And the 2015 season is underway!!!

So in my typical fashion, it seems that I would start a post out with something along the lines of, “holy smokes!  I am behind!” or something like that — so, I’m going to skip that cuz you are already expecting it.  (See what I did there?)

After the Grand Canyon last year, 2015 wasn’t supposed to be a very big year.  I mean, yeah – Yo Momma’s is a given that I was going to do, cuz I have to kick that bitches ass!  But, it’s the kids’ turn to take a vacation.  Not quite sure where we are going to go, but we’ll have fun!

However, the way this year seems to be shaping up, it is going to be one of my highest mileage ones yet!  So far this year my schedule looks like this;

  • January — I already ran a Art Moore Fatass 50k.  Actually, my second fastest ever with a time of 5hrs47min!! (more on this one shortly)
  • February —Winter Run for Regis 50k
  • March —  Pilot Mountain Marathon — North Carolina, St. Patrick’s Day Fatass 25/50k
  • April —  Mohican Forget the PR 50k
  • May — O24, and Maybe 50’s for Yo Momma?  Plus I’m planning on going to cheer someone on in their first 70.3 tri
  • June — Aside from my Leah having A BABY!!!!  Looks like we are doing an Ultra Ragnar Relay in the Appalachians
  • July —
  • August — BikeMS
  • September — Woodstock 5k, Woodstock 50k, Woodstock 5k, Not Yo Mommas 100 Miler
  • October — Javelina 100 Miler — Arizona
  • November — Bills’ Badass 50k
  • December —

The months I have nothing to do should still be pretty big.  Planning on training for Not Yo Mommas hard this year.  Then December?  Maybe that could be a rest month 🙂

So.  I ran the Art Moore Fatass 50k again last weekend.  I’m not going to go into how this Fatass started, I did that in an earlier blog post since I’ve run this before — click here if you would like to know more)

The weather was a little warmer than it was last year but this year instead of cold and snow, it was chilly and rainy.  I ran the first 14 miles of it with my buddy Eddie, who by the way is a much stronger runner than I am — who I probably owe a bit of my finish time to him.  I don’t race at all, especially a fatass, but I have to admit it was kind of cool to finish this one in my second fastest time and in 5th place!

 

No matter how many times I run past this sign, it always cracks me up (and scares me a little)

No matter how many times I run past this sign, it always cracks me up (and scares me a little)

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10686882_880877421943593_1270064549169009541_nI was very happy with this run!  I’ve been having a difficult time on long runs lately and I know my problem stems from not taking in enough calories.  I’ve experimented with Perpetuem this time and while during a 50k I would normally take in about 700-900 calories (6 GUs + food at an aid station), this time I took in nearly 2000calories!  I felt great — my legs were a bit tired from being under trained, but that is something I know how to fix!  Click here for my data from this run.

I really am going to try and keep my blog updated better.  I was supposed to be entering our runner profiles for Team OUTRUN but the website is being revamped.  I’ll post a link to it soon.  Also have so much more to blog about already this year!

Stay tuned, there are some REALLY exciting things happening!

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Outrun 24 Hour Endurance Run – 1 Mile loop / 24hrs / Hellafun!

End of April also brought about the 2nd running of O24. O24 (OUTRUN 24) is a 24 hour endurance run put on by our running group, OUTRUN. I ran this last year to complete my first 100k and this year I had the honor to be on the race committee. I’m really enjoying being involved with the “behind the scenes” part of races.

"Harvesting" a new leg while setting up in the morning :)

“Harvesting” a new leg while setting up in the morning 🙂

O24 is one of Zack’s (head of OUTRUN) brilliant ideas. It is a one mile loop that runs through Chapin Forest. You get 24hrs to complete whatever distance you can with medals going to the 50k and 100k finishers and a buckles for the 100 miler finishers. The inaugural running of this races was incredible, there was something like 60 participants, this year there were nearly 90! According to Zack, there were 85 runners who ran a total of 4,973 miles with 59 being the average distance. Seven runners hit the 100 mile marker or more, 42 ran between 100k and 99miles. Thirty-five runners ran between 50k and 100k and the ages ranged from 17 to 77 with 43yrs old being the average. Pretty DAMN impressive stats!

This is the Start / Finish / AND the one mile to go mark :)

This is the Start / Finish / AND the one mile to go mark 🙂

O24's "Tent City" for those that camped out for the weekend.

