Category Archives: Training

First Quarter, a Running Review

First Quarter of 2014 has been pretty good overall, I was on target for mileage in January and February and slightly under target in March. Also, I’m another year older coming out of this quarter, but it doesn’t count since I didn’t move up age groups. I really need to find some more hills (or preferably a mountain) to work on. Did some fun races over the quarter – Prison Break, Merge Records 25k, Roanoke Canal Half Marathon and volunteered at a couple too. I ended up dropping Leatherwood off the list as I need more time on the climb.

Month Mileage Time Elevation Gain
January 200.2 miles 30 hours 20 minutes 6344 feet
February 255.9 miles 39 hours 30 minutes 5694 feet
March 257.7 miles 39 hours 41 minutes 7773 feet


Looking forward to second quarter, I start out with some fun races and turn it up a little. Medoc Spring Races, Rock n’ Rebellion HM, Run the Rock 50 in April, Rattler Trail 26.2, Bethel Hills Moonlight Boogie 50 Miler and Dusk to Dawn 50 Miler in June. Training wise, I need to add about 2- 3 hours per week over the next few months. It’s also time to start reeling the pace back in a little bit, as in I am not sure my legs will agree to running 50 miles at 8:30 per mile so yet.

Ultimate training goal is a 100 miler in the first half of 2015 (I’m looking at you Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run). My 2014 goal is to get in more mileage at Hinson Lake 24 to try and gauge where I am in relation to a 100 mile completion.

New gear this quarter- Saucony Ride 6- not my favorite but they will do until I get back to Brooks, Hoka Stinson Evo Tarmacs – after 120 miles I’m still pretty happy with these comfortable and not too heavy and Hoka Mafate 2. Also 2 pair of gaiters from who makes some really nice gaiters and they will customize them for you (the beauty of dealing with a small business and not a mass merchant or internet warehouse).

New stuff I want- Ultimate direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 (or similar) since I’m trying to carry more without adding a full backpack. Looking for the ability to carry a couple of water bottles, a ham sammich and other snacks (like a slice of pizza) and various other nice to haves for those really long runs. If you have any suggestions for similar vests let me know via the comment section below. Also, probably more shoes, either Brooks Ghosts or Transcends and another pair of trail shoes.

I am getting behind on race reports and hopefully I can get some of them caught up soon.

To end, I will add a gripe. I don’t typically like complaining on my blog, but I’m seeing more and more how many runners don’t want to volunteer for races and events. If you enjoy races and other running events, get out and volunteer. And I mean really volunteer- don’t expect big stuff for volunteering because if you expect a pair of shoes or something like that in return, you probably aren’t really a volunteer at that point. Give your time freely and expect NOTHING in return sometimes.  In my book, you lose running Karma points when the only time you volunteer is when you get something in return. Losing running Karma pisses off the running gods and none of us want that for ourselves. /end rant

Remember, run happy, train smart and don’t listen to the voices inside your head that tell you what you can’t do!

January Update

January 2014

Not a whole lot going on, so I will keep this one short.

January has been a pretty good month. The first four weeks of my 50 miler plan went better than expected. Long runs have been under 16 miles and pretty nice (I think I get back to 20 in a couple of weeks. I have also been defining some goals and objective for myself over the next couple of years. I have been told a couple of times to pick something that scares me and go for it so depending on how things go over the next year or two, I have something really big I would like to work on and I am not ready to let that out of the bag yet.

Hoka pic

Gear wise, the only addition in January was a pair of Hoka One One Stinson Evo Tarmacs. I am still getting used to them but have put about 35 miles on them. Probably write a more formal review after a few more runs, but from what I have ran in them they feel great.

I was able to get in 200.2 miles (322.19 km) of running. Probably looking to hit between 50 and 55 miles per week in February. Race wise for February, I have Run for The Roses 5k.

Training Week 1 Recap

Training week 1 done. Over the past week, I ran 44.8 miles in about 6 hours 45 minutes. Training days were Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with a longer morning run and faster short runs on Tuesday and Thursday for a total of 7 sessions. It has been a strange week, running in temperatures between 14 and 65 degrees. Pace is still off, but I am not in any big hurry to get back into a difficult speedwork routine which was how I messed up my Achilles in October. Overall, everything is feeling good, but I definitely need to replace my Mizunos.

