Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You know your an Ultra-Runner when....

1. Your wife introduces you to your three children and you reply "What..Three?"
2. You spend more time shopping in the drug section than the food section.
3. You wonder why they don't make all running socks a dusty brown color.
4. You have more dirt on your shoes than in your garden.
5. You think that flagel and ibutrophin belong on the breakfast table.
6. You get more phone calls at 5:00 AM than at 5:00 PM.
7. You don't recognize your friends with their clothes on.
8. You have more buckles than belts.
9. You postpone your wedding because it will interfere with your training.
10. You keep mistaking your boss for Norm Klein.
11. 6am is sleeping in
12. your feet look better without toenails
13. your idea of a fun date is a 30-mile training run
14. you're tempted to look for a bush when there's a long line for the public restroom
15. you don't think twice about eating food you've picked up off the floor
16. you can expound on the virtues of eating salt
17. you develop an unnatural fear of mountain lions
18. You know the location of every 7-11, public restroom, and water fountain within a 25-mile radius of your house.
19. You run marathons for speedwork.
20. You have more fanny packs and water bottles and flashlights than Imelda Marcos has shoes.
21. Someone asks you how long your training run is going to be and you answer "seven or eight ... hours".
22. People at work think you're in a whole lot better shape than you think you are.
23. You actually are in a whole lot better shape than you think you are.
24. Your weekend runs are limited by how much time you have, not by how far you can run.
25. You always have at least one black toenail.
26. You buy economy-sized jars of Vaseline on a regular basis.
27. You tried hashing, but felt the trails were too short and easy.
28. You think of pavement as a necessary evil that connects trails.
29. you rotate your running shoes more often than you rotate your tires.
30. your friends recognize you better dressed in shorts than in long pants.
31. you really envied Tom Hanks' long run as Forest Gump.
32. you carry money around in a ziplock bag because store clerks complained that your money's usually too sweaty.
33. any time a plain old runner talks about her aches and pains, you can sympathize because you've already had that at least once.
34. you put more miles on your feet than on your rental car over the weekend;
35. you don't need to paint your toenails; they're already different colors;
36. you start planning the family vacation around races, and vice-versa.
37. When you start considering your next vacation on the merits of its ultras Only
38. You spend you entire paycheck on running gear, ultrabars, and entry fees
39. You become a quasi-expert on different detergents so as to not "hurt" your tee shirts...
40. You leave work early to hit the trails
41. You wear t-shirts based on if you've had good work outs when you 've worn them before
42. Have a trail shoe collection that would make Imelda Marcos envious
43. During a 10k you punch the lap button on your watch instead of the stop button at the finish
44. Your pedicure kit includes a pair of pliers. 8-0
45. The number of toes and toenails you have is not equal
46. You drink from a water bottle at the dinner table
47. You consider the mold and mildew in your bottles extra electrolytes
48. You just found out Poison and Oak are words by themselves...
49. You know you're married to an ultrarunner when Valentine's gifts come from Ultrafit.
50. You know you're married to an ultrarunner when she helps you up and
51. says, "Come on, suck it up, keep moving!" and you know she means it in love.
52. You know you're an ultrarunner when a prospective employer asks for a photograph and all you have is race photos.
53. You know you're an ultrarunner when the races you enter end in a different area code. -and pass through several different Zip codes enroute.
54. You know you're an ultrarunner when your crew tries to keep you motivated by saying, "You're in second place and only 6 hours behind first with 25 miles to go!"
55. You know you're an ultrarunner when you don't finish on the same day as the winner
56. You know you're an ultrarunner when people praise you to the high heavens for being able to finish a marathon, and you feel insulted.
57. You know you're an ultrarunner after you’ve posted another ULTRA message about relative 100 miler difficulty.
58. You know you're an ultra runner when you can really identify with those scenes at night in the woods in The Blair Witch Project.
59. If so many places on your body hurt you can't figure out which one hurts more, so you ignore them all and do another 50K, and then you feel better!
60. Everything in your life, everything, is organized in different sized zip-loc bags.
61. when livestock salt blocks look good after a run.
62. Your 6 year old knows the difference between a 100k and 100 miler.
63. You don't hesitate to lie down in the trail (anywhere) when you are falling asleep on your feet during the early morning hours on the second day of a 100 miler; and it feels so comfortable.
64. Ya know you're and ultra runner when a girl changes her tank and her bra in front of you and all you do is take another drink of water, look at your watch, get up and tell your pacer "Let's hit the trail."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hydration and sweat rate:

Hydration and sweat rate:

Recently I found this short but sweet overview of sweat and hydration, a good first step when you really want to crunch numbers is to find your (PSW) Personal Sweat Rate – not sure why is not PSR but…I thought it worth mentioning…..

