Meet my new running buddy!

When I was a kid, growing up we’ve always had a dog and up until 7 years ago? (I am so terrible with time) I’ve had a dog in my adult life as well.  The kids have been asking for another for quite some time now and I’ve been putting it off.  Well, I finally broke.  Maybe it was the fact that I felt guilty cuz I told them we MAYBE we could get one after I got back from our Grand Canyon run, maybe it was that I really wanted one.  Whatever the case may be — I love our new pooch and am so glad that I caved.

I had an idea of the kind of dog I wanted us to get, the kids did too.  Although their requirement was; it had to be cute.  My requirement was a little more particular.  I wanted a dog that I could run with and I don’t mean 5-10k’s. I wanted a dog that, after properly trained could run a 50k plus with me!  So we started checking all the local shelters and some not so local ones.  There were so many dogs that needed adopted and it was so hard not to just adopt the first few we found.

After a while of searching we thought we finally found one.  It was in a kennel just over an hour away.  He was a Blue Tick Coon Hound and would’ve fit perfectly with our family.  I visited him, told the shelter about our house, our cat and played with the dog for about 20-30min.  I thought it was a good fit, so I told the kids about him and a couple days later we drove back down to visit.  I again told the kennel about our house and cat and we played with the dog outside for about 45min.  I asked the kids if they wanted to take him home and they said, “YES!!”  So we went inside to fill out all the papers.  I filled them out and the kids played with the dog through the glass door he was behind.  It was then when one of the workers noticed our form and quickly came over to let us know we couldn’t take him home because he wasn’t good with cats!  I was kinda pissed and the kids a little heartbroken.  But as I keep saying — everything in my life seems to happen for a reason.

So our search continued.  One night I was on our local “Buy/Sell/Trade” Facebook pages and came across a post from a family that had to get rid of one of their dogs.  I checked out the pictures and their description.  Many people that are getting rid of dogs on those sites get harassed about doing so and a few quite deserving so because it seems they are trying to make a buck or are basically a “puppy mill”.  Not this family.  They adopted two puppies from the same litter and as the dogs got older they began to experience “litter-mate syndrome”.  I’ve never even heard of that before, but apparently male dogs from the same litter will become combative and fight.  Which is what they were doing.  It was obvious that this family loved these dogs.  They’ve already had them fixed, put them through obedience training, had an invisible fence, plus their kids loved them.  They didn’t want any money for the dog, they just wanted to find it a good home.

I showed the kids the pictures of the dogs and submitted our “resume”, telling them about our family, our home, and how we would love to come meet them.

Our first glimpse of the dogs

Our fist glimpse of Cato and Finn!

Finn

Finn

Cato

Cato

We scheduled a time to come meet Cato and Finn and at this time weren’t sure which one they were going to part with.  When we got there the kids and I were so hoping it was going to be Cato.  Not that Finn wasn’t cute or playful, but it was something about Cato.  Maybe it was his two different colored eyes but when they said it was Cato that they were willing to part with before we even said anything — I had a feeling he was going to be ours.

The kids played with the dogs for a little while, while I chatted with their current owners (Joe and Lisa).  Well… long story short (yeah right, huh?  Too late.)  We took Cato home.  Their kids were pretty sad to see him go, but I think since they knew he was going to a good home they were able to deal with it easier.  Not to mention that I’m now Facebook friends with Joe and Lisa and their kids are Instagram friends with Jeremy and Emily so they’ll be able to see what Cato is up to.  Plus we suggested meeting up from time to time with them at the dog park for visits.

Well… without further ado.  Let the barrage of photos begin — say hello to CATO!!!!!

Cato's first night at his new home

Cato’s first night at his new home

Cato is an amazing puppy.  Well behaved (except maybe barks a little too much), attentive, obedient (as much as a puppy could be) and is turning into quite the runner!  I’ve started him out slow.  First with just a few miles building him up to where he is now — 10miles.  He won’t be a year old till the end of March so I’m not going to let him go any further till after he’s one and gets a check up.  Properly trained, he should have no problem busting out a 50k with me!

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I’ll end this post with a quick little video of Cato testing out one of his new harnesses.  Such a well behaved dog – love him and yet again, proving what I always say — Everything happens for a reason.  More exciting news along those lines later, very exciting happenings!!

 

Perry Newburn – Badass record holder for running across the US and all around hell of a guy!

For those in the running community, you may have heard of Perry Newburn.  He gained notoriety this year as the newest honorary member of OUTRUN.

