Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 Cheese & Sauerkraut 10 Miler

We arrived early at 7:30 and I ran the 5 mile loop with Andy S. at a 7:15 pace. I didn't realize how fast we were running until we finished but was just a little worried that maybe that was too aggressive for a warm up.  Temp was in the low 40s and dropping.  I ran the first loop with Dan E. and Erik S. right behind us.  Dan really helped me keep a good pace.  Andy S. & Kevin S. were in our sights for the loop.  After the first loop I sped up a bit and caught up to Andy at little over 6 miles.  Kevin had pulled ahead quite a bit. We passed Kevin at the turn around since he was having a cramp which I felt bad that was the reason we passed him.

We didn't say much since we were working pretty hard.  Andy and I stayed together until the very end and tied for first at 1:30:50. I had predicted 1:07 so I was off 3:10 and the 33rd worst predictor.  I ran the first loop in 32:30 so ran the second in 31:20.  Very unusual for me to run that kind of negative split.  I took a full minute off my 10 mile PR from 2008 when I ran this race.  I really didn't expect to PR today.  We weren't allowed to wear watches but kept my GPS in my pocket to get the splits. 

Great turnout (50 runners) and lots of yummy stuff to eat after the race.  We had cinnamon rolls, chocolate sauerkraut cake, German Chocolate cookies with cream cheese in them that Hugh made.  The closest person was 13 seconds off and the furthest was Kevin at 16 min since he had a cramp so he got the Kraut.  The wind picked up and turned colder as we were waiting for results, but we had good conditions during the race.  The temp dropped 20 degrees during today and it is expected to get down to 15 tonight.

This race was featured on the calendar of the December 2010 Runner's World on page 108.  It is kind of funny they said it had 50 runners (an estimate) since that is exactly the number we had this year.  We get to run past a 350 year old burr oak (photo here) tree.  There is a picture in RW with the tree too.  It is the tree on the left.



Andy & Hugh

Saturday, December 04, 2010

2010 Jingle Bell 5K

Pretty easy 5K for me.  I wasn't sure whether I was ready to run this pace, but pretty even splits and felt good at the end.  Not much happened.  Passed a guy a first mile and 2 guys at 1.5 mi.  No one passed me.  Volunteers were sparse and it was quite windy which made it feel colder.  Paced 8th overall out of 398 runners and first in my age group.  We picked up our awards after since no ceremony.  Hugh placed 2nd in his age group and ran a 21:54, 18th overall.

Overall time was 18:51.  Splits, 6:08, 6:00, 6:13, 0:32

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Thanksgiving Day Pie Run

This race had a huge turnout and I am guessing over 500 people.  We arrived around 7:35, picked up our numbers, and got a voucher to pick up a shirt next month since they ran out.  I ran the course with Hugh to warm up.  Temp was around 34, but quite windy.  When we got back, I decided to change to a lighter jacket and take off the pants since I was getting a little warm.  The race started 10 min late so a big improvement over last year.  There were some issues getting people in the proper position for the starting line.  There were no markers that I could see on the ground so we weren’t sure where to stand.  

I signed up for the 5K this year but wasn’t sure how fast I could run due to my deconditioning over the past few weeks.  Today was my 3rd day back running after 13 days off so I had no goal in mind other than to not run so hard I would hurt myself further.  I wasn’t sure where to line up so stayed back a little.  When we took off, I realized I should have been up closer since I passed probably 100 people. 

Within the first half mile I see Paul S. ahead of me and catch up to him.  I talk to him for a bit and then go ahead, but then realize that I am sucking a lot of air and going too fast.  I slowed down a bit and hit first mile in 6:22.  We run out to a cone to turn around and head back.  I saw a lot of Columbia runners ahead of me coming back before I got to the turnaround.  There was actually a 5K in Columbia for the first time on Thanksgiving, but a lot of us opted to go to Jefferson City since it is a well organized event and on a certified course with both a 5 and 10K and they give away a lot of pies. 

After the turnaround, I feel like I can run a 6:40-something pace and mile 2 is 6:40.  A couple guys had caught up to me, but stayed with me.  About 2.8 mi, I leave one of them behind.  At this point we are on the trail headed to the finish.  I sped up and passed a couple more guys before the finish but there were also 10K runners and I didn’t notice which race they were running.  My third mile was 6:39 and last 0.19 mi at 6:09 pace for a total of 20:50 (6:32/mi).  I probably ran the first mile a little fast for the shape I am in, but was happy that I held on the 2nd and 3rd mile.  I was glad I wasn’t running the 10K at this pace which would have been impossible today.

I found Hugh who finished less than 1.5 min behind me and we ran a 3.4 mi cool down after he ate his doughnut.  I couldn’t eat at that point and was glad when we started running since I felt I really need to wind down.  When we were done I ate too many doughnuts, we waited for the awards (didn’t win anything), and didn’t have my number drawn for a pie either.

I didn’t feel like the medial tendon injury is what slowed me down since it felt pretty good while I was running.  I can be thankful that I am just out of shape to run that fast.  I will see if I can get my 5K back under 19 soon.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

2010 - Ozark Trail 100 Endurance Run

This was a LONG race for me so I will try to keep this as short as possible.  A lot of it I don't remember too well so that should help.  First, the Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run is a point-to-point 102 mile ultramarathon on the Ozark Trail through the Mark Twain National Forest in south central Missouri. The race is mostly on single track trail with several water crossings and approximately 12,000 to 15,000 feet of elevation gain. The trail surface varies from smooth dirt trail to moderately technical trail with lots of leaves covering the trail.

The trip to Bass River Resort went smoothly.  We arrived around 5 pm, picked up my race packet, dropped off drop bags, and then headed to the spaghetti and chicken dinner.  Hugh was happy they had WiFi for his iPod Touch.  The room where we ate was bustling with activity and there were many familiar and friendly faces from other races.  At about 6 pm we had a pre-race meeting and after headed to our cabin with Lisa and Jeff. I tried to go to sleep around 9 pm but sleeping was restless. 

Alarm went off at 2 am so we prepared to get ready.  Temps had dropped to 23F so it was the coldest morning we have had all fall.  I wore a short sleeved shirt, a long sleeved over, and my warmest running jacket over that one.  Hugh headed over to the bus with Jeff and me and took a couple pictures before we took off at 3:30 am.  The bus ride was interesting.  We were in the first bus which didn't have many people.  I sat in a front seat and Johnny A. from Columbia was in the seat behind me.  There was another bus behind us and then a line of cars.  I tried to close my eyes and rest on the bus, but was pretty uncomfortable.  We stopped at one point for a potty break.  I stayed alert the rest of the way and got the feeling the driver wasn't sure where to go.  We turned around at an intersection and everyone followed.  Then down a narrow gravel road and eventually, he pulled over and a car told him where to go so we turned around again.  We arrived at the starting line around 5:45 am.  I was able to use the port-a-potty, take off my pants, and got back on the bus for a few minutes.

The race started at 6:06 am.  I started pretty far back in the pack so passed quite a few people until I caught up to some other runners running about a 12 min pace.  I used my Petzl Tikka light to start off with since we wouldn't be running in the dark for very long.  With all the leaves it was difficult to avoid some branches which tripped me up a few times.  I fell once over a branch and scraped my ankles some more.  There were lots of stray brambles to scratch the legs and has the temps warmed up, I could feel the sting. The jacket was starting to be too much.  It was light by the Grasshopper Hollow aid station at mile 8.  I refilled one bottle and grabbed some food.  I was carrying Succeed Ultra to drink and a few gels and sweet and salty chewy granola bars. 

Lots of trees were down from the storm last year and there were huge root balls.  They had done a nice job clearing the trail and some sections had very few trees left since about 80% were destroyed in the storm.  I hit my right knee running over a big branch across the trail.  Mostly scraped so not too bad other than the blood looked bad.  Hugh and Lisa were at the Sutton Bluff 17.6 mile aid station where I had my first drop bag and arrived at about 10 am.  Jeff and Allan were about 45 min behind me at this point based on the time of the pictures.  I am guessing I didn't look too great at this point with my legs scratched up and my knee bleeding.  I am not sure how many times I fell up to this point.  I left my jacket with them after Lisa asked if I wanted to leave it.  I had forgotten that I did.

The next part I think I was running alone quite a bit and don't remember much.  My 401 GPS died at about 24 miles, 5 hr 16 min and shows that I had a 13:06 split up to this point.  It had malfunctioned and shut off at one point so I lost a little distance.  My splits up to this point are on RunningAhead and then I switched over to the 310XT GPS.  I also removed my long sleeved shirt (guessing temp was at least 60?) and ran with just my short sleeved and felt a little better.  I noticed that the inside of my right ankle felt strange so I stopped and it was noticeably swollen but not in much pain.  I was worried this might be a problem, but running didn't seem to stress it that much but it was a little sore.  I think I might have aggravated when I tripped over the branch earlier.

