Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stayin' Alive at 105 (But It's a Moist Heat!)

Shoving all conventional wisdom and common sense aside, My friends Lauren, Elizabeth and I ran today at 5pm in 105 degree heat...... Moist heat.

We runners are a stubborn lot. Tell us not to run with an injury and you will probably find us out hobbling through a short run to "test"the affected area. Tired? sick? can't be over training, must be something I picked up from the damn kids!
Plaster the television, newspaper and internet with dire excessive heat warnings and you are sure to see a runner jackassing his or her way down your street through the shimmering heat.

  So there we were, jackassing our way down the capital Greenway at 5pm in the shimmering heat. Aside from the two other crazy runners we saw, and the odd cyclist here and there, we were pretty much the only ones out on the trail. We ran a a good pace, not pushing it, and kept an eye on each other. Truth be told, it was actually not as bad as I thought it would. Don't get me wrong, it was freakin' hot! I drank my entire 20oz hand held in the course of 3.5 miles. But we made it.It wasn't Badwater, but I'll take for a Friday afternoon!

Lauren and Liz after the run.

 Lauren and I seeing who can make the biggest sweat puddle at their feet!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The "Cold Wash" Wednesday Contest

It is summertime and for most of us endurance folks that can only mean two things:  sweating our asses off and a marked increase in laundry! It seems like I am washing my gear every day! Between running, cycling and teaching spin class, the ole' washing machine is in full ultra mode here at the house.

So, in an effort to make the laundry process a tad more fun, I have come up with the "Cold Wash Wednesday" contest.  Send me a pic of your workout laundry in the before (big old pile) or after (hanging up) stage and me and my panel of judges (daughters) will review them and pick a winner! We will be looking for volume and range of workout gear. To keep hydrated this summer, our winner will receive a Amphipod 20oz Hydraform Hand Held!

Email your best pic to me at  Be sure to leave contact info so I can get in touch if you are the winner!  Contest will end at 11:59pm on Saturday June 30th, 2012
Winner will be announced on Monday July 1, 2012


I will start off by posting my Cold Wash Wednesday shot!

Wordless Wednesday: Grandfather Mountain Marathon Elevation

The next obstacle in my way: 7/14/2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pre Race Rituals

It's the day before a race. ( In my case two days before) I am gathering up my gear to pack for the road trip up to Va. for the Eastern Divide 50K. The usual items. Garmin, charger, enough tech shirts, shorts and sock to last for three races. There are also the books and magazines that I always pack, but never seem to read. The hydro vest is packed with essential race day supplies: small first aid kit, alleve, gels, chews and wet wipes.
  I have gone to the store to pick up additional vegan supplies, never knowing what if any vegan items will be available at or near the race.
 I now do a second inventory, add a few more shirts and shorts. Throw in a couple of pairs of shoes besides my beloved Brooks Pure Grit, which will be accompanying me on yet another 50K. The pile is slowly forming.

There is one other pre race ritual I practice that many will think is very weird...... I shave my legs. There, I said it.  I have been shaving my legs for the last several years, starting when I was heavily into cycling. If you have ever had road rash from a crash, you know how difficult it can be to clean the wound with some hairy ass legs!  Plus, you just FEEL faster with shaved legs. So now a day or two before every race, I bust out the Gillette Sensor and go to work. I am a razor man! I have gotten the technique down over several years of practice, even conquering the dreaded "behind the knee" nether region.
  I also feel I am doing a service for the people I train and race with. I have run and cycled behind many a hairy legged man, and it has not been pretty. 

I do this because I care!

So, what are your pre race rituals? Got any strange ones? I'd love to hear about them!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday 6/20/12

This weekend's assignment:

Eastern Divide 50K!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Loblolly Trail, Umstead State Park

Here's a quick little video of our single track run today. This was my third run in less than 24 hours, as you can tell by my ragged breathing and monosyllabic responses to my training partner Mo's questions!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Product Review: BodyGlide WarmFX

The good folks at BodyGlide were kind enough to allow me to test their WarmFx anti pain balm recently, and here is my review on the product.

The first thing that impressed me was that it was a roll on. Most muscle relief products come in tubs or tubes which you have to then apply with your fingers. That can get messy. The WarmFx you can roll right on to affected area with no mess or clean up. It is also very portable in roll on form and you do not have to worry about it spilling in your gym or race bag!

The active ingredients are Menthol (15%) and Methyl salicylate (30%), both topical
analgesics. You can apply it to affected area up to 4 times a day.

The first test was after a hard 12 mile single track run which involved a lot of climbing. Needless to say, my calves were trashed! I applied WarmFx to the calves and right away I could feel a nice gentle heat on the affected area. The more you apply, the greater the warmth. It is also non greasy, and feels very light on the skin. Another thing I like about it is the scent. It is noticeable, but not pungent. I have used other products that can clear a room, and have you eyes watering for hours!

The warmth and relief last a while as well. I used it several more times post run and bike and had favorable results each time.

The next test was pre workout. I meet several times a week with my ultra training partners at 5am for our usual 10 miles. Now that I am in my forties, I can no longer spring out of the car and drop comfortably right into a run. The first mile is generally at "shuffle" pace, until I can get all major joints and limbs up and on line. I applied the WarmFx to the calf and quad areas pre run, and did notice a decrease in tightness and a decrease in the time it took to get up to normal running pace. On again, due to the ease of application, it was a quick application of the product, even at the challenging hour of 5am!

Overall I was very impressed with the WarmFx and would recommend it to my ultra friends and others as well. It can also be used for simple backache, arthritis, sprains and cramps too!

Thanks to the folks at BodyGlide for including me in the review process and allowing me input! Be sure to check out their other great products, especially their "Anti chafe" balm which has saved my butt on many a long run and 50K race!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

National Running Day

June 6th was National Running Day and I was lucky enough to celebrate that day by getting in two runs with some of my closest running buddies! The day started early with a 10 mile run with the "5am" crew, Lauren and Mo. The three of us have logged many miles together. We share a bond forged by cold miles in the dark, pain, suffering, joy, triumph and defeat. I ran my first 100K with Lauren. Mo and I conquered the Uwharrie Mountain 40 miler together. Mo and I had the honor of pacing Lauren as she completed the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Challenge. An outsider eavesdropping on one of our trail running conversations would be taken aback by the dizzying array of curious/disturbing/vulgar topics we can cover in less than a mile. We have all defecated in close proximity of one another. We laugh as much if not more than we run. We tell each other stuff we would never tell anyone else. Later that day I met my other running buddy Mika at Lake Pine for our weekly run. I had met Mika around the same time I met Mo and Lauren. I had just gotten back into running, and through the miracle of social media, had started meeting other folks who were into night runs, poop talk and chafing. Mika and I ran our first ultra together at the Derby 50K last November. I had talked her into it. She had recently completed a marathon, and I had rationalized to her that a 50K was a mere five miles longer than that. We both finished the 50K. I came in ahead of Mika, who faded a little bit around mile 20. The cause of her fatigue was diagnosed a few weeks later when her doctor advised her she was pregnant! We have met fairly religiously every week for a run since then. The run has gradually been replaced by a run/walk, and in the last week or so, a power walk. I cannot tell you the amount of inspiration I draw from this woman, who is still going strong 32 weeks into her pregnancy! We often kid one another that our runs are more of an abdominal work out than a cardio work out due to the constant laughter! Mika and I walked 5 miles that afternoon and laughed our way around the lake. Mika and I at the finish of the Derby 50K. So National Running Day was a true celebration! I am thankful to be surrounded by such great people not only on the trail but in life as well.