Some fun info for the weekend

Documentaries over the weekend:
Life in a Day – amazing video about Western States 100 – “You live a life of emotions in one day of racing a 100”
Life in a Day podcast on Trail Runner Nation – cool podcast that follows 3 of the 4 stars from the video above
Texas Trail Blazer  – documentary about the RD for Trail Racing Over Texas (the races i run)
Darkness – interesting piece of ultrarunning you hear everyone talk about
The Caballo Blanco Experience – youtube video about running in the canyons (have you read Born to Run yet?)
Losing Sight of Shore – full length documentary not out yet, but the trailer is.  It’s about some super powerful women completing an amazing challenge, check it out 😉

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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50 is DONE!

50K is done!!  What an amazing race and amazing park!  I had my crew there to support me!  Mom was not able to make it to this race, but she helped with encouragement and visualization discussions previous to the race.  Brazos Bend State Park was beautiful and the gators were out!  I think I saw about 4 of them (and a snake).  I ran 7 hours 40 min (took a break at the half way point-16mi) so my overall race time was 8 hours 40 min.  I came in my first loop faster than my goal pace which was amazing!  My overall pace was 15:32min/mi which aint bad considering I did 1/4s the second loop (as opposed to 4/1s).  I had a buddy Steven Cox to help me get through the second loop!  That made all the difference of getting it done and not being angry at the end.  I felt really good from the waist up after the race.  My nutrition and hydration were on point thanks to @HoneyStinger and @NUUN Hydration.  My knee, hip flexors and ankles were the most painful I would say.  In order to get through a few intervals I could tell I did something weird with my right leg and hips.  This led to my hip flexors being overworked.  My ankle soreness was probably the least expected and most surprising.  The rest was expected.  When I got home I took an ice bath and ate some pizza!  Leading up to the race I put together my stretching list which I’ve never done.  It’s super helpful to ensure that you don’t miss a required stretch on race day.   I’m blessed and thankful to be able to get out of bed every day, stretch, roll out and run with my buddies.  It’s a get to, not a have to 😉

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

50K – BB50 – Needville, TX

50K is here…I’ve been training and then resting (while partially injured) and trying to train more.  This is my first ultra and I’m still a little nervous.  I did 12.5mi two weeks ago and thought, well if all else fails I can walk the rest of the race.  I normally do 4min jogging 1 min walking.  That weekend was trending towards 3 min jogging 2 min walking or 2 min jogging 5 min walking.  Whatever it takes, right 😉  The days since then I have continued to get my knee worked on once a week and follow recovery advice daily.  Roll out with the foam roller, roll out with the rolling stick and roll on the lacrosse ball 2x a day (along with a little more extensive stretching than usual).  I think both of those have been helping.  Doc originally thought it was IT band.  Then we moved on to that probably being secondary to the groin, hip and hamstrings.  All it took was one long run on new trail shoes on the crushed granite to put the outside of my right knee into some serious pain.  Then weeks and months’ worth of work to get it almost back to normal.  I was able to do a 5K fun run and 2 training runs with only a small amount of discomfort.  I’ve also been trying to get to sleep earlier to ensure I have enough rest stored up for race day.  I’m stoked to get to run a new trail and a new distance.  I’m excited to get some new gear!  I’m grateful that I will have my trusted crew backing me.  This race will be 2 x 15.8 mi loops.  I’m targeting 14min/mi for a total completion time of 7hrs 15min which would be around 2:15pm (3hrs 41min per loop = 10:41am), but know that it could be as long as 22min/mi totaling 11hrs 27min completing around 6:30pm for me to finish if I had to walk.  I’ve been reading as much as possible to pick up any and all tips that I can get my hands on to ensure a successful race.  Let’s do it!

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Gear: For safety

I had a funny story from my wife’s cousin (Tom) a few months ago when I ran in Highland Village, TX.  I was doing a 10 mile run or so.  I got to Dallas late and would be getting up early so I was laying my gear out.  Tom came up the stairs and was like, “What the hell are you doing?”  I told him I was going for a run.  He said, “and you’re taking all that?”  That’s when it occurred to me that I really do take a lot of gear when I go out on a (an unsupported) run.  It’s even more when it’s really cold or really long.  I realized this weekend that I need a punch list to keep track of it all b/c it really sucks when you get out there and are missing something.  Each piece plays a critical role in the success of that run.  Each piece plays a critical role in whether or not you feel like absolute dog shit at some point in the run.  I mean you’re going to feel like that anyway (on a really long run), so why not go ahead and pack the things that you need to help you be the best you can be.  This is also my PSA to everyone to carry some sort/type of protective device when you’re out there.  It doesn’t matter if you’re alone or not.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in populated areas or not.  Please please please keep something with you that will give you a fighting chance.  People always give me excuses on why they don’t need something to protect them.  I figure they would agree once something bad happened.  Sad to say that, but it’s true.  I’ve started carrying my everyday knife when I go.  I keep it on my chest where anyone can see it and I can easily get to it.  Moving on, I just got such a kick out of Tom thinking I was taking the entire kitchen sink out on a run with me.  I think that day it was 10 degrees and turned out to be a really nice run 🙂

