Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Year, New Teams!

So I really have been wanting to spend some time updating the blog layout lately with some new links and information but there is just not enough time in my day. So since I don't have time to tinker with my template I will just blog about it!

I will give a quick plug to the only link I have updated in 2009 which is for Treadmills Guru which provides a guide to buying a treadmill for home fitness purposes. Lord knows a lot of us have been considering buying one of those if we did not already have one given us this year's lovely weather! One of these days here soon, I will actually get some more links that belong in the sidebar over there but for now, that will have to wait!

Anways, the big news which I am very excited about for 2009 is joining Team Lake Effect (TLE), a hard core cycling team. Guess I am going to have to work on my cycling game this year to fit in with this bunch!

Also, Bike Authority and Fleet Feet joined forces to put together a multi-sport team (which many TLE members are also on and now I am a member of that team as well! So 2009 should afford me lots of new training partners between these new teams! You can read more about More info here!

The beginning of the year has been so busy with meetings and some responsibilities to my little recreational groups which now include: Team Lake Effect, BAFF MultiSport Team, Cleveland Triathlon Club, Southeast Running Club and Cleveland Touring Club.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mad Monday update 1/26

A day early!

So after the 50 Sunday...

M 1/19-10 mile easy spin followed by nice hot salt bath
T 1/20-off
W 1/21-1900 meter swim
R 1/22- 8 mile hilly run (7:48 pace) Good to be back running!
F 1/23- same 8 mile hilly run (7:50 pace - Just running what felt good in some mild conditions
S 1/24 - 2 hr Excel Cycling (31 miles)
S 1/25- 11.5 miles with SERC, showed up late and ran 7:55 first 6 and backed it off through the hills to average 8:13 pace
-2000 meter swim with BH and AH

Road Bike -41 Miles
Swam-3900 Meters

Feeling pretty well recovered and ready to start training plan for Pittsburgh mary this week with 3 key runs per week. Plan is to start focusing more on the bike.

Since a few asked, the Dirty Dog run is out in Cortland Ohio on Saturday Feb 7 I highly recommend it!!! It is gorgeous out by Mosquito Lake with a mix of terrain. Don't come out thinking you are going to set any 10K PRs as the course is not fast. As a sidenote, I have never done this race on anything but a bitterly cold morning and still there is always a ton of wonderful volunteers, support and enthusiastic racers. It is a great way to open the season. And lastly for anyone interested as we have done in years past, whoever wants to can join me in Parkman or Middlefield for breakfast afterwards is welcome!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So I was pretty beat up after the 50K. My legs were very tired. My blood blisters on my caluses were aggitating me. I just felt LAZY! I probably did not do anything helpful after the race by resorting to junk food and beer, but I was inclined to let things slide that day!

Fortunately I was off for MLK day and so I slept in and was pretty lazy most the day. I popped my stupid blood blisters to relieve some of the pressure on my feet which was an improvement for sure (Yeah probably TMI but it had to be done!). Finally I forced my weary self onto my bicycle which was set into the trainer in my workout room. It was time for an easy spin to try to clear away the lactic acid and the soreness. With very low resistance I spinned away at around 90 rpm with a few easy buils to 110. My speed was low but I was not concerned. I was just watching NCIS, which for some reason has become one of the shows I find myself really enjoying these days. 10 miles later I hopped off, feeling better already. Then downstairs to a nice hot epsom salt bath where I massaged my leg muscles and stretched out while I sat in the tub. As hard as it was to make myself do the spin and the soak, it was all worth it.

Monday night for some reason I had trouble sleeping so I skipped the Tuesday morning workout in favor of some extra Zzzz's and spent the day in a desk chair without a break for a workout. Oh well, so much for my nice easy run that I had planned. I always give myself a little leeway after big events which I think keeps me healthy.

Wednesday, I got in a nice long swim. The first couple hundred meters, I was not feeling 100% but I kept on swimming. By the time I finished the 1900 meter workout I was a bit tired but the muscles were feeling terrific. For years I have HATED the swimming part. This winter I had decided for once and for all I was going to commit to working on this whole swimming thing. Between RR swim clinics, swimming actual workouts and swimming with some good friends (BH, EH, TR) on a regular basis, I am actually beginning to really enjoy this whole swimming thing. Weird...there may be hope yet!

