Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Decorah Newspaper Article

Here is the link to another interview that took place July 3rd in Decorah, Iowa (Day 10).


Thank you Lissa for a great article!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

2008...oh wait, it's still 2007!

Picture of my grandma and me after my run across Iowa.

So here I am thinking of my goals for 2008 and realize that I still have much to do in 2007!!

This coming Sunday I have the Skyline 50k. My first year anniversary of running ultra-marathons! In August 2006, Skyline 50k was my very first ultra marathon. Ever since I've been hooked! I'm excited to run it again because I know a few of the trails a little better. Not as much as I had hoped, but at least I'm not running in new territory!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Run Across Iowa 2008??

Is RAI 2008 a possibility?? Maybe!


Look at the RAI 2008 runs. I'm thinking ~50 miles/day for 6 days. The route would be along the Iowa/Minnesota border, starting for the western border of Iowa to the Mississippi River on the east side.

If I don't "win" the lottery for Western States 100 Mile for 2008, the plan is to run this starting June 29th through July 4th. If I win, then the run will be moved to August or September 2008.

With this run in it's early stages, I'm planning on running this for charity. Do you have a charity that's special to you?

50 miles/day for 6 days during the humid heat of summer in Iowa...sound like fun? Want to run it? Email me.

And some more...

Some more pictures

Here are some pictures from RAI 2007.

Run, work, run, work...

These last two weeks have gone by so fast! (Story of my life!) I've been able to get a few good runs in, but not exactly what I had in mind. I was hoping to run at least a 20 miler before Skyline 50k (Aug. 5), but never seemed to be able to get out there. I also didn't realize how far away August 5th really is...It's NEXT weekend! I was thinking I would be able to get in a nice long run this Saturday, but maybe that's not a good idea. Won't really help me for the 50k.
I have been able to get back onto the trails. My body has been training/running on FLAT, FLAT ground. I've noticed that my legs don't hurt as much. Maybe the time off the hills helped. I definitely have to be better about using my foam roller and icing my legs down after runs. I can start to feel my IT band tightening back up.
I'm also looking forward to make next big adventure...Rio del Lago 100 Mile. That is only a short 7 weeks away! EEK! Need to reserve hotel rooms, get a crew together, get a pacer. Better get going on that!

I've also been thinking about my multi-day run. There's a road (for the most part) that runs the Minnesota/Iowa border. I'm thinking about 6 days to complete the run. I need to figure out how many miles it would be. Should be around 300. Maybe in a little cooler weather? It was a fun challenge to run during the summer heat. I would not have said that a few weeks ago, but now the painful parts of the run have escaped my memory! I think that's a necessary trait to have as an ultrarunner...forgetting how much a long run can hurt! If I get my act together, perhaps I can do some fundraising with this run. Now that I know I can run across the state (even if at a snail's pace!) I have more confidence asking people for support!

Lunch break over....back to work!

Friday, July 13, 2007

KIMT 3 interview

My interview with the local tv station can be found at:

http://www.kimt.com Look under the Videos on Command. Select Sports in the drop-down menu and then "Marathon Man".

When did running 6 miles get hard??

Oh yeah, when I'm running them 4-5 min/mi faster than my usual snail pace! I had a great run on Wednesday with the Jeff, the President of the Eastbay Frontrunners. It's been a long time since I've run at my "marathon pace". At one time I was running short distances at 7:30-8:30 min/mi with no problems. I was always challenging myself to run faster and faster.

Now I find myself slowing down, but going much longer distances. I guess I'm really becoming an ultramarathoner. It's funny how after two marathons, I still didn't see myself as a marathoner or even a "real" runner. Since then, I have run about 7 ultras and now across the state of Iowa and I'm now thinking I might be an ultramarathoner. It's funny how my past can play such a big part of my view of my world and my future.

Maybe it's ok to call myself a runner now?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Into the Mississippi River we go!

The Old and The New Wind Power

Pictures from RAI 2007

Running along Highway 9 in the sunrise.

Interviewed by KIMT Channel 3 (CBS affiliate)

Friday, July 06, 2007

And now what happens?

