Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23rd, 2009 Freedom Park Ultra

shoes, tons of shoes this year!

Winter Running:
For me the true sign of an insane runner is when that runner keeps running even when the weather outside gets nasty, wet and super cold. Given it is super cold and wet outside my guess is I am insane.

Most of the time November, December and January are gym days. I seldom do much running during the dead of winter and start up my trail runs during the month of Feb. However, this year I have decided to give the Freedom Park Ultra a try.

My training for the Freedom Park Race:
First, this race requires running around a 1 mile course, around and around until the clock says 24 hours. The course has a few teeny hill climbs which start to add up around mile 20 or so but also offer a change in pace from an all flat run. Second, the race is during New Years Eve ending on New Years Day. For those who do not know the weather in Western North Carolina it will be cold.

My training has consisted of running the 1 mile course during the weekends (20 miles is the average) and spending most of my training runs around the UNC campus running on roads and sidewalks. A few times I have headed out to the forest to do a run including one night run. The only challenge with the forest right now is the hunters. Even if you wear orange there is a good chance you will get shot so until the season ends on December 12th I will stick to the roads and the UNC campus.

What do i see when I run around the campus?
I start my run at the top of the UNC Asheville Campus. Located at the top of the hill is the center for retired folks. The parking is free there and it is center point for my runs.

The cool part of the run is all the young people in their cars. I see car after car drive by and then maybe if I am lucky a student on a bike. My guess is the ratio is about 1 student on a bike for every 100 cars that drive by. I then run outside the campus to a city street. For some reason this one mile section is super cold even on a sunny day. I make my way down the city block until the campus re-appears. Once back on campus I climb a big hill past some construction for a Wellness center and then onto the UNC campus track. I run the track one or two times then take back off into the center of campus and back up my hill to the place where I parked the car. The entire loop is about 3 miles.

On a good day I run past my car off to a small trail in the forest surrounding the campus. This trail is up and down and then down and up but only last around 1 mile.

The challenge is to run for at least 3 hours. Given this is the most boring run I can think of (until the Freedom Park run) the three hours is tough to come by.

It is important to note that three times a week I work out my legs and lungs super hard at the local gym. This work out along with the runs has kept my weight around 168 which for November is amazing.

If all goes as planned I will be on the 1 mile trail this weekend doing my best to run around the course as often as possible. If I am lucky at least 4 hours of good running.

Things I need before the Freedom Park Race:
1) A pair of 875 shoes not modified or made lighter. Stock
2) An additional pair of tights for the night part of the run
3) At least 2 or 3 tops that suck up the water so my chest stays dry and warm
4) New pair of running socks.
5) An Ipod loaded with dance music.
6) And if luck allows my sister to help me stay sane.

Until next time. Current Nov. Running Log.
About 120 miles short of a summer log for the month
but about 150 more miles then last year in Nov.

1Runner9 394.5MilesWashington
2glenn flynn 242.7MilesNew York
3coop74 CPTC238.65MilesNew York
4sarahA CPTC237.25MilesNew York
5frankbott AVL221.2MilesNorth Carolina
6bigdog531 209MilesNew York
7ktwhite 208MilesVirginia
8StuartXC CPTC206.9MilesNew York
9aconlon CPTC200.95MilesNew York
10bill CPTC198.5MilesNew Jersey

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pony Express 100 2009 DNF

Thanks to Davy Crockett and Hudson for all they have done to make this insanity possible.

Opening thoughts
Funny thing. In my effort to run one crazy race in the middle of the Utah desert I have managed to run seven 50 plus mile races in two years. Not bad for an old body.

This years race for the Pony Express started last year when I decided that the most important thing I could do was to train 110% percent for the 2009 Pony Express race. I bought more shoes, paid foot doctors and fixed physical problems as they came about. In my training this year I did four 50 mile races with my best time of 9:30:37 and averaged about 400 miles of running per month.

However, life is always an unknown which is what makes it so much fun, well maybe. No matter how much we plan and train there is always something that can effect the end results. For me this effect was cleaning the gutters and roof on my house as well as dusty camping out near the Geo Beds.

Last Friday (friday before the race) I decided to clean my home's gutters and roof. This year the rodents have been everywhere and the roof had not been cleaned for a year in which time we had about sixty inches of rain. About 5 hours after the roof work on Friday I started to get sick. My body temp reached 103 and i had no energy at all. I did not fully recover until Thursday the day before the race.

