Friday, June 29, 2007

I went for another short bike ride today. I did 9 miles and felt a little more comfortable than yesterday. I am getting better at turning but the balance is still a little shaky at times. I am struggling with all the gears, making my pedaling very inefficient. My butt is killing me from the seat! I have a boney but. I need a big cushy grandma seat.

I am looking forward to a big weekend of running. I will be leaving early tomorrow morning for Cuyahoga Falls to do back to back 50k's with mike. Kim will be joining us for Saturday morning and Sunday and Rob will be joining us for Sunday, along with some other runners that I haven't met.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Well, I went out an bought a bike tonight. I ended up spending WAY more than I wanted, but I think I got a pretty good bike. The most basic entry level road bikes in a bike store start out at 500 bucks, I wanted to spend somewhere between 500-700 but I ended up buying a Trek 1500 on sale for $949. That doesn't include all the crap I had to buy along with it! Helmet, bike shorts, car rack, bike lock, lights, pump, water bottle rack, water bottle, clip-on aerobars (for triathlons). They must have seen my newbie behind coming from a mile away!! They showed me some different models, as I stood there, struggling to justify paying a cool grand for a bicycle, when I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 12 years old. I rode it on a trainer in the store because it was raining outside. As soon as I got it all mounted up I took it to the lunken bike path to test it out on the open road. You know how they say "it's like riding a bike!" meaning you never forget how to do it. Well, I didn't totally forget how to ride a bike, but I sure looked like a tool. Road bikes put you so far off the ground when you are up on the seat, I could barley touch the ground on my tippy toes with one foot, while I tried to balance, without falling of. And who decided that expensive bikes don't need kick stands? And what's up with the pedals? They have a little cage to put your toes in, I almost fell over trying to fit my foot in the cage. The speed also really freaked me out. I was afraid to go over 10mph. I am sure it will only take a few rides to feel somewhat comfortable on this beast. I can't tell you how wierd it felt to pass a runner, and I was the one riding a bike! I almost felt ashamed, like I should be running, not aboard this devil machine! I think I will learn to like biking, but it will never come close to how I running makes me feel.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

7 miles total

5 miles, 10:23 pace, Trail

2 miles, 8:00 pace, Road

I did my normal MAF loop after work today (sans both major hills.) I pushed it pretty hard. The humidity was so bad, at times I couldn't figure out if I was running or swimming. When I got home I wanted to test out my new road shoes, NB 892's, so I went out on the 2 mile loop around my block. I haven't found a road shoe yet that I have really like. It is mostly because if I am wearing a road shoe that means I am running on the road. The shoe felt OK, the toe box is HUGE which I usually like, but it is a little to roomy. On my final kick down the hill towards my apartment I hit a 4:50 pace for about 10 seconds. I hardly even felt like I was in control of my legs, I don't know how anyone can keep up that pace for an entire marathon...

Monday, June 25, 2007

10.5 miles, 10:57 pace, Trails

Today was the first run post Mohican that I felt totally normal. The cold was gone, no headache or blisters and fresh legs. I pushed the pace on this run, although you can't tell from the pace. I hit both monster hills on the first loop and skipped them both for the second loop because I was running out of daylight. I was definitely stuck out later than I should have been without a light. It is a good thing I know this trail well enough to practically run it with my eyes closed because that is more or less what I did the last mile as the clock past 9:30 in the middle of the forest. I can't tell if all of the 100 mile specific training I have been doing the last couple months has caused me to lose some speed. I won't really be able to figure that out until I race another 50k.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

2 miles, 8:30 pace, Vibrams

I still have the cold, I ran 2 miles in the Vibrams this morning which went OK. I am going to try running again tomorrow, or I might just end up swimming if the run still doesn't work out. I have been looking into signing up for an Ironman next year. The only one that is accepting applications so far is Arizona, and that is on the same weekend as my 150 miler at McNaughton, so I will have to wait for something else to open up. Then I have to find I bike. It sucks, they are all so damn expensive, I just want the cheapest bike that will get me 112 miles, any suggestions??

Saturday, June 23, 2007

2.5 mile swim, 1:45

I went to the pool to complement my other, not so great, workouts today (See previous post.) Luckily swimming didn't bother my cold at all. I wore goggles this time so I was able to work on the whole breathing under water thing. It allowed me to get in a much better rhythm, and my neck wasn't so damn sore after I finished, lol. I felt like I could have just kept going and going. I actually did a little more then 2.5. I was on my way to 3 when the life guards starting blowing there whistles at me "excuse me sir, the pool is now closed." oops, I thought it closed at 9:30 apparently it was 8:30. The life guards probably weren't to found of me anyway, I was the only person in the damn pool most of the time I was there. I guess most people have better things to do at 8pm on a Saturday night, not me! Now I just need to figure out how to kick my legs and swing my arms at the same time.
5.5 miles, 14:00 pace, Trails
2 miles, 9:30 pace (Vibrams)

apparently this cold I have contract is a bit more powerful then I anticipated. I went out for a long run at MAF today but found my self huffing and puffing with a racing heart, throbbing head, running nose and sweaty palms less than two miles in. I couldn't even complete one 5 mile loop. Of course It took me a couple miles to get back to my car once I abandoned the trails, because I don't know my way around the roads in the park, so I got in 5 1/2. It was actually nice to feel like that. I remember less than two years ago, that is exactly how I would have felt on a two mile run, without a cold!

