I haven’t blogged in probably five years, but I’m doing so — possibly just for posterity for myself, but also because I’ve heard from some people that they want to follow along with my training on my journey training for the 2021 Badwater 135. So here goes …
Quick background, I created this site in 2009 when I decided that I’d attempt to run 60 full marathons in 2010 to raise money for autism charities in honor of my son Jack, who is severely autistic and now 17 years old. I ran those marathons (ended up being 61), raised close to $90K, created a race called the Operation Jack Marathon and have done many things with my running over the past 11-12 years to raise money for charity. Running the Badwater 135 will no doubt be something I use to try to help charities. I’ll have more on that in April.
Anyways, in 2017, a good friend of mine, Jonathan “Gundy” Gunderson, invited me to pace/crew for him at the Badwater 135. I was afraid because of the race’s notoriety (135 miles with more than 18,000 feet of gain through temps exceeding 120 degrees … how do people survive that???) but I did the training and went and had an amazing experience, logging about 40 miles with him. In 2019, I paced/crewed for him again (went about 45 miles with him this time) and before I went, my wife told me that if I ever got into the race, she’d be ok with it. GOALS! I was amazed at how hard I saw people pushing themselves the first time I went and in the back of my mind, I wanted to know what it felt like to have the satisfaction of being able to finish that race.
Just to apply, you have to run at least three 100-mile races. I started training for those in 2019. My first attempt in September 2019 was derailed by a hip injury and I didn’t even get to the start line, but I completed my first in October 2019 and another in February 2020. I DNF’d one in May 2020 that I wasn’t mentally prepared for, but bounced back six weeks later with my third finish in July. I DNF’d one at mile 81 in Kansas last October (sooooo frustrating, but hypothermia is what it is, I guess). I bounced back again six weeks later, putting together the best start-to-finish 100-miler I’ve run yet. I knew when I finished that I was done with my body of work for my first Badwater application, although I went down to Brazil in January to pace/crew Gundy in the Brazil 135 and that likely factored into my application.
Applications were due Feb 19, I turned mine in on the 16th and waited until the Facebook Live field announcement show on March 6. To say I was anxious is an understatement. I so badly wanted to hear my name called, although I knew that an immediate sense of urgency would immediately set in. There’s no winging the Badwater 135! I wasn’t prepared for the rejection. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it. Fortunately, I was invited to participate and mentally everything changed. It’s my job now. First step of this was getting into the race, now I need to get ready for the race so that I can get through the race. I want to get to the finish line, not just the start line.
I had workouts last Saturday and Sunday (6th and 7th), but mentally, I feel like Monday morning (March 8th) is when it was game on. I’ve been working with a sports nutritionist because I’ve known that’s important and I’m in the process of dropping weight (I’ve been at or around 225 pounds for several years after running at a weight of about 205 for about a decade, down to 212 now) and getting my fueling strategies intact. That being said, here’s a recap of week one.
- 8.25 easy miles in the morning
- 3.5 miles at 9.5 incline on the treadmill at lunch
- 10.29 miles with 2×2 miles tempo w 400m recovery in the morning
- 3.5 miles at 9.5 incline with a 20-pound weighted vest on the treadmill at lunch
- 7.25 miles easy in the morning.
- 3.5 miles at 9.5 incline with 20-pound weighted vest on the treadmill at lunch
- 10.15 miles with strides after work. Legs were heavy for that run, which made it tough, but I have a mentality that I have to finish everything nowadays, so I did.
- Rest day from running. Lifted chest/arms/back/shoulders at the gym. I do lighter weights, higher reps. This workout was eight stations, each station five sets of 15-20 reps.
- Went to Boston to run with some friends and ran the Boston Marathon course, had a great time, total 26.45 miles. Love being able to run that course, so nice that it’s only a 5-6 hour drive for me. I was testing some nutrition strategies and was encouraged. I have a 100-mile race in Kansas on March 27 to give my nutrition strategies a better test.
- Weights at the gym, back/shoulders/abs. 7 stations, 5 sets of 20 reps each.
- 8.25 recovery miles
- Totals for the week: 70.64 miles running, 10.5 miles power hiking on the treadmill, two lifting sessions.
- Selected my crew (I’ll cover this in another post)
- Booked my flight out west for the race
- Secured a house for my crew before the race (I’m arriving 6 days early to acclimate, their plans TBD, but no later than two days before the race for arrival)
- Secured hotel rooms for the finish
- Reserved the crew van as well as a backup van
That was week one. I’m hoping to continue to drop weight next week, as well as doing a better job of getting to the gym to lift and staying consistent with those add-on treadmill power hikes. I’ll probably start heat training in the sauna after Kansas on March 27 because I have the Keys 100 on May 15 as a dry run with a heat race.
This coming up week I have 54 miles on my schedule, tapering down for that 100-miler on the 27th.
Thanks for reading!