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?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Big Dog's Backyard Ultra - 2019 World Championship

This past weekend I had the great honor of running my 6th Big Dog's Backyard Ultra. Basic concept is a 4.16667 mile race every hour, and you must toe the line or be eliminated. The last runner standing is the winner and everyone else a DNF. This year we submitted an application and I was lucky to be accepted as there were many worthy individuals that applied and also winners of other last runner standing events and others that assisted in contributing to higher mileage events. Hopefully, I will have the honor of running again but if not I've had a good run and will be okay with it. My first BDBU was in 2012 and I've run every year with the exception of 2013 and 2015 (no event held). There was an event held in 2011 but only on the trail instead of alternating every 12 hours between trail and road. The event has grown in popularity with 75 runners accepted and a full field. The first year I ran there were less than 30. In the past year there has been events held all over the world which will make securing a spot more difficult for me next year since many of these are Golden Ticket races. If I don't get in, I will consider doing one of the other events held in the US.

Even though I've run a lot of miles this year, I wasn't feeling very confident about this year's race. I've run a few too many ultra races this summer, gained about 8 lbs and haven't felt entirely recovered. I arrived about 30 minutes before the race. I decided to get every advantage I could and sleep in a hotel room instead of camp in the backyard this year. There were several media this year including Sports Illustrated and he asked if he could take a few photos while I was setting up. I was thinking this event has made the big time if SU is here and it is going to be pretty boring snapping photos of me setting up.

We started with 72 runners. Temperature felt perfect at the start in the upper 40s and I made the right decision to wear short sleeves since I felt plenty warm. With so many runners in the race and fewer dropping or timing out early, there is now constantly a conga line every loop, at least for awhile. The out and back we run on the road before going into the woods doesn't help much anymore. It isn't worth passing anyone since there is no reward to go fast and they are going fast enough to complete the loop in time with several minutes to spare. I tried to place myself between lines or at the end to give myself some space. I wore a heart rate monitor this year and my HR averaged 109 and I was never breathing hard. I ran my loops slower than in previous years go didn't have as much extra time. Most of the first 12 loops were between 54 - 55 minutes. 

My HR may not have been very high but my legs didn't necessarily think it was feeling easy after all the time on the trail. It isn't a flat trail so it starts to take its toll. As usual I walked every hill and light footfalls downhill too. I ran quite a few of the trail loops with Marcy Beard who runs about the pace I wanted to run the trail this year. There was some conversation but most loops were pretty quiet when I was running with others. I honestly didn't feel like my legs started to warm up until about 50 miles which worried me. I think maybe I should have varied the pace from time to time to wake up all of the muscles.

After we finished the first 12 loops on the trail I changed my shoes. It felt very strange running on the road and some guy was really impressed with my low impact ultra shuffle on the road. It was more that my legs hadn't transitioned from trail to road in the first few steps. I decided to put on my calf compression socks before the next road loop and my feet and legs felt a bit better. I ran most road loops in 50 - 54 with the exception of loop 19 (~79 miles) in 56 minutes. It wasn't that much slower but I was feeling like things could go downhill even further quickly with the way my legs were feeling. Along with another runner, were were the last to finish that loop. My legs just felt like they were ready to be done moving. I decided when I sat down, I would not get back up. Then the 1 minute whistle blows and I get back up. I'm sitting just a few feet from the starting line so not too hard to get there. Also, with seeing other runners toeing the line again, it was easier to get back up. Less than a minute to decide so just did it.

On this loop I made a concerted effort to make my legs go faster, finished in 51 minutes and felt pretty good. I didn't want to risk pushing much harder for the next loops but for the remainder of the road, things felt pretty decent considering the mileage on my legs. In the past Backyards, I've had issues eating during the night of the road and running low on energy.  This time I had zero issues with nutrition. I played it safe and kept eating something between each loop. A lot of my nutrition was liquid including soda, Body Armor, Sword, and nutrition shakes. I didn't overdo it on drinking either since it wasn't that warm. Also ate grapes (the grape jelly grapes are incredibly delicious), bananas, oranges, veggie chips and hummus. I took several things such as gels and trail mix that I didn't touch but good to have options. The race provided chili which I had 2 small bowls and cornbread. 

