It has been a long and eventful 3 months in VA

I just realized that I have not posted in too long. Well my first 1/2 marathon and race this year is now under my belt. The time was not what I wanted by a long way, however it was enjoyable. I am trying to get more runs in along the AT which is .3 mile from my house and .1 of that is my driveway. However, I have became adapted to SNAKES, I have seen more in the last 3 months than I saw my entire time in AZ. I just saw another one on the AT when I went out for a run on Wednesday and its head and my shoe met face to face, I backed up a couple of feet and waited patiently for him to make its way across the trail. It was hard to see it since it was in the grass. Today's race was not hot but it is the first time I have really felt the humidity along the James River. Some of the other activities that I have done are going sailing a couple of times and Kayaking on the James twice.

This past week they announced the return of the Roanoke Marathon on April 24th (27 years since they last held one). This one is one of the Toughest marathons in the US, there is a total of 16 miles of mountain climbing and 10 miles of city roadways (which are not flat), I am expecting for Chad to run it with me, since he did not make my last marathon. You can read about it at http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/215143

Till next time I have a minute.


This next weeks schedule

Today we will be disconnecting the refrigerator and all electronic items, because the movers come tomorrow and pack up 100% of our stuff. Thursday they will be loading it all and my car into the moving van and once they are gone, we will head out our self.
I have to work today thru Thursday, I was told by my boss to not worry about Friday, since I am a salary employee.
I have been so fortunate to have a great wife at home that is orchestrating the entire move, with the movers and what each one of us packs for the trip. Once we get to Roanoke VA, we need to find a nice home in a good area that we can get into by the end of next week, the movers are bringing the furniture over the weekend.
I also start my new job on Thursday the 14th, so I can get all the safety/security briefings out of the way and start doing my job on Monday. It seems like there is a lot going on, but last night was the first night that I slept the entire night in over three months. The stress has been removed from my shoulders and it is now up to someone else to do the moving for me. All I need to worry about is finding somewhere to live, no problem. I will just follow the signs.
I am not sure how much blogging I will get to the next couple of weeks, but I hope that all of you have a great week.


Things are looking brighter

Well, it has been a while and I do not know if any of you still want to blog with me, but I thought I would shed some light on what is going on. I learned that my position with my current employer is going away next summer, and I did not like that too much. After over 10 years with the same employer it took a big blow to me, even though they gave me 17 months to find a new position. After several weeks of evaluating the situation, I put my resume on monster and dice (I am in the Information Technology field), and in less than 24 hours I started to get phone calls. In short after several dozen of calls and interviews, I finally accepted a new position. The company that I will be working for manufactures night vision goggles for the military, however I will be working on their computer systems and not manufacturing them.

I learned this past Friday that I would be moving to Roanoke, VA in two weeks! The company is paying to move my family and it is a pay raise :). We discussed with the kids where they would like to live, if they got a chance to pick, and they both indicated a desire to live in the mid-Atlantic area, which is where most of the calls were from.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to run the Grand Canyon, I will be driving across the country at that time. Also, I will not be able to crew for Leigh at Badwater (I will not have any vacation time) and I was looking so forward to it, it breaks my heart to pull out as one of her crew members, but I must do what is best for my family and I hope that she will forgive me for it.

I will need to keep up on my blogging and keep all of you up to date on how things are going.


Missing in Action

Well I have been MIA for about as long as our new President has been in office. You can read into that if you would like. I am not going to claim any correlation to it.
I have had a lot on my mind, and have not even thought about blogging. I found out that I am scheduled to be LAID OFF from my work. I guess the good news about this is that I have a job until June 30, 2010. Yes, that is over a year away. Since I work for a local city government, the layoff's that are proposed still need council approval. Needless to say, I have become a lobbyist for keeping my job.
After Across the Years, I took some time off to recover, and I know I took too much time. I lost a lot of motivation for running, but I am now back to running an hour at a time 3 to 4 times a week. I am slowly building on the base I once had. I am still looking for the motivation for running longer and following any healthy eating habits that I once had.
The one thing I recognized with everything that is going on in my life, I did go to the Dr and am now back on my anti-depressant, I went off them for about 6 months and was doing OK without them, but with the loss of the job and lack of motivation for exercise, etc. I recognized the feelings and knew what needed to be done.
I do have the goal of doing a Rim to Rim to Rim run May 8th at the Grand Canyon. This has got me on the stair master for an hour after my runs, which is burning my leg muscles.
The only other race on my Schedule (as of now) is a lovely trip in July to the resort town of Stove Pipe Wells in Death Valley, CA. I am a crew member for Leigh Corbin for Badwater 2009. After she completes the race (great positive attitude) we are planning on hiking to the summit of Mt. Whitney, which will be my first time going from the lowest elevation to the highest peak in the lower 48 states.


