OUTRUN 24 version 2014

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The third running of O24 took place on April 26th and once again – it. was. amazing.  The turnout this year exceeded what we expected.  The inaugural running of O24 in 2012 had 66 runners toe the line, 2013 there were 85, and in 2014?  ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FOUR!  Love how this race is drawing so many new folks into the world of ultra running.

This ultra trail race is probably one of the most runner friendly, walker friendly, family friendly events there are.  For those that haven’t read my posts before about O24 and have never heard of it; a brief description.

A race for beginners and ultra veterans alike, the unique Outrun 24 Hour Trail Race is held in the Lake Metroparks Chapin Forest Reservation in Kirtland, OH approx. 30 mins East of Cleveland. With its distinctive rock formations and mature woodland trails, the park provides a scenic setting for the endurance run. Runners will follow a 1.00244mi USATF certified loop and may run any distance or time up to 24 hours. If you are looking for a great atmosphere to come out and test yourself, come and check it out! Course The USATF certified (# OH11035MW) and IAU Bronze Labeled course is a 1.002445 mi loop on trails that consists primarily (93%) of crushed limestone, dirt, and a short bit (7%) of asphalt. The loop is rolling with one main hill. There is approximately 65 feet of elevation gain & loss per lap. Please see additional tabs for course photos, video, directions, and other information.

Zack Johnson, the RD for this race and the head of OUTRUN,  puts an amazing personal touch on this event.  From before the event starts with email blasts to all registrants, to a prerace video -

 

To running laps along side participants -

zack running

To finally making sure he personally hands each finisher their well deserved medal and takes a photo with them, no matter what time of day, or night, or well… even the next day.  I mean, after all, the race does start at 8am on Saturday and doesn’t end till 8am on Sunday.

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My goal for this race when I registered was 100 miles.  My plan is to run at least one, 100 mile race each year.  Two years ago it was BR100.  Last year it was supposed to be NYM100 - but you know how that turned out.. So, after Yo Momma kicked my ass again, I decided that O24 is the perfect place to knock out 100 miles and ensure I get at least one in and then tackle YM again with a hundo under my belt for the year already.

That quickly changed when my training wasn’t going as planned.  I really hate talking about things that ail me because I don’t want to be labeled “that guy who makes up excuses”, or be “that guy who always has something wrong”, but I couldn’t ignore this much longer.  I finally sucked it up, went to get checked out, and get myself back on track.  I have to admit that it was quite relaxing to go into this race with no goal at all – talk about no pressure!  I charged up my GoPro camera and after my race committee responsibilities were completed I made sure to get some footage.  Here is a glimpse at the start of the race.

Here a few other pics from the race –

No that isn't a real tattoo but an arm sleeve.  I do have three tattoos and actually never wanted a full sleeve.  Hmmmm. until after seeing this picture - now I want one! LOL

No that isn’t a real tattoo but an arm sleeve. I do have three tattoos and actually never wanted a full sleeve. Hmmmm. until after seeing this picture – now I want one! LOL

Peg getting her leg rubbed out...

Peg getting her leg rubbed out…

Cheering on all day and night!

Cheering on all day and night!

Over the last few months, quite a bit of my training has taken place on the road or even worse the dreadmill, so I bought a pair of Hokas to help ease the pain.  I LOVE the Bondis I bought but unfortuantley they didn’t last very long.  I blew both shoes out and took them back with just over 100 miles on them.  They didn’t have the new version of the Bondi’s in (apparently improved because many people were having the same issue) so I took home a pair of Hoka Rapa Nui’s — big mistake.  I started out the race in my regular Saucony Exodus shoes and was feeling pretty well.  Around mile 18 or so I decided to change out of those and put on my new Hokas.  I only wore the shoes walking around a little bit to try and get a feel for them and after only a few miles I started to get a pain in my left foot which progressively got worse; to the point where I was only able to limp around the course now.  I know I didn’t have a “goal” for the race but I had to at least finish a 50k!  So I walked the last 8-10 miles and finished with a new PWR (personal worst record) of 9hrs 58min! YIKES!  Click here for my Runkeeper data for this run.  Took those Rapa Nui’s back the next day and ordered the new Bondi.

So what do you do after you complete a 50k in 9hrs at a 24hr race?  You hang out, cheer on your friends and have a good time.  Also, while your friends are out there trudging along, you get to do this —

sleeping

Hey —- I wasn’t the only one!

