Yikes! Where has the summer gone? For those religiously following this blog (ha, yeah right), it probably appears that I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth since Badwater. Quite the contrary, I’ve been pretty busy and once again have been slacking on the blogging. To catch up, here’s a quick summary of four recent events: Catherine’s FatAss 50k, Riley’s Rumble Half-Marathon pictures, Coach Mike’s Impromptu 50k, and Grindstone Training Runs Weekend.
Catherine’s FatAss 50k
July 18, 2009
Having been back from Badwater for only a day, I made my way out to the usual spot (Massanutten Trails) with the usual suspects (VHTRC crew) for some more pounding on the legs. What better way to kick off my 100 miler training than 30ish miles pacing at Badwater, 22 miles on Mt Whitney and a 50k, all in one week?
The weather was beautiful, although a tad too humid for my liking having just been in Death Valley. I ran with Sophie for most of the day and we chit-chatted about training, Badwater, and people who need people. At one aide station we came across a strange looking creature that I’ve never seen in the woods. It moved slowly, had an odd looking white head, and seemed keen to eat whatever was in sight. Oh wait, nevermind that was just Alisa Springman wearing her Badwater sun hood while she worked the aid station!
All in all, it was a sweaty good day of running (no joke, probably the most I’ve ever sweated in my life… thanks heat acclimation training!) that ended with a phenomenal BBQ and party at the finish line. Thanks to Tommy and Kirstin for manning the grill, and Jeff for organizing the whole event and providing the grub and tasty adult beverages. This is really what summer is all about!
See the rest of my CFA pics HERE.
Riley’s Rumble Half-Marathon pictures
July 26, 2009
I once-again pretended to be a photographer while spectating at the Riley’s Rumble Half-Marathon in Gaithersburg, MD. It started pouring right after the start, but luckily the camera survived and I was able to get some cool shots once the skies opened back up. Check out all the pictures HERE.
July 27, 2009
My coach, Mike Broderick, has been slowly but surely planting the ultra seed into a few road runners that he coaches. Most gullible… errr… willing to partake our wonderful sport were Renee Bates and Eve Mills. Mike asked if I wanted to partake in the fun, and not having any pressing deadlines at work, I took the day off and went for a nice 31 mile jaunt on the Seneca Greenway trails. We started at the crack of dawn from Mike’s driveway, headed a block to the trailhead, and off we went, passing various aid drops that Mike had made the night before.
Renee and Eve seemed to enjoy themselves on the trails. As road runners, I think it was the walking breaks that they seemed to enjoy the most! Ahh the joys of ultrarunning.
Back-to-Back Grindstone Training Weekend
August 8-9, 2009
Clark Zealand, RD for the Grindstone 100, put together a nice little training weekend for those of us who needed to familiarize themselves with the race course. With the race being 50 miles out and 50 miles back, we were able to see every step of the race course while only running half the course.
We camped at the Shenandoah Boy Scout Camp, the race’s start/finish, and carpooled to our starting location each morning. Saturday morning we started at the race’s turnaround, which has been extended a tad from last year’s course after recalculating distances. Day 1 consisted of 30 miles, ending at Dowell’s Draft and taking us through miles 50-80 of the course.
Jeremy Ramsey, Jared Hesse, Clark Zealand and myself held down the front of the pack all of Saturday, marking the course as we went. David Horton was with us for the first mile or so, but he was still recovering from his Colorado Trail Speed Attempt so he made the smart move and dropped off. Running with these guys was tough at times, but being able to keep up all day was a huge boost of confidence, showing how much endurance/speed I gained back after all my time off from the ITB injury.
Day 2 started where we finished the day before, Dowell’s Draft, and took us all the way to the finish at Camp Shenandoah. Instead of hammering it out with the Lynchburg boys again, I took the conservative route and as per usual found myself running with Sophie (she’s good entertainment and we have the same comfortable pace… a win-win situation). And no, the matching VHTRC gear was not intentional, we just have club pride!
The combined 50+ miles for the weekend left my quads thoroughly trashed, the perfect training for me since the flat stuff I run on around home doesn’t cut it in terms of any mountable elevation gain. Seeing the course (and getting the GPS readings) was a huge confidence boost as well, so come race day I should at least have some familiarity with where I am and what is to come. Let the logistics planning begin!
About midway through Saturday, my left calf/soleus started to feel tight. The tightness continued all day so I stretched and massaged the crap out of it post-run. Sunday started out fine, but for a few miles mid-way through the day the soleus tightness came back. What was up? Apparently my 3 mile barefoot run on the Thursday prior, combined with a 50 mile weekend, was too much stress on the soleus too soon. Lesson learned, ease slower into the barefoot running! No worries though, the tightness went away after a recovery week with low mileage.
See the rest of my Gstone Training Weekend pics HERE.