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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 me in one hour off my first lap pace, around 8:30. I was starting to come apart and walking was more frequent.

Lap four turned into a death march. Almost 3.5 hours to make it around. So beat up and defeated, I pulled the pin. My right foot was blistered and I had radiated pain in my left hip and leg.

This morning at church, I wasn't listening to the sermon, instead running the numbers again and again. Wondered if I could have stumbled through 4 hour loops for the final four circuits...that would have given me a 28 hour finish. Could have, should have, would's all in the past now.

Congrats to my Brooks running teammate John Ehntholt from NY, who was a lead runner at Umstead. Noted some of his comments on the Brooks team site and John was putting in 120 to 140 miles running a week prepping for the race.

There you have it...put in the work and reap the rewards. I need to regroup and determine what sort of racing I'm capable of. But one thing will never change: 100 mile runs are epic and the ultimate experience. I may never complete another one, but the attraction remains.


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Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…