Pinellas Trail Challenge, 46 mile race on one of the hottest days of the year. Warning, long race report.
This was my second ever ultra back in 2015 and one I’ve wanted to win ever since. It’s my favorite race, right behind the 6 hour Durty Beer Run, due to the generosity of all the volunteers, the course, and most of all the challenge, this is such a grueling race. Every year since 2015 apart from 2017 when I was injured, I’ve toed the line with a belief, probably more desire, that I could win this race, but usually cramping comes into play and my pace falls off. This year was no different but I think I had more confidence, I told more people that I was going to win this year, this was going to be my year. However there was a little doubt in the back of my mind, before my 60K Bryce Canyon race at the end of May my hip, which I had replaced almost 11 years ago, has been bothering me and at the end of the race it was screaming with me from the climbing, descent and soft sand. It was okay for the Lake Baldwin race in July which I finished second after cramping at mile 20, but once again screamed at me after the 6 Hour Durty Beer Run in August just 3 weeks earlier. In fact doing an easy training run the Thursday after I pulled up after 3 miles as my hip was getting worse and the pain travelling down my leg and I had to walk 1.5 miles back to my car. I didn’t run again for 8 days and instead took to the pool and swam 1.5 miles each day, which is something I don’t do. I had a couple of runs the week leading up to the race but the last run on Wednesday also had my hip reminding me of the challenge ahead. But with all of that I somehow felt confident and told the Clever Training Run group I was going to win, I told … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Yesterday I won the Durty B-ee-rr-un 6 Hour Race for the 5th time, tying my course record from last year of 39.6 miles with 20 minutes left on the clock. This was the last year the race directors Sean & Tracey Connolly were holding this race but hopefully someone will pick it up. This was my first ultra back in 2015 after reading Chris McDougal’s Born to Run and Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run captivated me to push to see what my body and mind would be capable of. After my first marathon in 2013 my hip, which I had replaced just over 2 year earlier, was screaming at me and I was unable to run more than a mile for a year so I had no interest in ever running that distance again, let alone further. I learned of this free “Fat Ass” race and decided this was a perfect opportunity to see if I could run that long without damaging my hip again and being injured. Fortunately I did very well and finished second and although my hip was sore it recovered quickly enough for me to run the Pinellas Trail Challenge 46 mile race 3 weeks later with the same outcome. The race directors, Sean, Michael and Susan Anger for this Grand Slam series have opened the door for me and many others to dip their toes into the world of ultras without any cost, and over the years I’ve introduced these races to many others to come down to try. Their commitment to putting on these exceptional races have helped and inspired runners to achieve levels they never would have attempted if it wasn’t for them.
For me the Durty Beer Run is the best format of the 3 for new runners. It’s a timed race, so you can run whatever distance you want. The course is a loop, anywhere from 3 to 3.6 miles, easily allowing the runner to self crew with a cooler at the start/finish line, it runs along the water edge for much of the race, and now runs around the … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Bryce Canyon 60K Race recap. Maybe this race should carry a “Do not try this at home, if you live in Florida” warning. I thought I was prepared for this race with a chance to come out and win it, but no matter how you train it doesn’t prepare you for it. I had been training on the Belleair bridge 3 times a week for the last 3 months, including back to back 34 & 28 miles. But with our incline of maybe 4% it doesn’t come close to the continuous climbs that you face on a real trail. Add to that 7,500 feet elevation at the start with over 4,600 feet of climbing, the sun beating down on you, dry air and the dust it was a challenge.
