Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Should I Run Howl at the Moon 8-Hour?

I've had a terrible few weeks of running. Actually, it's been more like no running and just a little walking. I'm not sandbagging here...my last few weeks have been sad. Ever since my trip to Louisiana back in June (where I injured my knee at a McDonalds), I have not run much. About 2 weeks ago I got my first pain-free run in--the knee seems to be healed and holding up OK. I've done a couple fast 3 mile runs, but I haven't tested the knee on anything longer than 7 miles. Howl at the Moon 8-Hour run is on August 8. Can my knee hold up to that kind of abuse? Can my body take that heat & humidity for 8 hours? Can my mind hang in there for 8 hours? Inquiring minds want to know! What I want to know is should I even bother running it? I have NO CHANCE of reaching my long-time goal of 50 miles. I have no chance to set a new personal record (currently 47.06 miles). In my condition, I may not even break 40 miles. I'm sure I could break 30 miles just by fast walking and a little jogging. Still, I'd hate to set a new "low mileage PR" for Howl (currently my worst year was in 2000 when I only ran 37.81 miles).

I told my brother Mark I'd pace him at his first marathon in October. He's done more running (including a few long runs) than me! I need to get back on the marathon training path. Maybe 8 hours at Howl will get me back on track...or injure me. Hmmm...should I risk it?

My up-to-date statistics (through the 2008 race) for the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour Run:

Total Races: 8
Low: 37.81 miles (2000)
High: 47.06 miles (2006, 2008)
Total Miles: 351.20
Average Miles: 43.90
Best Placing: 12th (2005)
Worst Placing: 44th (2000)

This Howl would be my 9th. I should probably do it and take it easy. Even if I only get 30+ miles that's still a good endurance training run. If I hit 38 miles it won't be my worst Howl performance. And if I break 43 miles, I'll maintain my "average Howl miles" statistic. Maybe I should "let 'er rip" and see how far a well-rested and untrained body can go...hopefully the answer is not "the hospital."

Any advice on what I should do on August 8th? Howl at the Moon or no Howl? If yes, what's a reasonable mileage goal?


brian said...

Hey Chris, you're always welcome to join us here at the Sunburn Six in the Stix 6-Hour Fat Ass in Bartlett, IL. I'll even waive your fee ;-). We've got a good group of folks (50 participants) doing it. The price-to-fun ratio is quite attractive too.

I hope you get better.

Chris said...

Thanks Brian. A race before Howl is the last thing I need! Appreciate the offer and hope you all have a GREAT race on August 1. Maybe I'll do that next year...as part of a real training plan for Howl.

510joe said...

I started off this year with some lofty goals. I felt the bar was high but within reach. I have since been very humbled. I almost dropped at Clinton but recoverred after a nap. Same goes for Mc N. Dropped down at Mt.Mitchell and DWD wisc. I ran my slowest 5k ever! I did have two PR's but every step forward feels like two steps back. I can relate. I am pulling back on my HOWL goal. There are 12 of us coming from Muscatine and we plan on camping and enjoying the entire weekend... If I dislike the race outcome I will still enjoy the ambiance.

Chris said...

"Enjoy the ambiance." I like that! Howl is a great reunion of old friends. I'm pretty darn sure I'm doing it and I'll try my best, but have more realistic goals (40 miles?) instead of a new PR. If my friend Brian Kuhn can WALK 41 miles at Howl, I should be able to jog/walk 40!

Jerry Davison said...

I had a letdown after McNaughton and just recently started really getting serious again. I'm planning on using Howl for an 8 hour "time on my feet" training session. That way if I do it next year I'm assured a PR!

Heidi said...

Do it, but give yourself a free pass this year to take it easy. Don't set any goals whatsoever except to have fun and enjoy yourself.

I suffered an injury thanks to a piece of furniture in May and my marathon plans were destroyed (running Buffalo Trace post-injury didn't help, either...). I have been back to running for 7 weeks now and doing OK; I am taking it very easy and gradually adding miles. I am debating doing a 10k at the end of August but I keep telling myself, "No pressure..."

Chris said...

Sounds like lots of runners have had injuries and bad training as of late. Nice to know I'm not alone. Hope all of you recover quickly and have great future races. I'll be at Howl. Not sure what my goal will be, but I'll be there. At worst, I'll run a few laps and then volunteer.

Jerry Davison said...

My goal is to have fun, walk until the bell rings, drink lots of fluids, eat lots of oranges and get a tan.

Heidi said...

My solution was to apply bubble wrap and foam padding to the offending corner on my work desk. Probably not as easy to do for McDonalds tables. Good luck and have fun! I'm going to attempt an 8+-mile run in New Orleans; it's the weekend before the 10k I am hoping to run on 8/30 (Lisle Windrunners Danada trail 10k) so I need to get a good one in.

Andy said...

I'm with Heidi. Just go out and have fun. Its a social event anyway. I'm coming off of a strange summer cold that has now lasted 21 days, and I'm still coughing. I have about 15 miles under my belt in that time, but I plan to go out an just have a Howl of a time. Maybe we can walk some miles together to talk about 5Fingers and Zepplin.

Chris said...

I'm with you. I'll be at Howl and I'll do my best within my main goal of getting in a long run and not becoming injured. I want to jump into marathon training within a couple days of Howl. I'll load up a few more Zep songs and look forward to seeing you next weekend.

Jerry Davison said...

2 words: Physical Graffiti

Chris said...

You're my new BFF! One word back at ya...Kashmir. See some of you folks at Howl in just 8 days.