I came upon Anthony L. and friend he was running with and another guy off and on.  I ran with them for quite awhile until we reached the 43.5 miles.  I was really needing someone to run with since I don't think I was doing so well. I was having issues with my right ear feeling plugged and could here my heart beat which was very annoying and continued off and on for quite awhile.  They were running the perfect pace that was pushing me just a little and walking the hills.  Finally, we hear the people at the Brooks Creek 43.5 mile aid station and the time is about 4:10 pm. so I have dropped about a minute to a 14 per mile overall pace.  I did not place a drop bag here.  There were 7 places for a bag and I used 6.  I was unsure if I would make it to my other light before dark so the first thing I asked Hugh for at the Brooks Creek 43.5 mi aid station the light I had left with him back at 17.6 miles.  Andy S., Michael, and Lisa were also at this station.  I was feeling better and thinking, I just need to make it to 68.5 miles where Andy S. would begin to run with me.  However, I realized that was going to be a long time at the pace I am running.

Now, I am thinking just make to the next aid station at 51 miles and I will be half done.  Those were a tough 8 miles, but I made it just before dark so I was able to get my Petzl Myo XP light.  I came into that station with a few people and more arrived behind.  I put on a long sleeved shirt and had some food and was ready to go so I took off ahead on my own since I figured they would all catch me.  I turned on my light shortly after leaving.  The temp is dropping and I am starting to feel like I have new legs.  I am not breaking any speed records, but feeling pretty good.  A couple from Iowa running their first 100 together catch up to me and pass me.  They are really flying and I try to keep up.  They did walk the uphills but pace seemed really fast where they ran.  The funny thing is it looks like we were only averaging 14 - 15 min miles with all the walking up the hills.  I came in with them at the next aid station and then took off without them figuring they would catch me again.

I am on my own again in the dark but didn't have any problem finding my way.  There were a few OT markers on the trees and pink and silver tape every so often that showed up well with my light.  I kept hoping the couple would catch me but I didn't see them again.  Temps were really starting to get cold and even cooler in the low lying areas. I was really in need of my gloves since some of my fingers were feeling a little numb.  I came upon a creek that was pretty deep and said a few choice words and there was a guy across that said I had to cross there.  He was from the aid station and asked if there were flags missing since someone had mentioned they were down.  I had noticed some of the reflector part of the flag on the ground but didn't have a problem.  I figured since he was from the aid station, I didn't have far to go, but seemed like it took forever to get there.  I finally arrived at Hazel Creek 68.5 mile aid station at 11:20 pm so overall had dropped to about a 15 min pace.  I spent some time here eating, changing my batteries and warming up.  Then I was ready to head out with Andy S. and see how quickly we could get this over with.  Unfortunately, I couldn't even keep a 15 min/mile pace at this point so it would be very quick.  My legs were just done.

We headed out at my snail pace about 17 min per mile.  I attempted to run which helped the pace since walking was worse.  Attempting to run also helped keep me warm.  I wasn't in a very talkative mood and it was often hard to hear with all the leaves we were wading through.  My shoulders more near the center of my back just below my neck were in excruciating pain due to so much tension.  Might have been the bottles.  I tried to relax and helped just a little, but then it would come back.  We made it to the next aid station at Machell Hollow at 76.1 but I don't really remember much.  I am thinking the guys running it said they were from Kansas and I remember eating something.  I was getting hungry between stations and eating a bar and a gel and still hungry when we reached at stations.  I think I ate more at the aid stations than my previous 100 miler due to the cold.

We headed out and the next aid station was the Berryman Campground 81.5 miles.  Pace for these miles was between 16 - 18 min.  I was really looking forward to getting there since I desperately needed a bathroom to do more than pee which I had been doing about every hour.  Finally, we see a sign and have to turn off to get to the aid station.  I head straight to the bathroom and enjoy a few minutes there.  Then ate some soup, peaches, and and probably some other stuff.  I left one water bottle in my drop bag since I wasn't drinking as much in the cold.

We are off and I am feeling better, but still couldn't get the legs to move very fast.  GPS survived another 7 miles and those were 19 - 20 min miles.  Stats for the 301XT GPS are at RunningAhead.  Between the 2 GPS devices I had 90.75 miles, but we still had 14 miles to go at the next aid station which was supposed to be 88 miles. This is a map and elevation for the second and last GPS.

The next aid station at 88 miles seemed further than it was supposed to be.  I ate in between, but wasn't drinking much since it was so cold.  When we arrived at Billy's Branch at 88 miles, Brad Bishop was getting ready to leave and didn't look too good.  They told us he had been there an hour.  Based on the 88 miles and it was 6 am, my pace was at 16:20 so had dropped another minute. Probably good I was done with the GPS at this point, but was nice to have to get an idea how close to an aid station.  The final aid station at mile 95 was 7 miles. 

We catch up to several people including Brad.  There was another guy on the way bent over and apparently sick. Once it got light, I was a little more talkative.  It seemed like there was maybe hope that I would finish.  We kept moving forward.  We make it to the last aid station at 95 miles in pretty good time - about 2 hours for 7 miles.  We eat and visit with them and don't see any other runners before we leave.  Things are looking up in the daylight!

We take off and the next part seems pretty runnable.  I am still trying to run but legs were tightening up every time I stopped even though I didn't sit down.  They told me at the 95 mile station I was in 10th place.  Earlier in the day at 43.5 I think I was in about 15th so the competitive side of me is emerging even though I am in pain and exhausted.  I don't want to lose my 10th place.  Neither of us has a working GPS so don't really know for sure how far to go.  I managed to get my GPS back on with the little power that was left to check the time at one point and figured about an hour to go.  There are some huge climbs before the end so we are back to walking quite a bit. 

Finally, we come to the part where I remember they said there was a fence row near the end.  It flattens out but still over a mile? to go.  We are even walking some of the flat.  I am sure Andy S. was ready to be done as well after being out there for over 10 hours.  It seems to take forever to reach the finish.  We run some more and finally can see where we need to go.  So after 27 hrs 50 min (16:23 pace), I am done with at least 102 miles and Paul handed me my buckle!

Finally, I could sit down.  I wasn't hungry but did have some milk and mixed nuts. I am not sure how long I sat, but when I got up I could barely walk and realized the inside of my left knee also hurt and was very stiff.  I really wanted a shower but knew that was going to be painful with all the cuts and just walking the few feet to get there.  I took a shower and then went outside and sat in the sun with way too many clothes on but just wanted to be warm.  Eventually had some Ibuprofen and when I went to get up later as Jeff, Allan, and Andy P. were coming in, I was walking better.

I am sure I missed a lot in this report.  As I was running at one point, I though I am just going to write "It sucked!" and be done with it.  However, this well-organized race deserves more.  The trail was very scenic, the aid stations top-notch (great food, positive and helpful workers), other runners were encouraging, my pacer for the last 34 miles got me through to the end and took good care of me, and Hugh and Lisa made everything happen so our pacers could run with us and took care of other needs.  This was the hardest race I have ever done.  I told someone at 51 miles that I already felt much worse than I did at the end of Kettle Moraine, my first 100 in June. There was no way I could have driven home after this one without a lot of sleep.  I slept most of the way home only awaking when we stopped for food and then slept about 14 hours that night.  I woke up feeling better, less swollen, but still some healing to do 2 days later.

Would I do this course again?  After I finished, I said I wouldn't but as the pain fades, of course I will reconsider.  There was just so much positive about this race that made the pain worth it.  I would make sure I am better trained on hills and try to figure out how to not get so beat up from the first 20 miles.  I have posted pictures on Facebook (publicly viewable) and I am looking really bad at the end and still don't look too good today, but time and rest will heal.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Truman State 5K

We arrived at packet pickup shortly after 7 am. Temperature was almost 20 F warmer this year.  It was 52F when we arrived.  We picked up our packet and received a drawstring backpack instead of a shirt.  I ran the course with Hugh to warm up.  Once we got back, I hurried to use the bathroom and then lined up in front on the starting line.

As usual, about 30+ people spring ahead of me going out so fast like they are running a mile.  I wanted to keep my pace to just under 6 min.  Before the first mile, I was passing a bunch of people that were breathing pretty hard.  My first mile split was 6:03 which was a few seconds slower than I wanted.  I continued to pass people with ease until just before the 2nd mile.  This is a hilly course so on the hill on the beginning of the second mile, I remembered to use my arms to go up that hill and that helped to maintain some speed.