Perry Newburn - Honorary OUTRUN member

Perry Newburn – Honorary OUTRUN member

Oh yeah, he also achieved another “little” feat — HE SET A NEW WORLD RECORD FOR RUNNING ACROSS THE UNITED STATES!!!

Perry’s interview #1 – When he came up with the idea

I don’t remember when it was exactly that I heard about Perry and his plans on breaking the world record for running across the United States.   But I did read that he was making an attempt to complete this task in 46 days to help raise money for a couple children’s charities (Sunshine Heros and Koru Care New Zealand).   I also read that during his adventure he was turning 60!  How many chances do you get to meet someone with so much drive and motivation.  Someone who is doing this not just for himself, but to motivate others all the while raising money for a couple children’s’ charities?  Exactly.  I knew I wanted to meet him, and play a small part in helping him complete his task.

I had a lot going on this month;  Woodstock and Not Yo Mommas already eliminated two weekends out of the month in which I would be able to meet up with him, so as my window of opportunity was closing the morning of September 13th had to be it.  I messaged Angie, Perry’s crew and told her that I would like to join Perry in the morning.  She gave me their planned route for the day and where I should meet them in the morning.

My friends and I had planned a night training run on September 12th.  We met at the park at 9:00pm and planned to run at least 2-3hrs.  It had been a long time since I ran through the night and it was a nice change-up from my usual runs.  We finished up almost 14 trail miles in 2.5hrs.  So at 11:30pm I headed home to get cleaned up, change and start my 4hr trek down to Springfield Ohio.

I left my house as soon as I was done getting cleaned up.  The drive was a bit long but pretty easy.  I pulled into the gas station that Angie told me to meet them at and managed to sleep for nearly 30min, whoohoo!!! LOL!  Perry ended up sleeping in a little bit as well, I cannot imagine why he was tired…

Here’s his morning video from our start. Morning of our run

After a brief introduction, watching Perry record his video and telling them that although I would LOVE to hang with him for a ton of miles, I really only had time for four, we were off!  Four miles out, then I would have to run four miles back, then make the four-hour drive back home to make it to my cousin’s wedding in time.   One would think that if I was going to make a 4hr drive to go run with someone that I would read up on them a little bit… but one would not no me so well and be wrong!  Everything I know about Perry I learned on our brief run from Springfield Ohio heading West on Rt. 40.  He is really a remarkable man and to try to summarize his trials and accomplishments in my little blog post would not do him justice.   This was his very first time in the States and after hearing his story, directly from him, I admire him even more.  I urge you to check him out.

Our four miles BLEW by quickly, stopping a couple of times to take in his surroundings and to discuss his route with Angie.  We hit four miles and Angie suggested that if I wanted to, I could run another four with him until he hits a long straight section of the road, and she would drive me back to my car.  Now how could I say no to that!
Checking out some Springfield Ohio history

Checking out some Springfield Ohio history

 We came to the end of our eight miles and Amber from Springfield was there to meet up with us.
Amber and Perry.  Thanks for the ride back to my car Amber!

Amber and Perry. Thanks for the ride back to my car Amber!

Unfortunately she wasn’t able to run with Perry, but she brought him a care package.  We took a couple of pictures and rather than Angie leaving Perry on his own, Amber, even though she never met me nor even talked to me before, gave me a ride back to my car.  Runners are really some of the best kinds of people 🙂
Perry continued on his way; day in day out running between 40-60+ miles per day.  Here’s a couple of pics from his Facebook page.  For more click here to check him out and for additional links to donate to his cause.
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And I would be remiss to not also congratulate Angie and her Sister-in-Law Becki for crewing for Perry.  It was with their help and support that enabled Perry to achieve such a huge goal!
Job well done ladies!!

Job well done ladies!!

 And while he missed the overall world record of 46days 8hrs and 36min set by 28 year old Frank Giannino in 1980, he did break the Masters Record of 52days 11hrs and 58min set by Marshal Ulrich in 2008 and finished his run in 51days 16hrs and 40min.  Way to go Perry!  You are a serious badass, whom I am grateful to have met.
#goperrygo

#goperrygo

OUTRUNning the Grand Canyon

This, by far, has been my biggest running adventure yet!  I don’t really recall who thought of the idea for us to head out to the Grand Canyon.  All I remember is us talking about it for months on end and at first when it was in discussion, I think we were all probably several beers and a couple of shots into a good night.  I guess the saying still holds true – Some of the best ideas are conjured up whilst partaking in debauchery… or something like that.  We talked and talked about it, then when airfare was at its cheapest and the trigger was pulled, it got real.  Airline tickets were bought, hotels were being planned, I was figuring out who was taking care of my kids while I was gone, and then gear was being assembled/purchased.

