Monthly Archives: March 2012

Public Service Announcement: DVT’s in Endurance Athletes

I posted about this three years ago, in my old blog, after two of my runner friends developed DVT’s-blood clots.

It’s still a good read. And read the comments that other athletes left, about their experiences.

Yes, I want to scare you. A bit. OR actually, I just want you to be aware.

You think of blood clots in ..old people. You don’t think about ultra runners, or triathletes, being the ones who who develop these blood clots.

Yet we are prime candidates for these.


Okay, Athletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate. This results in blood flowing slower through the body.

Dehydration-this plays a factor in your blood viscosity. More dehydration leads to thicker blood.


 Falls, bruises? Nah, this never happens in an ultra. (Non runners would call this “trauma”) Ultra runners? Well, we took a face plant eight hours ago. No big deal, right? I got a little banged up. Got some bruises on my quads, knee, arm. No big deal.

Due to this trauma, there may be a clot forming at the spot in the cell wall. This is your body functioning normally.

After the race is over, we get into our car, or onto an airplane, and travel hours back to where we came from. We spend hours in a cramped position.
Meanwhile, the thickened blood is pooling.The body is still dehydrated. The body is forced into the worst position to get the blood pumping throughout the body again. This is where the start of a clot in the legs (in the deep veins) can begin.

Why I am posting this again?

Well, another well known ultra runner, Amy Sproston, had posted to the Ultra List about her diagnosis with DVT’s.  Amy is an elite runner AND spends many hours in the air with her career.  It didn’t seem like her DVT developed post-race, but maybe due to her air travel.

She had a pretty scary weekend, according to her blog post, where the DVT went from the DVT to a PE (pulmonary embolism).  She did go to the Emergency Room, and got admitted, and treated.   Amy is still hoping/planning on going to the Worlds 100K Race.

So take ten minutes, and read through some of this. And think about your post-race plans. If they involve plane travel, think about compression stockings.  Stop more often on the road for a rest break. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!

Covered Bridge Fat Ass 2012

This year , NEO Trail Club hosted our annual Covered Bridge Fat Ass at the Mohican State Park, Loudonville, Ohio.  I was in charge of organizing this and I believe everyone had a good time.

We  had about 40+ runners out for the day.  The idea was to follow “The Forget the PR” 25 and 50K race course.  I went out with the 25K runners, as  I had other ideas for a workout post run.

It was a very pleasant day. I met at least 10 new runners, some this 25K was their longest distance ever; others were training up for 50K and 50 Miler and even 100 mile attempts at Mohican.

For quite a few runners, it was also their first trip to Mohican and all seemed to appreciate the beauty.  Although it was still a bit too early in the year for much greenery!

Hill Repeats

A few years ago, mmm. maybe 2007, I was running alone at Mohican, on a training run.  I went straight, instead of turning left, and went down..a Big Ass Hill.  I ended up at the back of the campground, and had to re climb the hill.  I thought then, wow, this is a good hill to do repeats on.

Well, a few years later, “Big Ass Hill” is part of an official race course, and I think it’s good training to do hill repeats on.

I decide to climb BA Hill, run down the other side, then go up “Gas Line Hill” to the jeep road to the Fire Tower, and repeat. It was about .55 miles each lap, so about 1 mile for each out and back.  I arbitrarily decide to do..ten of these.

It really wasn’t that bad.  In fact, my knees hurt a little afterwards, but my quads were fine, so I either 1) didn’t push it enough 2) didn’t do enough repeats.  I really wanted to tax my downhill legs, so I am sure it was better to do the training than not.

Overall, a great day in the woods with friends!

This is not the best written blog post, but I received not very good news about one of our dogs, Tino, on Friday afternoon.

Tino has the same type of mast cell tumor that our dog Sandal had.  Sandal just died in January, and this was not the news we thought we would receive about Tino.  We’re going to get him to Medvets, in Columbus Ohio, as quickly as possible. Of course, it’s not good that we already “know the routine”.  I hope this may be a simple excision of the cancerous tumor and it has not spread. I have to keep the most positive outlook until I am told otherwise.


Yesterday I got out of work a little early, and headed out to check on my ramps location.

What are ramps? The common Wild Leek (Allium tricoccum) is our best wild onion and a source of food and spiciness all year round.

Broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems begin arriving in small troops as soon as the snow disappears. Scallion like bulbs are  strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil.

Alas, it is still too early, although the green shoots are starting.  Perhaps in five days or a week from now it will be harvest time.

I then spent the rest of the hour hiking down the creek bed, climbing up a hill to see what was on the other side.

Remains of a deer

I have not run at all this week due to working all sorts of shifts.  Working until 9pm and then doubling back at 8 am the next morning does not make me want to exercise.  My hip flexors have been very tight, but that might be a function of the 50K on Sunday and then all the time on my feet at work.  So the hiking was beneficial in stretching out my hamstrings.  That may be my goal for today, STRETCH!

Kickstarter Project: The Barkley Marathons

Long time readers of my blog know my interest in The Barkley Marathons.

Actually, before I won the Hardrock Lottery, the Barkley was my goal race for 2012.  Well, goal was to get selected or place high enough on the weight list to venture down to Frozen Head State Park.  I had already started doing some training in November and December for it.

For those not in the know, the Barkley Marathons is a 100 mile race in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee.  Only ten runners have completed the full 100 (or so) miles. 

