Monthly Archives: May 2015

Four Day Running Block

 

fourdaysofrunning

This was my final four day running block of training.

My weekend started on Thursday. It’s my reward for working one weekend a month-I then follow that weekend work with a two day work week, Tuesday and Wednesday, then a thankful four day off.

Thursday

Thursday was a solid 19 miles at Salt Fork, two loops of the Bigfoot course. I didn’t do anything fancy; just put my head down and followed the trail.

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Friday

I travelled to Camp Tuscazoar

Camp Tuscazoar

 

to run on the mountain bike trails there.may29 Unlike Thursday’s run, where I felt good through out the entire run, Friday was a dull hard trail plod.

Saturday

I had thought of running at Mohican but there I remembered the Mohican 100 Mountain Bike Trail Race was occurring. I decided to stay out of the way and away from Mohican. So back I went to Salt Fork again.

The run went very well. I climbed the same hill twice and took all the side hiking trails off the main pink blazed loop.  I was surprised to see nobody out on the trails. I did go through at least three cloudbursts, so perhaps the bad weather was keeping everyone away.

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Unlike the Friday run, had good energy on Saturday.  Did a bunch of Hardrock thinking and planning in my head.

Sunday

I wanted to have lunch with the husband so decided to just run my 12 miles around the block here. Got another good soaking in a rainstorm (good Hardrock training) today.

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Another good week of training. That will be my last four day block of running before Hardrock. Thirty nine days to go!

Happy Trails Again at Salt Fork

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Today was Day One of my four day running block. I decided to go to Salt Fork State Park and just run 2 loops of the 10.4 mile pink blazed “Bigfoot” course loop. That way, I didn’t have to think, just run.

I was irritated to see the trail trash left over from the May 9 Salt Fork Spring Challenge Race, put on by Ohio Outside, still on the trails. I took another picture and posted it to Facebook.

I was running CCW, which was the direction that the May 9 race took. (Last time I was there, I was not on this section.)

I was getting more and more pissed as I counted off white flags left on trail, and FB’d about that too. There were flags now trodden into the mud by horses, since they had left there for over two weeks.

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Despite being irritated, I was having a really good trail run. Good energy. I tried a new food about mile ten.

Commercial MRE

This is a civilian MRE-meal ready to eat-that I found at Walmart.  It’s shelf stable food, ready to eat. Eating at high altitudes is a problem, and this time at Hardrock, I want to have food available in my drop bag that I just might want to eat. But it has to be stable and survive for two days or so in my drop bag.

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This sandwich was not bad at all. Like a sloppy joe in a poptart. The dough portion was a bit dry, but there was enough BBQ sauce to eat this quite easily.  I burped a few times after eating this, but it tasted pretty good, stayed down, so I think it has earned an entry for my drop bag food stuffs.

Meanwhile, back at Salt Fork..

I get to the intersection of the red/pink trails and notice QUITE HAPPILY the arrow markers, wrong way sign, and stray water bottle are gone!

I start out on my second loop. Other than one white flag just past the intersection, the 83 flags (yes I counted) are gone! Including the ones stomped into the mud!

I am having a good time on loop two. It’s getting a bit warm, but I feel I have about the same energy as I did on Loop one.

There’s about a mile of road section in the middle of this loop, and two cars pass me here. Then I hear someone yell from a car, “Hey are you Kim?”

I say, yes I am, and the driver introduces himself as Mark. This is Mark Gorman, the Race Director of the Salt Fork Spring Challenge, and asks if he can talk to me.

He thanks me for bringing the situation to his attention, and apologizes for the stuff left on trail. He was pretty appalled about what he saw on trail too, and said a huge communication error happened with sweeping the course. I told him good, the reason I was so irritated was he told me the course had been swept, so either he was bald face lying to me, or did not realize what had happened.

He thanked me again, offered me a free race entry to his fall race, which I kind of shrugged of. Then he asked if maybe I would want to sweep his race in the fall, and I might do that, if the time of the race works with my schedule. And if his race is a non-profit. (I won’t volunteer for a for-profit race.)

Ohio Outside also wrote a post apology for this mishap, and apologized to the community about it.  I give props to Mark Gorman for 1) owning up to it, as race director 2) fixing the problem and 3) apology.  I consider it case closed, this was all unintentional, and the wrongs were fixed finally.

The reasons I was so irritated:

1) he told me the course was swept. So either I was lied to my face, or he didn’t know any better.

