Monday, January 6, 2014

Take Three: Marathon recap, no sleep and a couple race beers.

   Sometimes I am really ON, concerning this blog post, and by sometimes I mean rarely. It just seems like there is not enough time in the day to catch up on this blog, not that it really is a pressing matter so that two whole people can ultimately read half of my blog and give me a thumbs up. Ok, let's get to the main point, The 2013 Philadelphia Marathon and my incredible experience on my first visit to the area since I was in middle school, before smart phones, before ipods, and before Western Australia had color TV (knock).

  After a slight dilemma with my clothing of choice, I made it a quick choice and it proved very effective. Karin and I went to bed fairly early the night before the race and our 4:00am went off. Tossing and turning, I rolled over so many times to look at the clock that I honestly and not sure I slept more than 30minutes. 11:15, 11:47. 12:23, 12:52, 1:32, 1:59, 2:20, 2:58, these are all of the times I vividly remember looking at the clock before I decided to go into the opposite room of our suite to try a new sleeping area. This is the only point that it appeared I slept, and it was 30-35minute nap effectively. Our alarms went off and I was just standing up in the living watching the news on closed caption so I would not wake Karin. This was perhaps the worst night of sleep I have ever had in preparation for a race. We suited up with our throw away sweats and hit the streets nice and early as other runners were scurrying to the start line.

  The temps were actually pretty comfy in the upper 40's but I knew that the humidity was well over 90% so I made it a point to drink h2o when I could. Karin had to take a bathroom break because Jonah (our baby) made her stop frequently to do so. She was freaking out because the lines were incredibly long and I had to part ways with a hug and a kiss because it was less than 10minutes till the start and I was outside in the grassy area. I hopped over a few gates and made my way up towards the front of the race as I saw the elites jump in just a minute before the gun fired. My hamstring wasn't aching too much though I could feel it and had some worries pre-race of course. Thankfully between the KT tape, my pair of EC3D compression shorts and my 2xu compression shorts the pain was contained. Bang! the guns goes off and runners were everywhere, I quickly realized that I should have started up a little closer to the front because over that first mile I passed people who looked like they were already bonking. I just do not understand people who go out so hard in long distance events, I mean, you know what is going to happen, will it change this time? NO. Anyways, I started to get a bit warm with my arm warmers so I stripped these off after 2 miles with the hope that I could find Karin's family and toss them their way, but that did not happen.

  The first few miles just flew by faster than any other marathon that I have ever run in. It was great to see the river, all of the little sections of town with people cheering and with signs. What an experience, I really would recommend the half marathon at least for anyone looking to enjoy their first major race that is not Boston, Chicago or New York. Things were going pretty smoothly as I found a nice group to settle in with in the 5:50's. Though I kept the pace consistent I could tell that I was certainly going out a little ahead of myself but I figured why not, I had no pressure, my original goals were not going to happen so just go for it and have fun. One guy I was running with in the group was really starting to piss me off as he would pass me and keep peeking back, then he would drop his pace by 5 seconds and I would pass him. It was very irritating after several miles in the race, so after we crested a hill around the zoo I just dropped a hard surge down the hill and thought, "why not make this A-hole" work to beat me? It was a game at that point, one that would come back to bite me but it kept it spiced up for 26miles at least. As we passed the 13 mile mark that guy came charging hard past me and he split off to the finish, he was only doing the half, of course!

  Continuing on the marathon course with serious thoughts about dropping out at the half I was surprised at how many people were still around. At 10 miles I pretty much could feel how dead my legs were but I just kept trying to lift. When I saw that 13 miles mark I just thought to myself those days when I had to get up really early to run in the cold to get long miles in before work. After thinking about those days I just decided I came to do the marathon so that is what I was going to do, no matter how slow I may finish. Around 15 miles we had a turn around section and I got to see where people were and I saw a group of 4 charging really hard with each eventually passing me by 16 miles. Anytime I was around people in the later stages of the race I always made it a point to say good job or "go get em buddy". The 2nd female drifted back to me at about 17 miles and I told her to tuck behind me, if she needed any fluids to let me know. After about 1/2 mile I realized that she drifted further behind me, so I kept pressing onwards. From miles 17-20, I had a couple additional runners pass me as we hit the turnaround point in a small town and it was AWESOME! They had a band out there, people with signs, cheering us on, I gave the hand to the ear signal and said "come on, wake up, you can do better than that", gave a bunch of high fives.

