Saturday, October 24, 2015

Palo Duro 50K !!!

Yahoo!  Numero #22 Ultramarathon is done for 100 by 100!

While visiting our daughter Abby in Lubbock, Texas,  Lori and I decided that running Palo Duro 50K would fit in nicely since we were visiting Abby on the same weekend.  I signed up for the race only a few weeks ago and made plans.  Palo Duro is a really beautiful canyon in the panhandle of Texas, near Amarillo.  One would never know this canyon exists too!

We picked up Abby on Friday, October 16 in Lubbock and drove 1 1/2 hours up to Canyon, Texas to pick up my race packet and stay the night.  It was great to have Abby there and we had many things to go over and talk about since she is getting her masters in O.T. at Texas Tech.  We had a great dinner at a Thai restaurant in Canyon.

Race day came the next day and I was ready and off by 7 am!  It was still quite dark for the start but nice and cool.  I'm glad I had my headlamp.  50K runners had to take a short 6 mile loop back to the start and then 2 big loops of 12.5 miles or so - all loops coming back to the start.  This was quite convenient for runners to have their drop bags right there at the start!

I got in with a bunch of runners right from the start on single track trail, and made our way nice and slowly for the first 3 miles or so.  This group managed to guide everyone off the trail for a short bit, but we managed to go back and find our mistake quickly.  It was still dark when I made a tumble in the dirt and hit my elbow on a bunch of rocks.  I didn't notice but my sunglasses fell off my head here and didn't notice it until I was well down the trail.  I said to myself,  I'll have 2 more chances of finding them on the return trips, so hopefully someone won't pick them up.  No biggie.

On the second lap I tried in vain to locate the sunglasses at the spot I thought they would be in.  I was unsuccessful since it was still dark when I lost them, I just had an idea of where in the first three miles of the trail they would be, that's it.  Now the sun is up and I'm squinting at everything since it was now really bright!  I tried to forget about it and managed to spark up a few conversations with the fellow runners around me.  I met a really nice guy named Mark who told me that this was his first Ultramarathon!  I was so excited for him!  We talked a lot in that big lap about running and races.  I was impressed at how great he was doing by running the flats and downhills and walking the hills.  Exactly what you should do when you first start out running Ultras.  I was really impressed by his walking - he was keeping up with me running by walking!  I was a little worried that my legs were actually getting kind of tired now.  On this lap Lori and Abby met me at an aid station and also met Mark at the same time!  It's always fantastic to see Lori and Abby supporting me at aid stations.  It gives me a tremendous boost!  Thanks you two!  You're awesome!

On the third lap Mark and I saw each other from time to time, but only shared minimal conversations and high fives and "way to goes".  I was again unsuccessful trying to find my sunglasses and decided that I must have fallen where we all went off trail for a short bit.  That's all I could think of.  That's why I'm not finding them.  The third lap was not only really bright  and sunny but also pretty hot.  Thank God they had watered down ice towels for runners to wipe their heads with!  What a nice treat that was!  I kept mine wrapped in my visor the rest of the race.  On this lap I finally got into my usual rhythm of running/hiking and the body finally accepted the pace I was subjecting it to!  With 2 1/2 miles to go I decided that I would try running it all to the finish.  I did pretty good at that and only had to walk up a few very short inclines.  Then, I saw them........

.....the small group of aid station partiers with pre-made margaritas....  I have never wanted to introduce ALCOHOL ever in my ultras but these guys, I just could not refuse a small little thimble full of pre-made margarita!  These guys were madly partying down and I just had to accept their offer.  They were pretty funny!  I said, what the heck, there's 2 miles to go, what's the big deal!  I quickly downed the shot full and thanked them and I was off.  About a half mile from there I actually started to get a hangover and a headache!  I quickly drank what was left over in my water bottle and felt better soon.  What did I learn?  Never introduce alcohol while running 31 miles in the hot desert!

At the finish again were Lori and Abby cheering me in - along with many other people who support their runners.  What a feeling that is - being cheered on by people whom you don't even know!  Wow, what a feeling!  At the finish line I did my "navigational technique" look and called it good!  I managed to bring it in at a time of 7:01 - which is my second best time for a 50K!  Not too shabby.  Mark came through only 8 minutes later too!  He did great and I was pretty proud of him too - so was he and his wife!  We talked for awhile and to the time keepers and decided to take off and get an early lunch/dinner.  A good time was had by all!

