Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finally! The #DoEpicShit Technical Tee Shirts Are Here!

Here they are!  Two quality tech tees with a truly epic statement to live by in all that we do.  The shirts are available in men's and women's sizes.  Please note the alternate spelling on the second layout.  I have offered two versions to appeal to those of you that believe in the sentiment but do not want to present such an in your face statement.  Some people may still be offended.  But they need to get over themselves.

Click here to visit the order page and secure your #DoEpicShit (in either version) today!!!  Free shipping also.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reader Mail

I titled this post Reader Mail.  Its not actually mail from a reader; more of a question answered about running after a marathon.  Turns out that the query came from a fellow runner through dailymile.  This guy is a hellacious runner and much faster than I could ever be.  In the past year he has lost 50+ pounds, ran a 4:46 mile and a 2:55 marathon.  And this guy turns to me for advice???  Needless to say, I am humbled.
At any rate, read my take on running after the marathon and see how it sets with you.
How quickly any runner can return to the running after a marathon is a product of that person's particular physiology, long term training, individual goals and mental resiliency.
I do not like extended breaks whatsoever and try not to "rest" more than two day consecutively. Since February I have concentrated on running high mileage and found that my body responds well. One key for me is that I don't really aim for speed work. I run fast when I feel capable and slow when I don't.
Aside from refueling and hydration, muscle fatigue and mental fog, how soon you get back to running is up to you alone. Books, coaches and even friends whom do not run all have their own opinions, but those opinions are based largely on the experiences of others. Again, I say to each their own.
A few weeks back I ran 64 miles over 20.5 hours. I finally stopped when my ankles tightened up. I didn't run again for 4 days, mainly due to mental fatigue and personal issues that made running seem impossible. It was all from the neck up. My body was fine.
Two weekend ago I ran 35mi with a single rest day before and after. Then last weekend I ran 25mi on Sat and 24mi on Sunday while taking Monday as my rest day. I did run the preceeding week from Tuesday on, so I didn't rest up prior.
The point to remember is that my goal through ultra training is time on my feet while aiming for a mileage number. There really is no pace goal. I have a fixed number of hours I would like to go for, them a total number of miles I hope to hit. But the survival aspect of running a marathon plus kicks in so I incorporate numerous walk breaks and sit-downs to keep the mind sharp. A focused mind can overcome many physical ailments.
To answer the question of how soon to run after a marathon is larger subjective and individualistic. What are your career goals in running? How often do you want to run a marathon? How long do you want to be a marathoner? Do you have aspirations of running further than 26.2? Are there time goals on your list? All of these questions are important to consider.
As for "losing" anything, you could lay out with only moderately paced running or walking for a few weeks and not lose anything.
I am curious about your background - average weekly mileage, regular pace versus top end pace, number of races you have completed, etc. If you are just starting out just listen to your body and do was feels good. If something begins to hurt that is the time to evaluate the variables in your running form/training to determine the source of discomfort.
Good luck and let me know how things work out.
Between me and you, I love to run long ridiculous miles and thumb my nose at the people who say I (or people like me) are crazy. I think "crazy" would be to not even try.
So readers, I have a question for you.  What is your recovery routine after The Big Race?  Do you take time off or do you stay in the saddle and keep chasing the horizon?  I would love to read your answers in the comments.
As always, thanks for finding your way over here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clearing the Air

So I saw a guy about a thing the other week.  Like most things in life it turns out to be a smaller deal than I expected.  But its my thing so it can be a big a deal as I want to make such a thing.

Confused yet?  Me neither.

Over the past year I have experiences a lollercoaster (borrowed word) of emotion.  Bright highs and fog-induced bottom-of-the-well lows.

Chilean miner lows.  But their experience was a party compared to how I felt.  Of course their lives were in constant danger, and people died as a result of the cave-in.  I only felt like I might die.

What a drama queen.

My dress is at the cleaners.  So no pics to be posted tonight.  Sorry boys.

