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Posts Tagged ‘Jared Busen’

Lemme tell you folks, if you’re reading my blog and not taking a little time to search the blog-o-sphere for other wonderful authors, you’re just flat missing out.  But I’ll get back to that in a minute…

I’ve been blogging for nigh on 2 years now and you know what the best part about it has been?  It’s when I meet people who have followed their Adventure Foot and tried something I recommended!

I've been saying, "To wit" instead of "For example" because I've been watching a lot of Archer.

I’ve been saying, “To wit” instead of “For example” because I’ve been watching a lot of Archer.

To wit:

Two thanksgivings ago I was at the Quincy YMCA Turkey Run running the 10K.   Before the race started, a woman jogged up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’re Laura!” and I said… “I am! Yay!”

Okay… that may not be an exact recount of the encounter, but bear with me.  She went on to explain that she’d read my blogs about how I’d just recently taken up running and about the upcoming Turkey Run.  She had always struggled with weight and she was worried that her kids were already struggling too.  Then she decided that the Turkey Run was as good an event as any to get started on being a healthier family.   She pointed out her husband and two kids standing in the parking lot waiting for the start of the 5K and then thanked me for inspiring them.  I was flabbergasted.  I thanked her profusely for letting me know her story.  And I smiled through my entire 10K knowing that a whole family was taking a chance on trying something new and difficult because of something I’d written.

And another time…

Weather+Distance=Adventure (So says blogger Clinton Begley) Biking+Thunderstorm also equals Danger!

Biking+Thunderstorm=Danger! Also, Adventure. 🙂

Somewhere out in the middle of an 80 mile day on RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) a gentleman riding behind me commented on my Quincy Bike Club jersey.  “Hey, Quincy, Illinois! I read a blog from someone who lives there!” he said.  I first looked at him sideways because I assumed maybe he was someone I knew giving me a hard time.  But no!  He actually turned out to be from somewhere near Rockford, IL and when he pointed out my jersey, he didn’t even know that I was the blogger in question!  We rode side-by-side for the next ten or so miles and he told me that he’d been down in Quincy not that long ago and done the Liberty ride on my recommendation.  Crazy, right? 40,000 cyclists at RAGBRAI and I manage to meet one who both read my blog and tried a ride I talked about.

Anyhow… where was I going with this?

Right! Other bloggers!

I read and follow a smattering of blogs, mostly here on WordPress.  And I absolutely love hearing about other people’s adventures!  And I bet it would make them as happy as I was in the stories above to find out that they’ve inspired me.  So, here’s a shout-out to some other bloggers who have excited me, informed me or made me smile.  Click the links, my friends.  You will not be sorry.

T-Rex Runner... a very cool blog!

T-Rex Runner… a very cool blog!

T-Rex Runner: She runs, she’s funny, and she overcomes adversity.  This blog: http://trexrunner.com/2013/01/28/small-changes-for-big-results-or-smaller-thighs/#comment-3209  is the reason I wrote this blog today.  It’s also inspired me to try squats and lunges in the office so as to be in shape for bike season.

All Seasons Cyclist: http://allseasonscyclist.com   If you need to know about GEAR or nutrition for cycling… this should be your first stop.

Brian Pahlmann: http://personalbesttrainingandcoaching.blogspot.com/  If you’re looking for a blog by a guy who simply knows his stuff, this one is it.  Brian is a USA Cycling Coach, a personal trainer, a running coach… and a great guy!  He’s new to blogging, but he’s got a lot of great information to share and I’m looking forward to learning more from him.

Jared Busen, Willy “Natureboy” Syndram, and Laura Paulo: These three people are all ultra-runners.  They run HUGE distances- I’m talking hundreds of miles in a weekend.  But that’s not what I think is most special about them.  What’s most special is they run unimaginable distances and make you believe you can do it too.  Really.  Read and be inspired.    Jared’s is (I’m linking you to my favorite article… it’s about him running with me… hehe)  http://runhappens.com/love-the-hills/   Willy’s is http://runningwithnatureboy.wordpress.com/ and Laura’s is http://ultrarunninggirl.blogspot.ca/?m=1

Body by Brenda http://bodybybrendat.com/ This friend and blogger went from a morbidly-obese smoker to a super fit and inspirational model of healthy living.  She once fireman carried me across an MMA studio.  She’s awesome.

Dan’s Marathon: http://dans-marathon.com/ This guy is on a quest to run a marathon or a half in all 50 states. I like his race reports and his writing style.  Before I sign up for a race, I look to see if Dan’s done it first to learn more.

