Thursday, May 17, 2018

Outrun 24 (O24)

O24 had never been on my radar but a friend of mine has had this on his list for a while now. we decided we would get on the wait list and do it together. We both made it into the event but life happens and he was not able to come on race day. This years hard winter and spring made it a challenge to get ready for this event plus I had no idea what to expect out of my Achilles. The event was awesome and though I did not reach my personal goal I was very happy to get 65 miles with NO pain in my Achilles! The following is from my Hammer blog. I know its kind of lazy to just cut and paste it but with a new job I am struggling to find time to document my adventures. I am confident life will even out and my blogs will improve
*********************************************************************************

I went into this event after a great duathlon and Army Physical Fitness test. Given I have fought an Achilles issue for about 2 years I was excited to see how my body responds.

The event is a 24 hour 1 mile loop style race. I had a goal of at least a 100k but really wanted 100 miles. I was not willing to relapse my Achilles though, so I decided that with any twinge I would stop. I took a bunch of Hammer samples to the race director and had him put them in the race packets, he seemed happy about that.

The day was unseasonably warm but clear. I felt good and was fueled well. Really my only concern was that i had not had enough quality long runs. After chatting with a bunch of folks I started getting focused on the task at hand and at 8 am we were off for a long adventure.

I felt great on the first few loops, my crew even gave me a few stern talks about pace, I didnt feel that I was putting in much effort I was just fueled real well. along the way I ran with one of the race directors and a Hammer team mate, which was very awesome. I was on pace for the goal of 100 miles and feeling great.

By late morning the temperature had risen a lot, due to the tough long winter we have not had any warm weather training and the heat took its toll on the field. I was able to stay steady until around the 50k point where my hips started getting really tight. I stopped for a few minutes to stretch and see if I could get them loose but nothing seemed to work. I had only fueled on gels up to this point so I had a Hammer raw energy bar to get a few extra calories in.

The hips didnt get better and as evening set in the temperature cooled but I it was getting harder to take steps. I stopped for 10 minutes to elevate my legs to get blood flowing and took the time to take a nap. When I got moving again I knew 100 miles was not in the cards and decided to get to the 100k point and see how things looked.

At 100k my energy was good but hips were not working well so I did 3 more laps and called it a day. It was a great early season event and I used about 17 hours of the 24 so I was happy. Hammer fueled me the entire way until about mile 55 when it was clear my day would be ending a few hours early, thats when I enjoyed some pizza.

My fueling plan was to have 2 gels each hour and if I need more calories I would use the Raw energy bars. I drank Sustained Energy and used 1 Endurlyte an hour. I also took 2 Endurance amino's, 1 race day boost, 1Tissue Rejuvenator every 5 hours. I used Recoverite and Tissue Rejuvenator.

I am in the 2nd week of recovery since O24 and about 3 weeks out from the Duathlon and I feel great. I will be right back at it on Tuesday to start another training block! Thank you Hammer

#howihammer
*********************************************************************************

Gear:
Hammer race kit
Columbia Montrail Rogue FKT
Swifwick wool socks
Columbia Titan Ultra shorts
Amphipod handheld
Sunnto Ambit2

Fuel:
Hammer Gel
Hammer Sustained Energy
Hammer Raw Energy Bar
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator
Hammer Endurance Amino
Hammer Race Day Boost
Hammer Recoverite
*later in the race Pizza

























#Howihammer #Chaseadventure #hammernutrition #swiftwick #columbia

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Returning to Blog

After a couple years with a website I have returned to the blog, just cant justify the cost of site and hosting.

2018 has brought me my 2nd year of support from Swiftwick socks and Columbia-Montrial as well as my 3rd year with Hammer Nutrition. 2018 Will also be a year that I try some different types of events. I have already done one duathlon, I have another on the schedule. I will also try a triathlon and a 24 hr running event.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of running in the New York Duathlon in Randolph NY. Here is a blog I wrote for Hammer about the event.
*********************************************************************************
This was my first event of 2018. My training has not been on point due to the very tough winter we had so I had a bit of concern about how my cycling would be. I also had an added level of concern since the very next day i would have my Army Physical Fitness test so I had to have some left in the tank for that.