Second mile which is the hilliest was 6:10, the same as I ran it last year.  3rd mile was getting to be more difficult, but I knew the end was near so kept pushing.  There was no one close in front or behind me.  Finished 3rd mile in 6:01.  Last 0.1 was 5:48 pace.  I noticed before the end I was very close to my time last year, but didn't quite beat it and was 2 seconds over at 18:44 which is my second best time on this course.

Overall placed 6th of 106 (not sure the number since all we saw was the 1st page of results) and first of 12 in my age group of 35 - 44.  Hugh placed 23rd and second in his age group 45 - 54.  He was beaten by a guy that ran 18:03 that was 45.  For some reason, the age group are different in this race than others.  I don't think I am in 5K shape.  Although, it was fun running this race, it certainly wasn't as enjoyable for me as the longer distances that I run.


Elevation Profile

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Rock Bridge Revenge 50K

If you are looking for results and pictures (coming soon) see: Rock Bridge Revenge Results

This year I ran revenge x 2 since I ran the 50K instead of the 25K.  Temperature was perfect for the start at about 56F (almost 20 degrees warmer than last year), but expected to warm up to 80 by the time I would hopefully finish.  The 7 milers started shortly after 8 am and everyone else at 8:10.  The race was chip timed this year and Jeff gave the 25K and 50K instructions before we started.  We ran a loop in the circle drive to spread out.  This worked pretty well since those that wanted to go out fast had a chance to get ahead before we headed into the woods.

Last year I was just starting to have major issues with my sciatic nerve, but no problems at all today.  In fact, I have been doing really well since I went to an osteopath the past 2 weeks so hopefully continues.  It seemed like a lot of people were running behind me which I think tended to make me start just a little fast.  Tony T. was behind and Whitney, running the 25K, was ahead.  Once we got to the flat area that was just over a mile, Whitney increased the distance and didn't see her again.  The first aid station was in the Devil's Ice Box parking lot at 5.5 mi so I stopped to fill my water.  I offered to let Tony go around, but he stayed behind me.

The next 8 miles in the Gans Creek area are tougher to run.  I didn't really have a pace plan so ran by how I felt and kept the pace reasonable and took the hills easy.  The trails were in absolutely great shape due to no rain in awhile.  Nothing eventful happened in this loop of the course.  We just enjoyed the run and the scenery.  We walked up the big hill right before we got back on the main trail.

Right before we crossed over the road, I tripped on something (maybe a rock?) and took a fall.  My left toe hurt a bit but pain left quickly.  Next, we finished the loop from Devil's Ice box to run just over a mile flat and then up a long hill back to the start.  I switched my bottle, filled and grabbed more food from my bag.  I ate a few gels, and carried some peanut butter and roasted almond granola bars.  No stomach issues at all today.  Also, used the Succeed Ultra and Succeed Caps every hour.  I stopped to pee just after I started the second loops and didn't see Tony again.

The temperature was warming, but I tried to run faster when I could since I knew the other side was going to be even tougher the second time with the warming temps and tiring legs.  I saw a couple of the 25Kers coming back and then didn't see anyone until I caught up to Andy S. about mile 22.  He didn't look like he was feeling too well.  I continued on and was hoping to keep the last miles at 10 min pace, but went over on all on the Gans Creek side.  At some point, I found myself on the ground and had hit my right big toe on a root.  I was fine other than a bit dusty and sandy where I fell and hit my left knee lightly and water bottle in my right hand.

I was looking forward to the big hill since I knew it wasn't far to the Devil's Ice box station.  I saw Dan H. taking pictures as I was walking up the hill and he captured a pic of me walking and I guess I was still smiling.  Should have some pics tomorrow.  It was great getting back to the main trail and felt like I could run a little faster again.  I skipped the aid station at the parking lot since I had plenty of fluid.  In fact, I dumped some out before the end to lighten the load a little.  I was able to pick up the pace on the flat part. Finally came to the hill but ran up it all the way to the end.

I felt good at the end.  I ran the first loop in about 2:19 so second loop was 2:27 so slowed down 8 min which really isn't too bad for me.  Overall time was 4:46 and 4th out of 17 finishers.  I wish I could have ran like Tony since he actually picked it up and beat me by 20 min and moved into 2nd place.  By my GPS the course was 1.6 mi short.  My pace for the 29.4 was 9:45 so about 5 sec slower than my fastest 50K on a single track trail.  Splits are here.  I felt like I could have kept running.  I drank the milk and protein powder I had in the cooler for my recovery drink, got the last massage before they packed up, and then waited awhile for my appetite to return before trying some solid food.

This was fun race since I've run with well over half the runners in the 50K and great seeing them finish, some their first ultra.  The trail was absolutely beautiful and I seem to never grow tired of running on it.  After the last runner came in (he ran a few extra miles : ), we hung out for awhile enjoying the day and then helped Jeff and Lisa (race directors) pack up.

I did have some minor issues with my new shoes.  They are the Mizuno Cabraken and must fit my feet a little different than the Ascends since my left little toe and left heel rubbed a bit.  I noticed this yesterday on the 6.5 mi run with Hugh, but yet I still ran in them.  I thought maybe with Body Glide on my feet, they would be okay.  I think I will save these for shorter runs in the future and see how they do since I haven't had any rubbing issues with the Ascends.  Definitely wouldn't have wanted to run in them any further or I would have had some nasty blisters.  The Cabraken seem a little tighter in the heel and toe area than the Ascends.

I was kind of worried about my right calf since the right inside calf cramped really badly Friday morning and has hurt since.  However, I could only feel it slightly during running and didn't seem to be much an issue due to being on the side of the calf.

Well, this was my last really long run before my next 100 miler.  I don't feel like I've put in the miles like last time where I was to the point of burning out at the end of the training and had to cut back my training plan.  I still have some solid training so hopefully can get though it okay.  I really am not worried about it like the last 100 miler where I just wanted the day to come as quickly as possible and get it over with.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

2010 Coach E. 3/4 Marathon

We picked up Jeff at Midway and headed on our way to the Coach E. 3/4 Marathon.  The race started in Salisbury next to the Funeral Home and Subway with 12 starters including the race director, Wayne.  There had also been a 5K in Brunswick with over 200 people so not many opted for the 3/4 marathon.  I felt like I started off a bit fast, but was feeling better than I have felt in months the past couple days.  I had an osteopathic treatment on Fri. so not sure if that is why or just a coincidence.  I was feeling antsy to run (I've missed that feeling) and started off a bit fast.  I caught up to the guy, an 18 yr old that won the race last year when it was a half marathon.  We ran together for about 3 - 4 miles and he decided he was running too fast.  The way he was running, I think with more training, he could be very fast, but he said a half marathon was as far as he had ever run before.

I followed a 4-wheeler that was leading the just ahead of me all the way.  There were water stops every mile where we could pick up a bottle.  I picked up my first bottle at 3 miles and carried until I finished and picked up another one.  Ended up drinking 4 bottles along the way and consumed 1 gel every 5 miles.  I wore my new light Mizuno jacket which was a bit warm so totally unzipped.  The wind was a bit strong but mostly behind or to the side so not a head wind.  Temp held steady at about 57 and up to 61 by the time I finished.  There were a few hills that slowed me down and I did notice my quads were still a little sore from last Sat. around mile 10.  The shoulder was gravel all the way until about mile 15 it was paved so that really helped me pick up my pace.  The last 4 miles was also flat as a pancake and could see Brunswick grain elevators in the distance.  Most of the scenery was corn and soybean fields and ran through Keytesville near the middle.  I noted that  we passed 3 Casey's General Stores on the way.  One in Salisbury, Keytesville and Brunswick.

I finished in 2:15:42, first place overall.  They gave me a finisher's medal and a first place overall medal.  The finish was downtown in the midst of the Pecan Festival.  First female finished about 25 min behind me and Hugh was third at 2:50. Tess and Christian, the finish line volunteers served pecan pie, Gatorade, water, and iced tea.  They took good care of us.  Jeff finished shortly after.  We hung around for awhile chatting with some of the other runners and then Christian drove us back to our car in Salisbury.  We were parked next to the Subway so ended up eating lunch there before driving home. 

There were some people taking pictures so hopefully those will be shared with us later.  My race splits and course profile are on my running log.

Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Flatrock 50K

Ultramarathon #13, Flatrock 50K is done and although not very long compared to going 100 miles in June, it definitely had a few challenges.  I felt more rested going into this race than I did the Heart of America Marathon 3 weeks ago when I just couldn't seem to feel rested.  This time I felt a little rested, but the dull sciatic pain and tightness continues when I am not running.  Not sure what to do about it other than live with it for now.  The shot on Wed. seemed to help with the tightness but still have some of the dull pain.  But I won't dwell on it since I still can enjoy running.