Ray Heisey: http://rayheisey.com/  Another great blogger always full of bicycle adventures and bicycle advice! Love it!

Clinton securing our gear for my first time rock rappeling!

Clinton securing our gear for my first time rock rappeling!

Clintergalactic: Saving perhaps the best for last, if you click on no other link today, click this one: http://punqroqclimber.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/finding/  Clinton is a dear friend of mine, but even if he weren’t  I would be a fan of his writing.  I get lost in the scenes he describes.  Read the article I’ve linked you to and tell me you can’t taste the salt on the reel or hear the ping of pistol shots on empty beer cans.  Clinton doesn’t post often, but the quality of every post is worth the wait. When he finally writes a book about his adventures (and he will) I will be first in line.

So there you go! Read!! It’s good for you.   And also PLEASE leave comments on my blogs.  Let me know your thoughts. For gosh sakes, let me know if you try any of the things I blog about.  PLEASE! /begging 

thanks-for-reading

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Friend-of-the-blog Jared Busen has written a wonderful guide to running hills to share with you all!  It seems like running hills should be much like running everywhere else only more … you know… “up,” but sometimes I feel like I’m crawling up the things.  However, with just a few tweaks

Laura and Jared after a 7 mile run.

to style, you too can be conquering each hill like a boss!  I was the beneficiary of the run he talks about in this article, and had the great fortune to have him check out my stride first hand.   The first few attempts were a different feeling for my legs to get used to, but now, I feel like I often am moving uphill better than I am anywhere else.   Once, early in my running career, I told a friend, “Man, I wish people pre-Columbus were right!” and she asked what I meant and I said, “I wish that they were right about the world being flat- because these hills are killin’ me!”  Now that I think of it though, what fun would flat be?  I’m slowly learning to love the hills.

-Laura Sievert

Love the Hills

by Jared Busen

Recently I was running with a friend for the first time. I don’t mean it was the first time I had a friend to run with, I mean it was the first time I ran with this particular friend. Laura is fairly new to running and currently training for her first half marathon. Like most newbs she didn’t know how to run up hill so the hills were kicking her butt. I worked with her on our run and got her to the point where she wasn’t dreading hills. What follows will be some tips and pointers I’ve learned over the years about how to run up hills.

Hills are an important part of a training program. Hills are both speed work and strength training in disguise. They improve leg and core strength as well as speed and power. They improve your running economy. Plus if you get good at them it’s a great feeling to pass another runner going uphill with ease while they are sucking wind.

Before I get into how to run hills I want to mention the mental aspect of it. If you are a runner you are going to have to run up hills, a lot of up hills. They are in most races, most training runs and about any trail run you do. Hills are a fact of life. The right attitude will make them easier and even enjoyable. You are going to encounter them no matter what, if you bring a good attitude you will be in a much better place to attack the hills.

“Hills are easy”. You may think this is a lie, as I did when I first heard it. However I have come to believe this statement, it’s true. Even if it’s not (which it is) then if you just keep telling yourself and choose to believe it they do in fact become easy. “Hills are easy” is a standard mantra of mine. If I’m doing hill repeats or just running a hilly route I still tell myself this.

“You are a better runner at the top of the hill then you were at the bottom”. Again this is another true statement that I love. How can you not love hills if they make you a better runner!? If you get better every time you run up a hill how can you decide to not get excited and run a hill? This is my default response when someone gets tired on a hill or complains about it. If it’s a really long hill think of how much better you are by the time you get to the top.

Maintain your effort not your pace as you climb the hill. As you improve and get stronger you can start to hold your pace, but to begin with go for maintaining the effort. This ensures you won’t be wiped out at the end and you’ll be able to take advantage of the flat at the top or the downhill on the back side.

Lean into the hill. This lean is generated at your ankles, NOT your hips. Don’t bend at the waist as mechanically it’s horribly inefficient and it constricts your diaphragm making it harder to breathe. You should normally run with a slight lean from the ankles, lean a bit more then you do on the flats. You want your body weight over your toes or just a bit forward. Keep your head up and your body in a straight line.