How to determine your sweat rate:
1. When well hydrated, do a short warm up and then weigh yourself naked. This weight will be called the pre-run weight.
2. Run for an hour in the conditions and intensity you expect to face in an upcoming training session or race.
3. Dry yourself thoroughly.
4. Weigh yourself naked. This weight will be called the post-run weight.
5. Subtract the post-run weight from the pre-run weight.
6. Multiply the number you calculated in step 5 by 16. [(pre-run weight - post-run weight) times 16]
7. If you drank during the 1 hour run, add the number of ounces you drank to the number you received in step 6,
Pre-Run weight: 160
Post-Run weight: 156
Pounds lost: 4
Drank 8 ounces of Water
(160-156) x 16 = 64
64 + 8 (ounces of water)
Total fluids lost = 72
**Try to replace 72 ounces of fluid each hour. When replacing fluids, It is best if you drink fluids every 15 to 20 minutes.

Wow.... I just realized thats 72 ounces!, for an extended run this seems overkill and will just be too much over a period of hours and hours..might need to recheck the values and adjust to your taste but the base of the content is still a valid way of understanding what your need to sustain your water balance.

Where does the Fluid Go?
Your body looses fluid:
• Urine
• Sweat
• Evaporation (other than sweat)
• Water used inside the body and respiration

Just run.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

a running SWOT Analysis


The length of the word suits the definition; life’s pretty amazing if you just step out and consider the vast numbers of decisions, actions and reactions that are created in a single day..much less a month, a year.

It’s funny when you begin to compare yourself to others, race their races, train like they train….we all have to start somewhere but the reality is that each person is most likely searching for a solution that fits their own personal running needs – not yours. So when you consider what others are wearing or eating or what programs they follow to train, remember that your on your own path.

For those that might feel that a set structured program is a benefit..I agree, someone had to create it. Possibly for themselves or someone they know and thats great, I fully believe that the core dicipline of running can be taught and the initial benefits of an exercise regiment are irreplaceable but the natural ability of many will always trump.

I’ve read many articles, talk to many people firstly about intake whether it be salt or water, calories or other. I collected the information as reference , a base if you will to begin my own balance. Then I thought about shoes, something durable, tough , something off road worthy and found them!.

Later I spoke with others that would swear by something different.. going light, simple..Hey, they’re running with them and doing great! But that’s the allure; my sub-concience comparisons to others drive me to consider that their running results could then be magically transferred to me, regardless of genetics, physical capacity, body structure and the like.

A simple reality is that they most likely could have put on any shoe……any shoe……..and their race results still are something that I’d like to have.. you ran in what!, in elmo slippers!, were can I get some. Listen, I’m a marketer, I’ve been in advertising and PR, yet the futile search for mercurys' winged footwear is not wasted on me, I’d try some elmo slippers if I thought it could help.

I'd suggest putting together a "SWOT analysis", Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; lets translate for running…..

Strengths: Distance? Pacing- are you the rabbit or the turtle? Ect. Write them all down…
Weaknesses: Same as above , scheduling, nutrition, water intake, clothes…ect
Opportunities: Scheduling – are you flexible to start a consistency in your training…. Education…ect.
Threats: Scheduling, upcoming surgeries you’re in need of, injury assessments and actions….

List these for yourself, sit down and write down at least 5 items for each category, some might seem tough but with some thought and a little enlightenment you’ll be fine…

Take these and look at them, make a decision for yourself what your priorities should be and just tackle one at a time…… before long you’ll be running comfortably in your own shoes…not someone elses…

There are some that can just run, they can wear the elmo slippers, train like crazy people and just run, avoiding injury scheduling issues and pretty much anything aside from the end of the world, not me, I’ve got to do an analysis, I’ve got to do research….right?

