Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bad Marsh Night Ultra - Getting Ready

     The Third Annual Bad Marsh 50k Night Ultra is a part of the 2013 Lowcounty Ultra Race Series. The event took place on Saturday June 22, 2013 with a 6:00pm. The course features a 4.5 mile loop of the old Marsh Golf Course. The cart path has been removed forming a perfectly laid trail. The race also features a single aid station at the start/ finish line which you pass after each lap. Since the race begin at 6:00pm all runners are required to have a headlamp or a handheld flash light in their possession prior to dusk.

     This was to help me understand more about what I may need or want during Cremator 50 miler. Pace plan, food, water and some other crap that we runners need to work out. I have been listing to a lot of podcast and stuff like that lately to try and help with getting ready. Why suffer when someone knows and you can learn from them.


     The start of the race the RD Tim Waz gave his words and took a few pictures before he sent us on our way. I was running with Richard (who had just did a podcast for Lowcountry Ultras) and Andy.  I was having fun just talking to Richard about running and catching up with Andy. Running a nice 8:40ish pace and feeling good. At the start of the 2nd loop Richard decided to back off the pace and Andy and I just stayed moving. About a mile into the 2nd loop I steeped on a pine cone and jarred my ankle. I thought no big deal just keep moving. By the end of the loop it was killing me and I had slowed down a lot. As I pulled into the aid station I asked if anyone had an ace rap and what do you know the RD Tim pulls some KT tape out of his bag and wraps my smelly, sweaty foot. You don’t get that at many events. The RD dropping down and wrapping a runners stank ass foot. That is just one of the many things that make the Lowcountry Ultras crew so great. Their getting pretty high-tech with their stuff too. They had a live feed of each runner and each loop on a flat screen so everyone could see and live updates with some link if your friends and family wanted to check in on you.
     Well I started the 3rd loop thinking if it does not help ill drop. In Richard’s pod cast( ) he said you have to decide if it’s worth hurting over. Well I was there for Cremator so no it was not worth hurting myself to the point of not being able to run that event BUT the KT tape was wonderful. No more bone pain just a light puffy feeling. I was able to pick the pace up until about a mile into my 4th loop when the tape came loose. Tim said because of how sweaty I was he was not sure how long it would hold. After the 4th loop I sat down and thought well if I jog/walk I could still hit a 6:30 finish. I started the 5th loop and well bad idea. So I said the hell with it and walked.

     I DNF’ed with 5 loops but I was not there to race or try and PR I was there to get some information for Cremator and well I learned a lot and got to see a lot of friends and meet some new ones. So win win for me.


     Well what did I learn? For Cremator start out real slow. After the 4th loop I could feel my legs getting really tight and that was from the heat/lack of enough water. I will need 20+oz of water every 3 miles taking it in slowly and steady. I got the shorts worked out so they don’t chafe my sack. I will need to run with my try top so my underarms don’t chafe. That has to be better than running with my elbows out. Use KT tape on my ankles before I start these runs I turn them a lot and WOW does that stuff help. 
     This is something from Richard’s facebook he posted today and I think it is amazing and wanted to add it to this so I can come back and look it over.

There are relatively few ultramarathon runners who continue to runners ultras for more than a decade or two. This number also is inversely proportional to the speed of the runner at their peak. 
I believe this is due to the same cascade of emotional states that are well recognized in the reaction of a person to the loss of a loved one. 


I'm not that old, l'm different, just because I am x age can't mean I have past my prime. I am an ultramarathon runner, the rules of normal human physiology don't apply to me. I'm super human.

Some runners quit at this point.


Denial eventually gives way to anger.

When performance begins to decline the runner blames himself for lack of discipline or training. He might blame nutritional or equipment choices or just plain old bad luck. Whatever the object, the feeling of anger predominates.

Some runners quit at this point.


Okay, I'll eat better, get more sleep and give up beer.

Okay, I'll only race three times a year and nothing over 50 miles.

Okay, I'll get better gear, watch my hydration an calorie intake during races and I'll go out slower too.

Nothing works.

Some runners quit at this point.


I'm done, I can't run a decent ultra any more. What's the use of going out there and slogging along at a fraction of my old speed. 
Even (name your favorite back of the pack runner) will be able to beat me soon. 
People will either feel sorry for me or be laughing behind my back. 
It just doesn't make any sense to run any more ultramarathons.

Many runners quit at this point.


Hey, it never made any sense to most people to do ultramarathons in the first place. 
I'm getting old. So what, so will everyone else eventually. 
I still love being out there. Aging may take away my speed and good looks, but I'll be damned if I'll let it take doing Ultras away without a hell of a fight.

Those who make it to this point stay with the sport for decades…………….

I myself would like to stay in this crazy sport of Ultra running for as long as I can. 

Who would not want to hang with these guys. 

Me and Rich

Rich, Andy, Tim, Me, Merle (Merle won with a 4:04:41)

Kissing Andy's pelican for luck

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rockin’ Choccolocco 50k - Rollercoaster of love/hate/happy/sad who knows what

     Where to begin? Well……. Let me Start by saying the RD was great the people helping were great and the course was great. There were so many stream crossings and lots of sections by the rivers and lakes but I did not get to enjoy much of it. This was a mental run for me I hit some low point and some high points like never before and that was kinda the plan. If it’s in [ here ] it was a thought I did not say it. People that know me know I am extremely laid back when it comes to running and never seem to be to down. I do hit low points in 50ks around mile 18 and 28 but very short and easy to come out of. I needed more points and more extreme ones. Getting ready for Cremator 50 I know I will have some bad spots so I needed to get ready for it and make sure I don’t DNF. There will be some dark stuff in my thoughts so if you’re prone to nightmares go ahead and stop reading.