It was hectic trying to get ready and get out of town since I couldn't take the whole day off work.  It took me awhile after we got on the road to relax.  The drive to Elk City Lake Park near Independence, KS was almost 5 hours and Hugh went with me.  We had no problems until we arrived and then we weren't sure where we needed to be but eventually figured it out.  We arrived just in time for the yummy pre-race dinneer of spaghetti, meatballs on side, rolls, and salad.  I was pleased they allowed one guest to eat free.  We ate dinner with Jeff and Lisa and then headed over to their campsite to set up our tent.  It was a beautiful clear night and the temperature cooled off.  Jeff built a fire that we enjoyed and I ate some chocolate.  Then we we headed to bed about 10 pm.

The 50K started at 7:30 am so we got up at 6 am.  Temp was a cool 54 degrees.  I slept okay considering I woke up several times and some of the air leaked out of the mattress and pumped it up again at some point in the night.  It really wasn't that comfortable with the lack of air so will take the foam pad next time I sleep in the tent.  I ate a pre-race shake, cereal, and banana.  I decided to carry 2 gels and 3 packets of Succeed Ultra and then put 2 of each into Jeff's drop bag.  I also had 5 Succeed Caps and planned to take one about every hour.  We walked to the start line before 7 am for the pre-race meeting.  Basic instructions from the race director Eric Steele were to follow anything marked blue and "if you look up, you're goin' down!" (see the videos at the end) as the course was supposed to be quite rocky.  My goal was to try to stay upright as much as possible and not hurt myself.

We started off on the road and ran a quarter mile or so until we headed into the woods.  I tried to place myself where I thought I needed to be so I wouldn't need to pass people as soon as we got onto the trail.  Immediately, the trail was very rocky.  It is amazing that all this seemed to be hidden amongst trees.  There were 3 guys way ahead out of sight and then I was near about 4 others.  My pace was almost as slow or even slower than my training runs at Rock Bridge park due to extreme difficulty of this trail.  Occasionally had to look up down or around to see the next blue marker but never got off course.  Filled my bottle at the first aid station and may have eaten some peanuts, but didn't waste any time and I was off running again.

Several runners passed me and we kept passing back and forth for several miles until finally some of them went on ahead of me.  I was feeling good other than felt like breakfast wanted to come back up for the first 8 miles.  The course was beautiful with lots of limestone bluffs that we ran beside or in some cases ran in between.  It was a fun place to run and almost seemed like running though a maze at some points with all the rock formations.  Any places that were runnable, I picked up the pace and then slowed down when the course became more technical.  It seemed like I was speeding up and slowing down a lot based on the condition of the trail and not so much the hills.  I passed one of the guys that had been running ahead of me and pacing me so well before the turn around.  I hesitated to pass since it was really easier to just follow someone but I needed to keep my pace and he was slowing.

I counted about 7 guys that had turned around with Brad leading the pack so I was in 8th place at the turnaround point.  GPS had 15 miles, but I think it was slightly further.  I picked up my 2 extra Accel gels and Succeed packets and filled my bottle.  On the way back I got to see quite a few runners including Jeff that were headed to the turn around.  There were 42 starters in the 50K so it was good to see a few people since otherwise I was running alone most of the way back.  Also, saw a few runners from the 25K but never did see Lisa.  At several aid stations, the volunteers would mention the next runner was only a minute or so ahead.  At most of the aid stations, I had a small square of peanut butter and jelly sandwich and refilled the bottle.  I always had my lid ready to come off and the Succeed ready to dump in and didn't spend much time since I find it is best to keep moving.

About mile 22 I slipped and fell but just got a little muddy and nothing hurt.  I passed 4 people at different points even though I slowed a little.  I felt good but didn't want to risk falling.  I filled my bottle at the last aid station where the guys seemed to be having a good time with their own bottle.  Not far to go and I was feeling strong and felt like trying to run faster.  As careful as I was trying to be, I fell again about mile 27 and fell on my left side on some rocks.  The front of my leg just above the foot was over a small log and left a scratch and the tissue was a little sore to the touch.  Also side of my hip was a bit scratched up but not too sore.  I got up and was still feeling good but trying to run too fast and fell again about mile 27.2.

The last few miles were really rocky so I just hoped not to fall again.  I was relieved to finally see the ditch we had run across earlier and when I got to the road I passed a couple 25Kers that were walking.  I kept going at a steady pace and then one of them catches up to me and is running pretty strong so I try to keep up.  I finished pretty fast as I looked down and my pace was 7:20-something.  They definitely knew we were coming at the finish line since they made a lot of noise with their noise-makers (see video below).

Lisa had finished her 25K in one piece and Jeff was about 1.5 hours out from the 50K.  They had chili to eat but all I could drink at first were 2 cans of lemon lime soda.  Then I had some chili and some of Krispy Creme donuts that Hugh had purchased.  Once Jeff had finished I was ready to eat again.  Overall I placed 4th out of 40 finishers, finishing in 5:35:18 (18 min behind Paul).  The next runner was 7 min behind me.  At the turnaround which wasn't quite the halfway point since we ran extra at the end, I was at 2:39 so I did slow about 15 min in the second half.  This was the most challenging course I have run.  This was the most challenging course I have run in the sense of trying to stay upright.  It took a lot of concentration to not fall and I was glad to finish with no major injuries.

This race has a unique honor for the craziest called the "Hall-of-Pain".  This is bestowed on any runner who runs and completes 10 consecutive FlatRock 50Ks. This honor means they are knighted into a brotherhood, and have a permanent cloth bib with their permanent race number, and lifetime free entry to do the 50K.  Paul, the runner that finished before me earned this honor on Saturday.  It is amazing that anyone would subject themselves to this course that many times.  However, it is an awesome race so I can see why people would come back to run it again.

From L to R: Brad (#1), Paul (#3) and Andy (#4) talking before the 50k. The numbers in parentheses are their finishing places
Andy, Lisa, and Jeff

Finisher's Award

Picture of trail



Monday, September 06, 2010

2010 Heart of America Marathon

If you could care less about this blog and want race results:
Race Results


Dan H. Photos

Facebook Album 1

Facebook Album 2


Columbia Missourian

Columbia Tribune

Columbia Tribune - Winner Article

Columbia Missourian Video

Today was the 51st annual Heart of America Marathon. This is going to be a short report this year. #7 HOA is complete. Temp was about 68 F at the start with 60% humidity and a bit windy. 10 F cooler would have been better but wasn't bad with the wind. Over 250 runners this year so one of the best turnouts for this race. We used to have around 130 - 140 and last year was the 50th so there were over 300. It was great to see a good crowd. Also, we had chip timing for the first time in the history of the race.

I started off with Andy S. I took water at the first aid station and was glad I did since the second one wasn't ready. I had 5 gels and planned to take one about ever 5 miles and had an extra. Also had some Succeed caps and took one at an hour. Not much really happened as the crowd was pretty sparse up where I was running. Talked to Tom W. for awhile. He mentioned at some point he thought a guy had been hit on his bike and turned out that was the case. I didn't see it happen and not sure if I saw the guy, but he was okay. Ran up the first hill with Tom the fastest I have ever run that mile of the race in 7:08. Maybe not a good thing? Then caught back up to Andy. We both did some walking on Easley Hill, mile 13. This is the first time I have tried it during the race and ended up being a little faster than last year even with the walking They called our time at 1:30:22 at the half so just about 20 sec slower than I was last year.

I didn't feel that I had a sub-3 in my today so goal at this point was 3:05 or less. About mile 14, Andy had pulled ahead and Shawn & Karen gave us water. I really needed it. The second water station wasn't ready, I missed the one at the bottom of Easley, and the one at the top, wasn't much water in my cup so I was needing it! I poured the extra over my neck and I felt like it gave me a boost.

Tom W. passed me before Pierpont and just cruised right past me. I wish I could have joined him but didn't have that gear today. At Pierpont, Tom M. handed me water. He had been in the lead, but didn't want to push it due to his recent glute muscle issue so called it a long run.

On the hill before Rock Bridge Elementary, mile 20, I was moving pretty slow so walked a couple times but still had a decent split. This hill just comes at the worst time. There was a guy close behind me. Next mile I did slow a bit since over 7 min at 7:09. I like to keep miles other than the hills under 7 on this course. The last 4 I just didn't have enough left to push too hard. Guy behind me went around me at 24 miles and my last 2 miles were 7:30 and 7:22 so gave up just a little. I don't think anyone else was close behind. Maybe could have pushed that a bit but just wasn't motivated today.

