Sunday, December 12, 2010

Running Into the Storm

It's that time of year when the daylight and your motivation seem to race away from you together in the late afternoon. If you're a morning runner it seems like it will take the Sun all day to warm up the land around you and your bed feels like you're on a beach in Hawaii. I went out for a 20 miler today. My goal was to take it really easy for the first half and then power back the second. This particular run turned into quite an interesting and introspective trot around the coastal trails of San Francisco. It became a reflection of something larger, Winter Training. This is the time of year when you build up your mental strength. Mother Nature challenges you and shows you how strong she is but she also reminds you how your lives intertwine. I had some major ups and downs on today's run... at times i felt like I was proceeding painfully slow, at other times my knees ached and I wanted to stop and walk, and at other times I questioned running all together and thought that maybe I should I just stick to racing shorter distances (I just registered for the American River 50 Miler 4/9/11). However, like getting dressed and motivating yourself out the door for a run in a storm or running when it is so cold out that you have 4 inch "snotsicles" on your nose and look like a walrus, the "lows" gave way to the highs which reminded me why I am a runner. I closed out the run with my initial intention of the run, finishing strong with two and half 7:30 miles (I was averaging about 9 the first half and 8:30/45 the second half.) I finished the run with no aches or pains and a genuine smile on my face. Life is good.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Superfeet VS Plantar Fasciitis VS EVO Barefoot Shoes

A few months ago (maybe it was 6), I developed Plantar Fasciitis. I went through the usual motions of trying to heal it; less running more biking, swimming, and trying every machine at the gym that i never tried before. I would throw a run in every few days but the Plantar Fasciitis never healed and just became worse. I researched PF online and off and found quite a bit of valuable information out there which included the suggestion by multiple people, online and off, to "get a pair of SUPERFEET!" So, tired of hearing about how I needed a pair of Superfeet, I went and spent the $35(ish) and got me a pair. Superfeet are pretty good if you want to just manage the pain/irritation and be able to run. Superfeet are NOT good at healing your Plantar Fasciitis but they do not claim to be. They claim to alleviate PF.

I followed "the rules" about wearing Superfeet and was able to run again but my Plantar Fasciitis would still yell out to me every once in a while to let me know that it was still there. My foot also just felt weak. I started doing exercises to strengthen the PLANTAR FASCIA and the muscles surrounding it and massages to rehab the tissue (grabbing socks with my toes, toe-raises, using golf balls and tennis balls to massage my foot, etc). Notice in the pic to the right how the Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia are closely related. I went back and revisited the Superfeet website and started to think about what Superfeet were doing and what the exercises were doing... Superfeet provide the support that your busted up Plantar Fascia is not providing. This is good if you plan on having a busted up Plantar Fascia forever but, I do not. I want my Plantar Fascia to feel good and be able to support all 190-ish lbs of me.

After religiously exercising and strengthening my Plantar Fascia and surrounding muscles I decided it was time to give my VIVO BAREFOOT EVO's a try again. Since a major benefit of barefoot running and walking is strengthening your feet and legs, it seemed like a natural progression to curing my PF. I had a pair of the Evo's that I used for training before Plantar Fasciitis showed up to the party but after everyone told me "NEVER GO BAREFOOT" if you have Plantar Fasciitis I decided to give them a rest for a while. I started out (again) conservatively with the Evo's by simply wearing them to work and around town. Within 1 day I noticed a major difference in the Plantar Fasciitis, I could barely feel it! I have tossed my Superfeet aside and haven't used them since. I am back on a training schedule in which I run at least 2x/week in my Evo Barefoot shoes (I am training for the AMERICAN RIVER 50 MILER in April 2011). I also have a separate pair of Evo's that I use almost every day for work and hanging out on the weekends. Watch out though, the Evo's are expensive, $160, OUCH!!! But if you want a great barefoot running/walking/working/hanging out shoe I highly recommend these. Most importantly, I've found that (like training for anything ) you cannot slack on the foot exercises. If I scrap doing the "footwork" for a week+ the PF starts to flair up a little but if I am consistent it is smooth sailing. If you have PF I highly recommend trying this barefoot+exercise+massage route. Remember, YOU DO NOT NEED BAREFOOT SHOES TO RUN (or walk) BAREFOOT! Just make sure you look where you're going. If you would like more details on the exercises please send me an email: undefeatedrunning@gmail.com

Along with the above exercises, I use this ball to massage my foot a couple times a day. It's small and easy to bring with you anywhere. I leave one under my desk at home and have one in my office. They are cheap and you can get 'em here... Support the blog and use one of these links


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DANA CASANAVE: 52 Marathons in 52 Weeks for South African Orphans!

Some runner's are on a personal quest, some runner's are searching for something they may or may not find, some runner's could never stop moving and eventually became runner's, and some runner's run to make the world a better place. Dana Casanave began running for her health and in doing so she found a passion for running. Being a strong runner and an even stronger mother, she decided to help other children in need through running. Dana is running 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise $26,000 to help orphans in South Africa. She is close to meeting her fundraising goal but needs our help. I have never met Dana personally but through her actions I know she is an exceptional person. She is a mother who is there for her children... in addition to(!) being a mother to orphans she does not know and live thousands of miles away from her and her family (not to mention she is a marathoner!) We should rally behind Dana and help her reach her goal! Let's go running community, STEP UP! (ALL $ DONATED GOES TO THE CHILDREN) Undefeated Running gets about 1100 hits/month, if everyone donated $10 she would be VERY close to her goal. DONATE HEREI asked her to share her story with me and here is the letter she sent... 

"My name is Dana Casanave and I am a 29 year old wife, mother of 3 young children and a personal trainer in Leesburg, Virginia. In January of 2010 I began on a journey to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks. This past weekend I completed marathon #41 of the year. I don't come from an athletic background. I do not have a typical runners build, but I've stayed course with my plans to run these marathons and plan to finish on January 15th (which also happens to be my 30th birthday).

I struggled with being severely overweight and out of shape for most of my life. After a lot of work, determination, time, and losing almost 70 pounds, I gained a new love for running. Running has changed my life in so many positive ways I wanted to use it as a means to do something positive for others.

