Archive January 2018

01232018 Little Hill Work

Had to run solo today due to running wife getting stuck with work bullshit at last minute.  Kept it low energy, just half an hour of up and down Lip Buster hill.    Lip Buster is longish hill  that varies from 30 to 45 degree angles.   One up and down is 200′ of elevation change, 100 up, 100 down.   That’s based on the altimeter on my Fenix 5X.

Calves were a little anxious the first couple of laps up and down but quieted down by the end but I have what is shaping up to be a hilly, wet, muddy, fun 31K in 4 days so I didn’t want to push it.


01212018 Long Run Funday

Today was a kind of long run.  We have our first 30K next weekend so we held back a bit and only ran for 2 hours and then did 30 minutes of hill climbs.

The run went okay, as usual I didn’t hit my stride till about mile 7 or 8 at which point running sucks less.  No offense to anyone who loves running and thinks it’s the greatest thing in the world.  If that works for you great.  For me it’s just a constant fight between me and Lad (Lazy Ass Dennis) who’s constantly trying to get me to stop.

With my and subsequently Running Wife Ana’s run walk schedule we’re doing right at 11 minute miles.  That’s 9 minutes of around 10:30 to 10:45 pacing and 1 minute of 17-18 minute pace recovery.   So far we’re able to keep that up reasonably well.

If we can push enough to keep that going for 26.2 miles in Little Rock on March 4th we’ll break 5 hours for our first marathon and honestly I think that woudl be super cool.   But realistically I assume we’re going to have to have a pee break at least once which adds a couple of minutes.  And we’ll need to get some water refills which adds a couple or three minutes.  So… if we break 5:15:00 that as well would be awesome.   If we break 5:30:00 that’s going to be okay with me.

With hill climbs we can do roughly 1 up and down every 5 minutes.   That works out to roughly 1200 feet of elevation change, 600 up, 600 down.   It’s a pretty long hill.  And most of it is super steep.   It has the colloquial name of “Lipbuster”.

This was also the first time we happened to be there while the Fleet Feet trail runners were heading out.  I’m guessing each pacer had a couple of people in tow.   There were 4 or 5 groupings if I remember right.

This week we’ll be taking it a bit easier, just a couple of maintenance runs with one hill session.   Hills are my nemesis right now after Pumpkin’ Holler gave me a case of Rhabdomyolosis 

And since there are very few ultra’s that aren’t just laps that don’t have some elevation change.  Hence adding hills.

It’s premature but with a half marathon distance being a weekly thing now, and a full scheduled, I’m hoping to get a 50K in this year, I think a 50K is doable for me.  So now a 50mile is a glimmer in the distance as a “I wonder if…”


01182018 Lipbusting

So today was hill day.   Super slow at 17 minutes a mile but did 45 minutes up and down the hill known as Lipbuster at the local trail area.  It’s about 10 stories worth of uphill at a 30 to 45 degree slope.   Uphill is a walk, downhill is a scramble.

it runs North / South and is open so wind is an issue.   It funnels any wind pretty harshly and going down hill with that cold wind makes me tear up which makes scrambling down the hill a hair dangerous.

Total elevation change for 45 minutes was right around 1050 feet.  We’re going to be including more of these hill days in our training as the 50k’s that look the best have 1000’s of feet of elevation change.

01172018 Intervals

Today wasn’t super fun but really that can be said of any run. 🙂  It was 10 minute sprints with a 2 minute recovery.   2 minutes is too long a recovery for one thing.  Its long enough I really don’t want to start up again.

We did fairly well, averaged 9:01 min miles during the sprints which is decent for us.  Each sprint was slightly faster than the previous one which is always good.

My primary running wife wasn’t having a good day was lagging behind at a couple of spots, I slowed very slightly and she caught up pretty easily because she’s a bad ass like that.

