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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/14/2020 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Races: 7 (1 half marathon, 1 10K, 5 5Ks) Total miles: 458.7 Number of PRs: 3 (1 half marathon, 2 5k) Time seems to pass slowly and quickly at the same time! I think about all the writing I want to do, and in the blink of an eye, a month has passed and I've written no words - not on here, not in my journals, no where. But, as the husband and I have an unusually quiet evening, I figure it's a good opportunity to truly reflect on 2019. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's easy to forget that 2019 overall was a pretty damn good year, and even the last part of the year came with a 5K PR. When I think about what I have discovered about myself - personally, professionally, and athletically - all I can conclude is that 2019 taught me that I am more. I am more than I thought I was capable of. I am more than a busy worker bee in the background. I am the future of public health. I am more than a middle of the pack runner. I am a competitor and my greatest competition is myself. I am more than a 10-minute miler. I can go faster, if I am brave enough to. I am more than a runner. I am a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a mother. January, February and part of March was as it always is in Kansas City. Cold, dark, and my least favorite environment to run in. In the depths of that awfulness, I found a radiating light - or rather a reason to enjoy treadmill runs - in the Peloton app. Taking Peloton's so-called 'Tread' classes with delightful instructors such as Becs Gentry, Olivia Amato, Matt Wilpers, and Jess Sims made miles tick by with a mental ease I hadn't felt in a long time. I got faster because they challenged me to be faster, and I rose to it. When spring arrived in Kansas City, I took their guided outdoor runs with me many times, because it's so much easier to do a tempo workout when you've got a friend encouraging you. April and May were complete chaos - getting married always brings a joyful and stressful disruption of life. I cried tears of stress, tears of joy, and tears of "it's okay, I just need to cry right now". I received a national honor for work, and managed a 7-minute PR in the half marathon on a tough, hilly course. Then I went and laid by a resort pool for a week. June, July, and August were just as fun. I took to running early in the morning and adjusting my work schedule so "early" was 6:30 and I didn't have to go to bed before the sun went down. I raced - yes, raced! - three 5Ks in three weeks, managing a PR at one of them. I logged miles purely for the joy of it. I joined a local running group for their Tuesday night speed sessions, and found new depths of speed and strength I didn't know I had. I ran by feel, forgot about the clock, and found I was faster than I thought I was. I started training for a marathon, not having a goal other than to finish and have fun. Okay, maybe I did have a goal in mind, but wasn't going to commit to it until I was more sure of my training. September came with some adjustments. I found I was tired, run down, and just a bit 'off' at the beginning of the month, which was all explained when I had four positive pregnancy tests. I made adjustments to the training plan, tweaked my diet, and continued training. Then the nightmare of October came, c-r-a-w-l-e-d by and left me devastated, hollow, and unsure of how to move forward. I felt stuck most of November, but signed up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K in the hopes that I would find something if I got out there and ran. I never wrote an RR for that race, but somewhere in the second mile I realized two things: first, mile 2 of a 5K is the loneliest mile and second, I need to do more core work if I really want to race well. I felt like I had nothing for December, but I signed up for a 5K last minute anyway because the race swag was a hoodie that said "Running with my Snowmies" with little runner snowmen on it. It's pretty rad, too. Just the right amount of weight and softness. In this 5K, I reaffirmed how lonely mile 2 is and how I really do need to do more core work. It was cold and dark at that race, so I started my watch and never looked at it again. I just ran hard. When it started to hurt, I tried to run harder. I crossed the finish line with no expectations, so was pleasantly surprised when I finished with another PR and a top 10 finish in my age group. I finished out the month with miles for Sara's brother Mark whenever it was nice, and tried to be thankful for everything in my life. It was a crazy year, and I learned so much. I made strides in my running, and began to find the types of training that allows me to thrive. I had life-changing moments and one that fundamentally changed who I am forever. I'm not sure what 2020 will bring. I've got some running plans, I've got some life plans, and I've got some career plans. But my goals for the year are focused on my whole-person health - mental, physical, and spiritual. There are no numbers tied to those goals, but I hope that the pursuit of them will allow me to become my best self. And if I can knock out three PRs again, well, that will be just fine, too.
