2017 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 24 Hour World Championship

I am honored and humbled to once again be qualified to represent the United States of America as part of Team USA 24 Hour Ultra Runners. Here is a post of links and information about the event, fundraising for it and other info.  Check it out!

The United States 24 Hour National Team will compete in the 2017 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 24 Hour World Championship under the patronage of the IAAF on July 1-2, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

Guest Post! Matt the Crew Chief’s Riverbank One Day Classic 2017

Below is Matt’s report from Riverbank One Day Classic 2017 unlike mine he had his finished in less than an hour a few days after the race.  I think he captured something great in his report.  Thanks Matt, sorry for such a long delay getting this published…

“Similarly to Rich I don’t consider myself to be a good writer so I apologize if this is out of order ….

As we walked over to the track, Rich wanted to carry his USA team bag. I offered to carry it so he could save as much energy as possible but carrying that bag gives him a sense of pride. He is honored to represent this country.  I didn’t argue with him – I don’t want to cause him any stress before or during the race.

Rich did a good job with nutrition / hydration for most of the race. He would ask for nutrition / hydration and I rarely had to offer which made me happy.  I’m happy when he stays well hydrated.

Rich often plays air guitar and sings along. This stresses me out.  I want him to save every ounce of energy. But many spectators commented how he is “Crazy” – in a good / scary way.  I guess he is psyching out his opponents. I know if someone was rocking out next to me at hour 15 when I was the walking dead, that would crush me mentally. Still, it stresses me out.

I think up until hour 22 he thanked me for every handoff. Again – I would prefer he say nothing – save your energy buddy.

EVERY lap Rich passed by I made sure to stand up and get close to lane one.  I didn’t want him to have to shout if he needed something. Also I didn’t want him to see me sitting. I was worried if he saw me sitting, he may have thought “Matt is tired … maybe I am tired?”  Similarly with gloves.  Throughout the night it became cold. However every time Rich passed by I took my gloves off. I didn’t want him to see me wearing gloves and think about the cold.  This may all be in my head, I’m not sure if my suffering helped at all.

I was glad Rich stayed on pace and let the race come to him. I knew it was a matter of time till he would climb the ranks and eventually be in first place for the men.  

I remembered what Shannon said and I never asked him how he felt. There is no point. If he is working hard for 24 hours I know he is going to feel like poorly. And I can’t make him feel better so what is the point.  I offered nutritional items from time to time when he fell behind in nutrition and would ask him if he needed anything.  

For about the last 3 hours, when the going got tough, I kept jogging across the center so I could see Rich on both sides. I wanted him to see me and thought it would motivate him to keep going. Again, I’m not sure if he even noticed the standing, gloves, or the jogging back and forth!

At one point I did math incorrectly and told Rich he needed to maintain a 10 minute pace for the last 2.5 hours to get in 3rd place on the US team. When I realized my mistake I discussed with other spectators and thought it best not to update him as he was maintaining the pace. I think having a reachable goal motivated him.  A good crew needs to lie to motivate their runner from time to time.

With enough caffeine it was easy to stay awake. I enjoy running and helping my friends. It’s great to be part of something historic.”

Riverbank One Day Classic 2017

Well this report sat in draft mode for WAY TOO LONG! I guess when things mostly go right there is not a ton to say about the race. Well done is better than perfect and something is better than nothing so here it is.

This is my race report for the 2017 Riverbank One Day Classic on February 25th-26th 2017.  My goal going into the race was to set a strong qualifier for the US team. My training had gone exceptionally well and had the logged most miles in a month by far with over 650 miles in January. Surprisingly I ran 106 miles the week before without even noticing the volume. I had a one page race plan which worked really well.

Slept really well on Thursday night woke up early to leave for the airport by 3:30am on Friday morning. Crew chief extraordinaire Matt was right on time and got us to Newark airport relaxed and hassle free. I had delegated ALL of the travel details to him so I would not be stressed by it and this worked fantastically. He had packed us both BIG bag lunches for the six hour flight. We zoomed through security headed to the gate and had a relaxing flight with many naps and snacking on turkey sub, pretzel sticks, peanuts, cookies and brownies. I was advised to carb up, normally being a LCHF I think I went a bit overboard here. I was originally confused and thought the bag was for Matt and I to share, nope I was wrong he had a matching one for himself…lol  We landed got our checked bag full of all of my powders and gels and Matt drove us away in our fun randomly picked Nissan Juke rental car.

