General running information and thoughts from a guy who has gone around the track too many times.

Tag Archives: 50 miler

I ran 331 miles in 12 days.

Not all at one time.

In May I ran 167 miles in 7 days from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In August I ran 164 miles in 6 days from Mahoney City, Pennsylvania to New York City, New York. All for MS Run the US Relay.

I learned a lot about myself and about running.

Want to learn what I learned?

Keep reading.

  1. Getting started. Sometimes when you first wake-up and realize you need to run long, the mind starts telling you all the reasons why you can’t. Leave it to the mind and you’ll stay in bed. I found that getting my feet moving was the key to waking the mind up to what my body could actually do. When the brain gets on board anything can happen.
  2. Real Food is good. That just seems silly to say, but it’s totally true. I have tired most name brand sports drink, gels and the what-have-yous. Running magazines are full of ads that tells us what products works best. My truth is that sports-aid-items do not work for me. I have found that real food in the form of fruits, oatmeal, raisins, nuts, whole grains, and potato chips (I realize that potato chips might not be considered a real food, but it doesn’t come out of a tube) really works for me. I also like water over sport drinks. And Coke. Nothing like a cold satisfying Coke at 10 miles. Just the right amount of sugar, caffeine and pleasure; which can keep me going for another 10 miles. Add some potato chips and I will run 30 miles. Don’t even get me started on doughnuts.
  3. After 28.5 miles. Nothing tastes better.Beer – it’s an acceptable post-run beverage. I am a man of rewards and beer is one of those rewards that can keep me moving forward. Knowing that a cold frosty bottle of brew; which has my name on it, makes those last few miles bearable. Oh, there are some nutritional benefits, but who cares. Right?
  4. Shirtless running. When the sun is out, the temperature warm and the humidity is high I prefer running without a shirt. Please do not give me all that crap about sunburn, sunscreen and skin cancer. We were born to run and we were born to be out in the sun. Period. Give it a try, you’ll find it refreshing. Anton knows. (Disclaimer – local decently laws may apply.)
  5. Wear the right shoes. The right shoes for you, that is. A good running store, like West Seattle Runner, will have you try various models to help you decide what feels good. Pick the shoes that are going to support you on your adventure. I would have been nuts to pick a lightweight, minimal shoe to run 30 miles on pavement. With broken glass and dead snakes.
  6. Brooks GlycerinHigh tech material can make you day. These new tech shirts and shorts will wick (a word a runner never said in 70’s and 80’s) moisture away from your skin. This allows you to stay cool and dry. Easy to pack, carry and dries quickly. Make sure they fit and will not rub you in all the wrong places. If they do rub, get some Body Glide.
  7. Have a great support person or team to help you. These will be people who care about you and will have your food and gear ready for when you’ll need it. They can also do your thinking for you when you aren’t thinking right. Just remember to be nice to them, especially when your Demon Side appears.
  8. Know your equipment. The morning of your adventure is not the time to try to figure out your new GPS watch. Or even a headlamp. You need to know how everything works before you even put them in your pack. Read the manual and experiment.
  9. Know where you are going. External input is nice, but comes with a percentage of error. GPS watches can be off. A nice person may not know what they hell they are talking about. Memory fails. It is your responsibility to know where you are going. Know your route and make notes if needed.
  10. Have Fun! This adventure is yours. You trained and dreamed to do this. Now, go out and have some fun. And be safe.

 

 

Shirtless Running


On May 30th, Clark Gilbert started on a running journey that would change his life. Leaving Vernal, Utah at 6:00 am, Clark ran 167 miles, along highway 45, to Steamboat Springs, Colorado – all in 7 days. His journey was a part of the MS Run the US Relay which began on April 12 in Los Angeles, California and will finish on September 6 in New York City, New York. The Relay’s purpose is to raise awareness and money to better understand multiple sclerosis and to find a cure. The Relay includes 16 runners who ran a marathon each day of their segment.

Just finished running my 167 miles.

Just finished running my 167 miles.

Clark is at it again. On August 31 he will leave Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania and run to Fort Lee, New Jersey. Stopping at the shore of the Hudson River, overlooking New York City, on September 4. His total mileage, after 5 days of running, will be close to 150 miles. This will be the last long segment of the Relay before the grand finale, where Ashley Kumlien (MS Run the US Relay organizer) runs while pushing her MS stricken mother, and joined by other relay runners, up and over the Hudson River into downtown New York City.

Clark is doing this to support conquering a disease that affects many people in San Juan County, as well as throughout the Pacific Northwest. “I am running to serve others” said Clark. “There are too many who can’t walk through their homes without some type of aid. These are who I think about when I feel like I can’t run another step.”

Visit www.runhappyrunhard.com for up-to-date information on Clark’s second run as well as his writings from his first adventure.

To donate to help develop an understanding and find a cure for MS, please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/msruntheus/clarkgilbert.

 


Brooks Partners with MapMyFitness to Inspire, Educate and Connect Runners

 

Seattle – July 16, 2013 –   For many, running is about more than just numbers or routes. It’s also about community and connection. Today, Brooks Running Company gives those runners a virtual gathering place: The Run Happy Group, where runners nationwide can find inspiration, education and connection. The digital community lives on MapMyFitness properties, including MapMyRun and MapMyFitness.

