Sunday, January 18, 2015

Burning River 100 for Ben: 28 Weeks - Thoughts on the Run

The 3 Amigos pose on a Burning River Training Run
Max is saying "Screw the picture let's run!"
I’ve been thinking about how to run the Burning River a lot during my runs this week. It will certainly be different than any 100 mile race I’ve ran thus far. Races in the mountains have forced walking sections, sometimes for hours. When running 100 miles in the Rocky Mountains we are faced with steep climbs that can take hours and reach elevations over 13,000 feet. These sections usually become “power walks” and once above 12,000 feet “survival shuffles”. Burning River is going to be different. The first 40 miles is fairly flat, all runnable, and with the lower altitude it will be very hard not to go out too fast. The issue I’ve been struggling with is do I run the whole thing or take five minute walking breaks every 20 minutes?  Logic and experience says I should take the 5 minute walks every 20 or so minutes, pride says to just run. If I am going to take the walking breaks I need to implement it into my training and anyone who calls him/herself a runner never wants to be seen walking! But I think it’s something that needs to be done. Going out too fast in a 100 mile race may gain an hour in the first 50 – 70 miles but it will cost many hours if not a DNF “Did Not Finish” in the end.  Not to mention excruciating suffering in the second half of the race. So I’ve decided that I need to incorporate power walking into my training, even on the flats. This is going to take some real discipline and pride swallowing for sure.

Nutrition is another issue that needs to be figured out long before the race. I’ve  been pretty good with this in every ultra-endurance event I’ve ever done; I’ve stuck with liquid nutrition only and no more than 300 calories an hour. So far I’ve never got sick or nauseated as I’ve seen so many others have. When running or riding an ultra-endurance event it is impossible to process as many calories as being burned. I’ve seen many racers try to only to become sick and puke their guts out, eventually distressing their digestive system so bad they can’t keep anything down. There is a ton of research that shows that when running or riding long distances the body just cannot process more than 300 calories (if that) an hour. So it makes no sense to try to eat more; it just puts more stress on the system and uses more energy to try and digest it all.

So another part of training, especially for ultra’s is to teach the body to get very efficient at burning fat for fuel and save carbohydrates. I’ve been working on this a lot by not eating breakfast before rides or runs, to include long runs, then only eating 100 calories or less an hour in liquid form during my long runs. So far it seems to be working as I have not had any problems with bonking. I’ve got just over six months and a couple thousand miles to experiment, so it will be interesting what I come up with.

This week was a recovery week. I shortened the runs a bit except for my Saturday run. I planned on running less but it ended up being 18 miles anyway. And that was after doing a very hard VO2 Max test on the bike earlier in the morning. Not sure how that happened. I guess I was just really enjoying the run.

Lab Rat - Volunteered for a graduate study by taking a VO2 Max Test
An Hour of Serious Suffering!

Loving Life with Max on an 18 mile fun run!
Finally, as I’ve stated since firing the blog back up is that one of the reason’s I running the Burning River 100 is to honor a brave young man, Ben, who has been battling cancer for over two years. He and his mother’s positive attitude and bravery have been very inspiring to me. I had a small taste of how brutal chemo type treatment can be several years ago and want to raise awareness and do something to help kids and families going through this very hard treatment.  We decided to use this run to raise money for a non-profit of Ben’s choice. He chose the Akron Children's Showers Family Center forChildhood Cancer and Blood DisordersThey were voted the best Children’s cancer treatment center by US News for 2014 – 2015. Ben chose them for what they did for him and for what they do for the kids that come from all over the country that don’t have the support system that he has. 

We now have a donationpage and our goal is to raise $10,000 by the start of the race. I’m not very good at going out and soliciting people for money, but this is a cause I feel strongly about, it will help a lot of kids, and I think worth supporting. Any contribution no matter how big or small will help. Thanks!

This Week’s Training:

Mon:
·         Took the day off
Tue:
·         AM: Run (8.3 Miles)
·         PM: Ride Home (7.2 Miles)
Wed:
·         AM: Run (4.7 Miles), Ride to Work (8.5 Miles)
·         PM: Ride from Work to Gym (10.3 Miles), Strength Workout
Thu:
·         AM: Run (8 Miles), Ride to Work (8.5 Miles)
·         PM: Ride Home (7 Miles)
Fri:
·         AM: Ride to work (8.5 Miles)
Sat:
·         AM: VO2 Max Test (Bike) (20 Miles), Run (18 Miles)
Sun:
·         AM: run (9.3 Miles)

Total: 159.3 Miles (Bike 110.8, Run 48.5)