More crowds on Broadway so picked up the pace a bit. Finished in 3:02:58 which is a great time for this difficult course. No course record for me this year but my second fastest time, 2:35 slower than last year. Considering, I never felt great, I had a good run and legs felt strong and a solid pace most of the way. Just didn't have the speed needed to go under 3 and lacked the motivation to try pushing any harder than I pushed the entire race for the last 4 miles. Last 2 miles slowed down, but not horrible. Need to do more hill repeats next time. I am thinking next year, due to my race schedule, I will may have to run it easy and then see what I can do in 2012.

To be honest, I wasn't that excited about running a marathon today, but I am glad I did it. I never had a point at the beginning of the marathon where I am trying to reign in the pace. I had to push to get the pace. I didn't feel beat up after the race so I do think my legs are in good shape. This is a good marathon and everyone is so nice to come out and cheer us on. I ended up 6th overall and the 2nd place award in my age group even though I was 3rd since there was a master's category. Didn't think I had a chance this year due to the great competition, but Tom M. called it a day so that put me ahead one more place.

My splits from Previous HOAs are here
I like to compare each year, but this year the miles were off a little more than last year so not exact.

 Running with Andy S. on the trail portion of the course about mile 12.
Tom M. handing me water.
This guy was near behind me the entire time and passed me about mile 24.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

2010 Great Sandbagger 10K

This is a race where you predict your time. You can "win" this race by grossly overestimating how long it will take to run the 10K. Since we stagger the start times from the slowest predicted time to the fastest, usually the person with the largest positive difference between the predicted time and the actual time (lying) wins the race. Theoretically, if everyone told the absolute truth about how fast they planned to run the race, everyone would cross the finish line together, but that never happens.

After signing up and predicting a 40 minute 10K, I ran a 2.7 mi warm up with Phil. Temperature was about 70F and humid, but not quite as warm as it has been lately in the morning. I didn't feel great, but figured I could come within a minute of my predicted time and easily avoid winning "The Thing" (see picture). Phil also chose 40 minutes. Last year, I ran in 39:35. There are no watches or GPS allowed in this race.

There were 39 runners that participated. The course is an out and back and somewhat hilly. There were 2 people that chose a faster time than Phil and me so we were the next to last to start at about 7:28 am. Matt and Mark started a minute behind us. I decided I would stay with Phil until the turn around which is about 2.9 miles out. I let him set the pace and stayed a step behind. I could hear Marc and Matt behind us and eventually Marc passed us. Jerry, who started 20 seconds ahead of us, stayed the same distance ahead of us. We saw many people coming back and the 2 leaders that were in danger of winning "The Thing". Richard was ahead, but looked like Jessica was probably going to catch him.

After the turn around I will feeling good, so picked up the pace. I took advantage of the downhills. If I felt my breathing too much, I slowed enough to recover. I soon caught up to and passed Jerry. The time seemed to go quickly on the way out as well as on the way back. Once I reached the last hill, I saw a lot of runners moving slower and begin to pass a lot of people.

At the end we have to run a loop 2 times at the school to finish the mileage. Here it was really congested. I inadvertently went the wrong side of the cone on the first loop, but they figured it out later. I passed Hugh on my second loop, just seconds from the finish. Overall, my actual time came to 39:39 and tied for 3rd place with Matt out of 39 runners. Hugh was 49:49 so was only 11 seconds off his prediction and was the best predictor.

Jessica, Brian's daughter ended up with the thing, but she is living in Colorado at the moment so he will likely end up caring for it. The guy that won it last year added some awesome gold wings to it. It is almost starting to look like something that would be cool to own for a year.

My sandbagging placement was 20th and I was the 36th person to start with Phil so passed 16 people. I really thought my time would be over 40 min this year so am very happy only 4 seconds slower and I took the first half conservatively. This was my second fastest time on this course. Always interesting trying to pace oneself without a GPS or watch, but can be done. I also enjoy catching up to people ahead of me which seems to help get through this race.

 "The Thing"

Me on the first loop before finishing

More Sandbagger 10K Pics

Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Show Me State Games 5K

Left home about 7:15 during a thunderstorm and it was raining hard and lightning.. Plan was to sign up if it quit raining. I don't mind running in the rain, but the lightning was scary. They said the race was being delayed 1 hour and wouldn't start until 9 am since the storms were supposed to clear. It had momentarily quit raining when I arrived. Saw Dan E. and he ended up running back home since he had planned to run to the race, run it, and run home and couldn't wait an hour. Andy S. was there too undecided as to what to do. Eventually, I signed up for the 5K and Andy signed up for the 10K. At 8 am there was another bad storm so was glad we waited. Quit raining again so ran a 1.5 mi warmup with Andy, Bill, and Mark.

Earlier the temp had been 80 so the rain cooled off a bit but was still very humid. Hugh had arrived to watch the race since I called earlier that it was delayed and they might need help too. I lined up in the front and middle. We started a couple minutes before 9. I nearly ran over a smaller kid that started in front of me. The 5 and 10K started together and I think there were about 7 runners ahead of me. Andy S. was ahead. First mile had a small hill before turning on to South Hampton. I passed a couple runners on the hill. First mile split was 5:58. I was hoping for better, but wasn't feeling great. Breathing hurt a little and had a pain on the left ribs.

I caught up to Andy and stayed with him which seemed the right pace for me. Second mile was 6:12. I was ready for it to be over but glad I was running with someone or not sure what would have happened. Last mile was 6:04 and last 0.16 was 58 seconds. Overall 19:11. Andy S. turned around and headed out for another loop. I was glad I did not. Hugh and I headed over to the 10K finish line and Andy came in about 38:26 so didn't slow down much at all. He won the 10K. I was 3rd in the 5K and first in my age group. I was actually the only person in my age group. I am not sure how many runners yet, but we had a decent turnout in spite of the threatening weather.

I had a much better race on this course last year. I wasn't feeling fully rested today and also felt bloated and weight was up quite a bit today. Lots of excuses, but fun to get out and push myself a little.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 Red, White, and Green Run - 5K - Mexico, MO

Hugh and I traveled to Mexico, MO Friday evening to run the Red, White, and Green Estate Run 5K. They also had a 1.5 mi walk that was free. The name comes from a play on words, the patriotic colors of July and is run on the Green Estates park in Mexico. It is a cross country style 5K that an effort between the Mexico YMCA, city, and cross country team. We both ran the inaugural race in 2006 which was a very hot and humid run that year. Temp was 88F and times were slow due to the heat. It was a fun race then so I decided we should run it again this year. Temps were better at about 80F.

This is an evening race so we skipped dinner and I ate some bars on the way there. We arrived early since we had not yet registered. We arrived just in time to get the shirts we wanted since they were almost out but planned to take orders. Soon after we got there, a 30-something friendly guy walks up to us and asks where we are from and says we look like runners. He was the cross country coach and thanked us for coming and hoped we could talk others into coming next year. We had plenty of time since we were there an hour early. We had several conversations with a lot of nice people and only one person there that we knew.

We met a really nice couple that had met in an online running forum and then were married a few years ago in Forest Park by a pastor that ran and performed the marriage while they were running. There is a video of the running ceremony here. They had driven all the way from St. Louis to run the race.

Around 7:15 we all headed to the start line. Since it was kind of warm and we were so busy talking to people, I skipped the warm up. At about 7:30 a guy described the course which was different than we ran a few years ago. It mostly followed a paved trail with about 3/4 mi on grass. There would be a 3 wheeler with a flag leading, the course was marked and people telling us where to turn. Without this, the course would have been a bit confusing as we crossed the same intersection a few times. The guy said they measured the course many times. Another guy, a Green heir started us off and just said if we fell, they would spray orange paint around us and pick us up later.

I lined up in front behind some young and fast looking kids and we were off with the starting gun. I quickly got up to speed without having done a warm up and felt okay. One guy clearly took the lead and then about 4 of us were running together. I decided I needed to go faster so went between them. I felt kind of odd passing these kids since I was old enough to be their dad. They were discussing catching the lead runner and talked like they were going to hold off. I pulled ahead and one guy catches me. We run together briefly and then I slowly pulled away. First mile was 6 min.

Second mile was the section that we ran on the grass. It didn't slow me down as much as I thought it might, but there were a few holes and wet areas from the recent rains. I was focused on the guy ahead of me and the 3 wheeler to make sure I knew where I was going. Second mile was 6:13.

Last mile were were back on the paved trail. I couldn't hear anyone close behind. No one to push me, but I kept the pace. 3rd mile was 6:10, and last 0.1 was 30 seconds. Overall time was 18:53. Course was exactly 3.1 miles.

Overall, I placed 2nd of 78 runners and 1st in age group 40-44. They handed me a water at the finish and I waited for Hugh. He came in 12th and 1st in the 50 - 54 group. We were the 2 oldest runners of the first 12. The winning female was 25 and the rest were between 14 - 17. A 17 year old beat me by 42 seconds, and a 17 year old was behind me by 43 seconds. I think a lot of them were from Bowling Green, MO.

