Thursday, November 27, 2008

Running with the Family

The last two Saturdays I have been spending some quality time with family. On the 15th Anne and I ran the Richmond marathon together in 70+ degree heat and humidity. On the 22nd my brother Tim and I ran the JFK 50 miler together in temps ranging from 15-35 degrees with a stiff wind blowing. Both were tough!!!

Looking back at the last 15 months since returning from Egypt and leaving the Army I have raced a bit excessively...even for a the fringe population of ultrarunners I hang out with. All told I have done 2 official marathons and 18 ultras. Although I keep saying I am about to cut back...train more and become more fit and competitive racing selectively and trying REALLY hard. I doubt it will happen. Mentally it is pretty hard for me to have a big goal and solely work towards it only to have something beyond my control like sickness or weather ruin my chances of pulling it off. I have gone the other way and end up going to multiple events running with a "hey I'll have fun with this one" attitude and generally just enjoying myself. I have come to grips at long last with finish placings and race times well off what I have done previously.

Goals for 2009 at this point include a possible run at MMT 100 again and maybe a 24hr run.
Or MAYBE a through run of the towpath and its entire 184.5 miles.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Recovery Week

2 runs 15 miles
Thurs- 6 miles easy
Sat- 9 miles w/ 3200m-6:29-12:42

I took it easy this week resting up for the up coming beat downs. I want to be feeling really good as I will be running the Richmond Marathon with Anne Saturday and then the JFK 50 miler with my brother Tm on the 22nd. Its good to be fresh.

My quads had some soreness Sunday and Monday on the stairs and I could tell I had worked a bit harder than I have in a while. So I fell into the pattern I often go into. Big runs....big recovery.

Since I ran Hardrock in July I have only run 58 times for 584 miles. Or 10 miles per run. October was even more extreme with 17 runs with an average of 13.4 miles per run. I don't get out often but when I do I make it count.

This should change soon as I will be starting a new job with a commute I hope to do M-F of 10 miles. I plan on driving or biking into work M/W/F and running home, then Running in and driving/riding home on T/Th. The consistency should be great.

Wish me luck

Sunday, November 2, 2008


38th- 9:31:57

WOW! What a fine day. Best weather and prettiest foliage in all of the over 70 ultras I have run in. I had a great time running on the beautiful course this year starting conservatively and working my way up through the field. One bad patch between 24 and 31 miles and then ran well moving strongly regaining those that passed me and then some. I even managed the last 3++ miles (4?) from the last aid station in under 30 minutes. Man it felt good to finish that strongly after having such a tough go in the last ten miles of the Andiamo 45 last month.

More importantly I probably had one of the best races in terms of stomach/fuel/electrolyte management I've had in years. I used water only in my hand held bottle, but drank some coke at the aid stations and used 12 packs of gels and ate some pringles, M&M's, and fig newtons along the way. All of which are favorites of mine. I did have 2 pit stops (mile 22,28), but did not experience the un-draining stomach/bloating problems that have plagued me so often.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trying to be Solid

Oct 23- 18 miles blacktop bike path
Oct 26- 18 miles blacktop roads
Oct 27- 12 miles on C&O towpath
Oct 29- 13 miles trail, bikepath, road, sidewalk you name it

Today's run was a new loop exploring the amazing area I now live in. I started from my townhouse and ran hilly roads to a trail that connects into the Potomac heritage trail, that connected to the Chain bridge, then ran the C&O towpath to the Capital crescent bikepath, to the bike/pedestrian path and sidewalks linking me to the Memorial bridge. I crossed the GW parkway then ran the mt Vernon trail north to Roosevelt island and then got on the Potomac Heritage trail again and ran it to a connector trail before finishing my run up Quincy blvd. a sweat loop. I got to go (closely)by the Lincoln monument, Georgetwon, Kennedy center, Watergate bldg, Arlington National Cemetery. What a nice tour.

Next up...MMTR 50 er.....53 miler is coming up Saturday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Urban Assault Ultra

Okay this is my next dream. Now that I am living in Arlington I am surrounded by an amazing network of within the city trails. Some dirt, some gravel/crushed stone, some paved bike path. My biggest impression is that they are everywhere!

Some fo the trails I have explored completely in the last month include:

W&OD- paved- rails to trails- 45miles
Potomaac Heritage Trail- dirt- rocky nasty-18 miles
Capital Crescent Trail- paved-13 miles
Mt Vernon Trail- paved-18 miles
4 mile- run Trail -paved-7.5 miles
Custis Trail- paved- 4 miles
Bluemont Connector- paved- 2 miles

The above culminated with yesterdays cool run. Here from Garmin. Its called the Arlington triangle loop and it took me 2:39 to cover these 18 miles. I did get a little lost where the trails don't quite connect, but they are currently pooring concrete and bulldozing to make them do so as I type.
Previously I have run a series of connecting trails linking rock creek park to battery kimbal and grover archibald allowing me to run dirt from walter Reed's 16th street entrance all the way to fletchers boathouse and the C&O Canal. As well as running the bike path system thru rock creek- which is 20 miles long

Other area trails include the grandaddy of them all the C&O canal towpath = 184 miles
A great resource is linked here
My plan is to one day lay out a route that allows a completely urban trail ultra of 50+ miles. With all the above choices it shouldn't be to hard! It looks like you could start/finish at Fletchers boathouse and do a figure 8 loop into rock creek park connectinginto the crescent trail run south to the C& O then into the Arlington triangle loop and it'd be close to 50. hmmmmmmm

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Not Dead

Really, I'm not it has just been a REALLY long time since I had Internet and felt like posting.

Life: Things are going well! Anne and I are now in the new townhouse and living large in Arlington. We both are working and the cat and dog continue to attack one another to stay amused.

Joey- the cat is not thrilled about the city life and having to stay inside, but he does now have 4 levels to run around on and perhaps more importantly....find hiding places.

Oskar- the dog is happy about everything as a general rule. He now enjoys city block walks and having to have his master pick up his (Oskar's) poop..... Who is really the master anyway?

In my running life I must admit I don't do well with change and living in strange places and having odd schedules and traveling a ton and having a million new duties that I always seem to deem more important than running. Thus my last 4 weeks since leaving Richmond have been all in the 24-38 mile range. Wow sucko!

Anne's running has been going well and we have successfully done long ones of 15, 18, and 20 miles in this time span. She is averaging 30 miles a week now... You go Anne!

A return to normalcy?? Well sort of. I managed 4 runs last week ( an 8 and a 20 with Anne) and a 10 on the C&O towpath.....which I think is my favorite place to run ever. And a whopping 45 miler. The later being the VHTRC's Andiamo run which covers the entire W&OD bike path trail from Purcelville into Shirlington. This was loads of fun for the first 34 miles. Then the last 11 took over 3 hours and resulted in my first bouts of running induced vomiting in over 20 years of running. Pretty amazing GI tract killing pain honestly. Lasted well into the night keeping me up and out of bed from 1-3AM even.

If all ultras were like the first 30 (50k split in 4:58 running easy with 60sec walk breaks at all mile markers) I'd run ultras every few days. If all ultras were like the last 10 miles. I'd never run one again.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Catching up

Wow, been a while since I posted. Been busy prepping for the move and watching the Olympics. a couple solid weeks (56, and 52 miles the last two on 5 runs per week each). Still not as motivated as I should be.....I really need a scheduled day and lifestyle. This should improve soon as I start my new job on Monday! Too bad I can't move into my new house until Sept 16th.

