Thursday, July 11, 2013

North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race

On June 1st I took on my first 50 mile race.  It was...AWESOME!!!  The whole weekend was incredible.  Here's a recap, as quick as I can make it.

1. The race was on a Saturday, so on Friday I left right from work with Kristina to get to DC to pick up my race packet at the North Face store in Georgetown.  Got my packet, bought a sweet pair of North Face flip flops and then they had a question and answer with none other than one of my heroes Dean Karnazes!  It was incredible, I sat in the front row and he answered questions and gave advice.  It was great to be 4 feet from someone like him that I admire.

2. Kristina and I went out to a pub for dinner in Georgetown, below is my pre-race dinner of homemade soft pretzels, burger, fries and tasty beverage:

3. The race started Saturday morning at 5am so needless to say we were up early.  Kristina was planning on running with me later in the race, so she dropped me off, and then went back to the hotel to get some sleep.  It was cool being there so early in the morning, in the dark, everyone walking around with their headlamps on.  I didn't take any pictures because it was dark and nothing really would have come out.  I wish I had taken some video but I was nervous and excited for the race to start, and I only got there about 20 minutes before the race start.

4. I wasn't sure what to expect from the race.  I hadn't really trained for a 50 miler.  I had been marathon training, and doing a lot of double training runs (one in the morning before work and one in the afternoon after work) but my mileage was still low (35-45 per week).  But throughout the race I took it pretty easy and just let my body dictate how fast to run.  My conservative goal was under 12 hours, and then I read that to qualify for a legit ultra like Western States you need to be under 11 hours, so that was my "feeling good" goal.

5. Here I am on the course:

6. Kristina met up with me at mile 28 and ran about 7.5 miles with me which was great.  It was great to run with my wife and for her to not only be there but to participate on some level with me.  And it was great motivation as something to look forward to while running the beginning of the race. 

 7.  The course was a beast!  It was all hills and rough footing, some so rough we were climbing over huge boulders on the side of a cliff, as you can see from the below video.

8.  I really felt great throughout the race...until mile 45!  At mile 45 I felt like I could not go on.  The aid stations were great, but they ran out of ice from mile 30-47 and the temperature that day was over 90 degrees!  I was dying, and at mile 45 I got to an aid station hoping they had ice and there wasn't any and I struggled to keep going.  After yelling at myself (probably out loud without knowing it!) I kicked it up and made it to the last aid station at mile 47.5.  They had ice!  And Mountain Dew!  Yes, Mountain Dew the soda, with tons of caffeine and sugar, and it was GLORIOUS!!!!!   

9. I finished in 10 hours and 29 minutes, which I was very happy with.  Here are a few videos of the finish and post race.

10.  After the race, Dean was signing posters for the participants and I had a chance to spend a couple minutes talking to him while he signed a poster for me.  AWESOME!

11.  And a post-race ice bath.  Brrrrrrrr

Even with the ice bath, my legs were pretty beat up after that race!  Next up, the Back on My Feet 24 hour race on July 20th and 21st!

It is a fundraiser for a great organization, so if anyone reading agrees and wants to donate, here is a link to my page.  All donations need to be in by this weekend, before the 15th.

Monday, July 1, 2013

2013: Now what?

This is my first runningschultz post of 2013.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my running blog.  I wanted to keep it up following the 12in12in12 last year, for a couple reasons, but after Craig and my events of 2012, I thought it would be, well, lame.  Ooooh, I ran a ten mile run.  Ooooh, I did a 5k.  Like, what's the point, right?  Additionally, when I ask questions like the previous sentence, who am I really talking to, since I am the only one who reads the blog.  I guess I am talking to myself.  It is like a weird and sad circle.  I think it. I type it. Then I read it later, to myself, who already thought it and typed it.  Freaky.  Oh yeah, and sad.

That being said, I'm going to do it anyway.  Today is July 1st.  I am halfway through the year and I have run some great races already this year.  My first race of the year was the Ocean Drive marathon, which was one of the marathons we did in 2012. I felt like I needed to run a marathon in a more respectable time after the 12in12in12.  We ran those marathons so easy that I wanted to push myself a little more and I did, finishing in 3:44.  It is a far cry from my marathon best of 3:22, but it was good to break 4 hours.  That was the end of March.

