Thursday, December 23, 2010

65.74 Mile Ancient Oaks Trail Run

Well I have had a few days to let the race digest. The Ancient Oaks 100 in Titusville, Florida on Saturday December 18, 2010 was the race. The decision to drop after 19 of 29 laps was a very difficult one and I have had numerous moments of regret in the hours and days following that decision. I am going to try and give the best run down I can of how the race unfolded. I am going to speak in terms of laps, just multiply by 3.46 to figure out the mileage.

I actually got a solid 6+ hours of sleep the night before at good friend Marc St. Angelo's house. He was kind enough to take me in the night before, which I greatly appreciated! I got to the Enchanted Forest park around 5:30 and spent some time getting my food and gear ready. We took a few pictures and headed to the start line. Everything was very casual, plenty of pictures being taken and getting to know some of the runners. 7am hit on the clock and we strolled off on our journey. I settled in with the famous Ray K and we ran chatting during the first lap. He dropped a few poems based on the songs I was listening to, very entertaining! He pulled off to pee at the end of lap 1 and I hooked up with another legend, Matt Mahoney. We ran lap 2 together and had a good laugh as we climbed the Florida famous Mt. Mahoney to an elevation of 14 feet! I really am not sure where Matt went but I noticed I was right behind Joe Ninke on lap 3 and somehow passed him as he was trying to fix his iPod. It was amazing to be announced as the New Leader when I came through the checkpoint. I knew it was early and didn't mean anything but I was soaking up the glory. I really want to be honest in that I in no way felt that I was going too fast. I may have been, but there was nothing I could do to slow down, I just felt so good. So I was announced as the leader each time I crossed over the next few laps and loved every moment of it.

I think my marathon time was somewhere around 4:30 and my 50 mile time was roughly 9:30. I was eating GU gels and Chomps for the first 20 miles and putting NUUN in my water every other lap or so. But then my stomach couldn't handle the GU anymore, which always happens after 20 miles. I carried a bag of Chomps for an entire lap and couldn't make myself open it. Toni started making me Turkey and Cheese sandwiches. I remember her asking if I wanted Swiss Cheese and I said "sure, it's holy, kinda like praying"! The very talented Krystal Martinez was very helpful all day as well. I guess I upset her by being to happy and never snapping at her. I gotta work harder on that next time! I also got into the potato chips and Christmas cookies that Marc's wife Kim and the kids made for us! I ate really good during the entire race. I was drinking a little Red Bull and Gatorade each time at the aid station.

I felt really good after lap 15 cause I knew I was over halfway in less than 10 hours. Lap 16 still felt ok but lap 17 was getting very painful. I am not exactly sure what happened but my feet just started to fall off. My upper legs were great and my calves were tight but manageable. My feet felt like they had been bashed with a hammer and then put in cement. I sat for about 20 min after lap 17. When I finally made myself get up, I walked the entire lap 18. I sat again for about 30 min and when I got up for lap 19, I knew I had to run a little more on that lap. I was able to jog as slow as my walk for about 30% of that lap. The rest was spent walking. When I got back to the tent, I pretty much knew that I was done. I felt that I could have tried to keep walking but I really did not want to do that for 34 more miles. My opinion back at mile 59 was that I was physically done and I wasn't sure how much the mental could take. I was running laps earlier in the race at 34 minutes each and my last two laps took over 3 hours total.

After lap 19, I changed into warm clothes and new socks and put my feet up. I ate and drank and got on the phone/texted a bunch. There were so many people pulling for me and I appreciate every single bit of encouragement that was sent my way. I was feeling pretty devastated when I texted the words "I can't do it" to a good friend. It hurt so much to have to do that knowing how much support they had given me throughout the day. Many people kept telling me to get back up and keep going but I just couldn't make my self go out there and Death March for 34 more miles.

I finished lap 19 around 10pm and I sat there and tried to get a nap in the van until around 2am. Nothing felt any better and that is when I hobbled my chip over to the timing tent to turn in my DNF and shake Mike Melton's hand, thanking him for the invitation. There were 45 starters with 23 finishers and I was 3 back among the non-finishers. I really hope I did enough to warrant an invitation to come back next year. There is no doubt in my mind that I will finish next year.