So some highlights of the last few weeks:

8/6, 8/11, 8/18 I did the same workout. One of my favorite quickies. I run to a track and do a 2 mile run where I run the straight a ways hard and jog the curves. this amounts to a 16x100m surging run. this is much like the 30 sec hard 30 sec easy workout many folks do. I always end running the second mile faster as each successive 100m strider feels smoother and faster. On the 6th I ran 13:50 for the 2 miles, then 13:37 on the 11th and 13:02 on the 18th with what felt like the same effort.

On the other end of the spectrum I got out to Shenandoah NP for four serious climbing/descending and trail running on the AT and other technical trails. I had great company in Sophie and Jeff Wilbur of charlottesville. I ran an 18 mile loop on 8/7 and 8/9 that has over 4,000ft of climb and on 8/15 and 8/17 I ran a tough 21 miler with over 5k of climb. All these runs took between 4:05 and 5:02 to run. For me this is the perfect length of time to be out on my feet pounding and still be able to recover well. In the summer with an early start I will go through 100 ounces of fluid and take in around 800 calories on such a run. This puts me on the verge of being hungry and helps increase my bodies fat mobilization abilities.

Today Anne and I headed to Ashland, VA for the Patrick Henry 1/2 marathon and managed to complete our goal by covering the distance on tired legs at goal marathon pace: 1:59

Fun stuff, highlighted by attending a pre-race talk given by Maureen Ackerly about the US Oly trails marathon in April. This amazing runner is a 39 y.o. mother of 2 who happens to be a partner in a big law firm. Talk about juggling life responsibilities and still manage to PR in the marathon! Amazing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Trails are Awesome

After 3 resting weeks following Hardrock I was able to get in a good one this week:

61 miles on 6 runs including two(2) four hour runs on trails. Man were they fun! On both Thursday and Saturday I had great company while trotting the trails above the Charolottesville reservoir. We ran the moormans river road loop traveling up to, then 8 miles on the Appalachian trail in Shenandoah NP and back down. Thursday Jeff and I even got to see two bear cups. This is a loop I used to run nearly weekly when I was getting my masters at UVA.

GPS tracks of our runs. Saturday's run with Sophie shows the actual route while Thursdays run the garmin unit lost reception under the heavy canopy and overcast skies. (Here)

Today Anne and I continued to build her long run for this Novembers Richmond marathon by doing a fun 13 miles on the course.

After 12 hours of running in the last 4 days I am feeling incredibly good

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Trying to make it Ours

Ahhhhhh Arlington! Good stuff. Moving back to NOVA. Start work Aug 25th. Close Sept 15th. Can't wait for either!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feeling The Need

For Speed....or the best I can manage these days: MotionBased stats here

8 miles with: 4x200, 4x400, 3x1000, 400, 4x200, 95 degree sun at 2pm

Easy warm up...didn't take long in the heat and my favorite time to run...AFTERNOON!
4 x 200 on 40 sec rest- 41, 41, 37, 38 Felt really good, not trying to press, just turn them over
4 x 400 on 90 sec rest- 91, 86, 88, 84 Pace was all over as I was trying to find the best mix between relaxed and pressing the 2nd half to hold the pace. Not to mention I have not run anything this quick since February. By the 3rd and 4th my heartrate was really getting up there and staying up above 120 a bit long following the repeat.

so I took 5 minutes rest then did 3 x 1000m aiming to hit 4:00 or a guess at my 10 mile-1/2 marathon pace. But onc eI got into them I ran faster and was probably closer to VO2max pace than Lactate threshold. Using equal recoveries I managed to hit 4:01, 3:54, 3:46. It felt good and I was running very smoothly. After the faster repeats to start off with, it was hard to run above 90 sec 400 pace on these repeats.

After the 3rd one I felt hot and tired. So I decided to do some more shorter reps and work on my recruitment of the fast twitch fibers that I let lie dormant so much of the time. I will probably be wicked sore tomorrow.

Last bit went 400-84, 4x200-39, 37, 37, 36, then one last 400 to try and break 80 and a nice result of 76. That chased the heartrate up to 175bpm. Probably within a few ticks of my max honestly.

All in all it was a good workout and I am glad I went and got it in. Tomorrow I am off to DC to do a bunch of things related to my new job and my new townhouse! Trying to finalize things on a new place. Super exciting.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time to Throw Down

Week 2 post Hardrock
3 runs = 29 miles 1 easy, 1 speed, 1 moderate

Now, feeling recovered and well motivated it is time to start throwing it down. I hope to put in more miles in the month of August than I have ever done in one month. My current record is 380 miles from June of 1998 (last 11 years monthly mileage seen here) Getting in a 400 mile month would be nice.

For motivation I am using the following:

and good VHTRC buddy Sophie

On the personal side, no luck finding a house yet!!!! :-(

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back into it

After a week off to travel, recover, rest, and house search I am now back in to training. Motivation is low like it always is after a big event, but I do have some fun things on the horizon.

Anne and I powered through an 11 miler on the C& O Canal towpath in DC Sunday. My left ankle (anterior tibialis muscle/tendon) was stiff aching and giving me "itis" problems but that seems to have resolved. This was Anne's first LONG run in the build up for her fall marathon. Fun stuff to be a part of!

Today I went out for a longish run, got mis-oriented and wound up in a part of my neighborhood I have yet to run. So I made my way to the local highschool track and did an impromptu workout. Since I am such a wuss and can't stick to a regular track/hard workout routine when I end up at the track I like to make the most of it. after illusions of grandeur and a 5xmile workout I managed two before the legs and mind said......"Hey wait buddy...we are still not 100%"

So here it is:
25 min warm up
2 x mile 6:20, 6:07 on 3:30 recov
15 min cool down

Not to whine about what was but for reference:
7/7/2000- Hardrock- 36:16
7/16/2000- 7 miler with last mile 5:26
7/24/2000- 3 x mile 5:28, 5:22, 5:20
7/26/2000- 8,000m time trial on track by self- 28:53

ugh! I can't wait until I move to DC and get some training partners

Friday, July 18, 2008

what worked

I wanted to write a bit to let folks know what worked for me......and what didn't

FEET: Hardrock is an extremely wet race with stream crossings and marshlands the entire course. My feet were wet from the river crossing at 2 miles straight thru for 46 hours until the river crossing at 99 miles.

AJW tip to wet your feet before long runs was an excellent one! The two weeks prior to the race I ran with wet feet 5-6 times- spraying them down with a hose (filling my shoes really) then re-wet in a local river 30 minutes in to the runs. I also did 2-3 hour yard work sessions where I wet my feet every 45min. This constant time spent in wet socks/shoes allowed my foot skin to toughen and all the looser/weak callus stuff to peel off prior to race day and thus in the race itself I had ZERO problems. I had one tiny blister on the side of my big toe that I did not feel, drained after, and it was sealed and healed in 24hrs. No other issues at all!!!