In April I didn't run any races, but I trained for the Broad Street Run 10-miler which I do every year.  I was running a lot in April.  I ran in the morning on the treadmill doing speedwork, then ran again during the week after school with a group of teachers.  So I would run approximately 3-4 miles in the morning hard, and then run a moderately paced 5-7 miles in the afternoon.  All the training worked well, because I ran my best Broad Street finishing the 10 miles in 1:06:16.

That was the first weekend of May, the following weekend, Craig was running the Delaware marathon again, with his cousin's husband, Tony.  Tony is a soldier, and a great, great guy.  It was his first marathon and he did an amazing job.  Craig wanted to break 4 hours, and we did, finishing around 3:58.  Here we are at the finish line with Tony.  He's the one in the middle, not the one on the phone.

That's enough for now.  In June, I ran my first 50-mile race which was awesome.  The North Face Endurance Challenge outside of DC.  I'll recap next chance I get for all my followers, um, me (and my wife if she is really bored).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marathon #12 of the 12in12in12in12!!!!!

Vegas, baby, Vegas!  We ended our quest to complete the 12in12in12in12 in Vegas and had a great time doing it.  It is hard not to have a good time in Sin City, although my days of being a sinner are   pretty well behind me.  Good thing too, the gods only know what would happen to me living in a place like Vegas.  Not good.  Anyway, the above pic is us at the end.  We tried to take one with the 12 fingers up, but it didn't turn out very good.

Kristina came with me and ran the half marathon and did amazing, as predicted.  Here we are post finish.  As you can see from the background, both races finished together right in the middle of the Vegas Strip, at the Mirage, which was pretty cool and made for a lively finish.  
 Here we are at the start.  The race started at 3pm and then ended in the dark which obviously made the Strip much more intense.
Here is where we started at the casino called the Luxor, next to Mandalay Bay
 Famous welcome to Vegas sign
 Uh, yeah, not sure what this is, but this guy was riding his bike next to the runners.  And he didn't seem to be with anyone because he was just riding not talking to anyone.  Wow.
Another thing that made the weekend for Craig and I is that our dad's came to Vegas too!  It was GREAT  to have them there, and not just because they treated us to our meals! I'm so glad they made the trip.  Here is me and dad at breakfast the morning of the race.
 Usually my pre-race meal is a banana, powerbar and Gu.  Not this time.  Juevos Rancheros this time, as you can see from the picture below.  And I ate every single thing including the chorizo sausage and smoking hot jalapeno pepper, and it was damn good.  Not a meal I would eat before all my races, or suggest anyone ever it eat before a race.  But like I said, it was damn good, so worth it.
We saw Evis.  Lots and lots of Elvis's.  And lots of wedding chapels too.
 Here's the picture at the end with the 12 fingers. 
And so that is it, the 12in12in12in12 is over.  I am definitely going to have to figure out what is next on the agenda.  The marathon last weekend was great, but definitely bittersweet because it is all over. I am definitely no expert with technology but I would love to put some kind of "highlight" video together for Craig and I to look back at some day.  I'll definitely post it if I can figure out how to do it, I may have some students at school help me out with it. 

That's all for now, but not the last you've heard from the runningschultz blog. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marathon #11 of the 12in12in12in12

This month of November Craig and I completed marathon #11 which was the Harrisburg Marathon.   Not too much to say about it, we finished in 4:16ish which I think may have been our fastest one up to this point.  That's thank to our new marathon buddy Chuck, who you can see racing toward the finish in the below pic.

Chuck has been a machine.  His first marathon was Baltimore, our #10 in the 12in12in12in12 and he enjoyed it so much wanted to do Harrisburg too.  So after never having run one before October, he ran 2 in less than a month.  And he made sure we finished faster than his first one.  He's got the bug, and I'm psyched for him.
Here we are at the finish together
The marathon was well run, and the beginning scenery was pretty cool.  It started and finished at the minor league baseball stadium that sits on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River and much of the race was along the river as you can see from the pic below
The rest of the marathon was forgettable.  That's not a typo, it wasn't that aesthetically pleasing.  Check out the pic below.  Some of those trucks were sitting idle, but the others were going right past us, diesel fumes and all.
All in all though, it was perfect for us because of how close it was and we had the chance to run with Chuck again.  We left early, around 5:45 and were home by 3.  Personally, it was also my 20th marathon which I didn't realize until editing this blog.  For the 12in12in12in12, 11 down, one to go.  Next up, Vegas baby, Vegas.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Philly Half and marathons #9 and #10

OK, so I haven't had a chance to get my last couple events onto my blog with the start of school and soccer so here goes.