I have to persevere through scheduling and life balance, I listen, make note and compare these to my own personal SWOT analysis, I then try something different, mostly I don’t notice much, so I’ll try something else and it just goes on this way and I’m ok with that. That’s what’s so great about running; the trails will always change as will your running and the way you approach it, just don’t lose sight of the freedom and enjoyment you get from it because when all is said and done because it’s not the hat, clothes, shoes or stuff you intake that make you the runner you are…it’s just you…..so run.


New and improved attitude!!

Hello world its been to long,

I've been unusually busy lately..nothing extraordinary, not to much to hang on my wall of achievements but with family busy is busy and because of this I'd lost focus.

My life doesnt revolve around my next run or for that matter anything to do with running; with that being said it's a constant endurance battle to remain vigilant and true to what I "know" makes me feel good about myself.

Running is not just a lifestyle it's a true connection to yourself - to your balance.. if your lucky enough to be a runner, some don't understand and the effort to convince them is not only frustrating but just plain waisted.

So from now on I'm true to myself, I heard a story once, sit down and bear with me....

A father was struggling with depression, his world was spinning out of control and everything seemed to be to much. As he sat in his chair his 7yo boy who had been playing in his room shuffled up, bored and sulking. Looking around the room, the father grabbed a magazine page which contained a large image of the earth. Not showing his son what image he had selected he then cut it up into many pieces.

With this he gave it to his son and told him to go to his room and try to put it together.. "that'll keep him busy for awhile" he thought, no more than 10 minutes had passed and to his astonishment the boy came back to his father placing a taped up magazine page with a picture of the earth on it. " How did you put it together so fast?" he said to his son. His son replied " Their were too many pieces,I started to get confused, it was then that I noticed a picture of a person on the other side of the pieces, once I put the person together the world just fell into place......"

Life can get overwhelming, pulling you in a thousand different directions, at times you need to step back and refocus on yourself and your health.... and everything else will begin to get clearer.

Thats what I intend to do...so lets run! :)


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chimera100 - One Inch Equals

One Inch Equals

What is One Hundred Miles:
• One Inch equals 100 miles on some maps….
• Long island is 100 miles long
• If the average adult stride is 2-2.5 ft. it would take between 210000 and 260000 strides to walk 100 miles
• 425 laps around a standard soccer field = 100 miles
• Approx 1,034,449 one dollar bills laid in a row
• Ruth’s and Mantle’s 500 ft. homeruns would have to be hit over and over 1056 times; that’s over 60 games worth of total swings (not just one swing per game) and they’d all have to be home runs!!.

Mind blowing to say the least and yes a little ADHD writing on my part; but hey I just ran 100 miles, I did it! And yes I’m still in denial.

As I ran around the Parking lot to the finish line running to the sounds of cheers and encouragement from all of my friends I instinctively jumped symbolic of the first moon landing over the finish line landing solidly with both feet and smiling …. Just smiling; it was symbolic enough to stick the landing. It was an epic test for me, one that I had attempted twice already and with this one…the landing stuck.

But first let’s rewind 30 hrs and change, yeah that’s right….30 hrs and change.

Prepared?, I was, prepared as anyone, any average person, any average person with a wife 3 kids and a crazy job could ever be. I packed and I packed again, I hit the local sports store enough times to list its running inventory backwards in alphabetical order! Many times I’d gone back there searching for that one missing item I needed…but I didn’t know what or where it was.. ( Ha Ha ) (crazy unstable laugh).

I had approached the start line of a 100 mile race twice before and with each it had gone unaccomplished, but there had been progression. This time I had checked off all the mental requirements and I now truly felt physically ready to complete my first 100 mile trail run.

At least I thought my strategy this time was brilliant!, I’ve been a victim of over excitement during my recent races and this time I had a plan to slow myself down, weight….yeah that’s right, I’m just going to fill my hydration pack up with stuff! (another crazy unstable laugh), fast forward to race start: I’m lugging around my pack and two water bottles, defending my decision to my fellow runners as I slowly begin to reconsider my crazed strategy……3,2,1 too late now; and I stride off the start line. My Garmin is my Judge, the pack is my penalty I think as run along the pavement to the beginning of the single track trailhead….

