Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuckfest Results

What a weekend! Of humility producing activities. Saved by Sunday's weather cancellation of several events, Kenny and I lucked out having to only suffer through a DNF at Friday's adventure race and a LONG and hot trail half marathon on Saturday. Don't get me wrong. The weekend was a blast! The music, food and drink added to all the events and demos we were able to watch was very enjoyable. 

But getting miserably lost and then only completing 2 out of 14 obstacles during the adventure race was an interesting way to start our weekend. Within half a mile into the race we encountered briers with thorns that left cuts for our first souvenir of the weekend. We, unwisely, decided to try to hit the furthest obstacle first so that we could then make our way back home as we ticked off the others. In reality we wandered aimlessly for 3-4 miles before popping out of the woods almost exactly where we entered, without having seen any obstacles. We retraced our steps and did eventually come across one obstacle and then came to a startling discovery. Not all the "obstacles" were obstacles. Our second one we reached was just a stick with a sticker on it for us to punch. We realized that we probably ran by a few without even noticing because we were looking for real obstacles. Apparently this literal interpretation of the challenge was our biggest obstacle. 

Sorry about that. Anyway, after another few miles at which point we intercepted another team running towards us who told us they had been running for miles without coming across a single obstacle, we decided to do the first smart thing of the evening. Quit.

Which we did undramatically and without remorse. We grabbed food, drink and a seat and watched the Revivalists perform. A far better way to end the night than be lost in the dark in the woods. 

The next morning Kenny and I, feeling better about that day's events, suited up for the half marathon. I have run two half marathons at the Whitewater center so thought I knew what to expect. I eyed the start line and saw 3-4 runners that I thought might be an issue but was thinking podium was in the cards. As expected, the race took off fast and I fell, comfortably, into sixth place, knowing that usually a few will slow as we enter the woods and more technical part of the trail. As expected, within the first few miles, I found myself in fourth and feeling strong. Unexpectedly, I was getting thirsty. Very thirsty. I hadn't even thought to bring my water bottle, having done races here before usually the aid stations were more than enough. Not this day. Over the next few miles, all I was thinking about was getting to the next aid station so I could have more water. 

During this time, I also, unexpectedly, came to the conclusion that this course was a)not the same as the previous times I'd run here, and b) long. It was a two loop course and I finished the first lap slightly under 7 miles. Not hugely off, but usually in trail races, my GPS comes up short due to all the switchbacks and whatnot. Certainly not long. This was discouraging but I kept chugging along, passing the third runner with about three to go. As expected. Thinking podium for sure. Then with less than a half mile to the finish, a runner passes me. Not extremely assertively so I thought I could hang on and repass before the finish. Unexpectedly, this didn't happen. Instead of speeding up like I thought I still could, I started seeing stars and forced myself to slow it down. That runner ended up beating me by over 30 seconds and put me solidly in fourth place-first off the podium.
 
Kenny didn't fare much better as one water stop actually had run out of water by the time she made it by. She has vowed never to run another half marathon there again but I think she'll change her mind. After all, she did come in 4th in her age-group so it wasn't like she had an awful race. Just, like me, not what she  had expected.

We spent the rest of the day doing our best to get a nice evenly distributed sun burn, which we did accomplish. We also did some other challenges where we were more successful,like getting a Chips Ahoy cookie from our foreheads to our mouths(easy) and getting two pennies out of panty hose without using our bodies or opposing hands(surprisingly hard). Another set of good musicians topped  the day. 

Luckily for our bodies, we awoke the next day to rain and temps in  low 50's. And my rock climbing competition was canceled. And I had no desire to enter in the kayaking comp with the rain, so we decided we'd create our own contest, eating copious amounts of breakfast foods and then heading back down to Columbia. 

Despite, or maybe because, our losses, we had a really fun weekend and have already put this weekend on our calendar for next year. 

Maybe we'll see you there.

Until next time,

Danny

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tuck Fest

Image result for tuck fest



This weekend Kenny and I will be going up to Charlotte and competing in a weekend of adventure. Tuckfest is like an adventure music festival. Unlike most music festivals where the extent of physical activity is usually limited to 12oz bicep curls and ungainly movements someone may kindly describe as dancing, Tuckfest is an athlete's music festival. We head up after work tonight and immediately have an option of a Twilight adventure race or trail race. Tomorrow morning we have a trail half marathon at 8, acro-yoga at noon and maybe even a mountain bike race. Sunday morning starts out with a rock climbing competition for me and another trail race for Kenny then a flatwater kayak race.

If either of knew how to navigate whitewater there is even more opportunities as there are whitewater kayak and SUP races too. In addition to all these events, there are demos, vendors and live music the whole time. Friday night features the Revivalists and Sunday Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

It should be a fun time and we'll keep you posted on how it goes.


Until next time,

Danny

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ironman Texas Pro Start List

After months of recovering from her bike crash in Lake Placid, bad luck at Ironman Cozumel with double flat tires, and some serious training, Amber Ferreira will be toeing the line of her first Ironman of the 2017 season. As always, I am expecting great things from her and from what I hear she's definitely been putting in the training. Join me in sending her positive vibes as she competes against some of the best triathletes in the world on April 22nd in Texas. You can follow her at ironman.com. 


