Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Saturday, February 28, 2009

22 myles - 2.31:27

Chatfield loop + Platte loop - 10 A.M.
low 40s, slight South wind, dry
mind/body - good/good
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 2-2.5 hours with the 1st hour hard then remaining time cruise

Actual workout: 22 myles 2.31:27 avg 6:53. Chatfield 15 mile loop - 1.38:10 avg 6:32, Platte 7 mile loop 53.19 avg 7:37.

I went as hard as I could on the Chatfield loop and came up with a good time. I needed that after I had an off week. This gives me a little more confidence going into WTC in two weeks. I think it resembles the WTC course with mostly loose dirt trail/roads with a few risers, although the elevation gain only shows about 200ft (I think it's more). Needless to say it was nice to get in a rhythm for a good hour and 1/2. After the Chatfield loop I just cruised for the final 7 myles feeling pret-ty good! No chain today my friends!

I end the month of February with 264 myles, which turns out to be the most myles I've done in Feb. for the past 5 years.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

11 myles - 1.17:58

Treadmill - 3:00 P.M.
Windy, upper 50s, dry
mind/body - good/strong
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: Cut down/Kenyan 75 minutes starting @ 7.5MPH adding 0.1MPH/lap until LT. Remaining time @ 9 MPH

Actual workout: 11 myles 1.17:58. started @ 7.0MPH (8:34)adding 0.1MPH/lap up to 10 MPH (6:00). Remaining 20+ minutes @ 8.8 MPH (6:49)

It didn't happen exactly like that... Remember last time I made it to 9.9MPH and so come hell or high water I was gonna make it to 10 MPH! OK so I did... but I jumped off twice; once @ 49:30 for 10 seconds and then again @ 54:36 for 10 seconds. The second time was 1/2 way through 10 MPH lap. I admit I had two mental lapses when I just gave up but I hopped back on and gritted my teeth. I was still kinda mad at myself so I finished the workout with 3 minutes @ 10 MPH for good measure. Not really an improvement from last time but this is one tough workout - try it and see what you get, I'm curious....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

10 myles - 1.12:20

HR urban trails - 8:00 A.M.
Wind! mid 40s, dry
mind/body - better than yesterday
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60+ minutes easy/steady effort with strides at the end

Actual workout: 1.12:20 - 10 myles avg. 7:14 easy/steady effort. 6 X 10 second sprints up 10% grade

Much better today! I actually felt light on my feet. Not sure what was going on yesterday but it seems to have disappeared - thank goodness! The worst part of this run was the WIND! Very frustrating. On the way back I found a hill that was about 10% grade so I decided to do some sprints that are described in the latest Running Times article by Brad Hudson.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

11 myles - 1.22:12

South Platte Pkwy - 2:00 P.M.
Nice - 67 degrees, South wind, clear
mind/body - hesitant/just blah
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: warm up/cool down 15 minutes each, 8 X 1 mile: 5:45-:50 2 min jog between

Actual workout: 11 myles 1.22:12; 24:56 warm up, 27:15 cool down, 4 X 1 mile (6:02, 5:48, 6:01, 5:52), 2 minute jog between

Well, there are good days and there are bad days - today was definitely a BAD day with a capital B! Myles 1 and 3 were straight into the wind so the 5:50 effort was there but the wind beat me down. I even struggled to hit 5:50 WITH the wind. I just did not have IT today! And as I sit here and type this I am beat. Not normal so something is going on. Hope tomorrow is better.

Monday, February 23, 2009

13 myles - 1.31:01

Waterton Canyon - 4:00 P.M.
mid 60s, slight wind, dry
mind/body - not motivated
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60+ minutes easy/steady pace with strides at the end

Actual workout: 13 myles 1.31:01 avg 7:00 - easy/steady pace with a few strides to end

I was not feeling motivated today. My son brought a bug home on Friday so I may have been feeling it. Although it always helps when someone calls and wants to run - kinda motivates you to get out the door - case in point today when Roger Stones called. I don't know about you but when I run with someone I always run faster and never really intend to, it just happens. Went up to Strontia Dam and tooled around a bit up there. Very mild whether so it was nice just to be out. On the way back, ran into Jamie Donaldson - which was a very pleasant surprise! I don't know why I'm always surprised to run into her up there, she only lives a mile from the canyon... At any rate it's always nice to see a friendly, smiling face.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

21 myles - 2.29:34

Daniels Park/Lone Tree loop - 10:00 A.M.
Dusting of snow, mid 40s, clear
mind/body - sharp/fast
Hard effort