The San Juan loop from Blue Jay Campground is just spectacular, with its wide variety of scenery and soft single tracks I glide down the trails and through the tall trees. I begin to sink into a comfortable pace to fit my target of 13.5 M/H but it’s not easy, I just can’t seem to slow down that much I’ll be content with 11’s for now . . . maybe 10’s…. I’m trying.

As I continue my run downhill its gets technical with boulders appearing amongst the mix of underbrush, I begin passing people slowly but consistently; I feel comfortable, not straining at all….so I continue. By the 10 mile mark I’m running in 6th place and as I continue to the 20 mile mark and complete my uphill portion of San Juan and back into Blue jay I’m still in 6th. At Blue jay we the opportunity to pass by our vehicles, it’s here that you can have a brief reprieve by stopping by your car, exchanging gear or refilling if you have that ability; it’s also here that I had a chance to forego my extra weight and continue on with only two handhelds. Strangely though I had begun to feel comfortable with the weight and the continued adjustments to the pack, for some reason the distractions were keeping my mind off the strain of the run so I chose to keep the pack for now (it was still morning, still cool and I still have that crazed laugh).

The path from Blue jay toward the Main Divide is fairly commonplace if you’ve run any previous trail runs through this area, it briefly winds itself around some campgrounds using a walking trail and spills out onto a paved incline that leads up to the entrance to the Main Divide Road then on and up to the Trabuco Aid station. As I traveled up the exposed Main Divide I was alone, working my way to the Trabuco Aid station I was now in 5th place and was at least an hour ahead of my projected pace chart; way to fast I thought. Bottles filled, I continued on….down Trabuco Road and toward the Shaded Holy Jim Aid station. It’s hard to believe that in the area of Trabuco Mesa a 60 foot whale skeleton was found and sea life was everywhere…..and now toward Trabuco canyon 70,000,000 years ago lived a huge abundance of shellfish. Man..shaking my head, Just a few of the many crazy thoughts allowed to enter your mind while running.

Trabuco is a beautiful road but it comes at a price, the journey is often very rocky , not boulder rocky but Trail shoe rock guard testing rocky. The road morphs from trees and shade to shale and sun then back again only to be rewarded at the lower portions by a soft and fern laden runner happy trail; I was glad to share this portion with my friend and experienced 100 miler Bill Ramsey whom I had also shared a journey I’ll never forget when we ran the Grand Canyons R2R2R together last October. He was looking as strong as ever and quite lean lately, must be that new homemade beer diet.

We ran into the Holy Jim Aid Station together; geared up and continued on the out and back to see another friend Baz Holly who is manning an aid station at the turn around. To the buzzing of remote control planes we approached Baz’z familiar aid station trailer and were joyfully greeted! It’s my good mate Larry! And our discussions continue…, it seems almost as if I wasn’t even in the midst of a 100 miler; I feel comfortable here and if there was a beer around I’d just sit down and hang out (Ha Ha), but alas, my journey continues as I head out again to meet the grueling but beautiful Holy Jim Trail and Santiago Peak leg of my run.

Beyond the Holy Jim Aid station up the trail I run into a few hikers and spectators all asking what we’re up to … I tell them about the 100 mile race and leave them wide eyed and stunned as they wish me well, standing in the middle of the trail… man, I hope they come out of it before they get run over by some wild mountain biker.
Holy Jim is yet another beautiful trail that runs up from the valley and can either link back to the main divide toward Santiago Peak or you can follow it toward Holy Jim Falls which during the wet season can be a nice getaway from the norm, but today isn’t the norm…not hardly. The falls named after "Cussin' Jim" Smith or “Holy Jim" as he was renamed reach upward into the sky ……Another bit of history marks this place: the last wild California Grizzly -- an old bear named "the honey thief" -- was killed at the mouth of Trabuco Canyon after robbing beehives here in 1907. But for us its all the way up to Santiago Peak towards Maple Springs and Silverado Canyon and that’s only the halfway point. I catch up again with Bill Ramsey midway up Holy Jim and we both ascend toward the Top and the Santiago Aid Station; and man I was looking forward to some cold ice water.

