Friday, December 31, 2010


I finished 2010 with 3,061 miles under my belt - an anemic amount in comparison to many, but a decent amount considering the number of weeks missed from a few niggling injuries.  This is normally a time of year for reflection, but my mind is firmly focused on the future and the site of this picture above; Springer Mountain, GA and more specifically, the AT.  2011 will be an unprecedented year of challenges and adventure for myself and Kadra.  I just can't believe it is nearly here.  I welcome it with open arms!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CNN Video

Cool to see a deserving icon of our sport representing ultrarunning so well.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Fun

Bickles Knob Fire Tower
Photo: Joel Wolpert
 Had a good run yesterday with my buddy Joel.  2k of climbing through waist-deep drifts in below zero wind chill.  The serene view from the top was definitely worth it all. . . but I still can't feel my thumbs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hellgate Crewing

Anxiously awaiting the start

Runner #1: Corey - 15:06

Runner #2: Dan - 16:24 (8th finish)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Big Plans in 2011

Since now is the time of year that most people are starting to think more about the upcoming year than the present month remaining; I thought I too would share my 2011 plans.  I only have one simple agenda for 2011 - the Appalachian Trail. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Masochist Recap

MMTR 2010
photo: Eco-X/Clark Zealand

I had a great time this past weekend at Masochist even though the race didn't go nearly as well as I hoped.  Do they ever?  I didn't really go into this race with any huge expectations.  I just wanted to have fun and beat my time from '07 (7:53) in what I planned to be my last race of 2010.  I thought I could fairly easily run under 7:53 and guessed that I would probably be somewhere around the mid 7:30's based on some recent workouts and my increased experience as an ultrarunner three years later.  It turns out that I was mistaken and unfortunately it was not going to be easy from the start.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MMTR Miracle

Just thought I'd share this for those of you who haven't seen this video from Josh Cox's 1997 victory and then course record at Masochist.  I'm hoping for my own MMTR miracle.

"Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional."
~David Horton

RT Weekly Recap

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I've heard you start looking like your spouse over time. I didn't expect this drastic of a transformation!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Racing the Blazer

Yesterday I did my last hard workout before Masochist.  After Superior Sawtooth, I had big plans of incorporating quality speed-work into my weekly training in hopes of making an honest effort at racing again in five weeks.   I've never been the model of consistency when it comes to speed work - I should have known it would never last.  The first few interval and fartlek sessions left me very sore, achy, and a feeling of "on the verge" of injury.  I quickly altered my training plan and replaced the shorter speed sessions with more longer tempo runs and "climbathons" as I like to call them.  Yesterday was a climbathon workout.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WV Trilogy 2010 - Co-RD Report

The initial idea for this unique event came in early 2009 when Dan and I made a trip to Arkansas for the 3 Days of Syllamo.  On our trip to the race, we had been seriously brainstorming and hashing out details for a 100-mile race that we would take on and direct together.  After our experience in Arkansas though, our minds were changed.  Knowing how logistically difficult a 100-miler would be to pull off, we knew that a 3-day event would be equally (or more) special and require far less resources to accomplish.  Ultimately, there is something so very special about the unguarded camaraderie and unparalleled experience of racing multi-day events - we wanted to share this with our fellow runners in one of the most extraordinary places in all of West Virginia.

Monday, October 11, 2010

RT Weekly Recap

My posting has been quite sporadic lately.  I've been extremely busy since Sawtooth getting ready for the Trilogy race.  Expect some amazing pictures and race reports between here and the WVMTR page over the next few days.  The event was every bit as amazing and special as I envisioned.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Superior Sawtooth 100-Mile

It's hard to know where to start with this race report and experience - I guess I should start with the beginning.  Kadra and I flew out to Duluth, MN last Tuesday and were greeted by driving rain and enough cold air that all the clothing I had packed couldn't remove the chill.  I'm ready for fall, but it coming that abruptly was quite a shock to both of us.

Our friend Corey LeBrasseur picked us up at the airport and took us to Cloquet where he and his wife Chrissy live.  They split time between their house in town and Corey's grandmother's farm on the outskirts of town.  We were lucky enough to stay out at the farm and hang out for a few days before the race.  We had a great time learning how to sauna, enjoying the outhouse, and made a trip to downtown Duluth (very cool town).

RT Weekly Recap X 2

This Week (Above)

Last Week HERE

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quick Beta

Finished Superior Sawtooth in 23:48, 2nd place.  Absolutely amazing race, but had some horrendous conditions with cold rain all night.  Most likely the toughest 100 that I've done with everything considered.  Brian Peterson won in 22:39 in his first 100. . . he definitely rocked it and I was never really in contention for the lead although I ran very solid and steady.  More to come, but HERE is some coverage in the meantime.