Once I got home I decided to go for a short run in the Vibram five fingers. Now that Mohican training is done I am going to try to work these into my training. When I first got them I made the mistake of going for a 7+ mile run which gave me shin a calf pain for a few weeks. These shoes are not something you should jump into head first (which is my tendency with everything.) I am prepared to take a smart approach with them this time around. I will only wear them while running the sidewalk loop around my block, which is two miles. this is a good loop with a HUGE hill so it is good for training. I would like to run this loop every morning before work, but I have a big problem with morning runs.

I really feel like getting in a good workout today so I am going to the pool to see if my cold will be more cooperative towards swimming than it has be towards running. I better go now, I don't want to miss all the drama unfolding at Western States!! I am sitting here staring at the computer while they are out there running. Then again they were probably doing the same thing last week while I was out there running, so I don't feel too bad.

Friday, June 22, 2007

5 miles 12:00 pace, trails

My legs felt good as new today. the bottoms of my feet are still a bit tender, but they're OK for running. I think I have a little bit of a cold, but the run felt really good today. I am ready to get back into full training mode next week.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

feeling good today. I think I will go out for my first run tomorrow evening, after all BR100 is less than 1.5 months away!! My goal for BR is to finish, Like Tom did at Mohican, feeling good! I really think I could have done that if I hadn't lost my mind at mile 67. I tell ya, it was amazing how good I felt after 75 miles and 20+ hours of running.
I have been looking for advice as far as blister prevention goes. I am going to switch to a different lubricant for my toes. I have heard that something with more of a cream base is better than using vaseline, which apparently sucks water up into your feet. I am also going to tape the bottoms of my feet to prevent the blisters on the balls.
on a side note I was able to talk Erie Tom into running the 150 miler at McNaughton in Illinois with me next year!!! OK, so it didn't take much coercion. All I did was mention it to him, then a few hours later he sends me the entrants list with his name on it! What a nut! ha. Sooo, who else is going to join us in this adventure?? It is the longest ultra in the country, you can't tell me you don't want a crack at it?!
gave me a lot of confidence for future 100 mile and further runs. I know I will have some bad ones and there are many things that could led to DNF's but now I know that if I do everything right come race day I can finish!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The recovery seems to be coming along. I still have blisters on the bottoms of both feet, but I am able to walk normally. My quads are still pretty fatigued. I am just starting to eat and drink as much as I should. Besides the blisters the recovery process hasn't been that bad, no worst than my first marathon. All of the sorness is gone. Hopfully I will be able to go for a run in the next couple days. If it weren't for my mashed up feet I would be doing great.

Monday, June 18, 2007

there it is. All 4000+ words of it. I feel like I should get college credit for that! It is dicey and full of grammer errors for sure, but I just didn't have the will to read through it to fix them and I wanted to post it asap. It took me about 4 hours to put this together. Sorry for the book, but it was the only way I could do this race justice.


Mohican 100 Mile Race Report

In a way I was not looking forward to writing this report because I know I can’t do this race justice, but here it goes.

After a few wrong turns, my mom and I arrived at Mohican wilderness around 6:30 Friday evening. This was where we would be camping, and where the race would start 5:00 Saturday morning. I picked up my race packet. We ate the spaghetti dinner that was provided while I meet up with all of my friends who would be taking on this challenge tomorrow. Brian from Cincinnati and his wife Marsha, Kim, Rob, Mike, who was volunteering and pacing Kim. Tom would show up later, after he picked up Michael Hayden (17 year old, ultra stud) from the airport. The pre race meeting followed with an unmatched course description from 70+ year old Leo (“Where do you go? Well where did you come from.” You had to be there). This guy was awesome.

After the meeting I went to sleep, or at least I laid in my sleeping bag all night. I was too excited to sleep! This was the day I had been waiting for, I wanted to run! I got up at 4:00 am to get my stuff ready. I ate a Payday and some Fig Newtons (That’s right Mike, I said FIG NEWTONS.)

a few minutes before the start.