So up next is a very busy, action packed Spring! Ragnar Keys on Jan 9th will bring me 37 miles over 3 legs. The following weekend is the Croom Zoom 50k when I will aim to break 5 hours at the FU Mecca! Then on March 5th is the Manatee Track Club 50k at Oscar Scherer State Park. I volunteered there last year due to the broken foot and I had a blast. I will shoot for 4:30 that day. Mid-April is the Croom Fools 50M, going sub-9 there is very doable I believe. And then Memorial Day weekend is the Wickham Park 50M. I will only be doing the 50M because I have to get back for school on Tuesday. This should lay a very solid foundation so that, if everything falls into place, I can head up to Vermont in July for my 2nd attempt at the 100 Mile Finish! This all sounds like a pretty good plan that is gonna work out perfectly. I am already feeling fully recovered and can get some pretty good running done in the next few weeks!

Well, there you have it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to Blow Up at the Alafia Trail Marathon

First the Positive things about today's race:
1. I had a PR in the trail marathon
2. Got to hang out w/ some awesome friends
3. Brought home some cool hardware

Now for the how to guide to blowing up at the Alafia Trail Marathon:
First off, you need to get to the start line 3 minutes after the race has started. We were not late to packet pickup or running late. I just thought I had time to go fill up my water bottle and then get to the start line.
Next, you need to make up the lost time within the first 4 miles. I ran up through the field at under an 8 minute pace, saying hello to all my friends and telling them that I screwed up. I felt pretty good doing this though. A spent the most time with AB and Patrick, talking a little and Patrick threw some tips my way about keeping my chin and shoulders back so I breath easier. I really focused on that for the next 10 miles but then it got hard to keep at it.
Also, you must keep running an 8:04 pace through 14 miles when you original goal was around 3:50. I was on pace to run 3:32 at that rate.
Other things that need to go wrong are to have major stomach issues. I could not do GU or eat anything. I also only drank about half my water bottle in 14 miles, not good.
At mile 14, where Toni, Kyle and Kati were, I forced myself to open the GU, have some Peanut M&M's and some Heed! I began downing my water between stations and eating Pretzels at every one. Well, my stomach issues from the first half showed me why it didn't want to take anything in. I had to navigate my way into the "woods bathroom." While trying to get through the prickers, my right hammy seized up completely. I thought I was going to drop and never been seen again. Well, after losing 10 or more minutes, I got back on the trail and tried to keep moving forward. The thought of walking out of the woods really crossed my mind. Then I realized that I wanted to Thermos and Dog Tag Medal....oh, and I'm not a quitter.
Another task in making the blow up possible is to get plenty of leg cramps, and to get cramps on those cramps. My hammy was shot, my quads were blown up all the way into my hips and my calves were starting to go. This pretty much sucked. I ran when I could, I walked when I needed to but I never stopped, except at aid stations. Oh, and my feet were not having fun anymore.
I think this pretty much sums up all of the things that you need to do if you want to blow up at the Alafia Trail Marathon. All that being said, I did Trail-PR with a time of 4:21 (1:46 1st half, 2:35 2nd half). It was awesome!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Wrap-up!

I finished up August by running 180 miles in 21 days out of 31. Some highlights include getting out to Caloosahatchee twice (once w/ Keith and once on a 21 miler w/ Janette), as well as a 22 minute Beer Mile in a Fundraiser for the Ragnar Relay Keys Race on January 7-8, 2011. I had an 18 mile run with Coach Smith and I had my first double long weekend. Janette and I did 21.5 on Saturday and I did 15.33 with the Speedsters on Sunday. I really need to focus on getting that 2nd day down. I am really looking forward to September as I have a friendly bet with Patsy and Jason to see who will run more miles. I am going to a 49th Birthday party and a couple Doubles planned so I think I may have this one in the bag! Ultra training is really starting to heat up, hopefully the weather starts to cool down sometime! That's all for now folks!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 2

I missed a day running this week but I still got the miles in.

