Spring has sprung in NE ohio or at least that's what myself and all my running friends thought. the week prior to the day of the Fools 50 K (3-28-11) we had been treated to dry weather, sun, and warmer temps mid 40's to low 50's.. the week bf the event maria and i had been busy packing and getting ready for our upcoming move, so my normal taper was almost 13 days,and it showed i was going crazy not running but had no choice, a move and a race at the same time is not ideal :) but we survive. Friday 3/26 Early Packet pick up- the usual chit chat with other runners and catching up on trail conditions since i had no clue. Lloyd the RD told me that with the recent weather the trails had dried up nicely and should be dry and frozen, Sweet a fast course and maybe no mudd. so i went home did my last minute packing and gear checklist and carried on. Saturday 3/27--Still packing all day and night, till almost 12 midnight, i was tired but so anxious for the race start. but knew deep down inside things would be fine and that my training would be solid. Sunday 3/28 race day!!!-- 4:30 am, man i forgot how early that was especially after being up till almost midnight the night before. OS the normal race ritual my coffee,and all my race day traditions pursued. Maria was volunteering for late packet pick up at 6 am so off we headed to Pine Hollow. Clear sky's, stats,and a crisp morning met us. 19 degrees when we got there, but so beautiful the hills and woods looked. the sun slowly started to rise and the most beautiful oranges and reds appeared from the distance and the temps gradually warmed to a warm 22 to 24 degrees by start time the race the National Anthem sung,last minute directions about course markings ,and general fanfare and off we all went. i started off running with some friends, Brett and Chef and quickly settled into my pace. thing were good all signs pointed to go and my confidence gained from my extended time off. So over the grassy fields, through the woods and onto the trails we went.the ground was frosty, hard packed and frozen for the time being at least. For those unfamiliar with the CVMP in NE ohio this race was run on local trail in the park, and looped a fashion that made up approx a 15mile loop that we would repeat twice for the 50k and once for the 25K. LOOP 1-- fast , frozen, lots of people,but carnage setting in for those who went out to fast. towards the end of this loop i caught up with Suzanne, who was out to avenge a disappointed finish time from last year. we talked for a while and got each other through some iffy spots of mile 14 to 15 but both looked really and felt strong we agreed. approx first loop time 3:07 ish. LOOP 2--- warmer temps sort of maybe upper 20's low 30's but that did not bother me, i had learned from past runs and races to dress cooler by wearing less layers, hydrate better and fuel myself more efficiently to stay better controlled body temp wise. this time Eureka baby i got it. I had all my BROOKS GEAR: thanks Brooks ID top HVAC LS shirt,with LS Brooks ID Equilbrium top and Team singlet. Bottom 3/4 length brooks tights. and for wind chill early in the first am a nice light wind vest which only lasted the first 14 miles bf i got over heated. 3 miles into the way this loop i managed to catch Shannon F, she is great strong runner, but we ran together and pushed each other through some tough patches. the ground was not more slippery mud conditions deteriorated rapidly as the sun shone down on us an we pranced through the woods on the second loop. the extra wear and tear was making it a real chore, bc you had to think about each and every step, so you would not slip to much and cause any extra strain to legs,hips. midway thorough this loop i was still feeling strong,and was having a blast, and was still running with my friend Shannon. we were passing people like they were still and the conditions of the trails were really beating up the runners. like i say you gotta train in the conditions to thrive in and it showed with us an all the other runner that were making ground on other those. i never lost my smile this day,and really got back in touch with howmuch i love the trails and those people in the area that share the same passion. at the 3 mile to go mark, Shannon started to have some asthma issues, but she pushed through as did i. i was a man on a mission i was pushing through all things to finish strong. and i did, i ended up crossing in 6:27 and change, i was thrilled,i may have been able to go faster ,but i was all smiles. i crossed the line and that was that. Another day,another mile, another smile,another successful Ultra.
as i write today, it is already the 27th of January. if this is the ways things are going to go, boy this year is really gonna fly by quickly. so we have had a pretty decent winter of snow storms, and near missed followed by severe melts and brutal wind chills. but nothing has kept me from my goals so far, the long miles on the trails, however have been replaced by the roads and treadmill sessions, and leg speed is starting to come back to me! this is great its something i have not had i a while, but as the weather improves so will the longer mileage runs. speaking of longer runs.....
January 16the The Run for Regis Trail 50K!
i had been looking forward to this run for a while and had taken the last year off from running it, but as luck has it every year i run this race, we have record cold and lots of snow on the ground. this year was no different. (side not though on years i do not run, the temps are usually in the mid 30's and almost no snow on the ground to speak of, i may bad luck to this race but we all have fun). so this year 200 plus people were registered to run this race to benefit a scholarship for a dear friend of the race director. however only approx 50 of us would finish the entire distance. and this is how the day unfolded:
Wake up 5 am to -7 below wind chills and a slight breeze, coffee, dress, all my normal pre race rituals, leave and get checked in at around 630ish. still cold, but man the sky's were clear and you could see the stars, it was a great sight.
killed some time in the car tried to keep warm, finally braved the cold, talked to some peeps and the usually social BS bf a race, that runners and ultra runners usually do.