Shoes:- I wore my Asics 2110's road shoes that have 800+ miles on them and are a year old. They drained well, gripped decently, were light weight, comfortable, supportive but not restrictive and are lower to the ground than my Montrails. However, they have higher side walls around the ankle and this caused my most severe post race problem......I have swollen ankle bones on the outside (lateral malleolus) bilaterally and the right one was rug burned into a bloody area. Runing straight is no problem, but side hill action caused the side of the shoes to push into my ankle bones. Ouch.

socks: I changed socks 4 times for no good reason other than it FELT GOOD! I used white "jockey" socks that fit my feet well. They are all ruined with stains now but hey.

fluids: I drank plan water 100% of the time and filed my bottles from the streams and with snow probably 60% of the time. I'll let you know if I develop giardia. I also took in up to 12 cups of coke along the way (drunk at aid stations)

Electrolytes: I used maybe 8 or so NUUN tablets and one S! cap, then had GI trouble and for the last 26 hours of the race only ate salty food from the tables. Salt pills are overrated. I eat an extremely low salt diet, and was well heat acclimated prior to the race so my sweat has little salt in it. I wish I had not used the NUUN tabs at all. Pretzels is all you need.

Calories: I took in 2400cals of Cliff shot blocks, 4000+cals of pure granulated sugar (that I carried in a bottle then added water too to make a gel like slurry). I will use maltodextrin in the future as sugar worked great but has a taste to it, that I did get sick off, while maltodextrin is tasteless. I ate a strawberry milkshake (real deal ice cream from an ice cream shop), 1/2 a turkey sandwich, 1/2 a turkey sandwich with cheese grilled, 2 cups of pasta, 6 pop sickles, maybe 12 cups of coke, one zip lock bag of peanuts, M&M's, and one zip lock bag full of pretzels. during the 46:45. Pre-race breakfast was a liter of gatorade and 2 banana Power bars. I'm not sure how many calories this all is but it was ALOT! yet I was still hungry and bonky a few times. The caloric expenditure scaling 40% grade mtns at 14,000ft must be higher than 100 calories per mile.

I also recently read that Krissy Moehl took in 600cals per hour at last years hardrock....this is double the 300cals an hour max the stomach is supposed to be able to process.(according to my masters degree in exercise physiology learnings) Interesting.! Probably why she kicked ass. I watched Karl Meltzer pack his drop bags for the 2005 hardrock were he spent 18 minutes in aid stations total time. He had 60 gels. for 6000cals. And ate nothing else. Trying to run at altitude asks a lot of the old cardio system so much of the bodies blood is diverted away from the viscera (stomach/intestines) and shunted to the working muscles. this makes digestion of anything complex very difficult. This is why I chose to stick closely to simple sugar and away from harder to digest foods. During exercise at a high % max output (like I had at Hardrock) the common phenomonen of "take in sugar---recieve huge insulin spike----resulting in lowered blood sugar and BONK" is attenuated. Huge spikes in insulin output are not seen, so one does not bonk as hard after pure sugar intake as one would say when sitting on a couch. No, I am not as dumb as I may seem.

Due to efficiency of the body being able to utilize stored fat when running at x min/mile pace rather than burning glucose or glycogen, the better shape you are in, the less calories you need to take in. I am not in that kind of shape obviously! so I likily needed more calories taken in during the event than fitter/faster folks.

all in all it was a great experiement and I am glad to be back in better shape. It has been a slow climb out of the 2003-2006 duldrums, but I am getting there.

grindstone 100 in Oct and JFK 50 in Nov on the horizon

Thursday, July 17, 2008

worth a 1000 words

awesome phtos here by Olga and HERE by Steve

Awesome Awesome Awesome

Hardrock 100 - 92nd- 46:45. SUPER HAPPY! I am a true hardrocker now having finished the course in both CCW and CW directions. Yep thats nearly 47 straight hours of movement. No nap, only stopped for 20-30 minutes at a few aid stations. Thats a LONG time to be out, and surprisingly it was not that bad. I was not overly tired/sleepy at all.

Silverton is a very special place and it felt like a big reunion to see so many falks who I have run with, been teamates with, and enjoyed their company at races before. Many folks welcomed me back to the race where I had a disappointing DNF in 2005 when I came in fresh off a stress fracture. As well as the race I really began to seriously make a name for myself in ultrarunning by my 36:18 in 2000.

2008 had been a great year for me in terms of life, happiness, and steady consistant running. After 4 poor years of haphazard running and injury, I now had 24 consistent months of training behind me and felt not only fit, but confident in my ability to finish and enjoy ultras again. I had run 10 good ones in 2008 alone. My year began with two 50k's in Jan, followed by two 40 milers in Feb, and 50 milers in March, April, and May with a 100k coming just 34 days before the Hardrock start in June. Due to my schooling and travel that 63 miler was my last run greater than 10 miles, but I knew it would be enough.

Since the race is difficult to get into (lottery) and alternates directions. And since this years run would be going the direction I had not run yet but wanted to......and our lives were still pretty uncomplicated...... I knew if I got in this year I had to go. I was 22nd on the waitlist initially and slowly moved up. When I moved to 9th on the list I bought plane tickets. One week later Dale Garland the RD called me to say I was in. Yes!

In 2000 I prepared by doing multiple snowshoe races in the winter followed by countless hill repeats and training in massachusetts and New Hampshire with superstar Sue Johnston and pal Steve Pero. I then finished 19th in my first 100 at the MMT 100 in May and managed to do a 39 miler in June along with repeats of 3,000ft climb "the Priest" in the Shenandoahs after moving to VA. I was working at UPS and in the best shape of my life. It wasn't easy, but despite arriving in Silverton on Monday of race week I ran well.

In 2008 I spent all of May and June running the flat bike path in Chicago and going to school. I managed the Ice Age 50 and KM 100k, but did no other long runs and no hills other than 2 stairs sessions were I climbed 1500ft. I was READY ! ha! Not!

Much of ultrarunning is confidence and a sense of knowing what you are going to think/decide before you get there. In previous 100 miler attempts (I think this was 27 or 28 for me) I have only dropped in those races where I was unsure if I could make it while standing on the start line. For this years Hardrock, I expected to finish. Not fast, but finish. I hoped for a 38hr run beating the 2nd sun set, but was not up to that task and figured that out on the first 2 climbs.

Anne and I started our quest on Wednesday morning (July 9th) flying from Richmond out to Denver. There around 10Am we picked up the rental car after a 47 minute wait in line (ugh) then began driving west on I-70. Beautiful mountains a=everywhere and we took our time crossing the state. by evening we were both feeling tired, dehydrated and had headaches, so we got a motel in Montrose, Co.

Thursday morning we made the drive south to Silverton passing thru the amazing Ouray and into the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountians arriving into race headquarters about 30 minutes before check in closed. I had my vitals taken and medical bracelet put on. READY TO ROLL!

Aid Station / Distance/ Time/ Minutes in Aid (#)
KT- 11.5- 3:46 (3)
Chapmans-18.9-6:36 (10)
Telluride- 27.8-10:18(13)
Krogers- 32.8-13:27(6)
Gvernors- 36.0-14:32(6)
Ouray- 43.9-16:35(16)
Engineer- 51.5-21:33(10)
Grouse- 58.4-24:09(31)
Sherman- 71.8-31:04(23)
Pole Creek80.9-35:35(7)
Maggie- 85.2-37:31(9)
Finish- 46:45 (2:35 in aid stations)

My race started out at dawn on friday with 139 other crazies. I ran with a camera and snapped pics as I went trying to always maintain a moderate effort level, never breathing too hard. Which at an average elevation of over 11,000ft is not easy. Headaches came all the first day each time I ascended over 12k, but by the 2nd day were not an issue. The lack of 02 just kept me from running anything with an up slope and kept me climbing slowly. Often I was like those guys you see on TV on Everest....walking a few paces then pausing to breath, repeat.