Wednesday late PM: 9 miles, 10:04 pace
Thursday PM: 10 miles, 9:33 pace
Saturday AM: 20 miles, 11:23 pace
Sunday AM: 10 miles, 10:25 pace

Total miles: 49

Not a very fast week but still logged the miles and got a double set on the weekend. Really looking forward to those 6 hour doubles in a few months!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week 1 in the Books!

The first week of training went very well. Runs were as follows:
Tuesday PM: 3 miles to Fun Run: approx 9:30 pace, very hot
2 miles Fun Run: 7:48 pac
3 miles home: approx 8:30 pace, head wind felt great!
8 miles total
Wednesday AM: 8 Miles at Caloosahatchee Regional Park w/ Keith Carlton and Nathan Schwan. Hilly and very fun.
Thursday PM: 3 mile warm-up: 9:30 pace
3 mile tempo: 8:15 pace
1 mile cool-down: 9:36
7 miles total with the Speedsters
Saturday 8:30 AM: 11 miles in the very hot humidity, not fun at all: 10:20 pace
Sunday 4:30 PM: 10 miles in overcast cool breeze, much more fun: 9:05 pace
43 miles total for the week
This week went very well. I kinda messed up the long runs. I thought they were supposed to be 90 minutes and 2 hours. It was supposed to be 3 hours for the 2nd one. I am fixing that next weekend by doing 20 miles and 10 miles. Off to a good start!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Training and Racing

Well today marks the first official day of training for the Winter racing schedule....we have to race distance in the winter down here in Florida! I have always thought it was hilarious that the first day of most Training Plans calls for "Rest". You haven't really started if you aren't doing anything on the first day are you? Well, I did rest today, but that we because I put in four solid days leading up to today. They were the following:
Thursday-6 Miles, 8:34 pace
Friday-5 easy miles, 9:10 pace
Saturday-6.5 trail miles, 11:50 pace
Sunday-10 Miles, 9:09 pace

Feet felt great every day. I am ready to rock. I have 21 weeks planned right now. That will lead me up to the Ancient Oaks 100 Miler. I emailed the Race Director tonight asking for my invitation to the race. They usually keep a few spots for sacrificial virgins. One of them should be me. Other race plans this season include:
Ironhorse 100K-Feb
Oscar Scherer 50K-March
Croom 50M-April
and possibly Keys 50M in May

It's about to get exciting, stay tuned for weekly training updates!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lame Update

Running has been going very slow for me lately. I had a very exciting Key West experience in April and May but neglected to write about it. I spent 26 miles of the 50 mile course with Carl Grooms in April over 2 days training on the Keys 50 course. The fueling/hydrating lesson was worth more than I can explain. The race itself was a good experience while at the same time heartbreaking. Carl ran great for the first 11 miles but the heat was too much to overcome. We gave every effort to regulate his HR for the next 3 miles but I think we both knew a comeback was slipping out of our grasp. I really respect Carl for run/walking the next 12 miles with nothing in the tank. He just wanted to get to the 26 mile checkpoint to sign in.

After the Keys, I really haven't run that much. I have been running 2-3 times a week and just feel like I am in a funk. I really want to get motivated and get going. In an effort to do so, I have been trying to set my race calendar for the winter. I have 2 races that I think I want to get to. Ancient Oaks 100M on December 11th falls right within my budget (it's free). I would also like to go to Ironhorse 100K February 19th. So now I have to get focused and get my mileage back up. I have retained the services of my good friend Andrew Swistak to keep me accountable. The first step is to get the mileage up to the 40-50 range. After that I will need to focus on the long runs and back to back long run weekends. I am really looking forward to a 15/20 Weekend followed by a 30-40 Saturday the following weekend. That's the plan for now. I think I have said this before, but I plan to update more often.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Race Recap: Croom 15M

