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Preparing To Run: Injuries

Nothing like getting up in the morning, sunshine coming through the window and a pain in my right foot when I step off my bed.  I love to run and it is pretty much a necessity for me to be happy.  So when I get up and my foot tells me to sit back down I need to do something, and now.

In the last two years I have had some aches and pains but nothing I would call an injury.  Now for the last few weeks I have had some pain in the inside of my right foot that will not go away.  If I stretch and start out a little slower on my runs I feel fine while I am running, and same for the hour or so after.  But after that, every time I step (unless I wear shoes, any shoes, or even just socks) there is some pain.  Argh.

I have found one thing that makes it feel better and I really think it will work in the long term.  Rolling my foot on a bottle seems to make it better.  I tried it before running last night and I did again this morning and I feel better.  It may only work for a little while, but it is helping in the long run by making the pain lower each day.  I am starting to have a little more faith in rest days, but just a little.

Come on foot, you can do it!


Faster Feet, Faster Pace

Back Again For More Rambling!!!

I have been really working toward getting my feet to go a lot faster.  My whole life I have seen myself as being much stronger then fast.  When I hop on my bike my leg speed used to be slow and I kept in a high gear and trudged through whatever was in front of me.  Endurance running has appealed to me because I never thought any sort of speed was possible for me, until now.

I have been working on getting my stride to be longer and building strength to keep up my speed.  Now I have been pushing leg speed as well.  Fast feet.  I have been told for years that when you crest a hill to do three quick steps then power down the hill.  Take that one step further and shorten the stride to quick, quick steps and keep the stride short.  Then on the up hill keep on the toes and pull out a longer stride.  This helped push me to a 6minute mile and seven pace for 5 miles.  A huge improvement for me.

Beyond that the key is changing up the schedule.  I have always been flying by the seat of my pants and doing whatever happens.  Now I have plans ahead of time and I vary what I do.  Each week I make sure to do 1 day of sprints, distance, intervals, and a fun run without any clear goal.  In four weeks I have brought my average pace down almost a minute and a half per mile.  It is funny how real training can actually make you better.  Lets see what else I can do!


Yay Running

2011 Rudi’s Organic Bakery Boulder Backroads Marathon

First of all that is a silly name for a race.  I really do like Rudi’s bread, but a silly name none the less.

Today was my first attempt at a solo marathon and I was nervous as can be.  I ran the same course five years ago and after a lot of anger, frustration, yelling, and cursing I did cross the line, but a lot slower the I ever wanted.  That was when I stopped running for about a year so this race was a big deal.  To make things harder I had just run (on Saturday) a fast (for me) 10 miler.  I got everything ready, planned everything possible even down to what time to start the coffee and get in the shower.  SO when I arrived 30 minutes earlier then planned I felt a little silly.  But after a Honey Stinger Gel, Honey Stinger Chews, and the usual breakfast along with a Vega Meal Shake, and Chia seed with Vega Exlectrolyes I was ready to run or explode.

If you have not been to Boulder (if anyone is even reading) you need to.  The best place I have ever been.  The views out there are amazing.  Not only do you have the mountains, but the back roads go past some of the coolest houses.  Despite my IPod dropping out of service after just 30 minutes I was never without conversation or a great view (thanks for talking people).

A wonderfully organized race.  With high heat in the forecast they added a few aid stations and they were all fully stocked with awesome supplies.  Or if you are looking for a great race I recommend training for next year.  There are hills and some tough stretches but a wonderful experience.

I love to run in my Vibram KSO shoes.  They are light and I can feel the road.  But after driving the course on Saturday and seeing how rocky and rough it was I decided to upgrade to the thicker Vibram Kamodos.  Best decision I ever made.  I passed two other minimalist shoe guys out there and one called for a ride and the other guy was limping.  I felt bad for them, I have been there a few times while training and it is a blow to the ego.  But anyone even making an attempt like that deserves a lot of respect.

I had a fleet of bikes out there with me for support so a huge thanks to my mom Cathy, Mark, and my wife Amy for helping support me.  An extra thanks to Mark for taking pictures, my mom for running the worst hill ever with me, and my wife for riding out the dreaded Oxford out-n-back.  Also thanks to John (my father-in-law and running inspiration at times) for riding in the end with me.

I was hoping to break 10 minute pace with a long shot goal of sup 4 hours.  I limped my way across the line in 3:57:22.  That is almost 90 minutes faster then my last and only other marathon attempt and I could not have been faster.  My feet were bruised and painful ( i need more barefoot training and maybe thicker shoes), but the rest of me felt great.  I had a fleet of bikes come in with me with Ma, Mark, Amy, and John riding the last 2 miles or so, I really needed it.

After crossing the line I decided that it was time to stop pushing the distance and work on short and fast.  But after eating something I realized that I cannot stop now.  I was 71st overall and 6th in my age.  By the end of next year I want to place in my age group and I also wanna do sub-3hr in the next two years.  I have some lofty goals and now time to really get serious.  No reason I can’t train for long and short is there?

