Pedialyte: It’s not just for ultra-marathons anymore

This would normally have been a mileage posting, but a gnarly stomach bug seems to have taken all of the zip out of my step, and excepting Sunday 11/20 (6 miles, 48 mins) I’ve hardly run a step. I think I’m on the upswing now, but I thought similarly a couple of days ago, and ran (~5 miles) only to return home and several hours later deal with the after-effects of this lingering sickness. The past few weeks have definitely solidified November as my worst mileage month of the year, and despite the fact that illness, and the lingering metatarsal discomfort are the main reasons for the drastic reduction in mileage, something tells me that taking such a light month is probably advantageous in the long run. It has, however caused me to re-evaluate my racing strategy for next year, where I was looking for 50k’s in January, and 50 Milers going through Feb, realistically, and competitively speaking, I really can’t expect to pull enough miles to race those distances with that as a timeline. SO, instead, I’m looking for trail marathons/50k’s in the March-ish range, and to segue into 50 milers come May-ish, which should allow me to regain the fitness I’ve lost over recent weeks, and return to regular daily mountain running at a reasonable rate.

The additional time off has, in addition to letting my foot heal, allowed me to evaluate the running I had been doing, and the discomforts/injuries that have resulted from it. So with some luck, and a few changes to my routine,(some lower leg stretching, core work, and increased attention to my weaker (left) side) hopefully my return to big miles will prove more comfortable, and increasingly consistent

Otherwise, having been laid up on the couch for the past week, I’ve found myself wanting little more than to go for a solid run, and get back to work practicing, so much that whenever I pass my pile of running shoes by the door I can’t help but pause, and look at them for a few moment (soon my friends, soon we’ll be again together). I have, however, been able to determine which Gatorade and Pedialyte flavors are best (avoid anything florescent), as well as think of alternative titles for this post, such as: “The idiots guide to weight loss, the stomach virus edition” or “Ways to avoid Thanksgiving: Illness excuses”

Pedialyte… It’s not just for ultra’s anymore (okay this one may be a bit contrived)

We’ll get to run again soon…..

Oh, and here’s a video from one of my favorite New Jersey bands, as you can see, not everyone in the state is bent on being Snooki or The Situation…

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Summary 11/12-19

This past week has been the least productive of the year as far as running is concerned, logging a Whopping 7.3 miles for a little over 1 hour of total running time (3.2 and 4.1, 26:44 and 34:25 respectively). My left foot has been bothering me for weeks, and this week I decided that any illusions of ultra-marathons in the next 6-8 weeks being run well is out of the question, so I figured it would be best to rest my foot, and try to let it recover so I can start feeling healthy, and get back into the shape I’ve been yearning for. Taking 5 consecutive days off was rather troublesome however, I think that after a while, you identify yourself so much by what you do, that when you’re not doing it, you begin to lose some of that association, living in the past to a sense. My foot is still not 100% but it’s runnable, and today’s 6 miler made me feel like a real runner again (and the first time I’ve gone shirtless in weeks). On the bright side, the lack of running allowed me to really hone in on my practicing, as well as do some research for upcoming job openings, one of which is in Utah… which has great mountain running, so… we’ll see!
Since there’s not much running to talk about, here’s some great music, by one of my favorite song-writers right now:

Weekly Update 11/6-12

Sunday 11/6
7.03 miles 59:20 Ran around the local hills on the road, nice to get out and see the area on foot.
Monday
AM 4.85 miles 46:23 Often when I don’t have a lot of time to run on a particular day, and want to get on trail, I’ll run the paths for the power lines local to my house. They’re surprisingly technical, covered in medium sized rocks that challenge my running technique, and the paths right by my house essentially go straight up, and down hill. I did however, take a rather hard fall tripping over an embarrassingly small obstacle, which resulted in my knee being sore for a few days, and my foot still being sore today.
PM 1 mile 10:54 slow, almost barefoot(vibram) mile to shake out the stiffness from the mornings fall
Tues 0 Knee and Foot very sore
Wed 0 Foot very sore, limping noticeably (still!)
Thurs 4.85 46:45 Ran the same power line trail as Monday, foot still feels awkward landing on technical downhills
Fri 6.2 miles 1:40
Ran to High Point with Brian mostly through Appalachian Trail, we decided beforehand to take it rather easy, and split the difference between running and hiking, particularly with regard to my sore foot, I’m not sure how much we ran, and how much we hiked (i figure 1/3 hiking 2/3 running). As a runner, we spend a lot of time training in solitude, and it’s nice to have the chance to be social again, especially since my rehearsal schedule has prevented me from our usual Thursday runs with the Highlands Hashers.
Sat 0
Came down with head cold, probably for the better to keep me off the trail, as my foot is still substantially sore, and negotiating rocks/roots isn’t the best game plan to recover.
Totals:  23.93 miles, 4:25 Looking forward to my foot healing some, and getting myself back into the 60’s 70’s/wk

