Tuesday, January 29, 2008

25 Mile Run

Last weekend I completed my key training run for the upcoming Holiday Lake 50K+. I ran a 25.5 mile run at first landing state park. I ran 2 loops around the parks main 2 trails. The last 5 miles was brutal. I ran a lot faster than last weekends 23 miler. I did not restrict myself based on heart rate this time. The day was perfect, 40 degrees with some sun and no wind. This run build the confidence that I need for the race. I also am figuring out how to push past the pain. I know that I had a lot left in the tank and could push much harder when properly motivated.

I wore my Camelback Alterra hip pack to try it out on a long trail run. I also had an Ultimate Direction Hand Bottle. I am going to sell the Alterra on ebay. It did not work out well and left red and irritated skin where it rode on the tags in my briefs and shorts. I had to pull it pretty tight to prevent the bounce and keep it up above my butt. I guess if I had a bigger butt it would work ok. I ordered a second hand bottle yesterday. I plan on using two bottles and an Amphipod belt with a medium size pouch to carry food, keys, id, etc. I used to use this belt with two small marathon type water bottles. I could strap then back onto it if I need an extra fluid reserve.

I am starting to understand the mentality needed to push back the pain and just take it mile by mile. I am really trying to get my mind around running 70 miles. I feel this is important to really grasp it now. I listened to an interview with Scott Jurek and he talked about this strategy and how he must do this to do well.

Summary for last week:

52.5 miles with a 25.5 mile long run

Plan for this week:

40 - 50 miles with a 20 mile trail long run. I am starting to get a little tired and have not been getting enough sleep. I am really looking forward to two easier weeks as I taper down.

I have started experimenting with embedding flash into this blog. The first result is below, my hr and elevation profiles for this run.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Holiday Lake Course Map

Race director Dr. David Horton emailed out a map of the race course. I have attached it below for your viewing pleasure. It is not the best quality, but does show aid station locations. Today I ran 3 cold miles, it was around 28 degrees outside and my run felt good. My heart rate was low while my pace was faster than normal. I feel things are coming together. More after my long run tomorrow.

Holiday Lake Map

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Holiday Lake 50K Preparation

It is now only 23 days until the race. I am getting excited about it and my miles are going up. Luckily I have remained uninjured and feeling pretty good through this mileage increase. This week my mileage will spike at around 56 miles and then a slight taper will begin. I hate the idea of the taper, but deem it necessary to success, especially with my less than gradual mileage increase. I cannot wait to get out there and test out my body. I have been doing mainly base training lately and keeping a sharp eye on the heart rate monitor. It will be very satisfying to just go out and run with heart, run as fast as my legs will take me! Trust me this is not very fast. I am a work in progress.

I now present my training plan leading up the the race:

This week -> Today 2 recovery Miles; Friday 4 easy miles; Saturday 26+ trail miles for a total of 56 on the week- all of this at base training pace

Week of Jan. 28 -> total of 50 miles with a 20 mile trail long run

Week of Feb. 4 -> total of 40 miles with a 12 mile long run (hopefully this short of a long run is not a mistake)

Race Week Feb. 11 -> Runs of 2 to 3 miles every day leading up to the race. I do not do well with days off, so I will run every day up to the race, once again hopefully not a mistake.

That is the plan for now. I must then focus on the build-up for the Laurel Highlands Ultra in June. I think I will put down some more base and then start to work on other things. I do not anticipate my mileage going much above 50 - 60 per week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tired Of Constantly Re-Adjusting Your HeadPhones? - Philips Surround Sound Headphone Review

Finding a set of headphones that remain in place comfortably while running has been a challenge. I have tried many models, including standard Ipod ear buds, over the head headbands, behind the neck bands, Sony ear buds, and Phillips ear buds. The Phillips ear buds (model # SHE5920/27 have provided superior usability while running. The sound is not nearly as crisp and clear as the Ipod earbuds, but this is not my main criteria. The earbuds stay in place while running. I have used this for over a year with no problems. They achieve their high usability level through rubber ear tubes. These tubes hug the inside of the ear while gently expanding for a smooth and steady fit. My first pair quit working after about a year of everyday use. You cannot expect much more out of a $15 pair of headphones. The new model now comes with an extra set of rubber ear tubes and a neat cloth carrying case. This case is much better than the standard plastic roll-up case that most earbuds include. I can fit my earbuds and a 2nd generation ipod nano in the case.

I highly recommend the Phillips Surround Sound Headphones for runners. I bought mine at Walmart for under $15.00.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Longest Trail Run Report

This past Saturday I ran my long run at a First Landing State Park. I normally do not run here as it is pretty far from my house, but with a lack of trails in my area I have little to choose from. I managed 23.5 miles on the trails. The temperature at the start of my run was in the low 40's and it remained there for the entire route. It also started to rain just as I pulled into the parking lot. It rained on my the entire time I was running, but I did not mind at all. This park offers trails that are sandy and muddy with small rolling hills, nothing major to speak of. Some of the trails run along Broad Bay. I saw some very nice houses on the other side of the water. Including on with a large boat pulled out of the water and a large helicopter. I guess that is how to avoid the tunnel traffic. The run was fun, but as the day wore on and I continued to grind it out my left ankle started to bother me a little. I gutted it out and now, 2 days and lots of ice later it feels fine. This run was a huge confidence booster for my upcoming 50K ultra. I did not push the pace. I set my Garmin Forunner 305 to just show time distance and heart rate. I was trying to keep my heart rate below 144 beats per minute regardless of pace. I was fairly successful at this and enjoyed not looking at pace the entire time.

Plan: Tuesday - 10, Wednesday - 10, Thursday - 2, Friday - 3 - 5, Saturday 26+


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pre Holiday Lake 50K #1

I filled out my entry blank for my first Ultra attempt, the 2008 Holiday Lake 50K. I just need to finalize some plans before it goes in the mail. I am very psyched up about this race and can hardly wait for it to happen. I have boosted my weekly mileage up to 50 and have been feeling good. I slowed down my pace and am trying to keep my heart rate at 75% or lower. This is very hard, but I must keep up the base mileage routine. I am just going to train base prior to this race. Maybe this will be a huge mistake. Time will tell.

My current plan breaks down like this:

  1. Train base mileage and some hills prior to the race

  2. Maintain 50+ miles per week

  3. Stretch my long run out to 25 miles, only running it on local trails to reduce impact on my ankles

  4. Continue to strength train 3 times per week

  5. Run 6 days a week, maybe 7 if I feel up to it

  6. Continue to eat properly to help drop a few pounds prior to the race

Thats it. If I can stick to this I will be in pretty good shape. After this race is over I will focus on some more specific training for my next Ultra in June.

Commuting to Work

I first saw the idea of running to work in the blog http://irunfar.blogspot.com. This is a great idea for those who can access public transportation or for those who live close to work. I live 10 miles from my office and have nice paved bike paths for 75% of the route. The rest of the route I can run on grass. I am really trying to avoid concrete. Because of the distance I have chosen to run home from work one night and run back the next morning, leaving my car in the parking lot overnight. It has worked out well for me so far and the two longer runs mid week have really made me stronger. I shower before I go to my office and have been "running" through McDonalds for breakfast. That is a nice reward. This run commuting also saves time. Usually it takes me about 25 minutes to drive to work and deal with all the traffic. The run takes under 2 hours and leaves me feeling great inside, unlike when I have to deal with the crazy drivers in this area. So I get in a 10 mile run in the time it would normally take me to run 6 or 7. This is great in my book. I recommend trying this out if you get a chance and it is feasible.