Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rockin K Race Report

Well Kids, after spending a whole week in taper mode just lounging around on the deck trying the best that I could to contain my pent up energy, with only a few digressions I might add. Notice how I "dog eared" the paw rest? It was finally time for "pacer" and I to get our race on at Rockin K.

We headed down to Kansas Friday afternoon and went to the packet pickup. "Pacer" and I picked up our race numbers and even stayed for the pasta dinner. It was getting kinda late so we bugged out of there right after eating. Which come to find out the next day, if we had stuck around, I woulda won a box of gels. Yep, my number got picked in the post dinner drawing, but since we had already left it got passed on to someone else, which is fine. I thought it was funny that three of the five dogs in the race had their numbers drawn. Why? Cause were awesome!

Saturday I was up early, even before "pacers" alarm went off I was muzzling him to try and get his butt out of bed.

Once I woke him up, we headed out to the race. It was almost a perfect day to run, low forties at the start but very windy. Because of the wind and it's chilling affects, "pacer" wasn't sure what to wear. He can be such a wuss sometimes. Ohhh.. "What should I wear?". Come on ya big baby, I always wear the same thing for every run so I never have this problem.


Once "pacer" got his pretty little outfit picked out we headed for the start line and the pre race briefing. I had a hard time listening to everything that Phil (one of the RD's) was saying. I was chomping at the bit and ready to... say it with me... GET IT ON!

"Pacers" plan at the start was for us to stay off to the side and towards the back of the pack, so that there would be less of a chance for us to get tangled up with any of the other runners. Then once the pack thinned out we could move up. He wanted to make sure "we" didn't cause any problems. As if I would cause any!!

Great idea "pacer"! Except, HELLO, last time I checked this was a race!

So, I said "to hell with it" and took off dragging "pacer" behind me. We stayed to the outside and quickly got up towards the front of the field. We managed to get up into the fourth position in the first quarter mile, which was a good thing cause we hadn't reached the single track yet, but all of a sudden- I had to go, had to lighten my load so to speak. So we pulled over to the side and I did my biz. I tried to make it quick, but while doing so we got passed back up by six or eight guys. No problem, back on the run we quickly dispatched four of those guys in the last stretch of open road. Hitting the single track we were in seventh position. Three guys were a ways out in front and three more right in front of us. We tried to be patient and wait for a spot to make a pass but that wasn't going to happen, so we just made our own trail and went around them, putting ourselves in fourth.

With open trail ahead of us we dropped the guys behind us and tried to bridge the gap to the first group of runners in hopes that we could feed off the "pack" environment and work as a group. We were making steady gains at this till "pacer" pulled back on the reigns a bit, saying something about being "too hot" and he was "over dressed and over heating". So we stopped for a moment so he could get his vest off at least and that seemed to help a little, the rest he would have to keep on till we got to the gate 6 aid station at the half way point.

While we didn't lose any positions with our short stop, it certainly didn't help us gain any ground on the guys up ahead either. So we settled into an even pace and enjoyed the scenery and the trail.

Since we didn't carry a camera I borrowed some pics from the Rockin K site from a previous race just to show you some of the terrain.

As the sun continued to rise, so did the level of heat stress "pacer" was dealing with and he was really wanting to get to the gate 6 aid station at mile 13 so he could shed some layers.

Cresting the hill into the gate 6 aid station we found "pacers pups" unknowingly "collecting" ticks and just having a good old time out in the middle of Kansas hill country in there pajamas. When they saw us coming, they (along with mama "pacer") sprang into action giving me water and snacks.

Don't they look cute. Thanks for the help "pups". :)

After shedding his cold weather gear for something more appropriate, "pacer" and I headed out onto the "Big Bluff Loop" section of the course feeling much better, much lighter, and much cooler.

That is until we went up the big bluff...

And then down the big bluff...

Once on the other side of this thing we had to jump across a crevasse and then up another steep grade. Half way up this climb "pacer" lost his balance and fell forward, right into some low tree branches catching the end of one of the branches in his mouth, and it lodged between his upper lip and his teeth. Dude went reeling backwards to dislodge it, but it was stuck under his lip.

Hahaha, it was hilarious!

He looked like a largemouth bass that had just been caught by a buzz bait. He was shaking his head all around.

Hahahaha! You shoulda seen it. What a dork!

