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Showing posts from March, 2011

Terrapin Mountain 50K revisited

Had a comment posted on my Terrapin Mountain report.  Check out the fine, detailed race summary that was posted by James for the Terrapin Mountain 1/2 marathon.

James' recounting of the event included the image of "Fat Man's Misery" which is the rock crevice I mentioned.  It's narrow and the point of entry is steep.  Once you get screwed into the passage, one has to crouch low while staying contorted sideways to get under the boulder that is wedged in the gap.  All part of a day of fun when you're running the course.

Thanks James.  Master competitors everywhere appreciate your effort.

Sprite Zero in my smoothie

I came upon a strange concoction that really hits the spot.  Instead of using my usual Great Value fake juice in my smoothie, I had some leftover Sprite Zero and thought, "why not?"

So here's how to roll with a champion master competitor energy burst:

1 cup Dole mixed frozen fruit
3 cups Sprite Zero
2 heaping scoops Naturade vanilla soy meal replacement

Blend until thick and frothy.

This drink will slide down your gullet like a sparkling ice cream soda.  What a treat and it comes in at around 280 calories.  Filling and good for you, too.

Terrapin Mountain 50K

A while back, I read a race report that stated the Terrapin Mountain would be a good first-time ultra.  That couldn't be further from the truth.

Saturday was an overcast and gloomy day, but on the up side the rain held off and we ran dry...except for soaked feet from the stream crossings. The ultra is located near Sedalia, Virginia, about one hour east of Roanoke.

In addition to my obligatory finish line with the banner shot, check out how a famous blog author and ultrarunner rolls at the races...I have my CR-V rigged with one of the seats removed for trailhead camping.  This weekend it worked like a charm. Terrapin race promoter Clark Zealand provided a plethora of pizzas Friday night, so I simply ate until bursting and then crawled into my crib until the 5:30 am wake up alarm came.

I heard some great trash talk at this event.  One story was about a guy who had his appendix burst while running this event last year.  He gutted (appropriate word) it out for the finish and when inte…

Bistro Roca ride lives again!

Thought I'd run this photo extra large, because it may be the only time this season you'll see master man leading the pack.  I'm in all my least for the first 10 minutes of the I took it off the front as we climbed away from the Bistro Roca restaurant, on the ascent to just shy of Grandfather Mountain.

It's at that point we veer right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and begin our journey back to Blowing Rock.  
This ride goes just under 30 miles and it takes all I can muster to hang on to the group.  I usually roll in 2-3 minutes off the pace.  My climbing ability isn't bad, but I just don't possess gonads large enough to stay in the draft on the high speed descents.
So it goes.  I'm at my 54-year-old limits and I want to live to ride another day.  But even riding close to the shadow of these mountain men and women is a privilege.  I tell them often how much I appreciate being included.
Want to see the entire slide show from the ride?  Check ou…

The demise of Hendrik Coetzee

If you want to experience some excellent long-form magazine journalism, grab an issue of Outside magazine.

The March, 2011 issue carries an excellent read on one of the world's more talented white-water kayakers - Henrik Coetzee.  This South African adventurer was obsessed with exploring remote tributaries in Africa.  He was planning one last run in the Congo before starting a new life with his lover, Juliana Buhring, a German national living in the Kampala.

For Coetzee, depression loomed just outside the realm of danger and the adrenaline rush that follows.  Like an addict searching for the next fix, Coetzee only felt alive when he was in the midst of a risky expedition.

The description of how Coetzee met his fate is riveting; I'll leave that to master competitor readers who wish to explore this story.

In a deeper sense, let's ask ourselves when the risk is greater than the reward...not only for us, but for those who love us, and who we in turn love. It's a question …

Sushi funfest with Groupon coupon

Had a big day with the bike group and since we did our first on-the-mountain ride of the year, thought I'd celebrate.

Groupon had an offer for Boone (a rare occasion) where a $15 purchase = $30 of eats at Makoto's.  I'd never been there and hadn't been on a sushi binge for a long time so I went for it.

I'd just nailed one of the fine grilled eel rolls when I realized master competitor readers would want to see this feast, so I stopped to freeze the moment in time.  In back are some yummy crispy tuna popper things, while on the main plate you'll observe tuna rolls, veggie rolls and the eel rolls.

I was stuffed and then came to learn you can't add a gratuity on the Groupon tab, so I had to take another veggie roll to go.  Master man was fully satiated from a fine assortment of food and excellent service.  I don't want to forget how good life can be and to remember meals like this remain a treat.  A nice reward on a sunny, warm North Carolina day.