O24’s “Tent City” for those that camped out for the weekend.

My goal for this races originally was to complete 100 miles in 24hrs. That 29 seconds from BR is still haunting me. I did 100 in under 24hrs, but according to the record books – I was off by 29sec. (BR100 is actually 100.9 miles / my time was 24hrs 29 seconds). Michele was also planning on covering 100 miles here so we figured on running it together. I pulled my data from BR and thought that if we ran the first 20 miles at roughly a 10/11 min average pace, we could run the last 80 miles at a 15/16min average pace. My thinking was, it worked for BR and that course was much more difficult. Should be practically a walk in the park here. One problem tho…. I did not train for this run. My 100 mile training had basically just started and was geared toward running another 100mile race at the end of July. Whoops.

In any case, I ran this race and had an absolute BLAST! The only discomfort I felt was somewhere around the 40 mile mark. When running ultras, fueling is very important so you kind of train yourself to eat at each aid station. Problem here then? The aid station was at every mile! I ate WAY too much! That, added to the sun coming out (for the first time in what seemed like forever) kinda killed me. I ended up taking a 20min break and got out of the sun. After my break I was good to go again.

Eating every mile ---- WRONG

Eating every mile —- WRONG

The first 20 miles went according to plan. Covered the first 50k (31 miles) in just under 6 hour and then it went kind of downhill from there. I’m trying not to get into all the details of this run because I’m sure you could only hear so many times that I was running, laughing, walking, smiling, jogging, goofing around, eating, smiling, running…… etc., etc., etc. 🙂 I was quite fine with it though. The only real race that I have on my schedule that I NEED to finish is Not Yo Mommas 100 Miler at the end of September.

Running, Smiling

Ben, Michele, Crystal and I – Running and smiling…..

Michele and I - jogging, laughing, goofing :)

Michele and I – jogging, laughing, goofing 🙂

Did I mention having a good time?

Did I mention having a good time?

The thing I’ve realized about running over the past year or so, is that I love the people aspect of it most of all. I love to hear people’s stories as to why they run, what challenges they have over come and what achievements they’ve made. I’ve met so many amazing people who, thru running, have pushed themselves way beyond they’ve ever thought they could go, have overcome many obstacles, and have made many positive changes in their lives. Walking, jogging, running with them, and talking to them is one of my favorite parts about running races.

Chris dedicated a marathon to each one of the murder victims from Boston

Chris dedicated a marathon to each one of those killed in Boston

Changed placards with each marathon he ran today

Changed placards with each marathon he ran today

Zach M -- wore these bunny slippers for the first 20 or so miles.  Also wore them at Bills Bad Ass 50k.... You get the idea that ultra trail runners are a colorful bunch :)

Zach M — wore these bunny slippers for the first 10-15 miles (I think). Also wore them at Bills Bad Ass 50k…. You get the idea that ultra trail runners are a colorful bunch 🙂

So as the day went on and more and more runners were pushing themselves past where they thought their breaking point would be and exceeded their original goals. Those that were already done stuck around to cheer them on. Runners are a pretty tight group of friends, trail runners – even closer. But ultra trail runners are as close to family as you can get without sharing the same parents!

Rockstar "family" hanging out in support

Rockstar “family” hanging out in support

Finally the top male and female finishers. I would say winners, but “winners” in this sense would not be appropriate. Everyone had different goals in mind — making everyone that toed the line a winner.

Will from Tennessee --- 1st place, 115 miles!

Will from Tennessee — 1st place, 115 miles!

Crystal --- 2nd place overall and 1st place female -- 106miles.  I was happy to be in front of her for a few loops.  Any time we've run together, I see her at the start and maybe for a mile from there... then ZOOM  I'll see her at the finish!

Crystal — 2nd place overall and 1st place female — 106miles. I was happy to run with her and teased some about being in front of her for a few loops. Any time we’ve run together, I see her at the start and maybe for a mile from there… then ZOOM I’ll see her at the finish!