Next up, Dirty Dog 10K on 2/7. Less than 15 weeks to Pittsburgh Mary!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Buckeye Trail 50K Report

So starting from the beginning, I felt like I had prepared pretty well for the race and have been feeling better running than I had in a long time. Then mother nature dumped a ton of snow on northeast Ohio so I was not sure what to expect as far as trail conditions.

I had a decent taper and took it pretty easy over the last several days and pasta preloaded both Friday and Saturday night!

Sunday I woke up ready to go after a decent nights sleep and got into my car early. The roads were awful. They must have had 3 inches of snow on them for the first 17 miles or so and it was one of those days where I knew driving in these conditions was a little stupid. But darn it, I had places to be! Fortunately when I got onto the turnpike, all was good and the roads were in much better shape!

I arrived early and got my stuff ready. It was a balmy 26 degrees so I opted to remove a layer up top and go with just my under armor shirt and then my asics coat with pockets and only 1 pair of tights. I had two pairs of socks, one being the my wicking running socks and the other being my sweet new smart wool socks. (My feet were my only problem area feeling cold and numb for much of the run.)

After hanging out for awhile in the garage and catching up with friends, it was time for the fun to begin.

Me, TriSara, and TriEric

I headed out behind a group of guys trying who were blazing a path through the snow. Single file was pretty much the rule of the day. The packs started to quickly separate and while I ran up the majority of the hills, I know I walked some of steps at the top which were pretty vertical. Perhaps one of the hardest parts of the day was when other runners were coming in the opposite direction and you had to move out of the way into the really deep snow. It often totally messed up your momentum and often resulted in almost going down.

I had started running with Todd for awhile on the way back to Boston store (where I had some water) and he followed me out to Pine Lane. I fell down somehow on this section but thankfully it doesn't hurt in the snow! Not even 6 miles into the race and I had already started complaining to him that the caluses on the inside balls of my feet were killing me on account of everytime I set them down, they would slide out to the sides. It was pretty evident very early on that this event was really going to be tough on the body in these conditions as my muscles and feet were already getting worked over.

Poor Feet

By the time I hit the Pine Lane station I was ready for my first gel and some water. Oh and to back up I had a coffee, some water and a banana pre-race. We had a little group which had gotten together, so it was nice to hear the boys talking about some 7.5 mile Potomac River swim (WOW!) coming up and some other events. R, a local 14 yr old studdette, who I had seen running trails a few times was now with us and she was looking strong. The snow continued to fall and sometimes the wind picked up which was not making things any more comfortable.

Miles clicked off and back to Boston store where I had some more water and back out to Brandywine. R and I stuck together make some talk and it was a good laugh when the passing guys would say nice job girls which would result in the guy behind us repeating over and over that he was not a girl. It is really the little things sometimes on the trail that make you smile! Had a gel out at Brandwine and my muscle soreness from the trails was really setting in. The only thing that made me feel better was it seemed that everyone around me also felt the same way.

At Boston store (18 miles in), KM helped me out getting me some pain reliever which helped some. TG!! I think that was one of the low points knowing I still had another 13 and was sooo sore. We made the slow journey up the first two long climbs and started counting down the miles looking forward to each aide station. The big hill down after about 3 miles was so sketchy, it really felt like you were just skiing down it. Then it was a game to keep my feet dry at the water crossing (even though I am certain they had been soaking wet for many miles). It was impossible to get decent footing and even the small stretch of towpath seemed like some of the worst footing. However we kept plugging along very steadily, sometimes Rachel leading, sometimes me. I was relieved to hit Pine Lane and start heading back after a yummy Tropical Blast Hammer gel, some water and some coke! I did hit my inhaler a few times out there thoughout the course during some of the big climbs and I am not sure if it was more mental or more that I actually needed it, but it seemed to help!

Back at Boston store I took a quick swig of my Fruit Punch Rockstar which tasted divine and I was off. I was hoping to pick it up the last loop and get the win. The way back out to Brandwine was painful up the hills but I pushed along, relieved to be on the final loop. I thought about not stopping at the aide station but I was tired and thought another gel and some coke may be worth the extra time. R was hot on my heels. On the return trip I flew down the first big down hill and walked the steps of the final climb while running the last half of the hill to the top. I was trying to drop the pace but R was sticking tight and it was obvious she wanted 1st as badly as I did. My calfs were screaming as I pushed on, afraid they may just fully seize at any minute as it felt like my legs were just cramping. We made the turn onto the towpath and I was hurting and pushing it in as best I could. With about 1/3 mile to go, R surged and passed. I had nothing left to answer back and trotted in for the 2nd place finish with a time of 6:09 behind her.

