Sunday, June 29, 2008

Week Training Log: 6/23 - 6/29

Not quite the big week I had planned, but it's always smart to treat injuries right away when you're a month out from a big run. First the good: I hit the road early (4:00 a.m.) on Thursday for my 50 miler, and it couldn't have gone more perfectly. The humidity was 90% for the first half, and then the heat really kicked in by the end at high noon (low 90s). Neither bothered me at all as I stayed on top of my S-Caps and hydration the whole time. I've really found my hot/humid weather groove after the past month of running in both here in DC. I don't know what kind of weather I'll have in MA for the Run 192, but I can rest easy knowing I'm already prepped for the worst.

The less-than-good part of the week was I had a little flare-up/shin-splint in my right leg on Friday, so I took the day off in hopes that it would clear up the following morning for my scheduled 40 miler. After getting up early and hitting the road for that run on Saturday, however, I felt enough discomfort to cut things short and head home before doing more damage. If it was race-day, I definitely would have run through the pain, but in the name of wanting to stick to my training schedule as much as possible over the next month, I made the right call to take it easy. I had a similar injury while training last summer for the VT100, and a few days on the elliptical machine to get some non-impact work in allowed things to heal up quickly. I expect the same this time. I should be good as new this coming weekend to get a couple/three 25 milers in for a modified peak week.

Week Log:
Monday - Off Day
Tuesday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point Loop
Wednesday - 8.5 miles - Hains Point Loop
Thursday - 50.3 miles - Mt. Vernon Trail-Rt. 1-Huntley Meadows Park
Friday - Off (injury)
Saturday - 8 miles - to Reagan National and back (Aborted 40 miler)
Sunday - 5 miles - Elliptic-Hell Machine

Total: 80.3 miles

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Run 192 Media Updates

Big news from two media fronts to report:

1) Boston Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald has agreed to run a story (w/ photos!) in the July 30th edition of the paper (the day I start running). This should be extremely helpful in getting folks to access this blog, follow my progress, and hopefully donate a couple bucks to the the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute!

2) Speaking of following my progress, I just figured out a great way for everyone to check out my location at any given time on the internet. I'll post a link on this blog the week of the race. For anyone looking to meet up with me to run a few miles, this will be a HUGE help. The map you'll see will look just like this one (the pin on the map here shows me at work) - you can see how helpful this service will be during the run.

In addition to the GPS map, I'll have folks posting updates on the blog every couple of hours to give a little more insight on how the run (and my physical shape) is unfolding.

That's the big news of the day. Now I'm off to tackle my first huge peak weekend...I'll be racking up well over 100+ miles in the next 4 days. The final tally will be posted on Sunday night!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Week Training Log: 6/16 - 6/22

I finally regained my legs and felt right again this week. I think the heat training I've added into my schedule (sitting in the sauna for 45 mins after each run) is starting to pay off. I'm not sure how hot it will be in MA during the 192, but I'm doing my best in training to be ready for the worst.

Quality sauna time aside, the highlight of the week occurred with 2 miles to go on Saturday's 40 miler. The sun/heat was doing its best to beat me down, and even though I had rationed my water to save a couple gulps over the last 2 miles, it wasn't an ideal situation - If you've ever tried to choke down the last bit of warm Perpetuem in a water bottle on hot day, you know what I'm talking about. If you're lucky enough to have avoided this situation yourself, just think of the scene in 'Anchorman' when Will Farrell drinks the carton of warm milk in the heat of the San Diego sun - it is a bad choice indeed. Anyway, just as I had resigned myself to a thirsty shuffle over the last two miles, I ran past a guy looking pretty down on his luck sitting under a bridge overpass. At his feet was a cardboard sign that read "Ice Cold Water - $1". "Just my luck", I thought, as I knew only had 50-cents left in my fuel belt. As I passed by, we had this conversation:

"Ice cold water, Sir?!"
"Sorry, not today..."
"Ok, but you sure look like you need it!"
"I do, but I've only got 50-cents."

