Black Friday isn’t so black

I don’t have many holiday traditions, but there is one thing that causes me to smile every year.  I call him “Yea Guy”.  I got a set of the dishes while visiting my parents in Boston for the holidays many years back and included with the Christmas Tree, Santa and Star cups was a silly looking reindeer.  The craftsmanship on this is poor.  You can see his left leg isn’t filled in, his neck isn’t actually connected to his body, but despite (or maybe even because) of these flaws this reindeer continues to be happy and cheerful,   Maybe the reason I like it, is that it reminds me of myself (well minus the cheerful part),

 

YEA GUY!!!!

YEA GUY!!!!

So tomorrow is my next long run.  Since I can’t wear tights with my monster knee brace I have been trying out ways to keep my right leg warm.  On my short run on Thanksgiving I tried out using a leg warmer that cyclist use and it was fairly effective.  Will probably try that out again to see if it works on longer distances.  Went to a few museums during Thanksgiving and will talk about that on Sunday,

Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

Have a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

If Runners Were Part of the First Thanksgiving

OK, nobody is going to read this post because all my readers are with family and friends (or at least for my American readers I hope so).  But since I had some time on my hands I thought I would postulate on how Thanksgiving would be different if runners were part of the first Thanksgiving.

Postulate Time!!

1. Instead of a table you would get your food at an aid station.

2. Turkey trots would be mandatory (why do they name it that?  Who wants a turkey with The Trots?)

3. Salted Carmel GU for dessert. Oh, wait, that’s the same as today.

4. Over the river and through the woods would be a course description, not the way to grandmother’s house.

5. Football players would watch runners on TV.

6. Only running stores would be open on Thanksgiving.

7. No kids tables, only kids races.

8. Pumpkin Pie and Sweet Potato Casserole Flavored Gels.

9. Wednesday would be the feast of carb loading for the Thursday race.

10. Friday would be a holiday to aid in race recovery.

For my US readers I hope you and yours have the happiest of Thanksgivings.  For everyone else, you get a Thursday post from me, and if that doesn’t give you a reason to be thankful…

Later,

Marsden

 

False Advertising

With Black Friday nearly here (and yes, via my Canadian sources have learned they do Black Friday too) it means it is the season for buying stuff.  One of the great things about being a runner is there is no end to the stuff you can buy (or not so great if you are the one who pays the credit card bill).  Running paraphernalia has the same hyped up claims that other advertising has (i.e. it is total BS).  It made me stop and wonder what it would be like if these companies told us what they are really thinking or if they had to tell the truth (and yes, when I stopped and wondered I was not in the middle of an intersection thank goodness).

So I will end my shot at being a sponsored athlete (stop snickering) and give you what think is really going on:

Under Amour- If we can get a guy to wear a girdle to “Protect this house”, we can get you to buy anything.

Energy Bits- Tastes like something a horse would eat.  But horses run fast, right?

Nike- Famous people wear it, just buy it.

Every maker of compression socks- We just made you believe that the Flashdance look is bad ass.

Gatorade- Because nobody would pay 2 bucks for Kool Aid and salt.

Red Bull- OK, it doesn’t give you wings, but if you are going to go out and run a 50 miler, we don’t think you were that smart in the first place.

Hoka- We just made you buy moon boots.

Moon Boots.  Astronaut not included.

Moon Boots. Astronaut not included.

U-Can- Thank God Meb won.

KT-Tape- Prettier than duct tape.

Vespa- We thought the world had run out of ingredients that we could sell as making you run faster.  Then we found wasp spit.  here is the link>

Every Headband Maker – <see compression socks>

Yes for the record I have at one point or another used many of the products listed above.  Just further proof that wisdom does not always come with age.  I’m guessing you all have figured that out already.

So what would happen if bloggers had to say what we were actually thinking? Well…

Later,

Marsden

To those in the US have a great (and safe) holiday weekend with friends and family.  To those not in the US, just have a great couple of days until you come back Friday for my next post.

Across the Years Plan (sorta)

First I would like to congratulate tai_fung on his JFK 50 miler finish.  It is a tough race (beyond the obvious 50 miler part) and kudos to you for getting it done.

From my long run on Saturday.  It almost makes up for the wind.

From my long run on Saturday. It almost makes up for the wind.

