Sunday, September 30, 2007


This report is a week late but it will have to do.

I arrived in Youngstown in plenty of time for the race and found the park right away. I didn't take the time to look into where the race actually started inside the park. It's just a state park, can't be that big or confusing, right? Wrong! I drove around for about an hour before I finally called Mike, who was in New York for work. After I woke him up, he looked up directions and became my co-pilot, getting me to the race 15 minutes before it started, thanks Mike!
I had just enough time to register and tie my shoes before the race started. I decided to start out slow and shoot for a 6:30-7:00 finish time. The trails in the park were really nice, technical with some hilly sections and good views of the lakes. The race consists of 2, 11.xx mile loops and 1, 8.xx mile loop. I was feeling a sluggish the first couple miles then picked up the pace a little. I can't really remember many details except for passing Kim a couple times in her bright pink trail goddess outfit and the fact that I got lost 4 or 5 times and ended up running about 35 miles, and standing around about 15 minutes throughout the race wondering which way to go. I hadn't looked at a course map so I had absolutely no concept of the course and there had been trail vandals messing with the course markings. I have never been as lost during a race as I was during this one. I ended up finishing around 8:15. Maybe next year I'll take a map.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

5 miles, roads, 9:11 pace

I planed on going to the track for 5 miles at a 9:00 pace, but when I drove by there was a soccer game going on. I didn't think they would be too fond of me running around the field while they were playing. So I hit the road and tried to get as close to 9 min. miles as I could without knowing. It was a nice smooth run. It has been a while since I ran on the road. Now that the days are getting short I will be doing more track and road runs, as it is very hard to get in quality runs in on the trails after dark. The lack of light really slows the pace.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cle Elum Ridge 50k

well, I finished! which is more than I can say for my last race...

The course is basically set up to consist of one long climb (16 miles, 6000 feet) and one large decent(15 miles, 6000 feet). Sure, there are little rises and falls in between but not a whole lot. The race starts off on a paved road for about a mile before going off into the woods for 30 miles of dusty, single track, motorcycle ridden trails.
My legs felt pretty good that morning so I took off down the road towards the front of the pack. About 5 minutes later I asked myself if I thought I could keep that pace, or if I even wanted to try and keep that pace. My answer to both of those questions was no. Although my legs felt fine I was definitely not fresh after running roughly 100 miles in the 6 days leading up to this race. Besides that I just wanted to enjoy myself and the trail. I took the first several miles of up hill at a more conservative pace but I was still pushing it quite a bit.
After about 8 miles I decided I had absolutely no desire to finish in anything that remotely resembled a fast time so from that point on I decided to walk most up hills. This race has two aid stations, one at mile 12, one at mile 21, so it is easy to get behind on your fuel intake. Since my breakfast consisted of 5 cookies, I was pretty hungry by the time I got to the first aid station, on top of not drinking enough and taking 1 S! cap in 2+ hours. I stayed at the aid station for about 10 minutes scarfing down all the Pringles and fig newtons I could get my hands on.
I then continued to meander up the hills enjoying the smell of pine and the deep blue skies. After completing 4 or 5 climbs that I thought were all the final climb before the long down hill, I finally reached the top of Windy pass and started the decent. I picked up the pace in the second half and did a lot more ruining, as it was all down hill.
I still never improved my eating or drinking habits. I only drank 4, 20 once bottles of water, took four S! caps and eat about 500 calories in 7.5 hours on the trail, but it was good enough to get me through the race in a comfortable manner. I crossed the in 7:27:59 just glad to have completed a Washington ultra before returning to Ohio.

This was a really great race. I am glad I had the opportunity to run it. I just hope I don't run it next year, which would mean I DNF'ED at Plain...again!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I had another good run on the beach on Tuesday of 14 miles. I really wanted to do an out and back of the beach (about 50 miles) but the weather looked questionable and I wasn't sure if I could make it the whole way. Wednesday I went the Mt. Rainier and did another 14 miles on the wonderland trail. On the last half mile of my run I twisted my ankle pretty good. I would say I twisted it about as hard as I could without snapping it in half. I was running full speed, down hill over roots and rocks. I heard it pop 2 or 3 times. I have turned my ankle plenty of times, but that had to be the most painful. It swelled up pretty good right away, but never really got bad. I was able to walk on it a few minutes later. The swelling went down the next day. It only hurts a little now. I will be heading to Cle Elum later tonight for tomorrows race.

In non running related news, while I was here in Washington my car at home was totaled, which is always fun. I live in an apartment complex on a hill. I park my car in the front parking lot, right off of the road. Apparently some drunk guy was flying up the hill at 8:30 in the morning, ran through my neighbors yard, into the parking lot hitting my car, knocking the engine into the front seat, spinning it 180 degrees and into the street. needless to say it was totaled. Luckily the guy had insurance so I have a check from the insurance company for $5,000 for a new car. Which is more than my car was worth anyway. So when I get home on Sunday I need to find a new car.

