I didn’t have high expectations for this race given how my hip has been playing up the last 6 weeks. It fell apart during the Orlando 50K and 10 miles into the 6 hour Durty Beer Run it went again and I was forced to walk for a couple of hours but managed to run again at the end. Last weekend I went out for an easy 10 mile training run just on the flat road rather than my usual bridge repeats, but 6 miles in my hip gave up and I was forced to run/walk the remaining 4 miles home. So going into the PTC this year I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete to win the race and the chances of me being able to complete the race were pretty low. I decided I was still going to go out and hope that I could finish ahead of Brian C Heeren and Scott Bauer Hoover who me close to me for the Summer Slam award. I planned to run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute and see what I could do. I told Luis A. Gomez before the race I was not going to be able to compete and word got to Jeff Iosa who was expecting to battle me and Brian Sharbono for first place. Jeff saw me at the start line talking to Brian Heeren and said he had heard the bad news, I hadn’t told him as I didn’t want to encourage him to go after me and win the slam as I knew this was going to be the last year I compete in the slam series. So I said I was just going to aim for a 7 1/2 hour finish time which I was hoping was going to be too fast for Brian to chase me. In my mind I had no confidence in that time as I didn’t know if I could even finish.
I had concerns going into the race given that 3 weeks earlier my hip was bad during Lake Baldwin 50K, but fitness wise I was on top of my game. The week leading up to this I switched running to swimming to give my hip as much rest as possible and just went for a shakeout run the day before. There were a lot more runners this year and you never know who’s going to turn up and surprise you, but I knew Jeff for sure was going to give me a run for my money. We started of together setting a good pace just under 8 minutes but it felt comfortable. We knew we would have to back off from that pace given the heat and humidity with temperatures in the mid 90’s and feels like over 100 degrees. We came in to the end of the 3.6 mile loop together and got a handheld to drink on the next loop, nutrition was going to be important given the heat we were racing in. We slowed the pace down to right around an 8 minute pace as we headed out again and still everything felt good. I was breathing easy and felt comfortable as we came into the end of the second loop and grabbed new handhelds.
As we started loop 3 I could feel my hip beginning and Jeff’s pace had quickened a little to sub 8 so I was happy enough to let him go, it’s a long race. However by the time we got to the pier about 1.5 miles into the loop, my hip pain had got significantly worse. I carried on running but looking at my watch my pace had slowed to around 8:40 and by the time we left the pier it was now 9:15. I was unable to push off with my left leg with my hip pain and my left leg started collapsing inward occasionally, I knew then my race was over. As I limped in to the end of the loop I was surprised I still hadn’t been caught by … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
My training had gone well leading up to this race, the Lake Balwin 52K race, but in the last 2 weeks I had noticed my hip had started to feel a little tight. Since my trip during the Manchester Marathon in April when I broke my scaphoid and had my hand in plaster for 8 weeks and the 6 weeks since, I still cannot put my body weight on my hand and haven’t been able to do much foam rolling, hip strengthening exercises or general mobility stretching. I also ran on the beach on Wednesday evening with my niece and nephew over from England which isn’t great for my hip due to the slant, so I went for a massage Thursday morning to help it. My initial pan was to go the night before and get a hotel with Brian but it was my sisters birthday that day so I couldn’t really leave. Luckily Andy was driving up in the morning so I hopped in the car with him.
I was expecting Michael Stork to be there and to challenge Andy and myself for first place, and you never know who else is going to show up that you don’t know, I knew Jeff was out of town. Brad gathered everyone for the start and we set of. I took up the pace at the front and decided to push the pace harder than I normally would As Andy usually starts well but fades later, but I also know he’s done a lot of ultras over the last 2 years and has learnt a lot so I wasn’t expecting an easy race. Despite the high temperature and humidity the pace felt comfortable as we ran sub 8 minute pace. The race consists of 13 laps of Lake Baldwin, a 2.5 mile loop with not a lot of shade. It’s a good course and the distance is easy to self support from a cooler at the back of the car as you finish each loop. I finished the 1st, 2nd and 3rd loop in first place with … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
10 days after my Manchester Marathon PR of 3:06:41 in England I was in Miami visiting my office where I worked for 7 years before becoming a remote employee after Covid. It was the Miami Corporate Challenge 5K Race, an event that has about 20,000 runners. I hadn’t ran a 5K for 4 years and with having my lower arm and hand in a cast from my trip at the marathon I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to run. I positioned myself near the front as I secured the top seed spot from my company which I was happy about as I didn’t want to fall during the race with so many runners. However with there being so many people there wasn’t an opportunity to warm up before the race so it was going to be a cold start, if you can say that the temperature in the high 80’s and high humidity.
