Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Umstead, Um Steady!

Dear All,

Thanks so much for the positive vibes during and the kinds words after the Umstead 100.

Suffice it to say I am ecstatic and surprised at my 21:12 finish. I truly didn't see it coming. After a DFL and 30+ hour finish at Western States I didn't think I had a sub-24 in me. So I just ran at Umstead. I wouldn't let anyone tell me what pace I was on and I didn't wear a watch. I knew I was doing well though because I was a bit ahead of Woody, and Woody has been running like a mad-man, like a man possessed, like a scalded hound, a wounded Rhino, or some type of bat out of Hell! It wasn't until the last loop that my most excellent pacer, Becky (I can't say enough about the influence she had on my race finish) told me that none of my 8 loops were over 3 hours (I was sure a couple were) and that I was on sub-22 pace that I had any inkling I would be well under 24. ......... Me before the pain set in!.........

Speaking of Pacers, like shoes, they can be best in pairs. First I had a Greg. He and his buddy Dave came up from his current station at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville and ran 30 miles of the course with me. Greg is an aspiring Ultra-runner and an inspiring man! Greg knows adversity, as he's fought in Iraq, Afghanistan abroad. Fought cancer. And fought two teenage daughters and a 7-year old daughter at home! He asked me a million questions about ultra-running, and before I realized he was just trying to distract me, we'd run 30 miles! The nice thing about running with someone like Greg is, he's used to focusing on results, not hearing about problems. He didn't seem to care that I had run 30 miles before he got to me, nor that I had 38 to go when he left. He just wanted me to run. Excuses were not accepted, so after a while, I quit giving them! Yeah, that helped a lot.

As for Becky, well, I was two-hours slower without her, no question. She was fine walking with me, as long as it was a certified hill. If the grade was less than over our heads we ran it. Come on, this is uphill. No it's downhill, now get moving! So get moving I did. She was worried that she wouldn't be fast enough for me, but I barely kept up with her!

But, we had perfect weather! Snow flurries on Friday night in the park (Woody and I know, we had an unheated cabin in the park on Friday :) 30 degrees at race start, and a high of perhaps 60. So the day was right. The footing was perfect, the moon was 90% full. The stars aligned, and Viola! we all did well.

I am particularly proud of Woody. His first sub 24 in 8 years! Since he's a machine, we forget that Woody is... gulp, 60-old. 60 years YOUNG that is! I will never be the runner he is, that man amazes me, flat blows me away.
........... Woody and The Professor ............

Also, it was good to see Adam out there having a great time. He was looking all down and out on his 3rd loop, I was wondering if he was going to finish, and then, BAM! here comes round and round with Lindsay, smiling and laughing and motoring around that loop. Had it been a 200 mile race, I do believe Adam would have won. Instead he;'ll have to settle for a 2 hour PR and a silver belt buckle! Great Job.

June, Jim, Jerry, and Sandy. You guys were having too much fun, I'm not sure that counts as a 100-mile finish. You're not supposed to laugh so loud people can hear you one mile down the trail! I swear I heard Andrea shush you a few times. Well, I guess June was just practicing alerting the bears for Western States! The gang. Jerry and Jim Sullivan, the June Bug, and first-timer Sandy Melton. (Before the RDU Airport authority gave them their first noise violation warning due to excessive laughter!)

Any way, a great trip and one full of unexpected pleasures!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Well, What a _________ Time!

Don't get Mad. Mad Lib!

Wow, that race was 1._____ ______ !

The first two loops went 2. _______ but I 3. _________ and then 4. ____________ . The 5______ in front of me was 6___________ until I 7____________.

Around 6 PM I 8_____________ when I saw 9______________ . What a 10____________ experience. Things got 11_________ __________ around 9 PM when 12_______________. Imagine my 13_____________ surprize when I found out I was 14____________.

Things got really 15_____________ around 16______________ when I 17____________ in the middle of the trail! How do you recover from that? But recover I did. At 3 AM a 18 _____________ came out of nowhere and almost 19__________ my 20___________! That gave me a 21_________________!

Anyway, the race went on, and you 22___________ by now, I finished in ___________. A great comeback for a dude that couldn't even finish 23_______________ in June!

Have at it, it's Mad Lib, it's a 24_________!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And I'm Off

I just took off with Woody in his 1909 Chevy Van. Oh boy I hope we make it up to Raleigh (well, I sorta hope we make it, if we don't I don't have to run 100 Fool miles!)