When I got to the park that the duathlon would start I realized that it would be a pretty small event. We had a very cool and wet day, 45 degrees and misty rain then a down pour near the end of the event. This event was a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run.

At 9 am we lined up to start and I came out in about 5th place and worked my way up to 2nd. I am still slow in the transition and came out 5th. I was able to get 2 spots back with in the first 5 miles then a guy on a tri bike blew by me and I fell back to 4th spot. I hammered hard but could not close the gap, the 3 in front of me obviously had spent a lot of time on their Tri bikes and just kept pulling away. I had not been on mine since buying it in Jan so I decided to use my road bike. Over the last few miles I did all I could do to keep close to 3rd place but I could no longer see him.

As I came into transition back to run I had 2 people real close to me and I heard my friend in the back ground saying " come on Rob, hurry up Rob" i had thought she was yelling because I had those 2 in transition with me, I found out later it was because she thought I could catch 3rd place on the run. As I made my way out on the last leg my focus was keeping 4th spot but at about the half mile mark I was starting to see 3rd place and as I was getting closer to the turn around 1st was coming back, a bit behind him was 2nd and by the turn around I had passed 3rd. Now in 3rd place I pushed hard thinking that maybe I had a chance for 2nd. That didnt happen but finishing 3rd in this event in these conditions made me very happy.

The very next day I took the Army Physical Fitness test and scored a 299 out of a possible 300 ( I am normally max it out at 300) but considering what I did Saturday I was very content and I had the highest score in my unit. Thank you Hammer for the continued support and great products. Now on to Out-run 24 in Ohio!

Hammer On

Rob

*********************************************************************************
Gear for race:
Hammer Tri Kit
Suunto Ambit 2
Topo running shoes
Specialized Bike
Specialized Helmet
Specialized Cycling Shoes
Swiftwick Vision Socks

Fuel:
Pre-Race
Hammer Protein Bar
1 Hammer Tropical Gel

During Race
Hammer Sustained Energy drink mix

After Race
Recoverite
Tissue Rejuvenator 


I hope to keep this blog up like I used to and hope you enjoy reading about my adventures. 

Hammer on and Chase Adventure 







Friday, January 22, 2016

Building for another great year and still having fun

     I just finished reading a great article from Andy Jones-Wilkins called Laying the Foundation (http://www.irunfar.com/2016/01/laying-the-foundation-2.html) and it got me thinking about the events I have in 2016. I have a couple 50ks planned a 100k and 1 100 miler in June with a possible 100 in Sept. The June race is the Mohican 100 which I DNFed at last year at mile 75 due to physical breakdown ( pain in right foot and blisters on both feet)  but looking back it was definitely more of a mental issue.

     In 2015 I took a different approach to the "off season" and did a lot of strength training with just enough running to keep my base. This seemed to work well through 2015 as I run more miles than ever, finished the OC100 and had a lot of fun while doing it. I did get a slight case of Achilles tendinitis that I am recovering from but other than that I felt great most of the year. My goal for this off season was to do the same but also add more cross training and move from the weight room for strength training to a more body weight style of strength training. As for the cross training I have added the bike and Jacobs Ladder to the mix a few times each week. 

     Above all I want to keep running trails enjoyable. I dont want to experience burnout or the burden of over training or worse yet peak way too soon for a race. After reading Andy's article I thought about which event was my goal event and the answer is Mohican so I need to plan accordingly, it will be a challenge not to try and peak for Hyner 50k in April or Glacier Ridge in May. I have to keep the focus on Mohican and realize that the 50ks are just a test of my training at that point. I had formed a goal for each that I have now taken back and decided to just do was well as I can without over training for June. 

     This year I will again be getting help in training and diet from Damian Stoy. Thanks to my sponsors ( Hammer Nutrition and Natures Bakery) my fueling will be on point as well. This will be the first full season that I will have a proper diet so I am excited to see where it goes and how fast recovery will be. I intend on keeping the miles quality not quantity because I tend to think the junk miles is where the injuries happen. I am also getting some reading in during this period of down time and a book I have really enjoyed is How Bad Do You Want it by Matt Fitzgerald. 

