Many on the Genny – Year 2

I had a song stuck in my head this whole race. More like 2 lines of a song.
—-This song—

Anyway. Year 2 of Many on the Genny.

I told coach I wanted to go for sub 8 hours. Secretly it was just an excuse for him to keep coaching me. I went into this race not caring a whole lot about time. Training hadn’t been feeling good. Limbs were hurting or achy. My insides were having their own kind of issues. (Girl stuff) I didn’t want to challenge the awesomeness of this race with any sort of disappointment. So plan was to just run. And keep moving.
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Many on the Genny is a 42 miler that runs around Letchworth State Park.

It will challenge you with a fast and runnable first half – then test you to keep running in the 2nd half, more ups and downs, long stretches with no aid, more remote. Each side of the park has it’s own personality – you get to see it all in a day. You get a Jurassic feel, then beautiful gorges, water crossings, fun single track. Yeah there’s some road running – but that’s just time in the bank.
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I ran the first 20 in about 3:30.

Early on I realized I needed to get on water and salt, or else I’d get behind. I wasn’t expecting to be sweating a ton. Expected a cool rainy day. But I was drenched, and it wasn’t raining.

I did a Huma+ gel in the first hour, and drained my water before the first aid. Took a salt tab sometime after – Drained my bottle again going into aid 2. Took another (regular) Huma gel between 2/3 hours. Going into Aid 3 (mile 20ish) I knew I would need something more. I had coconut water in my drop bag. So I grabbed that – and drank most of it. On my way out I dunked a potato in salt, and grabbed a pickle.
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I only managed a few bites of pickle. I wasn’t feeling any kinds of food.
I just wanted water.

I was pretty quickly out of water again. I knew It’d be a while till aid 4 – But I was also crashing. I struggled from mile 22. I’d be fine and just moving, then get random attacks of anxiety. It’s been a while since I’ve hit low points like that. But I would stop it early. I had been trying to work through a Lara bar (maybe got through half of it)- so i’d just chew on a piece of that. Then start running again.
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I got to Aid 4 – I think it ended up being mile 28? So thirsty. I had been out of water for a few miles.

I took 2 salt tabs here – and drank a full bottle of water. And a cup of mountain dew (that’s a first). Refilled my water. Grabbed a cookie to go.
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I knew it’d be a while till the RRC aid – about 8/9 miles. The water stop before that is a good distance too.

Figured I’d be good for a while now. I felt better. But still ran out of water…

The water stop ends up being right around mile 35/36.

RRC Aid #4 ends up being at Mile 37.5ish.
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Rochester Running Co had some dark chocolate ready for me. I was still struggling to want any sort of food. But I took the chocolate. Probably should have had more sugar through the day.

I took off from there. I felt great. I felt like I could run the last 4.5 miles to the finish. But then I was getting side stitches – not bad enough to stop tho. Then I started feeling randomly dizzy. Vaguely Nauseous. My lungs would tighten up. I stopped to walk as I fight off a panic attack. Drank some water. Not dying. Start running again.

Even though this last section is pretty short and runnable. I’m always hopeful that’s it’s shorter than I remember. But the trails bring you towards to Gorge – so you think your getting close. Then pull you away again.
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In the last mile – I caught up to two people I never thought I’d see again. Steven Daily passed me early on – he would have a strong race. Emily Flagg passed me when I was suffering round mile 30. She was just cruising, and feeling great.

Photo by Gustavo


I saw her ahead as we reached the last bit of trail going to the finish. I picked up my pace. I wouldn’t catch up. But then I got closer. I really didn’t want to sprint into the finish. I might be sick. But I was so close. I picked it up again. Ugh. I sprinted. I passed her in the parking lot. Got her by 7 seconds. Sorry Emily 🙂 🙂
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The weather held out. 100% chance of rain turned into just a cloudy humid day. I spent the day going back and forth with some awesome runners. Shared some miles with friends and folks that came out from Ohio.

The trails were in great shape thanks to Trail Methods and #Trailsroc. So many hours of maintenance. You could see all the work they did as you ran through.

