Sunday, December 7, 2008

2008 Tecumseh Trail Marathon Race Report

Well, I'm still having trouble getting back on the blogger wagon, but hopefully I'll come around. I actually have a race report to post! A big deal considering I haven't run a race since spring!

This was my third year at Tecumseh. It's a really nice trail marathon in Bloomington, Indiana. The race is put on by DINO ("Do Indiana Outdoors," our something like that), a local outdoors group that does a lot of different events on the trails in the area. This course is about as close as a marathon can get to being an ultra. I've found that an average time for me at Tecumseh is about the same as a fast time for a flat trail 50k. It consists of 3500 feet of gain, and varys from mostly single track, to stretches of gravel and dirt roads. The organization and aid stations are well run, with great volunteers. The shirts are hit or miss, mostly miss, but it's fun seeing what kind of weird thing they're going to give us. This year it was a white sweatshirt with a giant brown rectangle in the middle. I think it was some sort of abstract forest scene. It is very grainy and hard to make out. It looks like a still frame from a video camera you would see on the news with the caption: "Big foot spotted last night at local metro park, neigbor says family dog is missing."

I went out on Friday night and stayed in a cabin with Marla, Ellen, Brian, Don, Bob, Matt, and other members of the Buffalo group from IL. I've hardly been running at all so my plan was to take it really easy and make sure I was still capable of finishing a challenging trail race comfortably. Mission accomplished. I strated off in the back of the pack, lightly jogging at a 15:00 minute pace for the first few miles. I was in 100 mile mode for the first 10 miles until I realized the race was almost half way over and I should probably pick it up. I came to the halfway point on pace for a 6 hour finish and gradually picked up the pace and ran some of the hills. It was a really big field as far as trail races go, with over 6oo runners. This made it difficult to pass on the single track with so many people in front of you. At times, on the uphills, I felt like I was standing in line at wal-mart on black friday. Towards the end things thinned out pretty well and I was able to go at my own pace, still slow and comfortable. I felt very even through the race, and never had to slow down due to physical limitations. I ended up finishing in 5:25 and felt pretty good about that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Running Form

This is a pretty good video about running economy. It's a video for Newton shoes, but mostly it just talks about running form. These are the changes I have been able to incorporate into my running over the last year, becoming a mid-foot/forefoot striker, wearing a minimalist shoe and having better running posture. It can be a long process depending on where you're coming from, but I think it has helped my running a lot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We reached double digits for the first time in the One More Mile Challenge today. It is day 10. I think this next week is when things will really start to get interesting. Running 10+ miles every day of the week won't be an easy task with everyday obligations getting in the way. We still have 8 in the game (Ed dropped at 5 to tapper for Pinhoti, which I am still waiting to hear how he did!!)

I think this challenge has really helped my running so far. I didn't feel so great the first 6 days. despite the fact that we were running short mileage, I hadn't been running consistently and I just felt out of wack. The past four days have been much better and I've found a pretty good groove. I hope I am just hitting my stride and not my peak.

I had a couple good runs in mt. Airy this weekend. My run today was split into two parts. I ran 6 in the morning (5 miles running at right under 8:00 pace, and one mile walk.) then I went back to the rec after work and ran 4 more miles at about 7:45 pace. My legs felt stiff after this mornings run, but they loosened up once I started running tonight.

Tomorrow will be a tough one for me. The rec center will be closed so I will be forced to get in my 11 miles out in the cold and dark, either early in the morning or at night.

Don't forget we're still looking for extra donations to go to NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) and the charity chosen by the winner of the challenge. If you feel like making a contribution to our pot let Mike or I know. Here is the link to the One More Mile Challenge blog
One...More...Mile! Challenge Feel free to follow along and offer words of encouragment in the comment section.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 5 of the One More Mile! Challenge and it looks like we will have our first casualty. It's a technicality, really, Ed is running the Pinhoti 100 miler on Saturday so he is shutting things down until then. Still 8 runners in the hunt and no sign of any of them breaking. It's been a while since I've run 5 day in a row. Even at these low mileages my legs are feeling a bit fatigued. On to 6 miles tomorrow.

Vote For KIMBA!!! Kim has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the Best Endurance Blog of the year. please go here and vote for her blog "TALES OF THE TRAIL GODDESS" And if you haven't seen Kim's blog, well....CHECK IT OUT! :)

Also, if you subscribe to Marathon and Beyond Magazine be sure to flip to page 126 of the new November/December issue. They used the picture from my blog heading (which I took at the top of Klone peak during the Plain 100 in the Cascade Mountains of Central Washington) in their article "How to Host a Hundred." and if you don't subscribe to Marathon and Beyond, go ahead and do that now! Here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I did some calculations for the one more mile! challenge.

Completing the first week would mean we each ran 28 miles that week

Completing the second week would mean we each ran 77 miles that week

Completing the third week would mean we each ran 126 miles that week

Reaching 31 days would mean we would have to run 196 miles in those seven days!

Woah that all adds up quick!

Mike and I have pledged additional money if anyone is able to make it to 31 days. Feel free to do the same! It would give us motivation to keep going, and we could give quite a bit more money to charity! C'mon! anybody??
Just leave a comment on my blog and I'll let Mike know.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We are headed into day three of the One More Mile! Challenge. So far all 9 runners are still in the game. I think it will be after day 7 that we see some started to drop off, hopefully I'm not the first! But I wouldn't rule it out. These first few days are no problem, as all of us just use mileage that we would normally have run, but after the first week it will start to become an effort specifically focused on the challenge, to make sure you get in enough miles everyday, with no days off or short runs. It should be fun to see how it all turns out!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Heading West

After I graduate in December, I will be moving to Livingston, Montana to do a year of service with Americorps, working for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I will be working in their offices in Livingston developing and implementing a marketing and public relations plan for BBBS. Livingston is located in south-west Montana, 20 miles east of Bozeman and 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. Livingston is a small town of about 8,000, and was named the 6th best outdoor town in the country by MSN. It was the location for the movie "A River Runs Through It." The area is sure to be a trail runners paradise with mountains in every direction. It sits at 4,500 feet in elevation. I can't wait to get out there and start exploring! It's going to be a great year. You should all come visit!

Top 10 Outdoor Towns
Via Magazine Article - about Livingston's extensive art scene
I ran 5.5 miles Saturday on the large loop of the Stone Steps course, at a hard pace, which only equaled 9:30 per mile, but it's hilly :)

I did some 800, 400, and 200 repeats yesterday.

I meant to do a 10 miler on Sunday but never got around it it. I hope to do 15 this weekend which will be my longest run in a while.

Monday, October 20, 2008

3 miles, 6:50 pace, track
1 mile cool down, 9:45

I ran three miles at a comfortably fast pace tonight just to get the legs turning over. I'm going to be doing low mileage with more speed as training for Tecumseh. Not because I think it will help my time, but just because I don't feel like running a lot of miles.

On a side note, don't forget about the One More Mile Challenge which starts November 1st. Sign up now!!

One More Mile Challenge

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It was a record breaking day at Mt. Airy Forest today. The trails were dry, clear and fast. The weather at the start was in the high 30's and by the time the runners crossed the finish it was in the 50's. A little chilly for the volunteers at the oval, but perfect for the runners. Jay Smithberger bested his own course record from on year ago by 12 minutes with a time of 4:19:33, after battling it out most of the day with second place finisher Zach Mitchell from Danville, IN, who went on the finish in 4:26. The female course record, which was set by Kim Martin last year, and thought to be unbeatable by RD Dave Corfman (Who would like to tell everyone willing to listen that he got into Western States next year :) was crushed by 17 minutes by Alice Essinger, who became the first woman to run sub 5 hours on the Stone Steps course with a time of 4:55.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I met Dave, Dave, and Andy at Mt. Airy this afternoon to help mark the course for the Stone Steps 50k tomorrow. I marked the 5 mile loop with orange flags, remembering all the places I have gotten lost on that loop in the past. Also, keeping in mind Marla's uncanny ability to get lost during races. Let's just say if you get lost out there tomorrow on the large loop, it will be quite an accomplishment. The trails are in great shape, probably the best I have ever seen them. Dave and Dave even had leaf blowers out to blow the leaves off the trails. Not a single down tree on the large loop, I don't think there are any on the small loop either. The weather is going to be nice. A great day for a race, indeed. I'll be volunteering at the oval.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

6 miles, hilly roads

4 miles at 7:30 pace
2 miles at 10:30 pace

Monday: 3 miles at 7:00 pace, track

I'd like to get my 5k time to 18:36 (6:00 pace) by the end of the year.

I think I'll start blogging again. Did ya miss me?