I put on my head lamp, got my water bottles and was ready to go. We started a little late, making sure everyone was present. Then, at around 5:10, with Race director Ryan O’Dell’s call from the bull horn “The 18th Mohican 100 Trail run is now under way.” We took off. I was off to the side, around the middle of the pack, so I walked slowly until everyone passed me. I wanted to make sure I followed my strategy (27 hour pace for the first half, then maintain or slow down if needed.). After a minute or so I was all alone in the back of the pack, perfect! Going into the race I was worried that the first 10 miles on the road might cause me to go out too fast. Fortunately the roads were just as hilly as the trails. I walked all the hills and ran slowly on the flats and down hills. A few miles into the race I was caught by a runner from behind. I didn’t think there was anyone left to catch me from behind. It was Fred Davis, who is a very experienced Ohio Ultrarunner. He was in the bathroom at the start, and was just catching up. We kept the same pace for a few miles, while I listened to his experiences of his 150 mile attempted at McNaughton, Leadville 100, and his 500 miles at the Sri Chinmoy 10 day race.

A little before the second aid station (mile 10) Fred picked up his speed. I was very happy watching him run out of sight. At that point I knew I would be able to stick to the plan, running MY race, not allowing others to alter my pace. “Welcome to the rock!” was the call coming from the aid station worker as I came into Rock point. I grabbed some food quickly, refilled my bottles and got on my way, as they told me they hoped to see me tomorrow morning at mile 90 “Me too!” I said. Now it was time for the real fun to begin. Almost all of the next 70 miles would be on trail, mostly single track.

I noticed I was doing around 15 minute miles instead of 16 I had planned, but I didn’t feel that needed adjustment. My hip joints started acting up around mile 15. That was something I have always noticed in training and expected. I was glad it happened this early. It wasn’t enough to slow me down and it never got worse. I think if it occurred all of a sudden at mile 60+ it my have slowed me down, but because I was used to it all day I just ignored it. I saw my Mom for the first time as I came into the covered bridge. She was volunteering there and did such a great job all day and night! She told me I was a little ahead of pace. I had known this and wasn’t alarmed. After filling my bottles and grabbing a handful of food I was off to start the orange loop.

This would be a 17 miles section. This would be the first full section I would run in the dark. At the top of the hill I was caught by Colleen (The Purple Lady) who plays a HUGE role in the Mohican 100 and was trying to take pictures of all the first time 100 milers. She was unable to get her camera ready as I ran by, then she asked “Is this your first 100?” I told her it was, then she said “Well then, your going to have to turn around so I can take your picture!” So I turned around and ran backwards while she snapped a shot.

Coming into Hickory Ridge, mile 33, feeling good.

handful of food, ready to hit the trail

Right around this time I caught up to a group of three runners. Two ultra vets and a younger, very cute, women also running her first hundred, her name was Sarah. They started to speed up after a while and I decided to let them go ahead, sticking to the plan. Then Sarah beckoned “Come on Josh, pick it up.” How could I deny a pretty face like that? So I sped up and ran a while with them, a man has his weak spots, and a young beautiful ultrarunner is definitely one of mine. A few miles into the orange loop I ended up running ahead of them. About that same time I came up on Erie Tom and Jim. Tom was all decked out in his ultra warrior suit. He was looking strong. He let me pass him on a hill, which I told him I didn’t want to, but he practically threw me in front (We finished withing 5 minutes of each other.)

I was really cruising at this point. Still no leg pains besides the hip joints. As I came into Hickory Ridge I was not surprised to see Mike ready with his camera. He snapped some photos and his wife filled up my water bottles. Mike told me Kim was about 15 minutes ahead. He wished me well and I was off again. The next stretch was 7 miles and would take me to Grist Mill. At Grist Mill there is a brutal 0.7 mile loop up and down a pointless hill. I walked up, ran down, and got back to the aid station. I grabbed some food, refilled my bottles and was gone.

Just I side note, I grabbed something to eat at EVERY aid station which really kept me going. I had NO problems with nutrtion all race. I never lost my appetite. There were times when I didn’t feel like eating, but I could always get it down. I also refilled two water bottles at every station. I did my best to drink 2 full bottles between stations. I stayed very well hydrated all the way up to 95 then I just let it slide because I knew I was so close. I took Hammer Nutrition’s Endurtolyte tabs about every half hour (Which I still didn’t pay Mike for, or the race fee, put it on my tab!) As far as that stuff goes, I was excellent the WHOLE race!!

Back to the race… On my way back to the trail after Grist Mill I had opened up a sizable lead on the people I had just passed about 8 miles ago. I saw Tom and Jim come by, strong and steady. Then I saw Sarah, she was much less enthused this time, I was a little worried about her chances. I saw Fred Davis again just before I went back into the trails “I’ll catch up to you when the sun goes down.” He said. “I believe it.” I replied, and I really did believe it! It was a 5 mile stretch back to the covered bridge. About 3 miles in I caught up with Chris, from Lansing Michigan. “Do you want to pass.” He asked. “Nope, I’m in no hurry, I’ll be here all day.” I said. We stayed together until the covered bridge. We talked about our training, and about how this was a 30 hour race, we were going to get our money’s worth!