  I was all smiles, I was on cloud 9, my pace was getting slower but I couldn't help but think how fortunate I was just to be running. As I hit 21 mile I noticed a table with women standing by it holding big signs that said "BEER STOP, I was so excited, I stopped to grab a cup and told them "this is exactly what I really needed". I chugged the beer back and pushed onward, that beer literally tasted like heaven, I had an even bigger smile on my face. One thing really disappointed me in the late stages of the race, as we were passing all of the slower runners on the opposite side of the road I yelled out "great job", "you got this 3:30 group!" or " keep it up, you all look so fresh!" and no one, NO ONE said anything back, I just couldn't believe it! Oh well, as the miles moved along, I decided to pick it up to a light pole or a mail box just to pass the time and as I was doing this O noticed that I was actually catching people. 1-2-3 I was cruising past all of these people who had passed me earlier, glad I drank plenty of h2o on this humid day, it really hit some of the runners hard. at 23.5 miles I saw another "Beer Stop" so I indulged again to the cheers of the group who said I was the first person to even look their way really. Once 25 miles came, I kept telling myself to push hard and catch another person, then another person. Soon I realized that I could see the lead woman, she was so far ahead of me, but I was actually catching her.

  Over the last 3/4 of a mile I passed a shirtless runner who I kept yelling at to "not give up" and to "keep pressing, we are almost done". We passed each other back and forth, each time I gave him a shout of motivation, this was a brotherhood, we were out there to better ourselves. Regardless if he beat me, I wanted him to know that we pushed each other the entire way. As we raced each other down the last meters of the race we passed another runner, then slid past the women's winner, we were ALL OUT. I never would have thought that I would be in a dead sprint over the last 400m of a marathon but here I was just pressing as hard as I possibly could. This guy would not give me an inch, we took it all the way to the line and I just didn't have it in me and he crossed just a foot before I did, what a race! We gave each other a fist pound and a hug then he thanked me for pushing him that last mile. It was great to hear those kind words and then he told me he set a 1minute PR and he wasn't sure that he could have done it if I wasn't pushing him to his limit over that last mile.

  Karin rolled up and gave me a hug, she was proud of me and thats all I cared about. She finished safe and sound, she was happy with her result, I was thrilled to run a 2:38 and change, my 2nd fastest time ever. We walked back to the hotel, got showered up and had a huge phillycheese steak. We checked into our new hotel a couple blocks away, the Double Tree and I enjoyed my views, sent out a few messages with my results to family and friends. I was pretty tired and wanted to just sit back and relax, I was having some issues walking but that was nothing new. All in all I was extremely pleased with everything that Philly had to offer, it was very well organized, the crowds were a ton of fun and made the race that much more exciting.

  Down the road I would like to make one more trip to Philly for the race festivities, perhaps the half marathon just so I can walk normal after the run haha. Each day I try my best to remember that I am so incredibly gifted that I can travel to Philadelphia on my own free will, I am able to run 26 miles, and then enjoy a meal afterwards. We take so much for granted each second of our life, if you are reading this, you are leading a good life, I know I am and I don't intend to ever forget that. 

