Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 Years Cancer Free!

2 Years ago today I finished the hardest thing I have ever done, 3 rounds of BEP Chemotherapy. I had also suffered from a pulmonary embolism, and could not walk up one flight of stairs without being completely out of breath.

Today I signed up for second hardest thing I will have done,  Pinhoti 100 mile trail race.

Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one.  ~Wayne Dyer

Hot to Trot 8 Hour Race. 29 Laps 34.3 Miles

This was my first timed event, and I am convinced that the timed race on a short 1.x loop takes more mental grit than a point to point race of equal distance. These are just a few things I noticed. First, since it is a short loop, you see the same section of trail over and over again. This can get to be a little boring, but at least you learn the best approach to each section. Since I knew exactly what was coming up next, I could play little mind games with myself about running to that one tree this lap without walking. I could also get into a zone without worrying about making a wrong turn. Second, you have to push yourself to keep moving out of the Aid Station/Start Finish area. Seeing that race clock would give me that end of race feeling especially towards the end of the race. I noticed that some runners would run harder faster laps, but would take sit down breaks. My strategy from the start was to keep moving with a slow steady run with some walk breaks, and to power hike the hills. There was one good climb that I power hiked every loop, and a few sections that I would walk some laps to allow my core temp to drop plus allow my muscles to recover. I also wanted to experiment a little with hydration and nutrition without being too far from help. I consumed on average about 10oz of fluid, either water or 50/50 water sports drink. I would take a SCap about every hour, and I would eat about every 30-45 minutes. I only used Gels twice during the race, and ate small amounts of real food the rest of the time.

Over all I enjoyed the timed event. I want to try a 12 hour or 24 hour next to see how I really like this format.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Running Gear Reviews.

In the past I before I bought a trail shoe, hydration pack, or supplement, I would search the web for reviews. I always end up on a blog somewhere reading a detailed review on that gear. I would think wow, now that sounds just like me; I need that shoe to improve my running. I need that pack cause I can carry more, and it will not bounce. None of it worked. The shoes did not make me run better, they made my knees hurt because I wanted my running stride to be something it is not. The pack bounced, made my back sweat, and was heavy. Those supplements did not help my performance, they just cost me money.
I noticed in my search for reviews that there are not many negative reviews on blogs. Most of the negative reviews I found were on store sites, and were on products that did have a specific problem. For example, battery life on GPS watches, bladders that leak, and shoes of a very poor design are all things I have found on store websites. This is good information that you can use before making a purchase. With all of that said, I will not review specific products. I will try to explain solutions, and training that works for me.
My conclusion? You have to do what works for you. Those shoes are not going to improve your running. You have to work on your form, and put the miles in before you can run better, and without pain. Any pack is going to be hotter on your back. The more stuff you carry the heavier it will be. If you bounce when you run, anything you wear is going to bounce with you. You can still learn from others around you, but you have to try to see what works for the given run whether it be an ultra, training run, or 5k.