I am running these marathons to raise funds and awareness for the Virginia-based charity 25:40, an organization dedicated to help South African orphans. Many of these children have lost one or both parents to AIDS and sadly many are HIV+ themselves. 25:40 supports and fosters the creation of orphanages, health clinics, day care centers, schools and other entities that are critical to the care and health development of children impacted by AIDS. I look at my own 3 children and think to myself, I would hope and pray that someone would do something if my children were left in the circumstances that these children face. I believe we have all been blessed in some way and need to use that to bless others. I can't save everyone, but I can make a difference in the life of a child, one at a time.

I call my journey 52 Beginnings, and each race is run for different child from the Ngqeleni District in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. There are over 1,500 children in this region orphaned or vulnerable to becoming orphans and all the funds raised goes to this group of kids. I'm trying to raise $26,000 to support 25:40's multi-year program designed to meet the basic and most essential needs of each of these children. All the money raised goes straight to the children, I am personally paying all my costs.  While I’m beginning these marathon races 52 times, I also hope to make a new beginning for each of these children.

Running a marathon every 6-8 days or less has been challenging, physically, mentally and emotionally, but fundraising has been downright frustrating. I only have 11 marathons left for my goal, but I am still $15,000 from my goal. I feel like if I have gone through everything I have this year, and complete all the marathons, but don't raise the funds I set out to raise for these children, my work has been useless, and so I am going to continue to work to meet both goals. These children are born into such a hopeless situation, and my job is not finished until I can help change that.
You can view my blog about this journey at 
www.52beginnings.com

Run Strong!
Dana Casanave"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meb Keflezighi's "RUN TO OVERCOME" Book Review

Meb Keflezighi is the American Dream. In 2009, after becoming the first American to win the NYC Marathon in 27 years, Meb helped USA Running and himself break through the wall to be known (again), as regular's on the world's running podiums. It's interesting to note how a Silver at the Olympics in 2004 didn't carry the same weight as the NYC Marathon. Although Meb was born and partially raised in Eritrea his story is a reflection of the USA and what it truly means to be American.
"RUN TO OVERCOME" provides and in-depth look at what it takes to be the best. Meb uninhibitedly reveals the dynamics of his relationship's with his family, friends, mentors, trainers and Coach Bob Larsen. He also shares stories about his relationships and encounters with other elite runners. For example, he offers a great anecdote about what happened after his DNF at London. Surprisingly, Meb found himself on a train back to the hotel with Haile Gebrselassie!

The book itself is well written with an exceptional recount of winning the 2009 NYC Marathon. Meb takes us mile by mile, from the soles of his shoes to inside his mind to the finish line. Meb shows us how he carried the weight of two world's on his shoulders (even with a fractured pelvis) and still reached the finish line first (in NYC and life). "Run to Overcome" is a quality story about overcoming adversity, focusing on what is important in life and setting and reaching goals. For more information about the book, Meb and a chance to win a signed copy of "Run to Overcome" go to www.runtoovercome.com

You can also purchase your copy (when it is released) here:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Profiling HURT" ...A Documentary about the HURT 100 Mile Ultramarathon in Hawaii

The HURT 100 Mile Endurance Run takes place in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. It is know for being one of, if not the toughest 100 Miler out there. It's a 20 mile-loop-type-course through the rain forest that ascends and descends about 29,000' (each way).  The top of the mountain, where the trail intersects is about 1450' and in one lap you reach the summit 3 times. The race is 5 laps around the course. Here's the trail map:
PROFILING HURT attempts to tell a story about 2 friends who set out to complete the HURT 100. One of the runner's is a veteran ultramarathoner and also the founder of Ultrasignup.com, Mark Gilligan. The other is Scott Guild who is new to Ultramarathoning. The movie does an excellent job of capturing the terrain of the course and what some of the runner's and people around the race are experiencing. The documentary has an up close and personal feel but almost to a fault. It lacks in capturing the solitude that is so familiar to every runner.  I'm sure it would require a larger budget and significantly more effort by the filmmaker but throughout the documentary I was hoping for more candid scenes of runner's, race director's, volunteer's, supporters, and aid stations. However, my hat goes off to PROFILING HURT for capturing what it did of the race and of Mark and Scott's experience. I'm not sure how one would really go about documenting anything over the course of 100 miles!

Most of the Extra Features on the DVD are great and generously complimented the film. "The Course" section was excellent and really shows runners in the trenches working through elements. I also really enjoyed the John Solomon (race director) interview.  

Profiling HURT would appeal to almost any runner. It is a MUST WATCH for runner's who are stepping up to the challenge of the HURT 100 or those just considering getting into long distance running (no matter your definition of "long distance"). It yields a great view into what training can be like and where it can take you.

GO HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF PROFILING HURT!
Be sure to check out the Hawaiin Ultra Running Team's website. John Solomon and the team are responsible for putting together the HURT 100. Also, click HERE for an excellent, in depth, re-cap of the race.

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lake Tahoe Marathon 2010

The LAKE TAHOE MARATHON has been on my list of "races-to-do" for a long time. Lake Tahoe is an exceptional place so naturally it would have an exceptional marathon! The fall is a great time to visit the lake and surrounding area. We were blessed with some unseasonably warm weather which was great for hanging out but a little tough for running. Les Wright, the Race Director has done an excellent job of assembling a slew of events that comprise the near week long event. There is everything an athlete will love from a 72 mile Ultramarathon to Speed Golf (The winner of which scored a 113 and finished 34 min). The winner of the 72 Miler, Oswlado Lopez, finished in 11:39:45. John Weru ('03 and '04 champ) won the standard Marathon in 2:59:50. Les and his associates have also done a great job at creating a fun and friendly race environment. This is definitely falls into the "marathoner's marathon" category. Unless you live in Tahoe or at a comparable altitude this is probably not the best place for a first race.  

I decided to run the Lake Tahoe Half instead of the full marathon this year because of my recent bout with Plantar Fasciitis (which btw, is healing nicely). I finished the half in 2hrs on the nose. Here's a pic of me on the big hill in the race dubbed, "Hill from Hell" (which is about 2 miles at a 4.5%) incline and me crossing the finish line.  
Having not trained at all in altitude (i live at sea level) and showing up just 24hrs before the race I felt okay about my time even though it was my slowest Half Marathon to date. The elevation at lake level is 6225'. The marathon winds around the lake, along some serious hills that take you up and down between 6225' and 6800'. Overall, the Lake Tahoe Marathon is a feel good race. The views are exceptional and the course is challenging. The race was well structured with plenty of aid stations and a great intimate expo where I was able to meet Dick Beardsley (of Duel in the Sun fame) and buy his book "Staying the Course" which I will be reading and reviewing on the blog soon. Here's a link MY LAKE TAHOE MARATHON GALLERY 2010. You can see what I ate for dinner the night before, the post marathon treats, a visit to Squaw Valley, and some great shots of the starting line and race. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

RUN THE 2010 NYC MARATHON AND HELP KIDS ENJOY SUMMER!

