Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today's Long Run

Temps started around 24 degrees and made it up to a steaming 32 by the end of the run. We had seven (including me) runners and Marley start from the visitor's center in Shelby Farms. Two more joined at Germantown Road. One got lost and one stopped short. All in all, it was a great run with some great people! No issues, no problems (except for the frigid weather!).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

DFL...but 27 Minutes Faster!

I was the dreaded Dead Fucking Last in today's Swamp Stomper 50k. I also finished 22 minutes faster than last year's time, so I am ok with the stigma DFL! My garmin time was 8 hours, 8 minutes, and 8 seconds.

The weather was perfect for running in the woods. At the start, the temps hovered around 37 and made it to 51 as a high mid-afternoon (most were already done, but...of course...I was still out in the woods). Supposedly, 150 runners started the race, but I think the number was much lower. Only about 25 finished the 50k (about half of those who registered for the 50) and around 80 finished the 25k. I'm not sure why so many dropped to 25k, which made for a lonely second loop for me.

The first loop was near perfect. I ran with Michael and Clint to the turn-around (9m) and then decided to push on a bit faster. Michael caught and passed me around mile 14 and started his second loop before I even made it out of the woodline for 25k. I still felt strong and had energy. I had Heed in my Camel Bak and a mix of Power Gel and Sustained Energy in multiple squeeze bottles for my nutrition plan. This seemed to be working ok, but I began to bloat around mile 20.

The second loop was about 20 minutes slower than the first. Except for runners passing by me on their way to the finish, I was alone. I had my ipod to keep me company, but that became more of a hindrance than a help. The red loop has always been a mother, but running it alone makes it even worse. There are so many climbs that makes it very depressing when you think you've reached the last climb only to descend and climb again.

When I started the red loop for the last time, I found out that I was the last runner and I was 20 minutes behind the person in front of me. I tried to push it slightly, hoping to catch sight of her. I didn't want to burn out with another 10 miles to go, but I didn't want to fall further behind. At the next aid station, the volunteer couldn't remember when the last runner came through. The next two miles were the worst of the entire race. Still no sight of any other runners.

At the next aid station, I was informed that the previous runner had left there about 10 minutes prior. I tried to push the pace to at least get sight of her and hopefully catch her at the turn-around (mile 25-ish). Michael passed me on his way to the finish in this section, looking as strong as he was from the beginning. A few others passed on their return trip. I finally caught sight of the next runner as she passed me headed the other way. I knew that she was now at least two miles ahead and I had zero chance of catching her. With another 7 miles until the finish, I decided to take it easy (or easier) and just try to finish within 8 hours.

My gut was bloated, making running very uncomfortable...not painful, just uncomfortable. I tried to maintain a good, steady power hike and keep my time per mile around 15 minutes. At times, my Garmin stated that I was hiking a decent 13 min pace. I really need to re-evaluate my race diet and get this bloating taken care of (Sherpa John is helping me).

The final ascent to the finish was the most difficult. Mid-way up, I just wanted to lay down and give up. I was at the 8 hour mark and still had about a quarter mile to the finish line. I kicked myself in the ass and got moving. I crossed the finish line in 8 hours and 8 minutes (official time), with about 10 people cheering me on. I was dead fucking last, but at least I finished with my head high...and 27 minutes faster than last year!

The entire picture set is posted on my picasa.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Swamp Stomper 25k Training Run

I had forgotten how much of a bitch the red loop was! Now I remember...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 in Review

A new year has arrived in which I hope to improve my family life, my running, and win the lotto!

The best time of 2008 was running 100's of miles with the love of my life, Jennifer! She was not a runner before and has gone from not running at all to a half marathon in less than one year!

Total mileage for 2008 = 2036.70

January - Swamp Stomper 50k (8:30): very cold...witch titty cold, in fact. I went out too fast and bonked hard. Hopefully I learned something.

March - Mississippi 50 (37.5m 9:15): my first attempt at 50 miles. I made it to the start line late and missed the last lap cut-off by 30 minutes.

- Germantown Half Marathon (2:06): I ran as a bandit. PR for me!

April - Memphis Ultra 6 Hour: 24 miles of fun with friends!

- Ouachita 50 (36m 9:45): second attempt at 50 miles, once again missing last cut-off by 30 minutes.

May - Scenic City Trail Marathon (6:15): I under estimated the elevation of Chattanooga!

July - Firecracker 5k: my wife's first race (I ran bandit with her)! I still have yet to get her on the trails, though.

- Diamond Head Fun Run: not a race, but fun to run Waikiki and Diamond Head while on vacation!

August - Bartlett Park Ultra (50k 9:10): it was even hotter than last year's race! Original plan was for 50 miles, but stopped after of the my smartest moves of the year!

October - Tour d'Esprit 24 Hour: stopped after 50k due to pain(s).

November - Wade's Big Adventure (3:23): great short trail run with great friends!

December - St. Jude Marathon (5:22): I paced with my wife for her first half marathon! She did great and I am very proud of her! And I still have yet to get her into running trails!

2008 Mileage:

2008 Per Month:

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