Jogging into oblivion

Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra

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Location:

Rochester,IL,USA

Member Since:

Aug 10, 2008

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

Marathon PR - 3:05 (3:06 at Boston)

Completed a dozen marathons and a handful of 50 mile ultras.

Short-Term Running Goals:

Make a come back from setbacks and build aerobic base. Pacemaker implant for Symptomatic Bradycardia in 2016.  Cardiac ablation for SVT in 2019.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Lose about 50-60 lbs. and maybe complete another marathon.

Personal:

Enjoy doing stuff I wasn't built to do.  Married with children, and two fluffy dogs. 

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  1 Cor. 1:20

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 118:29

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 26.90 Year: 876.74
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
283.642.003.501.00290.14
2130 Orange Blue Miles: 84.642120 Gray Miles: 65.152140 Red Miles: 70.752130 Orange Miles: 39.20Asics Trainers Miles: 25.40
Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.151.001.000.0014.15

Ran easy 10.15 mi before breakfast.  Ran 4 mi progressively faster before supper.

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 4.002120 Gray Miles: 10.15
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.570.000.000.009.57

Ran easy 9.57 mi on the same lake route.

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 9.57
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
22.370.000.000.0022.37

Ran easy 8.37 mi before breakfast.  Completed 14 mi on a bike path around the lake before supper.

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 8.372120 Gray Miles: 14.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.250.500.500.008.25

Back home from our camping trip.  Ran 8.25 on the treadmill progressively faster while watching the first stage of the TDF.

2140 Red Miles: 8.25
Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
32.500.000.000.0032.50

Last big workout before the 50 mi foot race at the end of this month.  Covered 32.50 mi using a 9-to-1 min run + walk ratio.  Ate a small breakfast beforehand and did some fueling throughout the workout.  Started from our home and turned around after 2.5 hrs (9:00-9:30 paces).  I'm thrashed, but should recover quickly due to the walking breaks.  At least, that's what happened last time. 

2140 Red Miles: 32.50
Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.000.500.0010.00

Ran a 2 x 5 miles at a really easy pace.  Feeling much better versus yesterday.

Those few of you that read my blog know that I'm a man of few words.  Let's say I lack a lot of details about my running.  Anyway, since I don't have much to say on my blog I thought I'd add some quotes from Dr. Ernest Van Aaken.  I've studied the scant amount of his writings that are available and try to follow his methods.  They have done wonders for my running and I'd like to share some his thoughts once and a while.  My hope is that it might help some of you with your running experience.  Most excerpts will come from the book called the "Van Aaken Method".  First some background for those who never have heard of the man. 

Ernest Van Aaken was born May 16, 1910, in Emmerlick, Germany and died on April 2, 1984.  During the 1930s, he studied astronomy and physics, but later switched to medicine.  He served during WWII as a surgeon and director of a field hospital.  Then after the war he set up his medical practice in the village of Waldniel.  That same year he began writing about the "pure endurance method" which he had been formulating since the 1920s after he'd watched Paavo Nurmi in the Olympic Games.  He founded and coached the OSC (Olympic Sports Club) Waldniel, and in 1960 set up the German Association of Veteran Long Distance Runners.  He has been called the "Wizard of Waldniel" and "Father of LSD (long, slow distance)".  Dr. Van Aaken displays wisdom developed over 40 years of scientific investigation and practical application.  By his own reckoning, Van Aaken has written some 300 articles and 6000 letters on matters relating to sports medicine and general fitness.  He lectured throughout Europe, Japan, and in the United States.  He has examined and advised hundreds of runners, including a dozen German national champions and several Olympic competitiors (most notably, Harald Norpoth).

His method is no mystery to Germans and as he states, "My whole teaching in one sentence is 'Run slowly, run daily, drink moderately, and don't eat like a pig.'  To be healthy, one must train and eat like a marathoner."  According to the doctor, "Only the person who runs daily, lives mostly without touching his reserves and who eats little but well will ever become a good runner."

 

2130 Orange Miles: 5.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.000.0015.00

Easy 9 mi + Easy 6 mi.  It takes about 3 miles before all of the body kinks are worked out.  Then things glide along.

2130 Orange Miles: 6.002120 Gray Miles: 9.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.200.000.000.0014.20

Easy 8.2 + Easy 6.0

Van Aaken excerpts on the definition of health:

"A fat man, even a cardiac patient, can work himself up to a few seconds of extraordinary speed in a sprint.  But does this mean he is healthy?  This question hints at the answer we've been looking for: that is, performance capacity in athletic endurance events is the best guarantee of " biological durability", which can be accepted as a definition of health."

