Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Also, last year's weather got up around a blazing 90F. Well, the forecast is moving that direction yet again. Right now, they are calling for 87F for the high on Saturday, mid-70s overnight, and low 90s on Sunday....no rain either day.
My plan until Saturday:
Wednesday: easy 4 miles before work, Kashi breakfast/pasta/baked potatoes/5-6 pieces of fruit/lots of water/Hammer's Endurolytes at night, SLEEP!
Thursday: no run, same food basically/more Endurolytes morning and night/haircut---keepin' it short!/finalize drop bags/ SLEEP!
Friday: no run, back off the carbs a bit until pasta party/incorporate some more protein/fiber but not too much/Endurolytes/Pre-Race Meeting at 6:30pm/home to bed.......
Saturday: 2am, the fun begins....
LIVE Webcast: as runners reach each aid station, the time of day will be recorded and uploaded to website. If you want to come to any aid station to see me, this is the way to predict arrivals. Commentary will also be provided at the top of the screen. The camera you see will be focused on the finish line and refreshes every 30 seconds.
Race Start: 5am SHARP!, Saturday August 2nd
Time Limit: 30 hours (11am Sunday)
My Bib Number: 119
No more blog entries until it's all over. I'll report as soon as I'm capable!! :-)
Thank you to so many of you for your well-wishes and tons of support. It is priceless to me and I greatly appreciate it all!
As always and more so this time than ever, HAPPY TRAILS!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
This morning, I set up the VR Group Run to take off from Lock 29 at 6:30am this morning. We had 19 runners show up for between 12 and 14 miles on the Towpath. Today was a leisurely pace for nearly everyone as many of us were coming off of the BT50K last Saturday or tapering down to Burning River.
Afterwards, about 7 of us enjoyed breakfast together on the outdoor patio at Fisher's Cafe & Pub in Peninsula. Those 12 miles will be just about it until Burning River except for a few miles early this week. The plan is to take Thursday and Friday completely off and no more than 10 miles before then.
After stopping at Vertical Runner on the way home for some more BodyGlide and a handful of Hammer Gels, I headed home for a planned family day. Since Chef Bill gave me the running tour of the Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls a few weeks back, I wanted to get back there with my family with a leisurely stroll through the 1.8 mile trail and see the waterfall. My sister-in-law, niece, and nephew are visiting from Colorado so we all headed on down. Gorgeous day to be out there. All had a great time! The kids' ages are 9, 7, 6, and 5. You'll notice here that I'm wasting no time aquainting them with the beauty of the trails. It's never too early to start them on the right "path" to follow in life! Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner at Parasson's in Stow....one place I've been going to since the mid-1980's and absolutely love! Then we were off to my parents' homemade ice cream shop "Billocks' Ice Cream" in Rootstown. Think "Handel's Ice Cream," but better! For me, it was Double Chocolate Peanut Butter tonight.
Last but not least, we're finishing up at dinner and my phone rings. Nick V. is on the other end. He was calling because his scheduled got free next weekend and wanted to know if I had lined up a pacer yet. Well, I had just got done reading Wyatt's article in Marathon and Beyond about the inaugural Burning River 100 last year and how vital his pacer was. I also recall Vince being incredibly grateful for Greg pacing him in at Mohican. I didn't want to ask anyone but secretly hoped someone might offer. So just in case Nick hasn't heard it enough yet, THANK YOU for volunteering yourself! I know it's going to be lonely out there and I'll need the emotional and mental support big time. Nick V. is the one in the red VR tech tee in this photo. This was shot during the 2007 Summer BT50K...my first ultra and I think his as well.
One other cool tidbit: Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has proclaimed August 2-3 Burning River 100 Endurance Days. See the official proclamation here.
Well, it's time to sit back, rest up, eat well, get plenty of sleep, and continue to count down to 5am Saturday. If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here is the link to the LIVE webcast to track all runners during the event. The list hasn't been updated yet, but I've been assigned Bib #119.
Thank you to so many of you for your support! Stay tuned!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here are some of my drop-bag thoughts for BR:
Drop bag #1: Station Rd #2 (mile 39.7): Trail shoes, packet of Hammer's Perpetuem, some Hammer Gel, BodyGlide, and new socks filled with powdered SportShield lubricant. Extra tech tee just in case.
