5k pr. training recap. upcoming races. and more.


inspiration is found not just in who finishes the fastest. frank probst and gary knipling both became the first 70 year olds ever to finish bull run run 50 miler this weekend (frank went for his 22nd finish which is ever single year since the inception). congrats to both and may you continue to inspire us.

incredible finish line photo stolen from paul encarnación.

tested the legs this past weekend by signing up for the crystal city 5k on a whim. this would be my first ever official 5k. pushed hard on tired legs from my long run two days prior but still came out where i wanted by knocking a minute off my previous non-race 5k pr set almost a year ago. strava is reporting that my new 5k pr time has been set at 18:33 (5:58 per mile pace & a negative split). 32nd overall out of 1299 finishers. i’ll take it. goal for the summer is to knock another half a minute (or more) off that time and run sub 18.

looking forward to the near future. 21 days until badwater salton sea & 33 days until mmt 100 miler. my last long run before a busy may comes in the form of the mmt chocolate bunny training run. 26 trail miles starting at 6pm on saturday the 19th (my 31st birthday is the 20th so no doubt i will still be out there to celebrate on the trails). double bonus for myself. this run also features the portion of mmt that most people will run in the dark. it’ll be my last opportunity to further familiarize myself with the course and hopefully learn a few of the landmarks / trail markers to look for while out there. two ultras (including the 73 miles of road at salton sea. ouch.) that close together will certainly be quite the challenge. this will no doubt rival my triple last year (twot 100 miler, pacing 40 miles at javelina & chimera 100 miler in a span of 5 weeks or so). to be honest i’m nervous. but this training block has gone over very very well and all i can do at this point is to trust in the training, start the long taper process, be smart during the events, & prepare myself mentally for the task ahead. the next three weeks will be very similar to my past tapers. start to lower the mileage but keep the effort level the same. happy trails.


training recap catch up for the past two weeks.

03.31.2014 – 04.06.2014:
70.70 miles running total. 6,385 feet of upness total. 11 hours 17 minutes.

monday 03.31.2014
18.50 trail miles. 1,594 feet of upness. 9:10 per mile. rock creek park, washington dc.

tuesday 04.01.2014
10.10 road miles. 479 feet of upness. 8:57 per mile. rock creek park, washington dc / national mall.

wednesday 04.02.2014
4.40 road miles. 194 feet of upness. 7:55 per mile. alexandria, va.

thursday 04.03.2014
10.30 trail miles. 1,142 feet of upness. 8:58 per mile. rock creek park, washington dc.

friday 04.04.2014
rest day.

saturday 04.05.2014
26.30 trail miles. 2,894 feet of upness. 10:42 per mile. rock creek park, washington dc.

sunday 04.06.2014
1.10 road miles. 82 feet of upness. 8:29 per mile. alexandria, va.


04.07.2014 – 04.13.2014:
50.90 miles running. 4,183 feet of upness. 20.00 miles cycling.

monday 04.07.2014
rest day.

tuesday 04.08.2014
10.10 road miles. 620 feet of upness. 7:43 per mile. alexandria, va.

wednesday 04.09.2014
22.20 trail miles. 2,382 feet of upness. 9:48 per mile. rock creek park, washington dc.

thursday 04.10.2014
6.00 road miles. 325 feet of upness. 9:44 per mile. alexandria, va.

friday 04.11.2014
crystal city 5k. road miles. new pr of 18:33. 5:58 per mile pace.

saturday 04.12.2014
9.30 trail miles. 597 feet of upness. 12:31 per mile. rock creek park, washington dc.

sunday 04.13.2014
first bike ride of the year. 20.00 miles. 449 feet of upness. 14.8 mph pace. vienna, va.


tj100k: dangerously runnable.

“i’ve been running with the ghost. i’ve been doing whatever he told me”

it’s been awhile since my last update. to be honest i haven’t been inspired to create new content on here. i have however been reenergized with last weekends race. so here we go.

the first annual thomas jefferson 100k was to be the race that would settle the score (personally) for having bowed out early at rocky raccoon. training since the dnf had been very positive including adding elevation back in to my weekday runs, 50k on the MMT course, and numerous quality long runs in rock creek park. to top it off i had a textbook perfect taper week which included the ability to sleep in much much later than usual due to being at a conference in charlottesville, eating very very clean (i think every meal i ended up at the charlottesville whole foods), visiting the crozet running shop and actually getting in a run on the course itself which allowed me to come up with a solid race strategy instead flying blind on race day.

andy jones-wilkins, john andersen and the army of amazing volunteers have established quite the race/tradition with the first annual thomas jefferson 100k. like a well oiled machine this race provided a dangerously runnable well marked course, overly stocked / well organized aid stations, some of the best volunteers i’ve encountered at a race and a $2 bill for finishing. how about that?

the nitty gritty:
seven 8.9 mile loops featuring 1,000 feet of elevation gain/loss was all that stood between the 5 am start time and the $2 bill for finishing. i took a few risks this race and used some untested nutrition/gear including using the race provided tailwind as my beverage choice and borrowing a petzl nao from crozet running. the nutrition plan that i stuck to all day was to fill my bottle twice in each loop with tailwind, eat a pocketfuel at the start of a loop and some baby food in a squeeze pouch at the halfway point aid station. the petzl was like having a car headlight on my head. unbelievably bright and features their new reactive lighting system which really helped highlight roots and rocks on the trail as i glided on by. i did however have some adjustment issues with the torch due to the way the battery is located on the back. i’m sure it could be figured out with a few more runs but luckily i only needed it for a short time in the morning. tailwind was the biggest surprise of the day. somewhere around 200 calories per bottle i believe. all the electrolytes needed when it started getting hot. light taste / flavor. easy on my stomach. this is something i definitely will start to incorporate into my long runs as the spring rolls into summer.