"Explosive muscle functions lasting fractions of a second are therefore not as important as the endurance of chemical processes which again and again, like a perpetual clock, renew themselves.  Muscle strength is a tool of the organism and has certain functions in human life.  The foundation of the human organism, though, is organ strength - expecially symbollized by the vital strength of the heart."

"The glorification of the strong man and the so called ideal figures of decathletes have strongly influenced our concepts of health.  To look really healthy, a man has to have a lot of muscles and be overweight.  But health has nothing to do with mass, and a well tanned skin after two weeks at the beach is often nothing but varnish over a rotting interior."

"The most inconspicuous people are often the toughest, and a good outer appearance very often deceives because it can only hint at possible good internal health."

2130 Orange Miles: 14.20
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.500.500.0011.00

Ran the last 2 mi progressively faster down to 20K pace.

2140 Red Miles: 11.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.700.000.000.0011.70

Easy run of 11.7 mi this morning.

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 11.70
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
25.000.000.000.0025.00

Completed a 25 mi run on the bike trail (8:18 avg).  Only water before and during workout.  Legs felt good and strong.  I'll now start to taper over the next 2 weeks.

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 25.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

Easy but sloppy 6 mi effort.  Amazing how this run felt more difficult then yesterday.

2120 Gray Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3.750.000.250.004.00

Ran the last 0.5 mi faster.

2140 Red Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.500.000.250.255.00

Finished the last mile at a faster pace down to 5K in the last quarter.

Some more Dr. Van Aaken commentary:

Nowadays, we talk about "diseases of civilization" as something obvious and acceptable, and it's hard not to notice the undertone of rationalization for our own sins against healthy living.  We’ve discovered a whipping boy to take the blame for damage caused by filthy air, water pollution, lack of sunlight, noise damage, the flood of sense stimulation, speed craze in traffic, movement laziness, tobacco addictions, dietary damage and greed, chronic over-fatigue, nervousness, alcoholism, dope addiction and today’s most visible catastrophe, coronary infarct and cancer.

All the above-named damages can be boiled down to three basic causes: 1) Oxygen deficiency, 2) Overeating, and 3) Weakness of will.

We are not inescapably delivered into the hands of the diseases of civilization, as was formerly the case with smallpox, pestilence and cholera, against which the healthiest person was usually powerless.  What can a person do today?  Every person could, every day, his whole life long, make a basic rule of doing the following:

In the morning have a warm bath followed by cold shower.  Ten minutes of morning gymnastics.  Breakfast of no more than 400 calories (menu is individual).  Skip the conventional lunch.  After work, even if it’s late in the evening, an endurance performance such as 5K of running without getting harried, or a 1000m swim, of 15K bicycle ride, or equivalent exercises which promote endurance and lead to perspiration.  Then, after a hot bath or shower, eat dinner.

It‘s not so important what a person eats, because by the construction of his digestive apparatus he can eat anything.  But a person should eat as little as possible and very often make it less than 1600 calories per day.  Even if one’s work involves hard physical labor and athletic training, he should rarely go over 3000 calories.  It is still too little known just how little food a person can get by on.  What you breathe is much more important than what you eat.

 

2130 Orange Miles: 5.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.250.000.000.755.00

During the last half did 4 x 1 min at approx. 5K-10K pace.  Shoes are really starting to show wear, but my legs are feeling stronger and I'm running lighter.

2130 Orange Miles: 5.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.000.000.000.005.00

Watching the kids today so I hopped on the TM for a quick 5 mi.

One more week of tapering.  Legs are getting a little stir crazy.

2140 Red Miles: 5.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Moderately hard spinning for 40 min. 

Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

Simple 6

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.500.000.500.006.00

Ran the last 0.5 mi faster.  Leaving for MN early Friday morning. 

2120 Gray Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

Easy 4 mi.  Off to Carlton, MN tomorrow (6 hr drive).  Both excited and overwhelmed by trying to complete a 50 mile jaunt.  Whatever comes of it, the race will be one hell of a training run for my Oct. marathon.

