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Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run – Race Report

Posted by scott on April 16, 2010

My race report from the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run is now published under Race Reports.

Go check out the long version with pictures if you want the real scoop:

2010 Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run – Race Report

Short Version

This was hands down the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life.  Everything I had heard before about 100 miles was true, but I had no idea exactly how it would feel.  It hurt, and I was exhausted.  I finished though, in 30 hours and 49 minutes, and feel an amazing sense of achievement.  The Zumbro Bottoms trails were much tougher than I thought, maybe easier than Superior but not tremendously.  My crew was indispensable to my finish.  What an epic experience.  Finished the day saying “well, I got that out of my system,” but amnesia might be setting in.  Shared trail with some awesome people during the day, notably Susan Donnelly, Rob Apple, and Ryan Carter.

I finished in 30 hours and 49 minutes.


Posted in Races | 2 Comments »

Zumbro 100 in Tweets

Posted by scott on April 16, 2010

I’ve been tweeting more than blogging for awhile, it’s just too accessible and accommodates mild ADHD better. 😉  The Zumbro 100 mile event was the first time I have actually tweeted during a race, so I thought it would be fun to record the Twitter activity for posterity.

These will read in reverse (newest to oldest), because that’s how Twitter displays them and I’m not bothering to invert them.

My Tweets

amazing how much better i feel already after #zumbro100; big change since sat. night. only 2 Alleve yesterday 2:13 PM Apr 12th via web

@crazyrunnerguy sat. night was misery, sunday was rough but improving, today is amazing how much better. legs mainly, stomach fine. thx! 2:10 PM Apr 12th via web in reply to crazyrunnerguy

duh… make that *30* hrs 49 mins for my Zumbro 100 mile finish. brain still gooey from yesterday. felt like 39 though 12:07 PM Apr 11th via web

FINISHED #zumbro100 mile endurance run yesterday in 39 hours 49 minutes! Bad ass race 6:40 AM Apr 11th via TweetDeck

Mile 81 at #zumbro100 – just started last lap! 7:30 AM Apr 10th via TweetDeck

Mile 54 at #zumbro100, beautiful night, stomach settled down. Distance PRs from now on! 9:56 PM Apr 9th via txt

Mile 41 at #zumbro100, still going strong, have Neil and Brian pacing, nice to have company 5:39 PM Apr 9th via txt

Feeling better now, heat earlier was rough. Mile 34. Very uneven trail due to horsetracks and loose rocks #zumbro100 3:44 PM Apr 9th via txt

Loop 1 down, 4 to go at #zumbro100. Mile 21 12:17 PM Apr 9th via txt

Loop 1 going GREAT at #zumbro100. 14 miles, perfect weather 10:30 AM Apr 9th via txt

Got great first timer advice last night from ultra vets Rob Apple and @susanruns100s for #zumbro100. Thanks guys! 5:12 AM Apr 9th via TweetDeck

@dlrustvold will be in New Balance 790s. Want to bag a 100 before trying in VFF, I think. We’ll see what happens tomorrow 7:59 PM Apr 8th via TweetDeck in reply to dlrustvold

Good times chatting by the campfire with @kettlefans and other runners at #zumbro100. Cool peeps! 7:50 PM Apr 8th via txt

weather report for #zumbro100 about 2 mins in, courtesy of Ryan! 7:53 AM Apr 8th via web

37 hours until the start of #zumbro100 – a collage of lists, packing, planning, shopping #running #ultra 5:57 PM Apr 7th via TweetDeck

running away from my shadow this week in anticipation of #zumbro100 – #running #ultra 9:37 AM Apr 6th via web

This time next Saturday I will around mile 88 at #zumbro100 8:34 AM Apr 3rd via TweetDeck

@kettlefans yeah i suppose, i had been hoping my crew could tweet, sounds like i’ll have to carry or skip it. hoping verizon does well 2:12 PM Apr 2nd via web in reply to kettlefans

