Sunday, June 19, 2011

Time to Move On

Well, it's been 2 months sine the 50 miler. I've done almost nothing in the mean time. I slow jog at Run to Remember and a less than acceptable effort at the Law Enforcement Torch Run. But it's time to go. I have my eyes on a new prize and it's time to start working towards it. November 19th, just a short time after my 39th birthday and I will be taking on Tough Mudder Indiana! I'm really stoked about it and am looking forward to the challenge. My training will allow me to get in great overall shape. I should have the perfect mix of strength, endurance, etc. It wont be easy, but I'm looking forward to the journey getting there. I'll have some trail runs and maybe a few mtb races, some duathlons and an adventure race along the way getting there. But make no mistake about it....Tough Mudder is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And this is where it all starts.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Potawotomi Trail Run 50 Miler

Well, it's in the books! I completed my first 50 miler. I again learned from the experience and will be smarter next time....oh yeah, there's gonna be a next time.

I camped out on Friday night at the race area. It was great. I backed the Jeep overlooking
the lake and enjoyed my LaGondola tortellini dinner. The 50 deg temps made it was a great night for sleeping. I woke up at about 0330 hrs to thunder and lightening followed by a steady rain. It wasnt uncomfortable but it was just enough to slop the trails up.

I started the race feeling great. My prep had been flawless and I couldnt have felt more ready. Stag had my pit area dialed in and the race was on. It was a slow start and took some time for the herd to thin out due to the sloppy hills. Eventually I found a rhythm and stuck with it. Maybe I was feeling too good because my lap one time was 2:06...entirely too fast.

After a quick pit stop for a fresh bottle I was off again. I stayed steady again on this lap and was really feeling no ill effects. The trails were still a mess but I pushed on. My lap 2 time was 2:17...again...too fast.

Going out for loop 3 I told Stag that this one would take a bit longer and not to worry. About halfway through the loop I started to lose my legs again. My quads were on the verge of cramping up whenever I attempted anything more than a power walk. I had been religious on my e-caps and even my fueling on the days leading up to the race. My tight werent even helping at this point. As I neared the finish line, Milkman was there to greet me. He knew what was going on. I didnt have to say a word. He has plenty of knowledge and experience in pushing himself in similar type races. He got himself geared up, we talked over some strategies and out we went...Me, Milkman, Stag and Ol' Poo.

I got a few last minute words of advice from Klop, Tapp and a few others and I was on my way. Loop 4 was the worst yet. I hurt and the thought of dropping was always right there. Every time I made it up a hill, I could only think of the next one which had become so familiar by this stage n the race. Milkman was pushing calories on me hard at this point. I had lost my appetite almost completely. All I wanted was water, but I managed some bananas, ham sandwiches and grapes at most of the pit areas. I finally made it back in and had 1 loop still ahead. Klop had told me the night before "just get your 4th loop in, the last one is a victory lap." That thought was ringing loudly. I changed shoes and socks for the first time in the race. I took in as much food as I could stomach and carry and we were off.

I started loop 5 with a surge of energy but it only carried me about 2.5 miles. Afte
r the first aid station I was hitting the wall again. The next 3 miles would be the 3 toughest miles I've ever traveled and over the 3 toughest miles of this course. Milkman had to remind me on every hill that it was my last time on each particular one. We rolled into Heaven's Gate aid station and I was spent. I was hunched over and at my end. I stuffed some more food down and just kept moving. A gentleman named Pat ran past and we struck up a conversation. For whatever reason I picked up my pace and started to feel a little better. I told Pat I wanted to beat the sun going down and get in under 14 hours. He didnt seem to think that was going to be possible. That was the last time I saw Pat. I went around and never looked back. After a cup of ice water and a handful of gummy bears I just went. I told Howie I was out and he could see it in my eyes. Off I went. It was just a power walk, but it was the fastest I had moved in hours. It was fast enough in fact that Milkman had a hard time catching back up to me...Stagola never did. The closer I got to the end, the faster I went. When all was aid and done I finished in 13:42 with just a little daylight left. I think it was 3rd fastest loop of the day.

Now I rest...I have two weeks of schools and a lot of hotel pool time and elliptical trainers. When I get back this guy is going to concentrate on having fun. Fun with Tiffers, fun on my bikes (all varieties), fun in my kayak and even some fun short races...just to have fun.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Time is Now

Well, As I sit here typing this I feel like I'm stuck on a railroad track and the the Potowotomi Trail run is the train chugging at me. By this time tomorrow I am hoping to be well into my 3rd loop of the race, maybe even at midpoint of the whole thing. My 30 miler went well 2 weeks ago. Since then I feel like I have stuck to my plan dead on. I've really concentrated on recovery and fueling since then. I've spent many spare moments visualizing the race and how I might handle certain situations. On my last little run on Wednesday, my legs felt great! They were as snappy and fresh feeling as they have felt in a long time. Only time will tell.

This little journey started not long after I cut my arm. I think the whole brush with death thing sent me down this path. I've slept in a 2007 McNaughton Tshirt every night since I made the decision. "4/9/11" is written on my mirrors. It also ties into my sniper mentality. It's all about enduring, overcoming discomfort and obstacles but getting the job done at the end.

Stag and Milkman, couldnt do this without you guys. It makes me feel so much better knowing the two of you will be there for me tomorrow. Tiffers....You have had to put up with entirely too much of this nonsense. You stepped up and took on a lot when I got hurt and I reward you with "Hey, now I'm going to go train all the time so I can run 50 miles." You deserve much more, but I thank you for letting me chase my dreams and your undying support of every crazy thing I want to do. Love ya, Tiffers!

The time really IS now!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Clinton Lake Recap

Overall a success. It didnt go down without its share of pain and misery but I learned from some mistakes and finished with a respectable time of 6hrs 24 mins.

Loop 1 was probably about 10 minutes too fast, but I fealt strong feeling my way through the course as it was my 1st time there. It wsnt super technical, but the constant up and down was challenging at times. I eventually found a good rythm and stuck with it. Nothing but a splash and go of water at the aid station. I finished the loop at 1:54, again, a little too fast for me probably. After a handful of MM's from the start/finish area and a fresh bottle and supplements it was on to lap 2.

Loop 2 was steady as she goes. I found myself alone for most of the race which is fine by me since I train alone almost exclusively. I again had zero issues during the lap. I probably started walking a little sooner on a few hills but no change to the game plan. Another handfull of MM's and a splash of orange drink at the aid 5.5 mile mark and I finished loop 2 at 4 hrs straight up. MM's again at the start/finish area. I had to mix a new bottle this time around and I doubled up on my Hammer E-caps. By my watch my pit time was about 5 minutes before I started out on loop 3.

It didnt take long before I was feeling the effects of the day. My quads were tightening and I had neglected to give myself a good dose of Chamois Butt'r. This would also add to some of misery. At mile 23 I was physically and mentally hurting a bit. I started concentrating on the race mile by mile. Eventually I made it to the aid station and drank a few small cups of cola which tasted fantastic at that time. I could tell my pallet was changing at that point n the race and my Heed/Sustained Energy combo wasnt cutting it anymore. At that point I was 4.5 miles from the finish. MIles 26 and 27 were tough on me. I was really nursing my quads at this point. I was looking at my watch and saw that 6 1/2 was going to be tough, I was close to falling off that pace. When I hit 28 I had a runner in sight closing in on me. I used it as motivation and had a really good finish. I think I finished with 12 minute miles on the last two and got me in under my goal.

I made mental notes throughout the race and documented them all to help prepare for McNaughton in two weeks. I am confident at this point about it. I just have to be smart over the next two weeks. I'm looking for lots of sleep, short runs, smart fueling.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Excuses

My last two weeks have been....worthless in terms of training. Two weeks ago I was traveling and spending time with family after the death of my step-father. This past week was all about our ILEAS assessment which I helped coordinate with West Peoria. With both of those incidents behind me, I need to get back to training. I'm two weeks out from Clinton Lake 30 miler, just a long training run for McNaughton which is now 3 weeks and 6 days out. I had very high hopes of getting in two loops at McNaughton today but I woke up with a sore throat and some sinus congestion. Instead I have rested, hydrated and fueled to get some recovery and beat this cold. Tomorrow's tac practice will be a low key range day so that should help, but Tuesday I am getting at least a loop in at McNaughton. Everything from here out has to be smart prep for Clinton and then on to McNaughton. I'll still have a cheat day here and there but only to reward myself for solid efforts put in.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Great Honor

I received the award Outstanding Young Law Enforcement Officer for 2010 this past Thursday night. The award was presented by the Peoria Jaycees at their Distinguished Service Award banquet. I am very honored and humbled by the award. I would like to thank the Jaycees, all my fellow officers, my command staff for the nomination, family and friends for their support and Tiffany who's inspiration gives me passion, strength and devotion in everything that I do.