Monday, September 26, 2011

Georgia Jewel 50 Mile Ultra victory, recap

After a two-year hiatus from ultra running, I've jumped back on the trails. After crushing the field at the local Norris Dam Hard Trail Race 50k three weeks ago in 4 hours, 14 minutes, I cranked it up another notch and entered the inaugural Georgia Jewel 50 miler September 24. I won the race in 8 hours, 2 minutes, which I read was (unofficially) one and a half hours ahead of second place.

The Georgia Jewel ultra course was a difficult out and back course on the Pinhoti Trail (Dalton, GA). The race began at 6 a.m., two hours after the 100 milers began running, so I ran 8 miles in the dark. The terrain for the first 10 miles was really rocky, so the combination of poor footing and darkness forced you to go easy, so as to not get lost, trip or roll your ankle. The weather was great for the first 4 hours of the race, but it got really hot late morning and into the afternoon. By the time I finished at 2 p.m. it was close to 80 degrees. The combination of the rising temperature, 500+ elevation gain on the way back and growing fatigue, made it so that I ran a 42-minute positive second half split (first 25 miles 3:40, and last 25 miles in 4:22). I kept a 9-minute per mile pace through 30 miles, but then started to slow down as a hit the 500 to 600-foot climbs. I carried two 22-ounce hand-held bottles the entire race and my head lamp for 20 miles. As far as food consumption went, I ate a banana and pop tarts for breakfast, and along the course I consumed 10 Gu/Hammer gels, two large cookies, a sweet & salty breakfast bar, a few chips, and a small sandwich. I also consumed a lot of electrolytes along the course (lots of Elete and Heed). Right after the race, I had four McDonald's hamburgers, a Coke and a Corona (yeah, I had wierd cravings).

Below is a description of the 50-mile course (from the Website):

The race will start and finish at the Dalton Convention Center. The 1st mile is on paved road as you slowly climb 1.3 miles to the Fire Service road gate of the Dug Gap Trailhead. You’ll continue climbing on the FS road reaching the top of Dug Mountain by mile 2. You’ll then jump onto the single track trail on your left and proceed along the Dug Mountain ridge line. This ridge line, while offering some great views, will also earn a place in your memory as ‘the rock garden’.

About mile 5 you will come off of the Dug Mountain ridge and cross Hurricane Valley. By mile 6 you will have reached the top of Hurricane Mountain and by mile 7 you will have views from the top of Middle Mountain. You’ll proceed along the Middle Mountain ridge line until coming to an unmanned aid station at mile 10. Here the trail intersects a FS road that you make a right turn on to. You’ll now make your way down into a valley. Before you leave the valley, just after mile 12, you’ll run beside a small creek that provides four rock hopping crossings.

The other side of the valley you’ll climb for about one mile before reaching the top of Mill Creek Mountain. You’ll then travel the wavy Mill Creek ridgeline for about 2.5 miles. You’ll finally have a mile plus downhill with some switchbacks before arriving into the Snake Creek Gap aid station at 17.2 miles.

Refuel, refresh and cross the road at the parking lot entrance to continue onto the trail directly across Road 136.

You’ll spend the next mile climbing Horn Mountain and the following mile running along it’s ridgeline. By mile 20 you’ll begin a gentle downgrade that will meander through a thinly treed forest with dappled sunlight. You’ll enjoy this pretty section of trail all the way down to the Pocket Road aid station at mile 22.9.
Crossing Pocket Road you’ll make your way onto a ridge that will carry you south for a little over a mile. You’ll have many glimpses of John’s Mountain across the valley to your right. At about 24.4 miles the trail will intersect a Fire Service road. Turn right onto the Fire Service road and follow it for about 0.6 mile to your turnaround point. You’ll be able to refill your fluids at the turnaround before setting off for your return to Pocket Road.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Boston recap, 135th overall, 2:34:09

I ran the perfect race for what shape I was in. Just look at my 5k splits through 40k, and you will see that I never hit the wall and consistently kept up the same intensity level. The few outliers (17:32 is mostly downhill, while the 30k and 35k splits include the hill portions of the course. All in all I'm most excited about the strength I held throughout the entire course.

