Monday, June 28, 2010

Back on the Trails - Two Miles at a Time

As a palette cleanser between the rush of Western States 100 reports, I had to mark my official return to the trails yesterday after my 6-weeks of full rest.  It was all of two miles, taking a dash over 16 minutes, but it felt epic nevertheless.  On the first mid 80s afternoon here in the Wood River Valley, it was a true gift to get to lace up a new pair of green and black Wildcats, grab my visor, and tick off a steady pace in full sun on the  buffed out Croy Creek trails. I even brought my camera along to capture the affair.

I have no idea how my knee's going to do over the next few weeks.  It told me yesterday that things hadn't perfectly resolved with rest.  So while I enjoy some easy days on the trail slowly building up my miles, I'll be monitoring things closely and gathering my thoughts on my next therapy steps.  There's been no lack of advice from people on where to turn, something I very much appreciate, but it's hard to decide which might be the most effective and economic approach.  ASTYM, structural integration, acupuncture, energy work, cupping, ultrasound, steroid injections, surgery.  Hopefully, I'll have a bit of solo time on the trail to form a cogent plan, and if things go right,  maybe I won't need a plan at all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Injury Chronicles: The End of Exile and Life with Quasimodo

Well, I'm coming to the end of my 6-weeks' self-imposed exile from running and pretty much all other physical activities.  It's gone alright, which is to say that I've adhered to the full-rest aspect of my plan but have done so in a particularly moody and twitchy manner that has left me searching for the bells atop Notre Dame from which to swing.  Life around the house with me could easily be classified as "difficult," "unpleasant," or "Bergmanesque."

But, June 26 - Western States weekend - I'll be released for my first run, which is likely to take less time than a typical aid station stop but is something I'm very much looking forward to.  The skies here in the Northern Rockies are finally starting to clear, the temperatures are rising, and the lupin are beginning their colorful reach - the start of singletrack high season.

Yet, if I'm honest, I have to admit that the past week or so has been pointedly difficult, what with Bighorn last weekend (my first 100 miler last year) and Western this weekend (my main target this year). And although the knee has been feeling pretty good, and I'm optimistic about its prospects, it's also let me know once or twice that the road back may continue to be bumpy.

Right now, though, I don't want to worry about that.  All I really need to do is rest for five more days, then enjoy a summer filled with the simple pleasure of banging out some easy sun-drenched miles and letting the trail take me wherever it wants to go.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Race Results: Nationwide 2010 Titus Van Rijn (TVR) One Hour Run

Nationwide results for the Titus Van Rijn One Hour Distance Classic are in, and the Sun Valley Edition shined. While furthest distance overall, with 15,602 meters, went to 38 year old Washingtonian, Erik Brooks, Sun Valley runners Brad Mitchell (15,500 meters) and Andy Jones-Wilkins (14, 850 meters) took second and third respectively, as well as first and second in the Masters division.  Your truly (Hank Dart, 14,750 meters) came in seventh overall, giving Sun Valley three runners in the top ten.

Women's overall went to 35 year old defending champion Pam Smith of Oregon, with 14,578 meters, furthering the female record she set last year.  Sun Valley's Liv Jensen (12,960 meters) came through fourth woman; Julie Cord (12,429) sixth (second Masters), and EJ Harpham (12030 meters) seventh.

Race directors yet again did a great job organizing the event and compiling results and reports.

What is the TVR One Hour Run?

It's basically a festival of local one-hour running events, now in its 12th year. See the specifics here, but the "rules" are really quite simple. Grab some friends and hit the track sometime in May, record how far you go in 60 minutes, and send the results to the event director.

For more, see the new TVR blog.

Previous TVR posts on Run Junkie.

Overall Top 10

2010 TVR One Hour Run

First Last Gender Age Meters Year Site
Erik Brooks M 38 15,602 2010 WA
Brad Mitchell M 40 15,500 2010 ID
Andy Jones-Wilkins M 42 14,850 2010 ID
Ben Blessing M
14,800 2010 ID
Dan Kuperberg M 46 14,800 2010 WA
Brad Smythe M 31 14,780 2010 NC
Hank Dart M 42 14,750 2010 ID
James Umbanhowar M 37 14,720 2010 NC
Pam Smith F 35 14,578 2010 OR
Stephanie Snyder F 40 14,415 2010 OR

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Science Wire: More Good Results for Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk has been riding a wave of popular press in the endurance sports world, and some new results from the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine will only add to this.  In a series of two small studies, researchers William Lunn and Nancy Rodriguez found that non-fat chocolate milk performed better than a carbohydrate-only drink when it came to post-run glycogen synthesis and muscle repair (press release).  Eight male runners ran twice for 45 minutes over a two week period.  After each run, they drank either 16 ounces of non-fat chocolate milk or a carbohydrate drinks with the same number of calories.  Within a three hour recovery period, muscle biopsies were taken to measure glycgogen stores and markers for muscle repair.  Chocolate milk came out ahead on both measures. 

Like most endurance sport studies, these two studies are much too small to allow any firm conclusions.  That they only looked at recovery after a short 45 minute run makes the applicability to marathon and ultramarathon training gets even less clear.  Also unclear is how chocolate milk would stack up against more complex (and more expensive) commercial recovery drinks, like Recoverite or Ultragen.

Still, the results certainly suggest that choosing chocolate milk as a recovery drink could do you a lot of good as well as save you a good deal of money, which you could spend on real food or a new pair of shoes.