This is "pacer" and I entering the gate 6 aid station (the only manned aid station on the entire marathon course, which you hit twice) for the second time at about 18.5 miles.

"Pups" again were a big help and both pacer and I had a sandwich before hitting the final leg of the race.

Exiting gate 6 "pacer" wasn't felling so spunky and we got passed right away. I think the quick pace at the start combined with the self imposed heat stress had finally come to bare. Yes, we kept on running but it was slower than before and by mile 20 or so pacer started walking. At first short stretches, mostly uphills, then our walking breaks got longer and longer. One such walk break was so long... a vulture started circling above as... just waiting for "pacer" to keel over. No lie. It was so bad I think I even heard "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Metallica playing on "pacers" Ipod. It was grim for sure.

We were now on the south facing slopes going directly into at least a 30 mph wind, and I'm sure I saw "pacer" list to the side of the trail a couple of times. Somewhere in here we got passed up again, nice guy, he asked if we were ok and we said "yes". I was kind of surprised that with all the walking we were doing that we weren't getting passed more often, but we didn't, and never did again.

There are a ton of water crossings in this race, probably close to two dozen. Some are small, barely enough to get your feet wet, others you wade through. The last water crossing on the course (at about mile 24.5) is the longest and deepest. It's I'm guessing 60-70 feet long and is over "pacer's" waist deep. I had to swim the whole thing.

This last water crossing was the absolute BEST! The water was sooo cool and refreshing on our hot and tired muscles, "pacer" and I just wanted to stop right there and stay in the water. Course being that we were still in the race we kept on, but that water had rejuvenated "pacer" and I and when we hit the beach on the other side... It was ON bitches!

With no one in sight ahead or behind us we just kicked it into gear and got back to... Gasp... Running. This portion of the course was probably my favorite, we scrambled by all these large black/charcoal colored rocks while following a bright golden sand trail. The contrast in colors was very cool, and the sand was such a deep golden color it was almost bright. If I'd had sun glasses I would have put them on. Absolutely stunning!

Speaking of stunning, this whole course is COOL! It has such a variety of terrain. From the hill country prairie, to the canyons and the hard wood valleys. The creek crossings and the sand trails, the beaver dam that "pacer" had to run across and I swam around... Very cool.


When we got to the top of this hill and ran the ridge line to the drop off, we saw the guy who had passed us a while back. He was already down the hill and working up the next, but we saw him, and it was ON! As we scrambled down the hill after the guy, "pacer" caught a rock with his left foot and I swear- his foot folded over to like a 90 degree angle. His ankle practically touched the ground! I thought he was going down for sure, but somehow he was able to regain control (probably in part due to the fact that he felt fresh again) and down the hill we went. We caught the guy ahead of us at the top of the next hill and made the pass, and it stuck with a little over half a mile to go to the finish. I felt a little bad for the dude cause it looked like he was in the same state "pacer" had been in just before.

"Pacers" "pack" was at the finish line waiting for us, where they snapped this pic of us with about 30 yards to go.

Much to my chagrin, the race was over. I mean geez, I wasn't even tired. If this had been a 50k, being on the rebound like we were... we might have even moved up a slot or two.

But that's okay. We did it! We did it well! And we did it together!

Eleventh Annual Rockin K Trail Run
April 4, 2009 Kanopolis State Park, Kansas
Trail Marathon - 26.30 Miles
Place Number Name G Age City/St Finish
1 29 Jeremy Morris M 29 Kearney NE 3.47.56!
2 1 Tony Clark M 31 Wichita KS 3.54.45
3 119 Kyle Amos M 33 Olathe KS 3.54.45
4 3 Christopher Farney M 25 Kansas City MO 4.06.55
5 213 Rob Smith M 40 Omaha NE 4.15.05
6 3K9 Oly Smith M 2 Omaha NE 4.15.05
7 155 Jess McNeely M 39 Wichita KS 4.16.10
8 43 Zach Bailor M 20 Wichita KS 4.21.14
9 197 Elena Yates F 24 St Louis MO 4.27.17!
10 4K9 George Yates M 2 St Louis MO 4.27.17

***Top Ten only***

I'd like to give a BIG BARK out to both Phil and Stacy for putting on this awesome race. And for letting dogs run as well. We wish more races were as open to the better species.