5k 0:17:32
10k 0:35:25 (17:53)
15k 0:53:28 (18:03)
20k 1:11:36 (18:12)
25k 1:29:37 (18:01)
30k 1:48:09 (18:32)
35k 2:06:32 (18:23)
40k 2:24:51 (18:19)

Unfortunately my hamstring locked up in a massive cramp, which unleashed cramps in both calves, so I had to walk for a little over a minute before I calmed them down enough to hobble jog on in. Going into the last mile I was projected to get 2:32:50, so the cramp really put me in the hurt locker. I finished 8 seconds off my PR, which I ran at Boston two years ago.

In the team competition, the Knoxville Track Club men finished 5th overall against some pretty stout competition. Ethan ran 2:34:23 and Elijah ran 2:37:50 to close out the scoring, both of which were PRs.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Boston 2011 is finally here!!!

It is Boston weekend and I'm excited to run it. I didn't get to run Boston last year due to an injury, so I'm even more eager to run the course this year. I feel like training went as well as it could. I didn't get to run in as many races during this training season as I would have liked, but I got in some quality long runs to make up for it.

I'm shooting for a personal record and feel like I have a great shot at running sub 2:34. I plan to run the first 10k faster than I normally have in past Boston's because I got in several downhill specific trainer long runs and feel my quads can withstand the extra abuse and still be able to last 26 miles. I plan on running the first half around 1 hour 16 minutes, and the second half in 1:17.

Lets hope for excellent weather, which it looks like it will be. I will post a recap after the race.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Boston Marathon training update

This marathon training season has had its ups and downs, but it has definitely gone well over the past six weeks. I've been putting in good weekly mileage outputs over the past 13 weeks (60-80 miles), with the exception of a flu week, which set me back about six weeks ago. The flu prevented me from running two key long run weekends, but I've been able to work my way back into shape since then. Two weeks ago I ran my first race of the year, a half marathon in 1:16:44, which was encouraging. If I can run that time back-to-back at Boston, then I will set another marathon personal best! Then last weekend I ran a marathon distance trainer in 2:56, which I feel will pay off down the road.

Over the last seven weeks, I'm going to be focusing on some longer speed workouts, and I will probably run one-to-two more three-hour long runs before I start to taper the last three weeks.

Hope everyone's training seasons are going well!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Running update: Back training and racing again

I can safely say that I believe the worst of my adductor strain, that has kept me sidelined for most of 2010 is behind me. I'm up to 60 miles a week and 10 miles for a long run without any discomfort. I'm training for the Boston Marathon for the third time, which I didn't get to run last year due to the injury. I'm aiming for another personal record, so breaking 2:34 will be a major success in my mind, considering the lack of training during the past year. I am well rested, that's for sure. I feel like I've come away from this injury experience wiser, and I'm definitely concentrating more on strength training and stretching because of it. I plan on racing a full slate again in January, so here's to four more weeks of injury-free base mileage.

Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday season!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Running bio for KTC Web site

I just finished writing a bio for my profile on the Long Distance Committee for the new Knoxville Track Club Web site that is to roll out in January and I wanted to share it.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Bob Adams currently works at TVA after finishing a five-year, active-duty assignment in the U.S. Army as a print journalist. He attended the University of Tennessee for both undergrad and graduate school, attaining an MBA in Logistics and Marketing. Bob grew up in a KTC family, and at 8 years old, he ran in his first KTC road race in 1988. Bob’s dad, Brint Adams, a former KTC President and Board Member, was Bob’s role model and running partner throughout his younger years. Bob ran on the KTC Youth Athletics summer track team from 1990 – 1994, reaching the AAU National Championships three times. Fast forward to 2010 and Bob has now completed 13 marathons and five ultramarathons, the farthest being 72-mile jaunt across the Smokey Mountains. Bob has watched the KTC grow exponentially over the years, and is excited to give back to the program that has helped shape his life. Bob said, “I enjoy helping others reach their goals, and I’m excited to pass along the knowledge I’ve gained to the running community for many years. I want to add that the Olympic torch my dad carried through Knoxville has metaphorically been handed down to my brother (Brad) and I, and we hope to carry it just as proudly for the KTC while we are here.”