Given I was feeling pretty good on Thursday and full of energy Hudson ( my super partner in this race) and I decided to give the run all we had. We moved our camp from the Dugway Geo Beds where we had stayed searching for magic rocks during the week out to Lookout Pass in preparation for Friday morning.

The run started very well. I had been given advice by many long term Ultra runners that the best thing to do was slow down; so i slowed way down. My average split time for 5 miles was 45 minutes during training. However, in order to reserve some energy I slowed to about a 12 minute mile.

By mile twenty my average split time for 5 miles was around 1 hour or in other words I was running around 5 miles per hour or a 10 hour 50 mile posting. At mile 20 i decided to try something different. My thought (a thought that had been with me for 4 months) was to stop and stretch, eat something and chill for 10 minutes. In all honesty it did nothing but make everything hurt worse.

Around mile 25 i started to notice some strange pain in my left hip but not all the time plus my left shoulder would hurt each time i moved my left arm. I had never felt this kind of pain before but decided the pain was the result of the shoes so i changed during my stop at mile 30 from my NB 875 shoes to my NB 757 road shoe. The 757 was my road training shoe and given the ground was as hard as a cement road with rocks on it I felt it might do something great for my body. It did. By mile 45 the pain in my hip was gone but the pain in my shoulder was very bad and getting worse.

Around mile 35 i notice a strange cough coming from no where. When I coughed it felt like i had the flu or some sort of common cold. No doubt my lungs had started to fill up with some fluid. I was not too concerned because it did not seem to have much of an impact on my performance.

Also around mile 35 if my memory recalls correctly I caught up with a fellow runner Pablo who I raced with last year. Pablo was hurting a bit so I got him up and going and we decided to work together and get the best time we could to the 50 mile mark.

An amazing friendship formed in our team effort to reach 50 miles. We pushed each others bodies and minds as well as talked about several complex subjects in a way that you would think we had started our own TED program in the middle of the Utah Desert:: It was a blast. Heck with the race we are having way to much fun teaching each other so much thought and idea.

As the darkness started to fall and time moved forward I started to notice that my lungs did not seem to want to work at all. If I breathed very deep at all a cough would develop so I just pushed on and payed more attention to Pablo and our discussion then the reality that I was running out of oxygen for my muscles and rest of my body.

Around mile 48 to 50 my brain started to fail. Not only was I bonking but worse I could not breath. I had a tough time breathing. In my bonk state looked out for Hudson who could not be seen so I just pushed forward with Pablo. At this point it was not me helping Pablo but Pablo helping me move to the 50 mile mark.

At mile 50 I turned around and started to head back. In my head the one thought that frustrated me the most was how I went from feeling very good a few miles back to not being able to breath or move forward without great pain and trouble.

Going back before the race the one comment I heard over and over again was mind control. This second 50 miles was a mind game. Given this information i figured that it must be my weak mind. I took my bonk killer drink and moved forward figuring maybe my problem was a weak mind and not failed lungs.

Around mile 52 i could no longer think clearly. Most important I could not tell if I was standing up or moving forward or sideways. According to Hudson I really walked about 55 miles because for a long time I justed walked in a big circle or went backwards or forwards on the trail making no real progress but eating up tons of time going no where.

After about an hour of this circle and miss guided walking I crashed to the ground only to be caught by Hudson who stopped the fall.

I hugged Hudson with all of my might and cried with great sorrow releasing a year of dreams and hopes in one big emotional drain. Where in the hell was the YouTube video for this moment?

Hudson moved me over to a chair. He worked with my legs and lungs trying to get my breathing improved. His effort and drive was amazing and may have saved my life. For two long hours in the dark Hudson did everything he knew how to do to get my lungs and rest of my body working again.

After 2 hours of this work I was able to move over to the driver side of his car and with great emotional pain get inside. My emotional pain came from knowing that the minute i stepped inside the car the race was really over.

My work shift back home starts at 2:30pm. Talk about the perfect runners shift. I get up every day and head out to Bent Creak National Forest and run some of the most beautiful single track in the world. While running i could see myself on the Pony Express trail pushing and moving forward.

My runs over the summer became super strong and my times went down to the 9 min. mile mark for most of my splits which for me was amazing time for my age and given my average run was 20 to 30 miles.

