Monday, December 31, 2012

100 Pushups. The challenge begins

 A couple of years ago I came across this program  to get you to the point where you can do 100 pushups. About  a year and a half ago I started the program and I got up to 84 before I lost interest and got away from doing anything but running. I noticed a couple of months ago that I was slouching a lot and I knew that it was time to get back to doing some of my core workouts. I got started on that in November and shortly after that , Amy put out a 30 day plank challenge. I took it on and it was a big help in keeping me motivated to get back into doing more core stuff on a regular basis.  I didn't miss a day for about 40 days and I did get back to doing at least some of more core routine 3 or 4 days a week. I can already feel and see some results.

  So a few days ago I decided it was time to get back onto the strength phase and so I am going to start at the beginning with the 100 push-up program and this time I am determined I won't quit until I get to  at least 100 consecutive pushups. And hopefully after I reach that goal I can stick with the maintenance program. I know it is not going to happen in 6 weeks but I will keep repeating the last 2 weeks of the program until i achieve success. 

here is a link to the program.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking ahead to 2013

I don't ever make New Year's Resolutions but I do like to set goals and make plans. At this point there are still a lot of holes and maybe's in the schedule so here is what I have already entered and some of what I plan to do if possible.

 To begin with I really hope I can run as many or more miles with The Angels this year.

 In January I will be heading out to Nevada once again, this time to Vegas where I will be running the Running From an Angel 50 miler and hopefully set a 50 mile Pr. After that it's back to marathon training.

 In February I will be heading to Myrtle Beach to run the half-marathon with Amy as a test run and workout as we prepare for her hopeful Boston Marathon Qualifier at the Tobacco Road Marathon in March .

 After Tobacco Road, I quickly convert back to ultra's with a PR attempt at The C&O Canal 100 miler the last weekend of April. Since I will have been concentrating on marathon type training for most of the past several months leading up to this I am hoping that it will be like 2006. That was one of my best years ever and after training for and running Boston I set many distance and course pr's for the next year in ultra's.

 Right now I have nothing planned for may and June as I wait on a couple of things.

 In July I do plan to return to one of my favorites, the Grandfather Mountain Marathon. Hoping to run it with Amy and /or some of the other Angels.

 Nothing for August or September at this point.

 October 6th I am heading up to Corning NY to run the Wineglass Marathon. Lisa, Karla and Frank are also making the trip and hopefully another Angel or two(hint hint).  This is a fast course and should be good weather so I hope to continue with the mostly marathon type training over the summer and go for a fast time here.

 The only thing I am sure of after that is that I will be returning to the Derby 50k for my 10th finish.

 That's it for now. Stay tuned as other things will be added to the calender soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 A Look Back

The year is nearly over now with no major events planned so I guess it's time to take a look back and see how things went with the running.

  The year got off to a great start with the Weymouth Woods 100k. A cold day but very comfortable for running and I was able to finish in a time (13:53)  that gave me a qualifier for Western States. The best part of it was that I felt strong and was able to actually pick the pace back up over the last lap. Beats doing a death march finish anytime! I finished up the month with some fun at the NCFA 50K on the All American Trail at Fort Bragg. Just used it as a long training run and some time for socializing with a bunch of MTC friends.

  In February I made the trip to Pilot Mountain State park with Margo and Tony for the Pilot Mt Payback Trail Marathon. It was a gorgeous day and I ran strong and met my goal of feeling good and going sub 5 hours. Great day with several MTC friends.

 After that I just spent the rest of the month and most of March training for the Umstead 100 until March 24th when I ran  a 5k cross country race. Not the smartest thing to do a week before a 100 miler. I wasn't going to run hard but ended up going just about all out on a rainy muddy slick course. Lots of fun anyway.

 A week later I attempted a 100 mile pr at Umstead. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. After raining most of the first 35 miles, it got very warm and muggy which are the worst conditions for me. I went on to post my 50 mile pr in route but things went downhill from there and the 2nd half was pretty miserable. I don't use pacers but since this is the home course I was happy to have my friend Jerry run lap 5 with me and then Angels Lisa and Karla ran the last two so at least I had company in my misery. Still finished in a respectable time of 25:52.

  Recovery went well and by the end of April I was ready to go for a fast time at Promise Land 50k, one of my favorites. I had the unexpected pleasure of running the entire race with a college girl from VT that was running in her first ultra. Beautiful day until around mile 20 when thunderstorms came and turned the course into a mudslide and the temps dropped and we almost went hypothermic. Although no way near my pr, I felt great and ran well despite the tough conditions over the last 3rd of the race.

