Monthly Archives: March 2014

My Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run Plan — Ultra Marathon, Running, Racing and Training



This is my first 100 mile run/race.  Under taking such an challenge, I knew that to have a chance at success, I would have to prepare not only my body but also my mind.

Well it’s too late to do anything more about the body side of this equation.  I’ve run over 1,000 miles since Sept.  I’ve completed long runs of 50, 37.9 (3 laps on the course) and 63 miles.  And finally I’m in the last taper week which will include proper eating and hydration.  I’m not sure what else I can do to prepare physically.

The mind or the mental side of a 100 mile run I hear and firmly believe is just as important.  You have to have confidence you can do what you signed yourself up for.  You have to believe that you’re capable.  And you have to block out, make quiet, ignore all the little voices inside your own head that may work to undermine you.

Since I first got into the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Race, I refused to say I was “going to try” and run 100 miles.  I have told everyone that I know that I Am going to run 100 miles.  Mentally “trying to”…was already on the brink of defeat.  I will finish the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Race and to do that I have to have a plan.

I plan to run every lap at a maximum of 3 hour per lap pace (12.5 miles at 14:24 pace), with a minimum lap time of 2:45.   This plan would put me way ahead of the 30 hr count off.  I will use the 1 mile run/2 minute walk pace George and I ran at the Graveyard 100k.  I believe this will be a conservative pace on the front half and a little aggressive in the back half.

My A goal is to finish, and not be dead.  My B goal is sub 26 hours and My C goal is a Sub 24 hour finish.  Using Graveyard as a reference, (63 miles in 14hr 46mins/14:04) I could have gone another 37 miles in 10 hours, this is a possible depending on conditions etc..


Start –  0             0600
Lap 1 – 12.50      0900       (0800-0900 expected support window)
Lap 2 – 25.00      1200       (0900-1000)
Lap 3 – 37.50      1500       (1400-1500)
Lap 4 – 50.00      1800       (1700-1800)
Lap 5 – 62.50      2100       (2000-2100)
Lap 6 – 75.00      2400       (2300-2400)
Lap 7 – 87.50      0300       (0200-0300)
Lap 8 – 100.00     0600 –    (0500-0600) DONE

umstead 100 buckle

I’ll be running the first 50 miles with Nathan Maxwell, @socialshark, we hope to keep each other on target and entertained during the opening segment.  If I’m running ahead or behind the plan, I’ll just adjust the times and keep moving on my 3 hour pace.

My wife Michele will man my aid station/base camp.  The race has aid stations and water stations set up around the course, my aid/base camp will be there to take care of the personal issues that might come up as well as have a stock pile of my favorite foods in case the race foods are no working or sitting well.  Also my base camp and crew are there to kick my butt if I wimp out.  Unless there are bones or blood…I will not drop.  And anyone I know has the right to kick my butt to keep me moving.

Making the turn at the end of each lap, I will have (7) 1gal zip lock bags (pick up bags) and two water bottles waiting for me.  As I make my way past I plan to grab one bag and the water bottles.  Each bag will have the same items:

Apple sauce cup or Pudding
Diet Dew
Candy snack (M & Ms, Kisses or Mini candy bars)
GU x 2
Endurolytes x 2
Advil/Tylenol x 4

 IMG_20140401_182925_908  IMG_20140401_183009_648

As I leave the pit stop I’ll consume the apple sauce/pudding, drink half the dew and stash the remaining items in my race vest to have later on during the lap.  I plan to also take on food during the race provided aid stations but my pick up bags will be my go to food just in case.

I hope to Tweet updates throughout this race, but have been told cell reception is spotty in the park.  Pls pray for me, lift me up and send positive thoughts and Tweets!  I will read them!