T2 is similar with a total volume of 45 miles. Need to find another 50 miler around June/ July since Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie is out due to it being on Kami’s birthday.

Running stats for the year:

66.2 mi / 106.5 km

2013, A Running Review

As I look back over 2013, I realize I started the year without any real goals. I think I had a goal to break 1:35 minutes at the half marathon and to run a marathon as my longest distance race ever. Somewhere along the way I got talked into Bethel Hills Moonlight Boogie 50 Miler and Hinson Lake 24 hour Ultra. I started the year unsure of what I wanted out of running and ended the year knowing where I am heading, I think.

Running the 50 miler changed how I thought of myself as a runner. I no longer felt like that kinda chubby mid packer, even though at that race I was pretty much dead in the middle. 39th out of 80 starters, but more importantly 39th out of 57 finishers. 11:41:54, and much of the last few hours of that race were disturbingly painful and I wanted to quit. I had great crew that came to help other friends at the race, but I hadn’t really thought myself worthy of asking someone else for help. Very thankful that Kate, Allison and later Brandon kept kicking me in the ass to keep me going.

Hinson was another amazing experience. 77.08 miles of fun. Only hit a couple of low spots but tried to keep things toned down since my family came along to help out. Saw lots of great runners out there that I hadn’t seen in a long time. A very encouraging environment. Also the first time I have been served pizza during a race (honestly, it was a food buffet at the aid station.) I made it further than I thought I would and figured out all it takes is any forward progress. Definitely signing up for this race again.

Also this year I ran my first Marathon. Hard headedly, I ran it injured and only made the injury worse. Not the worst experience ever and my time was around 4:26 minutes I think. Pretty much set myself up for another PR if I go out for another marathon this year.

Other than that, I ran two 50 k’s, seven half marathons, two 10 milers, and far too many 5k’s to remember.

Mileage logged in 2013:
Running: 1804.2 of my goal of 2400
Running and walking: 2500+ (don’t always track with GPS)

2014 running only goal is 2500 miles.

Race wise, I want to get 4 50 milers with the ultimate goal of backing into a time in the 9 hour range. I am going back to Hinson (if I can get the registration in before it closes) and am going to work on getting closer to 100 miles in 24 hours. Probably run a few smaller races but much less than what I raced this year. I have also committed to volunteering for the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run so I can watch some friends out there. Who knows I may even pace a few laps.
I should probably write more in this blog too in 2014.

2013 was a good year but I am definitely hoping for a better year in 2014! Have a safe and happy new year!

Remember, run happy, train smart and don’t listen to the voices inside your head that tell you what you can’t do!

End of September Update

September was a good month. I ended up breaking through my 100 km goal at Hinson by around 15 miles. I ran 259.7 miles during the month of September bringing my 2013 total up to 1576.5 miles. I think I only have 1 race for October, the Medoc 10 Miler. October mileage is lower than any of the previous three months as I am starting another build to being 100 mile run ready around March or April.

I have my first marathon coming up in November. Not worried about the distance but I do need to worry about speed. Lots of speed work in those shorter workouts, probably starting next week.

Remember, run happy, train smart and don’t listen to the voices inside your head that tell you what you can’t do!

And I just posted this while out for a run 

Medoc Meltdown 50k and Fun Run (Fat Ass)

This is my first time at Medoc Meltdown though I have ran the trails at Medoc before. Medoc Meltdown takes place at Medoc Mountain State Park. I think Medoc “Mountain” is more a hill but that is an argument for another day. The 50k is comprised of 4 8.6ish mile laps on mostly singletrack and jeep trail. For singletrack, it is mostly clear of roots and rocks. Key word, MOSTLY.

Meltdown was my second Ultramarathon and I still have a lot to learn. Most of what worked for me food wise at Boogie did not work for me at the Meltdown. I forgot some of my alternate food choices at home (as well as my extra water) but had remembered the stuff that worked best last time, namely peanut butter sandwiches, Twizzlers and Mountain Dew.

The race started around 7:25 and lap 1 was decent and uneventful. 8.6 miles took right at 1:30 minutes. I didn’t even see any cool wildlife, probably because I was about 1:30 or so per mile faster than my pace plan. That brings me to the first lesson, stick to your pace plan no matter how great you feel. In my quick refuel between laps, I ate a little of everything I brought. Back out across the field and into the woods, I was still feeling pretty good. Mile one of each lap is a net downhill while mile 2 holds the longest hill climb with a gain of 170ish feet.

