A couple of the local TATUR group took Bunny on a elevation route and we ran it last Sunday.  Run being an exaggeration as it’s not runnable by old dinosaurs such as myself.  Too much vertical in too short a space.

The ‘general’ loop we have is roughly 1 mile and stops at the parking lot so you can get by with carrying nothing which is nice.  I use the term general because we rarely come back down the same way so far.

You can watch a short little video of the route up here.  As you can see we hold true to the RunSalty Prime Directive “If it’s a run day, you run.”
(Unless you have existing injuries that running will make worse in which case use your judgement)

The Road To 50 Starts…

This is the first week of our 50 training plan.   50K, 50M, take your pick.   We’ll be possibly over training for a 50k and honestly possibly under training for a 50M.   But at the end of this particular road is just a 50K on November 18th so I’d rather be extra ready for it than not ready enough.

Our first long run tomorrow I’ll be doing solo because Bunny will elsewhere #sadface and Eric who has decided to run with us will be also elsewhere #sadface.

On this training plan which is of my own personal devising the first long run is a 20K with a 10k the day before. I ran the 10K this morning on trails and thanks to it being 30 degrees cooler this morning than it was on Thursday afternoon I didn’t end it feeling like I was dying.

The RunSalty 50 Plan is based on other published plans I’ve seen and books I’ve read but set up to fit my schedule of STWTS with MF rest/core/cross train days.    W is almost always a 6K, just a shake out run plus some core/cross training work.   Tu is usually something complicated like a pyramid or threshholds or intervals.  Th tends to have longer slower runs with hills and the like.

One weekend a month our Su long run starts at midnight.

One weekday a month we have a morning and evening run, usually for a total of 10k-15k between the two.

One week a month is a recovery week with mileage of around 25-27 miles max.

Mileage is set to increase 8-10% a week over the 4.5 month plan with the last .5 (two weeks) being a taper and the last long run being a marathon.   The longest run happens a week or two prior to that.

All runs are mileage based and heart rate zone targeted with most runs falling on HR Zone 2.

Total mileage over the 14 weeks including the 50K race is right at 800 miles.

I don’t believe there’s anything basically egregious about it even though I don’t even play a coach or trainer on T.V.   I’ve poured over lots of training plans for marathons, 50K’s, 50M’s, 100K’s and 100M’s and other than making things fit our needs (4 month training with 2 week taper after).

One of the bad things about Garmin is there is no way to share, download, copy or otherwise make sure multiple runners have the same schedule.  At least out of the box but Eric found a java based tool that can take a CSV file saved out of Excel and create both the runs and schedule them.  By piping the output into all of our Garmin Connect accounts I was able to somewhat easily create the same schedule for all of us with the same workouts.   And far faster and less prone to human error than trying to manually create the plans on all of our schedules.

Here’s a Google Sheets copy of the export file that should make it semi easy to figure out what each work out is.

Here’s an example of the first 3 weeks in Garmin.  I gave all the workouts a 50P prefix to their names so I know what they are and to avoid potentially stomping on any existing workouts.



I had a 5K on July 4th.  Coming into this 5K with Keto and a 20 mile run 3 days prior had me feeling pretty… less than speedy.   I can certainly relate to the ‘carbs are HIIT, fat is for endurance’ now.  I had no energy during this 5K and it was 4 minutes off my PR, which is pretty bad on a 5K. My legs were like lead.

All in all I wasn’t happy with the run, I ended up feeling like it was a non-event.  If I’d of broken 30 I’d of been okay with it I’m pretty sure but not breaking 30 even if by only a minute over and it felt like a yucky run.

Later that day I went out and ran another 5K as penance, and because I was bored, and to burn off some calories.   That 5K was at a 90 second slower pace.

All in all I think I’m going to add some 400’s or 800’s to our 50 training plan just to get some speed in there. There will be a few shorter races between now and then and I’d like to see if I can get a new 5K PR.

This weekend we’re going to do some trail running, 11-12 miles worth, doing the Snake Run course at Turkey Mountain 3 times and maybe some Lipbuster hills in there afterwards when we’re getting to that point of tiredness that you really don’t want to have to go up a 45 degree grade.