The Barkley is considered one of the toughest 100 mile races in the world. It has 59,100 feet of climb (and 59,100 feet of descent), more than any other 100 mile race, more than the 33,000 ft. of climb at Hardrock, and more than the 45,000 ft. at Nolan’s 14.

The Barkley consists of 5 20-mile loops with no aid except for water at two points. The cutoffs for the 100 mile race are 12 hours per loop. The 60 mile “fun run” has a cutoff of 40 hours, or 13:20 per loop. To prove you completed each loop, you must find 9 to 11 books (varies) at various points along the course and return a page from each book. 

The Barkley has been attracting more media attention (probably since we have so much more media in our lives) and this year, there is a Kickstarter project about a Barkley Documentary.

This has the blessing of Laz, the race director. 

Go here, to check it out.

You pledge money for a Kickstarter project.  If they do not collect their full amount, you do not pay them.

Weekend Recap

It was a great weekend!
This will be pretty short, as I was gone most of Saturday and Sunday…out running!

Ran the Shamrock Shuffle.  Ran a  27.10.  Then I went off to Salt Fork, put the pack on, and ran.
Ugh! I don’t know whether it was the combination of the 5K, with no pack, or the heat, but I wasn’t really feeling the love on these miles.

Which is fine. Sometimes you don’t feel the love, so it works out well when you are on a loop that takes you away from your vehicle.

So I got 15 miles in for Saturday

 Sunday Buzzard’s Day FA

A good group of folks showed up for Roy and Shannon’s 2nd Annual Buzzard Day Fat Ass.

 This was in Hinckley, Ohio, where, on March 15, every year, the buzzards return to Hinckley.

 The legend of the annual return of the buzzards (turkey vultures) to Buzzard Roost in the Cleveland Metroparks goes back nearly a century in Hinckley history. Legend has it that they were first attracted by the tons of butchering refuse and unwanted game left behind in the great Hinckley Hunt of 1818, but additional historical research among the records of the Sylvester Library of Medina uncovered an old manuscript by William Coggswell, who as a youth with his uncle, Gibson Gates, were the first white men to set foot in the township in 1810. 

This manuscript told of their expedition from Bath and Richfield through Hinckley, and of finding the “vultures of the air” at the gallows at Big Bend of Rocky River around the foot of the ledges where the Wyandots had hanged a squaw for witchcraft two years before. This indicated that these turkey vultures had made their home on Hinckley Ridge long before the white men settled west of the Cuyahoga River, and it moved their occupancy back into the midst of the Indians legend. 

The Cleveland Metroparks welcome visitors yearly on March 15 to the Buzzard Roost in Hinckley Reservation. With a traditional “Buzzard Spotter” (for many years retired ranger Roger Lutz and now the chief naturalist Robert Hinkle) the first buzzard’s time of arrival is clocked. The event is hailed as a sign of spring in the Midwest by all who attend.

And crowded it was!  We did spot our first buzzard right by Hinckley Lake.  This was an 8 mile loop, which took us around the lake, through Whipps Ledges, through a meadow, a little road, some Buckeye Trail, and some ups and downs.  A very nice loop.

I did the full 50K, and as I stopped the Garmin, I was pleasantly surprised to see it read 7.00.  Wow!  This was with stopping at the Aid Station, at the start/finish area, and I wasn’t particularly moving quickly through there, and I chatted with Roy and a reporter person on one trip through.  I took my time, not really pushing anything, as the temperatures got up around 75 degrees or so.   

So I had a great weekend of running!  Onto the next Fat Ass, at Mohican, this coming Saturday! 

Shamrock Shuffle 5K Race Report

Yes, another 5K for me.   
This 5K got off promptly at 914 am.
Cambridge, Ohio, is a very hilly town, so this was a pretty “flat” course compared to what side streets we could have went up and down.
The first 1/2 mile is mainly down and I try to hammer it.  Then it turns to uphill, heading toward a cemetery, and I am amused by how many people I pass here.  First mile: 907.
Second mile is a loop around the cemetery, in 8.48.  
Third mile we are headed back uphill toward the YMCA.  I focus on the pavement and think about the 5K road section of MMT and what good training this is.  Third mile? 8.27
I finish in 27.10 (Garmin unofficial) 
I then ate a sugar cookie which I am pretty sure negated the calorie burn from the 5K.  Then I went to Salt Fork and did 11 more miles on the roads and the Buckeye Trail (more on that soon.)

Happy Pi Day!

Now I want pie..

 Celebrate Pi Day! Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535…

Or do hill repeats!!

I decided to do my shorter hill that is on the dirt back road rather than the longer asphalt road I re-discovered yesterday.  The bottom of my right foot is a bit sore, so I am going to favor it with dirt rather than more pounding on the pavement.

I did six hill repeats in the time allotted, as I still had to shower and pack my lunch.

  This is where I wish I had a training partner; all six were done in about the same time, but I didn’t feel that worked.  I know I need to either push harder or do more of these repeats. 

So I need to probably do hill repeats on one of my day offs.  It would be nice to have someone push me.  Looking at my repeats from February, I’m still pretty consistent-i.e., I haven’t improved.

I wore the new Montrail Bajadas on my dirt and gravel road and they felt really good. I’m glad I have a trip to the Laurel Highlands Trail to see how they work on more rocky conditions.