Apr 30, 2016

5K and the dogs

Today was another town in the 169 town challenge. The Rolling Hills 5K in Avon was on tap. It was a benefit for St Matthews Church. Not a big fancy race but I needed the town. Interesting fact is that they encouraged bringing pets along on the run. Before we started it was like being at a dog show. A lot of barking and a lot of quick fights among dogs.
This little guy was attacjhed to wheels because of his failing back legs.
Awards were available to the first runner with a pet to cross the finish line. The water stations had bowls on the ground for the dogs. Overall a neat concept compared to a typical race. The money raised helped fund a student trip to Romania.
The course was very hilly which resulted in slower times. My finish time was 29:33 which was about 5 minutes slower than a normal 5K. The race organizers provided nice metals for all finishers which was a surprise. Not typical cheap small metals but big elaborate and inscribed ones.

It was a nice race for a good cause. Overall a good day

Apr 29, 2016

April Challenge

Our local running group. Run 169 Towns, had a challenge in April to see how many miles each of us could do. As of today I have 290 miles. Tomorrow is the last day but unfirtunately I am running a 5K. That combined with a warm up run will leave me a few miles short of 300. Still good but I was hoping to make it past that milestone.

Above is a typical morning run. Usually 7 miles but sometimes longer.

With some extra effort I could do a second run today or a longer warmup tomorrow but I'll pass.

Since the ultra last week I have been thinking "what's next". I have no real goals set. For the spring and summer I'll stick to daily runs to keep my streak alive(currently at 444 days) and focus on trails. I do have the Nipmuck 14 mile and the Goodwin Forest trail races lined up. I need a target for the fall. Right now it's either the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in Albany or the Nipmuck Trail Marathon. I need to decide soon. Until that time I'm just running!

Apr 25, 2016

Lake Waramaug 50 mile

If you read this blog a few days ago I indicated that I was running the 100K. That was how it started out yesterday but ended as a 50 mile race. The day started as any other race with my morning routine of breakfast. Had a bowl of Flax cereal, boiled egg, and banana. Then headed to Lake Waramaug Ultramarathon. After checking in and drinking more coffee I was excited and ready to take on my first 100K.
New shoes and socks for this race

Pre race wait at the starting line.
Saw some old friends and yucked it up as we waited. My goal was to maintain a pace of around 11:00/mile. I maintained that for about 22 miles except for port-o-potty stops and aid station visits. Then I started to struggle. After 35 miles it became apparent something wasn't right. I was having a hard time with my pace and in fact started walk breaks. I started drinking a lot of water but did not need to urinate for the rest of the day. A bit concerning since I consumed 40+oz of water. One reason may have been eating salty food, taking a salt tab, and it did become a little warm. Back home at night II was back to normal though.
I made the decision to finish at 50 miles which the RD agreed to count. The final lap around the lake was tough but I managed to finish at 11:16 which was only 9 minutes slower than my previous 50 mile race at Lake Waramaug.
After the ugliest race I have ever run
It was an ugly day and I was the last 50 miler to finish. At the end of the day I had very sore ankles, two blisters, a broken dream of running a 100K. I did have new Asics Sonoma shoes but had broken them in for two weeks. I had new Balega socks but they felt good. Not sure where the blisters came from. I learned several things....I should have drank more water early and carried from the start. I probably should have slowed my pace to 12/mile from the start because the final time may have been much better. The last thing I learned is maybe trying 100K is not in my future. I may do another 50 mile but that is probably my limit.
The timing results: Lake Waramaug 50 mile results
Still happy to add another long ultra to record. As bad as it was I don't regret it.

Apr 22, 2016

100K Prep

It's Friday before my 100K. My mind is in the overthink mode because I constantly review how that day will go. What is my pace? What should I bring for nourishment/drink? What to wear? How much carb loading should I be doing?....etc.

Carb loading:  Today(Friday) and Saturday i eat normally but have bread as a snack. I'm drinking a ton of water to make sure I'm hydrated.

Day of breakfast: Based on last year I will have a normal breakfast at about 4:30. Just cereal, an egg, and a banana. Because of my prep and the aid stations nourishment planning is minimal.

Specialty items during the race:
The items above are some of what I will bring to Lake Waramaug on Sunday. I will definitely use the UCAN, NUUN, and probably a gel. The aid stations at this race have everything I need therefore I don't need to bring too much.

Fluids on the course: I only drink water. No Gatorade, etc. The only other fluid will be my UCAN mix for energy. I did that on my 50 miler and it worked fine. This year I will have more water in a drop bag to make sure I drink enough. It may be warm in the afternoon.

Sleep: I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary. 10:00pm bed time and a 3:30am wake up.

Tapering: I did only 5 miles today and will do 2 miles on Saturday. That worked in the past on my 50 mile and marathon races.

So I think I'm set. Now just trying to stay calm and trust my training.

