This is my story of 30 Miles, Rain, and a VW Bug that wants camera time
If the only thing that I ever learn from running is how NOT to quit, I will have learned a lot. – Reist
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This is my story of 30 Miles, Rain, and a VW Bug that wants camera time
If the only thing that I ever learn from running is how NOT to quit, I will have learned a lot. – Reist
(**Please Watch and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel**)
Tags: #WhyIRun, confidence, encouragement, finish, reasons to run, runHARD, runners, running, ultra, ultra runner, ultramarathon, vlog, yeti 100
Posted in 100 Miler, Experience, Inspiration, Marathon, Run, Running, Training, ultra, Ultra Runner, ultramarathon, VLog | Comments (0)
On a 2.3 mile loop, Long Run number 3 was run in Palmdale, California. I watched the town of Palmdale wake up…and look at me like I was crazy.
You Can’t Stop Me – Andy Mineo Modum
Tags: 26.2, encouragement, finish, goals, marathon, mornings, motivation, runHARD, ultra marathon, ultra runner, yeti 100
Posted in Experience, Inspiration, Marathon, Run, Running, Training, Ultra Runner, ultramarathon | Comments (0)
There are runs that feel good.
There are runs that feel bad, but are still good.
Runners understand this logic. -Reist
Just Don’t Quit
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The day after battling through the sign up for the Yeti100. I set off for a cold run. The first of many long runs, as I get ready for my first 100 mile ultra marathon.
Tags: finish, goals, marathon, motivation, reasons to run, training, ultra, ultra marathon, ultra runner, vlog, yeti 100, yeti trail runners
Posted in Experience, Inspiration, Marathon, Run, Running, Starting Out, Training | Comments (0)
Signing up for the Yeti 100 mile race was the beginning. It was an interesting morning, as I outlasted the internet.
#EffortOnTheRegular 🏃Effort is inspiring 🏃♀️
@orangemud the journey begins…
Tags: marathon, runner log, runners, running, training, ultra, ultra marathon, ultra runner, vlog, yeti 100
Posted in Experience, For Fun, Run, Running, running log, Starting Out, Training, ultra, VLog | Comments (0)
1089 miles led me to the start of the Tunnel Hill 50 miler in Vienna, IL. 1089 miles run in 25 different states and all that was left was the 50 miles that laid before me. This was my second 50-mile race, I signed up for it just days after my first one and just days after I had said I would never run another 50-mile race. But now as the race director counted down the clock to the start of the race, I wondered if 1089 miles was enough; 10:14:54 later I would have my answer.
My morning started at 3:30 am at the hotel. I dressed, ate, and then drove the 30 minutes to Vienna Park where the start finish line was located. I got there early to find a good parking spot but not to be close to start line. It was more important to be near the finish line. I arrived 2 hours early for the race, but I didn’t stretch, nor did I prepare myself to run. I went back to sleep and slept like a guy who had nothing to do all day……
The atmosphere around a start of an Ultra race is unlike any other race event I have ever been to in running. There is very little pomp and circumstance, no loud bands playing, no bright lights, in fact the majority of the lights at the start line are from the headlamps the runners are wearing. Everyone seems to know each other and if they don’t know you, they welcome you into the group. There is an unsaid kinship that is formed with the understanding of the suffering that each runner is sure to endure. We know at some point we are going to need that new friend to help us get through a dark mile. The race director called us all to the starting line, porta john visits complete, hydration and fuel was loaded, all there was left to do was to run.
The race consisted of basically two parts. Part one was a 13 mile out and back to the south, with the second part being 12 miles out and back to the north. We started running in the park, making a loop around the parking lot that was eerily similar to what I would envision the running of the bulls in Pomona to look like…minus the bulls. Now I settled into the trail, I was not nervous. A better way to describe the emotion I was feeling as the race started was confused. I have run 17 marathons and very little of what I learned there translates to running an Ultra to me. So, I set my goals to run from aid station to aid station, ten 5 mile runs were in front of me….10!
It is one thing to go mile by mile with a race report, but if you are reading a recap on a 50-mile race, even the most dedicated reader is going to hit the wall. So, basically it went like this for the first 26 miles: Run, Eat, Run, Aid Station Eat a lot, Run, be grateful for a Porta John, and run, stop for 5 minutes and wait for the train pass, then eat some more. Now this brings us back to the start finish line 26.5 miles into the race, I grabbed my drop bag and changed my shirt and shoes. For some reason, I had worn an older pair of shoes to start the race and at this moment my feet were killing me. The act of putting on the new shoes and nice dry socks was AWESOME.
