Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Solstice Running

Months ago, I was looking at the calendar I noticing that June 21 is the longest day of the year, I thought "how fun would it be to run from sunrise to sunset." As I thought even more, my mind moved to the winter, and the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year).

I thought about running a 24 hour race. When I did my 50 miler in November I officially started training for 24 hours. Each month I plan on doing one thing to get ready for it. In November I ran overnight a 4 hour run from midnight to 4am. So to celebrate the shorted weekend of the year, decided to run nine hours, from 7:30am to 4:30pm.

To get ready I stopped at the Dollar Tree, I bought so pretzels, animal cookies, peanuts, m&ms, and some other stuff. I knew that the weather would be cold, and maybe wet. I drove my car down to the park near my house and used that as my "home base".

My plan was to run 45-50 miles. I started out at 7:30am, which was just before sunrise. I started out in a nice pace, but to fast. In the first hour I ran about 7 laps, which was 6.7 miles and a pace of 9:17. I ran 15 laps (14.3 miles) without stopping then I took a break. I got something to drink and eat.

In my second stretch I ran 12 more laps. I passed the 20 mile mark in about 3 hours, I knew I was running to fast, so after 27 laps (25.8 miles), I started a 2/1 split (run 2 laps, walk 1 lap). It worked well for me, but it was cold and wet, so just before my third stretch I changed my cloths. My sister joined me for three laps (#40-42). My dad got on a mountain bike and rode alongside me for about the last eight or nine laps.

So I ended up running 53 laps (50.652 miles), I ran till 4:45pm, which was just after sunset. I ran a total of 8:28 (pace of 10:02), I rested for 45 minutes, which mean that it took me 9:13 overall (pace of 10:56). In that time I burned a total of 6,181 calories, I had an average heart rate of 129 (peak of 148).

I had a fun time, I hope this will help me in training to run 100 miles in 24 hours. This run does not officially count as an ultra, but I did run my second 50 miler.

Here were my splits:
5k = 0:28:09
10k = 0:57:34
15k = 1:26:53
Half Marathon = 2:01:49
30k = 2:51:12
Marathon = 3:59:45
50k = 4:49:10
60k = 5:56:41
50m = 8:21:27

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Marathon

What better way to celebrate Christmas then to run a marathon. Okay, the marathon was not on Christmas, but close enough. I wanted to get at least one marathon in the month of December. This is the best one, it's just 2 hours from home and a late start.

On Saturday, as I was getting ready for work, I got a visit by a man who lives in Portland's west hills. He was looking for someone to ride with him to the Christmas Marathon. He got my name and contact info from the Maniacs website. He had run the Portland Marathon and Seattle Marathon, and now was looking to become a Maniac. He's a nice guy and I figured it would be nice to get a ride. So I said sure.

I got up at 6am, had my devotions, and got ready. My dad drove me to Peter Corduan's house, and we left for Olympia by 7:05am. We chatted the whole way, and got to the race at about 9am. The race was to start at 10:30am. I know that often Maniacs and others do an early start for Bob Green's races. I just didn't know if the early start would be 9:30 or 10:00. So I got my bib and shirt and got ready for the 9:30 start. Just before the start Bob told us that we would not have aid for the first half. I thought for a second, and decided to run with a Gleukos bottle. I was unsure if I could run with a bottle in hand. The only time I run with a bottle is with a belt, but never in hand. But I figured I should have something to drink.

I started out running smooth. I had no real goals in mind. I definitely wanted to break 4 hours. My worst road marathon time in 4:00:30. But I knew this would be no problem. I wanted to run a good race, if that meant a 3:40, 3:45, 3:50, or 3:55 then so be it. So my first few miles were at a good pace of an average of 8:29 pace. But after that I missed a lot of mile markers. I got a few of them but never got a a full mile time until the end.

I was running and enjoying the overcast and cool (but not cold) weather. The start was about 41°. I was running with a Gleukos bottle, and what was nice is that it was a flexible bottle. This made it nice, because as I drank the Gleukos, the bottle became easier to hold. And without normal aide, the Gleukos tasted like honey. I think this might be something that I can use in the future.

With an hour early start it was very early to see the difference between the early and regular start runners. Brian Pendleton started out with a vengeance, and lead me the entire way. I thought he might be taking pictures on the way back, but he just kept cruising. I ended up finishing second among the early starters.

A church friend, Cara Esau, was there to run in her third marathon. She was trying to qualify for Boston. Because she is a woman and in her 40's she has a qualifying time of 3:45. She started about five minutes after I did, and I wasn't too surprised to see her finish not long after I did. She had a time of 3:44:37. Just 10 seconds slower then me. That meant that she qualified. So I must say congratulations to Cara. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous that she is going to Boston. But maybe I'll get there someday.

So for Peter, it was his Maniac qualifier, and he did a great job. I was surprised to see him right behind be for the first five miles, but he slowed down in the last half. He ran a PR of 3:57:26. So happy to have his company. He is now Maniac #749, I hope to run and travel with him in the future.

