Sunday, December 18, 2011

619 Catch Me If You Can

Rudolph Rampage ½ Marathon

I did not know this at the time, but this would be one of my most memorable runs to date. The # 619 and the words catch me if you can will last forever and I am sure I will think about it on every run for the rest of my life.

This started a little wile back. My friend Dan and I were running one day and we were talking about his little girl and about the Rudolph Rampage ½ Marathon. He had hurt his ankle running a 100 mile endurance run and I told him that I would like to run with Bri and pace her for the ½ marathon. Little did I know what I was getting into at the time.

The plan was to just keep her at a pace to break 2hr (this being her goal). The bigger reason was so there would be someone on the trails with her incase she got hurt. Bri is just 10 years old. I had registered for the run and was planning to be there anyway and I did not plan on running any slower then 2hr. I was more than happy to be able to run with her.

Now I am not a slow runner and I know that there is always some one bigger, better, and faster. I did not think this would come in the shape of a 10 year old girl. (more on this latter)

The morning of the run I was really excited to run with her. She is a great kid and an amazing high spirited runner. I would get to the run and see some good friends. I met up with Teo and we talk a little bit about his Iron Man and me breaking 5hr at a 50k. Latter I would see William and he gave me a card from him and Kristin saying job well done about the 24hr run that I had put on the week before. Good place and good friends.

Then the little trail blazer would show up. She was so excited and that just amped me up even more. Dan and I would talk a little bit about the run.

The start.
Bri took off and I just tried to keep up. Telling her at first to slow down a little bit. She was running close to a 7 min pace and I did not want her to go out two strong. I told her don’t worry we will catch them latter. After the 1 mile and trying to slow her down I gave up. I thought to myself that this is her run and you are just here to make sure she does not get hurt. I just needed to let her run. She ran and boy did she run. She new where all the hills were and where she could really kick up the speed. She is a lot like me when running the trails. Were slow on the up hills, but on the down hills and the more technical parts we fly. 

The end of loop 1
This was a 2 loop run that had a 10k as well. As we came to the last mile of the 1st loop we would get passed be 3 runners and I could tell that she was concerned about this. I told her it was ok that they were running the 10k. We would come up on the start/fin and I had to grab a water bottle. I did not have a chance to get any water at the aid station. She was moving so fast and I did not want to slow her down. Dan would give her a Gu and pass me her handheld. We were off on our 2nd loop. We would hit mile 8 a little over 1hr. I did the math even if she slowed own to a 10min mile she would still be able to break 2hr. about mile 10 there was a bridge crossing where Dan, Allison, and Kristin would be. Dan asked what her pace was; Bri quickly said “I don’t want to know” then he asked if we were ON pace. I then told him O YEA! This was about the time both of us started feeling the miles. She would slow down to about a 10min pace going up the hills, but still hitting about a 7:40 going down the hills. This is where I get in to some one being bigger, better, and faster. This is where I realized that this was about the same pace setting that I ran last year and I finished in 4:48:38. I knew then that there was NO WAY she would not break 2hr. I was having trouble keeping up with her on the down hills, but would see how the up hills were getting to her. One of the last up hills I ran next to her to help keep her at a steady pace, but as soon as it was over she was off again. As we hit the last mile I said “ok one more mile” she was quite at this point and I knew that she was giving it all she had. I said this more as a were almost done, not so much as a lets kick up the speed. She told me she was giving it all she had. We hit the finish and she did hit another gear taking off.

The finish.

She would be the 1st female finisher. This coming from a 10 year old. WOW that is something. As we got done I felt so excited for her. I then realized that if it was a road ½ that there would be a slim chance that I would be able to keep up with her. I run better on trails this is not common for people. I know that I will never be able to keep up with her again in a race. This 10 year old will keep getting faster and faster. I am happy to have had the chance to be a part of her running and hope to get in some training run with her again. I am looking forward to seeing her blow past me in any events we run together in the future.

After the run I talked with friends and made some new ones got some food and laid down. I was gassed. I had planed on running another loop after but new that my legs would not hold out.

I will never forget this. This is what makes running so amazing for me. To see someone so young be able to not only hold her own in a run, but surpass so many seasoned runners.

P.S. my legs are shot LOL 

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Epic Run

            This would be my 1st attempt as a RD (race director) the idea came to me about a year ago. Why are there not more ultras in the Upstate? There are many great trails out here. As I asked myself that I thought well if you want one set one up. Then I started trying to register for some and would end up missing the cut off on 3 Ultras, because I did not have the $ to register in time. Dang I though I really am going to have to get one going.

