Monday, July 23, 2012

Vermont 100 Race Report - George

It starts where they all seem to start, sitting on the couch with a beer in one hand and the computer in another.

The original plan for 2012 was to train through the winter, complete MMT, then do the VT100K as a fun run.  But there I was sitting looking at the entrants list when I realize I hadn't done anything really stupid in weeks, so I upgraded.  Truth be told, I DNF'd last year at VT100 and wanted to even the score.  I couldn't help myself.

So, with  just 9 weeks from MMT, I tried to recuperate, train and get myself ready.  This was about 1/3 of the time I needed.  Realizing, I would be going into the race at about 85%, this back of the packer decided to arm himself with a little bit more than an angry attitude.  I usually do not like a pacer and consider the night hours to be walking and running slow and getting ready for a rebirth and final push at the last 25 miles.  I did not believe I had this option this time.  My first and only choice was fellow Trail Monster, The Val.  When she accepted, I took this as a very good sign.

The thing about Vermont is what may work for other guys about this race does not work for me.  I do not run well in the heat and the smooth hard gravel roads and level terrain seem to slam me hard toward the end.  But still, I had to complete it.

Getting ready to start, I spend some awesome time with fellow TM's who will be running and crewing.  I breifly wonder how many other teams will be taking home more buckles than this one.

4 a.m. off like a herd of turtles.  The first miles go by pretty uneventful, it is still cool and all is well.  I am chatting with some old friends and spend sometime running with them.  It was nice to catch up and see they are still well.

I run into an old friend Scott and we spend sometime running and casually chatting.  I remark to him, I can't believe my quads already feel trashed at 25 miles.  He says to me, his too, but what are going to do, they aren't going to get any better forget about it.  This is the perfect answer for me and one I would have given him.

We hit some pretty good climbs and it's warming up, but still not bad.  Just before, my first time into 10 Bear I run into Annie and it lifts my spirits.  I am doing as good as to be expected on time, feeling the usual tiredness of 50 miles, but still nothing much to bitch about.

Here comes the drama queen stuff.  A couple of weeks ago I stressed out my neck muscles at work and retweeked them after the Scuffle.  I rested all week and they felt not perfect but better.  At 53 years old, you can't let every ache and pain you have stop you from doing what you love.

So who'd thought, after 50 miles into a 100 miler my neck would start to spaz out and progressively get to the point that I was standing in the middle of the road, unable to move, thinking that my plan of revenge at the VT100 was turning into the worst case scenario of a double DNF.  I started taking some Advil, but still no relief.  Another runner goes by me while I am standing in pain swearing out loud. He asked me if there was anything he could do.  I asked if he had any Advil, he says no,  but he says he has 2 tylenol soft caps that should act quickly.  I swallow without water, as lifting my water bottle was way too painful. I started stumbiling down the road trying to will my body foward.  I kept my left arm straight by my side and wrapped my other arm behind my back and applied a downward pressure to pull the neck muscles that were spazzing on that side down.  This plus the drugs allowed me to stumble forward slowly.  I swore some more and willed myself to stay angry.  I was at war with myself. 

Slowly I was able to cover a tenth or two of a mile between spasms.  I still had to keep my arm straight and pull on it with the other one and fashion some sort of running walking, but the ache and spasms did not stop.  After a long 20 miles I am coming down toward 10 Bear for the second time.  I see Annie and start yelling for some Biofreeze which I slop on the back of my neck and shoulder.  I grab a handful of caffiented Gu's as all these drugs were making me sleepy.  Off to 10 Bear I go.

