Monday, June 29, 2020

Dark 2 Dawn 6 hour

Sunday morning, June 28 at 12:30 am I ran the Dark 2 Dawn 6 hour at Indian Camp Creek Park in St Charles County by Terrain Trail Runners. It was awesome having the choice to run an event even with COVID-19 protocols in place.

This year to spread out the runners there was a staggered start based on marathon time. I started in 1st wave and a lot of runners passed me that I passed again later. Conditions were far from ideal since it had rained earlier and temps in 70s and humidity in 90s. There were a few sections that were quite muddy, slippery and tacky where a lot of mud built up on my shoes making it difficult to move efficiently.

In order to go out on 5th loop we are supposed to be back in 4:30-40. 4:30 is 1:07:30 per loop so I made that my goal just in case I slowed later I could use the 10 minute buffer. It isn’t the way I’d normally pace 6 hours but adds to the challenge.

I ran loops 1 and 2 both around 1:06 each. I knew I couldn’t afford to waste much time at the aid station so had bottles ready in my cooler. I took 2 headlamps so I could switch after 3 loops and not waste time changing batteries. I drank Sword the first loop and had intended to have a gel or pack of Sports Beans every hour but only had 3. Before my 2nd loop I drank half bottle of Body Armor and filled bottle up with water. Felt a bit overhydrated so cut back. Another gel at 2 hours. I was feeling hungry but at same time didn’t feel like eating much. I didn’t see nearly as many people loop 2 where loop 1 had more passing back and forth than I anticipated.

Loop 3 dumped a bottle of mixed Sword into my handheld. I accidentally switched lids and it wasn’t quite the same. Most of it leaked before I could drink much and it was empty after a mile. Then around 14 miles I wiped out sliding sideways in the mud. Noticed a little twinge on inside front of right leg and eventually it decided to cramp. Massaged and walked. Still feeling crampy so I just gradually sped up, mentally willing it to stop and all was good. I also had an episode in loops 4 and 5 and followed the same protocol but cost me some time. Loop 3 was quite a bit slower at 1:14 with the issues.

I intended to drink Pickle Juice before loop 4 but forgot. I ate half a banana from the aid station to curb hunger. I didn’t think I’d make 4.5 hours but pushed so I’d at least hope to make 4:40. I fell once in the 4th loop and got a small cut on my arm. Loop 4 in 1:11 with 3 minutes to spare but felt like it about killed me.

I took a couple minutes before starting loop 5 but figured I had plenty of time to meet my 6 hour goal. I kind of needed a bathroom but started anyway and before half mile I had to quickly take care of business. Wet leaves are great as a TP substitute. It was getting light and I pressed on wanting to get it over. Last year I ran in 6 hr 20 seconds after running 16.5 miles the previous day. I really wanted to improve my time even with the challenging conditions and cramping in loops 3-5. I felt like that wasn’t too much to ask even though I was ready to be done.

I was lapped by a runner about 2 miles from end that ran 6 loops and set a new CR. I ran last loop in 1:18, a bit slower than I’d hoped but considering I was spent after 4 loops I’m not surprised. Overall time was 5:55. I placed 4th overall of 66 finishers. One runner with 6 loops and 3 runners with 5 loops. I placed same last year but hard effort in a different way. I guess I need to go back next year with fresh legs and hope for drier conditions.

I ended up using only 3 gels/sports beans, 1/2 banana and various drinks. 800 calories which is a bit low for 6 hours. Normally there is a post race breakfast but received FarmTruk granola bars and beef sticks to go.

Photos by Janzow Photography.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Quivering Quads 50K

Ran my first race of the season, Quivering Quads 50k on March 8. My weight was down 11 lbs since January and I had a few decent mileage weeks. I wasn’t sure how my body would perform although I’ve felt better than I have in quite awhile. I’m was shocked how well this went. I was a little embarrassed getting bib #1 but was realistic hoping for maybe 5 - 5.5 hours and maybe 5-10 place. I passed 11-12 people during the first 18 miles and the final runner a few miles later, managing to put about 6 minutes between us by the end. 4:41 was 24 min slower than my fastest 50k, 11 years ago on a flat mostly paved course. It was a beautiful day, beautiful trail and enjoyed making the trek to the race with friends.

Unfortunately, every race (Ohio Backyard, Double Chubb 50K, Trail of Four Winds 25K, Berryman 50 miler) since then has been either postponed until later this year or the next year. I decided to drop Ohio Backyard Ultra since it was moved to October. I'll probably run Trail of Four Winds next year since it was moved to September. Double Chub and Berryman, I can run in 2021 or 2022. Hopefully, some races start happening soon!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Running and Racing Review

Running mileage was 2728 which is the third highest ever (3014 in 2008 and 2839 in 2010).