Pulled trigger on Nathan #020 (thx @roughkat @crazyrunnerguy!) for #zumbro100. Pre-race anxiety is expensive for me #running #ultra 7:23 AM Mar 30th via TweetDeck

debating whether to buy Nathan #020 when i already have CamelBak MULE. are the front pockets worth it? seems like it #running #ultra 3:48 PM Mar 28th via web

shoe goo-ing velcro onto my #shoes for my !! countdown to #zumbro100 #running #ultra 1:52 PM Mar 27th via web

Two more weeks til #zumbro100! Hoping this awesome weather holds, gained one more crew yesterday, very cool 8:29 AM Mar 26th via TweetDeck

@injinji i will be wearing you in the Zumbro 100 mile trail run in few weeks! need to review at 11:39 AM Mar 19th via web

@kettlefans how are the trails down there? i won’t get a recon run in, so totally new territory for me #zumbro100 9:31 AM Mar 19th via web in reply to kettlefans

now on spending spree for zumbro 100 – gaiters, S! caps, blister supplies, Clif products, Injinji socks, various other @REI_CoOp items 7:14 PM Mar 17th via web

32 mile training run last night, testing gear for zumbro. is everyone sore after 32mi? or is it supposed to get easy at some point? #ultra 5:59 PM Mar 16th via web

Four more weeks until Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run! 6:33 PM Mar 11th via TweetDeck

Tweets Sent to Me

Thanks to everyone who sent words of encouragement during the race!

crazyrunnerguy    @runlikemonkey How are the legs, stomach, etc?
5:55 PM Apr 11th via web in reply to runlikemonkey

theNeedful    RT @runlikemonkey Wow, amazing accomplishment! You did the needful.
1:01 PM Apr 11th via twitterfeed

squiej2    @runlikemonkey Wow, amazing accomplishment! You did the needful.
12:55 PM Apr 11th via TweetCaster in reply to runlikemonkey

roughkat    @runlikemonkey Congrats! That’s a huge accomplishment.
12:16 PM Apr 11th via TweetDeck in reply to runlikemonkey

UnsvelteAngel    @runlikemonkey congrats 🙂
8:55 AM Apr 11th via Twittelator in reply to runlikemonkey

sanityinc    @runlikemonkey Great job, congrats!
8:41 AM Apr 11th via Tweetie in reply to runlikemonkey

masonham    @runlikemonkey Congratulations!
6:57 AM Apr 11th via twicca in reply to runlikemonkey

DarthHelix    YEAH!!! Go get that 100! RT @runlikemonkey: Mile 81 at #zumbro100 – just started last lap!
11:39 AM Apr 10th via Echofon

SilentSportsEd    @runlikemonkey Stay strong, focused!
7:44 AM Apr 10th via UberTwitter in reply to runlikemonkey

crazyrunnerguy    @runlikemonkey way to go! You’ll make it!
7:33 AM Apr 10th via web

mthyer    @runlikemonkey WOOT for you brother, eat a lime it will be the best fruit you ever tasted.
10:50 PM Apr 9th via Seesmic in reply to runlikemonkey

Run_Bike_Paddle    #ff #follow friday for @runlikemonkey for live updates from the #zumbro100 he’s killing it out there
8:20 PM Apr 9th via web

aReyoUiN    RT Keep it going! @runlikemonkey Mile 41 at #zumbro100, still going strong, have Neil and Brian pacing, nice to have company
5:50 PM Apr 9th via web

mplsxman    @runlikemonkey Loop 1 going GREAT at #zumbro100. 14 miles, perfect weather Hang in there!
4:09 PM Apr 9th via Twitterrific in reply to runlikemonkey

roughkat    @runlikemonkey congrats and good luck on the rest.
2:34 PM Apr 9th via TweetDeck in reply to runlikemonkey

outsideinmi    Good luck @runlikemonkey #run100
11:05 AM Apr 9th via txt

dlrustvold    Run @runlikemonkey! Have fun on your hundred miles. What kind of footwear?
6:07 PM Apr 7th via Tweetie in reply to runlikemonkey

