Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Long Run Nutrition

In yesterday's post (about my 20-mile run), I failed to touch on what nutrition approach I used, and whether or not it worked. During my last long run, I had some gastro-intestinal discomfort. In that run, I drank 22 oz. of Heed (mixed at the regular concentration), along with a diluted Hammer Gel mixture. Late in that run (an 18-miler), I was having some stomach cramps. Several people commented that they don't mix sports drink with gels; going with straight water instead. I used that approach in last week's Mercer Island Half Marathon with success. Yesterday, I decided to find a middle ground and went with a very weak mixture of Heed and 22 oz of water. I also carried water only in one of my gel flasks. The other gel flask contained three servings of Hammer Gel (Tropical, with caffeine) and about 1/4 water to dilute it. I drank small amounts of the weak Heed/water mixture every mile, and nearly finished the 22 oz. bottle by mile 11. I hit the gel every 5 miles, finishing it off at about mile 15, and drinking plain water from about mile 12-17, before deciding that I was so soaked that I didn't need to drink the last 3 miles (thanks to osmosis)!

This approach worked perfectly. I never experienced any stomach discomfort and felt adequately fueled the entire run. Hopefully those results will hold true during future long runs & races.

Monday, March 29, 2010

First 20-Mile Training Run Was...a Bit Interesting.

Today I finally (i.e. delayed by a week) ran my first 20-mile training run. It was the first of three 20+ mile runs in this cycle. I decided to run an out-and-back on the Centennial Trail, starting in Snohomish, WA. I was dry for 11 miles, then the skies opened up, and every inch of my body was soaked thoroughly. It was a total monsoon, with wind and torrents of horizontal rain (I even got hailed on a couple of times). I was soaked to the bone, and my shoes had puddles IN them. I was colder and wetter than I've ever been. That actually "encouraged" my pace on the way back. I went out slowly (8:57 avg), then back a little quicker (8:02 avg). I felt comfortable, pace-wise, the whole time. Could have gone faster than 8's on the way back, and could have run further (although not in the present conditions), so it was a good confidence builder. My average HR was low, too (133 bpm), which is what I was shooting for. I'm a huge believer in ice baths, but since I was nearly hypothermic after this run (it took both hands to start my truck, and I was shaking badly on the drive home), I chose a hot shower instead. Still iced the knees and I might take an ice bath later this evening.

So, weather and borderline pneumonia aside, it was a great run! Oh - and it put me over 500 running miles (517) for the year - by far the earliest I've hit that mark.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Silliness

Here's my latest song parody, as heard on the Run, Run, Live podcast, episode 114:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: 3/22-3/28

This was a recovery week for me. After running 51 miles and back-to-back HM's last week, my body was speaking to me loud and clear. I had already scheduled Monday as an off day and was running an easy 4 on Tuesday. Depending on how my body felt by that point, I thought I'd pencil in my first 20-miler for Wednesday. Thank goodness for erasers. I ended up running short and slow all week, and could tell that I needed it. I haven't had a "back-off" week in 9 weeks, so I was due anyway.

Here are this week's numbers:

Runs: 5
Miles: 30.1
Long: 8 (twice)
Time: 4:16:47
Miles, YTD: 497.1

My weight also dropped just under the low end of my "range" this week, so I upped my calories a little. This will be a challenge the next few weeks as my 20 milers start kicking in, along with my weekly mileage back up into the low 50's. I'll just have to eat more, darn it.

Speaking of 20-milers, I'll be running my first one on Monday. The forecast says 100% chance of rain. Lovely. I'll have a change of dry clothes in my truck...which will be coming right off when I get home so I can sit down into a tub of cold water and ice cubes. Ah, the simple (somewhat psychotic) joys of distance running.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mercer Island Half Marathon...After Solo Half Marathon

This was a challenging, but enjoyable, running weekend. On the advice of my ultra running friend Arthur, I ran a solo half marathon yesterday, then the Mercer Island Half Marathon today. When we first discussed the idea, I wasn't so sure I wanted to try it. He said it would be a good way to simulate leg fatigue late in a full marathon. Once I wrapped my mind around the idea, I went for it. I ran 10 miles on Monday, 6 Tuesday, 5 Wednesday, 4 Thursday, took Friday off, ran 13.1 on Saturday and 13.1 today, for a new weekly PR of 51.3 miles this week.

