"Ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team."
-Ian Adamson

Monday, December 6, 2010

Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5K

I stressed for weeks about the Turkey Trot. Weeks. Would I be fast enough to beat 23 minutes, would it be more like 24? Then I went out and surprised even myself. So with the Christmas Classic ten days later I thought to myself, self, you can go out there and do it in under 22 minutes, end the year with 21:5something.

That week: no speed work, no long run, no Fartlek, no hill repeats. How I thought I was going to go out and shave another 30 seconds off my 5k time I'm not really sure but I think it had something to do with everyone claiming this course was far easier than the Turkey Trot.

So race day I barely warmed up, ate nothing and still thought I had a chance at under 22 minutes. Then the horn and I took off, I mean took off. I realize a minute in I'm running with the elites of Lynchburg, I mean the fast girls and the fast boys. A quick look at my Garmin told me I was running 5:30 pace. 5:30! I freaked. I was running far too fast. I was supposed to be pacing at 7 even at least the first two and a half miles. So I tried to slow down but then there were other girls passing me, and that is so difficult for me. I ran that first mile in about 6:40 which isn't super fast but is really faster than I should have been going that early on with The Hill ahead.

Then of course there is The Hill. You know the one where they give the first male and female to the top $50 because that kind of hill needs that kind of reward. I held strong for that hill, which is about 1.5 miles in, but by the end of it I was wondering how I was going to keep going.

At 1.87 miles I was bonking. I have never wanted to quit a 5k like that, and I mean I have had some bad races but have never felt so much like quitting than I did at that moment (and I mean last year I ran that race in freezing rain and ice!). With a half mile to go I was running about 8:40 and berating myself every step of the way. About this time a cute blond that looked about my age passed me in much better running gear and I wanted to stomp her out. That is mean. I know. But I was angry and tired and wanting so badly to quit. With only a parking lot left to the finish line I pulled out my sprint enough to pull ahead of her by four seconds, only to find out afterwards that she was not in fact in my age group. Oh well.

So I didn't do so well. But the worse part is the emotional turmoil I put myself through on the course. I didn't set a PR but my time wasn't to be ashamed of. I need a course in self confidence and relaxation.

However, I did find another 5k this upcoming Saturday and have been wondering, do I have the sub 22 5k in me for 2010?

I know this much, negative 8 wind chill factor or not, I'm going to the track tomorrow night.



3rd in age (25-29)
10th female finisher
66th out of 345 finishers

November Training Summary

*I lost the piece of paper with everyone's monthly totals on it that I'd calculated. So until I find it, here are my totals because I can remember them (or get help from Runner's World).



105.4 (month) 758 (year)



11.5 (month) 450.5 (year)

This was (by less than a mile I will admit) the biggest month for me of the entire year thus far. I attribute that to a knee that if feeling really good (thank you, thank you, thank you), some wonderful friends who have been meeting me at 6 a.m. to run and a fantastic husband who has been seeing to it that I keep my mileage up even though he can't. I am hoping, despite blistery cold weather, to see 110 miles for December.

I have been thinking pretty seriously about running my first Ultra next year, and in February no less. To be serious about that run I need to be serious about my mileage. A 50k is not going to be something I can accomplish without serious training and focus.

Genesis House Turkey Trot

I stressed about this race. Really. Last year I ran it and was really unhappy with my time. This year I really wanted to prove something to myself about the last year and really own this race. I ended up running it twice ahead of time. The previous Saturday morning I went out with a group and ran it, once the right way and then we turned around and ran it backwards. Still not satisfied I convinced a friend to run it with me again on Tuesday. I was so nervous, it was completely like me.

I ran it, head to head, with the same friend who ran it with me on Tuesday. We were tied for the entire event, pushing each other the whole way. It was an awesome race. Especially because in the last .1 I pulled ahead by 7 seconds and beat my friend. Also, it was almost a PR for me. Last year I ran it in 27:50, this year, 22:26. Over 5 minutes faster. That's why I was so shocked when I came in 3rd in my age division. Last year I would have taken 1st if I'd run it in 25 flat. The Lynchburg competition is growing.

Todd didn't run the Turkey Trot this year, his knee is giving him a little trouble so he's drastically cutting back until the New Year.


22:26 7:14 pace
3rd in age out of 74
87th overall out of 1057 finishers

Valley View 5 Miler

This was another race that I had a time goal (45 minutes) that I didn't meet but ended up exceeding my expectations for placing. This was a tough course as it had a one mile uphill finish.


1st in age division (30-39)


3rd Overall Female

This was my second time coming in 3rd Overall for Females in this race series. Next year I would like to run the series again and see if I can place Overall each time. However, I also want to run the Deep Hollow Half next year instead of the 5k so we'll just have to see.

Apple Valley 5k

This was the first 5k I got the chance of running for a second time. I was really hoping to shave 7 minutes off of my 2009 time but I don't think I did. I have been waiting to post the results to get official race times but neither Riverside Runners or Gross' Orchard have ever posted final results. However, we do know how we placed in the race, so without further ado:

2nd in 30-39

1st in 19-29

I think I finished about 4o seconds behind Todd but only four people finished between us. We recieved homemade ornaments for awards that are currently on our Christmas Tree.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October Training Summary


965 miles (year) 87 miles (month)

496.5 miles (year) 130 miles (month)


652.5 miles (year) 71 miles (month)

439 miles (year) 84.5 miles (month)


497 miles (year) 26 miles (month)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Into The Darkness 4 Mile Night Trail Run

This race has been on our schedule all year. I was on the fence about it because of the time, 7 p.m. on a late October Saturday evening. I was, how shall we put it, terrified of falling on the trails in the dark and getting badly hurt. But loving Mountain Junkies I signed up despite my fears of people jumping out at me on the trail for a good scare and the thought of running in the dark.

