Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Thursday, May 28, 2009

12 myles - 1.43:25

Barr Trail - 5:00 P.M.
low 70s, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - ready to go!
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 48-50 minute tempo up Barr Trail

Actual workout: 12 myles - 1.43:25 - avg. 8:37 ~3500 ft elevation gain; 47:59! to 7.8 sign

Big group today; Paul DeWitt, Paul Smith, Eric Grossman, Dan Vega, Rick Hessek, Tera, Harsha, Paul's Dad, Larry DeWitt, Keith Grimes, and myself.

I actually surprised myself today because I was kinda tired to start but came up with a :41 second PR! The nice thing is that my perceived effort was just the same as previous weeks so that tells me I'm gettin' stronger. This week I had a faster split to the top of the W's, didn't gain anything up to no name, and was able gain a little more by spinning the legs faster on the flat(er) last section. As opposed to last week when I gained a bunch on the middle section. Then on the way down Longs Ranch we hammered all the down hill sections pretty fast unlike the previous weeks when we just strolled down. Here are my splits:
  • Top of W's - 19:26
  • No Name - 33:03
  • 7.8 sign - 47:59

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

~13 myles - 2.17:03

Around Pikes - 11:00 A.M.
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 3 hours with some hills

Actual workout: ~13 myles - 2.17:03 - avg. 10:32 ~4500 ft of elevation gain: Longs Ranch road - Bob's - Barr - Incline - J Pipe? - Longs Ranch road.

Didn't quite make it 3 hours cause once I got back to the car I just didn't feel like adding time via Waldo loop. I actually felt really strong today, running up most of Longs Ranch road. Made it to the top in 40 flat. Made it up the incline in 26 and some change. I got lost a few times trying to find the connector trail (J pipe trail?) back to Long's Ranch. Got stopped by a guy in the utilities truck who said I was trespassing and could be prosecuted. He was sayin' all this while keeping a cigarette glued to his lips - now that's talent! I told him I got lost off of Barr trail and didn't know where I was...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

6 myles - 59:16

Chautauqua Park - 2:00 P.M.
50s, little wet, partly cloudy
mind/body - a little tired
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60 minute uphill walking

Actual workout: 6 myles - 59:16 ~2000 ft elevation gain

I really wanted to get to Bear or Green mountain but there were no trail maps so I didn't know how to get there. I really didn't plan, I just happened to be in the area and just basically went up the hill, when the trail ended I turned around and went up the next one. I "think" I got to all 3 flatirons and the Royal Arch trail - really rocky stuff so it turned into a hike at the tops.

Monday, May 25, 2009

14 myles - 1.33:11

HR urban trails - 10:00 A.M.
mid 50s, overcast, damp
mind/body - eager/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 90 minutes easy effort with 3 x 15 minutes up-tempo

Actual workout: 14 myles - 1.33:11 - avg. 6:39 - last mile 5:58 ~800 ft elevation gain

I felt so good that I decided to do away with the 3 x 15 minute and make it the entire 90 minutes up-tempo. I've said it before and I'll say it again "runnin' without a chain today my friends". Is it coincidence that two weeks before Miwok I had a similar experience? Does that mean I'll have a good run at SP 50? Hope so. We all know anything can happen on any given day so I just hope that I show up to the start line at SP 50 feeling the way I did today.

On another note, if you wear the Pearl Izumi Peak XC and it's time to order be aware that they have fixed the sizing, at least for the men's 10.5 and 10.0. PI knew that the Peak XC was a 1/2 size short but had to run through the current stock before the correct sizing would hit retail. For example, if you wore a 10.5 in the Peak XC last year, you will now wear your correct sizing of a 10.0. I don't know if this holds true for all sizing but for size 10.0 and 10.5 this is correct. You might want to call (1 800 328 8488) before placing your order to save time on having to ship them back.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

6 myles - 46:04

Lone Tree loop - 11:00 A.M.
70s, dry, partly cloudy
mind/body - positive/surprisingly good
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 45 - 60 minutes easy effort

Actual workout: 6.2 myles - 46:04 - avg. 7:25 ~500 ft elevation gain

Today was just as important as yesterday irregardless of distance. I know my endurance has reached a new level when I can got out for 5+ hours one day and then turn around the next day and get an hour in feeling fresh. And the key there is "feeling fresh". No soreness or aches in the legs. The point for today was to finish feeling like I could have gone longer and faster.

I end the week with 76 myles, just over 13,000 ft of elevation gain, and 12.5 hours on my feet. If I can double that elevation gain before HR I will be happy. Considering I only climbed on 3 days this week, I think it's pretty doable.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

30 myles - 5.46:16

Around Pikes - 7:00 A.M.
low 50s, drizzle, cloudy
mind/body - solid the entire time
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 5 hours with elevation

Actual workout: 30 myles - 5.46:16 - avg. 11:32 ~6000ft elevation gain. Williams - Waldo - Longs Ranch - Cabin Creek - Water Pipe - Cog - Mountain View - Barr - Elk Park - Barr - Memorial

Whew! Got all those trails? I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. Had a small group this morning; Paul DeWitt, Larry DeWitt, JT (bailed after 30 minutes because of a sand issue), Paul's Dad, John Genet, and Eric Grossman. Eric is out here training/acclimating for WS so I was happy he was able to make it out today and finally get to meet him. Based on Eric's results so far this year, coupled with desire and commitment I believe he's gonna have an epic WS.

My plan was to be out there for 5 hours, Eric's was similar so we parted ways with the rest of the group once we got to Barr camp (already 4 hours into the run). We tacked on an additional hour on Elk Park, which is pretty close to being clear of snow. Paul made it 5 hours today - pretty amazing considering he had surgery just a few weeks ago. Nice job Paul!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

12 myles - 1.52:40

Barr Trail - 5:00 P.M.
low 50s, drizzle, trails a little wet
mind/body - hesitant/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 48-50 minute tempo run to 7.8 sign on Barr Trail

Actual workout: 12 myles - 1.52:40 - avg. 9:23 ~3500 ft elevation - 48:40 to 7.8 sign

Exactly one minute faster than last week. I won't expect that kind of improvement every week but the cooler temps and the fact that I was completely recovered probably helped. I pushed pretty hard and where I made up most of the time from the previous week was after no name creek where it flattens out a bit - had a little more juice left. Rick, Paul, Justin, Grimes, Tera, Larry, Neil all showed up despite the drizzling conditions. Actually the drizzling conditions helped out with all the traffic on the Barr trail.

Here are my splits:
  • Top of Ws - 19:58
  • No name - 33:26
  • 7.8 sign - 48:40
5 hour run planned for Saturday probably all around Pikes Peak. Eric Grossman will be in town and will join us for the run - will be nice to finally meet him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

8 myles - 57:14

Treadmill - 4:00 P.M.
upper 80s, scattered storm clouds, dry
mind/body - good/sluggish
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 75 minutes, Kenyan cut-down starting at 8:30 pace

Actual workout: 8 myles 57:14; started at 8:34 pace(7MPH), finished at 6:00 pace(10MPH)

Really struggled with getting the legs moving today, probably due to the lack of speed work lately. I actually only made it to 9.5MPH and then had to step off for a few seconds but continued to 10MPH, on again off again. Normally I run out the final 15 minutes or so at a moderate pace but I was just too spent today so I stopped right around an hour.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

9 myles - 1.37:16

Gray's/Torrey's - noon
50s, scattered rain clouds, snowy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60 minute uphill walking

Actual workout: 9 myles - 1.37:16 - avg. 10:48 ~2500 ft elevation gain

Shoulda known this early in the year that anything above 11,000 ft would be snow covered. And not just any ordinary snow either! It's the soft stuff laced with rigid branched bushes that gouge your lower legs as you punch through every 3rd step. The kind of snow that laughs at snowshoes and crampons. Needless to say I didn't make it to the top of Gray's, probably only to the 12,000 ft mark. The road (Grizzly Gulch) from I-70 was pretty clear up to the TH parking lot so I got a good workout going up and quad pounding coming back down. So since I felt cheated on my workout I decided to run on the CTD trail that parallels I-70 for about 20 minutes and called it a day. If anything else this run got me in the mood for Hard Rock - frozen feet and all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