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Click here for a full list of 2014 race results.  There was a new record set this year. Jim Van Orman cleared 120 miles!  Every time I saw Jim he would smile and wave.  He made it look so easy!

Huge Congrats Jim!!

Huge Congrats Jim!!

Amanda Mowry completed the most miles for the women.  Covering 84 miles

Amanda Mowry completed the most miles for the women. Covering 84 miles – Way to go Amanda!!!

Once again there were so many amazing people who came out and pushed themselves to their limits.  There were those that were running the race to raise money for charities, those that were walking the entire way to a distance PR, to the Grandmother, Mother, daughter trio that rocked it!  I could go on and on but rather than taking just my perspective of it, here are a several other blog posts about it.  Enjoy!

HOLY CRAP!!!  I almost forgot!  As was the case last year, this year Chef Bill catered an OUTSTANDING breakfast for everyone again on Sunday morning after the race.  Check him out here at Playing with Knives and Fire.  Have an event you want catered, a party with some friends that you want a rockin’ meal for, or a date with that special someone — he’s your man.  Look him up.  Plus, he’s a fellow ultra runner – as the other half of Bills’ Badass 50k.

Breaking the Pace

Through a Running Lens

and

Kim’s Low Down on the Runs

 

Ummmm…. Yeah……

I don’t even know where to begin, so I’m thinking a quick little snap shot then in my next few posts highlight a few of them specifically to get caught up.

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog, my training, or my diet.  Reasons being?  Some of the reasons, for training at least, are easy – I have experienced a few physical setbacks.  First, I was/am having some pains in my leg.  I started seeing Dr. Tim Keyes for them though and he has begun fixing all the damage I’ve done.  I haven’t trained at all in a while the way I used to; I used to eat better, run, do yoga, stretch, take ice baths, and lift weights.  Apparently if you stop doing all of that and just run, expecting to run the same distances and times that you used to without doing anything else – you tear up your body something fierce – go figure huh?  I think this has a direct relationship with the injury I experienced last weekend at O24 (more on this later).  As for my blog, and diet – I could make up a number of reasons, but really those reasons would just be excuses.  The only legit reason I could think of ties directly back to diet and training; low energy, which I know could be corrected with a better diet.  Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completely lazy.  Since my last blog post I was able to cover over 160miles in the month of March, but towards the end of the month the wheels started falling off and April ended with only 72miles when it should have EASILY been 150 plus.  I haven’t run any real distances (by that I mean 50k or more) since the Art More Fatass in January.  And I don’t really think that O24 this year counts since I walked so much of it due to whatever in the hell I did to my foot.

I’ve begun putting things in place to get back on track. I’ve starting seeing Dr. Keyes to take care of the problems I’m having with my leg, I plan to get back to at least making a weekly post about running, food, and/or family (anyone following my blog is more than welcome to call me out if I start to slip, lol).  We’ve prepped the garden and will be planting in the next couple weeks,  I started using our Fresh 20 subscription again and I’m sure much to the dismay of many of my FB friends, started posting things about our dinners again – I kinda feel this holds me a little accountable – sorry friends.  I have also started devising a new training program. While I don’t have too many events I am registered for at the moment, there is a HUGE run that my friends and I are doing in October, Rim2Rim2Rim (Grand Canyon double crossing in one day); and if I don’t want to be left for dead, I need to get off my lazy ass and get things back in order.

Sorry for the repost of this video, but I couldn’t help it.  I watched it several times tonight while looking back at my blog, it just seems to really stir something in me.

Now I need to work on some more specific posts;

  • Belated St. Paddy’s day Fatass 25k
  • Mohican Trifecta (well — the 1/2 marathon anyways)
  • Jeremy’s football
  • Emily’s birthday
  • Outrun24 (O24)
  • and our 2014 BikeMS team this year – OUTRIDE

Catchya all in a bit!

 

 

 

Time to play – I mean train, ah… run — Oh what the hell — PLAY!

Hey there folks!  Remember me??

