Sunday, June 28, 2009

24 hours of Laramie - quick update.

Dehydration and dirt will be among my main memories.

Quick update - 64.9 miles was my total distance. Very pleased to have broken the 100K barrier, especially given how rough I felt as a result of dehydration after 50k or so .

Pictures, race report to follow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jimbo's list

I am sure this is way over the top, but here is the gear that is coming to Wyoming with me

Baseball caps x 2
Beanie x 2 (Polypro for cool weather, wool for cold)
Do rags
Bandanas (2 for a buck at Walmart - what a deal!)

Tech shirts x 4 (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
Fleece vest for cool
Long sleeve fleece for cold
Tech tank top for hot (and as an additional layer if cool/cold)
Waterproof jacket

Nathan vest

Legs and Hands
Shorts x 2
Long running pants
Gloves 2 pair - (one for dry and cool, one for wet and cold)

Trail running shoes, road running shoes, hiking sandals
Drymax socks (x3)

Pepcid complete
Moleskin Blister repair
Endurolytes etc

Spare batteries for headlamp and camera
Man-purse which has charging cables for garmin, MP3 player etc and spare headphones
Rx sunglasses
Bug repellant

Water Bottles x 2
Hand sanitizer
Toilet Tissue
Kitchen sink

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jimbo is on Youtube!

I think this means that I am now famous. Or something.

The Youtube vid below is a compilation of the 2008 and 2009 Boogie races. It is mainly still photographs, and the occasional video. Hopefully it'll give you an idea of what the Boogie is about, and what it is like. It doesn't show how hot it was though. Did I mention it was hot??

Anyway, 53 seconds in, you can see me.

A little toasty today!

This was the temp as the pups and I left for a 5 mile jog earlier today. I read somewhere that running in the heat is a pretty good method of preparing to run at altitude (or maybe I made that up - I can't remember). Anyway, if that is true, then I got some good altitude training in this afternoon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

More thoughts on Boogie/Laramie a week away

It has been 6 days since the boogie marathon. As I look back, I'm thinking how much I enjoyed that race. It was tough, brutally tough - but I felt much better after that than any other marathon I have done. I learned about the my gear, I learned that insect repellent should have been sprayed on at the beginning rather than after the pigeon sized deer flies had attacked. Honestly, I had the biggest insect bite I have ever had - the red swelling was at least two inches in diameter - and this was a bite through my shorts. Above all, I learnt that it IS possible to feel good after a marathon. I definitely felt as though I could do more, which means I think I paced myself smartly, and fuelled myself well.

Talking of shorts............. The "Race Ready LD Fitness shorts" are absolutely fantastic. No chafing at all. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I am very very happy with them.

My Nathan Sports Vest is good too. I can carry a lot in it, plus it had the added bonus of being able to stuff ice in the back pocket, which really helped to cool me down as the evening wore on.

It was also very good practice running at night.

Drymax socks were excellent. 26.2 miles, no blisters.

Now then, I found the two photos of me on the web - they show a couple of things (other than me) - 1) That was a steep hill! and 2) Notice the two guys behind me, the shorter guy is actually blind, the taller one is leading him with a piece of string between them. They are local military (based at Bragg I guess), Fred Dummar is the taller one, and Capt. Ivan Castro is being led. Ivan had on the back of his shirt, "Blind Runner - I will never quit". Fred had "I will never leave a fallen comrade". They both finished the 50 miler in 11:41

The spirit of the marathon was alive and well. My hat goes off to both of these guys, it was an honor to be on the same course as them.

One week from now, I will be probably eating my last meal before my first 24 hour race. The nerves are kicking in a bit. Never having run 12 hours before (11:48 being the longest at Umstead), let alone 24 hours. Last time I was awake for 24 hours straight, I am certain alcohol would have been involved. 8000' altitude. Yep, 8000'. Not sure I have ever been that high before unless surrounded by a metal fuselage with wings. Apparently they don't have deer flies there though.

This week, I felt recovered enough to run on Wednesday, and so far, I have done a couple of gym sessions and twice around the shorter 2.7 mile ankle breaker trail.