01152018 Calibration vs LAD.

I wanted to run some calibration laps to make sure my Stryd was dialed in.  After the 16 miles yesterday and it being cold and windy, LAD or Lazy Ass Dennis was in full force.   After 2 laps LAD was sitting on my shoulder “2 Laps is enough to confirm the stryd, it’s cold out here and that wind is ripping right through this polyester.”

Much like the Blerch, LAD tries to sabotage my dedication all the time.  It’s been a 19 month fight agasinst the little bastard and so far he’s lost.   And this time was no different.   At a mile he was really bitching.  So guess what LAD?  You’re doing 2 miles now.  At 2 miles he was whining big time.   Hey we’re doing a 5K now and the last lap is going to be at 8 minutes.   You want to try for 4 miles?

Its these kinds of conversations one has when it’s below freezing and super windy that keep running interesting.

01202018 10K Race

Ran a 10K with one of my running wives this morning.  it was her first 10K. It’s interesting how much running so slow, 14 min mile pace, which at one time was my pace interferes with my current stride/gait/etc.   6 miles at that pace feels like 12 at my current pace of 11 ish average.

Nothing super significant about this run really.   We came, we saw, we ran, we finished.

01142018 Second Longest Run Ever

Today our training called for us to run a Half Marathon which we did, 6.55 out and back. It was cold but not super windy so it wasn’t too bad. I did our usual run/walk cycle for long runs of 9 minutes on, 1 minute off which so far has been working for me.

Our time was 2:37 which included a couple of longer walks for ‘aid station breaks’ and one stop to stretch. That time is as fast as my second PR and 10 minutes slower than my current PR. For a RSS it was maybe a 7. We could have gone faster but we’re both not in the best shape leg wise so there was no need to push it.

After the road half we did a few miles of trail jogging with a couple of friends. Which was fun seeing one of them experience trails for the first time and somewhat technical trails at that.

We have a 30K in two weeks and I’d rather run it a little slower and finish than blow something up and get a DNF.

Being we started at 6:30 a.m. in the dark and 27 degrees there was no one else there. There was a car in the parking lot when we pulled in but they left before we got started. It’s weird how that happens…

For instance yesterday I ran with my real wife and secondary running wife and there were 4 or 5 cars in the lot that people just sat in. I find that odd. I’d rather be at home or anywhere but a parked car in a park parking lot on a cold day.

Yesterday’s run was just a low speed maintenance run or that was the intent but at mile 3.79 I came down with a massive case of cramping in my left hamstring, enough I had trouble walking much less running. As it happens I wasn’t too far from the car so I was able to hobble to it and call it a day while my wife finished her run. And I was seriously energy deficit during that short slow run.

I was concerned today with our long run but I loaded up on magnesium, salt tablets, pedialyte, turmeric and tart cherry extract last night and I was ‘okay’ today. It felt like my hammies were on the verge of cramping after 5 or 6 miles in but they played nice and didn’t.

I’ve restarted my PT again due to ITB issues coming back and I’m doing a fair bit of resistance training with a elastic band and ankle cuff including back kicks so that I’m sure had something to do with it. On top of that I spent most of the day before the run at two different funerals which are energy sapping to say the least. Funerals also drive home the fact that we have a finite amount of time to do the things we might like to do before the end. And at age 52 my time is more limited than a lot of folks. So it left me feeling the pressure a bit of trying to accomplish my goals regarding running. i.e. do a marathon, do a 50K, consider a 50mile, think about a 100mile.

Tomorrow is an off day both from work and training so I’ll do more leg PT and maybe some curls, the ‘guns’ are sad these days. Not that they’ve ever been impressive but they certainly have looked better.

Moral of this story is, there are good days, bad days and days that don’t matter in the slightest but you have a limited amount of days to experience so take some time to get something done other than watch another vapid episode of some sit-com, rom-com, drama or worst offender of all a ‘reality’ show. There is very likely to come a time you’ll do the ‘if only’ game with yourself.