The race started out at 6am, with about 280 people in the field. I recognized the person that had won the race the previous 2 years and was hoping that I could beat his 6 hours 18 minute time. There were more competitors this year so I also knew that there were probably other people coming to do the same and when the race started and the lead pack started the run up-hill in soft sand I knew it was going to be tough to win. Race temperature at the start of the race was around 37 degrees and would stay chilly for a couple of hours. Rather than chase them I settled into my own pace and let a group of 15 or so run ahead. I knew the first 4.4 miles were the steepest climbs in the race and didn’t want to go out too hard, but looking back at my Garmin stats it said my heart rate went up to 192 before I hit the steepest portion where I walked. I actually felt pretty good during that section and just thought part of the heavy breathing was just the altitude that I hadn’t quite got used to only coming to this area 48 hours earlier. I had to get a massage Thursday morning as my calf’s were destroyed … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Unfortunately yesterday was meant to be, my right foot that I injured 3 weeks ago running bridge repeats reappeared at mile 21. It feels like a broken bone on the top of my foot but I was still able to push off and felt strong to mile 35, running 21 minutes ahead of last years’ time and on target for a sub 19 hour finish, having to tell myself to slow down several times. I thought about quitting at 31 at the end of the third loop as I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish but I pushed on hoping it would go away. At mile 41 my gait had been thrown off and both ankles felt bad, my right hamstring my right hamstring was tight and my right knee and glute were complaining. I wanted to quit but Luis who was crewing me wouldn’t let me and gave my foot a massage and put some icy hot on it and I went out again. It felt good for about 2 miles but I think that was because I sat down for 10 minutes. I thought about quitting again as I came back into the hub but decided to continue to get 50 miles in, some painful moments but I pushed through. At mile 51 the end of the 5th loop, I passed Jeff I told him I was done, I had ran 30 miles on an injured foot and it wasn’t getting better, Brian told me I was listing to my left pretty badly . When I got back to my cooler Luis had different plans and had my change of shoes and socks ready and some tape for my foot, David had turned up early ready to pace me for 2 loops, Cindy was also there for another so not wanting to let anyone down he taped me up and off I went again.
Luis was doing what I needed him to do, trying to get me to the end and making sure as best as we could that it wasn’t anything serious, I thank him for
When I had my hip replaced 10 years ago I wasn’t even a runner. I was someone that played soccer until I was just over 40 and then did nothing for almost 10 years before having my hip replaced. I started running to lose some weight and pretty soon fell in love with it and it’s taken me on an incredible journey. I’ve had some downs but those were due to me not listening to my body, but the vast majority has been in the “runners high”. I’ve met some great people along the way, runners with incredible talent, runners with incredible patience and runners with incredible stories. There’s always something to learn along the route, take time to absorb it all and don’t take it for granted.
I’ve ran 2,000 miles for 4 of the last 5 years and if you had asked me if I thought I could run 50% more in one year I would have said no, but as we know 2020 hasn’t been a normal year. I place much of my success to being surrounded by great friends that continue to motivate me every day, to following a keto life style allowing my body to recover quicker than it would otherwise, and also to running slow.
I hope my stories that I’ve shared have encouraged you a little to go the extra mile, to run after being told you can’t, and to enjoy your passion. I wish I would have found this sport when I was young and wonder what may have been, but for now I continue to push and refuse to let age slow me down. I’ve still won several races this year, set course records and new PR’s and somehow get faster. That will change, but hopefully my passion for this won’t.
Wishing you all enjoy the holidays, stay safe with your family and hope that 2021 is better for all of us. Dave.
Today was a vey important day, bringing awareness to something most of us don’t know. My friend organized the 22 mile run today for this. I decided to continue the run, carrying the flag to meet the author of the book “The Eagle on My Arm” and Thunder the Eagle. This was a very personal story for Telia and he is featured with a chapter in the book. It was a pleasure and an honor to be part of a great event. I ended up running a total of 47 miles consuming zero calories, just salt caps, magnesium and Ultima Replenisher electrolytes.
Everyday, 22 veterans lose their battle to post traumatic stress on American soil. That is 1 veterans every 65 minutes. The rates for the active duty individual services per 100,000 according to the report, were 23 for the Army, 23.1 for the Marine Corps, 14.4 for the Air Force and 13.4 for the Navy.