 The Run Happy Group comes out of a one-of-a-kind partnership between leading running brand Brooks Running Company and innovative social fitness company MapMyFitness and their MapMyRun app. The Run Happy Group is the first fully integrated program between a major consumer sportswear company and MapMyFitness.

Exclusive to the partnership is a “Rate My Run” Brooks-sponsored feature that allows everyone who logs a run through MapMyFitness properties to share (and rate) their experience with options like Crushed Goals, Kicked Butt and Finished with a Smile. The rating system encourages runners to express their fitness progress through multiple social channels, building up the community that the Run Happy group promotes.

 “Runners tell us that, after health and fitness, the No. 1 reason they run – and the most common reason they continue to run – is for fun and enjoyment,” said Heather Snavely, Senior Director, Global Brand. “We created the Run Happy Group to give runners a place to share those fun experiences and to be a source of inspiration for each other. As the leading online community of runners, MapMyFitness was the perfect partner to bring this community to life.”

 MapMyRun’s current features allow users to easily track, analyze and share running routes, distance, time, pace, calories burned and much more. Brooks’ Run Happy Group adds exclusive new features designed just for runners to the desktop experience. These features include expertise on running and racing, inspirational and motivational content from Brooks and partners, a Run Happy Instagram feed and the ability to “Rate My Run.”

 Local groups are another integral part of the Run Happy Group. After joining the nationwide group, runners can sync up with a local group managed by an in-town specialty running store where they’ll discover new routes in their neighborhood, details on local events and runs, store discounts and more. Launching with more than 300 retailers across the country, local groups allow members to run with more than just their phones, they allow them to find and run with friends.

 MapMyRun is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry users. Runners can join the Run Happy Group by following the “Rate My Run” prompts after completing a run on the app or by visitingwww.mapmyrun.com/runhappy.  

 

 


Just finished running my 167 miles.

Just finished running my 166 miles.

It has been close to a month since I finished my 166 mile segment for MS Run the US Relay. I have spent the past few weeks thinking and reflecting on my experience. I wanted to be really clear with myself before I wrote this summary. To say the least this experience was nothing but awesome.

My last day running for the Relay was a somber day. Rain fell the night before. The west wind was blowing in a storm towards the mountains I was running to. Unlike the six prior days, this day would not be chilly in the morning and hot as the sun rose, but just plain cold. I was to run 26.2, a full marathon. I was totally ready to go. After six days of averaging over 25 miles, another 26.2 miles would be nothing. By the time I finished the distance, due to logistics of finish line preparations, I ended up running 24.2 miles. I was a tad disappointed with the shortness, but seeing my sister Merit at the finish line made-up for any disappointment. Merit drove over from Cheyenne, Wyoming and brought Bill Sinack, the runner who would replace me, with her from Denver. Bill would go on to run 200 miles in 9 days. Bill did a great job. Also at the finish line was Ashley, Relay director and Lucas, our local running host. Thank you all.

As I mentioned my day was somber. I really didn’t want to stop. I would have kept running all the way to New York if I could. The cold storm clouds blowing in added to the sadness I was feeling. Good bye sunshine. Leaving the Relay was a total bummer for me. I was having so much fun – much like a summer camp for crazy adult runners. I missed Shelly. I missed Ammon and his family. I missed my friends. I missed so many aspects of my life, but found such a quiet that my soul really started craving more quiet. My sister, Carla, asked me what I like most about running for 7 days. I needed to think for a moment and then I replied “the quiet of the open road”. Just being on the road, running. Putting one foot in front of the other. That’s all I had to do. My mind thought about so many things and then the quiet seeped in. I began to think of nothing. This was such a cool experience, an experience that I have found to be most hard in explaining. I think this is what meditation is design to do, quiet the mind. I experienced an intense feeling of mental peace. This was what running this long road gave me – a sense of peace.

As I reflect back on my week of running for the Relay I have a huge sense of gratitude. No just for running. For Shelly who re-designed how we ate so I would have the daily energy to run as many training miles as I did, which allowed me to kick some butt. From the very beginning of this project, Shelly’s support was strong and much needed. Thank you Shelly. I have also have much gratitude for Ashley Kumlein, Relay Director and Aaron for their “handling” of me on the road. Their good cheer and dedication to my success help make this experience most special. Thank you Ashley and Mr. Aaron. You made me feel like a Rock Star.

There are sixteen of us running in this Relay from Los Angeles to New York City. These are amazing people who have gone to the road to log  their miles for the cause of understanding and finding a cure for MS. I respect all of them. I am grateful for their dedication, not just to running the Relay, but finding a cure. All of their kind words and helpful tips were appreciated.

Finally, I appreciate all of those friends and family who gave to this cause of finding a cure for MS. I appreciate the trust that they had in me to go and run. Thank you for your support.

So many people have been asking me “what’s next.” Don’t really know. I do know that I am getting out the door and logging my miles; partly to keep my fitness up and partly to find that peace.

Stay tuned.


First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have given to the cause of MS research and education a very BIG THANK YOU for your donations. I do appreciate it.

