Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last Two Months

I always get annoyed when people whose blogs I follow fail to update them in a timely manner. I wonder if anyone is annoyed with me? That would mean someone actually reads this thing. A lot has happened. We (wife, cats, and myself) moved to Grant Park literally next door to church. (I ma looking at the church right now as I type this. If I make any typing errors it is because I am looking at the church. [Only one error!])

I ran lots of races. Short recap:

May 2—IOCC 5K: 1st- 17:59

May 3—Buncombe Forest 34 miler: 4th- 5:31:41

May 12—Atlanta Track Club (ATC) All-Comer’s Track Meet: 800m- 2:07, 3200m- 11:05

May 19—ATC All-Comer’s Track Meet: 1500m- 4:24

June 2—ATC All-Comer’s Track Meet: 3000m- 9:46

June 6—YMCA Louisville Run to the Sun 4 miler: 3rd- 22:35.5

June 19-21—Rock/Creek Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race: 12th- 10:16:53

I returned to the track for the first time since college back in 1998. Even though I have been training to run long and (relatively) slowly, and having run nothing faster than 5:30/mile pace or so, I ran pretty fast. I guess I have a fair number of fast-twitch muscle fibers. This is encouraging, as I really enjoyed running on the track, and now I know that I can train for longer stuff but still run well on the track. I am thinking about training for some early spring 50Ks and then crank up the speed work and see how much faster I can run with proper track training.

I was also really pleased with my road racing. At the four-miler in Louisville I did something I had never done before—I ran each mile faster (5:47, 5:44, 5:33, 5:31) and went from 8th to 3rd from mile 1 to the finish. This race made me want to run Peachtree in hopes of PRing for 10K, and thanks to Reebok and Susan Jones, I have a number up front. Now all I have do is run fast on the 4th.

The ultras were a bit more taxing. I haven’t felt really pleased with any races this year (with the exception of Fat Ass, which was more of a run than a race). This year has been the year of heat. Mississippi was the first hot day of the year, Buncombe was hot and HUMID, and the Stage Race was in the upper 90s each day. I have not dealt well with the heat. I have learned several things about myself and the heat: 1) don’t use gels with lots of caffeine (caffeine seems to overheat me and make me nauseous); 2) use Endurolytes rather than S-Caps (I’m not sure why, but my stomach tolerates Endurolytes better); 3) don’t rush through aid stations and possibly forget something (saved seconds lead to lost minutes); 4) water tastes better than sports drink later in the run; 5) don’t mix the Perpetuem too strong and make sure it’s mixed with COLD water; 6) sucking on ice feels great.

Short recap of the ultras:

Ran every step for the first 3.5 hours of Buncombe, walked a little before getting to the final aid station at mile 28 in 3:57, and walked most of the way to the finish. This was unplanned, but I was treating this as a run and not a race. My legs were spent from the 5K and weight training the day before and from not walking at all. I got a great 4 hour run with a nice 6 mile hike as a cool down.

Made a wrong turn in the first two miles of the first stage (Picture at top of the post is before I got lost; all the guys in the picture followed me). I should have gone out slower, I should have been thinking about all 60 miles, not just the 22 of day one. I ran too hard playing catch up and bonked at three hours, walking a long downhill that I should have flown down. I felt by far the worst after this first stage. Day two I ran smart early on but then pushed too hard in the middle, falling apart again in the last half hour. Day three I suffered from running too quickly early on, but ran steady for the final 2.5 hours, finally getting the hang of racing. (Picture at the top of the webpage is from day 3: I am wearing the hydration pack and waiting to climb out of "Randyland.") The stage race was great preparation for a summer 100.


  1. i read your blog, muttering "run, matt, run" under my breath all the while.

  2. Good to get an update! Sounds like lots of good running with healthy doses of experience thrown in. :)