Next Up (or down, I’m not really sure)

I know everyone has been on pins and needles about what race I am going to run next (OK, NOBODY has been on pins and needles (for one thing, that’s painful (like this blog))). So truth in advertising, it’s a big yawn about what I will run next, but hey, you are already here, so why not find out. I’ve decided on Sole Challenge  in Chambersburg, PA over Memorial Day weekend. I haven’t decided if I will run the 6 HR race or the 12 HR race (though in a rare fit of smarts I won’t run the 24). Normally I would go for the 12 Hour race (to the degree normal and 12 hour race can be used in the same sentence) but I wouldn’t get back home until after midnight (and hotels nearby are booked or outside my price range). Camping is an option, but if you are thinking that The Pig and camping may not be the best option in the world, you and the Chambersburg Police would likely agree.

So because of that I am leaning toward the 6 hour race, but I am keeping my options open for the 12 if it strikes my fancy (and I have a big ass fancy).

The Sole Challenge will be a nice weather simulation for Javelina Jundred (80s, no shade (although Javelina can get up to 105 deg F (or for my Canadian readers, hotter than hell)). The course itself is 1 and 1/2 miles paved loops which will make being self crewed (or as they say in the ultra world, self screwed) easier and I won’t have to wear a hydration pack.  The race will also will give me a chance to try out a new hydration strategy (or a new dehydration strategy as the case may be).

So that’s the big news. You can get off the pins and needles (or stop yawning, the weekend is coming up).

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

Someone feels the quality of this blog post is way below average

Someone feels the quality of this blog post is way below average and is trying to hide

 

What Golf Can Teach Us About Running

When I was a kid my Dad would take me with him golfing. I would just follow along with my Dad through the course and when he would hit the ball and I sprint to where the ball landed (not realizing at the time that I was doing intervals).

Later in life I actually starting playing golf (though I have long since stopped once I determined that if I wanted to feel like an idiot, I could go swimming).  I was thinking about golf the other day and thought about things that runners can learn from golf (well other than celebrating at the 19th hole).

Patience Matters

Rushing your golf swing usually results in disaster (or a trip to the woods to find your ball).  This is very similar to starting out too fast. Patience matters.  (Yes, I am well aware that I almost always start too fast. I also rushed my golf shots. Your point?)

This is a building in Boston. It has nothing to do with either golf or running. Somehow I am guessing you are not surprised.

This is a building in Boston. It has nothing to do with either golf or running. Somehow I am guessing you are not surprised.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Golfers spend a lot of time on the range honing their shots (or in my case trying to hit the vehicle that is picking up the golf balls).  Golfers practice with purpose with a specific club for a specific result.  In running, have a specific purpose for your training runs.

Go the Shortest Way

Golfer know that more often than not, going the shortest way is best way to keep your score down.  For runners, it’s running the tangents instead of weaving in and out and taking the turns wide.

Going Long is Sexy

I’m talking about golf. Get your mind out of the gutter. Most golfers spend a disproportionate time practicing with their driver. Why? Because distance is sexy, much like your weekly long run (or a 50 miler if you are missing a few screws like I am).

But it’s the  Short Game that Matters

I am going to tell you a secret about golf. If you want to reduce your golf score, practice your putting and pitches from 60 yards and under? Why? Because that is where you spend most of your time on a hole. For runners this translates to more speed work, tempo, and steady state work.

Now, we all can go to the 19th hole to celebrate.

Later,

Marsden

You made it through another blog post of mine, you deserve a cupcake!

You made it through another blog post of mine, you deserve a cupcake!

The Way Forward

So I’m back from Boston and it’s time for me to buckle down and start training for Javelina Jundred (juh? (the start of j/h jokes)). One of the big reasons I ran the 50 miler at Umstead was to try to determine if I had a realistic shot of completing the Javelina Jundred within the 30 hour time limit.  The Umstead course is of similar difficulty as Javelina, though Umstead is a bit easier (if you look at the finishing time between the two races).

In general for mere mortals (or sub mere mortals in my case) on a looped course like Umstead, the 2nd 50 miles of a 100 miler will take 1.3-1.5 times longer than the first 50 miles. There are exceptions to this, but it is a generally a good rule of thumb (as opposed to the rule of middle finger I use during driving in the DC area).

Taking account the difference between the courses, my 50 miler time would translate to 26 1/4 to 28 1/2 hours in 100 miler. This would provide some margin for a 30 hour cut-off but one trip to the medical tent for a bad blister, or having to stop at aid stations a few times for heat or cold related problems can suck up an hour a half without any problem.

