midway musing

with six months behind me and six months still ahead, now seems like a good time to evaluate where i’m at.

the half-full view would be that i’ve racked up fifteen hundred — and two — miles so far this year. that total is fourteen percent more than i’ve had at this point in a year. in fact, during the months of march, april and may i was averaging 65 miles per week…which is really good for me.

the half-empty view would be that i haven’t put forth any real stellar racing efforts. plus, i’ve had my fair share of nagging injuries. during april and into may, it was shin splints in my left leg along with significant swelling of my ankle and foot. i’d had shin splints before but never the accompanying swelling so i ended up buying a pair of compression socks to help fix both issues. as of late, it’s been knotted calves and hamstrings. none of these issues have kept me from training but they have made me less than eager to toe the line and race.

the realistic view is that i slow down a great deal between the half marathon and the marathon. my ~1:24 half marathons in 2013 & 2014 only translated to a 3:13 marathon last fall. granted, my 3:13 was a boston qualifying effort but it was still far short of what i should be able to do…based on what i can do at shorter distances. the ideal would be to thrive with higher training mileage — versus simply survive — which could fix that dramatic slow down over twenty six point two.

5/2 – 13.25 miles AM, 8 miles PM
5/3 – 12 miles AM, 8 miles PM
5/4 – 7 miles
5/5 – off
5/6 – 7 miles
5/7 – 5 miles
5/8 – 7 miles
5/9 – 10 miles
5/10 – 10 miles
5/11 – 7 miles
5/12 – 7 miles
5/13 – 7 miles
5/14 – 7 miles
5/15 – 7 miles
5/16 – 6 miles AM, 8 miles PM
5/17 – 10 miles
5/18 – 7 miles
5/19 – 7 miles
5/20 – 7 miles
5/21 – 7 miles
5/22 – 7 miles
5/23 – 15 miles
5/24 – 10 miles
5/25 – 7 miles
5/26 – 7 miles
5/27 – 7 miles
5/28 – 7 miles
5/29 – 7 miles
5/30 – 6.50 miles
5/31 – 15.50 miles

May Totals – 270.25 miles (30/31 Days, 38 Hours & 12 Minutes)

6/01 – 7 miles
6/02 – 7 miles
6/03 – 7 miles
6/04 – 9 miles
6/05 – 7 miles
6/06 – 7.5 miles
6/07 – 10 miles
6/08 – 7 miles
6/09 – 7 miles
6/10 – 7 miles
6/11 – 7 miles
6/12 – off
6/13 – 8 miles
6/14 – 8 miles
6/15 – 9 miles
6/16 – 7 miles
6/17 – 7 miles
6/18 – off
6/19 – 7 miles
6/20 – 8 miles
6/21 – 7 miles
6/22 – 7 miles
6/23 – 7 miles
6/24 – 7 miles
6/25 – 7 miles
6/26 – 7 miles
6/27 – 8 miles
6/28 – 7 miles
6/29 – 7 miles
6/30 – 7 miles

June Totals – 207.5 miles (28/30 Days, 30 Hours & 39 Minutes)
YTD – 1502.25 miles (172/181 Days, 222 Hours & 50 Minutes)

June 30, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
Categories: Running | Comments Off on midway musing

press reset

one of the ways i keep myself motivated is to track my miles. adding up all the miles i’ve logged for my “odometer” gives me a good sense of what i’ve been able to do over the years. i usually pay closer attention when i’m about to roll a new thousand (or ten thousand) digit and in april i rolled past forty one thousand miles.

looking at a shorter time frame, i’ve been able to run more than a thousand miles for the year so far. i’m about three weeks ahead of my previous year to date total and would be on track for three thousand miles for the year. narrowing down the time frame a bit further, i was able to run 270 miles during april. this also was a new best for me, nearly thirty percent more than the 209 miles i ran in April 2013.

that’s all good but now it’s the first of may. the monthly total gets zeroed out and i get to start all over again. the alarm sounds at 4:20am and i’m out the door running by 5am. a little past 6am, i’ve run the first seven miles for the month and head for the shower.

