Sunday, January 27, 2008

Training Week January 21 - 27

In my opinion of the biggest mistakes a athlete can make is taking down time in the winter. I think many give excuses for why they can't run. Some of the excuses I hear is it's cold outside to it's dark when I get off work. 
I am actually running my second run of the day in the dark. It basically starts from Daylight saving time in the fall until changing the clocks again in the spring. For me it is the time to ramp up the miles and build the strength and get tough running through the Cleveland winter.

Monday: 8 miles a.m., 8 miles p.m.
Both runs downtown Cleveland, Full moon on evening run.
Day Total: 16 Miles

Tuesday: 8 miles a.m., Downtown Cleveland.
8 miles p.m. in Cuyahoga Falls.
Track workout: U of A Field House.
1 mile warm-up
3 x 1,600m with 400 recovery. Forgot my racing flats. Did workout in lightweight trainers. Very happy with times this early in the year.
5:13, 5:12, 5:12. 2 mile cool-down.
Day Total: 22 Miles

Wednesday: 8 miles a.m., 8 miles p.m.
Both runs downtown Cleveland.
Day Total: 16 Miles

Thursday: 10 Miles hard at sub-6 min. pace. Downtown Cleveland. Out and back, heading west and returning back east, windy and damp. Temp was 17 degrees. Wore shorts and short sleeve shirt.
8 miles p.m.
Day Total: 18 Miles

Friday: 8 miles a.m., 8 miles p.m.
Both runs downtown Cleveland.
Day Total: 16 Miles

Saturday: 12 mile a.m. Trail run in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
6 Miles p.m. run in Hudson with Kam.
Day Total: 18 Miles

Sunday: 15 Mile a.m. in Solon with the Cleveland Southeast Running Club, first 6 miles with Jeff U., last 3 with Kam.
6 Miles p.m. run in Aurora. Feel pretty trashed, hamstrings and hips ache.
Day Total: 21 Miles

Total Miles for Week: 127

Friday, January 25, 2008

Movie "Spirit of the Marathon" Review

I would give the "Spirit of the Marathon" *** out of five stars.

Basic plot of the movie was focused on 6 runners as they prepared for the Chicago Marathon (2005). The movie followed the training of two elite athletes, Deena Caster (Olympic bronze medalist in Athens in 2004) and Kenyan-born Daniel Njenga (top finisher at Chicago numerous years). Also included were a couple first timers, single mom, Boston qualifier hopeful, and a 60+ father running with his daughter.

With the recent violence in Kenya and death of Elite runner Wesley Ngetich (winner of the Grandma's Marathon 2005, 2007) it was sad to see the story of Daniel Njenga's. He was trying to make a living to support his family working and training in Japan only to have his home burned and family members killed. The movie showed the drama of elite athletes training and the intensity of the final miles coming down to the finish. The movie made me realize how much top runners are underpaid for their performances.

For some reason I enjoyed the 65 year old man training with his daughter. I think he had the Spirit of the marathon.

I also enjoyed some of the vintage footage and history of the marathon. The movie had some interesting interviews with great runners such as Shorter, Rodgers, and Radcliffe just to name a few.

The two first timers in the movie did my pet peeve. Putting your name on your shirt. When I ran my first Boston back in 93' there was a runner behind me about 10 meters. I was very annoying to hear his name called out for 12+ miles every 10-20 seconds. It was pleasant when he finally started to fade.

One of my friends wore a shirt in the Boston Marathon that had Cleveland on the front. Unfortunately the Red Sox and the Indians happened to be playing a series in Boston the same weekend as the marathon. At this time the Indians were the defending American League Champions. The Indians were having a good series in Boston, but unfortunately my friend's marathon was not going as planned. The hard core Boston fans watching the marathon were letting him have it. He said he heard the phrase "Cleveland Sucks" so many times he decided to stop and turn his shirt inside out. A lesson to learn.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Training Week January 14 - 20

