December 8, 2007

Tecumseh Marathon, 2007 (#21)

December 1, 2007.
Me and Lesa

Recall: So much fun. (see below)
Overall: One of my favorite marathons.
Rating: 5/5 carbs

Around mile 2

Mile 4

Mile 5

Mile 6 aid station

Indian Hill about half-way.

Mile 11
Mile 19
At the finish in front of Lake Yellowwood.

...time for some soup!

Watching the weather channel on a large, HDTV may be a waste but it's Saturday morning before the Tecumseh marathon all I wanted to know is just how cold it is going to be. 27 degrees and on it's way to a high in the mid to low 40s, plus a little windy. I debate with myself how many layers to wear and after 10 minutes I make the decision to take the layers with me in the car. I make a final decision just before I get on the bus.

I get on the first bus and sit on the second to last row. A clean shaved, well groomed guy sits behind me on the very back row. The runners on the back four rows quickly engage in runners conversation. It turns out Mr. Very Backrow is from Orem, UT and is in Bloomington helping with some type of theater production. Next to him is a Chicago man whose daughter is attending EIU. The lady next to me, who did an Ironman triathlon earlier in the year, asks me about the 5:00 cut off time. "Are they really strict about the mile 22 cut of time?" Being the veteran Tecumseh runner, I told her I thought so just because the sun is long gone by 5:00 and running this trail is tricky enough in daylight with many of the rocks and stumps covered by fallen leaves.

We get to the start area early so I sit on the bus to stay warm. With 20 minutes to race time, I leave the bus to warm up, etc. As I walk around I hear the sound for frozen water droplets hitting the leaves! I look up but see no threatening clouds and just hope that the weather forecast calling for later afternoon rain is correct. Eventually, it's start time but that doesn't seem to matter for this marathon. The first year I ran it we were told, "the race will start when the last person is out of the Port-a-potty." This year is no exception with a 10:14 start time. I stay in the back not knowing if I'm completely over the cold I caught just before Thanksgiving. Besides, I reminded myself, it's better to pass people rather than be passed in last half.

We gather for final instructions which I can't hear so without warning the race starts and we're off. The races starts on an asphalt road but quickly turns into a dirt road. There are people running three a breast making it hard to pass, not that I'm passing a lot of people. The deer hunters don't pay us much attention. By the first aid station at mile 2.5, things thin out a bit just as we merge on to the single track trail. At the first major descent, I end up walking part of the way only because the line of runners ahead of me are "running" downhill at a snails pace. So I walk and try to be patient. We cross the levy and up a short, steep hill to the next aid station. Oh, pretzels!

The next section of the course is less flat but I'm starting to get more into the race. Every once in a while it smells like snow. I love it! I want to say I'm having fun but that doesn't really describe it. Fun is skiing uncut powder and this is not like that. I can't describe it but I am having a blast! I do wish I have brought some gloves since it doesn't seem to be warming up much. A hat might have been nice, too. After a few miles, I know an aid station is coming up so I eat half of a Payday candy bar so I can wash it down at the mile 6 aid station. I have some guy snap a picture of me just to prove I was actually there. I finished the Payday but choke on a peanut. Eventually, a few hundred yards down the trail I stop coughing and find myself behind Mr. Green vest. While walking up one of the hills I see a photographer up ahead. I decided to slow down and let Mr. Green vest get a head of me so I can be running by the time I'm in view of the camera. At the top of the hill I pass a lady dressed in purple walking with a man. I hear her asked the man if he'll be okay? With his assurance, she continues on behind me and eventually passes me. She tells me she got a second wind as she passes but I know she was being nice and walking with the man who was struggling. Another half a mile and I'm mostly alone on the trail. Eventually, see a younger lady who runs like a deer up ahead. I refer to her as Doe a Deer and try to keep up with her. It's a gradual downhill and I'm feeling great as I catch up to Doe a Deer just as we arrive at the mile 9 aid station.

After the aid station we are all walking up an asphalt road for a bit. I'm finishing my pretzels and Gatorade while Mrs. Plum is calling someone on her cell phone. Back on single tract trail, and still feeling great. Again I'm mostly alone except for Mrs. Plum who is 50 yards ahead of me. But then she's gone. A few second later I come over a small rise and out of the corner of my eye I see her "squating" off to the side of the trail. Quickly, eyes forward look straight ahead and never see the Plum lady again. The course is again mostly downhill and I'm loving it. I'm not cold but still rue not bringing gloves and a hat. The good news is the the small creek we cross near mile 12 is dry.

