Monday, June 28, 2010

Time For A New Plan

So, there has been a change of plans. As I stated when I first began training, there was only one thing that would keep me from toeing the starting line of the Ozark Trail 100 on November 6. That was if Jakob were to have a gymnastics meet the same weekend. I knew when choosing a race in the fall there was a good chance something would be scheduled. My fear has been realized. Not only is there a meet, it is the National Future Stars Testing in Colorado Springs. This will be a huge event for Jakob where he will be compared against boys from all over the United States. There is nothing that would keep me from being there to support him in what I am sure will be a great challenge.

I have been telling Jakob’s coach for the last several months to remember not to schedule anything on that weekend. He sent me a text two weeks ago saying, “Guess what weekend Future Stars Testing is?” I have been spinning about it in my head for the last two weeks. There is no way I could miss it the meet. There are no other races in the right time period close by. There are some the first weekend of October but that’s a month less training and there is a meet then too. I don’t want to give up the run after already spending so much time preparing and thinking about it. I already paid my almost $200 fee! What the heck am I supposed to do now?

After thinking over all my options and discussing them with Sara, this weekend while floating down the Big Piney river we began to formulate the new plan. I have decided to do my own solo run on day of my 40th birthday. I will run 100 miles at Busiek on October 30. Who needs an actual race? I don’t need anymore t-shirts and didn’t plan on winning any trophies anyway. The whole lure of the run is me on a trail against the distance and I can do that alone just about anywhere. Well, a little help from friends is always nice.

Sara came up with the idea of making it into an actual birthday party of sorts. She will set up a campsite that will serve as my aid station that I will pass approximately every two hours. It’s close enough to Springfield that friends can come by and support and maybe do a lap or two with me and hopefully help her stay awake all night. The hardest part of this new run will be passing by friends and family to head out for another lap! I need to measure the exact distance of the intended loop but I believe it will be about 7 miles done a little more than 14 times. Who is going to train a little and run a lap with me?

There are several logistics questions to be answered still but it feels good to have a new plan.

Week of June 14 - 35 on foot, 48 by bike
Week of June 21 - 32 on foot, 48 by bike

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It has been busy the past couple of weeks leaving little time for writing. We just returned from four days in Dallas where Jakob got to go to a gymnastics camp. The top 12 kids from our region spent several days working and playing together.

On the running front, training continues to progress. This week I believe I will hit 50 miles. In the past, this has been a difficult hurdle to get past. Not only does it demand a substantial amount of time on the road, 10 hours per week or more, I usually start to pick up many nagging joint aches and pains. It should be interesting to see if my recent choice of minimal footwear and changes to form will allow me to do more. The last time I ran this much on a weekly basis I was wearing regular footwear and was still a heel striker.

I did my first truly barefoot run while in Dallas. 3 miles on an asphalt path similar to our Greenways trails here. I have been tossing the idea around in my head for quite some time but had never taken the plunge. Then I see this television show with a guy walking around barefoot in the snow and decided I could handle a couple miles on warm dry ground if he could do that. I have to admit, it was outstanding! It feels light and fast and surprisingly soft. I intend to start incorporating barefoot miles into the week slowly. I don’t know if I will reach a point where I could do all my runs totally shoeless. While I can handle pavement without any issue, gravel and rocky trails would take a lot more conditioning of the sole.

The heat of summer is truly setting in. It seems like it’s a constant battle to remain hydrated. I drink as much throughout the day as I can handle and still have times where I have difficulty maintaining weight. I can always tell when I haven’t had enough as I begin to get headaches that will not go away until I have drank a couple bottles of water.

Week of May 31 – 46 miles on foot, 64 bike
Week of June 7 – 25 miles on foot, 48 bike

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It was a slow week training wise. I think the adventure race last weekend took a larger toll on me than I originally thought. I only ran a whopping 21 miles this week. I had 64 miles on the bike. I think I had the energy for more but I passed several opportunities to run. The excuses flowed easily and they sounded pretty convincing at the time. I try to chalk such weeks up as my body calling for rest but they also come with some guilt. Especially now as the race creeps closer. There are only 5 months left. When I take out a few weeks for taper its actually closer to 4 months of training time. This week, I will cover much more ground!

The highlight of the week for me was a trip to the river. We go quite often in the summer and it is always a refreshing experience. For the last couple of years our favorite float has been on the James River from Hootentown just south of Nixa. The best part is that we can be on the bank of the river within 30 minutes. We can leave the house around noon, float 7 miles and be home by 5 o'clock!

Another point of excitement for this particular float was that it was the first time we let Jakob have the kayak by himself. We have had him in the boats since he was barely 2. He hasn't ever had a fear of water. When he was 4 he was jumping off rocks by himself. I can't remember exactly when he started learning to paddle and read the river but he has had several seasons of watching and helping in preparation for this day.

We knew he would take to it quickly and never want to ride with me again. When it actually came time to take control of the boat on his own with nobody but himself to rely on he seemed a bit nervous. While I had no doubt he was ready and would do well, we were still nervous as he approached his first swift corner. Before we were to it we had talked about where he needed to be in the current and how to keep himself aligned properly. In the end, as with all things physical, he had no trouble whatsoever. I would quiz him at each section. Where should you be? Which side would be best? Where is the current going to push you? He knew all the answers.