London

 

On a recent work trip, I got to run around Hyde park, on a sunny day which is a bit of a rarity.  Here’s a couple shots.IMG_4508

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That same day I was to meet some coworkers over by the Eye of London, about a 3.5 mile walk there, so I took a few more shots… The coworkers always seem surprised that I’ll walk that far.IMG_4512 IMG_4513 IMG_4514 IMG_4518

Of course I walked back, but I took a bit of a longer route so I could go by Big Ben and Westminister:IMG_4527 IMG_4528London is really a great walking city!   Walking + Run was just shy of 14 miles…

 

Uhwarrie 2015

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(Photo courtesy Shannon — hope to add more over the coming days!)

I was lucky enough to get a spot in the Uhwarrie 40 miler, after missing out last year.  It’s one of my all time favorite races, so I was quite happy.  Training went well, and after battling a relatively minor head cold/sinus issue for a week to 10 days prior, I was ready to run.  Or as ready as you can be, for Uhwarrie!

Kelly and I had to get up at 3:45 a.m., make coffee, and head out the door to pick up Heather by 4:30, and drive to the check in point.  (We already had everything packed and breakfast made, all ready to go.)  Check-in was once again at Eldorado Outpost, a short 15 minute shuttle ride to the start.  I checked in, got my number, put my gear together, and rode over.  I had just enough time to hit the port-o-pot one last time, take off my warm clothes, and be ready to go.

Uhwarrie starts with a killer climb in the 1st mile, and there’s a balance to be found in going out just hard enough to get in front of enough people so that you are not stuck in a congo-line for the 1st few miles, having to expend excess energy in passing there, or going out too hard and blowing up on the 1st hill.  This year I was fortunate to not go out in the top 10 and get sucked into running too much of the 1st hill, but being up front enough to not get behind the pack.  In fact, there seemed to be a split in the top 10-12 runners and the next pack, and I was in the front of the 2nd pack, and all of us where happy to power hike quite a bit.

Beyond that, I’ll cut to the chase.   I felt really good all day, though more so after the 1st 5-7 miles.  Early on, I felt good but not great.  By mile 16 or 17, just after Dennis,  and all the way  through 22 or 23, I felt great and was ready to go!  But I was wise enough to hold back, because I knew what was to come.

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I had hopes of a sub 8, which will always be a super SUPER stretch for me, and while I did it once, it would have to be a truly special day to do it again.  I hit the turn in 3:49, after saying to Pinto that 3:45 was necessary to keep our shot at sub 8 alive.  Turns out I ran 8:05 so just about right…  What is a little odd is that my PR is 7:57, and I actually felt better on this 8:05 than on that run.  :-/  Then I had a stretch from 18-26 or so that was pretty rough, and while I came out of it strong, I still don’t know how I pulled off the sub 8.  I’m going to give credit to Spadie, who ran behind me for a good 7 or 8 miles from 30 on or so that year, whereas this year, I was pretty much all alone the last 12 -14 miles, other than passing just one runner.  (I was also worried about Hughes catching me, who had passed me just before the turn, when I was struggling, but whom I passed at 28 or 29…)

Finish line photo:

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I’m with AC who wrote this:

It only took 5 attempts, but I understand how to run the Uwharrie 40 now.
Don’t fight it. There are more runnable miles on the trail than I am capable of running anyway, so there is no sense trying to run the hard parts.
Slight incline? Walking that.
Pile of rocks? Walking that.
Steep decent? Walking that.

Here it is a couple of days later, and I feel really good.  I of course had some DOMS, but it’s just about gone now on Tuesday, after the Saturday race.

Here’s some interesting data from Strava.  First up, the map, elevation profile, and splits.  I didn’t have auto splits on, so this is the 1st 20, and then less than 2 minutes at the turn around included in the 2nd 20.  About 23 minutes difference if you don’t count the transition time.  AC actually almost pulled off even splits, which is incredible!

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Here’s there race analysis, which shows the fastest mile, average mile pace, and slowest mile.  That 16:26 at mile 34 killed me!   But that is a heck of a climb, there, covering nearly the whole mile:

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Here are my results over the years:

Year Time Place
2010  7:57 (short course)  30/71
2011  8:50:22  30/88
2012  7:57:17  27/148
2013  8:49:06  33/90
 2015 8:05:07  17/88

All in all a great day, with beautiful weather.  And I hope to find that 5 minutes one day!

