2014 Strava Summary


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!

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 9.36.51 AM  Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 9.43.00 AM

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:

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.36.28 PM

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!

2014 World Rogaine Championships, SD


I’m going to be lazy and just use what Ron Eaglin, one of my teammates, wrote shortly after the race.  I will include a couple of my own before and after photos, though!

Here’s the gear on the office floor before I flew out to SD:


It got more organized after that… :-)

Two days before the race, Brian and I did part of the trial course to try to get familiar with the land, so here are a few shots from that:




Ok, on to the race itself….

Obligatory pre-race selfie:





And now, being lazy, here is what Ron wrote:

Here is a short analysis and recap of the 24 World Rogaine with some course info. I raced with Brian Thompson and Sean Butler – a great race team pairing.


Leg 1 -Shown on map is route choice (not exact) and time on each leg. We elected to go south, which had higher point controls, but a lower point density than the northern sections. A difficult choice since all the area is mapped as white, so any variations in terrain and runability are essentially hidden. We started with a pretty good pace and our navigation was pretty much spot on – though Brian did most of the front navigation during this section and I stayed back but kept a close eye on the map to avoid an big errors.

Leg 2 – This leg contained a very interesting long no road or trail section from 103 to 93, this was an interesting and enjoyable leg and did not pose any real navigation challenges. Our pace slowed slightly during this section – but much of that was due to terrain.

Leg 3 – The essentially flat and open terrain made the route through 74 pretty straightforward, and our time reflected that. I was starting to feel overheated with some stomach issues around 74, but was still able to keep the pace.

Leg 4 – It was on the approach to 92 that the bottom fell out for me. Brian and Sean were doing well and pushing the pace. By the time I got back to the road from 92 I was stumbling and ended up vomiting the contents of my stomach on the road north of 92. My physical condition reflected the pace from 92 to 81 and the fact that we skipped 56. At this point I wanted to get the team back to the hash house for recovery, but that was not an option as we were a solid 12K as the crow flies from the hash house – so we stuck with the original course plan skipping 56.

Leg 5 – I was essentially useless this leg, delirious and sick. I know I vomited again somewhere along here. It was dark and I was just following. I am not sure how Brian found 46, I do remember stopping a few times and then he gave a reassuring – “I know it is this way” and then I was punching the control. We never found 63 – I simply remember searching for a while and there being a lot of re-entrants. The team did let me rest here and I even think I slept for maybe 5-10 minutes. The total time from 46 to 106 was nearly 130 minutes. When we came out to the road at the stream road intersection – I felt better and even navigated the 106, which I did overshoot – but easily corrected from the backstop. The road section north and the water stop gave me even more recovery, but my strength was definitely near gone – and I had no food or water in my system.

Leg 6 – The potential climb(200 meters) to 48 was near impossible in my condition, so we re-routed and headed to 42 and 70. There was a little bit of debate as to route, but Brian mad some corrections and I was at least in good enough condition as the sun started to come up to actually navigate.

Leg 7 – Some good route choices by Brian and a bit easier terrain was helping my physical condition, though I really wanted to be done here – the team was supporting me well, carrying my pack and even getting some food into me. I had been able to hold down a 12 ounce water bottle, so I was a lot less dehydrated. Brian and Sean looked very strong and were keeping me moving.

Leg 8 – A lot of road here – which was good. I think Brian went down hard at 73, I heard something, but he was back up and moving as we left there. I wanted to contour around toward 104 from here – but we instead went down to the road. I did note some other teams did successfully contour this section. We attacked 104 across the saddle – and that was probably my favorite section. The entire course had deadfall, and it was bad here – but there was no point in complaining about something that was pervasive all through the course. After 82 I wanted to head back the the HH, but the team talked me into 61, 51 – which turned out to be a good call.

Final leg – We probably could have optimized this a bit better – but we managed to get 51, 32, 23 and make it back with plenty of time to spare.

Overall assessment – Brian and Sean both were physically stronger than me, and having that assessment at the start could have helped as we distributed the weight of food, water, and gear. The point density to the north was higher, and it possibly could have yielded more points had we started that way. But – I really liked Brian’s strategy if hitting the high point controls – even if we did not get as many points overall, the high pointers were much more interesting legs – and added to the overall enjoyment of the race.

I would definitely do more Rogaine races – and overall the race was well organized. The maps did lack some details I think they could have had – especially with unmapped roads, which made some route choices a gamble. Brian and Sean were great team-mates, understanding and supportive when I was sick – but encouraging enough to keep me going.

Post race the RD had some serious issues with the electronic controls and scoring, but eventually the results were published and we were 64th out of 175 teams.  Not bad considering how sick Ron was.  I really thought that we’d have to quit about 10 hours in, when Ron started dry heaving and acting all discombobulated.  But we decided to just walk back towards the start, which was 12km away by road, and pick up some controls on the way.  While Ron never fully recovered, he did get to the point where we were able to continue on and get more controls, for just about the full 24 hours.