  On a side note, I have decided to avoid any form of road racing for at least 6 more months, but I will be participating in several trail races throughout the year, they just allow me to be free and to really enjoy the running experience again. If you want to hit the trails, let me know when and where, hopefully I can meet up! Thanks for reading!!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The LEAD UP: Almost to Philly

   The build up to the Philly Marathon was starting to take shape about 6-7 weeks out, I have reached the magic fitness line of 60 miles in a week and I was progressing. As a lead up to the week of our “Training Camp” at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia I came down with something pretty rough in the form of a cold. It was a rough weekend of riding and running, my veins were flowing with all kinds of western medicine to knock out this nasty sickness. 2 weeks passed by and I was still holding onto this sickness, body aches, headaches, running nose, coughing, it was time to finally rest. 3 days off in a row made a big difference and it appeared to finally subdue my ill-timed body draining sickness.

    Just days after making vast improvements I thought it would be a great idea to jump in with a workout with Billy and Paul. Up to this point I had basically done almost all of my long runs solo and hadn’t been able to do any hard workouts with any of the top marathoners in town. The morning was chilly but I knew I had to treat it as a race in itself, so I went to bed early, woke early and went through my race morning routine. We set off for 10 miles with a large group to get the wheels moving along, it was quite nice to run with a group again, I really miss that dynamic. Once we hit 10 miles Paul, myself and Billy took off to run the next 10 at Marathon pace. Running through the center city was difficult with construction and lights so our first mile was slightly off of pace but we kept pursuing on. The 3rd mile consisted of a long line of people dressed in pink whom where participating in the Breast Cancer walk, kudos to them for being out in large numbers walking in the cold and raising money for a great cause.

    Billy kept pushing the pace down further and further, “I feel good” is a familiar phrase Billy has always said and today was no different. We were at 6:05 pace for a couple miles then just under 6:00min pace, after 5 miles we were in the 5:50’s, then over the last 3 miles I was struggling to keep up with Billy as he appeared to be hammering home to simulate the finish of Thunder Road. 5:49, 5:41 and 5:47 were my last 3 mile splits and Billy was moving away from me! On the last mile I was making a hard push to catch Billy but I could tell something was off and I was swinging my left leg out wide, something just was not right. Later after numerous visit to Laura at Carolina Sports Clinic, she reiterated the fact that I needed to take a couple days off because my body was just rebelling against the training I wanted to pursue. 3 weeks out from the race I had to accept the fact that I was not going to run a PR L and perhaps not even finish the marathon. Two weeks out on an easy trail run with Matt Jaskot and Mike Beigay my right Achilles locked up on me 10minutes in. After this happened, I began to really think about the road to running a properly peaked marathon, I have never been there and I am not sure that I ever will.

   Lucky for me I actually listened to the advice from Doctor Laura and essentially aqua jogged or rode my spin bike over the last 3 weeks with 2-3 days of running per week. As any runner knows this is the LAST thing that you want to be doing while leading up to a goal marathon. My last 5 weeks of training were pieced together as if I literally had no experience running in my life. Though I ran very little, the goal was to focus on keeping fitness, not gaining fitness. Each of these days I was trying to hit the foam roller while also doing some of those irritating minimal exercises to work on lower leg stability as well as a major focus on glute strengthening.  The last thing to figure out was what to wear of course, I had numerous options concerning clothing and footwear, now what to do.
   As any seasoned runner would do, I packed quite a few options for the marathon, including pre-race throw away gear, race attire and post-race clothing to keep warm. One of the shocking last minute decisions that you never make is tossing in a brand new shoe into the mix. Fortunately for me, the Under Amour sales rep sent me a couple pairs of their latest gear to test out and one pair really hit the spot. Perhaps the best racing shoe I have ever worn, well after one test, I thought so. This speaks wonders to the innovative design team at Under Amour given that I have been fortunate to sample the industry’s best running shoes over the past 10 years.

  The shoe in question is the Under ArmourSpeedform and I have provided some of the bullet points concerning the shoe. One interesting factor that I found with a visit from our sales rep is that this shoe was the first to be approved for racing by the legend Chris McCormack and the 2 nd, the upper was created in a bra factory to form fit to the foot, giving the shoe a stretchable concept.