Monday, September 1, 2008

I went to Daniel Boone National Forest this weekend with the intentions of hiking the 65 mile Red Bird Crest trail. I got off course somewhere along the way and ended up hitch-hiking back to my car. I think I made it about 40 miles. It was an experience. Hiking with a big pack is hard work!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I volunteered at the Germantown 50k, up near Dayton, yesterday. I was at the 1,2,7 aid station, with Bob. it was the first and last stop for the runners. I think there were about 60 runners. It was a very hot day, in the mid 90's. A lot of the runners were having issues with the heat. I have run this race twice before but they totally changed to course this year. It used to be one loop run 4 times, now it is one big loop with some repeating sections. I ran 8+ miles on the course, it's got some nice trails. Many runners complimented the course.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

5 miles, Vibrams, indoor track, 7:35 overall pace


(The numbers might not match up exactly, but the final time is correct and all lap times are within seconds of being correct. while trying to check my splits on my watch, I accidentally erased them, that's how long it's been since I've done a track run worth timing, lol)

I went to the rec after work today for a run on the indoor track. I wanted to get in some medium paced running, as my last few days have been all slow stuff. I eased into it and speed up as I went along, focusing on leg turnover (which stayed above 90 rpm throughout) and foot placement. I felt good near the end, and ran the last 1/2 mile pretty hard, with a 40 second final 200, which isn't so easy with out shoes on, on and indoor track.

I also got some new shoes! I ordered them yesterday and they got here today, that was fast! Saucony Kilkenny XC. They were recommended on the barefoot running email list as I good forefoot running shoe, and they were really cheap as far as running shoes go ($50) so I figured I'd try them out. They are very light, about 6 ounce, just about the same weight as my Vibrams, and have a very low heel, the two things I want in a shoe. I think I'm going to try them out on the trails tomorrow.


Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm going to start raising my mileage once again, hopefully that will mean getting back into normal blogger mode, but who knows? I will be around 40 miles this week, as long as I can keep the blisters on my feet under control. I'm thinking about doing the Germantown 50K this weekend, it would be a slow jog/walk, just to amend the fact that I haven't done an ultra in 3 months!!

I ran 5.5 miles today on hilly roads, just under 9 minute pace (as well as 5.5 on the same roads yesterday, and 5.5 at Mt. Airy on Saturday)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One...More...Mile! Challenge

Check out this new race being put on by Mike. It starts November 1st. Anyone can join. It's not a normal race, as in, there is no official location, you can participate from anywhere in the world. I'm the first entrant, wohoo!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's been a while since I've blogged. I've been running/biking/kayaking, but no high mileage.

I visited my parents this weekend, and ran in the Grant County Fair mile race. the RD said it was actually 1500 meters. This was the first time I had ever run a race less than a marathon so I didn't really know what to do. I started out too slow. I tucked in behind the lead female, as my goal was not to get chicked. Half way through, I realized her pace was too slow and the race was already half over, so I picked it up. There was a group of 5 up ahead of me towards the end, I could have caught them and finish 3rd if I hadn't of gone so slow in the beginning, but I ran out of room. I finished first in my age group and 8/41 overall, in a time of 5:08, which would have been around 5:28 had the race been a full mile. I think I could have run 4:55 if I had better pacing.

Congrats to all those that ran Burning River this weekend! I enjoyed tracking your progress online!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I went down to my parents house today and took the bike so I could get a ride in. They live on a farm in Kentucky, which means plenty of back country roads with little traffic. This ride was infinitely better than my ride on the crowded streets yesterday. There is some really nice countryside and very hilly terrain to keep the quads burning and the heart rate up. I biked 14 miles in 1:09.

When I got home I went to the track and ran three miles. My quads were dead from the short bike ride, and the first 3/4 mile was a real challenge. I loosened up a bit after that and things went relatively smooth.
7:56, 7:51, 7:35 Total time: 23:23

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I rode the bike 16 miles today, 1:08. It was a test ride, as I had hoped I would be able to ride back and forth to work every now and then instead of driving, but I don't think that's going to happen. The ride is ok, not too strenuous, but the traffic is the problem. It wasn't too bad today because it's a Saturday, but I did have a couple drives get pretty close while passing, and one women tried to run me off the road, I wish I would have thought to kick her side window in... With week day traffic I think things would be much to hectic for me to feel comfortable.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

45 minutes, around 4 miles, FP trails, Sinisters, easy pace

Bunnies, Birds and Butterflies. That's what I saw on the trails during my run at French Park tonight. The thermometer on my car said 94, but it was cooler in the woods, and the heat doesn't bother me much anyway. I was just looking for a short easy run, with lots of hills. With doing most of my running on the track lately I haven't been giving my quads much of a work out.

After my run I jumped on the bike and rode for about 35 minutes, 8-8.5 miles on the roads.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

3 miles, easy pace, track, sinisters
8:27, 8:27, 8:24

I did some lake kayaking tonight. 54 minutes at a pretty hard pace. Last week this same route took me 58 minutes. I used a longer paddle stroke which made the boat track better but it also used a little more arm strength.

After that I went to the track for a short, easy run. I mostly just wanted to get my muscles warmed up so I could get in a good stretch. I am really inflexible, and am going to try and work on that a bit. I've worked on stretch in the past, but I usually get sidetracked and stop doing it after awhile.

There were a couple young kids walking around the track while I was running. they would watch me as I ran by. As they walked by while I was stretching one of the kids asked with a certain amount of excitement in his voice "are you a tri-athlete?"
"No, I'm just a runner." I said.
"Oh." He replied with disappointment in his voice.
Gee, I guess tri-athletes get all the glory. Can't us runners get any respect? lol.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

5 miles, track, relaxed pace, sinisters, 7:55 overall pace

7:48, 7:55, 7:59, 7:58, 7:56

I ran 5 miles tonight on the track at a fairly relaxed pace. My calves got pretty tired after the third mile but I felt good. I haven't been running much lately. It's a combination of being busy doing other things and not having a specific race to train for. I plan to pick it up a bit in the weeks to come as I start training for my fall marathon (Boston qualifier), although I still haven't picked one yet. The nice thing about not running much is that when I do run I feel really, really good, that is until I get tired because I'm out of shape.

Friday, July 11, 2008

10k, roads, 50min

Ran 10k at an easy pace with a couple friends tonight. My legs were still tired and tight from the hard 5k on Wednesday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Kayaked for an hour on Winton Lake today after work. My skills are improving. It's still difficult to keep it in a straight line, but I'm getting better. My rowing efficiency is also improving. I was able to paddle for the full hour without taking any breaks, which is something I couldn't do before.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

5K, track, vibrams, 20:22

7:04, 6:28, 6:13, 00:36

I went to the track today with the thought of running 5 miles at a moderate pace. As soon as I started I could tell that my legs felt pretty good so I just ran what felt good. I came to the end of the first mile at 7:04, it was one of the smoothest, easiest miles I have ever run. After that I decided to run a 5k and see what my time would be. I'd never run the 5k distance for time before. With the new goal in mind I picked up the pace and ran the second mile in 6:28. I was feeling it after that mile, but continued to pick up the pace. I was really gassed 1200 meters into the 3rd mile but I was able to stay on track. I ran the 3rd mile in 6:13 and the final .1 in 36 seconds. I had to lie down on the grass for a few seconds after that. Running a 5k at race pace after not doing any consistent speed work or training for a few months can make you pretty tired. I think I could have done it quite a bit faster if I were wearing shoes. I could feel some real hot spots forming on the balls of my feet after the fast paced running in Vibrams on the rubberized track. With some training and proper pacing I would guess I could go sub 20 pretty easily, but that's on a track, roads are another story.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I've been back from vacation for a while now, just haven't gotten around to posting anything. Here is an awesome photo album Marla put together of her pictures and some of mine: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons
We did some hiking, running, camping, rafting and site seeing. It was a great time.

16 mile hike, 8 mile hike, 8 mile run, 3.8 mile hike (up a mountain)

I had a 6 hour race on Saturday. It went OK. I had some pain in my knee after 4 hours so I stopped with 22 miles. It feels fine know.

I bought a kayak on Saturday, and have been kayaking the past couple days on a lake, tons of fun.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm leaving for vacation in the morning and won't have time to post my Mohican volunteer race report before then, so until I return to write my report, I'll leave you with a link to Ed's report (any race report with a large picture of myself in the middle of it gets a special mention ;)

Ed's Mohican Report

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

5 miles, track, 6:55 pace, sinsiters, tempo
7:04, 6:58, 6:55, 6:56, 6:46

5 miles on the track tonight at tempo pace. My quads were very sluggish at the start. The first 1/2 mile was really slow which is why my first mile time was so slow. I felt better after that but the run was still a struggle. My goal was to run 5 mile below a 7 minute pace. I didn't think I'd be able to do it while running the first 3 miles but after that I was able to maintain the pace. this is still a bit slower than my pre injury speed but I'm getting there. My hip soreness was gone which was nice. I took the morning off to let it heal.

I'm looking forward to pacing Kimba this weekend at Mo!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AM: 5 miles, track, Vibrams, easy 9:30 pace
PM: 2 miles, track, Vibrams, easy 9:30 pace

Two easy runs today. My hip was sore this morning. Still sore in the evening but not as much.

Monday, June 16, 2008

AM: 4 miles, repeats

1 mile warm up: 9:05
100m walk
1 mile repeat: 6:29
400m walk
1 mile repeat: 6:25
400m walk
1 mile repeat: 6:19

I did a few mile repeats this morning. I felt pretty good. I look to build on this so I can soon be doing my mile repeats at sub 6 pace. I was planning on doing a 1 mile cool down, but ran out of time and had to get ready for work.