            I went and talked to the park rangers about holding a 24hr run at Croft State Park in Spartanburg S.C. As I started talking to them about it they asked “do people really do that?” I gave them a list of ultras that were all over the world. After about a week and some paperwork they got back to me and said yes. (But it would be yes under the understanding that I was completely responsible and libel for anything that may come up) the reason for this is because I did not have (and could not afford) insurance.

           I asked a friend to help me set up a website and he did an amazing job. I would email or text him just about everyday asking him to do this or do that. I knew I had to be getting on his nerves, but being the good friend that he is he never let on to it. The computer equipment I have at my house can barley get on the internet much less do any kind of IT work. I put the word out to some ultra running friends of mine. I thought that maybe 30 or so runners would come out for the run. With GREAT support from my friends the word was out, and before I knew it there were 95+ runners. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. My only hope and goal was that the runners were able to have a good time.

          I spent the next month trying to find sponsors for the run. It was the end of the year and most all places I went to for help were taped out for there yearly budget. I did get some. Road ID gave me bibs and giveaways. The Tomato Vine provided me with patatoes and oranges. The Rush Fitness gave me some 23day free VIP passes to the gym. The rest would come out of my pocket. One of the runner’s brothers sent me a $200.00 check and when I received it I fell apart with tears. Another runner got (One Epic Run) stickers for all the runners. I was floored with all the support from all the runner. I would receive emails almost daily asking if there was anything they could do to help. I would tell them no hoping that I would be able to get everything together on my own. I did not want any runner to do anything more than come out run and have a good time. I would have two runners that would be coming out for there birthdays (and they were so supportive of this run) their were two more that would use this as one of there state runs for the 50 states club. (one would be starting early and the other would show up late in the night) The run was becoming more than I ever thought it would. Part of me felt so overwhelmed with the amount of support from everyone.

     Boy did I make a lot. Got bib# that were paper (what was I going to do?) then Road ID saved my butt. There is a whole laundry list of stuff I did wrong. With every mistake I made I looked at it as just a way to improve and move forward to create a FUN run that people would want to do every year.

     I did not expect that there would be this many runners that would come out, SOOO I decide to just keep it to myself. I filled out paperwork for fewer runners than I had. I started to think. What if the park does not let me do the run next year? What if they come out and shut it down? Then I started to think- well I did not lie to them the paperwork I filled out was for the amount of runners that would be running all night and I was still under that number. There would be some first time trail runners coming out and I did not want to do anything to detour them from running the trails. I would never want to be part of a runners BAD trail experience.

     The only regret that I had going into the event is that I myself had to close the run. One of the main reasons that I did this is for that very reason, but I had to. L

Some relief.
     I went out for a preview run the Sunday before the run. I thought that it might be a good idea to talk to the Park Rangers about the amount of people coming. As I got ready to say something they looked at me and said “well looks like your going to have about 100 people out here” I know I had to turn ghost white. The fact that almost every camp site was sold out for that weekend was probably a dead give away. The Rangers seemed cool with it. They knew that it would be good exposure to the park and as long as we as ultra runners took care of the park they were happy to have us out there.

          As the run got closer I got A LOT of help from friends and family. Some friends that were running in the “event” were able to come out and give me there thoughts and opinions of what would make it better. I listened very closely to there advice. I thought to myself who better to tell me what might make it better than the people running in the “event” I was so great full for the fact that they were willing to do that.

The week before the run.
           I started Monday so happy. Had a great string of weekends in Columbia running with friends and checking out the Harbison 50k trails helping with The Girls on the Run meeting new trail runners and just cool people. I got up that day not wanting to go to work. I had a really bad feeling, but with the job I had I always had that feeling. Lunch time hit and I got an email from my boss. (not good) I knew what was about to happen. (something I had been waiting on) Well I went home not to return to that job. Yes I was without work, but I was happy. The truth is I HATED that place. I had been looking for something new for about 6 months. Now I can focus on finding a new job instead of trying to find something wile working 10hr days. As I was cleaning out my desk I got the weather update for the weekend from a friend that was also coming up to run. I added it to the email I had saved and sent it out. As I was driving home I got an email back from one of the runners. Telling me how I should have used the BCC and not the CC. FUCK I did it again. He asked me not to do that last time I sent out a mass email. I know in my rush to empty my desk I put the email list in the wrong line.

