Monday, April 10, 2017

Training Ups and Downs

When I was nervous about running my first 50K earlier this year, Clint's advice to me was "there are going to be high points and low points during your run."  And then during another one of our conversations since then, he again said that there will be training days that are good, but there will definitely be training days that are a low.  And that's the reality of training for ultra runs, and running ultra races. I like to refer to this as 'the good, the bad, and the ugly.' And this is one of the types of weeks to report this week.

So, the good about this week:  During the week of Clint's birthday, he engaged in a March Madness style Twitter battle - #URMadness (something I know virtually nothing about as I do not Twitter).  During the week, I kept seeing the bracket on Facebook, and most people are probably far more familiar with all this than I am.  Our own ClintLikesBeer won.  This coincided nicely with his 40th birthday shenanigans. He went up against other elite ultra runners in a social media battle, and apparently Clint is talented in wit and humor as well.

And now to the bad about this week:  Clint doesn't like to complain. At all. I try to ask questions and prod for information, and he agrees that this blog needs to be authentic, but he really tries to downplay the issue that he's dealing with regarding his knees. I wanted to help.  I developed runners knee while training for my first 50K, looked up on YouTube how to use KT tape, and had fantastic luck on my own knees.  When I ran the 50K, I had zero pain in my knees. So, I've researched more about taping and use KT tape on my track athletes who are dealing with shin splints and sore knees.  So, naively, my birthday present to Clint was to wrap his knees and have him try out KT tape on a short run.   I learned about his knee surgeries on two interviews with Clint and again when I met with Becca, but when I went to Clint's house to get updated on his training this week, I was in for an awakening - a bad awakening. I shared a few beers with Clint while Becca prepared dinner for the family; he had Pavlo from Claimstake Brewing while I had a Monkey Knife Fight from Rubicon Brewing. Right before I left, I reminded Clint that I wanted to try the KT tape on his knees, and Becca laughingly asked him to 'drop trou' for me.  He didn't, but left the room to put on a pair of shorts.  He took a seat in the living room on the couch because I needed his knee at a 90 degree angle.  I seated myself on the floor in front of him, and when I saw his knees, I knew that tape was not going to do a damn thing to help him.  I've been taping a few knees for relatively decent-sized high school students, but nothing prepared me for the size of Clint's knee.  Scars are still prominent, and I had a really difficult time finding his knee caps.  His knee is over three times larger than any knee I have seen up close.  And it's not because he's a big guy - it's because his knees have been rebuilt and are no longer the same shape as 'regular' knees.  I went ahead and taped his knees, but I knew his pain is coming from a much, much more serious place and this tape was not going to be enough to offer relief.

This week's training 04/03/27-04/09/17
Mon - Cap Tapper's Shake Our Run 5.7 miles
Tues - The Ranch - strength, mobility, flexibility, tissue quality
Wed - 7.8 mile speed workout
Thur - The Ranch + 3.4 mile Django Run
Fri -  Rest and recovery
Sat - 6 miles along American River Bike Trail
Sun - K2 Challenge (Training Hill) 3 loops - almost 1,000 ft elevation gain each loop

And the ugly for this week:  Let me just say that the tape did not do any good, and the K2 Challenge was not pretty.  And I'll leave it at that.  It's just a reminder of the advice Clint himself gave me: "There will be good training days, and bad training days."  And this is the reality that Clint must face as he continues to train for Western States, and the reality he wants to share with any blog followers who hope to run a 100-mile ultra race.

According to the article "45 Mind Numbing Facts, Figures, and Statistics about Running" on, only 0.5% of the American population has ever completed a marathon. And, according to, a German website with statistics about runners by nation, in 2016 there were about 7,500 finishers of 100-mile races in the United States. That equates to about 0.0024% of the US population who have done what Clint has done - and will do again.  This feat that Clint is training for is monumental.

And to go full cycle and end on another 'good' reminder:  Clint has the love and support of a huge community of friends, runners (and social media fans), but more importantly, he is blessed with support at home.  His favorite medal rack is the one that was made for him by Becca's father.  These are beer taps for each of Clint's 100-mile races:  Tahoe Rim Trail, Javelina, San Diego, and Rio Del Lago. And yes, there in the center is Western States.  I can only imagine the percentage of people who can proudly display this medal rack on their wall, and have a medal hanging from each tap.

#seeyouinsquaw  in 75 days.

1 comment:

  1. Awe..brought tears to this mom's eyes, remembering his dedication to what he loves and what he deals with to do it. Thanks, Sylvia.