30th overall. 4th Female. 42 miles in 8:46:07

Finish line hang out – photo by Eric


The finish line hang out is by far the best.

Things I used:
Orange Mud Single Barrel
Underarmour Speed Tire trail shoes
2 Huma gels
1 salt potato
1/2 Pickle
1/2 Lara bar
1 cookie
~140oz of water (=’s 4 liters of water (dang))
6 salt tabs
1 square of 70% dark chocolate (Thanks RRC)
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Whats next? I’ll be hanging around Whiteface this weekend. Other than that – nothing official. I think I’m gonna step back and hit lower mileage – more trails – and more adventures.
Oh except for one big thing in August. Potentially.

– The End.

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If there’s a bear…

I use to love Carbon Leaf’s song “Live a life less Ordinary”. The next line is “Live a life extraordinary.” And I always thought yes.

Maybe I’ve accepted a life of alone (hopefully not forever tho ;p). But I’ve also accepted a life of adventure. I can say I take chances whenever I can. I put my body through the ringer – and will keep doing it. I’ll get the most I can. Miles on the legs. Adventures with friends.

I always say – if somethings gonna happen. It’ll happen. If there’s a bear – then you meet a bear. But you probably wont die. And if you do – well you were being awesome.
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But what is real? What is the point of anything. Never be comfortable because anything can change in a second. Minute. Day.
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I’ve been training for Many on the Genny – 40 mile – in 3 days now. But running doesn’t feel great. Easy runs feel hard. I wake up and ask myself – How do I even run?

But they’ve been getting done. Slowly.

Am I worried? No.

Whatever it is – it happens. The body fights for rest – and I’ll fight to give it.

I’ve been getting miles – but some have been adventure miles.
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So that brings me back to the bear. I’ve spent days in the woods the last few months. Days accompanied by nights outside my comfort zone.

Pitching a tent off some random trail. Hammocking in some random woods. Laying awake listening for foot prints of something heavy. Listening to trees fall, and thinking that’d be an awful way to go.

But all these thoughts that raise the heart beat get pushed aside. Because. It probably won’t happen. I’ll probably live. And there’s something about this rush, and this fear, all being part of the adventure.

Adventures so far this year:
Catskills – Bushwhack to Furr, Big Indian, then Eagle and Balsam.
ADKS – The Sewards, Big Slide, Tupper Lake Triad
CatKills – Devils Path
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Other forms of “The Bear” have been – just doing things. Not over thinking. Driving to Connecticut at 1am to Crew a teammate and sleeping 49 minutes in 2 days.

Is it worth the sleep deprivation? Health? Gas mileage? Risk of something happening?
– Yes
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What’s after MOTG?– Whiteface SkyRaces – I’ll be volunteering. After that? Something.

1420 Miles for the year so far – 200 away from my total last year.

Stay tuned.

Antelope Island Buffalo Run – 100 Mile

It doesn’t feel real. It didn’t feel real when I crossed the finish line.

27 hours and 30 minutes. I was at the finish. I had worked so many hours for it – and now I was done?
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March 23rd at 12pm – I started my second 100 mile attempt on Antelope Island. Thanks to the sponsorship I received from #Trailsroc.
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I had spent the week before this in Utah. Just wandering around, and running easy miles. Getting used to the area, and new time zone. We (my parents and I) spent a good amount of time scouting out the island, and playing with the Bison.

Jason Vidmar (AKA dark Angel) got in Thursday – the day before the race. He would be there to help crew and pace.
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The night before We chatted with Daven. Went over some nutrition stuff, and some mental strategy.

Daven told me to find a Mantra. I wasn’t sure what this would be yet.
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I woke up Friday morning. No alarms. A normal night of sleep.
It was a normal morning.
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I started out in my #trailsroc singlet and RNR shorts. Then last minute threw on some arm sleeves. It was perfect out. But it was tricky weather – it’d be sunny, but cold. And stealthy wind.

The first 5 hours I told myself – If I go slow enough, I will finish. I thought I was going slow – but managed an 8 hour 40 mile.

