100 Miler – Ultra Marathon – Lake Martin 100 Miler – Training – Running

The Graveyard 100 miler will be my second 100. Looking back at my first 100, The Umstead 100 mile endurance run, I learned so much about myself and the distance while training for that race. Scanning my Twitter feed over the last few months I noticed one person whom I follow (and you should too) who was gearing up for her first official 100 mile race and decided to ask her to share some of her insight.

I’m pleased to introduce Michelle aka @runnermommy2008


Thanks Brian for asking me to be a guest blogger! I hope this is helpful to anybody considering doing an ultra marathon! Here’s a tid bit on #myjourneyto100miles.


In 2014 I decided that I was going to earn myself a belt buckle by completing a 100 mile race. Hmmm where to start?!  There’s so much to say about training for 100 miler. I’ll start by saying I just felt ready. I had completed a 50k, 50 miler and 100k and a 100 miler just seemed right. I attempted a 100 miles at a 24 hr. race back in September 2014, but was not successful. This kinda hit it home for me. I knew I had to get serious and “buckle” down and get to work. So I hired a coach. And signed up for the Lake Martin 100 miler on March 21, 2015. 

My Coach is amazing! He gives me my weekly schedule and is the most supportive and helpful person! He has completed many ultra distances and many 100 milers. So I know he will get me to my goal. :) You do not need to hire a coach to run an ultra marathon. I did because I am very poor at holding myself accountable. <– the first step is admitting you have a problem lol. 


Let’s see…. Training wise I run 5 days a week and have 2 strength training days. David has me on a very rigorous training schedule. He’s teaching me to be on my feet and upright for long periods of time. A typical training run can be 3-5 hours in length. At my pace this is around 18-26 miles. And probably the longest will be around 14-15 hrs. Again at my pace about 50 miles. Which I don’t mind b/c I’m a little obsessed with running lol! It’s just learning to fit the hours of running in with everything else going on! 

But with every long run, I’m learning something about myself. Running has taught me patience and has been very humbling. I know I’m not the only runner who says this. But it’s true!  I’m slowly learning that I am capable of more than I thought. And I’m learning my body will withstand an immense amount of pain. Yet with a little TLC, it forgives me and allows me to keep moving forward on my journey. 


I’m also learning a lot about heart rate training. And getting comfortable with slowing down. When running an ultra marathon you don’t want to bust right out of the gate since you’ll be at it all day and night and day again…. :) oye. 

I’m learning how to fuel my body and utilize my own body fat to sustain me versus gels/gu’s etc. it’s a little something called metabolic efficiency. It may not work for everybody, but it works for me :))! Regardless, anybody will tell you to start paying attention to what you eat and what your body needs while you train for long distances.

MILES 80 – 100

Lastly, I’ll say physical training is one thing. Having a strong motivation and will, having mental stamina and strength, and determination to complete this distance is a separate beast. I work on this during my very long runs. Does it make me nervous to think about? Yes. Am I scared I won’t be ready? Heck yes! But I know I have the will and determination to finish what I started and I’m hoping that gets me through miles 80-100 ;) 



Good Luck Michelle, we can’t wait to hear about your success…It’s Time To Buckle Up!

Ultra Marathon Training – Why I Run In The Rain – Racing – Running

Why do you run when it’s raining?

Why do you run when it’s cold?

Why do you run when it’s snowing or blowing or lightening outside?


These are all questions I’ve been asked numerous times.  Well I don’t run if it’s lightening…I’m not stupid (well maybe just not that stupid), but I also don’t let a little bad weather get in the way of training for my next big race. After all, are we ever guaranteed a perfect day to race in? If you can’t deal with the elements in training, how are you going to tough it out when the money is on the line?

I view running in bad conditions as a way to race harden me. The wind makes me stronger, the cold more determined and the wet and nasty, more focused. Anyone can be fast when the conditions are perfect, but can you reach your potential when it’s ugly?