Run closer to the balls of your feet. Even if you are a heel striker run on your mid-foot to ball. This prevents any breaking while running uphill and keeps you light and quick on your feet. You can only do this (CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE)

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Jared Busen at the Badgerland 24-Hour Track Ultra Marathon

Readers of my blog will remember an article in July introducing you to Jared Busen, an ultra runner.  Earlier in September, Jared competed in the Badgerland Ultra Track Marathon with the goals of raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project and running 130 miles in 24 hours. Busen raised more than $3,400 for the Wounded Warrior Project. He also ran over 91 miles before issues with keeping calories in his system forced him to stop the race. Even though he was unable to finish, his total distance placed him third in the Badgerland event.

I talked to him after the race, and despite being somewhat disappointed that he was unable to complete 130 miles, Busen is looking forward to his next Ultra Marathon. In fact, this weekend, Jared plans to run 100 kilometers (62.2 miles) at the same event in which I plan to ride my bike 100 kilometers. The Get Out blog will continue to keep readers up-to-date on Jared’s races, including his return to theMcNaughton race in Vermont May. Last year, he won the 150-mile race, and this year he plans to compete in the 200-mile event. In ultra-exciting news, I plan to be part of his race crew for this amazing event. And as long as I’m setting running goals, I’ve decided that if my friend can run 200 miles, I ought to be able to run 13 … so I’m making plans now to run in the 2012 Bridge the Gap to Health Half Marathon. This event is scheduled for May 12, 2012, and more information can be found on the Bridge the Gap Facebook page. The Get Out blog congratulates Jared on his performance in the Badgerland Track Ultra and wishes him continued ultra-running success. Here’s his recap of the event. More information can be found at his website www.runhappens.com.

Laura Sievert

_____________________________________________________________

Badgerland Track Ultra Recap

Sept. 3, 2011, was the 24-Hour Badgerland Track Ultra. This race takes place on a 400-meter track, log as many miles as you can in 24 hours. My goal was to run 130 miles before the time elapsed. This was a big goal, but one I know I’m capable of achieving. Well, I fell way short of it. I didn’t even run all 24 hours. This won’t be an in-depth recount cause when you run 369 laps around a 400-meter track, they all blur together. Even had I wrote it right after the race, it still would all blur together. My official distance is 91.731 miles.

My crew was Brandon and Betsy Barnes. They both did a great job supporting me and getting me whatever gear or food I needed as the day progressed. Betsy walked the 6-hour and reached her goal of going more than 20 miles; she finished with 20.136 miles.

My buddy Ryan Dexter was there also, he was trying to cover 145 miles that day. Once the race started, he took the lead immediately and was setting a solid pace. I was trailing anywhere from half a mile to two miles for the first few hours. After that, him and I started trading for first place. We’d run together for a bit then split off on our own pace. We were the only two racing this thing; everyone else was taking it easy and just logging miles.

To put it in perspective, Ryan and I were doing the 24 hour race. We were running faster then any of the runners in the 12-hour race. Only one person in the 6-hour race was running as fast as we were, but he was there to pace Ryan. He and I were both setting a tough pace.

Ryan would lead, then I would lead, then he would lead. We spent a few hours trading for first place. Then he started to feel bad. Long story short, Ryan took a break and ended up dry heaving and calls the race. He covered 62.397 miles before dropping. It was a huge effort up to that point. I really hated to see him drop for a few reasons. 1.) He’s a hell of an ultra runner, I hate to see him drop. 2.) He’s a buddy of mine, hate to see him suffer 3.) He was my only competition, part of my motivation to keep pushing myself. Now the race was basically mine to loose. I’m way ahead of second place and, while I’m feeling a bit rough, I’m still running a solid pace.

To be honest the whole race was a bit off for me. I didn’t feel up to par to begin with, not sick or bad, just not completely right. I was hoping that I would catch my groove at some point, my body would remember what ultra running feels like and I’d hit the zone and just run. But it never occurred. All day I kept pushing, and not feeling like I was going anywhere. Yes, I was in the lead for a large portion of the race, but it never felt easy. I was fighting for it.

I keep the lead, eventually I’m 8 miles up on second place. Way out in front and no one even close. I’m still not feeling right, mentally I’ve been struggling the whole day. My stomach is starting to feel wrong, and mentally I’m feeling worse and worse. I keep fighting myself, can’t get past the hump. I hit the 90-mile mark right at 18 hours. This is the time when my stomach has had enough for whatever reason.  I go to the grassy/bushy section of the track and start to dry heave, followed by full on puking and throwing up the entire contents of my stomach. I still have no clue what caused this.

I lost all my calories and felt like crap. Eating is paramount to an ultra runner, there are 6 hours left in this race. I have to keep eating. Maybe had there been an hour left I wouldn’t have worried about it, but 6 hours is a long time to burn energy and not refuel. I decide to stop for a bit and see if my stomach will calm down. I keep feeling like I need to throw up.