PACKING LIST: (pack stuff in tubs)
4 changes of clothes
(shorts, shoes, socks, shirts, underwear)
2 Long pants
2 Jackets
2 Fleece tops
Shores (all of them)
Shoes with toe box cut out
Knee straps/thigh strap
Race vest
Hand held water bottles (all of them 2 min.)
After race clothes
(underwear, sweat pants, t shirt, fleece top socks and shoes)
Beach towels
Wet Bag
Garbage for rain gear
Reflective gear/vest
GPS watches and chargers

Pain medicine
ibuprofin, asprin and Tylenol
Body glide/Bag Balm etc.
Tums rolaids and/or pepto-bismol
Blister Band- Aids
Ace bandage
Safety pins (& swiss army knife)
Baby wipes
Sunscreen and lip balm
Bug Spray

Extra flashlight batteries and bulbs

Extra water/Gator aid
Salty snacks, chips, pretzels, cheese nips
Apple Sauce
Diet Dew
Peanut butter

Jump Pack
Trash bags
Cell phone and charger
Folding chairs (2)
Tent/Pop Up tent
Ground covering
Tarps for sides
Zip ties
Extension cords
Surge protectors
Phone and chargers (car chargers)
White board and markers
Note pad and pencils

Last Week In Review – Ukrops Monument Ave 10k and Ultra Marathon Running, Racing and Training

Last Week In Review: (24 – 30 March)

Monday: 0
Tuesday: 7
Wednesday: 0
Thursday: 7.5
Friday: 0
Saturday: 6.2 Monument Ave 10k / 51:06
Sunday: 0

Total:   20.7 miles – YTD Total: 541.97 miles on 54 Running Days

Last week before #Umstead100miler, and it’s starting to get real.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday:  The 1st week of my two week taper leading up to the Umstead 100 Endurance Run.  I hate days where I have to post zero miles in my log book, but as hard as it is, standing on the starting line, I’ll be glad I did.

Tuesday/Thursday:  Camping at Pocahontas State Park, I ran the roads within the camping sites after work.  I logged easy 7 miles on Tuesday and 7.5 on Thursday.  Pocahontas is one of Virginia great state parks.  We have visited there many times and enjoy it very much.  Large camp sites, clean bath houses and tons of trails for walkers, runners, bikers and a few horse trails.

MonumentAve10k20146(Bart signed my bib and 10k sticker)

Friday:  Friday night after work Michele and I headed to the Race expo.  If you have been a runner for any length of time you know who Bart Yasso is, the founder of the Yasso 800s workout and Running Worlds Chef Running Editor.  I’ve had a few interactions with Bart (@bartyasso on Twitter) and I was really hoping we could cross paths.  Once at the expo we got our bibs we made a mad dash for the Sports Backer Booth and there was Bart.  And I’ve got to say, he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  He not only remembered me from our Twitter exchanges but also talked with me about my running adventures and up coming 100 miler with a sincere interest.   Runners World and the Running community has a great ambassador in Bart Yasso

MonumentAve10k20142(Michele and I at the start)

MonumentAve10k20144(Michele, Me and Paul…waiting on our starting time)

MonumentAve10k20145(Jill C. and Michele)

Saturday:  Michele and I fast-walked/ran our 3rd Ukrops Monument Ave 10k….this is an awesome large scale 10k.  36,000 runners/walkers started this event making it the nations 3rd largest 10k.  Don’t let the large size field intimidate you, very well ran, wave starts and friendly atmosphere, I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone.  I tell everyone for the large number of runners/walkers that come out and run this event it is very well organized and a PR machine.  I’ve set PRs the prior two years.  This year I ran conservative, holding back for the #100miler.  I also had the pleasure of running with a great running friend Paul Starlings.  Paul and I talked and laughed our way over the 6.2 mile course.  We may have had slower times, but we beat both Dart Vador and Forrest Gump and Jenny to the finish line.  Michele paced herself to a 1:16:03 time…she beat a lot of the joggers in her starting corral.  

Great day!

camping2014-3(Our rig departing Pocahontas State park)

Sunday:  Broke camp and headed home.  This was our first camping trip of the year. We are sure looking forward to some more!  The past two Monument Ave races we have camped in the Richmond area before the race.  This has become our annual spring Race/Camp tradition.  We spent 9 days camping with Michele’s Mom and Dad who were visiting from the cold and snowy state of Minnesota.  For the most part the weather was agreeable, although we did have a few nights were the temps dropped into the low 20s.  This was the first trip where we had to run the furnace for an extended period of time and everything worked as it should.  Even with the cold, we had a few good nights to hang out by the camp fire and tell stories. #RVlife

 camping2014  camping2014-1

On to Umstead.