Things have been plugging along lately and the weather here has been torturous which has really sapped me of quite a bit of my motivation to get outside and run.  I did manage to cover just over 150 miles of running in January including my first 50k of the year.  This was the Art More Fatass 50k, recognizing the contributions that Art Moore has made to Ultra Marathoning.  This was a pretty flat course on all clear multipurpose trails, so it made for an easy first one of the year.  It ended up being just over 32 miles (click here to see my run data) at which I averaged 11:49min/mile pace.  In typical fashion I did take a few pics during this run…

Clear and easy trail

Clear and easy trail

Scenic run through Rocky River

Scenic run through Rocky River

Bad ass "Big Sis" and I

Bad ass “Big Sis” and I

After this – the bottom fell out of our weather.  Temps were so frigid that schools were closed and they had to petition for extra “calamity days”.  Of course with this being some of the coldest temps we’ve seen in years – I couldn’t resist getting out for a few runs!

Time to stop your run when your water freezes

Time to stop your run when your water freezes

Dress properly!

Dress properly!

Starting temp of this night time run

Starting temp of this night time run

Not a soul on the roads made for an eerie run.

Not a soul on the roads made for an eerie run.

Ending temp -- yes that says -02deg F

Ending temp — yes that says -2F

So while some of my friends have been pushing through and getting their runs in — I.have.not.  And I’m not feeling too good about it.  Honestly, I feel like I am in the worst shape I’ve been in a LONG time :-/  BUT that IS changing!

The weather has also been messing up not just my training plans but my race schedule.  We were supposed to run the Pilot Mountain Payback again this year (click here for my race report from 2013) but North Carolina got hit with nasty weather as well so they wouldn’t let us on the mountain.  The race was rescheduled for April 12th, but I already have the Forget the PR Trifecta that weekend in Mohican.  After finding out our race was canceled I quickly shot Tanya (RD for Winter Run for Regis) a facebook message.  WRFR was my first 50k attempt and a race I’ve run for the past three years (click here for 2011 data, 2012 data, 2013 data, and 2014 data).  This race is typically in early January (click here for last year’s race report), but she changed the date and it happened to fall on the day we were already registered for PMPB.  I explained to Tanya that I just wanted to run a little bit of the course and play with my GoPro camera.  I was going to start with the half-marathoners and carry my own aid and record a bit of both loops.  Tanya explained (for those that know her well – in the nicest way Tanya could, ehehem… LOL) that she was not happy about me banditting the course.  Luckily tho she said someone dropped from the half and I could buy her bib – so I bought the bib, started with the 9:25am wave of half marathoners and made my first real GoPro running video.  I’m pretty happy with my first real attempt, there is a lot to get to know about this camera.  I’m excited about getting better with this thing as I make more and more. —-  Here is the entire Run for Regis course – enjoy :)

2013 in a word — “Learning”, 2014? “Training”

Well, New Years day has come and gone and I’m sure I’m THE last to blog about it – same thing as being “fashionably late” no?  Ok, no – I’ve just been a bit lazy.  Then again, it is still January – I’m OK :)

With all of the things that I am excited about and need to update my blog about —- my running plans for 2014, and oh yes… 2014 is going to be epic!  Several destination runs (including a run across the Grand Canyon and back), my first 50k of 2014, what the kids are up to, and then several other more serious topics that are stirring in me which I have to get out!  I decided it’s just easier to start with a new year’s type of post…..

2013 was a heck of a year, aside from learning more about outward things such as: running, cycling, swimming, finances, gardening, home repairs, and unfortunately our judicial system, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself, relationships, about parenting and which battles to stand firm on and which really, in the grand scheme of things – are not all that important.

While the term “failure” sounds pretty harsh for lack of a better, more encompassing term, by definition, it is the best fit.  In each one of these areas, in one way or another I’ve learned something through failures.  Be them in DNF’ing a race, blowing my budget, a non-existent garden this year, in who I am and my take on things, in looking back at a journal I used to keep and realizing a real root cause of a problem I was having, or even in silly arguments I used to have with the kids over things that in hindsight were no big deal.  With each failure I’ve grown and learned something.

So with 2013 being summed up as “learning”, my goal for 2014 is “training”.  Training as in, not learning through failure but being properly prepared for success.  A couple of nights ago I was laying in bed watching TV – The Aresenio Hall show.  It’s sandwiched between two of my favorite things to watch – Fox 8 News and The Big Bang Theory.  While the show is usually on just to pass time because I’m too lazy to reach over to grab the remote and change the channel,  a segment came on that couldn’t have been more aptly timed.  Malcolm Jamal Warner came on and I wasn’t really paying much attention at first but then, then it spoke to me.  I thought “That’s it!”

“It’s only 25% physical.  It’s really about the 25% mental, the 25% spiritual, the 25% emotional that I need to make sure that I could endure this obstacle course that the game of life leaves before me.”

