Monday, October 13, 2008

Heartland 100 Race Report

I haven't posted on this blog in a while, but I have a new blog and a new project.  You can read about the Heartland 100 here.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Last Big Weekend Before Capt'n Karl's

This weekend was a three day weekend and my family was out of town so I had plenty of time for some good training.

On Friday I went out to Flower Mound to train on roads. I walked a potential new course for our TNT group (I didn't like the new course so we'll have to keep looking). The route was about ten miles. I returned to my car to refill my pack and then went out to do 11 more miles on the South Course. I stayed steady most of the workout but started dragging on the uphills at the end. I wanted to stay below a 12:00/mile pace and ended up with an average 11:58.

On Saturday I coached the team. I walked and ran with various people on the course and ended up doing seven miles. My pace varied from running 8:00/mile to walking 17:00/mile. As always, training was fun and it was great to be out with the team. The parents of one of our mentors made pancakes after training, and they were delicious.

Sunday morning I went to Rowlett Creek Preserve to get some trail and hill training. I started in the dark with my flashlight, and I got turned around on some of the new trails. I eventually found my way out and did a little over a 10 mile loop of the north side of the park. I stopped at my car to refuel and then headed out for another loop. The problem with RCP is that ten miles is a little too far for me to go without refilling my fluids, and there is no place to do that except the parking lot. So on my second loop I ran out of water and got a tad deyhdrated. I had planned to do one more loop but I was just beat and it was starting to get hot. I didn't want to run out of water again so I called it a day. My pace on the trails and hills was about 13:32 for 21 miles, which is pretty good for me walking on trails.

Now it's time to taper and get ready for Capt'n Karl's All Nighter (12 hour). I would like to get 50 miles but I'm not sure that's realistic right now so I'll just play it by ear. Also, that would depend on how they handle the end of the race. In some timed races with large loops there will be a short loop that can be used for the last hour of the race. That way you don't have to worry about being in the middle of the long loop when the 12 hour limit is reached (you wouldn't get any credit for the miles you completed on the partial loop). I don't know if Capt'n Karl's will have a short loop at the end. The course is seven miles long which means I would have to do 49 or 56 miles. I don't think 56 is realistic. So, long story short, if there is no short loop at the end I will try to get 49 miles. If there is a short loop, I'll go for 50+. I don't know if my current level of training is enough to get me there, but it's worth a shot.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Double Negative Split

Today was a great day! My goal was to complete three laps of White Rock Lake. The lake trail (pavement, asphalt) is about 9.25 miles, so my final mileage would be around 27.75 or so. My goal was to do the first two loops in 12:00 per mile, then maintain whatever speed I could for the last loop.

I got up at 4:00 AM and was at the lake and ready to walk at 5:30. The first loop went well: 9.26 miles in 1:50:38, an 11:57 pace. Right on target. I was taking in calories every 30 minutes: Jelly Belly Sports Beans, a Vanilla PowerBar Gel, and part of a Clif Bar. I was carrying water in my Camelbak.

I stopped at my car to refill my pack. I ate some potato chips and drank some gatorade.

The next loop went even better than the first: 1:49:29, an 11:53 pace. The lap felt a little more labored than the first but overall it was relatively easy and smooth. Again I ate every 30 minutes: half of a PB&J sandwich, some more Sports Beans, then the other half of the sandwich.

Again I stopped at my car to refill. I finished the gatorade, ate half of a PowerBar, drank some water, took two Advil and then started my final lap.

Surprisingly, this loop was the best of all. I walked 3.75 miles in 44:18, an 11:49 pace. At this point I ran into some friends and a fellow coach from Team in Training, Dave and his wife Meg. We chatted very briefly (I love seeing people I know at the lake, especially TNT folks - it's like a big family). I started up again and felt faster than ever. I was doing a 10:30 pace and realized I needed to slow it down. I finished the rest of the loop 1:02:38, an 11:34 pace! Overall my pace for the day was 11:50, and I felt great. I was tired but not exhausted, and I wasn't sore at all.