Prescribed workout: 2 - 2.5 hours WTC simulation run

Actual workout: 21 myles 2.29:34 avg. 7:07 ~1700 ft of elevation

I felt fast today! In fact, I went through my first mile in 6:40 and just kept it up for as long as I could. Half of the climbing today was done in the last 6 myles so I really concentrated getting up those hills and recovering quick. The last mile was 6:50 so I slowed down a bit but I still felt strong in the end. I think I've got my fueling strategy down; take a nip of EFS gel and a gulp of water every 15 minutes. It doesn't upset my stomach, I don't get sick of the favor, and my energy seems pretty constant. Last year at WTC I averaged 7:15/mile with 3600 ft of elevation gain so today I was a little faster than with the same rate of elevation and can only hope that's a good sign for this year. I'm hoping for the low 3.40s...

Friday, February 20, 2009

10 myles - 1.11:49

Daniels Park - 3:30 P.M.
Strong SE wind, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - just going through the motions today
easy effort

Prescribed workout: 60+ minutes easy, steady effort

Actual workout: 10 myles 1.11:49 avg. 7:10 easy, steady effort

Really strong wind today. I don't know about you but I think wind is aggravating - it's no use except to leaves and pollution! So I just let the wind dictate my pace today. No aches or pains to speak of and, in particular, the hammy seems to healed. I haven't said much about it because I realized the more I talked about it, the more noticed it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

11 myles - 1.18:04

Treadmill - Noon
clear, low 50s, dry
mind/body - solid
hard effort

Prescribed workout: Cut down/Kenyan work: 75 mins starting @ 7.5 MPH adding 0.1MPH/lap until LT. finish time @ 9.0MPH (6:40 pace)

Actual workout: 11 myles 78:04 avg 7:04: started at 7.0 MPH adding 0.1MPH/lap up to 9.9 MPH. Remaining 20 minutes @ 9.0 MPH (6:40 pace)

I was really looking forward to this workout because it was NEW! I really thought I could make it to 10MPH but I fell a little short - Oh well it gives me something to shoot for next time. To round out the 11 myles I did some strides at the end which consisted of 1 minute @ 10 MPH and then 30 second rest @ 7 MPH. It surprised me at how much easier I could run @ 10 MPH for at least a minute. It looks as though my workout schedule is consisting of two speed workouts per week which I think will pay off huge @ WTC.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

8 myles - 1.03:32

Treadmill - 4:00 P.M.
windy outside, mid 40s, clear
mind/body - good
hard effort

Prescribed workout: warm up/cool down, 30 minutes 6% @ 7.9 MPH (7:35)

Actual workout: 8 myles 1.03:32 avg. 7:56: 15 minute warm up, 15 minutes 6% @ 7.9 MPH, 15 minutes 6% @ 7.5 MPH, 15 minute cool down.

This workout kills me every time, but you know what.... I feel so good when I'm done! I couldn't make it the prescribed 30 minutes 6% @ 7.9MPH so I had to back it down to 7.5 MPH. Started spillin lactate around 12 minutes and then hung on until 15 minutes. I know the point of this workout is to raise the LT so I hang on for as long as I can. It feels good to back to the quality stuff.

Monday, February 16, 2009

10 myles - 1.10:38

Daniels Park - 8:30 A.M.
mid 30s, North wind, clear
mind/body - good/good
easy, steady effort

Prescribed workout: 60+ minutes at an easy, steady pace

Actual workout: 10 myles 1.10:38 avg. 7:04 - easy steady pace

Again I felt good with no soreness whatsoever. I actually sped up the longer I went with the last mile in 6:38. It was a mild test to see if I could handle the speed work that's coming later in the week - should be good to go. I did feel the hammy a bit today but it's feeling stronger by the day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

8 myles - no time

Grigs - 11:00 A.M.
upper 30s, clear, some mud
mind/body - good/almost no soreness
easy effort

Today was a little better than yesterday; more spring in the step and faster leg turnover. I would dare say I was at a steady pace of around 7 min/mile. I also intermixed ~30 seconds of increased leg turn over to about 80% threshold. I'm really surprised at how quick my recovery is coming and really attributed to getting back on my feet with only 3 days rest. I look forward to getting back into the quality interval routine next week...

