ITR 50

My first 50 (almost).

and my first DNF!

This past Saturday I ran the Indiana Trail 50 ( with my wife.  

For a little background:  My wife hired a coach a couple months ago to get her ready for several races this year (this 50 miler, a 1/2 ironman, another trail run, and a full distance tri).  I have never had a coach and generally “wing” my training.  I have piggy-backed on about half of her workouts and have been amazed at how quickly her fitness has improved.  My long run during training was 17 miles while hers was 30.

We went into signing up for this race with an overconfident joy!  As training progressed the length of the race became more obvious and we became more and more nervous.

For weeks prior to the race we would talk about how we were going to run it.  We discussed clothing, gear, shoes, food, hydration, the course, terrain, etc.  We constantly read about ultrarunning on websites like  We followed other ultras on twitter whenever we could.  The IndianaTrail100/50 group has a great/active facebook page that I frequented as well.  It was fun and felt good.  

On Friday, April 25th we drove to Fort Wayne and settled into our hotel.  In trying to get an early-to-bed kind of night finalized we re-arranged our gear.

Shoes – Brooks PureGrit 1 – my favorite trail shoe!  This shoe just feels like it hugs and cradles my foot perfectly. 

Socks – Injinji trail socks.  The idea was to start with these because I think they help minimize toe blisters for me. 

Shorts – Nike running.  these are almost brand new…but feel great.  I’d love an extra pocket but they are quite comfy. 

Shirt – InkNBurn – our favorite company for shirts.  Great material and incredibly cool graphics. 

Arm Sleeves – InkNBurn – they match the shirt.  It was a cool morning so these were perfect.

Jacket – Brooks LSD Light – this is the ideal jacket for those in-between temps.

Pack – Camelbak marathoner – it’s a great fitting, highly useful pack.  It served me well at TransRockies and here! 

Sunglasses – Oakley.  didn’t need these until about mile 15 but they are light and clean!

Hat/visor – Headsweats.  Love this visor.  It’s comfortable and soaks up the sweat.

The parking lot was right along the course so we just used our trunk as our drop bag location.  In the trunk were extra shoes, socks, shorts, shirt, and food!


The course is a 16.66 mile loop we would be doing 3 times.  There were aid stations about every 4 miles.  We decided to prepare to carry enough that the aid stations would just be for extra stuff and water refills.  So, I had the following:

Perpetuem, Endurolytes, Hammer Gel –

High Performance Sports Drink – 

X2 Performance –

Fruit babyfood – Sprout Smash –

Wild Friends Single serve PB – 

My plan was to start sipping water as the race started.  Every 15 minutes I would sip some Biosteel and about every 30 minutes I would consume some sort of food.  This all depends on which food and how I’m feeling.  The run started great and at 30 minutes I had a Sprout Smash.  It tasted great and was easy on the stomach.  At the 1 hour mark I had a WildFriends PB.  Since it has a lot more calories I decided to wait until about the 2:30 mark to eat more food…and then it was another Sprout Smash.  As I finished the first lap and started the 2nd I filled up my Perpetuem (Cafe Latte) and used that during lap two along with more Sprout, an X2 and the Biosteel I was sipping.

The run.

We forgot our headlamps!  Oops!

Luckily, there were enough people around us that it was not an issue.  The course was nice and wide and very well marked.  We started off at a comfortable pace trying to just get heart rates up and get little sweat going.  Once we settled in the pace was quicker than we expected but the heart rate was good so we just kept it going.  I was expecting a very flat course for some reason.  While there are no major hills or anything it was constantly rolling terrain.  I suspected this could add up over time…

We cruised through the first aid station/checkpoint and kept right on going.  All the crew at the station were great with their cheering and enthusiasm.  

As we approached the halfway point of the first loop I felt like my wife wanted to run faster.  She would edge out ahead of me and then come back.  Her coach had her setup to run a heart rate range that was higher than what I was planning for myself.  We both felt good so I sped up a little and she held back a little.

During lap one we thought the next aid station was at mile 12 so we were getting concerned when we past mile 13 with no sign of anyone….and then we saw it…at mile 14.  Relief!  It was also exciting to know that we were only about 2.5 miles from the end of loop 1.  I was expecting loop 1 to be 3 – 3:15.  Instead, we rolled up to our car at around 2:40.  Wow, we were flying!!  We both felt good (minus a few mild aches).  In the trunk of the car we threw our trash and restocked our bags.  Once refilled, we cruised up to the main tent for more water.

