Friday, May 22, 2015

Burning River for Ben: Rain!

Max During a Typical Run over the Past 3 Weeks
Rain, hail, and floods have been the theme of the last three weeks, very unusual weather for Colorado. It rained 21 of the last 22 days with highs only reaching the 40s on many days. And it hasn’t been the normal 30 minute afternoon thunderstorms that are typical of Colorado. It has rained day and night almost non-stop. Trails destroyed, floods, and all kinds of havoc in the Colorado Springs area. I haven’t missed a beat in training for BurningRiver though. This is because the more people that get involved and donate to the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders through our “BurningRiver for Ben” initiative, the more determined I am to endure every challenge and do well at Burning River. And more and more people are getting involved which is both exciting and scary.  Holly Pupino, Media Relations Specialist at the Akron Children’s Hospital, wrote a very complimentary and inspiring article about what this project is all about. It has been making the rounds and appears to have got us unstuck from the fund raising rut we were in – we are very close to our first $1,000 milestone! This can sure help kids and their families deal with a lot of expenses associated with Childhood cancer. I am so excited, passionate and proud to be involved with this project. But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal of $10,000. I realize that everyone has their favorite charity or non-profit and are hit up all the time by one charity or another. I have my own as well, but after seeing how this center operates, the dedication and passion of the staff and volunteers, the joy and hope they bring to families going through this terrible ordeal, I can’t help but ask for support from everyone I know (and don’t know). I truly believe our donations will be very well spent. If everyone that reads this would contribute just $5 or $10 I think we will surpass our $10,000 goal. And that will help a lot of kids.

So training has been a bit of a challenge these last three weeks but I’ve actually enjoyed it. One just needs to be a little creative. Riding to and from work on my bicycle in pouring rain every day has been the most challenging. Clothes don’t dry out, so it takes a bit of resolve to put on wet damp clothes and ride home in the cold rain each evening. However that was easily resolved by bringing extra clothes (duh). Despite my gloves and shoe covers being labeled “waterproof” they are not. I’ve found that the best protection is wrapping my feet in bread bags before putting on my shoes. Latex medical gloves worn under my riding gloves do wonders for keeping fingers warm and dry. Amazing how these very cheap and simple solutions work better than the very high price high tech stuff!  I think I may have found a way to stop the raining as well. I bought fenders for my bike. Today the sun came out!

Monument Creek/Santa Fe Trail - There's a Bridge Under There Somewhere!
Training for Burning River continues to evolve from the base miles put in throughout winter. I’ve been picking up the intensity and mileage gradually and hope to be up to 100 miles a week by July. I’m often asked “how does one train for a 100 mile race”. This is an interesting question as we are all “an experiment of one” as they say, and each of us have our own tolerance of how much and how hard we can train. For instance running five days a week seems to be perfect for me. Others might run six or seven, I’m sure I would get injured if I ran every day. I mix cycling with my running as I find cycling actually accelerates recovery. Mileage varies depending on what part of the year it is and what phase of training I’m in, but I’ve been really happy with the five day running format. At the moment a typical week looks like:

Monday:
  • ·         1 hour bicycle ride home from work (I drive my truck to work with a week’s supply of clothes etc. and then drive it home on Friday)
  • ·         100 push-ups in 5 sets of 20 reps done throughout the day         

Tuesday:
  • ·         12 – 16 mile hilly run or hill repeats
  • ·         1 hour bicycle ride to work/1 hour or more bicycle ride home from work

Wed:
  • ·         6 mile easy run
  • ·         1 hour bicycle ride to/from work
  • ·         100 Push-up in sets of 20
  • ·         Evening Strength workout at the gym or Trail work

Thursday:
  • ·         12 – 16 mile run with tempo intervals
  • ·         1 hour bicycle ride to/from work

Friday:
  • ·         1 hour bicycle ride to work
  • ·         100 push-ups in sets of 20

Saturday
  • ·         Long run (18 – 35 miles)
  • ·         Easy 1 – 2 hour spin on bicycle or mountain bike ride to flush out the run

Sunday
  • ·         Medium Distance hilly run, with walking breaks if necessary (12 – 18 miles)
  • ·         Easy 1 – 2 hour spin on bicycle

That’s it, pretty simple, nothing fancy, just consistent day after day, week after week, month after month training with a recovery week thrown in now and then. This however is not something I would recommend one just get up and do; I’ve been running or riding in one capacity or another since High School. In November I was nowhere near this mileage or intensity. It’s been a slow buildup over several months with years of base fitness underneath.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s long run and every day I get more and more excited about Burning River. The original goal of this race was run 99 miles and then  run the last mile with Ben. Ben is incredible! Even though he is still going through chemo, he is up to running 3 miles, 3 times a week and going to cross-fit. Every 100 mile race I’ve ever done has been very emotional at the finish. This one will be extra special.

Thanks so much for reading.

larry