I don't have a picture related to the post so I will distract you with flowers. For those who miss it, Flowers for Friday

I don’t have a picture related to the post so I will distract you with flowers. For those who miss it, Flowers for Friday (if you are reading this on a different day, well just be like me when it comes to trail running and fake it)

I realize there are certain flaws in this logic. For one I ran Umstead as a 50 miler, not as first half of a 100 miler.  I am hoping this is countered by being in better shape and better equipped come October (and I also hoping for a pony, but such is life).

So, the good news is that is looks to be possible. Probable? That will depend on what happens in the next 27 weeks.

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

 

Boston Marathon (2016)

OK, the title is a little misleading.  I didn’t run THE Boston Marathon. However, since I was up in Boston supporting and cheering, I figured while I was at it, a could run A Boston marathon. Since I don’t get many shots at running in Boston anymore since my parents moved away and the odds of me ever qualifying for THE Boston Marathon is about equal to my odds of being People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive (for those who haven’t seen my selfies, zero odds). So in the spirit of my Richmond Marathon/8K make your own 50K (feel free to click the link and read about that adventure, I’ll wait for you to come back). I figured I would make my own marathon with a more relaxed qualifying standard (and since this is me, by relaxed standard, I mean no standard at all).

I am still somewhat recovering from my 50 miler (an excuse I hope to use until 2032 unless I run a longer distance between now and 2032), I figured I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) run 26.2 in one day, but I could split it into three runs easy enough (and in the end between running and walking I ended up with 54 miles which isn’t bad for three days work).

Day 1 (14 miles)

If I ever want to feel even slower than I am, I can always try running along the Charles River the Saturday before the Boston Marathon.  Even doing slower runs, everyone was blowing by me like I was standing next to a Merry Go Round.

I was hoping this would make me faster. No such luck.

I was hoping this would make me faster. No such luck. I’m betting Meb doesn’t do decaf.

If you ever find yourself in Boston, the paved trail by the Charles River is a great place to run and sight see, I ran down to the Science Museum, and then back the other way down to Harvard and then a few laps around there and made my way back.  I had originally wanted 15 miles, but the wind was howling off the river, I had on short sleeves and finally decided I had enough.

Guess who slept in

Guess who slept in

Day 2 (5 Miles)

I ran Day 2 and was back on the Charles River trail after a jaunt on Commonwealth Ave (more on Commonwealth on my Day 3 running).  It was shakeout run day for 30000 runners and half of them seemed to be on the trail.  I went the less traveled direction (from Mass Ave toward Harvard for anyone who cares).  It was a short run (5 miles) and I got to see Des Linden out for a run (do I really need to confirm she is faster than I am?). The main eventful item was that Shalane Fanagan was leading a shakeout run and was high fiving people as they went down the pedestrian ramp that led down to the trail.  Since there was a ton of people I was trying to run against the current so to speak and didn’t notice her until the last second. More specifically I only noticed she was right in front of me and if I didn’t stop I was going to run into her, Fortunately I was able to stop and not run her over (I am guessing that running over a popular Olympian  would manage to make this blog even less popular).

Day 3 (7.2 miles)

The predawn hours the day of the Boston Marathon are magical.  Mostly because all the runners haven’t started to make their way to the bus yet and you have most of the city to yourself.  One of my favorite places to run is down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue where there is a nice park in the middle with a series of statues.  It is relatively short (around 3/4 of a mile) but if you run Boston Common, up through Commonwealth, over to the river path for a bit and then make your way back it shows off a lot of Boston.

It's nicer than this picture suggests

It’s nicer than this picture suggests

Maybe I should get out of the street.

Maybe I should get out of the street.

So I finished my three-day marathon and happened to be right at Wired Puppy so it was a great excuse to refuel before a day of watching the real Boston Marathon.

 

Sure, he shows up for caffeine and carbs

Sure, he shows up for caffeine and carbs

Later,

Marsden

Fast

Fast

Also Fast

Also Fast. Great viewing of runners where I was on the course

 

Watching Boston

My father is a big fan of the Boston marathon. My parents lived in Boston for about 10 years and each year my Dad would go out and cheer the runners of the Boston marathon.  He would cheer the fast runners and would stay through the regular runners as they passed through.