I tried to weigh in and get through the medical check as quickly as possible and without a spasm that would require answers.  This was my war and they weren't invited.  Not too many things went right for me the second 50 miles, but having Val as my pacer was my one smart move.  I tell her her I am sorry I am late and will explain how my day is going once we get moving.  I then proceed to unload my list of problems and tell her there is no way I am stopping and I hope she was up to it.  Of course, she was. Before the race, she asked if there was anything special she needed to do as a pacer.  I told  her to just be The Val.  Those that know her will understand this is a requirement that only she could fill.  This would be the beginning of 30 miles, 11 hours of more than I would expect from any pacer.  She played her part perfect in every way.  She was The Val.  So there we were slowly moving down the road setting short obtainable goals and working toward them.  We figured out what time we waned to be at a certain aid station and what pace we would have to maintain.  Keeping me on track, helping me at aid stations and great conversation were vital to me finishing. This was The Val.  Around 89 miles we caught up to Xar and her runner who was was also having problems.  I offer some Biofreeze and offer up Xar to apply it on her back and butt.  I hope she can forgive me. After that we settle into the back of the packers death march.  There really is an upside to this.  You get to share time with many other runners who are fighting there own battles and you try to help them to hang in there as they are you.  Around this time, old friend Scott catches up with his son as pacer.  I am very happy to see he is doing well.  We talk and then it is time for him to finish his race. 

Val is being super supportive as only Val can to all the other runners who are fighting hard.  I think that many of them have pacer jealousy, because I surely had the best deal going.  We run into Ryan at Mile 95, who is also a spirit booster as only he can.  Then before you know it, we are almost done.

Though I was in alot of pain still, I really enjoyed the last 5 milles,  down the hill and to the finish.  I am very happy to hear of other TM's success stories.  The thought of doing another 100 miler right now is about appealing as sticking needles in my eyes.  But then again, I am sitting on a couch with a beer in one hand and a computer in the other.

Who doesn't like a little cowbell ?

This weekend was amazing!

We headed out to VT, George was running the VT100.  He had some business to finish.  Luckily he had Super Pacer with him to get the deed done.   Val would be crucial in this task.  He shared with me some on the way home and said, ''that isn't even the half of it'',  but that is his and her tale to tell.

We stayed at a neat B&B about 1/2 mile down the road from Camp 10 Bear.  I had an outstanding spot to see runners twice.  I saw them as they were coming up from their first stop at Camp 10 Bear (47ish miles maybe) and heading down to their second check in at Camp 10 Bear (70 miles).  I had an elaborate plan to hang George's TMR shirt between two post, have cocktails to offer non runner peeps that may come by and ring my Pineland Farm cowbell.  The only success of this plan was the cowbell.  Boy do people love a good cowbell when they are heading up a decent hill in the heat of the day.  I got all sorts of comments about more cowbell and people were smiling and thanking me for the support.  100 milers are an interesting breed and all seemed to enjoy a good cowbell. 

It was super fun to be in this ideal location to see up close this amazing event unfolding!!  And even more amazing, it was the exact first point the 100 mile leaders would cross paths with other runners!  Totally beyond words, but a moment in time (like many others of this weekend) I will never forget!

The Trail Monsters totally rocked it with outstanding and beyond dream races.  The TMR performances were not only of those running (beyond words amazing), but of the dedication of those supporting the runners. They each have incredible stories to tell of the 2 days. I had beyond great fun spending time with Val and Xar, they are very special people.   George treated us to dinner, although he couldn't attend as he was probably at mile 60 and dining on Gu.  I hadn't thought about food and was starving.  Val and Xar needed some nourishment before they took on their pacer duties and were also starving, so we headed out for some eats. Val made Big Brad tee-shirts to wear as they paced.  It was fun, we looked like triplets with our Big Brad tee-shirts on as we headed into town.  I am also so thankful for Ryan. He made me laugh so hard, but reassured me that every little thing was gonna be alright.  The accounts of his few days, are something you just can't imagine, but again, his tale to tell.

As I sit here typing this post, I am smiling and tearing up at the same time. My head is totally reeling from all the amazingness.  Amazing weekend, amazing people, amazing fun!

More cowbell anyone?  Oh ya!