2130 Orange Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Race: Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra (50 Miles) 09:11:58, Place overall: 16, Place in age division: 14
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
50.000.000.000.0050.00

This was my first attempt at an ultra distance race and I got a big piece of humble pie served to me.  The race started at 7 am in the small town of Carlton, MN and was an out-and-back to Duluth, MN over some very difficult woodland trails.  The weather started out perfect with clouds, some wind, and temps in the 60s.  I didn’t know what to expect so I started out slow while other racers went out fast.  The plan was to catch up much later.  However, after 2 miles I realized why many went out fast because the trail turned into a single path of large rocks, roots, and mud.  You could only trot and hike through this section.  The scenery and sounds were awesome, but if you take your eyes off the trail for very long you’d end up on your face.  I got caught behind some slower people and there weren’t a lot of opportunities to pass (trail was just too narrow).  Finally had an opening and ran past.  After that early stage I knew I lost a lot of time so I had to change my master plan.  I’ll let the route dictate when I took things slow and when I could open the throttle.  I stuck to that strategy and passed several people whenever there was an opening and flat spots, but that wasn’t very often.  When the trail did open up there were loads of hills.  Some hills were only 350 feet of climb, but nearly straight up and down, over and over again.  Besides my quads were getting fried from the extreme descents.  After 15 miles my legs felt like they've done 20 miles on the roads.  Not a good sign.

I can’t tell you how frustrated I was getting by the route.  It was beautiful out there, but the road racer in me was putting me in a damn hurry while the trail was forcing me to slow down.  I then realized that this race was not going to be a battle with the other racers and the clock, but really a battle against the trail and myself.  Several times the trail got the best of me as I got off course once (some prankster moved the marking ribbons), fell 3 times tripping on tree roots, and rolled my ankle twice.  After the third fall I just rolled onto my butt and sat there a minute angry and broken.  Falling was getting really old and this time I hurt my wrist catching myself.  At least the falls happened on the wider sections of the trail with no sharp rocks around.  If I take a spill on the rocks or narrow parts then serious injury was highly possible (found out later that this actually happened to one of the racers and he was taken away in an ambulance).  So I had to change my gait a bit and really focus on lifting up my feet at a time when I just wanted to drag them along.

The aid stations were very well stocked and came every 3-5 miles.  My wife greeted me at each aid station for mental motivation and support.  I lost time at each station drinking fluids because I forgot my water bottle.  While I was pounding down the cups, others would have their bottles filled up and then bolt off with some food in hand.  My mental apex came at the aid station at mile 31.  I wanted to pull the plug, because being an out-and-back I knew what nasty hills and trail were coming up again.  I definitely didn’t want to go through the dreaded “Power Lines” hill section again.  With 19 miles left I was declaring the trail as the winner.  I was not going to finish the race around my goal time and I simply hurt.  The show is over, exit stage left, and turn out the lights.  While Krista and I were walking away from the aid station she asked me, “Did you know you are in the top 20?  Probably top 15 at this point.”  I said “Really?” which she replied with a “Yeah!  That’s great for your first time.  You look good and I think you can do this.”  I said, “Yeah a top 20 place would be pretty damn good for not knowing the course, but I don’t know if I can hold it.”  She said, “Oh, you can do it for sure and I’ll see you at the next aid station.”  The smoldering wick was becoming a fire again.  The seed was planted and a top 20 place was my new goal (along with not getting seriously injured).  Before I knew it, the legs were moving and I was trotting off again.

For the rest of the race I remained focused on my new goal and staying balanced physically and mentally, one aid station at a time.  I ended up finishing in 9:11:58 and placing 14th in the men’s group (16th overall).  There were 142 starters and 124 finished the race.  After I showered at the high school, we just hanged out, snacked on food, and cheered on the other finishers.  We met some great people and talked about racing and life in general.  Several of them knew one another from the common bond of ultra running races.  A tight, but very friendly group.  A little later an awesome lasagna dinner was served to all the racers and their family or friends.  Afterwards, awards were handed out and I received a special mug for placing within the men's top 15.  That was a nice surprise as I didn't expect it at all.  Then Krista and I said goodbye to the friends we made and were on the road once again.  What a day.

2130 Orange Blue Miles: 20.002120 Gray Miles: 20.002140 Red Miles: 10.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(6)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.400.000.000.004.40

Asics Trainers Miles: 4.40
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

Asics Trainers Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

Asics Trainers Miles: 7.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

Asics Trainers Miles: 10.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
283.642.003.501.00290.14
2130 Orange Blue Miles: 84.642120 Gray Miles: 65.152140 Red Miles: 70.752130 Orange Miles: 39.20Asics Trainers Miles: 25.40
Weight: 0.00
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