Friday, March 28, 2014

Old goats 50miler "COUGH" COUGH" I mean 50km

A week ago I was sitting at my computer, much like I am now accept I was wasn't writing a race report I was searching for race to run.  My body had kind of recovered from the Run4kids and I no longer had a cold.
Like the desire for a cold beer in Hell!
Optimism filled my frontal lobe 
(just an excuse to draw a dumb picture.)

I was looking for somthing to do over the weekend besides sitting on my butt and watching College B-ball.  That's when I made mistake I a had made before!
I asked my friends on Facebook
"Anyone know a race I can weasel into this weekend ?"

Last time I did this I ended up running 100 miles two days later.
This time I got off easy.
(although my body was kind of hoping for 10km)

The Same Diabolical old fart of race director and  all around good dude let me in. 
He reminds me of Einstein, that is if Einstein liked kick ass beer.
(Einstein was also way too smart to be an Ultra Runner)

I hadn't ran the old goats 50 miler since 2009.  At about mile 18 of the race (back when I still wore the cheapest trail shoes I could buy from Sports Authority) I hit an embedded rock and went flying off the trail. I ended up with a rib injury that I can still feel today if I twist to the right and breathe deep. I finished the race in 5th place and even won an award for first place kid.  
(Kid = Baby goat)
Friday night, time to carbo load
This pic is  from Mexico but I like it and I don't have any pics from the race so lets play the pretend game. 
The race started with 5 miles of steep down hill running. 
"Wait a second I'm running uphill in that pic?" 
Hold on...."
That's better.
The downhill was great because it gave my aching achileas time to warm up.  It was a ten mile loop back to the starting line and I felt goood.  

The course is very rocky and I debated whether to wear my Luna Mono's or my Oso's.  The Mono's are lighter and with more cushion and the Oso supply more grip. Lately I have been exclusively wearing my Spinach Mono's on trails and might never go back to the Oso. I slipped a little bit but I figured I had an advantage over all the other runners using Hoka's which had even less grip.
 Perhaps somebody took this pic on the course somewhere at some time?

What I didn't know until I got to the starting line was that the course had to be drastically changed this year because the forest service was doing some construction up on Mount Santiago.
 (I might just be making that up but I think it's true)

Because of this what was once the first 20 miles of the race  became 2 identical loops that we would run from mile 10-30ish  and then from  30 to 50ish with an option to drop at the 50km mark after one loop. (blah blah blah)

Back to the race 
(now at mile 11)
Once again the loop started by running downhill this time for about 8 miles.  About 2 miles out of the aid station somewhat near where I had busted my ribs years ago. It happened again!

The toe on my left sandal caught an embedded rock as I was running pretty fast down hill.  My ankle twisted, my body flew into the air as my handhelds exploded off my hands about 20 feet away.
 I knew I was F*@ked!  Nothing I could I do but try and brace myself for impact I thought as a flew like a drunk superman through the air.

Without time to react a miraculous thing happened? As my body went from horizontal to vertical my left arm bashed into some tree branches I got a hold. of some twigs and spun about 270 degrees because the hill was was slanted steeply downwards my legs had the room they needed for me to become horizontal again.  

The next thing I knew I was standing on the side of the trail relatively unscathed.
I consider myself a pretty lucky dude but this was the best dumb luck I have had in a long time.
There is no way I should have recovered!

I stood there in total shock for about a minute.  I thought my toe might have been bashed up but there wasn't even a drop of blood. 
I had to climb down the side of the hill quite a ways to retrieve my bottle while another runner whom had witnessed the ordeal helped get my other one.

My adrenaline was really pumping and I took off down the trail. It wasn't until few miles later that I would feel the pain in my foot and wouldn't be until the next day that I would feel the pain in my wrist.

My whole left leg wasn't in good shape at the start of the race and by now it was really starting to crap out on me. I took this as an omen that I should drop down to the 50km.
The girls at the next aid station were beautiful and nice.

All the runners on the course were super friendly and supportive. with a mix of walking and running I meandered back to the starting line to finish my  50km (Boredom of blogging setting in ) When I dropped I was in about 10th place in the 50 miler and I finished 4th in the 50km behind 3 other people whom had dropped down to the 50km.
The race director's beautiful wife placed this medal around my neck and I found the nearest chair.

2 minutes later I received the best raffle prize a thirsty dude could ask for.
So much better than winning Socks, shoes or a shirt.

Time to sit around drink beer with friends and cheer on the other runners. Whom were a lot tougher than I.
Congratulations to my friend Fabrice on his win in the 50 miler!
It wasn't my best day nor my worst.  
Thank you to all my runner friends for making  it a 
good day
Thank you once again to Steve Harvey for letting me come play on his trails.