Keto is Neato! (5 days and counting)

So today marks our 5th day on the Keto diet. I started it Saturday, with a 6 mile run during which I burned off my last delicious meal of carbs that I had enjoyed the previous night at our local Thai Buffet. It was my way of saying one last goodbye to curried chickens and rice, sweet coconut milk rice dessert, delicious Pad Thai.  There was a tear in my eye as I left stuffed to the gills.

I have been using MyfitnessPal (MFP) on my iphone linked to Garmin Connect and my (formerly Trex’s) Garmin Fenix 3HR to track my calories, macro nutrient percentages, and my runs (+ general movement).  I set MFP goals to 1lb per week which put me on a roughly 1600 daily calorie limit to reach my goal weight loss of 10lbs. I set my daily macro percentages for fat (70%), protein (20%) and carbs to (5%).  Then using the app I scan barcodes and input amounts consumed and track my food down to the macro level. A trick to doing this is to preload foods to see how they will affect your numbers. That way there are no surprises or oopsie overages.

As of this morning I am 7lbs lighter than what I weighed after my run on Saturday which has been my average weight since about this time last year. That’s way more than I had expected to lose so if the trend holds I will increase my calories. I am only looking to cut 10lbs of fat and no more simply to allow for muscle gain over the course of our ultra training and to offset the gear we carry on trails. Mostly the same reason as Trex. But I also am undiagnosed as a pre-diabetic. Since I have started running again and eating a much less calorie rich diet on the regular I have seen vast improvements, but I am(was) still affected by the blood sugar crashes and spikes and based on reading the ‘internet’, Keto can help treat issues such as these. I make no claims as to whether there is real science to back this, but it’s worth observing whether it has benefits, and so far in just a few short days I am going to give a resounding YES. Here are some observations I have made about how it is working and affecting me thus far and why I would say its been beneficial, although this could change come Sunday after my first serious long run on the diet.

TL:DR Summary of my experiences:

Rapid weight loss with no significant issues with energy, sugar highs/lows, or cravings throughout the day. A slight notable energy decline in the first two days, but nothing like what I was counting on. I tend to want a sweet flavor following the fatty more salty foods, but that’s kinda normal so that doesn’t really count as a craving for carbs. I am able to stave this off by chewing sugarless gum or saving room in the calorie budget for a fat bomb. So far I like the diet, enjoying fattier foods like cheese and peanut butter has actually been a relief mentally as I feel guilty for eating those on a normal calorie diet.  It feels decadent and cheese, PB, avocados, salami, etc are just delicious!

Heart Rate seems to be a bit high during runs but that could just be the heat. Feel like run energy is higher than normal on a work day, but the biggest improvement is that I am not totally wiped out after my runs/work day when I get home. Tonight is a prime example. It’s 9pm and I am still fully energized even on the computer and I haven’t had caffeine since my morning cup.

A slightly more detailed account of my experiences thus far:

Day & Evening 1:  I didn’t really notice much energy loss during the run I think because I was still burning off residual sugars from the prior days meals. I ate on plan through the day but did have a little more caffine after my run as I was feeling a tad run down. Ha!

Day 2: (Massively sunburned after lounging by the pool on day one, Banana Boat Simply Kids Spray totally failed even with multiple reapplications) I chose not to do a long run, both to recover fully from the Marathon from the previous weekend, and primarily because it was Father’s Day and I gave my DH a dad day off.  So I caffeinated a tad more throughout the day.  It’s notable that I felt a tab peckish throughout the day but was satisfied with on-diet snacks and didn’t feel deprived or hungry, just that I had a slightly higher craving to eat.  Normal tired by evening, not a major crash as I was expecting

Day 3: I was a tad sluggish and drank far more caffeinated coffee drinks both to add “Fat” using real cream, and to keep me perky.  Being that it was also a Monday, that is a general contributor to the sluggishness of the day. But I didn’t feel hungry between meals and ate quite well on plan. Late evening, after kids are asleep I did a tad bit of exercise, my PT leg exercises with the elastic bands; afterwards I had a headache and crashed immediately in bed. The headache was probably on account of slightly more caffeine than normal and well my sunburn.