We bought cheap headlamps at Target and I went equipped with a flashlight. We drove to Explore Park, almost to Roanoke, off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I wore my spiderweb shirt Todd made me from a black tee and glow paint. We made it in time to get our packets, don our headlamps and hear the race briefing. We started in the back of the pack and Todd and I ran along together for the first almost half mile before we went up a hill. Having run a 5k that morning (I am woman) I had told myself this would be a good, fun recovery run. I told myself that 40 minutes would suffice and I might still place. I almost always place at trail runs. So I walked that big hill and let the space between Todd and I grow. And I didn't pass people everytime I had the chance. I took it easy, tried to have fun with it. But no one jumped out at me and the trails were incredibly well groomed. So I picked up the pace a bit. I felt good and my headlamp gave me more than adequate light to tackle the course. It was certainly easier when I had runners directly ahead or behind me, but all the same even when I was out there all by myself I had plenty of light and was running too fast to scare myself with all that darkness (in truth, there was a full moon on Friday night).

At mile 3 I was far ahead of my 40 minute time goal so I decided to pick up the pace even further and really sped up, I was feeling great and loving the course. I am so thankful to Mountain Junkies for this race. Had I not done this race I would never have thought of trail running at night during the fall and winter. Now I know I can and have a wonderful time.

I got back to the road and the last .1 mile of the race and didn't pick up my pace. It was dark and I just didn't feel like running even faster. Boy do I wish I did. I noticed the clock and tried to get in under 35 minutes. I didn't. I finished in just over 35 minutes. That didn't bother me, what did? Not placing. I was ONE SECOND behind the girl who placed second in my age division. Had I not walked that first hill, had I not been so terrified of the dark, had I not been a baby about passing on the course, had I just picked up the pace those last few steps I would have placed. But alas, I got cocky. I took my ability for granted and played it way too cool and easy. Lesson learned, I promise. Because I could have run faster. I didn't need to walk. It's almost as though I forgot it was a race and not just a fun run. I'm not upset that I didn't place (Ok, maybe a little), I'm upset that I didn't give it my all.

Next year I plan on having completely overcome my fear of the dark and going back to really conquer that race.

Todd enjoyed himself too and ran very well.

Our results are below and here:


7:39 pace
24th out of 409 runners
2nd in age out of 28 runners


8:33 pace
61st out of 409 runners
4th in age out of 39 runners

*I was the 10th woman to finish the race, I only counted because of the women only event I'd been in that morning.

I am Woman 5k

This is Lynchburg's only all woman event. And despite the fact it may seem sexist, I love the idea of running with just other women. For one, I can feel truly at the front of the pack. And that was my goal at this race, to place in my age division. I looked at the past years results and was confident of my ability to place among the 100-150 runners who've run it in the past. Then I found out that this year's registration was record breaking, over 500 women had signed up to run or walk the race. I started biting my nails.

Ok, truth be told, I was already a nail biter. And, truth be told, I didn't think that the larger turn out would effect my ability to place. So we went out and ran the course three times last week. Once with strollers in 28 minutes. Once for a tempo run in 23 minutes and another time with friends to find out what we'd been running the first two times was not the entire course. I was nervous. I started chewing off the skin around my fingers having long since run out of nails.

I really wish I were kidding. I wanted to do well in this race. I wanted to come in under 23 minutes and take my age division. I wanted to prove something to someone even if I don't know whom or why.

Race morning I felt sick to my stomach and tried to think about the afternoon. Then we got to the race and I saw the start line, 200 feet long in a grassy field closing into a 10 foot path for 3 miles. I knew I had to get out there and get in the front or lose time passing people. So when the race started, I took off.

And I mean took off. I was out in front. Front. Leading 500 women. It was nothing at all like it sounds. It was terrifying. I just wanted someone to pass me. I just wanted no one to pass me. I didn't know how far behind me anyone was and I didn't know if I could pull off the pace for three whole miles. But I was out there, leading the race. Scariest moment in a race and yet maybe the most rewarding all at the same time. I'm still going over it in my mind.

I held first until a quarter of a mile. I can't tell if that hurt me or not, but I know that I held my pace around 7:11-7:18 for all most if not the entire race according to my Garmin. That's great for me and yet I'm beginning to wonder, can I hold 7? Under?

The girl behind me in the picture, she won the race in 20:20. That's just awesome, and a 6:33 pace. I'm definitely not there. But hopefully someday. At one mile I was tied for fourth place and trying to hold on as best I could but really beginning to suffer from the pace I was trying to hold. At the halfway point and mile 2 I was seventh but fighting to hold it. At mile 3 I had fallen to 8th and really fighting some negativity. However, with a backwards glance (which I NEVER do) I saw no one behind me for some hundred yards or more which made me feel a little better and my pace slipped to 7:38 for the next tenth of a mile. I don't know if somewhere deep inside me there was the ability to run any faster but it was closer enough to the surface to access it.

There in the last hundred yards I was still close enough to fight for 7th, so I let loose my sprint and gave it all I had to reclaim the 7th position and finish in 22:23, a 5k PR by almost a minute and a half.

I felt good about my time but starting in the front and being passed is far harder than starting in the back or middle of the pack and passing others. I HATE to be passed in a race and that was incredibly difficult for me to have an entire race where I basically passed no one. Even if it was only six other people it was still frustrating for my personality.

And then there were 10 year age groups instead of the customary five. And even with 22:23 I didn't take my age group. I mean I placed, I came in second in the 20-29 age division and even got my first trophy, but with a time like that I was hoping to do better.

I'm hard to please is all.