It is all good though. She really pushed me to work hard out there on the course and just finishing that race in those conditions! My body was pretty fatigued after the race and I am sure I was pretty dehydrated as I did not go to the bathroom the whole time (even though I thought I had to right at the start!).

The times on a whole were so much slower this year. Last yr, DP who placed 3rd ran a 4:47. This year he won it with a time of 5:35 (I think). Last year I ran a 5:37 compared to my 6:09 this year which felt like so much more work! From what I heard (which I could be wrong as I am not sure) only 55 people finished of the 100+ that had signed up for the 50K. It was one tough day out there for all!

Here are the garmin stats-
29.79 total miles-6:01.08 total time, 12.07 avg pace,6707 ft climb, mile paces-
1 9.38
2 13.10
3 11.51
4 9.35
5 11.53
6 11.40
7 11.12
8 11.48
9 11.55
10 13.39
11 11.08
12 11.48
13 10.40
14 12.50
15 12.44
16 13.04
17 11.19
18 14.08
19 12.50
20 11.31
21 14.33
22 13.00
23 14.10
24 12.24
25 13.30
26 10.49
27 13.07
28 12.30
29 10.43
30 9.54

Afterwards, I hit Winking Lizard with a bunch of other hard core runners and I ate and drank whatever I wanted to the rest of the day!

Nice job to all the other racers out there who braved those conditions! Even those who may not have attained their goal, all worked hard out there. Thanks to the awesome volunteers for helping us out in the cold weather. I really appreciated everything they all did whether it was getting me some coke or opening a gel that I just could not seem to handle doing on my own as the day wore on! Oh and thanks to VR and TC for a great race and the awesome jacket!!!

Now it is time to recover well!!!

Mad Monday 1/19

Mon 1/12- 6 miles ran, 48:03
Tues 1/13- 4 miles ran on treadmill easy, 60 minute indoor spin (mtn bike wrkt dvd)
Wed 1/14 -3 miles ran on treadmill, lots of full body exercises (60 pullups with assist, dips, pushups, pike-ups, lifted upperbody, swam 2050 meters with BH and MT
Thurs 1/15 - Swam 1950 meters with BH and TR
Friday 1/16 -rest
Sat 1/17 - ran 2 miles easy with some 25 second strides
Sun 1/18 -BT 50 K Race

Biked - 15 miles
Ran - 46 miles
Swam-4000 meters
Lifted -1 session

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tips & Thoughts on the Winter Buckeye 50K

This post is dedicated to triguyjt as he will be making his debut 50K performance at this weekend's Winter Buckeye 50K.

Now first off, I am hardly an expert. I have only ran two 50K's, the winter and summer buckeye 50Ks. I am just going to post my thoughts and what I was planning to do thinking maybe it will help someone else AND more importantly if anyone else has other advice or thinks I should rethink something, I would love the feedback.

So, going back to last year's Winter 50K, I was doing it just to finish and had not put any pressure on myself as to my time or place. That was a really nice way to approach the race mentally. This year, I feel like I have put more time in on the trails, feel more comfortable with the distance and should do better....EXCEPT, for the fact that there is now a ton of snow on the ground, more that is still coming and there is no likelihood of any of it going away anytime soon. So I am not sure time-wise how this snow will all figure in, other than to mentally prepare for the fact that I am going to have to work a lot harder this year. It will be interesting to see how much the trails get packed down over the course of the day with all of the runners out there.

My first piece of advice (which I hope everyone does not read) is to get there early as close parking is going to be very limited. Race starts at 7:15 and I would like to be there by 6:15. Last year, I spent a bunch of time debating last minute stuff and I like having the extra time, PLUS this affords me extra social time!

