Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Friday, December 31, 2010

11 myles - 1.39:07

Wildcat Ridge - 11 AM
below 10 degrees, 5" snow, socked in
mind/body - peaceful/good
easy effort

Wasn't worried about anything but getting through the snow this morning. HR, pace, effort - didn't matter. For some reason it's always much more peaceful after a snowfall, regardless of the temperatures. I know I was working hard but my HR only maxed out at 160, probably due to all the slipping I was doing on the cold snow.

So for 2010 I logged 3117.37 myles, second most in a calendar year for me. That comes out to just over 8.5 myles a day. But considering I didn't run 114 days, I averaged 12.4 myles/run over 251 days. Last year I logged 3288 (most) only because of the 500 mile trek to Durango in September. Since 2004, when I started running ultras, I've logged 18,367 myles. I have no idea how many myles before that but considering I ran my first marathon at age 11 it's probably near 30,000 for a lifetime, if not a little more. Pale in comparison to some but that's no matter. What matters is that I'm healthy, still be able to run, and enjoy it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 myles - 1.18:31

HR backcountry loop - 9 AM
40s, clear @ start - snowing @ end
mind/body - good
easy effort

I let my HR monitor be my governor today, tried to keep it under 160 bpm despite the 1200 ft of climbing. For the most part I was successful, I did record 4 minutes @ 164 but still felt effortless. I started with blue skies and one hour later my legs and face were numb from the blowing snow - welcome to Colorado!

On another note, this guy below is open for pacing duties in 2011. I can hook you up with him if you are having trouble focusing on the trail. He guarantees a PR!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

13 myles - 1.47:53

Deer Creek - noon
50s, cloudy, windy
mind/body - good/sore heal
steady effort

Today was the true test for the GPS on the Timex Global Trainer. I thought I would download this workout and find straight lines all over the place because of the tree cover. To my amazement, it performed very well. The Global Trainer measured 12.66 myles, which is fairly close to the billed 13.1. I'm impressed. In regards to HR, I know there are HR training manuals out there but I'm not quite ready to dive into those just yet. I did, however, dissect my run with a more critical eye today: avg HR of 158, 57 minutes above 170, 12 minutes above 175, and 4 minutes at 179.

This past week I've been feeling motivated (again) to train. Could it be the power of the beard which has inspired? I'll never be as fast as those other guys with beards but maybe there's a secret power to beards.

Two weeks growth so I guess you can say I'm not your typical Mexican

This guy sported the best one in all of ultrarunning and he was fast. I think he used to store his gels in there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

11 myles - 1.19:50

Wildcat Ridge - noon
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good/tight hammys
easy effort

This new GPS Global Trainer is helping me map out all my local runs and giving me a good base for time. It'll be interesting to see what happens (as far as accuracy) when I get to the foothills and trees. So far really accurate compared to MapMyRun. Just about 1000 ft of climbing and a 7:18 pace while keeping the HR to an average of 159.

Signed up for the draw for UTMB today. Nick and I are planning on doing Sierre-Zinal on August 14th as well. Perfect timing to blow out the carbon, get acclimated, then tour the UTMB course for a week. All while vacationing with the family in Europe for the first time ever.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2 runs: 14 myles - 1.54

Track/Bluffs - 11/4
50s, little wind, mild
mind/body - good
hard/easy effort

I'm going to take full advantage of this week of not having to work. I figure I'll get a jump start on 2011. No better way to get it going than a 2-a-day. The latest Running Times has an article on training for a 50K in which I took the idea of getting a track workout followed by a late day shake out to help with recovery.

The late morning session (8 myles) was not too tough but really intended to get the ball rolling with 10 x 400s. My goal was 78s. Two mile w/u and c/d with 2 minutes or 200 meters (turned out to be the same) in between each 400. Check out all the details here. I was most surprised that I could only get my HR to about 165 on each one while hitting 77-78 each time, felt much higher than that. Run #2 (6 myles) was simply a shake out, trying to keep the HR below 160. Details here. I'm really getting into all these charts and graphs, pretty interesting with the different aspects once I start playing around with the fields.

On another note, I'm reading a book entitled "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. If you are at all concerned about what you are shoving in your mouth you should pick up this book. I'm only 1/3 of the way through and so far he has talked about the history of nutrients, government, lobbyists, nutritionism, and most importantly The Western Diet. This book goes right along with my reasoning for boycotting Micky-Ds and other fast food chains.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

9 myles - 1.08:21

Bluffs plus - 8:30 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

I feel myself getting back into some sort of routine and rhythm. Here are the specifics of my workout. As I get into better shape it'll be interesting to see how my times come down on each of these routes and how I can use my heart rate to train more efficiently. I'm particularly interested to see how long I can keep my heart rate pegged as time goes on. I've never been one to use a HR monitor but I'll try it out and see how it goes. If anything I'll be able to give more educated feedback to Highgear.

Yesterday was a great day all around. After my run I took the boys over to Coyote Ridge skate park to try out their new bikes. Below are a few images I snapped.

Motorbike sounds

And a couple from the morning

Travis Pastrana autographed goggles - thanks Aric

Myles at his work bench

Saturday, December 25, 2010

10 myles - 1.14:21

HR backcountry - 1 PM
60s??, clear dry
mind/body - good/refreshed
easy, steady effort

My good friend Tim Hola hooked me up with the Timex GPS global trainer so I've been messing around with it for the last couple of days. It took some getting used to but I find it very handy when everything can be downloaded to the computer and it spits out a bunch of fancy graphs and routes. I'm still learning how to get the graphs and charts to come up on my blog but I'll figure it out. Until then you can go to the link below to see the details of my workout. Pretty interesting stuff, at least to me.

Graphs, Charts, and map from the run that you can play around and see how hard (or not) I was working.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas week 2010

Just got back home from a very enjoyable week with the family in Breckenridge.

Probably the best single week of skiing I've had in my life. And there have been quite a few good ones. Nothing tops watching the boys ski! Myles was smiling from ear to ear every time he got on the magic carpet and then bolted straight down, "gain Daddy, faster".

That wore off quickly as he got bored and wanted something bigger....