gear/nutrition final count?:
– altra olympus shoes
– ultimate direction jurek essential belt
– pocketfuel water bottle
– injinji trail socks
– mountain hardwear refueler shorts
– 13 bottles of tailwind
– 1 bottle of water
– random cups of soda
– 5 pocketfuels (vanilla & chocolate haze)
– 9 squeeze pouches of baby food
– 3 clif shot blocks
– 1 mini clif bar

the race:
race morning started very similar to the others. 2:45 am wakeup call so we could be on the road from harrisonburg at 3:15 to arrive at the race site by 4:30. throw some food and coffee down the hatch and start to hydrate. the fact this was a short looped course meant that packing only one drop bag with the essentials was necessary and i positioned my bag at the start, drank some more coffee and waited for the countdown from AJW.

5 am struck and the 37 of us were off into the darkness. down from the parking lot across the dam and onto the blue trail for two miles of gentle rolling terrain. brian and dan immediately pulled away from jenny, peter and myself and we continued the blue trail helping light the way for the others with our headlamps. eventually it become just peter and myself rolling along at a comfortable pace, chatting about other races, expectations for the day and other small talk. right now a 10:30 pace felt comfortable so i stuck there for the rest of the loop and peter and i finished out the loop together pretty much in step. though much more technical and more climbing in the last 4 miles of each loop i found myself really dreading the first four by the end of the day. maybe the more technical parts helped to keep my mind busy and not wander as far. like clock work the loops rolled off. i spent minimal time at each station (my estimation is a few minutes at each except for a 5 or 6 minute break at the 58 mile mark aid station to get in some more fluids for the last push on home). 1:33, 1:31, 1:32 and 1:38 for the first four loops. by the fifth loop though the heat was starting to take its toll (i shed out of my long sleeve) and to keep from completely blowing up on the course i found i had to pull back the pace especially on the climbs to keep my core temperature down. the last three loops ticked off at 1:48, 2:03 & 2:00. i came rolling through the finish with a final time of 12:06:57 for an average pace of 11:40 per mile and 4th place overall. this was the bounce back race and confidence booster i was looking for. i stuck by my race/nutrition plan and executed about as flawlessly as i could have wished for. thank you thank you to everyone who filled my bottles, fed me, kept me company on the trail and high-fived me all day long.

see you next year TJ100k!


01/06/2014 – 01/12/2014 + altra ambassador announcement.

60.8 miles running and 60 minutes of cycling for the week. only 19 days out from rocky racoon 100. let the tapertantrum begin. this week i will be aiming for similar mileage numbers which will lead me into being slightly under two weeks out from race day. the remaining days will be spent focusing on shorter fast paced runs, rolling/stretching, getting lots of sleep and really dialing in my nutrition plan.

next up. for 2014 i have been asked to join the team over at altra zero drop. having had much success with their lone peak and torin models recently i am absolutely thrilled they are interested in lending me support for the year. more to come on this as the relationship develops but i am crossing my fingers that i can score a pair of the new max cushioned olympus trail shoe they are releasing before the upcoming race. be prepared for some upcoming shoe reviews in the near future. if you’re interested in learning more about altra feel free to click the link over to the right.

weekly totals: 60.8 miles running & 60 minutes of cycling.
monday 01/06 – road. 6.2 miles. 7:39 per mile pace.
tuesday 01/07 – cycle. 60 minutes.
wednesday 01/08 – road. 11 miles. 7:25 per mile pace.
thursday 01/09 – road & trail. 8 miles. 8:56 per mile pace.
friday 01/10 – road. 20 miles. 8:10 per mile pace.
saturday 01/11 – road. 15.5 miles. 9:59 per mile pace.
sunday 01/12 – rest day.


12/30/2013 – 01/05/2014 + new marathon PR

weekly recap:
this was supposed to be an “easy” training block with being on holiday at a cabin for the first two days of the week and just finishing boyer’s furnace 40 miler the previous saturday. i kicked off the new year by running my normal 10 mile daily route with a slightly easier pace both on wednesday and thursday. snow, ice, wind and laziness prevented me from getting out of the house on friday but i still managed to throw in 70 minutes of cycling cross training. on saturday i had planned for 20 faster track miles to see where my legs were at a little less than a month out from rocky racoon 100. the planned 20 miles quickly turned into a full marathon and i set a new pr for myself coming in at 03:23:05 (maybe i should actually try a marathon someday…..). sunday was a day of rest, food and beer in celebration. mentally the new pr has put me in a good spot and will allow me to focus on staying healthy and active for the next 25 days leading up to rocky racoon. i plan on keeping the normal daily runs in the same general mileage range but slowly start to bring down the weekend long runs eventually ending up in a forced tapertantrum.

how does everyone else typically taper into a key race? i’m curious.

monday 12/30 – rest day.
tuesday 12/31 – rest day.
wednesday 01/01 – road. 10 miles. 7:22 per mile pace.
thursday 01/02 – road. 10 miles. 7:51 per mile pace.
friday 01/03 – cycle. 70 minutes.
saturday 01/04 – track. marathon – 26.2 miles. 7:45 per mile pace. new pr at 03:23:05.
sunday 01/05 – rest day.