I’ve been working on only 25% of the training I really need.  It’s about time to strive for the other 75% that I’m missing out on.

My little “Cake Boss”

I know I am jumping way ahead of myself here but we did something this weekend that was so much fun that I couldn’t resist.  I  mentioned before that one of my purposes for my blog was to treat it as sort of a virtual scrap-book to look back upon and share with family and friends – both online and in real life.  Who knows – besides trying to promote an active lifestyle and cooking adventures, maybe it will help spark an idea for someone else to do with their kids.  Well, this is one of those “scrapbooking” type posts….

I try to let my kids try as many new things as they would like —  within reason of course.  So we were sitting at the dinner table about a week ago when Emily says, “Daddy, I want to make a three-tier cake; like on Cake Boss“.  Me liking to cook couldn’t say no (yeah, I know — WAY behind on food blog posts……) I figure how hard could it be, right?

I jumped on-line one morning to look up how to make the tiers.  I now know the difference between “tiers” and “layers”, what supports are, and the need for cake boards :)  Emily of course rolled her eyes and expressed to me how she already knows what to do…

Off to the store we went!  A couple of cake pans, 6 boxes of mix, 6 containers of frosting, several different decorative frosting items, two dozen eggs, vegetable oil, supports for the tiers, cake boards, a few new spatulas, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, and chocolate chips— sounds like more than just cake ingredients, huh?  Well, we decided to also make some chocolate chip cookie dough bites while the cakes were baking… Yeah, I REALLY need to run more now!

Picking up supplies

Picking up supplies

You’ve never seen a more excited little girl at a grocery store!  She wanted more, but I had to draw the line somewhere.  We got home, unloaded the car, donned our, er… ahhh… I mean — her apron and started baking.  This is pretty new to me.  I can cook, but bake?  The most baking I’ve done is making brownies with Emily in our Perfect Brownie Pan.  You really cannot go wrong.  This however was pretty involved.  Emily was eager to start mixing — especially since she loves using our “mixer”.  You remember my mixer from early on in my blog, no?  Here – this is when I had the first idea to fix my problem of not having one

Mixing away!

Mixing away!  Gotta love the goofy smile :)

After mixing up the ingredients and putting the layers in the oven to bake, we decided we needed to do something else.  Thanks to my friends Camille and Kelly G., we had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookie dough balls.  These were super easy to make and we had just enough time too; sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, half and half, flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips…. how could they not be good!

Rolling out the bites

Rolling out the bites

It's a messy job but someone had to do it!

It’s a messy job but someone had to do it!

No fingers were licked before all the bites were rolled.

No fingers were licked before all the bites were rolled.

So now the bites were chilling in the freezer and the cake layers were finishing baking. Mind you we only had two cake pans so this ended up practically being an all day event!

Such concentration...

Tier one being frosted.  Such concentration…

After letting the layers cool  and cutting off the rounded tops, it was time to start assembling them.  Emily did an OUTSTANDING job frosting these layers.

Oh yeah, the chocolate chip cookie dough bites?  Well, in between the layers baking,  the cookie dough bites firmed up and we were able to melt some chocolate chips down to dip them in.  The only problem with these bites — they didn’t really last too long and I didn’t get a picture of them.  They did however look A LOT like the ones in the picture from the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

We were nearing the completion of this project and it was very exciting to see it all coming together.  What I thought would be a small task and a MUCH smaller cake, was turning out to be a major job and one REALLY large cake!

Tier 2 complete!

Tier 2 complete!

Emily's finished product

Emily’s finished product

Several hours later, and it is finally complete!  It was very rewarding as a parent to watch and help my little girl complete this project.  Emily did about 90% of this on her own.  After our first layer the only assistance I needed to give was to cut the supports down to size and provide comic relief for her when a couple mishaps took place during the frosting phase.  So proud of this kid.  She decided she wanted to do something and did it — start to finish.  Cake Boss folks?  Eat your hearts out! :)

And yes… Yo Momma – Kicked my ass yet again……..

Elevation for this mother!
Elevation for this mother!

Ahhh yes.  The post that I’ve been eager and dreading to make, all in one…

Well it happened… again.  The only event I’ve ever DNF’d and now I’ve DNF’d it twice on back to back years.  Remember me blogging about this one?  No?  Click here for a refresher…. 

