Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scenic City Trail Marathon

Doesn't this look like a shitload of fun?

Here's the motionbased view (click me!) showing elevations.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recovery Complete; Training Begins

My body seems to have recovered significantly from the last two races enough to begin training for the Scenic City Trail Marathon on May 24th. I ran an easy 25 miles last week without too much trouble or pain. It was slow going, but still going. Today's run was right less than 9 miles at a 9:25 pace. My legs tired a bit mid-run, but I was able to keep the pace up. I wanted to run further, but did not have more time. I am now 5.3 miles short of 700 for the year. Since tomorrow is the last day of April, I will run at least the 5.3 miles even though Wednesday is supposed to be a weight day. Oh well...weights can wait til Thursday.

Today's splits:

1 10:27 (forgot my phone on top of my car and had to go back!)
2 9:25
3 9:04
4 8:49
5 9:13
6 8:49
7 9:57
8 9:30
9 6:47 (0.7 miles)

Not too shabby for an old man!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ouachita Photos

Almost forgot to show my pics of the Ouachita 50!

Here's the link.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stepping Back

I have decided to scale back my ultra races for now and concentrate on training with more long runs. I have DNF the two 50 mile attempts and this really pisses me off. So, I will drop a few races on my list and concentrate more on 50k races. The next 50 miler will be the second annual Bartlett Ultra in August.

As for training, I will do more long runs and less runs under 8 miles. I'm thinking that I should do the following (for example):

Mon - off
Tues - 5 to 8 miles
Wed - weights
Thurs - 5 to 8 miles
Fri - off
Sat - 20 to 30 miles (depending on upcoming races)
Sun - 10 to 20 miles (depending on upcoming races)

With the children's school functions, dance, baseball, and band there is not much free time to run during the week. Add in the my wife wants to run also and you have a logistical nightmare. The weekends are a little easier to manage, especially if I start my runs around 6am.

I keep having to tell myself that I have only been running since last May and not to get too discouraged. My goals were set slightly too high and hopefully I can get them reset without too much difficulty.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Still Not There

The morning was crisp with a full moon slowly descending in the horizon. At 6am, we were all lined up at the pavilion gate. Without much fanfare, we started the race. I wanted to be as conservative as possible...without killing my time. The first three miles were on blacktop and then we hit the Ouachita trail.

The ascent up Pinnacle Mountain was a mother fucker. The descent was not much better. On the way up, we had to scale small boulders...climbing around like goats. On the way down, the trail consisted of large rocks that you had to carefully set on or you could tumble down and break your damn neck. Once on the other side of the mountain, we circled back around to the first aid station and then headed west.

We popped out of the woods, crossed our first of many highways and ran down past the "iron bridge" to the spillway. This area was very muddy and slow going. The remaining trail up to the first cut-off at the Northshore aid station was littered with rocks and small creek crossings. If you did not remain hyper-vigilant, you would end up on your face. I tripped quite a few times, but was always able to catch myself before eating dirt.

Once past the Northshore, we crossed yet another highway and continued to skirt Lake Maumelle. The mudpuddles continued to get bigger and I gave up trying to keep my feet dry. My North Face Arnuva Boas were falling apart. I could see my toes on my right foot through a tear caused by rocks & sticks. The other shoe was not much better. Oh well...I knew that I had a dry pair of Nike Free's in my drop bag at the turn-around.

I had a little more than two hours to make it 10 miles to the next cut-off. Doing some quick math in my head, I figured I could make it without any problems even if I only power-walked. Fuck...was I wrong! I made the next aid station with less than 30 minutes to the cut-off...and more than two long miles to go before getting there! There were three of us...and we all high-tailed it through the woods. It seemed that the entire distance was up-fucking-hill! Fuck a duck! I ran as hard as I could and when I couldn't push anymore, I power-hiked my ass down the trail until I could run again. With a mere 30 seconds left, I made the cut-off (26.6 miles in 7 hours). All three of us made it. We were spent. Dead. After fueling up, it was time to run again to make the next cut-off (10 miles in 2.5 hours). I decided against changing shoes or socks, since it would take up too much time.

More quick math in my pee-brain, I figured I would power hike to the next aid station and then run/hike the remaining distance. At the aid station, I ate a delicious turkey sandwich and some chocolate and thought all was right with the world. After running about 1/10 of a mile, both calfs decided to seize up. Fuck another damn duck. I had been taking an S!Cap every hour or so and decided to pop two to help loosen up my legs. I walked a few miles until I was able to run again. My energy level was low, but my spirits remained high. My quick math had once again let me down. At the unmanned water station, I caught up with a older gent. We discussed our time/mileage situation and decided that we had to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes to make the final cut-off. He decided that this was impossible for him, so I left him to his own fate. Of course, this was impossible for me also, but I have been labeled a retard for a reason.

