The Hellhole 100mile/k Race Recap 2014 @EagleEndurance @mrhowcouldi @xcgomori89

HellHoleLogo

So I have had a while to let my body heal up a bit and thought I would do my normal race recap. Let me start by saying, Chad appropriately named this race the Hellhole 100 miler! It was probably the toughest but most fun race I have ever done!

I had the pleasure of running the first loop with my best friend Chris Leslie aka @mrhowcouldi. It was a fairly hot day and of course humid, its in the swamp so thats to be expected I guess 🙂



meandchris Chris-MidRace

Chris and I started off the race nice and easy to make sure we had plenty of gas for the 24+ hours we would be out on the trail. We settled in at a nice 10min per mile pace and just jammed to some music! We took our phones and battery packs so we could blast our tunes the entire day…..and night!
StartThatRun StartThatRun-Chris

About 5 miles in we ran across our first cotton mouth! He was just chilling along side the trail watching the runners pass by.

photo 1About 12 or 13 miles in Chris and I split up, the heat of the day was kicking in and he was not used to it. I was chatting with someone and just plodding along and noticed he was non longer with me. When I got to Andrew Taylor’s aid station (of Try Sports Mt. Pleasant) I chilled for a few to give Chris a while to catch up but I didn’t see him again until late in the night. I was a bit bummed to say the least but I knew Chris would prevail, that dude is a freaking beast.

I took a few random shots along the trail of the endless pines and abundant black water swamp. The trail picture is a little blurry thanks to my lack of breaking stride 🙂
photo 2 photo 3

 

All of Chad Haffa’s (the race director and owner of Eagle Endurance) aid stations were well stocked, except of course for the couple unmanned stations. The clip boards to sign in at the unmanned stations was  a bit hard to remember in the night. All I could think about was filling my pack and moving forward, signing that freaking sheet was the least of my worries. I don’t think I missed any but that really didn’t matter any way, more on that in a minute.

I was holding together nicely at around mile 50. My legs and cardio felt great, my Ultimate Direction AK2 pack was working perfectly, my hydration plan was spot on and I felt like I could run another 50 miles (good thing right?). I was trying to hurry to get to the main aid station of the 19 mile loop. This was where my wife and son were going to meet me for a morale boost before I was to start running thru the night.

That’s when I found out why you NEVER wear road shoes on a trail. I stepped on a root around mile 52 or so and felt/heard something snap on the outer edge of my foot. My shoe got really tight and the pain was shooting up my leg. I decided to walk for a bit and see if it would settle down. It just got progressively worse and I knew it was going to be a long night. I started alternating running and walking to try to get the pain to switch up some.

I managed to get to the main aid station but had just missed my family, I was super bummed then I heard a voice say “how are you holding up, you ready for your next loop”. It was Justin Gomori, he had driven down from Columbia SC to pace me for the second half! Holy crap was I stoked. I loaded up with my fresh gear, change of shoes, and my pacer. Off we went into the night, headlamps shining…at a snails pace.

Justin and I ran when I could and walked when I couldn’t. We would be out there for a 6 hour 18ish mile loop! Normally I can run in excess of 31 miles in that time but not tonight, not tonight. Justin tolerated my playlist nicely, kept me on the trail, and made sure I was eating and drinking. Heck, he even filled up my pack for me at the aid stations to give me time to rest and eat. I would have not completed that loop with out him!

We are about 9 miles into the loop and I knew there was an aid station up ahead and headlamps coming up on us so I decided to push hard. I cranked up the Kongos “Come With Me Now” jam and took off. Justin and I managed to pull off a 8:00min/mile at nearly 60 miles in! We rolled into the aid station, filled up, and rolled out before the headlamps caught us!

Now it was seemingly endless trails thru the swamp to get to Andrew’s kicking party of an aid station. It took us what felt like forever to get there. We are running down this gravel road for a long time when my headlamp catches a reflection of a white ghost, no wait, its a banner! Its the Try Sports banner! “Lets race there Justin” seemed like a good idea at the time :). Not sure if I actually had the energy to utter the words or not but I took off anyway. Pulling out another 8:00min/mile at the near 70 mile mark.