I had guessed we covered maybe 30-35 miles.   We did lots of bushwhacking, and the terrain was pretty rough with a tremendous amount of deadfall.  So not very speedy.  But route analysis by the RD says we did a little over 50 miles.

I’d definitely like to do more Rogaine’s, and envision a world championship in my future.  :-)  (Probably not, we did finish 25th in the 40+ age group, so have a long ways to go!)



A few post race photos:

Somewhere around 4 hours in, I noticed a hole forming in my Altra Superior.  This may be the 1st race in 10 years I didn’t have any duct tape, and I really worried about how long the shoe would last.  But somehow it made it the full 24 hours.

IMG_3617Here’s what the feet looked like under those shoes:



Kelly and the kids flew out after the race, and we got to see and do cool things in SD like visit Mt. Rushmore:



Visit the Badlands:












Hike up to Harney’s Peak at 7200′:

IMG_3827 IMG_3799

And go to Jewel cave, 3rd largest cave in the world.

IMG_3852 IMG_3863 IMG_3867


Ok, see you at the next adventure… Hinson Lake 24 hour run in just a few weeks!




2014 Black Mountain Monster



I better write something about this race before I forget it all!   I don’t have many photo’s yet, but if more show up on the Inter-webs, I’ll update this post…

This would be my 3rd year running the BMM24.  The 1st year, I “came out of nowhere” (with limited training, to run 99.2. miles and get 2nd place.  Last year, I was training for Leadville, so I had a lot more miles on the legs coming in, but I did not want to hinder further training by running too much, so the plan was to stop when I felt like I was no longer helping Pb.  Which I did, 19 hours into the race at mile 87, again taking 2nd place.

So what would year 3 hold, again with limited “ultra training” on my legs?  (Due to training for a fast marathon this spring — well, fast for me!)

We followed the typical plan of setting up camp early on Friday, around 4:30, to get our favorite spot, headed into town for last minute groceries, donation food, and a quick trip to My Father’s Pizza, and then headed back to camp to hang out and chill until bed time.  Don’t forget your ear plugs!  The train tracks are right next to the camp site and can be VERY VERY LOUD!

Here’s the quiet camp site shortly after we finished setting up, maybe 5:30 p.m.  It would fill in more that night, and much much more in the morning!


Race day came, and I just love the 10 a.m. start.  Allows a leisurely morning of coffee, chilling, and waiting.  Oh, and going through gear one more time…

Ray K caught this picture of me chill-axing right before the start — the sun came out and it was nice so I thought I’d catch a few rays.  ;-)  (I was talking to the kid’s back at Grandma’s…)bmm1

I almost missed the start —  I had taken the GoPro up and recorded a bit, but decided to throw it back in my tent rather than carry it the 1st loop.  And then I heard “Go!” as I was walking back, and I had to run up and get going….




It got warm after the 1st loop, so I lost the shirt….


This one is later on — I can tell because I’m wearing Hoka’s.  I only made it 25 miles before switching, but more on that below.  (I thought I’d switch after 50 miles!)


Here’s a fast re-cap.  I went in without any real expectations or goals, and that can be a problem.  But due to the lack of miles, I thought anything north of 50 would be good, and didn’t want to commit to much more.  The 1st 10-15 miles felt pretty good, so I started thinking 106 would be reasonable, and even mentioned this to a couple of 12 hour runners when they asked me what my goals were.

By mile 22 or 23, I had lost the good feeling.  :-(   I’ll copy some of my notes from the race below in a pace chart/table, but suffice it to say that writing “too early to suffer” at mile 24.8 is not a good sign just 4.5 hours into a 24 hour run!

At 50k I was feeling even worse.  I decided a break  was needed, and sat down with some chips and guacamole — the Guacamole of Contemplation.   “Why am I out here?”  “What is suffering?”  That kind of thing.  I almost opened a beverage but decided to hold off.  After 12 minutes, I was back on the course.  “I’m not dead yet… I’m feeling better” (reference to Monty Python…) were my thoughts as I started a run/walk combo, trying to get in a groove.

I somehow trudged out another 55k before succumbing to the doldrums again.  At that point (68.2) it was 1 a.m. and I decided to crawl into my tent and go to sleep.  I opted not to set an alarm, figuring if I slept through and didn’t run anymore, that that was what was meant to be, and I’d be ok with that.   I didn’t fall right asleep, listening to the race going on, but eventually I did.

Sometime after 6 a.m. I woke up, walked to the port-o-pot, and felt quite good.  Barely any stiffness in the legs at all.  I decided to make another cup of coffee, and head back out.  My logs show I went back on the course at 6:54 a.m. and knocked out another 4 loops and finished by 9:45, for a total of 80.6 miles, tied for 3rd.  (Tied for 3rd with a 72 year old man — AMAZING!)