kettlefans    @runlikemonkey I think the only way “tweets” will work down there is if you take your phone in your pack so it can go up on the ridges.
7:26 AM Apr 2nd via web in reply to runlikemonkey

crazyrunnerguy    @runlikemonkey Good decision. You won’t regret it.
10:24 PM Mar 30th via web in reply to runlikemonkey

crazyrunnerguy    @runlikemonkey I have Nathan #020 vest and it is fantastic. Pockets are great and carries well.
5:00 PM Mar 28th via web

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What Matt Said

Posted by scott on April 6, 2010

Ditto what Matt said about race week and the shadow.  This line in particular – the mind and body starts playing tricks on you. All insecurities come to the forefront.  Too true.

The Shadow

Photo courtesy of stuant63 on flickr

I generally feel confident about my training, even though its not a traditional approach.  I sure enjoy it, anyways.  But that goes out the window about 2 weeks ahead of an ultra, especially this time around.

I make the mistake of reading what everyone else has done that’s so different from what I have done and it sinks in.  I keep thinking that I should have done more, should have done different.  Those insecurities take deep root, and I try fight them off with the more accurate rationalizations:  there is no playbook for ultra training; what works for one can ruin another; I trained in a way that matches our overall family lifestyle, and addressed the things I think are most critical for me.  Like another commenter on Matt’s blog said – the hay is already in the barn.

One of my favorite race reports ever was Julie Berg’s 2008 Javelina Jundred report.  It contains the best single piece of ultra advice I have heard:  Quit thinking about the problem and begin to think about the solution. That is my race strategy in a nutshell.  For everything that seems to go “wrong” I remind myself of something that is going great, and stay positive.

No matter what, the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run will be a blast.  I have an awesome crew.  It might be a training run for Superior 100.  It might be my first 100 finish.  My optimistic son even asked “what happens if you win?”  Not too worried about that. 😉  Either way, I will have learned something new by Saturday afternoon.

Posted in Races | 5 Comments »

Zumbro Countdown

Posted by scott on March 29, 2010

The training is essentially done, and the countdown is on – less than two weeks until the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run!

This will be another experiment race for me to see if less overall mileage supplement with quad-intenstive cross training can actually get me through a race like this.  I was amazingly undertrained for the Superior 50 mile last year and had a great run and a great experience.  My base goal is to finish Zumbro in whatever time it takes, and have a great experience again no matter what happens.

I have a great crew assembled, so that shouldn’t be too hard.  They are solid runners in their own right, but also just up for a good time.  Some don’t know each other, so here is how I introduced them to each other:

Brian – the fast one, can’t seem to do anything but obsess on a sub-3 hour marathon.  He is getting wise and hitting the trails with us in Zumbro, maybe it will stick?

Tim – can’t decide if he’s fast or likes trails, but I need to be polite since he was my first committed pacer/crew and seems to be up for anythign I throw at him.  Ran the Superior 50 mile last Fall.

Neil – dangerously close to a BQ marathon pace, arguably is the most potentially physically fit of this group, but chooses to slum it with us rather than getting serious.  set our group’s 20-minute-pushup record of 304 (for now).

Diego – slow like me, one of the only ones here who gets that running is supposed to be fun.  organizing an ultra team for the Ragnar Relay team this year (spots available).  Disappointed that he didn’t get into an indoor track marathon – 400 times around a track, go figure.

Hugh – a complete nut job who signs up for races before he is ready for them (Lake Placid Ironman, Leadville 100 mountain bike) yet finishes. has a cabin that is peeing distance from Oberg Mountain on the SHT, signed up for the 50k this Spring.  Trying to talk me into running the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.

I’m running very minimal miles this week, probably more walking than running, and will run very little next week.  I’m spending my “training” time on planning, and final gear purchases.  Those two things help a lot with pre-race anxiety.