Here are some pictures of the canyon and us after the race!  Thanks for your support again!

$100.00 Donated on 10/24/15

 This is the face of the pain and the joy of finishing an ultra marathon!
 Abby and I at the finish
 The friend Mark who finished his first ultra marathon!
 Lori and I

 Lori running by the Palo Duro creek

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tahoe Rim Trail 50 is Numero 21! w/VIDEO!

Hello all followers!  Thank you so much for all your continued support of 100 by 100!

I finished the beautiful Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler this last weekend in 14:13 - which was by far a very slow time for me, however I wasn't too concerned about time so much.  I was there to finish the race and run and enjoy the scenery up and around Lake Tahoe.  I also took my iPhone - a first for any ultra marathon that I ever ran.  So I'm really glad that I took the camera as I captured some of the spectacular views the actual "Tahoe Rim Trail" has to offer.  Enjoy the photos!

I met a surprisingly number of European ultra runners too.  Hungary, Spain, Brazil, and many other countries including Australia were represented at the race.  After my race I went back to hotel to get some sleep in before driving back up to the start/finish line to greet the 100 mile finishers in the morning.  I had some leftover beers from my brief celebration and wanted to share them with some of the finishers coming in.  It turns out that the decision was the right one because I met just the nicest runners coming in and celebrated their monumental effort at finishing this VERY TOUGH 100  mile race.  The 50 mile was really tough with 10,000 ft. of elevation gain but the 100 had 20,000 ft. of gain!  After finishing my race, I couldn't even imagine doing another 50 miles of the same course!

I was really blown away at the extreme amount of effort it took to pull off a race as this.  I met the race directors and I was really impressed with their helpfulness.  The aid stations were the best I've ever seen.  All the volunteers were really knowledgeable and helpful.  The trail itself is just beautiful and it circles the entire lake of over 200 miles.  The day turned out to be a fantastic day to run too with only highs in the upper 60's but sunny and a nice breeze to keep the runners cool.  We all were blessed to have a day like this because this race is usually a very hot one.

I went to the Reno airport hours before my flight time and decided to have a well deserved lunch/dinner at the airport.  It turns out that I see another runner (Nelson) who had run the 50 miler with me.  He sat down and we shared our experiences together over a couple of cold ones and the time flew by!  That was a great way to top off a fantastic run and weekend.  I am truly lucky to be able to do these events and meet the greatest people!  I am blessed for sure!  Thank you Momma Lyle (Cube) as we used to call her, or (Brag)!

Another $100.00 donated to Alzheimer's on 7/21/15

The start Video!  Hope it works!

This is my buddy Mike who just finished the 100 miler!  Wow!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

20% Done for 100 by 100!

Hello from St. George, Utah!

Well, this picture says it all in the completing of the Zion 50K on April 11, 2015 with my great Ultrarunning bud, BJ Haeck from San Diego!  I am now 20% completed in my 100 by 100 Quest!  
It was so awesome having BJ by my side for the entire way, experiencing the astounding views right outside of Zion National Park.   The far mesa in the background is Gooseberry Mesa in this B/W picture which we ran around the entire edge of.  A 360 degree view of the entire area awaited us up on the 12 mile mesa.  The views up here are really indescribable!  We had absolutely perfect weather, and BJ had me entertained, and encouraged me the entire way all the way to the finish.  BJ was in much better shape than me on this day, so he had LOTS of energy, to say the very least.  Throughout our adventure we talked about everything under the sun and caught up on our lives, sang songs, gave each other small quizzes on songs of the 80's and movie lines, gave each other and other runners pep talks, talked loud and laughed a hell of a lot!  BJ had me in stitches so many times that many times I had to stop and laugh it out!  No one would EVER say we didn't have fun! For some odd reason half way in the run I got a new name of "Norbalishious" !  Ok, I won't go into it now for the sake of some of my viewers!   This is a PG rated blog, of course.  

Let me say right now, WE HAD FUN!  We finished hand in hand with big smiles on our faces.  We finished in 7:42:52 - which was almost the same time as last year too!  Bj used this race as just a long workout and I used it as just getting through my first ultra of the year.  I didn't have a lot of time preparing for this race as I would liked, so I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the adventure!  We could've cared less about time.  This was a day to remember.  My wife Lori and Shady met us near the last aid station and took all these pictures - giving us lots of encouragement as well.  Thank you so much Lori!  You are the best!  You know it girl!