7 15 race start, and we are off.we quickly think out into distinct groups. i went out cahtting and running with my friend laurie colon, who just happend to be friends and also know s Ray Zahab. so we deemed us team I2P, since we both always sport patches and talk abouthis cause so much to other runners. as i ran with Laurie i didnt even notice my pace, i jsut felt good, first loop 5 miles 51 minutes, then out for hte 8 mile loop this also was a fast loop for me 1 hr 45 minutes. i was still feeling good but split on my own and settled into more of a noraml pace for me. next 5 miles 1 hr 5 minutes. back to the aid station and out for the second 8 mile loop. this is where i went from feeling great to almost failure. i had run with my heart and pushed myself now to the point of OMG what am i doing. mypaced slowed drastically this loop and i dont even recall the loop time. by this time back maria had made it out to cheeer me on, and i and everyone else still running were looking rough. it may have been the sub zero wind chills the 14 inches or snow , the trails, who knows but it was all taking its toll. i managed to regroup and caught some other runners, we all managed to finish but it was not pretty. total time 7 hours 24 minutes, 43 seconds. average mile time 13:45 a mile.
i should not be disaappointed i am super happy, i managed a finish and then later found out only a mear 50 ish peopole finished the whole distance. i also learned that at one point i was running very strong and now know what i need to do to train for a fast 50k and what i truly feels like to push my self to breaking. lessons learned to today were golden, times and memories had and shared priceless. This is why i am a trail runner and ultra runner. it is the memories an experiences that i get from these races that mold whom i am and make me a better person. not the shirts, buckles or awards, dont get me wrong they are great though.
First off, the winter season is in full swing here in NE Ohio and normally this would not bug me or be an issue but we have had three snow stroms now and people jsut dont seem to catch on, we live in a snow belt, we get snow, learn how to drive and cope with it already, its not like we have never seen it before. but the "white stuff" does make everything look so much nicer though no matter what people say. bc i believe that if is winter and gonna be cold we might as well have snow! am i wrong?
Second, my running and Crossfit trainings have been coming along nicely and i am truly starting to notice a benefit from the Crossfit workouts with my strength and also notice i am leaning out and toning up rather nicely. the Running has been lower mileage but to working days and getting home later, but the workouts with my running have been of real good quality so i feel like i am in a good place for the start of january. Next up is the Run for Regis trail 50k that is this coming weekend, projected temps look to be in the low 20's and by that time the trails should be covered by about a nice 12" of snow. Not looking for a super PR this early in the year but a nice showing of consistant mile times would be great, just aiming for 12 to 13 minute pace so nothing fast 6 to 7 hr finish,and i will be excited.
Lastly, last night maria and i were lucky enough to go and see the running documentary "HOOD TO COAST" the story of the Hood to coast realy race in Oregon. this race cover approx 197 mile over 24 hrs, from the top of Mt Hood to the coast by the pacific ocean in oregon. teams of 12 take turns running legs, great motivational story and truely moving. Plus is a major fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. The movie followed four teams ecah with unique challenges to voer come and this proved that humans are truley amazing creatures capable of anything we put our mind to.
I have heard of this realy before but never really thought much of it, but after seeing this , this is now on my bucket list to get a team of 12 together to do, and i would push and strive to do it sooner rather than later. but the race due its popularity sells out and has a lottery like most big events inthe US, so planning will be everything, who know maybe 2012 or 2013 or 2014 i'll have a race recap of that to write about.
also on a side note last saturday SPC cross fit had a fundraiser called Anne's Army, that was to benefit the loss of one of my fellow CF's wifes friends. Not sure on total money raised yet but it was amazing. the way it worked out was: 30 minutes to get as much weight over head or row as many calories on the rower as possible in the allowed time, we wen tin waves of 30 mintues and i was in group 2. 830 am start. I approched this workout this way:
I broke the lifting and rowing into 5 minute rounds of each, i started with rowing then did the the lifitn g portions. i opted for clean and jerk lifts of 70 lbs, bc i wanted a weight i could maintain, this was a truely brutal 30 mintues but so worth the cause. Results: 350 calories rowed which was good for the second most amount rowed, and 14,700 lbs lifted!
i was so proud to see the great turn out of the gym and surrounding crossfitters come out to support this cause, the person this was in honor of may have passed , but her honor lives on her sister and husbnad came out ,and they were in tears. i do think will become an annual SPC Crossfit event.
Lastly, incase i didnt mention it earlier. i was selected to come back to be a part of the BROOKS I.D. program.,but this year was honored with a higher sponsorship level of being accepted into the P.A.C.E program. this stands for Performanc and coaching elite. those selected for this were choosen bc of out success promoting brooks as a brand and our unique and indivdual ways we inspire those people aound us to run and be the best person they can. I am proud to represent Brooks Running, and have great thinkgs planned for me and to inspire daily!
wow, its so hard to believe that 2010 has come and gone, i'm not sure were the time goes but man it seems to go by faster and faster each year, or that could just be me getting older! so here we are in 2011, a year, new chances, new goals and new adventures.
as many people make new years resolutions about health or eating, i did not,but instead choose to make it my goal to better keep my blog up to date and be more active in my local running community. Along with that i was also fortunate enough to be choosen to be in the Brooks ID team again for 2011, and this year got upgraded to the PACE team ( performance and coaching elite) so i am really excited about this and proving myself to brooks and getting the word out about their products and make them a proud supporter of me. Along with Brooks , Kineysis Sunscreen also renewed me as an athlete. really excited about this also, they make a great product with no added harsh chemicals or additives and they do no animal testing. ( had to plug them)
So races and life goals for 2011:
1. keep my health and remian injury free 2. keep plugging my sponsors Brooks and Kinyesis Sunscreen and SPC crossfit, SPC have been a great strength and endurance tool for me and they are the family i never knew i had before. 3. Keep myself and my wife motivated and get her trained for her goal to run and finish her 1st Marathon, this year, Copenhagen Denmark may 2011 4. Run Happy and live happy bc things could always be worse and be grateful for all i have in my life and am able to do.
Also i have tried in the past to be very organized with my blog,but to be true to myself this will be more just a rough ideas and ramblings about what ever is on my mind at the time. so in leaving i hope you all have a great new year and will keep you posted on my upcoming adverntures , lessons and life events, as they develop .