Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lack of Running and Nagging Pains

I have been taking it easy for the past month. So easy that I haven't even ran 50 miles. This is caused by a combination of a few different factors.
  • Burnout: I simply did not have the ambition to run. I didn't even get cranky from not running for a few days.
  • Weather: The weather has gotten colder and I haven't adjusted. I am cold all the time and don't feel like going outside and running.
  • Tiredness: I am more tired than usual. I feel this has to do with a lack of vitamin D(from less sun exposure) and the cold(which requires more energy for my body to stay warm).
So I haven't ran. 

Today I slept in, got myself ready and went out for a run around the lake. I had every intention of doing a 10 mile run. I carried my Camelbak and listened to some music. I was really enjoying myself. The sun was out and I was soaking it up. Then I started to get a nag on my inner ankle. I am very familiar with this nag and have learned to just deal with it. Today it seemed to be a little more naggy. This is where I drew the line and decided that something had to be done about it.

The pain circulates around this area
 Another long-time discomfort I have had is that it feels like, when I'm standing, that my toes are crossing over each other. I wear minimalist shoes all day that have a huge toe box. My toes have plenty of room to splay. Coincidentally this discomfort takes place on the same foot.

I think I have some muscle groups that are just tight and need to be loosened up. I feel a massage will accomplish this. I don't really want to pay someone to massage me, since I am cheap and am actually interested in how my body works.

I had remembered a friend of mine had a book about massaging different parts of your body. It basically used a ball a little bigger than a golf ball. (It is a ball used in a sport, I just don't remember the sport). Anyway the book shows you how and where to massage different muscle groups. Definitely something I should look into!

Something else that might be of consideration is strengthening. Maybe I could make a balance board and strengthen the stabilizer muscles in my ankle.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Where Have I Been?

I have been gone for the past few months. I am very sorry about that and I will be back. I have been writing on a different blog(even running related things) and have decided that I should just stick to this blog for running related things. With that being said, I am going to post everything running related to this site. You should see some new posts coming up shortly.

UPDATE: Everything should be up-to-date now. I still have a Pinhoti From A Pacer's Perspective and a Duncan Ridge 50k Review in the works.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I Can Run Again!

Yesterday I decided to test out the ol’ obliques and sure enough, at the same spot in the run they started hurting. It wasn’t as bad this time, so instead of turning back I slowed down to about 10 min/miles. This helped. I noticed that when I climbed hills the pain went away.

After about 2 miles of running I was running fine with minimal pain. I think I am good to go, I just have to not shock them by going out too fast. Thank god. I was scared there for a minute!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Amount of Running You Don’t Get To Do When You Run Ultramarathons

What? That title barely makes sense.

I ran the Duncan Ridge Trail 50k to the fullest of my ability last Saturday. I was really pleased with myself, but have also been taking it easy as far as running goes to let my body heal and not get mentally burnt out.
So, today is Tuesday. I have only ran once since the race(10 days ago) and did not run 6 days before the race.

I think that I made the right decisions by not running, but I think that it is making me a little crazy. See, when I don’t run I become a real, well, asshole. I have very little patience, things start hurting(like my back), and I am not pleasant. The irritability has not completely taken over yet, but I feel it coming near. My back is already hurting and feels like it needs to be popped. And I am whiny(hence this post).

It’s time to start running more.

Tonight, 10 road miles. It will be nice to release this negative energy.

UPDATE: I ran today. Made it .25 miles. For some reason my obliques were not happy with me and permitted me from running any further. I guess I’ll try again tomorrow. :(

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DRT 2012 Quick Update

I finished yesterday’s Duncan Ridge Trail 50k in 6 hours and 48 minutes placing me somewhere in the top 10, possibly the top 5. I am still waiting on the official time and places. I had a very good run and tried my hardest. I feel great today and am very pleased.
Running Ahead Run Summary
I’ll post a race report, hopefully, in the next few days.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Quick Pre-DRT Post

I just wanted to do a quick post before I head out the door for DRT 2012. I am very excited, kind of nervious, and anxious to see how today will turn out. I am going out with a faster than usual pace for an ultra and I will try to compete. I don’t expect to win, but I would like to try my hardest and feel like I gave it my all afterwords. I probably won’t post for a few days, since I plan on not doing much after this.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Curling My Toes

More recently I have caught myself curling my toes into each other. I think this is something that I have always done, but feel it happens more since I started running barefoot/minimal. Maybe this is something to do with my feet feeling tired of being sedentary(since it always happens after a period of sitting or resting). I have also caught myself curling the toes while sleeping.

Before barefoot/minimalist running I would curl my toes in certain situations, specifically panicky ones, like almost getting in a car wreck. I still kind of do it now, but I think I do it moreso for the restlessness feeling in my feet.
To conclude, I think since I have started barefoot/minimalist running my feet want to do more. I have activated the practically sedentary muscles. When I become sedentary I am reminded that they want to work!

There really isn’t much scientific evidence in my logic. Hopefully someone can possibly explain it better. Maybe I will post this on a forum or something.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Preparing For Pacing At Pinhoti

I am pacing Willy “Natureboy” Syndram again this year at the Pinhoti 100. Last year was a little too eventful, but hopefully this year we will do much better. :)

Last night I got a call from Phillip, another pacer, who was much more mature/prepared than I am. He had literally thought of any problems or situations we would get in. I think every crew needs someone like that.
I think while every crew needs someone who is on the ball, there needs to be the laid back, last minute, kind of guy to balance out things. This is where I come in!

I did start feeling guilty that I wasn’t that well prepared the night before, but explained to him that I will be prepared and he has nothing to worry about. He didn’t seem to worry and expressed that I have experience with this and know what to expect, as does he. We just handle situations better.
I basically packed my ultra-laundry basket, which consists of basically everything I have ever wanted while running, along with some easy food(spaghetti and apples). I also have clothes for multiple occasions. From what Phillip said, it is supposed to be relatively warm compared to our past week of cold.

I am very excited to be pacing Willy again this year. I hope the best for him and I will do anything I can to get him across that finish line fast and safely.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Exploring New Groups

Today I did something I rarely do, I ran with a group of people I am not familiar with. See, at Merrill’s Mile I made friends with John. He and I have been chatting back and forth on Facebook, trying to get a run together. I was always hesitant to wake up early on Sunday(the day his group meets), but decided to give it a try on my sleep deprived body.