Hardrock is no joke and the one word description Rob Youngren stated to discribe it is right on the money: DANGEROUS. Why someone has not fallen to their death their I don't know. Right off the bat I was reminded of why I held this race up as special. After crossing a river via rope at mile 2 we began the first climb up into Putnam Basin. I had fallen in with a group of folks who I knew to run around 40+ hr in previous Hardrocks. Fellow VHTRC folks Mike Dobies and Billy Losey began pulling away and 68 and 72 year old superstars Hans Deiter Weisshaar and John DeWalt were behind me. I was okay and moving well. I reached the first aid station after a long long time (3:46) and realized this was going to take just about forever to cover all 100 miles. Much unlike The Amazing 23 year old Kyle Skaggs would go on to run exactly twice as fast as me finishing in 23:23!! this destroys the old course record, and will never be touched by anyone other than Kyle.

On the 2nd big climb I had a good time with 2002 Grand Slam classmate Roger Ackerman cresting the top only to be greated by a real life mountain goat! Faced with the euphoria of summiting this huge climb, seeing the memorial to the late Joel Zucker, greeting the mtn goat, then facing the fear of the rediculous desent down the scree feild was nearly too much for me. Then good buddy Steve Pero comes running up behind me bounding from one sliding landing to the next on the 40% grade descent. I was pretty much overcome in a moment my eyes filled with tears and I had all I could do to remain upright. This is what I came to Hardrock for. This is what I live for.

I got myself together picked up the pace running hard on the downhill toward Chapman Aid station and caught Steve and Super RD Joe Prusaitis. We moved thru a beautiful Aspen groove and then landed in the aid station for some much needed fuel and fluids. Now with the noon sun high in the sky it was hot. damn hot. luckily a few po sickles and refill of my bottles had me moving all be it slowly up the huge climb to Oscars pass. This took forever!!! And I seriously doubted weather I was in over my head. I had already made one big mistake. I did not leave a drop bag at Chapmans as I thought I would make it to 27 mile Telluride quick enough. Not so now I had no Clif shot blocks, and no bottle filled with sugar. I was OUT of energy and fading near the top. Luckily Billy Simpson climbing well on his surgically repair ankle shared a gel with me. I made the summit and began eating some snow as Joe topped out. Luckily the run down the other side was only 4,000 feet and would only take us a couple hours!!!!

For fuel I had set out 5 drop bags that contained clean socks, warm clothes, lights, and equally divided: 12 packs of shot blocks (2400cals, and one 4lbs bag of sugar = 6818cals) I ended up eating all the shot blocks and about 4500 cals of the sugar. Plus stuff off the tables at the aid stations. And yet often I was pretty hungry! My heartrate on the climbs stayed above 150...sometimes literally for hours. It would be awesome to know exactly how much work was actually done, and calories burned. By the way the race is retardedly long. like at least 8-12 miles longer than 100. Gauruntee it.

Once I hooked up with Steve we stayed together into Telluride running well but keeping eachother from going too hard. Steve has had lots of trouble red lining at Hardrock and losing his stomach. But not in 2008! We got into Telluride feeling great and after a big eating stop I began the 4,400ft climb up to Virginia's pass. It would take us 3 hours and 9 minutes to do this 5 miles, but man the glissading snow slides off the mountain were well worth it! With 1/3rd of the race done in less 14 hours we hoped for continued good luck. Another 5,000ft decending brought us into Ouray and the darkness. With the first days running done I still felt pretty good but that was about to change.

In Ouray, Anne met me with warmer clothes, better lights and a milk shake and cup of pasta. After filling up and heading out of there I began what would be multiple hours worth of GI trouble. In many ultras I have gone into preiods of uncrolled diarhea. It could be from being dehydrated (which I am sure I was) or a reaction to salt tablets (S caps previously or NUUN tabs now) that contain sodium bicarbinate= a known GI tract irritant to some, or something else. Whatever it is from. It sucks. 6 pit stops over the next 8 miles (and 5,000ft climb) made me miserable. So much walking and not feeling like taking anything in did not help me feel too peppy.

Steve and Joe moved on ahead and I slowly climbed in the dark. Once I got above 12,000 feet again it was freezing cold walking across snow fields and melting 33 deg water filled marshes. Each stream crossing stung with pain. When things go bad in a race, EVERYTHING seems to go bad. The engineer stations was out. out of food, out of purified water, out. it sucked. I had been looking forward to it for literally hours, then nothing. I continued to fill my water bottle with mtn run off and out of streams so that was not an issue, but I really coulda used some calories, or coke or anything.
After finally begining the descent to Grouse gulch I seemed to be over the diarhea, but man was I moving slow. I really had no energy to run and walked the long downhill road just waiting for sun rise. Scott B and Liz Walker came up behind me as the sunrise allowed us to turn off our lights. 24 hours in and I now faced the biggest mountain of the course: 14,048ft Handies peak.

In Grouse aid station I took my time. unloaded some heavy things from my pack (yaktracks I had not used yet, lights, jackets. But I had to keep warm clothes and rain gear and one hand held light because it was now clear that I would not make it to the 91 mile aid station where I put my 2nd set of lights before dark. ugh.

With the sun up and some scrambled eggs and a tortilla in my gut along with 4 cups of coke I began to climb in the 2nd days sunlight feeling okay. I caught a few folks back who had passed me up and managed to climb strong up into the snow fields. Here I stopped to put on sun screan as the 13,000 sun is rediculously intense. (I didn't get enough on for Friday and am now peeling on my neck and forehead!) Near the summit I hooked up with Paul Gross and his pace Ryan. We would stay together on and off much of the next 20 hours.

Once off the steep downhill I began having stomach trouble. I took a tylenol on the lcimb just prior to summititng thinking the pain releif would allow my quads to handle the big descent. but the uncoated pill on my empty stomach tore up the lining making me nausueous. I spent the next few hours sipping nothing but water hoping against hope it would turn around. Once we reached the dirt road the sun was blazing and I smartly dipped my shirt in some snow melt water and redonned it. Ever so slowly we made it to the aid station 72 miles in 31 hours. Not exactly fast!

I knew here that I would either be able to handle some coke and a bit of food and I'd continue strongly or I'd throw up and it might truly be over. 2 tums and 2 glasses of coke later I was nibbling some cake frosting and walking out of the aid station feeling ready to climb another 4,000ft mtn.

I climbed well and felt strong again taking in pretzles and two shot blocks in an alternating pattern every 15 minutes. Soon I was above the tree line once more and roaming in some of the most "out there" parts of the Hardrock course. Pole Creek loomed. This is an aid station packed in many miles by saintly aid station volunteers. Amazing stuff this race. Once here I once again knew I would finish and began running much more on the flats and small downs despite being above 12,000ft. I had no headache and was doing well catching some folks in front of me. The climbs and grassy hills prior to maggie guch were a challenge and I wondered if I would ever get away from the mud. Soon I was making the big decent to the aid station knowing I only had 15 more miles to go.