Day 4 (Yesterday. Here’s where it gets a little more interesting?):  Technically I ran my first real run without carbs to fuel it. Unfortunately my Wahoo HR monitor(also formerly Trex’s) was deplete of battery juice, so my HR data is inaccurate as it came from the Fenix, which is just not reliable. I was way over into z4 in several segments in the run and was a steady z3 for the rest and we were doing a moderate to slow pace.  I felt out of breath for most of the run at our normal pace so there was probably some validity to the higher HR, just not clear if it was the heat or the diet or both.

During the run, aside from feeling out of breath, I actually felt pretty good. I didn’t feel sluggish, or tired, I actually felt like I had sustained energy, much like how the eGels make me feel; not supercharged like on caffeine but just right.

After my run was a MAJOR improvement. Normally by the time I reach the house after my drive in the car I am run down and sluggish after a long day at work followed by hot sweaty run in the Oklahoma heat. I typically reach for a Yerba Mate Revel Berry to perk up so I can wrangle kids into tubs, and help with dinner and bedtime etc.  But I can’t drink those on Keto as they have too much sugar; but I didn’t need it. I felt like I had drank one and was able to last all night without feeling like a total zombie. HUGE PLUS!

That brings us to today, Day 5:   Much the same as yesterday, during the day I felt pretty good. I actually didn’t drink any extra caffeinated drinks today, just my normal cup of freshly roasted, and ground French Pressed delicious Papa New Guinea with coconut oil, heavy cream and xylitol to go with my egg fried in a tablespoon of butter. The best part of waking up! I recall that yesterday I did have a 20 calorie High Brew mid-day, but I can say I could have lived without it. But today nada extra. We picked up some keto friendly Tru Lemon drink mixes at the nearby supercenter and I can say they will do for now as something better than water when you just want flavor. I ate well, hitting my target fats for the first time really, and didn’t feel hungry. I did snack a bit after lunch but I think that was less hunger and more boredom driven.   During our run today I was feeling pretty good. We did Fartleks, which I am hence forth calling ‘Running Roulette’ as we take turns picking when to start the intervals so you don’t quite know when your next sprint is coming or how far/long.  My HR was through the roof during the sprints but I wasn’t as out of breath today as yesterday.  I feel like the run was slightly easier than I expected.  Same story as yesterday when I left the trail and came home. Plenty of energy left to finish this article after the nightly routine; no crashes, sustained energy. Liking this very much so far. Oh and I weighed myself when I got home just before my shower  and after tanking up on water to rehydrate and I am actually down another lb.  That may fluctuate but I will keep a close eye and adjust calories as needed.  Stay tuned for more observations/experiences on the Keto Diet. Or don’t, IANTBOY

Make Weight (common phrase heard in a wrestling room)

Bunny and I, mostly me because she can’t afford to lose much, are going ‘keto’.   I’ve done this before back when it was called Atkin’s Diet.   I had good success with weight loss during the 10-11 months I did it, then my twins were born, I started having a heart arrhythmia and it fell by the wayside.   Plus, no offense or fault for all the restrictive diet folks but cutting out a significant sized source of calories isn’t enjoyable to me.   I like all foods, I like bread, cake, veggies, fruits, meat of every source that runs on legs (no seafood) and trying to come up with half assed “almost as good as” substitutes sucks for me.  Life’s too short to try to pretend that cauliflower makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes or pizza crust or that jack fruit makes for great pulled pork sandwiches.  That’s not to denigrate anyone’s choices, I’ll support your choices to the bitter end, just that those choices aren’t permanently for me.

We’ll be trying for the TKD or Traditional Keto Diet of shooting for 80% calories from Fats, 15% from proteins and 5% from carbs while keeping total carbs below 50g.

80% calories from fats is tough if you actually like food.  I don’t know about you but I don’t eat a stick of butter or a box of cream cheese as a normal diet, nor do I sip heavy cream blended with coconut oil as a beverage.  So it’s tough if you actually enjoy all kinds of foods like myself.