4/1 – 7 miles
4/2 – 7 miles
4/3 – 10 miles
4/4 – 17 miles
4/5 – 10 miles AM, 15 miles PM
4/6 – 7 miles
4/7 – 9 miles
4/8 – off
4/9 – off
4/10 – off
4/11 – 7 miles
4/12 – 8 miles
4/13 – 7 miles
4/14 – 7 miles
4/15 – 7 miles
4/16 – 7 miles
4/17 – 7 miles
4/18 – 12 miles AM, 8 miles PM
4/19 – 12 miles AM, 8 miles PM
4/20 – off
4/21 – 7 miles
4/22 – 7 miles
4/23 – 7 miles
4/24 – 7 miles
4/25 – 10 miles AM, 10 miles PM
4/26 – 10 miles AM, 10 miles PM
4/27 – 7.5 miles
4/28 – 7.5 miles
4/29 – 7.5 miles
4/30 – 7.5 miles

April Totals – 270 miles (26/30 Days, 39 Hours & 22 Minutes)

5/1 – 7 miles

YTD – 1,031.5 miles (115/121 Days, 155 Hours & 1 Minute)
Odometer – 41,180 miles

May 1, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
Categories: Running | Comments Off on press reset

48 hours

alright, 47 hours and 48 minutes. that’s how much time i spent running during the month of march…and yes i am resisting the urge to gear up and run another 12 minutes before midnight.

if that wasn’t obnoxious enough, this past saturday i ran the Trailbreaker Marathon as a training run. that just sounds downright arrogant to say, am i right?

to be honest, within some circles it’s considered normal. just like everyone else, i paid my entry fee and had a chip tied onto my shoe for timing purposes.

one thing i did a bit different was to wear my race-supplied number under my jacket rather than displaying it outwardly; which is a slight breech in runner’s etiquette. to be honest, a small action like that helps to keep me from slipping into a competitive mindset.

so my “training run” began by running the first twelve miles at roughly 8:30 per mile pace on the paved glacial drumlin trail. the next four miles of the course rolls through wooded trails that were strewn with roots, rocks and awfully greasy mud. just to add to the fun, in the middle of this section we get to climb to the top of a 45 foot observation tower and ring a bell at the top.

Lapham_Peak_tower

trailbreaker-elevation

yes, that spike in the middle of the chart is the tower and the rather long hill that we got to climb up before we even reaching the tower.

so i rang the bell and then headed back into the woods to slog my way back to the paved trail. in all honesty, my pace didn’t matter much in the woods as i was really focused on not falling on my arse. once back to the civility of the (paved) glacial drumlin trail there was roughly ten miles to the finish line.

so with ten miles left, a glance at my watch said i’d already been at it for two and a half hours. some simple math told me that if i lollygagged those last ten miles at 9 minute pace, i’d be stuck with a 4:## finishing time…which isn’t exactly what i had in mind.

did i mention the return route was downhill? if you’ve got your head and legs ready, this section of the course can be a lot of fun. three years ago, i went full on berserk through this section en route to a 3:19 finish. this year, i opted to keep my pace dialed in at a much more reasonable 7:45 per mile effort.

i rolled into the finish with an official time of 3:48:57, which got me 26th/106 overall and 3rd in M40-44. this was my sixth Trailbreaker Marathon finish (60% of the way to the “Ten Tower Club”) and 23rd marathon finish…so i’ve got that going for me.

otherwise, at the moment i can’t say that i’ve got any firm plans for racing this year. maybe one of these days when i’m surfing runningintheusa’s online race calendar i’ll decide and commit.

oh, yeah…and if you keep reading, you’ll see that i logged 325+ miles for the month; which is a personal best. previously, my best month was 300 miles back in August of 2004.

