Monday, April 26, 2010

Now What's the problem.

After starting off a great week last week of running it seems my big toe hasn't jumped on the RDL Plan and is retaliating. Actually, I came to figure out that on Thursday it may just have been a different general shoe I started wearing daily.

Here's the deal. I got these Etonic motion control shoes at the triathlon store that went out of business a couple of months ago. I had them in my office and would just basically wear them during my office hours only but last week I started wearing them daily. I didn't think nothing of it when my toe started hurting and as the weekly running progressed my toe would start hurting more and more. It's actually my right big toe in the metatarsal joint. So I was trying to figure out on Wednesday why it was hurting, what caused it, what changed.. anything! Then when I was getting dressed on Thursday morning I grabbed the Etonic shoes to put them on and it hit me, these shoes!

It has been the only factor that has changed in the last 10 days and my toe started hurting within that time frame. So I quickly threw them across the room and grabbed my old dirty Asics GT-2130's I had been wearing and have continued to wear them over the weekend. I also taped my lower ankle for FHL (flexor halicus longus) dysfunction, cold laser, tramueel and anything else to help reduce the inflammation before running again on the weekend.

On Saturday went to do some stretching at a fun run event and although my legs were tired from standing for about 3 hours my toe seemed Okay. On Sunday I headed out to the trails and ran a 6 mile loop back to the car to refuel and my toe was slightly noticeable but seemed a lot less on the trails than the road surface. Once refueled I took off again for a 4 mile out and back on the trail, the first 4 miles was all down hill gradual and I could feel the toe starting to act up or become more irritated. I made the turn around and on the way back it was much more of a problem and actually caused me to stop abruptly a couple of times. It then seem to go away the last 2 miles or until I had to run about a 1/2 mile on asphalt to get to the car. Not only was my toe hurting but the sun was blaring and it cooked me pretty good wiping me out with a headache the rest of the afternoon, not used to that the Vegas Sun just yet since winter time.

After getting back home and cleaned up I napped and ate and my toe seemed to be okay, achy but okay. Today, I feel as if it is sore but then again I am not running today so will just have to see WTF is going on with it.

I will say that the 15 miles I ran was much freakn' harder than the 31 miles I ran two weeks ago!! Not sure why, maybe the toe, maybe the heat either way it may be question how in freakn' Shit am I supposed to run 85 more miles in Sept! It was actually a low point in a training run, of which I have had not had in a long long time nor am I really focused on when I get that way. It was weird and just made me think that starting training with a big toe and heat difficulties is not the best way to go but so be it. I completed the week with 33 miles of 46 planned miles which is not the best but as anything else in training, it's done and over so move on to the next week.

I did use the Infinte nutrition and it seemed to be working okay. I did find that possibly taking in the drink with protein may not be a good thing over the course of the day and I also find that I need to increase my electrolyte intake on it. Other than that I would say that for me in training long runs will need to be planned because I can only carry so much of it in my pack where as on a race you can carry the powder and mix it up at aid stations but no worries. It sure beat taking gels every 20-30 mins!!! I drank 3 bottles of 20oz which was 810 calories for me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eye on the Prize

Since I have been basking in my glorious victory at LOL50k I have finally realized that I am that much closer to Rio Del Lago so I better get with it!

After some great collaboration with the Sensei I have finally got the plan laid out, once again. Yes, once again because I did have it set a few weeks back but with just being lazy and thinking I was "recovering" I passed a couple of weeks without any good running, other than my Victory at LOL and now I am comfortable and focused with the eye on the prize 21 weeks away!

Now when I think about it, 21 weeks seems like enough time to train for 100 miles but when laid out on paper from week to week, Holy Shit!! It's NOT!! So I have been actually in the same zone as feeling for an Ironman 20 weeks out and it just doesn't seem like enough time but a good laid out plan FOLLOWED will lead you to the prize!

I am ready and I feel mentally that the switch has been flipped because without that you are just not really in the Game!

This past weekend was the Rage in the Sage triathlon with a sprint, oly, and 70.3 distance. I have raced this event the last 2 years and it kicked my ass each time starting with the cold water. The water temp on Saturday was 60* so warmer than it has been in the past but the outside temperature was in the 80's so if you were on the 70.3 course, like this guy, then you got the heat to deal with on the bike and run. Being as I am Coaching the Team in Training Vegas Triathlon group for the Capital of Texas Olympic triathlon in May we used the sprint event as a race prep. A few peeps took it on and had a great day. When it was all said and done I was a little sad that I had not taken to the racer side but again realized how tough Rage can be and was glad I had not.