Stopping was not an option this year. As I said to Hudson during my walking around in a circle there is no way i am quiting this race. I must fall to the ground because my body has failed or i must keep trying. Try i did right to the very end.

My only doubt at this point is what would the body have done if after the 2 hours of rest I had started to run again? I know the answer. I could not breath during the drive back to the tent and most of the night. The entire breathing process was one of taking control. No longer was breathing a back ground brain function but a full on must pay attention function.

Last thoughts:
What went wrong with the Lungs? I have no idea. My guess is the camping out at the Geo Beds during the week when the wind was blowing up tons and tons of white powdered dust all of it ending in my lungs. I have also been told that my lungs may not adjust well to the dry air given I live in a very moist climate. Who knows. What i do know is i loved every intense painful moment. I will return some day to do the 50 mile run but will never return to do the 100 mile run. Pushing my body and mind that hard on the Pony Express 100 trail is way to selfish and crazy.

So on Wed of this week if all goes planned I will be on some wonderful single track running along the Smokey Mountain Parkway looking for black bears. Thanks to God who gave me such a wonderful body and a chance to be part of something so crazy, wild and fun.

Next Race you ask: The Freedom Park 24 hour New Years Eve run in North Carolina. I have not decided if it will be 12 or 24 hours. Wed of this week I will decide.

enjoy.. and happy trails..

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5th 2009

Last run before the Pony Express 100

Today I went out to my running trail and picked up shirts and other items left behind during my 50 mile run on Sunday. The legs don't hurt much and the body seems very excited and happy along with ready ready ready for the 100 mile run.

If I was to look back over the last summer the one thing that is much stronger concerning running is my knowledge of my brain and how it works with the rest of the body. My guess is each person has a different brain structure and how that brain structure effects our ability to run long distances. For me the brain will not allow its self to run out of fuel even if the rest of the body is doing well. Once the brain gets the fuel it needs the body is free to go out and kick ass. Not respecting that aspect is crazy because no matter how much endurance the brain just shuts everything down.

Since my last post the real issue has been understanding mixed blessings. During September for two weeks I got pretty sick. This did not stop me from running or working out but did make a big cut. Davy Crockett during the first week in September told me to reduce my run miles per week. In August that number was 120 mile per week. The flu made me reduce the run totals per week to half or more. This reduction allowed my right foot to heal and the rest of my body to get much better.

The month of October has been one hell of a month and it is a young month. I am running so much faster it is crazy. I have no freaking idea for sure what is causing this increase in speed but I am running at least 20% faster then August runs, same runs. This gives me a ton of motivation because if there is one thing I am not good at is speed.

On Sunday I ran like a dog for 50 miles. I am going to post a letter i wrote to my team members concerning the run given it does a great job of laying out the results of the run. One thing for sure is the right foot and leg are still issues going into the race. I am not perfect but with some drive and planning along with two good rest weeks all should be well for the race. The goal is not to win the race but to break 24 hours and I really think I can do that.


hudson. and brian. in the darkness of hell...

9hrs 30min 31sec 50 miles..

i am pretty happy with myself and my body in this last 50 mile run and last run in north carolina before the race.
I plan on doing some workout time in the gym but no more runs .. allowing the muscles to repair 100% after this last push. I do plan on running some 5 mile splits each day maybe 2 a day in the desert while Hudson looks for rocks. These 5 mile splits are super important for the race..

The time posted above is 7 minutes faster then the last time i ran this course. I lost time in a few strange places. Here is the data and situation.

Temp out side was in the 50 and 60s.. light super cold rain last 8 miles.

  • Mile 0 to 21.2 3hrs 11 min. Ok. this just plain rocks.
  • Rest for 19 minutes drank maltadextrin, banana and some water along with peanut butter. would eat some bacon and some saltine crackers with frosting in utah run however. (rested way too long) most of my rest time was working on my compression sock which made things worse.. and working on my right foot. i did not need to give up this much time.. and it fucked up my breathing for sure.
  • Mile 21.2 to 42.4 miles 4hrs 10mins I had some trouble getting started . when ever i rest too long the body starts to tighten up a bit. Not until mile 33 did i get my times per mile get much faster. From mile 33 to 41 i rocked big time. about 9.5 min miles
  • Rested once again too long. was trying something else with the compression sock.. which did not work. rest time was 19 min again. I had the same stuff as the last rest time but this time i drank my bottle of mountain dew that stuff is amazing.. and taste amazing at that point in a run. However i did not feel the impact of the mountain dew for about 1 hour. Important to note.