We stopped for some pictures and lunch ( more of the left overs from above) on Baker Beach and touched the Pacific Ocean with our finger tips since i16825796_10212214383372587_6940634556210946209_ot was a bit windy and cold to be messing around getting our feet wet. Then a drive over Golden Gate Bridge and on to Muir woods. The redwoods were amazing and we saw many birds even though park 20170224_130034ranger intern Andrew told us the tannin in the bark would keep them away…lol.  It seemed a few of the precious trees had fell very recently I guess due to the record rain fall. The place was mystical and refreshing. Then we drove back up the twisty tourney road without fear and into 101 traffic! Lots of traffic and windmills and rolling grassy hillside fields with cows. The hills were bizarre and I assume were the result of previous strip mining? Then onto dead stopped traffic on another single lane road lined with millions of trees that I could not identify ( later we found out these were almonds.) Then a search for the grocery store to pick up some last minute items and finally salvation! We arrived at Laura and Jerry’s house and were graciously welcomed by them and Duffy the dog. Amazingly Laura had the dinner I had emailed her about hot and ready; EXACTLY how I wanted it, on the table when we arrived. Dinner was delicious and it was great to feel comfortable after sitting in all that traffic. After some brief chatting I was off to my comfy bed.

Slept really well again and up early for a shower and breakfast by 6:30 am avocado and fried eggs again cooked perfectly by Laura. She also had all of the ingredients of my everyday fat coffee on hand and I whipped it up in my travel mug to go. It was an easy trip over to Riverbank high and in the chilly morning we quickly set up our table and gear trackside and I picked up my bib. Although we had picked up lunch for crew chief Matt we forgot to get him breakfast. Matt set off to get some grub but mistakenly headed away with my coffee and my watch which made me extremely nervous. It was a bit chilly sitting by the track and it would have been better to relax in the warm car for every last second that I could. I ate an uncrustable to calm my nerves. Matt returned shortly after and I retreated to the car to warm up and finish my coffee. After an inspirational speech by RD Jon Olsen, beautiful American flag presentation by the scouts and a wonderful acoustic singing of the national anthem we were off in running by five after nine with a yell of bang after the starting pistol failed.

Due to the inaccuracy of GPS I had to run laps at 8:45 average pace per mile on the watch to get 2:14 laps.

One of the most motivating things of this race was hearing Jon Olsen tell me it looked like I had not event started running when we were 12 hours in. Many rabbits went out pretty fast and I was in the middle of the pack many hours into the race but sticking to plan the speedsters slowly but surely came back to me.

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It’s’ pretty funny when you look at the chart below.  Each of the first 4 large spikes are poop breaks and the shorter ones in the begging are definitely pee breaks so 12 or so of those.  Definitely need to figure out how to cut down on the number 2 stops! The last big spike is when my bib didn’t cross over the timing mat and didn’t register.

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Laura our wonderful host paced my last lap so she could place my cone. Luckily having her there gave me the last boost to get me around again and had her Matt and me all laughing since I dropped her after 24 hours of running. I competed in the Riverbank 24 Hour Running Race completing 152.213 miles in 24 hours ( 612 laps around the 400 meter high school track ). This has earned me the #4 qualifying position for Team USA 24 hour ultra running team.  Just 2 more races left in the qualifying series it’s looking hopeful that my qualifying position will get me to the World Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 1st 2017.

Sore fore arm. For more than a week after the race my forearm was very sore and swollen. My guess it this is from checking the watch so many times in the race. Laura suggested I get a SHIFT The watch band for running from EdgeGear. They gave me one to try and I have been really happy with always being able to see the screen at the right angle without having to turn my wrist!

Epsom salt bath, night sweats, itching! Recovery was rough. I did an Epsom salt bath and used Epsom salt lotion right after the race. It took 2 days for te night sweats to finally come after this and then another few nights of some crazy itching! not sure what was going on there.

 

I have yet to DNF

I have yet to DNF.  I have ran some fairly tough races under some less than ideal conditions but I still haven’t found a race course and day that could beat me. I have come up with a bucket list of races that I plan on pushing this to the test.  This is a rough plan in order of appearance and subject to change. It’s a tough place to be in ultra running that you have to have a multi year plan to register and get through the lotteries of the most challenging races. Let’s make a plan to DNF?

All that being said if am able to qualify for the US24 hour team again this could change my plans for 2017 and I’ll be once again praying that I don’t get into the WSER100 with 4 years worth of tickets in the lottery this time. It would be close to impossible to pull off a trip to Belfast and the Grand Slam.

Mohican to One Day at the Fair

onedaystartThose who have been following along know I ran the Mohican 100 and then Crowd Sourced my qualifying plan to have me racing NJ Trail Series One Day at the Fair this past weekend.  Since June I have been following a strict HFLC diet, using MAF HR for most training and haven’t had a drop of alcohol ( which is probably the longest time for that since I was 18 ).

