Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The North Face 50K August 4th, 2007...

The Boyfriend and I went over to Tyson's Corner to pick up my packet on Friday afternoon. We were meeting Meridith, Derrick and his Wife Sue, and Linda for dinner once they got in and settled. Jamie and I spent some time shopping and looking at stuff for our "new" house.
We met up and ate at an Italian place in the mall, we then headed out for some yummy ice cream. I had the most wonderful chocolate peanut butter shake. Just wonderful. We then parted ways with the rest of the group, since we were staying at my step-dad's house in Falls Church, a short drive from the race in the morning. We hung out with dad and got all my stuff together that night.
Saturday morning came quickly and I applied tons of body glide, hydrated, ate some breakfast and fastened my chip timer to my shoe. I hauled all of my stuff down to the car since Jamie and dad were going to meet me at the race later on. No sense in them getting up early to not really get to see me.
I made it to the park and paid my 5 dollars to get in. I saw Linda right away, who was being our faithful crew and cheering section. She helped me get all settled in and kept me company (Thanks again) until I started. Everyone took off and I settled into my pokey pace and was well into crazy horse place within the first couple of miles of the race. It was really hot and the humidity wasn't making it any easier. I had my UD handheld, pockets of clif-bloks and lava salts, and some ginger candy just in case. As I was approaching the first aid station I came across a slightly lost gentleman who ran with me to the turn around point. I got my bottle filled up and hand some Bloks and some lava salts. I kept up with the other gentleman fairly well and we went frolicking over the scary high rocks next to the river. As I approached the 2nd aid station, I saw Linda, who took pictures and made me a rocking ice bandana. I had some pepsi, shot bloks, electrolytes and cookies here. I filled up my bottle and set out for the next "6"miles until I reached the next aid station.
During this leg of the journey, which took much more time than 6 miles should have taken for me, I ran out of water about 2 hours into it. With no way to get the electrolytes down and no water to quench my thirst, I was not feeling so great when I reached the next aid station. By the time I reached there I was extremely thirsty and drank alot of water, a little flat pepsi and had some PBJ. They filled my bottle and I carried on for the next 5 miles, hoping to make the cutoff.
During this leg of the journey I saw Meri and Derrick. When I first saw Meri I wasn't too happy, having run out of water before and feeling like the cutoff wasn't going to happen. She gave me a hug and told me to carry on. I saw Derrick shortly after who was not happy with the heat at the time. I expressed my dismay at running out of water (he offered me his), how silly I felt for running out of water, and how worried I was about making the cutoff. He gave me a big hug and we parted ways. I felt a bit better, but realized I had some miles to tick off if I was going to make the turn around cutoff. As I was crossing into a flat section I saw another runner lying on the ground, cramped up. I offered him some help, but he told me help was coming. I figured I would let the aid station know once I got there. After running through some very smelly areas (sewerage fields) and dodging through a golf course, I arrived at the last aid station. I forgot to mention that I ran out of water Again, and my thirst wasn't getting any less. I decided at his point it might be in my best interest to stop at mile 20. I had made good time to the last aid station, but was unsure if I was prepared to make the 11 mile trek back to the finish with the risk of running out of water again.
I dropped at this point, drank ALOT of water and told the aid station about the downed runner. Their First responder was leaving the station, so I offered up that I was a firefighter. They asked if I would mind going out to try and find him. I agreed and went on this crazy journey on a gator type vehicle. By the time we returned to the fallen guy's spot, he was gone, I hope he is okay.
I returned to the aid station where I had to wait for a ride back to the end. They were tearing down the station and I got to talk to some of the volunteers and organizers for the event. Although I was feeling okay, I was still angry about the lack of unmanned water stop along the trail.
Back at the finish line, I was greeted with hugs, a worried Linda was so happy to see me. Meri and Derrick had told them I ran out of water and might be dropping, but they weren't sure where I was. I told them my story, and was feeling pretty bummed for not finishing. Jamie, Dad, and my friend Jess decided to take me to shower and get cleaned up to see the other finish the 50 miler. I felt much better after the shower and looked forward to seeing them finish.
They did finish under the time cutoff and they were both thirsty and tired when they returned. We all were a bit dismayed at the whole race. I was asked by one of the organizers if it was my first ultra and when I said no, they walked away from me. Guess that wasn't the answer I was looking for.
The long and short of it is that I don't know if I will attempt this race again. I felt disappointed in the fact I spent some money on an entry into a race that wasn't as well organized as it needed to be in the heat. Hopefully, they will get the bugs out of it if they attempt to host it next year, but I don't think I will be running any more first time held type races. Guess I stick to Slug Runs!

