Sunday, September 11, 2011

Superior 100 - 2011 Report

Any IT professional or computer geek can tell you what the difference between computer "RAM" and "ROM" is. I will do my best to simplify them.

RAM - Random Access Memory - Main memory available for programs
ROM - Stored Memory - Memory which loads your computer, loads programs, etc.

Every time you shut your computer off, your RAM is basically wiped clean.

Most ultrarunners I know only have the pain from ultras registered using RAM. Somehow, we forget how ugly it gets. Our ROM stores "how to run", training regimens, strategy, etc.

Emotions are stored in RAM........ and that is why we somehow come back to these brutal races.

I left Tettegouche aid station (mile 34 or so) thinking I was okay and could walk to recover. I knew this would be the first time I would be hitting the next aid station in the dark. Dang..... I was still a long way out from where I wanted to be. Night fell. The climb never stopped going up. I sat down on a log and put my hand in my face. I thought "How the hell did I ever finish this race?". And "Why did I ever come back?"

My emotional RAM wiped that feeling clean and my ROM replaced that feeling with a "aaahhh.... it aint' so bad".

Shortly after, I yanwed in technicolor, called ralph on the big white phone, worshiped the pocelein god...... and was pretty much done.

I guess a video montage of Me, Ron B, Kevin G, Chris S, Brad B, Aaron S, Craig S, Joe B, etc. would look a lot like an episode of Jackass. "Hey, let's see how far we can run until we puke!"

Considering I brought homebrew kegs for the gang.... it pretty much turned into a bad frat party.

But a few shined through. Some used this as a time to shine.

Angela Barbara of the Lapham Peak Trail Runners we getting chased by the course sweeps. Her times looked to close for any margin of error. She dug down deep and made up time in the last 2 sections to bring home 3rd women's masters.

Zach Pierce started puking when he saw my puke on the trail, and decided he was tougher. Zach's got the get it done mentality. He had less training and prep than I did for the race, but he has grown as a runner over the past few years. He had every reason to drop, but got it done with a smile. His wife and I were talking at the finish and came up the comment "ever since he has taken the watch off... he has been a pain in the ass to keep up with"

Adam Schwartz-Lowe decided he might try to negative split the 2nd 50 of this 100. He ran the second half in just under 13 hours (faster than it took me to go 42), and closed the gap of the lead runner, John Horns, to only 7 minutes. Adam took 2nd, but a damn impressive rally.

I don't really know the winner, so I can't really tell you what he did other than "he kicked some ass"

Julie Treder of Lapham crushed the course with a 30:45 (an improvement of around 5 hours from a prior year), but was heard saying "I am done with this one". Just wait until the RAM get erased.

Chris Hanson and Patrick Susnik made it look easy. They know this course better than almost anybody, they know how to train, prepare, and race it. They are calm, cool, and collective. They were just at or under 30 hours. Very impressive. They have run it many, many times. These two are like the Ice runners. (like Ice Man from Top Gun). Cool, clean, no mistakes.

Matt Lutz came back from dead in the water with racing flats and sandals to get a finish in. Not sure if he is just that tough, or just that stupid to do it in huraches. I think I am leaning toward tough on this one.


Matt Aro came in 3rd... officially promoting to "Fastest Matt" status (I think he was Iron Matt). The Fastest Matt has not yet been notified. I guess that will be a hard email to write.

So instead of giving you a sob story about me, I thought I would highlight awesome performances (there were many).

I will put a separate post together of what happened in those 42 miles so you can all learn from my success, and mistakes. But I have to say, I so much right.

Bill Pomerenke did an awesome job of assessing the impending heat, and did every thing he could to cool me. He is a gracious giver to races, and I thank you for that, Bill. And thanks for letting me drop at 42. I was done.

I feel good today, and will feel better tomorrow.......

After I go for a run

Short Superior Update

Hot day pounded the runners all day Friday and Saturday. I held it at bay pretty well, I thought.

My stomach went south and stopped me in my tracks around mile 38. Barely made it to 42. Tried to recover with a nap, but just not enough time to get my stomach back to go another 60 miles. Not sure I had the mind or the body to do it any way.

I am happy I started the race excitd to run.

Once again Superior destroyed many, many people.

Great job to all who went up, volunteered, started and finished.

Got some great stories

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Possible tracking & updates

Once again, we are going to attempt to twitter the race.

You can follow my crew's tweets at


At the end of each tweet, we will try to put a #straces. If you click on that, you will see others who are tweeting the races.

Bill has bigger plans for live updates, but not sure how we will pull them off yet.

25 hours to go time

Monday, September 5, 2011

Final Notes for Superior

The most common question we all get asked is "why do you do this/these?"

My answer in the past has been "If you have to ask why, you won't understand the answer". I don't even say that anymore. I just tell people "It's fun, but I don't think you would get it"

I am tired of discussing the subject with people who just plainly don't want to accept that many of us continually challenge our minds/body/soul harder and farther than most. I think that makes some people uncomfortable, so they start pontificating why I should not so something like this. Usually comes from an out of shape sloth.

Someone recently said to me "being healthy and fit will only add 4 years to your life".

Yeah...... but going to Superior 100 is an experience. It is more than a challenge. There is a decent chance of failure, inevitable pain & suffering, and a sure ticket to "damn.... why did I pay money for this".

It is the above which keeps me coming back. I know I can run a marathon. I know I could run a marathon in x time. I might be 5 minutes plus or minus that time, but close enough.

Superior is different. One can go for 6 hours and not once get bored at the scenery. To say it is breathtaking is an understatement. Add in all of the other stuff, and it becomes an epic event. To be a part of the event is special.

I am gracious that I can show up to the start healthy enough to think I can do it. Gracious to have people willing to blow their whole weekend seeing that I can make it through, and gracious to have a wife who says "have fun".

My first ultra was up there 6 years ago at the spring races. That course and the Ice course and Afton are my "home" courses. (If you can say that how infrequently I am on them). They are special to me.

I had a period this year where I thought I might be done with Ultras. Period. It was a down period where I just could not muster up any care.

The night before Ice Age this year I sat in bed (a very nice, comfy bed.... thank JL), and had a cloud of dread hanging over me. I really did not want to be there.

But all that has changed.

I am actually fired up.

I am prepared, somewhat trained, and full of a need to prove to myself I am not dead yet.

This race has significant meaning in my life. I don't think I can handle another DNF. So that is motivation in of itself.

So that is why I do these. Not really an answer, but it is what it is.

Maybe one more post on possible ways to follow the race. Crew has to be up for it, though

Friday, September 2, 2011

Final goals met

With 1 week to go for the big one, I met just about every goal I wanted to in my short prep for this race.

1 - Weighed in this morning at 165 lbs (goal)
2 - Yesterday had a PR "Tabata" workout.

What is Tabata, here it is for a treadmill. You adjust your speed based on your ability

Incline = 12%
Speed = As fast as you can go without slowing for 8 sets = I did 10 MPH (previous pr 9.2)
8 sets of
20 seconds on
10 seconds off

Yes, the workout is only 4 minutes, but it is hard if you are going at your max.

I was going to do 9.2 or 9.5, but I said "screw it... if I am doing a hundo next week, time to take it to the max"

Pretty pumped considering I tried it in June and almost passed out at 8.5 MPH.

The 165 lbs weigh in was a happy thing. I thought I would level out a few pounds higher. I might even get a few more off before next Friday, but I am happy with it.

The other goals were
> Being able to do a long run with no stomach issues
> Get "some long runs in" - Not sure if I met this one, but did "well enough"

Now time to start the collection of all of the crap I have to bring