Since I had not raced and was feeling left out my mind started to think about cranking out a triathlon and with my running abilities now, whacking out a marathon wouldn't be too difficult even after a 112 bike. Did I did just say that? WTF!! it's always hard no matter what but crazy I think that way. Anyway, I looked into jumping into Vineman Full and giving Formulaic a thought that I may be coming after him all day long!!! But in the conclusion of things such as crewing for Badwater, SilverRush 50 miler and RDL 100, I simply can't do it all financially, of course I could Physically, duhhh!!! so I have decided to just keep my eye on the RDL100 buckle prize!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Labor of Love 50k...then Badwater!

This weekend was the running of Labor of Love 50k and ultra running weekend of events. Last year at this same time I volunteered and was solely in charge of aid station mile 4.5ish. It was cold, windy!!!! and Snowed!! I had music, decorations and tried to give as much excitement as I could.

This year I was on the race course and passed my aid station un-manned and unattended!! Anyway, the start of the race there was only 13 of us and 1 had just finished the 100 miler in 22 hours-ish and decided he wanted to run the 10k with a friend of his so he did! and oh this guy is 59!! Awesome. The race started off and I was running with Cynthia, a great running buddy that also ran Headlands 50 last year with me and other Vegas peeps. We ran together for about 6 miles chatting and catching up on things. I then took off and started running a little faster and soon found myself running alone.

I soon pulled into mile 11 which was the last aidstation-only drop bag location and quickly grabbed my PB&J and Gatorade. I was quickly off and running again up the Now dirt road/trail section of the course. Ohh, yeah, the majority of the course is on asphalt road. I was now also power walking as the hill section is one of the steepest of the course and I soon came upon a different lady, Yoland, who didn't start with us but start running the events on Saturday! She ran the Marathon first, then the 50 miler, and now the 50k, all in a process to complete a series of 26.2 miles to put toward her goal of breaking the most marathons run in a calendar year. I think she said the record was in the 90's! and was only on #32. Anyway, Yoland wasn't feeling too good and a little down on enthusiasm and didn't think she was going to make the 9 hour cutoff. Well I quickly dismissed that from her mind and made her power up the hill with me talking about the course, where she is from, etc.. anything to keep her mind off the work of the 12-16% Grades we were climbing up. Oh and the Snow.. yes there was snow patches on this part of the course. Once we made it to the top of the road It was run time downhill and that is what I did. I quickly told Yoland to enjoy the downhill and recover because when we got to the bottom we basically had to come back up but that it wasn't as steep just long grades.

I took off down the road and after a while I started looking for the runners coming back but still didn't see anyone (the first runner passed us going back down the road as we were still climbing up) but the rest of the pack was still not in sight. After a few more minutes I started seeing them and by the time the last person went by I was almost to the turn around. I checked my time/distance and realize I could catch that person before getting back to the top. I made the turn around and started heading back but realized I just wasn't going to catch that last guy with the yellow jacket. Before I got to the top of the long gradual climb I was reeled in by a lady from Texas that had been leap frogging each other all day. We chatted and ran down the other side of the steep ass road back to the aid-drop bag station but we caught and passed the guy with the yellow jacket!! Yes, I was not the last male runner anymore!!! I again quickly grabbed my stuff and was off.

No sooner back on the asphalt I had to stop and get a rock out of my shoe and it is then I was put back in check to the last male runner as the Yellow jacket guy passed me. I thought no worries, I will catch him in a few minutes, Wrong!! He bolted out there and I noticed his foot turnover was just too fast for me so I had to let him go. Mind you it is only mile 22. I was then soon passed by the TX lady and she too had no shame in laying down the tempo and once again I was running by myself. By this time I realize I am in what I call "the witching hour" Its where I feel like shit, I dont want to run, maybe walk, cant take any nutrition in and everything is just starting to hurt. It's always been like this for me at this time.. somewhere around mile 18-23.. but then I hit mile 24+ and I am charged and good to go!! (I think its a fueling problem which I hope Infinte will solve!!) I push through the time and miles, walking and running and next thing I see far far up the road is the last Big Ass Climb and lots of people walking, which must be a crew for someone on the 100. I finally catch them and sure enough it is, they are pacing and helping her get to the top off this climb, which is about a mile lone and ranges in grade from 6-15%ish!!! I chat with them as I power walk past as my radar has locked on Yellow Jacket guy!! He is wounded! He is barely putting one foot in front of the other and now is the time to real his ass in. I kick up the power walk and I am closing faster than I thought. I finally catch him and notice his ankle doesn't seem to be in good condition. I ask.. How are you doing? He says his ankle hurting and although we are almost to the top I pass him but he sticks with me. As soon as we hit the top I am just a few meters ahead of him and I start running. Now is the time I have to attack!!! I have to drop him now or it wont happen over the last 4 miles.