My second piece of advice is to race how you train, but be prepared for things not to work out. Last year, I always ran with a waist camelback. I loved it. The morning of the race, I filled it with water in the garage. The next thing I know, water is everywhere and it was soaking wet as I had not put the lid on right. Thank goodness I had a spare waste water bottle holder for back-up that was not soaking wet or I would have been cold and wet right from the start and it was cold last year too!

With regard to the camelback, handheld, fuel belt debate, again I would go with how you train. (My guess though is that many fuel belt wearers may have issues with the little bottles freezing in the cold temps.) This season, I usually planted water and just drank at the stops, which is the route I plan to take Sunday (not carrying and drinking plenty at the aide stations). CLEARLY THIS WOULD NOT WORK FOR MOST, but I feel comfortable with this since it is how I trained. I do plan to put both my handheld and my waist water bottle in my special needs bag, in case I change my mind. I do plan to carry my inhaler, pain reliever, gels, and anything else that I may think of in my coat.

While we are talking about special needs, last year I dropped stuff I might want on the Boston store porch and I would assume that it will not be a problem to do that again this year. Things I will put there include-extra pair of shoes, socks-2, extra clothes, gloves, hat, pain reliever, hand & toe warmers, band-aids, pepto pills, salt pills, an energy drink (FRUIT PUNCH ROCKSTAR, DUH!) and whatever else I dream up between now and then. What am I missing???

I have never worn yaktrax or anything else in the snow besides my trail shoes. While I wish I would have tried some different things out, I am hesitant to do anything different now. So I will probably just go with the regular trail shoes. I may see about putting screws in my back up pair but I am not sure how much they will help.

I will wear my normal running socks with a pair of smart wool socks and a heavy pair of mittens. My hands and feet are always problem areas for me. I will have hand and toe warmers on hand for sure because ya never know, but in my warm socks and mittens I have never needed them yet. I am leaning towards a hat to keep the heat in, but generally I like the headbands as they tend to cover my ears better, so I still need to decide that one!

I am thinking two pairs of running tights, long sleeve wicking layer, light wicking jacket and Asics lined windbreaker (which was the top half of an awesome, light-weight, very warm, two piece suit that I picked up last year to run in for when temps got crazy cold).

My plan for the 50K is to run the first half easy to conserve energy for the long day. I think it should feel like I am border-line almost going too slow. However, if it is anything like last year, I know that it will pay off in the end and I should have ample energy to go the distance and perhaps even pick up the pace. My plan is also to enjoy the race, my company out there and the volunteers. That said, I would not be totally honest if I did not admit that I am planning to work hard and hopefully put in a solid effort and performance.

Also along those lines, thank you volunteers in advance for coming out in this bitter cold to make this all possible.

After running the 31 miles, I plan to have some chili and then go to Winking Lizard for a well-deserved beer, or two!!! Oh yeah, and I definitely plan to take a bunch of pics after the race of all of us who rocked the course! Best of luck to all my peeps that will out there running with me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mad Monday Update 1/12

Week one of taper and I slacked a bit!

1/5- off
1/6- 10 miles ran through hilly chagrin with TR, 1600 meters swam
1/7- 35 min (11 miles) spinerval DVD on trainer, upper body workout
1/8- 2 hour indoor cycling class (31 Miles)
1/9- off
1/10 - 7 miles treadmill with 40 second strides
1/11- 12 miles with SERC, 1750 meters swam

Ran- 29 Miles
Biked-42 Miles
Swam- 3350 Meters
Strength-1 UBWO

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mad Monday Update 1/5

12/29 - 6.2 Miles with E at Lunch
12/30 - AM - 7 Miles with BM, E, & CV
- 1600 yards swam
12/31 - 13.25 snowy miles with SERC in Bedford
1/1 - off (watched polar bear swim and hit a couple parties)
1/2 - 5 miles ran with AS & MT, 1 hour spin class
- 10.5 miles mtn biked at Rays
1/3 -24.25 miles ran on Buckeye Trail
1/4 -8 miles ran with SERC
- 2000 yard swam with E

Weekly Totals

Ran - 63.7 Miles
Biked-30 (19.5 spin / 10.5 mtn)
Swam - 3600 yards

Taper time until 50 K in less than 2 weeks.

So one resolution for the new year is to start inputting all my mileage into a log that tracks my mileage for me. My question to everyone out there is the following. What do you use and what do you like? I want to start this right away. It needs to be one I can use for multisport and FREE.