Thursday, April 24, 2008

Race Report: Leona Divide 50 miler

It had been 62 days since Tanya and I had run a race, so we were excited to get back on the trail. Running Leona Divide 2 years ago, I understood the challenge to be faced today. The course is very challenging with 9000 ft of elevation gain and loss. I remember trail conditions being good, but with climbs and the descents that are butt kickers.

I started the race with 3 goals.

1) Finish

2) Finish under 12 hours

3) No injuries or make my knee any worse

At 6am the clang of the saw blade started the field of runners off; a tradition at Leona Divide. The first 3 miles are climbing, this allowed Tanya and I see and talk to friends we hadn't seen in a while. Being a slow starter the early climb allowed me to walk a bit and warm my legs for the faster pace I would hopefully be able to maintain later in the run. The temperature was cool so I wore Moben sleeves, which work great. We walked and ran the early miles with our friend Kirk Fortini. After a restroom break I was separated from them and would not run with Tanya again until the turn around point.

As I reached the few flat sections of this 3 mile climb I was able to jog a bit. My legs felt really good. I kept saying to myself "today is going to be a good day". I caught Jen Griste and we chatted for a while. I had met Jen at the RR100. I then pushed ahead and ran into the EverReady Bunny's Jill Childers and Carmela Layson We chatted and ran together for a few miles. My body was settling as we pushed forward at a comfortable pace. Another goals was to cover five miles per hour; that is, for as long as I could. We spilt at the second aid station(13.4 miles) . Because I wore a Wasp pack (Ultimate direction) I was able to cruise through the early aid stations.

After this aid station the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) begins, the trail narrowed to single track and I was in my element. Running single track is probably what I enjoy most about trail running, man it makes me feel free and strong. I fell into a nice pace behind a group of 4 other runners, being tempted to pass I didn't. Instead I fell into their rhythm and conserved, plus the pace was moving at a 9:30 per mile clip. I was really feeling strong and that pace was good, plus I didn't want to use everything up.

By the next aid station that group had broken up. As I entered the 4th aid station(mile 24.5) I heard the voice of an angel call my name. I turned and it was Tanya, she had caught me. Then she handed me my Philadelphia Eagles hat, it had fallen off the back of my pack. She is always picking up after me (LOL). I gave her a kiss and a hug, but I was in the zone so I took off again. This was a long down hill section, with my knee feeling exceptionally well I pushed the pace a little. This was and an out and back section so I would have to climb back up this section.

Cruised into the 5th aid station (mile 28.o) drank 2 cups of coke, quickly filled my hydration bladder, and grabbed a bag of shot bloks. While leaving the aid station Deb Clem and Little Jet gave me a high five. Little Jet made me smile and I was off again, there was a long hard climb ahead of me. After crossing the road and starting up the trail, Jorge Pacheco came cruising towards me. We exchanged words and I refocused. While climbing the hill I saw a few runners ahead of me and my chase instinct kicked in.

The sun was out at this time but temperatures remained cool. A few times during this climb I felt my heart rate and breathing increase to much; I was pushing beyond my zone so I slowed a bit. I can say with confidence that I am becoming a much stronger hill climber.

Finally the top and aid station #6 (mile 32) which meant only 3.6 miles to the turn around. Then it would be time to bring it on home baby! While at the station Tanya came cruising in, she looked great, but she said she still wasn't feeling great. Again we hugged and I walked out knowing she would be alright.

By this time more and more runners were coming back from the out and back section. Seeing them gave me encouragement. But I have to say this was the toughest section of the day for me. The trail was narrow and with the other runners sharing the single track I had to step aside many times to allow them to pass as they came towards me. I walked a lot due to many turns and short climbs in this section.

Finally, it felt so good to make it to the turn around point, Tanya came in just a few minutes behind me. I filled my hydration bladder, joked with Dennis and took a picture with Tanya. We started out together, but she still wasn't herself so I pushed on knowing she would come around and most likely dust me on the last long climb. Running away from that station I felt a fresh breath of air. Glancing at my watch, I had fallen off my goal of 5 miles per hour; but I was sure I was going to break 12 hours possibly even 11 hours. I don't wear an iPod so I started singing to myself and aloud "Get up Stand up". Bob Marley is my favorite musical artist. I only stopped at the next aid station for 2 cups of coke and then headed downhill (4 miles) to Aid station #9.