The first 20 miles is where most of the elevation is. Such an awesome section. If there are trails I was meant to run on – it’d be these. I had so much fun – and likely why my first 20 was a bit fast. but worth it. I did these miles without any wear on the legs – it was all just time in the bank.
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The next 30 miles would be on the second half of the course. I passed through the start/finish – taking in my first bit of solid food. And headed out.

This would start out with a long 22 miles of pretty flat trail. I was running – but was starting to feel my first crash coming. I was struggling with a side stitch, and could only manage small bursts of running. I got to mile 27 at Lower Frary – where Jason and parents were waiting. Jason reassured me that what I was feeling was normal – and Daven had said I would feel like this.

Knowing that was so helpful. And took any stress or doubts out of my head.

Lower Frary was a main protein point. I took in Core Power protein, plus some coconut water. As well as a salt tab followed by a ton of water. I was definitely behind.

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I would start running again – next aid station was 5.8 miles to the Ranch. The side stitch was going away. I made up some time here and got there in about an hour. I did another salt tab followed by 8 oz of water. This was also my mandatory change spot – temps would start to drop from here. I put on a long sleeve. Jason piled potato chips in the cup holder of my chair. They had no salt potatoes – so this would due.

I left the aid – running. and Didn’t stop till I was already back to the Lower Frary Aidstation. This was a quick stop, and grabbed my head lamp here. I kept running as the sun went down. It was completely dark very quick – and found myself alone, with some howling wolfs (or something). I kept running till I got to the Mountain View intersection. It was a good climb to get out of these lower parts – so I walked.

The next section would be 6 miles around Bridger Bay. It was tricky finding the way here at night – some of the chalk arrows were misleading, or just not there. But I’d look ahead for something shiny – and it was usually right.

Going around Bridger was also deceivingly long. I could see the silhoutte of the mountain I was going around, and seemed like I’d never reach. It was also full of large rocks, and much different trail than the other sections of this race. I thought about the next time I’d be running this part – mile 94. That was gonna be a LONG 6 miles.

I was starting to get pain from my shoes in my right foot – there was weird pressure on my ankle. So I decided I would plan on changing shoes at mile 50.
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Speaking of shoes. I struggled with what shoes I would wear. It had rained all day the day before so I knew trails could be wet or muddy. I brought like 4 pairs. But still wasn’t confident – so I got a pair of Altra’s while were were in Utah the week before. NEVER ran in Altras before. hah. But decided I did’t want to start in them.

I started the race in my Under Armour Speed Tire (don’t judge – I found them on clearance) which are actually really awesome. And have a built in gator. And semi water proof. Were perfect for the trails in the beginning. And light. I hadn’t run more than 10 miles in them before this either. But whatever – they worked.
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As I came down the road to the start/finish/50 mile point – the wind had picked up, and was pretty brutal. Had not felt it until this section. Finished the first 50 miles in 10:40.

Jason was in the tent – I would be picking him up as pacer here. But first I changed shoes. Got some food. I was still wearing shorts – and had planned on them being ok for all of this. But as I sat – I got cold. And Jason convinced me that pants would be the smart option.
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We started out for the second 50. Time to do what I just did all over again. I figured most of this would be walking. But we actually ran a good amount up until Elephant head. I was feeling pressure on my toes, and they gradually got worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t run, even tho I wanted to. Down hills were rough because my toes would hit the front of the shoe. I was bummed that we couldn’t take advantage of a realllly great and long downhill after the Elephant head out and back.

This was a low point for me. I was sad. Sad that a couple of toes were keeping me from running. They are just toes – I should be able to ignore them right? Who needs them. But then I’d kick a rock. And cry. (ok only cried once) I tried to keep calm – because I knew if I let it overwhelm me it’d only cause breathing problems. I was just frustrated. Jason kept saying cheesy motivational things, and Dad jokes. And told me to reach Zen state and maybe the pain would go away. Jason’s the best.

The frustration didn’t last long. Because I looked around. It was everything I had hoped for. It was a clear night. Full of stars. An awesome crescent moon reflecting over the Salt lake. We watched it as it got lower throughout the night. I didn’t want this to end.

