Thursday, February 11, 2016

Palmers Pond FatAss 50K - April 2nd, 2016

OK Folks!   RWK (running with Kevin) Racing is going to put on it's first race!!

Something I have wanted to do for a long time is put together a FatAss race. If you're not sure what a FatAss race is, it's a free race - where the RD (Race Director) can choose the specifics of what you need to bring to enter the race (typically gallons of water, Gatorade, treats, etc). There are no race fee's. What you get in return is priceless! 

You get the opportunity to run with a group of folks who are just out to have a good time. The course may or may not be marked, or marked well.
(The PP50K will be marked with yellow DEC Trail markers and is all 4 wheeler access trails for handicapped hunters). 

There won't be a race T-Shirt (unless you want to bring your own). There won't necessarily be any awards (this part I failed on, all entries will get a reward). And - there's no bitching or whining. That's a rule! 

The race will be at Palmers Pond State Forest - - located just off of Exit 32 of Route 86 in the southern tier of NY. Exit 32 is the West Almond exit - but don't be confused, there's no town. There's no gas station. Nuthin.  Get your fuel, food, water, coffee, take a pee in a bathroom, etc before you get there.  There will be a port-a-potty at the course too, but the seat might be cold.  The Race Address - as far as any mapping system is concerned is 7515 Miller Road, Almond, NY. 

The race is scheduled for April 2nd, with a start time of 7AM. There are two 5+ mile loops. 
The West Loop is stated above as 4.96 miles long (I got 5.2 on my Garmin). 

The East Loop is stated as being 5.12 miles (I got 5.5). 

I get around 1200 feet of climbing for one complete loop. (So ~3600+ for the 50K).  It will be muddy in spots, and there are 4 stream crossings, to wash the mud off. 

Here's my Strava for it:

Each runner will check in after each loop (6 total - 3 each side- washing machine style) at the only aid station on the course in the parking area.  Additionally - for each lap you complete, your name will be placed in a bucket for a drawing at the end for awesome prizes! 

"The end" - this brings up cutoffs.  There will be a 10 hour cutoff to START the last segment (that's a 10 hour marathon) - but - for drawings, your name goes in for each loop completed in under that 10 hours.  Awards will be at 5 PM. If you're on the course at the time and your name is drawn, your award will be held for you. You need not be present to win, awards will be delivered to you somehow. 

The Loops will be run in the following race order  - 1 - West Loop North Entrance, 2 - East Loop North Entrance, 3 - WL South, 4 - EL South, and the last two loops are runners choice of direction - it must include 1 EL and 1 WL, but you choose the direction and order. (ie - washing machine). 
At the Finish Line/Aid Station there will be the official race Totem - we'll call it "the PP", for lack of better  terminology. Upon completion of the final loop - 50K finishers will have to pull on "the PP" to ring the finishing bell. At this point their finishing time will be taken. 

50K finishers will also get an awesome award of the race directors choosing. Trust me - it'll be awesome, ok, don't trust me. 

RELAYS - If you want  to run this as a relay - get two friends and you have to do 50+ miles. Yes - 10 laps. That's 3 segments each - plus, the last segment you all have to run together. Yes, that means whoever runs the last leg, runs another one back to back.  - ie - Runner 1 - segments 1,4,7,10; Runner 2 - segments 2,5,8,10; Runner 3 - segments 3,6,9,10. AND - your cutoff is the same. Yep, start the last segment before 10 hours. I am not fast or slow. I ran this at an 11:45 pace running both sides. It's possible, but it's not for walkers. OR - run it as a relay however the hell you want. It IS a FatAss. You're not going to get kicked out. 

Camping is available in the state park right on the course, and there are numerous locations on site and within a few miles of the course that are beautiful spots. See the Facebook link for pics. Allegany County has over 46,000 acres of state forest. 

If camping isn't your forte', then there are some places to stay.  Polliwogg Holler has rustic lodging and is 4 miles from the start - it's a very cool place, very laid back, and a really cool vibe to it.   There are also hotels in Hornell, which is 15 miles away to the East, and Angelica, just 9 miles to the West also has some bed and breakfasts that get great reviews. 