I moved out at 7:00 AM and headed down to Cumming, GA. I was so tired that I had to stop and get an energy drink. This was after drinking a coffee mind you…

The trail we ran on was much more running-friendly than I am used to, especially compared to my run from Saturday. We were able to run sub 8 minute miles on certain sections. It was sure fun to break free!

I knew we were only doing 10 miles at a reasonable pace on reasonable terrain, so I opted to just bring my water bottle and a Hammer gel. It is funny to think that I used to have to work so hard to get 10 miles in and now I am using them as recovery runs. I feel like I am becoming a stronger runner, but also the cooler weather is playing a part.

The run was near a fish hatchery and ran near a lake. I was impressed by the cleanliness of the trail. No trash! People actually don’t litter!
The group I was with was nice and after a while I felt like I fit in pretty well. We were able to talk to one another and joke around. This is what I love about the running community. Almost 100% of the time, during group runs, everyone is happy because they are out doing the thing that they love. It is a beautiful thing.

I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera, but I will next time because there are some great views on this route.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Duncan Ridge Trail Training Run #2

This weekend was packed full of steep climbs, leafy trails, and fun people.

Running Ahead Run Summary

Saturday we set out and did the Duncan Ridge Trail training run, which consisted of the 18 miles the 50k runners get to run, but the 30k runners don’t. We met up at Vogel State park, then went to the location where the trail starts.

After the race director explained that he will be running ahead to put tags on the trail for race marking(and training run marking), the runners set off. I stayed back for a minute and spoke with Mitch Pless, an ultra-running buddy of mine(and a fast one at that). We caught up, discussed Pinhoti, and separated. He was only doing a short run that day since he is running Pinhoti in 1 week.
Before I begin, let me give you a run-down of what I have. I am carrying a Camelbak with 2 1.5 liter reservoirs in it. I also have a ton of food and other useless crap. It weighed 12 pounds. I did this because:
  • I wanted a really good work-out.
  • The pack that I run with runs a little slower than I am comfortable with. To combat this, I run with more weight to make it more strenuous.
I started a familiar climb and kept following the trail. I raced down a hill and hit a fork in the trail. “Hmmm…. It looks like they went that way!” I ran down, down, down a hill until I realized that I may not be in the right place. I had not seen any blue blazes or ribbons. Great… So I did what any lost grown man would do and called my mommy.
Luckily, she was on the right trail and described what I was looking for. I used my handy dandy GPS tool and followed my way back up, up, up a hill. “Ah, there’s the blaze I missed!” I ran fast to catch up to everyone. After about a quarter mile I had an odd feeling. I still hadn’t seen any more ribbons. Dammit.
I called my mom back again, and told her what was going on. She told me that my turn was at the very top of the hill that I had initially ran up. I dragged myself back up that hill, and saw the turn that was going in the opposite direction. Ugh.

At this point I had 2 miles on my watch and I was really only a quarter mile into the course. Some people would be frustrated by now, but I was actually pretty happy. I knew since I was on the right trail I could run faster, with a heavier pack, and try to catch up to my parents.
I kept myself moving at a medium-high intensity. Miles past and I did not see anyone. I kept doing the math in my head. It made sense that I was having a hard time catching them. I was 20 to 30 minutes behind them when I finally started running.

There were a few times when I got confused, but for the most part the trails were marked extremely well, considering the very leafy conditions.
I ran into Mitch again, who told me my parents were right up the hill. I kept moving and kept running into other runners that were doing their own training runs. I stopped and talked to my buddy Ryan. I casually leaned with my hand up against a tree and something bit it. It really hurt and I felt it start to swell. Once we got done talking I picked up the pace since I knew I only had about 2 miles until a turnaround/road. If something bad happened to my hand I could make it out alive!

I hit a downhill and loosened up. I glided down it and ran up behind my Mom and Paul. At this point I was at 9 miles and they were at 7.
I ran/walked with them until my Dad, Angela, and Jess ran into us. They were coming back. They said that the turnaround was .4 miles ahead. My Mom and Paul decided to turn around there and run with the group. I started running fast to the turnaround. I ran about .1 miles and decided that I didn’t feel like playing the whole catchup game again. I turned around, caught up with them, and decided to stick with people for the way back.
The way back was less eventful. Jess and I hung back with Paul, who was having some nutritional troubles.

All-in-all it was an excellent run, filled with great people and beautiful scenery. The climbs were great(masochistic I know)! I can’t wait to run this section after running Coosa Bald in the DRT.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Unbreakable Movie - Meeting The Pros

Just a quick update.

I have been running and running, but other hobbies have pulled me away from my writing.

Anyway, last night I met Hal Koerner, a really awesome ultra-runner who I probably would never see in a race situation(would be too far ahead).

He was a super nice guy, real down to earth. We talked training strategies, pacing, and nutrition. He had a great Q&A after the movie where some more topics were covered such as race preparation, mantras, and wife material for him.

Oh, the movie was awesome! I am going to have to buy it! Maybe if I watch it with my girlfriend she will become inspired, as it is an extremely motivating movie! It was really neat to see all of my running heroes packed into one movie.

Well, that's all I got for now. I'll keep running and so should you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Merrill's Mile 2012 24 Hour Race Report

Well I suppose it is time to write about my Dumass Events Merrill's Mile Race, which was my first attempt at 100 miles.

Prior to this race I had not run anything further than 31 miles, thus making 100 miles a very ambitious goal. With the layout of the course and superb aid support, I thought this would make a great race to attempt. I was nervous, but knew what I was getting myself into. I was going to have to stay awake for most of 24 hours and keep moving. I typically am clocking out around 10 PM, so staying up that late would be a challenge in itself.

This race started pretty anticlimactic. As you can see from the video below, we are not exactly speed demons. Or maybe we just know that we are in it for the long haul and nobody wanted to make an ass out of themselves.

Within the first ten miles I was in an eating habit. I would pop a Hammer Huckleberry gel on the even miles and eat a banana slice and pretzels on the odd. I made up this strategy during the race to keep track of my miles and my food. "What's that taste in my mouth? Huckleberry? Must be on mile 8." This worked out for about 15 miles, then I got bored of it, so I kept eating frequently.

Miles 15 through 25 started to get hot. I tried to keep eating warm gels and keep my nutrition up. I also would put ice in my hat almost every mile and splash water on my face. My stupid hand-held water bottle did not have a large enough hole to put ice in, so my water was not the coldest by the end of the one mile lap. Luckily, the aid stations were passing out larger water bottles that held the icy water very well. I was grateful for this since it kept my hands cold. With these proactive measures against the heat I did not get a headache like I have been getting. I am happy that I found what was causing these so I can further improve on these measures. 

