Friday, April 30, 2010

April monthly recap

I got in an easy 6 miles this morning. My right knee didn't start bothering me until mile 3! Progress! I am excited to start training consistenly for some shorter distances but will wait until this knee heals up before writing a plan for the summer.

Total mileage for April was 111 and I was at 444 after March (that math was easy!) so I am at 555 for the year. Just less than half of my April mileage came on April 17th. Pathetic. I seem to be walking on thin ice this month with nagging injuries. Last year my April total was 90 and I was dealing with some calf issues so I guess this year is better than last.

Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels is back. I recommend watching this weekly video interview with one of the greatest running coaches and exercise physiologists out there. It is not every day that you get to hear from someone with so much knowledge and experience for free! Thank you Mr. Daniels for offering your knowledge on Flotrack.

This weekend is another big one with the Peyton Jordan Cardinal Inviational at Standford tomorrow and the OC Marathon on Sunday. Sergio Reyes will be running the 10k at Stanford in the slower heat with hopes to get a qualifying time for Nationals. You can watch the meet live here. There are many Olympians and hopefuls running, the distance races are stacked! Jen Barringer is making her professional debut in the 1500m!

My friend Dan is running the OC half marathon and I assume Chuck is running the full since he has a streak going there. Good luck to you both!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lateral right knee pain

I ran 5 miles this morning but was limited by lateral right knee pain. I had discomfort in this area (lateral femoral condyle) during most of the LD50. The ITBand just rubbed and rubbed for 9 hours. It is the limiting factor in any progression in my training. I didn't want to run any farther today.

It also stopped me after a four mile run last Thursday.

Here is the link to an article on Amy Palmiero-Winters (first amputee to qualify for Western States 100 and a US Track & Field team for the 24 hour world championship run). Awesome!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zero mileage weekend

We were in Henderson, NV and I took the weekend off. One of the purposes of the trip was to get Andi out to Lake Mead to get in an open water swim and try on her wet suit again for her upcoming triathlon. She went out on Saturday morning with some friends that are also competing in their first triathlon at Iron Girl. They did a 600m swim which didn't go quite as well as hoped. She had some trouble getting used to the restriction of the wet suit and consequently had some trouble breathing and did not feel comfortable in the water. After the swim they got in a good bike ride that she felt better about.

She got out Sunday for another attempt at the Lake. I decided to go with even though I had only brought board shorts for swimming. I borrowed a swim cap and goggles from Ron and set off behind the girls for their 1000m swim. The temperature was 58 degrees in the water according to the internet. It actually felt really nice because the temperature outside was in the mid to high 70s. I had to stop every 3-4 minutes to breaststroke or float on my back to control my breathing but when I stopped I started to get cold quickly and hand to get swimming again. After about 20-25 minutes I could tell I was getting too cold to continue and cut back early. I figure I swam just short of 800m. I got out of the lake and could not stop shivering. I eventually laid down on a towel on the asphalt and they covered me in the rest of the towels until I started to warm up. It took a good 30 minutes to stop shaking, but it was a lot of fun!

The good new was that Andi and the other girls all had a great swim. Andi had no issues controlling her breathing and felt much better in the wet suit. It was a good confidence booster for them all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eating on the run!

One question I get asked about this ultra-marathon thing is "What do you eat when you are running for 9 hours?" It is a very good question and some things I ate during the Leona Divide might surprise you. Here is my list in no particular order:

3 accel gels (vanilla, orange, chocolate)
3 Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich squares
2 Starbursts
1/2 a vanilla cookie
1 bag of strawberry Gu Chomps
1 orange popsicle
2 cups of coca-cola
2 24oz bottles of accelerade
1 handfull of gummy bears
2 peanut butter pretzels
1 handfull of goldfish crackers
5 salt tablets
4 24oz bottles of carb pro (electrolyte drink)
1 fruit gummi
1 saltine cracker
8 1in. banana slices
5 orange wedges
2 watermelon squares
1 Kashi chocolate almond bar

Amazing Recovery!