Informative podcast news

Most of you know that I'm a big advocate of digital audio book and podcasts over music. It's a personal preference thing.  But to that end, I'll try to recruit you to my side of the fence with teasers from today's audio session while in the gym:

1) Ben Greenfield's podcast featured a chiropractic dude named "Dr. Two Fingers" who claimed that we residually store injuries...that our body adapts and in turn harbors the damage.  He reports that his analysis will allow him to track and ID high school athletic injuries in a 40+ masters athlete:

2) A religious studies and chemistry student on "This I Believe" did the math...and believes that "We are all stardust."   Kimberly Woodbury wrote this essay for a colloquium at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, while working towards her master’s degree.  She believes she inh…

Where I've been...and where I'm going

Several readers ridiculed the apparel I wore in the '87 New York City Marathon, so I thought it was time for a predominant photo change.

Here, in all its glory, is a shot of master man relaxing with his Merit Menthols and pet snake (check out my wrist) during his senior year of college in 1979.

The hair style and Fu Manchu is still working, but the personal habits were disposed of long ago.  No excuses, it's just the season of life I was living.  Stopped the smokes for good after graduating in June of '79.  Took until '83 to lose the fatty fat fat and gain an aerobic base.

But as we know, most good things take time.  From then until now...I'm glad I landed where I did.

Explaining ultrarunning

One of my favorite motorsport TV shows is "Wind Tunnel."  Host Dave Despain covers all things that go fast with an engine, which runs the gauntlet of auto racing, boats, motorcycles and ATVs.

On yesterday's episode, guest Tanner Faust (top rally racer and stunt driver) stated that ESPN did a study on fans for the X Games.  The data suggested that when fans can quickly understand the rules, viewership increases.

We're not playing to a large TV audience in endurance racing, but it's important to promote our sport nonetheless.  Just what is it we do?  Can we explain the "rules" to a non-participant?  What is it that makes our sport unique?  Since few of us will ever win, just what are we accomplishing?

That's the purpose of this blog, to attract and recharge master competitors and get them having fun.  If you want to frame it up and capture the magic, leave a comment and we'll feature your work!

Master man featured guest on Dirt Dawg's podcast

Here's a new twist for master competitor readers. I was the featured guest on Dirt Dawg's Running Diatribe and the podcast has just been posted...

We had an interesting discussion on keeping the momentum going after 28+ years in endurance sport.  More about living the life and less about the specifics of rigorous training.

Leave a comment and give me your opinion...and be sure leave a reply on Dirt Dawg's (Mike) site.

Coffee, tea or me?

Thought the headline was catchy.  I'm once again showing my age as I remembered it from a 1967 book was written by Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones with Donald Bain, about two "rambunctious" (my word) stewardesses.

For me, it's come down to coffee, decaf tea or me with somewhat soaring blood pressure.  I'm doing everything I can to naturally reduce the numbers and am making progress. The one naughty intake item that remains is one of my favorites:  Strong, fresh brewed coffee.

I'm not one to slurp the stuff all day, but my morning ritual begins with grinding fresh beans out of the freezer, then brewing strong brew that I drink black while reading devotions.  I'm been into this MO for about 30 years so it's hard to break.  The coffee has also been my "bump" to get me out the door for morning runs.

I have attempted withdrawal before, but the associated migraine headaches are unbearable.  This time I'm creating ratios of coffee bean …

Nathan X Trainer Mutation

I have never felt comfortable with hydration packs.  That includes several Ultimate Direction packs, then the Nathan 2-liter backpack and also a minimalist GoLite double bottle pack.

Seems in every case the packs are restrictive, feel too loose or too tight, bounce around, or make offensive noise as your personals rattle around in the compartments.

Was poking around at the REI store in Bethesda when I spotted a sale price on this Nathan X Trainer Mutation...the selling point here is that the bottle carries in a horizontal position, which should help the pack ride on your waist.

I have yet to train or race with the Mutation, but hope to get it onto the trails soon. Instead of waxing on for a few more paragraphs, here are the specs from the Nathan web site:

Limited-stretch elasticized waistbelt 22 oz. (650 mL) Hydration Bottle with QuickClipDual XTS Cradles, reinforced with Power Stretch MeshInsulated holster allows access from right or left side5 oz. (150 mL) Nutrition Flask in horizont…