Gear review:

  • Altra Superior 2.0 — I LOVE this shoe!  First time in 5 Uhwarrie’s my feet have not felt totally trashed at the end.
  • Injinji toe socks — zero blisters, one single teeny hotspot under my R big toe
  • Calf sleeves and arm warmers for warmth at the start – ripped off the arm warmers at the turn but kept the calf sleeves on, mostly for time considerations.
  • Nike combat compression shorts – these are doing better than under armor for me these days — just about 0 chafing.
  • go-lite shorts — can’t believe this great company is out of business!
  • Icebreaker 200 weight short sleeve top — still my favorite clothing brand!
  • Icebreaker vest — great vest, dropped at the turn.
  • Florida coast to coast buff — still my good luck charm after what, 15 years?
  • 10 oz amphipod handheld…  had some leaking on some legs, so ran out of water once or twice, but not too bad
  • Had an ipod but never broke it out…

Nutrition review:

  • pre-race:  coffee and heavy cream; 1 hard boiled egg, a bit of a plantain pancake I had cooked the night before, but it didn’t turn out very well so I didn’t eat much.  I had brought pemmican to the start but I just didn’t feel hungry and didn’t want to force it down.
  • during the race:
    • 4 Vfuel’s — wish I’d had more, these are my go to on hard efforts!
    • 1 Justin Nutbutter, chocolate hazlenut, had 3 more variations on this, but didn’t feel like eating them at all
    • two dates in coconut flakes – quite good!
    • a few white potatoes with salt from the aid stations
    • two 1/4 banana’s from the aid stations
    • MAPS — BCAA’s, save the legs, maybe 4-5 per hour
    • I drank heed at most of the aid stations
    • one half cup of coke, and maybe 3 half cups of mountain dew (unicorn tears)

I think that’s it — I’m estimating maybe 1200 calories over the 8 hours…

Again, if more photo’s show up, I’ll update this post.

2014 Strava Summary

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Yearly summary from Strava… Which I didn’t switch to exclusively until late July, so some data was lost, though it’s not clear how much… Not sure what the “workouts” are other than something mis categorized, I’d guess… And I’m fairly sure there was more strength work than that, though not nearly enough… Look for more in 2015!

Hinson Lake 2014

Oh no!  Here is late December and I never wrote anything about my Hinson lake experience!  Since it’s so late, here’s just a few bullet points and a few pictures:

  • Great race, great aid stations, great atmosphere, definitely on my list to do again!
  • It’s hard to go big in a 24 hour when your weekly mileage is piddly — see my predictions post here…  I had 81 miles at BMM24 in May, had 24 hours on my feet of some running, some hiking, and lots of  bushwhacking at the World Rogaine Championships in August, but not much more than that.  Maybe just one 20 mile run all summer outside of those two events.
  • I still had a great time and knocked out 81 miles in about 19 hours, when I crawled into my tent and went to bed
  • When I woke with about an hour left, I thought about trying to get a couple more loops — but instead decided to make a nice cup of hot coffee and just spectate — you should have seen the looks I got and heard the comments I received from all the runners.  :-)
  • gear:  sport kilt, altra one2, hoka stinson, under armor compression shorts, ice breaker sleeveless, buff, garmin 620 which was not very good!  (gps tracking off and battery died early)
  • food:  grape juice water honey mix, vfuels, chips and guac (too spicey!), probably some hard boiled eggs and maybe the sweet potato coconut oil mix I make, but I really don’t recall.  a bit of food from the aid stations…

Ok, photos:

Crazy “tent city” at the start…Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 9.38.26 AM

Sport Kilt!

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The one and only Shannon!HinsonLake2014  05

R2 really enjoyed it, and ran 3 loops with me.  At this point I was 45+ miles in and he was running circles around me…  Kelly ran a few loops with me too, but as she was the photographer, I have no photos of her!  :-(HinsonLake2014  11 HinsonLake2014  12 HinsonLake2014  13

R1 walked a loop or two with her book…HinsonLake2014  15

And then went to the tent to read:HinsonLake2014  20

What ultra-runners really do:  Eat!  You can see R2 was raring to go, not wanting to stay too long at the “aid station:”HinsonLake2014  21 HinsonLake2014  23

Guac was too spicy!  But my normal electrolyte / fuel of grape juice, water, and honey, was soothing…HinsonLake2014  25

Oh, and here are my splits:

