Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Recap

Here we are in the final few hours of 2008. Wow what a year it's been! I didn't get as much skydiving in this year as I had hoped (roughly 100 jumps in '08 compared to 200 jumps in '07), but I did accomplish A LOT in terms of running. Let's see, where to begin?
  • December '07: First run more than 5 miles (ok so it's not 2008 but it's close)
  • March: First Half-Marathon (B&A Half - 1:39:57)
  • March: First Marathon (National Marathon - 3:48:20)
  • October: First 50k (PHT 50k - 5:18:37)
  • November: First 50-miler (JFK50 - 8:23:32)
I'm finishing off the year with roughly 1962 miles logged. If it wasn't for a few nagging injuries before and after JFK, that number would be 2000+. Oh well, just another goal to have for next year, though I'm sure 2000 will come easy with all the races I have planned! Speaking of '09 plans, here's a quick list off the top of my head. I'm not really good with making "resolutions", but here are some personal goals that I am currently working on that will come to fruition in the coming year:
  • First 100-miler (MMT on 5/16)
  • Complete the Beast Series
  • Eat healthier so as to be better prepared for above mentioned races
  • Become more flexible to prevent annoying little running injuries
  • Skydive more, or at least do more fun jumping (as opposed to work jumping)
  • Blog more often (because let's be honest, I'm an engineer not a writer, so it's hard to sit down and type willingly)
It's a short list but I feel that shorter lists allow you to focus on what's important. I started 2008 with one goal, to complete a marathon, and look where I am now! I'm sure 2009 will be a wild ride, so hold on tight kiddos and keep checking back for plenty of race reports and skydiving stories!

PS - Shout out to AlanaB for making my fresh new banner at the top of the page!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays everyone!

Before I head out for some quality time with loved ones for Christmas, I just wanted to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and overall just a happy holiday season! Take a minute to reflect on everything that you are thankful for during this wonderful time of the year. For me, I'm grateful for my family and friends, my health, and all the new friends I've made over the past year during my first year in ultrarunning.

...and if you stumble upon a Grinch, just toss him from a plane!

No grinches were harmed in the making of this photo (Pic: SkydivingStills.com)

Monday, December 15, 2008

How could I forget?

Apparently my brain is also in rest-mode right now too because I somehow forgot to mention the AWESOME news from last week...


The number of applicants was way up from years past, so I got extremely lucky in being selected with this year's lottery system. Mark your calendars. May 16th I'll be running my first 100-miler! 5 months to train... it's on!

(currently seeking crew and/or a pacer. let me know if interested.)

MMT runners starting their journey (Photo: tomsperduto.com)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50k

The VHTRC held it's December FatAss run this past Saturday, the Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50k. It's a very fitting name seeing as how this is the time of year that we're all putting on the extra L-B's. I've definitely been working on my magnus gluteus maximus lately. I'm still recovering from what seems like a never-ending foot/shin injury, so less time running has equated to more nights going out with friends. Couple that with Thanksgiving and holiday party smorgasbords and you get one ultrarunner who is in dire need of some high-mileage weeks.

The run started at Hemlock Overlook Park, the same start as the club's annual Bull Run Run 50-miler, and headed south on a there-and-back route. My goal was to take it easy, run about half the distance and enjoy the comradery of my new friends. I went out 8 miles and turned around. Unfortunately around mile 9 my foot/shin pain came back and I was forced into taking way too frequent walk breaks. Slowing down also cooled me down, and with the day's cold temps I really wished I could've run the whole thing. At least there was plenty of pizza and beer at the finish line to warm me up!

Pre-run socializing

Gary Knipling awarding Phil Rosenstein a token of appreciation for his recently completed trans-American run

The VHTRC crew

Blurry running shot

Well aren't I the festive one?

Pizza and beer. The real reason ultrarunners do what we do!

Quattro's Yoohoo was looking a little off.

Me, Megan and Bryon - the puffy jacket crew

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What I've been up to lately

So it's been almost two weeks since JFK and it's been quiet around these parts. What have I been up to, you ask? Well... not much, but here goes anyways:

Recovery: After my first 50-miler, I obviously needed some time to recover. Hell, I could barely walk a few hours after finishing the race. I did well though, so some time off was definitely well-deserved. My original plan was to do a reverse-taper where I slowly build my mileage back up over a course of 3 weeks. Hmm, well that plan works great on paper, but it turned out to work horribly in real life (did someone say communism?). It failed because...

Peroneal Tendon issues: What is up with my friggin tendons?! This is the 3rd -itis I've had this year. This one, however, is not the result of overtraining like my achilles tendinitis and posterior tibial tendinitis were. This -itis most likely came from one bad step I had during the Appalachian Trail section of JFK. At the time I thought nothing of it, walked it off and kept going. It wasn't until the next day that I really felt the pain. The sore tendon in combination with stiff legs caused me to nearly fall down the steps Sunday morning. I rested, iced, compressioned, elevated, etc'ed until Thursday when it finally felt better. Bad idea to run that early. A short 5.5-miler re-injured it and I was back to hobbling. Lesson learned. This week I waited 3 more days after it felt "good" before running. I just got back from a 9.5-miler and I feel great. Foot is fine. Back to normal? *fingers crossed*

Finding a new challenge: Ok. I can run 50 miles. Mission accomplished. Obviously I'm going to run more of them in '09, I love trail running, but I'm always looking for a new challenge to see just what I'm capable of. So, it looks like my next adventure will possibly be the...

Massanutten Mountain Trails 100: 100 miles. Oh yeah. '08 was my freshman year in ultrarunning (heck, running any sorts of distance greater than 5 miles) and it's been a great year. '09 is going to be the ultimate test though. MMT has a lottery entry system so I don't know yet if I'm in or not. Registration opened on Monday and so far there are 292 applicants for a field of 180 runners. We'll see how things pan out on Tuesday. Once again... *fingers crossed*

That's about it for now. I'll be running the Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50k next weekend, so stay tuned to hear how that goes. Until then, try not to overload yourself with Christmas carols and figgy pudding (seriously, does that stuff really exist?)