Official results below and here:

7:14 average pace
7th overall out of 459 finishers
2nd in age (20-29)

Preliminary 2011 Race Schedule

Looking ahead as we often do, I am compiling a wishlist for 2011. There are several series I would like to run in their entirity but a few have overlapping dates or are on days with bigger more promising races to run. However, I plan on running Mountain Junkies R Nuts Series in its entirity because they make me love trails and they put on my favorite races. I love everything they stand for and how they love it as much as the runners. I wish that their races weren't based out of Salem but I will travel to do their races because they're just that good. And of course for another piece of Pumpkin Bread. I would also like to run the Liberty Mountain Trail Series and the Lynchburg Road Runners Series but there are so many races and a few overlap, so as I get closer to them I will decided where my loyalties truly lay.

Also, on the schedule are an ultra (a 50k++ in February) and my first full marathon. I don't know how lofty these goals are but a year ago I would never have thought I could run a half marathon and I ran two this year with pretty good times, so if I at all can, I will.

Here in chronological order is the pain and suffering I would like to subject myself next year, and hopefully place in my age group at least 50% of the time:

1/8/11 Frozen Toe 10k (MJ R NUTS Series)*

2/12/11 Holiday Lake 50k++ (Beast Ultra Series)*

2/19/11 Candlers Mtn 5k (Liberty Mtn Trail Series)

3/5/11 Explore Your Limits 5k&10k (MJ R NUTS Series)

3/12/11 Shamrock Hill 5k Roanoke (PR goal 23 minutes)

3/19/11 Montvale 5&10 milers (MJ R NUTS Series)*

3/20/11 Shamrock Half Marathon VA Beach*

3/26/11 Terrapin Mtn 50K & Half (Beast Series)*

4/2/11 Ukrops Monument Ave 10k (PR goal 50 minutes)

4/9/11 Mill Mtn Mayhem 10k (MJ R NUTS Series)*

4/16/11 Godparent Home 5k*

5/1/11 Flying Pig Marathon Cincinnati*

5/1/11 Bald Mtn 10k (Liberty Mtn Trail Series) *Depends on marathon

5/7/11 Trail Nut 10k & Half (MJ R NUTS Series) (PR goal under 1 hour)

6/5/11 Mountain Junkies Trail Run (MJ R NUTS Series) this is to be a surprise*

6/18/11 Presbyterian Homes 5k (LRRS) (PR goal 23:30)

7/2/11 Academy Mile (Lynchburg Road Runners Series)*

7/16/11 Percival's Isle 5 Miler (LRRS)

7/23/11 Odyssey AR

8/13/11 Lynchburg Half Marathon (LRRS)

8/20/11 Fab 5k Roanoke*

9/4/11 VA Beach Half Marathon (PR 1:47:00)

9/10/11 Downtown Fall Frenzy (LRRS)

9/17/11 Odyssey Trail Running Rampage Marathon*

9/24/11 VA 10 miler (PR 82:00)

10/8/11 Deep Hollow Half Marathon (Liberty MTN Trail Series)

10/15/11 Odyssey AR Fall Sprint

10/22/11 I Am Woman 5k

10/22/11 Into the Darkness Night Trail Run

11/5/11 Apple Valley 5k

11/12/11 Valley View 5 Miler (Liberty Mtn Trail Series)

11/24/11 Turkey Trot 5k

12/3/11 Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k

*Denotes a new race or one that I've not run.

Some of the PR's I've set are at races I feel I could really improve upon my time. I may edit and add these as I get closer to match my training and ability.

I'm getting really excited about the New Year.


Deep Hollow Half Marathon and 5k

OK, so I realize it's been 10 days since the Odyssey Fall Finale Sprint and you've still no idea how we did. But it's been even longer since our half marathon trail run and 5k at Camp Hydaway and still no race recap. So going in order, here is how we did at that race.

I (Alexis) decided (was extremely encouraged by my husband) to not run the half marathon. My IT bands have been bothering me since the Rock 'N Roll half marathon at VA Beach in September (or before that?) and it was decided that the trail half could set me back in my training. Todd on the other hand ran the half marathon just a few short weeks after his ultra marathon (did we ever post a race recap for that?) and did well.

I ran the 5k as hard as I've ever ran a trail 5k and I believe my time shows that. What my time doesn't show but the results do if you take a closer look is that I literally chased a 9 year old girl (running her first ever 5k) down a mountain always in sight or her but never able to catch her. Ahead of her (female wise) a 12 year old. I'm feeling old. It was the first time I've ever placed in the overall category for a race though and was feeling pretty good about it.

Results below and here:

Todd (Half marathon)


19th out of 113 total

5th in age division out of 9

Alexis (5k)


14th out of 91 total

3rd overall female

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Training Summary


Todd 137.5 (month) 878 (year)

Alexis 65 (month) 581.5 (year)

Erin 38 (month) 471 (year)


Todd 36 (month) 366.5 (year)

Alexis 39 (month) 354.5 (year)

This month was not a 100+ month for me (Alexis). Even though it included three races including a half marathon and a 10 miler, I had a great deal of pain in my knee that had me barely running the two weeks up to the 10 miler or much since. I am looking back over the year and analyzing my training summaries and knee problems. I am aiming to get my knee pain free and be faster than ever by the end of the year. That will include even more training but possibly less overall running. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

37th Virginia Ten Miler

This past Saturday Todd, Erin and I all ran the Genworth Virginia Ten Miler in Lynchburg. The Ten Miler is Lynchburg's biggest race and has grown in the past few years, the race saw over 2700 participants between it's three races; the Amazing Mile (an all children event held downtown the evening before) the 4 miler (which boasted a "walking" section this year) and the 10 miler. Saturday morning's start was a cool one that turned warm before any of us crossed the finish line (except for Benson Cherulyst who crossed the finish line in 49:23). It was Todd's second 10 miler (he ran a 1:36:07 last year when he ran his first ever road race). It was my first 10 miler (I ran the 4 miler portion last year in 45:45, also my first ever road race). It was Erin's first 10 miler as well, she wasn't even running last year when the 10 miler event occurred.