With our first 50K, Dead Horse Ultra, looming ever closer, okay it’s roughly 5 months out at this point, I’ve decided, not so much that I want to ‘run keto’ but I do want to drop a fair percentage of my body fat to make that run more enjoyable.

It’s a race that I want to have the mental and physical energy to enjoy the route, the people, the desert, the views, everything involved with it as I won’t have too many of these fairly pricey ‘destination races’ in what’s left of my lifespan.

It’s not so I can burn out a awesome PR because at the end of the day I just want to finish the race and a) not be DFL and b) not be DNF.   I shoot on the low side of goals in running.  🙂

Keto has it’s downsides other than food options of course for ultra running.   Increased oxygen demands in an already potentially oxygen deficit function impacts ability.   Very little in the way to look forward to at an aid station, no chips, gels, pizza, pbj sandwiches, drink mixes, pretzels, etc and so on.  Just give me more water, let me take this yummy salt tablet and head back out.

I’ve read up enough on it that to me the biggest performance boost is from weight loss for a Keto runner.   Other than that running efficiency seems to go down on Keto at least for middle and back of hte packers like myself.  It really can’t not if nothing else from the oxygen costs to turn fat into fuel but additionally the energy increase to do the conversion compared to burning carbs, these increase work loads on the body without any performance boosting benefits.

So long story short, we’re going LCHF solely for weight loss benefits.  If I can replicate the success I had 15 years ago when I did it the first time then I’ll be in much better shape to handle our first 50K.

Today was my first longer run after reducing carbs to under 50g a day; it was roughly 10 miles and I was out of energy hard around mile 6 and have been feeling wiped all day afterwards.   My average pace ended up close to 2 minutes slower than normal.

We were going to hold off a bit for personal reasons on starting our Keto roadmap but we’re doing a 20 Mile Midnight Madness run in 2 weeks and I thought that would make a great test case.   It takes, let’s make up a generic time frame, 2 weeks to start getting fat adapted and, another generic time frame, 4 weeks to get fully comfortable.   That’s a snide comment on how time units are always so nice and neat when they apply to the ‘average’ person.   Why 2 weeks?  Why isn’t it 13 days?  Or 16 days?   2 weeks is just too neat and tidy of a time unit which makes me question is there any science behind it or it did folks just round it to a basic unit that everyone will be comfortable with.

I digress, but I do that.

So last weekend we ran our second marathon, in 90 degree heat no less, on trails.   Saturday I tested my legs with a 3 mile ‘normal’ pace for me and it wasn’t too bad, I hit my usual casual run pace of 10’s without feeling too bad.  But I still had stored carbs for fuel.    Today I decided to stretch it out a bit to see how much damage I was looking at and muscle/tendon wise I wasn’t bad.  Quads were slightly ‘bouncy’ when I was walking but nothing serious.   But oh my goodness, energy levels dropped like a stone during the run.

But it’s only been two days of no carbs and based on my basil metabolism and my exertion levels and just how many calories it costs me to move my not insignificant mass forward, I would have been running out of glucogen about half way through the 10 mile run and that’s about where it went sideways on me.

This week we’ll take it easier with some Z2 5K’s and next Sunday we’ll try another 10 mile run and see where we are.   Because we have a 20 mile run a week after that and I don’t want to be a back of the packer because the race director deliberately oversold the race so there’s a lack of medals for every finisher I’m not going to try to burn things out and see where we are.

Anyway that’s our going Keto story.   We’ll post updates if there’s anything of interest that pops up.

A TL;DR writing about Trail vs Road Marathons

After completing our first trail marathon, and our second marathon this year, I want to take some time to reflect and to compare and contrast these two experiences.  TRex has done a fine job of describing the technical details of these races in his blog posts (Mowdy and Little Rock ) and I highly recommend them for their informational and entertainment value.  But I want to expound on more of the touchy feely stuff that running two marathons in less than 6 months has taught me about myself, my RS, and the major differences and commonalities of road vs trail long distances running.