Apr 20, 2016

Turkeys

Turkeys.....they seem to be everywhere on my runs. Today was no different and I took some video. I looked up the name for a group of turkeys. There are several. They can be a "gang", "flock", "muster", or "rafter". Rafter?  That is what various bird and dictionary sites show. In my world it's a flock. This flock was very agitated and squawking a lot. There were other odd sounds coming from a few in the field as well.
We all see turkeys frequently these days and are used to them. I run right through the flocks when on a road but will they attack? I've never had a problem yet but am always leery of them.

Today's run was 7.5 miles out to Sessions Woods. Starting to taper down my runs before the Lake Waramaug ultra on Sunday. Therefore this will rapidly become a boring running week.

Apr 19, 2016

100K! Am I crazy?

Lake Waramaug

Five days until the big one. That is the Lake Waramaug 100K ultramarathon. As most know I love running long distances. My typical morning runs are 5-10 miles long. Long races are not a new thing as I have done 50Ks, a 50 miler, and of course marathons. But this week I take on the biggest yet....a 100K. I must be crazy. It's a lot of work and it takes all DAY to run it.
A favorite picture- the 2014 50K finish.
My training plan was not well organized. I did gradually increase my long runs since the fall to include a number of 20 milers. The final long run was two weeks ago. I have plenty of runs in the mid-teen range. So am I ready? Are any of us really sure we're ready for these monster races? One never knows until its over which for me happens in five days.

Apr 17, 2016

2016 Traprock 17K

Traprock #2 is in the books. Another beautiful running day with temps in the 50's under bright sunny skies. The CT Trailmixers and Run169 groups were in attendance. This is a week before the Lake Waramaug 100K Ultra so the goal was to finish without major injuries. It was fun. I finished in 2:09 which was one minute slower than last year. Not bad since I assumed my pace would bring me in around 2:15. At every section of jagged rocks I took it slow and easy. My fear was minimal as I was wearing my new Asics Men's GEL Sonoma 2 running shoes. The new treads gripped the rocks well so I never had a slip up. Got a deal on these because I buy the odd colors no one wants. I could care less that my running shoes are an ugly brown.

Could I have broken the 2:00 time? Maybe if I would have taken more chances. But at this stage of my life the smart plan was to take it easy and enjoy the day.
David Schreiter and Mo Selzak after completing the 17K.

One week from now I will be starting the longest race yet. The Lake Waramaug 100K(62 miles). I think I'm ready although one never really knows. 13 hours is the target time. To achieve that I must pace appropriately and reduce my "shopping" time at aid stations. Due to the extensive selections at these stations I tend to poke around for minutes. In an all day race minutes per hour can add up to an hour of time. I must control that, grab food, and get back on the road. The rest of this week will be working out a game plan and pace. Hope the weather gods are on my side this week.

Apr 12, 2016

Traprock 17K this weekend

The annual Traprock 17K and 50K is this Saturday. The trails are located in Penwood State Park on very high cliffs. One of the tougher trail courses in the state but beautiful in many ways. Some very technical sections are tricky and require one to be surefooted to get through. I've slipped many times on the jagged rocks. Once on top the views from the edge trails are wonderful so it is common to see runners stop and whip out the cell phones for pictures and selfies.

I've run Traprock for fun and as a race. In 2015 I completed the 17K in 2:08. That is a good time for me considering the hills, rocky trails, and challenges like the Stairway To Heaven(a long climb up a steep cliff). I hope to come close to that time again this year. I must not spend too much time at the one aid station as I am known to do.

My goal was to do more trails in 2016. That goal is being realized. After Traprock it's on to Lake Waramaug for the 100K.

Apr 11, 2016

Big life change and some nice runs

It finally happened....I lost my job. The company went through a restructuring which included reducing the number of sales zones from 8 to 5. After 23 years the reduction in zones put me on the street. A shock at first but within a day it exposed the fact that the job was killing me. The daily stress had grown to an extreme level even though I hadn't noticed. This separation felt like the weight of the world was removed from my shoulders. That night I slept like a baby that night and by morning was new and refreshed. I had no idea that job was wreaking havoc on my mind and body. So now the job hunt begins. Retirement is possible but there is still some work life in this body and I'll go batty if I sit around all day. I have to be employed. At least for 3 more years.

On a positive note I had some good running recently. A few races with some trails mixed in. My race schedule these days is focused on new towns for the 169 group. I'm doing OK maintaining my pace and therefore results. Not appearing to lose any speed in fact at the Bradley 10K I had a PR with a 56:13 finish(8:35 pace). That was good enough for a 3rd place age group place.  At the Hartford Quarter Marathon which is slightly more than a 10K was 57:46(8:50 pace) which was also a 3rd place..
Bradley 10k & 5K Run169 shot

169er group shot at the HTC Hartford Quarter Marathon
At the Salem 5K I did OK but nothing special. Time was 26:20(8:29 pace). Also did a few nice trail runs on Ragged Mountain in Southington and of course my local Nassahegon Forest,
Lee and I at the Salem 5K
Ragged Mountain with the CTTrailmixers
The weekend trail runs with the CTTrailmixers are wonderful. The group finds trails around the state and usually someone who has run the route prior leads the group. Great chance to try new trails and with great people. Overall the recent running has been good. In the coming weeks I have some big challenges with the Traprock 17K and the 100K Lake Waramaug Ultra.