The Veteran Administration statistics confirm 22 Veterans a day are succumbing to suicide on American soil. The total number of those losing their battle grows larger with each day research and treatments are not able to be done. The Military Suicide Awareness #22ADAY Movement is the advocacy action network and the natural next step to the mission of the Military Veteran Project. Military Suicide Awareness gives a voice to the vast network of volunteers, donors, and participants involved in the work of the Military Veteran Project. This run today was organized by my friend Telia Hann. A veteran who has used the services of an Eagle on my Arm to overcome many challenges related to his service. Thank you for organizing this event.
Well I guess it’s fitting that my 100th post is about my 100 mile run earlier this year in January. I previously wrote about my DNF at Ancient Oaks, pulling out in second place after 62 miles because I had fallen so many times on what for me was a difficult trail. I’m a road runner and only get to hit the trails about 5 times a year as I don’t pick my fit up high enough, it’s not the tree roots or rough sections cut up by the wild hogs, it’s the little rocks or roots that catch me out. It took me about a week to decide that I wasn’t done with 100’s and that I would enter the Long Haul 100 in just 3 weeks. Sure I wouldn’t lose my fitness in that time but would my body recover enough from this hard run and with all the eating and drinking associated with the holiday period. I guess there’s only one way to find out and I signed up.
I made one trip to the race location with my running buddy Ray to check out the course as it was slightly different from last year, and I needed a little confidence boost that it was going to be easier and I wouldn’t fall as often. It’s a 1 mile run in from the parking lot followed by 10 loops of a 3 leg layout returning to the hub after each smaller out and back. The first section starts on a hard pack dirt path and then out onto the grass, about 3.5 miles round trip and the easiest part of the course. Next is the longest leg, around 5 miles with a ¼ mile on tarmac before entering into the woods, along the Hall of Pines, out to the aid station and then back. This is the prettiest section and only contains a couple of areas where the footing is uneven due to the hogs and a small section with several hidden roots. The last section just less than 2 miles took the runners into … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Summer in Florida with temperatures in the 90’s and feels like over 100, who would consider running ultras in this heat. Welcome to the Summer Slam Series, 3 races that take place 3 to 4 weeks each with unique challenges.
First up was the Lake Baldwin 50K in Orlando, 10 loops of a 2.5 mile loop around the lake on a tarmac path for a total of 32.5 miles. Going into this race I hadn’t trained as much as I wanted, after running the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee, I took a 9 day break on my vacation but fell while fishing running to grab a rod with a Snook on it. My first run back I could feel my knee that I landed hard on and it then effected my hip, I think I jarred it on the impact. For the next couple of weeks every run felt off and I wasn’t planting my left leg firmly. About a week before the race it started to feel better. The race starts at 8:30 in the morning, so it is already very hot with minimal shade on the course, but at least every loop you can stop and refuel before heading out again. A strong group of 5 runners kept together for the first 3 laps (me, Andy, Jeff, Bruce and Jason) setting a good pace, with Luis starting in a later wave, any of which could win the race. I fell a little behind from the water stop and had to catch the group back up, when I did I pushed the pace a little but was caught again by the time we entered the aid station area again. Jeff ran through and had a nice lead with Andy next and me third. I caught Andy at the end of the next loop and was now chasing down Jeff. I caught him about a half mile before the end of loop 6 and was now in first place, a lead I would not give up. It got real hot with a feel like over 100 degrees and that started … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
