Wednesday, May 25, 2011

10 kilometers : 6,000 dollars : 1,440 miles

The past week was all about charity events.  Time to give back.

First up was the Tricities 10k which is a benefit race for our local charter school that is just finishing up its first year in existence.  My wife teaches art at the school, my son will be entering kindergarden there next year, and our community desperately needs a quality school.  So of course I signed up and ran and even volunteered the night before to set out the course signs.  I defended my win and course record (at the inaugural event..ha ha!) with another win in 38:19.  Not shabby considering my lack of any real running over the previous week.  The 10k was a good event for a good cause.  We finished off the day with my sons t-ball game, a low country boil/party in the back yard with friends, and the Fleet Foxes show at the Tabernacle....phewww!

On to last week which was a much larger effort but also for charity.  A few months ago we put together a bike gang to ride to Athens, GA and back for MS, a disease near and dear to my family.   Nine sturdy riders made up Team Allison.   We ended up raising over $6,000 (truly amazing) and by Saturday morning there was nothing left to do but jump on the saddle and start peddling.  We rode 100 miles to Athens and 80 miles back on Sunday.  All told, our gang put in over 1,440 miles for the weekend.

The ride started nice and easy with Allicat and Kickstand.  We rolled through the streets of ATL with a motorcade and intersections held for us bringing impossible dreams where bikes someday rule the streets.  Once we got to the 80/100 mile option split I picked up the rest of the crew and the hammer started to drop....slightly.  We picked up the pace on the rolling roads towards Athens.  Riding in line with the tandem was pretty fun since it was like hooking up to a tractor trailer on the descents with all of its momentum.  Wayne and Jennifer powered through the ups though and hung in nicely.  We finally arrived in Athens to a crowd of supporters consisting of friends and family, had a few beers, dinner at the GRIT, a night cap at the Globe, and were back in bed to get ready for Sunday's ride back home.

Early Sunday, Dan got up early a solo unsupported ride back to catch an afternoon flight for Germany....pretty impressive.  The rest of us, however, slogged through the heat and welcomed the pampering at every rest stop.  By the end, temperatures registered 93 degrees.  Pretty much beat, we all went our separate ways once we got back.  As an endurance endeavor, it was a good multi-day event to see how the body would react.  Everything held up well and there seemed to be juice left in the tank, however the bike induced chaffing and soreness was rough.  

Our bike gang, Team Allison....

Dan "Solo" Raudebaugh ready for the task at hand

Carrie "Kickstand" Zook making it look easy


Paul "Cipolinni" Lawler

Allison "MS Destroyer" Hanlin

Ed "Legs" Frey

Marlin "Hydrate & Lubricate" Hicks

Wayne "Captain" Whitesides and Jennifer "Stoker" Fine all over the nice CoMotion Tandem

In the end it was lots of hot miles and lots of money for MS.   I was proud of our team and especially proud of my wife, who suffers from MS and dominated the bike ride on Saturday!   Finally I can't thank all of our donors and supporters enough....check 'em out here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


My goals over the next month are all over the place and pretty conflicted. 

First, I need to recover after a couple of months of racing.  This time of year usually concludes a "season" for me since I like to plan races for the cold months.  I'm a believer in a couple of weeks of rest a couple of times a year.  It certainly helps recharge the batteries and lets the body heal up.  Alberto Salazar and Ryan Hall have recently both been in my ear about this (well, through the great Competitor Radio podcasts).  Congrats to Ryan for running an insane 2:04:58 at Boston, by the way. They have both talked about how important rest is and how few athletes do it.  But that is because it really is so hard to do once running becomes habit and fun.  So I'm trying to take it easy for a few weeks.

Second, I need to make sure I'm in shape enough to do the Atlanta to Athens MS Ride.  I'll be doing this 180 mile ride over two days for Team Allison.  My wife, Allison, was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago so we've put together a killer team (including Allison) to ride to Athens and back.  It's gonna be a long couple of days in the saddle but we've already raised $5,000 for MS!  So I've been riding a bit to get ready for that which is good to mix it up.    

Third, I'm still pretty motivated to run and race.  One of the best parts about ultrarunning is looking through the list of races.  It's kinda like looking through the catalogs before Christmas to put together your wish list.  Well my wishlist is pretty long at the moment.  I want to do some 50k and 50 mile races while also doing some low key adventures.  Trying to string those together is no easy task.  The Chattanooga stage race or the Speedgoat 50k are early season potentials at this point if I can get in shape enough. 

Speaking of being motivated, I cheated my rest period and ran in Tacoma, WA, last week at Point Defiance park.  This is one of the best road runs in the US in my opinion.  It's absolutely beautiful in so many ways...from the Pueget Sound views to the flora with it's ancient trees and massive ferns to the wildlife.  The distinct pacific northwest forest smell hits you immediately.  This five mile loop has nice easy climbs and soft shoulders.  They also have nice trails to run although short.  If you're in the area check it out. 

Lastly, I have a nagging knee injury that I need to let heal.  This one is lingering from a fall onto a rock in one of the last Conasauga River crossings that we did while backpacking a few weeks ago.  Carrying a forty pound pack, a tired little girl, and a boxer freaked out over the swift river turned out to be too much and brought me down on the last ford.  Hopefully this will get better soon.

So the past couple of weeks have been a mixed bag as far a recovery is concerned but looking forward to the MS Ride and beyond.