We had a blast literally and figuratively at the Rockin K, and we will plan on being back again next year.

I just hope "pacer" doesn't make the same mistakes as this year, otherwise I may have to bite him on the butt.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Were Back From Rockin K

Race went pretty well I think, a few glitches on my "lame Pacer's" side but other than that all went well.

I took Fifth overall and of course being the lackey that he is, "pacer" came in behind me in sixth. :D

I'll get a race report up soon. Just waiting for "pacer" to get something done on the computer, that he says is more "taxing" than running the race.

Can't even imagine what that would be. You'd know what I was talking about if you saw him at mile 22 Saturday, dude was TAXED.

And this is worse!?

RR soon.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Taper Time...

And I just dont know what to do with myself, I'm going out of my mind!

Even funnier here.


Friday, March 27, 2009

I Gots Me A Number!

So, "pacer" was all lamed up last night, something about losing some of his "wisdom" or something and it made his mouth hurt. I dunno, like, HELLO your wisdom should be located more north in your melon than your mouth.

Feel my pain?!

Like dude could lose any wisdom. Gots to have it before you can lose it. Right?


So while he was all layed out, I thought I would go check out the Rockin K site just to see what was a happenen. I'm getting pretty stoked to go... SAY IT WITH ME... GET IT ON!

And what did I find?

Those cool cats Stacy and Phil had the bib #'s up! Gotta say, I was sooo stoked to see my number! I tried to tell "pacer" about it but... dude was not very talkative. Whatever!

Here they are!
Number First Last City State Gender Age
W3K9 Oly Smith Omaha NE M 2

W213 Rob Smith Omaha NE M 40

See my number! W3k9! I love it! Thanks Stacy, I'm gonna give you a big lick when I get down there, if you know what I mean. ;)

If I wasn't fired up before, just about the race, the whole number thing sent me through the wooof. Sorry, old habit of mine, meant roof.

I started looking through the race packet, directions and such and came across this...

Course Markings: (Colors of ribbons will be announced at the pre race meetings)
You will follow checkered ribbons all the way out to the manned aid station at the Gate #6, you will follow solid
color all the way around the Big Bluff loop. When you get back to Gate #6 you will follow striped ribbons all the
way to the finish. 50-mile runners will take Alexander’s Cutoff on the second loop and follow the pink ribbons
starting at gate #4, they will follow pink to the gate #6 manned aid station. There are numerous other markings on
the trail. Pay no attention to these; the horse riders put these up. Ours ribbons are checkered, stripe, pink or yellow.
The trail crosses itself once in Horsethief Canyon, then again at gate #1, then in the Prairie Loop at the water
crossing below Red Rock Canyon, and then at gate #2 and several times at Gate #6. When it crosses itself you will
be running by both checkered ribbons and striped ribbons at the same time. Pay attention, if you have not reached
the manned aid station at Gate #6, stay with checkered, if you are coming back in stay with striped. When I put out
markers I tried to put them up so that when you passed one ribbon the next marker would be in view. I started
marking trail Monday, the wind, animals, etc. will have knocked some down by now. Some will have become frayed
and short. In any case you should never have to run more than a couple of minutes without seeing a marker. The
trail is overly marked. If you see markers spaced every couple of feet I am trying to warn you that there is some kind
of trail crossing happening. Be aware that you take the correct fork. The trail in Horsethief Canyon is the most
confusing. There are many side trails and intersections and it is heavily used by riders and hikers, so there are many
paths. You follow this trail first going out and it is the last section coming back in. The Prairie Loop trail is more
primitive, the riders use it, but almost no hikers get that far. There are less side trails to get lost on. The Alum Creek
loop is locked out for half the year, not many riders get on it, and no hikers. It is very primitive in places. You will
be following game trails, cattle paths and such. In places the trail is very, very light, you will be running from marker
to marker across the prairie. There were no improved trails in the Big Bluff area until we cut them. It is very rocky
in places; there is a lot of grass covering the rocks, keep your eyes open for markers. We will have several fence
crossings in the Big Bluffs loop. I have placed army blankets over the barbwire strands at the places you need to
cross the fences. The top strand has been taken down; please step over the fence there. The blanket will protect
your hands and clothing from the barbs. For those folks unacquainted with crossing a barbwire fence, simply push down on the blanket, it will “give” enough for you to step over.

