Monday, January 5, 2015

Write and Run 31 Challenge

So I stumbled across this great idea on the No Meat Athlete page called the Write and Run 31 Challenge.   One month. Two simple things. Every single day. Basically, you commit to running a certain amount each day and writing ( either on a blog, journal etc.) for a specific amount of time or words.  The run thing is not a problem for me. The writing (as you can tell from my lack of updates) will be the real challenge.

 I figured I would start today with a brief update on the second half on 2014, so here goes.

The highlight of my year was completing the Grindstone 100 (101.85 miles actually) Trail Race.

The race started on Friday October 3rd at 6pm, so you got to run over TWO nights, not just one. We started in the rain, it got dark quickly. we ran an extra mile and a half when a group of us missed a turn. Because of that, I almost missed one of the first hard cutoffs. Scared shitless from that, I ran like a madman and got 1 hour ahead of the cutoff two aid stations later. I ran through the rest of the first night without incident, and was happy to see daybreak still feeling pretty good.

 I hit the turn around point at about 10:30am, which was a huge mental boost. I would pick up my first pacer at mile 65 and I was looking forward to having some company. I Got through the second night thanks to the awesome help of my pacers Hannah and Mo. Hannah ran with me from mile 65 to 80 and my ultra buddy Mo took me home the last 20 miles. It got really cold that second night, with some howling winds smacking us along the exposed ridge lines and summits. The huge and endless rocks, combined with the 23,000 feet of climbing had me wore out by the last 10 miles, but I stumbled my way over the rocks to the finish line in 35:54:19. This race typically has around a 30% drop out rate, so surviving this beast was a huge victory for me!

Post race, in the car. Delirious but Happy!

One week later (like an idiot) I was part of a 12 person relay team for the "Tuna 200", a relay race starting from Raleigh, NC and ending at the ocean at Atlantic Beach, NC. Mercifully, I had only three legs to run, 4.6 miles, 5.4 and 3 miles. I did not run a step in between Grindstone and the relay, so the first leg I ran was quite interesting! It was in the afternoon, and it had gotten quite hot. It was not pretty! I rebounded and had a better second leg, which was at night when the temps were cooler. The last three mile run was basically an exhausted stagger near the beach. Thank God I had speedy teammates! Our team completed the 200 miles in 29 hours, 28 minutes, for an average pace of 8:48 min/mile.

Staggering through the heat on my first leg.

I finished up the year with two more races, a 50K in November and a 24 hour run in December. It was a good year!

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