I ate pasta, turkey and peanuts at the aid station and walked out all fitred up ready for the steepest climb of the course up Big Boy Ridge. Despite my stomach feeling good I nearly threw up 15 feet out of the aid station. I pitched the remaining turkey in my hand and laughed it off. With Scott and Liz chasing me we made the huge ascent in no time and began our race against the dark. Lights came out on green mtn and our search for course markers became hugely frustrating. I lost those two and really could not see any markers with my 2002 LED light. It simply didn't throw light far enough. so I waited for those behind me to catch up. It was Paul and Ryan and together we found our way over around and finally down to the last aid station.

Anne had gotten a ride to the aid station and was happy to great me just before midnight. a strong 21 minutes here putting on warmer clothes, getting a 2nd light and taking care of some chafing issues was all I needed to get the energy up for the final 3,000 ft climb. I was a tiny bit worried about the final cut off but Paul assured me we had it in the bag as he had done 46:15 in 2006 and we were on that pace now. I relaxed some once we crested the final pitch and began walking the steep and rocky final mountain. My left ankle had some severe tendonitis in it now from rubbing on my trusty Asic gel 2120's I had had on the last 40 hours. Running felt awful an dI knew I didn't need to so I walked it on down down down. 4 miles on a crappy jeep road with fist sized stones beat me up before the final muddy stream crossing trail into town.

I hooked up with Richard and we managed to negotiate our way into town despite no course markings. I guess I had had enough as this really pissed me off. I didn't even muster a run to the official Hardrock marking the finish line. merely walked up and kissed the damn thing. Pissy as I was. Soon I was inside sipping a smoothie (thanks Andrea!!) and feeling much better.

I went to the hotel for a shower and a 90minute nap and was incredibly rejuvinated afterwords. At the awards ceremony I was as happy as I ever remember being. What a run. nearly 47 hours of movement. WOW.

See you in 10 years Silverton....maybe!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hardrock Looms

An easy at home in VA:

Keys were a 10 miler with a mile- 6:36, 800- 3:06, 400-77 at the end for fun
a couple of hilly 8 mile runs
and three 2-4 hour total body work sessions clearing the back lot (raking, bending, cutting,ect)

At least once each day and for all of my runs this week I wet my feet (shoes/socks) with the hose and then worked / ran. I even re-wet by stopping by the river to step in it. The results have been great. I no longer am even bothered by getting my feet wet and the skin on my feet is in great shape.

I feel pretty fit going in to the race although am a bit heavy (for me) and will be starting the run with a 34 day span since my last LONG run (63 miles at Kettle Moraine) It would have been better to get in one more 20 days out, but studies at Northwestern got in the way of that.

I did managed to run down 17 flights of stairs daily during that month however and the great year of long runs to date I think will leave me more than ready.

The big question will be how I am able to handle the altitude as I am not landing in Colorado until 44 hours before the race starts. When I ran Hardrock in 2000 I arrived 5 days prior, and when I did Leadville I arrived 16 hours prior to those races. In both runs I had headaches when I was over 12,500ft. Leadville I got incredible dehydrated and lost 6lbs by 60 miles (from 130lbs). It was pretty miserable. In the hardrock race I had to walk EVERY uphill grade slope and was unable to eat and move at the same time. It is hard to suck air and chew/swallow at the same time. But, it did force me to take the time to sit & relax in the aid all I wanted, then leave. Many aid stations I had to walk for a while out of as I was too full to run. I spent 2 hours and 18 minutes in aid stations during the entire 102 miles.

This year I plan to bring straight out of the bag sugar along in my pack to add to my water bottle along the route in order to keep calories flowing in and reduce the amount of REAL food I have to try and take in. mmmmmmmmmmmmm sugar! This is something that worked very well for me at CCC 100, RR 100, and AT 100, that I kind of forgot about.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I'm DONE! Prosthetics program complete and time to go back home to Virginia.

2nd great news.... I'M IN HARDROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I actually got a call from the RD the day Western States was cancelled......which felt odd to be so happy when so many were so sad.

Another strong week of running while juggling final exams:

Sunday- off
Monday- 7 AM, 7 PM
Tuesday- 7 AM, 7 PM
Wed- 7 AM
Thurs- 7 AM, 7 PM
Friday- 7 AM
Fly out tomorrow wicked early in the morning

Chicago has been great but I am really eager to be home with Anne

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moving on UP!!!!!!!

Guess who is number one on the Hardrock waitlist????????????


Read all about it here

Time to step up the stair workouts!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Week 7

Solid week: 63 miles- 9 runs, 1 tempo, 1 stair workout

Sunday- off
Monday- 7- easy
Tuesday- 7 AM, 7 PM - into head wind 44:02!!!!
Wednesday- 7AM, 7PM- sore calves
Thursday- 7 easy -
Friday- 7 easy following 6 sets x 18 floors stairs
Saturday- 7AM, 7 PM

Feeling okay, a bit overwhelmed.....settling in for a stretch of 5 tests in 4 days....Lab final, oral exam, practical exam, written lower extremity tests, written final exam..

Evaluate and RATE ME!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Week 6

Easy recovery week: 4 runs- 28 miles, 3 days off (Last week I got in 86miles)

got back into it on Tuesday with a commute run 7 miler that necessitated a couple walk breaks. Legs not overly sore, but still feeling the 100k slightly. The rest of the week felt pretty good, but nothing special

Saturday- 7 miles easy following my first REAL stairs workout:
6 trips DOWN 19 stories, 5 trips UP. each floor has 20 steps to it

On three of the up trips I took the steps 2 at a time and went real slow trying not to spring off the lower leg calf, but relying on the glutes/hamstrings of the leg stepping up to pull me up. After a couple trips of this it felt like I had been doing a bunch of lunges. I expected to be very sore today, but not much. that is exciting.

Since I have been doing one solid trip down 18 flights running M-f for 5 weeks now, the quads are in pretty strong shape. I plan on doing multiple sets every couple of days the remaining two weeks I am in Chicago.

Additionally I hope to run doubles (in and out from school the 7 miles) M-F these last two weeks. I gotta do something as I'll be flying into Colorado less than 48hrs before the Friday morning start of Hardrock. I am now number 7 on the waitlist!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kettle Moraine 100................K

Sat- 100K- 14:00:16

A great course, great aid, awesome volunteers, super course marking, beautiful country, but

Worst conditions in my 75 ultra starts:

90 with 90% humidity
miles of open sun exposed running
torrential sideways rain, lightning and wind with tornadoes in the area

I had great legs and no body issues other than massive dehydration that caused diarrhea from hours 4-8. Seven pit stops total left me reeling and led to me getting behind in caloric intake. I took time out at the 31 mile aid station (first out and back turn around). Probably spent 20 minutes using the bathroom, eating, drinking, getting salt, trying to cool off. slowly got things back in order and was running well again by the time the rains came 10 hours into the race.

at 10:50 into the race I sought shelter in an outhouse as the sideways rain and huge winds made running impossible. An interesting 15-20 minutes as I and two others who also sought shelter in there waited for things to calm down. Peeking out the door, the rain looked like a snow white-out. Since the county was under tornado warnings I thought the race might be called. But after reaching the next manned aid station all seemed to be a go. Rain continued on and off as I approached the 100K finish at 8pm. With darkness approaching and the thought of cold crazy rain helped me decide I had had enough fun for the day. I left the mosquitos to drain someone else dry!

a great training run for Hardrock......14 hours of movement, dealing with stomach issues, and wet pruned feet.