Wow… this was much longer than I intended. I could have gone on and on but I practiced some restraint. Here is my data from this “race”. There are two files, the first is about the first 50 miles and then the second is the last 25 There are some HUGE things coming up that I am crazy excited about. Still yet to come this year;

  • June – I bowed out of running BR100 this year and I decided not to run the 3 day Blue Blazes Ultra. In place of those, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to pace one of my amazing friends Kevin at Western States 100 in California next month!
  • July – So the kids and I are going to help out at an aid station for BR in July.
  • August – brings the 170mile Bike MS, which I’m haven’t even STARTED fundraising for yet.
  • September is Run Woodstock 50k AND Not Yo Mommas 100 Miler.
  • October is the Columbus 1/2 Marathon that a ton of us are going to. Many of whom are running the full, several the half, and I’m planning on the half with Jeremy and Emily. The following week is Run with Scissors Double Marathon, and finally
  • November is Bills Badass 50k, which I am hoping to mentor Jeremy.

I’m pretty sure there will be more sprinkled in there but that’s my plan so far. I’ll have to give some updates on dinners, cooking, and our garden really soon, too!

What do you have coming up?

The Frosty 50K, North Carolina – Let the 2013 “Craziness” Commence!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

And what a way to start it! My running plans for 2013 seem to be ever evolving. Originally I was planning on running a race in Iceland (check this race out here) as part of the Runwell Team. There was much fundraising involved in order to run this, a challenge I was prepared to take on, but my plans fell thru when spots were filling up quickly and we needed to come up with some money to register within a few weeks. This is when I had the idea of running the entire Buckeye Trail as a fundraiser for Rush for a Cause. I wanted to start this in January – I quickly realized that taking on such a task required much more planning than I was able to do in a short time. Don’t get me wrong, this is something I WILL still do; I’ve gained access to all of the maps for the entire course, talked with the founders of Rush for a Cause, and have talked to a few people who are willing to take time and help me out with transportation, maybe in 2014? Who knows — the 2014 run for Racing the Planet is in Madagascar!

Since I pulled the plug for the BT run in 2013 because I didn’t want to go into it unprepared, I decided I needed to register for some races. First up for 2013; The Frosty 50k in Winston-Salem North Carolina. This is the fourteenth year that this race has been run! It is hosted by a group called Twin City Track Club. To quote from their website;

The Twin City Track Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting running and fitness in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina area. They are Winston-Salem’s oldest running club and one of the largest clubs in North Carolina. Their members are a cross-section of the community, representing runners and walkers of all abilities. We have group activities to promote the social aspects of running, and bring in nationally known speakers to educate and inspire, and we assist other organizations with their organized running events.

We are a proud member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and United States Track and Field (USATF).

I had the pleasure of meeting many of their members and several of their board. They are a great group of people. Here is a link to their event schedule. If you get a chance to participate in any of their other races – DO IT!

My plan for this race — I didn’t have one. I didn’t train, I didn’t even book a hotel! I headed on down Friday morning around 10:30/11:00am. If you aren’t familiar with this drive down I-77S, it’s very scenic and very easy.

Lots of mountains to pass through

Lots of mountains to pass through

Pilot Mountain

Pilot Mountain

This one I'm going to have to come back and hike soon

This one I’m going to have to come back and hike soon

One of two mountains you LITERALLY have to pass through

One of two mountains you have to literally pass through

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem

The drive was easy. It took just over 6.5hrs. Packet pickup was at Twin City Diner, check them out on Facebook. That is where I first met some of the great people from Twin City Track Club (TCTC). I picked up my packet and had an AMAZING dinner.

Chicken, pasta, artichoke, asparagus, sun-dried tomatos, and a Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald

Chicken, pasta, artichoke, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and a Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald

Now it was time to find a hotel. I used the “Around Me” app on my phone to find one that sounded nice. To which my new friends quickly informed me that — “Oh no! You don’t want to stay there!” And they directed me to one right around the corner. If you need a place to stay, I also now highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express off Miller Street.

Love this king bed... May have to buy a new bed for home :)

Love this king bed… May have to buy a new bed for home 🙂

So after a good nights sleep I headed to the course. The weather couldn’t have been better! It was about 30deg. in the morning with a high in the low 50’s! Running an ultra in shorts, in JANUARY?! Yes please!

Of course I was traveling with Peg --- she was crewing and waiting after the halfway turnaround.

Of course I was traveling with Peg — she was crewing and waiting after the halfway turnaround.

Yeah, the leg… I guess I should start making a link to some of “her” details when I make a post that contains a picture of her,  lol — click here to find out more.

The course was/is beautiful. We ran around Salem lake. The trail is crushed gravel and a small portion of it was a paved path.