And as the Army proclaims: “If it’s not raining, it’s not training.”

This past weekend I was on tap to run the Knights of Columbus 10 miler in and around the battlefields of Yorktown. Guess what? It rained Friday after work, Friday during dinner, Saturday morning and right up until race time. We got lucky but if the skies would have opened up, I was ready.


OBTW, I rocked the 10 miler and destroyed my PR by over 6 minutes… 1hr 17m 01s finishing 2nd in my age group. Stayed tuned to my blog, the race report is yet to come.

Graveyard 100 – Ultra Marathon – 100 Miler – Run

Last year I ran the Graveyard 100k, this year I’m running the 100 mile edition.


Why am I coming back to run this race again? Very good question…one I’ve wrestled with myself. When I began planning my spring race calendar, I wanted to run something crazy, notable, maybe something bordering on madness. I even conjured up a great name, borrowing from the NCAA, “March Marathon Madness.” My plan was to run four semi local marathons on four weekends in March. I thought the idea was awesome, and the planning began. Then something strange happened.

The Ghosts of the Graveyard came a calling. Instead of finalizing my March Marathon Madness plans, I found myself distracted thinking about returning to HWY 12, the Outer Banks and running 100 miles again. The more I tried to move on with my plan the more the graveyard of the Atlantic called my name.

The ghost of running past came to visit first. I enjoyed running the 100k version last year with my friend George. It was great fun running the entire distance with him, but I also remember being a bit jealous of those running the 100 mile event.  Over the course of the year since, it ate at me that when I talked about this event I always had to add that I ran the “100k race” not the 100 mile version. The 100 miles of the graveyard haunted me like the lost ships of the Atlantic.

The ghost of running present visited next. Since running my first 100 miler at Umstead last year I’ve been able to keep myself in marathon and beyond shape. My 50 mile run in January proved I still had the endurance and resolve to run epic crazy miles. Somewhere in the rattling chains of my mind, I knew the time may never be better; the ghost reminded me that my body was ready.

The ghost of running future finally convinced me. The Graveyard event is an outstanding event. The race is well organized, supported and conceived. Running the race last year, they made me feel like a ROCK STAR, although I’m a middle of the pack finisher. Last year I walked away with sore legs, tired lungs, a bit smelly, and a cool medal. Medal…$%^*#@$ A MEDAL ^&*%#$^ No disrespect, I love marathon bling too, but you get medals for marathons…I want the Graveyard Buckle. The visualization of putting the 100 Mile buckle around my waist closed the deal.


I’m coming back to the Graveyard.

A Special Kind Of Runner – Marathon – Ultra – Long Distance – Racer

Normally at some point in any given day I’m asked about my running.  The conversations tend to focus on distance, not so much on speed.  Once I explain about the ultra distances I have run and my 100 mile finish, people tend to look at me a little….different.

The other day, after telling a co-worker about my first 100 mile race and plans for a second he replied “You’re not one of those crazy runners…you’re a “special runner.”

As he walked away, I was not really sure what he meant by that?  Did he think I was “special” like one of the runners below?



crazy runner

I sure hope he meant something other then this last guy….

But then again my mom always told me I was special.

Random Thoughts After A 50 Mile Ultra Marathon Training Run

For the second year in a row I hosted a self supported 50 mile training run to get ready for a spring 100.  Two years in a row I’m overwhelmed with the support I received from the local running community.

Last year after signing up for Umstead, I knew I needed to get in a (really) LONG run.  I decided on a 50 miler in a local park (Noland Trail) and hoped I could talk a few of my friends to come out and spend a few hours with me.  I set up a Facebook event and invited everyone I knew and hoped for the best.  Last year 19 people showed up throughout the day and someone ran with me all day long.

