New Year New Gear=FREE STUFF!

Ok, So, here is the deal, pretty sweet deal you might say. For the next week (In the spirit of the Holidays, and to get 2016 off to a great start) I’m going to be giving away free stuff on Instagram. Some Nike Trail Shoes, Some of my favorite running gear and some other rad swag from companies I like.

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Here is the pile of giveaway stuff.  Also…The shoes will be new and your size!

The details: Each day there will be one winner that will win the gift that corresponds to the day below.  Can you enter more than once? Sure, you can enter a picture every day.

How do you enter? Each day has a different photo contest, just take a picture, and put @davidlaney12  and use #WAFFLESANDMUSTACHES so I can find your submission. (Day 2 you just have to write a funny caption on the photo I post, you don’t have to post any picture)

If you win I’ll shoot you a direct message on instagram and get your address so I can mail you your winnings.  All the stuff will be mailed out at the end of the contest.

January 1: Prize- Nike Trail Mug, Hand made Nike Trail coasters and stickers

TO WIN: New Years Picture, I know you have them, don’t delete them, post them.  If you have a throwback new years picture thats even better, yes I realize January 1 is not Thursday, but really, who’s keeping track.

January 2: Prize- Simple Hydration Bottle

TO WIN: Caption contest.  I’m going to post a picture on Instagram, funniest/best caption wins.

(Even if you don’t win this one I can give you a 35% off promo code, just email me at  davidlaney12@gmail.com)  THEY ARE AWESOME BOTTLES

January 3: Prize- Ugo Bar Pack and Run Gum

TO WIN: Holiday dessert, picture and recipe, I need some baking inspiration people.  Best looking dessert wins. If you make a dessert that can be considered “BREAKFAST” bonus points.

January 4: Prize-Trails and Tarmac Mug and stickers.

TO WIN: Lets see your Goals for 2016,  Post a picture of a race or adventure from last year and write the goals for 2016 in the caption. One entrant will be drawn randomly.

January 5: Prize- Pair of Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3’s

TO WIN:  Picture of a recent rad adventure on the trails or in the mountains!  Add a great quote and get extra credit.  I’m sure there will be many great submissions so it might come down to a draw.

January 6: Prize-Ninkasi Swag.  Really cool stuff from the Eugene Oregon Brewery

TO WIN:GPS/STRAVA art, get out there and draw or write something creative.  Take a screenshot of the route on Strava or whatever you use and upload the picture. Most creative one wins.

So its easy to enter, just take a picture, upload it to Instagram and make sure I see it by using #WAFFLESANDMUSTACHES and commenting at me so I can find your contest submission. I WILL “LIKE” ALL THE PICTURE SUBMISSIONS SO IF I HAVEN’T LIKED YOUR PICTURE I HAVEN’T SEEN IT!

At the end of the contest I will announce all winners on Instagram, and send out the gear!

Thanks!!

5 ways to Better Slay the Mountain Ultra Gnar

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Photo from Elana Mate at UTMB

This summer there were some major successes and major failures, or nicely put, learning experiences. From these experiences I learned a lot of lessons that made me, and will continue to make me a better runner.  I think a couple of them can make you a better runner too.  I’ll share a few and hope that they will be applicable for anyone running a mountain ultra distance trail race.