The running is all done, I’ve prepared the best I can, now it’s recovery week (second of two taper weeks) and time to get my mind in the right state.

Ukrops Monument Ave 10k – 2014 – Richmond, Va

Michele and walk/ran the Ukrops Monument Ave 10k, this is quickly becoming our annual spring 10k.  This year was our third year running/walking this great event.


Saturday turned out to be a warm (mid 60s) and wet day…but we met up with some friends and had a fun just the same.

Twitter and Facebook has introduced me to a great number of new friends, and today I ran with thoughts on others.  #megsmiles and my friend Bruce were on my mind today.


One week from my first 100 Mile run at Umstead, today was all fun, no racing today.  I ran sided by side with another good running friend Paul S. @pstarlings


Michele walked with her work pal Jill C.


At the end of the day I came home in 51:06 (my slowest 10k in years) and Michele fast walked 1:16:03.

Did you know David (of Goliath fame) was a Runner?

My Pastor Stu Hodges ( gave a talk on upgrading your life.  Part of his illustration was how he could buy all the cool running gear, and without ever taking a step, we would not be a runner.  This parallels how most Christians are viewed, we say we believe in Christ yet never follow his examples.  I’m guilty as well.

This got me to thinking about my life following Christ and also my running.  Am I serving GOD and am I attacking my running plan?  I got the message on being a better more complete follower of my Savior, but how does this affect my running?  Then Stu told us that he believed David was a runner!

TofG 191

Little history on David, he was the youngest of four brothers and his roll in the family was that of the Shepherd, he took care to the families sheep.  At the time the Philistines and Israelites had gathered their forces for war.  David’s brother went to join the battle, David was left at home as he was smaller then his brothers.  One day, Jesse David’s father wanted to send supplies to his sons, he sent David.  Pastor Hodges cites that if David had not been a runner, he would have not been able to make the trip as reported in the Bible.

1 Samuel 17, 21

David and Goliath

21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were.

You see the Bible says that David, “ran to the battle lines,” he did not stroll, he did not power walk, and he did not ride his segway, he ran.  In those days, the battle lines would have been a far distance off and if David’s body had not already been conditioned to run, by running, he would have never been able to run to the battle lines.

Are you meeting life’s challenges, or your next race with a condition body up for the task?  If I want to qualify for Boston, I can’t just show up for the next qualifier marathon and run it.  I have to condition my mind and body for the task.

Once David got to the battle lines he did not collapse like Philippeadse of Marathon fame and die.  After arriving at the battle and seeing the giant Goliath taunting the Israelites armies he reported to King Saul and offered to go to battle.  This tells me that although being smaller in size, David was in shape and fearless.  Saul initially refused to allow David to fight Goliath but after David’s persistence he sends the young boy into battle.  Now I’m not sure about you, but unless I was 100% confidence in my abilities as a warrior….I might take my time going up against a giant, but not David.  With the Lord behind him he RUNS into battle with Goliath and wins!

1 Samuel 17, 48 -50

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 
 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

So what is your Goliath?  To get moving, to lose a few pounds or to run a 5k, 10k race?  Maybe a bigger challenge. Run a Half Marathon, Marathon or an Ultra?  Today fight your Goliath with the spirit of David, have faith in your Lord and confidence in yourself!  And run!

If you have a Goliath other then your fitness, your heart is hurting, you need something more out of life…or you’re simply not where you want to be.  The same GOD who gave David his strength can strengthen you.  Visit your church and learn about my Savior Jesus Christ, he loves you and so do I.  If your in the 757 look up for service times.

Things Runners Won’t Talk About – Ultra Marathon, Marathon Running, Racing, and Training

The Marathon and Ultra Running Community are a very supportive group of people.  Most runners are open to sharing their training secrets, and their opinions on shoes, gels and foam rollers.   If you hang around us long enough you’ll hear people talking about near everything including some choice body functions.  But there are something’s runners won’t talk about.

The Things Runners Won’t Talk About.