The most amazing thing for me at this race was the support, Steve Harvey and his crew of accomplished trail runners have organized this race to its finest detail. My local club the SoCal Trail Headz were a force here along with The Bad Rats, Team InknBurn members and their Maple Springs Aid Station…everyone was amazing!
By the time I reached Santiago Aid Station I was overheated, with my heavy pack I had managed to climb both San Juan, Trabuco , Holy Jim and now Santiago and it was slowly having its effects, I was fatigued and knew why…..the heat was in summer conditions the sun had forgotten that its now fall and was beginning to blaze, without cover on these trails it could easily overcome those that aren’t prepared. It was a far cry from last year, my first attempt at 100 miles when the wind was howling, water was everywhere and when I spotted rain flowing upward alongside the Main Divide road. So here at the aid station I sat, and sat….with a hat filled with ice cubes I sat and drank, talking with friends and volunteers I felt myself come back, revived and soon I was ready again to go. As that time had passed I watched as others that were behind me caught up and with still 50 miles to go it was here that I found it.. contentment, keep your flow, race your pace, if it happens to be your day and the flow is good; then you’ll do well, if not, you’ll still finish and be content; and from this point forward….all was good. Once I reached the top of Santiago Peak I knew there was a large downhill from here, rocky dusty and exposed but still Downhill!. My legs were beaten at this point they just hadn’t found their second wind yet so I took the downhill easy knowing that Maple Springs Aid was just around the next corner….wait, maybe the next corner…the next? As I continued on I was greeted by Keith Swiatkowski and Micheal Campion they were both running side by side and hot on the tail of the 100k leader, with a quick hello and good luck they were gone…then with a few turns later I saw the tents set up along the divide at four corners and the top of Santiago road and with I smile I drove on. As I repositioned my pack, I knew that would be the last I’d see of it for some time good riddance, so much for the “Great Idea” of controlling my race speed in the beginning with weight. I took a long drink of warm water and trotted down the last section into Maple Springs to cheers and friends again!

Charlie Nickel had it set up, he was like the favorite uncle at the family BBQ during Forth of July …the one you like to hang out with, singing laughing and cooking up everything you can imagine!...as I waited there I heard requests for anything form hamburgers, cup of noodles to bacon…..and couldn’t resist so I indulged in some noodles (mostly liquid) . This was the Drop bags Station and I was looking forward to switching my shoes out and getting into a clean shirt, after a quick switch and once last drink of my soup I was off again dawning my headlamp for the upcoming nights run.

The Santiago downhill seemed to go on forever, I was moving at a quicker pace now and seemed to gain strength from the cooler air and darkness. After endless turns the dirt road turned to asphalt, at first it’s a relief from the rock consistency of the fire roads but then it growls at you and bites into your joints and hips as you run, 57 miles of dirt, then this……”just grind it out” I said; you’ve got a pacer waiting for you.

So there I was off my feet at the Santiago Aid Station, great company….great food, just chewing on a turkey and cheese roll getting a leg massage. Could stay here forever chatting with runners, some of which won’t be continuing on tonight; tough decision but safe, the road ahead up the switchback “Motorway” and out to the distant Weather dome in Blackstar is a tough one, it’s a 14 mile out and back and that’s after the “Motorway” climb. Its location’s very remote and any chance of a quick return should you decide to DNF is just a dream….. dreammmm dreammm…. Wait! I’ve gotta get outta here, getting to comfortable! So with my new teammate David Colwick I stepped back out into the darkness and continued up the dreaded motorway.

Somewhere around halfway up we’re greeted by eyes….big eyes…., out here you don’t really see them looking back at you so often. I hesitate and confirm with my pacer, “ upper right, in the bushes, ….are those eyes…” we cautiously continue up the single track, framing the eyes in our beams the whole way. As we came to a clearing in the brush I was able to identify our mysterious fan, a fox….sigh. Very cool, don’t see many of them out here when I run; and a lot better than the alternative. A short time later we’re greeted by another runner and pacer who had decided to DNF before they got too far, another runner down?, I’d seen quite a few of them drop and wasn’t sure where I stood anymore as far as position. When we arrived at the top of the motorway we were greeted by Scott Mills and company, they all made me feel at home and injected more “I can do this” into my veins via support and tomato soup…yum.