Drop bag #2: Boston Store #2 (mile 60.6): another packet of Perpetuem, Hammer Gel, BodyGlide, my headlamp.
Drop bag #3: Covered Bridge #2 (mile 85.7): Hammer Gel, BodyGlide, extra tech tee, new socks with lubricant, road shoes...can I pack some motivation, as well?
The rest of my food will come from the well-stocked aid stations. I'll carry 2 handhelds and will re-fill with Hammer's Heed at each station except for the 2 fill-ups of Perpetuem.
Once Sunday arrives, I'll start backing off the fiber-rich foods and increase the carbohydrate load significantly...not just through my whole-wheat pasta, but through lots of fruits like bananas, oranges, peaches, and apples. Lots of water content in those plus the carbs...hydrating and carb-loading at once. Starting Wednesday morning, I'll begin taking Hammer's Endurolytes morning and night (salt/electrolytes) to signal my body to start holding on to water. I'll also target 8-9 hours of sleep per night. The 10-day forecast finally stretches into August 2nd and so far, it's 82F for the high, 67F for the low and a 20% chance of rain. Of course, this is NE Ohio so I expect that to change as many times as there are days between now and then.
Happy Trails, everyone!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Saturday was my deep tissue massage by Lori. I think I actually fell asleep for the first time during a massage. How embarrassing! Heck, I’d been up since 3:15am! Lori is running a “Buy 5, Get the 6th Free” special right now so I took advantage of that…considering I’ll see her next week and then again immediately after Burning River. Her contact info is in my last blog entry down below if you want to give her a call or you could e-mail her.
Plan of Attack for the next 17 days:
1. So far this week, I’m in a semi-taper to the 50K this Saturday. I ran 9 on Sunday, 6.8 on Monday, off Tuesday, 7 this morning, 5 tomorrow, off on Friday, then 31.2 (ie: 50K) on Saturday. I plan to just have a good time on Saturday, run conservatively, and enjoy Chef Bill’s post-race grub at the finish line. Just about everyone I know in the NE Ohio running community is signed up for this sold-out event this year.
2. Following the 50K, I’ll be in strict taper mode to the BR100. Run no more than 7 or 8 miles during the weekday runs next week. Nothing hard and no racing. 12 miles on Saturday.
3. In the final week, I’ll back way off and run 5 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, off Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, off Friday, run 100 miles on Saturday and Sunday!
4. From Tuesday – Friday before BR100, I’ll take Endurolytes (salt tabs) morning and night (recommended by Vince), carbo-load, and do my best to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
Overall, my outlook is positive. I feel that yes, I missed some runs that I felt very important NOT to miss. However, it wasn’t because of lack of effort. Physical ailments presented themselves with no warning and I just needed to work around them and through them the best way I could. Mentally, I feel very strong and ready to tackle the 100 miles. I feel like I have an army of friends (that includes many of YOU who are reading this!) and family who have been and continue to be supportive. I will draw on that to push on through when the time comes! Thank you!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
1. Stay healthy
2. Run slower...and slower...and slower. One thing I learned from the Green Jewel 100K was that to run normally around a 7:30min - 8min pace but then to go out and do an ultra at 2-3 min slower per mile...without ever training at that pace, can bring forth lots of pain and agony early on. On the surface, that sounds illogical...run slower and hurt more? Yep! Different muscles, different stride, different breathing, different posture, etc. So right now, I'm really focusing on this and also some power-walking.
3. Keep the mileage up a bit this week but not an all-time high, then taper next week to the Buckeye Trail 50K on the 19th. After the BT50K, a focused taper along with several days of carb-loading and "sleep-loading" in the final 4-5 days before the BR100.
4. Deep tissue massage this Saturday and another one in between the 50K and the BR100. I never got my post-race massage from the Buffalo Marathon so I know that from all the mileage, a marathon, and the sloppy mud-running, I'm physically out-of-sorts. Lori Roosa, LMT always does a phenomenal job at fixing me so I'll see her this Saturday and again 2 weeks later. I swear by Lori and highly recommend her. She works on her own as well as part-time with Summa on the Hudson/Stow border at the Wellness Center. Her direct contact is 330-204-6463.