3/1 – 7 miles AM, 9 miles PM
3/2 – 6 miles
3/3 – 7 miles
3/4 – 7 miles
3/5 – 7 miles
3/6 – 6.25 miles
3/7 – 11 miles
3/8 – 7 miles AM, 13 miles PM
3/9 – 7 miles
3/10 – 7 miles
3/11 – 7 miles
3/12 – 7 miles
3/13 – 7 miles
3/14 – 11 miles AM, 9 miles PM
3/15 – 8 miles AM, 12 miles PM
3/16 – 7 miles
3/17 – 7 miles
3/18 – 7 miles
3/19 – 7 miles
3/20 – 7 miles
3/21 – 15.25 miles AM, 8 miles PM
3/22 – 15.25 miles AM, 9.25 miles PM
3/23 – 7 miles
3/24 – 7 miles
3/25 – off
3/26 – 7 miles
3/27 – 7 miles
3/28 – 26.2 miles (Trailbreaker Marathon) in 3:48:57
3/29 – 9.25 miles AM, 10.75 miles PM
3/30 – 6 miles
3/31 – 7 miles

MTD – 325.25 miles (30/31 Days, 47 Hours & 48 Minutes)
YTD – 747.5 miles (88/90 Days, 114 Hours and 37 Minutes)
Odometer – 40,903 miles

March 31, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
Categories: Running | Comments Off on 48 hours

2015 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships

a few weeks ago i placed in my age group at a USSSA sanctioned snowshoe race so i met the eligibility standard to register for the National Championships race. this year the Nationals event was being held in my (adopted) home state of Wisconsin, only about a three hour drive from where i live.

i drove up on friday night and on saturday morning i arrived two hours before start of the Mens 10K race. while getting ready for a short warm up run, i noticed the (indoor) concession stand was already grilling bratwurst. nothing says “hello wisconsin” like the smell of bratwurst being grilled first thing in the morning.

after a ten minute warm up run, i bound my feet onto my snowshoes and headed to the starting line. while the temperatures may have been in the single digits, the sunshine made it feel much warmer. after some final instructions we were sent on our way.

at the start i purposefully lined up near the back of the pack. while i got into the race i’m not exactly contenting for a title. as we made our way through the first mile and onto the first section of single track, i dialed into a solid pace and was able to avoid a jackrabbit start.

the course was a nice mix of single track sections alternating with wide open sections that allowed room to pass or be passed. another benefit from starting a bit further back is that i was able to reel in other folks as the race went on. from a mindset perspective, it’s much more encouraging to pursue rather than to be pursued.

in the middle part of the course there were some really challenging sections of single track where if you made a wrong step you’d be off the trail and tumbling down a hill. i also remember a real steep downhill in that section that i was chopping my steps in a frantic effort to slow my momentum so i could make a sharp right turn at the bottom of the hill.

i glanced at my watch when i saw the halfway mark and noticed that i was on track to finish in under an hour. the second half of the race did have some fun single track sections but what was most memorable were the steep uphill climbs. each time i looked up from the bottom of a hill i dialed down the pace and focused on getting my cadence high with short strides until i was up and over the hill.

before i knew it, i saw the 9K marker which meant there was only about a half mile to go to the finish. i made my way through one last uphill single track section while keeping tabs on a few guys ahead of me. while i couldn’t quite close the gap, as i approached the finish i could see it ticking with fifty three minutes and change on it. i lumbered along as fast as i could muster to cross the line with 53:47 with exactly six miles on my gps watch.

overall, the snow conditions were packed very firm and was likely the best track i’ve had the opportunity to race on. checking the results i finished 59th overall and 8th in my age group.

recent training
——————-
2/9 – 7 miles
2/10 – 7 miles
2/11 – 7 miles
2/12 – 7 miles
2/13 – 7 miles
2/14 – 14 miles
2/15 – 8 miles
2/16 – 7 miles
2/17 – 7 miles
2/18 – 7 miles
2/19 – 7 miles
2/20 – 7 miles
2/21 – 17 miles
2/22 – 8 miles
2/23 – 7 miles
2/24 – 7 miles
2/25 – 6 miles
2/26 – 5 miles
2/27 – 5 miles
2/28 – 1 mile warm up, 6 mile snowshoe in 53:47