The trail

The trail

Salem Lake

Salem Lake

This reminded me of North Chagrin --- I wanted to run through it so badly!

This reminded me of North Chagrin — I wanted to run through it so badly!

When I say I didn’t have a plan for this nor did I train, I wasn’t joking. I seriously haven’t trained for anything since BR. I’ve been just running for fun and my last long run aside from the 12miles on 12/12/12 was Bills Badass 50k in November! I just wanted to run this race and have a good time doing it.

And thats what I did! The course was pretty flat and whenever I glanced at my garmin my pace was upper 8min/mile to mid 9min/mile! I hit the halfway point at 15.5miles in 2hrs25min. putting me on par to finish this 50k in UNDER 5hrs! For some reason tho, I started getting a blister on my left foot. Why? I have NO clue! Not new shoes, I’ve worn them for about 200miles without any problem. I brought another pair of shoes along with me, so I decided to change them at the halfway point. I changed my shoes and headed back out. The shoes I changed into where a completely different brand, Asics. Which is strange for me – I’m brand loyal to Saucony and have only bought the Exodus 3.0’s for the past couple years, I’m on my 11th or 12th pair! I thought I would give these a try because I’m STILL dealing with that pain in my foot. So unfortunately, the second half I slowed down but still PR’d this race! While it may not be an apples to apples comparison to other 50k’s I’ve run, it was my fastest 50k ever at 5hrs 12min! I’LL TAKE IT! Check out my Runkeeper data here.

My new 50k PR - 5hrs 12min

My new 50k PR – 5hrs 12min

Pam and Jamie - Runwell ambasitors

Pam and Jamie – Runwell ambassadors

Sporting "Runwell"

Sporting “Runwell”

As usual, Peg got a TON of attention. I’ve told the Peg story more than a dozen times this day and Angi with TCTC was just as eager as we were to get Peg some new swag. Angi is awesome! She didn’t have a sticker but I gave her my name and address and she’s going to mail one out to me! Rock on Agni!!! I would love to thank everyone by name for showing me such fantastic hospitality, but this post has already gotten too long, sorry — just know I really appreciate everything!

Me Angi (TCTC) and Pam

Angi (TCTC), Peg, Pam and I

Long sleeve tech shirt and a handmade finisher medallion - THANKS TCTC!

Long sleeve tech shirt and a handmade finisher medallion – THANKS TCTC!

As much fun as it is to travel and meet people, there is no place like home.

To quote Montgomery Gentry ---- Yeah... I'm pretty damn proud where I come from...

To quote Montgomery Gentry —- CLE “Yeah… I’m pretty damn proud where I come from…”

Remember I said my schedule was booking up quick?

  • January – Frosty 50k (complete), Winter Run for Regis 50k
  • February – Bills Fatass 50k
  • March –
  • April – O24 (Outrun 24) – maybe 100miles
  • May – Rite Aid 5k with Emily followed by Rite Aid Half Marathon with Jeremy the next day
  • June -Olympic Distance Tri / Half Iron Man (what do you think Doug?)
  • July – burning River 100 miler — planning sub 24hrs
  • August – BikeMS
  • September – Not Yo Mommas 100 miler — DNF’d in 2012 at 47miles, need to finish this one!
  • October – Running with Scissors Double Marathon
  • November – Bills Badass 50k (possibly mentoring Jeremy) 🙂
  • December –

How does your schedule look? Any big runs on your horizon?

Badasses, Proving Their Badassness

If you’ve read my blog recently, you probably remember me talking about Bills Badass 50k. No? Here, let me refresh your memory 🙂 Made mention of it here and here.

Two awesome Bills… Left-Wild Bill, Right-Chef Bill

This marks my 11th ultra marathon this year (I’m including training runs that also are of ultra distances) and this one I was most honored to do for a couple of reasons. One reason was to be a mentor (even if I was second choice ;)) and the other to show our support for an awesome friend who is the “ultimate badass”.

This year, this race was billed for 1st time ultra marathoners and their mentors (if they chose to have one). One of my close friends, Doug (remember Doug? He bloodied my nose during one of our training runs? Yeah, him) asked me to help mentor him. He first asked JT, but the date for this run was changed from 11/10 to 11/17 and JT’ was already supporting his own badass son who qualified for the “World’s Toughest Mudder” which was on 11/17, so Doug asked if I would help. Of course my response was “Hell ya!”

