My INSANE Training Philosophies

Most people think I am crazy to run like I do.  I have to agree with them.  Here is a list of my insane training ideas.  I have no special training or anything with regards to sports science.  This information is all based on my personal experience and what I have learned from others or things I have read.

  • I deal with bouts of depression several times a year.  Running a LOT seems to keep the depression away.  Also rather than languishing in bed even a short run will make the depression loosen it’s grip on my mind.  My best performances have come from training blocks when I have run a LOT of miles.  The the Wolpertinger documented an excellent video with Rob Krar that discusses a lot of the same issues I deal with.
  •  With depression comes binge eating.  I struggle with my weight and food, I believe I may have an eating disorder and I have gained 20lbs or more in less than a month many times in my life.  I have learned to use this weakness as a strength. Running while you are FAT.  Running while fat is like having an all over weighted vest.  This strengthens your muscles and makes you faster when you loose the fat.
  • Obsessive Compulsively run to the end or all the way around things.  If I set out to run a trail even if I had planned to run shorter I always push it out to then end of the trail.  If you are running in a big loop even better; You have to go all the way around.
  • Create a detailed training plan with all of your workouts, and then because you have ADD completely ignore it and just run a lot.
  • Make up arbitrary goals while you are out running. For example, if you are doing an out and back, decide half way that you are going to run a negative split.  Or, if you’re running a loop, start at a slow pace and then try to cut the pace by 30 seconds a mile on each loop.  Also, if you see a hill sprint up it!

As you can tell I am a total basket case but thanks to running I seem perfectly normal to all of you.

My running plans for 2015

So far my plans for 2015 are dominated by the 2015 IAU World 24 Hour Championships in Torino, Italy on April 11-12, 2015. Of course!  My last long training run will be at the 2015 Ellerbe Springs Marathon.  This race will be celebrating my 5th year anniversary of my first marathon there.  I am also registered for the Bear Mountain 50 miler in a May.  Vermont 100 is on the schedule in July.  This will earn me a third ticket in the WS100 lottery. August will bring me back to Pennsylvania for the Eastern States 100 but I will be pacing and crewing  Todd this time. I may give the kiddy run (Call of the Wilds Marathon) a try if it fits in with the pacing and crewing duties.

2015 U.S. National 24 Hour Team

I was officially notified of my selection to the 2015 U.S. National 24 Hour Team competing in Torino, Italy on April 11-12, 2015. I am proud and honored to be running for team USA!!!

Some friends have suggesting doing some fund raising.  I have set up a GoFundMe to get started with that.  We are planning on having a pizza party and maybe some tee-shirts for sale.

Using Google Translate I was able to find this interesting information about the race course for the 2015 IAU World 24 Hour Championships.

“Now yes, it’s official. The World’s 24 Hours of 2015 will be held in Turin, just when the city will be European Capital of Sport.  The event champion, organized by ASD The Run Tour of Italy, will be held on Saturday 11 and Sunday, April 12, 2015 at Parco Ruffini.  The theater of the race will be the new circuit of 1,420 meters, which will open March 16 at Recordando entirely designed in the leafy avenues of the park, able to guarantee athletes a path completely in the shade during the day and perfectly lit during the night.  Under starters are expected about 450 ultramaratoneti representing 35 nations around the world, who will be joined other 12th runners entered the race “open”.  “

2014 Year in Review, better late than never!

This is a review of my ultra running and racing accomplishments from 2014.  I started the year off with a beautiful race at the Laurel Highlands 70.5 the WS100.  It was great to be crewed an paced by my friend Todd from Black Moshannon PA.  The course has some big climbs in the first ten miles or so after that are more moderate climbs.  The scenery and trails are amazing and challenging.  It was pretty cool to do a point to point 70 miles race and cross very few paved roads.  I finished the race in 9th place with a time of 13:30:50.  The finishers award is a really cool replica of the concrete mile markers that mark all 70 of the miles.

Running With the Devil 6 Hour is a timed race on a 5K loop that goes up and down the ski slope at the Mountain Creek Terrain Park.  I won the race and set the new course record with 29 miles in six hours.

3 State Solo 50K was a run mostly road run in New Hampshire, Vermont & Massachusetts.  It was fun to explore and add to all the great training I got while camping for the week in New Hampshire.  I also did a run up Mount Monadnock.  

The Eastern States 100 Miler was my first experience at a “real” mountain ultra.  Others commented that the course was close to the difficulty of Leadville or MMT.   Amazing crewing by my wife Donna and Eric and Todd were the best pacers! I saw a black bear cub on the course and was rattled at by a rattle snake in the dark, I think just hearing the snake was scarier than seeing it.  I finished in 4th place in 22:56:51.

In September I won the Hinson Lake 24 Hour Classic in Rockingham, NC on a 1.5 mile loop around a beautiful lake with 142+miles completed.  This qualified me for the USATF 24 Hour team only the top 6 runners are invited to team USA. I was in 6th but it wasn’t long before another man ran further in different race and pushed me down in the rankings.

I decided to give making the team one more shot under better conditions at the Desert Solstice 24 Hour Run in Phoenix, AZ. 24 hours of running on a high school track competing with some of the best ultra-runners in the US, Canada and Sweden I was able to get to 146.969 securing the 5th spot on the 2015 U.S. National 24 Hour Ultra Running Team.

How did I get started running?

I started running for endurance in the beginning of 2009. My friend Anthony and I were a team in the “biggest loser” competition at work. Before this I had seasonal starts and stops at running. I was always trying to lose weight would even run a 5K now and then. Running never stuck with me until that “biggest loser” competition and our daily treadmill running. Anthony suggested I was a good runner and I should sign up for the New York City Marathon. Having no idea what I was getting myself into I put my name into the lottery in and started training.

I found the dailymile.com web site and started logging my daily runs there. There was a group from North Carolina who was holding the MTC Monthly mileage challenge. I added myself to the group and started challenging them for the lead. I met Mark (Mr. Nuts), Rosemary (Squirmy) and Jerry (The Godfather) and got to know them virtually though our fun interactions on the site. Training and competing together made them feel very close even though we live far away.

Ended up not getting into NYC Marathon in the lottery but now that I had done all of the training up until that point I decided I would run the Philly Marathon instead. We’ll all that training without knowing what I was doing turned into an injury to my foot. I ended up deferring down to the Philly Half Marathon that November but I still wanted to run a full Marathon.

Mark and Rosemary invited me down to run “their” marathon, the Mangum Track Club’s Ellerbe Springs Marathon. And not just me the whole family. We had never spoke only chatted back and forth on dailymile.com and these wonderful people invited my family to come to their home. It was really amazing the bond that had grown though our daily virtual runs “together”.

Donna’s mother went into the hospital just days before we were supposed to go to North Carolina for the race. After all of my training we decided to still make the trip as it seemed that this couldn’t be serious for a strong woman like Donna’s mom. I ran that race with my mother in law on my mind and how proud she would be of me for doing well.

I ended up running a Boston Qualifier in the 2010 Ellerbe Springs Marathon in 3:10:32. Honestly I didn’t know what that meant. I remember at the party at Rosemary’s house that night Mark suggesting the idea of 100 mile races to me, I told him he was crazy and that I would never run that far.