Monthly Archives: September 2007

Announcing our Podcast Trails and Tribulations

It is the first day of fall, and time for our official announcement. Andrew and I have created a podcast for ultra runners, called “Trails and Tribulations”. This idea was started when we first met, running together at Mohican, discussing the various podcasts out there, and both noting that there was not a podcast devoted to ultra running. After kicking the idea around for oh, about two days, we decided to go for it!
A few months later…after some technical issues, we’re happy to announce we have two shows already listed in iTunes.

How to Listen to our podcast:
Download this episode directly by clicking here

Subscribe to the Trails and Tribulations Podcast
Get Trails and Tribulations piped straight to your computer with itunes. You’ll get an episode once every two weeks.

Andrew and I are very pleased with this podcast. But we need to hear from you, you runners out there-what would you like to hear about? Who would you like to hear an interview with, or a race report? Can we interview you for a future show?

We are both very new to the podcasting business and both pretty new to the ultra running scene–I still consider myself an ultra newby, so we don’t consider ourselves experts on anything! We are just enjoying ourselves doing this, so give us a listen at !!

YUT-C 50K Race Report

What a beautiful day for a race!
A little warm, I’m guessing it was into the 80’s around mid day, but thankfully the course is almost completely shaded.
I really love running this course. Mill Creek Park is a real gem of a park set right in the middle of urban Youngstown Ohio. This is a very long, skinny park; the race course follows the shore of three different lakes.
The course consists of two figure eight loops and then one shorter loop to make up the 31 mile distance.

I took the early 7 am start. There was about seven of us this year starting early. We had one runner, Jim, from California! Jim is making his way all over the country, running marathons and ultras. I believe he’ll be running 68 marathons this year alone! Jim needed the early start because he needed to finish and then drive to Illinois for the QuadCities Marathon the next day!!

It’s just daybreak as we start running, and a little dark in the woods, but nothing where we need lights. We get to the infamous Monkey Trails and I get across the “Love Log” first and manage to snap a pic of Jim traversing it. It sure looks easier on those folks with the long legs getting across it!

Just after the Monkey Trails, you are almost at the covered bridge (we have alot of these in Ohio!) where the aid station is located. Actually, since we’re the early runners, there is just water and GatorAde, but no one is in need of food yet, so I top off my water bottle and we continue on.

There is a small section of road along the ‘bottom’ of the course, because we have to go around the lake (I guess that would be better than going through it) and I encounter my geese hazard. I eye them and give them an ‘amscray’ and run through them, hoping I am not going to get nipped in the butt by a goose-hey, they’re not really nice creatures!!

I have a goal for this first loop, with my early start. Last year, the lead guys caught me around ten miles and passed me. This year, I want to make it back to the start before they catch me. So I am running a bit hard (for me). I pass Shubi with about two miles to the cabin and he thinks I can do it. So I keep going. And I did it! Back to the starting line in 2.5 hours. The lead guy comes in about two minutes later! Ha ha!! (This means they have run the 11-some miles in 1.5 hours..)

I start back on the second loop. For this loop, you reverse direction and just run back the way you just came in. This gives me a chance to now see everyone in the race, and it seems like most of the folks in the Northern Ohio ultra community are out for the race.

I hit the aid station again, this time fully loaded The two boys helping out are the Harris boys, Slim’s great kids-thanks for helping out Heath and Eric!! and I go off to go around the lake again.

It’s pretty warm out here for this loop, and the road section and the asphalt is a bit warm. But there are really great views, if you pick your head up and look around!

Somewhere out here, I WHACK my left foot into a rock-not hard to do when the trail is as rocky as the YUT-C is. I hit my two middle toes and it hurts pretty bad. I wonder if my toes are broke. I know there is really nothing you can do for broken toes but tape them. So I figure keeping my shoe on so the toes won’t swell is my best option if they are broke. I just figured it they were broke, I wouldn’t be running the Akron Marathon the next weekend. Just then, a bee comes out of nowhere and stings me! No worries, now my arm hurts worse than my toes!

I’m still having a great run mentally, but know I am running pretty slow. Gee, wonder if that extra twenty pounds has anything to do with it? Hmmm….

I go through the whole gamut of aches and pains-bad headache, quad hurting, arm hurting from bee sting,but you know, it’s kind of the normal stuff. I’m still in a very good mood. Sometimes it’s amazing how you can separate your mental/emotional mood from your physical pains. Sure, I was hurting, but still having a great time out on the trails.

I get back to the starting line, grab some quick chow, and turn around for the last and shorter loop. This time I am kind of dreading the Monkey Trails, probably because I am tired. But I also know the Covered Bridge is right after them and that will be halfway through the last loop. I know I am not going to make my goal of a sub eight hour race, but I continue to chug along. I’ve run this course four times now, and it really helps me at races to know where I am. This way I can gauge where the aid station is and drain my water bottle ahead of time.

I start on the little side loop which we only run on the third loop, and I notice this cool little waterfall/pool off the right. The water level is really low in the park, and the waterfalls aren’t as spectacular as they usually are:

After this, I climb some stairs and cross a road-where I don’t see any Montrail yellow markers. Even though Slim pre-ran the course at 630 am, there has been trail mischief out on the course. I know where to go, here, so I go down the trail, grab some Montrail marker from the course, and hang it where hopefully runners behind me will see it (and someone won’t remove it before the end of the race.) As it turns out, Josh who has never run this course before, got lost several times. He probably ran 40 miles instead of 31.