He went out in years where is was raining. He went when the weather was hot. He watched when the winds would howl off the water and make things totally frigid.

Des Linden turns noticing a disturbance in the running force caused by my proximity

Des Linden turns noticing a disturbance in the running force caused by my proximity

One fall he was out to dinner with my Mom and he collapsed and almost died. He spent several weeks in intensive care, several months in rehab, but come April he was out there with his cane cheering each runner and they went by where he was standing near Kenmore Square.

Tomorrow I will watch the marathon and I will probably watch it at the same location my Dad watched it,

My Dad is still alive and gets around well.  When I called my parents yesterday he told stories of about watching the race and mentioned that he would be watching the race on TV.

That is the power of running.

Later,

Marsden

I have my own Boston Finish line

I have my own Boston Finish line (cookie version)

Upon Further Review

Sometimes when you get ready for a race everything goes smoothly and, if you are me, you end up showing up an hour earlier for a race than you intended because all the time you have built in for something to go wrong.

My last race started at 6:00 AM and the gates to the park opened at 4:45 so I didn’t build much extra time in my schedule. So when it was around 4:15 AM when I started to leave except I noticed I was missing one minor item.

I was missing my Garmin

Now you would think that there are a limited number places I could hide my Garmin.  I tore apart the room, look under the bed, under couch cushions and even looked in the refrigerator (OK, I was panicking at this point). Finally it was past 4:30 and I needed to get to my car so I could get to the site and get a parking place. So, I finally decided I would use my backup watch (a Timex). I went to the bathroom (hey, stop watching this is private). There was one place that I hadn’t looked, and I decided I would check.  Of course when you are looking for something it is in the last place you look.  Wonder where it was? (I hope so if you are still reading this).

I am increasing the tension by throwing in a picture and delaying the reveal.

I am increasing the tension by throwing in a picture and delaying the reveal.

It was in the shower

Why was my watch in the shower you ask? (well, you are actually going “What an ‘effing idiot” but I am going to ignore that for the moment).  What had happened was that I went into the shower to spray on my sunscreen (less messy that way) and took my watch off to be able to spray my wrists as well. Since I did that at 3:30 in the morning (not my finest hour let me assure you) I completely spaced out on where I put the watch.

I’m never getting a genius grant am I?

Hope everyone has a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

Conspiracy Theories

When I placed first in my age group in the 50 miler at Umstead most people were happy for me.  However, for some people, it caused a seismic rumbling in some people’s basic belief system of how the universe should work (heck it surprised the heck out of me but I have more of a reason to buy into the surprise).  However, instead of accepting a new reality and moving on, there are conspiracy theories popping up on just how I was able to win the M 50-60 age group (AKA “Old enough to know better”). I would say that conspiracy theories are what happens when you live in your Mom’s basement and have watched everything Netflix has to offer, but I will refrain from such comments (#sorrynotsorry). Here is a sampling of the conspiracy theories.

There is no way your ran that fast, I bet The Pig ran for you

I will admit my PR at Umstead was faster than I had run 50 miles before (I would say “duh” but I sense I may need to explain the obvious to conspiracy theorist). However, it was only by 5 minutes and my previous PR which I ran during a 24 HR race when I was trying (unsuccessfully it turned out) to leave something in the tank for the 2nd 12 hours of that race. In fact the three times I have gone 50 or more miles, the 50 mile times are within 15 minutes of each other.  As for me having The Pig run in my place, there is one problem with that theory:

OK the number doesn't really fit all that well and would show up in the race photos

The race number doesn’t really fit all that well and would show up in the race photos.  I think that races need to be accommodating with smaller race numbers.

There is no way your time is a AG time, I bet you hacked the site

I have to admit there is some luck in this one. If it had been the previous year I would have only been 4th in my age group. Also, if I was in any group other than 0-9 or 110-119, I would not have been first (and frankly there was a 6 YO who if it wasn’t for soccer practice probably would have smoked me). Where I really was fortunate that the fast 50 YOs completed the 100 miler and didn’t end up in the 50 mile category.  Theoretically even if I had the skills to hack the site, I think they would have put everything back in place.  In the end the race results are the race results, so you are going to have to come up with a better conspiracy.

There are no pictures of you from the race

Yes there are pictures of me on the Umstead website.  However, I realize you can’t really admit to looking for pictures of me all hot and sweaty. Heck, I barely admit to it.

Nobody remembers you at all

Pot-Kettle Kettle-pot.

