Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Actual Training

To think I have made it this far without an actual training plan, and or schedule. I have had my eyes opened for sure. Jen's performance in the Keys 100 will forever be burned into my memory. For one, I could not be more proud of such an accomplishment and two..I was there helping Jen for most of the training. Whether it was riding my Mtn bike next to her for 6 hours, or going with her for a track workout, I was there watching how much effort she was putting in. I now can appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice she made and so do applaud her. I however am not that disciplined and would like to also blame the fact that I am also busy. Hell, I started this blog and it's work keeping up with it, let alone all of the other "real" things I have to do. So time management is important, it is essential and I am going to need to get better at it or figure out a way to earn a living running and doing triathlons. So I guess I am needing better time management......

I actually have decided to start a more active training program and will be loosely following a rendition of what Jen did for the Keys 100 and Ironman. I will be needing to focus more on the running aspect of the two sports seeing that I have signed on for 1 24hr race, 1 Ironman distance, and 2 100 mile endurance runs. The Ironman and the 100's are back to back to back. Now my efforts are not just my sheer love of the sports, but my desire to also raise awareness for Getting 2 Tri foundation. G2t as we like to call it, creates grass-roots communities at the local level where individuals with a disability can integrate with running, swimming or cycling clubs, or triathlon clubs and certain civic organizations in support of our mission. They also offer sport camps that help physically challenged athletes with their given passion. Check out the site and donate if you can!

Here is a direct link:

Also if anyone would like to make a donation based on how many miles I can run at Hinson Lake 24hr we would be happy to accept a challenge! Now with all those expectations i had better get training right? Right! So my training began once I came home from the Keys 100 where I logged over thirty miles w/Jen in the heat. Good start right? After we arrived home I got in a few nice runs, nothing more than about two hours along with a few nice rides, some spinning, some track, and a couple workouts in the gym. Bring in sauna stretching, abs, jumping jacks and push-ups and we have a training schedule! Now, I just need to work everything else around this and we are good. Either way we now have a goal and the only way we can reach it is through hard training. I can't afford to go this deep without preparation, lets face it...Umstead 100 w/no training was a painful lesson. I learned my lesson, but still feel the repercussions.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Keys 100

The Keys 100 is a point to point starting at mile 101 in Key Largo Florida making it's way straight down US-1 all the way to Key West ending at mile marker 1. As everyone knows Florida is hot, Florida is humid and Florida has it's share of lousy drivers. All of these things are factors in the Keys 100, you just have to be able to keep the first two under control or the third factor will have you looking like road kill. In my humble opinion I would like to compare the Keys to Badwater. Many of the athletes running are training for Badwater and use this race as a warm up of sorts. For one you have the road, you have the heat, you have the cars and it is also a self supported race where you need crew. Training will only get you so far in a race like this, you must have a competent crew to get you through, let alone give you a win.

This was the second year for the race and the only major change was the fact that the race has tripled in size! Last year 19 starters, this year 65! (100 mile race) Bob Becker RD had also made some nice changes that kept the runners from having to switch sides of the road, this helped with not only safety but also length of time dodging traffic. As always, no aid or support on the 7 mile bridge makes for a long windy stretch, but no one seemed to mind to much. Well, maybe Brian Krogmann did, the races eventual winner told me "The 7 mile bridge can go to hell". Brian won this race in a blistering 16hr31mn, taking almost 7 hours off last years record time. Unreal, and surely a record that will no doubt stand for some time.

Now, getting down to our personal race report:

Jennifer trained like a machine for this race, she did everything her coach Lisa Smith told her to do. She ate the right foods, she ran all the runs, did all the cross training and all the speed work. Believe me, the mornings come early when you have to get up at 2am to go do speed work for six hours in 20 degree temperatures. Jen trained, I crewed, repeat day in and day out for nearly 6 months. All that hard work paid off in a women's victory and a second place overall finish for Jen. The race was an epic run from point a to point b, never before had I thought to compare a 100 mile foot race to a game of chess, but this is what it became. Early at the start of the race our plan was to have Jen start in the very back and take off slow maintaining her energy for the push at mile 70 or so. My plan after a briefing from Lisa Smith was to keep Jens competition within striking range once we got to mile 70. What would unfold was to be an incredible race strategy I will have to use in the future.

Jen began to get comfortable after mile ten where she picked up her first pacer Jon Obst, they ran for a good bit together and started to close the gap on some of the other runners who went out to fast. Most of the runners took off like a shot due to a lower 80 degree temp and low humidity at the start. This of course would not last. All the time they were running we were scouting the general condition of the runners ahead and making adjustments to Jens pace and our race plan. By the time mile 30 came around Jen was making her way into the top ten runners and moving along beautifully. Driving ahead and seeing how the others were doing was the most important aspect of the entire race, we could really get a feel for the competitions strong points and weaknesses. Once we had that down it was just a game of chess, at times we would shadow the runners ahead seemingly forcing them into a pace they could not maintain, thus pushing past them one at a time. By the time the 7 mile bridge appeared Jen had moved in to 4th place.

Jen and Scott D'Angelo ran the bridge together, Scott carrying three water bottles and the foods Jen would need to consume every half an hour. The bridge went well and we again were scouting up ahead the conditions of the runners as we were just now beginning to hunt. The bridge would come at the hottest part for the day and the asphalt that had just been freshly laid on the other side had been absorbing the sun the entire morning and afternoon. As Jen came off the bridge our crew star extraordinaire Sarah Thomsen had Jens nutrition down pat and we exchanged pacers and I once again ran with Jen for some time. It was now reaching 94 degrees and the black asphalt was scorching. After completing another section of running with Jen Jon jumped back in for what we were going to label the final push. Our plan had always included Jen making a hard push after mile 70, and funny enough it worked out exactly that way. Coming up the the next check in at mile 75 we started to trail the women's leader at this point and remained in her shadow until we could not hold back anymore. I gave the command for for an increase in pace and Jen and Jon responded with a forward run dropping nearly 1.5 minutes per mile to put some major distance between her and the competition.

It was just now starting to get dark and we needed to go more than ever now. Jens pace had stayed strong the entire day and our race plan/chess game was working beautifully. She was now in 3rd overall and 1st place woman, now we wanted to see how far we could go. Really, there was no way to even imagine getting close to Brian, but there was one guy ahead and i had been seeing his pace drop and he was starting to walk much more than before. At mile 88 it was time to take 2nd overall and Jen pushed past the last runner before the finish. The finish line was coming up fast and the lights of Key West were starting to glow just as I was, and had been all day watching my wife do something so amazing. Jen, Jon and I were running the last 10 miles in together and Scott and Sarah were going up ahead to meet us and run the last 1/2 mile in as a group. As the finish neared and we ran the longest mile in the history of man I was able to get Jen to run 9 minute miles to the end where we met our crew and all finished the race together. Yeah, she did 9 minute miles for the last "mile", which actually was 1.7 when we measured. He..he....

Jennifer finished in 19hr10mn, almost 4hours faster than last years winning time. She did the training , had the devotion and the drive to make this happen and I couldn't be more proud of her. She is truly amazing.