Sunday, January 27, 2013

Training Week of 1/21/13

Training has been going pretty well.  The snow and ice have slowed the pace down which has some positives; keeps me in a recovery pace and helps work some of the stabilizing muscles of the legs.
1/22/13 - Ran 7.75 miles.  6.25 mile loop at 7:30 pace, followed by a 1.5 mile cool down. 
1/23/13 - Ran 8 road miles at a 7:54 pace.  Loop had some good hills in it.
1/25/13 - Ran 9.2 miles to the greenway, Smith Park, and back via Sherwood.
1/26/13 - Ran 11 miles on one of my favorite road loops.  Home, to Garst Mill Park, Grandin Ext, Mudlick, Cravins Creek, Bell Aire, Brandon, Carrolton, Westover, Grandin, and back home.  Ran to the loop at just under a 7 minute per mile average -
I ended with a 1.5 mile cooldown.  I felt good and didn't really push the pace but would have liked to have worn my HR monitor just to check my exertion level.
1/27/13 - Decided to do a cold road ride today.  It was a 16 mile ridge down Brambleton, onto Roselawn, up Sugarloaf, Keagy to Apperson, Edgewood, Bridge St. Greenway and back.
Week Summary - 37.5 miles running and 16 cycling.
I feel pretty good going into Uwharrie 40M.  Last year I finished 9th in 7:22.29.  My goal this year will still be a Top 10 finish and sub 7 hours but I think there is room to go well under 7 hours if the conditions are good on race day (anywhere from 6:30-6:45).  If it is muddy or icy I think the 7 hour mark will be a good time to focus on. 
Here is the link to last year's post for this race. -

Monday, January 21, 2013

Training Week of 1/14/13

Following the Willis River 50k I feel pretty good. 
Sunday I went out for a 4 mile run and 13.1 easy road bike ride.
1/15/13 - 7 mile road run.  6 mile loop at 8:30 pace and 1 mile cooldown.
1/16/13 - Ran 6.6 miles in the rain at the cove.  Road to Buck, Brushy Mtn Fireroad, and down Hi Dee Ho.
1/18/13 - 7.2 mile run to the greenway and back.
1/19/13 - 11.2 mile run on back road towards Lewis Gale and back (8:00 pace)
1/20/13 - Finished the week with a snowy/icy 11.6 mile run up Poor Mtn.  Got in about 1.5 miles before the snow started covering the road.  From here it was snow and ice.  By the time we were getting close to the top it was powdery in places and the top had been plowed for a unobstructed .7 mile slog to the top.  If you haven't run up this mtn. it is one of the hardest climbs around and it gets worse at the top.  Great views at the top.
Ended up with 43.5 miles of running this week. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Race Plan

01/12/13 - Willis River 50k - 2nd 4:35:24
02/02/13 - Uwharrie 40 Miler -
03/09/13 - Double Shot - mtn bike and road bike race.
03/16/13 - The Instant Classic trail marathon
04/06/13 - 6 Hours of Warrior Creek - Duo team with Gina
04/20/13 - Leatherwood Trail Ultra or 04/27/13 Promise Land 50k
05/17-5/18 - Smokey Mtn Traverse - the entire 68 miles of the AT in the Smokey Mtn National Park.  Plan is for a 38 mile day followed by a 30 mile day.  That's the plan, for now.
06/22/13 - San Juan Solstice 50 Miler in Lake City CO

Everything leads up to the SJS 50 Miler.  Much of this race runs from an elevation of 8500-13250.  We plan to meet up with our buddies Kyle and Lori Stone for this one. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Post Hellgate 100k and Willis River 50k

I'll continue with what I've done since Hellgate. 

As I was training for the race I was thinking I would take a full week off to mentally and physically recover.  That didn't happen.  By Wednesday my blistered toes were well enough for me to get in a 5 mile run with Gina and Super Dru.  Everything felt pretty good except my knee were very tender on the downhills.