On the last loop of the road, I am seriously talking myself into not going back out and stopping at 100 miles. I felt like I was slow since more people were ahead of me than usual. Although, it was not unusual for almost 40 people to run their loops faster. There were runners with serious speed and they were using it all day which is debatable that this is the best strategy but different things work for different ability runners. When I completed the last road loop I ran 53:47 which was very encouraging so decided there was no excuse to not change my shoes and do a trail loop. I was feeling like I could complete one but knew I would have to push a bit which I hadn't been doing much up to this point. 

There were 3 of us bringing up the rear during the first loop back on the trail. I told the guy in front of me 3/4 mile from the end how much time we had which convinced him to pick it up and we came in close together at 59:06. I barely had time to get a drink and didn't even think to grab a bottle. It wasn't that warm so I had been drinking all night just between loops. 

I knew I was probably in danger of not finishing the last loop but figured it was better to be eliminated timing out than just quitting. I had done that 4 of my 5 previous Big's and slightly regretted it. After the out and back portion on the road, I was the last runner. However, I passed the clock at 6:49, 11 seconds faster than the previous loop. I passed a couple guys on the trail that were walking and did not complete the loop. I figured my attempt was going to be close but not close enough. I heard the 3 minute warning about half mile from the finish as I was climbing a hill. I also heard the 1 minute whistle, knew I wouldn't make it but kept running the best I could which wasn't very good. The last loop was 14 - 15 minute miles and needed to be just a little faster to make the cutoff.  I ended up with 108.2 miles  26 loops (104.1 official 25 loops), DNF.

So although I wasn't feeling very confident going into this year's event, I feel like I exceeded my expectations and was able to work through the unpleasantness when I was about to quit. It is so easy to want to quit during this race since most of us pretty much know we are a DNF going into it. But as Laz said the first time I ran Backyard and timed out on my first trail loop back from the road it was a spectacular DNF. Just quitting because you don't think you can do another loop, don't want to do another loop is boring. There are definitely valid reasons to quit but I don't think I had any good reasons this year so kept going.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Six Days in the Dome - 48 hour race

Running the 48 Hour at Six Days in the Dome was a new experience for me venturing into the unknown by running a 48 hour race around a 443 meter (0.2753 miles) indoor track at approximately 55F and 35% humidity. I arrived in Milwaukee on Thursday and decided to join other runners doing the race for dinner at Mo’s Irish Pub. Not knowing anyone very well I hesitated to go but figured I should get out of my antisocial comfort zone and would probably enjoy it. I was welcomed into the group and sat across the table from John Vonhof, author of Fixing Your Feet. Interestingly he has written a variety of books on various topics including the pastoral search process, book marketing and niche writing.  I mostly just listened to the interesting conversations and thinking to myself I am so out of my league with this type of event and no clue as to what I was doing. If I had not gone to the dinner, I would have been even more clueless since I picked up a few tips. There was also a 6 day race which started on Sunday.

The 48 hour and the first 24 hour race started at 9 am in the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee. It was a little stressful getting there since the exit the GPS on my phone was telling me to take was closed but I found another route and arrived around 7:15 am. I set up a small table and chair with all my gear, not too far away since I knew I would be hauling the stuff out on Sunday and probably not feeling like walking too far. We had a prerace meeting and then started running clockwise at 9 am. The direction switched every 4 hours.  

I’m a numbers person so I will start off with my significant splits and a few other milestones including sleeping. None of my splits were PRs which is probably good considering I was doing the 48 hours.