     As for having fun, well I am covering that part too. Just this last weekend I had some free time and wanted to explore some new trail. I went to the Dolly Sods Wilderness inside of the Monongahela National Forest in the West Virginia Allegheny Mountains. I spent a good part of Saturday running the trails that I could as the Red Creek was raging and I could not safely cross. I had a ton of fun getting to experience the area. One of the highlights was when I had passed a couple hikers heading into the trail as I was heading back towards the car. About a half mile from where I past them I found a water bottle, figured it belonged to the folks I just passed as the bottle was not covered in snow. So I did what I would hope anyone would do, I turned around and ran it back to them, they were very thankful for the effort. The very next day I ran the Moraine State Park trails in PA with a good friend of mine Pat Krott. This was another great day on the trails and made for a great weekend. 




Pat and I eating breakfast just before heading out on the trail




     In closing I just want to remind you to not take training so seriously all the time. Take time to enjoy the trial or the road, whichever you prefer. Don't lose sight of what interested you in the sport you enjoy. Keep your goal in focus and don't peak too soon..... most of all HAVE FUN! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

End of 2015 Update

     As 2015 comes to a close I just wanted to give an update on things.  2015 has really been an amazing year of training and racing, lots of highs and really only one low (Mohican). I have hit a PR in the 50k distance, ran for 100 miles and have cross trained more than at any point since I have been running. I have ran more miles and elevation than at any point as well (currently 2080 miles and near 200,000 feet of elevation gain). I have raced trails and roads, having tons of fun at both. I have been able to volunteer (though not near as much as I should have and will improve next year). I trained with my normal amazing crew and got to meet many new friends on the trail. I have bought a Jacobs Ladder for training when I cant get to the hills and have found it to be amazing. I have been to the highest point east of the Mississippi ( Mt. Mitchell). As I said I had an amazing year.


     2015 did have challenges. At Mohican 100 the top of my left foot started to hurt at mile 21 and got worse as the day went on but in the end the blisters from running in rain for HOURS broke me down to a DNF at mile 75. I also think I developed a light case of Achilles Tendonitis from that race too and had to really closely manage it till after OC100 in Oct. Finding time to train for 2 100's in a year was tough but managed through that as well.


     This "off season" has been great so far. I am still recovering from the tendonitis ( its much better) but training has been fun. I have been hitting the recumbent bike a couple times a week, I have been strength training, running only 18-30 miles a week, and my new favorite workout is a treadmill and Jacobs Ladder circuit where I start on the JL for 2 minutes then go to the treadmill at 8% incline for 2 minutes and back to JL. I do this for a total of 20 or 30 minutes after either a strength training session or after 45 minutes on the recumbent bike.


     Within the last few weeks I have received word from 4 sponsors for the 2016 season. These sponsors include Hammer Nutrition  (http://www.hammernutrition.com), Natures Bakery Fig Bars (https://naturesbakery.com/), Suunto (https://www.suunto.com/en-US/) and Jacobs Ladder (http://www.jacobsladderexercise.com/jacobs-ladder-cardio-machine/). I have one more application out that I have not heard an answer for yet so I hope to be able to update that soon.


     So onward to 2016! I have the following races planned
April -  Hyner 50k
May -  Glacier Ridge 50k or Cleveland Marathon
June -  Mohican 100
Sept -  either Stagecoach 100 or TNF 50
Oct -  OC100 100k
I am sure I will meet tons of new folks and have some amazing training with  the OC crew along the way! Hope you have a great year in 2016 and hope to see you on the trails! Please enjoy a couple of my favorite quotes......