Ryan still has a tent up that he uses to change or when his crew needs a nap. I climb in there after having sat for a bit and take a nap. The hope is my stomach will calm down. After an hour of resting Brandon and Betsy talk me into going back out and start moving around the track. My stomach is still killing me, and mentally, I’ve lost all fight and motivation. After 19 hours of feeling off, then throwing up and having an upset stomach I have no desire to go on.

We tried ginger, flat coke and Pepto-Bismol to get my stomach to settle, all in the hopes I can take in calories again. I walk the track for about five laps hoping to feel better. My pace at this point was a 10-minute 400 meter. That’s a 40-minute mile — not good. Any faster and I wanted to toss my cookies again. After the five laps at this pace, having not eating for a few hours and mentally being beaten I call the race at hour 20. I’m miserable, was off my goal and can’t eat. The choice was to suffer for another 4 hours, or call it take a shower and try to sleep. The hotel sounded way better then suffering the rest of the night.

I fell way short of my goal and didn’t even finish the race. I’ve run more than 20 hours and more then 91 miles on many occasions. I’m a strong runner, but it just wasn’t my day. It took some coming to terms with another failure at this course, but it’s what happened, so I have to accept it. It was my choice to stop. I still feel it was the right decision, but it’s an embarrassing decision to make.

I’ve had a lot of people tell me I did great, was a stud for doing what I did in the time I did, I ran 91 miles … I get it. However, I’m a much better runner then that performance. It’s all relative. I’m an ultra runner — this is what I do. I keep running no matter what, but I didn’t that day. It was the right call, but a hard one to accept still. I’ll get there, just need some time between me and the race. That’s part of the reason I’ve waited a few weeks to write this recap. I needed time away from the race to accept it.

I still took third place in the race, which isn’t too shabby for not having run the last 6 hours. I am happy with the pace I was setting and the effort I put into the race until the end. Track ultras are a different beast. It’s a hard race to compete in. I don’t know if I’m going to go back next year or not. Still thinking about that and probably won’t make a decision until May or June about trying to finish this race a third time. Part of me wants to go back and prove to the track I can beat it, but part of me wants to move on and do an ultra I’ve never done before. Go somewhere new next fall and ultra run there. We’ll see.

Jared Busen

Original Post September 30, 2011

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Jared Busen at the Badgerland 24-Hour Track Ultra Marathon

Readers will remember an article in July introducing you to Jared Busen, an ultra runner.  Earlier in September, Jared competed in the Badgerland Ultra Track Marathon with the goals of raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project and running 130 miles in 24 hours. Busen raised more than $3,400 for the Wounded Warrior Project. He also ran over 91 miles before issues with keeping calories in his system forced him to stop the race. Even though he was unable to finish, his total distance placed him third in the Badgerland event.

I talked to him after the race, and despite being somewhat disappointed that he was unable to complete 130 miles, Busen is looking forward to his next Ultra Marathon. In fact, this weekend, Jared plans to run 100 kilometers (62.2 miles) at the same event in which I plan to ride my bike 100 kilometers. The Get Out blog will continue to keep readers up-to-date on Jared’s races, including his return to theMcNaughton race in Vermont May. Last year, he won the 150-mile race, and this year he plans to compete in the 200-mile event. In ultra-exciting news, I plan to be part of his race crew for this amazing event. And as long as I’m setting running goals, I’ve decided that if my friend can run 200 miles, I ought to be able to run 13 … so I’m making plans now to run in the 2012 Bridge the Gap to Health Half Marathon. This event is scheduled for May 12, 2012, and more information can be found on the Bridge the Gap Facebook page. The Get Out blog congratulates Jared on his performance in the Badgerland Track Ultra and wishes him continued ultra-running success. Here’s his recap of the event. More information can be found at his website www.runhappens.com.

________________________________________

Badgerland Track Ultra Recap

By Jared Busen-

Sept. 3, 2011, was the 24-Hour Badgerland Track Ultra. This race takes place on a 400-meter track, log as many miles as you can in 24 hours. My goal was to run 130 miles before the time elapsed. This was a big goal, but one I know I’m capable of achieving. Well, I fell way short of it. I didn’t even run all 24 hours. This won’t be an in-depth recount cause when you run 369 laps around a 400-meter track, they all blur together. Even had I wrote it right after the race, it still would all blur together. My official distance is 91.731 miles.