5. Eat more. I am simply not taking in enough calories as of late. Even though my 50lb weight loss ended over a year ago, I still think about how many calories are in everything I eat. I can't seem to break it. My diet overall is extremely healthy so there are no concerns but I still "guesstimate" my calories each day. What a waste of brain cells!
For this week, I ran an extremely comfy 6 miles on Tuesday morning at 9:45 pace. That was really enjoyable! Wednesday I ran 7 before work. I did the first 3 1/2 at 8:02 pace and the second 3 1/2 at 9:30 pace. Then on Wednesday night, I had an awesome run with Chef Bill in the Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls. I ran in road shoes as my plan is to now change out of trail shoes after the Perkins Trail (mile 85). The last 15 miles do not require trail shoes and my feet will undoubtedly welcome the switch into the comfort of my Brooks. We met at Chef's house and ran a very enjoyable 11 miles that covered much of the BR100 final miles including Glens Trail, Highbridge Trail, Signal Tree trail, and the Gorge trail (is that what it's called?). I wanted to see these areas in daylight, unlike on Saturday night so I could better visualize the final 5 miles to the finish. On the way back out of Glens Trail, I ran it just like I plan to for the finish and ran across the pavement where the finish line will be. I stood there, spun around 360 degrees and soaked in the visual that I will most certainly recall for a bit of motivation on August 3rd. Things like this really seem to help me. I took this morning off but will run this evening around home. This Saturday, I'll be volunteering at the Muddy Paws 5/10 Mile race and also get my long run in while there...somehow. I'm thinking about running at 5am, volunteering from 6:30am to whenever, then doing some more later. It's supposed to be a steamer on Saturday with highs around 90F.
Thanks, Bill, for the "Tour de Cuyahoga Falls" last night! You have some awesome places to run at your doorstep!
Lastly, here is video shot by Jim Chaney of the "Pine Hollow to Covered Bridge" segment of the BR100. This is one of my favorite stretches. I am the one in the white shirt with race vest on. It covers a lot of horse trails and is a very enjoyable section. Between 8 and 9 minutes on the video, we caught the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train...cool video! There are now a total of 6 segment videos at http://www.youtube.com/burningriver100. Enjoy this section and as always, Happy Trails!!!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
To update from my last blog entry last weekend. I took Sunday completely off and did an easy 7 before work on Monday to "test" out my toe. It felt OK at best. Throughout the workday, it felt better and better and less noticeable. My massage therapist got me hooked on this $4 cucumber foot cream a few months back and I'm a huge believer in it. It has rapid healing properties and in my opinion, is the perfect running "maintenance" cream...especially for the high mileage runner who beats up the feet constantly. Anyway, it did it's job and I was back to normal by Tuesday morning's 9 miler. Wednesday was 10 before work, Thursday off, and I raced a July 4th 4-miler yesterday. I haven't seen the results yet, but I know I PR'd with a 26:11. Congrats to many others who took home hardware and all represented VR by flying the VR colors proudly: Susan who took 3rd overall female, Aaron who I believe (but not sure) was 2nd in his age group and PR'd at 24:45, Sean Mooney who placed (not sure where, though), and Rose who I believe was 2nd in her age group. (the race was the 30th Annual Firecracker 4 miler in Stow, OH) Afterwards, I met my family for the Stow Pride Festival Parade. 1hr, 40min long!!! The LONGEST parade I've ever been to. Loved it! In particular, I loved the live reinactment of the Iwo Jima Memorial. That was an awesome tribute to our servicemen and women who have gone before and continue to serve today.
We are leaving the Happy Days Visitor Center at 3:30pm this afternoon (mile 70.5 of the BR100) and heading to the finish. Jim Chaney will be filming this section to post on YouTube. Check out the video he shot below of the Boston Store to Pine Lane section. (re: this is the leg I blogged about last week....remember the unplanned "time trial"?!) Nice job capturing the essence of the trail, Jim!
After we finish later tonight, I'll crash for a few hours of sleep and then meet up with the VR group at Oak Grove to run 22+ miles of the Buckeye Trail 50K. This will give me in the mid 50s for mileage between today and tomorrow and great training for the BR100 only 4 short weeks from now. I plan to take my camera today so hopefully, I'll have some pics to share late on Sunday.
Happy Trails, everyone!