"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.". - T. S. Eliot

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

 




Saturday, November 7, 2015

Black Mountain Range NC weekend Oct 31st-Nov 2nd 2015

     It all started simple enough, I had a class for work down in Hickory NC. Since I was in training for the Mohican 100 I had hoped I could find some trails to run on in my down time. After some research I found that near Hickory there were tons of trails to run. I found the running store there and went in to find out where the trail heads were. I walked into the Fleet Feet store and looked around and the only thing I was seeing was road running stuff. A member of the staff asked if they could help so I explained I was there for a week and wanted to find some trails to run, but since they were road runners they couldn't help but just then Weston Drum came out of the back room and the lady that was talking to me sent me to him.





     Weston filled me in on a bike path right in Hickory that also had dirt trails but he told me about a small nearby mountain called Baker Mountain and a bigger one called South Mountain. He told me roughly how to get to them and invited me to run with his trail group on Wed at the trails in Hickory, We exchanged numbers and I was on my way. The next day after class I went to Baker Mountain and ran. It was very enjoyable but then it happened. I got to the top of Baker and got blessed with a view to the west and saw much bigger mountains. I instantly fell in love with this place and had a need for more of it. I descended and ran some of the lower trails till almost dark then drove to the hotel to plot my next adventure.


     I had decided that I would take my running gear and as soon as class was over Tue I would drive to South Mountain and see what it had to offer. So after class I did just that! I stopped and got a trail map at the welcome center, changed my cloths and I was on my way up the trail. A few miles in there was an amazing water fall that seemed to attract a lot of attention, I just snapped a quick picture and was on my way. The trails were amazing and the climb was fun. I did not have time to get to the highest peak as it was on the other side of the mountain but I climbed up as far as I had time for and oh what a view. I knew then that I would have to come back and run those mountains I can still see off in the distance.


     I did show up to meet Weston on Wed after class and got to meet Jody Gibson. Since only the 3 of us had been there to run we set out. the trails were fun and I learned a lot about the area and those mountains off in the distance. I then found out that the highest peak east of the Mississippi was in this range and its name was Mount Mitchell. From that day on it was my goal to come back and get to the top of that mountain. This was the last I would see of these 2 guys, though we do keep in contact on Face Book and Jody was instrumental in making my future trip a HUGE success. I was truly blessed to meet these 2 and hope one day I can return the favor here at home at Oil Creek State Park.

     After I came home I knew I had to get back to the mountains, I truly loved the experience. I really wish I lived closer to some. But since I don't I planned my return. I knew since I had Mohican in June and OC in Oct it would have to be in the fall. I figured a few weeks after OC would be good and I should be healed up enough to do so. I asked Jody when the mountain started getting snow and he said after Dec things start to be a gamble so Nov. it was and I settled on Oct 31st- Nov 2nd.  Over the next 8 months I planned, bounced ideas and trails off of Jody and got trail maps. I was set to go!


     As luck would have it I also got word that my company was laying off so this trip now had another purpose, check out my companies facility in Asheville NC. Over the summer I spoke of the trip to my friend Adam during our runs and he thought he would like to go so I planned on that, later came his girl friend Heather so now we were 3. During the training build up for OC I mentioned it to my friend Bill and since he is off Mondays it didn't take him long to decided to go with us. So we planned to head out as soon as I got out of work on Friday the 30th.


     The trip down was uneventful but fun. It was tough for us to stay awake and we rotated driving time so we could all get some rest. The plan was to get to the town of Black Mountain and hit the local running store ( Vertical Runner, Black Mountain running store) and then go run the Gray Beard Trail. This peak is at about 5300ft and would be about 8 miles round trip. I got frustrated early due to the group wanting to hike the trail. I ended up just taking off by myself and got to see some amazing views. I had a slight concern with how slow the others were going since it was beginning to rain and getting late. When I got near the top I found a look out that just took my breath away, I had never been at that elevation and all I can says is WOW. When I got to the top the view was amazing as well. I descended back down to meet the group and go back up with them. once there we were going to take a different trail down but since it was getting closer to dark we decided to just take the same trail down. Again they were hiking so I went the rest of the way down alone.