1.  The places we put Body Glide that even the manufacture never dreamed of.  (If I posted pictures my account would get blocked)

2.  That we secretly like getting blisters so we can post pictures and brag about them.

3.  We feel like Superman when we pull on our tights, but still uncomfortable saying tights.


4.  Monkey Butt, all I need to say about that.

5.   We spend way too much time trimming our toe nails, if we have any.

6.   We say we don’t care what we look like in our race photos, but secretly we do.


7.  The line to the Porta Pottys never move, we known people who have died in line.

8.  If you run a Marathon or an Ultra, your toe nails will never be the same.

9.  Tapering is as much about resting and recovering as it is about feeding our face!

10.  We have spit on ourselves more then once, but never broke our stride.

Do you have any running secrets?  Pls post a comment telling us all about them, we won’t share…

Last Week In Review: (17 – 23 March) – Back on the Road Again, Ultra Marathon Training

Last Week In Review: (Feb 10 – 16 March)

Monday: 10.2
Tuesday: 7
Wednesday: 10.2
Thursday: 0 – Run Club Meeting
Friday: 0 – Rest
Saturday: 11.5 Miles
Sunday: 11.5 Miles

Total:   50.4 miles – YTD Total: 521.27 miles on 43 Running Days

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday:  After a pretty slow week recovering from the Graveyard 100k, it was nice to get back on the road again.  Always reassuring to put some solid miles on my legs to restore some confidence that they still work after some extended RandR.  I truly believe wearing the BioSkin compression sleeves and CS-X Compression tights speed up recovery and healing after such a long run.

Thursday:  Run Club Meeting, I the president of a small Run/Walk club in our housing area.  I’ve gained so much inspiration from other runners that I enjoy giving back in a small way.

Friday:  Headed out for our first camping trip of the year.  Going to a local state park that offers miles/miles of trails.


Saturday/Sunday:  11.5 miles each day, I run the majority of my training on streets it’s always nice to get out on the trails.  Saturday my wife rode her bike along with me and Sunday she walked and I ran, we call it our Rualk time.  Also got a big boost to my twitter Ego, Dean Karnazes followed me!


Quality vs Quantity – Ultra Marathon – Marathon Running Racing and Training

The Age Old Debate.


Is it better to be great at one thing or good at a number of things.  Is it better to have one great love of your life or to have experienced love with a number of people.  Is it better to be a master of one trade or a handy man at a number of skills.

And finally a little closer to home for us runners.  Would it be better to focus solely on and dedicate all your training to qualify for Boston.  Or train for a number of different race lengths but never zeroing in on one goal race?

I’ve asked a few of my new followers on Twitter this very question to get their differing perspectives.

Paul, @paulrunslong
For me one quality goal race per year aiming for peak performance. The other races I use as training runs or time trials to see where I’m at. I enjoy racing & race goals & PBs/PRs is what motivates me. Personally, I don’t think I could stay motivated to train for one goal race over many years as my main running goal(i.e. Boston).

Joshua, @bayou of Run It Fast®
I’ve never set a goal to run the Boston Marathon, there are many “Boston’s.” My long-term goal has always been to run the Badwater 135. I’ll finally, after many races and years of hard work, get that chance in July this year.

The Marathon Maniacs, focuses on quantity, quantity, and more quantity. Most Maniacs are slower marathoners that do insane numbers of marathons every year. It’s all about racking up the most number of marathons and earning different levels of stars within the club. After about 15 marathons I wondered what else was out there. After a while they are like running on a track.  Numbers are nice, but I enjoy seeing how well I can do every race and distance I attempt. I believe being around similarly minded people only helps to become better and challenge myself.

It led me to create Run It Fast® – The Club which is open to runners of all levels. It created an amazing community of runners from all over the globe that wanted to go further, faster, and find out what they were actually capable of. It’s been a joy to watch so many that were 5K’ers run their first half, full, ultra and 100.

In my case, quantity has led to quality. It made me amazingly tough by doing 35 races a year that averaged 50 miles in distance. Finishing and surviving the Vol State 500K three times has made me extremely tough overall and that has improved me as a runner and ultra marathoner.  Every runner is different and must find out along the way whether they enjoy being able to race several times a year or if training extremely hard for a chance at Boston is more rewarding.