Undefeated Running People! Listen up... Didn't qualify for the 2010 NYC MARATHON or get in through the lottery this year? Don't fret! Lottery's aren't easy to win and running Sub 3hr marathons aren't either... Here's your chance to gain entry to the 2010 NYC Marathon while helping inner city children enjoy their summer vacations! The FRESH AIR FUND needs you to do what you do and run... the 2010 NYC MARATHON. They will do what they do and help you to raise money through people sponsoring you for running 26.2 miles! Ideally, your families, friends, colleagues, x-girlfriends and x-boyfriends (or current ones), will find you and the FRESH AIR FUND a good cause to invest in. The Fresh Air Fund has been around since 1877 and over these years has given 1.7 million inner city children a brighter summer. They work with host families and Camps around the US and Canada to provide locations for children to experience a "real" summer vacation. Here's a link to the Fresh Air Fund's RUNNING TEAM page.

If you have never ran with a charity team it is definitely something that you should do every couple of years as a runner. Check out THIS Undefeated Running post from January about charity teams. Use your running talent to help others, run for something other than yourself. It is more rewarding than you could imagine... especially, during those tough miles. It is also a great way to connect with other runner's and have a somewhat different (in a good way!) marathon experience. Just look at how much fun the Fresh Air Fund Runner's are having in the pic above... they must be on mile 24.

So, are your ready to join the FRESH AIR FUND RUNNING TEAM?
CONTACT INFO...
EMAIL: KBRINKERHOFF@FRESHAIR.ORG
PHONE: 212.897.8890

Monday, September 13, 2010

NEW RUNNING MUSIC!

Finally! ARCADE FIRE has come out with another album... and Finally! I have found yet another exceptional song to run to that will be on my ipod shuffle for a looooong time. The song really builds for the first minute or so and then breaks into a driving rhythm with running lyrics. Arcade Fire has some other great songs to offer to running which you can find in the Amazon Undefeated Running Store.
Have listen (Sorry no video but you can really analyze the album cover)...

To buy this song from the AMAZON Undefeated Running Store click HERE!

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Trail Running Season and You Should Be Running Trails... not reading this blog!

I would say (and most of you seasoned runner's probably would too) that trail running is the fastest growing area of running. Trails seem more crowded with runners. Every running brand seems to be releasing AT LEAST one trail shoe model/year.  Trail "challenges" and/or races are popping up all over the place as well. Although many runners (myself included) love running trails year round, it seems like summer and fall are the most popular months to run trails in a race or not. Nothing like a good muddy or snowy one in the winter though, right!? Anyway, here's some info and links to get you psyched up!

The PIKES PEAK MARATHON took place yesterday. This marathon is gnarly just check out the race results page HERE to get an idea of the ass kicking that this marathon hands out. The LEADVILLE 100 also took place on Saturday. The ULTRA TRAIL DU MONT BLANC is Europe's answer to the WESTERN STATES 100. The Ultra Trail Mont Blanc is starts this week in France. Also, for all the details about the race here's a exceptional UTMB ARTICLE from TrailRunningSoul.com. Check out this course map!
Here's a link to Geoff Roes' (the 2010 Western States Champ) BLOG POST about getting ready for the UTMB. If you live on or near the West Coast of the USA then here's a great link, PACIFIC COAST TRAIL RUNS.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Top 10 Things To Do While You Are Injured and Cannot Run...

I caught a nasty case of Plantar Fascitis a couple months ago. It would go away without any rehab and then it would flare up again on the next run. 3 weeks ago I decided to really get on the rehab track and fix things up. So now, 3 weeks and a few days later I have not ran for more than a few hundred feet, I have tried every machine in the gym and discovered some fun things to do with the extra free time from not being on my usual running schedule. Here are the Top Ten Things To Do While You Are Injured and Cannot Run...

10. Practice putting the mental fortitude you've gained from running towards other parts of your life. The hardest part of rehabbing myself was committing to the rehabilitation process. I started to think of the healing process like I was training for a marathon and that is when I truly began to feel myself heal.

9. Catch up on all of the Running DVD's and BOOK's that you haven't had time for. Check out the UNDEFEATED RUNNING STORE for some great books and dvds.

8. Try out all of those weird machines at the gym that you've been ignoring for years because you only have eyes for the treadmill and free weights. I have found some legitimately good machines and put together some challenging workouts that have kept me feeling "not-to-off-the-mark" from my running conditioning. This machine has done wonders for healing my Plantar Fasciitis:

7. Take your running endurance to the bedroom! If you're a serious running your probably accustomed to popping a couple S-Caps (Salt Caps) during a good romp in the sack. Ok, I'm just kidding but sex after a 20 mile run is different than sex when your fully rested... My point is to enjoy the extra energy you might be experiencing and I'm sure you significant other(s) will enjoy it as well!!

6. Walk... In life you walk before you run. How are you going to run a few miles if can't walk a few miles!?

5. Go out! Have one too many drinks with your friends. Stay out a little too late. Eat that cake! Indulging a little can go a long way for your running drive. It's also easier to indulge when you don't have to wake up to a 10 mile hilly tempo run. Just be sure you can curtail your indulgences once you're all healed up or your body/stomach will remind you why you used to demonstrate such good will power. Either way, the last few miles of those long runs might seem a little easier if you can reflect on some of the naughty fun you had while you were "rehabbing" your injury.

4. Start a running blog!

3. Spend some time focusing on your diet. Learn to incorporate some new eating habits, recipes or food into your life. No doubt, when you got injured and realized you couldn't run you worried about your fitness level and your diet. You're thinking, "Damn, I can't get away with that brownie or extra helping Mom's pasta." Being a runner and one that eats pretty healthy food, I usually don't watch my calorie intake. Being injured has got me rethinking that approach and realizing that I might be able to improve my racing times if I can control my diet a little better. I have a little more time for cooking now and I have a learned to whip up a couple healthy meals that I can make extra of and stick 'em in the fridge to eat throughout the week. I think I have actually lost some weight being injured!