You hired a hitman to eliminate your competition 

 Uh, this would require me to eliminate over 20 people. I think someone might have noticed that.  Well I guess I could have eliminated them as well, and that is why this theory sucks.

You are a master of the dark arts and froze time while you ran

Thank you for giving me an idea for my next blog post.

You are an alien and used your space ship to cut the course

I think I hear your mother calling.

Later,

Marsden

Tiptoe through the tulips

Tiptoe through the out of focus tulips

The cold weather explained

I bet everyone is wonder why the spring weather has turned cold recently here in the East Coast.  Well, it’s because hell has frozen over.

I won my age group at Umstead in the 50 miler category

I’ll give you a second to pick yourself off the floor.

Let me answer your first question, yes there was more than one person in my age group (my age group should be called “Old enough to know better”). Let me answer your 2nd question, yes, all those people were alive at the finish of the race (though I will admit that at my age, most of my age group has tombstones). As for your 3rd question, it might just be best unanswered.

So why am I telling you this a week after the race?  I suspected that it was a possibility that I at least placed in my age group when I looked at the number of people who stopped at 50 miles (which doesn’t include those who ran over 50 and under 100) and I was 7th of those runners.

OK at 50

OK at 50. Roughly 7/44 of the people who stopped at 50 miles. Just a reminder that Marsden is my middle name (and all this time you thought it was trouble)

Now I knew that most of the faster runners were going to be in that over 50 mile category (including the winner it turns out who ran 100K). So I decided to look at all the 50-59 males in the race to see how they did.  Most of them did quite nicely—at 100 miles fortunately for me.  I crossed them off one by one until I was fairly sure I was the top 50 male. But I decided I wasn’t going to say anything until the official combined results came in because it would be embarrassing as hell to say I won my age group and then find out that in the final results I was 58th or something (not that you would bother to check, but SOMEBODY will bother to check).

Nice heel strike buddy. Maybe my downhill running still needs work

Nice heel strike buddy. I may have won my age group, but my lifelong streak of bad race photos is intact. 

Of course only I can screw up an age group award

So, after 35 years of racing finally I win my age group and it would have to be in a race which doesn’t give out age group awards. This in and of itself isn’t that big a deal. Umstead submits their results to Ultra Running magazine so I will probably have my name immortalized. Well, except for one minor problem

I was 17th out 84

I was 17th out 84 in the end. I was also top Virginian. I equally don’t get anything for that.

 What is the problem you ask?

My first name is misspelled 

Yup, the only time I will ever AG in my life and my first name isn’t spell correctly. Only me…

Later,

Marsden

50 Miler Lessons Learned

Well after each ultra I try to objectively look back at the race at what went well and what could be improved upon. Then, I throw all that out the window and come up with the jumbled mess you are used to reading from me.  After 4 beers much careful thought here is what I think I learned from Umstead:

What Went RIght

  1. Training helps even if it doesn’t seems so at the time. I ran Icy-8 as prep race for Umstead and was disappointed with my result. However, running that race and having longer training runs helped build my endurance on race day. Most of you are going “duh” but remember, this is me we are talking about.
  2. I can eat just about any type of gel that isn’t of the hair variety. I used 4 different brands of gel during the race and my stomach dealt with all of them (GU Roctane, Honey Stinger, Hammer Gel, and Huma Chia gel (long story of why I ended up with 4 different types).
  3. Power Hiking/Race walking is important when you as slow as I am.  If I was fast, or had the skills to run 50 miles straight, walking wouldn’t matter. I don’t and walking relatively fast up the hills helps me maintain a more even effort and keeps my overall pace higher.
  4. I am slowly getting better at downhill. Still improvement is improvement.
  5. Don’t let The Pig near my food—oh,wait, that is the next section.
Trees don't need lessons learned. #ultrawisdom

Trees don’t need lessons learned. #ultrawisdom

What I needed to do better

  1. I really, really need to work on hydration. In about half the ultras I have run I have hydration issues. You can get away with this in shorter races, but in a hundred miler, it could kill me (and for those rooting for such things, think of what would happen to The Pig).
  2. Don’t let ultrabrain take over. It’s hard (for me at least) during a long race to have my brain work efficiently (I know what you are thinking and Santa is taking note). However, I need to focus more when efficiency matters (like during aid station stops).
  3. I need more trail running experience. I also need to train on a bigger variety of trails to learn how to run on a variety of conditions/trail types.
  4. Double check the GPS accuracy with mile markers if they are available. That way I don’t freak as much when it doesn’t work.
  5. I need a better self crewing strategy. For longer races I need to come up with a better system of what to carry at what time, better organization of my drop bag, and what I am going to swap out at stops (like clothes). I spent too much time swapping socks and need to be smarter about my stops (and of course don’t start playing Texas Hold ‘Em with The Pig).
  6. Check my hydration packs straps to make sure they aren’t tangled. I tangled one of my straps and didn’t want to take the time to take off my hydration pack and my shoulder ended up sore because of it.
  7. Don’t let The Pig anywhere near my pizza. Now if I could just learn from my lessons learned…

