Thursday, April 26, 2012


I guess it's become a tradition that before any significant race, I have some kind of a "taper" or "pre-race" entry. This time is no different.

With the fairly nasty weather we've been experiencing lately, this taper is more than welcome. Last weekend's 2-ish loops run at Sulphur Springs was the second time in a row where the weather has been cold and windy. At least this time, it wasn't pouring frigid rain. I'm ready for warm weather.

Next stop: Bear Mountain 50 miler. Total elevation gain: 7034 feet. As far as I can tell from the elevation chart, not a flat surface anywhere and possibly some vertical ones.

I feel that I'm ready to tackle the course. Derrick did a good job of pushing me to run way more than I usually do on my own. It's good that I feel that confident because it means that I'm able to go into the race without the confidence builder of running a 50K race prior to this difficult 50 miler. A couple of people in our little group are running Pick Your Poison (50K) this weekend. As much as I would love to see everyone, I just can't see an upside for me. If I ran 50k, my legs wouldn't fully recover in a week. If I ran 25k, I would probably run it too fast, being in a race and all. They say that training takes almost 3 weeks to take hold. What I mean is that today's run takes 2-3 weeks before it translates into body adaptation. There's nothing that I can do now that will improve my fitness by race day. The only thing i can do is screw it up or not keep what I gained. As we all know, we lose fitness much faster than we gain.

So the plan is to keep training reasonably and try not to gain any weight. My weight loss has plateau'd as soon as I stopped counting calories a few weeks ago. I'm not where I want to be yet, so that's something I need to address soon. I'm just so hungry all the time now.

It will be interesting to see how people in our little group perform at the race. There is little doubt that I will be the slowest of the four although one of them (and you know who you are) has barely been training and two of the group plan to bust up their quads at PYP this weekend (including mister minimal training). Who said the universe was fair?

That being said, I plan on running a solid race. I've mentioned my nutrition problems many times in the past. I've been working really hard at staying on top of it, but it hasn't really been hot yet and that's usually when nutrition becomes difficult to manage. Hopefully, the weather won't be ridiculously hot. That always makes things worse, especially this early in the season.

I got a new pair of shoes this week, a pair of La Sportiva Skylites 2.0. I had high hopes for those shoes because they are so similar to the Crosslites. If the trails were dry at Bear Mountain, my plan was to wear them for most, if not all, the race. Unfortunately, when I wore them on my long run last weekend, I didn't find them as comfortable at the original Crosslites. The trails were wet and I was fully expecting traction to suck, because the Skylites have no lugs, but I wasn't expecting the various pressure points that started to be annoying after only 5km or so. When I got back to the car, I switched back to my Crosslites and I knew I was going to race in them. I could probably get used to the Skylites, but why would I? This kind of made me worried that maybe the new Crosslites 2 have had the same "improvements" and that they may not be as perfect as the Crosslites. What would happen if (when) La Sportiva stops making the originals? The hunt for a replacement shoe resumes. I've tried so many shoes over the last couple of years. Damn.


Sara Montgomery said...

Vertical K's = Heaven.

Though I'll be wearing Crosslite 2.0's, with Fireblades as backups.

I like the 2.0's, both Crosslite and Skylites, they just fit my feet better than the originals of either.

So many ultrarunners don't seem to like the concept of tapering. I'm a big believer in tapers leading to something special on race day.

Morgan said...

This minimalist training guy sounds awesome. Pretty stupid, but awesome.

Johann said...

Looks like a challenging but very interesting and rewarding 50 coming up. All the best!

Johnny said...

What's a taper?

You're going to do great at Bear.

chris mcpeake said...

Johnny beat me to it.
You would be better off in your crosslites anyways. lots of technical and almost no road.

Wish I was going. I will be very interested to see what you think of the course. I liked the free beer at the end myself.

I will try my hardest to make Mr. Minimal run to fast at PYP ;-)

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

You can't diet the week before a race, eat up and enjoy! Good Luck to you and all who are joining you.