Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Astounding Strategy for 24 Hours

My mindset in other 24 hour races has been, "This is going to be rough," and my strategy has been, "Just hang on for 24 hours and do what you can. If that's 70, so be it. If it's 100, great." I have an astounding new strategy this time- RUN A LOT OF MILES! Revolutionary, I know. I have GOT to minimize the breaks... and not even so much the four or five :20 rest breaks, but the little, "Hmm, what do I need?" breaks I tend to take at the end of each lap or two. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I honestly think I run fairly quickly in these events but waste so much time not running, it costs me. I'm going to get out and run at a decent clip for the first 30-40 miles and then go from there. Too often I look at my watch and say, "5 hour marathon? How did that happen? I thought I was running 9:00 miles." I think the truth is I AM running 9:00 miles, but also taking time to go to the bathroom, fix my clothes, decide what to eat, talk to people at aid stations, etc. I need to keep moving!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Freedom Park 24 Hour This Week! Now Hear This!

Freedom Park 24 Hour Run is this Friday-Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it. I didn't enjoy myself last year... absolutely no fault of the race director and volunteers. David, Rhonda & the Brown Mountain Running Club do an amazing job with this race but last year, I dunno... I came in undertrained and not used to asphalt. It drizzled & was about 35 degrees all day and night. Most people seemed to be in a bubble to me, but I read a lot of positive reports on it afterwards, so maybe it was just me that was in a bad mood! :) I left after 17 hours & 70 miles of sore legs last year.

Anyway, I'm excited about it and ready for it this year. I ran several long runs on roads lately to prepare for the 1 mile asphalt loop. Yeah, I said 1 mile asphalt loop! I've lost some weight. I've been doing hard workouts faster than I ever have as an adult. My long runs have been problem-free. It's time to set a goal. Haven't done that in a long time. 100 miles. Plenty of people run 100 miles in 24 hours. It was my goal at Rocky Raccoon 2009, but things happen. I've run 100 miles and four 24 hour races and still haven't quite got in 100 miles in 24 hours. It's not a particularly lofty goal but instead of saying, "We'll see," like I normally do, I will consider anything under 100 miles disappointing this time around. There, I said it.

I anticipate great weather, feeling good and getting in a lot of miles. Why does that seem weird. I usually expect the worst, and for the last few months, I've been visualizing brutally cold temps. 2 years ago, I understand it was something like 15 degrees with 40 mph winds! Last year was cold and wet the whole time. I usually do look forward to adversity (why?), but great weather is OK too, isn't it?? Forecast has changed a little the past couple of days but now says high of 52 and low of 36. Short sleeves & shorts! Totally not expected, but it should be good. I ran 92.26 miles in 24 hours in September when it was 95 degrees. I feel better equiped now and conditions will be much better.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


My running has been good lately. Doing faster interval sessions with the kids, strong tempos, long runs easier than ever... Let's hope that continues!

I came up with my 2011 race schedule and there's a lot more on it than usual. 13 races totally over 500 miles. I think it'll provide the motivation and fun that's sometimes missing.

I found out yesterday Brooks will keep me on in 2011 as part of their P.A.C.E. program (Performance And Coaching Elite). They were restructuring the program and cutting the number of sponsored athletes, so I figured I'd be kicked out, but I was happy to get the contract yesterday. In anticipation of being cut, I bought a whole stockpile of shoes at discount last month. Oh well. :) Happy to be using Brooks products and even happier to get them for free or at a discount.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I've been having weird foot problems lately.

A) Severe pain that seems like plantar fasciitis some days and moves to the top of my foot other days. It's had a habit of coming & going. Not present at all in last week's 40 mile run or really for the last 2-3 weeks.

B) Strange nerve damage thing (so says my school athletic trainer) that feels like my part of my foot's in hot water. Comes & goes but some days it lasts most of the day.

C) Painful, but mysterious stone bruise thing on my right foot. Just started last week. I was fine on run Monday. Finished up and waited around for kids to finish. Stood around for 15 minutes. When I started to leave, I could barely walk. All night & next day was like that- extreme pain in ball of my foot. Hurt like crazy until about 2 PM the next day. Since it hadn't hurt in an hour, I thought I'd run on it at practice and did a hard workout. Didn't feel a thing. That night & next day, it killed. Off & on since then, but has never hurt while running.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

40 Miles on Blue Ridge Parkway with Ice

HEAVY sleet & snow for about 2 hours of this 40 mile run on the BRP near Asheville. Trying to run long on asphalt to get ready for Freedom Park 24 Hour Run on New Year's. Despite the weather (drizzle after the sleet), I felt just fine. No problems whatsoever. Honestly, except for the eyes burning b/c of cold & a hint of pain in my hamstring, I can't tell I ran at all. Nice feeling but remarkable on asphalt! Hooray!