Skip to main content

Shake down

It was time to stop the head fantasies and face reality.

Master competitor isn't ready for the Green Swamp 50K on February 7 and conditioning is in order.

So I did a 3-hour run on the San Felasco trails yesterday. I wasn't moving fast but three hours should get me somewhere near halfway in a tough 50K race - such as Green Swamp is portended to be.

I may have been at this game for a long time, but there are always new things to learn. I worked hard on my ChiRunning stance, working to keep my body erect, leaning slightly forward at the ankles, so that my footstrike hit exactly below my frame. This "structural integrity" allows the body to absorb each impact through its core and there is less torque on the knees and joints.

I also wore a pulse meter, an old Bike Nashbar model (I'd use my Suunto watch but didn't want to carry the 300-page owner's manual to operate it). Also used a new foot setup: wore a rather worn pair of Brooks Adrenaline ASR's, with wool Injinji toe socks and for the first time foot gators.

Must say my feet felt good as I am trying to avoid future blister problems. The the gators kept the dust and grit out. As ultra master Roy Heger once told me, "let those feet work (inside the shoes)." That's a good lesson, some of the worst foot damage has come from my feet being restricted in shoes via taping or thick socks. So, change is in order.

My bpm is sad...I'm jogging very slowly at around 110 and my max is about 135. Pulse meters make me face reality; the engine has lost its threshold for revving.

I wore my double bottle GoLite waist pack, as that is what I plan to use in the race. I dislike the feeling of things around my middle, but at this stage in my ultra career, it's about utility. A year or so ago I'd attack a 50K with my Ultimate Direction or Brooks Waterboy hand-held bottles, but that was then and this is now.

One new experience I had on the run was listening to the Rogues Gallery, one of the top music podcasts on the Internet. This weekly show is over three hours long and features progressive metal rock from around the world. I was listening to a band from Portugal and the rather dark beat started to bring out the warrior animal in master competitor. I started eating up the trail and feeling like my old self...totally engaged in the music and trail experience.

Glorious.

Check out the rogue tunes at www.thedividingline.com/rg.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…