"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oil Creek Prerace Jitters

I always get nervous before a race.  Part of that nervous energy goes towards making my race kit, studying the different sections of the course and choosing different shoes.  Looking back at my training log, Ive put in more miles, more long runs, and longer runs than I did preparing for the Kettle Moraine 100 mile.  That being said, logging miles isnt everything.  I spent some time on the stairmaster last week, working on my steep power hiking skills, maybe that will help.  A huge portion of this race is going to be mental fortitude (for me anyways) and keeping my feet and stomach happy.  I think I have the stomach thing under control during a 50 miler - I am basically a garbage disposal who can run- but I am planning trying something slightly different at Oil Creek than Kettle.
Dont ask me how much this all cost

Having run a very happy Ice Age 50 mile 3 weeks before Kettle using soley gels as a fuel source, I figured I would just do the same for the 100 miles at KM.  Bad Toe.  I learned after bonking out kinda hard around mile 83 that I get super sick of gels after about 100k, and need to use more solid food.  After the race I spend some time reading peoples strategies for Western States, and noticed super fast veterans like Andy Jones-Wilkins eat mostly "solid" food for the first 50 and then switch over to gels.  This will be my approach for Oil Creek.  Ive been practicing eating clif bars, candy bars, chips, power bars, muffins, and PB&J sandwiches as I run the poto.  I hope to do something similar this weekend.  Solid food will consist of Honey Stinger waffles, Clif Bloks, Power Bars, Clif Roks, mini snikcers, and the occasional aid station food.  I am aiming for 300-400 calories an hour - yes this is a lot, yes I can eat this much, I hope I dont over/under do it as solid food is more difficult to track consumptionwise than gels. 

Onto my feet.  Those who know me well know that I have some pretty cool feet.  I was lucky enough to have some wicked surgeries on my left foot when I was in 6th grade, and as a consequence of damage to my growth plate, my 4th toe has not grown since.  Running shoes are hard to find for me.  One foot is wide and short, the other is long and skinny.  Blah blah blah.  Im gonna rock my new favorite shoe, the MTE101 (European version of the ever-so-popular MT101) for as long as I can, and switch over to my new Speedcross 3.  Being the self proclaimed shoe nerd that I am, I will also have my Fellcross, Mtn Masochist, Kinvara, and MT100s either in my car or in the drop bag.  Socks - drymax pro are the best socks in the world.  hands down.  period.  but if I need something softer, I will have some smartwools somewhere.
Yeah, I know, awesome
Notice the long scar on the 4th metatarsel

There is still some last minute planning to do.  Exactly which gels go into which drop bag.  Which socks to put where.  What shorts will I wear, etc.  These will be things that I think about over the next couple days.  Importantly, I made some humungous Banana Walnut muffins for Hagy, Jason, Chris, and anyone else I deem worthy of a delicious muffin.

I thought I would end this post with my mileage that I ran in preparation for the race (hopefully it will inspire some confidence).  **note**  this is probably not a wise amount of miles to run week to week, but hell, it makes me happy :)  If anyone is actually interested, I usually run 2x a day.  mostly a short 3-6 mile run in the morning/lunch time and then however long I can muster at night.  These daily total reflect both runs.

Month Date Miles

June 27 14
June 28 3.5
June 29 21
June 30 17
July 1 9
July 2 18
July 3 17
Week total - 99.5
July 4
July 5 13
July 6 14
July 7 15
July 8
July 9 31
July 10 9
Week total - 82

July 11 15
July 12 18
July 13 15
July 14 15
July 15 15
July 16 27
July 17 15

Week total - 120

July 18 15
July 19 15
July 20 15
July 21 0
July 22 22
July 23 12
July 24 29

Week total - 108


Week total - 111

August 1
August 2 18
August 3 18
August 4 20.5
August 5 15.5
August 6 36
August 7 18

Week total - 126

August 8 0
August 9 15
August 10 20.5
August 11 15
August 12 15
August 13 20
August 14 24.5

Week total - 110

August 15 16
August 16 16
August 17 17.5
August 18 13
August 19 15
August 20 15
August 21 12

Week total - 104.5

August 22 0
August 23 6
August 24 9
August 25 0
August 26 0
August 27 50
August 28 6

Week total - 71

August 29 10
August 30 12
August 31 0
September 1 18.5
September 2 12
September 3 13
September 4 23

Week total - 88.5


Week total - 104

September 12 6
September 13 12
September 14 15
September 15 18.5
September 16 19.5
September 17 29
September 18 20

Week total - 120

September 19 0
September 20 21
September 21 22
September 22 17.5
September 23 18
September 24 26
September 25 25.5

Week total - 130


Week total - 88


  1. Nooooowww I see why people call you Toe! :) Good luck this weekend! How fast do you usually run your shorter 3-6 miles runs?

  2. Well the speed I run at kinda depends on the day befores run. They are generally slower, shake out runs to warm everything up before I hit it hard later that night. I'd say 7-7:30s on a good day and 9:30-10:00s if I want a recovery run

  3. Great post! re: kinvaras. I've been running in minimus trails for about a year now, (on and off road) after walking in minimal shoes for a few years. (old NB 790s). So i'm pretty comfortable in the minimal shoes. im doing a half marathon this weekend, and while training the past few months, my calves have been constantly taxed with all the extra mileage i've been putting on .I finally bought some kinvara 2's. looking for a little more cushion. I didn't like how they felt on a quick jog up and down a local hill (felt like i was working my lower legs extra hard to run the same speed as my minimal shoes) so i took out the insole and have been wearing them around the rest of the day indoors...they feel alright walking around, but i'm worried they will sap my strength on the longer run. Will i be glad on the long run that i ran in these shoes? or should i find something just a little bit thicker than the minimus trails (like the minimus road) instead of these soft kinvaras. i noticed you bring them with you on runs, in which circumstances do you wear them?


  4. r08, those 790s are classics. Re: Kinvaras. I hated my first pair of kinvaras, but they really because comfy after breaking them in - i think they firmed up a little. I think on a long run they would treat you really well as long as you dont feel like the cushion is sapping your energy. But with race day adrenaline I think u would be ok.

    You're right the minimus road is a very nice shoe and has a fairly firm outsole. another firm shoe you may want to consider that I like
    a lot is the adizero rocket.

    -Just my two cents

  5. i agree with the 790 statement, i got them on clearence in a maine outlet for 40 bucks! had i know how good of a deal that was i would have bought multiple pairs. Thanks for the input about the 'varas. It's really good to know they'll settle down from "marshmellow mode" I've heard they wear out quickly, have you noticed this? or with your minimalist tendencies, do you not mind the lack of cushion. I'm wondering now if when other people say the shoe has worn out, you feel it has just broken in.

  6. The little rubber triangles on my pair are worn down to the midsole foam, which is now wearing. I still run on them. The heel has not worn much. I like them as they lose the cushion and become firm, because then it is a firm cushion.

  7. "I think I have the stomach thing under control during a 50 miler - I am basically a garbage disposal who can run-" good quote.

  8. Thanks Rob, I liked it too. :) It takes practice, but being able to sense when your stomach is ready for more energy is so so important for ultra-endurance sports.

  9. 1. You ran 130 miles in one week? Wow! I think you may have out run the impossible-to-out-run Scott Breeden!!
    2. You have crazy toes!