2. Strength Train. I think every runner is guilty of not doing enough strength training even though it's beneficial to running and your overall health. The key to strength training though is maintaining a low calorie intake so you don't put on bulky muscles. In turn, your muscles will burn more fat and keep you leaner.

1. Get on the Bike (or Spin Bike)... and flex your endurance prowess to those wannabe endurance athlete bikers! (you know who you are!) I was pretty shocked at how high my biking endurance is simply from running. It does take a little for your body to get used to sitting on the bike for a long period of time and a slight leg strength adjustment but overall biking will seem easier than running... and a little ego boost to an injured sole! always helps!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run This Saturday!


It is the last weekend in June and time for the WESTERN STATES 100 MILE ENDURANCE RUN. I remember learning about Western States while skiing at Squaw Valley when I was a kid. SQUAW VALLEY is a ski resort in Lake Tahoe and also the start of this epic race. I skied there quite a bit growing up and the mountains always seemed so vast to me... they still do. Just going to the top of KT-22 was another world to a 10 yr old and hearing stories that men and women would run from here back to Auburn was unbelievable and almost scary to comprehend as youngster. I couldn't believe that there were people who could actually run and brave the wilderness from here (squaw valley) back to my favorite "on-the-way-to-tahoe" burger stop, IKEDA'S. It seemed SO FAR.
This Saturday June 26th, 500 runners from 21 different countries will be braving the Sierra Nevada's from Squaw Valley USA to the Auburn High School Track 100 Miles away. The Western States website (link above) will provide you with more than enough info about the event. Here's link to some of my favorite info: 

GOOD LUCK TO ALL RUNNER'S!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Miwok 100K Interviews

The 2010 Miwok 100K (That's 62 Miles!) took place on May 1st. I met a fellow runner, Kyle, a couple months ago at an art show here in San Francisco. Kyle told me he was training for his first Ultramarathon, the Miwok 100K. He told me that he was going to run it with his Brother-In-Law Lewis who is an Ultramarathon veteran. Lewis denies the title "veteran" though.  We got to talking and decided to stay in touch. Although we have yet to hook up for a run, we kept each other updated on how our training was going (I was training for the Big Sur Marathon). After the race, I asked Kyle if I could interview him and Lewis about Miwok. After some deliberation, Kyle and Lewis agreed that if they could handle 62 miles of running then they could handle a few short questions, no problem. I emailed Kyle the questions, he emailed them to Lewis and then Lewis emailed them back to me. Good luck at the Bolder Boulder 10k this weekend! Here's Kyle and Lewis' responses (in email form)...

Kyle "Duff" Duffy:
Hey Lew,
This is my buddy here that was going to pace you at Miwok, he writes a blog and asked if we'd do an interview for him about Miwok--the view of the veteran (you) vs. the newbie (that would be me). If you don't have time, no worries but I'm going to send him these answers for myself:

1) How long have you been a "runner"?  On and off, it's been a while. I ran in high school, decided not to run in college which I now realize was a good choice because I was able to keep running as a fun hobby and not take it too seriously.
2) How many races, marathons, ultra's have you completed? 
Done 5 of the big road marathons--Boston, NYC, Sacramento, etc... Just got into trail running over the past year and completed my first trail marathon as a training run for Miwok, the Golden Gate Headlands Marathon.
3) How was training for Miwok? What were your long runs/high mileage days/weeks like? 
It was a lot but after getting in shape, I really enjoyed it. Even though I've never been a morning person I committed to running most mornings as that's the one time of the day that I would no other conflicts (other than my pillow). I built up to about 70 mile weeks with the majority of the mileage run on weekends. My pace was definitely slow and I tried to focus on time on my feet so I would say I was going out for a 5 hour run on a weekend and not worry about mileage as much as time out on the trails.
4) What were you thinking at the starting line?
"Damn it's cold out here, when's the sun coming up?" I was actually just trying to stay relaxed and think that I'm just going out for a long training run, not think about it as a real race as I wanted to start slow.
5) What were you thinking at the 50K point? 
At 50K I was feeling like a champ, enjoying the course and the camaraderie. The course is out and back so it was fun and energizing to see the leaders heading back towards the finish at the 50K although I knew the real pain was about to set it so I was anticipating it.
6) What were you thinking at the finish line?
"It's about friggin' time!" I was wiped but ecstatic to be there and somewhat emotional when I saw my pregnant wife standing at the finish since she was so supportive the whole way through.
7) Tell us about some of the high, lows, and in-betweens you experienced? 
High's were seeing my crew (my wife) at the aid stations at Pan Toll at miles 21 and 49. Again the camaraderie of the race was great, even the leaders were lending words of support as they passed, especially seeing Lewis pass us on his way back in--which later was a low thinking that he was going to finish 3 hours ahead of me.
The real low was the hill at mile 53-55 to get back to Tennessee Valley. It just kept going and going and at that point I had awful heartburn, definitely one ailment I totally wasn't expecting from the race. Tums go in the crew kit next time.
8) What's next on your race calendar? 
Taking it down a notch and running the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day where I yet again will be smoked by Lewis.

See you next week!
D

Lewis "Lew" Taylor:
Hey Adam,

Thanks for doing this. It's fun to relive some Miwok memories. First of all, Duff is way too modest. And can you believe the balls on this guy? He decides to run his first ultramarathon and just skips the 50k and 50-mile distances and jumps up to 62 miles! Duff asked me if I wanted to run Miwok with him and his friend Dave and I knew I had to sign up. Luckily, we all got into the race via the lottery and the three of us set off on our own training plans.

Before I go any further, I just have to say that I don't consider myself a veteran ultrarunner. I've run about 20 ultras and three marathons and I'm definitely still figuring a lot of stuff out. Fueling is still a big issue for me. I pretty much puke every race I run over 50k and always for a different reason. I make a lot of dumb mistakes and it seems like as soon I learn one lesson, I screw something else up. I say this not out of self pity but by way of emphasizing how many issues you can confront in any race over 30 or so miles. I just know that one of these days I'll be turning my head during a race to see Duff screaming past me. He's a fast learner, a great athlete and more of a natural runner than I'll ever be.