When I made it to the bottom of the hill and to the aid station I did not see any runners in front or behind me. I topped my hydration bladder, I did not want to stop at the next aid station which would be the last. Grabbed more shot bloks and got out of there. As I crossed the stream, I heard volunteers cheering for another runner, someone was on my trail. I didn't want anyone to catch me on the climb. I was feeling good so I turned up the pace, but this is a long steep climb and I didn't want to burn out. About a mile into the climb, I looked over shoulder and saw a runner behind me about a 1/2 mile, turn it up again. Then ahead of me a runner appeared, Mark Chamley. We had been playing leap frog with each other all day. But seeing him he ignited my chase instinct again. I started running in intervals and knocking down the miles. Finally I made it to the top, and the last aid station, I didn't stop long.

One more climb of about a mile then 3 miles downhill to the finish. They had honey at the station so I gulped down some and was off, sub 11 hours was possible. I said "Peace" to the volunteers and was out. As I reached the last summit I took a picture of Lake Hugh's the promise land :). The legs were fatigued but still strong so I slowly picked up the pace and ran the final 3 miles. With less than 100 yards to go I caught Mark Chamley and Robert Baird I gave them each a pound(hand-shake). They didn't mind me passing them just before the finish line. I finished in 10:46:27 an new 50 mile PR.

I was able to meet all of my goals with a PR as a Bonus! I fell in the first chair I could find, then Mark and Robert finished. Mark gave me a little crap for passing him right at the finish but it was all good. I told him I had been trying to catch him since seeing him ahead of me on the long climb. I rested and watched others cross the finish. Tanya and Jimmy Fullerton they had teamed up to finish strong (10:56:43). They told me one more mile and they would have caught me! Tanya's garmin recorded 7:30's for her last 3 miles. Smokin'. We hung out and chatted, it was a great day spent with great people. Hey Jill, will I be at the SD100? I'm still thinking about it (LOL).


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Upcoming race:Leona Divide 50 miler

Well on Saturday it will have been 62 days since Tanya and I have run a race. That is the longest time in between races that I can remember. Whew! The mountains are calling (LOL). We are both anxiously looking forward to getting back out on the trails with so many of our Ultra friends. We are both feeling good. Tanya is ready to rock and roll, though I am still nursing a tender knee; I think I will be good.
I guess this is a way to find out!
We ran the Leona Divide a few years back I remember it being challenging and extremely scenic. The course is on 33+ miles of the PCT. I can't wait to write a race report.

See you on the trails

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Maasai Warriors run the London marathon

This past weekend at the London Marathon a group of Maasai Warriors from Tanzania ran to raise money to help pay for the drilling of water wells for their people. What we take for granted is a matter of life and death in many countries around the world. We should not only be grateful for what we have, but also be willing to help our brothers and sisters of the world without prejudice.

"They are known for their running abilities and traditionally live on a diet featuring blood and milk. By Kate Kelland "LONDON (Reuters) - They survive on fresh blood drained from the neck of a living cow, they often run for days and nights on end to find water and their shoes are made from car tires
cut up and strapped to their feet. So running the London Marathon should be no problem for six
Maasai warriors who have come to Britain from their village of Elaui in northern Tanzania as part of a campaign to raise money to find a vital water source (*
"Back at home we sometimes run for 5 or 6 days, day and night," Isaya, a young warrior clothed in a red robe and adorned with traditional beaded jewelry, told Reuters in an interview. "Twenty-six miles not far."
He and his fellow warriors, all between 20 and 25 years old, expect to reach the finish line of Sunday's race within four and a half hours.
They will run in traditional dress -- a red "shuka" blanket toga and car-tire sandals -- carrying spears and shields showing their running numbers, and will sing and dance along the 26.2 mile route through the British capital.
"And we will do the whole marathon with no water," Isaya adds. "We often travel for many days, eating only twice a day, and we have no water."
"If we have no milk or meat, we cut the cow's neck and let out the blood to drink. If I drink enough blood -- maybe two or three liters -- it gives me a lot of energy and I can go for days without food or water."
Africa the Motherland I long to visit you

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Safety of Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles and running go hand in hand, but how safe is the plastic used in your favorite running bottle? A recent report says it may not be that healthy and drinking from them could be leaching chemicals into your water or sports drink that could be causing infertility and even cancer.
Taken from a story on the Today show.
"But the "Today Show" report focused on a number system on the bottom of plastic bottles. The system is supposed to give you an indication of the chemicals in each bottle. Some scientists say a "1" on the bottle means it's safe. A 3, 6, or 7 would mean it's potentially unsafe."
Take a moment to look at the bottom of your bottle before your next run it might be time to trade that one in for maybe a safe one. But who's to say. If it not one thing it's another! I just want to got out for a run!! MAN!!
Links to related stories:
Be safe out there,

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

African American Ultra Runners IV

Borrowed from I wish I had been alive to witness such an amazing event. Another American running Hero.
Edward Gardner (1898-1966)

Image Courtesy of Charles Kastner Edward Gardner was born in Birmingham, Alabama in December 1898. Shortly after his birth, his family moved west and eventually settled in Seattle. Gardner returned to Alabama in 1914, to attend Tuskegee Institute, where he learned a trade as a steam engineer and became a star on the school’s track team.