Going into this race I had a mixture of emotions.  For quite some time I felt as if I haven’t trained for this well enough.   I even expressed my concerns about my ability to finish this race to Mike and Beth after running just a 50k at Woodstock.  Thanks to Runkeeper tho and the fact that I’m a bit of a data geek I pulled elevation, distance, and pace data for a rolling twelve months to see how it compared to last year and surprisingly enough; I covered more elevation AND a greater distance than previously.  After reviewing all the data, I now had statistics on my side and I should have had no problem; I had a plan, I trained, I had a crew, and I had pacers.

My plan
My plan

So now I think I was mentally AND physically prepared to run this race.  Not to PR or to crush a time, but to finish this race within the time limit and to finish it feeling well.  I reviewed my plan very closely and felt that it was totally doable.  Although I guess my “worst case” scenario really wasn’t worst case.  So what took me out of this race?  Thinking really hard about it, I’d have to say the mental game…

I went down Friday afternoon with Peg and Janice.  Peg hasn’t been around much lately so she had a great time this weekend, even getting to sit shotgun for a bit.

Peg - checking out the course

Climbing Sugar Loaf Mountain
Climbing Sugar Loaf Mountain
A quick dip in the pool before
A quick dip in the pool before…
Cleaning up for the night
Cleaning up for the night

After some carbo loading at the Olive Garden and a beer to calm some last-minute jitters we headed to our hotel to bed for a good night’s sleep.  I had a lot on my mind seeing as I DNF’d this race around mile 46.xx last year, surprisingly enough though, I slept pretty well.

The hotel was about 10min away from the start of the course and once there we had enough time to pose for a quick photo-op…

Photo op at the start
Photo op at the start

 The race started out very well.  Everyone was in good spirits and the first 20 miles flew by!  The course consisted of a four mile loop which included a little run up Sugarloaf Mountain that we had to run one time, then circling back around to start/finish.  Then a 16 mile loop which included Sugar Loaf, Mount Ives and several others that we had to run six times.  Also new this year, Rob enlisted the services of Jamie Clifton to photograph the race.  Check out her site here! She did a fantastic job and hauled her gear all over the course to get runners in different locations.

Getting to the top of Sugarloaf
Getting to the top of Sugarloaf

This was me coming to the top of Sugarloaf – told you I was still having fun :)  I was still feeling pretty good around mile 23 or so but started to feel slight pains on both sides of my lower back.  Kidneys, I thought?  Dunno – then I started to think about how much I’ve had to drink, when the last time I pee’d was and how strange it was that I’ve gone over 5 hours or so and hadn’t gone.  So around mile 25 I decided I’d force myself to.  While I thought I was hydrating enough, turns out I wasn’t.  Notice the color of my shirt?  Yeah, that was the color of my pee!  Now I was getting a bit worried especially since the pains I was feeling were getting worse.  All I kept thinking was about my friend Tara who had hydration problems at BR a couple of years ago, collapsed yards away from the finish and was hospitalized for several days.  My thinking was – I was alone for much of the time; if I were to collapse no one would find me for probably an hour!  I ended up walking the rest of the loop and was frantically texting my friends Zack and Laurie about what to do.  Laurie and Paul were on their way down to pace me so I’d be seeing them soon.  Zack said to drink — A LOT!  So over the course of the next 6 miles I drank roughly 3 liters of water and took in several S-Caps.  I made it back to the start/finish in rough shape to say the least.  I felt like crap.  My stomach was sloshing around from all of the water I was drinking but the pains have subsided some.  Poor Janice, this being her first experience with an ultra was trying so hard to be helpful, but I honestly just needed a little sandwich and some time to regroup.  I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and let my stomach calm for about 20 minutes or so.  Laurie and Paul showed up just as my stomach was starting to feel a little better and I was starting to prepare to head back out but needed to make a quick pit stop to relieve some of the water I was taking in and check the color.

I think people 10 miles away heard me come out yelling, “IT”S CLEAR!!!!!!”  I bolted back to pick up some more supplies and then ran out of there, back onto the trail like a new man!  This lasted for a little while and I was cruising through this 16mile loop.  Laurie and Janice were helping me hydrate by texting me every ten minutes saying “DRINK!”.  But the pains in my back were still returning.  I made it to the aid station at mile 46 (same place I dropped last year) and had to lay down for a minute.  That is when my friend Matt, who was heading up the aid station along with his track team that he coached, stood over me and said, “DUDE!  You were laying in this exact position, in this exact spot at this exact time in this race last year!!!”.  I told him I know, but this year I wasn’t quitting here.  He called over a couple of members of his team, they helped stretch out my legs, and I was back up and running.