Houston we may have a problem!!

Just sayin, I'm color blind, and "pacer" ain't exactly part carrier pigeon, if you know what I mean.

Anywho (that's a twofer), "pacer" and I hit the trail again today...

Sorry about the quality, but like I said "pacer" is one quarter less smart than he was on Wednesday. We'll work on it. We did have a decent run, though a bit shorter then planned (only did 9) cause "pacer" wasn't fully into it today, but hopefully we will be back at it tomorrow. Well, WE WILL be back at it tomorrow, we'll just have to see how it goes.

No worries. Were about to hit taper mode anyway.

Hope "pacer" doesn't get the video thing dialed in till after the race, cause what happens during taper week, stays in taper week. Know what I'm sayin?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Run Tall...

And carry a big stick!

That's how I feel after this weeks training.

You can pussy foot around only so much trying to find the right kind of training regime, and when you find what works you stick with it.

Geezzz! Do we have to make things more complicated than they are already!


Ditch the water bottle belt "pacer" if your knees have hurt ever since you've started wearing it, we'll figure something else out. Your no good to me if your "lame".

Please bare with me Peeps. My "pacer" and I are haven a fabulous week of running but we have had to fine tune some of our training to get back to the core of what feels right with our bones and our paws. We need to feel light on said paws and there is no other way, than the proven way. At two weeks out from our A race, we are staying on proven ground. We will not mess with what has worked in the past, we will stay with tried and true. Right "pacer"?

Like I said, it's been a really solid week of training with a total of 64 miles "logged" (haha get it?) and that's with three rest days. We took Monday and Tuesday off, we did 15 in the hills on Wednesday, 22 at the lake on Thursday, five recovery from the house on Friday, took Saturday off and then another 22 at the lake on Sunday.

Sunday was a balls out run! Course everything I do is "balls out", cause I'm neutered. Hahaha I crack myself up! Anywho, really Sundays run was over the top for a long run, we did our 22 in like 2:40:00, we pretty much weren't messing around and it felt GREAT. We did some speed bursts in there that had my tongue a flapping and I even practiced my water crossings too. I think there are like six of them at Rockin K, some of them are pretty deep, probably gonna have to swim em.

Anyway, I'm feeling totally badass, I'm runnen TALL and I got the biggest stick I could find.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Um, Pacer Here.

Yes it is all true, every word of it.

I am his lackey. I am his pacer and I'm totally "lame." I obey his every command and might even be his concubine.

Oly wanted to write a post today (about the squirrels he chased, and the turkey too) but he fell asleep on the way home from our run. So, trying to stay in his good graces I'm doing this for him tonight.

Dude was tired. He fell a sleep standing up but didn't last too long there and had to lay down, as I chauffeured him home. Just an off day I'm sure.

The boy is all about stamina, but even he his human. Scratch that! Damn! Can't believe I just said that! Please don't tell.

HE IS K-9!

He is also a much better writer than I ever could be, (Lets face it, he is much better at everything than I am) so I'm just gonna quit now.

Later peeps.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


6 feet tall, shaves it's legs, is ALWAYS behind me on the trail, and has HUGE succulent "juggs"?

My "pacer"!


Wanna see em?

My systematic approach to training my "pacer" has him eating right out of my paw. Which is a good thing cause "Pacers" man cans came in pretty handy today as it was our first run over 60 degrees this season. Yeah, he's got 44 ounces of sweet running nectar in those things, and I drained both of them.

Ohhh, I gotta say today's run was a beautiful thing. The first real day that made me feel like spring is just around the corner. I let a Bull dog chase me down early in the run. I figured that might build up his self esteem a bit. Just sayen, it was funny to see those short little stubby legs turning over at about a gazillion rpm's.


I also got to run with Kona (aka bad ass runner princess) for about half of "pacer" an I's run. She had to leave early, but that's okay, we got to share some trail time with her and that's always nice. I woulda taken picture of her but she's so fast...

Oh, and I made new friend too! Don't know his name but he's pretty cool! We touched noses and then ran side by side the full length of his kennel. Dudes got a much bigger kennel than mine, must be like an acre or something. Lucky guy.

As cool as dude was, I had training to do, so I took off down the trail. Only three weeks to go till Rockin K!

And this is all "pacer" saw of me for the rest of the run.

Nice view huh? ;)