Sunday, March 16, 2014

Running Log Excerpts: 3/10-3/15/2014

3/15/2014 Saturday
3 PM Starting a small Trailrun now. 
Parked in the small dirt lot across from the water plant off Hospital Road. 
Did some hill repeats on the left side my head was just not into it. 

3/14/2014 Friday
Started run just after 9 AM heading on reverse black trail now 10:09 AM
Zig zagged all over trails and reverse directions as well. 
Tool mountain bikers. One a little __________ who could not decide which gloves to wear and ended up jacking his shoulder from attempting a wheely in the parking lot. 
Very cold start warmed up a bit and then got cold again. Clouds. 
Barometer dropped to 30.10

3/13/2014 Thurday
The Atlantic club
20 mins stairclimber
Leg press 3 sets x14 reps at 150 lbs
Hip sled basic squat at 180 pounds 3 sets x14 reps
9:35 AM run Allaire trails with Jeff. Last minute decision. My head was fucked up and we were silent the first loop. 
Three counterclockwise orange loops two hours 41 minutes. 
Sleep deprivation again running slow the first two loops. 
Took one piece of military energy gum on the third loop. Felt like goddamn rocket fuel. 
Wind was brutal. 

3/12/2014 wed
Run at Allaire mostly bushwhacking and hill repeats. Found a new muddy section down by the water. 
_____ unexpected ______________last night prompted sleep deprivation all night and into the morning. Strange dream but mostly up all night tossing and turning. Good training for the 500. 
Forced myself out here this morning and my mind just wondered. 
Came upon a hawk or osprey sitting on the white trail. 
Saw Frank in the parking lot. 

3/11/2014 Tuesday
Running Allaire started run at 8:12 AM
11:10 AM went two orange loops with Jeff. going on unblazed right now. 

3/10/2014 monday
03:35:04.39 / 20 miles +/-
run Allaire start run at 1:50 PM. 
Saw Jeff and ran two orange loops with him. 
Ran a clockwise orange loop by myself before Palmer got there. Unblazed trails with Palmer. Made him do burpees and timed his sock change to 2 mins. Stream crossings and hill repeats. 
Warm out and trails were extra muddy. Trails scars from trudging through pickers after a hillside climb.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Running Log Excerpts

Just some selected excerpts from my daily running log. A small, black, weather-proof notebook:
(Side note: "Allaire" refers to the mountain bike trails on Hospital road, not the park. Also, I run everyday; 20-30 miles, most entries are just running data, but I found these to be runs that made me MISERABLE. Those are the best kind)

3/6/2014 Thursday
20 miles. North to AP - winds 
cutting through gloves. 
4* w/ the wind chill. 
Had to duck into a
DD for coffee to warm up.
Headed back north. 
Steve w/the dog. I hate 
Asphalt. Knees and hips 
Are hammered. Wind @
Back on the return.

3/3/2014 Mon
Didnt have to teach. 
Hit the trails @ Allaire 
@10am. Frst one
There. Fresh layer of 
Snow about 4inches. 
Ran steady - hills 
& the reg trails w/ 
Some blue trails
& blue extensions. 
Seemed warm for a 
Cold day. Feet froze
Afterwards & got 
Feeling back in the 
Shower. Mentally got
My shit together today -

2/20/14 -Thurs
Run @ Allaire
Ice & slush. Fuck me. 
Falling apart. Met state 
Cop looking to train for 13.1. 
Fed my squirrel. Warm
Out. Tough run. Great 

2/14/2014 - Fri
Run - Allaire
Fuck me. Deep snow
& slush. Relatively 

Run - Allaire
Cold. Fucking cold. 

2/5/2014- Wed
Fucking miserable. Cold
Freezing rain. Soaked 
Thorugh. Seal Skinz 
Gloves failed - 
High NW winds brutal.
AP convention hall closed. 
Felt sick @ home. 
Knee/joint pain on

2/4/2014 - tues
Run @ Allaire 
Tough run - deep snow. 
Warm but tough. 
HR up & legs burning 
Fell off side of hill & 
Jacked wrist. 
Met dude & his dog...
Looked like a
Bear. Said he's 100% 
German shepard -
W/ a 1 in a million gene that makes him
All black w/ a thick 
Fur coat. "Riley."

Run Allaire , 9am
Tough run through snow &
Ice. Some bushwhacks. 
Followed a trail of blood on
Blue blaze
Shot of _____
In coffee to stay warm. Warmed up. 
Trail walkers in my way. 

1/27/2014- mon. 
Run start @ 12pm
Slush & snow made it 
nearly impossible to run. 
Slipping back a step for 
Every two steps. Palmer 
Showed up for last 
Orange loop & 2 mile 
Cool down... 
...Didnt eat enough - bonked 
Still bonking @ 6:08pm
Feet soaked and frozen but
_____ magic foot mix is
Ginger ale now.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Year in Review

So, it was a successful year of ultrarunning for me. What happened??

Ran up and down snow and ice covered rocks for 30 miles for the chance to get a giant blueberry pie, but all I got was a rock ;-)

Ran 460 miles non-stop through the Green Mountains of Vermont: Destoyed my feet. Went delirious after running for 48 hours straight, no sleep. Almost stabbed one of my pacers with a trekking pole...sorry Jeff ;-) Argued with a Zombie about the lack of a trekking ya Mark :-) 
Lost nearly 17 lbs. Got to run with a legend...thank you NatureBoy ;-)

Ran 50 miles on the hottest day in August for fun. On asphalt. 