So what happens next? I noticed my body is quite stiff and creaky at the moment. I think it actually liked the miles everyday. I am more sore now then I was when I was getting up every morning and running.
I think I want to do this again, in about two years. I see a couple of options. Either have a race setting, were people sign up to run across the state. They each have a crew and certain rules for getting across.
I do this again but up it to 40-50 miles a day.

We'll see!

DONE! 306.9 miles

Sorry for not being able to post for the past few days, but I'll get those memories back into my head and post the last few days. But I did want everyone to know that I completed the run.
On July 4th about 1:20pm I got into Harper's Ferry. Waiting on the edge of town were a lot of my family, in the "Construction Green" shirts. What an amazing feeling. I had a hard battle the day before with the heat and my legs getting tired, but once I saw everyone lined up cheering for me the was a great sense of relief, sadness and great joy.
I was relieved to know that I wouldn't have to be getting up that next morning and run another 28 miles. I was relieved that nobody got hurt and I think, had a great time during the run.
I was sad because that was it. I was done. All of the hard work that many people put in to help me accomplish this goal was now complete.
And I was filled with joy. Seeing so many people out there I didn't know would be able to make it. To see my Grandma McGee out was also amazing. It had been a few years since she had been to the river, and it was an amazing feeling to have her there to share this with her.
I sometimes have a hard time believing in myself and what I do. I can be very humble at times (at least that's what Liz kept telling me.) I didn't know if anyone would really care. If people would actually think it was something important enough to come out and support me. My family and friends are amazing. They are very supportive.
Liz and I got to the cabin, walked down the hill to the river, took off our shoes and things out of the pockets, walked to the edge of the dock and jumped in. We had made it to the river at last. There were times I didn't think I would make it, but alas, we were there.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Day 8 - 28.24 miles (Media day)

Over 200 miles complete (well, more like 228 miles complete!) Today started like most days...4am, breakfast by 4:30am, on the road and ready to start at 5:30am just outside of Osage. Another beautiful sunrise and within the first few minutes I broke through 200 miles!
Shortly after that (and a quick bathroom break (corn field)), my aunt Laurie showed up on her bike. It was nice to get to spend 5 miles with her as we went through my hometown, Osage.
Just outside of Osage at the "Four Mile Corner" we called my Grandma Niess and she brought out some of her cookies (which I ate most of them...THANKS!) The big surprise is that my my uncle Scott and Julie were also at the corner to cheer me on. It's always nice to see family along the way.
About that time Cheryl Jahnel from the Riceville newspaper was there to take pictures for an article that she was writing, right up the road from where I grew up. Very surreal and emotional to be running by where I grew up.
Of course, during all of this, I had been running really strong...beginning back in Osage. I hadn't been taking my walk breaks like I should and started to hit a low. And it was only mile 13. Not good!
The next few miles I seem to just stare down at the road, trying to disconnect my mind with my left foot. It wasn't very happy with all of the fast running I had just done. Don't blame it...it's been going for 200 miles! I pretty much stopped eating and just kept my head down and stayed focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
When we hit Riceville, KIMT Channel 3 (our local CBS station) was out to do an interview. That was a lot of fun. For a few miles beforehand, I had been thinking about what I would say. Of course the number one question is, WHY? There are so many answers to this question.
Because it's there.
It's cheaper and faster than running across the US. If I had it my way, I would be attempting that in the near future, but that's going to take a bit of sponsorship!
Why Not?
It was a lot of fun and I can't to see it.
It can be an emotional rollercoaster, this crazy running thing. I was watching some of the video we took tonight and the last aid station stop with 1.5 miles to go, I'm not there. You can look at my face and you can't see me. These are the times I am especially thankful for everyone that has helped crew me. I can't make decisions, I don't know what to ask for. I am completely mentally and physically drained and for some reason, have been able to find enough power to keep my legs moving forward. And fill up my bottles and somehow I take off for those last 1.5 miles. People ask me how I do it, how can someone run over a marathon a day for 11 days. I really don't know. Sometimes I don't know how I am able to run that last 1.5 miles. Determination. I think if you really want something, you can have it. And that really applies to everything in life.
I finished those last 1.5 miles in the slowest crawl of a walk.
But I finished the day and now, it's time for bed to see what tomorrow brings. Time to gather everything I got because my body is starting to say, Are we there yet?