11 myles - 1.15:16

HR East/West loop - 9:00 A.M.
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - solid
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60 - 75 minutes easy effort

Actual workout: 11 myles - 1.15:16 - avg. 6:50 ~600 ft elevation gain

I really wanted to get out and do more elevation gain but with a 5 hour long run on Pikes coming up I better stay mellow. Turned out good - I felt good with positive energy thinking about Squaw Peak in a couple weeks. Obviously HR is more important than SP 50 but I'm really looking forward to see what I can do at SP 50. Squaw was my first ultra back in 2004 and I still remember how much I suffered, probably more than any other to date. Now that I've got a few years of ultra training under my belt, I'll get to see how much I've improved. It will be fun competing against my old self.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

10 myles - 1.46

Elk Meadows/Bergen Peak - 8:00 A.M.
low 40s, foggy, slight drizzle
mind/body - good
Easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60 minutes of uphill walking

Actual workout: 10 myles 1.46 avg. 10:17 ~2100 ft elevation gain

For a moment there I thought I was back running Miwok in San Fran. because of all the fog and sloppy weather. Then I ran into a skiff of snow on Bergen peak and snapped me out of it. I was supposed to meet Shad in the parking lot but I was late so I had to break out the trail map to find out where I was going. Finally ran into Shad at the top of Bergen Peak; quick introductions and then were off, never to see them again. I had a very mellow pace today and felt great doing it. Climbing I averaged 11:15/mile and down I was 9:08/mile. I end the week with 72 myles, 12,700 ft of climbing, and ran 6 days straight.

On another note, my mother finished the Ogden 1/2 marathon in a time of 2.35! Her first running race EVER! Congratulations Mom! Enjoy it. Watch out though this stuff gets addicting.

Friday, May 15, 2009

22 myles - 2.47:32

HR/Daniels Park loop - 2:00 P.M.
mid 70s, dry, partly cloudy
mind/body - good/tired legs
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 2.30 - 3 hours easy effort

Actual workout: 22 myles 2.47:32 avg. 7:36 ~1500 ft elevation gain

I started strong and positive but once I hit the 2 hour mark I ran into a mild bonk. I know running on tired legs only makes me stronger but this run sucked for the last 40 minutes! 1500 ft is not a lot over 22 myles but even the slightest-shortest hill after two hours was a grind. I guess the Barr trail took more out of me than I thought. Paul told me this was to be a tough week and now I believe him. I haven't hit high myles but I am just over 10,000 ft of climbing for the week and with more day I should be close to 14,000.

On another note, my mother is running her first race tomorrow in Utah. She is running the Ogden 1/2 marathon - good luck Mom! I'm really proud of you for sticking to the training and I'm happy that you're excited! And last Mom, have fun! This is the celebration of your training!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

12 myles - 1.55:55

Barr Trail - 5:00 P.M.
70s, partly cloudy, dry trails
mind/body - eager/good
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: Barr Trail time trial to 7.8 around 50 minutes

Actual workout: ~12 myles 1.55:55 ~3500 ft of elevation. 7.8 sign in 49:40

Drove down to Manitou to meet up with the CRUD group. Every Thursday they do a time trial up to the 7.8 sign on the Barr trail, this was my first time. I had taken splits before but never pushing too hard so this was a good measuring stick to find out where my fitness is currently. This is one tough puppy climbing 3000 ft in 4.5 myles! I literally was on the red line for 40 minutes, hoping not to blow up. Now I've got my mark and each Thursday I'll at least try to match it.... I'm already getting nervous about next week cause that hurt! We came down Long's Ranch road and some side trail called UPT?? I'd get lost if I had to try and find them again so I'll have to take my trusty tour guide Rick Hessek every time.