If nothing else, this will be a fun weekend in the woods and a good learning experience for the Superior 100.  Good times!

Posted in Races | 6 Comments »

New Balance 100 Review and Giveaway

Posted by scott on January 22, 2010

I had the chance to test a pair of New Balance 100s recently – very nice trail shoes.  My detailed review of the New Balance 100s includes a drawing for a free pair if you leave a tweet or comment by tomorrow, Saturday, January 23.  Give them your own test ride!

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New Gear Reviews

Posted by scott on January 20, 2010

I haven’t been posting a lot lately, many time commitments coaching hockey, holidays, etc.  I also tend to post more on Twitter these days since it is so easy to do from my phone, rather than take time for a post.

Having said that, I have also been writing a lot more Gear Reviews lately, and those pages don’t show up in the feed if you subscribe to this site.  So take a minute to browse those pages a bit if you are interested.

I have been trying out a lot of new gear this Winter, and am happy with a lot of things I’m using.  I’m sold on merino wool as a base layer.  I am also in love with my GoLite Wisp windshirt – I still can’t believe how warm it is for how light it is.  I took a break from FiveFingers and Feelmax shoes to test out some New Balance 100s.  This is a great shoe, and I will train in these for mid-range mileage, but I still like going minimal when I can.

Sights set on the Zumbro 100 – here we go!

Posted in Feelmax, FiveFingers, Shoes | 2 Comments »

Minimal Footwear for Winter Running in Silent Sports Magazine

Posted by scott on December 8, 2009

My article on minimal footwear for cold weather running was in the November issue of Silent Sports magazine – see “Less is More“.  This must have been a hot issue as I was unable to find it at both my local Barnes & Noble and REI.  Nice going, Joel!

Our weather is supposed to be hitting hard this week, finally several inches of snow and windchills of -5F.  Might be time to rollover to the Feelmax Osmas or NB790s.

Posted in Feelmax, Shoes | 2 Comments »

Eagle Peak Trail Running at Mount Diablo State Park

Posted by scott on November 14, 2009

I was speaking at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco a couple weeks back, and preceded it by spending the day with some field reps in the East Bay area.  I had researched a number of the NorCal Pacific Coast Trail Run course maps and locations, and even printed out a couple Google Maps thinking I might be able to sneak out of downtown SF for some trail running.  But I gradually accepted that long days and early sunsets would mean no trails this trip.  Right before leaving the hotel Monday morning, I quickly decided to just throw in my Five Fingers, some running wear, GPS, a towel, etc. just in case… you never know.  Man am I glad I did!

Final (?) Approach to Eagle Peak in Mt. Diablo State Park

As luck would have it we ended the day just a tad early out in Walnut Creek.  I had noticed some signs for Mt. Diablo State Park on the drive into the hills.  After we shut down for the day I dove into my travel folder and dug out one of my Google Maps, remembering that PCTR hosts a Fall event at Mt. Diablo.  What luck!

With GPS backing I was at the trailhead in about 15 minutes.  If only I had printed out the course maps before I gave up on my trail running dreams for the trip, I could have run the race route.  Fortunately, there was a good map at the trailhead, and trails are very well marked.  I didn’t have a lot of time and didn’t want to get lost on a big loop, so I quickly settled on an out and back up Eagle Peak on the Mitchell Rock Trail.

The trails were in great shape and the views were beautiful.  Sunset provided mesmerizing shadows and amusing but easily tolerable temperature differences between the valleys and the peaks.  The weather was absolutely perfect for an evening run and a light breeze wafted sage and juniper aromas.

Terrain varied a lot from sideslope traverses to ridge backbones to bizarre tunnels through thicket you had to duck under.  Most of the trail was a nice flat narrow gravel, with occasional rocky outcrops that reminded me of the Superior Trail.  I was a bit worried about making it out of the park in time to avoid the threatened lock in at sunset so I stopped for some photos but tried to keep moving on the way up.  I managed to summit the 2400 ft. Eagle Peak in 51 mins, which was a pretty good clip for me.  I saw the only other runner just descend the far side as I summitted.  I brief break for the views, and I started the descent at a full, quad-pounding clip.