Happy trails and hope you're staying cool

Thursday, August 2, 2007

In Memory Of Capt. Phil Whitlock

This past Saturday I lost a fellow firefighter and a good friend to a massive heart attack. Despite all efforts, he was unable to be saved. The news was delivered to me by his dear companion and it was quite a shock. I thought about Phil a lot over the past days and how much he will be missed by everyone. He was a great firefighter and EMT, and served as our captain for this year. I know that people die and it's a part of life, but it's hard to lose someone who did so much.

I will miss his sense of humor, his smile, and his dedication to the fire service. It was an honor to be in the fire department with him. If only everyone in the volunteer fire service had as much loyalty and dedication to their station and the job as he.

He was laid to rest yesterday with full honors, the sounding of the last alarm calling him to his final resting place. Moments like that remind me of the ultimate importance of the duties we perform and to love all of those who serve for the greater good. So to all of you who are in public service, Thank you and I feel honored to be in service with you.

Happy trails and Safe return

Pokey slug

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Buffalo Stampede 10K

I ran the Buffalo Stampede 10K over the weekend and had a wonderful time. I love this local race, fast and flat on the back rounds of Wyoming Delaware. The race started and I settled into my favorite Pokey pace, slowly making my way through the orchards and such. Before I hit the turn around point I caught up with a young man attempting his 2nd 10K and a PR to boot. At 10 years old, Young Alex proved to be a wonderful running companion. We spoke of all things Harry Potter, Science, and Soccer related. As we were on our last mile, Alex kept pushing himself, managing to out sprint me in the end to earn himself a new 10K PR and 2nd place in the age group. I, being a slug, proudly embraced the dead last award and managed through a stroke of Pokey Luck to get 1st place in my age group. The after party had beer and brats... a great combination and I got this great Wooden Buffalo Trophy!
During my run with Alex, I remember so much of what I have learned in the past year or so through my friendships with all the slugs. It's not always about how fast the journey is, but about how you run it. Sometimes you just have to "run how you feel" (in the words of Brother James). Thanks to young Alex for reminding me of the "feel" of running and just how much fun it can be.
Keep running!!
Pokey Slug

Recounting a few months in a short time..

I left off with tales of Umstead and so much has been going since then.

May was full of busy things, which I cannot recall. In June one of my bestest friends and biggest running fans got married to a wonderful man. Much fun was had by all of the VT crew and we have pictures to prove it. July in DE has been hot and full of long runs on the weekends as I prepare to run The North Face 50K in DC on August 4th. I will be in good running company as Down and Durty slug and Merigayle will be running the 50 miler. I have 9 hours to finish, so I am hoping for a respectable crazy horse time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A few notes....

I had every intention of finishing up my report on the Umstead trip, and I will. I finally got the pictures to everyone in Team Meri-Go-Round, so I guess my weekend report will be following in a few. :)~

During April I got out for 2 great trails runs, the first was the Mt. Penn Mudfest in Reading, PA. I was joined by Altoids, one of my interpid running buddies. The race was the Saturday before Easter and the weather was Chilly. There were Flurries before the race and at that moment it wasn't seeming like so much fun. Once it started and we got to talking, it went pretty fast. There was some mud and some pretty intense water crossings, which would have been lovely had it been 70 degrees or so, but were Brisk, to say the least, in 30 degree weather. It was a great time and I have to give many thanks to those manning the beer tent around mile 7. You made my day! The other great trail run was put on by Delaware's Fine Trail Dawgs. I ran the 10K option of their Triple Crown Race. It was a beautiful run through White Clay park and had a bit of mud, which just added to my delight. I managed to post a 10K trail PR and ended the day with a large steak.
Also during April was the unfortunate events at Virginia Tech. Being Alumni, I was shocked and upset by it all. Tech was my second home and what happened there hit hard. My heart goes out to all those affected by it.

After meetings with Top secret Slug planners, the Course for the RBC 50K remains under wraps. We're still trying to figure out a way to train the guide goats, but they keep eating the trail markers. The spring was slow to get here, but I am ready to get out and get some miles in. No worries, the hitman and I will clear the RBC course of all attack birds while training this summer and I will be in fine crazy horse form.

Happy trails, keep smiling
Pokey Slug

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Umstead-A rocking good time!

