Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Sunday, February 28, 2010

7 myles - no time

High School track - 8:00 A.M.
30s, overcast, a little breezy
mind/body - good
Hard effort

6 x 800s on the high school track with a two mile warm up and cool down. I contemplated 10x800 for the sake of doing a full Yasso workout but ultimately left it up to feel. This workout was a good check to see what kind of leg speed I have going into Caumsett, pretty happy with the result; 2:35:36:34:33:33:33. The effort I was putting in was very similar leading into the Phoenix marathon where I averaged 2:37 so I think it's safe to say I've kept the leg speed. In all honesty though, I don't feel like I've worked as hard on the speed these last couple of weeks, but then again, maybe I didn't need to just to maintain.

On another note, Team Pearl Izumi-Smith just wrapped up a couple days hanging out together in Boulder. Great meeting where we all had an opportunity to not only meet each other but learn about the products and give valuable feedback. I would dare say we are all stoked with the direction the PI products are going. Just to give you an example, we all had little things we wanted to change about certain PI products and a lot of what we were saying is already being integrated into future product lines. I'm excited about the years to come! More pics and video to follow.

Team PI-Smith: (l to r) Kody Riley, Darcy Africa, Matt Lonergan, Ashley Nordell, Josh Brimhall, Scott Jaime, Nick Clark, Nick Lewis

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

8 myles - 54:58

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
30s, mostly dry, clear
mind/body - good
easy effort

6:52 pace today with 8 x 1 minute @ 5k pace sprinkled in. Actually it was more like a full on sprint but the point was to get some good leg turn over. I was told by a world famous runner that I don't know anything about peaking so I've been very cognisant of my leg speed and very particular of my distance during the last few weeks.

I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping the speed I had at Phoenix but only time will tell. My goal for Caumsett 50K is between 3.13 and 3.15. That won't win the race but maybe I'll surprise myself. I am fit, happy, and healthy going into this race so I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

10 myles - 1.12:31

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
teens, snow/frozen mud, clear
mind/body - sluggish
easy effort

Just went with the flow today - 7:15 avg. Really didn't feel like I needed to push it anywhere. For some reason, either longing for the summer or the music playing in my ears, I had memories flash back into my head about my Colorado Trail adventure last year. I assume I will never forget that trip and all the people who helped me along the way. I am putting together a DVD that will include pictures, video, and music that I will put up on the blog once I'm done. On that note, Dave Horton emailed me and wants to do some training up on the CT this summer from Eddiesville to Durango sometime in late June - looking forward to it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

10 myles - 1.06:39

Daniels Park - 9:00 A.M.
teens, snow/mud mix, foggy
mind/body - good/strong
Hard effort

Kinda strange to have it be so cold and the ground so warm. The snow was melted on the main roads and became a snow/slush/mud mix on Grigs (dirt road). It's crunch time for Caumsett so the myles have to be quality. Undeterred by the conditions the plan was 7:30s out and then 6s back, turned out like this: 7:25 avg. out and 5:54 avg. (5:56:52:52:55:58) back. Coming back was tough and I can tell you I felt like I was hitting 5:30s with the lungs searing and dead legs. Initially I would have been happy with 6:15s but I pushed a little out of my comfort zone to hurt myself. Glad it's over.

Got an email today confirming my entry into Caumsett and it linked to USATF members running. There will be others (not USATF) but this was my first look to see who is running. Gives me a good sense of competition, only recognize a couple names though. Who's this Michael W.? Never heard of him....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

6 myles - 45:12

TM South Ridge - 4:00 P.M.
Teens, snowing outside
mind/body - good
easy effort

WOW! Just watched the Americans beat the Canadians in hockey! What a goal by Ryan Kesler to seal the deal in the end - exciting stuff! But to be completely honest, I don't get the Olympic spirit (or feel) when watching sports where pro athletes predominate, just like basketball in the summer games. I think the Olympics should be left to the amateur athletes. What do you think?