Trail runs into a road where we find the next aid station. One of the workers tells us it's lunch. Let's see candy, cookies, pretzels, bananas, and Gatroade. Sounds like lunch to me! I grab a banana and some pretzels and walk as I eat. I know there's a killer hill ahead so I eat fast and start running knowing I'll be walking once I get to Indian Hill. The triathlete lady on the bus asked how long Indian Hill was, I told her about a quarter of a mile. After a quarter mile and not at the top I think about her cursing me when she's realize what I just did. At the top there's a long-ish down hill but it's starting to rain. A hat. If only I had a hat, I'd be find. I wonder what I'll do if it rains really hard. I envision me finishing in a cold shiver that last the entire 2 hour drive home and into the next day. Nothing to do but keep going to the mile 16 aid station. A guy with an iPod around his neck is on my heals as we wind our way around the trees. I stop to take a picture and let iPod man pass. At the aid station one man is escorted into a mini-van. He looks cold but fine. Another runner tells the van driver to wait for another runner who may be in need of a ride. The food is covered in plastic to protect it from the rain but the rain seems to be letting up. I leave the aid station just after iPod man.

After a short distance on a road, we cross another dry stream and end up walking the switch backs up the hillside. On the other side is a valley we run down into, along a stream bed, and then walk up to a road that takes us to the mile 18 and half aid station. A light rain returns but this aid station has hot chocolate that is neither hot nor chocolate. No matter, I'm not cold, except my hands a little, and there are no more large uphills! The course takes us back on the trail but the last two times we stayed on a road so this part of the trail is new to me. I get behind two guys going slowly downhill. Finally, they let me pass but not until the bottom. Next is a tall lanky man from Cleveland who is going just a bit slower than I'd like but just as I want to pass we are going uphill! So I walk behind him until we get to the top of the ridge and the mile 20 aid station. Looking at the map now I see the road is a more direct route to the mile 20 aid station so I'm convinced this year the course was longer than last year. At least that would help explain my much slower time. I don't stay long at the aid station since I know a nice long downhill is next and I don't want to have to follow anyone down it. Running downhill at this point feels liberating. My tired legs get to stretch out a little and gravity helps move me along. Another aid station but I'm feeling good and know there is hot soup waiting for me in 4 miles. I'm feeling good as I catch up with runners who aren't. They are all good about letting me pass except one lady who is trying to keep up with her boy friend. Finally, she lets me by. A mile down the trail I see a group of runners on the trail. They are helping a lady who had fallen and cut open her leg just below her knee. I give her the Paoli Peaks bandana I found a few miles back. iPod man was the first see her after she feel. We decided to run forward to the next aid station 2 miles away and inform them of the fallen runner. A little further down the trail I see another group of people along the trail. Oh, no. Not another injured runner? No. Just a group of men who line both sides of the trail and raise their shovels over our heads and cheer as we run under. By the time we get to the next aid station we are off the trail and have 1 mile left on gravel road with a little uphill. We tell them of the injured runner and move on. iPod man tells me it's his 26th birthday so he decided to run 26 miles. I can't believe my legs still feel good compared to previous marathons. Every once in a while I feel a cramp in my right upper calf but I just rub it and it goes away for a while.

The last mile is on gravel road but it's tolerable knowing that it is the last mile. Lesa is waiting, as usual, for me at the finish line. I'm a little cold so we go inside the shelter-like lodge for some hot soup waiting and a tasty sandwich. along with chips, cookies, and warm fire. What a great run. 5 hours 44 minutes and worth every minute!

November 17, 2007

Bend Bulletin Article

For three days starting Saturday, Nov. 17, you can read an article from the Bend Bulletin that quotes me regarding marathon running. They even put an aweful looking picture of me in it.

To access the article go to

You'll need to login in with my email ( and password (mosiah217).

November 3, 2007

500 miles and The Bend Bulletin

Back on October 6th I logged by 50 mile with my Nike Plus system. Here's my award. Cool, eh?