Jumping up from his folding chair like a NASCAR pit-crew member, he popped open the cooler before I had a chance to run too far past and said "Get over here, I'll sell you one for 50 cents!". Now, I've heard about people hiking the Appalachian Trail crossing paths with 'Trail Angels' in the countryside who help out with the offer of a meal or shower for tired hikers, but on the capitalist streets of DC, I never would have expected this kind of brotherly love. This gentleman had clearly fallen on some hard times, but he put my well-being ahead of his own for that moment simply to help out his fellow man. Needless to say, I covered those last two miles in record time with his ice cold water and selfless inspiration coursing through my veins. ...and next time I run under that bridge I'll be dropping off a nice tip, that's for sure.

Week Training Log:

Monday - Off Day
Tuesday - 8.5 Miles (Hains Point Loop)
Wednesday - 8.5 Miles (Hains Point Loop)
Thursday - 8.5 Miles (Hains Point Loop)
Friday - 8.5 Miles (Hains Point Loop)
Saturday - 40 Miles (Mt. Vernon Trail+ )
Sunday - 8.5 Miles (Hains Point Loop)

Total Miles: 82.5

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged & Week Training Log

My superstar running friend Jamie Donaldson tagged me via her blog - I have to answer the questions below and tag another 5 folks. I'm not sure what the consequences are if I don't, but if this is anything like those old chain-mail letters, I'm just going to comply to avoid a freak piano-dropping-on-my-head accident. You understand.

1- How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
In June of 1998 it had been over a year since I last went for a run. I ran Boston in 1996 on a bet (my first marathon), and I figured that was it for running challenges out there so I hung up my shoes and found other fun ways to occupy my time (coaching college softball). I didn't run again until 2003.

2-What is your best and worst run/race experience?

My first "run" after finishing chemotherapy qualifies as both: My old neighborhood loop was a simple 6 miler around the woods of Marlborough, MA. When I started regaining my strength a couple weeks after my last treatment, I was excited to get back out and run again. It was a perfectly sunny and temperate April day when I felt ready to embark on the first run. After about 1/4 mile my lungs were already burning. After 1/2 mile my legs were killing me. One mile into it I was completely exhausted. I'm not sure what happened between miles 2-5 as I was simply doing my best not to black out. I was literally shuffling my feet slower than walking pace by time I staggered around the corner a few hundred feet from my front door. When I crossed the finish line, I collapsed on the grass, looking up at the blue sky. I was extremely light-headed and walking a dangerously close line to blacking out. I was also smiling. It was the greatest feeling in the world to be looking up at the sky and not a buzzing fluorescent hospital light. I was back to being me, and it felt great!

3- Why do you run?
It's pretty much the only discernible "talent" I have, and I feel like I owe it to myself and the cancer community to use this ability to raise money and awareness for the cause.

4- What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Best: In training, always run the day after a long/hard run to teach your body to run while already tired.

Worst: You need to eat solid food in a 100 miler. Solid food lead to stomach issues for me every time. Once I switched to just Gels and Hammer Perpetuem for my drink, all the problems went away.

5- Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
I can do about 50 different tricks w/ a yo-yo.

Week Training Log:

This was an odd week for my legs. After rebounding from the 56 miles at Old Dominion last weekend and running the very next day (in the same 95+ degree heat), I thought my legs would be fine all week. I felt pretty wiped out on Thursday though and needed to take an unscheduled day off. No problem, I thought, since Friday I needed to run a 35 miler after work, and I figured the extra rest would be helpful. For some reason, however, I felt horrible during the entire 35 miles. I ran with a nice guy who works at the Canadian Embassy between miles 10-11, so that helped snap me out of my funk a bit, but after that it was a rough evening on the Mt. Vernon trail. Saturday was moving day for me and Elizabeth, and then I had to work and event at night, so I didn't get a run in at all. Again, probably for the best since I think I needed the rest. Sunday capped off the week with an easy run around Hanes Point - I felt a little better, so hopefully I'll snap out of it this week and have an easy 40 miler on the weekend.

