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!