I must say I am often inspired by the Trail Slammer - and this entry will surly prove it. Today I plan to respond to a follower's question! Yep, believe it or not, I have followers, and every so often, much like the Trail Slammer, one looks for insight on Ultra Running. Training questions, mental fortitude, equipment, you know, the usual. So today, I think it's time for me to give back to my followers - but first, an update.
Really its been a fairly decent season to date. We went thorough the "event every weekend" phase as we do every May, so its been busy. Started at Gnaw Bone; a 50 mile run in Indiana that I truly believe is the toughest course in the world - certainly tougher than Wasatch, and I dare say tougher than Leadville as well. 50 miles of relentless, very non friendly hills; the kind you struggle to climb 100 feet but then hope for the awesome downward section - but all it is steep and rocky, until you get to the bottom to do it again - repeat about 1,000 times! Anyway last year I dropped at 31, and this year I was on track for that as well, but somehow found the mental strength to tough it out. Terrible time, but at least I finished.
Next was the Bayshore full. that one was literally 6 days ahead of Kettle Moraine, so I went in without the Garmin or watch, and simply tried to jog my way to an easy 4 hour time (totally running how I felt). The good news was that as fate would have it I crossed the line at about 3:57, right on track. The bad news is I was convinced that I was really moving, and was doing far better than that! (The first time I saw the clock was about 200 feet before the finish.)
The following Saturday I lined up for Kettle Moraine 100, but my only plan was to "see how far I could get". I had run this two years back and the weather pretty much washed out the entire event, but this year I chugged on to finish the 100K - serious stomach problems all day, but I found that if I upped my percentage of "power walking" it was easier on my stomach, and I was able to make up miles in the later parts of the run. So, I now am the proud owner of a little copper Kettle!
Generally this season is going pretty well, I have to say. I think this is due to a mild winter letting me keep the training up a bit - I HOPE that the Trail Slammer will be running Mohican this weekend, so I can pace him the back 50, which would be really cool. This plan gets me on the course as the cool evening hours come, and by then the little fellow will be poop'ing out, so I should be able to keep up with him! I'm even considering going down anyway, and pacing a stranger if they need help, if the TS doesn't make it.
Oh, so now to my reader question. Mr. D. Karnsaz AND Steve R writes "Doctor, I know that you run with your music, and I think you mentioned you keep your I-Pod on an arm band, located up by your shoulder. In doing this, do you find that you tan unevenly due to it blocking the sun?"
Well Dean and Steve, this is a great question, and I get this all the time! What I do, occasional, is wear the band on my left arm, allowing my right arm to tan during that run; HOWEVER, you need to put some sun tan lotion on that spot first, as it is probably very white, and susceptible to burning! That part is not so obvious.... I'll tell ya, you won't get tips like this in Runners World!