After a bit of time off from bloggin', I bring you crew/pacer tales from the Umstead 100 Mile. The weekend started on Thursday for me, with a trip over to a friend's in NOVA before finishing the trip down to NC. A quick trip to the local supermarket was made for some yummy cakes to bring to the runner I was pacing. Friday morning I was picked up by Gingerbread and Altoids (from the midnight run incident) and we started our journey to the South. The weather was nice, we made it to the hotel, and caught up with our runner and Sistergoldenhair, another crew member. We then went to the pre-race stuff, grabbed some great pasta at a local place, and hit the stor for some last minute items.
Back at the Hotel, Merigayle, our 100 mile runner went over some crew/pacer thoughts and we got everything prepared for the next day. Meri was nice enough to hook us up with some Swag bags filled with pixie sticks, glow sticks, mini magic 8 balls, and an "offical Team Meri-Go-Round" T-shirt. It was really great. Our Crew room decided to get up around 4:15 in order to prepare for the next day. The race started at 6am, so it was looking to be an early morning for all. Before we knew it, the alarm was going off and we were getting into the cars to head to the park.
We got to the park with plenty of time to spare and Down and Durty Slug already had a prime location staked out for us. We started to get everything set up (we had tons of stuff). You never what one might need during a 100 mile race and what a crew needs while staying up with you the 24+ hours. Gingerbread's wonderful Sister and Friend hooked us up with some primo coffee, which was much appreciated. I managed to catch up with The All Nighter and Sluggette at the Start line and got hugs. Before I knew it, the race had started and Meri was well on her way.

Stay Tuned for part two of the Umstead report!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

midnight running and the man

Since Da'Hitman was laying low due to a misunderstanding involving an elephant, dogfishhead ale, and some peanut butter, I headed out of town to take the heat off. Miss Merigayle is going to run her first 100 miler at Umstead this year, so it was a perfect weekend to get some midnight running in.I picked up Down and Durty and we headed off to the wilds of Valley Forge PA. After a brief stop at Dick's for some yaktraks and hand/toe warmers, we enjoyed stories and some back roads navigation before arriving at the meeting place of the top secret midnight run. After watering some of the local fauna, I returned to the car and we waited for the rest of our band of misfit runners to arrive. Low and Behold, The Local Man AKA the 5-0 showed up, bringing Ranger Rick along. As we all know, RR likes to bust slugs more than anything else. After some quick thinking, Down and Durty and I did our best innocent routine and got directions back to 202 South. RR and the 5-0 did take my plates, registration, and license number down, most likely to add to the Most Wanted Slug list. Rest assured Da' Hitman is still # 1 until this elephant thing gets resolved. We quickly regrouped, called our partners in midnight running crime, and went with plan B. At least RR didn't catch me destroying parK property when I was watering the trees.
After meeting up at the second top secret location, an intrepid group of runners introduced each other and set out for the brisk midnight run. In attendance were Meri, Altoids, Mr. Altoids, Quevin, The mighty-E who runs like the wind, K-man who is also a fast runner, The amazing R who can conduct business and run really fast, and the G-man, not the government type, but another fast runner. We set off (minus G-man at the time) and the speed demons were off. The night was crisp, in the mid-20s, no wind, with good visibility. I quickly peeled off for another watering trip and caught back up with Down and Durty and Quevin, who were on pokey catching duty. The trail was a little icy at places, but overall was pretty clear/snowpacked. Mr. Altoids ran with me for good bit of the night and we had great conversations. It seems that discussing life and philosophy is just something for which midnight trail runs were made.
After completeing a few loops, Altoids and Mr. Altoids retired after a busy weekend for some much deserved sleep. I decided to walk for a little while to save the leg a bit. It was my first big long run since JFK and my stress fracture diagnosis. I can say that I am returning to my former pokey self and will be in fine pokey shape by RBC. I walked at a good clip, would catch up with the Meri band of runners and run back on the loop with them. The last two loops were really great and I had some much fun laughing and joking with everyone. Meri was all smiles and fun, I kow she is going to do so great at Umstead.
When the run was finished, Down and Durty and I made our way to a local Diner for some much needed breakfast. After a large breakfast and half a cannoli each, we drove back to the DE so D&D could pick up his car and we could both make it to our respective homes for some shut-eye.
The midnight run was complete fun and I was happy to distract Ranger Rick so Da' Hitman could finish installing the Slug Traps and quicksand pits to the RBC course.

Keep Smilin'
Pokey Slug

ps- Just for the record, it was crunchy peanut butter and the elephant was not harmed.

Monday, February 5, 2007


The wild weeks of Feb are upon us. The air is crisp (FREEZING!?!) and it is a chore to get ourselves out for a run. I myself fell vicitm to the cold yesterday and retreated to the Elliptical for a "long" workout. The weather is barely crawling above freezing this week, but I'll get out one or two days this week. I'll just keep the thoughts of summer tucked away and plod on through the run. I am looking forward to my weekly trip to the super secret trails of Central DE. Bundle up everyone and enjoy some Hot Cocoa for me!- The Pokey Slug