Monday, January 30, 2006

Groundhog Run

Did the 24th annual Groundhog Run yesterday in KC, MO and am glad I did it, but wouldnn't recommend it to anyone else unless they just HAVE to try running underground. Yes, this is an underground run in the "Subtropolis" of Hunt Midwest. The novelty of it was cool at first, but that soon wore off as the crowd got bigger and the dimly lit uneven pavement took it's toll on more than a few unsuspecting runners. The stale air was also not very welcome. Since I've been training in the trails so much and not on the roads at all for the past 2 months, my calous that I normally have from my road shoes wasn't there. In it's place, a nice blister developed and it slowed my pace after it burst with a mile and a half to go. :-( I finished in 48 mins even, but was on pace for a 42-43 minute finish before the blister. Overall I'm glad I did it for the experience, but I realize that I also need to do some more speed work in addition to the distance I'm putting in. Been in the gym a bit more lately as well and the legs are starting to build up so hopefully, the bike legs will come back quickly. Missed the trail runs this weekend completely, but will make up for it next weekend and once this week.

Friday, January 27, 2006

getting closer to something

Suffered through another run last night for the first time in a week and a half. The arches are really screaming and it's got me scared that the plantar fasciatis might be returning. Let's hope not. We did about 6 or 6.5 in the trails with a little mud and pushed the pace once or twice during the run, but my legs were really tired from the previous day's workout. Getting back in race shape gets harder and harder every year, but this year I'm trying to maintain a higher run mileage base than in years past. Consequently, I'm changing my diet as well. I quit coffee this week and am finally over the headaches and will soon be cutting back on the amount of beer. Also am trying to cut back on the fried foods in the hopes that the body will respond better to the training. I feel like I'm close to feeling really good once I get over a hump in my training. Sticking with the training as I turn up the intensity is proving difficult for my motivation level. I'm glad I've got the Trail Nerds for accountability and to push me regularly.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Comfort food my ass!

So the funeral went better than expected. Mainly because Allison's grandfather handled the passing of his wife better than most had anticipated. That really gave the family more peace and made the grieving process easier for most.
Of course, being in the South, no event (good, bad, large, or small) is complete without several HUGE meals in which everyone consumes massive quantities of food containing so much salt, butter, and animal parts/fat that one wonders why it's called "comfort food." Sure it's yummy at first, but afterwards when it's settling and trying to digest, it isn't so comforatble. THEN once it's part of you, it's DEFINITELY NOT comfortable. Taking a week off of training to defile myself is NOT what I needed for the "getting in race shape" schedule!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

death in the family

We got a call this morning that my wife's Grandmother died in her sleep last night. Death in teh family is never good news, but it's comforting to hear she went peacefully in her sleep. She was diagnosed with Dementia last May and has been slowly deteriorating since then. It'll be interesting to see how the family deals with this. This grandmother and grandfather raised my wife and her sister for a few years after their mom died early in their childhood. Their father was handicapped and was unable to care for them alone. This grandmother was the matriarch of the family in every sense of the word. She was always a strong and decisive figure in the family's life. Not controlling or domineering, but a very strong person and one of quiet, but sure guidance. Recently, she felt she'd become a burden to the rest of the family as she began to slow down due to the dementia and I believe it was harder for her to accept the fact that she was relinquishing independence than it was knowing she had a fatal and degenerative disease. She had always done for so much for everyone else that she didn't know how to accept having others do things for her. But that's just my opinion. She'll definitely be missed much by everyone.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Picking up steam

Put in a few more miles this weekend. On Saturday the trail nerds put in a shorter "modified" loop out at Shawnee Mission Park. Somewhere between 10 and 12. Didn't really pay all that close attention to the time or the mileage because the run was that enjoyable. Excellent weather, scenery, and company all made for a great run altogether.

Sunday was a little different. My wife has joined us for the past 2 weekends out at Wyco for the full 10 mile loop with the big hills. Yesterday, she also invited a friend of hers. This friend is a good strong runner in addition to being a personal trainer. The first loop went ok with the group going at a long and slow pace and my wife and I staying in the back so as not to hold anyone up. (she's a little slower on the hills) She and the other two girls (yes, we have three now) left after the first loop. I wasn't really feeling all that frisky after the first loop, but I knew that I needed to do a second one in preparation and I'd already set my mind to it beforehand so everything my body might have been telling me was somewhat muted by a decision already made. So I went. Tender and stiff, my ankles already felt like they did at the end of the third loop (mile 19) of the 50k we did on New Year's Day, but I was determined (obstinate?) to do it anyway. Once again, the group was great and the conversation intermittently kept my mind off the pain. The muscles felt better than I expected but began to tire toward the end. The last 4 miles of the loop at Wyco is where most of the BIG hills are. Markos introduced me to Biofreeze which I applied to my achilles and both knees before each loop. I'm hooked! I'm also getting my butt in the gym more often and back on the bike. May start (re)introducing a few more road miles here and there, but only as a running supplement and probably in a transition type of workout from or to biking in preparation for the adventure race season.
So overall, no muscle soreness and just a little joint stiffness from the approximate 32 miles put in this weekend. Hopefully, I can keep this up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Breaking down or toughening up?

Had to suffer through a bad run last night. Low energy, gassy with stomach cramps, and twisted my already tender ankle three more times. This is the same ankle I twisted pretty bad last Tuesday night, but I thought it was better now. It's still functional, but I'm not sure if continuing to run on it will be good or bad for it. On a more positive note, we got to run in the snow again. Had a good ground covering yesterday and that's always fun to run in.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Go Allison!

Allison ran with us guys out at Wyco yesterday. She did the entire 10 mile loop with us. That's the farthest she's ever gone at one time and it was in some tough trails. She didn't give up and didn't complain. She made me proud! She wanted to check it out before signing up for the Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run race in Feb so she could see what it's like. I was hoping to be able to do 2 laps with the group, but we ended up going to breakfast with Shane and his wife Brandi after the first loop. Plus, my ankle still hasn't completely healed from turning it last Tuesday night.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Still smiling after the Fat Ass 50K. Posted by Picasa

Fat Ass 50k

So I did my first 50k on New Year's Day! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The course was fun and scenic with a few hills, but not too technical. It would have been much harder if I didn't have the awesome support group with me. Plus, it was easier with no pressure to beat any personal records or any competition. This was a free run with no prizes and limited support, but well worth doing. For a better write up and pics check out Bad Ben's blog. Looking forward to doing more.