  • Mile 42.4 to 50 1hr 32min
  • First mile was very strong. Second 1.5 miles was ok but i started to bonk. My mile 3 i started to walk and just did not want to be there at all. started to feel angry and disapointed all signs of no blood sugar or super low blood sugar walked about 2.0 miles. I then started to run. at first very tight muscles. But after about half a mile i noticed intense amounts of energy and drive. brain drive is key at this point. My legs felt very strong but sore. I also did some super good breathing exercises while i walked the 2 miles. Along with the mountain dew kicking in and better breathing i was rocking. By mile6 and 7 i was very strong. I ran the last mile in about 9 mins. I ran very very fast to the end line.. which shows the power of the body. Here i am about 1.5 hours after the run feel very strong. very little leg pain just a bit stiff.

Given the mountain dew kicked in about 1 hour after mile 42 i would say it would be good to run through mile 50 without resting. Have a mountain dew at mile 50 and some water for the road. I figure that i should see the second impact of mountain dew around mile 55.. getting me into mile 60 with no problem. At mile 60 we rest again and refuel back up. Make sure i do not stay in these rest places for more then 10 minutes. I also think that i did not drink enough water last night or during the first 21 miles. big mistake and caused me some issues from mile 21 to 33.

i also found that if i run faster, rest then run faster my body does better. as long as the brain is not starving for sugar this method words.. but once the brain starts to run out of sugar.. i get upset.. and almost angry.. it is amazing to watch this process in the brain. once this happens all i can do is walk.. the brain acts like it does not want to run any more.. just walk.. and enjoy the surroundings..

I also had some issues with cramps in my right calf and foot. My guess is lack of good protein. I am going to eat as much meat and powder protein as i can take along with amino acids.. crossing my fingers that helps..

thanks for reading..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20th, 2009

Rain and the Flu. Ok for the first time since working I took a sick day, friday. Man that never happens. Of course this means very little running this week because the flu managed to get into my lungs which makes me very sad and very weak.

However, today like a nut that I am my soul and body returned to the mountains to run and enjoy the heavy rain. Given it has rained just about every days this week all day long most folks including my self are starting to go crazy, very crazy.

Getting out for the run was a very important event and most of my soul hopes that the lungs are able to withstand the insanity of the cold, wet and long run.

Now it is important to note that even though I was sick and even though I did not run my body was at the Gym working out like a mad dog all week. I hope no one got sick from my touching everything but the body needs to stay active.

I started the run today, all 17 miles, running my normal run. The first 1 mile is slow as the body wakes up and finds all the parts. By the time i am at the first connector trail my body is doing very well and I am at the 10 min mile run point which I kept most of the run.

As I was returning back to the car a woman pasted me. I could not tell how old or young only that she wore about 500 dollars worth of pretty cool clothing along with an ipod or something to keep her mind off the forest, trees, birds and nature. I noted to her how wonderful the day was but given she was stuck in music she did not hear me.

Being that I am a tough crazy person I yelled back as i started to pass her "ok so you dont want to talk i will pass your ass!". Given i live in Asheville and everyone seems to go to church and love everyone I stand out like a strange weed among plastic flowers.

I managed to keep up a good 8 min mile pace for about 2 miles. Not bad for someone born before color tv. Shit that makes me old. However, at some points I knew there was this side trail i could take and escape the insanity of this woman passing me. It was not that she was silent or a woman but the strange tan on her legs. This was not a tan created by the sun but one created with some sort of booth / chemical. Wonderful.

I must note that as i passed her the trees and birds did jump onto my side and push me forward because going 8 min miles for this old body is a bigger miracle then man walking on Mars.

I took a strange set of trails home and managed to get back to the car with my lungs feeling like shit and my heart screaming at me. Yes i said, the body is back to life, pissed at me but ready to run 100 miles.

If all goes well i hope to run with some folks next saturday. It is my dream because i never get to run with anyone. My runs are great but after a while it would be nice to run with other humans.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 13th, 2009

First the important stuff: Davy Crockett managed to run the Wasatch 100 in 28:32 with the best time in his age group and given the hot shots did it only 8 hours faster that is a great time.