1) How long have you been a "runner"?
I didn't consider myself a runner until 2005. That was the year I ran my first 50k, my first 50 miler and felt like I was somewhat in control of what I was doing. Prior to that, I ran two marathons poorly.
2) How many races, marathons, ultra's have you completed?
I've only run three marathons, 20-something ultras and a few shorter races. The only great race I've ever had was the 2007 Way Too Cool 50k. I won that race and have been trying ever since to duplicate it. Aside from a shorter trail run, that's the only thing I've ever won outright. Last year's Western States 100 was a breakthrough race for me, as I was able to finish strong -- thanks in part to Duff's excellent pacing. I ran just under 20 hours in a relatively hot year, which was good for 18th place.
3)How was training for Miwok? What were your long runs/high mileage days/weeks like?
I didn't exactly pile on the miles for Miwok. Most of my training was specific for the American River 50 miler. I ran a couple of 35 milers, mostly on pavement, ran American River and then focussed on recovering. I didn't run anything over 2 hours between AR and Miwok.
4)What were you thinking at the starting line?
I'll be gunning for sub 9:30.
5)What were you thinking at the 50K point?
It's getting warm out here. I'm glad that single track with two-way traffic is over.
6)What were you thinking at the finish line?
I can't believe that dude behind me didn't catch me! That, and I'm really glad to not be running right now.
7)Tell us about some of the high, lows, and in-betweens you experienced?
My biggest problem was with electrolyte imbalance. I overestimated the need for salt going out and popped way too many S-caps. A few miles shy of the turnaround I started puking. I'm proud to say I kept running while puking, though and although I needed to build my strength back up over the next 10 miles or so, I was glad to have the rough part out of the way during the first half of the race. I'm also glad Dave and Duff didn't see me hurling. It was equally great to see those two shortly after the turnaround. They were smiling and seemed to be having fun. It was fun to feed off their first-timer energy. The big high came after the final aid station (Tennessee Valley 58ish miles). I passed Chris Downie from B.C. on the uphill out of the aid station and never looked back. I know from watching Tour de France that you never look back or you're as good as dead. Chris had been killing me on the downhills all day, but I knew he wasn't running the ups. I ran every uphill I could between TV and the finish which turned out to be most everything except the steep section of the final F--- Y-- hill about 2 miles from the finish. I thought for sure he'd be right on my tail in the downhill section to the finish and I imagined him there the whole way down to the line. My legs were cramping up like crazy and I was having all sorts of paranoid delusions that I could hear him behind me. I got to the finish and he was several minutes behind me. It was a classic example of how you can do some things in races that you could never do yourself.
8) What's next on your race calendar?
Bolder Boulder 10k. I haven't really been training for that kind of distance or altitude, though. Duff could be coming for me sooner than I think.



THANKS FOR THE RESPONSES GUYS!

Here's the Miwok 100K Elevation Chart: 

Also, be sure to check out ANTON KRUPICKA'S BLOG (the winner of the 2010 Miwok 100K and 2nd fastest time in race history) RACE RECAP.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Running Recovery; Rebooting My Body and Mind... even if you don't want to!


Recently, I've been on a little, somewhat forced, running hiatus. The past few weeks have been filled with some interesting muscular issues, traveling, and friends in town. This "time-off" reminded me that sometimes you actually become a better runner when you're not running. It's valuable to step back from anything you do and analyze it.

Since running the Big Sur Marathon, I have been experiencing quite a few unusual (for me) muscular issues; leg cramps (hamstring and calf), plantar fasciitis and a really bad lower back situation that lasted for 2 days. Everything is clearing up but it was definitely a good reality check about the importance of taking a step back and recovering properly.

After the Marathon, I skipped too many short runs and cross training. I was drinking more alcohol and still heading out for 10+ hilly miles and not recovering properly. I crashed and burned. I was forced to stop running and doing any kind of training for the past 4 days. This was difficult because like most 30 yr old males I enjoy feeling invincible! I took these 4 days in stride (like a long run) and tried to put the time to good use. Now I am ready to come back stronger. I have been reading ChiRunning (to find out what the hype was all about) and some other running books. I am focusing on what running means to me and how I will move forward from this low point. In addition to my muscles feeling ready to move, my running "head space" is refreshed and I know this will power me through some high mileage. I'm back.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dean Karnazes' Ultra Marathon Man Review


"...running, to me, remained the purest form of athletic expression. It was the simplest, least encumbered sport there was, and the definitive measurement of endurance."

"The highest form of competition is self-competition, and I was proving to be the cruelest of opponents, ruthlessly demanding more of myself..."

I finally got around to reading Dean "Karno" Karnazes' book, Ultra Marathon Man. I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it... maybe it had something to do with the running community being on Dean Karnazes overload over the past 5 years! Or maybe I was just too busy running. I've known about "Karno" since about 2003. I first encountered him at my gym and shortly there after I saw an article about him in the paper and realized, "Hey, it's that really ripped dude from the gym... the guy whose legs look like tree trunks."

I went for a run with my friend recently and he recommended that I read Ultra Marathon Man. I picked it up from GREEN APPLE BOOKS in San Francisco last Saturday and finished reading it by Tuesday!

Although, it was a quick read, I found the writing a little repetitive. I believe it was written like that though to emphasize to non-runners the extremes experienced during running long distances.

The meat of the book is the detailed account of the WESTERN STATES 100 MILE ENDURANCE RUN which goes from Squaw Valley USA in Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California. This portion of the book from page 89-158 kept me glued. The next part of the book was about BADWATER which let me down because it was not as deep of an account as the Western States. The South Pole Marathon section, although it was a huge feat, was also a let down and dragged out a little too long.

Dean finished the book strong with the account of running 199 miles from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. I would highly recommend this book any runner. This would be a good book to pick up for your summer travels and a great book to read the night before a race.

Help Undefeated Running grow by purchasing Ultra Marathon Man through the link below! Thank You!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big Sur International Marathon Review

(Pic from the 2010 Big Sur Marathon)
The Big Sur Marathon was the fourth marathon that I have run and it was the best. It is a purist's marathon and a soulful course. Not a lot of flash and glitz, it is a challenging and beautiful run... It is a true runner's marathon.

Just getting to the starting line of this race makes it quite an adventure. If you're staying in Monterey or Carmel you have a 3:30am wake-up call and an hour long bus ride to the start. Once there, the race organizers do a great job of providing h2o, bagels, coffee, toilets and good vibes.

