Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Today was my last run before Burning River. I did 5 easy miles at MAF. I don't have enough miles on my new Keen's to be able to start with them, so I Will be sticking with my old pair. I am thinking about running with my hydration backpack. I wouldn't fill the bladder but it would be good practice for Plain and I want to have all my foot care supplies with me so I can take Care of them right when something goes wrong, instead of waiting for my drop bag. I still have most of my stuff in drop bags from Mohican, so it shouldn't take to much time getting them ready.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Swim: 1 mile
I had to work late everyday this week and didn't have any time to run. I am glad I was supposed to be tapering anyway. I wanted to run 30-40 miles this week but I will be lucky to break 10. I went to MAF this afternoon for a 5-10 mile run. Just before the first mile marker I took a pretty nasty spill on a rocky section of single track. One of those falls where you lay in the dirt for a minute to make sure all your limbs are still attached and unshattered. Luckily I was fine, just a bloody knee and bruised shoulder. I decided that was a sign. I took the first side trail I could find back to my car and hightailed it out of there. I decided I would be better off swimming. I feel ready to have a good race next weekend at Burning River.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
I wanted to do 10 today but I got out of work late so I decided to do a hard 5. I had a good run and set a PR for this loop. About half way through my run I saw one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in my life. I won't post about it here because it was absolutely repulsive, but you can e-mail me if you want to know what happened.
Ok I am now caught up on all my blogging, whew.
5 miles 9:00 pace
Sunday I went to East Fork State Park, about 45 minutes from where I live, to volunteer for a 5 mile trail race put on by the running spot. The running spot put on a 4 race trail series this summer around Cincinnati, Adam was responsible for coordinating these events, as he is the outdoor Coordinator for the Running Spot. This was the final race in the series. This race has a pretty cool concept. The runners are handicapped based on ability.
The slow runners get a fast start on the fast runners. The thought behind this is that if the handicapping is done correctly all of the runners will finish right around this same time. This gives the slow runners a shot to win the race. In the morning Adam and I ran the loop to make sure all the flags he had set up the day before were still there. The handicapping didn't seem to work out to perfection, but the finish line was still very exciting to watch!
East Fork is such a nice park. I don't know why I have never been there to run before. They have 85 miles of trail including a 32 mile perimeter trail that goes around East Fork Lake. You can bet I will be running that trail in the near future.
Running: 66 miles
Swimming: 1 mile
21 miles, 13:00 pace
Saturday I woke up at 3:30 for the 3 hour drive to Mohican to meet Rob for a 21 mile jaunt of the Blue and Orange loops. As we started off on the blue loop, I went straight as Rob started taking the trail up the hill to the left (Red loop). We quickly discovered Rob is color blind. Later on while running the Orange loop and letting Rob lead the way through all the turns, I realized what and Idiot I was. I was planning on coming up here alone this weekend to do this run. I would have had no idea where I was going! Boy, was I lucky rob came along! I learned all kinds of expletive variations as Rob tripped on every root or rock the trail had to offer.
I was fun being able to relive the race while on the trail. I ran through the trails of the 8 mile stretch that screwed me for the last 25 miles. I ran through the trails of the 5 mile stretch when I found out I was screwed for the last 25 miles. I think they did some trail work on the 5 mile trail from Grist Mill to the Covered Bridge. During the race there were 2 or 3 mountains to climb with 10 foot tall rock faces to scale. Those have now been removed...
This was the 4th weekend in a row Rob and I have done long runs together. We were both feeling tired from the hard month of training we have put in for Burning River. It is time for us to taper and give this race all we've got!
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I Went out to MAF after work for 2 loops. Kept a decent pace on the flats and downhills but worked mainly on running the hills. I walked one hill in the first loop and none in the second. What a difference that makes in your pace! With all the hill work I am going to be doing it will be important for me to strengthen my shins so I don't get any pesky shin splints.
I ordered a new pair of Keen's Wasatch Crests today. Instead of going with the Green again, I got the Blue. I wanted to match the Blue Blazes of the Buckeye Trail as I run Burning River on August 4-5. I swear I'm not gay, Mike's color coordination is rubbing off on me.
