Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Foot Issues

I went to see Dr. Stewart today at Virginia Sports Med to see what is going on with my ankles/feet. After a round of xrays I found out that I have a condition where 1 bone is too large and fills a hole up. This does not allow a ton of lateral movement or rolling of my feet, thus I easily roll ankles. This puts stress on the muscle band that runs over the foot and under the outer ankle bone. Dr. Stewart suggested that I run on roads only and I should be ok. This is not an options as I love the trails and mountains. We could do orthodics in my shoes, maybe would help, wear the correct shoes will definitely help a lot. The last resort is a surgery where he would remove part of the bone and then put some tissue in the hole. This has worked for some, but not all patients. This is probably the long term solution once the pain is not stop and prevents me from running.

Monday, June 23, 2008

C25K - The Couch To 5 Kilometer Plan

Running is a huge part of my life and thus impacts all those around me to a degree. I wish all of you would pick up a pair of shoes and head out the door for a joyous run. It is a true stress reliever and builds confidence like nothing else I know of. For those of you who want to start running I recommend the 9 week couch to 5K (C25K) running program. The official site is located at The actual plan is located on the cool running site.

This program is designed to take you off your couch and put you on the road. You will start off with alternating between walking and jogging. Do you worry about pace. Most of the workouts are based on time. The ones based on distance can be easily measured with the odometer on your car. Nothing to precise here, do not worry about running exactly 1 mile, just get close. Give it a try and in 9 weeks you will be running 5k, or 3.1 miles. YOU CAN DO THIS. I know you can.

One last note: If you get a few weeks in are going to stick with it go and invest in a pair of running shoes. Go to a running store and get fitted for the correct shoe. They will measure your feet and watch you run and recommend a shoe. I know it is more expensive this way, but your health is priceless and the correct shoes will make it so much more enjoyable.

DISCLAIMER: Running is addictive. Try this at the risk of -

  • Waking up early on the weekends to run

  • Wondering why I missed my run this morning

  • Getting wet while getting in your miles on the road

  • Making your whole family healthier from you lifestyle choices

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Laurel Highlands Ultra 2008 Fact Sheet

  • Temp: 60 - 70

  • Weather: Rained for 12 hours straight, heavy at times

  • Weight: 183 lbs. pre taper and eat week

  • Health: It all feels good going in

  • Trail Conditions: Course was wet before it rained, very wet and muddy afterward, my feet were wet for all but miles 19 - 23, I changed shoes at 19 and it started to pour at 23

  • Injuries: I fell once - it did not hurt anything

    • IT Bands - Both knees hurt when running down hill in the middle miles, this went away, I took advil and did not run so much, did not hurt at all after race

    • Left Ankle - hurt from wearing hardrocks, not to bad in race unless I landed awkward on it, really hurt next day - I was on crutches until wed after race

    • Blister on the heel of right foot - hardrocks (maybe, new socks could have also caused it)

    • Feet - as beat up and sore as to be expected

    • Toenails - right big one is very black and sore, I may end up losing it soon

    • Overall soreness - very sore for 2 days, muscles felt ok after that

    • Fatigue - Very tired entire week after the race, still tired 8 days out

  • Equipment - ASR4s and injini toe socks rock - I wore these for majority of the miles with soaked feet and no blisters, this is the winning combination from now on. I love this combo

  • Food - Shot block every 10 minutes for the entire race - 200 cals per hour + gator and some food from aid stations

  • Hydration - 2 to 3 nuuns every 8 miles, carried hpl 020 for entire race and one hand bottle for 40 miles or so, could have got buy with just hpl 020 I think and nuun

  • Lights - Petzil tikka headlamp (sucked) and princeton tech led hand light (rocked

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Laurel Highlands Ultra Race Report

The Laurel Highlands Ultra is a 70.5 trail race that takes place on the Laurel Highlands Trail. The trail's southern terminus is located in Ohiopyle, PA, with the north end completing just outside of Johnstown, PA. The trail is single track for all but 1 mile that follows an old dirt road. It runs across the top of the Laurel Ridge in the Appalachian Mountains. Its highest point is located at Seven Springs Ski Resort.

This race had been my focus since reading the book Ultra Marathon Man. I had just run a poor race at the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and was pretty down on running. I had no desire to run any distance over the half. I was in Barnes and Noble one day and picked up The Book. It changed my life and after reading it I decided to run the Laurel Highlands Ultra. I trained hard and ran 2 50Ks in preparation. I, like many others had my life changed by ultra running and Ultra Marathon Man was the catalyst that started the fire burning.

The Friday before the race Kathy and I headed to her Moms house to meet up with my brother in law who would also complete the race. We arrived and I prepared for the day ahead. Luckily my Dad and Kathy were going to crew me and I gave them last minute instructions and directions to the areas they could meet up with me to lend moral , equipment, and nutritional support.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Laurel Highlands Ultra 2008 Race Report Preview

The Laurel Highlands Ultra is a grueling 70.5 mile ultra-marathon. The race takes place in SouthWest Pennsylvania along the Laurel Highlands trail. The course consists of rocky, rooty, hilly, muddy single track for 95%, with one small 1 mile section on a dirt road with pot holes large enough to swallow up a Jeep. For some reason I ran this race last weekend. I finished in 21:43. I have a new respect for this trail that I grew up backpacking on. I am going to post a full up race report soon. I promise......

Monday, June 16, 2008

Brooks Adrenaline ASR4 - UPDATE

The Brooks Adrenaline ASR4 are a great trail running shoe. They are a natural for me since I wear the Brooks Adrenaline GTS  line of road shoes. I feel the ASR4 are build using the same technology / design as the road version.

The main difference between the two shoes are:

  • The ASR4 have a larger toe box - this is a much needed feature for running down steep hills

  • The ASR4 have a more durable "water resistant" upper - they do not keep any water out, this is a bad feature as they do not dry out as fast as the road version and your feet remain wet longer while running, but they are more durable

  • The ASR4 have a much more aggressive tread pattern

  • The ASR4 have a beefier toe guard

  • The ASR4 are somewhat stiffer than the road version, but not too stiff as you can used them on the road with no regrets

The main similarities between the two shoes are:

  • Brooks MOGO cushioning

  • Similar pronation control characteristics

  • Stability shoe