Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
From the race website:
From the start, the course goes north on the Palmetto Trail for 20 miles to a turn-around/aid station at John's Creek Lake, then returning to the finish. Additional aid stations will be located at approximately miles 5/35, 10/30, and 15/25. All aid stations will be well-stocked with a wide variety of food and drinks, plus food at the finish. Mandatory to carry at least one water bottle. There are no cut-off times and each finisher will receive a unique award.
The course is marked with yellow blazes painted on trees, plus orange ribbons and orange flags."
I think the Enoree Passage would be an excellent race to do for a first ultra. I assume that this will be your first ultra? If so, then I would say go for it! Terri Hayes puts on very laid back and relaxed ultra runs and they are perfect for your first. Her aid stations are awesome and she will have one setup every five miles. Oh, and the big draw - No Cutoff times! You can find your pace and adjust it as need be. I love that about her races.
I have run this section four times and it is one of my favorite trails in the Upstate.
There are a few small climbs, but the trail is flat and runnable for the most part. It is very diverse. You will run over three dams, cross 2-4 rivers (via bridge), and pass through several swamps while running on walkways. On the other hand you will run through some thick forest areas and even go through the edge of someone's backyard. I forget that I'm in South Carolina every time I run it.
You will find a lot of first time ultra runners at Enoree if you decide to do it. If you do, be sure to introduce youself if you have time.
Take care & hope to see you on the 9th!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Leopold and I are fairly recovered from the next-day marathon soreness, which simply amazes me. Leopold's post-race status went from "my-girl-scream-reflex-is-broken" to "normal" in less than 48 hours. That is just wrong. He really should be made to suffer longer for putting his body through that ordeal... After my first marathon, I recall not being able to sit, walk down stairs, or do many other things normally that one takes for granted on an every day basis for at least a week.
Still DNF Free?
I suppose I really did not DNF this race after all. Originally, it was my intention to DNF at mile 10, and jog it in to the Half finish with Leopold. Since the knee issue completely stopped when I did, and it did not resume with the walk/ running, I continued on. So really, I just gave up my "race", because not only did I finish the marathon (distance), but when I was done, my Garmin said 29.02 miles. An extra 2 point something when I turned around to start up with the boys, plus nearly an extra mile was added just from the effort of continuing to find the highest, flattest spot on the Trail to run on. I should get an award for the worst tangent running ever!
Thanks, Race Director!
When Leopold finished, he was concerned he may have been disqualified for coming in with my number but his chip. It was clear the RD knew what went down, though. Leopold's Half Marathon time was not posted at all, and his name was attached to my chip time. Also, both Ty and Leopold were included in the Age Group Finishers. Well, done RD! You will be receiving a nice e-mail from me.
I am saying good-bye to Garmin for a while. From now on, I plan to train based on time rather than miles, and perceived effort instead of pace (with few exceptions). I've been meaning to take time vs. miles per week approach for a while. Now seems like a good time to actually implement it.
Next: Longer or Shorter?
I can't decide if I want to cycle back to the 5K yet or, given the 29 miler I ran, find a 50K to cap things off with. How does one even decide on 2 such very different things? Hmmm.. Any thoughts?
[ORN: Obligatory Running Note]: Easy, gentle 35 minutes this morning. I have no soreness at all, but that isn't to say I feel "fresh", either. I'm just relieved the knee issue never turned into anything substantial. I feel like I dodged a bullet on that one. I was already aware of the tight/ sore left hip flexor even before the race. It will come around in time.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Mile 20 -21
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Yesterday, I ran an easy 3-miler on the beautiful Kokosing Trail with Nancy, Ty and Leopold. Considering how my runs have been going lately, I was slightly trepidatious as we set out. However, I immediately knew that I felt GREAT. My legs felt fresh and springy. Amazing! It sent a chill up my spine.
That was yesterday. Today is very low key. Just a lot of relaxing, eating and stayin' off the feet as much as possible. Ssnarfing up the carbs like a rabid Ms. Pac Man.
Also, yesterday: we saw 20 deer and a skunk. Yep. There are so many deer here, we started keeping count. As we gathered around our awesome bonfire last night, roasting marshmallows, we heard a branch snap nearby. We thought we were about to witness our 21st sighting of deer, but lo and behold, the flash light revealed a... SKUNK. Visions of winning my race by default immediately flashed in my brain. Just so ya know, those are not the first thoughts of a normal person when they see a skunk. Hey, I don't care how I win, I thought...
Yes, I am given to flights of fancy. I dreamt I won the 100-meter final in the Olympics, too. Let me be. It's all I have.
