Thursday, January 14, 2010

Disney (on ice)

There are many wonders on the planet. The pyramids, Great Wall of China.....aaaaaand Disney World. Ah yes, to be young again. This year I decided (spur of the moment-esque) to run the Disney marathon as training for my Rocky Raccoon ultra. Training had been great and I was ready for anything. That is what I thought at least. As my trip approached I was shocked to find race day temps well below freezing. Luckily for me, most of my training had been done at even colder temps as we are accustomed to in WI winters. Lots of time bundled up for outdoor runs and lots of hours spent on my CycleOps trainer. "I'm ready for this," I said to myself as I packed all my warm running clothes for the trip. Florida was great. I had an awesome time visiting a new friend, some nuns and seeing the sights around lovely Apopka ; ) Friday consisted of a nice 8 mile run to get the flight out of my legs. I tried to hold 7:30-7:40 pace and it fet very easy. Saturday was packet pickup so we headed down to Disney to register and get my gear bag. I had forgotten gloves and hoped to grab a pair at the expo. Registration went well but in my haste to check out the expo I almost left my number and timing chip at the gear bag table. Luckily they found it and paged me over the intercom "Christopher Clausen from the UK, you've left your race number at the bag table, please come pick it up." Taryn was so surprised that there was another Christopher Clausen running the race. I checked my bag to see that in fact it was me who had left the race number. After gathering my number and timing chip we heading off to find some gloves. $10!!!!!!! These had better be some great gloves I thought. I'm sure they knew that they had most athletes bend over the "starting line" at this point and they could charge whatever they wanted. Back home for a quick 3 mile run to get some zip in the legs and try out my new Saucony A-3 race flats. I felt like I could fly. Later that night as I laid out my clothes for the morning I realized that the race was at 5:40AM, not 7AM as I had thought. YIKES!!. Well, I'll get done earlier I though. 3AM came very quickly as I dressed and headed off to Disney. On the way, we decided to have a ritual dance party in the car that carried forward to the family meeting area where there was a DJ spinning some mean beats. I lined up in my coral with temps at 27 degrees. Fireworks were the starting gun, pretty sweet. 3:13:06 later I crossed the finish line. Felt good but was very cold so went home and ate and napped until 2 when I was craving an omelet. Around 3 I decided to run to the local state park and get my next 10 miles in for the day. My knees were giving me some issues but after stretching and warming up I was feeling like the machine I am, just chugging along. Totals for the weekend were 47 miles of running + 3 miles of hiking for a grand total of about 50 miles. I am now back in Madison and spending this week hitting my trainer pretty hard to let my legs heal but am planning to be back at it this weekend w/ a nice 16 miler w/ the TNT marathon team. All in all it was a great time and I can't wait to head down to Texas to take Rocky Raccoon by storm. Until next time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year (starting off on the right foot)

This upcoming year (2010) is only 3 days in but looks to be a promising one. On only day three I racked up my longest training run towards my 4th 100 mile ultra in February. Although the run was only 21 miles it was unusually tough due to the piss poor weather we experience here most Januaries. Today was partly sunny with a high around 7, that means frozen water bottles and many layers of clothes. Despite all this, my run was good and my legs feel great. I'm also looking forward to competing in my 2nd Canadian Death race. This year will be a much shorter trip than the last as I don't have 2.5 weeks vacation for this one race but my parents will once again crew for me and I have high hopes for a great finish. I'm much less excited about trainer riding now, but I know that I must if I'm going to accomplish my goals for Ironman WI this year. CycleOps is a new sponsor and I really want to race well for myself and for them. The great thing is they have many intense one hour workouts so I can get my workout in before I get board. : ) Disney marathon in only 1 week away. With the cold weather I was not able to get all (any) speed workouts in but if my race is as good as my training runs I should get close to qualifying for Boston which I've decided is worth the extra effort. So there is lots of exciting stuff to look forward to and with 26 miles under my belt so far, I think I'm starting off on the right foot.