Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pssst... Umstead Signup Tomorrow!


You know about... "Umstead"?

If you think I am referring to the park or the hotel, then never mind. Nothing for you to be concerned about. Move along.

I am talking to you, the runner who does "Umstead" every year and would consider it a tragedy if you didn't get in.

This is a reminder that signup is tomorrow, Monday Nov 29, 8 am.

I don't have to tell you where the website is and where to signup.

With the way races are filling up so fast, let's all keep this on the down-low. Shhhhhh.
No posting to facebook or anything at least until 9am.

Pass this along to you-know-who.

See ya in March.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2010 IOS Turkey Trot in Cary

Of course, we did the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Shannon took a bunch of good pictures, which are here.

NO! STOP! Unless he is getting ready for the ballet, this is a bad idea.

Jason Figge and kids, blasting out the soundtrack to
"The Sound of Music" from the stroller 
For the first time, Shannon edged out Jason in the Female 35-39 age group.

We took home about 20 boxes of cereal.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Inaugural Faust Marathon report

Shannon, me, Jeff, Heiko, Brandy, and Bart

“You guys go ahead, I need to take a leak”, I said, as Heiko, Bart and Jeff wound their way down the trail out of sight.
We were on a section of Company Mill Trail known as “The Devils Spine”

I was grateful to take a break for a few seconds, because my legs were really hurting. This was bad news, because we were only at mile 10 of the Faust Marathon in Umstead Park. The past couple weeks I had been running too many miles and too many races, and my body was telling me to stop.

“Ug. I am not going to make it,” I said to myself. But I couldn’t drop out, because the Faust Marathon was my idea, and I didn’t want to quit something I had talked other people into. “What am I going to do?”

I can help you”, said a syrupy baritone voice from behind me.
Startled, I whirled around, “Who are you?!”
Hello? Horns? Goatee? “ he said pointing to himself, “I’m Satan”

“But why are you here? Why are you wearing spandex and an Ironman jersey?”
“I’m training for Kona”, he said, “I’m doing a brick”.
Apparently, the Lord of Darkness, the manifestation of all that is evil, is a triathlete.

Not surprising, really.

“Anyway”, he continued, “I can get you through this.”
I was understandably suspicious, “And I suppose you want my soul in exchange”

Welllll”, he grimaced, looking down at he kicked some leaves with his hoof. “No offense. But you have no morals or values, really, no virtues of any kind. Your soul is pretty worthless.
“But what I would like… is your right semitendinosus tendon”

“My what? What is that?”

“See! You don’t even know what it is. So you obviously don’t need it.
“And I know this guy who could totally use it. And he has this awesome soul; he does all this volunteer work in Africa and everything. But he just got injured and… ahem… never mind.
“What do you say? You get your 26.2 and I get your right semitendinosus tendon”

I shrugged, “OK. Sure”

“Excellent!”, he handed me a little yellow pill. “Here. 200mg of caffeine. It’ll make you feel a whole lot better."

And it did. In fact, I actually managed to speed up and do the second loop faster. But at mile 25, Satan decided to extract his price. Something behind my right knee started to hurt like hell, and I had to limp the rest of the way.

The rest of the field fared much better, with no reported injuries.

Half Marathon: Jeff Hall
30K: Heiko Rath
Marathon: Anthony Corriveau, Bart Bechard and Brandy Burns
Ultra-Marathon: Shannon Johnstone.

Shannon just had to show off and do a couple extra miles, finishing with 28.2

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FAUST Marathon on Friday

No need to sell your soul, it's free.

Announcing the first quasi-annual...

Fat Ass Umstead Single Track Marathon (or half if you prefer)

Date:    Friday, Nov 26
Time:    8 am
Where: Umstead Harrison Parking lot
Why:    To obtain "unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures".
             Or, as a training run for Uwharrie

First place gets stack of 6 year old, mostly rotted fire wood. (You must pick up)
Last place gets a pair of slightly used Tigram Tentoes


The course is 13.1 miles of single track, including all of Company Mill, Sycamore, and Potts Branch trails. Done twice for 26.2 miles.

1. From the parking lot, start down Company Mill.
2. When you cross the bridge turn right onto the Company Mill loop.
3. After you cross over Reedy Creek trail, turn right and cross over Graylyn into the Sycamore loop
4. Sycamore crosses over Graylyn again, then turn right and go North up Sycamore
5. Take this all the way to Potts Branch trail, where you will make a left
6. Follow this around. Watch for the right turn to stay on Potts Branch
7. Potts Branch just ends at a road. Cross over and run into the picnic area.
8. Eventually you will see 2 drinking fountains. This is about mile 6.5
9. The entrance to Sycamore is there, take that back down all the way to Graylyn again.
10. Jump over to the Company Mill loop, making a right to go counter clockwise.
11. Head back to the Harrison Parking lot and refuel.

