Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10 Miles, 1:16:35 total time, 7:39 overall pace, track

Mile 1: 7:44
Mile 2: 7:47
Mile 3: 7:49
Mile 4: 7:51
Mile 5: 7:50
Mile 6: 7:55
Mile 7: 7:52
Mile 8: 7:45
Mile 9: 7:24
Mile 10: 6:33

A hard run doesn't get much better than the one I had tonight.

Bulletin: Mike and I will be going to Rochester, NY on November 10th (Next Saturday) For the Mendon Pond 50k. If anyone wants to join us let me know. You can met at my place in Cincy or at Mike's in Cuyahoga Falls. I will be going up to Mike's Friday afternoon and we will be leaving early Saturday Morning. Registration is only $20!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Final point standings for the Trail Runner Trophy Series are in. View results here. I ended up finishing 124th out of 4440 in the ultra division with 226 points. You earn 1 point for every mile of a trophy series race you run. If you win you get 4x the points, place second 3x, third 2x. I definitely never came close to placing in a race so all my points were based off the miles. I guess there weren't a lot of people who ran 5 trophy series ultras this year, imagine that. If I would have run the 100k at Great Eastern I could have cracked the top 100, next year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Germantown 50k Race Report

Note to self: Whenever I get lost driving to a race, it's foreshadowing for the fact that I am going to get lost during the race.

I left my house with about 2 hours to go before the race started, it was only supposed to be a 50 minute drive. After getting around a closed road I got to the vicinity of the race but couldn't find the road I needed to turn on. I decide to call my dad and have him look up directions on the computer. Some background info on my dad: when someone at work asks him to send a document through e-mail he tells them he doesn't have the "capability" to do it. In other words, he's a computer dumb ass (I know he'll see this.) So by the time he pulls up Google maps, I've already found the start.
I decided to take it easy today because this was my third ultra in three weeks, and I didn't want to hurt myself. OK, it wasn't so much that I decided to take it easy from the start, as it was that I started out in the top 5 for the first 2 miles then realized that wasn't going to happened so I decided to slow down and let everyone pass me before I killed myself. This was my second time running Germantown so I had an idea of the course. one 7.75 mile loop, repeated 4 times, No really big hills but a good amount of small and a few medium sized hills. Fall is now in full effect, with the leaves completely covering the trails making it even more important to watch your step. I ran the first 7.75 mile loop in 1:22, which I was surprised that I ran it so fast after slowing down.

From that point I decided I would run my next three loops around 1:30 and finish right around 6 hours. I thought I could do that without having to push hard, giving my body a rest. That plan sounded pretty good, but it didn't factor in the 35 minute detour I was about to take. I was near the end of the the second loop when I looked at my watch and thought I should be about 10 minutes from the end of the loop. I kept running but never reached the bridge that comes at the end of each loop.

The next thing I know, I'm running in an open field. I didn't remember this from the first loop, I thought I was probably going the wrong way but I didn't have any evidence so I kept going. Then I past and old wooden out house, didn't remember this either, know I was almost sure I was going the wrong way, but not sure enough, I continued. Then I came to a paved road crossing, no trail on the other side, OK now I know for sure I'm going the wrong way. I turn around and run back until I see a marking.

I finally get back to the course but somehow I am know on the wrong side of the orange tape they put across the trails where your not suppose to run. I couldn't have been stupid enough to run right under that tape, could I? There are now course markings in both directions, I'm not sure which way I came from, so I didn't know which way to go. I picked a direction and started running, luckily it was the right way. I had somehow back tracked, and was no running the same trail I had just run about 30 minutes ago. Not only did I go off course, but I went backwards, nice.

That meant I had to climb the biggest hill on the course twice for the second loop. Once I climbed the hill for the second time I discovered what cause me to make the wrong turn. Some ass hole cut the Orange ribbon that was tide across the trail signifying that your not supposed to go that way. I re-tied the ribbon and continued to the end of the loop. The second loop took 2:05. So much for 6 hours.