For those of you that follow my blog regularly, "Project Deer" is coming along slowly. I have now found out for them most part how I can run past the Deer without spooking them into running away. The key is to let them know you know they're there in a non threatening way. While I am running towards the deer I make eye contact only for a second and wave, I then look away while continuing to wave as I pass. If you don't look at them I think they get scared that you will see them all of a sudden and hurt them. If you continue to stare at them I think they just get freaked out and think you are going to do something to them. I am still a long way from my goal of actually being able to pet them. Patients is a virtue. I saw three yearlings as I ran, all with a striking resemblance to Bambi, I didn't see thumper but I'm sure he wasn't far away.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
AM: 5 mile run, 11:50 pace, Trails
1 mile swim, 40 minutes
PM: 10 mile run, 11:00 pace, Trails
I performed my normal morning duty of clearing all the spider webs of the trails with my face this morning. I feel sorry for those little guys. Don't get me wrong, I hate spider as much as the next guy, but it has to suck to build a web every night and have it torn down by some goon running by every morning (me.) You would think they would learn to build them off the trails, guess not. I had time to go to the pool this morning after running because I didn't have to be at work until 9.
After work I went back to MAF for a 2 loop, 10 mile run. I am working on running more hills then usual. The Step Stones 50k will be run in October on the same loop I run about 40 miles a week on, so I want to be ready for it. My goal is to run a 5:30 at Step Stones, which should put me in the top 10 on this tough course. This race is a big deal to me, I want to perform well on my home course. I think this will be the first 50k I will ever taper for!
I had a pair of good runs today. I even broke onto the leader board for the month of July and for this week on Running-Journal.com!
I think I will be doing the Orange and Blue sections of Mohican on Saturday morning. If anyone wants to join, let me know. I can't promise we wont get lost.
Monday, July 16, 2007
AM: 5 miles 13:00 pace, Trails
PM: 5 miles 11:30 pace, Trails
I think I am getting the hang of this 5 AM wake up call. I was able to hit the trails a little before sunrise to get in some practice with my headlamp and handheld lights. In a race you might not notice how much running with a light causes you to slow down, because by that time in the race you are probably pretty damn tired anyway, but even with fresh legs the light takes a big chunk out of your pace.
I was moving slow this morning not only because of the low light, but because my legs were tired from a good weekend of running. I didn't try to push hard, I wanted to give them a break so they have time to rebuild. I felt alot better for the evening run. I kept my pace light but ran up most of the hills (yes, I walk some hills even on 5 mile runs, what can I say, it's all I know!). I am liking this two-a-day run thing. I think it will shock my legs into faster recovery and make them more resilient late in long races.
Now my biggest fear for Burning River is that there will be so many smokin' hot chicks at the aid station I won't be able to will myself to leave! (Kim, Maria, E-speed, Red(?) ) what is a guy to do?
I am looking to do 20 miles on trails this Saturday, maybe at Mohican or on some of the BR course. Is anyone interested in joining, or letting me join on something you already have planned? I know you talked about doing 20 this weekend, Rob. Mike, what do you think? Kim? anyone?
Sunday, July 15, 2007
12 miles, trail, roughly 10:30 pace
This morning at 8:30 Adam and I met up with Roger, Mark and Sandi of the Cincinnati Trail Runners Club at the oval in MAF for a morning trail run. Roger and Sandi are training for a trail marathon in
I wasn’t sore from the race and my legs didn’t feel all that fatigued but I could definitely feel it in my breathing and perceived effort level. I was even sweating a little bit! I am a very light sweater. I took a good tumble with a couple miles to go. It was a beautiful fall. I tripped over a root, went down hard, doing a tuck and roll over my left shoulder and popped right up without missing a stride. The whole fall lasted about 2 seconds. Roger gave me an 8.5, It was the kind of fall Rob really gets his jollies from. Too bad mike wasn’t there, then Rob would have pictures to laugh at 13 hours after he saw them, lol.
It was a good run. a perfect ending to a good training week.
Running: 70 miles
Swimming: 4 miles
Saturday, July 14, 2007
It's a tough job, but somebody has to be the meat in the sandwich!
It was a really nice morning. It was Cold while standing but perfect for running. This is an out and back course on rolling mostly single track trail. This is a very runnable and fast trail 50k. It his some decent hills but nothing that required walking for long periods of time.
Rob and I started at a comfortable pace. That lasted about 3 minutes before he realized that the race had started, and took off. I saw Lloyd, for the first time about 3 miles in to the race. I would see him at least 3 times during the race at three different spots. It seemed like he was helping out everywhere! He was very supportive each time I saw him, Thanks Lloyd! My goal for this race was to run a relaxed easy race. Right before
Coming out of Boston Store aid station I was leading a small pack of runners. At this point, Gabe, who was volunteering at the aid station (because he didn’t register for the race before it filled) decided to join us. He would end up running the rest of the race with Steve and I which was a big help, and it was nice getting to talk with him, Thanks Gabe! I started to pick up my pace here, but was still not really racing hard. Early in the pine lane section we were past by the three front runners, all within a couple minutes with a larger gap after the front three.