  2. 6 points
    I'm almost afraid to put this into writing... I'm running.... a lot (for me)... like 45 mpw.... this hasn't happened since March, 2017. I'm afraid if I start dreaming and hoping it will go away as suddenly as it seemed to come back. I wrote a training plan. I've been able to follow my training plan and even add on extra miles. Unheard of. I've had a mental mind shift too. I used to be afraid of big work outs. Long runs used to be my mental kryptonite. Now I look at them as an opportunity to become a stronger runner. Every mile makes me a better distance runner. Intervals were always my favorite. I still love them but Phew! They are hard! LOL Last week I had a 35 minute tempo run on tap. Instead of becoming paralyzed with the "What happens if I fail" fear I asked myself "will I still love myself even if I fail?" The answer: "Hell, yeah!" Who cares if I don't hit a certain pace! I'm running again! I set out from the park and did a 1 mile warm up and then picked up the pace. (I should have run it more as a progression run but I've got no discipline.) The first mile I felt really good. I was working but it felt manageable. 8:23 The 2nd mile I was working a bit harder. All of my biking and running in Florida the past few days was becoming apparent. I took 2 short stops to gather myself. The 2nd mile chimed in at 8:13. In the 3rd mile I made a U turn to head back to my car. Somehow knowing I have less than half of the workout to go puts a little pep in my step. 8:13 By mile 4 I was really feeling the burn so I backed off a tiny bit. 8:19 I ran another minute 41 seconds at an 8:11 pace. The cool down was a struggle for real! LOL I wanted 6.5 miles total so I slogged through 1.3 more miles at very uncomfortable 9:19/9:23 pace. So happy to have finished that run! And I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear. Yesterday I ran 6.4 miles on trails and another 9.6 miles on the treadmill. This morning I ran with a lady my age from my new running group. We banged out 8 miles at a 9:19 pace. 45.5 miles this week. I'm dreaming of goals.... Please don't let this disappear.
  3. 2 points
    Hello, I am have been a long time reader of the bloop, here and when it was part of the Runner's World web site. I am not much of a writer and sharing information about myself is a little uncomfortable, but in the spirit of new year resolutions/changes I am going to give it a try as I really enjoy reading about the other runners on the bloop . Also I have heard that if you are not uncomfortable then you aren't growing/improving. I've been a runner for about 12 years, I had run several of the Detroit Race For the Cure 5K 's before that as a way to honor my mother who died from breast cancer, but did not run consistently. I start running seriously after seeing a PBS Marathon Challenge program in 2007 about the training of a small group of non-runners for the Boston Marathon. I figured if they could run a marathon then I should also be able to and since I would be turning 50 the following year it would be good way to celebrate turning 50. So started my journey into running and after about a year of training I ran my first marathon; the 2008 Detroit Marathon in 4:30:10. It was very painful for me to gain the cardiovascular endurance needed to run long (any) distances, as this was before I had heard about the run-walk method. I figured once I had become fit that I didn't want to put myself through that painful experience again and have continued to run on a regular basis, except for a few injury timeouts (mostly bouts with plantar faciitis). I have completed 4 Detroit Marathons, and in 2016 the Boston Marathon. Now I run mostly half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks,. I I need to be really motivated to put in the time and effort required to train for a full marathon, and that half marathons are much more manageable from a training and recovery time standpoint. I also enjoy trail running, but there are many trails near me. Last year I had a pretty good year being injury free and running 1346 miles, 5 half marathons (including one trail half marathon), 4 10Ks, and 2 5Ks and the Ragnar Trail Relay near Gaylord, MI. My fastest half last year was 1:49:19 at the January Snowman's Half in Mt Pleasant, MI with temperatures just below zero. I would have to say the half marathon is my favorite race distance with a personal best of 1:39:42 at the 2015 Let's Move Half Marathon in Mt Clemens, MI. I run with a local running group on Saturday mornings, usually running 10 miles and then meeting for coffee afterwards. Some of us have signed up for the Traversed City Bayshore Full or Half marathons on the Saturday before Memorial Day. I had been listening to a running podcast by Richard Diaz who specializes in endurance training and who has had a lot of experience training runners. For the Bayshore Half I have just started following Richard's intermediate half marathon training plan (18 weeks) with all the training runs based on heart rate and time. Best wishes and good running in 2020.