Noland50mapcol(The route would start with 3 miles of trail, 5 miles of roads
and finish with 2 miles back on the trails)

For 2015 its the Graveyard 100 (I ran the 100k last year), and I once again I hit up Facebook.  With a less then idea forecast I really wondered if anyone would show up.  Rolling into the parking lot I set up shop and got my mind ready for the 7 a.m. kick off.  As I was getting my gear together some 14 people gathered at the back of my car to run with me.  And again as last year some of these people I had not meet before!  At a little after 7 a.m. we hit the trail.

noland502014prerunmotivation(How do you get “Awake” for a 50 Mile run…with some Skillet of course)

Lap Time/Results:

Clock Start Time 0702

Lap 1 (0-10 miles):  1:48:04
Lap 2 (10-20 miles):  1:49:08
Lap 3 (20-30 miles): 1:50:47
Lap 4 (30-40 miles): 1:58:33
Final Lap (40-50 miles): 2:00:07
My transition times were slower then “race day” would be.  I planned to keep them short, but it was hard to not talk to those who came out to run with me.  I decided to stick to starting laps every two hours.

Finish Clock Time 1700:07

noland50201420miles(Lap 2, 20 miles into the day)

Thought out the day I had someone with me for every lap but lap 3, 20 – 30 miles.  50 miles was covered in a hair under 10 hours…with great stories, laughs, jokes, support, tales of past races, sharks, food and future goals.  I’m so thankful to everyone who ran with me.

noland50finish2014(Andrea and Hank brought me home….I’m in the center)


1.  The most precious gift someone can give you is their time.

2.  A day filled with misty rain is better then driving rain, but your none the less wet.

3.  We should all thank the inventor of Body Glide…after being wet for 10 hours I wondered what surprise awaited in the shower….none!

4.  I need to plan better for Social Media/Communication logistics, although I had everything in place to run 50 miles, my phone died at 20 (dang two year old phone battery life)

5.  It’s hard to explain why we do this…but others who run long distances like we do…get it!

Bonus: A wife who comes out in said misty rain for the soul purpose to give you a kiss and say Hi, is a KEEPER.

My Daughter Jessica – Wife – Mother – New Runner and Beach Body Coach

As parents we are proud of our children when they first walk, say their first words, progress thu school, get married and as adults establish a wonderful adult life of their own.  It’s also easy to see when they fall into some of the same “worldly” traps that ourselves fell into and think…”oh been down that road.”  We ourselves, eat that crazy food, gained that extra 30 pounds and spent way too many hours of the couch.

Then they transform their life…and we (I) feel beyond the meaning of the simple word proud.

Please meet my daughter Jessica

jessicacolorme7(Jessica Ran Her First 5k “ever” in July)

I am a proud mommy of two amazing kids, my 5 year old son, Aiden, and my 11 month old baby girl, Alaina. I am also happily married to the love of my life!

After having my daughter in February 2014, I let myself go health wise… I ate out all the time, binged on junk and was hardly ever active… And boy, was I feeling it mentally and physically!

After seeing a family friend transform her health and body with Beachbody, I was sold!! I purchased the 21 Day Fix and after my first round I lost almost 10lbs! Not only did I feel amazing for losing weight and eating right, I felt PROUD of myself!!

Beachbody has helped to get me moving, and after my first 5k…I caught the bug.   I have run 2 – 5 miles everyday, and have another 5k on my horizon and plan on possibly doing a 10k sometime in the future. (<heart swell> Insert Proud Daddy comment </heart swell>)

jessica 5k(Personal best 29:59 at the fall turkey trot)

Check out my progress at my Team Beachbody page or like my Facebook fitness page, Getting FIT with Jess to watch my progress, share fitness tips and inspire each other.  I will occasionally post Beachbody specials, sign up offers and awesome workout ideas to keep us working out.

No one is going to do it for you! After 2 rounds of the 21 Day Fix and 1 round of PiYo I am happy to say that I’ve lost over 25lbs and I’ve never felt better!

Join me and lets get fit together.

Runners How To Avoid A Dog Bite

It’s going to happen.