PM: 1 hour, FP trails, 5 miles (guess) Easy

After work I went for an easy 1 hour run on the trails of French Park. I didn't find any caution tape this time, the course is officially clear! This was a very easy paced run, hiked a few hills and jogged everything else lightly. My left hip was a little achy, but just a slight twinge. It was hot today, so I was running shirtless in a pair of very short running shorts. Towards the end of my run, I ran past a husband and wife with their dogs down by the creek. One of the dogs started running towards me. I slowed a little but wasn't too worried as she looked pretty friendly. It turned out the dog was on a chain and could reach me anyway. The women said "oh, don't worry she wont hurt you. But those sexy shorts might get you somewhere!" A bit unaware of what, exactly, she meant by that, I just laughed and continued on my way, slightly worried that she might start chasing me down the trail...the women, not the dog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

5.5 miles, hilly roads, sinisters, 8:26 pace

It was hot, I felt pretty good.

Friday, June 13, 2008

30 minutes, French park trails, 3 miles+, sinisters
3 miles, track, Vibrams, 8:18, 7:57, 7:40

More caution tape!! Jon, Brian and I are either really bad course sweepers, or Adam is a very cautious RD. I went to FP again tonight for a short run on the wet trails. It had just rained/was raining so I had the park to myself. Someone had to go out and knock all the water of the trees, ya know?

I didn't want to do all my running in shoes today, so after 30 minutes on the trails I went over to the track for 3 more miles in the Vibrams. My running is feeling great right now, not a single ache or pain. It was raining pretty hard during my track run. Running in the rain with the Vibrams on feels nice.

After I finished my run and was stretching on the side of the track a guy walking on the track stopped and asked me about the Vibrams I explained how they strengthen your lower legs and teach you to run with a forefoot strike. Then he asked me how far I run. "100 MILES?" he said, then slowly backed away and started walking again. That's OK, I probably wouldn't believe it either if I hadn't done it myself.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

1 hour, trails, 6 miles?

I went over to French Park again tonight after work. I really like running here. It's quite a roller coaster. many small hills to climb and descend. There aren't many miles of trail in the park, but there are many small trails. In order to stay on the trails in the woods you have to keep running up and down hills. I still don't know my way around, I just wander until I feel like stopping. I found more caution tape from the race today, I'm pretty good at going off course. This is the longest run I've done in a few weeks. My quads felt very sluggish on the first couple climbs, but after that I felt strong and ran all up hills. I wore shoes for this run (sinisters.) I love the Vibrams but I feel much more comfortable on trails with a thick piece of rubber between me and the roots. I'd like to get a pair of super light, low profile racing flats to use on the trails. The sinisters are light and low profile, but it's still more shoe than I want.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday: 3 miles, track, Vibrams, 7:46, 7:11, 6:57
Wednesday: 3 miles, track, Vibrams, 9:39, 9:41, 9:35

Just a few miles on the track Tuesday and Wednesday. I ran at a moderate pace on Tuesday and an easy pace tonight, just keeping everything loose. My calves were a bit sore. I want to start running more miles but I don't think my calves are strong enough yet for 40+ mile weeks with a forefoot strike, and I'm not going back to heel striking, so I'll just take it slow. Everything seems to be progressing well.

Monday, June 9, 2008

AM: 3 miles, track, Vibrams 7:58, 7:54, 7:50
PM: lets call it 3 miles, Trails, Vibrams, 32:13

I ran three miles on the track this morning. I was pretty tired overall, my calves were a little sore from yesterday, but it still felt pretty good, no pains.

After work I went back to French Park. My plan was to retrace the 3.4 mile course that yesterdays race followed. Well, everything went as planned for the first 1/4 mile. I got off course quickly and never really figured it out after that. It's a small park so you can't really get too lost, but there are many small trails and turns that can get you off track. I think I did end up running most of the course, just not necessarily in the right order. Hey Brian, If you read this I just want to let you know that we missed some caution tape, lol. Don't worry I took care of it. At least that was on section of trail where I didn't get lost! This was the first time I have ever worn the Vibrams on trails. It was fun. You can really feel the trail, which means you can really feel all the rocks a twigs you step on! I don't think I'll be doing any long distance trail running without shoes for a while, but I'll wear them on some short trail runs. French Park is a great place to run. It's so close to my apartment, I don't know why I had never run there before.

I can't remember the last time I ran twice in one day, granted it was only 6 miles, but it was still nice.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

This morning I went to French Park for the French Park Creek Crossing Trail Race which is a race put on by Bob Ronker's running spot. Adam organizes this race series which consists of 4 trail races around Cincinnati. I didn't really feel like racing it, because I knew I'd be really slow, So I went to see if he needed anyone to help sweep the course. As it turned out Brian and John were already on trail sweeping duty so I tagged along with them. It consisted of some running some walking when we caught up to the last place runner, then some waiting while we waited for the last place runner to get a head start on us so we could run again. It was a 3.4 mile race, and a fun time. Brian will be at Mohican this year pacing Adam on his first 100 miler. Brian and John were going to run another loop after the race and asked me if I would like to join. I was tempted because the knee felt good but I decided not to. I'm still a bit weary of the trail when it comes to my knee. Running 10 miles on the trail is how I hurt it the last time.

A few hours later I went to the track for a couple more miles. I ran two miles in 8:07, 7:57. It was hot! Especially on the black surface of the track. My legs felt really god again. No knee pain.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

3 miles, track, vibrams
9:28, 9:02, 8:58

I ran 3 easy miles today on the track. The knee felt great, but the rest of my body was pretty tired from working late the night before.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2 miles, around 9 minute pace.  Easy miles, my calves were pretty sore from they day before, I decided to wear shoes.  Slight knee tightness at the beginning of the run.

4 miles, 8:59, 8:58, 8:55, 8:52, 4bps.  More easy miles.  My calves were still sore but I was still able to run in the Vibrams.  Knee felt good

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

4 miles, indoor track, Vibrams
7:50, 7:41, 7:37, 6:37

I had a great run on the track today. 4 continuous miles with zero knee issues :) first time in a little while I can say that. Hopefully now I can start getting back in shape!

Monday, June 2, 2008

3 miles, 24:15
8:27, 8:12, 7:34

I was planning on doing a run right after work but got side tracked. Then when I read Burners post about his 4am run, I figured the least I could do was go out for a midnight run. Didn't feel any pain in my knee the whole run, only a very slight discomfort the first 100 meters. The best I've felt since my knee started bothering me. My calves are definitely getting used to the sans-shoe running.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

as predicted, things have gotten better in the past 4 days, funny how that works.

I ran 2.5 miles on Thursday. I felt discomfort in my knee when I started to run but it wasn't pain so I decided to test it out. I sped up gradually each lap. The faster I went the less it hurt, after the first mile it stopped hurting completely and didn't bother me the rest of the run.

I ran 3 miles on Friday with similar results. This time the knee only bothered me for the first 800m then not again for the rest of the run.

1 mile on Saturday. I felt more severe pain at the start of my run and had to walk after about 100 meters, then after 20 meters I tried to run again, the pain was gone and didn't hurt the rest of the run.

I ran 3 miles today (Sunday.) I started out with the same pain from Saturday, but this time it went away within 100 meters, without having to walk. Again, it didn't bother me the rest of the run.

I'm still not sure what the problem is it seems to go away with a short warm up. I am keeping my runs very short for a couple reasons. First, I don't want to take a chance at running long and making my knee worse until I can run 100% pain free from start to finish. Second, I am doing all of my running in my Vibrams, so it will take some time to build up enough strength in my lower legs and make my feet tough enough to withstand a long run with no shoes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I jogged 800m very slowly but my knee started to hurt so I slowed to a walk. The walking was comfortable. Still no running, but I think things are going to get better, and I'll be running again soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I walked 3 miles around the track yesterday in Vibrams with no pain. I walked a mile today with no pain, then jogged slowly for 400 meters but I felt some discomfort in my knee so I stopped before the pain started.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I started to go for a run today, but my knee was bothering me in the first 400m so I stopped. Not sure what's up with it, but I'll give it another shot tomorrow. I think I'm going to stop wearing shoes...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

3 miles, track
8:14, 8:04, 7:54

Like I mentioned in my last post, my knee started to hurt at the end of my run on Sunday. On Sunday night and Monday my knee would lock in random positions and there was some acute pain at times. The pain went away yesterday evening. I didn't want to do anything too strenuous today, in fear that I would make it worse, but it was feeling better so I wanted to try and run on it. I did feel some discomfort, but it wasn't nearly as bad as Sunday and it didn't prohibit me from running. It was more a feeling of unstableness than pain. Last time I went to the sports doc for knee pain (my other knee) He told me it was probably caused by weak quads, so I also did some leg presses and extensions. Hopefully this wont turn into another injury.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

10 miles, trails, 1:52

I ran 10 miles with Adam this afternoon out at Mt. Airy. He was running 30 and called me to see if I would come run a couple loops with him. It went pretty well, but my left knee started hurting the last 2 miles.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

