Thursday, April 29, 2010

Palmetto 200 packing list

So you may have to wait until my return (!May 10th?) for a recap from Van #2 of Team DNR All Stars! I may try to do a snippet while I'm on vacation next week though. I'm bringing my camera, so you can bet there will be a Ton of photos taken! I'm very excited...packed up now.
As I take a cue from my teammate in van #1 (She may blog during the run - check out her site Friday/Saturday) - here's my packed bags:

-One blue Myrtle Beach bag (with a shoe visible) of running clothes for my 2nd and 3rd legs. Have a few extra shirts depending on weather.
-One clear Runner's World bag with all my running extras: Gu, Power bars, watch, hats, safety vest, etc.
-One green Green Valley bag with towels (both to dry off with and to sit on), fleece blanket (in case it gets much colder than the predicted 64° tomorrow night), six 20 oz Gatorades, 6 Kashii bars, the Garmin, and a frisbee.
-Camera bag and chargers for ipod, phone.
-Camelbak for personal items and extra clothes for in-between runs and my chaco's.
-Items Not shown: Bag of bagels (including 2 or 3 with PB&J), tailgating chair, and my clothes for the morning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Success...sort of.

Went out at 6am Sunday morning for a hopeful 4 hr/24 mile run. I mixed things up a bit and instead of going to Oak Grove Lake (the 0.85 mile loop I repeat forever), I ran out my door. Only a quarter-mile to sidewalks where I ran and out and back 5 miles (originally thought it was 6 each way). Then I did it again. Then I added a 1.5 mile out and back to total 23 miles. I'll cut to the chase and say I did it just under 4 hours, but it sure didn't feel good. No pains though which is excellent. I thought the spot behind my left knee would twinge every now and then, but it never escalated into anything. My quads were the issue - had no energy. I was having to force myself (after 18 miles) to move at a slightly more than a sluggish shuffle even on the flat sections. The soles of my feet were starting to get a little sore, but I expect the trails will be much more gentle on them. Looking back - it had been four weeks since my last "long" run over 13.1 miles, and that was the Chattooga training run. With the Palmetto 200 relay next weekend and only 4 free weekends until the race, taking into account my taper - that leaves only 3 more possible long runs. Right now my plans are for an 18/7, 12/24 and 7/17 (that would be two consecutive days mileage). Those may change. I feel good today though. No lingering affects from yesterday which may be a sign of strength even though I was weak during the run. It certainly did not make me feel like thinking about another ultra - that 3 day a week marathon training program sounds downright easy right now. I feel my speed is disappearing every day and doing Zero speedwork isn't helping, but I am not going to start now. Was going to take tomorrow off, but since I feel up for it, I'll do an easy 4-5, and the same on Wednesday.
P200 update:
Been fiddling with our race spreadsheet and making mental pack plans. I'm anxious to get started. Getting picked up at 6:15am Friday to go meet the rest of the crew and do the obligatory group photo at the start line. Maybe I'll add my pack list in here at some point...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A good run! Math! P200 meeting!

I finally had a good run - where I felt like I had actual energy. It's been awhile since I've felt that on a shorter run. Yes, it happened on one of my weekday runs (usually 6-9 miles). I took an extra day off today, instead giving my legs a rest before attempting 24 miles tomorrow. No pace goals, but I hope to be out there around 4 hours. That would give me almost 46 for the week, a new high.
Low 60's in the morning and a good chance of rain/thundershowers. Still unsure which Camelbak to use for the 50k race - I keep changing my mind between the larger one and smaller one (either way - I will carry the 3 Liter bladder).
Come back soon and see how it went!
Ready for some Math?
Here's my take on training for the 50k. Not necessarily what I should be doing per the numerous 50k training plans I looked at, but how I make myself believe my training is adequate:
Peak Marathon (Charlotte Marathon) Training Weekly Mileage: 34.1
So that comes out to ~1.3 x 26.2, or 30% more than the race distance. For the 50k (31miles), I would then need to hit 40 miles in a week. I've hit that twice already, and hope to a few more times.
Max Marathon Training Daily Mileage (or my longest run): 20 miles
That comes out to ~76% of the total race mileage. Applying that to the 50k, my max run should be just under 24. I have done that once, and hope to tomorrow and at least one more time before the race.
So, that is how I mentally prepare myself. I'm not doing 50 miles every week (I may hit that once). Not running 5 days a week. Not running 25-30 miles as a long run. So far, haven't even done the back to back longer runs that I told myself I would. But - my goal is to finihs, and hoping for ~7 hours, but will take making it back to the Charry Hill Rec area in one piece!
P200 update:
Tonight we had a team meeting for the Palmetto 200 relay. Looks like one runner will be blogging about it during the race - Check out Kathrin's Blog. She'll be in Van #1, but will give a feel for what we're going thru. I'm bringing the camera for this one, so there will be alot of photos once I return. We got our shirts and discussed the actual logistics for a few minutes - then we just ate, drank and chatted.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overuse and Photo Gripes