First and foremost I will say without a doubt, that while trail is by far much much harder than road racing, for me personally, I far prefer it. Mainly because trails are just more fun, at least in my experience.

The trail running community is smaller and a bit more tight knit and supportive. You tend to see the same people at all the trail races and get to know them or at least their reputations around the trail heads. You greet each other warmly and wave and cheer as you pass or get passed by your fellow trail runners.  You begin to really know who you are up against and learn pretty fast who you can beat and who will beat you.

Awards and giveaways tend to be more artistic and unique due to the smaller size of most trail races. They tend to be display pieces or useful in some way (coasters, bottle openers etc). With road you tend to have glitzy mass produced chunks of cast medal that only server to hang on a hook clanking against each-other like bickering siblings. Little Rock’s ginormous medal being the considerable exception due to its size.

And let’s not forget the food!  There is always lots of food on the trail, often homemade food at the finish, and goodies along the way. And let’s face it, food is really why I run. I love to eat.  With road races, they are typically more about speed over endurance, so sustenance is boiled down to essentials rather than provided as indulgent treats. The exception being some city vendors who want to show off their goods to a steady stream of potential customers (like delicious chocolate chunk cookies, grilled pineapple etc.); and those enthusiastic volunteers who supply Jell-O shots, Fireball, and beer at nearly every city and trail race.

Another thing that makes trail more fun is all the wildlife you get to see, such as snakes, spiders, dear, bob cats, raccoon, fox, and even Wild Mustangs; at least in OK where we run. You get to run through things like spider webs, (mostly Trex since he is taller and usually runs in front so as not to take me out when he eventually falls, and he almost always does), creeks and creek beds, rolling meadows, rocky hillsides, densely canopied wooded paths, muddy puddles etc etc. Stuff that makes your shoes dirty and you don’t see/do every day. It keeps things interesting and requires you to focus on the terrain instead of the crazy thoughts that tend to roll around in your head while you run.

Which brings me to my next reason. The mental break.

I tend to have a few mixed tapes that are my go to mental playlists when I run long distances on paved surfaces which don’t require much external focus. I tend to think about my life, my goals, past, present, and future. This can be very meditative, introspective if you will, and are frankly life saving for me as a time when I can simply sort through the chaos in my head and in my life. But depending on the day, the demands of the run, and my mood (or Trex’s) I may happen upon on a bad loop that runs like a broken record, and those can be devastating for a run mentally and physically.  And there is such a time as needing a brain break, a mental shutdown, when you don’t think too much; when you can’t let your mind wander aimlessly or exert effort to figuring your life out, and those are when trail running comes to the rescue. When I just don’t want to think about sh*t.

With trail you can’t afford to get lost in your mind. You have to constantly focus on the terrain so as not to trip and fall. You can’t shut your mind off completely, but you have to focus it on doing regular assessments of how you are doing physically and then use your mental will power to push yourself when your status check comes back ‘in the red.’  I really became more intimate with this process during our Greenleaf 30K when my legs wanted to give up really early. I had to use my mind to focus on my strengths; to connect my mind and body, in a way, to override the pain signals by sending thoughts of how my muscles feel at their best. It’s hard to describe, but in essence I recall powerful feelings to replace the feelings of weakness I am experiencing when my body is strained. It requires a lot of focus and there is no room for thinking of much else in those moments because when you break focus the pain becomes overwhelming.  It is a brain exercise that strengthens the mind unlike pondering how to solve world peace.

Now this ‘mind over matter’ process is something both Trail and Road have in common (for me). It was my go to process during our first marathon this year as well as during our trail marathon. It is a good skill to hone period. But with road you can also let your mind drift a bit to distract yourself from the pain, whereas you can’t do this with trail. At least I can’t that is, else I end up on the ground like Trex does when he lets his mind wander off the trail. He has told me as much.

Another major common factor I have found to be pretty much universal in trail and road long distance races is the ‘Wall’. Any time I have set out to complete a distance not yet run, (race or training) there always comes a time when I grapple with the question of my ability to go further than I have already known.  Whether it be 1 mile more or 6.2, the added distance seems to boggle the mind.   It’s seem also to coincide with when all the aches and pains scream loudest. The place when the battle of ‘mind over matter’ is at the pinnacle.