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 8.5 miles - Hanes Point Loop
Wednesday - 8.5 miles - Hanes Point Loop
Thursday - Off (tired)
Friday - 35 miles - Mt. Vernon Trail
Saturday - Off (moving and work)
Sunday - 8.5 miles - Hanes Point Loop

Total Miles: 60.5 miles

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2008 Western States Preview!

We're just a couple weeks away from the 'Super Bowl' of 100 milers, the 35th Annual Western States Endurance Run (June 28-29, 2008), and this year's field is shaping up to be one of the best (if not THE best) ever!

All of the politics have been pushed aside for now and the field of elites at the starting line will be overflowing like the American River crossing at Rucky Chucky. With snow on the trail in the high elevations and sure-fire heat in the valleys, we'll all get to kick back and watch these guys (and gals!) fight it out all day for the top spots (live updates here!).

Without further ado, here's one fan's prediction for the top 10 to cross the finish line in Auburn - My apologies to the likes of Braje, Brimhall, Freeman, Morrison, Olsen, etc, but I had to make some tough cuts here. We all know any one of you could show up and grab a top 10 spot with ease!

10: Glen Redpath - Who says guys from the Northeast can't hang w/ the West Coast crew in this race? This Brooklyn-based runner finished 6th last year with a quick 18:05 run. He had successful tune up on June 1 at the Nipmuck Trail Marathon (2nd place), so look for him to bring some of that veteran savvy to the WS course and surprise more than a few cocky rookies along the way to Auburn by running *his* race.

9: Nikki Kimball - The tough-as-nails, no, TOUGHER-than-nails WS veteran is back to show the world she's the best female 100 mile trail runner, hand's down. The last two years she's placed 3rd and 8th overall in this race, so look for another solid Top 10 finish and long line of humbled elite men finishing behind her on the 'Chicked List'!

8: Jorge Pacheco - Ran an unchallenged 14:12 to win Rocky Raccoon in Feburary, so the speed isn't an issue. We'll see about the terrain. He should be focused and ready to avenge his DNF here with lots of company up front to help bring out his best.

AJW - We all know he's more excited about this race than a kid on Christmas morning, and from the word on the streets (or trails, as it were),he's in great shape after a big peak month of training. As long as the snow/mud isn't too bad, I do think this will be the year he breaks 17:00....but with the guys listed ahead of him here, I'm not sure even that smokin' time is good enough to keep pace with the front all day. I know history has proven this course favors veterans over rookies, but the term "rookie" really can't be applied to a couple of the WS virgins listed ahead here. They're simply too talented, experienced, and prepared to not show up and impress us all.

6: Erik Skaden - He's proven he can succeed on a slow track (2006, 2nd place, 19:08) and on a quick one (2007, 2nd place, 16:36), so you simply can't count him out. He ran to a solid 6th place finish in a tough Miwok field this spring, and I expect him to toe the line looking to contend all day long yet again. I wouldn't be surprised if his course experience has him leap-frog over a few of the guys listed ahead of him here in the last 20 miles of the race.

Graham Cooper - The 2006 winner (and 2007 3rd place finisher) certainly has the talent and the knowledge of the course to light it up again this year. His course record at the Quicksilver 50 (6:35) proves he's tuned up and ready to fly...and quite honestly, he should be listed higher's just that the field is SO stacked this year, a 5th place finish is probably equal to a 2nd or 3rd any other year. Sorry Graham...I'd love to see you prove me wrong out there!

4: Michael Wardian - Most people know him as a burner in road marathons (and I mean*BURNER* w/ a 2:21 PR) and on flatter/faster trails - his 5:50 at the JFK 50 last fall (2nd fastest ever) and course record win the US 100k championships in April at Mad City prove he's not just a rocket at the 26.2 distance - but what about 100 milers w/ elevation? His VT100 back in 2000 is too far away to compare to anything like this WS showdown, but one thing is for sure, when you look at his March race results from this year alone, he should be in the front pack for at least 50+ miles:
3/2: 1st, 2:55:05 USA 50-K Championships
3/9: 1st, 2:34:46 Lower Potomac River Marathon
3/15: 2nd, 2:24:55 Shamrock Marathon
3/29: 1st, 2:24:59 SunTrust National Marathon
3/30: 3rd, 2:29:49 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
With WS experience proving to be the major deciding factor for 1st place over the last decade-plus, he might not be the one to pull it out in the final two hours of the race...but it's also really really difficult to wager against him.

