Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pikes Peak Marathon - applying lessons learned

The goal race for me: The Pikes Peak Marathon where according to race predictions I will come 151st.  Always amusing to look at pre-race predictions - and then later compare and see where I actually finish (hopefully better than 151st).  My goal this year is simple: to run better than last year.  Last year I exceeded my expectations.  This year, with a better understanding of the race = new expectations: faster and better than last year.

Having run it and having a year to obsess think about running it again, and specifically how to train for it now, and then running it again - 2 things I need to work on.  Actually 3.

1) Fuel / Fluids - Last year I failed to hydrate enough and eat enough / correctly during the race - especially going up the mountain.  By the time I got to A-Frame, 10 miles in and still 3 to go, (already near 12,000' elevation) - I was wobbly and nowhere near properly fueled up for another 3 miles and over 2000' of climbing.  When I finally got up to the Summit Aid Station I treated it like a Buffet table, eating waaaay too much.  When I got to Barr Camp on the way back down I almost, and probably should of, barfed.  So earlier this year and now going into the Summer - the science experiment of trying different fluids and food while running / training - is an ongoing thing.  I'm learning, I'm trying stuff, and so far the stuff I am trying seems to be working - meaning I haven't thrown up yet, I haven't passed out yet, and I haven't cooked my kidneys yet.  I still have a ways to go to learn what will help best on race day, what will sit best in my gizzard, and how much / how often to eat and drink on race day.  I am determined to do better this year doing this.  Hence the trying out stuff on training runs and the few races I'll be doing leading up to the race.

2) Better training - I will do more race course specific training this year.  Last year I did a couple of 20 mile round trips - from the start line up to A Frame and back.  I drove to the Summit and ran down the trail several miles and back - did that a bunch of times.  I did a 4 1/2 hr training run.  This year I will do those again, but add more, including a couple of complete Ascents, a extra 4 1/2 hour run, incline work on the treadmill, flat tempo runs and more core work.  One thing that hurt the most last year was my mid-section and all those organs stuffed inside.  The downhill pounding really took it's toll.  This year I will try to have a more stronger mid section, back, hamstrings, hips.  My knees and ankles are another issue here - I am trying to strengthen them at the same time being careful with them not to blow them out.

3) Suffer more.  I'm a wimp.  I try to avoid pain and suffering.  If running up a mountain for 13 miles and then running down the same mountain for another 13 miles didn't hurt so much, I would do it more often.  But it hurts.  So I don't.  But I should.  But it hurts.  If I want to do better than last year I will need to.  So I should.  And it will hurt.  I will suffer.  I think that is supposed to be good for me.  I don't like hurting and struggle to believe sometimes that hurting and suffering helps. So, when the time comes to do that - I back off, probably more than is necessary.  This is likely just as much a mental struggle as it is a physical struggle.  I would like to be mentally tougher.  I would like to be physically tougher too.  Not sure how to do these aside from just getting out onto the trail and just getting to work.  I have thought about getting into an arena with an angry bull chasing me, but that not only sounds like no fun at all, plus I don't think it would help in my training.  On the other side of this mindset is: I really enjoy running and most runs I do are really enjoyable, achievable, fun.  Running up Pikes Peak is really intimidating, overwhelming - but it is awesome, and with that it requires suffering and hard work.  I just need to remind myself that if I finish it sooner - the suffering ends quicker and the enjoyment starts earlier.

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