34:02, roads, approx. 4 miles, approx. 8:00 pace

I moved up to a 4 mile run tonight. I went to a friends house and we ran around the neighbor hood. I don't know exact distance or pace but I think it was around 4 miles. I felt good. It was nice to have someone to run with.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2 miles, track


It was perfect weather for a run tonight. Still taking it easy, only a 2 mile run. I was pushing a decent amount on the second mile, which tells me I'm definitely out of shape, but I already knew that. More importantly I feel healthy, and feel like I'm ready to start real training very soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2 miles, track, 7:56, 7:37

It was raining big ol' fat rain drops tonight and the wind was howling. I had my eyes closed most of the time and I think I was drooling. The run felt good. My calves are a little sore from the fore-foot landing, but they will get stronger. My leg continues to improve.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2 miles, track


Two days in a row, wohoo! the leg felt a little sore when I woke up this morning but it loosened up pretty quick. I felt really good running tonight. Probably the best I've felt since LCFB in February. I thought about running further, but I figure I've gone months with hardly any miles so a little more time with low mileage to make sure I've got the problem fixed wont hurt me. My fore-foot strike is coming along nicely, it feels natural. It will take a little while for my calves to strengthen enough to be able to make the full switch, but I'm on the right track. I just hope I feel this good in the morning. Three runs in row? that would be something else.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2 miles, track, 8:51, 7:51

My leg was pretty sore on Monday after my 5 mile run on Sunday so I'm going to have to take things slower than planned, but at least I am running! I'm going to run low slow mileage until I can run consecutive days without pain in my leg, then I will commence some real training.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

5.55 miles, 9:28 pace

Did 5.5 easy miles today on some hilly roads. It felt pretty good. The tendons in my leg are still a little sore, but I think I'm finally ready to get back to daily training. I'm going to take it slow this week and see how it goes before starting any kind of training program. I can't wait to get back in racing shape! I still have big plans for this year.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm feeling pretty good today. My calves are still sore, but I'm able to walk normal. The marathon didn't make my leg injury much worse so I should be able to start an actual training routine by the end of the week! No more races until I get back in shape!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Flying Pig Marathon Race Report

I'll begin by saying that I was in no shape to run a marathon today, but it went OK for a while. I didn't start off that fast, but faster than I should have for zero training (haven't run since McNaughton.) I blew up big time after mile 19 and walked most of the way in. Regardless, it was a great run!

The 2006 Flying pig was my first race and this year was pig number 3. I really enjoy this marathon. It's my hometown course, and the fans and entertainment are a lot of fun. Going into the race I knew I wasn't trained so I decided on a finishing goal of 3:59. The plan was to run 9:30's for the first half and 8:50's the second half...yeah right. I started off running most of my miles up until mile 19 around 8:45-9:00 but times varied widely with the crowds early on, and the hills in miles 6-9. At mile 10 I was already feeling pretty bad. My leg injury was starting to hurt a little and my legs were already pretty tired. I ran the first 17 miles with a fore-foot strike, to avoid the pain in my leg, but after mile 17 my calves were too tight and tired so I had to switch back to heal striking. My leg didn't bother me too much during the run, although it's pretty sore now.

Right in the middle of mile 19 and 20 I knew I was finished. At first I started walking with the idea that I would start running again as the 4 hour pace group approached. About 5 minutes later I watched the balloons come, and then go. I really didn't care about 4 hours anymore, not enough to start running again, lol. I alternated between half mile walking and half mile slow jog until mile 25 where I jogged it in. My final time was 4:25:29, I made sure it was faster than my first pig (4:26.) I'm not bummed about my finishing time. I didn't train and the Pig bit me in the ass. That's how it goes. I had a great time out on the course, and can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bike: 10 miles, 50 minutes

I went for a short bike ride tonight. This was the first time I've ridden on the road, it wasn't bad, I didn't get run over by any cars.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bike: 14 miles, 58 minutes

Went for another bike ride in the evening on the little Miami bike path. It's a 72 mile path that connects Springfield to Milford. in the last mile of my run I saw a deer on the bike path. At first I slowed down as I approached because I didn't know if she would get sacred. she looked at me but didn't seem to mind my presents. As I got closer she took off, running down the trail. I figured she wanted to play so I chased after her. after about 5 seconds she stopped running. there are wooded areas on both sides of the bike path. First, Ms. Deer, who was just a youngin, maybe three feet tall, looked right, then she looked left, where there was a 5 foot wooden fence. I figured she would scurry off into the woods on the right, but standing on the left side of the path, from a standstill, she cleared the five foot fence in a single bound, it was badass.

Here's a picture of one of the pizzas I made this weekend. It took me four attempts but I finally got the crust right, it was gooood.
Bike: 15.5 miles, 1:12

My leg was pretty sore this morning, so running still isn't a good idea just yet. I went out this morning and bought an ankle brace. The tendons in my leg are irritated when I move my foot in certain directions, so the brace stabilizes it and reduces the pain. The brace kept my leg from bothering me on my bike ride today. I went to the bike path around Lunken airport. It's a 5+ mile paved bike path, I did three loops. It was a beautiful day. I'm getting better with maneuvering the bike in and out of traffic, another thing I was much better with at the age of 6.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

according to Kim and Rob, my old brittle bones just can't stand running anymore, so I decided to go for a bike ride after my run. I rode for 52 minutes and 10 miles. I bought this bike last year because I eventually plan on doing an iron man. This was the first time I've ridden it since the week I bought it. I just never got around to riding it, I would always run instead.

So I took it to Mt. Airy Forest today and went for a ride on the roads, which I had never seen most of because I'm always running on the trails. It was fun! You can cover so much distance on a bike in such a short amount of time, it's amazing! Bikes are much more complicated now than they used to be, or maybe I was just that much smart when I was 6 years old than I am now.

I still haven't totally figured out the gear switching thing. there are four different levers. I know, for the most part, which levers shift up and which sift down, but it seems like they shift differently every time I flip the lever. And sometimes it's really jerky when I switch gears, my bike wasn't cheap (at least for me) , so it shouldn't be an issue of quality.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy my ride. It was fun to feel the wind rushing by as I pedaled down a hill. I hit 25 mph once, that was my limit. I don't mind going 25 mph in a car, but when there's nothing between you and all the many things you can run into or stumble over, it's different. Hopefully I'll start riding it more often.
5.5 miles, 9:10 pace, hilly roads

This was my first run since McNaughton, two weeks ago. I had mixed results. I could feel the tendons in my leg from the start, they started bothering me after 2 miles. At 3 miles I switched to a fore-foot landing, instead of heal-striking, that made the pain go away. I've been wanting to become a fore-foot striker for about a year now, but it takes a lot of time and practice to build up the strength in the lower legs to be able to do it permanently. So my injury isn't gone, but it's much better, and hopefully it wont be too sore tomorrow, and I can start normal training again. I was going to run the John Bryan 50k tomorrow, but after my run today I've decided that wouldn't be a good idea (I knew before this run that it wouldn't be a good idea, but now I know it would be a REALLY bad idea, lol.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still having some issues with my right leg/foot. It's getting better each day, but not quite good enough to run on yet. I could run on it if I really wanted to, but not without fear of injuring it more. I'm hoping by this weekend I'll be able to start running again, just in time to taper for the Flying Pig :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've been dealing with some strained tendons in my right leg, just above my foot, from the race last weekend. Everything else feels good, I probably would have been able to start running again on Tuesday if it weren't for this minor problem. I can now walk without a limp and with little pain. I hope to start running again tomorrow or Tuesday.

Monday, April 14, 2008

McNaughton Park Race Report

Short version: I have a feeling this is going to be long, so the bottom line is I DNFed at mile 110.

Wow this really is long! I wonder if anyone will actually read the whole thing??

361 days ago, on the day registration opened I signed up for the 2008 McNaughton Park 150 mile trail run. I wanted to make it final before I had a chance to talk myself out of it. For nearly a year I was thinking about this race, waiting for the weekend to come, formulating my plan. In the 4 months leading up to the race I was bombarded by a barrage of pesky injuries. Nothing too big, but they were all just big enough to throw off my training, knee, shins, ankle, quads, you name it. So by the time the race got within a month away I knew it was going to take something special for me to finish this thing. I had only done one run of 50 miles or longer in the 8 months leading up to McNaughton, and only 3 runs of 30 miles this year, not the type of training needed for a 150 mile race. Regardless of the lack of training this race had been on my mind for a year and I wasn't about to let it pass by without giving it a shot. I never considered pulling out of the race. I told myself that no matter how out of shape I was, as long as I was healthy on that day I would run the race. About three weeks before the race and after months of little to no training my injuries went away. By that time it was so close to the race there was no point in training. I ran about 25 miles three weeks before McNaughton then shut it down the two weeks before the race.