I think the last real vacation I took was in 2011 when we went down to Florida to be in a friend of mine’s wedding.  Sure I took long weekend running trips but not a real vacation so the planning and the anticipation leading up to this trip was off the charts!  There ended up being so much that I purchased for this trip.  Some I never used, and probably never will.  Some I probably could have done without, but who doesn’t need a new SJ Ultimate Direction vest and trekking poles, right?  In addition to those I bought a water filter, emergency blanket, new mount for my GoPro, and new shoes (Saucony Exodus of course).  Then more of my usual consumables – enough GU, E-caps (only cuz I couldn’t find S-caps), NUUN, trail mix, and uncrustables to last for the planned 18-19hr journey.

Gear for just a day?  But STILL wasn't enough...

Gear for just a day?  hard to believe all this fit in my SJ vest!  But STILL wasn’t enough…

As far as training went, I didn’t really train too much differently for this run than I do many others, (which really isn’t a good thing) although I did do some hill repeats vs. no hill repeats.  I increased my mileage a little but that was about it.  I know it sounds like excuses – and probably is, but training time is still hard to come by.  The kids are still not huge fans of being home alone while I run, whether it’s at night or the early morning while they sleep and I still feel terribly guilty if I sneak in a run while they are home.  Although Emily did help me get more miles by joining me on her bike. I made one last training run with a full pack and Mike S. at North Chagrin and then the time to go was upon us.

Emily helping me get some miles in

Emily helping me get some miles in

Ten of us ended up going on this adventure; Mike and his wife Beth, Des and her husband Glenn, Laurie and her husband Paul, Dave and his wife Sandra, Michele and myself.  Michele’s husband isn’t a runner and I think is convinced we are all nuts.  Sandra used to run, but I know she’s convinced we are all nuts!

So the time had come.  All the planning has finally come to a head.  I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon before and WOW!  It was amazing!

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After a little bit of sight-seeing we had a nice dinner together then it was off to bed.  We had to catch a cab at 4:30am from our hotel to the South Kaibab Trailhead.

We arrived at the trail head on time, hoping to beat the mule train so we didn’t get stuck behind it, but we didn’t.  Luckily the mule train headed down the trail a half hour before we got there so even though we didn’t beat it – we didn’t have to worry about getting stuck.

South Kaibab Trailhead

South Kaibab Trailhead

My favorite sign as I'm sure it is anyone's who ran across the canyon in a day

My favorite sign as I’m sure it is anyone’s who ran across the canyon in a day

Our run started out amazing.  Unfortunately it was so dark that most of my pictures all looked the same.  The only thing that I didn’t care much for was the dust.  The dirt on the trail was so fine that while running behind someone you literally ran in a cloud of dust.  So much so that we had to place our bandanas over our faces to keep from breathing it the entire time.  Two days later, I was STILL coughing this stuff up!

Heading down the trail

Heading down the trail

... And down....

… And down….

Capturing some of the dust particles in the air.  This was even after we stopped for a few moments and it had a chance to settle.

Capturing some of the dust particles in the air. This was even after we stopped for a few moments and it had a chance to settle.

After reaching the bottom, and crossing the Colorado river, we made it to Phantom Ranch within a few hours.  After filling up our water bottles, and getting something to eat, we said our goodbyes to Beth, Glenn, Paul, and Laurie.  They were making the turn at the ranch and headed back up to the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail.  Mike, Dave, Des, Michele and myself headed up the North Kaibab Trail to the North Rim.

Eating at Phantom Ranch

Eating at Phantom Ranch

Mike, Dave, Des and myself - heading out onto North Kaibab

Mike, Dave, Des and myself – heading out onto North Kaibab

This is where my run took an unexpected turn.  Problems late into my runs seems to be the norm lately and I think this was finally the eye opener I needed to make an adjustment.  Apparently my nutrition plan that I’ve been clinging to since I ran my 100 miler was no longer working.  I started getting dizzy and had to eat a GU and take several E-caps.  I would feel decent and this held me over for about a half hour at best after which I would get dizzy again.  It was VERY unnerving to get dizzy heading up the North Kaibab Trail.  One side of me was the canyon wall, the other was sheer drop into the canyon (you’ll see what I mean in Dave’s video below).  Several times the others would say, “My God.  Look at that!”  A couple of times I turned to look but that wasn’t a good idea.  A helicopter even buzzed the us in the canyon and landed to bring supplies so they could fix the water line break, but I had to keep blinders on.  After about the third time this happened, I realized that I was blowing through all of my supplies and at this rate, I would never make it back.  I made a quick check of my watch and was quite relieved to realize that I was going to make it to the North Rim in time to hop a shuttle bus back to the South Rim.  We made it to the North Rim in about 8hrs.  I climbed out of the canyon just as the shuttle bus was pulling up.  Luckily my friends had my back and gave me the shuttle fee.  I ran up to the van and my conversation with the drive went like this;