In hindsight, I’m happy with 80.6 miles + a 5 hour nap.  :-)  (It’s the least sore I’ve ever been after 50+ miles!  Naps are good!)

Martin T went for 103 and took 2nd place, and Baki ran an amazing 108 for 1st.  Mostly amazing because he came out to run 50 hard, and play it by ear after that.  :-)

Gear:  Sport Kilt, Saucony Viratta (too small!), under armor compression shorts, a couple different ice breaker tops, buff, Hoka Stinson, injinji toe socks and Luna sock + Altra Superior for the last few loops.

Food:  The Guacamole of Contemplation (saved my race!), corn chips, 2 or 3 VFuels, hard boiled eggs, fruit from the aid stations, boiled potatoes and salt from the aid stations, pizza from the aid stations, coffee with heavy whipping cream made at my tent X 2.   Espresso Beans.  My normal mixture of 1/3 grape juice, 2/3 water, sometimes with a squirt of honey, sometimes without.  MAPs (BCAA’s) at just about every loop.  I know I’m forgetting something…  Oh Bacon — I didn’t care for the thick cut stuff I had brought.  A gluten free cookie.

I had other things in my cooler that never sounded appetizing — sweet potato/coconut oil mush, pemmican, sliced turkey, cheese, salami…

Here’s the table I kept during the race…


  • 10 a.m. start
  • I really wanted to avoid vitamin I — but still had 2x600mg during the 24 hours
  • a couple of times I forgot to write down the times when leaving, those are denoted with a ?
  • I had to take albuterol at mile 27.9 as my lungs just could not get enough air
  • I started, from the first, walking all the big hills, and walking the big steep paved downhill; later I switched to a  run/walk pattern, sometimes as low as 1 min run, 1 min walk, when I was feeling bad, but always tried to build back to 5 run 1 walk
Lap Number Mileage Time In Time Out Notes
 1  3.1  10:29
 2  6.2  11:00
 3  9.3 11:31
 4  12.4 12:03
 5  15.5 12:37
 6 18.6 13:09 ?
 7 21.7 13.44
 8 24.8 14:24 too early to suffer; hoka
 9 27.9 14:59 albuterol
10 31 15:38 15:50 Vit I, chips, guacamole, rest
 11 34.1 16:32  a little better; run/walk
 12 37.2 17:13
 13 40.3 17:52 pizza, took the go pro out for a loop
 14 43.4 18:39 espresso beans
 15 46.5 19:24 espresso beans, rested 5 min
 16 49.6 20:08 Vit I; [ some gibberish I can’t read]
 17 52.7 20:54
 18 55.8 21:39
 19 58.9 22:22 22:3? coffee
 20 62 23:15
 21 65.1 0:03
 22 68.2  0:51 6:54 5 hour nap; coffee; etc
 23 71.3 7:36
 24 74.4 8:18
 25 77.5 9:03
 26 80.6 9:43


Photo’s added after initial writing:


2014 Black Mountain Monster “preview”

That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. — Forrest Gump

So on Saturday, for no particular reason, I’m going to run a little 5k loop affectionately known as the Black Mountain Monster.  Ok, it’s not a monster because it’s a 5k loop, it’s a monster because it’s a 24 hour run.  And when I finish that 1st 5k loop, I think I might just run another.  And another…

This will be the 3rd year I’ve run this race, as it truly is AWESOME!  :-)  Great Atmosphere, great race directors and volunteers, great course, etc.  In past year’s I’ve had preview posts, so here goes again…

2012 lead-up included the Uwharrie 40 miler in February, and then not a whole lot of running after that.  I signed up for BMM24 sort of at the last minute, just to see what I could do.  And I ran 99 miles before calling it a day, with maybe 90 minutes left on the clock…


2013 lead-up includes Uhwarrie 40 miler in February, Umstead trail Marathon in March, and the North Face 50 miler NY in May.  I.e. much better lead-in than 2012, but I was training for Leadville.  My goal at BMM was to have one heck of a training run for PB, and not go too far or too hard so as to jeopardize my Leadville training.  I ran 87 miles and stopped with nearly 5 hours on the clock, when I knew I was no longer helping my Pb cause.

2014 I ran the Tobacco Road Marathon in March, and that was about it.  No ultra runs (training or races) since Leadville last August!  I’m treating this year’s BMM as the start of my ultra training, as I have the World Championship Rogaine’s in August and Hinson Lake 24 in September.   But I’m hopeful that I have a pretty solid outing, even with the lack of miles the past 8 months, and can perhaps push Sho a bit in his attempt at a new CR.   Time will tell…

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 1.10.55 PM