Running today was all about hanging out with Jaxon. The boys went to the gym to play basketball while mom worked, after mom got home Jaxon and I went running. He went round and round on the track while I ran the treadmill. Nice, methodical pace for me (7:30) while I counted laps for Jaxon - 30 in all for 3 myles.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

20 myles - 2.18:53

High Line Canal - 11:00 A.M.
20s, snowing, packed/slippery snow
mind/body - good/strong
easy effort

Last night when thinking about this run I wanted to get a time around 2.10... kinda scrapped that idea once I saw the snow this morning. Man I felt good starting so I decided to make this some sort of cut down run. Starting at 8 pace I worked down to 6:16 for the last mile - 6:56 pace avg. It may not seem that impressive but there were places on the trail where the snow was cold (slippery) and deeper, making 7:30s lots of work. There were a few myles in the middle where I wasn't able to get faster but in the end I made sure I finished fast and strong. No water with me today but I did take one flask of EFS liquid shot and nipped at it every 15 minutes, good energy throughout. So just like last year, EFS liquid shot and water will be my nutrition plan for this year for 100K and below.

On another note, I've changed my race schedule a bit. I've elected to do Zane Gray 50 on April 24th instead of Spring Desert Ultra. Timing works out better for me race wise, plus I have a work meeting in Phoenix the week before Zane Gray. Not to mention I'll get to run some myles with PI-Smith teammate Josh Brimhall.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

10 myles - 1.13:26

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
30s, overcast, somewhat dry
mind/body - good
very easy effort

I felt decent and, in fact, had the urge to go fast(er). I knew, however, that I must have a couple days when I just spin the wheels. Today was a great day to do that and try to enjoy myself. And don't get me wrong, I always enjoy myself once I'm out there, it's the 'getting out' that's usually the tough part. How many times have you been out there when you say "man this is great!" and just a few minutes before you were dreading to even go?

On my runs lately I've been thinking about some crazy training runs leading up to Hard Rock. I want to be faster than I was last year and I remember how hard I trained last year so these crazy runs keep popping into my head. For instance, yesterday on Mt Sanitas I was thinking of going around 10 times... Or another one is doing the Incline for 12 hours... Or how bout doing a triple summit on Pikes in early July? I know crazy thoughts but the fact of the matter is that I need to do more vertical gain than I did last year to better my time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

5 myles - 50:43

Mt. Sanitas - 3:00 P.M.
40s, ice/snow/muddy mix, overcast
mind/body - relaxed
easy effort

In between appointments yesterday I headed up Sanitas, probably more for the mind than the body. The Mt Sanitas trail was almost completely free of snow/ice on the ridge but after the summit on the East Ridge trail it was quite muddy. The loop coming down the valley trail is only 3 myles and it still took a good 40 minutes to come around. But getting up to the top took me 19:37 and it's only 1.1 myles so it's quite a hump.

I think this would be a great training run leading up to HR by doing 10 laps. That would be about 30 myles and over 13,000 ft of elevation gain. We'll see if I can talk myself into it come late June...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

9 myles - 54:38

Chatfield - 1:00 P.M.
30s, a little snow, SW wind
mind/body - strong again
Hard effort

When you feel it, you gotta go with it. No chain today my friends. Actually a total of 10 myles including warm up but whose counting.... I started the run with the intention of hitting 6:10s but as I went through 2 myles in 11:40 I thought I might crack 54 this time... didn't happen - remember the wind thingy out at Chatfield? Went through 6 myles in 36:02 and then turned the corner to face the wind, slowed me down just a tad. Ended up with 6:04s

As I was going through this run I realized I have found a 'sweet spot' -if you will- as far as speed goes. When I'm right at 6 pace I am comfortable yet feel like I'm dangling on the red line, when I dip into the 5:50s I noticed I change my step, choppy then bigger strides, to try and keep pace. I now know when I start to do that the pace is a bit much for an extended period of time.

