Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lessons learned, experience gained

Time to reflect after finishing my second 50K. I've had a couple weeks to mull things over. 
What did I learn? Don't run a race the week before. Not even for fun, or to run with one of my kids. And never, ever say before afore mentioned race, "it's only an easy 5K. What could go wrong?
I ran this easy 5K with one of my sons, to help pace him. Plus the opportunity to run with one of the kids is pretty rare. I figured an 8:00 per mile pace would be easy.  A good chance to stretch the legs a week before my run. We started out nice and easy. Less than a mile in, I caught a toe and did my best Superman imitation. I was up as fast as I went down, but not before landing hard on my knees, elbows and hands.  A little blood. How bad can it be?  Things didn't hurt until Monday. My left knee ended up bothering me late in my 50K. Okay, lesson learned. 
I learned that if I want to keep dropping my time, I need to run more/faster and walk a little less. My run 15/walk 5 actually worked great.  It was hard watching people pass me early on, but I eventually caught and passed most of them. I think I just need to increase the running interval. I'll be working on that. Maybe 25/5?
I learned that my training plan worked well. Admittedly I was training for 50 miles, so I had a good endurance base. I felt stronger and less sore at the end of this run versus last year.  The hills beat me up, but not as bad. If my knee hadn't bothered me, I might have been a little quicker.
Overall, I'd have to call this 50K a success. I believe I made the right move dropping to the 50K. My foot felt okay, but was beginning to complain by the end.  My nutrition worked well, although I could have probably upped the energy consumption a bit. 
I am going to take my new found wisdom, keep training, and do another 50K. I'm not sure when or where.  I've got a couple in mind. I'm not sure if I'll be faster, but I will be wiser!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

T minus 2 until race day

                                                 Great Lakes Endurance Iola trail race
                                                           Snowy trails - in April!
Race day is almost here, and I'm as ready as I can be. After my last post, I e-mailed the RD of the Ice Age Trail races and requested a move to the 50K. It was hard, but I think it was the right choice. I've got the rest of the summer and fall to nail that 50 miler. I've got a couple plans floating around in my tiny head. I'll see how Saturday goes and then move forward from there. I think my training was as close to spot on as it can be while working shift work. I got in a bunch of long runs (15+) including 24, 27 and 32 miles. The run 15 minutes and walk 5 minutes plan was working great. I was averaging 10:00/mile pace while employing this strategy. Keeping the pace easy and trying to burn fat instead of carbs has helped my efficiency. I used "Metabolic Efficiency Training" by Bob Seebohar and like how it worked.  I think all the long road miles finally caught up to my feet. The first four months of 2013 I ran over 800 miles compared to just over 600 for the last eight months of 2012. I believe some trail miles would have helped.
I managed a couple races since the last post. I ran a trail 15K at Iola Winter Sports Club, and the weather must have felt it had to go along with the name of the venue. The April 14th race was run entirely on snow covered trails. Cross country skiers were waiting for us to finish so they could ski! To add insult to injury, by the end of the 15K race, Mother Nature treated us to almost white out conditions. But I had a great race. I ran it easy and well paced. I felt in control the entire time and never laboring or working hard. My time was only a second slower than two years ago in much better conditions. I also ran a last minute road 5K with one of my boys. It was our first race together and I helped pace him to a PR. How much better can it get?!
So now it's time to relax, do one easy shake down run on Friday and head off to the trail. I can't wait. I'll let you know how it goes in a couple days!