The taper had gone really well, sleep was up, resting HR was down. End of the week leading up to the race, diarrhea! Yeah I know TMI but we’re ultra runners. I took Thursday off from running since whatever this infection was it made me feel like I had a hernia. It was really bad Friday afternoon. I had to cut my two mile shake out run short to get back to a potty! Stat! Anyway this led to quite a few extended potty stops in the race. It was great to have the home field advantage though, not having to travel or find a restaurant was stress free!

Packing was a bit crazy. stuffWith help of my packing list from North Coast I managed to have everything I needed except Pickle Juice! Don’t forget the pickle juice. There was none at the aid station but thanks to Shamus he was able to find me half a shot of the stuff that did the trick for some cramps I had early on in the race.

Anyway I slept well the night before the race and woke rested from a bizarre dream where Mark Long was either trans gender or a cross dresser and I was trying to convince him to not quit running and get back to running 100s. I didn’t mention his bob haircut, blue eyeshadow or ear rings. Must have been a sign since Mark is my Ultra Running Guru!

My handoffamazing crew chief Matt Heiblim arrived for our trip to the race right on time and ready to go. I can’t say enough of how glad I am to of had Matt as my crew. It was his first 24 hour race experience and he worked his ass off for me to be successful. I could have never done it without him. Matt not only helped me he cheered and helped almost every other runner on the course. I also want to thank Rob Wilson for taking a ton of pictures and of course the super ultra ladies Shannon and Alanna for their always positive support.

Well besides the diarrhea there were quite a few other things that held me back from reaching my 150 goal.

  • I had been doing all my training with my Polar watch and had felt pretty comfortable in my pace runs leading up to the event at a 9 minute pace. Well when I got on course I found I had to run an 8:55 pace with the tangents to get a 9 minute mile lap. So I stuck with doing 8:55 on the watch, stupid. What makes this even stupider is that I had changed my running pace plan from 9:20 a mile; giving me plenty of bank time to still get 150, just days before the race, even stupider.
  • What made this even worse is the unexpected cruelty of the hill at the start finish.  I don’t usually schedule walking; breaks but I should.  I wouldn’t schedule them on time but on geography. Walk the hills. What this means varies drastically based on the course. I made a mistake at One Day, if you are familiar with the course it has a pretty good incline by the start finish. In hind sight I should of walked this hill from the first lap. I walked an incline at the worlds very consistently and that paid off. It has worked at other loop events as well.
  • I neglected putting warmer clothing on earlier feeling comfortable especially when I started walking. I think being cold for so long made it tougher to get moving again when the sun finally came up. DAMN! the night time in November in New Jersey is LONG! Being so close to the supermoon was pleasant but the low temperature of 25 degrees was cold! GU was frozen, water bottles were icy!
  • My somewhat experimental HFLC/Keto hydration and race nutrition requires some changes. Not sure what to do here, but then again the pre-race stomach issues could have also been a factor in this not working.  Broth with extra bullion was a life saver, Matt would bring it down to the bottom of the hill for me to drink as I walked up. Once we got this pattern down I would shout “SOUP THE HILL” and like a trooper Matt would be around the loop with a travel mug of full of hot broth!
  • I need new ear buds for my Sony Walkman Waterproof Sports MP3 Player! I really love this no longer manufactured player with no wires and no need to carry a phone. I have long since lost the original ear buds and tried to replace them with buds from other players. No good! I cant count the number of times I took off the headset leaving the ear bud stuck in my ear that I then had to pinch out. Stupid! I knew this was an issue before the race should have bought a replacement music player. The new version will be on my X-mas wish list Sony NWWS413BM 4GB Sports Wearable MP3 Player

No! chaffing! I believe this is a first for me in a 24 our race. Cold temps and less sweating was probably a big factor but I had done a bunch of dress rehearsal 1 hour runs that I used to evaluate clothing choices leading up to the race.

Is that guy a linebacker or an ultra runner?

Is that guy a linebacker or an ultra runner?

 

A last minute addition to the wardrobe was Runderwear! Moisture wicking, seamless, ergonomic. They are a bit pricey but with the issues I have had down there they are way worth the price!

I am excited, considering I am even thinking about trying another qualifier the “Monday after” is a good sign. I am in the Western States 100 lottery for the fourth consecutive year with 8 tickets this time. Sadly WSER100 is the week before Belfast. So if I am selected I will have some real tough decisions to make if I get into Squaw.

Morning Routine 

With the unofficial end of summer upon us I have come up with a new morning routine to keep me on track.  Having a productive morning keeps me going all day long. This evolved since I am starting to HRV and it is ideal to measure in the same position at the same time of day.

