Monday, August 1, 2011

Warrior Dash 2011

A few photos from the 2011 Warrior Dash.

The race was very well run, would have to
be for 20,000 people to run it. Not doing
any real running these days but could not
pass up dragging my daughter through the
mud. The most significant obstacle, as anyone
running the Afton trail race this year would
attest, were the hills. The other obstacles were
fun but not really that challenging.

I will definitely run it next year.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sale of a Legend

I'm currently about an hour from Leadville and I just read that the race has been sold to Lifetime Fitness. I can only imagine what this will mean for the race.

Read article in ULTRArunning online. Read here on Leadville website, follow link

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

First "Ultra"

Handiwork of Coach John King, North St. Paul High School

I have been looking for this sheet for about 6 months, finally found it. It is from my first "Ultra" or at least my first endurance event - though neither of those designations meant anything to me at the time. This goes back roughly 30 years to my senior year in HS. There were ten guys who decided to do a fund raiser for the CC team. We decided on a 24 hour relay - on the track (it happened to be after track season).

The stats show we logged 246.5 metric miles (1600 meters is about 10yds short of a mile) in that 24 hours. My average mile split was 5:57:28, I ran 25 "miles".

I don't remember who's idea it was but we had no shortage of "idea" people on the team, half of them were just flat out cracked. Chasing squirrels throughout the parks, running double workouts nearly every day, eating worms off the track, mooning everyone who comes by - normal high school stuff mostly.

We approached the school administration about doing the relay and they ok'd it but would not be able to support it. The coach couldn't be involved either - though he was - behind the scene. We were not allowed to use the stadium lights. One of the guys worked for Menards and was able to get enough extension cords to go all the way around the track. About every 200 feet or so we plugged in a single light bulb socket and mounted them up on a little 2x2 stand. I can't for the life of me remember on what day of the week we started, I do know that we had school the next day, as we had promised to attend. I know at least two people who did not.

I think we started about 7 am.

The thought of something like this should be all too familiar to those reading. The idea was crazy, and I couldn't stop thinking about how much fun it was going to be. We had run a relay around Mille Lacs the previous summer, while that was 100K distance, we each only had to run a 10K or two. None the less it did give us a taste for the distance. There was some nut running the whole thing by himself. Go figure.

There is a lot about this event that I don't remember - until I found the sheet I didn't remember who I received the baton from or who I handed off to (sorry Dick). I don't remember much about fueling but no one really talked about that much back then. I do remember having bananas, raisins and water, maybe some PB&J sandwiches. I remember falling asleep and being awakened soon there after, again and again. I guess I do remember waking up Dick, the next runner after me just before heading out to the track. There were also a steady stream of supporters, never a crowd, but always a few concerned parents and a few people wondering if they had to make good on their pledges.

I remember some of the pain, the first mile over 6 minutes, the ache of the first few steps at the beginning of each leg. I remember a few people hurting worse than me.

I remember the encouragement of those who came for the last hour. In finding the ability to run faster than I thought I could, farther than I thought I could. I definitely remember the pain the few days following.

I don't often think about this event but I believe it helped shape me. Not that an 18 year old needs any help feeling invincible but I knew then that I was the only thing limiting me. I made many decisions after this event that undoubtedly, unconsciously, were influenced by it.

I await the next challenge - after I get my damn back figured out! Yet another MRI..... I'll be returning to running soon, one way or another. Meanwhile I'm trying to find some other old stuff to relive.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Surf the Murph 50K

Scott, Andy & Dick

The three of us finally had an opportunity to race together at Surf the Murph. We did a training run out there a few weeks before the race so we had a pretty good idea what the course looked like this year. With the flatter sections added in the overall ascent ended up at 2577ft, we were all looking to PR at this race.

The 50 milers took off at 6:00, we toed the line at 7:00 for the 50K. Thanks to daylight savings time not starting until that evening, the beginning of the race starts before sunrise. I had taken a little warm up run prior to the race and noticed the course was definitely going to me muddy. At the sound of the bottle rocket we started off. I saw Scott for about 2 minutes or so, never saw him again until the end of the race. Sure was a pleasure running with ya Scott. Seriously, he has had a great year and was obviously ready to nail this one, finished 8th male, 9th overall.

Count down

About 5 miles into the race a familiar sound crept up behind Dick and I. It turned out to be Buddy J. We all raced together this spring at the Superior 50K and finished within a few minutes of each other. We stuck together all the way to the halfway point. Buddy stopped a little longer than us at the half and about 20 miles into it Dick started to pick things up a little bit, either that or I started to suck air. Either way I ran by myself for 5 miles or so. Buddy caught up to me a while later and we ran about 4 miles together. I really started to fall apart, not sure why. I don't like to make excuses but I never hit a groove in this race. I usually have at least a part of every race where things just feel absolutely perfect - that never happened in this race.