Marathon – 4 hr 23 min, 10:02/mi (95 laps)
50K – 5 hr 15 min, 10:08/mi (113 laps)
50 mile – 8 hr 59 min, 10:46/mi (182 laps)
100K – 11 hr 39 min, 11:15/mi (226 laps)
100 mile – 22 hr 10 min, 13:18/mi (363 laps) – 4 hr 7 min rest (actual sleep 3 hours)
108 miles (393 laps) – 50 min nap
125 miles (454 laps) – 7 hr 40 min rest (actual sleep 6 hours)
129.78 miles (471 laps)

For the first 22 laps, I was running each lap in the 2:40s, about 9:41 pace. Then the pace crept down into the 2:30s to 2:40s until lap 93 (25.6 miles). This seemed like a conservative pace but probably should have taken walk breaks to relieve excessive leg tension. The track stressed the muscles the same running the same flat surface. It wasn’t as forgiving as I thought it might be. My pace gradually slowed and between 100K and 100 miles had significantly slowed with several extended breaks taken during that period. I watched in amazement as Olivier Leblond surpassed me in miles while taking regular walk breaks and making it look so easy. I noticed later that when they played faster beat songs, my pace picked up. Then people started showing their displeasure when certain slow songs were played and that was quickly remedied.

At 100 miles, I was in 8th place overall and decided to get some rest. I wanted to make sure I hit 100 miles before going to bed to make sure I at least earned a buckle. There was always a chance I might not be able to continue after sleeping. I noticed when I took off my shoes and socks I had some small blisters between some toes (mainly both big toes and second toe) but decided not to worry. They weren’t causing any issues and I didn’t notice them when walking. When I came back over 4 hours later around 11 am, I was still in 8th place. My legs had stiffened so I walked. I must have looked funny since several people asked if I was okay. My right upper calf and lower hamstring area above and below my knee felt stiff. Also, my legs, especially my right one, looked like it was retaining fluid in the lower leg, ankle and most likely foot. My legs looked sunburned in areas and burned to the touch. I’m assuming I had some edema. One guy suggested I take 800 mg of Ibuprofen and I could probably run again. I’m personally against doing that sort of thing. I figure if my body is hurting there is a reason and I need to take it easy.

When I went to bed I wore my Oofos low shoes. These are incredibly light shoes with some kind of foam that seriously absorbs impact and makes it easier to walk when your legs are trashed.  I changed into my running shoes when I got back to the track but since I couldn’t run I decided to change back into the Oofos after a few laps. Things felt much better and I was walking more fluidly. I think I would seriously purchase Oofos running shoes if they existed. They are amazing.  Mike and Laura Eriks were there and had started their 24 hour races. Mike gave me some Biofreeze and a guy next to his table gave me some Epsom lotion and those also seemed to help loosen up the calf/hamstring area on the right leg.

For the first 100 miles, I had worn a short sleeve shirt and felt hot at times but avoided removing my shirt. Now, back out on the track, I had to put on more closes including a long sleeve shirt and jacket to feel warm. I even wore gloves for a short while. It was good to be back out even though I was moving slowly.

There was lots of excitement since Zach Bitter was zooming around the track attempting to break the 100 mile world record. I came back out when he was 2 hours into it. The 100 mile split mat was right in front of where I was set up so I made sure I was on the track when he was ready to hit that point. I ended up being not too far behind and watched as he crossed the mat. But then he kept going since he was also going to break the 12 hour running record. When he hit 12 hours he had to stop and the track was measured off.

Regular meals were served and I had no trouble eating the food. I wasn’t drinking a lot when I came back out since I was moving so slowly. I noticed my hands/knuckles looked a little swollen but there are several causes so I wasn’t sure why. I decided it could be an electrolyte imbalance. An electrolyte imbalance can cause edema which I clearly had in my legs so I think I was short on electrolytes. I had some Pickle Juice but it was too late. I’m pretty sure this was the cause since several days after the race I have craved salty foods and water tasted funny for a couple days. I think perhaps calf compression sleeves might have been useful too even though I’ve never had a desire to try them before.

I decided once I got to 125 miles, I would go sleep. It was pretty clear to me that I was not going to run again. I wasn’t getting very far and moving slower, and I wanted to drive back on Sunday. The smart thing to do was sleep and I intended to do so for a long time. Then I would go back out and hopefully walk until the end. I stopped and went to bed at 11:30 pm, getting up several times to pee which was good to keep me from getting too stiff. The blisters from earlier were bigger but not causing any problems.

