Monday, September 29, 2008
Grindstone Training, Week #15, September 22-28
This past weekend Rusty and I went to Evanston, Illinois on the North Shore of Chicago to attend the memorial service for his uncle, Richard "Dick" Speidel. Uncle Dick was a well-known law professor who taught at UVA, Boston University and Northwestern University Law Schools. Sadly, he succumbed to cancer on September 6. The Speidels gathered in Evanston to pay our respects to this wonderful, sweet man, and the service was held at the Northwestern University Chapel (that's the view from NU of downtown Chicago, above).
My bro-in-law Andy and I managed to short, flat 5 mile run along the shores of Lake Michigan on Saturday afternoon near the NU campus. It is a gorgeous campus and I was able to check out the NU women's lacrosse field, which is right on Lake Michigan---they have won the national championship for the last 4 years...pretty amazing! It was fun to catch up with Andy and hear about his ultra training...he is attempting his first ultra, the Stone Steps 50K in Cincinnati, on October 18. Like many first timers, he is experiencing some ITB issues as he ramps up the training---keep icing and stretching that ITB, Andy!
Thomas Bussiere asked me about my fuel plan for Gstone on last week's post, which was great timing because I was beginning to gather all my nutrition stuff this week. Tomorrow night my coach Mark Lorenzoni and my ortho doc Bob Wilder are hosting a panel discussion on the art and science of tapering at Ragged Mountain Running Shop, so I am going to buy my fuels when I go hear the talk. I am fairly certain that I have the tapering thing down, but it will be good to hear other opinions and catch up with all the local runners who are tapering for their fall marathons.
For Gstone, I am sticking to the fuel plan that has worked so well for me over the past 3 years: start out with a 20 oz. bottle of Sustained Energy sport drink and about 30 oz. of water in my Nathan pack. Temperatures on Friday night are supposed to be in the 30s on the ridges, so I won't need to haul around a ton of water. I do like to carry a hand held Garmin light in addition to my Petzl Myo XP headlamp, so both hands will be tied up, but I have trained and raced with handhelds my entire ultra career, so it won't be a problem.
As for other fuel, I will carry a 5-serving flask of Raspberry Hammergel and have additional flasks in my crew box. I will also carry Sportbeans, a few chocolate and mocha Clif shots, as well as Clif Bloks for variety. At each AS, I will alternate between SE and Nuun in the bottle and keep plain water in my pack. Other essentials I will carry will be a small blister kit, my Nuun tabs, a few Vivarin caffeine pills, and my trusty Ipod shuffle. I plan to plug into the shuffle at the first sign of sleepiness---this worked wonders at Cheat Mountain 50-- and use the caffeine pills only as a last resort.
My crew box is a clear plastic box that will hold additional flasks of Hammergel, Nuun, and SE mix, as well as Desitin and Vaseline for chaffing, blister stuff, and candied ginger for stomach issues. I also re-stocked it yesterday with extra AA batteries (I will carry some as well), an extra hand held bottle, as well as gloves, socks, beanie, and jacket. I am VERY psyched about the weather forecast: sunny and clear with highs in the low 70s and 40s at night. This is perfect weather for me---no excuses about the heat!!
As for this week's taper, I managed about 30 miles of easy running mixed in with my last killer track workout:
Monday, September 22: Swim
Tuesday, September 23: Lift
Wednesday, September 24: Track workout. 1.5 miles easy WU, than 6x 800 on the track, then off the track for a 800 meter hill surge in between each track 800. My track 800s were 3:15, 3:12, 3:10, 3:09, 3:08, 3:09; my hill 800s were 3:10, 3:10, 3:10, 3:11, 3:05, 3:06. I was PSYCHED with how these felt. Afterwards, I switched to my trail shoes and ran an easy mile over the the power lines on the Rivanna Trail. Here I ran 4 repeats up the power lines: 1:05, 1:04, 1:03, and :56, my fastest repeat ever! (I was telling myself that I had better break a minute on this freaking hill since I had been training on it all summer!). Total miles after running back to my car, about 11.
Thursday, September 25: OFF
Friday, September 26: Easy 5 miles on hilly roads and trails, lift afterwards.
Saturday, September 27: Easy 5 miler along Lake Michigan on trails with Andy. FLAT and fun to people watch. Keith Knipling told me he would run these trails and roads when he was a grad student at NU, and that by February it would get very old (and cold, with the winds whipping off the lake...BRRR). This day we had a cloudless sky and temps in the 70s. Gorgeous.
Sunday, September 28: 8 miles on rolling dirt with 3 miles at tempo pace (about 7:25). It was hot and humid back in C'Ville...looking forward to cooler weather!
5 more days until Gstone! My plan this week is to rest today (Monday), run easy Tuesday and Wednesday, get lots of sleep all week, eat well, and pack a little bit each day so I am not stressing out Thursday night. I appreciate all the comments about this blog and hope that it has been somewhat interesting/helpful for readers who are training for their own adventures!! I have enjoyed sharing my training ups and downs with everyone and it has kept me accountable. I will be sure to post a report as soon as I can...Gstone will be having a live webcast beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday. My basic plan is to run really slow and easy for the first 50 miles, and then pick up the pace as much as I am able for the second half without killing myself. I am confident in my training, and I know my crew and pacer will keep me in line :-)
I am looking forward to this awesome adventure and seeing everyone on Friday afternoon. Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone...I really appreciate them.