And up the chair lift we went, just laughing all the way up. Jaxon really impressed me as well. Cautious in the beginning but by Thursday I would look back only to find him screaming right past me.

All day Wednesday and Thursday he wanted the black diamonds. Thursday we put Myles in a lesson so that Nicole, Jaxon, and myself could explore the mountain together.

By 2:30 we had skied from one side of the resort to the other so we went back to watch Myles in his final hour of lesson. By the end of the lesson he had learned the pizza wedge (snow plow) - amazing! He was loving it and pushing his way to the front of the magic carpet line.

But like all 3 year olds, they move on pretty quick so it was off to the pool. Jaxon and I continued to ski while Mom and Myles went to the indoor pool. I also took some great video on my flip video camera so I will put a little montage together and post it.

Now on to the boring part - the running on the treadmill. Although I don't like the TM, I do find it useful in crafting a workout using a heart rate monitor. For instance, on Tuesday I wanted some hills with some leg speed intermixed while pushing my HR to the max. 3 sets of starting at 4% and 7MPH then increasing 1 point on each for 1/2 mile. Each time I made it to 6% and 9MPH while my HR max was 181. A few different various for Wednesday and Thursday but each time the result was 181 HR. I'm not 100% positive but I believe at altitude (10,000ft) it's easier to max out HR. At home (6230ft), I have a tough time getting it past 178 bpm. At any rate, 3 quality workouts with 20 myles and 3k of climbing.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

El Chubbo Pequeno - 3.54

This year Colorado joined the band wagon of a national series of unofficial races called The Fat Ass 50K prompted by Tony and adopted by Nick. The El Chubbo Grande was the first of two held on the "Nick Clark proving grounds" and it did not disappoint! No wonder Nick did so well this year, he's got some serious up and down right outside his door with many miles of secluded single track.

Nick organized 3 different distances of 22, 26, and 32, of which I chose the 22 mile (aka JV distance or Chubbo Pequeno). One and 1/2 weeks out from a minor procedure and little to no myles since then left me feeling fat and out of shape so a Fat Ass race was the perfect solution. In fact, I wasn't sure I would even make the shortest version with 5,500 feet of climbing!

Just under 50 people showed up leaving at 7, 8, or 9 in hopes of getting everyone back to join in the festivities around the same time. I chose the 9 start along with Dakota, Justin, Tim, Aaron, and a few others whose names escape me right now. I committed to taking it easy but quickly got swept up in the moment with Dakota and Justin because I wanted to chat. I knew I'd feel fine for at least two hours climbing but no guarantees after that. Sure enough, after the climb up Stout/Spring Creek to Towers road I was done. Justin and Dakota waited for me a few times but I felt bad so I urged them to go along without me. Both them were running everything and I just couldn't do it anymore. And to make matters worse, going downhill was a little jolting and shaking things up a bit (if you know what I mean).

All in all a good time. Got to hang out with some Boulder folks, some Colorado Springs folks, and some Ft Collins folks while drinking down some holiday cheer. And that's what makes the trail running community so cool! Nick did a great job getting all these folks together and marking the trail really well - thanks Nick! Pearl Izumi sent along some schwag for some giveaways and will do the same for the Ponderous Posterior 50K on January 15th, so thanks to them. I was a little surprised though, no one wanted to claim the prize for Fattest Ass in the end... Maybe we'll have to make the giveaway a little better next time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

6 myles - 45:24

HR urban trails - 8 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good/not so
easy effort

The weather was fantastic this morning! I felt amazing (initially) then that little niggle in the calf started to work it's way in play. How can that be when my running has been minimal? The only thing I can think of is that the pain meds after the minor procedure weakened my muscles. Not gonna worry about it too much since nothing is on the horizon.... that is, nothing but 3000 myles. I'm at 2991 and with the El Chubbo coming up this weekend I'll hit it no problem. Maybe the body is just sayin' "Simma down now!" The week of skiing next week with the family will take the edge off. Now starting in ernest in January for my run up to Western States and UTMB...

Speaking of "run up", I was looking at race websites and decided to take a look to see how many applicants were signed up for Hard Rock.... BIG MISTAKE! Mistake because I was trying to put HR out of mind for a year and just by looking at the entrants (from all over the world), and then all the awesome pictures, and then... well, one thing led to another and I found myself printing out the application. I can't help it! I am in love with the San Juans, and in particular, The Hard Rock 100. We'll see if I can resist the urge...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

9 myles - 1.05:02

Lone Tree Loop - 9 AM
30s, clear, dry
mind/body - not working for me today
easy effort

Very uncomfortable run this morning, not sure why since the body and mind are rested. Guess that's just how it goes sometimes. I also had a strange twinge in my calf that hurt all day but now is fine. Just the creaks of getting old huh?

I finally watched Super Size me. Wow! What a good reminder of how bad we eat here in the United States. This guy put on 17.5 lbs in 30 days with 10 of that coming in the first week. Which means the body stored as much as it could initially to preserve itself and then leveled out and adjusted to the calories coming in, ~5000/day. Also he found himself depressed most of the time and the only time he was happy was right after a meal, which made him want to eat more Micky-Ds. On top of all that his cholesterol shot straight through the roof, chest pain, and a fatty liver. Make no mistake about what is happening here in the U.S. with very powerful lobbyist in Washington protecting fast food. Things are NOT going to change unless YOU decide to boycott chains like Micky-Ds.

See if you can set a New Years resolution of not eating the big four: Mickey-Ds, Burger King, Wendy's, and Jack in the Box. Save your calories for beer....

Friday, December 10, 2010

10 myles - 1.15:51

HR Backcountry - 10:00 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - refreshed
easy effort

Very nice relaxing run today (7:35 pace) while getting back into the groove. Also got out for 10.5 on Wednesday with Good Ben. Next week I will start to ramp it back up after having 4 weeks of relaxing. The El Chubbo Pequeno fun run on the 18th in Fort Collins will kick start training in full swing.

In the midst of lottery season right now and just got shut out of my first one this year - Massanutten 100. They have the funkiest lottery system I have ever seen but I guess it works. I have the option of signing up for the wait list but don't want to be held hostage when there's so many other races to run. In lieu, as back up plan B, I signed up for the Miwok lottery that happens on the 15th and also entered Squaw Peak 50. If Miwok falls through then plan C is to do the Pokey 20 mile and then SP 50. Make sense? So in other words, the only sure thing at this point is Western States, which is a bit of an irony.