I sat putting my shoes on and a guy next to me asks “have you ever run this race before?”, to which I reply…” No”. “Well” he said, “after you reach the first aid station at mile 30 get ready, because the trail has a slight uphill grade all the way to the tunnel, 2-3% at most, but it will grind on your legs by the time you reach the top” …. thanks for the pep talk man. I walked out of the aid station, eating some food, when I saw the sign that said 9.6 miles to the tunnel and reflected back to what he had just said “uphill all the way to the tunnel”, that’s a long hill.
My running had become a walk-run scenario, the miles between 30 and 40 are what I call the “dark miles”, they are full of self-doubt and suffering. This will not be the most uplifting part of this recap, but it is necessary to understand that there are moments during these runs where you seriously begin to question your life decisions, especially if you were dumb enough pay money to come run this far. But unlike the first 50 I ran in April, I had prepared myself for the dark miles. I knew they were coming, it didn’t make them hurt less, but it allowed me to compartmentalize the pain and doubt, it allowed me to push through, so I continued up the trail. You in no way could call it a hill, but more like an annoying long slope that was laughing silently as I ran it. I got passed by a lot of runners between miles 30 – 37, I was having a pity party for myself, but I just kept running/walking. But what I was forgetting to do was EAT. It is so important to continue to keep your calories up and my tired brain forgot to do it, which made my mood even worse. I finally reached the tunnel. It is an old railroad tunnel that is nearly 700 feet long and when you are in the middle of it, there is hardly any light. I felt like I was in a Walking Dead scene, as shadowy figures stumbled toward me and passed me. Then I looked and it was literally the “light at the end of the tunnel”, LITERALLY and I was overjoyed. As I exited the tunnel there was an aid station and it was a full fledge party. I was pumped, because in my head this was the turn around, this was the big moment when I start heading back, I had conquered the “mountain” and I would get to run back down, with my hair waving in the wind. Obviously, I was completely delirious at this moment (I have no hair), but it all came crashing down when someone said, “2 more miles out and then back and we will see you again” …. what, there was more? I grabbed an egg sandwich, I death marched out of the aid station and I just decided to get it over with. I was depressed, but I had prepared myself for these moments, now I had to start believing my own words that I write and share each week…. I wanted to tell myself to shut up, I just kept running.
I did the short out and back, returned to the aid station, and was energized by the volunteers that were ridiculously encouraging and not one of them said “you’re almost there”. They were extremely cool. I headed out, back through the tunnel, and onto what I thought would be a smooth 10 miles down the hill to the finish line. Here is the problem, it really wasn’t downhill, just that same easy slope and my legs still hurt. I ran, I walked, I shuffled, but I kept moving. The miles slowly lessened, the thoughts in my head were focused on what it was going to feel like to cross the finish line, to hold the buckle, to not have to move anymore, so I kept running.
With 5 miles to go, I was on a walk break when a guy rolled up on my left, his name was Bill. He said that his legs were toast and he thought he was going to have to walk to the end. We commiserated for a while, and somehow how we both started running again, and I had started eating again as well. We talked and then we didn’t talk, just quiet understanding of the camaraderie needed to continue on. I didn’t know him, but I knew his pain and he knew mine and we worked together through those dark miles of 46 and 47. As we reached the final aid station, he had family there to cheer him on and has he worked with his family to refill his fuel. I filled my water bottle and told him I would see him at the finish and headed out.
Then it happened, whether it was the food or the fact that I could hear the announcer three miles away at the finish line, or that it was now dark, (I RAN ALL DAY). It was probably a combination all of them, but I was flying. (*relative) My legs were not hurting as bad; my arms were pumping and I was making moves. I ran hard the entire 2.8 miles, I visualized the 3-mile loop around my house and thought about how many time I had run it, what was one more time? This was the final miles of the ten 5 mile runs, it was almost over and I just kept running.
I made the final turn and entered the chute to the finish line, again no craziness was going on, a sign that said finish, a clock telling me I was PR’ing by 45 minutes and a RD with high-five and Finishers Buckle. After that, I stood to the side, because runners doing the 100 miler were only half way and they needed cheering, so that’s what I did, quietly lending support as they ran into the night. I waited at the finish line with Bill’s family until he crossed. We spoke quickly, and congratulated each other, then it was over. I was grateful for parking close to the finish line, and hobbled to the car. I called my wife and relayed my day to her, while the car warmed up. I sat on the heated seats and in the warmth of the car for almost an hour and reflected on my day. I was tired, I was hungry, but I was proud of myself for continuing to move forward. I was proud of my run and my finish.