This race seemed to go very smoothly. They wrote the names in order on poster board and posted the times. Soon, we had the finishing ceremony and all 5 year age groups. Post race refreshments were fruit and popcorn they were popping on site. Also had pink and yellow lemonade. Hugh and I were looking at the results at the end and since no one there knew us, they were talking about us right next to us. Several said those 2 guys must be brothers. Well, if any of you are reading this, we are married!

After, we were kind of hungry since we hadn't eaten dinner so ate at DQ and had the Pecan Pie Blizzard of the month which was awesome! Hugh had a chicken salad and I had the chicken fajita. First time we had eaten an actual meal at DQ in years and it wasn't too bad for us other than the yummy Blizzards.

I was a little apprehensive about doing this race after work since figured I would be tired and it was so late too and we planned to run early in the morning. It was fun to do something different and out of town. They were a friendly group and we got to meet a lot of interesting people. I think we will need to plan on going back next year and hopefully can get some other Columbia runners to join us again like the first year we ran it.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

2010 Parley Pratt 4 miler - Columbia & 2010 Fire Cracker Mile - Jefferson City

Parley Pratt 4 miler

Saturday morning, instead of the usual long run with the Lunatics, I ran the Parley Pratt, an out and back race on the MKT. This year we had to go east on the trail since the bridge isn't quite finished going west. I ran a 2 mile warm up with Hugh, Sam, Phil, and Andy. Race started about 8 am after the pre-race ceremony. I started off too fast I think. It felt fast and according to my GPS reading, a 5:30-something pace. I started out behind Matt and he was in 2nd place. I felt good and passed Matt. About mile 0.7 Andy S. and Matt pass me so I guess I should have stayed behind. I wanted to maintain close to a 6 min pace. My goal was to try to run about 6:03. First mile was 5:50.

The temp was around 70F so not too bad, but still a bit humid. First mile I wasn't breathing hard at all, but after that I had to work to keep the pace. At the turn around I had just slightly over 2 miles on the GPS so course was pretty close. 2nd mile I had slowed to 6:13. I had a comfortable lead on Phil in 5th place and Andy S. and Matt had a comfortable lead on me. The just over 6 min pace felt pretty good so that is what I continued to maintain and 3rd mile was also 6:13. With 1 mile to go, I tried to pick up a little. I could see the guy that was in the lead at the beginning was ahead of me, but too far to catch. Ran mile 4 in 6:00 and the last .03 extra in 10 seconds. 4th place overall. Even with the slightly long course, I had a 2 sec PR over the same race in 2007. Overall pace was 6:05 avg. The course in the past the other direction has always been just a bit short. I felt really good about my time with the longer course. I had felt tired all week so took running easy on Tu & Th and then skipped my Th weight workout. This was enough to recover a bit and run a decent race for me.

This year there was an assortment of breakfast food, but I really didn't feel like eating anything so had some kind of breakfast bar someone had made and no idea what it was. I think I was supposed to pour syrup on it since it didn't taste sweet at all. They soon announced the awards. Andy S. won overall (23:37 I think) as well as my age group and Matt was second. Andy had already left so we took his award, a painted watermelon and dropped off at his house on the way home. Then went home and ran a 10+ mile course with Hugh.

Fire Cracker Mile

Today, Hugh and I drove to Jefferson City to run the Fire Cracker Mile. We were up a bit late watching John blow up his back yard and eating way too much sugar so I didn't feel so good at first. We arrived about 15 min early and ran a warm up mile mostly in the parking lot and I felt better after. We all walked over the start which was on a downhill. The timing clock was in the back of a truck and they started us off with an air horn. I was lined in the front but near the center of the road.

We were off at a crazy fast pace flying down the hill at at low 4 min pace. At the bottom of the hill, turned left and the course flattened out, but still supposed to be slightly down although looked flat to me. After we turned I passed a few people and at quarter mile still running a sub-5 pace. Second quarter mile around a 5-5:10 pace. 3rd quarter about a 5:10 pace, and 4th quarter is where I slowed to about 5:28 pace. I was passed by one guy before the end. Running a fast mile is hard! Felt out of breath and took a few minutes to feel good again.

Overall time was 5:06 and I measured 1.02 on the GPS. This is the first mile race I have run since high school where I ran a 5:10 around a track in 1987. Even though this was down hill never expected to run this fast today. I definitely think if I hadn't raced yesterday, ate better, and slept, I could have gone under 5. Overall, placed 5th. Hugh ran a 6:17 and placed 13. I think there at least 40 finishers. There was Oreos, peanut butter Oreos, and water melon after. I highly recommend this miler. It was an accurate course and best of all, it was free to run!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 Trekking for Kids

Biked to the race for my warm up and Hugh drove and was going to run home and I planned to drive home. I had signed up for the 5K but got to thinking on the way there the 10K might be better since I wouldn't have to run as hard and wasn't sure I could even run a 5K pace today. I asked the race director and she said it was fine to switch since she wasn't keeping track until people came through the finish. We started off on time and legs felt heavy as well cardiovascular felt sluggish. Andy, Jerry, and Nancy were ahead of me. I stayed just behind Nancy (running the 5K) for the first loop. Andy & Jerry also ran the 10K. The humidity was stifling and it sprinkled a bit. The course turns a lot and at the sign for 1 mile, I had 0.8 on my GPS, 2 mi was about right and then 3 miles was off. The loop turned out to be about 2.6 since part of the course had been accidentally cut off when it was marked.

Finished the first loop and decided it was good I was doing 2 loops since that would have been a short run otherwise. During the second loop I could see Andy ahead of me just well enough to know when the turns were coming up. There were signs for awhile and then just road markings later. Jerry finished the 2 loop first, Andy S. second, and I was third. Hugh ran the 1 loop and was 4th overall. Ryan & Katie were first and second in the 1 loop. For my placing I got a 3 month membership to Anytime Fitness and a t-shirt.

I ran this race last year and it was only a 5K and really enjoyed the event. Fun event again this year too. I was looking for a fun excuse to run today but was surprised seeing my splits weren't as bad as I thought and 6:29 pace overall which I had run a full 10K would be just over 40 min. I think the horrible humidity just made it feel 10 times worse than usual. I've never run a 5.27 mi race before so I guess technically this is a PR! Never thought last week I would be running a race the week after Kettle Moraine 100 miler.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

2010 Kettle Moraine 100 Miler

I don't remember for sure why I decided I wanted to do a 100 mile race. I do remember at 3 days of Syllamo in 2009 and getting a flier in my race packet for the Ozark Trail 100 and I made sure I discarded it quickly. There was no way I was going to attempt to run 100 miles at one time. Then Jeff Wells said he was considering doing it and I started thinking about it. With selling the house and moving last May, I really didn't have time to train but figured I would decide by August if I was going to do it. I opted not to sign up and instead for my crazy running of the year, I ran Heart of America Marathon and then Lewis and Clark Marathon 6 days later. My decision turned out to be the right one since in October I was having issues with my right leg/buttock and was diagnosed with a bulging disc. I hesitantly ran the Q50 Ultra 50K in Louisiana that I signed up for and then did not run for about 2 weeks and then came back to running at a 13 min pace and in pain all of the time.

I then decided I would consider Rocky Racoon in February if I was recovered in time to do the training. I started to recover from the bulging disc but didn't feel like I was ready so looked for another 100 miler within driving distance later in the year and discovered Kettle Moraine in June. My one concern with this race was the course looked a little confusing and I was worried about getting off course. A couple days before the deadline in May, I felt like I was reasonably ready to attempt 100 miles so signed up.

My training went as planned up until after I ran the Free State 100K in April. It race went well, but after I started to lose motivation and had some stressful work issues with a job offer that were kind of depressing to me. I was only running about 50% of what I had planned for 3 weeks. I do think my plan for after the 100K maybe was too aggressive, but even the following 2 weeks, I could not seem to get back on track. For most of my runs after the 100K I really wasn't that crazy about running any of them. It was back to running for fitness and not necessarily enjoying the runs that much. One exception is I did enjoy running the last 24 mile loop at the Berryman with Jeff, but after that I still just didn't feel that motivated.

I still felt okay with running this 100 miles, but wanted to get it over with and go on with life. I doubted that I had what it took to run a decent 100 miles since any race over 50K really hasn't been that great for me. I finish, but often was losing motivation during the race and not eating right and feeling nauseous. I felt like after the Free State 100K since it had gone well with my new drink (Succeed Ultra and Succeed Caps) and I was able to eat during the race that maybe I had figured out how to feel good. My goal for my first 100 miler was to finish under 24 hours since I really didn't want to be out running any longer. The time limit for Kettle is 30 hours. My overall goal was to just finish and maybe cure myself from ever wanting to running 100 miles again.

