Jun 04 2016

44.6 Mile Long Run, Fastest ultra training run ever, Osan AB to Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea

IMG_806644.6 miles, 70 km Osan to Yongsan Seoul! Fastest ever 40+ mile training run by 3-4 hours!!! getting stronger & faster at ultras. Still shocked! Even quicker than nearly all ultramarathon races I've done. I guess the training of just getting out there and doing it is paying off. Plus going with a group (through 60k) helped me not be lazy in the middle miles. And eating bacon, eggs, steak, ice cream, chocolate milk during the run may have produced laughs, but I was well fueled. It's not very often (I think over 3 years) that a training run has been in the 40s for mileage. And it was fast too. Satisfied with the day:)

  • I had already done a 38 mile ultramarathon training run just 8 days prior, plus a hard mountain run 2 days after that, and didn't even consider running another ultra till June 11th where I'll run the North Face 50km in Pyeongchang (same place as 2018 Winter Olympic facility) next weekend. 
  • June 4th was supposed to entail me running during the Army 10 Mile Korea wide tryouts for the military, but the race was open to everyone. I suspected that I'd run a sub 70 minute 10 mile – a probably personal best- and was looking forward to doing so, and a good speed run.
  • But ThursdayIMG_8004 someone pointed out there was a group run from Osan Air base up to Seoul again, I put it in the back of my mind until Friday morning.  Friday during my morning run, I felt that my legs were not ready for a speed session the next day with the 10 miler, and I was more keen to do another 60km/37 mile point to point run, and this time it would be with people, and more fun. So I opted for this option last minute. 

Ice CreamPacked a bag real quick the night before, throwing in a change of clothes, 2-3 liters of water, with about 1/2 liter of uCann starch, plus some trail mix, a bag of some rice, a little stir-fry meat, couple strips of bacon, and 3 scrambled eggs (in baggies). I knew I'd be the laughing stock eating that kind of food on a long run, but it's what I do now a days, and it get's me through.  I also planned on grabbing some ice cream cones, and aloe water juice and chocolate milk along the way when I could find it.

IMG_7985Thomas & I met up with the group around 5am, and after a short photo, and tall Mike explaining the general route, we were on our way at 5:24am. The pace was a bit quick in the beginning, but manageable and fun, the pre-plan was to do 11:30 min/mile for 10km, the walk every 10km for 6 minutes. Surprisingly enough we ended up doing this pretty much for about 40-50km barring any stops for quick drink re-fills. I quickly realize the benefit to starting early, because when I'd done my run the weekend prior, I'd started at about 8:15 am.  So today, by the time 8:15 rolls around, we'd probably already done a half marathon, and it felt great.   I also realized that in running with the group, collectively it made me IMG_7987"not be so lazy" and rest as often and walk as much as I normally do.  This helped keep my pace up and the miles quickly ticked by.  We stopped a couple times, I got ice-cream, chocolate milk, ate my steak, bacon, eggs throughout the day, and though people laughed somewhat, I enjoyed it all, and especially feeling good and fueled instead of so hungry all the time like I normally am. Around 25ish miles I talked on the phone for a bit, so walked those miles, got a good rest, then booked it and tried to make up time to catch the group later. 

IMG_8001After mile 23, I realized just how good I was feeling, never bonking, and really feeling like I was having a tremendous run.  Getting up above 28-32 miles, I still couldn't believe I was knocking off so many sub 12 min/mile splits; in fact, I would go all the way to 40 mile before dropping my overall pace below a 12 minute mile.  I hit 40 miles in 8 hours, seriously never had this happen before, (I'm not counting the stopped time with breaks, or when I stopped at 37 miles with the other guys for 40 minutes before continuing on).

IMG_8009Overall the time went by really quick, about mile 31 or 32 I'd caught up with the other guys, got some more water, PowerAde, and we continued to the 60k/37 miles just after 2pm! I was so happy, and just ecstatic us all getting there and 6 out of the 8 of the group made it up to Seoul!  After 40 minutes or so, I let them know I'd continue on to Yongsan because I still had in my mind to try and make it to Yongsan or the other military base and didn't quite make it last weekend. I knew it would be another 6-7 miles or 70km total so keep charging on heading up the Han River. It also warmed up quite a bit, and there were throngs of bicyclers along the Han River in Seoul. HanRiver BridgeLiterally thousands upon thousands all out biking. At about 40 or 41 miles I think, I realized my legs had finally actually reached a "tired" point, couldn't really keep up the 11:30ish pace anymore and let myself walk.  After reading my Exercise Physiology book this last week, I'm starting to understand neuromuscular fatigue, and the difference between that and poor training, and tiredness or bonking. So with all my training lately, I realized my leg muscles hit neuromuscular fatigue at 41 miles this time, instead of 25, or 35 miles as in the past. It clues me in on my training is actually going very well since being in Korea, including fueling, and speed work too, and weight training, and overall body weight, and body fat percentage.

Anyways, I was finally pretty tired and taking breaks about every mile between 41-44, and

Sports and Health Sciences (MS)

Area of Concentration:

Exercise Science and Human Performance

at 44 miles I made it to Yongsan to the gym there.  I showered, weighed in at 165.6 lbs, changed into my extra set of clothes I brought, and took a train back down to Pyeongtaek and made it home in time for dinner.

Hopefully next weekend's North Face Korea 50km run in the mountains will go good, and then after that I'll probably taper off quite a bit while I work on my Masters Degree in Sports and Health Sciences (MS) – Exercise Science and Human Performance.

IMG_8039That's today's story for June 4, 2016 – Facebook tells me 11 years ago I was in the Army Intelligence School, and my own journals have me at about 205 lbs. Crazy.  I was probably running 2 miles in 14-15 minutes, and that was the extent of my running. Now running 44 miles in 9 hours seems somewhat normal, I know it's not – it's all perspecive and I'm so thankful for what I'm able to do right now.  My how things change.


Strava Route & Data:

Photos from June 4, 2016



IMG_8011 IMG_8009 IMG_8006 IMG_8005 IMG_8004 IMG_8003 Ice Cream IMG_8001 IMG_7993 IMG_7992 IMG_7988 IMG_7987 IMG_7985 IMG_8066 IMG_8050 IMG_8040 IMG_8039 IMG_8036 IMG_8034 IMG_8029 IMG_8024 IMG_8021 IMG_8019 IMG_8017 HanRiver Bridge

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