Getting back to my race. I ran 1:51:23 in the first half, that's a 8:30 pace. I felt great, but my hip was getting sore, so at the half I stopped and got a quick drink before heading back. It seems like before each aid station on the way back, the cramping came back, so I would stop and drink and then it felt better. I put my iPod shuffle on about mile 3 and listened to a great sermon by Mark Driscoll, before enjoying the sounds of dc Talk, Newsboys, and Switchfoot.

I ended up running a pace of 8:37 in the last seven miles. So that meant I had a great even run. I finished with a time of 3:44:27 which is a pace of 8:34. I felt great I was very happy with my time. It stayed dry and started raining about an hour after I finished.

We left about 3pm, and drove back. We got back at 5pm. I took a shower and went to the evening service at church. It was a great day, and to top it all off I pasted the 3,000 mile mark for the year at mile three. What a blast!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Time for an oil change?

At the beginning of the year, I was looking to dive deep into running and marathons. My friend Tim (Maniac #409) said he was looking to run 3,000 miles. He ran a 6 day race this year, I thought that would be a good goal for him, but not for me.

I started the year, by running a little here, and a little there. In the first two months I was running when I had time and felt like it. In January I ran only 17 days, putting in 178 miles and one marathon. In February I ran only 16 days, but ran 195 miles and one marathon and one 50k.

In March, I took on the spring with a vengeance. I was enjoying the change in weather, I starting upping the mileage. Sometime that month, in which I ran a record 301 miles, I thought about the goal of 3,000 miles. My friend Tim at that point told me that things were not going to work out for him to run 3,000 miles. But being a college student I could make the time to put the mileage in.

For the remainder of the spring I was on a roll! I ran only one marathon a month from March through June, but my mileage was crazy. April I posted a new record of 310 miles, May I ran 283 miles. In those three months I ran an average of 5.25 days per week, and about 68 miles a week. I was having so much fun and loved every minute of it.

In June I ran the Pacific Crest Marathon (my anniversary marathon) for the third straight year. But that is when I increasing my marathons pace for the year. In about an eight week period I ran five marathons and one 50k. After Pacific Crest (June 23), I ran my next marathon on The 4th of July and five days later I ran the SEAFAIR marathon (July 9). At the end of this eight week period I ran my first double. On Saturday, August 11, I ran the Crater Lake Marathon and the next day I ran Haulin' Aspen in Bend.

After such a crazy period, I was ready for a break. During the months of June and July my mileage was down. I ran 221 in June and only 207 in July, but in August I ran 255 miles. I was riding my bike as a way to cross-train and keep my body fresh.

In September I was looking to take it easy. But that didn't happen. I started working with my mom on getting her ready for the Portland Marathon, by doing a lot of long walks (10-20 miles). I felt so good in September that I just keep pushing. This is when 3,000 miles became a reality. I ran a new record of 346 miles in September.

After the double in August I felt like pushing to the next level. I figured if I could do a double (and a tough one) I could run a 50 miler. So I looked to Autumn Leaves (Nov 3), as my first 50. That meant focusing on long training in October. I led the month off with the Portland Marathon (Oct 7), and then in the next two Saturdays did some ultra-training. I ran 31 miles and 40 miles in the those two Saturdays. I finished the month of October with 304 miles.

My first 50miler was a huge success, with a time of 9:22. I felt great. But I took it easy the next couple of weeks. Last year, the fall was tough I lacked the motivation to keep going and didn't feel up to running, plus I had nagging pains. This year was a different story. I felt fantastic and I think the cross-training and easy months in June and July helped. I figured I should just keeping going. I love the Seattle Marathon and decided to join the Maniacs for a pre-marathon marathon. That's right my second double, I ran fantastic and had so much fun. In November I logged another 267 miles.

So that leads me to this month. I have had so much fun running like a "freak". As of today I have logged 2,945 miles. I need just 55 more miles and I have a whole three weeks to go. I will have no problem running 3,000 miles, and am looking now at 5,000km (3,107 miles).

On Sunday, December 16, I will be running the Christmas Marathon. Sometime during that race I will hit the 3,000 mile mark. It's fun to have goals and reach them. It keeps me motivated and on track.

They say that every 3,000 miles you should have your oil changed in your car. My car is due for an oil change, but what about me? Do I need to change my oil? Do I need to rest up?

Maybe, but after seeing so many Marathon Maniacs going so much further then me, I ask myself "how far can I go?" I saw that Larry Macon (Maniac #120) has run 91 marathons this year, and has run 79 the last two years. That makes me look little, but what can I say?

I'll push strong this week, I'll run 60-70 miles and get 3,000 on Sunday. But I will continue until the end. Like a marathon that you are going to PR, it's not good enough to walk across the finish line, you have to push hard till it's done. In January and February I will rest a little, and next year, I look to average 45-50 miles a week. This has been a year to remember and I'm glad the Lord has given me the strength to continue.