Friday, February 19, 2016

Rocky Raccoon 100

I've been meaning to write a race report since I finished the race but I found that i couldn't gather my thoughts until I started running again. Only back out on the trails did the memories come back to me.
First things first, This race was not part of my plan. My goal race of this season was Bandera 100k.
Ive run the 50k at Bandera a couple of times and always  pitied and envied the poor souls headed back out for another loop. It seems that, in the past, either injury or travel got in the way of my training to feel like I could complete the 100k. But this past spring I started training with Erik Stanley and Trail Roots with the goal of Bandera 100k in mind. I did three of four Captn' karls series races and the 50 mile at Wild Hare (after a rolled ankle changed my plans of Cactus Rose 50) and more track and hill work than I've ever done. With all of this I felt good about the 100k coming up.
But somewhere in the back of my mind was the thought (never expressed to anyone) that maybe, if 100k went well I could take a shot at Rocky Raccoon 100 mile. So while out on the course at Bandera I was sharing some miles with my friend and fellow Trail Roots training partner Stephen Bush when he asked "whats next after this"? This was the first time that I mentioned RR100 was a thought.
Stephen said he was doing it and that if I felt good after Bandera I should go for it. After talking to my wife and Erik, I decided that if I felt good two weeks after Bandera, which is two till  Rocky,that I'd do it, and I did.
The plan was that my wife Nancy would crew for me after coming off her first 50k at Bandera.
I was registering late but reached out to friends and came up with a couple of the best pacers (Travis Wilder and Brandon Batiansila) I could've ask for even if I was a year out. My dad came into town to take care of the kids and Nancy and I left Austin about 6pm Friday night. Knowing I'd be arriving late, I'd ask fellow Trail Roots friend Billy Satterwhite to pick up my packet for me as I knew that waiting till race morning to do it would stress me out. Thanks a million Billy.
I got a pretty decent nights sleep and woke to thunderstorms about 4:30 am but it cleared out by race time. I had some Yerba mate' and a pre made pb&j and got ready to run. I was the most calm that I've ever been pre race. I think the idea of running a hundred miles was so inconceivable that I had ceased to worry. Nancy drove us over to the start finish and soon we were off. Dark and crowded I just kept it slow and steady and got the first loop done without incident in about 4:40. I had decided to go out with the idea of sub 24 being a possibility but to let it go if need be. So far I was sticking with it. First loop was mostly gels and tailwind, maybe a pringle or two. I dropped the cold weather gear and headlamp I'd started in and headed out for loop two. Stayed on pace for most of 2nd loop, met some nice folks, shared some miles and came in side by side with a really nice girl from Kansas City with whom I had a mutual friend, small world the ultra community.( Loop 2 5:20) Nancy had my night time gear ready and quickly I was off on loop 3. Last thing I said as I left was tell the pacers 24 hr is out!
I was totally fine with just finishing my first 100 miler, but I did not want to be chasing cut offs.
That's a miserable existence. It got dark about halfway through the second loop as I'd planned. Everyone says the 4th loop is where everyone drops so I knew I wasn't messing around at start/finish.
I'd texted Nancy my estimated arrival and my first pacer would be ready.(Loop 3 5:45) I put on some warmer dry clothes, changed headlamps and Travis and I set out. This was a lot of fun, after running mostly alone all day it was great to have good company. Travis kept me moving and eating and drinking and that's all I needed to do to get this done. BUT about 10 miles in I realized I was getting blisters on the bottom of both feet. I've never had a problem with blisters at all (also never run this far) so I'd taken no precaution. In hindsight I should've changed socks at 40 miles but like I said, never had a problem. We were getting it done and gonna have plenty off time for loop 5. We came in from loop 4 (6:20) and I had texted ahead for pants and socks and shoes. Nancy was ready with a chair and I quickly changed socks, applied Trail Toes, and fresh shoes. Also put on a pair of sweat pants I'd never dreamed of running in but I was scared that having slowed down that I would start getting colder. Brandon and I set out on Loop 5. I was power hiking and eating a cup of Dr. Mcdougall's Miso Ramen Soup for the first bit. Once I was ready to start running again I realized that the blisters had become so painful that each step hurt really bad. I knew I didn't have time to address them so I told Brandon lets just keep moving as fast as possible. Combination of darkness, pain, and fatigue kept me to about a 16:00 min mile average but that was plenty fast enough to finish in the allowed time of 30 hours. I know I must've driven Brandon crazy asking for info about pace and time as my watch had died and phone too. But above all we just kept moving. We saw some seriously fatiqued people out there on that last loop it made me grateful to be moving as well as I was.
At a certain point you know you're gonna get it done and you just keep plowing ahead being careful not to make a mistake that could cost you a finish. The sun had come up and Nancy and Brandon's family are texting Brandon wanting to know where we are. By the end I was done asking questions and figured I'd just keep moving till I saw the finish. About that time two little kids came flying down the trail toward us, it was Brandon's boys and I immediately picked it up and realized I could beat 29 hrs, it aint much but hell I'd take it. Brandon and the kids ran ahead and started the cheering section complete with snare drum. I think I hugged Nancy and then hugged Joe Prusaitis and reminded him how about two years ago we were out running in the greenbelt and I ask him "how do you know when you're ready for the next distance"? He said " you don't know, you just sign up and go for it'!
I guess thats what I did. I know Ive could've never done it without so many that helped in so many ways. Big thanks to Nancy Daniel, Travis Wilder, Brandon Batiansila, Erik Stanley, Bob Daniel, Janis Kilgore, Anthony Jacobs, Mark Kendall, Noah Moos, Joe and Joyce Prusaitis, Henry Hobbs and the whole Tejas Trails crew and volunteers and Greta and Isabel Daniel.
Whats next now? Well, I want a mile PR and a 5K PR this spring, and other than that we'll see you all at Hell's Hills in April.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Seek and you shall find

