Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bigger faster stronger

So I started a 2nd 12 week cycle of crossfit endurance 2 weeks ago and I'm feeling awesome. I'm lifting heavier then ever before and my endurance is awesome even with as little as I'm running. One of my goals aside from running ultras has been to dead lift 400 lbs and I hit this goal last Friday when I DL 415lbs for the first time ever. That officially puts me in the 1000 pound club as well , 415lb. DL, 285lb. bench press, and 315lbs squat =1015lbs, not too shabby for a runner.

I ran 5 miles today in 44:26 and felt great, I was tired but felt awesome. That's faster than I've been averaging leading up to the 50k earlier this month. I was even faster on my 12 mile trail run last Saturday even after deadlifts on Friday which actually did slow me down a bit on the big climbs. Overall I feel awesome which makes me happy.

Another cool thing that's been happening is more people I know are starting to make the transition to crossfit. It doesn't surprise me that much, crossfit is really the way to go. It's great functional strength training and it increases your cardio There are still  haters out there that talk shit about crossfit, mostly lifters but I bet a lot of them can't do what we do and then run long to boot. Slowly but surely I'm seeing more people making the change for functional overall fitness.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The more the merrier.

So I made a posting about having a fat ass 50k here in town and I didn't get that big of a response. So far I've got one person that said they will do the whole 50k if the date is right and 2 other people that said they would be interested in doing the 25k loop once so that's better than nothing at all. I wasn't expecting there to be a huge turn out. The official 50k I just ran at only had 30 people signed up for it from all over the bay area  I can't really expect there to be a huge number of ultra marathoners in just my town alone. I'm not too worried about it. It'll be cool to at leave have 4 people for the first 25k and 1 people to chat with for the second loop. The guy that said he was interested in the whole 50k seems like a pretty experienced ultra runner so that's cool. It should make for good conversation on the run.

Since the turn out will be pretty small I'm not really planning it as a race but more of a group run, a really long group run, ha. Regardless I'm still looking forward to it, I just want to get out there and run the miles. I don't need a fancy medal, hell the the 50K I ran in didn't even give medals. They gave custom coasters which I'm totally fine with as well. I'll know I ran the distance and that's who I'm really doing it for anyway.

I'm starting back up with training this week as well. My muscles are recovered, my toe nail is recovered, and I'm ready to get back at it. I'm starting the 12 week schedule over again from Power Speed Endurance. I'll probably make a few tweaks like I did before to focus on the weak areas I discovered during the race to be stronger for the next. Luckily this time around I'm not going to have to build my base mileage all over again. I'll be doing regular 10 mile weekend runs with my small group of trail running friends every Saturday and just add on miles as I need to as I get closer to a race.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sore toe.

I know this isn't really that post worthy but it finally happened. I lost my first toe nail, ha. It kind of hurts actually. The top of my toe is unprotected and sore. The nail was loose and uncomfortable since the 50k attempt on June 2. I get a bit of relief when the nail finally came off but like I just mentioned it's unprotected and sensitive now. I didn't have any band aids to stick over is so I wrapped in with that foam wrap stuff you put on before you wrap something with athletic tape so the tape doesn't stick to your skin. That's working well so far.

Along that same note I'm pretty much completely recovered from the race now, my upper legs were a bit sore for a few days but foam rolling has fixed that. If you don't foam roll I really think you should, it has helped me tons with keeping any IT band pain away and recovering day to day. It hurts doing it after a hard run or work out but it's the good hurt, you know what I'm talking about. My calves don't really get sore anymore since transitioning to zero drop. I guess the muscles and tendons and more stretched and relaxed now, plus when climbing up hill I don't climb on my toes like I saw some people doing I take regular steps and I think that saves my calves as well. I could only imagine how much strain climbing on your toes all day would feel like afterwards.

