I can’t believe I’ve just ran 200 miles in the last 7 days and also walked 15 miles on top of that. A friend of mine ran that distance 2 weeks ago he said why don’t I do it, I thought about it and said no way, the maximum I thought I could ever do was 140. I didn’t think any more of it as a weekly goal but knew last week I had planned to run a lot of miles to finish the #GVRAT (The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee) before I go on vacation May 30th. Every time I thought about finishing in that time I kind of dismissed it, I knew it meant running a marathon a day for 2 weeks and some longer runs on top of it. As this weekend (Fri-Mon) came around I set myself an ambitious goal of 31, 42, 42 & 31 miles which would leave 3 more marathons for me to finish the 635 miles in 28 days on May 28th, and hopefully a Top 100 finish (out of 19,000+). Yesterday when I was running I knew back to back 42’s was going to be really tough both mentally and physically, so I decided to run 50 miles yesterday so it would only require me to run 34 today, so much easier. My usual weekly mileage is around 45 miles, but during this pandemic it’s been higher around 70 miles. Last week was a new high for me with 108 after the previous weeks 92. It was only yesterday when I looked at Strava that I realized if I ran the 84 miles it would bring me to exactly 200 miles, kind of weird that it worked out that way. Fingers crossed the next 4 days will go to plan and I can finish this race without injury and then enjoy a 9 day break from running. This race has been fun but pushed me way outside my comfort zone, and this heat and humidity is no fun, but at a 10:02 pace it’s been an amazing journey. 105.76 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
A nice little write up about me, my running journey since my hip replacement and how the ElliptiGo has helped me. I have to write at least 3 reports about recent runs, races etc. Having my hip replacement was a life changer, I hope you have the confidence to follow your heart and go for it.
I came down with Shingles mid February and wasn’t able to run or do much for 2 weeks. It was very painful, on the right side of my face and in my eye, the headaches were unbearable. Well after that I started running again and felt great, running 62 miles the first week back which was pretty much the first week of the Covid-19 outbreak in Florida. That mileage would usually be what I would be doing leading up to my summer ultras. I was training for Big Sur in April, the day after my 60th birthday but with the news I knew that was doubtful, but I had to keep training just in case. The following week I ran 60 miles and then received the expected news that Big Sur was postponed, along with pretty much every race in the country being postponed or cancelled.
But rather than stopping waiting for races to start up again, I continued to push myself and the following week I ran 70 miles. I think I had only ever ran 70 miles for training one other time. I felt great, running with a couple of friends of mine as I was working from home and not travelling to Miami, it was a little easier. I was also walking 4 miles several days a week. Given my level of fitness and now not having a race around my birthday, I came up with an idea to give back to my community by running on my birthday. I decided to run a mile for each year, so on Saturday April 25th I will be running 60 miles. I decided to make it even harder by doing the entire run on a bridge, running up and over the bridge 80 times, 0.75 mile per crossing with a climb of about 65 feet. The most I had ever done prior to this was a 50K which was 42 bridge climbs, so this would be pretty much double that distance, not an easy task given the heat and humidity that I expect. But I wanted to make it … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
A year ago I ran the Long Haul 100 finishing in 20 hours 49 minutes and after it vowed never to run another 100 miler again. Well we’ve all said that and we know how long that lasts. So this year I decided to try again and aim for a sub 20 hour finish. I decided to run the Ancient Oaks 100 on the east coast in Titusville, Florida at the end of December. I started off strong and was feeling great. I had trained hard for the last several months and the last 8 weeks had done back to back long runs each weekend, around 20 miles each run. I had selected this race rather than running the Long Haul again in January as I had a goal race in February called the Last Man Standing where I was hoping to run the 4.166 miles every hour for as long as I could, hopefully to be the last man standing. This would allow me about 8 weeks to recover for what would probably be 150+ mile race.