I made it down in plenty of time for a total of around 6 miles.  My quads were screaming by the time I got down and it felt great.  The Walnut Creek folks are lucky to have a park like this in their back yard – I would love to camp with the family through smaller state parks like this someday, a lot more appeal in many ways than the packed National Parks.

View from Eagle Peak, Mt. Diablo State Park

View of Mitchell Rock Trail from Eagle Peak

More photos at flickr.

GPS details at Garmin Connect.

Posted in FiveFingers, Training | 1 Comment »

Parkour Training for Trail Running and Ultras

Posted by scott on October 5, 2009

Image credit: amfdesigner on flickr

I have recently become fascinated with Parkour (sometimes referred to as “free running”).  I know in internet-meme-time I’m like 3 years behind the curve, but so what.  I first heard about this in a Trail Runner article awhile back, and I have to say I rolled my eyes.  It almost seemed invented for print, I didn’t get that there was a whole movement around this thing, and some more interesting aspects that were missed.  Then a Rocketboom segment came along and I was a bit more intrigued.  Finally, I fell off my chair laughing at the Parkour scene from The Office.  OK, I’m getting the signal – I need to look into this.

Parkour is briefly described as the art of overcoming obstacles in the most efficient way possible.  Like anything, it has morphed into many sub-genres that span a spectrum from running combined with vaulting to street-based floor gymnastics to jumping buildings with multiple flips.  I will leave the building flips to others to thin the herd, but the most basic movements in Parkour are very appealing as a training tool for trails and ultras.

When basic Parkour is done well, you almost look like a fugitive.  The intent is to move very rapidly, as if in an emergency situation, and vault or otherwise clear obstacles rather than traversing around them.  Free running seems to emphasize freedom and creativity.  Parkour emphasizes directness, efficiency and economy.

There are a few basic vaulting techniques – Lazy, Speed, Kong, and Dash – that are foundational to Parkour and are used almost constantly.  These are the easiest techniques to start integrating into running, along with Wall Runs and Tic Tacs.  The great thing about these is that it turns a normal run into a heavier workout, adding core strength, balance and impact landings.  For a guy like me who loves to run races like Superior but just doesn’t take the time to put in laps at Afton this a great training technique.  I can pound my quads right in my own neighborhood!  It’s also very Crossfit-ish – you can get a very short but very intense workout in.  Do you remember the old fitness trail concept where some city parks added exercise equipment on the route?  Adam was recently onto a similar idea of adding obstacles and exercises on a course at RTA.  Sounds like a blast.

There is a lot of noise around Parkour, but here are a few resources I found useful:

Sites / Organizations

  • American Parkour is a large site with some good basic tutorials and large discussion forums.  Also links to many local groups.
  • Urban Freeflow is a UK-based group that also has a great site.  They have convenient links in the footer to YouTube videos they have posted for many specific Parkour techniques.
  • Meetup has groups for local Parkour groups that meeting for training sessions and Jams.


There are a million videos of Parkour on YouTube.  Here are a few I found most interesting.  These are more along the running side of thing than the gymnastic side of things.

  • Parkour in Latvia -ignore the “ninja” stuff in the title, this is a classic example of Parkour
  • Extreme game of tag – this is kind of amusing, but again gets to movement for speed and efficiency to avoid pursuit, not a lot of time-wasting techniques
  • Nearly human – this is dramatically arranged around an animalistic theme and has a mock encounter at the end, but is otherwise another great example of Parkour as means of fast and efficient movement.  And most of the techniques are in FiveFingers!

