Monday, February 28, 2011

GRR


The Georgia Reactor Run - 100 Mile Endurance Trail Race is this Saturday!




This event is being put on by GUTS. So- why is it call the "Georgia Reactor Run" you might ask? Well, the Dawsonville Wildlife Management Area was once known as the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory. It was a nuclear test site in which the US government was researching and trying to develop a nuclear powered aircraft. So, during a run out there, you may see a few remnants of the nuclear test site, one being the hot-cell building where the nuclear reactor was housed.

(One of the few remaining buildings on the 10,000 acre site)

Thankfully I am not running it, however I will be working the timing table from 4:30pm - 2:30am on Saturday, so if you are in the neighborhood and want to see some trail running first hand stop by! There are about 200 runners registered to take part in either the 50K, 50M, or 100M race.



I will be beginning my morning by heading off to Berry College to run the annual 1/2 marathon held on campus.



This is the final "test run" in my build up to Sweetwater. A little half marathon effort, to see where I am and what progress I have made since the Freedom Run last month. The Crackhead has reminded me that this is not an "A" race and I will not have a full taper, so the results are not going to be completely indicative of what my full potentional could be - translation, "I am still running you hard, so don't set you hopes on a superfast time and remember, this is a lead up to Sweetwater, not the goal race. Follow the pacing"

He has me set up to run a 1:48:59. The prescribed pacing has me starting out at a 8:37 mile, dropping 3 seconds per mile (i.e 8:37, 8:34, 8:31, etc.) Of course this is all ideal running and following the pacing is harder than that. (For me at least)

I attempted a 9 mile practice run of that, this past Saturday with decent sucess. I managed to hit some of the times and overall ran a negative split. The whole theory behind this pacing is to slowly build through the HR zones, arriving at mile 10 without ever really going into the LT zone (164-170 -My run on Saturday was perfect in that regard.) Arriving at mile 10, with a 5k remaining, the race begins in ernest. I can leave everything on the road and run the remaining distance at lactate threshold and see what I've got.



So, I've got a full dance card this weekend! Then we begin the dreaded 3 hour runs!

Oh, a quick shout out to Her Name Is Rio & She Runs Thanks for the contest! ( I won a "Run" magnet!)
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2/28/11
Weight - 188.0 (Down 1 lb from last week; 13 on teh year)

Training Schedule
Su - 1:30 zone 1
Mo - rest
Tu - 60 minutes - hills
We - trackwork
Th - rest
Fr - easy running & drills
Sa - 1/2 Marathon Race
Su - rest/recovery run

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And He Was Running...

There is an ultrarunner by the name of John Price, who recently departed Venice Beach, CA, beginning his trans-continental trek to Virginia Beach, VA. You can follow his progress here.



I am SO fascinated by the idea of running across the U.S. I had first heard of the concept as a kid, but my first real exposure to the actual process was back in 2003, when recent college grad's, Scott Sehon & Dave Bronfenbrenner completed their run from New Jersey to Oregon. They had a website tracking their progress and I logged on every day following them. Two friends, running across the country with a baby jogger, relying on the kindness of strangers. How awesome is that?

I have followed the progress of several other trans-con runs over the years, most recently was the trip of Patrick McGlade. He left California on New Year's Day, 2010 and ran to Tybee Island, GA. Being he was finishing in my home town I was excited to follow his progress and see him run through Savannah.

Bjorn Suneson has to be the most interesting story that I never had a chance to follow. On July 18th of last year, Holly said, "Let's go to Tybee." Okay, sounds fun. We loaded up the beach gear and headed out. As we were driving the 15 or so miles to the beach I saw a guy running along the road pushing a baby jogger. I knew he didn't have a child in there and I thought, "Hmmm, I wonder where he started his run." I figured it was a guy training for a long run, or perhaps running across the state. For a moment I contemplated the fact that he could be running a trans-con run. "Nah, he would have some sort of entourage, he's almost finished."

About an hour later we were in the ocean playing around when I looked up to the beach and there was my new friend with his baby jogger! There were a few young people(turns out it was his children) clapping and taking pictures. They put a lei around his neck and gave him a bottle of champagne. He took off his shoes & jumped in the ocean. After he played around a few minutes, curiosity got the best of me, so I waded over to him. "Hi, I'm Thomas. What are you celebrating?" He told me his name was Bjorn and he just ran from Seattle, running across the U.S. the second time in his life! I was amazed by this trip, but even more amazed at how low-key the finish turned out, no pomp & circumstance, just Bjorn & his family.



My Sweetest Boo & I have talked about this idea for a while now and I would one day like to complete a run across the U.S. The logistics can be as simple or as complicated as I want. The basic premise is 3000 miles coast to coast. How do I want to cover them? 25-30 miles a day. 5-6 hours of running per day, probably with a baby jogger holding supplies. Maybe with someone in a support vehicle. We've always talked about buying an R.V. upon our retirement and traveling the country, a run like this would have to wait until I am retired or closer to retirement...so who knows. Right now I'm just putting it out there.