Friday Morning
           Got up at 6am and started packing stuff in the truck. The plan-pack, get a workout in, go to interview, pick up B-day cookie, meet Bo, puck up trailer that I had packed the weekend before, drive to park (the workout never happened). I spoke to my friend that was going to let me use there leaf blower the night before and it sprang a leek. My 1st though was “yep that would happen” LOL I just put a big smile on my face and asked to barrow a rake. The trail just had some spots that I really needed to take the rake to. Yes it’s a tail run, but people would be running at night and I DO NOT won’t anyone getting hurt. The day before my Grandmother and Sister help make 88 PB&Js. Yea we did that. I thought that I would be asking a lot from the Volunteers and that was one thing that I could get done so they could focus on the runners and not making sandwiches.

Panic attacks
            Yea their real!!!! I have been in combat and never had a problem. (the most clear headed I have ever been in my life, when the SH** hits the fan it is like the movies everything moves really really slow and you see everything play out), but putting the last box in the truck- hot flash, shakes, had to go in my apt and wash my face. This was different it was something that I had put together. There are people that are expecting this to be a fun run. Did I forget anything? Did I do enough? On and on the thoughts ran past the front of my brain. I though dam how do people do this on a large scale???????

           I got to Bo’s house and we went to the park. We got there and started setting things up. Ran the trail and started marking it. We got about ½ way and ran out of flagging. Off to Home depot I went. When I got back we hit the trails again. At this point it was dark I was thinking this is a good thing I will be able to mark any bad parts where someone could take a wrong turn. I thought it would be a good idea to take my flask with me. I knew it would be hard to sleep and with a little buzz it would be easer.                                      Well a little buzz became a big buzz. At one point on the trail I backed up to check and see if the marking was in a good spot and down I went. There was a really deep drop off and would have been really bad if it was not for the tree routs. They had grown out to form a basket looking deal and I fell right into it. Bo and I got done and went to get a nice dinner. When we came back we chilled out and set up camp.

Bed time
           I layed there for what felt like forever but just could not sleep. I got up and set up more things hoping to make it as easy on the volunteers as I could knowing that they would be freezing there BUTTS of just sitting there all night.

              This is a bit of a fuzzzzz for me. I was freaking out on the inside. The runners started checking in and I had my early runner out on the trail. Seeing friendly faces felt nice and I think helped calm me down a bit. i started the race brief and really don’t remember what I said. All I was thinking was please like it please like it pleases like it. As I got done with the briefing the ranger told us we had to move our cars because of a horse event. SHIT the run starts in 15min they told me it would be Sunday. All the runners were good sports about it and jumped in there cars and headed on down. The run kicked off at 10am thank God. As they ran off I got a call from the ranger asking me to bring him a turn by turn of the run. This freaked me out thinking that the horse event may make me change the course, but I did get to run to the trail head with the runners. That was really cool!!!!  

1st loop
           As the runners came out and hit the aid station I heard them talking about the mud at the end. I grabbed the rake and hit the trail. I raked what I could so that the mud would not be a problem. I did not want something that I could fix to be a reason that anyone would not have fun. I knew it would be a COLD night and that was plenty for some one to deal with.

          I got to run a little with friends in between RD duties but did not want to be away for to long incase something happened that I needed to be there for. The volunteers were amazing keeping track of all the runners and staying positive for them. Hell they took care of me A LOT. When it was time to get the pizza I was trying to do the math to work out how many we needed and it came out to 60 pizzas. They looked at me like I had lost my mind. I was working on about 26hr of no sleep at that point and needed help. They saw that and even though they never said anything I knew that I was no longer the RD I was just the guy sitting behind the table with a funny smile on his face. Latter I would ask them if I was just in there way. They were kind to me and let me set the stove/grill on fire 2 times before saying anything to me. About 4pm I got my 5th or 6th wind and was good to go. Everything was going great. My friends/Volunteers had keep everything going and did not need me. I felt good knowing that they were there for not only the runners, but me. 

 I hit the wall. HARD. I was crashing. I remember saying that we needed to pack it up and call it the end. Thinking well Joe you did your best. My friend looked at me and said go get some sleep I got this. I did not want to leave the run, but at that point 36hr with no sleep I needed to crash. I went and sleep in a friend’s truck for about 1hr and got back to the aid station. I sat there trying to stay awake. This would not happen. I know I looked like a baby trying to fight the sleep. i woke up at one point and realized I was in the fetal position in the chair curled up next to a friend. I woke up another time with them picking my head up so it would not fall into the heater that I was sitting next to. That would go in for about 3hr.