Monday, December 6, 2010

6.2 myles - 51:15

Lone Tree loop - 12:30
50s, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - ahhh....
easy effort

Very relaxing and revitalizing run today with Good Ben, thanks for the call Ben. First run since the dealeo with no complications. I'll ease back into little by little but I hope to running solid again by December 18th for El Chubbo Grande 50K in The Fort. A couple different distances going on so I'll make a last minute decision on which one based on feel. And then it's off to Breckenridge for a week of skiing.

Check out this video taken at The North Face 50 on Saturday. Pretty good coverage and kudos to Dakota for talking to that guy while he was just trying to concentrate on the finish.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lots of things going on

Recovery is good. Hardly any swelling and not sore. I'm tempted to run but at the same time it feels good to relax for a few days. The Doc gave me the go ahead to return to running after 5 days but to ease into it. Having said that, I'll take the rest of the week to be fat and happy while putting a dent into my beer fridge downstairs.

Some good racing going on this weekend with the The North Face 50 in San Francisco. Next to the Western States starting line up, this one has to be the most competitive. Some Euros coming over to take a stab at the $10K prize money for first. My picks are: Roes, Mackey, Skaggs, Steidl, Dakota, Jez Bragg. Pretty good interview over here with Dave and Dakota. Dave is munching on a apple and Dakota is amped up. I think Dakota summed it up nicely when asked for predictions, he said "I think I know how to race 50 miles now, last year I was still learning, and I just want to see how I stack up against the best". is following it so check it out.

My schedule is coming together:
UTMB (lottery)

There will be some smaller ones here and there but this is the bulk of my schedule for 2011. The highlight is Western States. Not so much for the race itself but the race within the race. I've been jawing back and forth with AJW (all in good fun of course) telling him I want to beat him. I'm not afraid to say that's my goal. My goals are generally time based but there's an element of time in here. You see, Andy has done very well at Western States and as he puts it "That's my house, you'll see...". Just as I consider Hard Rock "my house". He came to HR and nearly beat me. In fact, on Grant Swamp pass (mile 85) he could nearly touch me. I looked at my pacer (Brian Fisher) and said "He's not gonna beat me on my course", in so many words. In the end, he pushed me to my best time ever at Hard Rock (27.42).

Andy has 6 top 10 finishes at Western States with his best time of 17.07, but thinks he could go 16:30. Not only is he tough at Western States but he is tough in any 100 mile race - which makes it doubly tough at Western. He IS the Mariano Rivera of 100s. Andy has run 25 - 100 mile races notching 6 wins. I've run 11, won none, and only a couple that I consider a decent result. I have not figured out 100s and Andy has, to say the least. If I can compete with him then it not only makes me better during the race but in the daily training as well. Win or lose I know Andy will bring out the best in me and visa-versa.

I had to do a little research but we have raced head to head 8 times (sometimes unknowingly) where I have been victorious 6 times. The two losses where at White River 2006 and Rocky Raccoon 2008. So a rivalry is born! And at the end of the day we will have a beer together to talk more smack. Train harder than you ever have Andy cause I'm comin'!

And remember people, this is all in good fun for motivation to get my arse out the door every morning. But more importantly for braggin rights and a few beers.

Western States lottery: Only a few names I recognize on the list of 219 drawn today; Mike Foote, Michael Buchanan, Mark Lantz, Adam Lint, Tammy Massey, Jim Skaggs, and Grae Van Hoosier. Congrats to all! We'll see you in Squaw on June 25th, if not before. Pearl Izumi atheltes Josh Brimhall and Darcy Africa were shut out but I would suspect they will get in via a Montrail race.

NF 50 race: Congrats to all! In particular, Geoff Roes 2nd, Dave Mackey 3rd, Dakota Jones 4th, Jason Schlarb 5th all currently hailing from Colorado! Must be the rocky mountain air...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

22 myles - 2.41:25

Wildcat Ridge - 2 PM
30s, clear, a little windy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Last run before the snipity-snip so I made 4 loops of this course - 40:33, 40:38, 40:24, 39:48. Initially I thought I'd make this my very own Fat Ass 50K (since I'm going to miss El Chubbo Grande) but just ran out of time and energy. Felt decent with a 7:20 pace and relatively flat with only 800 ft of climbing.

The pamphlet for the procedure said only 5 days away from exercise but the doc says two weeks. Maybe better to adhere to the doc and in the meantime become easily agitated and gain 20 pounds. Better watch what I eat.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

8.5 myles - 1.02:41

Lone Tree + loop - 8:30 AM
30s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Just plugging along here and feeling good. 64 myles on the week and 2928 on the year. I'm trying to get to 3000 before Wednesday but I don't think that's going to happen unless I come up with some crazy 50 mile run on Tuesday night. Hmm...

My feet are a little sore but that's only because I've been running in the new Peak IIs, which is more of a light weight trail racer. I'm used to more of a padded shoe, like the Fuel XC, so I'm just conditioning/strengthening my feet to get comfortable in these new Peak IIs. And just a word of caution: If you are used to a beefier shoe, don't expect to go to any type of minimalist shoe and run in it all the time for long distances without some sort of discomfort or even worse - injury. Work your way up in time and distance in a shoe that is considered minimalist in nature.

These will be available mid 2011 and if you liked the 1st edition of the Peaks then you'll love these! Some changes: A more aggressive lugged sole, more durable upper, stiffer toe cap, gusseted tongue, and a more defined heal drop (not sure exactly how much) - all coming in at ~9.5 oz.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

14 myles - 2.13:23

Alderfer/3 sisters - 8 AM
20s, clear, mostly dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Nice little jaunt starting in Evergreen this morning with The Runner's Edge group and Good Ben. I initially planned to go to the Springs with CRUD but elected for the shorter drive and more time to sleep in. Man, was I rewarded with some really nice single track on a calm and blue bird day! I don't remember the exact trails other than starting on the Dedisse trail and finishing on Evergreen mountain - out and back. Dave Manthey had quite a group assembled this morning -probably 30 or so while the course was marked with spray painted arrows and 3 water stops along the way. JP I know I was in your hood so I apologize for not dropping you a line but I'll be back for sure. Very nice trails you have up there!