I came into the covered bridge and met my mom for the second time at mile 38. She told me I was an HOUR ahead of my pace. “an hour? SHIT!” I said. That is what I get for keeping track of my pace with a GPS watch in the woods. I knew it was a little off, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I still felt great so I tried not to think much of it. There was a river crossing right before the CB aid station so I changed my socks here. I also put on the La Sportiva Sling Shots to see how they felt. I figured I would wear them for the 4 mile blue loop and I could change them if I didn’t like them. It turned out they were too small with my swollen feet so I changed back to the Wasatch Crest after the blue. The start of the red loop is a BIG climb for the first mile. I marched up it and to the next aid station at bridal staging area. This aid station was a real boost, I wish I could have come to it more than twice so I could have seen Flo, Fred Davis’s wife, a few more times. She was so great. “Look at you, lookin all fresh, look like you ain’t even run at all. Lookin all young, and healthy. All smilin havin a good time.” At mile 45 that is a good thing to hear, and to be honest I actually felt that good too! a mile or so after this station I was caught by Steve, from Columbus.

This was a real blessing as we would run the next 15 miles together. We shared stories of running and life. He told me a story that I just can’t resist putting on my blog, I hope he doesn’t mind! His buddy, back in college got him into running. He was at his first 5 mile race, under trained but thought he could still bust his way through it. He went out hard and by the end of mile one he was toasted. He had to run and walk the rest of the way. Then when he got to mile four, he decided He would finish this thing with pride. So he took of running again. Within a quarter mile he said “I heard this ‘tick tick tick tick tick’ I’ll be damned if I didn’t look back and see this old, and I mean OLD women and her fluffy white haired dog fly right past me! Granny was just stridin along.” That story head me almost in tears laughing. Steve DNFed at Mohican in 06 and was out for revenge this year. Last year it was rock point at mile 52 that did him in. He sat down for too long and couldn’t get back going again. So when we came up to rock point this year we did no seating and got in and out as fast as we could. Sunday was Steve’s 50th birthday. His wife and kids were at the Fire tower awaiting him at mile 60, it was the first time they had come to his races. He was very happy when he got there. He took a bit longer at this station and picked up his pacer. I went ahead, running the 2.5 miles to the CB once again. At this point my feet were really bothering me. The podiatrists were at CB so I stopped and had them take a look. I was very reluctant to do this, as the chairs they had people sitting in look waaaaay to comfy and they even had foot rests! That was not something I wanted to get stuck in 60 miles into a 100 mile race, but I knew I had to get my feet checked out. They told me my feet were macerated. Which I think means they were full of water. I think it may have something to do with my use of Vaseline as my foot lubricant. I need to find something else now. They gave me new insoles and put patches on the bottoms of them to help my aching foot balls. When I got up 15 minutes later and started the climb up the orange loop I felt like a baby deer learning how to walk. After the climb I got my stride back. By this time It was getting dark. 60+ miles into the race, I started to have my first low point. It didn’t last long, and was based solely on the fact that it was getting dark and I was tripping on a few things. I was carrying a head lamp and a handheld I had just purchased Friday. I can’t tell you how valuable that hand held light was! I could see the trail very well and once I adjusted I could run almost like it was day light. Right before Hickory Ridge aid station I passed Steve and his pacer, who had passed me while having my feet looked at. This made me feel good because I knew I had made the right choice to get my feet looked at. Hickory Ridge mile 67, this is where my novice level of experience comes into play in a HUGE way. It was 67 miles into the race and my legs were still feeling fantastic. I still had the soreness in my hips, but it hadn’t gotten any worst since my 15. My quads and calf weren’t sore or tired. It was I combination of my feeling so great and the fact that I wasn’t tinkling clearly after 20 hours of running, that caused me to take off like a bat out of hell! I didn’t just pick up my pace. I started running, like and idiot. I must have been going 50k pace. It felt like 9:00 miles but at that point was probably more like 11:00 minute miles, regardless, way to fast. I was passing people left and right. I was running up hills for goodness sake! My thinking at the time was “your 67 miles in, you feel great, lets see what you can do!” Which wasn’t a bad thought, but I went way to fast. 67 miles is a long way from 100, now I know that! I passed about 8 runners in this 7 mile stretch which is a lot for how spread out everyone was at this point. All of them were a bit dumbfounded at my pace. I don’t blame them. Looking back I would have wondered too about the idiot blazing by me in his finishing kick, with 33 miles to go.

