Monday, June 11, 2012

State #49 and #50 are complete.
I ran the the Timberline Trail Marathon on June 2, 2012 near Government Camp, Oregon.  Probably my favorite marathon to date was all single track trail.  Knowing I would run a marathon the next day I ran conservatively.  Wow what a nice run in misting rain to clear skies.  I ran fairly consistently and just had a great run for my 49th state.  Thanks to Rob Powell who ran with me and took lots of glossies to commemorate this run.  I highly recommend this race to any marathoners who love trails.
Overall:  85th of 110, 1st AG.........................................

On June 3, 2012, Rob and I ran San Juan Island Marathon, Friday Harbor, WA.  I knew ahead of time this was a hilly marathon, but I had no idea of just how hilly it was.  The scenery was beautiful and we started at 8:30 AM with both the half marathoners and the 10K.  The 10K turned away from us quickly but the 1/2 marathoners stayed with us through 7 miles.  At which time the big group I was running with turned left and I all by my lonesome turned right.  No one ahead that I could see and no one behind.  I was in last place.  I saw the 1st place marathoner around my 8.5 mile point and he was running strong.  This section was an out and back.
So up and down the hills I went seeing one runner after another, until I saw Rob Powell about a half mile from the turn around.  I think this had him around 15th place on the out and back and me 16th.  However there were runners who started the race an hour early.  So I was the last of the Mohicans all the way to the 20 mile marker when I past several marathoners.  I thought this was great until I had to make a left turn to do a 5 mile loop and they turned right to the finish.  So all alone I was again, all the way to the finish.  The finish was great, being my last state.  The race director presented me with my finisher medal and thanked me for completing my states at his race.  I ended up 26th of 33 and 1st AG............................................

Monday, May 30, 2011

#48 Fargo Marathon, Fargo, North Dakota

     North Dakota has only 3 marathons and no ultra's so only a short list to gain this state.  I had always felt that ND would be my 50th state due to so few runs available and time of year for those events.  This year Fargo worked out so Fargo Marathon it was to be.

     The 50 States Club had the summer reunion with the Fargo Marathon so for only the 2nd time I was able to attend.  It is nice to visit with runners with the same goals and bents.  The club meeting room was full and a nice meeting was had, as well as many runners receiving their awards for 50 State completions.  Hopefully I will soon be a recipient.  So packet pickup was on Friday as well as the meeting for the club.  All in the Fargodome, home of the North Dakota State University football team.  Now on to the race........

      Fargo Marathon was on Saturday, May 21, 2011.  The weather for the start and during the marathon was not promising:  60-70's, high winds (15-25 mph) and torrential rain.  All was had except for the rain, not a drop.  However it was overcast the whole marathon.
     The race course meandered through the downtown of Fargo and residential streets.  Having tree lined roads helped diminish the winds, except when in open areas.  Some small hills were found, but far and few between.  This should be a nice race with mostly a flat course.
     My plan mirrored the plan used for Colorado Marathon breaking the race down into 3-9 mile segments.
Pushing the 1st 9 miles, then getting to the half marathon at 13.1 and assessing based on time.  I was over 2 hours so I throttled back as no stellar time was going to happen on this day.  Ran to 18 miles and was loosing my focus, so I stuck with a group I was running around to the end and pushed the last 2 miles.  The finish was in the Fargodome creating an excitement for the finish of the race.  I always hate to have anyone pass me the last 3 miles and in fact I passed 4 to 5 runners to the finish.
     The stats:  4:41:14; 1470th/2211 place overall; 954rd/1290 male; 31st/53 AG(60-64).  48th state!
     For those who read this, I would recommend this race.  Small size field for the marathon, even though the half marathon runs with the marathon on two sections feeling like a larger field.  Bands galore along the course and even more in garages.  The number of spectators along the course was impressive for the size of this race, but maybe they were out to see and hear the bands.  The finish was a nice touch and even had your mug on the large screen in the dome.  Food and goodies were great.  They even had chocolate milk. 
   While the visit was brief and the return home was mostly uneventful except one little tornado in Minneapolis, close enough to us but far enough we did not know it.  So there you have it another adventure completed by yours truly.

Friday, May 6, 2011

#47 Colorado Marathon, Fort Collins, Colorado

The 47th state to be completed a year after it should have been done.  Originally Estes Park Marathon was supposed to be my Colorado marathon, but was doomed.  So the Colorado Marathon out of Fort Collins will take it's place.
The area is beautiful with the Rocky Mountains looming to the west.  Old Town Fort Collins is a happening place.  If you are a runner or like biking this town was designed for your interests.
Arrived on Friday, April 29th, went and picked up my packet with #79.  Spent the remainder of the day exploring.  The next day was windy, cloudy, and rain/snow.  Betty and I went for a 4 mile walk and later I ran one mile to shake out the cobwebs.
The elevation at Fort Collins is 4915 feet and at the start of the race over 6,000', so elevation will be a factor.