  1. Chill in the outdoors: I spent most of the summer training, eating, reading, working and sleeping outside, usually in big forests and near big mountains. Using lakes and creeks to shower,  sleeping at trail-heads and, having plenty of time to chat with strangers at Laundromats, makes you a little more flexible and little less reliant on consistency.  Making yourself better at adapting to change on the fly and rolling with challenges in normal life with make you better at rolling through big ups and inevitable dark points during an ultra.  Our Air B&B host in Chamonix named Mihai was always saying “tranquilo” or “It’s chill”  his attitude is imperative in ultras. Sometimes things get gnarly in the mountains, you run out of water, you get sick, roll an ankle, things start to go downhill fast.  You always have time to catch your breath, realize you trained for this, hit the mental reset button, and get back after it. Spending a lot of time in the mountains allows plenty of opportunity for this practice.
  2. Eat fat: This summer I ate a lot of fat, cause french fries taste good and are cheap, Ok ok in actuality I ate a lot of nuts, avocados, and all that stuff people consider “healthy fat” in addition to french fries.  I didn’t notice a huge difference in daily life, what I did notice was the ability to spend really long days in the mountains with very little food, and without getting that “bonk” feeling.  I could feel my body utilizing fat as the primary energy source.  I’m not a scientist but as the average pace in the mountains is much slower, I think relying on the slower burning energy is beneficial.  The ability to use fat more efficiently allows you to not only carry less food and water but allows blood to be used in the running muscles as opposed to stomach for digestion.
  3. Roll with your nutrition plan: Nutrition depends on conditions, not only on race distance but also on pace, temperature, technical aspects of the course and hydration.  Nutrition is super dynamic, fueling during an ultra is like bowling on a canoe during a hurricane, the variables are constantly changing.  If you don’t account for the changing variables and choose to simply follow your prescribed 400 calorie an hour plan you might end up in a rough place.  Quite often mountain races are slower and cooler than most ultras, often this allows runners to eat more than they normally would.  Have a tentative plan for eating, and have plenty of food options, but let what you actually eat roll with the race.
  4. Be battle ready: Having the right gear is vital.  Be prepared for anything the mountains throw at you.  I live pretty minimally, in fact everything I own fits comfortably in the back seat of my car.  After being under prepared and under dressed at this years Chuckanut 50k I over packed my pack for much of this summers adventures and runs.  UTMB requires a ton of seemingly unnecessary gear, but at 2AM when its 40 degrees at 6000 feet and blowing wind the gear suddenly feels really really necessary. Be ready for whatever might come your way.
  5. Geek out on tech: Run the most technical trails you can find.  Find steep rocky mountain ridges and steep rugged canyons that mirror the course you plan to race on.  Get to a place where you can roll through really rooty, rocky or steep downhill sections.  Find those trails that allow you to practice the more technical aspects of running. Do them again and again and again, pretty soon running downhill feels like skiing.  That’s when things get really fun.  Yeah you’re probably going to roll an ankle a few times.  I know I did more than once, run within your limits.  Ankle rolling is one thing, falling is another. Be careful.

The mountains are big and free and wild and powerful.  Use those emotions to inspire your next race through the alpine. Good Luck!

UTMBSUNRISE

 

The Ups and Downs of Dream Team USA

My Sophomore year in High School I got a tibial stress reaction, not a full stress fracture but basically an injury from repetitive stress on the tibia. If I continued to train on the injury a stress fracture was likely. The doctor told me to take 6 weeks off from running. Those were a rough six weeks, but I biked, swam, did 100’s of sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups daily. I did just about everything I could imagine to get ready for the fall cross country season. When the fall came I was fit, but far from fast.  Our first time trial of the season was a disaster. In an all out effort I came across the line clocking a 6 minute mile, slower than I was 5 years earlier as a 5th grader… saying I was discouraged would be an understatement.

Galen Rupp, The Central Catholic High School Alum and 2012 10,000 meter Olympic Silver Medalist, occasionally dropped clothes and shoes by practice. Usually it was USA gear, outgrown shoes, shorts, sweats, etc.  At the end of practice we would dig through the box of treasure and take a few things.  The next day at practice we would all proudly wear our new clothes.  The day of the discouraging time trial a box of clothes was delivered to the track, as it was a particularly good box of gear, CCHS Coach Dave Frank had us guess numbers for who got to choose an item first.  Whether Dave knew I could use some encouragement, or if I really guessed the right number I’ll never know, But I went home with a new USA track warm up jacket.  It was dark blue with red piping, USA stitched in big white letters on the back, and the winged USA emblem on the chest.  I don’t think I took it off for a month.  I was so excited to have a USA jacket (earned or not) that I went home and started researching the USA cross country team.  I came across an article about Dathan Ritzenhein, I read about his history of stress fractures and injuries, and his ability to come back, get healthy, train smart and run fast again.  I figured if someone can come back from three stress fractures and many other injuries, I can comeback from a few more trials.  This planted the idea in my head that someday I could make a world cross country team.

That decision was a realization for me, that distance running was going to be a roller coaster. There are major ups, and long, dark, drawn out downs.  The ups will excite you, but coming back from the downs is what inspires others.

12 years later I’ve passed the USA jacket on to someone else who found inspiration from it, And I’ve earned my own USA team gear.  I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to represent The United States of America.

For the last month I’ve been increasing my training load.  Doing a lot more running in the mountains on steep, technical trails and preparing for the IAU World Trail Championship. On May 30th I’ll put on the Red, White and Blue and race 86 kilometers through some very rugged country.  Not exactly cross country… but it will do.