I thought this 100 would be good training and I planned to run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute and repeat the process and I felt like I could still finish sub-20. However when I started I decided I would run the first lap of the 3.5 loop course to get a feel of course and where the difficult parts were and then plan to walk those sections on each loop. For some reason, probably because of my competitiveness, I didn’t walk and carried on running each loop, but watching my Stryd power meter to make sure I wasn’t going over 200 watts, so my effort was consistent and my pace varied as the wind and terrain changed. I felt like I kept my nutrition going well and I was feeling good running my race, not worrying about my position.
I probably was in about 8th position after the first lap but gradually was picking off people in front of me. I’m not sure what loop I was on when I fell … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
After the Pinellas Trail Challenge 3 weeks ago and my legs cramping and feeling heavy, I thought I would cancel this race but just like every time, a few days later we’ve forgot all the pain and we’re ready to go. So I trained less in the 3 weeks leading up to this, and apart from doing 500 squats in 15 minutes without stopping the Monday before, I was as ready as I could be. This race would bring my race mileage close to 190 miles in 10 weeks, definitely pushing the limits for an amateur athlete, let alone one at 59 years old with a hip replacement.
I drove Jiri from our Clever Training run club up to the race in the morning and when we got out of the car the temperature was cool, unfortunately that wouldn’t last long. We lined up and at 7 Justin started the race with about 150 people running either the 6 hour or 12 hour event of 2.85 mile loops around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida. I started off easy, my plan was a 9 minute mile but I found it hard to follow that and was closer to 8:45. Initially 4 people were ahead of me, 2 of which I would pass after a couple of laps and the other 2 were in the 6 hour race.
I started the race fasted, having my usually steak dinner the night before. The first 2 laps I ran without and fluids and then I picked up my handheld with Tailwind that would see me the next 2 laps. I then grabbed a sports bar, had some water and grabbed my next handheld. By the end of the 5th lap the sun was up, the temperature was rising, and there was a breeze but when running with it, it felt warm and I drank the 20 oz by the time I came in for the 6th lap. I grabbed my cap and sunglasses and headed out again, by now my legs started to feel a little heavy and my pace slowed to … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Yes we do crazy things here in the heat and humidity in the peak of Florida’s summer, we run around a 3 mile loop as many times as we can in 6 hours. This race was my first ultra back in 2015 after reading Born to Run (Chris McDougal) and Eat & Run (Scott Jurek) inspired me to see what I could achieve. After running my first marathon in 2013 and being injured for a year after that with my hip, it’s crazy to think I would try this, but now I love it and I have no issues with my hip. It’s a free race and usually attracts about a hundred runners and I’ve been lucky enough to finish second in my first attempt and win in 2017 and 2018 setting and improving the course record on those attempts. So I always feel there’s pressure on me to come and do my best and compete against some strong young talent. 4 weeks earlier I won the first in the Summer Slam Series of 3 ultras, and my training had been going well so I was optimistic heading into this race.
There was another strong field at the event this year of which anyone of these could win, Michael, Jason, Greg, Luis who normally participate with an average age in the early 30’s. Bruce who had come up from the Miami area, he came second in the Long Haul 100 and also did well in the Antelope 100. Andy, 25, who had recently joined the Clever Training run group that I run with, had ran a few ultra’s and was a sponsored Spartan athlete. The group fancied his chances against me, less than half my age and in good shape but would the distance and heat be too much for him. Then there were a couple of other young faces I didn’t know that looked like they came out to run a tough race. The race started at 6:30am with high humidity and Michael immediately set of at a fast pace running a sub 8 minute mile and started to … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Another overall win this weekend at the first of the Summer Slam series in Florida during the heat of the summer. I’ve been training really hard for the last 10 weeks after finally getting over a little niggle that I had before my 100 miler in January which I carried through to the Antelope Canyon race in Arizona in March. I had wanted to run a couple of other races before this, but decided to back off and fully recover for the series. These were the first ultras I did starting back in 2015, and running and winning this race in Orlando in July 2016. These 3 races hold a special place in my heart, having exposed me to something I never imagined and so glad to have found these and the wonderful experiences I’ve had.