This week started off with the flu. Sore throat and some minor fever issues. After eating an entire bottle of Vitamin C in which I did not die the flu decided to leave my body given it could tell that I was crazy. However, this was a two part type flu. The throat gets better then this little shits attack the lungs and other parts of the body.

On Wed. I managed to run 12 easy miles but some running. It was tough because the body did not feel too good. On Thursday a bit more running along with some gym time on the bike. Tons of hard work but the body was not too ready. On Friday the fever returned and the lungs started to fill up with something so i rested both Friday and Saturday which i must admit is total hell given I really wanted to run bad. Saturday I did managed to work out pretty hard in the gym however.

Sunday: The lungs not being 100 percent I still decided to give a long run a chance; long run equals 50 miles. The other thing going against me was the 85 plus heat that was sure to try and melt me.

I started at 9am a bit late given the heat but the best I can do given it is Sunday. The first 21.5 mile split was very strong. I had the bowl runs.. and was having problems keeping things down. Took about 4 shits before the end of the splits. However, when i was finished i felt pretty good.

The second split was not so good. The run over the grassy knob and the tunnel went very well given it was my second shot. However, by the time i got to the water I was hurting. My body was dehydrating super fast and no matter how much I drank it did very little good. I walked a bit of the surface road section and some of the connector to the 479a fire road. At this point I started to get very sick so I started to walk then run then walk then run. I felt like I had heat stroke or something but in the end managed to get back to the car only 15 minutes off normal split time.

I can assure you that walking up sleepy gap was not a fun thing.. and with nothing left in my body to push me forward it was amazing i got to the top. Not sure if i could have done anything different given the heat and being sick but i also just did not have the eye of the tiger today. Not sure why.

I plan on running my 21.5 mile run in the morning then resting on tuesday and wed. Thursday and Friday will also see high milage days with Saturday and Sunday being work days. It is getting close to the end of the month and I plan on dropping off the miles about 7 days before the race.

As for recovery. Amazing. My legs hurt a bit but here it is a few hours later and I am feel super good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6th, 2009

Trying to write this blog after running 50 miles is about as tough as cutting the front and back lawn while you have swine flu. However, here i go given i want to record some of the information before i fall asleep and die.

First: I ran into 2 little lost girls and a dog around mile 38. That turned into a big situation but only cost me about 10 to 15 minutes off my last split.

Splits: 21.5 mile post=3hrs 30mins.
Splits: 35.5 mile post =2hrs 45mins.
Splits: 50 mile post = 2:hrs 50mins (minues 15 min. with the park ranger helping find the lost girls)

Give or take Ranger and rescue time i figure i did the run in about 9 hours and 37 minutes. The split times do not take in the rest time between splits / loops but the overall time does.

I started about 9am. The idea was simple. Do my 21.5 mile run starting at the mid point, Sleepy Gap parkway parking lot and then running on shunt-in trail do my entire 21.5 mile loop. The weather was cool around 65 when i started and cloudy which is proof there is a God.

The 21.5 mile loop is about 2 miles surface roads, 15 miles fire roads and the rest is single track. The grade is up and down with about 8,000 foot gain loss during the loop.

The next loop is about 15 miles with a about 3 miles on surface roads, 10 miles on single track and the rest on fire roads. I like this loop given the single track work but is tough on my right foot i have to be careful.

The last split / loop is the same and i run it a bit more to make sure i have 50 miles (more surface road and a bit more fire road.

The logic was simple. After doing the first 21.5 miles I would rest at the car for 15 minute which is not part of the split time but part of the over all run time. During the rest i remove my shoes and socks. I then consumed a protein shake i had made as well as eat some peanut butter plus drink some water. I took 4 pain pills which i dont think do shit except to make my kidneys work harder.

On the second loop i was there about 18 minutes or a bit longer. Time flies when you are sitting on your butt resting. This time i consumed my friend Multi-dextrin (sp) in large amounts. By the time i was about 20 minutes into that split i started to feel very good and very happy.. Gotta love stuff that is used in making beer for ultra run training.

The rescue time took place at mile 38 and mile 45. It cost me concentration for it is tough to focus on running knowing that these two girls are in danger and after watching two woman cry after i told them i saw their little girls. however I did ok.