Still shook up a bit about Jenna Gruben... reality check - life is fragile. Live every moment of your life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

14 myles - 1.40:03

HR urban trails - 10:00 A.M.
20s, snowy trails, clear
mind/body - very good/strong
easy effort

Just trying to mix up the speed work here today when in reality I only intended to 'get out' today to spin off any stiffness. But as I got going I felt pretty damn good! At my age I can't waste any of that 'good feeling' so I decided to make this a progressive workout. Going out I hit 7:40s so at the turnaround (mile 8) I would go faster each mile. Looked like this: 7:20, 7:10, 6:55, 6:42, 6:35, 6:20, 6:13.

I don't know about you but the Olympics inspire me. My whole life I dreamed of being in the Olympics for something. The dream has since died (had something to do with genes?) - but man! I love to hear the stories of the people that made it. Get's me all choked up.

On a sad note, Jenna Gruben passed away yesterday on her way home from the Moab 33K. I met Jenna in Steamboat during the Mountain RATS race a couple years ago - always smiling and always positive. I am deeply saddened and speechless. Rest in peace Jenna, your spirit lives on.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

30 myles - 3.43:26

Chatfield - 11:30 A.M.
30s, snow/mud, South wind
mind/body - strong
Hard effort

I can't remember a time when the wind wasn't blowing out at Chatfield. Boy did it reek havoc on my plans for a fast second loop today! I was hoping by the time I got around to the second loop that wind would die down. But it only got stronger. And to make matters slower the Highline Canal was trashed with snow/mud mix and rutted from all the horses. Not ideal at all today.

My plan was to come around the first loop with 7:30s and then second loop in 6:20s. First loop was even slow with a 1.56:34 (7:46 avg.) and I knew there was no way for the second to get close to 6s. So I got the most out of it I could on the second using the wind. From mile 18 to 24 the wind was at my back with a slight uphill in the dirt: I ended up with 38:37 (6:26 avg.) for the 6 mile stint. As soon as I turned the corner (North) by Waterton Canyon the wind smacked me in the face and slowed me to a crawl. I still felt good but I was working waaay too hard to even try to get under 7s anymore so I just coasted in. I did, however, crank out the last mile in 6:30 as it was protected from the trees and on pavement. Second loop was 1.46:52 - 7:07 avg.

In the end a solid workout. Didn't go the way I planned but I'll have another opportunity at something like this (not as long) before Caumsett 50K. Speaking of Caumsett, I hope they have the race with all the snow they're getting back East. Maybe Kulak will get off the couch and show up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

14 myles - 1.45:12

Daniels Park - 10:00 A.M.
40s, partly cloudy, calm
mind/body - good
easy, easy effort

Nice and easy today with a 7:30 pace. Got a big day tomorrow with 30 myles on the schedule. If anyone wants to join me I'll be doing two 15 mile loops around Chatfield starting at 11:30 A.M.

On another note, PI-Smith is having their first ever summit meeting in Boulder February 25th-27th. The summit will consist of the athletes and sponsors coming together to bond through group runs, testing product, product presentations, group hugs, AND a ping pong tourney. Can't wait.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

9 myles

Jeffco Stadium - 1:00 P.M.
40s, snowy track, clear
mind/body - hesitant/good
Hard effort

20 minute warm up/cool down, 6 x 1000 m on the track (3:21, 3:20, 3:20, 3:19, 3:19, 3:17). Pretty good pacing considering I was shooting for 3:20. According the McMillan calculator this would be considered a cruise interval (3:20-3:24). In addition McMillan also lists a speed workout for long distance runners where I should be between 3:10 and 3:17 - I agree with that. Last time I did this workout Paul had me shoot for 3:15 (3:19, 3:16, 3:15, 3:18, 3:18, 3:20), I was killing myself on every one and completely trashed afterward - more along the lines of speed. This time I was comfortable on every one and recovered quick. And because of all the snow, only lane two was cleared off so maybe a second more on each one?? The speed is still there, I just gotta maintain it with something like this once a week at least through Caumsett.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

12 myles - 1.23:49

Daniels Park Loop - 2:00 P.M.
20s, muddy/snow, clear
mind/body - good/strong
easy effort

6:59 average today. I felt a little faster than that but maybe because of the slop I was slowed down a bit. It's crunch time leading up to Caumsett 50K - 3 and 1/2 weeks to go. Based on my previous experience this is the week that needs to be the most solid not only in mileage but quality mileage. I may have lost a little speed since the marathon but I'll know for sure after Saturday. Saturday will be the day I do 30 myles (2 loops around Chatfield) with the second loop around 6:15 pace. If I can do that then I feel pretty confident I can crank out a 3.15 at Caumsett.