Hell of a lot easier to just look at the map:

Hardly a mountain run, but the best we have around here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2010 Raven Rock Rumble

Runners enter the trail at the start of the 10 miler.
Women's winner Leslie Beckwith is in the white shirt.
I have no idea how Shannon got this shot
The Raven Rock Rumble is one of our favorite races, and Shannon and I have run the 10 mile option all four years it has been put on (last year's report here).
Despite this, I managed to make a wrong turn in the first quarter mile.

Shannon had her camera this time (All her photos are here), and managed to capture my brilliant maneuver.
The race starts on the road, and then quickly turns down a narrow, downhill trail.

As you can see above, I was behind the guy on the bike. This means I started out way too fast, because I have no business leading a race. He turned around and said "turn right onto the trail here".
I immediately turned right onto the trail, followed by 4 or 5 guys.
Unfortunately it was not the trail. In fact, it wasn't even a trail at all. I led everyone just straight into the woods.

Me returning from my forest detour
So if you are ever are behind me at a race, don't follow me. Even if I have run the race 3 times before, and I am following the lead bike, and he's telling me where to go, I will still make a wrong turn.

In my defense, the Raven Rock course changes slightly every year, because of construction and maintenance at the park. This year the finish line was moved again, and the course was about half a mile shorter than last year.
Trail races are never exact, and there is no point in comparing them to road races. But if you have run Raven Rock several times here are the approximate distances, based on a poll of GPS watches after each race:

2007: 10.4 miles
2008: 9.6 miles
2009: 10.2 miles
2010: 9.75 miles

Heiko cruising down the steep Fish Traps trail
I met Tom and Matt at the race last year. Last year was Matt's first race ever. This year, he returned for his second race ever. I guess if you only do one race a year, Raven Rock is not a bad choice.
Tom finished in 5th place, and was 7 minutes faster than last year. That's what turning 40 will do for you.

Shannon fell and banged her knee on a rock, scoring a tiny bit of "trail love". She was disappointed with paltry amount of blood.

Rodney on the right. Me on the left sporting the kick ass
Montrail hat Shannon scored as a door prize.
Hard to find a hat that fits my voluminous melon 

Rodney made a triumphant return to Raven Rock, after breaking his ankle at the race last year. He ran without fear, finishing 9th overall. Great comeback Rodney! Congrats!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2010 Misery Run

A happy finisher
This is what Shannon said after last year's Carolina Godiva Misery Run.
She thought being covered in mud and manure was, in fact, miserable.
"I am not running this next year!", she vowed.

So she didn't. This year she decided to stay clean and dry and take pictures of the race. The best 33 photos are here. All 467 are here.

I, on the other hand, think running through the mud and poo is a blast.
So today, as I approached the first cow waste mud puddle, I took a bounding leap into it, literally jumping into the sloppy fun with both feet. In mid air, I saw Shannon crouching down at the edge of the puddle with her camera.

"Ahhhggg! God!", she cried as I splashed with her the disgusting slop. She ended up getting dirtier than I did, which I thought was quit ironic.
"NO! NOT FUNNY!", she later disagreed, "I even got crap in my new cute haircut."
Here is the video she took of the mud pit. I was the 6th person through.

The hay bales were a lot of fun as well. Here are the 3 best hay bale vaults captured by Shannon's camera.

3rd place. Dave with the swing over

2nd place. Bart "Air" Bechard simply hurdling it

1st place. Ronnie Weed with the somersault.

Here is the video of the everyone going over the hay bale on the first loop. I love the bag pipes and dog running by at the end.

New this year was the "Manure Volcano", which is was a huge pile poo with a large hole at the top.
A few people lost shoes in there.

Afterwards, chocolate awards were handed out.
Winners were those that finished closest to their predicted times. Awards also went to the oldest, youngest, first, last and median finishers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Misery Run on Sunday

Guaranteed to be mud
Come on out to Carrboro this Sunday for the The Godiva Track Club Misery run.

Info for the run is on here on the Godiva website.

It's about 5-6 miles of cow pasture, wooded trails, hay bales, mud, and poo. Needless to say a lot of fun.

It's only $5 and you don't need to be a Godiva member. But it's a great chance to see what Godiva is all about.

Can you smell that?

We did it last year, and Shannon took some good pictures, which are here. There is also an article in the Chapel Hill News about last years race.

Despite my strange quad injury I will be attempting to run this. Hobbling the last few miles through cow poo seems appropriate for the Misery Run.

Hay bales are part of the course

Your shoes WILL get dirty. So go barefoot

The course was laid out to illustrate a runner curled up in the fetal position.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Injure Yourself

Despite what you might have heard, it is not easy to injure yourself running.

A cyclist can sustain a spectacular and instantaneous injury by simply allowing a texting driver to run them over.

But for a runner, it takes a substantial amount of effort, patience, and persistence.

Here is a 5 day plan that I have developed for runners wishing to injure themselves. It has been very effective for me. In fact, I used it again this week with great success.

1. Run a race. 
Preferably a marathon or longer, but a half marathon or shorter can work too. The important thing is to run it as hard as you possibly can. Your legs should be completely wrecked.

