Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter run

The pups and I went for a run at Jordan ake today - we had about 4 or 5 inches of snow. Lot of fun :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pigtail's Run - Some pictures

The beauty of the internet is that there is always someone who will have taken some pictures to bail out the person who's camera crapped out - so here are a few of "Lake Youngs" trail, scene of the Pigtail's 50K

The Trail

The Mud

The Hill - right at the end. Ouch.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pigtail's 50K run - PR, bad electronics day, lots of rain

All in all, I really enjoyed the Pitails 50K run, it was definitely my kind of race. Entry fee, $5 donation, plus some food for the food bank. Plus if you can, bring some goodies for the aid station. So I brought some food cans, plus some dog food and for the aid station, I brought trail-mix and "Throwback Mountain Dew" - caffiene and sugar, lightly favored with (presumably artificial) lemon/lime. There were a lot of people who showed up to run - I think I read somewhere that there were 140 registered runners.

The weather was pretty crappy for the whole day - rain. It did ease off every now and then, but never for long enough to dry out - or more importantly, for my MP3 player and camera to dry out.

It was impossible to get lost, which I like - just follow the fence for 9.6 miles. Three times, and then a 2.2 mile out an back.

The trail had pretty good footing, except during my third lap when it started to get more saturated and muddy. By that time though, I cared not one jot, and rather than sidestep the puddles and muddy spots, I just went right through them.

So, what did I learn?
  1. Put the MP3 player and camera in a Ziploc bag - it will minimize the risk of them crapping out (sorry, no pictures today :( )
  2. If I am staying in a motel, buy bottled water to fill up the hydration pack. The water from the hotel tasted like bleach it was that chlorinated. It was quite unpleasant, and not at all like "Sanford Springs Mineral Water" (aka Jimbo's water from the well at home)
  3. Talking of Nathan Hydration Pack - I will need to apply some Sportshield where the chest strap does up - quite some nasty chafing there
Onto the race itself. The initial plan was not really to "race it" - however, as the race went on, I had visions of beating my Derby 50K PR. I figured that if I got in from my third lap in less than 6 hours, then I should be able to finish under 6:28. Easy - 3 x 2 hour laps and 27 minutes for the 2.2 mile out and back.

  • Lap 1: 1:54 (this is when I started thinking I could do it)
  • Lap 2: 1:58 - game on. 8 minutes (total so far) in the 'bank'
  • Lap 3: 2:04. Almost used up all the 'bank' time. I really started to feel the effects of last weeks 100K in the second half of this lap. Bottom line - I arrived after the third lap in 5:56 - PR on the cards, but I was hurting now. Keep moving forward.
  • Partial Lap (2.2 mi): 29 minutes. Woohoo! I took a total of 4 minutes off of my PR!
So, to summarize - a PR is always good, and I always enjoy the company of other ultra runners, and I recommend this one - particularly if you find yourself stranded in Seattle in January.... This is a well organized race, and my hat goes off to the people who put it all together and all of the voluteers. Y'all did a sterling job.

I did check - even though they weren't giving out awards for the winner from each state represented - I was indeed the winning entrant from North Carolina (I was also the losing entant from NC, but we will keep that hushed)

Official time 6:24:24 **PR**

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pigtail's 50K run

Work took me this week to the Pacific Northwest. So with nothing to do for the weekend, it seemed only logical to look for another Ultra to run...... I found the Pigtail's 50K run - perfectly located in Renton WA. The run has a $5 entry fee, and a donation to a local food bank is requested. (When I was in Walmart, I couldn't remember if the donation was for a food bank or the local animal shelter - so I got some dog food too

I am not so sure about running a 50k so soon after last week's 100k - I guess we will find out how well and how quickly I recover. I certainly have no thoughts of "racing" it, I am just planning on plodding around, and it will take as long as it takes, in addition, being as it is a looped course (3 x 9.6 miles, plus a 1.1 mile out and back), there will be opportunities to drop out if I am risking injury.

So, here's to having some fun :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weymouth Woods 100K

First off, I have to comment on what a fabulously well organized run this was. This race is absolutely a "keeper", I enjoyed everything about it. The location was also great - just 30 minutes or so from home.

The course was a 4.47 mile loop on mainly technical single track trails. Some of the terrain was easy on the foot pinestraw covered sand, but most of the loop was fairly root covered. Not much of it was flat.

