Thursday, March 17, 2011

Forward Progress : Brazil, Umstead, Badwater and Other Musings

Seven weeks have passed since returning from Brazil and Running the Caminho Da Fé, and at times I still feel mentally and physically drained from the experience.  Mentally, I am constantly thinking back to what an amazing adventure and experience it was.  Physically, I feel as if I am not fully back to normal, particularly on long training runs in that I get that "heavy legs" feeling around mile 17/18.  I suppose logging about 340 miles over a 7 and 1/2 day period (and 412 total miles in January) could have something to do with that.

I took about 10 days off after Running the Caminho Da Fé, running only 16 easy miles in the first full week following our return.  But, with Umstead 100 looming around the corner, it was time to get back to training.  The quantity and quality of some of my training runs weren't at a level that I had hoped for, but decent weekly mileage somewhat made up for that :

02.07 to 02.13 - 61 miles
02.14 to 02.20 - 54 miles
02.21 to 02.27 - 36 miles
02.28 to 03.06 - 65 miles
03.07 to 03.13 - 63 miles

Not too bad, and actually about the same as in 2010.

I had originally planned on running the New Jersey Ultra Festival 50-Mile this coming Saturday, but do many reasons I have opted for a 40ish mile run near home instead, which I think will be a nice way to enter a 2-week taper for Umstead.

Speaking of Umstead, I have no idea how to approach this race given the wear and tear of the last few months (especially January).  It could be an absolute crap-shoot compared to last year when I went in with a sub-20 hour goal.  While I would love to best last year's time of 19:24:46, it will be extremely difficult, if not near impossible.  But, never say never, right?  Unfortunately, I will not have the services of my go-to pacer Rick Gaston as he has other obligations that weekend.  The good news is that I got a surprise note from Brenda Carawan (2nd place female finisher at both Rocky Racoon 100 in 2011 and Javelina Jundred in 2010), and she has offered to come and do a bit of pacing.  Brenda was also accepted to run in the 2011 Badwater Ultramarathon, which means we will have plenty to talk about.

Speaking of Badwater, yes, I am honored, blessed and thankful to have been accepted to be at the starting line on July 11 (my 3rd go at it).  Many folks have their own opinions on this event (and they are certainly entitled to them), but for me, it is the absolute highlight of my running year and I will work even harder to prepare for it than I have in the past, both at training and at fund-raising.  As usual, I will be running for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.  My personal donation page will be updated soon with details about this year's event, but you can still head there now and make a donation (any amount helps, great or small).  The link located in the side-bar is the best way to land you on my donation page.

Thanks to my good friend Brian Recore, I have picked up the Kutting Weight Sauna Suit, "Sweat" Shirt, Pant and Hat, hoping that it will be a good tool to use for Badwater training.  I will say this - 45 minutes on the stationary bike yesterday in the "Sweat" Shirt and Pant, and I was sweating bullets!!  I will make sure to post more on this product as I continue to test it out.

Lastly, fellow Pilgrim Chris Roman and I are already in preliminary discussions for our next adventure...let the insanity begin!

Happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy March Madness!


  1. Tony, I'm just getting back to training since our little jont in Brazil. Feeling it bad, like I'm just a begginer runner again, like I'm not in control of how my body feels anymore to run for even just 1-2's strange but I know it'll come back to normal as my body and mind continue to recover!!! Miss you my friend :o)

  2. I need to hear about the new adventure Pilgrims!