Monday: 8 miles a.m., 8 miles p.m. Day Total: 16 Miles

Tuesday: 8 miles a.m., 8 miles p.m. 
Followed by track workout at Akron University Field House.
1 mile warm-up, then 3 x 1,600m with 400m recovery.
5:22, 5:22, 5:11, then 1 mile cool-down.
Day Total: 21 Miles

Wednesday: 8 mile a.m., 8 miles p.m.
Day Total: 16 Miles

Thursday: 10 miles hard at sub-6 min pace in the a.m. Temp. was 34 degrees, 8 miles p.m.
Day Total :18 Miles

Friday: 8 miles a.m., 8 miles, p.m.
Day Total: 16 miles

Saturday: 15 miles a.m., Trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Connie Gardner was bit by dog.
6 miles p.m. with Dave Koch and Kam Lee
Day Total: 21 miles

Sunday: 12 miles a.m., Very cold &  windy, 5 degrees. Shirt had frost on it when finished. Shirt froze in the shape I took it off in.
Day Total: 12

120 Total Miles per Week

Best Movies and Music of 2007

I have not seen all the movies that are potentially up for movie of the year, but here are a few I would recommend. I gave the four movies below 5 stars out of 5.

1. Into the Wild *****- My pick for movie of the year.
Sean Penn did a amazing job of turning Krakauer's book into a movie.
Cinematography was superb.

2. Juno ***** - Best movie on the tough subject of abortion.

3. Lookout ***** - Drama about a high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident.

4. Hot Fuzz ***** - Comedy about a cop in London who is transfered to a small crime-free village of Sanford.

Running Movies I viewed in 2007

1. Running Madness ***- Documentary on the Western States 100 Mile Race.
I really enjoyed this movie. It is the best movie I have seen so far on WS. Great interviews with many elite athletes. It was nice to have many stories come from Gordy Ainsleigh who first completed the race in 1974.

2. Forever Running ***- Documentary on the life of Yiannis Kouros.
Kouros holds records from 100 miles to 1,000 miles, from 200 km to 1,600 km, and from 1 day to 10 days. I thought it was interesting. I always like to see how other runners live and where they live. The one part of the movie that really hit home. After one of his races his crew actually had to help peal him up off the ground. I thought this really showed the human aspect of Yiannis. He gives everything he's got and puts it all on the line when race day comes.

3. The Dipsea Deamon ***- Documentary on Jack Kirk at age 96 runs the 2nd oldest footrace in America, the grueling Dipsea race, for a world record 68 consecutive times. It was interesting to see Jack at the age of 96 run the Dipsea. Watching it was like watching someone run a 100 mile race, going through the struggles and ups and downs of a race. I am sure at age 96 that's what it feels like. It was very inspiring because Jack Kirk didn't want to quit but everyone was trying to talk him into calling it a day. You can tell he wasn't a quitter.

I love good tunes.
Here is a list of the Albums that I would recommend that came out in 2007.

Archade Fire
The Shins
Vampire Weekend
Simian Mobile Disco
Sea Wolf
The Rosebuds
Grizzly Bear
LCD Soundsystem
The New Pornographers
Cloud Cult
The Blakes
Animinal Colective
Okkervil River
Tegan & Sara

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Best Running Products of 2007

Trail Running Shoe.
Salomon SpeedCross 2 -This is the best trail shoe I have ever run in.
I use to run in Montrail, but they were too clunky and never had the right feel that I was looking for. The SpeedCross 2 are great for speed and are ultra-light.
The traction is ideal for the mid-west trails of dirt and mud.
I wore them in the Burning River 100 Mile Race, Buckeye 50K, and Puxy 50K.

Energy Products.
Since I am sponsored by PowerBar I receive the opportunity to test some of the products.
PowerBar continues to update their products to help us enhance our performance as well to keep going during a ultra event. My favorite product is PowerBar Gel. I use it in every Ultra event.

Running Jacket.
The Patagonia Wind Track Jacket. It not only looks cool, but it's great for fighting off the wind from Lake Erie! It has tapered design for a great fit, plus the back is made of a stretch polyester fleece. So it breaths when you are hammering out a tempo run.