Eventually after a small delay the gun went off and everyone charged forward. I couldn’t believe it when about 400 yards down we had a hairpin turn paralleling where we had just come from and everyone merged in. I was thinking great, this is going to be a cluster **** and I could easily do down in a crowd. Luckily I managed to get around without incident and had a straight road ahead of me. It felt fast, my first mile was 6:20, only abut 30 seconds faster than my marathon pace for the first 17 miles but this was much harder. The weather was a factor, probably not fully recovered from the marathon, and possible the steak I had at lunch about 6 hours before the race at 6:30pm.
I knew I would have to dig deep to keep going, I was breathing heavy, it was tough and I wanted to slow down but wouldn’t give in. I just kept telling myself it’s a 5K and you expect to feel like this so deal with it and keep going. Every step was hard, it wasn’t going to be easy, but I just pushed as … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Last year wasn’t a great running year for me, having been injured for most of the year and missing several races. So when my sister posted something about this race I decided to register as we hadn’t been back to England for 4 years. I started getting shock wave treatments for my Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy but after 6 sessions it hadn’t really done anything and now it was too late to have the operation and recover in time for the race in April. So early December I decided it was time to train for it, not knowing if I would rupture my Achilles in trying or what else could go wrong. My first few runs hurt and I would have to take a couple of days off as my heel was objecting but I kept at it and eventually it started cooperating. I bought a pair of Sauchony Endorphin Pro 2’s on sale as they have no heel counter and the back was soft to minimize rubbing on my heel and it appeared to be working. They’re more of a racing shoe rather than training but I had no option. In fact I loved them so much that after my second run I bought another pair and the week after another pair.
So now I was able to run I started to hit the bridges again for my training, the Belleair Bridge is a 75 feet climb and 0.75 miles from side to side, which I would eventually run over almost 200 times in the next 3 months leading up to the race. I took Monday and Friday’s off and ran back to back long runs Saturday and Sunday building up the distance a little until I hit about 50 miles a week and every 4th week a scaled back. I didn’t run on the beach due to the angle as I didn’t want to aggravate my hip at all and also didn’t enter any races as I didn’t want to risk injury as I focused on my A race for the year. In addition I would try to … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Well after wrapping up our vacation in California after the Big Sur marathon it was time to get back to training for the Grand Teton half marathon just 4 weeks away. This was also another race I had been wanting to run for some time, I was registered for it 3 years earlier but had to cancel it but was looking forward to it and vacationing in the Grand Teton area. I noticed some pain in my left heel at the back of the Achilles and under my heel but it would ease after a couple of miles. I managed to get a couple of 7 miles runs in each week leading up to race week but my heel was getting stiffer, as I got up out of bed it was sore to put weight on it and get any flexibility with it. Now I had a noticeable lump on my Achilles which would take a mile walking before it loosened up. Was it a side effect from the Big Sur race, the rolling hills and camber, or something unrelated. Whatever it was once again I wasn’t able to train how I wanted for a race and wasn’t confident on how I would do.
The Tetons are around 6,500 feet elevation and from my race at Bryce Canyon the year before I knew the altitude would have some affect so for this vacation we went on vacation the week leading into the race rather than after the race. I don’t like doing this as on vacation I want to eat and drink well and also do lots of hiking, not ideal planning for the race. Furthermore as we were driving towards Jackson Hole across the mountains it was snowing, I knew it would be cold but didn’t expect it to be that cold at the beginning of June. I didn’t run the first couple of days but went for a run on the third day. Within the first half mile my heart rate was high and I was puffing, the altitude working to full effect. I was only planning on … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I’m looking forward to this race, it’s in my hometown where I grew up and lived until I was 23. This will be my first international race, from the US where we’ve lived the last 32 years, and it’s a great opportunity to visit family at the same time. We going to spend 2 days in Dublin over Easter before heading to Manchester. Training has been going well, I’ve ran back to back half’s this weekend over the bridge near me. Post your race and lets see how many of us are at the same race.… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Well this has been a quiet year for me with much of it with an injury or two. It started off with my attempt to win a Last Man Standing race in which I finished third, I was disappointed with my result I had had trained hard for it and prepared well but things didn’t work out come race day. Next up for me was Big Sur in April the day before my 62nd birthday. I hadn’t been able to train hard for it as my replacement hip area had been bothering me. So much so I eventually went back to my surgeon from 11 years ago and had him x-ray it and my other hip as that sometimes feels like it catches. The good news was that my replacement hip was still looking perfect after 11 years of running and over 15,000 miles of running on it. My right good hip had some wear and narrowing but nothing to require a replacement anytime soon. However I did have 2 large bone spurs of it which is probably what causes the catching and pain at some times.
