Wednesday, February 3, 2010

50 day challenge and 400 miles in February

Brack, Spencer, and I are participating in a 50 day challenge. It started on Jan. 24 and will finish on Mar. 14, one week before the running of ING Georgia. We have to run everyday for 50 days with a minimum of 5 miles per day and at least one double digit run per year. We are now on day 11, and everyone is holding strong! We are all hoping to set a PR in the ING Georgia Marathon. That will be easy for Spencer as long as he finishes since it will be his first.

I am also attempting to run 400 miles, an average of 100 miles a week for 4 weeks, in February. I have only run 100 miles in a week once in my life, and that was because I ran 67 of that at one time. This will both be challenging, but I believe benefits will come.
Did you know that there are over 143,000,000 orphans in the world! That many children without parents. I pray that the church will begin to do what it set out to do many years ago and take care of the widows and orphans in the world. What is my part? What is your part? Questions that I hope will begin to be answered in my lifetime.
It's gonna be a good year.
Running Drew

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Seminole State Forest

Florida may be flat, but it is beautiful. Today I had the opportunity to run 30 miles in the Seminole State Forest. Running through swamps, forest, fields of palms, and much more.

Before I get into my run report, I must explain this 50 day challenge that Brack, Spencer, and I are doing. Beginning today, for the next 50 days, we are running with no rest days. The only stipulations are a MINIMUM of 5 miles per day, and AT LEAST one double digit run per week. The challenge will end on March 14, 7 days before the ING Atlanta, in which all 3 of us will run. Now for the report.

I began at the Southern end of the Seminole State Forest at one of the Florida Trail Trailheads. I really had no clue how far my run was gonna be, but I was thinking between 20 and 30. Standing at the trailhead, I tried to memorize the trail map, but there were intersecting trails everywhere, and I was planning to run 3 different loops off of the Florida Trail. So I decided to take pictures of the map at the trailhead, and this ended up being a great idea...yet another reason every runner needs an iphone.

My pack was a little heavy, due to carrying 5 hours worth of water, and probably enough calories for 40 miles. So the first couple of miles were tough because of the weight, but when I got to around 4 or 5 miles, I started getting in a rhythm. The trails were awesome, and I rolled through miles 10-17 and really felt good. As I got to around mile 18, I ran into a really soft sandy section of the trail, and it really got to me. This stretch lasted for about 3 miles, and as I ran through it, I hardly felt like I was even moving. At mile 21, at the end of the sand, I felt rough. This was nothing a pack of peanut m & m's couln't fix. I shouldn't have sat down! I got up and decided to head back to the car via the Florida Trail, having just completed the third loop off the the main trail. As I started back, it probably took me 2 minutes to waddle back to my pace, but I got back in the rhythm.

I struggled at numerous points on the way back, but continued to move forward. I did stop about halfway back and chatted with the park ranger at the pond. She was sitting and smoking a cigarette chatting with an old guy fishing. I shot the breeze with them for a minute before making the final 3 miles of the trip back to the car. I made it back to the car at mile 27. Great run.

So then I called one of my team leaders at Chick-fil-a whom I told I would run with. So I drove 5 minutes to his house to run 3 miles with him on a paved bike trail. He hadn't run in a year or so, so I had to get over there.

It is nice to be an Ultra runner again! See you on the trails.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Back in the Game

So my last post was May 20 of last year, and it wasn't long after that my running came to a stop. Sometime in August I began to think I was too busy to run, so for the next few months, there was virtually no running. I did run 2 or 3 times in November, and the same in December. I was travelling A LOT!!! I made many excuses, and began to think I was finished with running for a while. Unfortanately that lasted until this month.

Since the end of November, I have been living north of Orlando FL, running a Chick-fil-A temporarily. My first few weeks were extremely busy, being December in a mall!!! I worked Open-Close many times in December. When January rolled around, I began to see efforts paying of, as the store was running more efficiently and some of the leadership that is being developed really began to take ownership in the store. This is very exciting for me, meaning I will not be here 12-14 hours a day anymore. I want to thank every member of the team at Chick-fil-A @ Seminole Towne Center for committing to your role and running a successful store day in and day out!

So this brings me to running. I am back out there on the pavement and trails. My first day of the year was the Wednesday before last in which I ran 6 miles. My second time out was that Sunday, in which I ran 26.2 miles... I had to see if I still had it in me. I did feel it after this run for a few days.