Race Morning:
Got up at 3 AM had oatmeal, dressed and headed for the bus pickup in Old-Town Ft. Collins.  The bus left around 4:15 AM to drive us to the start line 26.2 miles away since the finish is at Old-Town.
Arrived at the start area a little after 5 AM in the dark.  I had a flashlight, so all was well for me.  The temperature was 35 degrees which was better than originally thought (28).  We remained in the dark for a while but the sun slowly rose to some spectacular views.  What a gorgeous palate this race was going to be run against.
The race started at 6:15 AM with little fanfare at the Steven's Gulch Campground in the Poudre River Canyon.  The Poudre River will wander alongside of the runners the entire course.  Even though I was close to the start line it took me over a minute to cross the line.  Fortunately it was chip timing, so no big issue.
So my plan was to run like hell while the course went down mountain.  So much for plans!  While I thought I was running well and efficient, my times indicated otherwise.  The course did go down mountain for 18 miles with two tiny uphills in that distance.  I broke down my race in thirds.  The first 9 miles I had hoped to run 8:15 to 8:30 miles.  I ran around 8:50's.  The next 9 miles (10-18) I planned to run around 9 minute miles but was around 9:30's, so my game plan was not working out as planned.  Between 18 and 20 miles were the hills and they were not bad, but were 2 miles worth with a small downhill.  So with my plan of a great marathon time gone, I eased back and just enjoyed the rest of the race.  The coursed went onto a bike path around 22 miles and into the finish at Old Town.  The finish was welcomed and as I approached there were three kids in a line about 3,4,& six years old holding up there hand to be slapped by the marathoners as they came past them.  However the runners were focused on the line and no one was making the kids day, so moved to my right so to greet the kids and hit each hand putting a smile on each ones face.  The little one I had to bend to get down to his hand and thought I was going to fall right over.  It's amazing the effort it took to do a little thing like that.
A few more feet to the finish line with a time of 4:26:28 and state # 47 in the books.
The marathon was well run, downhill course and a beautiful setting.  I would highly recommend this race if you desire a road marathon in Colorado.  Low lander the altitude may have some effect on your performance, but view is well worth the effort.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Forget the PR and other Ramblings.

The past weekend and before I was involved with the Forget the PR 25 and 50K races held at Mohican for the 3rd year.
It really started the week before with the Race Director's Race for the volunteers where I put in a mediocre 7:59:44.  I started early so as to get my wife Betty and the Lasagna down for the other finishers/volunteers to eat.  That was accomplished and all were pleased.  At least with their meals.
During the week I did focus on my preparations for the upcoming Colorado Marathon.  Time is about up and tapering is now on the schedule.  I am not as ready as I hoped, but I will be going in the right direction, down.

For the FTPR, my responsibilities were to set up and organize the registration area and mark and check the 4+ mile falls loop before and during the race.  Both of these were accomplished and from that point I became a spectator with an occasional assist.

The race went well with Rob Powell's great organization skills and a helpful and encouraging group of volunteers.  The runners while given a hard course to conquer, had a great day and for the most part were quite successful.  I do believe they got their money's worth.  I could spend much more on the great efforts by individuals, but time is sometimes of the essences.

So to the victors congratulations and that is to all wether you ran or helped.  No runner can succeed without the efforts of volunteers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

'Forget the PR 50K' RD Volunteers Cut

April 10, I ran the race director's volunteer version of the 'Forget the PR 50K'.  This run is the week before the actual race where some 250+ runners will toe the line.  This version saw approximately 13-15 on the line.
My race started earlier then the main group.  I needed to get done and back home to get Betty and the lasagna to the finish before the others got there.

5:20 AM (Start to Fire Tower) I took off with flashlight in hand from Mohican Adventures.  It was really enjoyable to run in the dark and it was dark.  Arrived at Big Ass Hill, which did not look so big in the dark.  It felt big as I trudged up it thinking about the next round.  There are 3 major climbs before arriving at the fire tower.  These really weaken the legs making one really tried. With the 3 hills my time was not to bad to this point.

I decided to try some game plans for preparation of the Mohican Trail 100.  I was not concerned with overall time, just carrying out my practice run in preparation for the 100 miler.  I included several ideas that I have not used before and I would tell you what my new thoughts were but these are classified and might benefit a competitor (TOP SECRET).

