Tuesday, March 31, 2009

20mile Taper, Prediction AR50

Often a week prior to a marathon I would run 10k to shake the legs out...This past Saturday I planned to run a version of that for a 50mile..20miles. This 20 in my head was to be slow out to RattleSnake on the AR Trail then return at race pace to the finish. That seemed to go out the window when we had two additional runners join us for the day. Both fast they said it was going to be easy. As we took off the pace was fast for me..but I did not back off. Gad! I made comments but the group dynamic was to keep at that pace...I thought why not and took it to the river 5minutes faster than normal. Here I did just say the heck with that pace and dropped back. Yet the legs where on that pace and kept on moving faster than normal. So at the 6mile mark 3minutes faster than normal pace...At Avery Pond...8minutes faster. By the time I got to Rattle and the turn the fast group where there waiting but I was 9minutes faster! I felt good but said that was it..My return I recovered some sanity and took it real easy back..My legs however where tired on Saturday, Sunday. I got to remember to keep my eye on the prize....Western States 2010.

That said...American River 50mile is this Saturday. This years addition has a new race director who increased the field from 500 to 650...Last I saw on the runner list 700bib numbers where released! This could be a bit too large for the course and the middle runner like me. Weather...Has been very windy and forecast for weekend could bring some of that. If the winds are strong and from the north we are running into headwinds..Will wait and see.

Goal 1---Run Qualifying Time for Western States----Anything less than 11 hours!

Goal 2-Run slow controlled pace for the first 19miles.
This is bike path and relatively easy.
Previous I have run some fast splits here.
Which left me little once I got to Buzzads.
Projected time to Nimbus Dam:3hr 12 minutes.

Goal 2-Beals Point Aid--This is the major aid station.
Last before it goes single track. Here I look
at a time ~10minutes slower than average runner
predicated pace.Still alot of race to go!
Projected Time to Beals----4hr 50minutes

Goal 3-Beals to Buzzards:This section has a new addition
of trail. This will add some time. Here, I maintain
concentration and keep the legs moving. Again, about 10min.
slower than average runner pace.
Buzzards Goal Time:6hr 20minutes

Goal 4-Buzzards to RattleSnake:This is it! The toughest section
on the course. Rocky, narrow. I expect a trains of
runners. I am not going to get into their game.
Push through. This will be much faster than last year.
Buzz to Rattle Goal Time--7hr 45minutes.

Goal 5--Rattlesnake to the Barn!---My nemisis is the really the
2.6mile stretch prior prior to the climb from the river.
I plan on enjoying this section! Climb from the river just
Goal Time to the Barn...I project to finish
between 9:45 and 10:10..Its not fast! Qtime in pocket
and enjoy the late afternoon in Auburn.

Things to remember to do on the course..

1)Drink 1 water bottle between each aid station (at beals I may carry two bottles)
2)One SCAP every half hour since we are hitting some heat and it will be warm.
3)One Gel every hour. If things bonk..then two per hour
4)No lagging at aid stations--I can cut time off from last year..

Thats it...Tony

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

noon time run location

Just a short note...Here is where I run most often...When I work from home this is a my lunch time view as I set out to run the stagecoach loop....

American River at the Coffer Dam Location...Notice the hillsides cleared of trees and the start of a coffer dam. Construction Stopped(thank god!) and river returned to natural stream bed with a rapids built for rafters and kayaks as seen below...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Weeks Till AR50

With a little less than two weeks to AR50 I had my last longer running weekend. With that I ran one last time from the Overlook to Rattle with tack on including Stagecoach loop on Sat. And a miserable run through cold and rain Sunday to finish the cycle. The run Saturday I had really fresh legs with limited mileage on them (business travel cut down on that). It was really quite since I started just before sunrise..I enjoyed the stillness. I thought of the big cats and it being their time to feed so I kept a bit more focused on my surroundings. Other than that the day was pretty uneventful with a stronger run on my climb from the river.

Sunday was cold and rain. But the last longer run had to be done. It took nearly 1 hour for my legs to start feeling good with the rain coming down and me freezing I turned back to finish shortly after. As I returned to the overlook. I had a chance to reflect on this winters training...Much better than last year. More 30-45 mile weekends. The last month had less running on weekdays leaving me feeling a bit apprehensive for AR. I will post my prediction splits and finish time later this week....Tony

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Running Into a Running Legend,Hanging at Cool..and too much taper

When there is a race in my back yard..ie Way Too Cool, American River 50, Western States. The week leading up to the race brings a lot of excitement to me. Even if I am not in the race just having a chance to hang out, give a bit of my time at the finish, see friends cross the line is great. This weekend did not disappoint...