Right after leaving the main tent my wife was like a gazelle.  There was no more creeping out ahead of me.  Instead, it was obvious she was feeling really good at a fast pace.  I was the opposite.  I was starting to feel the muscle fatique.  As we yo-yo’d another mile she finally said she was going to give it a go.  I encouraged her to “have fun” and that I’d see her at the finish.  

That was the last I saw of her other than a glimpse of her occasionally through the woods over the next couple miles.

As the miles kept adding up I kept slowing down.  I completed a trail marathon distance in a new pr (4:17-ish) and was happy about that but could feel my wheels just getting worse and worse.  As the muscles were getting more and more fatiqued I started to notice my knees not doing as well either.  It was shortly after the marathon distance that I decided I would be calling it a day once I finished loop 2.  Running had become a real struggle.  Even walking the ups and downs was painful.  

I finished loop 2 (33.6 miles) with a time of around 6:05.  I turned my timing chip in with a smile on my face as I knew the hurt was ending!  I was also happy that my stomach and head were great the entire race.  I suspect my issue was more a lack of appropriate endurance training.  I suspect I will focus more on that should I ever choose to try this distance again.  In the meantime I am going to focus more on some shorter distances.  I have a few trail runs of 9 miles this year (, a half marathon in June, and TransRockies in August.


After I changed and relaxed I took a look at the leaderboard.  After loop 2 my wife was in 3rd place overall female.  I knew that if her comfort and pace continued she would hold or improve that position.  I lounged around and counted the minutes.  Pretty soon she came running up the finishing shoot as the 2nd overall female (and 5th overall) in a time of 8:16.  She nearly collapsed crossing the finish line!  I was impressed, amazed, and incredibly proud!!

The people:

I can’t express enough how awesome the race organization and volunteers were.  The race was very well put together.  The volunteers were helpful and encouraging along the entire course.  The course itself was very well maintained and marked.  I would highly recommend this race to anyone interested in tackling (or trying to tackle) a 50 or 100 miler.

As i write this I am back at home relaxing and massaging my stiff knees.  My wife can hardly walk but is feeling great.

Our next race is a sprint triathlon at the end of May…maybe it will be short enough that I can win this time.  ;-)



Just Move!

Just Move!

Keep moving!

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 100 times.  This article in Outside Mag reinforces that it doesn’t matter how you move…just move!

Too much sitting is deadly so, give the grim reaper a shove and move a little…then a lot…


What/Who/How/Why do you Love?

Everyone, at this point, knows has some great talks.

This morning I saw one that was relevant and necessary!


Yann talks about how we determine value and love in our lives.  A culture of seduction capital is creating anxiety and stress…a viscious cycle that can perpetuate.

His answers out may surprise you!

How do you get in ?

Originally posted on Jacqui Senn:

getting in the gameGetting in on the action is not as impossible as it may seem. No matter what your aspirations are, taking small steps and turning them into big opportunities can happen. Whether you are trying to get a promotion or changing careers, small changes can have a huge impact on your ability to move  forward faster than you may have anticipated. 

Take chances with the skills you already possess. If you feel as though you need some sort of certificate proclaiming your expertise, they are fairly easy to obtain. Be prepared to do research on what it is you want to achieve. Do not share what you are doing with others until you are ready to take the next step. Most times it seems when you want to move ahead other people will try to find a way of talking you out of it. they want to make it sound as…

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Move more, reduce meds!

Depending upon your individual circumstances you may be able to reduce your meds by simply moving more…

From Dr. Gabe Mirkin:

Drugs No Better than Exercise to Save Lives
Researchers reviewed 305 studies involving 339,274 participants and found that exercise is as effective as drugs in preventing death from heart attacks and diabetes, and is more effective in preventing death from strokes (British Medical Journal, October 2013).

People with heart disease who exercised but did not use drugs had no more risk of dying than the patients taking drugs. People with mild diabetes who did not take drugs but exercised had the same survival rate as those taking drugs. Drugs such as statins, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors and those to prevent clots, were not shown to be more effective than exercise in preventing second heart attacks.

Exercisers Have Lower Cancer Rates and Better Survival Rates
Many studies show that regular exercisers are less likely to suffer many different types of cancer. A new study following 293,511 men and women for 12 years shows that people who exercised before they were diagnosed with cancer are less likely to die from their cancers than those who did not exercise (International Journal of Cancer, 12/06/2013). Compared to people who rarely exercised, those who exercised for more than seven hours per week had lower death rates from cancers of the colon by 30 percent, of the liver by 29 percent, of the lung by 16 percent, and by 20 percent in cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. However, exercisers had an 18 percent higher death rate with cancer of the kidney.