  After once gain recovering quickly and getting back to training, I went down to The May Madness 50k, Boogieman Doug's Wild Card run of the year. Ten 5k's , one every hour in sand and heat and humidity. Had a lot of fun there but those last couple of 5k's hurt !

  In June, I was ready to spring my surprise and  waited until  the day of the race to announce my intentions of doing a Double at the Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie. Doug and a few of my Angels were the only ones in on the plan. Amy came to run the first 26.2 with me and things went great until the 1.5 mile mark. That's when we were attacked by the dogs. Oh well, only another 98.5 to go right? I gave it my best shot but the loss of blood and pain caught up to me and I finally had to drop at mile 62 and head to the hosptial for treatment.

 It took another week before I was able to resume running and still had a lot of pain for a couple of more weeks. I was also very worn down from the effort and ordeal and the antibiotics so when another of my favorites, the Grandfather Mountain Marathon rolled around 4 weeks later in mid July I was almost tempted to not run it knowing I was not anywhere near condition to run it well. despite miserably warm and muggy conditions, I felt better for longer than I expected but then reality set in and I suffered mightily to finish. Fortunately I didn't have any more racing planned until September so I was able to recover and train

 Sept and Labor Day weekend I flew to Milwaukee for The Badgerland 24 hour run on the track at Germantown high school. I was hoping  for a new distance pr but my dumb race strategy combined with a blustery warm day prevented that from happening. I did bring home a new 50 mile pr though as I passed 50.22 miles in 9:57.

  I once again recovered quickly and although there was no more racing until mid October, Amy and I begin the start of training for her to get a Boston qualifier next Spring which at this point was mostly trying to get her more consistent with her mileage and  Max effort hill repeats once a week.

 On October 13th I attempted the Oil Creek 100 miler in Titusville PA. Although I felt great, I was not prepared for the mostly single track, steep hills and once the cold rain hit in the dark of night, near hypothermic and in the ensuing mud, I just couldn't move fast enough and missed a cutoff at 84.5 miles.

   Although I felt pretty good within a week of that effort,4 weeks  was obviously not enough time to recover and run a fast marathon as I found out at OBX on Nov 11th. I was running with Karla and Amy and things were going well and according to plan but inevitably the wheels came off around mile 22 and I didn;t get to finish with either of them.

  I finished up my competitive year with a very non-competitive effort at The Derby 50K. I just wanted to get my ninth finish, get in a good training run and have fun doing it which I accomplished. The remainder of the year has been focused on getting Amy and myself in the best shape I can for the BQ attempt. We have been doing speedwork for the past 3 weeks now and it is going much better than I expected.

 So despite a couple of dnf's and less than hoped for results, it was still a pretty good year.  I can't complain when I get a 100k pr,  lower my 50 mile pr twice in one year and earn another buckle in a 100 miler.

Friday, December 14, 2012

La Grande Experience Deux. December update

Things seem to be progressing well with the Grand Experiment 2 at this point. Although I was not quite where I wanted to be at OBX due to being worn down from Oil creek and no speedwork, I recovered well and was able to get in a great long training run at the  Derby 50k. I had practically no soreness or fatigue after that so with an easy recovery week I was ready to move on with the training. Amy was a little slower recovering from OBX but we were able to get in some good mileage for her over the next couple of weeks and I was right back to  my normal 50ish per week

 We waited until the first week of this month to start with some speedwork, easing into it the first time with a fartlek type running at various paces over distances from 1/4 to 1 mile with a stride and hill sprint thrown in just to get some dormant muscle fibers warmed up  for what is coming. We followed that up this week with some quarter mile repeats at tempo pace. That went very well and she was feeling strong as we acually ran a little faster than I had planned but still in the correct range so it was all good. The pace on the long runs is getting a little faster now as we prepare for the faster near race pace long runs to come in Jan and Feb.

  One thing that is going to help her a lot is getting in a mid week mid -long run of 10 -12 miles which is something that has been lacking in her training. I usually get in one or two of those when things are going well. We had a really nice 12.12 miler this week on 12-12. We have a long ways to go and a lot of work to do but at least things are on track now. We have the next four weeks with no races to do so we can really stay focused on the training,

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Diet and Nutrition

 Disclaimer : the following is not to be construed as advice on nutrition or diet. I am not a nutritionist and in fact would  likely be a nutritionist or dieticians worst nightmare. Anyone trying to emulate my dietary habits or take this post as advice would have to be completely stupid and I will bear no responsibility for any harm that befalls anyone with no better sense than to try and eat like me.

