My name is Nick, I am a Wisconsin dad who loves all things fitness, diving, and food! Persistent Resilience is a log of the fun and craziness that is my life. I am passionate about running, I love to see how far I can push myself, and my favorite runs are off-road. Currently I am trying to add to my ultra-marathon experience. If you have any questions about how/why I run or eat the way that I do please do not hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment, via facebook, or by email at Thanks for Visiting

20 September 2012

AUGUST 2012 Training Recap

AUGUST Training Recap

This month I focused on building speed into my training as well as consistently running back to back long runs, for the upcoming North Face 50K in Sep.  I began the month by shifting my first two runs of the week to be a sub race pace tempo run and an interval workout.  I was running my tempo runs near a 7:00 pace, and the 800 intervals were being run near a 2:40 pace.  These runs were completed Monday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday I was swimming an interval set in the AM and biking hills in the pm.  On Thursday I would do a tempo swim for 1.5 miles.  Then on Friday I was doing a 3 hour long run a little above 50K pace, and then on Saturday AM I would run for 1-2 hours easy.  This training schedule seemed to allow me to get in quality work and some distance as well. 

At the end of the month one of the members of my trail running group, Lapham Peak Trail Runners, celebrated his 50th birthday by running a 50K fat ass, at Lapham Peak State park.  He consistently podiums in ultras so, as a test, I decided to run with him.  I was planning on running 3 of the 5 loops about 17.5 miles.  I did this, but near the end of the run my right knee really started to hurt.  The pain did not go away with ice or rest in the following few days, so I made an appointment for some chiropractic and ART (Active release Therapy) work.  The ART was good, but as usual the chiropractor worked his magic and within a few days the pain was receding. 

During my long runs I was really able to dial in my use of VESPA and race nutrition, to the point where I would take 1 VESPA JR 45 min before the run and another at the 2 hour mark, and only take 1 or 2 gels for the entire run.  I feel as ready for this 50K as I can with the fact that I could not descend stairs a few days before.  Stay tuned for a post related to my diet, VESPA, and some of the things I changed to include more fat and eliminate carbs, to increase my fat burning efficiency, to enhance race day performance and recovery!  Also for the race report from The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K.


Run     182.9 miles      27:14:01 hours
Swim   11 miles
Bike     77 miles

2012 Dances With Dirt Trail 1/2 Marathon Race Report

This was a race I had been looking forward to for the last 12 months.  I ran the ½ marathon last year as a fun run coming back from two injuries.  With a time of 2:30ish last year I knew had a serious ax to grind with this race.  The Dances with Dirt Devils Lake course is described as being tough with some crazy stupid sections thrown in.  It resembles a Q with a 3 mile single track, followed by a 7 mile loop, and finishing with the same 3 miles.  What makes the course so awesome is that the first 3 miles are all climbing.  Odd for Wisconsin you say, well not when you consider the western half of WI is filled with bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River or other large lakes, such as Devil’s Lake.  Once you complete the first 3 miles of climbing you enter the looped 7 miles of the course, there is a little more climbing in the first mile, then some actual scrambling up the side of a bluff, to get to the top for the amazing views.  This is followed by a gradual descent back to the original 3 miles.  This final 3 miles is now a screaming fast plunge filled with rocks and roots, buckle up because it’s a fun ride down.

I rode to this race with another Zach, this time Zach Otto, not Zach Bitter.  We got there a bit early to meet his brother in law Mark, who had flown in from Oregon to check out what Wisconsinites call crazy trails.  While he was regaling us with stories of running with Hal Koerner and Jenn Shelton (she chicked him in his last marathon), I saw my friend Dave.  Now Dave was supposed to be running the 50K, but he had separated his shoulder 4 days before, so following his doctor’s advice that he rest and not run the 50K he was running the ½, sounds acceptable to me.  I decided I was going to try and perfect racing with VESPA during this race.  After eating a breakfast of moderate protein, high fat, and a little carbs (fruit), I drank nothing but water for 3 hours prior to the start of the race.  45 minutes before the gun I took a VESPA JR and 1 S Cap.  I stuck a gel in my shorts and 1 in my handheld as backup. 

Pretty soon it was go time, we lined up, and I took a spot a little off the front. Mark however took a spot right on the line guess that’s what running with Jenn will do for your confidence.  Off I went with the front 30-40 people, there were over 300 in the race, so I could get onto the single track climb with out a ton of walkers in front of me.  Well that was the plan, but that pace at which the group was running was way faster than this ultra runner is used to 1 mile into a race.  But we hit the single track and I started to climb.  Still going at a ridiculous pace, because I was leading my little train, I actually began to pass people a little over 1 mile into the climb.  This went on for the rest of the way to the loop.  Once we hit the loop I fell in behind two College CC runners and realized, to their horror as well as mine, the loop was reversed this year so instead of a 2 mile climb and 5 mile gradual decent we would be climbing for the next 5 miles.  Holy cow time to pack a lunch this just got fun!  Well I pushed through the climb, managing to only body surf the trail once.  Once we hit the bluff and its grand vista, I slowed my pace so I could enjoy the view without falling off the edge.  To my surprise there was the individual I thought was leading the race performing yoga poses out on a rock, guess the view was too much for him!  On with racing, a quick scramble on all fours down the bluff and I was back at the 3 mile monster decent.  Yee haw time to let my HOKA’s fly, and fly they did.  I managed to pass no less than 8 people in the first mile.  I came screaming down the hill to the finish with a sub 2 hour time.  Shortly after crossing the finish line I was told I placed in my age group, guess getting older has its benefits.  For my award I got a sweet mini, indestructible, flashlight, and as much craft beer from the tappers as I could drink.  I settled in and eagerly awaited the finish of all of my friends and fellow Lapham Peak Trail Runners who were attempting all of the distances. 

My testing of VESPA was awesome I took only 1 VESPA, water, 1 S cap and 2 gels over the 1:50 it took me to finish.  My energy never waivered, even though I was way above threshold for most of the race.  My energy levels combined with my HOKA’s ability to absorb the punishing descents allowed me to fly past my competition in the final miles. The RD’s promised that the course would be tougher and it was.  I would highly recommend this race series to anyone!  The course is tough, they have multiple distance options, the views are awe inspiring, competition fierce, you can camp at the start finish, and the after party is conducted in true UTLRA fashion.

Tom Schiessl, Me, and Melinda Pedersen at the finish, up next where's the beer!
 Thanks as always to my sponsors Performance Running Outfitters and VESPA you make exceeding racing potential a pure joy!

Gear Used
Shirt - Sugoi PRO Race Team Jersey - Performance Running Ooutfitters PRO
Shorts - The North Face Better than Naked Split - PRO
Shoes - Hoka One One Stinson Evo B Trail -
Calf Sleeves - CEP - PRO
Handheld Nathan bottle - PRO
Suceed Caps - PRO
Gels - PRO