I am very happy with my run / split times. This is proof that if i rest between splits the end result is much faster overall times. The other thing to point out is my run in october is kinda flat but super hot and dry. This run is very wet, full of bears, snakes and lost children. The wet really helps keep the body moving fast even though I do a ton of super big hill climbs for miles.

I plan on doing the same run next weekend with only a few small runs and some gym time during the week. I want the body to rebuild for the next weekend and see how well i do running another 50 miles. The real key is rebuilding and rest time. If the sun is not out again i might reduce my rest times between splits.. but not sure..

However, how does all this effect the second 50 miles? Great question. I came home and drank a ton of protein mix as well as sugar free cranberry juice so my kidneys got some fuel. I feel ok but the legs are tired and i have a bad rash between my two friends and the legs.. oh no..

My right foot is not perfect but the left is willing to do extra work to help the right foot..


Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30th, 2009

What form of stupidity drives a person to run in the middle of the day for 21 or so miles? Why not run in the morning when the air is cool and your body has just consumed a hot cup of motivational coffee? Heck if i know but for reasons beyond sanity I try to run my weekend runs in the middle of the day so i can sleep in and pretend I am a normal american looking for rest and fun on the weekend when in fact I am far from normal and work all week long so i can run in the middle of the day and feel like total shit!

Lets start with Saturday. I decided that I need to do something different with my runs so I started on the super 15 degree up hill 2.5 mile run that then loops through a wonderful single track which then finds its way back to the bottom of the 2.5 mile hill. Of course the run was started at 1:00pm and the heat was already going crazy along with 100% moisture in the air without it raining.

Given that most of my brain is fried (years of living in Los Angeles) i decided to run this loop 3 times and only when there is nothing left of myself do I stop at the bottom of the third loop. I have no idea how far i just ran but decided the runs are nearly 6 mile loops given I run about 4 miles per hour up a 15 degree climb and run 7 miles down hill for 2 miles.

But there is much more to the story:: Saturday really started in the gym riding a stationary bike that shows you in virutal space your ride (kinda fun). I of course selected the third hardest virtual rides so i could end up soaking wet after 20 minutes of super up hill riding. (now that everyone is afraid they will die of the swine flu those of us who really work out and get all wet are known as the danger to society types)

Yes, I then went for my run and then given I still have a small amount of energy left over decided to return to the gym to do some more riding and weight lifting.

Sunday morning:
I felt like total shit. I felt like some large truck had just run me over. So what do i do? I clean the entire house including the bathroom and finish all of my laundry. I then eat a bit of food and not thinking twice i head out the door around 1pm while the sun is beating the shit out of everthing and start a 21.2 mile run of which most of it is up hill and the only source of water is small dirty stream water bears pee in during the night.

Ok so what do i feel like right now? I am sore, tired and ready to hit the bed. I am upset with myself that I did not run the 21 miles faster; walked about 1.5 miles of it and was off by 1/2 hour on the split.

Of course my brain has no end to the insanity. It wants to pop up first thing in the morning and try to at least do my fun 14 mile single track run. I love the run so maybe it will happen but on the other hand have i lost my mind? Yes.

In the end do i really think all of this will help me finish my 100 mile run? Heck if i know. However, given someone who i very much respect had a DNF I dont feel too bad. Here is one of many cool photos of Tony after being shutdown.

August numbers with at least one more day left in the month, monday. I wonder what will happen..

1frankbott AVL423.8MilesNorth Carolina
2homey claus CPTC418.7MilesNew York
3port147 365MilesWashington
4coop74 CPTC355.2MilesNew York
5jhm CPTC329.75MilesNew York
6sonic 324.35MilesOhio
7jfb1 CPTC299.25MilesNew York
8pmonster BTUNCPEM279MilesNorth Carolina
9susanmls CPTC274.3MilesNew York
10scs CPTC273MilesNew York

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23rd, 2009

The first thought that keeps entering my mind is Tony.

Something went wrong around mile 70 and he had to quit the Leadville 100. It would be nothing to me if I did not know how hard this man worked to get ready for this race. His personal sacrifice and energy for training coming back from injury says something for his efforts and the cost of the DNF. I however, hope that he has the same fight i had when i failed to finish the Pony Express last year. I reviewed my failures and studied my body. Most important, I just did not give up. I took the time to change my training to reflect my bodies needs and then discounted the real value of the race. The primary point was not the race and never is. The primary point for me is getting up every day, running, seeing nature, feeling the power of the planet i live on and staying in top conditon so my body and mind can meet any challenge life might throw my way.