  In my lifetime I have actually followed two diets, both which I have had great success with. The first diet, I call the " Eat whatever my mother made me or allowed me to eat diet"  Although the diet did seem to work quite well I did not care to much for the things I really liked being rationed and the things I hated being forced upon me. However the majority of the time the diet was quite good actually as my mother is an excellent cook and did make me some very wonderful cakes and pies and other yummy treats and continues to do so when I visit.

  About the time that I got my driver's license I begin with the diet that I am currently on. I call it the   "Eat whatever I feel like eating whenever and in whatever quantities that I would like to eat it diet"

 So, exactly what is included in this diet you may wonder ?

 Salads: Are you kidding me? Salads are for rabbits and other rodents. Well, I have been known to eat one or two a year but only if I can have it with oil and vinegar. No dressing. yuk !

 Vegetables: Yes, I do occasionally eat vegetables. French Fries are one of my favorites of course but I like potatoes cooked many ways. And there are quite a few others, mostly peas, beans and other legumes, corn and whatever other things Mom sends home with me every now and then. Must be cooked Southern style.

 Tried to expand on the veggies variety a few times but nearly always a failure. I thought broccoli with cheese might be good. Broccoli always tasted like dirt to me. Broccoli and cheese taste like dirt with cheese on it. What a waste of good cheese.

 Which brings us to dairy: CHEESE ! Yes ! Lots of CHEESE and in many varieties ! Milk is good too although I don't drink much anymore except with cereal and post run I use chocolate milk as my recovery drink of choice.

 Fruits: yeah, bananas, an occasional apple  some grapes and watermelon every now and then. Don't want to overdo the healthy stuff you know.

 Meat: Ribs and BBQ. Oh yeah. Turkey, chicken, pork chops. all of the above cooked to yummy perfection.   Love steak too but don't eat it very often. Too lazy to cook it and most of the time I don't eat in restaurants that make it a specialty and can't afford the places that do.

  Bread and grains: Oh yeah, now we are talking ! Paleo my butt. Give me bread ! Biscuits, all kinds of rolls, french, italian, white, pumpernickel. Pasta ! Macaroni (and CHEESE).

  Of course the staple of my diet is PEANUT BUTTER ! Thank you George Washington Carver ! And none of that so called healthy natural stuff. Jif, Peter Pan or Skippy if it's on sale.

 Breakfast is very important so I usually start the day off with Juice and  a few vitamin supplements. This is followed by a bowl of cereal (good stuff like cocoa puffs) or oatmeal with brown sugar, or grits with butter and toast, On rare occasions I'll make pancakes on Sunday. Most days I am too lazy to make breakfast so I make a sandwich to eat while riding to work. Usually I rotate between turkey, ham and bologna. WITH CHEESE !  and then a little snack of cookies or Lil Debbie cakes. On Saturdays before long runs I usually have a brown sugar iced pop tart or a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich.

 Lunch is normally a peanut butter sandwich and a banana with more yummy cookies !

Dinner is whatever is most convenient to throw in the microwave or the toaster oven. Sometimes  I like the breakfast that I am too lazy to cook in the morning, scambled eggs and bacon ! If I am working late then whatever fast food joint is convenient or sounds yummy. Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendys, KFC, Bojangles, Chick Fil A, Burger King. I'm not picky. I like them all.

 To supplement my meals I always have within reach a wide variety of healthy yummy snacks. There is always a box in the back seat of my car with Cheeze-its, pringles, corn chips, peanuts, cashews, oreos, moon pies, Lucky Charms etc. Used to be Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies but sad to say they are not currently available.

 Foods to avoid: If I have never heard of it or can't pronounce it. I see all these recipes in the running mags for stuff and I've never heard of half the ingredients.Has anybody else? No ! And besides it would be too much trouble to find all that stuff and take all day to prepare it and would cost a fortune. That's why Stouffers is conveniently located in the frozen section of your favorite grocery store.

 So there you have it. Yes, like I said it's not for everybody but it works for me. For those that may be concerned that this is not a healthy diet I say, rest your worried minds. I am 5'9" and weigh 144lbs. I have BP of 110/60 and the bloodwork of a healthy college student. I have been to the Dr for an illness exactly ZERO times in over 25 years and since 1977 when I was 21 years old I have been twice total. Once for the flu in 1981 and an ear infection in 85 or 86.   I've missed two days of work in that time from not feeling well. I may get a mild cold every other year that doesn't slow me down but a bit.  I sleep well 99% of the time and you already know if you are reading this blog that I can run pretty well and  pretty far , especially for a 57 year old.

 Hmm, time for some Ice Cream. Think there is Mint chocolate Chip in the freezer.