I would have never believed that I feel as good as I do three days after running a 50 mile race. The only thing holding me back is my left achilles which is no worse than it was after the Charlottesville 10 miler! I feel WAY better than I did after CIM. I looked back on the blog and I didn't run for 5 days after CIM and was only able to jog for 30 minutes. I only ran two more times the rest of the year and I remember it taking almost 6 weeks to feel like myself again on the roads. This has been much easier. I always wondered how these guys and gals run a 50 mile trail race once a month, now I know.

I have no races on the schedule until July 4th for the Newhall Independence Day 5k, where I would like to break 18 minutes (I haven't since college). So the next 2 and a half months would be a gradual build up to some weekly track work/intervals. I don't think my achilles would handle that well right now.

Then next event for the Stutelbergs is the Iron Girl Triathlon which Andi is competing in on May 15th. This will be her first triathlon and she is excited to see how well she can do and how much she enjoys the event.

The Boston Marathon was this Monday and we followed it online at work. It seems like so long ago that I ran, but it was only Boston 2008. I delt with hamstring cramping early on and bonked on the Newton Hills, limping in at 3:13:56 (slow considering I went though the half in 1:28).

This year, Robert Cheruiyot (the younger) won with an amazing course record by almost 1.5 minutes in 2:05:52!

Ryan Hall ran the fastest American time on the Boston course in 2:08:41 but was only good enough for 4th place! Meb was 5th 2:09:26. The story is that Ryan rubbed Mebs head as he passed him late in the race. Americans placed 4, 5, 9, and 12.

Dale Lister from Palmdale ran a PR, closing strong in 3:19:30. At 40k I think he was still on pace to be just over 3:20. Nice finish Dale, congratulations.

Dave Hoglund of Lancaster ran 3:32:52 a very respectable time.

Justin Patananan of Palmdale faded in the second half and finished in 2:27:26, good enough for 50th place!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Leona Divide 50 mile (8:55) 30th place

Sorry for the taking so long to post a race results/recap of the LD50. I have talked with a few of my readers already, but I think some of them were a little worried about me when they didn't get an immediate blog post. Not to worry, I finished and I am ok.

It was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget.

Here is the story. I woke up around 4:15am with all my gear ready the night before, had a little breakfast, and carpooled with Clay over to the starting area at the Lake Hughes Community Center. It was sure nice to sleep in my own bed and have the race so close to home. We got there about 45 minutes before race time and the atmosphere was social and exciting. I hung out inside and sipped on a coffee. The temperature was in the mid to low 40s and slightly breezy.

They started the race right on time. Everyone was pumped up and ready for a great run. I started right up on the starting line as I was worried about getting bunched up on the road. I was running right behind the leaders for about a half mile, then I turned a corner and they were gone! I looked behind me and the field was fairly spread out already. I don't think having enough space between runners was ever an issue. I was feeling really good going up hill for the first 3 miles and had to consiously slow down and remember how far I was going. We turned down Burns Canyon and I was getting passed by 4 or 5 runners. My left achilles started bothering me about mile 5 and I started to get worried. I ran through the first aid station without stopping in just under 1:03! We then turned to go up Grass Mtn and I was catching all the people that passed me on the downhill. I was excited to get onto the Pacific Crest Trail. At about mile 14 I got a real sharp pain in my left achilles and then it went away! I could still push off my toes so I figured I hadn't torn my achilles and continued on pain free! I knew I had to hold back on the next 5 miles of descent and I ran through aid station 2 without stopping. I was carrying accelerade and accel gels. I hit aid station 3 in 2:15, about 10 minutes faster than planned!

I refilled my bottle with just water at that point, but realized that it was starting to get a little warm so I decided to take a salt tablet that they had available. The next 4 miles are very steep and I have run them before but never after a 16 mile warm up! They were much more difficult and I had to hike a little more than I usually do. I think it only took about 5 minutes longer than it would have on a training run. I actually ran out of water right before aid station 4 and started to ask for the available sports drink which was called Carb Pro. Between aid station 4 and 5 one runner was coming back towards me. I asked him if he was ok, and he said, "No I'm sick." The next few miles were more difficult than I wanted them to be but I was able to continue running.