What a week this has been in the world of running and life here in our country. The bombs at the Boston Marathon were so shocking to me. I was shocked to tears. My heart goes out to all those and their families who have been directly affected by such violence. To add to that, West, Texas is dealing with their own sadness and disbief from the explosion that rocked their town. My heart goes out to them as well.
Here on San Juan Island live has been quiet. Seems all I do is to run, go to work and run some more. Shelly is most wonderful in her support and ensuring that I am getting my nutritional needs met.
The past two weeks I have logged over 80 per week. 87 last with week, which was done with help of a 35 mile run last Sunday. My training partner, Susan, and I logged the distance in 7 hours. Thank you Susan for your help and support on these extra long distances. Today Susan, Brendan and I ran a good solid 20 miles what gave me 81 weekly miles. Nice to have some sunshine in the process. Nice to have nice running buddies as well.
Yesterday I had a brief panic attack as I was counting the weeks until I start my Relay segment. Basically I have 4.5 weeks until I start my 163 miles journey in Vernal, Utah. Wow, that’s not all that far off. This coming week my mileage will move up over 100. I plan on running 100 plus miles every week until I reach Vernal. I am very happy with how my training has gone thus far. The next 4 weeks of running should be the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Next Sunday, April 28, Susan and I will be running the Mt. Si 50 Miler. This will be good training as well. Any time running is going to be very beneficial for me.
Want to look at a map that explains my route from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, take a peak here.
Well, that’s about it. Stay tuned to more fun and games.
Clark
ps If you are wondering what in the world I am doing, please see below.

Image

Clark Gilbert 

Segment 6 

 Some of you might have seen on my web site (www.runhappyrunhard.com) or on the various social media networks that I have taken on a new challenge in 2013.  I have joined forces with MS Run the US to raise awareness and funds to END MS.  Read about it here ===>  http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/

 On May 24, 2013 I will be running the first of my seventh back-to-back marathons starting in Vernal, UT and concluding in Steam Boat Springs, CO on the  May 30th.

 Crazy right?

 I know.

 It’s definitely not for everyone, however, I feel extremely fortunate that I am in excellent health (all though some might wonder about my mental health) and I am running both long and hard to prepare myself for this epic adventure while representing an incredible charity.

 Along with my pledge to run 7 marathons I have taken on the challenge of fundraising a minimum of $10,000.   (This is where I need your help).

 I am asking all of you for the following help:

  1. Make a Donation Today: http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/ any amount can and will help because 100% of your donation goes to MS Research and Education.  Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 3198, FH, WA 98250.
  2. Share this E-mail: please send this e-mail on to as many of your friends + family as possible.  The broader net we can cast the more people we can reach and the stronger we can grow.
  3. Post on Facebook: “I just donated to, Clark Gilbert, MS Run the US 2013 Relay Runner. Learn more here ===> http://www.msruntheus.com/clarkgilbert/“.  Copy and paste the sentence before into your status update to help spread the word!
  1. Lend Me Your Network: $10,000 is a large amount of money and I am not expecting my small group of friends and family to donate all of that cash.  I am hoping that we can all look inside our hearts, find the one thing we all have in common, compassion. I appeal to all of you to share with me anyone or any company that might be interested in becoming involved with my crazy adventure and MS Run the US.

I am very excited about this new adventure and working with MS Run the US. I can’t wait to share it with all of you as I share my experiences leading up, during and after my run.  Any help you can provide to myself and MS Run the US is greatly appreciated. Check out my journey at www.runhappyrunhard.com or www.seattlepirun.com.


What a week this has been and it’s only Thursday.

Sadness still lingers in my heart over the Boston Marathon Bombing. When I first learned of the bombing I was shocked to tears. This running was the 20th anniversary of my Boston Marathon Experience. Twenty years ago that Boston Marathon had bombs on their minds as the World Trade Center had been bombed a few months earlier  on February 26. The last few blocks of the Marathon course had been boarded up to keep spectators away from the finish line.

My thoughts and good wishes go out to the victims and their families.

Wearing my 1993 Boston Marathon Shirt

Wearing my 1993 Boston Marathon Shirt

This past Sunday Susan and I ran 35 miles in preparation for the Mt. Si 50 miler which is on April 28. Leaving at 5:40 am the air was chilly, but the sky looked promising for sunshine. We ended up running 35 miles in 7:01 with a max elevation of 6,724 feet. I forgot how hilly this island is.

Monday night was Monday Night Trail Running out at American Camp. Susan, Brendan and I ran our 10 mile loop at a pretty good clip – the fastest for me this year. It was a great run in spite of my tripping and falling. I have a couple of scrapes on my knee, elbow and hand. Makes for good stories.

Tuesday was a double day workout. Lunch time I ran 6 mile in 56:56, which I am really proud of. After work I ran the Egg Lake Loop which is 12 miles. My time was 2:04. Both runs had sunshine! Felt so good having the warmth of the sun on my face and back.

The last three days I have run 63 miles, an average of 21 miles per day. This is close to what I will need to run when I am running my MSRuntheUS Relay segment, where I will need to average 23 miles a day for 7 days.

My training is paying off for me. The best thing is that I feel so good. Great even. Amazing what this 59 year old body can do.