3: Hal Koerner - I know what many of you are thinking: "He has Hal at #3, and he has TWO rookies ahead of him?! That's blasphemy!" ...and you're probably right in saying it. Really, what the hell do I know?? All I can say is Hal will definitely be back to defend his 1st place finish in tip-top shape, and with a favorable track he'll run a low 16 again...but Karl and Tony both have the right circumstances surrounding them right now to simply hammer the course as fast if not faster than the returning champ. Read on...

2: Karl Meltzer - Here's why Karl beats Hal (et al) on his first spin on the WS dance floor. With his AT record attempt coming up this summer, for the first time in forever he's been training more than racing. A rested Karl Meltzer is a scary Karl Meltzer. His easy C2M 100 win in March and recent desert training proves he'll be ready for any valley heat, and lord knows he was born to hammer the ups and DOWNS on the trails. You know he's ready to fight with this being his first time at WS, so there's a bit of pride and honor on the line too. Especially w/ all the politics surrounding the Race Organizers allowing him into the field this year. I don't know all the details on that topic, but I do know you'd be a fool to bet against him...unless a certain someone else toes the line next to him...

1: Tony Krupicka - Why does he win? He's healthy. Sure the human body really isn't meant to withstand the 200+ mile training weeks he puts in, but who's to say Anton is human? Simply put, when he's healthy, he wins. Yes, he's a WS rookie in the literal sense, but he's run the course in training, he's had a mostly injury free spring w/ 50 mile wins at Zane Grey and American River, and any elevation/snow won't be a problem for him. I know I know I know, the history of this race has proven to favor veterans, but I'm not sure too many people will argue that Tony won't be in the front pack all day long. He's got the speed to hang with anyone trying to break away, and he's got the power to make a move on a climb himself when he feels like it's the right time. Barring an injury popping up in his 150 mile taper week before the race (a joke, but you know that's not far off!), I see Tony crossing the line first in Auburn.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Old Dominion Death March

We all knew it was going to be ugly on Saturday, and sadly we were all correct. The stats for the day were brutal: 100% humidity to start at 4am, 97 degrees during the day (the old record was 92), little to no wind or cloud cover, and, to be polite, less-than-prepared Race Directors. Mix those ingredients together, and what do you get? The 2008 Old Dominion 100 - Fun for the whole family!

Elizabeth and I made the 2 hour ride from DC to Shenandoah County, VA on Friday afternoon. If you believed all the signs and the T-shirts they had made up for the occasion, this was the 30th Running of the race. I don't want to call anyone a liar, but considering they started in 1979 and didn't run the race in 2002, that makes this the 29th running of the race. I wouldn't bring it up (because who really cares, right?) if it wasn't for the theme of misinformation being prevalent in other areas of the weekend as well. Little things like their race slogan "It's more than just 4 marathons back-to-back..." were easy to ignore (the race would be 104.8 miles if that was true), but one flat out lie ended up making the day much worse than expected: The Race Director promising to have "As much ice as possible" at the aid stations...but we'll get back to that in a bit.

I checked in at the race headquarters on the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds around 4pm, hopped on the scale for the medical check, and looked at the roster on the wall to see who was running the race. The Old Dominion is decidedly low-tech in that their website is only updated once a year to put up the race date for the next year and the previous year's finishers. Since they've only been averaging about 30 runners for the past 5 years, maybe there isn't a whole lot of demand for this info from the participants. I would have liked to know ahead of time, but for such a small race, I didn't expect too much.

This race once drew 150+ runners at its peak of popularity, but after not holding the race at all in 2002, they were officially removed from the "Grand Slam" of 100 milers (Vermont replaced it). In addition, ANOTHER "Old Dominion" race was created to try and fill the void that year...and they continued to hold that one (the week before the original one) every year until this year. When you have two unpopular races on consecutive weeks on mostly the same roads, well, you get two really really really small events. With the "other" Old Dominion officially defunct this year, the numbers were up a bit for the original race - I counted about 60 or so on the list.