My foot was absolutely killing me at this point and I could feel the pressure on my shoe. The pressure was getting so tight that my roof of my foot was going numb. I rested and ate some of Andrew’s rocking party food 🙂 It was time to roll out and see what we could do.

Justin and I plodded along just trying to get to the aid station so he could go home and get ready for work 2.5 hours away. He didn’t have time to run the second loop with me since this loop had taken so long. We get to the last unmanned water station and I see a headlamp and told Justin, thats Chris Leslie! I was right! A couple sweaty hugs later and we sent Chris off to do the last “out and back” for him to complete his 100k.

Justin and I laughed at the conversations we had, that are only appropriate for the trail and should never be spoken anywhere else…ever 🙂 All you ultra runners out there know what I am talking about!

We cruise into the main aid station and I decided to take a nap and prop my foot up in the AC in the car for a couple hours to get the swelling to go down. Justin left for work and I quickly went to sleep.

A couple hours later Chris opened the car door and I got up to complete my last loop. I tried to get up but could not put weight on my foot. My race was done, 73.7 miles into my first attempt at 100 miles and I was finished. SIGH…a major DNF for me. Chris and I told Chad that I would not be heading back out and we went home.

Not the ending I was looking for but it was the ending none the less. Now all I can think about is Hell Hole 100 2015 revenge! I will beat that course next year!

A big thank you to Chris Leslie, Justin Gomori, Andrew Taylor, Chad Haffa and everyone else that helped with this amazing race!

Social Share Counters

CycleRest Review — Interior Bike Transport @cycle_rest

I am lucky enough to get to test out and review the CycleRest, an interior bike transport system by the guys at http://cyclerest.com This is probably the coolest product I have reviewed.

image

Why CycleRest? From http://cyclerest.com “For cyclists that prefer to transport their bike inside the vehicle, there are no current options on the market. Why inside? Because exterior racks can be difficult to use, are custom fit to each vehicle and expensive.
Also valuable bicycles transported outside a vehicle are more at risk for damage and theft.
I love the idea of being able to put my bike “rack” in the glove box of the car! Okay now for the review.

Packaging: The packaging is very minimalist and in my opinion, eco-friendly. The contents are not going to get damaged in shipping and
they are not senselessly crammed in with three pounds of plastic and styrofoam either. I took the pictures with my GPS watch so you can get
a good idea just how small the box and CycleRest truly are.

image (8)image (2)

Contents: Along side the CycleRest you will find some very simple directions. That about sums up the contents of the box! Nice and simple.

image (1)image (5)

Initial Impression: Is this things actually going to hold my bike? Much to my surprise, my bike was EXTREMELY stable in my Honda Pilot cargo area.
More about that in a minute. The CycleRest is quite solid and very well made. Heavy metal was used where necessary, foam padding keeps your headrest
from getting scratched when installing/uninstalling.

image (7)

Installation: Okay so let me just say that I started a cup of coffee in my Keurig, walked to the driveway, unlocked the car, installed the CycleRest and
walked back in the house to find my coffee was literally just done brewing! You simply lay your seat down, clamp the rest on, and you are now ready to “mount”
your bike! With my bike, I had to remove my seat to get it in the cargo area. I am not sure this would be the case for all vehicles.
All in all the installation took about 5 minutes including removing my seat and mounting the bike.

image (3)

image (6)

Usage: There is not much to say about usage per se other than the bike was 100% secure and not a chance of it going anywhere. You can quickly remove it or
just leave it on the headrest. It easily stores in your glovebox,under a seat, door panel pocket etc.

image (4)

Opinion: This is one of the most innovative things I have come across in a long time! Simple, solid, and useful the CycleRest is an
inexpensive alternative to the traditional bike rack. With this system you can transport your bike safely and securely! Safely protected
behind your locked doors and vehicle alarm system!

Where can I get my own?!?: Head over to their site for more details- http://CycleRest.com or check them out on twitter @cycle_rest

http://www.cyclerest.com

Did I miss something? Questions? Additional picture you would like to see? Something you want me to try? Just leave a comment below and I will do my best for you!