1)Like I said, school started back up so I've been busy with the new class I am teaching and soccer season in full stride.  But my first event of September was a half marathon I was running in Philly.  This race had lots of meaning for me.  This is the same race that my dad used to do when he was an avid runner many years ago.  He had a very good PR in the half of just over 1:30.  He never did a marathon, so I have that on him, but he would remind me frequently that he still had the half marathon record.  Needless to say I wanted to change that.  I had to.  I love my dad, but I also get my competitive nature from him, so I'm sure he expected nothing less than killing myself until I beat him.  Which I did, 1:29:58.  I was totally psyched, because it was everything I had in me to beat it.

2) At the end of the month was marathon #9 of the 12in12in12in12, the Maine marathon.  It was located in Portland, ME and was a mid-size marathon and was well run and fun.  The town of Portland was OK, it didn't feel like Maine though.  I've been to other areas of Maine, Boothbay Harbor and it felt much different.  As you may be able to tell from the picture below, it was wet.  Very, very wet.  It poured rain the whole time.  It wasn't too cold, in the high 50's, but the rain was constant.  I can't complain (much) since it was only our second marathon where the weather wasn't perfect.

 Not a sign I see on the sewers in Pennsylvania.  I did make sure I had a lobster roll sandwich while I was in town, which was only 25 hours.
 Pretty cool, bagpipe player on the route.

3) October's marathon was in Baltimore which made it convenient because it was only a day trip.  It was also great because Craig and I had company for this marathon, our friend Chuck Priestley.  Going into the 12in12in12, we thought we would be able to talk numerous people into running with us.  Going into marathon #10, we had no one who had run a full marathon with us.  Our bud, Tim "takin care of bidness" Bambrick had run the cape may, charlottesville and delaware half marathons with us.  So it was nice to have some company again, and what made it even better was that it was Chuck's first marathon and our 12in12in12 challenge is what kind of motivated him to train for Baltimore.  Here we are together at the end
 Walking past Camden Yard on the way to the start.  That is Craig in his "Where's waldo?" throw away outfit.
 Camden Yard.  The marathon was the day after the O's got knocked out of the playoffs by the Yanks, we heard lots of Baltimorians lamenting about the game.
 This was pretty cool, as we were running around mile 4, we saw this big sign and a lot of cheering.  The dude had just proposed to his girlfriend/fiance, who was running the marathon.  I thought proposing on the beach of Hawaii at sunrise was pretty impressive, but this was pretty memorable I'm sure.  Nice move, stud.
 Not sure what kind of museum this was in Federal Hill, but the outside was a cool mirror mosaic.
 My tribute to Darin Triolo who used to live in Baltimore, this is when we ran through Fells Point
 It wouldn't be an October marathon without someone handing out candy corn!

Next race is marathon #11 in Harrisburg.  Not sure, but I think Chuck had such a great experience with his first marathon, he will run our November marathon with us.  Although, he said that on the way home from this one, he may reconsider when he can't walk for days!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

#8 West Virginia's Parker's Marathon

#8 is in the books!
 Craig and I completed #8 of the 12in12in12 this past weekend in West Virginia, Parker's marathon.  It was TOTALLY different from all the marathons we have done up until this point.  It was run on an old railroad track that is now a running/hiking/horse riding trail.  It was pretty cool, but not easy, that is for sure.  I don't know why, it was definitely softer than running on the road, but my legs definitely hurt worse during this race than any of the past marathons I've run this year.  Nice scenery.  Not much crowd support.
The trail went through a quarter mile tunnel that was pitch black, so dark they gave us flashlights on the way into the tunnel and collected as we came out.  It was very cool.  Here is a video we shot as we ran into the tunnel.

Craig out for a Sunday stroll, a 26.2 mile stroll

For any negatives about the race, it was all made up for and more at the end.  The spread the volunteers put out for the runners was the best and most generous I've ever seen.  Burgers, dogs, chicken, tacos, pasta salads, potato salads, grilled fish, vegetables, waffles and more.  It was incredible.
And this was a whole table full of homemade desserts!

  The Dutchman's Daughter, house turned restaurant.  Perfect place for a pre-marathon dinner
We were only there for a short period of time.  We left PA around 1:30 on Saturday and got to our hotel around 9pm Saturday night.  Then we left after the race, by 12:30pm. 
 West Virgina gets a bad rap around the country, but all in all, it was aesthetically pleasing.  Even if we didn't have cell phone service the whole weekend we were there!

Next up for the 12in12in12, Portland, Maine marathon September 30th.  And we actually realized the we should rename our challenge to the 12in12in12in12.  That's an extra 12 if you're paying attention.  That's because we will have run all of our marathons in different states at the end of the year, so it will be 12 marathons in 12 months in 12 states in 2012!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

#7 San Francisco

Completed marathon #7 of the 12in12in12 in San Francisco this weekend, and it was memorable.  I must say, I knew going into this challenge, that it would be an experience, but honestly I wasn't really sure what to expect.  And a lot has happened so far, including arriving in Myrtle Beach 4 hours before the marathon after driving all night, and running in jeans for two of the marathons.  But this weekend may have topped it all for one reason: DEAN!

For a while now I have followed the ultrarunning adventures of Dean Karnazes, and to say he is amazing, just is the understatement of the millennium!  I can't list all of his accomplishments, they are things you wouldn't even believe.  And his story about how he became the ultimate ultrarunner is incredible. You have to read about him for yourself, here's his website:  He's got two great books, Ultra Marathon Man and Run! that tell his story, and will inspire you to do something incredible yourself.  Honestly, they are incredibly motivating.

So, back to San Francisco.  Craig and I are running around mile 3 and guess who runs by us?  You guessed it, DEAN!  I lost it.  I yelled "Dean" and he kind of startled him.  Then I ran up next to him and got a chance to talk to him.  I am not sure how to describe it, but it was AWESOME!  We talked about, well, him of course and the Badwater race he had recently completed and about his books.  Up to that point, I think he hadn't really been noticed by anyone, he was just blending in with the marathoners, even though he was really just out for a training run, probably one of his 2 four hour training runs that he does each day.  Someone else came up and introduced themself to Dean so I thanked him for chatting and then left him alone.  I tried to take a couple pictures together but they didn't come out very good because we were moving, but here they are anyway.

Back to the marathon.  It was a great race, very scenic and I must say very hilly which is to be expected in San Francisco.  But I felt really good throughout it so it wasn't difficult for me.  We had the chance to run over the Golden Gate bridge, but it was early in the morning so it was still shrouded in fog and we couldn't even see the top of it.
That is the Golden Gate from a mile or so away, you can see the fog and clouds sitting right on top of it.
 Here are some of the other San Francisco sights we ran past.

 These were two unique marathoners: one was a naked woman (really it was a naked suit she was wearing) and a guy in a dominatrix outfit, which included a collar, attached chain, and tight leather underpants.  Sweet outfits, they make my jeans marathon look unbelievably tame.
 Famous hippy Haight and Asbury streets

 Uh, not really sure, but had to take a picture of the legs out of the second story window on Haight street
 Unique marathon sign
 AT&T park where the Giants play.  But Craig and I got a better view of the park the day before.
On Saturday we decided to go down to the Giants v. Dodgers game and see if we could get tickets.  Tickets at the window for seats were over $100 each, and for standing room only they were over $50 each.  Scalpers were selling them for around the same outside the stadium, even though we got there in the 4th inning.  So we went to a gate and bribed a security guard $20 and he let us both in, it was great, he even did the whole shake hands, exchange money trick.  I have to remember to smile when I take pictures of myself, that's my concentration face I guess.
That's San Francisco, marathon #7.  Next month is a very small marathon in West Virginia, should be a very different experience.