For the last 10 weeks I’ve picked up my training a little bit, not completely following MAF, allowing my HR to be about 10-15 beats higher on my easier runs. I also upped my short runs from 4 miles to 6 miles and incorporated a bridge in them when possible. For my long runs I’ve been training on my local bridge doing anywhere from 24 – 36 bridge repeats each weekend in the heat. My feeling was that if I train on the bridge, running the flats, of which these 3 races are, it will feel easier and I will be stronger. This race started at 8:40am so I’ve also been starting most of my training runs at 8 rather than getting up early like all the crazies and starting at 6. The first couple I did trying to keep my heart rate within a zone, allowing it to go to 140 up the bridge and trying to bring it down to 120 down. Of course as the temperature increased into the run so did my heart rate, but I didn’t push it any harder. The bridge if 0.75 miles and each climb has an elevation gain of about 70 feet. I try to do the first 12 climbs, 9 miles, fasted, without any … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Who would be interested in running the Big Sur Marathon on April 26th, 2020. It’s supposed to be one of the most scenic marathons in the world, they also have 21 mile, 11 mile and 12K options.. Registration is a lottery drawing, however they also support group registrations. I’m thinking if we can get a group of Hip Runners to register as a group we would have a pretty good chance of getting in. Registration starts July 8th and the group drawing is made starting on July 15th. Let me know if you’re interested and I start the group registration processes.
Sunday, Feb 17th, I ran the Whispering Pines 6 Hour race. I selected this race as it was a good warm-up for one of my ‘A’ races 3 weeks later, the Antelope Canyon 55K on March 9th. It was only 4 weeks ago I ran my first 100 miler and after that I took 9 days off to recover. Then I did a a few easy runs. I would say for the last 18 months I’ve trained mainly by MAF with probably no more than a handful of speed workouts. However after my 100 miler I feel that I’ve lost some of my speed and I slow down sooner than I did previously so I decided to incorporate some faster workouts into my training. For me this is a fine line as the speed work is what usually triggers hip pain and possibly a long injury layoff. That’s why I started MAF and also following a Keto lifestyle and I think both have helped a lot. I wake up almost every day without aches and jump out of bed without any stiff muscles etc. 2 weeks before the race I trained above my MAF Heart Rate, nothing too fast but faster than I usually train and the week later I did 4 short quarter mile speed workouts, around a 5:30 pace. I also did a 14 mile training run in the soft sand as the 55K has a lot of sand in the first two thirds of the race. My hip didn’t feel to bad but maybe with all of that it set my glutes off, or is it my piriformis? Driving 5 days to Miami in my wife’s Nissan Altima with a lower profile and bucket seats also angered my glutes. One day I only ran ½ mile before I turned back as they were screaming at me. 1 week before the race a ran a marathon as a pacer, a friend of mine wanted to break her 4:32 PR and I brought her in at 4:22, with the last 4 miles being the quickest … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Looking back 8 years ago when I had my hip replacement, I started running to lose some weight. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would run a marathon, let alone a 100 mile race. Yet here I am after completing the most challenging run ever and the good news is that my hip wasn’t even a factor.