My crew was Brandon and Betsy Barnes. They both did a great job supporting me and getting me whatever gear or food I needed as the day progressed. Betsy walked the 6-hour and reached her goal of going more than 20 miles; she finished with 20.136 miles.

My buddy Ryan Dexter was there also, he was trying to cover 145 miles that day. Once the race started, he took the lead immediately and was setting a solid pace. I was trailing anywhere from half a mile to two miles for the first few hours. After that, him and I started trading for first place. We’d run together for a bit then split off on our own pace. We were the only two racing this thing; everyone else was taking it easy and just logging miles.

To put it in perspective, Ryan and I were doing the 24 hour race. We were running faster then any of the runners in the 12-hour race. Only one person in the 6-hour race was running as fast as we were, but he was there to pace Ryan. He and I were both setting a tough pace.

Ryan would lead, then I would lead, then he would lead. We spent a few hours trading for first place. Then he started to feel bad. Long story short, Ryan took a break and ended up dry heaving and calls the race. He covered 62.397 miles before dropping. It was a huge effort up to that point. I really hated to see him drop for a few reasons. 1.) He’s a hell of an ultra runner, I hate to see him drop. 2.) He’s a buddy of mine, hate to see him suffer 3.) He was my only competition, part of my motivation to keep pushing myself. Now the race was basically mine to loose. I’m way ahead of second place and, while I’m feeling a bit rough, I’m still running a solid pace.

To be honest the whole race was a bit off for me. I didn’t feel up to par to begin with, not sick or bad, just not completely right. I was hoping that I would catch my groove at some point, my body would remember what ultra running feels like and I’d hit the zone and just run. But it never occurred. All day I kept pushing, and not feeling like I was going anywhere. Yes, I was in the lead for a large portion of the race, but it never felt easy. I was fighting for it.

I keep the lead, eventually I’m 8 miles up on second place. Way out in front and no one even close. I’m still not feeling right, mentally I’ve been struggling the whole day. My stomach is starting to feel wrong, and mentally I’m feeling worse and worse. I keep fighting myself, can’t get past the hump. I hit the 90-mile mark right at 18 hours. This is the time when my stomach has had enough for whatever reason.  I go to the grassy/bushy section of the track and start to dry heave, followed by full on puking and throwing up the entire contents of my stomach. I still have no clue what caused this.

I lost all my calories and felt like crap. Eating is paramount to an ultra runner, there are 6 hours left in this race. I have to keep eating. Maybe had there been an hour left I wouldn’t have worried about it, but 6 hours is a long time to burn energy and not refuel. I decide to stop for a bit and see if my stomach will calm down. I keep feeling like I need to throw up.

Ryan still has a tent up that he uses to change or when his crew needs a nap. I climb in there after having sat for a bit and take a nap. The hope is my stomach will calm down. After an hour of resting Brandon and Betsy talk me into going back out and start moving around the track. My stomach is still killing me, and mentally, I’ve lost all fight and motivation. After 19 hours of feeling off, then throwing up and having an upset stomach I have no desire to go on.

We tried ginger, flat coke and Pepto-Bismol to get my stomach to settle, all in the hopes I can take in calories again. I walk the track for about five laps hoping to feel better. My pace at this point was a 10-minute 400 meter. That’s a 40-minute mile — not good. Any faster and I wanted to toss my cookies again. After the five laps at this pace, having not eating for a few hours and mentally being beaten I call the race at hour 20. I’m miserable, was off my goal and can’t eat. The choice was to suffer for another 4 hours, or call it take a shower and try to sleep. The hotel sounded way better then suffering the rest of the night.

I fell way short of my goal and didn’t even finish the race. I’ve run more than 20 hours and more then 91 miles on many occasions. I’m a strong runner, but it just wasn’t my day. It took some coming to terms with another failure at this course, but it’s what happened, so I have to accept it. It was my choice to stop. I still feel it was the right decision, but it’s an embarrassing decision to make.

I’ve had a lot of people tell me I did great, was a stud for doing what I did in the time I did, I ran 91 miles … I get it. However, I’m a much better runner then that performance. It’s all relative. I’m an ultra runner — this is what I do. I keep running no matter what, but I didn’t that day. It was the right call, but a hard one to accept still. I’ll get there, just need some time between me and the race. That’s part of the reason I’ve waited a few weeks to write this recap. I needed time away from the race to accept it.