  4. 2 points
    You know how you have a pain that's real and feels likely to put you on IR for a long time and really mess up your training plans? I never worried about this before I started running marathons. Running for fun means you can just stop whenever you want or whenever you don't feel like it or whenever something hurts. Then you can start again a week or two or ten later after you're all healed up. Of course, planning the months long investment into marathon training sort of makes me antsy now about missing more than a day or two. After that test run on Sammy went so poorly (20-30 yards?), I was afraid he was going to send me to another 2016 Rehoboth - under trained and in pain. I gave him another little test last Thursday and he did OK while we shuffled along at 10 minutes per mile. A day off was followed by 40 minutes on the dreadmill that was slower but also good. This week he seems to be 100%, although I've yet to do anything fast that might stress him at all. But I have run every day this week. 4, 3, 5, and 4 miles at my normal easy 9 minute pace. All signs point to him being good to go. Being as far behind schedule as I am, the new plan is to slowly but steadily ramp up the mileage until I'm about even with the training calendar. Once I get there, I'll add back in the speed work and we'll see what happens as we move towards April (or May, which is plan B). Bought new family room furniture. We'd gone out looking for a sofa for the living room, but sort of got side tracked. Married 37 years and this is the first time we've bought a set of furniture from a furniture store. That stuff is crazy expensive. We bought stuff from the outlet area, so better than it could have been. Not to mention, everything else was twice as big as would fit in our house and it's all powered now with USB and whatever else they can thing of. Signs of age, right? I'm not interested in my chair giving me a massage or plugging my laptop into it. Just give me a place to sit and watch TV, OK?
  5. 2 points
    No pic of the “Running with my Snowmies” sweatshirt?? I think we might need to see that! Sounds like a lot of 2019 was really good for you. 3 PRs is a banner year. So congrats!
  6. 1 point
    In late 2019, the dog and I were out for a run, quietly. My plan (if you want to make God laugh, just tell Her about your plans) was a run focus over the winter, running 3-4 times a week with no goals other than getting the runs in, and no timing. Of course.. came back from that run with a sore hip flexor, the next day could not walk. Not sure if it was torn or just badly strained, anyway that was a good month off. I toughed it out for the last Roost Run Club run of the decade, touring the Christmas lights in the rich folks' neighborhood, very pretty, then gave up and did a lot of swimming, gym work, and hip flexor rehab. Pfui. All that upper-body work no doubt helped make me heavier and slower. After a month tried it again on the treadmill, 30min of 10min miles, and it mostly held up. Another Rooster was setting up an Australia Relief Run in City Park Denver. The idea here is to donate $50 to Australia Red Cross relief in those hideous fire zones, then go run some distance or another 😉 I picked 5k and hoped to survive. At the start it was 22 degrees F. I'd planned to take off the heavy fleece jacket for running but did not. Ha. I usually run really hot so if I wear gloves my hands get sweaty. That wouldn't have been a problem today. I tried running with hands in pockets, a bit clumsy. Tried pulling the sleeves down and the fingers up, that mostly worked until the hands finally warmed up, about mile 2.7. Since we didn't have any permits for this, the start was staggered into several groups. There are enough runners around City Park even in this weather, than no-one could tell there was anything organized going on.. I started in the first group, which let me run away for some reason. Soon Anne from Nuun in the second group caught me, then ran away. 28:40 for a new personal record of sorts, probably could have run close to 26 in less frigid weather, says he hopefully. Here's a pic of the lot of us who finished around the half hour. Me at the back in the middle, organizer Troy bearded in front - thanks Troy.. Australian cattle dog focused on a group of geese, off-picture.. I got some electrolytes from Anne's setup, to replace the single drop of sweat I managed to shed.. I had promised to write up my Australian runs but that whole adventure went bad. The idea was my younger son would spend a couple of months with my brother and family, find a job and work for a bit, in his gap year. Unfortunately my brother has become quite conservative over the years, while my boy is nearly a communist, as well as being a high-functioning autistic. Between all of this they ended up arguing for 3 weeks after I'd left, all of it blowing up on Christmas day (of course), so I spent the next day 4am to 11pm negotiating. Son was beginning to shut down as he does when over stressed. So we flew him home a few days later.. and I really haven't had the stomach to think about the whole thing, at all.