Monday, September 10, 2007

16.5 miles

I had 2 spectacular runs on the beach today for a total of 16.5 miles. The first 6.5 were barefoot with the remaining 10 being with shoes. Long Beach is absolutely beautiful. I took some pictures that I will post later, probably once I get home. I even saw an otter!
On my first run I saw this guy had his low rider stuck in the sand. He had a bumper sticker that read "I LIKE BOOBS" I could relate to that so I thought I would stop to help, since he was such a classy guy and all. He also had a hot Asian girlfriend (that's right Rob, I said ASIAN) I wasn't much help as we still couldn't get the car unstuck, but when I ran by an hour later he was out.
On my second run I passed an old couple watching the sunset. They were staring at me so I waved. The old woman said to me "we're just jealous, you're in such great shape!" Grandma's always have had a thing for me, what can I say. I'm a grandma magnet.
This was the first time I have ever been to the pacific, it was nice to watch the sunset over the ocean while running on the beach. That kind of thing just doesn't happen any Cincinnati. I have a longer run on the beach planned for tomorrow if my body can handle it.
If you didn't know, I am a cheap skate, so I am sleeping in the parking lot of a Super 8 motel tonight, as long as I don't get kicked out, lol. The great thing about sleeping in motel parking lots, you can pick up on there wireless Internet, ha!
Since I am in Washington until Sunday, I have signed up for Cle Elum 50k which takes place here next Saturday. It should be a tough race with 6000 feet of gain, and more terrific views I am sure. You didn't think I would come all the way to WA and not check a state of my list, did you?
There won't be much recovery needed from Plain, as I didn't get far enough into the race to push my limits, I just fizziled out all at once. I am headed to the coast for the next couple days to do some running on the 23 mile long, Long Beach. Then I will be going to Mt. Rainier to run some of the 90+ mile Wonderland trail.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Plain 100 Race Report

I was not able to finish Plain 100 this weekend. In fact, I didn’t even come close, lol. I dropped 45-50 miles in.

I was feeling really good up until mile 35-40 when I came off the grueling 3 hour, 6 mile, 5000 foot climb up to Signal peak, Then all of a sudden one mile later I lost all my energy and spent 10 miles trying to get it back, but it didn’t happen. I’m not sure what happened. I was eating enough, I was hydrated and taking enough S caps, I just ran out of gass. My leg muscles were still strong but didn’t have any energy to use them. I guess it was just a matter of time before trying to do 3 100’s in 3 months caught up to me. I guess I tried to do too much too soon, that will never change, it’s just the type of person I am. The course was unbelievably beautiful and I enjoyed it while I felt good. I definitely don’t have any regrets about dropping. I was ready to drop at mile 40 but had to walk 10 miles before I got to a search and rescue check point to find anyone that cared. Just to show how remote this race is, after I dropped (about a 10 mile run from the start/finish line) and got in the car with the search and rescue people, we had a 100 mile drive back to the start of the race.

I took some good pictures that I will share later.

I would say the hardest part about the race for me was the lack of aid stations. When you start feeling bad, and don’t have the supplies you need there’s nothing you can do about it. The no course markings wasn’t that difficult the written directions and maps were very good, I didn’t take any wrong turns. The elevation change was much tougher than any other race I had done before but it wasn’t the reason for my drop, although it may have been if I was able to continue further into the race. My feet were still in good shape, although they probably would have gotten pretty bad too, had I continued. I don’t think all the extra weight I had to carry really bothered me either. Other than the 6 mile climb up to signal peak, there were enough streams that I only needed my 2 handhelds. I didn’t use any of my iodine tabs, as the water was crystal clear and none of the locals used filters or tabs. I didn’t really have a chance to get deep into the race and experience all of its difficulty, it’s almost like it was over before it started. I really enjoyed this experience and I will definitely be back next year to avenge my defeat and solve the mystery energy bonk.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I was going to get in a final short run tonight, but then I started thinking about all the things I still have to do and how close the race is. So I packed my back pack with the food and supplies I will be carrying with me, and marked my map. I still need to label the Mileage so I don't end up running 20 miles on a trail I am only supposed to be on for 2 miles, I am in way over my head on this one...

My flight leaves at 6AM on Friday morning, less then 59 hours until race start! Wish me luck.

I don't know when I will be able to get the race report up. I am going to be in Washington all next week. I will probably take my laptop but I don't know if I will have Internet access.

Monday, September 3, 2007

9 miles, Trails, 1:40 (total time, with breaks)

5.5 mile loop: 53:24
3.5 mile loop: 34:37

There was a big group for the training run this morning, 15-20 people. I ran the first loop faster then I should be running this close to Plain. I would like to run 5:20 for Step Stones in October. That would mean running the 5.5 mile loop in about 54 minutes. After today I don't think there is anyway I will be able to run that fast the whole race.
I picked up a lot of supplies for Plain, but I still have to study the map so I don't get crazy lost...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

5 miles, 10:35 pace, Trails

did the big loop around MAF today. It was a bit warm, but a very beautiful day. Tomorrow morning is the Stone Steps training run. I am only going to do one big and one small loop (8.6 miles) because I am in my taper.