Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Year, My Goals

This is the year I'm making the jump to 50 miles.  I have long held my five year goal (which sometimes changes to three depending on the day you ask) of running a one hundred mile race, and I realize the only way to get there is to keep increasing my mileage.  So why not do it this year?  To be quite honest I'm nervous as hell, but looking at it with the goal to finish.  It worked out well for me that a friend will be heading up to Ithaca for the Cayuga Trails 50 inaugural race and asked for company.  So I filled out the registration and mailed a check--old school, right?!  Well, as it turns out, I got it all done in time and am registered.

Then the nerves kicked in.
     Just over five months to get my training in and and be ready to toe the line. I'm excited, nervous, scared and looking forward with anticipation.  Although the June 8th 50 is my goal distance, it is not my only goal for this running season. First up is the goal of setting an FKT, or fastest known time. Fastest known times don't have a ton of hoopla surrounding them and are most often based on the honesty policy (because there is still one in the ultra running world).  The more photos, watches and documentation you can take, the better.  Peter Bawkin gave a basic write up of what it means to get an FKT and I can cross number one off my list!
    That's right you heard it first, right here.  A friend and I are shooting for early May to set the men's and women's unsupported speed record for the West Rim Trail. It's a 31 miles trail that runs south to north in northern PA.  I'm really excited and focusing on both distances.  I think the West Rim trip will work out well in timing before the 50 miler.

  There are a few other races that I am planning through the summer: Quadzilla, in July, a really fun 15k that just gets you used to some hilly speed.  It's also a great transition run into fall races. I'll most likely also be running the Blues Cruise 50k in October.  This will be my third year racing, and after a 43 minute drop last year, I want to trim off even more.  If you are looking for a great single loop fall 50k, look no further.  This is not only an incredibly well managed race, it's marked perfectly, aid stations are manned with the most amazing people (including a hugger at the marathon mark) there are cheeseburgers being grilled on the course and a great pre run meal served up hot and fresh as you cross the line.  It is worth coming back to year in and out.  They also reverse the loop every year so it makes for a fun change up.  I plan to throw a few more in there..even entertaining the Oil Creek races if I'm fast enough to get registered as it sells out amazingly fast...more decisions to be made as the days tick on and I gauge how my training is going.

   My training this season is focused.  I spent my off season reading nutrition and training books and studying training plans.  Base mileage will follow the metabolic efficiency training (here) to build aerobic fitness along with my base, and then I will up the intensity, focusing on long tempo runs, intervals and increasing my lactic threshold.   I will take on these challenges head on.  I couldn't be more excited about them.

 It is always my goal to better myself, whether with race times, distances or knowledge.  I would like to help others meet and surpass their goals, in fitness, running, and health.  This is my forum until my training and schooling is completed; my place to share what I have learned, and am still learning.

Cheers to a great season ahead and to challenging yourself with making your goals a reality.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Running Week in Review ( and a tasty recipe)

Finally!!!  Well enough to run again!!   Oh, how I missed pounding out a few miles before work, and on days off.  I still had some lingering congestion in my chest so I took it easy with some treadmill days, then finally got outside on some trail.  Our treadmill is stuck at about a 3% grade, better than pancake flat, I suppose.

Wednesday 1/23    -Treadmill

4 miles

10 min. walk (3.5-3.8 mph)/ 10 min. run ( 4.4-5.3 mph) -warm up
5 min. walk / 5 min. run to finish

Thursday 1/24       -Treadmill ( w/ hr monitor)

4 miles

10 min. walk/ 10 min. run - warm up          
5 min walk/ 5 min. run to finish                                                

avg. hr-140         min. hr-63           max hr-180

Saturday 1/26       -Treadmill (w/hr monitor)

5 Miles

10 min. walk/ 10 min. run-warm up                                                            
4 min. walk/ 6 min. run to finish                          

avg. hr-152        min. hr- 80            max. hr-188

Sunday 1/27     -Trail (w/hr monitor)

7.25 miles

.1 mile walking warm up                                                                            
 1 mile road to get to the trail                                                      
 5.25 mile out and back trail                                                    

 1 miles road to get home

avg. hr-143    min. hr-82   max.hr-173    avg. pace-12:14

Total Weekly Mileage: 20.25

Slow and steady, but I'm working my way back to fit and concentrating on heart rate training during my base building.  It was so satisfying to get back out there and run.  My chest congestion seems to finally have subsided and I managed to make it through the 7 miles with little to no coughing (wahooooo!!!)  It's nice to be back in the training game!!