Running in Florida is different than North GA! Everything is flat! It's crazy to look at the elevation on my GPS and it read 42 feet. The first time I saw this I thought it was wrong. The awesome part of running down here is the beautiful trails through the swamps. I haven't seen a gator yet, but I have my eye out for one. The Palm Trees also make this area beautiful. Oh, and so I ran across and orange on the trail, and I thought the same thing I thought last time I saw an orange on the trail... and that was a backpacker must have dropped their snack. But of course it actually fell of an orange tree, yeah that was pretty cool.

This week has been a huge success. I have run everyday and actually feel pretty good after a couple of double digit runs this week.

The 50 day challenge!

Beginning this Sunday Jan. 24, Brack, Spencer, and I are up for the challenge. We are committing to 50 days straight of training with no rest days. The stipulations are a minimum of 5 miles a day and at least one double digit a week. This challenge will run until March 14, seven days before ING Georgia. The last week of the challenge, I will probably be running the minimum most days, as I recover a little for ING Georgia. So we will see what happens. We will all be tweeting our workouts everyday, so you can follow @running_drew, @CoachBrack, and @spencart on twitter.

The goal for ING GA is to PR, that would be sub 2:58:28, but with a bigger goal of sub 2:50. I really hope to keep up with this blog, but more importantly to continue to experience new adventures on the trails and pavement! Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to get back to North GA and hit the trails with you guys.

From Flat Florida,

Running Drew

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What is next?

This is the question that has been swirling around in my crazy mind for a while now.  Obviously, all of my training from here until November will be dedicated to the completion of the Pinhoti 100 mile trail run in under 24 hours.  I have been advised not to set a time goal in my first 100 mile race, but with the amount of dedicated training that I will have, and the way my mind works, this is my goal.  I will be very content with the completion of my first 100 mile race regardless of the time, but I really want to come in under 24 hours!!!  So I said it, and now it's time to get to work.  

There has been some question about what is up with the name of my blog, and as I have briefly explained, my goal is to raise awareness for the orphans in the world...THERE ARE 143,000,000!!!!!  I am broken to think of myself and the fact that there is nothing I did as a child to deserve a home and loving parents more than the children that were born in a different circumstance.  Why me?  How do I deserve this life more than others?  I don't!  This is why I believe in taking care of those who, by no choice of there own, are born into unfortunate circumstances.  In the house of the Burnetts, we feel it is our responsibilities to take care of these souls.  

I will be doing a lot to raise awareness in the months and years to come.  I will also give you many ways to get involved.  For some, it may be to join in the effort of raising finances.  For others, it may be that you will become a financial supporter of this cause.  For some, and I really pray that this is true for many, you may find yourself in the adoption process in your future.  I said it, and now you are thinking, right?  

This is a crazy world we live in, and deep down we all feel we are here to fulfill a deep purpose in this world, embrace it!  Whatever it may be, please embrace it, and live with such passion that you make the world a better place.

Congratulations to Jennifer Vogel and crew for winning the Keys 100 miler with a time of 19:10!  I love getting to know such amazing people in this world of running.

Run On!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twisted Ankle Marathon

It is always nice to do a race where you know everyone.  That is how I felt leading up to and on race day at Twisted Ankle Marathon.  This is such a great race, and just has a great feel to it.  The race was very well organized, and the entire day went smoothly.

Now let's get to my race.  I had very high expectations going into this race.  I had a goal of finishing under 4 hours, and really finishing under 3:50... but that didn't quite work out for me.  My time for the day was 4:21, finishing at a 9:59 average pace.  By no means am I disappointed with the time, but I did have a pretty rough day.  I just felt like I had no energy from about mile 10 on.  

Going back to the start of the race, I got to see and talk to so many cool people.  Chatting with Dewayne Satterfield while in line for the bathroom was nice... he is such a great runner and a great guy all around.  Others I got to see and talk to before the race were Phil, Matt, Bryce, Michael, Chris, Brian, Todd,  and many others I knew.  It was really cool to be in such great company at the start of the race.  As the race began, I felt great on the flat section, as we made our way over to the first climb.  Chris ran out ahead, as he would go on to win the Half.  I got to run with Dewayne for a few minutes, then I slowed down tremendously on the climb, which was the plan all along.  About 1/3 of the way up the mountain, Bryce came up behind me and we ran together for the remainder of the climb, as well as all the way down to Hwy 100.  Getting down to that first aid station was nice, knowing that I would see Amy for a few seconds.  I did have in the back of my mind, I was about to have to climb up this trail that we were cruising down.  The trip over there was awesome, getting to talk with Bryce about his race plans, and finding out he was going to be plunging into the 100 mile distance in September.  So this section was great, I felt great, so what happened???

