Frölicking trails since 2010

Frölicking trails since 2010
Frölicking trails since 2010

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Journey - Training for the Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run - Portland, OR - 2011

For those who are interested in my training for CCC (the race is August 27-28). I tried not to be boring!

1 - Why?
2 - Training Runs
3 - Nutrition
4 - Injuries
5 - Burnout
6 - Motivation & Inspiration
7 - Top 10 running songs
8 - Top Photos

1 - Why?

I don't know. I read Born to Run, and thought people who did 100 milers were crazy. But the thought dwelled in my mind for a while...and then eventually I decided I wanted to run one. Part of it is an instinctual urge to want to run up mountains, and some of it might be my slight addiction to fitness improvement (running stronger, faster, higher). Either way here I am, tapering for the Cascade Crest 100 (CCC). To further satisfy the question, here are some positives for training for a 100 miler:
  • The Trail Running community is filled with some of the coolest, most inspiring people I've ever met
  • Running has never been easier
  • Running down a mountain is the closest thing to flying
  • Injuries have turned me into my own personal physical therapist
  • Saturday morning long runs are better than hangovers
  • Self-identity and self-sufficiency are almost required, if not, discovered along the way
  • Guilt-free eating (but mostly healthy)
  • Breathtaking views are common
  • Motivation is a youtube video away
  • Being able to outrun Zombies for days
  • If I were somehow forced to a wheelchair for the rest of my life, all I would want to do is be able to run and see how far I can go.

2 - Training Runs

As a single 24 year old living near downtown Portland, I'm probably one of the only ones who goes to bed early on a Friday/Saturday night for an early morning training run (wake up between 5-7 am). It's always worth it.

In December 2010, I began running 5 hour training runs consistently at least every other weekend. At the time, every one of those runs was done in Forest Park. The weekends in between, I usually went running in the Gorge up Larch Mountain (as high as the snow allowed). Doing long runs and hill climbs consistently throughout the early part of the year were essential in building a fitness base. During the weekdays, I ran maybe 2 or 3 days easy depending on how I felt. Again, Forest Park saw most of those runs.

My legs and feet were always chronically sore, and it took a while until my body adjusted to running a marathon+ every other weekend. Lots of icing and foam-rolling in March saved my legs for the 3 races I had planned in April (Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler, Boston Marathon, Capitol Peak 50 miler). In between races, I rested the hell out of my legs throughout the week and made sure I was healthy enough to finish the 50 miler (a qualifier for the 100 mile race). Everything somehow worked out perfectly, and I finished every race strong.

Up until that 50 mile race, it was difficult for my body to maintain a 50 mile training week without having my legs lock up or something similar. Afterwards, though, I began consistently keeping a 50 mile week base through May and into June. June became another race filled month with the Timberline marathon, Beacon Rock 50K, and White Salmon Trail Half Marathon. This time, I used those races as training runs to help maintaining somewhere around 70 mile weeks. My recovery was outstanding at this point.

Most of my weekends were free in July, which left my weekends free for some explorational training runs in the Gorge and central Cascades. The Warrior Dash was my only race this month, and due to circumstance, I tapered for this 3.5 miles of EPIC. It was a fun and extraordinarily manly time with my buds from college...a great way to spend a rest week. Soon afterward, my training plans led me to volunteer for the Mt. Hood 50 mile race as a course sweeper for my last long training run (50 miles in 11.5 hours, 4 weeks prior to CCC). The following weekend I had an opportunity to run with my CCC Pacer (Matt Carrell) as a final tune up before beginning my taper.

Do I feel ready? Yes. My fitness is exactly where I want it to be, but my confidence comes more from the advice that so many experienced Ultrarunners have given me over the past year. They are the true reason why I'm not freaking out right now, and for that I thank every one of them. I hope I'll make them proud.