I really don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I wasn’t! By the time I got to Grist Mill 7 miles into my burst of speed, I was D-O-N-E, DONE! My quads went from fantastic to trashed in 7 miles. I stumbled up and done Grist Mill. My feet were in agonizing pain at this point. The down hill hurt the most. My quads were too trashed to stop me and the grinding if my feet against my shoe soles as I pounded down the hill was comparable to that of cheese in a grader. As I was about to check out of the aid station They asked me “Did you do the loop behind Grist Mill yet?” I said “Yes, I did the damn loop, and I’m not doing it again!” They got a good laugh out about that. The 5 miles back to CB were absolutely brutal. By far the hardest 5 miles of the whole race. I felt like crap, I was alone and this was the most technical of all the trails. The final couple miles were along the river, filled with roots, narrow, rocks to climb over. For some parts I had to pick my legs up with my arms just to get them over the obstacles. I never thought about stopping but before coming into the aid station at CB I wondered if I would physically be able to make the 1 mile climb at the beginning of the Red. I was in bad shape when I saw my mom for the last time. “I feel like SHIT!” I told her “FUCK…FUCK” I continued. “Are you going to keep going.” She asked. “Hell yeah, Fuck, I’m not going to stop now, no fucking way!) She made me a turkey sandwich, filled my water bottles and I was gone as soon as possible. Making sure I didn’t make my self comfortable and most importantly making sure I didn’t sit down, there might not have been any getting up at that point. I didn’t hesitate to chugh my 16 oz Monster enrgy drink that I had waiting for me. I said I would only use it if I really needed it, and boy did I ever.

I left the aid station to cheers which I tried to acknowledge with a faint hand raise. I had 8 hours left to cover the last 20 miles so I was ok on time if I could just keep walking. My race ups and downs can be monitored in my usage of four letter words. No cusing = smooth race. The expletives sure were flying after mile 75! After the monster climb at the start of red I caught up with Sharon, From Canada. This was her 7th 100 miler. She was also reduced to walking mode for the rest of the way so we kept each other company between miles 80 and 90. We were hiking at a good clip, around 20 minute miles including all the hills. We came up to the bridle staging area one more time and saw Flo once again. “Aw Flo, You stayed up all night just so you could see me come through again, didn’t you?” I said “That’s right baby, just for you.” She replied. Sharon and I got some food, refilled our bottles and took off again. At mile 85 I had the urge for an intensive bathroom break, if you know what I mean. Sharon offered me some toilet paper, which really saved my ass (pun most definitely intended.)

I caught back up to her a few minutes later and we were back on our way. “Welcome to the ROCK!” Was the sound we heard once again, though, 70 miles later it sounded much sweeter! We did the usual food grab, water refill and head off again. My fast hike skills were starting to fade so Sharon pulled head. At this point I knew I would finish so I wasn’t worried about pushing the pace. My feet were absolutely destroyed. They were the main cause for my 25 mile final drudge. My quads recovered a bit from my 7 mile idiot run, but the feet were to far gone, and getting worse. About 4 miles from the finish a man approached me, Jim Lumbardi was his name, he was from PA, He knew Tom. He asked “would you like to talk while you go the final miles.” I replied “Hell yeah, but I don’t know if I have much to say.” We talked about my training. He said he would like to try 100 miles but didn’t know if he could do it. I told him I was in the same place 6 months ago and look where I am now. Of course I don’t know how appealing that comment was to him, considering I was a fumbling mess at that point, ha. He really helped me out those last few miles.

With about 1.5 to go a black car approached “How does it feel to be about a mile from your first 100 miler, good?” He said, I looked over, it was Rob “Oh hell yeah, it feel real good!” I replied “Great job, I’ll see you at the finish line.” Then he sped off. About a ½ mile later I was approached from the opposite direction by another car. I recognized it to be Mike and his wife. He got out and started walking with me. At this point, Jim, who had been walking and talking with me for the last 3 miles realized that he’s friend, Tom wasn’t far behind so he waited for him as Mike and I pressed on to the finish line. Then Mike attempted a joke that went way over my head “hey there is a nice race I think we should run it is called the engagement 50k. It is in between Dayton and Marion.” He said. “cool" I said, "lets do it.” Then he stared at me. At this point I knew I had just missed I punch line then I replied “It’s 99 miles into a 100 mile race. There are only so many things I can do while running 100 miles, thinking didn’t make the cut.” He explained to me Dayton and Marion, dating and marring, engament is inbetween dating and marring, get it? OH OK, I get it now! I told him how great it felt to be so damn close, and told him he would be experiencing the same thing about 1.5 months from down. When We got close to the finish he ran ahead to get a shot of me crossing the line. I started to get chocked up as I entered to campground for the last tenth of a mile. All of the training and it was finally happening, I was about to finish 100 miles!! I quickly shook off the emotions. I knew if I didn’t poperatze (Spelling??) Mike would have pictures of me crying like a baby all over bloggerland, lol. I let out a celebratory howl as I crossed the finish line, 28 hours 34 minutes 51 seconds later.

