Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photo Contest Entry List Update

"Fast Track"
Harold Hill

So I finally got all the entries organized. Here is a link to the Picasa Web Album

Here is a link to same album in Google+ (looks cooler).

Click here for the spreadsheet list of the entries I have so far. There are a few missing, but hopefully I will get that fixed.

So far we have 2 judges, so five spots left.

   Below is a slide show. (Sorry it is flash. I hate flash).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

$100 Photo Contest Ends in 23 Days

Your time is running out

You have one last chance to submit a photo for the 2011 Running Photo of the Year contest.

The deadline is December 31, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

I have changed the submission process slightly.  Please follow these 3 steps carefully. If you don't, your submission may be lost
  1. You MUST fill out this formIf you don't, then I will not know who the photo is from. This is because the when the photo is emailed, it goes into a dropbox, and I dont see the email.
  2. Then email the image to this address: 113635732325082234976.contest@picasaweb.com
  3. In the subject line, include: your name, the month, and the title of the image. Don't include anything in the body of the email, because I cannot see it.
I am no longer accepting links. Due to my disorganization, I waited to long to get some of the images and they are gone now. I will try to contact the applicants to resubmit. Sorry about that.


The judging will take place at our usual New Years Eve gathering. Here are the rules that I am making up as I type this:
  • There will be 7 volunteer judges. 
  • There will be a presentation of all of the submissions, along with a discussion of the merits of each
  • Each judge will pick their top three submissions, awarding points.  
    • 1st = 3 points
    • 2nd = 2 points
    • 3rd = 1 points
  • Judges cannot vote for their own photos, if they have any.
  • Points will be tallied up. Top prize is awarded to the most points, seconds place to the next, etc.
  • Any ties will be broken by Shannon and I.
  • Prize money is mailed out first week in January.
Wanna be a Judge?
All ya gotta do is volunteer. Leave a comment here, send me an email, tell me in person, whatever. The next 6 people to volunteer are in. We already have 1 judge.

You will have to come to our New Year's Eve party (which can be painfully dull, we often play Scrabble).
I suppose if you really want to be a judge, but really don't want to spend New Year's eve looking at running photos and playing Scrabble then I'll make an exception.

Current Entries
In the next few days I will make a post with the current entries. I will also be contacting some of you about problems with the submissions.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Run at the Rock

Running On Empty
As Shannon and I were making the drive to our 4th "Run At The Rock", the car was complaining.
Distance to Empty: 20 miles.
A rational response to this is to get gas. Being insecure, I take this as a challenge:
"Oh yeah?", I tell the car, "I bet I can go thirty!"

Which we did. Pulling into a gas station a few miles from Cedarock Park, I reached for my wallet...
Uh oh.
Shannon didn't bring hers either. We scrounged for change in the seats, but only found 10 cents and $15 gift card to Inside-Out Sports. Both useless.

So we decided to push our luck and drive on to the race, tapping into uncharted regions of the gas tank.

Trading Body Parts for Cash
My running this year has been a steady cycle of overdoing it and injuries.
My latest crash was a DNF 3 weeks ago at The Misery Run. I had to quit running after 2 miles because my Turkey Tendon (behind my knee) was threatening to snap in half.
I only managed to get a few 8 miles runs in since then, so it was questionable if I would make it through a hard 14 miler.

But I decided to risk injury because I was doing surprisingly well in the NC Trail Half Marathon Series, mostly because of my stellar attendance record. So I didn't want to miss Run at the Rock, which was the final race of the series.
If I could place in the top seven, I could over take David Roche for 1st place in the standings. Assuming, of course, he didn't show up.

"Damnit! I was hoping you wouldn't show up", I told him, as his mere presence crushed my dreams.
Now I had to live with Shannon besting me once again, as she had 1st place in the series safely locked up.

People get a little crazy during the first mile
Run Like A Bargain Shopper
Like most single track trail races, Run at the Rock starts with a half mile or so of open road. The purpose of this is to give time for runners to settle into a reasonable pace and allow the pack to thin out into an orderly line onto the trail.