I have not posted a tune for a while. How about this, a great running song, by the singer/writer who also wrote the one of the best ever ballads. Hazel O'Connor.

This song, Eighth Day was on the movie Breaking Glass, which was a bit of a cult classic in the late 70's.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Boogie Marathon

Jimbo at 8 miles

About two miles into it

The temperature at the start line, about 7:15 pm after I had done the first 6 miles

The temperature after I had finished - somewhere around midnight

The Boogie Marathon - A great experience in the heat and humiduty of North Carolina. To sum up: Hot, humid, bugs as big as pigeons, hills, hot and a fabulously organized event.

The race HQ is at the Bethel Baptist Church. We started off with the race briefing at 5:30 - I looked at the thermometer which was on the chruch steps, it was well into the 90's. Doug Dawkins is the race director, and he is an amazing character who recently completed a cross country run - have a read of this article, and his diary of the journey. Lots of warnings about the fact that we were entering one of the few areas of NC where there are rattle snakes. Oh joy. Doug was particularly proud of the fact that there were two runners using the Boogie as a Badwater training run. There is also another runner who is running the Blue Ridge Relay solo - that is 208 miles in 60 hours.

The course is a 6 mile loop, and after two of the loops there is a 4 mile out and back. There are two aid stations on at the church, and one a little over half way round the loop.

My plan was to take my time - and I did just that. My official time will be about 5:40 - my actual running time was about 5:20. The first 6 miles were incredibly hot, and I was chugging fluids - I figured out later that in the first 10 miles, I drank over a gallon. I was doing my normal trick of adding a gel to my water bottle, I just can't take gels neat.

On the second loop, it started to get dark, and once I had my light on, I thought every stick on the side of the road was rattler!

One thing I noticed is my walking pace has really picked up, I walked up the main hills, and I certainly noticed that I was catching up with other walkers, so I was very pleased with that.

So, I planned to finish alive, and finish strong. I suceeded in both. On top of that, it was a great marathon that I would recommend to anyone. Oh, and there is a great finishers prize, a really nice coffee mug - a unique prize that I will treasure. I know I will be back, next year, I will probably do the 50 miler.

Now's the time to taper prior to Laramie.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

YIKES! - it will be a hot 26.2 miles

Just took this picture with my phone of the thermometer on our porch - we will be leaving for the Boogie marathon in a little over an hour. Remember to hydrate Jimbo!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Boogie Marathon

On Saturday, I will be running the Boogie marathon - this race is organized by the Mangum Track Club. Here's what it says on their website

MARATHONERS BEWARE: This is not your normal marathon. This is all rural, not a city marathon. The course is not certified. You will be in the middle of nowhere all the time with no porta-potties, no splits, no mile markers, nospectators, and late in the run possibly even no other runners. There are only 6 houses on the courseand they have dogs. Aid stops are over 5 miles apart, so you will need to carry a water bottle. If youdecide to quit, there are no pick-up vans, so you will either have to walk to the aid station or hitch a ridewith somebody. The race will start at 6 pm and the temperature will probably be about 85 degrees withlittle shade. Darkness comes about 9 pm and there are no street lights. You will need a light for thereasons cited in the waiver. If you need to be catered to every couple of miles along the course or worry running in the dark, perhaps you should not come. We really have seen everything listed in the waiver except the polecats and they are there too. The drop out rate among veteran 50-milers is usually 40%or so. Think long and hard before you enter this event. If Lao-tzu were to give advice about this event he would say, "Come with no expectations and you will not be disappointed."

As for the waiver:

I realize June in North Carolina is hot and humid. Most people and doctors advise against running in heat and humidity. Also, running at night presents special problems such as seeing where you are stepping andwatching out for cars. I understand that this area has specific hazards such as rattlesnakes, copperheads,polecats, wildcats, and rednecks who like to drink and drive and throw things.