I believe during this time my dad spotted a barefoot runner who was alternating between barefoot and Merrells.

25 through 30 really dragged. I was getting really hot no matter what I did and I was having trouble convincing myself to eat. I stopped at our tent and grabbed an Ensure. I had never had one, but knew it was high in calories and could be just what I needed! I drank it down and kept moving. About ¾ of a mile later I was on the side of the loop puking. After two good pukes I felt a million times better. My dad saw me puking and walked me to a nearby river to cool off. I had no idea that the river was there, but I was previously wondering why people were going back there.

After cooling off I finished 30 miles and decided it was time to take a nap. Dave, Sue, and Matthew came and visited me during this time. It was nice seeing some people from the outside world. :)
Apparently some believe there was a person watching down over us. See the face?
My nap didn't go as planned. I basically just laid there. I thought that I just wasted time and a mile, but found that I was able to run much better after taking a little break.

Continuing on I just kept running and walking when needed. I threw in another nap and had a grilled cheese sandwich and a very peculiar choice of other foods. I was just glad I got a big meal in me and took another nap around mile 45. 

I run with a women named Mary. She keeps me company, talks to me about government jobs, tells me about her. She is super nice and friendly. To be honest, I didn't absorb 80% of what she said. When I run I tend to do that. I do appreciate her company and would love to run with her again.
Mile 49 I felt a strong soreness in my Achilles of my left foot. I walked for a second, tried to run, it hurt, so I walked, tried to run, still hurt, dammit.

I explained to my dad what was going on and he reminded me that there was an a sports chiropractor at the aid station who was doing massages. I made it a few more laps when my lovely Whitney showed up, along with her two closest friends. During this time Dave, Sue, and Matthew came back.

Approaching 9PM, I figured I needed a break anyway, ate some food, and talked to them. You know, nothing makes you feel better than having the people around you that are true, authentic, friends. With high spirits I told Whitney to meet me over at the massage table.

While waiting for a massage I overheard my Whitney's friends mentioning my hairiness. I was running without a shirt and didn't even think about it. I don't think they cared. I sure as hell didn't(at least not at this time) and found it quite amusing.

The sports chiropractor started working on me. She used something that looked like a butter knife and rubbed the muscles and tendons. She said it was supposed to flush out the bad. At this point I was willing to do anything to keep running. I remember her telling me what she was doing and all that stuff. Honestly, I didn't really care. She was the professional. She can do anything she wants as long as she thinks it is best for me!

After seeing Dave, Sue, Matthew, Whitney, and her friends, as well as getting a massage, I was feeling awesome! The people at the aid stations were impressed that I was running and actually keeping a decent pace. I am sure this was due to the new runners out there as well.

During this time the second round of runners started running with me. I talked with one guy and he seemed really friendly. If you know who you are let me know. We can talk on Facebook or something.

Then the pain came back. Mile 57 I felt like junk! My Achilles and hip flexors flared up and I couldn't make myself run another step. I started walking.

During this time I noticed that Angela had been in the tent for a while now. I feared her alarm didn't go off, but wanted to leave her alone for a few more minutes so she could at least get some rest if she wanted.

After hobbling around 60 miles I decided to take a real nap soon. Luckily Angela had started moving again. She got out of the tent and immediately started making fun of me, “Oh Tyler, I just had the best nap! I feel great! But you , you look like shit!” …. “Tyler, you are walking funny! Hahahahaha”

Bleh, I went to the tent and set my alarm for 30 minutes. Feeling like this I knew there was no way I could complete 100 miles. In a few minutes I was asleep.

Beep! Beep! Beep! *Reset alarm for 30 more minutes* Beep! Beep! Beep!

Okay, I'm up! It's not going to get any better than this I thought to myself. I got myself situated and started moving again. I got another lap or two in when I started to notice a soreness on the top of my foot.

The VivoBarefoot Breatho model is an excellent shoe, but it does have a tight spot on my foot that eventually bruises. I tried re-lacing them so they wouldn't have this sore spot, but it was clear I had to switch shoes.

Whitney had mentioned that she brought her Nike running shoes. I start looking for them. I spent about 10 minutes looking for them when Willy came up. He probably thought I was disoriented and asked me what I was up to. I explained. He helped me look for them and after about 2 minutes he came up empty handed as well. This is when I noticed my SanukSidewalk Surfers. “These will work!” Willy laughed at my choice, but I knew they would be comfortable enough to at least walk in.

During this time I found myself making excuses. "If I just ate this, I can move further." "If I go poop I will feel much better." "If I visit the chiropractor again I will be good..." So of course I did all these things. Looking back, these were probably all necessary and helpful, but I knew I was making excuses. With high trust in the chiropractor I asked him to adjust me. He was super cool and hooked me up with an alignment. I melted when he popped my upper back. Keep in mind, this is the only other person that has adjusted me that Dr. Toby Hopkins. Thankful for the series of overall successful events, I told myself that that was enough distractions! I must move!

So I walked and walked... Mile 65 Dave shows up. It is 5ish in the morning and I am so happy to see him! He walks and talks with me. I tell him about Angela teasing me. He assures me that this is just the way that I speed-walk and that I look good. Phew!

Mile 69 rolls around and it is 7AM. I tell Dave that I want to get to 70 miles. Well, I cross the finish line and start on lap 70. I start running. If I am going to finish now I am going to go out with a bang!

I start running and I hear Willy yell, “He's alive!” That lap felt so good. Michael Arnstein mentioned a very emotional feeling during ultra running. I felt that. I was very happy and felt weightless.

Walking with the mama, who ran 40 miles the previous day!
After finishing that lap around 11 min/miles Dave throws me a curve ball and says, “Well, you have to walk it out after running like that!” We walk another lap. After this I chill out at the aid station and eat/drink Ramen Noodles(Glorious BTW). The sports chiropractor works on me for a 3rd time, then I just sit and relax. My parents show up around 7:30 and walk with me for my last 5 miles. I walk half of the 75th mile, then run it in. The rain starts and it feels good. A part of me enjoys it, the other part wants to be out of the rain.
Willy notifies me that I have 28 minutes left. I tell him he can have it and go back to the tent before getting more drenched. Angela's husband, Lee, is there and he offers me a seat. What a great race!
One thing that worried me during this run was that I peed only a handful of times throughout the race. The hot temps dried me out and I kept hydrated. Will have to experiment/do research about this.
Meanwhile a woman is cutting it close, but wants the buckle. She continues her run/walk around the track, finishing with 12 minutes left. This is the beauty of ultra running. EVERY SINGLE PERSON there wanted her to accomplish her goal. When she did she got a round of applause. Friendship outweighs competition.  