Now time to study....3 weeks of school remaining

Monday, June 2, 2008

"I'm Mr Brightside"

WOW! Commute route 43:29!!!!!!!!!!

Normally the route home takes me 52-57 minutes. Music makes a difference though. When I was rocking out to Mr. Brightside (the Killers) I looked up and realized I was already passing the statue that normally takes 24 minutes to get to and my watch only read 19. Music for me really decreases the RPE as we say in the exercise physiology/cardiac rehab world ( the rate of perceived exertion) It just doesn't feel as hard. But it'd be dangerous for me to run with music all the time as I'd over be like running in college with competitive teammates racing everyday! Such a waste of all that effort. Besides, I still make fun of runners with headphones dangling.

Random thoughts on today's run from my head:

-Man that lake is pretty..turquoise like the Caribbean
- hey there is almost no wind today
- wow, it must be nearly 80 degrees (+20 from what all of May was here..cold)
-Look at all these people
- mmm bikinis
- a string bikini on her is not indicated...nor appropriate
- that dude is jacked
- Volleyball looks cool, but always hurts my forearms
- I probably suck
-I am getting better at this prosthetics thing though
- but, I did manage to cut up my thumb with a screw driver today
- and mixed up my foam wrong yesterday
- and had to re-do today
- suppose it is all just good practice, I am here to learn
- I did rock that anatomy exam last Friday though
- Dr. Ada Kelly of baylor Univ would be proud of me
- The one question I got wrong I had written down correctly at first
- then changed...I should never change my answers
- That homeless guy has shorts on today, good for him
- That dog seems to like the water
- Holy crap that girl has the best body I have ever seen!
- better than Divinci could sculpt
- better than a model
- wait Models don't have good bodies, just skinny
- thery are supposed to show off the clothes..muscles draw attention away
- why is my libido so high when I am away from my wife?
- The year in Egypt was like this too
- except no good bodies there at all to look at
-rollerblading looks fun
- I'd commute on rollerblades if I had some
- I am running faster than this bike rider.....he must suck
- No one is passing me today...running
- Madonna is cool
-so is Tool
- I run well with a goal
-I'm going to break my course record, for sure
-Beck is awesome
-Look at all those kids playing soccer
- soccer is way bigger today than 20 years ago when I was a kid
- or was that 25 years ago
-I graduate highschool 15 years ago this month..I'm old
-Haile G is my age and still breaking world records
- Ed Whitlock was running 3:00 marathons at age 73
-Why don't I train faster?
- I suppose this is good Hardrock training
- pancake flat, but with my breathing and heartrate a COOKING
- I'm number 15 on the waitlist, should I buy a plane ticket?
-I should write this all down in my blog
- ugh this is getting uncomfortable
- almost there now
- hey I need to get some milk
-cereal this morning with water on it sucked
- nice, catching the walk sign at the light
- sweat 43:29...solidly 4 minutes faster then ever
- how far is that again?
- 6.8? 6.6, 6.5?
-I'm getting there

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Week 4 Down

Sun- 8 miles with Anne
Mon- 8 miles- 63
Tues- 7-56min
Wed-7- 55min
Thurs 7- 53min
Fri- off mentally spent after 3 big tests this week
Sat- double 7miles in 55 min, 7 miles 59min (bonk)

a fine week of 51 miles....seems like I did more as tired as I am. Finished off the month of May with 207 miles of running on 23runs in 22 days.

I am now 1/2 way through the program here in Chicago and really getting ready to be done and back home with Anne. It has been intense and challenging, but fun at the same time. Prosthetics is an amazing field.

Next week at this time I will hopefully be making my way through KM 100. Lets hope the weather is like today's in Chicago! 80 and clear, beautiful! Best day in the Month I have been here. I literally saw 500 or so people out on the lakeshore path running, walking, biking, rollerbladding. Huge packs of runners in training groups getting geared up for a fall marathon I guess. It was fun to pass 4 different pace groups this morning. They had started at 6:30.....ugh that's early for a Saturday!

I honestly don't think I'd join a group that meets that early.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Week Three

week 3 was pretty mild!!!!!!!

4 runs of 7 miles each, 3 days off.

Tuesday, however, I set the record on my commuter route making the 6.8 mile trek in a speedy 47:34. That was fast enough to make me a bit sore/achy the next day.

I took Friday and Sat off and flew back home to Richmond to spend the long weekend at home. Nice to be home for a bit, but a pain to travel.

After arriving at the Richmond Airport at 2PM (CST) I managed to get to my place in Chicago at 12:56AM. ugh...suck! What is the odds of a flight delay these days?? 75%?

Anyway I had a nice 8 mile run with Anne on Sunday and got reacquainted with rolling hills on my standard 8 mile loop Monday. Ugh!

Today Chicago proved once again to be aptly named. 50mph winds along the lakeshore (headwinds going home... of course) The blowing sand actually hurt my bare legs. Pretty impressive to see the lake crashing breakers up onto the bike path. I had sand in my shoes from the wind, and kept having to close my mouth and eyes to keep it out.

I'm really not sure why anyone would want to live here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Remebering those who have served

Now that I am really in the throws of learning to craft prosthetics I have been remembering a lot of the guys I was fortunate to get to know while I worked as a physical therapist.

Google is a wonderful tool....and some searches pulled up very good reads on:
raising awareness, on NPR, In the news, and in a nice video news report on the project " Segs for VETS"... a group who donated segway machines to many veteran amputees from the war: here

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Week two in Chi Town

Week two - 35miles

sun + Mon- off
Tues- 7 -62min (walked some)
Wed-7- 55min
Thurs-7- 56min
Friday- 7- 53min
Sat- 7 miles walk 1:49 with pack on

A solid week considering I did 50 last Saturday. The legs came around well. both Achilles noticeable....I need to stretch! i'm missing my home made calf slant board stretcher....which is at home in VA.

Chicago is treating me is cold and windy compared to VA though. Pollen is out with blossoming red buds and other trees. Funny since VA had this 6 weeks back. school is very busy but good. Its fun and I am glad I am doing this.

MMT 100 is going on right now and I am missing it. I have got so I don't like the technical trails as well, but I still miss my MMT. Hard to believe it was 7 years ago I was rocking that course. Time flies. Looks like Keith Knipling is really giving it a good run. I hope he can pull it out. It was not that long ago he was finishing next to last place in this race! Hats off to Amy Sproston who is also kicking butt.

Since I am here, in shape, healthy, and have no tests the week following the race I think I am going to go run Kettle Moraine. On the motivation front....I was super impressed by Scott Dunlaps strong 2:47 big PR last week. A few months of speed training (tempo runs and repeat 800's) really helped him improve. I need to get on that train!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ice Age 50 Mile

big week for me: 90 miles
Sun- 14
Fri-off- drove up to race after work with my brother, Tim
sat- 50 miles- 8:25 (18th)

Ice Age 50 Mile (Resuts) ------ garmin report here

The Ice age 50 Mile was in its 27th year this year and had good trail conditions and great running weather (p. sunny temps 35 at the start warming to 63). the field had 200+ runners and started at 6am.

