Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 ramblings and thoughts on 2009

With 2008 almost behind us I like to start thinking about and planning for next year about this time...but first what was good and bad about 2008.

Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Racing Team
Hardrock Finish
Fairly successful year of racing

Knee injury from road racing late in the year

Good things about 2008 was I was able to finish all of my ultras and I learned some good and new things. I learned that water only is the best thing for me when running ultras. I like to put one NUUN capsule into each bottle to get my electrolytes, but other than that, at least right now my stomach can only handle that. I will usually have soup at the aid stations and occasionally grab a sandwich to eat while walking out of the aid station. Another thing I learned from my friend Mike Dobies is to carry a baggie and put some things in it to munchon like raisins, nuts and pretzels. Even at my ripe older age fo 57 I can learn some new tricks.

Good thing also was a quick recovery from the knee injury late in the year due to some aggressive road running and also running two road marathons. I've been able to run several multi hour trail runs with Deb this weekend, so the knee is happy again. I still think running roads can help you in trail running as it does make you a little faster. I will continue to run roads, but only beween the trail runs.

We had a good Thanksgiving day. No Turkey for us! We had some running friends over, went for a nice 2.5 hour trail run, then returned to the house for some homemade soup, bread and cheesecake. We followed that with some Guinness and a watching of the Massanutten movie to get ourselves psyched up for entering this week. It was a good day! as I now think about 2009, what I have planned so far is to enter the Massanutten 100 on Dec 1st and enter Hardrock in January. Both of these are lottery, so I don't know if I will be running one or both or neither. I think I have a good chance of getting in both and my race season will surround and be planned around these. I will be running the DRB50K in April, that's a given. Deb and I are also planning on going down to Va. in Feb to run the Reverse Ring, which is a 71 mile run on the MMT course without all of the road sections and very limited aid. This will basically kick off the serious training for MMT, which in in May. That and possible several other trip down there for some of the Massanutten training runs.

Another biggie for us for 2009 is the hope to sell our home and move back to New Mexico...this is something I really hope happens, but due to the economy I don't think our house will sell, but time will tell.

For training, I will continue to run easy and low mileage until after the first of the year, then will begin to ramp up the miles, adding hill repeats in there sometime when the roads are clear of snow. Then in the Spring I'll start to do some tempo runs, preferably on the trails to keep the knees happy. My mileage is usually in the 50-60 mile per week range with most of it at a low heart rate. I log all of my training at RunningAHEAD.

Deb and I are planning a trip to Texas for the week between Christmas and New Year to visit her family in Fort Worth. That will be a nice trip and it'll be good to get in some warmer weather for a week. We'll do some training with her brother, Drew (Meyer) who is also planning on entering Hardrock. Drew is a good ultrarunner and ran sub 25 hours at Leadville at age 60 a couple of years ago.

I will continue with the ChiRunning. I feel that going in this direction is the right thing to do for my future running health. I was initially too agressive in doing it and developed some knee pain because of all the new stresses, but as my legs gets stronger this shouldn't be a problem.

I guess that's it for 2008....probably no more posts here until after Jan 1. So I wish all of you that are reading this a Happy Holiday season. Be safe!

Until next year...

Monday, November 3, 2008

3:51:38 and I'm satisfied!

Yup, ran another road marathon yesterday at the Manchester Marathon in Manchester, NH. I ran this last year in 3:45, trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon and just squeaked under the wire by several seconds. This year was a different story...

...about 4 weeks ago as you read below in a previous post, I ran a marathon and had to stop at mile 20 due to knee pain. This was Patella Tendinitis, which I have had for 20+ years, but had gone quiet by running trails. My recent interest in running some road races the past 2 years caused it's return. So in my research in this knee injury I cam across the ChiRunning website that I discuss in the post before this one.

After the marathon 4 weeks ago, I figured I was done for the year. Time to recover from all the hard training and racing and ramp up for next year. I had also sprained my ankle during a trail run a few weeks ago, so now I was really done! But the ankle came around and ChiRunning was feeling pretty good, so last Wednesday I entered Manchester just to see how this new running technique would work with the knee.

While running I was trying not to actually notice the time or pace I was running, rather focus on the form, the lean and midfoot landing of ChiRunning. But it was hard as every 5 miles they had a digital clock on the course, so I noticed that at 5 miles 43:28, I was cruising along at a comfortable, but a little faster than training pace. I was running behind a BQ pace, but this same thing happened last year, also because of the hilly beginning of the course. By 10 miles (1:24:16) I had caught up to and was running a little faster than BQ time and I wasn't even trying. So much for not training for this and only averaging about 15 mpw since mid October! At 15 miles I hit in 2:06:42, still under an 8 1/2 mpm average and I felt great. But for some reason at the 20 mile aid station my hamstrings were beginning to cramp, somthing I never experienced before, so I guessed it was from this form of leaning and striding backwards. So I stopped and drank a cup of water, did a gel and stretched out the hammies, never having a problem with them again.

At this point just trying to focus on my form was getting hard, but that was what I put all my mental energy on so as to not hurt the knee again because this couse had a lot of ups and downs, the downs being the knee killer. Yeah, like in any marathon it was getting hard, but I was still passing a bunch of runners who had gone out too fast on this cool day. I no longer looked at any times and just ran. I didn't want to see that if I pick it up in the last couple of miles, I'll get that BQ, rather I wanted to come out of this injury free...and so far at mile 23 my legs were feeling great (my head wasn't feeling too good, though) ;-) But I ground out those final miles, now running all alone, several runners going by while I went by several. I turned the corner to the finish and saw the clock at 2:51, I immedietly thought about my knee and how there was no pain at all....good news!

After the run it was a treat to have Senator John Sununu greet me after the ifnish.

Today I decided to not go for a run, but I probably could have. My legs are a little stiff, mostly due to no mileage. How many people do you know who can run a marathon on 15 mpw with no long runs ;-)

So that be that, all is well and I am now hoping for a high mileage winter!