  7. 1 point
    I'm pleased to report that my strategy of "To hell with it, I'm running through it" has been successful. Since 12/1 I've been running every other day, just about anyway. I've piled up 97 miles over 5 weeks, just being careful with easy runs of 4 to 6 miles. Got up to 7 twice now. The foot/ankle pain has slowly faded since I hurt it 11 weeks ago. Six weeks of not running didn't do much, but 5 weeks of running seemed to let it heal a little faster. Or at least didn't setback the healing process. Today's run I didn't feel it for much of the run. Toward the end I felt some, but not enough to really affect my stride. So I'm happily adding miles to my schedule. I had got quite out of shape and it was frustrating feeling so slow and winded. But lately it's getting easier. I still feel slow and out of shape, just not as much. I managed to gain ten pounds, so I need to work on dropping that now too. But it's a new year, time to start stretching myself a little more. Because I have a half marathon coming up in 8 weeks and I'd like to at least make a decent showing. Right now I have a goal of 8:00 pace and sub 1:45. With luck I'll regain some speed and be able to do better than that. But the main thing is to have fun and stay healthy. I was back East for ten days but got lucky with good weather and managed to get all my runs in on beautiful days in the 40s and 50s. Even wore shorts for most of them. Life is good.
  8. 1 point
    Stay healthy -- goal#1 will help with all of the other goals! It would be great if Mrs. Pie was on our Vermont team!
  9. 1 point
    Hey all. Its early January of a new year so I thought I'd write out a few goals I'm going to work towards in 2020. 1. Get Faster. I spent last year building up distance and more generally, just enjoying running. Did my first half marathons in a number of years. My times (2:31, then 2:27) weren't great in comparison to where I was about 5 years back (1:57). I'm not hung up on the slower pace, but do want to eventually get back to where I was. With absolutely no scientific reasoning (or really any cognitive contemplation), I've decided I'd like to get down below 2:10 this year. And then mount a challenge for under 2:00 the following year. I'm targeting a local half that looks kinda hilly (but is all down hill the last 7 miles!) in June, and a really really really flat half on the Rhode Island coast in September. If I put in the work, I'm pretty confident I can run the latter strong and end up with a good time. I know that speed work a good way to get faster. I'm planning on using the high school track in the spring, but will need to educate myself on how/what best to do there. Any of you that regularly do speed work, I would love to hear what you do and what you think might work for me. 2. Stay Healthy. Just like every other runner on the planet, I don't like being injured. I think my previous PF & ITB issues were the result of a few things that I should be able to control. The main one was committing to a half when I simply didn't have enough time in life to properly train, and then trying to 'catch up' the miles as the race neared. That was stupid. And I paid the price. I also did very little in the way of general exercise, aside from running. In 2020, I want to incorporate regular exercises into my running habit. I started with push-ups before most runs about 2 months ago and am starting to see some results there. My core is... um... well... let's just say I need to start adding core exercises too! 😂 I also have a series of leg/glute/abductor/adductor exercises that I want to add into the mix. These things will keep me in better shape and hopefully ward of injuries. The only issue is that during the week, I run early in the morning and adding more to the routine may mean waking up even earlier. But I like sleep a lot. 😉 I'll figure it out because I know I need to do these things. 3. Do Everything I Can to Make My Wife's Sojourn into Running Successful for Her! Yup, after many many years of DW not having any real desire to run, she's decided to this is the year she starts running. 👍 In December, I pointed out to her that the Hartford Marathon Foundation, which organizes many races during the year, has put together a series she might be interested in - a 'progressive' challenge of a 5K in May, a 10K in June and 13.1 in October. She bit! She's already signed up for all 3 and has her run plan (a modified none to run program) figured out through the 10K. She's going to put together the plan from 10K to Half as it gets nearer based on how she's doing, which I think is a smart approach. While I was at work today, she sent me a text that she did her first walk/run and "I didn't die. LOL" So it has officially started. I'm psyched for her. I told her that when she starts running outside (in the spring), I'll plan on running with her on the weekends at whatever pace she wants to run, and I will run all 3 races with her. For someone who runs 99% of his runs solo, I couldn't be any happier to have a run buddy! Should be good. I'll report on her progress as time goes by. Her history is accomplishing just about every goal she sets for herself, so I have no doubt she will cross the finish line at the Hartford Half in October. Boom! That's about it from here, Loop. Hope you all have a great week! - Apple Pie
  10. 1 point
    If I send you a link to a hamstring yoga routine on YouTube, will you try it? 😊
  11. 1 point
    I’m totally a creature of habit so I get the appeal. But! Did you know that the more times you do any given workout, even if you run it faster, you don’t get as much benefit?