Back to the point of this post.  I went to see my general practitioner.  He dug some crap out of my foot last December after I tried a little barefoot run on Thanksgiving Day.  He did not give me crap about it.  He ran a few marathons in his past so he could understand my need to run.

I should say now that our first encounter was pre-ultra bug.  I had not yet contracted the virus.

So there was a certain comfort in visiting his office again.  My current issue was not liable to show up on an x-ray or blood test.  Certainly no need to shove a tongue depressor down my throat.

A few days later I returned to spend two hours of my day taking a 567 question computer assessment to build a psychological profile of yours truly.  In a style that is all my own I walked out in 45 minutes.  Nothing like running a marathon in a slow 10k finishing time.  I should tell you that my haste was mentioned in the opening paragraph of the assessment result I received on Tuesday.

Damn that computer program is smart.

I have to say how much I love my GP.  The review appointment did not feel rushed.  It was a conversation.  An actual talk with listening and understanding and interplay between two people.  God it felt great.

From the moment he began to explain the assessment results I was chortling.  It seemed to nail me dead to rights.  A lot of my quirks, mannerisms, aversions, etc were uncovered by the glowing box in the back room the previous week.

I hate social settings.

I hate crowds.

I dislike some aspects of my personal life and feel a flight response in dealing with certain situations (the spark to run per chance?).

I am overly critical of myself.

I diminish my abilities and hide in a corner.

The one surprise is than I am merely obsessive-compulsive.  It seems that my OCD is not manifest in physical actions or interactions - I'm not Jack Nicholson from the open of As Good As It Gets.  Now that dude was wack.

My tick is mental.  I replay and overthink and analyze into the dirt situations that have yet to happen.  Much of my anxiety comes from perceived interactions, dialogues that have yet to take place.  So I preplan and rehearse and anticipate the worse possible outcomes.  Then I employ evasive maneuvers to avoid that situation.  No direct eye contact.  No sound.  No crossed paths [certainly no crossed streams].

The good news is that my assessment does not indicate any bipolar tendencies.  Maybe the OCD allowed me to over analyze myself into thinking such a condition existed where none does currently.  For that I am pleased.

It did say I am predisposed to delusion or paranoia.  If you've read my blog or followed my dailymile posted you may have pieced that one together.  The delusion part at least.

Before the doctor stepped in, the check-in nurse talked about her experience with the assessment.  She had been the office guinea pig when they bought the program.  She joked that it identified narcissistic tendencies in her personality, which sparked a brief discussion of narcissism and how such a condition may manifest itself.

Guess what the program did not identify in my profile.

Yup, narcissism.  Not a trace.

Guess the damn thing isn't so accurate after all.

For those of you with interest or need, the assessment I took is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2).  Inquire with you healthcare provider should you desire such a screening.

I look forward to finding a therapist so we may dig into my profile and my psyche.  Should be interesting.  For now I'll try to focus more on training, my upcoming adventure in Texas hill country and my fledgling entrepreneurial endeavor.  Tee shirts, anyone???

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making the merch!

#DoEpicShit tech tees will be available for pre-orders very soon.  My goal is to have the first batch available for shipping prior to the Marine Corps Marathon and New York.  Hope your training is on target for whatever fall races you have planned.  Being #Epic should not happen by chance.  It certainly won't happen every day, but with solid effort you can #DoEpicShit when the time is necessary.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making the Call

If there is one thing you ought to know about me, it is that I do not ask for help.  The very ask of seeking help is a chore.  I believe that I am making a burden of myself on anyone I would even consider approaching.  I do not know what this stems from, but it was a feeling ground into my psyche by nine shitty years working for a particular group of people in my previous career.

At times there were problems or obstacles beyond my control.  Outside my pay grade.  Above my skill set.  So I would do what any normal person might do.  I approached my supervisor, laid out the situation and asked for assistance.  Hell, I even begged.  On one occasion I was in tears due to the frustration of my situation not being remedied.  It took me seven years to realize these people were only out to protect themselves.  It took me seven years to realize that my sanity would be shattered if I stayed employed there, because I understood that I did not matter.  Just a sqeaky wheel that was never greased.