There is no shelter, but we wil put up a tarp enclosure and have a bonfire in a barrel - or the parking lot. There will also be a Port A Potty. 

Post race will be food (bring something to eat!) and hanging out with beers (bring your favorite beverage!) and cheers to watch the finishing racers come through. We will bring a portable grill to cook on if you want to bring burgers or something. 

Registration - if you're interested - email me -, or hit the "GOING" button on the Facebook page.  I will be checking both. Space is limited to 75 runners for the inaugural event.  If you register with me and are unable to attend please let me know so that others on the wait list can be allowed to attend. 

Once again - Exit 32 off of Rt 86.   GPS coords:    42.3248, -77.8854
OR - address 7515 Miller Road, Almond, NY - which will get you within 1/4 mile and you can't miss the start. 

See Facebook page for updates.  

Come have fun with us! 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review - Colin

So, where to start..   

Last fall I finished the year health wise in good shape.  I had learned how to eat properly, and how it affected my conditioning and health. It was a lesson well learned, and only partially forgotten in 2015. The reason I mention it here is that in 2016 I will be revisiting that diet plan, with the goals of dropping the sugar and treats in order to drop my body fat, and become a healthier person all around. Some of you remember this picture.  It was my before and after numbers from a simple diet called the Whole 30. These numbers were from 2014.
For 2016 - I hope to drop my body fat below 10%, and keep my cholesterol and sugar in check. 

I started the year with a goal of running 1000 miles for the year. I had some big races planned for the year, and as the years progressed I stepped outside of my believed limits to test myself a bit. The first race of the year was on January 3rd, a planned snowshoe race without any snow, so a trail race. This was only my second trail race ever, though I had already signed up for others. It was a fun race, and I was an outsider, looking in through a window, and seeing a group of folks having fun with each other's company. 
Later that spring I ran my furthest distance ever. Breaking outside of a half marathon distance first with the Frozen Snot race in Pennsylvania, a race with a load of climbing and tough as hell.
A few weeks later I once again broke my distance record running in the Cast A Shadow race - a 6 hour snowshoe race, consisting of laps. I stopped after just under 4 hours and nearly 15 miles. 
I also placed in my second race ever at the Tour de Bristol Race to the Summit. 

Spring thaw had me running the Mess the Dress race - where I would have age grouped my first race, had there been age groups. 

In April my first 25K - the Hyner, and 4 weeks later my first marathon - a trail marathon called Sehgahunda. 

All in all I raced in 25 races in 2015. I ran over 1200 miles (just over - 1200.6), and climbed over 107,000 feet. In achieving these goals I met and befriended a new group of people and scratched some of my bucket list items off the list, and of course added others.  

For 2016 - I hope to run 1500 miles total, and run my first road marathon and my first trail ultra. In 2015 I was a bit of a running bachelor, and though never forgetting my family, sometimes putting running first. With this in mind, coming into 2016, I asked Kris for reasonable limits for the coming year. The request from her was 1 "event" a month. The quotes being that an event might be a weekend run with friends or a race. It's limited to time away from my family. If they're with me, she said that one doesn't count as my 1. She also has the option to approve an extra in some months. I can deal with this, as it gives me more time with my family, maybe even more time convincing them to join me, like the boys did in Colorado on this hike. 

I can't say enough about my good fortune and won't delve into it too deeply. I will say that it was one of my most successful years hunting ever. Starting with 2 weeks in Colorado helping a friend hunt Mule Deer in the High Country above 12,000 feet where he was successful on a hunt he'd been waiting 17 years for.

We slept in a tent at 11,860 feet for 10 nights, and it was amazing.
It helped condition me for my first true mountain race and bucket lister - the Imogene Pass Run, a 17.1 mile race climbing over a 13,000 foot pass. I convince one of my best friends and housemate from college to run the race also, and got together with Keith a few days before the race to catch up for the first time in nearly 25 years. This is from the morning of the race. 
Hunting season got better for me personally on November 9th when a great buck I had been seeing at my cousin's land followed a doe right under my tree. 
And then just 12 days later on the opening day of gun season a huge buck followed a doe into view on my land and I was successful ending my gun season with 2 shots. Shooting the buck, and the doe he had been following. 