The field of runner's for the full marathon is about 5,000 so it has an intimate feel compared to other marathons. I saw a few people I knew and made friends with a handful of folks including an 80 year old man who was a Big Sur Marathon and Quad Dipsea vet. He was running Big Sur for the 20-something time. He shared some great stories while we waited for the gun.

Once we took off, I realized there were quite a few seasoned runners on the course. It seemed like there were a lot of people on par for a 3:20-3:50 finish. This was the first marathon that I ran without headphones and it was a great course to do it on. I was really able to tune into nature, the ocean and the movement of the course. The hills were great but the road was rougher than I expected it to be... I was wearing my Brooks Green Silence racing flats and I actually would have been more comfortable in my beat up Brooks Cascadia trail shoes. The weather was abnormally warm for a Big Sur Marathon. As you can see in the pic at the top, the marine layer (foggy looking air) only rose to about 200 ft... above that layer is warm dry air. On the Hurricane Point hill I noticed a fairly drastic change in temp and was excited to get back down into that marine layer. I was cruising and feeling great at an average pace of 8:30/mile through mile 16... then my hamstring locked up. This was the first running related injury that I have had and I think it had to do with the temperature changes + being on a hilly course. I had to slow my roll to a hobbling 10min+/mile pace and finished just over 4hrs. Pushing through this minor setback made crossing the finish that much sweeter.

Along the way I loved the MILE MARKERS and felt that the aid stations were excellently placed and stocked... even with fruit!! The ladies on Strawberry Hill were handing out some of the best Strawberries that I have ever tasted. The Watsonville Taiko Drummers as you approached Hurricane Point Hill were chilling and Michael Martinez, the pianist just on the other side of Bixby Bridge was excellent.

It was great pulling into Carmel and there was a solid but still intimate crowd at the finish. I am definitely running this marathon again in the future. Congrats to Daniel Tapia and Veronica Clemens, who won in 2:26:09 and 2:55:18, respectively.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Ready for the Big Sur Marathon 2010

Hello all! I have almost finished tapering for the Big Sur Marathon! Although... in reality you should be tapering up to the starting line. I went to sleep at 9:30pm last night and set my alarm for 4am to get my sleep schedule onto marathon time. I didn't really wake up and start my day at 4, I just got up and walked around the apartment a bit and then went back to sleep until about 7:30. At 8am I stepped out for my last 2 mile jaunt up Page street in San Francisco. I have another 2 miler on Saturday but it's more of a shake-out/loosen-up kinda thing.

Aside from the Hurricane Point Hill (Check out the Virtual Tour of Hurricane Point below... It's the 2nd video.) the Big Sur Marathon offers runner's an additional and more "under the radar" type of challenge. You need to wake up at 3 am!!!  If you are staying in Monterey or Carmel (which, i think 90% of the runner's are), you need to wake up at that time to catch a bus which takes you an hour down the coast to the starting line. Mind you, the start of the race is at 6:45am! Usually, I go to sleep at about midnight each night and wake up around 8 so this waking up at 3:30am business has me "sleep training"!


In addition to the slumber conditioning, I have been eating quite a few bananas (about 2/day), clementines, raisins, avocados, whole grain stuff like Ak-Mak Crackers and Kashi Go Lean Cereal, lotsa different veggies, fish, nuts and chocolate! Even though this sounds like quite a bit of food I have been monitoring the quantity of my intake to avoid gaining weight.

The Big Sur Marathon will be my 4th full marathon and it's the first marathon that I have trained for using a running coaches training schedule. I used Hal Higdon's Advanced I schedule and trained completely in San Francisco. Here's the 20 Miler route that I used for this training program:

I also ran along the hillier part of that course for the 8-14 milers. Overall, I would say that Hal's Advanced I schedule was great. I feel stronger and I am running faster than I ever have before. Thanks Hal!

As of now, I am feeling confident, keeping my mind quiet, and trying to catch as many z's as possible before my alarm goes off at 3:45am on Sunday morning. I am hoping to get out there and take some post race pics for the blog as well... I might bring my little camera with me on the run to capture some of the actual race but I'm still debating. If some of you felt strongly about seeing that I might be persuaded to carry it :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tadesse Tola and Atsede Baysa Win PARIS MARATHON


Tadessa Tola won the Paris Marathon in 2:06:41. Atsede Baysa was the women's champion and set a course record by more than 2 minutes! Her time was 2:22:04. 31,000 runners took part in the 34th Paris Marathon. Check out Tadessa Tola crushing the last mile of the Paris Marathon in this video:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Running and Breathing; Getting Started in Running


Over the weekend a friend of mine who just started running asked me why he has so much trouble getting past the two mile mark. He explained that more than anything else it was his breathing that was holding him back. Naturally, I began to offer some advice and also, naturally, I started going off on running related tangents left and right! So I quickly ended the discussion by telling him that I would send him an email with tips, links, etc ...He readily accepted because he realized that I could have gone on and on and on! This post is a sketch of an introduction to running...

I was a beginner runner about 8 years ago. Before I started running, I was 30 lbs heavier, smoked quite a bit, drank my fair share of alcohol and did not care to much about eating healthy. I should disclose that I was in college at that point so all that "partying" was in some sort of context. I never ran track or ran with a running group or club so I have had no formal running training or any source of motivation besides myself. I played baseball and soccer through high school and my Dad has been a runner since before I was born. My Mom used to own and operate a Diet Center and she has always been into maintaining a relatively healthy diet. My parents instilled a health conscious mindset in me which I did not know was there until my early twenties... I thank them dearly for it!  In 2002 my grandfather was suffering from strokes which eventually ended his life in 2003. I started to become more health conscious. I watched what I ate, drank and smoked. I started running... Probably not in the healthiest way (I would sometimes smoke weed and then go for a run!), but I started out by logging about 2-3 miles along the Potomac River trail in Washington DC (just below Georgetown). I would throw on my headphones and just cruise along the path with no concern of my pace or really how far I was going. After a couple of months, my curiosity started to kick in and I wanted to see how much farther down (or is it up?) the Potomac River I could make it.

My Dad provided me with the only two pieces of running advice I had prior to beginning to run and they turned out to be the two most crucial pieces of running advice I can offer. The first is pace yourself and the second is breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. To me these two rules are the foundation of becoming a successful runner. As you run more and more you will learn how to build on those two elements.