I'm going to relax the rest of this week then start back up with training on Monday. It'll be nice to get back to the gym. I've gotten so used to it that I feel like I'm doing something wrong when I don't go. I'm  going to go back into it as if I'm going to train for another 50k since well I am. I'm going to do the fat ass 50k I'm going to set up then an official 50k in October. I was hoping to get a 50 miler in this year but it might not happen, I guess we'll see. I'd be happy doing a few 50Ks before the end of the year as well.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fatass 50k

As you well know I wasn't successful at my recent attempt at my first 50K. Despite not finishing I still had lots of fun and learned about a few weaknesses I need to correct. I've got another 50k lined up but it's not until October which seems like a long time away so I've decided to try something.  I'm going to set up a local 50k Fatass.
If you've never heard the term Fatass for a race here is a good description I found from www.coolrunning.com.au;

'FAT ASS is the name given to a series of low key runs that are frequented by experienced runners & walkers and characterized by the phrase "No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps". Yes, the runs are totally free to enter and are put on by passionate runners who are also running. Think of it as a bit like meeting some people for a bushwalk - except it's a run. Because the runs are not races in any sense, there is no guarantee of anything other than a course to run (although maps and directions may not provided). There are no course marshalls, and no course markers, and you should not expect any aid either. They are an exercise in self-help, and as such experienced runners only should come and join us - they are not intended for beginning runners.'

I had read about fat ass events some time ago but wasn't running on the trails here so I wasn't familiar with them at all. Now that I have some more experience with the trails this will be much easier to accomplish. Another reason I've considered putting something on like this is because races are expensive. I'm a runner on a budget and it would be great to be able to participate in more long races without breaking the bank. There is a club here in town that puts on fairly inexpensive races but nothing really longer than 10k.

So here's what I've got so far. I'm thinking of doing this either the middle of July or the first weekend of August to give people a chance to get ready for it and to spread the word around and see if anyone else besides myself will even want to do it.  I'll also make an event page on Google plus in different running communities as well as on my Facebook. I've already mapped out a 25k course here in Bakersfield using Endomondo. I'll maybe get some little flags just to mark intersections just to try and prevent people from getting totally lost. I figured a 25k loop where the half way point is the start/finish would work best so that way everyone will only have to carry enough water and nutrition for half the distance. They can restock at their cars for the second 25k loop and be on their way.

Depending on how many people actually sign up for it. I could possibly get some beers and food and we could have a bbq afterwards since the trails are right in front of a big park. If everything works out well and people actually show up it could even become a regular thing which would be cool. I'm curious to how many people will go just for the love of running and not worry about not getting a medal or a t-shirt. Here's to hoping other people will want to run with me. If all else fails I'll just make a day of it with my family. I'll go for a 50k run super early in the morning and we'll have the bbq for just us, lol.

This is what the course looks like.

Swing and a miss

So I ran my first ultra, the Mt. Diablo 50k on June 2nd put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs , and unfortunately I was unable to finish it. The course consisted of a 25k loop to the summit of Mt Diablo and back to the start ran twice for the 50k. I found out as I was running the race that the loop was actually 17 miles so it was more like a 55k. I thought my GPS was wrong but it was confirmed later at the finish.
The first 3-4 miles was probably the hardest part of the whole loop. It was a single track trail that climbed about 2000 feet through a few long sections of loose dirt and gravel. After that the trail opened up to a fire road that pretty much ran all the way to the first aid station followed by another 4k of singletrack to the summit. There was some amazing views that the camera could just not do justice for during the whole race. The run back down from the summit to the start was a fairly mellow descent and my legs took it really well.
I ran the race with my coworker who is not a trail runner at all. She does strictly road races, only half or full marathons. This was her first ultra as well. In retrospect I should have probably ran the race alone or not have waited for her as much as I did because she was much slower than I on the ascent but I can't do anything about that now. We made it around the first loop in 4:22 which was way off mark of where I wanted to be since the cut off for the race was 9 hours.
We started up the second loop after a few minutes at the aid station. I wanted to try and get to the summit a bit faster to make up for all the time we lost on the first loop but it didn't go well. My friend had unfortunately decided to run with only one water bottle instead of two and was badly dehydrated from the start of our second go around so we had to stop much more this time around than the first. The temp was in the mid 90s and the sun was pounding down pretty hard.
Out of the 30 people that had signed up for the 50k only 13 finished. They either stopped at an aid station or dropped after the first 25k. My coworker and I were alone headed up the loop again except for one guy who left with us but stopped and turned back after a mile or two. I stayed with my friend until we got within about a mile and a half from the aid station then I took off. I wanted to make sure we were close enough to the aid station before leaving her alone because I didn't want to risk the possibility of her passing out alone way out from aid. Also we had gotten held up by a pretty big rattle snake for a few minutes until it was far enough off the trail to continue and my friend didn't handle that we'll. Luckily sound carried really well on the mountain so I was also able to yell her name out every few minutes and hear her reply until I got to the aid station and asked them to watch out for her since she was already really dehydrated. My friend was stopped at the aid station and I was stopped just shy of the summit at about mile 25 or 26 because I didn't make the cut off time.
I'm kind of upset, I really wanted to finish this race. Once I was running alone I was pushing it pretty hard to make the cut off but it was a bit too late. I probably shouldn't have chosen such a difficult race as my first ultra but it was still a lot of fun and a learning experience for the next one. I've got another 50k lined up that is also put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs in October. It's called the skyline to the sea trail run. Considering the difficulty of the Mt Diablo race I'm very confident that I'll successfully complete the skyline to the sea 50k. I've got a lot of time to get ready for that race so I'll just keep up with my training and try and get in some other races in the meantime.
I accidentally deleted this post so I'm reposting it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Quest for Sponsors

