Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Running Recap

Well, this year in running was a pretty big one for me.  While I didn't get the total miles in that I would have liked, I still had a lot of good races and good times.
The first thing that happened was a job change.  I left my Engineering position at ATK in January for a position as the Compliance Manager of Smith Optics.  So I went from 25 years in the defense and aerospace indutry to a job in the consumer sporting goods industry.  Quite a change, but so far I like it.  Much more relaxed (I wear shorts to work in the summer) plus there's some perks that you don't get when you work in defense.  I didn't have to move, my commute is the same distance, the money is about the same.  What's not to like.
2011 started off with an entry into the big dog of 100 milers, Western States.  I got picked in the lottery on my second try.  There are people that try for five years or more and don't get in.  With my entry into Western States, I figured that this might be my only opportunity to try for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.  I immediately signed up for the Leadville and Vermont 100's and threw my hat into the ring for the Wasatch 100 lottery.
Long story short, I managed to finish the four races, and actually feel pretty good.  Wasatch left me a little tired, but during none of the races was I ever at any point where I thought I would need to dnf.  By the time Leadville rolled around, I was getting a little on edge hoping I wouldn't get injured either during a race or during the time in between. 
What else did I do this year besides the slam?  Well, the year started off with the Moab Red Hot 55K.  I've never run this race, but had heard great things.  The race sells out in a matter of days, but I managed to score a spot on the starting line.  It was a tough race, 40mph winds the entire day didn't make things any easier either.  Still, I managed to finish (6:34) and the post race party is pretty good.  Karen went with me and we made a weekend of it. 
March rolled around and the 6th annual Antelope Island Buffalo Run.  This year I had 780 runners sign up and 705 actually show up.  Things went well, but they could have gone much better.  Part of it was the addition of a 100 mile distance this year.  Still, the experience has led me to impose entry limits for 2012.
Next up was my now annual pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon.  I went with the usual misfits I hang with here in Ogden.  None of them had done a R2R2R before, so I ended up being the defacto tour guide.  We had a great time and we're doing it again next year.
May saw me run the Red Mountain 50K down in St. George.  I've never spent any time in St. George, so that was a nice treat.  My time would have been much better had some asshole not altered the course markings and sent a bunch of us frontrunners off in the wrong direction.  I was on track for a 50K PR and hopefully a sub 5 hour race.  I ended up doing an extra four miles and still managed a 5:33.  Oh well, those things happen at times.
In June I did my first triathlon.  I did the Boise Half Ironman with Sally Shadle, a friend of mine.  She stomped my butt by about 20 minutes, but my time still wasn't too bad for a first time.  That lake water was so cold (1.2 miles, 53 degrees), and the 56 mile bike had to have been one of the most boring rides I've ever done.  The run (13.1 miles) was great though.  I managed a sub 2-hour half marathon after doing the swim and bike ride.  I had trained most of the winter riding a stationary bike, and getting back into my swimming.  I haven't done laps in years and once I got back into the groove, it was nice.  I think the cross training helped my running a lot.
June also saw me run Western States.  July saw me run Vermont in near 100 mile PR time (23:27) and the Speedgoat 50K.  Running Speedgoat was probably a mistake.  Two weeks after running Vermont and two weeks before Leadville?  Not a good idea.  I found out the hard way what a 15 mile bonk feels like.  I wanted to quit so many times, and probably should have, but I just couldn't bring myself to.  The result?  A 10+ hour 50K and a near the back finish.
August?  Leadville, I finished and did better than I thought I would.  I did miss running Waldo 100K this year, oh well, I'll be back there in 2012.
September?  Ah, lovely Wasatch.  I love this race.  It's kind of like a black hole, once you run it, it kinds of sucks you in year after year.  Had a good time there, but not a particularly good finish time.
In November I did a sprint tri at Weber State just as a lark.  5K run, 10K bike, and 300 yard swim.  It was good fun.  My 5K time kind of sucked, my bike time would have been better had I been able to clip into my pedals, but my swim was ok.  It was a nice cold day near Thanksgiving and the run from T2 to the pool was 100 yards while being pretty much naked.  My feet froze and the rest of me was pretty cold too.  I did manage a top 25% finish though and I'll probably do it again next year just for fun.
So, I haven't done any racing since the tri, although I have been keeping up with the running.  Next up in January is the Kahtoola Snowshoe 25K.  Should be a good time if we get some snow.
Since Wasatch, I've been keeping up a pretty good running schedule.  I did slack off a little in Sept/Oct, have picked up the mileage again in anticipation of 2012.  The goals are around 3000 miles for 2012, not quite as much racing, and more adventure runs.
By the numbers -
2011 total mileage - 2138
Miles racing - 502
Average miles per week - 41.00
Average miles per day - 5.86
Number of days running - 206
Average miles per running day - 10.38
Miles biked - 303
Miles swam - 25