Back on my feet I was now running toward Black star canyon out-and–back, this was to be one of the hardest points for me hills are non-stop and by the time we reach the Weather dome I’m feeling fatigued but motivated, it’s been a long ride so far and it’s a beautiful night, the only thing I could have wished for was a moonless night full of stars. For now though I’m content with the flickering of the city lights far down below, so many people in deep REM, comfortably sleeping in their beds……they have no idea. (smile)

I spend 10 minutes at the Black star aid station, taking weight off my feet and feeling my body pounding in retaliation.

Once up, we run out from aid station and back towards Bedford and Scott Mills aid station, (as quick as possible) anything to get out of this dreaded loop. I’m feeling stronger now as we emerge from Black star and after a moments break on the cot we continue on to Bedford and our return to Santiago peak and the finish line.
We quickly pass Bedford peak and in the darkness the very oldest known exposed surface in the area, a drab cloak of ancient rock hanging on the brushy shoulders of Bedford Peak, called the "Bedford Formation". This 150,000,000 year-old outcropping, which straddles Orange and Riverside Counties, was brand new right in the middle of the reign of dinosaurs..very cool.

Our travels back from this point on were pretty consistent…run when you can, and walk to save your body. I had been feeling off for the last 25 miles and still couldn’t shake it but I was committed to finish and my stomach was just gonna have to deal with it. I felt good from here on out running into the aid stations and David was a great sport talking without any response from me; listening to him kept my mind off the pain and although at times I wanted to participate; I just couldn’t…I just hoped that he would understand.

We ran on and enjoyed the sunrise over the san jacinto mountain range, soaking in what we had accomplished so far. Time really wasn’t relative anymore as our consistent movement just began eating up miles and before I knew it we had crossed Santiago Peak and were now mid-way along the Main divide and close to finishing.
So close to being done, all that built up pain and fatigue my mind had been trying to block was ready to be handed back off to me physically , now I felt every rock that I had pounded over the last 95 miles, felt every hill…….I had to lay down and take the weight off….I’d look around as I ran for smooth areas, shady and cool that would suit me, a large flat cool rock would be great; if I could just convince David to let me lay there for awhile….

The shady spot came and David gracefully complied, he had been running all night with me and I’m sure a small break sounded reasonable; even though we were so close to closing the book on this race.

I laid down and again felt the pounding throughout my body, close my eyes and let the fatigue release with each pounding wave…it felt so good not to move… a few cars filled with friends came by, concerned for me just laying there they continued as David ushered them on after a brief explanation. Feeling sort of stupid just laying there I decided that we needed to just wrap this up, a cool couch sounds better than the soft trail dirt anyway; although it did feel pretty good….then again I’m sure that anything feels better than spending countless hours running a 100 mile trail race!

As we rounded the last peak at the Trabuco aid station I was happy to see Keira Henninger, all smiles and dancing around….I gave her a hug , looked at her and she must’ve saw it in my eyes….”you don’t need any more water, your good to go….you just wanna get off this damn mountain don’t ya” she said. With a nod I said “Hell yes” turned and started to run down the Main Divide to the finish line.

I ran hard all the way down, the pain had gone, I was set on just one thing now and it was right here, as I reached the finish line I jumped in the air and landed two feet together, like a moon landing, or a gymnast that knows they had given all they had, contentment and success. Everyone has tests and challenges that they face through their lives, we live from day to day and do what we can. For me, I carry this for myself, not a badge to brag about but a stepping stone.. a support to keep me strong in the face of the future; knowing that I did what I thought once I could not do.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dirt, Trails, Endurance and Addiction.

Welcome!, please... keep it down for a moment!

I want to announce the birth of a new blog; yes, yes... one in a trillion I know. What does this one offer that the others dont?.......Dang. Dont know....... Well its a blog dedicated to Trail running..to running.... uh... to everything you wear, prepare and deal with while running! Yeah... its about what we WEAR.....How we PREPARE and then how to get THERE; you know "WHERE". I'm getting confused and dizzy, but you've got the picture.

This blog is dedicated to information, tips and lets just say a launching pad to great running...or in this case SOLE-SURFING(TM)