By 1921, Gardner was living in Seattle and began competing in the annual Ten Mile Washington State Championship, sponsored by the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Gardner won the race three times from 1921-1927, setting course records as he went and beating the best amateur and military runners in the Pacific Northwest. As he trained, he adopted his trademark outfit, a white towel tied around his head, a white sleeveless shirt and white trunks. His Seattle fans would call out “oh you Sheik.” The name stuck and Eddie Gardner became known as the “the Sheik” of Seattle.

In 1928, Gardner entered the first footrace across America, nicknamed the “bunion derby” (Los Angeles to New York City in 84 days). He was
one of five African Americans in a field Derby, 1928
of 199 “bunioneers.” The men averaged forty miles a day and faced brutally tough conditions, including crossing the Mojave Desert and the high country of Arizona and New Mexico on a then mostly unpaved Route 66. In Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, Gardner endured a hail of racial slurs and death threats from irate southern whites enraged by sight of a black man beating white competitors in the Jim Crow South. In one case, a white farmer trained a rifle on his back, and followed him on horseback for an entire day, daring him to pass another white man. Eddie endured this assault with Zen-like calm. His heroic run was a symbol of hope and pride to thousands of black Americans who saw him race. Gardner finished eighth out of fifty-five finishers and first among the three black finishers, earning a thousand dollars for his efforts.

In the 1930s the Sheik competed in the annual 52-mile walking race around Lake Washington, known as “the Lake Hike.” In 1938, he set the course record, beating the Northwest’s best distance walkers.

Shortly after his death in August 1966, the legendary Seattle PI sports writer, Royal Brougham, wrote “Eddie Sheik Gardner went to his last long rest this week, but not until the popular negro globe trotter had racked up more running mileage than any Northwest athlete in history during his 35 years as a competitor.” For thousands of black children who saw him on his epic 3,400 mile run to New York, he was a star of hope and pride in a time of despair. He was Eddie Gardner, the Sheik of Seattle, an iron man and “bunioneer.”

Charles B. Kastner, Bunion Derby: The First Footrace Across America (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Training run in Malibu

We went for a 18 mile training run Sunday in the Malibu Creek State Park. I just love running here especially this time of the year. The weather is perfect unlike in August when the Bulldog Ultra 50K is held here, temperatures can climb into the high ninety's. Which I have experienced during that race. But that would not be the case Sunday, I don't think it ever got above 60 degrees at least not while we were out there. Wild flowers are in full bloom, and just the beauty of the park is startling. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Into the Park we go

Giant Oaks

Creek Dam

Old MASH film site

The Sun Peaking Through

Back Bone Trail

MS WALK: So Cal 2008

Don't let that beautiful smile fool you, the woman behind it is an enthusiastic, strong, and determined individual. Fighting MS, Rene Webb in 2000 decided to make a difference in her health and fitness by taking on a personal trainer to help improve her ADL's (Activity of Daily Living). Rene progressed from an electric scooter, to a walker and then to a cane. Two years into her exercise program Rene made a long term goal to complete the Southern California MS 5K (3.2 mile) walk. Rene's 2-3 days a week of Personal Training consisted of weight training, ball exercises, yoga, balancing, stretching, trail walking, biking, swimming, nutrition consulting, massage therapy and chiropractic care. Oh! and let's not forget those needed rest days. Rene got more confident and stronger every year while staying focused on her goal. With her Personal Trainers Dr. Marc and I; and the support of her family and Team Joyful Noise. On Saturday April 5, 2008 at the Southern California MS walk , she was victorious in reaching this awesome personal goal. Rene walked and finished the entire 3.2 miles! On her on 2 feet. She is one tough cookie.YOU GO RENE!!

Rene with friends and Tanya setting a comfortable pace in the early miles. Rene knows to start slow and finish strong.
Rene sticking to her plan. No time for smiles. Tanya we've got to get this 3.2 miles done!
Dashing past Rene's team sign "JOYFUL NOISE" at the half way point and still looking very strong.Whew! I need a rest stop! Tanya could you please massage my legs. Aah that feels so good!

SHE DID IT!!! Rene walked the entire 3.2 miles. Getting a big Kiss and hugs. We are so proud of you!

Enjoying in Rene's success is her husband Reggie and their newest grandson Jason. Rene you're a testament to what exercise can do in an individuals life. Though you deal with MS on a daily basis, you've not allowed it to steal your JOY. Let's go and make a "JOYFUL NOISE".

