Saturday, July 12, 2014

Old School Fuel is Cool With Me

I have found 3 foods that really fit my racing and training routine. They have become my go to foods. These are budget friendly and they seem to really work for me.

1. Prerace - Ritz Crackers are what I eat before and during long races and training runs. I started out Delano 12 hour with PowerGels which I like for the consistency of texture, but the latter half I satisfied myself with a few crackers washed down with Gatorade. Gels seem to make me feel like I am slowing down. On the other hand Ritz seem to settle my stomach. I usually eat about 8 to 10 crackers 30 minutes before long runs and races. The downside is you need to slow down to eat them because you might aspirate the crumbs. ( I have done this) When I walk through aid stations I am usually able to eat them.

2. During and after - Gatorade works well when I dilute it. About half and half. I use it at the end of workouts and races as part of my recovery regiment. Gatorade and Ritz crackers got me through the 50 miles I ran at Delano. In warm weather I freeze the bottles for use after the run.

3. Recovery - I have been on the chocolate milk train for a long time. I used to make my own, but I now buy the boxed kind. It has a long shelf life and can be kept at room temperature. Usually less then a dollar for a box or a little more for the organic stuff. I like the 2% or more fat content. I usually freeze the carton and let it thaw during the run.

I realize that everybody is different and different things work for every runner, but these seem to work for me. They are easily accessible and inexpensive which help because I run on a tight budget.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This nails it for me - enough said

I read this many years after Dr. Sheehan's death and years after I started running.  This nails it for me.

Why Do We Run?
by  Dr. George Sheehan

Why do I run? I have written over the years of the benefits I receive from running. Enumerated the physical and mental changes. Listed the emotional and spiritual gains. Charted the improvement that has taken place in my person and my life. What I have not emphasized is how transient these values and virtues are. With just a little thought, however, it should be evident that physical laws parallel those of the mind and the spirit. We know that the effects of training are temporary. I cannot put fitness in the bank. If inactive, I will detrain in even less time than it took me to get in shape. And since my entire persona is influenced by my running program, I must be constantly in training. Otherwise the sedentary life will inexorably reduce my mental and emotional well-being. So, I run each day to preserve the self I attained the day before. And coupled with this is the desire to secure the self yet to be. There can be no let up. If I do not run I will eventually lose all I have gained-and my future with it. Maintenance was a favorite topic of Eric Hoffer. It made the difference, said the former longshoreman, between a country that was successful and one that failed. However magnificent the achievement, without constant care the result was decay. I know the experience intimately. There is nothing more brief than a laurel. Victory is of the moment. It must be followed by another victory and then another. I have to run just to stay in place. Excellence is not something attained and put in a trophy case. It is not sought after, achieved and, thereafter, a steady state. It is a momentary phenomenon, a rare conjunction of body, mind, and spirit at one's peak. Should I come to that peak I cannot stay there. I must start each day at the bottom and climb to the top. And then beyond that peak to another and yet another. Through running I have learned what I can be and do. My body is now sensitive to the slightest change. It is particularly aware of any decline or decay. I can feel this lessening of the "me" that I have come to think of myself. Running has made this new me. Taken the raw material and honed it and delivered it back ready to do the work of a human being. I run so I do not lose the me I was yesterday and the me I might become tomorrow. Excerpt: Going The Distance

Dr. George Sheehan

Monday, March 3, 2014

P is for Play List - Training for Delano 12 Hour

A play list is something I am not used to worrying with before a race, but I will probably need  a bunch of tunes to get my head around Delano. I decided to attempt a 50 mile run this year. It has been on my bucket list for some time. I cannot think of a better place to do it then at the Delano 12 Hour race in Decatur, AL. The race has a couple of variants. One is the 12 hour race which you see how many miles you can cover from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. The other is to run  whatever time it takes you to complete 50 miles.  I chose the 50 mile variant. 

The course consists of approximately a one mile loop through Delano Park. The trail is soft gravel and it meanders through the park. The tunes will come in handy on that one mile loop. I am afraid it can be a mind killer. I have managed three 20 plus mile training runs on the course to accustom myself with the actual loops. The good thing is it puts restrooms and a refreshment stash just a mile away through out the entire race.

I have run 20 milers on hilly terrain and shorter runs on trails with a lot of vertical ascents. The 20 milers were every week for several months. The training culminated in finishing the Black Warrior  50K three weeks before Delano. Running 31 miles over muddy and hilly terrain in 5 and half hours has bolstered my confidence in finishing a 50 miler over a level smooth surface.

I feel that the lack of running 3, 4, or 5 hours regularly is the weakest part of my training. I have managed 9 straight weeks of long runs of at least 20 miles, but my long runs have usually fallen in the 2 to 3 hour range. The 50K race gave me some much needed time over feet running.  I have tried to run most on harder courses with a lot of vertical features.

So now it is race week and I am checking the weather and working on logistics and figuring out play lists. I have never been one to use music during a run, but this course kind of lends itself to using music. I have had to try out some headphones and see how hard it is to manage my mp3 player on the run. Hoping to not have to use the player much, but after about 25 laps who knows.