February Totals: 209.25 miles
(27/28 Days, 33 Hours & 6 Minutes)
YTD: 429.25 Miles
(58/59 Days, 66 Hours & 49 Minutes)

March 1, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
Categories: Running | Tags: , | Comments Off on 2015 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships

Treehaven Tromp

over the weekend i ventured to the northwoods of wisconsin for a ten kilometer snowshoe race at the Treehaven preserve. it’s not uncommon to see folks racing with kilts on and admittedly i felt a bit of envy being kilt-less.

the race started with a flurry of folks kicking up plumes of snow. admittedly, i’m much more of a tortoise on snowshoes so i kept to the side of the course and settled into my own pace.

the (very well marked) course wound it’s way through open wooded trails and narrow single track sections. while the race organizers did their best to groom the open wooded sections, the snow was a bit…fluffy which made it tough to maintain momentum through those sections. there was less snow through the single track sections and it was well compacted which made it much easier to run through.

for what it’s worth, snowshoes really just redistribute your weight to a greater area so you don’t sink as far into it. also, the less weight you carry the less you sink and the more compacted the snow is the faster you can motor along.

snowshoe-meme

roughly two miles into the race i ran past another participant who was fiddling with his snowshoe bindings off to the side of the trail. after the race i heard that one of his bindings had broken and he had to complete the course without snowshoes…which unfortunately DQ’d him.

besides fighting through the fluffier snow sections, the most adverse thing i had to deal with was that my nose was running like a sieve. thankfully i didn’t have anyone too close to me so i simply snot rocketed with the wind and kept motoring along.

rolling into the last mile through the narrow single track, folks doing the accompanying five kilometer race were kind enough to step the side of the trail as i approached. while i was working hard, i still made the effort to say “thanks” or “much appreciated” as i passed them.

cresting the final hill there was a five kilometer participant ahead of me who was really working hard to get to the finish. rather than prancing past i simply downshifted then enjoyed the final stretch by waving and smiling at the folks who were hearty enough to stand out there as spectators.

my gps watch measured the course at exactly six miles which i covered in 1:05:14. since i stayed the night before, i headed back to my room for a very welcome hot shower then made my way to the post race chili lunch; which included beer from a local brewer. the results weren’t posted so i patiently waited through the silent auction and door prize giveaways to be rewarded by hearing my name called for third place in my age group.

treehaven

(3rd M40-49 & 14th Overall)

Splits
1M - 9:55
2M - 11:06 (21:01)
3M - 10:58 (31:59)
4M - 10:48 (42:47)
5M - 11:29 (54:16)
6M - 10:58 (1:05:14)

i’ve been competing for…years and i do believe this is the first time i’ve gotten an award made of wood. in all, i had an enjoyable time in the northwoods…even without a kilt.

also, the race was the final qualifying race in the region for the 2015 Dion Snowshoes National Snowshoe Championships. since i renewed my USSSA membership earlier in the week and finished in the top five for my age group, i’m now eligible to compete in Eau Claire, WI at the end of the month. so i’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

1/26 – 7 miles
1/27 – 7 miles
1/28 – 7 miles
1/29 – 7 miles
1/30 – 7 miles
1/31 – 8 miles

Jan Totals – 220 Miles (31/31 Days, 33 Hours & 42 Minutes)

2/1 – 6 miles
2/2 – 7 miles
2/3 – 7 miles
2/4 – 7 miles AM, 7 miles PM
2/5 – off
2/6 – 7 miles
2/7 – 1 mile warm up, 6 mile snowshoe in 1:05:14
2/8 – 7.25 miles

MTD – 55.25 Miles (7/8 Days, 9 Hours & 12 Minutes)
YTD – 275.25 (38/39 Days, 42 Hours & 55 Minutes)

February 8, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
Categories: Running | Tags: , | Comments Off on Treehaven Tromp

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