     Cremator 50 mile is about 6 weeks out and I registered for it about 4 weeks ago and that’s when I started really running again.

     Trying to get my miles up in somewhat of a smart way but still get them up after talking about 4 months off.  Like I said I don’t really hit low spots to bad (other than the FHT) the fact that this was a 50k and my max miles in a long time was 14 and I have not ran a hill since Harbison Jan 8th. I knew that if I was going to “get my mind right” this was my chance.  My plan was (this being an out and back) to try and have the run back as crappy as I could. We started the race at 7:30am just as it started worming up. [This will be a hot one. Good I need that too].  This was a 50k and ½ marathon so that was great for me. The plan was to go all out to the turn around and with there being a ½ that would really help. We ran a 1 mile section of road before we went into the trail head and as soon as my feet hit dirt I felt a wave of happiness all over my body. I started to settle into a nice pace [wait Joe what are you doing? This is not a chill run!!! Move mother-fer] So I hit it hard moving up to 7th place (then getting lost and moving back to 7th place) I did not know where I really was and would not until the ½ marathon turn around I just knew there were 7 runners in front of me. I was feeling great and just pushing it. The girl in front of me joked about turning around at the ½ marathon turn around so she could place I asked “why would you do that you can place in the 50k” She had no real response. At the ½ Marathon turn around I knew I was in 4th for the 50k and I knew I was in no shape to be moving this fast this early. [Well Joe you’re going to blow up a little sooner than you planed] I was hoping to make it to mile 18 or 20 before I “fell apart” “went sideways” or got “FD up like a Soup sandwich” but this would happen a lot sooner. Mile 14 about a mile from the 50k turn around it started “going south” Legs felt great but mentally I was shot. [F* these hills, F* all these river crossings and F* Rachel] (Rachel is my friend that talked me into this race). When I hit the turnaround I sat there for 5 min or so and really thought about dropping. [Yep Joe you got to this place now you got to push through] “Place” as in place in my head not “place” as in where I was in relation to the earth and space.

     I got my butt up and started the LONG trip back. My plan Gue every 30 min drink lots of water until mile 20 and finish in 6 hours and 30 min. I knew at this point all I had to do was run at least a 15:20 pace on the way back and I would finish in 6:30. Sounds easy right? Yea not so much. This is where stuff started getting wild. Crazy high points [butterflies, unicorns and rainbows] Crazy low points [kill myself, punch that lady and that one chick has the dumbest shirt I have ever seen in my life maybe we should talk about her complete lack of style] as I started back 3 guys in a line passed me and all I could think [O these mother-fers thank their bad well if I smashed their face in with a rock bet that would show them] about a mile latter [the sky is so pretty today can’t wait to sit in the lake for a min] about a mile after that a woman I was passing (I was at mile 18ish she was at mile 12ish) said “nice to see someone else walking”. I got so mad I thought [I’m gonna drop this chick] even took my handheld off. Really Joe? WTF is wrong with you? What I really said was “you’re looking great keep up the good work” this type of crazy ups and downs would keep going EVERY MILE until I finished. At one point I started feeling great and a song came on my Ipod that had me moving. I looked at my Garmin and I was back down to an 8 min pace. That lasted for about a mile then started cramping from my insides bouncing all over the place. I stopped bent over until the pain stopped telling myself “Well Joe you’re a dumb ass” “you happy now” "you feel like a big boy"? I sat down and looked at the ground. I just got these new running shorts and they are kind of short I found myself staring right at my balls. The mesh on the inside looked like some kind of ball bikini and I just started giggling for what felt like forever.  [Well Joe you can’t sit with your legs open in these]. A mile after that I really wanted to just jump off the side of the mountain. I remembered a friend saying he has had those thoughts before [Joe you make it through this and maybe one day you can be as bad ass as him]. I got to moving good again and stopped and just looked at a tree. I don't know why I just did. I thought [I should peal a little bark off and slide it slowly into my eye I bet that would make the rest of me feel better and I would have a real reason to stop] 
This shows some of the low points. Most of the time it looks like the first 10 miles the whole time

     The last 5 miles I started running with Kurt and come to find out he is training for the same 50 miler. Like an angle coming from the heaves to save me from my demonic self or Capt kirk (Think of this in William Shatner’s voice) Joe. You Must. Go-on. There. IS no. stopping now. that was just what I needed. Someone to talk to about the very reason I was putting myself though all this mental pain. The last 5 miles went a lot better and I finished in 6:33:? Garmin time.

     Looking back at past runs I feel like I did everything right and feel that I planed this run well. I really did not expect the amount of high and low points that I had but am thankful for them. I really feel that my head will be in a good spot for this 50. Now I just have to get my legs there. This morning (the morning after the run) My legs feel good but my insides are a little sore. I think its just from all the bouncing around from the hills.