Keep dreaming!

summer dress/tmr tech tee/crocs/cowbell

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I got out for a quick up and around this morning.  I must have shut my alarm off this morning, so I woke up later than usual.  I'm glad I still opted to head out for a quick one.

The temp was comfortable.  Not a single soul was stirring except one deer fly and two corgis.  I enjoyed it!

Hope y'all have a wonderful day!

Keep dreaming!

skirt/tech tee/streets

Monday, July 16, 2012

Looking for Inspiration in all the right places

"Walk far enough, life gets simple.. Life gets simple enough, things start to make sense.''  Chris Douglass 

If you want to find a good healthy dose of inspiration, the Bradbury Trail Running Series is a good place to start.

Today we ran the Bradbury Scuffle.  The crowd was sell out plus.  The race is described as a mix of single and double-track trails with a few rolling hills, a great introduction to Maine trail running. Ian, dedicates, this race to CHRIS DOUGLASS. Ian in his pre-race dedication today moved the crowd as he described Chris,  a Trail Monster runner and adventurer who’s life ended too soon.  Since the start of the series, I've been moved and inspired by stories of Chris and by sharing time with Linda, Jerry and Bethany.  Amazing people.

The race didn't start until 11, we slept in a little later than usual.  As we drank our coffee, George was reading and I was checking FB.   George went out to water the garden and I decided for fun I would check last year's results, to figure out what I might want to do for a time.  At this time I realized, the race started at 9.  I ran outside and told George, oops I made a slight error in the start time.  Since it was now after 7 and Bradbury is a long drive for us, we dressed in just a few minutes, threw some things including trail shoes in a bag and off we were.

As we headed to Bradbury, we saw Dave who is training for VC100 running to the race.  We like everyone else it seemed stopped to offer him a ride.  He refused the offers, it was part of his training. Amazingly inspiring and this was before the race.

We got to Bradbury, the place just seemed to be exploding with energy. I picked up our numbers as George got his shoes on.

We gathered at the start.  So many familar, excited and happy faces.  The crowd included many talented and inspiring trail runners including the Trail Monsters who are running the VT100, pacing and crewing next weekend.  Ian looking beyond ready for the VT100, gave the pre-race instructions and moving dedication and we were off.  I settled in my usual back of the pack and found myself behind Jerry.   I mentioned to Jerry, I'd like to hang with him as best I can.  He's a much better runner than I am, he mentioned because of some health issues recently, he was looking to just finish. We moved along and I even think we were quicker during the second part of the race.  At one point, we thought we went off course.  I ran a bit ahead to look for a marker.  I saw one, we were still on course.   I must say, the race today was the most inspiring and fun I've had trail running.  Although the day was quite warm, I never once was not in the moment moving along and inspired with each step.  I honestly have no idea what my time was, and may never look, but was pleased to finish with Jerry.  Although, he really had much more than me at the end and actually waited for me at one point, we finished together.

Ian, at the end of the Scuffle awards someone on the course the Chris Douglass award.  It's awarded to someone who shares the spirit, adventure and the love of trail running like Chris.  That award this year went to Jerry and feel honored to have run with him today.

I learned alot today about running and life from someone who knows alot about both and it all seemed simple and clear, one foot in front of the other.

Thanks to Ian and all the volunteers for a great day. Thanks Linda for the ice cold watermelon at the end. The tee shirts as always for the Bradbury series both dirt and snow, awesome.

 Looking for a dose of inspiration?  There are a limited number of spots left for the the next two races in the series so sign up or read this story, . I've never seen the Forcaster in our area.  As we quickly ran into Hannaford on our way home, there it was right when I walked in.

Have a great day!

Keep dreaming!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I was up early and could hear chattering on the other side of the lake.  I waited until it was a bit lighter before I headed out for a shortie to ''the other side.''  Since the Scuffle is tomorrow, I just wanted to get out and stretch.  On the other side, the chattering came from peeps who I imagine are on vacation and enjoying the ability to drink 24/7 while sitting lakeside.  I ran into a fox coming my way and decided to turn and head back.  I envisioned for a second or two it was running after me.  Of course it wasn't.  As I returned home it was great to stop and realize sounds of a variety of chattering from tons of birds and whatever else is adding to nature's melody.  Ahhhhh...deep breath and right on cue a cock a doodle doo.