2) he didn’t give me a date when the trash would be removed. If Mark had said the trash would be removed May 28, I would not have posted on FB about the trash still out on trail.

Educational opportunities: Much discussion on FB about this. Obviously, the race director is overall responsible-which Mark clearly owned up to.

But some race volunteers are not runners, as another Race Director pointed out. Then, job descriptions and duties need to be spelled out. “Trail Sweep” has two different connotations. Sometimes “trail sweep” means to follow the last runners on the course, to make sure of their safety AND that there is nobody left on the course. Usually the ‘trail sweep’ job description also includes pulling course markers and trash.

The other definition would be simply to “trail sweep” the course, meaning after the race, the sweep pulls all the trail markings and any trash, of any kind, on the course.  A possible conversation with a non-runner, on just sweeping the course for markers: “we mark the trail with white flags. Pull all the white flags. We used about 80 on this trail. Pull any arrow direction signs. There should be four of these. Please pick any trash you see on the trail.”  That way, if a non-runner volunteer wanders onto the wrong trail, they should wonder why there were no trail markers, or direction arrows to pull, and to contact the race director about this.

So, happy trails again at Salt Fork. I had a good solid run in today also, a good training effort.

Trash Left Over from Race at Salt Fork State Park

I went to Salt Fork State Park with the intention of running 9 miles. I parked at the Lodge, intending on following the pink blazed trail that originated with as the “Bigfoot 50K”  route.

I started down the trail. I did notice the white flags along the trail. Hmm, they most have missed some flags from the “Salt Fork Spring Challenge” Race held May 9.

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I continue. About 1.5 miles from the Lodge (their start/finish line) this is where the race course splits, so of course you want signage.

This is May 25. This is what I saw, left over from a race May 9.

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I post this on Facebook, asking why the course had not been swept. I believe the Race Director contacted me, thanking me for noticing this, saying they had swept the course, and must have just missed these.

Really?

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You didn’t see this on your “sweep” of the 10.4 mile loop?

How about the 20 or so white flags? The white flags are course markers. This is what they advertised on their website, and these white flags weren’t there before-I run this loop at least once a week or so. It’s not like gas line or property line flag/signs.

*I say 20 or so flags because I didn’t run the full traditional pinked blazed 10.4 mile course, I took a different trail back to the intersection. I counted 20 flags on my route.*

What I find frustrating is, an out of town race company comes down to Salt Fork. The 10.4 mile loop is blazed pink, so it’s actually “easy” to conduct a race on. You really only need to add course marks in a few certain locations, like the first one above.

But you need to take your shit with you. I don’t know what happened with accountability, but don’t tell me someone swept that course.  Really? You just didn’t see those big signs? DSC00301

The Race Director has been in touch with me. He thanks me for my concern, and has told me it will be cleaned up. That is good.

But why is this happening over 2 weeks from the event? That is the unacceptable part. I went to Virginia last weekend, so this is my first run at Salt Fork State Pork since their race.

Take your trash with your race. Don’t litter up my back yard.

I’ll be back at Salt Fork State Park this week, either Thursday or Saturday and see if the trash has been removed.

Training Weekend at MMT 100

I spent the weekend at the MMT 100 running, but not in the race. I had planned on running MMT 100, way before the Hardrock lottery, taking the Monday off after the race. Coach nixed the 100 race, citing recovery would take too long in peak training time for the July 100. It was a good training weekend for me at MMT 100.

I had several ideas of running routes on the MMT course, most of which evolved around where I could get food-and really more importantly-water. After Coach said “stay off Kerns Mountain” (no reason just to kick rocks through there) my plan was set.

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Camp Roosevelt Loop: Park at the Rt 211 parking lot. Take Massanutten White Connector Trail to Orange MMT. Follow MMT orange to Camp Roosevelt.

Then leave Camp Roo, back on MMT Orange, and follow MMT 100 Course up the blue blazed Gap Trail. But then I would take a left onto yellow blazed Scothorn Trail, which intersects back to MMT Orange, and then White Connector back to Rt 211.

Got that? It’s actually very simple, 20 miles total running.

Allison met me at Rt 211 with the purpose of hiking with me to Strickler Knob, located off MMT Orange. She would then return to her vehicle, getting in about 10 miles.