So there is less than 40 days until Across the Years and I have cobbled together a semi-training plan.  If this were a typical ultra training plan I would have long runs on Saturday and Sunday with Sunday being somewhat shorter.  However, with my knee I can’t really go for a 30 miler on Saturday and 20 miler on Sunday, My game plan is to have my “long” runs on Saturday and then do a mostly race walk with some run thrown in for Sunday.

This week – 11 Mile Run (33 miler recovery still in effect) 10 mile walk/run.  It was interesting to see how the wind impacted my pace this week.  Given what I perceived as equal effort the pace into the wind was 45 secs/mile slower than with a tail wind.  Wind is like an invisible hill.  I prefer my enemies to be in full view.  The walk/run went fine and it is good to get in some walk practice.  In a perfect world I would go for 100 km walks, but that whole job/life thing gets in the way of spending 18 hours walking (and the logistic problems on top of that).

Next week – 15 Mile Run, 14 mile walk/run

After that, 18, 20 mile walk/run followed by 20/18, then 15/14 and 10 miles the week before the race. The idea of Sunday is to practice my “race walking” on tired legs.  The good news is that I will be doing these walks (after this week that is) on the National Mall which has a very similar surface to Across the Years.   I will then have runs on Tue/Th of 8-13 miles at marathon pace indoors on a treadmill.  I am not a big fan of the TM, but since Phoenix is going to be warmer than Northern Virginia, it will help keep me acclimated to warmer temps (current prediction is 65 deg F  and sunny on race day/ 50 deg F for a low).  May throw some hill workouts in on Monday or Wednesday,  and I will swim on M/W if I don’t do hills and take Friday off.

Learned that one of the past winners of the race, Jenny Hoffman, will be there at the race this year, and her last 24 effort this year was 127 miles. I suspect I will be seeing her pass me more than a few times (I was going to say I would get very familiar with the view of her from behind, but that just sounded WAY too dirty).

In the slice of life category it was finally time to deal with the leaves in the back yard.  It was getting to the point where if I didn’t do something it was going to kill the grass.  Here is the before and after.

 

I remove the leaves to reveal my grass is a joke

I remove the leaves to reveal my grass is a joke

For those who are traveling this week, be safe and enjoy your time with friends and family.  I plan on posting on Tuesday night and Friday as usual (if I can come up with something to say). Canada, I expect you to pick up the slack in keeping my blog traffic stats high.

Later,

Marsden

Friday Friday Friday

No typing it three times doesn’t make it any better.  So on with the show.

1. Monday’s post of the Richmond make your own 50K was one of the more difficult post for me to write.  Normally I have 4-5 drafts before I publish, for that post it was 15.  The day after I really was unhappy with my results and really tore into myself in the post.  It took a while to get to the point where I could be more objective.  No, it didn’t go as well I as I wanted, but there were reasonable and somewhat unavoidable reasons for my results (well maybe it could have been avoided by running a real 50K instead of trying to cobble together two races back to back).

2. My friend Jen K recently wrote a blog post about her daughter being dyslexic.  It was a really strong post and reminded me of all the tricks I do to work around being dyslexic myself.  As an example I find it is easier to proof read my post if I let them sit for a bit first and then come back and proof them.  Yeah, there are still plenty of typos and misspellings, but the drafts are worse if it makes you feel any better.  I really try to avoid reading aloud in public, so don’t expect any public readings of my blog ;)

The Pig in Richmond

The Pig in Richmond

3. Had my first post Richmond run and it went fairly well. My chiro/physio was happy that my knee was no longer swollen on Wednesday and wished me luck on my training for a 24 hour race.  His “You’re Nuts” seems to be the general consensus on my doing this race.  Sometimes it is a “nice” way, sometimes not so.  I do sometimes worry about the not so part and occasionally question the line between challenge and stupidity.  I’m sticking with challenge for the time being.

It is a scientific fact that an extra N increases the enjoyment index

It is a scientific fact that an extra N increases the enjoyment index. Flying Squirrels! Whoop!

4. I finally found a sucker volunteer to do a guest post on my blog.  Expect something the week after Thanksgiving.

5. I haven’t shared any past history personal stuff in a while.  I never went to any dance in school either high school or college.  Try and contain your shock.

6. I am starting to cobble together a training plan for Across the Years.  Runs Sat/Tues/Th and Long Race walking on Sunday.  Might toss in a hill session or two, but that will depend on the knee.

Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

7. I had a really good pizza in Richmond while I was there. It isn’t worth the 3 hours of driving there just for that, but it is close.

