Sunday, July 30, 2017

Another 20 Mile Training Run

Another week and another 20 mile training run. So goes the schedule before the Anchor Down Ultramarathon in August. I ran a lot this week....75 miles total. Many mornings resulted in 10 mile runs. My leg conditioning has improved and feel great because of all the extra long runs. All this hard work is to end up with a better result at ADU this year. I expect to do much better than in 2016 for a variety of reasons. I compared training this year and last which was an eye opener:

1. In 2016 I had no 20 mile runs in training. This year I have 3 already.
2. I had only 8 10-20 mile runs prior to ADU and this year I have 9 already.
3. Total mileage this year exceeds 2016.

Therefore my legs and body are much better prepared for endurance and efficiency. My fluid and nutrition intake is better planned than in the past. Other prep is better as well such as sleep, general nutrition, and my head meaning my psychological state of mind..

Another observation was that last year much of my training was on trails especially Sessions Woods. Anchor Down is nothing like Sessions because it is mostly flat with some asphalt. My recent runs in the Farmington Flats mimic Anchor Down. I believe this will help especially training my body for that specific course. I'm really looking forward to the ADU this year. Can't be any worse? Right?

Today's run:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Well Planned Training Run

So I needed to get a few long runs in before the Anchor Down Ultra in August. Not unusual but in the past I just "went for a run" and accepted whatever the result. Today I made sure I was ready for an extended run. Earlier in the week it was obvious that Saturday would be perfect. Therefore I planned every aspect of pre-run prep.

On Friday I focused on fluids. Drank extra water throughout the day for hydration. I consumed more carbs than normal but didn't over do it. Had a calzone for lunch and slices of whole grain bread for snacks. I had plenty of rest by going to bed by 10:00pm. Early Saturday morning I woke up and I mean early. It was 3:15 and the first coffee was going down. To get a long run in early, without eating up the day, I had to start at 5:00 am. One hour before the run I had a banana and also drank about 12oz of water on the way to the Farmington Flats. I wanted a good solid run at a decent pace which is why I chose the Farmington Rail Trail for the day. Flat, long, plenty of places to stop if needed(nature calls). No sightseeing or picture taking! Recent attempts at long runs became a tour not training.

It was humid out so I planned to drink a lot of water with an occasional salt tab. I also had UCAN ready after the 10 mile return loop for energy on the second half. I took a salt tab at the start and after 10 miles. Soon after starting I found that a 10:45ish pace was comfortable and maintained at that level for most of the run. I hit the wall at mile 17 but pushed through easily. The fluids and nourishment helped me. It really felt good today and was a confidence builder for the upcoming ultra. Stats for the day was 22 miles at a 10:51 pace average.  I will do another in two weeks and follow the same plan. Anchor Down this year will be much better than last.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Time to train for Anchor Down

In six weeks I will be attempting the 24 hour Anchor Down Ultramarathon for the 2nd time. I learned a lot during last years attempt. A pitiful effort at best since I stopped at 17 hours and 51 miles. Sounds impressive until you see my historical stats and realized 50 miles takes me from 11-12 hours normally.

What did I do wrong?   Totally ignored any sleep needs by getting up early with no naps before the race. By doing that I was awake for 36 hours! My gas tank was empty by 15 hours into it which is why I stopped at 17. Couldn't go on. I believe physically I can do better but must have the proper rest. I also fueld poorly. Too many stops at the snack tables overnight, too much pizza on multiple loops, etc. Not enough water.  One of the best experiences last year was the college guys serving Ramen Noodle soup at 3:00am by the ocean. That really gave me a boost. Other runners have said the same. The last observation of bad habits was the frequent and long breaks. Every loop and sometimes for many minutes. All that together gave me a slow 50 mile time.

This year a plan is developing.
First.... I hope to get there early, setup a tent, and sleep a few hours. It may be noisy so I may end up up in the car for an extended nap. If I could sleep until 5:00ish instead of socializing I will be better prepared at start time.
Pace....My pace wasn't too fast initially for the race but too fast for the rooty trail section. I stumbled and stubbed toes which caused discomfort. I will walk most of that section this year.
Breaks and fueling....I need to plan what food and how often I eat. More carbs, less junk, and only a slice of pizza at midnight. It will be "grab and go" to save time.
After daybreak....Once the sun comes up I will be half done. Mentally I must stay positive and push at that point. Not push for speed but instead push for continuance. Walking is OK but I must keep going.

The goal....72 miles and/or 24 hours. Whatever the result I have a hotel reserved down the street for the proper rest before heading home.
After 17 hours

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Race updates

I haven't posted in a while. Because of our need to prep the house to sell I haven't run many races. I do continue to run every day and keep my streak alive though. Some recent races have been the Goodwin Forest 10K and my annual favorite, the Nipmuck South 14.1 trail race. My finish times have been "OK" but nothing to get excited about.  Goodwin was 1:09:07. Nipmuck was 3:19:54. My slowest ever. It was hot, humid, and I hadn't trained much. But I didn't fall!

I have had some great local trail runs. Mostly at Sessions Woods but a few other random trails. I will continue with mostly non race runs but must now focus on Anchor Down Ultra. This will be my 2nd attempt at a 24 race. Not sure what I'll achieve but must be better than the 17 hours and 51 miles of last year.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lake Waramaug 50K

This was my 5th year at the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug ultra. This race has a lot of history yet remains somewhat obscure in a wonderful western Connecticut venue. Lake Waramaug is a beautiful and peaceful setting for a race. The 7.5+ mile loop around is mostly a small country road lined by great scenery and fantastic homes. Only about 150 runners attend and enjoy a low key simple event. With todays run I have completed 3 races at 50K and 2 at 50 miles.
Lake Waramaug just before sunrise.

Most runners are regulars with many friends and familiar faces in the crowd. Some are great competitive runners and others just out for a fun challenge. All supporting one another. The aid tables are the best. Well stocked with very helpful staff. In past years I spent way too much time checking out snack varieties and wasted time. Today I made sure it was "grab and go" day.

I hadn't trained much for this race but had a few decent long runs under my belt. Therefore I understood my finish time was not likely to be my best. The goal was to finish with a respectable time. My day started with the typical cereal, coffee, egg, banana for breakfast. About 3 hours before the start. I did a little carb loading on Friday by simply have some bread for snacks. Once checked in I had some UCAN drink while waiting. Had mixed some Tailwind for during the race. I knew that a pace of 11:25/mile would get me a 6 hour finish. Wasn't sure if I could maintain that but would try. The first 10 miles were in the 10:45 range. Felt good. The second loop was with Lee and the pace slowed a bit due to our rambling discussions of running and life! The third loop started fine with a 11:30ish pace but I quickly ran out of gas. Plus my MCL issue in my right knee acted up. Therefore I walked a lot but finished in about 6:38. Still waiting for official results since my Garmin battery ran out at mile 29.  At mile 21 it started to rain and rain hard. Cold with a bit of hail. I was soaked but dried nicely by the end of the race. During the race I saw Joe and Tracy. They did great as usual. And most importantly I had my traditional burger at the finish.
Louise and I at the finish.
My 7th ultra is in the books. Always enjoy Lake Waramaug and will probably return next year.