I have run 109 miles prior to that this year so my actual total was 609. As of today I'm up to 670 miles. That's about the same as last year. By this time in 2005, I had 820 miles and 856 in 2004. Slacker!

Other news. Last week I was interviewed by Markian Hawryluk from the Bend Bulletin about my article on The Physiology of Marathon Running in Marathon and Beyond. I'm not sure when it will run but I assume it will be soon. My article deals with the risk of running a marathon and, sadly, today a runner died during the US Olympic Qualifying Marathon in New York City. Ryan Shay was only 5.5 miles into the race when he collapsed. The speculation is that it was a heart problem, which is often the case.

October 28, 2007

Mattoon Half Marathon (and Ogden Marathon)

Back in toenails, that is.

A week after the Indianapolis Marathon, I tried to redeem myself at the Mattoon Beach Multisport Half Marathon. The weather was blustery with temps in the 50s and stiff winds so I decided to wear my long sleeve shirt from the Ogden Marathon. While I was standing at the starting line a lady came over to me and she was wearing the exact same shirt! She teaches athletic training at Illinois State but her parents live in Logan. Of all the place to see someone else in an Ogden Marathon shirt, I won't have guessed it would be in Mattoon, IL.

We ran together for the first 3 miles. I started out a little faster with the wind and my back and slowed down with the head wind. I don't know why the graph shows such a drastic drop in pace at mile 8. A technological malfunction, I guess. I did feel good the last few miles particularly with the wind at my back. My legs were a little tight but other than that I felt much better than I did the week before in Indianapolis. It was nice having Lesa at the finish line since she wasn't able to make it to the Indianapolis marathon.

Next up? Tecumseh Trail Marathon on December 1.

Indianapolis Marathon (#20)

Who are they?

When: September 20, 2007.
Me and Ethan Garrett.
Recall: I wore #500 in the Indianapolis Marathon and these are the two pictures I was emailed saying they were me. Not close on both accounts. I looked through all the pictures and didn't find one of me. So they only evidence I can post that I ran the marathon is the graph from Nike+ below. Notice I did slow down a bit over the last miles but not as much at the end as the graph shows because I didn't stop my "workout" until 10 minutes after I cross the finish line while I was in line getting a hamburger. (My actual time was 4:39, not 4:49.) I honestly didn't feel at the "top of my game" that morning and tried to keep a slow but steady pace which work until mile 19 where I slowed consistently tapered my speed until the finish. Overall, a disappointing marathon both in performance and course. Ethan, who ran Washington D.C. with me finish with a new PR!
While many reviews of the course are positive, but I felt there are so many "out and back" sections that you are left with a feeling having run in a lot of small circles rather and a long distance. Not my favorite marathon (see the top 10 list below).
Rating: 3/5 carbs

Top Ten Reason to Run/Not to Run the Indianapolis Marathon.

10. The scenery along miles 1-3, 9-11, 13-14 and 24-25 is beautiful (good) while the rest is stickin' boring (bad). "Oh, look at this subdivision I'm running through. It looks like every other subdivision in the USA that was built in the 1980s. I'm so glad I drove all the way to Indy to see this."
9. At mile 15 I got a pre-opened gel packets (good) that left me with gel oozing all over my hands as I grabbed it (bad). "May I have another water please?" To pour over your head? "No, to wash my hands off with."
8. With the out and back course see the leaders' final push for the finish at mile 24 (good) while you are only at mile 14 (bad). "Very bad"
7. Free hot off the grill burgers for all finishers (good) with only Gatorade to drink (bad). "Like I didn't get enough of that watered down pickle juice the course! Where's the cold DP?"
6. Finishers get a cool looking, multi-colored medal (good) that is so small it looks like a lapel pin (bad). "Or, a tie tack!"
5. The course can easily handle the usual couple thousand runners (good) but the Chicago marathon debacle caused 5000 runners to show up (bad). "We were actually had to run single file through a narrow but short path that led into and out of the Fort Harrison State Park."
4. Midwestern hospitality was at its best as the locals cheered you on over the last mile (good) as did a few half-marathon finishers who thought it would help it they told you 'You can do it. You're almost there' (bad). "Hey buddy, I don't need a half-marathoner encouraging me. Go do one more "lap" and then I'll listen to you."
3. The course is relatively flat (good) with the only hill coming at mile 25 (bad). "One lousy hill in all of Indiana and it has to show up at mile 25?"
2. Seeing with a former student on the course (good) who passes you for good at mile 24 (bad). "Hey, April. I can go back and change your grades!"
1. Short lines for clean Port-A-Potties (it's just good with no bad) "But the sum of the bad out weigh the good making this a one time only marathon."

