Friday, June 3, 2011

Night before Kettle Moraine 100

Sleeping at mother's place in Milwaukee.  Leaves me a perfect 40 min drive to the race to wake up and get the jitters out.  Still have my confidence from Zumbro 55 days ago.  But the Ice age trail 50 reminded me that I wasn't even close to recovered 3 weeks ago.  Tomorrow a lot of fun in the sun and rain than a break for awhile.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Zumbro 100 Ultramarathon Race Report

My first finish at a 100!


To give a little perspective let's start 40 months ago.  When in an effort to replace other bad habits, I turned to running.  At the time I was in pretty bad shape being overweight and such.  However, I needed an outlet and this was to be it so I would head to the YMCA with my soon to be wife 3-4x a week and crank out 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Not knowing anything about running, I would usually run this as hard as I could, putting myself on the verge of a heart-attack.  And when that 30 mins would cross on the screen I would collapse and be amazed that such a crazy effort only burned like 600 calories (which I would promptly replace @ the Wendy's dollar menu immediately after).

However, this is where the passion began.  On those dreadmill's at the Madison West Y.  A few months later I decided I would sign up for my first race ever.  What did I pick?

The Kettle Moraine 100K Ultramarathon!

That is a story of it's own, but let's say with great difficulty a VERY under-trained still out of shape person endured a lot of pain yet finished.

Since then I have attempted the Hundo distance twice before Zumbro.  Once at Kettle and another time at Superior.  Both ended in Failure.

But at the 2011 Zumbro 100 I finally met my goal.  I finished in 28:59.  Good enough for 5th place out of 25 people.  I made a ton of rookie errors.  A few that almost cost me my race.  I learned that some aide station volunteers have hearts made of literal gold.  And that a pacer is man's best friend in 100 mile races.

Zumbro was a terrific race, with terrific people and this year it even had terrific weather.  I thank the race director and all the volunteers (all 50 of you) for making this happen.

I look forward to returning next year where I plan to race it, instead of just finish it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

36 Hours until the Zumbro 100 Mile Ultramarathon

36 hours!!

The ole Ninja training must be fleeting at the moment.  Instead of being cool and calm, my emotions are the storm themselves!  2 previous attempts at the 100 Mile distance have ended in failure ( && .  The training is there, no doubt, but for whatever reason this distance continues to elude me.

In 50's the Ninja is but a blur, dancing gracefully from start to finish.  Even in 100k's ultra's no issues have ever arose.

But the 100.  The gosh darn 100.

For whatever reasons there have been issues and usually early on.

36 more hours....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Ninja Ultra Runner Caught on Camera

Sneaky cameraman must have caught me with my Ninja shields down.  Had to be early in the race though because we are all running instead of walking :-)

Zumbro 100 Ultramarathon, 6 more days.  Bring it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ninja Prep Check for Zumbro 100

Real training began for the Zumbro 100 mile Ultramarathon about 90 days ago.  If you live in the midwest, than you know what a miserable winter we had this year and let me tell you this:  The Ninja hates the snow!  However, based on prior experience I figured the harsh weather would be good mental preparation for getting over the hump in what is to be my 3rd attempt at completing my first 100 mile ultra.  

Yes, you have read that right:  3rd attempt!  Even Samurai's fall down every now and again in the ultra world, but it doesn't matter how many times you have fallen, what matters is if you keep getting back up.

So fellow warriors, I have logged many log and hard miles these past 12 weeks.  Slicing up a Runner's World Advance Marathon Training plan with specific sides of ultra training is what I am trying this time.  Basically I ran 7 days a week with back 2 back 'big runs' on the weekend, one speed workout a week and a "rest" week (reduced pace, less mileage, no speed workout) once every 4 weeks.  
That is until about 2 weeks ago when I got in a (figurative) trainwreck.  Missing one day quickly turned into three, and pushing too hard on a speed workout led to a still nagging case of shin splints.  Which of course led to my diet falling completely off the wagon.  If you are going to fall off the wagon you got to do it right and so a few just amazing 5000 calorie days of junkfood, caffeine galore, and cadbury eggs ensued.  Of course my weight responding with a 12lb gain in that period and The Ninja tights got a little snug!!

Oh, and I missed a few days of work too...

Yet that is how life goes.  

What can you do besides cry about it or attempt to invent a timemachine to go back?!  And even if you did you know that you would probably just enjoy those tasty cadbury eggs again.

You can only keep going foward.

The Ninja admits to not being one of these Cyborg runners out there that logged 140.1873221 miles per week on 3.14e1 x PI calories, all while wearing clothes that are 100% eco friendly and shoveling their neighbor's walk.

Not that we all don't aspire to be like that, but some of us just aren't.  Remember we all put our swords into the sheath one blade at a time.

During my Sunday run, the thought that my training has been a lot like my ultra races crossed my mind.  As the shins started to ache, it was inevitable that doubt would soon be creeping in also as to if I was properly prepared.  Like my 100 mile races, training had started strong, had something go wrong, and then comes the meltdown...

Well not this time.  Putting the throttle into 'turtle' and focusing on my stride helped me to get through the rest of that run pain free.  Things dont always go as you plan, but remember that you can always get back up!

Hope to see some of you at Zumbro!