Friday, February 17, 2012

Black Warrior 50K Training

Success on this 50K will come down to whether I have paid my dues. I am a lot better prepared for this Black Warrior 50K than 2 years ago.

My plan was to keep my mileage from Rocket City Marathon by doing three 20 milers before Black Warrior.  I tried to alternate 20 milers and 16 milers or trail runs. I have found alternating Saturday long runs worked well for the Rocket City Marathon. 

I managed three good trail runs and three 20 milers to prep for the race. The 20 milers were at a sub 8:00 minute pace and  the trail runs were fairly technical, but of coarse there could always have been more. You can never do to much trail running. I like to duplicate race conditions and lack of trail runs is the weakness in my training so far.

I feel pretty good, but I have a little sinus crud. I have upgraded my shoes to Inov8 Roclite 295s. Bankhead will be muddy and wet Saturday, but when is Bankhead NOT muddy?

My goal is to run between a 5 and 6 hour race. And about those dues,  I guess for now I will have to say the the check is in the mail.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2011 in review

2011 was a really good year. I participated in 2 sprint triathlons
(Huntsville Sprint Triathlon, Soggy Seal Triathlon) , a duathlon, a  5K, 10K, 25K, and a marathon.

This year I ran 1407 miles at an average pace of 7:39 min/miles and biked 1421 miles at an average speed of  16.5 mph. It was a breakthrough year for my swimming. I swam 125.2 miles at an average mile pace of 38:32, and I finished the year with a pace of 35:27. 

 In May I passed-out at the finish of Jesse Owens 10K.  This was a first for me.  I still managed 1st place in my age group and 16th overall out of 124.  I beat the heat this year. I ran fast all summer and finished a 5K in August with a 20:16. This is faster then I believed possible for me in the heat of summer.
I was able to develop a pretty good running base this fall and had a great Rocket City Marathon. I was able to best last year, qualify for Boston, and place 5th in my age group.

I hope to maintain my momentum into the Black Warrior 50K and have a good spring of racing. I hope that God blesses me with another healthy year of running.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Inov-8 Roclite 295 - Mocosins on steriods

Shoe Review Inov-8 Roclite 295

I needed to find a replacement for my Nike Alvord 7s.which have been adequate up until now. Alvords are not the greatest on limestone rock. So I searched for a replacement and the Inov8 Roclite 295 has exceeded my requirements.  My specific requirements were to have shoes that would handle limestone rock. They also needed to be able to run distance and handle mud. 

Trust has to be earned, so I had to put the Roclite 295s through a few tests.  I test every thing I use before races, especially ultra trail races.  As Ronald Reagan stated "trust, but verify".

I tested the shoes on the following:
(a) 6 miles of sand stone and yellow clay mud at Bankhead National Forest, Lawrence County, AL
(b) 10 miles of limestone rock and mud on the Rain Bow Mountain  Trail loop, Madison, AL.
(c) 20 miles of crushed gravel trail at Point Mallard, Decatur, AL

Minimalist and neutral I found these shoes to be pretty comfortable to run in. There is no traditional stone shield, but they have a 5 finger meta-shank which seems to help protect your foot from the trail. To me they feel like moccasins on steroids. They are very flexible and feel great flexing over a trail. I found the sticky rubber made running on limestone rock pretty sure footed. The trails were muddy and wet and the rock conditions were from dry to wet/damp. I did slide a little but I was very pleased with the traction.

As for as a break-in period, they are so flexible I really needed to just get my feet adjusted to them. I walked around in them and noticed that my heel was a little sore. They are a lot lower from toe to heel, so I think the lower angle made my soles sore. After I wore them a few days the soreness subsided. Running in them has felt pretty good.

I found them pretty sure footed on limestone and sandstone rock and they seem to shred the mud pretty good.  I slid on the limestone a few times. I did fall once, but it was not the shoes as much as me because I was inattentive for a moment.  Familiarity usually breeds clumsiness in my case. It was on my sixth time through the loop and lost focus.  I have been able to run in them without my normal PowerStep inserts and my feet have felt great without the orthotics. For a minimalist shoe my feet felt great. I was a little sorer after the 20 miler, but I usually finish those runs a little achy.

Great shoe for me that will be my new "go to" for technical trails and mud.