New at LifetimeRunning.net: “At 60, Dave Whiteside is running fast ultra-marathons with a hip replacement.” Not just fast, but he also recently logged a 200-mile training week as part of the Race Across Tennessee. Whiteside doesn’t follow the well-trod path. He went Keto several years ago, believes he can improve his marathon and ultra-marathon PRs, and generally chooses a full, energetic, challenge-filled life over just getting along. Read the full story.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I can’t believe I’ve just ran 200 miles in the last 7 days and also walked 15 miles on top of that. A friend of mine ran that distance 2 weeks ago he said why don’t I do it, I thought about it and said no way, the maximum I thought I could ever do was 140. I didn’t think any more of it as a weekly goal but knew last week I had planned to run a lot of miles to finish the #GVRAT (The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee) before I go on vacation May 30th. Every time I thought about finishing in that time I kind of dismissed it, I knew it meant running a marathon a day for 2 weeks and some longer runs on top of it. As this weekend (Fri-Mon) came around I set myself an ambitious goal of 31, 42, 42 & 31 miles which would leave 3 more marathons for me to finish the 635 miles in 28 days on May 28th, and hopefully a Top 100 finish (out of 19,000+). Yesterday when I was running I knew back to back 42’s was going to be really tough both mentally and physically, so I decided to run 50 miles yesterday so it would only require me to run 34 today, so much easier. My usual weekly mileage is around 45 miles, but during this pandemic it’s been higher around 70 miles. Last week was a new high for me with 108 after the previous weeks 92. It was only yesterday when I looked at Strava that I realized if I ran the 84 miles it would bring me to exactly 200 miles, kind of weird that it worked out that way. Fingers crossed the next 4 days will go to plan and I can finish this race without injury and then enjoy a 9 day break from running. This race has been fun but pushed me way outside my comfort zone, and this heat and humidity is no fun, but at a 10:02 pace it’s been an amazing journey. 105.76 … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
A nice little write up about me, my running journey since my hip replacement and how the ElliptiGo has helped me. I have to write at least 3 reports about recent runs, races etc. Having my hip replacement was a life changer, I hope you have the confidence to follow your heart and go for it.
Wow what a day, one I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. For my 60th birthday I decided to raise money to feed families in need with a great organization called FeedingTampaBay.org. I was originally going to run the Big Sur marathon which has been on my bucket list for some time. When that got cancelled I came up with this crazy idea to run 60 miles crossing over Belleair Bridge 80 times to help feed families in our community during these difficult times. I haven’t done any fundraising before so I’m not sure where this came from, maybe the seed was planted by my good friend Leo doing so many charitable events. As the day grew closer, the thoughts of Big Sur and Yosemite had become a distant memory, replaced with something much bigger and more rewarding.
I trained harder for this run than any race I’ve ever done, I didn’t want to let people down and wanted to make sure I could finish the challenge to thank everyone that contributed to my fundraiser. So many people donated and shared my posts, and then their friends also donated. My original goal of $2,500 was quickly met so I increased it to $5,000, and when that was met they suggested I increase it to $6,000, it made sense, 60 / 60 / $6,000. I was also lucky to have my run covered by 2 local news stations, NBC CH8 and CBS CH10 to help get the word out.
I met Ray at the bottom of the bridge and we started the run at 3am, luckily the weather was kind to us, it was dry and a nice breeze. We started at a slow pace and had the bridge to ourselves for a couple of hours. Dave and Jeff came out and joined us sometime around 6:30 and would alternate running over the bridge with me, Darin is injured but also stopped by on his bike and Beth also came out a little later. Ray’s wife Robin also stopped by several times during the run as she
I came down with Shingles mid February and wasn’t able to run or do much for 2 weeks. It was very painful, on the right side of my face and in my eye, the headaches were unbearable. Well after that I started running again and felt great, running 62 miles the first week back which was pretty much the first week of the Covid-19 outbreak in Florida. That mileage would usually be what I would be doing leading up to my summer ultras. I was training for Big Sur in April, the day after my 60th birthday but with the news I knew that was doubtful, but I had to keep training just in case. The following week I ran 60 miles and then received the expected news that Big Sur was postponed, along with pretty much every race in the country being postponed or cancelled.