Each time I run, I learn more about myself and my running. On this day, I learned how important experience is and how it can benefit you. In my first 50-mile race, the pain and exhaustion caught me off guard, it was unlike anything I had felt in a marathon. This time, I knew it was coming and I gritted my teeth and fought through it. Even in my darkest moments, I felt strong, because I knew I wasn’t going to quit.
Don’t let doubt outweigh your confidence. There are lessons in the suffering that will yield triumphant moments at the finish line. It just might take a few tries, for the light at the end of the tunnel to be the finish you want.
10:14:54 – PR
You have it within you, I know you do.
Run to the mailbox……#runhardalwaysfinish www.runhardalwaysfinish.com
Posted by Run Hard – Always Finish on Sunday, April 30, 2017
Tags: #WhyIRun, 10K, 26.2, 5K, beach, confidence, connection, encouragement, finish, frustration, goals, marathon, motivation, mummau, overcome, Portland Marathon, race, reasons, reasons to run, reflections, reist, run, run hard, runHARD, runner log, runners, running, speed, strength, struggle, train, training, vlog
Posted in Experience, For Fun, Inspiration, Marathon, Run, Running, running log, Starting Out, Training, VLog | Comments (0)
Friday – Andrea and I flew down from St. Louis to Houston. We drove to the Brazos Bend Park in Needville, TX to pick up my packet and listen to the RD Rob Goyen give his pre-race talk. There was quite a bit of instruction about how to avoid, and more importantly, how not to get eaten by the many alligators that lived in the park. It was at this time, that we met Nicole. Nicole lives in Houston, and has followed RunHard-AlwaysFinish for years. When I had put out that I wanted to try and run a 50, she wrote me and told that that Brazos Bend 50 was the one I needed to do. I talked it over with Andrea and here we were. Nicole has had a lot experience with Ultra’s and she was very prepared and let us know what to expect on Saturday. We all went for dinner and I was in bed by 9:30pm.
3:15am – I rolled over and looked at my phone and as the alarm wailed on, my mind was already thinking about the run. I got up, showered and as Andrea finished packing the last few things for the day, I put my gear together and we headed out. We had a drive that took us nearly a half hour to get to the park. It was a quiet ride, Andrea dozed as I drove, my mind still wondering what lay ahead.
4:30am – Arriving at the park, the first thing I noticed was how calm the starting area was, there was no loud music, bright lights, announcers talking, nope….it was just runners, getting ready to run. We found Nicole and she was setting up camp right before the start/finish line, we had our own little RunHard-AlwaysFinish aid station prepared. I ate some, used the restroom and pretty much just kept off my feet. I met another runner named Chris, he was very cool, giving me suggestions and advice for what lay ahead, I still wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
5:50am – After an hour of sitting, talking and eating, I realized it was really going to happen and my nerves set in, I hugged Andrea, high 5’d Nicole and got ready to run. Again, there was no big fanfare, just the race director counting down the beginning of the race, and we were off. As I ran past Andrea at the start line, I looked at her and said “what am I doing?”
Miles 1-5 There was a little over 100 of us running the 50-mile race and we were all together tight on a small path at the start, but unlike so many other races, there was no jockeying for position or elbow’s flying, everyone just seemed to work together. I was back in the pack, this is where I tried to find the pace, that I felt I could run for 50 miles. I knew that this would be a race of trial and error. It was peaceful those first 5 miles, the out and backs created a spectacle of bobbing headlamps against the blackness of the park. I was amazed at the pace of the leaders as they headed back on the trail, each one of them yelling “good job” to the runners that had yet to make the turn around. I watched the light from my lamp guide me, and I kept running.
Aid Stations– I had my first experiences with an Ultra Marathon Aid stations. I am used to little cups of water and Gatorade being handed to me and getting out of everyone’s way quickly. Not here, these people treat you like you were the only runner that they were going to see. Filling my bottles, offering me food and if needed there was always an ice-cold sponge waiting for you. It literally looked like a buffet of the best food ever.
Miles 5 – 16.8 Each mile ticked by and the sun was slowly rising. I had seen Andrea and Nicole at mile 6 and it gave me a boost as I headed out into the back section of the run. I stayed even paced and as the packed had thinned out I settled into my run, with my head on a swivel as I looked for alligators. I felt comfortable during this first loop, it hadn’t sunk in yet, what still laid before me.