Tony is still my hero. He is unplugged from the system, does what he loves and is his own man.

My training is going well. I keep blowing through shoes like they are free water. My last pair of shoes lasted no more then 150 miles before they split top front. Amazing damage my guess from running over something super sharp.

The right leg which is what did me under last year is doing super well. The key is the body and its ability to install, create and enlarge blood vessles in the right leg so the circulation of blood is much better. I look down at my right leg and see tons of new vessles that did not exist last year at this time.

My times are getting stronger and the distance is moving over the 100 miles per week which is amazing given work is doing all it can to make life difficult. My primary goal this year was to reduce the amount of fat in my legs. My legs are lean but not as lean as they could be. This will be an issue.

I hope to reach 420 for the month of August and see 130 mile weeks for September. Tough goals but goals none the less. I will taper down first of October to 60 and 70 mile weeks with at least 1 super long distance.

If i can run the first 50 miles in 10 hours that is good. The last 20 miles is the point of this type of race. How much energy do you have left to run that last 20 miles? The more the better chance you have of doing well in the race.

Example: The top runners last year managed to get to the 50 mile mark around 10 hours. They then spent almost 14 hours on the last 50 miles. This means slow running / walking the last 50 miles. I hope to do the same except in the last 20 miles. That will be interesting to say the least. The plan may fail but the point is trying.

As I run i also ask myself how many more years can i keep up this level of training and racing? Not sure. But i do know that a move out west would be a good first step to keeping up this insanity because so many of my running friends live out west. Something about the west that lends itself to running long distances.

In closing: Fight Tony. It is really the only thing we have in a tough and insane world.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11th, 2009

Bugs. I said tons of Bugs. The bugs seem to have decided to want the water that lays on the top of my legs, shorts and rest of my body at any and all cost. Given the temp. outside is in the 90s and the air is as thick as water you would think the bugs would have all the water and heat they need. But no. The little guys have picked me.

The good news is they are just a pest. Most die the minute i see them because like Obama I am getting good at killing anything small that flies and bugs me; bugs that is.

Now for the running. Last few weeks have seen 100 mile plus runs. The running is starting to be a burn out and I am thinking what on earth could i be doing this running for. However, given i have no logic in my brain i keep running.

The good news is my body is starting to look like it did when i was in high school wrestling. Well almost. My hips have kinda started to merge with my chest causing me to look like some little fellow in Peru that sherpas part time during the weekends.

My legs on the otherhand are starting to look good. I have reduced my overall diet and increased my load of soy and real meat protein. Both seem to be doing their job and giving me leaner leg muscles. However, given i am suppose to be climbing high mountains my legs are still a bit on the bulk side which means more energy to move them forward.

Yesterday I spent the first 2.5 hours running in Knoxville at Haw Ridge. I love Haw Ridge but the bugs also love Haw Ridge and given the air is about 100% water the run is not much fun. After completing the run I stopped over at Bent Creek and did my climb single track run up shunt in. It was fun but challenging given I had already run in hot tough conditions. Total miles for the day comes to about 30.

My real concern is my mind. As the running gets longer my mind starts to burn out. I find myself with less endurance or so it seems. However, there is plenty of power and muscle to move me forward but the mind would reather be doing anything but running. Not sure how to fix this but i will fix it or fall on my face like a fool.

I enjoy reading Tony's blog. He can write better then i can and most important is doing something super impressive. I am not sure if at his 25 we are both about the same. I ask myself, "Do i get a handicap for being 52 running 100 miles a week over his 150 mile runs per week? Not sure. In any case I think we both have done well.

But the run is not the point. The point is i love most of the minutes out there. I see turtles, bears, snakes and all sorts of creatures including 100 different types of bugs that all know how to fly some faster and slower then others. The world seems to think that the soul is only happy when we are going to church or the mall. I have found my souls love point by running in the desert or the mountains and connecting to the very planet i came from. Shame on me i know.. should really find my love for money but heck.. it never seems to do much for me but melt holes in my pockets.

Am i ready for October? Heck if i know. I will be smarter and leaner no doubt. My feet will be in very good condition and my body ready to do 200 miles but the brain is the point. If the brain is not ready then i will get my butt kicked. Yes i am a bit concerned but nothing I cant over come for sure.