During the pre-race briefing, everyone stressed the importance of being safe and smart given the record-breaking heat in store for us during the race. When asked if there would be ice, the Race Director said "We'll have as much ice as possible at the aid stations." I repeated that phrase to myself about 2 million times during the race. Usually while gritting my teeth. ...but we're not there yet...

Following the meeting we hopped in the car and drove the route Elizabeth was to follow the next morning to get to the first Crew aid station (mile 19). This involved driving up and down steep mountain roads (much to her queasy displeasure) , and I immediately began to feel horrible for making her do this on her own all day. When I signed up for the race, my original plan was to run "until I was satisfied" knowing that I wasn't really in 100 mile shape. As the race approached and my excitement grew, I starting thinking 'Maybe I'll run the whole thing, even if I just take my time and slowly march it out'. As we drove these roads, however, the reality set in re: how much work it would be for my wife all by herself (in the same nasty heat). I figured each Crew stop would be not only a chance for me to see how I was feeling but also to see how she was doing. It would be a group decision to continue on or call it a day at each rendezvous point.

After the recon mission, we headed over to a great little Italian restaurant for dinner and then back to the hotel to crash. 3:00 a.m. came quickly, and I was dressed and out the door in no time. The 1/4 mile walk over to the start line from the hotel was a nice introduction for what the day's weather would be like. Even though it wasn't hot yet (only about 70), there was 100% humidity in the air. How humid was it? I looked down at my watch at one point and there were droplets of water forming on the face. Is that even possible??

Just before the 4:00 a.m. start, the organizers said a quick prayer and sent us off on our way. Since the first few miles of the course wound through the streets of the town (of which I was not familiar at all), I knew I should stay with a group to keep from getting lost (especially in the foggy spots). Of course, like an idiot, as soon as the first uphill came I pulled away from my safety group and was on my own. Thankfully I was able to spot the orange glow-sticks at the turns and found my way to the road heading up the mountain that I had driven the night before. Just as I started the climb (13 switchbacks on this road before the top!) I caught up to a super-nice guy, Kevin Dorsey from Tennessee. We chatted all the way up about various races we've run and future plans. Neither of us had any desire to try and keep up with the two guys already fighting it out for 1st place in front of us. Before I knew it we were at the top and headed down the back side of the mountain. Kevin stopped for a bottle re-fill at the top, but since I was carrying two in my belt and one on my hand, I was ok for a couple more miles.

Even though the sun wasn't up yet, my clothing was completely saturated already. I knew I needed to pound the liquid more than I ever have in a race all day long to try and keep pace with my rate of sweating. At the bottom of the mountain I stopped for a quick refill of my hand bottle and Kevin caught up. We talked as we ran for just a few more minutes before heading into the first trail section of the day. It was a nice single-track climb on the typical rocky Massanutten footing. Having such intimate knowledge of this terrain from all my Massanutten prep work, I pulled away from Kevin and was soon on my own in 3rd place. I definitely wasn't "racing" this course, but certain instincts kick in on sections of trail like this that make it really fun for me to go fast, so I just listened to my body and enjoyed it. Of course, occasionally I enjoy the speed too much and slip on a wet rock and end up with a take-home souvenir like this one on my forearm. Oops.