Did I mention I made the most delicious crock pot chicken ever?  Because I did...so unbelievably easy, so good, and the leftovers are so versatile since the flavors are subtle.

Easy Crock Pot Chicken: (this can be done in the oven too, but isn't it more fun to come home to dinner already done?)

1 whole Chicken
1 lemon
8-10 cloves garlic ( smashed)
1/2-1 Tbs.. Rosemary ( according to your taste)
1/2 -1 Tbs. Onion Powder
salt, pepper, paprika
2 Tbs. butter

1.) Boil Lemon in water for about 5 min.
2.) While lemon is boiling, peel and smash garlic
3.) Throw a few cloves of garlic, some rosemary and salt and pepper inside the bird
4.) Use spoon to get lemon out of the water.  Pierce a few times with a knife to get the juices running and place inside bird
5.) Cover with coating of onion powder, paprika (cuz it makes everything look pretty) salt, pepper, and rosemary, add a few pats of butter.
6.) Put on low for about 8-10 hours.  (Don't worry if a freak snow storm hits and delays you from getting home on time, the bird shouldn't dry out).


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ultimate Direction AK Race Vest- a female perspective

I did it, I broke down and got one; the Ultimate Direction AK Race Vest.  I have been using the Nathan Intensity for long trail runs, but really wanted a way to carry more food and gear without a bladder. It seems that Ultimate Direction had that in mind with the Anton Krupicka vest, but also made something for everyone with the Scott Jurek and Peter Bakwin vests as well. They seem to be selling quite a lot of them over a pretty short amount of time. I got an email that they were back in stock and jumped at the chance to have one show up on my doorstep. I am very curious as to the feel and feel on the run for the lady bits. So here goes nothing.

Initial Reaction:    

   Holy crap is this thing light! Ultimate Direction nails it on the head with material choices. It was lighter than I expected, even with the bottles filled.  Tossing in the bottles (which is very easy), tightening up the straps, and running around my apartment, I have to say this thing doesn't move; there really is no bounce, and that, my friends, is coming from a C-cup lady (I ordered the s/m by the way). I found the vest easy to tighten and get snug and comfortable with very little effort.  None of the straps loosened at all during my initial wearing.  I was curious how it would fit, and how the placement of the bottles would work for a female runner.  To be honest it was a great fit.  There did not seem to be any excess movement.  The bottles only sit slightly to the side of my chest, but don't interfere with arm movement, as I was worried about  This will definitely be a focus point as run distance increases.

  After exploring the pockets, I will say the "smartphone" pocket located above the water bottles is made for smaller phones.  I have an Android and  it does not fit in the pocket without taking off the case (oh the woes ofsmartphones).   I read a few other reviews with issues with the two zipper pockets on the back.  To be honest I had no problem.  I was able to reach my right hand back and unzip and zip up the right pocket without an issue.  What I found instead is that since there is tension in the vest across your back and the lightweight mesh stretches, gels would be the easiest thing to retrieve while on the go from these two pockets.  Since none of the pockets are waterproof, definitely have little baggies for electrolytes, ibuprofen  tums, perpetuem tabs, or anything else you don't want getting wet during the run or race.

   Overall it seems like a very well put together piece, not only in design, but in construction as well.  There are no missed stitches, no threads hanging or sticking out, and the materials feel light yet extremely durable.  I am more than excited to get this baby out for some long days and see how it handles in the long run. I will certainly be updating as I use it more and more.  Sadly, my sickness pervades, but I did get out the door for a quick slow hike today.  I was just too antsy and missed the trail.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Year A New Start??

So...this year hasn't exactly started out with the running bang I was hoping. I  was ready to hit the ground running, literally.  Instead I have spent the last few weeks sick and not running.  Although I am hopeful that sometime soon I will remember what it feels like to be healthy and running, right now I just sleep a lot and drink lots of tea. In three weeks, I have only trudged through 10 miles.
What I can say I have gained, while losing fitness, is the realization of just how much love running. I miss it, even more than just feeling better.

I want to start putting my training to the test, getting better, faster and more efficient at racing.  I just want to run, and eat.  I haven't even been hungry.  Man it's like two of my favorite things getting taken off the plate.  Haha see what I did there, and it was unintentional and everything.

Welp, here is to getting better and getting in some milage...and food too.  Cheers