Wednesday, June 12, 2013

my first 6 mile run of 2013

I have been running almost zero miles for many months. I'm feeling like running now so I wrote about my longest run of 2013 on tumblr. I've been doing more on tumblr lately but since this blog has been pretty much dormant for some time now, not sure of it's future direction.

If you are interested in reading about my run yesterday, click here.

--Mark

Sunday, June 2, 2013

two good days in a row

Years ago I wrote down everything I ate and kept track of every last calorie expended during exercise. Without looking back, it seems like great exercise weeks were 5000 calories burned while I was doing intense fitness classes or 45 miles of running when I switched over to that activity.

What I've just started to do a few days ago is record my diet and exercise and goals in myfitnesspal. I also wear my Garmin XT310 for running and have restarted my running for what seems like the millionth time. If I can get to running about 2 miles a day, almost every day of the week, I'll start staggering the 2 mile days with slightly longer days. I'd like to be able to run 6 miles a day, 5 days a week, my this Fall.

To get my Garmin data into myfitnesspal, I use Endomondo as an intermediate app. Endomondo can pull my workouts from my Garmin and then push them to myfitnesspal. A little complicated but it works well.

I have a 7 mile trail race in my sights for later this year.

--Mark

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 inaugural run today

Nothing like waiting until the snow is gone before going on a run. Long story made short - I haven't run since last October. So, after 5 months off it was about time. I didn't want to hit pavement so I headed out to Lebanon Hills in Eagan. What a great afternoon! A summer-like 77 degrees on St. Patrick's day! The trails were in great shape and were quite dry, except for the South side of Jensen lake. I spent an hour out there and enjoyed every minute. Hope to be running out there again very soon.

re: races. I don't have any races on my calendar for this year. I'm hitting yoga and cross-training pretty hard, and now I will get back to running, but it will be months before I have any speed back.

Enjoy the early Spring weather everyone!

 --Mark

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011

I've not been very careful of taking care of my plantar fasciitis this year. I looked back in my log book and saw where I wrote down signs that I was getting it as early as February. Well, now my running has dropped to a low...about 0.0 miles per week. Now I need to take measures to get over this injury.

Here is what comes to mind about my 2011:

1. I made a goal to qualify to run the NYC marathon and I met that goal in May at the Minnetonka Half Marathon. That was the first time I stuck to a pacer and he got me through. It was amazing to run with a pacer who could hold a rock-solid pace up hills, down hills, and in 30mph winds. 1 hour 39 minutes. Thanks again, Pacer Dave. I have no intentions to register for NYC but I am happy to have met my goal.

2. I ran the Bighorn Trail Run 50K in Wyoming in June. I took the day as a way to enjoy being out in the beautiful scenery all day long. I walked up every hill and also down some of the steep ones. 7 hours and 44 minutes which was my slowest ever 50K. Loved every minute of it!

3. I always enjoy the Door County Fall 50 team relay race. Third year in a row for me and had a great time. We had a little issue with our car at one of the exchanges. I didn't realize that laying down in the mowed brush at the edge of a field, to look under the car, would give me a nasty case of poison ivy. I get itchy thinking about it.

Looking ahead to 2012.

1. Swimming. I'm still on the edge of learning to swim freestyle and I have a goal of being a swimmer by Spring.

2. Get over plantar fasciitis. My friends have given me a lot of information on the topic and some names of good Docs. I've been avoiding seeing an expert but it might be time just to do that.

3. Volunteer at races. I would like to volunteer at some trail races this year. 4. Keep the race schedule light. I may sign-up only for the Door County Fall 50 (October 2012) and only add earlier races as my feet and fitness permit.

Happy New Year, everyone! I look forward to seeing some of you on the roads or trails in 2012.

--Mark

Thursday, August 4, 2011

getting back on track

About once a year I get a into a stretch of weeks or a few months or so where I'm not really motivated to run. I don't mind if that happens in the Winter, but it's not great when it happens in the Summer.

In May I had my mind into running and I was in good running shape. I ran a really nice half Marathon on May 1st in Minnetonka.

In June I still had my mind into running when I ran/walked the Bighorn 50K. I didn't train to race it but I did just fine with the plan and was completely motivated to finish while having fun.

In July I ran the Run the Keweenaw series in Upper Michigan. I was not in good running shape and my mind was just not into running. Evidently a continuous long-taper/long-recovery cycle doesn't help fitness if there is not much running involved! :-) I didn't even plan to do any running after the races while I stayed up there on vacation for a week. I finished all the races but I was very slow compared to last year. I just didn't feel like running.

There are many reasons for my current state of mind and fitness, one was the stress of remodeling my house, another is work stress. I'm sure there are more reasons too but I just wanted to write that I'm back in the mood to run and I've added some non-running workouts on 3 days each week. Instead of finding an excuse to skip a workout, I'm looking forward to the workouts to come.

It looks like my next and last race this year will be the Door County Fall 50 relay. I have a 4-person team this year and I always love that race. I'm planning to have some running fitness and speed back by then.

I was hoping to be able to run the Surf the Murph 50M this year but I have other commitments that day. I'll shoot for 2012 to finish that one.

--Mark

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heel lift or no heel lift experiment

For a few years I've been running with a 5mm heel lift in my right shoe and also Superfeet inserts. In March I picked up a new pair of shoes, the same brand/model/year that I had been running in. I also got a new pair of Superfeet at that time. What I forgot was to put in the heel lift and this launched the accidental experiment.

