Friday, October 31, 2008

Check Your Head

Along with your self. As I head out to HSF for run through the woods. My longest run to date was around 8.5 sometime back. So today the goal was to fall. Planning on a loop from the front lot to Lost Creek. Hit up Lost Creek in a counter clockwise direction with the B-Boys checking me the hole way. Lap time on the Garmin showed a 5.2 mi~48:00. This was a good feeling having my first trail race in a week. To be able to hold a 9 min pace on LC. From here I had to head down Lost Creek Rd. for touch to the gravel that connects me back to Stewardship Trail. The way out from here is the main gravel back towards the gazebo. This puts you climbing up double track towards the Eagle Trail. Gravel all the way to the Discovery Center, then a right on Fire break to the front lot. The reason for this post is to call the fact that I finally broke the the 10 mile barrier.

10mi ~ 1:34

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Double Dare Day 2

One of the hardest thing to accomplish on day 2 was getting up from a warm sleeping bag. With the constant ringing of cowbells at 5:30 am it was hard to ignore. I had to get up and try to focus on getting ready. Today would start with another time trial to an undisclosed location for further instructions.

It had to be in the 30s at the start. The look of fatigue on many faces around the camp was easy to believe. Day 2 would have some carnage for sure. Then the instructions to head to Pilot Rock came across the weary ears on the riders. The climb would test the mental more than the physical this a.m.

A solid 2+ hours of climbing puts us up at the top when further instructions arrive that the trek continues on up to Ivestor Gap. This will give you the mandatory cp for the day. The route to Ivestor is a lot of hiking on the Art Loeb trail. This in turn would spit us onto the BRP. From here it's pavement up to Ivestor TH. Now normally my pride is strong and giving into pain is a far reach. This paved climb had me pushing for a touch and zig zagging across the road to lessen the grade.

The Ivestor CP was a relief. It seemed like 4 hours or so just to get in the mandatory CP. This would also be the special test for the day. Like day 1, shotgun the beers or shoot a slingshot. I tried for the slingshot, but failed miserably. In the mean time Clay was scanning the map for possible CP. Yes, I was tired but I was there to compete. Pulling myself around the task at hand. We rode hard on day 1 to put ourselves in a situation to place high. There was no reason to let that hard work go to waste.

Clay plots out a path of 5-6 CP in a convenient loop around the 215 area. In a short matter of time we had nabbed another 3 CP on our way to Farlow Gap area. More numb to the climbing now, the feeling of motivation was coming. With this motivation, I had to contain it a touch.

The feeling of high to the feeling I was dreading. The lows came in on the climb up to Farlow Gap. What seemed like days to climb, probably lasted in the hour range. Beat down mentally and physically. What better way to celebrate than a beer. A PBR at Farlow was bringing my spirits around. From here I believe dream land set in. The decent of Farlow is rocky and very hairy. Like I said fuzzy, because we passed a few more CP on the way down to the Fish Hatchery. The decision had to be made. Where to from here.

The decision to route through Coontree heading back to the camp was good but very hard. This trail had some steep pitches to climb. With my throbbing feet, this would be a very though test. Finally at the top. First thoughts beer then comfy shoes. This give of 7 CP on the day in 11 hours of riding.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Special Notice - Brownie Points

This post will have to tied you over till I can drum up day 2 of the Double Dare. I promised my better half I would help her out and call attention to her side project. The Silver Dog is handmade jewelry and things your better half would love to have. So if you are looking to build on brownie points (kinda like I'm doing here) give it a look see. It's very affordable and the holidays are closing in quick.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Double Dare - Day 1

What constitutes a good race? Is the atmosphere, the venue, the promoter, the prizes?

As I sit here this morning I’m trying to stay awake. The clouded visions of the Double Dare keep trying to free themselves from my mind. My body is reminded of the event with every move I make this morning. All the pains associated with an epic ride. What constitutes as a good race I ask – the aches and pain that follow. A true stamp of approval that you felt good enough on the bike to throw down every hammer you could. The Double Dare for me has lived up to the expectation of a great race.