Now I have read this described differently, more as a generic point in every run where you simply think you can’t go further. But for me it always seems to come when I am in ‘unknown’ territory. With my very first 3 mile run as an adult, so many years ago, it was around mile 2. With my first Half Marathon it was at mile 11, (I had only trained up to mile 10). With my first marathon it was at the typical mile ’22ish’ when I was 2 miles past the furthest distance I had ever run, and felt like I had nothing left to give the next 4.2 miles. At these points all the pains seemed to mount their offensive and bombarded my senses to the point where I wanted to quit even though I had just a few miles left. It’s that point, or points in some races/training runs, where you decide you are going to finish and not quit in spite of the pain.

With trail I tend to bout this foe off and on throughout the distances, simply because the terrain is usually so very unknown. With road there isn’t much variance in what to expect. A road is a road is a road. This weekend I hit a wall very early around mile 3 when my calf decided it was not prepared for all the uneven surfaces since we hadn’t run trail in several weeks.  It wadded up into a loose ball that tightened over the course making each step painful.  I had to constantly send forth thoughts to try and relax the muscle groups and recall how my calf feels normally to endure.  This took a ton of focus.  I hit another wall at the usual mile 22, when I realized just how abnormally long it would take us to traverse (walk in this case) another 4 miles in the heat. But there was no way in hell I was giving up after so far come and knowing I had done it before, so I pushed on, and so did T.

With both Mowdy and Little Rock, battling the elements was another challenge. For Little Rock it was cold rain. For Mowdy it was the exact opposite… oppressive heat.  Each made the runs far more challenging than had the weather been ideal, but for sure the heat was a more toilsome foe as it got stronger as the day went on.  We had to constantly replenish water and fuels and find means to cool our core temperatures.  It added nearly two hours to our road marathon time. Both races were hilly, but the added heat and rocky uneven surfaces of Mowdy made it a far more difficult race over Little Rock.

A key lesson from both.  I learned during our Little Rock race just how hard the ‘walls’ can be to overcome both for myself and my partner. Mowdy was no different in that aspect, however I did learn how to avoid getting “shushed” when my partner is in the throes of his battles, and I think I was better at reading his queues as well as my own as to when to offer/ask for support.  This is crucial when running with someone else. Sometimes you are the much needed voice of reason and encouragement, but sometimes you just have to know when to STFU and quietly be a source of strength or keep your whining to yourself. It is a balancing act throughout the journey to the finish, one that I believe has been my hardest but most important lesson thus far. I can’t say I have fully learned my lesson but I am well on my way.


All about that Bass…Pro Marathon

Our next big run, okay our next Marathon or greater run because I just signed up for the 20 mile Midnight Madness run on June 30th by TATUR, is likely going to be the Bass Pro Marathon.  The reason for that is a two piece.   One of my bucket lists is to join the Marathon Maniacs which the entry level condition is to do 2 marathons (or longer) runs in 2 weeks or 3 marathons or longer in 60 days.  The second piece is it lines up perfectly with our ‘last long run’ weekend before our first attempt at a 50K, the Dead Horse Ultra, on November 17th (ish).

So doing the Bass Pro fulfills our long run and sets us up to get the 2 Marathons or longer races in 2 weeks.   And it’s within driving distance so that saves on costs.  And they have pretty medals.

This summer we’ll have a couple of shorter races, the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5K and Bedlam Run 10K although I’m not sure if Bunny is going to run those with me.   I may have to go solo or find another running wife temporarily to fill in.  It doesn’t look like the August run is a thing right now, I forget the name of it but I placed 3rd in my age group at that one mostly because all the fast old guys stayed home in the AC. 🙂

The Midnight Madness run will be our first long run weekend to kick off our training program for the Bass Pro / Dead Horse combo.   We’ll be taking it a bit easy this week definately, maybe a couple or three mile walk later this week and possibly a short easy run on Sunday.   Then the next week just start easing back into things before we hit the 20 mile race.