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    What a year! I wish it could have been all positive. Thanks for the miles for Mark. You are pretty amazing!
  14. 1 point
    This makes me smile. Love all the positivity, and the PRs! The 20's are going to be awesome.
  15. 1 point
    Love it, Eliz! What an exciting year you had with a tough curveball in the middle. Congrats on the National Award!
  16. 1 point
    As a Goal Person, I have to tell you that I LOVE resolutions. I love them so much, I usually have one round in January and another at my birthday in July. I don't sweat it if they don't happen in the time frame I want (yes, rock climbing has been on the list since 2016) but I always do more than I would have otherwise. And many, many resolutions have inexplicably stuck, like waking up early to run. So 2019 was a pretty bad year in a number of ways and a pretty good year in others. My back went out over and over and over again, I missed countless races, I got so slow, NYRR dropped me back a corral, I (hopefully temporarily) screwed my career over misplaced intentions, but I also met someone I am crazy about, improved my snorkeling a lot, ended something really toxic, started therapy, and made a few new friendships. I think I'm actually pretty proud of myself because even when things were bad, I didn't fall apart. I didn't even realize how bad my running had gotten until I had to review my times when NYRR made their decision. Even though I hadn't PR'd at all and I only really raced a few times between injuries, I still felt good about most of my races. That said, I am glad to see 2019 go. I love new beginnings. I love when it's time to reassess and plan ahead. I really think this is going to be a great year so here goes! My goals for 2020: 1) PUT IN THE WORK - I haven't felt like I have done this in so long so here I am, starting where I'm at and focusing on the process not the product. 2) Learn to swim - This has been on my list for ages but this is when it's going to happen. It will help my back, give me a means to cross train, and build fitness when I can't run. I found a master's swim thing I may join too. Adult Freestyle class begins Monday 3) Finish a training plan - I don't care if I PR. I don't care if it's for a 5K or a full. I just want to commit to the plan and execute it without getting injured or distracted. 4) Bring my lunch more often What are your resolutions, Loopsters?
  17. 1 point
    It might not be fair to say I've been putting this off for the last week. I've been off work since the 17th, just coming back today. This holiday time off may be my favorite part of working where I work. After careers in retail and transportation, it's pretty chill to have two weeks of retirement practice every Christmas. But not working has the effect of letting time sort of slip away. Before I knew it, I had so much that should have been written down that it's now at an intimidating level. I'm in danger of having the year-end and new beginning thoughts drift away. Anyway, here we go. First, the numbers. Races - 3 (Vermont City and New Hampshire, and Hell) Marathons - 2 (Vermont City and New Hampshire) States - 2 (Vermont City and New Hampshire) Mileage - 1,653 (new annual record!) What can I say? Everyone knows I'm a race hound.😆😆 Vermont started late with a t-storm and then got warm and humid. Crashed and burned to a 4:19 finish. But after ZERO marathons in 2018, I didn't care so much. New Hampshire was a hilly beast, following a brutal summer where almost every run felt like I was dying. But that day was perfect and I finished strong in 3:56, my first time under 4 hours since (believe this!) Marshall. And all those miles! I really had no clue until I went into the spreadsheet one day in December to do a quick update and make sure I was ready for the end of the year and saw that the 1,625 miles I had run was a tie for the most ever. And I still had a couple of weeks to go. Two months in NH training (Aug & Sep) were over 200 miles. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to make up for 2018 (or as I like to call it, the Year of the Meniscus). Lots of running in the first year of my 60s. Almost half of what Sara ran, so I feel pretty good about that. As for 2020, I'm hoping for about the same. No clue what marathons I'm going to run, yet. Should have an idea this week for spring. That will be a short training cycle, no pressure race just to check another state off the list. Then another run at a BQ in the fall. Haven't looked into where or when yet. Now, what's happened since I was here on the 17th? The 16th was my last run before Christmas. Flew out to Idaho Falls where Dad picked me up that night. T-Rex drove her roomie to the airport the next morning and swung by Dad's place to get me. We went to my Ironman brother's house to borrow his truck, then to her apartment to load and transfer it all to bruh's basement until April. Good to have friends in low places. After that I helped her clean the kitchen for the cleaning deposit. We had dinner with Dad and stayed to watch the finale of her favorite show, The Masked Singer. Also, BTW, T-Rex finished AND passed all her classes this semester. First time that's happened so we're all pretty excited about that. She was officially granted an Associates Degree and only needs to get one more pre-req done while she's home to get into her Medical Assisting program in the fall. HUGE accomplishment for her. Up at 4 the next morning and on the road home. There was a storm coming in, but we were out ahead of it and had perfect weather all the way back. One really long day (16 hours)(stayed the night in Council Bluffs) and a medium long day (11 hours) driving, and we made it back just a few hours after Big Mac and Big Ben (SIL) flew in for Christmas. I'd promised myself not to run when the kids were in town. Mrs. Dave gets anxious if I "abandon" her when we're entertaining. So we enjoyed them for the five days, had a great and peaceful Christmas. Ran Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then took a few more off and only ran yesterday. Now that things are normal again, I can get back into more regular mileage and start building for whatever that spring marathon turns out to be. Spent the last two days mounting the new TV (Xmas) over the mantel. Not an easy job since it's all brick. A full brick interior wall. Sometimes I wonder what possessed builders in the 60s.
  18. 1 point
    We always think of the coming year with what we need to do more of, get better at, etc. Aren't we just telling ourselves we didn't do life well enough this year? We weren't successful enough this year? Think about what you did this past year. You ran, maybe you did some strength work, maybe you went to yoga, maybe you learned to meditate. You juggled the needs of your job, kids, school, parents, loved ones, neighbors, etc. You did enough. You are enough. Think about the coming year differently. What did you really enjoy that you want to do more of in 2020? What were you successful at that you want to do more of in 2020? If you didn't do something that you really wanted to, don't focus on why you didn't do it, focus on how you can do it in the future. Maybe it's not possible in 2020 but if it's something you really want to do, make a plan for it. Prioritize at least one thing you want to have happen in 2020 that is deeply important to you but not because society says so. Because YOU say so. 1. what I really enjoyed and will do more of in 2020: hikes with Chris and Lucy the dog 2. what was I successful at and will to do it more: listening and responding to what my body and soul needs (and ignoring what societal pressures tell me) 3. what I didn't do but will do: trail race with friends There's probably a lot of little things in there you can add to each of the 3 but dig deep and see what you can come up with that speaks to the work you did in 2019 and the knowledge that what you really want is important. Yes, I realize many of you here are in your heads saying "I didn't train hard enough; I didn't run fast enough; I didn't get enough sleep; I didn't....." Whatever. You can't fix what happened but you have to move your mind to place of acknowledging that battering yourself for not being enough is getting you no where. Be proud of whatever you did in 2019.