Clark


Since the first of the year I have been training to participate in the MS Run the US Relay. This relay starts in a few weeks and travels from Los Angeles to New York City. Runners like myself run various segments along the coast to coast course. My segment starts on May 24 and ends on May 30. In those seven days I will run from Vernal, Utah to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. A total of 163 miles. That’s twenty-three miles per day for seven days.
The goal of MS Run the US Relay is to raise funds for building awareness and research for multiple sclerosis. This disease has stricken so many of our friends and neighbors. To do my part in fighting MS I have set a goal to raise $10,000 by the end of the Relay in September. Running 163 miles in 7 days and raising $10,000 seems like a huge undertaking. It’s an undertaking that I know I can accomplish with your help. I’ll do the running, but I need you to donate.
Please know that your donation does not support any aspect of my run or the running of the Relay. Your donation goes directly to research and educational programs through the National MS Society.
Please take a moment to visit my fund raising page and donate $200.00 or $100.00. Any help given will be appreciated  If you like, please mail me a check, made out to MS Run the US, at P.O. Box 3198, Friday Harbor, WA, 98250.
With your help we can help others who are battling this dreadful disease. You and I can make a huge difference. Please donate!
Over the next 7 weeks I will be posting weekly updates as to how my training is going. This year alone I have run 600 miles!
Take care!
Clark
For more information on the Relay please visit:  MS Run the US.


And ran 15 miles yesterday.

It’s part of my training for the MS Run the US Relay. During the relay I will be running 24 miles days for 7 days. I have many miles to run until May 24 the day that I will start running in Vernal, UT heading to Steamboat Springs, CO.

I have a new buddy, Bill Sinak. He ran 21 miles yesterday. He lives in St. Louis, MO. I have not actually met him, but have gotten to know him through social media and emails. He seems like a cool guy. Here is a nice article about him – Heros. When my Relay segment ends, his begins. I will meet him then. He promises to have a cold beer ready for me. How cool is that? Bill is running 200 miles. In 9 days. Now, how cool is that???

I admire Bill Sinak. Not for the fact that he promises me a beer or that he will be running 200 miles. I admire him for his training and his commitment to participate in this Relay. Bill has MS so he understands things on a deeper level than I do.

Bill Sinak also inspires me. He and I are probably the oldest runners participating. I am 59 and Bill is a youngster at 49. You would think we would have more sense. I keep an eye on Bill’s training. When I don’t feel like running I think of what Bill is doing or has done.

Looking forward to meeting you Bill.

There are 16 of us runners who are participating in the MS Run The US Relay. I have not met any of them. I do know they are all very cool people and they inspire me. I will tell you more about them over the next few weeks.

Our Fearless Leader for the MS Run the US is Ashley Kumlien. Fearless is actually a weak descriptor. Ashley is awesome. Ashley founded the MS Run the US as a way to fund-raise for MS research and education. Ashley’s mom, Jill, has MS.

Ashley inspires me as well. A few years ago she ran the entire distance from Los Angeles, CA to New York City, NY as away to increase awareness of MS. Rumor is she wanted to continue to England, but the Atlantic Ocean became an issue.

Ashley has all this positive energy and puts smiley faces in her Tweets and emails. She is very cool. I admire her as well. I also like to give her a hard time. Comes with the territory of being a Fearless Leader.

Looking forward to meeting you Ashley.

I started this piece telling you that I ran 11 miles today. It seems I wandered off my course, so to speak. While I was running, about mile 8, my feet began to feel tender. Not painful, but just that tenderness that says “us feet down here are doing all this work for you”. My feet are good workers. I reward them by wearing Brooks PureFlow shoes. My feet likes Brooks. This tenderness started me thinking about the people I know or know of who are dealing with MS. Some can’t walk with out a cane or a walker. Some are in wheelchairs. They all share the fact that they live with pain. I can put up with a little tenderness.

These most wonderful people inspire me. This is the reason I am doing what I am doing – preparing to run for this cause. Running for them and for myself. Long May We Run!

You can help by donating towards MS Education and Research. We all appreciate any help you can offer.

Clark Gilbert

March 3, 2013


Today is February 17, 2013. It’s a Sunday. The sky is partly cloudy. No rain. Yeah for that.

Yesterday I posted my intent on running a relay segment for MS Run the US, a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis research and eduction. I am very excited to participate in this relay. Honored too. Some people have passed comments along to me that tell me I am insane. Such comments remind me that I am on target. This is how I want to live me life, by doing insane things.

I have Three Stages of training to get me to Vernal, Utah, where my segment starts and finishes in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, some 164 miles away. I will have seven days to complete this journey. If I don’t, the support staff will shoot me. Well, I might beg them to shoot me, but they probably won’t.

Since the first of the year I have been building my running base. This was Stage One of my strategy. Spending as much time running in the rain to prepare me for running in a very arid part of the country. I know. That doesn’t make sense. We get what we get. During the winter months here in the San Juan Islands, we get rain. Or we got rain. Stage One was designed to get me use to spending more time out running. Rain or no rain. Stage Two, which started the first of February increases my mileage or time I spend running. This Stage two has me running twice a day and running long runs during weekends. I have run one 20 mile run already in February. Good for me.

As of today I have 95 days until I leave Vernal for Steamboat. I think people in Colorado refer to Steamboat Springs by just Steamboat. I will too.

Anyway. I have 95 days. My goal is to run 1,000 miles from today until May 23 (which is also my little sister’s birthday). This plan averages 10.5 miles per day for the next 95 days. That’s doable. I will be running many days where my mileage will be over 20 miles. I will need to get use to that much distance as my relay segment is about 24 miles per day. I have trained like this before when I ran my first 50 miler. It worked then. I am hoping it will work for me again.

If I count all the mileage I have all ready ran this year (240) and add it to the 1,000 goal miles, I will have 1240 miles by the time I start for Steamboat. On paper this all looks good. The challenge comes down to GMBOTD (getting my butt out the door). I except that challenge. I do find that the dark and wet days of our winters to be a challenge for me. Most of the routes I run don’t have street lamps. Just darkness. I have a headlamp for this darkness. I also have a nice Brooks Running rain jacket that is reflective. Reflective material is good for our dark mornings and nights.

I know I will have my challenges. Mostly mental challenges that will keep me indoors. Physically I was born to run. I also run so slow that I couldn’t possibly hurt myself. My challenges are mostly comfort related. Soft, comfy chair and a good book will result in no running. (Must remember not to go to the library).

I can, as they say in Wyoming to “pull up your cowboy boots and get it done.” Actually, I don’t wear cowboy boots. That saying still works for me. I am from Wyoming, you know. Giddyup is another Wyoming term, but it doesn’t apply here. Yippee ki yah has already been taken. Hopefully when I reach Steamboat someone will shout that most famous of all cowboy sayings “Whooooa”. Which means to stop.

I do need your help by donating to the cause. You can do that by clicking I Would Like to Donate. Any amount is appreciated.

Stage Three hasn’t been developed as of yet. Stay tuned, this journey is going to be wild.

Clark


In a few days we will be celebrating the birth of another year.  Oh Joy!  I like New Years, I really do.  I set all these cool goals and aspirations that I want to focus on and then, after a few weeks, give up on them.  I return to my normal way of life.  For example one goal has been to get up at 5:00 am every morning and running for two hours.  Sounds good to me, until 5:00 am and then nothing sounds good except staying in bed.  Normal people do that; stay in bed that is.

I always start the year with goals of races/events I want to participate in.  How many pounds I want to lose (same pounds each and every year).  I write down how I want to be a better person by not walking slowly across the street when I know a car and driver are in a hurry.  I vow not to place any regular apples in the Organic produce section.  Oh yeah.  I can be evil.

Just last week I was in West Seattle to spend an early Christmas weekend with my son and his family.  I was about to share some great thought of mine, when I received that “don’t say it” look from my daughter-in-law.  The mother of my three grandchildren.   Apparently, last summer, I told my 4 year old grandson a story about how I was trapped in an elevator.  (I thought the story very funny).  Apparently he, until last Sunday, wouldn’t step foot in any elevator, even if his most wonderful mother was trying to handle three kids and numerous sacks of groceries.  Last Sunday we took him with us up and down an elevator to ease his mind.  Thank God we didn’t get stuck.  That would have been bad.  Really bad.

I promise to watch what I say around my grandchildren.  Like that is going to happen.

Back to the New Year.

I have some things that are on my list, like running some type of adventure event once a month.  Yes, getting up at 5:00 am to run does count.  I want to run Nookachamps in January, Orcas Island 25K in February.  March is up in the air.  April will be the Yakima River Skyline 50K – like last year’s spanking wasn’t enough.  May will be the Sun Mountain 50 miler -my goal is to finish in daylight.  Also in May I will be participating in the MS Run Across the US – more on that later.  I also want to run around Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Rainer.  Of course, there will be many Doughnut Runs.

What are you planning on running?

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe.

Have a great New Year!

Clark

ps – meet at 11:30 on New Years Eve at San Juan Fitness for a Run In The New Year Fun.  No fee.


Here as some of the things happening in the Run Happy Run Far world.

  • The Roche Harbor Resort Doughnut Marathon continues to be the most visited page.  Many thanks to the link by Marathon Manics and, of course, Facebook friends for checking it out.  Remember, it’s September 16!
  • Cascade Crest 100 Miles is this weekend, meaning that as I write this at 8:16 pm (Pacific time), runners are settling in for the a night of running.  Run well and safe!
  • James Varner is having a “James’ Birthday Beer Mile” on September 5 – celebrating his birthday.  The “Beer Mile” is a race held on a track where one consumes a beer before each lap.  Should be interesting.  No beer bongs allowed.  Go James Go.
  • Speaking of James Varner and Rainshadow Running, he opened registration for two events, Deception Pass 25/50K and Mt. Spokane 25/50K.  I’m thinking Mt. Spokane.
  • Terry Sentinella and Kevin Douglas completed the Trans-Rockies this week.  From Terry’s Facebook (TR was a tough mother!!! I was not ready to run speed so soon after Badwater. The distance wasn’t an issue just moving fast! I did absolutely love the course, run a little, drink beer,eat a lot, sleep in a tent, and repeat for 6 days. Lot’s of fun!).  Good Job!
  •  The Loop 8.8 K was held on the 18th.  Results can be found here.
  • Doughnut Runs are still every Sunday.  Come join us!

