April 2009 Archive

Reaching 90

Ultras, that is.   Not years. How on earth did I finish 90 ultras?  I mean, where did the time go???  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was so utterly disenchanted with road marathons that I was about to quit racing?  If all those finish times weren’t occupying so many little cells all over my […]

Promise Land 50k and The Killer Hill

The past several weeks’ races – 3 Days of Syllamo (93 miles total) followed by two 100-milers at Umstead and Zumbro – have been all about survival.  Run smart, pace conservatively, then recover as fast as you can using every trick in the book and be ready to toe the next starting line before most […]

Another Weekend, Another Race

  Okay, I’ll have to admit it was nice not to have a race last weekend.  Sleep late, run something new close to home, work in the yard, give in to urge to spring clean, and generally enjoy the spectacular weather that always seems to be on the wrong side of my office window…but I’m […]

One Last Try at the Aid Station

  Aid stations…the goal is to get in and out as fast as possible.  This one at Umstead was taking longer than it should have for an unfortunate reason.  What you see here is a last-ditch attempt at blister prevention.  Or at least damage control.  I’d been blister-free for maybe 15 or 20 ultras and […]

Closing the Loop

Yesterday I managed to close several loops, all at the same time.  It all happened on another trip up to the Cumberland Trail.   I had a route planned that would combine all the remaining trail, ATV road and gravel road options we needed to finish the Cumberland Trail 50k course design.  We could GPS […]

Seeing Possibility in Uncertainty

  Living comfortably with uncertainty is one of the hardest things to do.  Two events this week reminded me. First, Rob lost his apartment unexpectedly last Friday afternoon in a tornado while we were running Zumbro 100 Mile.  We didn’t know it until the next day and only found out the day after that, while […]

Zumbro 100 – Race Story

Zumbro 100 is a new 100-mile run (and 100K) in southeastern Minnesota.  The course is five repeats of a small 5.7-mile lollipop that returns to the start/finish, then a larger 14.3-mile loop with two aid stations.  20 miles total per repeat.  It starts at a humane 8:00 a.m. and has a 34-hour cutoff, which encourages […]

What’s a Good Performance?

In a recent post about who was favored to win a race, someone recently wrote that I’d slowed over the years.  Ouch. The author didn’t seem to have malicious intent and probably didn’t think how it would feel to read that, unsolicited, about yourself.  He was just presenting an analysis of a few facts.  Unfortunately, […]

Umstead 100-Mile Run

Let me start by saying that gravel road is one of my least favorite course types, right behind asphalt, and loops are a huge mental challenge for me.  We signed up because this is a good social run – a chance to see other ultrarunning friends where you’re passing them often on the course.  Plus, […]

Easiest 100 Miler or Hardest?

In about an hour, I’m heading to Umstead 100-miler, the easiest 100-miler in the country.  Or is it? The course, in Raleigh, North Carolina, is almost as flat as you could wish for.  It’s a wide, finely-crushed gravel surface.  And it’s 5 x 12.5-mile loops with 3 aid stations on each loop, so there’s plenty […]