     We stopped for dinner and went to Asheville to get a hotel room. We all got showered and got stuff ready for the next day. Adam and I were going over my plan for the trails to take up Mount Mitchell, thanks to Jody's advice. I did find out later that the route we took is likely one of the most technical in that part of the range, it was tough but also was great training. The other 3 went to sleep but I was not tired, even thought I had not really slept since Thursday night. I chatted with my wife for a bit and finally dozed off and got a few hours of sleep. We woke up and hit the Crackle Barrel for breakfast, huge disappointment. We loaded up and checked out of the hotel and set out on our hour drive to the Crest Trail head. We got started later than planned but didn't think it would be a problem since it was only about 18 miles round trip. I took a Amphipod 20 oz hand held, a few Hammer gels and a fig bar.



    The first thing we noticed on the trail was how large the mountain laurel was, it was the biggest I have ever seen.  The trail was not bad and it didn't seem to steep of a climb. It wasn't till much later that we found we underestimated this adventure.  The trail turned technical really fast and some of the climbing was very tough. As we got further up the trail the views got more and more breathtaking. Being able to look over peaks that just a few hours ago were above us was amazing. We stayed together most of the day, unfortunately this turned into mostly a hike, which made it take much longer but it was cool to share the view with friends. One of the first WOW moments came as we came around a corner and had seen a huge fairly flat rock that looked wet and slippery while taking it easy getting up it I looked right and the mountain opened up to a unbelievable view.








 





   As we crested peak after peak we did come upon hikers several times, we chatted with them then moved on. The trail got more an more difficult to climb, It was hard but amazing. I was amazed at all of the views and the nature, I have never experienced anything like it. We came upon a climb that someone must have thought was too tough so they anchored a rope to assist, we had fun with it but the climb really was not that hard. After a bit of time we heard voices again and came upon a couple more hikers at the peak of Big Tom, 6580 ft with an awesome view. We could now see the top of Mt. Mitchell and the hikers told us we were about 30-45 min from the top. As we go real close we found a couple rustic cabins and picnic tables, crossed the road and up a few steps, passed the ranger station and up a paved trail to the top! It was very overcast but we got what we came for and it was time to descend.  I was getting concerned because I was running out of food and water, the water source at the top was turned off, for winter i assume.


   





  It took some work to find the trail back down but after a bit we did find it, it was now starting to get dark and we had a long way to go. We moved fast to use up as much daylight as we could but we were not going to get to the bottom before dark. Thankfully 2 in the group brought a light source so we paired up and turned on the lights and pushed forward. the trail was not technical at all. More than a few times I questioned if we were on the right trail and it was getting later and later. I had long since run out of water and was saving my last gel, thankfully it was not hot and we did not push it hard when we were heading up so I was still good to go. After hours we finally hit the road.

     I had directions for the road to get back to the car but Bill said he had it memorized so we went with it. Well it turned out he had it backwards so we got a bit extra time on the feet, made our correction and after many hours we were back at the car with many great memories.  The plan was to head towards home when we were done but the other 3 wanted to get a hotel at this point. We went to the closest town and tried to find some place open to get some dinner, only place was McDonalds so I passed on it. We got a room and slept a few hours ate breakfast and then got on the road to head home.




     Great trip over all. I plan to go back and do some more of the Black Mountain trails!

What I learned:

  • dont plan on a time frame on trails you dont know
  • make sure goals of the trip are clear with whoever is going along, will save a lot of unneeded frustration 
  • bring more wholesome food on the trip
  • carry more Hammer gels than you think you will need. 
  • the mountains are more enchanting than I thought





Thursday, October 15, 2015

OC100 October 10th 2015

 

  The OC100 is an Ultra Marathon event held in October on the Oil Creek State Park trails in Titusville PA. The event consists of the 100 mile/100k/50k events. Most say and I agree the event has the best aid stations in trail running along with the best volunteers. the race director is a real class act, he works tirelessly on this event and is at the finish line to greet every single finisher and hands them their buckle and the coveted OC100 sticker.


