Friday, September 28, 2012

Virgil Quick Come See!

I copied this from the Town of Virgil website, ''Our American culture got it’s start in places like Virgil, New York and the qualities of our early settlers can still be seen in the people who live here today. Their pioneer spirit, civic-mindedness, and friendly hospitality live on in today’s Virgil residents.''  Ummm..sounds alot like the Trail Monsters.  A perfect fit for amazing team, amazing spirit, amazing accomplishments and fun!

The journey began at the Virgil Fire Station where, drop bags were left and race pics were taken and bibs were picked up.  Appropriately freebie bumper stickers Squirrel eyed said, ''It ain't for Sissies.''  The TMR crew probably would need to look up the definition of the word sissies as there were none among this crew. Excitement at packet pickup was right on cue and went smoothly.

We headed to Hairy Tony's for pre race eating. An odd name for a restaurant, but decent food.  The pickings of the group ranged from salad, sammies, fish and chips, quesadillas, pizza and a huge slab of beef (David's choice, of course).  The food seemed to fit the bill and it was on to early retirement for the next day's events.

TMR's converged at the start/finish in darkness, lit by well powered headlamps and James bedazzled TMR tee.  It was chilly but the vibes were warm.  They were off and running soon around the lake into the trails.  Story told, Scout's Bada$$ got grabbed by a stranger at the start.  Rick and I headed to a random spot for the first sighting and Ian went on to organize crewing/support/pacer/all around TMR leader duties.

Although as per usual my sense of where it was was way off, we arrived in time to see James' bling, David (for a quick glimpse), Joe and the ''Just for Fun'' gang all go past.  All were already enjoying their journey or focusing on their goals whatever the case was for each.

We then headed to Lift House aid station. I was quite pleased to have Bruce (Rick) drive George's car for me, due to my directionally challenged especially in foreign areas driving skills. We arranged the ''Just for Fun'' drop bags so they would be in an easy to find group.  Ian was quick to notice the turn to the aid station didn't seem well marked and ran to the end of the road to ensure the lead runners headed in.  I was majorly impressed with Ian's RD insight and sense of detail. 

It didn't taken long to see, TMR bling.  James looked awesome.  David, truth be told, looked frantic and fast, Joe, was well Joe, strong, steady pace, unmistakable stride and along came the gang, Scout, Squirrel and George, all looking outstanding.  It was fun to see them all looking so great!  Ian was helping everyone and soon they were all out and headed up and up all in great spirits.

Bruce headed back as he was hooking up with the '' Fun Group'' at some point to get some miles in.  I dropped him at the hotel and my 15 minute trek back turned into much longer by getting lost, but finally making it back to the hotel to do some status updates and check out of the hotel.

I headed back to the start finish, daring not to attempt any aid stations for fear of getting lost and during this time throughout waiting for the 100 milers completed the Acorn Hat. :)

Ryan updated me on the progress of all runners and was sure to let me know George's status throughout.  He amazingly was able to give me rough ideas of when the 100 milers would arrive.  First to come in was James.  I was so proud to be associated with the TMR group and James as he was one of the 100 mile leaders.  Surprisingly, James had to ask where he should go and I feel like I crazily was screaming ''this way James.''  His aid station stop was swift and he was out looking fresh and fast to his next 50.

David was next to come in.  I remember feeling a little nervous, but reminding myself, this was already 50 miles.  I couldn't tell if he was limping.  Mindy and Josh were amazing, they attended to his every need.  I snapped a pic and didn't want to interrupt any of their prep for the next 50 miles.  So I went back to my car and which was front row to observe him heading out sometime later.  The story has it, he ate a full BBQ dinner at this point.

I waited for Joe and checked with Ryan for an update.  I got out of the car and waited for a bit and then checked with check in after checking and rechecking his number.  They didn't have him coming in yet.  I went into the barn and he was aid station grazing. I was told later, he snuck in from the side and they missed him.  Again, not wanting to break any 100 mile mojo body and mindset I didn't know if I should approach him.  I tried snapping a pic, but he moved past me.  Then the funniest and maybe scariest part of my whole VC100/50 happened.  I wanted to pass along the fact that Ryan was updating TM nation via FB to Joe as I sensed he may have hit a bad patch.  Last year relaying Ryan's play by play of the race and funny quips on the TMR site really helped bring George out of a funk.  So I say to Joe (nervously, as he caveman style is ripping a chunk of bagel with his teeth). ''Ryan's following you'', Joe, ''who's Ryan?'', me nervously, ''Triffitt''...Joe, ''oh ya.''  Me horrified, ''how ya doin'''...Joe, ''alright''...I then watched him move on and back out.  I nervously reported back to TM control headquarters, Ryan.  Ryan of course responded, ''LOL.  Then he's doing what he should."   Phew...I could let that whole scene go....this was typical for Joe.