Also got out yesterday for 14 (2.08:58) at Deer Creek, while Jaxon and his Grandfather got in 10 of their own. And it was absolutely beautiful as well! These two days I have really taken a step back to realize how lucky I am to run in such beautiful country. Not only that, to be healthy enough to enjoy it on a regular basis. Now I'm pretty sure I'm being just a wee bit sentimental here because Wednesday is fast approaching and I will be yearning for the trail for a couple of weeks. So since I'm gonna be laid up I bought 3 books that were on my list: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day 5K - 27:15

Jaxon and I ventured out for our second annual Turkey Day 5K put on by Highlands Ranch Rec. department. And it was cold! Despite the sun shining it was single digits to start but after our 2 mile warm up we were ready to go with a little sweat. Last year Jaxon did 29:08 and this year he beat his record by 2 minutes - clocking a 27:15. Congratulations Jaxon - proud of you once again! Sorry you had a side ache...

Pearl Izumi kept us nice and warm despite the single digits

After the race I went out to my 10K loop (11 myles total for the day) because the thought of my appointment next Wednesday made me realize I need to log some myles before then. After the "minor" surgery I can't do anything for two weeks so I might as well make the most of the next few days. Hope you all had a nice feast today with family and friends.

BTW - if your looking for some gloves to keep you warm on your runs this winter check out Pearl Izumi's PRO Softshell lite. Plenty warm for the coldest temperatures.

P.R.O. Softshell Lite Glove - WhiteP.R.O. Softshell Lite Glove - White

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11 myles - 1.17:53

Wildcat Ridge - 9:00 AM
20s, cloudy, still dry
mind/body - very good
easy effort

NEWS FLASH: Scheduled my vasectomy for December 1st @ 11:30 AM - yikes! But gotta git'er done sooner than later.

Not much exciting happening on the running front, just getting out moving the blood around. I got out Monday for 6 (7:15s) and today for 11 (7:14s) - body feels good, mind seems refreshed, and the pace seems easy. But I need to be careful not to jump into the training regimen too quickly. Grae Van Hooser left a comment that serves as a good reminder - It's a long year and with the races I have coming up I would be better suited taking it easy in the winter. I stated this right before MMTR but how quickly I forget. Speaking of schedules, Pearl Izumi announced the races they would like us to participate in for 2011:
Certainly I can't do all of them but I will base my 2011 season around these races. In particular, the two races I am focusing on are Western States and UTMB (lottery). Outside of that I will use the other races to put me in the best condition to perform at the focus events. Because of this directive you can bet there will be a heavy presence of Pearl Izumi athletes and execs. at these events. On the down side, they decided not to do a PI race series because time was short. I won't promise a series in the future but I think we got the ball rolling for something in 2012.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

8 myles - 57:53

HR urban trails - 8 AM
40s, North wind, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Today capped off a 35 mile week; running 4 times, feeling really good each time. I caught myself several times wanting to push the pace but reeled it back each time and made a casual run out of it. Nothing definitive on the racing schedule yet because I'm waiting for PI to finalize their schedule of races they want us to run. Bandera is looking like it's not gonna happen for me right now. I promised my wife I would take care of something in the off season, in which case I would not have time to ramp up to Bandera. To fill in (and if recovery is short) I may go to Rocky Raccoon, and that's a big "may". The big lure is racing the old guys like Joe Kulak and AJW. Other races I'm thinking about early are: Mt. Cheaha 50k, Chuckanut 50K, WTC 50K, and Buffalo 50 mile.

A big congratulations to my mother who ran 2.16 in the Mesquite 1/2 marathon on Saturday. Growing up my mother was not a runner (at least she didn't do it) and just picked this up two years ago. I cannot tell you how proud of her I am!! She called me after the race and she was disappointed, she wanted to go under two hours but the wind was too strong. And she wonders why I keep going back?? I'm sorry mom but you are hooked - keep it up!

Earlier in the week Jaxon had a blessing brunch at his school. The parent's were allowed to come in and share something special about their children. Here is a little video I put together. I was afraid I would not make it through a talk because I (and Nicole) have a tendency to wear our emotions on our sleeves and I didn't want to embarrass Jaxon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

8.5 myles - 1.02:01

Lone Tree + loop - 8 AM
40s, clear, some snow
mind/body - refreshed
easy effort

Felt great this morning! It was nice to be out there with no agenda, just ran as far or short as I wanted. Last week I put in a smashing 11 myles, ate lots of bad food, and drank lots of good beer. Now the mind is already thinking of ramping it back up because I'm leaning towards Bandera 100K on January 8th. If I do, I've gotta get back on to a regimented training schedule by Thanksgiving if it's going to happen.

If you missed the Red Bull Human Express on Sunday, check this out.

Also good luck to my Mother who will be running a 1/2 marathon in Mesquite, NV on Saturday. PR Mom!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's that time of year

Rest. The hardest part - believe it or not. I'm fit but tired. In past years I've tried to maintain my fitness without a break but have paid dearly with injuries later the next year. To top it off, I'm an official Master's runner now so the down time is vital to make it through next year. Especially considering the schedule I'm looking at.

NEW: Mackenzie Lobby from Running Times writes an article on MMTR.

Nothing set in stone except for one race, and that is The almighty Western States. I used my auto entry from MMTR and signed up this morning. Now the question is what do I want to do to build to WS?? Hmm.... As it stands right now my goal for 2011 would be to win the Montrail Ultra Cup. That means my schedule would center around all the MUC races such as: Bandera, Mt Cheaha, Way Too Cool, American River, and Ice Age. Outside of that the tough decision comes when I have to decide on Hard Rock, my favorite race. This might be the year I skip Hard Rock (because I won't be able to race it) and go for UTMB, another one on the list.

So for the next month I'll keep the blood flowing with 20-30 mile weeks, during which time I will solidify my schedule. It always comes together so I'm not too worried about it. Just time to try and relax both mentally and physically - by far the hardest part.