From the fire tower to the covered bridge I arrived in 2 hours.  The main group of runners have not taken off yet from Mohican Adventures, they were to start at 7:30 AM.  It was 49 degrees when I left at 5:20 AM.
Covered bridge into the purple loop or better known as the Lyons Falls loop.  It was nice and peaceful through this section.  I got to the dam and saw a person I knew and chatted for a few minutes.  Then moved on up the hill towards the lodge past Avery Ball's former home.  I did enjoy this section and just moved freely and plowed down to Big Lyons Falls were I ran into my friend and his friends again.  They were impressed how quickly I descended into the falls.  Chatted for about 5 minutes and moved on to the covered bridge.
Covered bridge to Mohican Adventures was pretty uneventful as I ran along the Mohican River, up North Rim Trail (think about that in another 13 miles) and back to the start/finish.  Headed back out to do loop #2 and only 12 miles to go.  I did refuel while at the car.  It was getting much warmer and thankfully there was a nice wind.
As one can imagine, the thought of 'Big Ass Hill' was on my mind from the point of leaving Mohican Adventures.  Yes Virginia there are sicko race directors that dwell in the misery of others.  It isn't just the 1st hill that plays on ones mind but the two after that.  My per mile time was 2 minutes slower than the 1st time through to the fire tower.  After arriving to the fire tower I continue to the covered bridge and on to the finish line after go up the ascent of North Rim Trail.  Time was 7:59:44.  I probably shouldn't have spent so much time BS'ing on the purple loop. 

I was pleased with how I felt after the run and my approach to running it run.  It was nice to have the RD give us an award for completion, the coveted 'Forget the PR 50K Belt Buckle'.  Thanks Rob for a splendid non event and the nice hospitality after.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here to Eternity

After a long absence I have returned.  My thoughts about blogging are why.  I say the same things over and over and include my occasional race report, so why do the blog.  I guess it is to put down my concerns, successes, and the occasional rant.  I guess it is time to use it or lose it.  Meaning continue to blog or not.  I shall try to continue.

My running over the past year has been a little out of sink.  This may be due to family health issues, getting sick myself, and age.  I know I am influenced by the age thing.  I can't run as fast as I once did even when following my tried and true training regimes.  I even need the daily nap to recharge my batteries.  Now this does become a problem for this coming June when I run the Mohican Trail 100.  How does one get their nap in a race that will be longer than a day.  A question that boggles the mind.  One could sleep on the run.  I have done this on past 100's and stayed on course, but with being older the nap may be longer meaning I could wander of course and end up who knows where.  Oh well, I did digress.  That is one thing on my mind, but not the only thing.

Now my plans are as follows for racing this 1st half of 2011:  May 1 -- Colorado Marathon; May 21 --  Fargo Marathon,; and June 18 --  Mohican Trail 100.  I will do the race directors version of the Forget the PR 50K Trail Race on April 10 for volunteers.  So there are the plans and believe it or not I have been training, even with the crappy weather we have had this winter.  Though through my training I have found I am slower than in the past, but I have accepted whatever the outcome since all runners must go through this or give up.

Since I do enjoy running, one must go on.  I could just not do races anymore, but first I must finish my commitment (goals) I have set years ago.  Do all 50 states marathon or more, do all 50 states and DC marathon or more, do a 100 miler every decade until I can no longer achieve this goal.   I am close to achieving the 50 states & DC goals and the 100 I do have 9 years to continue this goal, of course let's hope for success at Mohican Trail 100.

So their are my thoughts after several months, now let's see if I can continue the comments..................

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bigfoot 50K Undone!

As all know my final 2010 focus run was the Bigfoot 50K trail race held on December 5 at Saltfork State Park near Cambridge, Ohio.
With many hours and miles of training I was chomping at the bit to run the race.  Race morning arrive with very windy and crisp temperature in the 20's.  It really did not feel that bad as I decided to run in shorts.
The race started promptly at 7 AM with quite a large field including the relay teams.  A little blacktop began the race and soon funneled to single track trail.  The course was not flat by any means and had some nice down hills, designed just for me.   I really did not feel in sync (Not the group),  I was just out of it from the get go and really did not know why.  I continued on to the first aid station around 6.2 miles and onward to the start finish line with 10.4 miles in at 1:55:30.  I was so not feeling right that I decided to call it a day.  At that point I did not know what was bothering me.  More on that later.
The race was well organized, running friendly, and took good care of you before, during, and after the race.
 I would highly recommend this race to anyone who loves to run trails.
My wife Betty did a nice walk on a not so nice day while I was running and got in a good 5.5 miles on some hilly roads.  Well done, Betty!
Even after the race I still had no idea what was my problem.  Not even on Monday, I took off.
Tuesday the 7th, I did run trails in Mohican with Terri Lemke and Zack Huff.  The conditions were cold and snow covering the trails making for some slow trail running.  It was during this run I realized my problem for Bigfoot.  I was having difficulty breathing (asthma).  I think the cold air triggered my difficulty breathing and I just did not realize it until the 11 miles of trail we ran at Mohican.  So problem solved, but a race was wasted. 
I did have a nice run with Zack and Terri.  Terri was second women overall at Bigfoot....Congratulations Terri!

So there you have my saga and go out for 2010 with a big DNF.  Now let's focus on next year.