A bit later, while checking times in the barn, I ran into Bruce again.  We then began our nervous waiting for the ''Just for Fun Gang.''  Bruce had a rough idea of around 14 hours and George was about a 1/2 hour behind.  We had a few false alarms, but had fun trying to detect them by the height range of headlamps for S&S.  Bruce finally determined them coming in and it was confirmed with Val's back blinking light. It seemed to me their pace was quite strong and quick which was a great sight. He went down to meet them.  I ran to the finish to attempt a pic in the dark.  They arrived and quickly headed to the hotel to shower.  Chafing was bad from their 50 mile jaunt and it was quite cold at this point. I was sure to urge them out of the cold, although they wanted to wait for George.  I knew George was fine and wouldn't want them in the cold.  Bruce escorted them to the car like the Rock Stars they were.  50 miles done and they were perfectly normal.

Shortly later, I headed to the point coming up from the lake where some people head onto the road, instead of the path to the finish.  (This is how Joe came in during my infamous sighting of him.  He also headed out the same way, but I wasn't going to tell him any different).  I was pretty glad to be there, as I was able to direct a few in the right direction.  Before I knew it, George came up, said, ''hi'', recognized it was me standing in the dark and went on in and finished up in good spirits.  50 miles done.

We all then converged at the resort. and went on James watch.  We figured maybe 2 a.m., so Mindy, George and I traveled down at 1:30.  It was kind of hard getting updates, but we some how figured out it would be later than we planned.  We went back and then back out at least one more time and then waited.  I'm not quite sure of time. We were told, the 2nd place guy had dropped and James was second.  We cheered the winner and then crazily cheered the next runner, but then realized it wasn't James.  Second place guy hadn't dropped.  Scout at some point before 2nd place guy joined the watch and we all squished in our Virgil and NYC bound packed car.  We dozed off and on, over explained our rumbling stomachs, drank kind of rough coffee and nibbled on day old Tim bits. 

We somehow anticipated James' arrival and he came in to his amazing 3rd place finish.  100 mile finishes believe it or not can be anticlimactic for the first finishers as most spectators are either sleeping to rest up for a finish or crewing their guy.  It was pretty crazy though, we cheered wildly and maybe even shed a tear or two. We headed back, went out for breakie and went back to wait for David.  Ian assured us, he would be in shortly. Ian had paced him through the night, so we knew he was fine.

David arrived with Mindy (the other Mindy) completing an amazing 7th place first time 100 mile finish.  Covered in dried up mud with his most amazing and devoted crew, Mindy, he finished all smiles, hugs and again, maybe a few tears (at least on my part  :) ).  We all checked out his buckle and admired his accomplishment.   I really have to mention the devotion of Mindy (the other Mindy's) crewing.  Simply amazing!

At this point, we heard Joe was going to be a bit.  With little to no sleep, we opted to head out for our NYC 3:00 check in to avoid any night driving.  But, with no doubt, Joe finished his 3rd 100 of the year.  I'm sure he's got a good story to tell!

All and all, a great time, amazing and inspiring weekend!  Go TMR Ultra Group!!

Keep dreaming!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

NYC, the way after

Since this isn't a race report really, I'll start with some highlights of the way after of the VC100 and 50.

We always travel to NYC after big races.  Although this wasn't a 100 for George, it was a big event so we went per our usual ritual. 

Since we (I) had slept less the an hour in 24 hours, we got to NYC and got right out after checking in.  We headed where ever and found ourselves in the middle of an Italian Street Festival.  It semi-blew our minds.  From Italian we then rambled along the outskirts of China Town and Canal Street.  Along the way, we ate a $1.00 slice of pizza from 2 Brothers Pizza. Always fresh, always hot, always tasty.  We decided we would head back to the hotel, take a nap and head out later.  Being so exhausted, we slept until 3.  

