Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week of Recovery

A week and half ago I ran the El Scorcho 50K Race. This past Saturday I ran 20 miles on the Erwin Trail and on Sunday followed up with a 7 mile hill run. On Monday during the spin class I was trying to hang on and finish strong. My body was telling me that it need to recover. So on Monday and Tuesday, for the first time in 6 months, I did not work out 2 days in a row. Here we are in the middle of the week and my body is feeling rejuvenated. This weekend my family and I are going on vacation. Therefore there will be running involved, but no long runs. Next week will be hammer time for the next two weeks followed by a three week taper.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Full Moon and the Crazies are Running the Place!

Oh, El Scorcho! You had two distances to choose to race, the 25K (15.5 mi.) or the 50K (31 mi.) So at Saturday night, midnight, July 20 a 150 runners lined up to commence the 50K. I was in that group. Here is something you need to know. The course is a 3.1 mile loop in Trinity Park, Fort Worth Texas and you have to run it 10 times. It consists of crushed limestone, grass, asphalt, and dirt roads. Here is something else you need to know. The temperature was about 88 F with 50% humidity at the start. As the night went on, the temps go down and the humidity goes up…you just can’t win. The low temp was about 75 F.

My goal was two fold: To nail down some nutrition and hydration details and to try to finish in under 6 hours. The first 5 loops were fairly uneventful and for the first 15 miles things were going smooth. I was even about 15 minutes ahead of pace. Regardless of that last sentence I knew things were going to go south on me for the simple fact I was hardly able to stomach any food/fuel. After the first hour I had grabbed ½ a PB&J sandwich (that is what I had been training with on the long runs) and choked down about 4 bites of it. By the second hour I could hardly stomach one bite without feeling nauseas. I could take gel packs, but they are only 100 calories each and even they weren’t going down easy. By mile 16 I was downright sick at my stomach. Even to the point water was starting to bother it. I kept with the routine of taking a Salt Capsule every 20 minutes and taking about 70 to 80 oz of water per hour.

After 3 hours, My stomach wasn’t doing well, my legs were really beginning to hurt and I was still sweating heavy but I couldn’t pee.

OK, let me explain. When you run for such a long time you need to stay hydrated to the point where you can still produce urine. I learned this lesson the hard way about a months ago during a 5 hour run on a hot day, when my urine was coffee brown. For the record, that’s bad. That means there is myglobin or broken down protein in the urine. Next step, kidney failure…you have got to stay hydrated to the point of producing light color pee. It’s that simple…I had no fuel and no pee, my body seemed shot and mentally things also went south. There was a full moon out but at about 3:30 AM it was dark in my world. I had resolved at the next aid station I would take whatever nutrition they had regardless if I had trained with it or not. I also resolved to keep taking water and salt caps and see what happens. So at about mile 18 I took a banana and some orange slices. I also downed some Cliff Blocks. That was another first. I just had to get some fuel in my body. I also doubled up on Acclerade gel packs. Things started to go down the hatch smoothly and the stomach didn’t mind. Good. At 4 hours I had to go pee….great….it was a very light yellow. I had food. I had pee…and my legs started coming back to life. At mile 21 I began to feel a lot better. The last three loops (9 miles) I ran negative splits. (Every loop faster than the one before.) I had fallen to far behind to meet my goal but things were looking up. I was now hydrated to the point I was having to pee every 40 minutes….Life was good. The hydration issue was more of a mind thing than physiology.

I finished in 6 hr. 27 min. I didn’t make my time goal but I really felt good about this race for the fact that I was able to improvise when things started going south. My Ultramarathon friend Rick had mentioned in one of his race reports that the Ultramarathon is a race of correcting issues before they become real problems. Oh, yeah…Rick ran the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler this past weekend in 26 hr. 13 min. We both ran all night on Saturday only he was on the back side of a century. That really puts things in perspective... I have a long way to go…literally and figuratively.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

20th Class Reunion

This past weekend was the my 20th Class Reunion an my parents 40th anniversary. My parents 40th party went off without a hitch...big fun. The reunion was very well planned but poorly attended. So on that end, very disappointing.
On the upside, I got to go see my parents and a few friends that I have not seen in awhile.

Additionally I got to run in a mild climate. OK it's a dry heat and like they say, it's not the heat that gets you but the humidty. The humidity is nearly 0%. I grew up in west Texas in a town about 30 miles west of Lubbock. It's called Levelland. No Joke. Just to show what I mean I have pictures of me coming back off a run. You can actually sit on your front porch and watch your dog run away for 2 days.

With that landscape and undaunting dry heat, that brings me to a big race that was ran this week, July 14-16. It's called the BADWATER 135. It's a 135 mile race through Death Valley. The runners go from 235 feet below sea level to over 8000 feet above sea level. Yeah, it get's hot. Try 130 degrees F. Come to find out a girl from Lubbock ran the thing in under 32 hours and came in 3rd place for the women. Texas girls are tough I tell ya! Especially when the race is flat and hot. (Insert your joke here)

This coming Saturday Midnight the El Scorcho 50K kicks off. I am sure to have a race report. Also this coming weekend is the Tahoe Rim Trail run. My buddy Rick is running the 100 mile part of the trail. We'll both be running all night on Saturday...only his suffering will be much me.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Picnic

I hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July. Things are going fairly well with the training. Last Saturday I ran a 26 mile run at Erwin park mountain bike trail and 10 miles on Sunday. After the run on Saturday, my family met me out at the park and we had a picnic. After the lunch, I took my three children for a short hike. How far can you go when you have a two year old who refuses assistance and face plants several times after tripping on tree roots? But it was fun and Luke (7) and Macy (5) wanted to go back sometime so we could spend more time on the trail. That sounds great!

So on Friday, July 4th, I ran 16 miles on the Erwin park trail and my family met me out there again. This time they brought pizza, which is always great after a long run. I ate and ate.
My wife Bren also went with us on the little hike to help watch our 2 year old Hope. That way Luke, Macy and I could go a little farther on the trail. Much like his Dad, Luke wanted to run it...and that he did. I hate to say this, but he is going to be faster than his Dad.

Post run hike

Luke, Run Like You Stole Something

Look, Even Bren is out in the woods

Luke and Macy

With all that being said, the last couple of weeks of training have had their share of issues. Hydration, for the first time in my life, has become a problem. Of course I have never put forth this kind of training either. The 4th of July weekend has been more of a time of rest and recovery. In two weeks I have the El Scorcho 50K (31 mile). I am really looking forward to this. It will be a great opportunity to hammer out this hydration thing.

On a different note. The Tahoe Rim Trail run is also in two weeks. My wife and I have a friend here in Plano that is running the 50K part. She is 56 years old and has great perseverance. My Ultramarathon friend, Rick is running the 100 miler in Tahoe. Keep these guys in your prayers.

I will close with this link that Rick sent me. It is a video depicting the Tahoe Rim Trail...very inspiring! Tahoe Rim Run