I'm retired from racing. Really.

Rocky Raccoon 100

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Location:

Greenville,SC,

Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

I also maintain a blogspot running blog. Check it out. 

5k- 16:01, 1/2 marathon- 1:11:37, marathon- 2:34:16, 50k- 3:58, 100 mile- 15:19

Former World Record holder in 100 x 5k relay 

Ultra history:

8-100 mile, 1-100k, 9-50 mile, 2-40 mile, 14-50k-ish

12 wins, 5 CR's, plus four 2nd, five 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 16th, 20th, 28th, 38th, and 62nd place, with 1 DNF 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Goals 

None for now

Long-Term Running Goals:

Unretire at some point

Run a sub-6 hr 50 miler

Win a 100 mile ultramarathon

Personal:

I have five cute kids. And I have some rockin short green racing shorts- I wear them mainly because it embarrasses my wife so much. I like ultimate frisbee, trail running, reading, and cheering for the Denver Broncos!   And I have the absolute best wife in the world.  And I used to run for the now-disbanded national Team Pearl Izumi- Ultra!

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 32.00 Month: 72.00 Year: 1492.00
XT Wings 3 Lifetime Miles: 235.00
Fastwitch Lifetime Miles: 82.50
Peak Lifetime Miles: 282.00
Trail N1 Lifetime Miles: 86.50
Road N1 Lifetime Miles: 31.00
Stinson Lifetime Miles: 500.50
Fuel 2 (road) Lifetime Miles: 454.50
Trail M2 2 Black Lifetime Miles: 263.00
Trail M2 3 Lifetime Miles: 174.60
Trail N2 2 Orange Lifetime Miles: 237.50
Road M3 Black And Blue Lifetime Miles: 327.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
123.000.000.000.0050.50173.50
Pace Miles: 50.50Pace 2 Miles: 55.50NB 769 2 Miles: 6.00Progrid Guide Miles: 5.00XT Wings Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.005.505.50

AM- 5.5 miles cross train, just to keep the legs moving a bit.  I'm definitely trying to err on the side of "healthy and less fit" for this race- hopefully my hips hold up.  Flying out Fri morning with Cody, Paul, and Davy for the race- I've been looking forward to this race for 18 months.  I wasn't planning on having a hip injury and not being able to run for 6 weeks before, but that's life.  Looks like there will be more than 350 runners in the 100, plus 300 more in the 50.  Huge!  Should be fun.  Next post will by my race report.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(16)
Race: Rocky Raccoon 100 (100 Miles) 19:37:54, Place overall: 28, Place in age division: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
100.000.000.000.000.00100.00

Rocky Raccoon 100.  Sorry on making everyone wait so long for this report.

I first planned on this race about 18 months ago.  I am going to run the Bear 100 this year, and decided starting with an "easier" 100 would be wise.  Paul and Cody volunteered to crew/pace me, so we made reservations last August.  I did 2 50-milers in preparation and my training was going great… right up until I injured my hips just before Christmas. As a result, in the last 6 weeks before the race, I averaged around 10 miles running per week, but did a ton of cross training and hip exercises.  Even one week before the race, I couldn't run more than a few miles due to hip pain, but was still going to race.  Davy decided to join us last minute, and we enjoyed his company. 

The course is 5, 20-mile loops around Lake Raven in the gorgeous, pine-forested Huntsville State Park in Texas, with 5 aid stations per loop.  It is 100% dirt, mostly singletrack, and "relatively" flat, though small rolling hills are everywhere.  It isn't rocky, but there are innumerable tree roots that present the main tripping hazard.  There was lots of rain the week of the race which resulted in a few muddy spots, but nothing that really slowed me down.  If anything, it added a little excitement and enjoyment.  Race day weather was absolutely perfect, with a high of 60 deg and low of 40 deg.  Sunny, minimal wind.  Perfect, especially compared to Cache Valley winter. 