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Good starters

I’ll take a good starter over being consistent any day.  Consistency is the key for long term success but how do we get there if that’s not our strong suit yet?  You have to be a good starter.  You have to start the first time.  Then you have to start at lunch. Then you have to start the next day.  Then you have to start the next week.  But, guess what, we all fall off and make mistakes.  So, what separates us?  The ones that start right back up again; the good starters!  Once you’re a good starter you work on your consistency and you see that being a good starter is all consistency is really about.  I’ve tried this philosophy out quite a few times in January.  It usually ends sometime in February.  This time, I started it late July after having my coach write me a meal plan.  I’ve mostly stuck to it since.  I stray just like every normal person does, but you just start over again at the next snack or meal to get back on track.  I’ve reset my body weight set point down by 10 pounds.  This means that where I used to “hover” for body weight is now much different after following this plan for more than 7 months!  I’ve tracked my body weight since 2008-2009 so its really fun to see the changes I’ve made over that time!

Thanks for joining me on this journey

Intense focus

I learned a few good lessons at HorseShoe this year and was able to apply some things I’ve recently learned as well.  One of the things that I was able to apply was something that my son taught me.  He taught me that sometimes a very intense focus is needed to overcome something that is directly in front of you.  This thing can be a physical or mental obstacle.  It’s the type of obstacle that makes it very very hard to think clearly.  It feels like it just scrambles your vision and your brain.  It feels like an earthquake inside your brain.  From these types of experiences I’ve learned how to find that focus and apply extreme intensity to it so that you are able to process and overcome this obstacle that stands in front of you.  This type of extreme focus helped me to process, categorize and prioritize thoughts and actions to get through HorseShoe.  Sure, this was only a 25K.  Sure this was only a little mud as opposed to war or death.  However, it’s what I needed at that time.  We all need something different to adapt and overcome.  We all need a little different training to be prepared.  We all need a little different thing to feel confident.  I’m grateful for all the help and support that my family, friends and ambassador teams provide to help me be successful!

Thanks for joining me on this journey

Learning over time…

As part of my goal in creating @mckennaonthemove, I want to help and encourage people to accomplish their health and fitness goals.  I’ve always run for one reason or another, but I didn’t always know what I was doing.  For my entire soccer career I had help from family, coaches and specialists to help guide me to do the things that I needed to do in order to get better everyday.  However, when I stopped playing soccer and started running, I didn’t have that.  I spent lots of time, money and trial to figure out what worked best for me.  Disclaimer: What worked best for me may or may not work best for you.  However, I’m happy to share what I learned and see if we can adapt it to your experiences and goals to get you where you’d like to be.  First and foremost was interval running.  Some call it walk/jogging.  I started this with a $30 timex.  I advanced from that Timex to Garmin running watches.  Each and every one I’ve had I set a 4:1 jog/walk.  I can then choose to use it or skip it as needed.  Secondly, (years later) would have to be cadence.  I learned about this through the book called Chi Running.  I’m not saying that everything in the book is for everyone or that everything in the book will work for everyone.  However, you read/listen to the whole thing and then apply what you think will work for you.  I learned that you can get a free metronome app for your phone.  You play the metronome in your ear buds while running to find your cadence.  You can also use a Garmin watch to find out what your current cadence is too.  Once you know your current cadence you can decide if/how much you want to change it.  I decided that I wanted to be closer to 180 BPM (beats per minute).  So I increased the cadence by 5% or less every week until I was running at my desired cadence.  From there I spent a year on the treadmill building muscle memory for this cadence.  You see, Chi Running taught me that cadence and pace are supposed to be independent of each other.  However, when I tried this outside I found it hard to believe.  When I tried it on a treadmill, I found it was true.  Once I built muscle memory around this for a year I was better suited to apply it outside.  The pace is supposed to come from 1 degree or 2 degrees (or some very small number) of lean forward.  Lean forward speed up, straighten up and slow down.  Just take some time to figure out what works for you when you read or listen to what others say on how to get better.  Take your time and don’t make too big of changes at once.

thanks for joining me on this journey.