This was where things started to take a turn for me. All that crap I ate at the aid station was getting to me. This was a new situation since I haven’t had this problem before. Drinking some water, I kept moving forward and within a mile or so, I was back to running bringing me to lesson 2, if it’s too good to be true, don’t do it. After running for a half mile or so, the stomach pain started. It wasn’t like empty stomach grumbling but more like Medoc Man punched me in the stomach. I continued on this walk feel better, run feel worse thing until I was able to get back to the aid station at around 5.5 miles into the lap (figure 8 courses are great). I took on some electrolytes and felt like I could take on the world. Back out for the last 3ish mile portion of lap 2. Had my first wildlife delay of the day as a copperhead was crossing the trail. I snapped a crappy picture with my phone and stopped a couple of runners while waiting on it to cross the trail. After the delay, lap 2 was finished in right at 2 hours. A longer (30 minute) stay at the aid station, complete with a shirt change, and sock and she change. Pretty much out of water, I filled up with well water from the tap at the aid station.

Lap 3 was pretty much a recap of lap 2, but no wildlife delays. The well water didn’t sit very well on my already pissed stomach. Lesson 3, DO NOT FORGET WATER. Somewhere around mile 5 I had enough of the stomach problems. I said to hell with it, finished the lap and tapped out. Total moving time was around 5 hours and 15 minutes, so I managed to average out to 12 minute miles. Best of all, I learned more about how my bod reacts to a kinda longish run through the woods. All in all, not too bad for an August Saturday Morning.

Long Run Blunders

My scheduled run for today was a 24 mile run. I chose an out and back on the Neuse River Greenway. The section I chose wasn’t too bad, mostly flat with a few rollers.

I woke up on time, had a cup of coffee but didn’t really feel like eating anything. I had a second cup of coffee and quickly grabbed my gear for the day, not checking that I had everything I thought I did. I filled up my 2 liter Nathan hydration back with water and reminded myself that I preferred my (broken) CamelBak Lobo. The CamelBak just rides better in my opinion. Garmin on, bag in hand, off we go. 0 calories consumed.

On the ride out, I start considering my pace plan for the run and halfheartedly go with 9:30-10:00/mi. Oh wait, kick ass song on the radio so I turn it up and forget what I was thinking about.

Arrived at the trailhead, I unlock my Garmin and impatiently wait for it to find a satellite. Stomach reminds me I didn’t eat, so I open up some Sport Beans and eat them while waiting for my now infuriatingly slow Garmin to do its thing. Finally, 5 minutes (or 30 seconds) later, beep. I hit start and off we go.

Mile 1 starts off like they normally do with a little argument between my brain and legs. Everything eventually clicks after a few minutes and I look at my pace. 8:10/mi. I remind myself to slow down and miles 1-6 are mostly uneventful, and my pace averages out to around 9:45/mi. My stomach lets me know that the snack wasn’t enough so I dig through my bag to see what else I had. Another pack of Sports Beans, a pack of Clif Bloks and 1 Gu. Not much, but it is what I have. I open up the Bloks (Mountain Berry flavor) and kick them back.

Somewhere early in mile 7, I start feeling my IT band tighten up a bit. Ignoring it, I move on. Mile 8 it really starts to bother me, so I stop to stretch it out a bit. I get going again and its just nagging me to stop. I stop and stretch it again, and decide to walk a half mile on it. That just made me more aware of it so I turned back just past 9 miles out. I tried jogging a bit and then decided that a jog/walk would likely get me back to the car. I downed the GU just before mile 10 since I probably needed electrolytes. Miles 9-18.2 my pace averages to 13:20/mi.

Here is what I should have done differently. Eat real food before I left the house, 200-300 calories with at least some protein and fat to keep me from being immediately hungry. Made sure that I had at least 900 -1000 calories (I only had 500 on hand) to eat on the run. Stretch while waiting for my Garmin to boot (and maybe even a few minutes longer than that.) Stop ignoring my body when it is trying to tell me something. As many times as I say many of these things, I keep doing them.

Time to go use my foam roller to try to get the IT band happy again.

Train smart and run happy!