Aid station 5 was crazy! I found out later that it was a trail running club called the Coyotes out of San Diego that volunteered to help. You could hear them from a quater mile away. They were dressed up in 60's hippy costumes and were very spirited. Someone met me before I got in and took my bottle for me and asked me what I wanted, then ran ahead to fill it up. I took another salt tab, a few starburst and headed out toward the turn around. I checked my watch around this time and I hit 25 miles in just under 4 hours. I started to wonder when the leaders would start to catch me coming back down the mountain. They did just before we turned down 7N23! There were 3 of them really rolling along close to each other which put them already about 5 miles ahead of me. I started to wonder if I might beat my "crew" who was meeting me at the 29.5 mile mark at the turn around. As I ran down the road I couldn't believe that I would have to turn around and run all the way back. I was counting runners ahead of me and soon realized that I was in 11th place!

I arrived at the turn around to cheers from my family and friend. They were AWESOME! The kids had made signs last week and ran to aid station 6 with me. At this point it was really geting warm and I stopped under the easy-up tent to have lunch with my "crew." Thanks to Andi, Matt, Micah, Don, Louise, Luke, Bill, Dawn, Max, Myra, and Vivian (see group picture) for making the hike up to see me. It sure gave me some motivation to make it back to the finish line was soon as I could. I had an extended stop there, visited for a while, had some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, topped off my water bottle and said my good-byes and high fives. It was sure hard to leave knowing the climb that I had ahead of me. It was hard for the boys too to see me for 4-5 minutes and then have me leave again.

I tried to find any shade I could on the way back up to the trail but there was little available. The road gets steeper and steeper and I hiked most of the way. It was just before that top that I met up with Clay. We greeted each other and took pictures of each other (he carried a camera with him), and continued on. Once I got back on the trail I started running again with a guy named Keith. He ran behind me and pushed me to keep running. We made it to aid station 7 together and I started to take my time these aid stations, spending a few minutes at each. Once my water bottle was filled a volunteer handed it to me and said, "Now get out of here and go finish this race!" I took off again with Keith and we continued down the trail. By now I had run farther and longer than I had ever run before.

It seemed to take forever to get to aid station 8 and I was a little nervous about the next 4 miles of steep descent. My legs were really tired and it turned into a controlled fall most of the way. Luckily I was able to control the descent and take it easy on the turns, but I had to hike any positive grade. This was really making me nervouse about the finish, which is a 4 mile climb followed by a 3 mile descent. We had drop bags at aid station 9 where I had left an energy bar and accelerade powder for myself. A volunteer helped me mix the drink with water and ice. I refueled and regrouped and started RUNNING up the hill! I was amazed at how good I felt running uphill after 42 miles! It was like I got a 7th wind! I couldn't run for too long but I was able to run! I switched to a run as long as I could, then hike until I could run again format up the switchbacks to aid station 10. I was passing people up the hill! It just makes me believe even more that if you have the will to push you can run even when you think you can't.

As I approached aid station 10 there were pieces of a popcicle box along the trail. They stuck out because all the runners are great about carrying their own trash and not leaving a mess. When I got there a young girl asked me if I wanted a popcicle. I accepted her offer and she went on to ask me what flavor I wanted. It was the best popcicle I have ever tasted. Then I looked at the buffet of goodies as I stood under the tent in the shade. What sounds good after 46 miles, and what will help me finish this race? How about ice cold Coca-cola. I had two cups, then mixed the last of my accelerade and left for the finish line. I was getting passed by a few runners at each station at this point, and was amazed at how quickly some people were getting through the station and back on the trail.

I continued with my run/hike format until the 3 mile decent to the finish line and was then able to run the rest of the way. Once I could see the parking lot I started to pick up the pace as my quads continued to support me on my way downhill. I turned the corner to the community center and saw Andi, Matt, and Micah waiting for me! I crossed the finish line in 8 hours 55 minutes and 34 seconds. See the official results here. I was 30th overall and 10th in my age group. My second half was an hour slower than my first half. I started my ipod shuffle at the first aid station and didn't repeat a song for the next 8 hours! I figured on a perfect day I would be close to 8:30 but thought 9 hours was more reasonable. My fastest mile was 7:27 and my slowest was 18:44 (the hike back up to the PCT from the turn around). I was happy to be under 9 hours, but even more excited to finish healthy.