Result are posted here and below:


1:18:39 (an 18 minute improvement from last year!) 7:51 pace

177 out of 1080 overall

16th out of 87 in age division


1:24:54 (8:29 pace)

337 overall

14th in age division


1:49:05 (10:55 pace)

923 overall

58th in age division

This race was actually my "anniversary" race. I ran my first mile since high school last year during the first mile of the 4 miler section. I quickly turned to walking with some occasional jogging after that first mile but it was that event that started it all for me. Ever since the 4 miler last year I have been immersed in running, training and racing. I have seen huge improvements over the past twelve months (from that 11:11 pace at last years 4 miler I have seen race paces as good as 7:39). Because of the meaning this race has for me I really wanted to run it and run it well. That is why I joined a 10 miler training group at the end of July and that it why, when three weeks ago, my knee started to hurt that I was stricken with fear and worry. The knee pain got so bad that I have only run a handful of short runs in the two weeks leading up to the 10 miler. The few days before I was unsure whether I would be running at all.

But I'm strong (read that 'stubborn') and I showed up on race day, downed 4 ibuprofen and joined the ranks crammed in elbow to elbow at the start line. The first mile was fine, it is mostly downhill (the race is the 10 miles off continuos uphill and downhill) and I kept a steady if not fast pace. Then at 1.16 the knee started up, then at 1.5 the other knee started to complain. By two miles both knees were hurting and I was seriously contemplating walking. I was crying in my head and thinking only about my knees. Finally, I told myself to change to positive thoughts or drop out of the race. I knew that negative talk, even if only to myself, was going to make the next 8 miles even more difficult than my knees were already making it. I tried to speed up but the knees and the friction caused by my IT bands were making it rather impossible. Feeling like my training may have all been in vain I pushed on. I told myself if I got to the five mile mark in 40 minutes I could walk. I didn't. It was 41:33. I continued to run through the park and decided to look for my sister, once I found her coming in the other direction I would allow myself a walk. I passed her coming into my sixth mile. I decided to keep pushing a little further and thus started counting runners running the opposite direction (the 10 miler is a loop and these people were behind me as I ran back to the start/finish line). At reaching 7 miles at 1 hour I told myself to keep running. Having already beaten my knees up for an hour I figured another half hour of running couldn't do that much more harm. At 7.5 miles I had an especially bad bout with my right knee that had me wincing in pain and doing a funny shuffle run. I again contemplated walking, but fought through again. Up ahead, at 8 miles, was the famous "Farm Basket Hill" 1.5 miles of all uphill taking you into the home stretch. Having run that hill at least half a dozen times in training I wanted to show off my ability on the hill, make my training count for something. I braced myself and headed uphill into the direct sunlight and towards my reward, the finish line. I did the hill well, but not great. I did pass a few people coming up the hill but try as I might I couldn't break 8 minutes on the hill. It was as bumming as my knee pain was. Finally, after what felt like far more than 10 miles, I saw the finish banner and line up ahead. Unlike the VA Beach Half I was able to kick it up, having grown used to running on my painful knees, I sprinted in like I am accustom to, and heard the announcers recognize my effort to cross which made the moment, if only a little bit, all the more rewarding.

I finished the 10 miler running. I didn't meet my goals of sub 80 or even of a 82. But I ran on knees that begged nothing more than me to walk making this by far my hardest race ever. From this point I am focusing on recovery. I start back running today with a 2 mile run and will work up from there, but this time I am going to listen to my knees. They were so angry they made it tough to walk around for most of the weekend.

Odyssey Trail Running Rampage

Two weeks ago Todd ran his first ultra, a 40 mile race in Douthat State Park. His knee ended up costing him some time during the second half, but I think overall it was a learning experience that he is glad he had.


12th overall in event

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall Frenzy 5k


21:41 / 7:00 pace
13th out of 94
1st in age division


23:48 / 7:41 pace
24th out of 94
1st in age division

Todd and I both set 5k PR's at this race which wasn't particularly flat or easy so that made it even more sweet that we took 1st in our age division.

Virginia Beach Half Marathon

A few weeks ago Todd and Alexis ran the Va Beach Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon at Va Beach. With 15000 other runners it was a big run. It wasn't quite the 'party' I had anticipated as you ran by the bands and cheer squads pretty quickly and I was rather unhappy with the concrete boardwalk finish as it seemed to aggravate my IT band so badly that I just haven't been able to overcome it since (and am growing more depressed with each passing day I can't run) but other than that it was a good race. I think Todd was rather pleased with his finish and came away injury free.


1:43:10 finish time
7:55 pace
1073 out of 14767 finishers
139 in age division (total 990 in division)
871 out of 6387 in gender


1:48:10 finish time (4:02 over Lynchburg Half)
8:16 pace
1577 out of 14767 finishers
92 in age division out of 1738 in age division
351 out of 8380 in gender

I also ran a 1:22:25 10 miler but it was a pretty flat course.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Training Summary


Todd 131.5 (month) 740.5 (year)

Alexis 100.5 (month) 516.5 (year)

Erin 77 (month) 433 (year)


Todd 37.5 (month) 330.5 (year)

I was pleased with my second 100+ running month this year even though I am starting to have more pain in my knee and may need to back off a bit. Todd was the only team member to log any miles on the bike this month, go Todd! Erin had her biggest running month of the year by more than 25 miles this month. Thats an increase of 50%, go Erin!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lynchburg Half Marathon

A little over two weeks ago I ran my first half marathon. I was shooting for 2:10:00 so I was rather thrilled with myself when I came in 18 minutes faster than that. It was also Erin's first half marathon and Todd's first street half marathon.

