Sunday, July 15, 2012

The freaks come out at night.

I can't feel my legs.

I ran 43 miles overnight pacing a runner for the 20 in 24 Ultra Marathon. I had placed a post on The Facebook offering my services as a pacer, and a friend hooked me up this guy Sebastian who was shooting for 100. I started pacing him after his 5th lap and I stayed with him until his 10th lap.

43 miles. Ok - so my marathon is done - I just did one last night :)

I love this race. I had volunteered for the whole 24 hours last year with Lynne and Cat, and at the time, I was still suffering through my injury, but I made a vow that I would run the race the next year. I would have loved to have done a relay team this year, but I wasnt motivated to put one together. The whole atmosphere at race is crazy. The start and finish area is a tent city, with the relay teams creating these whole elaborate setups as they each wait for their respective team members to come back from their lap.

It's very surreal running on the Drives in the middle of the night. The only people out there are the other knuckleheads running like lunatics in the middle of the night, and the four rest stops that are scattered along the course. It's very surreal to see the glow of the luminescent running vests and the bobbing headlamps off in the distance.

All of that being said, I dont think there is enough appeal for me to do this ultra running thing as a habit. But, if I can do this, then mentally, the marathon is cake although I should be- and hopefully will be - running much fast than the paces I was pulling for this event. Granted, we did some walking in some spots, and took some breaks after each lap.

I saw a ton of familiar faces at the race - a pretty large showing from some folks on my running club - some of whom were part of a relay and a few who were also pacers. Then theres the random people I know just from the running community. Philadelphia is a small running town and race timing puts me in contact with alot of people, so it's kinda neat to be out there and run into lot's of people that I know. Mr. Popularity.

It was good night of running. I had some stomach issues about 30 miles in, which only lasted a few miles. My feet felt great with respect to any sort of hotspots or blisters - I am OCD about blisters. I swear by these thin Wright Socks. Highly recommended by me.

Ok, I am starving.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I think I am going to hit 100 miles for the month of June, and while that sounds relatively unimpressive, for me, it's huge. I have not had any 3 digit mileage months in almost two years. I am steadily hitting 25-30 miles a week, and assuming I can finish out the last week of June with the same level of volume, I should blow through 100 easily. I ran the Media Five Miler on Friday night, in the Pickle Suit. I got lucky this year because it was relatively cool compared against the last two years. If the race would have been this Friday upcoming, it would have been a different story, because it's supposed to be in the 90's for the remainder of the week. Anyways, I ran it somewhere between 45-47 minutes and that's with me stopping once or twice for 30 seconds to drink a beer. Christ that course is hilly. I forgot how hilly and you'd think that I would know by now because I have run the goddamn thing 4 or 5 times. But the good news is that I didnt walk any of the hills. Quite an accomplishment actually because I saw a number of people walking and none of them were running in a very large green neoprene full length Pickle Costume. As a matter of fact, not only did I run each and every hill, but I verbally taunted those who were walking the hills. "IF THE PICKLE ISNT WALKING THEN NO ONE IS WALKING!!!" And amazingly, I had a handful of people appraoch me at the end of the race and tell me that I was an inspiration. Wow. Who'd ever think that some jackass in a Pickle Suite would be an inspiration? There's another race on Friday night - The Chichester Business District 5k - and we're timing it - I am thinking about making an appearance in the suit, but doubtful on running in the actual race. I was in a bit of pain after the Media Five Miler. Whilest I was able to run the hills, my body isnt used to hills and I was sore for a good two days following the race. My side was also acting up to the extent that yesterday I went to the doc to see if another shot was in order. As luck would have it, I woke up yesterday with no pain, and if there is no pain, there's no way for me to find the spot to show the doc where to put the shot. So we both kinda sat there for 20 minutes and shot the shit. But the next step is a gait analysis on July 2nd. They are going to film me running around a track and observe my form. I am not sure I need a doctor to tell me how bad my form is:)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I drank What??!