The ultra running community is so laid back and supportive. Everyone hung out and cheered on the other finishers who were coming in sometimes 5 minutes apart or more. They had rice, beans, and fajitas for the runners after the race but nothing sounded very good at that point. I had a few scoops of rice and beans and water, but that was about all I could handle.

Clay came in at 10 hours 37 minutes and 53 seconds (see his blog for more pictures) with a smile on his face and looking strong. We took some pictures together and then headed home. It was an experience I won't soon forget.

I got home and after showering and sitting down to wach Jungle Book with the boys realized that I was running a fever and had the chills. At 7:30pm I took two Advil and went to bed. I woke up this morning stiff, but feeling much better. I didn't feel any worse than after a hard marathon like CIM last December. Actually, I think I feel better than I did after that race. I actually think I could have jogged a little today! The recovery must be easier because of the softer surfaces, changes in grade and pace, with intermittent hiking, and stops at aid stations.

My left achilles is a little sore but not any worse than after the Charlottesville 10 miler, I have some right lateral knee pain that has continued to improve all day, bilateral quad soreness, two small blisters, and three black toenails on my right foot, otherwise I am doing great! I weighed in this morning about 6 pounds underweight still. I will have to continue rehydrating for the next few days.

Thanks to Andi for supporting me on this adventure, organizing my "crew" to meet me on the course, and watching the boys while I was gone running around the mountains all day! I love you.

The first thing people ask me when I see them is, "Will you do it again?" I don't like bucket lists and the idea of doing something just to say you have don't it once, whether it be running a marathon or visiting another country. Why limit yourself to one time and be done. What if you really liked it in Europe and wanted to go visit again, or what if you struggled through a marathon but wondered if you could do better? I don't know when my next ultra will be, but it may be a while. I will certainly do another one some day.

Congrats to Sergio Reyes on this 6 second PR in the 5k at Mt SAC Relays on Friday night with a time of 13:52! I saw it live on Flotrack and it was quite an interesting race.

Good luck to Dale, Dave, and Justin at the Boston Marathon tomorrow. As I write this you should all be sleeping. It will be fun to follow you online tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010


"Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think."
--Ambrose Bierce

I will be turning mine off tomorrow for nine hours.

Lets do it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Active Weekend!

I have lots of friends competing this weekend in all kinds of events.

Sergio Reyes is running the Olympic Development 5k at the Mt SAC Relays Friday night at 9:30pm. Watch for live stream of the race on Flotrack. Sergio, if you are reading this what is your prediction? Are you ready to go under 14 min? He is also running a road 5k Sunday in the Bay area.

Clay and I are running the Leona Divide 50 miler on Saturday!
Clay's son Zac has a track meet also on Saturday where he is running the 1600m and 800m!

Ron is competing in the Rage Olympic Distance Triathlon Saturday at Lake Mead!

Dale is running the Boston Marathon on Monday!

It will be an exciting weekend.
Good luck to everyone competing!

I have shut down any running until Saturday. I am frustrated that I always have to "shut it down" before a big race, just to make it to the starting line feeling good. My achilles feels great but Tuesday I started to have some heel pain on my right foot! I switched shoes today and it feels better. Geez can't I just get to the starting line feeling decent? You would think a P.T. could get the job done.

I leave you with three commercials from the Jamaican tourism board. My favorite is the first one.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Follow up

I got in 4 miles this morning, still not feeling 100% but feeling better than I have in the last week. It was finally a calm, crisp morning. Hope Saturday's weather is close to today!

I didn't give any running examples from my post yesterday, but today I came across two great articles that make me proud to be a runner and amazed at how respectful and humble some of the best in the world can be.

First, world marathon record holder, Paula Radcliffe (of England), was out at Nike training in Oregon for the past few months. She had a new training partner, Kara Goucher. Now, they are both Nike athletes, but they are also from different countries and fierce competitors. Kara has beaten Paula at the Great North Run (half marathon) and Paula has beaten Kara at the NYC Marathon. The cool thing is that they can both come together to train, share ideas, push each other, and become friends, then meet on race day and be respecful competitors. Kara blogged about their training with Paula here.
You never hear about two prize fighters training together.