Thanks to all those who have cheered me on over the mountains and through the valleys of long distance running.

 

Chuckanut Number 3. Two Years on the Trails

My first Ultramarathon was Chuckanut 2013, two years ago.  At the time I didn’t really know what the marathon plus world did to a person, the highs and lows of each race and season.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been doing this thing two years, it (like the last two miles of last weeks race) feels much much longer.

Going up Chinscraper at my first Chuckanut
2013. Going up Chinscraper at my first Chuckanut
The pack heading out the Interurban at the 2014 Chuckanut
The pack heading out the Interurban at the 2014 Chuckanut, my second Chuckanut running.
2015 Chuckanut, Here, at Sugar Bonk City, with about three miles to go, things started to fall apart.
2015 Chuckanut, here, at sugar bonk city, with about three miles to go things started to fall apart.

Trail running isn’t exactly easy. The sport destroys feet, wrecks digestive systems, frys mitochondria and occasionally sends the mind into a tailspin. But what’s pretty cool is at then end of the day there is always somebody to lift you up.  You may have had a rough few miles, or rough day on the trail, but the runners, the support system, and the family is what makes the sport amazing.  Thanks to everybody out there who knows way to much about GU, trail shoes and reads IrunFar daily, and an even bigger thanks to those people out there who don’t know much about trail running but care about it because its important to someone they care about it.

When it comes down to it, I’ve enjoyed the trails and been inspired and freed by the mountains. I’ve been strengthened by the difficulties,and toughened by the challenges. In two years I’ve learned much more than simply how to run fast in the mountains. I still have a lot left to learn.

 

The Shamrock Run


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Twelve years ago my pre-teen brain decided to get into some trouble.  The Shamrock run, an annual spring tradition in Portland, promised the winner his and her weight in Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve. As a 14 year old I thought it would be just hysterical to win the race. What would they give me? They couldn’t possibly give me 82 pounds of beer.  I had dreams of winning, becoming the coolest kid in school and hosting all night parties that included elephants and fire dancers. These parties likely ended with me jumping off the roof into a pool to the cheers of my newly made friends. The fact I didn’t know anyone who had an elephant, or pool for that matter, didn’t cross my mind. I just assumed if I won the rest would take care of itself.

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The closing scenes from the 1968 Peter Sellers movie, “The Party” really give an idea of what I envisioned winning the Shamrock run would lead to.  You can watch the full movie free on YouTube here “The Party” or skip to about 1:15:00 in and watch a bit, you will quickly get the idea.

Curiosity and imagination got the better of me.  I trained hard all winter.  I got a new pair of Nike Air Skylons the week before the race and laid out my racing uniform the night before.  I was ready to make some mischief, cause the race director a headache and gain instant popularity with the 8th Grade class at Mt. Tabor Middle School. I was convinced I could win, but on race day things didn’t go exactly as I expected. I ran hard but a whole lot of older guys ran faster.  I watched in envy as the winners (most of them wearing backpacks and 4 layers of sweats) were weighed in front of the crowd of runners and then lugged cases of beer from the stage. I left the race empty handed but excited. I hadn’t won, but I would eventually.

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Twelve years later, I’ve got 150 pounds of Henry Weinhard’s coming my way. As I’ve got a lot of big races on tap I’m happy to give the Shamrock Run spoils away, so email me if you’re thirsty!  Also… if anybody has a pool or a elephant, let me know.

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Oh…This isn’t typical? Hmmm…..

After someone finds out I run 100 mile trail races the first thing they usually ask is, “What do you eat?!”  I usually vaguely say, “Oh just normal stuff”  or try to change the subject to something else (literally anything else) or sometimes I just say, “Cherries… they’re delicious”.

Anyhow, after saying, “Oh just normal stuff” a few days ago, I realized that my statement was a complete lie.  Part of my daily diet is an eclectic mix of creative debris. Kind of like a yard sale, nothing there is really good, that’s why someone is trying to sell it for .25 cents. When you decide you really didn’t need 3 pounds of cinnamon toast crunch, well, it’s too late to take it back. The other part is really solid, healthy food that keeps my body fueled for the trails.  Here is a little bit of both.