September 9, 2007

Run slow, ski fast...ride far!

My brothers Tom and Bob and his two sons, John and Brian, completed in the 200 mile Lotoja Bike race. Below are the elevation map and their results. Well done men!

Click here for the Lototja website.

September 8, 2007

A wet 12 miles

I couldn't talk myself into signing up for the Air Force Marathon next week so I went for a 12 mile run this morning. I got caught in a down pour after 8 miles. I found cover under the Church of God's driveway overhang. Just as I was about to leave, Dr. Stan Hoffman, pulled up in his truck . He goes to that church. He along with Tom Woodall gave me a treadmill a year ago just to make sure my heart functioning properly.

September 3, 2007

To Run or Not To Run?

I love how tall and thin my shadow makes me look early in the morning.

My Labor Day run. 18.0 miles with a 0.5 mile "cool down". I ran along the bike trail north of town out to the BP gas station for a bottle of Powerade and a Pay Day candy bar, my new favorite energy bar. I like that it doesn't melt like chocolate bars and has some salt in it. Along the way I saw at least 6 deer, a multitude of rabbits, and Rob Ulm, local ultramarathoner although he was on his bike cruising the trail. In fact, I didn't see another runner. Only cyclist along the trail which is fine. I'd rather be passed by people on bikes than other runners.

My runs over the last month. I can't decide if I'm ready (or if I want) to run the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH on September 15th.

June 1, 2007

Ogden Marathon (#19)

When: March, 2007.
Who: Bill and Michael (his first marathon). Tom and Shelly ran the half marathon.
Recall: Beautiful scenery the whole way. I especially enjoyed looking up at Snow Basin, etc. A good deal of shade and only a few block of running on a city street. Best of all was Polly joining me the last 40 yards!
Overall: Beautiful course with the downhill towards the end. Some traffic concerns but nothing that bothered me. Just didn't feel right from the start but had a fun time none the less.
Rating: 4/5 carbs.

Spring Break, March 2007

When: March, 2007.
Where: The Beav.
Who: Various members of the whole fam damily.
Overall: Great spring (fast) skiing! No powder but plenty of sunshine and excellent company. Thanks, as usual goes to Tom for the equipment and John and Norda for the food and lodging. I feel bad that Dad's so called friends left him behind which resulted in him waiting for me in the Tahoe while the battery wore down. Luckily, one of the sluggards in the ski shop was able to give us a jump.
Rating: 5/5 tots.

Dean and The Tecumseh Marathon (#18)

When: October, 2006.
Who: Me with Lesa, Paige, Lorin and Polly as the support team.
Recall: This was one of Dean's 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Who knew a marathon could turn into a "fun run" but it did. Dean got lost early on and so the whole group waited for him. Later, the group I was running with were asked to wait for another group of runners who got lost. It was great to have Lesa, Paige, Lorin and Polly waiting for me at the finish line.
Overall: Second time and loved it. Better scenery than in December.
Rating: 5/5 carbs.

Here's what Dean had to say.