When I decided to get up it was almost 7 am so not a lot of time left but I had slept fairly well even with getting up several times. While I was sleeping, I moved from 8th – 12th place, being passed by several women that could walk circles around me and must not have slept. They were all very encouraging as they passed me. I felt like I was almost the slowest person the last 2 hours but not any slower than before I slept. I didn’t think I had time to get to 130 miles as slow as I was moving and not running. Mike and Laura were still going and Mike hit 100 miles at 22:17. Laura was in the 90s.  I picked up the pace a bit the last 6 loops and on what I thought would be my last one, I caught up to Laura thinking I would stop when she did. It looked like I had enough time for another loop so I told her I was going to try. I managed to actually run it in my Oofos, completing 129.78 miles.

My mileage was far short of what I thought I might end up running but I’m okay with it. Clearly, I am not cut out for 48 hours of this kind of event. No doubt my training probably wasn’t ideal either so probably expected. 24 hours would have been tolerable but 48 hours was almost insane. I didn’t have a clue or a plan for walk breaks or sleeping. I severely must have screwed up my electrolytes with the fluid retention in my legs and feet which is still not completely cleared up 4 days later. 1 – 2 days after was mostly the usual fatigue and by Wednesday I felt like a normal human being again with the brain fog finally lifting. The legs aren’t very sore but they definitely aren’t recovered at this point. There is still fatigue but nothing like before. I definitely enjoyed running most of the first 100 miles and the people I got move around the track with for the whole time. One starts to feel a sense of closeness with the runners after being with them for so long. The people who do these events are amazing and just because a track does not make it easy. It was a lot of fun. Would I do it again? Definitely not the 48 hour.

Summer 2019 Races

Last Runner Standing

I ran Last Runner Standing in Duluth on June 10. The climbs were challenging and I felt better than last year. I enjoyed using trekking poles for the first time and felt they were beneficial. It was fun having something else to do and pretending I had 4 legs. It also took some of the load off the legs climbing and descending if very steep. I didn't carry fluids since it was cool enough (high of 78F?). I decided to drop after I only had 1:30 remaining after reaching 15 loops (100K) and 2 more loops than last year. I was the last runner in my final 2 loops. We had 1 hour to finish the 4.167 mile loops.

100 runners started. By loop 12 (50 miles) - 20 remaining, loop 13 (54 miles) - 13 remaining, loops 14 and 15 (100K) - both 11 remaining. At this point 4 of us dropped and there were 7 remaining. The last runner standing had 129.17 miles - 31 races in 31 hours. The time on my Strava is moving time of 13 hours 17 minutes so I had a total of 1 hour 43 minutes to take care of everything I needed between loops.

I felt good and my new Topo shoes kept my feet very happy! No issues at all other than I just slowed down on this tough course. I went there to get hills and practice trekking poles for Never Summer 100K. Goals accomplished!

Dark2Dawn - 6 hours

Dark2 Dawn was a race that started at midnight on June 30 near St Louis at Indian Camp Creek in St Charles County. Each loop was approximately 6.7 miles. I ended up getting 5 loops, 32-33.5 miles which took me 6 hours and 20 seconds, placing 4th overall. It was extremely humid all night. Sam, Becky, and Laurel joined me for this event. My loop splits were pretty even overall. They almost weren't going to let me go out for the last loop. However, I think the race director realized how good I felt and I wasn't going to slow down so she said to go back out. I ran this race after after running 22 miles of hilly course the day before for Shawn's birthday run. I would definitely consider doing this race again.

Never Summer 100K

Never Summer 100k was an adventure that several of us from the Columbia area "ran" on July 27. It was a fun time being with everyone. I experienced altitude, elevation, mud, rain, hail and a little snow in a few places we ran. Mountain running is hard enough without the extras. Altitude is tough to train for in Missouri. Lots of climbing got the heart rate up! Straight up the mountain and no switchbacks. The views were nice. I’m glad I got the experience and met some awesome runners to run with during the day and night. It was a great experience but won't be subjecting myself to anything like this again. My time of 21:45 is almost double other 100ks I’ve run. It was more of a hike than a run.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Spring 2019 Races

Attempting to write some brief reports on some of my races so far this year. After 4 Fore 30 in December, I developed what I determined to be IT Band pain my right leg. This took awhile to figure out and I continued to mostly run through it. I took a week off and no improvement at all so I started to do exercises and slowly seen improvement. It was aggravated the most on trails. About 2 weeks after Syllamo (4 months from onset) it thankfully disappeared. I've had some good training and a few decent races.