With only two 12 miles runs in early March and my longest run of 14 miles 2 weeks before race day I was well underprepared and my hip still bothering me. I had 2 choices, I could probably finish the race running easy at a 10 minute pace or I could go for it and try to run a 3:30 marathon at an 8 minute pace. I decided on the latter and knew there was every chance of it blowing up, but I had to go for it. The first mile we eased into the race with an 8:20 pace before we hit the first climb and then we picked up the pace and ran the next 9 miles between a 7:30 to 8 minute pace. The weather was cold at the start of the race and you are bused to the start line to wait for over 90 minutes. I started with a long sleeve shirt on top of my race … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
Any other “Hippies” running Big Sur this year. 2 years ago I was due to run this race on my 60th birthday when covid broke out and the race was cancelled. I turned that disappointment into a challenge and ran 60 miles of bridge repeats for charity raising over $12,000 (see https://www.hiprunner.com/?p=18438). I had a great time but now excited to take on what is described as one of the Top 10 Marathons to run in the world. So anyone else running this or ran it post THR?… (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
This is a long one but hopefully it may help you get through your lows in a race. It’s a raw account of my feelings and emotions though the race and I how I persevered to get through the pain and somehow manage to finish in 3rd place of 51 runners being the oldest runner in the event and the only one with a hip replacement.
“Last Man Standing” race, I went into this race with high expectations based on my training and fitness level but fell well short of my goals. It was the first race of this format where the goal isn’t to run as fast as you, it’s to run as long as you can with no known end time. I had practiced run/walk training for the last 6 weeks and 2 long training runs of this format with 10 hours during the day and an 8 hour run in the evening, running 4.167 miles every hour and then resting to the start of the next hour.
It took me a couple of laps to settle into the pace, the course was on trail which I hadn’t trained on, and was single track so it was important to get the right starting position so you weren’t behind other runners. The trail was in good condition with just a few areas where the hogs had worked it but very runnable. I finished the laps in around 46 minutes giving me plenty of time to rest between laps and take on nutrition sitting in the chair. The race started at 8am and the sun was up with very little shade and it was surprisingly hot from the beginning, reaching 80 plus degrees during the day, not the 40 or 50 degrees most of the previous weekends during training.
After only about 5 or 6 laps, less than a marathon distance, my race started falling apart, my confidence going into this race shattered and replaced with a lot of negativity, more than any other race I can remember. I questioned myself why I was running, I decided to … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
I finished 2021 with just over 2,400 miles and took the last 16 days off as my hip wasn’t feeling 100%. I’ve learned over the years that if you don’t listen to it, you will pay the price. Well after 16 days rest I came back with a 16 mile run on the trails and felt pretty good. There were a couple of races I was looking at but decided to change them. I’ve done the Long Haul 100 miler a couple of times and it was 2 weeks into the new year so decided I didn’t want to push my hip that hard too soon. Then a couple of weeks later there’s a local 50K which I fancied my chances of winning but again thought that it may be tough on my hip. So with all the wisdom in my little finger, I decided to train for the Last Man Standing.
What is the Last Man Standing, well it’s a race where every hour on the hour you run a 4.166 mile loop, and then you wait until the start of the next hour and you run the loop again. During the day the loops are usually on trail and in the evening on the road. The objective is to keep on running these loops until you are the “last man standing”. So how many miles could that be? Well it all depends on the competition, the race stops when you are the only person left, so it could be any distance. However looking at the competition in the Florida edition of the race, which takes part all over the world, there is one runner that has completed 208 miles, that’s 50 hours of running, and there are about 4 others that have run around 150 miles, 36 hours.
So the objective is different from every other race where you run as fast as you can, in this it’s better to run it as slow as you can. You just want enough time to sit down for a short while, hydrate, take care of whatever business and be ready … (Click Here to View Full Post and Comments)
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.
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.
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)