After that trail section I popped out on a long section of country dirt roads before finally hitting the first crew stop at mile 19. The sun was up and seeing Elizabeth was a relief - I was happy she had survived the mountain drive safely. I grabbed a few gels, a quick refill of my two Perpetuem bottles and my hand bottle (just water there), and I was off. It would be 14 miles until the next Crew stop, all of which was on dirt roads. As I wound through the country (the course was well-marked, I should add), occasionally moo-ing at cows on the side of the road and running along with friendly dogs (I appreciated the company), I did my best to ignore the fact that it was getting hot pretty fast in the valley. I was hitting the fluids and S-Caps at an extremely high-but-necessary rate, and so far so good.
I pulled into the mile 33 Crew station feeling great, and looking forward to some of that ice we had been promised at the pre-race meeting. When I asked the aid station workers for ice, they said "I'm not sure we have any...let me go check." Mind you, this was the co-Race Director telling me this. "...not sure" was not the answer I expected to hear from her. After a minute or two (I passed the time by changing into my trail shoes for the rocky section ahead), a volunteer brought over a handful (literally) of ice for my bottle. I'm guessing it was left over from someone's ice coffee that morning as it certainly wasn't from an actual bag of ice one might expect to be at an aid station to give to the rapidly overheating runners in a 100 mile race on a 97 degree day because you PROMISED IT TO THEM!!
Sorry for that outburst there, I was a little upset at this finding. ...but whatever, I'm not a baby. I had my warm water and a few cold streams to look forward to dunking my head in during the next section of trail, so off I went.

This next section followed the Duncan Hollow trail which I fondly recalled from the Massanutten race as being a muddy river the whole way. Here's a shot of me exiting this section during the MMT race when the mud at the bottom of stream pulled one of my shoes completely off - Good times.
To my delight, the trail had dried out almost completely in the three weeks since MMT, so I enjoyed it much much more this time. ...That is, until the trail split off from where the MMT course went and I had a loooong climb up the side of the mountain with the sun now beating down on me. The trees and vegetation were pretty thick in most sections so there was hardly any air movement at all. I was drinking as much as I could, but the sun was definitely winning the battle on this climb. Once I finally crested the top and began my run down the backside of the mountain (in the shade now), I felt much better. Technical downhills are my specialty, so my spirits picked up on this section of trail. In no time at all I pulled into the mile 43 aid station at the bottom of the trail for my first medical check. I should call it a "medical check" since I'm pretty sure there were no medically trained people here. First off, I had to remind them to weigh me, and since this was the ONLY thing on the list for the medical check to begin with, I'm pretty sure the volunteers (who were very nice, by the way, I don't want to be mean) had no business conducting a medical check. Normally I wouldn't have given it two seconds of thought, but on this day, in this insane heat, I found it unsettling that all the other runners out there wouldn't be properly examined before continuing on in the horrible conditions. Since I remembered my weight at the pre-race check-in, I was able to judge for myself how I was doing when I hopped on the scale. I was happy to see I had only dropped 1 pound, so I filled up my bottles and headed down the dirt road to the next crew stop about 5 miles away.

Up to this point I wasn't sure when I would call it quits for the day, but the long climb in the sun and the 'no ice' factor were making me think sooner than later would be a good idea. ...but then came this shady 5 mile downhill section. It was actually quite enjoyable. I ran every step comfortably - I used a little trick I like to keep myself from running too fast when I know I should take it easy: By keeping my mouth closed to regulate my breathing I hit a comfortable speed that doesn't overheat me or get my heart rate too high. I know lots of people use fancy heart-rate monitors and such to do the same thing, but I like my technique for its simplicity. Anyway, by time I pulled up to Elizabeth at mile 48, I was feeling great, especially since I knew we had our cooler in the X-Terra with an icy towel for me to cool off with. Man that felt good! I felt bad for the runner who came in ahead of me and had to drop though. Elizabeth tells me he was in really bad shape and was pretty upset about the aid station not having any ice (this was a major aid station where runners crossed through two times each - they had NO excuse for their lack of preparedness). The only reason I wasn't as upset is because I knew we had our cooler in the truck. As nice as that was, however, the heat of the day was even melting that ice at a rapid rate. I took the last of it in my bottles as I headed out on the next climb.