          As the sun came up I was together again. I was able to get my thoughts somewhat in line. Started takeing the Aid Station down at 9am and getting ready for the breakfast. I thought that I maybe takeing it down to soon, but I had to get it down so I could move on with the next thang. They had also started getting the horse event together again and new I needed to get out of there way. I don’t think the runners had a problem with that.

The breakfast
           It took off there were not many runners there, but the ones that were I think really liked it. Hell I really liked it. I was able to talk to them more and get a feeling of them as people not just runners. A lot of times on runs like this you know people by name and what pace they run, but not much more. It’s the things like pre run dinners and little breakfast like that after that you get to know them. For me I got to know them all a little being able to see them about every 30 min to a hr. that was a bit treat for me.

Back on the trail.

           Bo came back out with me to take down all the markings. I thought to myself this guy is amazing. He ran 2 loops before running. Then he ran 50+ miles and now back out to help brake the trail down. He could be home by now in his nice worm bed, but he is still helping me.

It’s all over
          The drive home I though I am never doing this again. I am tired as hell and my body feels like T total shit. I started to think about all the nice things everyone had to say about the run and started to cry. I knew the lack of sleep was making me more emotional then I normally am but they were tears of joy. I got to my moms house so I could just park my truck and pass out. I would not have to unpack anything until he next day doing that. If I went back to my Apt I would not be able to let the trailer just sit over night. My mom asked me how it went and what the runners thought of it. I tried to tell her but was choking up and could not speak. She asked me why I was so emotional all I could say was “their words were so kind” then shower and bed.

           Well there is the story of a run from an RD’s perspective. All I can think now is how kind all the runners were. The great things they had to say about the run and how it was set up. How the Volunteers keep the runners happy and keep me going and were more than I could ever ask for from my friends.

           This was not a one man show. There are a lot of behind the scenes stuff that took place to make this happen. I received so much help along the way from friends, family, and the runners. Looking back I would love to do this every year. (maybe when its not so cold) the Ultra community is so kind. They are capable of doing so much on so little and are willing to put there selves out there to help someone they don’t know and never met. If for some reason I can put it together again this is something that will last forever. Theit were distance PR’s some 1st time rail runners and birthday runners. No one got hurt (bad) it’s a trail ultra something you can’t avoid. I think everyone had fun (my main goal), and I took so much away from this that I never thought I ever would.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mad Marsh 50k November 19th 2011 Quest to break 5 hour’s

I have wanted to break 5hr in a 50k every since I 1st started thinking of running an Ultra. To me it was like a Marathon runner with the goal to break 4hr. I started the week with my eye on the prize. Made a small mile/time sheet for the run, this being a 4.5 mile loop here was the plan.

Pace 9:20 per mile. (Thinking run an 8:40min mile and it would even out depending on terrain)

Loop 1 mile 4.5   / 41:80
Loop 2 mile 9      / 1:24:00
Loop 3 mile 13.5 / 2:05:80
Loop 4 mile 18   / 2:48:00
Loop 5 mile 22.5 / 3:29:80
Loop 6 mile 27   / 4:12:00
Loop 7 mile 31.5 / 5:00:00

When I got home Tuesday night got a call from MAD DOG with some good info on how to reach my goal. Ran 3 miles and looked at my watch the whole time (something I have never done before). I have always told people when they ask for any input from me “just run hard when you feel good and ease off when you need to” “finish feeling good and enjoy the run” “don’t chase the clock” Now here I am chasing a clock???? There is a goal I want to reach and Dam it I will reach it. I read a friend's Blog about his 100 mile “Reckoning” and how he reached his goal and it was truly ALL inspiring. After reading it I was pumped felt like I could do anything I put my mind to. Key word there my mind staying focused on the time would be hard or me. I like to day dream when I run.