2011 Coal Creek Crossing

Racing is a strange event.  Today was the first time that I ran a race without someone else there, and the first race where I was really pushing for a good time.  There is so much energy all over the place that I spent the 15 minutes or so bouncing around all over the place.  I am sure I drove my wife up the wall acting the way I was.  Oh well, she understands.  Today was the 2011 Coal Creek Crossing 10 mile run in Louisville, CO, my hometown and place I live.  I have run every inch of the course more times then I care to admit so I knew what I was getting myself into and I knew many of the other runners, by sight at least.

I have found a great way to warm up for a race, or any run really.  As the parking was going to be bad and the start was only about 2 miles from my house I hopped on my bike and my wife on hers we rode there (she also wanted to ride her new Fuji Road bike).  It was a little cold but not bad, I would not have changed anything.  In all my training I never do any sort of GU, gel, chew, electrolyte drink, or anything else like that unless I am breaking 15 miles so the Honey Stinger gel and Vega Electrolyte drink really pumped me up.  And after the very informal start we were off.

The course is great and the organizers did a great job.  With only a couple hundred runners and a very small cost I was surprised to see any aid stations at all.  Most were a parent and a couple kids who were all very nice and were having a great time.  The course was a three mile loop then a 6.5 mile out and back on trails with limited road access so it was nice how many spectators rode their bikes out.

In the end I had an amazing race.  The temp didn’t even reach hot until after the finish and I blew my goal away.  My honest goal was a little over 90 minutes and my long shot was 8- minutes so when I crossed the line at 1:18:34 I was crazy excited.  Despite a huge hill then an uphill section in the last mile up to the finish I was so excited to be feeling so good that I was flying.  I knew going into that I needed to hold back a little since I have a marathon on Monday (Yay Boulder Backroads) but I ran based on how I felt and that is where I ended.  I need to find another good ten miler to see what I can do if I hold nothing back.  Next year I am honestly shooting for 1 hour.

I also want to quick say a huge congrats to my wife Amy who ran her first race today and did a great job in the 5K, thank you to the few people who kept me company on the course, and way to go to the ponytail guy who blew past me despite being behind at the turnaround.

Now For The Marathon!

My Last Training Run


On Sunday I went for my last training run before the marathon.  It is a little donting to be slow and short of the distance you want on the last attempt, but 3 miles is still great.  For my last marathon (5 years ago) my last long run was two weeks before and only 18 miles so really I am on track.  Now time to just rest and let my legs remember what it is like to be calm for a few days.  From here on out I will eat only healthy foods, get as much sleep as possible, and try my best not to get hurt.

I do need to throw a quick Thanks to my mom for joining me on foot and bike for about 9 miles.  Thansk to Cooper for being all over the place for the first three miles (dogs love to sniff).  And thank you to my wife Amy for biking the last 13 miles or so while carrying some food and drinks for me in the blazing sun (over 90 degrees for most of it).

Despite the fact that I have been doing almost all of my running in the heat this is the first time I realized that I need to do something different in the heat.  That means not pushing myself past “Aid Stations” to do 6 miles before I take water or trying to do a slow start then push for a fast overall pace.  You cannot re-hydrate, refuel, or re-energyze the human body when it pushes too hard.  If I am going to be an endurance runner I need to be better about underestimating what my body can do and being glad when I can go farther or faster.  But I did finalize my running plan.

Even though I have pushed better then 9 minute pace I need to back off. 9 pace is great and I can always speed later in the race, but you cannot slow down the beginning once it has passed. Electrolyte drinks and water are a must every 2 or 3 miles with a gel, goo, or other type calorie packed thing every 4 miles or so.  No need to worry about eating to much when exercising for 4+ hours.  Then if at mile 20 I feel great I can pick it up and knock my pace to a few seconds faster.  Better be safe then sorry.

So this is it. The race starts about 140 hours from now and it is just a matter of time.  Argh!

It Starts!

Hello people out there!

It feels so strange to write everyone out there, especially considering I doubt anyone will read this right now.  Oh well,  I will leave it out there for the ages and wait until college students one hundred years from now will take “Exercise Knowledge and Writing of Davis Gunderson.”  Or not, either way is fine with me.

To focus on what I really am here for, exertion.  This is something that I must have,  I love to push myself to do bigger and harder things.  Right now my big goal is to just finish the Boulder Marathon on Labor day.  Only a little over 9 days I am starting to get nervous.   Especially considering the fact that I also signed up for the Coal Creek Crossing Ten Mile run just two days before that.  After that I begin my journey towards trying to be a professional runner of sorts, or at least a pretty hardcore weekend warrior.

After my immediate trial it is time to really focus on what has been a crazy out there goal of the Leadvile 100 endurance run in 2013 (being realistic but I would love to do it next year).  To make matters a little more difficult I am a barefoot vegan that is bent on doing all of this without all that chemically pumped stuff.  Oh yeah, I am also a minimalist shoe sort of guy that runs in the Vibram five-finger shoes.  My Wife, Family, Friends, and people I work with think I am a little nuts, but this seems to be out of my control, it is what my body wants to do.  From there it is time for even more craziness, what more can you expect.

So why the blog?  It is my place to save my thoughts, plans, successes, failures, and a chance for my family to follow the craziness that is my life. More will come.