Tecumseh Trail Marathon, Indiana
Number of Runners: 55 (filled to capacity)
Elevation: 591’
Time: 4:45:21
Weather: 44 degrees, partly cloudy
Hardcore. That’s the best way to describe today’s marathon. Along with the 3,500 feet of climbing, most of the course was on technical single-track trail, with numerous stream crossings, hordes of logs and branches to climb over and navigate around, deep pocket of mud, slippery rocks, and gnarled tree roots hiding silently under thick canopies of fallen leaves.
The switchbacks were difficult to follow, and if you looked up for a trail marker, it was easy to stumble and fall, which many people did, including yours truly (multiple times, in fact). A lot of the runners were cut and scratched from falling or getting snagged on the thorny bushes that we passed through. I’ve spent some time on the trails over the years, and this trail run was as challenging as any.
Arriving at the start this morning was surreal. We were miles from the nearest town, out on a desolate39_indianaroadway, and there were fifty-five beaming runners raring to go, fourteen of whom had never run a marathon before. Other than the couple of runners who had been here before, I’m not sure many of us had any idea what we were in for. After starting on our way, the course almost immediately hit single-track trail, and within a mile I had an inclination that this was going to be an interesting and different sort of day. My expectations were fulfilled.
There were very few sections along this course that were flat. You were either climbing or descending the entire way. Most of the route was in thick foliage, making it sometimes difficult to see ahead, and the trail was covered in leaves, compounding the navigational complexities. We traversed countless switchbacks, some ascending and some descending, and skirted several creeks and ravines. At a number of points we got lost and had to retrace our steps to get back on the path.
Yet for all the challenges, the setting was absolutely beautiful. Running on trails refreshes the senses; being out in nature renews the mind, body, and spirit. Today was about enjoying the elements and the wonders of the natural world. The colors of the leaves, the smells of earth and of the water, the sunlight streaming through the trees, and the crackle of twigs underfoot were all engaging and invigorating. It was impossible not to get swept up in it, even after miles of running.
When we finally did cross the finish line, my GPS read 27.5 miles. Those couple wrong turns added a bit39_indiana_ivof distance, so today was the first “ultramarathon” of the Endurance 50. But it was also a day I will never forget, especially for those first-time marathoners that made it. I couldn’t even imagine tackling this course as your first marathon. Your second will feel like a walk in the park.
At the finish, when we didn’t have to worry about tripping over branches, I was able to chat more freely with the other runners. The group today was comprised of some truly amazing people. A father/daughter running team, a professional golfer elated to have finished his first marathon, a state Superintendent of Schools, and a gentleman who couldn’t run a mile a year ago and had lost 100 lbs and completed his first marathon today.
Many, if not most, were scratched and scrapped from the trail. But, remarkably, I did not hear one complaint from the group, not so much as even the slightest hint at a gripe. On the contrary, people were incredibly thankful and gracious for the extraordinary adventure we shared together. They were nothing but smiles and compliments, despite the cuts, lacerations, and muscle cramps. If I could somehow bottle all this positive energy and spread it around the globe, the world would be a better place.
All the best from the trails of Indiana,

My Own Private Marathon (#17)

When: September, 2006.
Who: Me with Lesa, Molly and Erin as the support team.
Recall: This was a make-up marathon since I was too sick to run the Lewis and Clark marathon a week earlier. I loved the course (I should I made it up) and the fact that I won the whole kit and kaboodle! I did, however, miss not having traffic control even though Charleston doesn't have much traffic. I'm writing up experience and we'll see if Marathon and Beyond wants to publish it.
Overall: I'm glad I did it. Who knows it may be worth doing again some time?
Rating: 4.5/5 carbs. (Not many spectators)

Berryman Trail Marathon (#16)

When: Memorial Day weekend, 2006.
Who: me and Lesa as support team.
Recall: Beautiful course. Warm weather for the end of May.
Overall: Had a great time. Would definitely do it again.
Rating: 4.5/5 carbs

Fast Runners Wear Hats...Top of Utah (#15)

When: September, 2005
Who: Bill, Ben, Tom and Shelly with the family in support.
Recall: Stuck with Ben until he left me at mile 17. I didn't catch him until I crossed the finish line 7 minutes after he did. He finished in 4 hours even.
Overall: One of my favorite races and my best time.
Rating: 5/5 carbs!

Ben, Bill, and Tom and the Park City Marathon (#14)

When: June, 2005.
Who: Bill, Tom, and Ben (his first).
Recall: Worrying about Ben who left Tom and me early on but not only did he do great but he won his age division. Tom was nice enough to hang with me when my legs fell off at mile 20.
Overall: The course? Loved it. The hill at mile 17? Not so much.
Rating: 4.5/5 carbs.

The Derby Marathon (#13)

When: May, 2005.
Who: me with Lesa as support team.
Recall: I found a portable generator to stand by to keep warm at the start. Most of the runners ran the half marathon so there was a noticeable difference when they split off; it was like running a whole different race once. I liked the course even though I didn't get to run inside Churchill Downs, like they do now.
Overall: I'd like to run this one again, in fact I'd do this marathon over the Country Music Marathon which is held the same day. After the race we went back to Churchill Downs to watch the ponies run.
Rating: 5/5 carbs.