No matter how many times it happens, I'm always surprised when I head out of my hotel for a run through an office park or Home Depot parking lot and I stumble upon great trails to run. When I'm on the road it's pretty much "Groundhog Day" everyday. Roll into town, head to the venue, load in, sound check,dinner, gig, hotel, repeat. When I get checked in to the hotel at night I always open up Google Maps and see what's around. First looking for the obvious, State Parks, wilderness areas, etc. if there's a body of water, that's always a safe bet that there might be running trails near by. Some days there's just nothing. Two days ago in Salem,NH this was the case. I'd resigned to going out to run for an hour wherever I could. It was a Holiday Inn right off the Interstate, at the end of the road there was a large office building, I decided I'd run around behind the building before heading elsewhere. Right beside a large power transformer box was a faint opening in the woods. I'll always investigate, but I thought maybe it led to a picnic table for employees to lunch on. But it opened up to a small jeep road, like an access road for a gas line I think. Whatever it was I took it, anything beats running on the road. It weaved through the woods for about a mile before coming to a crossing at a street in an office complex. I looked around and found another entry across the street and I was back in the woods. This time it only lasted a short time before coming back out of the woods to a intersection. I surveyed the area and noticed a crappy " pre-fab" skatepark across the street and decided to check it out, once I got over there I realized the skatepark was part of a city park, complete with a lake and ,you guessed it, a one mile-single track trail around the lake. I took a couple of laps around the lake and headed back to the trail to take me back to the hotel. I was feeling extremely lucky for having found all of this when I was just heading out to run up and down the interstate access road for an hour. Well, it happened again today and it happens a lot. Not because I'm lucky, but because I go out looking . Today was pretty easy, head toward the river and look for trailheads, bam! Farmington River Trail a half mile from my hotel. It's not always like this, I've logged many a mile on busy highways with no sidewalks, cracked city streets, repeats behind the hotel you name it. But I'm just grateful today to realize that if you're not out there looking for it you'll never find it. That goes for running trails too. 😉

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall weather and racing. (Also Energy Bits review)

