Friday, April 16, 2010

Answer a few questions

The picture is from Leadville 100, what a bunch of rif-raf!
First of all I would like to again thank everyone for there support. I received a handful of emails each day from people I have never met before wishing us luck on the fundraiser and the run. A few people to this point have asked "how in the heck are you gonna run 224 miles" or "how many days is it gonna take"??? The answer to question number one is, I will not actually RUN all 224 miles, if all goes as planned and my body holds up I will run the majority of it, but in ultrarunning you learn how to run/walk, I will explain.

First of all, an ultrarunner is anyone who runs beyond the 26.2 mile range (marathon). The next step up is usually a 50k and then 50 milers and 100 milers are pretty common ultramarathon distances. The key is to find a good balance of running and walking to save your legs for multi day races. Unless you are a super stud elite athlete, which I am not, you cannot physically run for 100 miles or more. The approach that Kyle Amos and I have discussed for day one of the event is probably 20mins running 2 mins powerwalking and powerwalk all big hills. Hills suck up so much energy and calories, why burn them when you can save them for later. It takes a lot of trial and error to find your balance, for me eating a Hammer Gel every 20 mins and drinking water and HEED(sports drink) allows my body enough calories to sustain through a 100 mile event. Seeing that we will be going twice that far, solid foods will be implemented in our plan as well. Ultrarunners have to find out what there own personal bodies like after a full day of moving, you may love bananas any other day, but at mile 90 of a race they may make you sick? The body is very funny that way. We should have no problem getting through the first day and a half I think, it is night number two that is going to be a GUT check for me. If my body completely starts to shut down I will lay down on the side of the road and take 15min nap, then get back up and move. We are allowing ourselves 60hours to complete this, I feel that with Kyle and Stacey Amos who are very experienced in ultra events, Dan and Rebecca Elsener who will have medical duties over me and my wife Angel who has seen me suffer and whine at races and tells me to "suck it up and get going", I should be fine.

The hardest thing for me so far in this training is sloooooowing down. I have to re-train myself to just stay steady and not try and beat my previous times training. I will be doing multiple long training runs throughout this process and they key is to not injure myself in the process. As a competitor it has been hard going to the park and having people pass me that usually would not, but my stupid pride will get me hurt if I can't keep it in check. I just tell myself when someone blows by me, "you have to train smart, you have to train smart". I hope this cleared up somethings for a few of you new to long distance running. By the way, I am not the only crazy out there, we have over 50 one hundred mile races in the U.S. now. There is not a lot of glamour, crowds and prize money in ultramarathons, but they usually take place in some of the most beautiful areas of the country. Not to mention the lifelong inner pride you will carry forever the first time you hobble across the finish line at an ultra event. Please ask any questions you have, Semper Fi. Tony

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