The fundamentals
  • Regular: A slimmer athletic cut that delivers better mobility by eliminating the bulk of extra fabric.
  • Seamless heel cup for anatomical fit
  • Silicone heel grip for a more streamlined feel
  • Smooth, ultrasonic seaming so you feel nothing but fast
  • Micro G® cushioning in the heel rebounds your impact into forward momentum
  • UA Light Speed Grip is strategically placed on outsole for the ultimate in ultra-lightweight traction
  • 6 mm drop
  • Super-lightweight: 6 oz.
   As I firmly decided that this was in fact the shoe to race in one week out from the marathon, many were shocked and disapproved but I honestly thought this was an amazing shoe. At only 6 ounces this was a very lightweight shoe but the thing that stuck out to me was that this was not a minimal shoe per say. The “zero drop” concept was not incorporated it is in fact 6mm which in my opinion could be possibly the perfect drop.  The “Speedform” is more aggressive than a standard training shoe but not as aggressive as most of the racing flats in the industry. This I thought would be very beneficial in the later stages of the race, as it would not stretch my calf or Achilles like some of my other shoes. Another factor that stuck out for me was the snug fit of the heel cup, it is very minimal as it is lined with a thin piece of fabric BUT is has an embedded silicone heel grip with works exceptionally.

Take a look yourself at the Speedform RC

   After deciding on such an integral part of my race concerning footwear, all I had to do was select my outfit. On the table were my brand new “EC3D- Compression Shorts” as well as the trusty “2XU Compression Shorts” that have served me very well over the years. My sock choices were the sweet new “EC3D- twist compression socks” vs“ 110% compression sleeves” the pair that worked so incredibly well at Wineglass last year. The accessory choices consisted of “Mizuno- breath thermo gloves” vs. “ Gore Windstopper gloves” and concerning my head gear I had 3 choices in “Mizuno- Breaththermo winter cap”, “Timex Dri fit hat” or a fitted “2XU- winter cap”. What to do what to do….Next update coming soon, I promise!(laptop broke while flying hence the delay)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall Marathon: The lead up to Philly

   Months ago, my wife Karin was motivated to "take on" the Philadelphia Marathon once again after her 2010 episode ended with broken metatarsals and a DNF. As she announced the news I was delighted to hear she was attacking something that was taken from her, something that caused her a great deal of pain and agony. I pondered the idea of just going to Philly as a cheerleader for Karin but she asked if I was signing up and it kind of pushed me to really thinking about it. After I realized that I actually had a free entry courtesy of Gatorade Endurance, I went ahead and signed up, after all even if I decided not to race I could have simply not started and it wouldn't cost me a dime.

   I must also mention that during all of this I had just competed in the "Scream" half marathon which by luck I was fortunate enough to finish in 1st place in just under 1:15. This race WRECKED ME! My training had been going very well until I competed in the summer track series where I really tweaked my hamstring and it became a big lingering issue. As I toed the line for the "Scream" I knew that I was not in ideal form to achieve what I would like to but I was on the line to compete and give it my best. I pushed and pushed, even had to make a pit stop for stomach issues until I crossed that line in agonizing pain. I was TOAST for weeks after the race, my legs were shot and I just took time off. Debating on signing up for a full marathon after I had just put my body through hell and back for a half seemed like an easy answer but it wasn't. As you know now, I did sign up for the full and I gave it my best attempt to prepare for attacking a new PR.

     After some much needed time off I decided it was time to really start ramping up my training so I wrote a very basic and simple plan for myself to reach a peak week of 85 miles, permitting I made it to this point completely healthy there would be no reason that I could not knock a couple minutes off of my standing marathon PR. I knew that reaching this would be a very difficult task as I typically have to stick around 50-55 miles per week before my body starts breaking down so it would be a much longer build than I would prefer. If you know me well, you know that I have been a fairly inconsistent runner in terms of training. I like to take about 3months at a time to really get into my training and 3 months to take time off to lift, cycle and to tend to home life. It works for me but is not for everyone, I do still believe that I have a couple of PR's left in me somewhere, most likely in the longer distances and I will get there in due time.