I’ll close with a picture of a pizza. Have a Pigtastic Weekend!

Later,

Marsden

 

The Fig and Pig pizza.  Don't tell the Pig.

The Fig and Pig pizza. Don’t tell the Pig.  The crust rocked. 

Lessons Learned Part Dos

Back in July I wrote a post documenting some of my lessons learned from my 6 Hour Race It was a universally disliked post (I didn’t hide my disdain for myself behind my humor).  So I went for another 6 hours last weekend in my last big tune up for my 24 hour race.  Did I learn anything this time?

1. I reviewed the old post and I mostly took my own advice.  About the only outstanding item is “Train appropriately” and given I am 42 days to race day, it is more a matter of fine tuning that any real training.

2. DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST. Yeah, I didn’t have much of a choice but to go out fast in Richmond, and I paid the expected price.  In a 24 hour race it will be a LONG 22 hours if I break my half PR in the first two hours.

3. Get used to being passed.  I joke about getting passed by a women in a neck brace or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but in Across the Years (my 24 hour race), there will be people clipping off sub 6 minute miles.  Reading the blogs of a couple of participants who were trying for 50 miles in 7 hours, it is not beyond possibility that I get lapped 35 times by a person in the first 10 hours alone.  I can’t let myself get caught up in other people’s races and I have to stick to my plan (which given me means it is probably as flawed as using your SSN as your Twitter handle).

Note the pig is ahead of my arch enemy

Note the pig is ahead of my arch enemy

Side note, it just dawned on me that given the quality of the people running this race, I am going to be the equivalent of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  Nobody is going to want to be passed by the guy with a monster knee brace.  Another reason to run my own race.

4. I need to temper my expectations.  I’m not going to podium this race anymore than I am going to podium any other race (which is a nice way of saying Toronto is more likely to be 90 Deg F on New Year’s than I have of reaching the podium  (FYI the record high for New Year’s Day is 9.2 Deg C)).  What I can’t completely figure out is what my expectations should be.  Reading the blogs of people who ran similar types of training, 60 miles is about the tops I can expect, but it seems like a low mileage total.  I don’t want to sell myself short, but  I equally don’t want to set a bar at a point where it is ludicrous to think I can achieve it.  For the record, 60 miles would give you 74th out of 190.  When I filled out the expected mileage when I signed up for the race I put 75 miles. It had no basis in reality.  Par for the course around here I think.

5. My fueling and hydration worked pretty well, but I need to experiment with adding calories with real food and with sports drinks.  The idea of eating 60 gels is not very appealing.

  1. Although I don’t plan on using music most of the time, my Ipod shuffle was close to being out of charge after 6 hours. I have a Rio Sport that would work (if you know what a Rio Sport MP 3 player is, you are old), but it isn’t compatible with the new versions of Windows, so I would have to stick to my 6-9 year old playlist (Mexican Radio anyone? No I have no idea what is going on with the twitch in the lead singer’s eye in the video).
  2. I am probably not in good enough shape for this undertaking.  I haven’t let that stop me yet, so no reason I am going to let it stop me now.

Later,

Marsden

 

Richmond 8K/Marathon Make Your Own 50K Race Report

Richmond is a city full of history and I made the trip down to Richmond looking to add to that rich history.  OK, that is total BS, I made the trek south to run an 8K, then run the Richmond marathon..  No, I can’t even run a normal 50K.    Fortunately I left at a time of day which made the trip fairly reasonable (traffic typically between DC and Richmond makes running quicker). So after flying down I-95, I arrived to packet pick up armed with my bib numbers.  The parking for the expo is next to Flying Squirrel Stadium, home of Richmond’s minor league baseball team.  Every time I come down to Richmond and see the stadium I think I should come down for a game.  Come on, a flying squirrel?  Right down my alley.  So far a Flying Squirrel game has eluded me, and this time in Richmond I was here for bigger game (insert groan here).

I excel in this arena.

I excel in this arena.

So I grabbed my bib numbers (OK, I took them from the volunteers) and went to find where I could test my plan of shielding my marathon bib with aluminum foil (and yes, I was the only one that the expo holding aluminum foil, but I suspect that probably wasn’t the oddest thing about me at the expo). The bad news is that they didn’t have a timing mat to test my shielding theory.

A quick review:  I was running the 8K and the marathon and since they started 50 minutes (and 3/4 of a mile) apart. I needed to have all my marathon stuff with me for the 8K including my bib, so I had to come up with a way to keep it from registering at the 8K (spoiler alert: the aluminum foil worked).

