Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stone Steps training run

Went to the Stone Steps course in Cincinnati yesterday to try the 50k training run. As I figured, it would show I had lost quite a bit of endurance by dieting over the summer. I had not done a long run since June at Mohican. With temps expected to reach 90+ the rest of this week, it may be a while before I can get my next long run in.

About 10 to 15 runners showed up for the low key event – not everyone arrived at 7 am -- several joined in thruout the morning. No unofficial sign in or time sheet this go around. A brief rain Friday evening had cooled the temps somewhat, but raised the humidity – especially noticeable when the sun rose higher. The first 3 loops (2 loops of 5+ miles & 1 loop of 3+ miles) went well & the pace of my group was within a couple minutes per loop of what I’m hoping to run during the actual race. As it got warmer & I tired, the next 3 loops were progressively slower – much slower. Approaching 6 hrs of running & coming up to the 7th/ last loop (5+ miles), I was down to 1 cold drink – not enough to make it. I thought I had brought plenty, but drank more than I anticipated. All the other runners had run 2 to 5? loops & had already left as they had other commitments for the holiday weekend – so for the last couple loops I had no company, except for the crowd of people grilling out throughout the park. With the drink shortage, tired with no one to pull me along and with temps in the mid 80’s, I called it a day. So now I know where I stand endurance wise – a long way out!

I talked to several runners at the training run who had raced at Germantown in the high heat just last weekend (I made a wise decision to mark that race off the list early). Some of those same people are planning on running in the YUT-C 50k in Youngstown, OH on the same day as Hocking Hills. Each said I would like the event in Youngstown better because of the race organization & that the course had more trail & less road than Hocking Hills. A big difference to consider is: instead of a 4 – 4 ½ hr race morning drive, I would need to drive at least 6 hrs & find a place to stay the night as I don’t think I could handle running right after driving that long (actually 4 – 4 1/2 hrs is too long too – just before & after the race). I’m going to look at all these options again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

2008 Race Against ALS

I did my 1st post-diet race Saturday. For my kickoff event, it was the Race Against ALS 5k in downtown Louisville. Although most of it would be on flat, unyielding concrete pavement, I needed to start my training with something.

It was in the upper 70’s & sticky when the race finally started. With my 1st gels & Gatorade in 2 months, I was really hyper on my sugar high! At the start, I tried to keep up with everyone, but the legs wouldn’t cooperate – the turnover just wasn’t there – that missed speed work sure would have helped. I ran as fast as I could get my stubby legs to move. After working out on a soft treadmill the day before, it felt like I was running flat footed on the hard pavement. At the 1 mile marker, my time was 8:15. I thought, surely after all that sprinting I ran faster than an 8 minute mile?! That was a real downer. Did I lose muscle along with the fat over the summer? Maybe the marker was off so I got back to business & kept an eye out for the end of mile 2. It was 15 :15 at the 2 mile marker, a 7 minute split – not likely! So the 1 mile marker was off & possibly the 2nd too. For the final mile, I just tried to maintain an even pace.

I was very happy with my performance (avg pace of about 7:35/mile) -- much, much better than expected. The only concern after the race was some lower back pain after I had sat down for while – guess this is a chronic pain I’ll have to continue to deal with every race.

Next up is the Stone Steps 50k training run on Saturday. As long as it doesn’t get too hot too quick, it’ll let me know how I stand post-diet on the endurance end.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

mission accomplished

Having maintained 178 pounds (my goal) for a couple days, I’m now off my diet. I think the diet was just like a race – it took a while (about 5 weeks) before I got into a rhythm and everything went a lot smoother then. So ends my fourth diet over the years that once saw my weight pushing 230 pounds! I still have a tube of 3 or 4 inches of pure fat around my waist, so there’s plenty more to go – maybe next summer . . .

Yesterday I debated on whether to run in the morning or meet at the track in the evening with my local running club & do some intervals. I needed to have a speed work before attempting to jumpstart my post-diet training with a 5k or 10k this weekend. I wanted to try out the newly resurfaced rubberized track too so I opted to skip the morning workout. But when 6:30 pm rolled around, it was 89 degrees! It wasn’t that humid, but in the sun with no shade around -- it would be pretty hot. Having been inside with the A/C and on my feet all day, I just couldn’t get myself out there. I would much rather do workouts in the mornings when I have more energy. More 90+ temps this week so it looks like it’s back indoors at the gym.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stone Steps training run

For anyone interested, this is the email I received from Dave, the RD for the Stone Steps 50k:

I will host another training run on Saturday, August 30th on the Stone Steps 50k race course. We will start at 7:00, but will be swinging by The Oval an hour later if you can't make the early start time. Run as far as you want, and perhaps join the few of us who will run all 50k! This is a fat ass format - no fee, no shirt, no aid, no whining. Please bring a little snack to share with everybody. I'll set up a card table beside my familiar and aging white Hyundai Sonata.
Our favorite sponsors are back for the 6th edition of the Stone Steps 50k. Bob Roncker's Running Spot, The North Face and Marathon & Beyond magazine are our prime sponsors, and I ask you to visit the sponsors page on the website for their contributions as well as the other fine sponsors.
Just a reminder that the third race in the Southwest Ohio 50k Trail Race series is Germantown 50k, on Saturday, August 23rd. Sign up and race it, then return for the finale of the race series, the Stone Steps 50k. Register for SS50k before the entry fee increases on October 1.
If you ever want dropped from this mailing list, just let me know in a reply message. No feelings will be hurt on my part.
I hope to see everybody on Saturday, August 30th for a great training run!
Dave Corfman, RD

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

cool summer

I remember one morning in August last year when I was up at 6:30 & the temp was 85 degrees – the low temp for the day! August ‘07 was the hottest month ever in Louisville’s recorded weather history. Temps for the past week in the mornings have been in the low 60’s w/low humidity – a great running opportunity in the very middle of summer. I’ve been jogging in the early morning hours whenever I get the chance, but it’s been very difficult starting with an empty tank (w/my restricted carb diet). There’s just no energy and it takes quite a bit of will power just to take the 1st step – what gets me motivated though is knowing the body must burn fat if there are no carbs (I hope no muscle has been cannibalized!). The result has been good progress on the diet, down to 181 pounds now. If the weather cooperates & I can keep up the short runs, I should reach my goal within the next couple weeks.

Dave Corfman, RD for the Stone Steps 50K in Cincinnati on Oct 19, is having another training run on the course on Sat, Aug 30. As was the run on Memorial Day, it’s a FA format – very informal. I’m hoping to be off my diet & able to have a decent workout that day.