Photo by Jason Vidmar


We talked about the plan to relieve these toes. I didn’t know If I could wait till the start – this loop was 20 miles. Jason threatened to cut open my brand new Altra’s. My mom got them for me for my B-day — they couldn’t die yet!

As we got back around to Elephant head for the last time (we go through this aid 6 times). My toes were actually not as bad. I thought maybe I kicked enough rocks that whatever was there had popped. Or I had actually achieved Zen state.

So we continued on back to the start/finish. I was really excited for these trails again – I loved running them the first time. I hoped we’d be able to run them again. And we did – we cruised through 4 miles of trails, and got to mile 70 – 17 hours.
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It was 5am. Exactly the time I predicted being here. My parents were back with a blister tool kit. and We went to work on the toes.

I would leave Jason here and make my way to Mountain view aidstation solo. We would re-group there and see if I wanted him to join again. Toes felt better. But I was feeling sleepy. And cold.
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I got to mountain view. I found myself in my parents car hiding from the wind. Also found myself holding coffee and a box of donuts….. hmm. Pretty happy about this. But I got out, and Jason joined me to make sure I didn’t fall asleep. We walked. I closed my eyes and walked. Jason finally convinced me to take a gel, and it actually helped.

Sunrise from Mountain View. Photo by Jason.


We got to Lower Frary – finally. I took in protein, and gluten free cookies here. I would leave Jason here again. I felt like I’d be able to start running, energy was coming back. I was reaching a weird mental state. I didn’t want to carry anything. I was wearing a pack but not eating or drinking anything from it. So I left it at Lower Frary. I ran and made good time to the Ranch for the last time.
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Ranch was mile 85. I got water, and ate some cheese quesadilla. But it was warm so I dropped all sleeves and gloves. And ran out – waterless, sleeveless, headbandless. But least I had my sunglasses again.

Not that I approve of pictures of me eating, But it’s part of the story. Photo by Dad.


A few miles into leaving the ranch – the wind had picked up. It was brutal. I was soooo cold. I looked for my parents car – hoping they would be along the road somewhere. SAVE ME. Nope.

I was cold. So I ran. Probably helped my time overall. But even running didn’t make me warm enough. I couldn’t wait to get to Lower Frary for the last time. And put on some clothes.
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I was feeling a big crash coming. I was thirsty. I was cold. I was getting a side stitch. That’s what I get for dropping everything.

I got to the aid, and put EVERYTHING back on. Including hydration. I took in an entire Core Power protein. And some other food. and made my way out to mountain view for the last time.
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I was right when I felt a crash coming. I was crashing hard. The protein may have been enough to completely shut down the system. I was sleepy again.

I was cold. I was walking. The wind was brutal. But it was also so nice out. I put my hood up. Had my sunglasses on. No one was around. I cried.

And it wasn’t a bad cry. It was a cry I had held in early in the race. That I was so happy to be here. A cry I held in everytime I thought about finishing. A cry because I was going to finish, and that I would miss this place. Tears dripped down my sunglasses. I smiled. Well – I’m awake now.
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Jason was waiting at the mountain view interection. We had planned on running Bridger Bay to the finish together. We were quickly greeted by some Bison.

Mile 94ish – Photo by Jason.


We would try to run a few times around the rocky sections. I wanted to get to the finish. I figured it’d be a 28 hour day. I got warm as we were running, and again reached mental state of not wanting to carry anything. I shed my jacket and hydration. And as we got off the trail and onto the road – I dropped them. It was only road left till the finish – and we ran the final stretch.

I finished 100 miles in 27:30:27

Had to collect a sticker on each out and back to Elephant head – to prove you made it.


