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Master of Inconsistency
Ain't Wastin' Time No More !
I have been doing Low HR training for about 5 months now, I have a HR Max of 185 (this is what it was into a head wind at the end of a 10k race where I got a PB of 40.30 ) I have never seen it higher.
My HR av in that race was 173
Can anyone suggest what HR I should aim for in a half marathon in 2 weeks or how I should run it as Hadd says that he doesnt agree with doing a race with a HR moniter.
I was thinking I could run a bit higher than the 167 he reccomends as its not a full marathon ,
Can anyone help ?
Ray brighton UK
Good stuff! Great races and race plans. I've got Rocky Raccoon 100 miler coming up
on Saturday. It will be interesting since I always take down-time in December and
rebuild and I don't peak until about March. Just hoping it doesn't run a lot by then,
otherwise those trails will be a mess.
RR: Rocky Raccoon 100 miler
Feb 2-3, 2008
December was my down month, spent mostly recovering from some hard races in October and November.
Didn't start running much until the end of December. This would give about 5 weeks of training until race
start. My training never peaks until mid-March due to December down times. Hopefully it won't be a big
deal this time. Well, it's only a 100 miler, not a marathon or something like that. I had heard Rocky Raccoon
was a flat course, so training focused on as much flat running as possible. The temperatures had
been in the 20s and 30s pretty consistently leading up. I did spend the week before the race in Galveston
and Houston on business, which gave me a couple of runs in temps of about 50 or so. Hopefully it won't
get too much warmer than that on race day. But the bigger concern is rain. The park is basically a wetland
and the trails can have a tendency to become all mud after a good recent rain storm or two. Thursday
morning in Clear Lake, where I was, (on the coast, about 80 miles south or so) the rains were torrential, but I'm not sure
the nasty weather reached that far north.
Goals and such:
Well, my last 100 at Umstead was in just under 19 hours and this course is supposed to be a bit "easier"
so I thought 18 hours would be a good goal. Forget the fact that I'm definitely not in as good shape as I was
in before Umstead. Nonetheless, I would play it by ear and take whatever the day would bring.
I couldn't sleep past about 2:45 on race morning, so I just got up and took my time getting ready. 4 hours
sleep was more than the two hours I had before Umstead, so I'm thankful for that. I had one large drop bag
to leave at main camp, where each of the 5 20 mile repeated excursions begins. I would carry one water
bottle today, filling it at the aid stations with whatever sport drink was available, while drinking mostly Coke,
when available, at the aid stations. The temp was cool, but really not cold enough for anything but my
short sleeve twinkie bike shirt. The back pockets would store my body glide and, during light periods,
my head lamp. We started in darkness at 6 am and headed out on the trails. One thing I noticed right
away was that the course was definitely not flat. It certainly didn't have nearly the hills of any ultra I've
run, but only about 10% of the course was actually flat in my estimation. Most of the course was covered
with roots which did not show up too well with the headlamp in the dark. While there was not a tremendous
amount of mud, there were some good patches and in many cases, the patches were undetectable in the dark.
Probably about 6 miles in, I stepped in a nice one, my foot sunk down about 4 inches and I face planted into the ground
pretty quickly. It threw off my rhythm, but it was just a minor perturbation. I finished the first loop in 3:14,
feeling quite comfortable, but noticing that the temperature was already getting warm. I do remember thinking
about mile 30 that the race was so far uneventful, and I would just as soon keep it that way, even if it wouldn't
make for a great story. Early on, I would live on PB&J, fritos, potato chips, and Cokes at the aid stations. I knew
well that it was key to keep eating and never miss an opportunity. I finished the second loop at 6:40 into the
race as the temperature climbed above 70 about half way through, starting to wear at me and slow me down.
Not but a minute into loop 3, I received a visit from the 100 mile demons. My quads! All of a sudden, they
were trashed. Not sure where that came from. No tremendous hills here. Seems to be a train wreck between
my insufficient 5 weeks of training, my focus on only flat course running, and probably overly cautious
running down the hills with the roots. Alas, there is no escape from trashed quads - I've been to this
neighborhood before and I didn't escape alive. Shortly after, my calves were shot. Never had that before.