Head in a bad place
As the week got closer to race day I started thinking {did I run to much this month? (Running a 55k, then the next weekend running a ½ marathon then this 50k) Did I not put in the miles I needed to the past 3 months? Did I fall too much and mess my ankle up again?} February this year I really jacked my ankle up and was getting ready to run a 50miler in March and had a DNF 2 miles in. My ankle hurt, got calls from someone that really got my head out of wack. I walked back to the start scratched my name off the runners list ducking anyone that knew me. As I took my name off the list a woman walked up and said “done already?” man did that feel bad. I went got in my truck and just wept. My friend Andrew was sitting there next to me and I just could not stop. {Thinking you’re a grown freaking man STOP} After a few minutes I got my crap together and stopped feeling bad for myself and drove home. All this came back to me and it was a mental battle to keep the negative out of my mind. Then there was F.A.T.S 50k where I started running with Katie who was moving (she would have come close to a 4:30:00) I started running with her then and talked about her goal how her husband, and couch/friends where there to cheer her on. Then we got lost and I got even MORE lost LOL about mile 26 she started leaving me but really she was running slower then she could (8:10pace or so) I think she was not trying to leave me behind at points. I hit a gravel road and tripped and hit the ground starting the trend of me falling on every trail run for the next month. I popped up and only God and the trail know where I was heading after that. I hit my Garmin and the screen when black was able to get it back but lost all the data at that point. Over the next month I would hear little back ground noise “do you thank he really ran the whole 50k?” I knew I could run a 50k in less than 5 but I like to stop and check things out and talk to people on the run, but not this time I AM RUNNING THE CLOCK.

The Drive
         Bo, Viktor, MAMA (Viktor’s mom), and I all drove down talking about running and other stuff. We got to Drew’s and went in talked for a bit MAMA took a pick and we were off. The 4 horsemen Bo Millwood, Drew Walker, Viktor Trukov, and myself. We drove and drove and guess what took a wrong turn. NO WAY not this group of runners we would never take a wrong turn LOL. Bo and MAMA were in the truck with me and Viktor was riding with Drew and we just joked about it “we can’t even get to the run with out getting lost”. We got back on track and in no time we were there. Got a nice room and we were off to get the packets. Bo and I talked a little bit about the Marine Corps and nether of us had been back to that part of South Carolina scene boot camp.  We got our packets and drove the trail. When we were driving the trail checking it out there were dear everywhere I MEAN EVERY WHERE!!!! We were almost so close to them we could reach out and touch them. It was so cool.

The Night Before
            Back at the Hotel we talked about running, went over the trail, and worked out what our plans were; may it be a time goal, just have fun, what have you. Then the chill mode kicked in. Golf, girls, America funniest home video, what ever guys talk about; it was a great night just hanging out with friends. Some funny stuff… what’s the difference between a white tail and a black tail dear? The cooler! Hahaha.

Time to run/THE RUN

We got up and got ready take some pictures and then off to the start. The temperature was about 38 and the sun came up right before the start. I was so focused on the run I did not talk to anyone. The RD started the run with a prayer and Drew had his IPod on at the time and started telling everyone to watch out for a BIG hole that was right at the start. I took out one of his ear buds and told him they were praying and I just started laughing and could not stop. This was a great thing getting my mind off the run for a sec. We took off and I was moving to fast so I slowed down to the pace I had set for myself. I need to run an even 9:20 pace, so I set my mind to run an 8:40 that way I would have time at the aid station and more time on the last loop if I needed. Running an 8:40 would work out the give me an extra 3min each loop. After loop one I was 3 min ahead of the 9:20 pace, just grab a PB&J and took off. Loop 2, 6min ahead so I stopped for 2 min got food and talked to the volunteers knowing that they would be the only people I would get to talk to the entire run L but they were GREAT.
I was off again 4 min ahead of 5hr time. I knew at the start of loop 3 that I would be alone the whole time. I could see the faster runners on the long open greens this being a gulf curse but that’s it just seeing them. It was a flat run with only one hill I consider myself a downhill runner and that’s where I normally kill it. I started day dreaming about coming up on that hill than looked at my pace 10:40 WHAT run boy run!!! The next mile ran a 7:40 I was not sure how long I was day dreaming for and need to make that time up. This is about the time I started passing people. I cough up to Drew about a mile before the 4th loop and was able to talk to him for a min. He stopped to change his shoes and I keep going. I was 8 min ahead at this point so I stopped for 3 min at the aid station tried to joke with people knowing that it would be a bit before I got to hear anything other than my IPod. LOOP 4 I was getting sick of thinking about time and numbers my mind was turning to mush.
This would be the math problem that would give me a 4:52:10
            7345890457489165 ex = 1 + x + x2/2 + x3/3! + x4/4! + xn/n! where n!=n*(n-1)*(n-3*2*)1ex = 1 + x + x2/2 + x3/3! + x4/4! + xn/n*...*3*2*1ex = 1 + x + x2/2 + x3/3! +
b. -0.2x²+12x + 11 = 0
Use the quadratic formula to solve
x = [-b ± √ (b²-4ac)] / (2a)
   = [-(12) ± √ ((12)² - 4(-0.2) (11))] / 2(-0.2)
   = [-12 ± √ (152.8)] / -0.4
   = 30 ± -30.903
d. & e. y' = -0.4x + 12 = 0
-0.4x = -12
x = 30
Min/max occurs on mile 30

