Surf the Murph 50 Mile – Next up for Where’s Chris Scotch October 29, 2010Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events Schedule.
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As with all the events I have participated in this year, I am running with intention and for a cause I strongly believe in – St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This will be my 15thth event in 2010 and 7th Ultra Marathon since July 3.
Please consider making a donation at: http://www.mystjudeheroes.org/cjscotch
Halloween weekend and a race close to home, Surf the Murph will give me a chance to race 50 miles, in a costume, AND still be home for dinner the same day!
Having put in a long run last weekend on the Wild Duluth course (had to see what the rest of that course looked liked!) with Helen, Andy, Kim and the pups (Rudy and Cooper) as well as a few shorter runs since the Wild Duluth race, I am feeling ready for another race.
The weather has been windy and chilly this week (Cooper’s water dish had a layer of ice on it this morning) but the forecast for tomorrow is looking warmer – 50 degrees and sunny. Assuming I get through the 6am start without freezing to death (my costume is….minimal. Like shorts in the 1970’s minimal!) it should be a great day. Pictures of those awful shorts will be coming in the recap – stay tuned!!
Wild Duluth 100k – Recap October 29, 2010Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events - Recaps.
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Wild Duluth turned out to be fantastic time, just not in the manner I expected. The first hour or so was in the dark and mostly technical uphill climbing, both favorite conditions of mine. I felt great and started out at a quick pace. For the next 17 or so miles I felt amazing and was leading the race. Then I hit the wall, or more appropriately, the wall completely crushed me with a flying elbow off the top rope.
Instantly and simultaneously my body and mind both had catastrophic failures and I found it hard to keep a consistent pace. I struggled the next three miles, up and down Ely’s peak and into the Munger Trail aid station at Mile 20, where Cooper and Val were stationed. (Side note: I couldn’t help but laugh at the quick conversation Dusty Olson and I had as we passed each other. I was coming down Ely’s and he was going up. He is always good for an interesting and humorous encounter. Somehow we managed to compare recovering from Lyme’s disease with recovering from Sawtooth 100 in just a few seconds).
I rested about 15 minutes at Munger as I ate and changed my socks. Hoping either or both would provide some comfort, physically or mentally. It didn’t work. The next five miles seemed to take forever as I oscillated between walking and shuffling, all the while having an internal struggle with what to do when I reached the Grand Portage aid station. I was in pain, which I tried to rationalize away. I have had pain in all the other ultra’s, so why couldn’t I push through it this time? It was a perfect day for running on a beautiful trail with great friends all around. I just couldn’t seem to muster the mental fortitude, guts or desire to push through. My body no longer wanted to run, nor did my mind. I was feeling defeated. At some point I asked myself how I could best enjoy the rest of the day, and decided that I would get more satisfaction cheering on the other runners rather than be miserable the rest of the day and try to finish the race. It didn’t seem worth it to me to forgo the chance to be happy cheering for my friends in exchange for being able to say I finished. I wouldn’t have experienced satisfaction in finishing, as I had already failed in my mind, having reached the point where I couldn’t even run anymore. My body hurt in ways and places I hadn’t felt before and while the prospect of dropping from the race saddened me, I didn’t want to cause long term injury. I knew before I entered the Grand Portage aid station at mile 25 that I would drop from the race, and that is what I did.
I am still replaying the day in my mind, sometimes with mixed emotions. This was the only race I have ever DNF’d. And while I failed to complete the race, the lessons learned were ones I needed to experience, if only to know what it feels like to fail, as to try and prevent it from happening again. Physically, I don’t know if my body was ready for this course or race. I hadn’t run on the trail for a month, since Sawtooth 100, foregoing trails for pavement as I trained for Twin Cities Marathon. I won’t make this mistake again. I don’t necessarily believe I needed more rest or more training before this race, but I need to learn to learn the balance between the two as I plan to keep running ultra’s. I probably wasn’t mentally prepared for Wild Duluth like I have been for my other races. Due to a busy work week, or some sort of arrogance towards the course, or whatever it was – I hadn’t prepared myself for the inevitable – that there are going to be really tough stretches for every runner in every ultra. It could be argued that I started too fast – leading the pack is probably not the right place for me to be in any race. Something to remember in future races. The flip side of that coin intrigues me a bit, however. If I don’t know where the line between pushing myself to the edge and pushing myself over the edge exists, I won’t know what it really feels like to feel true success. Failing provides better understanding where that line resides.
So I dropped out of the race and focused my energy on cheering the other runners. I also ran a few errands for Kim and Andy. It was so much fun to be able to see the race from the other side as friends I have made the past few months dedicated themselves to the race and conquered the trail. My satisfaction and fulfillment on this day came from their successes. Thank you.
Soiree at Tiger Sushi October 19, 2010Posted by whereschrisscotch in Uncategorized.
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Wednesday, October 20, 6pm.
Fundraiser and silent auction to raise money for Where’s Chris Scotch and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Get all the info and tickets at:
Hope to see you there!
Up Next for Where’s Chris Scotch – Wild Duluth 100k October 14, 2010Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events Schedule.
It has been 9 days since Twin Cities Marathon and I have run once, exactly the same number of times I have been to Dairy Queen. So I feel well enough rested to get back out there and run! 100km. 62 miles.
