Monday, July 2, 2007

Saturday: 31 miles
Sunday: 39 miles

(Photos will be posted as soon as I can steal them from Kim and Mikes Blog!)

This week was the best training weekend I have ever had. I had done a 50k/marathon back to back but never 2 50ks, so I new it would be a challenge. After not sleeping Friday night I left for Mikes house in Cuyahoga Falls at 2:30 Saturday morning. With a 20 minute nap in a hotel parking lot I got there around 6:20 right as we were about to start our run. The first run would be 11 miles with a group of local road runners. Kim had come up for this run also. We ran a loop from Mike's neighborhood which covered both road and trails.

Mike, Kim, and I broke away from the group to do a 3 mile trail loop that Mike wanted us to see. This was an adventure. We came across a section of trail marked "Difficult." we all chuckled at the mild downhill that followed. In fact, Kim laughed so hard it sent her tumbling down the hill. She was in the middle, me in front, mike in back. Mike and I's naturally instincts kicked in. I tried to save Kim from rolling into the river, while Mike tried to grab his camera and take pictures. Now you know who your real friend is, Kim! I had just started reading ed viesturs' book "No Shortcuts to the Top" Which is about his alpine climbing career, and how he has climbed all 14 8,000ers. In the book Ed talks about the technique called 'Self arrest." He explains that when a climber is falling down a mountain they can roll onto there stomachs and jab there Ice axe into the face of the mountain to stop there fall. Maybe if Kim would have been carrying her ice axe she wouldn't have had this problem!
This was my attempt to save the trail goddess. Looking at the picture it just looks like I am the one falling over!

A few minutes down the trail Mike asked me "Are you going to walk across the pipe, Josh?"
"What is the pipe?" I replied.
"Just say yes or no." Mike demanded.
"Are you going to run across the pipe?" I asked
"If you do, I will." He said.
"I'm walking across the pipe." I decided.
"crap." mike replied
When we got there I found a pipe, about 30 feet long, 1 1/2 feet in diamator, suspended above the ground, some 20 feet from the creek below. Holy shit, I thought to my self. Did I really say I was going to walk across this? There was no need to walk across the pipe, there was a trail about 10 feet to the side of it. Kim walked to the other side on the trail and got her camera ready for pictures, as Mike and I prepared to cross. Mike informed me that he had never actually crossed the pipe but had always wanted to. Great, I thought, I was going to be the first sucker to try it. I must admit I was very hesitant to do it, a fall would have virtually guaranteed moderate to serious injury. I inched my way across while Kim snapped pictures, I had a stumble in the middle but never total lost my balance and made it to the other side successfully. Mike followed right behind and also made it across with no problem. I was glad that was over. After that we found a huge rock that was great for pictures. Kim the trail goddess posed on the rock while I knelt below worshiping her.

After the morning run Kim had to leave for some family obligations and Mike and I headed for boston store where we would run the Pine lane and brandy wine falls loops to equal 20 miles. We ran the 5 mile Brandy Win Falls loop twice (With an extra loop of the actual falls on the last loop) and Pine Run once. I can't remember exactly which loop we were on, but we came to a large creek crossing. There where big stepping stones across the creek making it perfectly passable, and a great photo op. As we approached we saw a family with a 4 year old and 1 year old posing on a rock for a picture. The dad was ready with the camera but was struggling with getting the attention of the 1 year old. Have no fear, Mike sprung into action. He went up by the dad and started speaking with the most convincing (suspiciously homosexual) Elmo voice "Hi baby, look at me, I'm Elmo, hehehe" "la la la la, la la la la, Elmo's world" The baby immediately began looking for her favorite sesame street character as dad snapped photo, after photo. Nice job mike, but I still wonder how many hours you spend perfecting that voice.
On our second Brandy Wine loop we caught up to another family of four on an afternoon hike. There were two boys, and there parents. We passed them on a hill climb as the youngest boy complained "mommy, I don't want to walk anymore"
"What did you say, your whining, I can't understand you when you whine." The mother replied.
"I want to quite" the boy continued.
In a stern voice the mother replied, "If you don't make it to the top of this hill, were not going to West Virginia."
The older son then retorted, "Mom, I don't even want to go to West Virginia."
This exchanged cracked me up, You probably had to be there. For the rest of the weekend when we came upon large hills I would tell mike if he didn't make it to the top of this damn hill, we weren't going to West Virgina, that kicked him into gear.
after finishing the 20 miles we went back to Mike's place and waited for Kim to return. Kim had left the Movie "The Runner" which is about David Horton's record breaking crossing of the PCT for Mike and I to watch. Mike popped it in for me but within the first 10 minutes the no sleep the night before was catching up to me and I dozed off. When Kim got back we went out to dinner then returned to mike's house where I retired early for bed as the 4:30am wake up call for our 39 mile run of the BR course would come early.

