Monthly Archives: April 2014

Run the Rock 50k

Wet, muddy and a little cool. The race course inside of Raven Rock State Park was very Ready to runscenic, at least in the spots where I took a moment to look around. This was my first time running at Raven Rock and also my first time running with the Southern Pines Ultra Running Club (SPUR) who put on an exceptional race. The event was free, but definitely not a fat ass. They provided a well-stocked aid station with all the typical stuff one expects to find at an ultra. They even provided hamburgers, hotdogs and veggie burgers for after the finish.

The course consisted of 3 laps of two loops each. Loop one was around 5.5 miles and relatively quick in spots. The second loop was around 5.2 miles and provided some more challenging terrain. Consequently, the second loop provided much nicer views than the first, proving that the more difficult trail yields a better view.

I think even in perfect conditions that the trails at Raven Rock would provide a challenge, but rain overnight Friday and Saturday morning amplified that. Rain during the race was off and on and I dropped my waterproof layer within two miles or so of the start.

I learned (and releMuddyarned) a few things, met some great people out on the course, and got a little late race encouragement from Ray “The K” Krolewicz, reminding me that being off goal pace isn’t the end of the world. Yesterday wasn’t the first ultra where Ray said something that pulled me out my head and back on course. There is a link to a video interview with Ray at the bottom of this page.

Finish time 6:19, actual distance a little over 32 miles. My Garmin failed after lap two loop one (half way point) so I only have data for half the race, but Lap 1 took just under 1:53. I need to spend more time running on mountain goat trails to get faster on hilly courses like this one.


Take a moment to watch this video if you haven’t seen it in the past:

First Quarter, a Running Review

First Quarter of 2014 has been pretty good overall, I was on target for mileage in January and February and slightly under target in March. Also, I’m another year older coming out of this quarter, but it doesn’t count since I didn’t move up age groups. I really need to find some more hills (or preferably a mountain) to work on. Did some fun races over the quarter – Prison Break, Merge Records 25k, Roanoke Canal Half Marathon and volunteered at a couple too. I ended up dropping Leatherwood off the list as I need more time on the climb.

Month Mileage Time Elevation Gain
January 200.2 miles 30 hours 20 minutes 6344 feet
February 255.9 miles 39 hours 30 minutes 5694 feet
March 257.7 miles 39 hours 41 minutes 7773 feet


Looking forward to second quarter, I start out with some fun races and turn it up a little. Medoc Spring Races, Rock n’ Rebellion HM, Run the Rock 50 in April, Rattler Trail 26.2, Bethel Hills Moonlight Boogie 50 Miler and Dusk to Dawn 50 Miler in June. Training wise, I need to add about 2- 3 hours per week over the next few months. It’s also time to start reeling the pace back in a little bit, as in I am not sure my legs will agree to running 50 miles at 8:30 per mile so yet.

Ultimate training goal is a 100 miler in the first half of 2015 (I’m looking at you Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run). My 2014 goal is to get in more mileage at Hinson Lake 24 to try and gauge where I am in relation to a 100 mile completion.

New gear this quarter- Saucony Ride 6- not my favorite but they will do until I get back to Brooks, Hoka Stinson Evo Tarmacs – after 120 miles I’m still pretty happy with these comfortable and not too heavy and Hoka Mafate 2. Also 2 pair of gaiters from who makes some really nice gaiters and they will customize them for you (the beauty of dealing with a small business and not a mass merchant or internet warehouse).

New stuff I want- Ultimate direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 (or similar) since I’m trying to carry more without adding a full backpack. Looking for the ability to carry a couple of water bottles, a ham sammich and other snacks (like a slice of pizza) and various other nice to haves for those really long runs. If you have any suggestions for similar vests let me know via the comment section below. Also, probably more shoes, either Brooks Ghosts or Transcends and another pair of trail shoes.

I am getting behind on race reports and hopefully I can get some of them caught up soon.

To end, I will add a gripe. I don’t typically like complaining on my blog, but I’m seeing more and more how many runners don’t want to volunteer for races and events. If you enjoy races and other running events, get out and volunteer. And I mean really volunteer- don’t expect big stuff for volunteering because if you expect a pair of shoes or something like that in return, you probably aren’t really a volunteer at that point. Give your time freely and expect NOTHING in return sometimes.  In my book, you lose running Karma points when the only time you volunteer is when you get something in return. Losing running Karma pisses off the running gods and none of us want that for ourselves. /end rant

Remember, run happy, train smart and don’t listen to the voices inside your head that tell you what you can’t do!