Lap Distance Time Out (from notes taken while on course) Notes Actuals Lap Times from Timex
1 1.5032
2 3.01
3 4.51 1st few were messed up as I forgot to push the lap button at the right time!
4 6.01 1:01 14:29
5 7.52 15:01
6 9.02 14:48
7 10.52 15:19
8 12.03 15:21
9 13.53 2:02 15:27
10 15.03 14:52
11 16.54 15:32
12 18.04 3:03 15:14
13 19.54 15:48
14 21.04 15:37
15 22.55 16:22
16 24.05 4:06 17:44
17 25.55 16:59
18 27.06 vit I 16:42
19 28.56 18:24
20 30.06 5:16 19:29
21 31.57 17:40
22 33.07 18:10
23 34.57 18:20
24 36.08 6:30 18:19
25 37.58 19:33
26 39.08 18:18
27 40.59 19:03
28 42.09 7:45 ? 20:12
29 43.59 22:08
30 45.10 19:46
31 46.60 23:47
32 48.10 9:11 0:24:00
33 49.61 vit I 23:18
34 51.11 23:48
35 52.61 10:24 half way to goal 21:21
36 54.12 20:33
37 55.62 22:26
38 57.12 0:25:48
39 58.62 11:56 0:28:34
40 60.13 12:22 8 pm Tylenol 500mg 0:27:28
41 61.63 0:23:27
42 63.13 13:13 0:24:21
43 64.64 0:22:30
44 66.14 13:59 0:22:06
45 67.64 0:23:29
46 69.15 0:26:33
47 70.65 0:30:50
48 72.15 15:43 0:28:23
49 73.66 0:26:39
50 75.16 16:38 0:29:08
51 76.66 0:30:48
52 78.17 13:37 new socks! 0:33:26
53 79.67 0:28:19
54 81.17 18:40 went to bed ?

When my times were consistently approaching 30 minutes and I knew 100 was out of reach, I went to bed.  :-/

Hinson Lake 2014: Predictions. (or excuses?)

This is not the way I would have planned it:

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And some of that was walking/hiking, not running.  (Blame Strava.)

Hinson was going to be one of my A races this year, but it just didn’t work out.  Too much travel and general business to get in the mileage needed to go big in a 24.  That “30” down there in late August was the 2014 World Rogaine Championships, and according to route analysis done after I put in the manual Strava entry, it was closer to 50 miles. (Strava doesn’t let you change a manual entry once entered.  :-/)   So there’s that.  24 hours on my feet, but mostly hiking and bushwhacking.  And that 20 miler a couple weeks back?   Nothing to write home about.  Not a confidence boosting run, to say the least!

Going back further I did run just over 80 miles at BMM24 in mid May.  I was never into that run, and decided to take a nap.  A long nap.  And I didn’t care or not whether I woke up to run more, or if I was truly done.  I ended up sleeping 5 hours, which felt great, and got up and ran several more loops.  One of the few times I’ve actually been seen running in the later stages of a 24.  :-)

I only had one other big race this year, the ATT Marathon in March, where I was shooting for a 3:15 and a BQ.  I sorta kinda fell apart (and walked a bit! — maybe 30 seconds) the last couple miles, and finished with a 3:17.  Which was an 11 minute PR (though I’d never trained to run a marathon fast before), but just short of my goals.  Turns out even if I had BQ’d with 3:15:00, I would have needed a 3:13:58 this year.  :-/

After ATT, I needed a break from structured training, so decided to go coach-less (sorry Lucho).  Lucho helped me survive at Leadville last year, and worked me hard to get the fast marathon done in the spring.   I’ve talked to him a bit off and on, as I’ve got this crazy notion to shoot for Leadman in 2016 or 2017, but my biking would need to come a long long ways to have a shot at finishing the 100 bike in 12 hours.

Anyway, all of that leads me to Hinson 2014.  If, and that’s a BIG IF, I had trained, I would have gone for 4 marathons.  Yep, 104.8.  Any chance of that happening now?  Doubtful.  But I’m going to pull out my alter ego, Richard Parker, and see what happens.  (Not one of the infamous Richard Parkers of the 1800’s, none of which survived!, but the Richard Parker in Life of Pi, who most definitely survived.)   But having something to reach for should be much better than having no goal at all like I did at BMM24 — no real goal just made it too easy to crawl into my tent for five hours!

Of course the little doubter on my shoulder will come in and try to convince me that 90 is great, or 75 is good enough, or 50 is fine because it just isn’t my day.  But:

“If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”  Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Of course, I can follow that up with:

“The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”  — William Blake

Or maybe it is:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Or perhaps what’s most apropos for Hinson:

“Misery loves company, and madness calls it forth.”

See you at the lake!