Tuesday, November 29, 2011

24 hour ultramarathon part 2

24 hour ultramarathon, part 2:

I set my alarm for 3:30 AM but it droned for hours unattended. By the time I got back on the loop, it was 8:00 AM. I felt surprisingly fresh from just a few hours of fitful and guilty sleep. One problem I thought of the night before was an issue of tracking my distance ran. With no support team enlisted, I had to rely completely on myself for any problem I encountered (much like the first Maine homesteaders). For this tracking problem, the simplest solution would do. If you happened to be at the Duck Brook Bridge Thursday morning, you might have been interested to find a panting man bent over the low stone wall counting pinecones and pebbles and muttering numbers to himself. I picked up these tokens each lap to help me keep track and it worked. Another problem took me by surprise. That morning, after too many side trips to the car and back, I left my fig Newmans bag, water jugs, and rain jacket conveniently near the loop on the bridge wall. Every lap I grabbed a few cookies, chugged the jugs, and pressed on. But when I returned from a slow lap near noon, I discovered my gear moved and my figs STOLEN. I didn't believe my snack had been stolen at first, only misplaced as I so commonly do with everything else I own. Bar Harbor and the Park are pretty safe places, save for stolen bikes in the late Fall. Maybe someone misttok my stash of gear for an unlabeled lost and found, I do not know, but I do know now that I'm taking more than just physical risks by running long events without support crews.
In total, I ran about 45 miles over 10 arduous hours, give or take a few pinecones. With support from family and friends, I managed to raise over $1400 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

This Spring I'm hoping to plan a bigger fundraising event, including sponsorship from businesses around the island and support from COA and friends. Maybe I'll make a documentary about it too, or just a short film to spread around.

Thank you to my family and friends for another successful fundraiser. Now...time to hibernate through a cold Maine winter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

24 hour ultramarathon

During high school, I was really proud of running cross country. I would say, the other sports' rain delay is our prime time. We ran through snow, freezing rain, and swamped courses. Nothing stopped a XC race, save for start guns and lightning bolts.

After this ultramarathon, I'm reconsidering that motto. Wednesday night, the elements were against me. Cold, Rain, and Wind are a terrible trinity for an endurance run. At 6:30 PM, I started running around the Witch Hole Loop carriage trails. Not half a mile around, I spotted my first neighbor. A plump field mouse froze in front of my headlamp's glare. Despite only inches between us, he stayed frozen for three minutes. Guess nobody's moving much tonight, I thought. The loop I ran was 5 kilometers, the same distance as my old XC races. I hoped to run over 40 repetitions by Thursday night, but as my extremities started to freeze and I dragged my drenched clothes and cold muscles along, my frustration mounted. After four hours of running I decided to sack the night's run for better weather in the morning. Three words kept repeating in my head - Warmth is wealth.

Soon to be continued

Saturday, November 12, 2011

minimalist shoes and pain.

I've been running on and off in the New Balance Minimus shoes this Fall. They look and feel more like rubber slippers than anything I'm used to. After reading Mcdougall's adventure book, Born to Run, I imagined myself, after gradually wearing less and less cushioned shoes, running up and down mountains nearly barefoot. That dream was short-lived. I quickly learned that minimalist shoes don't have rock plates that shield my soles from blunt impacts. And I couldn't hop around every pebble I ran past on narrow mountain trails. The first time I injured my left foot this Fall, I was with my old teammates from high school, on the rocky Ramapo Lake trail near my house in North Jersey. One asked me, "So how are those shoes for ya?" to which I responded, "Oh they're great. I've been running in them for - OW!" A rock slammed against my foot with dizzying force. It was horribly ironic timing. I thought that, with more ground that I covered in the shoes, over time my feet would toughen, my rock-dodging skills would increase, and so on, but I've reinjured that same spot maybe four times over three months. Maybe it was magical thinking that kept me combining rocky trails and soft shoes. Undoubtedly, I find the Minimus shoes very light, flexible, and breathable. They let me really feel the ground, the texture, and the hardness. Wearing big cushioned running shoes after that is like a day on the beach - in a suit and tie.
Anyway, I've retired the Minimus shoes for only road running, which is what I'm restricted to after my last reinjury. It only takes a few days for the tenderness to go away though. After reading passages from a Tom Brown, Jr. guide to herbal medicine, I might try getting a hold of Knitbone, which is renowned for healing bones quickly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

24 hour ultramarathon fundraiser

I'm really excited to announce that next Thursday, November 17, I will be raising money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by running a 24 hour ultramarathon. I hope within that time, I can run 130 miles non-stop. But more importantly, I hope I can raise $500 through this CFF fundraiser.

Here's the details as I plan them:
I'll start in the early morning on Thursday. I'll run as many laps of the Witch Hole Loop carriage trails as I can.
- Support - I will prepare all the food and drink I'll need and bring all the gear.
I'm hoping a few friends might show up with food or run a few laps with me.

- Fundraising - I just set up a page on the CF Foundation website here:
Goals- I hope to run exactly twice as long as I did in the Round MDI Fun Run. 130 miles to be exact. That's a steady mile pace of 11:04 (near my pace for the Pineland Farms 50 Miler). 11 minute miles for 24 hours. Whoo! Without injury, I know I will easily surpass 100 miles. I'm so excited about this that I find it amazing I didn't think of doing it any sooner. It's November in Maine...Now I'll have to deal with near-freezing temperatures during Thursday night. No biggy, I'm used to bundling up.

Okay, off to print out posters and spread the word!