Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Importance of Quick Aid Station Stops

Check out this clip dealing with the Ultramarathon culture and the importance of getting in and out of Aid Stations fast. MMT Race Director Stan Duobinis even talks about how it is one of the aid station captains main jobs to get runners out fast. The race director and aid station captains goal is to have no runner be pulled from the race because of the cutoff time.  A race like MMT has 16 aid stations, so the time can add up fast. It is normally my goal to be in and out in less than 2 minutes, unless I need medical or equipment attention.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Montrail Hardrock 09 Preview

Hardrock 09I just picked up a pair of Montrail Hardrock 09 trail running shoes. I plan on wearing them this weekend when I complete a 40+ mile training run for MMT. A few quick look / short run observations and comparisons about the shoes:

  • Feels much lighter than the old version (I will post actual stats in the forthcoming review)

  • Appears much more breathable than the old version

  • Feels much more flexable (think running shoe, not hiking boot) than the old version

  • Size run large (I wear an 11 in the old version and a 10.5 in the new)

  • New lacing system distributes weight better

  • Less "beefy" tread pattern than the old version

  • Same width or maybe even a little wider than the old version

One other glaring difference I noticed in just a 2 mile run on grass is that my feet did not fall asleep. When wearing the old version on long stretches of flat non technical terrain (think fireroad) my feet would fall asleep. This eliminated me from wearing the shoe in most races. The other quick observation is the toe box could be higher. When wearing them with thicker socks I noticed a little rub on my right little toe. This did not happen when I was running in them, but I am anxious to see if this is an issue after many miles on the trail.

Look for my full review sometime early next week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week of Running March 16-22 2009

There are 7 weeks and 5 days left until the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100. I just had one of my best ever weeks of training. I am feeling strong and like I am rounding into ultramarathon shape. My week was highlited by a 24 mile run on the trails Saturday afternoon. I ran/walked a total of 65 miles this week, which I believe is the most mileage I have completed in a week except for last June when I finished the Laurel Highlands Ultra. I also had a great tempo workout and many medium length runs this week.

Now it is time to step it up even more. This week I have planned a 73 mile week, highlited by a tempo run, an interval session, and a 40+ mile long run over the weekend. I am also hoping to get some good hiking in on Sunday. This will be a really nice change of pace from the usuall running all weekend I have been doing.

  • Weekly Mileage: 65

  • Month to date: 175

  • Year to date: 443

  • 3 week average: 58

Captain Sig and Ultra Dream

I was looking at some old posts and come upon this one about a dream I had a few weeks before Laurel Highlands last year. It was never published until now. ENJOY!

Last night I had a very strange dream. It started with me in the middle of a 100 mile ultra, normal enough. When I hit mile 25 I found myself at the top of my old Driveway, Melva Lane. The field that used to stand there was now a lake. In real life there is a lake 1/2 mile down the road from this spot.

There in a cabin that resembled a ship wheel house was Captain Sig Hansen, of the Deadliest Catch. He barking out at me that I had to get in this Kayak and paddle on the lake doing maneuvers. I had to turn it around and roll it from side to side. Once Sig was satisfied he ordered me out of the Kayak and told me to continue. I finish the race strong. I do not know where I placed, I just know that I did really well. Next I find myself in a classroom with Captain Sig teaching us something. At this point I realize that I did not complete the race registration form properly and that I would now be disqualified from the race. I was missing 2 sections which read -

  1. Have an educator ask you these questions and sign off on this. I wish I remembered the questions, but I do not. They were very easy, like what is 2 + 2, and name parts of a sentence.

  2. Citizenship quiz - have a patriot ask you these questions and sign off on this. Once again I do not remember the question

I was going to be disqualified and yelled at by Sig for not completing my application correctly. I thought about cheating, but could not pull it off.

Weird dream. On the new Deadliest Catch commercial Sig is screaming at the crew from the wheelhouse.

Very weird dream, it was almost like a nightmare.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Landing - Perfect Weather

Last night and this morning I attended a mens conference titled "Becoming a Man of Valor". This speaker was Bob Reccord, a powerful and dynamic speaker. It was great time, but left me running this afternoon, which was a nice change of pace. I did not have to get up super early and hit the trail in the pre-dawn hours.

The weather was perfect for this run. It was 50 degrees and there was not a cloud in the sky. I decided to run for around 4.5 hours and to take it pretty easy out there. I started out running for 25 minutes and walking for 5. This carried me through the first 12 miles pretty easily, but I did not feel very well and my legs were pretty tired from this weeks miles. Then I decided to run the second lap non-stop. This turned out great and I effortlessly ran down the sandy root covered trails. What a great feeling to be out on the trails with the sun shining down on you. I could not have asked for a better day or a better run.

I am feeling pretty strong and this run was a big confidence builder. There are only 8 weeks left until MMT, but I feel like the last 4 or 5 weeks have done a good job hardening me up a bit and my body has responded well to the miles. I am so far ahead of where I was last year at this time. It is amazing how much progress you can make with some effort and dedication.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 (Pain or Pleasure?)

Since my last post (last year) I have won the lottery. Maybe I should be more specific and say I won the pain lottery. I have gained entry to the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 (MMT). Lucky for me! I have been training pretty steady now and have loggeg 40, 50, 60, and hopefully 65 miles per weeks in the last month. I feel pretty strong going into this race. I also ran Holday Lake in February almost an hour faster than last years time. I really fell apart in the second lap, but I also did not have the mileage in to finish it strong. I believe that the mileage is coming and will be there by MMT.  I will run Promise Land 50k 3 weeks before MMT. This will be my larges mileage week in training and then the taper will begin.

I will be posting more on MMT in the weeks to come.