Oh, I'm sure the 1909 Chevy Van is sound, and Woody is an excellent mechanic, it's just I know what happened to Sammy Johns in his Chevy Van!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Checking the Stats

I'm not one of these folks (see A2 and Star) who goes into a race with every detail planned out. It is my belief that your body tells you how fast you should run. Sometimes you get to run faster than you thought you could :), mostly it's slower :(. But I did do a little Umstead research.

In preparation for Saturday's Umstead 100-mile extravaganza, I checked my runner's stats from last year (I was the pacer). He motored the first 2 laps, scooting around the 12.5 mile course in 2:30 per. The next couple he did in around 3 Hrs, then 3.5, then a couple of 4hrs. All in all he had a great race, under 26 hours.

When I'm running well, I don't have a significant 2nd 1/2 drop off, and that has been characteristic of my training for this race. However, what is uncharacteristic is that I have NO SPEED! They say speed kills, well, I shouldn't have a worry there then.

What can I expect? Well, I'd like to run U-24. Can I do it? I really don't know. Star is a believer in saying, "I will!" well, that's not my style. I think it intensifies the pressure and magnifies failure. IMHO it's better to state your goals and try. Accomplishing the goal is no more significant than trying to accomplish it. Yeah, yeah, I know what Yoda said, "either do or do not do, there is no try!" Well, Yoda's dead. Not only that, he's dead wrong. There is only try.

I'm going to try to run each of the first 6 laps in around 2:50. This will give me an hour leeway for the last two, in case I have a bit of a slow down. I believe I can do this, but my body may say otherwise on race day. 3 hour loops may be all I can manage, and that's ok. I believe I will finish comfortably within the race's time frame, and I do have a legitimate shot at 24. I believe I will make it.

This aint my first rodeo, it's my 14th, and 12 have ended with me still riding the bull at the bell. Let's hope this is lucky 13!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the.... Uncomfortable

The Good: as has been the case since I took over RD responsibilities for the Croom Fools Run, we sold out about a month before the race. The Bad: Not everyone gets in, and I really wish we could let them all in, but the park sets an absolute quota on the numbers that we can let run. Jim and I stick to this number, last year they questioned us, and we passed. Neither of us want to chance losing our permit by ticking them off (hence, we let Jim do most of the talking)

The uncomfortable: Please, if you want to get in, talk to me two months in advance. We aren't Western States, but it has been like 4 years in a row that we've sold out. Also, you have about 6 months to sign up. Jim and I find it hard to believe you train 8 months for a race, but don't try to sign up until 1 week before.

We really do want to accommodate everyone, sadly we cannot. A good alternative though, if you didn't get in, please don't put us in a bad spot and ask. Instead why don't you come up and volunteer for the day and we'll feed you (you may even talk me out of a beer, well, we will feed you anyway :)

Thank you so much for your kind support of Tampa Races, and the Croom Fools Run! We'll keep working to allow more to run, until then please keep working us to keep our permit!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Booking to Books!

Ok, I tried this once before, back when I had the Sony Walkman Cassette player (now that was fun, changing tapes as you run up a mountain!) and it didn't work very well, but nonetheless I'mtrying it again, running 100 miles to BOOKS! Booking to Books, I call it.

For Umstead the library let me borrow Joseph Ellis' smash hit book on CD, Founding Brothers, and Chuck Palahniuk's, Fight Club. I checked with the authors and they are fine with me putting them on my I-Tunes.

When I tried to listen to Caesar at Vermont in 2001 I had tape trailing miles behind me, this time my limitation will probably be battery life. I'd hate get 1/2 through the American Revolution and not find out who wins!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blog Fever!

My Good and great friend, Star was asking, "How much did you drink....", oh, wait, that's not where I was going with this..... She asked, "So, what's up with this 'Mr. Matt' stuff, junk, crap?"

Well, here's your answer Star Power, I have created blogs for my History and Psychology Classes, and so far I haven't figured out how to have different handles for each, hence I had to make the user name appropriate for the high school kids, and believe you me, (or is it believe me you, never could make sense out of that one) I don't want/need my students calling me "AndyMan."

"Have you taken AndyMan's test today?"
"What'd you do in AndyMan's class?"
"Man, that AndyMan is messed up?"

See, it's not nearly as respectful as Mr. Matt.

"How did you do on the exercise in learning in Mr. Matt's?"
"Is there an assessment in Mr. Matt's class today?"

As you know, this aint my first rodeo.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some Clean Jokes From Per. 8

Knock Knock
Who's There?
Phillip Who
Phillip the Gas, a running on Empty!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Amos Who?
A mosquito bit me!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Andy Who?
Andy he bit me again!

Mr. Mathews, why are you asking us for stupid jokes?