So my run yesterday didn't quite go as planned. I had read recently in one of my many years-worth of old Runner's World that it is ok to adjust your training plan and not force yourself to run if you are not feeling it that day. Can't do that all the time obviously, but Saturday was one of those days for me.
In order to get back home and spend more time with my family, before my planned run at Paris Mtn State Park (opens at 8am), I decided I'd run a few miles before that at my usual weekday spot (Oak Grove Lake). Also decided I'd wear my Camelbak with 3L of water in it as that is likely what I'll wear during the Chattooga 50k. The 3 miles were fine, not great, but it's taking me 6 miles or so to start feeling good on runs anyway. Drove on over to Paris Mtn where it turned out a Triathlon was going on (were just starting the swim as I drove to the upper parking lot, saw the runners come up the Mtn as I left...that is a TOUGH climb!).
So - ran my usual lake loop - Brissy Ridge to Kanuga to the North Lake Loop. Didn't fall so that is a plus, and felt like I had a little energy a bit after taking my Gu, but wasn't really into it that day. Was a little warm - nothing like early June. My left upper calf had some soreness as it had earlier in the week. Before I even finished my lake loop to Pipsissewa (it's only 60% of the full lake loop), I had an inkling to cut my run short to one loop. Not a big deal to run 35 miles this week instead of 42, but I wanted 35. To get that, I ran a Full lake loop on top of my usual. It's a bit different than the rest on that 4 minute section - narrower trail for one thing. A little more up and down, Rhododendrons galore (not just the name of the campsite there). The extra 1.6 miles were a nice addition. I eventually took my turn on Pipsissewa (will have to find out the history behind that name someday) and headed back to Brissy Ridge. As I approached the Kanuga turn off, I contemplated turning there and heading back to the lake. I quickly pushed that thought aside and decided I was going to stop back at the upper lot. Including the Oak Grove jaunt, I ended up with ~10.2 miles and got my 35 for the week.
I really do need some more 40+ weeks. Planning on 24 (or at least 4 hours) next Saturday one way or another. June 6th will be here before I know it.
So now my gripe...
Photos. I like them. I like taking them and looking at them. Many events these days have photographers on site (at numerous locations even) taking pictures. It's very nice to have some action shots of yourself taken during events. The longer or more adventurous events make the photos even better, or at least more desirable.
I finally got around today to looking at the photos for the Morris Broadband Dupont Trail Half Marathon. I saw the photographer on the course and knew as I crossed over the bridge that he would have a good view of me. Never noticed the photos being taken as I crossed the finish line, but they had the finishing clock right there in the picture, which actually doesn't seem to happen that often. Both photos were good, I especially liked the one on the course. It was maybe 3 miles in, wasn't feeling my best, hot, and just before removing my long sleeve GTC tech shirt. It's a good side view, not a large stride as I was just starting a climb, more determined than anything. Again - I like the photos. The issue? Were my eyes closed? Do I look goofy? Neither. The $15 (+ shipping cost) for a 5x7 print. Whoa - I am wrong on that. Just looked again. $15 is for the Additional prints. The 1st one is $25. (Another $10 if I wanted a logo on it, I assume of the race). You've got to be kidding me. How did it ever get started to have the photos cost $15-25 each? If they were $5 each, would they sell so many more to make it just as worthwhile? How many people do they really expect to shell out $25 for a single photo - regardless of how good the shot is? 2%?? Not me, not for this event anyway. I have bought photos before - my 1st half, my 1st Full marathon, both 9 years ago now and I am Sure I didn't pay $25 for either of them. Maybe a couple others.
I know a photographer or two, maybe I'll ask why they are so expensive. I expect I'll hear that they have to get paid, upload them, storage/website/online shopping charges, plus make a profit. Whatever - it won't make a difference.

Better late than never.