Secondly, I found this interview with former US mile record holder, Steve Scott, who also created the Carlsbad 5000. He was back for the 25 anniversary this weekend. I got to meet him at a running camp in 2003 and he is a great guy. Read his interview and how his views on running have changed since becoming a coach.

My mom and step-dad participated in the Carlsbad 5000 this weekend. Both of them performed great with Brad walking the course in under an hour and my mom running in the Women's masters race breaking 30 minutes (29:40)! You guys are awesome!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Food For Thought

The quote from my day calendar this weekend was "Sports do not build character, they reveal it." It was said by Heywood Broun who was a journalist at the turn of the century (the 20th century). When I read it I think of Tiger, Vick, Burress, Iverson, Rothlesberger, Harding, Tyson, Rodman and Kobe . The Elizabeth Lamberts out there should read this quote. You just don't hear about this kind of behavior with runners. Maybe they don't get the same amount of press or maybe the money pushes others over the top, but I just don't see it with runners as much.

On the other end of the spectrum, it also makes me think about that Western Oregon softball game in 2008. If you didn't hear about that one you have to check out this video.

Here is another story from a high school basketball game in Wisconson 2009.

Ok, there are some great stories in team sports too.

But there are also some nasty ones. Check these out!
Here are ESPN's top 10 bad sportsmanship moments of all time.

Gatorade actually dropped Tiger and stopped the Tiger line of Gatorade, which had a higher electrolyte content. They are now advertising Gatorade Performance, which has NO HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! Maybe it will be easier on the stomach.

Heywood Broun had another good quote, "The tragedy of life is not that man loses, but that he almost wins."

Maybe it is because "Running is fun"...follow this link to a great post by Mark Remy of Runners World.

Running News:
Magdalena Lewy Boulet became the forth fastest female American marathoner after her 2:26:22, good for second place at the Rotterdam Marathon this weekend.

SIXTEEN high school boys broke 9 minutes in the 3200m race this weekend at the Arcadia Invitational. Amazing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One week to go!

I am sure glad the LD50 was not this weekend. We had 30+ mph gusts almost all weekend and cold temps. I got in a run on Saturday, and planned on going 8 but started to get left achilles tightness early on and didn't want to fight the wind so I stopped at 4 miles. I also decided to take off the rest of the weekend for running and try and recover as much as possible. The weather made the decision easier.

Looking at the forecast it appears that everyone should have at least decent weather next weekend. Antelope Valley, Las Vegas, and Boston should all be ok. No major weather systems predicted.

The Song of the Ungirt Runners

We swing ungirded hips,
And lightened are our eyes,
The rain is on our lips,
We do not run for prize.
We know not whom we trust
Nor whitherward we fare,
But we run because we must
Through the great wide air.

The waters of the seas
Are troubled as by storm.
The tempest strips the trees
And does not leave them warm.
Does the tearing tempest pause?
Do the tree-tops ask it why?
So we run without a cause
'Neath the big bare sky.

The rain is on our lips,
We do not run for prize.
But the storm the water whips
And the wave howls to the skies.
The winds arise and strike it
And scatter it like sand,
And we run because we like it
Through the broad bright land.

Charles Hamilton Sorley

Friday, April 9, 2010

6 mile run BLAH

I got in 6 miles Friday morning. It was nice weather but a slow pace and high effort. Little energy. Very BLAH run. Enough said.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

4 mile recovery run

I stayed close to the house today to test my achilles and see how I felt. I felt ok and only had time for a half hour but by the end of that both calves were tight. I felt some right lower achilles tightness and some left mid calf tightness. I am glad I have 10 days to get my legs loosened up. It may take that long. There will only be easy running between now and then.

208 entrants for the Leona Divide 50 miler.
24 spots available.

Here is a link to my pictures from the Charlottesville 10 miler.

I forgot to report that last week I surpassed 10,000 blog visitors! At least a thousand of those are me but thanks to everyone else that has visited, read, and commented on my blog.

Cool video from Coach Jay Johnson from a track workout in Boulder, CO.