My current training plan is a combination of a couple of plans I’ve gotten from Ultra books and online.   It’s a 5 day a week, TWTSS running schedule because that’s what I’m used to.  Wednesday is always an easy day, Saturday and Sunday are always a medium/long combo back to back.  One long run a month starts at midnight.  Every 4th week is a light recovery week.   The T and T days are where I mix it up with pyramids, sprints/strides, thresholds, hill repeats and power hiking.   One thing I’ve read and agree with is you have to train your hike/walk as well as your run.  A prime example was this last marathon we did where due to injury and heat we ended up walking far more than normal.  As a result I ended up with a blister on the side of my right foot back by the heel and my shin muscles are especially sore because they were much more engaged with my walking gait than my running gait.

So don’t just practice running when you’re training for distance, have a couple or three long power walks in there.

My other goal is going to be to drop weight as much as I can between now and November as each pound I can shave off my bod is one pound less I have to haul for 26 and 31 miles respectively.   I’ve been holding rock steady at my current weight plus or minus about 4 lbs since last year so on top of my stepping up my weekly mileage for training, I’m going to be stepping down my calories or at least the ‘bad’ calories.

We’ll see how it goes but pending showstopping injury or death I’m going to be climbing those Utah hills and deserts in November so that’s something to look forward to.


First Half of Half Fanatics Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be the first half of the two races I need to get into the Half Fanatics.  Next weekend is a 25K which will satisfy the entry level ‘2 halfs in 16 days’.   It’s not so much that I want to be a Half Fanatic but that I want to be a Double Agent.  Which requires both Half Fanatic and Marathon Maniac membership.

My dear running wife will pick up her entry into the Half Fanatics at the end of the month when we both do back to back halves and jump up to “Neptune” level.

Why?  Because we thought the shirts were cool last year when we ran the Route 66 half.

And it’s both a way to ‘show off’ and a way to encourage others to maybe push through that barrier they think they have and achieve even more.  Honestly because of those Double Agent shirts is the only reason I’m considering doing 2 marathons in 2 weeks and that will require some extensive pushing through barriers both mental and physical.

And for whatever reason my post mid life crisis seems to require me to try to push those limits before I can’t.

TellTale Heart (Or Not)

So on our 30 minute recovery run on Wednesday ‘my’ heart rate was in the 160’s seconds after the run started.  Obviously wrong.  I can’t hit 160 with a 8 minute sprint.

So I try various things, I stop and start the run.  I take the Fenix off my wrist in case it’s picking up cadence, nope the LED’s aren’t on.  I pull the Garmin HR belt away from my chest.  My HR goes up.

I take the chest belt off.   Still reading between 160 and 180, it’s going up and down incrementally as I jog along without any sensor against my skin and with the LED’s on the watch turned off.

I’m left going…. WTF?

I end up averaging 160+ BPM for that run.

All I can say is lately I just can’t depend on anything to read my HR correctly.  I’ve gone through two Scosche’s, 2 HR belts, changed the battery in my HR sensor and they’re all just jacked up.

And yes I know my HR wasn’t that high.  Fingers on neck and counting my pulse and I’m getting around 120 (ish) BPM which would be spot on for the pace that I was doing.

It seems like I’m just generating some weird anti-technology vibe since last fall that keeps jacking with whatever system I use for HR measurements.   So annoying.

Taper week

I guess we must be tapering right since per experience runners “If it feels like you need to go run then you’re tapering right.”

This is 2 days straight we haven’t run which hasn’t happened in… a year plus?   And tomorrow is only a 5K and then more days off, then a 5K race and then we finally get to run our first marathon.

So t-minus 5 and counting.   Technically as of right this minute it’s 4 days, 11 hours and 51 minutes before we see if our training worked or not.

It’s been a long row to hoe as my grandmother would say.  Due to health issues and basically not wishing to drop dead from over exertion it’s taken me 18 months to go from can’t run 2 minutes to trying to run 26.2 miles.   And hopefully it doesn’t kill me when I try.