A big part of today's success was the weather. A mild cool front and rainstorm came through early this morning so the day was slightly cooler and overcast. The temps were in the low 70s when I started and were in the low- to mid-80s when I finished. I don't think I would have finished as strong if the weather had gotten warmer faster.

Today's workout gave me some needed confidence going into my next race, Capt'n Karl's All Nighter (a 12 hour race starting at 7:30 PM on Saturday night, July 19). I still don't know how well I'll do, but I feel like if I control my pace I can feel strong throughout most of the race. I don't have any mileage goals for the race - I just want to stay on my feet the whole 12 hours and avoid any "death march" loops at a sluggish pace.

Distance: 27.65 miles
Time: 5:27:03
Pace: 11:50

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I'm back

Not sure why, when or for how long, but for now I'm back walking.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Big news

Well, I've decided to make a change. I don't know if it will be a permanent one, and I don't know if I'll be successful, but I feel the need for a new challenge. I've created a new blog to chronicle my new endeavor; you can read about it here. I'll be making all new posts to that blog, so if you are interested please subscribe to the feed there. Thanks to everyone who's read my posts and offered support and encouragement.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Brief Race Report: FANS 17 Hour

Wait, 17 hour? Wasn't this a 24 hour race? Umm, yeah, it was supposed to be.

FANS was a Centurion race and has a walking division, so I was excited about this race. I was on track for first place and 105 miles (and a course record) when the wheels came off on lap 30 (about 12:30 am). I just lost all energy (and will) and slept in my car for a while, then decided I couldn't go on (I was chilled and had no energy at all). So I went to get some food and went to the hotel to sleep.

I was disappointed, but at the same time this is the second longest I've ever gone in my ultra career, and up to the point where I crashed I held a good pace (13:40 average). I was leading the entire race and was two laps ahead of the second place walker.

I reached 50 miles in 10:52:22, and I reached 100k in 13:50:38. If I had been registered in the 12 hour I would have won and I would have set a course record. If I had been racing in a 50 miler or 100k I would have been very happy. Unfortunately it was a 24 hour race, so I'm a little bummed. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now but figure out what to do next. Not sure what that will be, but once I recover physically and mentally I put together a plan for something.

This is a great race if you are looking for a fixed time event. Here are a bunch of pictures of the race from Julie Berg's blog:

My only suggestion to improve the race would be to have a greater variety of food, and to have more hot food available at night. Other than that, a very well run and well supported race with a lot of great "crowd support" from the crews and families of other racers, plus the timers and event volunteers.

I'll post more later, and I'd like to mention the great performances by other walkers. But I've got to get to work and then fly out later today for a business trip, so my lengthier report will have to wait.

Friday, June 01, 2007

It's time to do it

Well, I leave for FANS in four hours. Up to Minneapolis and the pre-race pasta dinner, then hopefully a good night's sleep before the race starts at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning. My hotel is less than 15 minutes from the race, and I've found a Starbucks within a two minute drive of the hotel, so all the key logistics have been worked out.

It took me a while to pack all my gear. I have a full suitcase and a half full backpack. The scary thing is that the only "street" clothes in there are a T-shirt, socks and underwear; everything else is race gear. Here is what I remember packing:

  • 2 short sleeve shirts
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 1 sleeveless shirt
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 hats
  • 2 bandanas
  • 3 sweat bands
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 3 water bottles
  • 2 bottle packs (one single bottle pack, one double bottle pack)
  • my usual medical kit (band aids, foot repair, sunscreen, bodyglide, extra shoe laces and zip ties and safety pins)
  • sunglasses
  • flashlight and headlamp (part of the course is not well lit at night)
  • lightweight shell in case I get chilled at night
  • 2 pairs of shoes
I think that is everything, but I'm probably leaving something out. Right now there is a chance of rain with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Hopefully we won't get the rain, but the overcast weather would be wonderful. The worst thing would be lightning because they will suspend the race (for our safety - I won't argue with that) but any time that elapses during the suspension will be lost. So that could kill my 100 mile hopes. But I'm thinking positively right now. A little rain won't bother me, just keep the lightning away.

I'll post results as soon as I can. I'm out of here!