   To keep my training fun and exciting I always like to mix in races to offer a true chance to get into a race mentality while also providing the obvious stimulus. One race really stuck out on my radar that I have always wanted to participate in, "Run For The Green" half marathon in Davidson, NC.  I knew that it would prove to be a slow race but it would have long term benefits. Up to the point of the race my training was finally coming around quite nice as I was getting into the 50's for mileage but my body was having a difficult time adapting to the increased load. My thought was that it would be ideal if I could run just under 1:20 while staying controlled and optimistically hope for the big W. Once the gun went off their was quickly a contender among the field who meant business. He took off with ease and floated away from the rest of us minus some teenage kids who were dreaming for a couple hundred yards.

    After dropping a 5:30 mile to remain in 4th place I thought to myself that it must be game time today, no games and no floating around. I had to start my race soon or this guy might just run away from me. As we approached the 3 mile mark he continued to surge every time I strolled next to him and then finally he pretty much gave up completely it appeared. Within two steps I had made a solid gap on him and I kept pressing. As we hit the turn around, I noticed I had a solid lead and finally was able to back off of the pace and cruise home for the victory. Great race/run, I went out fast got into oxygen debt but was still able to press on with a solid pace, this was really teaching my body to deal with some solid fatigue.

  Two weeks after the "Run For the Green" I told my fellow Huntersville-Concord triathlon team that I would be willing to compete in the relay for the inaugural Davidson Half IM. I knew that I had to hit some solid mileage that week and I made it very clear that I would not be setting any record paces during my run portion. Since I did not have to be at the race till later, I managed to run 5 miles to the race from my house, sit around for awhile then do another 2 mile warm-up before I was set to complete my 13.1 mile journey for the team. Boy was this a BITCH of a course, I know that I was
fatigued but it really took a toll on me. For the first time since I competed in a 70.3 myself I ran over 1:20 for half marathon! It was a fun event, I was able to meet some new people and to share my passion for the sport while we waited in anticipation for our teams to arrive. We ended up winning as the overall fastest team but unfortunately we were still unable to get the top overall men in the field.

   This performance left me feeling a little less confident but still hopeful that I could continue to press my mileage on up. Looking back one of the critical mistakes that I made was not allowing myself a proper amount of time to recover. I distinctly remember one workout that I did with help from Dan Matena at McAlpine, where I was set to do 3 x 5k. The 1st 5k went by FAIRLY smoothly but I could tell that the sickness that I had been suffering from was still lingering in my
body and causing severe chest congestion. The 2nd 5k interval was not so pretty, I managed to still run a 17:40 but it was not nearly as smooth, I had to press the last mile to get my time and my chest was really hurting something bad. For some reason the next morning I was so motivated from my incomplete workout that I met up with Billy and Caitlin for some miles extremely early. I managed to run a couple solo before meeting up with the group to knock out 8 more before starting a workout with Billy and Caitlin. I managed to run just short of 3 miles with them at 6:10 pace before the fatigue and soreness really set in. I struggled back to the YMCA shivering and achy from the 18 miles I had just run, this was the true start of my demise.

  Upon completion of that week of training it was highly likely that you may have very well witnessed my famous last 5-6 weeks of training move, it was pretty sweet and went something like this......"ahhhhh my Hamstring!" , "Oh my Achilles, I can't walk, it's locked up", "My IT band is killing, I don't know about this marathon". Despite all of these factors, I still showed up to the start line at the Philadelphia Marathon with the slim optimism that they may very well be a PR waiting to happen, which I will recap on my next installment.


Monday, July 15, 2013

High Goals and Low Mileage = impossible

  After a debacle at the recent Spartan race in March, I decided that it was time to start looking towards a new running goal in the near future, so I settled on two goals; The Brighton 4th of July 5k (Rochester, NY) and the "Scream" Half marathon in the foothills of NC. Thankfully I started off with a bang of success immediately with winning a small local 5k and then following that up with an amazing performance at the Skyline 5k which was a last minute "kick in the butt" race or so I thought. Having the entire last mile downhill really helped trim my pace down and let me come through in 2nd overall with a 16:18 behind the quick feet of John Compton.