Here are my splits:
  • Top of W's - 20:03
  • No Name - 34:04
  • 7.8 sign - 49:40

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10.5 myles - 1.12:19

HR East/West trail - Nooner
80s, little windy, partly cloudy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 45 - 60 minutes easy effort

Actual workout: 10.5 myles 1.12:19 avg. 6:53 ~ 600 ft of elevation gain

I went a little harder than I should have with a tough workout coming up tomorrow. I went for less elevation with more speed today to mix it up. I felt decent. Tomorrow is a mini time trial up the Barr trail to the 7.8 sign and then back down Longs Ranch road.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

7.5 myles - 1.05:24

Deer Creek Canyon - Nooner
80s, dry, partly cloudy
mind/body - solid
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 45 - 60 minutes easy

Actual workout: 7.5 myles 1.05:24 avg. 8:43 ~2100 ft elevation gain

Much more relaxed today, almost a full minute slower per mile. The main point was to get some elevation gain while keeping the HR so that it was comfortable. The pattern is becoming Hard-Easy-Hard-Easy which helps me get more out of my hard efforts. I'll try to get at least 15,000 ft of elevation gain this week and hopefully by the time Hard Rock comes around I'll be somewhere around 25,000 ft/week.

Monday, May 11, 2009

8.5 myles - 1.07:10

Matthews/Winters + Zorro - Noon
mid 70s, dry, clear
mind/body - strong
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 60 minutes marathon pace on flat or same effort on hilly trails

Actual workout: 8.5 myles 1.07:10 avg. 7:54 ~2800 ft elevation gain

I obviously took the hilly trails option and just hammered! My effort was beyond 6:15 MP because I was worked when I got done. Anyone know how to calculate pace effort when combining elevation? I was a full 6 minutes faster this go around compared to last time. I feel like the rubber has finally hit the road as far as HR training - no looking back or second guessing my decision to pass on WS.

I officially declined my entry into WS today with this response from Greg Soderlund:

Hi Scott,
Thanks for confirming that you will be unable to join us at WS this year. Good luck at Hard Rock.
Greg Soderlund, RD
Western States 100 Presented by Montrail

It was a gut wrenching decision but it was the right thing to do. I have tried for the past 3 years to qualify for WS with my best finish being at WTC in 5th a couple years in a row. I remember how dejected I felt, wanting "it" more each time. AND now I say NO?!?! I've worked hard over the last few years to become a better runner and I've learned alot about myself - call it a better version of me. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. So if I've created a better version of me then WS will come around again and I will be ready! But for now Hard Rock is the reason and my passion!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

17 myles - 2.39:11

Greenland/Spruce Mountain open space - 7:00 A.M.
chilly wind, mid 30s, clear
mind/body - good
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 3.5 hours easy effort

Actual workout: 17 myles 2.39:11 avg. 9:32 easy effort

Made it out for the CRUD long run this morning. We started at Spruce Mountain open space (adjacent to Greenland) and then Rick and I did one loop over at Greenland. The Greenland 50K was going on today and fellow Pearl Izumi-Smith teammate Justin Ricks was competing in the 25K. He won while setting a new course record against a pretty tough field. Congrats Justin! Now Justin owns the 50 and 25K records so he'll have to go back next year for the 12.5K record.

Rick and I mosied around the Greenland loop, encouraged people, talked with the aid station volunteers, and got our picture taken by the race photographer. It's amazing how much slower you go when you're not racing, everyone was dropping us! The main reason Paul put a longer run in this week was to make sure nothing is broken - everything checks out fine. From this point on I'll be heading down to Pikes Peak at least once a week until HR. For the past two years I've done this and it seems to help.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

6 myles - 45:24

Treadmill - 9:00 A.M.
70s, dry, no wind
mind/body - good/minor twinge in right soleus
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 75 minutes Kenyan cut-down on TM

Actual workout: 6 myles 45:24 avg. 7:34 Started at 8:34 (7 MPH)finished at 6:31 (9.2MPH)

