on the way back. Shortly after the turnaround point I high fived Marion and pointed out to her that she was not in last place - she didn't want to finish last and there were several people behind her. Mile 2 was also in 9:04. I felt at this point in time like I was out of gas and regretting the extra miles I put in last night. I did keep trying to put on some speed anytime I noticed myself slacking off.

The last mile was a struggle. I could feel my breathing getting raspy and was almost wondering if I was having an asthma attack. I seriously wanted to give up and slow down a little and run with Marion, but I kept going on. It was nice to pass the 1/2 mile left marker. The loop back to the sidewalk was a pain, but I was actually starting to get a tiny bit optimistic that I might PR. My 3rd mile was 9:17 - so I can tell I was struggling.

I swear as I got back into the parking lot that my body was in slow motion. And I was trying to hard to PR, but heard that previous mark just before I crossed the line - I was 2 seconds slower. However, I felt that this was a tougher race than the one I pr'd in and Sasha seemed to agree on that one.

Grabbed a quick glass of water and ran back to the end of the parking lot to cheer Marion in and motivate her for that last sprint. I was very proud of her.

After talking with Sasha a bit, we ran down the Provo River Parkway towards BYU and then I showed Marion where the Pachev gang lived and we visited for a little bit. I was pretty tired and Benjamin was thoroughly trouncing me in chess when Marion finally pried herself off the couch.

Earlier I was going to do more mileage tonight, but I am tired.

5K's - good on speedwork, but tough on the body. My lungs are almost as tired after a measly 5K as after a marathon because I have to breathe so hard.

Sasha Pachev wants me to work on short, uphill explosive motions for a while to try and break through my mental barriers. I will try it - but I don't think I have as many barriers as Sasha seems to think I have. Looking back at my changes in training since October, 2008 and the progress I have made, I just think my body is still adjusting to my changes in expectations.