Going into the weekend I was confident. I knew I hadn't put in the training but I still thought I could do it. That's just how I am I guess. Like I told myself out on the trail Friday night, I would rather be under trained and over-confident than well trained and too timid to try. My Mom and I left Thursday morning and arrived at the park around 5pm. there were already runners with their tents set up, and I was more excited then ever. When you think about something for so long it's almost overwhelming when you're finally in the moment. Friday morning before the race was like a party. So many runners that I had met, either online, or at other races, it was a giant reunion. 15 minutes before the start of the race the RD, Andy Weinberg, gave us a course briefing. One of the things that he mention was that since we were going to be out there all weekend and because this was the time of the year that all the trees and flowers begin to change that we would see a difference in the park from Friday morning when we started to Sunday afternoon when we were done. Sorry Andy, but that was a bunch of BS, lol. It stayed too damn cold all weekend for any signs of spring to start popping through.

At 12:00pm with a siren from the bull horn (I think?) We were off on the journey I had been waiting so long to begin. I had a plan to run my first 5 loops in 2:42 each (McNaughton is a 10 mile loop repeated 15 times for 150 miles) I started off in the back of the pack. From looking at the splits from last year I noticed most everyone ran their first loop under 2 hours, I didn't want to get caught up in that. Right away I stuck with my plan of running slowly (probably 11:00 pace) on the flats and walking (fast walk) all inclines, and I mean ALL inclines. As the back of the pack rounded the first edge of the field we could already see David Goggins, Paul Stofko, Ryan Dexter and the rest of the lead pack far ahead. Although you could definitely tell it was a 150 mile race because they weren't moving very fast. Not to long into the first loop I met up with Justin, who I had been talking to through the website. We stuck together for the first loop because we were both worried about going out to fast. The course conditions were muddy for this first loop but really not that bad. The temps were cool but as long as you were moving it was fine. The first loop (miles 0-10) really flew by. Justin and I were cruising along, chatting, and sticking to the plan. by the time we got to Heavens gate aid station and I looked at my watch, it appeared we were a little ahead of schedule but I wasn't sure of the mileage. The Heavens gate aid station is passed two times per loop. The first time at 5.7 miles an then again at 6.9 miles. So when we past it the second time I looked at the watch again and realized that we were on pace to finish the loop in about 2:20 instead of the planned 2:42. It was a bit frustrating because we were going as slow as we could for being so fresh. So we decided to walk some of the flats that we would have otherwise ran. By the time we got back to the start finish line (mile 10) our lap time was 2:22. I was OK with the fact that it was quite a bit faster than I had planned because I knew I wasn't pushing.

The second loop(miles 10-20) I really focused on going slower in the first half of the loop. I figured the energy from all the runners in the first loop probably sped me up a bit. The course at McNaughton Park consists of many short steep hills, but nothing that takes any more than a minute or two of climbing at a time. At this point the trail was still in good shape the weather was turning out to be better than forecasted. It didn't rain much at all on Friday which really helped to dry out the trails from the rain in previous days. The Heavens Gate aid station is by far one of the best aid stations in ultra running as far as I know. Those Buffalo from Illinois really know how to treat the runners. They had very high energy and were very encouraging all weekend. Jeff kept my feet from falling apart, by the end of the race the toes on both of my feet were covered in athletic tape, I had athletic tape on my left ankle and duct tape wrapped around my right ankle. The second loop was just as smooth as the first. my time was 2:31, which meant I was able to slow down a little bit, but I as definitely still feeling fresh.

The third loop was equally as nice. I was starting to get a hang of the course. I knew the first mile was around the field. Then we take a steep muddy hill through the woods into a grassy field. Through the field we go straight down a slippery hill back into the woods for another mile and several hills until we come out of another opening into the first aid stations. After the aid station we stay in the open through a couple of small fields for a couple tenths of a mile before going back into the woods. From there It's back into the woods and hills before crossing the first creek at about 2.5 miles. There was a tree laying across the creek. Now that I think about it, I think It was actually growing sideways across the creek. you could climb on the tree across the large creek to keep your feet dry. The problem with that was the fact that by the time you got to the other side of the creek on the tree you were 6 feet in the air and had to jump down. It wasn't a problem the first jump down, but multiply that by 15 and you start to get the picture. After the first creek crossing it's back to the woods and hills. From the first creek crossing to the 5 mile mark is the most difficult part of the course. Many short steep hills topped off by "Golf Hill" which runs right along the golf course. It's very steep and muddy. They put in a rope to help you climb it. I never used the rope, it took more time and didn't make things any easier for me. I guess I'm just not coordinated enough. I just used my hands and feet and scampered up the hill. Once enough people had gone up it there were nice mud divets to sink your hand and feet into so you wouldn't slide back down. Rumor has it that last year Karl Meltzer ran right up the hill every time with no rope, on his way to a new course record in the 100 miler, what stud. Right after Golf Hill on my third loop I could hear someone coming up behind me fast. Sure enough it was last years 150 miler winner, Paul Stofko, less than 2.5 loops into the race and he already lapped me.

"I wondered how long that would take." I said to him as I stepped off the trail and watched him fly by.

He laughed and said he was trying to get in as many miles as he could in case the forecasted storm hit us hard. Right after climbing Golf Hill we go straight back down to the same elevation we just came from on a hill equally as steep, very tough to navigate when muddy. After that we navigate through more hills coming out close to the golf course around mile 4 where we can see a huge new home to which one of the runners commented that the economy in Pekin must be doing a lot better than everywhere else in the U.S. Then we drop back into the woods over a nice new bridge that keeps us from crossing through the creek. A few more small hills gets us down by the road, which is what I started to consider the halfway point of the lap. After we get to the bottom of the windy hill and start going up the muddy jeep road, the hardest section of trail is behind us. David Goggins had a camera crew with him, filming his race, and I saw them often at this spot waiting for him to come through. This was also the place where Goggins lapped me for the first time, on my third loop. He was probably 1.5 miles behind Stofko at that point.
"Nice job, David! Keep it up!" I said as I again steeped off the trail and watched him fly by in admiration.

"Thanks, buddy, you too." He replied. That's right, David Goggins called me buddy, no big deal, we're buddies.

After climbing the jeep road and one more single track hill we pop out into a field, after circling the field and passing the small cemetery with about 9 head stones we arrive at Heavens Gate aid station at mile 5.7. From there we do a quick 1.2 mile loop, down some hills around a field and back up a hill, right back to the aid station again, mile 6.9. Exiting Heavens gate we continue around the field that we were outlining on our way into Heavens Gate and drop back into the woods for the Hooter Hill Loop. About 1.5 miles after leaving Heavens Gate we get to the second creek crossing (It's the third if you count the creek with the bridge) There's no way to keep the feet dry this time (unless you use the Tom Jennings garbage bag trick) so it's straight through the water and out the other side. Although this is the only real creek crossing where you get your feet wet, with all the mud and rain that had come in the days leading up to the race, your feet would still get wet in all of the really muddy parts of the course. With muddy feet we trudge through another mile of muddy hills until coming to the final hole of the frisbee golf course that is in McNaughton park (Not to be confused with the actual golf course.) Once you pop out into that open space you know you're almost back to the start finish. It's up a grassy hill, back into the woods for only a few minute, up one very steep short grassy hill, turn left, through the mud, turn right and straight ahead 1/10 of a mile to the finish.

I finished up the third loop(miles 20-30) in 2:30 (almost identical to the second.) I was feeling really good at that point. I really though I had a chance at finishing this thing. None of my injuries were bothering me, I didn't have any signs of fatigue, and I was getting a hang of what it took to run consistently loop times on this course.

And then the wheels fell off. It was getting dark as I started my fourth loop (miles 30-40.) I took both my flash light and headlamp with me but didn't have to us them until I got into the section of trail 1.2 miles into the loop. As soon as I tried going down the first muddy hill, guided by my headlamp and flash light I knew I was in for a long night. By no means was I running fast during the day, but I couldn't even come close to that same speed on these down hills at night. I don't have great vision in the first place, so running by headlamps and flashlights isn't a fun experience for me. I was getting pretty pissed this time around. I was frustrated that I couldn't run as well as I had been. There were also some pretty brutal blisters already forming on my feet, not a good sign when you're only 30 miles into a 150 mile race! When I got to the Heavens Gate aid station I saw Marla setting up her tent, as she was going to camp and run the 50 miler in the morning. It was nice to see her, and that helped me out as I was in a pretty crappy mode at that point. I ended up getting through that first loop in the dark in 3:11. I was discouraged but knew I had to just try and keep up a faster pace if I wanted to have a change at finishing.

On my fifth loop (miles 40-50) I had by far my lowest point in the race. Although I ended up with a DNF I did set one PR this weekend. This was the fastest I have ever gone from "Hey, I think I can finish this thing!" to "Oh, Hell, I'm Fucked" It happened just like that. Not only was it dark, and the blisters on my feet were already killing me, but the hills started catching up to my quads. My lack of training was definitely shinning through. Remember that first creek crossing I was talking about? The one where you can cross on the tree? Well, on this loop, while I was crossing I fell into the water. DAMN was it cold! I managed to hang on to the tree as I fell so only the left side of me went in the water.