Am finally getting around to adding the photos that I took on my Chattooga Training Run. Will edit the post and add them there!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Palmetto 200 update

So we are almost 3 weeks away (CORRECTION: 2 weeks!) from the start. We now have our starting time: 9:00am Friday April 30, so we should finish between 2pm and 3pm on Saturday if I've calculated correctly. The start location has changed due to unsafe running conditions on a certain road, so the first 6 stages have been re-routed. That only affects Van #1 (not me as I am the 1st runner in Van #2!).
We will likely have a team meeting the weekend before the race to iron out details - like where we'll meet, when we'll leave (I'm hoping Van #2 will leave around 9ish? No reason to wake up super early to cheer on Van #1 like last time when we all could have benefited from a few extra hours of sleep. They know we support them. Just from a distance.), all the other little things we're forgetting.
Should have two more weekend's of trail running at Paris Mountain before the relay. Hoping for 3 hours this Sat and 4+ hours next Saturday. Been having a hint of an overuse soreness around my left ankle, but hasn't crept up during my runs this week, just afterwards. Maybe it's time to change my shoes? Doing 10 in the morning before getting to work at 7am, then yoga at lunch (work kept me from it on Monday). That should give me around 42 for the week. I do hope to hit 50 once before I taper for the Chattooga 50k.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Morris Broadband Dupont Trail Half Marathon Race Report

Before my Race Report - I want to apologize to my 2+ readers...(Been a little hectic, almost overwhelming, with work, house, family, running, nice weather, etc). I did start running again after 3 days off and things went well. Got back up to 25 miles that week with 3 runs, longest being 12.8 miles on a warm Sunday. This week had 3 runs (6.8, 8.5 and 8.5) before today's race. Had absolutely No idea of what the course would entail. If I had seen this (Thanks to Carolina Runner)
(4/19/10 update: This seemed unreasonable. Now I've seen this and 1776 ft of elevation gain/fall seems more likely.)

So - this was at Dupont State Forest just over the border in NC, about an hour and 10 minute drive. Was quite warm in the sun, but cool in the shade. Got a decent reusable bag and very nice l/s technical shirt. Ran into my friend ER from Greenville and lined up at 9am. Race director was great - telling people as he walked from the starting line back thru the lined up runners. "This is where the 6 minute/mile runnners should be. This is where the 7 minute/mile runners should be" and so on. Everyone could hear him and people got the message. May have to bring that up at the next Greenville Track Club Board Meeting this week.
He also warned us that "the last 1.5 miles was Uphill, so save something". As this was an out and back for the most part, we'd have figured that out, but it was still good to remind us. He wasn't kidding either.
Partially gravel road heading down. Missed the first mile marker and went thru 2 in under 16. Seemed too fast for that distance, but I wasn't feeling that great. Just not alot of energy and was thinking it was going to be a long tough run. There was maybe a mile of flat surface on the whole course (the airstrip around mile 5.5 or so being most of that!). The almost 18,000, no wait, it's only 3500 feet of elevation change is something completely new to me. I guess I did fine since I finished feeling pretty good. The first half I struggled. People slowly passed me until we got to the end of the airstrip. I guess my Gu (or pre-race PB&J Bagel) kicked in and I felt Much better. Started running with people (I could keep up with people at this point). An older guy I was behind for quite a while as we walked some of the worst hills. I finally caught up and eventually moved ahead. Ran with 3 females on and off, mostly with KH for a few miles until she pulled ahead the last 2. Had some good conversation (and continued it post race; turned out we have practically the same 5k PR and other similar running habits). Course was trails sadly, but some pine straw areas, dirt/gravel mix mostly. Hills Hills Hills. Ran around a lake that you could barely see except one spot. The first place guy passed me going the opposite direction and ended up beating me by 34 minutes. Crazy how fast he was flying down that section. Long legs help. I do not have that luxury.
After walking sections of the first 8 miles, I pretty much ran straight from 8-11.5. I didn't mind walking as I wasn't racing for time or anything, plus carrying too much water in my camelbak on purpose also helped with the Chattooga 50k training. My finishing time: 1:55:09. Surprising to me to be that fast, so I am very happy with it. I can see me doing this one again because it is such a challenge. If my legs were fresh to start with, I expect I could do better. This constant training really takes it out of me sometimes.
Other notes: The females at the aid station by the airstrip were Wonderful. All stations should cheer like that! The finisher medal was pretty sad. Generic "Half Marathon" written on it. The red, white, and Blue would be appropriate if it had anything to do with being Patriotic. Still - any race you get a finisher's medal is good. The memory of the race is what counts! Easy packet pickup. May need to make a trip to Asheville to get some trail running shoes (Foot Rx had shoes for sale, Asics 2140Trail, but not my size). On the way home, the Assault on the Carolinas bike event was going on, Many riders coming up 276 up and over Caesar's Head. I certainly had it easier with my half marathon!

4-12-10: Adding 2 photos I took before the start of the registration/finish area: