Archive for October 2015

Didn’t go fast or do too many miles tonight – evaluating where my ankle is at…

If you have been reading the blog lately, you know that I have been having issues with my left ankle. Not during runs, it never bothers me during runs, but after the run and the next day it can be very sore and almost lock up. It also can make a very lovely clicking sound.

With that in mind I took a few days off after the WFPS Half Marahon on Sunday to rest it and now the plan is to try to figure out what exactly I am doing to aggravate it. Treadmill and outdoor runs both can cause the problem and I use different shoes inside versus outside as well. So it doesn’t appear to be gear.

My current guess is form and probably some of the extra weight I am carrying (which will impact my form as well).

I also probably need to spend some dedicated time strengthening the ankle. I did a bunch of stairs yesterday to do start work on that. I could definitely feel the pressure on the ankle as I did that but didn’t really have any issues afterward.

Tonight I figured I would ease my way into running on it and pay extra attention to my form as I did so to see if I could see any issues.

I started with a 5 minute walk at 4 mph, the first 2.5 minutes at 5% incline and the next 2.5 minutes at 10% incline. There were no real issues with my ankle doing that so I felt confident trying a run. (I am thinking that I might do this as a warm up for all my treadmill runs for a while – it warms up the legs and gets the blood flowing but also stretches out the ankle and should help strengthen it too.)

I did find that at a 10% incline I would hit my head on the drop ceiling in the basement.

My plan for the run was to do 5 min run / 1 min walk cycles and evaluate my ankle after each repeat. I started with 6 mph and that cycle went well so I did the next one at 6.5. That went well too so I switched to 7 mph for the next. I still felt strong after that one but did notice that I kept being tempted to hang onto the treadmill – I didn’t but the temptation kept coming up. That is something I am going to have to watch for as it could wreck my form (but I don’t have the option to hang on with the outdoor runs so it probably isn’t the root cause of my issue but I will still need to watch for it).

The next 5 minute cycle I went back down to 6 mph and after the 1 minute walk break I was at 24 minutes and I decided to push to the 30 minute mark and not walk at the 29 minute mark. I set this last 6 minutes at 7 mph and watched myself closely – no holding on!

So in the end the walk was about 0.35 miles and the 30 minute run was 3.1 miles. Not fast and not long but so far my ankle feels fine. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow but I should be able to slowly ramp up what I did tonight and rebuild without risking injury too much. I will try that for a week or 2 and re-evaluate and then if all goes well I will start to push back to where I want to be and grab some redemption next spring!

1:57:58.220 Official for WFPS Half Marathon – race report for my 18th half marathon.

As always – a big thank you to all the volunteers who were out in the cold today! Awesome work folks! Us dumb ass runners couldn’t do what we do without your help!….I guess that makes you enablers…

Ok – to set the stage…We drop the kids to stay at Heather’s Mom’s place the night before the run…I half jokingly suggest blowing off the run in the morning and just going to a lounge for the evening…definitely not in the right mindset.

But we were good and went home and went to bed at a decent time. Alarm and backup alarm set!

We were both running and planning to go at our own paces so I brought a drop bag with a sweater and dry gloves figuring I would need them after the run while I waited for Heather to finish. The weather was cool with a fairly strong wind so standing outside waiting was most likely to be a chilly affair. And Heather really wasn’t sure where she would end up so I couldn’t just wait inside in the warmth as I might miss her finishing.

Bag drop off was very easy – well marked areas to drop your bag based on your bib number. The volunteers were very efficient and taking the bags and putting where they needed to be. It looked like they had a pretty solid system going.

At this point we still had 45 minutes until the scheduled start so we stayed in the nice warm areas for quite a while and then finally headed out to the start line. As we wandered around I saw someone I know who had done the Dopey Challenge back in January and saw another woman who had on the 2015 WDW Marathon shirt. I had on my 2015 Dopey Challenge shirt and I knew there was at least one other Dopey / Goofy Challenge racer that was going to be there as well. So the runDisney community was well represented!

Heather lined up in the sub 3hr area and I went and got in the sub 2hr area. I lined up ahead of the 1:55 pace bunny – I didn’t know what I would be able to pull off but based on some of the more recent training runs, sub 1:55 seemed possible.

I didn’t really know where I would end up – I knew I was probably not fully recovered from the 12 hour Lemming Loop and I have been having issues with my left ankle off and on since before that race (but it has gotten worse since). The ankle hasn’t been an issue on any training runs but it has not been happy after the runs and I have taken more rest days than I would like trying to get that sorted out. Beyond that I had spent a total of about 5 hours driving the day before so I was pretty stiff. Really all things I have dealt with and pushed through before but you just never know on race day.

OK – now we are off. At little slow at first as we get through the first corner and people start to spread out. Luckily my ankle doesn’t seem to be a factor but my legs (thighs specifically) are already feeling fatigued. Not even an mile in and I am already feeling it? Crud.

First mile ends up being at about a 6.8 mph average speed. Sub 2 hours which is the only real goal but I wasn’t sure what that would look like later in the race if I started to feel even more fatigued.

So I make a quick decision – I will push hard and try to get above 7 miles in the first hour and then see how it goes. Not normally a good race tactic but I knew from that first mile I was most likely going to have issues by the end of the race and I hoped I could get far enough in that even when things went south I could still get the sub 2 hour mark.

I figured a few things could happen – it could energize me and I could end up with a great time, I could fully tank and Heather would catch up with me as I stumbled it out or I would build myself a bit of a time buffer so that I could deal with issues in the second hour of the race and still hit the goal.

Mile 2,3,4,5 – 7.1 mph, 7.2 mph, 7.1 mph and 7.2 mph average speeds – decently steady with a strong push – still feeling pretty good.

Mile 6 – 6.7 mph – first walk break for solid fuel – still decent speed considering there was some walking there.

Mile 7 – 7.1 mph – back up to speed and made the 7 miles + goal in the first hour. Excellent. But I was starting to feel it now and I took a very short walk break at this point to switch out my electrolyte drink in my hand with my flat Coke from my belt holster. If you read my Lemming Loop post, you know that the electrolyte drink I have been testing out has no calories and at this point I figured I need more fuel in the system.

Mile 8 – with that walk break mentioned above this ended up a 6.6 mph average speed mile. Not too bad.

Mile 9 and 10 were both 6.6 mph average speed miles as well with very minor walking.

Mile 11 – 6.2 mph average speed – I walked after the mile 10 marker as I consumed some more solid fuel. Around now was when the 1:55 pace bunny passed me and I was starting to lose sight of the various runners I had been keeping pace with for most of the race. Starting to slow down but not desperate yet.

Mile 12 – 6.3 mph average speed – about half way into this mile my stomach tied up in a ball and I almost had to bend over to relieve the pressure. I had a bit of liquid and felt better and was able to start running again. That whole incident was maybe 20 seconds – no idea what it was though and I have never had it happen before – very strange. At this point I am pretty sure I still have sub 2 but my legs are trying to die at this point and if I give in to what they want I will lose the goal.

Mile 13 – 6.2 mph average speed – feeling a bit rough here but know that I am hitting sub 2 hours so am able to keep pushing but have no energy for a sprint finish.

And I finish out the last 0.1 miles with and average speed of 6.1 mph.

Grab my medal and head to the milk truck and grab a chocolate milk to slam. That felt pretty good going down. After hot races the chocolate milk seems to thick to me but on a cooler day it was great. From there into the refreshment tent…mini cinnamon buns! Whoohoo! And more chocolate milk.

I pass by our daughter’s teacher and say hi and congratulate her on her race and wander in to the bag drop area to get my stuff because the cold is really starting to sink in now.

Again the bag drop volunteers were very efficient – I was handed my bag as I got to the front of the line – I didn’t even have to ask for it, they saw my number and grabbed it as I was coming up. Awesome! (can’t say it enough – great volunteers at the race today)

As I wandered out of the bag area, I heard someone yell “Dopey!” I had forgotten I had on my Dopey Challenge shirt but I snapped my head around and saw a lady who was wearing a 2015 WDW Half marathon shirt. I wandered over and said hey and we chatted a bit – she did Dopey back in January and she had apparently just done the Dumbo Double Dare – awesome! Something I would love to get to someday. She asked about the Paris Disneyland Half Marathon and if I was going – I said I had to lay off the Disney races until the Canadian dollar improves but she was looking at ways to make it work and I hope she gets to go. Winnipeg is well represented at runDisney races and it would be great if a Winnipeger got to that race as well. Unfortunately I didn’t get her name – so if by some chance she reads this, drop a comment on the blog – it would be interesting to hear about the Paris race if you manage to go.

Anyway – back on topic. I wander over to a clear spot and swap out some of my cold, wet gear and put on dry gloves and my sweater and check the time. It is getting close to the time when Heather could be coming down the last stretch so I wander out to the barricades to watch for her.

Man, I am glad I brought a warm sweater because the wind was really biting at that point.

Before too long, Heather came trucking down the last stretch and I grabbed video of her crossing the line of her 4th half marathon. Maybe not her fastest but she has run into the same issues I have with life interfering with training over the past 6 months. It is still a race she is proud of though because to get the time she did, she had to push the whole time. It could have been easy to not push but she pushed. Awesome! Definitely something to be proud of.

After she got her medal we wandered out to our vehicle and drove home.

Heather was feeling a bit burnt after the run but recovered quickly – though I have to say my legs feel more trashed now than after the 12 hour Lemming Loop 2 weeks ago. Just awful, and my left ankle is pretty unhappy. It makes a nice clicking sound when I walk…yay!

So, how do I feel about the race? I’m not disappointed in the race or my performance as such – but I know I could have done so much better (1:46:00 half marathon PR – I can do better). That being said, I think I did the best I could with the shape I am currently in. I pushed hard and know I didn’t cheat myself on the race…in the months leading up to it, yes, but not during the race itself.

Yeah, I ran 50.33 miles in 12 hours 2 weeks ago. Yeah, my ankle was hurting. Yeah, my legs were stiff. But I have managed to work through those kinds of things before.

For example, I did the 12 hour Lemming Loop last year and got a touch over a mile less in and still did a 1:47:51 at this same race a couple weeks later. I can and have done better on tired legs.

The core issue with all of these issues is that I haven’t been running this year the way I was last year. 1971 miles last year with a few 200 mile months and I am no where near that this year. Those miles last year trained my body and my mind how to run hard when I was tired – I have lost a big portion of that.

But, what do I do about it?

Well, first off I have to get this ankle healthy – so maybe a week off running with only walking to stretch it out. Or maybe just some short runs interspersed in there.

Secondly, once I have the ankle strong again I am going to go back to basics and rebuild from scratch. So 2 weeks after running a 50 miler I figure I need to go back and start all over? Yes.

If you have been reading the blog, it is no secret that my motivation has been in the toilet lately and I need to turn that around. The best way I know how to do that is to go back to square one and start off with shorter runs again. Rebuild my speed on those runs and slowly relearn how to fit the running back into the my life schedule. 5 days a week is easier to take if the runs are a lot shorter…

Thirdly, I need to get my weight back under control – I am still basically fueling to run what I was last year and without putting in the miles the calories have to go somewhere. So diet needs to get repaired.

For the first time in over 3 years I don’t have a next race scheduled. Which means I have the luxury of taking this approach and getting back to where I need to be.

So – new goal – break my 1:46:00 half PR next year sometime (no race specified yet as I need to figure out the ankle first). My last half PR stood for 12 years – I’m not letting that happen again.

5 miles on the treadmill – first run since the Lemming Loop and cold tried to rip my lungs out…

Yeah, so…if you read my Lemming Loop 2015 recap post you know that I had a bit of a head cold the day before and the morning of the race. By the end of the race everything seemed fine though with only a bit of a sniffle left. However late Sunday I was coughing like crazy – the cold moved from my head to my lungs. Yay!

I went to work on Monday but really wasn’t that productive since I couldn’t stop frickin’ coughing. I thought about running but wanted to give my body another rest day after the Lemming Loop and I figured the cough wouldn’t have made it that good a run anyway – so I passed on the run that night. Then I wasn’t able to sleep properly and ended up taking both Tuesday and Wednesday off of work and barely moved my ass off the couch. I had a pretty good death rattle coming out of my lungs there for a while. Again, no running those days.

I made it back to work on Thursday but was pretty exhausted after supper and I ended up falling asleep on the couch instead of running…not a good pattern going here…

Friday night was swimming for the kids and, even though I was feeling quite a bit better, it was just too late to run when we got home. I ended up being tired enough that I was in bed shortly after we got home.

That brings us to today. My wife had some stuff going on most of the day and I didn’t end up getting up early enough to get a run done outside before she had to leave – so I had to postpone the run and finally just got it done on the treadmill.

I decided to take it easy and just do a half hour – I wasn’t sure what my lungs were going to do and I wasn’t sure where my legs were since I hadn’t run since the Lemming Loop.

Overall it ended up going pretty well. My legs felt great – no issues or aches and pains at all. My lungs were ok but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do proper speed work today. In the end I rolled out 5 miles in 44:30 at a 1% incline and I am pretty happy with that.

I will have to try a longer outdoor run tomorrow to see how that goes.

Time for my recap of the 2015 12 hour Lemming Loop…or at least what I can remember of it.

First up – awesomely run race again. Well organized and you can tell it is all about giving the runners the opportunity to do their best. Great management, nice course and fantastic volunteers! Thanks folks!

Now about my run and personal experience…

I was going in fairly undertrained. This time last year I had over 30% more mileage on my legs than I do this year. I had a few 200 mile months last year and this year I have been struggling to get over 100 most months. I did have a few longer runs in recently but, being honest with myself, I wouldn’t say I was actually ready.

Then the day before the race, I got knocked on my ass by a cold – headache, runny nose and wicked sneezing. I ended up taking the afternoon off of work the day before to hit the cold meds and crash on the couch for a while. Amazingly the meds seemed to work…and didn’t make me drowsy…that meant I could run on the meds. Ok…that means I am go for the race.

I finished packing up my stuff after taking the kids to swimming lessons, pre-loaded my vehicle and set out my breakfast and hit the sack by 10pm (after taking another set of cold meds).

Up with the alarm at 4:30 – showered, dressed, took more cold meds and out the door by 5 am without waking the dogs (first win of the day). I ate my breakfast on the drive and wandered up to the staging area as the orientation was occurring – missed it but I had read about the changes to the course on the website and remembered enough of the rules from last year that I felt comfortable anyway.

There was the choice of dropping your gear in the outside tents or inside (where there was limited room) – I saw an open spot near the bathroom and went with that for my gear location. I had brought a few changes of clothes in-case I need to make a gear swap due to weather changes and I figured being close to the bathroom for the changes would be a good thing.

Strangely, I was feeling very confident – I had no real reason to be but I was. Maybe it was the cold meds I took when I got up?

I wandered outside to look at the tally board to see how a friend was doing on the 24 hour run – saw that he was up well over 50 miles (13 hours in for the 24 hour folks at that point) and it looked like he was going strong for the 100 he was shooting for. Cool.

I got in with the small pack getting ready to get started and lined myself up somewhere in the middle – I wasn’t going to make the mistake I made last year where I went out too fast.

I fired up my gps tracking app on my phone as well as a run/walk timer app. I knew I was going to probably ignore the interval app for the first while but I wanted it running so that when I got to the point that I wanted to use it, it would already be going. Plus it speaks off the number of intervals completed giving me an idea of how much time had passed without necessarily having to look at my Garmin watch.

Speaking of my Garmin watch – it died on me at about 10 hours in last year and I wanted to make it last as long as possible for this run so I didn’t turn it on until right before the race started – every minute I could make it last would be needed. It was extra important as when I got to the race I found that the backup watch I had brought had stopped keeping time. I would still have my phone but I didn’t want to have to keep popping it out of the holster to check the time.

Ok – then we are off – headlamp is on and off we go – I held back and didn’t push. I just wanted to get comfortable with the course changes and watch for areas where roots and rocks were going to be a problem – the worst areas I logged in my brain so that I would know when to snap back into focus and pay attention to what my feet were doing.

About 3 laps in I had to take a bio break. At this point I had noticed my headlamp was starting to dim but luckily it was starting to get bright enough I didn’t really need it anymore.  I did my restroom stop and grabbed a bottle of electrolyte drink from my gear and dropped off my headlamp. The drink I was using comes in tablet form that you drop in a bottle of water – it is made by Gu and is 0 calorie, so flavored salt, but tasty. I was quite impressed at how well it worked for me (besides a side issue with it that I talk about below)

The electrolyte drink is a new thing for me – I can’t handle Gatorade (I get major swamp gut after a couple hours on a race if I drink it). So I usually drink flat Coke on long runs and it works very well for me – however on the 12 hour race last year I tanked about half way through and I realized it was because I was low on electrolytes (I could walk but running gave me headaches). My goal for this race was to do a bottle of electrolyte drink followed by a bottle of coke and keep alternating. I would also take in a gulp of water every lap as well as some chips that they had out at the great snack table. Through the day I also had some cookies, some chocolate bars and some grapes. Extremely good selection of things to try – I even saw chocolate covered bacon but didn’t want to risk potential impacts to my system.

I noticed at this point that my friend’s (who was doing the 24 hour) lap counter didn’t seem to be moving up. Oh oh.

I continued on and about half way through the next lap I ended up with some deep dark stomach gurgles and cold sweats. Not good. Surprisingly the feeling past and I was good for hours after that. Not sure what that was but it could have been baaaaad.

Not much drama after that for a while – I just kept fairly steady pace and would do a bit of walking as I finished every lap but I wasn’t doing the true run / walk cycles yet.

On the 8th or 9th lap (about 17 miles in – I had ditched my toque and jacket by this point) I was walking and finishing off a grilled cheese sandwich when a runner trotted past and I heard “that looked like a Ted…was that a Ted?” I replied “it is a Ted, is that a Pete?” Indeed. It was my friend doing the 24 hour – I trotted after him and we chatted a bit. He had crashed pretty hard through the night apparently and had a lap take him over an hour. He ended up getting some sleep and then woke up and ate a whack of carbs and got some caffeine. And now he was moving again. That is perseverance.

I did a lap with him – the only reason I could keep up was because he was taking it easy (he is quite out of my league – a just over 3 hour marathoner) and it was still my fastest lap of the race.

His strategy was to rest a bit after each lap so when we finished that lap he stopped for a bit and I kept going (he still lapped me several times after that).

After about 5 hours I got into the true run/walk intervals to start resting the legs (5 min run and 1 min walk per cycle).

I hit the marathon distance at about 5:10 or so and was right around 28.5-29 miles at the 6 hour point. Going slow but still feeling pretty good.

At about here my wife and daughter showed up to cheer me on (son came too but he had just gotten sick and stayed in the vehicle – I think the poor bugger was fighting the same cold I was) but didn’t stay long so that they could go get out the boy home and cleaned up. My daughter did help herself to some of the food on the runner table before we could stop her – luckily there was plenty

Was able to stay pretty steady (if a bit slower) for a few more hours and it was looking like I had a shot at 52.4 – double marathon. Everything would have to run absolutely perfect for that to happen from there on out but it is good to dream.

Just before the 10 hour mark I stopped for another bio break and figured the double marathon was probably gone but there shouldn’t be an issue hitting 50 miles if I kept steady. After I got running again I figured I could do 3 x 30 minute laps and then do 1 short lap to hit 50 easily and probably have a 10-15 minute buffer. I was feeling good and was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – time to push.

I got through the first of the 3 laps on time and grabbed another bottle of electrolyte drink and pushed. I got about half way though this lap and crashed hard. I started to feel tingly and a bit light headed. Oh crap…

I couldn’t run and I walked as hard as I could but I was feeling pretty awful. It took everything I had to finish that lap and I was concerned that I might be done and could maybe pass out. What was supposed to be a half hour lap took over 40 minutes. At this point the 24 hour folks had just finished so I kind of quietly went over to where my gear was and grabbed a coke and chugged half a bottle and tried to think.

What I realized was that my blood sugar had tanked. The electrolyte drink I had been drinking was 0 calorie and I wasn’t replacing those calories that my body was expecting from the Coke I usually drank. If I was right, it meant it was something I could fix. I needed fast calories, now! After a minute or 2 I was able to stand up and move – I wandered out and grabbed a handful of cookies and started chowing down and slamming more Coke.

I ran into my friend Pete at this point and he had made his 100 miles – Awesome! (edit – looks like he hit second place! Amazing recovery!) He was excited and wanted to chat – but I had to keep moving though because if I sat down to chat I wasn’t going to get moving again. I congratulated him and slowly continued.