Here is a link to a comprehensive list to those who have completed a tran-con trek by foot.


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2/21/11
Weight 189.0 (down 1.0 from last week; 12 pounds on the year)

Training Schedule
Su - 2:30 long run
Mo - Rest
Tu - 60 minutes - hills
We - 30 minutes - zone 1
Th - Trackwork
Fr - Rest
Sa - 9 miles progression - follow pacing for next week's half mary
Su - 1:30 long run

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Only Constant In Life ...

...is change.

It seems everything Boston related requires mutliple attempts-this is my 3rd attempt to post my thoughts on the recent news that the B.A.A. has changed the qualifying times for the 2013 marathon. The last time the B.A.A. made QT's more stringent was for the 1980 race. There have been several changes to the QT's since then - always easing the QT's.

In 1969 the field of entrants was listed at 1152 runners and organizers decided to include a qualifying standard of 4:00 for the following year. This did little to filter the entrants; they lowered the time to 3:10 for the 1971 race-dropping the field to 887 runners. At one point in the 1980's you had to run a sub 2:50 to qualify.

Standards were relaxed and in 1990 they had the largest running field in the history of the event with 9362 entrants. Six years later, the centennial running quadrupled that number with 38,708 entrants. In true waxing and waning of popularity, the race was back down to a manageable number of 11,274 in 1999. Keeping in line with the running boom and as a result of relaxing the standards in 2003, the number of entrants began to rise-breaking 20,000 again in 2007. Registration was closed in February, two months before the running of the 2008 race, as the number of entrants reached 25,000. Registration for the 2010 race was closed after 64 days...and we all know about the 8 hour sellout for the 2011 race.

The discussion of changing the timing standard has been on the table for quite some time. There are those who say the gender gap of 30 minutes is too great, the gap between elite male and female runners is now 10-15 minutes. There are those who say it is much easier to get in for the "more seasoned"(older)runners-they get a 10 minute bump at 55 and a 15 minute bump at 60. Finally, there are those who say there are too many charity runners. In 2009, 1200 charity participants raised 10.5 million dollars.

This change was a foregone conclusion. I believe that lowering the QT's by 5 minutes all across the board this the most fair outcome. As a 36 year old male, I need to run a 3:15:59 of better to be eligible for the 2012 marathon; a 3:10:00 for the 2013 race. That is a difference of 13 seconds per mile.

Now, the rolling registration idea...that is a whole other ball of wax...one that I think Amby Burfoot covers very well right here.

Why Boston & Why Me?

My allure with the Boston Marathon began in 1987 when my A.J.R.O.T.C. Instructor walked into our classroom with his finisher's jacket. He had run the marathon several times and was more than willing to tell us all about the race. I found it facinating and vowed to run it one day. Fast forward 15 years and my life was a far cry from what I had envisioned. I was overweight & out of shape. Finally having had enough, I began to run again. 3 minutes at a time. All the while I had a goal of Boston, thus returning to the glory of my youth. Something changed along the way. I stopped planning the result and began to plan the action. I live in the moment and take each run day by day. No longer driven by the idea of being able to tell people I ran the Boston Marathon, I now am happy to run and share trail time with friends. My happiness comes from the inside, not from a jacket I get to wear on the outside. I still hope to run a BQ someday and toe the line in Hopkinton - but it no longer defines me as a runner. Afterall, it's only a race in Boston...and I am a lifelong Met's fan...we've already beaten them once....

(All stats taken directly from the B.A.A. website)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Burying The Lead

(Happy Valentine's Day from Teh Snail)
The gratitude I possess towards my wife cannot be accurately conveyed with words. I am a better person because she is in my life.


Let's start with a thank you for all of the great feedback from my last post. Even GQH had something productive to add, as he reminded me of one of the primary reasons I started running again - to reduce my cholesterol level and improve my overall health. Now if we could just address his addiction to all things phanatical.

The takeaway from last week's post is that I am not getting enough protein and too much carbs in my morning meal. The Crackhead (my coach) has been relentless in his insistance that I take in more protein in the morning(as were several commentors). Overall, my daily consumption should fall somewhere around 0.5g - 0.75g of protein per pound of goal body weight. Using the short term goal of 180 pounds, I should be consuming 90-135g of protein a day. The well documented ideal is that your body takes longer to breakdown the proteins, feeling full longer. The other side of the coin being too many (simple) carbs sets you up for an insulin crash a few hours later. The trick for me is finding the right balance. I am right in the middle of training for my April ultra and need plenty of carbs and protein (and good fats) for training.
The other frequent comment from the last post was to consume 5-6 smaller meals per day. For the record, I am already on this band wagon and I love it. I eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking - 7:30am, have a "snack" around 10am & lunch around noon. Then there is the 2:30pm snack break, usually a 5pm snack break & dinner around 7pm. My snacks are usually fruits and nuts - quick & easy.