Nutrition I used:
4 Huma gels total
3 bottles of coconut water
3 bottles of Core Power protein
6 gluten free cookies
PB&J
Peanut M&M’s
Potato chips
2 quesadilla’s
2 Justin’s almond butter packs
1 chocolate covered almond
3 salt tabs
2 potato’s
1 donut
Few sips of coffee
A ton of water

Gear:
Orange mud single barrel
Under Armour Speed Tire trail shoes – first 50
Altra Timp trail shoes – second 50
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We sat around the finish for an hour or so. Got post race Buffalo stew. Still didn’t feel like I should be done yet. Finishers were coming and going – not really sure who was a 50 miler and who was a 100. I met 2 people from NY out there. I had talked to Kristen Roe before making this trip – we were the only east coast 100 milers. I ran into (literally) a 50 miler from Buffalo as we crossed paths on the trail. Small world.
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I feel eager to do another 100. Everything about this race was perfect. I felt good the whole time. No stomach issues. My legs always felt fresh. Usually at some point I feel like everything hurts – that didn’t happen. My biggest battle was blisters, and feeling sleepy. And just being cold. My low points weren’t even that low. And now only a few days later I feel completely recovered.

It all just seems like I got off too easy. Or I should have ran more.
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But that’s my first 100 finish. Unscathed. I can look back and love every minute of it. It was perfect. I could say I wish it wasn’t so cold. But pretty sure the cold kept me moving. Now I don’t know if I should rush into another – or take my time and find another awesome one to do next year. This year is still plenty busy with awesome races and adventures.
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It was more than just training to get to this 100. The support from EVERYONE was pretty overwhelming. You forget how much training you actually do – till people remind you. You don’t believe your ready for this till friends tell you – you put in the work. Then hearing that your coach and friends are checking in throughout the day – are the simple things that keep me going.

Thank you #trailsroc – for getting me here. And following me through this journey.
Thank you community for EVERYDAY support – whether or not i’m racing – people are the best.
Thank you parents for the best birthday in the history of birthdays. Support from them is no surprise – as well as Dad blowing up facebook.
Thank you Daven – for pushing me to my limits, and guidance. And for sharing your knowledge as well as Rogers knowledge of Nutrition, and race strategy.
Thank you Jason – for making the trip to Utah, and being more sleep deprived than I was. But somehow managing 40 miles and who knows how many hours. Getting me through the darkness offering support, as well as humor and just being an awesome friend.
Thank you to Strat – who always helps me during training – making sure I don’t fall apart – and putting my feet back together again.
Thank you to Chris (Running Inside out Podcast) for making me talk about these things. And forever will be a training partner/run fam.
And thank you to the Mountain Peak Fitness/Red Newt Racing team – always supporting teammates going after it. Looking forward to the races to come this year!
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Ending March with the most miles I’ve ran in one month – 279.63
From December 17th – when training started – till March 31st – I’ve ran 928.53 Miles

I wonder why recovery was so easy – And Daven reminds me that I was TRAINED for this. That my body was ready for it. And it was meant to do this. I believe it.
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Every winter #Trailsroc offers to award $500.00 to runners who will represent them well. All you need to have is a big goal race – and they will give financial support as well as training and encouragement. In return – you wear the #trailsroc shirt at the event – write up a recap – and share your stories with the community and world.

This was a LIFETIME goal. It was also my birthday. #trailsroc gave me so much – and probably the best week of my life. If you have a grand adventure in mind – share it with them. Apply to be an ambassador for 2019!

Photo by Jason


Photo by Jason

Antelope Training – not dead yet.

There’s strength in failing. It can’t always be back to back weekends of 70+ miles. Some people can. I thought I could.

I’ve been taking my head out of running. If it’s on the schedule – That’s what I’ll do. That’s what comes first. No matter how much I feel like I’m crawling, I can always find that second gear. Well – That’s unrealistic. I find out I’m human. You gotta break down to build up. But break down without going too far.
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Ending February with 267 miles trained.
Compared to January’s – 272.4

I was on track to beat that mileage this month. But there’s times to push.
And times to listen to your body.

I weigh the thoughts of – Is this really that hard? How is my body really feeling?

Then I look at my heart rate of 170 and I’m going 12:00 miles.
Something’s going on.

Antelope is coming – 3 more weeks.
The training is in – just got to hold it together.

