Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TransRockies Quick Recap

We finished TransRockies, and we even finally made it home despite Irene. We ended up in 6th in the masters mixed category. A full race report will be going up on irunfar.com in the next week or so. It was a really tough challenge for me, and I'm happy to have gotten through it. All our orginal flights were cancelled both ways, and a gash on my hand requiring stitches on Day 3 made for a bit of a bigger challenge than we bargained for. TRR will forever re-calibrate my assessment of hilly runs. Beautiful scenery, amazing people, and satisfying finishes made the hard parts all worth it. Thanks to friends and family for your good wishes.

A few photos: Climbing Hope Pass; Derrick's prescription of milkshake after my medical visit; Ribbons of singletrack way up high - it doesn't get any better than that; Enjoying the views on the run; Another view; Finishing felt so good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Marathon vs Ultra

The Conservative Marathon Mindset

The Audacious Ultra Approach

Respect the distance

The longer the better

Build up your race distance gradually

Jump into a 100 miler after a year of running

Typical max of 2 marathons per year

Typical max of 2 ultras per month

Taper is good (or a necessary evil)

Taper?? Huh?? Why would you want to do that?

Possibly a gel at mile 18

300 calories an hour

White shoes

Colourful shoes

Light and fast

Strong and steady

It's all about the mile splits

It's all about getting to the next aid station

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ready to taper?!

Usually I'm very ready to take a break and reduce training to rest up before a race, but this time I'm in serious denial about how close Transrockies is creeping up. I would love to have several more weeks to prepare. I just now feel ready to start ramping up the miles, which aren't nearly where I'd like them to be going into a race of 120 mountain miles over 6 days.

Considering my early summer foot issue, I was lucky to get in a sort-of-decent amount of running, it could have ended up much worse. I did a lot of extras (the big one being altitude of course, but also strength, biking, yoga, barefoot running). Still, miles are miles and nothing can replace them in my opinion.

On top of lower mileage that I had hoped for, we didn't end up going in any races, we didn't run up any mountains, and I even had to give up the treadmill uphill runs due to the foot.

So.........while I'm not super confident in my training, at least I'm not broken down and burnt out.

TransRockies should be a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to a week where all we have to do is run a ton on trails, eat, relax, meet a bunch of trail runners, and gawk at pretty scenery.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The place to live

An excerpt from A. J. Mandell, 1977:

The first thirty minutes are tough, old man. Creaks, twinges, pain, and stiffness. A counterpoint of breathless, painful self-depreciation. Like driving a mule. You brain-heavy jerk. Keep going! Challenged, I smile with pride and follow my orders. The first thirty minutes hurt until the body gets the message that you're serious.

Thirty minute out, and something lifts. Legs and arms become light and rhythmic. My snake brain is making the best of it. The fatigue goes away and feelings of power begin. I think I'll run twenty-five miles today. I'll double the size of the research grant request. I'll have that talk with the dean...

Then, sometime into the second hour comes the spooky time. Colors are bright and beautiful, water sparkles, clouds breathe, and my body, swimming, detaches from earth. A loving contentment invades the basement of my mind, and thought bubbles without trails. I find the place I need to live if I'm going to live. The running literature says that if you run six miles a day for two months, you are addicted forever. I understand. A cosmic view and peace are located between six and ten miles of running. I've found it everywhere....

After the run I can't use my mind. It's empty. Then a filling begins. By afternoon I'm back into life with long and smooth energy, a quiet feeling of strength, the kind wisdom afforded those without fear, those detached yet full.