Quest for the 50K

The search for our 50K continues. “The” 50k we want, okay I want, is one that doesn’t have a ton of elevation change, no loops although a minor lollipop is okay, the scenery has to be decent, it has to have a long enough cut off that I can finish it and it has to be well supported. My primary running wife would prefer a trip to Paris and not Texas but she’s got bigger tastes than I do. For me the race is the thing, the achievement of doing something I would have had no idea was possible.

Cut off times is an issue. I’m not fast. I’m currently at my lowest weight since I was in high school and that’s 250lbs. It takes a lot of energy to move that much mass. Your typical runner is going to be more like 160 to 170 so I’m humping 80lbs more. Imagine putting an 80lb backpack on and then going and running?

Since the longest distance we’ve done is 17+ miles we don’t really have any idea of how fast we can do 31 miles. Or if we can. That 17 mile day was a good day for me but a bad one for my RW. I felt like I could have gone a few more miles pretty easily. She was done in.

When things get tough for us we tend to diverge. She hurts more when she walks than when she trots. Me I’m the opposite, I’m out of energy and ‘done’ and walking is a chore.

Due to the cut off time, a 50K that’s part of a longer race is a preferred set up because they have longer cut off times. When 50K is the longest race the cut off times seem to be 7.5 to 8 hours. Yes I know, who can’t run 31 miles in 7.5 hours? Well… probably me, especially if there are serious hills involved.

There’s a local 50K in June that I’m probably going to try regardless. Why not? I can drive there before the race, the race proceeds go to keep wild horses a place to hang and you get a bandana of the route map. Seems like a no brainer to try it.

It’s certainly not my ideal ‘first race’ for a 50k. But at some point I’ve got to give it a shot regardless and a cheap local race if I fail is far less disappointing than spending a grand flying somewhere, hotel, race and daily expenses and getting a DNF.

01 11 2018 Thresholds in the Cold

Today was thresholds, 10 minutes z2, 10 minutes z4, 10 minutes z2 then cool down. Pretty easy day all in all. Due to the OMFG cold we took the hilly route because it has a windbreak and runs sideways to the north wind that was blowing around 30mph.

Shockingly there was no one else out running today. An 11 degree windchill seems to keep people home a lot.

We did ‘okay’. One thing we dd was backtrack our marathon schedule up by 6 weeks so it matched up with Little Rock Marathon race on March 3rd. So we’re doing the same runs we did 6 weeks ago. This gives us a direct way to check progress.

On this one we had a better average pace by a few seconds. Our z4 pace was 30 seconds slower but this route included a lot of hills, mostly up hill for the z4 section whereas the one back in November had no hills. So while at first glance I was disappointed in the minimal appearing progress once you took the hills into account, I was running on an hour of sleep and no carbs and I was okay with it.

One thing I’m trying to do with this brand new year is look on the brighter side of things. It’s hard, I’m a dyed in the wool pessimist because you’re disappointed less often that way and pleasently surprised more often. But even old dogs can occasionally learn new tricks.

01 10 2018 Journal – The Hills are alive…

We’re planning on doing a 50K, mentioned that before. But a LOT of 50K’s have a LOT of vertical change. So… after my 25K almost killing me from hills (true story) we’re working hills into our weekly rotation of training. On one ‘easy’ day we’re going to go run up and down a nearby trail hill. Semi technical, maybe a 5 out of 10. It’s about a fifth of a mile with a 30% grade. Run up (or walk after the first couple) then scramble down. Lather rinse repeat.

That’s what we did today. 30 minutes worth got us 2 miles of hill work. It was a recovery 30 minute day. And I had to get on a meeting or I’d of extended it another couple of laps at least. Getting pretty damn tired of west coast people’s lack of consideratin for other time zones. If they didn’t also wander into the office between 10 and noon I wouldn’t be quite a pissed but a 2 hour time zone difference and a 3 to 5 hour get to work difference and they don’t bat an eye at scheduling meetings in my evening because it’s just their mid day. But I’m sure everyone has work issues.

Nothing really of note on this run. Cold but not OMFG cold.