Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What to do in your down time?

I'm currently taking some down time.  Due to my lack of training this year, I am mentally ready to go!  However, next year is a long year with racing from January through October so it will be good to get some rest and relaxation in before starting training again.  I am also still trying to ditch the last remnants of pneumonia that I have had so this will be good for that as well.

What do I do in my down time?

This year I have taken the time to do some reading and get my diet a little better.  I have the knowledge and now I just have to master the self-control.  My weight has been my main problem throughout my racing career.  Due to some medical conditions, I don't have quite the metabolism of many runners so I need to be extra careful about what and how much I eat and drink.

I have also been riding my bike everywhere.  Not that it is any different from usual but it is nice to still get some exercise.

Down time is often overlooked by many who think days off are for the week but they are a neccesity for anyone that trains hard.  Bernard Lagat and David Rudisha both took over a month off last year.  Lagat even gained 6-8 pounds!  You must take one running step back in order to take a few steps forward next season so rest up!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Race Report: Jelm Mountain Run 2013

This is another well run race by the High Plains Harriers.  Patrick Eastman is the race director and he does a wonderful job.  The atmosphere at Laramie area races is wonderful.  Everybody knows everybody or at least recognizes a face and is willing to stop and chat.  Patrick provides a race, a hooded sweatshirt, a beer glass, and much more for a great price.  Many road and trail race prices have gone through the roof without giving you anything more or a better experience.  I haven't found that in most Wyoming races and in particular the High Plains Harrier races.

The race started out a two person battle between the eventual 1-2 finishers Nik Deininger and Sam Malmburg.  I kind of tagged along for about 1.5 miles until the hills got steep then I ran alone for a long while.  The views from the race course are unparalleled and I would recommend this race just for those alone.  The race is entirely run on a service road on the west/south side of Jelm Mountain from the bottom to the top, from 7600' to over 9600'.  The average grade is over 6.5 percent but don't let that fool you.  There are plenty of flats and some downhills in the ascent so the real climbing is much more severe.  You go up for 5.2 miles and come down.  I reached half-way tired but still doing well with about 2 minutes on Chris in 4th.  It would soon go downhill as I found I couldn't run downhill without horrible pain in my back/sides.  I ended up shuffling down the hill with the 16th fastest descent.  Luckily I had run fast enough up the hill that I was able to hold onto 6th place overall.

Despite the pain I felt on the downhill, I am excited about Jelm 2014.  I am sure Patrick and the Harriers will put on another great race and it really can't be as bad as this year.  I am also excited to try more of Jeff's homebrew!

Race Report: Sioux Falls Miracle 5k 2013

This race morning was not overly hot but it sure was muggy and humid.  My morning began before 5 AM in Brookings.  We drove down to Sioux Falls and gathered at Howard Wood Field where Anne, Chris, Lars, and many others would start the half-marathon.  The marathon start was set for 45 minutes before them.  I watched the marathon start to see what it looked like to have nearly 1000 people start a race on a track.  It was a disaster and they need to change this somehow.  A typical road start would probably be ideal for a race this size.  Many people were walking and bumping into each other because it was too crowded.  After watching the start I drove down to the finish line where the 5k also starts.  I warmed up for a bit and found Eric.  We did some strides and analyzed the competition for awhile waiting for the race to start, late of course.  Once it started, last year's winner Jeff Stuckenbroker took it out hard.  My legs were screaming 'too fast' right away so I just tried to hang in the chase pack.  It strung out quickly and was down to myself, Dan Allen, and Eric in the chase pack.  Another guy would soon catch us too.  The course is very simple and deceptively difficult.  It seemed like it was always a small grade up and down.  At two miles, Jeff was way ahead and Dan was out of reach too.  I was in a battle with another guy that I didn't know.  He seemed to be running strong and I was struggling to hang on.  Once I could see the finish line, I finally got away from him but he kept it close.  I was initially very disappointed in my time but later measured the course to be about 3.33 miles long.  It would be nice to have it somewhat accurate!

All in all, it was a good day to see family and friends and run a race.  Lars performed valiantly in his first half-marathon and Anne ran well in hers too!

Race Report: Silent Trails 2013

Laramie is blessed with a great running community which in turn puts on some awesome events.  Huge thanks go out to everybody who put their time and effort into making this race a success.  This year, this race was only $5 to enter.  It was billed as a 'no frills' race but in reality a shirt all that was missing from your average running race.  Anyone who runs races often enough can say that shirts are often as much of a burden as anything.  There was a plethora of food after the race including hot soup and hot chocolate, there were also; medals, cash prizes, official results, aid stations etc.

There was a brisk wind blowing at the start of the race and I had debated keeping my jacket on.  That quickly ended when Ragan and Horsecow got down to the singlets.  Horsecow also had his cow print speedo on.  There was no way I was keeping my jacket on.  The race got out at a decent pace but not too fast as most of the top contenders had been here before and knew what was coming later.  The top 3, led by Chris Schabron, broke away early and there was a pack of 7 who tackled Death Crotch together.  At that point it was more about making it up the hill and not so much about racing.  That would start at the end of Death Crotch.  I made it to the top of the hill with Ragan and Horsecow but soon lost them.  A combination of the pneumonia that I haven't completely recovered from and the lack of running in the last few weeks would leave me with sideaches and fatigue.  I lost 2 positions in the last half of the race to finish 11th in 1:23 for the 10.5 mile race.  I don't think I have ever been so excited to run under 8 minute pace in my life.

The post race food and camaraderie were excellent as always.  Congrats to Chris Schabron on his victory.  This race is one of a few races that are held in memory of the 8 U of Wyoming runners that were killed in 2001.  One of those 8 was Chris' brother so I am sure this victory was extra special for him.

I am looking forward to next year, I hope to be in better aerobic shape, weigh a few less pounds and hopefully be healthier!

Overall Results