     There are 4 aid stations in this race and 2 are crew accessible. The race headquarters, start/finish line and aid station 4 are at the Titusville middle school. The Friday prior to the race there is a dinner at the school along with packet pick up. Lodging is limited in town but you can pitch a tent on the school grounds or just roll out a sleeping bag in the school gym ( lights out at 9 PM Friday). But you can also stay in near by Oil City if you cant get a room in Titusville. There are no running stores in the area so make sure you bring everything with you.

     The race consists of loops on a 50k course and the 100 mile runners will have an extra 7ish mile loop (going home loop). This is run primarily on the rocky rooty single track of the Gerard hiking trail inside of Oil Creek State Park. Each loop has about 4600 feet of gain. You will see relics from the oil drilling era of the 1860's along the course.

     I have run the 50k and dropped from the 100k event here and swore I would never try the 100 miler. I train on these trails and know how they grind you up, I wanted no part of it. However my June 100 miler at Mohican didn't end the way I would have liked and since I was signed up for the 100k I sent an email to the RD and asked for an up grade since the 100 miler was not sold out. I now had another chance to prove to myself I could go 100 miles.

Unfortunately I don't have as clear of a memory of this race as others, so this may not be as detailed as in the past.

     Since I had a base built up from Mohican my training would not have to be as demanding as the build up to Mohican, I just needed to get more gain weekly and maintain my fitness. I have been working with Damian Stoy most of the year on my training and diet and he helped me work up a great training plan that I pretty much followed to the letter. I did a lot more body weight strength training during this cycle which was great because I didn't have to go to the gym, I worked on it right at home. I also included my new Jacobs Ladder on strength days, which was a huge help in climbing hills.


     As the race was nearing I was getting heel pain and figured it was the Achilles tendon, so that would be something I would have to manage over the 100 miles, but was confident I could get it done without any major issues. I had no crew and the pacer I had lined up backed out. Pat Krott and I were talking and he didn't have a crew or pacer either so we decided to just run it together like a 100 mile training run until one of us dropped the other. So now the plan, training and location were set, only thing left was I just had to get it done.


     On Friday we went to the school for the dinner, my wife came along and she worked at aid station 3 on Saturday. After eating and picking up my packet we went to the hotel and hoped to get to bed early, as I only slept about 3 hours before Mohican and I didn't want to do that again. Pat stayed in our room, and while getting things ready for morning we watched Unbreakable: Western States 100 because its awesome and motivating. He and Denise fell to sleep around 9 or so, I know because they both snore VERY loud. I tried to sleep but could not, I laid there till at least 12:17 AM ( last I looked at the clock). I did get some sleep but got woke up around 2:40 to the shower in our room, Denise got up first to get ready, I fell back to sleep till about 3:30 when the alarm went off.

     We got our gear on and went over to the school got our race instructions and were ready to go. At about 4:50 everyone started moving towards the starting line and at 5 it was go time. Since the plan was to stay conservative early we settled near the middleish of the pack, may even have been towards the back for all I know.... it was dark (HA HA). So we start out on the 1 mile of black top bike path from the school to the trail head and as always the slinky effect started on the first climb right at the trail head. this did get better quickly as the packs started to form up and the hill separated folks some. Section 1 ends up around 7.5 miles to the aid station, which was awesome they had lights strung on trees as you got closer to the AS. We were in and out pretty quick after saying hello to everyone there ( nice running on your home trail) and started up the switchbacks that start section 2.

     While in Section 2 it stated getting light and we could see that Autumn was starting to take over Oil Creek and the green woods were becoming a mix of greens, yellows, and orange. Thankfully the leaves had not fallen much yet and the trail was pretty clear, well except for the rocks and roots that is. This section has 2 big climbs one of which is the switchbacks at the beginning the other is known as the never ending hill but they are both pretty early in the section and the rest is very runnable. Section 2 ends up being about 6 miles. As we came toward the end of the section there is a set of steps that are fairly tough to climb and I said to Pat these are gonna suck on the 3rd loop aren't they, of course he said yes. As we exit the trail we head down a dirt road towards AS 2 (crew accessible) and find our drop bags, get some food, fill our bottles and grab some Hammer gels. I dropped my head lamp, long sleeve shirt and buff but put on a visor and we set out for section 3.

