Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2010

Umstead update

The Umstead web site posted great photos from the event, so thought I'd include this one of Master Competitor chugging along before the lights went out.
This shot was taken on the "airport spur" which was a 3/4 mile out and back right after the start/finish area.
Congrats to 2010 Umstead winner Zack Gingerich, who blistered the course in an amazing 13 hours, 23 minutes. I get to 50 in 11:55, this machine goes 100 in 13:23.
So I'll tip my running cap and salute the new generation of very fast racers who embrace the sport of ultrarunning. I'm the guy buried somewhere in the middle of the pack, but it's a blessing to still be part of the ultra community.
I'm already thinking about the next time, how I can manage my efforts for a better result. What a great sport and I'm glad it found me over 22 years ago.

Umstead no more

During the first 12.5 mile loop at Umstead, I drafted what was going to be a victory report on my 100 mile finish.
That's not the story I'm now allowed to tell.
I dropped from the race and took an "official" 50 mile "finish" just shy of 12 hours. Things didn't go well and there was no way I could have completed the course without incurring injuries so serious I put myself out of work. I made a promise to myself that wouldn't happen and I made the right decision. But the sting of walking off the course remains.
Thought I'd demonstrate how math works in the mind of an ultrarunner:
Took it rather easy during the first lap with some walking breaks and completed the loop in 2:30. Ultra math says that's 10 hours to half and a 20 hour projected finish. Unrealistic but a baseline.
Second lap was 2:45. I stopped at the 6.5 mile aid station to take a rock out of my shoe so calculated a 10 minute loss of pace.
The aggregate time for laps 1, 2 and 3 put…

New digs

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's 32 years later and I'm back into the dorm life (only I have been advised to call them residence halls).

Old Master Competitor was selected for a faculty in residence program at Appalachian State, and I now have a crib in the far corner off the ground floor at Cannon Hall.
The sign at right was attached to wall outside my door...guess the students are happy to have Tom Terrific on board.
This is a very prominent gig. The protocol to being selected was stringent; interviews with both students and staff members were conducted to determine that I was the best choice for the job. Faculty in residence isn't about discipline, but rather to promote interactive time with students away from the classroom. This could be as simple as dinner at the school cafeteria, or the discussion on more weighty issues such as Lady Gaga's new 9-minute music video.
Having student access goes both ways. They can learn from me and I make no…

Kill the pain

I'm a big boy with a big appetite. And when times are stressful and I have a lot on my plate (literally) I'll dig in deep and hard with some comfort food.
Check out this monstrosity to the left; that's my "kill the pain" banana nut pancake option for breakfast this morning. It was served with a smile at the Mountain House, Boone's version of a Cracker Barrel. Slop on the syrup and have at it. This isn't redemption but I did leave about 25% of it on the plate. Should have taken a photo of the leftovers to prove it to you.
I've had some problems with my current apartment and will be moving onto campus this Saturday. Packing and relocating and uprooting my nest isn't a comfortable thing; at 53, I feel unsettled but am making positive transitions that are best.
I'll barely have my things unpacked and it will be time to pack again - for the Umstead 100 mile the following weekend. No way I'm prepared. I start each year with best intentions…

Lightning wear

I survived another snow event yesterday. The weather started getting sketchy while I was teaching in Hickory, so we canceled class and I started my 75 minute commute back up the mountain to Boone.

Well, it would have been 75 minutes if that semi hadn't jack-knifed on the twisties just south of Blowing Rock. That caused a dead stop for 2 1/2 hours. While in the past I might have blown my stack, this event held light effect. I pulled out a book entitled Republic 2.0 and perused that for awhile.

So it was a downer day, with well managed expectations. Tom Terrific tried to stop for a haircut but the shop had closed. I slid my little Honda up the hill to my apartment, and waiting there was my trusty UPS driver with a delivery.

My day shifted from dismal to dynamic when I got inside and opened the package. My 2010 Brooks official team racing outfit had arrived.

After 25 years in endurance sport, it takes quite a bit to get me jacked up. This apparel did it. Day glow and a bit gaudy, …