Also I updated my top 3 beer list. Terrapin Hopsecutioner makes the list, bumping off Gubna. Yes Gubna has been my fav. for a while but truth be told; I only had it on draft and last week I bought some cans and did not like it as much. Besides Terrapin's mascot is a vicious looking turtle. This list is getting tough! During my down time I might have to make it a top 5 or 10. C'mon now - Stone IPA or Modus Hoperandi isn't even on the list.

btw - thank you for all the comments on the MMTR post. I've been traveling so I haven't had time to respond but I appreciate all the kind words and the people I met in Virginia.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MMTR 50 mile - 1st place 7.23:19

I'm pretty good about knowing what I'm capable of and this race is just confirmation. Going in to this race I predicted mid 7.20s. I had clocked a 7.52 5 years ago and I knew my training combined with experience would put at least 1/2 hour into the time bank.

Dave Horton invited me to stay at his house so he sent one of his students, Jaime (hime) to pick me up. He thought with our names we'd make an instant connection, which we did. He took me straight to Liberty University where Horton was teaching his class and promptly put me in front of them... uhhh.... On the spot I didn't have anything to say and maybe that was the point because Horton didn't want me to dig up all the dirt. Anyway, I joined them on their daily run up and around a local peak up to 1700 ft - good for the jet lagged legs. It was nice to get to know the kids and see how they idolize him and most of all to see the environment Horton has built at Liberty. Not only Liberty but the whole city of Lynchburg.

After all the pre-race festivities it was time to start thinking about the race and here's how it played out:

The morning of the race (3:30 AM EST) I was suprisingly alert yet calm. Maybe it was all that O2 in the air but I had a good feeling about this race. And not to be crude but part of the pre-race success is getting everything moving in the system (aka a BM) - got that taken care of relatively early so things were clicking. Took the bus out to the start and I was bundled up in 3 different layers. Snow was forecasted with highs in the 30s where we were going. After the warm up I stripped down, taking a chance that I would be moving thus avoiding any chill - good call.

I gotta admit, I forgot how runnable this course is. The start of the race up through mile 6 is all asphalt and fast. I ran very relaxed and tucked in behind the lead group of about 10. When it got light enough I started to observe tendancies (ie who was running hard up/down and who looked uncomfortable). I hate to say it but I felt 8 of the 10 were strapping themselves to stay out there either on the up or down. That really made me settle in and wait till the half way point and see who's left. By the time we got to the 14 mile aid the group was wittled down to 4 with me about 20 yards back. Horton commented "this is exactly where you should be". By the time we reached the 22 mile aid station there were two guys in front by 10 yards and now the hills start. One guy, Alex Barth, had started to make a gap as soon as the rolling hills started, I chased him and noticed he kept looking over his shoulder. That told me that he was trying to make a gap and yet I was keeping a steady pace over the same gap. Finally, the last longish uphill he started to walk and said "man, where you from?" "Colorado" "oh, well, now that makes perfect sense".

Getting into the halfway point in 3.40 was a little slower than I wanted but that was part of me waiting to see what was going to happen out front. I had run everything up to this point and with how good I was feeling I had every intention of running everything else. As I left the halfway point it starts climbing with the biggest climb of the day and Horton stopped me in my tracks and said "be smart". A runner can really blow up here and I understood that but as good as I was feeling climbing I decided to run every step. It hurt a little but I later found out that I'd made 10 minutes on the next runner. Five myles later entering the loop at 4.45, I had 13 minutes so the gap was growing and I was feeling strong and steady. I ran the loop in 46 with most everything snow covered, which means the white trail markers were harder to follow. I exited the loop and was very shocked to see Jeremy Ramsey in street clothes. He was going to be the main competition but had suffered some sort of sciatica and had terrible pain shooting down his hammy's. If Jeremy had still been racing I believe the winning time would have been lowered by another 5 or 10 minutes for the sake of pushing each other.

For the next 4 or 5 myles was rolling dirt road and I was building steam, charging up the hills and letting it fly on the downs. I thought I had a shot for a 7.10ish finish so that was a little motivation. I arrived at the mile 43 aid in 5.57 and 7.10 was still in touch but then I realized I was running "Horton myles" over the last 7.... which translates into 9 or so. Getting to the last aid in 6.44 and only 2.9 "Horton myles" I knew (from past experience) would take around 45 minutes - all down hill. Sure enough 44 minutes later I finished and feeling very strong.

In the end, I was steady all day. I ran everything, save it a 20 yard section around mile 45, but running everything was the key to clocking a decent time. As far as nutrition is concerned, I diluted 4 EFS liquid shots in water and that is it for the entire day. Each aid I drank one full cup of water, knowing it was cold and harder to drink. I want to thank Horton and his wife, Clark Zealand, Horton's entire running class, and all the aid station volunteers. This race is a classic and must be put on the list. Coming from the West, running on the East is totally different experience and always a treat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

9 myles - 1.50

Green Mountain - 9:30 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - ready to go!
easy effort

Met up with Nick Clark and Pedatella for some fun. With MMTR coming up this Saturday I wanted to keep it real mellow, which the Nick's complied with for the most part (albeit 2667 of climbing). But running and trying to talk while getting up Green is pretty taxing on the lungs so I'll chalk this one up to an "anaerobic workout" - so to speak. Didn't really want to be out this long but it was good conversation and company so I didn't mind. I'm ready to go!

As mentioned before, I feel like I can hit the mid to low 7s but with the impending weather it might slow things up. Snow doesn't bother me here in the West but on the East coast it seems to get you wet and chill to the bone. Fun times. I will tweet from the finish if I have cell reception.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

12 myles - 1.25:33

HR urban trails - 8:00 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - clear/strong
easy effort

Finally back to normal! 7:07 pace today with 700 ft of climbing and it felt easy - good signs all around. 52 myles for the week with 69 and 80 the two previous weeks. During this time (post Bear), I had 4 speed/interval workouts with incline and flat. My goal was 6 but didn't quite make it cause of the green apple two step earlier in the week. For the month of October - 275 myles - by far the most I've logged in this month over the last 7 years. October is usually a down month to get ready for the next year so hopefully doing this volume won't be detrimental later next year. November will have to suffice to be a down month this time.

