Tuesday, October 21, 2008


As you read in my last post, I've been dealing with injuries due to a road marathon and leaves covering rocks on a gnarly trail....things have been going well and I went on my first run yesterday since the ankle incident. It is still a little achy, but was not at all during the run. I did walk and run to feel it out and I'll continue to be cautious over the next couple of weeks.

This leads to the latest interest of mine. ChiRunning...

As I always do when having a rash of setbacks, I research the web. The last time I was having running problems was 5 years ago and the research led me to Phil Maffetone and his book, Training for Endurance. This type of training has changed me for life and has made running enjoyable again after 30+ years of hard road racing. I will always train this way, but not necessarily with a Heart Rate monitor. After ready Stu Mittleman's book, Slow Burn....he taught you how to run by sensing your effort and keeping the pace, breathing and HR down for better aerobic training. This was how I used to run back in the 80's after reading Ernst Van Aaken's book, The Van Aaken Method, which was basically low HR training methods, but many miles run. So as you can see, I have pretty much always been a low HR runner because it works without creating a lot of unneccesary stress on your body. Training with these methods I have run anywhere from a 4:55 mile up to a 2:49 marathon. It does work.

But that's not what this post is about....it's about the result of my latest research and what I found was ChiRunning. Yes, I have seem posts about it on the Ultra List and the Yahoo Ultrarunning group, but I always ignored it as some far out, extreme way of running and barely read the messages.

ChiRunning claims that by learning how to use the center of gravity and a little bit of lean in your step, you can run relaxed, which in turn relaxes all the muscles which in turn helps prevent injury. Some claims are of personal best times run after years of running. When it comes to things like this, I am somewhat a skeptic, but also have an open mind and will look into it more. I have purchased the book and began to read it last night. I'll let you know what I find. I am a little excited about this as I read more and more.

On another note it was mentioned this week that LaSportiva has become a 2009 sponsor of the Wasatch Speedgoats. This is awesome as I've been planning on trying these out in the Spring anyway. I know Bryon Powell likes them and chief goat Scott Mason told me that I'd like them, so I will have the colors of LaSportiva on my feet next racing season.

Til next time....Scrape on!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Injuries galore, a year end analysis...

Ok, I am getting the signs, the signs that it's time to rest for the year...and when I look back I had a good year and can't complain, but also when I look back and see that I've "raced" over 300 miles, it's makes sense.
Some achievements for the year were ranked in order of importance to me:

1. Finally got my 2nd Hardrock finish in 7 attempts.
Damn that run is hard, especially when you don't live "up there". I was able to get through it this year by bowing down to the course and staying at a slow pace for over 50 miles, then picked it up a bit until I couldn't no more, then brought it in. My time was 43:25, 2 hours slower than my 41:14 back in 2001, but Ii enjoyed this one more and I'm 6 years older!

2. Sub 20 minute 5K (19:52) at age 56 in June.

3. Survived all the mileage and racing, some of it hard trail racing, until just recently.

I was not able to accomplish only one of my goals, which was a sub 3:30 road marathon.
This is frustrating because it seems like only yesterday that I could just show up at a marathon and run sub 3 hours.... Guess I let the years slip by running ultras and this has slowed me down along with just plain ole' getting older. I'll be 57 in a few weeks, so can't complain much. My dad was 4 years from passing on from a heart attack at this point in his life, living a completely sedentary lifestyle.

I had plans on running just one more race, the Hellgate 100K in December, but recent injuries are telling me that it is time to rest, so I withdrew from it. A couple of weeks ago at the marathon I was trying to do that 3:30, I developed knee pain that I mention in the post below. I was on target to run my time, but bailed to keep my knee from blowing out.

So I then decided to return to recovery mode and run all my runs at a low HR training pace in order to recover from all the racing miles this year, so then after taking a week off after the marathon, I strapped on the HR monitor and kept it all to sub 70% of max, which is a nice easy restful pace. I did that all of last week, running around 5 hours over the weekend and then one hour a day all on trails and I was feeling great, even thinking about running another race!

Then this past Saturday on a long trail run on one of my favorite trails, I turned an ankle and now can't put much weight on it. It's swollen and is many colors and I'm guessing I'm 2 weeks minimum from being able to run again. The trails around here are all leaf covered now as the trees prepare for winter and rocks were hiding under those leaves. It's a dangerous time of year to run trails, those rocks are sneaky...they hide under the leaves for unsuspecting hikers or runners.

But that's OK.....this is the time of year for rest anyway....soon we'll be snowshoing and XC Skiing, doing different things to rest the legs in prep for next year's trail running season :-)