So, now we're (and when I say we're I mean Nancy) making dinner, and preparing our race gear for the morning. I'm beginning to get excited. I'm getting some serious good good vibes about tomorrow. I'm strangely relaxed. I'm sure if Nancy had a blog, she's be busy typing away right now, about how she's been feeding me valium in my snacks..
Before I go, a shout out to everyone for their great comments and solid support. All my blogger friends mean so much to me. I feel stupid saying that, but it's true. Earlier, I was thinking about The Sean and LawMonkey, who raced today. Guys, if you felt a sudden jolt of adrenalin, you can thank me later:).
I hope I get to meet the awesome AZ tomorrow. Considering there's 500 people in the race, there's a pretty good chance (because he probably has nothing better to do than to wait a full 45 minutes for me to finish).
Wish me luck!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
When you begin to taper...
1) Run less and less mileage in between key workouts. Eventually, you'll begin to wonder if you're even in shape any more.
2) Place extra, extra importance on the few "key workouts" that are left. Make sure to approach each key workout with the mindset that IF you run it well, THEN and only THEN will you be afforded the " proof" of fitness. Because nothing says FAIL like pressure.
3) Sit back and notice how each progressive workout leaves you more and more stressed and less and less confident. Make sure to congratulate yourself on a job well done.
OK, so I have not done a bang-up job of peaking. Again. It seems that peaking at the right time for a marathon is my personal cross to bear. (Ooooh...nice tie in with the Polar Bears. Did you notice that? Totally accidental).
Looking back on the last month, I really came into my own with MP Intervals on the week of April 5th. I followed up a great mid-week Interval workout with a really great 18-mile Progression Run that turned into a Last-5-Miles-As-Fast-As-You-Can-Run run.
Every week after that week has brought nothing but feelings of being stale, and a growing doubt about being able to sustain goal race pace. This is where I began having anxiety about my key workouts. I've had no good key workouts since that 18 miler on 4/10. It's a toal mystery to me as to the reason for this. Perhaps it's mental. After that great week, I felt as if I couldn't run any better than I was running. Then I made it come true. And THIS is what has sapped my confidence.
Heading into Sunday's race, I know "rationally" that I'm in shape for a good effor. What's missing is the confidence those last key workouts should provide, but haven't.
Yet, you never know.
Perhaps this mindset will serve me well. It might just keep me from making the same pacing errors (over-confident pace) I've made in the past. So, basically, I don't know what to think.
I guess I'll just show up and run.
Perhaps this should be filed under, "I Am In A Weird, Weird Place"?
Reading Adam's post about his boring dreams made me remember this:
I dreamt last night that I was in the Olympic 100 Meters final. (Like I had to preface THAT with, "I dreamt")! I was nervous. My nervous tick of tying and re-tying my shoes to get them to feel "just riiight" was kicking in bigtime, and I was holding up the entire race. Finally, some coach came over and asked me what the HELL I was doing- just line up already, he says. So I line up in some goofy way (come to think of it, I didn't see any blocks...). The coach comes over and physically adjusts how I'm standing, looks at me like I'm a moron, gives me final instructions on what to do, and the gun goes off. I run the race of my life and WIN.
Friday, April 16, 2010
So I followed the standard back up plan for these situations, which is:
The boss says, "You know something, Hung Chow, I really need you today. When I feel like this, I go to my wife and tell her I want sex. That makes everything better and I go to work. You try that."
Two hours later Hung Chow calls again. "I do what you say and I feel great. I be at work soon... You got nice house."
St. Peter was standing at the pearly gates and said to the first man, "Tell me about the day you died." The man said, "Oh, it was awful. I was sure my wife was having an affair, so I came home early to catch her with him. I searched all over the apartment but couldn't find him anywhere. So I went out onto the balcony, we live on the 25th floor, and found this man hanging over the edge by his fingertips. I went inside, got a hammer, and started hitting his hands. He fell, but landed in some bushes. So, I got the refrigerator and pushed it over the balcony and it crushed him. The strain of the act gave me a heart attack, of which I died from."
St. Peter couldn't deny that this was a pretty bad day, and since it was a crime of passion, he let the man in. He then asked the next man in line about the day he died. "Well, sir, it was awful," said the second man. "I was doing aerobics on the balcony of my 26th floor apartment when I twisted my ankle and slipped over the edge. I managed to grab the balcony of the apartment below, but some maniac came out and started pounding on my fingers with a hammer. Luckily I landed in some bushes. But, then the guy dropped a refrigerator on me!"
St. Peter chuckled, let him into heaven and decided he could really start to enjoy this job. "Tell me about the day you died?” he said to the third man in line. "OK, picture this; I'm naked, hiding inside a refrigerator...."