The thunderstorm hit as we climbed up Big Run. It poured! It cooled us off, actually got a little chilly. The rain stopped for just about two minutes, allowing for a photo op:

allison kimmay16

Then it started pouring again. We climbed up Big Run, passed the intersection with yellow Scothorn, and I saw the trail to the right. It’s an “unofficial” trail, but it is marked with blazes. There was the big red circle nailed to the tree.

The thunderstorm continued on. With thunder. We kept hiking out the trail, passing some hikers. We could already see there was no view-we were socked in with fog. With the thunder continuing, we nixed going any further, and retreated to the MMT Orange. Allison turned back, and I continued on to Camp Roo.

The rain stopped about a 1/2 mile after leaving the Strickler Knob Trail. Oh well.

Can I say Duncan Hollow was a pleasant experience today?

But you have to put that in perspective. I had about four miles of running on my legs; the weather had just dropped from 86F to about 73F; and I was soaked and a bit chilly from the rain. Unlike the usual Ring situations:

Bride of Duncan Hollow, The Ring 2014

Camp Roosevelt

I arrive at Camp Roo, get my water refilled and drink a Boost. I run into Kevin Martin, who is in Hardrock 2015, waiting for his runner, Dave Peterman. The hot weather is really cooking runners, who are hitting the road sections on the east in this time of day. I spend an hour at the aid station talking. Finally, I am getting a bit chilled in my wet clothes, and take off down the trail.

I successfully find the yellow Scothorn Trail and start down it. I jump when I hear a loud crash in the woods-random tree falling? Bear?  Oh well, nothing followed me so I make it back to my vehicle at Rt 211.

Bird Knob Loop

I do a complete clothing change as I am still damp from the rainstorm earlier, and eat a tuna fish sandwich (all I had packed) and a serving of Ultragen.  I leave my vehicle about 1130 pm and make my way to the Picnic Area Aid Station.

I had been thinking about a nice alcoholic beverage at the Picnic Area (of course we have booze at Aid Stations!!) but decided having a cup of Coke would suit me better. I hung around PA for awhile, then decided to walk up to the Visitor Center and run the loop the same way the MMT 100 course follows.

The Harris Boyzz

I was very pleased to see as I entered the aid station that the Harris family had arrived. Slim and his son Pinball (also known as Jim and Heath) had arrived. We all left for the Bird Knob hike together.

Jim was struggling on his climbs, with low energy, and stopped for a nap at Bird Knob. Heath was all chipper to go on, so we run down the road from the Aid Station, passing a few other runners. Heath was STILL chipper and dropped me on the climb up Browns Trail, a very under rated climb at MMT.

Heath waited at the top for me and we started down the various ups and downs. It’s a tedious downhill, if you can call a downhill tedious. Heath’s second wind has now worn off, and he’s also looking for the aid station for a little nap.

Hey! Then we are back at Picnic Aid Station. My running is almost over for the night. I’ve got 1.6 miles from the aid station to my bed, my vehicle at Rt 211. I have a beer and a sandwich, and hang out for a  bit, thinking I will accompany Heath as far as Rt 211.

But Heath wakes up, has a cup of soup, and zoom! He’s out of the  Aid Station. He only has one more Aid Station to go, and he’s back to the finish line.

It’s almost dawn when I get back to my vehicle, where some crew vehicles have arrived to. I strip clothes quickly, because I have to wash some of the crud off my body before I crash in the back. That helps, and I get about 1.5 hours sleep before waking up and driving to Camp Roosevelt.

Harris Boyzz Finish

I am having great luck with timing with Heath at MMT. I arrive at Camp Roo, take a “cold shower” and decide to just hang out at the finish line..just as Heath finishes!

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I was able to get a Slim finish pic also!

 

 

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It was a pretty low key profile for me at the finish line. I really didn’t feel like socializing. Afterwards, I heard people were looking for me, and I wished I had been more sociable. It still really ties in with my sister’s death; I just haven’t been wanting to be that interactive with folks.

I got in 20 miles on Saturday, and 12.5 miles on Sunday morning and then on Monday (next post) adventures on trail with Mongold!

Altitude Attitude: Adjusting to it!

altitude

Altitude Attitude: Adjusting to it!

Part One of Three

I am an experiment of one. My reactions and physical symptoms may be different than yours.

The big question, for flat-landers going to altitude, is “how will I react to it?”

Answer: It depends. There is no definitive answer. Google it. Read about it.

My reaction to altitude last year, 2014,  at Camp Hardrock (elevation from 7800 feet to 14000 feet over a five day stay):

” When I travelled to Camp Hardrock just two days before the race I was curious to see how the sudden change in altitude would affect me.

