Posts Tagged ‘endurance running


Another good marathon experience

My 16th marathon (The Foot Traffic Flat Marathon) went very well.  It was a hot day but it did not bother me at all.  It was a smooth and controlled effort which produced the desired training effect: Run 30 miles on tired legs that are not yet recovered from last weeks 36 miles.  I finished the marathon portion of my 30 mile run in 4:29 with negative splits meaning I did the second half faster than the first. The marathon was much larger than I thought it was going to be so it was festive and fun.  The course was very beautiful as is snaked through the farms of Sauvie Island.  All and all it was a great experience which helped increase my fitness for the 100 miler.

My next race will be on July 25th at the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.  This will be a 50 mile trail run with around 17,000 ft of elevation change.  It is a tough race but it will also end up being a good experience regardless of how it goes.  The race is called the White River 50 Miler.


My first run since the race recovery

It felt so good to get back on the roads.  I took a decent amount of time off from running to recover from my 40 miler.  I am sure that I am not all the way recovered even now but I am good to go for easier running.  I was invigorated during my three mile jaunt around the lake.  I did the run at around an 8:55 pace.  It seems fast but for a three mile run, it is not really that fast.  For a 20 mile run that would be fast, but not for a three mile run.  I felt easy and relaxed throughout so I feel that it was within the limits of recovery.  I am not expert though but I do know how to listen to my own body when it comes to running.

Anyway,  just wanted you all to know that I am back in the game.  My new running schedule will be in my email box soon.  Who knows what is in store for the next four months.


Questions, Questions, ultra-running questions.


Now that the Strolling Jim is over, I look to my future goals for running.  I alway have a goal in mind prior to the attainment of my first goal.  That way I can keep the momentum going even after I achieve my goals.  Never resting, never sitting still without a purpose.  that is my theory.  Anyway, I have so many questions about this 100 miler thing.  I am caught up in my thoughts regarding the training, nutrition, run/walk strategy,logistics of the aid stations, night running, etc.

One thing about me if you haven’t figured out already, is that I like to know and be prepared.  It brings my confidence up a lot to know that what I am doing is the best way to prepare for the particular race.  When I get to the starting line and have doubts, I like to be able to know that I did the physical training part of the preparation the best I could.  I helps to know that I am ready physically but how does one know that they are ready to run 100 miles??????  I don’t think anyone ever really knows.  They go into it in the best shape possible but just finishing the 100 miles and making it through all of the obstacles that “could” happen is the main goal for each runner.

I just thought I would write this out to make myself feel better.


3 days and counting. Ultra-marathon #5.

Boy running for funIT IS COMING!!!!  The strolling Jim 40 miler marks the celebration of my 2 year anniversary for running.  April 27, 2007 I started running at my gym with a long run of 2 miles at a 13:30 pace.  I tried to maintain a 10 minute mile that day but I just couldn’t do it.  NOW!!!  I am going to run 40 miles at that 10 minute pace.  During this past two years my life has shifted from barley believing that I could run a marathon to being blessed enough to be part of a group of runners takes up about 1/100th of a percent of the total population on earth.  Ultramarathoner.  Yes, that is what I am even if I don’t believe it my own mind, that is the fact.

Today I will run an easy 3 miles, another easy 3 miles tomorrow, and then take Friday off.  On Saturday morning at 7 a.m. I will listen for the conch shell to blow as I embark on a fantastic journey.  A journey of self-realization.  A journey of testing mind and body.  A journey of celebration and fun.  This 41.2 mile  journey will have approximately 62,000 foot strikes that will exert around 6,180 tons of force per foot by the time I finish.  Work work work fun fun fun!!

After the race I plan to indulge in the post-race southern barbecue.  Only a few hours later I will be at a remote location indulging once again with fine dining inside of a restaurant built inside of a 100 year old mill with the original wood flooring and machinery.  I will be sitting near the window looking out on a water fall that used to power the mill all the while rubbing my sore and restless legs.  HAHAHA

In the morning I will wake up, limp to the shower, and then take off with my wife, dad, and step-mom to the Jack Daniels Whisket Factory to take a tour.  Then it is on the plane to come home.


6 mile easy run

Here I am at mile 14 as Audrey joins in on my run with me.

Here I am at mile 14 as Audrey joins in on my run with me.

Yesterday was my “easy” running day.  It is a day the seperates hard workouts with easier paced running that aids in recovery while maintaining fitness.  I enjoy the easy days.  I am thrilled to report that my “easy” pace is about 2 minutes per mile faster than it was about this time last year.  That is pretty cool.