Tanya J.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Golden Milk

I have previously blogged and posted an article about the dangers of Ibuprofen and running. The dangers outweigh the benefit, but many runners continue to take there health for granted by taking these drugs before, during and after running. Well while surfing the net I found an alternative healthy option. It is said to work just as effective as these drugs. Not only does it have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties, but it is loaded with antioxidants and other phytonutrients. "Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties and is considered a blood purifier. Curcumin, found in turmeric, is an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidant is a substance that has the ability to stabilize or neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals. An anti-oxidant may be a vitamin or mineral such as vitamin C or zinc. Free radicals are produced when cells convert oxygen to energy. A few free radicals are not dangerous, but too many can damage cell membranes, proteins and DNA. To get more information on free-radicals read this article. There’s a lot of research being done to see whether turmeric can be used to treat arthritis. Studies have also found that India, with its turmeric rich cuisine, has fewer cases of Alzheimer’s."
Turmeric is a root related to ginger and is often used in Indian curry dishes. It has a distinctive yellow color.

So all you runners go out and buy some organic turmeric and make some "Golden Milk". The recipe is as follows.

1 Cup soy milk or cow milk
1 tbs of turmeric
1 tbs of almond oil
1 tsp honey or to taste
dash nutmeg

In a small pot add soy milk, turmeric, almond oil, and nutmeg.
Bring mixture close to a boil. Then with a egg beater lightly whisk
until thoroughly blended together.
Pour into mug, add honey to taste.
I have been drinking it for a week, it seems to be helping; but the proof is in the pudding. Time will tell.
"Golden Milk" might just save you kidneys.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

African American Ultra Runners III

Ultra runners complain of no money for the for the top athletes and few sponsors, looking to the past its seems ultra runners/walkers were paid extremely well. I wonder if modern ultra athletes will be able to attain such adornment that people are willing to pay such purses.
Borrowed from

Frank “Black Dan”Hart (1859-?)

In the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, the sport of “six day, go as you please” endurance racing gripped the United States and Great Britain. The participants in these events were called pedestrians, and they were free to run or walk around an indoor track for as long as they could stay on their feet. The top pedestrians survived on less than four hours of sleep a day and slept on cots inside the track’s oval. Fans followed these six day contests of endurance with all the fervor of today’s NFL fans. They also placed bets on prospective winners.
On April 10, 1880, an African American pedestrian, Frank Hart stood atop this international craze for six day racing. His given name was Fred Hichborn but he changed it to Frank Hart when he turned professional. Hart had just won the prestigious O’Leary Belt competition and smashed the world record, after covering 565 miles in six days of racing. He earned almost $17,000 in prize money, which was a small fortune in 1880. As the race ended, he waved an American flag to thousands of cheering fans who packed Madison Square Garden. Another African American, William Pegram of Boston finished second with 540 miles. Hart also competed in one of the international Astley Belt competitions, and set an American record when he won the Rose Belt in Madison Square Garden in December 1879.
Hart was born in Haiti in 1859, immigrated to the United States in 1872, and began working in a grocery store in Boston Massachusetts. As the pedestrian craze swept the nation, he began competing in local events. He soon caught the eye of Daniel O’Leary, an Irish immigrant and sports promoter who had once held the world record for six day racing and had twice won the Astley Belt competition. O’Leary financed Hart during his professional career. Hart earned the nickname “Black Dan” from his association with O’Leary. As the pedestrian craze died in later years, Hart tried professional roller-skating and may have played professional baseball in a Chicago Negro league.
Frank Hart should be remembered as a pioneer ultramarathoner who pushed the limits of human endurance. He also offered hope that blacks and whites could compete against each other as equals. Hart suffered through his share of racial taunts during these six day contests, but he was also wildly popular with thousands of spectators of all races who followed the sport.
As interest in six day racing died, Hart’s brilliant career was almost forgotten. The nation would have to wait another fifty years before African American ultramarthoners would again catch the country’s attention—this time in the “bunion derby,” the first footrace across American, held in 1928. Three black runners, Eddie Gardner, Sammy Robinson, and Toby Joseph Cotton, Junior, risked their lives as the Los Angeles to New York City course took them across parts of the segregated South, in this incredible 3,422 mile, 84 day odyssey across America.

Sources:Kastner, Charles B., Bunion Derby: The First Footrace Across America (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007); Sears, Edward S., Running Through The Ages (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc., 2001); “Hart First in The Race,” New York Times, 28 Dec 1879; “Miscellaneous,” New York Times, 29 Dec 1879; “Frank Hart The Winner,” New York Times, 11 April 1880; “All Working Hard Except Complacent Frank Hart,” New York Times, 3 March 1885.