100 miles down

I was the recipient of many hand shakes and pats of the back from other runners and volunteers. I saw Brain who had finished and hour and a half earlier, his wife Martha who had been up just as long as we had, but didn’t get to have all the fun of running! Rob, Kim, Mike, Steve, who finished 10 or 15 mintues ahead of me, on his birthday!! He got that Mo Monkey off his back this year. I am sure I will see him at BR as we are both doing that one in August! Of course my mom was there, like she was there for me all day and all night! Not more than 5 mintues after I crossed the line, Tom came running through, fists pumped high in the air, He did it!! We gave each other and uncoordinated sloopy high five that only two guys who just finished 100 miles could apprectiate. I lasted about 10 mintues of standing after the race before I had to sit down. And from there I lasted about 30 mintues before I had to lay in the grassThis picture really caputre the feeling after the finish.

I was chilling at this point and put on a sweat shirt that Martha and Brian gave me (Which I still need to return.) and a towel. Kim came up and asked how I was doing. “your going to be out for the rest of the day” she said “I’m going to be out for the rest of the year!” I said. At this point the pain in my hips was really bothering me. My feet were beat to hell, but finishing a 100 mile race is the best pain killer there is. We stayed for the award ceromny and there was a bit of disappointment when we found out our buckles were being mailed to us this year because of such a high number of drop outs last year. All I wanted was to have my name called, go up there and get MY 100 mile belt buckle! It won’t be the same when I get it in the mail, but it will still mean the world to me.

I wouldn’t call this race a life changing experience. My life was changed after I ran my first 50k and feel in love with ultras. This was a life enhancing experience. I loved every minute of it even the ones filled with four letter words. No matter what I do in my life no one will ever be able to take this experience away from me. I am proud to say I worked for this and I earned it. This is the first of many.

thank you to everyone that helped me along the way, through training and through the race. You guys are the best.

I think my race can be summed up in one pharse: Just fast enough to finish, too dumb to quite.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mission accomplished


I am in pain, and tired as all hell.

Report to follow in a day or so.

100 miles is a long way...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I went to MAF for a final tune up run today, but while I was sitting in my car I decided against it. I weighed the pros and cons. I thought the only good that would come out of the run today would be that it might make my legs a little more loose at the beginning of the race Saturday, but then I thought "I have 100 miles to loosen up." I also thought I could twist an ankle or wear down my legs a tad before the race if I ran today, so I just didn't run at all. I am starting to lose my damn mind waiting for this race. I have so much built up energy I can't sit still.

It's time to lay it on the line! I haven't DNF'ed in any of my 23 races, That won't change this weekend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In response to Mike's question about what I will have in my drop bags, I have created this post.

I will have a drop bag at Rock point, Covered bridge, and Grist Mill

In all of the bags I will have IB profin, Tylenol, Vaseline, Icy Hot, Socks, underwear, shorts, shirts.

At rock point a well have my road shoes (in case I need them on the way back.) I plan on wearing my Wasatch Crest's for the whole race, but will have the NB just in case. I will also have my head lamp at rock point ( I plan to pick it up around 7-8 PM(I want to have it before I start my second green section)

At the covered bridge I will have a handheld light (Just in case) and my camel back (Just in case). I will also have my La Sportiva Slingshots here, In case something goes wrong with my Keen's. I will also have a towel at the covered bridge, to dry off after going through the river. The last item I will put in this drop bag is some Red Bull. I don't plan on using it, but if I think it will make a difference between a finish and DNF I won't hesitate to throw it back. I haven't drank caffeine in 8+ years, so who knows what the hell will happen to me if I do.

I won’t have anything special at Grist mill, just the standard.

I will pass my drop bags about 10 times during the race, I will probably only use them 2 or 3 times, but it is nice to know I can get something if I need it.

I am sure there are some things I have failed to think about, but I will put everything together tomorrow and see what I have forgotten.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

5 miles 12:00 pace, trails

I think it has been more than a month now since I have run on the road. I was floating along the trails tonight. I felt better than I did for my Sunday run. no cricks or loose knees. I think running every other day is a better taper plan for me. I will run 5 more on Thursday. About a mile into my run today I cam across another baby deer. It was half on, half off the trail as I approached. She had her little head buried in the knee high grass just off the trail. If you haven't seen a baby deer, it is quite a site. There bodies are the size of a chiwawa, while there legs are more than twice as long as there bodies. Her long legs trembled in fear, but she didn't budge as I got closer. I think she thought she was camouflage, but she was standing right in the middle of the path, lol. I was probably just as frightened as she was when I passed. I didn't want to scare her, and I didn't want her mother to come out and attack me (ever since that guy at the HUFF 50k got trampled by a deer, breaking his collar bone, I have had the thought of a deer attack in the back of my mind). I passed by her less than 3 inches away, yet she still didn't move. I thought about petting her, but decided against it.
There was a new large branch down along the trail today. I run this trail so often I notice a new fallen branch, nice. I made a list today of where I will put my drop bags and what I will have in each one, now I just have to pack them. Only three more days! I can't stand waiting any longer!