Overall Merrill's Mile was an excellent race especially for the first time it had been put on. Willy did an excellent job putting it together. This is most likely because he is an ultra runner and knows what the people want. He also genuinely cares.

I am stoked that I hit 75 miles. That is more than double my previous distance! 100, here I come! :)

Thanks to everyone that helped me along the way and during the race. I couldn't have done it without you. I met some great people during this race whom I hope to run with in the future.
Post-Race with Ultra Mom(40 Miles) and Ultra Dad(39 Miles).
And the results!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tapering For Merrill's Mile

It has been a while since I have actively tapered(oxymoron?) for a race. I have to remind myself that I am not supposed to run tonight. I have had more free time, but I miss the hills and fresh air. I suppose I could hike but who has time for that slower version of trail running???

I am still debating on my strategy. I thought a run/walk after 20 miles would be good, but had my run/walk based on time. After a meeting with Willy "Natureboy" Syndram I was encouraged to have points on the loop that I run and walk at. This way I don't have to watch my watch.

There is going to be a big 24 hour clock that is counting down. A 20 hour 100 miler is exactly 12 minute miles. I plan on starting out around 10-11 min/miles and varying from there.

With the Cool Running Pace Calculator I am going to print out my splits for 20 hours, 22 hours, and 24 hours. This way I can at least know if I need to be going faster if I plan on sleeping for a while, eating, etc.

I know that after the first 10 miles I will probably make my first walk point after the food and drink aid station. This will give me time to cram food down, get my head together, and keep moving. I will probably try to keep it down to .15 of a mile and keep a 17 min/mile walk pace, then hop back onto 11-12 min/miles.

The next walk point will be after the second aid station(drinks), where I will do .10 miles and keep that <17 mile="mile" min="min" nbsp="nbsp" p="p" pace.="pace.">
As I get more tired I will need more walk. I will start by extending the first aid station's walk and do the same for the second.

Instead of killing myself keeping track of my time I will look at those sheets every 5 miles to make sure I am still on pace.

It really shouldn't be too hard to stay on pace on this race since it is all flat, but in order to reach 100 miles I will have to remain stable and productive through the whole race. No quitting.

If I quit. I fail.

If I don't get 100 miles, but I don't stop, that is fine. I would love to get 100 miles, but giving a good hard attempt and knowing that I did my best is all that I need.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Merrill's Mile Training Update

Just an update on my training for Merrill's Mile. Here are some things I am doing.

As of now I am balancing between workouts and injury. I want to go out and push myself to run longer and faster. I know these workouts will help me gain muscle, lose weight, and most importantly get used to feeling not so great during a run. I have done a lot of hilly trail runs, as well as one 20 miler mountain run on 2 hours of sleep.

I am also experimenting with fluid intake. I found that after 15 miles on my long runs I get headaches. This does not change regardless of my daily diet. I am fairly confident this is due to an electrolyte imbalance. I was told by a few more knowledgeable people that I am drinking too much water and to try to be around 1 oz per mile. Of course this varies with climate/environmental factors. I am also experimenting with Thermotab salt pills and water vs. Sports Drinks. Something else that helped me with the headaches was some caffeine. Oh baby, a cup of coffee around mile 16 on my long run at the Hiker Inn of Springer Mountain made all the difference! I was also pretty far ahead of the pack and was able to take a nap. :)

I am still interested in Michael Arnstein and reading the book 80/10/10 I have started to make fruit my primary source of calories. I haven't kept up with it long, and I cheat occasionally, but judging by the intense run I did yesterday and the way I feel today I can tell that it is helping my recovery times! I think it is good to cheat a little. It keeps my body acclimated to eating things other than fruit. If I get into a jam during the run and I don't have any fruits my body will be able to handle the pretzels or anything else. I hope this diet change is one that continues to positively influence me.

To date my furthest run is only 30ish miles. I could try to go out and run further, but with Merrill's Mile so close I don't want to push it. I will just keep with what I am doing and hope for the best. There is very little I can do at this point that is going to help me in 3 weeks.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I am currently on an airplane. Less than 45 seconds ago I was offered a drink. More recently I have been drinking and eating more fruits. I thought that I would try a juice from the cart. The cranberry apple juice blend sounded good, so I chose that.

It wasn't until I had sat down in my seat that I realized I was drinking a lie. The "juice" that I got was only 15% juice. The rest looked to be the equivalent of a Coke.

This feels like false advertising. I wanted juice but instead got high fructose corn syrup.

The worst part is, we are fooled by other products as well. For example: chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets are not always completely chicken and I bet some are less than 50%

50% is still better than 15%. I mean, at least those crummy chicken nugget manufacturers are trying! Well, kind of.

People wonder why people are so fat.

For the most part:
  1. People make bad food choices and know it. 
  2. People may choose the healthier looking alternative and actually get something less healthy.
I think the FDA should make companies write on title of the product in clear text what the product actually is. Less than 95% real fruit juice? That is not juice, that is drink. I shouldn't have to read the fine print on a damn drink.

This change would encourage food makers to make real food or pay the price. Let the fatties that want to eat unhealthy, eat unhealthy. At least help the people that are trying.

How do you feel about this? Is there any known percentage of the named product that is required before it is considered false advertising? Could I take a muffin and call it a carrot? What about if the muffin contained 15% carrot?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Really Great Lecture From Michael Arnstein

courtesy of

Michael Arnstein is a prominent ultra runner who successfully ran multiple ultramarathons. He follows a fruitarian diet inspired by the book 80-10-10, which has inspired some of my meals recently. Take the time to watch this. I know it is longer than most videos, but there are many things to learn from it.

Always experiment. Always learn. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

24 Hour Signup - Merrill's Mile - Course Evaluation

The other day I was browsing Facebook and my friend Willy "Natureboy" posted a picture of the Merrill's Mile belt buckle. I thought it was pretty and decided to sign up!

Ain't that sexy?
The truth is, I had heard about the race and was debating on whether to do the 24 or 12 hour race. Unsure of my abilities I was leaning toward the 12 hour. Then I saw the belt buckle. 100 miles. Could I hit 100 miles?

A quick calculation on Cool Running's pace calculator told me that I had to stay below a 14:24 min/mile. This means a slow trot or a fast walk. Could I do this? Hell, I dunno.

It is so easy to run out here that senior citizens can run!