Let's put it all on the table. Holly & I have become regulars at the local farmer's market, we are using whole foods in all of our cooking. Very little, if anything in our kitchen is processed. I'm maintaining the desired weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week; needing 10 pounds in the next 8 1/2 weeks to be at 180 by the time SweetH20 rolls around. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Speaking of SweetH20...I got a message from and old buddy last week telling me he just signed up for the SweetH20 50k! Very cool Tom!(Anyone named Tom is cool, right G?) I've been trying to convince him (and CJ) to do this race. At least one of my buddy's has the set to step up to the line...

Last but not least, mini RR for the Freedom Run 10k last saturday. This was a very small, low key race. At most 100 runners between the 5 & 10k. The runners thinned out quickly as we spread about the 3.1 mile course(the 10k'ers did 2 loops) I was supposed to run a progression run, negative spliting the race. I got out fast and felt really good. 1/2 mile into the race I saw I was holding a 7:30 pace and backed off trying to get to the proposed 8:35 pace. Coach said go out "slow" don't worry, trust the pacing. It just felt easy and I was holding 8's without too much effort. I figured it would come back to haunt me at the end. There was a good size hill 2.25 miles in-it really came into play on the 2nd loop. Of course the other side of that coin was the nice downhill closing out the 2nd mile. I really took advantage of it in mile 5 and made up some ground(7:25 split).

Long story short, I didn't blow up, I didn't get passed after the first 1/2 mile and rolled up 5 runners in the last mile. I ran a great race and all of the work is paying off! This was a Peachtree Qualifier, my time will get me into the "B" corral. There will be 60,000 runners this year, I want to be as close to the starting line as possible. As it stands, 56 seconds seperates me from the A corral. My last chance at moving up a corral will be the Berry 1/2 Marathon I am running on the 5th of March.

Proposed splits/actual splits
1 - 8:35/8:00
2 - 8:23/7:53
3 - 8:10/8:16
4 - 7:58/7:57
5 - 7:45/7:25
6 - 7:33/7:58
.2 - 1:46/1:24
Total time 49:59/48:53

PR's Rock!
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2/14/11
Weight 190.0 (down 1.8 from last week; 11 pounds for the year)

Training Schedule
Su - 2:10 Long Run Zone 1/2
Mo - Rest
Tu - 30 minutes Zone 1
We - Strength
Th - Trackwork
Fr - Rest
Sa - 50 min total(20 min zone 1/2 - 30 min zone 3)
Su - 2:32 min Long Run Zone 1/2

This is a recovery week, we are working on a 16/5 cycle - 16 days hard/5 days recovery

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

With Increased Mileage...

...comes increased calorie consumption.




February has found me reaching a "plateau" on my weight loss journey. To be fair, we are only 9 days into the month. I experienced a large loss(4.4 pounds) in the last week of January, so I expected a correction of sorts for my first week of February. My weigh in yesterday put me at 191.8, which was up 2.6 pounds from the week before. Again, I'm not complaining as I have lost 9.4 pounds in 40 days. I suppose I am reaching out to blogland for some feedback.

As my weekly mileage has increased into the 30's, my hunger is also increasing. It is a fine balance between proper fuel consumption and binge eating. I am making a concerted effort to consume more protein & carbs in my morning meal; homemade 5 whole grain breakfast bars & Kefir, for example. Lunch also is filled with healthy carbs - quinoa & edamame salad is a staple. I suppose I could stand to increase my veggie intake...and dairy is slowly slipping back into my diet. My thinking is I am working towards a nutrional shift - not a crash diet.




So, to my running breathern...How do you fuel? Do you follow the prescribed 50% carb/30% protein/20%fat ratio? Do you try to consume 25% of your daily calories within an hour of waking up each day? Do you budget more calories in bigger training weeks?
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Weekly Stats
2/8/11 191.8 (up 2.6; 9.4 lost on the year)

Training Schedule
Su - 2 hrs on the trails
Mo - Rest
Tu - 1 hr hills
We - Trackwork
Th - Rest
Fr - Drills on grass
Sa - Freedom Run 10k Race
Su - 2 hr 10 min LSR

Friday, February 4, 2011

...and the winner is...

...Ben & Steph.

Another deserving couple, so I am happy with the outcome. Thanks to all that voted. My entire family was overwhelmed with the outcome of support - it was very humbing. My sister said it best, "We have already won; with the love from our family & friends." Very awesome!

Speaking of awesome, CJ nominated me for Athlete's Plate. Jason over at Cook Train Eat Race designs really cool recipes for athletes in training...I guess this makes me a real-live endurance athlete now, SAH-WEET!



Although we have not been dumped on with snow like many of our midwestern friends, the rain & cold have been brutal this week. Tuesday night I had 50 minutes of hill running on the schedule, I had to head out in the rain to get my miles in...way to HTFU. I looked like a drowned rat upon return. My loving bride meet me at the door with a couple of towels, all she could do was shake her head and tell me, "I love you...but your crazy!"

Speaking of crazy...looks like Fatpants has decided she wants to become a trailrunner too - as decided by her interest in Terri Hayes' website for South Carolina Ultra Trail Series. Terri puts on 5 races a year, that are FREE! Low key & awesome...homemade finisher medals. Best kept secret in the south!