5 weeks ago I was planned to run 40 miles on the course, when I had to stop after 26 miles due to a pain in my shin. I had raced a 10K the day before and my hip was a little sore, and I thought this was causing me to over compensate that day. I decided to rest as I was planning back to back long runs the following weekend, including one of my famous bridge repeats, 42 times up and down the Belleair Bridge. However during the week the pain got worse with just light walking and I was now convinced a had a stress fracture. I went to see William Cottrell, a doctor runner who was recommended, my x-ray showed nothing so a couple of days before the new year I had an MRI and got the results back on the 3rd, no stress fracture but the doctor recommended I didn’t run the race. 3 weeks with no running and only 2 weeks to the race, I also wasn’t sure. My confidence had been sapped, I felt under-trained, and my mind was having difficulties with the challenge. A couple of friends in Facebook Messenger (Kim Vandercook & Stephanie Miller) encouraged me to do it, but it wasn’t until I saw Andy’s post that 6 people had dropped out due to injury that I committed to it. I knew Andy and Amy had worked so hard putting this together with the hope of it being a Western States qualifier, and I also knew many people had signed up to help support that, I even had thoughts about running the WS myself if I won the lottery. Knowing it could come down to the … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
69.3 Miles, new course record – Save the Daylight – 12 hour race. First, many thanks to Justin for putting on a great race on a great course. The volunteers were amazing, every time I came in they asked me what I wanted, I almost felt guilty as most of the time I didn’t get anything, but the bacon avocado wraps were so good. I eat Keto (high fat, low carb) so I didn’t try many of the delicious looking treats that were available. The other runners were great, as I ran past many of them they encouraged me with quotes like “amazing”, “inspirational”, “fantastic”, they were my inspiration. My previous longest race was 46 miles, 7 1/2 hours so this was a big step up for me. Yes I felt tired and several times during the race I questioned why I was doing this and to make sure I never sign up again for anything longer than a marathon. But the words of encouragement kept me going strong and push harder. Seeing many of the other runners, several doing the 48 hour version of this race, completing lap after lap, I’m sure my pain was nothing compared to theirs.
I signed up for this race to use it to prepare for the Long Haul 100 and I think I learnt a lot. Around mile 30 after running continuously apart from stopping to refill my drinks, I incorporated a run 1 mile walk 0.1 mile as I started to feel leg cramps coming on. Next, wearing shoes that are too narrow in the toe box is not good for you. I eventually decided to change them around mile 53 and immediately started running a minute a mile faster. Nutrition is key, I ate more and drank more than I usually do and I think that helped. Lastly I need to be a better organized, at the beginning I forgot to apply Glide, i didn’t go to the bathroom, and then towards the end I couldn’t find my headlamp. Running in the dark cost me a minute per mile, or was … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
This is the third race in the Summer Slam series and feels like it’s equivalent to the Belmont Stakes in the Triple Crown. Having ran the Beat the Warthog 50K seven weeks earlier and the DURTY B-EE-RR-UN 6hr race 4 weeks later you have three weeks to recover for this. I had the fastest time the weekend of the 50K but had to run remote in Miami as we had a concert that evening. For the 6 Hour race, despite my intention of not going hard and saving myself, I ended up winning and setting a new course record of 39 miles. So after the race surely I would rest and recover tapering for the 46 mile race. Well I took the first few days off before heading to England for my cousins wedding and that Thursday morning enjoyed a nice 8 mile run in the Lake District. The following night back in Stockport, jet lag and a late night catching up to me I went for a short 6 mile run before we went for dinner with friends. Saturday morning I decided to run to Lyme Park, 4 miles away, I forgot that it was all uphill. When I got there, cars were in a line paying to get in. I thought it was just a park so decided to run in and see where everyone was going. Another 2 miles uphill later I eventually came to the big house and then run another half mile up to the tower for some great 360 degree views of Stockport. Eventually I made it back home 16 miles in the book. The next 4 days I continued to explore and find new places to run before I took stock of the week. I had ran 7 straight days, 71 miles for my second highest weekly volume of the year, so much for rest, recovery and taper. Now back to Florida with 7 days to the race and have to reacclimatize to the 40 degree plus difference in temperature plus the humidity.
This was my goal race for 2018, having missed the … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
This was my first ultra back in 2015, running in the Florida heat and humidity in the middle of August. For some strange reason I fell in love with racing ultras and have been doing them since. That year I finished second after several severe cramps sent me crashing to the ground and destroyed my chance of winning. The following year in 2016 I returned and won, setting a new course record of 37.5 miles. While that may not be a lot for a 6 hour race, given the conditions it’s pretty decent even if I say so myself. In 2017 I was injured and didn’t race for over 12 months but the winner only managed 33 miles.