  19. 1 point
    A year ago about this time I was having a new pain in the side of my knee. I was in the middle of the last race of the year - a 6 hour loop run - when it started. At first I thought, great, I broke my knee and all those “running is bad for your knees” people were right. Of course, I reported right to Dr Google and the online experts who told me that no, my knee wasn’t broken. Just IT band issues, which were a result of weak hips and glutes. So I had to focus a little more on all those things I should have been working on all along. It seemed like I could walk forever, but a couple miles into any run and the pain would return. It was a long winter, and it seemed like running and racing would not be enjoyable in 2019. It really was a long winter, too. There was no January thaw, which typically brings everything to mud for a few weeks before we get buried in snow again through February and March. So I got some snowshoes. These allowed me to keep walking while giving me a hard workout. It was the first time I realized that I didn’t have to complete all workouts with just running in order to gain fitness. I became well acquainted with my 0.9 mile loop around the field behind my house. There is a small wet spot in one area that is a little tough to navigate, but that’s all part of the game. As winter came to a close, I was able to incorporate some running intervals on one of the slight inclines of the loop. I learned a fun new way to burn the quads. Cool Tools Snowshoe Course English’s Ridge Rumble I signed up for the local April 50k in November and was seriously thinking about dropping out, but of course I’m cheap, so I didn’t. As we got later in the winter, I continued to do mostly walking on the trails and roads, but included more short running breaks as the snow started melting. In the past I always considered walking as a way of quitting during a run when it became too difficult. But I learned how to walk hard up the hills, especially on the trails, to allow me to run the flats and downhills faster without redlining and burning up too soon. The IT band wasn’t fully there yet, so I had the plan for the race of walking the first two 10-mile loops, and run-walk the final loop. It appeared to have worked, as there was no pain throughout, and I was able to finish strong in just over 7 hours. This gave me a little confidence going into the rest of the racing season and a strategy for training for and running the ultras I had planned for 2019. And it seemed that I was learning to walk pretty fast. Still some fresh mud on the trail Table Rock Trail Challenge The Table Rock is our local last runner standing event that I didn’t have the speed to compete in, but it is a fun one, especially watching the fast runners at the finish. In this one, the RD reduces the time to complete each loop, making for a pretty dramatic finish. I got 18 miles in before being dropped. A good way to get dropped is to start the lap you know you won’t be able to finish in time, and walk the second part of the loop. You don’t look like a quitter this way. Candlelight 12 Hour In December of 2018, I signed up for the Candlelight 12 hour race, and marked it on my calendar for July 27. I also had a work trip to Japan to make over the summer, so I planned it to arrive back home on July 20, giving me a week to prepare for the race. Halfway through my Japan trip, I got the email from the RD with race instructions for the event that starts on JULY 20, the evening I arrive back to the US. Good planning, Pierce. There’s no way I was going to finish this. It turns out, however, that jet lag is a pretty good race strategy. Landing at 2:00 pm and getting home at 3:00, I turned around and took the 1.5 hour drive up the thruway. Armed with no food or drink (really relying on the aid station here), lots of lube, little round band aids, and a headlamp with half-charged batteries, I started circling the 1 mile loop at 7:00pm with no expectations. There were 4 well-spaced small hills on the loop, and they gave me the perfect run-walk cadence to take me through the night without stopping. I ended up 3rd place out of 90+ runners. 55 miles. I have no idea how that happened. By far my best race performance to date, maybe to never be duplicated. I had a nice nap that day. Award for Champion Old Dude Green Lakes Endurance Runs 100k Before the 12-hour race happened, this was to be my target race for the year. But a hard effort 3 weeks earlier didn’t set me up to run well here, so I just started nice and easy and tried to beat the cutoffs. I surprised myself again by not really tiring and finishing my longest distance to date. Like every training run and race this year, I kept a steady rhythm of running and walking by feel and finished in 13:13:37, 7th out of 15 finishers. Coffee cups and pint glasses are all I need Navarino 12-hour Run By far, my favorite event of the year was my solo 12-hour run on labor day weekend. I had been trying to think of ways to give a little while doing a very selfish thing, so I thought I’d do a Facebook fundraiser for the children’s hospital. I used the loop behind my house that was my snowshoe workout the previous winter. I didn’t consider how many local and Loopster folks would respond to this, but it turns out I have some pretty good friends. We made a nice Happy Gilmore check for the hospital and all those little heroes there doing things much harder than I did that day. State of the art lap counting system. 54 golf balls & 48 miles of solitude The Navarino 12 hour course Morgan Hill Meat Grinder I have never run a marathon, and can still say I haven’t, since this took me well over 27 miles to complete (some of the markings got me confused easily). Lots of climbing and stream crossings and beautiful views took me away from any thoughts of fast times. Instead, keeping to my run-walk by feel method had me sufficiently spent at the gorgeous local state park. 6:16:22. Clark 6-hour Classic Back to the race and course that started the IT band issues as well as this great journey that was 2019. A 1.7 mile loop where I picked out my walking spots in the early going gave me another solid finish. 29 miles and 14th place out of 70 runners. Six events longer than the marathon distance and not a hint of any injuries made 2019 one of the best ever. Keeping up with the strength work and maybe adding some regular hill and speed work may make 2020 even better.
  20. 1 point
    You the man, Tim. So many miles. So much mud. And all that strength work you didn't mention. Such determination. By the way, I love that lap counting system.
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