Willy had mentioned that the loop was a 1 mile FLAT course. I have had race directors mess with me and tell me something is "easy" only to get out there and hit a mountain. Within 2 hours Willy had posted a picture for me of the loop. It was literally one of the flattest courses I have ever seen.

So I signed up.

Today I went there with Dave and ran it. We had no trouble getting into the Ranger Camp and started running. The terrain was very flat and soft. There were pea size rocks, which I didn't feel though my minimalist trail shoes(Link to my blog).

There were some spots where water had run a small divit on the course. No biggie, just step over.

The only thing I am hesitant about on this race is the flatness. This will use the same muscles the whole way. I am grateful that there are some inconsistencies on the trail to keep my mind in check and make me step differently occasionally.

I feel if there is a race that I can run 100 miles at currently this is the one. There will be a great aid station every mile, along with some very supportive people.

Check out that helicopter!

Oh, and as a bonus I was checking this out for my dad. Since he didn't join us and was worried about the terrain I sent him this picture.


More on my plans to complete this sucker later.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Being a Mule

Today my Dad, Angela, and I had a nice run up to Springer from Amicolola Falls. I tried something I have never tried before: Running with twice as much water.

Last week I did a tough run at 2:30 PM. It was around 95 degrees and sunny. At mile 6 on the trail I felt myself getting low on water. We still had 4 miles left and I was wanting to drink it all right then an there.

Fortunately we found a water pump and were able to refill/dunk our faces. From that I learned a valuable lesson: Run with enough water.

So this weekend I took my mom's CamelBak Women's Day Star 70 oz. Hydration Pack(Amazon Affiliate Link) and put 2 70oz bladders in it. I tested it with a quarter mile run, decided it would work, and set out to run 15 miles with it the next day.

Springer was an excellent run/hike. It is the approach trail for the Appalachian Trail. In my bag I had 1 70oz bladder of water, 1 70oz bladder of Gatorade mixed with Cytomax, a PB&J, 5 Banana Nut Cookies, and toilet paper - weighing in at 13 pounds. This was 8 or 9 pounds more than what I am used to running with.

It ended up being cool and rainy. I figured I wouldn't drink all my water, but it would help me as far as training goes to carry more weight and get stronger.

The first few miles were tough. I didn't drink much water and didn't really need to. It felt hard to move forward and I was tempted to dump out my bladder.

Around mile 3 I got used to it and felt like I was just carrying my Camelbak. Now you may be saying, "Well that's probably because you drank all of your water!" No, I still had at least 4/5 of both bladders left.

We made it to the top of Springer. Susan(she likes it when I mention her) had made some amazing Banana Nut Cookies. They were so delicious and moist. Well, most everything was moist at that point, but these were made that way. They really helped me not have a low point on this run. I also ate a PB&J. Another thing I like about this bag is the extra space. I can carry 4 times as much food as with my Camelbak XCT. Different tools, different tools... Of course, with this extra space, everyone handed me their trash, which I didn't mind.

On the way down I was able to handle my downhills as usual. During the times that I wanted to go slow on the downhills I had to work a little harder. Other than that it was all the same.

Around mile 14 of 15 my Dad ran out of water. I shared mine with him. He drank a 100ml of water during his run. This is great, but would have left him uncomfortable/stressed for a mile.

So, in a fast-packing and ultra-lite world where people are claiming to be minimalist, I am finding the good in carrying a little more. I was able to eat more and not worry about running out of water. Nor did I have to carry a water pump and worry about my water source. I had more food and I was able to share my extra space with others.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Peachree Road Race 2012 Recap

The Peachtree Road Race is one of my favorite races to run. It is very well organized for the amount of people that run it(60,000ish) and the crowds are fun and supportive.

2:45 AM I get a drunk text from a friend. I laugh, respond back, and realize that I have to be up in 15 minutes. We didn't get a hotel this year, so 3AM was the time to wake up for me to get my AIS(ass in seat) at 4:30 AM at my parent's house. I got dressed and was out the door. I chose to wear Vibram Five Finger KSOs with some duct tape on my feet to prevent blistering. I have been training in the VFFs recently and I have found that I am able to endure more fast running in them than barefoot. I was also sporting blue shorts, a white tank-top, and a red Bubba Gump Shrimp hat.

The drive down was uneventful and pretty quiet. Everyone was tired and looking at their phones. While waiting for the MARTA we met up with Dave, Sue, Matthew, and Carolyn. They looked tired, but once we all got together the energy level increased.
Friends, Family, and a Monkey(I am squatting)
Standing around in the cool at the start of a race is the worst. I could be running right now! Luckily I had earned wave B and got to start at 7:45, which means that I could probably run a majority of the race in the cool.

Before the race started I was nervous. I tried to relax, shut my eyes, and take deep breaths. This helped a ton. I just had to block out everything around me and just put myself in myself. One of the questions on my mind was in regards to my time. If I run a sub 42 minute race I would be in the sub-seeded wave next year. This would be a huge accomplishment for me, since that is two 21 minute 5k's back to back. This meant that I had to keep a 6:45 pace for the whole 10k. I positioned myself mid-pack on the start, thinking that the other B runners were probably equal or faster than me.

As the race started I realized I was wrong. At least 75% of the people in front of me were trotting at a 10 min/mile or less. WTF YOU ARE IN B. RUN!

After a few seconds of weaving in and out I was able to settle into a 6:00 min/mile. Gosh I felt like I was running a 10 min/mile! My legs felt great and I was passing people left and right.

I found a nice guy named Cody with a pony-tail that let me run behind him. He was really strong and consistent. He kept a pretty solid 6:30 min/mile. This put me a little ahead of pace, but I accepted it. The course starts off mostly downhill. I figured I would take advantage of the first 3 miles of downhill so I can have some wiggle room later on on the uphill.

Mile 3.1 rolled around. I looked down at my watch and noticed that I had run it in less than 20 minutes! I had broken my fastest 5K time and was on track to be sub-seeded!

The next part of the race was not easy. We hit some hills, which weren't that bad, just time consuming. They just slowed me down a little bit since I was used to running down the hills and had to switch my body to running up them.

It was at this point that a person yelled, "Yeah! Go Bubba Gump!" I love the crowd support! Last year it was, "Go Barefoot!" This year it was Bubba Gump.

Hill – Flat – Hill – Flat repeat. Mile 5 came and I was still on track to be sub-seeded. My average pace was 6:44. Ah! Too close! Gotta pick it up! I just kept pushing until we made the final turn. At this point I was running somewhere in the 5 min/mile range and weaving in and out of the trotters(why are there trotters in the A/B waves!?!).