Me:  “You’re going back to the South Rim?”

Drive: “yep”

Me: “Can I get a lift”

Driver: “Do you have a reservation?”

Me: “No, but I will pay you ANY AMOUNT of money to give me a ride!”  It was the best $90.00 ($85+tip) that I spent in my life!.

I actually felt quite defeated not being able to make it back with my friends as planned.  But I had an hour to wait for the next shuttle to the South Rim and then a four and a half hour ride back, to think about it and deal with it.  I came up with my reasoning for not running back.  I decided that rather than say I didn’t make it – I would just say, “Eh, I ran all the way across the Grand Canyon in 8hrs.  From the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, down South Kaibab trail, across the Colorado River, and up North Kaibab Trail on the other side, and you know what?  It was nice and all, but it didn’t really impress me so I didn’t feel the need to turn around and see it again.” 🙂

Mike, Michele, Dave, and Des made the turn and headed back down the North Kaibab Trail, back to Phantom Ranch and then up Bright Angel.  It took them a bit over 16hours round trip.  Amazing.

I had my GoPro, Dave had his, and Glenn had his.  Most of my videos were taken at the start and looked very similar.  With the dull lighting conditions and all the dust that accumulated on my camera that I didn’t realize was there, a lot of the footage came out grainy.  Dave got some great shots on his.  Love the ones on the North Kaibab Trail.  You could really see how close to the edge you were running the entire time — you’ll see why being dizzy there wasn’t good.

Here’s mine.  The song I chose was from a guy in the lodge at the top of the South Rim when we were done.  He played this and I thought it fit our trip perfectly.

Here’s Dave’s.  Love the shots he got on the North Rim.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Glenn’s footage yet.  I think we are still planning to get together and put all of ours together.

UPDATE!!!!!  Here is the video Des made from the video and images Glenn captured on his camera.  Nice job Des!

We are already planning our next big adventure in 2016.  What’s one of yours?

 Hope this all makes sense and I don’t have too many grammatical errors or anything.  It’s late and I’m going to bed! 🙂

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!!

 

 

 

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 –

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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!

sleeping2

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

 

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 🙂

Woodstock 2013 – For most, what happens in Woodstock…….

I’ve been anxious to start using my new toys to catch up on my blog and have been experimenting with the GoPro, trying to figure the best settings to use while running.  I know what you are thinking, “videos of running?  Boooorrrriiiiinnngggg…”.  Sounds it, I know, right?  But just wait.  Quite a few of our runs are pretty technical, very scenic, and always ridiculously fun!  So much fun that, recording some of them is highly forbidden.  You’ll understand in a moment.

I’ve been trying to decide how I want to approach this post.  Should I make it a tell all about this weekend of running, or should I keep it more serious, discuss the run and SOME of the fun……  I’m not shy – I’ll tell all for my part, but leave everyone else out of the shenanigans…

Run Woodstock is a weekend long event consisting of a crazy amount of fun.  North East Ohio was very well represented at this run.  Not just from our OUTRUN group but from quite a few of our other friends that just happened to be there.  We camped out all weekend – drank well, ate well, and RAN well!

This run is at Hell Creek Ranch in Michigan.  We arrived Friday afternoon, pitched our tents and were ready to start our weekend.  There are a number of events that take place over the course of the weekend.  You register for either a 100 miler, 100k, 50k, marathon, or half marathon.  Also taking place over the weekend is a “Hippie Hike”, yoga, “Hippie Dipping”, tie die t-shirt making, the “Natural 5K”, and the “Trippin 5k/10k”.  All of the events you get a button for and part of the weekend challenge is to collect all the buttons – I got the important ones 😉

Tents pitched and time to soak this all in

Tents pitched and time to soak this all in

Once the task of setting up our campsite was done, we did what usually follows — broke out some drinks and went checking out the place.  The 100k and 100milers started their race Friday evening — crazy huh?  Go away for a party/run weekend and run all night Friday??  No thank you — in addition to the other activities, our “main event” for the weekend was split between the 50k and the half marathon.  We wanted to make sure we maximized our “vacation” while squeezing in some quality running 🙂

Ummm... Yeah, that's me onstage :)

Ummm… Yeah, that’s me onstage high fiving our MC for the weekend — this was the start of day one, shortly after we arrived.  Any guess as to how the rest of the weekend went??