Friday, February 13, 2009

6 myles - no time

Grigs - 2:00 P.M.
snow on the ground, mid 30s, cloudy
mind/body - eager/comin' around
easy effort

I was surprised at how eager I was to run today - good sign! More-so than my body comin' around, my mind is eager to get back at it. Normally I have to talk myself out the door shortly after a hundred. A little farther today and feeling light(er) on my feet. I added a couple hills to work different muscles up and down - down is still a little tender. Also did 5 x 20 second increased leg turn over. Should be ready to get the speed work in starting next week.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

4 myles - no time

Grigs - 3:00 P.M.
North wind, mid 30s, partly cloudy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Got out today again trying to get this lactic acid outta my thighs. I picked up the pace with 10 second bursts to increase the leg turnover - I feel pretty decent. Normally after a hundred I'll take the entire following week off but with WTC only 4 weeks away I need to get back to the quality speed stuff soon. The field at WTC is turning out to be as competitive or maybe even more competitive than last year. If I wanna crack the top 10 then I'm gonna have to hit in the low 3.40s, which would be a PR for me by about 5 minutes on that course.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

5 myles - no time

Grigs - noon
clear, snow on the ground, no wind
mind/body - surprisingly good
easy effort

The objective of the week is to work the lactic acid out either walking or running. Today I started to walk normal so I decided to see how the legs felt running - turns out pretty good! Feet are perfectly fine and besides the legs being lethargic the only soreness left is in the quads. I'm sure the speed won't return for another week or so but I should have plenty of time to get some quality work in before WTC.

Below are a couple pictures sent to me from Tammy Massie. She was taking a bunch of pictures while running the 50 mile race - you should see her pink bling-bling belt!

Probably loop 3??

I'm sorry Andy but were you gonna say something?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rocky? Raccoon 100

photo courtesy of David Donaldson

Rocky?!?! I didn't see any Rocks. Maybe ROOTS but no rocks. In fact, roots all over the place - you know those kind that hide under leaves and laugh when you kick 'em. Next year I think they're changing the name to the ROOTY Raccoon 100. Rocks - HA! Hard ROCK has rocks! I ran Sunmart a few years back but for some reason forgot about the roots. Thank goodness I didn't take any diggers, just a few close calls where I stumbled and seized up every muscle trying to recover. Gonna probably lose my two big toenails pretty early this year...

Going into the race I had high hopes of breaking 15 hours - my training and fitness were solid. I really analyzed splits from the last 4 years of the top runners to pace me along and gage my effort after each loop. But for some reason I had not read they changed the course - I didn't realize it until AJW told me of the specific changes during the first loop. Apparently they had taken away 7 or so myles of road per loop and added single track, rooty trails. I didn't think anything of it because after all it's all within Huntsville State Park so the terrain is the same. But as it turns out by adding the winding trail, it really was hard to get in any sort of rhythm that could really add up over time.

Loop 1 - 3 of us quickly separated ourselves from the pack: AJW, myself, and another guy from California (sorry didn't catch the name). We ran easy, talked, and picked Andy's brain for vital course information. My plan was to do a 28/2 ratio of run/walk but just as I suspected I passed up on the first two breaks but finally started at 1.28. I could not stop thinking about letting Andy get away and even though I knew better than to expend the energy to catch back up - I still did it. 1.58 came and I took another break and again Andy got away and I caught back up. We came through loop 1 in 2.46 and I couldn't believe it - I was 6 minutes slower than I wanted to be.

Loop 2 - I only took 30 seconds at the turn around and took off for loop two all alone. My intention was to match my first split. In talking with Andy later, he thought I literally took off but in reality I just tried to maintain my pace. Pretty uneventful loop, taking all my scheduled walk breaks while hitting all my splits at the aid stations from the previous lap. Turns out I felt the best on this loop than any other and really had to put the governer on it. My eating and drinking were on track as I was downing 20 oz of water every 6 myles and nipping at my EFS flask every 15 minutes. Second split 2.47, just what I wanted. I had high hopes at this point

Loop 3 - Again only 30 seconds at the turn around and I was off. There's a small section where you can see where every one's at and this was my chance to see what Andy was doing. I passed him at 2 min 40 seconds out which meant just over 5 minutes and with the added time at the aid station I figured about 7 minutes. In reality I was a little disappointed because I knew I needed more time to hold on against a veteran, tough, steady hundred miler. I just kept telling myself "even splits" and you'll be fine. The other time gap I was looking at was with Jamie Donaldson - I know how well she finishes and with her resume I knew she had the potential to take the outright win. At this point I was about 30 minutes up on Jamie but knew that was not enough. My legs still felt really good, still on my 28/2 strategy, still hitting splits from the previous two loops up through 50 myles - a split of around 7 hours. Then at 53 myles I noticed I lost 5 minutes and didn't know how because I still felt decent. By the end of the loop I felt myself slowing down and at the turn around I was 3.07 for a 60 mile split of around 8.40ish.