The last time I was in Colorado I spent almost 10 days before the race getting used to the altitude.

Wednesday, Day One: I noticed the lack of humidity right in Denver. Start drinking water Kimba!

My symptoms, with no acclimatization:

I arrived in Silverton on Wednesday, July 8. I had pretty typical mild altitude sickness at Silverton, elevation 9800 feet.  My symptoms: trouble sleeping, less appetite, headache, general feeling of crappiness for the first two days.   I did get up four or six times that first night to pee!

Why did this occur? The body starts to breathe faster to keep up the oxygen level initially. To keep your body in balance, the kidneys produce more urine.

Thursday-I kept mellow.  I hiked up to the Christ of the Mines Shrine and a mile or so down the HR course. Helped pack aid station supplies. Attended the HR briefing.

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Friday I went to Ouray, 7800 feet for the day-the lowest point on the HR course-and felt pretty good.  Note: all day long, in Ouray, I kept eating and drinking well. Especially drinking (just water!) well.  I tried to stay off my feet in the afternoon and evening waiting to pace Bob in the evening.

When I paced Bob overnight up Bear Creek Trail, climbing over Engineer Pass at 13,000 feet, I did not really feel any symptoms, but I was concentrating on other matters, like hail, wind, rain, my runner!

Saturday-I returned to Silverton on Saturday and felt like crap after that-trouble sleeping, sneezing, felt like I was getting a bad cold. (Of course I was up all night climbing over Engineer Pass.) This symptoms subsided toward the evening.

 Trouble sleeping is quite common at high altitude. The low oxygen directly affects the sleep center of the brain. Frequent awakenings, a light sleep and less total time of sleep are the main problems, and these usually improve with acclimatization after a few nights. Some persons, however, will have trouble sleeping despite acclimatization.

Sunday I climbed a 14’er (Handies Peak)  and walked 15 miles of the Hardrock Course clearing trail.  I felt my headache coming on around 12,000 and took 2 Tylenol. Also felt a little dizzy at the summit.

After my fifteen miles on course I was toast. I was out of water toward end of hike, about two miles from our vehicle. I returned to town, ate a little bit, and crawled into bed for 12 hours sleep-was actually able to sleep better, I think I was just so beat up. Kept waking up parched, and kept drinking water all night. Of course, Friday and Saturday I was up all day and up overnight also.

Why do all these symptoms occur?  The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level is about 21% and barometric pressure is 760 mmHG.  As the altitude increases, the percentage stays the same but the number of oxygen molecules is decreased. At 12,000 feet, the barometric pressure is only about 480 mm Hg, so the body has to adjust to having less oxygen.

In most cases, symptoms are mild. Symptoms of mild to moderate acute mountain sickness may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
  • Shortness of breath with exertion

What are the risk factors for AMS?

Several factors increase your risk for getting AMS:

  • Your genetic makeup
  • A history of previous AMS
  • Residence at an altitude below 3000 ft
  • Obesity
  • Current respiratory infection
  • Most importantly, fast rate of ascent
  • Over-exertion the first day or two at altitude
  • Alcohol the first night at altitude

Oops, probably drinking beer the night I arrived in Silverton wasn’t the best idea.

That was my experience going from 800 feet of elevation to 9000 feet in just a few days.

Up next, my experience setting up and using an altitude system.

 

 

 

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Buy bye April. Here’s to a much sunnier May.

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I didn’t do any metrics at the beginning of April. After March I took a bye. Well, I did weigh myself and found gratefully that I had not gained ten pounds.

April is over, so it’s time to evaluate where I am for May. I am no where near where I want to be weight wise. That should translate into body measurements staying status quo.

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This month will/should be my biggest training effort. So naturally, it’s going to be the suckiest work month. We are currently short one pharmacist, which means many days there will only be two pharmacists covering 13 hours. Which will suck.

It’s a good thing I can compartmentalize. I will refuse to let a sucky work day interfere with my good training efforts.

Here’s to a GOOD MAY.

Expect success.  

This is taken from Brian McFadden’s website, the whole article I loved and have journalled about privately. But it’s this statement:

When you follow a strategy you have confidence in, have a coach in your corner and follow in a daily schedule your level of expectancy rises exponentially.  This increased level of expectancy drives you to take action, and when you take action AND EXPECT success, it almost always transpires into results.