Perfect. I can't wait. :)

I am more relaxed about this marathon than any of my previous 3. I do not care about my time, I know I will walk a lot. This is about training. Night time training, walking training, checking out my gear - and one other thing, they really seem a good crowd - I am going to try to have fun as well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Columbia River running/More weather watch

I went for another run tonight - again probably faster pace than I should - 10k in 59 minutes. Felt OK, it is nice to run in dry heat (probably mid 80's). This trail is right out of the back door of the hotel I am staying in, so it is amazingly convenient. It is also flat, fast and there are plenty of nice views of the river - I took a few photos with my phone. Looks like they came out OK

Out of the back door, turn right - this is the view after about 1/4 mile

After a 1.5 miles, the asphalt turns into more of a trail - much closer to what I am used to of late!

Bet you didn't know that Washington has a desert! Lots of tumbleweed in the making.

I turned around after 2.5 miles, planning to do 5 miles total

Once I got back to the hotel, I decided to add another 1.2 mile to make it up to 10K - the picture above is the turnaround point after the 'extra 0.6 miles'

This is the back of the Hampton Inn. Not too shabby eh?

..... and the view down the path......

....and the view from my room. You can just see a bridge in the distance - that is 1.5 miles away at the point where the trail gets rougher.

Now - just checked the weekend forecast for Ellerbe NC - still 85F, 30% chance of thunderstorms. 67% humidity is forecast. No dramatic changes since yesterday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Weather watch for Ellerbe

Work has brought me to Washington state this week, and I am lucky that the hotel I stay at has a great running path right out of the back door, so tonight I did 5 miles alongside the Columbia river. I have run here many times, and I think this is the easiest it has felt. The pace was suprisingly fast too (9:38 min/mile). Anyway, this was supposed to be an "easy week" prior to the Boogie Marathon on Saturday. I'll take a picture or two along the trail tomorrow.

Just checked the weather forecast for Saturday, and to be honest, I have no idea why I did that, because if you have visited NC before at this time of year, you would know that from now until the end of summer, you can expect "Hot, humid with possibility of thunderstorms". Strangely enough, that is what is predected for Saturday. Heatwise, it could be worse, 85F is called for - 90's wouldn't have shocked me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting ready for Laramie

3 weeks to go, and howzit going Jimbo?

Training wise, as usual, I feel underprepared. But having said that, I have done a lot of running since Umstead. Most of it has included hills. I have mentioned before the 5 mile ankle breaker trail by Jordan Lake - I have ran that a lot, and last weekend, I did something I did not think was possible - I managed the course in less than an hour. This course has around 1400' up and 1400' down, so it is rarely flat. A couple of months ago, it was taking about 1:10 to do this same run. So, I am probably fitter than I was - whether that translates into being able to keep moving forward for 24 hours or not remains to be seen.

Heat and humidity has really picked up, and although this not likely to be a problem in Wyoming, I think it helps to run under uncomfortable conditions to improve endurance. This week has been nicely in the 90's so "uncomfortable" is a good adjective.

Gear - I now have my dirty girl gaiters, and a new pair of drymax socks. I also tried out yesterday a Nathan Running Vest - I love it. I can carry a lot of stuff, and it feels very comfortable. The 2 for a buck bandanas at walmart have also proved very handy. My new RaceReady shorts that I mentioned a few weeks ago are brilliant, I have had ZERO chafing or bunching issues. I got a new SweatVac hat too. Gear wise, I think I am ready.

I will be on the west coast next week, so I will get some runs in some heat with low humidity - I have no idea if that will help.

Next Saturday, I will be running the Boogie Marathon. Hmmmm, a marathon, in June, in North Carolina. Who would be stupid enough to do that???? Oh, and it's at night too!! Actually, I think this will a good final "Long Run". This is without a doubt, the most relaxed I have felt prior to a marathon - probably, because I have no plans to even attempt anything close to a PR - this is a training run only. I suspect it will be about 5:00 to 5:30 time for me - there will be a lot of walking.

So, am I ready? Who knows, but the beauty of a 24 hr run, is there is no such thing as a DNF I guess :) In all honesty, I do have a "secret-dream-goal", I may reveal it in the day or so before - but for now, publicly, all I will say is that my goal is to finish alive 24 hours or so after I started!

Bring it on, I can't wait.