For me, hunting season, which typically lasts another month was over, and some of that time I had neglecting spending with my family was recovered. Our freezer was full, and some of the to do list was getting completed, or not. But I tried, and we had nice weekends together. I had taken the two biggest bucks of my life. My biggest archery buck, and my biggest gun buck. 
In 2016 - I hope to see Kelleach (our youngest) get his first buck. I hope to have some success myself also, only time will tell. I am also going to Colorado to hunt Elk, so fingers crossed there also. 

The best for last. 
I love my family and cherish them deeply. As the boys get older (Brogan is 15 and Kelleach 13), they are more of a joy to have around and laugh with. I made a rule of sitting down together at dinner with no TV as often as possible, and now I find that they're shutting the TV off before dinner is even served and sometimes helping set the table and help out. They're enjoying the talks about "how was your day", and it's really amazing how much it has helped us all bond. 
Brogan and Kelleach both run track. Brogan PR'd his mile this year towards the end of the season with a 5:27, and we have big hopes for them both in the coming year. 
Soccer also went well with improvements for both boys with excitement rather than dread about what 2016 will bring for them.  
They also got into trail running as a family, and I hope to do an overnight hiking trip with them in PA. 
Kris has been fighting trail running and claiming she hates it, yet placed in her age group at her first trail race, and though she claimed to never run another, has run one other with me, and plans to run one this weekend with the boys and myself- Frozen Assets, the first race of the year. 
We've had a tremendous year as a family. The boys still appear to think that Dad is somewhat cool and aren't trying to avoid me, and Kris seems to appreciate me being around. We have a few house projects planned and a 10 day Colorado vacation. I expect 2016 to be better than 2015 was if that is possible and look forward to it. 

I hope everyone else has had a stellar year, and 2016 answers some of your wishes also. 

Kris should be chiming in soon with her own post, and I plan to be more active with my posts. 

Oh yeah - She got me this AWESOME coffee mug for Christmas!!  

Signing off for 2015.. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Imogene Pass Run - 2015

Between August 1st of 2008 and July 31st of 2009, I (Colin) decided to set a goal of sampling and recording my reviews of 1000 different beers. The idea came after a trip to Disney and the "year of 1000 or a million dreams" or some such thing, and I was like yeah, that sounds catchy! As always, Kris reluctantly, but exhuberantly supported me in my latest goal.

It was a great year. I sampled many beers from around the US, and even a few out of country beers. We went to Denver on vacation and in 3 days sampled 167 beers. I also attended a couple of beer tasting events and would hit from 60-80 beers at these events with a support team of course. It's a timely thing when you have 2 hours, and you're sampling on average of a beer every 2 minutes, including recording thoughts, and waiting in lines.  It helped to have your crew out in 3 different lines, and bringing back beers to you. I also had a group of guys at a local bar in Corning where every Friday night we did beer sampling, and these guys took it upon themselves to make sure that there were no duplicates. Support beyond my wildest dreams! If you can't imagine how awesome it was, you have to just trust me when I tell you.  Awesome!  It was my first Ultra event and I didn't even realize it! 
I completed it at a golf event with friends on Friday July 31 2009, where I completed my 1003rd beer of that year. I wanted to be sure I didn't mis-count, thus the extra 3. I still have the stack of 4x6 note cards in a cabinet in my office. It's cool to remember. Here's a shot from a typical night at the house. Kris's aunt was not helping - that's her Diet Pepsi! 

After that was completed, a great friend said, "so now what? Are you going to do something to lose the beer belly you gained?" So of course I said yeah! I'll start running! and that's what we did. Of course, our very first race as newborn runners was the Dogfish Dash 10K at Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware on September 27th. It took Kris and I 1:09 to finish, but the running bug had bitten us, and by the end of the year we had done 4 races. The Dash, the Wineglass Relay in Corning, I did the Ridgewalk 10K in Wellsville, my very first trail run, and we completed the year with a trip to Virginia for the Lexington to Buena Vista 10K. The oldest road race in the state of Virginia. Doesn't Kris look thrilled??
In February we went to Sedona Arizona and raced in our first half marathon where Kris beat me soundly. My first half took me 2:39:49. I will say, I would love to go back and do that race again. Maybe make it my first road full? Who knows. The shirts were from a venture called "SipnSlips", we were trying to make a website / app to easily rate beers based off the 4x6 cards I was using. The shirt front said "How many have YOU tried?" I still wear my shirt on occassion. 