I'm sure most runners would love to be sponsored and I'm no different. I love running, I love running races. So naturally I would love to run MORE races but seeing as I'm already a runner on a budget it can be difficult and sometimes painful to register for a race seeing as a huge majority of them are so expensive. So I've started to try and find sponsors. The biggest limiting factor right now is that I haven't run tons of races, 1 because I've only been running for a few years and 2 the funds to register. I've emailed a few places I regularly buy equipment at and they've said they don't sponsor individual althletes. I tried to use my one in here locally, I know the weatherman, he happens to be a family friend and unfortunately he's tried to get the TV station to sponsor an athlete before and they refuse stating that "if they do it for one, they have to do it for all" so that's a no go. 

  I did inquire to Altra about becoming an Altra Ambassador and they told me that the applications come out at the end of the year and to try to have a good year of racing, that's cool. I don't think that's a sponsorship at all but it would be awesome to be featured on the Altra site and to say "oh I'm an Altra Ambassador" to potential sponsors. My coworker is actually sponsored by 24 hour fitness because her cousin runs all the 24 hour fitness gyms in the area and they pay for all her race registrations, that likes heaven to me, but I'm not sure if she's willing to share the love. I've asked her about it and she doesn't really give me too much info. I think I'm going to have to try my gym. We'll see how that goes since I'm not going to be a road runner anymore. I'm going to stick to trail ultras starting with my first in a couple weeks so it might not be enough exposure for them.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Day Another Workout

Yesterday was a pretty good workout. The thing that surprises me the most about training Crossfit Endurance is how quickly my recovery time has become. I ran 22  trail miles Saturday morning with 3300 feet of ascent and 3400 feet of descent and was fine the rest of the weekend. Then yesterday I did my workout and still felt strong. Yesterdays workout looked like this:

Squat 3 Sets of 5
I used the smith machine since someone was using the only squat rack.

3 rounds for time

9 hang cleans 135lbs.
12 box jumps 24' box
15 KB swings 45lbs.

Finished in 9:24

This week is my last build week before I go into a taper for a 50k June 2nd. The entire time I've been training for this race my weekly mileage hasn't gone more than 30 miles. It would normally be less training CFE but I've been adding in 1 five mile run during the week outside so I can get acclimated to the heat for my upcoming race. I've got  a 25 mile run this weekend then I'll be in taper mode. My workouts will stay pretty much the same but my running will reduce by half next week and I'll do a couple short 1-2 mile runs to keep my legs moving the week leading up to the race. Despite my low weekly mileage I'm very confident that I will do well at the race based on how I feel on my training runs. I'll keep you all updated.