I started running and sure as shit he starts running with me!! WTF!! I start to run a little faster and I see that he is dropping back. I then feel I got him and with a slight down hill I drop what speed I have left and lay it down because this is it!!! I look at my Garmin and holy shit I am running a 9min/mile I know this wont last long so I better get as much distance as I can from him! I also know that this is the mental breaker from him seeing me run and realizing he cant stay with JT!! Sure enough it works! I am completely out of breath and my legs are screaming to stop but I slow up and run a little farther. When I look back he is at least a 1/2 mile behind but that doesn't sink into my mind and it's not enough. So from now to the finish I looked over my shoulder like 10 times and when I stopped to walk I could only think that he was running and closing in on me. The last 2 miles I also realized that if I didn't continue to run I would not break 7 hours and so now that I was not going to be the last male runner I wanted to break the 7 hour mark. I actually visioned it as running into the finish line with the count down and people cheering me on to hurry my ass up before the 7 hit.. almost like an Ironman countdown till the next hour but when I got finally got there, there was an older guy clapping for me and the photographer.. welcome to Ultra Running!! hahaha.. I finished and they took my chip and sure enough, I finished 6 hours 59 mins 19 seconds!!! YES!!!

As I sat down and rested, I got some cookies and coffee..Yup that is all I really wanted. Next thing I know Joyce, the RD, comes over with a small catus and says.. Congrats John, you won your Age Group! I quickly said No way!! She said ya, 2 others placed and one guy dropped so you win!! HAHAHA.. I rock!!

I recovered fairly well this week and actually hit the gym a couple of times for some weight training. One thing, I did use my super new Camelbak Octane 18X and although I really liked it, it's light and worked well, somehow, I could not get it balanced on my shoulders and it nagged and pulled at my right trap the entire race and as a result I ended with a very sore, tired and tender trap. I will looking to solve this misalignment over the next shorter training runs.

This week I did receive my Infinte and new but same running shoes so I have some new gear to work with.

I have also made it official that I will be crewing once again at Badwater 135!!! for a great lady from Australia!!! It will be her 1st attempt at BW and the opportunity presented to crew so I had to take it. Yes, it is the week of my Leadville 50 miler but hey, it's Badwater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am EXCITED!! For now it's time to settle into some good quality consistent training days and warmer weather.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Monthly Recap and new stuff..!

I took at look at the March training recap and here is the break down:

Run - 8 runs (OP 50 miler) = 91.35 miles w/avg. pace of 15:11 totaling 23 hours 7 mins.

Bike - 2 bikes = 82 miles w/avg. 15.47mph totaling 5 hours 18 mins.

Strength training = 2 sessions of 1 hour each = 2 hours.

Overall I happy with the run, completing OP50 and actually happy with the bike rides as well, cranking out the 60 miler last weekend with that being my first real ride, and only 2 time on the bike since Nov. 09.

Now that I have officially signed up for Rio Del Lago 100, Yes!! I pulled the trigger and signed up I have set the plan in motion and am on the training path to get there. With that I went shopping yesterday at REI and put my membership dividens and 20% discount to good use.

First up is the new
CamelBak Octane 18X (black & yellow). It is ultralight material and now at 70oz I think this will be a great upgrade from my previous borrowed pack that is about 50oz. and only 1 small zipper pocket.

My next purchase on the recommendation from S. Baboo and the head lamps that light up the night!
BlackDiamond - Icon. I tested this last night in the back yard and they were not kidding! Things light up!! this will truly be a great investment. You may think the battery pack may cause bouncing but according to Baboo and GeekGirl (and they can testify) that it does not. I am excited to run at night.

Now you would have thought that buying these cool things would have got me out running today but just staying up too late actually had me sleeping in just a little but not enough to keep me from meeting up with my Team in Training group and plunging into the Freezing ASS Lake Mead at 9am. It was 56* and let me tell you, HELLO ITS F'N COLD!! I will have to rank it on the Top 3 coldest swims I have ever done. After a short time and everything is frozen we were able to get a short swim in and then thaw out. So proud of the team and especially one of them who didn't have a WetSuit!!!!! damn, crazy!

Other than that little amount of training nothing major for the weekend and now I am searching for new running shoes, most likely that will be the same as my existing running shoes and then next month an upgrade to a trail shoe I have my eye on but will wait for the new version!

Now with some new equipment I had to order some new nutrition and threw down the order for Infinite Ultra endurance formula. Again this has come on the recommendation from J-Tri's and a couple of local training peeps I know. I am eager to try it as I am seriously tired of using Gels, ShotBloks, bars, etc. and just need a change.

With all this new stuff I will be looking to try things out this weekend at the Labor of Love 50k on Sunday April 11th! Its mostly a road ultra but there is a short up and back portion of a fire road that is dirt and pretty darn steep and although only about 5 miles of the total course it's a good run.