Thursday, August 24, 2006
Ultra Adventures - Leadville 2006 Report
I hope you enjoy it. I hope to go back someday and correct the mistakes I made and have a faster time, but it will have to wait a while.
Here is a link to some pictures I took in Colorado if you missed them.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
This is a view I hope to see this coming Saturday. It was taken from atop Hope Pass, about the 45 mile mark. Down in the valley off in the distance you can see Twin Lakes andbeyond there is Turquoise Lake. Leadville is just out of the picture a couple of miles to the right of Turquoise Lake.
I have several friends already out there acclimating. Joe Lugiano from Cary and Bill Squires from Raleigh and Doug Dawkins of the MTC from Rockingham. Also Gary Knipling and his son Keith from the VHTRC are hoping to finish the Grand Slam this year. I am really looking forward to seeing and running with Anita Fromm. She is a young lady I met while pacing at the Umstead 100 in 05 as I mentioned in the story on volunteering. We had so much fun, I paced her again this year when she ran a PR sub-24. Anita is now living in Manitou Springs so she should be used to the altitude. I hope I can keep up with her for a while at least.
All my drop bags are packed and I'm ready to go. I'm sure I'll have a report and some pictures when I get back.
Monday, August 14, 2006
The time is fast approaching for my departure to Leadville Colorado for what may be the most difficult run for me so far. The course is not as difficult or as technical as Massanutten but the high altitude will present a very tough challenge for this lifetime resident of sea level central NC.
My training has been going very well. I don't have the luxury of being able to travel to CO early to acclimate to the high altitude so I will have to just hope to be able to handle it as well as possible. To help prepare for the lack of oxygen I tried a couple of special workouts. On my long runs at Umstead, I would hold my breath and run as fast as I could until I would pass out. After waking up I would repeat for the duration of the workout. I was able to cover 3 miles in 4 hours on my first attempt. Only 97 more miles to go but I will have to pick up the pace to make the cut-offs. I also suffered quite a few bruises and scrapes but it was worth it to get in the training. Sleeping at altitude is suppose to be one of the best ways to acclimate so at night I duct tape my mouth and nose shut and insert a small coffee stirrer straw into one nostril. I haven't slept very well lately but hopefully I can catch up on some sleep this week before leaving.
Ok, just kidding. Actually my training has been going well and I have been tapering for a 3 weeks now. I feel confident in my ability to accomplish the task and look forward to the challenge. Got to head to work now. More later.
Friday, August 11, 2006
First off, this was a wonderful event starting with the Friday night social and all the way through the post race activities. A great course with great friends on a perfect day. But there was something weird going on out there. The first half was very normal and I felt great and having too much fun. I was mostly alone that first half after losing contact with Bill Squiers after a couple of miles when everyone was spread out. I caught up with Bea around 18 miles and we spent most of the next 15-16 miles togehter and it was nice to have some company.
It was at the turn that things got strange on me though.I was about to head back out, when a very wonderful, unexpected and very brief occurence took me completely off my game. I was surprised, confused, and speechless, so I just took off down the trail to complete my run. It was then I realized I obviously was still in my bed at the motel and dreaming. It would be just a moment and I'd wake up and be driving to the start.
I had caughtt up with Bill just before the turn and so he and I and Bea were soon running together. Bill soon dropped back and once again Bea and I were running alone again. It was nice seeing more friends heading up to the turnaround and others finishing the 20. Then things got weird again. Two very pretty young ladies that were frinends of Bea, stopped to greet her. I continued to walk away and overheard the young ladies refer to the "Hottie" that Bea was running with. Of course I had to look around to try and find this other guy because I thought it was just us two. Bea assured me they were referring to me. Oh yeah, I haven't awakend yet from my dream..
Then we get to the 29 mile aid station and I'm standing there, when this very good looking woman says "Oh you have such nice hair". So I'm looking around again trying to see where is this guy she's talking to. Then it dawns on me , oh yeah I'm asleep, but man this is a long dream and I sure feel tired. Or maybe I have somehow inhabited some young good-looking guys body.
Well, I finally do finish but I can't hang around too long because 3 women want me to go out to eat with them.So why not.You don't get to have dreams like this too often. Hey I was a little slower than I'd hoped but this is still on great dream.
So anyway I wake up and instead of waking up in the motel and getting ready to go run, I 'm at home, it's Sunday morning, I 'm tired, sore and there is mud on my nrunning clothes. It was all real after all! So thanks to everyone, the volunteers and race directors, and all my wonderful running friends are always there to encourage me. A special thanks to Bea for keeping me company and for Dorothy and Rosa supporting us on the way back.
It turns out not to have ben a fantasy or dream, but I will always treasure this ultra made special because I was truly touched by an Angel at 20 miles. I don't know that this Angel will ever see this story, but if you do Thank YOU!!