Running into Ann Trason.....
Friday, I stopped work for the day just after lunch so I could go on a run at the overlook then stop by Auburn Running to see who was at the packet pickup for Way Too Cool. Friday was a bright spring day..but just a bit cool. None the less I was pressing to get my last conference call for work completed and out the door. Things ran a bit behind and later in the afternoon as I pulled into the Overlook Parking lot...
Just as was getting out of my car another one pulled up near by...I took a look at the driver as I was pulling on my shoes and was thinking....is that her? Could it be? I was thinking I better stay around for a few and see if this was perhaps the best ever female ultra runner ever...
I fumbled around and as she got out of her car I knew who it was...At times it can be kind of awkward just talking to a stranger but I thought lets talk to a legend...
We started the typical small talk...ie great day, etc...when she asked me if I was running Cool this weekend. I said no since I did not enjoy the insane folks that try to jostle for position heading down quarry trail to quarry road so early in the race...She laughed and said that she hated that part of the race and only ran Cool twice..but that her husband had won a few times..at which point I said..."Your Ann", she replied back.."I used to be I am just too banged up to run fast anymore"...That is how it started a long conversation with Ann Trason, Multi Time winner of Western States, and so many others.
Ann and I chatted about a number of things including her place near the Western States Trail..I run by it often. She said feel free to stop in if we are not there and grab some water or food(in a shed that is stocked with aid station food for Dick Collins Fire Trails..)..We reviewed the issues of being a race director and the feeling that we are passing the tourch so to speak to new ultra runners..It was a fun conversation and I nearly thought I should run with her..but even in her described out of shape status..she would drop me like a bad habit..But it was nice to see and talk to a running legend.

WAY TOO COOL..The New Finish Line...

Sorry this was my only picture. It got busy out there. Way Too Cool was Cool..and that was the temperature all day...It felt a bit like a bay area morning at the start..a little fog moving in, chill in the air. I watched the start and then grabbed Rena and Kate from their volunteer duties for a run around the Olmstead Trail while we await the runners to come to the finish. Like last weekend Kate and Rena jumped out fast from the start..we where actually running in the opposite direction of the Cool runners as the complete the first few miles on the Olmstead course prior to heading down to HWY. 49 and off to the quarry trail. We saw the back end of the runners that where racing..a few even walking and only 5 miles or so in..(Oh btw..we all saw a runner arrive to the start/finish) about a half hour after the start...He looked pretty clean with a bib on and confused..He was looking to get his chip removed...Turned out he MISSED the start time and arrived late...DANG! I felt for the guy...We heard something like he had slept past his alarm..I don't know how he could sleep past his alarm on race day..). We continued our run along the Olmstead..taking the reverse route it was all about a long climb so we all had a good workout..It was short so I need to run long today. We got back to the finish area to take part in the finish line activities..Rena (she was nervous awaiting Mark Lantz to finish..kinda like a happy house is when both Mark and Rena finish well at a race. If not it can be a long week for either of them..issues of being a running couple I guess) and I helped out with handing out awards to the top finishers..Cheering on friends. Post race is always great as we all get to hear about the race stories of the elites that we hang out with...Eric Skaden was in rare form today and was drinking a beer out of his trophy cup that was handed to him for being ultra runner of the year(PAUSATF)--Scott Dunlaps blog will post a pic of Eric and his trophy...classic. Tons of good natured smack between Graham Cooper, Lantz, Skaden etc...it was fun. Other runners, coming in under 5 hours included John Nichols...So many runners so many stories..We finally had a chance to end our award duties and take off somewhere around 7hours after the race started..Mark and Rena along with Skaden and I went over and grabbed more beer and pizza next door and we started to talk about the Lantz and Skaden training and race strategy for Western States..those two are geared to finishing at or near the top..It will be fun to watch..

I am running long today..but these last two weeks have had me running only long on the weekends and minimal running during the weekedays...I think I have dropped a bit of fitness cause of this..well I have two weeks of running before the week taper for AR...


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dan Moores Thank You, Second 30mile run day, tired legs

Hi all no pictures today...but the first thing I wanted to comment on was a thank you card from Dan and Patrice Moores in my mailbox this afternoon...It really made my day.

For those not in the know about Dan..He owns Aubrun Running Company and a real nice guy, trail runner and Western States fnisher..Back in November he was diagnosed with Leukemia and this week he was off to Stanford for his bone marrow treatment (I know they do something different but that is the best non medical way to describe it)..During these last few months the community has rallied around Dan and the store..a benefit run raised an astounding amount of funds to help on costs not covered by his insurance. I have been lucky to remain in contact with Dan these past few months as he completed his chemo..he was feeling great and even running a bit..that all changed this week with some unsettling news. But he is still as positive and yes scarred as he heads down for the treatments..He is planning to be at the finish line at Western States in June to see the runners come through..that is his goal...he has asked runners to email him their training leading toward western this year..he looks at his battle while at Stanford to be the same and he is pointing like many to be at Western States....how cool.
So today in the mail a simple thank you card for donation and being a friend..it meant a lot.