July Ending Numbers: My goal was 400 so i was a bit short. Why? Lazy!

homey claus449.71
glenn flynn3405

August so far... as of the 10th
1homey claus CPTC154.3MilesNew York
2port147 142.5MilesWashington
3frankbott AVL141.2MilesNorth Carolina
4coop74 CPTC127.8MilesNew York
5jhm CPTC125.5MilesNew York
6pmonster BTUNCPEM106MilesNorth Carolina
7glenn flynn 105.5MilesNew York
8trackstar BTUNCPEM105MilesMaryland
9sonic 104.4MilesOhio
10susanmls CPTC103.8MilesNew York

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25th, 2009

Adventure with nature has been going on with me for a long time. I think my first adventures with nature started when i was a young man doing hikes all over southern California. Mount Baldy was my favorite because i could do it winter or summer. Then the hiking turned into rock climbing and the rock climbing turned in to high altitude alpine climbs and then the climbs turned into ice climbing multi pitch mixed rock and ice.

Of course it did not end there. Once i moved onto a sail boat and learned how to sail I found the pacific ocean full of challenges. So now that my bones are too old to rock climb and my soul has no desire to climb high mountains I find myself doing ultra marathons.

The crazy part about my ultra running and the intense training that goes with it is my mountain bike. If the mountain bike several years ago had not been stolen and i had not been broke I am betting i would never have taken up ultra running which should really be called ultra training.

Today was just another day in which Nature is Nature and does its best all by it's self to kill me which suits me just fine because I would rather deal with Nature on my day off then the insanity of the world.

Over the last two weeks I have started to run 3 long runs during the week and one ultra long run on the weekend. The ultra run on the weekend is a 45 mile run right now which i hope to turn into a 60 mile run. Yes I said 60. The runs take me a good part of the day and when i finish i spend the night doing all i can to repair my poor beat up body.

The current weekend ultra run is two loops of a 22.5 mile course that i measured with a GPS. The only change to the course is me moving around on the fire road which adds small amounts of distance to the entire run.

The run starts out on a single track that helps wake up the old body. The body is not really interested in this ultra adventure stuff it would rather be resting next to a nice cool swimming pool. I then move over to a fire road for a good many miles and find myself going up a super steep single track to another super cool fine thin single track.

The single track is so thin in some sections that i can not see my feet. This is bad because I might step on a snake or I might trip over a rock.

Today was very hot. My first time around was in good time. The split was 3 hrs and 40min. I rested for about 20 minutes before starting the second loop. The second loop was much worse given God and Nature tried to help me and in the process of trying to help me almost killed me.

Given it was Hot and given I have a strange and crazy relationship with God (not the normal christian relationship ... the kind that comes from meeting God at 8,000 meters type relationship) I ask God if there was anyway in this nice hot bright sunny day he could send shafts and shafts of pouring rain.

Well guess what. Right about half way through the single track I started to hear thunder. The thunder got closer and closer and then soon small drops of rain. Given i was super hot and very tired I acted like i am suppose to and got all excited and danced in the rain.. teeny rain mind you but rain.

However, the teeny rain turned into super amazing down pour .. the kind of down pour you see on the national geographic africa specials. I started to run because with the down pour was lightning. Tons of lightning. One of the bolts hit a tree and went all the way to the ground. You ask how close? Ok maybe 10 feet. Too close.

By the time I get to the fire road again the fire road has turned into a big wide river about 3 inches deep. My shoes are about 10 pounds *start at 11oz* and i am running for my life. I still have at least 3 miles to go before I arrive to the car but with good luck the rain starts to let up and I make it back.

The second split of 22.5 took 4 hrs and 20 minutes or there abouts.

Over all a great run. The heat was a bitch and did create some Lactic Acid issues in the legs which I can feel at this very moment. I have plenty of energy and a few hours after the run my heart rate is near normal.

to the adventures of doing!

1homey claus CPTC331.4MilesNew York
2frankbott AVL305.2MilesNorth Carolina
3coop74 CPTC287.55MilesNew York
4sonny67 269.15MilesMichigan
5sonic 261.78MilesOhio
6felice CPTC255.51MilesNew York
7glenn flynn 246MilesNew York
8susanmls CPTC235.9MilesNew York
9trackstar BTUNCPEM232.5MilesMaryland
10pmonster BTUNCPEM232.1MilesNorth Carolina