It’s kinda like jumping into murky water, not really aware of what’s below. The Double Dare Adventure Race has a cult like following. Mostly local and some regional riders come together for the challenge. Eric’s recipe for pain - two 12 hour days of Pisgah. Check points littering the forest with various route options. Overall goal was to navigate to the CP snap a picture and move on. Snag as many of the 10 CP, and make it back to camp in the allotted time frame.

The race would start with a time trial to the Gauging Station. Checked over the passport and planned a route conducive to riding a SS all day. Off to CP2, a short jaunt down S. Mills River Trail. Then the first of many off the wall calls to run the hiking only trail back out to the road. So the ¾ mile jog took us right out onto FS1206 for a while. Next was the daunting hike of Pilot Rock Trail. Well over an hour of hike-a-bike to CP3. The views were awesome. At hike-a-bike speed it’s much easier to take in these views.

As the sounds of traffic grew the anticipation of the hike being over was great. Our route would take us right up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This put us at the foot of Mt. Pisgah, which would be the next CP. The twist it’s hiking only. So we locked up the bikes and stashed the packs. Setting off on another jog until the trail pitch up and the rock steps started. The temps had dropped with the wind howling. Moving was the key to staying warm. A :40 round trip to snag CP4 on the day were back on the bikes and headed down the BRP. Clay set us up with a killer route for the day. The call to hit the BRP when we did put us on a 10 mile decent. Yeah it was cold but we were not hiking or riding up. Quickly snagging another CP at Bent Creek Tunnel.

With a bag of CP before night fall, I was feeling confident of our decision on the day. From here I believe we head toward Trace Ridge to snag another CP at the Hendersonville Reservoir. Then another convenient CP was close, I believe the out and back trail was to Middle Fork. This was yet another new trail for me. Rejoined by some other fellas we all made it back out and down to N. Mills River Campground to refill and mount up the lights. This preceded the haul up Yellow Gap Road. One I was fairly familiar with from past experiences. We climbed this road in the dark for fear of the burn time on our lights. Not long had pasted before the blinky tail light of other racers would appear at the top of Yellow Gap Road. A gathering of weary riders fiddling with a map and plotting their course for the night to come. Felling the chill of the night I asked Clay if we move on. So off on another decent down another double track road to the mandatory CP.

Bradley Creek CP was the mandatory of day 1. The fire was the key for me. Since the temps had been falling all night and my feet were wet from the multiple creek crossings. I really needed to warm up a touch. This CP held the special test of day. Your choice to shotgun 3 beers between the teammates or to shoot a bb gun at a target from 25 paces. It’s dark and I’m tired on the verge of cramping Shit hit the beers. After a lesson on how to properly shotgun beers we passed the test. Believe most folks learn to shotgun beers in high school not at 32 and not on an adventure race.

The night had just begun for us. Squirrel Gap Trail was next on the agenda. With fatigue and PBR working against us the challenges would be great. This was a difficult trail from memories of PMBAR in the rain. I recalled the off camber sections and tight rooty switchbacks. Plus the fact that most of the trail is up, then followed by a sketchy rocky downhill. This would drop us at another CP on Upper Cantrell Creek. Surprisingly I was feeling good but could tell Clay was on the other side of the fence. The PBR was giving him hell.

It wasn’t long till my lights would burn out. Now for some f’ed reason I did not bring my backup to my backup light. Feeling very stupid for the total lack in intelligence, I asked Clay to lead us out and I would just follow his wheel in the dark on what would turn into a technical decent down to Buckhorn Gap. If his wheel would jump out I would brace myself for the unexpected. This did not last long before Clay offered up his backup petzl light. Thanks Clay. Onward we went, but not long before Clay’s main light dies – oh shit now what. The going gets real slow from here. Luckily were very close to Buckhorn Gap TH. This would spit us out onto Clawhammer road. Clawhammer is usually a very fun and fast gravel road descent, but not tonight. It was freezing out and we were getting very close on time. The horse stable were a welcome smell. The day was now close to being in the books.