I forgot how much I missed running down on the Drives. I did a tad over 6 tonight on the Drives at a 9 pace - nothing crazy - but it was such a col evening that I felt I could have gone for at least another handful of miles. What a difference a day makes - I felt fairly rundown yesterday and I FORCED myself to the gym last night and it was a shit show from start to finish. I had no bizness being on that treadmill. I was tired, my form was suffering and my side started to get tight. I said fuck it and I bagged it after two miles. You cant force a round peg into a square hole. I should have listened to my body but sometimes the overriding feeling of "I am a fat lazy slob and I need to get my ass on the treadmill" overrides common sense. All that being said, I still felt like a fat lazy slob who needed to get his ass on a treadmill :)

I had a decent run on Sunday as well - a little over 5 at "race pace" which although it sounds very fast, it's really not that impressive. The plan that I am following has me targeting a 4 hour marathon which would equate to a 9:09 pace. I banged out 5 just under that, but it's deceiving because the first half of the run is uphill, and the last half of the run is therefore downhill, so the average pace is a little wacky.

I tried running with a Camelback. I wasnt digging it. I am still trying to figure out the hydration piece - trying to gear up for the fact that I am going to be doing some long runs in the heat and I need to have a sustainable supply of water with me. I carry one of them bottle packs that straps around the waist, and the bottle sits kinda on a slant in the small of the back. I think I need something with a bit more volume. A back pack style hydration pack would solve that problem but the typical CamelBack isnt made for running - it's made for biking and I discovered that the one I tried on Sunday not only bounced around way too much, but the shoulder straps are too thin and they dig into my shoulders.

There are packs that are made specifically for running - alot of "ultra" marathoners swear by them and I looking into picking up one of those jawns. The problem is that no one around here sells them and I am not a big fan of buying something like that without trying it on first. I must have hit 4-5 stores int he area that sell running equipment. We got plenty of bottle holders, Fuel Belts, etc, but no backpacks. W-T-F.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Here We Go B*tches

Let the games begin. The training plan is in place - I finished it last night. Day 1 of training is here. D-Day. And I kicked it off with a great 11 miler this morning at Ridley Creek State Park at a 9:22 pace. I felt good. The weather was perfect - nice and cool. I didnt have to slog down water like a camel. The only thing gave me any *slight* pain was a small hot spot on my big toe, right foot. New shoes. Which I am loving. Reebok YourFlex. Sort of a Nike Free knock off. Super light, good cushioning. It just all feeds into my running shoe fetish. I admit that I have a problem.

I am working two races this weekend and marking a course after the morning race tomorrow. Busy day and I probably wont get a run in. I would have liked to do a quick easy 3 miler. I am at 25 miles for the week and I would love to add a tad more, but I cant complain. Two months ago I was running. I'll take what I can get.

84 miles for the month of May!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Persona Non Grata

I've hammering out some miles. I hot 27 miles this week, 25 the week before. While that might not see alot for most, it's alot for me given the last year and a half I have had. Take a look at this picture. This is a screen shot from the online website I use to track my mileage. It tells a pretty good story


Personally, I am surprised my mileage for the months previous to the May had as much mileage as shown. I've packaged together some good long runs together, in the heat. My last four runs (not including what I did this evening) have been outside, in the heat. I dont mind running in the heat - some runners find it to be an abysmal experience.  


The beauty of running at Ridley Creek State Park is that it's got a decent mix of hills as evident by the graph, above. There's a monster hill over there locally named "The Gutbuster" and I do everything in my powers to avoid it. It's one of those monster inclines that serves no practical purpose for training. If I was training for a run up Mt. Washington, sure, I'd run up that hilly until I puked. But a) I dont race anymore and b) I dont like puking. As you can see by the elevation profile, I started and stopped at the "top" of the park, which means the first half of my run was downhill (and very fast) and the last part was obviously upill. Which really sucked. Alot. 

Nectar of the Gods