Each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency treatment for a dog bite injury according to dogsbite.org

If you run long enough its going to happen, there is going to come a day where you are on the wrong end of an aggressive dog.  What you do can determine whether you and the dog walk away unharmed.


Borrowed from The Humane Society of America.

Pay attention to the dog’s body language

Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals, that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:

  • tensed body
  • stiff tail
  • pulled back head and/or ears
  • furrowed brow
  • eyes rolled so the whites are visible
  • yawning
  • flicking tongue
  • intense stare
  • backing away

When putting space between yourself and a dog who might bite, never turn your back on the dog and run away.  A dog’s natural instinct will be to chase and catch you.

What to do if you think a dog may attack

If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:

  • Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
  • Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, water bottle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

What to do if you’re bitten by a dog

If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic.

  • Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Contact your physician for additional care and advice.
  • Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where he lives. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you’ve seen him before, and in which direction he went.

ASPCA article on Dogs Chasing Runners

Please, Be careful out there.  Be responsible, approach dog owners who are out walking their dogs with respect and at a distance that does not startle the dog.  Be aware if there are lose dogs in your neighborhood, avoid that area if you can, but if approached remain calm and remember the The Humane Society of America guides for avoiding a bite.

Motivation – I’m Published – My Most Unforgettable Marathon

To Celebrate Marathon and Beyond Publishing my feature on My Most Unforgettable Marathon, I’m giving away a ONE year free subscription to this great magazine.

Cover19.1SM(scroll down to enter to win)

Growing up we dream of what we want to be, what profession we want to make our lives work.  A football player.  A fireman.  A doctor, lawyer or even a candlestick marker.  Most of us never find that perfect profession, instead we settle for what pays the bills and if we are fortunate a line of work that will make us happy.  If we play our cards right our lives may allow us some free time to dabble in our true calling, many of us call that our “hobbies” our passions.

I’ve had numerous hobbies along the way, some have truly defined me.  I’ve been a car guy.  I’ve built and flew remote controlled aircraft, golfed and now I run.  Running will never be my profession, I lack the genetics to be elite.  I’m a top of the middle of the pack runner, I strive to get better and I have made some modest gains.  Writing is the same.  I enjoy writing, always have…but lacked the dedication to learn all the rules of the spoken and written word.  In high school and college I was bored with sentence structure and grammar.  I just wanted to tell a story.

Then running and writing collided.  Today I’m PUBLISHED!

I’ve had a “blog” since before blogs were cool.  I’ve written numerous race reports and tons of short stories some never made it past the “save as” button.  Others have lived on my hard drive never to see the light of day or the printed sheet of paper.  Over the years my wife, and a few supportive friends have encouraged me and my writing has improved.  My works may never be mistaken for literary gold, but I’m told some are not bad.  If I was honest I must admit they have come along way from Mr. Bickford’s English class and his 55 gallon drum of red ink.

I submitted this race report to Marathon and Beyond, a magazine in book format that caters to the marathon and longer distance runner, almost a year ago.  I had hopes that just maybe the compelling story of a cancer survivor and my writing might be good enough to make their pages.  I was beyond shocked when I received a reply to my unsolicited submission stating they wanted to use it.  To say I was out of this world overwhelmed when a contract showed up in my mail box is an understatement.

After a few rewrites now you can read “My Most Unforgettable Marathon” and how Susan went from breast cancer survivor to Marathon and Ultra-marathon finisher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please pick up a copy today at your local news stand or at their web site.

You can follow Marathon and Beyond here
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And please tell them how much you enjoyed My Most Unforgettable Marathon.

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I’ll be writing another feature for Marathon and Beyond and I have a running novel in the works…been told it’s pretty good.  Hope to have it available in 2015.  It’s fiction but….a lot of my life is in there.