The race has an interesting lay out with a really runnable and smooth slightly rolling jeep trail width path for a 9 mile loop back to the start/finish. The course then heads on out for an out and back to the south (21.7 mile mark) and then goes out for an out and back to the north with the turn around at 40 miles all on nice single track trail.

I started the race at a good clip settling in at training pace clicking off 8:00 miles with Ann Heaslett reminiscing about 2001/2002 when she was competing for national 50k titles at the HUFF race and crushing me at RR 100 where she ran 15:57!! I was hovering around 150bpm and made myself slow down and let her go on off in pursuit of Kim Holak (last years womens winner) who had gotten out to an early lead. I was able to hold 150bpm for 3 hours (22miles) at BRR 50 last month but completely depleted the glycogen stores and could not climb back out of the deficit and ended up with a less than stellar I wanted to hold more of a 140bpm HR in this race and slowed my pace to that level despite not breathing heavy or really working THAT hard.

Proof that holding a lower HR initially leads to less of a drop late in the race... to BRR 50 here

I settled in with some guys new to ultras, a couple of triathlon guys, and a pilot from Chicago. The miles ticked by and before I knew it I was at the first turn around point (21.7 miles). The first guy to come by on the out and back was none other than legend Kevin Setnes who looked strong passing by with about 25minute lead on me. Women's leader was Kim Holak. I was hitting 22 miles today at 3:25...a full minute per mile slower than I went out at BRR, but I felt a million times better and actually pushed a bit at this point moving up in the field slightly from the 25th or so I was in at the 21mile turn around.

I was eating more off the tables (1/4 putter butter and jelly sandwiches, M&M's, glasses of coke) and was drinking NUUN water from my bottle. (Coke flavored NUUN tabs rock by the way) I was carrying 8 carb boom gels with me, but left my Cliff shot blocks home in Virginia. Since a gel pack is only 100cals and shotblock packs are 200. I knew I needed to eat more off the tables than I have been doing in the 8 previous ultras I have completed in 2008. My stomach was feeling great and draining well so I continued to down cups of coke at each aid station, (which were very frequent), sip my NUUN water, and hit a gel every time I felt a tiny bit bonky. Around 30 miles I came upon Kevin who was walking and looked to be in pain. Hopefully he is okay.

During the 4th hour I felt the poorest I would feel, but really was not that bad off...just a little behind in energy and thus the walking had increased. I had an off trail pit stop and then did some running with Boston native Chris H who was running with the broken finger he suffered in the infamous "Don't run boston 50K" in the Blue hills. I ran that race in 2001 and wow! what a tough one. This course had about 2% of the rocks and footing difficulty that that one did. I'm thankful for it too. I like running and despite having had good runs on tough technical courses, I am leaning more and more toward the fast nice footing courses.

I hit 31 miles in under 5 hours and continued to move up in the filed. I made it out to the 40 mile turn around in 6:40. Doing some calculations I knew that if I continued to do the 11 minute miles I was averaging over the last 10-12 I would be really pressed to break 8:30. The next 3 miles to the 43.5 mile aid station were still slow and I really didn't think I had it in me, but a mile or so later I was passed by a hard charging guy from Michigan who had 13 previous Ice Age finishes under his belt. He picked me up and we pushed hard together. We ran most everything until reaching the final aid station a mere 2.4 miles from the finish at the 8:02 mark. We knew sub 8:30 was in the bag and he relaxed while I moved on wanting to be done with this fine run. a few more turns on the pine needle covered trails and the finish line appeared. I squeaked into the top 20 and finished in 8:25. Surprisingly this race even had age group awards and I got a 2nd in mine. In 70+ ultras I have run in this was the first time that has happened! Ha. kinda silly since most of the top folks are still considerable older than me. And two of the most amazing older runners in the country proved that. Roy Pirrung beat me by 5 or so minutes at the rip age of 59! And even more impressive at age 66!!!!!!!!!!! Tom Bunk finished a mere 10 minutes behind me in 8:35. That is amazing.

All in all the great footing trail and amazing sections under pine trees will be what I remember most. this is a good one and I am glad I was able to run it. In terms of difficulty I would say it falls in between JFK and BRR. Thanks to all the volunteers that helped make it a great run for me.

The running log shows that the first 8 races at the 50 mile distance I ran were all faster than this one, but only one of the last 5 I have run has been. Lets hope a new trend is being set!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Saturday- travel off
Sunday- 13.5- along lakeshore

wow, amazing city skyline and views from the lakefront/lakeshore bike/running path! I am surprised at the lakes great blue/turquoise color. PRETTY! a great sunny day here today temps in the 60's. Light breeze off the lake as I ran. I toured the path from the condo I am renting a room in down to the RIC where I'll be going to class and back. FLAT! gonna take some getting used to the concrete/blacktop flatness. But, there is a dirt path alongside of much of the bikepath. Today I saw all of the following on my run:
runners, bikers, tandom bike riders, bikers pulling kids in trailers, joggers pushing strollers, rollerbladers, roller bladers pushing strollers, dogs being walked, run, played with in the water, catching frisbees, folks playing softball, baseball, Frisbee, soccer, golf, tennis, and juggling. WOW active place. It is going to be nice.

If I choose to commute the route is 6.6 miles one way. I am 2 blocks from the north entrance to Lincoln park...and the RIC is on Superior street down by the Drake hotel and the Navy Pier for those who know Chicago.

I had some Thick (chicago deepdish) pizza following the run. MMMMMMMMMMmmmm gonna like living here for 8 weeks me thinks. as I was showering I was thinking about all the places I have lived for at least 35 days. In chronological order:

Cambpell, NY
Jonesboro, AR
Alfred, NY
Hendersonville, NC
Ithaca, NY
Columbia, SC
Natick, MA
San Antonio, TX
Framingham, MA
Clarksville, TN
Charlottesville, VA
Takoma, WA
Arlington, VA
BF, Egypt
Richmond, VA
Chicago, IL

And if you want to be really specific... I have had 17 different mailing addresses in the last 15 years since I graduated from highschool. This does not include 5 separate 30-70 day stays in different locations (such as the 60 days I'll be in chicago now...but still LIVE and get mail in Richmond) Can anyone top that??

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm Back!

Okay a long blogging break, but I just didn't feel like it. and really was not running much. I actually took a zero WEEK following BRR 50. Didn't feel like running (mentally- physically I was 100% two days later) so I didn't run. I have spent many many hours "cross training" Meaning I have been clearing a yard via cutting saplings & dead trees with a hand saw, raking, shoveling, leveling ground, digging up roots and rocks, dragging piles dirt/pine needles/wet leaves/mulch around on a tarp, weeding, cutting down vines, pulling up root systems, ect ect ect. ugh pretty tiring total boy work considering I never do anything half-assed, or in a non-obsessive way. Yard looks great and is now twice the size.

