Friday, August 31, 2012

My *Current Top 10 Ultras List plus 5

This started out as a reply to my good friend Ronnie's comment in my last blog post. I felt it was too long to be a reply comment so I opted to make it into it's own post. My top 10 list changes as I run new races. Past events rise or fall too when I rerun them, compare them to other events, and my experiences change. Most of my experience and therefore recommendations will be in the PA/OH/WV area. So here is my current top 10 favorite list with 5 bonus listings for diversity.

1-Megatransect 25-26 Mile Challenge -Lock Haven, PA(not an ultra by distance, but it is more challenging than some ultras)

 2-Oil Creek 100s(100Mile, 100K, 50K) I am biased as this is pretty much my hometown ultra)-Titusville,PA 

3-Heidelberg Voksmarch 50K -Heidelberg, Germany(I love Heidelberg. You never forget your first)

4-Laurel Highlands Ultra 70 Mile -Johnstown, PA

5-Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail Run -Davis, WV

6-Hinson Lake 24 Hour Classic -Rockingham, NC

7-Ironmasters Trail Challenge 50K -Gardners,PA

8-Hyner View Trail Challenge 50K/25K -Renovo/Hyner, PA

9-Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50(54) Mile -Lynchburg, Va

10-Capon Valley 50K -Yellow Spring, WV


11-Baker Trail 50 Mile Challenge North section -Brookville, PA
12-Run Between the Suns 12 Hour -Dempseytown, PA(biased again, right in my backyard)
13- Triple Lakes Trail Race 40 Mile -Greensboro, NC
14-JFK 50 Mile -Boonsboro, NC
15-Ouachita Trail 50K- Little Rock, AR

Hope you might check out some of these races or that you may have already run some of them. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

Run Like a Horse,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mind Not at Ease

My mind is not at ease after being unable to finish the Baker Trail 50 Mile under 11 hours and having to settle for an 11:56 finish. Looking ahead to the Mountain Masochist 50(54) Miler, where I will need to cover an additional 4 miles in less than 12 hours gives me an uneasy feeling. I am still going after Masochist. The weather will change, Masochist is a different type of course than Baker, and I have 8 weeks before I will have to fight that battle.

That said I do realize that every race where I push on, don't quit, and I finish after a difficult start or stretch during the race makes me stronger. It adds another piece to my foundation and another tool to look back on in future events.

In Baker this year I felt horrible for about 9 miles from mile 17 to mile 26. I was mostly in the sun, on the road, and climbing. I was hating life and miserable, but I kept pushing forward. Somewhere around mile 26 the course started downhill and took us back onto the trail and into the forest's shade. Some clouds even came out and veiled us from the sun's heat too. I came back to life and had a great day from that point on. I am so glad for the God-given grit and determination that helped me not drop out of the race and miss the joys that came after my struggles.

I'll leave you with a quote that stood out to me from a running article I read yesterday.

"An ultrarunner’s biggest challenge is not about being physically fit enough to handle the race, but to be mentally tough enough to keep emotions intact and force your beaten body forward."

Run Like a Horse,

Friday, August 24, 2012

100 Mile Motivation

Here is a quote from a pre-race  speech before the Leadville 100. I did not run the race, but this quote very much sums up running an ultra, especially a 100+ miler. I hope it motivates you in whatever race you run in this life.

"When the going gets hard. When the time comes and I promise the time will come. When the legs are dead. When the heads done. When the lungs are burning. One time believe, believe with me and dig deep. Take one more step. Turn that step to two. Soon there's an aid station. Keep digging. Soon there's another. Soon before you know it your at the finish line. Your husbands, your wives will be there crying. Your boyfriends, your girlfriends, they'll be enjoying wishing they were with you. Your children will never see a more proud moment of you........Do this and find out that you are better than you think you are."

Run Like a Horse,