Arriving back at the campsite to see people drinking and having a good time by the fire was a welcoming experience. Now shaking uncontrollable I had to warm up by the fire. How close can I get my frozen hand to the fire? Luckily Clay’s friend Terry was a camp heating up some food for us. Without this I probably would curled up my tent and died. The grub hit the spot. I was feeling better with the warm cloths and a fire. Soon off to my tent to crash out and nap for about 4 hour till day 2.

If my memory serves me correctly, Clay & I ended Day 1 with 11:49 ~ many miles and 9.5 CP. Not too shabby for Rigid SS in Pisgah.

(Pic nabbed for Ohio Rob)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Double Dare top Ten

19 teams start and 16 finish.
top 10

1. Brad Kee / Matt Fusco ~ 19 CP ~ 22:10 (~134 Miles!)
2. Zach Broussard / Dennis ****z ~ 18 CP ~ 20:46
3. Dave Anderson / Alex Hawkins ~ 17 CP ~ 20:18
-1:32 bonus =18:46
4. Shawn McCann / Jon Magnusson ~ 17 CP ~ 22:01 - 1:23 bonus = 20:38
5. Clay Faine / Toby Porter ~ 16.5 CP ~ 22:28
6. Robert Kranz ~ 16 CP ~ 21:32
7. Kylie Krauss / Jeremy Hargrove ~ 15 CP ~ 20:56 - 1:52 bonus =19:04
8. Bruce Steinfurth / Justin Mitchell ~ 15 CP ~ 20:30 -:36 bonus = 19:54
9. Peter Rajcani / Jeff Eichmann ~ 15 CP ~ 22:48 -:1:25 bonus = 21:23
10. David Cook / Cissy Fowler ~ 14 CP ~21:45

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nervous for What - Maybe it's Anxiety

And the count down to pain is well under way. This weekend is the annual Fall event for Pisgah Productions. The Double Dare is the beast. Two days in Pisgah National Forest, multiple check points and a 12 hour time limit the first day. Then you stagger from your tent for day two. Again like day one, 12 hour time limit and multiple check points throughout the forest. Luckily I'll be teammed up with a fella who has a good handle on the topo and navigational way throught the beast. Did I mention we will be rolling SS29" rigid.

Race Update: Barely Functioning this a.m.Super long weekend. Clay & myself pulled out a 5th place with 16.5 CP over the two days. Here is a link on mtbr for more recaps.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ray Tanners 12k Run

A plan that's been in the works for months now, to compete in the Ray Tanner Home Run 12k. A plan I've been able to stick with. This would be the longest run race I've ever competed in. Set a goal - to finish in under an hour. Ok that should be attainable. That's holing an 8:00/mi pace. seems easy unless I get caught up in the excitement of competition.

An unusual sense of calm come over me. I was confident of my fitness and pace. Meet up with the Dubose family for an early morning drizzle start. The rain was lite but still it was raining. Luckily I really like running in the rain.

From the start, the combined fields of the 5k & 12k. This stretched the field out over the first few hills. Settled into my pace. Except my pace was :30sec faster than planned. Good, I guess as long as I don't blow up. After the 5k split off I could see the competition up the road. Steady pace allowed me to not be passed by a single runner after the 2 mi point.

Closing in on the finish. One final hill about 1.5mi to go. The hammer finally fell from my shorts. passing the fella I'd been holding onto the entire race. With half mile to go, it was all on the table. Crossing the line in 55:25 for 7.5 mi. Placing 30th overall and 5 minutes ahead of my goal.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

For Those About To Rock

I do salute you..................

Since my running fellas have posted their runs to date. I thought what the hell. Started running a little in late April that snowballed into a passion. A passion for a quick exercise that would wear out my dogs.
May - 50 miles / 8:55 hours
June - 70 miles / 9:25
July - 68 miles / 9:14
Aug - 61 miles / 9:08
Sept - 45 miles / a case of self diagnosed Patellar Tendinitis
Oct - back for more

Use your head not your will.