Have a great day!

Keep dreaming!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dump Trumps Post

I like to write my little diddy right after my run.  When I got back,  I needed to sign on to work for a bit and then George was heading to the dump.  I enjoy a trip to the dump.  I don't know why, but I always get a kick out of the goings on there.  So my write up was delayed.

I got out at 5:30.  George headed out ahead of me.  I knew now where the blueberry picking was happening, so I ran to where I knew he would be.  I ran a bit further than where he was raking, actually an abbreviated version of my BL.  As I swung back, George was ready to head back.  I thoroughly enjoyed our jaunt back.  Because he was carrying a huge Ziploc of blues, it was a great pace for me.  We chatted about who knows what the whole way back and I loved it.  

Keep Dreaming!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A tad chilly

Still recovering from a later than normal Sunday night, I slept a bit later than usual this morning.  I then proceeded to shut all the windows upon waking up and procrastinated going out to run.  I was actually cold.

I did get out and it was cold which was good as I ran faster than I probably would have.  I did a quick up and around.  I got frightened by what I think was a dog.  Whatever ever it was, it was more afraid of me and bounded off.  It would be nice if this weather continue through to VT.

Looks like it will be absolutely beautiful today.  I need to go out and look at my garden.  Something is eating all the heads of all my flowers.  Flower box flowers were eaten to little nubs.  I'm thinking maybe a deer.

Have a great day!

Keep dreaming!

Monday, July 9, 2012


I woke up this morning thinking about the yummy crab cakes from last night.  As a result, my whole run was filled with, ''those were so delish'',  ''glad I took three'',  ''I wonder if I could make those'', ''there must be recipes on Pinterest''. 

What a fun and beautiful day yesterday was for Jamie and Kate.  A day filled with smiles and lots of talk about VT.

Preoccupied by thoughts of food, my run was meager at best.  I ran to where I thought George could be found.  He has a blueberry rake stashed out the woods and during some of his runs, he will stop to rake and I thought I knew where I could find him, but I must have been too early.  I continued on, but he was no where around.  I headed back and remembered I still have a whoopie pie to enjoy sometime today...I think it's going to be sooner than later.

Have a great day.

Keep dreaming!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blue Skies and Blueberries

I got out this morning  at about 5 or 5:30 returning a bit after 7 for a nice 2 or so hour run.  I will start to use my garmin soon so I'm able to see my distance, but for now I am happy just running.  The garmin is the necessary evil at least for a few runs.

The skies were blue and the trails were lined with blueberries, it was a beautiful morning.

Someone else was out, he was putting his boat in and on the way back it looked as though he was doing some fishing.

I ran some of my BL.  I tend to like to go into the trails through a dirt road which seems like it may or may not be some one's driveway.  I know during the winter the owner educated me as to where the trail was and I notice they have piled up some sand maybe to block one such trail runner. Oh well, I wasn't spotted and it provided a little bit of danger not to get caught. 

I was hoping to run into George along the way, I left before him, but other than few shoe prints, I didn't see him.

Looking forward to a fun day!  Enjoy everyone!  It's a beauty!

Keep Dreaming!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saving the Spider Web

We weren't sure if we would be sleeping early last night as our neighbors were having a big party which included fireworks. However, we put the fan on and really didn't hear a thing, so we were able to get to bed early and a have a good night's sleep.  So luckily I was able to wake up my usual early time and get out.

After a brief chat with Kate on FB as to why we were up so early,  I headed out the door.  As I headed over the dam I noticed the spider had been working the night shift again, however this time I ducked under the web and didn't disturbed it or get web all over me.