I still took third place in the race, which isn’t too shabby for not having run the last 6 hours. I am happy with the pace I was setting and the effort I put into the race until the end. Track ultras are a different beast. It’s a hard race to compete in. I don’t know if I’m going to go back next year or not. Still thinking about that and probably won’t make a decision until May or June about trying to finish this race a third time. Part of me wants to go back and prove to the track I can beat it, but part of me wants to move on and do an ultra I’ve never done before. Go somewhere new next fall and ultra run there. We’ll see.

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Jared Busen, Ultra Runner

In a previous post, I introduced you to Ultra-Runner Jared Busen. Jared completed a 150-mile race this May, and he wrote a wonderful breakdown of the run to share with my readers. For more race recaps, gear reviews, photos, and videos from Jared, please visit his website:www.runhappens.com.

Jared is currently training for the Badgerland 24-Hour Track Ultra-Marathon and hopes to complete 130-plus miles. He is running this race in support of the Wounded Warrior Project and has set a goal of raising $5,000 to support our military heroes. Please consider making a donation — either a one-time amount or by-the-mile — for this honorable cause. Visit http://tinyurl.com/WWPJaredBusen to make a donation or for more information.

________________________________________

By Jared Busen:

May 6, 2011, was my 150-mile run. I enjoyed it immensely. I finished first overall, struggled at some points but dealt with it all as it came and kept knocking the miles down. Official time is 50h09m54s.

The trail is a 10-mile loop repeated 15 times with 2,400 feet of elevation change per loop. This means that running 150 miles gets you 36,000 feet of elevation change.  The trail is set up for mountain biking and is a mixture of  old logging roads, single track, switchbacks, massive ascends and descends and everything else you want a trail to have. Without a doubt, the toughest course I have ever run on.

Jared Busen at the McNaughton Race

There was an aid station at the 0/10 or Start/Finish as well as one at the 5.5-mile mark where crew could meet up with you. My brother volunteered to come out and crew for this race. He met me each time I hit 5.5 or finished a loop out. We had already discussed nutrition, what I’ll need each time we see each other before the race even started as well as what I’d like next time I see him during the race. He did an amazing job as crew and I had no issues, things went smoothly with him.

Below I’ll try my best to recount what each loop was like as well as give my official split (h:mm).

0-10  2:08

This was the first loop, and it was used to figure the trail out. I learned fast thanks to several steep and long climbs as well as descends that my quads will fall off if I run each of them. I ran some of the hills as well as some of the really technical sections of the trail on this loop, that I never did again. This was my fastest loop and I should have backed off more.

10-20  2:13

Nothing special on this loop. Just backed of a bit, but not enough, and knocked out one more loop.

20-30  2:19

Again, tried to slow the pace down knowing I was going too fast. I had a hard time backing off cause I really was running very easy. Big thing here was that at mile 25.5 (aid station) I took the first position. I didn’t want this that early in the run, but it happened so I took it and hoped the pressure of keeping it didn’t get to me. At the end of this loop, my buddy Darrin caught up to me who I hadn’t seen since last September at the 24-hour track run.

30-40 2:20  Pacer – Darrin

Darrin was there as part of the 100-mile crew. Which means that he was officially in the 100-mile race but not competing. His job was to pace for Ryan Dexter, another friend of mine. Ryan is the type of ultra runner I hope to become someday but probably never will. During the course of the weekend, Darrin had to get a total of 100-miles in so it would count as a finish. He got some in on Thursday, some on Friday and the rest on Saturday. Darrin was kind enough to run a loop with me here.

40-50 2:41 Pacer – Darrin

Darrin decided to hang with me again, he helped me pull around and finish one-third of my race. Fifty miles knocked out in just 11 hours; that was too fast and I ended up paying for this later.

50-60 2:59 Pacer — Darrin

Darin ran with me again on this loop until about mile 56, then he took off to finish the loop out quicker then I was going to. He needed to pace Ryan on his next loop, and Ryan was still knocking out low 2-hour splits so Darrin wanted some rest. This loop was to be my last one finished in daylight on Friday.

60-70 3:30

The plan was during the night  — when the running is so much slower because you just can’t see the trail as well — to run two to three easy laps during the night. The intent was to recover and go easy ’til the sun came up then go back at it a little quicker. I had started to hit a wall already so I was happy to have the easy running for a while.

70-80 3:46 Pacer — Justin (brother)

Justin decided to join me for this loop. It was his first time running with a headlamp, seemed like he enjoyed it. Also his first time seeing the course; too bad it was at night, so he didn’t get to see it. I was still up against a wall and was beating my head against it to break through.