Antelope Training

One full month of training down. And I’ve officially ran the most mileage since 2015.
I ended January with 272.4 miles. — The most I’ve ever ran in 1 month!
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I started to ramp up mileage in November to prepare for the real training to start in December. I contacted a friend and very successful and talented ultra runner (Daven) asking if he would have interest in coaching me to run this thing.

After mulling it over – He agreed. And said training would start now. Starting in Mid December was shaky. I was figuring out how to shift running as a priority – rather than working too much and not sleeping.

I ended December with 181.9 miles. However half of it was elliptical.
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January came with dangerous wind chills, and a couple of snow storms. I shifted runs around, so I could get the most out of the longer stuff. Daven has me on roads, with 2 speed workouts a week.

I could feel the toll it was taking on my body. I would end some runs feeling like death. My feet hurt. I would question how I would be able to run for hours again the next day. But I’m finding recovery stuff actually works. I go to bed and hope for the best – wake up and it’s not so bad anymore.
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I’ve been struggling with pain in my right heel. And as of 2 weekends ago – my left arch. Sometimes I can’t tell if they are getting better. Or worse. But I’m trying to be smart. They actually felt pretty good after ending last weeks biggest mileage week. I’ll take that as a good sign.
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So far – This training stuff is awesome. It’s helped me simplify. Before I do anything else – I do my run. Or go to the gym. Running comes first. Which is also putting myself first. I’m not committing to anything other than training – and showing up to work on time.
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Less than 2 months to go. A lot more running to do. Just hope my feet hold up.

#getrekt

 

Lone time.

I’m going on 3 years alone. I struggle with feeling broken. Alone is my comfort zone. And I’m scared that I’m doomed to a lifetime of it.

I’m lucky to have friends and parents and co-workers. A number of places to go if I ever needed somewhere or someone. When did I become so obsessed with “me time”? I run for hours by myself. You’d think that’s enough.

*I promise I wont make a habit of these feelings post. Just sometimes I think. And sometimes I’m bored* 
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I blame ultra running.

I was sucked into a world of freedom and adventure. Long hours in the woods. Weekends with friends. Experiences and life long memories. The things that mattered most. The things that I miss most everyday. The moments I want to last forever, but I know are so temporary. How do you come home after the best days of your life?

Maybe some day I’ll get tired of the unknown. Maybe someday I’ll want comfort, and normalcy. Maybe someday I could spend most of my time with one person again. Either I’m just not ready, or I still haven’t met them yet. Life is simple. But has to be so complicated.

I’ve met plenty of great people. But I get attached to the ones I can’t have. And run away from the ones I can.
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I think about being alone. And I’m ok with it. I believe I can change some day.

But I wish I was back in that cabin in the ADKS. Or in that van with strangers. Or by that fire. Or on that mountain.

I miss laughing all the time.
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There are times I compromise. I give up. Hide. That’s ok. In the end, the steps back don’t matter as much as all the steps forward. I’ll keep trying. I’ll do the things I need to do. And what I think is right. Never know what’s next.

Be happy about the day. Enjoy the trails alone or with the people you love. Run easy. Low effort. High will.

Happy New Year. Again.

2018

Looking at 2018:

I was lucky enough to receive a sponsorship from #Trailsroc
to run a 100 Miler out West.

So I’m registered to run the Antelope Island Buffalo Run – In Utah – In March.
On my Birthday actually 🙂
Check out this persons Strava of the course.

I’ve started training. And I’ve asked for help (yesss a coach).
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I went into the majority of races this year undertrained. As in – I didn’t train.
It was a nice break – but I’m excited to be back again.
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Why Antelope Island?
It mostly just seemed perfect.

  • It’s in Utah
  • It’s on my Birthday.
  • It starts at NOON. Who needs 4am start times- I’ll be running all night anyway.
  • Elevation isn’t crazy 7670′ vertical gain.

So yeah – My ideal 100 – Runnable, all trail, late start, out west. With the added plus of looking at mountains and dodging Bison for ~30 hours. Only negative – It might be cold (30-50’s). But I’ve spent 13 hours in single digits before… and only minorly died. Also it’ll feel warm compared to this winter so far.