Significant Training Runs, in date order starting in April:
  • 4/10 - Peterson Ridge 20 mile Race
  • 4/18 - Boston Marathon Race
  • 4/30 - Capitol Peak 50 mile Race
  • 6/4 - Timberline Marathon Race
  • 6/5 - Larch Mountain (4,000'), The Gorge - 15 mi
  • 6/12 - Beacon Rock 50k Race
  • 6/18 - White Salmon Half Marathon Trail Race
  • 6/26 - PGE Trail, Sunnyvale CA - 8mi
  • 7/2 - Dog Mountain 5 times (15,000') - The Gorge - 30+ miles
  • 7/9 - Angel's Rest/Devil's Rest/Larch Mountain/Bell Creek Trail Roundtrip (8,000'+) - 31 mi
  • 7/17 - Warrior Dash 3.5 Mile Race
  • 7/24 - Maiden Peak (~3,000') + getting lost, near Gold Lake - 20 mi
  • 7/30 - Mt. Hood 50 Mile Race (Sweeping Duties)
  • 8/6 - Grand Ridge 50K Race
  • 8/13 - Yocum Ridge Trail (3,500'), Mt. Hood - 18 mi
  • 8/27-28 Cascade Crest 100

3 - Nutrition

I've tried lots of different things as fuel before, during, and after runs. I have never thrown up during a race or fun-run (so far), and I typically listen to my body in order to find the right balance of water/electrolytes/salt/sweets/solid food. Here's a general list of things that I enjoy...

Good Stuff:
  • Dave's Killer Bread
  • Bagels
  • Natural Peanut Butter (Adams)
  • French Pastries
  • Pasta
  • Spinach
  • Salads
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Granola Bars (Cascadian Farms, Nature Valley)
  • Mojo (by Clif Bars)
  • Pretzels
  • PB&J Sandwiches
  • Agave
  • Pretzels
  • Beer: Some Lagers/Ambers/Pale ales (not great, but not bad)
  • Snickers Bars
  • Gummi Bears
  • m&m's
  • GU energy gel
  • GU Roctane
  • E-Caps (by Hammer)
  • "Fluid" (for recovery after runs)

Bad Stuff:
  • Most Dairy
  • High Fiber anything
  • Ginger Snaps
  • Eating half a box of Apple-Cinnamon Cheerios before a long run
  • Voodoo Donuts
  • Beer: Cheap Beer, Stouts
  • Fast Food
  • Fried Food
  • Red Meat
  • *Sigh*...cookies

4 - Injuries

I've been fairly lucky in terms of injuries. The most consistent injury I deal with is IT Band friction syndrom. I developed issues in my right leg last summer, and this year it stopped bothering me. Now my left IT band is bugging me, and I'm still trying to figure out how to make it stop. See the "Injuries"tab at the top of my blog page for more info.
  • IT Band (Right Leg cured, Left Leg currently infected)
  • Bruised Tendon at the bottom of each foot, behind the 5th metatarsal (cured with RICE)
  • Strained Upper Calf, almost behind the knee (cured with RICE)
  • Rolled ankles (cured with Time)

5 - Burnout

The high mileage weeks burned me out from time to time. 80 miles per week is about as much as I can handle mentally right now, because it takes so much time and effort to constantly run on tired legs. For example, getting home after 8 hours of work and going for a 3 hour run in Forest Park doesn't leave much time to clean, cook, or fold my laundry. When I feel burned out, sometimes I resort to running with an iPod or doing easy laps around the Portland Waterfront. Either way, I get myself out the door and run...because when I get 1-2 miles into a run, the burned out feelings usually go away.

6 - Motivation and Inspiration

  • Born to Run
  • Running on Empty
  • Ultramarathon Man
  • UltraRunning Magazine
  • Trail Runner Magazine

7 - Top 10 Running Songs

Ramona Falls

Angel's Rest

Mt. Hood, Yocum Trail

Yocum Trail

Winter on Larch Mountain

Hood to Coast, 2010

Mt. Robert's Trail, Juneau, AK
Warrior Dash with Spicy McUhlman

Warrior Dash
Warrior Dash with Tyler, Scott, Brad, and Mike

Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain
Dog Mountain
Boston Marathon
White Salmon Backyard Half
Portland Marathon 2010

Larch Mountain

Group run with some Ultra heroes. 

Mt. Hood from the PCT

Timothy Lake