well this was what it felt like 

I started slowing down a bit because of this about an 8:54 pace. I have always told people that my body could run a lot harder than my mind. This was what I mean by that. My body was still feeling good, but my mind was getting lost turning to number mush. I don’t like running like this and runners that do I have so much respect for. I don’t know how they keep all this together. My Marathon PR I was stopping and joking with a friend I made on the run (Rachael) and did not even know what my time was until another friend asked me and I looked at the Garmin. The day before I PRd a 10mile run where I meet (Bo) for the 1st time. That’s how I like to run (just run); so really I just run other peoples pace so I can talk and joke. If I get tired I slow down and if I feel like taking off I do. Ok back to the run LOOP 5 aid station I was back to 8min ahead if my time so another 2 min at the aid station. Thinking that if I get 3 min on loop 5 then loop 6 and 7 I could run a 10min pace and still make the sub-5 well on the trail again. Started loop 5 feeling like crap just could not get my mind together. This whole run was numbers “GOD how do runners do this” this is definitely not my stile. I started thinking well Joe this is good training for pacing Columbia. Then I stated thinking no the hell its not... part of a pacers JOB is to talk to the other runners and encourage them to make what ever time their goal is. I wish I was doing that right now. Then I said Joe you’re a runner and you have a goal encourage your self. I was able to hold an 8:40 pace but; boy it was hard. 2 miles into this loop there was a mom and 2 kids on a gulf cart behind me. I keep thinking of Run Fat Boy Run a 2007 British comedy film directed by David Schwimmer, written by Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg. He's running the Nike River Marathon in London Mr. Ghoshdastidar (Harish Patel) his landlord uses unorthodox methods of training, such as using a spatula to spank him. I looked back and asked if they had a spatula. She decides to speed past me at that point probably thinking I was some crazy freak, but it made total since to me. Bo had given me 5hr energy before the run. I had wanted to take it for a long time, but was saving it for loop 6 and here it comes. Loop 6 --- 10min ahead of pace time. I stopped for 3min then took off that put me 7min ahead. I took the 5hr and it saved me. It cleared my mind and thank God. Another loop like that and I would not make it. Now with my mind clear and back on track I was moving at an 8:30 pace for the 1st 2.5 miles of the 4.5 mile loop. The second ½ of the loop was like a wind tunnel and really kicked my butt this time. I just started looking for people to pass and broke it down like that. It got my mind of the numbers and keep me at a good pace. I ran up on Viktor and I wanted to keep his pace and talk so bad but just keep going. Loop 7 the end….. The last loop…... I hit the aid station and had 48 or so min to make it the next 4.5 I was going to hit it and then some. I dropped my water bottle and was off just taking my IPod. Just knock this loop out and you can quit counting and if anyone ask me a math problem ever again the rest of my life I will purple nurple there ass. I had been so focused on my time it made me sick. 2.5 miles into the last loop my gut fell out. I stopped and puked up the strawberry heed. Thinking dam I needed that now where am I going to get the calories I need? Well of again. I hit the finish line and bam 4:52:10 almost 8 min under 5hr yaaaaaaaaaa... right? Nope there was no joy for me. I was sitting at the truck and Drew came by on his last loop and asked my time and we talked well he talked for a min. He asked "are you ok?" I said yes and he said that it was ok for me to be excited about my time it would not heart his feelings. I think he thought I was holding back my joy of my time. The truth is I could not talk I just did algebra for 5hr my brain was not linking up. There is still no joy in it. I did it yea that’s great, but what did I give up to get that time? Was there a runner out there that invented something cool? Was there a cancer patent that beat it and is now running Ultras? I don’t know because I was looking at a clock. I got to see everyone cross the finish Bo and Viktor both PRd the run and I guess I did too but I know for a fact now that I don’t care about a time. I care about the experience of the run. The trail. The times and numbers are something cool to look and check out but if I run the next 50k in 9hr it will not bother me, because in that 9hr I will get to experience so much more than a NUMBER!  The whole ride home and until the next morning my mind was mush; the next day my body felt fine but my brain was still fogy.