Today the temp was 59 degrees when I hit the trail, first cool day since Spring. I've been home for a couple of weeks enjoying family time and ramping up the miles for some cool weather trail races.
I was going to run the "Dare to Ascend" trail marathon this weekend but it's at Lake Georgetown which is on Corps of Engineer land (who knew) and thus closed due to the Government shutdown. So next next week is Paleface Trail Run in Spicewood. I'm running the 30k, my wife Nancy the 15k and daughters Isabel and Greta the 5k. A family affair. El Sendero in Dec is 60k and maybe Bandera in Jan.
Have to see how the training while on the road goes, we'll be headed out on a west coast tour at the end of Oct. 
Also I recently inquired about a nutrition product I read about,Energy Bits, and they agreed to send me a sample for review. What I knew is that they were made of spirulina which I already use in my smoothies (even put it in hummus once) so I'm already a fan. The best thing about these to me is the portability , they come in little tablets in a tin case. Great for me as a traveling musician, don't really wanna mess with powdered spirulina when traveling. These tablets do give you energy but it's more of a slow and long deal as opposed to quick energy from a GU or cliff shot etc. I took the recommended 30 tablets and along with my usual dates along the run and felt real good on my 16 mile green belt run.
I will definitely keep these around for travel and quick nutrition supplement. I'll post nutritional info below. Energy bits also allowed me to have a raffle to send a sample to lucky winner, so if you're curious about these leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow on 
Twitter @thebobbydaniel
Instagram @therealbobbyd
I'll pick a winner next Sunday.

Thanks and see you on the trail

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Been awhile, but I'm back

As I fly from park city, ut I'm reflecting on the start of this year. Already half way through 2013 .
When I'm at home not only am I, not really motivated to keep up this blog, I'm just busy living.
The care and mantinence of twelve y.o. Twins, barely leaves time for running,eating and rocking, much less time to write about it.
 The year started with a big show at the Moody Theater, a retrospective of Alejandro's career, with many guest musicians and a children's choir which included my girls, Greta and Isabel. So to perform on stage with my kids was quiet a start to the year. Almost immediately we went out on tour for shows in New York and ended up in Todos Santos, Baja California ,Mexico for Peter Buck's (REM) music festival. This is all awesome and my wife Nancy was able to come to Mexico for a week but the day after I return to Austin is rocky raccoon 50 mile and its weighing in the back (front) of my mind the whole time. Training for an ultra marathon while traveling as a musician is hard and I knew it would be, hard, but doable. I got back to Austin the day before the race and packed up the family and headed out to Huntsville State Park. We made it just in time to set up camp before dark. The next morning, sort of in a daze when the gun went off, I set out for three, 16.something mile laps of roots and sand.
I'll spare you the detailed race report, but it was a long day,and after 12 hrs I came on in to the finish line . Having run Bandera 50k in 2012 and Rocky Raccoon 50 in 2013, I'll be satisfied if I can keep up the" one big race a year " pace. 

As always, before you know it's SXSW again, we had a few good shows, got to play with Bobby Bare Sr. A couple of times and did a set of Stooges covers with Cheetah Chrome. All in all a good sx.
We went straight out on the road after SXSW for most of April. One of these shows was playing after The New Mexico Texas Challenge Marathon. I was able to run the half before we played and even got 3rd in age group. I love it music and running collide. We played a bunch of shows at the Continental Club in May and I ran The Rogue Trail Series Reveille Ranch 30k. We made another camping trip out of it and Nancy ran the 10k. 
 June is when this tour with Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys began and it goes through the summer.
Highlight, running-wise so far was the Fourth of July in Park City,Ut
We arrived the night before and I had loose plans to run the next morning with a friend who was up there already. He was not not able to go but took time out from his family to come pick me up at my hotel and take me to the trailhead, complete with map and route laid out. It was probably the most beautiful run I've been on. Mid-mountain trail at Empire lodge to spiro and back down into pc, was about 13 miles and felt great even at 8,500 ft. Thanks Cassidy. (I posted some pics of the trail on Facbook but can't manage to post them here at the moment on my iPad).
If you haven't read "The Long Run" a Amazon singles download by Mishka Shubaly, you should.
If you're a recovering addict/alcoholic who loves to run really far it's a must!
You normal people might like it too.

That's all for now
Thanks for reading

Sunday, September 16, 2012

West Coast Whole Foods Tour

 I've been home for two weeks and still have not written a word about the west coast tour til now.
Life has been too busy and awesome to sit around writing blogs, that's what long hours in the van are for.
But we leave on Friday for the next leg of the tour and I don't want to get behind.
 So, we flew into Seattle and played The Stillaguamish River Festival, also playing that weekend were, Dr.John, Mickey Hart, and Los Lonely Boys. I got some good running in the morning of the show, which was wonderfully catered and we played, hit the sack, a headed for Canada. We took the ferry to Victoria,BC, a beautiful journey and a great gig. The crowd had not seen Alejandro in a few years and were very excited. We had dinner at Rebar, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant near the club. I had the Quinoa, black beans and avocado salad. my "go to" meal at home.

