Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ultra Adventures - Leadville 2006 Report

Here is the link to my report.
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

View from Hope Pass

Here I am crossing Hope Pass the 2nd time.
What an amazing event. I did it!!
Look for a complete report and pictures soon. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Heading off to Leadville

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

Leadville 100 Miler.

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

Great Eastern 100k 2005

Hello Friends,
I hadn't planned a report. This was a message I composed last night for my training partner but several of you have asked how it was and congratulated me on my time so I decided to send this ever so slightly edited version out to the world or a small part of it at least.
I am Truly Blessed to have such wonderful people out there that care about me and share my stories with.So here it is.
Well, I survived but just barely. Next to Massanutten, this was definitly the hardest thing I've ever done. In a way it was even harder but, I don't think I can explain it in words that you can understand. More on that in a minute.
This race is essentially two totally different courses combined for one race. The 1st 11 miles are run on roads, mostly paved.Slightly uphill the 1st 2 miles, mostly down the next 2 and then a downhill plunge for about 4 miles. Then flat in the valley for the next 3. You return to this point at 50.8 miles and finish the way you came. The remaining 40 miles are predominately trail. Very steep, rocky trails. The total elevation change of 14, 200 feet is mile for mile more than Massanutten.
Not only was the course two totally different ones but so was my day. Actually about 4 differnet days for me. The 1st 16 miles I was feeling great but then my stomach started feeling bad and for some reason I was having a hard time getting a deep breath. The sad part was the next 5miles would have been the most enjoyable section of trail on the whole course. Instead of having fun though, I was struggling with whether or not I would be able to continue. Once again I found myself struggling with dehydration like at Vermont but I couldn't drink anything. I finally dragged into the 21.8 miles aid station, barely able to think. I sat in a chair and was able to drink some ginger ale and that seemed to sit well with me.. After about 5 minutes I got up and headed for the next trail. Slowly I began to feel better and able to drink. By the time I was halfway around that 3.8 mile loop I was on top of the world, feeling great and running as well as ever in an ultra.
In spite of my bad spell, I was now in the top half of the field which is very rare for me and I was on pace to run under my fantasy goal time 16 hours. The next several hours I was as happy as an Ultraman can be. At 37 Miles I began the longest segment. It was a long slog up a rocky dirt road that went on forever. I climbed for 1.5 hours before it leveled out enough for me to run any but out of the 8 miles in that segment, I was climbing at least 6.5. To make matters worse it was during the warmest part of the day and exposed to the sun for a good part of the time. I was passed here for the first time since mile 17. It was pretty lonely out there most of the day. One of the people was David Snipes. David always is very encouraging to me and we were close together for a good part of the remainder of the run, usually meeting at the aid stations.
I finally made it to the 45.3 mile aid station but I was not in good shape again. My stomach was not happy and although I was starving I couldn't eat. Except for 1 gel and one cookie and half of a milky way bar, I hadn't eaten anything in 10 hours and 30+ miles of running. The only calories I was getting were from coke and ginger ale at the aid stations and it wasn't enough. I sat for 19 minutes trying to get my stomach settled enough to run. The amazing thing is I was still running fairly well on the flats and downhills, but I was dragging on the climbs. Thankfully the next 5.5 miles were all downhill and flat and I was able to make pretty decent time and recover a little until I got back to the start of the road section at 50.8 miles just as it was getting dark enough for me to need a light.
I ran almost all of the next 3 miles to the base of the long climb back up to the Parkway. I knew if i just kept moving I would still go under my realistic goal of 17 hours. The full moon was just rising above the trees at this point but I was struggling to keep moving up that long interminable climb and couldn't enjoy it. At this point I didn't want to keep going. I was not having fun, I felt like crap and I decided I would never run another ultra. Well maybe a flat 50K now and then. And I still have to run Masochist next month. and I still hope to get into Western States next year, but that's it, I quit.
Well obviously I did keep going and finished in 16:38. I should be esctatic, since I exceeded my realistic time goal and finished 39th out of about 80 starters. But as I sat around at the finish nothing seemed to matter. I felt like a beaten man. It's like I left a part of my soul out there somewhere on that course and I'll never get it back. I had to dig deep for this one, all for a time that in the big scheme of things is totally meaningless. Last night on that dark lonely road looking for an answer why, I couldn't find one.
Things are looking better today, they always do. It's amazing how low blood sugar can screw with your mind. Throw in exhaustion and feet pounded into submission from a billion rocks and it's understandable why I was a mental wreck.
On a lighter note, I had a Jerry moment for this one.( Note: Jerry is one of my best friends. If you knew him you would understand what I mean by a Jerry moment. One of these days I may write a book of Jerry Moments) It came just as we started the 1st trail climb around 12miles. The guy behind me says, are those two different shoes you are wearing? No I said, but then I looked down and sure enough I had an Asics 2090 on one foot and a 2100 on the other. At least I had a right and a left. My feet didn't seem to mind.
Hope to see most of you at Masochist

Uwharrie 40 2005

A little bit different report this time. After getting quite a few of these events behind me over the last three years, I've started to look at them a bit differently now. Of course much is the same. Ultra's challenge us in many ways. Sometimes more physical, others more mental and sometimes they dig deep us into emotionally us and reach places we either have forgotten or tried to hide. But I'll try not to get too deep here.
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.

Fw: [ncrc] Fw: greetings/ellerbe

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 - Volunteering at Umstead

This is a story about volunteering. Sometimes it can be as much fun as running.

Ultra Adventures - Joey Anderson's MMT Report

This is my report on the May 2005 Massanutten Mountain Trail 100

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
Ultra Adventures - Redemption at the Mountain Masochist.

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 - Dreams Can Come True

Here is the final segment of the Boston story. As you can see from the picture, it ended successfully.

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 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.

Friday, August 04, 2006

This is my first posting to my new Blog. I intend to use this site to post my stories and reports and other such things. Mostly running related but some other stuff might show up from time to time