As usual, the run was beautiful, no one was out except  for the birds and me...and oh ya and a deer fly.  The deer fly followed me the whole way and at one point I realized how useful it would be to have a tail like a horse to swat it.  I continued along my way and saw a dark mound in front of me..what was that... a giant pile of moose droppings (moose on the brain)??  As I got closer, I saw it was a piece of clothing.  I decided to stop to investigate. I tend to like investigating things.  It was a beach dress, my story for this dress was that it fell of the back of a 4wheeler, it was size XL and had that combo smell of cigs and perfume.  I decided to use this as my horse tail.  I picked it up and for the duration of my run swung it around my head and side to side like a tail to swat away the deer fly.  It worked and it was sort of fun.

My run was a somewhat modified SC training loop.  I'm pretty sure I left the house around 4:30 and I was back at around 7, so I was happy with my time spent on my feet.  Overall, very pleased to have done this solid run.

On my way back, the spider web was gone, I figured George must have had the pleasure of running through it, as he was just getting up as I was heading out, although I didn't see him anywhere along the way.

Not sure what the weather is for today. It looks a bit like rain right now.  But I know tomorrow will be nice, huge congrats to Kate and Jamie, tomorrow is their big day!!

Have a wonderful day!

Keep Dreaming!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Spider Web

I got out early.  It was the best of both worlds.  It wasn't too dark, but I could see the moon and some stars.  As I finished up it was daylight.

As I left the house, George said, ''watch out for wild animals.'' I immediately started out with Joe W's story of the skunk on the course at the Western States in my head.  Of course, this tends to be my fear, getting sprayed by a skunk or attacked by a fox.  At one point, I imagined a moose was out and about, but it seemed to be just the sounds of a duck or or two.   I was just settling into a zone and I ran through a spider web as I crossed over the dam.  What a weird unexpected feeling that was, totally unexpected.  I just ruined a spider's night shift work in the matter of 2 seconds.  So strange.

I decided I would do the up around twice in a row, instead of leaving it to the tail end, so I wouldn't be tempted to skip it.  This worked well,I  hardly remember doing it the second time.

Another beauty of a day!


Keep Dreaming!

streets/yogish shorts/tech tee

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Over the Other and Up and Around X 2

I stuck with the plan of tacking a bit on each run and it was a good choice.  Combined with my still no thinking it was a really great run. 

I know there are days when thinking needs to be done to work through brain creaks, but why go there when there are no nagging creaks, body or mind.  So thinkingless today was great.  When my mind started to wander, I focused on BB, Belly Breathing and thought be gone!  A great refreshing run, 'over the other and up and around twice.'.

Happy 4th! 

Keep dreaming!

tt/cs/inovs/hat/sunglasses/bug spray

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

To Think or Not To Think

The following is one of my favorite quotes:
Author's note: I was recently asked what I think about while I run for 24+ hours. After quite a few minutes of deep deliberation I concluded that I really think about nothing at all.     * Stephen Wells, Livestrong Maine

After listening to conversations Friday night, I decided this quote was my plan for this morning's run. Result ...I like not thinking!

OUTSTANDING conditions for an outstanding start to the day!  I almost forgot my ''thought'' was to tag on a tad more, so I added on the perimeter of our yard.  Successful day so far.

Enjoy your day, it's a beauty!
Keep Dreaming
inovs/tech tee/yogaish shorts

Monday, July 2, 2012

Feeling Good!

After a day of not feeling well..everything ached..from a sore throat to every joint hurting, today I feel good.  I went out for a brisk pre dawn walk, itsy, bitsy run.  It looks like it's going to be a nice day!!

George is already out and about running and he went past me as he headed home for a bio break.  I'm really feeling good as he has a pacer for VT!!!!  It all just happened like it was so meant to be Friday night.  While at the Team Burphy celebration, Val became his pacer.  I cannot explain how good this makes me feel...he is truly in the best Super Pacer hands.

Have a good day everyone..I know I will!

Keep Dreaming!