Yes… I’m still here.. and guess what — Yo Momma Kicked my A$$ again….

**** warning —-  long read *****

Hey remember me? Talk about being a broken record…

I have been away from blogging for so long that I forgot my login ID, my password and almost how to start a new post.  I’ve been wanting to revive my blog for some time now, but life being what it is – I just really hadn’t had the time.  I know, sounds like the same old excuse – but seriously, any active, single parent with active kids would agree!  LOL

There has been TONS going on as usual – I want to blog about everything and I kind of feel bad about making this first blog post back about this race, but I would really like to finish it while details are fresh in my mind and I give a long over due thanks and recognition to those that gave up their time – and viewing of an OSU football game to come support me.

So as you could tell from the title; I.  Freaking.  Failed… Again.  I don’t know what exactly it is about Not Yo Mommas; the ruggedness of the course, the newness of the race, or the fact that it is the only one I’ve ever DNF’d, but I think what really keeps me coming back is the fact that it is the only one I’ve DNF’d.  To admit I can’t do something is a tough pill to swallow.

In my two previous attempts my DNF’s could honestly  be chaulked up to a lack of training.  This one?  I trained, well – unfortunately took the training much more seriously towards the end which I think lead to me dealing with plantar fasciitis.

I logged literally hundreds of miles with my dog Cato and my ABSOLUTELY AMAZING friends and family.

denny

NYMblog

Cato during his first 24mile run! 🙂

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Jeremy and Emily helping me train at home

Jeremy and Emily helping me train at home

For the first time EVER I did hill repeats — and enjoyed them??

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I am dang proud of the path I carved out in this hill with all the repeats I've done! :)

I am dang proud of the path I carved out in this hill with all the repeats I’ve done! 🙂

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And at the urging of, well… all of my friends – experimented with my nutrition to get off GU’s.

Thanks Pam!

Thanks Pam!

Tailwind

However – Tailwind and Lara bars ended up being the nutrition of choice

So, leading up to race day… for ONCE I thought I was prepared for this – before the PF set in, but I thought I could deal with it for this race, then take a break and give it a chance to fully heal up.

Finally – on to the race.

I’m not going to go into all the details of the course because I’ve done it several times before.  You can check them out along with the details of my other attempts here.

My first attempt

My second attempt

Last year’s 50k

My friends were there to fully support me for this attempt and I think for the first time also thought that I trained well enough for it.  My buddy Dave committed to pace me for the last 50k or the race, My girlfriend, Ginger (YEP! You read that right.  Much more about her/us later 😊) flew in from Illinois and along with Mike, Beth, and Michele were there to crew me.  This was such a humbling experience.  I never had a crew before.  After coming in from my first loop (NYM course is a 4mile loop followed by 6 loops of a 16mile section), I smiled, waved and ran right passed them and started to fill up my water bottle and get some food.  It honestly never occurred to me to stop so they can do it and while I sit and rest for the moment. Heck – Dave and Beth even took off my shoes, changed my nasty socks, and put my shoes back on me!

Me and my badass pacer Dave at O24

Dave and I at O24

My crew - Dave, Mike, Michele, Beth and Ginger

Dave, Mike, Michele, Beth and Ginger

Coming back to the end of my second full loop (approx 36 miles) I still felt amazing – shortly thereafter tho, the wheels fell off.  It started getting dark, my PF started hurting much more, and I subsequently started slowing down.  I took 3 Aleve in a 3 hour time span but it didn’t help.  I got to aid station 3 and pulled the plug – again.  Such a hard decision to have to make again and even though I still feel like I let them all down – my friends being who they are, were all very supportive in my decision. I cannot thank you all enough for being there for me.  The plus side of me dropping?  My friend Eddie who was running NYM for the first time this year needed a pacer and Dave was more than happy to fill the bill.  Eddie was now in great hands for his last 50k of the race and Dave helped him finish in grand fashion – winning NYM100M with a time of just over 28hrs. WAY TO GO EDDIE!!!

To everyone that helps to make NYM what it is – thank you all so much for doing such a great job.  Love this race – really I do.  Rob/Angie.  I may have said I wasn’t going to do this anymore, but I’ll be back.  I plan to run a couple 100’s in 2016 to regain my confidence in my ability to do so and then – tackle Yo Momma again!

Click here for my Runkeeper data of the 48.66 miles that I did complete.  Also, I display my trophy with pride.  How could you not love race directors who know you well enough that after you regain your composure come up to you and present you with this baby 🙂

My favorite race bling so far

My favorite race bling so far

As for some posts to come —–

  • Jeremy and Emily are growing like WEEDS; basketball, volleyball, highschool???
  • My oldest daughter, Leah, is getting married to her long time boyfriend Devon and they’ve made me a Grandpa!
  • Running adventures continue
  • Mountain bike adventures are taking beginning to get more real

and

  • Cooking is starting to get interesting again!
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Not Yo Momma — finally kicked a little bit of her A$$!

Elevation Chart of the 50k

Elevation Chart of the 50k

Again, I know I’m jumping around but since this run is so fresh in my mind, I figured I could knock this race report out pretty quickly.

This.  Was Not Yo Mommas 2014 – and while I didn’t run the 100 this year because of another run I’ve got planned next week, I did manage to kick a little bit of her ass and complete the 50k!  If you look at the elevation chart the inclines go like this; the first major one is Sugarloaf Mountain, then a small up and down before climbing Mount Ives, down Mount Ives to Sand Hill that plataues off before going down hill again.  Then up dreaded Bald Hill.  While people bitch and moan about Sugarloaf?  I F’N hate Bald Hill!  It may not be as steep, but I’m 99% positive it is taller and I KNOW it is a longer incline.