As for me, this week I started training for next year’s Sun Mountain 50 Miler.  9 months of pure running joy.  Stay tuned.


The last couple of weekends runners I know have participated in some pretty hard and challenging events.  Here is a recap.

James Varner.  I have been watching James training all year long and was impressed with what he was doing.  He is one of my heros.  On Friday, July 13, James toed the starting line of the Hardrock 100.  Unfortunately, James pulled out of the event at 60 miles.  He’ll be back!

Hal Koerner.  Hal also toed the line at Hardrock and pulled out a great victory – setting a course record at 24:50.

Candice Burt.  Candice is an item with James Varner and was with him at Hardrock.  Saturday, July 21, Candice toed the starting line at the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Miler.  Having James to crew and pace her helped Candice finishing in 22:50.  Good enough for 2nd Woman and 7th over all.

Terry Sentinella.  Terry’s from Anacortes.  Not only does he run ultras.  He is also the Race Director of the Skagit Flats Marathon and Half Marathon.  Last week Terry ran the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, where he started at Death Valley and finished on Mt. Whitney.  Last year Terry finished in 32:10, good for 15th place.  This year, Terry finished in 29:40 and 10th place.  Next year, I am guess he’ll be running under 24 hours.

Carla MacDiarmid and Daniel Seaton.  They both lived on San Juan Island, but moved to Anacortes.  They don’t train with Terry but live in his neighborhood.  This past weekend, the two of them were team members running various sections in the Ragnar Northwest Passage, 200 miles relay and lived in a van for 24 hours.  Welcome to the world of bizarre running.

Rob Bondurant.  From the Port Townsend area.  Rob is participating in the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Miler this weekend, finishing in 29:16.  He was in Death Valley, last week, crewing for Terry.

Paul Hopkins.  It’s been awhile since Paul climbed into a wet suit for a IronMan.  On Sunday, July 15, Paul participated in the Lake Stevens 70.3 IronMan, finishing in 5:56.  Welcome back, Paul.

Scott Jurek.  10 Questions for Scott in this issue of Time.

Me?  I ran for doughnuts!

Congrats to all those who have participated in these and other running events.  Hope you had fun!

Clark

www.runhappyrunhard.com


I have been challenged by Scott Jurek, one of the greatest ultramarathoners we have seen in the last 20 years or so.  Scott didn’t slap my face  with a pair of synthetic leather gloves, then offer me a choice of swords or pistols.  No, nothing like that.  His challenge was more subtle.

You see, Jurek’s new book, Eat & Run – My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, authored with Steve Friedman and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, contained a challenge.  Maybe not every reader would find it, but it spoke to me.  I knew that Scott had come out with a new book on eating and running.  It was on my list of books to read.  A week ago, I received a copy from the publishers.  I started reading it when I returned from Winthrop, where I had just completed the Sun Mountain 50 Miler.  I was surprised to learn that this book was not just about eating; although there are cool recipes at the end of each chapter.  This book is a honest look into the life of someone I admire.

For the past two decades Scott Jurek has ruled the ultras.  He won the Crown Jewel, the Western States 100, seven times.  He has won Hardrock, Badwater, Sparatathon, and many others. He set the U.S. record in the World Championships 24 hour run, placing second overall.  He ran 167.5 miles that day in France.  Scott traveled to Mexico to run against the Tarahumara people, which Christopher McDougall detailed in his best seller, Born to Run.  Scott is having an amazing career.  He is living the life that so many of us dream of living.

The thing is, Scott and I are a lot alike, at least in my mind we are.  He is tall and thin.  I’m tall and chubby.  He is from Minnesota. I am from Wyoming.  His father had issues with him and his mom died younger than she should have.  Ditto.  He use to wear his curly hair long. I currently wear my curly hair long.  He is a runner and I’m a runner.  He is a vegan. I eat animals that are vegan.  He is fast and I am so-so.  He is sponsored by Brooks Running and I am a member of the Brooks Running Inspire Daily program.  He designed the Brooks Pure Grit, my favorite running shoe.  How cool.  He lived in Seattle.  I live on San Juan Island.  I actually met Scott before a trail race on Orcas Island in 2010.  Scott finished well and placed 3rd.  I tripped and crashed.  By the time I finished, Scott had a hot shower, massage, two beers and a big bowl of vegan soup.

The point I am trying to make is Scott is just a normal guy.  He grew up like most of us did, went to public school, etc.  He worked hard for what he wanted and what he has accomplished.  He probably was born with some nice genes, but genes just don’t develop on their own.  Training and hard work are required.  Scott arrived at this point in time by doing the work.  Nobody could do it for him.  Greatness takes much effort, daily.

I enjoyed reading Jurek’s book.  It is well written and it kept me interested.  His words inspired me.  I am looking forward to trying some of the included recipes; such as the Minnesota Winter Chili (page 70), the 8 Grain Strawberry Pancakes (page 79), and plan to start my day with a smoothie.

I feel challenged to do more with my life.  To lose the weight I have always wanted to lose.  To look at my food differently and to use food to properly fuel my life.  To run those races that I have dreamed about.  To speed up.  To live my life as I truly want to live.  Eat & Run has inspired me to dig down deep and push myself towards the goals that I want to accomplish.