When I got to the half way aid station I was told our spilt was 2:43. I was really happy with that and thought that I might be able to run a negative split if I pushed hard from here on out. Leaving this aid station, Dan really took off. Despite our increased pace we wouldn’t even come close to seeing him again until the finish! Way to go Dan! As Gabe and I made our way back to Boston Store we picked up another runner. Steve from Columbus (Not the same Steve from
This was Steve’s first ultra. He has done many marathons and has even qualified for
After refueling at Boston Store we were ready to make the final 12 mile push. I was feeling good at this point As we made our way back where we had come from a few hours before it seemed like we were hitting some good up hills which I never remembered running down, funny how that always seems to happen. It was nothing to severe and they were all relatively short, at least compared to the beast of a course Rob, Gabe, Adam and I ran last weekend!
I started to get fatigued after the last aid station with 6 miles to go. So much for taking it nice and easy! I was pushing pretty hard, but not too hard. The last mile or two seemed to take forever! As we hit the road with less then a quarter mile to the finish Steve began to fall back and concede victory. I wasn’t having that. I told him we would run neck and neck until the final turn, I would make a “1,2,3 Go!” and we would sprint to the finish. He agreed. So when we got to the turn with about 50 yards to go we start sprinting, if you could call that a sprint. We crossed the line in 5:33 and change. I didn’t accomplish my negative split, running 2:50 for the second half, but I think some of the up hills in the last 6 miles were harder than the up hills at the beginning. I was still happy with my second half effort and was pleased with my overall time. Yet another 50k trail PR, besting last week’s time of 5:51.
Rob and I showing off the sweet bags we got at the end of the race. We forgot to coordinate shirts for this weeks race, damn.
After the race we all hung out and chatted a while. It is nice to come into the finish in the first third. Most of the runners are still there chatting, even the frontrunners. I met E-speed and her friend MT who TORE UP this course! Finishing in 5:26! It was MT’s first ultra! I got to talk with Fred Davis, and Roy Hager, which is always an honor as these guys are ultra legends! I stuck around to watch all the awesome runners behind me finish. Steve (from Mohican) came in a little later in, dirt all over his back, he took a good spill. Maria, Red, and Debi all finished there first 50k’s
Mohican Steve and I, after the finish
After hanging out for a while Steve and I went out for lunch before heading our separate ways. I really enjoyed this race. I most of all enjoyed the chance to hang out with so many of the friends I have had the pleasure to meet in my short running career. This is truly and amazing sport!
I just want to say that it was an honor having the opportunity to see Maria, Red and Debi all finish there first ultras! You guys did incredible. I hope it is the first of many, but even if it isn’t, you will never forget this race! You all worked very hard for this, and you did it! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
AM: 10 miles, 13:00 pace, Trails
PM: 10 miles, 10:30 pace, Trails
I woke up at 5 this morning and hit the trails at MAF by 5:45. The first loop was pretty slow because I couldn't see very well with my head lamp. This was the first run since the race on Saturday where my legs have felt back to normal. I had a good second loop before showering, changing and heading off to work.
After work I met Adam at MAF to do another 10. we kept a decent consistent pace for these to laps. It made the run even more pleasant, having someone to run with. The idea of a running partner is a little foreign to me but hopefully we will get to run together more often. After the Rattlesnake 50K Adam and I both realized we have similar goals, so I think we can help each other out in reaching them.
In all, this was a great training day for me. I was able to increase my weekly mileage after a slow start. Now I have a good shot and hitting my 70 mile goal for this week, and the swimming as been I nice addition to my training as well.
I have been looking for a difficult 100 miler to tackle in the fall. I think I might have found the perfect one. Details to follow when plans are finalized.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
2 mile run, 9:00 pace
I was able to wake up early again this morning and go for a swim. I tried to run after work but it was probably the worst run in recent memory. I was on the road, my new road shoes suck, my quads and calf's are still toast from my hard effort at the Rattlesnake. That's why I don't "race" to many of the races I do, it requires this pesky thing called "recovery." I plan to take it easy for BT50k this weekend.
Monday, July 9, 2007
5 mile run, 11:00 pace, Trails
2 mile run, 8:00 pace, road, Vibrams
After weeks of telling my self I would do it, I was finally about to pull myself out of bed at 5am this morning and go to the gym before work. I got there at 6, right when they opened. I hear people say that it's hard to get out of bed for an early morning work out, but once you do, you feel a lot better. Well I was tired when I woke up and I was even more tired when I got to the gym. I felt better once I got in the pool and started swimming. I am definitely glad I did and I hope I can convince myself to do it more often.