Monday, June 11, 2007

I decided to swim a mile today as part of my taper. Not running is tough but not doing any physical activity is even tougher, so I had to do something. Swimming was the best thing I could think of that would give my legs a break while offering me some cardio. To say that my swimming skills are rough is an understatement. I am one of those people that keeps there head above water at all times while doing the free style. I can't get that whole breathing thing down. I also don't know how to kick my legs and paddle with my arms at the same time so I just flail my scrawny arms while my lower have lies motionless. It took me 52 minutes to swim a mile. I didn't find it particularly demanding, just awkward. I won't worry to much about my swimming until I start my Ironman training in the next year or so.

I had trouble sleeping last night. I can't stop thinking about the race. I can't wait to get out there! 4 more days!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

5 miles 11:00 pace, trail

I met Brian Bob and Mike for our Sunday night loop in MAF. This is the last night run before Mo. I my legs felt fresh. I did notice my knees felt a bit loose. I think it might be from going two days without running. I was planning on only running one more time on Wednesday, but now I might switch it to running 5, two or three times this week.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

6 weird things about me

I was tagged by Addy, so I figure I better do what I'm told! I definitely don't have anything better to do while in my taper.

“Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about himself or herself. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to tag 6 people as well and list their names. Don’t forget to let them know they’ve been tagged!”

1.) I hardly ever where pants when I am in my apartment alone. So if it takes a while for me to answer the door, now you know why. (You asked for weird)

2.) When I was a baby my skin turned slightly orange from eating too much baby carrot food.

3.) I tend to jump head first into new activities and hobbies before rapidly losing interest within a few days. example: I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I bought one, practiced for about 15 minutes. It has been seating against the wall in my living room ever since (over a year.)

4.) I love the snow, but can’t stand the cold weather which accompanies it.

5.) I would like to run more than 1500 ultras/marathons in my lifetime. I would also like to run a 100 miler when I am 100 years old.

6.) When I worked as a bellmen in a hotel, I once walked in on Pete Rose, naked. (It wasn’t my fault! I had a delivery and he wouldn’t answer the door, so I went in.) We had a good laugh about it later that day when I saw him on the elevator.

I know I am supposed to tag 6 people but I don't think I have that many blogger friends so right now I will tag MIKE. I am sure he has plenty of weird stuff to tell.

168 hours from now (7 days) I will be on the trails on my way to 100 miles! For the remainder of my taper I am going to run 50 miles today, 30 tomorrow, and 30 next week before the race...Just kidding ;) I will only be running 2 more times before the race, 5 miles each. Tomorrow, I will run 5 in MAF at night with Brian. On Wednesday I will also run 5 in MAF then I will take off Thursday and Friday.
I had my first dream about Mo last night! It was Friday afternoon, 15 minutes before I was set to leave to drive up and I had totally forgot about packing my stuff. I was grabbing stuff and throwing it in bags. There were a lot of things that I didn't have, and couldn't find. When I woke up from this dream I realized, this is usually how I pack my stuff before I leave for a race, uh oh. I better get packing this weekend!
I will be leaving for Mo around 3:15 on Friday afternoon. I took off work Friday so I can sleep in. My mom is going to come with me. We will leave right when she gets off work. We should be there around 6.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

5 miles, 12:00 pace, trail

1 loop around MAF today. It was hovering around 90 degrees. I think I will be able to handle the heat at Mohican. I would like it to be in the low 80's but I think I can handle it if it gets up to 90.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

5 miles, 9:00 pace, trails

As I ran from the oval, where I park my car, to the start of the trail today I heard my name being called from a passing car. As I looked back it was Mike. He was also coming for an evening run on the 5 mile loop. I waited a minute while he put on his shoes and we set of together. My legs felt great after two days without running. we ran a brisk pace (for me anyway.) I was just trying to keep the speedy Mike from running me over. The run felt great today. I also got in some good stretching afterwards. I plan on doing a couple more 5 mile runs this week, only at a slower pace. Now its time for me to get caught up on my Trail Running Mag. reading. I haven't even finished the May issue and they've already sent the July issue.