Here's a few graphs (hey, I'm an Engineer, I love data and graphs).

Annual Mileage for the past six years

All in all, not too bad a year for a 53 year old grandfather.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Week of December 25th

Sunday - Ah, Christmas Day.  Didn't do any running at all.  Instead we just did the usual Christmas Day thing.   Slept in, got up, then woke up Kevin, opened presents, ate breakfast, then started fixing dinner.  Found out that I'm now a part of the NUTS running club.  Secret handshake and all that.  Actually, we're just a few friends that do some training together, some races, and some adventure runs.  We have a good time.  We're trying to come up with a logo or shirt design.  Miles - 0

Monday - Went up to Wheeler Canyon and ran the Sardine loop with some friends.  Most of the trail was snow covered, but there was quite a bit that was still bare dirt.  Unusual at this time of year.  The day was nice, a little cold to start.  My ankle wanted to act up on the way back down.  With all of the divots and such in the snow, my ankle would get tweaked everytime I did the smallest misstep.  made for a slower run than normal.  I don't think I want to run that trail again until either more snow falls or it all melts.  Of course, carrying around the extra weight from all of the eating the day before didn't help either.  Miles - 15.3

Tuesday - Met the usual cast of misfits and we went north from Rainbow Garden.  Not a bad run.  I certainly felt better today than I did yesterday.  My running was much easier, the ankle didn't bother me at all and it was just a good time.  It did get chilly once the sun went down, but that's to be expected at this time of year.  Maybe I can get some decent running in this week.  Miles - 7.8

Wednesday - So I had big plans to put in some miles.  Instead, I went to the gun range with Kevin and did some father-son bonding over firearms.  Nothing like the smell of gunpowder and throwing some lead downrange.  I can put in some miles tomorrow.  He's not home all that often.  Miles - 0

Thursday - Went out from Rainbow Garden with a couple of friends.  We ended up doing the usual six miles or so.  I felt great.  I was able to power up all the climbs, no ankle or achilles issues.  It was wonderful.  Miles - 6.3

Friday - Took off from work a little early and hit the trail by myself starting at 22nd street.  Started out doing an 8.4 mile loop that I do once in awhile, but mixed it up some by coming down Strong's Canyon and back on the lower trail.  Felt pretty good once again.  Tried to push things a little, especially on the uphills.  The weather was unreal.  Close to 60 degrees but windy.  that ended up making the trails mudy in spots due to the melting snow.  Nothing like spring running at the end of December.  Miles - 8.5

Saturday - Nice easy few miles with Karen.  We went out in the morning from the North Ogden nature Center.  Fun to run with my wife.  Miles - 3.1

Total miles for the week - 41.0

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week of December 18th

Sunday - Didn't do squat.  Kevin, my brother-in-law, and I all went to the Chino Planes of Fame Air Museum.  I hadn't been there in about 25 years so it was fun to see the changes.  They have the only flying Japanese Zero that still has the original engine.  Many of their planes are in flyable condition and they do fly them.  Very cool.  Miles - 0

Monday - Once again I sat on my butt for about 11 hours while we drove home from So Cal.  I'm getting fat from all this doing nothing . Sigh!  Miles - 0

Tuesday - Yep, you guessed it, didn't run again.  Had big plans to go to the gym at lunch, but ended up going to Striders and picking up some Christmas presents for Karen.  I'll be kind of glad when the holidays are over so I can get into a decent training rythmn.  On the other hand, I finally updated my 2012 race and epic run schedule here.  Miles - 0