Results are posted below and here:

Todd Thomas

8:05 pace
3rd in age division
66th out of 283

Alexis Thomas

8:34 pace
5th in age division
108 th out of 283

Erin Colbert

11:20 pace
19th in age division
254th out 0f 283

Friday, August 6, 2010

ZeroGoo Fuel Injectors!

ZeroGoo is one of Madness Adventure Racing's newer sponsors, and I hadn't had a chance to try this thing out before our July 24, Sprint Race.

So, I went against common wisdom - "Don't race with something you haven't trained with" - and I installed this fuel injector system the day before the race. Let me just say that part of the reason I had hesitated installing it on my pack in the first place is that I wasn't sure how easy it would be. Well, that was before I opened it up and looked at it. The ZeroGoo fuel injector could only be easier to install if it came with a robot who installed it for you. In fifteen minutes I was ready to go, and it only took that long because it was the day before the race and I was being extra careful to do everything right.

The Fuel Injector itself is a very simple device. It installs quickly. It works easily. And it doesn't get in your way. I love it.

ZeroGoo also sent us a shipment of Human Fuel energy to be used with these fuel injectors (as well as some empty fuel bottles that we can fill with our own fuels (gels or whatever). The Human Fuel worked great, and didn't taste all that bad either. The way the injector works is that you flip a valve and get the fuel of your choice (Human Fuel) mixed straight into your water line. You get a good shot of fuel, then you turn the valve back off and chase it down with another gulp of water.

This process make it possible to race all day, getting electrolytes and energy with your water, and you don't have to mix anything in your Camelbak bladder that is going to lead to a funky bag when you forget to clean it out until the following weekend. Genius!

I ran the whole race and didn't even use one whole bottle of Human Fuel, and I felt that my fueling needs were met. As with all good energy fuels I couldn't really tell a difference in my performance after taking it, and that's the whole point for me. No Difference equals no drop in performance.

I would highly recommend everyone on my team installing a ZeroGoo fuel injector on their packs, and fueling with Human Fuel for all of our endurance length races.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Members

(left to right: Dennis Morton, Alexis Thomas, Gerald Cox)

East Coast Madness would like to officially welcome new Madness members Dennis Morton and Gerald Cox to the team. These madmen participated in East Coast Madness' inaugural adventure race and now can't get enough. We look forward to racing with these guys in the future.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Training Summary


Todd 151 miles (month) 609 (year)

Alexis 105 miles (month) 416 (year)

Erin 356 (year)


Todd 30.5 mile (month) 293 (year)

Alexis 5.5 miles (month) 315.5 (year)

I am psyched as this was my first month ever logging over 100 miles running. I hope I can keep it up as we train for more half marathons, 10 milers, adventure races and ultras coming up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Odyssey Sprint Race - July 24, 2010

East Coast Madness entered two teams in the Odyssey Sprint Adventure Race at Wilderness Adventure Park in NewCastle Virginia on July 24. This was the inaugural Adventure Race for East Coast Madness, and we had been eagerly anticipating this one for months.

Odyssey Adventure Racing put on a great, well-organized race, and the staff of Wilderness Adventure along with the Odyssey volunteers were awesome, even with the temperature in the 100's and the humidity at about 700%.

We ran two three person co-ed teams: Madness One - Todd, Tyler, and Jordan, and Madness Too - Alexis, Gerald, and Dennis. The course and the weather were both demanding, but East Coast Madness was able to capture 3rd and 4th in their division.

Due in part to the heat, and in part to conditioning issues we started the race at a slower pace than we had anticipated. Both teams decided to stay together for the duration of this first race, so the trekking/orienteering course took longer than we had hoped. A leg cramp on the way to the boat transition also slowed us down a bit.

When we finally got our boats in the water we realized quickly that we had made a logistical error in assuming that all three team members from each team would be able to traverse the water course in the same canoe. So deep riding canoes coupled with extremely shallow waters meant a lot of pulling and pushing of the boats through the three inches of water trickling through the nearly two miles of river we had to cover.

By the time we finished the boat course, the six hour time cut off was almost at hand, and both teams and our gear were soaking wet, so we were forced to pack it up early without even getting a shot at the bike section of the race.

With this first race under our belts we are now counting down to the next race in October.

Madness Racing wants to thank it's Sponsors: Alexander Building Company, Gold Medal Gardening, Gargoyle Performance Eyewear, Nuun Nutritional Supplements, ZeroGoo, Skyline Signs, Hi-Tec Footwear, ATAC, Polar Bottles and Hydropak for keeping us well outfitted and fueled for both training and racing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Percival's Isle 5 Miler

This morning was the Percival's Isle 5 miler at Percival's Isle in downtown Lynchburg. It was a hot and muggy morning but it was rumored to be the flattest and fastest course you can run in all of Lynchburg, so despite the heat Todd, Erin and I signed up.

We did pretty well for the heat, results are posted below as well as here:


53rd out of 225 overall



69th out of 225



131st out of 225


Sunday, July 4, 2010

June Training Summary


Alexis 52.5 miles (month) 311 miles (year)
Todd 72 miles (month) 458 miles (year)

Alexis 15 miles (month) 310 miles (year)
Todd 38.5 miles (month) 262.5 miles (year)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Presbyterian Homes 5k

One hot day + one tough course = no new pr's.

Race results below and found here.




4th in age division




4th in age division




4th in age division

Tried and tied.

Yesterday, I was gunning for a PR. Having DNS'ed for Liberty's Godparent Home 5k in April, I had not raced a 5k course since early March. I was ready to attempt my sub 25 goal set by myself in January. Then I spoke with a few people who had previously ran the Pres Home Course, all of them said the same thing: it's one tough course. I readjusted my goals, as Runner's World would have suggested, and set out to run an 8:37 pace (why? Because it's 45 seconds faster than my half marathon race pace I am supposedly training for). I figured out my splits and tried not to let the pre-race jitters effect me too badly.