Sunday morning we got our stuff ready and Mike, Kim, Tony and I made our way to somewhere around mile 65 of the BR course where we would run the last 35 or so miles. We dropped my car, where we would be 20+ miles into the run so we could have additional aid. Rob joined us at the start, and we set off on our run. The run began with me taking a slow motion tumble over a fallen branch less than a mile in. This fall would be the cause of Rob's uncontrollable laughter some 12 hours later, lol. We wanted to go slow to simulate race day. This was probably the most fun I have ever had on a run. These guys had me cracking up the whole way. I won't list all of our inappropriate discussions here, you will just have to come out for a run with us sometime to hear that.
Tony did a good job staying towards the back of the group, suppressing the urge to shoot out at his normal rocket pace. He had never done more than a marathon before so BR will be totally new territory for him. I don't think any of us have any doubt he has the ability to finish the race (I know I don't.) Physically he is capable of doing it. His main issues will be dealing with the mental aspect of running for close to 30 hours and the strategy involved in ultra running (Pacing and nutrition.) He asked us all a lot of question and I know he is willing to take the proper step to accomplish this big goal. I know he is worried about this race, but as long as he takes all of the good advice of the ultrarunning community he will be fine.
This run ended up taking longer than we had expected. We all question the distance of the run. According to the course map we ran about 37 miles, and with Rob's GPS it was a little over 38 miles (including some wrong turns.) That would have put our pace over 17 minute miles. I have done quite a few trail runs close to this distance, and I can say with confidence I was moving faster than a 17 minute pace. Because the run was taking longer than expected Tony had to leave us around mile 20 to get back home. He ended up surpassing his longest distance and longest time today, running for 9 hours.
After Tony left Mike, Kim, Rob and I continued our run, conversation becoming more vulgar as the miles passed. We made it to the car and munched on our supply of food we had picked up from the store after dinner the night before. Kim pointed out how the workers at the store must have thought we were totally stoned, walking into the grocery store on Saturday night buying Oreos, Cheez-its, iced animal crackers, fig newtons, pringles ect... We sat for about 15 minutes eating and checking our feet. Come to think of it, Rob looked like a stoner as he pounded the Salt and Vinegar pringles from Kim's bag,
"Man, these chips are SOO good!"
After eating, and after Mike was finished harassing Kim, we set of to complete our run. Mike talked about his Brown Sugar fetish, as Rob explained his obsession with AAP. Before we knew it 11 hours had gone by and Mike, Rob and I found our selves sprinting the final block to Mike's house, just to see what we had left. While Kim continued her jog and watch us idiots run down the street. I could see the mothers sheltering there children from these dirty smelly men. When we got back to Mikes place, After Mike told his 4 year old daughter, Autumn (who has a crush on me by the way, although she won't admit it) that Rob was her Mommy's brother, we ate lunch, whitch Mike's wife, Lasheda, so graciously prepared for us. After playing baseball with Mike's kids in the back yard for a little while, they kicked my butt, Mike drove Rob and I to pick up our cars and I began the journey home.
It was a great weekend of running! I would like to thank Mike and Lasheda for allowing me to stay at there home once again. This was a really fun group to run with and I look forward to seeing them all again in a month at BR.

For another acount of this run see Mike, Kim, and Rob's blog, they should be posted shortly if not already.)

weekly mileage: 87


Sensationally Red said...

Thanks to your descriptive writing...I almost feel like I was there. :-( Sorry, I missed your visit up North.

Addy said...

It always sounds like you guys have such a blast running together! Too bad I live a few thousand miles away, otherwise I'd love to join you guys sometime :D. Congrats on such a solid weekend of awesome running!

Maria said...

Josh I bet ALL the girls have a crush on you LOL!