Since we were in the city that never sleeps, we headed to a favorite restaurant, Empanada Mama's.  It's open 24 hours and difficult to get into during ''normal hours''.  This was AWESOME.  We rambled through NYC, Times Square like we owned it.  People were around, but hardly any.  We witnessed our first NYC rat, scampering past us in Times Square.  At the restaurant, George got a breakfast offering, I got full on empanadas, guac, plantains,  and a side of yellow rice.  While there, we had front row seats to some drunken after bar peeps who kept having fist fights.  It was our entertainment. It did make me a little nervous.  They were at outside seats, so luckily we were inside.  We also had espressos, so we were powered to keep going. 

At some point George headed back, I went off exploring, shopping and visiting GMA.  The days blended, and we walked tons.  While heading down from walking over the Brooklyn Bridge one of the days, NYC PD were heading up, someone was up there threatening to jump. I've heard tons of jokes over the years about such things, but this really saddened me.  The pedestrian path was then shut down, helicopters were overhead and the street traffic was outrageous as sirens abound.  We randomly walked into City Hall to use the bathroom.  Who knew there would be a line for marriage licenses and people waiting to be married.  It was so cool, I even shed a few tears as couples of all kinds were getting married.  I imagined this may be where they shot, Carrie and Mr. Big getting married. I more than totally loved this random experience.  Other highlights involved a trip to Chinatown in search of dumplings, fittingly dubbed, ''The DumplingTour.'' We found the best dumplings, being hand rolled by an older women, priced at an unimaginable 5 for $1.00, they were delish.  No celeb spotting, (except GMA celebs and guests) but walked through the hustle and bustle of the President's trip and motorcade throughout town that day.  I wanted to hang around the excitement, but we didn't.  We walked a ton of side streets and found tons of cool things. I was randomly selected to be interviewed by Billy on the Street.  It all happened so quick. I had no idea what was happening and answered the question about Katy Perry's cat's name wrong. I may be on an episode because I had to sign a release for it to be aired.  We randomly booked another night's stay, George has found that hotel prices drop drastically ''the day of.''  As with all things, our time ended and we headed home on Wed.  Along the trip, I found I LOVE DD Pumpkin Spice Coffee!  Yum, home delivery to Waterboro, ME please.

All and all, tons of fun after ''The Main Event''.  OK, I'll write about my actual experience in Virgil, NY and TMR race sightings of both the 100 and 50 later on.  I need to go for a run now!.

Keep Dreaming!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

When training goes bad, it's good!

I wanted to be on my feet for 4 hours today.  I ended up doing 3.25.

I started a bit later than I wanted to, but was glad to see George off to Bradbury and then get ready and head out.  I was experimenting today with a different water belt.  It seemed good for the Birthday FA, so I was pretty excited to use it today.  Not a mile into the run and I realized it wasn't going to work.  I thought, I should probably go home and change it out, but I was hoping it would work out.  It didn't.  I ditched it less than half way in to my intended run.

George mentioned to me what I should eat before I head out.  I sort of forgot to do it.  I also thought last night I should make a PB&J and take it with me.  I didn't.  So needless to say, I was craving PB&J about half way through.  I figured, don't ask me why, 2 Gu's would do the trick after having one before I left the house.  Some guy almost hit me on the dirt road.  OK, it was early for normal people, but he was heading right for me and it wasn't dark.  A squirrel fell hard from a tree right next to me as I headed up Abbott Mountain. I almost had a heart attack.  There was probably more, but it was really all good.

It was nice to run through Nature Conservancy Trails and head up Abbott Mountain.  I haven't run up there for awhile.  I'm glad I know that belt won't work and pretty glad the nutrition thing was a bust.  All good for next time.  So when training goes bad, it really is good! 

What a wonderful day it is out there!  I'm patiently waiting for George to come home with Bruce's Burritos and hear all about his run! 

I hope y'all had great runs today!

Keep dreaming!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Virgil quick come see...

My playlist song as I finished my run was, ''Virgil quick come see''.  Perfect, as we look forward to adventures at the VC100.  I couldn't have ended the run any happier.

My run was GREAT! Accompanied by Bob Dylan most of run, along with crisp clean air.. total recon.  I really don't know what that word means and I will look it up, but I've decided my Friday runs are from this day forward referred to as my ''Recon Run'' or maybe RR.