 Anyways, after Sedona, friends who we went with gave me the book "Born to Run" on tape, and I finished it, and sent a thank you email on March 5th, where I mentioned maybe someday being able to do Leadville, and that I had found a very cool race I would like to  someday do, called the Imogene Pass Run. "See, it's this 17 mile run where you climb for over a mile in elevation and go over a 13,000 foot pass. From one town to another.  Doesn't it sound cool!?" 

So from there I continued to run. I joined a cycling / tri team, and did a couple of triathlons, got bored with that and turned to Randonneuring - long distance cycling. My goal was to do a 200K every month for 12 months. I started in December of 2011 and I got to August. I had done a number of 200Ks and a 300K which took about 18 hours. I was riding my August 200K alone, on the roads in mid-Pennsylvania, 87 miles into a 126 mile ride, and I called Kris and told her to pick me up in Coudersport. She asked if everything was alright, and I told her that I was just done. Done spending numerous hours away from my family. Done spending numerous hours alone on rural roads, as beautiful as they were!  12 hours in the saddle was far more than the pleasureable 4 hour ride that you can go have with friends and see a whole lot of country. I had a blog ( - which is still up - which has some of my cycling reports, and a few of my recent running reports, but I thought I would switch things up, and try to make this more of a family type of blog, so Kris and I started the Running with Kevin Blog. See, if I can get Kris involved, and she slowly sees how cool trail running is, and trail people are, she'll make the switch. It's my evil plan. 

 I am and always have been a mid-packer, with dreams of being faster, but it doesn't seem to be in my genetics. This is why I went from the cycling/tri racing aspect to the long distance. If you can't go faster, go further. Then I learned, yeah, but don't do it alone, because it sucks being alone. I'm not saying that trail running is a thing you do with someone next to you always, but it's often something you start and finish with friends. Maybe they weren't even friends when you started. But, by the end, you have new friends. 

So - back to Imogene.  Without this being a book, which it has started being, lets get to the details of 2015. In 2014 I did my first snowshoe race - Sprague Brook Scramble with Steve Chaffee from Wellsville. He's a super nice guy that I can't say enough about. In 2014 I did 6 races. A couple out of state to add to my goal of a half in every state, and a couple of my old standards. With 2015 approaching, Steve asked me if I wanted to go run the Frozen Assets snowshoe race near Honeoye Lake on January 3rd. To start the year off right. I said sure!  It ended up being a trail race because of lack of snow, but we got a chance to try out our Kahtoola Spikes that we would be wearing in the upcoming Frozen Snot race in PA 3 weeks later. We also did something I never do. We went to the after party, and hung out. Wow - this is kind of cool, and these people seem like they really like each others company.  Nice. I remember in this race seeing a guy who I thought, OK, I should be somewhere around this guy. It was Matt Bertrand, and if he reads this, it'll be the first time he even knew that. He beat me up the first hill, and I don't think I ever saw him again. He ended up beating me by over a minute. So much for my start line judgement. He's a guy I have been chasing since. Some day I hope to catch up with him. 

Since the Frozen Snot was a bitch and took me 6 hours, lets try the Cast a Shadow Solo and see if I can do 6 hours in snowshoes and set a new distance PR for myself.  Of course I was hoping for completion of my first full marathon, but it wasn't to be. I'll go back after that this coming winter. I ended up doing 6 laps (15 miles) and called it good enough after 3 hours and 55 minutes. The support and people at this event were amazing. The photographer seemed pretty cool, some guy named Ron, and the RD (Mort) remembered my name after the first lap or so. Wow, seems like a neat group of people. That's how they suck you in you see. They're great people, wickedly supportive of each other, and friendly as hell. Plus, they like beer, just like me! 