Phoenix Coyotes night

Well, a fellow running friend of mine works for Godaddy and emailed me if I would like some tickets to the hockey game last night. I accepted them and took Benjamin and Kimberly, Nicholas was feeling under the weather, so he did not go. We stopped by where she was running with some other runners that I know and she gave us the tickets and even a parking pass to the garage. We got there a couple of minutes late, but I figured with a 3 year old, who knows how long we will even be there.
We ended up parking in the second parking space from the entrance and were directed to the elevator to our "Suite", we got to the box suite and we were the only ones there. It is a private suite for 18 people and it turned out to be just 9 of us there (seven runners and my two kids). They even delivered three pizzas popcorn, and pretzels. Oh yea, free non-alcohol drinks. The two kids had a great time watching the game and climbing over the chairs and eating. The box turned out to be at the center ice, so I can say that I had one great evening with some Friends and kids.
Oh, yea near the end of the evening they brought our bill for us to sign. As my friend signed it for the company, we learned that each of the two cheese pizzas were $30.00 each and the Peperoni was $35.00. The picture of the two containers of popcorn and pretzels was $25.00 for each of the popcorn and $20.00 for the pretzels. We did not even see the bill for the soda and water. It was very appreciated what the company did for their employees. The nice thing about this is that the arena is on the far west side of town by my house and the company is in the east side of town, so a lot of employees do not even bother with going to the games.


Across The Years - Race Report 2008-2009

It has taken me almost a week to get over the head cold that I got while running the ATY. Well, I had it prior to the race, but was getting over it by the time the race came around.

By 2:30am I had completed 100K and was as happy as could be.

It started for me the night before, with a good shower and then I taped my feet up and prepped them for the race. I am so glad that I spent that hour or so working on my feet. I started by drying my feet really good, wiping them down with an alcohol wipe and then applying kinesio tape to each of the toes and bottom of my feet. I learned how to tape my feet properly from the book "Fixing Your Feet: Prevention And Treatments for Athletes". I really do recommend all the athletes that have any foot problems to read this book. They took me the entire 62+ miles without one hot spot, black toe nail, or blister. After I finished my feet, I put on socks and went to bed. The night of rest went well and 5:15 am was soon here. Chad picked me up at 6am and we went for breakfast and then headed to the race. (10 miles from my house).

We got there with plenty of time to setup and walk around. I did not have to check in since they gave me my chip and equipment the day before, because I help out with the setup and when ever needed for this race. They have an email system where people can leave messages for the different runners and they print them out and put them in boxes for the runners to pickup. I checked my email box and had two emails one from my cousin and the other from Karen in the UK. They were the only emails that I got all day :( I did get several calls from Leigh which was needed and she is such a great friend to have cheering and coaching you on to your first 100K. Thank you Leigh for everything.

Finally 9am rolled around, I started off the race on a nice slow jog where my pace for each .31 mile loop I would do it in around 4:05 to 4:10 and continued this for the next 7 hours. At about 3 hours into the race, I decided to switch out my new shoes for my older ones since they were not as roomy as I am use to. I then stayed in these for the remainder of the race. After the 7 hours of running, I went to a controlled march / brisk walk of about 15 to 16 minute mile which I tried to maintained nonstop for the next 10.5 hours which slowed down as the hours ticked on.