Well, as I started the climb back up the mountain, I began to feel a little weak.  So I slowed down, walked any steep grades, and tried to save my energy.  As I finally got to the top of the mountain again, I heard some footsteps coming up behind me.  These footsteps would stay behind me in this race for the next 12 miles or so.  These were the footsteps of a 16 year old sophomore in high school, who turns out to be running his first marathon!!!   It was truly a joy being able to pace him to his first marathon finish up here on this brutal course, his time was 4:23, just a shade over 10 min. pace!  So as we ran over past the midpoint, and to the next turnaround, we really were just trying not to drop the pace too much.  I did fall one time and looked at my calf, there was a serious indention in my muscle, a cramp right in the middle of my left calf.  I got back up and we made our way to the end of the section, where my beautiful support crew (Amy) would be waiting for me.  

I got to her, then began to see the leaders of the race as I made my way to the turn-around.   Matt Kahrs was still in 3rd place, and looking very strong!  He was followed by Dewayne and Bryce.  As I turned around, I got to see who was chasing me, and it was Nils who was probably 8-10 minutes behind me and Travis at this point.  I got back to Amy before I went into the woods for the final stretch, and I let her know I was feeling pretty rough.  This entire section seemed very slow, as I did walk most of the climbs.  Any time I did try to run an incline, my achilles would cramp up, something that has never happened before.  Somewhere toward the end of this section, right before we dropped down into our final 4 mile descent, I went up ahead of Travis(the 16 year old).  
So I got to the aid station where I turned right down the mountain and headed for the finish, and I thought I had around 2 or 3 miles to go.   I asked the volunteers, and they said I had 4 to go!  This completely discouraged me, and I just went into survival mode, wanting the race to be over.  I got down the steep part and as I made my way toward the lake, I caught a glimpse of Nils behind me, and he looked strong.  I tried to pick it up a little and race him to the finish, but he had a very nice kick at the end and ran the last mile at least 2 minutes faster than me.  

I slowly made my way to the finish line with a time of 4:21 (7th place), where I got to see my wife, my son, mom, Steve and Beth(Amy's parents), Amy's grandparents, and other friends of mine who were cheering for me... Thank all of you for the support, it means so much to me!  And thank you Steve for the awesome pictures at the end.  

Travis came across about 2 minutes later to complete his first marathon!

I went over to congratulate all those finishing before me, and had about 3 cokes, and some oranges. 

The day was humid, and it took everything I had to get to the end in 4:21.  Nice job to everyone who finished the race.  David, congrats on your sub 6 finish, amazing!  Michael, congrats on yet another year completing this brutal race! 

Malachi is waking up from his nap now, so I have to go.  Time to get ready for Pinhoti 100! Seriously, Bye, he's crying!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dick's Creek Gap To Springer Mountain

I'll start with saying that this was by far the hardest thing I've ever done.  Also, this could not have been done without Brack who paced me the last 32, and Morgan and Dustin who crewed me from point to point after the 36 mile mark at Neels Gap.  

I will not lie, I did not really tell anyone except these 3 guys and my wife that I was doing this, mostly because I did not want to set any kind of expectation, knowing that there was a chance I would fall short of my goal.  I have watched my great friend Jon Obst, as well as others, time after time amaze me by accomplishing amazing feats, and honestly I just wanted to see if I had what it takes. 

The breakdown went like this Start at Dick's Creek Gap, 8 miles south on the NC border, at 10 am.  Thanks Chris and Erin for dropping me off!  From there I would run 36 miles to Neels Gap, where I would have a supporting crew of Morgan and Dustin, as well as my pacer for the next 32 miles, Brack.  By the way, Brack had never run over 26.2 miles before this run.  
The second half was from Neels Gap to Springer Mountain, 30.5 miles, then obviously the mile back down to the parking lot.  This stretch would make the run 67.5 miles of AT running. 

I felt great at the start, knowing that the goal of this run was to uncharacteristically start out extremely slow,  to make sure I finish.  After all there was no time limit, just myself and 67.5 miles of trail in front of me.   Okay I should go ahead and mention, this previously unexplored by me, northern section of GA AT, was ridiculous.  Tray Mountain(mountain without switchbacks) as well as two other peaks were relentless.  This did make me begin to think of what the rest of the day would look like, as well as raising the question in my mind, can I really do this?  After these mountains, going into Unicoi Gap around mile 15 or 16 I was actually already starting to feel it.  As I ascended out of Unicoi with a mere 800-1000 ft climb I was really beginning to hurt.  As I reached the summit I was around 18, I will call this the first section.