     As we started on our way to section 3 we had seen a couple of our friends come in that I didn't figure would be near us but they looked to be in good shape and not pushing hard. As with every section at OC, we started the climb up into section 3. Section 3 is the longest of the 4 at 9ish miles but the local Boy Scout troop sets up at Cow Run Camp Grounds with water and a Ham radio, and that is about 5 miles in. Most of section 3 is very runnable, which is nice because you can really make up time if you need it but its so long it seems it takes forever to get through it. I really enjoy the section except for about 1.5 miles of it near the end. its a huge climb with most of it in what seems like a creek bed, thankfully it was dry. Once to the top of that hill though its pretty easy going to the aid station. The last bit of section 3 is a technical decent to a dirt road that you run down hill on right to the aid station. This happens to be the one my wife was working at and again we knew all the volunteers which makes it nice. We ate, filled the bottles, grabbed more Hammer gels and we were off to section 4 but as we were leaving the aid station my friends Bill and Tiffany were hot on us again, this time I talked to Bill. I said how far a head of your plan are you he said 40ish min. so I said isn't that about how far a head you were last year and he said yep. In 2014 Bill went out too fast and paid for it in the end with a DNF by not making a cut off. He assured me he felt good, I was worried for him but I had myself to think about so off we went.

    Section 4 starts with a climb named cemetery hill, there is a cemetery on the hill, dating back to at least 1812. During this climb is when my heel really started to bother me. after we ran through a good part of section 4 I had to sit down and do some massage work on the Achilles to relieve the pain and tightness. I made the decision at that point to stop every 5 or 6 miles and hit it real quick to keep it at bay and not have it impact the run. At the end of section 4 we came out to the black top road and crossed the tracks to start what is known as the Drake Well loop, which is about a 1 mile loop around Drake Well and along side Oil Creek back to the tracks and to the bike trail back to the school for the end of lap 1 and AS 4. Before we were able to leave Bill had come in right behind us again, I talked to him and he said he still felt great so that was good to hear.

     We got some food, addressed any thing that needed it, like my heel, got our gels and were on our way back out the bike path to start the 2nd loop. The 2nd and 3rd loop follow the same line as the first loop. Section 1 was pretty uneventful we just kind of moved a long at a slow pace  put still within my personal goal, stopping once to hit the heel. We came into AS 1 and it was not too busy at all, we just got what we needed and started the climb up the section 2 switchbacks, and on to the never ending hill. It had become a great day, sun was shining and it was in the mid 60's, perfect for what we were doing. Some time in section 2 my knee started to hurt a bit, I think it was compensation due to my heel issue, but it wasn't bad. We got to the steps that I spoke about above and they were a treat, I could only imagine how loop 3 was going to feel. We came in to AS2 which had some activity but not too busy and we grabbed our drop bags as it was late evening at this point and starting to cool. I grabbed some trail mix and a couple fig bars to eat later put on a dry t shirt and long sleeve shirt, a buff and my headlamp. We got some food and I addressed my heel and knee for a bit before heading back out. On our way out we did see Tiffany but no Bill.


     As we were climbing the hill into section 3 we heard the familiar WHOOOOO from Bill, he was still not far behind us.  Section 3 seemed much longer this time and it was nice to get to Cow Run and take a bathroom break. We finished section 3 a bit behind but well under cut off so there was no concern, just running easy. I think we were in and out of AS 3 pretty quick and into section 4 again. During this climb my knee was really starting to bother me, I took some fish oil in hopes of keeping it reasonable. It seemed to work ok, but it was getting colder, and I was getting sleepy. We got through section 4 pretty fast and I was on the lookout for zombies. Zombies as I found out from Pat along the way since dark were the folks that were in rough shape and could hardly function. We got into AS 4 around 10 PM, still on pace for a 28-29 hr. finish. We spent some time here ate some soup, addressed my heel and knee. Oddly Pat was having knee issues as well. I had 2 cups of soup and 2 cups of coffee. We got out of there in about 20 ,min, which was far too long but much needed.  We started the 3rd loop and somewhere early in section 1 I could hardly keep my eyes open, it was crazy. Pat was having the same problem so rather than get injured stumbling like a zombie ourselves we thought lets nap for 15 min. Pat set his watch, we pick out our spots just off the trail and too a nap. All of a sudden someone is waking us up....... it was Bill. Its funny now but man I lost 5 min of sleep. He introduced us to his pacer and new friend from Canada.

