15 October 2018

Lakefront Marathon 2018

After running 3:14 at Fox Cities, I was hoping for a 3:04 at Lakefront.  I felt in better shape and the temperatures looked a bit cooler...and after a couple miles of running, I knew my legs were 'springier' and lighter.

While I managed a negative split...you can see there was some pain in the final half mile and some puking...I came home in 3:05 (woulda had 3:04 if not for the puking!) and now am optimistic and excited for Fall 50 this Saturday!

26 September 2018

Fox Cities Marathon Report

I hadn't run a road marathon since November of 2015, and that was a pacing effort that was kind of 'off the couch' at a now-defunct event.  It had been a while!

I was a bit behind in my training, and a LOT behind in my speedwork, going in to this one, and I put some miles on my legs the week of the event to keep myself in 'training' mode, with the REAL objective being Fall 50.  The weather was nearly perfect, and I slept okayyy--up quite a bit and rolling around quite a bit to different positions in the back of my truck--so I had relatively solid goals and ideas of where I'd be:

If I were under 3:10 I'd be ecstatic.

If I went over 3:20 I'd be disappointed.

My finish time of 3:14 is something I'm happy with.

In the early miles, I could tell my cruising pace was right around 7:30/mile.  That seemed like where I could be consistent and keep my breathing easy, and knock out the miles.  So that's what I stuck with.  Miles 5-8 felt especially good and the pace picked up a bit, but other than that, I kept an intention of not letting my pace slip any slower than 7:30.

My nutrition included 2 bottles of Tailwind finished at miles 10 and 14, and 200 calories each.  I took a couple SCaps in there also, but no Gatorade.

I had forgotten how fun the volunteers can be at road marathons...there was even a 'cheer tunnel' and that was pretty cool!

Other than some dry heaving in the last 1/2 mile, I ultimately finished feeling well.  Special thanks to the lady who, seeing me walking at mile 25.5 and heaving, said, "I've been watchign you run strong all day.  Get going!  Get that finish and go strong!"

On to Lakefront Marathon on October 7th...where I'd love to dip under 3:10 (I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to be under 3:05)!

14 May 2018

Ice Age 50 Mile

Last Saturday I completed my first 50 mile run of the year.  As you may know, I am running several 50 Milers as a fundraising effort for my friend Kim, who is battling cancer (See last week's "Neighbors" section for more on that!).  I had never run the Ice Age Trail 50 Mile and was excited for the opportunity.  

For the first 40 miles I felt pretty darn good.  I was running a pace faster than I had expected and the weather had cooperated.  Earlier in the week the forecast called for an 85% chance of Thunderstorms all day.  Because I knew they wouldn't cancel the event, I was expecting a lot of mud and rain and cold.  Lucky for the runners, it only rained on Friday, and the trail on Saturday was better than expected, in terms of mud and slop and puddles.  My bright orange shoes still went through plenty of mud, but it wasn't all that bad!

Anyway, back to the run.  The first 40 miles went well.  When running that far, I focus on my breath (don't be breathing too heavy--that means you are working too hard), I focus on my feet (make sure my stride is light and quick and that I am minimizing the chances of tripping or jamming my toes on a rock or a root), and I focus on my stomach (am I taking in calories?  should I drink more water?)  At Mile 40 is an aid station, at which point you turn around and finish the last 10 miles by running back to the start/finish line.  In my opinion, that section of the course is the most difficult, with the most big climbs and descents and technical (rocky and rooty) trail.  I arrived at Mile 41 in just under 6 hours, averaging 8:46 minutes per mile up until that point.  Then...the first major mistake of the run occurred.  

Knowing I had less than 10 miles to go, I didn't take much for nutrition and only filled my water bottle up.  I was in a hurry to get moving and try to catch a couple runners in front of me.  I figured I could just 'gut it out' to the finish.  Big mistake.

Within 2 miles of leaving the aid station, I "bonked."  My body had finally run out of sugar/energy/excitement, and whatever else I had been running on.  I could now barely...and I mean barely...climb up the hills.  Moving on "all fours" was considered.  As was just lying down on the side of the trail for a moment.  I went from running under 9 minutes per mile to now dragging myself along at 15 minutes per mile.  Miles 43-46 took me almost 50 minutes.  

I actually called Ellie at the finish line at one point.  I told her to bring Edwin to the very last aid station on the course, at Mile 48.5.  That he and I could run it in together...some kind of father/son bonding moment.  I was D. O. N. E.

Then I had a thought.  Things are going really badly right now.  And if I don't try to fix them...they're not gonna get any better.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.  

I still had my bottle of water.  I checked my other pockets and found one last packet of Tailwind Nutrition, which a powdery substance of electrolytes and sugar.  It was a Green Tea flavored packet.  Not exactly my first choice...but I might as well try it.  So as I stumbled along the trail, I poured the powder in to the water and then chugged it.  Worst case scenario?  I throw up...and then I may feel a bit better for a bit after that.  Best case scenario?  I feel better and get some energy back.  Either outcome is better than just moping along in self pity.

Down went the Green Tea Tailwind...and within a couple minutes, I was moving better again!  I actually was thankful when Edwin told me he didn't really want to run with me, as I was feeling like pushing it a bit!  Those final 1.5 miles of trail were the 'easiest' final miles I've ever had in a run!  In fact, my last mile was back under 9 minutes.

I crossed the line in 7 hours and 44 minutes, good for 8th pace overall.  Having Kim and her husband Bob, and my entire family at the finish made it even better and worth all the effort.  

So remember...nothing changes if nothing changes.  Life rewards ACTION...not just MOTION.  Next up is the Titletown 8 Hour Ultra on June 30th.  Giddy up!