Camp Jimbo

I arrived an hour before the start, had plenty of time for a coffee in the heated auditorium, and set up the car as my own mini-aid station, just over the way from "Mrs. Doom's all you can eat buffet"

 The race started at 8, and I immediately fell in love with the course. It is very similar to where I train by Jordan Lake.

I ran smartly, ate and drank regularly and took occasional sit down breaks (the longest was about 20 minutes when I had to "check-in" for my flight the next day at exactly at 2:25pm - if you have ever flown Southwest before, you will realize the importance of getting an "A" seat - I would not have enjoyed getting the middle seat to the west coast just a few hours after finishing a 100K run.... but still, that was what my Blackberry was designed for, and it was fairly painless, and I did enjoy the break).

My 50 mile split was about 12:30 - which was pretty good I think given the course.

Sometime on my 11th Lap, I caught up with Ray K, a veteran of several hundred Ultras over the last two or three decades, by then, I knew that I would enjoy the company, so I hung out with Ray, mainly walking, until the end of the race, listening to stories, and listening to him singing his Beatles repertoire! I thoroughly enjoyed those last few laps, Ray is a great character and terrific company. The only dampener was that it did start raining, and gradually got heavier and heavier over the last 3 laps, and it was quite a soaking rain towards the end and was pretty uncomfortable.

My finish time was 17:57, and being as it is my first 100K, that makes it a PR, and gives me a time to beat next year.

So, a heartfelt thanks to Marie Lewis, the RD for putting it all together. In addition, a big shout out to all of Marie's friends and family who all did an outstanding job volunteering - Mrs Doom's all you can eat buffet was brilliant, and the service was superb.

I'm looking forward to next year's race already.

Jimbo and Marie after my first lap

Monday, January 11, 2010

A few more confirmed entries to add to the list.....

Ellerbe Springs Marathon. Two weeks before Umstead, the goal will have to be, 'finish alive', and 'don't get injured'. Another Mangum race - so far, I have enjoyed every one of their races, and I am certain that this will be no exception.

In May, I have signed up for the Buncombe Trail 34M in South Carolina.

July - a trip to California is called for. I have entered the Tahoe Rim Trail 50. Last year, after a business trip to California was extended through the race weekend, I helped out at the finish line when the 100 milers were coming through. The scenery is absolutely spectacular, and I really enjoyed my time there, so this one was on my "must do" list. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Now this looks like fun......

I have been having a hard time deciding on what I should do for February's "marathon-or-greater" run. I was trying to decide between Rocky 50 or Lean Horse 100K, but to be honest, my heart wasn't in it for either of these two this year - the decision was made easy when I stumbled across "The Pilot Mountain Payback" marathon - So I am going to do that run instead. Just a couple of hours from home, and it looks like a tough "calf-burning" course - looking forward to it.

Pilot Mountain

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Goals for 2010

Goals, lots of them!
  1. Do a marathon or ultra each of the 12 months
  2. Tough 50's, "easy" 100's (yeah I know, there is no such thing - but some are easier than others.)
  3. Run 2010 miles - whether racing, on the trails training, or on the treadmill - Blog the progress. There's probably "an app for that"
  4. Run more in the cold - in other words, become less of a wuss
  5. 2 or 3 100 mile races - Umstead, Javelina and one more
  6. Hinson - have a serious go at running 100 miles in 24 hours. Tough, but I think possible for me if I train well and run well through the summer
  7. Injury free etc etc.
  8. Drop to below 180 lbs
Goal races here is what I am thinking. I need to make a decision about Feb - I think I will wait to see how Weymouth Woods goes. The Key is: [R] = Registered. [C] = 99% Certain, but not yet registered. [A]=75% certain, but not yet registered

Jan: Weymouth Woods 100K [R]
Feb: One of Rocky Racoon 50 mile?? Lean Horse 100K?? Holiday Lake 50K??
Mar: Ellerbe Springs Marathon [C] and Umstead 100 miles [R]
April: Zane Grey 50 mile [R]
May: TBD - thinking a 100 miler somewhere
June: Boogie 50 mile [R]
July: Tahoe Rim Trail 50 mile [A]
August: Medoc Meltdown FA 50K+  If it's on, I'm in!
September: Grand Teton 50 mile[A] and Hinson Lake 24 hr [C]
October: Medoc Trail Marathon [C]. Javelina Jundred [C]
November: Derby 50K [C]
December: TBD

Too ambitious? Quite likely!