After work I went to MAF for a 5 miler. I ran pretty hard, although it doesn't show in my time because of my dead quads. When I got home I did a 2 mile hill loop around my block in the Vibram Five fingers. I would like to run in these a few times a week for a couple miles at a time to strengthen my lower legs and feet, and also improve my stride.
While at work today I got a phone call from one of my best friends, Chris. He informed me that he has decided to train for the 2008 Flying Pig Marathon! I was so excited about this, and proud of him. I have been telling him for a while now that he should do it. He is already in good shape and has been running a little bit for a while now. He was asking me for advice, I was thinking I am definitely not the best person to be getting advice from when it comes to running. I tried to be conservative and told him to progress slowly (what a hypocrite!) I know He will do great and I can't wait to go on some training runs with him.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I went out for one slow loop around MAF this evening. I don't have any stiffness or soreness from the race, just general muscle fatigue. I guess the ankle wasn't as bad as I thought, the swelling was mostly gone today. It was still stiff this morning but hasn't bothered me since.
I arrived to the entrance of
Pre race photo
My goal for this race was to finish in the top 20 our blow up trying. From looking at last year’s results I saw that I 5:54 would have been good enough to place in the top 20 so that is what I was shooting for. When the gun went off I tried to get near the front of the pack to avoid that clutter that would be caused by 100+ people being crammed into a long steep single track climb. This race has 10 climbs that are spaced realativley even throughout the course. They usually come after every aid station. Rob and Adam both went out ahead of me as we entered the climb. I passed Rob on the down hill, of course it would be short lived as we would run the first 11 miles of the race very close to each other.
As I was running down the second climb, around mile 5, I twisted my right ankle. The guy coming up behind me asked me if I had heard it pop. I told him I hadn’t, and he said it should be OK. It only hurt for a couple minutes, after that I was fine. Rob passed me going into the third or fourth climb at mile 11. I wouldn’t see him again until the finish line, after he had time to eat and shower. Before he passed I voiced my concerns about how I though I had gone out too fast and would blow up soon. He told me that I had put in the training and I would be fine. Of course, he wasn’t going to say “Yeah, you idiot, you went out to fast, now your screwed!” I appreciated it nonetheless. By the 6th “hill”(I would call them mountains) My climbing legs were gone. I could still pound the down hills and flats but the rest of my climbs would be pretty slow. Comming into the aid station at mile 20 I passed Adam who was having bit of a rough patch. He rebounded to finish just over 6 hours. A great showing for his first ultra. Despite my worries of going out to fast, I was able to maintain a good pace throughout the run. I never blew up and felt really good the whole way through.
As I descended the final climb around mile 29 I twisted my right ankle again, this time I heard it pop. It hurt like hell for a minute or to then subsided. Luckily it was at the end of the race and didn’t have an effect on my finishing time. I crossed the line in 5:51, which was below my goal of 5:54. It is also a new trail 50k PR. Beating my old PR of 5:56, set on a MUCH flatter course last December. The race field was much bigger this year, so my 5:51 wasn’t good enough for a top 20 as it would have been last year. I ended up finishing 35th out of 135 registered runners. I am happy with that. I felt better after this race then I ever have after any race, which is weird because I really pushed it hard. It is amazing how short 6 hours of running feels after the 28+ hours of running required to finish my last race. When I came to the final aid station and they told me I had 3 miles to go, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was just getting started.
Post race photo (happy)
This race is definitely up there in terms of difficulty. It may be the most difficult 50k I have run. The climbs were just ridiculous at times. You would climb straight up for about 10 minutes, then come to a turn and think you were finished only the make the turn and see that you were only about half way up. Even the smallest of the 10 were bigger than any hill at Mo, and apparently they don’t know much about switch backs in
My ankle swelled up on the ride home and feels pretty bad now. I figure it will be a few days before I can run on it again. I will be OK for BT50k next weekend.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I was planning on hitting the trails for a run tonight but when I came up to the exit, the ramp was blocked of because of a big car crash (I found out that it had been closed since 8 AM, it was 7PM when I tried to use it! that must have been some wreck.) I could have taken some extra time and went a different way to the park but I figured I would give my legs a rest after the 19 yesterday, so I went for a swim.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I had the opportunity to run with some really great Cincinnati ultrarunners today. Dave Corfman, RD for the Stone Steps 50k, sent out an e-mail on Sunday saying that there would be a training run on the Stone Steps course on the 4th of July. I was very pleased to hear this and was looking forward to meeting and running with him. Dave is a 5 time finisher of Mohican and finished 6th in the 150 miler at McNaughton park this year (did you read that Tom, I got to run for three hours with a finisher from the 150 at McNaughton!!!) When I got there this morning Dave was talking to another runner, Dan, who would be running his first 50k at Stone Steps this year. I went over and introduced myself. A few minutes later the other RD of the race, Andy Jones, arrived. Little did I know, Andy is the CURRENT WORLD RECORD HOLDER for 40 miles, with a time of 3:45 (I hope I got that right.) He is also the FORMER WORLD RECORD HOLDER and still the CURRENT NORTH AMERICAN WORLD RECORD HOLDER for 100 miles, with I time of 12:06!!!!!!!!! I have run 50 milers slower than that!!