The hot tub and cold beers were awaiting us at our St. George condo afterwards.  Oh, that was so sweet!  Within a few hours we were gorging on ribs, steaks, appetizers, salads, and huge burgers and fries at the Players restaurant.  I was falling asleep within 20 minutes of coming home.  Hammer down and Bingo!  Done!  What a day!  Thank you BJ!  

Here are some shots of the day.  

Another $100.00 donated to Alzheimer's on 4/12/15

Sunday, March 8, 2015

#19 Ultramarathon is now in the books!

A beautiful bluebird day in West Yellowstone, Montana led the way for me to finish #19
"Ski" Ultramarathon on Saturday, March 7, 2015.  The ski race completed was the 36th Annual Rendezvous 50K.  I finished basically tying my PR for a 50K ski race doing it "classical style" with a time of 4 hours, 30 minutes.

Most of the racers skied "freestyle" which typically is twice as fast, so I was one of the last skiers to complete the course.  I again (like last year) finished 2nd to last beating out a 76 year old freestyle skier in the last 5K or so.  Oh, well, I had fun I am super glad I finished with a smile on my face.  It's amazing I finished with the same time as last year!

I super love these Rendezvous Ski Trails out of West Yellowstone!  These are the best trails I've ever skied on, for sure!  I love them!

Here are a few pictures.  Again, like last year, there were around 7 people standing around at the end to welcome me in.  (there are hundreds of skiers that do this race!)  They all vanished!  I got some random guy to take my picture and I walked across the street to my hotel room.  After a long soak in the hot tub, a huge steak, some unbelievable great chicken wings, and 3 great draft beers were waiting for me in the bar!  Wow, what a day!

Another $100.00 donated to Alzheimer's on 3/8/15

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Bluebird day gives way to #18 Ultra Marathon!

Yes!  What a day it was yesterday!  On Martin Luther King day of 1/19/15 I decided it was time to start the new year off right and do another "ski" Ultra Marathon.  I found out that the day was going to be totally sunny and clear, and only going to be around 30 degrees up on the mountain.  That's perfect for me!  The night before I pulled out all of my ultra running gear I had packed away and got out my essentials and hydration bottles.  I realized my racing skis I planned to use weren't really waxed the way I usually like, so I just slapped on some glide wax and called it good.

I got up around 7 am and got a good breakfast under my belt, filled all my bottles, took my succeed race tablets, filled up the 4-Runner and I took off.  I will be skiing our homegrown groomed trails at Pole Creek.  I got up to the trail around 9:10 and was off "classic" skiing around 9:20.  The skis felt great and light.  I usually train with very heavy backcountry skis so I got off skiing fast.  I realized real quick that the trails were going to be really fast because I was getting great glide.  The trails were just groomed the day before so it was just perfect!  I felt pretty darned good!  One part of the trail was so fast I lost my balance going down a fast downhill around a curve.  I ended up headfirst in a snow drift!

I was planning to do like 3, 10 mile loops and fill up my hydration and food when I would come back to the car.  That planned turned out to be only 2 laps of 13 miles, then 18 miles only.  I did a bunch of loops on the back side of our trails and when I came back to the car after 13 miles.  I had some great soup, bananas, peanut butter and a complete hydration bottle.  I filled up my pack with all the essentials I would need and was off!  The day couldn't have been better, actually.  There was a little wind but it was great because it gave me a chance to use my shades the entire 31 miles.  I usually have to take these off after 2 miles or so because of fogging issues.

I met several couples with dogs along the way and Jim, my friend, who has also skied the Berkie a long time ago.  He's a great skier.  We both ski "classic" style. I started to finally get tired near the mid-20 mile mark.  I was in great spirits the entire way.  I felt really lucky to have this perfect day too.  I almost felt guilty for having great glide and great groomed trails!  Well, in all, the day turned out to be just fantastic and I got a great workout!

The GPS said I did 31.02 miles at around 5 hours 36 minutes.  Not bad.  I'll take it for sure!  At the car I filled up on hydration, food, and took my recoverite.  It was around 3:00 pm and the sun was shinning bright still, warming my face.  I felt just great!  What a feeling!

#18 Ultra Marathon finished and another $100.00 donated to Alzheimer's!  Here are some pictures.