As far as MMTR goes, the last time I ran here was 2005 for a time of 7.52 and 7th place. This was my second year of ultras and was shocked to look back at my training logs to see very low mileage - we're talking 50 mile weeks consistently. Five years later I'm still not a "high mileage" guy (compared to some) but I'm peaking out at 40 more myles/week and smarter about my training. Having said that, I have high hopes to crank out something in the low 7s with Horty there harassing/encouraging me all the way around.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

14.5 myles - 2.08:32

Mt Falcon v1.0 - 8:30 AM
40s, windy, sunny
mind/body - coming around
easy effort

Met up with JP this morning over at Falcon. Was really unsure how my body would feel but I committed to being there and glad I did.

Jim led the way to the shelter and I was happy to ride his coat tails. Sure was happy when he had to tie both his shoes cause I was not liking the first 10 minutes or so. We made the shelter in a steady 31:26 and then made our way around for a full loop. It really wasn't until the shelter I started to feel half way decent, which was a clear sign this junk was nearly out of my system. I was climbing well and felt better the longer we went. We never really pushed the pace but it was steady on everything. And it was certainly good to get out with someone to mix it up cause neither one of us would have gone 14 on our own.

My Highgear barometric altimeter reads 3014 ft of climbing, Jim's GPS reads 2903, and MapMyRun (mmr) GPS lists it as 2093 ft of climbing. I'll take the 3014 ft. Also mmr gives a distance of 14.90 myles (without that straight line at the end in the map above), Jim's GPS gives 14.26 myles - FWIW.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

11 myles - 1.14:20

Wildcat Ridge - 8:00 AM
40s, still windy, dry
mind/body - better but still weak
Hard effort

I'm feeling a little bit better today. I woke up and had my coffee with no nausea, as the previous days, so I think I've turned the corner. For whatever reason I felt I needed to do some quality work and really make it hurt.... maybe a little mental training?? I gave myself 2.75 myles to warm up and rethink the quality stuff and still felt good so I dug in - 5.5 myles with rolling single track, 400ft of elevation, in 34:53 (6:20 pace) - then a casual 2.75 myles cool down. mmm. mmm. mmm. That hurt!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

9 myles - 1.07:47

Lone Tree + loop - 3:00 PM
40s, strong East wind, a little damp
mind/body - miserable
easy effort

Been down and out the last couple of days. Either ate something bad or caught a bug going around. I've had no appetite, nausea, and the green apple two step. Hopefully the run today flushed everything out. I've only eaten 3 bowls of cereal in the last two days so obviously I had no energy and no zip in the legs. Better now than in a weeks time

"What is going on with America's team?"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

18 myles - 2.39:34

Deer Creek - 8:00 AM
40s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

18 myles in 2.39:34 AND one large Domino's pizza in 8:45 that is!

The day started with a casual run over at Deer Creek. I started out at the lower parking lot in South Park to gain some extra elevation (3137 ft of climbing total) and mileage. Not too many people out this morning, for whatever reason, which is just fine by me. Deer Creek attracts a ton of mtn bikers on the weekend and last time I wore headphones -a mistake- because on Red Cloud loop several bikers brushed passed me with scowls on their faces - my bad. I took the headphones again but this time took them off around Red Cloud. Go figure, didn't see bikers up there. Nice day all around and would have liked to stay longer but I had another challenge to get to...

The annual CRUD party was at JT and Katie's Hacienda and the second eating challenge - A large Domino's cheese pizza as fast as you can. Thank goodness Tim Hola wasn't there! In my opinion, I only had to beat JT for some braggin rights. Only 4 people participated: Paul, Rick, JT, and myself. Muzzy, who was a ringer for the burrito eating contest, elected not to participate (probably good for me). I won't bore you with the details cause the video that Harsha took (coming soon) tells the story. What you need to know is that I CRUSHED JT! My time 8:45. JT's time 12:40. Almost a full 4 minutes. Rick came in second around 10 minutes and Paul DNF'd. It might be a good thing Paul DNF'd cause Myles kept trying to steal a piece of my pizza and when I ate the last one Myles buried his face in a chair and started crying! It was either DNF or beat JT... Good times all around! I will admit though, half way through the pizza I had a sudden urge to throw up. Mouth started salivating and the gag reflex started but then I started bouncing up and down and that seemed to push the food down. A little trick I learned from Hola at the burrito eating contest. I was stuffed, a painful stuffed. But not Rick. Rick ate his pizza and proceeded to eat a pork sandwich, washing it down with beers. Ooof! I'm still stuffed.

Two at a time for me while Paul is eating like a bird

Friday, October 22, 2010

9 myles - 1.05:00

Southridge Treadmill - 8:00 AM
hot and steam in that room
mind/body - better than yesterday
hard effort

I had planned for 6 x 1 mile @ 5:50 pace today but I just didn't feel like driving over to Chatfield. In fact, I was going to throw in the towel today (11 myles yesterday felt terrible) but Jaxon suggested we go to the gym. How can I pass that up?!?! Jaxon has a mile test next week in school so he wanted to get a little practice on the indoor track.

I resorted to the treadmill, specifically the dreaded Kenyan cutdown with a little twist. The Kenyan cutdown is basically starting at 7 MPH and increasing 0.1 MPH every lap or 1/4 mile, going up to 10 MPH. The twist was increasing the incline to 4% on every 4th lap. I'm happy to say I made it all the way through to 10 MPH! The last 4% @ 9.7 MPH was very hurtful but even more-so was trying to recover flat @ 9.8 MPH. I'm sure people around me thought I was going to die. This workout is all about recovering with a fast pace. What an ingenious workout Paul crafted for me last year!

Speaking of treadmills, what do you think of this one? Woodway makes a very fine TM but they're not cheap so I'd like to get some input before I take the plunge. Does anyone have any experience on this machine?