            Race recap
I hated the fact that it was flat never running on anything with out hills my whole life it was very hard for me. The volunteers and family were just great. I would give them 10 out of 10. If you’re looking for a flat run with a good aid station and great volunteers head to Mad Marsh. It did get hot during the run and the sand flees came out so take bug spray. There was another runner’s family that hooked me up. I probably will not go back not because there is anything wrong that was off putting about the event or the way it was organized; I just did not like how flat it was. Add some little hills and I’m there. Great Job to the RD.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Camp Croft ½ Marathon November 12th 2011

I love this ½ it is a great course and so much fun. Seth Novak is the RD of this run and dose an amazing job. There are always little things that people nag about after a run (even me), but not this one. I get home that night and the results and pictures are up about 6hr after the run DANG that was fast.

            Another reason I love this run is getting to see so many people. It’s like an upstate runner’s reunion. Lets hit the list Seth, Ned, Jason Sullivan, Jason Steinberg, Bo, Brian, and new friend Tiana.

            Bo and I drove together to the run, we got there supper early and got to chat it up with Seth for a little bit and the volunteers. The time came for all the runners to start showing up. As Bo and I walk back down to the truck we see Jason Sullivan.

All I could think was WOW he is amazing. He ran 100 miles the weekend before and now is out here sweeping the 1/2. Quick fist bump and we went our ways sure to see him after the run.

Now the start of the run.
        Bo and I line up and see Ned next to us. We all talk about how SUPPER cool we were then we here Seth telling everyone to get ready. BANG the gun went of and we were running up the start. Ned pulled away with the faster runners Bo and I settled into a pace. We started down the open path and up from behind us come Jason Steinberg; now this was a real treat for me. We have run a lot of the same events and have been facebook friends for about a year and now I knew we would get to talk for a good 6 to 13.5 miles. We did run the down hill part to table rock but that was like 2min.

The trail
         When you start the run you head up the gravel road then at the end hit the trail. There is a good open trail for about a mile, after that you come to some good up and down single track hills back to an open section. There are a couple road crossings then the last 5 miles (5.5) are back to some single track up and downs. There are some good technical sections as well as some open smooth parts. This is a great mix of trails that every trail runner can enjoy. During the run we all talked about runs and funs. I headed up after about mile 1.7 when we hit a single track with some good up and downs which I love, so I sped up a little (mistake) at mile 2.9 I twisted my ankle and went down. BOY did it hurt, but I’m happy with my self in the fact that I did not say any 4 letter words. I did yell out LOAD!!! But did not yell like a girl it was a guy yell (another thing I am proud about). As I sat there feeling bad thinking that I would just walk to the 1st aid station and call it a day, or just waiting till Jason Sullivan came up and hobble out with him sweeping me; here comes Jason Steinberg. He said I thought that was you yelling are you ok? Yea bro I’m ok just did it again something that I have been doing a lot lately. He reached out and pulled me up and said come own. Me being a good boy I did what I was told and stated running. Did it hurt yea but after a bit it went away, about mile 6 I really started feeling the Sunday run before that (buncombe 55k). I just started thanking man you’re doing it again over loading yourself with runs. Next week your running a 50k (and hoping to break 5hr) come on man you cant enjoy this run as much because now your thinking about the next one and how you may have messed yourself up too much to hit your goal. Bo, Jason, and I ran together till about mile 8.1 then I lead off a bit. I started feeling better and was hoping to better my time from the 1st year. I ran up on Brian and said Hi and went on running. I start getting closer to the end and yep not going to better my time (maybe break 2hr) about a mile left. not going to break 2hr LOL I start walking and laughing thinking to myself ( Joe you cocky, arrogant bastard) you just ran a 55k/ you just twisted your ankle/ there has been mud everywhere, do you really think you were going to come out here and run like a Kenyan. A man yelled out to me don’t let them see you walking well that just feed me and I took off running out the last ¼ mile as hard as I could. Finish time 2:02:13.

                                            (left to right Bo, Myself, Jason Steinberg)
After the run.
          The band starts playing they are so much fun to listen to.                                                                  
I love that part hell I love the entire morning. Seth comes up and gets ready for the awards a little faster than I was hoping. I forgot my beer and was going to go to the gas station and pick some up. I asked him about 2 min before when he was going to start hoping he would say in about 20min nope 5min. It was for the best really don’t need to be drinking in front of the rangers AND speaking of the RANGERS  Park Ranger Woody 3rd over all 1:40:07 where did this trail dog come from. I’m pretty sure it was his 1st ½ and boy did he rock out with his…… well you know the rest. There were so many give aways and prizes and just happy runners everywhere. I talked with old and new friends and waited to see when Jason Sullivan would pop out as the sweeper. Got to talk with everyone for a bit and then headed home.