We have entered the single digit countdown for Mo!!! I can't wait for race day. I'm not nervous, just ready.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

So far so good for the taper. I have gone 2 days without running. I will probably do 5 tomorrow. I am an all or nothing kind of guy so it is hard for me to run only a little bit without getting carried away. I don't agree with the concept of moderation. If some is good, more is better, right?

I took my last exam this afternoon so I have a couple weeks before I have to worry about school again. I used my free time to get a hair cut and play with my niece! she is so awesome, she knows colors now (kind of)! Her curly red hair would make you proud, Red!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

7 miles, trail

I went to MAF this evening to do a loop or two. I wasn't sure if Brian and Bob were going to be there so I waited a few minutes before starting. I did the first 5 mile loop with a run/walk similar to what I plan to use at mohican. It felt very comfortable. I feel fine from the race yesterday. I had some soreness when I woke up this morning, but the run today felt really good. When I got back from the first loop I saw Brian's car parked right behind mine. It was dark at this point so I grabbed my headlamp and ran the loop in the opposite direction until I saw him lead an army of 4 runners through the night. I tucked in behind them and ran the last mile or so of the loop with them.

I am now in 100% full taper mode. I will probably run 20 miles or so this week. Nothing more than 5 miles a day.

Weekly mileage: 58

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Another Dam 50K - Race Report

31 miles, 7:12

My morning started by leaving a message on Mike’s voicemail at 7 am it went like this : “Hey mike, It’s Josh. I am an idiot. I overslept so I won’t be coming up to the race today. I feel like an asshole because I am the reason you decided to run the race. Sorry man, I hope you have a good race.”

I set 2 alarms for 4am but I didn’t wake up until 7. After I called Mike I started thinking that it might be best that I wasn’t going to run this race. I didn’t need to be running a 50k so close to Mohican anyway. I thought the race started at 7:30 but I checked to race website to see if that was right. I saw that the race didn’t start until 8am. It was now 7:25 and it would take me an hour to get to the race. I figured I could start 30 minutes late and still have time to finish in the planned 8:30. I called Mike and he agreed to explain my situation to the RD and get me registered (Which I forgot to pay him back for, I will bring that to Mohican, Mike!) I got ready as fast as I could and hoped in my car. I got to the park around 8:40 right as Mike was finishing his first 4.4 mile loop. In my rush to leave the house I thought I left my trail shoes at home, so I ran the race in my road shoes. After the race I looked in the back seat of my car and my trail shoes were sitting right there! I hadn’t worn my road shoes in a few weeks and I discovered that my trail shoes are MUCH more comfortable so I will be wearing those for the whole race at Mo, even the road section.

I picked up my race number then Mike and I started the 3.5 mile loop (The actual race started with the 4.4 mile loop, because Mike and I wanted to run together I started with the 3.5 mile loop and finished with the 4.4 mile loop instead of the 3.5 mile everyone else finished with.) According to my GPS it took mike 1.11 miles before he steered the conversation to X-rated content. He defend this by saying he had already run 5.5 miles, so it wasn’t that bad. The goal for this race was to run a 16 minute pace to simulate the first 50 miles at Mohican, that never happened. It wasn’t totally my fault. First of all this course was very flat, nothing like Mohican, so it was hard to simulate walking the hills. I also wanted to make up a little time from being late, so we decided to run our first loop together a little faster. As it turned out we never really slowed down until 15+ miles and even at that point we never even came close to going as slow as 16 minute miles. We did keep a comfortable pace so I am not worried about recovery.

The race went very smooth, neither of us had any breakdowns as we cruised along the course. Mike –the shoe whore- Keller used three different shoes during the race to test out what will work best for him during Burning River in August.

This race consisted of a 4.4 mile loop which crosses over a huge earth dam. This section of the loop is in the direct sunlight and got very hot. This loop has two short steep hills at the beginning and end of the dam. The other loop is 3.5 miles almost all in the shade. There is one medium sized hill in the beginning of this loop but not much else other then that. I would probably say this was the flattest trail 50k I have ever done. Mike finished his first official 50k distance in the fine time of 6:32 (or something right around that.)

He had given his camera to a volunteer right before the last loop so that she could take pictures of us as we ran in. He had made a plan with her, that when we were rounding the corner he would shout “hootie who, hootie who” very loudly so she knew to get the camera ready. This worked perfectly and she was right there to get the money shot. Mike kicked it in to the finish line. After he finished I continued, running the 4.4 mile loop to finish in a time of 7:12. A far cry from the 16 min. miles I planned but It was still a relaxed pace.

I tried the new single bottle waist pack I had bought yesterday. I hated it. Not because there was anything wrong with the pack. I just don’t like things bouncing around while I am running. I think I am going to take some duct tape to rig up a handle for the bottle. That way I can carry it as a handheld but still have the option of sticking it in the holster when I want to carry food out of an aid station or when I want to have a hand free for technical trail.