Gee, I don't feel like working, duh!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stupid Jokes 101

What do monsters eat? Things
What do monsters drink? Coke, because things go better with Coke!

Me: My dog doesn't have a nose.
They: How does he smell?
Me: Terrible!

Me: My dog doesn't have a tail.
They: How do you know when he's happy?
Me: He stops biting me!

Me: My dog doesn't have a nose.
They: Yeah you said that!

Me: Knock, Knock
They: Who's there?
Me: Cargo
They: Cargo who?
Me: Cargo Beep Beep!

Me: Knock, Knock
They: Who's There?
Me: Boo
They: Boo who?
Me: Ah, quit your crying, they'll be more jokes tomorrow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great Weekend of Running

Hey, beautiful weather, beautiful company!

Once again, I felt better at 30 Miles than at 10 Miles. Why? Well, two reasons:

1. We were running too fast at 10. From 18 on, I set my own pace, and I'm better judge of what my pace should be than other people are.

2. I know it's going to be a long day at mile 10, but I can see some progress and relax a bit towards the end.

What can I say, it just so happens that I know, Less is more!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Weather is Here

The weather is here, I wish you were, beautiful!Great weekend to run 40 Miles. Think I'll split it up: 10 on Saturday morning and 30 on Sunday morning. Sound good? Sounds Grrr8!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Aint Nuttin' But a Chicken Wing

I did it, and I'm not even sorry. I broke my lentin/Umstead vow.

I was feeling down in the mouth (which is fine for Dr. Frank, because he's a dentist) and I went to Beef o'Brady's and ordered up 6 extra crispy terriayki wings and 6 extra crispy sweet jalepeno wings.

I wasn't supposed to do it, but I did, and it made me feel better (until today. I have a touch of the winds. Think Blazing Saddles campfire scene)

All better now, still poor, still really lonely, but I'm ok with it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dough, Rey, Not Me!


If you don't have it you're dirt.

Just call me Joe Dirt I guess.
Several years ago I said, I'd never steal for it. Said I'd never break the law for it. Said I wouldn't whore myself out for it (see Bob Dylan, if you have questions on that one). Now, you better hope a close relative doesn't think you're better off amongst the non-living, because I'm a mechanic looking for something to fix. I believe I'll join the rest of the world and enjoy the shallow end for a while.
Fake boobs, fast cars, good booze, eating half a meal and throwing the rest away; bring it on! FTW baby, FTW!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Daunting, Possible, Not to Be

Gee, I'm getting tired of the, "He gave it his best" post, but here I go again.

The last Gasparilla Marathon was held held yesterday under ideal conditions. It would be a shame to see this race go, but the race committee was never sold on it, hence they never really sold it. I am sure a better race will take its place. Shoot, Jim Hartnet already holds a better marathon at Alafia Park. Still, it's a shame to think of a city as big as Tampa without an urban marathon. Shame on you Tampa, Shame on you GDCA!

Ok, had to get what Tampa's running community was thinking off my chest.

Now for my experience. I wanted to run a 3:50 with Davo and his pace group. I thought I could do it, but the 40 mile Sat/Sun overnight run 7 days prior to goal race left me with no realistic chance. Fortunately I found this out 11 miles into the race and not 20. So, after a bathroom stop split me from the group, I was able to slow down and enjoy the beautiful day.

I was very happy with my race, finishing between the 4 hour pace group and 4:10 pace group. I ran pretty much the entire race (these roadies don't ever stop and chat, and they rarely walk! I think I'll stay with the ultra crew!), finishing in under 10 minute miles. I definitely could have shaved 10 minutes or so had I been able to find my Advil, but it was lost and my feet were in lots of pain. Happily it wasn't my Plantar, rather it was my toes and balls of my feet that were on fire. That was the bad news, massive foot pain. The worse news was: it hurt more when I walked than when I ran, so I pretty much had to run! Bum-mer!

When the race was over I limped back to the car thinking, "I'll never be able to run tomorrow. Better call Andrea and tell her she's going solo." But then I found my Advil, took 800 mgs and that combined with 4 of Ireland's finest brews at 4 Greenfield's and I was feeling much better.

When I woke up this am, this AM thought once again about making the call to Andrea and bagging out. But, I figured, I'd give it go.

I'm really glad I did! After a rough start on tired legs, I quickly loosened up and started feeling better. The weather was perfect and Andrea and I did 20 miles in 3:45, not much slower than my marathon pace of the day before. It was effortless, and confidence building.

I've said it before, I may be slow, but I can be slow for a very long time, and even a very long way. 46.2 miles in two days over 7:45. I'll darn sure take that, darn sure!