Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy day after Thanksgiving!

So 5 days post-50 miles, and my legs feel completely fine. I ran 3 miles yesterday and 3 miles the day before that. No issues. No pain. I've run marathons and been hobbling around for a weeks. Less than 7 days removed from the Ultracentric, and I've got zero lingering soreness. Amazing.

Thinking about the Ultracentric, I thought I'd post what I ate the day I covered 53 total miles on foot. Enjoy.

1 cup of coffee
1 Clif Bar
1 Sausage and egg McMuffin
1 McDonald's hashbrown
1 Orange juice

During the race
Lots of water
Lots of Heed sports drink
Flat Coca-cola
10 Succeed! elecrolyte tabs
Multiple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
1 Venti Cafe Mocha with whipped cream from Starbucks
1 hamburger with mustard
3 cup-sized servings of macaroni and cheese
1 cup-sized serving of red beans and rice
1 tortilla filled with black beans and rice
1 Snickers marathon bar
4 meatballs

1 value-size Chic-Fil-A combo meal (chicken sandwich, large waffle fries, large Sprite)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

4 days after the Ultracentric, and my legs feel fine. Soreness, which was slight and never acute, is pretty much gone. I'm going for a short (3-4 mile) run later this morning.

So what's next for me?

Well, I'm joining Donaldo and Poolie for a 5K Turkey Trot tomorrow morning. Then I've got the White Rock marathon on December 9, followed a month later by Bandera. I'm going to try for the 100K at Bandera--although everything I've read about the race tells me that the 50K is much more realistic. We'll see.

Vaya con Dios, mis amigos.

p.s. Monday's Star-Telegram contained an article about Connie Gardner, the first place women's finisher (and second place overall) in the 24 hour race. Connie ran 145.26 miles--.04 short of the American women's record. Amazing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Prerace prep with Ezra James...

The Ultracentric is a 2 mile out-and-back course on an asphalt road in Meadowmeare Park, Grapevine, Texas. There are several races going on at once--6 hour, 12 hour, 24 hour, and 48 hour. I opted for the 12 hour run with a goal of completing 50 miles in under 11 hours.

We woke up around 6 a.m. and made the 30 minute drive to Grapevine, stopping on the way for breakfast at McDonald's.

At 9 a.m., the airhorn sounded, and so began my day-long pursuit of relentless forward motion. I purposefully settled into a casual pace (around 10 minutes or so per mile plus walk breaks at the two aid stations).

The first 6 laps were pretty easy (12 total miles). Although it was warm, a nice breeze off the lake kept things manageable.

Around 11:30 a.m., I grabbed a hamburger and ate it on the run.

And then the sun came out. All the way out. 81 degrees out. In November. Ugh. I was caked in sweat and salt. Nasty stuff. I trudged along, racking up 28-30 total miles just after 2:00 p.m.

Around 2:30 p.m., Jason and M. showed up with Starbucks. I downed a venti Cafe Mocha for a nice caffeine boost.

A few hours later, Poolie joined me just as I hit 40 miles. After snacking on some macaroni and cheese and red beans and rice, we started up again.

4 miles later, Nell joined us. For a mile or so, Poolie, Nell, and I ran together, but Nell's pace was a bit too quick for me at that point, so I gave her the greenlight to go ahead while Poolie and I plowed through the last 6 miles.

Finally, at 10 hours, 27 minutes, 22 seconds, we (Poolie and I) crossed the timing mat. 50 miles. We'd made it.

I took a seat in a folding chair, ate some PB&J, and sipped a Coca Cola. I was content.

After 10 minutes or so, Donaldo arrived, and we (Poolie, Donaldo, and I) walked another 2 miles. Nell then joined us, and she and I walked another mile to bring the grand total up to 53.

So at the end of the day, I ran 50 miles in 10:27:22 and walked another 3 miles in 1:32:38. In total, I covered 53 miles in 11:59:39.

Waking up this morning, I anticipated being awfully sore. And while my legs are definitely fatigued, I don't feel too bad. In fact, I've felt worse after marathons or particularly hard training runs. I don't have any acute pain, just an overall, but slight, tiredness in my legs. Strange.

Before I get to excited, I'll see how tomorrow goes. It usually takes a couple days for it to sink in....

Ultracentric results:

50 miles. 10 hours, 27 minutes, 22 seconds. 12:32 per mile average pace.

After hitting 50 miles, I took a break to sit down and eat, and then walked another very slow 3 miles with Nell, Shana, Donaldo, and Jballs.

Full race report to come....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Good morning. We're up feeding Ezra and sipping coffee. We'll be leaving for the Ultracentric in 45 minutes. The gravity of the event finally sunk in last night. Holy sh*t. 12 hours of running. Right now, it's 6:30 a.m. I'll still be running 15 hours from now. Let me say it again: HOLY SH*T.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Yesterday afternoon, after spending three days in front of jury in Brownwood, Texas, we obtained a unanimous verdict for our client. We were up against the former district attorney of Brown County--a 25-year trial veteran with excellent courtroom skills. And this was my first shot as lead counsel in a fairly large dispute for a significant firm client. Needless to say, life is good.

So what now?

Well, it's Friday morning, and I'll be visiting the office to catch up on e-mail and telephone messages--and to take a victory lap. I've also got to prepare for a substantial hearing Monday morning.

And then it's time to clear my head and get ready for the Ultracentric, a 12-hour run beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Yes, 12 hours of running fun.
Admittedly, I'm now wishing I'd trained a little harder. Things were going great until I started having some Achilles pain near the end of September. I took off a couple of weeks and my last decently long run (more than 26 miles) was 6 weeks ago. We'll see how it goes. If you find yourself in Grapevine, Texas tomorrow, feel free to drop by Meadowmeare Park and say hello.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Over the past year, there have been several tragedies involving long distance running. As a result, I've been on the receiving end of dismissive comments and criticisms regarding my endurance efforts. But these condemnations overlook the fact that people who exercise and are fitter are LESS likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and die suddenly than people who do not. The benefits of regular exercise deserve to be acknowledged--exercise is not dangerous, it's highly beneficial and that should never be forgotten.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ezra James, my son and mascot, keeps me inspired as I train for the Ultracentric, a 12 hour-race taking place in Grapevine, Texas in a couple of weeks.

I'm running often, but keeping distances down. Since the two-week break to let the achilles rest, I've been trying to get my legs used to hitting the pavement -- especially since Ultracentric is run on a road course. So far, so good.

There's been a lot of online furor over two recent articles (check them out here and here) claiming that "America's competitive spirit has been wrecked by feel-good amateurs like Oprah whose only goal is to stagger across the finish line." Being a slower marathoner (usually running road marathons on the wrong side of 4 hours), I suppose I'm one of those slow-pokes the authors complain about. But, be that as it may, I found the articles pretty humorous. So to all those runners out there who are upset, just relax a bit. Go for a run.


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