So I picked up my shirts, walked around the expo and bought a beanie since the predicted temp at the start was 26 F.  I then went off for my standard pre-race meal (Thai or Chinese, this time it was Thai). Then it was off to Whole Foods for some snacky stuff (yes, snacky is a word) and then off to the hotel which afforded a nice view of the Capitol:

 

It's the white building in the back.  Ok, nobody cared, but if I fill up the post with pictures, then you may not notice how my races go

It’s the white building in the back. Ok, nobody cared, but if I fill up the post with pictures, then you may not notice how my races go

My allergies had been acting up during the day and I was dead tired by 7:30.  Finally I fell asleep around 9 with a very early alarm ready to wake me.

No, I am not going to include a picture of myself in bed, geeze.

Richmond 8 K

So it was up at 4:50.   Straight away I made my pre-race peanut butter sandwich (PB for a PB?).  Then I did some foam rolling, light stretching, and brushing my teeth since I am actually on an occasion an optimist (spoiler alert: I needn’t have bothered). Since it was going to be cold for the start (and for at least the first half of the marathon) I was wearing my beanie, arm warmers and gloves.  I was not wearing tights since my monster knee brace has difficulty staying in place with tights.  So at 6:15 it was off to the start of the race.  Bag check was a breeze since none of the marathoners were there yet.  I did some dynamic stretching, a few strides, and less dynamic porta potty activities.  It was cold enough that the person in the one next to one I was using declared “It’s warmer in here, I am not coming out until the race starts”.  That should give you an idea of what kind of day it was when camping out in a porta potty sounds like a good idea.

You know there really isn't a caption that sufficiently  describes this.  I do like the umbrellas behind them #classy

You know there really isn’t a caption that sufficiently describes this. I do like the umbrellas behind them #classy If I was really crass I would make a joke about the name of the company on the door.

I was in the first start wave (10 minutes average and under).  I lined up in my corral about 5 minutes before the start.  Gulped down a couple of gels and took a sip from my hydration pack (and yes I was the only person I saw in 8K with a hydration pack).

The course goes two miles away from downtown and then comes back three miles (with the last part being VERY downhill).   I wanted to go out at slightly under my half marathon pace and hit the first mile around  that (9:02).  My legs were finally warming up and the next mile came in at 8:55.  Then I started to get ahead of myself and felt good as I increased the turnover in my legs.  We made the turn going back toward downtown and I got somewhat caught up in the race instead of doing it as a run.  The street we were on had bricks instead of pavement and the sun was straight in our eyes (or at least my eyes).  This made it hard to tell exactly where I was stepping or to check the Garmin to see what my pace was.  Mile 3 was 8:49 and then mile 4 was 8:39.  This was going in the wrong direction.  Then was the big drop into the finish.  I didn’t want to bomb the decent and tear my quads up for later but that being said I probably took it a bit fast.  Finished in 43:45.  Leave it to me to do negative splits the one time I shouldn’t be doing them.  Later, my Garmin would tell me I ran my fastest 5K of the year.  I placed in the top 20% overall.  So I set my 5K PR for the year at the start of a 50+K (Spoiler alert: Bad idea).

Then I weaved in and out of the crowds since I needed to get to the marathon start.  I grabbed my medal, a bottle of water and finally got out of the finish line area.  With the clock still ticking, I found an area to unwrap my marathon bib.  Turns out when you fingers are cold, safety pin use is not as easy as it looks.  I chugged the water, took a gel and headed off to the marathon start.  Unfortunately I took a wrong turn and had to back track a bit.  When I got to the marathon start I could see that the final bit of the last wave was going through so I ran the long way down the block so I would hit the line at 6 miles over all and I happened to nail it.  Mile 6 (including bib swap) was 13:30.

The Richmond Marathon

So my plan was to go out fairly hard in the first half, and then work on my 5/1 run/walk 24 hour plan in the 2nd half.  This plan wasn’t the best in the world– I just wouldn’t figure that out for about 12 more miles.  The first mile was great since I was basically running alone.  But I was running too fast (9:33) which is closer to my half pace than marathon pace.  BTW anyone who tells you Richmond is a flat course is lying to you.  It isn’t a horrible course, but there are a couple of very noticeable ups and downs (like the finish line).

