Wednesday, January 28, 2009


New Blog name!

Well, as you can see I have changed the blog name to include Deb and her posts and possibly an occasional Tucker post ;-) I did this so that we as Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Racing Teammates can even more promote the sponsors of our team, who have been great. I also hope that this will keep this blog a little fuller, with more posts and such. In the case of race reports, I will write my piece and Deb can have her say on that also as we basically run all the same races, even if we don't race together.

Training 2009

Last year I tried some experiments in training, even though I had a good year in ultrarunning...but I also have a want and need to be a good marathoner, as that is what I am more about and is where I came from as a runner.

I started running back in the mid 70's after watching Bill Rodgers cross the line of the 1975 Boston Marathon. Seeing this long haired hippie come flying down in front of the Pru Center on Boylston St. inspired me and I began to run not long after that. 1978 I ran my first marathon in NYC in 3:45 (Bill won), one year later after learning how to run I ran a 2:59 in that same NYC marathon (again, Bill won), 6 weeks after that I ran what is now my pb of 2:49:08 at a small Cape Cod marathon that circled Otis AF Base three times. Many attempts at 2:40 caused many failures and over the years I was never able to reach that time again, even though I was able to get under 2:50 several more times.
So as you can see, I am a marathoner first and an ultramarathoner second.

Back to the experiments....the first one was trying out this minimalist thing everyone is talking about. I have been wearing Asics 2000 series shoes for as far back as I can remember. So this past Summer I decided and searched for some lighter training shoes with a lower heel to get that "barefoot" feeling. I settled on the Mizuno Elixers and began training for my Fall marathon, the Clarence DeMar Marathon in Keene, NH. During the training, where one increases the mileage and adds tempo runs, I started to get an achy knee, the one that has been bothering me since the late 70's. It is Patella Tendonitis, which is basically a jumping injury from pushing off. I Guess I pushoff a lot ;) The knee was bothering me when I began the marathon, but not too bad, but by 15 miles it was starting to become a problem and by 20 I was limping and slowing down. I had been on pace to run a 3:30ish marathon and could have jogged it in for a Boston Marathon qualifier, but decided to drop and save my knee for another day.

So then in researching the knee and what to do, I discovered ChiRunning. The thinking here was that you run with a faster stride, leaning forward with a relaxed gait and there is less stress on the knee, which should help right? Well, it made it worse and my other knee was starting to hurt...I was reaching the point towards the end of the year where I could not even run. In there somewhere I ran the Manchester, NH marathon in the ChiRunning style, but missed qualifying by 6 minutes. How stupid to even try that!

So moving forward, I decided to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch, returning to what I had been doing many years before when I was running so much better. I bought myself a pair of Asics 2030's, ran my normal way and within days my knee began to feel better. I also decided that if I'm going to wipe the slate clean and return to the old days, I'd stop wearing my HR monitor and not focus so much on the Maffetone style that I have been following for the past 5 years and just run by feel, like we used to.

With all of this, my mileage is back up to an hour a day, I'm running a little quicker and I'm getting faster everyday and I have absolutely no knee pain! Good stuff!

So my motto for this year's running is KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid! No Chiffetonaminimaling for me!

1. Finish MMT100 in May under 30 hours (I have 28 and 27 hour times.)
2. Finish Hardrock 100 in July (If I get in)
3. Sub 19, 5K (my PB is 16:32, but I'm 25 years older now, I ran a 19:52 last year)
4. Sub 3:30 marathon (at 57 I need a 3:45 to BQ)

Massanutten 100

I am in the race, Deb is #3 on the wait list and all training is pointing to that right now. In the previous post I talked about a great MMT training weekend we had down in the Massanuttens. In three weeks we go back down for the 71 mile Reverse Ring. Although training will not be easy up here with all the ice and snow, we will do our best to get down to the Blue Hills, south of Boston and Virginia when we can. The mountains up north will be out of reach until June the way the snow is falling up here.


Hardrock 100

The lottery is this coming Sunday in Silverton. Deb and I (350 other entrants) will be hopeful that we get a spot...if we don't that's fine, too :-(


Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Racing Team

...and last but certianly not least is our team. We got a really great lineup of sponsors this year and some new faces added, one being Deb. Others are Jody Chase, Beth Simpson-Hall, Bedford Boyce, Mike Mason and Rob Youngren. We are a team of 26 and are all running at least one Mountain trail 100 and several other races of different lengths.

Nathan has come back on board and we welcome this as I feel they make the best packs in our sport.

LaSportiva has come on board and will be providing us with just might be the best trail running shoes made these days.

1st Endurance is back with their excellent energy drinks, shots and recovery fuels.

Golite for all their fantastic clothes for running and packs for all sorts of adventure hiking.

Backcountry.Com who has been faithful to all the goats, including that fast one, Karl and provides us with all that we need when we need it.

Thanks to these sponsors, the team will be seen all around the country. There are some fast ones, some slow ones and some middle packers, but we all love racing in extreme mountain ultramarathons.

Until next time....


Bedrock said...

Funny about the training thing. I did the minimalist thing some last year and believe it contributed to a foot injury I battled late in the year. This year I am going with a classic southern addage - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Hope to see you at sub-30 in Front Royal come May.

ultrastevep said...

It's certainly not for everyone! I've been running for just about 34 years, why the heck would I try something different now?

We may be sharing some time on the trail in Mid May, methinks...