The architect was only marginally impressed, and called for his dog, "Sliderule, come!" Sliderule ran in, and was told to do his stuff. The dog immediately chewed the skeleton to rubble, but reassembled the fragments into a scale model of the Taj Mahal. The architect patted his dog and gave him a cookie.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
That number is 3.
As in, 3, 2, 1... commence marathon.
1. Today -15 miles with the last 8-10 miles at marathon pace.
2. Saturday- 3 x 2 miles at Tempo Pace with a 1/2 mile steady recovery in between.
3. Wednesday- 8 miles, with the last 3 at marathon pace.
Sunday, April 25th is the Marathon.
...Good thing I'm not thinking of the marathon in terms of how cool Chuck Norris is.
QUE THE LIST!
Chuck Norris is so cool he can choke you with a cordless phone.
Chuck Norris Counted to infinity... Twice.
When Chuck Norris does push-ups he pushes the earth down.
Chuck Norris can split the atom. With his bare hands.
Chuck Norris almost got struck by lightning, but then it got scared and swerved.
Chuck Norris doesn't bowl strikes, he knocks 1 pin down and the other 9 faint.
When God said "let their be light," Chuck Norris said "say 'please'".
Put "Chuck Norris" for every answer on your SAT's. You'll score double 800's.
Monday, April 12, 2010
My running is going so well, I'm afraid to jinx it by writing about it. Or thinking about it. Or even doing it. (That explains why I left my shoes at home today when I planned to run after work).
So, today is all about Chuckie. Everything you always wanted to know about Chuck Norris* but were afraid to ask.
22 Chuck Norris Facts
1. Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
2. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
3. Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.
4. The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.
5. Chuck Norris defines love as the reluctance to murder. If you’re still alive, it’s because Chuck Norris loves you.
6. Chuck Norris isn’t hung like a horse. Horses are hung like Chuck Norris.
7. If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can’t see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.
8. Rather than being birthed like a normal child, Chuck Norris instead decided to punch his way out of his mother’s womb.
9. There are no disabled people. Only people who have met Chuck Norris.
10. Chuck Norris can win a game of Monopoly without owning any property.
11. There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.
12. In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone has ever gotten.
13. Chuck Norris invented cancer because he was tired of killing people.
14. In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.
15. Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
16. Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
17. When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a hand gun and a bucket.
18. Chuck Norris has two speeds: walk and kill.
19.When Chuck Norris jumps into a body of water, he doesn’t get wet. The water gets Chuck Norris instead.
20. Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
21. Chuck Norris can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.
22. When Chuck Norris runs with scissors, other people get hurt.
* Go ahead. Insert your name here. You know you want to.
** That means you, lawmonkey.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
I'd also like to send a shout-out to John at Hella Sound. Thanks for the coupon, man. I am downloading as I type! Just so ya know, I have not listened to "regular" music while running since discovering Hella Sound. Awesome!
Joke #3 - Blonde Car Accident
Oe day, while a blonde was out driving her car, she ran into a truck.The truck's driver made her pull over into a parking lot and get out of the car. He took a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the pavement. He told her to stand in the middle and not leave the circle.Furious, he went over to her car and slashed the tires. The blonde started laughing. This made the man angrier so he smashed her windshield. This time the blonde laughed even harder. Livid, the man broke all her windows and keyed her car. The blonde is now laughing hysterically, so the truck driver asks her what's so funny. The blonde giggles and replies, "When you weren't looking, I stepped out of the circle three times!"
This guy comes home from work one day to find his dog with the neighbor's pet rabbit in his mouth. The rabbit is very dead and the guy panics. He thinks the neighbors are going to hate him forever, so he takes the dirty, chewed-up rabbit into the house, gives it a bath, blow-dries its fur, and puts the rabbit back into the cage at the neighbor's house, hoping that they will think it died of natural causes. A few days later, the neighbor is outside and asks the guy, "Did you hear that Fluffy died?" The guy stumbles around and says, "Um.. no.. um.. what happened?" The neighbor replies, "We just found him dead in his cage one day, but the weird thing is that the day after we buried him we went outside and someone had dug him up, gave him a bath and put him back into the cage. There must be some real sick people out there!"
Joke #5 - Blood Test
Two children were sitting outside a clinic. One of them was crying very loudly.
2nd Child: Why are you crying?
1st Child: I came here for a blood test.
2nd Child: So? Are you afraid?
1st Child: No. For the blood test, they cut my finger.
At this, the second one started crying profusely. The first one was astonished.
1st Child: Why are you crying now?
2nd Child: I came for a urine test !