Today marked my second weekend in a row where I set out to run about 30miles on the same route I did last weekend..This time Rena joined me and a friend Kate joined after we completed stagecoach for the finial 20ish....We met early at the overlook very cool, clear skies..Rena and I ran strong on the stagecoach loop and hit our mark of 1:30 for the nine miles..by then temps where up and at the overlook we changed from long sleeves to short, fueled up, grabbed Kate and off we went..Trails where perfect as we hit the breakfast spot and 6miles additional in 62minutes (Rena and I's typical time without running 9 prior)...I was pretty amazed but was thinking I should hang back and not get caught up in running faster than I had planned to the turn at rattlesnake...It really was stunning day on the trails and the American River with all the rain is filling up nice to see rapids and deep water moving fast and cold below..From the breakfast spot I dropped back and Rena and Kate moved ahead very fast I was ok with that and hit the turn around at 3:30 ..I had been switching this week to a 45minute interval on gels, blocs and salt...this was working Rena and Kate where no worse for wear as we chatted at Rattle with 10uphill miles to go I was at my low point for the day...out of rattle I hit true turte pace and watched my pace slow on my garmin watch...Things where soon to improve I was moving slow and steady and from miles 8 down to 6 I was getting a second wind and moving better. These last 6 always my hard part with the majority of climbing occuring here betwen miles 8 and 5 then all uphil from 3.2 miles to the top. I ran this better than last week and looked like I could hit my goal time..I noticed the planter kicking up and I often hear comments from people ask me if I am ok since they can see a limp. I have grown so used to this I barely notice...

I ran into a guy at the river and the final 3.2..he and I started chatting on the steep climb up I was out of gas and really did not see a major difference if the run back from rattle was 2 hours or 2:10 so that is how it went to the top some talking and then all out running the final 2.4. from last gasp..Not bad overall with a 13 minute improvement from last week..Legs are cooked..I don't care what distance run I(10, 15 or 30 )always a bit sore..They will be better on Sunday for a short run...Next up go and watch Way too Cool next week and 20 on the Olmstead loop then hang out and chat with all the runners at Cool...it will be fun. Soon I will post my predicted splits at AR 50...it ain't gonna be fast and not too pretty :)


Sunday, March 1, 2009

30mile unsupported Training Run

Saturday was about a month out for American River 50 mile Race and on the calendar was my first 30mile run of the year. I was late in signing up for a PCT race and a lot of others where in Napa for todays road marathon. I was on my own. Today's route was again the a portion of the American River Trail (Overlook to RattleSnake and Back) and at the start I added in the StageCoach Loop from the Overlook. This was not bad way to start with a 9mile run prior to hitting the AR course. The trail to and from StageCoach was really nice a few slick muddy spots but some interesting views...
Here is a waterfall..just before the climbing the blackhole

The view from StageCoach-Below American River HWY 49 to Cool
It was overcast with temps in the high 40's when I started at 7:30. I took a alternate route up Robie Point to the Overlook and saw a older gentlemen walking up Robie (for those not familiar Robie Point is on the WS course and swings through a neighborhood in Auburn to the finish line at the Placer Track. The guy said..Hi and good form as I ran slow past him..just then he mentioned that he used to run endurance races..so with only 7 miles under my belt and 23 to go I thought I would walk with him and chat about his history...It turned out that he had his 1 Western States Buckle and ran the race back in 1981---We talked about his strategy and his gear he used 28 years ago...He left me at his house with one word of advice..Patience! He said he started the race that year in last place and was just saving himself for a faster second half..he let everyone get in front of him and then he started to pick folks off after Michigan Bluff..He said he finished 38 that year..so he said take your time at the start and use Patience.

From there I got to my car at the overlook and grabbed my camelback and took off for the final 21...I took things slower from there to my normal checkpoints along the AR course but was holding steady. I hit my turn at Rattle figuring I needed about 2 hours to cover the trail and final 3.2 mile climb. I was feeling better than last week at this point and that continued. Running on your own for that long I can get unmotivated at certain sections along the day and I think that contributed to my slowing as I headed toward the river. I did a run/walk up the hill to the overlook and finished the final section in 2 hours 9 minutes. So not too far off my mark. Race day will be different..There will be two more 30mile runs in the next 3 weekends then a moderate taper two weeks prior...

Have good week...Tony