Non-motorized Woodway Curve

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

8 myles - 59:00

HR urban trails - 6:30 AM
40s, clear, dry
mind/body - groggy/slow to start
easy effort

Not much to put down here, just the fact that I got out early this morning. I did, however, crank out a good fast mile at the end - 5:49. I also got out yesterday with 9 myles in 1.06. Work is crazy so I won't be able to notch it back up until Friday, in which I'll do 6 x 1 mile @ 5:50 pace. Saturday will be down at Pikes Peak for some elevation and then the CRUD party at Brown-eyes' house. We are having a Domino's pizza eating contest. I believe the rules are simple: just finish a large as fast as you can without barfing. Gotta beat JT for some braggin/smack talking rights. Then again he probably won't show up....

Monday, October 18, 2010

12 myles - no time

Daniels Park - 7:00 AM
40s, clear, dry
mind/body - clear/strong
Hard effort

Coming off a "day off" is always a good mini test to see what race day is gonna feel like. I ran 9 days straight with 118 myles prior to yesterday so yesterday was refreshing.

The air was crisp this morning but felt good. 4 mile w/u and c/d to and from "the hill". And then 10 x 1 minute @ 10% grade. And just for my future reference here are the splits: 1:03:01, 1:02:87, 1:03:44, 1:01:19, 1:01:25, 1:02:19, 1:01:50, 1:01:50, 1:01:31, 1:01:25. The trend is that I was getting faster and that's what I wanted. On each one the legs were getting heavy the last 20 seconds with the last 3 sets above LT. I figure the last 3 is where I started to build up my LT a bit. Last time I did this workout during my marathon build up I was hitting 1 minute flat but that was after 5 weeks of speedwork so these numbers today are a good sign.

On another note, check out this photo below. My father in law sent me this photo of this guy taking a self portrait recently in South Dakota. He had no idea the cat was there until he got home and saw the photos. Makes me wonder how many times cats are watching me.

The eyes on the cat are just creepy

And last, what do you think of the latest BCS rankings? What a terrible system! OU goes from 6 to 1 over Boise State and TCU? Not to mention Oregon! C'mon. The system is seriously flawed. I guess Boise State will just have to beat OU, again....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

25 myles - 4.00:09

Mt Falcon v1.75 - 6:30 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Easy "steady" effort that is. My father in law and I met PG and JP over at Falcon before the crack of dawn for some fun. Patrick is training for Hellgate 100K and Jim just wanted to get out for a run prior to a day long meeting "inside". Jim stuck around as long as he could, putting in 11 myles before he had to get back. Patrick and I did the full loop in 2.17 and then proceeded to get back up to the shelter for round 2. The initial climb up to the shelter via Turkey Trot smacks me in the face every time but doing it a second time, well, it's just a full blown punch. Made it up to the shelter in 33 the first time and 35 the second time. The second time around decided not to do a full loop, and Patrick had to get back by 11, so we just went around Parmalee and back down. 5437 of climbing with about a 9:39 pace - pretty decent for Falcon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

8.5 myles - 1.03:34

Lone Tree + loop - 8:00 AM
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - sluggish
easy, easy effort

Never snapped out of being lethargic on this run but I know how important it is to get out following a hard run. Definitely Indian summer right now as we sit in the 80s going into the weekend.

In years past, October has been my down month so I really thought I'd be dreading the runs... hasn't been that bad. In fact, I feel solid both physically and mentally - looking forward to competing at Mt Masochist and then shutting it down in November. I bought a season ski pass for myself and Jaxon so that will force me to take it easy (running wise) through the early part of 2011.

Tomorrow at Mt Falcon. Changed the time to 6:30 AM if anyone wants to join.

Cool interview over here on my friend Tim Hola. Very classy and humble guy! 12 times in a row at Kona! And footage of the Timex guys finishing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

13 myles (9-56:43)

Highline Canal - 10:00 AM
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - feeling good
Hard effort

Just got back from Wyoming late last night. On Monday I unknowingly crossed paths with Karlo in Wheatland. I didn't check his progress before I left so I didn't have any idea until I got to my hotel in Casper. Oh well. Looks like Geoff got out with him yesterday. I watched a video of him starting his day getting out of the RV, funny in a sadistic sort of way.

Today I got out for some MP stuff - 9 myles in 56:43 with 2 mile w/u and c/d. A train was blocking my normal route over to Chatfield from the Highline so I had to stay on the Highline canal. Same sort of terrain, just an out and back instead of a loop. Before the workout I predicted my MP would be somewhere between 6:15 and 6:20... ended up with 6:18s. When Paul was coaching me, this was a key workout he would have me do every other week - basically 1 hour at MP. I whittled it down to 6:01 but that was after 7 weeks so I'm happy with 6:18s.

On Tuesday I made it back to Ft Collins, not in time for the track workout with Nick Clark, but enough time to put 8.5 myles on Spring Creek in 59:41. Then on Wednesday I met up with Dakota and Nick for a good, mellow 12 myles (1.42) near Horsetooth reservoir on the foothills trail.

Good solid week so far in which I'll cap off with a double over at Mt Falcon on Saturday with Patrick Garcia. Anyone else wants to join, you are more than welcome. Meeting at 7 AM.

Monday, October 11, 2010

12.4 myles - 1.29:42

Daniels Park - 8:00 AM
40s, soggy, partly cloudy
mind/body - sluggish/not motivated
Hard effort

Starting the week off right with some quality stuff but I really wasn't feeling up to it. Maybe it was the lack of coffee this morning...

6 x 1:30 @ 5K pace (flat) with 15 minutes between each one. It was really hard for me to judge 5K pace, since I haven't done one in years, but the last 30 seconds were rough on each one. A full 15 minutes between each one allowed my body to fully recover on the run so that I could give max effort on each of them. While these were flat, most of them ended at the beginning of a short hill so I worked hard to get back on 7:30 through the hill - 737ft of climbing.

Also got out yesterday for 13 myles (1.35) real easy to finish the week with 60 myles. I'm off to Casper, WY for the next day or so. On the way home on Wednesday I'll stop in Ft Collins and get out with Dakota and Nick for some myles.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

11 myles - ~1.30

50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
hard effort

Good quality stuff today and little arse kickin done by Mr. Lucho!