Crossing the finish line I caught my breath and stopped my watch. 42 min 7 seconds. But my pace! It was 6.33 min/miles!?! Then I looked at the distance – 6.33 miles. Well, maybe I paused my watch a little late and my time will be lower... It turns out my time was 42:02, 3 seconds away from sub-seeded. This taught me a lesson: no matter how high the quality of the race is supposed to be, never ever rely on the distance.

After the race I stood around at the park and waited for my friends to come in. I kept moving, since my calves were sore. Last year I got overheated and started to go into shock. This year I made better choices and didn't have any of those problems. My legs were a little sore(I was expecting worse) but for the most part I was great!

I am honestly not frustrated about the whole time/distance/wave thing. I am very happy that I ran such a good race and improved so much over last year. I ran my fastest 5K and my fastest 10K all in the same race! Most importantly, I felt like I didn't injure myself or do anything stupid. I made better choices, and those choices paid off.

Oh and I made it on TV!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Updates, Life, and Everyting Between

I haven't written in a long time but I am still going strong. For a few weeks there I did my P90X + running schedule, but I have kind of slacked on that due to overall tiredness and a new diet. I have been using MyFitnessPal for about 2 weeks and have lost 10 pounds. I felt myself getting a belly and had to do something about it! I would like to lose another 10 or so, then build onto that.

Last night was one of my best runs to date. I did a hilly 10K with my Camelbak and was able to keep a sub-9 minute pace. For me, this is awesome! I am pretty excited about it and hope that I can meet my goal of 42 minutes on the Peachtree Road Race (no Camelbak + VFF KSO + balls to the wall). This pace is 2 of my fastest 5K races back-to-back.

I found out that in a few weeks I will be visiting my girlfriend in Costa Rica. I am very excited about that and hope to see/run at some new places.

I have started tracking my runs on RunningAhead since they don't make my runs shorter like RunKeeper. Click the link on the right to go to my profile.

I am trying to get the running community of Dahlonega together and collaborate with each other. So far it is going well! It is just a group on Facebook. We post when we are going to run, where, and pace. We are keeping it small and keeping the strangers out.

Other than that I am just concentrating on staying strong. After the Peachtree Road Race I plan on focusing on long slow distances for the Duncan Ridge 50K, which hopefully doesn't spank me too hard. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My P90X and Ultra Running Schedule

Since I am starting to feel better from the strep throat I am going to start doing P90X again. I previously did P90X, got a month into it, and stopped. I think back to when I did it and think, "I would be in such good shape if I didn't stop." Well I am back at it again with an ultra running schedule!

This plan takes 2 weeks, then repeats until I feel I need to change it to something else.

Short runs range from 3 to 5 miles and will be performed at a faster pace (7 min/miles to 9 min/miles) weighted, hilly, or all/some of the above.

Medium runs range from 5 to 10 miles and will be at a moderate pace (9 min/miles to 11 min/miles) and will be weighted, hilly, or all/some of the above.

Long Runs range from 15 to 20 miles and will be at an ultra trot (12 min/miles to 15 min/miles). I will carry my Camelbak and run these on mountainous trails or hilly roads.

Of course the speed is going to slow when I add weights or hills. Essentially I am shooting for high intensity short workouts and low intensity long workouts, meeting in the middle on the medium run.

Monday: Shoulders and Arms + Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Short Run
Wednesday: Medium Run
Thursday: Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X
Friday: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps + Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Yoga X

Monday: Back and Biceps + Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Short Run
Wednesday: Med Run
Thursday: Legs and Back + Ab Ripper X
Friday: Core Synergistics + Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Yoga X

So what have I done to make sure I stick to this?
  • I met a P90X coach on Facebook, Lou Trentadue, that has added me to his P90X group THE RESISTANCE. We motivate each other.
  • I created a group called The Yahooligans for us Dahlonega natives to hook up and run together.
  • I created an Astrid Tasks list to remind me on my phone.
Basically I am going to use peer pressure and annoyance.

I would like to say that I am going to change my diet and eat healthy, but I don't see that happening. Hopefully exercise is enough.

Bring it!

Dirty Spokes Gainesville 5.3 Mile Race

So all week I have had strep throat. It started after I went to a concert or two in Atlanta(which were totally worth it) and started feeling better early Friday morning. I had already signed up for this race a few weeks ago and felt compelled to do it, regardless of my current sick status.

My Dad got a free entry for buying a pair of Montrail trail shoes from Big Peach Running Co. He wasn't sure if he would be able to make the run, but free is free so he took it! With the easy return policy of Big Peach it was tempting not to buy a pair myself, get the free registration, and then just return them. That's what a true Coupon Queen would do.(sorry inside joke)

Yada yada, we arrived at the race about an hour and fifteen minutes early. We thought the drive out to Gainesville State College would be longer, but after some short cuts and less traffic than expected we were there in about 20 minutes. We picked up our packets and sat in the car to keep warm. Pre-race nerves were kicking in, sparking about 15 combined trips to the porta-potty before the race start. At this point I didn't have any nausea or a sore throat from the sickness and my legs were feeling great for not running for a week.

The shoes I chose for this race were my Vivo Barefoot Breathos and I wore my Swiftwick socks. I really like this combination and have not had any problems. I was pretty sure the trail was smooth, but I didn't want to take any chances and wanted to get a good time. I compromised ground feel for speed on this one, and later on you will find that it was almost a mistake.

The race bibs had chips on them, but we noticed that the start line did not have anything to chip us with and that the finish was only chipped. This was not a big deal, as there were about 150 runners total and we all kinda crossed the start line at once. I'm not one to heckle about a few seconds anyway.

I went into this race being mindful of my pace. I started the race a little quick knowing that the trail would get skinny eventually. I passed as many people as I could at the start while still not getting winded. Downhills seemed to be my shining point of this race. While everybody was slowing themselves down I was zipping down them and passing people.

After about 1.5 miles of running hard I decided it would be a good idea to slow down. I felt like some of the people around me on the single track trail would still want to be pushing hard. I ran off to the side of the trail and let 2 people pass me. I always try to be courteous in races and not slow anyone down. I'm not one to play defense in a race situation. I would rather everyone do their best, especially since I didn't care too much about this race. I think I was starting to feel the effects of not running for a week. My legs were sore and the winding trail(lots of back and forth) were making me a little nauseous.