This year I had trained harder, not so much for this race but for the Pinellas Trail Challenge (PTC), a 46 mile race in Florida running the entire county of Pinellas on Labor day weekend in grueling heat. I’ve also ran that race in 2015 and 2016 finishing 2nd and 5th, my goal for this year is to finish first. It’s a tougher race than the 6 hour race, it starts 30 minutes later at 6:30am and the last 10 miles is on a concrete stretch with no shade. This race attracts a few more runners and several are trained by professional coaches for this race. We still haven’t had a Pinellas resident win this race and I would love to be the first. So my goal for this race was to run 33 miles, perhaps 36 if e everything went well but I wasn’t going to push it, I wanted to save myself for the goal race. I saw Michael Stork at the start line, he’s the race director for the PTC and ran a 2:47 Houston marathon this year. He finished behind me in second place 2 years ago and his marathon time is almost 30 minutes better so I knew he would be going for the win along with a few other regulars. For me it was to see what I was capable of, even though … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Enjoy your new hip and don’t settle for boundaries others impose on you. Listen to your body, train hard, rest and eat well and you can do anything you want. Today I ran a 50K consisting of 42 bridge repeats, it took 5 hours and it was in about 87 degree heat. I finished around 1pm, and the second half of the run was a 6 minute negative split with my last mile being the fastest at 7:53. It was tough mentally, especially around 16 bridge climbs in and calculating you still have 26 more to go. The last 10 were tough, it was hot, I was getting tired, I was by myself but I had a goal and was determined to see it out. I’m training for a couple of ultras in the summer so wanted to push myself hard today. The good news is that the hip didn’t come into play at all and it still feels great. I think the Keto lifestyle is also helping a lot with my recovery and doing most of my training runs slow. Have fun and take you hip out for a spin.
I was a little disappointed with my last few races. I felt like I wasn’t committed 100% and was just opting for an easy goal. I think it came about after running the Belleair 5K, it was 1 week after I ran the Clearwater marathon in 3:23, I ran it in 20:09 but my hip hurt more after that than the marathon.
I knew I probably shouldn’t race that close to the marathon but a lot of our run group was racing it so I joined in. 5 weeks later it was the Sunshine Skyway Bridge 10K, I think it’s the tallest bridge in Florida with a 1 mile incline and the same decline. There were over 7,500 runners in this and I didn’t feel confident that I could place in my age group. So during the race I decided to just be the fastest from our run club, I didn’t want to get injured, especially as downhill speed tends to hurt my hip more than other running. I finished in 45:04 and was 2nd in my age group, 64th overall. I think if I had ran harder I could have placed first.
Next up was the in town 5K, the Rotary Runs the Beach. I had previously won this race overall about 4 years ago in 19.nn something and was hoping I could win again. However at the start line I say Kevin Bacon, he’s about half my age and I know he’s a 17 minute 5K runner. So once again I just set my goal to be the fastest from our run club and finished second overall with a time of 20:29. It wasn’t a bad time as it’s on the beach and it had a bad slope that I knew was going to be tough on my hip.