Met up with Mike Wasserman, Patrick Garcia, and Aaron Kennard thanks to the open invitation from Tim Waggoner to do a little hill speed work. We did a 2 mile w/u, followed by 6 x 1 mile (actually last one was only 0.64 but fast) with 2 minutes rest in between each mile. I was telling Lucho the hardest part about doing intervals or speed work are the days leading up to the actual workout, not so much the workout itself. I guess I just don't wanna know how much speed I've actually lost so I've been avoiding altogether. I did alright today but I reached my ceiling pretty quick on the second one, spilling some lactate, so I did the best I could to maintain the gap Lucho put on me each time. I'd say I was hitting high 6s/low 7s on each one with about a 6.5% grade. Once at the top we came down the single track which turns out to be 1/2 the distance back down. Good times - thanks fellas!

On another note, Ironman Kona is going on today. Been tracking the Tim's (DeBoom and Hola) all day. Both lost some places on the bike but seem to holding it together and even picking people off through the run. Found the picture below on the PI twitter page. Thought it was pretty cool to see Darcy up on a poster in the PI booth.

Deboom signing autographs at PI booth in Kona while Darcy looks over his shoulder

UPDATE: Deboom finished 32nd - 8.49:26 Hola finsihed 59th - 9.06:03. Solid all the way around!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

9.5 myles - 1.07:14

HR urban trails - 8 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - still zippy
easy effort

Easy effort but more of a steady, easy effort. Just wanted to be out there an hour so I stayed true to that. Took the watch (even though I was gonna wait till next week) to see if my perceived effort was matching my time - 7:04 pace with 700 ft of climbing, felt solid - so it checks out. Now for the next 3 and 1/2 weeks I need to concentrate on alternating easy/hard days, rather than steady every day. I've mapped out the upcoming weeks by using workouts Paul Dewitt gave me leading up to Squaw Peak last year. And basically what it comes down to is getting in some interval and MP work each week - I think I can handle that.

Was watching some video clips from Karlo's (that's what Myles calls him) Pony Express thing and Myles asked me, "Where's he goin?" "To Missouri, son" "Why? He wooks mad" hmmmmm..... Don't know how to answer that one! Should I start it this way: "You see son...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

9 myles - no time

Lone Tree + loop - 8:00 AM
50s, overcast, dry
mind/body - zippy
easy effort

Easy effort with a hard effort sprinkled in that is! I'm an addict to running period. Even though I committed to taking two weeks as mellow as can be, I'm finding it more difficult than I imagined. I'm 41 years old and when my legs are zippy I have to jump at the opportunity cause these days don't come 'round too often. So what I did today was just a sprinkle of hard (2.55 m - 16:06 (6:18 pace) - 337 ft climbing) to get the legs and lungs conditioned for the next couple of weeks. I feel quality, not quantity, is what my training has been lacking.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

8 myles - no time

Daniels Park - 8:00 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - engine is revving
easy effort

Seems like I've been stating "clear and dry" for quite some time. We need a little moisture. Took the same methodical approach today but I added in 6 x ~30 seconds @ 5K pace - everything is working and feeling really smooth. I'm contemplating heading to Wyoming (Casper) on Thursday to do a little work and also intersect Karl. Don't know if I'll run with him or sit in the motor home and eat all his food... On second thought, Karl's looking a little famished so I'll bring my own Little Debbie's or something. Also planning on doing some mile repeats with Lucho on Saturday up Lookout Mountain, I need a little arse whoopin'!

Any more feedback on a proposed PI ultra series? All good stuff so far! I think this could be a series like no other!

Monday, October 4, 2010

9 myles - no time

Lone Tree + loop - 8:00 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - refreshed
easy effort

Still keeping it real mellow - for the most part. There were a few 30 second pick-ups just keep the legs honest. I feel fully recovered so by the end of the week I will start to put in some quality stuff. Maybe just a couple mile repeats and a couple 1:30 5K efforts but really only to make sure everything is working.

Got some good feedback to take back to PI about the ultra series - thanks for the input. And just so you know, I was thinking along the lines of touching all the distances (as Nick mentioned) and picking the toughest of courses. Seems most people feel the same way. It would be nice to get a race back East but I also feel if it's kept in the Rocky Mountain Region then PI can really put their stamp on it and gain the identity of: Extreme/Rugged/Tough/Animalistic/Badass - choose whatever term you like but you get the point. Just my opinion, not PI approved.

Here are my choices:
  • Red Hot 50K - February or Chuckanut 50K - March
  • Zane Grey 50 - April
  • Pocatello 50 or Jemez 50 - May (pick one)
  • San Juan Solstice 50 - June
  • Katcina Mosa 100K - August
  • The Bear 100 - September
Not many 100K's to choose from so Nick's Comanche 100K in August? would be pretty cool to include. Lot's of 50 mile races so I'm not sure what to do there because I didn't even include Squaw Peak 50... They are all just jammed right in that late May, early June time frame so maybe you could have 6 to pick from in the 50 mile. A lot to sort out for sure.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

10 myles - no time

Wildcat Ridge - 8:00 A.M.
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

The weather has been unseasonably warm for this time of year so I'm feeling I can't waste any of them. Most Saturdays when I'm out on this route it's packed with people but I think most people have either shifted their minds to winter or attending to the kids sports. The run itself was slow and methodical but that's the way I plan to keep it. Thoughts were wandering from what to run next year all the way to what I/we should do during my sabbatical in two years.... I know it's two years away and lots can change but planning is good. Check out this documentary video - The Divide MTB race. It's an hour 20 so make sure you have time before you start cause you'll want to finish it. I'd like to run it someday.

On another note, I was snooping around Pearl Izumi on Thursday trying to get the low-down on plans for the team next year. Nothing definitive on the team but the vibes are good, thanks in large part to Nick and Darcy for their wins at Wasatch. One of the ideas floating around is a Pearl Izumi sponsored ultra series utilizing existing races around the country, similar to the Montrail Ultra Cup. I have my own ideas and thoughts as to what that should look like but I'd like to get input from you all. What 4 races would you pick from around the country that are not part of another series but could draw the best competition with the right circumstances? What distances would you choose? Would it be mountainous or relatively flat? PI is thinking big, but new to the game, so I'd appreciate feedback so that I can take that back to them. I know this for sure, trail running is going to be a huge focus for Pearl Izumi for years to come.