After that I never really got back into a rhythm and just plodded along trying not to work too hard. It's times like these I try to cherish the fact that I have the desire and ability to be out in nature and cover these vast distances. I ended up coming into the finish line in 6:53:25, a cool 53 seconds faster than last year (although I didn't get lost last year.) It was another enjoyable day on the trails. I'm now 25% of the way to my 100 ultra goal!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

1 mile warm-up: 7:41

Stadium stair repeats: 30 stairs X 10 repeats

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

5 miles, 7:37 Overall pace, Track


mile 1: 7:45
mile 2: 7:47
mile 3: 7:47
mile 4: 7:43
mile 5: 6:56

The rain hasn't let up the past two days, but it did give me a chance to use my Marathon and Beyond Poncho I got at Stone Steps!

Monday, October 22, 2007

2 miles, 8:08 overall pace, tack

Mile 1: 8:20
Mile 2: 7:56

Went out in the pouring rain tonight to stretch the legs out with an easy 2 mile run. I had hardly any soreness today from the race and had a decent amount of spring in my step. It felt like I had only run 29 miles yesterday instead of 31.

Stone Steps 50k Race Report

This was a race I had been looking forward to for a while. It's only 20 minutes from my house and I run these trails all the time. The race started at 8am and I didn't have to wake up until 6:45! Stone Steps consists of 2 loops, the first is 5.3 miles (which I think is more like 5.5, but have never actually measured it myself) and the second is 3.3 miles. The 5.3 mile loop is the most difficult, containing the to biggest climbs on the course in addition to plenty smaller hills. This loop is repeated 4 times. The 3.3 mile loop contains only of rolling hills and is completely runnable if you have any leg strength left (which I didn't after the first 20 miles.)
My original goal, set a couple months ago, was to get plenty of rest going into this race and try to place in the top 5. But after running hard at Farmdale last weekend I knew I wasn't going to be able to accomplish that. I still sit a goal of 5:25 and decided to stick with that pace until I no longer could.
Right from the start I tried to stay towards the front of the pack because I knew it would only be a minute or two before we were on tight single track with no room to pace. The first few miles went pretty well, but as I struggled up the stone steps hill, I couldn't help but think about how I would have to climb this hill three more times before the day was over. There is also a hill at the very end of the loop which is about 3/4 the size of the stone steps and equally as brutal. Adam told me this is called the "Gummy Bear Hill." There is one aid station on the course which is right at the start/finish line, at the beginning of each loop. as I hit the aid station for the first time, I was 4 1/2 minutes ahead of my goal time, which is pretty significant being only 5 miles into the race. I knew I was going to fast so I tried to slow down just a touch going into the 3.3 mile loop. At this point I was feeling good and hopeful that I could keep up my pace. I cruised through the 3.3 mile loop and was now about 8 minutes ahead of my pace.
I took more walking breaks on the second 5 mile loop and was still feeling good coming into the aid station at 17 miles about 5 minutes ahead of my goal. But this is where the wheels started wobbling. At this point I began to realize I wasn't going to reach my 5:25 goal but I wasn't totally wasted and I could still come in under 6 hours. I didn't get the soreness and stiffness in my legs that I usually do at this distance. Usually my legs become much less agile and I have trouble running even the flats. This time my muscles were just tired but my legs were still responsive and moving pretty well. I attribute this to the speed work I have been doing in the last month. It has really helped my leg turnover. At the 22.5 mile aid station I had finally lost all my cushion on my goal pace and was know three minutes over. I did get a nice surprise at this point when I saw my mom waiting for me at the aid station. I didn't know she was going to be there.
Going into the last 3.3 mile loop I started walking all up hills, just trying to conserve my energy so I wouldn't collapse on my final climb of the Stone Steps and Gummy Bear Hill. Heading out on the final loop (5.3 miles) I was confident I had enough time to finish under 6 hours and just did what I could to finish as strong as possible. The final two major hill climbs were pretty pitiful, Climbing up the Stone Steps for the last time, I actually had to stop for a second and catch my breath. Another runner caught me as We climbed Gummy Bear Hill, less than 1/2 mile from the finish. We bonded and talked about how much we hated those damn hills and jogged through the finish line side by side in a respectable time of 5:49:14, another 14th place finish, same as last week. I was pleased with my performance even though it was well off my goal.
This is a top notch event Directed by a pair of great runners, Dave Corfman (1 of only 10 finishers at the McNaughton 150 mile trail run) and Andy Jones (former North American 100 mile record holder, and I think he is still the 40 mile record holder) and the post race soups provided by ultrarunner/chef Heather Poast (finishing her first ultra at Stone Steps yesterday!) were fantastic!