Miles 16.8 – 33.6 I arrived back at the start line, Andrea and Nicole were ready with fresh bottles and a dry shirt. I told Andrea that my stomach was causing me problems, that aggravating, mildly twisting stomach. She handed be a bag of potato chips, told me to eat them and sent me on my way. That one simple act, changed my race. (more later) I continued to run very comfortable for the next 8 or 9 miles. I enjoyed the sights, the other runners, the awesomeness of the aid stations. At mile 26.2 I stopped, I had never run further than a marathon, I never thought myself able to run Ultramarathon distances. I have watched so many Ultra videos, (shout out Billy Yang), but didn’t think I could enter that league, yet here I was crossing that line, and so I kept running. The sun was out strong now, and all though so much of the course was shaded, the heat was beginning to wear on me. At the final two aid stations, I took my time, eating potato chips, getting a quick ice bath and filling my bottles. By mile 30 I was doing Galloway Intervals and trying to just run the mile I was in. The 2nd loop was coming to an end and I was so happy to see Andrea. I changed my shirt and my shoes. The shoes were purely a mind thing, as my other ones were fine. I just wanted red shoes….after 33 miles your mind is a scary place.
Miles 33.6-50.4 This is where the race actually started for me. I wasn’t racing other runners, I was racing my own fatigue, and I was relying on my will to finish and not give in to my want to quit. Runners were allowed a pacer the final loop, and I welcomed the company as Nicole joined me on the trail. She had brought a neck scarf that could be filled with ice and I gladly wore it, embracing the cold bite the ice had on my skin as I ran. It was at Mile 35 where things turned dark. I became very aware of the fatigue in my legs, fatigue that is the pain you feel at the end of a marathon and I wondered how I was going to be able to run another 15 miles. Several times during the next 5 or 6 miles I told Nicole that I wanted to walk for a mile, just to rest and recover a bit, but I never did. I would walk for a minute and then run and repeated this cycle over and over again. Each aid station, Nicole would make sure I had my bottles filled, support staff would ice me down and feed me my chips, then we would head out again. I had been warned about the “hurt locker”, the “dark miles”, but until I was in that place, there is no way to prepare for it. It was at mile 40 that I started to come out of the funk, I had broken the run down into 4 parts and I had already completed 2 of them. The 3rd part was an out and back with an q-tip head on it. It was hot and felt like it went on forever. But I was prepared for it, and all though it was uncomfortable and the longest stretch between aid stations, I kept continuing my cycle. Run –walk – Run – Walk- over and over. My only times that I would stop, would be at aid stations and the few times I had boulders get lodged inside my shoes, Nicole had told me to stop and get rid of them right away or I would pay for it later, so I did. (really, they were pebbles the size of a pin head…but they had to go!!) As I finished the 3rd part of the run, it began to dawn on me that I was in the final part of the race, and as I approached the aid station at 43 miles, those final 7 miles still seemed like another marathon was left. We stopped and iced down, Nicole forced me to eat a bite of PB&J, then we took off on the 2.9-mile trek to the second to last aid station. This section was not shaded, it was hot, I was tired, but I realized my legs didn’t hurt any more than they did at mile 35, they had reached their pain limit and this was AWESOME. Knowing that the pain wasn’t increasing, was a good thing and gave me confidence. I decided to compartmentalize the pain and just go, so we did. We reached the aid station, I ate chips, filled up with ice water and moved on. We were at mile 45.9 and I was excited, I had less than 5 miles to go and I wasn’t dead yet. There was more running than walking, (to be clear, my running was at times was no more than an exaggerated shuffle, but I felt like I was flying) I was smiling and my goal was to get to that last aid station. We reached the last aid station, I loaded up on potato chips, filled my bottles and that is when I heard Nicole ask how far we had left, the answer…1.79 mile…. less than two miles. I looked at Nicole and said, “Let’s go”. We “flew” down the path, across the road and past the alligator infested swamp. We followed the twisting path to the main road, and as we turned to the home stretch I still had this weird fear that I was going to cramp up and not be able to get to the finish. I looked at Nicole with ½ mile to go and we high-fived, I was very grateful for her pacing me for the last loop, and my excitement to finish was mounting. With a quarter mile to go, I heard, but couldn’t see Andrea, she is my biggest fan and she was screaming my name, I removed my Orange Mud and my second fuel belt, and took off running. I ran as hard as I possibly could, pumping fists and pointing at my beautiful wife. I ran through the finish line, and when Rob handed me my medal, I didn’t feel anything except joy. When I crossed the finished line, I expected to break down and cry. But there was just too much joy, all I could do was smile. I was happy to not have to move, I was happy that I finished with power, I was happy to be an Ultra marathoner. I was happy.