Sara, @LovingOnTheRun
I really love this question and have done a lot of thinking on this topic actually.  I look at it in two different ways.

1. If you are talking specifically about races, right now I am focused on one main race to hopefully Boston Qualify. While that is the main race that I am working towards, I do throw other races into it because I think that helps get you very valuable practice in a racing environment as well as to see where you are at. I use smaller, varying length, races almost as a “test run” for the big day.

2. I also look at this question in the long term.  When you are working hard to get faster specifically that causes a lot of wear and tear on the body.  If you asked me 7 months ago (before I got diagnosed with a femoral stress fracture) I would have told you that I don’t care about anything else all I want to do is get that Boston Qualifier. However, now even though I will still work hard towards getting my BQ if I knew that I had to give up that dream in order to have many many years of healthy running I would.  To me even though quality is important, my health is first and foremost.  I would rather run slower and various distances if it meant keeping me healthy.

For now, as long as I feel my body is strong enough to handle it I am still aiming for the Boston Qualifying marathon!

I’ve wrestled with this question throughout my life.  I have had many different hobbies, I’ve built scale models, flew R/C airplanes, collected comics and NFL game used football gear. And I’ve been a motor head collecting muscle cars most of my life.  Do I really want to be good at one sport or play them all.  Do I want to know everything about one subject or have a wider scope of knowledge?

With running and racing I struggled with the same question for a number of years.  Qualify for Boston (Quality) or run every race no matter what the length or location just because I want to without (Quantity) regard to reaching maximum performance.  I finally came to terms that I want to run races of varying lengths and location to gain the Quality and quantity of experiences over one outstanding run.

I’m not saying that this is the right answer for everyone, this a deeply personal question and answer.  And I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer, I respect everyone’s personal answer.


I would rather run races of varying lengths and locations as they become available vs. concentrating all my efforts on one run at one location for one goal.  I’ve accepted that I may never reach my maximum potential in anyone race distance.  In trade I’ll accept slower race times at all race lengths over varying terrain.  I will race 5k, 10k and half marathons at local events.  I’ll run the big city marathons around the United States while on vacation with my family.  I will set my sights on running the JFK 50 miler, the Graveyard 100k, and maybe one day the Leadville 100 and the Western States 100.  I also look forward to one day running the Grand Canyon rim 2 rim 2 rim and the Tahoe rim race.

I’m not saying I won’t try to get faster and run my best, I just won’t focus so much on one race to miss out on another.  For me it’s not about giving up on what I could achieve but gaining 100s of experiences that will make me who I am.

How about you quality vs. quantity…what is best for you?

Dean and I Are Pals….Well Maybe

Pals…well sort of.

This morning when I checked my Twitter account, I noticed I had a few new followers.  My custom is to thank each new follower.  When reviewing the names of my new followers….my bottom jaw hit the floor.

One of my new followers was none other then Dean Karnazes, yes that Dean @deankarnazes



At first I thought it was a mistake, but Dean did not fat finger the follow….he wanted to follow an Ultra runner like me!


I’ll take it!  Thanks Dean, you made my DAY!

That is one of my most favorite things about social media, it opens up the world so that average folks can interact with any number of celebrities, top sports performers and people of similar interest from around the world.

Who is the most famous person you have been able to connect with?


1 Days to Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run – Ultra Marathon Running – 100 Miler

In no particular order these are my favorite blogs to read leading up to the 100 miler at Umstead:


1 Day To Umstead: THANK YOU everyone for supporting me!  Your My Favorites!


2 Days to Umstead:  Some times Epic events, or Elite Runners/Athletes are outside of your everyday world.  Even top shelf local runners sometime seam out of reach to the middle of the pack runner, then I met Steve via social media.  He is one of the nicest guys and encouraging supporters I’ve met.  His 100 mile runs and adventures at Leadville made me believe I could one day run in the same footsteps…just a bit slower.  His blog is awesome, check it out.

3 Days to Umstead:  I started down this Ultra Marathon road by entering the Virginia 24 Hour Run/Walk for Cancer.  I had no idea what I was doing but enjoyed the event.  And little did I know at the time, but I made a great connection in the ultra world and a great friend in general.  George N. is the RD of this very successful event…and will be pacing me during the hard laps at Umstead.