I missed the cut-off by 15 minutes. My day was over. I had covered a little over 36 miles in 9:45:40. I felt that I could have made the whole 50 miles in the remaining 3 hours, but the volunteers said otherwise.

All in all, I had a great time! Climbing Pinnacle Mnt was outstanding! The views from the top are well worth the pain that would surely come the rest of the day.

Mistakes made...

- I spent too much time worrying about keeping my feet dry (which they didn't). I need to just plow through the damn water and mud and quit wasting precious time.
- I did not ingest sufficient calories. I was worried about repeating my gastric issues from the MS50 last month, so I didn't drink enough water (it was 80 degrees) or enough liquid cals (Perpetuem) and did not eat enough. This was not evident until after the halfway point and probably too late by then. I did not have any gastric distress though!
- My Camelbak burned the shit out of my back. I had too much unneeded crap in it, making it very heavy. Even now, my back hurts more than anything else.
- I ran a 6 hour race five days prior. My body did not have sufficient time to prep for this race.

Lessons learned...
- Eat more, drink more...but within reason.
- Carry less shit. I carried everything and had even more in my drop bag. How much of it did I use? Not much! My Camelbak probably weighed a good 10 pounds.
- Keep an even and steady pace. Don't start too fast and don't walk so much. Once again, my energy level could have been much higher.
- Don't run a 6 hour race five days before your 50 miler! I should have skipped the Memphis Ultra 6 Hour, but I still enjoyed running both!
- North Face Arnuva's suck.

After all is said and done, I believe that I have improved since the MS50 in March. Ouachita was 10 times harder in my opinion, even if you took Pinnacle Mnt out of the picture! Of course, if I took Pinnacle out, then I would have made the cut-offs easily! I will continue to train and improve and will be at this race next year...and finish all 50 damn rocky miles!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Memphis Ultra 6 Hour Endurance Race

Although the turn out was lower than expected, we all still had a great time! The course was great and even had a swampy, muddy, standing water section to run no extra charge!

Thanks to the Memphis Ultra crew (Holly, Drew, Michael, Claire, Ella Kate, Patrick, Ann Marie, Mr. Dodd) for putting on a great race and keeping us all fed and safe!

I ended the day with 8 laps (24.42 miles per my Garmin) and tied for first place with Michael. I offered to Indian wrestle in the nude for the prize, but he declined. Of course, had he not taken it easy on me all day, he would have many more miles. And...had Drew not arrived three hours late, and had Patrick not stopped early to drink beer, and had Holly actually run more instead of taking care of everyone...then I would not have won the grand prize. Lucky me!

The best part of the run was the end. No...not because it was over! As I turned the final corner, I saw a beautiful sight that almost brought me to tears (of course, being a manly man...that wasn't going to happen in public!). My lovely wife came out to see me finish six hours of running. This meant a lot to me and I am forever grateful to her for putting up with my running!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Be Free of Yourself...

This is how I feel after a couple of hours of running...

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I was tagged by Travis Liles to play a little game called "six word memoir". I also stole his post format (as he stole from Bad Ben Holmes) be warned these are the types of things I will do when tagged.

Here are the rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Lately, my body has felt so damn tired...all the time. I don't have real specific pains, just general aches all over. I have two ultras in the next 10 days. After that, I will attempt to take some time off and let my body get back to normal.

Here is my six word memoir:

"mother fucker, I am so tired"

Now, time to tag ...Patrick, Michael, Dirty D

Sunday, April 6, 2008


My weekly mileage has dropped from the 60's (two weeks in a row) to the 30's (the last two weeks in a row). One excuse for that is all the damn rain, which forced me inside the gym to run the treadmill (uhg!). Another excuse is all the after school activities the step children have that involve me taking and picking them up. And the last excuse is that my youngest son was in town all week. Regardless of all my lame excuses, there was plenty of time that could have been dedicated to running, but I was too lazy. I need to start getting up earlier than my normal 4:50 am to get in some extra mileage now that spring is here!

In one week, I will be running in the 6 Hour Memphis Ultra. My plan is to run at least 25 miles at a leisurely pace. The Saturday following is the Oauchita 50, so I don't want any injuries!

Last two non-treadmill runs:

April 5th:

March 27th:

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