Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fat Ass and 100-Mile Trail Run

On New Years Day, myself and a few of the other Trail Nerds hit the trails at Wallace State Park in Cameron Missouri for the Annual 50K Fat Ass Run. The conditions were not fun. The cold was fine...about zero degrees wind-chill. But the snow on the trail really sucked - big time. Imagine 4 inches of powder on top of 4 inches of dogshit-consistency snow. Even after multiple 6-mile loops, the trail didn't get any better or packed down. It actually got worse! I'm not whining, just telling the facts, man. Gabe has a pretty good write-up on his blog. I took some photos and will post some of them later.

On a good note:

I'm feeling fit and ready for the 100-miler at Rocky Raccoon in a couple of weeks. In fact, I feel as fit or fitter than when I ran a PR there in 2006, which was a 22-hour, 4-minute effort.

In addition to my regular trailrunning training, I've been hitting the gym religiously for 9 weeks now, for 5 times per week. My core, upper body and shoulders are stronger, which helps a lot on a trail run...especially in a 100-mile trail run. The leg workouts have helped a lot, too. I am now a big believer in single-leg presses, and other single-leg exercises for runners. My speed is better, and I just feel good and strong at the end of every long or short run, now. I really feel tough as nails, right now.

Our Digs at Rocky

I'll have 4 bodies (including mine) packed into my Ultramobile for the drive to Rocky Raccoon. We won't have much room in the car, but it should be a lot of fun.
Gary "Luddite" Henry (from Lawrence), and Tony "Semper Fast" Clark (from Wichita) will be riding down with me. My son will be going, too. He will be our crew (and probably part of the entertainment). Hopefully, he'll be rested enough to help drive part way back to KC after the race. He and I love our road trips together, and this one should be a good one. Gary had his name mentioned recently (by me) on an Endurance Planet podcast...and he's still speaking to me. Tony is a young, fast Marine from Wichita, and I think he'll do well at Rocky; probably a sub-18 hour time. This will be his 2nd 100-mile run.
Other Trail Nerds that will be going down are: Kyle Amos, Rick Mayo, John King, and Gabe Bevan. It will be John's first 100-mile run, but he's well-trained and ready. Rick Mayo will be pacing for John. Kyle Amos' wife (Stacey) will help my son with the crewing duties.

I get to be "the grisled veteran" at this race, since it will be my 6th Rocky Raccoon 100, in as many years. I like the role of "trail mentor," and being able to help people avoid the mishaps that I've had along the way. Joe (the race director), will give me my 500-mile jacket this year, since the only thing he had in my size last year was the 500-mile shirt. He's an awesome race director, and never forgets a thing.

I just had my yearly company-mandated physical. The doc said that I was "as healthy as a horse and strong as an ox." He was surprised that I was as flexible as I am, though. He asked me to touch my toes, and I put my palms onto the floor. I did notice that my blood pressure is about 10 points lower than my normal pressure, without my morning coffee. Interesting.

Between now and Rocky, I'm going to Seattle for a 4-day weekend. I'm really looking forward to that trip. It will be an incredibly fun break from my "normal" life. Seattle equals True Love, to me.


olga said...

It's great to be able to kick into a year with a 100 miler! Will be thinking of you and have fun there!

Ben, aka BadBen said...


There are going to be quite a few Trail Nerds at your PCT race, too. Gary Henry, Greg Burger, Cheri Sutton, Debbie Webster, and me have signed-up, so far.

Happy trails,

Kim said...

Hi Ben,
I will also be at Rocky, this is my first run at Rocky, I've heard it is really nice!
Andrew and I have a podcast called Trails and Tribulations, so don't be surprised if we ask you how your race went!

shliknik said...

I do gym work (leg press) several times per week and can immediately tell the difference when running.

Good luck w/ the races.


Ben, aka BadBen said...

Thanks, Jason.

Kim, I hope my race goes better than last year's. I finished, but was really sick the last 22 miles.

Travis said...

Best of luck at RR! And I agree, the gym workouts are helping me out too. Enjoy Seattle, let me know if you know of any runnable places around the downtown area, I'll be out there for a week in Feb.

Gregg Lynn said...

good luck at RR,Ben!

scott keeps running said...

Good luck at Rocky. I'll be down there with my dad running the 50. Used to hike those trails way back (well, maybe not as way as others) when I was a kid. Should be fun seeing the park again.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everybody.

Scott and Kim,
Look me up, when you're down there.
- Bad Ben

Journey to a Centum said...

You will own the trail at Rocky Racoon!

We just got our second "Ultra Mobile" (Honda Element). It's Green and we call it Kermie after Kermit the Frog. I have a Thule Box for the top and it makes a huge difference when hauling four runners and all the gear required for a long ultra race.

You might get a chance to meet Meghan Hicks who is running her first 100 at RR100. Meghan works for the National Parks Service in Yellowstone and lives in Wyoming. She probably would have grabbed that 400lb black bear you saw at CCC and rode it down the roped section to the trail. She has had many wildlife encounters while running in Yellowstone. Michelle and I got to meet her last weekend with her sweetie Trevor at the Capitol Peak 50K.

Drive safe and have a great time!


Yah Ben! Have fun and run hard. It's so cool that your son can crew for you, and make you laugh. I'll be sending running vibes your way . . . only 7 more days!

Sam said...

You're going to rock that thing and kick ass big time. Healthy as a horse and the flexibility of a yogi. Can't miss man.
Good luck and have a ball.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Thanks for cheering me on, everybody!

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