Saturday was supposed to be my first 50M at Croom. Since the broken foot set me back a bit, I had to settle for the 15M race. Marc St. Angelo and his great family invited us over to their hotel for an amazing pasta dinner. Great carbo loading with new friends is awesome! Ashlee and I shared a hotel room with John , Toni, Michele and Jim and would have gotten a better nights rest if the smoke detector didn't have a low battery. John finally got up and ripped the thing off the wall. We were still up at 4am to get over to the park. The 50 Milers started an hour before us and many of them had finished their 5 mile loop and were on the big 15 mile trail when we started. We headed out and I found myself in a small group of 6 or so people just behind a pack of about 8 guys. I thought it was pretty cool to be up front. I had to check my pace to see if I went out too fast but I was certain that I was fine. Our group thinned out and I was probably in 10th or so as we began passing the 50M runners. They were all very friendly and encouraging. I felt like I was cruising along just fine, drinking my NUUN and taking in some GU Pineapple and Hammer Montana Huckleberry-new flavor which is awesome!! I only filled up my bottle at the aid stations and took off again. I came through the road crossing at 1:16 and felt that I had a legit shot at my goal of 2:20. I am not really sure where that goal came from, I just thought it was doable. The 2nd half of the course was where the hills all came in. They all had names and were all walk-ups. I really dug deep to storm up them and went right back into a run at the top. I tired a bit up some of the hills but thought I found a 2nd wind with about 4 to go. That only lasted a mile or two before I hit another lull. I knew I was getting close so I just tucked in behind a very strong 50 miler. We got to the base of Tucker's Hill together and the photographer told us only 1/4 of a mile to go. Tucker's Hill is more like a staircase of roots and rocks. Once we hit the top, I wished the other runner good luck and peeled off to cross the finish line, in 2:18:36. They gave me a mug for being a top finisher, which is cool! I ended up 15th overall and 2nd in my age group. I helped out a little at the main aid station as many friends came thru. Marc had discussed his ironclad gut for ultra running the night before so I had a fresh cheeseburger waiting there for him after his 2nd long loop! To my dismay he only wanted 1/3 of the burger. But he ate that down, refueled, rested up, put lotion on for the hot sun and then went out there and killed it on his last loop for his first 50 Miler!! After some rest and food, I went back out to the road and met up w/ John Pyle to finish the last 7 of his 50 miler with him. He's got guts thats for sure! Michele also rocked the course, finishing 2nd female overall in 8:31 in her first 50 mile race! More big things to come.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hooters to Hooters Half Marathon

After a 9 mile test run last Saturday, I registered to run the Hooters to Hooters Half Marathon. The name is kinda deceiving though. The races starts at Hooters and you wonder where the other Hooters is that you are running to, but it is a loop course back to the same one. Details I guess. So my plan was to just see if I had a shot at breaking 2 hours but I would not have been surprised if I was around 2:10 just because my conditioning is not back up yet in only 3 weeks of running. I got out to a good start w/ Terry Deshaies and John Pyle. John was carrying Old Glory as usual. We were just clicking off 8:20 like nothing. We were still on that pace through Mile 7 when we hit the Edison Bridge. They lost me by about 10 yards going up the bridge but I reeling them back in going down. At Mile 8 we turned to come back over the bridge and they pulling in front of my by about 20-30 yards going back over. I couldn't get back to them but I kept them in sight at about 30-40 seconds through mile 11. The last two miles were locked in at a snails pace and I was glad to see the finish. Time was 1:53:46! I ended up losing 3:30 to Terry and John, but that's ok because I broke 2 hours with ease. I am feeling stronger and stronger every day. This is awesome! Up next is Crooms 15 Miler on April 3rd.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Running Again!!

Yay!! I've been running since Monday now. I've got 4 runs in of 1-2 miles (my limit per doctors orders for now). I also did 3 hourlong workouts on the elliptical machine this week. The area that broke feels fine but my heel and arch are a little sore. There is also no strength in my ankle. That should come back pretty quickly. I am hoping to finish up around 12 miles for the week by Sunday and then we will see what next week brings. There is a local 5k tomorrow night that I am gonna go over to. I am thinking of sneaking in bandit to get the 3 mile workout! But the road to recovery has begun!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MTC 50k