I left on Thursday and visited my mom in Iowa and then drove until evening to Rockford, IL. Spent the night, slept, and relaxed and then went to Roly Poly for lunch before heading to Whitewater. I ate a whole #40 Roly Poly and got a half cold one #30 to go for later. I arrived in Whitewater at the Baymont where I was staying in the afternoon. I was a little early to check in so went to Culver's for a concrete and to check e-mail. Checked into hotel at 3 pm and took a nap. Woke up about 4:30 and drove to packet pickup about 15 min away outside of the LaGrange store, an unincorporated town.

Pickup had started at 4 pm and there was a long line outside in the hot sun when I arrived. I decided to pick up Allan Benjamin's packet as well since he seemed doubtful he was going to arrive in time. I saw Paul Schoenlaub when I arrived and we talked later in the store next door when he gave me some good advice for the race since he is a pro at 100s. I drove about a mile down the road to make sure I knew where to go to the start in the morning. Then I went back to the LaGrange store and had a certificate to purchase $7.50 merchandise so got wrap and put in the cooler for later.

I went back into Whitewater to Rocky Rococo for a slice of pizza and back to the hotel where I ate my #30 Roly Poly. I called Allan and Joan and left a message to let them know I had picked up his packet. He called later and they had arrived at packet pickup about closing time so they drove into Whitewater so we could plan with Joan for the race. I then got my last few things ready, ate the other wrap, and headed to bed, setting the alarm for 3:45 am. The race started at 6 am for both 100 mi and 100K.

I woke up at 2 am and couldn't sleep (feeling wired) so watched TV and checked weather before getting ready. I drank a protein shake with added coffee and ate Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Whole Wheat Biscuits with chocolate milk and also a banana. Used bathroom a few times and then packed up my things and headed to the start and arrived a little before 5 am. There were very few people around yet, but I put my drop bags on the proper tarps for the drop bag locations and got my chip. Allan and Joan arrived soon and she took a couple pictures. He was only going to carry one water bottle and I decided to do the same.

We started promptly at 6 am and near the front since we were headed out on a trail right away. 100 milers, 100K, and relay teams started with a total of 223 starters. It was a wide trail at this point so not too bad. There were timing mats at various checkpoints to cross and the first was at 15.8 miles. I planned to run with Allan as long as we could.

We stopped at all aid stations and had 4 drop bags (Emma Carlin - 15.8 mi & 47.4 mi, Scuppernong -31.6 mi, Nordic Center – 63.2 mi, Hwy 12 – 77.5 mi & 86.3 mi) on the course, some of which we could access more than once. We ran on wide trails, single-track in the woods, and through open grassy meadows. I started out in front and Allan ran behind and we managed to stay together. We talked with Jen that was at Berryman for awhile, and talked to some other runners as well. Some pretty interesting people met along the way. Several had mentioned it was their first 100 miler.

At one point Allan led the way and thought we had run too fast so I took the lead again at the next aid station. I slowed us down, but noticed he wasn't keeping up. The sun was out some and temps were warming up. It was about 64 at the start and I think warmed up to around 80 for a high. I took my time allowing him to catch up and wondering if he was drinking enough. I saw Paul and Brad, both from Missouri coming back from the turnaround and looked to be 4 – 5 miles ahead of me.

When we arrived at the 31.6 mi turnaround a little after 12 pm and Allan didn't look so great. We spent a little time there and once we started he told me to go ahead and he would try to cool off and recover. He mentioned he hadn't been drinking enough. I saw a woman at this station that looked familiar and realized she had been at Syllamo in 2009. I asked her name and it was Julie Treder from Wisconsin who had come to Syllamo with a couple other guys. It is always interesting,but probably not too surprising to see some of the same people at these events that are in the mid-west. At this point I was at 12:20 pace, but running was actually faster since this included all stops to eat and refill my bottle.

I continue on at a comfortable pace back to my drop bag at Emma Carlin which was 15.8 miles from the turnaround and still keeping a pretty consistent pace. The grassy meadows were quite flat so I could run a long time without a hill. I took very few walk breaks on the flat and saved the walking for any hills. It started to rain in the afternoon and at times rained pretty hard. The temp had cooled down so I welcomed the rain. I was passing people and everyone seemed more spread out. I ran behind a guy for awhile somewhere after 47.4 and managed to stay with him until going ahead after an unmanned aid station. The unmanned stations had Heed which I don't like, water, and a bowl of green olives with pimentos. I did not try the olives. I was just a little unsure about them. At the manned aid stations, there was a wide variety of items and I usually stuck with peanut butter jelly sandwiches or wraps, and sometimes some cashews and watermelon. I avoided meat since it never sounds good to me during a race.

I did see Joan again since she had been following us. I asked her about Allan and he was doing better. Also, Andy Starostka started following me since he had come up to his parents and to the race. I had him take my picture at Emma Carlin. He also helped fill my bottle and assisted getting items out of my drop bag. He asked if I wanted a pacer later, and I asked if he was offering. It sounded good to me but didn't want him to feel like he had to since with the rain I didn't figured it might not be too fun for him.

The time seemed to fly by and I was feeling good mentally and legs were still moving. I was using Succeed Ultra in my bottle and taking Succeed caps about every half to an hour. I didn't calculate my usage of Succeed in my bottle correctly so sometimes had only water so took extra caps since I didn't have enough of the powder packets. Also, made the mistake once of skipping one of the unmanned aid stations to fill a bottle and ran out before the next aid station. I used a gel every so often, but don't think I used more than 4. I am not a fan of gels during events longer than a marathon or more than 3 hours. The solid food was definitely better. I would sometimes feel hungry and just food in small amounts took care of my hunger.

It continued to rain and started to pour. The rain didn't bother me though and felt good on my legs. The last 5 miles to Nordic had some really severe hills called the moraines, up and down like a roller coaster. I let myself run down them since walking was more difficult to hold myself back. I was trying to decide if I really needed to change shoes at Nordic Center which is 63.2 miles (they called it 100K). I decided it wouldn't do much good since my shoes would just get wet. There was wet grass and water standing in some areas so didn't make sense to change them and feet still felt pretty good even though wet. I reached the 63.9 Nordic Center at 6:42 pm and Andy had me sit down while I got things out of my bag. I picked up both my lights, ditched the disposable camera since it was wet, and got more supplies. He said he would see me at around the 70 mile, the Bluff Aid station and run with me to the end. I was amazed he was willing to run 30 miles since the furthest he has run is a marathon and figured it was going to take me awhile. I knew he would be an excellent pacer since he is a strong runner and has trail experience. I headed back out into the rain close to 7 pm and he said he would see me in 1.5 hours.

I was feeling a bit cold since I was still just wearing a tank. I noticed many runners had a jacket although one guy was shirtless. Being a bit cold kept me moving to warm up. The up and down hills didn't seem as bad on the way back out. I guess since I had a break at Nordic for a few minutes it kind of helped to recover a bit. I saw Allan at the last aid station which is 5 miles from where we started on my way out and he was looking good. He thought he would probably stop at 100K but wasn't entirely sure. Turned out he did decide to call it a day at 100K as did many others. I had 2.5 miles to the Bluff aid station 70.7 miles where Andy started off with me in the rain at about 8:40 pm. From there it was about half mile to Confusion Point, where there was an intersection of several trails and signs to follow depending on where you were in the race. The trail we were to follow I had not run yet and this section had some of the most technical trails of the race.

We were eventually in the woods on single track and I turned on my light at this point, probably close to 9 pm. There were fairly large rocks sticking up in the middle of the trail to watch out for. This slowed my pace a bit since I was trying to be careful not to fall. At mile 75 I tripped over something (probably a large rock) and fell, but didn't get muddy. However, my back felt kind of strange, but after several minutes it felt fine. I think I had twisted myself in a strange way when I fell. Andy pointed out many of the rocks and some places had steps. It had stopped raining around 9:30 pm I think and I was no longer feeling cold so was glad I did not have a jacket. The time seemed to be flying by even though my pace was slower. There were some areas though that were open and grassy that were very run-able so we took advantage of those areas. I was still walking any uphills and being extra careful on the technical areas.