This is my nemesis course.  I’ve DNF’d her twice; the first around mile 4x in my 100mile attempt the inaugural year of the race (here’s my race report from then) and then the next year around mile 5x (here is year two’s data).  I signed up for the 100 miler this year as soon as I was able to and was planning on knocking this one out of the park!  Yeah — the actions behind that thought didn’t happen as planned though, PLUS my friends and I ended up scheduling another HUGE run 10 days later (more on that in another post tho).

Also this year, rather than getting a hotel we decided to sleep in my car —- or as my friends like to call it my minivan, even tho it is technically a “cross over vehicle”, LOL.  It was honestly much more enjoyable to camp out in the park.  My seats all fold flat so sleeping was not an issue, having a campsite and cooking out/throwing back several beers the night before the race wins anytime over dinner out, and heading to a hotel in which you have to wake up extra early to pack and check out before the race begins.

Our campsite

Our campsite

Ahhhh dinner :)

Ahhhh dinner 🙂

After a nice dinner of chicken sausages, potatoe salad, and several Sam Adams Octoberfests – race morning was upon us.  I actually felt really good going into this race and got to meet some great folks standing at the starting line. The bugle sounded and we were off!  It was really nice knowing exactly what to expect with this course.  I mean, afterall – I’ve seen it two years in a row.  I kept thinking slow and steady, slow and steady.  I was feeling great the entire first loop.  And then I encountered my first problem. ….

When I run ultras I typically consume a GU and one or two S-Caps (depending on how much I’m sweating) an hour.  Problem?  I forgot to go get GUs and only had 3 on me for the entire race.  Sure the course had Hammer Gels, but I was afraid to take them for fear of upsetting my stomach and causing more problems.  so I ate potato chips, coke, and trail mix at every aid station, but I think the mental aspect of not “doing what I normally do” played with me some.  Coming around the backside of the loop, I finally ran into my friend Dawn.  I was so excited to see her!  She signed up for the 100k at this race and while this may sound evil, it was so nice having another friend out there on the course grinding out the miles and climbing these mountains!  I finished the first 16mile loop in just around 3hrs 30min.  Surprisingly enough, I didn’t take too many photos during the run this time.  But here’s a couple I managed to snap off.

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Sugarloaf is only this big.. how hard could it be?

Sugarloaf is only this big.. how hard could it be?

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On to loop two.  Up Sugarloaf Mountain and down the other side.  I felt really well on the switch backs on the back side and then problem number two occurred.  It was heating up and for the first time EVER I got a calf cramp.  To make it worse, my calf cramped up as I was gingerly trying to navigate my way down a steep, rocky downhill.  It must’ve cramped up just as I was stepping on my left or just after but BAM!  down I went.  I slid down the hill (aka mountain) for only about 10-15ft but ended up laying there for several minutes writhing in pain trying to rub out the cramp.  Finally it released and I got back up again.  The next couple miles went by pretty slowly while I was still recovering.  I think my problem now became more of a mental game.  Thoughts kept running through my head, “was the lack of GUs and S-caps the reason for the calf cramp?  Am I taking in enough at the aid stations?  Why is there always SOMETHING with this race!?  Damn do my feet hurt!”  I walked quite a bit of the second lap and was sooo glad to hit the road section – walk up the hill towards the half mile marker to the start finish and run through the finish line!  My second loop took me nearly 5hrs!  My finish time?  8Hrs20min flat.  Or as I like to say — 3rd in my age group (nevermind the fact that there were only 4 of us!).  Click here for my data of this run.

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There is something to be said about an RD who stays awake at the start finish all day/night to personally hand out finisher medals to everyone

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A small token for my efforts... next year it'll be a buckle!

A small token for my efforts… next year it’ll be a buckle!

Here are some other stats from this race —

  • Distance 25K – 47 of 52 people finished, times ranged from 2hrs30min to 10hrs20min
  • Distance 50K – 23 of 33 people finished, times ranged from 5hrs23min to 11hrs49min
  • Distance 75K – 6 of 8 people finished, times ranged from 10hrs16min to 17hrs18min
  • Distance 100K – 6 of 13 people finished, times ranged from 16hrs30min to 25hrs11min (BTW – my friend Dawn?  FIRST place women’s finish!  So proud of her!!)
  • Distance 100m – 10 of 28 people finished, times ranged from 19hrs38min to 31hrs59min.

I’ve said it many times. This is a course I love to hate and will continue running it till I complete the 100mile that I’ve DNF’d.  Looks like I’ll have to wait till 2015.

Rob and his wife Angie

Rob and his wife Angie

Thank you again Rob and Angie for such an amazing event!  Everything for this race was perfect!  You guys rock!

Well, that’s about it for now.  I’ll work on my blog posts when we get back from our next adventure.  I also need to work on my race team’s blog site (click here to visit it) and add runner bios along with links to race reports that others are doing.  What’s our next adventure you ask?  My friends and I are running R2R2R – a double crossing of the Grand Canyon in one day!  I’m so crazy excited about this trip.  Here is a sneak peak of the trails.  We are starting at the South Rim and running down South Kaibab across the Colorado River.  Then up/down North Kaibab and across the Colorado River and up Bright Angel.  Here are some of my favorite videos others have taken of these trails.  My next blog post will be my personal videos!

South Kaibab

North Kaibab

Bright Angel

I think one of my next posts is going to have to be a “bucket list” post.  I’m starting to tick off so many of them!!