Potato Chips/Fuel – I struggled throughout my training for this race, finding the correct fuel. I was excellent at finding the ones that would make me hurl, but I never dialed it in 100%. I had finally settled on using my Heed from Hammer for calories and lots of water. I ate plenty of watermelon and oranges during the race, but it wasn’t till Andrea handed me those chips at mile 17 that a switch was flipped. It was a game changer, because up to that point my stomach just wasn’t right. They calmed my stomach, seemed to give me energy and the salty, crunching texture tasted unbelievable. I kept up with my Heed (aid stations had Heed which was a big help), made sure to continually take water in, and ate those chips…. lots of chips.
Training – This was my first experience with running an Ultra. I trusted my coach Jon Sinclair and each week was an adventure as I completed some of the highest mileage weekends ever. I started training in November 2016 and missed only 3 runs of my schedule. I logged 840 miles during the training period, and every mile was done with a purpose. These miles were completed each week as I traveled the country. I ran in 11 different states, a cruise ship and couple of Caribbean Islands, in snow, rain and blazing hot temps. I learned to embrace the long slow run. My longest runs were Saturday’s with 24 miles in the morning and 6 miles in the afternoon, followed by Sunday’s with anywhere from 6-10 miles. When I entered those dark miles between 33 and 40, it was then I felt the benefit of all those long miles. Although I hurt, I never quit, and I had strength that was unknown to me.
Pain and Achievement – I have never had to dig so deep to finish a run as I did this day. I learned more about my ability to deal with pain and fatigue in that final loop, than I have in all 16 of my marathons. I was happy, because I had set a goal, worked extremely hard and achieved it. This is the lesson that running teaches you, that can carry over into your everyday life. Set a goal – Work Hard – Achieve it and be proud. I had made many deals with myself during the race. I told myself, that I needed a break from running, I agreed with the pain and decided that Half Marathons would be the longest that I would race moving forward. But unlike other races where, you reconsider after the run when the pain subsides, I began to reconsider within the dark miles. I realized that I was battling through them and that I could do better next time. I don’t know if 100-mile race is in my future, but I am not ruling anything out now. Listen, I finished a 50 mile Ultra Marathon…..what else can I conquer?
Trail Racing Over Texas put on a spectacular race. Rob Goyen and his staff understand how to give a “pure” running experience. Volunteers were top notch and the day was memorable. Brazos Bend State park was a wonderful venue and the park rangers were coolest. (no one was eaten by an alligator…)
I am thankful for Jon Sinclair and his patience with Clydesdale runner, that asks a lot questions. His confidence that I could run 50 miles and his plan to get me there was awesome.
Thank you to Nicole Berglund, for suggesting this race. Being there for Andrea and myself with the preparation and running that last loop without pressuring me, but always being an encourager.
Most of all thank you to my wife Andrea. She supports all my outlandish dreams, has confidence that I will achieve them and is always the loudest at the finish line. We are a great team.
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Tags: confidence, encouragement, finish, frustration, goals, marathon, mummau, race, reasons to run, runHARD, running, strength, struggle, ultra
Posted in Marathon, Race Recap, Run, Running, ultra | Comments (1)
So please watch, be entertained, share the love.
Here is the review in 56 seconds:
“Disclaimer: I received xx2i Optics Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
There is no doubt that I like buying gear for running. No category is really safe; I am forever on the quest for the next best thing. So, when BibRave gave me the chance to hook up with AfterShokz and try out their Titanium headphones, I jumped at the chance. Aftershokz headphones are very unique, due to the fact that the earbuds don’t go in your ear, but rest near your temple on the jaw bone. Sound then travels through the skull (!!!) and leaves your ears open to hear the surrounding environment as you run. It is different and innovative, but is it effective?
The following are my Pros and Cons with the AFTERSHOKZ SPORTZ Titanium Headphones:
The AFTERSHOKZ SPORTZ Titanium headphones are innovative and for the most part worked well for me. You are able to listen to your music, and hear the world around you. You have to be understanding that the sound is traveling through your jawbone and not your ear, thus giving a different hearing experience. I listen to books when I run, and the AFTERSHOKZ worked excellently with this type of usage, but with your music you have to be prepared for your jaw to feel the vibration when the bass drops. The fit for me was good; I really liked the fact that they were lightweight and did not bounce as I ran down the road.
Try them, write me and let me know what you think. I believe that it is a great idea and why it might not be for everyone, everyone should try them at least once.
Some info and places to learn more about the AFTERSHOKZ headphones:
2/21 – Join us on Twitter at #bibchat and talk all things running. There will be many BibRavePros available for questions about the headphones.
Ask me how you can get this cool water bottle from AFTERSHOKZ
Check out AFTERSHOKZ:
“Disclaimer: I received AFTERSHOKZ SPORTZ Titanium Headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”