Then one day life went sideways.  Upside down.  In the ditch and head long into a tree.  But this incident pressed me to ask for help.  I was forced to seek professional help and try to rebuild me.

Soon thereafter my circumstances changed and the emotional triggers ceased to be.  Or so I thought.

In reality the triggers never left.  They simply lay dormant for a while.  Though the reasons for my depression are different today, the fact that I still have these swings has not changed.  So today I asked for help.

The difference between today and last time around is that except for my immediate family I was alone.  I hid from sight.  I held unreasonable concerns that my therapist would adversely judge me.  I could not surrender to the act of being repaired.

Now I am ready.  I have a support network of people that knows how I feel and speak of my issues from their own experiences.  And this blog has peeled away any fears I had about revealing my true self.

The next task is to find a therapist prepared to deal with me.  Wish me luck.

 - Logan

As I post this I have 47 days till my next race.  I want to congratulate all the incredible runners around the country doing #epicshit every time I peek out of my hole.  You people inspire me to become better on every level.  Thanks for taking me under your wing and into the family of that is the running community.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Anywhere, Any Time, Any Distance

At some point in time I decided that my life goal in running would be anywhere, any time, any distance.  I did not want to have limits other than what my finances would dictate.  Run long and often enough and I may be able to as long as I want as often as I want.  Simple enough concept.  What this lifestyle requires is an wavering view that running is fun, that running is capable of healing, and that running is capable of giving me more than I could ever return.

I may not always be able to run the locales I desire, but that does not preclude me from running the locale in which I reside.  That was the case this weekend.  The plan to participate in a twenty four hour trail ultra fell apart.  Poor timing and poorer planning on my part.  But it is what it is.

Since I couldn't go to the trail ultra, I decided to make my own ultra, of sorts.  From 6am Saturday, September 3rd to Sunday, the 4th, I would try to run as many miles as my body would allow.  This would be a self-supported effort, carrying my supplies or making stops at my house to reload and/or rest.

Before I get into the meat of the run I want to thank everyone from dailymile that offered support and encouragement over the last two days.  This run was a necessary part of ultra training for me.  The problem is that I know of no other ultra runners in my area, and an probably running companions have their own lives and families with which to contend.  Thus my effort would be a solo one.

In the pre-dawn quiet of Saturday morning I began my march.  There were no written goals, no concrete objectives.  My lone desire was to still be making forward progress by 6 o'clock the next morning.  The plan called for long runs with occasional breaks to regroup.  The morning run was an out-and-back south to Litchfield Beach.  I made one stop by my youngest daughter's school to refill my hydration pack.  As the summer climbed higher in the sky so did the temperatures.  I believed that this run would be the most important; while still my freshest I wanted to knock out an many miles as possible.  After five and a half hours I posted 32 miles.  To date this was my longest training run ever.

I was physically and mentally strong at this point, though a bit creaky.  I tried to eat but was not real hungry.  All I could manage was a Boost and a few bananas.  A quick cold shower did wonders to cool me off before laying down on a camping mat to rest a while.  It would be three and a half hours before I left the house again.

The next run was to be three hours for fifteen miles.  That was a manageable goal.  I would be lapping a retention pond in my neighborhood.  In spite of the blind geriatrics I'd be fairly safe from traffic and never further than a half mile from home.  The loop is nine tenths of a mile.  I would manage the rest of the event by walking the first .2mi and running the remaining .7mi.  The walk break would ensure I did not get too winded and would keep my pace over the ten minute per mile range.

Ten miles came and went easily.  The two were tough.  The afternoon heat began to sink in.  My mind wandered and my body felt very loose and jangly.  Fearing that I might loose my grip on the run.  I aborted at eleven miles and when inside to increase my hydration (I did drink from two handhelds during this time which I refilled every five miles) and get some food in my belly.  I lay down for a while again; however, I didn't shower first and lay in my own stink.  Not pleasant.