My primary goal was simply to finish the race and to learn as much about 100 mile races as possible.  Goal 2 was to break 20 hours.  Prior to the injury, I had aspirations of 17-18 hours, but that seemed doubtful given my injury and lack of recent training.  Being a nerd, I made split projections for each aid station, with a "fast" pace, a "medium" pace, and an "oh-crap-slow" pace.  Above all, I knew I wanted to start slow-- there was no such thing as too slow of a start.  I was hoping for a 3:00-3:15 first lap, then slowing down about 15 min each lap thereafter.  I ended up very close to the “oh-crap-slow” pace for the first 3 laps.  I surprisingly slept rather well the night before, and was more excited than nervous.  At the start, I met a few famous ultrarunners, including Jamie Donaldson and the Coury brothers, then was ready to go. 

We finally started, and I had to force myself a number of times to slow down, but still felt like I was going too fast.  I had hoped to run the first lap with Davy, but he took off fast and I quickly lost him in the dark.  My time at the first aid station was within one minute of the desired split, though, so that was good.  Cody and Paul were waiting to exchange my water bottle- they did a good job of preparing before each station so that I could minimize stopped time.  In fact, other than bathroom breaks, I only sat down 3 times (change shoes and put on pants) and often spent less than 1 minute at each station.  I usually exchanged my empty water bottle and gel flask for full ones and was off.  Paul and Cody were great and really helped, and my fueling system of only EFS gu, Gatorade/Heed, and S-caps worked fine. 

**Warning- some of the following is PG rated—you have been warned, so proceed at your own risk**

The first few laps were really a blur.  I enjoyed talking to so many wonderful, friendly people—I think I talked to people from at least 20 states (though not one from Texas, interestingly enough).  I got to know some of them fairly well, and would play leap frog with a few of them literally dozens of times over the next 20 hours.  The first loop went fast; the second loop was a bit slower as I battled a bit of an upset stomach, though I managed to never puke.  It was on this loop that I fell for the only time, though had a nice landing in some soft sand.  Unfortunately, I really struggled with intestinal issues from miles 15 till 65, stopping 25 times to go number 2.  Not an exaggeration, 25 times.  Absolutely ridiculous- I was frustrated after 10, then just accepted it.  It is safe to say this added at least 60 minutes and up to 90+ minutes to my time, something I will definitely resolve in the future.  Lap 1 was 3:11, lap 2 was 3:32.  Other than quad pain the whole race, I felt relatively good.  Davy ran great, too, such that he was ahead of me all the way through mile 30, and stayed close the whole race such that we kept seeing each other at various locations on the course. 

Lap 3 was a definite highpoint.  A fair portion of the race often has two way traffic, which was a bit annoying at times, particularly at night when some runners would blind you with their lights.  However, there is a 6 mile leg in the middle of the loop that is one way and was my absolute favorite part of the course.  It was very isolated and just plain fun, with great singletrack and some decent hills.  It was on this loop that I passed the 50 mile mark, officially making this the longest run of my life—and I was only half way!  I felt great during this portion of the course and flew along the trails.  I had no doubt by this point that, barring any disasters, I would finish the race.  I could tell my shoe cushion was less responsive and resulting in some Achilles and arch pain, so I switched shoes at mile 55 (to an identical pair).  The two pair of Pearl Izumi Pace shoes I wore the whole time worked perfect, combined with only one pair of Drymax Maximum Protection socks.  No blisters or hot spots at all, other than one on top of a middle toe that I didn't even know was there until afterwards.  I will never run an ultra in anything but Drymax again- and no, I'm not getting paid to say that.  Lap 3 was 3:54.

I had really been counting down to mile 60, since that is where pacers can start.  Paul paced me for lap 4 and did a great job.  I enjoyed his company and his presence helped motivate me, and I assigned him the duty of saying “Good job” to other runners, saving me a bit of energy.  By this point the field was well spread out, but I found extra motivation in the few nearby runners as we leapfrogged each other.  It was fun to experience nightfall with Paul, though having to run under headlamps distinctly slowed the pace.  My quad pain had increased such that I could no longer run any down hills after mile 75, though flats and up hills were still ok.  If anything, I was surprised my quads had lasted so far given my lack of running/pounding in recent weeks to keep my legs strong.  Paul handed me off to Cody after a 4:18 loop.   