And then all of us Madness members were running late, like thanking our lucky stars we picked up our packets early running late. So there was no time for proper stretching and there was no time for a warm up run or even a sprint. The only warm up sprint was the dash to be at the starting line by 8 am. But we did all get there within 15 seconds of the bullhorn.

The first mile was tough. I tried to let the stress of running late fully leave me and focus on the race. When I realized I had run an 8:09 mile, when my first mile tends to be my slowest, I decided, what the heck, let's shoot for PR. I picked up the pace and finished mile 2 at 15:55. I was picking up time and picking off other runners. I was feeling good. Mile 3, 22:58. At that point I thought I had it, a new PR. I was beginning to think that those people I'd been discussing the race with had confused this race with another. And then the .1, it was all up hill and in the sun. I started losing ground until someone shouted 'pump your arms'. I tried to heed their advice and then the girl I had paced in mile 3 started to shoot past me. Anyone who knows me, knows I have one tough competitive streak. With all I had I pumped it with all I could, finish line in sight, and took her by one second. I had a rush of nausea hit me in the shute and I could barely raise my arms. My time; 25:02. I thought I might have placed in my age division, I thought I had made my new PR goal. Then reality set in and I realized I didn't and I didn't.

It was one competitive race out there on Saturday, the three Madness team members who ran all came in 4th in their age division. My previous 5k PR? 25:02. That's right, I tied my previous PR. Tied it? I didn't even know that was possible. Now I am concerned, have I plateaued? Is there room for improvement on my time? Will I see the sub 25 this year? Then I think about that last 200 meters of that race all being up hill and I know I have the sub 25 in me, this year. Especially since our next 5k isn't until August. I have two months of training to shave off those 2 seconds.

And of course a new running mantra, "I think I can, I think I can,..."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the type of running you need to do, chances are you'll be able to find meaning in that other absurd pastime - LIFE."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trail Nut 10k and Half Marathon

What an awesome race. What a hot and humid day. What a test of endurance, stamina and determination. Yesterdays Trail Nut races were perhaps my favorite run to date. A true test of ability along with scenic routes and an after party race gathering that was unbeatable. I think all three Madness members who participated were happy with their runs, especially Erin who shaved off over 10 minutes from her last trail 10k, go Erin!

Results are posted on the Mountain Junkies site here and below:

10k Race


25/81 overall
1st in age division


53/81 overall
5th in age division

Half Marathon


24/99 overall
4th in age division

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trail Nuts

Tomorrow is our third 10k, our second on trails, at a little known park in Bedford. Thankfully the knee is on the mend and I have seen a physical therapist who has armed me with stretches and workouts to strenthen my hips and quads (which are apparently very, very weak). They warned me that I will 'look like an idiot' doing the strectches but it should amount to less pain and more training so I'm game.

I did go on a six mile trail run on Wednesday to make sure I could tackle tomorrows distance and not only did I manage with little pain but I thoroughly enjoyed myself (with the exception of every rustle in the woods making me fear bears and snakes). I am pretty excited about tomorrows race, and the post race Pumpkin bread. I should be asleep but I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

*Correction: Todd is running the half marathon, not the 10k.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

May Training Summary


Todd 86 miles (month) 385.5miles (year)
Alexis 43.5 miles (month) 258.5 miles (year)
Erin 46 miles (month) 270 miles (year)
Tyler 39.5 miles (year)
Jordan 64 miles (year)


Todd 13 miles (month) 224 miles (year)
Alexis 43 miles (month) 295 miles (year)
Erin 5 miles (year)
Jordan 119 miles (year)
Tyler 104.5 miles (year)

My knee was injured for most of May and I kept off of it as much as I can and I know that between work and school we've all been pretty busy lately but now that we've registered for our first adventure race approximately six weeks away we need to truly step up our training if at all possible. Look for an email from me in the next week if you are on one of the two Madness Teams running the Adventure Race on July 24th as we need to plan at least two team training sessions between now and the big day.

Train hard, rest easy, as my brother-in-law would say.


Friday, May 21, 2010

New Shipment of Sponsorship Gear!!

A big thanks to Zerogoo for the shipment of hydration pack accessories. Madness East now has Camelbak bladder dryers and fuel injectors that should fit any hydration pack system, enough for the whole team. Scott also threw in a few more packs of Nuun and some stickers.

I personally plan on testing the fuel injectors out as soon as possible, look for my reviews later this month.

In other news, we are now registered as two 3 person co-ed teams for the upcoming Odyssey Adventure Race Sprint on July 24. Gerald Cox and Dennis Cox with be racing with us on Alexis' team, Madness Too, and Todd, Tyler, and Jordan will be racing together as Madness One.

I'm going to plan no fewer than two TEAM training sessions before the race in July, where we will Run/Trek some tough trails, bike through the woods for several miles, and go over some different gear requirements and fuel options for the race. Let me know as soon as possible if there are some weekends that are better for your schedules or some weekends that just won't work. We need to train as a team to race as a team.

So again, a big THANK YOU to ZEROGOO and to Scott 'Madness Man' Thomas for the shipment of gear!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Runner's Best Friend

Is definitely his SHOES.
the Mizuno Wave

Last fall I decided to start running again, after several years off, and I went out and got a pair of these Mizuno Waves. Flat out the best pair of shoes I have ever worn, without exception. I recently bought a new pair, because I simply wore the first pair out. In 7 months I put over 500 miles on this pair of shoes.

In the past I have always run/trained in either Nike or New Balance, but after running for over half a year in my Mizunos I realize the importance of getting the right shoe. Our friends at Riverside Runners here in Lynchburg do a great job of matching a runner with the right shoe.

So, if anyone from Mizuno is reading this, Madness would love to have you guys as one of our proud sponsors. Especially with me trying to up my training, I'm going to need at least three pairs of these babies a year. (Scott, see what you can do.)