Loop 4 - I took a little longer this time to get some food in and try to regain the energy before it could get outta control. I was real interested to see what the time gap was with Andy and it turned out to be 4 minutes. For the first 6 myles of this loop I was still on my 28/2 plan but noticed I was looking at the watch more frequently wondering how 28 minutes could seem like an hour - it was a bad sign. In past 100 mile races I usually bonk between 60-70 and this time was no different. I heard Andy talking and knew he was looming and he finally made the catch around 68 myles. Andy's like a shark - smells blood and goes for the kill! He saw me walking ahead with my hands on my hips and that's all it took. My only hope was to get rid of this bonk quickly! As he passed I said "that's all I got" - which I half believed. I basically took a page outta Grand Master Sand Bagger Kulak's book hoping to soften him up. So naturally I was surprised to find Andy still at the aid station at 73 myles - I thought I might be coming around and maybe my sand bagging tricks worked. I tried to keep him in sight but I may have startled him. This is the point where I could not do the 28/2 thing anymore - I was walking more of the small uphills and checking the watch more frequently. Now with the table turned I was interested to see how far ahead Andy was - turns out 8 minutes not including my stop at the turn around. Jamie was now about 20 minutes behind which made me run scared. I'm not sure of my loop time but I think it was just over 3.30.

Loop 5 - This is where things get interesting. I had 10 minutes to make up or completely fold. It's now dark and the roots become roots with teeth. A little lactic acid build up in my legs but a familiar feeling so no worries. My second split at the Dam Road aid station (6.2 myles) was going to write my story, if I could somehow get in the neighborhood of my splits earlier in the day I knew I had something left. Came through 10 minutes slower than earlier but slowdown happens so I knew there was something still there. The Dam Road aid station was great - they addressed me by first name coming through, they got my drop bag for me, they gave me a massage, and by the 5th loop they had Coke ready for me when I came in. I asked how long ago Andy left, they didn't know for sure but said it was less than 10 minutes. My goal was to cut that in half by the time I finished the next 6 mile section in which we come back to the same aid station. I came into the aid station and one of the guys said "holy shit you closed some serious ground!" He said the gap was only 4 or 5 minutes and would not let me sit down - he walked with me, handed me my Coke and said "Go get him!" As I rounded a couple turns, a lady that I had seen all day that kept addressing by my full name saying "good job Scott Jaime" and "Jaime" was pronounced like it supposed to be pronounced. This time she was more excited than ever and in chorus with her pacer said, "GO, GO, GO! Run Faster! 2 minutos!" Turns out this was Jorge Pacheco's wife. Earlier in the day Jorge had introduced himself to me saying "hi my name is Jorge Pacheco it's my pleasure to meet you" I had no idea he knew who I was. Obviously I know who he is because he's an icon in ultrarunning. He offered me encouragement on several different occasions which helped tremendously. (If anyone knows how to get ahold of Jorge Pacheco please let me know so I can thank him and his family) Finally I got to the last aid station with 4.4 myles to go and David Donaldson (Jamie's husband) was there as he had been all day helping me if I needed it - said Andy left 2 MINUTES and 30 SECONDS ago! I got my Coke and left with everything I had. We had a couple straight roads to where I would be able to see lights ahead and determine my distance but the problem was that we were going through lapped traffic so it made it virtually impossible to pick Andy's light out - I became demoralized. With about two myles to go I realized the catch wasn't going to happen and unfortunately did a little more walking. Andy wins in 15.58 with me in tow 16.09 and Jamie finished 3rd with 16.51.

Every race is a learning race for me - I never do all the things right but I learn a little each time. This time I learned and proved to myself that I CAN run late in a hundred miler. It's always been a confidence thing with me. I know I'll probably never be the most talented runner at the start line but I know what I'm capable of and with my growing confidence I will get closer to that capability - that's the hook for me. In the end, I'm extremely satisfied with the result and will take the PR any day. Not sure if I'm a fan of flat courses so give me a mountain already!

I'd like to thank Joe Prusaitis for putting on such a top notch event, Paul Dewitt for coaching me and adding structure to my training to get me ready for this race, David Donaldson for offering up his services all day, Jorge Pacheco and his family for their support, and the aid station volunteers for everything they do. It truly amazes me the level of camaraderie not only with event people but with the racers as well. AJW and Jamie are not only fierce competitors and talented runners but down right good people - I look forward to many more battles. WTC and PBR up next!