As you are working through your first month of running I would focus on things other than the running itself. After all, running is a natural thing! It is part of human evolution! You have all of the equipment you need... your body! There has been quite a bit of discussion about barefoot and/or minimalist-shoe running lately in the running community (check out this ARTICLE from RUNNING TIMES). If you're just starting out, it would serve you well to read up on some of the research and discussions that have been going on. So now that, you're ready to step out for your first run, focus on the fact that just by moving your body you are covering some significant distance. The human body is an amazing machine and the resilience of your own body will amaze you. Focus on the nature around you, focus on moving with whatever music you're listening to or listen to your body move. This focus will help you find your natural desire to run.

To me, the most rewarding thing about running is overcoming a challenge. This doesn't mean that running is always a struggle... far from it! Challenges are the beauty of running and this will translate to all areas of your life. I always remind myself to "love the struggle". When you embrace your challenges you will overcome them. "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

As you work your way through your first month, SLOWLY build on your runs. Try a hilly-er route or try to doing a short sprint. The key to improving your running is to vary your runs. Check out this exceptional BEGINNERS RUNNING GUIDE from the training plan master, Hal Higdon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ready for April Marathons!? Check out some of these old race news archives...

April is arguably the most important month of the year for the international running community. We have the Boston Marathon, Paris International Marathon, Big Sur International Marathon (i might be a little biased about Big Sur because I'm running it!), the London Marathon, the Madrid Marathon, and a slew of others that definitely deserve a mention, check out the US/Canada Marathon Guide Calendar and the International Marathon Guide Calendar.

Part of what gets me psyched about running a race is the history behind it and/or the historical significance of that particular race. I get a similar feeling when I go to a rock concert or music festival. Here are some old articles I dug up about some of these marathons. They're pretty cool...
1) Madrid Marathon Re-cap April 1985
2) London Marathon Re-Cap March 1981 (Dick Beardsley)
3) American Wins first Olympic Marathon on American Soil 1904 (St. Louis)
4) Tough Time For Americans in 1900 Paris Marathon
5) "Famous Indian Runner wins Boston" Tom Longboat April 1907

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oakland Marathon this Sunday!


The OAKLAND MARATHON is back and is taking place this Sunday, March 28th! I know that there used to be one in the 80's because my Dad ran it. I'm trying to talk him into letting me sport his 1984 Oakland Half Marathon singlet when I run the half on Sunday... it's pretty cool, see above (pic coming soon... see twitpic to the right for now). On Sunday, there will 1000 people running the full and 3,400 running the half from 37 states and 6 nations. Oakland is an interesting city for a Marathon because of its dynamic reputation and demographic. This quote from the San Francisco Chronicle caught my eye. The race organizers are talking about the Baltimore marathon because it is demographically similar to Oakland... "In Baltimore, when we run through less-than-spectacular areas, crowd support tends to be very large," said Lee Corrigan, president of Corrigan Sports, the promoter of the Oakland Running Festival who also plans the Baltimore run. "It's an expression of civic pride and the whole city turns out to support us." Read the rest of the article HERE. See you all on Sunday! Look out for Undefeated Running stickers!



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not-So-New and Improved LA Marathon this Sunday 3/21!


The LA Marathon will be celebrating it's 25th anniversary with a new course, new sponsor (Honda) and a sold out race! It also has one of the coolest RACE POSTERS I've ever seen and it was designed by Shepard Fairey. Who would have thought race posters would become cool like rock concert posters!? Way to go LA Marathon Team and good luck to all runners!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brooks Green Silence Review


As some of you might know I am running the Big Sur Marathon on April 25th. As most of you don't know, I did not decide on which shoes to wear until last week. Since my recent move into some barefoot style running shoes, The Evo by Vivo Barefoot/Terra Plana, I decided to find some unstructured racing flats (not ready to go 26.2 in barefoot shoes yet). That's when I came across the BROOKS GREEN SILENCE. Staying true to their dedication to making more green products, Brooks launched the Green Silence this February. Every part of the shoe has a green element; soy based inks, their BioMoGo sole which breaks down 50 times quicker than average running shoe soles, plastic bottles make up the laces, gillies, mesh and tongue webbing. The Green Silence has about 48% as many parts as normal running shoes, uses 41% of the energy required and uses half of a liter less oil/pair. Get all the Brooks "Greening Info" in the BROOKS GREEN ROOM.

Not only are they green, these shoes are also exceptional racing flats. They are very light, comfortable (spacious toe-box), breathable, and very flexible. They are also truly neutral and have a minimalist feel. I had an awesome first run in them, 10 fast miles.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Running Camaraderie!


I have been running (seriously) for about 7 years now and when I first started out I felt little connection between myself and other runner's I would see on the road, trail, etc. I did not occur to me that we share quite a bit in common and a smile, nod, or a "hi" might help push us to achieve our respective goals or just brighten our days. Even as I became more involved in the running world I still viewed most other runners as competition. That was until I realized that I am my only competition and You are your only competition! Everyone is out there competing with themselves, we are all united by that. Lately, I have been noticing more runner's acknowledging each other while running and I think it's great. I'm not sure what the reason is, maybe it's just my outlook on things or maybe it is a shift in running culture or consciousness. Certainly, books like Ultramarathon Man (Dean Karnazes) and Born to Run (Chris McDougall) have brought the running community closer together. So has training groups, fundraising efforts, and running blogs! I would also guess that the recession and the rise in diseases has prompted the world (especially the USA) to refocus their attention on being healthy and living an active lifestyle.

This runner's wave business has been a hot topic in the running community lately, check out this RUNNER'S WORLD ARTICLE and even Hal Higdon suggests saying "hi" in his ADVANCED I TRAINING SCHEDULE (see tuesday). See how much the runner's wave means to FATGIRL2FITGIRL.

