Friday, July 25, 2014

El Scorcho and other random stuff

     I just looked at the stats log to this blog and it told me that it is viewed an average of 11 times per day.  I haven't blogged since a few weeks back so sounds like you guys are coming here looking for something, haha.  I love sharing information on this journey that I'm on to wherever, I don't know.  Just hadn't had time to put anything out there with work and training.  I meant to put a race report out there for El Scorcho, but time got away from me.  I'm off work today without a damn thing to do. So here's what's up. 

El Scorcho Ocho 50K 
     To sum this race up, it was just as hard as I figured it would be.  My legs were fine, but my electolytes almost got out of wack again around loop 7 or 8, I felt the onset of cramps, thought I was done so I sat out for 20-30 minutes and took in more endurolytes.  Increased the rate of taking those and I was good in that department for the rest of the race.  The real problem was my gastrointestinal.  The only thing worse than running and being crampy, is running and having to take a shit once every hour.  I hadn't had that issue with any of the training runs leading up to the race, but boy...  I think I spent a total of 45 min in the porta-potty.  OK, yeah TMI... I went into the race just wanting to finish, not caring about time and it shows in my results.  So that is done.  I will do this race again at some point.  Maybe not next year, but sometime.

DRC Fall Marathon Training
     Only two runs in, but seems like this will be a fun year.  I once again have a wonderful co-pacer.  Another teacher.  We hit it off from day one.  Not sure what it is about runners being educators, but there sure are a lot of them.  We have a very large group, this time I'm down with the 4:00 marathon group.  Funny how I have never broken 4:00 on a marathon but I'm training others to.  So let the long hot and humid weeks of training begin and beat us the hell down.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Lost loop 50k coming 9/27/2014
     With El Scorcho in the rear view mirror, I am now looking foward to completing my first 50k trail race.  In, El Scorcho is listed as a trail race, so I'm credited with that one being my first one, but we know that ain't no real trail.  It was more like a dirt road race.  I am both encouraged, but slightly discouraged with doing the Lost Loop.  I am told that a trail 50k is easier than a road 50k, but I just don't see how.  When I run 10 trail miles, afterward I feel like I have run 15 road miles.  I am told that the trails are easier on the joints but you have a lot more muscle fatigue.  Yeah, that's the issue when I run on trails, muscle fatigue.  My longest rail run so far is I believe 14 miles.
This course which is at Lake Texoma I hear is technical for the first few miles, then gets easier.  But it is an out-and-back, so all of that technical stuff will be waiting for me on the way back.  Why it's called a 'loop' but it's out-and-back trail, I don't know.  Hope I don't get lost on the 'lost' loop.  I just looked at the results from last year and the average completion time for my age group was 7.5 hours.  Good lord.  I hope time passes out there. For now, I have plenty of time to get plenty of trail miles in.  We'll see what happens. 
Trail Running
     I'm hesistant to call myself solely a road runner or trail runner, so we will just go with 'hybrid'.  I started running trails to help strengthen myself and help marathon time and now looks like I may have three, maybe four 50k trail races done by the end of the year.  Add that to two road 50Ks, and 4 full road marathons will be done by the end of the year.  Funny because I went into 2014 saying I would 'chill' the whole year and run maybe one marathon in the spring and one in the fall.  I'm starting to love the trails more and more.  My first experience in a 20K trail race on New Years day was a very good one.  Like the little girl on the AT&T TV commercial said, "We want more, we want more"

Fitness and diet
     I got way off track with my cross training last spring.  I have access to 4 different gyms.  Yes, four.  So I have no excuse not to throw in some weight training, spin, racketball or whatever.  I've got that back up and running.  Back to that 4:00 marathon thing again.  I'm not in a hurry to break it, but my new philosophy is that doing some of this extra stuff and getting myself to optimum fitness will increase my chances. Same thing with diet. I had been eating everything and everything last spring and into the summer.  I've recently gotten myself back to elimating the junk and I'm already feeling the difference during my runs.  My body is my hobby.  And I ain't gettin' no younger either.