Anyway I did manage to run the Rivana Trail in Charlottesville yesterday solo without making any wrong turns. It was good run and was the first good weather day in a long while. It took 3:31 and is an unknown distance. The garmin had it at 17.5 on the watch, but it was tracking low as a measured mile on blacktop read on the watch as 0.9 miles. The motionbased upload put it at 18.7. previous uploads have had it as high as 22 miles! who was a solid run though.

April ended up being the smallest monthly total mileage in a long while for me.
Jan- 208- 17 runs
Feb- 227.5- 14 runs
March-201- 17 runs
April- 169.5- 16 runs
That 806 miles for the year to date, meaning I am averaging an impressive 12.6miles per run.

For reference in 2001 I put in 2827 miles of running averaging 12.2 miles per run. Doubtful I will keep up this pace though as my intent for the next few months is to run shorter, faster, and more frequently in an attempt to get into Pr marathon shape. I want to run a quick road marathon in September.

I am looking at a few events on the eastern coast during that month and might hit Rochester, NY, Erie, Pa, or Akron, Oh for the potential race. I want to get it in before Oct 3rd's Grindstone 100 miler. I have already paid to enter this new and sure to be epic race. I don't have high expectations there, but want to be able to go and take part with the goal of a finish even if my legs are not specifically training for a trail mountain race.

I fly out to Chicago in 48hours and look forward to completing my training in prosthetics at Northwestern Univ and the Rehab Institute of Chicago. I aim to run a lot of doubles and road runs in the 5-7 mile range while there. I will also be taking part in the Ice Age 50 miler in 9 days as my brother Tim will be flying into town to go run the great Ice age races with me. The two of us have run marathons or ultras together in TX, NM, NC, and VA since he paced me the last 20 miles of the 2002 Western states 100. amazing how time has flown by!

Going forth I hope to give weekly updates on how my stay in Chicago is going and how my plan for a PR marathon is developing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bull Run Run 50 Mile

How far did you run daddy???????????????

50 Miles- 9:14, 37th place (Garmin 305 stats here) (Results) A good day to be out and moving!

Spring is definitely here in Virginia now and like in many years past the first really warm and humid day Saturday fell on BRR 50 day.'d think a year in the desert heat would have helped me but noooooooo it felt hot out there to me.

My day started off at 3am when I rolled out of bed, grabbed my stuff and jumped in my trusty Nissan Sentra to make the 2 hour drive to the very familiar BRR50. This would be the 4th time I completed this run...more than any other race I have entered.
Since this was the 8th ultra of 2008 for me I have a pretty good routine down now. I drink two 210 calorie "weight loss shakes" from costco (they are cheap and full of good stuff..a knock off slimfast) and if I have 3+ hours until the run I might eat a powerbar as well. So 640 calories for a breakfast and then on the starting line I put down a pack of cliff shot blocks for another 200cals. I drink plain water or NUUN dissolved in water during the run and try to take in a 200 calorie pack every 45-60minutes. Bull Run was no different except that at the start line I was not standing shaking in a long sleeve shirt (or two and with pants) like I have been in the previous 7. I was in shorts and a singlet and I was completely comfortable...even warm.
I had wanted to push it in this one a bit more with the hopes of running near what I had in 2002 (7:56) but knew the shape I showed in 2001 was not really likely. The 11:40 I ran with my dad in 2003 would surely be doable though!
I started off at a conversational pace on the very first parking lot loop and settled in with the front pack that included Anne Lundblad and Justine Morrison. When the single track began I let them go and really started watching my heartrate monitor keeping it around 150bpm. From previous race sI know if I run at a pace that elicits a HR higher than 150 I will end up bonking and hurting. 150 is 82% of my marxHR.
I had some good conversation with Leo Lutz who I ran some early miles of JFK last Nov with and then settled in behind "Last Great Race & Grand Slam" record holder Joe Kulak. He lead me to the first aid station 1:05 into the run where I realized I was in the top 10 overall. I got excited and let it go a bit. I felt strong and good and was delighted that the super muddy section to the turn around where Anstr always is was not that sloppy. The temperature however was sweltering and the singlet I was wearing was already soaked through and had begun to chafe and bounce.

After the turn around I settled in with Jeff Brower and really enjoyed the constant ups and downs off good runable footing that makes the BRR special. We returned to the start/finish at 2:26. This felt great and I was confident I could hold this sub 9:00/mile pace a good while longer. Soon other runners were coming back to me off the front and I was able to pass Justine just prior to crossing the soccer fields. I had put down 200 cal shotblock packs at 60min, 1:45, and 2:40 but was beginning to tire. During the really hilly section after the 21mile aid station I realized I was gonna be slowing down and the fun running I was doing with Jeff and Justine was soon to end. At the 3 hour mark with 22 or so miles in the first quick rain shower hit and with it went my hamstrings. Hello Mr. Bonk! Done. Done dinner.....DOAH!

Plan B. Enjoy the great event and finish. The next couple aid stations I sat down and hit the salt and coke hard. (21 minutes of down time says the garmin) The trail heading toward the infamous do loop was not my favorite as I didn't feel great and it being a newer lesser used trail that I was unfamiliar with made it downright suck. But, by the time I got to the do loop I was feeling a bit better. I gladly brought an umbrella out to Sean Andrish who was sitting gaurd at the T intersection and began some running with Leo again. I still had no strength to run any uphills and quickly let him go when nature called me off trail.
Once I had left the do loop and started the slog back most of the 20+ runners that would pass me were already gone so I actually ran alone for 2+ hours. Always amazes me that in a field of 350 runners you can end up being alone for so long.

One of the highlights of Bull Run is the aid stations and volunteers. This year was no different and a big thanks to John Dodds and Robi S, Bunny, and Aaron. (Who took awesome photos here)
With about 6 miles to go I was caught by Denis who woke me up and as you can see by looking at the below HR chart got me running again. I finished with a smile feeling like I had put out a really good effort on a tough day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Road Racing with My Buddy

Last week 4 runs- 38 miles
Sunday- off
Monday- 6 easy treadmill

The last two Saturdays I have participated in the areas big road races. My wife and I completed the Charlottesville 10 Miler and Richmonds Ukrops Monument avenue 10K. The former had 2,000+ finishers and this weekends had over 24,000!!!! I believe it may even have been the biggest race I have ever participated in.

Both races were very well done and showcased their cities greatest streets and sights. The huge crowd in the 10k was incredibly well organized at the start with a multiple wave start via seeded corrals. This allowed the super elites competing in the USATF national championships (won by Abdi Abdiraham) to start unimpeded at 8:30, my D corral to start at 8:44 and so on back to walkers going off nearly an hour later. A pretty neat system indeed. I both of our races we managed to beat the majority of the folks AND enjoy ourselves.

The Charlottesville race had cool but clear weather which brought out a good number of fans while this Saturday's race was in the midst of the 8 straight days of rain we have endured. So the cheering sections were down from what I hear is common, but the hearty souls that were out there made it fun.

Pinning a number on for a road race always brings me back to my first ones....some 23 years (and 560-some races) ago when I was a little runt of an 11 year old. Many kids were out running in each race and I can only hope they will end up loving and competing in running races as much as I have over the years.

I also have a small pang of .....hhmmmmmmm you should get some speed workouts going and get competitive again..... playing in my ear.

Next up Bull Run Run 50 Miler!!!! nothing but easy 6 mile runs this week to come in rested and ready.