Have a great weekend, all!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I was curious to see how I was going to feel. Up until recently, MP intervals have been hard for me. They've just started to feel "right" in the last workout or two. As I started out, I noticed I did feel good. Yay! I found a really nice groove at about 3 miles. I love it when that happens. I think that's when I relaxed. I was thinking about this documentary I watched with Leopold last night (DogTown and Z-Boys) about the 70's pioneering Zephyr skate team. Their whole thing was to just "feel it", to always be in the moment, not planning your moves but just letting them happen. Skating for them was an extension of surfing, and to be great you had to be relaxed and fearless. It was some pretty amazing skate boarding, for sure. Also some nice carry over to running.
Here's a very young (and very talented) Jay Adams:
So, back to my intervals. I'm into the 2nd interval, still feeling mighty fine, when people begin to appear at the park. Up until now, it had been just me. I began to notice that every time I approached people walking on the path, I would speed up tremendously. It was like, "Oh!Oh! Guy and a dog. Twelve O'clock!" Bam! 7:35 pace. Without fail, everytime I encountered another living soul, I became a race car in the red. I took this as a good sign, and prayed for tons of people to be on my true race course, cheering me on. I ended the workout feeling like I was so ready to race. Isn't that cool?
Also cool- The Asheville Citizens Times is going to run a Boston Marathon Preview article, and they want photos of Aaron Saft for the article. Aaron will be at our elementary school tomorrow, helping fit our kids with running shoes. Long story short, it looks like Aaron will be running with our Blackhawk Boys for the photos. Nice!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Drum roll, please...
Another awesome shirt! Can't wait until Thursday to show it to them. Hope everyone is having a great day, enjoying this hot weather!
I actually thought I might get over these pre-race jitters as I became more experienced with the marathon. Ha! I was reminded by reading Matt's post this morning that pre-race anxiety will never end- nor do I want it to. (Thanks, Matt). It's an invaluable part of the process of learning to master our doubts and fears- to face our innermost selves.
When the gun goes off, no matter how many times you've raced, you take a step into the unknown. All you are expected to do is your best, and that is exactly why it is so intimidating. The pain of doing your honest best is intimidating - you will have to push yourself to your very utmost limit. Facing the possibility that your honest best on race day may not be what you hoped for, after all the work, is intimidating as well.
We all have anxiety and fear, hope and faith that what we have done is enough. That we are, in fact, strong enough to face our inner most selves.
To be continued...
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
First, the jokes:JOKE #1
A dog went to a telegram office, took out a blank form and wrote: "Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof." The clerk examined the paper and politely told the dog, "There are only nine words here. You could send another 'Woof' for the same price." The dog replied, "But that would make no sense at all!"
What's the worst thing about roller blading?
Having to tell your parents you're gay.
A man urgently needed a few days off work, but knew the Boss would not allow him to take a leave. He thought perhaps if he acted "CRAZY" then the boss would tell him to take a few days off. So he hung upside down on the ceiling and made funny noises. His co-worker (who's blonde) asked him what he was doing. He said, "I'm pretending to be a light bulb so that the Boss will think I'm "CRAZY" and give me a few days off."
A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked, "What are you doing?" The guy told him he was a light bulb. The boss says, "You are clearly stressed out. Go home and recuperate for a couple of days." The guys jumps down and walks out of the office. When his co-worker (the blonde) followed him, the Boss asked her, "And where do you think you're going?" She said, "I'm going home too, I can't work in the dark!"
A guy asks a lawyer what his fee is. "I charge $50 for three questions," the lawyer says. "That’s awfully steep, isn’t it?" the guy asks. "Yes," the lawyer replies, "Now what’s your final question?"
How do you make a blonde laugh on a Saturday?
Tell her a joke on a Wednesday.
Hope you laughed at at least one of them!
Now, the movie:
I watched The Long Green Line last night, the inspiring story of York Duke’s 2005 Cross Country season as they seek their record 25th state title in 50 years. The York team has 221 athletes participating in Cross Country- although 214 boys know they will have no influence on the season’s scores, they are moved to participate just to be in the presence of Coach Newton.
Coach Newton's goal of molding young boys into men is a life lesson for us all. He sets the example for these high school runners while instilling dedication, integrity and hard work. These life lessons are what will carry these boys through the challenges that we all face. His "tough love" approach obviously has worked for more than 50 years at York High School. I found my self wishing that I had run for him, although I was fortunate to have a great high school cross country coach.
I really liked his "thought for the day" that he provided to those eager, young minds. I recommend this film to all of my running friends.....
In fact, you can watch the entire movie on hulu here.
I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!
Enjoy the weather, the running, and the racing!
Make sure to wish Georgia Snail good luck in his first ultra tomorrow!