Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Umstead madness

All of my friends who are running the Umstead 100 seem to be better prepared than I'm. Amy is completely packed and out of things to do. So is Frank. Valerie has her race plan for the crew and pacers all written out and ready to go. Lauren is taking this whole week off to prepare, and all next week off to recover. Stephanie and Jeff are all ready as well. Charles, he's been ready since last year. Judy is coming off a full Ironman, this will be a piece of cake for her.

Me, I'm here studying Complementary and Alternative Medicine and looking at picture of Yoda and figuring out how the Force is affect antiretroviral drugs. Packing? Are you kidding me? That may have to wait til Friday after the race briefing, since the exam on this stuff is Friday afternoon.

About the only person I know who maybe in worse shape than I'm is Erika. She just came back from a hiking vacation in Peru last week, and brought back Campylobacter, pink eye, and arthritis in the back. But she's probably also all packed at this point as well.

At least I get to relax after Umstead 100 on Sunday, by studying topical, transdermal, buccal, sub-lingual, vaginal, and rectal drug delivery methods for the exam on Monday morning. I really ought put myself in the ER by Sunday morning to avoid that stupid exam.

But I do feel the Force is strong in me! I may not have anything else going on for me but this one is gonna carry me across the finish!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's the damn dog!!!

For the past month of so I have had all sort of little aches and pains in my legs and feet. They seem to migrate from the knees to hamstrings to feet to calves. At one point I was so concerned about this, I went out and bought two pairs of shoes in a span of ten days, thinking throwing money at the problem will solve it.

This morning I was running a final lap of rehearsal at Umstead. I had Canyon with me. He's been restless at home since I had such a horrible week at school and ignored him the whole time. So about a mile into the run, I started thinking about what's causing all these issues all the sudden. Out of curiosity, I started counting my cadence, and to my surprise, it was around 42 or so. That's 168 for the minute. No f--king way!

So then it became crystal clear. I have been taken Canyon running on trails during the winter, mostly short and mostly on single tracks so he gets to run free of the leash. Recently I started running him on bridle trails so he has to stay on the leash. Of course he pulls left and right going after squirrels, bikers, runners, deers, rabbits, turkey vultures (yes there was one two weeks ago). And as a result I was yanking on the leash a lot trying to control him and slowing down the cadence.

So immediately I started focusing on cadence and pick it up to 180 or a bit higher again. At end of the run, it was the most pain free 10 miler I had in over a month. Duh!

Damn dog.

At least he does lots biological functions at Umstead, which means less crunchies for him to eat in the backyard. Sometimes I wonder if I should enroll in canine dental hygienist school instead. I'm getting quite good at scraping his teeth clean of stinky sticky brown residues.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pacing TRM 1/2

About a week or two before TRM, Charles mentioned he needs more alternate pacer for the 2:20 and 2:30 groups. It doesn't hurt to help a friend by tossing my name in the hat, I figure the probability of needing to do anything more than than is minimal.

A few days before the race I get an email about logistics and what time I need to be at the race morning. Ok, so I was a bit off on this, didn't realize alternates actually have to be at the race and waiting to see if needed. Oh well. Time to set the alarm to 4:15am. I print out the mile splits for both 2:20 and 2:30 finish on an index card and ready to go.

Sunday morning at the NCRC pacing tent. Other pacers are there mingling and I said hi to several people I already knew including Ken, Gary, Daniel, and Charles. Also met Mike finally after been friends on facebook with him. Charles told me if I'm not needed then I can do whatever I want, including running the race or running with a pace group. After a few minutes I see both the 2:20 and 2:30 pacers there with their signs and ballons ready to go. I breath a sign of relieve. I figured it wasn't gonna be easy to held a very consistent pace that I have seen pace groups do over 13 miles. I did read Jonathan's article on marathon pacing and how he mentioned it would be a terrible service to run the paces all over the place and screw the people trying to follow you while running at their very limits.

About 30 minutes before the race, someone jams the 2:10 sign and balloons into my hands. I figured he must need to use the porta potti or something, but instead he said "you have the 2:10". What???

Betsy, the pacer for 2:10 is a no show. I wasn't ready for 2:10. I don't even know what pace that is. Quickly I solicit other pacers on what the mile splits are. Next thing I know, runners start gathering around me and asking me for my pacing strategy for the group, what to do at aid stations, etc. I really haven't thought this through. Crap. I went from speechless to mumbling incomprehensible stuff. Finally someone with a pacer shirt showed up. It's Betsy, the pacer for this group! Hallelujah! She quickly takes over from me and I can see a wave of calmness settles over the runners joining the group.

I went around the pacer tent to figure out what I want to do now that I'm free. My friend Gary is the pacer for the 2:00 group and said I should join him and Amy for that group as the third pacer. Well, technically I have not ever broken 2:00 in a 1/2 marathon. Should that disqualify me from pacing the group? Not a big deal, the only way I have to truly be responsible for the pacing group is if both Gary and Amy drop dead. Not happening.

So in the end I joined them, and had a great time. We consulted three Garmin's and two watches and managed to never be more than 10 seconds off any of the mile splits, and crossed the finish line in 1:59:55. It was fun watching Gary doing such a superb job managing the pace group.

Now time to go back to obsessing about Umstead 100.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Two more weeks to Umstead 100

Have been a total slacker about updating. Mainly due to school but that's more of an excuse.

Two weeks and 9 hours from now, I'll be at the starting line of Umstead 100. My first 100 mile race. It was probably a mistake to sign up for this race in the middle of Pharmacy School, but I did it and I'm stuck to training and getting ready for it. It was an interesting training plan. Actually there was no training plan. I ran only 50 miles in November of last year, and panicked, attempted a 50 mile night run that ended at 25. Two weeks later, middle of December, I did 27. Then went to visit inlaws in Florida over the holidays, then my parents came to visit. The day my parents left, I ran 40 in Umstead and couldn't walk that evening. Ten days later, I ran Weymouth Woods 100k on January 15th and amazingly finished without completely falling apart. So that gave me some confidence and that maybe my inconsistent and low mileage training is working. A week later after a 10 miler, my right metatarsal hurt. Oh crap. Rested for two weeks, started running short and slow, then on February 19th I ran Pilot Mountain Payback Marathon, and did a great job of running slow and not hurt myself further. Two more weeks of low mileage running and resting and lots studying, I ran Umstead Marathon on March 5th and added 6 miles before by running to the start. It got hot that day and was more effort than I had hoped.

So that was my total training for the race. I'm probably at 2 percentile mileage wise for training for a 100 mile race. Will this low mileage inconsistent training for? Find out in two weeks.

Oh, did I mention I hope to finish in 24 hours? Yeah, pipe dream LOL.

Did I also mention that I have an exam on Friday afternoon the day before the race, and another exam on Monday morning right after the race? Yeah, assuming I finish the race, after running for a hundred miles, I'll be studying the rest of the day. I found out at least one another first time 100 miler is taking the entire week off before the race, AND after the race.

Life pretty much stinks at the moment.