Exhibit A. Cinnamon Roll French Toast                                                                        This is probably not a new idea, but it is new to me.  On the drive back from a threshold run a few weeks ago, I was struggling with the decision between french toast and a cinnamon roll, thus was born the idea, Cinnamon Roll French Toast.


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Basically the process here is buy cinnamon rolls at any local bakery.  Slice them like bread.  Make french toast.

Exhibit B. Ravioli Lasagna

I wanted lasagna for dinner, but fresh ravioli was on sale for like .99 cents… So I bought a lot, then just made lasagna out of it. Faster, easier and cheaper. Win Win Win. photo 3 (3)photo 4 (4)

Pasta sauce, Ravioli, Spinach, Cheese, More sauce, more cheese, more spinach, more pasta. You get the picture. Bake that till it looks done.

Exhibit C. Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich with Toasted Marshmallow 

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I really think this needs no explanation, just remember roasted marshmallows make food better, just like 100 mile weeks make beds more comfortable.

Exhibit D. Ugo Bars

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Thanks to sponsor Ugo Bars for providing me with some food that is actually good for me and fits in running short pockets! These are amazing and handcrafted in The Heartland, check them out at UgoBars.com.

Exhibit E. Blackberry Pumpkin Smoothie.                                                                     -Frozen Blackberrys                                                                                                          -Banana                                                                                                                              -Vanilla Yogurt                                                                                                                     -Spinach                                                                                                                             -Almond Milk                                                                                                                       -Pumpkin Puree Or Pumpkin Ice Cream

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Exhibit F. Frozen Bowl

Every night in the summer before I go to bed I put a bowl of granola in the freezer.  Then when I wake up at 2 a.m sweating cause its 90 degrees in my top floor apartment I have something cold to eat.  Add peanut butter, milk, cinnamon, banana, etc.  Cereal is more than just a box of flakes and some milk. Get creative.

Exhibit Hall. 

Obviously to run fast you have to fuel well, but the above is a bit ridiculous.  We live someplace where water and food are taken for granted on a daily basis.  And while it’s great to have, it’s also our responsibility to help those who don’t. Join me in supporting Ryan and Sara Hall and Team WorldVision in their work to bring clean water to Ethiopia. Link Here Halls Steps Foundation.

Or for something closer to home (for some of you) Check out the Oregon Food Bank, They are always in need of volunteers and donations.  Volunteering is a great way to help folks out and make new friends.

Thanks All.

-Laney

Tips for a Fast First Marathon

CIM 2:17 Pack
CIM chase pack on 2:17 pace. Photo from Hayden Teachout

 

Having raced every distance from 100 meters to 100 miles, and I’d have to say 26.2 is probably my favorite event.  Elements of both speed and endurance are combined to create a race that is just long enough to get some serious chaffing, but not so long where the chaffing actually scabs and scars. Essentially 26.2 is long enough to destroy you, but just short enough to keep you coming back for more. Here are a few rules and thoughts to keep in mind if you are thinking of graduating to the marathon.

**This is written for anyone, but it is most applicable for competitive minded runners with a background in track and cross country, and who have trained consistently for a few years. Its not so much focused on specific training, rather just general principles. These have been important in my training, and I believe they are applicable in many training programs.

1. Don’t forget the track.  Its easy to focus on road running, long runs, tempo and threshold workouts and neglect the speed that is imperative for racing.  You don’t really need to be doing 200’s every week, but regular kilometer and mile repeats will undoubtedly help you keep the speed needed to run a competitive marathon.  Do them on grass or track or dirt.  You may struggle to run as fast as you normally do when training for cross country or track. That’s OK, focus on short recovery rather than blazing intervals.

2. Sundays not for Gossip.  College long runs are usually a social hour (or two), recapping the team drama or previous nights festivities.  This is great if you are training for a 5k. With your key race being over 2 hours, the long run needs to be a more focused effort.  This isn’t to say that talking isn’t allowed, but the long run should be a workout.  If I’m running hard enough I usually don’t want to talk.  Sunday long run shouldn’t leave you ruined for the upcoming week, but it probably should leave you wanting to spend the rest of the day on the couch.

3. Wear Pants: If it’s under 50 degrees (Fahrenheit), bundle up. The first glimmer of warmth or sunlight usually leads to every dude on the team pulling out the split shorts and running shirtless through campus. This is why so many people get injured during the winter. Wear tights, wear a long sleeve shirt.  You don’t have to be sweating profusely, but wearing tights will keep your muscles warm, relaxed, and less likely to get injured.  When the temps warm up instead of being stuck in the pool aqua jogging you will be able to run outside…in shorts.