Social Share Counters

@lacelocker review “never loose again”

IMG_0971

Recently the team at @LaceLocker/ @StashSports sent me a sample of their Lace Locker shoe lace wardens. I use the term warden because your shoe laces are locked down when you put these on your shoes!

I was not to sure how easy they would be to get on my shoes and if the velcro would “pick” my laces. Putting them on took all of 2 minutes and the soft velcro is nice and gentle on my laces. I installed them on my @AltraZeroDrop Olympus shoes. In the picture below you can see that you simply slide the lower layer of the Locker between your laces and the shoe tongue.

IMG_0974

Once you get the base in, tie your shoe and folder the Locker closed…pretty simple. I took a couple different pictures so you could see them from different angles.

 

IMG_0975
IMG_0973 IMG_0972As soon as I got them on I went for a 10 mile run on a mix of gravel, dirt and pavement to see if they would actually hold my laces in place with no double knots. The first thing I noticed was that I didn’t actually notice the Lockers on my shoes at all. I had expected to feel them on my shoes…but I was pleasantly surprised! The next thing that was nice was the lack of shoe lace slapping on the roof of my foot. I know, big deal right? To me its annoying after several hours of running, 10 hours into a run, you will be surprised what will irritate you 🙂

About 6 miles in I was caught in a massive storm, thank you Indianapolis for the surprise! I ended up running the next 4 plus miles in pouring rain, mud puddles, ankle deep water and wind! Again, my laces were in perfect order after the run! The weather cleared up just before I got to the car and just in time for a post run pic!

IMG_0977

As you can see, my laces are exactly as they were when I left 10 miles prior! Great work on the Lockers! They are very well made, come in a variety of colors, and they actually work(unlike some others I have tried)!

Head over to http://www.lacelocker.com and check them out! They are on twitter as well @LaceLocker@StashSports

Social Share Counters

Vote for me in the @bioskin poll!

My friends at are hosting a poll for your favorite blog and I am in the running! Please head over to their Facebook page and vote for me! (Pretty Please) Simply click the picture below and vote away! You can vote once a day! THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!Help me win!

Social Share Counters

@bioskin is having a 10% off sale starting Monday 6/16/2014!

10% OFF Summer Sale
I rarely see this gear go on sale! If you have been wanting to try out some of Bioskin’s gear, NOW is the time! Click the banner above and go shopping! My personal favorite is the Calf Skins!

ENJOY!

Social Share Counters

Mid-2014 Recap

This has been a rather rocky year for me as far as running is concerned. Training has been spotty at best and I have not been able to complete a single race in 2014! Discouraged is a bit of an understatement! 2013 was the year for breaking every PR I had. I ran the Haulin in the Holler 50k and had to drop at 25k due to stomach issues,I was puking by mile 10 and my heart rate would not get in check so I dropped. A month ago I ran the Wambaw Swamp Stomp, one of my favorite races, and due to exhaustion and lack of time from moving to SC I had to quit around mile 27. Then we get to the Hellhole 100 miler. The Hellhole was my first attempt at a 100 miler and I failed in epic fashion (full race report coming in the next couple days…broke my right foot). I managed to squeeze out 73.76 miles on the trail so that was a HUGE win. My best friend, Chris Leslie, ran the 100k portion of the race and that was epic. Now as I sit with my foot elevated, I am looking for my next race! I plan to do the Kanawha Trace 50k, the West Virginia Trilogy, and the Last Chance 50k this year. I WILL finish all 3 and PR for each distance!

Cant wait for my full recovery! Thanks to @ablocnutrition @bioskin @thorlos it should be soon coming!
Recovery

Social Share Counters

Abloc Nutrition Giveaway!

abloc Endurance Recovery Bottle

If you follow me on twitter or have read my reviews you know that I am a HUGE fan of Abloc Nutrition! This stuff is in a word, AWESOME! The only way it gets any better is to get it for free!Thanks to my friends at Abloc Nutrition you can enter to win a free bottle!

Click here to enter!

Recover Faster

RULES:

– Open to residents of the USA only.

– Play fair.