Goals accomplished (or not accomplished) for 2019:
I set a goal to do 60 weight workouts again. I did well in January and February and only ended up with 22 workouts. I need to seriously rethink goals and how I schedule workouts since this isn't working.

I made very little progress on the decluttering but I guess some is better than none.  I'm trying a new method to get it done going forward. As much as I try to ignore it causes me stress. Mental decluttering seems far easier since those things are easier to let go for me.

Running was fun but not sure any more than last year. Again, need to rethink how and why I sign up for certain races. Training can be fun too even with few races planned. Need more balance and to think about how much time I am running and doing other healthy activities. Get back to Body for Life more and focus on nutrition and weight training as well.

Ran 1 marathon and 9 ultras this year, the same as last year. I didn't feel drained but did feel like maybe it was too many to cope with mentally running 100+ miles 4 times.

Total Miles:
2019 - 2728
2018 - 2471
2017 - 2529
2016 - 2472
2015 - 2588
2014 - 2683 (yes, the exact same as 2012)
2013 - 2405
2012 - 2683
2011 - 2460
2010 - 2839
2009 - 2675
2008 – 3014
2007 – 2572
2006 – 1937
2005 – 2090
2004 - ~1000

Marathons (36 total):
2019 - (1) Heart of America Marathon (didn't BQ but ran less than a week after running The Dome)
2018 - (1) Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2017 - (2) Marathon to Marathon (BQ), Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2016 - (1) Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2015 - (1) Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2014 - (1) Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2013 - (2) Heart of America Marathon (BQ), Kansas City Marathon (BQ)
2012 - (2) Post Oak Trail Marathon, Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2011 - (2) Berryman Trail Marathon, Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2010 - (2) Go! St Louis Marathon (BQ), Heart of America Marathon (BQ)
2009 - (5) Disney Marathon (BQ and Sub-3 hr), 3 Days of Syllamo (Trail), Boston Marathon (BQ and Sub-3 hr), Heart of America Marathon (BQ and Course PR), Louis & Clark Marathon (BQ and Sub-3 hr)
2008 - (4) Boston Marathon (BQ and PR), Laughing Out Loud Marathon, Heart of America Marathon (BQ), Twin Cities Marathon (BQ)
2007 - (5) Laughing Out Load, Berryman (First Trail Marathon - placed
4th), Heart of America (BQ), Baltimore Marathon (BQ), Bass Pro
2006 - (3) Flying Pig (BQ), Heart of America (BQ, Chicago (BQ)
2005 - (3) Mad City, Heart of America (BQ), Portland (BQ)
2004 - (1) Heart of America

Ultramarathons (80 total):
2019 - (9) - 3 Days of Syllamo 50 mi, Lion's Roar 24 hr - 118 mi, Berryman 50 mi, Last Runner Standing 62.4 mi, Dark 2 Dawn 6 hr 33.5 mi, Never Summer 100K, Six Days in the Dome 48 hr 129.78 mi, Big's Backyard Ultra 104.16 mi, 4 Fore 30 - 112.5 mi
2018 - (9) - Ozark Foothills 50K, Strolling Jim 40 mi, Berryman Trail 50 mi, Last Runner Standing 54 mi, Get Your Butt Kicked at Route 66 41.7 mi, Psycho Psummer Run Toto Run 50K, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Big Dog's Backyard Ultra 112.5 mi, Fore for 30 88 mi
2017 - (4) - Berryman Trail 50 mi, Psycho Psummer Run Toto Run 50K, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Big Dog's Backyard Ultra 100 mi
2016 - (10) - Psycho Wyco Winter 50K, Ozark Foothills 50K, Free State Trail 100K, Flatrock 100K, Berryman Trail 50 mi, Kettle Moraine 100 mi, Psycho Psummer 50K, Barkley Fall Classic 50K, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Big Dog's Backyard Ultra 91.67 mi
2015 - (8) 3 Days of Syllamo 50K, 3 Days of Syllamo 50 mi, Berryman Trail 50 mi, Psycho Psummer 50K, Mark Twain 50 mi, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Defiance 50K, Ozark Trail 100
2014 - (7) 3 Days of Syllamo 50K, 3 Days of Syllamo 50 mi, Berryman Trail 50 mi, Mohican 100 mi, Barkley Fall Classic 50K, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Big's Backyard Ultra 104 mi
2013 - (4) Land Between the Lakes 50 mi, Berryman Trail 50 mi, Psycho Psummer 50K, Leadville Trail 100 mi
2012 - (9) Post Oak 50K, 3 Days of Syllamo 50K, 3 Days of Syllamo 50 mi, Free State Trail 100K, Berryman Trail 50 mi, Kettle Moraine 100K (PR), Psycho Psummer 50K, Burning River 100 mi, Big Dog's Backyard Ultra 104 mi
2011 - (5) Psycho Wyco 50K, Grand Canyon 47 mi, Psycho Psummer 50K, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Pumpkin Holler 100 mi (PR)
2010 - (6) Psycho Wyco 50K, Free State Trail 100K (PR), Kettle Moraine 100 mi (PR), Flatrock 50K, Rock Bridge Revenge 50K, Ozark Trail 100 mi
2009 - (4) 3 Days of Syllamo 50 mi, Psycho Wyco 50K, Berryman 50 mi, Q50 Ultramarathon 50K (PR)
2008 – (4) 3 Days of Syllamo 50K, 3 Days of Syllamo 50 mi, Berryman 50 mi, Rock Creek Trail 50K
2007 - (1) Hocking Hills Indian Run 60K