Exercise After Cancer Diagnosis Prolongs Lives
A review of 48 studies covering 40,674 colon/colorectal cancer cases showed reduced recurrence among patients who continued to exercise, and the more a person exercised, the less likely the cancer was to recur (Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2001 Jun;33(6 Suppl):S530-50; discussion S609-10). In the same journal issue, a review of 41 studies covering 108,031 breast cancer cases showed that people who exercised moderately had reduced breast cancer recurrence.

We need more public service advertising to encourage exercise and healthful eating to counteract the heavy advertising from pharmaceutical companies.

Cordain Paleo Lecture

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing a webinar by Dr. Loren Cordain titled:

“Hyperinsulinemic disease of civilization.”

Most of the lecture was biochemically over my head.  However, there were a number of items that were very helpful.

-The majority of causes of death can be prevented with nutrition (CVD, Cancer, Alzheimers, Diabetes)

-Insulin resistance occurs in skeletal muscle first and organs quickly follow.

-high glycemic food vs glycemic load matters.

-glycemic load = glycemic index X CHO (100g portion).

-Fructose appears to be cause of insulin resistance

-Carbs + Fat = Disasterous

   -worst foods being Vanilla wafers, doughnuts, chips, croissants, ice cream, cheese pizza, pastries.

-per capita sugar (especially HFCS) has increased exponentially in the last 40 years.

-the way wheat is processed matters!  

-role in acne 

-role in polycystic ovary syndrome

-role in cancer mortality

-role in skin tag formation

-role in male balding

-Elevated IGF-1 and reduced IGFPB-3 correlates with negative health outcomes.


Fresh veggies, fruits, oils, nuts/seeds, healthy meats.

for more info Dr. Cordain has a website



Moving More!

The MovNat training was fantastic.

It involved a full two days of listening, learning, moving (crawling, balancing, walking, running, swinging, jumping) and getting dirty.  The class was held partially at Circle City Strength and Conditioning Crossfit Gym in Brownsburg, IN (  The gym is very welcoming and has a great setup.

I was there for the certification so had an extra hour each morning and evening to get the principles in detail.

What is MovNat?

It came up a few times during class (and multiple times after I told people I did MovNat training).  My brief answer is that it was a class on moving more naturally.  It teaches us to keep moving in all of our ranges of motion.

The official description is “a fitness and physical education system based on the full range of natural human movement skills.”  The goal is effective, efficient, and adaptable movement.  The certification has three levels.  I was there for level 1 so the focus was on “locomotion.”  We had some instruction on “manipulation.”  The “combative” level is the final (level 3) and did not get discussed during the weekend.

10 principles of MovNat:











While all 10 are the foundation for the philosophy each attendee had one or two or three that stood out as primary for them.  This customization allows the philosophy to be tweaked for each individual in training and/or teaching.

Unless you are a full time personal trainer you are likely sitting too much.  Even personal trainers have tended to specialize in certain movements or philosophies.  MovNat brings us back to being a kid.  The fun and playful aspect of movement is central to the theme.  Some of the movements (like crawling) were awkward at first because I haven’t done them in years (decades).

Ok, so we learned philosphy and definitions.  On day 1 we also used the gym to perform the techniques.  

We balanced on 2×4’s, standing (for posture), walking (forward and back), squatting, crawling, running, jumping, and more.  We wrapped up day one by taking a physical test on the basic movements to demonstrate proficiency.  

Day 2 started with a written exam for certification.  It was more difficult than I expected but I passed.

We then spent a bit of time in the gym on techniques and then went to Eagle Creek park.  It was awesome to get outside and practice all the movements we had just learned.  Some of the stuff was playful and fun.  Other movements were both fun and functional.

The group moved around the park and practiced movements while also learning more new ones.  With every obstacle we applied the philosophy and technique.  After lunch we were each able to design a movement sequence through the woods.  It was a lot of fun.  It also made us sweat. 

We finally wrapped up with a test on coaching technique.  We had to demonstrate we could teach the basics and then recognize if someone was performing something incorrectly.  Everyone did very well.

My thanks go out to Jeff Turner, Matt Myers, and Chris Roche for the teaching, discussion, and expertise.

I am looking forward to incorporating MovNat in my own life and teaching it to others…eventually!