So I started walking again – I didn’t want to risk the long lap – if it took me too long I wouldn’t get credit for a partial one if I ran out of time…plus it was going to be deserted and I wasn’t sure anyone would find me if I took a header.

So I walked a short lap and made sure to let the time keepers know that it was a short one and not long like they had originally marked.

I was starting to feel better at this point and the math was that if I could hammer out 3 more short laps I maybe, just maybe would hit the 50 mile point…

I didn’t know for sure how long the short laps were – I vaguely recalled them being like 0.8 or 0.85 miles from last year but wasn’t sure. I figured 3 more would do it but I couldn’t afford anymore stopping – I had to get those 3 done as fast as I could at this point. (which really wasn’t what you would call fast…)

Pushed through the first – ok. And then the 2nd – still doing ok. Started the 3rd and my Garmin started saying low battery. I had 10 minutes to go and I needed to keep looking at the watch to see where I was and how much time I had left – it kept up the urgency and that was what I needed to try and get the 50 miles.

Finished out the 3rd with 2 minutes to go – and started pushing down the stretch again to hit the 100 meter markers (on your last short lap they have markers every 100 meters and you add the last one you hit to your tally). My friend who did the 24 hour run was still there and when he saw me keep going he yelled “You’re still going?” – he didn’t realize how close I was to 50 miles and I needed every step to just make sure.

So I hit the 100 meter mark and it was going to be tight to the 200 meter point but dug as deep as I could and got to there. At that point the Garmin said I had less than 5 seconds to go so I stopped and the air horn went to say we were done.  Good timing. I hit stop on the Garmin and it shut off. Hope it saved the run…

I walked back to the start line and gave them my 200 meter number and asked the organizers what the distance was for the short loop. 1250 meters. Before doing anything else I sat down with my phone with Google and the calculator app.

1250 meters = approx. 0.77 miles times 4 = 3.08 miles

200 meters = approx. 0.124 miles

23 full laps at 2.05 miles per lap = 47.15

So all totaled to 50.35 miles – I fricking did it.

(Update – official numbers posted and confirmed at 50.33 miles. Yeehaw!)

My phone app said just over 51 but it was reading high most of the day and my Garmin said 49.6 but it had been reading low most of the day as well.

I still have to wait for the official word but right now I would say I made my 50 miles – and did a mile more than I pulled off last year. Add in that I am probably 15 pounds heavier this year over last and that I was fighting a cold this year makes for a really unlikely scenario…but I did it. Wild.

I sat down for a minute and chatted with my friend and he headed home and I went to gather my stuff and grab a slice of pizza. The pizza was great (by Pappa Murphy’s here in Winnipeg) but I only got through about a half slice before my stomach rebelled. Apparently my stomach wasn’t up to solid food at that point – but man it was tasty.

At that point I grabbed my gear and wandered out to my van – fired up the heat and put a blanket around my shoulders and started the drive home.

Amazingly when I got home I was able to get out of the van and walk into the house and up the stairs. Even managed to take the dogs out and feed them.

At this point I was starting to shiver so I managed to climb even more stairs, have a shower and get warm and clean. I then sat my ass on the couch and didn’t move for a while…

In the end, I came through relatively undamaged – my left ankle is tight and doesn’t want to give full range of movement without some pain but I can tell it isn’t permanently damaged, only sore. Other than that some scrapes on the feet where things stuck through the shoes but nothing major – yay Hoka Cliftons – legs feel amazing for what I just did.

So that is the long story of the run or at least what I can remember – hope you enjoyed the story.

Again, thanks to all the volunteers and the organizers – another great race this year!


edit – Oct 5 – I should mention that I did not use music at all during the run – I put one ear bud in my right ear to catch pacing information from the gps running app as well as get alerts from the run/walk app. The other ear bud I tucked into my shirt to keep it out of the way. This worked surprisingly well especially since most runners were passing on the left so I was always able to hear when someone was coming up behind me and calling for a pass. I might have to do more of that on outdoor runs where I am not looking for speed.

Some quick thoughts on the 12 hour Lemming Loop tomorrow…

Well – if nothing else it should be an interesting run…

If you have been following the blog you know my mileage / training has not been where it should be (I maybe have 2/3rds the mileage in this year that I had in last year at the same time).