On another note, I noticed on the HR website they have listed a plot of the highest wait number to start (green line). Just to be perfectly clear, that green line does not represent the actual number of people that got into HR off the wait list. For example, 2008 lists #99 who was Whit Rambach that year. He showed up to the race and got in race morning because someone slept in. There were other people in front of him but they didn't show up. So don't get your hopes up if you are #99 this year because it still averages out to be about 30 actual people who get in.

Monday, February 8, 2010

6 myles - 45:37

HR Rec. Center - 8:00 P.M.
cold and snowy outside
mind/body - feeling bloated from all the dip and chips yesterday
Hard effort

Went to the Southridge Rec. Center with Jaxon to do a little running and play basketball. Basketball court was occupied so I ran on the treadmill and Jaxon did 20 laps (2 myles). I had a few beers last night with TON of fat-full dip and chips - needless to say I wasn't feeling it. Although I managed to crank out 4.72 myles in 30 minutes (6:21) during the middle portion.

The dip I made last night consisted of:
  • 1 bottle of Herdez salsa
  • 1 16 oz bar of cream cheese
  • 1 20 oz can of Bush's best chili beans
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 bushel of green onions
Yep I know - loaded with fat but mmm. mmm. good!

Thanks to GZ, JC, and Jon for the insightful info on two-a-days!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

8 myles ~ 1.15

Lone Tree loop - noon
20s, snowing, pleasant
mind/body - good
easy effort

Today was a great run! Not only was it peaceful with the snow lightly falling but Jaxon joined me for 6.2 of the 8 myles. Jaxon did a great job for his first time trying to run for that long. Sure he's gone up to 15 myles but that was all walking. I tried to explain even running 1/2 that distance with little or no training is tough to do. In addition it was snowing so it's a lot harder to get all bundled up and brave the elements - but he did it and ran most of the way. I told him the deal is that in order for me to let him do the 25K he has to run the entire 6.2 mile loop before the race.

Oh I almost forgot, I'm 13th on the wait list for the Hardrock Hundred. Just goes to show you that even with 6 tickets, it's the luck of the draw. On average 30 people on the wait list get in every year with last year being an abnormally low year of only 22. I have a feeling this year will be a little higher because of a higher number of 1st timers (freaking out right about now) and for the simple fact that no one had to send money in yet. I've come off the wait list two other times (#5 and #34) with one of those times getting in the day before. How does Browneye get in every year??

Saturday, February 6, 2010

26 myles - 3.03:18

HR urban trails - 8 A.M. and 2 P.M.
mid 40s, partly cloudy, dry trails and road
mind/body - good
easy effort

I was supposed to get up this morning to have enough time to crank out a 3 hour run before Jaxon's basketball game but I slept in again. So I decided to make this my first ever 2-a-day: morning 8 myles - 58:04/7:15 avg., afternoon 18 myles - 2.05:14/6:57 avg. for an overall avg. of 7:03. The last mile this afternoon I decided to test the leg speed with a 5:50 split. Since I faded in the marathon I'm gonna try to do more of the speed stuff towards the end of my runs, hopefully it will help.

Now that I've done my first ever 2-a-day I am now wondering if there are any studies to determine which is more beneficial; 1 run for 3 hours or 2 runs 1.5 hours each. Anybody know? And when I say beneficial I'm specifically speaking of glycogen stores.