Here are some photos from High Point, Brian and I both decided to wear hydration packs, a deviation from my usual “bring nothing” M.O. With the mercurial weather predicted for the day, it seemed prudent to bring a couple of extra layers, especially knowing that our pace would vary, and that it wasn’t terrain that either of us were intimately familiar with. So, while I prefer nothing more than a handheld water bottle (and boy did the sloshing of the bladder annoy me) sometimes, bringing more is the best plan

Wavering Fitness

The past few weeks have been relatively unproductive running-wise for me for a combination of reasons, increased academic workload, necessary recover time from the marathon (still trying to get my body used to running these distances with some regularity) and now, a handful of hopefully benign discomforts resulting form some missteps/falls on the trails in recent days. One of my favorite “slogging it out” daily short runs involves running on the truck paths for power lines throughout my hometown, while these trails are not the most inspiring, they’re often very rugged, and don’t require me to drive from my house, but rather simply run a few minutes, and find myself engaged in technical trail running. the downside of these trails, besides the obvious proximity to power lines (a constant reminder of the human impact on our environment) is that these trails are more subject to having garbage on them. This week while running one of these trails, i caught my foot on a circular piece of wire, causing me to take a digger at full speed onto some rocks, which has caused some lingering soreness in my foot/knee, and subsequently has cost me some mileage.
So as I concern myself with my low mileage, and the resulting effects on my fitness level, I’m going out with fellow hasher Brian on a destination hike/run through High Point to try to jumpstart my training, and get another good social adventure in (a great change of pace from my usual solitary runs).

Winter Running

If you read any of the running blogs from the Mountain time zone, you’re well aware that they’re already beginning to experience the joys, and perils of winter running, and here on the East Coast, as a result of an unprecedented October snow storm, we have as well.

Many of my friends, both casual runners, and non-runners often ask me how I maintain mileage over the course of the winter, especially as a trail runner, and since last weekend I remembered just how awesome winter runs can be, as well as the oft forgotten downsides of running in sub-freezing temperatures.
So, since many runners I know tend to reduce their mileage, or go towards the treadmill during the winter, I figure I’d try to explain as best as I could, how I maintain my mileage through season. First, attire, everyone has a different approach to cold-weather running, and much like my summer runs, I try to keep things very simple. A pair of tights (yes tights) lightweight baselayer, and a running wind breaker seem to be the most I wear during winter months. A lightweight pair of gloves, and a hat also are helpful. Many runners tend to overdress for cold weather, and end up actually being too warm. The downside of dressing as I do, is that you WILL be cold for the first few miles, the purpose is comfort in the long run, not in the first few miles.

Now, winter runs have their upsides and downsides, the most obvious downside being the negotiation of temperature/wind, hence the windbreaker and other attire mentioned above. The other, less obvious downsides are the shrinking roads as a result of snow (they get so much thinner!) which of course, makes avoiding cars much more of a problem (run trails). Trails however, get faster it seems, especially in the snow, which seems to fill in the changes in terrain, making for fast downhills, and less worry regarding rock avoidance with the extra cushioning. There is, of course, a lack of traction. I’ve found that on normal circumstances, I fall every ~300 miles or so when running technical trails, usually as a result of some mud, wet rocks, or a concentration lapse. On snowy trails, I fall roughly 1.5 times for every 10 miles, this obviously is a result of poor traction, and i expect the ratio to go down as the season progresses, and I get used to it. 
So why run in Winter? Well, here:

Trail Head
Tights and my Merrell Mix Masters
Snowy Bridge on Columbia trail

Blurry Picture, Deer in Snowstorm

Trail heading up Schooley’s Mountain

Long Valley

My Head

Post Marathon Recovery

Embarrassingly, my mileage has taken a rather awful turn since I ran the Atlantic City Marathon nearly 3 weeks ago. I recall running a 50k in August, and suffering a similar recover-oriented fate, where a combination of latent soreness, glycogen depletion, and varying certainty regarding my fitness/performance caused me to lag for a few weeks until I felt fully recovered. This run was no different, I attempted a 10 miler about 6 days afterwards, and had the worst bonk I can recall, although my overall time was reasonable. I’ve taken 7 of the past 21 days off, having broken my “streak” the tapering week before the race. Some of these days were schedule oriented (as in, no time to run) and some were a combination of fatigue/laziness, but overall, I’ve got to attribute it to lack of motivation/laziness, which isn’t always a bad thing, and since I have time to let my body rest some, It’s probably advantageous in the long term to do so. Here, however, are the stats:
Miles Oct 17-Nov 5: 51.3
Hourage: 8hrs 9min
This week I’m planning to get back on the horse proper to start preparing for a 50k in January, and a possible 50 miler in Feb, so High mileage, and lots of trails in the near future!