Three Days of Syllamo
I decided to go back to Syllamo (March 16-17) to run just the 50 miler and 20K this year. I've run the 3 day stage race, 50K, 50 miler, and 20K 5 times with the last time being in 2015. I drove down on Friday after work and stayed with Jeff and Allan in a really nice cabin.

The course this year was the out and back. I ran the first half in 4:58 and the last have in 5:08 but it felt even slower. 10:06 - 8th place and the fastest I've run this version of the 50 miler but helps I didn't run the 50K the day before. I loved running it on fresh legs. Overall went okay but I had some trouble running some of the downhills due to the IT band issues I was having so I couldn’t push the downhill. Also, I didn’t feel great the last 10 miles which was likely lack of adequate hydration.

The weather was perfect and finally got some adequate sun that I’ve been missing all winter. It was my second slowest of the 6 times for the 20k. At some point later in the 20K, I was finally able to run downhill easier. I said after finishing the 50 miler it was going to be a scenic hike. I did end up running it about the same pace as the 50 miler. We had 6 runners from Columbia at the 50 miler and we all finished. It was a challenging day for all of us. We snapped a photo before the race.

Lion's Roar 24 hour
Lion’s Roar 24 hour (April 12-13) was truly an amazing experience to watch unfold from the moment Jason Conner envisioned this race to the very end. He pulled it off and it was a success. It was truly a community event held at Columbia Christian Academy on their 37 acre property. There were many local sponsors that added so much to this event. He sought input from the running community and followed through. The race raised an amazing amount of money for Welcome Home, an organization that assists at-risk veterans. The event also held a 6 hour and 12 hour option. 

There were so many amazing performances happening in 6, 12, and 24 hours by many friends and others setting distance PRs. The course was run on a mowed 2 mile path which amazingly came out 2 miles every time on my GPS. I kept pushing forward at whatever pace my body would allow and mostly running but many walk breaks. I had a couple rough loops in the 90s and my final 2 I was pretty much ready to be done. I ate something I shouldn’t have at 102 miles, came back up repeatedly but felt much better in a couple minutes and continued the next loop.

The support and encouragement by everyone was amazing. Without that I would not have completed 59 loops, 118 miles, a new distance PR and at 100 miles, 19:27, a new 100 mile PR. Hugh came and completed my last loop with me. Earlier in the day he made an appearance with AbbyDog who was happy to see me. Placed 1st overall and honored to be part of the top 3 with Sam and Joe, both amazing performances as well. Too many others to mention but some really impressive distances were reached. 

Trail of Four Winds 25K
This race took place on May 4 and was only 1 hour 15 minutes drive to Lake Ozark, Public Beach #2. I felt good the entire race and splits were very even. The trails were a bit muddy but I still felt like it was a very fast course. I finished the 25K (15.87 mi GPS) in 2:17:36, 10th overall and 2nd in age group. I enjoyed the opportunity to try out my fast trail running legs a little before Berryman. I've already signed up for next year's race.

Survived my 12th Berryman (10th 50 miler there and 2 marathons). I was surprised I placed 2nd overall but I tend to place well when it is warmer. My first loop was 4:37 and second was 5:10. Very impressed by Joe Cooper's win and I expected he would do well. It was a tough day for everyone with a lot of challenges.I was not happy to be passing Sam Wells at Brazil Creek, 41 miles since I knew he wasn't doing well. I walked a bit before telling him I was going to see if I could run. I I passed 4 people in the 2nd loop, moving into 2nd the last 5 miles. I’ve never ended a race with so much salt on my skin and shorts. Observed others with the same. Guessing something to do with lack of heat acclimation. Otherwise, I felt pretty decent considering the heat. We started the race at 65 and it was supposed to get up to 85. I hydrated with Pickle Juice at each drop bag, plus a bottle of Body Armour for electrolytes. I ate 3 gels plus a Bonk bar and a mostly a little fruit at aid stations. I forgot to bring Body Glide but had no major problems. I credit the Vuori shorts and feet were the same as usual and heels and a few toes a little red.