100 miles on some gnarley trails at Oil Creek with the worst nausea to date, for 85 of those miles. 

Continued to run 20-30 miles everyday in between races. Virtually no rest days.

Got sponsored by Hammer Nutrition for 2014.

Sounds good to me! Epic stuff happening for 2014...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Post-460 miles: Madness...

It has been four weeks since I have returned from Vermont. 460 miles of running and my head was in the clouds. My new friend Willy, who finished the 500 last year, told me at the end of the race, "This will change you forever." He who runs 500 miles, speaks the truth...

I took two weeks off from running when I returned home to New Jersey. My body was pretty beaten up, but my spirits were high after accomplishing such an epic adventure. I was emotional. I couldn't stop telling my wife, Alison, that I loved her. I was tearing up at reading all of the posts and messages on Facebook.  I had people telling me they were inspired to sign up for a race, or start running after following all of the updates from Vermont. I was overwhelmed and humbled. I had never felt so shy and content in my life. Food tasted better. Crashing on the couch at night and watching TV was exciting. Going for a walk with Alison was bliss. But then the madness started.

My sleep patterns were off. I was falling asleep in the middle of the day while studying for my CPT exam. I was jumping awake at 2am. My legs were spasming at random times throughout the night. During the day, everything seemed louder: car horns, telephones ringing, doors slamming, people talking. I wanted to put ear plugs in. I became so irritable: grinding my teeth at traffic lights.  Snapping at people who were asking me harmless questions. Scoffing openly at the woman in the cafe, complaining that her latte was not prepared correctly. Driving felt foreign and I couldn't breathe being enclosed behind the steering wheel. I felt like everything was closing in on me. It was claustrophobic. There was too much noise, movement, talking. I wanted to scream. I still want to scream.

I desperately wanted to go back to the Green Mountains. It was peaceful and quiet. No car horns or cell phones going off. No traffic lights telling me when I could move. From what I remember, the porcupines weren't complaining about the preparation of their lattes. They just wanted to get out of my way and do what porcupines do...and I have no idea what they do. 

It was simple in the mountains. I had what I needed and nothing more. A philosophy which my friend Willy practices, every second of his wonderful life: live simply. From him, I want to incorporate that way of life into mine. I have no problem with the usual responsibilities; bills, appointments, family functions and the like. However, running 460 miles taught me that I can certainly do without many things in my life and there are things that I simply can't tolerate anymore. Oh Willy, you were so right! The mountains are calling my name, and for now, that is the only noise I want to hear. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2013 Peak Races / McNaughton 500 mile Report

McNaughton 500

I ran 460 miles in 9 days, up, down and around the Green Mountains of Vermont. I experienced 193,200 feet of total vertical elevation change. I fought through countless obstacles; weather, nausea, time, my personal demons, severely destroyed feet, yet I carried on. That last trek up the mountain, my body succumbed to the punishment I inflicted on it. Although my head and my heart were ready to move forward, my feet would not. I stopped and placed my head on the handles of my trekking poles, tears streaming down my face. My crew, with their arms around me, decided it was enough. They would not push me any further. The most difficult thing was to allow myself to be okay with 460 miles. It was not a DNF. It was a 460 mile PR, and I could not be happier.

What happens when running 460 miles?

·         Torrential down pouring for the first 4 days

·         Mud, mud, and more mud

·         Skin falling off of my feet

·         Severe blistering all over my feet

·         Chunks missing from my heels

·         Trashed quads

·         Bruises and cuts

·         Bushwhacking through pickers and poison ivy

·         Sleep deprivation for a week

·         Cold nights and shivering in wet clothes

·         Extreme heat the last few days

·         Nose bleeds

·         Nose bleeds used for war paint

·         Climbing that fucking ‘hill’ 46 times

·         Porcupines are HUGE…and they climb trees

·         Extreme nausea for the first 80 miles

·         A steady diet of French fries, egg sandwiches, Boost chocolate shakes, potato chips and Coke fixed the stomach issues

·         Drying my feet with a space heater

·         Tripping the breakers with said space heater

·         The Hurricane throwing me into the shower, contorting my body and forcing me to sleep

·         The Devil’s Noodle

·         Newt Snack

·         “Wet log!”

·         “Slippery rock!”

·         “That’s what’s up…”

·         “I can’t deal with an old man singing on the mountain. Let’s get the fuck out of here…”

·         The stars circling at the summit in the middle of the night

·         Two black bears

·         THAT’S, a Vermont raccoon???

·         What in the hell just growled at us?

·         Coyotes howling down by the river

·         Marking our territory

·         Finger nails stopped growing

·         Following Willy’s Skittle trail

·         Willy’s endless supply of Mountain Dew

·         The shock of seeing my wife walk into the barn!

·         Fighting with Jeff in the creek over a bandana

·         Emotional break downs and blood curdling screams

·         Laughing about the “darted rhinoceros”

·         Crying more times than I would like to admit

·         Reciting Pulp Fiction lines

·         Reciting Predator lines

·         “You can’t use a stick as a trekking pole! It’s unbalanced!”

·         Hallucinations; leaves, rocks and trees, turning into faces and monsters taunting me

·         The last 48 hours, no sleep, no breaks, constant running

·         Sleep deprived delirium and not remembering I was running

·         Hands blistered and forged around the handles of my trekking poles

·         Knowing who my friends really are. I love you all.

·         The final trek up the mountain with Mark and Willy

·         Willy’s last words to me on that hill…

·         460 miles changes you; I will never be the same