Chad stayed there for the first hour or so then went to join Julie and Lori who had the kids and were heading to the Pizza place where the kids could play. About 1 pm or so Chad returned with Lori and Kimberly who cheered me on for a while. Kimberly loved to play in the grass and cheered each time I passed by. Lori and Kimberly left about 45 minutes later or so and then Chad went for his weekend run down the canal that is next to the ATY site. After his run, I had changed from running to brisk walking and he decided to tag along for the conversation and the additional exercise. He hung in with me for several miles before deciding to head home. I could say that I was now all alone, but I had so many people that were in the race, that I knew and cheered me on and gave me words of encouragement that I forgot to put on my mp3 for about 10 more hours.

The biggest problem for me the entire race was having a head cold and coughing and blowing my nose every 10 minutes.

For the nutrition, everything went ok or not so ok, at the beginning I was able to pee and was feeling strong, then I got intestinal shutdown and everything I consumed, stayed in my stomach and I continued to keep my calories up for the next 12 hours or so like this. I knew the only way to clear it out was to throw up, which I never had the desire to while running. This is a common occurrence for me on my longer runs, that my stomach will shut down.

There are several probable causes for this happening to me:
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance is affecting peristalsis, Peristalsis is very sensitive to salt and water imbalance in the intestinal tract.
  • Most people maintain normal gastric emptying and intestinal motility by remaining below a heart rate which corresponds to less than 70% VO2 max effort. If you don't use physiologic testing to facilitate training, this corresponds to approximately 80% of your maximum heart rate or the effort commonly referred to as ‘steady'.

Any one or combination of these may be the cause of my dismay. I will have to train and test each one for a solid solution to each.

At 2:30 am (17.5 hrs) into the race, I hit the 100K mark. It felt like the night was standing still and the laps were not adding up quick enough. At about 94K I started to feel aches in my feet, ankles, knees, hips, and major chafing in the groin. Maybe it was my body telling me that enough is enough for the first ultra.

I went into the heated tent and warmed up and that is when my stomach told me it needed attention, so I went to the restroom and emptied it. I then went back to the heated tent and curled up on the floor for 2 hours and let my body recover. After getting up and being stiff, I decided that 100K was enough, I could not physically have made it to the 100 mile mark in 24 hours and did not see a reason to take the risk of injury for a couple more miles.

So, Chad gave me a ride home and I took a nice warm bath with epson salt and then got some more warm rest. All is feeling great now and I am looking forward to doing the 48 hour race next year.

This is definitely a race to do if you are an ultra runner or just want to give it a try. There is an aid station and medic tent every .5K and it is impossible to get lost on the 15 feet wide gravel track. The scenery is amazing and the people are top notch.

Before I go, I need to congratulate some people for their accomplishments at the race:

In the 72 hour group:
  • William Sichel for completing 269.3 Miles
  • Gavin Wrublik for completing 50.6 Miles (Age 7)
  • Robert Andrulis for completing 143.8 Miles
  • Rick Cheever for completing 148.8 Miles
  • Jean-Jacques d'Aquin for completing 164.9 miles at age 69 (May 8th at 3am he is doing a double crossing of the Grand Canyon with a group of ultra runners for his 70th Birthday)
  • John Geesler (American 48hr record holder) who injured his ankle and still completed 160.9 miles

In the 48 hour group:

  • Lisa Bliss who Completed 150.6 Miles
  • Dan Jensen who completed 110.2 Miles with one leg amputated (see the Documentary: Running on the Sun)
  • Jeff Hagen for completing 180.5 miles

In the 24 Hour group:

  • Wendell Doman for completing 124.5 miles (you never stopped!)
  • Summer Wesson for completing 80.46 miles
  • Stephanie Buettner for completing 85.4 miles
  • Sue Norwood for completing 82 miles
  • Deborah Goodwin for your first ultra and completing 75.1 miles

Here are a couple pictures that were taken at the race:

Here I am on the inside with Debbie and Steph both on the outside (Drawing a blank on who is next to me).

John Geesler and Gavin (7 years old) during the third day.

Here I am about to take Lisa Bliss or was this when she passed me, I do not know they both happened many times.

Here I am in the distance running along the front of the Nardini Mannor

Here is Chad, Lori, and Kimberly (behind the table crawling in the grass)

Here I am early in the day looking fresh and ready for a long day.