80-90 3:50 Pacer — Justin

Justin went out again on this loop. The sun was just coming up so we started with the headlamps but turned them off within a mile or so. The first few miles of this I kept falling asleep while I was running. This was new to me — didn’t want it to be happening, but it was. I was really struggling at this point. But we made it around and still knocked out some miles.

90-100 3:59

I ran solo for this loop. I was still in the lead and had gained a lot by running all night. The other 150ers had gotten in some sleep in the night.  I kept racking up miles while they laid there. Now, they were up and they all passed me, were looking great and I was struggling just to walk. I realized that I can’t break through this wall I’ve been fighting with the past 30-plus miles. At mile 95.5, I told Justin to talk to the Race Director and find me a place to sleep for a bit. Miles 98-100, I started to hallucinate. I kept seeing people behind the trees peeking out and staring at me. One guy would peak out, take a picture and duck back behind the tree. Another was a married couple and the husband would peak out one side of the tree, the wife the other. I knew that they weren’t real, but I was out of it enough that I still stopped over and over trying to get a better look at them. I finally made it in and finished 100 miles in about 30 hours.

100-110 5:15 Pacer — Mindy

Got an hour and a half nap here which is why the above split is so long. Justin woke me up and got me going. Ryan’s crew chief knew me and came over with Justin to give me a heart-to-heart on digging down and seeing what you are made of. It’s all stuff I know, but is always good to hear. Justin had set up a pacer for me, Mindy. I already knew her from Ryan’s crew and she had crewed for me in the past back when I first met Ryan and his crew. She ran this lap with me, and I think the run time was in the low 3 hours. The nap helped a ton, and I felt like a new man. I was running strong again.

110-120 3:24 Pacer — Justin

Justin ran this one with me, giving him 30 miles so far where before his longest run was a marathon. This lap went well, and we were both excited there were only 30 miles left in the race. We decided I’d take a 45-minute nap, when we made it back to the start finish, with the hope of knocking out the last 30 in one shot.

120-130 4:24

The nap is included in this so the split is long. After another quick nap, I was running good again and knocking out the miles pretty easy. The sun had gone down at the start of this lap, so it was back to headlamp running.

Jared crosses a creek on the trail.

130-140 3:32 Pacer — Brian

Justin hooked me up with another pacer for this lap. Brian was there as a volunteer and was kind enough to go out with me. We wanted someone to knock out a lap with me, keep the pace up if possible and just get more miles in. At about 137, I hit the wall hard. I had slowed down and was struggling to run. It was so frustrating to be about a half marathon out and start to hurt again. I wanted to fall asleep so bad, I kept fighting it and never did but I wanted to. At mile 139, I had another hallucination. This time, I saw a cowboy leaning against a tree on my side, not peeking out behind. He looked at me, tipped his hat and gave an odd smile. He scared me and I really don’t know why. It was still night so I should not have seen detail but I was able to. Again, I knew it was a hallucination, but I was out of it enough that it felt real.

140-150 3:42 Pacer — Justin

Since I had a hallucination I went down for about a 30-minute nap before going out on the last loop. I was a few hours up on the second place guy so I took advantage of that and slept for a bit. Justin woke me and we started moving. I was really stiff to begin with, and it took a few miles to limber up. A few miles from the finish, I knew I was going to make it and could smell the finish line. I started to run more and more, and run faster and faster. The last two miles was all running, up hill, down hill, whatever I attacked it. Justin kept cheering me on and running with me. I’ve run so many miles in my life that my body doesn’t need to be told what to do. I ignored the previous 148 miles of running and just took off. We had a beautiful all out sprint to the finish. Bringing home first place in a time of 50:09:54.

Luckily Ryan Dexter happened to be at the finish line (after CRUSHING the 200-mile race) and was able to see me finish. I had caught his finish the night before, but since I was still in my race, I had to keep moving and didn’t have a chance to talk. I was able to shoot the breeze with him for a bit before he headed home. Justin and I made it over to a local B&B, had showers, a huge breakfast and a 7-hour nap.

This was a hard race, and it broke me off at one point. However, both Justin and I reacted correctly and dealt with it instead of giving up or wishing for something different. I have already signed up for this race in 2012. I can’t wait to go back. Now that I’ve done it, I know how to train so I can rock a good time next year.

Thanks to Justin for his phenomenal support, I was able to cover the distance. Big props to Ryan Dexter’s crew for throwing us a lot of support as well. The ultra running community is amazing cause everyone takes care of each other.