I am also fighting a cold now that started to hit me yesterday but was going pretty strong today. Strong enough that I took the afternoon off work to medicate and rest for a while. Surprisingly I have found meds that seem to work on my actual symptoms and that don’t knock me unconscious as soon as I take them. This should mean I can medicate the cold and still do the run tomorrow without feeling like garbage.

All in all I am really not ready for the run tomorrow…but I am feeling strangely confident? I’m not thinking I am going to win obviously (that wouldn’t happen even if I was fully healthy and was properly trained…not a real fast guy…) but I feel like I can do well.

I learned a lot from doing the race last year and I think I can translate that into running tomorrow. My biggest issue last year was that after about 6-7 hours I started getting headaches when I ran – I could still walk fine but running was not good. That was a nutrition issue – my fuel was all sugar and protein with no real electrolytes (Gatorade doesn’t work for me and I didn’t substitute anything else to provide the salts that I needed). So I have some thoughts on getting those salts and balancing out the remainder of the nutritional requirements that should work. I will have to see how that goes tomorrow but all signs point to my plan working.

I am not as strong cardio wise or as fast this year as I was last but I think the endurance is still there so I will have to make sure I move to use that instead. That means doing run/walk cycles right from the beginning – and the run portions won’t be fast. Basically I don’t want to be out of breath at all tomorrow and I want to move at a pace that feels like I could do forever (which is what it will feel like by the end of the 12 hours).

My goals? With the lack of training and the cold virus running through my system, the realistic goal is to just keep moving for the 12 hours and if I can do better than 39.3 (1.5 marathons) then I would be ok but I have trouble seeing not doing more than that. However I would really like to do more than that. If everything goes my way I would love to hit 52.4 (2 marathons) but if I run into any issues at all it probably won’t happen. I would also be very happy to hit 50 miles – but as with the 52.4 even a small bump in the road could shut that down. Last year I hit 49.2785 miles – could I beat that?

Honestly – I don’t know where I will land but I am kind of excited to find out…

How do I intend to do this? I’m still waffling a bit on that – do I break it into 2 hour chunks and reset my mind after each 2 hour period. That might make it a bit easier to digest mentally. Similar to this might be breaking things down into a half marathon at a time?

The weather will probably play a role in how I break things up. It will start cool – just a few degrees above freezing, but with then warm up through the day to be a nice sunny 17C (62.6 F) with a decently strong breeze (but not too horrible). This means that during the early part of the day I will be wearing a few more layers than later in the day and that will mean stopping to swap some gear. But then it will start to cool down in the last few yours as well. So I suspect light jacket for 2-4 hours, short sleeves or light long sleeves for 4-5 hours and then finish out with a hoody or light jacket.

I will also need my headlamp for the first few hours, so one natural break will be stopping to ditch the lamp with my drop bag.

Beyond that as well I know my garmin will only last about 10 of the 12 hours so I have to keep my phone rolling the whole period for tracking purposes. With the gps app running, music, run/walk interval timer, etc I will need to stop every once in a while to grab a battery bank to clip into the phone to make sure it doesn’t die.

Bio breaks will come into effect through the day as well.

So, to try to shorten this story so I can get to bed, I basically don’t have a plan. I will play the first couple hours by ear – running at whatever feels comfortable in the dark (and hopefully avoiding falling a couple times like I did last year). I will then see how warm I am getting as the sum comes up and time a stop in there to switch out the headlamp, drop the jacket (if warm enough) and switch out the toque for a more normal running hat. I will also start the race without music playing – that should help me assess my breathing better and also should help me settle into an easier pace.

I will then reassess fairly frequently after that. Laps are 2.05 miles this year so every 20-30 minutes or so I have a chance to correct gear mistakes.

My hope is to be well above a marathon at the 5.5 to 6 hour point with energy still in the tank…and then see what happens.

So anyway – I have said a lot in this post and but not really that much either…this was me just trying to get my head straight for tomorrow.

Worst case scenario I am looking at is a nice long walk in the sun. Best case? A couple marathons?

I may find myself to trying to keep my brain busy so there may be some live tweeting (maybe laps completed each lap?) and maybe I will even try Periscope? Don’t know – I have never broadcast before but maybe ti will provide a good mental distraction.

So…good night…and good luck to anyone racing this weekend!