So after hooking up for some great training runs through CVNP and our beloved NC, the day finally came. Unfortunately for “the Bills” (race directors Wild Bill Wagner and Chef Bill), the weather couldn’t be more perfect. Sooner or later they will get the crappy weather that this race deserves.

We arrived at Everett Road Covered Bridge and DAMN was it cold! The weather was supposed to warm up today so my usual rule of thumb applied — above 30deg F. wear shorts, short sleeve shirt and compression sleeves.

Frosty morning!

“You will NOT be a Candyass…..”

“… or Wild Bill will take this bullhorn, scream at you, essentially embarrassing the shit out of you!”

After a quick debriefing by “The Bills” we toed the “line”, or lack thereof, and we were off! This race consisted of running a 5 mile loop, 6 times and then after completing your sixth lap, a “run” up “Candy Ass Hill” where you had to run up half a mile, grab a piece of candy to prove you went the distance and then back down to the start finish.

Thinking about the training that was done for this run, I originally told Doug that I thought we would finish in about 7 hours. He was thinking more along the lines of 6 to 6-1/2 hours. So I was really hoping that we would come closer to his goal. I planned on following my usual refueling/hydration plans, eating about a 1/4 PB&J, some chips and some coke at every pass of the aid station, as well as drinking at least 20oz of water, having a GU and two S-Caps every hour — unfortunately I had to add in 2 Advil at the start and then at the 3hr mark. Doug was going to follow the same GU/S-Cap/Water plan, I think it worked out pretty well for him — aside from the excess salt that dried on his skin from his sweat after the race. Doug make note — after an ultra and using S-Caps do NOT rub your eye while driving!

Loop one and two were spent pretty much running, chatting and really just goofing off — hence the pictures of us posing for the camera 🙂 and we were still about 20min ahead of schedule for finishing by 6hrs30min.

Go!

Smile for the camera…

Hello? Yeah, I’m going to burn over 4000 calories, I would like two large pizzas and a dozen wings

Loop three and four were a bit more difficult and we dropped off pace a little bit. Doug was dealing with some pains but muscled through it like a champ. The flatter sections didn’t seem too bad but there was much more profanity coming from people’s mouths as we made the climb up some of the hills!

One MOTHER of a climb x6!

Loop 5 had to be the worst of them all but once we started loop 6 and got a taste of the end, it was like a whole new race! By the end of loop 6 we were already passed the 6hr45min mark, now the goal was keeping it under 7hrs. We dashed across the road and made the “run” up Candyass Hill, grabbed our “Atomic Fireball” and raced back down, finishing this mother to the tone of 6hrs 54min. Check out our data here. Hell of a Job Doug, Hell.of.a.JOB!!!

Still smiling after his first “official” ultra??? Yeah, he’s a badass.

The other amazing thing about this race? A close friend of ours and “the ultimate badass”, Mike , was diagnosed with cancer back in September/October. He began chemo at the end of October and has been showing us all just how badass he is! His wife Beth was running this as her first ultra and almost opted out of it. Neither Mike, nor any other of us, was having it! Mike was still going to run this race and we were all going to be there to support the two of them. Mike and Beth both rocked this race. What an amazing job and such an inspiration they are. So blessed to call them my friends.

Awesome job you two!

I wish could single out every one of my friends that participated in this race, but there were just too many. It’s an amazing thing to run in an event and know, or know of, more than 75% of all the runners there.

Some of my badass, amazing friends.

Upcoming posts? Kids are running more trails, they also ran another 5k race Thanksgiving morning (spoiler – Jeremy finished in 29min and Emily in 32min — so proud!) and snow is starting to fall making for some beautiful trail runs.

As far as my race schedule for 2013 goes? I unfortunately won’t be doing the Buckeye Trail this year – not enough time to plan for it – although I do have access to all the maps now. I have Winter Run for Regis 50k in January, another Bills Badass Fatass 50k (this same course but hoping for crappy weather) in February, 024 (Outrun 24hr endurance run) in April, Burning River 100miler in July (have to shave 30sec off last year’s time), Bike MS 175mile ride in August, Yo Mommas 100miler in September, Run with Scissors double marathon in October, find someone else to mentor for BBA50k in November and try to squeeze in a few triathlons somewhere in there 🙂

Have fun my friends!!!