     We hiked with them for a bit but wanted to start running, so we went around and really started feeling good. The nap was a huge success! We had passed a few folks rather quickly and one guy said " Hey you guys woke up" and we all laughed then we never seen them again, maybe they took a nap. We got to AS 1 for the last time and took care of what we could and ate. I had a bunch of strawberries, which were awesome. The climbs in 2 were rough and seemed far longer than earlier in the run. I don't recall passing anyone in section 2 but we might have. The hellish steps were tough but it was the last time I had to deal with them and I was thankful for that.  AS 2 was buzzing and we got to see Allison ( Pats girlfriend) which lifted out sprits, she crewed us there and I ate whatever fresh  fruit I could find. I took a trick from a friend and laid on the ground and elevated my legs on a picnic table while I ate.  We took a while at this AS as well, but it was needed. We had heard that Tiffany was not feeling well and she had slowed down considerably. We got out of there after far too long and started the climb up into section 3.

     Section 3 was LONG, wow it was a huge mental challenge and physical beating. Towards the end of the section Pat had his lowest low of the night, we managed everything pretty well but it was tough. We came into AS 3 and there was a few folks at the fire and another set of people just taking of into section 4. We ate and sat down for a bit, I did close my eyes and slept for like 5 min. Pat called out to me and we went into section 4 and started the cemetery hill climb for the last time. Section 4 took a while, we were beat but we got it done. The sun had come up during this section, which was nice and it was another great sunrise with a blue sky. We got the Drake Well loop done and headed down the bike path, mostly walking it as the black top was putting a beating on me knee. We came into AS 4 to both Denise and Allison. We dropped some gear ate real quick, filled the bottles and got out for our last 7ish miles. Once we got into the trail I felt pretty good and kind of took off a bit, we passed a good number of folks so that was very cool at that point. We took out time the rest that loop, all we had left was the last climb of the day. Its called the Hill of Truth, very long and at 95 or 96ish miles it was very tough. But once we got to the top it was a couple small rollers but over all down hill and 1 mile on the bike path ( which we walked most of) and crossed the finish line at 30:23. Much slower than planned but the over all goal was to make it, which we did.
      It was amazing getting the 100 miles done on the home trails with so many friends at the finish line, I will not soon forget that finish!
















What I learned:
  • A nap isn't a bad thing and could save your day
  • eating fruit as much as possible is very refreshing
  • 100 miles is a long way
  • seeing 2 sun rises within the same run is pretty amazing
  • not changing socks and shoes if what you have is working ( learned at Mohican, tested at OC)
  • have a plan but prepare to toss it out, don't be a slave to the race plan, take what you can and let the miles come to you.
Gear:

  • Suunto Ambit 2 watch
  • Montrail Mountain Masochist II
  • Injinji sock liners
  • Ice Breaker socks
  • Race Ready shorts
  • Nike Long Sleeve shirt
  • Hanes long sleeve tech shirt
  • Nike short Sleeve shirt (2)
  • Pearl Izumi wind breaker
  • 20 oz Amphipod handheld
  • Buff, and Half Buff
  • Sugoi visor
  • Pearl Izumi gloves
  • Nike gloves

Food and Nutrition:

  • Hammer Endurolytes - since the temps stayed low I only took about 1 every 3-4 hours
  • Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps- took 2 each loop
  • Fish oil as a pain reliever
  • couple Tylenol on the 3rd loop to help with pain
  • Aid station foods- fruit, pizza, grilled cheese, spinach wrap 
  • 25-30 Hammer gels
  • 3 Natures Bakery fig bars
  • trail mix
  • 2 bottles of Perpetuem through out the day