Have a great day! 

Keep dreaming!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bradbury Bruiser Race Report

The gnarly course and infamous ''O'' was our destination for today.

Today we ran the Bradbury Bruiser.  The Bruiser course is described as ''a crazy twisting, turning 12 mile loop of single-track trails filled with rocks, roots, bumps and hills. Save something for the last two miles, this is where you will earn your bruises.''

I tried my best not to focus on the last 2 miles trying hard to convince myself that the ''O'' trail wouldn't be so bad. Linda and I ran it last week missing an important turn and ended up running 4 and something miles rather than the real 2 miles or so.  My mindset was, I can certainly run 2 miles today and survive, since I ran 4 of it last week.  With this is mind, I wasn't really super psyched out as in past years.

The start of the race was exciting.  The crowd lined up as Ian gave directions.  Since I was way back of the pack and a bit excited at the start, I remember only hearing a thanks to the volunteers. Since the volunteers are outstanding throughout the whole series there was a large round of applause.  I enjoyed the vibe of the back of the packers, everyone was excited.

Since I typically start and finish in the same line up, I had fun throughout the race adjusting my strategy.  I ran with Jerry the first 2 races, but I figured he was probably feeling better these days and he would probably being doing a quicker pace.  I was happy to see Jerry before the start and hear he was feeling better. He was going to see what happened as far as pace. I knew this meant we would not be running together.   I adjusted my strategy to try to run with Pete as much as I could as he was lining up with us in the back.  I really knew this wouldn't be possible, but it took my mind off my original plan.  I was happy to stick with him and his crew for a very short time.  Surprisingly Jerry ended up not being too far ahead of me, so I caught up and I hung behind him for awhile.  I then switched to, ''as long as I can keep him in eye range'', but he pulled away.  We had a good little group for a bit, Linda, Autumn and Lady in Red (I think). Lady in Red passed by at some point and I remember Linda going past me at some point. It finally settled down to Autumn and me.

It was fun to run with Autumn, we ran and chatted. We were pleasantly surprised when we came upon the last aid station.  We then moved on to the final 2 miles and I was more than thrilled to have the company on the ''O'' trail.  I was thankful to have someone to check in with to ensure we were on track with the twists and turns, ups and downs.  I was more than thrilled each time we would come upon an arrow and would let out a ''yay''!  The marking this year was incredible.  Bye, bye fear of the ''O''!

I  heard George and was happy to see Xar and George coming back to see us in.  We finished it up and got our Bada$$ hoodies.  Although the crowd had dwindled, the vibe was still there.  It was really a fun day!  Ian and Ryan really put on an outstanding series.  The course markings were great and the aid station support is amazing.  Their enthusiasm is still high for the back of the packers and it is sincerely appreciated.

Although my times for this series were a bit slower than in the past, I am happy to say I got out there and did it.  I enjoyed each race in a different way.  Maybe next year Autumn and I can meet our secret strategy and our time will be twice Judson's.  :)

Happy Fall, the summer is officially over!

Keep dreaming!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Feeling Breezy

There's always the cleansing song.  :)   Valerie Abradi

As I ''crossed over from the other'' the breeze coming off the lake was so strong, I immediately felt cleansed!  It was an unclean work week.

If I don't write this diddy as soon as coming in after my run, it usually doesn't get written.  I needed to capture this feeling, so I sat down with the lap top.  The keyboard has mini puddles of sweat as it was quite humid I guess. 

I don't remember much of my run.  I thought after ''over from the other'', jeez where did I run.  I reflected on the happiness of the week, the emails from S&S about the upcoming adventure, reading Unstrung's account of last Sat, the dirt series finale to come, the full twice baked I ate last night, power walks with George after crazy days, so many more that certainly out weigh the less than happy moments...ahhhhh.  So grateful.

I was wondering why I woke up singing, ''Call me maybe''.  Now I know!  Great run.

Keep dreaming!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

And then there was cake...

A day full of friends, running and chocolate cake..does it get any better?

And we won't speak of the ''O'' trail, ok?

TM's were all over Bradbury yesterday running a variety of miles and each having their own story of battle with the ''O'' trail!

Congrats to Unstrung, Scout and Squirrel for their extreme Bada$$ness.  Fun day and chocolate cake!  Yay for FA Birthday's!!!

Keep dreaming!