I highly recommend this book.  Read it and  listen for your own challenge, then do something about it.

Run Happy, Run Hard

Clark


View of Sun Mountain area, take by Candice Burt

My first attempt  to 50 miles run is in two days at Sun Mountain.  It’s all coming down to the wire, so to speak.  I had hoped that this week would have been quiet and relaxing, but, life happens.  It’s all good.  Right.

I am taking this day off from work to attend to a mire of things to prepare for this weekend.  Camping gear to sort, running clothes and shoes to check out.  Prep my pack with GU.  My truck, Old Blue, is getting a new starter.  Oh Joy.  Maybe a nap in the afternoon and some time in reading – a day for some type of rest and relaxation.

Speaking of reading, did you catch the NPR article about endurance athletes and pain, if not, check it out from NPR.  I am going to do my own form of research on Sunday.

If you want to follow my crazy adventure this Sunday, I will be posting via Facebook and Twitter.

No mater what happens, I am gonna be having a great time.  I’ll be Running Happy and Running Hard!

Clark

ps  Here is a picture of my shoes


Taper.  I really don’t like taper weeks.  I feel like I should be running a ton of miles, but the voice of reason is to rest, avoid injuries and attend to the fine details of the plan.  Come to think of it, I need to order some GU.

Last week I was having an issue with my feet; soreness on the pad behind the big toes on both feet.  I think I have a handle on that and have run over 10 miles with mild tenderness.  Last week there was a point where I thought it best that I not run the 50 miler.  As of May 10, the 50 miler is still my goal and target.

I chatted with James Varner, Race Director of Sun Mountain, and he described the course in more detail which took away some of my stress.  (Yes, this is the same guy who said the Yakima Skyline Rim 50K was “a little rocky”.)  He explained that I need to  conserve energy by walking the hills and then run everything else.  This seems like a good idea to me, but my in my training I ran all my hills, even the steep ones.  Ok, maybe I did walk a couple of really steep hills, but not very often.

The thing about this 50 miler is:  I have never ran this type of event before.  The training approach is so outside my knowledge and experience.  I feel like a child starting first grade.  What do I do and how do I do it?  One could go on-line and find a million training programs for marathon distances and below.  Try to find a training program for a Ultra and you’ll find a picture of a tumbleweed blowing across the wasteland.  I have been training as I see best, but, truth is, I really don’t know what in the hell I am doing.  Long runs, yes.  Time on my feet, yes.  Speed running, yes.  Eating on the run, yes.  Setting a broken arm while continuing to run, still working on that one.  I only have two arms.  This 50 mile run is such a different beast; you train different and you have to think different in order to finish.

Ultramarathon Champion, Scott Jurek, has written ” Listen to and manage the body (hydrate, eat, technique, etc.), and when you think you have nothing left, dig deeper!”  I suppose you could rephrase this to “eat, drink and be merry”, but I don’t think that is the message.  Jurek’s simple statement is ultramarathoning.  It’s all about managing who we are and what we are truly capable of.  Putting one foot ahead of the other and giving the body what it needs to hydrate and nourish it’s self.

Now, let me see if I can do all that in a rapid motion.

 


Ok, maybe this title is a tad strong.  I have had a couple of days to recover from the hardest run I think I have ever undertaken in my many years of running.  I wish I could say that I kicked butt at this year’s Yakima Skyline Rim 50K, but all I can say is that I had my butt kicked.  It’s crazy too.  I mean, I went into this run feeling strong, rested and confident.  What I found was a course that climbed to the heavens but was hotter than hell.  The views were fantastic, the aid stations complete and the other runners better than nice.

What kicked me?  Well, the first spanking was mile 2 & 3, where we climbed some 2,000+ feet, straight up.  This wasn’t one of those switch backs that winds up the side of a mountain.  This is like in the famous miner climb in the Klondike region of Alaska.

Miners climbing

See the miners braving the cold climbing this mountain?

Runners heading up the mountain

See the runners braving the heat climbing this mountain?

See how both the miners and the runners all look like ants, making their way up the trail?  See where I am going with this.  I am not going to bring up the fact that many of those miners died a most horrible death.
Once at the top, one could see all the very cool volcanoes that we have here in Washington and epic views of the Yakima River, which in this picture is way down where we started.

Do you see the river way the frack down there?

Candice Burt, co-race director, was up on top taking pictures.  I begged her to allow me to drop out right there, but she told me that I had to keep going.  She did take a picture of me, but as you can see, I wasn’t smiling.

Clark at the top of the first climb

As soon as I caught my breath and felt as though my heart wasn’t going to explode I began to run, yes, run,  across the skyline and around the rim.  The heat of the day was building, which was adding to my challenge.  About 5 miles or so I headed down some steep terrain to the valley floor and across a most ancient or nearly ancient lake bed.  Soon, I was climbing again.  I, at this time, was running with another runner from the Island, Kristi, we started up another very steep, 2,500 feet or so.  After about a million false summits, we finally crested the top and were notified by a trail volunteer that we need to go even further up to the second aid station at 10.5 miles.  Once there we met our friend Susan, who was volunteering.  She ensured that we had all the fluids and food that we needed and then kicked us back down the hill.