It was my fourth race in 4 weeks maybe I should take a break for awhile?
Ha Ha!
Tomorrow I'm running another 50km.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Run4kids Ultramarathon, relay and kids big running party

In the back of my head I had known for about a month I was gonna sign up.
 (as a long I could walk)
But for some reason I had yet to do so?
My body felt like it was in better shape than it was a last year, I wouldn't start the race with a limp as least.
Late Tuesday night March 11th (the last night to sign up) I pulled the trigger.
I wasn't running for my own personal accolades.  I was running to raise money for kids.
I only had few days to do so.
The 100 mile Club, is a nonprofit charity that I real care about that works to battle childhood obesity, build confidence and promote a healthy active lifestyle for kids.
I don't like asking people for donations but I also realize I know a lot of really awesome people that are  more happy to give to such a noble cause.  
On Sale soon at

Raising money is easy when you have a sponsors like I do.  I can't thank Luna Sandals enough! First off they gave a $100 donation to the first person who donated a $150 and they will be giving a Luna Bandito with picture above (that I Illustrated) to every person who donated at least $50.
Please watch

In January I was trying to organize some donations for Caballo Blanco Kids Race in Mexico.  Kara Lubin the founder of the 100 mile club said she would get me some pencils.
Where they came from was really quite touching?

A  school from a very poor area in Riverside CA which is sponsored by donations given to the 100 mile club held a pencil drive.  These kids whodon't have very extra resources were able to each donate one pencil to kids in Mexico who have even less.  Slowly but surely the once empty bucket filled up and was overflowing with generosity
(Kind of like how the kids miles add up during the school year as part of the 100 mile club)

Circle of giving: 
Donations pledged on my behalf  directly sposer 100 mile kids.  Sponsored 100 mile kids give to kids in Mexico.  Luna sandals whom was inspired by the people of Mexico gives thank you gifts to people who donate.
Pretty freaking cool! 

In just a few days I was able to raise
I sincerely would like to thank each and everyone of you for your support. A $10 can make a serious impact on a child's life.
You guys Rock!
My fellow Lunatic (Luna Sandal Runner) Tyler Tomasello from CO was a last minute add to the race I had be hanging out with dude just last week when I told him  about the race.  He didn't want to miss this opportunity to ditch the snow and help out some kids.
I tried to be optimistic about how the race would go but since coming home from AZ and Mexico I had been battling a Sinus infection and didn't even have enough energy to go play frisbee golf the Thursday before. The whole left side of my upper jaw ached from my nasal cavity with every step when I tried to run.
Friday afternoon Tyler arrived. I picked him up and went straight from the airport to my Nephew's birthday party at Laser Tag.   I wasn't gonna miss my Nephews party and hell yeah I was gonna play some laser tag as did Tyler
Man I'm getting old, the 8 mins rounds (which sounded sounded short before they began) took forever. They said  "No Running" PFFT! I had to be careful not to plow into a 10 old as a rounded a blind corner. My mom and sister even joined in.  It was so much fun and I ended being the top scorer for the day.  It was a good reprieve from sitting around the house doing nothing.
 (Tyler did kick my butt in comeback victories at foosball and bubble dome hockey.)
Race Day
I woke up with yellow snot flowing out left nostril like bubbly crude coming out of the Beverly hillbillies farm. Never in my life had I made so much yellow snot LOL it was pretty gross but I had a certain sense of pride in my ability to produce such vast quantities.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0065
I ended up being the top fundraiser and received a quilt made of old 100 mile club t-shirts stitched together by Kara's mom.Everyone in Kara's family is super nice and I was really honored to receive a gift that so much time and love went into making.
(If I ever find myself living in a van down by the river it will be one of the last possessions I own)
24 hours around a 1/2 mile track on dirt and cement.

My plan was to run slower than I planned knowing damn well I would'nt follow my plan
I told myself that I would walk one mile out of every 10.
Do you think I'm gonna listen to myself?
Are you confused?
Don't worry I have no clue what I am saying either.

dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0664
From 8 a.m. till kids of all ages joined us on the track as they worked toward their goal of running 100 miles during the school year. It was really inspiring to watch.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0744
But you don't have to stop at 100 miles.
Good job Max!
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0623
I ran a bunch of laps with this happy 10 year old girl who ended up  running a marathon with her mom.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0077
Off we went.
The dude to left is Oswaldo super nice guy and former Badwater winner. The kid in front of me is Ryan he is 10 years old and before the day started he had run 910 this year
How many miles do you think Ryan ended up running.
We chatted all through the day and he's a nice kid and I was really happy for him.
The event was perfect for kids of all ages.  This is my buddy Ed who went on to run over 110 miles.
Way to go Ed!
If you would rather watch a cool video that sums up the event rather than read my gibberish check this out,
Thank you to Masa Otani for putting it together.