I ran around the lake where I work.  My route is three miles exactly and it is very flat.  It is the perfect route for an easier run.  My legs were tired though.  Maybe it was from my 6 miles with 6 hill repeats from the day before.  I guess that is why I get easy run days.  Tomorrow I have 12×400 repeats at 5K pace at the track.  The run will also total 6 miles with warm up and cool down running.


Weight watchers and running weekend recap.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

I did not eat on program this weekend at all.  I did do my run though.  I am hoping that my run cancels out my bad eating for the last two days.  The past week at work has been stressful to the max and it really took a tool on me.  I was also stressed out about things I wanted to get done at home but felt that I did not have enough time to do them.

Now to the long run.  I had to go into work on Sunday which sucked but at least I just had to show up and open the building.  Then I got to take off on my run while stuff was getting done.  I ran 35 miles on Sunday.  It was not easy to do this run.  I woke up Sunday morning with sore legs and back from working in the fire pit for the last couple of days.  My legs were tired from the very start of the run.  I never gave up though and the run took me around 5 hrs and 45 minutes to finish.  I was happy with that.  Since I was running in the town were my work is I had to do a lot of repetitive loops and that made the run pretty difficult mentally.  It was not easy to keep passing up my truck and not just call it a day.  My foot gave me no problems either.  Overall it was a true ultra-running experience laden with lots of physical and mental challenges.

The day before I ate bad with the excuse that I was going to burn it all off in my long run the next day.  So what did I eat?  I went to my old evil stand by of some donuts and I also ate a fast food bacon cheeseburger.  I have not had one of those for about 2 years.  It hurt my stomach a lot once I was finish and it was kind of disappointing in the end.  Before my long run I ate 1 banana and some coffee.  That is all I ate until about 3:30 Sunday afternoon.  As soon as the run was over I went home and mowed the lawn and sprayed for weeds so I never really wanted to eat anything because I was focused on getting a job done that really really needed to be done.  When I finally did eat, I had Caesar salad, two bread sticks, a small cup of chili, one cornbread muffin, macaroni and cheese, and a bowl of ice cream with nuts on it.  Later Sunday night I had pizza and chocolate covered peanuts for dinner.  That was it for the day as far as eating went.

I slept like a baby.  I am a little sore today but not really to bad at all.  Hopefully I won’t be more sore tomorrow.  I am usually the most sore on day two after a hard workout.


Big weight loss journey success.

Skinny guy with the fat mind

Skinny guy with the fat mind

I finally got to run again last night.  It felt so good.  I did 6 miles with three hill at 5K pace.  It was kind of a combination of Wednesdays and Thursdays workouts.  I did not want to push it to hard yesterday because of my foot but the foot felt fine for the whole run.  It also felt fine after the run all night but I do feel it a little this morning.  Not injury like but just feel that I have a foot.  Normally you don’t notice that you have a foot, it is just there.  Well, today I feel that I have a foot.  So the run went great, I lifted my spirits a lot, and I ended up doing it at around an 8:40 pace.

My eating was also very very good.  I woke up late yesterday so I did not have time to prepare my normal daily work food.  I just through my “healthy fast foods” into a bag an took off.  The good thing is that this left me with 20 points for my dinner.  I ate 15 points in the evening so that put me at consuming my 35 maintenance points for the day.  I did not touch my weeklies or my AP’s.  I was happy with that.  I earned 6 points on my run so it did not necessitate that I eat any of my AP’s (I only force myself to eat AP’s when I get 8 or more in one day.

Before my run, I went to the rock place and hand picked some rock.  I got 6 small boulders (300 pounds) to finish the fire pit and an 8 pound piece of ledge stone that is of the same sort that my flagstone path is made of.  This will be a base for the step to my cross sculpture.  It is a piece of stone.  It has lots of lichen on it and lots of colors.  If I don’t have to work tomorrow I will be getting my fire pit, patio, and cross sculpture are finished this weekend.  If all goes well with my wife. HAHAHA



Max in the dishwasherI don’t have to much to say today.  Just not feeling bloggy.  I did pretty good last night on weight watchers.  I stuck to my points just fine.  I felt full and satisfied.  I ate two homemade burritos, veggies, and popcorn.   It was actually a lot of food.

I skipped running because of my foot/ankle.  It was the best thing for it as it is on the edge of being all the way better.  One more day helped it a lot I am sure and today it is feeling pretty much 100%.  I will do my 6 miles tonight after work.