   Maybe the Skyline performance gave me a false sense of fitness, but for whatever reason I just could not find any motivation to actually train in a structured manner in preparation for the 5k or the Half Marathon. The days flew by and I kept telling myself, "oh you have time before you need to buckle down, no worries". Just two weeks ago I had an opportunity to gauge my proposed pace at the summer series 5000m for the upcoming Brighton 5k. Since I never actually did a proper "race pace" workout as I should have, I thought this would be the best gauge. Luckily I was fortunate enough to have a "training camp" weekend away with a few buddies and put in a solid amount of work, on the bike as well as running which lead up to the 5000m race on the track. Over our training camp, we demolished our legs which some brutal climbs, attacks and surges on two feet and two wheels. I knew going into the track race I would be dead legged but what the hell, why not just give it an old college try. 15:58 was the outcome, for another 2nd overall placing.

Most of my Training Camp compatriots

   In the past I have always focused on an attempt to run well at the track series but most importantly win the Championship mile. I believe that I am a 3-time possibly a 4-time winner of this race who apparently is out of his prime. Last year I pushed Bert to an amazing 4:17 mile while I was on the cusp of a sub 4:20 at 30 years old, a feat that blew my mind. Weeks out from this race, I was extremely motivated to beat Bert as well as to finally take the crown of the "Ultimate Runner". This year, let's just say winning the Brighton 5k never seemed to really motivate me to get out the door. I am in an odd slump at this point in my life and it's not something I am worried about. Karin and I bought a very nice home in the community that we could only hope we could raise a child in. Much of my time has been focused on preparing our home to be a place where we could live for a very long time.

Loving Life with Karin
   Accompanying this hard work at home often brings many select beverages and occasional nights out dining. At the end of the day, I have to realize running is just my hobby and but my home life is what matters the most. This is something I have come to terms with even though it has been a struggle at times, watching my paces get just a bit slower than I would appreciate. When I began my "running" cycle in April, I had a couple goals that I thought could possibly be attainable given some very focused and dedicated work. 15:45 for the Brighton 5k and sub 1:12 for the Scream Half marathon. The time has come and gone, along with my hamstring but I still have one more race remaining. On July 4th, Karin and I toed the line, both being very skeptical of our fitness levels and quite honestly had no clue what type of pace either of us could run. She had been having issues with her Achilles and calf while I have endless issues with my hamstring it seems like.

$75 for 2nd Overall
   Bang, the gun goes off and the race starts, 16minutes and 6 seconds later I have crossed the finish line for a solo 2nd overall. The first guy hit the mile in 4:46 and looked smooth and relaxed, while a few guys were trying to hang onto me, I knew I had enough to push ahead by myself. Being absent minded I did not bring a watch for the race so I had no clue what pace I was holding, so this totally would be up in the air. 5:11 at the mile, time to push away, 5:07 over the next mile, and then crossing in 16:06. I was so close to breaking 16, but I had nothing else left. I finished while hunched over trying to see through the foggy, humid air, breathing heavily and sweating profusely, but I had a smile inside. 16:06 wasn't so bad for what I have been doing, I'll take that any day of the week! So much for 15:45, I knew this would be out of the question as my running has been a chore over these last few weeks especially with my IT and Hamstring issues, some days I feel like I am falling apart!

   On July 20th I plan to be at the starting line of the "The Scream" half marathon with no overly anxious goals. While nursing my hamstring I have been very easy on my legs over these past two weeks just so I can make it to the start line. Having heard stories of Ben Hovis and his excruciating circumstances with his Achilles, I just pray that my Hamstring will hold up on some of the quick descents. This is an excerpt from a partial description on the race website;
" The course features over 2,400 feet of descent over the 13.1 mile course, roughly 150+ feet per mile. You will be sore. There are two noticeable climbs between the start & finish, neither of which could really be characterized as challenging hills. Although the significant descent will give you a big boost in terms of speed, if does not automatically guarantee a PR half marathon time. You have to do your part and put in the training necessary to shepard you to your goal. Relying upon gravity to make up for a lack of proper training will be a big mistake; please take us at our word for this."