Kristi and Susan at 10.5 mile aid station.

Before the start of the race, I asked James Varner, Race Director and all around nice guy, which Brooks trail shoes, the Pure Grit or the Cascadia would work best.  He thought about it for a second then said “well, it’s a little rocky, so maybe the Cascadia would be the better choice.”  As I was heading down from aid station 10.5 to the main trail I thought about what James had said.  “A little rocky” would be like saying Bill Gates had “a little money”.  There were rocks of all sizes and shapes, some hiding rattlesnakes.  I wore my Cascadias, which did a good job in protecting my foot, but I did catch a rock and bruise the outside of my right foot.  I was now running/walking with a slight limp – sort of like Chester from the Gun Smoke days.  Maybe not that bad, but close.  I was also having some stomach issues as well.  Might have been the heat, might have been a hydration issue, but whatever the reason my tummy was not happy.

Kristi took off like a bunny and I began working my way to the turn around at mile 15.6 and it’s cut off of 4.5 hours (this event was an out and back).  I kept looking at my watch and soon realized that I was not going to make the cut-off time, which was totally OK with me as this race was a planned training run for the my 50 miler quest at Sun Mountain on May 20.  With this relazation, I backed off and took it easy.  I enjoyed the sun, took in the views and encouraged the other runners who were on their way back to the finish line.

Although I knew I would not be finishing this year event, I was one happy camper because I knew that I didn’t have to run back the way I just came.  All those steep climbs and descents would need to be dealt with in reverse and I was happy not to have to do that.  About a mile from the 15.6 aid station I was meet by some running buddies heading back as sweepers and by my wife, Shelly, who was volunteering at the aid station.  Together we walked to the 15.6 aid station.   When reaching  the turn around, I was met by Kristi and some other runners who didn’t make the cutoff and were waiting for rides back to the start.  An hour later we were back where we started and drinking beer.  Ah, tasty cold and refreshing beer.  James sure knows how to put on a nice post run feast.

Nice Folks at Aid Station 15.6 - The Turn Around or Head for Home

Here are some things I learned from this experience:

  • Just because I have been doing some serious training, it does not mean that I am ready for any race/event.  I was not physically prepared to tackle the Yakima Climbs.
  • Heat.  Training for heat is important, which means I would need to travel away from the Island to do so.
  • Really study the course maps with elevation.  I didn’t.  If I had I would have noticed the 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 3500 numbers along side the graph.
  • I also need to figure out my tummy issues.

I would do this event again.  In fact I am already thinking about next year.  In order to run it, I would need to travel to places, like Yakima, to get the serious hills training in.

Snake Photo by Candice Burt

We were warned that snakes could be out on the course, but I didn't see any. This photo taken by Candice Burt.

Run Happy, Run Hard and stay cool.

Clark


I have 30 days until Sun Mountain 50 miler is here.

After this Saturday’s event, Yakima Skyline Rim 50K, I will be back to running twice a week long runs.  Plus stretching my weekend longest run up to 35 or 40 miles from it’s 31 miles.  This is the plan I have  been following since I made the mental commitment to run 50 miles.  Since February 28 I have run a total of 10 runs of over 20 miles in length, 3 over 31.  I think I am heading in the right direction.

Shoes have been on my mind recently.  In determining which trail shoes I would wear, I have been alternating being Brooks Pure Grits and Brooks Cascadias.  Both are excellent shoes; although different in build.

The Pure Grits are a most favorite shoe of mine.  In a nutshell they are lightweight, have a 4mm heel to toe drop and have a wider toe box.  Running through the water is not an issue with these shoes as they quickly drain.  Not that I think I will have puddles on the Sun Mountain course, but . . . . one never knows.  Pure Grits just seem to fit me and understand my feet, well, I suppose as much understanding as a pair of shoes can understand.

The Cascadias were my number one trail shoe, until the Pure Grits landed on my feet.  These shoes have a higher, 11mm, heel to toe drop and a much more aggressive sole than the Grits.  They are a tad heavier and seem to have a snugger (not sure this is a true word or not) fit.  They feel fine, but, there is just something that bothers me.    The problem is, I just can’t put my finger or toe on it.

Ultramarathoner and champion, Scott Jurek (who helped develop both shoes for Brooks) spoke last Saturday in Seattle at the REI store.  I was not able to attend, but Laura Houston, Chi Running Instructor, was and asked Scott which shoe he would recommend.  His answer – the Cascadias.  His main point was that it takes time for the calf’s to adjust to running in a lower profile shoe, which I totally agree with.  The calfs need time to adjust for the lower heel drop or else it’s going to strain.  For me I have been running in the Grits since December.  I also have run in the Green Silence, which is a low profiled shoe, without any issues.  I’m not sure if Scott words of wisdom are for me; although, to be safe, I could just wear the Cascadias.

But, I am thinking of going with the Grits – because they are so darn comfortable.  My main worry is that they won’t be a shoe for the long haul of a 50 miler.  For this Saturday’s 50K, I am planning on running for 8 hours and wearing my Pure Grits.  We’ll see how they do.

Run Happy, Run Hard

Clark

ps:  The first running of the Boston Marathon was on April 19, 1897.  Happy Birthday Boston!



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