I’m taking training one day at a time.

Currently struggling with the usual foot problems – with the addition of some heal pain. Hoping the heal thing just goes away – It’s come and gone before. But I’ve been mixing it up with roads/trail/elliptical and Bikram yoga.
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In other news. There’s this awesome thing happening in 2018

The Empire State Triad

3 of the best Ultra’s in NY State. I’ve ran all of them. 2 of them are my all time favorites. One of them is just brutal and beautiful, and worth spending your entire day on the trail.

June 23 – Many on the Genny – 40 Mile
July 21st – Cayuga Trails – 50 Mile
August 18th – Twisted Branch – 100k

Don’t do just one. Do all 3.
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Quick look back on the past.
2017:
I ran 1674.1 Miles
and raced 383.4 (15 races)
Completed 6 Ultras – (not including the Ragnar Ultra).

1600~ miles is about what I ran in 2014. But I raced the most miles yet.
Definitely #undertrained.
—- — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
More History – cause numbers are fun.
2012: Ran 1270.1 / Raced 180.4 (18 races)
2013: Ran 1227.66 / Raced 232.2 (24 races)
2014: Ran 1610.9 / Raced 306.5 (24 races)
2015: Ran 2235.75 / Raced 322 (16 races)
2016: Ran 1966.81 / Raced 379.96 (19 races)
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I don’t have any plans yet other than this 100. 2 more months.

Happy New Year.

The End.

Twisted Branch 100k – 2017

I woke up on August 20th. Wide awake after 4 hours of sleep. Headache. I moved a few inches. Everything hurt. My skin felt sore. Take the covers off – I’m covered in scratches and bruises. I crawl to the bathroom. My knees wont unbend. My foot doesn’t work.

I’d like to think my nutrition was pretty good throughout the day. Zero falls – I was really careful not to totally destroy my foot.

So why does everything feel so terrible?
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I crossed the Twisted Branch finish line for the 2nd time. I had high hopes of a daylight finish – since we started 2 hours earlier. But found myself out there for 18 hours – cause that’s just what happens.
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I could go hour by hour and section by section and say what happened. But it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. Even when you go into this race knowing what to expect. Knowing how hard it is – and telling yourself it’ll be twice as hard as you think or remember. It’s relentless.

It teases you with a pretty do-able 40 miles. You can get to bud valley thinking “that could’ve been worse”. You run off to start the last 25 – maybe with a pacer now. I chose to go solo.

Then you hit climbs. Not the longest, or steepest. But they come after you’ve been running for a while, and you realize you have no legs. I think Brandon Stafford said it best. “That course is just so hard to get a rhythm and keep running. It felt like every 100ft there was an obstical that broke your stride enough to say. Meh… i’ll walk a bit.”
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I predicted 10 hours to get to Bud Valley (Mile 40)- I got there in 9:22. I knew the last 25 would be at least 6 hours.  I wasn’t feeling a pacer. I knew getting to Urbana (mile 60) would be rough.
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I questioned finishing.  I had no reason not too…. other than wanting to sleep. I also thought about Scott – I wanted it to be a great year for him, and I wanted to help his finisher #’s.

I also remembered I was out there because I needed this day. A day of nothing else to do but get to Keuka by foot. Quality alone time. Quality community time. And just be outside – on a pretty amazing trail.

Mile 40 – Photo by Mom

My favorite part will always be Mitchellsville to Urbana. Its only 3ish miles. But this trail is so fun. So runnable. Even after feeling like I had no running in me – It’s like everything went numb. I ran this section – and ran it “hard”. Compared to the 20 minute miles I had been doing – 10 minute miles felt like a sprint.

Felt so good to run downhills – hadn’t had any that felt good all day. I passed folks. Got to Urbana in 33 minutes.

Live tracking splits.

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I was lucky to find Strat and Jeff in Urbana. I knew it’d be at least 2 hours to do the last 4(or actually 6) miles.

Strat jumped in with me. It was nice having someone there for the dark hours.