12/12/12 - 5.5 Mile run on the trails of Fishburn Park
12/14/12 - 26.4 mile road bike ride up Mill Mountain, BRP to vinton and home.
12/15/12 - Random running for a 11 mile road run.
Week - 16.5 miles running and 26.4 biking

12/18/12 - 7.5 miles - 6 mile loop and cooldown
12/18/12 - Ran a 4 mile loop in Five Fingers
12/19/12 - 4.9 mile run around Raleigh Court
12/21/12 - 8 Mile road run
12/22/12 - 8.25 miles running the Elkmont Loop in the Smokeys
12/23/12 - 21.75 miles running the Cove Mtn Loop in the Smokeys - 5200ft of climbing.
Week - 54.4 miles running

12/24/12 - 9 mile run at Steele Creek Park in Bristol
My post Hellgate activity and the rainy run on the 24th brought my immune system down with a scratch throat.  I knew my immune system was going to take a hit after Hellgate I just didn't know when and how bad it would be. 
12/28/12 - 11.2 miles on a snowy ice covered Rock Castle Gorge Loop.  A MUST DO
12/30/12 - 5 mile fishburn loop
Week - 25.2 miles of running

This is the last training week before the Willis River 50k
12/31/12 - 6.6 mile mtn bike ride on the Fishburn trails
01/01/13 - 6 mile loop in (41:39) and a 1.5 mile cool down
01/01/13 - 4 mile loop in Five Fingers
01/02/13 - 7.7 mile running up Hi Dee Ho, down Buck, and Hotel.  Got in some extra going out and back to the girls.
01/04/13 - 6.2 miles marking the Frozen Toe 10k course
01/05/13 - Post race 5.6 mile mtn bike ride in Fishburn park
01/06/13 - 14 mile trail run.  Hollins AT loop.  Unnamed trail to the AT, AT to Sawmill Branch, Sawmill Branch to Arrowhead, down to Happy Valley and back to the boat docks. 
Week - 39.4 miles running and 12.2 mile mtn biking

01/08/13 - 6 mile loop in (40:57) and a 1.5 mile cool down
01/09/13 - 6 mile loop
01/12/13 - Willis River 50k.  This race is a primitive trail that runs through leaf covered trails that sometimes look like deer trails.  There are lots of trees, logs, and stumps to run and jump over.  I've done the 35k option twice and thte 50k option twice.  I typically come in at the 35k finish in 2:55.  Last year I won this race in the last .3 miles and I expected a top 3 and close to 4:30 finish.
   Things started off very fast this year and I was 10th or so at the 10 mile turnaround feeling like I was in a pretty good groove.  At some point I started to fall back in place on the return trip and decided to pick it up.  I repeatedly thought to myself that I was running much harder than I should but I didn't want to fall too far back leading into the last 10 miles.  I hit the 35k finish at around 2:53.30 with Ryan Nebel and we went into the last section in 2nd and 3rd.  The last 10 miles are in better shape and easier to follow but the disadvantage is that the miles are hillier.  About .75 miles from the turnaround I got in front of Ryan and held him off to the finish.  I ended up 10 minutes behind the winner in 2nd in 4:35:24.  I was happy with that.  I felt fine I just thought I was in better shape than the previous year and thought sub 4:30 was achieveable.  I ended up with 7 splits of over 10 minute per mile pace.  I should have been able to avoid that and that is where my 5 minutes went. 
   I took a 20oz handheld bottle and drank 6 of them.  Had a handful of peanut butter pretzels at mile 10, 2 Honey Stinger Waffles at mile 20, and a cliff bar around mile 26. 
01/13/13 - Felt pretty good today and decided to do both a 4 mile easy run and a 13 mile road bike ride to the greenway and back via normal roads. 
Week - 48.7 miles running and 13.15 miles road biking

2012 Summary

01/14/12 - Willis River 50k - 1st place in 4:38.58
02/04/12 - Uwharrie 40 Miler - 9th in 7:22.29
03/10/12 - Double Shot - mtn bike and road bike race - 11th
04/07/12 - Kenny Palmer and I raced Duo at the 6 hours of Warrior Creek - 8th
06/23/12 - Eastern Divide 50k - 3rd in 4:38.38
09/01/12 - Iron Mtn 30 Miler - 3rd in 4:34:39
09/22/12 - 18 Hours of Scouts Honor - 1st Overall on a very talented 4 person team.
12/08/12 - Hellgate 100k - 11th overall in 12:29.53

I raced more than usual in 2012.  From June on, I tried to do at least one 30 mile run per month to keep my legs in Ultra shape.  That seemed to help.  I did track workouts whenever they fit my schedule.  Probably half the weeks of the year.