4. Wake Up. Marathons typically start before 8am.  Waking up 3-4 hours before the race will make you feel and perform better. I know waking up at 4am sounds ridiculous on a night when you just want to get some sleep.  If you give yourself that extra time to really wake up, eat, and warm up you will feel fresh and ready when you finally get to that starting line.

5. Don’t be Stupid. Depending on your fitness and goals a training segment may be 8-14 weeks. During that time you are bound to get a cold, tweak a muscle, have a bad workout, or get stuck in a blizzard. These things aren’t the end of the world, (except possibly the blizzard…) If you respond properly to these blips in training they likely wont effect your race at all.                                                                                                         This fall I took a trip to Boulder, Colorado for a Nike Trail meeting.  When I left home it was 55 and sunny, when I landed in Denver it was 20 and snowing.  I had mile repeats scheduled for the next morning. When I woke up it was 15 and there was 4 inches of snow blanketing the town.  I jogged out of the hotel looking for a plowed road or track that might allow me to do the workout I had planned.  I quickly realized that running 4:40 pace in snow, ice and 15 degrees was likely going to result in injury. Instead I ran 10 miles easy and called it a day. The next day the conditions were worse and I was forced to do an easy 90 minutes on paved streets.  When I landed in Portland I eagerly got my gear together for a hard workout.  When I got to the track and finished my warm up my right Achilles tendon was painful and seemed swollen. I tried to do strides but every step was causing it to tighten up.  I realized that during my runs in Boulder I had worn long tights and tall socks, covering my entire Achilles and ankle, but the snow had still frozen to my socks and caused the area around my ankle to stay cold while I was running on it.  Needless to say I was frustrated.  I had missed two key workouts and now was tiptoeing around a potential injury.  I foam rolled, iced, pumped anti-inflammatory, got back to sunny Southern Oregon and restructured the training for the week. That Saturday I had the best workout of the segment. I was fresh, and was able to run faster and easier than I had expected.  The workout convinced me I could PR in every distance from 10k to the marathon and gave me a boost of confidence going into the last three weeks of the training block before the Cal International Marathon. Its a long story but I think proves a point.  Things are bound to go wrong, when they do use logic and reason to adjust your training.

6. Find a Road and Love it. Whether its a bike path or road, find somewhere with little traffic that you can use a couple days a week for your tempo, threshold, marathon pace, or long runs. Having consistency in your training venue will allow you to gauge your fitness throughout the segment.  It might be boring at first, but you will probably grow to love it. The Bear Creek Greenway has become my home away from home over the last 2 years.

7. Dial your nutrition. If you take time to figure out what gels work and which ones don’t, you might end up in a porta-toilet at mile 18. You still might end up there, but spending a few workouts deciding between GU, Roctane, Power-Gel, Hammer Gel or Clif Shots can save you precious moments. You’re gonna have to take in calories and fluid during the race. Be comfortable with it.

8. Run a Lot. Mileage isn’t the only indicator of solid training, but going from racing 10k’s to racing marathons will require an increase in something, and part of that something is probably weekly mileage. You don’t have to run 140 miles per week, but also don’t be scared of running more miles than you have before. The marathon is a long race and it takes a lot of training to be ready to race that last 10k. This is where the magic of the marathon happens. Having a massive base of miles in your legs can get you ready to crush yourself, and the last few miles.

9. Learn.  I’ve been learning how to run slower and how to run faster my entire life. The trick is doing the things that make you run faster instead of slower.  Your first marathon could be amazing, and it could be a total disaster.  Most likely it will be somewhere in between, leaving you to feel accomplished but unsatisfied.  Learn from your experience. You spent months preparing for this race. Spend a few hours writing down what went well and what didn’t. Use the things you learned to get better next time.  I really believe that with enough work anybody can be a good marathoner.  In 2 marathons and 19 months I took 5 minutes and 32 seconds off my marathon PR by simply learning from past mistakes and tweaking my training. The learning curve is big. For somebody with a lot of desire the marathon is a good place to race.  But, don’t take my word for it. Go do it.

Good Luck!

Finish of Cal International Marathon. Photo from Hayden Teachout
Finish of Cal International Marathon after getting my Olympic Trials qualifying time. Photo from Hayden Teachout