So my next race was the Miami Corporate Challenge 5K, with over 28,000 participants. Our company decided to enter a team, and even though we only have about 100 people, we had 35 sign up for it. Most people know that I run a lot so … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Having ran the Portland marathon in October I decided to run another one this season, the race would be the Clearwater Marathon on January 21st, the place where I ran my first marathon 5 years earlier. My time in Portland was 3:29:59 and I felt that I could beat that time as I’ve had a little more time to train and also had 2 10K races under my belt, but with very little other speed training. So race day came and you never feel quite ready, where did all that time go, I was hoping to train harder and then all of a sudden it’s time to taper. Over the 3 weeks leading up to the race I did run 21, 18 and 15 miles as I only had 3 runs more than 10 miles from November 12 with the furthest being 14 miles. I’m not sure why I didn’t train little smarter, I think I was just taking it easy around each of the 10K races and didn’t want to get injured so just took it easy. Then it’s just around the corner and I should be thinking about tapering and instead it’s time to put some serious miles in. For the 21 miler, I decided to run along part of the race course that runs through my town. It was good to run this route and remember some of the feelings and emotions I had on my first marathon. The weekend after I was in Miami and ran 10 miles with my friends then ran another 8 after that. I decided to run 6 miles around my goal race pace, somewhere under 8 minute miles, however I only managed 2 just under that (7:58 & 7:59) and the other 4 around 10-15 seconds slower. It was hard and my legs were tired, not the confidence booster I was hoping for with race day 2 weeks away. For my last run I was only planning on running around 12 miles but decided to run the remainder of the marathon course I didn’t run 2 weeks earlier, it was a … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
This was our 5th year for this event. It’s always tough getting up in the morning after partying hard the night before, but it’s a great way to start the new year. It’s only a short swim and a one mile run on the beach, but you get rewards/penalties for how many clothes you wear and if you drink a beer between the swim and run. I always do pretty well get minutes taken off for both categories.
This year we had been to a 70’s theme NY’s eve party and I was dressed a John Travolta, we had a blast and danced the night away to around 2am. I had 2 costumes planned and decided to go for the Sexy Strappy Hollow-Out Brazilian Bikini Bottom Swimwear Swimsuit as I could make use of the wig Judy wore the night before. It was a good choice as my alternative was the Sexy Collared Bow Tie Bodysuit Thong Butler Teddy Costume but someone else showed up wearing the same, although he did cover up a lot more than I would have. I parked across the road at Crabby Bills where we have breakfast afterwards and strutted down to the beach.
It was a cool morning, overcast, 63 degrees and windy. We waited around for 30 minutes until everyone turned up, we never start on time. By now my jaw was already shivering and we hadn’t even got in the 65 degree water.
The wind had started to really pickup and the temperature falling fast. By now the water had really started to whip up and several people opted not to swim. We did discuss swimming parallel to the shore but opted to do our usual swim out to the buoy, around it and back. We started north of the buoy as we knew the water would push us south and in we charged. The swim out wasn’t too bad, everyone was pretty close to each other as we got near the buoy. Bill was the closest, then me, and the other 3 swimming were just south of me. We were now … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
So for the last 4+ months I’ve been following a Ketogenic Lifestyle and Phil Maffetone’s MAF training to maximize my health and reduce the risk of injury. Although I’ve been relatively healthy I’ve read a lot about Keto and it’s anti-inflammation benefits in addition to a whole host of potential health benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about it and for some great recipes, this is where I suggest you should start www.dietdoctor.com. It’s essentially, low carb, low-medium protein and high fat, and yes it goes against what we’ve been told for so many years but it works, research it with an open mind. So far I’ve lost about 15 pounds and I didn’t have any weight to lose, nor was it my intention to. But I have felt improved mental clarity, high energy level through the day, less fatigue, and did I mention great food every day, at least if you love bacon and eggs. If anyone wants to reach out to me for more info please do so. It’s not about watching or cutting calories, it’s more about eating real food, fattier cuts of meat etc., and eliminating the majority of carbs we’ve eaten for so long that has led to the obesity problems.
As for MAF training, it’s about doing your workouts at a heart rate of 180 minus your age. You do this for 2 months to build your base, regardless of type of activity, and yes it may mean walking some time. Then after that you continue to do 80% of your workouts at that level and the other 20% you can do some speed work. This also helps train your body to burn fat for fuel rather than glucose so it’s a natural fir with Keto. Training at this low level of intensity also reduces stress and inflammation, so again builds on the benefits of Keto. Now when I wake up in the morning I feel relaxed, none of those aches getting out of bed. Now most weekends I get up, have a glass of water and go out for a … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)