Great post and it sounds like you guys really had fun. I'd love to hear some of your ideas on fueling during long runs. Maybe someday I'll attempt a 50 or 100 miler but I just don't know how you guys can eat when you're out there!

I'm glad Kim was along to keep you dirty boys in line...poor Kim-a trail goddess's work is never done though, I guess ☺

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...


Man, I forgot about those Salt and vinegar Chips. "They were soogood."

And BTW.

I laughed again today about you falling......... Shit, I am laughing now.

See you at West Virgina. I will be looking for a place to crash until morning where the Rangers wont put me in the Poky. Ford Explorer Camping here I come.

Josh said...


Thanks, I wish you would have come out and run with us Saturday or Sunday, it would have been nice to see you again. I am sure I will see you in a couple weeks at the BT50k.


We really do have a great time together.


Your right, I am quite the chick magnet, lol. I even got a hug from Autumn before I left!

As far as the nutrition goes, you have to eat when you are out there doing these long runs. For a 50k, depending on how fast you are running it, you can get away with gels, and typical marathon stuff, but for anything longer you have to have solid food (some people do get by on gels and liquids alone for 50 and 100 miles, but it isn't very common, and is not recommended by many.) Personally I can't go for a 20 mile run anymore without getting hungry and wanting real food. What are you planning on for BT50k? gels and Gatorade? PB&J, Cheez-its, Oreos, Fig Newtons, granola bars, salt and vinegar pringles, peanut m&m's, Iced animal crackers and chewy cookies are all favorites of mine, but you should really try out different things before the big race to see what you can handle.

Kim keep us in line?? Please, she is worse then I am! Of course Mike is the worst of all.

Maria said...

I'm usually just a gu girl. For that 23 miler we did on Sunday I used 3 gu's and drank smart water (plain water with electrolytes) cuz gatorade is just too sugary for me on the run. I don't really have a plan for the 50k except maybe one or two additional gels. You have to remember that this is still so new to me to not be so concerned with pace. In a regular road marathon or even on normal non trail training runs I aim to go at a tempo pace and I know for sure that my stomach would not take kindly to actual food during those. So I might have to ease into this eating whilst running might also be the leftover Weight Watcher mentality...I'm always calculating the calorie burn for the good of the deficit instead of concentrating on the refueling aspect of it, if that makes any sense.

I appreciate your insight and can't wait to meet you at the BT50k!

Josh said...


I have gotten pretty good at finding places to sleep in my car, Rattle snake should be a good race.

You were all about those chips, man!
Was my fall really that funny, lol. I think you almost choked on those chicken wings after the run, what a day!


The fact that you will be moving much slower on the trails will make it easier for you to eat solid foods. Trying to cut calories while in the middle of a 31 mile run could be a dangerous thing, though I can understand where you are coming from.

Kim said...

I was wondering what the hell Rob was still finding so funny 12 hours later...

Josh is a chick magnet and he DID save me from tumbling into the river!

Josh, I was only defending myself, I had to use the same tactics Mike was using! (..I thought you were on my side...)

tony said...

Oh no! Josh is not just a great runner, but a good blogger too! There goes more of my day in the blogosphere, as I'll have to start reading this blog too! Besides, all my new friends are here! It was great meeting Josh, Rob and Kim, and running with them and Mike on my FIRST Ultra run! I told all of them that this will definitely go down in my top 10 all time runs...I learned a lot, gained some new friends, and had a real blast!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a weekend. I have to get my second blog out tonight.

I forgot about our pipe time! I got those photos and will do a flashback in the second blog...

After the long runs this weekend, I am not sure which made the run easier...the nutrition/hydration or the laughter! Now, you all go ahead and paint me as the dirty old man, but Rob was all about the AAP, not me! I just asked for the breast motivation I could get to finish my first 100 miler!

And, for the record, my twig stayed flesh colored. No blue berres, or blue twig for me, unlike others.....

May #'s 137, 111, 110, and 25 all find ourselves this fat and happy on August 5th!

Josh said...


OK, I understand, when around Mike you have no choice but to stoop to his level in order to fight back.


I have a few good posts every now and then. I am glad we could introduce you to the world of ultrarunning!


You are the Dirty old man! It wouldn't be nearly as fun if you weren't.

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Man, we all have issues.