Seven Minute 500 Calorie Low Carb Breakfast

Many people complain they don’t have time or money to eat a healthy breakfast.  Here is my simple Seven Minute 500 Calorie Nutrient Dense breakfast that I eat on most mornings when I am not Intermittent Fasting. It also cleans up quick since it only uses a bowl, spatula & frying pan to cook.

1. Put 2 cups of frozen chopped spinach ( broccoli, kale or collards) into a bowl and put in microwave for 4 minutes.

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2. Put 1 tbsp. of Kerry Gold Grass fed butter in a small fying pan.

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3. Add 2 eggs.

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4. After 4 minutes add 2 slices of bacon to the veggie bowl and put it back in the microwave for 3 more minutes.

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5. Pour the fried eggs and butter over the bacon and vegetables.

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6. Top with Himalayan Pink Salt, and spices ( I like turmeric for it’s anti inflammatory properties). Sometimes I will add some feta or blue cheese to the mix.

 

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Here is the basic calories for the ingredients. There you have it a nutritious breakfast with very low carbs packed with nutrients.

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Nutritional Ketogenic Diet Tips

Well I’m not a dietitian, nutritionist or a doctor. I’m just a guy who has struggled loosing and gaining the same 35lbs for more than a decade. I have tried every diet out there from high carb, low fat, raw vegan, south beach, high protein and even the lemonade master cleanser. I have done some really unhealthy things with caffeine diet pills and exercising myself into the ground in my struggle with much fleeting success.  Not long after getting close to goal weight I would go off and regain all the weight back and more.

I stumbled quite a few times in my attempts at the Nutritional Ketosis.  I have tried incorporating the HFLC ( High Fat Low Carb) approach to eating for more than a year and feel really good on this diet. Beer and wine have usually been the down fall.  but I have finally gotten it dialed in to a place where it is sustainable for my life.  Here are some tips from what I have learned.

  • Change your relationship with food. Food is fuel and should rarely be used for comfort, reward or stress relief.
  • Loose the concept of having 3 things on your plate. This was really hard for me. Most of my meals now are a fatty fish or meat over a pile of green leafy vegetables.
  • Have very large servings of green vegetables at every meal, add a tbsp. of grass fed butter.  Frozen green vegetables and prewashed salad boxes are very convenient.
  • Don’t worry about missing a meal.  If you don’t have high quality nutrient dense foods that meet your macros just skip it.
  • IF – intermittent fasting is easy, skip breakfast for fat coffee, just have lunch and dinner that day. This should be done on most of your more sedentary days.
  • Don’t try to replace carbs with Franken-foods from the health food store
  • Learn to enjoy canned fish packed in olive oil ( sardines, anchovies, oysters and occasional tuna and salmon)
  • Avocados, ghee, grass feed butter, olive, fish and coconut oil – eat these every day.
  • Use lots of salt, I like the Himalayan Pink Salt.
  • Bulletproof coffee is great but if your like me and add 1 tbsp. each of ghee, coconut oil and MCT oil you are drinking 350+ calories. Just 1 “cup” a day. I usually stretch my coffee out by topping it off with more black coffee to my mug.
  • Listen to podcasts from Tim Ferriss, Dave Asbury & Robb Wolf for inspiration.
  • Don’t do strenuous exercise until you are fully fat adapted. All exercises should be done below your maximum aerobic threshold MAF 180-age
  • Use an application like cron-o-meter to track everything.
  • some really good hacks here : http://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb-hacks
  • No alcohol.

 

Check out the following posts for what this diet looks like:

Journaling is HARD!

I have slacked off on journaling my daily diet, but here is a summary of my meals from the past few days.  I may go back to journaling but for now I guess I want to point out the large quantities of green vegetables at almost every meal and the nutrient density of the food.

My keto “oat” meal replacement recipe is below.  This is REALLY high calorie so be careful with this one. I have also enjoyed mixing shredded red cabbage with avocado and mayo ( avocado mayo with no soybean oil)

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keto-oatmeal

Daily Journal Six

Weight 158.4
Body Fat 17%

27 miles of running at or below HR 138, 10:09 pace per mile. Drank 1 each of BCAA, Vespa, Tailwind, and KetoCana.

After running:
Weight 153.4
Body Fat 15.4%

Forgot to take a picture of my salad which was 2.5 cups of spring mix, 1/4lb of liverwurst, smoked oysters and 1/4 cup of feta. I also has 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts as a snack.

I’m slacking off on my photo logging.  A bit off diet yesterday but I had spare calories with the 27 mile run.

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