So that is all. For now.  Stay tuned, more to come.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Voice

     I've been wanting to share this for a few days, however my schedule has been just ridiculous. I hadn't had the time to share much through this blog.  I'm sure that will change as we get into fall marathon training soon and closer to a couple of highly anticipated trail races I have coming in September and October.  But first, a revelation I had Sunday before last.  
     I was feeling rather lazy that morning and usually I'm up and out of the house hitting the trails on Sunday mornings.  I decided to sleep in this time.  I had pretty much a Saturday off after grinding out a 24 mile training run Friday night into the wee hours of the morning.  So I opted to do my Sunday run on the streets of Carrollton, but I did not want to wait until evening to do it.  Why not afternoon?  I hadn't really run any true hot weather runs in a couple years.  There was a reason why.  Because when I did, it was miserable.  I felt I was a much smarter runner now and would be able to handle it.  I chose a route that had plenty water fountains on it.  On the schedule was 12 miles.
     As I set out on my trek, I was very cautious of my pace.  There was a slight haze over the sun so the heat was not a total beat down.  I didn't even check the current weather conditions before I started but I'm going to guess it was around 85-90 degrees and humid.  It had just rained a couple hours before.  I had just moved to this area of Carrollton two weeks ago however my run routes hadn't changed much, I would just be running on the opposite ends of them.
 The first half of the run was not hard at all, I kept a steady slow pace.  It was an out-and-back route, I got to the turn around and start coming back.  The only difference is that now I'm facing the sun and most of the route going back was uphill.  I wanted to keep the same pace and push through.  I have gotten so accustomed to running with another person or group, it was like I never really had to push myself.  The run started to get really difficult. That's when a voice popped off in my head.
     "Hey" it said.  "See that tree over there?  Make it to that tree."  I see the tree, maybe 200 yards away, I kept pace slinging sweat everywhere and made it to the tree.  "Okay, now run to where you see the trail make a bend to the right."  I follow the instruction and get to the spot.  Then the voice says, "The third tree just past that red car parked up there."  I see what what is going on now.  "Okay I got you, I see what's up", I told the voice.  This went on for a couple miles.  Then I see a steep hill coming.  "Hey, I said.  What about that hill coming?  What now?"  The voice cuts me off in mid sentence and says, "Just run to the fire hydrant fool".  I get close to the fire hydrant which is halfway up the hill, I'm panting and sweating more and look to the top of the hill when the voice blurts out "Don't look at that, look at the fire hydrant like I said!  Don't worry about what's past that fire hydrant until you get to it.  One thing at time.  And stop looking at that Garmin, it won't help you."  I made it to the fire hydrant.  And wait for the next instruction "Okay, get to the STOP sign."  So segment by segment the voice helped me through the run.  I was so into it, I never really paid attention to where I was on the route.  "Okay, now look at your Garmin." it said.  I looked and I only had one mile left to go.  "Cool down mile", the voice said.  "Don't worry about thanking me."
     Now I really don't have voices popping off in my head when I run.  Umm, let me stop lying, yes I do and sometimes I do talk to myself when I run.  True story, but more importantly it helped me with something else.  Recently I took on a new role at my job and have been having some anxiety centered around all of the new responsibilities and higher expectations that came with it.  I had to remember that first of all my manager would not have recommended me for it if she didn't think I could do it.  What this run helped me with is to remember that if I tackle each job a task at a time, I can make it through no matter how tough it gets.  We hear that cliche that athletes use taking it "one day, or one play at a time", but it really is how to have steadfastness in achieving something despite difficulty or delay.  Needless to say, these past couple off weeks at work have kicked my ass.  But applying what I was reminded of on that run, I am right on point with my duties.  So excuse me now while I make it to this next tree.