They told us at the Hwy 12 station that the most technical section was ahead. I thought, I really wish they hadn't told me. The Hwy 12 aid station had the most food I had seen and they had Christmas lights leading to it. They told me I was the 6th 100 mile runner to come through. There were also relay runners and some 38 mile fun run people. This was the first point in the race where I knew how I was doing and was surprised at my placing. Back at the aid station where Andy started running, they told me I had moved up from page 3 from earlier to page 1. I wasn't sure exactly what that meant then. At this point, I did notice it took just a little bit of effort to get my legs moving again. I didn't think this part of the trail was any worse than some I had already been through, but it must have been rough since my pace was 15:16 over this section.

Mile 81.9 was the turnaround and I realized this race is 0.6 miles over 100 at this point, but really didn't bother me. I was glad to know it wasn't short. My Garmin 310XT GPS was still going strong and matching up exactly with their mile markers at the stations. I had also worn my Garmin 405 as a backup for when the 310 would run out and it also allowed me to see the time of day for awhile. At mile 83, I started my 405 since the 310 was getting low. I kept both going since the 310 is more accurate on the trails. For the first mile they were pretty close and then getting off a little after. We passed a runner during this section whose wife was pacing him.

When we made it back to the Hwy 12 aid station a woman asked me if I had seen a man and woman running together and if he was doing okay. I told her we had passed them not far back so she was glad to hear. We had more food and headed out again. I was noticing just a slight twinge in my left calf so started walking some of the less steep hills that I would have run earlier. I didn't want to take any chances of spasm or tearing a calf muscle like I did at Berryman a few years ago. I took a Succeed cap and that seemed to help after awhile. After mile 90, I tripped over something and fell. I hit my left knee on the ground. I noticed at the next unmanned aid station my hand and leg were muddy so washed off the mud. I had a slight abrasion on the knee so nothing too bad. I changed to my other light since my original light was not quite as bright and that seemed to help me see better. My 310 GPS shut off at 19 hrs, 14 min at 90.5 mi so almost made it the 20 hrs it is supposed to run.

Soon we are off that more technical section and back to the familiar trail I had run before and then to the Bluff Aid station where Andy started running with me and only 7.5 miles to go. I was just thinking a bit before we got to this aid station how hungry I was feeling and remembered this aid station had cashews. So I had some cashews, and peanut butter and jelly. I remember one of the workers joking something about us “pain in the ass” runners. I told her I was very low maintenance. We take off and I am running better again, not worrying about falling, and calf feels fine. At the last aid station with 5 miles to go and Andy says he sees a runner at the aid station. It turned out to be Paul and as we took off he said I would probably catch him. I had a little to eat again and we were off pretty quickly.

We soon caught Paul and he seemed to be doing okay, but must have had a rough patch at some point for me to catch up to him. He told me to keep it up. Soon we had the dreadful moraines to go up and down for awhile, but also some sections that could run pretty well so pace picked up overall for the last 14.3 timed section which they had me at 13:08, but included some of the technical. I remembered there being mile markers near the end and we started seeing them at 4 miles. When we saw 3, I thought it said 2 at first. I was still feeling really good, calf was good, and felt like I was running well.

Once we got to 1 mile to go, I said I guess I am going to make it. Before this point I had said nothing about thinking I would make it since I knew anything could happen. It felt like we sped up the last mile and judging from the GPS pace we did as the last mile we did as the pace showed 10:36 and then last 0.6 was 10:10. I wasn't sure of my overall time at this point since I didn't know the time of day. Both GPSs had been running at the time for awhile and I didn't know exactly when the first one had stopped so couldn't add the times together and subtract the time they had both been running. I would have guessed about 21:40. I see the clock and am surprised to see 21:21:22.0.

We went inside the tent and I really didn't want anything to eat at this point. They gave me my copper kettle and a plaque for overall Male Masters. I was 4th overall. The guy that won the overall race in 19 hrs 54 min was 40 so that is the reason they gave me the overall Masters. I sit down and eventually have some Ramen noodles which took me about 20 minutes to drink. It is tough for me to get much food down after a race. Brad was sitting and he had finished 43 min earlier and won the 18 – 39 group. Paul came in 5 min after me and won the Senior Masters award so the 3 Missourians that finished the 100 mile were top 5 overall and got 1st place plaques. Julie Treder, the woman from Syllamo was first overall female in 25:40. There were 155 hundred milers that started and 51 of us (33%) finished. I think with the rain, it was tempting for many to stop at 100K, plus the finisher rate for 100 milers usually isn't more than 60-something % and often less.

I noticed when I got in my car temp was 55F so ended the race at a perfect temp. I took Andy back to his car about 4 am I think and followed to his parents house less than an hour away. He showed me my room and I told him I didn't know if I could sleep. I took a shower and then laid down about 5 am. I woke up an hour later, but fell back asleep and then woke up an hour later at 7 am. I surprisingly felt rested so got up. It felt good to walk around and legs were a bit sore. I remembered I had some food in my cooler so figured I better eat it since the ice had all melted. Joan had picked up 2 of my drop bags and Andy had one. The last one would be taken back to the start. I called Allan and Joan and did not reach them so left a message. They soon called back and I told them I would be back at the Nordic start in about an hour and would see them whenever they got there. I let Andy sleep and took off and stayed awake just fine.

The night before I had noticed a shoe that looked like mine in the tent at the finish but didn't think anything about it. I realized in the morning I was missing a shoe from my drop bag so when I got there they located my shoe. I went into the building where Bill Thom from Runrace was working on results. Allan was not sure I was listed so I checked. Turned out he had checked before they had something posted so all was okay. I had a nice chat with him about the race and also the website since the Columbia Track Club uses this instead of for our race registration. Looking at the Kettle 100 results and all the check points and averages for each section, I am really impressed with timing system as well. It seemed to go pretty smoothly for them. I went back out to look for my other bag and also picked up Allan's bag. In a few minutes they arrived and we took some final pictures and I headed back to Columbia.

The drive home was long and I had to stop several times mostly to keep awake and was also good to walk around. I got home around 8 pm. Hugh had a Roly Poly for me they had given him earlier that someone had not picked up. I had that for dinner plus whipped cream cake he had made for me and then went to bed.

Even though I was a little scared of this distance going into this, I think being scared was probably a good thing. I feel so lucky to have felt good 99% of this race. I was just waiting for a point to feel crappy, wanting to walk, but at no point did I have to convince myself to keep going. It sounds unbelievable but it is the truth and I am surprised I felt this way. My mission was to run and I kept running as much as possible. With only 33% finishing, it is pretty obvious this was not an easy day for most of the runners. I think the Succeed Ultra drink and Succeed caps really helped me since I felt the same at the Freestate 100K. Also, having Andy pace me the last 30 miles I am sure helped too as it would have been running a long time in the dark alone unless I had tried to pair up with another runner at some point. I am thankful he was there to run with me.

Would I run another 100 miler? I wouldn't hesitate to try, but not sure when I will attempt another. Right now, I am looking forward to running my next marathon and then maybe a 50 miler. The 50 has been a challenge for me so maybe it won't be as bad next time since I think I have figured out some things I was doing wrong.. I am just amazed that even though a small percentage of people run these races, they are willing to put themselves through this since I could see how hard it was on them. Then there were some that seemed to finish feeling pretty strong. Either way, it is pretty amazing feeling to finish this distance.

These are my splits at the various checkpoints:

Emma Carlin Outbound – 15.8 mi – 2:58:20 – 11:17 overall pace - 51st

Scuppernong Turnaround – 31.6 mi – 6:13:20 – 11:49 OA pace – (15.8 mi – 3:15:00 - 12:20 pace) - 40th

Emma Carlin Inbound – 47.4 mi – 9:24:00 – 11:54 OA pace – (15.8 mi – 3:10:40 - 12:04 pace) - 18th

Nordic Center – 63.2 mi – 12:42:06 – 12:03 OA pace – (15.8 mi – 3:18:07 - 12:32 pace) - 9th

Hwy 12 Outbound – 77.5 mi - 15:57:44 – 12:21 OA pace – (14.3 mi – 3:15:38 – 13:41 pace) - 6th

Rice Lake Turnaround – 81.9 mi – 17:04:54 – 12:31 OA pace – (4.4 mi – 1:07:09 – 15:16 pace) - 6th

Hwy 12 Inbound – 86.3 mi – 18:13:31 – 12:40 OA pace – (4.4 mi – 1:08:37 – 15:36 pace) - 5th

Nordic Center Finish - 100.6 mi – 21:21:22 – 12:44 OA pace – (14.3 mi – 3:07:51 – 13:08 pace) - 4th

Mile splits are at:
Running Ahead Log

Kettle start video
I am between 36 - 39 seconds.

2010 Kettle Moraine Results and Webcast

More Pictures

Allan & Andy before start

Andy at 47.4 miles

Took a few pics of terrain before the rest of film was ruined by water
Andy & Allan - Sunday morning
Back & front of shirt, kettle, and 1st place Master's Award, and cake