A ferry ride back, and a long ride to Portland the next day, where we played a new venue for us, The Doug Fir. A really cool place, I've always loved Portland and this visit was a good as the rest. Local openers Divers were cool and Scott McCaughey of The Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5, The Baseball Project, and REM got up with us on encores of "Hurricane" Waiting for the Man" etc. Big fun. The next morning I got in a session at Burnside Skatepark had breakfast at The Doug Fir restaurant with friends and hit the road for San Francisco.

I had a free morning in San Francisco and was able to get a 14 miler to the beach and back, the hills are tough but the temps are so nice it feels like you could run forever. The gig at Bimbo's was fun, my Dad was in town visiting my sister so it was a bit of a family reunion. I had some great food in San Francisco, stand outs were Thai Idea and The Loving Hut. From this point on we make a habit of hitting the local Whole Foods on the way out of town. This works well as you get to the smaller towns and your not sure whats gonna be around the hotel or club. The next few shows are good, San Louis Obispo, San Juan Capistrano, Hermosa Beach(have to mention The Spot great vegan enchiladas). The morning after Hermosa Beach we have to be up early and at NBC studios for the Jay Leno taping. This is always a long but exciting day. The taping went well and we drive straight to soundcheck at The Mint in LA. They say there is no such thing as a good LA crowd but we had one. I love playing a small room and it was packed, and lots of "Rock Royalty" in the crowd always ups the energy.
 The next and last California show is San Diego, strange bar gig but nice hotel and I experienced my first earthquake though I didn't feel it. (read about it later that day, Chris felt it ) .
 Next stop Flagstaff, AZ.
 An old friend from Alabama picked me up at the hotel and took me for a ride up in the mountains. Flagstaff is beautiful and its always nice to get away from the hotel/van/venue, thanks Kelly. The show that night at The Orpheum Theater was fun, a great juice stand on the corner didn't hurt. The next day we drive like 11 hours straight into soundcheck in Denver, CO at The Bluebird Theater. By this point we're so close to heading home you can feel it and you don't really mind that you haven't slept in days because soon you'll sleep in your own bed. Last night of tour shows are always special and we got Jesse Malin and Derek Cruz (our tourmates) up with us on the encore, (we always do but it seems bigger on the last show). We also managed to get Mark their soundman up there as well on "Beast Of Burden"
 The next day it's 18 hours to Austin. We made a couple of Whole Foods stops and the next thing I know I'm home at 8am. Thanks Eric Carter.
 Til next time
 I'll be in the greenbelt or at the soccer field or.... 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Home again, gone again

We finished out the tour with a week or so in Italy. Beautiful country, beautiful people, just don't get caught up with punctuality, or details. Everything went well, the shows were great, got to run in some amazing places, and survived the redundancy of the Italian diet. Truthfully, a lot of people went above and beyond to make sure I was taken care amidst all the meat and cheese insanity. Thank you Jean Franco, for ordering for me every day. The final three days of the tour were insane. Milan to NYC to Edmonton back to NYC to DC then home. I had a great 10 days at home with the family and now we're back out for 3 weeks on the west coast. Just played the first show here in Arlington, Washington, just outside of Seattle and in the morning we head to Victoria,BC.
Plenty of good eating, running, and music ahead. Maybe a little skateboarding and beach time coming too. BD

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

...London & Oxford . France & Austria

Our show in London on Friday had been sold out for weeks. So we knew it would be a good one, also, with The Boss headlining Hard Rock Calling festival in Hyde Park, there were the usual rumors. The Borderline is a great club, but not a place where you could easily get Bruce Springsteen in without a lot of hoopla. So no guest appearances but a great "SRO" show. The next day we are off to Oxford, which was fine, raining and bittersweet, as we were leaving for Italy in morning,But a fine show none the less.
The drive from Oxford, England to Pavia, Italy takes us back to the Euro-tunnel (marvel that it is) and through France, Germany,and Austria. All this to avoid Switzerland (they will supposedly tax on us all our merchandise even if just passing through. We spent last night in Reims, France. A beautiful city where we had a nice dinner(where I successfully expressed my need for there to be no animal products in my meal) at Pain & Cie, got some sleep, and a run through the park. Then off to Feldkirch, Austria via Freiburg and Friedrichshafen.