Friday, February 5, 2010

12 myles - 1.22:19

Daniels Park loop - 8:00 A.M.
20s, no wind, relatively dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Finally back home and enjoyed being out this morning on my home course with an easy avg. of 6:51. Work wise the week has been action packed traveling through Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming but I always found time to run. Good thing because I'll probably be going that route at least once a month so it'll be a good change of scenery.

As most of you know I'm not eating meat so I thought you would be interested in knowing some things I've been eating to keep up my protein intake. But also list a few recipes that I've found that are tasty. I've been trying to get between 80 and 90 grams of protein per day but it's hard to keep track. For starters I've been eating a lot of beans, no surprise for a beaner eh. I've actually been making my own Chipotle style burritos to include:

2 cups cooked botan rice
1 can Pinto beans
1 can black beans
2 cans Rotel
1 bushel of cilantro
1 fresh squeezed lime
Mix that all up in a large bowl, heat up the tortilla, throw a handful of cheese, and some hot sauce and wallah! No brainer right. The nice thing about this is that you can store it in the fridge and eat it over the next couple of days. I usually have 2 or 3 of these and each one has about 10 grams of protein.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A quick update

Been on the road all week in Northern Colorado and now in Cheyenne, WY - are you jealous? I didn't think I would have time to run but in reality I don't have anything else to do after the work is done.

Yesterday I had a great run and chat with fellow Pearl/Smith teammate Nick Clark. I drove up to Nick's home and we ran his home course of Horsetooth Mountain Park - 8 myles and 2000+ feet of elevation. Nick's got a great little slice of heaven right out his front door tucked away from the sprawling metropolis of Ft. Collins.

This morning I got out again before hitting the road. I found a nice little path called the Mason Trail paralleling a set of railroad tracks. Since yesterday was climbing I decided today to get some speed work. I didn't have a watch nor did I know how far I went but I would imagine I spent about 20 minutes at 5K pace in the middle. Maybe 6 myles in about 45 minutes total.

Driving around in Cheyenne this afternoon I found another established trail system but I don't think I'll have time to check it out before I skip town. Next time.

Last - Pearl Izumi/Smith site has a great little contest going on. Go check it out and leave your ad for a chance at some Smith Optics gear.

That's all for now. Time for some din-din.

Monday, February 1, 2010

9 myles - 1.00:29

Lone Tree loop - 4:00 P.M.
40s, clear, dry
mind/body - solid
Hard effort

Very nice day today. I tried to get up this morning before work but couldn't drag my butt outta bed. I was gonna do 6 this morning and then do a tempo workout this evening. I'm not a big fan of a two-a-days but I need to bump up the mileage a bit over the next few weeks.

This run is almost two myles to the Lone Tree loop and then 2.61 on the loop. My tempo consisted of two loops: 16:34 (6:20) and 16:24 (6:17). Pretty good times considering about 350ft of elevation gain on dirt.

And the saga continues with the Phoenix RnR marathon. It appears they are going to pay Ken and I $750 each because we had identical chip times. I'm OK with that if that's what the rule says about awarding prize money - but it doesn't. What I'm more pissed about than anything else is they tried to justify their reasoning by saying I lined up in the elite corral - not true! Totally bogus! Here is Matthew Turnbull's email message:

After speaking with all parties over email or otherwise the decision on how to hand out prize money is as follows:

Both Ken Pliska and Scott Jaime will be awarded $750 each. The reasoning is because both had identical chip timing. Scott Jaime actually started in the elite athlete corral when he should have in fact started in corral number 1 to which he was assigned.

I hope all agree that this is the fairest way to solve this issue.

Best wishes

30 seconds before the start they allow everyone to move forward towards the start line. I moved forward with the group, behind a guy with a walkie-talkie. Basically what they are saying is that my gun time was better because I moved forward too close to the elites. Was there a separation between the elite and corral #1? No. I was surrounded by all the guys I was standing around in corral #1. Ken I'll still buy you a beer, not a big beer, but a beer nonetheless.

I know, I know what am I bitching about right? $750 is still $750 and more than I started with but it's the principle of doing the right thing