Author Archives: Tim Hardy

February 2013 Training Notes

February US FlagFebruary 2013 has come and, thankfully, gone. Winter’s final full month is always the longest of the season for me and this year’s was no exception. There were a lot of lessons learned, or perhaps re-learned, over the course of 28 days.

With the month started in California due to work, I was running at a base altitude of 6000 feet in Lake Tahoe for a few days, I still spent the lion’s share of the month in central and northern New York. Lake Tahoe for training for work was terrific and I made it a solid running camp in my non-work time too. All my other work was home office in the Finger Lakes, (central-north New York) or on Fort Drum in northern New York. This wasn’t the coldest February on record, but winter seemed to be accompanied by a relentlessly withering wind that really lent an edge to outdoor physical training.

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Pre-Race Thoughts on the Badwater Ultra-Marathon

Courtesy of Frank McKinney’s Facebook page

The Badwater 135 ultra-marathon is now an immediate 25-meter target; traveling and logistics are all working as I type. This race started out first as a Dream Race rather than a goal after I ran four or five shorter ultras in 2007. Then, when I started really studying this sport, Badwater moved itself to my “What if” category, and finally, “Why not” while I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.

During that deployment I was reading about the race on the Badwater website and discovered the Arrowhead 135. The two 135-mile events had an affiliation then based on their distance. I was fascinated by the distance these two events covered while traversing through extremely tough environmental conditions. Arrowhead’s deep winter conditions in northern Minnesota in the first week of February on the Arrowhead snowmobile trail, and then running across Death Valley, Calif. during mid-summer conditions starting at Badwater. My dream of someday completing Badwater developed almost immediately into a hard goal of completing the Arrowhead 135 and Badwater 135 in the same racing season.

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Mistakes Costly at the Barkley, Ultra-Running’s ‘Heart of Darkness’

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the Barkley Marathons 100 Mile Run sure reduced me to a coward in just over half a lap (12 mi in 08:30). This is a tough post, but if you write about the good events and the good races you’ve got to write about the bad ones, or utter failures. I haven’t thought about too much else since I tapped out 1/4 of the way up the Lookout Tower climb late Saturday at Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tenn.

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3,314 Minutes at the Arrowhead 135

On my second attempt, I managed to complete the Arrowhead 135 Ultra. Below are my thoughts posted during the race, where I finished 16th overall among those running the frigid course. There were also competitors on bikes and skis.

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215 Minutes at the Louisiana Marathon

15 January 2012
www.louisianamarathon.com
I made a late decision to sign up for the Inaugural Louisiana Marathon (LAM) after working on Fort Polk for most of the week leading up to race weekend. I had visibility on the race after checking our race calendars the previous weekend and found the LA 26.2 on www.marathonguide.com. I’m glad for several reasons that I was able to register for this race Saturday and race on Sunday. It’s always a terrific experience to cross any 26.2 mile finish line and this was no exception in Baton Rouge. I like taking part in Inaugural races, and I got to run in a major event in Louisiana and “check” that block in my 50-state mission. I learned a lot in this race, and while this certainly was not a targeted race on even a weekend in the calendar as late as Christmas, in a lot of ways this was maybe the best race I have run to date.

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Training Points and Lessons Learned for Ultra-Marathons

My intent with this document is to post some major points, ideas and lessons I’ve learned as an average Ultra-Marathoner. This is made up more of general training principles and ideas rather than hard and fast training doctrine and monthly, weekly and daily training schedules and guidance.

There is a significant amount of literature available on this topic online, in hard cover, and in monthly magazine publications. For a couple of examples, I really got a lot out of Bryon Powell’s training book, Relentless Forward Progress, available on WWW.IRUNFAR.COM, as well as from an article written by Ian Torrance and published in JAN-FEB 2011 Running Times on marathoners training for and running 50Ks and 50 Mile ultras. I highly recommend those sources to anyone. Along this line, there is a lot of literature and online websites with a lot of ultra-marathon race and training information.

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Streak Report 2011

Streak Report 2011 - 13 DEC 2007 though 12 DEC 2011 Statistics.

1460 Days in a row; 8,354 miles run; averaged 5.72 miles per day; 2925 miles in 2011; 9:00 per mile average pace= 75,186 minutes, 1,253 hours, 52.2 days of running time; 270+ days with at least 2 runs; 396 days deployed to Afghanistan NOV ’08-DEC’09 with at least 1 run per day; 195lbs on 13 DEC 2007-175lbs today; 60 BPM resting heart rate 2007-37 BPM resting heart rate now; 12 major events (26.2 miles or longer) completed prior to 13 DEC 2007. 34 major events completed during this streak: nine – 26.2 marathons; 25 ultra-marathons:  eleven 50Ks; two 40 milers; four 50-milers; five 100Ks; three 100 milers; 1452 racing miles. Climate & weather: coldest temperature run in -28 degrees below zero; hottest temperature-115 degrees; 3 continents; 4 countries; 18 states; 6 different time zones

Some Lessons Learned:

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227 Minutes at the 2011 Empire State Marathon

I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon with a net race time of 3:26:33 in the 50-54 age group at the Empire State Marathon.

October 16th dawned crisp and clear, the most excellent running conditions runners could have hoped for but had no right to expect in mid-Fall in central New York. I was brimming with energy as I headed across the Alliance Stadium parking lot at a trot and really felt I was as ready as I ever would be to run on the high side of my comfort zone for 26.2 miles.

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2050 Minutes at the 2011 Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Race

One Average Runner’s Adventure
4 AM Saturday 14 May to 2:10 PM Sunday 15 May 2011

The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club planned and executed a tremendous ultra-marathon under Race Director Kevin Sayers’ leadership this past weekend. I found the Massanutten Mountain Trails (MMT) 100 to be an incredibly challenging yet richly rewarding experience from my perspective as one average runner and this race report reflects only my participation and limitations in that epic trail race. Any omissions or mistakes in this report reflect shortcomings of the author and not the event or people that were part of it.

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