Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Lots and lots of people! Lots and lots of fun!
Sarah and I with Sarah's oldest brother Isaac and his girlfriend, Allie Blue
Feeding a calf just a few days old
Thanksgiving celebration
Turkey Trot 5k in Rhinebeck, NY

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Hill at a Time 50K

The three 50K finishers The Race Directors, Volunteers and Frosty!
Saturday, November 14 was the One Hill at a Time 50K on the country roads near Concordia, KS. This was my second year in a row to run the 50K there. Again as last year, my friend Jesse Penna joined me for the run to help crew. You don't really need a crew for a 50K but it's nice and certainly helps. Besides, there was a six-mile loop that I kept running out of water with and I would've been much more dehydrated if Jesse weren't there to fill me up with water and heed. A little over half way through the run I realized that breaking the five hour mark was possible so I went and head and went for it, never stopping again for anything, not even for a second at an aid-station. So thanks to Jesse I finished in 4 hours 57 minutes and 35 seconds.

The One Hill at a Time course is on country roads that are completely un-Kansas-like. Every mile section has several hills, some are very, very steep. I joked that at least two of the hills are white capped with snow and go above timberline. I tried to run 75% or more of all the hills, just walking the steepest parts, but slowly and steadily to the top, and then would fly down the back side making up for any lost time. Leaving the aid station at the 25K mark I was at exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes. I was feeling fine but doubting my ability to run an even or negative split for an ultra. I've run a negative splits for marathons a few times but never in an ultra. I've tended to fade a bit near the end of 50K's or 50 milers, which is understandable? But this time with a decent taper since the Run for Missions 100 miler a few weeks ago and lots of miles under my legs in the summer and fall, I was able to pick up the pace. The last 6 miles I ran just about 9 minute miles and the last 2 were faster than that with the last mile sub 8, I believe.

It was a beautiful day in Kansas with a light cool breeze from the north but plenty of sunshine. Once again, the race directors and volunteers were an absolute blast and a great joy! From an inflatable Frosty the Snowman to the friendliest and most-encouraging and supportive aid station volunteers, the race is just a blast! When it was all over, after catching my breath, I felt like I really didn't want to leave! We waited for the other runners to come in, finishing the 50k and stood around talking and sharing stories. The run grew from last year by what appeared to be about two-fold. Likewise, the 50K field while small, was twice as big as last year, though one runner had to drop at mile 25 due to a foot problem. The second-place runner finished about 30 min or so behind me and the next runner only about 20 min or so behind him. There were also options for 5K, 10K, 15K, and 25K including a 10K relay. I highly recommend the run for 2010 to everybody!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Aunt Linda!

Last night Linda admitted that it was an "unusually good" birthday! Happy Birthday, Aunt Linda! #43. Yesterday evening we had dinner (yep, lasagna! and garlic bread) and then chocolate cake for dessert (Linda's request). Thanks to Andrew for prepping the meal! Those attending in addition to Linda, Andrew and I: Jennifer, Mom, Katie, Kenzie, and Kenny.

November Garden Update (Still Bloomin'!)

The average date of the first killing fall frost in Wichita, KS is October 28th. The historical latest fall freeze is November 21, 1944. The historical earliest fall freeze is September 22, 1995.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Run For Missions 2009 Report

Link to Run for Missions 2009 Reports and Pictures from Tim, Allen, Gabe, and I on the Run for Missions blog:

Rock Creek 50K

A little late and a little scarce with details, but Saturday, October 24th was the Rock Creek 50K at Lake Perry. It was the second time I've run the 50K there and this year was even better than the first.

My goal was anything sub 6 hours so I tried to come into the half way mark at 2:45 elapsed time but it felt too fast to push it that much so I ended arriving at 2:55 and leaving the aid station at 2:58 elapsed time for the first half. That means I had to run an equal or negative split to finish in 6 hours. I cruised along through the most of the 15 mile loop without incident, watching for rocks and roots and other trip hazards. With your eyes on the ground avoiding a fall, you see everything on the ground. Around mile 25 on this day, it meant I saw a snake! I yelled and turned around and ran backwards! From a safe distance I saw the snake slither into a hole so I worked up the guts to sprint on past the sighting-spot. Then within 10 minutes running along the trail, all the sudden I heard a terrible sound, a horrific rustle in the woods only 10 feet away. It was so much racket that I was sure, absolutely sure that I was about to be attacked by at best a bear (which we do not have in KS I don’t think) or at worst a monster (even less logically valid I think?)! Preparing for the attack I kept running, a lot faster, and turned my head to the right to see and hear a Monster-Turkey (I think the Turkey was about twice as big as me according to my memory!), now gobbling and flapping its wings. Apparently I was just as scared of it as it was of me! Enough drama for one trail run within 10 minutes!

I came into the finish in 6 hours and 5 minutes and 59 seconds, finishing 8th place out of 20 some people. There was this guy from the Topeka area running behind me the whole way, his first ultra, I never got his name, but he was obviously a really good runner and it was fun to share the trail and experiences in finishing ultras with him. All the fuel he had to start off with was 2 Baby Ruth candy bars. I shared some gels with him.

Didn’t make the sub 6 hour goal on this trail 50K but I was close and I’ll get it next time/next year/whenever the opportunity comes up again!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Honey From The Rock (Reunion with Sarah in New York)

Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! ...But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." Psalm 81:1,16 NIV