But rather than stopping waiting for races to start up again, I continued to push myself and the following week I ran 70 miles. I think I had only ever ran 70 miles for training one other time. I felt great, running with a couple of friends of mine as I was working from home and not travelling to Miami, it was a little easier. I was also walking 4 miles several days a week. Given my level of fitness and now not having a race around my birthday, I came up with an idea to give back to my community by running on my birthday. I decided to run a mile for each year, so on Saturday April 25th I will be running 60 miles. I decided to make it even harder by doing the entire run on a bridge, running up and over the bridge 80 times, 0.75 mile per crossing with a climb of about 65 feet. The most I had ever done prior to this was a 50K which was 42 bridge climbs, so this would be pretty much double that distance, not an easy task given the heat and humidity that I expect. But I wanted to make it … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
A year ago I ran the Long Haul 100 finishing in 20 hours 49 minutes and after it vowed never to run another 100 miler again. Well we’ve all said that and we know how long that lasts. So this year I decided to try again and aim for a sub 20 hour finish. I decided to run the Ancient Oaks 100 on the east coast in Titusville, Florida at the end of December. I started off strong and was feeling great. I had trained hard for the last several months and the last 8 weeks had done back to back long runs each weekend, around 20 miles each run. I had selected this race rather than running the Long Haul again in January as I had a goal race in February called the Last Man Standing where I was hoping to run the 4.166 miles every hour for as long as I could, hopefully to be the last man standing. This would allow me about 8 weeks to recover for what would probably be 150+ mile race.
I thought this 100 would be good training and I planned to run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute and repeat the process and I felt like I could still finish sub-20. However when I started I decided I would run the first lap of the 3.5 loop course to get a feel of course and where the difficult parts were and then plan to walk those sections on each loop. For some reason, probably because of my competitiveness, I didn’t walk and carried on running each loop, but watching my Stryd power meter to make sure I wasn’t going over 200 watts, so my effort was consistent and my pace varied as the wind and terrain changed. I felt like I kept my nutrition going well and I was feeling good running my race, not worrying about my position.
After the Pinellas Trail Challenge 3 weeks ago and my legs cramping and feeling heavy, I thought I would cancel this race but just like every time, a few days later we’ve forgot all the pain and we’re ready to go. So I trained less in the 3 weeks leading up to this, and apart from doing 500 squats in 15 minutes without stopping the Monday before, I was as ready as I could be. This race would bring my race mileage close to 190 miles in 10 weeks, definitely pushing the limits for an amateur athlete, let alone one at 59 years old with a hip replacement.
I drove Jiri from our Clever Training run club up to the race in the morning and when we got out of the car the temperature was cool, unfortunately that wouldn’t last long. We lined up and at 7 Justin started the race with about 150 people running either the 6 hour or 12 hour event of 2.85 mile loops around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida. I started off easy, my plan was a 9 minute mile but I found it hard to follow that and was closer to 8:45. Initially 4 people were ahead of me, 2 of which I would pass after a couple of laps and the other 2 were in the 6 hour race.
I started the race fasted, having my usually steak dinner the night before. The first 2 laps I ran without and fluids and then I picked up my handheld with Tailwind that would see me the next 2 laps. I then grabbed a sports bar, had some water and grabbed my next handheld. By the end of the 5th lap the sun was up, the temperature was rising, and there was a breeze but when running with it, it felt warm and I drank the 20 oz by the time I came in for the 6th lap. I grabbed my cap and sunglasses and headed out again, by now my legs started to feel a little heavy and my pace slowed to … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Yes we do crazy things here in the heat and humidity in the peak of Florida’s summer, we run around a 3 mile loop as many times as we can in 6 hours. This race was my first ultra back in 2015 after reading Born to Run (Chris McDougal) and Eat & Run (Scott Jurek) inspired me to see what I could achieve. After running my first marathon in 2013 and being injured for a year after that with my hip, it’s crazy to think I would try this, but now I love it and I have no issues with my hip. It’s a free race and usually attracts about a hundred runners and I’ve been lucky enough to finish second in my first attempt and win in 2017 and 2018 setting and improving the course record on those attempts. So I always feel there’s pressure on me to come and do my best and compete against some strong young talent. 4 weeks earlier I won the first in the Summer Slam Series of 3 ultras, and my training had been going well so I was optimistic heading into this race.