Running - 1763
Mtn Biking - 567
Road Biking - 735

Shortly after the Willis River 50k I started having Achilles/ankle issues.  This race was super muddy and I think that played a role in the problem.  From there the problem would heal, I'd do a trail run, roll my ankle injuring it again, and the cycle repeated for a couple months.  It is at 90% today. 

Ultra Retrospective

This is my Pre Hellgate 100k write up that I didn't get finished and posted.  I've been absent in my posts for the last 9 months and I'm going to try to do better (an ankle injury last January derailed my blog enthusiasm). 
Why do I think my story is important or special - I'm an ordinary guy, who grew up overweight, found trail running in 2001 and over the last 12 years I've become competitive, have learned countless lessons, have stayed relatively injury free (except for rolling ankles on rocks and roots) am a better person, have directed and promoted 39 events, have been surrounded by the trail running community for the last 5 years, and feel like anyone is capable of what I've done. 
Here is the 12/7/12 story.  So today I'm feeling a little nostalgic as I get ready to start the 10th Hellgate 100k.  This will be my 25th Ultra and first race over 50 miles since the inaugural Hellgate in 2003.  A lot of things have changed, a lot of miles have been run, and some lessens have been learned. 
Quick autobiography;
I grew up an overweight kid.  I only ran if I had to, and objected to it then.
At the age of 13 I started going to the gym to lift weights for shot put and discuss.
    I lived at the gym.  Until I got my drivers license I would leave school, walk to the gym, lift weights, and then head to my dad's office for a ride home.  I'm sure I was a pest to the gym owners because I spent hours there, I would ask questions, and I learned a lot about lifting, health, and nutrition. 
    HS football is where I started to lose weight and became obsessed with getting as big and strong as possible.  It also had the side effect of making me a bully to get back at those that made fun of my weight all the years before.  Anyway, I had some success, I was able to squat 500+lbs, bench 365, and deadlift over 500.  Lifting was the first significant fork in the road.  I choose the right path. 
    At 16 when I had my license I started working out at another gym and pestered this guy, Mark, everyday until he gave me a job.  I finally broke him down and I worked here from age 16-20, working the 6-9am and 6-9pm shifts ($4 an hour, big money, right?).  Side note; this is also where I met my best friend and wife Gina.  She was a gym rat too (she lifted some serious weight in her time).
   At 20 I went off to Logan College of Chiropractic.  I kept on lifting and learning.  A big lesson that I learned there is a difference between fitness and health.  So many athletes are viewed as healthy because of what they do.  But many of these athletes don't lead healthy lifestyles.  Being fit and eating like the standard American is not the path to health. 
Age 23 to present:
I graduated on 8/8/98
Gina and I got married on 8/15/98
We moved to Virginia on 8/23/98
I opened the Chiropractic office up on 11/2/98
8/1/01 we went on a run up McAfees Knob.
From this one run we began running, exploring, and adventuring on almost every possible trail and fire/jeep road around the area.  To this day we still do the same.
12/8/01 I ran my first race the Jingle Bell Run 5k in 21:20
2/16/02 I ran my first 50k the Holiday Lake 50k in 5:28
In 2002 I wanted to do all of the Lynchburg Ultra Series but I got sick right before the Mountain Masochist 50 miler and had to be a DNS.  Since I was trained and ready I entered the JFK 50 miler the next month - 9:34.  Man, that one was tough.  Too much road for me.
In 2003 I completed the LUS and shortly after, talk of Hellgate came about.  So, not knowing if I would ever be in Hellgate shape I decided to enter the first ever Hellgate 100k.  I think Horton, the race director, called finishers of the LUS + Hellgate, finishers of the Horton Slam.  I still tell everyone I was the first Horton Slam finisher coming in 9th at the first zero degree, ice and snow covered Hellgate 100k.  I don't think the Horton Slam exists anymore. 

I enjoy trail racing and trail runners.  I like the mental side of Ultra racing.  Gradually over time I've gotten more competitive.  I've started to finish in the top 10 with a handful in the top 3 finishes and my first Ultra win this year at the Willis River 50k. 

Tomorrow my goal is to be top 10 and under 13 hours.