Monday, September 6, 2010

From the archives. . .

I just stumbled upon this again this morning.  If you're a beginner trail runner, you should commit the advice from these two doctors to memory.  My favorite moment is at 5:46.  Study up.

Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile

I am very excited to make the trip to MN tomorrow to run the Superior Sawtooth 100 on Friday.  This nearly 100% single-track course follows the Superior Hiking Trail and what looks like some amazing terrain and scenery along Lake Superior.  I think this course is going to be right up my alley - 20,000 ft. of gain and loss on technical trails. . . it doesn't get much better!  Expect a full report of the suffering and maybe some pics of the carnage next week.  I'm off to do battle with the SHT!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Just watched a great movie online tonight.  Click the image to the left to watch it.

Kind of made me want to throw on the flats and starting doing 400m repeats on the track tonight - not what I need to do a week out from a 100 miler though.

RT Weekly Recap

Monday, August 23, 2010

Running For Office?

Check out this story: Candidate Walks 40 Miles To Run For Office

Too bad he's not in our voting area.  I don't know his platform, but I'd vote for him just because he had the guts to walk 40 miles!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My New Favorite Tool

This is for all you trail-work junkies out there.  Check out this Swedish Brush Axe -- no tree limbs or spruce trees along the trails stand a chance with this bad boy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Laying Low

I've been laying pretty low since the Shenandoah B-day run.  Not by design though.  Last Tuesday I sprained my ankle pretty badly on a 20M loop run - 10 miles in.  I had a pretty painful 10 mile hike back to my truck that took me over 3 hours.  Certainly not a good time and ill timing since I had just signed up for the Superior Sawtooth 100 the day before and even booked my flight.  I thought it was going to be a real issue.  Luckily, I only missed three days of running, but got on the bike for two of them instead.  Back to running solid now.

I've been super busy with all the organization, planning, and trail work for Cheat Mtn coming up next week.  Just got in from doing trail work with Dan and Joel.  The trails are in the best shape that they have ever been for the event! . . . I'm kind of jealous of all the runners.  I can't wait for next Friday- it's going to be a great race!

Check out this great video that Joel did for Running Times: Click HERE - good stuff!

RT Weekly Recap

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shenandoah National Park

White Blaze Fever!
I had a great few days of running in Shenandoah for my Birthday Run.  I was lucky enough to have the company of friends Jeremy Ramsey and Clark Zealand to join in the fun.  We covered 107.1 miles from Sunday afternoon to midday Wednesday.  We saw lots of fog, a little rain, beautiful trail, but NO BEARS. . . I was bummed about that.

RT Weekly Recap

Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthday Run

Next week to celebrate my b-day (the big 3-0!), I'm going to run the length of Shenandoah National Park on the Appalachian Trail.  If any readers happen to be in the vicinity of this section of the Trail, drop by and run a section or two with me.

Here's the itinerary:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seen On The Run

First time I'd ever seen this . . . two fawns nursing. They just stood there as I ran 2o yards by them and didn't even budge. Pretty cool.

(Not my pic - one borrowed online)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grand Canyon Article

Just thought I'd share an article from the Nicholas Chronicle about the Grand Canyon trip in May.

Rattlesnake 50K

The 16th Annual Rattlesnake 50K was this past weekend in Charleston, WV. I ran this race one other time (2006) in 4:30. This year my approach was much different than the last time I ran the race. I went into it with very little expectations. It was going to be a fast "training run".

I've been experimenting with my training the past month and running much higher mileage than I have in the past. Normally I run 65-80 miles/week all year round with a few big weeks mixed in - very little exception. Lately I've added in 2-3 extra runs per week and lengthened some of mid-week runs a bit to bring my weekly average up around 100 miles. My goal race is the Superior Sawtooth 100 in September and I'm interested to see how/if these adjustments help me.

Nonetheless, I came into this race tired - 118 miles the week before and 60 miles already the week of the race with no taper or days off. I had no idea how my legs would feel or respond? This was uncharted territory. My goal was to try to run around or a little better than my time from 2006, but with a controlled effort.

The race started benignly enough with no one really stepping up to lead on the first climb - so I did. Early on I settled into a rhythm of running the uphills solid, then would get reeled in by a couple of guys on the flats and downhills. This is where I lacked that "pop" in my legs or the "next gear" to go as a result of the new training stresses (at least that's my assumption). Kind of strange or counter intuitive that it would be the hills where I felt the best though. It was a humid day - not nearly as hot as it was even the day before - but I knew steadiness would be the key to pulling away in this race. I just had to bide my time and be patient. I focused on my intake of fluids, calories, and electrolytes.