Everyone have a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

Parking lot sunset.

Parking lot sunset.

Umstead 50 Miler (2016)

Spring races mean winter training runs where the cold and wind rips at your face and you plod forward with the hope that with each February step will bring April glory.

When I showed up to the start line of Umstead with my Hello Kitty hydration pack and found myself surrounded by a bunch of experienced, hard-core ultra runners, it dawned on me that I probably had spent the last few months of training deluded myself and I was about to get my butt kicked.

The Pig and Hello Kitty. Yes, my parents are about as proud as you would expect.

The Pig and Hello Kitty. Yes, my parents are about as proud of me as you would expect.

Umstead is a 100/50 miler in Umstead Park in Raleigh, NC. The park is named after a former governor of NC so if nothing else, most of you will leave reading this post knowing more than you started. Yes, a first for this blog.

This race is small (~270 people) and the 100 miler Western States Qualifier which makes it a very popular (and difficult) race to get in, but last September I was able to sign up for the 50 miler given a fast internet connection (and luck).

The course is hilly by road standards (~1000 ft of climbing per 12.5 mile loop (for my Canadian readers you can convert that to deg C (yes, I am kidding))). Of course by trail standards it considered “flat” and “easy” and is considered a good race for first time 100 milers and the race goes out of their way to take care of 1st timers.

IMG_7610

And 50 miler! (half the endurance? Maybe the 50 makes a right triangle)

I drove down to Raleigh Friday, picked up my race packet, attended the race briefing, and being the introverted human I am, skipped the communal dinner and went back to have dinner at my hotel.

For the record, this was not my dinner. Well, not all of it anyway.

For the record, this was not my dinner. Well, not all of it anyway.

Saturday I was up at 3 AM questioning my sanity. Then I remember who I was talking about  and proceeded to eat a pre-race breakfast of peanut butter crackers and some sports drink.  I got ready (long story) and drove to the Umstead park and parked in my assigned area (which as luck would have it was about 1/4 mile from the start. I then put my drop bag near the start/finish line at race HQ. I decided against a drop bag at the mid-way point since I had The Pig to crew me and my hydration pack has a fair amount of rooms to carry things for minor emergencies (like a stick for toasting marshmallows).

Goals for the Race

  1. Don’t come in last.
  2. Don’t die.
  3. Beat 12 hours
  4. Beat 11 hours
  5. PR
  6. Find 20 bucks on the trail

The start

The horn went off promptly at 6 AM and it took a minute to get going but soon we were all charging down the trail with our headlamps blazing. Fortunately I only needed my headlamp for about 40 minutes.

Lap 1

I really didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect from the course. I had seen the elevation profile and seen pictures and video of the course but there is nothing like actually running it. The course is wide (6-10 ft in most place) with some gravel but no roots and very few ankle busting rocks. There is enough gravel I would recommend trail shoes over road shoes, but you could probably survive with road shoes.

After the start you run up to the airport spur and then come back again so you get to see the leaders of the race come by (yup, they are faster than me). My first mile came in around 12:00 and my heart rate was OK, so felt I hadn’t start too, too fast (just too fast which for me is an improvement).  My plan was to run the first 3-4 miles to warm up and then walk the hills. Miles 2-3-4 came in at 11:05. 11:09, 11:09. My plan to start walking after mile 4 worked out nicely because after mile 4 there is a hill which I was more than happy to walk (by flat-lander standards, by trail runner standards it was a speed bump). I power hiked the hill but I noticed that my heart rate really wasn’t coming down the way it typically does. Even with the power hike for some of next mile my pace was around 11:50 (don’t worry I am not going to give 50 mile splits). Maybe a tad fast, but I felt reasonable. Then I got to practice my descending. I’m still not very good at descending, but I look slightly less like I am running with the parking brake on. I went through the aid station around mile 6.5 and notice that at that point I had sweated through my shirt (sorry for that image). After the aid station came a series of hills (by my flat-lander status). As I made my way up the hills it started to mist, which actually felt good given that I was pretty warm.  I completed the 12.5 mile lap in just under 2:27.