Some where around mile 45 I was certain I wasn't going to finish 150 miles. At the time it wasn't really all that disappointing. Out there on that 5th loop I thought a lot about DNF's, not just the one I was going to get for this race, but DNF's in general. I was thinking about how unappetizing and disgusting a DNF sounds to a runner before they start a race. It's the last thing I want to think about before a race. The day before the race started my mom asked me if I would still get a belt buckle if I only finished 100 instead of 150. I wouldn't even discuss the possibility with her. I wasn't going to finish 100 I was going to finish 150! But when you're out there on the trail in the dead of night, not a soul around, your hands so frozen you can't even tuck in your own shirt, snot dripping down your nose into your mouth and you don't even care, the blisters on your feet rubbing against your shoes like sand paper with every step, your quads are trashed, your urine is the color of radio active waste, you would rather throw yourself down a hill head first than try to go down standing up and it's miles and miles to go before you find anyone that gives a damn, at that point, it's amazing how appetizing a DNF sounds. At that point, not only could I live with a DNF, there is nothing else I would rather have. That 5th loop, one of the most miserable 10 miles I have ever run, took 4:09.

After that I decided that I wasn't going back out there, not at night anyway. I told my Mom that I was going to sleep until the morning then wake up and see how I felt. In reality I was 99% certain my race was over. I damn sure wasn't going to finish 150 and with they way my feet felt, I didn't know if I would even be able to walk the next day. I planned on waking up around 5:30 just to see if I felt like starting to run again when the 50 and 100 milers started at 6am Saturday morning. Well, I woke up to the sound of hooting and hollering, the 50 and 100 milers just started, so much for that plan. I went back to sleep.

I woke up about an hour later. I changed out of my running shirt, put on a sweatshirt and jeans, regular shoes and went to sit by the fire. Anyone who asked, I told them I was done, but I kept the time chip. My Mom asked me if I wanted to pack up and go home. I told her I wanted to stick around for a little bit. I sat by the fire for a while and watched the 50 and 100 milers come through on their first and second loops. I saw Marla and Ellen both come through twice looking really great. I was still sitting by the fire eating pancakes.
Then out of the corner of my eye I saw Sherpa John, looking tired as hell, dragging his feet but still getting ready to start his next lap. That inspired me. I thought about it for a second. I have been thinking about this race all year, waiting for it, now it's hear, not even half way over and I'm sitting by the damn camp fire in jeans and a sweat shirt? What the fuck! So I hobbled to my tent, took one of the clothes pins off of my race bib, popped all the blisters on my feet, let the puss drain out and then taped the hell out of them. They still hurt but I thought it would be manageable.

By this time, after the full nights sleep my legs were back under me, feeling pretty good. I got my running shoes and clothes back on, went over to the camp fire and told my Mom that I was going to keep running. She wasn't too happy about it, she was worried about my feet. but Gabe's dad was encouraging me, and I had the desire back, there was no stopping it, I wasn't going to finish, but I was going to run until I couldn't run anymore.

That first loop Saturday morning (miles 50-60) was outstanding. After a couple miles the pain from my blisters was somewhat numbed, my legs felt good and I was blasting up the hills just like the morning before (When I say "blasting" I mean walking slowly, but I was walking slowly faster than the other people around me were walking slowly.) I had that cheerful attitude back that running always gives me, and I was much warmer out there running than I was shivering, sitting by the camp fire. With the 100+ extra runners from the 50 and 100 mile races and the rain continued on and off through the night, the course was getting pretty sloppy. I started formulating my race plan for the rest the weekend. I thought I could hold 3 hour loops during the day on Saturday for 30 mies then Sleep through the night, wake up at 6am Sunday hold 3 hour loops again for 30 miles and finish the race with 110 miles. As I think of it now, I would say it was pretty aggressive to think I could run 30 mile days back to back under 9 hours each day when I could barely finish the 50 mile run the day before, but hey, I am the guy who actually thought I could finish the 150 mile run with little to no training, so why stop setting ridiculously goals now?

As I was climbing the hill right back up to the Heavens Gate aid station I heard a voice from a runner I had just passed. "Are you Josh?" He questioned

I replied that I was indeed Josh. He then went on to tell me that he reads my blog. His name is Ed. I probably see him at half of the races I go to but have never met him before. He said he remembered when I start running ultras two years ago and said what great strides I had made in that amount of time. That was really awesome to hear from an ultra vetran. Thanks, Ed! I look forward to seeing you at the next one! that 6th loop went by in 2:52 and I still felt great, the secondary plan of 110 miles was alive and well.

I wanted to have a pacer for my 7th loop, because I know how nice it is just having someone there to run with you. When you're all by yourself it is very easy to become complacent. Before you know it your pace has slowed dramatically and you don't even realize it, and by the time yo do realize it you don't care anymore. Pacers help keep you on track, when you have some one right in front or behind you, it helps you stay focused and moving at a constant pace, imagine that, pacers help your pace. I asked my Mom if he could ask Andy if there was anyone willing to pace. He told me to start my loop and he would find someone to catch up with me. As I rounded the field in the first mile, I looked across and saw James coming towards me. I was worried at first because I knew he had been injured but he assured me that he was fine, and that he had already paced two laps with Stofko. I was extremely happy to have James as a pacer. Not only someone to run with but an experienced (Fast!) ultrarunner, and a really nice guy. This was probably my best loop of the whole race. We were cruising along and chatting the whole time. I'm not really the kind of runner that likes to just focus and run all the time, especially in these really long runs, I like to talk, and we had some good conversation. We shared are thoughts on the whole Dean Karnazes debate among other things. But that's a whole separate blog entry in itself. James and I finished that 7th lap in 2:35, my fasted lap since the mile 20-30. James had just paced the winner of last years race, Paul Stofko, for miles 90-110 and he said his mile 100-110 was the same as my 60-70, granted Stofko was 4o miles ahead of me at that point, but it's still pretty cool to be running the same speed as one of the leaders.

I was still feeling good after 70, and knew that I had plenty of time to get in one more loop before it started getting dark. I was able to pick up another pacer, Scott, and we had another nice loop. Scott had signed up for the 50 miler and was just pacing people as needed until he reached 50 miles. Apparently he had gotten pretty wasted the night before sitting around the camp fire, but he still seemed to be running well! This was a pretty fun lap. David Goggins had taken off right before us on his 14th lap (Miles 130-140!) when we went down the first hill and into the field we say his camera crew there waiting. He was relieving himself on the side of the trail so Scott and I ran past, that's right we blew past Goggins like he was standing still (OK, so he was standing still.) about a half mile later Goggins passed us again but as we started up the first single track trail up hill he was moving pretty slow. Scott and I were right behind him and he stepped to the side of the trail to let us pass. I told him that I wasn't about to pass him so he kept on going. Once we got into the next clearing I did pass him and we stayed within 50 feet of each other the whole 10 mile loop. It was pretty awesome to be able to run so close to the eventual winner of the race for that long. He was on mile 140 while I was only on mile 80 but it was cool being able to keep up with him and see the way he runs, and focuses late into these grueling races. Another cool thing about that loop was that because we were right in front of Goggins for most of the loop we saw his camera crew everywhere. As Scott mentioned, it was almost like they were filming us. I was definitely starting to hurt by the end of this loop, my quads were burning and my feet were forming more blisters, but I knew it was my last loop for the day, so I got through it. Scott and I finished that loop in 2:41. After that loop Goggins went on to finish his final loop and set a new course record in 33:36! What a machine! After my 8th loop (3rd loop of the day) I went to sleep with plans the wake up at 5:30am Sunday morning and do it all over again. I was still on track for 110. Before I could fall asleep Saturday night in my tent I heard Andy ask I trvia question. There are 14 division one schools with mascot names that don't end in "S" what are they? They got the first 13 pretty quick but couldn't find the last one, I was to tired to even worry about it, and quickly nodded of to sleep.

Sunday morning it was very uncomfortable getting up, but I wouldn't say it was hard. Uncomfortable, because it was so warm in my tent huddled in my sleeping bag with all my warm clothes on and it was freezing cold outside, snowing at this point. But it was easy because I knew I didn't want to stop at 80 miles, because I knew I could do more. So I got up popped some new blisters, retaped my feet and headed out.

lap 9 (mile 80-90) was pretty good. I didn't have a pacer, but I felt good and had the energy back in my legs from the long rest. As I came through the Heavens Gate aid station everyone told me how good I looked and how I was running better than anyone on the course. That's what happens when you're sleeping and everyone else is running! I finished loop 9 in 2:41 which left 2 loops to go to reach my secondary goal of 110 I was pretty certain I could do it, but 20 miles still seemed like a long way.

I didn't waste much time at the start finish before starting on my 10th loop. I was looking forward to this one, as it would be my 100th mile. I asked Andy if there was anyone who would like to pace. Eventually he got two high school girls to do the job. He told me to start out and they would meet me on the hill 1.2 miles into the loop (which is only about a hundred yards from the start finish if you take the direct route. By the time I got there I saw two girls wearing giant rain boots bundled up in colorful winter parkas. I chuckled to myself.

"We're your pacers" They said

"Alright!! Lets go girls" I said while making a sweeping hand movement to motion them along.