About the half way through the race, I was told at the aid-station that I had a two minute lead at the last one. I remember thinking, "Well. . . it's time to see what I can do!". From that point on I started pushing a bit, gradually increasing my lead, and ended up running strong to finish with the win in 4:27. I was definitely pleased with my effort and the result. My time was certainly not "fast" based on previous years, but would have presumably been at least five minutes faster had the course not had so many blow downs and treetops to weave through that had not been cleared. I'm not sure what was up with that?

All in all a wonderful time. I had a great time hanging out with all the great friends that were enjoying this classic summer ultra. That is without a doubt my favorite thing about running these things - the people. Some of the finest people I've ever met in this world are folks that I've met running ultras.

So, does this mean that my higher mileage experiment is a success? The data is still way too meager and early to make a conclusion. There's still some major training to be done between now and Sawtooth. I hope I can survive it! If I can withstand the training load, I'm confident that I'll be very fit come September. I really want to put myself in the best possible position to win a 100 miler - we'll see what happens. . .

Monday, June 28, 2010

Saturday's 50K

Saturday I ran the WV Trilogy 50K course with Dan. What a day we had. It was just a gorgeous day to be out on the trails. These long self-supported runs are often times more fun for me than races.

I know I've said it before, but man this race is going to be special. We wanted to run the course to see "how it runs" and check out a few logistical issues. Well . . . it runs very nicely!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

RT Weekly Recap

Thought I'd start sharing the link here to the weekly trail recap I'm writing over at (just click the picture to follow the link).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Highlands Sky-ing

(All smiles at the start: Photo from Jeremy Ramsey)

What a great year it was for the 8th running of the Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail Run. The race was three people shy of filling and had what was deepest field the race has seen - a good year to be in the mix racing.

My training before the race had been solid after my three weeks missed in April from my knee injury. I knew I was in shape, but I also knew that since I had done zero quality (I just ran - no "workouts") this year that I would not have the turnover to make an honest go for the win with the guys up front. I did two training runs on the course after I got back from the Grand Canyon; one of which I ran hard as a time trial. My splits on that run were as follows:

AS 2: 1:46 (Mile 10.5)
AS 3: 2:47 (Mile 16.0)
AS 4: 3:21 (Mile 19.7)
AS 5: 3:45 (Mile 22.7)
AS 6: 4:17 (Mile 27.0)

Based on these times, I thought I could easily shave at least six minutes off my time between the start and AS 6 (4:11) with the race day "magic", people to chase, carrying less water, and not having to stop and fill-up from creeks like in the trainer. Here were my goal splits:

AS 2: 1:42
AS 3: 2:41
AS 4: 3:15
AS 5: 3:39
AS 6: 4:11
AS 7: 5:12
AS 8: 5:56
Finish: 6:29

I started our conservatively and just fell in behind all the other guys going out hard. I came through AS 2 and 3 pretty much right on schedule and feeling fine. I was only concerned with hitting my splits. My pre-race plan was to run conservatively until AS 4, then start letting it all hang out from the road all the way to the finish - not my normal style. I felt good on the dreaded Road Across the Sky and ran every single step at what felt like a decent pace. I believe I moved up two positions on the road and came through AS 6 (mile 27) in 4th place, 4:15 into the race. . . 4 minutes off of my goal, but certainly nothing to panic over.

The next section is where the wheels simply came off. No question of what happened - The heat got to me in the open meadows and my stomach just quit cooperating. What felt so smooth and fluid only moments before, became drudgery. Knowing that I was not very heat acclimated and seeing the large amounts of salt on my skin, I really started pushing the S-caps in this section. Too little too late though - I was off my splits and thrown into survival mode. The finish line was the only cure for my disease at that point.

I love Highlands not only because it is a great race in my home state, directed by my good friend Dan Lehmann, but mainly because it was my first real test in my early years of ultrarunning. Even though I was feeling puny the last 10 miles or so of the race, I still soaked in the meaning and beauty of it all. I thought back during that section to when I ran the race for the first time back in 2005 and had no idea of what the heck I was doing. Many things have changed since then, but some have remained the same. It's always a wonderful feeling to cross the finish line of any ultra and this day was no different. I crossed the line in 6:43, nearly an hour less than when I last ran the race in '07. It was not the result I was capable of running or planned on running, but I was and am satisfied nonetheless. Any day that I can spend running and enjoying the beauty of God's creation is certainly a good day.

Then: 2005

Now: 2010