As will all the events I have participated in this year, I am running with intention and for a cause I strongly believe in – St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This will be my 13th event in 2010 and 6th Ultra Marathon since July 3.
Please consider making a donation at: http://www.mystjudeheroes.org/cjscotch
Wild Duluth Course description by Andy Holak, Race Director:
“The Wild Duluth course follows the high points and ridges above the northern Minnesota city of Duluth. Along the course you will find amazing views over the St. Louis River, harbor and city below, rocky outcroppings, numerous streams, huge White Pines and hidden places you never thought you’d find in a city of over 80,000 people. The trail will be rugged, hilly and laced with rocks and roots throughout. This course will surely challenge the veteran trail and ultrarunner and will provide inspiration to those new to the sport. Come see it for yourself!”
Twin Cities Marathon – Recap October 7, 2010Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events - Recaps, Uncategorized.
Move the video to 4:24 – you can see the “Unofficial 3:45” Pace Group finish, successfully under 3:45!
As a member of Team Fitsok, I am proud to being wearing a new singlet! Not only is Fitsok providing a chance to run for them, a great singlet and amazing socks, but they are very supportive of the Where’s Chris Scotch campaign for St. Jude and very happily agreed to allow me to put the St. Jude logo on the team singlet.
Another sponsor, Infinit Nutrition, is also represented on the singlet. They have stepped up large with their support as well. Drop me a line if you have questions about their product and you want to order.
The 2010 Twin Cities Marathon weekend was all about family, friends and fun. Friday night the Fitsok gang got together for a team picture and some general shenanigans. I also bumped into a few friends, exchanging words of support, while roaming around the expo soaking in the energy. TCM weekend was off to a great start. Saturday, after playing a Piranhas game and watching a Twins game, Helen and I settled in to prepping for a dinner party of 10 with family and friends. Nothing like a pound of steak grilled to medium rare perfection and a couple of Guinness to wash it down the night before a marathon! The conversation and laughter of the night easily stripped away any nerves that may have been peculating and replaced them with earnestness for the big day. Getting a chance to see my Godson, Jason, was long overdue and such a joy.
Helen and I had bantered back and forth for weeks leading up to Sunday what pace her and I would run at TCM, and if we would run together. I don’t think we actually made a final decision until Saturday evening, deciding to run together at a modest pace of 3:45, assuming I didn’t get antsy and try to beat her 2008 TCM time of 3:24 (the only correlation being that she ran Sawtooth 100 in 2008 (in record time) and I ran it this year (nowhere near record time)). 🙂 My friend Andy stepped to the plate and produced an “unofficial” pacer sign for us, including pictures of bacon and baileys. The two items I tasked myself with finding on the race course. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I found neither. But I did come across a donut with sprinkles and a wonderful danish. Tip – eating sprinkles while running presents a coughing hazard. 🙂
The weather for race day was picture perfect. Sunny and cool with only a slight breeze. What I love most about TCM is the magnitude of energy provided by the tens of thousands of spectators, familiar faces and friendly strangers included, lining the beautiful course. When I approached the Mile 1 point on the corner of Hennepin and 9th street I started looking for my yoga instructor and friend, Myra. I was worried I might miss her but she made sure I wouldn’t, as she was holding a “Where’s Chris Scotch” sign in her hands. It’s the great support of friends like Myra that made running this marathon feel like a Sunday afternoon stroll instead of a joint pounding 26.2 mile beating. There were many more familiar faces along the way, Mike from MDRA. The hootin’ and hollerin’ Twin Cities Running Co crew raising a ruckus over the loudspeaker outside their RV. The Ultra-Family members – Steve Quick, Zach and Jen, Tom and Nancy, and more. Thanks to Andy, not only for his sign making, but for jumping in and running with us. And thanks to Shira who did the same towards the end of the race. You guys are great! And of course, at the finish line, Mari and Jodi with mom and Dark and my Godson Jason. Being able to share events like this with family are what truly make them worth remembering. Your support at is priceless.
- The unexpected support came from the spectators and runners that created a buzz for the “Unofficial 3:45” pace group. Throughout the day we had runners joining us who were looking for just that, a 3:45 pace group. The spectators seemed to love the bacon and Bailey’s pictures and cheered us all on. It was all smiles all day!
I want to mention another gentlemen that I hope reads this post. He was running behind Helen and me somewhere on Summit and congratulated me on my finish at the Sawtooth 100. I assumed he was there, or that I had met him through some other runners and I asked him. He said no, that he recognized me from reading the Where’s Chris Scotch blog. While the blog offers a nice place to provide information about the campaign and provide a repository for the details of my races, it is really about providing another avenue to reach people and share the life saving work that St. Jude provides. I am elated this person has been following the campaign and that he was willing to offer his support. Thank You!
TCM offered another opportunity for me to spread the word about the great work of St. Jude. All in all, it was a great weekend full of laughter and fun. As co-leaders of the “Unofficial” 3:45 pace group, Helen and I added a unique and humorous twist to our marathons, and while I can’t speak for her, I had a blast. And being able to share it with our families makes it all the better.
My final thoughts on TCM itself, if you have any inkling that you want to run a marathon, you HAVE to go for it and you HAVE to run Twin Cities Marathon. It is so much more than a race, and I guarantee, if you approach the start of the run with a smile, you will look back with satisfaction and an even bigger smile when you are finished!