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An “off the couch macro taper” at the Bandera 100k 15

Jan15

It’s been a pretty interesting 7 weeks.  I ran more miles at the Bandera 100k this weekend than I’ve accumulated over the past 7 weeks.  Hence, the “macro taper”. 

My goal after running the Chimera 100 mile was to train well, and do well at Bandera.  Well, all solid training took a backseat on a 15 miler on Antelope Island on December 1.  I was running along and within a minute or two, my left hamstring started to “hurt”.  I walked it in, the final 5 miles.  Ok, now what?  As I always do,  I went to see my doctor, Russ Toronto.  He is the man.  I  was diagnosed with an “inflamed peroneal nerve”.  If you don’t know what or where this is….it is where the sciatic nerve splits in the back of the hamstring about 3″ above the back of the knee.  It’s not pleasant, it doesnt’ allow extension of the hamstring as the hammy rubs against the nerve….causing frustrating pain.  

Then it started to snow…and we all know what that means…it’s time to luge. Over the next 3 weeks, no running, but lots of snow moving, bootpacking, uphill “hiking” and a few random 3-4 milers the PN as we’ll call it, was not really getting better.  Still no running….lots of luging.  I have no problem with that, but as the time went by, I was debating running Bandera.  My wife Cheryl was entered in the 50k, so what the hell?,  I’ll just go and start, more than likely drop if  my PN hurts.   On Monday before the race, I jogged 4 miles, very slow. It felt ok, so on the plane we went. 

With situations like this, pressure is off for me to perform well.  I had no idea if I’d get 1 mile or 62.  I have been working alot on that damn luge run, so my fitness was not too bad going into it. Not to mention I’ve been sleeping at 10,000 feet in a Hypoxico Tent.  Yah, I”m cheating right?  I honestly feel the tent has made a big difference in my cardio….so off we went.

Bandera consists of 2 loops of 50k.  They are “technical” for most, for me, the rocks being fixed in the ground are just like a normal trail run.  I mentioned to Bronco Billy (Jeff Browning) that the second lap is where I”ll thrive…if I make it that far.  Sage Canaday took off..no surprise there.  Mac Daddy, Dave James, Josh Brimhall, Paul Terranova, and a few others went on ahead. I started “slow”.  But I knew it wasn’t slow. My PN felt fine, so I started dancing on the trail.  It had been a while for me, so I was pretty excited to be in the mix.  We ran, we jostled.  Bronco, myself and Gary Gellin were running along in 9-11th place.  Cruising.  Jeff and Gary fell off my pace at about 25 ish…..I proceeded to push my “autopilot” button and kept running.   Chris Lundstrom and I moved away from Jeff and Gary fairly quick, and after some leapfrogging between Chris and I thru 48 ish, Chris decided to deposit some puke on the trail.  I kept running.  Chris bailed later on.   All I had to do now is keep jogging to stay in 4th.  Not a big deal as I really don’t feel warmed up till about 60 ish. :-)  

Sage obviously smoked us all, and ran a stellar 813 and change to take Mackey’s record down.  As I usually do, I closed well. I didn’t gain much, but didn’t lose any either. I’m not so sure it’s smart to run on no training, but this old man has that autopilot button. I’m not so sure others do.  I find it amazing sometimes how I can run 62 miles, and not even blink.  Knowing “how” to run far, really makes a difference.  

Am I paying the price?  Damn right, I”m damn sore right now, but it was worth every minute of it. It never gets old.  Perhaps I’ll now go shovel the 2′ of snow we just got at the luge.  

Don’t forget the Speedgoat 50k, now has less than 100 spots available, out of 350. So you better get on it if you want to run a nice gentle, easy 50k……sort of.

Thanks Hoka, Thanks Hypoxico, Thanks Dani Schraner at Red Bull for doing a stellar job on her first crewing experience for this Red Bull freak.

Now go buy some coffee dammit, I”m going sledding!

 

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15 Comments

  1. CJ says:

    Nice work off the couch! I think you have a gift in being able to run long distances with little or no problem, especially with little training

  2. Ricky Denesik says:

    Karl Wanted to congratulate you on Ultrarunner of the year.

  3. Dylan Bowman says:

    You’re such a freak.

  4. Jonathan F says:

    Didn’t get a chance to say hi to you but glad you came down to Tejas. I’ve been impressed with your running after watching you at Rocky Raccoon last year. You definitely have an auto-pilot. At Bandera you flew past me like I was standing still – wait, I was standing still – on your way to the finish before I even finished my first loop. Ended up bailing at 50K but wanted to say thanks for acknowleding us as you flew by without breaking stride. See you in Squamish.

  5. Vermont says:

    Great recap – didn’t know you we’re injured? Sorry, but…. Glad to know your not impervious! My knee felt better last night after an easy 5 miler @9:11 avg. I’m coming right along Karl – :)
    Oh… I’ve reserved a tent for 8wks from Hypoxico for Leadville!

  6. JM says:

    Any word on new Hoka’s for the spring?
    Specifically, anything with a wider toe box?

  7. Jeremy says:

    Hi Karl…another great performance. Thanks for taking the time to discuss injuries, training and health stuff with me in the San Antonio airport. It was very nice to meet your wife too. I look forward to racing with you to Auburn this year.
    Best wishes,
    Jeremy

  8. Mike Alfred says:

    Thank you Karl. Reading this has brought a noticeable improvement to my day.

  9. angie says:

    Karl – congrats! BUT, I just can’t wrap my head around how you go from not being able to run to running the 100k just like THAT!

  10. Dallan says:

    Congrats! Are you going to make another luge video like past years?

  11. Bartman says:

    Congrats at Bandera. Smart run. Sorry to hear about the nerve problem. Try a herniated disc for the ultimate nerve pain. You don’t even walk when that sucker kicks in. Check your email.
    Thanks,
    Bartman

  12. Shane Thread says:

    You are the boss, Karl! I find this one interesting because I’m a flatlander who dabbles in mtn ultras and always enters them undertrained. Thanks for sharing and best wishes on the year!

  13. rms says:

    Antelope results aren’t up yet, and I dnf’d in a cold wind, but I saw KM twice on the course, probably on his way to breaking 15hrs (I was the one he yelled at going the wrong way near the start-finish on his 2nd loop) and just have nothing but admiration to express. I love that course; don’t know why really, but I’ll be there again next year

  14. CJ says:

    Is Karl Meltzer still alive?

  15. Josh says:

    I didn’t even know there were 100K races. Or even 50K for that matter. You are amazing!