Saturday, July 16, 2011


I have to admit I totally left blog-land, AND meaningful running for that matter the last few months. I've been engulfed in so many negative thoughts & feelings that I felt it best not to spill it into this running blog/diary. But maybe it's good therapy to let out some of what's been going on, so here goes:

In my last post in early May, I was to have an upper GI performed by my 2nd gastroenterologist. A procedure in a long list of procedures. He found a hiatal hernia & gastritus - both I had known about, and a couple new things to me: duodenitus & a duodenal bulb. However, the pain still felt like it was in a different location. Despite the diagnosis & level of fitness, my goal race (Massanutten 100) was very close at hand & I decided to give it a try anyway. Here's what I remember about that attempt:

race -- known as one of the toughest trail 100 races east of the Mississippi. I agree. Mountains did not seem as big or steep as the ones at Grindstone, but exponentially much tougher footing (RELENTLESS rocks). Great organization & most informative website I've ever seen.

nice map available:

4:00 a.m. start -- CRAZY. Can't understand the reasoning behind RD's wanting to deprive you of sleep before a big race when getting sleep the night before is so important. Heck, I'm so hyped that 3 to 4 a.m. is usually the only time I get good sleep anyway & to not have that makes it a little tougher.

an easy section of trail at the start:

course -- fog & haze & night obscured most of the overlooks. Course markings - super. Aid stations - the BEST. Race personnel & volunteers - efforts were above & beyond.

a clear view here:

high humidity -- started to have light rain at the start, then quit & got hot. Felt like it was on the verge of rain the whole day, but didn't till the night -- too late then. Passed several runners bent over. I stopped & cooled off at the streams.

beautiful streams:

swatting flies -- takes alot of precious energy in a long race. Covering myself with bug repellent in the heat of the day made me nauseous.

bad thoughts -- for the first time, I was discouraged to the point of not wanting to continue pursuing 100's altogether (heaven forbid) when my back started going out not long after I had passed the halfway point of the race. My back was not the highest on my list of reasons I thought I might DNF, especially with my abdominal ailments. My back had not given me problems in over a year, so it was a surprise to get that initial twinge, which signaled the beginning of the end.

RD Kevin Sayers:

Would I try it again? yes

The race is in Virginia & I was able to stay with my brother & family -- I should have been visiting alot more over the years. Even if I don't complete the 100 miles, the overall experience I had is well worth repeating (the best parts, that is). Would I recommend this race? -- yes, an excellent event.

So what's up next? well . . .

Since Massanutten, it's been numerous Dr. & hospital visits, and, I've been taking medicines that are not conducive to running whatsoever. Plus heat has played a big role as usual. It seems like this summer is even hotter than the usual very hot summers here -- the two days earlier this week when the dew point hovered at a suffocating 80 degrees were the hottest days I've ever encountered. So next & foremost is to get healthy & continue postponing any running. Each new medicine or procedure revives hope of relief so I have not given up on this, yet. My legs are aching to do something & now, to start reading stories on the ultralist & blogs really get the juices going. So maybe this Fall I can get moving again. Fingers crossed . . . . .


Chris said...

Hey Ed,

Missed your blog posts. Hopefully things will get better--they can't get much worse. Hang in there. Remember, it can never always get worse. Is that even a saying?

I remember that 80+ dew point day...miserable. Starting Sunday we are supposed to have a week of 90+ degree days with humidity. Not good for running. But I'll use it for Howl at the Moon training. Always a silver lining!

Take care and keep posting. Us blog readers need to know what's up with you. Maybe I'll see you at a fall or winter race.

ed said...

Hey, I'm surprised to have gotten any response! Thanks for the welcome back Barefoot Chris!

I've missed reading your blog -- you ALWAYS have something interesting going on!

Running in the heat has a silver lining? Ha! Tell me what to do when one cannot train in the heat?? Remember, some odd runners feel their ideal race temp is below 20 degrees . . .

Wish you luck at Howl at the Moon -- sounds like you're on track for the 50 miles.

Chris said...

On track for 50 are TOO nice...and out of touch with reality! I'm trying and hope to be prepared in 4 weeks.

Too Blessed said...

Sorry to hear your still having ailments giving you trouble- not too mention the heat this year. Whew...its been hot!
Glad to hear you still putting one foot in front of the other though. : )
Hoep to see you at a race soon,

ed said...

Barefoot Chris,

I thought you had mentioned at one time (long ago?) your goal was 50 miles for this race. 40 would be super in this weather, but who knows, you may have temps in the 60's and you'll put that wogging behind you.

I'm sure you're getting in alot more productive training in this heat than most others that are entered. Good Luck.

Thanks Shannon.

I read your catch up entries on your blog (& posts on the List) -- you have alot going on!

Nice VolState run! The day by day accounting on the List was entertaining & captivating.

Hope to see you at a race too, maybe Otter Creek? LLTH? (No OPSF for me this year). Keep up the adventures!

Too Blessed said...

I'm not sure about OPSF yet. I had Vol State on the mind (alot of good that did me). lol (It was a great learning experience though). Is there something going on at Otter Creek? Haven't seen anything but haven't been looking too much. Definitely have LLTH for next year again- hopefully will much improve my time. Will you be a t Siltstone- even for a stop by and "hi"? : )
Hope to see you back on the trails and heading towards healing,

ed said...


Looks to be a change in the weather this week -- lows in the 60's for the 1st time in many weeks! I'm moving my running plans up.

Otter Creek Marathon will return to the re-opened park after a 2 yr shutout. It will be on Dec 17 but no further information has been put out yet by Headfirst Performance. I may volunteer for Siltstone. Good Luck.