Almost immediately the course dove into a wet muddy single track trail straight down a windy hill, within 30 seconds the girls were already 50 yards behind me. After a couple more hills I could hardly even see them any more. I wasn't moving fast, they just weren't moving at all. I didn't really want to leave them, but I didn't feel too bad about it because I knew they couldn't really get lost on the course and they could have just turned back around and walked half a mile back to the start or the next aid station which was about a mile away, but I couldn't afford to walk a 5 hour loop with them if I wanted to finish 110 miles. So after the confidence boost I got from smoking the two high school chicks in the flower print rain boots, I had a pretty good loop. It wasn't long before a sharp pain started to manifest in the tendons on my right leg just above my foot. I don't know what the pain is but I remember it from Mohican. It hurt pretty bad at first only when I went down hills. After a couple miles it hurt on the flats also. When I reached Heavens Gate I asked for some Duct Tape. Jeff got some for me and we taped up the area pretty tight. I was hoping the pressure would help the pain. One of the aid station workers commented that it was really going to hurt to rip off all that duct tape. I told her I wouldn't have to worry about it for another 3 hours. Then someone else mentioned that they thought it was wrapped to tight and we should make it looser. So much for my plan of not having to deal with the pain for 3 hours. We ripped off the duct tape and re taped it a little looser. That helped for a little while but then the pain got even worse. I saw Ellen as she was leaving Heavens Gate on her 9th lap (she was in the 100 mile race, her first!) She looked good, and it was nice to see her doing well. As I was coming to the end of my 1oth lap, I heard a voice behind me. "I've got you're number, Dillingham!"

It was Regis, who had been pacing Gabe for the last 100 miles. Gabe was right behind me and about to finish the 150!!!

I finished that 10th lap (100 miles) in 2:44. I was happy with that time and was riding high, knowing that I had more than 4 hours for my last loop, to finish with 110. I grabbed some pancakes and waited a minute to see Gabe come to the finish line and congratulate him on such an incredible accomplishment. there were only 13 finishers in the 150 mile race out of 40 starters, and Gabe was 7th.

After that I started on my final loop. I felt good at the start of the loop but it wasn't long before fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. the tendons in my right leg were extremely painful on down hills and flats. The up hills were the only thing I could still tackle pretty good.....Massachusetts Minute Men!!!.....That's the 14th division one school mascot that doesn't end with an S!! It came to me out on the trail. I was excited to finish the loop to ask Andy if anyone had figured it out yet. About three miles into the final loop a 100 miler on his final lap caught up to me, JJ. It was a big help for both of us to have the other one there. We made pretty good time on the final loop considering how tired we both were and came to the finish line for the final time in 3:05. That was the end of my 2008 McNaughton Adventure.

"Hey Andy, did you guys ever figure out that 14th team last night." I asked.

"Oh, you were in on that? No we never did." he said

"It's the Massachusetts Minute Men!" I told him

He was pretty amuzed by the fact that I had been thinking about it since the night before.

Things didn't go as planned, but they seldom do. I really wanted that 150 mile finish, but I didn't have the training to do it. I think with the training I had 110 miles was the absolute most I could have squeezed out of my legs on this weekend. Someone asked me today if I was happy with what I did. I wouldn't say I was happy with it. I wanted to get 150 and I came up short. But I would say I am proud of what I accomplished out there on the trails at McNaughton Park this weekend. I would say I'm proud of all the runners who toed the line and gave it a shot. Whatever happens, happens. We can't control the outcome but we can control the effort we put into it.

I want to thank Andy and all the volunteers for putting on such an awesome race. Andy said in an e-mail he sent out to all the runners before the race that this is one of his favorite weekend of the year. I can see why. I think it's become one of my favorites also. This is a first class event. As far as I know this is the best organized ultra with the best volunteers in the country. You can bet I'll be back at McNaughton park next year with a similar story, but a different ending.


For anyone waiting for the race report, don't worry, it's coming! It's going to be pretty long so might take me a couple days to finish it. I've got it about 1/4 complete right now and hope to finish it tomorrow, but we'll see.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I am leaving for McNaughton tomorrow morning! Chip timing will be used for this race. As I understand it, live updates will be post for each runner for every loop, you can check it out at this website:

So follow along with all of us runners throughout the weekend!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

5 days until the race...I'm ready to go. The taper is going fine, although I've been tapering for a couple months now :) Training or no training, I'm going to finish. I've had my doubts, but not anymore.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

5.5 miles, 9:08 pace, roads

felt tired from yesterdays run, but my knee felt good. Just an easy run, walked a couple hills. 13 days until McNaughton!

Friday, March 28, 2008

5 miles, indoor track, 7:14 overall pace

I went to the track for a 5 mile run after work. The original goal was to run 5 miles right around 8 minute pace, as I've been feeling pretty out of shape since I've gotten back from running this week and I didn't know how fast I could go. I felt pretty good so I just increased the pace as I went along. the first 3.5 miles were pretty easy the last 1.5 were pretty tough. Nothing spectacular about the pace, but I was happy with it considering I haven't run in the last 3 weeks. I didn't really even thing about my knee during the run, it felt 100%, for the first time in about 2 months. My form really started to fall apart in the last 1200 meters. My leg turnover was getting sluggish and I my heart was pumping pretty good.

Mile 1: 7:40
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:18
Mile 4: 7:00
Mile 5: 6:47

Thursday, March 27, 2008

5.55 miles, hilly roads, 9:40 pace

I ran 5.5 easy miles tonight after work. I was worried about my knee today because it felt a little tender throughout the day, but it didn't bother me at all during the run. My legs felt pretty heavy but my breathing was better (no huffing and puffing) with the reduced pace.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

5 miles total

4 miles running, hilly roads
1 mile walking on a 15% incline

I did 2 loops of the 2 mile loop around campus today, for four miles of running. My knee felt pretty good. It did start to ache a little while running down a big hill as I was finishing the second mile so I slowed my pace and it went away. It came back As I was going down that same hill the second time, so down hills are still a slight problem. It didn't hurt but I could feel it. My pace was about 7:30 for the first two miles and 8:30 for the second two. I was pretty tired after that, which doesn't make me feel so good about the fact that I'm going to try and run 150 miles in two weeks, lol, but it's OK. I really don't have any expectations for McNaughton anymore. I'm just going to go and see how far I can get, but with my injuries and lack of training I'll be lucky to finish 50 miles, let alone 150!

After the road run I went to the rec and did leg presses and extensions, 3 set of 20 of both exercises. Then I walked one 20 minute mile on the treadmill at a 15% incline.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I ran two miles tonight on hilly roads. No knee pain at all. I felt great, accept for the fact that I was huffing and puffing going up hill, and felt totally out of shape, but that's OK, my legs didn't hurt! I still have a slight bit of limited mobility in my left ankle from the sprain, but it's nothing that really effects my running. I started off the first half mile pretty slow then picked up the speed as I went, averaging out to 7:50 pace.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Well, I finally went to the doctor today. He took some X-rays and looked at my knee but really didn't know what was wrong with it. It's been feeling better the past couple days anyway, so I'm hoping the rest is all it needed. The doc said it could be caused by a lack of strength or Flexibility in my quad which causes the quad to pull something in the knee. So I am going to do some stretching and Strength training for my quads. I went to the gym to day and started off with some Leg presses and Leg extensions. I did 3 sets of 20 of both exercises with light weight. I didn't feel pain in my knee but it did feel a little weaker than the other knee. Then I set the tread mill on 20 min/mile and walked a mile, 3/10 at a 10% grade and 7/10 at a 15% grade, that felt pretty good, with only slight twinges of discomfort in my knee every so often. After that I ran one mile slowly (10 minutes) I didn't feel any discomfort in my knee at all.

I'm going to go back tomorrow and try to run two miles. If that goes OK I will run 3 miles Wednesday, 5 miles thrusday, ect. If I don't feel anymore pain in my knee I'll probably do a max of a 10 mile run before McNaughton. It's only 2.5 weeks away, so any running I do now won't help my race anyway, it will just give me confidence that my knee won't fall apart. I think I am going to try and walk the 150, with small amount of running. I do have 54 hours.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I thought I would use my Photoshop skills to modify the pickle on Mike's and Rob's blogs into more of a running pickle to better represent myself. What else does an injured runner have to do with his time, lol.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This is a pretty cool new website start by Andy W. (McNaughton Park RD)  It's a social networking site for endurance athletes.  It takes a couple minute to create your profile (you just fill out your email address, name, location, and if you want you can put up a picture) and then you can talk with all the other athletes in the network.  All of you guys should sign up!!  If you're familiar with FaceBook, it's just like that, but for endurance athletes.  And let me know if you sign up so I can add you to my friends list!
I have a doctors appointment schedule for thursday afternoon.  Hopefully he'll be able to tell me what's up with my knee.  I just hope what ever it is can be fixed 100% in less than 4 weeks.  I don't care if I don't run another step between now and McNaughton, as long as I'm healthy on the day of the race, I'll be running the 150.  I'm not going to be trained for it, but I have already formulated a race plan which takes into account my lack of training.  I plan to use every bit of that 54 hour time limit.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My ankle and knee are still too beat up to run, or do any kind of lower body workout. I swam one mile today in silence in memory of Kathy Keller. I hope to get a doctors appointment this week.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mar and I, before the start at LBL.