Flat my butt

Flat my butt

Around mile 2 I started to run into the people who actually started the race on time and spent some time weaving in-and-out.  This was probably a good thing since it slowed me down a bit (Mile 2, 9:55) but then I got some clear space and Mile 3 was 9:45. Well if my goal was to become tired, I was doing a bang up job.   Miles 4 I started hitting traffic again (9:50) and then the next two miles was mostly uphill (9:56, 10:05).  Then was a nice downhill (9:53).  Although overall I noticed my half marathon time (including the 8K) was a better than my average half, I also notice I had more than a few miles left to go (like 19.1).  To emphasis my the distance remaining my ankle on my left side had a sharp pain and I almost tripped. The downhill continued over the bridge but my hips were starting to have more issues with keeping a high cadence. Mile 8 came in at 10:19 and I was starting to worry I was fading.

The pretty part of the course was Riverside Drive, as we ran along the James River with the fall leaves in full color.  It almost made me forget I was running.  Just, kidding I was about to blow up and I could sense it.

One quick story.  There was one place where I saw people go toward the river and then come out.  Normally I would say it was runners taking a nature break, but since there were many women going down the path, I wasn’t really sure that was what was happening.  When I got to the spot, I figured out what it was.  People were stopping to take a picture of the river.  I laughed at myself as I ran by (let’s ignore I was adding to the chorus).

This wasn't on the course, but it gives you an idea of the pretty river.

This wasn’t on the course, but it gives you an idea of the pretty river.

I pushed to keep my pace and the next couple of miles  (10:15, 10:18) and held the line as I rambled along the tree-lined road.    Mentally I was started to fight myself.  After coming out of the wooded area, I shed my arm warmers and gloves since we were in full sunlight and I was starting to get too warm (spoiler alert: big mistake).

I struggled a bit for the next three miles (all around 10:30) and when I hit the half marathon point, I thought it was a good time to practice my 5/1 run/walk ratio.   The next couple of miles went fairly well and I was able to transition between walking and running fairly well.  Then we hit the Lee Bridge and it was cold, and windy and I really started to wish I had my arm warmers and gloves back.  I also switch from 5/1 to more of a run by feel (ie. start walking when you feel like crap).  For  a second that I thought about taking a right hand turn after the bridge and going back to my warm hotel with its cold beer, but I knew I was still on track to put in an OK time so I pushed (sorta, kinda) on.

I really don’t have a lot to say about the next 10 miles.  Some miles were better than others.  At some point we hit the part of the course that I remember from the half marathon I ran here back in 2011 so I knew what to expect (or more specifically, just how much longer I would be running).

About the only memorable moment was being passed during a walk interval by a woman in a neck brace who told me I was doing a good job and gave me a high-five.  She was being nice, so I successfully didn’t laugh.   When I started to run, I did dig a little deeper to make sure once I passed her, she stayed passed (I’m SO classy that way).  Yes I have in two marathons managed to be passed by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and a woman in a neck brace.   *sigh* Why am I the only blogger these things happen to?

In the end I finished the marathon part about 15 minutes slower than I finished Marine Corps Marathon.  Under the circumstances, not too bad.

But there was one more thing to do

I still had time left on the clock to add additional mileage to my 6 HR PR, so once again I grabbed my medal (the guy seemed oddly disappointed I didn’t want him to hang it around my neck), grabbed a bottle of water and headed past the bag check area to get some additional mileage.  In the end I hit 33.0 miles once I subtracted for the additional miles during the marathon (Garmin 26.4 vs 26.2).  Better than three miles from 6 HR race in July.

Still thought I was a BAMF at this point

Still thought I was a BAMF at this point.  If only I had stayed in the hotel room.  I do have the crazed eyes down pat.

OK, What am I going to Whine About?

I went into the race wanting to run a decent 8K (check),not have my marathon bib clock in at the 8K (check), get to the marathon start before they took up the timing mat (check),run a sub 5 marathon (check), set a 6 hour PR (along with a 50K PR) (check and check) but it still seemed somehow unsatisfactory.

Maybe I thought I was some sort of badass who could instantly recover from his first marathon in less than three weeks, crank out a quick 8K, turn in a solid marathon and then crank out a few miles afterward, just to drive home his badassry (or is it badassery?)