After those 2 guys passed me I offered to let a girl named Kara pass me. She said, "No no no, go ahead. I am wanting to settle into my pace." At this time we were varying from a 7:30 min/mile pace to an 8:30 min/mile. I told her that's exactly what I wanted to do.

From this point(about 1.5 miles) to about 4.5 miles we all stuck together. Kara was running strong and I felt like I was holding her back. I know she was catching my draft but I respected her because she was giving me motivation. We actually started talking and she told me that she was a Crossfitter. I could tell! She, like every other Crossfitter I met, was extremely friendly and supportive.

Around mile 4 I started feeling junky. The mucous from my sickness combined with my dry mouth and made it hard for me to concentrate on my running. As we powered up a long uphill I felt myself falling apart. I wanted to pull off to the side and let everyone pass. I wanted to quit.

Then I heard a voice behind me, "C'mon Tyler, we're gonna have to speed it up." Kara didn't want to pass me. She wanted me to do my best and pace her to do her best!

My motivation switch flipped on! I tilted my body, increased my cadence, and started moving faster. At this point we were passing by the 4 mile mark. I looked at my watch which told me 3.8 miles. I hate it when this happens for these reasons.
  1. Either the course is marked wrong at this one spot and we really are at 3.8 of 5.3 or...
  2. We are at 4 miles and I need to start thinking about going faster for a strong finish.
It was a tough call, but I assumed the race was marked correctly and powered on!

Eventually we caught up to a man in front of us. I tried to run behind him and catch a draft. He was going a little slower than I wanted but I was okay with that since I wanted to save some juice for the finish. Unfortunately, I am not skilled with drafting and have very little experience with it. I got a whiff of his laundry detergent fragrance and gagged. My sickness was coming back. I had to get around this guy.

We got to the point where it looked like we were coming back to the finish. It was a slight down hill with a little opening in the trail. I took advantage of it and ran off the trail to pass him. As I entered back on the trail my ankle hit the edge of the trail and twisted. I heard a tearing noise. "Ahh F**K!" I yelled. Fortunately it sounded worse than it hurt and I was able to keep moving. That was the first time I had ever twisted my ankle! More shoe == Less Procioception == More Ankle Twisting.

What I thought was the finish was really a false finish. We winded back into the woods and  went up and down the rolling trail. Soon enough we hit a wide, kinda ugly, dirt road. I could see a turn up ahead and didn't really know how much more there was left. Thankfully, a volunteer was cheering us on and said, "C'mon guys! You're almost there. Just about a tenth of a mile left!"

I didn't trust him. After being lied to by volunteers(probably by mistake) I am skeptical. Sure enough, we made another turn and the finish line was in sight. I could see the second guy that I let pass me earlier in front of me. I got right behind him and waited for him to make his move. He took off and I waited. After about 2 seconds I went into a dead-on sprint. I had to be moving around 5 minute/mile. I zipped past him and held the sprint to the finish at 39:36.8 minutes.

After finishing I didn't know how my body would react. Earlier in the race I wanted to puke. I went into a brisk walk and hoped my body could transition. After a few seconds of walking I trusted that I would not throw up and hit the water station. I congratulated Kara and thanked her for pushing me.

I later learned that Kara won overall woman’s! I was really proud of her but couldn't find her again to congratulate her. So CONGRATULATIONS KARA!

Now, this may sound cocky of me, but I feel like I played a good role on this race for her. Earlier, while we were talking, she mentioned/joked that I was pacing her. I hope this was true and that she was able to perform her best partially because of me. I love seeing people achieve their goals!

About 10 minutes later my Dad came in! This was an excellent time for him! He kept 9:17 min/miles, which is unheard of for him!

About 10 minutes after that my Mom came in. Being a new trail runner I was impressed! She even took second in her age group!

Overall I really enjoyed this race. It was extremely well marked and had people pointing on every non-obvious turn. There was literally no way to get lost! I definitely want to do this race next year and maybe even do the series. There were some fast people out there. I hope with my training I can keep moving up in the pack!

If you ran this race, or any Dirty Spokes race, leave a comment. I have a feeling almost everyone had a good experience. They even made this stellar video!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My First DNF - The Georgia Jewel 100K

I am starting this post by telling you that I did not finish this race(kind of like how some books start with you knowing the main character is going to die).

The race, The Georgia Jewel 100k proved to be a tough course for my amateur legs.

Before signing up for such an ambitious distance I thought it would be nice to speak with the race director to make sure the distance would be possible.

Our email conversations went like this:

I am pleased to see that you signed up.  We went and finalized the course this past weekend.  The 100K has four loops which consist of roughly 1400 feet of climb per loop.  Some parts are technical and there are a few water crossings so you will get your feet wet.  However, I've extended the time limit to 18 hours and if you train on trail with some climbing involved you will be fine.  Hill repeats will help as well.

Thanks for signing up.  I'm giving buckles on the 100K.

See you in April.

- Karen

Thanks! Just to clarify, I have 13 hours to run the 46.5 miles(3 loops), then I am on my own to finish? This is my first ultra and I am not sure how my pace is going to be, so I am just trying to plan ahead. The way the race was presented in the handbook gave me the idea that we would have ample time to finish. Honestly I am not sure if I can finish now with less time.
     Barefoot Tyler -

 You have to leave The House on the fourth loop by 8pm.  The finish is at 1pm so that gives you 5 hours for 15 miles.  That's 3 miles an hour on the last loop which is very manageable.  You will be fine.  18 hours is a lot of time for a 100K.  It is not a tough course - well there are some good climbs with a few technical parts but it's very runnable.   Just remember that you will have to make the 8pm cut off but you will have 5 hours to do 15 miles.

I have been known to be lenient on race day but one has to draw the line.

Don't worry you will be fine.

See you race day.
Impressed with the quick replies and information given to me I signed up for the 100k, as my Dad did for the 50k!

Race day came. We all stood in a crowd as the race director gave a slightly confused but carefree guide to the race. Basically we start at The House, follow a bunch of pink ribbons through the trail for 5 miles, and end up back at the house. Then we run 5 miles to a cottage, and come back for 5 more miles.

Simple enough, I thought. The race started at no defined spot, and we were off. The most eventful thing about this 5 mile loop was the two river crossings back-to-back, which after crossing we noticed that they were completely unnecessary and Karen was just messing with us. We laughed and kept running. Apparently somewhere along the first 5 mile lap I missed a turn(as did other people) and only had 4 miles on my watch. This was after getting turned around a few times, but I thought, "Hell, I'll just keep going and get as far as I can.