Just before spring I heard about a little race UP Bristol Mountain, a snowshoe/ski race up the hill. Why not! Now, that one I won my age group, and might have got 2nd overall or something. Of course there were only 5 snowshoe racers - which will be ruined next year when I likely talk 20 more people into the race, and then I spend my time watching them all beat the hell out of me up the hill, but the after party get together will make it all worthwhile. 

The year progressed and I got smarter running, learning to run within myself, and then screwing up repeatedly in the heat, and finally learning that I am NOT a hot weather runner, Tangelwood and Ontario Summit reminded me of that, and then I forgot and was reminded again at 0SPF. All trail races that took me 45 minutes longer than they should have. 

Back to Imogene - but with a slight detour here. Most people who know me know that I am a hunter. I have hunted and fished since I was a kid. I am not a trophy hunter, but am absolutely proud of taking a mature animal. I don't choose to get into a dispute about hunting choices, or whether or not you choose to support it or are against it. When I hunt, I try to be as ethical as possible. I practice, I shoot accurately, and I don't take chances. I also butcher the game myself, so that I am sure I get the most  out of my harvest. I truly believe everyone has a right to defend their side of the arguement, and I support those who choose to back their choices by not eating meat, or supporting that industry. It's also interesting to me that many hunters and non-hunting nature lovers have the same interests and goals, epecially with respect to wildlife and nature politics. Preserving the environment and habitat for a healthier enviroment and contiunuation of healthy survival of all species, is the top concern for all of us. I want to see that fawn or turkey chicks and other natural beauty just as much as friends of mine who choose to be vegetarian or vegan, and don't choose to eat it if it has a soul, heartbeat, or can digest food. I make no apologies for my choices though, I apologize only if they offend you, as that was never my goal. 

Anyhow, after spending a week in Colorado on a hunt with my Cousin and a great friend in the fall of 2014, I came back and another great friend mentioned an interest in doing the same thing in early September of 2015, and would I be interested in going along and filming and taking pictures for him of the experience. I said sure, why not. I also remembered that around that time would be the Imogene Pass Run. So I did a little research. Lo and behold, the end of our hunt would coincide with the Imogene Race. I would be spending alot of time at high elevation prior to the scheduled race date. So I asked my buddy Kim what he thought, and if he would be willing to drive the wrong way home so that I could race. He said sure. why not, and was pretty excited about getting back to Ouray, where he hadn't been in over 20 years to check it out. I also told my old college housemate Keith who was a runner from Alabama about it and he said it sounded awesome! Research said that it was not easy to get into. That it sold out 2 years ago in 2 hours and last year in 58 minutes. I knew we were going to have to be on the ball to get in, and the morning registration opened, both Keith and I were ready. Iphone, IPad, and computer were all logged into the site. 8:00 rolled around (6:00 mountain time) and I was in! Keith texted me 2 minutes later and he was also in! Then he said he tried to check to confirm and the registration site had basically failed. There was so much traffic for this race that we (registering runners) locked up the site. It'll be interesting to see what next year will bring. 

A couple of weeks later I decided that I needed someone to keep me honest about my training, and hired a coach. Heather Horth is a personal trainer / coach with a masters in Exercise Physiology and a vast knowledge for running and running fast. She's also a certified adult distance running coach through the Road Runners Club of America, and I knew her from Healthworks, the gym I use when I get out of bed early enough. We had 10 weeks until I headed into the Sangre De Cristo mountains of Colorado for 2 weeks prior to the race, and she put me to work. I complained often of not ever feeling that I was recovering between runs, but never got injured. My running went from 34 miles a week up to  around 40 miles per week pretty quickly, and I had plenty of hill work, sprints, speedwork, and some fatigue work in there. Stuff she liked - like "hey! I see you're running the Evl 9 in Ellicotteville on Sunday the 26th of July. Lets have you run 12 miles the day before, so that you run that race fatigued." Are you shitting me!!? Damn.. But I did it with a smile on my face, most of the time, and felt pretty good. I don't know if the tired legs was muscle fatigue, or lactic acid, but it typically went away around mile 3, so I just went with it. She definitely helped me learn from my races and mistakes, and I learned to run more within myself. She might be a road runner and coach, but she got me alot faster and stronger. 

So on August 30th Kim and I left for Colorado.  We spent 10 nights sleeping in a tent at 11,880 feet.