But most trail runners approach this first mile like Black Friday Walmart shoppers. At the "GO", I sprinted off like a lunatic trampling several people trying to get to the trail first. Before the first turn I pepper sprayed several people next to me so I could take the corner.

My goal for the race was to average an 8:00 min/mile, but a quarter mile in, the Garmin said I was running a 6:00 min/mile. Despite this ridiculous pace, there was still about 30 people in front of me. In the open field, I made an asshole move and ran outside the couse markers to cut ahead a bunch of them and then hit the trail.

Damn elves 
Out Of Gas
After a mile, the pack thinned out and I was running with just a couple other guys. We splashed through a few small gullies, and clomped through some muddy patches.
I was feeling surprisingly good. My Turkey Tendon and knees felt fine.

So at the 3 mile marker, I stopped being conservative, and let it rip.
I crashed down rocky slopes and charged up the hills. I felt great, but was breathing really hard.
After what seemed a long while, my legs became weak and I was hunched over, gasping for air, trudging slowly up a hill. Almost completely spent, I looked up and saw... the 4 mile marker.

I laughed, because at that point another 10 miles seemed impossibly far. I walked for a while to catch my breath, but was only passed by a couple guys. As I finished the first loop I thought about dropping out, but nothing really hurt, I was just exhausted.

So I ran the second loop more to my abilities. I walked up all of the steep hills, conserving my energy so that I could fly down the other side. My apologies to Brian Tajlili and Dan Bedard, who must have thought I was an idiot.

But the walking allowed me to finally see the waterfall. I have run this race 3 times before, so that means I ran by it 7 times without seeing it. I know why I never look at it though, because just as I did, I took a wrong turn. Damn you, beautiful nature.

I finally made it to the finish line and collapsed in a heap. Yes, this was overly dramatic, but I was really happy. It was my longest run in 5 weeks, my fastest in 2 months, and most importantly nothing broke.

Shannon just keeps getting faster on the trails. She was 3rd female, while taking pictures as usual. Click here for the album. Her speediness has resulted in a decline in photo quality however, as we had to delete about 100 blurry ones. She did get this one of Tim Gautreau's prodigious blisters.

I have to thank Scott for lending us money so we could get home.

Be sure to check out his race report here, as it is absolutely way better than mine.
Oh, and me saying that may or not be part of the terms of the loan.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Up and Running

I was making similar face at The Misery Run for a different reason

Alright, I'm back. I'm "between injuries" once again.
Wow, it's been like six weeks since my last post.
Let's check the running log to see what's been happening with me:

10/15 - Did OK at Triple Lakes, knees feeling better
10/22 - Strained my "turkey tendon" (again) trying to run 18 miles.
10/28 - Quit running, for good this time
11/01 - In a severe bout of optimism, sign up for the Uwharrie 40
11/06 - Ran the NY Marathon... well, in a virtual reality Avatar-sort-of-way
11/10 - Become thankful that my neighbor donated an elliptical machine to us
11/13 - Drop out of the Misery Run after 2 miles when Turkey Tendon fails
11/14 - Never running again. I mean it this time.
11/17 - Become thankful that Sams Club sells Naproxen in bulk
11/20 - Run 8 miles! In great new shoes!
11/30 - Fail to run 8 miles! In crappy new shoes!

So that's been what's happening with me.
Shannon has been doing good. She has the Umstead 100 Miler coming up in a few months and she is giving some serious thought to starting to train for it.

The blog to-do list is really filling up. Here are some posts I'll try to get out this month:
  • Interview with our favorite running couple Jim Hite and Joyce Hodges-Hite
  • Shannon's 1000 mile shoes
  • New "clown" shoe review (?)
  • Call for judges for Running Photo contest
  • 2011 Running Photos of the year selections!
  • Review of the absolute best running accessory ever. 
  • New York Marathon race report (maybe not, could stir up controversy)
  • Run at the Rock race report

Yes, I will be attempting to run the Run At The Rock 14 Miler tomorrow. I have not run further than 9 miles since the Turkey Tendon failure 5 weeks ago, so it who knows what will happen.

Thanks for reading!

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