Here's how my race unfolded
The first 26 miles

When the race started Tyler shot out like a cannon ball (I was that dude last year)  It's hard not to go fast.  I took it casually jogging at about 8-9 min pace.  After about 5 miles of strolling around the track  I had a side ache. I figured it would go away I can't remember the last time I had one in a race. On the plus side my fillings that were giving me grief stopped hurting and I stopped peeing yellow stuff out my nose.

After 10 miles Tyler was still flying and had lapped me a couple of times.  It was time for my scheduled walk (which of course I didn't do)
The side ache never went away but I began to find a groove
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0717
Did I mention that Kara Lubin Is one of my favorite people.

I finished my first marathon just under 4 hours.  That's the speed I would like to go if I were healthy. I was going too fast and I knew it. I was proud of myself for walking a lap after I hit mile 20 though.
The weather was hot and the wind was picking up I had to tip my hat down low to avoid being blasted with sand in the eyes.

I ran with Tyler most of the afternoon by mile 40 my body was failing. We were walking about half of every lap. I was looking for a miracle and was willing to try anything.  They had showers at the school we were running at and figured it was worth a shot.

To say Tyler and I were moving like little old ladies would be an insult to little old ladies.

Clean with fresh sandals on I felt even worse. My training is entirely on soft sand and my body was not ready for the constant pounding of running on a trail or a man made surface. My left foot felt on the verge of breaking.
( I've come to the conclusion that I should do at least some training on the surfaces I race on.)

I even put on Shoes
Which I did 8 miles in and nearly lost my big toe nail.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0785
The first marathon for me took 4 hours the second took over 6 and now a 15 min mile was a painful struggle.
I wasn't ready to give up but it seemed  inevitable. Although Tyler was suffering from a gimpy knee I felt like I was holding him back as we slogged our way around the track.

I had brought A bed roll and a sleeping bag and thought maybe short nap would revive me?
after about 45 minutes I awoke and when I tried to get up my the top of my abdominal muscles seized up in cramps. I fell back to the ground flopping liking a fish out of water.  I hoped nobody saw me because it probably looked pretty bad.  It took me about 15 mins for the cramp to go away so that I could get up and walk.

I tried to run but could not.  I was pleasantly surprised however to see that Tyler had found a second wind and was moving quite well.  Kara joined me for a few laps walking around the track as we shared stories and smiles.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140315_Run4Kids_0796
 In the midst of my late night walk  Kara's mom showed up and I was excited to give her a hug and thank her in person for the quilt she had made me.

Sometime after midnight I went to bed after a measly 68  or so miles.

Continuing to run when the body is not working when the risk of injury is high is not a smart thing to do (starting some of these races while injured probably isn't the smartest thing to do either). In the past I would try and run through it and sometimes it's worked but many times it has resulted in injury. Quitting can be a tough pill to swallow but as I get older Id rather not finish than finish broken.

In fact the race that I most proud winning I set a PR in the 10km distance by almost 2 minutes and broke my foot in the process.   If I could go back in time, lose the race and finish healthy I definitely would!
People talk about digging deep during in Ultra and not giving up. The words can be inspiring but for me pushing through the pain is easy, knowing when to stop before I hurt myself, that is the hard thing to do and battle I don't always win.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140316_Run4Kids_0847
When I awoke at about 6 a.m. I learned that Tyler had just finished 100 miles and had called it a day.  I thought he was gonna hit the hundred mark but not that fast.  I was pleasantly surprised but a bit bummed I didn't get to see him finish.
There was still time on the clock so wrapped in our blankies Kara and I walked around the track for a couple more miles.
Checkout my friend Katrina finishing up with about 40 miles despite being 7 months pregnant.
Every time I saw her she was running with a big grin on her face.
Of all the people I was most proud of my friend Andrea was at the top of the list.  She had to grind it out running 12 minute mile for the last three or four hours and finished 100 miles with just a few minutes to spare.
Not my best race but still an amazing experience thank you to the Kara Lubin, lubin  and all the volunteers.
dave schulman photography: Run4Kids 2014 &emdash; 140316_Run4Kids_0920
Thank you to all the runners who helped raise money for such a worthy cause and thank you to everyone who made a donation!