After throwing on some more warm clothes, Cody and I started the final loop.  The going was slow and tenuous, but he did his best to be a good sport and humor all my whining and just keep me moving along.  I was still enjoying the run, though, and was excited to finish soon.  At one point, a distant group of coyotes serenaded us with some strange songs, and the frogs in the lake were also noisy at times.  The pace continued to slow through mile 97, at which point my legs could no longer run.  It was just physically impossible.  We death slogged the rest of the way, though our fuzzy math told us that sub-20 seemed likely.  We finally reached the final 100 yard finishing stretch, and I eagerly started my sprint to the finish (actually more of an awkward shuffle).  That lasted about 20 yards before my legs informed me that I had started my kick too soon, and they couldn't keep up.  We walked again, then I was finally able to shuffle the final 30 yards across the finish line with a 4:49 lap. 

My final time was 19:37:54, placing me 28th out of 344 starters.  It felt so good to finish, and Joe Prusaitis, the RD, soon arrived to give me my sub-24 hour finisher buckle.  I was herded into the warm finishers’ tent where I enjoyed the company of a few other guys while Cody and Paul got me clothes and food.  I wanted to stay till Davy finished, but my body began shutting down and I got incredibly cold and kept shivering.  I decided to head back to the hotel for a nice shower, and was excited to see Davy arrive shortly thereafter.  He ran an amazing race!  Paul and Cody were nice enough to get us Wendy's burgers at 4 am, and we finally turned off the light at 4:45 am, exactly 24 hours (to the minute) from when my alarm went off the day before.  Then a short, restless sleep and a plane ride home to the family. 

Words really can't explain what it feels like to finish the 100- great feeling.  And words also can't describe my appreciation for all the people who helped along the way- the RD, all the amazing aid station volunteers, the many participants who provided so much advice and encouragement, Davy for his advice, and especially Cody and Paul for all their help.  And a special thanks goes to my wife for allowing me to leave her for a weekend to run some crazy race.  Thanks, everyone.  Thank you. 

Overall, I am very happy with the race.  I finished, which is what I set out to do.  It would always be nice to run faster, but that is for future races.  Between my hip injury, reduced training, and especially my intestinal issues, I should be able to improve my time by several hours next time.  Other than general muscle soreness, I don't think I'll have any long term problems from this race, and I'm very excited that my hips held up [better than my quads].  All my gear worked perfectly.  I was able to meet so many nice people and spend a day in a beautiful location with great weather doing one of the things I love best.  What more could a guy want? 

There are a few photos on my family blog.

Next up:  More trail races, including the Bear 100 in September.  Possibly run either Bighorn 100 in June or Grand Mesa 100 in July, as well.  Lots of trail running this summer. 

Lessons learned for the future:

There is no such thing as too much toilet paper (nuff said!)

Gu and gatorade/HEED fueling works fine for me (with a few bananas and coke thrown in)

Having a prepared crew really minimizes downtime at aid stations- simple bottle/flask exchanges are best

Pacers rock

Drymax socks also rock

Pace Miles: 44.50Pace 2 Miles: 55.50
Weight: 0.00
Comments(41)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.000.000.00

Recovery is going about as well as could be expected.  A massage Monday night helped a ton.  I have some distinct pain still in my right arch, calf, and knee, plus a bit of residual soreness in my quads, hips, and shoulders/neck.  But not too bad.  I'm taking this whole week off, then may do some cross training next week and start running again the week after.  Coming back easy.

Splits were posted today for all runners.  It's interesting to me to see how many seemingly-strong runners that I spent some time with ended up DNF'ing.  Just shows you how fickle these races are.  And it's snowing right now in Texas- we sure got lucky with the weather.

The splits show I was in 34th place after lap 1, then 37th after lap 2, 34th, 30th, and 28th at the finish.  But, almost all of my place improvement is due to people ahead of me DNF-ing rather than me passing people.

I am debating if I want to do another 100 before the Bear in Sept.  Primarily, I am deciding between the Grand Mesa 50 or 100 on July 24.  For all you experienced ultrarunners out there, is 2 months enough time to COMPLETELY recover from a 100, or should I be safe and run the 50? 