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Jared Busen, pictured here in uniform in Afghanistan. Busen continued training runs while he served there as a Combat Advisor in 2009-2010.

“Ultra” is the right adjective for Jared Busen in more ways than one. This Class of 2000 Quincy High grad has gone on to become something of a real-life superhero. In 2006, Busen joined the Army, went into Basic Training, and discovered that distance running was his passion. Not satisfied with marathons of 26.2 miles, Busen elected to push onward to Ultra-Marathon distances.

An Ultra-Marathon takes one of two forms: it can be a specified distance (often 50k, 100k, 50 miles, 100 miles or 150 miles) or the race can last a set length of time, for example, 24 hours, and the runners will cover all of the distance that they possibly can before time expires.

It’s easy to list out Jared’s accomplishments as a runner and be in awe. He’s competed in 13 Ultras since he began. He took first place in the Farmdale 50 mile in October 2010 and first place in 150 mile McNaughton Trail Run in May 2011. He places regularly in every race he enters. He even continued running and training while he was deployed in Afghanistan — famously recording hundreds of laps around the .6-mile perimeter of Camp Alamo just because he needed somewhere to stretch his legs. During Army leave time in South Korea — where you would imagine a soldier might want to rest — Busen instead ran a 100k, came back three weeks later to run in the Seoul Marathon, and then completed a second 100k a week after that.

Ultra Marathons take place on a variety of surfaces, including rugged trails like this one.

Besides conquering herculean running distances though, what sets Busen apart in my mind is the focus he brings to all of his endeavors and the easy and unassuming way he talks about distance I can only imagine in terms of road trips in my car.

“[Ultra marathoning] is a sport anyone can do. I’m not gifted or special, I’m just a regular dude who decided to do something hard,” he explains. “The first step is to accept that you’re capable of accomplishing that kind of challenge.”

I expressed some disbelief at his assertion that anyone could take on that kind of distance — thinking back on how hard my first two 5k races seemed this year — and he continued to explain how someone makes the jump from small distances to larger ones.

“That’s the only difference. It’s about continual forward progress. It’s about not quitting. It’s hard for me too — really hard. You’re going to hit walls and want to stop no matter what distances you’re training for.  For running you have to be adaptable and know how to overcome.”

Busen recently launched a website dedicated to his Ultras. In race recaps, you start to understand some of the difficulties the sport entails. The logistics of these races are planned months in advance. Each racer requires a small but dedicated team of people to monitor the race, provide the right hydration, nutrition and equipment as conditions dictate. For example, Busen calculated that he consumed over 10,200 calories during the 150-mile McNaughton race. For comparison, that’s eight days worth of calories for me right now. It’s not surprising that this race takes that much fuel though, or that it takes a team to manage it. The trail is a 10-mile loop repeated 15 times with 2,400 feet of elevation change per loop. The total elevation change is 36,000 feet, the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest and Mount Saint Helens combined.

In addition to his physical accomplishments, Busen is an indefatigable teacher and motivator. In the Army and now the Army Reserves, he is a drill sergeant with the rank staff sergeant E-6.  And while he’ll tell you he was the one “all up in everyone’s face, barking orders,” you can see that he was a leader by example. I asked him why such a Zen-guy would want to be a drill sergeant, and he explained that he just wanted to be the best soldier he could be.

“I guess I see a drill sergeant as a model soldier, so aspiring to that forced me to be as focused as I could be. You’re in front of everyone and they’re just waiting for you to screw up — it’s motivation to work even harder and do my best.”

Busen (right) running on a track. He says that long distances only require a commitment to "continual forward progress."

Busen backs his drill sergeant persona down a decibel or two when he helps coach track and cross-country teams at his local high school and junior high.

“It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences, to help kids learn to love running. I hope I inspire them to run their best. They definitely inspire me.”

The “Get Out” blog will feature some of Jared Busen’s own race recaps in upcoming posts. Until then, I’d encourage you to check out his blog at www.runhappens.com or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/runhappens?ref=ts.

Jared is currently training for the Badgerland 24-Hour Track Ultra-Marathon and hopes to complete 130-plus miles. He is running this race in support of the Wounded Warrior Project and has set a goal of raising $5,000 to support our military heroes. Please consider making a donation — either a one-time amount or by-the-mile — for this honorable cause. Visit http://tinyurl.com/WWPJaredBusen to make a donation or for more information.

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