One of the best new products.
Moeben Sleeves.
I use them in racing and during my tempo runs. They are perfect for keeping my arms warm without the extra weight from the additional material in a full length long sleeve shirt.
Plus if you over heat you can just remove them or pull them down. They are awesome.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Impressive Performances for 2007

Mens USA 100K National Team - Bronze Medal. Three strong performances by Howard, Greg and Chad.

Howard Nippert - Led the 100K team to the Bronze. Howard has been the backbone of the 100K team for a number of years.

Chad Ricklefs - Started off the year with a nice marathon at Austin in a time of 2:30, followed by a strong 100K in Holland.

Greg Crowther - 50K USA T&F National Champion followed by 100K USA T&F National Champion, and strong performance at the World Championship.

Hal Koerner - Western States victory and well deserved (lead from start to finish).

Scott Jurek - Hardrock Course Record & Spartathlon 2nd straight win. The new King of the Mountain and Sparta.

Andy Jones-Wilkins - Great performance at WS followed by a victory lap win at Vermont.

Anton Krupicka - Strong start to the year at Rocky Raccoon and even stronger with his Leadville Win.

Matt Carpenter & Uli Steidl - the North Face Showdown. Two tough runners going head to head late in a race. Wish I could have witnessed it. Uli had the best ultra re-cap report I've read in years. Uli undefeated.

Connie Gardner - Best woman's 24 Hour race.

Michael Wardian - 2nd Fastest time in the History of JFK 50, weeks following the US Olympic Marathon Trials, plus many back to back marathons.

Mike Cox - 8th Overall at Chicago on a hot day and weeks later ran the US Olympic Marathon Trials and finished 41st overall in a PR of 2:20. Mike is one of the strongest marathoners I would have to say I've had the privilege of watching.

Nunes - New Badwater Champion (course record holder) & strong 3rd in Greece.

Akos Konya - Strong Badwater, and Sunmart performance.

Oz Pearlman - Chicago Lakefront 50 Miles in 5:31.

Karl Meltzer - 5 - 100 Mile wins, with two course records: Massanutten 100, Bighorn 100, McNaughton 100, San Diego 100 & Bear 100.

Dave Mackey - Grand Canyon double X speed record in 6:59!!!

Seeing Mike Morton running JFK. It was a flashback to 96', running the start with Hewitt, Clifton, Morton, Courtney and Ian.

Dynamic Duo of Mark and Ann Lundbald - Ann and Mark both won the USA Track & Field 50 Mile National Championship. Ann also won the USA T&F Trail Marathon Championship and set many course records.

Nikki Kimball - Western States victory as well as set the course record at Mont Blanc.

Jenna Shelton - Rocky Racoon 3rd overall, and course record.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 Race Results

My best performance of the year was the Burning River 100 Mile.
I was fit for the first time in years and focused to run.
Conditions were hot, but I ran strong and steady.
It was great to have family, friends and even co-workers at the finish.

Below are performances throughout the year of 2007.

Austin Marathon, Austin, TX - 47th Overall, 2:47:15

50K National Championship, Lloyd Park, New York, N.Y. - 4th Overall, 3:32:05

Boston Marathon, Boston, MA - 388th Overall, 2:50:49

Toronto 100K (Canadian National Championship), Toronto, Canada - 1st Overall, 8:10

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Cleveland, OH - 16th overall, 2:48:37

Aurora 5K, Aurora, OH - 7th Overall, 16:32

Western States 100, California - 117th Overall, Personal Worst in 25:31

Buckeye 50K, Cleveland - 2nd Overall, 3:57

Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run, Cleveland - 1st Overall, course
record, 16:07:10

Perfect 10 Miler, Cleveland - 8th Overall, 57:39

Groundhog 50K, Punxsutawney, PA - 1st overall, 3:53:13

Spartathlon, Athens to Sparta, Greece (152 Miles) - 16th Overall, 30:31:57

JFK 50 Mile, Maryland - 13th Overall, 6:50:10

4 Mile Turkey Trot, Ohio - 5th Overall, 22:01

IAU World Championship 50 Mile Trail, Sunmart Texas Trail 50 Mile, Houston, TX - 9th overall, 1st American, 7:07:58