Maybe stupid stuff like this is what hurts my hamstring?
"Look I can leap into the lake, woooo, ouch"
Sub 1:12, yes, at some point through the race but unfortunately not at the finish line. My goal is to start out conservatively and then to hopefully push some of the later miles to finish strong. I am not sure who will be racing on the 20th but given last years winning time there is a chance that I could be out front fairly quickly, but I know that there will always be a few people who push early on before their lack of proper training hits them and they are walking, hopefully I am not that guy. After I complete this race, I will not have another planned race until the first weekend in November as I need some downtime to get some things together.

    All in all, Life is grand and I could not envision a better life for myself, I am very fortunate and there is not one day that I do not forget that. Running is a mirror to life, sometimes you are just cruising through life with a smile thinking how great you feel then the next moment your ankle rolls over the edge of the sidewalk and you are on your face wondering what to do. Each and everyday is a new day to learn more, whether its about yourself, someone else or something, just embrace it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Gatorade Ambassador + Trail running = Long Blog

  As usual I have taken a hiatus from posting on my blog, but I did want to take a few minutes to highlight a few exciting things that are going on in my life currently. Let's start off with my acceptance as a member of the Gatorade Enduralliance team. This is a pretty awesome deal, I sent out my application which asked for podium finishes, results and time not expecting much but only to be notified days later of my acceptance along with two closer friends of mine, Cody Angell and Billy Shue. We all found out that we are the only members in the south east, while there are about 30 members spread all over the country. Unfortunately I was unable to attend our big conference in Chicago but I did get to catch up via email, conference call and webinar.

  With becoming apart of this team, we have promised to do our best to promote the brand specifically highlighting Gatorade Endurance to our local community. You may see Cody, Billy and I at some of the brewery runs or store runs passing our some free samples so don't be afraid to come over say hi and grab some carb chews! One of the cool things is that we get free technical racing gear, so all three of us are going to have a sick compression triathlon gear made by 2XU but we have to wait another month for the customer order to come through. Being apart of this program is very motivating, they literally support us in the best way possible, with race stipends, free product, training gear, and most importantly they connect us to people who love endurance sports just like us.

   After my first batch of supply was shipped to my house, I was excited to try out the new Prime carb pouch which is used most effectively prior to workouts/races. It has some simple sugars as well as of course carbs which you body will be buring off during exercise. Since I knew Gatorade was going to assist with some race expenses I finally decided to sign up for the race #2 of the Riverbound race series at Fisher Farms Park. I have always enjoyed trail running but quite honestly have never done more than one per year even though this is actually my favorite endurance event. Luckily I have a pretty good track record at trail races, from my recollection I have only lost a trail race back in 2006 at the Uwharrie 8-miler which was 4 weeks after my first marathon and I was struggling to say the least. After a full month of continuous running with no real bumps in the road I felt confident that I could really push hard and hopefully break the course record, but with trail running you never know what the day can bring; mud, lapping slower runners, or course distance.

  The last trail race I competed in was on a very special day, the day I proposed to Karin, January 21st, 2012. It was a muddy day on the course but in the end everyone had a blast and I was lucky enough to break way from the lead pack and secure the 9-mile victory.

CRC Trail Race 9 Mile Results

January 21, 2012

Questions please email

Top Males Overall in 9 Mile division.

Place Bib # Name Elapsed Pace


1 670 Chris Lamperski 01:00:13 6:41

2 676 Zack Kessell 01:01:33 6:50

3 651 Dave Mabe 01:04:16 7:08

Top Females Overall in 9 Mile division.