Ever seen a hamstring pull during a race? How about three out of six teams pulling up in the 4x400m at the World Indoor Championships? Three medals, two DNFs and one DQ! Watch the video here. This video was shown at the conference I attended last weekend before a presentation on acute hamstring pulls.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Charlottesville, Virginia

I was in Charlotesville, Virginia this weekend at a continuing education course titled, Running Medicine 2010: Running Through the Ages. I was informed about this course by a former classmate of mine Ron, who was very interested in going. He went last year when the topic was triathlon athletes/training, and said it was awesome! So we met up in Washington D.C. and flew into Charlotesville, VA on Thursday morning. The course was at the University of Virginia and the campus is very colonial with lots of history. The school was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. Edgar Allen Poe was a student there but did not complete his studies, now they make t-shirts that have his image on them and say "Distinguished Dropout."

Ron did not sleep much on the plane, so while he took a nap I decided to run to Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson). I had asked the concierge and he said it was about 5 miles, so I started the Garmin and off I went. As I ran I realized that this was probably some national monument that I would have to pay to enter and I had not brought along any cash or credit card. It was exactly 5 miles to the visitor center where I was informed that it would be 22 dollars to go up and see the house. I was also told about a nice trail/boardwalk down to the highway again which I took back to stay off the road. I ran the 10 miles in about 75 minutes and then did a few extra miles around historic Charlottesville. After that Ron and I ran around UVA for another 5 miles so I am crediting myself with 18 miles for the day.

On my way back from Monticello I started to notice a burning sensation on my left achilles tendon. I even stopped to check my skin because it felt like the start of a blister. It continued to bother me the rest of the miles that day and was then sore that afternoon and the next day. I iced it a few times and took some ibuprophen. I was worried about the race on Saturday (Charlottesville 10 miler) and even more concerned about my effort considering the LD50 is now 2 weeks away.

The bulk of the course was on Friday and it was excellent. I will make another post on some of the topics once I can organize my notes and thoughts. Frank Shorter was the keynote speaker and he discussed the history of competitive and recreational running and also training older runners. He was a chatty speaker but everyone didn't seem to mind listening to him talk about running politics and performace enhancing drugs. He was very friendly and didn't mind signing a few autographs for me!

Saturday morning my achilles felt about 95% better so I laced up my addidas adizero tempos and we walked over to the starting line. Frank Shorter was the offical starter for the 35th annual Charlottesville 10 miler, and he addressed the field by saying, "I'm not running with you this year because i just had a 170,000 mile tune up on my hip." He just had a hip resurfacing surgery fro.m an old biking accident. The weather was perfect, about 50 degrees, sunny, and calm. All the first timers at this race were told to go out conservative due to the amount of hills late in the course. I wanted to start off slower anyway to test my achilles. Frank fired the gun and off we went. My heel felt great. I was hoping to run around 62-63 minutes before it started bothering me, now I didn't know. My PR at my only other 10 mile race was 62:20. The course was certainly hilly. We were either going up or down the whole time it seemed. I was able to use the downhills, some of them quite long, to recover and prepare for the next incline. I went through 5 miles in 30:42, still feeling good in the achilles. It finally started to burn around mile 8 but didn't affect my stride or give me any sharp pain so I continued on. Miles 8 and 9 were tough, and if I had known the course better I would have started my kick earlier, but I still PR'd in 62:01 (average pace 6:13)! OFFICIAL RESULTS HERE. That means my second half was 31:39. I was 41st overall (over 2300 finishers) and 4th in my age group. I was very pleased with the PR considering the course and that I have been training for an ultra trail race. I got some ice on my achilles right away at the medical tent. Ron finished his first 10 miler in 1:37:45 which I thought was a great effort considering he finished the LA marathon only two weeks ago.

Here are my mile splits: 6:25, 5:57, 6:10, 6:02, 5:59, 6:07, 6:13, 6:11, 6:27, 6:03. I know that those don't quite add up to 62:01 but the Garmin was a little off on the mile splits. It says I went through 5 in 30:31. My achilles as been sore but not too bad. I will be taking it easy for the next two weeks. I don't think I will be too happy if my achilles starts to bother me at mile 8 on the LD50!