4 Days to Umstead:  100 miles was never in my thought process, until I ran Medoc Mountain 50k+ with @socialshark and @pstarlings then I got the bug.  Nathan has a great blog, check it out here.

5 Days to Umstead:  Another great blog that makes me wish I lived on the West Coast. Pavement Runner by @PavementRunner , a lot of great content, race reports, training advice and in sight into the social world of running.  A must read blog and must follow on Twitter/Facebook

6 Days From Umstead:  First connected with Laura @losingrace while driving to the Cleveland Marathon.  When I fell short of my goal, she helped keep me focus with uplifting tweets. I approached Niagara Falls Marathon she helped tailor my taper week, enabling me to reach my goals.  Her blog Catching my Breath, is insightful and encouraging.

7 Days From Umstead:  Running one of my favorite races today (slowly) Monument Ave 10k.  Check out this great blog Thoughts on the Run by @aexross

8 Days From Umstead:  Oh boy this is getting real…  A Blog I stumbled upon a year or so ago Shut Up And Run is one I visit often, always some good info, humor and insight by a pretty thoughtful runner.

9 Days From Umstead:  single digits… So hard to believe.  If ever the ultra seed was planted it was way back in 2005 when a friend Garth Peterson told me about his Ultra adventures and introduced me to Marathon and Beyond.  GREAT GREAT magazine and good reading.

10 Days From Umstead:  Best Piece of Advice I’ve received from multiple people, but first from George N.  “Beware the Chair.”


11 Days From Umstead:  By Joshua Holmes, @bayou  Run It Fast  A great Blog/Club for runners of all abilities, whether you run 5k, 10ks, half or full marathons, Ultra or 100 milers….this place is for you.

12 Days From Umstead:  By Kris, @Kris_Law, Kris Lawrence Local Runner, Wife, Military Spouse, and Mom working her tail off the get to the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trails.  When I think I don’t want to run on a cold, wet, and windy day…I think of Kris going after her dream.

13 Days From Umstead: These two moves may be responsible for my dreams of running 100 miles.  Unbreakable: four of the worlds best take on the Western States 100 and 1hundredfilm:  4 ordinary people on their journey leading up to and ultimately tackling this daunting race.

14 Days From Umstead:  by Hollie, @fueledbylolz,  Fueledbylolz  Hollie is a fast young runner who is working hard to reach her goals and inspire others.  Her fast wit, and love of coffee make her posts fun to watch and read.  Grab some coffee and give her blog a read.

15 Days From Umstead: by Ash W., @AshRuns100s Ash Runs 100 An inspiring blog and a true life story about someone who had some challenges in life, who faced them overcame them and turned their life around.  Today Ash leads an adventurous life, a positive life and one where she challenges and inspires others to reach their goals.  Do yourself some good, check out her blog.

TEN things my running shoes would tell me

If they could talk, the TEN things my running shoes would tell me.
#10  Thanks for avoiding all the “doggie presents” all these years.
#9  Please don’t leave me out on the porch to air out, I get scared someone is going to steal me away.
#8  You need to continue working on becoming more of a forefoot striker…this heavy heel strike thing is wearing me OUT.
#7  The 20 pound weight loss, sure makes my job a lot more fun when there is less of YOU to haul around.
#6  You really need to start working on a new invention, sweat bands for your ankles.  Summer training in Virginia tends to leave my insoles squishing after 13 miles.
#5  The running thing isn’t any easier on me…but I still love you!
#4  Are you going to respect me after 20 miles?
#3  What’s this whole “AIR” thing about…I thought I was going to fly!
#2  Oh no not the dryer…I don’t care if you do turn the heat off, I get so dizzy in there.
AND the number ONE thing my running shoes would tell me if they could talk:
I really enjoy the quality time we get to spend together…I’m glad I’m not, the AB glider, Buns of steel video, Slider shaper, Thigh-blaster, AB Force rower or the VHS Jane Fonda work out tapes.  In the name of Air Pegasus, those poor buggers are marooned on the island of mis-fit toys or lost in the dark, damp, and scary basement somewhere.
Now let’s go for a run!


What would your running shoes tell you?