Headed in to mile 28ish with Thing1 and Thing2

It was nice to have the family there, I got a quick back rub (more on that later) and a refill of my favorite drink and took off for the last 4 miles. Thanks sweety ;)

Two noteworthy items:

I wear a heal lift in my Rt shoe which NEVER gives me problems - until I am in a race. I train in my racing flats, run 20+ mile training runs and never have a problem. During this race I started to get a blister on the back of my heal, I could not figure out what was happening as I never get blisters. ( I know there are a lot of nevers in this paragraph - hence my surprise) It turns out my heal lift started to make its way out of my shoe - I had an issue with my lift in every race this year - yah I know - quick learner eh.

Other than having to take my shoe off the second to last mile I had a great finish, I felt strong and was even leaping over the obstacles near the end. I don't know where this comes from, I experienced this at Superior as well this year. It makes the end of the race so memorable as to want to return.

Gee, I hope they don't consider this an assisted finish!!!

Andy (13th), Buddy (12th), Dick (10th), Scott (8th)

After it was all said and done we all (not positive about Buddy) set a 50K PR. It was my fastest (5:33) and most probably the longest 50K I've ever run, close to 32 miles.

This race is twice blessed with the weather in its two years, unbelievable!

Click here to see the run on Garmin Connect

Post race: Flew to NYC at 10:30 the following morning, had a great time taking in the tail end of the marathon festivities and energy. I can't believe what a world wide event that is. I woke up Monday am and my low back was completely seized up. Here I am in NYC and I can barley walk upright - what a site. People asked me "did you run the race" I just nodded and answered, "and then some". Anyway, a week later and I still wouldn't even try to run yet, though I seem to be on the mend - finally.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Runs of late and plans for later

I have been increasing my mileage as of late, still only a paltry 640 or so for the year, oh well. It was hard passing up a few of the races this year, especially when so many people I know were able to reach some stellar landmarks this season. At least I had a decent spring.

Last weekend I went to Elm Creek Park reserve, here is a bit of video to prove it, along with the sunrise above. There are a few sections of single track out there that are really fun. I love watching the ground roll by.


I am pretty sure I will run the 50K at Surf the Murph on Oct 31. I have a couple friends who will be joining me. If all the planets align just right we could all finish within a few minutes of each other. Time will tell on that one! Who will be first?? Hope to catch up with a few people out there as well.

Hoping to get out there one of these weekends prior to the race so I can run a loop. I'll try to post if I know when I'm going.

It seems lately that everyone I know, and even those I just read about, are suffering some sort of running related injury. Hope everyone can overcome and finish the year strong.

Monday, August 17, 2009


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Took a trip to Colorado this summer to relax and enjoy things a bit. I discovered a running trail right outside our condo. I took this run the day after ariving in there. It starts at 9300' and rises to about 10500'.

Oddly enough I did not really feel that affected by the elevation during the climb, and the descent was not noteworthy either, regarding the elevation. I also took a hike along the continental divide which was from about 11,800 to 13,000 while I could sense the lack of O2 at the top it too was fairly easy. It was not until later in the week that when I took a run along a fairly flat river trail, at about 9200', that I felt like I was totally sucking air. I thought after a week at elevation and two fairly decent runs that I would be able to really kick it. NO WAY. I don't know that I will ever figure out the formula for running at elevation.

Anyway, I was out there with the family and we biked, climbed, hiked, shopped, worked on the condo and a bunch of other stuff. The kids got to take a Jeep ride up a gulch trail too, it was a highlight of their trip. We did a little road trip through Aspen, across Independance pass and ended up in Leadville (hence the title of the post).

We ended up there the day before the LT100 mountain bike race. We got to catch the Lance Armstrong craze.

Lance won the race this year after taking second in '08. What a stud. Leadville is a really fun place with a multitude of playgrounds for the outdoor enthusiast.

I was really taken by the atmosphere thoughout the mountain towns. Everyone is involved in some type of activity, you really had to look hard to see someone who was out of shape, if you did they seemed have either a Vikings or Packers jersey on, go figure.

Anyhow, I have been taking it really easy this summer, I have cut way back on mileage in an attempt to keep some of my nagging injuries (back) at bay and to baby a few new ones (knee). I am contemplating a late fall race, likely one of the Murphy races, Lord knows there are plenty to choose from. As I have noted before I really have never raced much in the heat of the summer, though you may see me at an aid station somewhere soon?