Posted in FiveFingers, Parkour, Training | 1 Comment »

Food and Hydration for the Superior Trail 50 Mile

Posted by scott on September 18, 2009

Here is a rough accounting of how I fueled and hydrated for the Superior Trail 50 Mile race this year.  This is probably 85-90% accurate as far as exactly what I ate and calorie estimates, so take it for what it’s worth.  While I was training I just always wanted to see a complete plan to get some idea of what other people did as a whole picture, not just “I like this” or “that does down well”.  Times are very approximate, and likely won’t add up exactly to my race time – I’m just not bothering with being that accurate.  It is what it is.

Important Note: This should not be considered any type of plan or recommendation.  This is just what happened to work well for me that day, in those conditions.  It probably won’t work well for you, and it probably won’t work for me again.  Like I said, it’s just a snapshot.

AS = Aid Station.  Also note that a major ultra rule I broke is that I spent a lot of time in aid stations.  I even got kicked out of one (thanks Dale! That was funny.).  Most people recommend no more than about 2 minutes per AS.  But guess what?  I loved it!  My family was there, I got to eat a bunch, and it’s part of how I really enjoyed the overall race.

Segment/AS Time Spent (h:mm)
Food (cals) HEED (oz) Water (oz)
Start —- —- 8 —-
Start to Sonju 1:38 1/2 Clif bloks 100
Hammergel 100
1/2 Lara bar 100
20 —-
Sonju AS 0:02 Pretzels 60
Potatoes 50
8 —-
Sonju to Crosby-Manitou 0:55 1/2 Lara bar  100
Hammergel  100
1/2 Clif bloks  100
20 —-
Crosby-Manitou AS 0:04 Banana  80
Cookie  50
Strawberries 10
Potatoes 50
1/4 PB&J  100
8 —-
Crosby-Manitou to Sugarloaf 2:23 Monkey Fuel (see below) 620
Clif bloks 200
—- 20
Sugarloaf AS 0:12 1/2 Ramen 190
Egg burrito piece 50
Potatoes 50
Sugarloaf to Cramer 1:15 1/2 Clif bloks  100
Hammergel  100
20 20
Cramer Road AS 0:07 1/2 PB&J  200
Bananas w/PB 50
Oranges  25
4 cookies 200
Cramer to Temperance River 1:48 Clif bloks  200
Hammergel  100
20 20
Temperance River AS 0:07 Turkey wrap  50
Potatoes 50
3 cookies 150
Hard-boiled egg 75
Temperance to Sawbill 1:18 Clif bloks  200
Hammergel  100
20 20
Sawbill AS 0:10 1/2 Ramen 190
1/2 PB&J  200
Oranges 25
Cookies 100
Sawbill to Oberg 1:22 Clif bloks  200 20 20
Oberg AS 0:08 Strawberries 10
1/2 PB&J  200
Cookies 100
Oberg to Finish 2:05 1/2 Clif bloks  100
Hammergel  100
16 16

4935 calories
2.12 gallons of HEED (272 ounces)
.9 gallons of water (116 ounces)

Monkey Fuel mix (Inspired by Scott Jurek’s drink mix)
16 oz. Rice Milk (I like enriched Vanilla Rice Dream)
3 tbsp Soy Protein (I like Yammer Soy Essence)
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp chia seeds

Other Notes

  • I took an S! cap every 45 minutes, religiously, throughout the day.  I might have been able to up that to 1/30 mins in the middle of the day during the heat.
  • I frequently had a very full stomach leaving the AS and and to walk for 15 minutes or so to clear it before running again, but I preferred that to eating large amounts on the trail.
  • The honey and chia in the drink mix worked well for me during training, but didn’t seem to taste right during the race.  Maybe it was the heat?  I could have left the honey out for sure, maybe even the chia.  But it was nice to pack in those calories in liquid form.
  • I carried 2 Nathan handhelds for most of the race, thus the 20/20 for HEED and water.  For a couple of longer sections I could have drank more.
  • This works out to about 350 calories per hour (almost 14 hour race), which was my original plan.

Posted in Races | 5 Comments »