The bottom line is this: if you're going to run you've got to take your feet seriously. Get to a good running store and get properly sized, fitted, and analyzed. These Mizuno Waves have been perfect for me, but everyone is different.

Polar Insulated Water Bottles

Polar was nice enough to give everyone on the Team one of these insulated water bottles. It holds 24 ounces, and keeps your water (or whatever you put in it) good and cold for several hours. I usually pack mine full of ice, so that by the time I need it it's still cold. I've actually had it keep water cold for almost two days before.

It is kind of big, and I don't usually carry it with me while I'm running or biking because of that. If I'm going for a long distance I prefer to use my Camlebak, but the Polar bottle is always with my gear at the end of a training session or a race.

Review by Todd

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bald Mountain 10k

This past Saturday the team ran it's second 10k. This 6.2 mile course, unlike the flat and easy course in Richmond this past March, was a trail race set on Liberty Mountain (or is it still Candler's Mountain, to be honest I don't really know anymore). To sum this race up in one word, arduous. Completion was my goal and at times I considered if that was even realistic. However, if not a PR sort of race this grueling course was good training for hills and trails.

Race Results:







I (Alexis) am very pleased, as well as very surprised, to announce that I took second place in my age division (20-29) for female's at Saturday's race. I will admit I really was 5th but the top three female runners took top three overall and I came in second by default. However, it's the nicest medal I've gotten to date and it made me feel good about this very fatiguing event.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April Training Summary


Todd 43 miles

Alexis 44 miles

Erin 52 miles


Todd 80 miles

Alexis 43.5 miles

Jordan 27 miles

Tyler 38 miles

Sunday, April 18, 2010

4th Annual Godparent Home 5K

This past Saturday, April 17, 2010, some of us ran in the Godparent Home 5K here in Lynchburg. The race was actually held on some of the trails that we regularly train on, so we were all well aware of what was in store for us. The first half of the race was all down hill, though the incline wasn't steep, we simply turned around and ran back up hill for the second half of the race.

On the night before the race, Alexis began to feel ill, and on race morning was unable to race. It has since been confirmed that she does have Strep Throat. So, Erin and Todd were the only two members of the team to run the race. Here are our results:

TODD - 21:57
1st in age group (men 35-39)
29th overall (out of 467 finishers)
7:05 pace

ERIN - 29:00
8th in age group (women 30-34)
176th overall (out of 467 finishers)
9:22 pace

Thursday, April 1, 2010

MARCH - Quarterly Training Summary

2010 is now officially 25% behind us. The race season is now in full swing. The weather is now much more suitable for Training. And we still have a busy year ahead of us.

This is what we've done so far:


Todd 130.5 miles(March) 256.5 miles(Year) 85.5 miles(Average) 47 miles(Team Average)

Alexis 92 miles(March) 171 miles(Year) 57 miles(Average) 47 miles(Team Average)

Erin 50 miles(March) 172 miles(Year) 57.5 miles(Average) 47 miles(Team Average)

Jordan 17 miles(March) 64 miles(Year) 21.5 miles(Average) 47 miles(Team Average)

Tyler 2 miles(March) 39.5 miles(Year) 13 miles(Average) 47 miles(Team Average)


Alexis 109.5 miles(March) 208.5 miles(Year) 69.5 miles(Average) 33.5 miles(Team Average)

Todd 36 miles(March) 131 miles(Year) 43.5 miles(Average) 33.5 miles(Team Average)

Jordan 26 miles(March) 92 miles(Year) 30.5 miles(Average) 33.5 miles(Team Average)

Tyler 10 miles(March) 66.5 miles(Year) 22 miles(Average) 33.5 miles(Team Average)

Erin 0 miles(March) 5 miles(Year) 1.5 miles(Average) 33.5 miles(Team Average)

Rowing - Tyler was the only team member to log rowing distance this month, bringing his yearly total up to 16 km.

That is where we are. I think that as a team of dedicated athletes we could get our monthly averages up a little. I know that we're not all training for the same goals, but we are all training for our own goals. We, as a team, have a lot of potential, and I think that we're going to have an amazing year racing.

(Also, I'm not sure if everyone is logging all of their training, as well as race distances to the training log. For simplicity I think that we should stick to the protocol of everyone logging their own distances, and not assuming that someone else will.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k

This past weekend the team ran, among 37,000 other participants, in the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k. It was the first 10k for each of us and I know at least a couple of us were anxious. However, it was a mostly flat and scenic course through downtown Richmond and I believe that all of us did a great job in what we set out to accomplish.

Bellow are the results as they were posted here.

4007 th to finish out of about 37,365 (exact number of finishers undetermined)
230 out of 3129 in age division
975 out of 18506 women

4013 to finish
3036 out of 18859 men

7581 to finish
2483 out of 18506 women

14408 to finish
6415 women to finish

As for a recap of the race? It was flatter than I had anticipated, which was nice. It seems that everything we run around here has hills that can be at least slightly debilitating. The old buildings, monuments and cheerleaders were of what advantage? To me, little. I focused on the cobble path or my husband's coaching words for the entire 6.2 miles. My Garmin was dead so I couldn't use it to calculate splits, I had to do the simple math in my head using a regular stopwatch. However, at four miles I knew 33:40 was way ahead of where I needed to be to finish in my goal time of 56 minutes. It was also 12 minutes faster than my first race last fall, the Virginia Four Miler. I almost stopped and danced a jig right there. And I probably would have, if my husband hadn't been running backwards shouting 'are you really that slow?'. I had to speed up just to keep him safe from a rather large athlete who looked like he was ready to pounce.