We hiked in with 80+ lb packs, and out 2 times with heavy packs because of Kims success. On that trip out, the first time, I hiked 1.6 miles, up 1500 feet, with a 100 lb+ pack on my back. This was Wednesday, Saturday was Imogene. I would take 10 steps and do a standing rest. It was rough. 

During the first week my pack was around 30 lbs when we went out to scout.

The second week it was closer to 50 because of carrying more camera equipment. But, I believe this did just as much damage as good. What I lacked in a taper coming into my A race for the year, I gained in knowledge of how to climb, step, look, hike, roll your ankle without falling, and do it all with a lack of air. As the weeks progressed the air "came back" or at least I became acclimated. We left the woods on Thursday and headed to Ouray. Arriving in town in the evening. Friday we spent relaxing, and going to the Hot Springs Pool for a 3-4 hour soak and recovery before the race. Packet pickup Friday night, and get to dinner quick before the town closes down at 9. Yes, 9PM. Nothing is open. They're goal is to be a family town, and they found that being open later just has more drunk people on the street and that's a huge deterrent to families, so they chose to run their town the way that works for them. 

Up at 5 to get ready, and have an apple and some peanut butter. Store was closed when we left dinner, so no applesauce (which I typically use to get things moving pre-race), but the apple did the trick like coffee, and I hit the john twice before heading to the start line with Keith. 

I was excited, a little worried, but felt like I couldn't have been more prepared. So I was ready. 

Race start is at 7:30 and we met a super nice guy Garick at the start who had run it 5 times and came up from New Mexico. He gave us some pointers, and said that he had done it in 4:15 - 4:45. He mentioned that he wasn't the best descender, but I thought that if I saw him much I would be happy. My unofficial goal was 4:30. A high school buddy, Mark Dollard, lives in Telluride and had done it twice, and said from my running posts on FB, and the races I had done, he would expect me somewhere between 4 and 4:30. With the elevation profile and elevation period, I wasn't sure. I told Kim I would see him anywhere between 4 and 6 hours after the start. 

7:30 rolled around and the gun went off and the work started. It's unlike anything I had run before. It was cool, and dry, which I like, but it was 10 miles of climbing from 7800 to 13,100 feet, that's over a vertical mile!! And it slowly gets tougher as it approaches the top, it is a mountain of course. The last two miles climbing over 800 and 900 feet per mile. Then, you go down for the next 7 miles, dropping around 4800 feet on the descent. Looks like this!

Keith and I and Garick started out together for a few miles. Garick went on ahead, and I caught him at a couple of spots, then he would go on ahead again. Keith was lost behind me, but with the fact that he had little hill training available in Alabama, and had only gotten to Ouray 2 days before the race, I figured he might have trouble. 

We got going and the course was beautiful. Mostly shaded and cool. Wide jeep roads for most of it.

The Upper Camp Bird aid station has a timing mat, and a cutoff, so I knew that if I hoped for 4:30, I needed to be there around 2:05-2:10.  I arrived at 1:58 and was jazzed, thanking the volunteer who said "Good job Colin" reading my race bib. It was nice to hear your name, it means alot. I stopped only long enough for some gatorade, and headed on. Up till now I had only had 1/2 of a gel. I do horrible with nutrition. I ran into a guy who said "35 minutes", I said "35 minutes till what?" He said "the top"! I told him I didn't think so. We had 2.2 miles left of the toughest climbing we would see all day at the highest elevation, but good luck. I passed him about 5 minutes later.  He wasn't going to make it in 35 minutes.

I continued the grind up to the summit. It was tough, but not as tough as I was thinking it would be. Just constant Repetitive Forward Progress. One foot in front of the other. Honestly, from Upper Camp Bird to the Summit, I probably passed about 50 people, maybe more.
I was hiking pretty comfortably. I believe it was from my prior two weeks. My legs felt great, and my footfalls felt comfortable. I was wearing my Brooks Cascadia's - that had been blessed by Hillary Allen ( when she sold them to me showed me how to tie them properly after winning Speedgoat 50K and breaking Anna Frost's record just a week earlier. She obviously had doubts about my abilities and it was questionable if she believed I could get to the top from her facial expressions, but I disregarded her doubts and tried anyways.