There was another strong field at the event this year of which anyone of these could win, Michael, Jason, Greg, Luis who normally participate with an average age in the early 30’s. Bruce who had come up from the Miami area, he came second in the Long Haul 100 and also did well in the Antelope 100. Andy, 25, who had recently joined the Clever Training run group that I run with, had ran a few ultra’s and was a sponsored Spartan athlete. The group fancied his chances against me, less than half my age and in good shape but would the distance and heat be too much for him. Then there were a couple of other young faces I didn’t know that looked like they came out to run a tough race. The race started at 6:30am with high humidity and Michael immediately set of at a fast pace running a sub 8 minute mile and started to … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Ok, I’ve registered a group for the Big Sur Marathon, April 26th 2020. We’ll be notified on July 25th if we get in, I’ve put an entry in for 8 people, first people to commit 100% will have their names added and must register by 8/12.
Another overall win this weekend at the first of the Summer Slam series in Florida during the heat of the summer. I’ve been training really hard for the last 10 weeks after finally getting over a little niggle that I had before my 100 miler in January which I carried through to the Antelope Canyon race in Arizona in March. I had wanted to run a couple of other races before this, but decided to back off and fully recover for the series. These were the first ultras I did starting back in 2015, and running and winning this race in Orlando in July 2016. These 3 races hold a special place in my heart, having exposed me to something I never imagined and so glad to have found these and the wonderful experiences I’ve had.
For the last 10 weeks I’ve picked up my training a little bit, not completely following MAF, allowing my HR to be about 10-15 beats higher on my easier runs. I also upped my short runs from 4 miles to 6 miles and incorporated a bridge in them when possible. For my long runs I’ve been training on my local bridge doing anywhere from 24 – 36 bridge repeats each weekend in the heat. My feeling was that if I train on the bridge, running the flats, of which these 3 races are, it will feel easier and I will be stronger. This race started at 8:40am so I’ve also been starting most of my training runs at 8 rather than getting up early like all the crazies and starting at 6. The first couple I did trying to keep my heart rate within a zone, allowing it to go to 140 up the bridge and trying to bring it down to 120 down. Of course as the temperature increased into the run so did my heart rate, but I didn’t push it any harder. The bridge if 0.75 miles and each climb has an elevation gain of about 70 feet. I try to do the first 12 climbs, 9 miles, fasted, without any … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Who would be interested in running the Big Sur Marathon on April 26th, 2020. It’s supposed to be one of the most scenic marathons in the world, they also have 21 mile, 11 mile and 12K options.. Registration is a lottery drawing, however they also support group registrations. I’m thinking if we can get a group of Hip Runners to register as a group we would have a pretty good chance of getting in. Registration starts July 8th and the group drawing is made starting on July 15th. Let me know if you’re interested and I start the group registration processes.
Sunday, Feb 17th, I ran the Whispering Pines 6 Hour race. I selected this race as it was a good warm-up for one of my ‘A’ races 3 weeks later, the Antelope Canyon 55K on March 9th. It was only 4 weeks ago I ran my first 100 miler and after that I took 9 days off to recover. Then I did a a few easy runs. I would say for the last 18 months I’ve trained mainly by MAF with probably no more than a handful of speed workouts. However after my 100 miler I feel that I’ve lost some of my speed and I slow down sooner than I did previously so I decided to incorporate some faster workouts into my training. For me this is a fine line as the speed work is what usually triggers hip pain and possibly a long injury layoff. That’s why I started MAF and also following a Keto lifestyle and I think both have helped a lot. I wake up almost every day without aches and jump out of bed without any stiff muscles etc. 2 weeks before the race I trained above my MAF Heart Rate, nothing too fast but faster than I usually train and the week later I did 4 short quarter mile speed workouts, around a 5:30 pace. I also did a 14 mile training run in the soft sand as the 55K has a lot of sand in the first two thirds of the race. My hip didn’t feel to bad but maybe with all of that it set my glutes off, or is it my piriformis? Driving 5 days to Miami in my wife’s Nissan Altima with a lower profile and bucket seats also angered my glutes. One day I only ran ½ mile before I turned back as they were screaming at me. 1 week before the race a ran a marathon as a pacer, a friend of mine wanted to break her 4:32 PR and I brought her in at 4:22, with the last 4 miles being the quickest … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)