Skiing the 'bird

Dad, Ben and me at Snowbird over Christmas break. Not the best skiing that day but I was there mostly for the association.

Ben and the Memphis Half Marathon

When: December, 2004
Who: Just the boys.
Recall: Road trip for me and Ben. He beat me as usual. Afterwards we toured the Gibson guitar factory. The picture was taken in front of Elvis on Beal Street.
Overall: Great time with my favorite son.
Rating: 5/5 mini-carbs

Another run at Chicago (#12)

When: October, 2004.
Who: Shelly and Tom with Lesa as support.
Recall: I blew it and got us stuck in the back at the start and we it was too hard to pass people when you're running shoulder to shoulder but we had a great time. They improved the course. No more running under the McCormick Center. The steak for dinner was excellent.
Overall: Another great weekend in the Windy City!
Rating: 5/5 stuffed pizzas!

Lakeshore Marathon (#11)

When: Memorial Day, 2004.
Who: me with Lesa, Molly and Erin as the support team.
Recall: Did you hear the one about the marathon that was longer than 26.2 miles and ran out of water at the aid-stations? Well, that was The Lakeshore Marathon in Chicago. It happened again the following year which was it's last.
Overall: I like the course but I'm one of those people who like aid stations and courses that are actually 26.2 miles.
Rating: 4/5 stuffed pizzas.

Ben and The Country Music Marathon, 2004 (#10)

When: April, 2004
Who: Ben and me with Lesa as the support team.
Recall: The start was postponed due to a thunderstorm which was kind of neat. Ben ran the half-marathon while I went on to do the full marathon. Lesa and Ben saw Calvin Smith (from Charleston) at mile 19 and were surprised he finished but he's now 70-something and is still running marathons.
Overall: Probably my least favorite marathon. I didn't like the course.
Rating: 3/5 gee-tars

Tecumseh Trail Marathon. (#9)

When: December, 2002.
Who: Me and Lesa as support.
Recall. I took some pics along the way with my new cell phone. For a while they were still posted on the races website. Also, there was this picture of my shoes that Lesa took. She later sold to and was published in Marathon and Beyond!
Overall: First trail run and I loved it. Lesa was able to do some Christmas shopping in Bloomington, IN while I ran so we both had a great time.
Rating: 5/5 muddy shoes

Tom, Shelly and The Top of Utah, Redux. (#8)

When: September, 2003
Who: Bill, Tom, and Shelly with Lesa and other family members in support.
Recall: Heavy, tight legs the whole second half. Other than that I loved the company, the course, the weather, etc. Tom going for the Krispie Kreme donuts at mile 17.
Overall: Not the most enjoyable but fun none the less. We did get to see Paige who had just got married a month before and was living in Utah.
Rating: 3.5/5 carbs

The Flying Pig Marathon (#7)

When: April, 2003.
Who: Me and Lesa as my support team.
Recall: We had a hard time finding a good place to eat the night before but I had one of my best marathons anyway. After the hill at mile 8 I relaxed and had a great time. Thanks to Lesa and finding me at mile 19 with a cold Dr. Pepper.
Overall: One of my most enjoyable marathons.
Rating: 5/5 flying pigs

Back to Memphis (#6)

When: December, 2002.
Who: Me, the ghost of Elvis, and Lesa as support team.
Recall: A different and much better course than in 2000. I liked the run down Beal Street, through the Liberty Bowl and the finish in Auto Zone Stadium. Lesa and I had a great time in downtown Memphis.
Overall: The course was fun except for too much slope on the side of the road along the last few miles.
Rating: 4.5/5 carbs.

Bill (Tom and Shelly) and the Chicago Marathon (#5)

When: October, 2002
Who: Bill, Tom, Shelly with Lesa and Lorie as support team.
Recall: Trying to stay with Bill which worked until mile 18. At least the first 18 miles were fun. Other fun stuff was the boat tour, all the great food, and the association.
Overall: No one of my best races but it was Chicago and the whole weekend was great fun.
Rating: 4.5/5 Carbs