The weekend kicked off with the National Anthem being  played by Lemon James.  Lemon is an incredible guitarist/artist.  Inspired by such icons like Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Booker T, Janis Joplin, and Stevie Wonder she performed all weekend long and even participated in some of the events.

Lemon meeting Peg, Mike and I

Lemon meeting Peg, Mike and I

After playing an incredible rendition of the National Anthem we watched the 100milers and 100k’ers start their races and went back to our sites for a few adult beverages, some great grub and to change into running clothes for Friday night’s run.  Tonight’s run was called the “Natural 5K”.  I left the shirt on that I had in these pictures but donned my kilt (and yes it was properly worn — could you tell where tonight’s run got it’s name from??  There was roughly 25-30+ of us that ran the Natural Run.  It was a 5k run like none I’ve ever run before.  It started out normal – well, as normal as it could be when you are properly wearing a kilt!  After running about 1mile into the woods a choice needed to be made; turn one way and continue on as a normal 5k, the other – run natural.  Given the theme of Woodstock, I would have seriously regretted not making the turn to run natural. So I made the turn.  We had to run down the trail about a hundred yards or so till we came upon the “aid” station.  This aid station was fully stocked with kegs of beer and wine – not a drop of water!  In order to get a drink and continue on, you had to disrobe – completely.  Luckily, thinking ahead, my kilt has a velcro waist and is easily removed.  After quickly undressing I grabbed a beer and hung out talking to some of the other folks that made the turn.  It really wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would have been.  I had a couple more and headed back out on the trail – and yes… naked.  It was the oddest feeling ever, but at the same time, the most freeing.  We had to run about a mile before circling back to the aid station at which time you could drink all you want – as long as you are still naked.  I had a few more beers with some of my newest, closest friends, got dressed again and headed back to the start finish to collect my button.  Note to self — when running naked — body glide, body glide, body glide!  Don’t judge till you try it! LOL.

Here is my Runkeeper data from this 5k.

After finishing  and partying it up with everyone we headed off to bed to get up early for our main races for the weekend.  Mike, Brooke, Laurie, and myself were running the 50k.  Beth and Paul were running the half marathon – and oh yeah.. this was Paul’s first half marathon!  They started later than we did – sorry, no prerace pic 😦

Start of our 50k

Looking surprisingly good for the start of our 50k after a night of hydrating with vodka and Gatorade

I couldn’t believe how well I slept!  Brooke and I shared my tent, which is close to being big enough to sleep my entire high school senior class, so we had our own divided rooms.  Now it was time to run!  I’ve said it a number of times, I don’t race.  I like to run these things and just have fun and Laurie didn’t have a real time goal in mind either, so we decided to just run it together as if it were a normal training run.  Click here for the data from this run.  The course is awesome; lots of single track, some regular bridal trail type paths, and a little bit of road.

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I did mention I don't run these things to race, didn't I?

I did mention I don’t run these things to race, didn’t I?

Never pass up a photo op!

Never pass up a photo op!

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After completing this race we got cleaned up, I tried slack lining for the first time – believe me WAYYYY harder than they make it look!  Laurie and Paul smoked an incredible brisket and we feasted like kings!  Then after eating our fill we changed again into running clothes for tonight’s run – The “Trippin 5k/10k”.  I donned my same attire that I did for the Natural 5k and well — ran again “naturally” for the Trippin 5k this time with even more folks! Ridiculously fun!  Runkeeper data from the Trippin 5k.  Finished up and checked out some of the other festivities….  Not sure how to get these types of links to work, but you should be able to click on this one and hear a bit of Saturday night’s band and fire dancer..

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=628814713816533&l=294691597157012106

We were planning on doing the Hippie Hike Sunday morning, but decided to pack up our campsite, grab a decent breakfast and head on home.   I have some more videos and pictures from this weekend but have already rambled on long enough. Woodstock 2014 is already in the planning stages. Not sure how it is going to top this, but you bet you ass we’ll try!

So, what is the craziest / oddest running event you’ve participated in?