Congratulations to Mike Rioux for finish 3rd in his first Ultra with a smokin time of 4:53 (I think.)

This is a pretty challenging course with two big hills repeated a total of 8 times. It was summed up quite nicely in an exchange between a volunteer and a runner post race.

Race volunteer says to a runner as he crosses the finish line, "So, was it everything you expected!?"
Runner, with his head down, hands on knees, gasping for air, looks up and replies with a single yet profound word "Fuck."

Full results can be found here

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

5 miles, 34:37, 6:55 pace, Roads

My original plan was to do 10 miles at 7:50 pace on the track, but there was a soccer game going on so I had to hit the road. I didn't feel like running 10 on the road so I decided to do 5 hard.

After getting tierd of Mike's bitching, I finally uploaded my pictures from Plain!

Monday, October 15, 2007

5 miles, 39:43, 7:56 pace, track


Mile 1: 7:59
Mile 2: 7:59
Mile 3: 8:01
Mile 4: 8:19
Mile 5: 7:25

I went out for an easy 5 miles around the track tonight. I did a good job working out all the soreness yesterday and didn't have any on my run tonight. My legs were still feeling pretty heavy so my "easy" pace didn't feel as easy as I would have liked, but it was a good recovery run.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

2 miles, track

Mile 1: 9:47
Mile 2: 8:54

I was pretty sore today after yesterdays race, so I went to the track to loosen up. The first couple laps were a challenge but I felt better after that.