Wednesday - Finally went running after work.  Managed to get out of work a little early and hit the trail with ARic.  We went from 22nd street south and back.  My ankle wasn't too bad.  Took a couple miles to get warmed up, but after that I was pretty much good to go.  Trail was pretty much snow covered the entire way but footing was good.  Saw a couple of hikers and runners, but that was about it.  Pretty quiet out there.  Miles - 8.4

Thursday - Another good trail run after work.  Rainbow north for a few miles then back.  The run was actually pretty much pain free in my ankles.  Kind of nice.  The ari was relatively clear as well.  Pretty good run.  Miles - 6.1

Friday - Went to the gym at lunch.  Since school is out, I managed to get a run on the track rather than the t-mill.  Couple miles of warm up, then 6 x .25 with about .1 walk in between.  I have no idea what pace I ran those at.  I did notice that my lungs seemed a little tight after each one, and I even took a hit off of my inhaler before I ran.  Hmmm, wonder what's going on, if anything.   Ankles felt pretty good.  For my afternoon run i started at 22nd street and just went to Strong's Canyon and came back on the low side.  Kind of quiet.  No bikes, very few hikers or runners.   Miles - 9.5

Saturday - Have big plans to hit the slopes, but Karen wasn't feeling well so we hung out around the house and did some cleaning.

Total miles for the week - 24.0

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week of Dec. 11

Sunday - Once again, didn't do squat.  Instead I took my lovely wife to go see Blue Man Group.  A much better use of my time than running, at least today.  Miles - 0

Monday - Did the speed work thing again at lunch.  Ran 6 x .50 at a 7:30 pace or faster.  0.10 mile rest in between.  Treadmill time.  Did three sets of pull ups as well.  The after work run was again at the aquatic center.  One mile warm up then four miles at roughly a tempo pace.  Miles - 9.0

Tuesday - Had big plans to go out at lunch and do a few miles.  Instead I ended up going to lunch with my wife.  Much better deal I think.  Then I had big plans to hit the trails after work for about six miles.  I made it about .25 miles before a pain in my ankle forced me to turn around.  Feels like the remanent of a sprained ankle, except I haven't sprained or rolled an ankle.  Hmmm.  Anyway, went home and hopped on the treadmill.  The pain didn't bother me there so I ended up doing five on the mill.  Not ideal but something.  Miles - 5.0

Wednesday - Hit the gym and treadmill again at lunch.  Four miles at an increasing pace.  Last two miles at 8:00 and faster.  Did a few pullups and situps as well.  The after work run was from Rainbow Garden going north.  Did almost 8 miles with Aric and Bj.  Lots of fun.  We pushed it a little, especially coming back.  I did get a little chilled but oh well.  I think I've run outside more so far this winter than I did all of last winter.  After looking at my mileage for the year, I might yet hit 2200.  We'll see.  Miles - 11.8

Thursday - Didn't get a chance to run at lunch since I needed to pick up Kevin from the airport.  Once I picked him up we went home, I dropped him off and went to run with a couple friends.  We met at Rainbow and did out usual six mile out and back.  I wasn't feeling the love for this run.  I lagged well behind the others on the out portion.  My right achilles was bothering me and my left ankle was bothering me.  Made for some slow limping running.  Going uphill was the issue, downhill and flat was fine.  I finally caught up at the turn around and headed back.  I did manage to do a better job of keeping up on the way back.  It did get a little chilly on the way back.  Even with the foot issues, it was still a good run.  Miles - 7.8

Friday - Didn't run at all.  Instead I spent the day sitting on my butt traveling to So Cal with Karen and Kevin.  Miles - 0

Saturday - Karen and I had big plans to go out for a few miles.  My ankle was bothering me so much that we turned around did a whopping 1 mile.  I would have gone further, but the cooler head of my wife prevailed and I decided to just take a rest.  Miles - 1.0

Total miles for the week - 34.6

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trying something new

I think I'm going to try posting something each week on my training.  I see other blogs that do it and maybe it will help to keep me on task as I'm easily distracted (oh look, something shiny!).  I've been thinking about doing something like this for awhile now, so here goes.

