Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grindstone 100 -- Oh man, what have I done?

What have I done?

That's the question I emailed to one of my running buddies just minutes after registering for the 1st annual Grindstone 100 to be held the first weekend in October. And by that I mean the ENTIRE first weekend in October.

The Grindstone starts at 6pm on Friday, October 3. It has a 38 hour cutoff. It includes over 23,000 feet of CLIMBING and DESCENDING. I asked David Horton, who is familiar with the course, how fast he thought the winners of this race would run. He said maybe under 24 hours. In other words, this is going to be a tough one. He said that fatigue from running for so long (two sunsets for sure) would be the toughest factor for many. That, and the climbing.

Without a doubt, it will be the toughest thing I've ever encountered. I've run 100-miles several times, but I've never run more than 24 hours. And for those of you who really know me, you know I have never really even run more than 22 hours (I tend to finish 24-hour runs quicker than some of my competitors).

Needless to say, this one is going to take some real planning and preparation. I also asked Horton where he thought my training emphasis should be for this beast of a race. He said ascending, descending, and eating. So those things will definitely factor into my training as the year goes on.

Some thoughts about my training for Grindstone:

  • May -- a recovery month from the Spring races.
  • June -- focus on base mileage. Some hill running.
  • July -- training starts in earnest with the Sweaty Butt 50k. Hills, and long weekend runs.
  • August -- Long weekend trail runs, hills. Run to/from work.
  • September -- Labor Day training weekend, overnight trail run, one more long trail run, then taper.

Some of the epic runs I hope to work into my training include:

  • Catawba Run Around (35 miles)
  • AT running between Rt 311 in Catawba and Rt 220 in Daleville. (19 miles one way)
  • Out and back runs between Rt 311 and Rt 779 in Catawba. (26 miles)

Once May rolls around, I'll work up a training schedule and post it here. Until then, my focus is on staying healthy and getting through the Spring races.

What is your big event for 2008?

Run like a Beast.


ncultra said...

Neal you done got yourself in a fix...but you'll do great!

mkirk said...

Neal, glad to have found your blog.

Don't fret over this upcoming event, you'll do fine.

I look forward to keeping up with your training.

Neal Jamison said...

Thanks ncultra and mkirk! I definitely take a lot of inspiration from both of your blogs: Ultra Adventures" and "Fool on the Hill." See you on the trails this Spring.


Anonymous said...

You've finished Hellgate and you know how to pace yourself without going out too fast; just work on some very long climbing and very long descents and you will do well. Nice climb on the AT off of Craigs Creek Road outside of Blacksburg - that route (I don't know if you did it or not, the Craig Creek 50k on 12/31 a few years back) was 37 miles from the road to Dragons' tooth parking lot and back with 12,000ft of climbing and descending.

- Nick Whited

Neal Jamison said...

Nick -- thanks for the comment. I did do that Craig's Creek 50k (er, 40+ miler) on 12/31/05. I remember it being really tough, and I was probably in the best shape of my life that winter. I'll definitely try to work that one in when training for Grindstone. I did a couple days of AT running this week. Nothing too long, but some good climbs.

See you soon,

Sophie Speidel said...


I am planning to run a loop of TWOT on Sunday of Labor Day weekend (it coincides with the Shenandoah Mountain 100 MTB race held along the G'stone and TWOT course...did a loop last year during the race and was able to see the top 10 men twice during the loop). I am interested in running on the Gstone course either Saturday or Monday...the section from climbing up Elliot Knob to Rte 250 and back, OR from Little Bald to the G'stone turnaround and back. Either way, we can make it a very productive training weekend on the course. I will be camping with my husband at the SM100 campsite Saturday night. Let's talk. Anyone else who might be interested?

Neal Jamison said...


Sounds great! The more I see the course, the better.