Thursday, December 31, 2009

Burying the nickname

Please feel free to affectionately refer to Danny as "88.6" Hopefully it will motivate his a$$ to actually prepare for this super challenging 100 miler...

Editors Note: Dean Karnazes attempted the Leadville 100 and dropped out 2 times, thus earning him the nick name o-fer...."O for one, O for two..."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The beauty of the mind is that it remembers in vivid detail every accomplishment and success (oftentimes exaggerating them to such a degree that they no longer represent any actual memory) while quickly erasing pain. Such is the case with me and the Vermont 100. After a solid 18 miles of singing such classics as "I hate 100's" and "Never Again" and suffering my first DNF ever, I vowed that I would never do another 100 mile race. Fast-forward to Christmas Eve: Bolstered by the holiday spirit and strong Egg-Nog, I just signed up for the Leadville 100.
The Leadville 100?! Isn't that at 10,000 feet? Doesn't it have more vertical feet than VT? Are you crazy? Where'd the Egg-nog go?
Yes, runners do climb and descend 15,600 feet, with elevations ranging between 9,200-12,620 feet. Yes, that's twice the elevation of the highest peak in the Northeast. Yes, it is common for less than half the starters to complete the race ahead of its 30 hour time limit.
Still, if nothing else, VT100 was an eye-opening experience for me in that it glaringly pointed out my weaknesses. Not so much my mileage, but my lack of hiking. I could keep up with anyone on the flats and descents or any incline that I could run. As soon as I had to resort to walking, I would fall dreadfully off pace. To remedy this, I plan on significantly upping my hiking mileage in the coming months hopefully culminating with the 75 mile loop of the Kearsarge-Ragged-Sunapee Greenway.
There's no way of knowing what I will encounter on August 22nd, 2010 but I can tell you now that I will not DNF due to lack of preparation. LEADVILLE HERE I COME!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Year Ever?(Part 1)

Danny's Perspective: As this year winds to an end, I'd like to take a look back at the training log of 2009. All told, I raced in 50 races-a nice even number ranging in distances from 1 mile to 88. miles. In that group of races included:
-5 snowshoe races(ranging from 5k to marathon distances)
-8 Trail Races(ranging from 5.5k to Ultramarathon distances)
-3 marathons(four including the snowshoe race)
-2 ultra-marathons(1 if you exclude the DNF at VT100)
-9 Triathlons
-13 5k's
-1 Winter Triathlon
-And a smattering of various distances in between.

I also established PR's in the mile(5:09), 5k(17:39), 5 miles(30:10), 1/2 marathon(1:25:47), 20 miler(2:18:25), marathon(3:01:47) and 50 miler(8:22).

Beyond racing, Amber and I hiked 11 4,000 footers this year, I was able to run the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway, we biked the Kanc, and went to Disney for Am's Birthday. All of these activities warrant a pretty decent year in and of themselves, but we also got married-which with our powers combined....

This will only be the start of many best years ever together!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


It all started with a friendly bet which ended up getting a few laughs and has ended in a stalemate.

The bet: Who ever crossed the line first at the Manchester Marathon would get to keep their last name. And to make it even more exciting we were fresh off racing the Baystate Marathon 2 weeks prior. The Baystate Marathon is a story in itself as it was a tortuously cold day. Danny started out conservatively and ended up catching me at mile 16 and we ran, hobbled, crawled the rest of the way in. Fun times. However, there was much more at stake at Manchester. It was time to put on my game face and keep the Cullen name alive!

Before the gun went off we sized each other up at the starting line. Game On. Grrr.

Well, Manchester ended up being a mirror opposite of baystate as I caught Dan at mile 18 and we ran together until we could here the announcer, Andy Schachat, say: Here comes Amber CULLEN and her husband : Dan CULLEN! Oops.

We ended up crossing the line together again at Manchester. But we all heard Andy Loud and Clear. :)