I also dug up the fire pit.  I really don’t know what I am going to do with it now.  My wife wants it to be a totally different way than I want it.  Her way is very difficult and time consuming and I might have to hire someone to do it.  My way is more nature/camp site like which is my goal for the area in general.  She just doesn’t like it.  I am totally confused at this point and want to just say F it.


Two big weeks of running before the taper to 40 mile ultra-marathon.

strolling-jim-logoGoooooood morning everyone.  I wanted to share my running schedule with you all today.  I have two big weeks of running left before I begin my taper (reduction in milage).  Runners taper prior to a significant race so that their bodies can get fully recovered for the race effort.  Tapers last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.  The weeks just prior to the taper are usually the biggest running weeks.

As you know I will be doing the Strolling Jim 40 miler ultra-marathon in Wartrace, Tennessee.  You can see my on the entrants list.  Another cool thing is that an occasional reader of run4change will also be there doing the early start with me.  Although I am quite the introvert, it will be nice to meet him.  So for the next two weeks I am going to be pretty busy with my running.  I have some hill work, speed work, and some pretty long long runs coming up.  Here is the schedule.

Week 1

Mon & Tues & Sat:  Off  

Wed: 6 miles with 5 hill repeats @ 5k pace

Thurs: 6 miles easy

Fri:  6 mile tempo run with middle 3 miles @ 10k pace

Sun: 35 mile long run

Week 2 (The point of this hard week after a 35 mile long run is to give my body one last chance at learning how to run on very tired legs)

Mon & Tues:  Off

Wed: 6 miles with 6 hill repeats @ 5k pace

Thur:  6 miles easy

Fri:  6 miles with 12 x 400 track work at 5k pace and 1 min rest between repeats

Sat:  6 miles easy

Sun: 2o mile long run with last 10 at race pace

So there you have it.  This is what I will be doing in my final preparations for the Strolling Jim.  My goal is to break the 7 hour mark.  Last year I got 7:51 so this year I want at least a 6:59.  You get a different colored shirt for each hour category so I am hoping to get a red shirt this year.


You CAN run an ultra-marathon!


image credit:

GOING BEYOND 26.2 MILES IS TOTALLY INSANE!!!!!!!!!!  The image above is a guy working on finishing the Badwater Ultramarathon.  It’s a 134 mile race from the lowest part in the United States to the Highest.  That’s hardcore, not to mention that the race goes through Death Valley in the summer when the average temperature is 120. An ultramarathon is any race longer than 26.2 miles. It can be done, but ultramarathons are not something you do to get or stay healthy.  They can really beat your body up.  I am not saying never try it, I did it, but it’s not for everyone.  Even before I wanted to do a marathon I desired the ultra.  I read about a guy who ran 50 miles and I just could not believe it.  That made me want to do what I couldn’t believe was possible.  It took me a long time to do it.  I did several marathons first and then I slowly worked my way up the ultra ladder by doing the shortest races first until I reached 50 miles.  I just don’t have the time to train for anything longer than that.  If you have running experience you can give it a shot.  I also talked to my doctor before I did an ultra.  He was not real excited about it, but he told me I was healthy.  You should do the same.  If you don’t have experience and want to do an ultra, keep it on the back burner until you have some, but don’t forget about your dreams.  Here are some resources to help you get started.


You CAN run a marathon.


Image credit: San Diego Rock&Roll Marathon

You can run a marathon.  Maybe you can’t even walk for 30 minutes, but if you keep up with your activity, you will eventually have the ability to finish 26.2 miles.  Is finishing a marathon one of your lifetime goals, one of your impossible dreams?  I believe that you can do it.  It is not easy to get to the starting line nor the finish line.  However, it is possible.  As you probably already know, I started out at 307 lbs and only able to ride a stationary bike for 12 minutes.  If I could do you it, you CAN do it.  You must take it slow and build up your fitness.  I talked to my doctor about it before I started to train for one, you should too.  Below are some resources to get started towards  your goal of finishing a race that only about 1% of people finish each year.


Running perfection but I went nuts with weight loss efforts


Last night I found these dirty little son’s-of-a-guns.  These dang nuts are from the devil I swear.  See how the can says heart healthy.  Well dang, I bet they aren’t good for your heart when you are practically laying down so you can pour them down your throat.  BAAAAA HAH AHA HA!! 🙂  I didn’t really do that but I kept going back to them gosh dangit.  I guess it is better than eating chips and candy but geesh.  Other that driving myself NUTS I did pretty good.  I had a big potato, some wonderful lean beef, avocado, a famous sister shake, and a giant WW fudge bar.  Yummy nummy for my tummy.