One thing I knew now was that this was going to get ugly. I decided at this point that I would mix in as much
walking as possible, much earlier than I would have even considered it. Perhaps the walking would help
me loosen up. I passed 50 miles at just under 8:50, about an hour slower than at Umstead. Forget my original goal,
that's for sure! Loop 3 comes to a close at about 11:15. My pace is slowing steadily while my ability to move
my legs diminishes substantially. At this point I'm probably walking twice as far as running. I'm not able to
keep up much of a pace walking or running. Ironically, everything feels fine other than the quads and
calves. The temperature starts to cool very lightly, to really a perfect zone. Unfortunately, that doesn't solve
my real problem here. Nothing would bring my quads and calves back to life. My muscles are actually
spasming, quite frequently. Now it's dark. This is actually a very nice course in the darkness. There are
so many creatures chirping, gurgling, and scurrying about. I couldn't see any of them, no matter how hard
I searched with the head lamp. I certainly kept my eyes out for the gators in the marsh, when crossing
the "gator bridges." Were they there? No clue, but there certainly were a lot of noisy frogs. I heard a
larger animal in the back woods moving around nearby and I was able to at least catch a glimpse of
his eyes. Still no idea what it was. Oh well. Compared to hellgate, it was actually quite nice to be alone
in the woods here. But the quads were the real issue. I would hit a rooty area and I no longer can lift up
my legs enough to get over the roots. I just kept falling, over and over. Nonetheless, I would keep going,
slowly but surely. Shortly, however, I would hit a turning point. I hit a root while "running" and both legs
slammed into the ground. My spasming calves both tightened up like rocks. I just rolled around yelling
in pain and it was about 2 minutes before I could relax my calf muscles. At this point, I saw nothing
beyond walking in my future for this race, and very slowly at that, at least for the next 10 minutes or so.
I finally made it to the end of this endless loop after a long 5:33. So now I'm 80 miles in at about 16:48 into the
race. I'm quite sure I can't run anymore. Can I walk the last 20 miles in less than 7 hours? If not, can I
even stand to stay out another 13 hours? Number 1, I'm not sure, number 2, the answer is no. Nonetheless,
I felt that I just needed to get out onto the last loop and there would be no turning back. At this point, I'm about
to hit turning point number 2. Knowing that I'm in a time crunch, I don't want to waste time at the main camp
aid station. Given that my plan is to just walk the last loop, surely, it doesn't matter if I eat anything else,
especially if I'm not interested. So, I grab a quick swig of Coke and move right along. I'm trying to push
the walk pace as much as possible, and squeeze in a putter periodically. When I come upon the mild
root sections present in the early part of the course, I'm stumbling quite a bit. The later ones will really
be a problem. The 4.1 miles to the first aid station seems to last forever. My mind starts fading over the
last 1/4 mile and I really start bumbling about. I make it to the aid station and now my mind is gone. It's
about 17:50 or so into the race. I have
really faded. I know what the problem is, but can I escape it? I knew I needed food, so I just started
to eat. I ate a few slices of beef brisket, little hot dog pieces, potato chips, fritos, and everything else
I can get my hands on. I really needed to sit down, but I knew that sitting down would be my demise
because of my quads. After about 10 minutes of standing there, I was not getting any better, so I knew
I had no choice but to sit. In another 15 minutes, I started to regain my wits, but at the same time, I started
getting very bad chills. My whole body was shaking, almost like I was having a seizure. I asked if they
had a blanket, but all they had was a large towel. I moved the chair against a heat lamp and started to get
a bit more comfortable. After waiting there about another 1/2 hour, I tried to get up. Between the chills
and my rock-tight legs, I could barely hobble. The great volunteers at the aid station make me a number
of offers, but I know that my condition at this point would require at least 10 hours to finish the thing
especially with the constant falls I would experience on the really rooty sections. This
was the time to call a bad day a bad day and accept my fate for the evening. Time to gather the lessons
for this race and try to correct them for next one.
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