I by the time I hit 200 miles in those new shoes, my right heel was causing me a lot of pain - plantar fasciitis. My left hip was getting sore too. I assumed the two things were related and decided to get a new pair of shoes. They didn't seem to help much so I started some plantar fasciitis treatments such as rolling my foot on a ball. That was making it somewhat better.

Three weeks ago I was getting a spare pair of shoes ready for a race so I pulled my old Superfeet inserts of my winter shoes. It was then I noticed the heel lift. I had forgotten about the lift when I bought new shoes in March and hadn't been wearing it for almost 3 months. Since then I've been wearing the lift in my work and running shoes and my plantar fascittis is almost gone.

So, for me, the 5mm heel lift can make all the difference.

--Mark

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garmin 310XT again

The Garmin 310XT is advertised as one of the most water resistant Garmin GPS watches. I returned my original one in April as the display had a crack in it and it was fogging up inside. Twice during the Bighorn run a week ago I noticed condensation on the inside of the display. Today I contacted Garmin about returning it for repair (within the 90 day repair warranty). Maybe the third one will be a winner!

--Mark

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bighorn Trail Run 50K - 2011


I've heard only good things about the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run and after I DNF the Surf the Murph 50 miler last Fall, that I was running as a test for the Bighorn 50 miler, I decided that the 50K distance was right for me. Most of the year I kept up enough of a mileage base that it's not too difficult to train for a marathon. So far this Spring, I only had two road races - a 25K and a half marathon. Beyond those races, I was only able to squeeze in two or three twenty mile runs. I had zero trail runs this year and no hill specific training. Sounds pretty bleak for running a good Bighorn 50K. Well, it's all about the plan.

My plan was to enjoy the scenery! In order to do that, I needed to finish and in order to finish, I had to take it easy. So, my plan was to walk up every hill and to run very easy down the hills so I didn't kill my quads. Also, I didn't know how the higher elevation running was going to affect me so I planned to keep an eye on my heart rate.

Since I had never run the Bighorn, I wasn't sure exactly what to carry or pack in a drop bag. The race website suggested we carry extra socks and shoes and I also planned to carry a lot of water. I had my Nathan hydration pack which I filled with about 65 oz of water and a 22 oz handheld. With socks, rain poncho, S!Caps, a bunch of ShotBloks, and a headlamp in case I was out until close to the 9pm cutoff, I was set.

Bighorn mountains and Bighorn sheep near the finish in Dayton.



From the finish line in Dayton, Wyoming, many of us took the 6am bus up the mountain to the Dry Creek aid station. The starting time was 8am.

Here the runners are checking in and getting ready to run!





The first 14 miles are an out and back down the valley in the pic above. The course this year was modified from the traditional course which usually starts with the runners heading up the hill (path to the left) in the picture below.



Here is the valley where we would run out and then back up. The 'back up' is a killer.



At 8am it was time for the singing of the National Anthem. The man signing was a good singer, but in one part, he had problems and stopped to start again. Unfortunately, he had problems singing at the same part and stopped again. The runners took over singing and the man joined back in. It was an awesome experience and everyone applauded loudly when the singing ended.

We gathered at the start and off we went, heading down the big hill at a pretty good clip. I noticed not too long after starting that my heart rate was sitting at about 160. Ugh. Too high as I knew a 160 heart rate would not be sustainable for the many hours I knew I was going to be out there. My main goals were to enjoy the scenery, not get injured, and to finish. I needed to meet all three goals for my day to be the best that it could be. I wasn't feeling great in those first miles but I hung in there. I walked up any incline and ran when I could. For this race, it felt like if I was running and hit a 160 or 161 heart rate, I better stop running and just walk. I would keep to that plan the entire day.

Instead of writing a report mile by mile, I'll get this done in the next few paragraphs. After the out and back portion was done, I changed my socks, put the things I wouldn't need from my backpack into my drop bag, and then headed out 10 or so minutes later. It was finally now, after mile 14 that I felt great. I would feel great the whole rest of the day! I ran the downhills very gently to not wreck my quads. I walked at a normal pace uphills. I loved the stream crossings and how they cooled off my feet.

This is me at around mile 8 or 9.



For nutrition, I did some light snacking at aid stations and from mile 7, and every three miles after that, I had 3 ShotBloks and 2 S!Caps. I found that sometimes my 22 oz bottle was enough not between aid stations, sometimes I drank from my Nathan pack. Note for myself next year - just carry 2 bottles and forget the pack, it's pretty darn heavy.

I ran in to the finish in 7:44. My conservative plan allowed me to enjoy every minute of my run, stop to take 100 pictures, and I never got tired or cramped-up! For those of you that have run any of the Bighorn races previously, some of the scenes below will look familiar. For those who haven't run it yet, put this race on your 'must run' list. It's fantastic!

Thank you, Race Director, for putting on an unforgettable event. Thank you volunteers and aid station workers for all the hard work you did to keep up runners safe and hydrated and well fed. Note to self: Don't pass up the cold shrimp next year!

I wore my Garmin 310XT and the data from my run is here.

Each of these pictures are worth more than a thousand words, so there's about a million words below:

What you can't see in the picture directly below is the smell of bacon. Mmmmm....bacon!



















Did anyone else love the feeling of the ice cold water on your feet?





































































































Maybe my best picture for last. Now it was time to turn the camera off and finish this run!



--Mark Hanson

photo credits:

1st photo taken by race photographer - I purchased the 'Web Resolution Digital Image' version from Action Sports Images LLC for use here.

I took all of the other pictures and you can download them for your personal use.