Social Share Counters

Gear Review: Medal display by Running on the Wall aka @Gift4Runners

IMG_0575Let me start by saying, I absolutely love to do reviews on top notch gear. I got one of the medal displays from the awesome team at http://runningonthewall.com. This display is very well made and comes with absolutely everything you need to get your medals/ribbons/bibs up on the wall! All you need is a hammer and to run a race or two of course.

The display is made of very sturdy painted wood. It is about 1/2″ thick, 15 1/2″ long, and 8 1/2″ tall. Its solid but not unnecessarily heavy.

IMG_0577 IMG_0578 IMG_0579The display comes with predrilled holes and screw hooks for each of the holes to hang your medals/ribbons/bibs. The hooks screw in nice and tight, no fear of them falling out. You can place as few or many as you like in the board. The holes are small so leaving some out would look just fine. I put all of them in the board, hanging my bibs on the bottom row and my medals on the top row.

IMG_0580If you look closely at the picture above, two nails are included with the display. There are even two holes in the back of the display to hang it with. (See all you need is a hammer! These guys think of everything).

IMG_0576A little thud with a hammer and my display is proudly hanging in my living room!


IMG_0581

Okay, so its a little cluttered. I’m sure my wife will want to tidy up my bibs and such :).

This is the best display I have seen. They have a huge selection, different sizes/colors/quotes etc. You can even have custom text printed on them! A great gift idea or even perfect for race directors to give out as prizes. I would definitely recommend these to any runner!  

Where to get them: http://www.runningonthewall.com/

They Tweet: http://twitter.com/Gift4Runners/

 

Social Share Counters

About Me

For those who don’t know me, I am a bit obsessive and a little competitive. I absolutely love to run long distance. Right now for me anything over 50 miles, I consider long distance. I am sure in the future that will change.

I blame my friend Chris Leslie for my long distance running. He invited me to run a 50k with him and with my obsessive attitude I started training Feb. of 2012 and never looked back.

I have my heart set on running the WV Trilogy, Western States 100, Hard Rock 100, and for a road race I have the Boston Marathon on my running bucket list.

“Relax and enjoy the run!”

grinder-2-jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRs

My Personal Bests

  1. Mile:5:05
  2. KM:3:54
  3. 5k:21:22
  4. 10k:44:55
  5. 15k:1:10:46
  6. 1/2 marathon:1:40:20
  7. Marathon: 3:48:27
  8. 50k:7:13:09
  9. 50 Miler: 9:16:56
  10. Longest Distance: 73.76 miles

Race Results

Social Share Counters

@AblocNutrition Endurance Recovery Review


 

ablocLogo

Let me start by saying great job Matt and Mitch! These two Marines have created the perfect endurance recovery mix. Smooth, easy to mix, easy on the taste buds and it actually works!

I am a budding Vegan so this mix is outside of my “usual” diet. It does contain some dairy as this is the mix’s source for protein. I would love to see a vegan version of this mix some day (hint hint guys 🙂 ). Okay so for the actual review of the mix, now that I have rambled on a bit much!

I went out for nearly 20 miles of speed and hill work in freezing rain, mud and wind! It was one of the hardest runs I have done in a while! 2 hours of quad burning exercise will put this mix to a pretty good test!

I opened up the package and the great smell of chocolate made my mouth water a bit!

RecoveryMix

I mixed it with 8 ounces of vanilla soy milk. It was fairly easy to mix in about the consistency of chocolate milk or the like. The texture was smooth and the taste was nice, very easy on the pallet! Taste and texture are important but the real test is the next day. A tasty mix is great and all, but if I am not ready for another long run the next day its worthless right?

The next morning I got up out of bed and was surprised, pleasantly. My quads and calves should have been hating me from the previous days run. I am usually sore after a workout like that. I could still “feel” my quads, calves and such, but I was definitely more mobile! For comparison sake, normally I could get around after a workout like that but stairs would suck, a run would be a struggle, I would typically do a short run or ride my bike the day after. I was actually ready for another strong run and against my better judgement did another 10 miler just to see how it felt.

It seemed as though my muscles had their sugar stores built back up and were well on their way to recovery. My run was strong, my body felt great, and I was totally impressed!

Great work guys! Thank you for the sample!
Abloc Featured BloggerLarge

 

 

Social Share Counters