As we started our run and Andy bolted to the front, I couldn't help but think if I was biting of more then I could chew. Of course that has never stopped me before, so why worry about it now? Some how I got positioned right behind Andy and chased him down the course. The first 2 miles were either down hill or mostly flat so I was able to stay with him. Then when I got to the stone steps, by far the largest hill on the course, he started running up them! Who runs up the Mt. Airy Stone Steps?? At this time I realized this guy was insane and slowed my pace to get as far away from him as possible. Dave and Dan were both right behind me. I told them they could pass at any time, if they wanted to catch up to Andy. They didn't accept my invitation.
The first loop of this course is the 5 mile loop that I run many times a week. I know it very well. We continued running and let Andy pull further and further out of sight. Dave and I talked about the buckle mishap at Mohican, and I asked him about the 150 at McNaughton. It was really great to have the opportunity to run with him. He is probably the best ultrarunner in Cincinnati (Andy doesn't run many ultras anymore.) After the first loop we ran the 3 mile loop which I have never been able to recreate on my own since the race last October. It is a bit confusing and I still don't know if I could do it with no markings.
At the end of this loop we were joined by Bob Engel (Mohican finisher, ran 110 miles at McNaughton park, has run many ultras) and another runner named Bob. I listened to Dave and Bob talk about some of the race they had done. Dave told me a good story about the 2006 McNaughton park 100 miler. If you go to the McNaughton website you will see a picture of a runner cringing in pain as he is being given and IV, here is the story:
The runner (can't remember his name) came in to the start finish line after his 8th loop of the 10 loop course. He was totally incoherent. He was not able to communicate with volunteers or race officials and the officials couldn't figure out what he was saying. This guy was completely out of it. The ambulance was called, by the time they arrived the runner was still not able to communicate and was showing no signs that he knew what was going on. The EMT told the race director that they would need to give the guy and IV as soon as the runner heard that he screamed "NOOO! If you give me an IV I'll get DQ'ed!" The RD told the guy "You have to get this IV!" The runner again replied "NO! you'll DQ me!" The RD then told the runner "I won't DQ you, you have to take this IV." the runner then agreed to take the IV. After a break he got back up and finished the race. WOW, that is a great story.
We did one more 5 mile loop then the group decided to call it quits. after everyone left I decided to run one more 5 mile loop to get the 16-20 miles I had planned. I ended up with 19. There were only about 7 runners total that showed up for the run, some ran part, some ran all. It was a great run with great runners.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Tuesday 2 mile run
1.25 mile swim: 57 minutes
I gave my legs a break from the 70 mile weekend on Monday, by deciding to go for a swim. I didn't have much rythm, it didn't feel nearly as good as the 2.5 mile swim I had the other week but it was OK. There was a pretty humorus moment that happened after the swim, I will share it now. As I walked into the locker room and was changing out of my swim suit I saw this big black guy getting out of the shower. He walked over to his locker to get his towel and put on his clothes. as I got dressed I could here him mumble something under his breath as he fumbled with his lock. As it turned out he had forgotten his combonation. Here he was, this 300+ pound man TOTALLY naked sitting on the bench with all of his closed locked in his locker. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I had to cover my face in my towel and look away because I was cracking up. When I left he still hadn't gotten in. I didn't know what he was going to do. It isn't like he could have gotten a worker to help him. He couldn't leave the locker room, he was completely nude! I am still laughing about it now.
and now back to my work outs...
I am happy with the way my legs feel after the weekend. I have no pain or soreness, only general muscle fatigue. I wanted to go for a 10 mile trail run today but my legs were still pretty fatigued and I want to save them for tomorrow when I will be doing a group training run on the Step Stones 50k course at Mt. Airy Forest. I plan to do 16-20 tomorrow, so today after a short run I went for another swim. Today's swim felt much better than yesterday, but I don't have any funny stories to tell about the locker room...
Monday, July 2, 2007
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!
"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