Archive 2018

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.

Lone Peak 3.5 Mini Review

Picked up a pair of Lone Peak 3.5’s. For two reasons, as usual Altra’s sizing is all over the place. I’ve been running Lone Peak 3.0’s in size 13 and they’re fine for daily driving as long as there are no steep descents. Then they’re too short.

I had the same issue with Altra Paradigm 2.0’s. A 13 is too small and results in black toenails. A 14 is too big and sloppy.

In Escalante’s I’m a size 13 perfectly. I love the Escalantes and I have my 5th pair waiting their turn in the rotation. I keep one active daily training pair, an active race pair and a back up for when I move each one down. The daily training pair becomes a occasional daily just wear shoe (not running). The race pair becomes the daily training. The back up pair becomes the race pair. Then I order a new pair. Did I mention I love the Escalantes?

Anyway… the LP 3.5s in size 14 are more like a 3.0 in 13.5 and sizing is spot on for me and I can scramble down hills all day long (well not really) without any toenail issues.

Other than the sizing is still borked the 3.5’s to me are a minor upgrade to the 3.0’s. Moderate stack height. Decent ride. Decent support. Heel cup is leaps and bounds better than the LP 2.5’s.

01 10 2018 Entry

Thought I’d start adding little notes on runs just to have something to look back on when I’m old and feeble (er).

Today the run was intervals, we backed up about 6 weeks in our schedule to have our end date in sync with our first full marathon.  FYI we’re running a full marathon in March.

Anyway this pulled us back a bit in effort level so this was a 15 minute warm up, then 5 repeats of 3 minute sprints + 90 second recovery then a cool down.

At this time both myself and Running Wife #1 (I have 3 now although one isn’t aware of it) have succumbed again to some level of injuries so we’re kind of having to take it easy anyway.

I was also on a conference call for work during this run and it was cold with a pretty bad head wind on top of that.  And I was under-dressed because I expected temps in the 50’s and it was in the 30s’.

Nothing super noteworthy about this run, we went south along Riverparks instead of our usual north as I wanted to try and cut down some of the noise from traffic. But it just caused more noise from wind as there are no wind breaks on that section at all.

In looking at the same run from 5 weeks ago, sadly there wasn’t any real improvement.  But I was distracted during the run due to the conference call and I don’t feel like I was putting 100% into it.  I know my RSS for that other run was probably a 8 or 9 and this was was maybe a 7.

Tomorrow is an easy run of 30 minutes but we’re going to change it to hills because we seriously need hill work.

We’re trying to find the ‘right’ 50K for 2018 to be our first time at that distance and it’s tough.   Between cut off times, total elevation change, scenery/location, expenses, it’s not an easy decision to make.

We have a 30K in 3 weeks and then our first full in 7 weeks.