The 10 mile loop after the house was confusing and hard to follow. We would be on a defined trail and all the sudden not see any pink ribbons. Run back 10 feet, and we found a ribbon in the woods completely off the trail. Times like this were frustrating but were not as taxing as some of the later confusion.

Somewhere in this mess I met a man named David, who went on to finish, and a woman named Elizabeth(I think). David had completed a 100k before and kept me excellent company. Elizabeth was a minimalist runner and commented that she liked my gait. Sweet!

At one point after running past The Cottage and fueling up myself(at this point David and Elizabeth were ahead of me) and the running sisters(I don't know their names but they are the neatest girls ever. They are 15 and 16 I think, and can probably outrun you) started running together. Then the major confusion happened. We ended up right where we started to make our way up to the cottage. WTF! This race is stupid!

After about a half mile of listening to the girls yell at each other we finally got back on what we thought was the right path(I looked at my watch and saw that we hadn't been that way before, so it might be correct...)

The only major climb of this section was the climb to the water tower. It wasn't so bad though on fresh legs.

Finally, after getting turned around a few times with a different group we made it back to the house. At this point, mile 14.5, I was feeling pretty good. I fueled up and went back to start on my second loop. Despite the confusion I felt like I had a better understanding of the course and told myself, "You can do this!"

The back side of The House
During the second 5 miler I was expecting to get on track with what the race director wanted us to do. With only missing one mile I wasn't that worried about it.

As I ran up on the dual river crossings I saw where I was supposed to go and where I went. Basically I originally had went straight across the river, saw an arrow pointing to the right, and ran that way. Sensible right? Nope!

Apparently I was supposed to make a slight left while crossing the river and go down a side trail. No problem, I'll just go this way!

Then I hit it.

The mile that I missed was the hardest mile of the whole course. I have never climbed anything that steep for that long. It was steeper that Duncan Ridge Trail(but not as long thankfully). During this time I sent my mom a variety of text messages. They said,
Don't let my dad come back out again.
Why not?
It's really hard
He has already left
Great. I had tried so hard to warn her. Now all I can picture is my dad crawling up this hill, dying, and rolling back down.

Some pretty flowers greeted us on the 10 mile loop
Making it back to the house I told my mom of my experiences. I told her, "I probably won't finish this. It is much harder than anticipated." She told me to try my best and that my dad had already done that mile the first loop and he already knew about it. Relieved, I set out on my last 10 mile loop.

This loop was less eventful. My pace went up by about 3 minutes during this loop. It was in the heat of the day and I had no ambition to run any faster.

This second lap was much easier to follow. The race directors went out and added some touches to the course. I also had a mental map of the course and could find my way around.

During this lap I lost a lot of something. I felt like junk. I had been drinking Gatorade, but I was forgetting to eat. When I hit the cottage I was greeted by some awesome volunteers who filled my Camelbak up and cooled me off with ice. There was also pizza. ALL HAIL PIZZA!

After chilling there with another 100k'er named Mark my friend Paul came up. He was looking pretty beaten up, but still staying strong. The volunteers had noticed that I was shaking when I came in(from malnourishment), but told me I was good to go if I wanted to. After talking with Paul for a minute we agreed to go out and get after it!

The last 5 miles were pretty uneventful. The climb to the water tower was much steeper this time and took much longer. Through all the complaining we couldn't help but appreciate the land.

Mark, Paul, and I kept leap-frogging each other all the way back. We weren't trying to beat each other(I think), but we were just hitting highs and lows in our runs.

Finally coming in I ran past the imaginary finish line and sat down at the house. I had zero incentive to keep moving. I looked at my watch and it told me that I would have to do the next 15 miles in 4 hours. This is extremely do-able on flat ground or even semi-hilly, but not possible for me on this course.
After chilling out for a minute I thought I might-as-well get up and run another 5 mile loop. I took about 10 steps and my head was killing me. Forget it.

One of the few flat spots on the course
 I walked over to the race director and told her that I was dropping out. Other runners tried to convince me to keep going and that I would regret it.

I still don't regret it.

We still had to wait for my dad to come in. I was pretty happy about that because it was an excellent day to sit outside and talk to people.

During this time I met a super awesome runner chick named Brandi. We talked running, technique, products, gels, etc. She tried to convince me to do the Northface 50k. I tried to convince her to do the Duncan Ridge Trail.

She mentioned that she had finished the race around 6 hours and was awarded the 3rd place girls overall plaque. Shortly after the girl who came in 4th accused Brandi of missing the 1 mile section of the first 5 miles(the one I missed). She had admitted to that before, compared GPS watches with the 4th place girl, and had her award taken away from her. This is complete BS. This was not her fault. I would understand if this was intentional or if she was the only one but I believe a majority of the runners missed that turn.

Brandi's friend, Dean, was out in the lead for the 50k. He was running without a shirt and looking like he knew what he was doing! He had about a 15 minute lead on the second place runner and about a 30 minute lead on Mitch Pless and his gang.

As we waited for the 100k to come in I talked with my dad. He said he was basically hiking and would be a while. He mentioned that he was being lapped by 50k'ers.

My Dad is on top of the hill(This is the climb to the water tower)

My dad came in and about 45 minutes later the first 100k'er came in. He was running without a shirt. Brandi was so excited to see her runner come in. The runner let out a, "WAHOO!!!" and held his hands up. As he got closer we all started to realize, "Wait, that's not Dean! That's Mitch!"

Dean bringin' it home
Mitch had caught up to Dean and passed him, filling in that 30 minute gap. What a beast! While most people are breaking down he is breaking in!

Shortly after Mitch Dean arrived. Everyone was happy to see each other and were super congratulatory to each other. Although Dean didn't have his win, he did do a great job especially for his experience compared to the other runners.

 Overall my feet held up great during this run. I did not have any blisters and they seemed dry. The VivoBarefoot Breathos and Swiftwick Socks really helped!

So all-in-all it was a just okay experience. I had a good time finding my way through the woods. Once I got over the idea of not finishing and just enjoying myself things got better.

Will I run another Georgia Jewel race? Probably not. I obviously don't agree with how the race director sets up her races. Instead of making a big deal out of it I will just avoid the races. I don't know why some ultra directors find it necessary to lie. If they were just truthful I could mentally prepare myself. This is why I like The Duncan Ridge Trail. Yes, it is hard. I can mentally prepare myself for it and chose my distance wisely. This year I am doing the 50k, a step up from last years 30k.

Some other blogs about this race are:
Determined to be Fit