I continued up the road and crossed the 50 mile mark at about 8:05. It was high noon at this point and the sun was roasting me for sure. I was taking it easy and doing my best to stay in the shade, but those spots were becoming fewer and fewer with the sun now hanging straight overhead. When I ambled up to the "aid station" at mile 51.5, I found a nice old man with water jugs set up on his truck tailgate. Knowing I had about 6 miles more of uphill marching on the exposed road in this section, I asked with high hopes "Hello kind sir, do you have any ice??"...but my will was broken when he said in his pleasant country tone "Nope...I don't reckon they've given me any of that...".
I pretty much decided enough was enough at that point and I'd call it a day once I finished this next 6 mile section - Elizabeth would be there at the end with the car, so we'd pack it up and head on home from there. If nothing else, the next 6 miles of the Highway to Hell convinced me that my eventual crash from the heat probably wasn't far away. Sure, I was keeping up with my fluids and S-Caps, but the signs on the road (two piles of vomit from other runners) convinced me that my good fortune could change any minute. When I finally pulled into the Crew station at mile 56.5, I saw one of the runners ahead of me collapsed in his chair. He had blood in his urine (a sign of kidney failure) and was struggling with the decision to stop (he knew he had to, but since he had never finished a 100 miler before, he didn't want to DNF). I felt really bad for him and offered to walk the next section with him buddy-style while he tried to rehydrate to see if things turned around, but I could tell from his eyes he was done.

I'm pretty sure I'd never yell at an aid station volunteer (after all, they're volunteering), but if one of the race directors was present at that point I definitely would have had a few harsh words about what it takes to keep your runners healthy and safe in this kind of weather (ICE!!!). I feel very protective of my friends running out there, and when the people who are supposed to use your $185 entry fee to help you can't bother to spend $3 of that on a 20lb bag of ice for an aid station, I consider that gross negligence. Granted, I was going to drop before finishing anyway, and I don't blame the lack of ice on my performance at just would have been much safer to have it on hand. If I didn't have my own cooler at mile 42, I probably would have dropped there. It was not a day to fool around with your health and safety.

Anyway, we hung out at the aid station for a while after I told them I was dropping. About 30 minutes later Kevin came through and it was great to see him looking so good. Apparently the old man on the truck tailgate finally had some ice delivered to him, so I was happy to hear that some of the runners would be in a little better shape after they hit his aid station. Hopefully the Race Directors finally delivered some ice to all the stations, but considering it was 3pm or so when I dropped and they hadn't delivered it to any yet, I'm guessing it was too little too late for most runners out there. I have no clue how many runners hung in there to finish (I'm guessing not many), but my hat goes off to those who were dedicated and smart enough to fight the weather all day. It was really really nasty out there.

For me, I'm happy I got in a nice long run to kick off the official final push for the Run 192 training. When we got back home on Sunday I went for a run (hey, it was only 94 degrees out in DC) and felt great. Here are my week totals:

Week Training Log -
Monday - 8.5 miles - Hanes Point Loop
Tuesday - 8.5 miles - Hanes Point Loop
Wednesday - 8.5 miles - Hanes Point Loop
Thursday - Off
Friday - Off
Saturday - 56.5 - Old Dominion Course to Edinburg Gap
Sunday - 6 miles - Hanes Point Loop

Week Total - 88 miles

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Heavy Mental

Two days away from the Old Dominion 100 miler, and I must say I'm getting excited. Even though I'm running this race in less-than-ideal shape, I am looking forward to some quality mental training in preparation for the Run 192. The forecast is for a brutally humid 97 degrees during the race, so the key for me will be to keep chugging those fluids and focus on a slow n' steady pace during the daylight hours. The race starts at 4am, so I'll probably knock out 30 or 40 miles before the thermometer starts to burst in the late morning. At that point, it'll be a death march for everyone. Hooray! Unfortunately there are no live web updates during this race, so I'll be sure to post a note when I get back on Sunday afternoon to let everyone know how the race went.

Two quick side notes about this blog:

1) If you haven't checked it out yet, in the lower right-hand corner of the page there's a little map of the world with red dots on it. If you click on this map, you can see a flag in every town where someone has visited this site in the past couple weeks. It's pretty cool to zoom in and out and check out where my hits are coming from and which posts they're linking to. Check it out and find yourself!

2) In just a few days we've already raised nearly $700 for the Run 192 campaign to fight cancer. THANK YOU! The best thing about this total is I haven't even started the major campaign yet to notify everyone about the fundraising site yet. Once that kicks off I know we'll make it past the goal of $2,000 in no time. Thank you!!!