Number of each type of races for 2019:
100 mi+ - 4
100K+ - 2
50 mi+ - 2
50K+ - 1
Marathon – 1
25K - 2
Half Marathon - 3
20K - 2
10K - 1
5 mi - 1
5K - 1

I didn't count the Thursday night trail races.

Total running miles run in 20 races - 863.4 miles (2018 - 19 races – 568.4 mi)

States I ran marathons and ultras in 2019 (6): AR, CO, MN, MO, TN, WI
All states I have run marathons and ultras (19): AR, AZ, CO, FL, IA, IL, LA, KS, KY, MA,MD, MN, MO, OH, OK, OR, TN, WA, WI

2019 PR - 24 hr - 118 mi
2018 PR - 6 hr - 41.7 mi
2015 PR in 4 mi
2014 PR in 4 mi
2013 PR in 50 mi
2012 PRs in 25K, 100K
2011 PRs in 4 mi, 10K, 100 mi
2010 PRs in 1 mi, 4 mi, 10 mi, half marathon, 3/4 marathon, 100K, 100 mi
2009 PRs in 5K, 25K, half marathon, and 50K
2008 PRs in 5K, 5 mi, 10K, 10 mi, marathon, 50K, 50 mi
2007 PRs in 5K, 4 mi, 8K, 5 mi, 10K, 10 mi
2006 PRs in 20K, half Marathon, and marathon

Possible races planned for 2020:
January - Runner's Choice 20K
February - Nut Race 5K
March - Ohio Backyard Ultra
April - Double Chubb 50K
May - Trail of the Four Winds 25K, Berryman 50 mile
July - Parley Pratt Memorial Freedom Run
August - Sandbagger 5 mi
September - Heart of America Marathon
October -  Rock Bridge Revenge 50k
November - Thanksgiving Day Pie Run 10K
December - Cheese and Sauerkraut 10 miler, 4 Fore 30

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

2019 - 4 Fore 30

I spent December 6 - 7 running loops at 4 Fore 30 in Camdenton at Lake Valley Golf Club. It might sound boring but it is run on a beautiful golf course and a lot of fun. The format is 4.1667 miles and 1 hour to finish. Everyone lines up again the next hour until they drop or go over 1 hour. This year was capped at 30 hours or last runner standing. Next year will be to infinity (no cap), the same as the Big Backyard Ultra, the original last runner standing event.

Last year I went 22 hours and the other runner dropped halfway through my last loop. This year also had Gary S. running in the last 3 but he made it pretty clear he was stopping at 24 hours/100 miles. He accomplished 100 which left me and Chris H. who was easily making cutoffs and running strong. He started loops 25-27 with me. He was hard to read since he started in front and later I would pass him. On loop 27, shortly after we started he told me he was dropping at the aid station. I was sad and sorry to see him drop but I appreciated him letting me know so I could run the last loop faster and get it over 🙂. Previously I was trying to conserve since if it had gone 30 hours, the fastest runner at 30 hour loop would be the winner. Imagine racing 4.1667 miles after 29 hours and 121 miles. I wasn’t sure I wanted to but would have given my best effort.

I ended up the winner at 27 loops - 112.59 miles. Most of my loops were around 51 minutes compared to last year when I ran many at 41 minutes. With 59 runners starting it was even more fun than last year and outstanding competition. Several runners achieved a personal mileage best. I enjoyed running many loops in sync with Joe Cooper, running strong and excelling at this format. Sam W. and Abby R.A. helped crew and kept us warm.

The race directors Scott P. and Alysia G.M. have put together a gem of an event at 4 Fore 30. Even if you don’t run ultras it is an opportunity for all running abilities to challenge your limits both physically and mentally.

Also, at least this year you could receive one of the coveted 💩 medals if you DNFd. Even if you aren’t the winner at least you go home with something. Maybe next year?