5 years ago

May/June 2012 - Level Renner

May/June 2012 - Level Renner

Off Track tion gain.

Off Track tion gain. Don’t forget that during this hike, one must deal with repeated gains and losses of altitude along with “interesting” footing that humbles you and continually reminds you that that you’re not running a Sunday morning 5K. Even better, for you adventurous types, there can even be add-ons of “minor” peaks as well: Mts. Clay, Jackson, Webster, Franklin. Although not former Presidents, these additional peaks are part of the range and nothing to sneeze at – their addition would bump you up to approximately 23 miles and over 10,000+ feet of elevation gain! Image from With the focus upon hiking, trails, and peaks, we cannot forget that you, dearest Level readers, are runners. Inherent in this lifestyle and philosophy is the unwavering modus operandi: “How fast can I complete this run?” You’re probably thinking, “Shouldn’t simply completing something like this be reward enough?” That depends upon whom you ask. The recognized record for the Presi-Traverse stands at 4h56m14s, completed by Prep for Presi One Man’s Strategy Image courtesy of Muddy Puddin’ As an introduction to the possibility of running the Presi, Galoob and fellow adventurer, Ben Folsom, invited me to run a workout several weeks ago down in Narragansett, RI. For me it was just as much a litmus test as it was a typical “Wednesday Workout” (future Intervals Session on We began at Monohan’s Pier and planned to (ahem) “run” along the granite shore south to Pt. Judith and the east wall lining the Harbor of Refuge (see photo). It mapped out to only about 5.5 miles one way but the granite slabs, varying sized rock talus, and soul-devouring chasms between footings offered an interesting challenge. The goal was to average at least 11:00 pace overall (slow, right?) without stopping anywhere along the short coastline. I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say, I have not run a more physically taxing and grueling workout in a long, long time. The end result was 9:50 pace which seems laughably slow but was a total killer. I had no concept of the stress something like that puts on one’s body. When the southern stroll ended, I was a “big hot mess” with a sweat/salt encrusted face, bleeding legs, “rigged-up” quads, and heavily blistered feet—and that was only after 5.5 miles with very little elevation change! The final nail in the coffin came when Galoob turned to me as we began the return trip (back along the road) and said with a smile, “Now just make that same run only 4 times longer with 9000 feet of elevation gain.” Ryan Welts on 2 July 2011. Apparently, some people are in a hurry to get things done. Ben Nephew, New England trail running legend, is the current record holder of the even longer Pemigawasett Traverse (31 mile trek in 6h27m48s on 11 September 2011). Read that again and look at a map of the course. Let’s be clear here – your author has absolutely no visions of grandeur with regards to breaking any records. My curiosity lies more in the realm of “Can I do it?” versus “Can I beat fastest known time?” Completing this monster would be a personal record, no matter what the time. And the last I checked a PR is still a PR, right? Still, I cannot help but wonder: would my body be able to stand up to the long grind of rock “hopping” with elevation changes, blasting winds, and drastic temperature fluctuations for 6 straight hours? You won’t find Muddy’s name anywhere but if you’re an outdoor adventureseeker and record breaking type, keep up to date at http:// 22

Level Bits Survey Results We asked. You answered. These are how many running books the readership owns. Fewer than 5 33% 6—10 20% 11—20 28% More than 20 19% More than 100 members of the Level Legion voted. Thanks! This Month’s Survey After racing a marathon, how much rest do you take before getting back to serious training? A) I don’t take any time off; I’m an animal B) Two or three days is all I need C) One to two weeks is my norm D) I sit on my couch and eat potato chips for several, many weeks Go to or to share your data. Your comments are encouraged and may show up in the Letters section of our next issue. Keep it on The Level. Renner Music Turn up the volume. Turn up the pace. These three songs will make your workout faster. Guaranteed. “The Rail Song” by Adrian Belew This song lopes along relentlessly, carrying you with it. It’s especially apt for long runs on converted rail trails. “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads The best long runs happen when you’re on the road to nowhere, running with no particular route in mind. You may wonder where you are, but as long as you keep going, you don’t really care. You’ll get somewhere soon enough. “Feel the Pain” by Dinosaur Jr. Keep running until you feel the pain. Then let it surround you, become a part of you, and fade to nothing as you stride implacably on. Submitted by Ray Charbonneau. Forward your Renner Music nominations to Put Level Music in the subject line. Pick your best three songs and give a 2 sentence explanation of why you picked each one. You’ll get your name is this rag and live in immortality, even posthumously. NEW: Cool stuff at subscriptions, pics, latest news, video interviews, race coverage, and much more Like us on facebook www.facebook/ @levelrenner @kevbalance @ejn_onthelevel Just so you know… totally rocks... 23

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