Spoiler Alert…

Later,

Marsden

Guess who slept in

Guess who slept in

Continue reading

Award Winning Friday

Originally I was going to post today about how I have no clue what my strategy for Richmond 8k/Marathon is going to be and how I don’t even know what to wear.  You are fortunate in that you are going to be spared that crap and you have @rebeccaruns and her blog RunningFoodBaby to thank for it because she nominated me for the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is a chain letter prestigious award where I get to answer a bunch of personal question (and we all know how much I LOVE to do that).  Then I get to torture nominate more bloggers to help widen their audience.

I can't help but wonder if this logo has an embedded virus in it.

I can’t help but wonder if this logo has an embedded virus in it.

 

1. What is your current health related goal?
At my age, just staying alive qualifies as a health related goal.  So far, so good for this year.
2. What is your biggest irrational fear?
That someday this blog will go viral.
3. Do you enjoy wrapping presents?
One on the advantages of being a loner is that it really cuts down on the number of presents you have to buy and gift bags become the way to go.
4. What’s your favorite cross training activity?
Does eating count?  If not then swimming even though I get passed by kids with water wings.
5. If I came to visit you, what would we do? 
Well, I first would have to reassure you that all those people who think you are crazy for coming to DC just to visit me have it all wrong.  The tour of the National Mall (with a mandatory unicorn selfie), plenty of cupcakes, and beer or three.  And Rebecca, you should SO run Marine Corps for your next marathon.
6. You have 2 weeks off of work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?
I think I would go to Australia if it was not on my dime.  I think I would just go solo and not have to worry about fighting anyone for the armrest.
7.  What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a run or race?

You mean other than running in public? It the time I dropped my keys at the start of 10K.  I chronicled the moment here.

8. Tell me the 3 best days of your life. Or at least the first 3 that pop into your mind.

<crickets>

9. Okay, you HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order?
First get the gun out of my face Rebecca.  Come on, you are Canadian for goodness sake.  I will gladly eat my Five Guy’s burger and fries without the threat of bodily harm ;)
Flowers for Friday.  This has nothing to do with the award, but that is pretty much par for the course around here.

Flowers for Friday. This has nothing to do with the award, but that is pretty much par for the course around here.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity?
Hey, I look at myself in the mirror every day.  OK, even I can’t keep a straight face with that one.  I have met Neil Armstrong, Tom Hanks, Alan Shepard, and the band Rush. I have also met Goobermonkey, which if you are a Disney runner certainly qualifies.
11. Share a picture of yourself in non workout clothes!
Well for all you know I am wearing running shorts though.  Shows you what you know I wasn't wearing pants at all.

Well for all you know I am wearing running shorts though. Shows you what you know. I wasn’t wearing pants at all.

12. If you could choose to have a ‘do-over’ and switch careers, what would you choose and why?
I took a test when I was in high school to see what type of careers would suit me.  When the results came back it basically said I would not be happy doing anything.  Given that, I would probably stick with the same soul sucking job I have since it pays well enough to keep me in running shoes (if not pants).  Now if aptitude wasn’t an issue and the money was the same, I would like to be a painter.
13. If you won the Olympic Gold Medal – how do you think you would react?
Well this is me we are talking about, so I would probably be irked that I didn’t break the world record. Then I would immediately start thinking about my next event.  Actually I would probably start dreading meeting Bob Costas for the mandatory interview.
14. What do you want for Christmas?
A safe landing in Phoenix since I will be traveling on Christmas Day for my 24 hour race.
So here is the point where I get to annoy highlight a couple of new bloggers (or newly returned to blogging) to tag next.  Check out their blogs because they are way better than this one.  Kate and Jen, feel free to ignore the nomination if you want.
Kate and her blog Kate in New Mexico
Jen and her blog Crazy Cupcake Runner
Answer the questions I did, but you can replace one question with any question you would like to answer.  Dont hate me Enjoy!
Everyone have a Pigtastic weekend!
Later,
Marsden

Why a 24 Hour Race

Well my Richmond 8K/Marathon, make your own 50K is just a few days away. So since we all know I will be looking ahead the second I cross the finish line, I thought I would get a head start and answer the obvious question.

Why are you doing something as crazy as a 24 Hour race?

The short version is: I AM crazy.

But since this is a blog, I’ll give you the long version.

No, the big does not have access to classified documents.  Well, at least I hope he doesn't.

No, the Pig does not have access to classified documents. Well, at least I hope he doesn’t.