The only negative things I have to say about the race? I can't believe I'm going to say this, because it was also the thing that drew me in to begin with. There were almost too many runners. Not during the run, but beforehand. Imagine 37,000 people on any small section of downtown road in your neighborhood. It can be a little overwhelming. That and the post race 'party'. A little disappointing for such a large run. Security guards to make sure you only took one banana and bagel. Really? I just ran 6.2 miles. If I take another banana, and you try to chase me, I will outrun you. Sprinting tends to be a strong suite of mine. So there.

All in all, I will be registering for the 2011 Monument Avenue 10k. Ukrop's or no Ukrop's. Whether or not I do it in the 50 minutes my husband has allotted me, well that's another story.

Monday, March 22, 2010


On July 24 we're going to be running our first Adventure Race. A Sprint race put on by Odyssey in the mountains of Virginia. The race is going to be 20-25 miles in length (4-6 hours) and includes Mountain Biking, Trail Running/Hiking, Flat Water Paddling, and Orienteering.

Yesterday, Alexis and I decided to take advantage of a babysitting offer, and go out and get some hard-core training done. So we loaded up our bikes and gear and drove to the Blackwater Creek Trail system and did just that.

We started out with a little run. About a 60/40 mix of paved trails and forest paths. We ran a total of 11 miles, which qualifies as the longest run of the year for either of us. We maintained a 10 minute pace, finishing up in just under two hours.

Then we transitioned to bikes. We took about twenty minutes to switch gear and fuel up, which is something we need to plan better for. We didn't bring much in the way of food, and ended up eating stale peanut butter crackers that had been in my pack for almost a year.

We rode for 14 miles, only a little over two of which were off-road. We finished up the biking leg in about 75 minutes. In the future we're going to start adding more off-road mileage, especially as Alexis' confidence on a bike seems to be growing exponentially with every ride.

I know that it wasn't race conditions, there was no navigation or paddling required, but we still did 25 miles yesterday in 180 minutes (3 hours), well under the expected finishing time of the race coming up in July. So, training on target? I think so.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shamrock Hill 5K in Roanoke

This was a fun, festive, and fast race. A lot of people (including Alexis) came out ready to run wearing colorful St. Patric's Day clothing. Of the just over 400 registered runners, 367 runners finished the race. Complete race results are available here. We knew going into this race that it was going to be a mostly flat street race (with an uphill finish of course) so we were prepared to give it everything we had and try to get some baseline times to work from this year. Well, we ended up both setting new personal records, and both wishing that we could have just been 5 seconds faster.

Alexis placed 3rd in her age division, and 86 overall, coming in at 25:02 (8:04 pace).

Todd placed 6th in his age division, and 36 overall, coming in at 22:03 (7:06 pace).

It seems that Alexis is going to start placing in a lot of races, holding the rest of us to a higher standard. I have a time goal for 5Ks, and I'm still a few minutes off, so I know I've got my work cut out for me. On the agenda for spring time training is Hills, Hills, and more Hills.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Here are the official race results for the Explore Your Limits 5K Trail Run, put on by Mountain Junkies. This was a fun trail run that the whole team was able to run. More mud than snow this time thankfully.

Todd - 24:33 - 13th overall - 2nd in 35-39 mens age group

Alexis - 27:18 - 25th overall - 2nd in 25-29 womens age group

Erin - 31:56 - 52nd overall - 2nd in 30-34 womens age group

Jordan - 32:32 - 54th overall - 5th in 20-24 womens age group

Tyler - 37:37 - 84th overall - 3rd in 20-24 mens age group

I for one look forward to more of these Mountain Junkies races. This course was beautifully scenic, with winding trails, Indian villages, muddy slopes, and torturous hills. Everything you could want in a good trail race, with the exception of some fire obstacles.

See you on the trails.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Training Summary

February is finally over. Lets hope that March brings some weather that is more conducive to training.

Todd - Ran 35 Miles and Biked 14 Miles.

Alexis - Ran 37.5 Miles and Biked 27 Miles.

Erin - Ran 61.5 Miles and Biked 5 Miles.

Jordan - Ran 22.5 Miles and Biked 59 Miles and Rowed 5 km.

Tyler - Ran 21 Miles and Biked 39.5 Miles and Rowed 6 km.

Team Totals for February - Running - 177.5 Miles - Biking - 144.5 Miles.

Having completed two whole months of winter training our monthly averages are 41 miles/team member running and 32 miles/team member biking. With race season upon us and the weather on the verge of breaking, we need to continue to work hard training. It's going to be a busy racing year for this Madness team, and we're all going to run races that are longer, harder, and more grueling than anything we've put ourselves through before. So let's all try to keep in mind that the more time and energy we invest in serious training, the better our racing experiences are going to be. Train Hard.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Candler's Mtn 5k Trail Race

Yesterday, we ran our first official race of the year, the Candler (Liberty) Mtn. 5k Trail Race. We had received an email on Thursday informing us that the race had been adjusted because of parking requirements and the massive amount of snow still covering the ground. The email said the race was not going to be your 'typical 5k' race. They were right.

The course was covered in snow, ice, slush, and mud. It was more of an adventure than a 5k run but it was exhilarating. Those of us who ran it (Todd, Erin and Alexis) saw no improvement on their 5k times but agreed unanimously that trail runs, especially those with obstacles like snow and steep elevation changes, make for quite a bit of fun.

Here are our results:

Todd 33:03 7th out of 21 (age division 30-39) 29th out of 152 overall runners

Alexis 39:08 9th out of 24 (age division 20-29) 79/152

Erin 45:07 7th out of 9 (age division 30-39) 114/152

Alexis would like it to be known that she was the oldest in her age division by 3 years. That's how she is coping with coming in 9th anyways.

Overall, it was a fun run and we were happy to be outside and running. We came home and immediately signed up for race #2 of the year, also a 5k trail run, the Mountain Junkies Explore Your Limits 5k in two weeks.