Thank you to all the kids of the 100 mile club you inspire me and continue to make me smile.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sandal Clad 5km winner says no to Smoking hot Phoenix Suns Cheerleaders because he is a Clipper Fan.

Back from Mexico with a few days to kill in Phoenix.
Mexico, Why no blog posts?
It's hard to put such amazing experiences into words. I'll try and get maybe a 3 part blog post done next week on the trip but in the mean time you get this.

Phoenix is where I go when L.A. is too cold. also a good place some spring training baseball. So I shall begin and end  there.
 Angels, Dodgers at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Thursday March 6th
I love spring training baseball instead of seat you get to sprawl out on towel and instead of paying for overpriced fizzy yellow beer you can sneak out to your car for a Stone ale.

In a game where it doesn't really matter who wins it was only fitting that it ended up in a tie. Unfortunately the Angels were down by 3 until the bottom of ninth and the  fat, freckled faced 10 year old Dodger fan that had been talking smack to me had left during the 8th. 

While at the game I joked with my buddy Tyler that we should find some sort 10k  to run or better yet a 5k.
(Sunshine and ale make me lazy)

Less than 48 hours later I found myself at Grand Canyon University (in Phoenix) lined up at the start of the 

Run to Fight Children's Cancer 5km.
The race for a good cause, I saw some unexpected friends and had a bunch more running in the 10km right after.

I was focused on winning, but my body was still beat up from Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon which I had ran 6 days prior.  The trip had taken its toll on my immune system and I was suffering from a bit of Canyon Cough.

Time To Run
I had wanted to take an early lead going out at sub 5 min pace, but some kid went out even faster. I figured he would fade by the 1 mile mark .  I ran behind him by about 10 feet as he kept looking over his shoulder (I knew I had him).  I pushed the tempo and he was done before we even finished the first kilometer.

I wasn't feeling all that great, my breathing was off and has been that way for months.  The course was flat as pancake if I could just zone out and spin my legs as fast as I could I would be okay. Instead of racing the field I pretended I was racing the old dude on bike who was the pace vehicle.  He was now my arch nemesis and I was able to pass him only for a couple seconds around the 3km mark.  

At about the 4km mark I made what I thought was a final turn to the finish. I had at least an 1/8th of a mile lead on second place.  If I sprinted I the dude on the bike would not be able to adjust his speed in time. I thought I had him and just as I started to put in my final kick

The course turned into a parking lot while  the bike went straight?  The course must have been a little short so they added a tiny little horseshoe to make up the distance. 
Oh well.
The dude on the bike beat me (cheater), but I won the race
(Bike dude also turned out to be a really nice guy)

Not my fastest by any means but  faster than I expected and I was pretty stoked
 After a few hugs it was time to watch my Mas Loco friend's run the 10km
 Congrats to Nick Coury on his 2nd place finisher.
(That lady in the blue had an amazing last minute kick)
My fellow Luna Sandal wearer and thirty48 athlete Tyler Scored an 8th place finish.
Maria proudly wore her Luna's and finished first in the female sandal division
The old Man Michael Miller won the geriatric division
And most importantly his beautiful wife Kimberly ran  happy, healthy and cancer free
It's been awhile since I got one of these
Living the dream
"Okay fine I'll take another picture with you girls"
"You do know I'm  a Clipper fan and it's probably not gonna work out?  Call me when you get traded"
It was a fun morning.  People were really excited when they saw our Luna Sandals.  My Thirty48 calf sleeves  (use code PAT 15 for 15% off) made my legs feel fresher than they probably were maybe even shaving as much as30 seconds off my finishing time.

Time to relax
I never met a burro or salsa I didn't like. That afternoon I spent taking in some Arizona heat (both inside and out) at the United States biggest condiment /salsa festival.
I sure hope nobody peed in the salsa hot tub?
After which I 
spent the evening drinking beers with good friends well into the night.

I still had one last day in Phoenix before heading home after almost a month
Up early I jogged four rounds of frisbee golf where I  found this device??

Which turned out to be the perfect chiltepin grinder after I washed out all the skunky smelling oregano

Time to finish my trip with another baseball game
No Lawn seating or Stone ale at the car this time.
. I'm walking past the autograph booth after grabbing a beer. All of a sudden Vida Blue yells "Ball Ball Ball" fans are scrambling and down from the rafters this ball bounces right into my hand. I raise my can of XX's still in stride "Cheers my friend" Vida gives me one of those right back attcha finger points, as I take a big swig and smile at my good fortune Life is good!
 The next morning I drove West and didn't stop till I hit the sand. It twas good to be home.
Time to plan my next adventure?

The following evening I signed up for a 24 race just three days away.
(race report coming)