Kris did a great job taking the above pictures. I told her - get a pic of her helping me out, because she's going to be famous soon. She's coming through the ranks fast. What a nice young lady. Kris did a great job catching her making faces at me.  Awesome! 

Back to the race - I reached the summit around 3 hours in - about 10 minutes shy of my goal. I saw Gerick and took a picture of him by the sign. Great! I did a gravestone rubbing of the summit sign, got my picture next to it,
found Mark's wife Terri ( I was told to look for the pink wig ) who I gave a huge hug, and got on my way. I had been hydrating well, but probably too well for my descent. I get "sloshy" when I have too much in my belly, and though I had taken a S Cap earlier, and finished my gu, I just wasn't feeling it.  I was far from doing well with my nutrition and hydration, but figured if I could manage a 11 minute mile on the descent, I would be in around 4:17 and that would be awesome.  The first time my watch showed a lap after the summit it said 12:30. Crap! But then I figured that maybe it started just before the top or something and it included some of the climb. I'll push on and see what the next mile brings. 10:53, ok, lets keep going and get it back little by little.. And so it went.  It was almost too steep to walk, so I ran most of it, even parts where I would have rather walked. My stomach sucked, and it started getting warmer as we approached the bottom, but I held on. Near the top you pass an old mining ghost town (Tomboy), and it's pretty cool.

Near the bottom you can see the town coming into view in the valley below you, and her the announcer calling out names coming across the line. It flattens out, and I was absolutely spent. At the last corner I had a guy pass me, and then we got to the last straightaway and I started running again. I caught him and passed him, and he said "no you don't" and ran back in front of me. He got about 10 feet in front and I thought, hell, I am going to pass him just for fun. So I tried, gave it my all, pushed as hard as I could and went exactlty the same speed as I had been going. Nothing. I looked up at the clock and saw Kim next to it video'ing it with him camera. The clock said 4:12 something and the MC was calling out my name from SKEEOH NY (It's Scio, pronounced sy-oh), and Kim corrected him, which was funny. I crossed the line and did my typical walk it off for the next 5 minutes to catch my breath and keep from collapsing. 

Kim and I walked out onto Main Street - where I failed to see the "finish line" sign and get a picture under it. We jumped in Kim's truck and drove back to NY. Leaving at Noon Telluride time and arriving home at 9PM EST the next day, just 31 hours later, without stopping other than for fuel, food and a quick shower at a Pilot Truck Stop, which was amazing. Seriously. I won't hesitate to do that again. Best $12 I ever spent. 

It was a great race. I loved it. I beat my goal by 18 minutes, and going into it I would have been ecstatic with my original 4:30 goal. Mark texted me later and told me that I should feel great about that time. At the finish line I knew Keith was a ways back, and I didn't know how far, so I figured we had better go. I hoped he wasn't 10 minutes behind and I had missed him finishing for no real reason, but I also hoped he was 10 minutes behind and that he had gotten his goal of sub 5 hours. He texted me after he finished and said that he was probably at the Summit when I crossed the line. I thought he was joking, until I looked at the results and saw that he was at the summit at 4:05. He had a rough day. He said the climbing and the lack of acclimation just kicked his ass. I was lucky. Lucky to be out there for the time ahead, and lucky to live in a place where we actually can get some hill training. Maybe not anything with more than a mile of good climbing before there is a descent, but we have good hills. 

I would like to thanks everyone who helped me out. Kim, Mark and Terri, Keith, Heather, Hillary (Imogene is on her bucket list too!), TrailsRoc, Mort Nace - who told me at MedVed Madness that Imogene is also on his bucket list, Steve Chaffee, Rich Shear and my awesome family, who I hope I can get to crew me on some event soon. My love for them all runs so deep, I know that they'll be something to look forward to and keep me moving and positive, and anyone else out there who 
 helped or supported me. You all rock!

Next - Wineglass Half with Kris. then Wellsville Ridgewalk 15M. Then a couple of others before the year is up. I should have 25 races in 2015. Crazy stuff. Thanks for reading. 