Place Bib # Name Elapsed Pace


1 654 Joan Nesbit Mabe 01:10:41 7:51

2 582 Megan Lordi 01:18:39 8:44

3 539 Jamie Engel 01:21:07 9:01

Hoka Bondi B 2

    Since I had never ran at Fisher Farms Park in Davidson, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I had heard that the course was rather technical in some portions. To be proactive in discovering the course, I decided to get there a little earlier and run the 1st 3 miles of the course so I knew what to expect and it proved to be very beneficial to me. I decided to it would be best to warm-up in my new pair of Hoka's, they are a bit heavy and maybe a little awkward but I knew they would keep my legs nice and fresh before throwing on my trail racers. The Hoka Bondi B 2 is the shoe that I was fortunate enough to sample, it is Hoka's lightest shoe to date and I find that with each run I am getting used to the platform more and more but the verdict is still TBD.

Rogue fly on the right
  After warming up solo in the woods I popped my Gatorade Endurance Carb Pouch to top off my energy levels 20minutes before the race. Kent showed up while I was lacing up the Montrail Rogue Fly that I decided to race in. This shoe is SWEET, very lightweight and flexible for a trail shoe, and it has amazing traction on the surface. It was between the Rogue Fly and the Rogue Race, but I thought the look of the Fly seemed to be the faster choice.

  As the race started I knew that I had about 1/2m before we hit the single track to get out front and hopefully never look back. Two guys shot out to the front immediately and one of them literally refused to let me pass as he kept throwing in burst. About 200m from the trail entrance I decided I just had to drop the hammer and pass this guy which proved to be pretty easy. I entered the trail at 1/2m in the lead with about 4 guys nipping on my heels. I managed to gap the 2nd group by the mile as I crossed in 5:39 and the rest of the guys were between 5:52-54 from what I was told. My goal was to nail the straight aways and downhills as hard as I could so I could make up for the twist and turns. In my opinion the trail does not have that many steep uphills to where I felt like " I want this to be over" but more turns than anything which substantially slows down the pace.

   Throughout the race I kept telling myself "Record, Record" to keep me motivated to not be content with the lead but to keep pressing the pace. This is something that I have no issues with on trails races but in road racing I often times wonder off in La-La land for a mile or 2 and loose precious time. The 10k and 5k trails crossed over a few times and fortunately my delay with the slower 5k runners was limited, I had to leap over a small creek off of the trail to get around several runners, but I figure it let me catch my breath and really nail those last couple miles. Over the last 2.5miles I was pretty much alone until the last 1/2m as I ran into the 5k finishers again, but it felt amazing, just running through the packed dirt lined with all kinds of tree's and the sun peeking through a bit. Fortunately there was a good stretch where I had a straight away and I made sure to really nail the pace down as fast as I could. I was a bit skeptical of my 4th to 5th mile split, I knew I was pressing harder than I had the entire race but when I hit 5:24 on the watch I thought either I am really on or maybe that mile was a bit short. As I crested the the last section of the race, they announced my name as the 10k winner and I had a chance to really look at the overall time on the clock as it was ticking in the 34's.

  34:29 was my official time, no way this was the full distance, after speaking to people who had worn their garmin's during the race, most people thought the race to be around 5.7 miles which was disappointing because I was really pushing hard to get a record. After the race I also found out that this was a new venue for the 10k race, so apparently the record will now be mine at Fisher Farms. Kent finished up about 2:30 back in 2nd place overall. TrySports represented well today on the trails in our new singlets that really make an impression.

   My ultimate goal should I get permission from my lovely wife is to race the Xterra national championships someday. Usually the trail championships are in oregon or Utah, both have some amazing trails and breath taking scenery, it would be an absolute dream to compete out west. If you qualify for worlds its in Hawaii which seems a bit more attainable for me than does qualifying for the Ironman world championships and quite honestly, I think I would enjoy going to Hawaii for a trail race as opposed to a full Ironman. So if you see Karin make sure you give her a nudge to help me pursue my dream. take a moment to check out the 2012 recap video, AMAZING! Xterra Run Championships