I couldn't run yesterday in the MTC 50k at Oscar Scherer Park in Nokomis, FL cause of the foot. So I volunteered to help out with registration and timing. Saw a lot of friends as they came to check in. Dan Pollock ran the 25k while Michele Proch, John Pyle and Carl Grooms were set for the 50k. It was an awesome 7.75 mile loop course. After a briefing from Dave the Race Director they were off. It was about 51 minutes before we saw the first 25k runner. The 25k people were starting to come in to the finish as the 50k people were coming around for the 3rd and 4th time. Michele was holding 3rd place overall until some fueling issues slowed her pace. Carl and another guy got in front of her but she held on for 5th place and 1st Overall Female in 4:32. Carl broke 4:28 by running all 4 loops within 17 seconds of each other. John ran a solid race in about 5:15 as he prepares for the LOST 118 in 2 weeks. It was awesome to cheer people on as they came thru and finished strong, some veterans and some first time Ultra Runners. I can't wait to be running with these awesome people again! The plan is to be ready for Crooms on April 3rd. There are 3 races, 50M, 50k and 15M so whatever I am ready for that is what I will do! Also looking forward to pacing and crewing for Carl at the Florida Keys 50M! Ok, Doctor's appt tomorrow, hopefully I will be cleared to bike and run very soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Random Ramblings

I figured I would take some time while I am laid up to discuss some of the products that I like. I have mentioned before that I love the Blueberry Roctane GU!! That stuff is awesome. I also recently bought a bulk bottle of Hammer Tropical and a few handheld bottles to carry along the run. My shoe of choice is the Nike Pegasus. I think I am up to about 4 pair in the last year and a half. They teamed up with Livestrong to create a trail version of the shoe as well! I do get to save some money on shirts by wearing the "Nike Free" running jersey! If I do have to wear a shirt when I run, it's gotta be a tech shirt and Body Glide is a must! The benefits of living in Florida include not wearing a shirt year round. I am partial to the New Balance running shorts that I can usually get on clearance at any race expo. As long as my socks are Dry Fit I am good. But some friends have talked about the finger socks by Injinji. Maybe I will pick up a few pair sometime. Lastly, the day I broke my foot, I had just picked up a tube of Berry NUUN. John Pyle had been so great to provide many of us rookies with NUUN for Ragnar and our other long runs. I have tried the Berry and Orange Ginger. They are both good. My general theory on the GU and NUUN is that I can't really tell what they do but I can tell what my body does if I don't have them, and that is bonk and crash hard. I have made the mistake of not getting enough supplements once or twice and it is hell having to walk more than a mile home after complete shutdown. Not to mention thinking you are gonna trip over cracks. Well I think that's about enough rambling. I hope something here was helpful to someone. (Sidenote: I am more than willing to use any product that someone gives me for free....hint, hint: Nike, NB, GU, NUUN!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Halfway to Recovery

It's been 3 weeks since I got "The Boot." I go back February 15th. I hope to start working out right then. This really sucks not being able to run and train for something. Everyone I know ran the Sarasota Bridge Run yesterday. I am going to volunteer at the Oscar Scherer 50K on Feb. 13th. I am also gonna plan on going to Croom in April and will do whatever distance I am ready for (15M, 50K, 50M). Then it looks like Ancient Oaks will now be my 100M debut in December! I have been bored during this time, but I have also been doing a ton of research on fun races. I am really looking forward to getting going again and get out there with these awesome Ultra people!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I just spent 5 hours in the ER after breaking my left foot. I was just out for an easy 5 miles when I rolled my ankle so hard it exploded. I knew right away that it was broke. I just wasn't sure if bones came thru the skin. I have to follow up with a Specialist on Monday to get the exact details. But this looks like 2500 Miles is out of the question now.....Crap. Not a very cool way to start the New Year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2500 Miles this Year!

I have been giving a lot of thought to this year. I think 2500 miles is a great goal. I have a few races in mind. I plan on doing the Oscar Scherer 50K on February 13. Then my first 50M race will be Crooms 50M on April 3. The plan is to make my 100M debut at the Vermont100 on July 17th, a week after the Utica Boilermaker! Ancient Oaks in December will also be on the calendar! It will take an average of 7+ miles a day to hit 2500, which shouldn't be an issue with all of the long runs in there! Started the year off with a 9 mile run today! Ahead of pace already!