I would call this a 1/2 workout. I had a twinge in my right lower calf that slowly went away but I didn't want to push it. Twas really a shame I was on the TM today because it was so nice outside but I really needed to shake the legs out with this type of workout. I'll take tomorrow off and get a 3 hour run in on Saturday to finish up the week. Nice, easy recovery week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

8.5 myles - 1.01:19

East/West trail - 2:00 P.M.
80 degrees, dry trail, no wind
mind/body - good/no sore
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 30 - 60 minutes easy

Actual workout: 8 myles 1.01:19 avg. 7:18 easy effort

Legs felt really good today. Nothing sore like I was after WTC. I'm not sure what made the difference but maybe for the simple fact that I took on Ultragen immediatly following the race I could have spared my legs.

On another note, I received my official invitation for Western States today. I gotta admit it's very tempting! I am a multiple WS lottery loser (non consectutive years) and I tried for the past two years to qualify in the Montrail series but to no avail. In those two years I've kept busy filling my race schedule with other races and one in particular - Hard Rock. Hard Rock has filled that void and has since become my Super Bowl. And because of this I will have to say "NO" to Western States as the races are three weeks apart. It's gonna kill me to say no but it's the right thing to do. HR is the ONE race you have to be 100% no matter if it's a goal race or not. I'm sure if I continue to run well I will have another shot at WS but next time it will be as a master. I think the WS board should meet and award my slot to either Geoff Roes or Phil Kochik based on running resumes alone. I know it will never happen but it's just my opinion. If it truly is a championship then it should field the best runners and these two fellas are among the top!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Miwok 100K - 3rd 8.46

Hello Friends!

I'm happy to report I have evened the score with Miwok!

Three years ago Miwok handed me my first DNF and it stung for so many reasons. All I wanted to do was finish and get the monkey off my back. That was my first goal. And if I stuck to the game plan I knew I was capable of getting under 9 hours. My game plan was simple: start conservative, don't bomb the downhills, keep the HR in check going uphill, and let the race begin at the turnaround. Here's how the race unfolded for me:

Start - Tennessee Valley (11.9) - Started on the beach doing a little sand running and it's a mad dash to get to the single track before the masses. I just took my time because I knew the trail would eventually open up to the road going to the lighthouse. This is to be the first of 5 ~1000 ft climbs. Legs are fresh and energy is high so it's easy to go too fast. By the 3rd mile I was in a group with Phil Kochik, Topher Gaylord, and Mark Lantz. We were all climbing and descending at the same rate so it was pretty natural to stay together. Phil and I talked about life in general and it passed the time nicely. At this point the trails were pretty much dry but wondered if it would stay like this - more to come on that. As we crossed Bunker road and started our 2nd of 5 ~1000 ft climbs Mark dropped off, Topher was powering up the hills, and Phil and I were still gabbing. On the decent into Tennessee Valley Phil opened it a bit while Topher and I hung back into the aid station. I was feeling good all around.

Tennessee Valley - Pan Toll (21.7) - Phil, Topher, and myself were now joined by Graham Cooper about 1/2 mile out of the aid station. Although Graham didn't stay too long as he was running at a fast rate up the first 500 ft climb of the day. It's too bad we were shrouded in clouds all day because there were no views to be had anywhere and with this section of trail leading into Muir beach probably the most scenic, it was a shame. Basically you are running the trails 500 ft above the ocean. Poor camera guy that was perched out there must have been miserable with the cold wind and mist coming off the ocean. Trails were still relatively dry at this point but the clouds were starting to collect. After Muir beach it's about a two mile parallel of Hwy 1 on a nice flat trail. Up to this point in the race, my legs felt good climbing, my breathing was in check and now on the flat I was running at a good clip - efficiently. I soon caught back up to Phil and Graham right before the grunt up Deer Park road. THIS is the biggest climb of the race at just over 1500 ft in 2 myles. In 2006 I fell apart trying to run up this beast but this time I held it together running all the way to Pan Toll. This was a good sign, I was climbing good! But Phil was climbing even better! He gracefully danced away from me up the road. At Pan Toll I was joined by Topher and Graham. At this point, I'm a little beat from the climb but stomach and energy are good.