2015 RACES
Frozen Assets Trail 4M 39:18
The Frozen Snot Trail 14.4M 6:20:25
Cast A Shadow SnowShoe 6 Laps (15 miles) 3:54:48
Sprague Brook Scramble Snowshoe 5M 55:39
Bristol Race to the Summit Snowshoe 1.9M 31:16
Cooks Forest Half 1:58:21
Mess the Dress Trail 5M 46:23
Hyner Challenge Trail 25K 4:32:42
Country Music Half 2:12:50
MedVed Madness Trail 15M 2:32:26
Crooked Creek Trail 13K 1:32:37
Sehgahunda Trail Marathon 6:11:15
Ontario Summit Trail Half 3:12:53
Canandaigua Classic Half 2:13:10
Gods Country Half 2:14:16
Tanglefoot Trail 20K 2:57:53
0SPF Trail Half 3:18:24
EVL Trail 9 1:28:45
Rocky Mountain Half 2:24:55
Dam Good Trail Half 2:10:11
Imogene Pass Run 4:11:41
Wineglass Half
Ridgewalk Trail 15M
Red Baron Half
TrailsRoc Winter Trail Fest 15M

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Who the hell is Kevin?

A long time ago, in a land not so far away two people met and eventually fell in love. It truly is an interesting story, and one that you may or may not know part or all of. The key elements are that a boy and a girl met while country dancing, boy liked girl, and hounded her until she eventually gave in and decided that she might like him too. So, on a Tuesday evening in August of 1997 they wed, with their two best friends and their family present. It was a back yard wedding and a beautiful day. They went to New England on their honeymoon, heading for Maine, but never got there. The truck was full of antiques, and it was time to turn around and head home. So they turned around, found a small hotel and woke up in the morning. On this particular morning one of those things in life happens where you can remember exactly where you were and what was happening when you heard about it. She was in the shower and he was sitting on the bed watching the news. Princess Diana had just died in a car crash.
Since that time, they've moved south from Elma, NY to Scio, NY where the boy had grown up on the weekends with his Dad at "camp". It was 50 acres that they eventually purchased, and then added an additional 95 acres to, and then just last year another 50. 
Over the last 18 years so much has happened. Now there are two boys in the picture, Brogan (15) and Kelleach (13), and as many as 6 dogs and some cats. Life has been wonderful, and we've fortunately been blessed. 
I am he - he is me. I am Colin, the boy in the third sentence. She is Kris. She is my wife and my life partner and my best friend, truly my very best friend. We often talk about how fortunate we are. Fortunately for each of us, the other is patient when it's necessary, and because of this we seldom have disagreements that last more than a few hours. When one is upset, the other lets the steam blow off, and patiently waits for the waters to calm. It has worked for this long, and seems to get easier as the time goes by. 
So - who is Kevin? I was Kevin - in a way. See, Kris's grandmother used to call me Kevin for the first few years. She thought it was my name, which might not have been right, but she knew that Kevin didn't like coconut on his cake. The important details, not something as trivial as getting a name right y'know? 
Doty was a funny old lady who raised 4 girls on her own when her husband died in a car accident, and had her hand in the raising of a few grandchildren also. She died a few years ago, but had a great life, and made Kris, her mother and her aunt's who they are today, for better or for worse. So Doty actually brought Kevin into the picture, partially. Of course Kevin in also the 13 foot tall tropical bird in the movie UP. She's the mascot on many of our runs. She's attached to my running backpack that goes to events with us and patiently waits for us at the finish. 

Kris and I began our running/racing in 2009 with our first race being a 10K - the Dogfish Dash at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware on September 27th. Since then we've run a bunch of races together, and some separately. Kris laughed last night about signing up on her own for a race for the first time. She's doing the Oak Tree Half in Geneseo while I am in Colorado in a few weeks. 

So this blog will be about life, and love, and running, and raising a family, and dogs, photography, stained glass, hobbies, projects, and keeping a house whole and healthy. Running with Kevin isn't just about running as running is often considered. It's not about the putting one foot in front of the other on the road or trail. It's about putting one foot in front of the other in life. So, if you find yourself bored, please come along for our journey. It's well on it's way, but feel free to jump in at any time and run with us. We would love to have you. 

Thanks for reading.