Weekly Mileage: 50

Farmdale 33 mile trail run Race Report

I met Mike in Dayton early Saturday morning and we made the 4 1/2 hour drive to East Peoria, IL. Farmdale consists of 3, 11 mile loops repeated 3 times. The course is made up of mostly single track trail with a few roots and rocks, some open Meadows and a few short dirt road sections. The loop is pretty flat, with two moderate climbs on dirt roads (I walked them, but they could be run) other than those to climbs there are a few very small hills sprinkled throughout, a very runnable course. If I were to compare it to another race, I would say it is a little bit hillier than the HUFF.
The weather turned out to be perfect. As we waited for the race to start it began to sprinkle. That worried me, but the rain never materialized and the temps were in the 50's. My "A" goal for the race was to run a 10 min. pace throughout (which would be a 5:30 finishing time) I didn't bother coming up with a "B" or "C" goal. Looking at the winning time from last year (5:22) I didn't think I could hold that pace the whole way but I was willing to give it a shot. I wasn't wearing my Garmin so all of my pacing was based on perceived effort. I started out at what I thought was a 10 min. pace and felt pretty good the first few miles, but as I was passing handfuls of people at a time, I was already wondering if I could keep it up. I didn't know any specifics about the course, just that it wasn't supposed to be very hilly, so I paid careful attention during the first loop so that I could evaluate my chances of staying on pace. I could feel my stomach sloshing and I began to cramp towards the end of loop 1, but it never got any worst, and went away midway through the second loop. the first loop went pretty smooth, only walking one hill, I came to the start/finish line in 1:45, 5 minutes ahead of my goal.
As I set out on the second loop I could feel my quads starting to grow weak, and I was pretty sure it would only be a few miles before I could no longer stay on pace. I thought I could go ahead and slow down now, trying to save a sub 6 hour finish. Or I could continue to push and see how far I could get before blowing up. I told myself that if I wanted to get faster, the best thing to do is to run as fast as I can for as long as I can, so I kept up the pace. Because I ran the first loop 5 minutes below my goal, I decided to walk more of the short hills, in hopes it would save my quads for the straight aways. About 5 miles into the second loop I started feeling better again. I came through the second loop at 3:40. I had run the second loop 10 minutes slower than the first, losing my 5 minute cushion and putting me right on 10 minute pace overall. That had me worried. I hadn't notice that I slowed down that much. I now need to run the last loop in 1:50 (5 minutes faster than the second loop)
After a very quick stop at the aid station I took off on the final loop. I didn't have the luxury of walking the up hills, being so close on time. I was pushing pretty hard and still had 11 miles to go. I noticed on my second loop that I hit the second aid station in 1:16. That would be my first checkpoint to see if I had a chance at 5:30. I reached the check point in 1:14. They told me I had about 4 miles left. I didn't think I was going to make it but I kept pushing. when I got to the final aid station they said I had 2 miles left, I had 18 minutes left. At the end of each loop is a dam that we run across. I was pretty sure I needed 8 minutes from the dam to the finish line. When I reached the dam for the final time, I had about 71/2 minutes. I still didn't think I would make 5:30 but I was to close to stop pushing now. At this point I was redlining, just trying to get to the finish. I reached the final turn in the trail, right before popping out in to the opening where the finish line was. I looked down at my watch which read 5:28, I was going to make it! I ended up finish right around 5:28:30.
Last year 5:28 would have been good enough for 2nd place, 6 minutes behind the winning time. This year It was only good enough for 14th, just my luck, lol. I really enjoyed this course. There were a lot of flat single track section to stretch out the legs and a few small hills to break things up. The course markings were great along with the aid stations and volunteers.
Mike came through I short time later and we headed back to Ohio.

Special congrats to Marla for destroying the female course record of 5:37 (which she set last year) by 40+ minutes to finish in 4:54!!
(I got majorly chicked!)
and to James for reaching his sub 5 hour goal (4:59) after getting lost for 15+ minutes!
Two awesome runners, and really nice folks, for sure!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10 miles, 1:18:20 total time, 7:49 overall pace, Track


1.) 7:35
2.) 7:58
3.) 8:06
4.) 8:00
5.) 7:58
6.) 8:00
7.) 7:51
8.) 7:59
9.) 7:51

The legs were turning over pretty good tonight. I hit my stride about 4.5 miles in and cruised from there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

5 miles, 7:19 pace, Roads

It was perfect weather for a run tonight. After 4+ months of running slow, preparing for one 100 after another, I have to teach myself to run fast again. For the rest of 2007 I plan on cutting back my mileage, to somewhere around 30-50 MPW, while increasing speed. Then at the start of 2008 I will begin building up the miles again, in preparation for the 150 at McNaughton Park in mid April.

If I want to be fast and bald when I grow up, like Tony, I need to start now. You do know that Tony went bald from running so fast back in his 2:30 marathoning days, right? He hasn't slowed down enough yet to let the hair grow back. In fact, if you look closely at pictures of Tony during this years Akron Road Runner Marathon, you'll see runners behind him choking on his hair as it flies right off his head on his way to a sub 3 hour finish. So next time Tony tells you he's now old and slow, tell him you'll buy that when you see a full head of hair!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

10 miles, trails

Did two of the big loops of the Stone Steps course today, I ran the first loop hard, then shortcut the hills on the second loop and took it easy.
First loop 5.5 miles, 9:38 pace
Second loop 4.5 miles, unknown pace (MUCH slower)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

5 miles, 7:53 pace, Track

Mile 1: 8:15
Mile 2: 8:11
Mile 3: 8:17
Mile 4: 7:48
Mile 5: 6:53