Before all the knock down fighting with the nuts, I had the blessed run.  An easy 4 miler was on the menu for yesterday.  I ran relaxed and easy. AHHHHH.  What a refreshing run.  It was running perfection.  I felt like I was effortless gliding along in the sunshine.  I ran along the river in the cool brisk air.  It was amazing.  I think I smiled for the whole first 5 minutes and then on and off.  

I also got some new ear bud head phones yesterday.  Boy did I need these.  I spent the extra money and got some really nice ones that fit into my ear but don’t cause me to have to go to the hospital for ear pain after every run.  I love these new things and I highly recommend them.


The Bane of Dane: Biggest loser, Marathoning, and History

the-biggest-loserOK, I am sure that most of you have heard that Dane on the biggest loser did/didn’t finish a marathon.  I cannot for the life of me find the blog that I first learned it from.  This blog actually had pics of the scandal because she was there running the marathon herself.

Anyway, I got an email today from a person who was pretty bothered by this scandal.  I can certainly understand why.  Finishing a marathon is a really big deal.  Although I generally feel that everyone can do it, not everyone wants to or wants to put out the mental effort to finish one.  My first thoughts while watching that part of the show were, “Woah!!  That dude is big and to get a sub 4hr time is serious running.”  I was happy for him of course but inside I just thought that it might be to good to be true.  Now I have been to some larger marathons and there are people of ALL shapes and sizes participating so don’t get me wrong.  Bigger people can run like crazy.  I just doubted the “Dane finish” from the start.  Here is a link to the actual results for the race that Dane was in.  He is not in the results because he was disqualified after several runners told on him. Continue reading ‘The Bane of Dane: Biggest loser, Marathoning, and History’


Endurance athlete fueling, hydration, and electolyte

For all of you that are doing or want to do endurance type events and activities, it is very important to understand fueling, hydration, and electrolyte intake.   As some of you may have heard, some physical states that endurance exercise can induce can be potentially very dangerous.  I wanted to just briefly talk about a couple of things and then point you to a world of knowledge regarding these topics by linking to an endurance library that you will find very helpful.  The link is at the end of the post.  Most of the information in this post comes from Hammer Nutrition’ website.


First off, I wanted to talk about caloric intake.  When you are going to be out there doing your thing for a long long time it will be much more manageable if you take calories in.  Now you don’t have to take calories in up to a point, but the longer you go, the more important it is.  I take calories in from the start of my runs if they are longer than 13 miles.  It helps my mind and body to do so.  I can run much further without calories, but it is far More difficult to do it.  I burn around 700-800 calories per hour while running but the human body will only digest around 350 plus or minus some each hour.  You still end up in a deficit but you increase your endurance by doing this.

Dehydration is bad

It is important to take fluids in during your endurance activity.  As with food, you body can only take a certain amount of fluid in.  You will not be able to replace all the fluid you lose without putting yourself in danger of “water intoxication”.   Below  is a chart from this link to demonstrate the importance of hydration and its effect on endurance.

Symptoms by percent body weight water loss:

  • 0% — none, optimal performance, normal heat regulation
  • 1% — thirst stimulated, heat regulation during exercise altered, performance declines
  • 2% — further decrease in heat regulation, hinders performance, increased thirst
  • 3% — more of the same (worsening performance)
  • 4% — exercise performance cut by 20 – 30%
  • 5% — headache, irritability, “spaced-out” feeling, fatigue
  • 6% — weakness, severe loss of thermoregulation
  • 7% — collapse likely unless exercise stops
  • 10% — comatose
  • 11% — death likely


One of the most dangerous conditions that can happen to us is hyponatremia.  This is the state where the sodium levels in your body have been “watered” down by to much hydration without proper electrolyte replacement.  It is a common occurrence with marathoner who will take 6 hours or longer to finish their race.  This condition can be and has been fatal at the marathon levels. Here is a little blurb about this condition from hammer nutrition.

Tragic consequences

Hyponatremia usually results from drinking too much, especially when one drinks fluids such as plain water or a sports drink lacking the proper electrolyte profile. Training and fitness levels, weather conditions, and, undoubtedly, biological predisposition, also contribute to developing this form of hyponatremia known as “water intoxication.”

Sadly, we must note that this condition has lead, directly or in part, to the deaths of otherwise healthy runners in major American marathons. It is hard for us to comprehend the grief of the families they left behind. These athletes went out to run a marathon, to achieve a personal victory. Improper hydration took away their day of glory and also their lives. They collapsed and went into an irreversible condition involving uncontrollable brain edema, coma, and death. We report this to help prevent any future such tragedies. Over-hydration represents a very serious problem. Unlike dehydration, which will generally only result in painful cramping, possibly a DNF, or at the worst, IV treatment, over-hydration can incite a chain of ultimately fatal physiological consequences.