By 9 o'clock I was back on the road with Andria.  Time was drawing short and I figured that I would not have much time to break and still hit my pace goals as I ran through the night.  At the start of this run I sat at 43 miles. I hoped to reach 85, if not then I'd be happy with 75 miles.  This was Andria's second run of the day, a first for her, and after four miles she was ready for a shower and bed.  Running with her would provide the only companionship I would have for the entire event.

I did text friends and tweet on the hour to maintain a connection with the outside world.  Seeing my kids and Andria when I'd stop at the house during the was a huge boost.  If anything, it helped to keep things normal.

The only thing that truly concerned me for this event was injury. There are less than fifty-five days till I fly to Texas for my next one hundred miler, the Cactus Rose 100.  A debilitating injury or physical setback is the last thing I need right now.  This run is a part of training.  A confidence builder.  Practice for most of what I'll deal with as part of running for twenty four or more hours.  Any crack in the confidence or trust in my ability would be difficult to overcome.

The end would come gradually and somewhat unexpectedly.  I have had uncomfortable scar tissue in my left heel at the base of the Achilles tendon for eighteen months.  I am not sure what caused the build up, other than a severely twisted ankle six or seven years ago.  At this point the regular discomfort comes with stiffness in the tendon when I awaken in the morning and during the first mile of a run.  As evidenced by recent races and training runs it does not hold me back much.  That changed overnight.  Suddenly the pain became more focused.  There was an increase in the intensity.  My mind wondered how are removed I was from tearing the Achilles, thus ending any attempt at earning the buckle, at Cactus Rose or forever.

Around 2am I stopped to chill and respond to a few texts.  By the time I rose to my feet thirty minutes later the ankle was practically frozen.  With that I felt all the fatigue of the previous day since I woke up at 5am.  Running, walking rather, for another three and a half hours was not going to happen.  If my experience at Lumberjack taught me anything I know I can walk for thirty plus miles if given enough time.  No need to repeat that experience this morning.

So rather than quit I decided to stop.  Sure, I stopped short of the time goal, but ultimately that was not the goal.  Twenty four hours of running this weekend may have been like the belt buckle at Lumberjack.  It was time in that moment to stop chasing.  At 2:30 this morning an imaginary finish line on a clock did not matter.  Hell, no one who followed me or reading this blog gave a shit whether I made it to the end or not.  The people that really mattered and encouraged me only wanted what I needed most - to be safe, to stay healthy, and to have a good experience.  I know this because the same friends that urged me onward so stridently congratulated me on a smart decision immediately.  The right move was waiting to be made.

To review:

  • I attempted a twenty four hour run without an organized event staff or experienced or otherwise dedicated crew.
  • I attempted a twenty four hour run in an uncontrolled environment, relying on the driving ability of motorists to see and not kill me.
  • I attempted to run solo for twenty four hours.  Most people doing this have pacers, companions or at least a crew of people at a local high school track to monitor progress and provide for basic needs.
  • While I may be off, I am not afraid of the distance or the time.  Just give me a reason and I'll give my mind and body, my heart and soul.
  • Thirty-two miles with Vibrams Five Fingers Bikila LS
  • Thirty-two miles with Altra Zero Drop Instincts
  • Total distance of sixty-four miles run in 11h33m over the span of twenty hours and thirty minutes.  Rest break reflect the difference in running time versus total time.  The distinction is merely for clarification.
If I preach anything with regards to running, it is to not be afraid.  Do not be afraid of that first step, that first mile.  Find what you limits are.  Physical limits are real.  You can feel them.  Thrash against them.  With luck you can tear them down and push them back.  Emotional limits are imaginary.  You control them, but you must accept responsibility for that control and maintain your voice over the cacophony of noise inside your mind.

I have fears, real fears.  Things that scare me shitless.  Long distance running is not on that list.

Run on.  Run long.  Keep moving forward.


When I die, I would like it noted that "This asshat once [or maybe twice] ran sixty-four miles around his neighborhood just for kicks.  Who the fuck does that?!?  Oh yeah... Logan Hejl does."  That would be some #epicshit for real.