Lap 2

I grabbed a refill of water at the start finish and left out for lap 2. My heart rate was still spiking higher than I would have liked. Just as I finally got to a pace where it was settling in nicely, it started to rain. At first the rain was light enough to feel good, but after the hill at mile 5 it turned into a steady hard rain (enter the slosh pit). I was getting soaked to the bone and as I power hiked the hill, I couldn’t help but think that The Pig was having a better time a HQ than I was. Finally toward the end of the lap, the rain turned back into a mist.  I had one pair of spare socks in my drop bag and I decided at the end of the lap I would change into dry socks and apply Trail Toes (a Vaseline like product) and change into a dry shirt.

As I came up to the start finish I noticed that if I picked up the pace up the start/finish incline that I would be able to finish the 2nd lap under 5 hours. Why did that matter to me? No idea, but it did so hoofed my way up and finished the 2nd lap at 4:59:59.999999999.

Lap 2.5

I call this lap 2.5 because the transition between lap 2 and 3 ended up taking so freaking long. I went into HQ, sat down, took off the wet stuff, put on trail toes, dry socks, and a dry shirt (be happy there are no shirtless pictures and the small children screaming did not bring out the authorities (#progress)). However, by the time I did all this, grabbed a couple of gels from my drop bag and filled a bottle with Skratch Rescue Hydration Mix, I somehow let 15 minutes slip away. Maybe next time I won’t spend time arguing with The Pig that he can’t have all my Jelly Belly Sport Beans.

Lap 3

Soon into lap 3 I was into ultra mileage and to go with it my legs were getting more worn down. Then I ran into a problem at the first water station. I thought I had Tailwind (the drink mix, not code for passing gas) in my pack, but it wasn’t there. So I filled up with Gatorade and went across the trail to the porta potties (once again no pics, #sorrynotsorry). However at this point I noticed I was VERY dehydrated (I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine how I determined this). I sorta freaked out, went back across the trail to the water station and guzzled some water and Gatorade.  I knew I needed to take in more fluid, but I started to get into my head (which is easier than you would think given how little is there during an ultra). Then around mile 6.5 after the aid station this panic state got compounded by my Garmin telling me I was walking 25 min/mile. Now, this seemed really slow to me, but I increased my effort and looked about 5 minutes later and it was 42:00 min/min. Despite my serious case of ultrabrain, it did dawn on me that the GPS wasn’t locking. At this point decided I would just run by how I felt and not worry about pace or HR. Due to the troubles on this lap, my motivation was lagging as I returned to the start finish. Lap 3 total time 7:50.

Lap 4

I decided I didn’t want to get sucked into the drop bag vortex again, so I decided to stick with on course fluids supplemented by gels. I headed straight out for lap 4 knowing it was be the last time I would see each hill, each rock, each porta potty, and each runner passing me like I was standing still (though I think I did irk one runner by passing him while I was walking up a hill). Since I couldn’t trust my Garmin, I would take notice of the time at each mile marker and figured out what my finishing time would be if I just walked the rest of the race.  Once I figured out that I could break 11 hours (yea!) it lit a fire under me (which given my size really requires a bonfire) to try to run more. The previous lap I had been walking anything that even vaguely resembled a hill, but I tried to run a little more here and there to try to improve my pace. At some point I figured I had a shot at a PR, it motivated me to push on. Finally I figured out I could walk the rest of the way and get a PR. When I got to the final hill I saw the clock and if I hauled butt I could break 10:40 which would be around a five-minute PR. I sprinted to the finish (which after 10+ hours probably is better described as oddly lumbering). It worked and I finished in 10:39:49.

PR Smile.

PR Smile.

I would like to thank the volunteers and race organizers. This is really well done race and they make everyone feel very welcome. If it weren’t for you I would still be out wandering in the woods or eaten by bears.

After the race, I picked up my drop bag, found The Pig and went back to the hotel for pizza.

In the spirit of the day, The Pig actually shared (some).

In the spirit of the day, The Pig actually shared (some).

All in all it was a pretty good day. Well, until I looked at my Garmin and noticed that I was 6000 steps short of 100,000…

Later,

Marsden