Week of December 4th

Sunday - Didn't do squat running wise.  Instead I spent a good part of the day building a kidding pen in our barn.  Karen raises goats and a couple of them are pregnant and will need a quiet place to give birth.  We also had the hair-brained idea that it would be a good place to put our buck goats during bad weather as they really don't have a place to get out of it other than their houses.  Bad idea, they tried to tear the place up.  So they're stuck outside.

Monday - Went to the gym and did some speedwork on the treadmill at lunch time.  12 x .25mile all at a 7:00 pace or faster.  0.10mile walk in between each one.  Not as bad as I thought.  I hate speed work.  I did find a series of speed workouts that I'm going to try.  Each one is different.  One a week will take me up to the Salt Flats 100 in April.  Would have run outside, but it's cold out there and I wimp out in the cold.  I've also started to do a little bit of upper body and core work.  Started doing situps last week and that was an eye opener.  A little sore from that.  The other exercise I started today was pull ups.  I figure between situps, pullups, and swimming a couple times a week, that should be adequate for upper body work.  We'll see.  The PM workout was another four miles at the gym on the track.  Just took it easy, although I'm always trying to catch other runners.  Miles - 8.0

Tuesday - Went running with a few friends on our usual Tuesday evening run.  Met at Rainbow Garden, then went north for 3 miles, turned around and came back.  Always a good time running one of my favorite local trails.  Needed headlamps on the way back.  Kind of chilly too.  Miles - 5.5

Wednesday - Hit the trail with Aric starting at 22nd street.  We went south about 4.2 miles on the BST, taking the high trail at the split, and coming back on the lower trail.  Nice sunset.  My headlamp crapped out and was super dim.  Good thing we've run that trail once or twice.  Plus we had a pretty bright moon to run by.  New batteries are the order of the day.  Temp. was in the 20's but no wind.  Miles - 8.4

Thursday - Did a couple of indoor runs.  Went to the aquatic center at lunch and ran four on the t-mill.  Did that at a fairly easy pace.  Went back after work and ran on the indoor track.  Five miles.  The competitive juices got going when another guy started running after I had completed a mile.  He had on his 5-fingers and was sounding like a duck walking, slapping his feet down.  Anyway, I caught up to him and passed him, but he must not have liked that much, because he passed me back almost immediately.  Then, every time I would gain on him and get within a few feet, he would speed up and put almost a half lap on me.  I bumped the pace just a bit and kept it steady.  We played this game for about three miles before he slowed and I went blazing past him.  He quit shortly after while I kept going.  Kind of fun to do something like that, gets the speed up, makes me work harder and it's nice to know that I can still hang with youngsters.  Miles - 9.0

Friday - Took off from work a little early so I could get a trail run in while it was still light out.  Managed to run my familiar route from Rainbow north three miles, then turn around.  Saw Tom Remkes while I was out and we chatted for a few.  Weather was fine, little chilly, but really not too bad.  Smog was another thing.  Pretty hazy with the inversion settling in.  Doesn't really seem to bother me much, but I'm sure it's not good for you to breathe that stuff.  Oh well, that's what we're stuck with until the middle of next week.  Miles - 6.0

Saturday - Took some friends (Aric, Meghan, Emily, Ann) on a run along part of the 50K/100K course.  Only one of them had been on it before.  Started at the White Rock Bay trailhead, ran to the top of the switchbacks on the Split Rock loop, then dropped over the saddle on to the west side of the island.  Typically this is offlimits to the general public, but I had gotten permission from the Park Manager to take a few friends on this trail.  Helps to be a volunteer out there.  Anyway, had a good time, the weather was a little cool, but in the sun wasn't bad.  Still a hazy mess though.  We ended up at the ranch after about 3.5 hours.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the trip and the chance to see part of the island that most people that visit don't get to see.  One highlight was hearing a pack of coyotes just howling away in the distance.  We just stopped and listened.  Very cool indeed.  Miles - 17.2

Total for the week - 54.1 miles