Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On streaking

Streaking part 1

I am not really a streaker, I don't HAVE to run every day. But when I am on a roll, and have gone a few days without taking a rest day, I do like to track it, and compare the current streak to previous streaks.

If you don't know, a streak is the number of days you have run at least a mile.

As it stands, my current streak is 32 days, 275 miles, and has included an 86 mile week, a 50, 2 x 31, 26 and 20 mile runs, and an 8lb weight loss. My previous best streak was during the weeks leading up to Umstead and was 19 days and 173 miles.

I don't think there is any particular benefit to this, except that, when I do have a streak going, it does motivate me to get out there and train. I am not sure when I will next take a rest day. Certainly I will be taking rest days in the taper leading up to TRT 100. Who knows?

Streaking part 2

If you have seen pictures of Anton Krupicka running, you will have noticed that he runs very minimalist. Just a pair of shoes, and a pair of shorts. Recently I have been having fun running the same as Anton at Jordan Lake. Well, "the same" maybe a bit of a stretch – minus the hair (on my head – plenty on the back), and plus the beer belly and man boobs, but yeah, other than that, the same. Yep, no shirt. In my defense, I always make sure the parking lot is empty first, I would hate to be witnessed. It's been good, somewhat liberating, and cool. Except this one time, oh my, that poor poor family out for a hike.

Streaking part 3

I guess highlights that some folks put in their hair could be called streaks. Not something I worry about.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beating down on Boogie

"Deceptively difficult" are two words that are banded about fairly frequently – especially by me. When it comes to The Boogie, there is no "deceptive" about it. Boogie doesn't hide its difficulty, it is glaringly obvious. 6pm start, hilly road course, rural NC in mid-June. It is most certainly a departure from normal.

No shocks about the weather forecast; "Hot, humid, possibility of thunderstorms". You could write that just about every day from the late spring all the way through the summer.

No shocks about the actual weather either – after all, it was all forecast….. hot – yep; humid – yep; thunderstorms – yes indeedy.

After last year's "Bolloxing of the Boogie", my goal was simple. Finish. Sub-goals were to run smart, and finish. Finish. FINISH!

Two years ago was my first Boogie – I did the Baby Boogie, or just the marathon, last year, I upgraded to the 50, and felt like I had a PR in the bag before I had even started. LOL@ME. The Boogie bit me so hard in the ass, and taught me a serious lesson about overconfidence and disrespecting the race and the course. I will never make that mistake again.

Let's go through some highlights:

  • So many friends – two years ago I did this thing, and knew nobody.
  • A t-shirt that fits – they run small, very small I remembered to go XXL
  • Talking of shirts, Mark gave me my new MTC shirt that I will wear at Tahoe
  • The moon – so bright early on during loop three
  • The storm – I loved the storm, the cooling rain the lightning, the thunder. I just turned my light off and enjoyed the show. It became so very dark. I remember one flash of lightning, where some guy just appeared maybe 6 feet ahead of me, it was very spooky just being only able to see more than a couple of feet only when the lightning flashed.
  • Charles Akers and Amy Surette getting their first 50 mile finishes. Awesomeness, lots of awesomeness
  • Frank Lilley plugging away, and getting the finish
  • The volunteers who couldn't do enough for me
  • So many other people running strong races
  • Stealing Mark's beer.
  • Bad day for electronics – my Garmin finally died after about 5000 miles of use. RIP. MY mp3 player also temporarily crapped out. So I listened to tree frogs for a while. That was OK, but it doesn't move me as much as some good old fashioned loud punk rock music.
  • Seeing no snakes.
  • Killing two deer fly in the last couple of miles
  • Pacer Amy taking me the last few miles fuelled on Fat Tire and Blue Moon ;)
  • Running smart and finishing the thing
  • My awesome finishers mug
So, to sum up, like every other MTC run I have done, this was a great event. It was good TRT training to run through the night, and I am pleased with how I approached the race. TRT has to be approached in the same manner, in that it is all about the finish, and the only way I will do that is to run smart and approach the race without being stupid.

Talking of stupid, I just signed up for the Chatooga 50k next weekend. Actually, that's probably smart.

Me at 46 miles (Thanks Ricky for the picture)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bolloxing the Boogie......

..... is something best avoided.

It's Boogie week, and unlike last year, I am not going to pretend to be prepared.

I am not.

There will be no talk of PR's

Last year, overconfidence burdened me.

This year, I have no confidence.

Last year I Bolloxed The Boogie.

This year I will not. Probably.

Conquer the Cove Marathon

When I decided to not enter the Black Mountain Monster 24 hour race, it was because I didn't think I would get a decent training benefit from it. Sure, I would get a good long run whether I did 12 or 24. I also would get a night time run; all beneficial and will help me in my TRT prep.

But I need mountains. I need to work on climbing, and I need to work on surviving quad busting descents.

So when a friend suggested Conquer the Cove marathon in Roanoke VA, after my initial "Oh, how cute" thought, a look at the elevation profile told me this is just the kind of run that I need. There are two solid climbs (and subsequent descents), and lots of single track. Perfect. The weather promised to be hot too. Excellent.

The race itself is an inaugural event put on by the Roanoke VA Mountain Junkies.

The race itself was awesome, after the first mile, we went straight into a single track 2 mile or so climb. Rolling hills, about 80% single track until mile 18, followed by a three mile, 1000 ft climb, and then a quad busting single track descent with a few more rolling hills took us to the finish. It was very nice of the sun to come from behind the clouds and start beating down on me just as I was

The aidstations were wonderfully stocked, spaced nicely, and manned by terrific volunteers. "Organic Chocolate with Sea Salt" is awesome. So are shop towels soaked in ice water, a very nice touch.

This is an impressive race, thoroughly enjoyable, and I recommend it.

My finish time was 5:37. Happy with that considering the 3200 ft of elevation gain, although I didn't really set any time goals.

What was particularly encouraging was the speed of recovery. My leg muscles were practically fine within a few minutes of the finish, and certainly by the time I got home there was no soreness at all. 24 hours later, and I cannot tell that I had run a marathon the day before.

Keep plugging away at the hills Jimbo. TRT is just 39 days away.