Pan Toll - Randall (35.6)
This is where the fun begins. This section is exposed and right about the time we hit this section the wind and rain started - horizontal rain that is! I was still trying to recover from the hill so I happily tucked in behind Topher and Graham. The wind was, for the most part, at our back/side which was good for now but on the return trip would be nasty. 6.5 myles later we arrived at Bolinas Ridge aid station and I was still trying to come around, not feeling it and just hanging on. I left the aid station with Phil and Topher. Now deep in the Muir woods we would be protected with the big trees but there was standing water all over this fire road. Dancing down the road from left to right for the next 5 myles where I started to come around a bit. To this point I had taken in 3 flasks of EFS liquid shot and 3 bottles of water + a handful of potatoes. The last 1.7 myles of this section is a steep 800 ft descent. Getting into Randall things started to turn around for me.

Randall - Pan Toll (49.5)
As I started the climb out of Randall everything started to click, I was climbing good and overall I had positive energy. At this point, Geoff Roes, Eric Grossman, Phil Kochik, and Graham Cooper were in front of me. By the top of the climb I could see Phil and Graham. For the next 5 rolling myles back to the aid station it was more dancing around the puddles. I had passed Phil who was going through a rough spot and then I caught Graham at the A.S. I turned around to find Victor Ballesteros come flying by me. If you're ever in a California race with Victor make sure you go into an aid station with him because he is a local favorite and you'll be able to feed off all the positive energy. I followed Victor's lead and matched his pace. We soon lost Graham so the two of us headed into the worst head/cross wind section, trading leads several times. I could sense when Victor couldn't lose me initially, his endorphin rush from the previous A.S. was starting to wear off so I surged a bit. I would open up a 20 second gap only for him to close it on the next hill. So back and forth we went all the way through Pan Toll. So far this is the best I felt all day. Game on!

Pan Toll - Finish (62.1)
I knew he hadn't gone over 50 myles so I was hoping to wear down his climbing ability. Going through Pan Toll I was still feeling really good. Now it was the steep descent of Deer Park road. Victor had blown through the A.S. and so I had to close a 30 second gap but I was surprised to see him going slow on the descent. Was he saving his legs? Was he baiting me to use mine? I didn't care, I felt good so I shot down to Hwy 1 and couldn't see him anymore. Going back up the Miwok trail I was really surprised at how long that climb was and this is where my mojo started to wear off. I thought it was a good sign that I didn't see Victor up the climb but by the time we got to the Hwy 1 A.S. he shot by me AGAIN! I followed him out the road for a really nasty, horizontal rainy headwind. I tried not to get right behind him because that was a huge unfair advantage with the wind so I ran right beside him until the next hill. He ran the remaining hills and I could not do it anymore. By the time we got to Tennessee Valley he was about 20 seconds in front and then we had one last 1000 ft climb. Victor shot up those hills like he was shot out of a cannon. I could not run the steeper hills anymore so slowly Victor disappeared. Victor put 8 minutes on me in the last section and closed to within 3 minutes of the winner Eric Grossman.

Despite the conditions, I couldn't have asked for a better race. I am extremely happy with my result and want to especially thank my wife who ultimately let's me do this. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by such loving family and awesome friends! Tia Boddington did an amazing job with this race! From the aid station volunteers (a huge Thank you!) to the course markings to the goody bag - all the way down to THE best post race food I have ever eaten!

Here are my splits:
Tennessee Valley - 1.31:47
Muir Beach - 2.06:51
Pan Toll - 2.55
Bolinas Ridge - 3.51:06
Randall - 4.44:54
Bolinas Ridge - 5.45:56
Pan Toll - 6.46:33
Hwy 1 - 7.34:35
Tennessee Valley - 8:07:50
Finish - 8.46:24