Back to the halves. Saturday morning, I ran the first 6 miles with Mike and Eric (two guys from the Mill Creek Running & Multisport Club, with whom I run on Saturday mornings. BTW, I carpooled to today's race with Lars, who is one of the group's founders. He ran the race this morning in a nice 1:48), then ran the last 7.1 alone. I ended up with a quicker-than-expected 1:43:42. Fast-forward to this morning at 9:00am when the Mercer Island Half started, under overcast conditions with a temp of 52. PERFECT. I wanted to go out slowly (8:00-8:10), but ended up with a 7:44. No worries - still well within my range. I'll list mile splits later, but I'll say that I felt TOO good for the first 6.5 miles. I naively started thinking that yesterday's half wasn't really going to affect me that much. Well, I forgot to mention that the Mercer Island course is HILLY! I felt some leg fatigue kick in at the 6.5 mile point, but it was slight enough that I thought I could push through it at my current pace (7:30 or so by then). At that point, I took a Hammer Gel and tried to drink enough water (which I never do) and continued to cruise along (mostly uphill...like an M.C. Escher drawing, where there seems to be more ups than downs). Alas, mile 12 showed it's ugly, asphalt face. There was a pretty serious hill (as opposed to the joking ones) that started at the 11.5 mile mark that slapped me in the face. My legs revealed a level of fatigue I have never felt before. I don't know if I achieved glycogen depletion (i.e. "hit the wall"), but at this point, yesterday's half came into play big time! I struggled my way up the hill, feeling like I was barely moving. My quads were zapped of energy. There was a downhill immediately after, but I didn't have enough in me to fly down it like I typically try to do on downhills (and did on previous ones in this race, few as they seemed to be). There was another slight uphill (which didn't feel too slight) with less than a mile to go...then down again briefly, then up to the finish. The last bit of uphill was torture, since there was no way I was backing off the pace, or walking, in the midst of so many cheering spectators! One interesting thing I noted was that my heart rate was actually dropping later in the race, yet my legs were dying. That told me that the pre-fatiguing of my legs was indeed working.

Here are the numbers:

Time: 1:42:11
Pace: 7:48
Overall place: 371/2137 (17%)
Age Group: 48/174 (28%)
Men: 301/1077 (28%)
Avg. HR: 150 bpm
Mile Splits:
8:08 (where I hit my "mini-wall")
7:59 (pace for last .1)

I'm sure I would have gone under 1:40 if I hadn't run a half yesterday and tapered a little, but my current focus is the marathon, so even though I didn't run a PR, it ended up being my second fastest half (out of four races), and with dead legs, on a hilly course. I'm pretty happy with the result, and also happy I got a taste of the leg fatigue I'll likely encounter in my first marathon, now only 8 weeks away.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Chuckles

Here's my latest song parody, as heard on the Run, Run, Live podcast, episode 113:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Sponsor

The Resurrected Runner blog is proud to introduce a new sponsor: Gil's House of Dentistry and Plumbing!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekly Review

This week was one for the personal record books (I know, *yawn*). I ended up with my longest run ever and my highest weekly mileage ever. The week was capped with a group 8-miler during which I felt very strong, with surprisingly springy legs. If all goes according to plan, next week will be my first 50+ mileage week ever. Next week will end with a race I'm training through (Mercer Island Half Marathon). I may run a solo half marathon the day before, so I can simulate "marathon fatigue" during the race.

Here's how this week shaped up:

Runs: 6
Miles: 47
Long: 18
Time: 6:39:20

The body is holding up very well. I felt a little leg fatigue (and some hip flexor soreness) for a day or two after Monday's 18-miler, but was fine after that.

All systems go! Knock on wood!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Fun

Here's my latest running parody song, as heard on the Run, Run, Live podcast, episode 112.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tomorrow Night!

Hope to see you at the Running the Sahara premiere tomorrow night!

Monday, March 8, 2010

18 Miler

It was supposed to rain today, but it turned out to be mostly sunny (and breezy). Today's 18 mile run was my longest run so far. As has been the pattern in recent long runs, I felt so-so for the first 7-8 miles, then got into a nice groove for the remainder of the run. It was an out and back course. I ran 8:55's on the way out, and around 8:30's on the way back (8:44 overall pace - 2:37:12 total time). Took 3 Gu's and drank Heed. Had a bit of hip soreness and my feet weren't always happy, but all in all I'm very pleased with this run. Quite a confidence builder. I now know I can run 20, and the marathon seems a little less intimidating. I'm still not taking it for granted, though! The weekend after next (3/21) is the Mercer Island half marathon, so no long run next week.

One problem I have now is getting calories in shortly after the run. My stomach usually doesn't want food for 2-3 hours. Even now, an hour and a half after the run, I still feel a tad nauseous. I need to figure that one out, especially on runs like today, where I burned close to 2000 calories!

I took the usual 15-minute ice bath after the run and am sitting here in three layers on top and three on the bottom, also wearing two pairs of wool socks. It took about 20 minutes after the bath to stop shivering. Ah, you gotta love the ice bath! My legs will thank me tomorrow, though.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another Week In The Books

This was an interesting running week (officially week 6 of current marathon training plan). There were no long runs, yet it was my highest mileage week so far this year. The first five runs this week were all over an hour. Wednesday's run was a challenging progression run (each mile faster) on a hilly dirt trail (loop). By Friday, I was feeling pretty fatigued. Took an ice bath after Friday's run. This morning (Saturday) was my weekly group run. Ran 6 miles at just under 8 min/mile and felt strong and fresh. Go figure. I'll be taking tomorrow off, then running 18 miles on Monday...which will be my longest run ever. I'm both intimidated by it and looking forward to it!

Here are this week's numbers:

Runs: 6
Miles: 44
Long: 8 (3 times)
Time: 6:21:10

Year-to-date running miles: 368.8

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Levity

Here's a little parody song I put together for Chris Russell of the Run Run Live podcast (as heard on Episode 110):

More to come...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

REMINDER - Running The Sahara Seattle Premiere!

Just a quick reminder that the Seattle premiere of Running The Sahara is just over a week away (Wednesday, March 10). Here's my original post, which includes all pertinent info, including how to get a $5 discount on tickets. Please note that the time of the premiere has changed to 6:30pm.
See you there!