My ankle is less swollen now and I can walk gingerly on it.  My knee pain came back, so I guess I'll need to make a doctors app. for that.  The entire left side of my right knee cap just feels like a giant bruise, painful when I bend it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Land Between the Lakes Race Report

(one normal ankle, one super sized.)

the short version:  
I twisted the holly hell out of my ankle at mile 13, then at mile 30 I couldn't take the pain any longer so I DNFed

Longer version:

Land Between the lakes is a 23k marathon, 60k, and 50 mile trail run held in Grand Rivers Kentucky.  The course starts out for 1.7 miles on road then goes into and 11.3 mile trail loop, that loop is run between 1-4 time depending on the distance, then you finish back on the road.  It's a really pretty course with great views of Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.  The trails have a decent amount of roots, and some hills, but as far as trail runs go the elevation change is on the lower side.

I left for Grand Rivers, KY on Friday around noon, just as the snow was really starting to fall in cincinnati.  The drive wasn't too bad, the highways were mostly clear it took about an hour longer than normal.  I was staying with a group Buffalo from Illinois, not actual Buffalo (although that would have been pretty cool) that's just the name of there running group.

The plan for the run was for Marla and I to run the 50 miler together.  She wanted a tune up run for McNaughton and this is the only way I would ever be able to keep up with her in a race.  The race started out well enough.  It didn't snow during the race, and with around 200 runners (200 less than what was expected, because of the weather.) the snow on the trails was packed down pretty well.  We didn't really have a goal time but the pace we set from the beginning would have put us at about 9:45 for the 50.  the single track on the first loop was pretty crowded and we had to fight through some deep snow whenever we needed to pass, but the first loop went by without any problems.

Less then a mile into the second loop is when I twisted my ankle.  It hurt like hell when I did it and I thought it would swell, but I know the best thing to do to keep the swelling away for as long as possible is the keep moving on it, so I vocalized a few obscenities and continued running.  It hurt from then on, but I was still able to run somewhat normally on it until mile 25.  At that point I started limping pretty bad and Marla couldn't handle my snails pace any longer, so she ran ahead and my run slowly transformed into a shuffle then into a walk then into something that can hardly even be classified as movement.  I picked up a stick to help me walk, it had a "V" at the end so I put it under my armpit like a crutch, that last about 5 minutes before it snapped.  I then convinced myself that if I found to large sticks that were strong enough to support my body weight, I could use them as crutches and at least finish the 60k.  But I couldn't find any sticks that would work, it wasn't a very well thought out plan in the first place.  After about an hour of shuffling 2 miles, I started getting lapped by the winners of the 50 miler, including Ellen who won the women's race.  She even offered to stop and give me an advil.  I'm glad I declined because she ended up finish in some thing like 7:59:40, I would have felt like a loser if she missed sub 8 hours because she stopped to give me an advil.  So I covered about 2.5 miles in 1.5 hours, a blistering pace of 36 min/mile, and finally reached the next aid station, mile 30, where I got a ride back to the start/finish line.

Just another injury to add to the list.  The race was fun while it lasted.  The sprained ankle is no big deal, it'll heal after a few days, but I would have liked to get in a 50 mile training run before McNaughton.  My knee didn't hurt too bad during the race, although I could feet it, it didn't really slow me down, but it definitely hurts know that I'm done.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I will be leaving in an hour for LBL.  It's snowing pretty good right now, hopefully I'll get there before the real snow hits.  Supposed to be 6 inches or so down there, which should make the run pretty interesting.  Not sure how my knee is going to feel.  My test run last night didn't go so well, but it feels pretty good now    :\

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory or defeat." T. Roosevelt
With the use of ice, rest, peanut butter banana honey sandwiches, and fruit smoothies, the pain in my knee has reduced substantially. I haven't run on it since Monday morning and will probably only do a short test run on Friday just to make sure it's ok for the 50 miler this weekend.

Monday, March 3, 2008

5.5 miles, road, 8:33 pace

I started feeling a sharp pain in my right knee as I finish my first 5 mile loop this morning.  It hurts to walk or run.  I don't think it's that serious, I hope it will be gone when I wake up tomorrow, and I can make up those extra 11 miles I was supposed to run today.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

5.5 miles, trails

My legs felt pretty good today.  I didn't have the spring in my step that I had yesterday but I wasn't sore, just a little tired.  I wanted to do back to back long runs, but I just felt really lazy today and didn't feel like it.  It was such a nice day outside, 60 degrees and sunny, I just felt like sitting around in the sun.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

31 miles, MUDDY trails, 6:59

I got to Mt. Airy at 8 this morning, but the trails were to icy to run in regular shoes.  I screwed my shoes for the run at Mo last weekend, but they all fell out durning the run, so I don't have much confidence in my shoe screwing abilities.  I decided to stop by the Running Spot and pick up a pair of YakTrax, but the store didn't open until 10... Eventually I got back to Mt. Airy at 11 to start my run, of course by now it had warmed up and most of the snow had melted so I didn't really need the YakTrax.  The YakTrax worked pretty well on the icy patches and hard packed snow, but I had trouble with them sliding around on my shoes, I only wore them the first five miles.  the warmer it got, the muddier and harder to run it was.  The last 8 miles I was sliding all over the place.  Parts of the trail were more like a creek, with water streaming down.  I felt really good throughout the run, my quads started to fatigue towards the end but I ran pretty even throughout, although my times slowed by about a minute per loop because of the mud.  This was done on the Stone Steps 50k course.  I have run the race the past 2 years, and run the 5.3 mile loop often in training.  This was the first time I was able to navigate the 3.3 mile loop solo without getting lost.  It took me a little extra time the first loop, trying to find the trail in certain spots.  7 hours on the feet and 31 miles of mud and hills in the books.  A nice slow training run for McNaughton.

Loop 1 (5.3 miles) 1:09:36
Loop 2 (3.3 miles) 47:53
Loop 3 (5.3 miles) 1:10:50
Loop 4 (3.3 miles) 43:18
Loop 5 (5.3 miles) 1:11:19
Loop 6 (3.3 miles) 44:48
Loop 7 (5.3 miles) 1:12:09

Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

13.1 Miles, roads, 1:53:47, (8:40 pace)

This run was yesterday, but my laptop is officially busted so I couldn't post it until now.

I mapped out a new route on so I thought I would give it a try. It's a 5.55 mile loop. It's really nice, has a decent amount of long gradual hills, not to much trouble with traffic. It even has a hurdle about half way through, for some reason there is a guardrail right in the middle of the street, so cars can't get by. I'm not sure why it's there, maybe it's separating city limits? Glad I was running and not driving, I just hopped over it. I ran this loop twice, then when I realized I had 11.1 miles I thought I might as will do a one mile out and back to get in a half marathon. It is exactly one mile from my apt. to the cemetery, so I ran there and back. I wanted to be closer to 8:00 pace, but I'll blame that on the icy conditions causing me to be very cautious and the cold temps, and making sure I didn't make any wrong turns, I'm just full of excuses :) I felt good throughout the run, a little achy, but that's what I get for doing almost no running for two days (busy with school).

Loop 1 (5.55 miles): 48:59
Loop 2 (5.55 miles): 47:37
Last 2 miles: 17:11

Monday, February 25, 2008

2 miles, easy pace

today was a scheduled easy/recovery day. I wanted to run 10 miles at an easy pace ,but when I started running I could tell my legs were still pretty tired from yesterday. I stopped after 2 miles so I wouldn't dig myself into a hole for the harder workouts I have this week.
23 miles, about 5:30, Snowy trails

I went to Mohican today with the plan to run 2 red/green loops for a total of 44 miles with Wendy, Regis, Gabe and Rob (who ran solo because the rest of us were late.), but the 3 inches of snow on the trails made for slow going and we didn't have time for a second loop before dark. After that I tried to do the Blue loop (4 miles) but I got lost so had to turn around. You would think I would know my way around by now...but I don't. I felt good throughout the run today. I would have liked to get both loops in but it just wasn't going to happen with the trail conditions. It was a very nice day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

3 miles trail, 45:00
5 miles roads, 48:00
8 miles total, all at easy pace

I had 10 easy miles on trails planned for today. But the trails had a few inches of snow and ice that made it difficult to run, not ideal for an easy pace. I ran/walked a few miles then left. When I got home I needed to go to the store to pick up a new mp3 player so I can listen to recordings of class lectures during the run at Mohican tomorrow for my Tax exam I have on Monday. The store is 2.5 miles away, and on one of my normal running routes, so I just ran there and back at an easy pace. My legs feel good, I'm looking forward to the run at Mo tomorrow!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mile Repeats

(200 Meter walk in between each repeat)

Mile 1: 6:23
Mile 2: 6:29
Mile 3: 6:27
Mile 4: 6:25
Mile 5: 6:28
Mile 6: 6:25

The goal was to keep each repeat below 6:30 pace. The last two were pretty difficult. My legs felt really good today. very little pain in my shin, no pain or soreness anywhere else.

Right after that I did a crossFit style workout. I'm upping my mileage in preparation for the 150 at McNaughton (7 weeks away!), so I am doing less cross-training.

5 rounds for time of:

5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
10 squats (45 lbs)

Time: 9:00