I hit the start/finish aid station at mile 49.x feeling a little revived, especially since now Laurie would be joining me.

Quick change of my shoes halfway through the race
Quick change of my shoes and shirt halfway through the race
Picking up my rockstar pacer, heading out for loop 4
Picking up my rockstar pacer, heading out for loop 4

And we were off again.  It was such a relief to be running with her.  About a mile in and we heard our first coyote.  It was loud and close so we started talking very loudly in hopes that we just scare it off.  The coyotes played a factor in my DNF last year, but I was alone.  Now with company they didn’t bother me as much.

We made it to the top of Sugarloaf and the pains were returning again!  As we were approaching the next aid station I started doing some mental math.  Calculating how much time I was loosing per loop and how much time I’d need to finish the race when it hit me – I can’t make it.  We hit the aid station and I sat down feeling defeated again.  The volunteers and Laurie were very supportive and egged me on to go back out.  Laurie made a post on Facebook and several seconds later I received a call from my incredible friends back home.  It was awesome to hear from them and feel their support through the phone.  After talking to them, Laurie and the volunteers some more, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to quit just yet, so the volunteers suggested that we head out on the trail and if I still felt like I couldn’t make it to make a turn at the road about a mile ahead instead of crossing it and we’ll come upon the next aid station.

Off we went and about 3/4 of a mile later – I was done :( We came to the road, made the turn and came upon the aid station at which time we called Paul and Janice to come get us.  DNF’ing this race again was tough but at least heading back out I know I left it all out there.  Had I not had the hydration problems early on and those pains in my lower back, I KNOW I could have finished this race.  Mentally the pains were doing a number on me.  I know sometimes you just have to run through it knowing that it sucks now and will get better soon, but thoughts of “what if” kept creeping in my head… “what if it IS my kidneys”, “what if I collapse out on the trail, how would I get to a hospital in time” and being a single Dad I wasn’t willing to make such a gamble.  I know — sounds a bit dramatic huh?  But like I tell my doctor, I think I’m a borderline hypochondriac but am also stubborn  so I’m reluctant to go to the doctor then end up worrying some more….  Here is my runkeeper data for this year’s Yo Momma’s 100.

Rob and his wife Angie --- RD and Co-RD.. such a sweet looking couple, how could they design such an evil course!
Rob and wife Angie – RD and Co-RD.. such a sweet looking couple, how could they design such an evil course!

We packed it up, Laurie and Paul headed for home and luckily Janice had the foresight to get our hotel room for another night.  Her and I head back there and I was out like a light!  The next day, after we arrived home I felt decent enough to head out for a quick little jog/walk (yes, I did track this walk with runkeeper as well, here’s the data) and I proceeded to overeat before the kids came home.  After all, I burned over 12,000 calories the day prior – I deserved to :)

Most of my friends and family have heard this story many times.  Most of them have NOT heard this next part.  Maybe I ate too much too fast?  Not sure, but when I was starting to put the kids to bed the next night I started to get a terrible pain in my lower abdomen.  I got the kids to bed before the pain was so intense I was double over sweating.  I managed to crawl to the bathroom and got sick several times.  Crawled back into bed writhing in pain, I actually had my Dad’s number dialed on my cell phone but it was now one or two in the morning, I didn’t dial.  I know I’ve never felt such pain before – on the scale they ask at the hospital 1-10, it was conservatively a 7 or 8.  After spending hours in pain I finally managed to fall asleep.  The next day I was messaging my friend Heather who is a nurse for advice and she ended up convincing me to make an appointment to see my doctor for some blood work.  I’m assuming everything came back as normal because despite my attempts to get a hold of him, I never heard back with the results……

NOW!!!!  Guess what?!?!?!?!?!  REGISTRATION IS OPEN and guess who’s already registered!!?? — that’s right, ME!!!!  I’ve learned things with each failure – this course has beat me twice, I won’t stop until I beat it.  Wanna join me?  Click here for the registration page.  Appropriate enough, Peg and I made the cover :)

All this just for a buckle...
All this just for a buckle…

Have you DNF’d a race before?  Does the DNF make you want to run it again that much more?