I had moved from Houston to Naperville, Illinois and after a long winter of not running I was looking for a race or two to run in the Spring.  I remember coming across a 24 hour charity relay run and thought to myself, it would be really cool to do the entire thing all by myself.  This was 1998 and I didn’t even know that ultrarunning existed and certainly didn’t know that there were actually races for people that were 24 hours, 48 hours, or even 6 days long.

I knew  a couple of months didn’t seem like a good training period for a 24 hour race (see, even back then my “brilliance” shone through) so instead I ran a couple of 10Ks.

But the thought stuck in my head and every so often would come to the forefront.  It just never though got to the point of reality.  Until this year that is.  This is the year I wanted to try something different, to not give in to what I can’t do (it’s a long list) and focus on trying new things.  This new focus collided with the 30 days of challenges I did in April/May.  I knew it was time to tackle the monster that is a 24 hour race.  I debated back and forth in the last couple of weeks of the challenge whether to commit to such a monstrosity.  Although I had not run more than 12 miles at once in over 2 1/2 years, I made the leap of faith and committed to race for all of Twitter and my blog readers to see (which at the time was about 10 readers and 400 Twitter followers).

Once again the picture has nothing to do with the post.  Pretty fall leaves though.

Once again the picture has nothing to do with the post. Pretty fall leaves though.

I could have ditched the plan at several points during the year.  The smart play would be to leverage my 50K into training for a 50 miler and then to 100K before tackling a 24 hour race.  It’s not like there is a “didn’t meet a Twitter commitment police”. But I am worried that if I don’t do it now, I never will and running a 24 hour race will be another in a list of unrealized dreams.  I want to push myself to my limits (and then some) and see how I respond.  I can’t run fast, but can I go far?  It is one big unknown, but I want to find out the answer.

So onward I go.  Saturday will be the last race(s) before Across the Years (my 24 hour race).  I hope to break my 6 hour PR and learn more about running while fatigued (racing an 8K and running up a hill to the start of the marathon should get me well on the well road to that goal).

So that’s the why.  It was an idea that was stuck in my head and I want to make it a reality.

Or to put in succinctly, I AM CRAZY.

Later,

Marsden

Twinsies!!!!!

Several months ago, when I was still new to actually interacting with anyone on Twitter, I got the following Tweet from a ultrarunner I had just started to follow with the caption “Twinsies!”:

Twinsies!

Twinsies!

I stared at the picture in total befuddlement (and I will spare you that selfie).  I had utterly no clue why someone would send this (well to me anyway).  Yes, I got the part about how her outfit matched my Twitter AVI, but since I didn’t understand the whole concept of “Twinsies!” I just scratched my head.  So after a bit I did what I often do when I have no clue how to respond, I just mimicked the original message.  I tweeted back “Twinsies!” and never heard from her again.

This story has a point other than to document another in a series of me being utterly clueless. It caused me to think about how I have been racing many of my races in pairs (Racing Twinsies so to speak).  So I thought I would go back and review the previous pairs to see if there was anything I could learn before my 50K on Saturday.

1. Cherry Blossom 10 Miler/ Marine Corps 1775K

After training most of the winter for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, I hit my goal, but I didn’t feel all that great about it.  I felt like I should have done better.  In 1775 the next week I had no idea how my body would respond to another double-digit distance race since I had never done that in back to back weeks.  Well I did better in 1775K than in Cherry Blossom and on a far more difficult course.  About the only difference is I attacked the course more and didn’t have to worry about weaving in and out of people after the first mile.

2 Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon/Oddyssey Half Marathon

Going into these two halfs in three weeks, I decided that I would target the 2nd of the two for a good result (which was not smart in retrospect).  The result for the Alexandria Running Festival was OK, but I was somewhat disappointed given my spring races were a bit faster.  I went all in for Oddyssey and its odd spelling, but my knee decided not to play along and then my hydration went to hell and it was a lousy race.  I learned to pay more attention to the signs of my knee not recovering and carry a hydration pack when it is warm.

3. Marine Corps Marathon/ Richmond 8k/Marathon (make my own 50K).

Well Marine Corps was OK, but I didn’t meet my goal and I feel OK, but not great about it.  So basically the first of all the Twinsie races went so-so.  So what does this mean for Richmond?  I have been taking care of myself (mostly) from a recovery perspective and had a good 13 miler over the weekend. So I feel pretty good going into the last week before the race.  Still haven’t decided on my race tactics yet (and even if I had no one would believe I would stick to them).  Since I don’t know what to do, maybe I should just mimic my 1775K performance.

TWINSIES!

Later,

Marsden