Second section was from 18-36.  Now all I had to do was get to my friends, they would take care of me. So I was hurting at 18, but thank God for the next 4-5 miles of basically flat trail.  This really got me in a good groove that carried me until it happened!   Around mile 27 I had a very unfortunate thing happen, I got gas!  Okay so some may laugh at this, but it was extremely painful.  I got to a point to where I couldn't even walk downhill because it hurt so bad.  Picture this: You are walking on a trail and see someone rolling around from side to side.  Well just ask the person who walked up on me and saw this sight, and I actually told them what was wrong and asked them if by any chance they had anything for gas, haha.  It was a long shot, but can't hurt to ask.  So I called my crew and let them know about the delays, which probably totaled over an hour of trying to get this gas out so I could run again.  As I was still rolling around and poking and prodding at my stomach in every area, at least I knew they would have gas X for me in a couple of hours.  I finally laid on my stomach and let a boulder jab in my upper abdomen... and there it came, it was like a magic button.  I would then run a few feet, jump down on the trail and let another boulder jab in my upper abdomen.  This pattern continued for the next half mile or so, until finally the gas was gone.  So yes this actually happened and was a major setback for a while, but now time to push on.  So the next 9 miles or so to the car, there were a couple of climbs, but nothing too crazy.  Finally around 7:30 I arrived at the car(mile 36) and there they were, waiting with fresh fruit, pizza, accelerade, my patagonia jacket, a change of clothes, and bright smiles to pick me up for the next 31.5 miles.  

Third section would have the worst climb of the day having to go up and over Blood Mountain, and would take us 11 miles from Neels Gap to Woody Gap.  Brack was now running with me and full of energy, he was keeping my spirits up as we ascended Blood, and then making great time on the long descend down the other side, as it was now getting dark and downhills were a little more risky.   There were some more climbs, and at some point I remember getting really quiet and sluggish thinking in my mind I would stop at 50 miles, but Brack continued to keep me alert.  We arrived at Woody Gap to see our crew, and I had surpassed my previous longest distance run of 40, now at 47 miles.  

The remainder of the night would be no more than 4 miles to each time we would see our crew.  I remember some time after 50 miles, as serious as I could be saying to Brack "My legs are starting to hurt."  To which we both laughed hysterically and called it the understatement of the year.  I do remember when we got to Horse Gap and had only 10 miles left, I was on a mission. I just had to get to Springer and I was going to let nothing stop me.  On the last road crossing before Springer we had our last obstacle, our crew was no where to be found.  We stayed there and thought about what to do.  Almost out of water and with one more gel we just decided they probably made their way up to Springer, so we would head that way.  Being low on fuel, and having no way to get more, we decided to hike in from there.  About halfway up to Springer parking lot at 4:30 in the morning, here comes a light toward us.  Freaked me out for a second, but then figured it was Dustin.  Morgan was right behind him with a bag full of much needed aid.  We continued the trek all the way to Springer Mountain, took a few pictures, then made our way back down to the car, finishing the 67.5 mile journey in exactly 20 hours.

A quick stop at Waffle house and a couple of horrible dirt roads later, here I am, alive and well. Hope you enjoyed the long recap of my journey, and maybe you can hit the trails with me next time.

Thank you Brack, Morgan, and Dustin for allowing me to succeed in this venture!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why Run?

I run to feel free.
I run to conquer the mountain.
I run to see how far I can go.
I run to see how fast I can finish.
I run for my family.
I run for the pleasure.
I run for the pain.
I run because it inspires people.
I run because others have inspired me.
I run because my body is designed to.
I run because I like it.
I run for the one who created it all.
I run for many reasons.
I run for the 143,000,000 million orphans in the world.  "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27

I love to run and will run until I can no longer.  Amy and I have decided I will run for what we are most passionate about in the world, and that is those who cannot care for themselves... the helpless children in the world who have no home.  We also believe that we are to personally take the responsibility of taking care of the orphans by eventually bringing children into our home as our own.  

I have a lot to say about running, the CRAZY people I meet.  The incredible friends that I have made and will continue to make.  The many races that I have and will run.  These things will be talked about in the weeks to come, as well as giving updates as to how we will be bringing awareness to the unbelievable injustice of the 143 million!  

Oh, and check out, the organization that I will be running for.

Stay tuned for more about my crazy adventures this year as well as how you can get involved!