Bike MS – 2013

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This is the second year that I was able to participate in this event.  Twenty-thirteen marked the 27th annual running of “Pedal to the Point”.  A 150mile (supposedly) bike ride in which on day one you ride from Brunswick Highschool to Sandusky, home of the one of the world’s most amazing amusement parks Cedar Point and then back on day two.  I say “supposedly” because my garmin data from last year clocked us at something like 188 miles total and this year it was something like 172 miles – there was a detour this year.  Don’t get me wrong — I’m NOT complaining!  This ride is/was amazing!

For those of you that have visited my blog before and are already aware of one of the reasons I want to ride this, bare with me please…

To steal an excerpt from my prior post, “Bike MS is a fundraiser to help fight multiple sclerosis.  MS is a chronic and unpredictable disease affecting more than 20,000 people in Ohio.  Currently there is no cure for MS.  Advances in treating and understanding MS are made every year and progress in research in finding one is very encouraging.”  (you could read that whole post here Bike MS 2012).   I was riding on behalf of my cousin Karen again, who has been living with MS for 24 years now.  Last year I raised $575.00.  This year, thanks to my amazing friends and family I was able to raise $850.00.  And as of the time I type this post, this event has raised $1,465,162.00, just shy of the $1,500,000.00 goal — but there is still time!

I was riding with my good friend Brian (BMO) again this year.  We had such a great time last year, I had high expectations for this year’s ride!  We again teamed up with Team Mellen and I was going to try and post our team picture that was taken this year, but I couldn’t capture it well enough to make anyone recognizable.  You could click here though and see a picture of our team as well as other teams that rode.

BMO and I had just as much fun this year as we did last — even trying to replicate a photo that we took….

BMO and I goofing off at an aid station

2013 attempt to replicate...

2013 attempt to replicate….  Close :)

The weather for this ride couldn’t have been better and as usual fellow riders and volunteers were amazing!

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The course is marked very clearly with signs posted on telephone poles, stakes in the ground and even painted on the roadway.  In fact, the course is marked so well, it was almost as if the course markers were aware of my knack for getting lost so they personalized the directions.

"MS"... yes, same as my initials :)

“MS”… yes, same as my initials :)

Day one we breezed through and the last 10 miles went something like this 47sec video clip.  Thanks again BMO for letting me draft :)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=613355825362422&set=vb.100000640312524&type=3

We arrived at Sandusky High School in a little over 5hrs and 55min covering nearly 95miles. Click here for my Runkeeper data from day one, unpacked our stuff and headed out to Cedar Point.

Some of the thousands that made the ride

Some of the thousands that made the ride

I cannot say enough how lucky I am to live where I do.  I mentioned in an earlier post about how I could cycle along the lake shore in the morning, follow that up with a swim in the lake, then a run through the trails and yet, still follow THAT up with a night in downtown Cleveland.  Now another benefit?  I live about and hour and a half or so away from one of the world’s best amusement parks.  Not only is it the second oldest amusement park in the United States, built in 1870,  it is the only one in the world with FOUR roller coasters taller than 200ft!

Cedar Point

Cedar Point

BMO and I don’t visit the park for the roller coasters after our ride though.  We take in a little train ride around the park, a ridiculously overpriced beer and a ride on the sky ride high above the park and then off to enjoy a little beer before heading back to rest up for the next day’s ride.

Did I say "little"?

Did I say “little”?

Kind of a ritual that BMO had before I started joining him on this ride.  One which I’m sure we will continue to do for years to come.  Oh yeah, another highlight of the park this day?  We sat and watched this family try to shove this stuffed animal their kid won into this little car….

Needless to say, it did NOT fit in there!

Needless to say, it did NOT fit in there!

They tried and tried to no avail to shove this thing in.  Believe it or not, they put it on top and just HELD it there!  YIKES!!

So after a good night’s sleep, as Aerosmith says — we were

Baaaack in the saddle again...

Baaaack in the saddle again…

Day two was much like day one.  Lots of pedaling, lots of laughing, lots of goofing off!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=613399118691426&l=4384079398351792652

Here is the data from day number two.  We covered nearly 72 miles in just over four and a half hours.  I am so lucky to be able to participate in this event and help raise much needed money for such a great cause.  A huge thank you goes out to the organizers and all the volunteers for such a well run event. Also again, thanks BMO for being an enabler — you got me into ultra running, then cycling, what’s next??

I really hope the links to the videos work properly.  They are no longer saved on my phone so I only have them on my Facebook page.  That’ll all change soon tho, as I get more and more familiar with my new GoPro!