So you cannot replace all fluids lost but you can drink to much.  The reason for writing this post is because I used to be very scared of this condition and also of generally hurting myself doing these long runs. I want to share with you the most important resource I have found for learning about endurance activity and it’s necessary caloric and fluid replacement.

The complete endurance library


Pictorial post: Long run, skiing, and my beautiful weekend

I had a great weekend.  The whole company had Saturday off so I did too.  This never happens and I am so thankful for it.  I had a great weekend.  I have been doing great so far on my eating and exercising.  I brought all my food with me to our ski trip and counted everything perfectly.  I did have some m&m’s last night but I counted them all up.  We stayed at the mountain pretty much until our lift tickets expirered.  What a beautiful day it was and I got so much activity in.

I did a 25 mile long run this morning.  I did very well and had no problems finishing the run at all.  Even after a day of skiing I was able to finish great.  I am looking forward to two days off of exercise.  I am going to post pictures of my weekend.  So enjoy.


Here I am at mile 14 as Audrey joins in on my run with me.

Here I am at mile 14 as Audrey joins in on my run with me.


This is the typical view I have from this running route

This is the typical view I have during runs on this running route. Beautiful outdoor concert seating and Mt. St. Helens in the background

View from parking lot

View from parking lot just before opening. The lift that you see just a little left in the picture is the one we when on the most.


On the first run of the day the snow was perfect, the sun was out, and my wife was in full force with the cam

On the first run of the day the snow was perfect, the sun was out, and my wife was in full force with the cam



The former fat man himself. HAHAHAHA

The former fat man himself. HAHAHAHA

I just wouldn't be much fun without my LOVE :)

It just wouldn't be much fun without my LOVE :). She is the best part about going skiing. I fall in love with her a new every time I see her coming down the mountain.


Great reflections from exercising in the great outdoors.


Here is another picture of the scenery where I run on a regular basis.  I particularly like this area because it is so calming but at the same time very powerful and energizing.  I run along this river on a gravel road just about every week at least once.  It is an old road that nobody uses except for the few select fisherman who want to be alone.  It is quite there and on the right hand side of the road (not in the pic) is miles of pasture and beyond the pasture their are mountains.  I live in a beautiful place.  Exercising outdoors enhances life in my opinion.  I brings connection with yourself and the reality of being alive.  That is why I took this picture, because I felt alive during this run.  It was great and I don’t even have to drive to see this.  I ran to this spot in about 10 minutes.


Post marathon video: Funny

For all of you marathon hopefuls, I wanted to share this video with you so that you could have a laugh and know what you get to look forward to after you finish your first 26.2 mile push. I hope you enjoy it, I found this video at milebymile’s blog.



Running commandments by runfar!

Boy running for fun

I came across this list of running commandments at Runfar’s blog.  I really enjoyed it so I thought I would let you guys in on how cool the list was.

You can see the original post here.



Running Commandments.  There are 53 so keep on reading down the list.

1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others. Continue reading ‘Running commandments by runfar!’


Great way to track your running, walking, and activity


I love the online running journal that I use to track my running and activity.  Each time I exercise or do a race, I just enter it into this online journal.  The running journal is called  Membership is free and it allows you to do many things pertaining to the fitness/health journey.  The picture above shows all of my exercise for the month of January.  This is the actual format that I see when I enter my running into the journal.  Here are some of the neat things you can do with’s running journal.

  • You can log you running and other activity.  It has a large list of different exercises that you can enter.  As you can see on my chart, I have skiing and calisthenics.
  • If you use a heart rate monitor, you can enter your HR info. and it will track it to produce a line graph that will demonstrate fitness and possible over-training.
  • It allows you to enter your weight each time you log an activity.  Then it will produce a graphical chart for your weight so that you can visually monitor progress, maintenance, etc. for your weight.
  • It will track you performance differences in different weather.
  • I will compile all of your information and show you a chart displaying time, miles, fastest pace, slowest pace, average pace, average distance run.  All of these things and more.

This has been a great tool for me and just plain fun to fiddle around with.  It is neat to see the charts of the different aspects of my exercise life.  Hope you enjoyed.  Have a great day.


Interesting article about endurance training, heart rate, and running

Just a short post to point anyone interested in articles about training for long-distance endurance events.  The article talks about a Hawaii Ironman Triathlete who advocates a particular heart rate goal for training runs.  I found the article useful as well as interesting.  Here is the link:

Do long miles at low heart rate build a better engine