Monday, June 27, 2011

Thanks for the run Marshall.

Tuesday 6/21 (10.45mi, 1h 18m, 7:29/mi) I skipped my lunchtime run in favor of running a little longer after work. I started the run at 6pm headed down to Old Redmond Rd. I kept a nice 7:00/mi pace running up Old Redmond (a steady 5% - 6% grade for a mile and a half) and then kept pace while cutting across the power line trail to pick up the Bridle Trails and ran a CCW loop of the park. I felt pretty good in my Trail Gloves and no socks. The feedback from my feet while wearing such minimal shoes is great. I grabbed some water at the main stables on my way around and then tried to keep a good pace around the south and east perimeters but I was losing steam.

I started to feel a familiar pain in my feet that I thought could be blisters forming. I finished the full loop and then cut back out to the street and turned East to pick up the corridor trail back to 148th ave and to work. The foot pain never let up and at the end of the run I found 3 new blisters on the bottom of various toes. Luckily two of them were tiny enough that I could just leave them alone and let my feet absorb them while the third needed to be drained. Good run but I'm a little disappointed that I'll have to wear socks with my yellow pair of Trail Gloves from now on as the foot bed is wearing out.

Wednesday 6/22 (2.0, 17min, 8:52/mi) Just two slow miles on the treadmill before lifting weights. My Piriformis was really sore from Monday's hard trail miles. I haven't conquered the Piriformis problems quite yet but I did find a few exercises like this one that were able to ease the Sciatica pain that was also plaguing me after every fast / hard run. Progress.

Thursday 6/23 run #1 (5.5mi, 43min, 7:55/mi) I ran the Redmond Streets route CW at lunch but I took it easy as I was planning to get in a second run after work in Seattle. I figured that this would help make up for missing Monday's run.

Thursday 6/23 run #2 (5.0mi, 45min, 9:00/mi) I didn't bring my watch so I'm estimating the time and distance. This was another running celebrity in-store appearance at Fleet Feet in Seattle. Just as they had Scott Jurek do an in-store meet -n- run last year, Thursday evening they hosted another legend in the sport. This time it was Marshall Ulrich sharing his time and promoting his new book.

A few of Marshall's accomplishments:

  • 15 time Badwater 146mi. Ultramarathon finisher (meaning he goes past the 135mi. official finish line at Whitney Portal and on to summit of Mt. Whitney every year as the race used to be run)
  • 4 time Badwater winner
  • Masters and 50+ record holder for running across the US (3000+ miles) with a time of 52.5 days
  • Only person to complete a quad-Badwater crossing (Badwater to Whitney summit and back TWICE! non-stop)
  • Climbed the 7 summits of the world (Aconcagua, Carstensz, Denali, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Vinson, and of course Everest)
  • Much more than I haven't even read about in his book yet

So Marshall is kind of a big name in ultrarunning. Traffic was terrible upon leaving work going across the lake on the way over to the store. When I got there, I only had a few minutes to spare. Parking was terrible and I had to run a few blocks to the store. Other people were just leaving when I arrived so I quickly filled my hand bottle and headed out the door last. I was only a few feet behind the back of the pack which consisted of... Marshall Ulrich and a friend of his who had also completed a run across America. There wasn't anyone else running with Marshall. None of the 20 or so people who showed up to hear him talk wanted to run with him. Who would pass that up? Not me, so I just hung back with Marshall.

I'm not much for words, especially when I'm around someone whose accomplishments I respect so I was racking my brain to come up with good questions to ask Marshall. He didn't seem like an extrovert either so we ran much of the route just making idle chatter with his friend. I didn't want to ask him a bunch of questions that he was going to talk about in his presentation after the run or ask stupid questions. It was easier to just listen and talk about where he lived, and old time wheelbarrow ultra marathons from the 1800s.

After the run Marshall and Fleet Feet provided snacks (nice touch) and then he gave a slide show presentation covering his history, accomplishments, and the details of his trans-America run. He had many interesting and funny anecdotes about his trip followed by Q&A after the talk.

A few of the interesting answers he gave:

A) Including the film crew, Marshall's crew, food, supplies, etc... it cost around $600,000 for his run across America. He had some very nice sponsors.

B) He had no nutrition / electrolyte issues during his 52 day run. At some point in the run he was stopping every mile to eat a little bit of food to keep his calorie intake steady. He said he was eating about 9,000 calories a day.

C) Marshall wasn't able to run as many miles a day as he had initially planned due to stress on his body, injury, and not knowing what to expect. In the last few weeks, his film crew was asking him if he could bump up the mileage because they were going over-budget. Marshall laughed about the absurdity of the question but in the end he managed to wind up running the final miles through Time Square in Manhattan just after dark on November 4th 2008. Yep, the day Obama was elected. He couldn't have timed it better and the film crew got way more than they bargained for in terms of footage and crowd energy.

After Q&A I bought a copy of his book that he signed for me with a nice personal message, I asked a couple of questions and then I went on my way. Another great in-store event for Fleet Feet Seattle.

Friday 6/24 (5.5mi, 44min, 8:04/mi) I ran the Redmond Streets course again, CCW this time. I was in no hurry at all so I took it pretty easy. My Piriformis was feeling better after 3 easy runs in a row now.

Saturday 6/25 (10.7mi, 1h 35m, 8:54/mi) Another rare weekend run. This time my wife took my daughter out for a haircut and some shopping so it was just me and the boy. I got myself and the jog stroller ready just before his naptime and took him out for a rolling nap. He drank a bottle of milk and was sawing logs 7 min. into the run. Sadly he only slept for 45 min, half of what he normally would. I'd say taking him out for a run is a reasonable price to pay once in a while. After he woke up he was pretty mellow and snacks, juice and the scenery kept him occupied for most of the run. He started fussing three miles from home and I had to talk him down and pick up the pace. It became a game of "Do you see that truck?", "Is that a crow?", "Can you smell the yellow flowers?", etc... until he calmed down for the last mile. It was a nice run around Gig Harbor on a great day and I was happy / lucky to get it in.

I managed 39 miles this week. Not bad considering that I'm not training for anything right now. I hope I can pick up some extra mileage over the summer like I did last year. I don't know if I'll be able to break 200 miles in a month (which is what Tony Krupicka runs during his biggest training weeks mind you) like I did last July but I'll try.

No comments: