Monday, January 16, 2017

GORUN Does Raleigh Rock & Roll 2014

Raleigh Rock and Roll Events April 13th 2014
Sometimes, it's fun to do an event just for the experience without worry about personal records and "racing".  Stopping sort of speak to simply soak in the moment and just being happy that I'm able to run is something I recommend all of us to do from time to time.  This event would be just that.  I had planned along with my wife Gina and many other GORUN(Greenville Organization of Runners) friends to just use the event as a training run.  I would run with Gina.  Years ago we decided that we would run the Rock and Roll Series of Events together.  So today we would plan to enjoy the positive energy and of course the bands along the course.  As parents, we both treasure these moments.  Despite the fact that we love every second with our kids, it's still important to reconnect and spend quality time with just us.  This would be an opportunity to do just that.
video


We met the rest of our friends with GORUN the morning of the race. It was a little chilly but that would be a good thing as we had to endure the hills of Raleigh.  Gina and I signed up for the half marathon but several of our friends were going to do the full marathon.  I'm not a fan of hills so I was glad I was running the half with Gina.

video

Kermit & Amy had some connections in this nice hotel so we tried to stay warm as well as use the bathroom here before we had to go find the start etc.

video

I've always enjoyed people watching.  On the way to our start we were able to do plenty of that.  Bands were warming up and we saw some dude with 2 basketballs talking to a news crew.  I wonder if he dribbled the entire half or full?? I never did find out.

video


Bathroom Lines are so much fun.... again success begins in the bathroom as CC Wilkins would say..  Nerves typically get to me as well as my fast metabolism so I frequent the bathroom in morning hours


video


The Star Spangled Banner
I know our country has had better times but it still bothers me when people don't remove  hats or put their hand on their heart. Respect.

video


Before our start with Gina! Also nearby is Derek supporting Melissa


  video

Here we go!!

video





WHERE'S THE BANDS!!??
  



video




Mile 1

video



Jimmy V "Never Give Up!"
Many running for the Cause...
Despite the fact that I was an NC State fan until I went to East Carolina University to become a PIRATE, I think everyone can agree that Jim Valvano was a great person who started a great foundation to help in the research and cure for cancer.  Ok he was a great coach too.  Let's give that man some credit.  Unlike other great teams in the area, NC State has never been stacked with McDonald All Americans and yet he managed to win a National Championship in 1983 with only 3. It's hard to ever judge being a "Don'ter" or a "Quitter" when you hear how he led that team to the championship or how he endured having cancer.  That positive approach to life is catching.  If only all of us could do that.

  video


Toileting is always an issue.  Lines can add minutes to your time not just because of waiting and usage but also mentally and physically getting back into your pace groove.  I eventually sent Gina on and decided to use this well placed bush.  Upon going behind bushes, I discovered an electric fence by them. Whoa!!  Glad I read that!  I was soon on my way passing many people and wondering how far was Gina ahead of me???  After catching up with her she joked about how she sped up after she left me. Nice!  Hmmmm  or did she really speed up???  Either way, it's amazing how far someone can travel if you give them a minute.  Even if she had walked, there would have been a good distance to cover to catch up with her.




Bands eventually picked up but not as good as the Virginia Beach Rock n Roll event Gina and I had participated in.  I really thought it was cool to see traditional band instruments motivating us from a bridge above us. As a former band geek who played trumpet/cornet in a Marching Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band, I know all too well how playing well is much like running well.  It's about consistency, hard work, and having a passion for it.  I often miss playing in a band but I do create Occupational Therapy groups using my trumpet and I often volunteer to play in the Vidant Medical Center Rehab Services Christmas Show for patients.


 video


video



Most half or full marathon events, one can read multiple signs related to running in some way.  Sometimes they motivate....sometimes they just keep the work light and you smiling.

video


So many bands just completed their song when we were coming... blah!


video


1 step at a time....1 step at a time...

video



Lillian!



video




 10k
soooo....now what started as a typical long run looked like a possible PR for Gina for the half marathon! What??!! On Raleigh Hills?  She had PR'd at Disney which despite the off ramps etc was a realistic goal since most of the course was flat.  Gina was in the zone so at this point anything was possible and I certainly didn't mind being there to support another PR!

video


ok...I'm a fan of Martial Arts and yes Chuck Norris but anything to keep you going is great.... love the signs


In the end, it ended up a great day! I got another Rock 'n Roll Series Medal and quality time with my wife who managed yet another PR!! Yep she did it on a Hilly Course!!  Raleigh was no joke! In fact, sadly we passed 1 and heard of another runner who died that day.  You never think about death as being something to worry about despite signing the waiver that does in fact say you wouldn't hold the race directors and everyone involved responsible for any of it if something were to happen.  My heart goes out to those families.  I can't even imagine...

 

My results!  Always fun to do any adventure with my love...   



Gina's splits... ok mine too technically as we ran beside each other...





Gina did it! Another PR!!!!

BLING BLING!!!

Staying warm inside near bathrooms before the race

Packet Pickup with some GORUN Family!

Landon giving support!

Landon and Gina beside the traditional Rock 'n Roll symbol.  They made this one out of balloons!

The GORUN Family!  Ok you saw this already but I'm a sucker for black and whites so here we go again!

The cool think about the packet pickup are the vendors and in this case a cheap entry into another race.  Yep, I got this registration this day for only $55 for a marathon!  Nice!

Gina and Erika Hamrick It's always cool to meet friends especially after they've moved away.  Destination races are cool like that!  Sometimes I simply pick a race away for a mini-vacation to see something cool or visit old friends.



So as you can see the race went well but for me I would unlikely pick a race like that unless my love wanted to do it.  Happy Wife=Happy Life!  As my wife would say you find someone who is willing to put up with your crap and someone you are willing to put up with their crap.  Together we conquer all!  After all isn't that what love does?  

To new adventures!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

2013 Croatan 24

 Croatan 24
Veteran's Weekend November 2013



It has become evident that I must be addicted to self torture eh?  But seriously, as I am amazed by world records, Olympians etc, I can also be excited about every day people I know personally and even randomly who become better at whatever they attempt. I guess that's one reason I love doing Occupational Therapy, teaching martial arts, doing personal training, and coaching.  As they get better, I want to get better and see what I can do and achieve too. Let's face it. It would be hard to be good at my job if I was pushing 80 year olds to work out and be more independent and then go home eat and go to bed at 8pm. I surely wouldn't want to pay a karate instructor who couldn't tell me how to do a White Belt level skill or hire a personal trainer who was obese and couldn't walk around the block. How can I expect others to push through limits if I've never tried myself?  This event would be no different.  How far could I go in 24 hours? The loop would be less than 1.4 miles which would mean I wouldn't have to carry fuel etc. My goal would be to simply do a PR distance.  Since I did the GY100k 63 mile course, I would only have to do more than that. If you would like more info check this out! http://www.croatan24.com/Home.html

 
video

The Release to torture myself and not hold anyone else responsible...
 
 


Cedar Point NC
 The Croatan Forest in eastern NC makes a great setting for this event.  One thing I love about this event is not only enjoying the social aspects of ultras but being one with nature. Brandon Wilson, an ultraman and race director, created this race not only to provide a great 24 hour ultra race but to also raise money for MARSOC.http://www.americanspecialops.com/marsoc/


 
Yep-- Each lap through nature was about 1.4 miles
The course was a beautiful mix of flat trails, bridges, and gently rolling hills with a view of marshlands, sound, and a forest. This picture is taken of the back of the hoody given in 2013.  Pretty cool swag!
 
 
 
video
 
 
 Campsite Ready!

 
Fueling is one of the most important if not the most important issue when doing an ultra...I typically try to take in about 300-400 calories every hour. How well do I actually count calories?  Well the truth is that I just pound in whatever is moderate a little all the time during an ultra.  The only thing I may be more specific about is fluid intake and taking either S-Caps or Hammer Endurolytes. The rest is nearly all on how I feel. Yes this can be dangerous as sometimes your body needs more early on than it will ask for.

Yep-- I like to and I do eat a lot :)
I can remember back in the 8th grade, several of my friends had a pizza eating contest at the Village Inn Pizza Parlor in Goldsboro NC.  It was a neat pizza place that showed movies on Laser Disc!  At the time this was pretty high tech and of course pizza never goes out of style.  I ended up eating 23 slices for 2nd place behind Geoff Merritt who ate about 35!! Keep in mind, I was about 100lbs soaking wet at the time. To be fair we had to save the crust for counts and they had to be at least an agreed length which I can't remember.  You could eat any pizza they had on the buffet.  Of course, thin and crispy worked to my advantage.  No we didn't have any prizes but we typically had crazy contests like that or did other stupid stuff usually something a guy named Henry Flynn talked us into doing. If we weren't walking into some mess, we'd all pile in Tom Kleinert's brother Mike's car or Jeff Garratt's older brother Jon's car and off we went. It all seems insignificant now but it were those times when we get older that we truly miss. Often times, my long runs help me recall those times.  It's like therapy in so many ways.  If you are a parent, you'll also understand, it may be your only free time you'll get in a day. Yep.. not even the bathroom is private once you become a parent.
Last words of advice from my son Landon
All joking aside... all stress aside.. Without my kids, I know my life would be in limbo with my purpose less defined for sure. I can be stressed out or whatever and a smile from one of my kids or watching them do something funny or well and I'm suddenly in a positive mood.
READY!
 
Note the larger facial hair growth.  This race takes place in "MOVEMBER" a month assigned to remember male health issues such as cancer and mental health.  Many like myself will grow out a mustache or in my case decide to grow out all my facial hair except my neck.  Despite the cause, I did try to maintain some level of professionalism in my grooming. To learn more go to  http://us.movember.com/


video


Clay and I hanging out before the start
 
Dawn and her friend ran to the Croatan 24 to give support!
Dawn is the race director for the Reindeer Dash For Cash 5k and 10 miler in memory of my friend Chris Cash a Captain and exercise physiologist who died in action serving the USA.
Money from her event goes to scholarships.  I highly recommend this December Race held every year in Greenville NC.  http://www.reindeerdashforcash.org/
Register here: http://www.sportoften.com/events/eventDetails.cfm?pEventId=12570
The race says it is flat...well it used to be but it's not now! I love the course though.. goes through East Carolina University areas!
 
 
 
video
 
 
Nice Ceremony!
 
 


video
 
 Checking out how they track our laps and a sneak peek at the Race Director Brandon Wilson


 
The Official Start of the 2013 Croatan 24
To honor the military and all veterans, there was a ceremony as well as a start with patriotic flags and such. As everyone should remember, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.  Special thanks to all who have and continue to serve the US Military.


#1 Valmir starting the Croatan 24
 You're going to figure out that I'm a big fan of this guy.  Sure he's done some amazing runs like 100k races in 6 hours and a Badwater World Record but he's actually a great guy.  Despite the language barrier, he is always nice, takes time to take a picture, and engages with others.

My Start of the Croatan 24!
Let's Do this!
On my left is Liz Lord from the Rocky Mt NC area.  We had communicated via facebook and the GORUN group as well as through our mutual friend Patti Miller but until this day, we had never actually met in person.  Liz had never paced this sort of distance and had many concerns despite being a great runner.  We decided to help each other push through. I think it was even harder for her than it was for me to run slowly as I often had to remind her to relax and keep pace easy.  I know this all too well.  Your body is pumped and ready to fly but it takes your mind to think it through remembering that the miles are many and they keep coming.



video


Nice Course... loving the nature factor

 

Clay Vick ahead of me finishing a lap
Originally, I had planned to run with Clay my GORUN teammate but honestly, he took off way faster than I planned to.  He was on a mission!
 
 
Finishing up a lap... behind me is Jimmy... in front Liz
Still in my layered gear from the colder start.  This would soon change.


video


About an hour into the run, Liz and I have already started the walk/run ratio and have already been passed for the first time by Valmir Nunes
Getting hot so off with the early morning extra layer
 I'm obviously not aware of how many miles I've done and how many are left!!
 


video

Marathon Distance Completed in about 5:22

 
 
It's always an honor to be passed by the legend Valmir Nunes!
 This legend once ran a 100k in about 6 hours. Yep.. try that big boys!

Amy-me-Liz
What I love about Ultras...
non stress...social...yet challenging
One of the things I've been drawn to Ultras is not only the sense of adventure but the time you can take out to simply enjoy the moment with friends.  In a long race, unless you are really trying to do something crazy, a few minutes won't matter.  Your body may even do better down the trail because you did.
 
 
video
 
We got to celebrate Frank Lilley's Birthday too!
 
 
 
 
video
 
27 miles done
 
 
 
video
 
Great Therapist, Race Director, and friend Amy Albritton on the trails...
 
 
 
video
 
 USA Olympian Connie Gardner!
 
 
 
 
video
Gina, Landon, Kamryn along with Stephanie Slayton
Giving Support
 
 
 
 
 
 
video
 Liz and I getting passed by Valmir again... Amy Albritton Checking in too
 
 
 
 
video
 
There is one "hill" that we made the executive decision to walk each lap.  Now as you look at it you will probably say huh? What hill? But the small inclines as you approach your max distance PR's can feel like mountains!
 
 
 
video
Valmir passes us again as Liz gets a PR 50k distance
 
 
video
 
Mile 32 as we meet Clay on the trail
as well as some support from Gina, Kamryn, Landon along with Stephanie Slayton
 
 
 
 
video
 
 
32 officially completed
Dry Erase Board has current ranks
 
 
Clay Vick
GORUN's ULTRA MAN
only GORUN's Co-Founder Jeff Dufour has done more than this beast!
 Clay did awesome but unfortunately the blister demon came after him and in the best interest of continued progress in running overall, he made the smart decision to call it a day.  It is hard to believe this man of men was in a couch to 5k program within the last couple of years.
57.5 miles for 56th overall
 

 
video

Later in the day.....Sun going down




video

Beautiful Views as the Sun goes down... both Garmins have died....and Liz has taken some time to slow down and pace some with her family-- mentally planning out the final miles


video

Thinking about my night gear now.... the crowd has thinned out




 
Night gear!
Strangely, as night falls so do the competitors.  Some stop to break while others quit completely.  Sometimes this can make you want to quit too but many times for some weird reason I seem to catch a 2nd or 3rd wind sort of speak.  It's almost like as someone stops, I get their energy added to me.  I know it sounds a little sci-fi like maybe that movie "ONE" but it's true.  The mind is a strange and amazing thing.  Of course, the mind can tell you to quit for protective reasons but in reality we can do so much more.  Within reason of course, I want to know what I can do.


There are points in a run you may actually not care if this happens but somewhere inside this spirit within calls upon you and says don't be a freakin' pansy after all the work you've done!!! You didn't sacrifice a large portion of your life training to come here and wimp out!!
 
 
 
Double checking distance and laps ...
As the Garmin GPS dies and the laps keep coming, you lose a sense of where you are sometimes. This race event was full of awesome staff who were positive and helpful in every way a runner needed them to be. Doing the things they had to do for us was an endurance challenge in itself and I never take that for granted. They all rocked!
 
 
My last look at the clock before I did one more lap to get a new Distance PR
At this point, I only had a little more to go to get a distance PR!  I had beaten my GY100 100k (63m course) time and was already happy about that.  I decided to simply beat my old PR distance and call it a night.  Reviewing where I was in the race, I felt it would be difficult to run 100 miles in the time I had left.  In reality, it may have been possible to simply walk it in at a strong walk pace but I just didn't feel it this night.  Looking back, I did do a lot of would of could of should of thinking which is never good in my book. I will get that belt buckle one day!
64.4 miles completed
 

 Time for Chocolate Milk! 
It's always great having family support.  They have seen me survive many training sessions and deserve victories at the same time I earn them.

 Gina and Kamryn
Enjoying Mother Nature
Behind every strong successful productive man is a great woman! Gina has been my rock through and through.  She knows when to give me TLC and also when to call me a pansy and push me harder.  There is no way I could have done as well without her support.


Kamryn and Landon
aka Double Trouble
 
 
 
Good times...
 
 
 
 
 Landon enjoying nature 



 
My Personal Support Crew 
I couldn't of asked for a better crew.  They are the best despite the fact sometimes I really think they think I'm a machine and expect so much from me.  Of course, I pretty much set myself up for always doing crazy stuff that they now expect me to be able to do that sort of craziness all the time.


I busted by bladder....several ultras later
This one has been with me since my first with Jeff Dufour at the Falls Lake 50k.  I really have come a long way since that day.  My generic camelpak from Target really did well but finally quit on me.  The good news is that the bladder is easy to replace.
 

video

Before the awards...


 
Connie awaiting awards....ZEN
She would earn 2nd overall and 1st female.
 Always super nice to me and positive as she passes... you'd never know she was such an elite athlete
 
 
 
  
 
The GORUN support Crew
Landon-Gina-Kamryn-Sherry

Badwater World Record Holder Valmir Nunes
Fastest 100m split--  16:42
stopped at 105.5 miles for 8th place overall
 
 
 
USA Olympian Connie Gardner
2nd place overall
113.7 miles
100m split in 21:35
 
 
 
Mosi and Jimmy beasted the 24 hours
Got some really cool awards!!
1st and 3rd place overall
Mosi ran over 119 miles in 24 hours!
His 100m split was about 19:29
Jimmy ran about 112 miles
His 100m split was about 20:55
 
 
 
Carter Swamp gets his Buckle!
Carter and his wife Susie have become good friends of our family.  We first met volunteering at the GY100 ultra in the OBX.
Carter did 100m in 20:40 for 18th overall
 
 
Carter Swamp holds his BLING..the Belt Buckle you earn if you run 100 miles within the 24 hours
One day....

My BLING! ha! This bottle was designed by Valmir Nunes.
 
64.4 miles for 46th overall
 
 
 
As in many of the challenges I accept, I am already planning my next adventure! Try to set new goals and engage in new adventures in your life!  I've always felt that if you stop living then you start dying. 
 
Beast on my friends... beast on!