                                     Another great run and wonderful morning.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Buncombe Trail 55k November 6th 2011

This is a 55k trail run that Terry (Ultra Terry) put on in 2008 and 2009 before moving to the Enoree Passage 40M.   A friend Viktor wanted to get in another Marathon or greater Distance before the close of the year. We as runners welcomed the challenge that would come with running this self supported run. Little notice we started the morning with 6 eager runners.

                                       Left to Right (Me, Drew, Bobby, Terry, Viktor, Larry)
We gathered around the back of Drew’s car looking over the trail maps and hoping that we would not get lost out there. I took a black sharpie and wrote the trail coolers on my hand. Yellow, Purple, cross road, White, cross road, Green, cross road, Red, Yellow back to finish.

As we started off Viktor and Bobby shot out like they were going to be late for dinner. Drew and I went at a moderate pace thinking about Croft ½ Marathon and Mad Marsh 50k the next two weekends.  We both had said that this would just be a slow long training run for Mad Marsh. (who runs a 55k training for a 50k????) Terry and Larry went at Terry’s pace hoping to get back in time for her show that night. (the amazing race)
Drew and I ran together for about 15 miles or so. We had a great time chatting about life, love, running, and the Raven. LOL ( As we were running we came across a grave site. Drew told me that an airplane had crashed out there some years back and that they come out and put stuff out for them.  We hit a couple road crossings and then Viktor come up from behind us. Drew and I looked at each other like when did we pass him?? Come to find out Viktor had taken a wrong turn and ended up behind us. (putting Bobby in 1st) Viktor again took off leaving Drew and I to our own devices. Drew and I keep running until we came up on a pile of logs blocking the trail and the ground cut out and bird feathers sticking out of the ground.

Drew and I looked around thinking Bobby or Viktor was messing with us. After talking for a min I started to get really freaked out and wanted to put as many miles between it and myself. I told Drew it was time for me to pick up the pace.
I started running faster hoping that I would meet up with Viktor at some point. After a couple more miles came up on an Aid drop Terry had put out the day before. This was at the Purple, White road crossing.

I decided to have a seat and drink some water and have a snack. As I was sitting there I saw Viktor pop out of a trail head. (looks like he took another wrong turn) He ran about 3 miles out of the way at this point in the day. Viktor and I looked and saw another set of tracks going the wrong way thanking that Bobby may have done the same thing.  Drew came up and hit up the Aid station too. We turned to ask Viktor a question and he was off again. I took off after him hoping that we would meet up with Bobby.
I came back up on Viktor taking Videos and Pictures the whole run (hoping to learn how to make a little movie one day). After running with Viktor for a little bit I decide to try and catch up with Bobby, so off I went.

I was closing in on Bobby and thought to myself I should start takeing another viedo. As I pull out my phone and hit the Start button BOOM!!!!!!!!! Sjigfenjkfyhweuhfsduf&*^&#%#%&*)^ I hit the ground and HARD. Yes it’s on video cleverly named… Joe Bites it at Buncome….. Thanks Drew J

I jumped up as fast as I could hoping that I did not land in horse poo. I said a few 4letter words dusted myself off and ran up to Bobby. We ran together chatting and here comes Viktor. All 3 of us run together for a bit, and then I decided to take off seeing how fast I could go after running 20 miles at this point. I ran alone for awhile started missing everyone. (I was getting lonelyL). I called a friend to see how her brunch was going then called my Gma to see how her day was. I started sowing down hoping that Viktor and Bobby would meet back up with me soon. When they meet up again we all ran off talking and leap forging one other. Then Viktor and I started heading off. We hit the next Aid that Terry had put out for us and sat down and rested for a bit. When we hit the next road we stopped and made sure we were going the right way. We ended up coming up on an open logging section where the markings and trail were gone (this was the Red trail) so as we found our way we left arrows on the ground made from sticks so the rest of the runners would not have to do the same thing. As we came close the end (last 4miles) I decided to see how fast I could run  NOT SO FAST but ended with a time of 9:22:00 not bad. When Viktor and Drew made it to the end we all talked about the ups and downs of the run. I showed them the Video of me eating the dirt and we all had a good laugh. We took some pictures and sat around hoping that Terry and Larry would make it out soon. We wanted to stick around for them but we all had a long drive waiting on us.

Another great run with great friends!