We walked. Ridiculously slow. I just wanted to stop moving. But every bit of this race – I would flash back to the first year. These images were so clear, and kind of haunting. I missed it. And felt lucky to see it all again. Lucky to have been joined by MPF/RNR teammates. All having great and challenging day. The finish is always worth the struggle.

Definitely a twisted creation. Dare you to run this next year.
Thanks again Scott.
The end.
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What to do next?
Fast 50k September 30th on the Deleware Watergap – Watergap 50k
Hard Mountain Marathon October 14th in the Catskills – Cats Tail
PR your 5k in this downhill 5 miler October 28thAll Down Hill from Here

2015 Team Welden.

2015 Pultney road. I was lucky to run this section with one of my top favorite trail runners this year – Tommy! – Photo by John Green.

2015 training run – we found Phillip – AKA Copper – in the cornfield. And he ran 3 miles with us. I remembered him as I ran through those trails.

Twisted tree. Lucky to have seen it 3 times. Photo by John Green.

Looking at Twisted Branch 100k – take 2

It took a long time to forget the emotional trauma of the inaugural Twisted Branch. I finished. But never expected to be chasing cut-offs and battling my body to the finish line. The things that happened along the way were hard physically – but I had more emotional issues. –>(My report from 2015)

So I’m back. Thanks to friends.
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One week from now I’ll be 6 hours into my second attempt. Trying to kill me with a 4am start time!!

My last real run was O SPF – on July 15th. 13ish miles. The day after I ran 6 miles super easy…. and decided I would need to take a break if my foot would ever hold up for Twisted.

I’m currently ellipticalling, Bikraming, and Josh Rossi classing (at Fore Performance) my way to the start line.

I’ve been seeing Dr. Nick – Chiropractor at Simply Health Chiropractic. He’s been doing laser treatments 2/3 times a week, to help reduce inflammation. I’ve been trying to be good about doing recovery stuff on my own – but I still forget.

Goals for Twisted:
– I really don’t know
– Not have so many problems.

Would I have a pacer? – I’m currently not planning on it.
I love racing alone. Although my pacers from 2015 were awesome. If I somehow acquire 2 pacers again – I wouldn’t turn them away.
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In typical big race fashion – work has picked up again. Which means long days, late nights, little sleep. Less training. At this point my training goals are just getting more than 5 hours of sleep. And when I can work out – sweating as much as possible.

As always – I’m excited to have nothing to do other than spend the entire day in the woods. Totally expecting an 18 hour day. I wouldn’t mind a daylight finish though.

photo by John Green – 2015


As of right now – My foot definitely feels better. I’ve gone for a few runs. I don’t think it will ever be pain-free – I think I’ve just traumatized it too much, and ignored it too much. ha

Maybe some day I’ll get it checked out – but for now, I think it’ll be ok.
As long as I don’t kick any roots.

The end.

Broken.

I use to think I was a broken piece of human. I use to think something was wrong with me. I still do.

I don’t like posting about my feelings. Unless they are things I feel during races.

Feelings in general… hmm. I think about this a lot.
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The problem is… I like everyone. I like people’s “flaws”. I like weird. I like awkwardness. I like random and ridiculous. There are people that are easy to be around. There are people that take a little more work and patience. There are people that make it easy to lose time, and stay out too late, and remind you how to get the most out of everyday.

Feelings are fun. and also dumb.
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I’ve reached a quarter life… if I live to 120.

What have I done with my life?

I did the normal stuff. School, collage, sports.

I’ve been in a relationship. Been engaged. Been single.

I work a lot. Sometimes I run a lot. I love racing.

Sometimes I’m good at being a friend. Sometimes I suck.
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I’m constantly surprised by people though. Folks are there when you least expect it. Reach out when you’ve had a bad day. We all come and go to the same stuff and don’t say much – but our actions speak more than words.

So now – this. I’ve wrote a post about vague feelings.
Maybe out of boredom?

I don’t know what I’m doing most the time.
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Feeling’s hard. I’d much rather get beat up at Rossi’s classes.

The End.