Shoe Review – Hoka Rapa Nui Trail 2

Shoe Review – Hoka Rapa Nui Trail 2

About two years ago I noticed all my ultra running friends wearing these funny looking shoes called Hokas.  Myself I was wearing my tried and true Nike Air Pegasus.  To me these new “maximal” shoes looked like another coming fad and I for one did not want to make a shoe swap in hopes for a “more cushioned” ride.  After-all I had no complaints with my Pegs that I had been running on for over 12 years.  Likewise I could hardly believe any shoes could have a more cushioned ride then my Flying Horses.  I love my Pegs. (still run 80% of all my miles in them)

hoka stinson

Last year I decided to give a pair of Hokas a try.  I purchased a pair of Stintson tarmac and concluded from the very first run that there was a place in my running shoe arsenal for these new shoes. Over the summer months I grew more and more confident in them and ran my first race, a 50k in them.  I’m sold…after the race my feet felt great with no blister issues.

Then…a friend sent me a sales promotion for Hokas shoes.

I wanted a trail version and selected the Hoka Rapa Nui 2 trail shoe in my regular size 10.5.  I’ll be honest part of what scared me away from going with Hokas was the price.  After-all they are a pricey shoe, but at a discount of nearly 50% I was happy to invest in another pair.

hoka Rapa Nui

My first run in the Rapa Nui 2 shoes was at a local park, Windsor Castle Park, with it’s improved crushed rock/dirt trail surface.  Within the first few steps I noticed a big difference in these shoes, my typical road Pegs and other trail shoes that I’ve wore.


The fit was near perfect.  My feet felt right at home, comfy and secure.  I was told that the toe boxes of Hokas run a bit tight but I did not notice this in either pair.  My footfall felt even, secure and balanced.  The cushioning was soft and light.  Instantly I loved my new shoes.  The most noticeable trait outside of fit was the extreme grip of the aggressive multi-directional traction design.  Might sound funny but this tread pattern literately felt like it was grabbing the surface I ran one.  You could hear the shoes grasping at the stones in the parking area,  digging into the the dirt of the trail and even grabbing at the wooden planks of the bridges I ran across.  Climbing 18 of the hills that make up one loop of the park, I never once felt the tread slip, nor my traction compromised, and that is saying a lot as I ran on a rainy and wet day.


If your looking for a good ultra shoe, I recommend a pair of Hokas and if your looking for a good trail shoe, Rapa Nui 2 are a great pair of shoes.

I purchased my shoes at the Running Warehouse.

Favorite Runs – Races – Training – Photo Bombing in 2014

As we get older, the hours pass quicker,  days get shorter, weeks fly bye and the pages of the calendar turn over faster then we ever thought possible.  You can’t stop it…you can’t slow it down, you can only hold on and go for the ride run.

2014 was epic running year for me.  As I sit back and remember the 2014 running season, these are the runs that stood out the most. (I stole this idea from a great blog at runladylike)

January:  A 50 mile training run with friends. Read more about the race/run here:


February:  #slushrun2014 and 38 miles training for Umstead.  Read more about the race/run here:


March: My first 100k at the Graveyard and finishing the race with a good friend.  Read more about the race/run here:


April:  A really long run at Umstead, my first 100 mile run.  Read more about this race/run here.

umstead Hills

April:  24 hours of fun and 24 hours of run.  You can read more about this race/run here:


June:  Visiting my daughter, the Windermere marathon and running with my grandson.  You can read more about this race/run here:


July:  Happy 4th of July from the Peachtree 10k road race.  You can read more about this race/run here:


September:  Aim High, and run the Air Force Marathon.  You can read more about this race/run here:

AF marathon start

October:  Boo and the longest touchdown run ever.  You can read more about this race/run here:

November:  Three races in one, JFK 50…the grand-daddy of ultra marathons.  You can read more about this race/run here:


December:  Ending the season as I have the past four years, running 31 miles with friends and photo bombing and Christmas Angel. You can read more about this race/run here:


No truth to the rumor that I’m banished from every running this event again…


What were your most memorable races/runs this year?