I finally went to get physical therapy for my adductor injury, and I'm almost healed. I'm ultimately aiming for the Boston Marathon 2011, so I'm easing my way into the mileage again. I will post updates of my progress along the way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blue Ridge Relay Overall Team Victory ...

... with an ultra team to less. That's right my friends, team KTC - Shaving Time, showed the running world, that 6 are stronger than 12. Our main goal was to win the Ultra Category and attain the Ultra team course record. But once we got going, we noticed that it wasn't out of the question to take down the overall course record as well, which was set last year, by the 12-runner team, Norm's Maggots, who have won the Blue Ridge Relay the past 3 years.

The Blue Ridge Relay consists of running 208 miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding mountainous country roads. Most of the trendy relays that have sprouted up over the past decade were formed to attract 12-person teams. But this event includes an ultra category and that was right up my alley, so to speak. This is the second year that I have been on the Shaving Time team. The first year, one of our runners went off course and we were penalized an hour for the mistake. Either way, we weren't going to make the same mistake again this year.

We came into this year with a strong team. Five out of the six runners, had run on this team before, so they knew what they were getting into. The sixth runner was my brother, who has run a 50-miler before as well as a 12-person relay, so he kind of knew what he was getting into. From the get go, we took the lead and no team came even close to catching us. As a team we were averaging sub 6:00 per mile pace through the first 120 miles or so. The key was to replenish and prepare to be ready to run again within three hours or so. Each runner on the team ran six different times, and on pre-determined distances. I ran 34 miles, while some ran a few more miles and some ran a few less. After it was all said and done, we finished in 21 hours, 25 minutes, which ended up being about 6:10 per mile pace, which was fast considering the last 50 miles go up and down some tough mountains. That time beat the former course record by 18 minutes, so we couldn't really let up as we approached the finish.

There is so much more I could talk about, like how we all grew mustaches for the event, my love for Monster energy drinks before running my legs of the relay, to counting the amount of "kills" you claimed as you pass other teams, but I could write all night if I started down that road, so I must digress. My legs are still sore, but I'm already craving defending the title next year!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Training is slowly ramping up

My hamstring pull is "slowly healing," but is to the point where I've been able to get in short jogs without tightness. I'm up to 3-mile jaunts at 8-minute pace ... it is amazing how quickly one can lose their fitness. Granted it has been 11 weeks since the injury occurred, but I feel like a highschool basketball player during the offseason, starting to get back in shape for the season. I know it won't take long once I can start running longer training runs without pain, but I've still got a long road to go before I hit the racing scene again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The "hamstring pull" blues, positive outlook

I'm going into my 8th week of my hamstring pull injury. I can still feel it and I probably have another month to go, but I can definitely tell taht there has been improvement. If anything, this injury has allowed me to focus on other problem areas that I had been neglecting. I'm now more flexible, and I'm working on strengthing my core, by focusing on pushups, situps, and pull ups. I'm also cross training and strengthening the muscles around my knee, so when I do start running again, I will be ready to start piling on the miles again. I look at it as a much needed break.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Boston is "No Go" ...

I may not be running the Boston Marathon this year due to my hamstring pull, but I'm still going up there to cheer on my brother and party with friends. I will defer my time to next year, so if I decide to run it next year I can use my 2:34 time from last year. (Side note: I may run the Knoxville and Nashville Marathon's next spring, so Boston might be out of the picture all together). Anyways, back to the subject at hand, I'm disappointed, in that I put in more miles this season than I've ever put into a marathon training program and was in damn good shape, but I learned a lot about myself for the future. I will come back stronger from this injury, I know, especially in the area of flexibility. I will also incorporate strides more often after workouts, and add some sort of a strength program. Just putting in long weekly miles, without the necessary supplemental activities was what led to the injury in the first place. Wish me luck and I hope everyone is enjoying running for me while I heal.