I am finally done with the side loop and heading for the finish line! The last 1/8 of a mile on the road to the cabin is nice and hot, but I still run in for a 8.26 finish-well off my goal, but I had fun out there, as I usually do!

Probably by pushing it on the that first loop, I may have done myself in, but hey, that was my goal to do!
There was soup, pizza and plenty of stuff to eat at the finish line. Josh finally comes in after his 31+ miles. Josh eschews the pizza and goes for the healthy watermelon:

After sitting around and chatting with Josh and trying to pry his future races out of him, we both take off, since I have a two hour drive and he’s got a four hour drive ahead of him.

Thanks Bob and the NEO Trail Club, this was another excellent race, I had a great time!

Misc Ultra Stuff

I receieved my copy of Massanutten: 2 Runners, 100 Miles and enjoyed spending about 1.5 hours watching this.

From the website: “Massanutten: Two Runners, 100 Miles” is a documentary filmed at the 2006 running of the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 (MMT) ultramarathon, near Front Royal, Virginia. The course follows roads and rocky trails with 19,000 feet of climbing. Runners have 36 hours to finish.
Gary Knipling, 62, is a gregarious 9-time finisher taking on the MMT for the 10th time. Kerry Owens, 43, is a steadily improving ultramarathoner, returning for her third run. Gary appears to be everyone’s friend as he greets and laughs with the other runners. Kerry at first seems quieter and more focused, but by the middle of the race her true personality comes out. “

In my question to decide whether or not to run MMT in 2008, I was hoping to get more views of the trail. Most of the race video is shot coming and going into aid stations. But I did see lots of my friends there, since this was MMT in 2005!

I think I would like Gary. Every time the camera is on him, he’s got a smile on his face. That’s kind of my philosphy out on the trails too.

I also got a few more ideas of foods to try during long runs: Yoohoo Chocolate drink and tapioca-the tapioca is the premade kind in the pudding cup. That would be a carbalicious snack!

This photo is just for fun. This was taken after my first marathon, after I had driven home, showered, and had a glass of wine-I was feeling fine!

It’s not about me, it’s about Josh


You gotta love the internet. I’m reading the Ultra List, someone mentions they’ve posted pics from the Cle Ulum Ridge 50K, so I go look at the pics and see Josh! That’s right, Josh had made his way out west last week.
So today’s blog is about Josh, who has ran more miles this week than me!

A PR Run for Me


The PR didn’t have much to do with running. A record nine dogs came out to meet and greet me on this route around the block today. All were friendly too. All but three insisted on a pat on the head, and one small dog at the blacksmith shop insisted on belly rubs.

It was c-c-cold this morning! I went out to my car to get my water bottles, and promptly added a long sleeved shirt to wear at first. Really, it was about 52 degrees when I started. This was an about 11 mile or so on some roads I haven’t been on in awhile-I may have to run this again. It’s really a pleasure, just back country roads, no traffic until the last two miles back to my house which is on the state route.

This is really a good route to run. It’s full of uphills and downhills and beautiful scenery. This was another run with no watch, since I couldn’t find any and it really wasn’t that important, it was just good to be outside in the crisp late fall air!

Running Plans

I have been looking at my fall plans, which also tend to arrange what running plans I want to do next year..

First I have to say I am so happy to have the health to be able to just go run a marathon whenever I want. Be happy for your health people!!

Tomorrow is 11 or 13 miles around the block. I’m running an old route I haven’t been on in over a year-this takes me through the Amish neighborhood. It looks to be cold and rainy, so that will be a new experience for the summer!

I’m registered for the Akron Marathon BTW, paid my money and everything. I am hoping to crash at Mike’s house the night before. Mike, let me know if that is okay, otherwise I can stay over at my mom’s.
I won’t be trying for the 4 hour thon like Mike, but it’s more of a supported long run for me. I’ll just have to remember to bring more than one tiny PayDay bar like the Flying Pig marathon-I about starved to death through it!
I should be able to suffer through the roads, since we do get off the asphalt and hit the towpath for a few miles. It should be a nice nostalgic run for me-my first marathon, and the towpath was also part of the BR route too (except other direction).

The weekend after that is the
YUT-C 50K over in Youngstown. I am looking forward to improving my time on this course!!

The NEO Trails Club also has a FA scheduled to run on the Laurel Highlands Trail in southwestern PA in November. I am planning on going over the first or second weekend in October, and running 40 or 50 miles of this. (As an out and back, starting in Ohio Pyle). I would like to see what the terrain would be like.

I would like to see how I feel after finishing the Slim Pickings FA 70, because my reasoning is right now, if I can finish the FA and had a good run on the rocks there, then I will register (deep breath here) for Massanutten 2008. (That’s also IF I don’t get into the WSER on the lottery being drawn December 1.)

Crazy? Well, yeah. But I do like challenges. No, I don’t like to DNF, but there is no reason why I can’t train hard this fall and winter for Massanutten.

But first things first. Run the 50K, and marathon, and then a training run over on the Laurel Highlands trail. Anyone want to join me there for a FA training for a FA?