2.  Next day, go for a run. 
Your legs might be really sore, but push through the pain. Keep running until one particular muscle, tendon, or bone starts to hurt really badly and you can only manage a gimping jog. Run 2 more miles.

3. Failure day
Run far and fast until your body part completely fails and stops functioning altogether. To really hammer it home, try to keep running on it anyway.

4. Rest day
This is to separate general fatigue from a genuine injury. The body part should swell up and hopefully turn purple. You should be limping when you walk at this point.

5. Test day.
Take a test run to verify your injury is real. It might take a few miles, but it should flair up and stop you in your tracks. Congratulations! All that hard work has paid off, you are injured!

Victory March.
Now you will be 3 miles or so away from your house or car.
You will have an hour or more to savor your accomplishment, as you hobble slowly back, possibly freezing. People passing by may offer help, but assure them this is all part of the plan.

Now it's time for a rest. You have earned it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2010 City of Oaks

The big headline was that two of the best named runners in the country competed in the marathon this year, and they ended up battling head to head.

The result was Horsecow Lonac out-kicking Orinthal Striggles for 4th place.

4  Horsecow Lonac       25 Fort Collins  CO   2:34:05
5  Orinthal Striggles   34 Elgin         SC   2:38:31

Local favorite and past winner, Tim Surface, finished in 6th place. This demonstrates that ridiculous colored footwear isn't going to cut it anymore. To compete, you need a crazy sounding name. Or even better, something Kenyan, like "Kiprotich", or "Kipkoech". Coincidently those were the winners of the full and the half respectively.

David Nash looks tired, but running a 2:48 will do that to you.
In other news, Shannon and I both ran the half marathon which was a horrible financial decision. When we signed up, the half was $85 (which is outrageous). The full was $90. So for another $5 we could have doubled our miles.

There actually were demonstrators at the race protesting the high cost. They were holding signs saying "running is for the rich", and comparing the entry fee to other luxury items such as wine and lobster.
While I agree the price was way too high, protesting it seemed a little silly.

Running is actually free. You don't need to run races, you don't even need shoes.

But while running is free, irrational ambition can get quite expensive.

We ran this race because Shannon had missed qualifying for New York Marathon by 7 seconds. She had run a 3:23:07 Marathon in Detroit, which was a huge PR she should be proud of.
Instead she became obsessed with the fact that a 3:23:00 would have qualified her to run New York with a guaranteed entry.

What if she had not stopped to take a one or two of those pictures in Detroit? Maybe she could have shaved off 7 seconds and qualified! So she immediately started looking around for half-marathons she could qualify with.

Never mind the fact that we had no plans or desire to run New York. Don't try to make sense of any of this.

City of Oaks Half Marathon profile, wildly exaggerated 

Anyway, that's how we ended up running this race. She needed a 1:37:00 to make the cut for New York.
It would be a huge challenge for her.  Her PR was a 1:38:35, and City of Oaks is a somewhat hilly course.  Hills make Shannon upset and angry (usually at me).

We studied the elevation profile and worked out a pacing plan:

    0-4:  Run a steady, even pace.
    4-8:  Relax, slow down, take the hills easy, don't get upset about them.
8-13.1: Let it rip!

She needed to average a under a 7:24 pace. But the plan was to actually fall behind that pace on the hills, and make it up at the end.

Shannon got serious and left the camera in the car, and focused on running. How did she do?

Miles    Pace
    0-4:   7:23
    4-8:   7:38
8-13.1:  7:04 (her 5k pace!)

Chip time: 1:36:04

She did it! I am proud of her that she paced herself so well, and trusted that she could make up time at the end.

Afterwards we hung out and talked with our neighbor, Guy, and some other friends. Shannon took some pictures after the race here.

So now that Shannon has qualified for New York, there is talk of running it next fall.
However, she has just informed me that the entry fee for the New York Marathon is $196! WHAT?

I am starting to work on my protest signs now...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Race Schedule

Our race schedule for the next 4 months.
Put this to together to figure out when we can do some long training runs for Uwharrie.

A lot of trail races coming up.

2009 Little River Trail Run 10 Mile race

Sat 11/7/2010Raleigh Half (blech)Road
Sun 11/14/2010Godiva Misery RunXC/Farm/Poo
Sat 11/20/2010Raven Rock Rumble 10 Miler Trail
Thu 11/25/2010Turkey Trot?Road
Sat 12/4/2010Run at the Rock 14 milerTrail
Sat 12/11/2010Triad Trail Series Race #3 maybe?Trail
Sun 12/12/2010Godiva Couch MountainTrail(?)
Sat 1/1/2011Godiva New Years RunEasy Trail
Sun 1/9/2011Godiva Eno EqualizerTrail
Sat 1/15/2011Little River Trail 10 MilerTrail
Sat 2/5/2011Uwharrie Mountain Run 40 MilerTrail
Sun 2/13/2011Godiva Geezer PleezerRoad
Sat  3/5/2011Umstead Trail Marathon  Bridle Trail

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