Weight: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.000.000.00

Due to my not liking the requirement to have a FRB login to comment, I have made an alternate running blog for myself.  The new one won't be a daily training log, like this one, but more an overall picture with occasional thoughts and posts.  Anyone who knows me should be able to recognize where the new name came from.

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.000.000.00

Inspired by Sean and Matt, and buoyed by his ultra-competitive spirit (and my almost-as-competitive spirit), Cody threw down the gauntlet yesterday and challenged me to a duel- a running duel.  He then mocked my injury, my haircut, my running style, and even my car.  And so I say... Bring it!  You're going down, Cody.

For the record, Cody and I will race head to head in 4 races:  Buffalo Run 50k, Pocatello 50 mile, Logan Peak Run, and El Vaquero Loco 50k.  Whoever has the fastest combined time for all the races wins.  Nice and easy.  Except for Cody, who's about to get his intestines handed to him on a platter.  Not only will I win this competition, but I will also win the accompanying trash talking.  Starting today.

Here's my insult for today- I'm so confident that I'm going to win, that I'm not even going to start running for a few more days.  Better use it to your advantage, Cody. 

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Comments(16)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.007.007.00

PM- 7.  Foot still hurts, everything else felt fine though sluggish.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.0013.0013.00

13

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.000.000.00

I've really enjoyed the Olympics and have watched as much as I can.  Not a fan of figure skating, skim through some bobsled, luge, and curling, but I really enjoy snowboarding halfpipe, snowboard cross, downhill skiing, and short track skating.  However, my favorite has been the cross country skiing and biathlon, probably cause it is so similar to running (although my wife thinks I'm nuts for watching every minute of these long events).  Yesterday's Men's 30k was the best yet- a relative-nobody Swede, Johan Olsson, broke away from the lead pack at the 15k mark, and 2 of his teammates in the pack kept intentionally slowing everyone down.  Awesome.  He built as much as a 25 second lead before finally being passed at the end (by his teammate).  But he held on for Bronze medal.  It was such a gutsy, awesome move, and I was really rooting for him and was happy to see he medaled.

What about for everyone else- what are your favorite winter Olympic sports, and have you seen any inspirational performances? 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
0.000.000.000.005.005.00

AM- 5

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
2.000.000.000.004.006.00

AM- 4 cross training, plus my first 2 miles running since RR.  I plan to increase mileage 1-2 miles per day as my foot allows.  Hopefully I'm back on track now, so that I can actually stand a chance to compete with Cody next month.

NB 769 2 Miles: 2.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
4.000.000.000.004.008.00

PM- 4 running, 4 cross-training while watching the Olympics.  

NB 769 2 Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
5.000.000.000.004.009.00

PM- 5 running, 4 cross train.

Progrid Guide Miles: 5.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
6.000.000.000.008.0014.00

PM- I have a very busy day tomorrow, so wanted to get a little bit longer of a workout in today.  6 miles running, 8 biking (including some very hard 1 minute surges).  I felt better on the run today than any of the runs earlier this week.  I wanted 50 miles this week, so should finish just about right.  Then 65-70 miles next week, hopefully.

Pace Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
6.000.000.000.000.006.00

I had 90 min between getting home from some training and Marci needing to leave.  It was a glorious, sunny, 35 deg afternoon.  I decided it would be best spent doing a trail run- I drove to Dry Canyon and had a very wonderful 45 min run.  The snow has been nicely compacted by hikers and snowboarders and was very runnable without excessive sinking in.  Very enjoyable run.  There's nothing to get your heart going right away as starting a workout by running up a snow-covered mountain for 30 min.  30 min up, 15 down.  Not sure actual mileage, but it was 6 effort.  And I could tell that I haven't used my "downhill running in the snow stabilization" muscles in a while.

I may have to start doing this at least once a week- I think you could even do it very easily after dark.  Cody, Paul, Scott- anyone is welcome to join me.  Maybe next Thursday evening and/or Sat afternoon?

XT Wings Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
123.000.000.000.0050.50173.50
Pace Miles: 50.50Pace 2 Miles: 55.50NB 769 2 Miles: 6.00Progrid Guide Miles: 5.00XT Wings Miles: 6.00
Weight: 0.00
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