I also am a big fan of running to MUSIC... yes, it can be an unfair motivator but more importantly music just fits certain moments. However, I have been training more and more without headphones because I have noticed a rise in communication with other runner's and I enjoy getting in tune with nature... It also puts me at an unfair advantage when running through areas with mountain lions and coyotes! In the past month I have had two conversations (each less than 2 minutes) with other runners, i did not know, while on a run. This was pretty cool. So say what's up to someone on your long run this weekend or throw them a smile or a wave.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Barefoot and/or Minimalist Running Shoes

After reading "the book" aka Born to Run, I was motivated to start running in minimalist running shoes. Growing up in San Francisco we learned that it was dangerous to walk barefoot in parks or even on the beach because of the possibility of stepping on a used syringe. Therefore, running barefoot around the city has been ruled out. Living and running in San Francisco, I have seen many people people wearing the Vibram Five Finger KSO shoes. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for me) most stores in SF are sold out of them. I went to REI to try them on they only had the Five Finger Classics. The toe or finger part felt kind of funny but to give Vibram the benefit of the doubt I did not run in them and did not wear them for a long period of time. Before that day, the Vibram Five Fingers were the only true minimalist or barefoot running shoes I could find... until I stumbled across the TERRA PLANA WEBSITE and learned about the introduction of a barefoot running shoe to their line of barefoot or minimalist...  "hanging out?" shoes, the VIVO BAREFOOT "EVO'S". I signed up for their email list to be notified when they released the shoe and two weeks later I received the message and placed the order.
After my first run in them and as I am writing this post, I am sitting here wearing my VIVO BAREFOOT "EVO" Running Shoes by TERRA PLANA. Although the price tag is a little hefty, ($160) these are some awesome shoes by a company that "gets" the benefits of running, walking and being barefoot. They also seem to "get" the environmental thing especially with some of their other, "hanging out" shoes. From the ground up, the Vivo Barefoot EVO's consist of a 4 mm thick sole which is made up of a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) abrasion resistant outer sole, a layer of Duratex that is puncture resistant, and a Agion layer inside which is an environmentally and physically friendly odor, bacteria and fungus stopper. The lining of the shoe is made with NatureTex which 50% of is made from recycled plastic bottles. The top of the shoe is made of a light weight mesh material, you can actually see your foot in the shoe. The shoe weighs 8 ounces.

Running in the Vivo Barefoot Evo's was comfortable and extremely close to being barefoot. I ran 5 miles in them and the one problem I had was at the very end of the run the top of one of my toes started to get a little irritated. I suspect this will go away after another run or two. I ran on asphalt and a trail/walking path and the shoes responded great to both terrain types. A portion of the trail was a little more rocky and the shoes were still comfortable. I would anticipate that Evo's would handle great on a more technical trail as well. The icing on the cake... these shoes look infinitely cooler than the Vibram Five Fingers (not that it really matters). If you're new to barefoot or minimalist running it is true that you will need to take some time with the transition period. If you're not a believer about the benefits of running in barefoot or minimalist running shoes read BORN TO RUN and/or watch this video...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Born to Run Review

I finished reading BORN TO RUN last night (hence, the lack of posts last week!). I am a changed runner! The book takes an in-depth look at the life, culture and running style of the Tarahumara as well as other Ultrarunners. The Tarahumara live in the Copper Canyons in Mexico and are some of the worlds best long distance runners (ultramarathons). What makes this book great is the analysis of human biomechanics and running's role in our evolution that is woven through the stories of colorful characters (Caballo Blanco, Barefoot Ted, Jenn Shelton, Billy Barnet, Scott Jurek) and exceptional race vignettes (Leadville 100).
Born to Run spurred me to run longer distances and continue to dig deeper into my natural desire to run. It has made me question running shoes in general and inspired me to wear my very flat soled and minimally structured Asics Mexico 66 Onitsuka Tigers for a run on the treadmill the other night. It felt great!

Whether you're a veteran runner, a newbie, or haven't ran since PE in the 8th grade I would highly recommend reading Born To Run. This book will inspire you to connect with your inner runner... literally and figuratively. Connections are made between being a runner and an artist (specifically Beat Poets!). There is something natural, simple and mentally fulfilling about running and Born To Run illustrates those connections flawlessly.  

Here is more info about the BORN TO RUN COMMUNITY. Here is a great website dedicated to BAREFOOT RUNNING SHOES. If you have read Born to Run or if you're already running barefoot (or close to it) then you know about BAREFOOT TED.

If you're interested in purchasing Born To Run... Please help Undefeated Running grow by using our amazon link below. Thank you! :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

McMillan Running: Online Distance Running Resource and Coach!

Greg McMillan is an accomplished runner and an even more accomplished running coach. He has coached athletes in every Olympic Marathon Trial since 1996! Amby Burfoot, the editor of Runner's World magazine said, "Greg McMillan is one of the best and smartest distance-running coaches in America." Greg McMillan is a nice guy too, he shares his running knowledge and coaching skills with the world through his site, McMILLAN RUNNING.  His RUNNING CALCULATOR is more fun than video game! Also, be sure to check out his Non-Profit Post-Collegiate Elite Running Team at McMILLAN ELITE. They are based in Flagstaff, AZ and they run fast!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Hangover Training Method.


Tested by many. Feared by all... Running with a hangover. Although, if you're passed out the morning after on picnic table in your underwear or praying to the porcelain gods the night before you're probably not gonna make it out for a run... maybe a walk.

At the... "ripe" age of 29 my social life and training life often are often at war. Battles are won and lost and the war will probably never have a true victor. On Friday night the social-life-side prevailed although a valiant effort was put forth from the training-life. They rallied to ensure that I consumed H2O (occasionally) through out the evening and A LOT of H2O just before going to sleep.

I woke up in the morning feeling like I was on mile 22 and didn't stop at enough aid stations. I made myself some "cheesy toast" (soy cheese + butter on Omega 3 bread), coffee, ate a banana and drank about a liter of water. An hour later I was in my running gear and heading out for my 6-mile pace run.

I'll sum up the run for you:
Mile 1: Hurting
Mile 2: Hurting
Mile 3: Hurting (the turn around point made me feel good for about 30 seconds tho!)
Mile 4: Hurting
Mile 5: Hurting
Mile 6: Hurting

My pace was not stellar and as I was running I started to think if there were ANY benefits of this run. Not only did I clear up some of the blurry moments in my head from the night before, I also realized that running with a hangover is similar to HITTING THE WALL! The causes of most hangovers as well as major factors in hitting the wall are HYPOGLYCEMIA and DEHYDRATION. Here's the actual definition of a HANGOVER.

So obviously, running with a hangover can be dangerous (For the sake of legal things... I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT) but if you're careful it might make your body better at handling the tougher moments of a race... The key is to not over do it because alcohol inhibits your muscle recovery and you will become a weaker runner. Also, if you fuel properly you won't "hit the wall"... unless you're hungover. Happy trails!