Here's the current start list: 


FEMALE PROS
BIB
LAST
FIRST
CATEGORY
COUNTRY REP
51
Williamson
Kelly
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
52
Deckers
Tine
FEMALE
BEL (Belgium)
53
Chura
Haley
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
54
Kaye
Alicia
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
55
Brandon
Lauren
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
56
Ferreira
Amber
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
57
Herlbauer
Michaela
FEMALE
AUT (Austria)
58
Li
Shiao‐Yu
FEMALE
TWN (Taiwan, Province of China)
59
Robertson
Jodie
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
60
Schaerer
Celine
FEMALE
CHE (Switzerland)
61
Stage‐Nielsen
Maja
FEMALE
DNK (Denmark)
62
Jones Meyers
Jessica
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
63
Jahn
Kirsty
FEMALE
CAN (Canada)
64
Bartlett
Nikki
FEMALE
GBR (United Kingdom)
65
Elmore
Malindi
FEMALE
CAN (Canada)
66
Finger
Annett
FEMALE
DEU (Germany)
67
Green
Erin
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
68
Livesey
Caroline
FEMALE
GBR (United Kingdom)
69
Luse
Nicole
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
70
Madison
Mackenzie
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
71
McCauley
Jocelyn
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
72
Miller
Leslie
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
73
Paulson
Ashley
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
74
Roberts
Darbi
FEMALE
USA (United States of America)
75
Sanjana
Francesca
FEMALE
GBR (United Kingdom)


Good luck to Amber and all competitors!



Until next time,

Danny

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hello Estonia!

What you may have noticed when I wrote my Hello, Norway! blog, Estonia was in third place of overall viewers. Recently Estonia has taken over as the second leading viewers per month with over 2,000 page views in March alone. 

What's cool about that is that I'm visiting Estonia in June as part of my next attempt at breaking 3 hours in the marathon. 

This time I will be racing the Forssa Summer Night Marathon in Finland. As the name implies it's a night race but since it's Summer Solstice visibility shouldn't be an issue. From the limited written(in English) about the race, it seems to be fairly hilly and cool temperature so should make for a good race. 

Before going to the country-side for the race, I plan to take a boat over to Tallinn, Estonia. From what I hear it is a beautiful city and one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Image result for tallinn estonia
Stock photo of Tallinn, Estonia

Should definitely be worth the trip and who knows? Maybe I'll meet an Ultrarunning Boy reader :) 

Until Next Time, 


Danny

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Tragic Loss to the New England Racing Community

I awoke this morning with the intent to write about all the fun I had with my siblings in Atlanta weekend only to find out my friend and Gate City/ aR teammate Jeremiah Fitzgibbon had been tragically killed while bicycling yesterday. While the details aren't clear on what exactly happened, he was hit by a 24 year old driver. When I first saw it, I initially didn't believe it as this would be in true Jeremiah form as an elaborate April Fool's Day prank. I then saw the WMUR report and knew it was sadly true. Jeremiah was one of the first people I met when I started snowshoeing and quickly became a fixture at local races. Always friendly and almost always with his little dog, he was a great guy with a quick wit. He seemed to always be racing and yet he'd spend the whole time asking you about your races and schedule. Really just a class act.
Image result for jeremiah fitzgibbon danny ferreira
The aR Crew: Jeremiah is between Chris Dunn and Rich Lavers
I lost contact with him when I stopped racing in 2014, but I'm sure that he was still out there racing and competing. And it does not surprise me that he was out riding in freezing temperatures yesterday when he was hit. While his death is certainly sad, it heartens me to know how many people were positively impacted by having him in their lives and that he went out doing something he loves.

Appreciate every single day you have on this planet and hug your loved ones tonight.

We will miss you Jerry!



Until next time,

Danny

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Walk Yourself to Better Thinking

Walking is a good way to get some exercise in. If done vigorously enough, it can help improve your heart and lung health, build muscle and bone density and has even been shown to improve mental health and quality of life.

Walking can also help improve your thinking. Walking is a complex task that we learn to do almost subconsciously. The coordination of our feet, legs, hips, arms and trunk in conjunction with our vision and inner ear usually flows seamlessly and with very little energy.

But it's a great way to get extra blood flow to the brain. In fact, this increased blood flow promotes the birth of new neurons and formation of new synapses in the brain while strengthening existing ones.

This combination of a mindless activity that stimulates brain activity is the perfect way to stimulate creativity and spawn new ideas. Remember back to Tolstoy's Daily Schedule? It included a good amount of physical activity to stimulate his mental activity that he did subsequently. He wasn't alone. Charles Dickens took 3 hour walks every afternoon, while the composer of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake walked 120 minutes. The philosopher Kierkegaard said, "I have walked myself to my best thoughts." John Muir concurred stating "In every walk in nature one receives more than he seeks." Whether that's beautiful scenery or beautiful minds, he was right.

Have a difficult problem that needs solving? Get outside for a walk and you just might think about it in a new light.

Good luck!


Until next time,

Danny