You will never know how much it meant to me.
This was originally just an e-mail I sent to a couple
of friends. I was going to write a report but never got around to it so I
slightly modified this instead
That is Anita Finkle just behind me. Her husband Jay took the picture.
Hello my favorite running people,
The weather turned out perfect. I drove through a shower around Sanford
and was worried but when in got to Ellerbe it was blue skies.
Now on with the story.
I was a bit apprehensive about running this after the extremely difficult
time I had at Umstead 2 weeks ago. And my right leg hasn't been right
since Myrtle Beach Marathon and was hurting me quite a bit yesterday. I decided to go ahead
and run for fun and hope the leg would hold up. Age-group medals would
have to wait til another day.
I started out with my good ultrabuddy Anita Finkle. Jay wasn't running
because of some Achilles tendonitis so he was saving it for the 100 in two
weeks. It was great to run with her. I haven't seen them as much as usual
the past year and we haven't run together in a long time. My leg was
feeling fine so that was a relief. The pace was maybe a little quicker
than I planned that early, right at 9mp but it felt good. The first half
is very hilly. I think this may be as tough as the Boogie, just easier
because of the cooler weather than June.
We were just having a great time talking and after about 7 miles a lady
Anita knew joined us. The miles seem to pass quickly and we went through
the half, which is the highest point on the course in 2:01:15, about 9:15
pace. The hill leading up to that point is about as tough and long as
Bethel Church Hill. The next couple of miles had some nice downhill but
there were still plenty of hills left. The 2nd half is somewhat easier
than the 1st though.
At 15 miles,Jay was working the a.s. and Anita stopped for a minute and
while I was walking away drinking some water, Ruth, the other lady kept
going. I was going slow thinking Anita might catch back up but after a few
minutes I decided to pick the pace back up. I saw Tony Rouse was just
behind me at the a.s.and I was hoping he would catch me too so we could
run together. Well, he finally did 4 miles later at 19. We picked up the
pace a little more. The next few miles were a long gradual climb, just
enough to let you know you are going up hill. I commented to Tony that I
could really use some downhill soon.
Anita caught us at 22 miles. We were running about 9mp again but she
passed us in pursuit of beating other women. We had been Finkled. I told
Tony after running an 8:50 mile that we were doing good but I had to slow
down becuase I felt a stitch coming and my stomach was feeling a bit
queezy. I dropped back a little to recupe a bit. When we got to mile 23,
Tony stopped and turned back and waited for me. He said if we push it we
might crack 4 hours. I didn't think it was even a remote possibility but I
looked at my watch and saw it would be possible but only if we really
pushed it. I didn't think I could so I told Tony I didn't feel like trying
but for him to go ahead. Strange thing though, that last easy mile had me
feeling better and we started picking it up and soon were in a good
groove. This was cool. This late in a marathon and I feel great and
running faster than I have all day. Around 24 miles we passed Anita and 3
other people. ( My first reverse Finkle!) We ran mile 25 in
I can honestly say that although it was not my fastest marathon, it was
probably my best from start to finish.
What a great day. Spend it with some great people and running a great
race in a beautiful place. Got to spend some quality time with the Trail
Angel before and after the race. Always a highlight of my life.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Ultra Adventures - Doing the Double, or What was I Thinking!
Last August I had the bright idea that it would be fun to do back to back rocky, gnarly very hot 50K's in the Mountains one weekend. It was a lot like fun, just different
This is a story about David Horton's Mountain Masochist 50 miler from 2005
Ultra Adventures - Chasing Dreams and the Power of Friendship, Part 2
Here is Part two of the story of my attempt to quailify for Boston. That is Karla and I with our age-group awards from the Ocean Isle Beach 1/2 Marathon in January. It was a tune-up race for the Myrtle Beach Marathon where I hoped to run my qualifying time.
Ultra Adventures - Chasing Dreams and the Power of Friendship
This is the first in a three part series I wrote about my attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon and the friends that helped me along the way. This picture shows the 4 major characters as we get ready to run the Richmond Marathon last Nov.
Thats me with the flannel shirt on. Karla is on my right and Margo is between me and Jerry
Ultra Adventures - Capon Valley
This is a link to a story I did about the Capon Valey 50K on May 6th 2006. I plan to have all my old stories posted soon so that anyone that hasn't had a chance to read any of them can find them all in one place. With the exception of a couple of stories that I did in e-mails, all of my stories have been posted at my friend Mike Day's website www.ncultra.org I have provided a link to Mike's site over in the links column. If you have any interest in ultrarunning, you should definitely check it out. I will continue to post any new stories there as well as on my blog.
Ultra Adventures - Boogie Night 2006
This is a story about the Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie. I ran the 50 miler there on June 17th for the first time, two weeks after running the Old Dominion 100 Miler. This is me and my training partner Karla waiting for the start of the marathon last year.